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Oatmeal – Jazzing Up the Ubiquitous Prepper Cereal

Being inexpensive, rolled oats can help us save money now, and it’s a good one to stock up on for the same reasons – cheap, filling and full of endurance-granting slow-release energy. I’m not a big fan of “just” oatmeal as a hot cereal. It’s just … well, boring. Too, I anticipate plenty enough spoon-and-bowl meals from beans and rice, boiled wheat or barley, or soups in a crisis, whether it’s a personal crisis or a widespread disaster. I’d rather avoid more as much as possible. The humble rolled oats tub actually helps me there in a big way.

Using mostly things that are also already in my storage or that are easy and inexpensive to obtain, I can churn out desserts, snacks, sides, dinners and breakfasts that are interesting and varied, and don’t really taste like oatmeal. Oatmeal also has a lot of soothing and absorption properties that gives it some handy topical uses.

Using Oatmeal to Extend Meats & Meals

Mix in flakes of oatmeal and-or lentils and ground beans to extend things like meatloaf, meatballs and the hamburger in stews. Oats also make a fabulous replacement for breadcrumbs that would be used as binding or for coating meats.

Add it into Stovetop or homemade bread dressing or stuffing to increase the healthy fibers and calories, and the feelings of satiety from meals.

 

Grind coarsely or finely and add to flours for bannock, breads, muffins, and biscuits. Zucchini bread, carrot cake and other sweets can take as much as a quarter of the flour in oats without a significant change in texture or flavor. Pancakes, pie crusts, dumplings, cookies and cobblers can all have part of the flour replaced, especially with oats processed to a fine powder.

Fifty-fifty mixes or greater will be far more noticeable and may require additional liquids, but it also increases the heartiness of foods, helps us feel fuller and keep that satisfaction longer over stripped bleached flours especially, gives us healthier, natural arcs of energy, and lowers the glycemic index of foods while helping stomachs process.

Ground oatmeal can also be used to thicken soups, stews and gravy, just like ground beans or lentils that are too old to soak up water efficiently.

Easy Non-Cereal Recipes

Oatmeal has a lot of applications for cooking, without resorting to a bowl of hot cereal. Most of them can be done with a Dutch oven, campfire, rocket stove, or a solar oven or Wonderbag cooker if we don’t have access to our stoves and ovens.

Ash cakes can be made out of pretty much any flour. Using some salt, milk, egg or fats will improve flavor, but the bare-bones way of doing it is to mix just a little water at a time with flour or meal – or in this case, oats – until we can form a patty, then flopping it onto a cooler section of ash. Rolled oats will do best if they’re ground to a flour or if they’re allowed to soak a bit first. As a plain, just-salted version, they make a bread we can have with soups or meats. A little sugar or fruits, and we’re getting closer to a cookie. Alternatively, we can top them with honey or jams, fruits, sweetened cream, or something like a chili or bean medley.

Baked Oatmeal Muffins – A basic recipe with add-in’s for interest and variety is here https://brendid.com/healthy-oatmeal-muffins-no-flour-no-sugar-no-oil/ along with additional links. You can also find dozens of recipes as simple or complicated as you like, with and without other flours and oils, with just about any search. They turn oats into a fast, easy finger food that’s readily portable.

No-Bake Cookies are a staple in some lives. With just a few ingredients and few utensils dirtied, we can use up our oats to satisfy cravings for a fork or finger food as well as a sweet treat. Given the speed with which they disappear as either drop clusters or sliced squares at BSA and adult gatherings these days, during a disaster they’ll be a for-sure hit.

Oatmeal bars can be found as Amish Baked Oatmeal or other standard baked oatmeal, such as this one http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/baked-oatmeal. Oatmeal can also be turned into homemade granola bars. They’re out there in the internet world as soft chewy bars or crunchy options. All of them are adaptable to the fruits, nuts and seeds we have on hand or prefer. There are also homemade granola bars that make use of cereals that store well such as Rice Krispies, Cheerios, or Chex, which can increase the variety even more.

Crunchy granola clusters like this one that has healthier ingredients and a few extra steps and this one that uses lower-cost and easy-to-source ingredients with fewer steps in the process have a lot of versatility. There’s a lot to be said for the ability to turn out a nice snacking portion while using up inexpensive oats, today and later. And, if you’re giddy for it, making mini clusters to throw in as a homemade cold cereal can help provide a different breakfast meal even with a spoon.

Fruit crisps – A basic oatmeal crisp recipe such as this one has a lot of versatility, both now and during a personal crisis or a widespread disaster. We can use it with any pie filling we have, or regular canned fruits we strain or thicken the syrups. We can also use it to make stuffed apples, pears or peaches. It can go over cubed, mashed or pureed pumpkin or sweet potatoes as well, or can be used as a topper for a baked sweet potato. Oatmeal crisp is pretty versatile and forgiving, so we can add a quarter to a half extra oats to our recipe if we want a somewhat heartier and healthier version, or just to help us use up a few more of our rolled oats.

 

Cookies, Pizzas & Pie Crusts – Cookies are pretty cool as they are. Made thick and gooey, they can be a pretty hearty dessert by topping with dried or canned fruit or pie filling, with or without heavy or whipped cream. We can spread them out in a pie pan to make a quickie crust, use a crisp recipe for a pie crust, or we can bake them as a big, wide cookie to then slice up as a dessert pizza topped with cream cheese, frosting or glaze and then whatever fruit, nuts or morsels floats our boat.

Southern Oatmeal Cake – There are numerous versions of oatmeal cakes, although they’re pretty similar. It’s not the prettiest dish in the lineup, but it’s gooey happiness that can satisfy our sweet tooth without enormous expense. For an easier version that’s more storage friendly or to create some variety, we can alternate the topping with tubs of German chocolate cake frosting, reduced sweetened condensed milk, or just honey if coconut isn’t available. It’s also pretty darn nummy just with some heavy cream, whole milk, whipped cream, or clotted cream on top.

Fried Oatmeal is like fried grits. It starts with the cereal we all know, then it gets packed in a glass or a lined bowl, chilled so it sets up, and later, gets turned out and sliced, then fried in grease, butter or oil. The amount or depth of oil in the pan can change the texture some. The size of the slice both in thickness and width-by-height can affect whether it’s a plate meal like pancakes or if it can be picked up like happy French toast fingers for a non-spoon meal. As with pancakes, waffles and French toast, the topping options become endless – fried “dippy” eggs, sweetened syrups or fruits, chocolate or strawberry milk syrup, cinnamon sugar, and sausage bits and honey are favorites in our house. Chopped nuts can be included in the cereal or added on top for a little bit more texture yet.

For additional ideas about using oatmeal, do a search for savory recipes. Even when it’s served as a bowl of hot cereal, inclusions like grated radish, sprouts, fish, and tomatoes and peppers can increase the variety we’re seeing with our rolled oats and help prevent fatigue from them.

Oats Outside the Kitchen

We can really feel our oats sometimes. Probably most of us have already seen or use – possibly regularly – a product that makes use of some of oats’ best qualities. Just as oatmeal is a pretty soothing and mild option for breakfast, it has a lot of uses externally, too.

Oats can be added to bathwater or used as a paste to relieve:

  • Dry, itchy skin (for animals, too)
  • Bug bites
  • Burns & sunburn

It can also be added to soaps for its soothing qualities, or turned into an exfoliating scrub.

Combined with baking soda, we can use ground oatmeal flour as a dry shampoo, scrubbing it in with our fingers, then brushing it out. The two absorb oils and relieve any itching, which can be an excellent low-weight and inexpensive option during sweaty garden seasons should water be in limited supply.

That dry shampoo can also safely be used on cats and dogs, to save money on no-rinse shampoos, to avoid stressing a pet with a shower bath, to treat flea or grass allergies, or to avoid getting them wet in cold weather.

Satchels & Sachets

When we don’t really want to turn a bath into an oatmeal pot to scrub, or don’t have a tub available, we can make little balls of rolled oats, with or without additives like baking soda or herbs and oils to gain relief from skin irritations. We can use them in showers, baths, creeks, or just dampened and dabbed on affected areas.

Those, too, can be used on our pets to treat hot spots, bites, and irritated skin.

Satchels of rolled oats can also be used to:

  • Absorb odors in shoes, closets, bags, coolers
  • Absorb moisture from containers before sealing, or sealed with important items

Heat relieves some of the discomfort from cramps, headaches and muscle pains. Pouches can also be filled with warmed dry oatmeal to create in-the-glove or pocket hand-warmers.

Using Up Oats

Oats are a major part of prepper food storage kits because they’re inexpensive. They store well, last well past supermarket best-by dates, have a lot of health benefits for the gut and cardiovascular system, and the fiber and whole grains of rolled oats help us feel full for longer as well as provide slow-release energy that can keep us moving through long days of work or travel.

Happily, they’re also pretty versatile, and with a little creativity we can use them to stretch our budgets now as well as increase our food storage.

There are probably fifty million more recipes out there for making oats without a steaming bowl and spoon, from breads to desserts. There are probably another dozen helpful ways to use it up outside the kitchen. These are just a few of my favorites, due to the ease or the effectiveness of them. Feel free to tag on your additional favorite non-cereal-bowl recipes and uses outside the kitchen.


Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

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

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Oatmeal – Jazzing Up the Ubiquitous Prepper Cereal Being inexpensive, rolled oats can help us save money now, and it’s a good one to stock up on for the same reasons

I was inspired to write this post while watching my favorite TV show, the Walking Dead. My wife and I only watch one TV show and this one, while I know it doesn’t appeal to everyone, is great in my opinion. It isn’t that I believe that flesh eating zombies are in our future, but the writing is creative and the scenarios the characters face are exactly the same (minus the walking dead) as any apocalyptic vision you can imagine. Take out the zombies and imagine a world after an economic collapse or pandemic and you would have similar problems as the characters in this show I think.

I got the idea to write about makeshift grills from a recent episode. All cooking that happens in the Walking Dead is usually done over an open flame. If we have TEOTWAWKI we will all need to be more resourceful. Even if the whole world isn’t thrown for a SHTF loop, natural disasters like the 2011 Fukushima Tsunami victims pictured above demonstrate the need to improvise from time to time. Below are a series of photographs that I found illustrating several creative methods for cooking without the benefit of a stove top range or what we all might be faced with at some point and find ourselves cooking when the grid goes down.

One of my favorite ways to see a shopping cart used.

A lot of these images share common traits and those are a source of heat which is usually wood or charcoal, a fire containment device to hold the combustibles and a grilling surface. You can see the resourceful use of the shopping cart in this case.

Simple bricks perform double duty as fire containment and rest for the pan.

If you have a cooking pan like a cast iron grill, you can forgo the shopping cart and simply use bricks to rest your pan on.

Surplus shelving also works in a pinch.

There are lots of options for a grilling surface and you can see what looks like a simple cookie sheet in this photo that is suspended over stainless steel shelving. Another resourceful use of materials and you can see the grill has been placed on sticks. Yet another great use for that survival knife. The cooler of beer is a welcome plus too if you have it and makes those beer brats taste even better.

Who needs bricks when you have rocks?

Need to grill that fresh fish you caught but you don’t have a frying pan or bricks? No worries! This man has grabbed what looks like a grill screen and placed it over some rocks that are surrounding his fire. The spatula is a plus but a knife or even a good stick works in a pinch.

Convert that seldom used fire-pit to Grill master.

Many of us have one of those fire pits that we purchase with the idea of sitting on the back porch with a fire blazing away as we all gather around with marshmallows or our favorite adult beverage. Yes, I have one but I can probably count on one hand the number of times we have actually used this in the last two years. At any rate, if I needed to, this makes a great grilling surface as well. You can use charcoal or I would probably use wood, throw that oven grate over the top and start cooking your hot dogs. Adult beverages optional.

Don’t have a grill? Use aluminum baking pans instead.

You can also use those disposable aluminum baking pans to keep your charcoals in. I don’t know how many uses you could get out of this method and you would want to ensure the bottom is well insulated (nice use of cinder blocks here) but the concept is the same.

50 gallon drum slow cooker.

This person probably had a little more time to set up their grill, but with the right equipment (cutting torch or a lot of time with a hacksaw) you could convert those old 50 gallon barrels you have lying around your yard into a perfect grill. Grab some of that unused fencing from the garden and you are all set to cook up those steaks that will go bad now that the power is out.

Forget a grill, we have a wheel-barrel.

This guy looks like he knows how to party! And he is creative too. Now if you don’t like where your grill is positioned (like maybe too close to the dog house), you can simply move it. What a great use of his wheel-barrel to contain the fire and hold the grill surface too. Bonus is that he can roll the ashes over to the garden when he is finished!

Creative support options.

This guy isn’t going to let one missing leg get in the way of his having some good eating and when he is done, the coffee water will be ready for a nice hot cup! Notice the metal sheeting used to place the coals or wood on as opposed to having them directly on the ground. I believe he is soaking the ground with water first.

So, do you have any creative makeshift grill ideas that you have used before?


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

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I was inspired to write this post while watching my favorite TV show, the Walking Dead. My wife and I only watch one TV show and this one, while I

From simple sunburns to touching that hot item on the stove, or reaching into the over too quickly most of us have been burned to varying degrees. In their most minor form, burns seldom require much attention, the pain is brief and we go on with our lives.

Everything changes if we have a survival situation or disaster for two main reasons. First is that the likelihood you could receive a more serious burn is increased. If we have a total loss of power, you may be forced to cook over open flames. In most disasters, we have some element of fire that you may need to contend with. In a real grid-down scenario you could easily get scalded when you are trying to boil your water to make sure it is safe for consumption or any one of hundreds of different possibilities. There could be accidents dealing with using fuel such as gas to power your emergency generator.

The second factor is that access to medical attention might be slow or even impossible. When you can’t run to the Emergency Room or the neighborhood clinic, the responsibility for medical care may rest on your shoulders. Knowing how to recognize and treat burns is a medical skill that everyone in your family should have.

Burns and Treatments based on their severity

1st-degree burn

A first-degree burn is the least serious of the type of burns you can receive and it affects only the top layer of the skin, called epidermis. Signs of a first-degree burn include: redness of the skin, slight swelling, pain.

These burns can be treated at home and they heal in a week.

How to treat them:

  • First, you need to run the burn under cool water for 10 minutes
  • Then, pat the burn dry with a clean cloth or a paper towel
  • At the end, cover the burn with a sterile (non-sticking) bandage

!!!DO NOT:

  • Place ice on the burn because it reduces the circulation to the area
  • Use fats or food products because this will only trap the heat inside the burn
  • Apply cotton wool as it will stick to the wound and can cause an infection

 

2nd -degree burns

2nd-degree burn

A second-degree burn is more serious than the first as it affects both the top layer (epidermis) but also the second layer of the skin, called the dermis. They can range from mild to severe and can be treated at home or by a medical doctor depending on the severity of it. The 2nd-degree burns have an intense redness, develop blisters and there is a severe pain and swelling.

How to treat them:

  • Apply the steps from the 1st-degree burns
  • If the blister breaks, clean the area with warm water and a mild soap
  • Also, protect the burned area from the sunlight because the burned skin is more sensitive to direct sunlight
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever when needed

!!!DO NOT:

  • All the don’t from 1st-degree burns
  • Burst or pop the blister because this increases the risk of infection. (the blister forms as a protective mechanism for the burned skin)

3rd-degree burns

Are the most serious as they can damage both layers of the skin but also the tissue, hair follicles or sweat glands that can be found under the skin. These can appear white, black or brown, charred and there can be no pain as a result of the nerve being damaged. These wounds heal with severe scarring and contracture.

How to treat them:

  • First, stop the burning process
  • Never attempt to self-treat a third-degree burn
  • Call 911
  • While waiting for medical help
    • raise the burnt area above heart level if possible
    • apply a damp, cool, clean cloth to the burnt area
    • lie flat, raise the feet, and keep the rest of the body warm to prevent shock
    • extra fluids are needed to maintain blood pressure and prevent shock

People with third-degree burns need urgent medical attention!!!

!!!DO NOT:

  • try to treat 3rd-degree burns by yourself

4th, 5th, and 6th-degree burns

These are very severe because the damages go deep into the body. They can reach fat, muscles, joints, and bones. People with these higher-level burns need immediate medical attention. An injury of this degree may result in the loss of the burnt body part.

Major Burns

How to treat them:

  • Never attempt to self-treat a third-degree burn. Call 911 and wait for professional help!!!!
  • First, stop the fire
  • Remove the clothes. if they can’t be removed then make sure the victim is not in contact with smoldering material
  • If the victim has stopped breathing or his/her airway is blocked, open the airway and perform rescue breathing and CPR as needed.
  • Cover the burn area with a moist, cool sterile bandage or clean cloth. Be careful not to break burn blisters.
  • Separate the victim’s fingers and toes with dry, sterile, non-adhesive bandages.
  • Until medical help arrives, continue to monitor victims’ pulse, rate of breathing and blood pressure if possible.

!!!DO NOT:

  • try to treat 3rd-degree burns by yourself
  • do not put ice on the burn
  • all the steps from 1st-degree burn also apply here

I hope you will never have to use this, but you never know so please read this more than once.

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Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

Healthy Soil + Healthy Plants = Healthy You

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

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

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

Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps

 

From simple sunburns to touching that hot item on the stove, or reaching into the over too quickly most of us have been burned to varying degrees. In their most

I wanted to share this bean and rice survival soup recipe, because it’s an inexpensive and easy one to prep, store, and make when you’re ready to use it. Once it’s in the jar and stored, you will only need water and heat to have a hearty bowl of soup loaded with carbohydrates and proteins.

A great perk of this recipe is that it’s highly adaptable. You don’t like rice? Simply omit it. Or, you want it spicy and full of robust flavor? Add your choice of seasonings to the jar, which I will get into greater detail further down in the article.

Another way to adapt this recipe is the batch size. The first instructions I am about to share is for a large batch, which makes it appealing to preppers for survival because it makes about 270 meals for under $300. Based on a 2000-calorie per day recommendation, and assuming it’s the only available edible item in sight, it’s approximately 90 days worth of meals for one person.

Read more: Healthy Soil + Healthy Plants = Healthy You

I’m also going to share a much smaller batch that can be made for around $10-15, give or take a couple dollars. The cost will depend on what you add or omit, as well as the cost of groceries in your area. I will be demonstrating the smaller batch in photos.

Bean and Rice Survival Soup

First, the basic recipe for the large batch:

  • 4 20-pound bags of white rice
  • 22 1-pound bags of red kidney beans
  • 22 1-pound bags of barley
  • 22 1-pound bags of lentils
  • 6 1-pound bags of green split peas
  • 6 1-pound bags of chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)
  • 30 pounds of dry bouillon (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
  • Seasonings of choice (example: garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, or other dried spices and herbs)

And, the smaller batch recipe:

  • 2/3 cup kidney beans
  • 2 cup barley
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1/4 cup green split peas
  • 1/4 cup chickpeas
  • 1 1/2 cup rice
  • Bouillon (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
  • *Seasonings of your choice

This all fits in 2 individual quart jars.

*The seasonings I chose (per quart jar) was 2 bouillon cubes, 1 teaspoon of salt, about 1 tablespoon of dried onions, about 1 tablespoon of dried celery flakes, 1 teaspoon tarragon, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and 2 teaspoons of garlic powder. For the record, this is a relatively bland batch of seasonings. If you like spice and bold flavor, add more according to your own liking.

Now, that you have an idea what goes in it…what is the best way to store it?

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

Prepping For Storage

The prep is the same for both size batches, and is as follows:

#1. Mix all the beans in a large container.

Bean and Rice Survival Soup

#2. Fill a mason jar just under half way.

Bean and Rice Survival Soup

#3. Put 1-1.5 cups of rice in a baggie, then add the bag to the jar, leaving enough room to add a baggie of seasoning. The reason to separate the rice and seasoning is because the beans need to cook much longer than the rice, and this will allow you to add the rice later avoiding mushy rice.

Bean and Rice Survival Soup

#4. Place the seasonings and bouillon you choose into a little baggie. Separating the spices also allows you to remove expired seasonings and replace them.

Bean and Rice Survival Soup

Bean and Rice Survival Soup

To make an individual pot of soup from this recipe, you will need the ingredients in the jar, and at least 3 quarts of water. Then follow these easy directions:

#1. Pour the water into your pot and place on a heat source.

Bean and Rice Survival Soup

#2. Add the beans to the water.

Bean and Rice Survival Soup

#3. Empty your seasoning packet, a little at a time if you prefer to taste as you go.

Bean and Rice Survival Soup

#4. Cover and simmer on a low heat, until the beans are soft, about 1 to 1.5 hours.

Bean and Rice Survival Soup

#5. Then add the rice, and simmer for another 20 minutes, or until done.

Bean and Rice Survival Soup

The finished soup is fairly thick. If you prefer a more brothy soup, add an additional quart of water in the beginning. But, I would then also add more seasonings as well.

Bean and Rice Survival Soup

Shelf Life of the Ingredients

Keep in mind the shelf life for all ingredients that you add, such as:

  • Dried beans – 10 years to indefinitely (depending who you believe)
  • White rice – 4-5 years, unless vacuum sealed (then about 10 years)
  • Spices – most ground, dried, or whole spices are good for 2-5 years

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

So, as long as you separating the dried spices from the beans and rice, the above recipes should last a minimum of 2 years, depending on the spice.

However, there is no need to toss the entire batch. After 2-5 years, just change out the seasonings and start over for the expiration date.

If you do not want to store the batches in quart jars, you can also place the batches in quart or gallon size baggies. However, critters can get through bags much easier than glass jars. So, make sure to store the bags of ingredients in an airtight storage bin.

Optional Additions to the Soup

If circumstances allow, you can always add fresh ingredients, such as meat or veggies. Personally, I like a good ham added to bean soup.

But, if you’re in survival mode, that might not be an option. So, having more seasonings in the jar will allow for more flavor to develop, and you might not even miss the meat.

And, even though it will be an abundance of bean and rice soup, altering the seasonings between the batches will give you a bit of variety, which is especially nice if you are truly in a state of survival and don’t have anything else to eat.

However, having batches of this on hand is also great for the temporary survival situations, such as a bad storm knocking your power out for a week or two. One jar, a pot, water, and a source of heat is all you need to eat inexpensively and healthy for a while.


Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

Healthy Soil + Healthy Plants = Healthy You

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

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns

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

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

Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps

I wanted to share this bean and rice survival soup recipe, because it’s an inexpensive and easy one to prep, store, and make when you’re ready to use it. Once

For many preppers, a firearm is a must-have item for dealing with the aftermath of a potential SHTF or grid-down event. Firearms in the hands of properly trained individuals can prevent as well as cause death, so their use and acquisition isn’t something to be taken lightly. We routinely talk about firearms under the security category when I am mentioning the 4 things you should focus on when you are prepping, but simply having a weapon isn’t the end. You can check the box on having a firearm in your SHTF arsenal, but to be better prepared, you should look at what else needs to be planned for with that firearm to ensure that tool doesn’t become an expensive paperweight shortly after you need it.

Don’t get me wrong; just the fact that you have a firearm and a box of ammo is an advantage should you be called on to protect or defend your life, but history has shown us in order to be more fully prepared, there are other considerations that you need to account for and these topics are what I wanted to bring up today on the Prepper Journal. What are all of the other things you need to consider for your safety and protection that you may need to maintain that firearm and conversely your ability to protect yourself if the grid goes down?

Why do you need weapons if the grid goes down?

Before we get into the SHTF weapons checklist, I wanted to briefly paint a picture for you. Some disaster has happened and society is in chaos. Let’s take the example of an economic collapse which as I discussed the other day is a real and tangible threat our country faces. When millions (more) are out of work, services are cut and there are shortages on food, gasoline, power and protective services of police, people will get angry. Once they are angry, people will get desperate and once people get desperate, you better watch out.

A firearm is only a tool, but it is a tool designed to inflict mortal damage on your opponent. In the case of a desperate individual breaking into your home, would you rather have a firearm or harsh language? For me personally, I want firearms to be a tool my family has at our disposal in a case just like this. Above all things, I hope I never am forced to use a firearm in defense of my life or the lives of anyone in my care, but the pragmatist in me doesn’t believe for a second that people are always good deep down. I know people can be evil and act in ways that are dangerous. To believe anything else is foolish I believe so I prepare for evil and dangerous people while hoping I will never see that.

What are the best weapons for SHTF?

So if you are still hanging with me by now and don’t already have a firearm, you might be asking what are the best weapons to have on you in a STFT scenario. This question can be answered many different ways and I have actually written on this subject before. If I am looking holistically at an array of weapons you need for many different STHF scenarios, I would make similar recommendations as in our Top 5 Firearms You Need To Get Your Hands On Now, but this is an ideal scenario, not just what is necessary.

I have also recommended a shotgun as the best weapon for home defense under the assumption that if you only had time/money to purchase one weapon, what would that be. For a SHTF scenario, I think I have changed my mind somewhat on the best single weapon to a pistol. I read a post from FerFal who has his own blog. Ferfal lived through the Argentinian economic crisis and he makes a compelling case for the pistol as the best weapon for SHTF and I tend to agree with him. The main reason is that a pistol over any rifle or shotgun is highly concealable. Even if there is an economic collapse, life won’t immediately turn into Mad Max so as FerFal rightly proposes, you will still have to function in society for some time before you can whip out your camo outfit and go running down the streets geared up for battle.

The right pistol can be used for home defense easily and as I mentioned above, you can take it outside with you concealed so you can also have protection away from your home. I do still think that ideally you would have more weapon options, but a pistol would seem to be a priority for living in the immediate aftermath of any SHTF fallout.

What else do you need for SHTF?

OK, so for the rest of this article we are going to assume you have procured a SHTF weapon of some form, likely a pistol but what else would you need? A firearm is just a tool like I said and that tool needs several things to function ideally in bad situations for a long time. When we are talking about SHTF, you aren’t getting much worse than that and we will also assume a trip to Walmart or your local Sporting Goods store is out of the question.

Do you have supplies to keep your firearms clean after SHTF?

Ammo – Any weapon you have is going to need ammo and many people have asked me how much ammo do you need. Each person has to answer this question for themselves. I know some preppers who will say you can never have too much ammo. These people plan to not only never worry about running out, but logically state that ammo will be more valuable than precious metals after a collapse. Selco, who runs SHTFSchool.com and who lived through the Bosnian War where his city was under siege for years wrote that he personally gave all his gold for ammunition. Now, he says he keeps 2000 rounds per weapon. Your mileage may vary but consider how much ammo you need if you can never go to the store again. How much do you think you would need for one week? For one month? For one year? Purchase Hollow-points for damage and ball for practice.

Cleaning supplies – Sometimes we overlook how many weapon cleaning supplies you might need. Imagine the worst scenario. Do you have enough cleaning supplies for your weapons to last? Do you have a portable weapon cleaning kit? Do you have all of the right brushes for your various bore sizes? Do you have spare oil and cleaning solvent?

Magazines – Most new pistols will come with one or two magazines, but what if you lose one? What if during the chaos of a firefight, home invasion or attempted car-jacking you have to change magazines and in the panic, leave one on the ground that you aren’t able to find? Do you have spares to replace what could be lost? What about your AR-15? Do you have enough magazines for a load out and spares to replace those if you have to ditch your gear for some reason?

Holsters – This is one thing I think most people overlook and that is a good holster for your pistol. Sticking this down your pants isn’t the ideal way to carry concealed so a good holster is really important to have if you plan on carrying that firearm around with you. I would opt for a good concealed holster first and then get your go to war holster if you need one after that. Most people will only ever need a good concealable holster.

Spare parts – Things break all the time and you won’t be able to log on to Amazon.com to get 2-day free shipping in order to be resupplied after SHTF. You can now purchase spare parts for your weapons online easily so it may make sense to have spare parts on common items that may need replacing(if any) on your model of firearm . One of the reasons I like sticking to one weapons platform is that parts are interchangeable in many cases. I am partial to Glock so some of my magazines, all component parts and some barrels are interchangeable with different Glock weapons I own.

Training – Training is crucial because even if you have the best firearm in the world, pallets of ammunition and enough spare parts to last a lifetime, you still need to know how to use that weapon. Training at a minimum should enable you to safely use the weapon to hit what you are aiming at. You should be comfortable reloading ammunition, changing magazines, clearing jams or malfunctions and taking the weapon apart and putting it back together for cleanings. There are all forms of advanced tactical training courses out there too, but know the basics first.

I think that if you have a plan to keep a firearm for self-defense and you foresee a situation where you could be putting this weapon to use in a bad scenario, you should consider the checklist above. Do you have these bases covered? Did I miss anything?


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For many preppers, a firearm is a must-have item for dealing with the aftermath of a potential SHTF or grid-down event. Firearms in the hands of properly trained individuals can