Home2019September (Page 2)

Tackling your heating bill this winter is one way to save money and there are some easy ways to do it!  Lowering your heating costs can help you by having a little more disposable income to use for preps or to buy precious metals, or to stash away in a “rainy day fund.”

The truth is, it won’t hurt any of us to learn to live more frugally. Some don’t have a choice depending on their financial situation, but if you haven’t thought of trying to reduce your heating costs, you should! I have come to view it as almost a challenge.  I try to beat last year’s cost (compared by month) this year.  Turning it into a challenge has really helped, but do what works for you!

1. Lower the Thermostat
You can save up to 3% on your heating bill per degree lowered over a 24 hour period (or about 1 percent per 8 hours). During the winter months, we keep our thermostat set at 67 during the day and 60 at night.  Play around with the temperatures to find something that works for your family. Generally, you’ll want it warmer at night if you have little kids. But just turning it down some saves us a lot of money and you can just toss an extra blanket on the bed.

2. Keep vents and radiators clear

Check and make sure your vents are not blocked by rugs or furniture, or that you don’t have any large objects in front of your radiator. This allows the air to circulate freely and you to get the full benefit of the warm air and put less strain on your furnace. This is also safer!

3. Heat Your Home With Wood

Using a woodburning stove is a lot cheaper than using electricity or propane to heat your home.  While this may not be an option for everyone, it is definitely something to consider if you can pull it off.  A woodburning stove can be a sizeable investment depending on how big of a stove you will need, but it’s nice to have when the power goes out and there’s nothing like the instant warmth it provides.  Back up heat will be invaluable in an emergency and worth the upfront costs! Make sure you able to cut your own firewood, because if you have to buy it, costs could be pretty high depending on where you live and it won’t save you any money.

4. Check For Leaks and Seal Them

Your house leaks warm air, but if you find and seal most of these leaks, you can save between 10-20% on your heating bill this winter. To detect leaks, you should wait until it is cold outside. You will probably need at least a 30-degree difference in the indoor/outdoor temperatures to easily notice the difference. Look for leaks in common areas such as around doors, windows, near the attic, where wires and cables enter your house, and around electrical outlets. Seal all the gaps around any pipes, wires, vents or other openings with caulk or weather stripping.

5. Use a Humidifier

Using a humidifier can reduce your heating costs since moist air retains heat better than dry air. There are other benefits to using a humidifier. They help reduce static electricity, dry skin, and make it easier to breathe. A cast iron teapot placed on a wood-burning stove can accomplish this easily! Just fill it with water and let your stove’s heat do the work!

Hopefully, these tips will help you save money this winter on your heating bills!

Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

Healthy Soil + Healthy Plants = Healthy You

The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns

Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need

4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis

Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps

Tackling your heating bill this winter is one way to save money and there are some easy ways to do it!  Lowering your heating costs can help you by having

Probably every Hollywoodian adventure flick out there has at least one scene where the protagonist or, better yet, the bad guy, finds himself trapped in quicksand. Film producers gave their very best to depict as gruesomely as possible what it means to become entangled in that sandy pit of death.

I have to admit that, for a very long time, I was convinced that there was no difference between stepping in quicksand and doing the mamba in a minefield. Although most of the things you see in movies are BS, not all are fictitious.

For instance, I remember seeing a screen adaption of The Hound of Baskerville, my favorite story from the Sherlock Holmes universe, in which one the main characters explain to doctor Watson how people may ‘unstuck’ themselves from quicksand by getting on their backs and swim. True to some degree, as you will find out later in this chapter, but not nearly enough to get out of quicksand.

A billboard advertising a book? DETAILS HERE

When it comes to movie depictions of shifting sands, the thing that irks me the most is this feeling of utter doom given off by those scenes. It’s something like “Crap! I stepped in quicksand. Well, nothing more to do than letting the sands swallow. Oh, to make things even more dramatic, I will roar like a raging lunatic and flutter my arms. That’s it! Lights out! Buh-bye! End of the line for me.”

It’s not exactly like that in real life. Sure, if you move around like crazy, that thing will eventually choke on sand or mud. That’s another thing – quicksand pits are not always made of sand, and it’s not just desert you’ve got to look out for.

Technically, any hole containing a fair amount of sand, dirt, silt or clay can become a quicksand pit it’s drenched by water and agitated by movement. I won’t bore you to death with the science behind quicksand, but I will say this – these treacherous pits can be found anywhere around the world, especially in areas that have been hit by natural disasters such as earthquakes, landslides, and flooding.

So, my advice to you is to watch your step and stay away from puddles or suspicious pits. Carrying a walking stick always helps, especially when you have to traverse unknown terrain. As you’re walking, the ground in front of you with your stick a couple of times. If it appears to be solid, it means it’s safe to walk.

Still, if the end gets caught and you have trouble getting it out, you should definitely avoid the area. That’s basically it for the prepping and prevention part. Let’s now see what we should do in case we end up in a quicksand pit.

Step 1. Stop and discard.

Once you step in a quicksand pit, you’ll immediately notice that your body will slowly begin to plunge in the pit. Stop! Take a deep breath! You’re not going to die here. Now, the first thing you’ll need to concern yourself with is your weights – the heavier you are, the faster you’ll sink.

So, grab your backpack and throw it as far away from the quicksand pit as possible. If you have a toolbelt or anything similar, you should throw that away as well. Your boots make one Hell of a difference when it comes to getting out fast of quicksand. For instance, rubber boots, like those used by people fishing in shallow waters, are very useful for this kind of situation since they can be removed easier compared to their laced peers.

Step 2. Watch your movements


The whole idea of dealing with quicksand is knowing exactly when to move and when to stand still. What most people don’t know is that there’s a 5 to the 10-second interval which allows a quick escape. So, if you step in one of these quicksand pits, go through step one, which is discarding your backpack and any other stuff that might weigh you down, and try to take a couple of steps forward and backward.

Small, baby steps – don’t try to rush things. If you move slowly, you’ll soon feel that less grip. Continue doing this until you manage to break free of the quicksand pit.

Step 3. Drop and swim to safety

If you miss this interval, again, stop what you are doing, stand still, and take a deep breath. Remember that every twitch or sudden movement can stir the stuff inside the pit. This will tighten the grip and make you sink even further.

Once you’ve calmed down, slowly lay on your back, just as you would do at a hospital when a nice lady doctor offers you a consultation. Keep your arms parallel to your body. You should ensure that your head and torso remain above the ground. Take a short breather, and roll on one side. Now, arch your back and swim forward. Remember the backstrokes you’ve learned in swimming class? That’s exactly what you must need to do.

The only difference between swimming in water and quicksand is the amount of friction. Obviously, it’s more challenging to swim in mud or sand compared to water, but if you put your back into it, you’ll eventually reach solid ground.

Again, everything must be done in slow motion. Don’t rush it! If you feel that the effort’s too much, rest for a couple of minutes. Yes, I know it’s frustrating to have the same speed as a garden snail, but rushing it would only make you sink even further into the quicksand.

Once you feel that the ground below you is solid, flop back, firmly plant your hands on the ground, and push as hard as you can to yank yourself loose.

Don’t worry about losing your boots or smartphone in the quicksand pit. Those can be replaced; your life cannot. Above all, don’t try sticking your hand inside the hole in a desperate attempt to recover your position. Your priority right now would be to recover your B.O.B and\or toolbelt.

Do a quick inventory to see if anything went missing. If you have an emergency phone in your backpack, use it to call the authorities. You can also switch on your personal emergency beacon if you have one.

The next step would be to check all body areas that have been in contact with the quicksand pit. Remember that the extra friction may cause some nasty bruises and even wounds.  If this is the case, get the first-kit out of your bug out bag and treat all resulting wounds before infection sets in.

Additional considerations on surviving quicksand pits

In 99.9 percent of cases, you can survive a quicksand encounter. Still, there are a couple of more things you should know about these things.

Quicksand pits are not specific to only one part of the world.

In fact, research has pointed out that these formations can appear anywhere in the world, especially in proximity to bodies of water such as lakes, underground springs, riverbanks, beaches, and marshes.

Quicksand pits are featureless.

There’s no possible way of telling if the thing in front of you is a quicksand pit or just another mud puddle or hole in the sand. Well, there actually is – by getting stuck in it!

Swimming is the best way to get out of quicksand.

Buoyancy is the only thing that keeps you from meeting an untimely demise. However, there are times when you may not be able to backstroke your way out of a quicksand pit. More specifically, the friction will be too higher for your body. If this happens, arch your back and hips more. This will allow you to equally distribute your body weight, ensuring buoyancy.

Not all quicksand pits are dangerous.

Although movies show that each encounter with a quicksand pit means certain death, in reality, you won’t sink lower than your ankles. Still, you shouldn’t take this for granted, since everything depends on how deep the pit’s in the first place.

Panicking is the leading cause of death in case of deep quicksand pits encounters.


Researchers have determined that most people who have choked to death in shifting sands, panicked and tried to latch onto anything they could find.

Remember that sudden and violent movement will only stir the bottom of the pit even more which, as you’ve guessed it, results in sinking. Stay calm, lay flat on your back, flop over, and use the backstroke to get out of the quicksand pit.

Walking sticks makes escapes a lot easier.

Escaping a quicksand pit is a lengthy and strenuous process (sometimes, it takes more than half a day to cover one or two meters). You can reduce the time it takes you to get out by using your walking stick as a flotation device.

Provided that you haven’t lost the stick or threw away with your bug out bag and\or toolbelt, lay flat on your back and place the walking stick underneath your body (it should be right below the lumbar area). In a couple of seconds, you will notice that there’s no more sinking.

Using your legs only, push slowly. After advancing a couple of inches, move the stick to a new position. It will take a while, but by combining the leg-pushing drill with the stick, you’ll soon be able to reach firm ground.

That’s basically it for my take on how to escape a quicksand pit. Again, not all encounters with this sand and water formations area deadly. The odds are you’ll probably never sink below the ankle level.

For smaller quicksand pits, it’s enough to move your legs back and forth to get out. Of course, the best method of escaping quicksand pits is to avoid them in the first place. Granted that shifting sands are featureless, but you can test the terrain in front of you with your walking stick. Avoid marshy and sandy area also helps, but you never know where life takes you.

Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

Healthy Soil + Healthy Plants = Healthy You

The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns

Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need

4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis

Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps

Probably every Hollywoodian adventure flick out there has at least one scene where the protagonist or, better yet, the bad guy, finds himself trapped in quicksand. Film producers gave their

For some newbies, the topic may elicit some bravado – “wow, an open wound. Neat! I was looking forward to testing out my new suturing kit.” It’s never like that; the worst thing that could happen to you in an SHTF situation is being forced to deal with an injury of this caliber. Of course, it’s even shittier if you’re the one who has been wounded and no one around to provide medical assistance.

Learn how to both diagnose and treat any medical problems you are going to encounter. Learn more about it here.

I want to share with you some tricks and tips that will be of great use to you in open wound management. Pray to God that it will never come to that, but you never know where life takes you.

Open Wound Management for NMPs (Non-medical personnel) and preppers


You know what’s the real golden rule of prepping? Shit can happen anywhere. And, unfortunately, it does. Scrapes, bruises, and nicks are very common around a household, especially when you have kids or if you’re that kind of person that has butter fingers. There’s nothing special about treating small cuts – apply pressure, wash, clean, and disinfect.

That’s all there is to it! Still, considering the crazy world we live in, even a trip to the corner store can turn into a deadly, Indiana Jones-like expedition. This is the very reason why you should always be ready to tackle any kind of emergency, no matter its nature.

As far as today’s subject is concerned, a good friend of mine, who also happens to be a thoracic surgeon in his spare time, one told me that the best thing you could do about an open wound would be to leave it alone.

Related Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

Yes, I know it sounds crazy and rather dangerous considering that germs are always looking for ways to get inside our bodies, but there’s a good reason why doctors approach open wounds in this manner. Let’s backtrack a bit.

Regardless of the medical emergency, the first thing you need to do is to assess the patient. Check breathing, pulse, and state of consciousness. Many first-aid manuals state that the patient should not be moved unless he’s in immediate danger.

For instance, if a person is involved in a car accident, you should attempt to yank him out of the vehicle before the gas ignites it. So, if your patient is in danger, carry him to safety as fast as possible before assessing his condition.

In dealing with open wounds, hypovolemic shock and loss of consciousness are your opponents. When a person loses 20 to 40 percent of blood, his organs will begin to shut down one by one. Passing out is a distinct possibility.

However, if the blood volume cannot be restored, that person will die. Hypovolemic shock is a very common occurrence in case of open wounds. This is why the next step you will need to take would be to stop the bleeder.

Ask the patient to lie flat on his back and elevate the wound (if it’s on the leg, raise the his\her leg above body level). You may need to improvise some sort of stand; a rock, an old crate, a trashcan or anything that will help you raise the wounded limb.

Next order of business would be to figure out where’s the bleeding coming for – if an artery was severed or lacerated, then the blood will come out spurting. On the other hand, if it’s a vein, the blood coming out will flow.

Related 4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis

Why do you need to know this? Because each scenario comes with a different approach. For instance, in case of a venous hemorrhage, it’s enough to pack it with sterile gauze in order to stop the bleeding.

On the other hand, if you’re dealing with an arterial hemorrhage, apart from packing it with sterile gauze, you will also need to compress the upper part of the artery to control the bleeding, giving your body enough time to perform what docs call hemostasis (stopping the bleeding).

Treating Open Wounds

Once you have assessed the patient, elevated the wound, and identified the bleeder, it’s time to act. At this point, it’s important to stop the bleeding. It doesn’t matter if the wound’s filled with dirt or anything. You can concern yourself with those things after your patient no longer loses blood.

To do that, apply a sterile gauze right on the wound and apply pressure. If the wound continues to bleed, use another gauze. Stack as may gauzes or clean cloth as you see fit. Keep the pressure constant, even if you feel like your hands are about to give up on you.

In the meantime, if the patient’s conscious, ask him or her to drink water. Plenty of it! Remember that your goal is to replenish the liquids lost through the wound.

This is the only place where you can get DR. RALPH LA GUARDIA’S THE DOOMSDAY BOOK OF MEDICINE

Keep pressure on the bleeder and add more gauze or cloth, if necessary. Once the bleeding has subsided, it’s time to tend to the wound. One of the most common mistakes I’ve encountered is yanking the bandages. Don’t do that – the barrier formed by clotted blood and those little cells that repair leaks is keeping the patient from bleeding.

Still, you will need to clean that wound to prevent infection. To do that, grab a bottle of sterilized water and pour over the bandage. Once the gauze has enough moisture, you will be able to remove it without too much difficulty. Stay calm! You’re almost to the finish line.

After removing the bandage, take a closer look at the wound site. Do you any dirt? Piece of wood or metal sticking out? If it’s just dirt, use plenty of clean water to wash the area. However, if there’s anything sticking out of the wound like a metal spike or, even worse, a protruding bone, leave them be.

Between washing, using a saline solution to flush the wound. In case your first-aid kit doesn’t include a syringe with saline solution, you can make some using a clean plastic bottle, water, and a tablespoon of fine rock salt. Mix, shake the bottle and use your survival knife to cut a small hole in the plastic cap. Use this liquid to flush the wound.

Remember when I told you about my doc friend who said that in most cases it’s better to leave the wound open? Well, that’s exactly what you must do. When you’re done cleaning and flushing the wound, apply a sterile gauze over the site to keep the area clean. You may also want to waterproof the site – wrap a sterile glove or an unfolded condom.

Now, in case the wound is smaller (one or one and a half inches between the skin flaps), you can attempt to suture it. Bear in mind that suturing is a last resort solution – you should only do this if you know that help will not reach you in time. In one of my articles, I’ve talked about how to do simple interrupted sutures.

Be sure your first-aid kit includes a suturing pack. Keep monitoring the wound for signs of infection – skin discoloration, oozing or acidic smell. If you’re lost in the wild, a quick way to keep infection at bay and stop tissue necrosis would be to use maggots. Yes, it sounds utterly disgusting, but those little suckers are great at eating dead tissue.


Keep your priorities straight – assess, elevate, identify bleeder, hemostasis, wash, flush, and continue monitoring. Sounds like a no-brainer, but I can bet that you won’t feel that way once you’re facing a wound that won’t stop bleeding. You should also tell the patient to drink plenty of liquids.

Bleeders can go out of hand if the patient goes into a panic. That’s why it’s important to talk to him or her. Tell your patient that everything’s going to be okay and that help is on its way. Above all, don’t let him close his eyes. If you see that the victim is about to faint, pour some water over his face, and ask him to keep talking to you.

That’s basically all that you can learn as a non-medical person about open wound management. If you’re interested in learning more, check with your local Red Cross chapter. They’re bound to have a free advanced first-aid course. Any thoughts? Hit the comments section and let me know.

Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

Healthy Soil + Healthy Plants = Healthy You

The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns

Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need

4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis

Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps

For some newbies, the topic may elicit some bravado – “wow, an open wound. Neat! I was looking forward to testing out my new suturing kit.” It’s never like that;

potted meat food product is a food preserved by canning and consisting of various seasoned cooked meats, often puréed, minced, or ground, which is heat processed and sealed into small cans. This is different from potted meat, an older noncommercial method of preserving meat.

When you think of potted meat you probably think of Armor. Ritz cracks and that weird gelatin on top might come to mind, too. If you are like me, you think of great memories on the couch with dad. We would eat this stuff together and watch TV.

You might also think of your own pantry. You know, these canned meats have a tremendous shelf life and make for a great protein solution. Did you know that canned meats can last up to 5 years beyond the best by date printed on the can?

The Plant You Can Use as a Diuretic But Also To Make a Great Wine! Good news? It grows all over the place. Details here

While you might think that potted meat came to be during the age of metal canning and the industrial revolution, you would be mistaken. Just because it’s in a tin can today does not mean it started that way. The potting of meat or preserving meat by covering it in its own fat is hundreds of years old.

It was a process so popular, in fact, it was published in more than one volume on cooking in the 1700s. We are going to be using a recipe from the 1778 book A Lady’s Assistant By Charlotte Mason. The recipe is called Potting Beef.

I like this recipe best because it’s very easy, it doesn’t require any added nitrites and it can be executed with everything the average person has on hand. We are going use a modern-day twist on the “POTS” used but other than that it will be pretty much the same method used in the 1700s.

The Power of the Fat Cap

Before we get to the process of potting meat I would like to talk about the preserving power of fat. When it hardens fat creates a barrier from moisture and oxygen.

Most bacteria need moisture and oxygen to survive. Without those two things, bacteria will not be able to proliferate. That fat cap on potted meat is what preserves it. That barrier is vital. It’s very similar to the process of the French confit which preserved duck legs under duck fat.

The ideal place to store your potted meat will be in a cold place where the fat cap can harden. That is assuming the power is out. Of course, a fridge will be the best option. The French even buried their duck confit in earthenware to assure that fat cap did not get compromised.

Related: The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us


The “pots” that would have been used were little more than earthenware or ceramic cups. Before the tin can this was how meat was potted. Our modern twist on this recipe is the resourceful use of coffee cups as the pots. I figure we all have a few too many coffee cups.

  • A Few Coffee Cups
  • A Large Bowl
  • A Sauce Pot
  • A Muddler or Another Tool to Pulverize the Beef

Ingredients for Potted Meat

  • A Few Pounds of Beef
  • Good Whole Butter
  • Clarified Butter

Related: Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need

The Process of Making Potted Meat

Potting beef is very simple. Let’s start with that. We are simply going to mash up the meat and beat in some more fat. Then we are going to cover the entire thing with even more fat.

#1. Slow cook your beef, however, you are comfortable until it is falling apart. You can use a Dutch oven for this if you don’t know what you’re doing.


Once the meat is tender you are going to want to shred it a bit and chill it.

#2. After 8 or so hours your meat should be completely chilled, and you can start the process. Place all the meat into the bowl and begin to mash it with your muddler or something else hard that will really macerate the meat.


I guess you could use a food processor for this step but if you are making this recipe from the 18th century it seems kinda weird.

#3. Now you are going to add an extra third the amount of butter to your meat and continue mixing this. You really want to incorporate the butter.

How To Make Potted Meat

Understanding the idea behind an extra third is very important because it gives you the ability to reproduce this recipe no matter how much beef you have.

Mix the butter

For 2lbs of cooked beef, we will simply use another pound of butter. If you were doing 20lbs of beef you would apply a third of the fat and that would be 10lbs. This ratio makes this process very simple to scale.

#4. Now you are going to press your butter meat mixture into your “pots” and leave about 2 inches from the top. This will assure you have room to pour your butter.

How To Make Potted Meat

#5. Place your pots on a sheet pan and warm them around 200 degrees just until they are warmed through. This will take about a half-hour.

How To Make Potted Meat

#6. In your saucepot melt the clarified butter. When you pull the pots from the oven you can start ladling some warm clarified butter into the open space in your pots. Fill them up good. This seal does all the preserving.

Pour the melted butter

I used about ½ cup of melted clarified butter.

#7. Now chill the pots completely and you have potted your first bit of beef.

How To Make Potted Meat

If you can keep the clarified butter intact you will be able to store these pots for months at a time. This requires storage in a cold, undisturbed environment. There may be no better way to preserve your meat in the winter. These pots can be stored covered outside in an off-grid situation. You might even be able to get away with storing them in a root cellar.

Potted meat has come a long way since the 1700s. When you make this potted beef, you will see just how different and how delicious home potted meat can be. It’s much more than a cheap amalgamation of pork parts and chicken parts that are canned under pressure.

You might also add herbs to this potted meat recipe. Things like oregano and thyme are not only going to flavor your meat but they are also going to add some medicinal properties to your recipe.

There is no denying it, cooking from scratch is true salvation and one of the most important survival skills.

Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

Healthy Soil + Healthy Plants = Healthy You

The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns

Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need

4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis

Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps

A potted meat food product is a food preserved by canning and consisting of various seasoned cooked meats, often puréed, minced, or ground, which is heat processed and sealed into small cans.

The news has been almost completely focused on Ebola for the last couple of weeks and information outlets are pouring out details by the minute. This type of event is what the 24-Hour news cycle was created for and pundits on every side are breathlessly announcing news, interviewing witnesses and experts and showing hour after hour of footage of hospitals, people in yellow gowns, nitrile gloves and face-masks. It is enough to make a sane person crazy and it is a sober reminder to preppers everywhere that precautions for events like this are valid, prudent and perhaps in some of our cases, just in the nick of time.

Well, the Final Prepper audience is full of sane people. I believe that most people who call themselves preppers are focused on taking simple logical steps to ensure the safety of their closest loved ones. It makes sense to pay attention to the news and shore up any supply needs that you might have. I believe it is very wise to keep an eye on the events in Dallas and elsewhere in the world in the event that this virus does grow outside of the limited scope that we have seen so far in the US at least.

Related The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

When it is all said and done, this “outbreak” which isn’t really an outbreak at all here thankfully could end up disappearing from the news just as quickly as it came. Of course, it could also grow more serious. We aren’t clear exactly how Ebola is transmitted although very smart people are saying that it is hard to catch. So far, I am inclined to believe them only for the primary reason that we only have 3 cases at this time. Should that change I will be prepared to act and I am not going to relax simply because experts tell me not to be alarmed. I am not alarmed, but I am watching events closely as I am sure the rest of you are as well.

Self-Quarantine to reduce exposure risk

If Ebola does start to become a larger problem; if we begin to see a spike in cases, one possible option for limiting your exposure could be as simple as staying home.  Self-Quarantine is the practice of taking yourself out of the world so to speak to avoid contact with others completely. This is pretty much bugging in by definition. The NBC News crew that returned from reporting on Ebola had their cameraman test positive for Ebola so they agreed to Self Quarantine themselves to eliminate exposure to the public for the recommended incubation period of up to 21 days. In the case of Dr. Nancy Snyderman, this proved too long and soon they were caught out at a local restaurant which led to a huge public outcry and a weak apology from the doctor.

Related What will you do when there’s no doctor or medicine around?

I won’t argue that staying in quarantine for up to 21 days would be very difficult, especially if you were alone, but if things do turn worse we might all be better off staying indoors. If Ebola cases increase substantially, we might not have a choice if Executive Order 13295 is put into action. 13295 allows for the “apprehension, detention, or conditional release of individuals to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of suspected communicable diseases.” Would you rather stay in your home and ride out the Ebola event or wherever the government wants to stick you? If you were faced with voluntary or involuntary quarantine to protect your family from Ebola, what would you need to consider?

Infrastructure for Self Quarantine

Not surprisingly, the CDC website has a lot of information about quarantine mostly from the viewpoint of the SARS epidemic back in 2003, but I believe the concepts and topics are still just as relevant if your goal is to reduce or eliminate possible exposure to infected individuals. Major infrastructure considerations for self-quarantine are:

Related Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation
  • Communication Options – Telephone, cell phones, Ham Radio to keep in touch with others outside of your home. Shortwave radio is another good option assuming the regular lines of communication are down.
  • Electricity – In a grid up scenario this should be fine, but if the grid goes down, do you have enough electricity for up to 21 days of isolation?
  • Heat Source – For the winter it is good to have a plan to keep you warm . I have Kerosene Heaters and plenty of stored fuel but I would personally need to augment my supply for very cold conditions. Right now, cold isn’t a factor, but 21 days without power in January would be tougher.
  • Potable Water – A core element of any prepper supply list is to have water on hand. Enough water for one gallon per person per day. If you have a family of 4 and are forced into quarantine from Ebola for 21 days that would be 84 gallons of water at a minimum.
  • Waste and Sanitation – As long as the utilities are functioning this shouldn’t be a problem, but if the crisis explodes (no pun intended) you may not have city water to fill the toilets so alternate accommodations would need to be made. Grid down sanitation options are one possibility but would require you to go outside if the water and sewer lines were out of commission.
  • Food – Do you have enough food to last for 21 days for your entire family? Again, with society still functioning I guess you could have neighbors bring food over but you wouldn’t want to be going to the grocery store.
  • Entertainment – 21 days in your home is a long time. 21 days cooped up with your family is an eternity in the most easy going and loving homes. You should have a plan to counter boredom if you want to preserve your sanity along with your health.

Accommodations for Self Quarantine

If you are limiting your exposure as a family unit and by that I mean if everyone in your family is together in this then you can go on living (with certain exceptions) as you were although you wouldn’t be going outside. Would you stop your mail or risk exposure by touching something that another individual had contacted?

I am sure that it depends somewhat on the nature of any potential Ebola outbreak. It could be that the current convention that you must come in contact with bodily fluids from infected people in order to contract the disease holds. If that were the case, you could probably safely move about your yard, but quarantine does mean your trips to the malls, movie theaters, school events, plays, sporting events, hospital visits to sick friends would all be out of the question.

  • Could you work from home? – In today’s environment there are many of us who could work from home full time. As long as I had internet, power and a cell phone I could work anywhere in the world. Online meetings will probably be more common if travel is restricted during any outbreak. Actually, that would be fine with me too as the last place I would want to be during any kind of disease outbreak is at an airport or any place away from home really.
  • Could your children do schoolwork at home? – This would be tough for some but I imagine that a lot of schools would have to offer concessions in the case of quarantine. Certainly if the government locked everything down schools would either forgive homework or lean on online systems that are largely in place already. We still have one child that is home-schooled so she wouldn’t get out of anything, but another already gets her assignments online so staying out wouldn’t be a huge burden.
  • How would you pay your bills? – As long as we have money in the accounts, almost all of our bills except my weekly tithe are done electronically. If that goes down we have bigger problems.

Provided you had running water, power and a job that would allow you to stay home you should only need food to survive outside of climatic extremes. Take all of that away though and your self-imposed quarantine could still save your life, but it would be much harder. Again this assumes that Ebola will always and only be passed from bodily fluids. In this case self-quarantine to reduce exposure should be doable for most people with even basic preparations. Let’s hope we don’t see anything worse.

Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

Healthy Soil + Healthy Plants = Healthy You

The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns

Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need

4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis

Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps

The news has been almost completely focused on Ebola for the last couple of weeks and information outlets are pouring out details by the minute. This type of event is

The sole purpose of prepping is to prepare for survival in the event of a cataclysmic event.  As a prepper, you stock your pantry full of non-perishable food, arrange for alternate shelter, stock up on guns and ammo, hoard first-aid supplies and medication, plan for sustainable food sources, and purchase insane inventories of odds and ends out of survivalist catalogs.  But how many preppers miss one of the most basic needs for your survival?  Your overall physical fitness and health could cause you to be either the greatest asset or the weakest link in a survival situation.

Numbers Count

Weight management is a key factor to your potential survival.  Let’s face it, America has not gotten any thinner, even with high unemployment and economic turmoil.  With extra weight, there also follows extra health risks.  Type 2 diabetes is running rampant in our country.  The fact that insulin is difficult to store and may be nearly impossible to acquire in a doomsday scenario should scare most preppers into wanting to avoid an escapable health snare.  There is a definite link to the spare tire on the middle and the dreaded diabetes diagnosis.

If You Are Diabetic THIS Book teaches you what Is Essential For Your Survival Medicine Chest

Maintaining your health now while you stock up all your other prepper supplies could save you the aggravation of planning for insulin stores later.  There is also heightened risk for injury when you are carrying more pounds than your skeletal frame can comfortably balance or support.  And if you think five or ten pounds here or there won’t make that big of a difference when running from zombies then go grab a bag of flour out of your pantry and haul it around for a few hours.  You will surely notice a decrease in speed if you don’t completely sack out on the floor from sheer exhaustion.

Feel the Burn

I know, everyone has heard about exercise until their ears are bleeding.  When I drive by local fitness clubs in January the parking lot is filled with cars whose owners are packed into the cardio area like pudgy sardines.  They tell themselves that this will be the year they will wear that polka dot bikini with pride or strap their speedo on and possibly be mistaken for Michael Phelps.  Obviously something goes awry or else the parking lot wouldn’t be empty come March with signs blinking from the road peddling half-priced memberships fees.  “Please come in and exercise,” they plead, “your bikini still loves you!”

Preppers should not view exercise as a means of looking spicy hot in the summer, but a way of preparing for harsh physical conditions.  Suppose you have to go to your bug out location on foot for several miles.  What if you actually have to do some heavy climbing?  Do you want to be the sweaty mess at the bottom of the hill waving everyone to go on without you?  Imagine that someone in your group becomes injured and you are too weak and out of shape to carry them?

Related Healthy Soil + Healthy Plants = Healthy You

These are real scenarios that can be avoided.  A hundred years ago people would scoff at the idea of paying to exercise.  Crossfit is currently the latest craze and it basically involves doing some military exercises such as push-ups and pull-ups and then trainers jazz it up with repetitions involving rolling a tractor tire around a grassy lot for a while.  Being fit doesn’t mean throwing out wads of cash so instructors can boss you around yelling, “Roll the tire faster, paint my house, mow my lawn, pull my chariot, feel the burn, blah blah blah!”  Take your fitness into your own hands.

Here are some simple fitness tips to prepare for apocalypse now:

Drop and give me 50.

The U.S. Army trains soldiers for combat and survival and have done so successfully for decades.  Simply doing old school sit-ups,  push-ups, and pull-ups every day will increase your upper body and core strength exponentially.  Set a small goal and every week try to add a few more to your routine.  A good time to do it and get in the habit is before bed.  My husband has been doing this for years, and trust me, he is might sexy.

Pull-up bars can be purchased and installed in a door frame where it is out of the way.  If you are a girl like me and you think you can’t do pull-ups, which is not unusual for the female body, you can cheat a little while still increasing strength.  If you use a giant exercise band and place it over the top of the bar, then slip one loop through the other, pull tight, and allow it to hang down so your foot or feet slip through it, it will give you the help you need.

Remember, the thicker the band; the less you are working, so as you get stronger, buy a thinner band and continue to get smaller bands until you don’t need the aid any longer.  Then challenge your teenage son’s friends to arm wrestling contests and win every time.  You can wager bets on the outcome and when you handily defeat them and turn them red with shame, use the extra money for prepping supplies.  Win, win.

Go play!

Ultimately, get out of the house!  A variety of exercises can be performed on a daily basis that will work all the major muscle groups, give you cardio to keep up your stamina, and you don’t have to pay Biff at the gym to tell you how to do it.  You may even cross off a few things on your wife’s “Honey-Do” list. Run around the yard and play with your kids.  Chase them around until they pee in their pants, play hide and go seek with them, or challenge them to a race.  They will probably win, unless you trick them by tying their shoelaces together.   Go hiking or take long walks with someone you enjoy spending time with and that makes awesome trail mix.  In the warmer months, get out in the garden everyday if you can.  Chop some wood for yourself or offer to do it for someone else.  Don’t give in to the temptation to buy a riding mower unless you have to mow a couple of acres or more.  My widowed grandmother had a simple grass cutter without a motor and she mowed her entire acre and a half without any help. She lived to a very ripe old age and probably could have bench pressed a tractor tire if she needed to.

Take the long way home.

Whenever possible, skip the elevator, and park father from Wal-Mart than you need to.  One day, my battery died in my car.  I had a carload of children and groceries to boot.  We all decided we would walk the three miles back home together and that it was going to be an adventure.  We thoroughly enjoyed our unplanned workout and we talked and told stories to kill the time.  When we returned home, the neighbors asked where we had been and we told them we had just walked from the grocery store and they looked at us like we had grown two heads.  In my mind, several lessons were gained by my kids that day.  First, walking instead of driving won’t kill you, unplanned inconveniences are always around the corner and you must have a Plan B when they happen, whining makes a chore longer, and that when zombies attack they will definitely get our neighbors first.

With the advent of so many modern conveniences, physical exertion and challenges have become almost non-existent.  While some people focus on cardio alone, unfortunately they may realize too late that they don’t have the physical strength they may need in a survival situation.  The opposite is true if you only focus on muscle strength.  I have known many men who were “cut” and built like Popeye the Sailor, but when it came time to prove their speed and agility, they fell short and sulked in the corner curling Smart cars.  The key to survival fitness is practicing both cardiovascular strength as well as muscle strength.  No matter a person’s age or sex, there is always room for improvement.  Small advances toward your overall physical health and fitness can improve your mental capability in high-stress situations and your ability to safeguard supplies as well as those around you from harm.

Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

Healthy Soil + Healthy Plants = Healthy You

The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns

Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need

4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis

Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps

The sole purpose of prepping is to prepare for survival in the event of a cataclysmic event.  As a prepper, you stock your pantry full of non-perishable food, arrange for

Gun Control – how far will we go as a nation to further limit the 2nd amendment? Will it stop at full automatics, or will it continue against semi autos, large capacity mags, and other accessories? Whatever you believe, one thing is certain – the upcoming election will be the most important one in the last century as it relates to gun control.

The tragedy in Orlando and other mass shootings in the U.S. and abroad has even some Congressional Republicans wavering on their previous reluctance in allowing any gun control legislation to pass. In my opinion, some form of additional gun control is inevitable. While the current Congress favors gun rights, this could all change in November. If you haven’t noticed, Americans have a very low opinion of Congress in general. They could vote out incumbents, mostly Republicans, just because they are mad at the current legislative stagnation. However, the main reason why this election is so important is that the next President will likely have the ability to not only tilt, but actually create a decidedly conservative or liberal Supreme Court, which would be in power for the next few decades at the least.

Related Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns

With Antonin Scalia’s death, three of the remaining eight Justices are older than 77. With the average age of Supreme Court Justice retirement at 78.7, you can do the math. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was installed by Bill Clinton, is 83. Stephen Breyer also from Clinton, is almost 78. Anthony Kennedy, who was a Reagan nominee, is almost 80. The remaining Supreme Court Justices are between 55 and 68. Let’s top it off with some recent reports that indicate Justice Clarence Thomas, 68, is said to be mulling retirement. As we know, he is the most staunchly conservative of the remaining Justices.

If you are a pro gun rights advocate, you should be very concerned. Don’t fool yourself into complacency. If you are a pro gun control advocate, you are probably salivating like a vulture circling a dying animal. Based on the above information, it is quite conceivable the next President would have the pleasure of nominating up to five Supreme Court Justices – one because of Scalia’s death, three because of retirement due to age, and one from a reported Clarence Thomas retirement.

If you buy into this line of thought, a pro guns right advocate might want to plan for the worst. For some, that might mean mortgaging the house and buying up as many ARs as possible, assuming they will be grandfathered post ban. It is hard to believe they would be not grandfathered since one might argue that an outright confiscation would cause too much of a civil unrest. So for this article I am assuming that every gun or accessory I mention will be grandfathered.

Related The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

Additionally, I am not even accounting for any state law changes like the recent Federal Appeals court ruling from California, which removes the 2nd amendment right to carry a concealed weapon. That ruling alone is enough to push any gun rights advocate over the edge since it paves the way for other states to do something similar, until an inevitable Supreme Court hearing – so here we are again. Everything points back to the Supreme Court.

Planning for the worst with gun control

So what can you do to plan, or insure, against a worst case scenario resulting from extreme liberal gun control legislation? While I am only half-joking about mortgaging your house, I will outline some hardware and accessories to buy while you can, assuming you don’t live in some of the already prohibitive states like California, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Be sure to check your state laws on what you can buy, carry or conceal before trying to buy or use the equipment below in the manner described.

When investing in a firearm for defense, you have to first ask yourself, “What am I defending against”? Would it be for close quarter battle (CQB), home defense, a Car Trunk Backpack, need for extreme stopping power during CQB, protecting a small perimeter, or to keep intruders at bay from a long-range? In this article, I pick some of my favorites for each purpose. Some guns and accessories I mention will be specific, and others will be generalized in categories. One thing to remember, semi-automatic weapons are inherently more expensive. So some of these guns, especially the long-range selections mentioned, are not for those with limited budget. Also as a disclaimer, I own at least some of the items below.

Related 4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis

Each of the guns I recommend below are semi automatics. Keep in mind that I am recommending them based on a premise of a ban, so I realize there are obviously other cheaper alternatives that are not semis, particularly in the home defense and long-range categories. Additionally, for most, with the exception of the 458 SOCOM and a few others, the ammo is readily available.

Close Quarter Battle – up to 100 yards

Sig Sauer MCX – Chambered in .300 AAC Blackout – This carbine received a lot of bad press recently due to the fact that it was the same one used by the terrorist in Orlando. Mistakenly referred to by the press as an AR (furthered by the ignorance that they believe AR stands for “assault rifle” instead of “Armalite”), the MCX in blackout is very effective and light, designed for CQB. The blackout ammo is very hard-hitting and the subsonic 220 grain is very quiet when coupled with a silencer. The MCX barrel can also be changed out quickly in favor of other calibers such as 5.56×45 NATO. Recent news articles have indicated that some British counter terror units are using the MCX. Add a Vortex 3x magnifier to your red dot of choice for a very high accuracy within 100 yards. The MCX costs roughly $1700, but the quality is worth the extra coin.

Springfield Armory SOCOM 16 CQB w/Vortex Venom Red Dot (.308/7.62 NATO) – this gun is nasty, from its looks, down to its hard-hitting 7.62×51 ammo. A child of the M1A, Springfield has a winner by shortening the barrel of the original M1A1 to 16”, installing a collapsible stock, and adding a vortex venom red dot as an option. This rifle will destroy anything in its sights. Wear ear protection though. 20 or 25 round mags are prevalent, but if you want to really equip this gun, Beta Mag makes a 100 round twin drum mag for it that will set you back $450 (and it would significantly increase the weight of an already heavy gun – but you can’t erase the fun factor of having one). The SOCOM 16 with Venom could top out over $2000, so it is hard on the budget, but worth it if you can afford it.

Related Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps

Century Arms AK-47 – while not Russian made, this AK is one of the most recognized and vilified guns in the US because it is the one people see on the news when ISIS or some other terrorist footage is shown. Additionally, all of the Hollywood movie bad guys use them. They are on the list not so much for their accuracy, but more for their high-profile, which equates to the probability of being banned. These AKs are affordable, having a price point under $800. The 7.62×39 ammo is hard-hitting and relatively cheap, especially if you target practice with bullets that have steel casing such as TulAmmo. I would not, however, use TulAmmo in a life threatening situation as I have experience in its failure to feed on occasion.

CMMG Mutant AKM2 – This gun is appropriately named. The Mutant is an AK/AR-15 hybrid. A regular AK style rifle is extremely reliable, but it is not inherently designed for aftermarket sights or other attachments. The Mutant fires the omnipresent 7.62×39 AK ammo through a 16” barrel, but, as CMMG’s site says, “it offers the modularity of an AR-15”. With the ability to add aftermarket sights, combined with the fact that every rifle comes equipped with a MOE pistol grip, SV muzzle brake, Geissele SSA trigger, 30rd AK PMAG, and CMMG’s lifetime quality guarantee, the Mutant offers the best of both worlds. The $1700 cost is more on the high-end AR price point, but it would be nice to have one of these at your disposal if budget permits.

SIG Sauer 516 Patrol – chambered in 5.56 NATO with a 16” barrel, a quad rail, collapsible Magpul stock, and a four-position gas regulator (which has a silencer position), this gun, in my opinion is among the most versatile and reliable ARs in the market. Sig Sauer’s reliability is legendary, and the 516 does not disappoint. The standard 516 can be acquired for about $1600. There are also different versions that come with a fixed carbon fiber stock and/or an extended carbon fiber fore-end, but it will add $4-500 to the price. Personally, I like the standard version for long-term reliability. Maybe I am old school, but I can’t see the carbon fiber holding up to many sustained battles and abuse. You trade marginal weight savings for reliability. I may be wrong, but I guess time will tell. I would become a believer if I see the military adopt the carbon fiber version.

Related Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps

Car Trunk Backpack

Keltec Sub 2000 chambered in 40 S&W; paired with Glock 22 (also 40 S&W); the Keltec is an extremely accurate carbine that uses Glock mags. It also folds up nicely to fit in a small backpack. Add a TruGlo green laser/light combo to the bottom Picatinny rail to make it even more effective. It also has a threaded barrel waiting for a silencer. The Keltec can be bought for less than $400 as of this writing – one of the single best values for a carbine in the market. You can also equip your backpack with a Glock 22 and use the same mags between the two. Glock has a high-capacity 22 round 40 S&W factory mag. Alternatively, Magpul is coming out with the PMAG27, a 27 round mag for 40 S&W. The Korean company KCI also has 40 S&W high-capacity mags, but I would only use them at the range. I have seen both good and bad reviews of KCI, so I wouldn’t trust them with your life until I see a better track record. Load up your factory mags with Critical Duty bullets, and you have a very effective defense while on the road. As a footnote, the Keltec also comes chambered in 9mm if you prefer that caliber. There are some who believe 9mm and 40 S&W will have very similar stopping power over short distances. As always, check your state laws before concealing firearms in your car or on your person.

Extreme Stopping Power, CQB

458 SOCOM – The 458 SOCOM caliber was a result of our Special Ops soldiers’ experience in Somalia during the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu (immortalized in the movie Blackhawk Down). Some soldiers noted that it took multiple hits of 5.56 to bring down the enemy since many of them were flyin high on “Khat”, an herbal stimulant from evergreen leaves that can cause hallucinations and manic behavior. They needed a bullet that would do the job in one hit, resulting in the 458 SOCOM. A SOCOM upper can be mounted to any standard AR15 lower, or you can buy a full factory rifle from Rock River ($1300) or Wilson Combat ($2500). You need to use 30 rd Lancer mags, which are a cross between a PMAG and steel mag. A PMAG will split open if you use it for this ammo. This bullet needs the steel support offered by Lancers. Additionally, the bullet size only allows for loading about 7-9 rounds in a 30 rd Lancer mag, which is probably why it never fully caught on with the military, and is reserved for special circumstances. The factory ammo is sometimes hard to get and expensive (up to $3 per round), but if you are a reloader, you can save quite a bit and the individual casings and bullets are more readily available. In any event, it is a great caliber to have when you need that extra stopping power.

Home Defense Shotgun

Fostech Origin 12 with 30 round Drum – this 12 gauge shotgun is down right wicked. Billed as the fastest semi auto shotgun in the world, the Origin 12 is Fostech’s answer to the Russian made Saiga 12. It looks like an AK on steroids, having an 18” barrel and collapsible stock. It comes with a 5 round mag, but when you add the optional 30 round drum mag ($400), you won’t have to shoot because the bad guy home invaders will run at the mere sight of it. There are numerous jaw dropping YouTube videos dedicated to this shotgun. Look it up. I guarantee you will be impressed, but you would need to part with $2500 to own it, not including the drum mag. If I was a liberal gun control proponent, this type of hardware would be on my radar.

Benelli Super Eagle with XRail – the Benelli 12 gauge semi auto shotgun is already used by many law enforcement officers. If you add a $800 XRail attachment, it ups the number of shots to 23 with a 26” barrel. If you get an integrated XRail, it comes with a 21” barrel and 26 shot capability, which would make the Benelli even more effective in a tactical environment. The integrated version, including the shotgun, runs about $3300. In my view, the XRail would clearly be in the sights of the gun control advocates.

Woodsman and Mountain Man Activities (whatever they might do)

Rock River Arms Lightweight Mountain Rifle – chambered in .223/5.56, this gun is light to carry in the mountains or woods, accurate, and most of all, cool looking. It not for a sustained battle though as the rail gets very hot to the touch, but it is fun to shoot. Use gloves.

Midrange 100 – 500 yards

SIG 716 DMR Gen 1 (.308/7.62) – buy the Gen 1 while still available. The pending Gen 2 version is more like a patrol style (16 inch barrel, collapsible stock, key mod instead of quad rail, two pounds lighter than Gen 1). If you haven’t noticed I am not a weight weenie. I always have felt that you should keep physically fit, and either lose weight yourself or pump iron, especially if preparing for battle. Don’t skimp on the hardware. The heavier Gen 1 serves a purpose. I would not use the Gen 2 for midrange because of the 16 inch barrel. Some may disagree, but that’s ok.

The Gen 1 comes with an 18 inch barrel, quad rail, Harris Bipod, and Magpul Precision Rifle stock – much more for the money, and definitely more accurate at the midrange. The 716 accepts standard PMAGS. In a pinch, while the gun will top out at 10-11 pounds, you could theoretically pick it up and use for CQB, but that is obviously not the main purpose. My dream sight for this gun would be the Trijicon ACOG 6×48 with the RMR red dot on top. Alternatively, any mid range scope would work for the budget conscious. The DMR costs around $2500 without the sights.

Wilson Combat Urban Super Sniper – barrel chambered with a .223 Wylde – this barrel is designed to be extremely accurate using either .223 or 5.56 ammo. It will run about $2500, but it will be hard pressed to find one as accurate for mid-range using a 5.56. That said keep in mind the Ballistics of a 5.56 bullet. This barrel is meant for tighter urban environments as the gun’s title suggests. It becomes significantly less effective past the mid-range, so you would not want to use this to hold off zombies past 300 yards unless you can get head-shots. Might work for slow movers, not the World War Z type though.

FNH M249S Saw – this gun got a lot of press at the NRA 2015 meeting in Nashville. Chambered in 5.56, the M249S is the semi-auto version of the military’s full auto version (originally introduced in 1988). It has the ability to accept belt fed or mag-loaded ammo, giving it an ability to fire a large quantity of ammo before needing to reload. It actually comes with an attached plastic ammo box to hold the belt fed ammo. WIth a 20.5 inch barrel, some would consider it capable of defending mid range. While I don’t doubt the fire power, I have some questions on 5.56 ballistics that give me pause to use this gun to defend against targets further than 300 yards. That said, the sheer volume of bullets that you can fire without reloading would put this gun on the chopping block. The Saw’s cost is approximately $8000, give or take a few hundred.

Long Range – over 500 yards (my definition of long-range – which is up for debate)

Barrett M107A1 – while cost prohibitive for many, I would be remiss to leave it out as the most effective semi auto long-range gun available on the market. With its 50 bmg bullet, this gun will stop most Mad Max style vehicles. Already prohibited in California via the .50 Caliber BMG Regulation Act of 2004, which prohibits the sale of guns chambered in the caliber, this weapon would certainly be on the chopping block of a liberal Supreme Court. If you go all out with the Barrett Optical Ranging System (BORS), which is an integrated ballistics computer, you can automate your ballistics calculations. This weapon can be yours for 12-15k, or you can wait for the SHTF and pick one up off an abandoned military vehicle. Keep in mind that the M107A1 is not only expensive to buy, but also expensive to shoot. That said, I would say anyone who owns one can’t help but smile every time the trigger is pulled, though the blast might be life altering.

Noreen Firearms “Bad News” 338 Lapua Magnum – the Lapua ammo has increasingly become a favorite of the snipers, but the military application has been limited because most Lapua rifles are bolt actioned. Enter the Bad News Lapua, which is the first semi-auto rifle chambered in this caliber. With a 26” barrel, a Magpul Precision Rifle stock, piston driven, and weighing in at 13 lbs, this gun is made to be mobile. In an ever-changing landscape, I could see the application up to 1500 yards. If I am not mistaken, the 338 Lapua caliber holds the record for the longest range hit at 2 miles (with an Accuracy International bolt-action rifle). While not designed to go as far or as hard-hitting as the 50 BMG, the Bad News offers a nice alternative for those that want a “cheaper” long range semi, topping out at $6000. The Lapua ammo, however, can run you up to $5.00 per round – so get into reloading to save some cash. It is a good skill to have, especially if the SHTF.

Nemo Omen – yet another effective gun for the longer range. The Omen is chambered in 300 Win Mag and would also be effective to 1500 yards. It is the “cheapest” out of the long-range rifles in this article at roughly $4000. The Win Mag ammo is readily available and popular with hunters as well. I would get the 20” barrel for a greater muzzle velocity. The mags, however, are not something readily available and are specific to the gun. So get a bunch upfront so you have them.

Keep in mind I realize bolt actions may be more precise and affordable. There are some like the Ruger Precision Rifle chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor and 308 Win that put out more than respectable groupings at long ranges. They can be bought for under $1200 as well, but I reiterate that this article is about insuring against potential bans.

Hunting Handguns

I believe a ban would not affect most handguns. It would most likely address high-capacity mags. However, there is one handgun that comes to mind as a potential target for a ban, and it is more related to the caliber, not the mag capacity. Magnum Research’s Desert Eagle 50AE would probably be on the radar due to the large 50 caliber bullet. The 50 AE is the most powerful semi-automatic handgun on the planet. It comes in an array of cool finishes, with my favorite being the Black Tigerstripe. The cost is around $1600, and the ammo is expensive and less available than its little brother chambered in a 44. Again, you would benefit by being a reloader.

Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize

For those with limited budgets, one way to help to insure yourself against gun control is to stock up on accessories, even if you don’t own the associated weapon. I believe the most effective thing you could do is to acquire some of the high-capacity magazines listed below. However, if you believe in the possibility of severe restrictions, there are other items to think about. What follows below are some suggestions without regard to price. With the exception of the Beta Mags, Fostech Echo Trigger, thermal sights, night vision, and silencers (I hate the politically correct word “suppressor”), these items can be bought relatively cheap (from $10 to $200).


  • Ruger BX25 or 2×25 – a 25 and 50 round .22lr magazine: Yes it’s a small-caliber, but it’s more about the capacity
  • 30-40 Round 5.56 and AK Mags from Magpul, Lancer, Hexmag, and others: if you can’t afford them, go with the steel – they work well and can be picked up for half the price of a poly.
  • 20 and 25 round M1A1 steel mags for the SOCOM 16 CQB
  • 20 round 7.62×51 mags by Magpul for the Sig 716
  • PMAG D-60: a 60 round 5.56 drum mag by Magpul
  • Surefire 60 and 100 5.56 round mag: only about an inch and a half longer than a 30 round mag, the Surefire gives a lot of added capacity.
  • Beta Mags: this company offers a ton of different 100 round twin drum mags, but they are expensive.
  • Korean Drum mags: KCI offers 100 round drum mags for a number of different calibers at very reasonable prices. I would reserve them for target practice or to trade/barter (assuming you can legally do so in the future state of gun control).
  • Origin 12 – 30 round mags: Specific to the Origin 12, but a must have if you own this gun.
  • Glock high-capacity mags (all calibers) – factory and aftermarket: While I believe the factory Glock mags are the most reliable, I have seen good reviews of the PMAG and Elite Tactical Systems (ETS) high capacity mags. Both the PMAG and ETS mags can be bought at a fraction of the price of the factory Glock mags. The same goes for KCI, though these mags have mixed reviews.- Stripped or Complete AR15 and AR10 Lowers: Buy as many as you can. As you may already know, the lower is the part that is considered the gun. You can always build an AR after the ban, again assuming grandfathering. You can get some very cheap by Anderson Arms, or if you want the cool factor, get the Spike’s Tactical “The Jack”, which has a forged skull, or the “Warthog”. Keep in mind, however, that some lawmakers believe that collapsible stocks should be banned. If you subscribe to this belief, buy a complete lower that includes a collapsible stock.
  • Foregrips: Believe it or not, foregrips have been scrutinized as some believe these accessories can increase the fire rate of a weapon. You can get a ton of these really cheap on Amazon.
  • Sig Sauer Pistol Brace: this accessory initially took the industry by storm, but it is very controversial since the ATF says that if you use it as a shoulder stock on a buffer tube equipped pistol, it can reclassify your gun as a Short Barreled Rifle (SBR), which is subject to ATF registration and tax. Per Sig Sauer, the pistol brace is designed to stabilize the handgun while shooting with a single hand. In summary, while still legal, make sure you use it as designed or risk a felony. I believe there is a high probability this brace will be outlawed in the coming ban as it is already being questioned by the ATF. As a disclaimer, I do not hold out myself to be an expert on firearms laws, so check these facts for yourself.
  • Fostech Echo Trigger: this trigger fires the gun not only when pulled, but also upon release. It is as close to a fully auto as you can legally get. There are other companies that make such a trigger, but I have seen reviews with some problems. Without getting specific, Fostech seems to have learned from other’s mistakes. This one has my head scratching regarding legality. While the ATF currently deems them legal, I have seen some YouTube videos, and once becoming proficient, you can reach a cadence that is pretty close to fully auto. You can switch to regular semi auto as well. These triggers are shipping later this year. I will be sure to get a few as I believe they have a high ban probability in the future.
  • Silencers: there are a ton of different companies that producer silencers. I prefer SilencerCo’s new Hybrid, which will work with pistols as well as higher calibers such as the 458 SOCOM. If you are lucky enough to live in a state where they are legal, get a least one. I believe that after July 13th, 2016, a new ATF ruling allows you to obtain a silencer without a Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) sign off, though you would still need to get your fingerprints and photos when submitting your registration with the ATF. If you were smart enough to start a gun trust, you can avoid the fingerprints, photos, and CLEO sign off until July 13th (again, check with your local FFL to verify the ruling). Gun trusts can be started for as little as $75, but time is running out.
  • Thermal and Night Vision Sights – less likely to be banned, but you never know. These sights give the operator a great advantage, and overzealous gun control legislators might believe they pose too much of a risk.
  • Reloading dies, primers, and powder for AR calibers: again, less likely to be banned but who knows how extreme a ban is coming. If you are a reloader, better to be safe than sorry.
  • Collapsible Stocks: mentioned previously as part of a complete upper, this type of stock is definitely on the radar of some liberal lawmakers.
  • Ammo: stock up on the AR/AK calibers. If you have enough of a budget for the longer range 338 Lapua and 50 BMG, more power to you. Get it while you can.

In summary, while it is hard to speculate the extent of any proposed ban, if you are able to obtain at least some of the above hardware and accessories, you will be somewhat insured. Again, I realize that many of the guns in particular might be out of budget. There are cheaper weapon alternatives, especially in the AR market for CQB. If that is all you can afford, it is better than nothing. If you can’t afford the full weapon, by some complete and stripped lowers for the future.

If you are frightened after reading this article, I have achieved my goal. Get out and vote in November. The only thing certain is that this election is critical on many different levels.

Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

Healthy Soil + Healthy Plants = Healthy You

The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns

Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need

4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis

Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps

Gun Control – how far will we go as a nation to further limit the 2nd amendment? Will it stop at full automatics, or will it continue against semi autos,

Do you have your bug out bag packed and waiting for you in the hall closet? Is your bug out bag tested and ready to go in a moment’s notice? Do you have a bug out bag at all or wonder, what is a bug out bag? Maybe you are just starting on the journey into preparedness and like a lot of other people, you are focusing on getting your bug out bag ready and have encountered the dilemma that so many of us have struggled with ourselves.

Bug Out Bags can be pretty expensive if you don’t know what you are doing and you may find yourself looking at all of the options and wondering, how much should a bug out bag cost? Do you need to go broke to provide a level of safety and security or is there a better way?

I am always looking for ways to improve my gear or readiness level and the subject of bug out bags is one that gets a lot of attention. There are millions of lists of items you “must have” in your bug out bag; even the prepper journal has our own bug out bag checklist and as you probably know, companies are already offering pre-built bug out bags for those who simply want to buy everything in one pack and forget about it.

Actually, this isn’t really a new phenomenon but I was out scouring the internet the other day and saw a company selling Bug Out bags with “everything you need” to be “ready for anything” for the low price of $2299.00.

I couldn’t believe the price they were asking people to pay so I went out and looked at the items that were included in their bug out bag and starting pricing them each out on Amazon. Aside from a lot of things I consider to be unnecessary (2 whole rolls of duct tape?), they had very expensive items in their bags when you could have easily substituted quality made, but cheaper equivalents. The bag weighed 44 pounds too which isn’t too shabby, but not the greatest either.

I started thinking that many people go about planning a bug out bag with the items they need, but neglect to look at the bigger picture and how I might be able to save someone from a potentially costly mistake. This article is my effort to demonstrate how you don’t need to spend $2200 or $1000 or even $700 to create a perfectly suitable bug out bag. Of course this assumes you have none of the items you need and would have to purchase everything.

What is a bug out bag?

Let’s start by defining what I mean by bug out bag and describing how I envision its use in a SHTF scenario. A bug out bag is what you grab when you are heading out the door and you don’t know when you will be coming home. It should contain all of the supplies you will need to live for at least 72 hours. That point is crucial in understanding the items I chose and by comparison what I think could be left out. It is not the bag that will make you “ready for anything” because that is an unobtainable goal. Properly configured though; a good bug out bag should help keep you alive.

What do you need in a good bug out bag?

Now that we know what a bug out bag is designed for, let’s go over the items I think you need to achieve that goal. I am leaving off firearms from this list.

  1. The bag itself – something to carry all of the stuff you need.
  2.  Water
  3.  Container
  4. Filter/Purification
  5. Food – Usually enough for 72 hours (2000 calories a day)
  6. Way to cook the food?
  7. Utensils
  8.  Shelter
  9. Change of clothing (appropriate to season)
  10. Rain protection
  11. Sleeping Bag or system
  12. Something to keep the elements off your head
  13. Tarp
  14.  Tent
  15.  Tools
  16.  Knife
  17.  Multi-tool
  18. Means to make fireFire starter/Lighter
  19.  Tinder
  20.  Light
  21. First Aid
  22. Optional items – Nice to have
  23.  Toiletries
  24. Wipes – For washing up
  25. Toilet paper
  26.  Gloves
  27. Cordage – 50 Feet
  28. Tarps or rain fly’s are lighter options than a tent and take up less space.

How can you save money on a bug out bag?

OK, so now I have a list of items that I think are pretty much the necessary minimums for keeping you alive and healthy for three days. Could I add more stuff in there? Sure, but it will cost you in weight and dollars. The bag contents I have below are under $500 (just barely) and weigh about 20 pounds. Weight is a very important consideration for your bug out bag for two main reasons. First, if your bug out bag weighs too much it will hurt you eventually. It might not hurt when you try it on around the house, but after walking 10 miles down the road with it, you will regret every single unnecessary ounce in there.

With too much weight comes limited mobility. The heavier the pack, the harder it is for you to move quickly. Moving quickly might be needed in a SHTF scenario. So, what items do I have chosen to create a bug out bag that is less than $500 (again assuming you have none of these supplies already) and weighs about 20 pounds?

Bug Out Bag

  • There are millions of options out there, but you could try the Mil-Tech Army Patrol Assault Pack for only $30 and 43.2 ounces.


  • Container – I use the 32 ounce plastic Nalgene bottles for convenience. They run about $10 and weigh 8 ounces.
  • Filter/Purification – Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System. $19, no moving parts to break and only 6.4 ounces


  • Simple Fuel – For the most calories in a compact space, try Mainstay emergency ration bars. Each has 3600 calories and two should last you 72 hours. $16 and 41.6 ounces for two (7200 calories)
  • Way to cook the food or at least heat water? – Solo stoves use small sticks that you should be able to find most anywhere. The Solo stove is $70 and weighs 12.8 ounces.
  • Utensils – Plastic Spoon, Fork, Knife – Grab a set the next time you are at the Fast food place, or a nice Lexan 3 piece Camping utensil $6 and 2.4 ounces.
  • Coffee/Tea – If you plan on this a nice titanium mug runs about $20 but only weighs 2.7 ounces

The bag itself can contribute significantly to cost and weight. Ask yourself if you need to spend $200 on a bag that will sit in your trunk.


  • One change of clothing (appropriate to season). Remember you aren’t going on vacation here.
  • Rain protection – A poncho is the most versatile and cheap form of rain gear you can buy. Trash bags don’t count. You can purchase a camouflage Waterproof ripstop poncho for $15 and it weighs 17.6 ounces. Add a poncho liner for cold weather.
  • Sleeping Bag – Probably the most expensive item but the Elite Survival systems Recon 3 is $156 and 48 ounces. This also will take up the most room in your pack.
  • Something to keep the elements off your head
  • Tarp – A sturdy camouflage tarp is only $12 and weighs 32 ounces. Not too light, but still lighter and more compact than a tent.


  • Knife – Ka-Bar Knife – $59, 12.8 ounces and enough to do small and large chores.
  • Multi-tool – Leatherman Wingman Multi Tool – $29 and 10.4 ounces
  • Means to make fire
  • Fire starter/Lighter/Tinder – Grab 2 Bic lighters, some dryer lint and throw them in a Ziploc bag. $2 for the lighters and a couple ounces.
  • Light – Petzl Tikka 2 LED Headlamp – $29 and 3.5 ounces.
  • First Aid – Adventure Medical Kit – $25 and 9.6 ounces.

Optional Items

  • Toiletries
  • Toilet paper – You can easily grab a half roll from your home and put it in your pack. Low weight and no extra cost.
  • Wipes – For washing up – These are a little heavier at 19.2 ounces at $5.00
  • Gloves – Simple leather/cotton work gloves – $6.00 and only 3 ounces.
  • Cordage – 50 Feet of paracord should be more than enough – $5.00 and 2 ounces.

What additions or substitutions should I make to my bug out bag?

What about cost? You can save money there too. Instead of that $70 Solo Stove, you could make your own alcohol stove for practically nothing. Instead of the Nalgene you could simply use an old water bottle.But I can’t live without my kindle your say or I must have a two-man tent because I will need privacy. Of course everyone is different and this is only a guideline. I think the items I have here are a good place to start. Can you shave even more weight off this pack? Of course. You could start removing items like unnecessary Band-Aids in the first aid kit. You could forego the package of wipes and just use a washcloth; you could get a smaller knife, use a survival bivvy instead of the more expensive sleeping bag.

I am worried about the quality of some cheaper items. Will this bug out bag last?

Ah, that is the million dollar question isn’t it? What is this bag for? How do you envision using it? Could this be simply a ready to go bag in case there is a flood or hurricane coming? If so, will you be bugging out most likely to someone else’s house or a hotel in a safer area? If that is your plan, then you could forget items like tents and sleeping bags possibly. The bag itself doesn’t have to be military spec either if you are just planning for temporary displacement.

If on the other hand, you are planning for SHTF, Mad Max Road Warrior roaming the countryside, then maybe you should give a little more thought to gear selection and quality. All of these decisions have trade-offs and they almost always come down to weight and cost. Better quality usually will cost you more, but the question for you is ‘Is it necessary’?

I know there are a lot of data points in here. My list above worked out to a Bug Out Bag that you could buy right now. The total of the contents on that list, not counting clothes was $498.63. The weight came in at a total of 20.65 pounds if my math is right. It may not be the perfect bag for everyone, but it is a start.

Let me know what you think about your Bug Out Bag. Is there anything missing from this list that you have to have?

Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

Healthy Soil + Healthy Plants = Healthy You

The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns

Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need

4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis

Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps

I couldn’t believe the price they were asking people to pay so I went out and looked at the items that were included in their bug out bag and starting

Could the year you were born have any bearing on your chances of surviving doomsday? Are there any advantages for one generation over another when it comes to living through some apocalyptic event? Do these labels (Baby Boomer, Generation X, Millennial), that somehow became affixed to relatively random ranges of time, hold some clue as to whether or not you and a bunch of your high school buddies could make it through a zombie apocalypse or invasion of mutant bikers from mars?

Related The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

I was thinking about this topic from the singular perspective of my sometimes least favorite generation the other day: Millennials. Sometimes they are called Generation Y, but no matter what they are called in the media, their collective praises are sung at such high levels, in every facet of our society of how important this latest generation is to our country, planet and probably the entire universe as well.

The Millennial generation has received so much attention over the years that at times it nauseates me. If you didn’t know better you would swear anyone who wasn’t a millennial was both stupid and had purposely made a mess out of everything from the paper clip industry to education to race relations and the planet. Thank God we finally had Millennials to save us from ourselves.

No, I am not a millennial.

But this has been going on for a relatively long time of several years and there wasn’t some new event that prompted me to think about them although it could have derived from some conversation in the office I work during the day. The company I work for (yes I have a real job too) has a vested interest in making Millennials happy so I am forever hearing what the Millennials like and don’t like.

What motivates millennials and what inspires them, what they prefer in a job and their thoughts on giving back to the community to the point where I simply don’t care what happens to these people to a great extent anymore. After a little too much of this I started to think of a way to excoriate them.

Related Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

Instead of just looking at this one generation though, I thought it might make sense to step back and look at the three largest or most influential generations we have going right now, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials and see which of them would have the best chances of surviving doomsday. So, mustering all of the highly anecdotal evidence I can; here is what I believe the results would look like if we faced a TEOTWAWKI disaster. For the record, this is not a scientific article, just in case that wasn’t clear.

You don’t get to be in your 60s usually without learning a lot of life’s lessons; some of them the hard way.

Baby Boomer Prepper odds of survival

Born between the years 1946 and 1964 – currently aged 51 to 69

Baby boomers have a lot of things going for them. Generally speaking they no longer have children at home to worry about or if they do, most of them are pretty self-sufficient in the respect that they can fend for themselves if need be and they are so inclined. Baby boomers are looking forward to retirement even if the economy has put their plans on hold for a little while. Houses are largely if not completely paid off for a lot of boomers and some have more than one property.

Most of the big purchases we make in life are already acquired by the time you reach this age so Baby Boomers have a little more disposable income. They also have the benefit of being old enough to remember a good bit of life without the modern conveniences we have today. Even if their parents, “the Greatest Generation” pampered them to the point of enabling societal changes we might not agree with, by and large they have benefited from a good degree of hard work. I think this along with the historical long-view of a well-lived life gives boomers an advantage. They have seen what works and what doesn’t and for those who are awake to the goings on of the society around them, prepping makes sense. You don’t get to be in your 60s usually without learning a lot of life’s lessons; some of them the hard way.

Related The Antioxidant 550 times stronger than vitamin E  and 6,000 x More Powerful Than vitamin C

However, age does have its drawbacks. While Baby boomers might be able to afford more time spent training or learning new skills, or making larger purchases of prepping supplies, they also have more health issues associated with age. One study called Baby Boomers, the Sickest Generation with higher rates of Obesity, High Cholesterol, Diabetes and Hypertension. In addition to requiring more medication, parts start failing you the older you get. Some of the most common surgeries for Baby boomers are Knee Replacements, Angioplasty, and Hip replacement. Not good news for a group of people who may be forced to walk long distances in a bug out scenario.

Generation X should not suffer from as many of the health issues of their Baby Boomer parents, but aren’t as spry as they once were either.

Generation X Preppers

Born between the years 1964 and 1980 – currently aged 35 to 51

Generation X is the forgotten generation. I say that because I am one of them and with all the attention focused on Baby Boomers retiring and the needs of the Millennials my generation has been rendered largely irrelevant it seems in the eyes of just about everyone. Pew research calls us America’s neglected middle child and that is what it feels like sometimes. However, this really isn’t an issue that keeps me up at night because I, like a lot of my fellow Gen X’ers are too busy at this stage of our life to care. Generation X is the typical quasi middle-aged group and we have our own set of strengths and weaknesses. Finally done with the more self-absorbed time of their lives, people in this generation are focused on protecting their families, growing their wealth if that is possible and are generally more aware of the world around them.

Related Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns

For Generation X preppers, we tend to be well along into careers with a somewhat stable life. Instead of partying every night, we are most likely at home watching TV. We have made it through the “wild times” of our younger days and have gained a little perspective and hopefully wisdom. Generation X may have children still living at home, but depending on where they fall on the scale, their ages might be all over the map. Prepping for family members is more of a focus for this generation. Most Gen X’ers do not have a remote property or enough disposable income to go hog-wild into prepping.

Generation X is coming into a more stable time of their lives financially if they have been lucky to weather the economic storms from the last 6 years and stocking up, while it isn’t easy may be more possible than someone still struggling through college or raising babies. Generation X people should not suffer from as many of the health issues of their Baby Boomer parents, but aren’t as spry as they once were either. Eyesight starts to go during this age and you learn you can’t eat what you used to be able to and quickly lose weight.

What will the highly functioning Millennial do in a world without Google to search for the answers to their questions?

The Millennial Prepper’s chances of surviving TEOTWAWKI

Born between the years 1980 and 2000 – currently aged 15 to 35

The Millennial generation is characterized by traits that our society views now as highly desirable. Often described as a product of the electronic age they have grown up in, Millennials are multi-taskers, connected via the internet to all their friends, all the time and are tech-savvy. Probably because they have been plugged into some device since they were born. With a world that has electricity, internet and no major problems, these skills seem to be great resume enhancements.

Millennials shouldn’t have any health issues at this point in their lives that couldn’t be cured by getting outside every once in a while, but their reliance on technology could be a huge factor if that is taken away suddenly. What will the highly functioning Millennial do in a world without Google to search for the answers to their questions? What will the young, technologically savvy person do if GPS doesn’t work or the car won’t start? Could this dependence on technology be a hindrance to their survival? Could the same children that were raised on a lifestyle of “Everybody wins” sports teams with helicopter parents who always took care of their every need pull themselves up and do what is necessary to survive or would they sit back and cry “unfair” at any slight that doesn’t go their way?

Just the Facts  Please

I know that the descriptions above are highly stereotypical and are even more they are very subjective. Every single person doesn’t fit into the broad categories above and I know for a fact that your chances of survival come down primarily to what you have inside yourself more so than what a lot of marketing guru’s say about you or your peers.

Knowing that each and every person is unique, I tried to find a better data point that would help me determine which Generation would have the best chances of surviving doomsday. The only objective data I could pull was from the actual viewers of the Prepper Journal so I measured the demographic information through analytics for the last two years. The results were a little surprising to me.

For the last two years May 13 to May 15 (over 6.2 million views)

  • 27% of the total Views were from people aged 55-older (Boomers)
  • 40.95% of the total Views were from people aged 35 – 54 (Generation X)
  • 31.1 % of the total Views were from people aged 18 -34 (Millennials)

So what does this tell me? I had expected that the overwhelming majority of our page views would be from people roughly my age and older but the demographics were very similar across the generations. I had expected the self-absorbed Me Me Me generation, of which 2 of my children belong, would be absent from any site that dealt with concepts like this. I thought that people their age would not care or even think about survival and by extension, their absence would be some verification that they don’t take issues like prepping for disasters seriously. I was wrong.

Related Diagnose and treat any medical problems you are going to encounter

I have said before that you can’t be too old to prep and I do believe that virtually anyone can take steps to give themselves a better chance, no matter what the disaster turns out to be in your life. If I can measure anything from the data above, it is that people from all the generations are curious about learning the subject of  prepping. Logic would say that everyone is trying to be more prepared and that every generation more or less is equipping themselves with knowledge. Their readership of sites like this one and tons of others suggests they already have the will to survive.

I guess I need to also say that you can never be too young to prep either. I shouldn’t write off a generation of people, largely based on what marketing or the experts tell me. From the youngest grade-school age child to the most senior among us, there are people from all walks of life interested in prepping and that gives me great hope for our future.

Perhaps if something happens we will stop referring to different ages by labels and share a trait more powerful than marketing demographics. Maybe we will all be able to survive as one generation.

Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

Healthy Soil + Healthy Plants = Healthy You

The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns

Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need

4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis

Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps

But this has been going on for a relatively long time of several years and there wasn’t some new event that prompted me to think about them although it could

Fire safety is something I think everyone should be practicing now when times are normal and you’re not in a survival situation, so that you can prevent or minimize the danger of a fire. In a survival situation, the danger of a fire starting and the damage it can cause are magnified. The reason for this is that people who do not normally use candles, their fireplace or other alternate heat sources, use a skill set they have minimal experience with. Depending on the situation you may or may not have electricity and if you are connected to city sewer and water, there is a very good chance you will not have running water.

Here is some information to help you develop a fire safety plan now as well as some things to keep in mind should you find yourself in a survival situation.

Have a Plan

Ideally every room should have two exits, a door and at least one window. In multiple story homes have a plan to safely get to the ground. Make sure everyone knows to check the door for heat with the back of their hand and to not open it if it is hot.

School age children have to do fire drills often multiple times a year at school. Doing them in the home is a great idea as well. Explain the primary exit and the backup ones. Make sure they understand how to unlock the window and get it open as well as getting the screens out of the way.

Have a designated meeting place that is near the home; a neighbor, mailbox, anywhere that is a safe distance from the fire. Make sure everyone knows where it is.

Sound the Alarm

The code might be different where you live, but in Minnesota it is code to have a smoke detector in every bedroom. If this isn’t code where you live, it is a good idea.

Here is a report that says that ”Only 58% of kids even woke up to the sound of a fire alarm.“. There are fire alarms that record your voice. This is a great idea, as you can say the child’s name and remind them of what they are to do.

It is a good practice to test the alarms every month and to replace the batteries every six months. You can use the old batteries for other non-life saving things, like the remote. Daylight savings is a great time to replace the batteries. There are some smoke detectors that come with carbon monoxide detectors built in, you should have at least one of these in my opinion.

Fire Extinguishers

Fire Extinguisher : 101 is a site that explains all things fire extinguishers, including types of fire extinguishers, how to use them and care and maintenance of them. I personally have one in each bedroom, one in the kitchen and one in the basement near the furnace, washer and dryer and one in each car.

Fire extinguishers are not meant for fighting a fully engulfed fire. They are a great tool for fighting small fires, shortly after they have started.

Here is a video to give you some idea of how fast a fire can spread.

Here is a video that covers the important information about fire extinguishers.

Important Documents

Be they family photos, wills, insurance papers or anything else of importance, it is a very good idea to have these kept in a fire resistant, waterproof container. Another good idea is to have a record of all serial numbers, model numbers and other pertinent information. You can write down the important information for your valuables. I also recommend taking pictures of your valuables. You can store them on a flash drive that you use solely for important information. It should be kept in the fire resistant waterproof container.

Post Smelly Fan Blades (aka. “after it hits the fan”)

In a survival situation, the danger of a non-controlled fire is much higher. The reason for this is that often the electricity will be out and there will be no heat or light. This means that people will use alternative heat and light sources that they might not use often, such as candles, outdoor fires etc. The other reason the danger is higher is that if there is no electricity, there is no water pressure to help fight the fire.

In a short term situation, just practicing extra vigilance should be all that is needed. Make sure that if there are candles going, they are being used in a room that you are in and are not left unattended.

It’s official. This is now the prepper’s “go to book” saving them time and money on costly doctor visits. Details HERE

For an outdoor fire, keep burning restrictions in mind; if it’s too dry and windy, it might be best not to burn. If there are no restrictions and the weather is permitting, having an extinguisher nearby is a good idea. If you have a well or the water is running, a close by hose might be a good idea as well. Remember, as Smokey the Bear says “If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave”.

If the situation is long term and there is no power, prudence might dictate that the scope of the vigilance be increased. Work with your community to limit burning to a few community areas or have a fire watch posted that can alert the entire community if smoke is seen.

At the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, fire “destroyed six and severely damaged about 25 booths on the grounds” I bring this up because there are no fire hydrants on the festival grounds and if there is no electricity, this means the pumps are not pushing water to the fire hydrants nearby your home, so they are useless. In the article, it says that at one time there were twelve fire trucks being used to put the fire out. If it has hit the fan, the best your neighborhood might be able to do is get a bucket brigade going and that’s only helpful if you live near a body of water or have a large amount of water available such as a swimming pool or multiple rain barrels.

As in everything we prepare for, in a long term situation, it might be wise to do what you can to mitigate the danger beforehand. I read a fictional story once, the name of which escapes me. In the book, the characters knew they were at high risk for a fire. They took some pretty drastic measures to save their homes. They cut down any trees within 50 or so yards, dug up grass near the homes which left the earth exposed. I don’t think that I thought much about it at the time, but if there was imminent threat of a fire, who knows what might sound like a good idea.

The following is an Article by Chris Ray. Too good and useful not to share it here.

Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

Healthy Soil + Healthy Plants = Healthy You

The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns

Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need

4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis

Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps

Fire safety is something I think everyone should be practicing now when times are normal and you’re not in a survival situation, so that you can prevent or minimize the

For a long time, preppers have been accused of being little more the paranoid hoarders. However, a lot of evolution has occurred in the field of disaster preparedness. Rather than blind action and backpacks full of gear, we have a hierarchy of the most important things to have on hand in a disaster.

When it comes to prepper storage, we are going to look at three items that are going to make a world of difference for you and your family in tough times.

Long Term Food Storage

Forget about the golden rule in a serious disaster. You see, the gold makes the rules only when there are resources to buy with that gold. Because of our just in time delivery systems our cities and towns are going to run out of food and supplies in a hurry.

We have seen the shelves go bare after small hurricanes and snowstorms. Imagine if trucking and shipping stop and all those resources are gone.

Better than having gold is having food. You see, everyone is going to want food, they are going to need food. Most people have no idea how you are going to get food after a disaster.

If you are going to store food you should know what a years’ worth of food, per person, looks like. To keep it simple you are going to need about 2 million calories per person. Really it should be a little more but from there you can work your way back.

When you talk about 3 months or 6 months of long term food storage you should only be working with shelf stable foods. The best practice is to buy these items in bulk and then bucket them up with oxygen absorbers in mylar bags inside of 5 gallon buckets.

There are few sighs of relief equivalent to putting up food for hard times. Its just one of those things that feels good deep down inside.

Heirloom Seeds

Depending solely on a garden is a huge mistake. If you think you are going to grow all the food your fmaily needs, you are mistaken. In fact, if it were that easy, you’d be doing it already.

Growing food is hard but I think you should invest considerable time and effort into it. It should be a massive supplement to your food storage diet. This will increase the vital nutrients in your diet and will put you in a position to add variety, as well.

Along with stockpiling long term food storage you should also have some version of a survival seed bank. These can be bought in sealed cans and stored in your fridge. They will keep for a very long time.

Don’t get crazy and buy a bunch of varieties of plants. Instead, focus on the seeds that produce the most food per plant. This is key if you are short on growing space. Think of things like

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Herbs
  • Greens
  • Green Beans

These plants all produce ad nauseum and that is exactly what you want out of a survival garden. You want too much produce. The extra goes into cans to be called on in the winter.

Emergency Water Plan

Another important prepper storage consideration is water. Water is a little different than food and seeds. You see, water is part of a larger emergency water plan. This plan has a number of components.

Because we only have three days without water before we die, you want as many ways of getting water as you can muster. We are going to look at all those ways on a high level so you can understand how sourcing, catching and sanitizing water are all just as effective as storage.


The first step that most people make when considering emergency water is to store bottles or jugs in their home. This is a good method, to a point. Storing water take tremendous space and it also is very heavy when you get to a sizeable amount.

Water storage should certainly be a part of your plan but not the whole plan.


One of the most effective means of storing water is to do so in 55 gallons, or larger, rain barrels. These barrels hold a tremendous amount of water and that makes a huge difference. With just 4 of these barrels you can carry 220 gallons of water!

This type of catchment is great because it just happens, you don’t need to do anything but maintain the barrels


Have a method, or two, to filter water is also important. Sometimes water quality can be questionable, and filter can help you out with that.


Non scented bleach, aqua tabs, tincture of iodine are all options for sanitizing water and making it safe to drink. After filtering you could also boil that water and it will be safe, as well. However, quick methods like these tabs are also very effective.


The planet is 75% water. There is a water source near you. You should get to know that source now and make plans to tap it in times of disaster.

Easy and Effective Storage

Now that you have an idea of what you should be storing, you might be wondering, where do I put it all? Well, that is where we move to the topic of a root cellars.

Expanding the home or over cluttering it is not a great option. What good are preps if you cannot get to them quickly? Besides, its good to spread your preps around. Having food and supplies in more than one location can make a huge difference if things get bad.

If you are looking for a quick primer on building your own root cellar The Easy Cellar by Tom Griffith can help you get started.

Ideally you can use this eBook to build a custom root cellar that will allow you to store your water, food storage, seeds and even extend the shelf life of produce! When we talk about prepper storage a root cellar is key. In fact, all aspects of storage are vital to having success.

Having the right resources to call on in times of disaster is not only prudent but it is becoming very popular. The writing is on the wall and people are taking notice.

With some basic materials and good plans, you can create your own easy root cellar and create your own prepper storage.

Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns

Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need

4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis

Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps

We are going to look at three items that are going to make a world of difference for you and your family in tough times.

A Medical Chest: Is it important?


Whether your bugging out with a group or bugging out alone it is extremely important to have someone with some degree of medical knowledge and/or skill. If you’re bugging out with a group and you’ve got a plan in place, but no designated “medic”, you have a problem. If you’re bugging out alone and you don’t have any basic medical knowledge, again, you have a problem.

It’s easy enough to say “I never get sick” or “Ill tough it out” when it comes to an illness or injury in everyday life, but if you’re bugging out, everyday living will cease to exist. Whether you’re hunkering down in a bunker or climbing up foothills or mountains, sh*t is bound to happen. Maybe someone in your family brought in a simple cold. It doesn’t take long for that simple cold to turn into a sinus infection, which once your immune system is beat down enough, can turn into pneumonia. Consider you’re climbing in the foothills or hunkering down in a forest and you drink some bad water…maybe your Lifestraw has already filtered its limits, or maybe your water wasn’t heated for long enough. Bacteria can take hold of your body’s systems within days, sometimes hours, and cause unfortunate and inconvenient effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and eventually, death. You get my point.

So what can you do to prevent this? Well, stay healthy, take your vitamins, and boil your water. Stating the obvious, right? Prevention is great, but like I said, and I’ll say it again, sh*t happens. A contingency plan for those SHTF moments is the key to efficiency and more importantly, survival. You can create a top-notch medical kit addition to any bugout bag or kit easily and cheaply. All it takes is basic medical knowledge and a small pack to potentially save you, your family or your friends in a SHTF situation.

The Doomsday Book Of Medicine: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way

I wish that there was a six star option

“I’m a dentist, and I have just enough medical knowledge to be dangerous. This marvellous book has so far exceeded my expectations that I am amazed that so much useful knowledge can be packed into one book! Hats off to Dr. La Guardia! The information in this book can be used immediately to improve your health, and expand your treatment options in many areas even if there is never a crisis event for you and your loved ones. The panorama of medical, herbal, and traditional treatments in one easy reference makes this one a MUST HAVE! for everyone interested in healthy options and preppers/survivalists in particular. Cannot recommend it more highly. If you can only buy one medical reference book, this is IT!

Absolutely THE BEST prepper medicine book!”

The Basics of a Medical Chest:

Ibuprofen: So Underrated. It’ll help with mild pain, but more importantly, it can help take down and break a fever. How fun is it trying to function at your day job with a fever that turns into a massive headache that turns into hot flashes and cold sweats? Now imagine dealing with that while you’re lumbering through the wilderness. Not fun.

Pepto Bismol: Once again, underrated. Not only will this reduce your burning desire to throw up those repulsive MRES, but it has the potential to get diarrhea under control. Having to stop every 5 minutes to see a bush about a horse? Inconvenient AND unpleasant.

Benadryl: Works for both people and dogs, making it a vital part of my personal bag. Hiking through the woods and your dog steps on or eats a wasp? I know I don’t want to carry my almost 50 pound dog for very long, how about you? 1 MG per pound of body-weight will take care of that problem. It can also be used to ease a dog’s anxiety, just lower the dose a bit. If you’re traveling or hunkering down with someone who has an allergy whether it be to a food or animal, a quick response with a dose of Benadryl can make a bigger difference then you would expect. I carry a bottle of Benadryl and a tube of Benadryl Cream for topical use.

Medi-Lyte: Uncommon, but not unimportant. I used to work in the oil fields during the big boom, and this was something I always kept stocked for my guys. It is used to replace electrolytes from excessive loss of liquids. I’m talking sweat, vomit, whatever. You can purchase 500 tablets on Amazon for twenty bucks. 100% WORTH IT. Oh, and try two tabs for a hangover, it’ll do wonders ????

Hydrocortisone Cream: Once again, suitable for both you and your dog. Hiking out in the woods comes with a price. While an occasional bug bite is not something that will really bother you, being covered in them probably will. The same goes for your dog. Mosquito bites, tick bites, flea bites, poison ivy, weird rashes; it covers it all. Literally.

Triple Antibiotic: This one is basically the jack of all trades. Use it on burns, cuts, scrapes, and anything else you’re worried about getting infected. I would suggest only using it the first 1-2 days after the injury is sustained. After scabs are formed it won’t do much and there is no point in wasting precious supplies.

Everyday Allergy Meds: Sudafed, Zyrtec, Claritin, because there is nothing worse than trying to walk long distance or climb bluffs or mountains with a runny nose.

CPR Rescue Mask, Adult/Child Pocket Resuscitator

CPR Mask and Sterile or Nitrile Gloves: I don’t care how well you know someone; do you really want to take a bath in their bodily fluids? I didn’t think so. Carry a CPR mask with you in your medic bag and remember the basics from CPR Class, compressions and breaths, 30:2. Compressions should be done by finding the middle spot between the nipples and pumping your overlapped hands down onto their body. They won’t tell you in your average CPR class, but I will; you will hear ribs cracking, if they survive they will be in pain from it, and it is not easy on the body to lean over and perform compressions on someone. You will be sore. Saving someone’s life though- 100% worth it. If you haven’t taken a basic CPR class yet, don’t be a dummy. It’s 50$ on average and takes only a few hours of your time.

Hot Hands: There is nothing worse than being sweaty, cold, and out in the wilderness. Once you’re cold it is very hard to get warm, but a hot hands pad can make the world of difference. Toss one onto the top of your head and cover it up with a hat. My dad has told me since I was little; heat rises. Keep your head warm and your body will be warm.

Various sized Band-Aids, bandages, ace wraps and anti-bacterial wipes: Obvious, but easily overlooked. I was on a mountain climbing trip in Montana this fall, and I got stuck coming down at night. Not smart, and not fun. I tripped on a tiny rock and my ankle bent and twisted. The next morning I had a 7 mile hike to a primitive forest service cabin across two mountain ranges and I could barely walk without my ankle giving in. An ace wrap and some duct tape made the world of difference.

The Not-So-Basics:

I don’t expect you guys to have giant stockpiles of these things lying around, but I can guarantee you if you dig through your cabinets and junk drawers you’re bound to find one or two of these things lying around. Please also remember I am not a doctor, and I’m not god, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. Having these things does not guarantee a life saved.

Elite First Aid Fully Stocked GI Issue Medic Kit Bag, Large

Epi-Pens: Unfortunately, these have gotten harder to come by recently, on account of obnoxiously high prices, but if you or your family member has an allergy that requires you to carry one of these, don’t leave it behind when you bug out. Not only could it save your life for what it was intended, but it could save someone in your groups life should they encounter an unexpected allergy source.

Muscle Relaxers: If you’ve done any hiking, walking or running long distances you know how exhausting it can be on your body. Imagine doing it for days at a time while trying to find the perfect camp location. These come in handy to both relax your body and your mind, making it much easier to carry on hiking or even sleep. Personally I can take one of these and continue on with my day, but I’ve heard stories of people taking them and falling asleep within the hour, so remember that everyone responds differently.

Antibiotics: I know I can’t be the only one that’s been prescribed antibiotics and not taken all of them. Do you have a stockpile of half taken antibiotics? In everyday life it’s not a good idea to take half of a dose and leave the rest behind, as it puts you at risk for antibiotic resistance, but if you’re in the wilderness or an emergency situation and you need antibiotics, I think you can afford to take that risk. The same goes for your basic antifungals.

Higher Dose Pain Relievers: If you have left over pain killers from a surgery or injury, pack them up and take them along. I will let you imagine all the possible injuries that may require their use.

Israeli Pressure Bandages: These bandages have been carried by the Israeli Army for ages for a good reason. They compress, clot, and cover a wound. The instructions are on the packaging, and they are fairly simple, lightweight, and about 10$ a piece on Amazon. Worth it.

Suture Kits: Also available on Amazon, although they are usually labeled “for veterinary use only.” They will work in time of need. It’s basically a needle and thread. Buy a few and practice stitching up an orange, or if you’re looking for a little more “real world” (and gross) experience, a pigs foot. It’s pretty much what you see on TV. Unless you went to medical school, you will not be an expert, but if it’s absolutely and undeniably necessary, you’re better than nothing.

I have all of these things in my bugout bag, and it only takes up a very small portion of it. Scrounge up what you can from what you already have, and buy the rest when it’s convenient or on sale to keep costs low. If you’re low on space, take the pills out of the bottles and package them in plastic instead, but remember that the bottles can have other uses in your bag.

I have no doubts that with even 1/2 of these items in your bag you will be better off than your average prepper. Never underestimate the power of basic medical knowledge and preparation. Good luck out there!

Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)

Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)

Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)

Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)

The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)

The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

A Medical Chest: Is it important? OF COURSE. Whether your bugging out with a group or bugging out alone it is extremely important to have someone with some degree of medical knowledge