When non-preppers think about how to survive the end of the world, they usually think about hoarding supplies, finding a secure place to store them and hunkering down to wait it out. It’s a nice fairy-tale, but in the real world, when SHTF, true survivors have to know how to hit back.

While it is important to stock up on supplies that you might need to survive TEOTWAWKI, having all the supplies in the world won’t help you if you can’t get to them when an apocalypse event strikes. What about defending all your supplies from desperate people trying to get them? What about protecting yourself and the people you care about? What if a flood or fire break out and you end up stranded with nothing? Even if you do manage to make it back to your supplies and feel safe, what happens when the inevitable occurs and your supplies run out?

Fitness is the First Step to Survival

The truth is, prepping is about skill and knowledge, first and foremost. Knowing what matters most is the true key to apocalypse survival, and having the skills to do whatever it takes to keep going isn’t about buying stuff; it’s about building your skill-set. That’s why the first step in learning how to prepare for the end of the world is always getting your body ready to handle whatever might come your way. In reality, every moment is an opportunity to train for the end of the world.

The Elements of Physical Fitness

Diversify your training to see the greatest results.

Endurance. Strength. Flexibility. Creativity. These are the essential elements of apocalypse survival and training. The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities in your everyday life to increase your overall capacity to execute these skills – if you make the time for it. Here’s a quick guide on how to physically prepare for SHTF:

  • Endurance. There’s just no way to build your stamina without getting after it, every day. Endurance is quite literally a marathon sport. Even if it starts with a simple walk, find a way to get moving and keep moving every day. Aim to continually increase the amount of physical activity you do, the kinds of activities you try and their level of difficulty.
  • Strength. Bodyweight exercises are a great way to strengthen and tone without a ton of equipment, while there are a range of targeted activities like CrossFit and Krav Maga that can help you home in on and improve your weakest skills.
  • Flexibility. It may not seem very tough, but staying limber is essential to staying alive. Stretch while you strengthen, and you’ll be able to do more and recover faster after intense physical activity.
  • Creativity. Diversify your training to see the greatest results. Try different combat methods and improvise with the environment around you to identify your strengths and weaknesses while making it easier to respond effectively, whatever your situation or surroundings.

Apocalypse Training Techniques

Learn how to defend yourself in a lethal situation without a weapon.

Ultimately, fitness training for SHTF situations is about applied knowledge, not book learning or simulations. The people you’re fighting against when SHTF won’t follow the rules of sparing or good sportsmanship. At TEOTWAWKI, you’ll be fighting for your life with whatever you have available. That means you need to be prepared to fight on all fronts.

Train in three ways for maximum effect:

  • Functional Training. Use what’s around you to build practical strength, like tires, ropes and more. This idea is the cornerstone of CrossFit and parkour training.
  • Combat Training. Learn how to defend yourself in a lethal situation without a weapon. Mastering a martial art that’s specifically designed for tactical fighting like Krav Maga can be your greatest protection in an apocalypse situation.
  • Tactical Training. Firearm training is a no-brainer. Having a gun won’t help you if you don’t know how to properly use it or don’t consistently practice and improve your shooting skills.

When deciding how to build your skills in each of these three areas, think about the ultimate goal of any technique you learn. Your primary objective is to survive, not simply one-up your assailant. Find tactics that will help you stay one step ahead of an opponent both mentally and physically. Approaching your training this way is how to survive the end of the world. Survival isn’t about winning a trophy or a championship belt. It’s about making it out alive.

Tactical Survival Training for TEOTWAWKI

Focus on developing the kind of skills that will serve you under pressure when preparing for the end of the world. PHOTOGRAPHER: Lauren Harnett

If you really think about it, it makes sense to focus on developing the kind of skills that will serve you under pressure when preparing for the end of the world. You won’t be facing rainbows and words of encouragement in the end of days. When training with firearms, spend the majority of your time building and practicing fundamental skills so they become natural reflexes when you’re fighting for your life, rather than focusing on tricks and complicated techniques that will take time to recall.

The tactics you have to think about are the ones that will do the most damage when it’s time to make a split-second decision in a fight or flight situation. It’s better to stick with tactical techniques that complement what naturally happens in your body and brain when adrenaline spikes. This means sticking with methods that retain your accuracy and control, even when you’re under serious stress.

Practice the Basics. Then Practice Differently.

The tactics you have to think about are the ones that will do the most damage when it’s time to make a split-second decision in a fight or flight situation.

The first key to effective firearm use is mastering the basics, including your stance, grip, target acquisition, sights, trigger control, follow-through and ability to disarm an opponent. Here’s a quick breakdown of each and what you should focus on to improve your fundamentals.

  • Power Stance. Improving your overall fitness level will help you find a stable, mobile and balanced stance when shooting your gun, but it takes practice to find the power stance that will protect you from recoil, while letting you stay agile, aggressive and in control.
  • Grip. Make your grip firm, tight and with your thumbs curled down. Firearm expert and master trainer Massad Ayoob calls this the “crush grip,” and it’s one of the five elements he considers most crucial to have in your arsenal before firing a gun (Ayoob, 2012).
  • Target Acquisition. This skill covers the rapid vision transition that must occur after you’ve spotted a target and before you shoot. Practice adjusting the focus of your eyesight from a natural target to your sights quickly so you program the movement into your eyes’ muscle memory.
  • Sight Alignment and Picture. Two essential yet separate elements of proper shooting, sight alignment requires that your front sight be centered between the rear sights with your rear sights horizontally aligned, while sight picture is the relationship of your sight alignment to your target for accurate execution. Understanding the relationship between sight alignment and picture takes practice and depends on your individual gun.
  • Trigger Control. Your grip will go a long way toward improving trigger control, which is the act of pulling the trigger without pushing the nose of the gun up or down, jerking the trigger or otherwise disturbing your aim. Smooth and consistent squeezing is key.
  • Follow-Through and Reset. Follow-through is about squeezing the trigger until it stops moving, while reset is about getting the trigger ready to fire again. After your follow-through, practice releasing the trigger to the point of reset and firing again. Sometimes, the trigger break and follow-through positions are the same, sometimes not. Your trigger reset is rarely the same position where the trigger rests when untouched. Practice to determine both the follow-through and reset positions of your specific guns.
  • Disarmament. Whether you’re facing a knife, gun or concealed weapon that you can’t identify, you have to know how to disarm an assailant coming at you with a weapon – not only to protect yourself from other people, but also to anticipate how someone else might try to disarm you and prevent it.

There are a few simple drills that can help you get the basics ingrained in your brain, round out your shooting skills, and give you the confidence and versatility you need to shoot well when SHTF. Remember to practice shooting both moving and still targets, work with both two-handed and one-handed grips, and incorporate movement into your tactical training. If you aren’t shooting, move.

You should test out different kinds of firearms, including rifles, shotguns and handguns, and practice drawing and shooting them all until you find the weapons that work best for you. Your gun will do you no good if you can’t draw it fast enough and shoot it accurately. Practice in low light environments, try shooting multiple targets to improve your agility, and practice safely shooting from behind cover and concealment. All of these techniques can give you a huge tactical advantage in a lethal confrontation.

Mental Readiness: The Real Key to Apocalypse Survival

 

Mental preparation is about conditioning yourself to handle the inevitable emotions during an apocalypse. Fear, concern, hopelessness, helplessness, defeat. Being better prepared than most can itself be a liability, since you can’t save everyone and trying to could ultimately end your own life. How will you determine when to stand firm, when to offer help and when to move on?

Mental preparedness doesn’t mean being weak. In fact, working on assessing, identifying and controlling your emotions will improve your ability to stay assertive, aggressive and in control instead of breaking down in the face of disaster. Often, appearing aggressive is enough to keep weaker would-be threats at bay, without the risks of direct engagement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having a strong mind and body and the right functional, combat and tactical training will go a long way to getting your ready for TEOTWAWKI – much more than stockpiling supplies can ever do. I hope this article gave you a good understanding of where to put your focus to really prepare for SHTF. If you get after it and train to improve a little each day, you’ll be better prepared than most when the end of the world arrives. Good luck.

When non-preppers think about how to survive the end of the world, they usually think about hoarding supplies, finding a secure place to store them and hunkering down to wait

Bread is a truly wonderful food. It tastes good no matter what you do to it — whether you’re toasting it and slathering it with butter, or covering it in eggs and making French toast for breakfast. Heck, it’s even delicious when you’re eating it completely plain. Bread is a super versatile item in the kitchen when cooking or baking, but what you may not have realized is that even when you’re not eating it, bread can be used for so many other things around the house. There are so many weird things you can do with bread that, after reading this, you’ll want to make sure you always have a loaf in your kitchen, just in case. Basically, to quote the great Oprah Winfrey, “I love bread. I love bread.”

It doesn’t matter if you’re using white bread, multigrain bread, whole wheat, sourdough, or rye — any type will work for these life-changing hacks. Bread of all kinds can be a valuable tool when it comes to cleaning your house (seriously!), and it can actually bring certain foods back to life (more on that in a minute). Honestly, I’m not quite sure why bread hasn’t been labeled a superfood yet, because it deserves the title.

Check out these weird things you can do with bread, and prepare to see this item differently for the rest of your life.

Remove Stains

Sometimes, cleaning requires products full of chemicals and bleach that will destroy everything in its path. Other times, though, you’ll be just fine with a natural cleaner — in fact, you may even be better off. According to Country Living, bread is an excellent natural cleaner. White bread or rye bread rolled into a ball is basically an eraser that can lift stains off walls, wallpaper, kitchen cabinets, and more. The site advises dabbing gently at the surface with the rolled-up bread ball, and you’ll notice the smudges and marks disappear.

Soak Up Grease Spills

Bread doesn’t just get rid of smudges or tiny marks. It’s also incredibly helpful in soaking up annoying grease stains, which can be difficult to get rid of. Simply take a piece of bread and lay it over the stain, pressing gently until it goes away.

Treat Calluses

According to Fluster Buster, bread is a lifesaver when it comes to fixing calluses and other various foot ailments. For calluses and corns, you can soak a piece of bread in apple cider vinegar, then place it on the callus. Tape the bread in place, cover it in plastic wrap, and let it sit overnight.

For boils, you can soak a piece of bread in some milk, then apply it to the affected area, tape it in place, and allow it to dry overnight — it will drain out the liquid.

Prevent Vegetables From Smelling Weird

You know how some vegetables get super smelly when you cook them? (I’m looking at you, broccoli and cauliflower.) You can eliminate that odor with bread. Simply place a piece of bread on top of the vegetables in the pot to get rid of the stinky smell.

Revive Stale Marshmallows

Marshmallows are delicious — until they get stale and hard. But if that happens, don’t toss the bag just yet. According to Food and Wine, you can put a squishy piece of bread in a plastic bag with the marshmallows, seal it, and give them a few days to sit. They should become fluffy again, just like magic.

Remove Splinters

Removing splinters with tweezers can be painful. Using bread, you can make a poultice that gets the job done. According to Genius Kitchen, you can fold a handkerchief along the diagonal, place the bread on the handkerchief, pour boiling water over the bread (don’t let it get dripping wet), and then let it cool slightly. Place it over the splinter. Tie the ends of the handkerchief around the part of your body where the splinter is, elevate that body part if possible, and keep the bread on there as long as you can. You can repeat if necessary, until the splinter is close to the surface of your skin and easily removable with tweezers.

According to The Farmer’s Almanac, you can also soak bread in cool milk, press out the milk, and apply the bread to the affected area, then tape it there, and let sit for a few hours or overnight. After, the splinter will have risen close to the surface of your skin, or (if it’s not that deep of a splinter), it may be removed from your skin completely. Easy peasy!

Clean Old Paintings

If you have old paintings in your house, you’ll notice that they might get full of smudges, dust, or dirt. The best way to clean them is actually with bread. According to The Brick House, you can rub the soft spot of white bread all over the painting. Be gentle, and just run the bread over the surface. It kind of works like a sponge to pull off grime and dust.

Make Bread Art

If you really want to get creative, look into bread art. There are basically a million different ways to mold bread into something aesthetically pleasing. You might not want to eat it when you’re done, but you will want to put it on display for everyone to see!

Cut Onions Without Crying

No one enjoys cutting onions because of how much they burn your eyes, leaving you teary. Apparently though, bread can help. If you put a piece of bread in your mouth while cutting, it will absorb the sulfates that cause the tears.

The Farmer’s Almanac also suggests spearing a piece of stale bread with your knife and sliding it up to the end of the blade near the handle to absorb the sulfates.

10 Fix Burnt Rice

Burning rice happens to the best of us. Unfortunately, it’s not very tasty… at all. But bread can make things better! The Healthy Home Economist recommends putting a slice of bread on top of the rice, covering it, and letting it finish cooking. Use a regular slice of bread instead of crust. The bread will absorb any burnt taste that might be there.

11 Pick Up Broken Glass

Picking up tiny pieces of broken glass can be made easier with a piece of bread. Simply press it gently on the area, and it will snatch up all the teensy pieces.

12 Clean A Coffee Grinder

To clean out a coffee grinder, The Farmer’s Almanacrecommends pinching off three or four small pieces of stale bread, grinding them in your grinder, dumping the crumbs, and then wiping the inside of the grinder clean. Voila!

13 Keep Cake Fresh

Once a cake is cut, it can get stale quickly. To keep it fresh, simply put a piece of bread against the cut part and leave it there.

14 Skim The Fat Off Soup

If you notice a lot of fat on the top of your soup, you can easily get rid of it by skimming a piece of bread along the top. It absorbs the oil and grease quickly in a mess-free way.

Honestly, I’m beginning to feel like there’s no problem in life that bread can’t fix.


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)

 

Bread is a truly wonderful food. It tastes good no matter what you do to it — whether you’re toasting it and slathering it with butter, or covering it in

Building a survival stockpile is a challenge on many levels. Trying to afford it, is one challenge. Trying to ensure that it will provide your family with the necessary nutrition, is another challenge altogether; one which can contradict the first one. Making sure that the food and other supplies you have purchased will still be good when you need them is another issue altogether. Forgetting any of these many issues can leave you without the stockpile you need.

The result of all this is that we all make errors in building stockpiles, especially in the beginning. Of these errors, the most critical ones are those where we buy things that don’t last. The real danger here is that we have food that we think is good, but it turns out we don’t. Unless you check your food on a regular basis, this could end up being very dangerous, as the food is unavailable during a crisis, when we need to use it.

It’s imperative that we all check our stockpiles on a regular basis, at least once a year. This is part of my personal new year’s activities; something I try to accomplish sometime during January of every year. Even the best-preserved foods can go bad if something goes wrong in the preservation process. Checking them in January allows me to fit the replacement of those items into my plan for the year.

Some items just aren’t going to last, no matter what you do. Then there are those items you might have in your stockpile, which really aren’t going to do your family much good anyway, due to their lack of nutrition. Getting these items out of your stockpile and replacing them will help your family to be better prepared when the time comes.

Gasoline

Remove This From Your Stockpile Immediately

Gasoline could end up being one of the most important things you can stockpile. The problem is, it doesn’t store well. Untreated gasoline can only be stored for about six months.

Even treated gasoline doesn’t do all that well, as you can only expect it to still be good for about a year. After that, many of the most combustible elements will have evaporated out, even in a sealed gas can.

Still, you need to have gasoline in your stockpile. The way to do that is to constantly rotate your stock so that none is over six months old. I have a 55-gallon steel barrel, laying on a stand on its side, which I use as a gas tank. Every month I take a tank’s worth of gas out of the drum and put it in my car, replacing that with fresh gas. In this way, I always have a good supply of fresh gas and I burn off the old gasoline.

Please note that my 55-gallon steel drum is a much better storage container for long-term storage of gas than plastic gas cans are. Gas cans are much more likely to leak, as well as absorb the gasoline, changing the chemical structure of the can itself.

Kerosene

Kerosene can also go bad when stored for a prolonged period of time. Condensation is the number one culprit, but not the only one. It will also develop a sludge, created by bacteria and mold that live in the kerosene, feeding off of it.

The solution for keeping kerosene for a prolonged period of time is to rotate your stock, just like I was talking about with gasoline. Always use an opaque plastic container, specifically marked for kerosene.

Breakfast Cereal

Breakfast cereals are a staple in most American households. Sadly though, most breakfast cereals hold very little nutrition for their volume. This makes them very poor food to be stockpiling. You would be better off storing whole grains and granola, which can be mixed together and eaten like cereal.

The other problem with breakfast cereal is that it goes stale very easily, even in a sealed container. Packing breakfast cereals in five-gallon buckets with oxygen absorbers don’t solve this problem, as that doesn’t do a thing about any moisture that might be contained in the bucket or the food itself, as I found the hard way. Adding silica desiccant packages can help, but as I already mentioned, there are other options that are better.

Ground Wheat Flour

Ground wheat flour is difficult to store for prolonged periods of time, due to the propensity to have insects or insect eggs in it. This is actually where the idea of sifting flour first came from. In many countries, you have to sift flour, because of insects getting into it while it is stored.

Storing wheat flour in vacuum-sealed bags, inside of five-gallon buckets, with oxygen absorbers helps. But even then, the flour has a limited shelf life. The difference is that it is about eight years, instead of eight months. But if you store whole grain that way, it will last for 20 years. The natural husk of the grain provides excellent protection from insects, and once you grind it, will provide you with healthier baked goods.

Snack Foods

To put it simply, there is no such thing as a snack food that is worthwhile as survival food. Granted, if that’s all you’ve got, it will provide you with carbohydrates and probably fats. But it will also provide you with a lot of chemicals to go with it. Those foods just aren’t designed to sustain life. The space you’re storing them in can be better used for other things.

Summer Sausage

Sadly, summer sausage just doesn’t store well for a prolonged period of time. I originally thought it would, especially since it normally comes vacuum-packed. But that isn’t enough to keep it from going bad.

What happens to summer sausage is that the curing process that is used to make it doesn’t stop. The nitrates and nitrites added into curing salt help to dehydrate the meat, but also work to break it down, turning what would normally be very tough meat into tender cured meat. But that process doesn’t really stop. The breakdown continues, turning that nice summer sausage into something much mushier.

As best I know that mushy summer sausage isn’t dangerous to eat. I’ve actually eaten it. But the texture and flavor of that sausage aren’t going to be the same. To me, it was really weird to eat.

Chocolate

As a confirmed chocoholic from a family of chocoholics, this one is even sadder than sad. Nevertheless, you can’t keep chocolate for a prolonged period of time, unless you can keep it cold. The problem is that heat causes the natural oils to seep out of the chocolate, messing up the texture and flavor. Eventually, you end up with something that looks more like white powder. It’s not dangerous to eat, but it’s not the chocolate you started out with.

Applesauce in Jars

Remove This From Your Stockpile Immediately

Canned goods are generally good virtually forever. But there are some exceptions. One of these is applesauce canned in plastic jars.

Glass jars probably wouldn’t cause the same problem, but commercially canned applesauce is generally put into plastic jars. This allows the applesauce to discolor and the flavor to change. After about a year, it’s just not the same.

I have eaten canned applesauce that is more than a year old, without any negative side effects. But since we’re talking about stockpiling here, I don’t want to see what will happen to that applesauce in five or ten years.

Powdered Milk in “Cans”

Most canned powdered milk (and a few other things) comes in cardboard “cans” rather than metal ones. While this is fine for short-term storage, it’s not what you need for storing that milk for 10 or 20 years. The cardboard can become water-damaged, insects can eat their way through it and the milk can spoil.

Fortunately, the milk isn’t the problem; just the packaging. If you vacuum seal the powdered milk in Mylar bags and store it in sealed five-gallon buckets, it will last as long as you want.

Damaged Canned Goods

I’m a firm believer that canned goods can last forever; long past the supposed “expiration date”. At the same time, I recognize that it doesn’t always do that. I know this because I’ve had canned goods go bad; not many, but some.

This problem generally happens with acidic food and can only happen when there is an error in the canning process. The cans for these foods are lined with an acid-resistant film, protecting the metal can from the acid. But if the film doesn’t cover the entire inside of the can or if the film becomes nicked in processing, then the can is no longer protected from the acid in the food. That acid will eventually eat through the can, allowing air and bacteria into the can, where it spoils the food.

Of course, if you are checking your stock on a regular basis, you’ll see any cans with puffy lids, that are leaking, or which have mold on the outside of the cans. When these are found, they must be removed and any cans nearby checked, especially those stored below. At times, the damage will allow acids that spill out, which will attack the unprotected outer side of the cans it spills on.


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Building a survival stockpile is a challenge on many levels. Trying to afford it, is one challenge. Trying to ensure that it will provide your family with the necessary nutrition,