HomePosts Tagged "Bug Out Bag" (Page 2)

When travelling, working from a vehicle or in a hostile environment it makes sense to keep all your important and essential equipment in a bug out bag. From a tactical point of view, if you are attacked, ambushed or involved in an emergency situation and have to evacuate you will want to have any confidential information, emergency and survival equipment with you.

You never want to leave your essential equipment in an unattended vehicle, hotel room or non-secure location. For example, if the vehicle is stolen you lose your kit, which could be embarrassing to say the least especially where weapons and confidential information is concerned.

Contents

What you carry in your bug out bag will vary greatly depending where you are and what you are doing. For example, what you need in an urban environment will be different from what you could need in a very rural environment. What I have listed here is just a guide to what you may need, you need to keep things real and not include gear that you will never use, remember if things go wrong and you have to run you don’t want a bag weighing 100 lbs. on your back.

What you need in an urban environment will be different from what you could need in a very rural environment.

Bug out bag equipment (Basic)

  • A decent bag that is easy to carry, preferably a day sack or something that can be carried on you back so your hands are left free.
  • All equipment should be in individual water proof bags or containers. This is to keep everything dry, organized and clean.
  • Good maps and street plans of the area and a compass.
  • Any confidential information such as orders, codes, designated routes, operational procedures etc.
  • Radio/communications equipment, chargers and spare batteries.
  • A good first aid kit.
  • A good flash light and spare batteries.
  • Lighter or matches
  • Personal water filter
  • A bag of coins for parking meters and pay phones.
  • A camera, for taking photos of anything suspicious or that you think needs recording.
  • Water proofed note pad and selection of pens.

Bug out bag equipment: Potential threat environment

  • Radio scanner can be used to scan the emergency services radio frequencies; this can provide you with an early warning of potential problems or criminal/terrorist incidents in your area. In some areas, there are restrictions on the use scanners, always check.
  • Spot light can be used at night to shine in the face and blind the drive of a threat vehicles which is following/chasing you etc.
  • Smoke discharges, military style some grenades are illegal to possess in most places. What are legal though are the smoke distress signals that are carried on yachts and maritime vessels. These can be bought at most boat shops and are not that expensive, they usually can discharge about a minuets worth of red smoke. Smoke can be used to provide cover if you are ambushed or need to evacuate on foot. In addition, it can be used to cause a distraction in say an urban environment so you can evacuate the area.
  • Weapons, in some areas you cannot carry weapons on your person but can carry them in a secure case, the case can go in your bag! Where there may be a need for a long gun such as a shotgun or assault rifle and these cannot be carried openly they can go into a car bag. Of course, you can carry spare ammunition.

Food and drink

Depending on where you are and the length of your journey you may want to carry some form of food and drink with you

  • Drink, it’s always handy to have a thermos flask of coffee or tea available for moral reasons if nothing else. With drinks and liquids, you must insure they do not spill or leak over documents and equipment. Highly caffeinated and sugary coffee or sports drinks can be included in your car bag for emergencies, these can give you an energy boost when you need it and can help you to stay awake when you’re tired.
  • Food, if you are carrying food as with liquids you need to insure they do not spill or leak over documents and equipment. If you take a sandwich or other perishable food with you make sure you do not leave them in the car bag for any extended length of time and they go bad. It is also good protocol if sharing a vehicle with others not to carry strong smelling food; it might not smell good to everyone. Emergence foods that can be carried include chocolate bars, nuts, raisins etc. These will give you energy, are compact and have a long shelf life.

Remember if you use any emergency supplies replace them. This only a guide to what you may want to carry with you. We are not going to get into wilderness survival and navigation techniques as that is another subject, which if your operating in you should have at least a basic knowledge of.

When travelling, working from a vehicle or in a hostile environment it makes sense to keep all your important and essential equipment in a bug out bag. From a tactical

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is a bug out bag?

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

What do you need in a good bug out bag?

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

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

How can you save money on a bug out bag?

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

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

Bug Out Bag

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

Water

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

Food

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

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

Shelter

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

Tools

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

Optional Items

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

  1. Water collector

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

  1. Taking shelter

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

  1. Crafting a mattress

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

  1. Creating a hammock

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

  1. Shower curtain

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

  1. No more dripping

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

  1. Red Riding Hood Cosplay

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

  1. Controlling hemorrhages

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

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

  1. Carrying sick or injured party members

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

  1. Protection against toxic fumes

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

  1. Improv pillow

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Materials required

For this project, you will need the following items:

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

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

Step-by-step paracord grenade

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional considerations on the paracord grenade

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

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

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

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

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

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

If I could, I would write an ode to the bug out bag.

A couple of days ago, I was wondering what the H would I do if that B.O.B would go missing or worse, gets damaged beyond repair? Well, in the world of prepping, a broken backpack means nothing as long as you have a couple of materials at the ready.

In today’s article, I’m going to show you a quick easy way to craft your own backpack. Apparently, this type of carrier is called a horseshoe rucksack although I cannot see any resemblance between this thing and the metal hoop that goes around the horse’s hoof.

Anyway, from a historical perspective, the horseshoe backpack was, let’s say, invented around the time of Napoleon’s military campaigns. This kind of rucksack was used by foot soldiers to carry stuff like toiletries, spare ammo, paintings or valuables.

Well, I have to admit that given its aspect, the horseshoe rucksack goes above and beyond the call of duty – it’s incredibly light, can be used to store any number of objects and, most importantly, it’s incredibly resilient.

So, without further ado, here’s how you can craft your own horseshoe rucksack.

Materials required

For this project you will need the following items:

  • Cordage (works with anything from 550 paracords to string and dental floss).
  • Heavy poncho (you can replace with light rain poncho or a rectangular piece of the tarp).
  • Everything that goes inside your B.O.B or scavenged items.

Yup, it’s that simple. Soldiers didn’t like this type of rucksack for nothing. Imagine having to spend hours crafting an intricate backpack knowing that the sarge could give the “move out” order at any moment. All done gathering all the necessary gear? Great! Find yourself a quiet spot to piece together your horseshoe backpack and get to work.

How to assemble a horseshoe backpack

Step 1. Take out your heavy rain poncho\light rain poncho\tarp and set it on the ground.

Step 2. Fold it in the middle two times. You should end up with a rectangular piece. Don’t forget to tuck away the hood.

Step 3. Place your items on one side of the backpack. Arrange them in a straight line. If you have sharp or objects with jagged edges, wrap them in pieces of cloth to protect your tarp or poncho. Keep in mind that you’ll still need to use that for other purposes like water collection or shelter-crafting.

Step 4. When you’re done arranging the objects on the tarp\poncho, grab one side and start rolling it. Remember when you were little, and your mother asked you to roll the carpet? It’s the same thing. Be careful not to let any of the objects slip.

Step 5. After rolling the tarp\poncho, take some cordage, cut a small piece, and tie one of the ends. Don’t forget to make a tight knot. You wouldn’t want to lose the stuff inside the rucksack.

Step 6. Tie the other end of the poncho\tarp roll using a small piece of cordage.

Step 7. Cut two more pieces of string and make knots along the length. Now it’s time for the strap.

Step 8. Measure a piece of string and cut it with your survival knife or sharp rock. Take one end and tie it to the string attached to the upper part of your rucksack. Finally, tie the other end to the lower part, and you’re done. It’s adventure time!

Additional considerations on the horseshoe rucksack

Technically speaking, you can craft one of these backpacks from, well, anything you have on hand – a T-Shirt, a long piece of sterile gauze, a bedsheet or whatever. However, there is a good reason behind the use of a heavy rain poncho.

First of all, by default, ponchos are waterproof or, at least, it should be if it doesn’t have any holes in it. Second, ponchos, especially army-grade ones are resistant to tearing, breaking, and warping. So, you can be sure that everything inside will be dry and very well protected.

The old horseshoe backpack has only a single caveat: it’s not suitable for carrying heavier items. If you bug out back contains stuff like AM\FM radio, personal emergency buoy, extra smartphones or whatever, you will need to find other ways to carry them with you – I would recommend a pouch made from a piece of cordage and a piece of cloth.

There’s a big difference between hiking with a regular backpack and using the horseshoe – in the first case, the overall design distributes weight equally. The same thing cannot be said about our horseshoe backpack. I should also mention the fact that hiking with that thing on for more than four hours is totally unadvisable.

If the lack of weight balance is not a major turnoff, then the strap tearing into your shoulder is. Still, I wouldn’t consider this a caveat since you can easily fix it by adding some kind of padding to the string segment resting on your shoulder.  If you still have your old backpack, use your knife to cut a piece of strap. Aim for the one with extra padding. Place it over your shoulder, and that’s it!

When tying the horseshoe rucksack, I would advise you to be extra careful around the dangling end. For extra safety, tie another piece of cordage around it.

Other Options?

In case you have to hike for a longer amount of time, the horseshoe backpack’s not exactly the best option.

For this, I would recommend building a so-called cage backpack. Instead of using your heavy poncho, construct a cage-like frame by stacking small pieces of wood. Secure them using your cordage of choice. Mount two string straps and that’s it. In addition, this type of backpack is quite useful, especially if you’re forced to hunt – you can’t really fit the game, no matter how small, inside the horseshow.

Congrats! You now know how to make a simple backpack. What’s your take on this? 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)

Well, in the world of prepping, a broken backpack means nothing as long as you have a couple of materials at the ready.

I never imagined that there’s anything better to start a fire than char cloth. Well, times have changed, and so have I. At least about the fire-starting bit.

Ever heard about steel wool? Yes, I know it sounds rather contradictory, but this thing which, by the way, our grandparents used to scrub clean all those pots and pans, is everything a prepper may expect to find when reading our articles.

Apart from the fact that steel wool goes up in flame like its gasoline or something, it has tons of other uses around the house and, of course, in survival-type situations.

Fascinated by this – I don’t know how to call it – a byproduct of the metalworking industry, I spend a couple of hours searching for ways preppers utilize this stuff. What can I say, other than the fact that I struck gold? So, without further ado, here are 6 ways to use steel wool in a shit hits the fan situation, both in and out of the house.

Prevent drain clogging

I’ve always hated the idea of playing repairmen around the house (at least in rooms that have nothing to do with the bedroom). You want to know why? Because everything can be avoided if everyone around the house would exercise a quint little thing called common-sense. Recently, I had to unclog the bathtub’s drain two times because my wife has this thing about washing the dogs more often than necessary.

Anyway, I found out that a great way to prevent these mishaps would be to put some still wool around the drain before taking a bath. That thing sucks up every lock of hair like it were a sponge or something. You should also try using it in your kitchen’s sink, especially if you don’t have a garbage disposer.

No more loose screws

You probably know how frustrating it can be to try and drive a screw through a piece of wood when the hole’s too big. Well, you can try your luck finding a screw to fit the hole (pun intended), or you can use this simple prepper’s trick – wrap some steel wool around the screw and give it one more twist. If you don’t have any, take rip a small piece from a match, and stick it in the hole.

No more mice around the house

If you’re having critter trouble, snoop around a bit to see where they’re coming from. Once you find the mouse hole, cover it with a big piece of steel wool. Don’t worry about the mouse chewing through it – never going to happen!

Keep things sharp

If you ever run out of sharpening stones (true story here), you can use a wad of steel wool to keep your tools in working conditions. Works great on knives, but steel wool really works wonders on blunt scissors. Just take a big piece and snip it a couple of times with your scissors. You’ll get that thing sharpened in no time.

No more critters in the exhaust pipes

Winter comes, many people allow their cars and motorcycles to take a breather until spring. Nothing odd about this. However, what about them critters which tend to crawl into the exhaust pipes and air intakes? Apart from the fact that you end up gassing them to death once you start the engine, the stuff they bring along with them can clog the exhaust, resulting in engine damage and, possible, carbon monoxide poisoning.

Plugging the exhaust is the most obvious. Still, you don’t need to buy something very expensive to get the job done. Take a wad of steel cloth and shove it inside the air intake and the exhaust. You can wrap a bright-colored cloth or take around the pipes which you’ve stuffed with steel wool to serve you as a reminder to take them up before using the car.

Make rusty tools shine again

While searching for some stuff around the attic, I stumbled upon a small toolbox with several rusty tools inside. Asked my dad about them, and apparently, they belonged to my grandfather. Seeing the state they were in made my heart bleed, which meant I had to do something about it. Luckily, I had a pack of steel wool in my garage which made my job a lot easier. If you have rusty tools, try giving them a good scrub with a wad of steel wool. Works like a charm.

Now, if you really want to restore them to their former glory, you can try this trick – fill a tub with Coca-Cola and put every rusty tool inside. Let them soak overnight. Early in the morning, take them out and use a towel or cloth to remove the excess liquid. After drying them, scrub them with steel wool. You won’t find shinier tools anywhere. By the way, this method works on chrome surface as well.

Remove persistent wood stains

I’ve never seen true Hell until my wife put her coffee mug on the small living room table I just bought. You know those rings on the bottom of the mug that usually form when the coffee goes over the edges? They never go away. And, no matter how hard you scrub that wood surface, you won’t be able to remove it.

Well, least I thought before using steel wool. Encouraged by the kickass results I had with restoring grandpa’s rusty tool, I attempted to apply the same method on the wood table. Wouldn’t you know it? It worked! I had my share of doubts about using something as abrasive as steel wool on a fine surface, but, apparently, it didn’t leave any scratches. If you’re having the same issues, try a wad of steel wool.


Well, that’s about it for my uses of steel wool around the house. Sorry for not writing a word or two about its fire-starting abilities, but it seemed like self-implied. Anyway, hope you liked my article. As always, for comments, additions, rants or all three of them, hit the comments section.

Apart from the fact that steel wool goes up in flame like its gasoline or something, it has tons of other uses around the house and, of course, in survival-type

I’m painfully aware of the fact that smartphones and prepping don’t mix, but part of being a prepper means using anything you have on hand in order to survive. Smartphones themselves make for an interesting case study – for some, it’s a big no-no, because the battery, unreliability in case of an EMP attack, cheap components that make them very fragile, but I urge you to reconsider. In all aspects, smartphones are the epitome of communication technology and, as a result, they have a lot to offer.

Sure, I won’t stake my life on one single piece of plastic with a display and a camera that makes the most awesome pictures period, but in checking out the mobile applications market, I’ve discovered a very interesting aspect. If you know where to go, what to download, and use, your smartphone can be turned into a tool as versatile and dependable as a survival knife.

So, for today’s article, I have compiled a small list of my favorite ‘survival’ apps for smartphones. Enjoy!

Facebook

Yes, I know that most of you would hardly associate duck faces, food pics or check-ins with survival. However, Zuckerberg’s wunderkind does have its merits. If you still have an active Internet connection, you’ll be able to find out in a jiffy where you are.

Moreover, in case of a natural or man-made disaster, Facebook allows its users to mark themselves “safe” which basically discloses the location, as to allow their loved ones to know that they’re out of harm’s way. Careful about permissions – data mining’s real and hardly a trifle. Still, a very good survival app.

Red Cross First Aid

A great cross-platform app (means it’s available for Android, iPhones, and Windows phones) which boasts two types of first-aid modules: one for learning which teaches you useful stuff like performing CPR, treating wounds or dealing with allergic reactions and a second one that kind of synthesizes all teaching modules. The latter can be very helpful in case you need to render first-aid since you won’t have time to scroll through pages of text.

Compass Steel 3D

As everyone needs a compass and this smartphone delivers. Compass Steel 3D is a lightweight compass app with tons of features like calibration, sun and moon direction, sunset and sunrise time. Given the fact that it relies solely on your phone’s accelerometer (the sensor that changes the screen’s orientation based on position) means that you really don’t need an active Internet connection.

Offline Survival Manual

Everything you need to know about survival in lieu of an Internet connection. Offline Survival Manual is what a like to call an encyclopedia – it covers a lot of common prepping topics like first-aid, food, water, but also offers unique content such as mental preparedness tricks and basic med guides.

Scanner Radio

What’s the use of having a short-range communication device like a walkie-talkie if there’s no one to speak to? This is where his nifty app comes into play – using GPS, Wi-Fi or mobile data; Scanner Radio will snoop around the area for active radio stations. It can also pick up radio chatter from the authorities or from people using this device.

Battery Doctor

Every smartphone out there has a built-in application that keeps an eye on battery level. Most target notorious battery drainers such as screen brightness, applications running in the background or the Internet connection. Battery Doctor takes this to an entirely different level – it now only kills redundant apps, but it also boasts a super power-saving mode that can extend the life of your battery by several days at least. This would come in handy for phones that drain batteries like there’s no tomorrow or for situations which call for an amp of juice in your smartphone.

Flashlight

A simple name to serve a simple purpose – illumination. Indeed, your phones come with its own flashlight options, but apps such as this one can improve the brightness by a factor of ten. Careful about that battery life, though. You should only use Flashlight in case you run out of matches, lighters, light sticks, flares or tac light batteries.

Wild Edibles

Now, this is what I call a must-have for preppers. Wild Edibles has a database of over 200 edible wild plants. It also comes with useful information about location, how to identify, harvest, and what to do in case you eat the wrong ones. If that wasn’t enough for you, Wild Edibles also has a plant recognition algorithm that uses your smartphone’s camera to identify the plant in front of you.

Guardly Mobile Safety

This is the cheapest alternative to a personal emergency beacon. Let’s assume for the fact that you missed a call or a message. In case this happens a couple more times, this application will relay your GPS location to the authorities or to your emergency contacts.

Knots 3D

How can you not know how to knot? Well, apparently there are many people who get even their shoelaces wrong. That’s why Knots 3D is a very handy survival app – its large database shows you how to tie even the most intricate know, using a step-by-step video approach.

Smart Tools

Every prepper needs a toolbox, but a real one would be a little impractical to carry around. This is where Smart Tools comes into play – need to measure something? Fire up the ‘meter’ option and get crazy. The app has tons of other features such as mirror, flashlight magnifier, compass, GPS, and even a sound meter.

OpenSignal

This app is very similar to Scanner Radio, with one small difference – instead of picking up local radio chatter, OpenSignal scans for nearby radio or Wi-Fi towers. It also has a smart built-in tool that boosts your phone’s signal in case the radio tower is out of reach. Sorry, iPhone people – this one is for Android users only.

That’s about it for my top 12 favorite survival apps for smartphones. Think anything’s missing from the list? Let me know in the comments section.

If you know where to go, what to download, and use, your smartphone can be turned into a tool as versatile and dependable as a survival knife.

Life in plastic is, without a doubt, fantastic, especially when you find yourself in a shit hits the fan situation. Can’t say that I’m a big fan of plastic. Anyway, one has to agree that plastic’s not that good for the environment, and yes, we should do our best to recycle as often as possible. As for today’s topic, a plastic bottle, no matter, if it’s Coca-Cola, sprite or the common milk jug, can serve a lot of purposes, apart from storing liquids. So, without further ado, here are 8 ingenious ways you can use a plastic bottle in a shit hits the fan situation.

Improv trash can

When you’re hiking or camping, you won’t always have the luxury of having a trash can around, especially if you decide to go off the beaten path. Now, if the trash starts piling up, you can always use an empty plastic bottle as a trash can. Normally, a carry a small bottle with me filled with a little bit of sand and water to use as an ashtray.

Watering can for flowers and veggies

Don’t have the time to go and look for a new watering can? No problem. Grab the largest plastic bottle you can find, poke some holes in the lid, and use it to water your daisies or veggies.

Emergency mask

If you need to traverse an area filled with toxic fumes, it may be possible to improvise a mask using a plastic bottle, some charcoal, an empty tin can, and duct tape. Here’s what you will need to do. Use a pair of scissors to cut the bottom of a plastic bottle. Next, remove one of the bottle’s sides so that you can create a space for your face. Place some duct on the jagged edge to protect your forehead.

Now take an empty tin can and poke a couple of holes in the bottom. Use the scissors to cut the bottom of the can. Place a clean gauze on the bottom of the tin can and sprinkle some charcoal. Remove the bottle’s cap, position the tin can with charcoal, and use some duct tape to secure it in place. Congrats! You’ve just made your first dust mask.

Solar still

Since I already covered water purification using charcoal, sand, pebbles, and a plastic bottle, I’m now going to show you another way to make water safe to drink. In the field, it’s possible to construct a small solar using a plastic bottle and an empty beer can. Here’s how to do it. Take a 2-liter plastic bottle and snip the bottom. Using your fingers, fold the edges inwards, as to create a small pocket.

Now take an empty beer can and completely remove the top (leave the rim) using a survival knife. Pour some water in the beer can, put the water bottle on top, and place in the sun. After a couple of hours, you will see some condensation on the walls of your bottle. Lift your bottle, unscrew the cap, and pour the water trapped in the pocket in a clean glass.

Craft a raft

A large body of water to cross but can’t find anything that floats? No problem, as long as you have some plastic bottles at your disposal. Grab a couple of beams or large pieces of wood and arrange them in a rectangular shape.  Secure your beams using hammer or nails or tie the joints with your cordage of choice. After creating the frame, create compartments using boards or anything you have on hand.

Fill these compartments with as many plastic bottles as you can. Don’t forget to secure them to your boat. When you’re done, find yourself a pole or a very long piece of wood to use as a paddle. Cast that makeshift raft of your in the water and enjoy the trip up shit’s creek but with a paddle.

Waterproof tinder box

No place left to store your fire-starting gear? Well, if your tinder box is out of commission, you can always keep your stuff in a plastic bottle, to make sure everything stays dry.

Fire-starter

On the topic of fire-starters, you can use a clean plastic bottle in order to concentrate the sun rays on some kindling or tinder. Rip the label, fill the bottle with clear water, and rotate it in order to focus the beam. It will take a while, but it beats sitting there and praying for fire.

Fish and small animal trap

If you don’t know how to make a simple body-gripping trap, you can always turn a plastic bottle into one. To do that, use a pair of scissors or your survival knife to cut the top of the bottle. Remove the cap, reverse the top, and place it inside the trap. Use some duct tape to secure the top part of the bottle. For small fish, you need to place that thing inside a stream or something. If the water’s clean, that thing will be invisible. For a small game like field mice, place something sweet inside the bottle.

Makeshift kettle

Because boiling is the most efficient way to sterilize water, it may be possible to do that in the field with a bottle. To make an improv kettle, start by removing the top part of the bottle using your survival knife or a very sharp rock. Place the dirty water inside. Now, start a fire using your method of choice and pile as much fuel as you can find. When the fire picks up in the head, place a couple of small stones inside the flame and wait.

When they begin to change color, using some tongs or anything else, retrieve the stones and drop them in the water bottle. Wait for the water to boil, allow it to cool down, and serve.

That’s it for my article on ingenious ways to repurpose plastic bottles. Anything missing from the list? Head to the comments section and let me know.

Life in plastic is, without a doubt, fantastic, especially when you find yourself in a shit hits the fan situation. Can’t say that I’m a big fan of plastic.

Beef jerky…the stories I could tell you about this stuff… I’m just going to say that I would marry beef jerky if that were possible (thinking about moving to state or country). Anyway, beef jerky’s awesome and, from where I stand, has but one caveat – not enough of it to go around. I mean, c’mon, I know it’s supposed to be emergency food or trail food, but who in God’s name eats just one 20g bag? It’s like saying “hey, it’s game night, and I’m gonna drink just one beer or eat one bag of chips.”

As far as a survival food is concerned, jerky’s the right call since it’s packed with just enough protein and fats to keep that engine of yours running. Sure, they’re salty AF and feels like you’re chewing on a rubber band, but it’s amazingly delicious. Since most of you are busy with your jobs and have neither the time nor the mood to replenish your beef jerky stocks, I thought about sharing with you my mouthwatering homemade beef jerky recipe.

It’s super easy to make and, most importantly, it mostly requires ingredients you probably have in your pantry. Why make beef jerky at home when you can always order some online? Because, let’s face it – as cheap as store jerky is, it’s pretty hard to find one that’s exactly the way you like it. Some are chewy, others salty as Hell and some, well, taste like crap.

First of all, preparing your own beef jerky puts you in full control of the dish, from choosing the beef cuts, all the way to the cooking part. Second, by choosing to cook rather than buy, you can make it as salty or sweet as you like. Last, but not least, beef jerky’s one of those recipes that don’t require an advanced degree in rocket science in order to prepare.

So, without further ado, here’s how to make some delish beef jerky at home.

Ingredients and Utensils

For this recipe, you will need the following:

  • Angus beef sirloin. I use around two pounds of beef for this recipe. Once you get it dried, you end up with one large zip-lock bag of beef jerky.
  • Worcestershire sauce (three-quarters of a cup).
  • Soy sauce (three-quarters of a cup).
  • Smoked paprika (one tablespoon).
  • Honey (one or two tablespoons).
  • Ground black pepper (two teaspoons).
  • Hot chili flakes (one or two tablespoons, depending on preference).
  • Garlic powder (one teaspoon).
  • Onion powder (one teaspoon).

That’s it for the ingredients. As for kitchen utensils, you will need a large bowl to mix your ingredients, an oven tray, baking paper, a pair of scissors, and, of course, a zip-lock bag for the jerky. All done gathering your utensils and all of the ingredients? Take your time. I ain’t going anywhere. When you’re ready, here’s how to put everything together.

Preparing mouthwatering beef jerky

Step 1. Take your beef cut out of the bag and wash it thoroughly. Dry with a couple of paper towels or place in a strainer.

Step 2. In a large bowl add your Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, smoked paprika, honey, ground pepper, hot chili flakes, powdered garlic, and powdered onions. Whisk the ingredients using a fork or, well, a whisk.

Step 3. Cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and place it inside the fridge for half an hour.

Step 4. It’s now time to tend to the meat. Using a very sharp butcher’s knife, cut the meat into thin strips – if it’s easier, make stake-sized bits.

Step 5. Take a big zip-lock bag from the pantry and put the beef inside.

Step 6. Get the bowl out of the fridge and pour over the beef. Seal the bag and place in the refrigerator. Leave the meat to soak up all those juices for at least a couple of hours. Ideally, you should leave it overnight. Remember – the longer you marinate your meat, the tastier it will be. I usually keep it in the fridge for one or two days.

Step 7. When you’re ready to cook the meat, preheat the oven to 176 degrees – yup, you’ll need ultra-low heat. The idea is to dry the beef cuts, not to bake it.

Step 8. Take the marinated beef out of the bag.

Step 9. Place the meat on an oven tray covered with baking paper. Use a paper towel to soak the excess marinade.

Step 10. When the oven reached the desired temperature, stick the tray in the oven and cook for 4 to 5 hours. Every hour or so, flip the beef cuts.

Step 11. When they’re done, take them out of the oven, allow the cuts to cool down, and cut them into thin strips using a pair of scissors or a knife. Bag and tag!

Another Way to Prepare Beef Jerky

Don’t go anywhere, because this was just the warm-up. Okay, so you now know how to prepare beef jerky at home. But can you do the same, say during a shit hits the fan situation? Beef jerky is, more or less, the beauty of the best – thought it looks totally unpalatable, it’s actually delicious, nutritious, and, on top of that, it can be made anywhere and with any type of meat.

Now let’s imagine for a moment that you’re lost in the woods and you run out of food. Obviously, you’ve got to do something about it. Now, if you still have your bug out bag with you, whip out a snare and wait. Keep in mind that beef jerky can be made with any kind of meat.

However, if you want your trail snack to contain all the proteins and fats your body needs to keep on going, you would want to stick with red meat or fish. When you’re done with the gutting and butchering parts, here’s what you will need to do in order to prepare jerky.

Step 1. Find a clean spot to set up your working area.

Step 2. Use your survival knife or a very sharp rock to cut the flesh into very thin strips (half a centimeter). Don’t forget to cut across the grain, not with the grain (those muscle fibers will make meat harder to chew).

Step 3. While the meat’s still wet and tender, season it with your condiments of choice. I like to keep stuff like ginger, cumin, sugar, salt, pepper, and chili in small pill bottles. You can also make your own mix which you can use to season the meat. Put a little bit of sugar if you have some in your bug out bag.

Step 4. It’s now time to create some sort of drying rack. Look around for twigs, long stick or branches. If there’s nothing available, you can always hang the meat cuts by a low-lying branch using heavy duty zip ties. Just be careful to place that meat within eyeshot because it’s bound to attract some unwanted attention (flies, mosquitoes, and, yes, even bears).

(Optional) If you want to a little smokey flavor to your meat, place it over a small campfire. Don’t leave there too long, though. You’ll want to dry your meat, not cook it. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with some BBQed game, but it tends to spoil faster.

Step 5. If you manage to improvise a drying rack, flip the meat every couple of hours. Depending on weather conditions, like wind, humidity, and temperature, it can take up to four days for the meat to lose all moisture.

Yes, I know it’s a painstaking process. More so because you’ll need to be on the lookout for critters. On that note, when it’s time to hit the sack, don’t forget to bring the meat inside your tent or improvised shelter. Obviously, you won’t be able to keep an eye out while you’re asleep.

Step 6. After a couple of days have passed, take a look at the meat. You’ll know it’s ready to eat when the meat has a brittle aspect. If you prepare jerky from red meat, the color you’re looking for is a purple-brown. On the other hand, if you’re using white meat, the jerky will turn pink-grey when it’s done.

Step 7. All that remains to be done is to cut the meat into thinner strips and to store it in a zip-lock bag or an airtight container.

Wrap-up

Taking all these facts into account, I would have to say that jerky is indeed the ultimate survival food. Given the right storage conditions, a batch of jerky can last for at least a couple of months, if not for a whole year.

Now, as far as the oven-drying version is concerned, I would advise ditching the salt. Yes, I know that salt and jerky is a marriage made in Heaven, but the soy sauce adds and smoky taste to the meat, which means that it doesn’t need extra. Of course, if you’re not a big fan of soy, you can always replace with two tablespoons of rock salt.

I don’t know about you, but I like to add some kick to my jerky. If you want your snack to be spicier, you can add half a teaspoon of Tabasco in addition to the chili flakes. Yes, I know it sounds pretty hardcore, but hey, at least your jerky won’t be bland.

One of my friends told me that it’s also possible to prepare beef jerky using a dehydrator. Remember my powdered eggs recipe? Well, the method’s more or less the same. The only advantage of using a dehydrator instead of a regular oven set on ultra-low heat is that it reduces the cooking time by at least one, maybe two hours. If you have one of those gadgets in the kitchen, you should definitely try it out.

One more thing – the meat itself. Though I highly recommend using sirloin for this recipe since the cut will be, well, chewier, you can use whatever meat you prefer. Just be sure it has the same amount of fat as sirloin. Haven’t tried it yet, but from what I heard, jerky prepared from fish like rainbow trout, tuna or salmon is absolutely divine. Trouble is that it’s very hard to get ahold of a good recipe and most of the stuff on the market looks way too nasty.

So, here’s where I take my love. Hope my little winding has managed to convince you that making your own beef jerky is better than having to go through hundreds of Google pages in order to find the right one. As always, don’t think of cooking as something you need to do – have fun around the kitchen. Play some tunes. Work on your air guitar skills; whatever floats your boat. What do you think about my beef jerky recipe? Hit the comments section and let me know.

As far as a survival food is concerned, jerky’s the right call since it’s packed with just enough protein and fats to keep that engine of yours running.

Yup, you read the headline right – today we’re going to have a nice and cozy chat about how lady supplies can very well save your ass one day. As someone who has bought more tampons than he could ever care to remember, I always wondered if those things can be used for other purposes then, well… you know.

Anyway, after digging around for a while, a stumbled upon this nice prepping forum where the topic was tampons. Although everything could have gone to shit, the people there were surprisingly very open about sharing their opinions on how to use feminine supplies in a shit hits the fan situation.

So, without further ado, here are 15 ways to use tampons for survival.

Bandage Replacement

Since most tampons are made from pure cotton, obviously they can be used as bandages in case of a medical emergency. I would venture to say that they’re more efficient in stopping bleeding compared to regular gauze since they’re manufactured to, well, suck out every drop of blood.

Don’t forget to keep the pressure on that wound and to stack as many tampons as necessary to stop the bleeding.

Tinder

If you run out of char cloth, you could make some more using a tampon. Unwrap the thing and pour some lighter fluid on it before setting it on fire. Alternatively, you apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly.

Ear mufflers

Neighbors too loud? Mosquitos won’t stop buzzing around? No problem. Take a tampon out of its wrapper, rip it in half, and stuff the pieces in your ears. Now you’re all set for nap time.

Dry-clean yourself

If you forgot to pack a towel, use a couple of tampons to dry yourself. As most of them pack some kind of perfume, you could very well end up smelling like the proverbial rose. They’re also very useful for wiping your forehead of sweat.

Patch up tent holes

A hole in the tent’s tarp is no laughing matter, especially if you plan on camping during mosquito season. If you don’t have anything else, you could use to repair the hole, take a tampon out of its wrapper, strip some cotton, cover the hole, and apply some duct tape.

Craft an emergency candle

If your tac light’s out of juice, it’s possible to make an emergency candle out of a tampon. Get a bell or mason jar, fill with oil, fat, wax or petroleum jelly and stick a tampon in it. Allow it to soak the fuel and set it ablaze. Haven’t tested this out yet, but, apparently, the flame from burning a tampon is powerful enough for cooking. Let me know if it works.

Bait

As gory as this may sound, a blood-soaked tampon can be used to bait fish. And no, it doesn’t have to be human blood – you can use some from a freshly-gutted game or a smaller fish.

Self-defense\offensive weapon

Well, when shit really hits the fan, you’ll want to do everything to get your ass to safety, even if that includes torching someone or something with a tampon Molotov cocktail.

To craft one, get yourself an empty glass bottle and fill it with lamp or gas. Take a tampon out of its wrapper and dip it in some petroleum jelly (you can also soak it in lighter fluid). Place the tampon inside the bottle but leave a bit dangling outside. Flip the bottle a couple of times to soak the tampon in oil or gas. Set fire to the part sticking out and let it rip.

A waterproof carrier for tinder and matches

Lost your tinder box? No problem. To avoid getting those matches and tinder soaking-wet, place them in a tampon wrapper and store them in your bug out bag. As many tampons come with a small, metallic case, you may be able to use that in order to craft a new Tinder box.

Extra cordage

Don’t panic if you run out of cordage. If there are tampons left in your backpack, take them out of their wrapper and cut them into smaller stripes using your multi-tool or survival knife. Tie the heads together, and voila, you have an extra piece of rope.

Figuring out the wind direction

If ever in doubt as to the wind direction, use a tampon. Take a small pole, attach a tampon to one of the ends and stick it in the ground. You’re welcome!

Corking a bottle

Should you lose your bottle’s cork or have to use it for any purpose, use a tampon to cork your wine bottle or whatever.

Making an emergency potty

You can make your own portable toilet by using a couple of tampons and a large zip-lock bag. Here’s what to do. First of all, ensure that there are no holes in the bag. Next, unwrap a couple of tampons, and get them inside the zip-lock bag.

That’s it! You now have a pocket-size emergency toilet- great for number one, though I’m too sure about the other one (would be stupid to carry your own crap in a plastic bag, but survival makes us do ‘amazing’ things).

Water filtration

If you run out of water purification tablets or have no other means of sterilizing water, use a tampon and a plastic bottle. Put as many tampons as possible inside the bottle and pour water. The process will take a while, but the water collected at the bottom is safe to drink.

Treat blisters

I don’t think there’s any universe where blisters are embraced. Doesn’t matter if you’re hiking or running for your life, those blisters will slow you down.

Now, if you have one on your foot, it may be possible to reduce the friction between the skin and boot and, at the same time, protect the area by duct taping a tampon over the blister. Yes, it looks awful, but it works.

Well, that’s about it on how to use tampons in a shit hit the fan situation. What’s your take on this? Hit the comments section and let me know.

Yup, you read the headline right – today we’re going to have a nice and cozy chat about how lady supplies can very well save your ass one day.

“It’s never lupus,” as the iconic Dr. House put. Don’t know too much about that, but I have a saying of my own – “it’s never just a pill bottle.” Yup, you’ve guessed it. Today I’m going to show you a couple of nifty ways to reuse your old med bottles.

Some are them are no-brainers, while others are quite ingenious. Heck, when it comes to human ingenuity, even something as insignificant as a match can be turned into a unique item. So, because talk’s cheap, here are 11 ways to use your old pill bottles around the house.

Spare a penny for your thoughts?

Big life lesson – when you reach the point where two paychecks aren’t enough; you have to make some sort of change. I won’t deny the fact that with all my prepping training I still end up spending a couple of thousand dollars each year buying all sort of crap.

Well, ever since my lovely wife realized that money kept flying out of my wallet, she used a clever trick to put something aside for rainy days – stuffing dollar bills in old pill bottles. Yup, took me a while to figure it out.

Long story short, the cash pill bottle trick worked, and we managed to put aside enough to buy our son a new smartphone. So, if you’re just like me when it comes to burning dough, use an old pill bottle as a piggybank.

Make a small emergency candle

You can make a 4-hour emergency candle by filling an old pill bottle with wax, lamp oil, tallow or fat obtained from melted bacon. Stick a wick inside, allow it to soak the fuel, and set it ablaze.

Fishing kit

If you don’t have the resolve to make a paracord grenade, you can at least try to make e small fishing kit using a pill bottle, some cordage, hooks, and a couple of feet of fishing line.

Here’s how to do it. Wrap the paracord tightly around the pill bottle, place your fishing implements inside, and put the cap back on. You can attach a small carabiner to the cordage if want to hang the fishing kit to your bug out bag or belt.

Travel-size shampoo and conditioner

You really don’t need to throw a whole bottle of shampoo, conditioner or shower gel in your luggage or bug out bag. Pour as much as you need inside pill bottles, put some plastic wrap on top, and screw the cap in place.

Store key to ammo locker or safe

You know how the saying goes: if you want to hide something, put it in plain sight. If you’re worried about your children finding the key to dangerous storage lockers like the ammo cabinet, propane tanks locker or fire-proof safe, use old pill bottles to hide the key. You should also fill them with small pebbles or kitty litter to give off the impression that they’re really pill bottles.

Create a waterproof money container

Since I’ve mentioned something about saving money, you can create your own waterproof cash container by repurposing a bottle. Remember that cash will always be king, and that’s why it would be wise to have a small amount on you. To make a money container, you’ll need a small drill, epoxy glue, paracord, and, of course, some money.

Start by drilling a hole in the pill bottle’s cap. Draw the paracord through it and apply some glue. Put your cash inside, screw the cap back on, and that’s it. You can also make a square knot at the base of the pill bottle to ensure that the thing doesn’t fall off your bug out bag or belt.

Make a small med kit

Although nothing can replace your B.O.B’s first-aid kit, it is possible to make a smaller and more portable version using a pill bottle. If you want, you can also use the steps for crafting a waterproof money container for your mini-med kit.

As for the contents, I added a couple of aspirins, some Ibuprofen, Alka-Seltzer, one Iodine prep pad, and one alcohol-soaked prep pad. Of course, you’re free to add or to remove items.

Make a perimeter alarm

I don’t know about you, but I always like to install some sort of perimeter alarm when I want to camp for the night (I usually end up using the beer cans I brought along for the ride).

If you’re not much of a beer lover, you can make your own perimeter alarm using a couple of pill bottles filled with kitty litter or pebbles. Put a couple of stakes in the ground, connect them with some dental floss or string, and tie the filled pill bottles.

Store seeds for later use

If you want to protect seeds from the sun or extra moisture, store them inside clean and dry pill bottles. Don’t forget to label them.

Make a field sewing kit

There’s no way of telling what could happen in the field. And, during a shit hits the fan situation, your clothes are going to get torn to shreds. Sure, you can always patch them with some zip ties or dental floss, but you can also take the high road by using your sewing kit.

You can quickly make one from an old pill bottle. Place a needle, some thread, and a couple of patches. Put the cap back on and store it inside your B.O.B.

Make a deodorizer

If you want to ward off those nasty smells from your clothes, place some dried-up lavender flowers inside a pill bottle. Use a needle or a small knife to poke a couple of holes in the lid.

Finally, place it inside the wardrobe and, voila, no more rancid smells. You can also make one for the fridge. However, for that one, I would advise replacing the lavender leaves with apple cider vinegar, baking soda or diatomaceous earth.

That’s about it for my take on repurposing empty pill bottle. Would you like to add anything to the list? Hit the comments section and scribble away.

When it comes to human ingenuity, even something as insignificant as a match can be turned into a unique item.

I know for a fact that no man has ever seen coconut oil being used for other stuff than scrubs, facial masks, and the occasional fancy dinner with an Asian twist. If I had been called to write an article a couple of years ago, I would have dismissed the task, arguing that I and beauty just don’t mix (keep thinking why my wife picked me in the first place; lost wager, I gather).

Anyway, since I turned to prep, I discovered that coconut oil could be used for tons of other stuff. And no, it’s no unmanly to go and stock up on this stuff.

Need more convincing? No problem there. Here are 13 ways to use coconut oil in those situations when your ass is on the line.

First-aid

Because coconut oil’s packed with nutrients and more good stuff, it can successfully be used to treat all sorts of medical emergencies. For instance, when applied to a limb with edema, it will reduce inflammation and enhance tissue regenerations. In its watered-down form, coconut oil can be used to deal with yeast infections and common viruses.

Moreover, since study has shown that oil extracted from coconut shell has a strong anti-protozoa effect, it can be employed to treat giardia, a parasite known to lurk in untreated waters. Fever? No problem. Just use a coconut oil extract, and you’re good to go. The same substance’s good against viral infections and various skin conditions produced by bacteria.

Get rid of that beard

Sure, there’s nothing manlier than a beard, but, man, that thing itches like Hell. Well, if you decide on getting rid of that beard and have no shaving cream on hand, you can always use a bit of coconut oil. Yes, yes, I know that it sounds like I’m giving you beauty advice or something, but the truth of the matter is that this stuff’s way better than regular cream.

Apart from the fact that it moisturizes your face, it makes the blade slide across your face like it was an Olympic skater. Best of all, you won’t cut yourself.

No more stuffy nose from allergies

Feel like your nose just doubled in size on account of your allergy? No problem. Take a big bowl, pour hot water, and add some coconut oil. Put a towel over your head and inhale. After a couple of minutes, you’ll feel like a newborn.

Foot care

Sore feet? Blisters? Wash the area thoroughly and apply a thin layer of coconut oil.

Repel nasty smells

If you ever run out of deodorant, you can always use a little bit of coco oil. Rub a little bit under your armpits, and you’re good to go. Since it has a great anti-microbial effect, it will effectively kill all bacteria that produce that foul smell. Just don’t coconut oil instead of showers.

Give those gums a good massage

Commercial toothpaste can easily be replaced with a homemade concoction made of equal parts coconut oil and baking soda. Might not taste that good, but at least it gets the job done.

For when the tummy starts growling

I really don’t care that much about carrying veggie oil or butter during hiking. Still, as the beast has to be fed, a stove-cooked meal would be just the thing to put the twinkle back in those peepers. So, if you don’t want to burden yourself with oil or a loaf of butter, grab a small can of coconut oil. Yes, I know exactly how it sounds, but coco oil is an excellent substitute for the regular variety.

Get the juices going

Ever felt like you’re about to fall off your feet but you can’t because you still have tons of shit to do? Well, you can now rest easily because I have just the thing you need to replenish that lost energy: coconut oil. Take a teaspoon of this stuff on an empty stomach, and you’ll have enough juju to move mountains (don’t know about splitting the sea in half, though).

For when Nature doesn’t come calling

Constipation’s perhaps the nastiest thing that could happen to you. Sure, there is other bad stuff out there, but believe me, there’s nothing worse than feeling that you’re more stuffed than a pinata. So, in order to get rid of constipation, just take two teaspoons of coconut oil. Since it’s packed with fibers, it will help your tummy eliminate that nasty stuff in no time.

Use as lubricant

No, not that kind of lubricant, but hey I’m not judging. If you have to deal with bolts that won’t budge or with stuck machine parts, just use a little bit of coconut oil. Of course, this is pricier compared to WD40 or Vaseline but helps if you don’t have anything else.

Waterproofing hiking gear

Thinking about wasting some more money on expensive waterproofing solutions? You may not need to. If you have a box of coconut oil lying around the house, use a little bit to waterproof your boots and coats. Works wonders on hiking boots, by the way.

Clean your eating utensils

Water’s a precious resource, no matter if you’re in the woods or the big city. So, if you’re in a situation where you have to use clean water for other purposes, know that you can use coconut oil to clean your eating utensils. And yes, it’s way better than water and dish detergent.

No more rust!

Think that vinegar’s the only thing that knows how to deal with rust? Then you haven’t seen coconut oil in action. Now, if you have stuff covered in rust, rub a little bit of coconut oil and let it sit for an hour or so. After that, rinse with plenty of water, dry with a paper towel, and you’re good to go.

Well, that about covers my favorite bushcraft uses of coconut oil. What’s your take on this? Don’t be a stranger and hit the comments section.

I know for a fact that no man has ever seen coconut oil being used for other stuff than scrubs, facial masks, and the occasional fancy dinner with an Asian