HomePosts Tagged "SHTF" (Page 22)


I want to talk about what I believe to be the most critical necessity in the event the SHTF: The ability to shelter in place, in a shelter that provides protection from radiation, bombs, attacks, tornadoes and numerous other threats to safety.

While there are above ground shelters that do offer protection from some of the above mentioned threats, hands down, the best place to be is UNDERGROUND.

That said, with the exception of a line of Tornadoes passing through, you need to be psychologically and physically prepared to go underground for at least 2-3 weeks.

The amount of time will of course depend on the extent and type of event that has or is occurring.

Let’s assume you have a bunker and did your homework and have an adequate supply of MRE’s, water and other necessities for what could be your INITIAL 2-3 week stay.

What is the best bunker design?

I want to address the psychological aspect of being underground, in a confined space, and the issues/considerations faced by the occupants with regard to the Type, Shape and Utility of your surroundings.

Let’s face it, practical and usable space quickly becomes a valuable commodity when you are going to spend a significant amount of time in the shelter before venturing topside, and that environment should be comfortable, healthy and space efficient. You are going to be stressed enough if you are in there, and the last thing you need is the additional stress of a cramped, unfriendly environment.

I present this question for your consideration: Would you rather be in a claustrophobic steel pipe or in the open area provided by a square-shaped reinforced concrete bunker that is already finished with non-toxic material?

If steel pipes and steel boxes were the best shelter platform, the Military would be using them, and they’re not….they are still using reinforced concrete. There has to be something to be said about that, and there is: Mass, Density, Thermal Resistance, Sound Attenuation and Cost, to name a few.

 Related: Build a survival bunker

All the information you need to implement a high security and self-sufficient residence or retreat.

Furthermore, steel shelters, which are typically 3/16- 1/4 of an inch thick, need to be buried DEEP, in order to provide the proper comparative level of protection against radiation. They are typically installed with 8-10 feet of earth covering the top and this presents a considerable number of challenges with regard to the costs for excavating, the need to hire a crane and other issues.

For example, a 10 foot Pipe that is 20 feet long will require an 18-20 feet deep hole and provides a gross interior area of 1,570 cubic feet. Keep in mind that the interior surface is curved ( similar to being in a submarine ), and therefore requires a floor to be installed, which reduces headroom. Simply put, a pipe doesn’t lend itself to being space efficient and comfortable.

Comparatively, a 10 foot tall, 10 foot wide and 20 foot long Concrete shelter will only require a 12-13 foot deep hole, provides a gross interior area of 2,000 cubic feet, does not require a floor to be installed, has no loss of headroom anywhere inside the structure and only needs to have 2-3 feet of earth cover overhead.

If the height of the Concrete shelter is decreased to 8 feet ( the same height of the ceilings in your home), the required depth of the hole is reduced to 10-11 feet and the gross interior area is 1,600 cubic feet. This is still more than a 10 foot pipe of the same length while also providing complete use of the space, as the side walls are not coming in toward the center as they do in a pipe.

Space Comparison of a 10 ft Pipe to a 10ft Square

In my opinion, the 2 feet of headroom throughout is more than adequate.

Having adequately addressed the space issue, I’d like to make a quick point on the use of ICF’s (Insulated Concrete Forms) for long-term underground shelters.

ICF’s are made of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam blocks that are put together like Leggo’s, a double row of rebar is installed as the foam blocks are connected and when the walls are completed, concrete is pumped into them.

Of biggest concern with these systems is the fact that the Polystyrene contains toxic chemicals. Not only because they are made of petroleum-based foamed plastics, but also because they contain fire-retardant chemicals that are also toxic. Among these chemicals is HBCD (Hexabromocyclododecane).

HBCD has been classified as a category 2 for reproductive toxicity.[6] Since August 2010 Hexabromocyclododecanes are included in the EPA‘s List of Chemicals of Concern.[7] On May 2013 the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) decided to include HBCD in the Convention’s Annex A for elimination, with specific exemptions for expanded and extruded polystyrene in buildings needed to give countries time to phase-in safer substitutes. HBCD is listed for elimination, but with a specific exemption for expanded polystyrene (EPS) and extruded polystyrene (XPS) in buildings.

Additionally, EPS is labeled a flammable material and MUST be covered with a non-flammable material such as fire rated sheetrock or masonry to limit surface exposure to possible ignition sources. This covering also reduces exposure to the off-gassing of other chemicals considered to be toxic that occurs without exposure to fire.

When it burns, EPS produces heavy, acrid and toxic smoke. This obviously presents another serious problem when you are in a confined space, from which there is no escape. Even a small event in which this material merely smoldered with no open flame can/would have dire consequences for the occupants. Exposure to the heavy smoke generated, even if only for a few minutes, has been shown to be lethal.

In short, you are looking for your shelter to provide you a safe, healthy and fireproof refuge from a multitude of disaster scenarios. The dangerous and potentially lethal points made above should not be overlooked when making a decision in choosing a bunker or shelter.

  I want to talk about what I believe to be the most critical necessity in the event the SHTF: The ability to shelter in place, in a shelter that provides

I generally agree with the premise that skills are far more important than stuff, and that knowledge weighs nothing. There are skills that benefit us, every single day and definitely in a disaster – on any scale. However, sometimes collecting knowledge can be a pricey and time-consuming prospect. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t learn, but we need to prioritize as with anything else. We also have to honestly assess our preparedness level, plan, and current lifestyle.

Exceptions & Assessments

There are exceptions to some of what I’ll suggest. If you’re a wilderness adventure enthusiast or work in extremes, you already know it. If you truly have lots of free time but zero money after lots of cutbacks, and you have materials/resources lying around and don’t have to buy anything, okay.

If somebody is just into history, a reenactor, a hobbyist, I’m also not talking about that. Mental health clause – you need an outlet. However, interests are just interests and don’t belong in the “but it’s useful/preparedness” category of our time and financial budgets. It belongs under our entertainment budgets.

Please remember those caveats as you read the list. I’m talking about somebody learning from scratch specifically as a survival/preparedness skill in lieu of practicing, buying, or learning something else.

I also hear the argument put forth that somebody’s going to learn a skill or trade because then they can barter it. That is absolutely true in some cases (medical, mechanics, midwives). In others …

We have to ask ourselves: How many people who are preparing or not preparing are actually going to be around and need that particular skill? How do we plan to find those souls who are unprepared to do it themselves, but are expected to have surpluses worth our time and labor to trade for us?

Below are a few things I regularly see pushed as a must-have skill. I’ll break down the pro’s and con’s, and cover alternatives.

Image: How sustainable is our water plan – and our bodies – compared to our need to make soap or learn primitive fire making methods, or learning an already fairly common trade?

Alternatives After Assessment

Would it be better to develop the knowledge of how to find water by recognizing terrain and land cover patterns, a map of streams and springs in the area, and the physical strength to carry and drag water-level weight through woods, on crappy roadsides and ditches, and repeatedly lift buckets and containers out of a downed well or deep cut with cord, or over the side of a pickup?

Could we instead spend time locating buckets, storage totes, and barrels, the used and wrecked pieces of furniture and equipment on Craigslist and Freecycle to turn them into water catchment, and the afternoon or afternoons it takes to assemble them, to limit the amount of time we even have to go out hunting water?

We have to ask ourselves how important primitive skills are instead of something like wrapping a sprain.

Water is always going to be a focus for me, but there are other skills, too.

Gather wood for the stove/grill and practice cooking and canning on it. Learn hauling and tying knots, and practice felling, branch removal, and topping on consecutively larger trees. Learn to change your own oil and bike chain. Figure out how to unclog a drain using supplies and tools you already have on hand. Walk on the ditch verges and wooded hills to strengthen ankles.

We have to ask ourselves how important primitive skills are instead of something like wrapping a sprain, turning off water and gas mains, producing and finding food, mending a fence, sharpening a blade, rescuing a drowning/choking infant or child, and backing a trailer.

Fire From Scratch

If you happen to have a battery and steel wool, more power to you. It was never in my pack for fire tools.

Let’s start off with a super controversial one – yay!

First, I’m not talking about finding dry tinder in wet woods or making a feather stick. If somebody’s out in the woods regularly, the potential of injury in a downpour makes them worthwhile in the crisis stance. As a through packer (I think they call it ultralight now, but my bag was never light) and multi-day paddler, those are things that saved me time and energy for my hot meal.

I’m talking about Survivorman fire starting, primitive fire starting. If you happen to have a battery and steel wool, more power to you. It was never in my pack for fire tools.

Second, if you’re a remote-creek kayaker, canoe trekker, or a hiker, get a few pill bottles to stuff with wet-weather or DIY-coated matches and a few cotton balls or some dryer lint, and start wearing one around your neck and carrying one in a pants pocket. Get a ferro rod and block or a windproof cigar lighter, and replace the chain with 550 cord to wear on your belt or pants button or the snap of your life vest or knife. Keep another set duct taped to the bottom of your water bottle or glasses case.

No belt or knife? No glasses? Don’t worry about fire from scratch then. It takes a long time to master starting a fire with a bow and starting it with a lens requires a lens. If you don’t have a knife to make shavings and the bow and start the notch, there’s a stick and another stick, and you’d be far better served spending the time making a cocoon-style debris hut.

Matches/Lighters versus Primitive Skills

People do get lost in the woods, and eventually we absolutely will run out of matches and lighters on a homestead.

We’ll run out of them faster if we’re using smaller fires for short periods and thus starting them regularly. They can break, leak, get wet and grody, and strike-anywhere are harder and harder to find so you have to figure on the striker strips getting worn totally smooth, especially if we buy the big bulk boxes.

Learning to find tinder in wet woods is time-consuming enough (and worth it for some/many).

If you’re only bugging-out to a BOL, not in an INCH situation, or if you’re a boater, fisherman, hunter, hiker, or outdoors enthusiast, throw in a cigar lighter so wind is less of a factor – they fit in a Gerber case inside bags or small plastic bottles with matches and other fire-starting materials pretty well.

For a homestead/bug-in situation, we can say three meals and a snack a day, plus morning coffee. Starting five fires is pretty generous and buys time for us to learn how to bank a fire for coals and keep one going.

Say it takes us a couple broken/burn-out matches to get one started, so we need three matches per fire. Using 15 a day for a year gives us a total of 5.5K matches.

Bricks of 100 small kitchen match boxes run $8-15 bucks each for 3.2K matches – two would cover our needs for $20-$30. My dollar store also carries match books cheaper (not my first choice).

Or we could buy one of those multi-pack bricks for $10-15, and hit Amazon for a 100-pack of disposable lighters for $20 and a set of three big boxes of 300 matches for $7-$10. That gives us 4K+ matches and 100 lighters for $37-45.

We can store them in our currently empty canning jars, or spend $5-6 at the dollar store to get candles or nail polish or lacquer to waterproof them and some baggies to keep them in. Strikers and blast matches, cigar lighters that work even in whipping Montana winds, run in the $4-$12 ranges.

Yes, it costs money. Yes, if you already have the knife, tromping into the woods to do it like Bear doesn’t.

Tromp into the woods learning to not make noise, recognize animal sign, and recognize landscape features that promise water instead.

There are multiple situations (and future practical, everyday skills) that benefit from that knowledge.

Soap – Making vs. Buying

Let’s start with the basics of soap. There’s a couple of modern recipes, and a link to the history. About halfway down, that one breaks soap making into three stages of lye, fats, and combination – which is where we’d be at a total pioneer homestead or “My Side Of The Mountain forever” INCH lifestyle.

I’m going to discount any soap making as viably sustainable if it’s using a fat or oil that’s not locally produced. That’s including people who buy the glycerin soap blocks. (For soap making – no comment on other uses.)

That’s the whole argument about sustainable, colonial and primitive skills – they’re for when there is no store and we run out of things.

If you need palm oil, you’re storing something and you might as well store the finished product. (There are exceptions, like the many balms and other uses for various oils.)

Some basic soap-making starter kits are available for as little as $10-15. Better will run as high as you like. I couldn’t find one that already included a scale (soap making is one of those things that requires weights according to some experts, although others have converted recipes to volume).

$10-15 for a kit isn’t much, absolutely. However, soap requires those rendered animal fats or oils. Those aren’t in the kits, and some of the ones I’ve seen in recipes are pretty pricey.

Too, in a crisis, especially if we’re living off grass-fed livestock and wildlife and the diet food of garden produce, fats and oils are going to be precious to keep our bodies functioning.

There’s still tons of bar soaps available at the dollar store and <$1 at Walmart. Some are travel sized and singles in boxes. However, options are available in 2-packs and 3-packs of standard-sized bars. So for $10 I can get 18-27 bars of soap and still pay tax.

If I’m inclined, I can cut that down, get a bottle or two each of Dawn and pine cleaner for dishes and laundry, floors, and surfaces, and still get 14-18 bars of soap.

I once figured that between bathing and washing my hands and face, I run through a cake of soap a week, so I need more than $9-10 worth. I need more in the neighborhood of $20-$30, and about a shoebox of space. For laundry, surfaces and dishes for a year, and surface cleaning, depending on household, I need a couple of free liquor boxes and another $20-30 for liquid cleaners, even buying from the dollar store. (The dollar store is not the cheapest per ounce or most compact form, but they are incremental purchase and use sizes.)

Cost doesn’t apply for the folks who plan to have fatty pigs and cattle, and use their wood ash. For them, the comparison is strictly about time. For a lark, sure, jump one weekend. But weigh out what else could be learned, what other materials cost, and what family ties could be strengthened with a different activity.

Soap is compact. They are sensitive to dampness, so they need a Ziploc bag, lidded can, or plastic tub. There are environments where dry soaps melt, but most of North America could keep them in a shed. So will the ingredients for making soap, or finished homemade soaps.

Rendering suet for tallow

Some will still think it’s worthwhile. To each their own, but please refer back to the general premise and Pat’s arc to be sure it’s the best use of your resources and time as you stand now.

On the flip side, totally learn how to make suet and tallow if fatty animals and materials are present. They have a ton of uses, provide a storable sustainable fat source, and they fill very real needs in a self-sustainable lifestyle.

Treating Hides

Hides and making useful items from hides is 50-50 with me. On one hand, I know a woman who makes a bundle from it, and if you have rabbits or hunt deer, you have hides. On the other hand, should the world collapse to colonial and pioneer day levels if not the Dark Ages, lots of humanity will die fast enough for me to find underroos, sheets, work boots, and socks should I need to go out past my X date – they aren’t exactly the things being grabbed in today’s riots.


If it’s going to be a side business, sure, jump – after you do some market research. If it’s a niche market half-hobby, jump.

If it’s something on the to-do list because it seems like a great skill … maybe consider jumping on a maps website, finding farm fields and nearby specialty farms, making some non-nut cookies or muffins to carry, and sharing that you’re interested in breaking away from city life, would the nice farmer be willing to work out some kind of tag-along for labor deal so you can get a good idea of what’s involved.

Another option useful in disasters of all kinds is mapping power-line cuts to avoid traffic jams, snow and flood evacuation routes, and directions and A, B, C routes to and from kids’ schools and the school evac rally points.

Skills versus Stuff

Nine times out of ten, I would argue that knowing is better than having. However, there are exceptions – usually because of the time and-or resources they require, and sometimes because of the space.

There are lots of things that we should know just to be well-round humans, let alone homesteaders or – if inclined – nomads. However, sometimes we waste our precious resources learning something that only benefits most people during a very specific type of disaster, or a total breakdown and reversal that lasts for 5-10+ years.

Sadly, a lot of people who push and learn those lack the skills and supplies to survive long enough for some primitive skills to become valuable again. Some of those skills come at the cost of things that can benefit us, right now.

There are all kinds of things to do without spending more money or spending time on something with highly specialized skills and low-likelihood needs.

I figure I’ll get hate mail for the concept and for the specific few I listed. I just want people to weigh their to-do and to-learn lists so that they can prioritize based on where they already stand and where they want to go.

If there’s true need and potential – and sometimes there is – or it’s just a hobby, there’s nothing wrong with any of the primitive skills. I think most of us, though, have something we would be better served learning, practicing or building than the three listed.

I generally agree with the premise that skills are far more important than stuff, and that knowledge weighs nothing. There are skills that benefit us, every single day and definitely


I’m a mother of two in Texas who is very concerned about the very real possibility of SHTF happening within the next several years. I began prepping in 2011 after having a series of nightmares about a huge disaster where people were hungry, thirsty and afraid. I wasn’t very informed of worldly affairs at the time, but after researching current events I found enough reasons to begin prepping.

My major fears are: civil war, severe societal unrest, world war and economic collapse. After reading about the ‘just in time’ delivery in the USA I decided that I wasn’t going to be one of the American parents who had to explain to their kids why they don’t have enough food or preparations when the power goes off permanently. I realized even squirrels with their tiny brains have a survival instinct to store food. I think it is very sad that so many Americans are completely oblivious and unprepared for the many disasters which might change their lives forever, seemingly overnight.

I’m writing this article to share my personal preparation ideas because I hope that others benefit from my slightly different ideas on what a SHTF lifestyle could look like. When I first began preparing I looked for lists of preparedness items and tried my best to purchase as many as possible. After I had accumulated a reasonable supply of all the standard ‘beans, bullets and Band-Aids’ I found myself always asking myself what I am missing. I was bothered by the nagging idea that preparations are never enough for a truly long-term disaster. I began watching apocalypse and zombie movies and documentaries about survivalism to try to consider what went wrong for the characters in the movies and what could make life easier if I had thought of it ahead of SHTF.

I consider prepping an ongoing lifestyle and opportunity to create fun, educational experiences with my kids. Here is a list of some of the items that make me feel comforted to have considered and my rationalization for including these items. Some of these items are ‘essential for long-term survival’ and some are part of my plan to create happiness and safety because I was able to think outside the box about unusual preparations and ways to prepare.

I am not afraid of SHTF because I believe that humans are uniquely gifted to create happiness and hope in all situations.

1. Music: One of my favorite preparations is the joy of music. I tend to be pre-occupied with crank or hand-operated vintage technology. I started collecting crank phonographs and old 78’s. My son and I love to have a quiet night playing old records just for fun, even when not in SHTF mode. It is fun to collect old music and discover old genres. I consider a lot of my preparations part of my son’s educational enhancement. I discovered crank phonographs can use cactus needles instead of metal needles and I have several cactus plants in my garden that have needles. I also have aloe Vera cactuses which obviously have several medicinal uses. I added some string instruments and music books to my preparations. I think that if times are very bad, music heals the soul.

2. Entertainment: I think entertainment in general is an overlooked preparation. I collect games and books about old pioneer and Victorian period games and ways to entertain. It is a good idea to disengage from technology and realize that when the lights go out life can be fun and families can enjoy their time together. Researching and reenacting old forgotten activities is educational and healthy. We live in an isolated society where everything is geared toward non-human activities.

Preparing means you cover more bases than you think you will ever need to.

Part of my preparations includes activities which engage our family in older, forgotten hobbies.

3. Books: After collecting SHTF books I concluded that education supplies and art supplies will be rare and important during SHTF. Any books that explain old skills, home medicines, herbs, seed saving, gardening, wine making, cheese making or other pioneer type skills are valuable. I collect these plus books on Native American survival, Bushcraft, edible plants, edible insects as well as the standard survival books. I found some good books for where there is no dentist or doctor in third world countries. I am not fond of the idea of eating insects but the thought of watching my children starve sounds worse than rounding up some cicadas. I think part of being prepared is being ready to consider options that are not appealing. I’ve heard stories of people in the Middle East who were trapped during wars and ate stray cats. Since I don’t plan to eat my cats, I prepare for them instead. It is a good idea to understand what insects and plants are edible. Several books like the Anarchist’s cookbook have good survival ideas. I believe having a huge library is essential for SHTF. After SHTF when society rebuilds, these libraries will be of utmost importance, in particular we need to preserve the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the writings of the founding fathers of the USA.

4. Think Third World: I researched survival items in third world countries. I found water filters, like the TIVA, designed for Africa and added this to my more fancy water filter and water barrel. I found camp stoves like the BIOLIGHT designed for third world counties which run on sticks and charge cell phones. Third world countries also rely on a disinfectant called DETOL which is quite cheap and has many clever uses, even for make shift hospitals where there is no good medical care.

5. Liquid Fish: On accident, I discovered the many uses of fish fertilizers. Not only do they work very well as fertilizers but they are cheap and very smelly. I believe they would mask the scent of food as well as deter looters because if the front of your house were doused in liquid fish no one would be able to stand trying to break into your house. Or, at least it makes your house less desirable.

Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival

6. Archery: I learned archery with my kids. We like instinctive shooting with recurve bows. We learned how to repair arrows and I feel great peace thinking we have a good supply of arrows in the event the bullets run out one day. We also accumulated traps and books about trapping just in case. Part of thinking outside the box is considering a plan for after plans A, B and C run out so that you have several methods to try achieving basic needs.

7. Think Solar: I bought a solar oven and dehydrator set and some books on solar cooking. I also bought books on drying, preserving, curing and storing things without refrigeration. Of course, the cast iron camping supplies are useful but I like to have multiple methods for cooking. Solar items are very interesting. I’m not sure but I think they have to be stored in Faraday cages just in case of an EMP or Solar Flare. Solar lights are not that expensive and I found strings of outdoor lights for as little as $10. Solar generators, fans and other items could be highly appreciated one day. Some solar garden lights are very beautiful and when the lights go out they could bring a peaceful atmosphere. Black out curtains could be quite useful in this event as well.

8. Think Pioneer, Victorian, and Old School: As a hobby I am learning about growing tobacco, wine making, beer making, cheese making and other old skills. These activities are very fun to endeavor with family and great for preparedness. I find preparing is a lot more fun when it becomes an ongoing activity you share with your family as hobbies and learning experiences. Tobacco would be a great trading item and also doubles as an antiseptic. I believe that distilling water removes radioactive particles and is an important skill for certain SHTF scenarios.

9. Bicycles: If there are no cars, bikes will become important. Tandems are really fun. Those bike carriers for kids are useful trunks for your bike. Tandems are a joy for kids and a good way to become healthier. I enjoy any activity that triples as a preparation, a fun activity with my kids and a way to become healthier.

Tandem bike fun.

10. Think Holidays: If SHTF it would be awesome to have a few presents you hid for your children just to make an upcoming birthday slightly more normal. Sewing might one day become valuable and can also double as a way to create presents from recycled items like old clothes or blankets.

11. Think Hand Operated: Crank flashlights are very cheap and easy to find. There are zillions of hand-operated kitchen items from the 50’s and 60’s. I bought a hand crank meat grinder, a hand crank grain mill and a hand-operated herb grinder. Stored grains often get bugs and a good hand-operated grain sifter is useful. In the movies people always die because they lack hand-operated can openers.

12. Survival Medicine: Medical kits are very important. After assembling the standard survival kits, even including gas masks and iodine, I began to wonder about medicines. I stored fish antibiotics, antibiotics from overseas and a variety of homeopathic medicines. I realized there is a treasure trove of cures in the kitchen and it is easy to accumulate a huge supply of vinegar, baking soda, salt and spices. Vitamins, herbs and herbal seeds are a good idea as well. I had overlooked getting a snake bite kit but it occurred to me that snakes are a problem where I live, especially if no one were cutting the grass. Also, yeast is an issue in hot climates and I can’t think of a worse time to get a yeast infection than SHTF, thus stocking up on yeast cream is definitely important. There are also kits for bleeding and heavy trauma, including special bandages which clot bleeding. Hiking and camping medical supplies are often very helpful for traumatic injuries. I imagine that lice will become an issue in SHTF which is usually cured with over the counter medications or even olive oil. Parasites could get out of hand during SHTF so it is clever to stock up on parasite cleanses.

13. Think of Alternative Uses: Bleach and Clorox are not only good for cleaning but they could be used for self-defense if desperate. Several common items double as self-defense items. In history, several rebellions were won with farming tools. In my opinion, I will never become ‘chopped liver’ in the face of a home intruder. If my mom could fight off a burglar with her crystal bowl, I figure that weapons are all around us depending on our creativity and determination.

We learned how to repair arrows and I feel great peace thinking we have a good supply of arrows in the event the bullets run out one day.

14. Lock Picks: SHTF isn’t the time to find yourself without important hand tools, including a really good set of lock picks. Lock picking can be a fun and useful hobby that comes in handy in a variety of situations, saves you money and has a multiplicity of SHTF uses.

15. Clocks: Wind up clocks and sundials keep time without electricity. Part of a normal life is marking time and knowing which days are holidays or special days.

16. Water from Inside Your Home: You can use a solar generator with a dehumidifier to suck water right out of the air and then purify it. If desperate and unable to get water outside your house this could be a lifesaving idea.

17. Sanitation: Sanitation is a giant concern for SHTF. A camping toilet is necessary plus determining how to have an endless supply of toilet paper. Re-usable baby wipes can be washed. Old time wash buckets and a washing line, re-usable sanitary pads and solar showers are good additions to your preps.

As a mom, I want to be confident that I did everything possible to keep my family not only safe but also happy and healthy.

18. Redefine Normal: I realized a need to redefine my relationship with technology as well as money. What is ‘wealth’ during SHTF? What will people trade for a can of tuna, a roll of toilet paper, some seeds or a hotel bottle of shampoo?

19. Fire: I was bothered by how to start fire after the matches are gone and lighters are out of fluid. I stored magnifier glasses, parabolic fire starters as well as flint fire starters.

20. Recycle and Replant: Along with the standard survival seed gardens, I realized it is fun to learn how to save seeds and even re-plant parts of fruit and vegetables that we buy at the store on a regular basis. I like this preparation because it is basically free and fun for my kids. Pineapples are my favorite plant to replant from the part of the pineapple usually thrown in the garbage. I researched replanting fruit and vegetables from the parts you toss into the garbage and found a wealth of helpful information. You can recycle a lot of garbage into survival items. Heavy trash day can yield a treasure trove of goodies your neighbors discarded, minimally a constant supply of pots for gardening. Websites like ‘Freecycle’ can yield lots of survival goodies for free.

21. Learn from Your Environment: I lived through a hurricane where I was out of power for one week. I learned several important lessons during this trial run without power. I always store many bottles of water in the freezer to prolong the freezer time after the power outage. I always have a mental inventory of what needs to be eaten first from the fridge and the freezer. I realized how fast sanitation becomes an issue. I also realized the need to, if forewarned, stock up on as much water as humanly possible.

22. Heat: I don’t live in an area where heat is important but if I did I would buy a wood burning stove. I might get one anyway, it is on my wish list.

23. Bug and Pest Control: Mosquitoes and other bothersome pests can get out of hand during SHTF due to unsanitary conditions and lack of local response. This is especially a problem in the southern states and mild climates where a deep freeze doesn’t kill bugs and rodents. I found some plants naturally deter mosquitoes and there are a lot of home remedies for pest control.

24. Think of the Unpleasant: I realized it is better to consider some of the darker SHTF possibilities in advanced of being in the middle of an ordeal. For example, it is intelligent to formulate a plan to deal with insane people around you who turn into cannibals. Psychotic people whose medications run out and how to deal with mass burials if necessary. Sometimes life delivers very unpleasant experiences but it is better to face and overcome those obstacles with a plan, hopefully formulated in advance in order to gather necessary supplies.

25. Get a Plan: I learned ‘having a plan and executing it with determination is better than having no plan whatsoever.’ I add that having a backup plan upon another back up plan is ideal.

If SHTF people will die of

  1. Starvation
  2. Diseases due to lack of sanitation
  3. Violence and war.

As a mom, I want to be confident that I did everything possible to keep my family not only safe but also happy and healthy. I found that the best way to prepare is create a plan and then develop it over time. I mentally place my family in all sorts of disasters and imagine what coping methods are available and supplies are needed. I consider long-term situations and how to make the best of life without power. I am excited for whatever opportunities God places in my path because in life we have to consciously choose to survive, to love and to be happy. I do not live in fear of the future because I know that I have exhausted every avenue to prepare my family for whatever disasters come our way. I have resolved to do whatever is necessary for the survival of my beloved family and to always protect our freedom and health.

  I’m a mother of two in Texas who is very concerned about the very real possibility of SHTF happening within the next several years. I began prepping in 2011 after

It is the sound that almost everyone fears at some point. ‘That noise’ you hear while you are in bed that doesn’t sound right. I don’t know how many times I have been in bed with my wife and we will hear something and she will say ‘What was that’? Already, my ears are perked up and I am trying to figure out mentally what that sound was. In some cases it is perfectly normal like my daughter dropping what sounds like a 50 pound brick on the floor upstairs. Other times it may be outside or isn’t something I can explain so I get out of bed to investigate. It is times like this that I want to have items within arm’s reach that I may need should that bump in the night be more sinister than my daughter.

You aren’t much more vulnerable than when you are sleeping at night. Usually, we aren’t in clothes that would provide any reasonable protection. We don’t have shoes or socks on and if you are woken from sleep, you could be groggy and disoriented. Going from being warm and comfy under the covers to ready to defend your life doesn’t happen immediately, but the sooner you can be prepared to address a threat, the better off your chances of survival will be.

There was a time after the death of our last dog and before we got the latest survival dog that we couldn’t depend on a canine friend to warn us of danger, or to investigate strange noises. If something was wrong I would spring from bed and do my best job of investigating any noise and clearing rooms to ensure I hadn’t missed someone. Now, I would do the same but I would be sending my dog ahead of me because her senses would be far superior to any human at finding any trouble quickly and potentially starting to deal with the threat.

Even with a dog there are items in my nightstand that are ready for me to grab in seconds if a situation like this happens.

Gun – Assuming you aren’t anti-gun or they aren’t illegal where you live a gun is my first priority when it comes to home defense. Why not something like a baseball bat? Because a bad guy might have a gun and I would rather stare down a criminal who is bold enough to enter my house while I am sleeping with a gun that try to assume I can crack him on the skull and not get shot. In my case, the gun of choice is a 1911 .45.

Flashlight – There are some downsides to having a flashlight from the sense of showing the bad guy where you are, but the benefits of being able to see what you are shooting at far outweigh any downsides. For the obvious reasons of being able to see where you are going and what is the source of the noise a flashlight is extremely valuable. Add to that proper identification of the threat and you should agree that having a flashlight could save a life too. If you think someone is in your home and you have a gun in your hand you should be able to see accurately what you are aiming that gun at before you pull the trigger.

Phone – You may need to call 911 from your bedroom and if you are somehow trapped in your room you want a way to call out.

Knife – Why have a knife if you have a gun? For me, I have my knife on my nightstand anyway simply because it is part of my EDC gear that I have to wear daily. The knife is a worst case backup. What if the bad guy breaks down your door before you can grab the gun, or the gun jams? Not my ideal choice, but it is redundant gear that I have anyway.

Glasses – If you need glasses or if you sleep with your contacts out, you need something to help you see as quickly as possible. This is probably a no-brainer for anyone who does have vision issues but I know some people by routine leave these in the bathroom.

Shoes – Ideally something that you could slip on fast and I am not talking about slippers.  If you have some violent altercation you would be better equipped if you had sturdy shoes on or at least something that would give you traction and could protect your feet. What if there was a broken window and you needed to move through the area with broken glass? You would ideally not have to worry about what you stepped on as you moved through the home and you wouldn’t want to slip and bust your ass on the stairs either.

So there are 6 items you can keep in your nightstand or directly next to your bed in the event you need to spring into action to investigate something in your home. I left off the other basics of a notepad to write down ideas…. or a glass of water. What are your ideas for what to keep in your nightstand?

It is the sound that almost everyone fears at some point. ‘That noise’ you hear while you are in bed that doesn’t sound right. I don’t know how many times


Most of us have read a ton of material about prepping, enough to know how absurd/impractical/expensive some of the advice is. We also know that many folks have offered some incredibly good information for us to consider using ourselves.

There are however, two ideas that I don’t hear much about and that my own experiences have taught me are invaluable. I have become old in part by saving my own life many times, and quite a few folks got another chance to get old because I was involved in saving their lives, often with a little help from my friends.

The inspiration of this article began with the idea of a “Possibles Bag” which, in my mind, need not be a physical thing as it was among Mountain Men trappers of the American past. Hugh Glass and John “Liver-Eating” Johnson, or any trapper of the era certainly had an actual Possibles Bag. The way I read it, a possibles bag contained items that a man might possibly need to have handy during the course of his travels. Those things he would not want buried deep in a pack, saddle bags or pannier. They might include tools for trapping, black powder, flint, patches and ball, tobacco, sugar, and coffee, or items for trade with Indians and so on. I also think of “possibles” as a problem solving mindset, or a MacGyver like flexibility to make do with what is available at the moment.

Changing your thinking to what is possible

Nowhere was this more apparent than aboard a ship in the middle of a gigantic and nasty ocean. A ship can be a very big thing, but it cannot carry spares for all the crazy equipment needed to keep the thing running. Sailors learn to “jury-rig” things, which is another way to say that we became good at combining things that were not meant to be combined, in such a way that the ship stayed afloat and underway. My dad taught me to fix all sorts of things on land, but becoming a sailor also taught me how to jury rig things, and at sea that happened all the time.

Later in life I was a member of a well-known and internationally certified Mountain Rescue Team, and again was faced with being in merciless places with only what you and your teammates could carry on their backs. Sometimes we had horses, ATV’s, snowmobiles or choppers to help carry gear, but mostly, all we had was our backpack filled with the things we thought we might “possibly” need for ourselves and for those we were trying to rescue. Once again the need to find a way to make do with what was “on-board” was the reality. A knot of rope, wedged in the crack of a rock or in the fork of a tree can be used as an effective anchor, as can using a pack buried in the snow. The point is, to be open to thinking about solving problems in non-routine ways by using the things or knowledge at hand. Your best resource is your brain and humans have big brains. You can think of your brain as the “Possibles Bag” that you always have with you.

Getting Real with Reality

“Getting Real” is my way of saying that one should think about, and be honest about, knowing your limits. I used to be a technical rock and ice climber and I can still climb things many would not attempt, but those abilities are nowhere near what they once were. I know and accept that I have lower limits than I used to. Dirty Harry that said it well when he said, “Mans got to know his limitations”.

I taught new rescue team members to be honest about their abilities before stepping forward for any mission. Just because they were capable last month does not mean they are just as capable today. Maybe they just lost a job or a spouse and their head is not on straight. Maybe their allergies are kicking their butt. Maybe last year’s broken ankle is still not up to side hilling on snowshoes with the heavy pack. Being real about how deep and cold the water is’ before you do a gung-ho jump in, may save your life and the lives of those around you.

The same honest self-assessment also applies to equipment. If you carry a map and compass but you can’t remember how to use them, who are you fooling? If you haven’t practiced your fire starting skills in a while, how confident can you be that you can do it under bad circumstances? If you can’t correctly tie the half-dozen essential knots to use a rope effectively, you may be falling for the rest of your life. Or maybe your child is the one falling.

Try to choose your gear thoughtfully with care given to weight, to doing more than one thing, and to simplicity. And then, haul it out and use it once in a while. A good way to refresh your skill set is to teach someone else.

To wrap it up, I have been out and about for a long time and these two things continue to have relevance for me and for what I see in others. Whether you are surviving in the city, or in the desert, the prairies, and the forests or on the water, these same ideas are useful.

Use that “Possibles Bag” called your brain often and realistically and you will have learned yet another, important survival skill.

  Most of us have read a ton of material about prepping, enough to know how absurd/impractical/expensive some of the advice is. We also know that many folks have offered some

In any severe crisis or disaster, there is a risk of a breakdown of society. Even if there isn’t a complete breakdown, there’s the possibility of demonstrations, rioting and mob violence. It doesn’t take much for a crowd to form, protesting something; all it takes is an expectation of bad news. Any crowd can quickly turn into a mob and become violent.

Even without any help, mobs can do crazy things. When the Argentinean economy collapsed in 1999, they overturned public transit buses and set them on fire. When the Grand Jury failed to indict the police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown, the mob burned down 25 businesses in their community.

Mobs rarely are left alone to take whatever action they see fit. There are always instigators looking for such an opportunity. They are quick to show up at any mob situation and turn it to their purposes. In most cases, it is these professional rabble-rousers who turn mobs violent, as a form of violence against the established order in general.

Mob Psychology

In order to avoid falling victim to a mob, it helps to understand a little bit of what’s going on in that mob’s collective mind. I say collective mind intentionally, because you’re really not dealing with people’s individual thoughts; you’re dealing with a collective reasoning; one that is usually directed by people who have nefarious purposes in mind.

There’s something interesting that happens to people in a mob situation; they lose their individuality. They literally stop thinking for themselves and start accepting the mob’s thinking as their own. If the mob gets angry, they get angry; even if they don’t understand why. If the mob starts running, they start running; even if they don’t know where they are going. If the mob is turning over a bus, they’ll help turn over the bus.

Along with losing their identity, people in a mob lose their inhibitions. Normally calm, meek, law-abiding citizens may commit heinous crimes, simply because the mob is doing so. There’s a sense of anonymity in a mob, so people aren’t worried about being identified. If they can’t be identified, then they won’t be punished for their actions.

Mob violence can quickly escalate.

Since the fear of reprisal is what keeps most of us from committing crimes, removal of that fear gives us the liberty to resort to the basest emotions and instincts. Hence, the mob easily becomes violent, allowing all of their pent-up anger out, regardless of whether what they are angry about has anything to do with what the mob is doing or not.

Avoiding the Mob

The best thing you can do with any mob is to totally avoid it. That means avoiding large gatherings of protesters as well as avoiding places where they might gather. You never know which “peaceful protest” will suddenly turn violent, so you are best off not being involved in any of them.

In times of unrest, a police scanner is an invaluable tool to help you know what’s going on and avoid any potential mob situations. If a crowd or demonstration turns violent, the first place where you can receive any news about it is via a police scanner. The police will be working to track the mob, even as they try to disperse it. Their actions will be announced over the scanner.

What if You’re Caught in the Mob?

Even if you try to do everything you can to avoid a mob, you might find yourself caught in one someday. If you do, your goal has got to be to get out of the mob and get away safely. However, you can’t just walk away. To do so would identify you as not being part of the mob and put you at risk of becoming a target.

So, the first priority to fulfill if you’re caught in a mob is to blend in with the mob. You need to act like them, while not becoming part of them. That can be tricky, as the same inclination which has caused the other people to become part of the mob can hit you as well. You’ll need to keep your head clear, while deliberately acting like you’re part of the mob. Just don’t do anything you’ll regret later.

Work your way to the edge

While you are acting as part of the mob, look for an opportunity to escape it. That means working your way gradually to the edge of the mob. Don’t walk directly to the edge, as that will make you stand out; rather, take a circuitous route, gradually working your way to the edge. A little play acting here would be good as well, as if you recognize someone and are moving to their position, then recognizing someone else.

If the mob is moving, then move with it, as you are working your way to the back edge of the mob. That’s fairly easy to do, as all you have to do is be a bit slower than everyone else. Eventually they’ll all pass you by. If it would be easier to get to the edge by angling to one side, then do that.

Arrange a pick-up

Once you are on the edge of the mob and before you break free of it, call someone to come and get you. Don’t have them come to where you are, as that will put them at risk. Rather, have them drive to a location a couple of blocks to the side of where the mob is moving and wait for you there. Once you break away, you can have them move closer, but by no means do you want them to get within a block of the mob at any time. Covering that first block will be your responsibility alone.

Breaking away from the mob

Breaking away from the mob is the trickiest and riskiest part of the operation. If the mob is moving, then you’ll want to find a location where you can go down an alley, into an open building or otherwise disappear from the back of the mob quickly, so that nobody can see you go. The idea is to be out of sight in a matter of seconds, before you can be noticed.

If the mob is stationary, you’ll essentially need the same thing. However, you’ll be faced with the fact that the mob is not moving away from you. So, your escape route has to be extremely good for hiding you from the mob. The best is escaping through a building, going in the front door and out the back. You might even be able to do this through a building that is being looted.

Once clear of the mob, put distance between yourself and them as quickly as you can. Call your pick up ride and have them move to intercept you a block away from the mob. Don’t put them in danger! You would be better off having to run farther, than to put them too close to the mob. A moving car is a very attractive target to a mob.

If they get too close, the mob may decide to surround them, blocking them in. In such a case, there’s a very good chance that they would be drug out of their car and at a minimum be severally beaten. It wouldn’t be all that surprising if they were beaten to death.

The only possible defense in a car is to continue moving slowly. Trying to move quickly, if you are within range of the mob, only attracts them. Moving slowly may allow you to push your way through them. When I say slowly, I mean at a crawl. It has to be slow enough that you won’t actually hit anyone, although you will be pushing them with your bumper.

In any severe crisis or disaster, there is a risk of a breakdown of society. Even if there isn’t a complete breakdown, there’s the possibility of demonstrations, rioting and mob


You were right! The SHTF event you have been preparing for has happened and you and your family are ready. Your bug-out bags are packed; your weapons are locked and loaded and you have trained your family for this moment, you have a plan and you’re putting it into operation.

Then it happens, the one thing that you didn’t foresee.

You are suddenly face to face with someone else, blood races through your body as the adrenaline kicks in….your family frozen in place behind you…arm straightened out in front of you, your finger on the trigger cramping up with the tension of the moment.

A lifetime flashes by in a blink of an eye.

Then the sound of the click breaks the silences as you remove your finger off the trigger and your thumb flips up the safety.

The person or people in front of you are not a danger they are just PWBs’ – Prepper wannabes

They are scared and it’s obvious they aren’t prepared for the SHTF event you are going through. It is like suddenly coming across someone in a lake, struggling in deep water, over their heads and panicking. What do you do? Let them drown? Let them die? Your wife and kids are looking to you for the answer. Perhaps there are others in your group, but you’re a take charge type of person. You made the decisions during your family’s training and now, you are suddenly facing the one thing you or your group didn’t really plan for.

Suddenly you find yourself accepting them, suddenly; it is not just about being prepared or about just having to take care of your family or your group. You’re the leader, you’re the Sergeant of your growing group. You now have a number of unknown survivors, with your group or do you? Did you plan for this? Should you have planned for this?

If your plans call for keeping all the food in a central location. Have them collect food, water and any other items from their homes and bring it to that location.

If you were to ask 1,000 different preppers, it is safe to say that you would get about that many different answers. Yet it could very well happen to you.

There are many survival articles that talk about being the gray man, keeping a low profile or the need to be prepared for the gangs or marauders that will be out and about in a SHTF situation. This is a different scenario and yet is more likely to happen as people form groups for survival and safety. This applies to either staying in place or bugging out. So let’s discuss these scenarios for a moment:

Staying in place:

In most places within the United States, homes are built close together within subdivisions. Most of us do not know our neighbors or at least not well enough to suddenly bet our life or the lives of our families on them. Yet, there is safety in numbers and there are many articles that detail the necessity of building a Prepper group within your neighborhood, so I won’t repeat that here.
However, no matter how hard you try, not everyone in your group and especially not everyone in your neighborhood, will want to be prepared, or train themselves and/or their families to the level required when SHTF is suddenly thrust upon them.

So, what is the best way to deal with this situation?

First: If your part of a group, hopefully you have discussed this issue. If your group plans on digging in and protecting your homes, you most likely have some background on the PWBs. You can still benefit from accepting them. There are things that they can do.

What training have they had? When were they last used? Do you have someone in your group or can you assign someone, to inspect the weapons? Do they need cleaning?

But remember that these PWB’s are most likely scared to death and some maybe close to panic. Some may not listen to reason. It will be your job to calm them, guide them, reassure them and even praise them to help stabilize their anxieties. If not, instead of being helpful they may become a threat that you may have to deal with later.

Security: be prepared to brief them on the current situation and what will be required of them. Team them up with one of your trained personnel guarding the access points to your neighborhood. Are there any with weapons training? Prior military or police experience. Are any doctors, nurses, day care workers?

Levels of confidence: While you will need to brief them, be sure that all your trained personnel knows to limit discussing your plans, where you keep weapons, additional supplies, bug out locations and routes with them. In short, provide them enough information for them to perform the duties assigned. Make them feel that they are part of the group, but keep your plans to yourself.

Food rationing: If your plans call for keeping all the food in a central location. Have them collect food, water and any other items from their homes and bring it to that location. Keep a record, or mark it with their names. While rationing will or may be required, seeing their names mixed in with others from the group gives them a sense of belonging.

Keep them busy: Select someone in your group to assist them in creating a bug out bag for each member of the family. Getting into their homes, building up a rapport as your team member guides them also gives you a chance to collect more information about them. That information could be vital if you have to suddenly bug out.

Weapons: Hopefully, some may have them. But, once again, what training have they had? When were they last used? Do you have someone in your group or can you assign someone, to inspect the weapons? Do they need cleaning? Do they have ammo and if so how much? Take the time to drill them on weapons safety. Create a hands on proficiency test. Be sure what you’re dealing with before you place a weapon in their hands.

Bugging out:

Suddenly having untrained personnel with you or worst collecting them along the way can quickly place you and your group in a life threatening situation. I’m sure there are many preppers out there saying that they would not collect PWBs or survivors that managed cross their path. After all, your supplies are limited and the more people in your group the more your group will stand out and perhaps become a target.

But, let’s look at the reality. In Canada, A huge forest fire displaced thousands of residents. The majority of the residents were not prepared and escaped with just the clothes on their back. I’m sure there were some that were prepared and suddenly found themselves surrounded by a sea of escapees. Can you honestly say that you would walk past a hungry and scared child? A most likely SHTF situation that we could encounter will be due to Mother Nature, Fire, Flood, Snow Storm, Earthquake, etc. Your plans should be flexible enough to adjust to the situation that surrounds you.

So allowing for adjustments based on your location, your means of travel, the actual situation that forced you to bug out go back to the various sub topics listed under staying in place and ask yourself how they apply to this situation, how they need to be modified.
You must also know when to say no and deal with the fall out from that decision-both externally and internally.

Sergeant! What do we do with these?

What will be your answer?

  You were right! The SHTF event you have been preparing for has happened and you and your family are ready. Your bug-out bags are packed; your weapons are locked and

Hurricane season for the Atlantic Ocean runs from June 1st to November 30th with a sharp peak in activity from late August through September. It was precisely this time period that Hurricane Katrina descended upon the gulf causing a still unknown number of deaths and over 108 billion dollars of damage. The resulting chaos and horror shocked and moved millions of people to lend assistance in the aftermath of this tragedy. After the storm left and the cleanup process began, millions more began to make preparations for themselves so they wouldn’t be faced with some of the tragedy the victims in the gulf had to live with.

Ten years later, the effects of Katrina still linger. The towns impacted are still not completely restored and may never be as they once were. The anniversary and season should be an opportunity for anyone who lives in areas prone to hurricanes to reflect on their preparations and make sure they have what is needed should a hurricane be forecast in the future. The list below isn’t exhaustive but I think it covers most of the bases that a good hurricane survival guide should account for. If you have taken care of the items below you will be much better off than many who survived hurricane Katrina. This list could end up saving some lives.

Should you stay or should you evacuate?

The decision to stay or evacuate needs to be evaluated early and often. At a certain point in the storm, you will not be able to leave. Deciding quickly and before the storm is too near, based upon your circumstances and the forecast from the weather experts is best.

The strength of a storm is one indicator of the severity of the damage you can expect. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is what is used to define and classify hurricane strength.

Category 1 Hurricane – Sustained Winds 74-95 MPH

Very dangerous winds will produce some damage: Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.

Category 2 Hurricane – Sustained Winds 96-110 MPH

Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.

Category 3 Hurricane – Sustained Winds 111-129 MPH

Devastating damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.

Category 4 Hurricane – Sustained Winds 130-156 MPH

Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

Category 5 Hurricane – Sustained Winds 157 MPH or higher

Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

If you do decide that you will be evacuating, there are some other considerations.

  • Know where you are going – Don’t hit the highways without a plan or expect you will just find a hotel down the road an hour. During Katrina, hotels were completely booked hours away from New Orleans in all directions. Having a friend or family member within a reasonable driving distance would be better.
  • Don’t wait until the last-minute – Roads out-of-town during an evacuation quickly become clogged with traffic. There are accidents, people run out of fuel and the whole interstate system can become a giant parking lot. If you are leaving, make sure you beat the crowd. In addition, make sure you have a full tank and plenty of additional fuel. You may not be able to get to a gas station for many hours.
  • Plan on delays in coming back – Even after hurricanes have passed road conditions or security concerns can delay people from getting back to their homes. If you are forced to evacuate make sure you have proof that you live in your home. This can be as simple as a couple of bills and your driver’s license with your current street address.
  • Lock house – This may sound obvious but before leaving you should lock your home up as tightly as possible and make preparations for debris.
  • Let friends, relatives, and neighbors know where you are going – It is a good idea that someone knows where you are headed. This can be the people you are going to stay with or family members in other states. You don’t want them worrying about whether you are still alive if they aren’t able to contact you. Knowing you left before the hurricane hits will ease their mind and let them know hopefully how to reach you later.
  • Turn off power at the main breaker box – This should prevent any electrical damage that could be caused if your home is flooded.

Flooding is a major risk in hurricanes. Even well after the storm has passed.

Assuming you are staying put, you can expect services to be out and it helps to take some steps ahead of any outages to deal with issues as they arise after the hurricane.

What supplies do you need for a hurricane survival kit?

  • Water – At least one gallon per person for two weeks.
  • Food – Make sure you have at least a few days, better a month’s worth of food for each person. Your individual bug out bag is tailor-made for a short-term scenario like this and each should have many of the supplies on this list already.
  • Generator – A generator is perfect for situations like hurricanes as long as you have enough fuel. I would make sure to have at least a weeks’ worth of fuel on-hand but you likely won’t need to run your generator non-stop. You can store fuel for a very long time with a good fuel stabilizer. If the power is out you should not connect your generator to your home without a power transfer system. Ideally, you cut off power to the city electric and switch your home over to generator power. This will prevent anyone from working on the line from getting electrocuted by your generator.
  • Battery operated radios – The simplest way to hear the news in a disaster situation like a hurricane is a good weather radio. This will not only warn of any additional approaching storms or floodwaters but keep you up to date with the situation outside your neighborhood if you are unable to get out. Spare batteries are a must.
  • Cash – No power means no AMT machines. Make sure you have a good amount of cash well before you are unable to get it out of the bank. This can make purchases after the hurricane much easier if credit card machines are down.

    A well-stocked first-aid kit, not a box of band-aids it’s a must in emergency situations.

  • One month medicine – Need any medicine to stay alive? Make sure you have enough stocked up to ride out the rebuilding process. Your local pharmacy might not be open for several days or months if they are struck directly. I would also stock up on your basic pain relievers and anti-inflammatory as well as any children’s fever-reducing medicines you could conceivably need.
  • Can opener – Sure you can open a can without a can opener, but it is much simpler if you have a manual can opener to get to all of that non-perishable food you have in the pantry.
  • Flashlights – I recommend headlights for close-in work like seeing what you are cooking, making your way through a dark building or assisting others. Headlamps allow you to be hands-free. They are perfect for most situations, but a backup high lumen flashlight will really cut through the dark and could help in rescue situations.
  • First aid kit – Every family should have a very well-stocked first aid kit. Moving around after a hurricane can cause injuries like burns or major cuts. You will need supplies to dress these wounds and keep them free from germs.
  • Charcoal/gas for grills – Grilling out is usually the best method of cooking when the grid goes down. Take those steaks out of the freezer and have a big party. After that, you can make pretty much any meal with the right cookware and some imagination on a grill.
  • Plastic tarps – Tarps are very light, cheap and useful. They can be used to keep you dry, temporarily patch roofs or keep the sun off your head. You should have several tarps around for general use.
  • Tools/wood/nails – These can be used to close off windows or make repairs after the storm is over.
  • Baby supplies (diapers, wipes, formula) – The little ones need supplies too. Make sure you have a month worth of items they will need just in case.
  • Cleaning Supplies – You will still need to clean up and if you don’t have any running water, some simple cleaning supplies could make the job easier. If your home is damaged from flooding you will need a lot of bleach to disinfect everything that has come in contact with the floodwaters. Disinfecting wipes, rags, scrubbing pads, sponges and cleaning gloves.
  • Mosquito repellent – Hurricanes never happen when you want them too. In hurricane areas, you will likely still have hot sticky days and the mosquitoes will flourish in any flooded areas. Make sure you have plenty of repellents to keep them at bay.
  • Water filtration method/system – I prefer to always have a backup water filtration system that I can use for my family. I do have water stored, but eventually, you may need to find sources and filter the water so it is safe for drinking. I have both a Berkey Light filter and Platypus GravityWorks. These two are dead simple to use and filter a lot of water quickly.

Do you have a pet survival kit?

You can’t forget about your pets either in a time like this and they should be taken with you if you decide to evacuate. You don’t want them left to die as so many were in Hurricane Katrina.

  • Make sure they have a collar with identification (rabies/Tag) so if you are separated, they will know who your pet belongs to. I would also add a tag with a (if found call) written on it.
  • Carrier if your pet is small enough and a leash regardless.
  • Plenty of food for two weeks minimum
  • Bowls for food and water – Collapsible bowls can be used in a pinch and take up less space.
  • Any medication your pets need
  • Poop bags for dogs. A litter box and spare litter for cats
  • Can opener if your food is in a can

This list isn’t everything you could possibly need, but hopefully, it is a start and helps some of you to be more prepared for hurricane survival if you find yourself in that situation. Please let me know your ideas to add to this hurricane survival guide. Stay safe!

Hurricane season for the Atlantic Ocean runs from June 1st to November 30th with a sharp peak in activity from late August through September. It was precisely this time period


Walt Disney had the vision to create a place whose sole purpose was to help folks forget their world for a time- a Fantasy-land that could transport us out of reality for a day or so. As individuals that are concerned about our lives, we need to be sure we are looking at reality, not a fabricated fantasy-land as our world. First of all, this article is not meant to offend anyone, I am just humbly submitting my opinions. I have had the good fortune to be on this planet for 50 plus years now, and despite my own goof ups, I am still here.

I wanted to share a few life lessons I have learned along the way that hopefully show the difference of living in Fantasy-land vs Reality. What I learned in many cases shows how reality differs in substantial ways from the Fantasy-land that many preppers envision will be their lives in a TEOTWAWKI situation.

Growing up on a dairy farm I learned:

  • Hard work is hard
  • Weather cannot be controlled – You must prepare for winter, spring, summer and fall
  • Pipes freeze
  • Animals get sick and die
  • Animals are born
  • You want to stay out of the mud
  • Cows kick you – Watch out for the bull
  • Milk spoils
  • Insects win sometimes
  • Rats are not your friend- You need barn cats
  • Neighbors need help
  • Crops fail and boom
  • Tractors break down – Get your machinery ready ahead of time
  • Gotta have a good truck
  • Picnic lunches in the field are good
  • Bees don’t like tractors
  • It is satisfying to see content animals
  • The way people treat animals speaks volumes about how they will treat people
  • Sometimes things just go wrong
  • Good tools payoff
  • Gardens are hard work
  • Do it right once
  • Grandpa is usually right

Growing up, I moved to Alaska to become a commercial fisherman and learned:

  • Hard work is hard
  • You don’t have to like everyone you work with
  • There isn’t a person on the planet you cant learn something from from
  • Be a tourist wherever you go
  • Not everyone lives the way you do
  • Sometimes you have to eat Reuben sandwiches 5 days in a row – Be thankful you are eating
  • Animals also want to survive
  • One must adapt and overcome
  • Step out of your comfort zone
  • Sometimes 100 percent isn’t enough
  • Enjoy good food
  • Prepare for the weather
  • Be a friend
  • Work hard, play hard.

As a single dad, I learned:

  • Sometimes just having a meal on the table is enough
  • Life isn’t about the stuff
  • Kids grow up way too fast
  • You can talk about sex to your kids, and drugs, and alcohol etc.
  • Be their parent, not their friend until later in life
  • Be consistently adequate
  • Admit your mistakes
  • Don’t automatically hate their boyfriends, still show them the guns though…
  • Shut the TV off!
  • Go camping, fishing, volunteering
  • Love each other
  • Accept help when needed
  • Don’t put down your ex, the kids will figure it out
  • Encourage your kids to work hard, oldest is lawyer, next is scientist, youngest is coach
  • Protect your family, but be responsible with weapons, teach them to shoot, self-defense
  • With privileges comes responsibility
  • Don’t look down on others, but don’t get crapped on by others either. Be nice about it…
  • Treat animals well

As a Police Chief, I have learned:

  • People lie to you
  • Honesty goes a long way
  • There are always 2 sides to every story
  • Those that can do, those that can’t teach seminars, (not always)
  • Lighten up sometimes
  • Give breaks when you can, sometimes life just happens
  • It may seem unimportant to me, but not to the other person
  • People do awful things to people
  • Stay aware of your surroundings at all times
  • Hands kill
  • Treat people as good as they will let you
  • Use your brain
  • Slow down or too many unnecessary bad things can happen
  • Be prepared
  • Have a good flashlight
  • Keep backups of important things
  • Know how to shoot well
  • Know first-aid
  • Don’t escalate situations, everybody has somebody that can kick their arse
  • Protect your eyes
  • Encourage folks to do the right thing
  • The people you need to worry about aren’t the ones that tell you what they are going to do, but just do it!
  • Most little guys make up for their size with skill and speed
  • Learn something from everyone you meet, even if it teaches you what not to do!
  • Do all things in moderation!
  • You have the right to remain silent… use that right!

So, Reality vs Fantasy-land

I believe that reality is based on knowledge, coupled with action that is practiced and planned for ahead of the event or situation. Fantasy-land is having lots of gear, watching YouTube videos, owning 45 guns, but not being able or willing to mow your own yard or walk a few miles.

Trust your own skill-sets, improve on them, learn new ones, adapt, improvise and most importantly overcome!

So let’s not buy front row tickets to the 4 pm show at Fantasy-land, but perhaps we should work with the ones setting up the stage, maybe they are the true people that know how to get it done.

Each day, try to learn something, get the bugs out of a prep or tool or project, and make your preparedness reality, not just something you saw in prepper Fantasy-land. I personally love sitting down with elderly folks to enjoy a cup of coffee and hear about their lives, experiences, skill sets, etc. These folks are a treasure chest!!!

  Walt Disney had the vision to create a place whose sole purpose was to help folks forget their world for a time- a Fantasy-land that could transport us out of


Be ready for your workday.

Like many other preppers all over the world I find myself in daily situations where I feel less than fully prepared. While you can never be ready for everything, and yes this includes when you are hunkered down in your bunker with the Fort Knox of dried foods and more guns and ammo than the Israeli army, there are some things that we can do to help minimize this. One of the biggest holes in my preparedness plan is work. Like almost everyone else I spend the majority of my time at work, specifically a school. While the school does have standard emergency provisions such as emergency blankets, medical supplies and enough salvageable materials and resources to at the very least, coupled with my EDC (everyday carry), put me in a very good position to head home to re-evaluate the situation. However, it could be better. As preppers we also have a moral responsibility to aid others when we can. Having an emergency bag, or preferably several, at work could make the difference for not only you but for the unprepared as well.

So what would this emergency bag or kit contain? In this article we will look at several points of consideration and areas that will need to be explored for you to make your own at work emergency bag. This is by no means a how to guide or my own personal opinion, more an aid in helping you, the reader, evaluate and create your own kit specifically tailored to your situation and the legal requirements and regulations in your area.

Some Big Questions

The first thing to ask yourself is what is the purpose of your kit? Is its purpose to get you to a specific place? To manage the immediate situation? Or to equip you and your co-workers with the means of effecting self rescue. If you are looking to get to a specific place you will be needing something lightweight and comfortable to wear even if you have sustained injury. If you are staying put you will be more concerned with medical supplies and provisions. Also, you will require materials and ways to secure your surrounding area. I.e clearing debris and checking for immediate threats like water, gas and electrical lines. If self rescue is your goal then a means of reaching help quickly and safely will be your main points of concern.

Mini bolt cutters can be carried easily and cut though locks or metal in an emergency.

The next big question is how many people will be in your group and how many kits will you have? While safety in numbers and the additional manpower can be a big advantage, will everyone share your point of view or plan for survival? Will you have a set hierarchy or chain of command in place if an emergency does require it? An emergency situation is only made worse with the chaos of panic. Looking into or addressing these situations now will directly affect your gear and plan of action.

Let’s say you will go it alone or with a very small group. This will mean you will need gear that is lightweight with more weight and space being taken up by necessities such as water or medical supplies. On the other hand, if you go with a larger group you will be able to transport more gear and will have more options for what you can do in your situation. For example, you could carry a range of tools that could help you bypass obstacles easier, such as a crowbar or bolt cutters. You may also have more chance of people having access to a functioning vehicle or medical/emergency training.

Finally, and in many ways the most important question and without an answer to this, even your best laid plans will never leave the drawing board. How will you fund and start this endeavor? Can you get permission from your boss to store gear at your place of work? Will your co-workers be on board or just go with it when the time comes leaving you with stressed out, unprepared, possibly dangerous people to have to handle? Training or including others in your preps is a necessity if you plan includes others.

If you have a single kit you will limit options for space and weight, if you have several the storage space and price may go up, one for everyone it certainly will. So before reading further these questions need to be answered.

Gear, Gear and More Gear for your Emergency Bag

Paratus 3 Day Operator’s Pack has a lot of features for less than $100.

Onto the matter of the gear. Like all good BOBs (bug out bags) a good emergency bag relies on the same principles. With that in mind let’s look at the first aspect: the bag itself.

You have a wide variety of options to consider here. You could go with durable military bags with ample padding, strapping and webbing for gear or a more discreet civilian bag that doesn’t draw attention. Others prefer high visibility bags with attached lights and whistles for easy access similar to the design of airplane life jackets or flame retardant bags that while not all too well designed will ensure your gear remains safe from fire and is partially waterproof. Each has their pros and cons and should be chosen when and only when the rest of your kit has been assembled. One of the golden rules of BOBs: buy the bag to fit the kit not the kit that will fit in the bag.

Next, clothing and protective gear. Most everyday office buildings, schools or company work spaces are built of similar materials, concrete, re-bar, steel (possibly corrugated) and plywood. These materials while dependent on size can be moved if blocking an escape route. However, doing so without adequate hand and eye protection would be a mistake. Strong work gloves, goggles and masks can be extremely useful. Be sure to take in mind the amount of protection verses dexterity you will need. If working with wires and fine tools is what you expect bulky industrial work gloves may not be the best choice. In regards to goggles and masks the standard N95 mask and standard full eye and nose goggles should suffice for keeping dust or smoke at bay.

Onto the case of footwear. While work boots are preferable don’t underestimate a comfortable pair of dress shoes. Try yours out on a long distance walk in the city or on a short jog. It may sound strange but it could save you time, money and space on gear you may not need. While helmets may be unnecessary they are a fair consideration depending on your place of work, but be sure to make sure you can wear it with your goggles and mask with good visibility.

The next main concern in any kit is signalling and communications. For this aspect of your kit you should be looking at mid/long-range ham radios, solar/kinetic emergency radios, flares and glow sticks. The reason for this is that you can keep in contact with whoever is in the area, keep track of emergency broadcasts and signal for rescue. Replying on cell phones and land line communication is a gamble in a survival situation and should not be relied upon. If you are going to rely on ham radio then you first have to learn how to use it and all the relevant emergency frequencies.

Now let’s move onto medical matters. If any of your party are injured leaving them untreated can only make matters worse. Having a basic knowledge of first aid can prove invaluable and as the saying goes: Knowledge doesn’t weigh anything.

A small axe can make survival in many situations much easier.

However basic supplies don’t hurt. Having a standard trauma kit in your pack can provide you with. A kit I would recommend is the Bighorn Sportsman Medical Kit, or at least one which contains similar provisions. That said, the best medical kit is always one you put together and tailor yourself.

The last but by no means the least important is food and water. While having a store at work for several days a head would be great it unfortunately isn’t possible most of the time. Having cooking gear and fuel, while they double as a heat source are, for most, quite unnecessary. Dried long life foods such as Datrex bars which are well suited to a small lightweight kit. While they are by no means gourmet but they will get the job done of sustaining you until rescue or self rescue occurs. Water, like food, does not need to be stored in great volume. A one liter bottle of water per person should be sufficient for 1 – 2 days. While glass containers will allow you to store water for longer periods of time and should be considered for at home stores, plastic is the best choice here due to its weight, durability and flexibility. Cooking equipment and food that requires such should be avoided to save weight and space. That said if it is within your capability to do so a hot meal can go a long way in regards to boosting moral.

Locked and Loaded

The last aspect of a kit to talk about is weapons and tools. While carrying a small axe, firearm or full tang knife is something that most, if not all, survivalists consider essential it may not be safe nor permitted in the work place. While it is tempting to simply conceal these items from people in your personal belongings it is also worth talking to your boss or manager about these things with the aim of having all your gear approved. Depending on where you work you may be faced with different rules, restrictions and regulations for what you can carry. Always make sure that you have the right permits and documentation. Who knows you may even make a Prepper out of them.

  Be ready for your workday. Like many other preppers all over the world I find myself in daily situations where I feel less than fully prepared. While you can never be


Whether you’re interested in home protection or looking to stay safe while hunting, you’re going to want the best accessories for your gun to defend yourself. There is no time to waste when you only have a few seconds to take action. Fumbling with your gun can be the difference between life and death. Not having confidence in your aim or your mechanics can also spell doom. And, if you’re not accurate, your technique won’t matter anyways — no matter how sure you are in it.

Competence in one of those traits without proficiency in the others typically ends in a disaster. You need to be confident, steady, and accurate when facing a threat, because you can bet that your rival will also be in survival mode. Luckily, there are various tools and fittings to help you in tight spots. There is no more comforting feeling than having the upper hand when faced with a bad situation. By simply adding some upgrades to your firearms, you can rest assured that you and your family will be protected in any circumstance.

While guns are great fun when shooting safely at the range, they can also act as a valuable and useful tool in the right setting. But, with all the gadgets and frills available now, which ones do you really need? Certainly you won’t require most of the contraptions out there, but there are a few that will come in handy when in a pinch. Good thing we have a starter list for you right here.

Some of the best accessories for your guns

Gun scopes

Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone-223 Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets, 1-4x 24mm

When facing a wild beast, you’re never assured of safety. While most who choose to hunt big game know how to take the proper precautions, having the right equipment certainly doesn’t hurt. Whether your rifle is built to take down a moose,  or a deer, having the correct gun scope will increase your accuracy and take-down ability. Trust in your gear may be the difference between coming back to camp with a trophy kill and not coming back at all.

Laser Sight

Vokul Shockproof 532nm Tactical Green Dot Laser Sight

Utilized more for home defense, a laser light is best for precision. Should you find yourself in a compromising situation while at home, this nifty piece of equipment will make sure you’re armed to handle yourself. Great for low light and target identification, laser lights are a near necessity for keeping your loved ones secure.

Gun Grips

Maybe you found a gun you like, but there is something that’s a bit off. A new gun grip could solve the problem. Find the perfect mold for your hand by attaching the accessory to the butt of your pistol. A little practice at the range may be necessary to find peak comfort level.


Glock 19/23/32 Holster – Tulster Profile Holster IWB

There’s no point in carrying a firearm if you can’t conceal it. From shoulder holsters to ankle holsters to hip holsters, having your gun easily accessible is a must. Finding the easiest spot on your person to carry should be a top priority for every gun owner.


Aimkon HiLight P10S 400 Lumen Pistol LED Strobe Flashlight with Weaver Quick Release

Sometimes all you need is a little light. Most flashlights easily attach to the front of your weapon and provide enough illumination to help you out in poorly lit areas. Find an LED or an infrared device for optimal usage.

Extended Magazine

Perhaps your six-shot clip isn’t enough to serve your primary carry weapon. An extended magazine may be just what you’re looking for. Using one will affect your grip on the gun, but the extra bullets could be helpful if caught in a hairy situation.

Gun Sling

Yahill(TM) Multi-Use 2 Point 2-IN-1 Rifle Gun Sling Adjustable Strap Cord

Attaching a sling to your rifle will improve flexibility. The add-on will also help you carry the firearm through thick brush and heavily wooded areas. Useful and practical, a sling provides relief during your hike so you can save your energy for when it’s needed most.

Weapon Cleaning Kit

Otis Modern Sporting Rifle and AR Cleaning System

If you have a gun, you need to keep it clean. Bullet fragments, material, and powder will influence your accuracy if not flushed out after each use.

Vertical Grip


Similar to a pistol grip, a vertical grip provides a better placement for your hand when managing a rifle.

Folding Stock Adapter

Law Tactical Gen-3M Side Folding Adapter Tool Genuine 5.56/223/308 –

Fold up your rifle into an easily portable piece of machinery by folding it in half with this adapter. No matter what type of firearm you have, there is always a way to upgrade it for safety and suitability.

  Whether you’re interested in home protection or looking to stay safe while hunting, you’re going to want the best accessories for your gun to defend yourself. There is no time


Gathering tinder is for when you are out in the bush right?

True, locating and identifying good sources of tinder and fire craft is more commonly related to bush survival. However, in a SHTF situation knowing where the available sources of tinder and fuel are and how to use them could save your life. In the usual urban environment shelter is readily available. This leads us to the next second priority – fire.

Making fire when the gas and power is out, even for a short time, can be a real challenge unless you are willing to think outside the box and use everything around you. This, in itself, is the essence of prepping.

First things first – Getting heat

You can put all methods of fire craft into practical use in the urban environment if you can get hold of the raw materials, from the fire plough with a couple of chair legs to a bow drill with a shoelace and coat hanger. However, with modern living comes modern solutions to starting a fire. Commonplace household products, materials and cleaning chemicals can be used to create fire.

Below is a list of ways of making sparks / a flame with simple household items.

1 – A lighter – Even with no fuel the spark given off from the lighter is enough to ignite good dry tinder such as toilet paper. This is better known as a prison match. This spark can also be used to ignite flammable fluids or gunpowder.

2 – Reflective surfaces – The benefit of living out of nature is the amount of reflective, shiny things. CDs, crockery, aluminum foil, cans, bottles or machine parts can be bent and used to focus sunlight to the point of ignition. You can polish some of these surfaces with household cleaners or chocolate. (see below)

3 – Children’s toys – While it is less common nowadays, some toys do still use a wheel and flint to light up toy parts. Crack into the casing and you have yourself a flint and striker. Again in modern children’s toys this is less common due to the fire risk. That said, electronic children’s toys on the whole could well provide a solution or materials for making fire.

4 – Batteries – Batteries when connected with aluminum foil or steel wool will heat to the point of ignition. However, remember that the initial charge held by the battery must still be good. Also, make sure the foil is thinnest in the center of the strip you use to speed the process. Similar to a light bulb filament. (see below)

5 – Break fluid and chlorine – Household chlorine for the pool and standard break fluid will make a big exothermic reaction. Pound the chlorine into a fine powder, make a decent size pile, add the fluid and stand way back. Keep in mind that these materials should be handled with care and used in a well-ventilated area. (see below)

6 – Any battery-powered electrical items when the main power wires are found can be used to make a spark. Wear gloves when doing so. A good example of such are battery-operated flashlights, hand-held games, radios and digital clocks.

7 – Car Batteries – A car battery and jumper cables will make a strong spark. However, take great care when attempting it. Be sure to thoroughly inspect the cables and battery before use and wear gloves.

8 – A working flashlight – By carefully breaking the bulb and leaving the filament exposed it will heat and ignite dry tinder. This can leave you without a working light and only work once. Keep this in mind and only use it as a last resort.

Tinder and Fuel – Think outside the box.

We all know about the usual sources of tinder around the home, dryer lint, newspaper, toilet paper, gasoline, but have you explored every option? It is highly probable that in every room of your home there is something that you can use to create a spark or flame.

Below is a list of items that people may overlook.

  1. Hairspray (spray onto toilet paper or cotton for a better and longer burn before ignition)
  2. Deodorant / Aftershave (spray onto toilet paper or cotton for a better and longer burn before ignition)
  3. Oil – Cooking oil burns well depending on the type. Also, the oil from inside cans of food such as tuna. You can make a very effective oil lamp using said cans.
  4. Crayons – As we know crayons will burn like a candle. However, be sure to keep the area well ventilated. The fumes can be dangerous.
  5. Cleaning products (Different products regardless of their use have different contents. When burning these products, always do it in a ventilated area and only to get the fire going.)
  6. Potato Chips (foods with high corn and oil contents burn well, Doritos for example)
  7. Dry pasta – Spaghetti for example when lit will burn like a match. By keeping the piece unbroken at full length you can potentially light a few dozen candles to place around your home in a black out. This will save you time and conserve the other fuels and sources of fire that you have.
  8. Labels from food and household items. Most people will over look this and see the can as being metal, not remembering that it is wrapped in perfectly flammable tinder / kindling.
  9. Hair (works as tinder but has an extremely bad odor when burnt)
  10. Dryer lint from inside the machine (Even if the trap is empty, lint builds up inside the machine itself. Open up the casing at the back or bottom to check.)
  11. Oranges / Butter –  (these videos explain the process well)
  12. Bicycle inner tube or car tire (will burn for a long time, but has poisonous fumes)

All of these ideas and methods came from either my own experience or the hard work and research of other dedicated preppers. This is not a comprehensive list of all possible ways to make fire, just a few ways that might inspire a few more.

Keep prepping and keep safe.

  Gathering tinder is for when you are out in the bush right? True, locating and identifying good sources of tinder and fire craft is more commonly related to bush survival. However,