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Who knows what could happen tomorrow? This is the philosophy that most preppers live by. No matter the situation, when danger suddenly appears, a prepper’s heightened organization and awareness will greatly increase their chances of survival. There are roughly 3.7 million preppers in the United States, and each one most likely understands that being a prepper takes a lot of time and money. So how do you make sure that you’re being efficient? Apart from the necessities of food, clothing, and shelter, what are the other tools and tricks you need to survive? Check out this list of five tools and five skills to have under your belt in case of an emergency.

5 Handy Skills

Navigation and compass skills

Being able to navigate yourself in an unknown area is a skill that will get you far. Literally. In times of danger, who knows where you could end up? You may have to escape your house on foot, escape your town or state and in extreme cases, the country. In its most basic form, practicing a good sense of direction can be great, but also mastering the use of your compass can be better to avoid getting lost in an unknown area like a forest or even an unfamiliar city.

First aid

Performing first aid is essential to ensuring that you and those around you are out of any immediate danger that could lead to serious injury or fatality. This could be especially helpful in natural disasters in which people are prone to drowning, suffocating or choking. But there are many dangerous situations where people may need assistance through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or other first aid techniques.

Finding and producing water

More so than food, enough water is an absolute necessity to survive. And with such an abundant supply of water all over the earth, it’s just a matter of knowing where to find it. Even if you feel like Tom Hanks in “Castaway,” you may be able to find your very own coconut to feast on. Apart from collecting rainwater, there are other ways to be creative. When in snow or ice, boiling it can be a great way to make water safe from bacteria, however, this requires fire or another heating source. If you find yourself in a mountain, make your way down it, as water always runs to the lowest point. In a desert, finding water can be a bit trickier, but try digging a few feet below creek beds or building a solar still.

Fire making

This skill is one that will help you with a number of things — cooking food, boiling water to make it potable and staying warm. While it doesn’t take many materials to start a fire, it does take some practice. In order to prepare for this, try out different fire starters and see which works best for you. After that, it’s a matter of practicing how to collect the right wood and branches and correctly arranging them for a fire.

Knowledge of flora and fauna

In extreme circumstances, you may find yourself out of food, water, and shelter and may be forced to use the natural resources around you. However, with so many different species of plants and animals, a sound knowledge of flora and fauna can go a long way. This is a way of making the environment work for you and knowing what can be used as food or as survival materials, as well as what can be potentially harmful.

5 Handy Tools For A Prepper

Multi-function survival tool

It’s always important to make sure you have as many tools on you as possible without taking up too much space because you never know what you might need. A multi-tool can be used as a knife, screwdriver, can opener, ruler, bottle cap opener, 4 position wrench, saw blade, butterfly screw, wrench, direction ancillary wrench, 2 position wrench and other configurations based upon what you select.

Hunting knife

Keeping the need for food in mind, a hunting knife is a useful tool to carry in case you’re stuck in a situation where you have to hunt for your food. Matched with educating yourself about hunting, this tool can be the difference in feeding you and your family or not.

Fire starter

As mentioned, the use of a fire is multifaceted, so it’s important to make it a major focus. Experiment with different types and brands of fire starters to see what you like best. They often come in different styles and can have other things attached to them such as torches or whistles.

Water tools

Water is essential and should be included in any prepper’s schedule. As a base, preparing hydration packs is a great way to ensure that everyone stays hydrated, especially in a circumstance when you’re leaving on foot and will be prone to exhaustion and dehydration. Once your water supply ends, another great water tool to carry is filtration tablets. When added to dirty or bacteria-infested water, these tablets kill the germs and make the water drinkable.


One of the worst parts of natural disasters or other dangerous situations is that you’re often left without electricity or a source of light. Having a readily available flashlight can mean that you’re able to not only find food and water at all times but can also remain aware of your surroundings and therefore avoid any further danger.

As a prepper, remaining organized for any situation is vital. And there’s usually a fear that you’re forgetting something, which could end up putting you and your family in even more danger. Make use of these five tools and five skills to ensure you’re always prepared to keep you and your loved ones safe in a variety of scenarios.

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)

Who knows what could happen tomorrow? This is the philosophy that most preppers live by. No matter the situation, when danger suddenly appears, a prepper’s heightened organization and awareness will

Sometimes in the preparedness folds, we really get wrapped around axles. We have so much that we’re learning and trying to do, and we’re regularly doing it on a budget – which is just one more thing that circles around our heads and beats us up.

We can limit some of the pains of preparedness by changing how we look at things, but also how we do things. Gardening and larger-scale growing is routinely on our to-do list. It’s something that’s going to come as a shock for those who don’t practice ahead of time, no matter how many tricks get applied. However, we can save some time and stress on our bodies with a few low-cost and low-skill tricks and tools, and see increased yields. Bigger yields means lower dinner costs and potentially some increased food storage, letting us expand our preparedness in other ways.

Here are a handful of quickie, usually highly inexpensive – easy garden hacks to save time, money and labor. As you read them, don’t forget: paper products are compostable.


Mulch makes life easier.

In some forms of mulch gardening, the mulch stays right there year-round. Some styles use a mulch that in hot, damp climates rots enough during the off-season and is tilled in that winter or early in spring. In others, we scoot aside just enough to drop seeds or transplants in during succession plantings, add amendments like cured manure or compost or pH-raising pine by raking it just into or over the surface, and add mulch more slowly.

Mulch can be straw or wood chips, lightly soiled animal litter, mown or whole leaves, the tips of branches we’re pruning, or shredded white paper. Shredded paper will settle into a mat that makes it tough for weeds, but “loose” mulch routinely does better with a weed suppression barrier down first.

We can use newsprint, cardboard, or phone book pages as a weed suppressor and to keep small plants free of dirt kicked up by rain. We won’t get the same moisture-holding and soil aeration improvements, we will still have to weed some, especially if we already have beds that are weed prone, but it lessens our time spent sitting or crouched and bent over.

Mulch lessens the pains of gardening. We don’t weed as much, our plants do better, and we don’t have to water as much.

Plastic bottles


Sub-irrigated planters for buckets and storage tubs and conventional planters can be made using bottles for the tubes instead of aquarium or garden hoses or PVC.

We don’t store water or foods in milk jugs because they’re porous and can leach previous content out slowly, but they have their place among soda and juice bottles in the garden.

Various bottles can be used to make mini-greenhouses, cloches, scoops, and seed spreaders, as well as mouse and rat traps (2Ls can work for small squirrels and chipmunks, too, or slow them down enough for the garden terriers to get there). They’re great for vertical strawberry and herb and lettuce towers. We can use them to keep cord from tangling, and punch various holes to use for spreading amendments and treatments. Whack them in half, use sourdough starter and water or beer, and they catch horrific numbers of slugs.

For time savers and back savers, though, bottles really excel at helping us water.

Sub-irrigated planters for buckets and storage tubs and conventional planters can be made using bottles for the tubes instead of aquarium or garden hoses or PVC.

Whether we grow in raised beds or tilled rows, mulched beds or lasagna beds, we can use bottles as a spin on irrigation, too. We can drill holes all over, bury it near our plants, and use a hose to fill it quickly.

A similar version plants the bottle cap-down, with holes drilled in the cap and the sloping neck, and the inverted bottom cut entirely or with just enough remaining to make a flap. Those are even easier and faster to fill, with less aim needed.

The water from those will then sink out slowly, watering deep at the roots and watering our plants, not the weeds or walkways. Less water is lost to evaporation, and we don’t have to deal with timers or hose connections, or PVC to avoid standing out there forever to slowly sink in water. We pour it in, fill it up, and move to the next. If it’s really hot and dry, we might need to repeat, but it’s a low-tech, low-expense way to work faster than standing there with a hose or moving hoses back and forth so we can mow.

Maybe that means less time on our feet overall, or maybe that lets us progress to our weeding and suckering or the next round of planting.

Seeding time – The Dibble

A dibble is basically just something that makes a hole for us. Usually, it’s a somewhat shallow hole and it’s usually intended for seeds but we can work with that. There are two general types, rolling or boards, although with leek dibbles (which work with any transplant), you walk around with a rake or double-handle tool poking your holes. Boards are typically set up with dowels that will poke holes, or come as cutouts and we use something to poke holes to our desired depths. Rolling dibbles tend to be drum or wheel style.


There are two general types, rolling or boards.

Plans are out there for dibblers that can run from almost nothing if you salvage parts or make minis out of coffee cans and 12” PVC or make a single, double- or triple row dibble wheel out of bikes from Craigslist. Drum styles can cost as much as $100-200 to make at home if you’re inclined to go that route instead. Some of the really fancy board dibblers even get marked in colors so one board can be used for spacings from 1” to 6”.

In no-till schemes where you drag a pointed hoe to clear a spot for seeds, dibble wheels tend to be handy. In tall raised beds and window boxes or trays, a board dibbler may be more beneficial.

Using dibbles at whatever scale we choose to lets us quickly mark the space for seeds and transplants. Even if we have to go back with a post hole digger for some of those transplants, time spent upright instead of crouched tends to make for happier backs.

Seeding time – Furrowing rake

A furrowing rake is the simple DIY result of adding tight, relatively stiff hose or PVC to an ordinary hay or garden rake, and using it to drag lines along a prepared bed. It’s typically done so that the extensions are movable, letting us go as tight as the 1-1.5” gaps of the rake tines out to the full 1-2’ width of that rake.

We can get as complex as we like, adding marker lines to tell us how deep we’re aiming, or using multiple depths so we can plant cutting salad greens in the shallowest grooves and have deeper grooves for our peas. We can drag it both down and across a bed to create a grid, with seeds going at the cross points.


A furrowing rake is the simple DIY result of adding tight, relatively stiff hose or PVC to an ordinary hay or garden rake, and using it to drag lines along a prepared bed.

Taking a few minutes to prep some moveable rods or pipes and lay out our grid – while standing – limits how much measuring we do while we’re bent or crouched, saving time and pain with a very quick and low-cost trick.

Seeding tubes or pipes

Dibbles and furrowing aren’t the only way to limit how much time we spend crouched over during seeding time. Even a congestion-planting scheme that calls for under-seeding doesn’t have to be done from a stool or our knees.

All you really need is a pipe smooth enough for seeds to roll through cleanly and sturdy enough to stand up straight.

If you want to work with tiny seeds as well as larger ones, maybe you lay on skinnier aquarium tubing to attach to a tool handle or yardstick (with rubber bands, even), and make yourself a pasteboard, tin-can or paper funnel and tape it in place. Use the back-end of a teaspoon or the little measuring spoon from somebody’s aquarium chemicals to fish out 2-5 seeds at a time.


Seed tapes and mats

If we’re not digging the various seeding tubes, we can also use our rainy days or blistering hot days to make seed tapes out of strips of paper, or larger seed mats out of unfolded paper napkins and paper towels. We don’t have to mix up some kind of funky glue like with some of the DIY-ers show. The toothpick dab of white Elmer’s the first site shows is water-soluble and works just fine.

When we’re ready to plant, we just zoom along exposing our soil or following her mix, lay out our mats, and cover them again. We can work in fair-sized lengths that we roll up around an empty tube and then just nudge along using a broom or hoe, or use a square or two at a time that lets us stagger our planting for a staggered harvest or interspersed companion flowers.

Seed mats and strips can also be made out of a single thickness of newspaper pages for larger seeds like peas and beans as well, although we’ll want to make a small 1/8” slit or poke a pencil-tip hole through to give our seeds a head start on busting through the heavier paper.

Since we’re planting 3-6” or as much as 8-12” apart in those cases, whether we do rows or congestion beds, working with a larger paper size makes sense. The newspaper sheet will decay over the season, but being thicker, it does offer a nice head start for our seeds over the weed seeds that may be lurking below. Being thicker, it also does better if the seed gets that head start of a slit.

No more removing gloves. No more exposing seed packets to dirt and moisture, or unfolding and refolding and sticking them in a pocket as we try to keep track of where exactly the tiny black seeds landed in our bed. And since they’re evenly spaced instead of scattered in lines and areas, it’s minutely easier to tell which tiny baby dicot we should be plucking when the weeds start – at least we can work quickly in some of the gaps.

In the garden – Avoid the crouch-ouch

So why the focus on things that improve soils without hauling lots of bales, limiting all the bending, limiting the bending and time we spend watering (or pumping water), collecting trash to make all kinds of weird contraptions in the garden?

Especially for seniors and those with nagging pains and injuries, the ability to work standing upright or from a chair without leaning over or reaching far can not only increase the joy of gardening, but in some cases go as far as making gardening possible again.

Arthritic hands, shaking from an injury or age, and loss of full motor function from an accident can make it frustrating and painful even to fetch out and drop a lima or pea, let alone broccoli and spinach, and unless they’re willing to just punch some holes in a baggy and shake, just forget about iceberg and romaine and strawberry spinach.

The ability to work slowly over winter or summer to prepare for spring and autumn leaf and root crops, the ability to use a tube and funnel, then shake or scoop seeds using something they can actually grip is enormous.

Reexamine how you garden

Even for those in good health or who just like to be out there, some simple and inexpensive DIY projects and some trash collection and reuse can save a lot of time.

That might make a difference in garden size now, while we’re working and balancing families. It will definitely make a difference later, when we’re depending on those gardens to feed us or add a little forkability and crunch to our starvation-staving diet.

Saving backs and creating easy-to-use tools can also let us involve our parents and kids a little more in some cases, giving them independence and sharing the satisfaction that comes from a meal we procured for ourselves. There’s little better in life than seeing that pride returned to your parents and grandparents, or watching it bloom in your children.

It also sucks to fail, especially when we have a lot of time invested in something.

Water reservoirs, reduced weed competition, proper seeding coverage, and workload-friendly seeding methods can help increase our rate of success, which encourages us to do it again.

Saving backs and creating easy-to-use tools can also let us involve our parents and kids a little more in some cases, giving them independence.

When we are planning for our family’s safety, preppers employ a wide spectrum of ideas, plans and approaches to getting their family out of danger or protect them from danger in the first place. This is a noble goal and one that I myself strive to achieve in some way daily. When you are planning on surviving though, it is important to take a minute or two and consider the people you are trying to protect. If your grand prepper plans for keeping the family safe or healthy are for whatever reason abhorrent to the same members you are trying to save, what good is that?

Analyze your family’s strengths

When I first started getting into the subject of Prepping and learning everything out there that formed my thought process around threats, I was full of energy and ideas. I just knew I had the perfect plan to protect my family and I just needed the time and money to implement all of my ideas. Some of what I had hoped to do wasn’t really possible or practical with my family. For instance, I don’t live with Seal Team 6 so a highly dynamic, crack team of trained professionals wouldn’t be there to help me secure my home in the event of a collapse brought on by any number of natural disasters or man-made events. Now that I think about it, I am not sure I really want my wife to be able to kill me that easily…

Your family has strengths that you need to consider and this can apply to anyone. Just because you are the father of younger children, that doesn’t mean you are up the creek, but you do need to adjust your strategy and take advantage of these strengths. As an example, my wife is very smart and analytical. I try to run every idea past her that I have. This sometimes doesn’t go as planned but she has on many occasions pointed out flaws in my preps. Had I been Johnny Ranger and tried to do everything by myself, I would have made some pretty significant errors.

Make sure you plan for your families strengths while being mindful of their weaknesses.

Your team is more than yourself and as a whole you need to make it through whatever crisis you are faced with. Your children might be too young to take a highly active role in defense of your home for example, but they can do other things. Maybe while you are busy boarding up windows and doors, they can load magazines or gather supplies. I wouldn’t plan on defending against an army anyway, but your kids could be on lookout and report back using radio to other members. Maybe instead of giving them all rifles and expecting them to shoot the bad guys they would take care of the animals or smaller children or cook. Everyone who is past toddler stage can contribute to your family’s success.

Analyze your family’s weaknesses

There are good and bad traits in everyone and I am not excluding myself from this. For some reason I get irritated at some of the stupidest things and it doesn’t help getting mad at inanimate objects no matter how righteous you feel. As an example, sometimes when I am walking through my house in a certain pair of pants, they get caught on the door knob jerking me backwards or like yesterday when I didn’t have the right sized allen wrench to take the handle off a leaky faucet I got irritated. I didn’t throw chairs or scream, but I know I should have more patience and that could be a weakness in me. I know I need to work on that. If I am going to lead my family in an effective way, I want to analyze my personal hang-ups and develop a plan that mitigates those weaknesses or at least doesn’t rely on my not showing my ass at a crucial moment.

Your family has weaknesses too. For children the obvious are weaknesses that are through no failing of character like mine, but exist simply because they are young. Young children aren’t as strong, don’t see the bigger picture in most cases, tire and get scared more quickly. In a lot of cases, they are going to need more than they are capable of contributing to your survival efforts so any plan that assumes they will barrel head long, full speed ahead with you into the abyss might need to be rethought. Like the guy building the tree house, you should first figure out if anyone in your family is afraid of heights. Do you plan on going down to your bunker? Is anyone claustrophobic? Is your plan to bug out on foot for several, maybe dozens of miles? Are your family members going to be able to go that long?

One of our readers who have small children has already purchased a game cart that usually helps you get deer out of the woods much easier than dragging or carrying them. This is his plan for his children and bugging out. If needed, he will stock his game cart with gear and throw the kids on top and I think this is a great idea. Is it the best plan? No, but I think it is obvious that he is thinking about his family and knows what he will need to consider if the time comes when he needs to travel long distances on foot.

Plan for the future

Another aspect of planning is for the future. If you are a young family do you plan to have more children someday? Maybe children arrive and they weren’t in the plan. It may be harder to visualize something horrific like a disaster and small children but it happens every day. Your plans for living out in the woods might work for two healthy and competent people, but what if eventually there are three of you?

Maybe the lesson in this is that life changes and you have to roll with it in order to survive and thrive. Our plans are nothing more than a rough draft – sketches on a napkin that sound great until life steps up and changes the rules for you. The more prepared you are the better you will be able to pivot when changes cause your formally brilliant plan to end up in the trash pile at the end of the street. Plan for people to get a vote too because your ideas are only as good as the situation you have planned for and everyone else’s willingness to go along with them.

When we are planning for our family’s safety, preppers employ a wide spectrum of ideas, plans and approaches to getting their family out of danger or protect them from danger

Imagine a gathering of 10,000 preppers at a convention somewhere in the heart of Las Vegas and at that convention every single prepper had brought their own fully stocked bug out bag. The same bug out bags that each person had diligently packed using checklists gleaned from various prepping blogs, YouTube videos and their own personal experience. I would bet that a high percentage of them, maybe 90% or greater would have one very simple piece of gear in there somewhere along with the fire-steel, water filters, emergency blankets and survival knives. They would all have a survival fishing kit.

The survival tin, which is usually the container for the survival fishing kit is I think one of the most discussed pieces of gear in prepper circles. A quick search on YouTube finds well over 100,000 videos of preppers showing the contents of their tins, opening up the survival tins they receive from internet shopping and discussing the range of life saving implements they have been able to squirrel away in the confines of these small boxes.

I think the survival tin is so popular for a couple of reasons. They are really simple to make, just grab an assortment of items that you think can help you out if you are ever faced with some life or death survival scenarios. All you need, generally speaking are items that many of us already have lying around our homes somewhere. I put the contents of a sample survival kit below.

Most of us can see the utility in having these items in our possession. The survival tin is designed to hold this potentially life-saving gear in a relatively compact form that is easy enough to slip in your pocket everyday as you head out the door. This is a mandatory part of many prepper’s EDC gear and I agree that if you had this in your pocket and were dumped in the middle of nowhere, next to a river at 0 Dark 30, you would be much better off than someone who had nothing. At least you could use the flashlight to see your way to using your flint and tinder to make a fire. Then you could take the survival fishing kit to catch a nice big trout for your sustenance. But for the rest of us who aren’t subjected to the life of a hypothetical Bear Grylls episode and aren’t dropped anywhere, does a survival fishing kit make much sense at all or is it wasting space in our bug out bags, backpacks and pants pockets? Is it giving you a false hope for food that might never materialize?

A survival fishing kit doesn’t have to be complicated or take up too much space.

Does it make sense to have a survival fishing kit in your Bug out Bag?

I am not a big fish eater to be perfectly honest, but I grew up fishing with my friends in the neighborhood where we lived. In our area we had two fairly decent sized lakes within a short walk through the woods. In these lakes, we caught plenty of brim, crappie, bass and even a catfish or two. I completely understand the rationale behind having a way to catch fish as food and if you get lucky, a decent sized fish or even several smaller fish could provide a nice meal which if you are starving, could save your life.

There are dozens of survival fishing kits already assembled.

But fishing isn’t just as simple as throwing a hook into the water. Along with that survival fishing kit, you need the right bait, a good bit of luck and a small amount of skill and patience. Come to think of it, a lot of hunting activities share those traits. I think that many preppers assume that if they only have that handy little survival fishing kit in their bags they will be bringing a feast back to the campsite with ease. This is yet another one of the myths that I think preppers believe about bugging out to the woods.

I think that having the ability to even try your hand at fishing during a survival situation is going to come down to several factors but the top two that come to mind are your location and your availability to fish. Are you bugging out where there are any lakes, ponds or rivers with fish in them? Are you on the move? Can you stop and risk the exposure of fishing? Can you afford to alert others with a fire and the smell of fresh fish cooking? How large is your group?

You might argue that the supplies you need for a good fishing kit are so small and insignificant when it comes to weight that they are good to have anyway. I can buy that, but I think that some people are hanging their hopes on their perceived ability to put food on the blanket and simply having some hooks, weights and fishing line in your survival tin doesn’t guarantee you will catch anything or even find a place to fish in the first place.

What goes into a good survival fishing kit?

The contents of a survival fishing kit are pretty basic and true to the survival tin idea, they don’t need to take up much space. Could you fashion your own hooks with a soda can tab or natural materials and leave the fishing kit at home? Sure but for the size and weight I would rather have the real thing. Fishing line is hard to replicate in nature and it really doesn’t cost much at all to put these supplies together.

A good survival fishing kit should have at a minimum:

  • 50 ft. of sturdy mono-filament fishing line. 20lb test or higher will reduce the chance of it breaking. You can use a stick to wrap your line around similar to how a kite string works.
  • Assorted hooks for the fish in your area
  • Bobbers or you can use any material that will float like a piece of Styrofoam or wood.
  • Sinkers
  • Fishing lures or fake worms, whatever works best for your area. If you don’t know just ask the guy behind the counter at the place you are buying the fish hooks.

If you have fishing supplies at home, this should be easy to pull together or if you would rather buy a pre-built kit they have plenty of survival fishing kits online and most are less than the price of a meal out. Knowledge of basic knots that won’t come undone easily will help you here also. It would really suck to finally catch a nice fish only to have the hook come off the line as you are nearing shore and your dinner swim away into the deep.

So what is my answer to the question I posed at the beginning? I think because they are so compact and could give you the ability to catch fish if the right situation presented itself, a survival fishing kit makes a good addition to your bag. I would only expect to be able to use this in certain situations/locations though and not as a reliable source of food for survival. It’s the same with snares and traps, they can catch game for you but you have to be incredibly lucky to have an animal wander through the woods to your trap in the first place so don’t bet the farm on these two methods unless you are already living remotely well before the collapse. These make good supplies to have in my opinion, but not realistic food gathering options unless you are extremely lucky in a bug out scenario. Once the dust has settled and you are all living like nomads, then a good fishing kit would be a great idea.

What do you think?

Imagine a gathering of 10,000 preppers at a convention somewhere in the heart of Las Vegas and at that convention every single prepper had brought their own fully stocked bug

I have been asked before by friends how I got started with prepping. It seems the concept can be pretty daunting at first for some people. I can understand how it is when you start to think of the literally hundreds of important items that you need to consider for your family. My first list of “needs” took up an entire sheet of paper. On first glance, this undertaking can appear to be a giant behemoth and some people throw their hands up immediately and give in. I have heard excuses from not having enough money to not knowing where to start. While I agree that some prepper items require money (sometimes a lot!) often there are alternatives to spending a ton of money, but knowing where to start should never be an issue.

The uncertainty of knowing where to begin prepping could stem from the motivation that is driving you toward emergency preparedness. If your desire to be prepared is driven by some external threat that seems real and tangible like living in Tornado Alley, the starting point might be easier to find. If the motivation to be more prepared is due to what I would call common sense; which is telling you to be prepared for anything, the sense of urgency being lower in some cases might make the choices about where to start and what to do more complex.

In this article, which will be broken into a few different parts,  I will try to lay out what I consider is a basic guideline for how to start prepping with a list of areas that I have placed in order of importance. This is just an example of one methodology, but your personal needs, resources or experience might shuffle some of these around. This list was designed for the perspective of the person who is brand spanking new to prepping and is looking for a template of sorts they can follow to get their homes prepared for most emergency situations listed above (within reason). This does not address bugging out but is designed primarily for sheltering in place. My wife loves lists and something like this breaks everything into nice little chunks that is easier to digest and then she can cross off one at a time, so this type of list is designed for people like her.

Step 1 – Priorities

First things first, before you do anything it is important to understand a few things. This is also known as “So you want to be prepared, now what?” For me, it started with a gut feeling for lack of a better word back in 2008. I have said before that I believe someone was trying to get my attention so I started to listen. There was no driving natural threat like earthquakes or hurricanes, wildfires or mudslides that prompted me. I do not worry about the poles shifting too much or aliens attacking from planet Niburu (look that one up) but I did have a sense that society as we know it now is too fragile. Within this fragile society we are dependent upon systems and processes that are created to address the problem of Just in Time inventory management and if those systems break down, so does society. When society breaks down, so do people. When people break down, all hell breaks loose.  As Gerald Celente says; “(when) People Lose Everything, They Have Nothing Left to Lose, And They Lose It.”

The example that gets used pretty frequently is natural disasters so I will stick with that for a moment. Looking back at Hurricane Sandy or Hurricane Katrina, the people in both of those situations saw how quickly society could come crashing down. In both Katrina and Sandy, gas shortages, grocery stores wiped clean and looting happened almost overnight. Power outages, of course, happened right away and within 24 hours people’s lives were turned upside down.

Now, imagine your family and what you would be faced with if you were in a similar situation. But I don’t live anywhere near the ocean you say. OK, now forget about tornadoes earthquakes, fires, nuclear meltdowns, comets with aliens living in them and all of the other natural disasters. What if there is a major fluctuation with the price of gas and the grocery stores are no longer filled by the trucks that drive down the street every day? What if the trucks were rolling, but with the high price of gas, they were only able to come half as often as they were in the past? What if there is a terrorist attack at the port of Los Angeles and shipments are delayed for months? What if there is a stupid basketball game that doesn’t go right and there is rioting on your street? What if the police declare martial law because a bad guy is running around and they prevent you from going out of your house for days or weeks?

The point I am trying to make is that there shouldn’t be one single reason you are preparing for. You should want to be prepared for anything. The chances of any single event happening to you are too small, but the chance of something happening at all that could disrupt your life is much higher. To understand what you need to be prepared for, think less about the event that could cause disruption and more about the potential for disruption and what you would need to live comfortably through that disruption.

Water is easy to store now and it will be there when you need it. These containers stack to reduce storage needs.

There is a saying called the rule of 3’s and it goes like this. A person can live 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food. We will use these as a guideline for prepping going forward. In some cases, the rule of threes can drive what you need to focus on.

Step 2 – Water

Assuming for a minute that you can breathe and have or can obtain shelter easily we will skip over to water. Water is an obvious necessity, it is probably the easiest survival item to procure before any disaster and yet most people still don’t have enough of it to last the normal duration of what we might call your “usual” disaster. Without trying to be funny, a normal disaster is not measured in hours or days. At a minimum, if you are faced with a severe emergency like a tornado, hurricane or earthquake, services and life as you knew it probably won’t return to normal for several weeks. To verify this just look at the people who lived through Katrina and Sandy. There are people still that can’t go back into their homes and this happened back in October of 2012. At the time of this writing, that is 7 months ago and Sandy was only a Category 1 hurricane. Imagine the destruction had it been much stronger.

A good rule of thumb for water storage is to have one gallon per person per day. This includes cooking and cleaning, but that amount could change depending on the weather, the health of the individual and the physical activity they are participating. Still, one gallon is a good rule and it is simple to figure out. I like nice round numbers.

For every person in your home, you should plan on storing a gallon each for as many days as you can envision needing clean water. FEMA recommends 72 hours’ worth or three days. The general concept is that you need a 72 hour kit for each person for survival. I think that in order to be well prepared a minimum should be three times that amount. For a 4 person home, you would need to store 4 X 9 = 36 gallons of water.  That is a great start, but having twice as much that would be even better. Twice as much would be closer to 21 days which works out nicely with your 3 weeks of food so now for that same family we are looking at 84 gallons of water.

For water storage, the problem is space for most people. If you have a large basement or storage building, storing a couple of hundred gallons of extra water is easy. In an apartment, this is not the same because you will usually only have a small closet and some pantry space if you are lucky.  Regardless of your situation, water is an essential aspect of planning and should be one of the first items you consider for your survival kit.

For storing water, it is easier and more space-efficient to store at least 5-gallon jugs of water as opposed to a case of individual bottles. There are plenty of relatively inexpensive options at your local big-box stores or online. Just search for 5-gallon water storage and you will have plenty to choose from. For those with more space, 50-gallon barrels are ideal. Because I don’t have the storage space I incorporated two 50 gallon barrels as rain barrels outside attached to my gutters. This water will need to be treated, but if it rains I can have a fresh 100 gallons fairly easily. For inside the house, I went with 5-gallon because that made the most sense for our available space. We got ours from the Ready store and they stack easily which helps with space.

The bottom line is getting some water stored for yourself and your family. It’s easy and doesn’t take any preparation at all.

You can read more about storage and water treatment options in our article that deals specifically with water.

Later on in Part 2 we will discuss the rest of the basic options which will cover Food Storage, Firearms for Self Defense and Financial Security.

I have been asked before by friends how I got started with prepping. It seems the concept can be pretty daunting at first for some people. I can understand how

Spring is in the air and with it comes yard work. For some we have already started planting our gardens, others are tending to their chickens and most have to start cutting the grass. I know you may hear the Home Depot song playing in your mind as you think of mulching and planting and sprucing up after winter’s snooze but I have already been cutting my grass and it is due again for another visit with the lawnmower.

As I started to think about getting out there and cutting the grass, I wondered if there would be a use for items like my trusty lawnmower when the grid goes down. Why? Because if you are like me, the last thing you are going to worry about is a nicely trimmed yard. Heck, we all might need to tear up the pretty green carpet to make way for additional garden capacity and if that happens, what could we do with that mower? Even if we didn’t have a grid-down emergency what other purposes could our mower serve?

You will need the following tools/parts:

Lawn Engine motor

The generator project will require a vertical shaft gas engine from a lawn mower. The typical lawn mower engine will be 3 to 5 horse power and will have a 7/8″ shaft, with a 3/16″ key way and a threaded hole in the bottom of the shaft. Most of these engines have either 3 or 4 bolts holding them down to the existing lawn mower base.

Alternator – A GM 10SI or 12SI style automotive alternator.

The alternator will fall into one of three categories:

A) External voltage regulator type.This type of alternator does not have an internal regulator and must have one connected externally to control the alternator field intensity and thus the output voltage and current of the alternator. The disadvantage in using this type of alternator is that connection is a bit more complicated and the regulator is an added component that must be mounted and connected properly. This type of alternator is typically less expensive than the other options shown below, but like the model with an internal regulator, it too requires an external on / off switch or the alternator and regulator pair can discharge batteries when it is not charging and the switch is left on.
B) Single wire connection type with internal regulator.The single wire connection type alternator automatically starts producing output power when the RPM of the input shaft reaches a minimum speed. And, when the RPM drops below a preset speed the output stops. A big advantage is that it does not require a switch to isolate the alternator from the battery source to keep the alternator from draining the battery when not in use. The disadvantage in using this type of alternator is that the alternator will start to charge the batteries as soon as the minimum speed is reached, and will place a load on the engine as soon as the minimum RPM is achieved. In some cases, you might need to throttle through this minimum RPM range to insure that the motor does not bog down at low RPM when the alternator begins to produce power. Another disadvantage is that these alternators are more expensive than other options, but it provides a very simple connection method.
C) Internal regulator type with external control switch.Another option is to use the type we used on our last project. This alternator has an internal voltage regulator but requires an external switch to start or stop power production. The advantage in using this model is that the alternator can be switched off while the motor is still running and power output stops. This aids in connecting and disconnecting batteries or other loads.
One note in the Single wire connection type with internal regulator:

We found that the single wire configuration is not ideal for this application. Because the lawn mower engine mentioned above doesn’t have much throttle adjustment, if a single wire configuration is used with a 2 1/2 inch pulley on the motor the alternator doesn’t kick in without manually moving the throttle butterfly to a higher setting and then releasing. This problem might be eliminated by using a 3″ pulley. However, a single wire configuration can be used on our last project using a horizontal shaft engine. The problem we have right now, is that we don’t have all the answers yet for this configuration. Feel free to experiment, but with the motor we used and the pulley we used, it wasn’t convent in that you had to reach under the carburetor to throttle up manually to start generation.

Electrical Wires – Think wire harness for your car battery


A positive and a negative car battery cable is needed, as well as an alternator connector and associated wires. The alternator wires are not needed if a single wire alternator with built in regulator is used.

A belt – An A Style Industrial Belt to be more precise

The V-Belt transfers power from the pulley (which will be mounted) on the motor to the pulley on the alternator. Various belt lengths can be used if your mounting system provides for several inches of belt length adjustment. Keep in mind that the belt length should be kept to a minimum to reduce belt slap and associated wear.

We have found that the Automotive V-belt used on a standard alternator is not compatible with the industrial “A” size belt that mates with all pulleys you will find for the motor. However, if you use an industrial “A” style V-belt, it will provide an exact fit for the motor and an “OK” fit for the alternator. Replacing the pulley on the alternator to match the pulley on the motor is an option (a more expensive option) but would be the ideal solution.

Cast Iron Pulley

The motor pulley needs to be high quality cast iron. The mass of a cast iron pulley tends to act as a flywheel, taking the place of the mass of the lawn mower blade. Remember that most lawn mower engines have a very light aluminum fly wheel and use the steel blade as part of the effective fly wheel mass. The added weight of the cast iron pulley (compared to the mass of an aluminum pulley) helps the engine idle smoothly and helps keep belt slap to a minimum.

Mounting Bracket

The mounting bracket is the most complicated part of the project. The great thing about the bracket is that it’s Universal in design and allows use of a wide variety of engine manufacturers and engine models.

It not only eliminates hours of time figuring out the bolt pattern of your motor, but also eliminates the trial and error guess work in finding a belt length that will work once the motor and alternator are mounted. Additionally, the bracket can be bolted down to a simple base of your own design and the rest of the work is done!

Detailed instructions on how to work on this project:

The first step is to remove the motor from the lawn mower base. Typically, there are 3 or 4 bolts holding the motor to the base, but before you remove them, you will need to remove the mower blade and the shaft coupler that holds the blade on the motor shaft. Getting the blade and the coupling off is a bit of a pain. Removing the blade is not nearly as difficult, but still requires a bit of ingenuity to figure out a way to “jam” the blade so it won’t rotate while you remove the bolt which holds it in place on the motor shaft.

We found that we had to use a “pulley puller”, to remove the shaft coupler after the mower blade was removed. A “pulley puller” which can be rented or purchased at most auto parts stores. Removing the coupler is difficult to impossible without use of this tool.

The next hassle will be in finding the required pulley. Our research indicated that nearly all the motors used in vertical shaft lawn mowers have a 7/8″ shaft, and a 3/16″ or 1/4″ key way. However, horizontal shaft motors under about 7 HP use a 3/4″ shaft. The 3/4″ pulleys can be found at most hardware stores, but the 7/8″ pulleys are impossible to find. What we had to do was to set up an account with a company that supplies Heating and Air Conditioning Systems, Motors, Blowers and Components to be able to order the correct pulleys.

Another catch is that a 3/16″ key way is not standard on cast iron pulleys. What we found was that a 1/4″ key way is the norm because most high horse power AC motors use a 1/4″ size key way. A pulley with a 3/16″ key way is not typically available in a 7/8″ shaft diameter configuration. It is possible to use a pulley with a 1/4″ key way on a motor that has a 3/16″ key way provided that the set screw is on top of the key on the motor shaft and NOT on the shaft itself. If close attention is paid to this detail the pulley will stay in place without vibrating or loosening.

The biggest problem is figuring out how to bolt everything together. Because each type of mower had different a base, we ended up concentrating on coming up with a universal base that just about any motor could fit on. Our base had to allow rotating the motor by about 30 degrees, and allow positioning the motor in any of the 90 degree quadrants. That allowed the motor to be in any position with clearance for the alternator and a method for hooking up the belt. We also wanted to allow the alternator position to be adjusted allowing for several belt sizes to be used. The bracket also has an integral belt adjustment slot which allows the alternator position to be adjusted, which also serves to tension the belt.

The lawn mower engine

The lawn mower we used had a 3.5 Horse power Briggs and Stratton 4 stroke gas engine. That particular model motor has a safety shut off lever on the lawn mower handle which has a cable attached to the motor, and the attached cable must be activated to disengage the motor shut off break and to allow spark to reach the spark plug. What we decided to do was to cut the cable off and deactivate the motor shut off feature. If your motor has this feature, you will need to spend some time looking at the cable and the levers on the motor to figure out a way to deactivate or preserve the feature. In either case the motor will not start unless something is done about the cable and levers.

We found that there was a small hole in one of the lever plates on the side of the engine, and after pulling the cable, a small nail can be inserted into the lever to keep the mechanism from retracting and shutting off the motor. Like I said, it will take a bit of time to figure out how your motor shut off mechanism works (if there is one installed on your motor).

Most of the lawn mower engines you will find have a 7/8″ shaft and a 3/16″ key way cut into the shaft. They also have a threaded hole in the bottom of the shaft.

Pulley Size and Type

The vertical shaft motor from this lawn mower would not throttle as high as the same horse power motor we used in the horizontal shaft generator project. That motor was from a lawn edger, and could be set to a higher maximum speed. After talking with some lawn mower experts, we were told that the throttle mechanism on the lawn mower has the maximum throttle set to be about 75% of the maximum butter fly valve position of the carburetor. We were told that the lawn mower manufacturers set the throttle mechanism that way so there is extra throttle capability for when the mower hits some heavy or wet grass. The motor could then self throttle to a higher setting if necessary, then throttle back to the pre set throttle setting.

The reason we mention all this is that the pulley size we used on the horizontal shaft motor project would not work on this project. In testing this motor with the throttle set as high as possible without modifying the carburetor, and using a 4 3/4″ pulley on the motor (similar size to the one on our other project), the motor would bog down and die with a 39 Amp load on the alternator. Without modifying the carburetor, we couldn’t keep the thing running when the load was switched in with the large size pulley.

We had excellent results with a 2 1/2″ pulley. It allowed the alternator to output voltage at even half or lower throttle settings at a slightly lower output current. So, with less than full demand, the motor speed could be reduced without killing the motor, and providing fuel savings.

Mounting the Motor and Alternator

Mounting all this stuff is the tricky part of this project. But to make things easy, we designed and manufactured a bracket to make the task simple.

The bracket is made from 1/8″ steel and has provisions for mounting the motor and alternator, and additional holes for mounting the plate to a base of your own design.

What we did for the base was cut two 2×4’s the length of the bracket, and another 2×4 as a cross brace to be installed under the bracket at the bottom of the long 2×4’s. Imagine the base as being an H. The two long pieces were installed so that the base was 4 inches in height, and the cross brace was installed on the two length wise 2×4’s at the bottom, and on it’s side so that it stood 2″ in height. That provided the necessary clearance for the belt and provided stabilization of the two side pieces. A further improvement would be to install two more short 2×4 at each end of the assembly to completely box in the rotating pulleys (for added safety).

We elected to mount the alternator in such a manor that it actually runs backwards. This simplifies the hook up and it still works. The fan still functions, but instead of pulling air through the back and exhausting through the front, the air flow direction is reversed. Also, the fan blades are not as efficient when running backwards so air flow is reduced slightly. But, remember that like in the other project, the alternator is mounted to a steel plate which also serves as a large heat sink. And from the two hour test run at 39 Amp output, the alternator case temperature was only 148 degrees (ambient temperature was 80 degrees). So, I guess what I’m saying is that it really doesn’t matter. These alternators normally spend most of their lives under the hood of cars stuck in traffic jams on hot days, and see temperatures much higher than this.

Now, getting back to the mounting issues: The lawn mower engine has a longer shaft than the alternator, and if the pulley is installed in the ideal location on the motor shaft the two pulleys do not align. So, what we found was that the alternator needs to be mounted flush on top of the bracket but the motor needs to be spaced 1″ above the mounting plate. This is easily carried out by using 1″ longer bolts, and 1″ long spacer tubes. Then the alignment of the pulleys is correct.

Wiring it up

The wiring depends on which alternator you choose. All three alternator types are shown.

Do not wire the alternator unless you are sure about what type you are using. If you make a mistake in the selection of the alternator or wiring diagram you run a very high risk of damaging your battery, electronic devices, or worse yet causing personal injury! Consult a parts professional for additional information!

This tip is intended for educational purposes only. No guarantees are expressed or implied as to the accuracy of information presented here! Consult with an automotive wiring expert before attempting to carry out any wiring.

If you are using an alternator that requires an external switch, you will need to turn off the switch prior to attempting to start the generator. If the switch is on, the generator will try to output voltage while you are pulling the starting cord on the motor. You will find that it will be nearly impossible to pull the cord! If the switch is off, then there is little to no resistance from the alternator. Once the motor is running, the switch can be set to the on position.


Spring is in the air and with it comes yard work. For some we have already started planting our gardens, others are tending to their chickens and most have to start cutting

Knowing how to build the perfect campfire is one of the main ingredients of a successful camping trip and of survival in general. The campfire is at the apex of any backwoods gatherings. You will most likely need it to prepare food, keep warm, ward off predators, and maybe even purify drinking water, as well as to just create that ambiance for the bringing people together. In case you have never built one before, or you are an old hand at it, everything can be a bit more involved than it appears on the surface. A “must have” skill for ALL preppers, you may find some valuable takeaways in this article, especially if your wood is poorly seasoned or the prevailing weather conditions are all working against you.

The key to success in building the perfect campfire is to have the right supplies, skills and patience. You must also have in the back of your mind what you will need the fire for so you can start and maintain the perfect campfire (given Mother Natures changing moods.)


Tinder: These are the tiniest of fire igniting materials. Examples include wadded newspaper, wood shavings, cardboard, wax, commercial fire sticks and dryer lint.
Kindling: It is consider just tinder that is bulkier and more substantial. Good examples are twigs about the thickness of a pencil.
Firewood: Well seasoned firewood somewhere up to 5 inches in diameter. You should split larger-diameter logs to make them easier to handle and burn more efficiently, however that also means they are consumed faster.
A Fire-starter: While you can use matches, lighters tend to do better jobs in the wilderness. A flint rod may also do for camping fires as well as a number of methods you have seen on this site in the past. Add fire-starters that you are experienced with at your discretion as these may be better saved for use when your tinder is wet or green.
A Shovel or Spade: A shovel or small spade may be necessary if you will need to create a fire pit from scratch. Also handy for extinguishing a fire as well as leaving as little trace of your passing as possible.


Step 1: Check If Campfires Are Permitted if You Are Simply Camping

Before lighting any fires, you must determine whether campfires are permitted in your camping area. Look for posted signs in the campsite warning against starting fires. You can also ask the campsite host or a ranger for any such laws prohibiting fires. Avoid any assumptions from what you see and ensure you get necessary permissions before you start a campfire. The beaches of California are littered with fire pits from a by-gone era (just a few years ago, until things started getting ridiculous.)

Step 2: Pick an Appropriate Fire Spot

Established campgrounds usually already have fire-rings or fire pits. This will make your work easier. If such rings are nonexistent, choose a spot that is about 15 feet from your tents, trees, shrubs and other inflammable materials, if at all possible.

Look for a natural, or man-made windbreak. These will make your efforts easier, provide some cover, and draped with a emergency blanket may even make your fire more efficient at heating the surrounding area. If such a place does not exist clear any dead leaves, grass, and other vegetation to create at least a few feet of bare soil. Also, dig down a few inches to create a pit that’ll contain the fire. This will protect the hot coals as well making stoking the fire for a longer burn much easier.

Step 3: Choose the Type of Campfire to Build

Campers can choose between three different campfires depending on their needs. We will discuss the steps necessary to make perfect fires of each of the three types. The types include a teepee campfire, a lean-to campfire, and a log cabin campfire.

  1.  Teepee Campfire

  • Step 1: Centralize Some Tinder in Your Fire Pit

All campfires tend to begin start with a foundation made of tinder. To accomplish this, gather a portion of your tinder. Bundle them and put them at the center of the pit. A trick to make the tinder material easier to bundle, try to lay it on top of some piece of a well-dried tree bark.

  • Step 2: Build a Teepee

Use a portion of your kindling to build a cone-like teepee shape with some of the tinder in its center. Use just about six of the kindling pieces. Add a layer composed of firewood to build a wider teepee around your first one. Stick smaller branches or twigs into the ground around the teepee to secure it.

Do not forget to leave a gate in the teepee. Later on you will use it to ignite the fire. Ensure the gate or opening is on the side of the teepee facing the direction of the wind. This will provide your young fire with the air it needs to burn well. Similarly, leave spaces between the pieces of firewood to promote air circulation.

  • Step 3: Light the Tinder

With a ready teepee, place a match or lighter beneath the centralized tinder and strike or ignite. The teepee structure will encourage the fire to burn vertically from the tinder to kindling and then to the firewood. If the flames fail to fan, light the tinder again.

  • Step 4: Add Kindling and Firewood As Needed

As your fire burns, the firewood would be consumed and eventually, the teepee will collapse. At this juncture, add more kindling and pieces of firewood to maintain the fire. A teepee campfire is suitable for cooking because as it burns elegantly and steadily for a limited period.

      B. A Lean-To Campfire

  • Step 1: Place Kindling With Tinder beneath It

To make a Lean-To campfire, start by placing a long piece of kindling in the dirt at a 30-degree angle to the ground. Bundle some kindling and put it beneath the lean-to kindling. For the purpose of a lean-to kindling, a thicker stick or a small/medium size log will suffice. The end of the kindling should point to the direction of the wind.

  • Step 2: Add Tinier pieces of Kindling

With your lean-to kindling ready, place additional pieces of kindling in your fire set-up. In this case, use much thinner sticks than those serving as a lean-to. Place them against the lean-to and tinder bundles. Make a tent-like shape by leaning kindling against the lean-to. Create a second layer by adding a little bit larger pieces.

  • Step 3: Ignite the Tinder

Ignite tinder just like we discussed for the teepee type. Once the tinder catches fire, the rest of the kindling will follow to create larger flames. Add more kindling as well as some well-seasoned firewood to fan the flames. Begin with a single piece of firewood and increase the number appropriately. This is the best campfire type for cooking.

      C. Log Cabin Campfire (Pyramid)

  • Step 1: Create a Small Kindling Teepee

Use the first step in making a teepee campfire in this step. The only difference is that you will need just two layers of kindling around the tinder bundle at the center of your fire pit.

  • Step 2: Setup 4 pieces of small logs around the Teepee

Gather four pieces of well-dried firewood and set them around the teepee. Use two of the largest pieces on opposing sides of the teepee and then set up two smaller pieces on the remaining sides to make some sort of a square structure with the firewood. The smaller pieces must rest over the larger pieces for the log cabin to be steady. Ensure you leave a gate on the side that faces the direction of the blowing wind.

  • Step 3: Lay More Firewood

Continue laying more firewood over the four pieces of firewood. In this case, use smaller and shorter pieces in a similar pattern to the square. Your goal would be to create a structure similar to a cabin around the initial teepee.

  • Step 4: Invest Smaller Kindling On Top Of the Cabin and Ignite

Once your log cabin is ready, place some of the lightest kindling on top of the structure to close off your structure. Only then can you use a lighter or a match to ignite the fire. Light the fire from several sides in order to encourage your fire to burn. Create a log cabin type of campfire if you want fire that will burn for longer and therefore keep you warm for longer periods.


Besides knowing how to build a perfect campfire, you also need to know how to extinguish it. The simple option is cutting off its supply of oxygen. You can put out all types of campfires by pouring water on to the fire, stirring the ashes and then applying more water. You should repeat this process as necessary until the ash is cool to touch. The bare minimum is to ensure that the fire and its members are out and utterly cold before you leave the camp.

Water will cause smoke – a better method is to bury the fire with dirt. It does not cause smoke and generally hides the evidence of the fire being there in the first place.



No matter the type of campfire you intend to create, you now have the right information to help you do it right. Ensure you never leave the fire unattended and you must put it out before you leave to prevent unnecessary accidents.

Knowing how to build the perfect campfire is one of the main ingredients of a successful camping trip and of survival in general. The campfire is at the apex of


Perhaps the single most useful tool for someone to have in a survival situation is a lighter. While some might argue that a lighter is a little bit of a cheat, and that a real survivalist would start fires from scratch, this argument doesn’t really hold water when your life is actually on the line. Starting a fire the Neanderthal way might be more pure, but it actually requires considerable skill and even a bit of engineering savvy before you’ll see the first glimmer of smoke, and eventually some life-saving flame.

A survival lighter is very compact, is universally available, and provides a priceless function to someone suddenly thrust in a life-or-death situation. For someone intentionally seeking out the wild places of the world, a reliable lighter is solid gold. But for a lighter to be as useful as possible, it must be relatively immune from the effects of wind and the elements, and offer a steady flame that will not be blown out by a mere breeze. Storm-proof lighters offer just that kind of service, and are well-known to survivalists around the world, many of whom carry two or more in the wild.

Here are some of the ways that a good survival lighter can make the difference between life and death in a real survival situation.

Building fires for warmth

Ultimate Survival Technologies Delta Shock and Storm Proof Lighter – Blaze Orange

In a cold climate especially, warmth will be essential for a person caught in the wilderness. Some kind of shelter is essential as protection from weather conditions, but it will also be necessary to keep warm, and in places where the thermometer dips low at night, a fire can stave off frostbite or even worse harm.

Cooking food

Humans are capable of lasting up to three weeks without food, but that doesn’t mean you can count on surviving that long between meals. In actuality, the body begins to grow weaker far sooner than the three week period, and that means muscle coordination and even brain functions are degraded far sooner. Raw food might be palatable in a pinch, but cooking food also kills germs and bacteria that might be present, and will allow for a healthier intake of foods that are not normal components of the human diet.

Protection against wild animals

In an area where there might be predators about, fire can be an essential protection for the survivalist. Wild animals have a natural aversion to fire, many of them having witnessed the damage that wildfires are capable of, and they will not enter a campsite where a strong fire is burning. Of course this means that the fire has to be maintained whenever there is a suspected presence of such predators, and that a steady supply of fuel must be gathered, but here too, fire can help. Carrying a burning piece of wood along as you seek wood supplies will cause most animals to keep their distance.

Boiling water works just fine to kill off anything nasty in your water supply.

Water purification

There are of course, better purification methods than boiling water, for instance handheld purifiers and water bottles with purification systems, but if you happen to be caught without any of these, then boiling water works just fine to kill off anything nasty in your water supply. And it almost goes without saying that you must locate a water source, because humans cannot live longer than three days without it. Like with food though, that three-day guideline is an extreme case, and body functions will begin to degrade much sooner than that without essential water being taken in.

Mini survival kit

A survival lighter can be made to have much greater value than its single, intended function of lighting fires for all those benefits described above. Someone who has time to plan for a stay in the wild can dress up a lighter to be much more useful than as a mere starter of fires.

Carry a lighter on your keychain. This small peaunt lighter could save your day.

Wrapping your lighter with duct tape can pay handsome dividends in a survival situation, because there are hundreds of ways that duct tape can come in handy. After taping the lighter, add several fish hooks to one side of the lighter, and some sewing needles on the other side, to give yourself a tiny toolkit of items that can help with other aspects of survival.

Finally, wrap a long strand of heavy fishing line, perhaps 20-lb. test line, around the whole lighter to provide a means for fishing or makeshift trapping, and also to repair gear. By including these extra aids to survival all on one simple tool, the survival lighter is made even more valuable as a means of keeping you alive in a hostile situation.

  Perhaps the single most useful tool for someone to have in a survival situation is a lighter. While some might argue that a lighter is a little bit of a

I have been a prepper for several years now and have been on both sides of probably every argument out there in some form or another at one point in my life. I don’t have the same perspective on life that I used to when I was 22. I would imagine that not many of us do still think the same way when we are in the midst of raising a family and can look back on our 20’s from a couple dozen birthdays. The music that rolled out of the radio when I graduated high school is now considered classic or vintage or my favorite, retro. When I was younger my outlook on life was almost the polar opposite from what I think now and I like to believe that I have grown up a lot. Maturity can make a big difference in a person, but I guess experiences, character and who you surround yourself with all factor in their own heavily weighted portion of influence as to who you end up becoming.

I won’t go into everything I believed as a young man in my early (young and dumb) twenties but let’s just say I leaned a lot more to the left back then mainly I think that was because I only cared about myself. Then I met my wife and had some of those life experiences I mentioned (kids, several career changes, someone to worry about besides my sorry self) and my perspective changed almost completely with time. After several years of being the complete opposite of my younger self in terms of social and political outlook, checking a new box at the polls and more life experiences I have settled into what I believe is my true skin for lack of a better phrase. The closest you could now classify my outlook on life politically speaking anyway is Libertarian. That’s a pretty big turn from someone who voted for Clinton, twice.

But this article isn’t about politics, it’s about why I’m a Prepper and that introduction was really all to say that I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I had the brain, maturity and perspective I had in my twenties. If I hadn’t gone through the experiences that impacted my life and met the woman who completely changed everything I could be an entirely different person.

Fast forward from my relatively worry free twenties to the responsibilities of a father and husband. Around 2008 I started to think that something wasn’t really right. I have discussed this before, but it was a gut feeling that I needed to take extra steps to make sure my family would be protected. Protected from what? It was my perspective on life and what I was seeing that was stirring a sense of urgency to learn more about what other aspects of life there were that perhaps I wasn’t aware of. It was the urgency to protect my family that led me to research a wide variety of subjects which eventually led me to prepping even before it was a cool term on National Geographic.

The concepts of prepping made so much sense to me because I had people that I cared for and I didn’t want to see any harm come to them. It was logical to want to protect them from hunger, lack of water or intruders. I could easily see both the usefulness of prepping supplies to help my family out while at the same time looking much more broadly at our society with a new understanding about how things are run and presented to us. It was around this time that I started to research for myself the things I was being told and asked to accept without question.

These clowns wouldn’t last a month

Everyone comes to this subject of prepping from different paths but I would expect that anyone who has even lifted the covers ever so slightly on the wide open world that falls under the blanket of the word “prepper” has heard detractors. It doesn’t matter what you are prepping for there will be people who emphatically argue that you are crazy to prepare. These same people get downright belligerent that anyone would be so stupid as to think about their own survival or self-sufficiency. All you have to do is go on any YouTube video that has anything remotely resembling prepping and there will be lots of comments to the effect of “These clowns won’t last a month” or “you people are all idiots for believing anything bad is going to happen”. I am not surprised at this response but I can’t really understand it.

Preppers that I know almost universally are simply trying to make sure they are prepared if something happens. It is this process of preparation that they are undergoing to in some way make their lives better in their opinion if a crisis happens. All of these people who mock preppers are saying that the preppers are foolish for preparing or that they will die regardless of their preps so either way they are idiots.

These nut jobs should not be encouraged.

There are still others who view shows like Doomsday Preppers and Prepper Conventions all over the US as somehow encouraging bad behavior. As if watching people on TV is going to make someone a nut job. These nut jobs are just trying to protect themselves or their family. What about all the other TV shows? Do they encourage the nut jobs too? What about Reality TV shows that have people running around naked? Do they encourage the exhibitionist? What about Sports programs that feature athletes who abuse their family? Do those encourage the wife beaters? What about movies that encourage all manner of evil things? Do those encourage terrorists?

Besides the obvious aspect that preppers and their detractors are looking at the world with a different perspective, I think that there is one key difference between preppers and the people who think we are crazy. Preppers for the most part seem to be preparing for an unknown future. They take steps to stock up on food and water should they need it. Preppers learn skills and purchase weapons to defend their families if a situation arises where their lives are in jeopardy. Preppers don’t know what is coming, but they prepare for the chance that something will. Why? Because tragedy has happened many times before.

The people who call preppers “nut jobs” seem to know everything. I say this because they can easily spout off how nothing bad will ever happen, or how the US is “the richest frickin country in the world” and that we will never see anything like chaos here. EVER! Or if anything does happen it will be “nuclear war that will wipe everyone out anyway”. The detractors know everything and the preppers know nothing in their eyes. It reminds me a lot of how I was when I was much younger. Not that everyone who thinks prepping is wrong is a young whippersnapper, but their opinions and attitudes match mine at a much younger age.

I started prepping because to me it is simple common sense and I have people that depend on me. It’s common sense because I have been to the grocery store when it was closed and I needed something. I have run out of gas on the side of the road. I have been lost without a cell phone and I have experienced needing something I could have easily acquired ahead of time. I have seen winter storms block roads for days. I have also seen so many times where things don’t end up all right. I have seen riots, looting, famine, ethnic cleansing, civil wars, hurricanes, depression, earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires, economic collapse, virus outbreaks and all forms of evil perpetrated by one man against another. That “gut feeling” I had in 2008 hasn’t gone away, it has only gotten harder to ignore.

I have a responsibility to protect my family and I have taken a lot of steps over the years toward that goal. These steps would probably make a lot of people out there call me a wacko but I’m OK with that. I have said before that I would rather reach the end of my days as a very old Great Grandfather with all of my family surrounding me talking about how crazy I was than to have a single person who calls me crazy now admit that I was right all along as we stare at disaster.

Prepping isn’t crazy, but believing you know everything and that nothing will ever go wrong might be. I’m going to stick with my approach and we’ll meet up later and see who was right. Good luck to you.

I have been a prepper for several years now and have been on both sides of probably every argument out there in some form or another at one point in

For years I have been fascinated with hanging. Yes I realize how morbid that sounds and no I never tortured animals or smaller children in my youth or any other time for that matter. I am talking about the hanging you see in old western movies where bad guys are dealt with at the end of a trial. The act of hanging is both brutal and efficient. The quickness of someone simply taking a short fall into oblivion almost makes the act itself a little less horrific – that is if you can discount the cause of their actual demise and overlook the sound that must accompany their bodies reaching the end of the rope as it were.

I may get some push back on this post, but there are times when I feel our justice system is too complicated, corrupt and doesn’t do one thing that it was designed to do and that is act as a deterrent. Trials go on for years, appeals spawn other appeals and the whole time we are paying for criminals to get an education, to have access to internet, to workout and learn other crimes. In some cases, a simple length of rope would be faster, more efficient, infinitely cheaper and would bring back the public execution that surely would act as a deterrent again. Nothing like watching some bad men hung in the public square to make you think twice about killing someone.

Before I get the angry emails about how many people have been found innocent and are exonerated by DNA evidence let me clarify what I am referring to. I realize that the death sentence isn’t applicable for every crime and I am not suggesting otherwise. I am not advocating we round up some people we think are guilty and find a tall oak tree. I am also not advocating any violence against any person for any reasons other than the proper (community agreed) dispensation of justice after a fair, open and legitimate trial by elected representatives. I am not advocating lynching or terrorizing anyone with this post.

On the other hand in a TEOTWAWKI world which is one we frequently hypothesize about on Final Prepper and other survival blogs –  if we are to have some semblance of order we will have to have justice. If society and our framework of government is destroyed, who will dispense with justice? Will we have jails for someone to serve life in prison? Who would pay for that to happen in the first place if we are all scratching to survive? If the grid ever collapses, one way to prevent violence or brutality is to punish those who visit violence upon our community. Hanging might make a comeback.
This is all a theoretical exercise I know but for anyone who was curious like me of how to tie a hangman’s noose, I found the following video.  If nothing else, you can learn how to tie this famous knot. You never know if you will need to use it one day.

Before I get the angry emails about how many people have been found innocent and are exonerated by DNA evidence let me clarify what I am referring to. I realize

A key but often neglected part of having firearms in your prepping plans is practice. Many people purchase thousands of dollars worth of weapons with the intention of using these in a life and death situation. The truth of the matter is that when you are actually in a life and death situation, your skill is dramatically reduced. The confidence you had with that weapon is gone and fear and stress kick in big time. It is at this most critical time that your skill level and proficiency need to be the highest they can be, but the reality is we are able to muster only a fraction.

Practicing with your pistols before there is an emergency is vital to improving your chances of successfully living to talk about it. If your going into a gunfight, you need to be training for a gunfight. Bruce outlines some steps and exercises you can follow below to become more proficient, to increase muscle memory and hopefully increase your odds of hitting what you are shooting at, before it hits you. Practice these drills as often as you can. They could mean the difference between life and death.

The Crush Grip

The crush grip is one of the elements of Massad Ayoob’s five-point “pre-flight checklist” comprising the fundamentals of solid combat handgun marksmanship (Ayoob, 2012). When a shooter uses a crush grip or hard grasp on the handgun with the thumbs curled down, the curled thumbs promote a stronger and tighter grasp. Thumbs curled down do not shift the windage on one’s muzzle direction. My experience and the results with my students validate that one can shoot with combat accuracy with such a grip.

Furthermore, as demonstrated in Massad Ayoob’s Stressfire combat handgun training program (www.MassadAyoobGroup.com), when a shooter intentionally “gorilla grips” the handgun to the point of tremor, the resulting “wobble zone” results in shot groupings on target at combat distances that are still within a combat accuracy acceptable 3 to 4 inches.

However, there is yet one other essential point. The harder you grasp the handgun, the better you will control the gun. Also, the harder you grasp, the easier it is to isolate your trigger finger. Just perform this little experiment:

Full combat grip on holstered gun.

Make a loose fist with your dominant hand and keep your thumb pointed forward. Now, extend your trigger finger and press your trigger finger to the rear just as if you are working a trigger. If you watch your hand as you do this, you may notice that as you work your trigger finger, your other fingers are also moving. You have not completely isolated the movement of your trigger finger from the rest of your hand. This is called “milking,” and if you do this while you are shooting, it typically results in shots that are low and to the left.

Now make a much tighter fist and curl your thumb down. When you extend your trigger finger and press it to the rear now, as if you’re working the trigger, you will notice that your other tightly clasped fingers do not move in unison. You have isolated your trigger finger. This is one advantage of a crush grip.

The importance of a combat shooting program emphasizes techniques that depend on simple gross motor skills as opposed to complex fine motor skills, since fine motor skills deteriorate under life and death stress.

It is my position that we should practice defensive shooting in ways which are consistent with what happens physically and psychologically if we were fighting for our life. These techniques should feed off of the effects of the body alarm reaction and become more effective under stress. They must be simple gross motor techniques that can withstand the tremors and increased physical strength attendant to the body-alarm-triggered adrenaline dump into the bloodstream. A “crush grip” does this.

Can we and should we train for a gunfight?

My position on the matter is that we can train for when the proverbial balloon goes up and that we should maximize our training time by building skills that we might have to use in a deadly force situation. After all, we carry guns because we just might have to use them in defense of life. Therefore, we had better prepare ourselves by running drills that build skills we might actually use for real.

How to Train for the Gunfight

I have developed a practice drill regimen that runs through some of the core elements of combat shooting. It is doable in a lane in an indoor range. I use this practice drill regimen for my own skills maintenance, and I teach it to my private students. I will outline it here. It requires 100 rounds (two boxes) of ammunition.

Training for a gunfight means building skills you will need if you are in an armed confrontation. First and foremost, you will need good basic marksmanship skills because advanced combat shooting skills involve solid applications, and in some cases, modifications, of the basic skills. Thus, you must master the basics.

These include a solid (power) stance, a solid and stable (crush) grip on the gun, acquisition and maintenance of good sight alignment and sight picture, good trigger control and trigger reset, and good follow-through. Second, you will need good point shooting and retention shooting skills. There will be no time to take your time. You need to be able to fire multiple shots fast and accurately close in, because most gunfights happen within nine feet. And third, you will need to move! The person who stays planted is going nowhere fast, and in fact, may get planted. Conversely, the person who moves rapidly is more likely to emerge from the fight alive.

Drill 4: Elbow Up. Elbow Down.

Drill 1. Basic Marksmanship Drill: Two-Handed Grip (30 rounds)

Every trip to the range for practice should include practicing basic marksmanship to refresh and strengthen the fundamentals. Advanced skills build on the basics. This first drill is a primer. I typically run at least 30 rounds through my primary defensive handgun at five, seven, ten, fifteen, and twenty to twenty-five yards. The handgun is brought on target either from the low ready, combat ready, compressed combat ready positions, or the holster. Typically I begin shooting close-in to build confidence and then increase my target distances.

Basic marksmanship means employing the fundamentals; power stance, hard two-handed grasp on the handgun, good sight alignment and sight picture, good trigger control and follow through (give the bullet time to leave the barrel before the trigger reset and preparing for the follow-up shot). For this drill, I am aiming for precision accuracy. I am essentially running the “one-hole drill” or “focus drill” that I have described in previous articles. This is a take as much time as you need drill to get all shots in one hole using the basics of good marksmanship.

Drill 2. Basic Marksmanship Drill: One-Handed Grip (20 rounds)

This drill is the same as the above drill (incorporating all of the fundamentals) except that now you are shooting one-handed at various distances, alternating between your dominant and non-dominant hands. When you shoot one-handed, it is important to grip your handgun even harder, as you have only one hand on the gun. The harder you grasp, the better you will control the gun. Also, the harder you grasp, as we illustrated above, the easier it is to isolate your trigger finger.


The above two drills use up a box (50 rounds) of ammunition. The drills to follow require another 50 rounds. The following drills should incorporate movement at least some of the time that you run them, to the extent that the range will allow. Obviously, if you are working in an indoor range in a lane, your movement will be minimal. Basically, when you are not shooting, you should be moving. As noted defensive firearms trainer, John Farnam is fond of repeating, “Don’t just stand there like a potted palm.” If you present a static target in a real fight, you just might get planted. So, movement should be incorporated into your gun presentation (your draw from the holster) and movement should follow each string of shots.

Drill 3. Draw and Shoot Two-Handed from Compressed Ready to Full Extension (20 rounds)

DRILL 5 as you aim through point shooting at the target, you are shooting up the target from your initial point of aim/point of impact, sort of like a zipper.

In a real gunfight, you will be firing multiple shots. Typically the fight will begin close in. To prevail and survive, you need to get hits on your assailant before he hits you. And you need to move away from your assailant as you are doing so. Distance is your friend. This drill is

One-quarter hip retention point shooting position.

run at three, five, and seven yards. You begin from two-handed compressed ready. When you give yourself the go signal, start shooting from the compressed ready and fire two to three additional shots as you push your gun out to full extension.

In a fight, you would be extending the gun as you fire and simultaneously move away from your assailant. Note: Your first shot at compressed ready should be taken with your hands at least six inches in front of your chest so that the rear end of the cycling slide will not hit your chest.

Drill 4. Elbow-Up/Elbow Down One-Handed Point Shooting from the Hip (10 rounds)

In this drill, I practice drawing from the holster (strong side) and shooting from retention (which in this drill is the one-quarter hip retention position), as soon as the gun is pointed at the target. A total of 10 rounds are fired. This drill should be perfected first without movement. Once you are comfortable with the drill, then you can incorporate movement. However, if you are shooting on an indoor range in a lane, it may not be safe to incorporate movement into this drill. This is the flow sequence broken down into steps:

  1. Acquire a combat grip on the holstered handgun.
  2. Your elbow swings up as you draw the gun up vertically and clear the mouth of the holster with the muzzle.
  3. Your elbow swings down as you rock your forearm up toward the target with your arm in the one-quarter hip retention position.
  4. You fire one shot as soon as your muzzle is pointed at your aim point on the target.

It is very important to maintain a crush grip on the gun as you run this drill. By doing so, you will have more control over the gun.

Drill 5. “The Zipper” (20 rounds)

This drill is an extension of Drill 4. In this drill, I draw from the holster (strong side), begin shooting from the one-quarter hip retention position as soon as the gun is pointed at the target, and continue firing as I push the gun out toward the target through the half hip, three-quarter hip, and full extension positions. This drill is called the zipper because as you aim through point shooting at the target, you are shooting up the target from your initial point of aim/point of impact, sort of like a zipper.

DRILL 5 as you aim through point shooting at the target, you are shooting up the target from your initial point of aim/point of impact, sort of like a zipper.

Here again, we are practicing getting multiple shots at speed into our assailant. You should start running this drill slowly, and gradually build up speed over several sessions. It is important to do it smoothly in one continuous flow. Here you should “flow like water.” Remember that initially at least, slow is smooth, and eventually, fast, effective and coordinated is always smooth.

Recognize that in reality, you would only extend your gun as you are firing as far as you safely can in order to maintain good gun retention. If you are too close to your opponent and you extend your gun too far toward your opponent as you are firing, you may end up giving your gun to your assailant or his partner.

This drill should be performed without movement while you are shooting, as with all of the above drills. Give yourself time to become proficient at this drill before you incorporate movement into your draw from the holster. Again, if you are shooting on an indoor range with lanes, it may not be safe to incorporate movement into this drill. Again, it is very important to maintain a crush grip on the gun throughout the shooting sequence. Especially when you are practicing this technique, if you do not gorilla grip your handgun, you will not have as much control over it as you need to have.

This is the flow sequence broken down into steps:

  1. Acquire a combat grip on the holstered handgun.
  2. Your elbow swings up as you draw the gun up vertically and clear the mouth of the holster with the muzzle.
  3. Your elbow swings down as you rock your forearm up toward the target.
  4. You fire your first shot as soon as your muzzle is pointed at your point of aim on the target and when your arm is in the one-quarter hip position. You continue firing as you push the gun out toward the target through the half hip, three-quarter hip, and full extension positions.


Training for a gunfight means practicing drills that incorporate skills you will need if you are in an armed confrontation. First of all, you need good basic marksmanship skills. Advanced combat shooting skills involve solid applications, and in some cases, modifications of the basic skills. You must master the basics as discussed above. That is why my practice regimen includes a basic marksmanship component.

Second, you need good point shooting and retention shooting skills. Armed confrontations and gunfights typically happen in seconds. There is no time to take your time. You need to be able to shoot multiple shots fast and accurately. Most gunfights happen within nine feet. You will most likely be fighting one or more assailants who are coming toward you, so you will need to hold onto your gun tightly (crush grip, retention position) and fire multiple shots.

Third, you will need to move, so you need to incorporate movement into your drills! The person who stays planted is going nowhere fast, and in fact, may get planted. Conversely, the person who moves rapidly is more likely to emerge from the fight alive. The drills described above incorporate all of these elements.

A key but often neglected part of having firearms in your prepping plans is practice. Many people purchase thousands of dollars worth of weapons with the intention of using these

In a perfect world, one would like to think that when disaster strikes, people would rush to help and support each other through it. And while people certainly will, such catastrophes unfortunately sometimes bring out the worst in many people as well. And these opportunistic predator types don’t target strapping he-men either. They’ll be looking for what they think are vulnerable victims; the elderly, the disabled, and women.

While in these more enlightened times few people still think of women as the “weaker sex”, most men still retain some advantages in physical height and strength.

Fortunately, there are a number of self-defense tips and techniques that can level that playing field and allow women to protect themselves and those that they are responsible for protecting. Some of them involve an outlay of money, some involve exercise, some involve surprisingly simple preparation, but all of them should be considered now, not after the worst happens. Below are some of the more effective ones.

Get And Stay Physically Fit

The healthier and more physically fit you are in the aftermath of a crisis, the better.

You’ll be able to run from danger. You’ll be able to run and get help and possibly track down prey.

Weight lifting will allow you to…well…lift weights.

Rock climbing and ropes courses now may help you to extract yourself and assist others in escaping from collapsed buildings, scale cliffs, and climb trees.

And the great thing about physical fitness programs is that they need not involve memberships at expensive gyms. An exercise regime as simple as daily rope-jumping may have you putting others to shame when trouble strikes.

Don’t Be Afraid Of Fear

It’s a perfectly natural emotion, designed by nature to help you avoid serious problems. But there’s a fine line between breaking down into hopeless hysteria or running blindly off of the edge of a cliff, and making your fear work for you.

Don’t be crippled by fear, but do listen to that little voice warning you when going into unfamiliar areas, encountering strange groups, etc. And remember that the adrenaline produced when you enter the “flight or fight” mode actually increases your physical strength. Use it accordingly.



Face to face with a street thug? Do THIS
Sometimes it doesn’t even feel like we’re living in America anymore, with…
• Outraged alt-left mobs who burn any American flag they come across…
• Trigger-happy thugs who have ZERO regard for human life…
• Radical terrorists plotting to murder Americans right here in our country…
That’s why an ex-CIA Officer made this brief self-defense video and he’s sharing it FREE with all law-abiding American citizens.

Every Heel Has His (Or Her) Achilles Heel

Even physically fit women may not prevail in a confrontation with a man that involves running or brute force. So don’t let him get the upper hand, but calmly and effectively go on the offensive by attacking him in areas that will hurt, with blows and kicks to the:

  • Eyes
  • Groin
  • Kidneys
  • Nose
  • Adam’s apple (that “bulge” in the throat)
  • Shin
  • Instep
  • Solar plexus (between the sternum and stomach)
  • Knee
  • Nose
  • Jaw
  • Sternum (the flat bony area in the center of the chest)

Make sure that these blows are hard, and yes, they work just as effectively on women. And in situations like these, biting is absolutely fair play, and effectively painful. For some defense moves that you can try out, check out this article on The 3 Essential Self-Defense Moves.

Take A Class

There are a couple of reasons to take formal self-defense courses now.

The first one is that you will be learning in a safe and comfortable environment with professional instructors. This guarantees that you’ll be learning how to use techniques effectively, having questions answered by knowledgeable sources, and reducing the chances of injury to yourself or another student.

The second reason is that retentive learning of this nature tends to go better in a group situation, with the positive feedback, support, and hands-on learning opportunities offered by this type of classes.

Join A Shooting Club/Go To A Firing Range

Waiting until the apocalypse is nigh upon us is a bad time to become comfortable with using a firearm. It’s also possible to receive instruction at these locations to insure that you know how to effectively protect yourself with a firearm against attackers.

Other (Non-Lethal) Firearm Knowledge That All Self-Defenders Should Have

Neither the survivor party that you’re trying to protect nor the gang of slobbering attackers that you’re facing will be too impressed if your gun jams or you shoot yourself while firing it, now will they?

The Israeli Woman Teaching the Art of Stiletto Self Defense

Survivalists or preppers who know or think that they will be handling guns should:

  • Know how to load and unload various types of firearms
  • Know how to clean and perform at least minor types of other maintenance on guns
  • Be conversant with various parts of firearms
  • Know how to correctly wear a holster, as well as correctly drawing from and returning a weapon to it

It would also be very helpful to master the not-difficult but time consuming art of reloading, or manufacturing your own ammunition.

Prevention Is The Best Cure

The most effective self-defense? Avoid putting yourself in situations where you have to use self-defense!

Avoid traveling by yourself, traveling at night, or traveling in exposed or isolated areas. Sometimes of course, one has no choice. In such situations, keep a straight, tall posture, walk quickly and purposefully, and keep weapons out and in your hand.

Use Caution In Making New “Friends”

Until you actually get to know them, all unknown parties should be treated with caution. This means maintaining a distance of a couple of meters when meeting and speaking to them. You say this seems rude? Consider this. It buys you some space if the “friend” goes into attack mode, and allows you to observe what most vulnerable body parts the attacker (see #3) is exposing to you.

Maintain Self-Confidence

It can be hard to keep a stiff upper lip during the End of Days, but remaining calm and assertive will not only help you combat depression and feelings of self-hopelessness, it will make you appear less of a “mark” to attackers and other unsavory types.

Hunker Down At Home

If the crisis is short-term or there’s no immediate danger, like Dorothy said in the Wizard Of Oz, “There’s no place like home”. Make sure that your palace is a fortress though, by pre-stocking plenty of non-perishable foods, potable water, and medical supplies. Regardless of weather, all unused doors and windows should be secured. Install an “alarm” system even if it’s just a dog, and if possible, create a well-stocked “panic area” in the home where you can flee from intruders, and they can’t follow. Better still, be cautious about admitting any strangers to your home.

Wrapping Up

What do you think, are there other important factors women need to keep in mind to be able to effectively defend themselves? If you have some thoughts on the subject, please share them with us by commenting in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!

Face to face with a street thug? Do THIS
Sometimes it doesn’t even feel like we’re living in America anymore, with…
• Outraged alt-left mobs who burn any American flag they come across…
• Trigger-happy thugs who have ZERO regard for human life…
• Radical terrorists plotting to murder Americans right here in our country…
That’s why an ex-CIA Officer made this brief self-defense video and he’s sharing it FREE with all law-abiding American citizens.


In a perfect world, one would like to think that when disaster strikes, people would rush to help and support each other through it. And while people certainly will, such