Category Archives: Modern Survivalism

Caring For Tactical Equipment

The following is a guest submission from the folks at TYR Tactical, a supplier of high quality, lightweight tactical equipment.

Picture Credit: TYR Tactical
Picture Credit: TYR Tactical

How to Take Care of Your Tactical Gear

Getting the most value for your money is more important than ever, and extending the life of your tactical gear is much more important than replacing the gear and buying new stuff all over again. After all, the majority of tactical gear is costly and, as a result, should be cared for as well as possible. But how do you take care of your tactical gear? Do you know how to care for your armor and your boots? Have your knives lost their shininess and become inadvertently dull because you failed to take the time to care for them?

If so, here are a handful of pro-active tips that can assist you in helping to maintain the integrity of your tactical gear.

Body Armor - Ensure that your armor stays clean and dry when not in use, and store it out of direct sunlight. It is highly advisable that you store it lying flat, not bunched up or curled over; therefore, make sure that it is flat if you are storing it in your trunk or on the backseat of your car. Try to keep it separate from other items in your trunk so that nothing slides around or hits it. In addition, try to make sure that nothing is left resting on top of it.

When cleaning your body armor, there are a few key things to take into consideration.

  1. Do not machine wash or use chemical products, such as bleaches or fabric softeners.
  2. Take out the different removable panels from the carrier (special threat plates, trauma inserts and armor panels), and carefully wipe them down with a damp sponge and a combination of mild laundry detergent and tepid water.
  3. Wipe off excess liquid and then also spot-wash the carrier and allow it to air dry on a flat surface before replacing the panels.

Furthermore, do not dry your carrier in a clothes dryer or in direct sunlight, and never leave it immersed in standing water for long periods of time. Always check that each panel is put back with the “strike face” side facing opposite your body.

Boots - When it comes to tactical boot care, getting your boots wet on a consistent basis will probably cause the most damage over time. Therefore, when your boots get wet, it is wise to take out the insoles and let them air dry naturally as soon as possible, preferably somewhere flat. Most washing machines will get banged up inside if you attempt to wash heavy boots so, if you do not have access to an industrial washing machine, it is best to hand wash them yourself.

Remove the shoelaces, wipe away any loose dirt from the sides and soles of each boot with a damp sponge, and then clean the nylon inserts with a small brush. After this is done, smear on some all-purpose leather cleaner bit by bit and wipe using circle strokes. After they are dry, you can buff the leather sections with polish. When the sparkle has returned to your boots, replace the shoelaces and insoles. With care and cleaning, your boots can look as new as the day you first received them!

Knives - In due course, any knife will become dull and blunt, especially when used on a day-to-day basis. Cleaning keeps a knife’s performance at its optimum level. In some situations, a dull blade is actually more dangerous than a sharp one, and rust and corrosion will occur if you fail to spend time carrying out proper maintenance. This means that keeping your knife spotless and well-oiled is the best defense against oxidation. If you need your knife sharpened, a professional staff member at a cutlery store can assist you.

To clean your knife, rinse the blade under the tap, making sure that the water removes any loose dirt or crusty residue. Once clean, dry thoroughly and then apply a small amount of oil to the blade – making sure that it does not come into contact with the handle – before polishing to a meticulous shine using a damp towel. You can use gun oil, machine oil, or 3-in-1 oil for this task.

Whether it’s your knives, your boots or your body armor, you must always set some time aside to care for your tactical equipment, so it can continue to function at the high levels of performance you have come to expect over the years. This will guarantee durability, longevity and, most important of all, dependability.

TYR Tactical specializes in ballistic vests, plate carriers, and military backpacks and bags. Our varied inventory also includes adjustable tactical molle pouches, sniper and reconnaissance harnesses, low visibility products, protective equipment, and much more. If you would like more information, please visit us online at or call 1-888-602-7667.

Spring Preparedness at Black River Outpost

In an effort to help preppers be better prepared for Spring, Black River Outpost is currently running their Spring sale on many preparedness items. This is a great chance to stock up on common items or even to use that tax refund to get a few bigger (aka costlier) items at a reduced price! Some of these items are over 50% of the suggested retail prices and include:

  • Ammunition
  • Radios
  • Bags & Packs
  • Knives & Blades
  • Cookware
  • Survival Foods
  • Lights
  • Paracord
  • AND More!

To see all of the items that are on sale, click on the image below. Don’t wait though, the sale won’t last forever and I am sure the best items will run out of stock fast!

Paracord Bracelets: Survival Near the Palm of Your Hand

Paracord Bracelets: Survival Near the Palm of Your Hand

When it comes to survival, there’s no such thing as “too much rope.” Need a shelter built? You’d better have a rope handy. Want to secure your food against scrounging wildlife? A little bit of rope might mean the difference between having supplies to eat, and having something eat all of your supplies. Need to bind up a broken limb or build a makeshift litter in which to drag an injured companion? You guessed it; without rope, you’re going to have a pretty difficult time (trust me, duct tape doesn’t work nearly as well as some people would have you believe).

Rope is a key ingredient in a hundred different emergency survival solutions, and as such, it’s always a good idea to keep plenty of strong rope on hand as part of any emergency kit. Of course, there’s a downside as well: rope, even when it’s bunched up into coils, can still take up valuable space, and unless you want to be carrying around an entire extra pack full of rope the next time you head out into the wilderness, you’re going to want to find a better way to pack and carry it. Well, don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Or rather, paracord has got you covered, and by that of course we mean that you should cover yourself in paracord.

Paracord is a light, thin nylon kernmantle rope that can generally hold up to 550 lbs without fraying or breaking. As you may have gathered from the name, It was originally designed to be used in parachuting during World War II. However, soldiers quickly learned that the rope itself was good for more than just allowing them to hang safely from canvas tarps as they descended gracefully from the sky. Once they were back on solid ground, they found that it actually came in handy in other situations as well. When a bootlace would break, paracord could easily fill in as makeshift replacement. When cargo needed to be secured on the go, paracord proved to be as durable as anything this side of steel cable. So, it’s no wonder that well over half a century after it’s initial introduction, paracord is still being used by hikers, campers, and survival enthusiasts around the world. Of course, most of them aren’t taking the paracord off of parachutes; instead, they’re finding other ways to keep paracord on their persons, in the form of belts and bracelets.

In addition to its strength, paracord is so thin that it can easily be weaved into a variety of intricate shapes and patterns, such as braids. Doing so allows the paracord to take up less space. This means that by turning a length of paracord into a belt, a necklace, or even a bracelet, a survivalist (or anyone else for that matter) could easily carry as much rope as they could ever need, without having to worry about how to pack it all. When properly woven, 50-100 feet of rope can be turned into a fashion accessory that could potentially save your life. A paracord survival bracelet can be easily unwound at a moment’s notice, and the rope itself can be be cut to varying lengths, or unraveled to produce even thinner strands that can be used for everything from floss, to fishing line, to suture thread.

Perhaps best of all, you don’t even need to be particularly crafty to create your own paracord bracelet; just buy a length of paracord and follow the instructions in the video linked to above.

Easy right? Once you’ve got your paracord bracelet, you’ll feel as though you’ve got the dangers of nature wrapped around your little finger (or around your wrist, or whatever). If only other emergency supplies were this easy to carry around. Of course, wearing a belt made from road flares would probably present its own unique issues, so maybe we should just stick with the paracord for now.

About The Author – Lee Flynn is a freelance writer and expert in emergency food preparedness and food storage.

Reinforcing The Need For Basic Preparedness

There are events that occur daily in our lives that reinforce the need to prep. Not all of these events are catastrophic and not even all of them are experiences that we witness first hand but, there are things that are constant reminders of why we should be prepared. Last week, my family and I got a not so subtle reminder of why basic preparedness is essential. A week ago, there were a number of devastating storms that caused tornadoes, torrential rainfall, and high winds throughout the Midwest United States. Our house happens to be situated in an area where we are susceptible to losing power as a result of high winds and murphy struck in a big way! We lost our power and were left in the dark for what we were told was going to be upwards of seven days! This is not what we had in mind as a way to spend our week. It was not going to be the end of the world though because we have a basic plan (as everyone should) to deal with such circumstances.

Basic Preparedness

Here are some key components to a basic emergency plan…

#1 – A Blackout Kit: Don’t get stuck fumbling around in the dark. Keep at least one source of backup lighting (flashlight, lightstick, lantern, etc.) available in an accessible and convenient spot. It might not be a bad idea to have multiples strategically staged throughout the house. A light source is also a good item to keep on your keychain in the event you are not near your blackout kit when there is a loss of power.

#2 – A Basic Medical Kit: First aid is something that could be needed at any time. Stick a kit in the car, in your desk at work, and have one at the house. A commercially produced kit is a good start, especially if you are not comfortable with the idea of building your own kit but look at what your needs are and what the contents of the kit are. Many of these pre-made first aid kits are lacking in the quantity or quality of the supplies included as well as missing some of the advanced components that you might need.

#3 – A Plan To Deal With Food: Not only is it necessary to provide fuel to our bodies on a daily basis, but it is also beneficial to avoid losing money and food as a result of spoilage. To meet our needs and avoid this loss, develop a plan to deal with the perishable food that is left on hand following a disaster. Two of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by cooking food with a barbecue grill or over a fire. Both bbq’s and fire pits are common place and can provide not only the means to cook but also heat water as needed. If space is limited, disposable, single use grills can be purchased to fulfill this requirement.

#4 – A Way To Get Clean Water: Water is great. Clean water is better. Every emergency kit should have a way to filter and decontaminate water. Consider also keeping some clean water stored at home, in the car, and even at work if feasible to have access to in an emergency. In the event that clean water is not always available, have a plan to locate and clean dirty water. Plan on having enough, or being able to get enough, water to have one gallon per person, per day for drinking and cooking at a minimum. If the resources are available, add an additional gallon per person, per day for hygiene purposes.

#5 – Shelter – Sheltering in place at home is typically the most comfortable way to wait out a storm. This is not always feasible though and a plan should be in place to go somewhere else if it is required. Look for a family member, friend, or acquaintance that lives on the other side of town, a different city, or even another state if that is what it takes to get to safety. It is advisable to have a minimum of two routes to get to each destination in the event that one route is closed or obstructed.

#6 – Security: I am a gun guy and think that if you are comfortable with gun ownership, then this should be a vital part of any security plan. It is also not the only answer. High quality locks on doors and windows are a basic component of security and should be the priority. A nonlethal defensive option should be available like pepper spray. If a firearm is the only tool that is available, it could lead to having to make a tough decision that might be avoided with a nonlethal option.

#7 – Energy: A secondary source of power (generator, solar panels, wind turbine, etc.) is a great thing to have when the power goes out. Not only does this maintain some of the basic comforts that require power but it can also be a way to minimize the loss of refrigerated and frozen foods. Keep these two things in mind when it comes to backup energy sources: 1. When an entire area is without power or systems of support, a dwelling with power will stand out like a lighthouse for lack of a better term. This can lead to becoming a potential target if things are really bad. 2. An energy source, like a generator, that is powered by fuel will require fuel to be stored to power the generator for a reasonable period of time. Even if a large system is not practical for you, a small portable solar system can be a great way to keep a few things charged.

It can never be definitely predicted when a disaster will strike. Having a leg up on the recovery by not being caught helpless can be a game changer. I was reminded of the basic need for preparedness last week. What will the situation be for you if a disaster were to strike today?

Safeguard Armor GHOST Giveaway!

Safeguard Armor has launched a new giveaway on their Facebook page. This month in celebration of the launch of their new GHOST™ Bullet, Knife Edge and Spike Proof Vest…..they have decided to give a set away!
Safeguard GHOST
The GHOST™ Covert Vest is extremely lightweight and boasts one of smallest carrier designs in the world. It offers up to level IIIa ballistic protection and can be upgraded with edged blade and spike protection.
All Safeguard protective panels are made from 100% Kevlar!To be entered all you have to do is:
1. Go to the Safeguard Armor Facebook page.2. Share the giveaway post.3. Like their page.That is it! The winner will be selected at random. The giveaway closes on the 30th of September 2013. Good Luck!


Surviving With Survivor Jane

There is a plethora of intelligent and helpful people in the survival and preparedness community and today I have the pleasure of featuring one of the best, Survivor Jane, in a short interview where she shares some of her insight into preparedness.

Make sure to check out Jane on Facebook, Twitter, and don’t miss the wealth of knowledge that can be gleaned from her website.

Q: If I were limited to only one firearm for survival, I would own a…

A: Actually, although I do recommend that a person have the three (3) essential firearms in their home for protection and security; a handgun, shotgun and rifle, I always stress that we need to think outside of the box for self-defense and not rely solely on firearms.  For some having a firearm could be more detrimental than helpful in a tense situation.  But, to answer your question in a generalized way, if I were put in a position of only having access to one firearm, my hope would be that it was a shotgun.

Q: The single most overlooked prep item is…

A: A poncho. It is one of the most versatile items you could have in your survival preps. It can keep you dry and warm, it can be used to create shelter, you can use it for water collection and, if need be could hold enough air to keep you afloat in water – just to name a few uses.

Q: The first thing to disappear following a disaster will be…

A: Well this really depends.  What I mean by this is … during Hurricane Katrina I saw a lady on TV wading in chest deep water holding a Dyson vacuum cleaner over her head.  A person’s priorities can get displaced before and after a disaster. I remember going into a store to buy some hurricane lantern oil before Hurricane Andrew and people were panic buying.  Some of the things they were getting made no sense.  It was as if they knew they needed to buy but just didn’t know what to get.  I always suggest to people that they need to think ‘basic needs’ to help then decide what they need to buy. Water, food, shelter, warmth, protection and, first-aid.  But if I had to say one thing … okay two things, I’d say plywood and generators.

Q: If I could have a retreat anywhere in the world, it would be…

A: Lucky me, I actually moved to my retreat in Western North Carolina from Florida (which to me is a death trap should a major catastrophe happen – with only one way out.)  I now live in a passive solar home on a defensible piece of property, with a large garden and small farm animals.  To me the size of the property is not as critical as water.  If you don’t have access to a stream, pond or river then a good rain water collection system is a must.  This is huge!  No water – no life.

Q: In my opinion, the best commercially produced survival food on the market today is…

A: Hmmm. Okay that’s a hard one. I am all about redundancy and that goes for food as well.  But, I don’t think people should just rely on commercial “survival food” alone.   I think we all need to have the basics like flour, sugar, rice, salt, spices and cornmeal, etc. (all stored in appropriate air tight containers or packaging.)  Then have canned goods, dehydrated foods and preserved foods.  And lastly, commercial survival foods.   So many people get caught up in the consumer part of survival by try to buy everything without giving thought to what happens if these items are destroyed, go bad or any number of other factors that could come into play.  Don’t be like the one person that I spoke with who purchased tons (a lot) of #10 cans of mac/cheese for their kids because that is what they were used to eating at home.  Then during Super Storm Sandy they made some of the canned mac/cheese for the kids and they hated it.  Now they are stuck with all those cans.  I would suggest trying several of the commercial survival foods brands – there are definitely differences in taste and texture. Remember these survival food cans may be all you have to eat so you want to like them. Also, don’t just store your food.  Use it and rotate it.  First in – First out. This goes for the commercial cans too.

Q: The items that I have on me at all times include…

A: My go-bag is with me at all times.  But I always have paracord in the form of a bracelet, and in my EDC bag I carry a folding knife, a multi-tool, a poncho, small first-aid kit, water purification tablets, iodine tables, a face mask, gloves, small manicure set, goggles, a solar blanket, a small flashlight, a whistle and a self-defense pen.

Q: The last book that I read was…

A: I am currently reading a great book for review titled: ‘Jingling Our Change’ by Kelli Otting and, without creating a spoiler alert – I’ll suffice it to say it’s not too far from where this Country may be heading.

Q: One thing that I would miss the most if an EMP shifted my lifestyle back to the 1800’s would be…

A: Hmmm, again.  I am really working hard towards an off-grid existence but I’m not quite there yet.  I guess I’d say one thing that comes to mind is ice to keep things frozen until I can preserve them.  When it rains it pours at harvest time and sometimes all I can do is freeze something until I can dehydrate or preserve it.

Q: Stuck on an island and forced to choose one person to survive with, I would pick…

A: Wow.  Good question.  I’d have to say I’m pretty happy with my prepper-mate – so I’d pick him – forced or not. Trust is very important when forming survival alliances. Just because someone has skills and knowledge does not mean they will have ‘your’ best interests when the poo-hits-the-fan.

Q: The vehicle I drive is…

A: I don’t really like to get into too personal of information and this question kinda boarders on that.    Now if you would like to know what vehicle I’d like to have… it would be one of those awesome all-terrain armored vehicles with the machine-gun mounted on the top. Just sayin’.

Don’t miss out! Tomorrow, August 1st, 2013, Survivor Jane will be live Tweeting from the Press Event & Premier (On Location) of National Geographic’s new series, Doomsday Castle.

Vertical Gardening For Survival

Did you know that you can grow pretty much any amount of fresh produce that you could possibly want regardless of the amount of space that you have available?  

The simple answer is to look up! Traditional gardening dictates that a garden must be grown on large expanses of flat land, however this is simply not the case, there is infinitely more space when you literally turn that notion on its head. 

Vertical gardening is the only logical step in this ever-expanding urban environment that we live in. While our forefathers and mothers were able to purchase houses and live off the land, this unfortunately does not hold true today. Even if you don’t live in an urban area, you may simply live in a place where the soil and weather simply do not allow for a traditional garden, or you may not have the time it takes to get your existing soil to become a suitable habitat for your plants. 

As our croplands shrink more and more, vertical gardening may well become the only choice for someone who wishes to flex their green thumb. Simply speaking, vertical gardening is making the most of your usable gardening space by utilizing climbing plants and vegetables, or by training non-climbing varieties to grow in small pockets of soil that are lifted away from the ground. This type of gardening has many advantages over traditional gardening, and once you discover how easy it is to move away from a traditional horizontally planted garden to a vertical one, you’ll be rewarded with a cornucopia of benefits. 

Your new vertical garden involves less work and places less strain on your mind as well as your back. Even avid gardeners with plenty of space for a traditional garden are slowly moving towards vertical gardening. 

A traditional garden can lead to tragically disappointing results, as the more growing space you have, the more likely you are to get discouraged by near constant weeding, pest infestations and diseases, not to mention that many find watering such a large area is a never-ending obligation. All of these combined create a daunting task for even the most expert gardener. With vertical gardening, you can GROW UP regardless of how much land you have to work with.

But the supermarket is just around the corner…right?

So why on earth would you want to go to the trouble of planting your own garden? Ask yourself: Why would you walk to the supermarket and pay for a bruised and chemical covered tomato, when you could simply pluck a ripe, delicious one from a vine directly outside your window? 

Most grocery stores pride themselves on having “only the freshest ingredients,” and while this is all fine and dandy in times of abundance, grocery stores only keep about two to three days’ worth of items on their shelves. 

During an emergency, when everyone is clamoring for the same items at the same time, there is a good chance that you won’t get what you need. 

The items that will sell out first are the ones that people know will help them get through a time of crisis. It is during these times when learning to grow your own produce can be a major boom in your survival and overall well-being. You will have enough fresh produce to sustain yourself and, if all goes well, enough to barter for other items or creature comforts (think toiletries, medical supplies, entertainment items, etc.)

Gardening your own fresh and self-sustainable produce should never be out of anyone’s reach… Make sure that it isn’t out of yours. 

Recommended Today!

Vertical Gardening- Feed a Family of 4 in Just 4 Feet of Space!

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5 Bug Out Bag Clothing Considerations

If there is a catastrophic disaster that were to occur right now, many of us would be left with the clothing on our back and whatever is packed into our Bug Out Bag (BOB). With this scenario in mind, a bug out or move to get home begins with what you have on your person. Perhaps the most important of these things in the scenario is the protection that your clothing offers you. Depending on your occupation, hobbies, and habits, the clothing on your back could be a benefit or a burden.

Like the greatest bean dip you ever tasted, the clothing you depend on to survive should be based on a system of layers. Now, I would not recommend wearing onions, sour cream, or guacamole and leaving the bean dip reference only as a way to equate the way that layers can enhance the “flavor” or comfort of your survival situation. Consider the following factors when deciding on what clothing to pack in your bug out bag.

Photo Credit:

Base Layer – The base layer of clothing consists of undergarments and can vary based on the environmental conditions. During cold weather, additions to the base layer can include thermal underwear and vary in the different weights available. Even in times of warmer weather, a good base layer can be an added benefit during night hours or in an environment such as the mountains where the temperature can differ drastically depending on the time of the day. An important consideration to keep in mind when looking at clothing for your base layer is to employ moisture-wicking technology if it is available. This will pull moisture away from the skin to avoid environmental injuries as well as maximizing comfort.

Intermediate Layer – The intermediate layer will typically consist of standard clothing like pants and shirts. The season of the year will typically determine the needed clothing for a bug out bag. Short as well as long sleeve shirts can be an integral part of the layering strategy, where shorts and pants can also be rotated as the seasons change. Even during the summer months though, it can be beneficial to keep long pants in a bug out bag because of the protection they can offer regardless of whether you may bug out through a rural or urban area.

Outer Layer – Clothing items that fall into the outer layer category are only worn as needed. While outer garments are typically thought of as something that is worn to keep the wearer warm, it is also important to remember pieces of clothing that can assist the wearer during warmer temperatures as well. During hot weather, a hat for example can protect the wearer from getting sun in their eyes as well as a sunburn on the head and neck. In addition to hats, gloves, scarves, coats, rain gear, and snow gear can all be necessary items to include in a BOB.

Versatility – There are several clothing items that have been developed to accomplish multiple purposes with only one garment. Convertible clothing if you will. These are the ideal choices to include in a bug out bag. It will not only minimize the number of items in the bag but will also reduce the total weight as well. Examples of these items that come to mind include pants that have the bottom portion zip off to convert into shorts, long sleeve shirts with sleeves that roll up for more of a short sleeve feel, and jackets that have removable sleeves to become a vest.

Durability – Regardless of the items that are in your BOB, they can be worthless if they are not durable enough to withstand the purpose for which you will use them. The old theory that may apply here is to be frugal but not cheap. Buying the best product that you can afford may, in the end, still cost less than replacing an item over and over because of wear and tear. Look for articles of clothing that are specifically engineered to withstand hard and repetitive use. This is the greatest value for your prepping dollars.

Putting together a BOB can be a daunting task but it is one that can be very rewarding if you ever need it. Make sure that you have the proper clothing to offer function, protection, and a safe arrival back at the ranch.

10 Survival Lessons Learned In Combat

There is a new article I authored titled, 10 Survival Lessons Learned In Combat that is available to read on I took the time to share a few points that can increase your chances of survival during difficult times based on my experiences in combat. It has received positive feedback and should be worth your time to check out.

Survival Insight With Survival Sherpa

This week I have the pleasure of sharing some perspective on survival from Todd at Survival Sherpa. Thank you to Todd for sharing his views on preparedness and some of the challenges that would face us in the event of a disaster.
1. If I were limited to only one firearm for survival, I would own a: Depends on the survival scenario. In wilderness survival, I’d have to choose my Ruger 10/22 with my homemade paracord sling. Paracord is the duct tape of wilderness survival and has many handy uses. Plus, .22 ammo is cheap, compact, and doesn’t make a big boom. With proper aim and shot placement, I’ve heard of many big game kills with this humble little gun. That’s the rumor.
In an urban/suburban SHTF event, I’d upgrade to an AR platform in 5.56 or 7.62 or both.
2. The single most overlooked prep item is: Whole civilizations were built around containers. I’m a container hoarder – to Dirt Road Girl’s chagrin. Coffee cans, altoid tins, washtubs, glass jars, mason jars (with lids, of course), barrels, and different sized buckets.
3. The first thing to disappear following a disaster will be: Food and water on Wally World’s shelves. The unprepared panic like a hungry swarm of locust. It happens down south where we live with a light dusting of snow.
4. If I could have a retreat anywhere in the world, it would be: My parents place where I grew up – minus the gnats. There’s plenty of natural resources, water, animals (domesticated and wild), woodlots, farm land, family, and neighbors with the same self-sufficient mindset. Now if I could magically move all that to a sparsely populated state/area, I’d do so in a minute. It’s a bit too close to large population centers for my liking.
In the mean time, I keep doing the stuff here. Bloom where we’re planted. Unless I hear from God to uproot and leave family, I’m staying put.
5. In my opinion, the best commercially produced survival food on the market today is: The advice of our prepper world is to store what you eat and eat what you store. Hum, since I don’t eat wheat based products or processed foods, I don’t have a “best” commercially produced survival food to recommend. After converting to a Primal/Paleo style of eating over three years ago, I don’t purchase conventional survival foods. We aim for a 6 month to one year supply of nutrient dense whole foods. I wrote about my Primal Pantry if anyone is interested. We do have a few freeze dried camping meals in our go bags in case of an emergency. As a Primal Prepper, I’m always on the look out for new, creative ways to store what we eat – a caveman’s diet of sorts.
6. The items that I have on me at all times include: A flashlight (Streamlight ProTac 2L), phone, reading glasses, Alice that goes boom boom, swiss army folding knife, wallet, duct tape wrapped in around an old card in my wallet, chap stick, small Bic lighter, and toothpicks (I’ve been addicted to chewing them since I was kid). On exercise outings in the woods or around town I carry my Camel-bak pack with all these goodies – plus water. I never use ear buds to listen to music or podcasts when I’m running or exercising in public. When running barefoot, I’m able to sneak up on people when they aren’t distracted by music. With ear buds blaring, I could roll up behind them on a Harley unnoticed.
7. The last book that I read wasAntifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the bestselling author of The Black Swan. It’s not light reading, but very applicable to prepping and life in general. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t read it.
8. One thing that I would miss the most if an EMP shifted my lifestyle back to the 1800’s would be: Technology/communicaitons. I’m writing this now on modern technology. You’re reading it through the same medium. Even though I adhere as much as possible to the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Sherpa Simple) method of living, I would miss the access to technology and being able to communicate electronically… for a time.
9. Stuck on an island and forced to choose one person to survive with, I would pick: Chuck Norris. Seriously, Dirt Road Girl, my beautiful wife and partner. We’re doing the stuff, together. She’s proven her survival skills many times. The latest was beating stage 4 cancer.
10. If I could own any vehicle, it would be: Now I drive a Toyota Forerunner and my neighbor’s truck. I sold my truck to help with cancer bills. DRG drives a Nissan Xterra. I’d love to own a 1969 Ford Branco one day. Something I can work on without computers. For two wheels I’d go with a Kawasaki KLR650 dual sport since I sold my Harley.
Thanks again to Todd. Make sure to check out Survival Sherpa online, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Q & A with Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition

This week’s prepperview is with Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition, a site packed with information on homesteading, preparedness, disaster and emergency planning. Whether you are looking for prepping supplies, recipes, information, or alternative medicine, Ready Nutrition has it. Thank you to Tess for the time and effort that she took to answer my questions.

The Prepared Ninja Prepperview


1. If I were limited to only one firearm for survival, I would own a: Wow… that’s a tough one. We have a few different types of guns and rifles around here, but I’m pretty partial to my .9 mm Smith and Wesson M&P. I have been training with this handgun the most and feel very comfortable using it.

2. The single most overlooked prep item is: A very practical but overlooked prep item is duct tape. Preppers should have a large supply of this stuff.

  • You can protect your home and windows from storms
  • Waterproof essential gear  ( In WWII soldiers used duct tape to keep water out of ammunition cases)
  • Fix leaks in gear or boats
  • Make emergency shoes
  • Winterproof shoes and boots
  • Make cordage
  • Repairs glasses
  • Makeshift band-aid
  • Can be used to repair leaking hoses in cars

Just to name a few…

3. The first thing to disappear following a disaster will be: Water. At the last minute, the unprepared will flock to the stores to purchase water and the demand will be so high the stores will be unable to fill it. Having water stored as well as ways to filter and treat it will give you an advantage.

4. If I could have a retreat anywhere in the world, it would be: My ideal retreat would be in the mountains of Oregon on 30+ acres with a large water source nearby. Although the terrain can be rough, it would be nice to be nestled in a valley where I can have a large garden, timber for fuel and a large grazing area for livestock. And let’s not forget about a fantastic view.

5. In my opinion, the best commercially produced survival food on the market today is: You can never go wrong with beans and rice. Both foods are extremely versatile, can be eaten for any mealtime, have long shelf lives and best of all – they are cheap! But, when they are combined together, they make a complete protein, which would be essential in a survival situation.

6. The items that I have on me at all times include: As a mother of three, I have to be ready for all types of “mini” emergencies that will come up. So, I carry a hiking daypack with me and include a pocket knife, 1 water bottle, granola bar/snacks, emergency whistle, $20, notepad/pen, chapstick, cell phone and a small first aid kit.

7. The last book that I read was: Self-Reliance and Other Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson

8. One thing that I would miss the most if an EMP shifted my lifestyle back to the 1800’s would be: I would definitely miss the constant supply of running water. I’ve been in off-grid situations before, one event was for 2+ weeks and not having water was tough.

As a prepper, I have water stored as well as multiple ways to filter and treat it, but it sure is convenient to have large amounts readily available for laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc.

9. Stuck on an island and forced to choose one person to survive with, I would pick: My husband, Mac. He is a partner in many ways, we understand each other on many levels, are both like-minded and we both know that we can rely on each other. You can’t ask for anything better than that!

10. The vehicle I drive is: I am a mom of three, a Girl Scout leader and soccer mom – so I’m sporting the mini-van. I’d love to say that I have a souped up survival truck, but I don’t.

We are planning on investing in some mountain bikes for the family. It’s a great way to exercise, cut down on gasoline and it’s the ULTIMATE off grid form of transportation.

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals. When a catastrophic collapse cripples society, grocery store shelves will empty within days. But if you follow this book’s plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply, your family will have plenty to eat for weeks, months or even years. Visit her web site at

Prepperview With The Berkey Guy

This week’s prepperview is with Jeff “The Berkey Guy” Gleason of LPC Survival, a powerhouse dealer of survival products that specializes in Berkey Water Filtration Systems. I would like to thank Jeff for his time and willingness to share some of his thoughts and insight into preparing for an uncertain future.

The Prepared Ninja Prepperview


 1. If I were limited to only one firearm for survival, I would own a:  Just cannot narrow it down to one, but having a handgun is a must.

2. The single most overlooked prep item is: Water Storage and a Water Purification System to purify the water.

3. The first thing to disappear following a disaster will be: Water in stores and preparedness products.

4. If I could have a retreat anywhere in the world, it would be: Any place away from big cities.

5. In my opinion, the best commercially produced survival food on the market today is: Mountain House – Any of their food.

6. The items that I have on me at all times include: Great question, but keeping it personal, other than keys for cars and house.

7. The last book that I read was: The Survival Medicine Handbook by Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy.

8. One thing that I would miss the most if an EMP shifted my lifestyle back to the 1800’s would be: Internet

9. Stuck on an island and forced to choose one person to survive with, I would pick: My wife, she’s my life.

10. The vehicle I drive is:  A silver car and a blue car, no other info forthcoming.

Thanks again to Jeff for his time and thoughts. If you get the chance, make sure to swing by LPC Survival and check out all the great products offered for sale on Jeff’s website.

10 ?’s with Damian Brindle of reThinkSurvival

This is the first of what I hope to be a series of several “prepperviews” (interviews with preparedness professionals).

Damian Brindle from reThinkSurvival was kind enough to give us some insight into his views on preparedness and survival. I found his answers both informative and entertaining. For those that are not familiar with his site, make sure to check it out at It is loaded with great information, YouTube videos that are posted daily, and the Pathway 2 Preparedness course.


Here is what Damian had to say…

Please don’t consider me a professional. I’m just another American trying to better prepare his family for whatever might come our way… nothing more, nothing less.

1. If I were limited to only one firearm for survival, I would own a: Ruger 10/22 (or something similar) for a variety of basic survival reasons, including cost of ammo, ease of use, versatility around a homestead, etc.

2. The single most overlooked prep item are: buckets—and plenty of them—in all sizes. They have so many uses, from hauling water to storing food, caching supplies, as a makeshift toilet, wash station, and plenty more uses. Be sure to include the lids too!

3. The first thing to disappear following a disaster will be: whatever it is you failed to stock up on yesterday. :) But, if I had to be pinned down then I would say gasoline because nobody knows how to do anything if they can’t use their cars.

4. If I could have a retreat anywhere in the world, it would be: wherever nobody else has thought of and, sadly, I’m pretty sure there are no more hiding places on Earth. That said, it would probably still be here in America, specifically the northwest. I would need a plentiful water resource and a lot of trees to harvest. Beyond that, I could make do fairly well with whatever I’m presented with.

5. In my opinion, the best commercially produced survival food on the market today is: anything made by Mountain House. I know there are plenty of freeze-dried food choices but I tend to like their products, particularly the spaghetti and lasagna meals.

6. The items that I have on me at all times include: my keys, cell phone, a USB drive with pertinent info (encrypted, of course), a photon keychain light, CRKT folding knife, kubotan, wallet with assorted supplies (e.g., credit card Fresnel lens, bandages, some OTC meds, duct tape, etc), and occasionally a Leatherman Wave with a firesteel and another mini light.

7. The last book that I read was: a review of Fight, Flight, or Hide. The Guide to a Mass Shooting. One of these days I’ll get to reading classic novels instead of survival and preparedness info… one day.

8. One thing that I would miss the most if an EMP shifted my lifestyle back to the 1800’s would be: music. But, if we’re relatively prepared then we should be able to play a few favorite tunes every now and then without much trouble.

9. Stuck on an island and forced to choose one person to survive with, I would pick: my wonderful wife as my survival partner. Gee, how could I not… she might read this?

10. The vehicle I drive is: a lowly Saturn Sedan. Some day it will be a tank, I swear it. ;)

Thank you to Damian for sharing with us. Keep an eye out for future prepperviews with professionals from the survival and preparedness niche.

If All Else Fails, A Hillbilly Winch Prevails!

There was recently an episode of the TV show, Hillbilly Blood where the two men, Eugene and Spencer, featured on the show used a tree as a makeshift winch. The basic concept of the tree powered winch is that the weight of a falling tree can create enough energy to move a heavy or stuck item when a cable is attached towards the top of the falling tree and the item to be moved.

There are many potential situations where a makeshift solution can be the only option. If there were ever to be a catastrophic event such as an EMP, if a task needs to be accomplished without making an equipment purchase, or even if you do not have the equipment, the hillbilly tree winch could be your solution! The basic concept of the hillbilly winch can be seen in the illustration below:


The video below shows a brief synopsis of Spencer and Eugene actually using the hillbilly winch to recover a Willys Jeep from a deep rut in the ground. Notice the use of cable as the line for the winch and the fact that an old tire is used as a connection buffer between the Jeep’s bumper and the winch line.

If you are interested in learning more about hillbilly know-how, check out Land Of The Sky Wilderness  School (Spencer Bolejack’s Website) or Trapper Jack Survival (Eugene Runkis’ YouTube Channel).

Hillbilly Blood airs every Saturday on Destination America at 10PM EST/9PM CST.

Book Review: Staying Home by Alex Smith

Alex Smith has a new book out titled, Staying Home: Protecting Your Home After Disaster Strikes. I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of Staying Home to read and I immediately knew it was a great companion guide to his previous release, Getting Home: Making It Back To Your Family After Disaster Strikes.

It is important to note that this book is written with the novice to moderate skill leveled prepper in mind. If your interpretation of your survival skills is the equivalent of a hybrid Jason Bourne, Chuck Norris, Jack Bauer, and Rambo…this book may not be for you. However, I feel confident that almost anyone could benefit from reading Staying Home.

There are some key points to be considered when making the decision to “bug in” during a disaster and Alex does a great job of covering these points. Staying Home reviews:

  • Selecting A Location – General Considerations
  • Selecting A Location – Property Characteristics
  • Sustainability
  • Hardening A Property
  • Hardening A Home
  • Home Preparations
  • Skills For Hard Times
  • Community
  • Surviving A Disaster

It is not just these key points that create value for the reader of Staying Home. Some important reminders that Alex includes; the fact that making your home a “hard” target will make it less likely to be bothered with in comparison to “softer” targets as well as the fact that the tools are not enough, you must be trained to properly use them, add even more value to this great read.

There is entirely too much information that is included in the book to outline here but it is abundantly clear to me that Alex Smith has hit another home run. Staying Home has something for everyone and at the Kindle price of $3.99 and print price of $12.99 it is worth every penny.

Buy it here before it is too late to benefit from the information!

75 Reasons To Prepare

There are many reasons to make the effort to be prepared. The driving force behind many preppers is the hope that if something happens, they and their family/close friends will be better off than if they were not to make such efforts. With that being said, what event(s) should you focus on being prepared to survive? Below are 75 reasons that should be considered when you decide what your greatest risks are and what you should tailor your preparedness efforts towards. While this may not be every reason to prepare, it should at a minimum provide a good foundation to get started with. Note: They are numbered as a means of keeping track of the different reasons and not because they are in any order of significance or preference.

75 Reasons To Prepare

  1. Earthquake
  2. Flood
  3. Wildfire
  4. Power Outage
  5. Structure Fire
  6. Financial Collapse
  7. Societal Collapse
  8. Riots
  9. Tsunami
  10. Nuclear Reactor Meltdown
  11. EMP
  12. Acts Of Terror
  13. Acts Of War
  14. Flu Pandemic
  15. Plague
  16. Food Shortage
  17. Disruptions In Supply Chains
  18. Government Imposed Rationing
  19. Civil Unrest
  20. Coronal Mass Ejections/Solar Flares
  21. Government Imposed Furloughs
  22. Martial Law
  23. Tornado
  24. Hurricane
  25. Unemployment
  26. Permanent Disability
  27. Temporary Disability
  28. E. Coli
  29. Contaminated Water Sources
  30. Oil Spill
  31. Disease Outbreak
  32. Contaminated Medication Supplies
  33. Government Shut Downs
  34. Financial Depression
  35. Drought
  36. Heat Wave
  37. Currency Inflation/Devaluation
  38. Internet Crash/Outage
  39. Bank Run
  40. Taxation
  41. Blizzard/Snow Storm
  42. Population Spikes
  43. Medication Resistant Infection
  44. Modified Strains of Disease/Illness
  45. Industrial Accident
  46. Military Coup
  47. Sudden Changes In World Leaders
  48. Skyrocketing Commodity Prices
  49. Cyber Terrorism
  50. Terminal Illness
  51. Government Regulation
  52. Ammunition Shortages
  53. Pollution
  54. Loss Of A Loved One
  55. Elections
  56. Gas Leak
  57. Unavailability Of Emergency Services
  58. Meteor
  59. Lawsuit
  60. Genetically Modified Foods
  61. Volcano
  62. Avalanche
  63. Hail Storm
  64. Animal Disease Outbreak
  65. Crop Decimation
  66. Hazardous Material Incident
  67. Infrastructure Failure
  68. Labor Strikes/Disputes
  69. Lightning Storms
  70. Landslide
  71. Transportation Disaster
  72. Famine
  73. Ice Storm
  74. Save Money(Buy In Bulk/Buy Now=Savings on the future cost of goods.)
  75. Avoid being in a position of regret later, “It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.” ~Anonymous

What are you prepared to survive?

Please leave a comment if you have any others reasons that you prepare…

The Ultimate Survival Vehicle

Have you ever wanted to ford a river in your RV? Or perhaps something less exciting like driving up the side of a snow-covered mountain? It is possible and it also could be features of the ultimate survival vehicle…

Enter the EarthRoamer! Half luxury camper and half ultimate, go anywhere and do anything off-road vehicle.

So what makes the EarthRoamer the ultimate survival vehicle?

  • The EarthRoamer runs on a diesel engine platform that not only results in the fuel being more stable but there is the option of running a 20% Biodiesel and 80% Standard Diesel Fuel mix without any modification to the vehicle.
  • Solar capability allows the user to power devices from the vehicle no matter where you find yourself. The standard solar capacity of this vehicle is 660 watts with up to 1.1 kiloWatts being available on some models.
  • The one piece composite body is built to last and will mitigate the chances of environmental intrusions into the camper.
  • There are no special licensing requirements to operate an EarthRoamer Expedition Vehicle. Anyone that is capable of driving a full size pick-up can drive an EarthRoamer.
  • Features on the EarthRoamer models include some military grade components that add to the durability and reliability of the vehicle.
  • There are almost limitless options in the size and capacity of these vehicles. The EarthRoamer XV-HD is available in 24 different lengths providing an option that will work for anyone.
  • Built in HVAC systems provides heat and air conditioning off the built-in solar and diesel systems for extended periods of time.
  • This is the coolest and most comfortable monster truck ever!

Obviously this is not an all-inclusive list and some users may find value in features that others do not appreciate. When it comes to bugging out or surviving in a vehicle, there is not a better choice.

This is an excerpt from the EarthRoamer website that makes a couple of good points:

Owners of EarthRoamer Xpedition Vehicles have the freedom to travel, camp and explore on their terms. Gone is the expense and hassle of airline travel and onerous TSA policies. Gone are the hassles of preplanning where you will stay each night and making expensive hotel reservations. Do you want to bring your pets with you, eat the foods that you like and sleep in your own comfortable bed each night? – no problem when you travel in an EarthRoamer.

I especially like the idea of not dealing with the TSA!

Check out video of the EarthRoamer models in action:

*Please not that the Jeep model of EarthRoamer is not in production. It was a concept that was slated for production but was cancelled because of the Wrangler platform not being available with a diesel engine.

The capabilities of the EarthRoamer models are almost endless…as long as your budget can accommodate the cost, which starts at about $260,000 and can reach $500,000. That is a pretty penny! Actually more like 50,000,000 pennies but who is counting? The good news is that for those that can tolerate the idea of a pre-owned EarthRoamer, one can be found on consignment that has been gone through by the factory starting at the low price of $139,000.


The EarthRoamer models boast some impressive capabilities…



Overall Vehicle Dimensions


8.5 feet

8.0 feet


12.6 feet

11.0 feet


19.7 – 38.8 feet

22.6 – 27.5 feet

Load Capacity


26,000 pounds

19,500 pounds

Camper Interior Dimensions

Bunk Area Interior Height

3.0 feet

2.8 feet

Camper Stand-up Height

7.0 feet

6.3 feet

Camper  Length

15.3 – 32.5 feet

15.3 – 19.3 feet


Cab Seating

2-6 adults

2-6 adults

Camper Seating

4-10 adults

4-6 adults


4-6 adults

2-4 adults



46 inches

41 inches


17.6 inches

12.4 inches

Tire Load Rating

12,300 pounds

6,779 pounds

Base Truck





Ford Power Stroke


6.7 turbo

6.7 turbo


Inline 6



360 hp

300 hp


800 foot pounds

660 foot pounds


Allison 2500

Ford Torque Shift



100-145 gallons

40-90 gallons


1.1-2.2 kilowatts

.66 -1.1 kilowatts


12.6-25.3 kilowatt hours

6.3-12.6 kilowatt hours


100-250 gallons

85-135 gallons

Hot Water

20 gallons

6 gallons


6.0-11.0 cubic feet

6 cubic feet


2.1-5.3 cubic feet

2.1 cubic feet

Air Conditioner

30,000 Btu

12,000 Btu


27,300 Btu

13,650 Btu

Additional Features

Clothes Washer & Dryer



Central Vacuum




I can promise you one thing. I cannot afford one of these vehicles, but if anyone wants to give me one I will take it. The worst case scenario would be that you find yourself owning an EarthRoamer and nothing bad ever happens. In that case you end up with a sweet ride to travel with! Sounds like a win-win to me.

How will you get out of Dodge if the going gets rough?

The End Of The World: The Sequel

The End of the World: The Sequel

by J.V.

For let us make no mistake. If the end of the world appeared in all the literal trappings of the Apocalypse,* if the modern materialist saw with his own eyes the heavens rolled up* and the great white throne appearing,* if he had the sensation of being himself hurled into the Lake of Fire,* he would continue forever, in that lake itself, to regard his experience as an illusion and to find the explanation of it in, psycho-analysis, or cerebral pathology. – CS Lewis

I am in my late 50s, and have seen “end of the world” predictions for a half century.

I also do preparedness.

So… what gives?

I have indeed lived through the “Run for the hills, the end of the world is coming” scares of many past decades: the Cold War, various asteroid, comets and rogue planets making a guest appearance at a planet near you, sundry predictions of WWIII starting, Y2K, the annual end of the world meltdown predictions from the global warming charlatans, and much, much more (including the epic global catastrophes of Jennifer Lopez’s Gigli and Kevin Costner’s Waterworld!)   I have  a particular distaste for the issue of  anthropogenic global warming – on which I have done a 400 page paper – and which I consider to be perhaps the most expensive fraud ever perpetrated on mankind, bar none.

As one writer, whose name escapes me now, once observed, he had lived through many disasters, the vast majority of which never happened.

So, why is it that I do preparedness?

Simple – risk mitigation, a knowledge of history and an understanding that we live in a universe that – like it or not, be it long or short, a culture eventually reaps what it sows (even though individuals may escape).  There clearly is one “possibility” that is indeed certain: I have to die, and I have to live until I die.  In other words, if I don’t die, I have 100% probability of getting old, and then dying (of course, as Keynes famously observed, in the long run, we’re all dead). Thus, one form of preparedness is that I plan for either retirement, and/or make sure my will is in order (it might also be helpful to make peace with God – after all, you are going to be dead a lot longer than you are going to be alive.)  Similarly, it is also likely that if you devote an extreme amount of time to preparedness, your wife and children will either leave you, or you run the serious risk of alienating all of them. Or, if you aren’t married, you will end up with very few friends – and even less prospects of ever getting married!  Preparedness starts with a dispassionate analysis of possible outcomes, based on your understanding of the world and history. It also means the prepper should make sure to take adequate time to smell the roses in his journey to readiness. You do not want to reach the end of next year, next decade, or the end of your life, having lived in a bomb shelter, or never having had the opportunity to actually visit the Corn Palace, in Mitchell, South Dakota. (Ok… well, make that the Pyramids at sunrise, or the Eiffel Tower at sunset, but you get my drift.)  By the same token, one also needs to determine the value of that new Lexus vis-à-vis the value of preparedness and “only” being able to afford a Toyota Corolla instead.  I don’t know your financial situation – however, I do know that a plurality of westerners have chosen to live for today – with the problem being  that the results of  “Live for today, for tomorrow we die” is that tomorrow you don’t die. Rather, you wake up and you have a massive hangover, you wake up and find there is no seed corn for next year’s planting – or you wake up and find you and are in debt (as an individual or society) that you will never  be able to pay back.

This, then, is the initial step in the preparedness journey – prioritizations, and a cold analysis of what is certain to happen, likely to happen, possible to happen, and only remotely likely to happen. Yes, this will certainly be a judgment call – it can’t be helped – but your decisions can be reasonably informed, as much as your – and my – time allows.

So why prep? First, the goal is not to live in fear.  Preparedness – paradoxically combined with faith in God – is the antidote to fear.  In contrast to FDR’s dictum that the government should provide freedom from fear and want, the prepper is one who believes the same thing – only brought about by his own actions, not that  of the nanny state, which inevitably can only do the exact same thing using your money – and do it half as well, using twice the dollars. You also need to weigh how much you believe is self-reliance - can you live with yourself being utterly dependent on everyone and everything. Yes, no man is an island, most of us live in community, and we need to interact, so there is indeed a continuum between total dependence and total self-reliance, with no one at either extreme. However, there clearly is a point where one “depends on the kindness of strangers,” or worse, becomes a ward of the state. If you are comfortable with this, please stop reading!

Another goal is to have the self-respect that can only be found in a reasonable degree of self-reliance. You cannot have true self- respect if you have no preparations made for what you determine are realistic threats, and expect others to rescue you. Further, one also has an obligation to provide for one’s family – not the nanny state, not the government, not the socialists – but you and me, individually. Indeed, the great falsehood about socialism, as Bastiat observed, is that “it is the great fiction, whereby everybody endeavours to live off of everybody else.” It doesn’t work, it hasn’t worked, and it by definition can never work – but that never stops socialists from their “we’re smarter, and this time we will get it right.” As a corollary of this, yet one further goal of the prepper is to not become victimized by the by a socialist mediated economic collapse (and they always end up collapsing) – be is a slow, grinding Argentinian-style collapse, or something more rapid and calamitous.

Am I being overly dramatic about what might result from an economic collapse? Ask someone from  Argentina (which used to be one of the richest countries in the world 100 years ago), from the Weimar Republic, from Greece, Spain, Portugal or Ireland today, or New Zealand in 1986,  or any number of other countries around the world that have experienced this.

History also guides my concern for preparedness. And yes, those who don’t know history – think those people you saw interviewed on Jay Leno’s walkabouts – will indeed watch it repeat… or at least see it rhyme.

And what is that history? Just to select a few examples:

  • The Black Plague of medieval Europe. Ahhhh, but we’re much smarter than that now, you object… that would never happen now. Really? Are you talking about today’s developing antibiotic resistance? Designer germs or intentionally spread diseases by terrorists? Maybe just a “vanilla” global nuclear exchange? Of course, the explicitly stated intentions by globalists is to reduce the world population by a very large percentage, so who knows how that may come to fruition.
  • The Jews in 1936 Germany thought it couldn’t get worse, and particularly the most civilized, advanced country in the world would not go to serious extremes. You know that story – though you may not have taken it to heart.
  • The Haidas on the Queen Charlotte Islands, located off British Columbia, my old home province. This proud tribe – the only Indian tribe that was advanced enough to hunt whales –  saw  80 – 90% of their population wiped out when smallpox and other diseases were accidentally introduced when explorers arrived. The Mayan collapse is another aboriginal disaster many are now familiar with, given the Mayan calendar end of the world scam of 2012
  • Perhaps the history to be repeated will be something more along the lines of Russia in 1918. You may laugh off predictions of disaster, but 61 million people who died in the USSR did, in fact, see their very own TEOTWAKI situation realized, including perhaps seven million who were intentionally starved to death in Stalin’s Holmodor of the Ukrainian Kulaks. In fact, according to Stephane Courtois, around 100 million were murdered last century due to various socialist “solutions.”  No doubt many Russians in 1910, as they listened to Tchaikovsky and read Tolstoy, felt the hell of the USSR just around the corner was not even a theoretical possibility.
  • On the other hand, we may see the slow, leftist devolution of an economy, such as seen in Argentina, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Greece. If you are one of the youth who has been unemployed for the past five years, you are experiencing your own slo-mo TEOTWAKI. (And in fact, if you are one of the 48 million Obama now has on food stamps, up from 32 million when he took office, you don’t need to wait to imagine.) Would preparedness have done a disservice to those Greeks who were “paranoid” enough to have anticipated the future five years ago, and engaged in preparedness?  What are those who mocked the Greek or Argentinian “preppers” thinking right now?  Perhaps Spiros the prepper in Greece prepared for an EMP event, but do you think that since it was an economic collapse that occurred instead, all his work was for naught?
  • What would you have said if, in 2007, I told you that GM or AIG would no longer be functioning companies in a couple years without a slew of free money? Would you have believed me?  There has indeed been an economic collapse in the US – it is just covered over by printed money and ensuring Dancing with the Stars keeps running weekly.
  • The list could go on, from the Irish potato famine to Krakatoa to the possibly collapse of Las Palmas Island in the Atlantic to that occasionally restless magma below Yellowstone, but you can fill in the blanks yourself.

There is a full panoply of potential disasters – admittedly with low probability – but high stakes if they do occur. What is the cost/benefit ratio for you, personally? Only you can figure that one out, of course, but the point is: many times things go on just as they always were for centuries.  Then one day, an 8th century Copt looks up and sees an Arab army in the eastern distance; a citizen from  13th century eastern Europe observes some Mongolian heritage peoples gathering their cavalry before his country’s foot soldiers using something never seen before in battle – stirrups. Or perhaps it is Vladimir Lenin quietly entering a train to be  transported via sealed train car back to Russia for political reasons, or a group of Arab radicals the summer of 2001 finishing flight classes that did not include lessons on how to land their aircraft. Low probability, high impact indeed!

So, what to do? First, recognize that things change, and sometimes rapidly, after years of stasis. A very close friend who was doing his Ph.D. examining chaos theory did one study on what causes sand hills to collapse. Condensing years of study into several sentences, one can pile sand grain upon sand grand, until finally, after a seemingly infinite number of grains, one single grain causes a slide. What number of grains is it, and when is it that this occurs? Suffice to say, at one point there is a hill, and after what seems an imperceptible addition, the slide has occurred. Not a big deal if it is a sand castle at a beach. But it is a giant deal if it is 2008, the week before Bear Stearns collapsed, and you have your life savings in a failing bank – or perhaps it is October, 2015,  the week before the $6 trillion-dollar pyramid of derivatives (which Warren Buffett famously called “weapons of mass financial destruction”) collapses. In fact, the dog’s breakfast of derivatives may never collapse. Maybe the Bernanke Fed really has invented a perpetual motion machine. Maybe they actually have mapped out the cause and correction of economic downturns.  The question is, as Clint Eastwood put it, “So… do ya feel lucky, punk? Well.. do ya?” Less theatrically, does central planning still work – and are you willing to stake your life, and that of your family on it – or does it just make a worse collapse inevitable, as Ludwig von Mises of the Austrian school of economics pointed out: “There is no means of avoiding a final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as the final and total catastrophe of the currency involved.”)  Similar to von Mises prediction, Reinhart and Rogoff’s book This Time is Different  documents that, historically, there has never been a good outcome when a country’s debt exceeds 100% of its GDP.  What is it worth to you to hedge against this threat of economic disaster?

When it comes to economics, warfare, or politics, is mankind fallible or not? Are you willing – after seeing the tech and housing bubbles just in the past dozen years or so – still willing to repeat the  “this time is different” mantra?   What are your assumptions about human nature, and what could possibly result from that analysis? Is the government all-seeing an all-knowing, or even relatively so? Or does bigger government just increase the risk when something does go awry?  (“Hey, Klem – no need to get out of New Orleans… the Army Corp of Engineers know what they are doing). And when it comes to natural disasters, do we really still need to examine what a hurricane can do, or what havoc another Carrington Event from the sun might possibly create (one credible analyst predicted that if an EMP event were to occur, 90% of the U.S. population would be dead in a year). What is it worth to you to protect against that? And if it is not worth a penny, then presumably you do not buy auto or home fire insurance, either.

One final note. A great portion of us still need to keep a job, which in turn means compromises need to occur with time and money, as well as keeping living quarters in or near an urban area. If you are independently wealthy, good for you – go ahead and build, or move to, that retreat. I’d love to join you. Alternatively, you may be able to re-jig your life style by downsizing, changing jobs, or similar, to allow for a move. Well and good. Just be careful you don’t turn into Mel Tappan. Mr. Tappan was a well-to-do banker that – convinced society and the economy were going to collapse – relocated to a rural Oregon retreat off the Rogue River and created the highly regarded Personal Survival Newsletter in the 1970s – yes, getting to be almost 40 years ago now with still no cataclysmic disaster! Unfortunately, Tappaan was not near medical care when he suffered a fatal heart attack in 1980, only in his late 40s. Tappan is thought by many to have been foolish, but that is Monday morning quarterbacking. Perhaps if something like the early 1960s Cuban Missile Crisis occurred in 1979, and the missiles had actually launched, he would be considered prescient by the survivors. We know today that the Cuban missile crisis came within a hair’s breadth of seeing an actual exchange of missiles.

Recall, too, that rural retreats like Tappan’s, in a partial meltdown, may in fact be more dangerous, in that you have no community to rely on for defense, mutual encouragement and practical support. Large cities also may get more attention and funds from a bankrupt government – or, alternatively, they may turn into Detroit on steroids. The truth is, there are too many variables, too many facts, too many websites and too many opinions to arrive at a conclusive answer. We thus arrive back where this article began – risk analysis and risk mitigation – and which is where I leave you.  Risk mitigation is a sober analysis of all the facts that you able to gather at present, then progressively elaborated as you move forward.

In conclusion, consider well this nine minute segment on lack of preparedness from the Twilight Zone, entitled The Shelter:

Long or short, there indeed will come some period in the future when citizens in the West will have wished they prepared. Don’t be one of them.


Press Release: Lights Out (The Movie)



Action-Packed, Post- Apocalyptic Prepper Novel Has Been Downloaded Over Three Million Times Crowdfunding Campaign Launches Today at  /

March 18, 2013 – ATLANTA – David Crawford’s wildly-successful, action-packed, post-apocalyptic novel LIGHTS OUT ( will soon become a feature film executive produced by Reel Equity Funding, Inc. (REF) and Atlanta-based Bug-Out Bag Productions (  Downloaded over three million times, the novel has been championed by America’s growing “prepper” and 2nd Amendment Rights communities.  The Brothers Young will direct the film, with pre-production and casting to start immediately in Atlanta. REF and Bug-Out Bag Productions recently wrapped production on feature film “Remnants,” with Tom Sizemore.

LIGHTS OUT’s Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign ( launches today, with a set goal of $175,000 for production costs.  In exchange for contributions, the filmmakers and supporters 5.11 Tactical, Noveske Shooting Team,, Airsoft Extreme, and Mystery Ranch are providing perks such as personal thank you’s; Limited Edition DVDs; 5.11 Tactical Rush 12 Backpacks; and special mentions in the film credits just to name a few.  In addition, for the first 48 hours of the campaign, all contributors who donate $50 or more will receive a limited edition Challenge Coin (after that, the Coin is only reserved for Legend Level donors). The campaign runs through April 21.

In the tradition of “The Walking Dead,” the film LIGHTS OUT examines how a group of everyday middle-class Americans copes with a worldwide disaster that takes down the nation’s electrical grid, flips all technology off, and throws the country into a harrowing, fend-for-yourself downward spiral – as currently anticipated by preppers and planned for by the CDC, FEMA, and others.  The story focuses on suburban accountant, karate instructor, and hunting enthusiast Mark Turner, who must find the strength within to unite his family, friends, and neighbors if any of them are to survive the harsh reality of life as the veneer of civilization strips away.

Initially shared by readers from a variety of prepper and gun enthusiast online communities –, and — this popular serialized novel was ultimately collected and published in December 2010.

“I’m thrilled to see the unplugged struggle of LIGHTS OUT moving to the big screen,” said author David Crawford. “Executive producer Travis Fox of Reel Equity Funding & Bug-Out Bag Productions and directors The Brothers Young share my self-reliant, family- and community-based vision here, so I feel confident that fans of the book will embrace and enjoy this wild ride on film.”

“I’ve followed LIGHTS OUT for almost a decade,” said REF head/executive producer Travis Fox. “I discovered it as an online story, talked with author David Crawford as he wrote it, and seized upon the opportunity to bring this important tale to the big screen when the rights recently became available again.  LIGHTS OUT is a fantastic story that entertains and educates simultaneously.  It explores the weaknesses of society and our dependence upon a fragile infrastructure, while providing a thought-provoking scenario that pulls people in.  This is a story that sticks with you, and captures the good and bad within each of us.”   

Author David Crawford is an avid outdoorsman who likes to hunt, fish, hike, off-road, and shoot. He is a third-degree black belt with the American Society of Karate where he teaches kids and adults. Crawford resides in San Antonio, TX with his wife and two children, and is working on his next novel, a sequel to LIGHTS OUT.

Based in Atlanta, Bug-Out Bag Productions ( is a creative collaboration between AFX Studios Inc., Brothers Young Productions, and White Flame Studios. This seasoned team of filmmakers, special effects artists, set designers, fabricators, digital animators, graphic artists and costume designers can handle anything creative.  BOBP’s mission is to provide a turn-key solution for your multimedia and multi-platform needs.  The company specializes in narrative marketing, immersive environments, interactive storytelling, specialty props and sculptures, and good ole fashion movie-making.  Recent projects include the feature films “Remnants” and “Miss Bobbins and Her Trees”; and award-winning shorts “The Boy and The Bard” and “The Princes Perfect Party.”

Led by identical twin writer/director/producers Matthew & Jared Young, Brothers Young Productions ( creates worlds, reaching beyond the ordinary, time and time again, to explore uncharted territories of cinematic storytelling.  Their original multimedia children’s franchise, “The Fantastic World,” combines live-action and animation, packed with original music and whimsical characters.  From their low-browed spoof “Galactic Perry’s Learning Starship” to their recent sci-fi/steampunk collaboration “Remnant,” the pair captures hearts and minds of audiences by taking singular ideas and molding them into worlds of fantastic possibilities.  Matthew & Jared Young’s imaginative productions are brought to life through their essential strengths: ingenious writing, visionary directing and producing, unforgettable art design, and talented acting. Creative boundaries are simply nonexistent in the limitless, fantastic world in which they work.

Reel Equity Funding (REF) is a film investment and production group, owned by Travis Fox.  A successful entrepreneur, security consultant, disaster planning specialist, and firearms instructor, Fox serves as an executive producer on LIGHTS OUT.  His passion for preparedness and self-sufficiency are what drew him to this story.  Fox is based out of Sanibel Island, FL.


David Gardner




Matthew Young



Top Ten Doomsday Theories of 2013

Have you ever wondered what others are concerned about that causes them to prep? Check out this info-graphic that was compiled from a survey conducted by SimplyHike. It outlines the top ten theories that might result in a doomsday scenario in the opinion of those surveyed.

Why do you prep?

Doomsday Prepping Theories 2013 from Simply Hike
Published with permission from SimplyHike


Revolutionary Security Innovation

Have you ever wondered how you might be able to extend the capabilities of your security system? Or if there was a good solution for safeguarding a piece of equipment without incurring obscene costs? The solution is here and it costs less than 30 bucks!

.22 Caliber Mini-Sentry Trip Wire Alarm

Effective 24/7 Security for Preppers and Survivalists

The Mini-Sentry trip wire alarm can be used to protect large areas or individual items. It can be used on pastures, fences, roads, gates, vehicles, equipment, tools, supplies and more.  A distinct advantage to a trip wire alarm with the loud crack of a gun shot is the trespasser or thief knows that you are aware of their presence and location, and that you are serious about security.

The Mini-Sentry is tiny, easily concealed, uses a loud, readily available, inexpensive .22 caliber blank, is constructed of machined brass, galvanized and stainless steel and is coated in a flat black finish.

The Mini Sentry can be installed temporarily with a zip tie, string, tape or wire, and more permanently with screws For additional information on protecting your loved ones and property, go to:

Check out a YouTube video demonstration of the Mini-Sentry:

NOTE: The author in no way was/is being compensated for this article. I just believe this is an awesome and highly effective piece of equipment!

Purpose & Determination

2013 has arrived! Happy New Year everyone! It seems to reason that since the Mayan Apocalypse is behind us and the country has gone off the cliff that we can focus on what is ahead of us. I know that it is supposed to be the fiscal cliff, but it kinda seems like the country has just fallen off of the cliff all together. I also know that the fiscal cliff bill passed both the Senate and House but it has to be backdated so does that really count? If I did the same thing with my checkbook I would be arrested! With all that being said, what will be the focus for 2013?

I already outlined the set of skills that I would like to learn or significantly improve over the next 12 months so this post will not be about all that things that I am going to accomplish or the resolutions that I will make. I am not a resolution kind of guy. In fact, I associate the term resolution with a certain goal that is set in January that is likely to fail within 60 days or less. What I do want to place emphasis on is going about things with purpose and determination in 2013. That will be my focus.

Purpose: An action in course of execution.

Determination: a.The act of deciding definitely and firmly; also: the result of such an act of decision. b. Firm or fixed intention to achieve a desired end.

How do the pieces of the puzzle come together? The definitions above for purpose and determination both include key words, action and act. No more thinking about doing something and dragging my feet. 2013 will be a year of action with determination and purpose.

What will you focus on in 2013?

Get Skilled in 2013!

Well folks! I have decided that the time has come to determine what I am going to do with my life next year. Just to clear the air, I am not changing jobs or moving to another country, becoming a member of a dance company, or even purchasing a new car. I have joined the radical movement at 13Skills. Huh? What is this? Some sort of extremist group?

logo-0Well, I was blown away to see that such a group coming together and YES, the community is extreme. The 13Skills website is home to the 13 in 13 Challenge, a movement created and sponsored by The Survival Podcast which encourages individuals to develop new skills or improve upon existing skills in an effort revive and conserve the abilities of humans everywhere. There is not a limit to what skills can be learned and the number of skills to be worked on can be as few or as plentiful as one is willing to try to conquer. The premise behind the 13 in 13 Challenge though is to focus on thirteen skills in the year 2013.

So what makes 13Skills an extremist group? There are a number of things that I think the average person would find extreme. No one there cares about whether I am male or female. When I set up my user account I did not get asked if I was a Christian or a Muslim or what the color of my skin is. The entire site is designed to not only be family friendly but families are encouraged to improve their skills together. I am confident as you read this that the image coming together in your head is helping you to understand how extreme and outlandish such an idea is. What has the world come to that there is a place where people can be accepted for who they are and encouraged to better themselves, their family and the world around them?

I’ll tell you what this whole mess is about. Point blank, the 13 in 13 Challenge is about the fact that we all have things that we can learn or do better and now is the time to take on this challenge. We have US Olympic team uniforms this year that were made in China for crying out loud! This is the greatest country there ever was and we can keep it that way but it will have to be through intentional effort and is one of the ways that those efforts will be accomplished.

Hop on over to 13Skills and check out The Prepared Ninja member profile. The thirteen skills that I have selected to either learn or make significant improvements on in the new year include:

1. Building A Solar Oven

2. Business Management

3. Fitness

4. Marksmanship

5. Hunting

6. Writing

7. Beer Making

8. Food Storage

9. Family Fun

10. Curing/Smoking Meats

11. Container/Portable Gardening

12. Geocaching

13. Organizational Skills

Of these skills, the two that will be my primary focus will be fitness and organizational skills. This was a difficult decision for me to make because I feel that all of these skills are areas that I need to work on. The reason that I selected fitness is because I have let myself fall into a much poorer standard of health than I used to maintain. Without my health, all the skills in the world will not mean anything to me or my family. I will not have to recreate the wheel in this case but I will be making a significant effort to remained focused on continued and improved fitness throughout 2013. Organizational skills are important to integrate into my life because while I might not qualify to be on an episode of Hoarders, I can certainly stand to learn a great deal about getting organized. There are many things that I have held onto over the years that I do not need and then for future purchases I can focus on obtaining things that can serve multiple purposes. One example I can think of is instead of buying a guitar tuner that is going to cost money, take up space, and consume batteries, why not download a guitar tuning application on my iPhone that will accomplish the same purpose?

When I stop and think about these goals and what I will have to do to accomplish them, it basically equates to just less than one month to learn or improve on each skill. That is not unreasonable or difficult to accomplish at all, especially with a concentrated effort. Completing the thirteen skill goals that I have set for myself will not only make me a better prepper but will also improve my quality of life, bring my family closer together, and likely equate to a sizable financial savings over the course of my life.

One of the arguments that I have heard people make about setting a goal online is a lack of accountability built-in to the system. This group of individuals typically feel that without someone/something checking up on them to make sure that they are on track and meeting their goals, they will fail. There are a couple of ways that I could think of to make sure that accountability is maintained if you struggle to motivate yourself.

1. Start/Join A Meetup Group – There a thousands of different Meetup groups online that are in just about every community and meet for just about every different thing any person could imagine. Some of these Meetup groups are survival or preparedness focused groups. Joining or starting such a group could facilitate a way to be accountable to one another in learning new skills.

2. Get A Sponsor – No, not a 12 step program type of sponsor but the idea is kind of the same. Find a friend that is interested in the same type of skills that you are and make the commitment to tackle learning these skills together.

3. Add reminders to your online calendar, smart phone, or paper planner. – Set periodic reminders throughout the month or year to help keep you on track in meeting your goals.

4. Take A Class – Go to the local college and take a class to help you learn the skill you desire to master. Most colleges have lifelong learner programs that allow anyone to take individual classes. Besides, it is a lot easier to be accountable to learning your new skill if you are being graded on it!

5. Use The Forum – Since 13Skills is sponsored by The Survival Podcast (TSP), the forum at TSP is being utilized by members of the 13 in 13 Challenge to discuss their goals, progress, and whatever else comes to mind. This resource can not only be used to help stay accountable but also probably get some useful information in learning and perfecting the new skills that people have chosen to pursue in 2013.

The chance to become a member at 13Skills was not just about networking within the prepper community but creating a legacy. Our nation as a whole has slipped in our ability to do things for ourselves. My parents taught me how to do things like fix a sink or sew on a missing button but over the course of the last few generations in America, skills have begun to perish. The chance to learn new skills will allow me to not only pass on the skills I already know to my children but to add to the set of skills that they can pass on to their children.

A Prepper’s Holiday Wish List

A Prepper’s Holiday Wish List:

A Gift For Every Prepper, From A Person On Any Budget

This year I wanted to put together a list of gift ideas that you can either get for the prepper in your life, the person that you want to help be more prepared, or even for yourself. I felt that it was also important to make sure that there were options for every budget. On that note, don’t skip out after reading the first few ideas. This post wraps up with a few ideas that can be gifted free of cost.

Stocking Stuffers/Gift Ideas Less Than $10

  1. 100 Feet of Paracord – $6.83 – $8.49 (If you don’t know how versatile and strong paracord is, you probably haven’t used it before.)
  2. Microlight – $9 (Have a portable source of light on your keys, belt loop, or just about anywhere you can imagine at all times.)
  3. Heatsheet Emergency Blanket – $3.67 (A must for everyone regardless of whether you lose power in the house or get stranded in the woods or car. Don’t get caught without one.)
  4. WetFire Fire Starting Tinder – $7.95 (Start a fire even when these tinder cubes are soaking wet.)
  5. Emergency Trauma Dressing – $9.95 (The trauma dressing of choice for US military forces, police departments, and preppers everywhere!)

Gift Ideas Between $10 & $100

  1. Bug Out Bag (B.O.B.) $60.49
  2. PurifiCup Portable Natural Water Purifier – $32.45 (Compact, portable way to purify water.)
  3. Gerber Camp Axe – $50
  4. Woodsman’s Pal – $60 (“A machete with the power of an axe”)
  5. First Aid Kit – $12 – $30 (A necessity for every prepper.)
  6. The Self-Sufficient Life and How To Live It Book – $35 (A how to guide for living self-sufficiently.)
  7. Pressure Handwasher – $49.95 (Never need power to wash your clothes again!)

Gift Ideas That Are More Than $100

  1. Big Berkey Water Filter – $209 (Never be without clean water.)
  2. BioLite Campstove – $129 (A campstove and gadget charger in one!)
  3. Portable Generator – $395 (Create power any where!)
  4. Handheld GPS – $110 (Know anyone that can’t leave the streets for fear of getting lost?)
  5. AR-7 Survival Rifle – $235 (A collapsible .22 Long Rifle that is perfect for the survivalist in your life.)

Gift Ideas That Are FREE!

  1. Emergency Contact Roster – A list of emergency contacts such as family members in close proximity, local utility and service providers, out-of-area contacts, and other contacts that may be useful.
  2. Evacuation Maps – A variety of routes from a residence or workplace to a safe place(s). Look at routes that avoid highly populated areas as well as routes that go in different directions from each location toward each destination.
  3. A List of Recommended Emergency Preparedness Items – Food, Water, Security, Medical Supplies, Personal Hygiene, Tools, Etc.
  4. A List of Useful Websites/Resources – Sources of valuable information about preparedness and survival to share with anyone from the newbie prepper all the way to that “crazy” uncle who lives in a cave and seems to know everything.

While the holidays in my opinion should not be about gifts, (it is a time to come together as friends and family, appreciate all that we have to be thankful for, and if you so believe, celebrate the birth of Christ) the chance to help friends and loved ones be prepared is a rewarding opportunity. If you will be giving gifts it is far better to give a gift that has actual value versus a gift that seems nice but will not actually bring value to someone’s life.

What gift ideas do you have for the preparedness minded person in your life?

Help! Contribute Content

The Prepared Ninja is looking for a few good ideas! Despite my best efforts or at least the justification of such in my own mind, I do not always have the time or cannot always think of great stuff to share with you all! If you would be interested in helping out, there are a few things that you can do.

  1. Write an article for submission.
  2. Share an idea(s) for an article.
  3. Contribute a link to an interesting article or website.

If any of these ideas appeal to you, please complete the contact form or send an email to Articles, ideas, and links to be contributed can be anything that can be useful, helpful, or instructional for:

  • Emergency or Disaster Preparedness
  • Self-Sufficiency
  • Homesteading
  • Home-Based Business Ideas
  • Firearms
  • Survival
  • Medicine/Alternative Healthcare
  • Barter
  • Bushcraft Skills
  • Precious Metals
  • Alternative Investments
  • Community Building
  • Food Storage
  • Survival/Preparedness Skills
  • Cooking
  • Gardening
  • Personal or Home Defense
  • Security
  • Every Day Carry
  • Financial Preparedness/Survival
  • Survival Gear
  • Dealing With Disaster
  • Recommended Books/Equipment/Movies
  • Organization Skills/Methods
  • OR…Anything Else That May Be Useful And/Or Pertinent

When submitting an article please send it either as an attachment in Microsoft Word format or include the full text in the body of an email to There is no need to worry about including pictures or graphics unless they are an essential piece to the article that you have written. Don’t forget to include your name, email address, your article/idea/link, and any other information that you feel is important.

Note: If writing an original article for submission please ensure that all content is your original work or sources are properly cited and if possible refrain from use of questionable/suggestive language.