Home2020 (Page 13)

Your list of home remedies is about to get even more interesting and spicier. Although these natural herbs are have been used hundreds of years, doctors and scientists are now recommending them to be used for healing purposes. These natural medical resources can be easily substituted as traditional methods of medication. The plants have capabilities to heal and reduce cholesterol, high blood pressure and arthritis pain to name a few. Some of the best healing herbs even have the ability to treat cancer cells and also help alcoholics to curb their drinking habit.

The natural medical resources or herbs and other natural remedies are as effective as traditional treatments. In some cases, they are even more effective without any side effects. Here are some of the best medical resources that you can get from nature. These super-healers can be added into your natural medicine or herbal products cabinet along with your favorite recipes. Fitting a few of them in your daily routine can be beneficial for the body.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is native to southern Asia

Turmeric contains anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous properties. Whoever thought an ingredient used for taste in curry can help to relieve pain? This spice which is popular for its use in curry contains curcumin that helps to treat arthritis. Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory and an important element that works just like Cox-2 inhibitors drugs to reduce the Cox-2 enzyme which results in the swelling of arthritis.

The herb is known for doing wonders. Another reason why turmeric is popular because it reduces precancerous lesions when taken with quercetin which is found in apples, onions, and cabbage. Turmeric also helps to clear plaques in the brain that are an important characteristic of the disease.

Cinnamon

A recent study on type 2 diabetics showed that taking cinnamon extract every day reduces the blood sugar level in the body by 10%. It reduces risks related to heart and slash cholesterol by about 13%.

1 g capsules of cinnamon extract every day help to tame blood sugar while 1 to 6 g capsules reduce cholesterol. However, a large amount of actual spice is not good for health. Thus, it’s better to stick to water-soluble extract.

Rosemary

Heterocyclic amines or HCAs are some vital carcinogens that are present in several types of cancers. These amines are created after grilling, frying and broiling meat at high temperatures. Rosemary extract which is a common powder mixed in beef after cooking reduces HCA levels in the body.

Rosemary extract also prevents carcinogens from binding with DNA and stops them from entering the body. It is the first step of the formation of tumor and rosemary extracts helps to prevent cancer at an initial stage. Thus, taking rosemary extract will kill carcinogens before they turn into a tumor. This research has been only carried out on animals but the extract has a tendency to prevent cancer.

In order to reduce HCAs in the body, make sure that you add rosemary extract in any spice mix. It will also enhance the taste, making the dish stronger in flavors. You can mix the herb with oregano, parsley, thyme and onions for a perfect mix.

Ginger

Ginger can protect your stomach from various sources including motion sickness, pregnancy, and chemotherapy. This is an old home remedy that we often hear from our mothers and grandmothers. They are right because it really works!

Ginger is a powerful antioxidant that blocks the effects of serotonin in the body. It is a chemical that the stomach and body produce when you feel nausea by stopping the production of free radicals which is also another cause of an upset stomach.

Garlic


High consumption of garlic have cured colorectal and ovarian cancers. People have also experienced a reduction in the number and size of precancerous growths. The benefits of garlic are not only limited to lowering risks of cancer, but it also decreases high blood pressure. There are about 70 active phytochemicals in garlic including allicin that deceases blood pressure by 30 points.

Garlic in your diet slows down the arterial blockages and prevent strokes. Fresh and crushed garlic offers the best cancer-fighting and cardiovascular benefits. However, one should have at least five crushed garlic cloves to enjoy maximum benefits.

Holy Basil

Several animal studies back holy basil, a special variety of the plant you use in your pesto sauce, Holy basil is effective in reducing stress by increasing the noradrenaline and adrenaline along with decreasing serotonin in the body. The herb is also popular to relieve headaches and indigestion. Tea leaves of the holy basil is a great natural resource which is more effective than traditional methods of relieving pain.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera was used in traditional medicine for treating skin disease, constipation, infections, worm infestation and colic. In Chinese medicine, it is popular for treating various fungal diseases. In today’s modern times, the herb is used in various cosmetics to make skin softer.

Surprisingly, Aloe Vera consists of more than 78 active components. Studies have shown that the herb also contains antiviral, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. It builds up the immune system and does not cause any allergic reaction.

FeverFew

FeverFew is a natural herb that has been used over centuries to ease headaches, toothaches, stomach-ache, infertility, menstruation problems and labor during childbirth. The healing effect comes from a biochemical present in the herb known as parthenolides. It fights against the widening of blood vessels during migraines. The herb also prevents blood clots, dizziness, relieve allergies and reduces arthritis pain.

St. John’s Wort

St. Johns Wort herbs are not used to treat the physical symptoms but also used for relieving anxiety and mild to moderate depression. The best thing about it is it works effectively as any other drug without any side-effects.

Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto is used as a supplement consumed by men to treat prostate cancer. It also contributes to several health issues related to men such as hair loss, libido and enlarged prostate. Other than that, it is said to promote relaxation, treat respiratory conditions and boost immune function.

 

The natural medical resources or herbs and other natural remedies are as effective as traditional treatments. In some cases, they are even more effective without any side effects. Here are

Increasingly, people are looking for ways to have more control over the source of their food. They are also looking for ways to make their food supply more sustainable. The answer, for many, is found in aquaponics, a fairly new method of gardening that is quickly becoming popular. Aquaponics gives people a sustainable way to grow their own food at home, regardless of what the soil in their yard may be like.

“Aquaponics is an environmentally friendly route to growing food right at home, in schools, or pretty much anywhere,” explains Sylvia Bernstein, president of The Aquaponic Source, and author of the book “Aquaponics Gardening: A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together” (New Society Publishers, October 2011). “Based on the idea of raising fish to create your own plant fertilizer, it creates a natural food source that can’t be beaten.”

Aquaponics is easy enough for anyone to get involved. Here are some tips for starting an aquaponics garden of your own:

  • Get Educated. Find a trusted source of information, like Bernstein’s book or corresponding online course, to make sure your experience is successful, the first time.
  • Get the right fish. Although you can use a wide variety of fish, you want to stick to freshwater varieties. Determine whether you want to raise the fish for the fun of it or whether you plan to eat them. If you want to include eating the fish in your plans, you may want to opt for raising tilapia. They are the most commonly used fish for aquaponics, they are easy to grow, reproduce readily in captivity, and most people like the way they taste.
  • Pick your plants. When choosing the plants to include, opt for ones that are not acid-loving varieties. Be sure to plant them with their ultimate growth size in mind, so they can each get the sunlight they need.
  • Establish the microbes. Every successful aquaponics system must have a good beneficial bacteria source. This is an essential step that must not be overlooked, or the fish and plants will not be able to live.
  • Add the worms. After a couple of months of having the system up and running, you should add some red worms in order to help break down the fish waste that will be used for fertilizing the plants.
  • Consider other elements. There are other things that need to be considered, including the temperature of the water, which will depend on the type of fish you are raising. Lighting is also important when it comes to growing your plants, although it is not needed for your fish. You will also want to take the size of your tank into consideration, as that will determine just how much you can comfortably grow.
  • Get expert help. When you have questions about getting started, or about maintaining an aquaponic garden, be sure to speak with an expert. The information will be invaluable, helping to ensure that everything is set up correctly and that each garden is successful.

“We love to help people get their system set up,” added Bernstein. “Knowing that someone is getting started on this route to sustainable gardening is a step in the right direction for them, as well as for the planet.”

In addition to Bernstein’s book, she is the owner of The Aquaponic Source center, located in Longmont, Colo., 15 minutes NE of Boulder. The center focuses on all things Aquaponics and features a retail store, education center, and research and development lab. They offer free tours every Saturday at 1:00 and on-site classes, which teach people how to be successful with aquaponics. The retail store sells all of the necessary supplies, including aquaponics systems and aquaponics plumbing.

Increasingly, people are looking for ways to have more control over the source of their food. They are also looking for ways to make their food supply more sustainable. The

‘When the SHTF I am bugging out man’! ‘If the SHTF you will be glad you have one of these’. ‘You won’t be able to do that if the SHTF’. ‘When the SHTF you better be prepared’! If you have been anywhere near prepping, survival, self-sufficiency or emergency preparedness content, movies, TV shows, books or blogs, you have heard someone say a sentence that went roughly like one of those above.

Do you know what everyone means by SHTF?

Just in case there are some of you out there who do not know what this handy little acronym stands for, it is S**t Hits The Fan. When the SHTF basically all hell breaks loose. The exact meaning of SHTF varies by person and sometimes SHTF is used interchangeably with TEOTWAWKI. As in ‘If there is an EMP device exploded over the US it would be TEOTWAWKI’. TEOTWAWKI is another acronym for The End of The World As We Know It which is also used to describe a million different things to different people. One thing we do know though is that when it comes to SHTF or TEOTWAWKI they both mean that bad things happen and most likely our lives will be changed dramatically in some way for some period of time.

I think one of the aspects of prepping has to be with an eye toward a SHTF type of event. We prepare for minor inconveniences like being stranded on the side of the road, or living without power for a couple of days, but with relatively simple steps these two examples are by themselves minor in the grand scheme of things. If you have prepared, there is really nothing to worry about if the power is out. Will you have to adjust and make do? Probably but if you have prepared for a power outage the adjustment could be very minor. Would you be inconvenienced? Most likely, but you will survive.

Most preppers I have talked to are at some point along an arc of preparedness. (I am copyrighting that phrase right now) One end of the arc is no preparedness at all. The other end of the arc is our individual version of being totally prepared or at least extremely prepared. I say extremely prepared because like I have written before; I don’t believe you can ever finish prepping. There should be a point when you are pretty darn set though when you compare yourself to the rest of the world.

The prepared end of the arc is our supplies, skills and gear for really bad things. This is the SHTF that people are preparing for and it is this concept that many are striving for all along. To be actually prepared as well as possible to handle or maybe more accurately, live through a SHTF event. Our preps would ideally help make that possible. The prepared end of the arc deals with Long-term and abundant food storage, plentiful and renewable sources of water, shelter from the elements while at home or in a bug out scenario and survival firearms for each member of your group. Personally, I don’t want to ever need to use my supplies on the ‘Prepared’ end of the Arc but they are there if the time comes.

What does SHTF look like?

And so we get to the big question that I have heard asked a million times. Well, not a million but a lot and that is ‘How will I know when the SHTF’? How will I know when it’s time to bug out and move our family out of harm’s way? How will I know when I need to hunker down, board up the windows and keep watch overnight? The reason so many people want to know this is that they don’t want to be caught unaware. You don’t want to be the last person trying to get out of your town before the roads are too clogged with traffic, or the one who shows up at the grocery store after they have taken everything except the mops back in housewares. Anyone who is prepping for SHTF is doing so because we want to avoid it as much as possible so knowing how to identify the actual moment that the S**T Hits the Fan is pretty important.

The problem is that unless we are talking about huge, cataclysmic national events, defining the moment that it happens is too late is difficult across the scale of everyone in the country. If a huge terrorist attack happens in Los Angeles California but nowhere else, would you as someone living in Las Vegas do anything besides watch the news? If a nuclear bomb went off in New York, would you as someone living in Tennessee go anywhere? I think the answer to almost any situation where we are asking if the SHTF moment has arrived is unfortunately, ‘It depends’.

What does this event mean to me?

There is a famous Supreme Court case, Jacobellis V. Ohio in which the subject was a movie that had been deemed obscene. The movie theater owner who showed the movie had been convicted and his case made it to the Supreme Court where Justice Potter Stewart, in his concurrence with the other judges ruling for overthrowing the case, said with respect to hard core pornography, “I know it when I see it”. There are other details which you can read here, but the point I am trying to make is that there is no universal SHTF moment or series of actions. You can’t point to a terrorist attack and say that for everyone it is a SHTF moment. Now, it most certainly will be for people involved in the event and surrounding areas of course but it may not impact you at all. If it does however, you will most likely know it when you see it.

Well, thanks that wasn’t helpful at all! Maybe you were hoping I would give you a checklist of items to look for to determine when the S had actually HTF? OK, I can do that but each of these would be examples that have to be taken in context. All of that would also need to be considered with your own personal situation. Some items to look for:

  • Loss of Electricity on a regional scale for more than one week
  • Media blackout
  • Martial law declared
  • Door to door gun confiscations – yes they have happened before.
  • Stock Market takes a dive of 10% and they halt trading the next day.
  • Bank holidays are declared and you are not allowed to remove money from your bank. If you are you are limited to a small amount.
  • Attack on US soil – This would be most likely blamed on terrorists of one shape or another
  • Virus outbreak rates that continue to go higher and occurrences start to increase in your city.
  • EMP device that causes massive power outages (multi-state)
  • Nuclear reactor meltdown
  • Natural disasters that impact you locally (fires, tsunami, hurricane, flood, etc.)

These are all examples that in the right context could be signs that we are in a SHTF moment. On the other hand, some of these could be single events that for a large part do not impact you or your family. I have said before that everything depends on the disaster and if something like this is happening to you, in your town things may be totally different from others across the country not affected. Naturally a stock market collapse or EMP doesn’t fall into that category but regional issues would. I always advocate watching the news media – not to hear about the latest starlet who is acting trashy but to get a feel for what is going on in the world. Maintain an active awareness of the news and be prepared to act fast if you get wind of events that you are considering as being a real SHTF event for you.

Will there be a national SHTF event? Who knows? It could be that we have minor SHTF events that happen to us and that doesn’t make them any less real or dire. You could have your own personal TEOTWAWKI moment that doesn’t impact anyone else and you will still need to react.

I believe we have an intuition but we have to tune ourselves to hear it. I think one aspect of that intuition is what prompted me to begin prepping and I believe that for many others out there you have that same feeling. That small voice telling you to prepare; that gut instinct that something is rotten in the state of Denmark. When it comes to your town, I think you will know it when you see it if you are prepared to look for it. Don’t expect the news, FEMA, your governor or me or any so-called expert in the world to tell you when it’s time to go. You will be able to make that decision for yourself.

‘When the SHTF I am bugging out man’! ‘If the SHTF you will be glad you have one of these’. ‘You won’t be able to do that if the SHTF’.

When SHTF, or if life just throws you a curve-ball and you find yourself in a survival situation without being prepared, one of the first things on your survival to-do list is to find water.

Once you’ve found a water source, though, there are two important factors to consider. First, is it clean/drinkable/safe/purified? And second, how are you going to be able to store it or take it with you?

A few ways to purify your water include boiling, water purification tablets, using a commercial water filter, mixing small amounts of bleach into your water, or crafting a DIY filter out of soil and sand. But once you have clean water, how can you store it for later use or carry it with you?

Unless you’re planning to sit back and wait for rescue, you’ll probably need to leave the source of your water (especially if you’re being chased by zombies). Even if you plan to stick close to your water source, you may not want to drink all of your purified water at once, and it can make life much easier if you have containers in which to store your clean water.

Fortunately, nature has given us lots of provisions when it comes to the things we need, including water containers. It definitely helps to have a good survival knife on hand to make some of these containers, but where there’s a will, there’s a way!

3 DIY Natural Water Containers:

Wood

To create a container out of wood, you’ll need to:

    1. Locate a dry log or thick branch. To ensure that it’s large enough to build a container, look for (or cut) a log that is about two feet long. If you can split it in half, even better–a flat surface makes things easier. Hardwoods are better for making water containers simply because they are better at holding liquid without it seeping through the wood. Also, avoid rotten or cracking wood.
    2. Once you’ve located your wood, you’ll need to build a fire until you have red hot coals. If you were able to split your log in half, lay it on its side with the freshly split side facing up, and place a few coals on the flat surface. If you couldn’t split it, place a few coals on the flattest possible surface. Use a piece of straw or reed to blow air onto the coals. This not only makes them burn into the wood faster but also helps you shape the container by blowing the coals in the direction you want them to burn.
    3. Once the coals cool off, remove them and scrape out the charred wood with your survival knife or a piece of sharp rock.
    4. Place another red-hot coal into the depression and repeat the previous steps.
    5. Once you’ve created a large enough cavity, use a rounded rock to sand down the container and remove any remaining charcoal.
    6. Having a visual reference always helps, so here’s a video walking you through the process:

Birch bark

One of the best materials for creating containers is birch bark because it is quite pliable, especially when heated. To begin, you’ll need to:

  1. Find a birch tree (preferably one that has fallen but is still in good condition).
  2. Use a hammer and chisel, a survival knife, or a sharp rock to cut into the tree and peel off the bark. A rectangular piece of bark will work well to create a container.
  3. Once you have the bark in hand, heat it up a bit until it’s very flexible. – This next part gets a little tricky to explain, but stick with me (or just skip to the video below).
  4. Imagine you’re a child in elementary school (it’ll help) and your teacher hands you a rectangular piece of paper. You need to turn it into a triangle-ish shape. We’ll call the shorter top and bottom edges “A” and the longer right and left edges “B.” So, to change the rectangle into a triangle (ish), you take an “A” edge and fold it to meet a “B” edge and make a crease. This is practically the whole first fold of your birch container, except that you won’t crease all the way down. The distance from where the “A” and “B” edges are pressed together and the crease kind of creates a third edge to a triangle. That distance gives you the depth of your container. Stop creasing when the “third edge” of your “triangle” gets to whatever depth you want for your container.
  5. Crease that “third edge” of your mini “triangle” and fold the triangle it towards the “A” edge (the shorter edge) of your original rectangle.
  6. If you were able to grasp that great verbal description, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back and repeat that step with the rest of the corners of the birch bark making sure that the folds overlap at least a little bit. This will create a box or bowl (depending on the depth and creases). You can hold the overlapping folded edges by creating a really rough clothespin out of a partially split branch.

If that was way too many words without any pictures, there’s a great walk-through in the video below showing exactly how to make these folds and create your birch bark container.

Bamboo

With bamboo, you can create either a bowl or a cup. Bamboo stalks have sealed joints, so when cutting a piece of bamboo stalk, simply make sure that one end of it includes a sealed joint. An extra bonus of bamboo is that it also contains water inside its hollow stems.

Animal Parts

The skin, bladder, and intestines of animals can also be used as water containers. (This is a survival situation, so no time to get queasy here).

  1. To make a water bottle from the stomach of a large animal, make sure to thoroughly clean it with water. If you have considerable time, you can boil some water, take it off the heat, and place the stomach in it for 2 hours. Continue to repeat this process until you see the water remaining clear even after soaking the stomach.
  2. Then, turn the stomach inside out and scrape off the lining carefully using the back of your knife so you won’t puncture it. Do this while the stomach is still in the warm water to make it easier.
  3. Once you’re done, boil another batch of water, take it off the heat, and soak the stomach for half an hour. Then, tie off the bottom end while the top end is left open. You can fasten it closed with some cordage to keep the water from spilling out.

Other Containers

There are also some ready-made containers that you can use to store water such as coconut shells, hollowed out acorns, seashells, and even turtle shells (after being thoroughly boiled of course) if you happen to stumble on any. For coconut shells, make sure to scrape out all the fruit inside and sand down the wood to smooth the bowl’s surface.

Naturally, in an ideal situation, you would have a water container with you. It makes life much easier, but should you be unfortunate enough to find yourself without one, one or a few of these DIY containers should do the trick.


Here’s some 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 SHTF, or if life just throws you a curve-ball and you find yourself in a survival situation without being prepared, one of the first things on your survival to-do

A generator without gas is like a rifle without ammunition. For this piece of machinery to be of any use to you outside of a very expensive and heavy paperweight, you need to have a plan for fuel storage. This is also the case if you don’t want to end up like millions of people each year who are unable to get gas after a natural emergency like Hurricane Sandy. A good fuel storage plan usually involves purchasing and properly treating a minimum amount of fuel to last you through whatever scenario you are planning for.

This might be fuel for your generators, or enough gas to get you to your bug out location. It is easier to pre-purchase fuel and store it so that in the case of an emergency, you aren’t standing in line. There are a few things to consider when you are planning to store fuel long-term that we will cover below.

What type of container should you store fuel in?

Similar to having water on hand in an emergency; having a supply of fuel in containers that protect the fuel and are easy to carry is important. Could you store gas in thousand-gallon tanks buried underground? Yes, and that is my dream scenario but for now, I and I assume most others will have to settle for something a little more cost-effective and portable. There are many different types of fuel containers but for gas, the most common style is plastic and red in color with a built-in spout of some form. Kerosene containers are blue, Diesel is Yellow and it is important to follow this handy color convention so that you don’t accidentally pour regular gas in your kerosene heater and fry your eyebrows off or worse.

Having a few containers of stored fuel could save you in an emergency.

You can get new fuel cans just about anywhere. Home Depot, WalMart, Lowes, and any hardware store will have some options for you. Most of the new models at Walmart near me are from a company called Scepter and have a new type of nozzle which is probably the result of stupid legislation that doesn’t work well at all. The nozzle requires you to press two tabs and pull them into a position for the fuel to dispense. This doesn’t work very well and the fuel doesn’t come out smoothly. I don’t think this is necessarily Scepter’s fault and they are probably only doing what is required from government regulations.

You can also pick fuel cans up at yard-sales or salvage companies. There is a salvage company down the road from me that routinely has perfectly good fuel cans for very cheap with the old gooseneck spouts. These are much superior in my opinion and if you are going to be pouring fuel out of a heavy can into a small hole I would recommend getting a good goose-neck or buying an older can. I have several of the new cans full of gas in my shed and a couple of older ones. If I need to pour anything out, I will use what is in the old-style cans first and then pour my gas from the new cans into the old cans. It is just easier for me that way.

Regardless of whether you have a new or old can, the place you store your fuel should be as airtight as possible. You don’t want fumes leaking into the area you have your fuel stored and gasoline evaporates quickly when exposed to air.

Using Fuel Additives for long-term fuel storage

Gas loses its potency over time and this also applies to Diesel and Kerosene. Diesel for example if stored at lower than 70 degrees will last about 12 months without any additives provided it is kept in a sealed container. If your temperatures are much above 70 that time slips by 50% to 6 months.

As diesel gets older, a fine sediment and gum forms in the diesel brought about by the reaction of diesel components with oxygen from the air. The fine sediment and gum will block fuel filters, leading to fuel starvation and the engine stopping. Frequent filter changes are then required to keep the engine going. The gums and sediments do not burn in the engine very well and can lead to carbon and soot deposits on injectors and other combustion surfaces.

Now, what can we do to prevent issues like this and protect our fuel because you don’t want to be trying to outrun the mutant zombie bikers from Mars and have your engine stop? Additives. There are two main additives that I have run across, STA-BIL and PRI-G. PRI has several lines of additives and the –G stands for gasoline. They also have PRI-D for diesel.  PRI additives are designed to be added to your fuel on a yearly basis to maintain the fuel in the best condition possible and they even claim that if your fuel has aged already, just adding PRI-G has proven to restore the fuel to “refinery-fresh conditions”. I would rather not test that out but PRI-G does have a decent reputation.

STA-BIL is one that I have personally used and does pretty much the same thing as PRI-G in terms of conditioning your fuel to last a lot longer in storage than it would without treatment. The instructions are simple, just dump the required amount in with your fuel and Voila! You should be able to safely store the fuel for at least a year with no adverse effects. I pour in the additive first and then the gas so that it is mixed as thoroughly as possible.

How Much and Where do I store my fuel?

Can you ever have too much fuel? I don’t know that you can in a real emergency. If you are unable to get to the gas station or there are rations at the pump you can never have too much. Would 500 gallons be enough? It really depends. If you have a minor power outage that lasts a few days, then you wouldn’t need that much gas at all. If we have the end of the world and there are no gas stations anymore, that 500 gallons is going to be a huge help, but it won’t last forever.

What I think is a good baseline takes into consideration the 80/20 rule. What is the likelihood that you will need this fuel for? For most people I think storing fuel for a bug-out vehicle or a generator is the most common scenario to plan for. For your car, I would plan on storing as much gas as you need to get you to your bugout location and add 50% to that. So, if you needed 2 tanks of gas to get you to your retreat and your tank held 20 gallons, I would store 60 gallons of treated fuel. This way if for some reason the grid goes down, the SHTF and zombies are walking all over the gas station parking lots, you should have plenty to get you there.

For a generator, I think you have to look at what you plan to run and how long you plan to run it. 15 gallons would last me about a week as long as I was using the generator for necessities only. Of course, it depends on the time of year but that is an average. Everyone should have at least one can of gas stored for emergencies but I like to store a minimum of one tank of gas for my car which is roughly 17 gallons and another 10 for the generator

Fuel should be stored in a clean, preferably cool place away from where you live. Don’t store fuel in your house if possible because that is an accident waiting to happen. If my shed blew up I would be a lot less concerned than if my house blew up.

Don’t forget to rotate

There are many common mistakes preppers make and storing fuel should be considered as well. I wouldn’t buy 50 gallons of gas, throw in some stabilizer and forget about them. Use and rotate your fuel yearly and you will be in great shape if something does require you to use your supplies. Since they blend gas differently in the Winter, I buy my fuel around January and store that for a year. Before the next January comes around I load up my gas tank in my car expending my stores and then head to the pump for a fresh batch. This way I think my fuel will be in as good a condition as possible.

 

 

 

On a different note, here are some 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)

Thanks for reading and if you have any thoughts, please add them in the comments below.

A generator without gas is like a rifle without ammunition. For this piece of machinery to be of any use to you outside of a very expensive and heavy paperweight,

Personally, I think that tallow is one of those things capable of making your stomach spin like a washing machine. I really don’t have anything against the stuff – Hell, I myself have used that stuff more than a few times to cook or to make emergency candles, but the very sight of it…sometimes… I’m only human, after all.

Now, personal feeling aside, tallow or grease obtained by cooking suet, which is the fatty tissue surrounding the organs of various animals, is one of those survival items that shouldn’t be missing from your household emergency kit. Yes, I know that you live in the big city and there’s at least one corner store around from where you can buy cooking oil, but tallow can do more than that. I usually keep around one or two kilos of pork tallow around the house in case, you know, I need to make stuff.

In remembering just how nasty the kitchen smelled when my grandma was preparing tallow, I thought it might be a good idea to share with you a couple of useful hints on how to use this stuff. So, without further ado, here are 28 ways you can use tallow in a shit hits the fan situation.

1. Cooking

Obviously, the first item on the list had to be a no-brainer. Yup, as disgusting as that stuff looks, it’s apparently better for deep frying than regular sunflower seed oil. I mostly use it to fry bacon or to prepare goulash in my cast-iron camping pot. It also goes well with other dishes like fish or pork chops. A friend of mine uses tallow to can pork meat. The process is more or less similar to brining. However, in this case, the salter water’s replaced by melted tallow. Give it a go and see how you like it.

2. Enhanced sharpening

In the olden days, blacksmiths used to dip the newly-forged blades into pork or even dog tallow in order to hasten the sharpening process. Moreover, knife blades coated in a very thin layer of pork tallow stay sharper longer compared to those that are, let’s say, dry-sharpened.

3. Gun maintenance

Long before gun grease became available, soldiers would oil their weapon with tallow. By the way, it’s tallow that led to the Indian revolt, which drove the East India Company out of the country. During the British dominion, Indian regulars were conscripted in order to serve Her Majesty’s interests in the Indies. Apparently, one of the many reasons that led to the Indians turning against the English was the new Lee Enfield rifle. The new version of the gun used tallow-coated cartridge, which was designed to protect the barrel. Since Indians abhor pork, they refused to handle the new rifles, which ultimately led to the 1857 Rebellion.

4. Bacteria buster

Tallow has strong anti-bacterial properties. In fact, our ancestors used this stuff in order to treat candida and yeast infections.

5. Solder away, soldier!

All out of flux for your soldering project? Not a problem. Dip the hot end of your soldering iron in tallow, and carry on.

6. Skin care

Yes, I know the idea of rubbing tallow on your skin seems out of a Hannibal Lecter movie or something, but it actually works. Sure, you won’t come off smelling like the proverbial rose garden, but at least your skin will be silky smooth.

7. Keeping away foul body odor

Now that summer’s around the bend; you will need something cheap and efficient at keeping that nasty armpit smell at bay. Sure, you can waste away that hard-earned cash on expensive beauty products, or you can try this simple recipe – melt some tallow and mix with one tablespoon of baking soda. Allow that stuff to harden and profit. I personally like to apply a fine layer after getting out of the shower. To prevent your armpits from smelling like a cooking lady’s kitchen, use a bit of scented oil.

8. Prevents diaper rash

If you ever run out of talcum powder after wiping your toddler’s behind, rub a little bit of tallow.  It really works wonders on diaper rashes.

9. Putting some meat on your pets’ bones

Nowadays, pet food is as deficient in nutrients just like human food. If your pet needs to gain a little bit of weight, mixt its favorite wet food with tallow.

10. Great for a good night’s sleep

Having problems summoning the Sandman? Maybe it’s because your brain doesn’t have enough fats and amino acids to kickstart the so-called restorative sleep. How to fix this? Swallow a tablespoon of tallow each day. Yes, I know it sounds odd, but it really works (cured me of insomnia).

11. Neutralizes venom from insect bits

If you got stung by a wasp, hornet or bee, rub a little bit of tallow on the sting site. The fat will draw out and neutralize the venom.

12. Hemorrhoids away!

Well, hemorrhoids are a pain in the ass, indeed. What’s worse is that no matter what cream you use, it will take a while for them to subside. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, you can replace your regular antibiotic cream with tallow. Yes, I know that rubbing grease in the spot where the sun doesn’t shine might come off like the intro of a really bad adult flick, but, hey, at least you can now sit on your tushy without that excruciating pain.

13. Lice slayer!

Head lice, because I don’t even want to consider the other variety, are damned hard to get rid of. Well, according to this old-world remedy, a lice-laden scalp can be cured using a mixture of apple cider vinegar and tallow.

14. Health super boost

Research has shown that patients who consume tallow on a regular basis are less likely to experience a heart condition compared to those who would rather stay away from that stuff. Furthermore, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, tallow plays a key role in preventing vascular dementia such as Alzheimer and some forms of blood cancer.

15. Making screwing fun again

No, not that kind of screwing (I don’t even think that stuff can be used for bouncy-bouncy). If a screw is moving too slow or not at all, try using a little bit of grease on the tip. By the way, you can also use a 50-50 tallow and cider mixture to remove rust from screws, bolts, nails, and even tools.

16. Great for lubricating moving parts

All out of WD 40? No problem. Just use a little bit of grease to get those moving parts, well, moving again, I guess.

17. Rocking the gentleman look

Did you know that tallow was used to make mustache wax? Yup, if you have a great pair of whiskers, use a little bit of pork tallow to make them shine. That stuff can also replace hair gel, although I wouldn’t advise it on account of the smell.

18. Doubles as shaving cream

If the lumberjack style not your kind of gig, you can always use a bit of tallow should you ever run out of shaving cream? That thing will moisten the hair strand, making shaving a lot easier. I know that the best the fresh-out-of-the-shower shave is the best practice, but I personally prefer this method when I’m on the run and don’t have the time to step into the shower.

19. Boost the efficiency of breast milk

According to researchers, tallow increases the number of nutrients normally found inside the mother’s milk. Baby breastfed will tallow-infused milk are better protected against allergies and infantile diseases. Furthermore, since tallow has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-scarring properties, it’s recommended for stretching marks aka the tell-tale signs of pregnancy.

20. Keep darkness at bay

Every problem in this world can be solved with a little illumination. In case you run out of emergency candles, lamp oil or tac light batteries, you can make 6-hour candles using tallow. Check out my article on how to make emergency candles from bacon. The principle’s the same.

21. Washy-washy

You know the saying: cleanliness is next to godliness. However, that may be a bit difficult if you run out of soap. Not to worry – tallow has been used for centuries in home soapmaking. Melt, boil, add some essential oils place in molds, allow to harden, and wash.

22. Leather care

Nice leather shoes! It would be a shame if something would happen to them. Well, nothing bad is going to happen to your leather shoes, jacket or pants if you rub some tallow on them. Apart from the fact that fat rejuvenates tanning products, it also adds a weatherproof layer.

23. Say buh-bye to cooking oil

If you ever get tired of using olive, sunflower or palm tree oil for cooking, you can always replace with tallow. Moreover, this stuff’s so good, that it will give your favorite pastries an entirely different taste.

24. Eco-friendly cars FTW!

It’s possible to make your vehicle even more eco-friendly by replacing the regular motor oil with a special tallow mixture. Motor oils made from tallow are biodegradable and boasts the same performances as the regular variety.

25. No more allergies

The only thing I hate about spring is that white tree fuzz which makes me sneeze like there’s no tomorrow. I can’t say if it’s an allergy or simply the fact that my body doesn’t like fuzz, but in any case, I found out that tallow really helps. I have the same problem, put a little tallow inside each nostril before leaving the house. The fact will act as a filter and barrier. You’re welcome!

26. No more balding or brittle nails

There comes a time in a man’s life when he needs to swap the comb for a wet towel. Well, eventually, all those gorgeous locks of yours are going to fade away, but not right now. Now, if you have a similar issue, you should definitely consider applying a thin layer of tallow. You should do this after stepping out of the shower. The nutrients inside the tallow will stimulate hair growth. It also works wonders on brittle nails.

27. Better than butter

Although butter’s better than margarine, the docs recommend using tallow instead of regular butter. Yeah, I wouldn’t try to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with that stuff, but it tastes great when combined with smoked foods or dairy products. Careful with that stuff because it packs more fat than butter and margarine combined.

28. No more poison ivy itching

If you went a couple of rounds with poison ivy, rub some tallow over the area to get rid of the itching.

 

Well, that’s about it on ingenious ways to use tallow around the house and in a shit hits the fan situation. What’s your take on tallow? Hit the comments 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)

Tallow is one of those survival items that shouldn’t be missing from your household emergency kit.

Saving money is most times easier than making it and I have found a way to save LOTS of money. In our home we seem to have mountains of laundry to be done but my honest first thought when I heard about making my own soap was – all I need is one-more-thing-to-do…was the extra work going to be worth it?

I decided to give it a try for several reasons. The first was my ongoing struggle with allergies. I seem to be allergic to the strangest things and at times have a wallop of an attack. Life with allergies is no fun so over the years I have looked at nearly everything I come into contact with to see if there was some way I could mitigate the allergic response. The second reason is financial – we seemed to be constantly buying or running out of laundry soap.

Even though the cheapest brands weren’t always satisfactory they seemed to give me less of an allergic response than the big name brands perhaps because there was less scent. Homemade laundry soap has very little scent to it except clean. The third reason is storage which I will explain in a moment.

Making your own laundry soap might seem like something super-homesteading-large-family-enviromental-frugal people do. Well – perhaps – but it’s so simple it doesn’t matter what your reasons are – this stuff is fantastic and inexpensive and doesn’t make me itch or sneeze (except when grating the soap!) and it super-simple-easy to make and it can be used in a HD washing machine because of the minimal amount of suds AND does a great job of cleaning your clothes!

Here’s what to do:

In a large pot on the stove combine:

  • about 8 cups of water
  • 1 bar of Linda laundry soap grated
  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup washing soda

All these items are easily found in most grocery store laundry aisles – you’ve probably just not been looking for them.

I use a pot that is exclusively used for making laundry soap – use an old one or buy one at a thrift store. some people say this is not necessary if you clean the pot out really well after you make it – you decide. I also use a dollar store grater for grating the Linda soap – it’s hard to clean afterwards so don’t use it for food!

Over low heat and stirring often mix the contents until they are completely dissolved for about 20 minutes.Leaving it on the stove longer won’t hurt it – but any shorter and you may not have it completely dissolved.

Add this mixture to a 5 gallon pail and fill the pail till about 2/3 full with hot water. That doesn’t sound very exact and that is because it doesn’t seem to need to be. Stir using a whisk, immersion blender or a hand mixer – whatever you have. It should turn into a gel by the next day when it cools completely or it may look a bit watery like cottage cheese but either way it cleans your clothes very well. You can re-blend it if it bothers you. That’s all there is to it!

Use about 1/16 cup – a heaping tablespoon for the more visual among us – I have a small plastic scoop beside the bucket. If the clothes are particularly greasy or dirty use a little more.

The cost is approx. .05c a load by my last calculations.A pail like that lasts us at least three months (that of course depends on how many loads your family does each month)

How does it save money???

Linda soap bar: $1.49 a bar
2kg. Borax: less than $5.00 (8.5 recipes)
3 kg. Washing soda: less than $5.00 for 13 recipes

But think about this… if you bought:

  • 13 bars of soap $20.00
  • 2 boxes Borax $10.00
  • 1 box Washing soda $5.00

For a total of less than $35.00 you could make the recipe 13 times which would be enough for more than 3 years (39 months to be exact!)
That’s less than $1.00 a month..

Can you see why I love this stuff! We’ve been using homemade laundry soap for 5 or 6 years and I wouldn’t switch back for any reason. Frugal. Practical. Simple.


Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

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

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns

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

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

Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps

Saving money is most times easier than making it and I have found a way to save LOTS of money. In our home we seem to have mountains of laundry

What happens when you have eaten through all your supplies of dehydrated, canned, and stored food?  Even the most optimistic among us should not begin eating on your stores of food without giving a thought as to what comes next. What if the next emergency lasts two years?

When your freeze dried food or packaged foods and stockpiles of hard red winter wheat are gone, you will have to have a plan for keeping your family fed. Not only do you have to worry about where the food will come from, but there won’t be any nutritional labels anymore if we are “eating off the land”.

Thinking about food differently than what we have been used to, for what have amounted to decades of prosperity in the United States is not always easy. Maintaining a proper balance of food may be difficult or even impossible. What if you are barely able to get enough food to survive?

 

What I want to discuss is planning for renewable food options that will give you a balanced nutritional supply to keep everyone in your group healthy.

The essentials

Foods are broken down into three groups:  carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.  You need a balance of each of these things to maintain a high level of health. Some foods may contain mixtures of both groups. Nuts, for instance, are primarily a source of fat and protein.  Providing these and other vital foods to your body cuts down on the stress your body must endure in a survival situation, allows your brain to function and keeps your immune system from being vulnerable to viral and bacterial attacks.

When you have to reduce the amount of food you are taking in, the body starts reverting to using the energy you already have stored. Your body stores energy in the muscles and fat.  This is where the body pulls its energy from if you are forced to go without food for any period of time. Ideally, you are not pulling from your body’s reserves at any time, but providing your body the fuel it requires for survival.

Sources of Protein

It is important to plan now for a renewable source of each of the different types of nutritional elements you will need to stay healthy.

Meat of course, canned meats or dehydrated are the simplest options, but once they are gone what will you eat? I know a lot of people who say they are going to walk into the nearest state park and hunt for game. This will work well for a few people until all of the big game has moved on or has been killed.

 

The easiest way for most people to have their own renewable source of protein is raising chickens and rabbits. Chickens pull double duty as egg layers and a source of meat. Rabbits are prolific at reproducing. That’s why there are several sayings that have rabbits at the heart of the pun… Rabbits are easy to raise and don’t take up much room.

In the garden, beans are wonderful because they are relatively easy to grow and you have the seeds for next year’s crop right there. I also recommend these for stocking up initially as they have a long shelf life. Beans are also one of the most economical items to stock up on as you can buy a 10 pound bag for a few dollars. That same bag will give you a lot of meals if you augment the beans with other supplies.

Barley also contains protein, but few people would be able to grow enough barley to feed their family. If you have a large plot of land, this may be a good option.

Nuts are a wonderful natural source of protein and nut trees can be grown in most climates.  You have to harvest quickly, though, because there will be other hungry critters out there trying to get to your nut tree first.

Important note: If you are rationing water supplies and still searching for a clean drinkable source, you will want to cut down on your protein intake.  Proteins produce urea which your body flushes out of the kidneys.  In order to process the urea properly, your body must have ample amounts of water.  Therefore, lack of water would be problematic if combined with a night of indiscretion where you find yourself consuming large quantities of jerky and salt pork and chasing it with the only bottle of Macallan whiskey left on the planet.   Living like this on your final rations would cause you to die of dehydration before starvation.

Sources of Fat

Fresh meats contain fat. Wild animals will have less of this and rabbits as I mentioned above are actually very lean so you wouldn’t want to rely on that meat for your daily fat intake. Chickens aren’t the same and are wonderful sources of both protein and fat. Fishing is a good source if you live near a body of water that isn’t polluted or over fished by the others who don’t have a supermarket to go to anymore.

 

Avocados, nuts, and flax seed are great sources of healthy fat also.  Avocado can be grown in some climates, nuts and flax seed can be stored, but do not have a long shelf life.  Again, growing your own is your best bet.

Sources of Carbohydrates

All fruits and vegetables and this is the primary reason behind your own garden. Depending on where you live, there will be a sufficient variety of vegetables that can be grown to provide you with all of the Carbs you need. Making sure you have this taken care of before the SHTF is a crucial item to consider. You aren’t going to go dig up your back yard very easily and plant a bumper crop of Martha Stewart worthy veggies your first year.

Grains and rice or any foods that contain these items or are made with flour (grains such as wheat are best kept in their whole wheat berry form; it can keep for up to 30 years in its raw state in a vacuum sealed container or bucket). Growing wheat is a great option if you live in the mid-west as a rule. This won’t be feasible for city dwellers in sufficient quantities unless you take over a golf course or a football field and re-purpose them. Not that this isn’t possible, but grains would be lower on my list of possible replacements.

Sugars and honey (honey is the best for storing because it has a virtually endless shelf life; it may crystallize over time, but it is still good). This is one reason why so many Preppers raise bees. They not only pollinate the garden and your fruit and nut trees, but they make wonderful honey.

Simple Rules to Remember

  1. Simple sugars like candy are carbohydrates, but they break down very quickly.  They may give you a boost of quick energy, but you will quickly hit a wall and be depleted and useless.
  2. In the event  you find yourself without a good source of heat to keep your body warm, simple carbs will be your friend.  The body uses them to tap into fat reserves and it will cause you to burn more calories, thus keeping you warmer.  You should graze simple carbs to maintain your body temperature.
  3. Fats should be included in every small meal because fat combined with carbs gives your body a slow and steady burn of nutrients.  You won’t hit a wall as quickly if you add fat to your meal.
  4. In higher altitude, cut back fat consumption because fat requires oxygen to oxidize their components. High fat intake increases the risk of altitude illness.
  5. Protein is necessary for the building and repair of body tissues.  It regulates body processes such as: water balance, transporting nutrients, and making muscles work better.  Proteins also aid in preventing the body from becoming easily fatigued by producing stamina and energy.

You can calculate your body’s protein needs with this formula: Weigh in pounds divided by 2.2 = weight in kg.  Multiply weight in kg X o.8-1.8 and this will tell you how many grams of protein must be consumed.

 

Gorp Anyone? 

What is the perfect food, you may ask?  Good Old Raisins and Peanuts, or Gorp for short.  The Native American Indians had survived many harsh winters and lived off the land well before we brought our refrigerators and local markets.  They ate berries and nuts because this is the perfect mixture of all three components your body needs to survive.  The berries or fruit provide essential carbs and nuts give your body the fats and proteins for sustained energy and strength.  If you find yourself on the go and have to carry your food with you this is one of the best food sources available.  I also recommend M&Ms even though I am pretty certain the Indians didn’t have access to them.  They are a source of simple carbohydrates and they are delicious, too!


Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

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

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns

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

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

Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps

What happens when you have eaten through all your supplies of dehydrated, canned, and stored food?  Even the most optimistic among us should not begin eating on your stores of

In a protracted crisis, we’ll be missing a lot of our usual conveniences. While some may already make their own sandwich bread for slicing and render their beef and hog tallow, a lot of folks don’t. Early on, a lot of folks may not yet have the time or energy to do so, and some may be torn between cookware and grinders, dehydrators, saving for a move, and stocking up on food and water supplies, along with all the rest that goes along with preparing for disasters big and small, personal to global.

Having options for cooking that are typically inexpensive and-or easily acquired can open up options for what we store, whether we’re new or experienced. Thinking through what we prepare food in can save us labor in various ways. Both can help us prioritize for purchases moving forward.

Ovens & Stove-tops

The advantages of the clay ovens come from not heating the house, but also from being able to use a single “burn” to cook a number of dishes. James Townsend & Sons have several videos using and making clay ovens, and he’s nice enough to go through the progression of dishes used in the latter half of the video in this one.

 

Another type of cooker that limits the amount of heat we have to produce and fuel we have to burn is a purchased or homemade WonderBag or a wonder box cooker. They basically take any ceramic, cast iron or steel pot and turn it into a crock pot/slow cooker. All we have to do is burn enough to bring it to a boil.

They don’t work that well on kidney beans that really do have to simmer for a while, even after a pre-soak and a pre-boil, but they work on most other beans, lentils and grains, even the ones like wheat and barley that resist softening sometimes. (If doing beans, simmer them in a “fast soak” method first.)

It can take a little while to figure out timing and liquids with both WonderBags/Boxes and solar ovens, but the same is true of a regular crock-pot, too.

 

You can get complicated with mirrors, black paint and larger clear containers to go over them or you can go simple and just stick glass pickle and pasta sauce jars that aren’t really appropriate for home canning and have some nice size to them in a black bag in the sun.

Image: A pickle or spaghetti jar of water and grains or pre-simmered beans can be hung in any black bag, to absorb heat like a solar camp shower and decrease the need to burn fuel for cooking.

The times of year the glass-jar option are good for are somewhat limited to mid-spring through autumn, but even when food’s not getting piping hot, soaking in jars in the sun can help limit the amount of time it takes prepare food.

Sticking water in black jars or jars in black bags, pots inside bags, or systems as simplistic as a pot inside a tire and under a window pane are also great ways to just heat water. That water can then be used for tea, coffee, instant foods, to get a head start on the time it takes to boil or simmer water over fires, or for washing up.

The last cooking method are all the many varied types of candle cookers and space heaters, from the clay pots to the trays of tea lights, and even using standard emergency candles or Crisco candles inside a home oven (where the cracked oven retains some of the heat and makes them more efficient).

*Please use bricks or a bread pan plus bricks, or an overturned brownie pan as a base for candle-clay pot heaters and cookers, not skinny little tubes that will shimmy and fall.

I just don’t see them in off-grid cooking methods all that often, so they bore repeating. They do use a consumable, either Crisco or candles, but they create options, especially for those in urban and some suburban areas, rental homes, or very small homes. They also provide us with an additional backup, especially for times we don’t want to go outside, produce much smoke, or create a great deal of heat in summertime.

Non-Fire Cooking Methods

There are a couple of shared advantages to the non-fire cooking methods listed here and in other articles.

One, they’re infinitely and easily renewable, which lets us save non-renewable (or very slowly renewable) and labor-intensive fuels for the seasons where the sun isn’t going to be much help.

 

Two, they lessen the labor. If we’re only hauling enough wood for a rocket stove or to bring food to a boil, we’re spending less time and energy than if we needed more fuels to cook over directly. That can let us concentrate on producing food to cook and can, and on replacing and stockpiling fuels for when we want them for heat.

Three, while food scent carries – more than you might imagine if you’ve never done long-range packing or been in isolated areas, or just hungry as you pass Fast Food Row – charcoal and wood smoke carries even further. And with a few exceptions, wood smoke can leave a visual trail as well.

Thermal Mass & Reflectors

If you’re a woods-survivalist or a through-packer, you’ve probably heard of the concept of a reflector for fires in an emergency, or of creating a mound or even a loose screen as a wind break in front of your shelter entrance even if you aren’t going to have a fire.

The goal there is to help us stay warm. It either blocks and diffuses wind, which will eddy through and carry our heat away even in a small shelter, or it helps bounce warmth back.

There’s also the thermal mass and insulation theory from survival and backpacking folds. If you build a thicker debris hut or lean-to, you tend to stay warmer, just like you can find a sun-warmed stone bank to put your back against if you’re in the right territory, and it helps by holding onto the heat longer in the day.

Those two are the same theories as are applied to the idea of using a Dakota pit to cook in, as well as the WonderBag and similar slow-cooker methods, and Thermal Mass Heaters that have a cook-pot basin built-in.

The benefits from a screen, reflector and thermal mass can be achieved in any outdoor cooking setup, though, permanent structure or temporary.

Even just a couple extra logs set up on the windiest side can help reduce the amount of time it takes to prepare a meal over a fire or coals. It can also help make sure food is still hot and warm when it’s served, like turning off the ceiling fan over a dinner table while it’s being set.

Stone, thick timbers, brick, and things like a steel barrel or defunct metal washer or filing cabinet on one side of our fire, forming a right angle, or forming a three-sided semi-circle – ideally on the windy side – can help us with thermal mass or the equivalent of a debris hut of loose leaves.

 

The air space or mass warms, and forms a more oven-like environment on top of preventing the heat from being whipped away. As with a survival campsite reflector, they also help bounce heat on the foods we’re consuming.

It doesn’t even have to be a campfire. The methods can be applied with grills and rocket stoves as well. A rearward reflector or a heat sink like a tire can make our solar ovens more efficient and effective, too, and extend their useful seasons.

Even if a bug-out is the last thing on our minds, the decrease in time and increase in efficiency for when we want to cook outdoors instead of heating up the house can make a big difference.

Cookware

Sometimes cookware gets its due, and sometimes not. When I do see cookware in various lists and articles, it seems to mostly be dedicated packing sets or cast iron.

I have family that will make pterodactyl noises if you touch their woks or cast iron with a steel scrubby. Maybe that’s less of an issue in other houses.

To avoid the scrubby, though, the non-ceramic-coated cast iron requires a fat to help foods not stick. Fats are one of the expensive, short-lived storage items for preppers. While they’re necessary (and another one that seems to not get their due as much as I’d like to see), using them as non-stick assistants seems painful to me.

Sunflair Portable Solar Oven Deluxe with Complete Cookware, Dehydrating Racks and Thermometer

Steel and copper cookware have big advantages, especially the ones that have nice, thick bottoms (helps heat efficiently and prevents hotspots in pans). They can be hit with steel wool, and with a metal handle can go from fire to stovetop to solar oven. They don’t need the oiling and oober-drying and maintenance care the cast iron gets in my family, even the small camping Dutch ovens.

But they do still need an oil if you’re going to be doing something like eggs or potatoes.

Because of that, I have started using a stone-lined pan set that came home as a nothing present (he lived). Mine’s Crofton (if it’s inexpensive, tell me; if it’s expensive, hold your tongue so he continues to live).

They’re sturdy and oven safe, they have nice metal handles that are well attached, and those images of just sliding an egg out … yeah, that’s legit, at least with my set. Even oopsed rice just oozes off with a two-minute soak and a regular sponge.

*Tip from the candy makers: Fill an “oopsed” pot or casserole dish with water and boil it while scraping if it’s going to need more than just a little time and a little elbow grease. Smarter, not harder. At least, while water is cheap and copious.

 

The only thing I’d change is that the pans lack the quarter-inch of solid metal base that creates an even cooking surface. The flip side to that, though, is that it’s far lighter.

Metal baking pans have also become obsolete in my kitchen. Oh, they’re stocked back in case of breakage, but I largely do my roasting and baking in Corning and Pyrex, and a fair bit of it in $3 glass bread pans.

That’s about me being lazy.

I can use that steel wool on them without removing coatings and then fighting rust. Most of the time, I don’t even need steel wool.

Most of the time, things I’d have once soaked or boiled on the stove because even Bissel the Labrador couldn’t get the baked-on goo off, I don’t even pre-wash at all. They go straight in the dish washer.

That means that in a crisis, I’m spending less energy/labor on cleaning up, I can conserve more fats and oils for consumption instead of lubrication, and I use less water and cleaning soap.

They also cross-purpose between various cooking methods, and since they’re not metal, they’re non-reactive when I have recipes for cheese that don’t like steel or aluminum or copper.

Cooking in Disasters

Big or small, some disposables are good. And I’ve been poor. I understand that for some, a good casserole dish and a single good pan require the same budgeting as Aimpoints and gennies. Prioritize these, as with anything else, although the daily-life ease the cookware offers may make them worth asking for as a holiday or birthday present.

With any luck, some of the inexpensive food-heating and water-heating options listed above can help with the budget, opening up the ability to build or source other things, or just with creating redundancy in our systems.


Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

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

Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation

Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns

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

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

Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps

 

In a protracted crisis, we’ll be missing a lot of our usual conveniences. While some may already make their own sandwich bread for slicing and render their beef and hog

One of the biggest hurdles to actually doing something that can save your life is getting started. I know many people who research topics, watch movies, create lists and pages and pages of bookmarked websites that they can pull up at a moment’s notice. For every idea they have a source. For every plan, they have written information, sourced in binders with color coded tabs. This could be the same for you and your food supplies that are all written neatly in a binder or on a downloadable excel spreadsheet or parked on a DVD you bought online from a survival expert.

My question is what if the world as you know it ends tomorrow? What if the proverbial poop hits the fan and all your lists are just that; worthless words on pieces of paper. What if your highly organized blueprint for survival is nothing more than electrical impulses burned to a hard-drive that will never run again? What if in your efforts to be thorough, you didn’t actually do anything and now you family is looking to you for guidance? Since you have been talking about Prepping for 3 years, you have something prepared for this day, right?

I know that this isn’t the majority of people who read Final Prepper, but there are those out there that become overwhelmed by information and keep thinking over the details in their mind of what they want or need to do until it’s too late. We call this analysis paralysis and in the world of survival, this can get you killed. If you haven’t begun storing food for your family because you haven’t finished watching a DVD or your excel spreadsheet isn’t completely accurate with the quantities and current prices for all 1000 food items you need, you should try something else. What I want to give you is a simple food supply plan that can feed a family of 4 for a month, can be purchased in about one trip out and will cost you a few hundred dollars. Use this plan if you haven’t started anything yet or simply need a jump start on your emergency food supply list for your home. Trust me, your family will appreciate this if something terrible happens and you will be able to look them in the eye again.

What Foods to Buy?

Rice is a cheap and easy emergency food supply

Rice – Rice is one of my favorite storable foods because it is relatively easy to buy even in big quantities and I don’t know if I have ever met anyone who wouldn’t eat rice. Rice stores easily as long as you keep it cool and dry just in the bag. For longer storage you can seal your rice in Mylar bags, throw them in buckets and you are looking at years of shelf life. For your emergency needs though I would go to Sam’s or Costco and by a 50 lb. bag of rice or two. A 50 pound bag contains 504 servings of rice and will lay flat on your shelf for years. We use our rice though so it is always in rotation. Cost – Approximately $20

Beans – Beans, beans the magical fruit. Beans are another food that has a long storage life and is relatively cheap. Beans are the first part of Beans, Bullets and Band-Aids for a good reason. Beans don’t need too much care and like rice store easily for years. You can use them for a good source of fiber, but you should make plans to deal with excess gas if everyone is going to start eating beans once a day… A 10 lb. bag of beans costs around $7 and makes 126 servings. Buy several bags for your pantry and don’t forget the chili and soup mix.

Canned Meat – The best way to cheaply store meat is in cans and for a little variety and additional flavor for your meals, we stock up on canned tuna and chicken. Depending on the size you will need about 35 cans to cover your family for 30 days but these stack nicely and you can always work them into your weekly meals. Canned chicken will easily store for longer than a year so rotation shouldn’t be a problem.

Canned Veggies – 40 cans of your family’s favorite vegetables will give you the nutrition they need and something they will eat. Make sure you aren’t buying mushrooms or olives (unless your family loves them) if you don’t want to see turned up noses when the power has been out for a week and you are trying to get creative with dinner. 40 cans of vegetables will cost roughly $40 and like the meat will store for years.

Canned Fruit – Some people purchase other items for dessert, but canned fruit has a long shelf life and I have to recommend this for your sweet tooth over most other things outside of fresh fruit. I purchased 5 big #10 cans of pears, peaches, and mixed fruit. Each has about 25 servings and will be a nice addition to the rice, bean and chicken stew… 5 cans will cost around $25.

Oatmeal – Breakfast is served, unless that is you are raising chickens and already have fresh eggs everyday which I also highly recommend if you have the ability to do so. Oatmeal is great for breakfast cereal, its cheap and will store a pretty long time. Oatmeal needs a little more care than your rice or beans, but if you have this stored in Mylar you would have breakfast for years. The old cardboard tubes of Oatmeal has 30 servings, costs about $2 each. Buy 4 and you only need water to make this edible. Unless you have the next item.

Honey – Honey as you probably know has been called the perfect survival food. This is because it has an infinite shelf life. That isn’t something we usually have to worry about though because it gets used as a sweetener to replace sugar in tea, over that oatmeal above and you can even use honey to treat wounds. The normal 5 lb. jar of honey is about $15 right now and has 108 servings. Buy two of these.

Salt/Seasoning – Salt is another good storage item because if you keep it dry it will also last forever. Salt is needed by your body and in my opinion; it makes almost everything taste better. You can buy a case of salt in 4 lb. boxes for about $12. Buy a case and you will have enough for a year of seasoning. You can also purchase pepper and other spices you normally use to make that soup or chili above taste better.

Vitamins – The experts say vitamins don’t help you but I tend to believe that some nutrients even in vitamin form are better than nothing. If you aren’t able to maintain perfect nutrition, a simple multivitamin could keep you healthier than not. If you have kids get them some chewable gummy vitamins to keep their health up too. A bottle for each of you would cost about $8.

Water – I know this list was about emergency food supplies, but I will throw water in here too because if you are going to the trouble of taking care of food, you should knock out water at the same time. Each person needs about 1 gallon per day (assuming you aren’t working in the heat all day) for normal hydration and hygiene. A family of 4 would need 120 gallons of water to live for 30 days so you can either buy a whole bunch of bottled water or get 5 gallon plastic water storage containers. If you have the space, a fifty gallon water barrel would be easier, but you won’t be able to move that once it is in place.

What Next?

If you purchase all of the food supplies above it will set you back around $500 buy will cover your family as far as food and water for 30 days. Is this enough to weather any disaster? No, but it is that start you were looking for and you can really knock out all of these items in one day. One day of shopping and storing water would give you the peace of mind you need to ensure your family is taken care of. Can you go out and buy a 30 day supply of freeze-dried food just as easily? Maybe but the key is to do something now. Act before you need this food and take care of your family.

Next steps would be to work on medical supplies, and security. Once you have those, there is also other lists of prepper supplies you should consider. If you want to read a more comprehensive plan, you can also check out our Prepping 101 – Step by Step plan for How to get started Prepping.

One of the biggest hurdles to actually doing something that can save your life is getting started. I know many people who research topics, watch movies, create lists and pages

When you read the various Prepper and Survival blogs and comments on Prepping, it’s hard to avoid the constant chatter about guns and defensive warfare… Hollywood has done an excellent job of glamorizing the use of guns and warfare to the point where some people actually believe that by simply owning lots of guns their problems will be mitigated. And nothing could be farther from the truth!

What’s even more interesting is that some of these same people own scoped rifles that aren’t even sighted-in! And if you were at a shooting range and handed them a rifle that was all dialed-in, they couldn’t put a single round on the paper (target) down-range under ideal circumstances, let alone if they were in crisis-mode.

Please don’t misunderstand me; I am 100% for the Second Amendment and the right to own and bear arms. I own guns myself and I grew up shooting and hunting for food in the mountains of Southern Oregon.

It seems however that there are a few people who think that survival (Prepping) is all about owning lots of guns and paramilitary training and tactics. And it’s my opinion that these beliefs are based upon defective logic when it comes to the primary objective of Prepping, which is survival, as in ‘staying alive‘ long-term.

If any given Prepper truly believes that there are bonafide risks to their families and friends, which might stem from any one of a host of credible natural and made-caused disasters, then taking a purely logical approach to minimizing those perceived risks requires that Preppers must do what is necessary at the moment such action becomes necessary. This, of course, requires a plan of action that is in place, as well as the equipment, supplies, and tactics that support such an action.

Any tactics supporting any plan that increases potential risks for casualties are defective because it violates the core objective; ‘don’t get dead’.

The superior plan of action is the one that removes as much risk as humanly possible. When you compromise this logic, you also compromise your odds of ‘staying alive’.

Almost anyone with a minimum of training using even marginal equipment can survive off the grid and in the wilderness for a week or even two. How well you fare in such matters will depend greatly upon your fitness, training, experience and the type, amount and quality of the equipment you employ.

However, when you are forced to survive for months and possibly years totally ‘off the grid‘, that’s a whole different subject and few people have the know-how based upon the actual experience that is required to help others prepare for such a challenge.

Few of the so-called ‘experts’ who are providing information into the Prepper community have themselves actually survived off-the-grid in remote locations for many months at a time. And having never been in that kind of a situation, they have no first-hand knowledge or appreciation of what the long-term challenges actually are, let alone the solutions. Surely some of these experts are making many assumptions and educated guesses.

Other experts focus on short-term survival; I recall an episode of Bear Grylls where he is shown squeezing the liquid out of Elephant dung into his mouth as a means of obtaining water in survival mode. Of course, he has the ability to check into a hospital after the show to deal with all the micro-organisms that would readily sicken him, and if left unchecked, potentially kill him in the long-term. These are not the kind of methods that will serve most Preppers very well but are taught in some military survival courses.

Most if not all expert advisers naturally teach what they know best; hopefully based upon their own actual experience. There are a few so-called experts who are writing books and posting information on Blogs who have very little if any actual meaningful or relevant experience.

Should other Preppers be making critical plans and adopting tactics based upon the guesswork of someone else, who may have only read some books?

Living ‘off the grid’ at a farm or ranch is really not ‘survival experience‘. I am not saying that the experience gained from such a lifestyle is not relevant or beneficial, in fact, it is. However, in the case of remote rural living, when a problem or need is encountered, you have the option of driving into town or reaching-out for what you need using the telephone (on our ranch, we would even occasionally ride our horses into town for supplies).

However, as in an actual disaster, where logistical support and travel are cut-off, an Expedition Sailor has no such options. That’s because when an Expedition Sailor has a problem, it is serious since he/she may be hundreds of miles (by sea) away from any outside help (medical, parts, tools, expertise, equipment, etc.). This mandates that Expedition Sailors must be self-reliant in real-life on a daily basis, long-term. It’s not some theoretical or academic exercise, it’s for all the marbles. When you are at sea or anchored at some remote location, separated from the nearest land by water, you can only look to yourself for solutions. This also means having planned ahead in provisioning all the ‘right stuff’ on-board the boat, before leaving port. This is what prepping on land is about; having all the ‘right stuff’ before a disaster hits.

There are some survival experts who have gained their ‘survival’ experience from duty in the military. To make my position crystal-clear; I have the utmost respect and appreciation for our military men and women (my son-in-law is a serving U.S. Marine and we are very proud of him). Some former military personnel who are now advising Preppers tend to teach/preach what they know best….guns, ammo, and military tactics. And a few of these ’experts’ seem to universally fail to acknowledge or even recognize that their success in the field was the result of the guy on the right and on the left, and the extensive training that they all had received in combination with the team of people in the rear, who were providing and fulfilling all kinds of support missions. Preppers will not have access to that training or the specialized training environment, nor the logistics support that is provided by the military.

A few former military operators who have become ‘experts’ on Prepping fail to continue to appreciate that every bullet, MRE, stitch of clothing, intel, transportation and mechanical support that supported their operations in the field were provided by many other trained people in the rear. And without these mission support personnel, the operators on the front line and downrange wouldn’t fare nearly as well as they do in achieving their military objectives. There are exceptions of course in that there are Special Forces who through highly advanced training programs can and do improvise and adapt in the field down-range (damn few!). Here again, Preppers will not have access to anything close that level of training and experience, as it was provided by the military and designed to train that personnel, who were already pre-qualified, screened and selected for that specialized training. In the world of civilian survival and prepping, it’s the Prepper who has to understand and incorporate many mission skills and parameters into their own survival paradigm. If you don’t, you will likely fail.

Nobody has all the answers and no one particular survival paradigm is perfect for everyone. Each Prepper needs to identify his own potential problems and goals and then using the best information from many reliable sources, form a custom survival paradigm to suit.

It’s extremely important to maintain a clear understanding of the vast differences between ‘military objectives’ and the tactics and training to achieve those objectives, and ‘Prepper objectives‘, which are purely related to ‘staying alive’ and long-term disaster survival. Any form of combat, at any level, will lead to casualties on ‘both’ sides of the conflict.

Aside from being fully prepped (supplies, equip, etc.), the most logical approach to survival is to plan to avoid risk when the SHTF.

Should a major large-scale disaster occur, one that may for instance take the entire U.S. electrical grid down, or some other catalyst that would cause a collapse of the supply-chain infrastructure (food, fuel and supplies into cities), there will be masses (in some areas millions) of Un-Prepped people that will be dislocated from the cities and towns and who will relocate themselves to the rural areas in search of resources (food, water, etc.).

Many of these un-prepped survivors (keep in mind, we are talking about millions of people) will be armed and desperate. If Preppers attempt to shelter in place within range of these survivors, regardless of the preps and tactics used, they will likely be ultimately overcome by their sheer numbers. Any argument to the contrary is simply illogical (none of us are John. J. Rambo). If you truly want to survive (as in ’staying alive’), then a realistic relocation plan is of paramount importance.

The thousands (and more) of un-prepared and desperate survivors who will be migrating outward from towns/cities during post-disaster conditions are what some Preppers refer to as ‘Zombies’; I call them the ‘Un-Prepped’. These are the people who are post-disaster survivors and through their desperation pose a real danger to others, akin to a drowning man who will quickly push another person under the water in his desperate attempt to survive.

So what are the legitimate options?

First of all, 24/7 situational awareness is absolutely key for people living in the cities, given that relocation may only be possible just before any disaster/event and/or immediately after (within minutes). If you are already living off-grid in a remote area, you are in the best situation and have much more time to consider the situation as it unfolds.

Second, you’ll need a relocation plan in place that will get you to a prepped facility that is at a secure distance from migrating masses, as in ‘out of reach‘ and remote. Distance is your ally, since many Un-Prepped survivors will be on-foot (vehicles will be grid-locked, fuel will be unavailable), and they can only walk about 10-20 miles in a day. Doing the math, and giving them the benefit of the doubt, the average ‘Un-Prepped’ may be able to travel as far as 2-3 days away from any towns/cities. This gives an effective maximum ‘Un-Prepped Radius’ of about 60 miles (maybe more) from any towns/cities. Therefore, I would expect that if your relocation facility was 75-150 miles away from the nearest major town/city, you would minimize possible contact with the Un-Prepped, and thereby minimize your risks of dealing with these desperate people.

Clearly, there is still some vulnerability being on land. This stems from the fact that some Un-Prepped may nonetheless reach your position on foot, and possibly using vehicles. The ones who reach your location will likely be the most resourceful of the Un-Prepped, since they will have obviously survived the initial chaos and made it out of the towns/cities, and likely have already engaged in lethal combat.

Being under-siege in a fixed location can be a real problem and due to the duration of such sieges, some fixed position facilities ultimately fall. It’s a function of how well prepared you are as compared to the threat that is presented by any hostile force.

There is also another option that is best suited for those people who are living in, or close to a city on the coast, which precludes the need for potential defensive combat and the risks posed by the Un-Prepped.

Bugging-Out in comfort on a boat is a very realistic solution for some people. In fact, Expedition Sailors such as myself do it for fun and have done it for many years with our families, friends, and pets!

Once you leave port and are over the horizon heading to a preselected safe destination, you are out of sight and out of mind, leaving 99.99% of everyone else in the city behind competing for the dwindling resources. The risks at sea and at a preselected remote location (an island with zero or limited population) are far less than those that must be endured long-term on the continent in and around cities. Of course, this paradigm may not be suitable for many people, for a host of reasons.

Over the course of several decades, among other commercial marine operations, I have personally handled all of the logistics, planning, engineering, and operations, including the customization of the vessels that were required for two separate multi-year sailing expeditions that each covered thousands of miles at sea. Each of these expeditions ultimately required that I provide all of the know-how that allowed my family (wife, two children, and two dogs) and I to successfully reach distant remote locations and then live off the grid at uninhabited desert islands in the Sea of Cortez.

The success of these long-range multi-year expeditions was not by chance. The technical know-how that I have accumulated over decades involves detailed knowledge of many disciplines, including but not limited to:

Power collection, generation and storage systems, communications and navigation systems, meteorology, water production-collection and storage systems, provisioning, food storage and long-term field supplementation, life support and safety systems, security, defense systems and tactics, surveillance and counter-surveillance, sanitation systems, equipment and clothing for personnel, advanced first-aid and medical supplies. And all the tools, parts and supplies to maintain and repair all mission-critical equipment, which must function long-term as they must in any ‘Prepper’ survival mission.

The bottom line is this:

When you have actually lived and survived off the grid long-term in challenging conditions you learn what works and what doesn’t work, and I have certainly earned some of that knowledge, by ‘living the preps‘. It would be a huge mistake for Preppers to learn the hard lessons under actual survival-disaster conditions.

For example; equipment fails over time; some much sooner than others and you have to know in advance which equipment is best and why…that knowledge only comes from actual use over time in the field. Morale is another critical matter in both short-term and long-term survival and through actual experience, many lessons are learned and genuine solutions have been developed.

When you read the various Prepper and Survival blogs and comments on Prepping, it’s hard to avoid the constant chatter about guns and defensive warfare… Hollywood has done an excellent

Your EDC gear that you carry daily can be used in millions of ways. It could be something as trivial as having a light to shine into a dark room for greater visibility or as serious as a weapon to defend your life or the lives of others. We carry and advocate EDC (Every Day Carry) to place tools on your body or within ready access that can make whatever situation you are faced with easier, safer or more survivable.

Some of the items I carry on my person (practically) everywhere I go are my concealed carry weapon, a folding knife, multi-tool, flashlight and bandana. Naturally, I have the more common items like a cell phone and a watch, usually some paracord and a Nalgene bottle of water in my bag but I don’t carry much more than that. This allows me what I consider are the basics that can be used in situations to provide me with an advantage.

For additional capacity I have my Get Home Bag or Bug Out Bag in my vehicle that has pretty much anything I would need in all but the most dire circumstances to live for 72 hours or more. I don’t have that on my person, but it is in my vehicle so when I am venturing away from home, those additional supplies are with me as well.

But there are supplies and gear I can expect to use that fall outside of the ideal mission for a Bug Out Bag. I don’t really want to raid that bag anytime I need something because I will then have to remember to put it back. Additionally, I don’t want to overload my bug out bag with gear I might not be able to use effectively in a bug out scenario. I don’t want unnecessary weight that could slow me down. Enter the vehicle EDC gear concept.

What is vehicle EDC gear?

Your vehicle EDC gear are supplies that can easily be stored in your vehicle that can give you advantages in situations where survival or simple convenience require them. Just like with my personal EDC gear that I have on my person, I might not use any of my vehicle EDC gear on a day-to-day basis. I might not use it for months or years, but it is there if I need it.

Your vehicle EDC gear extends your regular EDC gear but it doesn’t take the place of your Bug Out Bag.

Some of your vehicle EDC items can be stored in smaller pouches like this one.

Important factors to consider when choosing your vehicle EDC gear list?

Every person is different. We have different vehicles, different resources, and different commutes, live in different climates and have different priorities and concerns. The items I am listing for my vehicle EDC are ones that I have chosen based upon what I can see myself possibly needing on any day where I live and commute daily. My list isn’t set in stone and has and will evolve over time. Your list might look different and that is perfectly fine. This exercise is simply looking at what items could augment your daily carry EDC and make life a little better if you encounter an emergency.

The amount of time you spend in your vehicle, the work you do, the vehicle’s mechanical condition and what you may be able to fix, if needed all play into consideration for this list.

What vehicle EDC gear should you consider?

So with all of that out-of-the-way and without needing a tractor-trailer to haul everything, what are some ideas for vehicle EDC gear that could help you?

Water

We never used to carry water in any of our vehicles until I got into Prepping. It wasn’t long after that my wife decided that she didn’t like the thought of being stranded in the car with small children in the heat of the summer. Water is possibly the easiest thing you can do to affect your survival situation no matter what you are faced with. You can either buy a case of water and keep it in the trunk or fill up some stainless steel water bottles and store them. The stainless steel will prevent the plastic leaching into the water when it gets really hot, but don’t forget about them when the temperatures drop down to freezing. I lost a perfectly good SIGG water bottle this past winter due to that and some of my gear had mildew damage for sitting in water for I don’t know how long.

Food

Not everyone carries a set of jumper cables anymore. Would you have some in an emergency?

This one might be up for debate. I know some people will say you should always have some spare food in your vehicle, but choosing the type of food is a little trickier because again you have to worry about it spoiling in the heat. Even if that isn’t an issue, you have to prepare it unless you buy something that requires no cooking. I have two mainstay emergency rations in my bug out bag, but I don’t have any spare food in my car. Would this be completely different if I was on a cross-country trip or commuted more than 10 miles to work? Yes, but as it stands right now I don’t.

Vehicle Maintenance/Misc.

Some of the items don’t apply to all vehicles and to all people. If you have zero mechanical skills for instance, there really isn’t any value in putting tools in your car is there? One could argue that maybe you should learn how to fix vehicles and I can see some value in that, but for me if my car broke down and I couldn’t see something very simple I could fix, I would start walking if there weren’t any other options. I wouldn’t be pulling the engine apart trying to see if I could fix some broken part with duct tape.

  • Jumper Cables – This should be a no-brainer. My kids have run the battery down in our car while my wife was inside shopping. She wasn’t in there long, but it doesn’t take long running the fan in the summer, lights on and radio blaring to kill a battery. She had to call me because she didn’t have any jumper cables. It would have taken all of two minutes to get her back on the road, but because nobody around her had any, or was offering to help she was temporarily stranded. Needless to say, she had jumper cables that night.
  • Duct Tape – Getting back to my point above, I don’t expect anyone is going to be fixing a flat tire or mending a broken axle with strong duct tape, but that stuff sure does come in handy. You probably don’t need an entire roll either, just wrap some around your water bottle for emergencies.
  • Fluids (as necessary) – Again, this is vehicle dependent. I don’t carry any fluids because my vehicle doesn’t go through fluids that I should worry about it. Some people have older vehicles that needed the occasional topping off of oil or coolant. If that is you, plan accordingly.
  • Flat Tire Tools – The simplest option is a good old can of fix a flat although sometimes that can cause more havoc when you take your tire into the shop and they refuse to fix the Tire Pressure sensor. The jack and wrench that come with your car are the bare essentials. They will get the job done, but not as easily as a beefier jack and lug wrench. Make sure the spare is full when you top off the other tires too. You don’t want to get a flat tire only to find out your spare is empty.
  • Spare Gloves – A good pair of mechanix gloves or even simple leather work gloves will come in handy if you have to get your hands dirty. It is much easier to put on a set of gloves than to get grease off your hands.
  • Tarp – Another multi-use item. A tarp can provide protection from rain. You can lay on it instead of muddy or frozen ground if you have to get under the car or it can protect the inside of your car from getting dirty.
  • Gas Can (empty) – Again, this is one that I don’t personally have only because I am pretty much always filling up when my tank gets to half-full. I could regret this one day, but for me it isn’t needed at this time. If you do get one of the newer style (which are practically worthless, thank you California) be sure to get a Gas spout and modify the can so it actually pours.
  • Basic Tools – Back to the initial point. Tools are great if you know what you are doing. If you can’t find the hood release, or recognize the big parts under the hood, this probably won’t do you any good.
  • Demolition Hammer – This might be a luxury item but if you ever need to beat the ever-loving crap out of something or just hammer some tent pegs in, a big hammer will come in handy. Doesn’t take up too much space either.

A good multi tool has hundreds of uses.

Survival/Safety

  • Multi-tool – The multi-tool goes in the duct tape category. Actually, for most people, this might be the only tool that you need. No, it won’t allow you to remove the water pump, but it can take on a myriad of smaller tasks.
  • Spare Magazines – No, I don’t mean People Magazine or the latest Oprah. In addition to my concealed carry weapon, I have a weapon in my car. It is my EDC backup. Usually, there are a few more on long trips, but I always have spare magazines for each weapon ready to go.
  • Seat Belt Cutter/Glass punch – The likelihood that you are going to be involved in an accident that requires you to cut your seat belt or shatter your window to escape is remote, but having something like the resqme car escape tool is cheap and provides some extra peace of mind.
  • Rope – I have some general use Polly rope if I ever need to tie something down to the roof rack. Paracord is a suitable alternative too and takes up a lot less room.

First Aid

Most of the time you will need a first aid kit in your car it is going to be for either headaches or minor boo-boos. You likely won’t need the Elite First Aid fully stocked medic bag unless you drive up to a war zone or horrific accident and have the skills and training to know what to do. However, a good first aid kit gives me peace of mind. I don’t plan on surgery, but I do have some celox quick clot, some blood stoppers along with my own IFAK. If nothing else, I can help stop bleeding if I need to until help arrives. Then I’ll pop some aspirin and go back to my car.

A good handheld ham radio will work in disaster scenarios to communicate when traditional methods are out.

Communication/Navigation

Getting lost is half the journey, right? Well, if you have all the time in the world to kill and plenty of gas, maybe that sounds nice but I usually don’t go for joy rides. Have you ever been given the wrong directions on your GPS? We have. I have had Google Maps tell me to get off the highway at one exit, drive back to the previous exit and turn around again. Yes, like an idiot I followed it. GPS might cease to work, or due to some other reason, you can’t use it. I like to have backups.

  • Road Atlas – Rand McNally has simple and low-cost maps that you should have in your car. Throw it in the trunk for emergencies.
  • State Atlas – I also have a state atlas for my state that will help me get out of my neighborhood (figuratively speaking here) if the roads are blocked and I need alternate routes.
  • Cell Phone Charge cord – You should have a spare cell phone charger in your car at all times. These are usually less than $20, plug into a USB to cigarette lighter adapter and can keep your phone going.
  • Ham Radio w/Battery Charger – I have one of my Baofeng handheld radios in my car in case all else fails. This also has FM frequencies on it if I need to listen to local news/radio.

General Purpose

  • Pen/Pad
  • LED Flashlight
  • Headlamp – Superior to a flashlight in a lot of cases due to the hands free nature.
  • Light Stick
  • Spare Batteries
  • Lighter
  • Toilet Paper
  • Shop Towels
  • Trash bags

Weather Dependent

The weather where you live greatly affects this list so I am not going to get too specific. I think people who live in colder climates already know the importance of keeping some supplies just in case.

  • Cold Weather
    • Tire Chains – or all-weather tires
    • Wool Blanket –I like a wool blanket better than the space blankets although it is more expensive and takes up more space.
    • Tow Strap – I now have a 4X4 so I have a tow strap just in case I can pull someone out who has fallen into a ditch. Again, this doesn’t make sense for all vehicles.
    • Proper footwear
  • Hot Weather
    • More water, electrolyte solution
    • Hats to block sun

What to store your vehicle EDC gear in?

Now, what do you store all of this EDC gear in? If you are building your kit out I would suggest you compile everything first and then choose a suitable container or containers for holding this gear. Some gear makes sense to be kept with similar associated gear and the potential for use might dictate where you place it. For instance, you might have food and any cooking supplies in one container. The vehicle you have will obviously dictate where some of this goes. The general purpose items could go in a glove-box, center console or a molle visor attachment.

I have different gear spread over the vehicle, but the majority sits nicely in a plastic tote from Rubbermaid. It’s there if I ever need it and I am not surprised at how often my vehicle EDC gear has come in handy. Maybe some of these items could help you out.

Your turn! What do you keep in your car that I missed?

Your EDC gear that you carry daily can be used in millions of ways. It could be something as trivial as having a light to shine into a dark room