HomePosts Tagged "prepping essentials"

‘Couple of days ago I was at home watching this movie about Cowboys and Indians. Great flick (Dances with wolves, it’s called), great actors – all in all, two hours well spent.

Why cowboys, Indians, and frontiersmen, you ask? Well, without getting into many details, the image of the tobacco-spitting, gun-slinging, man-of-fortune, which Hollywood was kind enough to sear into our retinae, it’s not quite what you would call representative.

In fact, life in the Wild West was not that wild – the village fool wasn’t made Marshall and trains weren’t robbed on a daily basis. Still, papa Hollywood did get one thing straight; life was pretty rough, meaning that the man had to do what a man had to do in order to pull through and to make a name for himself.

And then it struck me – cowboys weren’t those guys in goofy hats and chaffing pants, but the first preppers. The same thing could also be said about all those great and brave men who wore the shoes or rather the hat of David Crockett. Yes, those gun-toting maniacs were, indeed very knowledgeable when it came to surviving; you had no choice back then. One mistake, and it was curtains for you.

Anyway, in doing a bit of research on cowboys and frontiersmen, I stumbled upon something very curious – those guys were packing, and I’m not talking about guns here. Imagine that those goofy outfits had a reason for being that way; more pockets and satchels means more space to store things.

And, let me tell you – those guys really knew a thing or two about what I like to call carrying smart. So, history lesson aside, let me show you what I learned about packing from cowboys and frontiersmen. Without further ado, here are 7 objects 19th-century preppers carried in their pockets to survive.

  1. Knife

You thought I was going to start my list with the old six-iron, didn’t you?. So, about the knife – everybody was carrying one, regardless if he was Marshall, bank robber, saloon keeper or the town’s drunkard. Why? Because it was very useful for a lot of stuff like skinning game, splitting wood, cutting leather, and, of course, self-defense. Most 19th-century cowboy knives had a six-inch blade and were made from steel, not the stainless variety though.

Still, they were quite sturdy, mostly because all of them were made in a smithy and from cast steel. I even read somewhere that the WW1 bayonet design (the one with the groove running along the blade’s length) was mostly inspired by the bush knives carried by cowboys and frontiersmen alike.

One of the things I liked about these types of knives is the sheath – made from tanned skin and looks awfully cool. Tried making one for one of my SOG knives. I’ll tell you all about in another article.

2. Bedroll

Now, this is an interesting piece of history. For most people, bedrolls are just pieces of cloth filled with hay or something. But they’re actually more than that. In doing a bit of research into Wild West survival items, I found out that bedrolls were, in fact, multi-layered.

So, you had two outer layers, which were made from rubberized tarpaulin. These were the ones that prevented direct contact with the ground. And, when rolled up, they also prevented the inside layers from getting wet. But wait, there’s more. Apart from the exterior tarpaulin layers, the bedroll had three or four inner layers made from the quilt.  They were also called sougans. As I came to understand, all four inner layers added padding and extra insulation, especially during those cold, windy nights.

Yes, you can say that the bedroll, which was, by the way, carried on the back of the saddle or tied up to a rucksack, is, in fact, the ancestor of the sleeping bag. Possibly not as comfortable or easy to carry as nowadays bags, but hey, at least they didn’t have to sleep on the bare ground.

If you go thinking that this went out of fashion along with cowboys, you would be mistaken. Seeing that there are so many people out there ready to pay a fortune to live like a true 19th-century outdoorsman, some companies have actually rebooted the bedroll (check out Smith & Edwards Co. if you’re interested in going retro).

3. Canteen

Times may change, but canteens stay the same. There’s no denying in the fact that a canteen is one of the most important pieces of survival gear, regardless if your Crockett’s disciple or someone with an acquired taste for off-grid living.

I remember the stories my grandma used to tell me about how the French soldiers used canteens for virtually anything during WWI. There’s this one that always makes me chuckle. Apparently, during the battle of Somme, considered to one of the bloodiest in the history of modern warfare, one of those clunky Mark V tanks froze shut one night. Neither the engineers nor the crew could get the thing open.

And so, to prevent the guys inside from dying of thirst, some soldiers came up with the idea of getting water and wine through the tank’s main gun barrel. Long story short, they’ve raised the barrel high enough for them to pour water through it.

The soldiers at the other end just had to hold their canteens in front of the loading hole until they filled up. According to grandma, they kept doing this thing for a couple of days straight, until someone came up with the genius idea of blasting open the hatch with a hand grenade.

Anyway, long before WW1, canteens were in very high, mostly because they doubled up as booze holders. Interestingly enough, back then, the canteens were much bigger compared to the ones used today and made from tough materials such as steel or cast iron.

Apparently, most of them were able to hold a gallon of water or liquid. Ingenious and resourceful as they were, they even came up with a way of cooling down the water even in the scorching sun. Before blazing the trail, the Cowboys would soak a cloth, which they would wrap around the canteen. The evaporation process would prevent the water’s temp from going up. Neat, right?

4. Tinder Box

There’s something that will give just about any prepper a run for his money. Let’s get one thing straight, though – there were matches back then, but were so expensive that most outdoorsmen would often save them for trading.

However, they did have a nifty way to start a fire – the so-called tinder box. Basically, it was a weather-proof box which contained several dry pieces of wood or thin steel wool and a flint. To start a fire back then, you would have had to use your knife on the flint for sparks. Yes, I know – simple, stupid, yet very effective.

You can create a cowboy-style tinder box using char cloth and a little piece of flint. I made one at home using an old tin matchbox found in grandma’s chest of wonders. And, because I’m kind of a nutcase when it comes to B.O. Bs, I placed this one in my heavy-duty bug out bag, along with a magnesium rod, weather-proof matches, and a Zippo lighter.

5. Slickers

Yes, I know they look cool as shit, but that’s hardly the point. Back then, there were no water-repellant ponchos or raincoats. So, cowboys had to rely on the so-called slickers, which were basically, a long coat made from rubberized or tarred canvas.

Some models even came with hoods, but they were not that sought out since our outdoorsmen relied on them hats most of the time. Slickers were great at keeping the water as far away from the skin as possible, but they also doubled-up as winter clothing. And, of course, it was far easier to pack a lever-action under a slicker that on your back.

6. Bandannas

Also called wild rags or mascadas, the long pieces of cloth were useful for a lot of things, not just to conceal one’s face during a brazen heist. During the cold months of the winter, outdoorsmen would use their bandannas as scarves.

If the firefight got out of control, the brave desperado could use the bandana to spot the bleeding. Also, quite handy when it came to manual labor. For instance, farmhands would wrap their wild rags around the hands to prevent sores or even bleeding when working with the plow or pulling on ropes.

Since water filtration gadgets came long after the Wild West era, our frontiersmen had to improvise. The bandana, albeit ineffective, was sometimes used to remove chunks of dirt or rocks from puddles or other water sources. And because smelling like the insides of a dead horse would have gotten you thrown out even from the most decrepit watering hole, these bandanas would have been used as sponges or washcloths.

7. Coffee Pot

Of course, I can’t help myself from saying a thing or two about coffee and caffeine. Back in the days of the Old West, a cowboy’s most treasured possession besides his shooting iron was the coffee pot. You may laugh now, but back then a coffee pot was somewhat of a luxury. Being made from steel or cast iron meant that it was quite hard to carry in a backpack or something.

Chuckwagon drivers would usually carry one or two pots for trade or personal use. As for the lone ranger, a good morning wouldn’t have been complete with beans, bacon, cornbread, and a mug of coffee. Of course, carrying a coffee pot would be for naught if you’re missing the key ingredient which is, coffee.

Life in the Wild West was very basic, even by 19th century standards. People wanted to make a living and, at times, that was more dangerous and life-threatening than one could imagine – if the outlaws or warring Indian tribes didn’t get you, the disease would.

We do tend to have this romanticised idea of the dare devilish stranger who participates in high-noon gun duels, with a crooked smile on his face, and his teeth brighter than peals. It was never like that, and those of you who took the time to do a little bit of research about the Wild West came to realize that life, indeed, was pretty quiet.

Sure, there were bar fights and shootings at the OK Corral but those were what I like to call history’s little whims.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my article on cowboy survival gear. Don’t forget to hit the comment section and let me know what your thoughts are.

The image of the tobacco-spitting, gun-slinging, man-of-fortune, which Hollywood was kind enough to sear into our retinae, it’s not quite what you would call representative. This is.

I can’t remember the first time I heard the word “prepping.” Probably back during those school camping trips when our PE teacher tried to show us how the Native Americans used to whip up a fire, long before matches and lighters were ever invented. Of course, what child was taken far away from home with his friends would have the energy or the attention span of listening to a man rubbing two sticks together?

That’s one of the things I tried showing to my students – if someone shows you a trick, even a small one like I don’t know, turning a poncho into a rainwater collector, pay attention and learn. You’ll never know when that stuff will come in handy.

Anyway, on to the topic du jour – what is prepping and when should we start, well, doing it, I suppose? This isn’t Merriam-Webster, nor the “P” volume of Encyclopedia Britannica. Don’t know any fancy definitions and never needed one, for that matter. For me, prepping is like knowing you will receive a slap for somebody and doing things in order to prevent it to the best of your powers. Something like that, I suppose.

Come to the prepping side! We have MREs

We don’t prep because we’re members of the tinfoil brigade or strongly believe that the world’s coming to an end and survival of the strongest and all that BS. We do it because it makes sense. I remember reading in a magazine (yes, I’m that old!) that prepping is like having your own crystal ball and being able to see into possible futures.

Leaving the mystical mumbo-jumbo aside, this sentence does raise a very good point – being able to predict something and act in accordance. For instance, if your car’s bulbs would burn out while you’re on the road, the most sensible thing to do would be to go to the nearest auto shop and get them replaced.

However, a good prepper would have the hindsight of carrying a box of extra in his glove box or vehicular emergency kit. A seasoned one would, however, get his car a good going-over before hitting the road, in addition to making sure that he has everything he needs to deal with this sort of emergencies.

This is just one example. There are countless more out there, and neither one spells out crazy or paranoia. Do you consider yourself “having bats in your belfry” just because you have a stockpile of canned food around the house or an extra pack of bottled water? No, you’re not, my friend. It’s, in fact, the other way around – it would be foolish not to have those around the house. All it takes is something as ‘harmless’ as a blackout to realize just how much you would have needed those stuff.

I tend to get this question a lot: when do you start prepping? Well, let me put it to you this way. This is not the sort of thing you only do when it’s convenient or fits into your agenda. You just start doing it and never stop. Still, anything has to start somewhere, and a good starting step would be the news. Have you tried reading them lately? One thing you’ll realize is that no matter where you live, there’s always something happening – a blackout, earthquakes, tsunamis, snow blizzards, rioting, active shooter.

The world’s littered with danger, and you can’t always rely on the authorities to keep you safe. Remember the Christchurch mosque shooting, the event that ended with the death of over 50 people? Well, as it happens, New Zealand was and is still considered one of the safest countries in the world, even though it has the same gun regulations as the United States.

The last event of this magnitude occurred in the early 50s, and even then, the country was still considered a safe one. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you live in this glass menagerie, where everything is pink, fluffy, and happy. Shit happens, and when it does, it brings along all its friends.

Congrats! You have just taken the first step of your prepping journey. It’s called risk assessment and, in my opinion, the most important aspect. Knowing the name of the demon gives you power over it, the guy from The Exorcist used to say. The same goes for natural and man-made disasters.

The next steps are fairly easy, and all of them have, more or less, to do with your little incursion in the realm of danger. As a future master prepper, you will have to focus on the following areas: food, water, shelter, and security. Let’s take this one step at a time.


Fact: the human body needs water for, well, everything. You need water to digest the food, and your brain needs water to keep the lights on. Remember the rule of threes? You may go for three weeks without food, but no more than three days without water. That’s how important water is. And no, chugging energy drinks, soft beverages, coffee or booze does not replenish your body’s water supply. In any survival-type situation, find a source of water is crucial.

More than that, you will need to know how to make water drinkable and maybe palatable. For instance, in heavily wooded areas, there are plenty of ways to get water: springs, tree holes, puddles, rivers. Some of that water’s safe to drink, but, in most cases, you will need some sort of filtration like water purification tablets. Even tap water can sometimes become unsafe to drink, especially in the aftermath of a disaster. Water purification is an essential skill, one that you will need to master.


Food for the belly, food for thought, and food for the soul. No matter your choice, you should also have a well-stocked pantry at home. This includes emergency rations such as canned or easy-to-prepare food, MREs, and cured meats. If you get lost, you may need to replenish your food stocks by hunting small game or fishing. Apart from that, knowing with that do with it is as vital as getting it. Venison can be easily turned into beef jerky with salt, wind, and a little sun. The same goes for fish or plants like seaweed. No matter where you are, you must always remember to have a 72-hour food supply.


Shelter comes in all shapes and sizes – makeshift ones like those constructed from scavenged materials or retrofitted rooms as in those used to hunker in during a natural disaster. Remember that a shelter’s role is to protect you against the elements and any threats that may be in your area. Anything can be a shelter as long as it protects your body and keeps you warm.


I kid you not when I say that entire books have been written on the topic of defense and security. To make a long story short, security refers to two things: how you keep your property safe and defend yourself in case of an attack. Security bars, alarms, motion-triggered sensors, VoIP cameras are all great security measures for your house. As for yourself, try to squeeze some self-defense classes into your schedule or learn how to take down opponents using non-lethal weapons such as tasers, pepper sprays or security batons. The choice is entirely up to you.

If prepping was as art, which it is, then it would definitely be the art of teaching yourself how to listen to your instincts. In some cases, it may be the defense you have. Logic may be great, but nothing beats a tad of hindsight.

If someone shows you a trick, even a small one like I don’t know, turning a poncho into a rainwater collector, pay attention and learn. You’ll never know when that

Nowadays, I found myself having more of those “Dear, Lizzie” moments. Here’s what one of our readers asked me:

Hey, Eddie,

Kick-ass articles, by the way. You always were a good marksman. Here’s a quick one for you: what’s the difference between bugging out and hunkering down? I mean, why should I bother moving out when I have everything I need in my home? Can someone make me evacuate? Would be nice to read about this in your upcoming article. – J.”

Well, J., after giving it some thought, I believe that you’re not the only prepper who has trouble figuring out what to do in case of an SHTF situation. To put it bluntly, it all depends on the context and you “then” and “there.” Each countermeasure has its pros and cons, and, as true preppers and survivalists, it befalls on us to figure out which is the best choice.

Now, it’s not my place to create more confusions than it already is, so I’ll try my best to give you some advice on what course of action would be best depending on your situation.

First of all, in an SHTF situation, assessing the threat is crucial. I can’t say enough times. Take earthquakes, for instance. Since FEMA always advises us that it’s best to remain indoors during a quake, then the obvious choice of action would be to hunker down. Running out the door, even with your Go Bag on can only result in injury or worse.

On the other hand, if the threat comes in the guise of a, let’s say a tsunami, then bugging out would be the better choice. So, you know the first factor that will help you in figuring out an appropriate course of action – the threat itself.

The second one would be your location. As you probably know by now, every geographical area is prone to some sort of natural or man-made disaster. During one of my trips through Eastern Europe, I have come upon a most startling fact – people willing to live in buildings that could collapse at even the smallest earthquake.

Apparently, in former communist countries such as Romania, in case of an earthquake, you would be safer outside than inside even though this fact goes against everything you have learned about prepping!

So, it’s safe to assume that what works in the States doesn’t work in other parts of the globe. Another thing you should keep in mind is that geography plays a key role in survival. For instance, if you’re in an area that’s prone to flooding, high rises, like hills or large rock formations, can provide you with more cover than, let’s say a two-story building. Obviously, in this case, the best course of action would be to bug out instead of staying put.

There are, however, instances, when a course of action becomes unclear. If the authorities don’t provide you with instructions about what must be done, then your best bet would be to rely on instincts. Your risk assessment skills will come in very handy at this point. Ask yourself questions like:

  1. Where I am?
  2. How safe is my location?
  3. Can I find adequate shelter?
  4. Do I have enough supplies to stay indoors until the danger passes?
  5. Has thing kind of thing happened before? If so, what was the aftermath in terms of property damages and human loses?

Think before you act! That’s the crux of our philosophy. Don’t take everything you read in manuals for granted. There are cases when those tips can be put to use and other times when those can put your life at risk.

The last factor you should consider in making your decision is your overall level of prepping. There’s no shame in admitting that you we’re not prepared to face a kind of threat. Hell, none of us can be truly ready for everything nature or our peers can throw our way. However, you should not see this as a handicap, but as a way of figuring out what you do with what little you have at your disposal.

For instance, outrunning a flood may be difficult for preppers who spent more time reading about stuff than training. In this case, hunkering down would be the best course of action. Everything about yourself will affect the odds of survival – fitness level, attitude, creativity, and how great you handle under pressure.

Just because you’ve read about stuff or trained it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re ready for it. Keep this in mind the next time you’re having trouble figuring out if you should bug out or hunker down.

So, to wrap up things, there’s no sure-fire recipe for this. Your decision should be based on things like:

  1. Location. This also includes geography.
  2. Threat. Type and level.
  3. Prepping leve.

One more thing I forgot to mention – don’t discard the expert’s advice. If a police officer or firefighter told you to leave the area or to hunker down, then do it. Don’t try to be a hero or a know-it-all. They are highly-trained professionals who knows how to deal with this sort of stuff. You may later find out that the course of action you wanted to take could have gotten you killed.


Hope I managed to answer your question J. As for the rest of you, stay safe, and do write to us in case you have a question about prepping. I may not be a master prepper, but I least I know that I don’t have to take everything for granted, and, most importantly, I always find a way to nail my boots to the floor when everything goes to shit. If you have the right attitude, the rest’s a piece of cake.

To put it bluntly, it all depends on the context. Each countermeasure has its pros and cons, and, as true preppers and survivalists, it befalls on us to figure out

Knees are weak; palms are sweaty… Just one of those passing migraines that have the habit of ruining a perfectly good day. As one who had to deal with migraines for the past couple of years, popping pills has become something of a hobby for yours truly.

And even my prescription meds, I can’t seem to shake loose those annoying and throbbing aches.

Anyway, after seeing that marvelous piece on the effects of garlic inside the ear ! I’ve decided to let you on a little prepping secret: salt cures migraines! What? You can’t be serious.

Yes, I am. You mean the same stuff that makes our ticker go haywire can actually cure a frigging migraine? Yup, that’s right. Wouldn’t have written about it if I had even the slightest doubt about it. Even tried it out me to see if works, and it does. Dunno if its placebo or the real McCoy, but the thing is that my migraines are getting less, well, migrainy.

Still, before showing you this neat little trick, let’s get sciency a bit and talk about the connection between sodium (salt) and migraines.

Salt and Migraines Don’t Click! Or do They?

Let’s consider the basics – we need electrolytes in order to live, breath, and thrive; no, you’re going to drink Gatorade instead of water because it contains electrolytes. Think of these substances as the body’s electricity conductors. Their job is to balance the fluids that flow between the outside and the inside of our cells.

As you’ve probably guessed it, sodium is an electrolyte. The most important one at the that. Potassium is also an electrolyte. Now, the interaction between sodium and potassium creates what it’s called an action potential, which is another fancy word for electrical stimulation. This prompts our cells to wake up and do what they’re supposed to do. More or less, it’s like prodding a stubborn cow with one of those electrical batons to make it move.

Our bodies, like the perfect little machines they are, have this innate ability to auto-balance sodium level, but only to a certain degree. Too little sodium and you get kick-ass symptoms like fatigue, hallucinations, headaches, and, yes migraines. On the other hand, low levels of sodium lead to more debilitating symptoms like seizures, coma, and, of course, meeting Lady Scythe. Lovely, isn’t it? Well, that’s it for sodium. But what about migraines?

Well, if you had one before, then you know that it’s something much worse then a headache. For the others, migraine is the, let’s say, the lovechild of headaches and extreme nausea.

Migraines end in throbbing headaches, but they’re usually accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, change of vision (your eyes are unable to focus that well), and numbness in the arms, legs, and feet. In some people, migraines can cause hypersensitivity to light (master, don’t come out! The sun’s still up), irritability, and loss of appetite.

I usually end up spending the rest of the day in my attic, listening to some tunes, each time the migraine hits.

Great info, but what’s the connection? Hold your britches. Here’s what you need to know. Among the most common causes of migraines is lack of sleep, dehydration, too much salt, stress, food additives, weather changes, and, bam, electrolyte imbalance.

Though the exact relationship between sodium and migraines has yet to be determined, the guys in cool lab coats, tend to think that it has very much to do with our diet and how our body processes vits, minerals, and nutrients. Our body cannot produce salt, so we need to get it from somewhere else (food and drinks).

The sad part is that although we try our best to curb our salt intake since it’s known to lead to cardiovascular disease, we end up eating more salt than the recommended daily dose. Why? Because our f-ing food is riddled with it. Everything from meat to dairy, sweets, and processed food contains more salt than a saline quarry.

You know what’s the recommended salt intake? 2300 mg – that’s about three-quarters of a teaspoon. Still, with all this wondrous food around, we end up eating one and a half teaspoons of salt per day, if not more.

So how does this amount to salt being good for migraines? Well, some researchers have found out that patients who consumed a small amount of salt were less likely to experience debilitating migraine symptoms compared to those on low sodium diets or no salt. Again, they don’t know for sure why it happens, but it seems to pay off. I tried this cure a couple of times, and it worked like magic.

My take on pain meds

So, to get rid of those migraines here’s what you will need to do. Grab an empty glass, a lemon, salt, and a jug of water. Squeeze the lemon juice, pour it in the glass, then add one tablespoon of salt and water. Stir and shake. Drink it, and that’s basically it. In 30 minutes, tops, you’ll feel like a new man or woman. That’s it – simplicity itself laid out in front of you.

One word of caution, though. If you have heart or kidney issues, I wouldn’t advise using this trick, since it can lead to other nasty entanglements.

You can also use the same mixture of other hygienic purposes. For instance, if you eliminate the lemon, the water-and-salt mix is great for reducing throat swelling. Also, those who have gland problems (another fancy word for smelly feet or armpits), try washing the aforementioned body parts in water with a little bit of Epsom salts. Stay safe!

Well, if you had one before, then you know that it’s something much worse then a headache. For the others, migraine is the, let’s say, the lovechild of headaches and

If one thing’s for sure is that bug out bags are, at times, even more, important that one would care to realize. And I’m not just saying this because I have a bunker tucked away in my basement where I prepare for the coming of the Apocalypse (or do I?) – it’s one thing you don’t wanna lose, regardless how shitty things get.

Remember the first time you went up the mountain, and someone told you that you should have a rucksack with some basic things like food, water, and clothes? Well, since I learned all about B.O. Bs, I sort of grew out of regular hiking packs.

Who can blame me for that? My wife, for one, who says I look kind of silly going to work with a rucksack filled with prepper goodies like windproof matches, magnesium rod, and tactical flashlight.

Anyhow, B.O.Bs are fiendishly cool and, if you know what to pack, you can survive anything from an EMP to coming home empty-handed on your wedding anniversary (seriously, that’s way worse than trying to outrun a tornado).

Since most of you are taken aback by this whole powerless living thingy, I’ve decided to share with you my list of 4 most useful objects to have in your B.O.B during an EMP.

Vital EMP Items for Your B.O.B

  1. Fire starting gear

Whether it’s for a night out in the woods or for BBQing some juicy ribs, fire starting gear is a must for every self-respecting prepper. You have a lot of choices here: weather-proof matches, Zippo or any army-grade lighter, or magnesium rod. The best thing about this stuff is that they require an electrical jolt like regular lighters do, meaning that you will be able to use them even if half the world’s out of electricity due to an EMP.

Now, if you’re as ‘dedicated’ (rather obsessed) as I am with keeping a fully-stocked B.O.B, you may want to get all of them. And another thing – if you’re that kind of person who would rather do anything else with money rather than investing it in survival gear, you should definitely check out any local thrift stores and yard sales.

2. Maps

No matter where you go or what you plan on doing, maps are vital. Yes, I know that most of you tend to rely way too much on GPS or smartphones, but to keep in mind that those things eventually run off battery or, worse, can be knocked out by an EMP. Leaving the Doomsday scenario aside, I personally find them unreliable even with Google’s vans mapping every square inch of the globe.

True story: last year, I went on a sort of honeymoon trip with my wife to Vienna. Enchanting city and full of history. The thing is that there are tons of sites and building to visit, but you really need to pick up the pace and have a map or a guide to see all of them (we stayed for a whole week). Anyway, there we were in Freud’s city and wanted to visit the Natural History Museum.

Fired up Google Maps and entered our destination. After half an hour of walking, we realized that we were going the wrong way. Of course, we ended up ordering an Uber, but that’s not the point – even though we were going in the right direction, the blasted thing keeps telling us that the route was completely wrong.

Never again will I rely on Google when I’m abroad. If you like these kinds of trips, I would recommend getting a map of the city or area – in some countries, like Sweden for example, they’re free of charge, and you can pick them out from any train, bus or tram station.

3. Portable Stove

Cooking is to survival as air is to the lungs. There’s no denying to that. Sure, there are plenty of ways to cook without relying on microwaves or any electrical cooking machine. Still, my first choice in SHTF food-prepping gear is the portable stove.

Sure, most of you would argue that the thing will only add to the B.O. B’s overall weight. Not quite true in fact. A while back, I bought this nice little trinket from an army surplus store – it has a propane canister and metallic support for pans or pots. Nothing too fancy.

To my surprise, the whole thing’s incredibly light. Made me so happy, that I decided to buy one for each bug out bag in my house. If you want a high-quality portable stove, get one that comes with a lever to control the gas flow.

4. Survival knife

There’s nothing short of brain surgery this bad boy can do. Probably only the most important piece of survival gears you’ll be glad to have in an SHTF situation. It’s something about simple tools like a knife, for instance, that really brings out the SURVIVOR in you.

Now, I would advise you to do your homework well when shopping for this type of instruments. Why? Because of rip-offs, that’s why. If you see a company advertising military-grade survival knife for under 50 bucks, do yourself a favor and steer clear. A buddy of mine bought it this one time. Since he was a big fan of the Rambo franchise, he searched high and low for a survival knife just as Stallone’s character.

He eventually found something similar on a discount website for 30 bucks. Told him it was a bad idea, but do they listen? Anyway, he ordered the thing which came home in a week or so. In wanting to try it out, he wanted to chop up some stakes for his veggie garden. Two stakes late, the thing broke down. Of course, you would say something like “maybe your buddy doesn’t know his strength.” Far from it – the blade was glued to the pommel.

So, if there’s a lesson to be learned here it’s this one: always aim for quality and buy full-tang knives.

Missed anything in my list? Do let me know in the comments.

Before you go, you may also like:

This is more than just about your guns…
How to survive any medical crisis situation with ease
10 Easy Steps to Secure your privacy
Secret Military Solution For Power Independence

DIY Unlimited water source
Why a food reserve is way better than the Federal Reserve
Lost Skills of our Ancestors that still work today

Remember the first time you went up the mountain, and someone told you that you should have a rucksack with some basic things like food, water, and clothes? That was