Home2019September (Page 3)

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

Magazines

  • 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.


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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,

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.

 

In order to survive tomorrow, we need to prepare today! Learn HERE how

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.

STORING WATER

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.

CATCHING WATER

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

FILTERING WATER

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.

SANITIZING WATER

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.

SOURCING WATER

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.

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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.

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.

Water

  • 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

Food

  • 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.

Shelter

  • 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.

Tools

  • 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?


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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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

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 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!”
DR. DALE W HUDSON

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

One item that can take up a lot of space and potentially the most weight in your bug out bag is a tent. That is unless of course you are spending a lot of money to get an ultra-light tent that folds up into the size of an Altoids tin and expands to sleep 20 people comfortably. Actually, when my family and I went camping in the great outdoors a while back, I had two tents in my pack because my children were too young at the time to handle the extra weight. Each tent was a two man tent and weighed 5.11 pounds. We did not spring for the more expensive tents for a couple of reasons. First, because we didn’t know how the kids would enjoy camping and didn’t want to make that investment if it wasn’t going to pan out. Second, I didn’t want to spend the money.

You don’t have to wait for a crisis to use this book. Use it in your everyday lives to treat any medical problems that might occur. Details and how to get it here.

Now, you might be saying to yourself 11 pounds isn’t that much weight. Well, I beg to differ. It is a lot of weight and space when you consider that I could have carried a tarp system which weighs less than one pound. If I had 8 less pounds in my pack that would have made a huge difference in weight, but the sheer volume those tents occupied meant that I had to offload some of the food on my wife.

Tarps are a great idea if you are looking to shed pounds from your bug out bag and they give you most of the protection from the elements of a tent. True, they don’t enclose you completely, but they can keep the rain off just as well and the size and weight savings is nothing to sneeze at. The guys at ITS Tactical have a set of videos that show a tarp rigging system that will allow you to add this gear to your pack, save weight and eventually set up time. One great thing about this system is that breaking camp is a cinch.

There are a lot of varieties of camping tents out there and some are of course more expensive than others, but you will appreciate the time and weight savings.


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)

There are a lot of varieties of camping tents out there and some are of course more expensive than others, but you will appreciate the time and weight savings.

I can’t even begin to describe the way I feel about ponchos – yes, those things you carry around in your B.O.B like all the time without actually having a chance to use it. I know that my “opening” statement could’ve come out sounding a bit off, but it’s the truth. One the one hand, they’re very useful for a lot of stuff besides rain.

However, I am sometimes annoyed by the fact that a good poncho is heavy as shit and that you never get around to use it. This is the very reason why I’ve made the journey to the all-knowing, and all-seeing Oracle called the Internet, in hopes of finding other uses for that over-sized raincoat.

Have to admit that I was a little bit surprised by the fact that most people who wrote about ponchos tend to emphasize the non-rain-use part, which I think it’s great. Anyway, because most of you are probably thinking about the same thing right now, here are X ingenious ways to use a poncho during an SHTF situation. Enjoy!

  1. Water collector

When SHTF, water becomes top priority (remember, remember, the rules of threes). Obtaining it might be a bit problematic, but don’t lose hope. While scouting for a water source, lay your poncho in a clearing. You may want to check the weather beforehand to see if there are any chances of rain. If you have Mom Nature on your side, that poncho of yours will soon become a veritable water tower.

  1. Taking shelter

Besides food and water, you will also need to find shelter. The simplest way to take cover from the elements is to take out your poncho and to turn it into a makeshift tent – just stick a long pole under the hood and get yourself some sack time. You’re going to need it.

  1. Crafting a mattress

Nothing’s worse than having to sleep on the bare ground. Sure, it’s no delight waiting for the Sandman to come when you’re lying on a thin sheet with rocks prodding you in the back, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can make your own mattress by stuffing your heavy poncho with leaves, grass, fresh moss or pine needles. Snap it shut, place in on the ground, and sleep like a boss.

  1. Creating a hammock

Since we’re still talking about sleeping, nothing beats the comfort of a hammock. Ever! Well, a hammock’s kind of heavy to carry around, not to mention the fact that it’s a nightmare to make that thing fit inside a backpack. If you’re looking to relax after a long day of hiking, take out your heavy poncho, and use whatever cordage you have on hand to tie it between two trees.

  1. Shower curtain

Even a seasoned survivalist needs a good shower every now and then. Well, the idea of getting naked even there’s no around for miles can be a bit unnerving, but you can wish that anxiety away by making a shower curtain from your heavy rain poncho. Hang from the nearest tree, get inside, scrub until you drop, and come out a new man or woman.

  1. No more dripping

As a person who spent most of the summer looking for holes in the roof, I can wholeheartedly say that my heavy poncho spared me a lot of trouble. Sure, the roof still needed patching, but at least I managed to get myself a breather by plugging some of the larger holes with the poncho. Looks like a nasty piece of work, but who’s complaining?

  1. Red Riding Hood Cosplay

Yes, I know it sounds kinky, but I was, more or less, referring to how you can use your poncho as a basket. There are a lot of goodies lying around the forest and simply not enough hands to collect all of them. So, get into your apple-picking gear and enjoy your foraging.

  1. Controlling hemorrhages

Although it’s not advisable to use a tourniquet to control the bleeding, sometimes it may be the only way to prevent a person from going into hypovolemic shock (that’s what happens when someone loses more than 20 percent of his blood supply).

If you don’t have anything on had to use as a tourniquet, cut a long strip of poncho material, apply it above the wound, and start twisting with a stick.

  1. Carrying sick or injured party members

If someone from your hiking groups becomes injured or experiencing life-threatening symptoms, use the heavy poncho as a stretcher to carry him down to base. Don’t forget to get in touch with the local emergency serves and to stay on the line until the operator says that you can hang up.

  1. Protection against toxic fumes

If you’re about to cross an area which is filled with toxic fumes (a thing that happens very often during a wildfire), get the heavy poncho out of your bug out bag, put it on, cover your face and nose, and pull strings to keep it shut.

  1. Improv pillow

Being lost in the wild without any hopes of seeing your loved ones doesn’t mean that should give up the comfort of your home. What most non-preppers don’t realize is that we really don’t drink our own piss or eat half-digested berries from bear’s dung in order to survive. Nope, we use our noggins to increase our comfort and increase our chances of getting out alive.

You already know how to fashion yourself a mattress using a heavy one. If you also remembered to pack a light rain poncho, then you have everything you need to create a bedroom fit for a king.

Go around the woods and scavenge soft stuff like pine needles, leaves, moss, grass, soft earth. Put everything inside you light poncho, pull on the strings, put on the mattress and sleep as if you have not a care in the world.

Hope you enjoyed my article on ways to repurpose a poncho. Any thoughts? Hit the comment section and let me know.


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)

I can’t even begin to describe the way I feel about ponchos – yes, those things you carry around in your B.O.B like all the time without actually having a

With the interest in the preparedness lifestyle growing at an explosive rate, one important skill is often brushed aside: reloading ammunition. Often, persons embarking on their own personal prepping journey will procrastinate on learning to reload their own ammunition. The reasons to put off learning to reload are understandable. Often, many people would rather just buy more firearms and more ammunition than put the time and money into learning reloading. People usually are put off by the expense of reloading equipment, feel that they do not have the time to learn reloading, or they do not have a person available to teach them.

Learning about all the reloading equipment and techniques can seem daunting at first but the skill is worth the effort. The initial investment in equipment and supplies for reloading can cost as little as about $300 or as much as one is willing to spend. However, there are many benefits to making the investment.

  • First, a person can save a lot of money reloading, quickly recouping the startup costs.
  • Second, by reloading ammunition a person can get much improved accuracy over using only factory ammunition.
  • Third, for many rifle and pistol calibers a hand-loader will have many more choices available than solely relying on factory offerings, the combinations of components are near infinite.
  • Fourth, reloading will allow a person to have ample supply of hard to find ammunition for a favorite pet caliber, unusual and rare cartridge, or old hunting rifle.
  • Finally, when the next ammo shortage happens the reloader will be able to maintain his / her stockpile.

As can be seen, there are many good reasons for preppers to take up reloading and each one will be looked in more detail.

Obtaining greater accuracy is another good reason to learn reloading. Many people who start reloading just to save money quickly discover this benefit. The quest for peak accuracy is what gets many people really fired up about reloading. Once a person experiences how easy it is to increase accuracy for a given load, they are well on the way to a life time of reloading.

Firearms are expensive. Many times, people have been very disappointed with a new firearms shot groups, assuming there is a problem with the expensive new weapon. After hand-loading some ammunition, they have discovered there is nothing wrong with the weapon and that factory available ammunition is causing this sub-par performance.

For example: this is very typical for 45 Colt revolvers.

Historically, there has been some variation in bore diameters of production revolvers in this caliber. For safety reasons, the major ammunition manufacturers will produce loaded ammo with bullets in the smallest produced bore diameter. In some guns, these too small bullets will not engage the rifling’s and just rattle down the barrel, flying erratically out the muzzle. Accuracy is unbelievably poor when this happens.

An easy fix for a reloader is to determine the bore diameter and reload using bullets of the appropriate diameter. This method has been proven to turn poorly grouping guns into tack drivers.

Sometimes, the problem with a firearms accuracy is not in the gun but in the ammunition. Loading one’s own ammunition can help correct that.

Without a doubt, one of the most popular reasons that persons learn to reload ammunition is to save money. Ammunition is expensive and it is not getting any cheaper! However, anywhere from 65% to 80% of the cost of ammunition is in the cartridge case. Therefore, a person should always pick up their spent cartridge cases. That reusable brass case ties up a bunch of money, too much money to just leave laying on the ground like garbage.

For example: if a box of rifle ammunition cost around $20 then about $15 of that is likely tied up in just the cartridge cases. No one would walk by $15 laying on the ground and not pick it up but people will leave perfectly good cartridge cases laying all over the range. A person could reload that box of ammo for $5 or less. That savings adds up fast and recoups the initial investment in equipment.

The amount of money saved can be used to buy more ammo, more guns, optics, range time, training, prepping supplies, and on and on. If shooting those big safari rifles is appealing, the savings to the reloader are truly amazing.

Some big game rifles cost the shooter anywhere from $5 to over $25 every time the trigger is pulled. This cost can prevent any frequent or meaningful target practice, often even impairing properly sighting in the weapon or zeroing a scope. Reloading can make shooting these big guns affordable and fun.

As mentioned earlier, cost savings is a major motivator for reloaders. As a person living the preparedness lifestyle, allocating money and resources properly to maintain a regular life while preparing for the worst events is an ongoing process.

  • Reloading is a good way to help preppers cut cost and spare resources.
  • Reloading greatly improves consistency and uniformity in the loaded cartridges.

Hand-loading can definitely help with increasing accuracy over the modest distances of handgun ranges but the most dramatic improvements can be gained over the longer ranges usually shot with rifles. Some factory ammunition is very good. However, hand-loads will give the best and most accurate results over factory loaded ammunition. Much of the accuracy potential in a batch of hand-loads comes from consistency gained through precise attention to detail. With factory ammunition, there can easily be a 5% to 10% variation in muzzle velocity from shot to shot. A careful hand-loader can greatly reduce that variation in muzzle velocity, which will give a more consistent point of impact.

Reloaders can also adjust the overall length of the loaded cartridge by adjusting bullet seating depth to better match the specific weapon they are using. This will improve accuracy by reducing bullet jump (distance a bullet travels before engaging the rifling) and more closely aligning the bullet center with the bore axis when the rifling is engaged, resulting in a better spin and truer flight.

A careful reloader can more precisely align the bullet into the case, keeping the center of the bullet more closely on the axis of the weapon’s bore. The reloader is in control of every variable of the cartridge. The case lengths can be trimmed to exact specifications. Case mouths and crimping can be uniformed. Any possible variable can be minimized or eliminated to produce the most consistent ammunition, which all leads to better shot groups. Competitive shooters have long known that hand-loading is the way to get out the most accuracy from their weapons.

If a person is not shooting one of the more popular calibers, they may be disappointed with choices in factory available ammunition. Some of the lesser known, newly introduced, or very old calibers will not have enough choices of bullet styles and weights available in factory production ammunition. Some very capable cartridges are no longer offered in newly manufactured ammunition.

A reloader will still have the ability to produce ammunition for these discontinued calibers. Dies and cartridge cases can still be purchased for calibers that have been discontinued long ago. Handloading or reloading ammunition is a way to get around these limitations.

The combinations of components are limitless. Bullet weights and shapes can be chosen specifically for maximum efficiency for any given purpose. Different bullet tip shapes, ogives, and base configurations can be chosen to fit a rifle or load for greater accuracy, consistency, or function.

A person can load expanding bullets into cartridges for old surplus rifles that are generally only available in full metal jacket configuration, turning that old surplus rifle into a viable hunting weapon. Different propellants will burn with different rates and characteristics. This will affect muzzle velocity, consistency, and accuracy.

With so many possible combinations of bullets, propellants, primers, and cases, a person can tailor a specific load for any purpose. If the goal is to get maximum efficiency, maximum utility, maximum accuracy, or effectiveness over a wide range of shooting distances, reloaders can tailor ammunition to any purpose. The sky’s the limit on possible loadings.

One very important thing to anyone living the preparedness lifestyle is securing and maintaining an ammunition supply.

In recent years in the United States, we have experienced several ammunition shortages of varying degrees and durations. Everyone knows that is not a question of whether or not there will be another ammunition supply interruption but when the next big one is coming.

The author remembers a time when he would give no consideration to leaving the house with a firearm without any ammo thinking “I’ll just pick up some on the way to the shooting range.” It is getting better but not quite back to those days yet.

Certainly, anyone reading this article has not so distant memories of going to wally-world and seeing the ammo shelves empty. During the last ammo shortage, reloading components were still available for a time after all the ammo was off the shelves, allowing reloaders to stock up on components before the supply temporarily dried up.

Reloading components are easy to stock up on.

For example: at the time of writing this article Unique and Power Pistol powders were about $20 a pound. A person could load up around 1,150 rounds of 9mm ammo with one pound of these powders! Store a few pounds of powder and a person is set up to last through the ammo drought.

Another way for a reloader to cut cost and extend his or her ammo supply is to cast lead bullets. After the initial cost of equipment, money saved by casting bullets will quickly recover the startup costs. Additionally, lead could be gathered from alternative sources instead of buying it. This will allow the resourceful prepper to make lead bullets at no cost.

With some components in storage, the resourceful prepper can spend a little time in the evening reloading and replenishing his or her ammo supply when everyone else is scrounging for ammo or getting gouged by online price hikes.

So, it’s easy to see how reloading is another valuable tool in well-rounded preppers kit. Many people tend to feel rushed and overwhelmed when coming into the preparedness lifestyle. Along with marksmanship, martial arts, archery, fishing, hunting, farming, canning, tanning, mechanics, carpentry, communications, first aid, sewing, sanitation, and land navigation (just to get started) reloading seems like a ton to learn. However, persons reading this already have a great asset: motivation.

Everyone is different and learns differently. For some people, it will be very difficult to pick up a reloading manual and start off reloading without any issues. For most people, the easiest and fastest way to learn is to have a someone actually show them step by step how to do it. Unfortunately, unless someone already knows a friend or family member who reloads it can be difficult to connect with someone willing to teach. No one wants to deal with that grumpy old condescending jerk at the local gun shop or put up with the know it all attitude from gun show arm chair rangers.

This is why I’ve taken it upon myself to bring reloading to the preparedness community. I had no one to help me when I was learning reloading. It was frustrating. There is a whole new crowd of people who are either first time gun owners or have a general interest in firearms but feel isolated because they don’t have good resource people in their social circle. Often these persons are turned off to guns or discouraged because someone at a gun shop or gun show discouraged them or talked to them like they were stupid.

If a person is willing and motivated to learn, there is a wealth of resources available.


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)

With the interest in the preparedness lifestyle growing at an explosive rate, one important skill is often brushed aside: reloading ammunition. Often, persons embarking on their own personal prepping journey

When it comes to prepping, there is a lot of talk about what material needs we should have on hand. A bug-out bag, freeze-dried food, water, transportation, first-aid kit, weapons for protection and a place to bug-out to. The idea is to have the basic needs of food, water and shelter readily available. The problem is; when the SHTF not everyone gets to just go merrily about their way, to easily head out and get gone. In fact, it is quite likely that many of us will sustain significant injuries that need to be tended to. Whether it is ourselves, our loved ones, or the friends who will be with us, we will need to know how to take care of each others injuries and illnesses.

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

I am an Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant with more than 20 years of Emergency Room experience, the majority of it in Level I Trauma centers (where the most severe cases…crashes, gunshots, severe work injuries, falls from heights, etc. go). Prior to becoming a PA, I was an EMT. I have a great deal of experience dealing with trauma victims and worked in an ER where we saw multiple gunshots daily. I have lectured at several colleges in the Chicago area as well as being responsible for teaching EMT, Physician Assistant, Medical and Podiatry students. I have also been an instructor for the American Red Cross teaching First Aid, CPR and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) classes.

There is a lot of information out there about what makes up a good medical kit for your bug-out bag. Everything you need can be either assembled by you or purchased as anyone of a variety of pre-stocked kits. While the kit you have with you when you bug out is obviously important, it is also completely useless if you have not taken the time to learn how to use it. The truth is you can stop most bleeding with direct pressure. Sometimes you need a torn shirt, some duct tape and a pair of trauma scissors. You don’t have to be MacGyver to do it. You do need proper training.

Pamela Rauseo, 37, performs CPR on her nephew, 5-month-old Sebastian de la Cruz, after pulling her SUV to the side of the road. The baby was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he is reportedly doing OK.

That said; EVERYONE who expects to deal with the aftermath of when the SHTF needs to know basic CPR and at least basic Trauma First Aid. That means taking classes and practicing what you learn. I can tell you stories about people attempting to administer first aid who had no training, but I won’t. Suffice it to say the outcomes were less than desirable.

The Doomsday Book Of Medicine – What To Do When There’s No Doctor Or Medicine Around

Let’s think about some injuries you can expect in the woods, hiking or running to find cover. Or for that matter, just being in a place where help is not going to come anytime soon. Falls are very common and can result in anything from a scrape to sprains to more serious injuries like fractures and head injuries. So ask yourself; do I really know how to treat a sprain? What about a fracture? Do I know how to stop bleeding and properly clean a wound? Have I ever done those things? Would I be able to actually do the job the right way should I need to? What if it was something life threatening? Could I save a person’s life?

If the answer to any of the above is NO, then you can have all the gear in the world at the ready, but YOU are not ready to bug-out!

I’m going to give an example of injury event that can be a tragedy if you are not properly trained to treat it. Remember, this is about knowing: both what TO do and what NOT TO do.

You and your companion are moving quickly through a heavily wooded area and your companion falls. When you reach them, you see a branch has impaled their arm. They are essentially stuck to a tree because of a branch sticking all the way through their arm. Your companion is in shock and not even aware of the extent of the injury. They are confused. There is blood coming from their arm and also from a gash on the right side of their head which is bleeding profusely. You think you see bone exposed through the head laceration and it seems that one of their legs has something wrong. Closer examination shows you that the ankle is sitting at a strange angle. What do you do now?

If you are like most people, you freak out, try to compose yourself so you don’t freak out your companion, get really pale and nearly pass out and then reach for your cellphone to call 911. Oops, no connectivity, so no help coming. So what now? The first aid kit! You have a first aid kit with a manual in it to walk you through caring for these injuries. You dig out the kit, open and it and check the book only to find it’s great for small cuts and bruises and simple things, but it has nothing remotely close to what you’re dealing with now.

Suddenly, you realize that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to cancel that first aid class you had signed up for but decided you were too busy/tired to take. Besides, someone else will know what to do or I’ll call 911 anyway, I’ll never need to use it.

WOW! Talk about contrary to prepper philosophy. Or is it? It would seem that Emergency Medical preparedness training is a no-brainer, but in reality, most prepper sites and stores that cater to preppers are focused on the medical equipment you need rather than the training required to use it.

So anyway, I can’t teach you the how to do it in this article. I can give you a good idea of what good, accurate care and treatment of this fall will require. And yes, you can look all these things up on the internet. However, unless you learn from a real, live person who can guide you and correct mistakes you will surely make as you learn, you are never going to be able to really address the problems this very real scenario depicts.

STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN.

The very first thing required in any trauma/accident situation is an evaluation of the site of the accident. Stop, take a breath and look at where you are about to go. Is it a safe place to enter? In the urban world this is akin to a Paramedic called to the scene of a gunshot victim. In that situation, the Paramedic cannot help the victim until the Police have arrived and determined that the Paramedic is safe from the danger of being shot herself when she goes to help. At that point the scene is declared “safe” and the Paramedics can get to work.

In the wilderness or woods, the dangers are different but still just as potentially deadly. Is the ground stable? Are there dangerous branches or rocks that could fall onto you as you make your way to your companion? Will you slip and fall as well if you attempt to help? Do you need to take time to tie off before going to the person? What about wildlife? Are you in danger of animal or insect attack when you go to help? Can you find a way to make the scene safe?

Only after you treat the area as if it were a busy street corner will you be safe. You have to STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN.

Once the scene is determined safe, or made safe the next thing is to get to the injured person and take stock of the situation by doing an initial survey of them. This is done by looking and speaking to them without touching them. Encouragement to stay still is recommended at this point. Usually saying “Hold on, try not to move, I’ll be right there,” is a good start.

Look carefully at the person and where they are lying. Do you see any blood? Where is it coming from? What about limb deformities? If so, which ones. Are there any objects that will cause difficulty in treating the injuries? Can they be cleared or do you need to find a way to work around them.

Now it’s time to your ABCDE’s: Airway/Head and Neck, Breathing, Circulation, Disability/Deformity, and Exposure assessment.

Airway: If the person is conscious and talking, then they have a clear airway, but they might have a neck injury which will require stabilization. In the case of any significant fall, or one with an accompanying head injury, be sure that the cervical (neck) spine is stabilized. If the person is unconscious or can’t talk, be sure that the airway is clear of obstruction before going further. Gently lowering the jaw while holding the forehead steady will allow you to see if anything is causing an obstruction. Look for broken teeth, blood, dirt or some foreign body causing an obstruction. Remove any obstruction you can see. Do not blindly probe their mouth. You could push an unseen object backward and cause an obstruction where none had previously existed.

Breathing: Is the person breathing on their own? If they can talk, they are breathing. Is there any reason to suspect a possible lung injury? Do they have any evidence of a chest injury that could have broken a rib? A broken rib can puncture a lung and lead to air in the chest collapsing the lung on that side. You can check this several ways. One is to watch the rise and fall of the chest and see if both sides rise equally. Another is to put your ear on one side of the chest, then the other and listen for breath sounds to be equal on both sides. If you notice that the trachea, the tube that runs down the middle of your neck, is pushed to one side; that is a clear sign of a lung injury. The best case scenario is that you have a stethoscope in your kit that will allow you to hear the actual breath sounds easily. If there is a lung injury, this is a true emergency and will need to be treated quickly, but that is a procedure that requires specialized training.

Circulation: Check for obvious bleeding, but also in the case of extremity injury, is there good blood flow to the far portions of the extremity? Is the color of distal (far) limb pink or pale/bluish? Is it warm to the touch or cool/cold? Pink and warm = good. Anything else indicates blocked blood flow which may be due to arterial injury or compression. Arterial injury needs repair soon. Compression can often be correct by adjusting the limb to an appropriate angle.

Disability/Deformity: Is neurologic function intact or are they confused, unable to answer questions or showing other signs of significant head injury? Are there limb deformities, obvious chest or facial depressions indicating broken bones? Depending on what you find, a variety of things may be needed from re-evaluation of the airway, to splinting or bandaging.

Exposure: How long has it been since the injury took place? Are they becoming chilled or hypothermic? Cold =shock. Putting a warm cover over an injured party ASAP is essential even in hot weather.

The important thing to do now is stay calm and determine what needs to be treated first. If there is copious bleeding indicating probable arterial involvement (this can also be characterized by blood that sprays with each pump of the heart) apply direct pressure and if necessary a tourniquet that can be tightened and released easily. If there is no major bleeding issue, then recheck the airway and breathing. If there is chest deformity and/or other evidence of a collapsed lung, that is the next thing to deal with unless there is now evidence of airway obstruction or the person is not breathing on their own. The former requires clearing the airway, the latter requires rescue breathing. The collapsed lung requires specialized training you can’t get from the internet or a book. Any other injuries can wait. Remember; the brain starts to die after 3 minutes without oxygen. Airway is first unless bleeding is so profuse that not stopping it would mean there would not be enough blood to circulate oxygen.

Back to our fall victim; we have bleeding, limb deformity, confusion and a fall. The fall means we have to have high suspicion of a neck injury and the confusion could be shock or it could indicate a more serious injury such as concussion or a brain bleed. We also have a penetrating injury which may have been an insult to a major artery. This person is seriously injured and qualifies as a trauma patient. Ideally, we would get this person stabilized and out of there ASAP, but that is not an option. Instead, we have to stabilize and create a sheltered space as close to where we area as possible so we can begin to treat the various injuries.

Assuming there are no immediate life threats (Excessive bleeding or collapsed lung/blocked airway) we begin by stabilizing the neck. A towel, shirt or thick cloth of some kind can be rolled and taped carefully in place to accomplish this. Next stabilize and splint any limb deformities so that we can move the victim with the least amount of discomfort to them. Continue to talk to them to assess their mental status. At this point, things get tricky…

People’s first instinct when presented with something sticking out of or through a body part is to remove it. STOP! Don’t do it! Not only is it exactly the wrong thing to do, it could quite possibly be the thing that kills the person. I know it is scary looking and seems like the danger comes from it being stuck in the person, but at this point the person is alive and has survived impalement. Leaving the object embedded is not dangerous at this point; it is actually the safest thing to do. As long as the object is left in place, it is acting to tamponade (stop) the bleeding. That is, it is putting pressure on any lacerated vessels and preventing any major bleeding. Yes there will be some oozing around the injury site, but it will be minimal as compared to what happens should the object be removed. NEVER REMOVE AN IMPALED OR IMBEDDED OBJECT FROM A PUNCTURE WOUND unless you have been trained to handle this procedure. This is another procedure that requires specialized training courses.

But what about infection, you ask? Yes, infection risk is high, but it is not a life threatening problem at this time. A neck injury or brain injury will need prior attention as will the bleeding from the head wound. Antibiotics are something you can give, but not at this time because the victim has a decreased mental status and it is not clear if they can swallow a pill without causing an airway obstruction or aspirating it into a lung.

For the time being, the safest and most efficacious thing to do is to cut both ends of the branch so that your companion can be maneuvered to the sheltered spot. Start with the end of the branch still attached to the tree and try to keep the arm as immobile as you can while doing so to minimize pain. You can then trim the protruding opposite side.

Don’t cut the ends short. Leave enough to be able to grasp both ends firmly to assist removal when it is time. Use your gauze or Ace wrap to secure the branch so that it moves as little as possible during transport to avoid causing undo pain.

Continue to monitor the ABC’s and mental status and address what need to be done ASAP. Once you have done as much as you can, find a way to get this person out of there and to an emergency care center as quickly as possible otherwise, they will likely not survive for very long.

This all started out as a fall but resulted in multiple injuries placing your companion in danger of dying. With the proper training, you could swing the odds much more in favor of a good outcome. So before you buy that cool medical kit, or put one together on your own, get out there and get trained. If you know someone who has been trained and can teach you the emergency survival techniques you’ll need, ask them to teach you. Meanwhile there are a multitude of courses in first aid, tactical lifesaving, wilderness emergency medicine, survival medicine and CPR. Don’t forget to look into classes that teach herbal remedies. Know what plants can ease pain or prevent infection, they may be the only medications you’ll have available.

So go out and get prepared. Learn.


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)

When it comes to prepping, there is a lot of talk about what material needs we should have on hand. A bug-out bag, freeze-dried food, water, transportation, first-aid kit, weapons

You can wipe that smile off your face because I ain’t going to teach you how to make a real grenade. Apart from the fact that they’re illegal, which means that I will be up to my eyeballs in SWAT the minute I hit the “publish” button, it’s not the topic of today’s article. Remember that scene from Rambo, when John unscrewed the cap of his knife to take out a piece of cloths? Well, that’s exactly what a paracord grenade is – a very small container that comes will all the items you will need to get out of shit hits the fan situation.

So, why is called a paracord grenade if it doesn’t explode? Well, maybe because it’s shaped like a grenade and because having one tied to your belt makes you a bad MF.

Anywho, in my opinion, every prepper should have at least one of these neat accessories. Yes, I am well aware of the fact that your bug out bag has everything you will never need, but you never know what could happen – maybe you’ll lose it, forget to take it or perhaps you may be compelled to abandon it in order to run faster. So, without further ado, here’s how to make your first paracord grenade.

Materials required

For this project, you will need the following items:

  • Survival items of choice. I packed an emergency blanket, a signal mirror, a magnesium rod, two pieces of paper, a small pencil, six Band-Aids, some fishing line, and a small fishing hook.
  • 550 paracords. For this project, I used black and red 550 paracords.
  • Rubber bands.
  • Scissors
  • Paracord fid (they look like regular knitting needles, but they’re used for paracords).
  • Mini carabiner.
  • Aluminum foil.

All done gathering your supplies? Good! Here’s how to make your paracord grenade.

Step-by-step paracord grenade

Step 1. Place some aluminum foil on your work table. Use a knife or a pair of scissors to cut the excess foil.

Step 2. Place your survival items in the center of the tin foil.

Step 3. Fold edges as to create a grenade-shaped package.

Step 4. Tie the black and red paracords to the small carabiner. To ensure that both paracords will be wrapped tightly around the package, use a Larks Head Knot for both of them. If you don’t know how to make this type of knot, check out the video below.

Step 5. Place the carabiner on top of your package. Right now, the red paracord should go on the left of your package, while the black one should run along the right edge of your package.

Step 6. Secure paracords to package by applying two rubber bands right below the mini carabiner.

Step 7. Tie the red and black paracords ends at the bottom of your package. For this, you will need to use a square knot. If you don’t have any clue on how to do that, check out the video below.

Step 8. It’s now time to make the first knot. Now, take the paracord piece on the left side and make an S shape right below the package.

Step 9. Grab the end of the left paracord and get it through the loop that’s on the left side.

Step 10. Now pull until there’s no more slack. Leave the loop on your right side for the time being.

Step 11. To close the loop on your left side, you will need to grab and pull the upper part of the loop that on your right side.

Step 12. Now you can pull the upper part of your right loop to close the left one.

Step 13. To cover the rest of the package’s surface with black paracord, make several Solomon knots. If you don’t know how to do them, watch the video below.

Step 14. Once the entire surface is covered, start the second pass using your red paracord. Follow the steps above to add another layer of paracord. When you’re done, use a square knot to secure the red paracord to the mini carabiner.

Step 15. Attach the paracord grenade to your belt or bug out bag, and you’re done.

Additional considerations on the paracord grenade

Keep in mind that the paracord grenade can be used only once – just like a regular grenade. If you run into trouble, undo the knots, take out the items inside, and save the paracords for later use. I wouldn’t recommend attempting to make a paracord grenade in the field because it’s a time-consuming process.

Now, if the above-mentioned steps seem too difficult, you can use one type of paracord instead of two. The process is the same: start with a square knot at the base of the mini carabiner, Solomon knots all around, and finish up with another square one.

As far as the contents of the paracord grenade are concerned, you’re free to add or remove items. When I first did this project, I used the same items as John Rambo. One thing I forgot to add was a firestarter. Of course, the magnesium rod is important, but you can also try to add things like a bit of char cloth wrapped around in plastic or even a wad of steel wool. Think of it this way: the paracord grenade mirrors the prepper’s personality. Your bug out bag contains all items needed in the field, but this small container should pack only those items you can do without.

Another thing to keep in mind is to add some sort of protection for sharp or pointy items. For instance, if you want to pack a pocket knife or fishing hooks, wrap them in some tissue paper or cloth before putting them inside the package. If you want to weatherproof your package, place your items inside some plastic wrap first before packing them in aluminum foil. You may also want to add some dental floss in case the paracord is too big.

That’s basically it on how to create a paracord grenade. What’s your take on my little DIY? Hit the comments section and let me know.

You can wipe that smile off your face because I ain’t going to teach you how to make a real grenade. Apart from the fact that they’re illegal, which means

Under the spring sun amid a cool breeze you are probably looking over your garden at the many small sprouts or purchased plants that are in the ground. It might seem like you are years away from harvest. The truth is Spring is the time of rapid harvest.

Spring plants come up quick and they can be very prolific. When you start to think about it you might start considering a simple, easy cellar for your spring harvest.

Some of the first plants to harvest are things like English peas and radish. They are both unique because they do not can or preserve well. If you have a generous harvest of these, you might be interested in a means of storing them long term. Radish being a root vegetable means they are great stored int a root cellar.

Garlic, new potatoes, asparagus and turnip greens are all things that have very short season to harvest. If you planted your garlic in the fall you are gonna be into a serious harvest of garlic in a hurry. Sure, you can store that harvest in your cabinets, or you can create a simple root cellar to store that garlic for months.

How Much Space for an Easy Cellar

The best part about building an easy cellar is that you can do it any way you’d like. Basically, you can build your root cellar the size you need to be effective. Are you going to use this cellar just for food storage, that’s a great idea!

Roots like carrots, potatoes and turnips can last over 6 months if you have built your root cellar properly. They are that effective.

Even small urban homesteads can section off enough land to make an easy root cellar. It also doesn’t have to be incredibly expensive. If you have a harvest to store its in your best interest to consider a root cellar.

Don’t forget, you have summer harvest right around the corner.

What About That Summer Harvest?

Maybe you’re not intimidated by that spring harvest. Perhaps you just eat all that fresh food and you don’t have much left. That could be the case. Some people are wild about those baby greens like arugula.

That said, once those zucchinis, squash, pumpkins, tomatoes and cucumbers start popping up things get crazy in a hurry. We are all guilty of leaving the zucchini plant for too long and then returning to find a blimp of a vegetable waiting for you.

The summer gets out of hand in a hurry. Before you know it, you are giving bags of produce away and you are sick of eating all that great food you grew.

That is because you haven’t a place to store that food long term or even a place to store all that canned ratatouille and tomato sauce.

Don’t forget, a root cellar is not only a great place to store root vegetables but also canned foods. Storing your canned tomato sauce and pickles in the root cellar will both save you space inside and give a new space for storing other things.

How About Even More Storage?

Don’t just start digging a hole. Get yourself some proper instruction. Easy Cellar by Tom Griffith is filled with tips on how to build an underground root cellar and even an emergency bunker!

This resource is designed for those of you who are looking to take the first steps in building and managing their own root cellar. There are also some other perks.

  • How to effectively store your food supply for 3 months to prevent them from spoiling.
  • How to effectively store water to enable your family to have access to clean water for months.

Don’t forget, this storage situation also means that you are going to be able to store even more things in your root cellar. If you are considering a root cellar maybe you also have dried food storage. Well, no one has room for all that dried food storage.

A root cellar keeps a nice consistent temperature and is a great way to store that long term food storage. What other preps can you store in a root cellar? Well, its up to you. Truth is Easy Cellar is a powerful resource for the preparedness minded individual and it comes with a free bonus that will teach you how to survive a nuclear disaster, just in case.

Now is the time to take action and get these building projects under way. The beauty of the root cellar is that your walls and floor is made for you already. Aside from some framing you have most of the cellar built for you by nature!

Conclusion

We all know that there are several reasons to grow more of your own food. From price to pesticide there has never been a better time to expand your food sourcing efforts. You will be amazed at the difference a few fruit trees; 6 chickens and an expansion of that garden can have on your life.

But what’s the point of all that if you don’t have a means to store all that extra food. Learning how to can, preserve and having a place to store that extra food is a crucial part of the process. That is where that root cellar comes in.

Even if you don’t live on 20 acres it doesn’t mean you wouldn’t benefit from a little more climate controlled storage space. With a little help on the DIY build you can make that happen in your own yard or on your property.

There is a lot to consider before digging in residential areas so be sure you do some research on this process. However, once you get the go ahead, you are going to be on your way to some serious storage space and a more self-reliant lifestyle.


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)

The summer gets out of hand in a hurry. Before you know it, you are giving bags of produce away and you are sick of eating all that great food