Category Archives: Preparedness

Survival Sunday On The Web 10/19/14

I hope that everyone has had a great week! I want to start off this week with an apology. Last week I mentioned that I had migrated everyone but my WordPress subscribers over to MailChimp. This has been a good move but I made a big mistake! While I remembered to mention that new subscribers could get a free download, I failed to mention that my existing subscribers aren’t excluded! I am sorry for the omission. If you are a current subscriber and would like to receive a free copy of the Special Operations Forces Medical Kits guide, send an email to tom@thepreparedninja.com. Make sure that you use the email address you subscribed with.

Survival

The internet is loaded with great information about survival, preparedness, homesteading, security, self-reliance, and literally just about anything you could possibly think of. I feel that it is important to share anything that could be valuable to all of us. Here are a few things that I found this last week:

Building Tribe, Part I and Part II - This is a great two part article about putting together a group of like minded individuals. I like it because it takes a different approach than the average ‘build a prepper group’ article. These articles talk about the importance of people and not necessarily their practices. If you take your survival seriously, you will eventually need to band together with a tribe of your own.

Tips From A Storage Unit Auctioneer - There are many people who buy the contents of storage lockers who have been defaulted on as a way to find survival items. This is a great article about storage units that is full of useful tips from an experienced auctioneer who has not only sold storage units, but bought them as well. Whether you are buying abandoned storage lockers to profit or to prepare, this article is very useful.

39 Fantastic Prepping Tips - Here are some excellent tips on prepping and survival. Most of them are designed to be done in ten minutes or less. There are some great ones but one of my favorites is #8 – The 10 Minute DIY Water Distillery.

How To Filter & Purify Water - This is a great article that compiles several outstanding ways to get clean water in an emergency. It would be a great one to print out and add your files.

Build A Brick Rocket Stove - There are several options for cooking during a grid-down or survival scenario. Not all of them are quick, efficient, and cheap but this brick rocket stove is. It would be a great low-cost addition to anyones preps.

This wraps up my best finds of survival related gems around the web last week. I hope everyone has a blessed week and continues to prepare for any difficult times ahead.

What did you find last week that everyone could benefit from?

If you appreciate the content here on The Prepared Ninja, a monetary donation of any amount is always appreciated but I also appreciate any show of support whether it is a social media share or a comment about an article. If you would like to make a monetary donation of your own, it can be made via PayPal here. Thank you for your support!

2014 Midterm Elections – Make Or Break?

I have great concern over the direction that the country is headed. With that being said, I am even more concerned about how the results of the 2014 midterm elections will impact some major issues. Earlier this year, the president opted to postpone executive action on immigration because of the potential impact of the midterms this fall. Legislative action did not come together for the president so in true Obama form, he was threatening to make another royal decree take executive actions on immigration. To me this means that if the Dems were concerned that this executive action would cause some loss during the 2014 midterm elections,  they are not supported by most Americans.

2014 Midterm Elections

The single greatest step that can be taken to avoid disaster is to get out and vote (if you still believe in the system) and choose a candidate that truly will represent the people and stand up for what we actually want. If not, that is your prerogative but my guess is that if the Democrats manage to get the outcome that they desire from the upcoming elections, they will feel emboldened to take wide and sweeping action on a number of issues. We all know the president has nothing to lose and a good outcome in the midterms for the Dems will likely make them feel like a Hillary Clinton 2016 victory is in the future. All of this could add up to the perfect storm against liberty and freedom.

If LibertyGate 2014 comes to fruition, it seems like some of the most likely proposed executive and legislative actions will impact us as preppers. Some of these issues will probably look familiar to you as they have already been pushed before and failed. The immediate things that come to mind include:

I am sure there are others that will be on the list but this is what comes to mind as I sit here typing. If this does happen, there is going to be a run on guns, magazines, ammunition, maybe body armor, and perhaps even internet goods. Just the threat of action is all that is needed. It might only take a Democrat sweep of the 2014 midterm elections and not even the threat of action! Nothing even has to actually pass legislation to wipe the store shelves clean.

It seems the prudent thing to do is look at what might be threatened in the future and take appropriate steps to obtain those goods now. If scary black guns are on your wish list, time may be running out. There is finally some availability of AR series rifles, 30 round AR magazines, and “high-capacity” pistol magazines. I would hate to see what would happen if there is the threat of gun control legislation or additional executive action again. Does everyone remember the $100 PMAG’s following the 2012 presidential election? I do!

My intent is not to be a fear monger. That is the last thing that I feel is helpful but, then again, a little bit of fear might be a good thing if it provides the motivation required to get you and your family prepared for tough times. Keep your eyes toward the future and take action today!

Will Your Fuel Stores Fail You?

It is impossible to survive a hardship for any significant amount of time without a plan. Improvisation can work, but not usually for longer periods of time. This demands a long term plan. While a solid plan is multi-faceted, two of the key components of a complete survival plan are energy and transportation. For mostly obvious reasons, one of the easiest ways to get energy during a disaster is from a generator and most of us rely on a vehicle as our primary means of transportation. While these two items serve two different purposes, they do share one common thing…their fuel source.

Fuel
Fuel Storage

THE PROBLEM

Unless you are using newer technology like a solar generator, you will need gasoline for both your car and your emergency generator. This poses some unique challenges for the prepper who is concerned about not only having enough fuel for the here and now but for long term survival as well. The primary challenges with fuel storage are where to put it and how much of it to store. This takes a safe storage area like a specialized underground tank and probably some math to calculate the fuel consumption of all necessary equipment multiplied by the amount of time that you would like to be able to run the selected equipment. But that is not what this is about. What if you have all the fuel in the world but it becomes worthless?

ETHANOL IS A KILLER

Why is alcohol bad for an engine? The ethanol (most modern gas has up to 10% alcohol content) in fuel attracts water which in turn causes the formation of rust and corrosion in your engine. This is especially true in vehicles and equipment like generators and mowers that have a tendency to sit for long periods of time. In addition to rust and corrosion, ethanol causes the rubber and composite seals and gaskets to break down and fail. Most newer vehicles have been built to better withstand the use of 10% ethanol fuel but that is only if the fuel is consistently replaced and not allowed to sit for any length of time. This is the exception though. Almost all power equipment is adversely impacted by ethanol containing fuels, especially those that have been stored. Just to add to the problem, the Environmental Protection Agency gave the ok a few years back to add up to 15% ethanol to fuel. It is not only effecting cars, trucks, and power equipment; outdoorsman have been warned that ethanol fuel may kill their boat motor too.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO

The best solution for fuel storage is to avoid ethanol containing fuels all together. (By the way, you get better gas mileage with 100% gas because of the higher energy content that is watered down in 10% ethanol gas.) There are gas stations that still sell ethanol free fuels. You can find the closest ethanol free gas stations at pure-gas.org which seems to have a fairly accurate account of not only the street address, but the GPS coordinates of these stations. That is not always realistic though. Consider these options to deal with ethanol fuels:

  1. Use the fuel that you are storing and then replace it immediately. By doing this, your fuel stores will be rotated and not have the opportunity to go bad so easily.
  2. Add fuel stabilizer to fuel stores to remove water and prevent the fuel from going bad.
  3. There is also the option of installing a shut-off valve on the fuel line. An article from The Crux titled, ‘How To Protect Your Vehicle From Ethanol Gas‘ has some a great tip on using a shut off valve to save some engines.

Most motorcycles have a fuel tap that you can use to turn off the flow of fuel from the gas tank to the engine. When you’re done riding, turn the tap to “off” and let the engine idle until it burns up the remaining fuel in the carburetors. Then it will just stop running – and you can leave it that way for awhile without worrying about stagnant fuel in the carburetors decomposing the internals. You can do the same with a car – if you install an shut-off valve in the fuel line, ahead of the carburetor. With power equipment, your best bet is to drain their tanks and run the engine until it shuts down.

I am not an expert but I would speculate that you could install a fuel cut off valve on almost any piece of power equipment if it doesn’t have one already. Here is a YouTube video on how to do just that:

ALTERNATIVES

If you would like to avoid the difficulties of fuel storage all together, make a long term survival plan that does not require fuel at all. Seems simple right? The reality is that this can be a challenge, but it is not impossible. Solar systems, even on a small scale, can be a great way to charge the batteries needed to provide the necessary energy to survive. Here is a great article from fellow blogger Graywolf on how to build a simple, portable solar power system. A system like this could be used to charge a variety of batteries from AAA all the way up to high performing deep cycle, marine grade.

Fuel free methods of transportation are limited but in the event that there were some sort of long term survival scenario, a bicycle can be invaluable. Not only have bicycles been the transportation solution of choice during disasters in the past, they are often used in third world countries and high population density areas as the best non-vehicle option for getting around. In addition to a bike, a bike trailer could be incredibly useful if things were to go bad.

While there are problems with todays fuel, there is no avoiding it for most of us. We have become a society that is dependent upon using gas for almost everything. If you can’t avoid it, make a plan to properly store fuel and don’t forget to have a secondary plan in the event that you run out.

Fall FoodSaver Giveaway

This week I am excited to be a part of the Fall FoodSaver Giveaway with the Prepared Bloggers! It couldn’t be happening at a better time either. The FoodSaver is the perfect tool for putting up the last of the vegetables and will come in handy when deer season starts! On top of that, I love using my FoodSaver to vacuum seal items for my survival kit. It sure saves a lot of room!

FoodSaver Group Giveaway | via www.foodstoragemoms.com
This is a great way to preserve your food for an extended amount of time. You can make mason jar salads, package your cheese in smaller bags, the list is endless. We are all thinking about how to be prepared for the unexpected times in our lives. This FoodSaver will help you save money by not wasting any of your precious grocery dollars.

The fine print: This FoodSaver Giveaway is open to any resident who is 18 years of age or older who lives in one of the 48 US Contiguous States. This giveaway starts on Monday, Oct. 6th at 5:00 am (MDT) and ends on Monday, Oct. 13th at 5:00 pm (MDT). The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If we do not hear back from said winner in the designated time period of 24 hours we will choose another winner and they will have 24 hours to respond from the time the notification email is sent. Please check your SPAM email folders.

Good luck to everyone! Let’s be prepared for the unexpected!

*****Please note: We may have to exchange this exact FoodSaver with a comparable or more expensive FoodSaver should this item sell out or not be available when our giveaway ends. Thank you so much for your understanding. Good luck!
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Zombie Survival Classes Anyone?

The following is a guest post from Kimberly about survival and the recent appearance of zombie survival as the topic of study in college courses.

Zombie Survival Classes Anyone?

Admit it, you’re one of the few zombie apocalypse addicts who, at one point, played “The Walking Dead” roles just so you could feel the rush of being chased by zombies. Right? Or maybe you are one of those avid zombie fans that have read and studied all techniques to survive the zombie armageddon. Well, you don’t have to wait for dead men to start walking, you can now officially be a bachelor of zombie survival!

Last year, the University of California, Irvine announced that a massive open online course titled “Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’” will be offered to students interested in zombie survival. Apparently, this was not the only one. The University of Pennsylvania offers a course titled, “A Zombie’s History of Medicine and Technology”, George Mason University offers Anthropology 314-Zombies, Columbia College Chicago opened the course Zombies in Popular Media, and even Harvard University which offers Zombies, Monsters, and Super Heroes: The Fantastic in 20th Century America. You may think it’s crazy. If so, then the US government is crazy too!

In 2011, the US government drafted the CONPLAN 8888-11 titled “Counter-Zombie Dominance” which documents a strategy to defend the state against a zombie attack. As the document read, “ this plan was not actually designed as a joke.” With all the zombie courses and zombie survival classes, it seems that we are now embracing the idea of having an actual zombie attack. (Tom adds: The actual idea behind CONPLAN 8888 was to outline a viable plan to deal with the fallout from a fictional training scenario that the public perceives as real, similar to the panic experienced by some with the broadcast of  ‘The War of The Worlds’ in the 1930′s. Labeling the plan as “Counter-Zombie Dominance” would eliminate confusing the plan with a real location or scenario.) This may sound foolish for most people but for preppers, this is where their expertise comes in.

Zombie Survival

photo credit: Juliana Coutinho via photopin cc

Preppers 101: Are They Crazy?

You might be thinking: Preppers are indeed crazy! Most people have a prepper stereotype, one who locks all their doors, keeps a huge amount of canned goods, guns, and locks himself in the bunker. However, preppers are people who believe that a catastrophic disaster or emergency is likely to occur in the future. With this thinking, preppers stock food, ammunition, and other supplies. In recent years, the number of preppers in the US has exploded to an estimated 3 million. All over the country, people are stockpiling their pantries, planting gardens, utilizing alternative sources of energy, and studying self-defense courses among others. Besides, there’s no harm in getting ready if problems arise, right?

Due to the term itself, the word is exaggerated to mean someone who prepares for the doomsday. But in reality, there are different reasons to be prepared. Some prepare for the collapse of the economy, saying that if the economy burns down, numerous aspects of life such as transportation and communication could be crippled. Others prepare for natural disasters.

Terrorism, killer epidemics, and mass hysteria are other dangers preppers prepare for. Being a prepper does not necessarily mean preparing for a doomsday or a zombie apocalypse. It does not mean you want to experience it as well. Look within your neighborhood, there’s bound to be one person planting crops in her garden, another who keeps a healthy stock of food in the pantry, another keeps a gun inside his home – that’s prepping already. So you see, preppers are not at all crazy because thinking of survival steps and being ready for disasters is being systematic.

Walking, Reading, Writing, Studying With The Dead

You’ve probably seen the show Doomsday Preppers, the show that gives us an insider look of extreme preppers. Well, there’s a new one on air, the Zombie Preppers, which basically showcases people preparing for the zombie apocalypse. For preppers, preparedness is everything. Just like insuring your house or car, why not insure your life with some survival lessons?

In an article published in express.co.uk, National Geographic’s Tim Ralston said, “Prepping is a kind of insurance. You have car insurance, health insurance, life insurance. Why not this?” Another article published in the National Geographic, David Donohue, Franklin County Emergency Services Director said,  “Let’s face it – if you’re prepared for zombies, you’re prepared for anything!” Such was the point of the entire Zombie course of UC Irvine, “There will be something for everyone in this course, which will explore concepts as varied as post-disaster nutrition, the foundations of human survival and stereotypes in a Darwinian environment,” UC Irvine professor Zuzana Bic said.

Even the CDC showed support on zombie survival titled “Preparedness 101:Zombie Apocalypse,” which noted that “zombies would take over entire countries, roaming city streets eating anything living that got in their way.”  Given that there might be a zombie apocalypse, or even if there won’t be any, arming yourself with survival skills can have huge benefits.

Increase The Prepping Experience

Your prepping experience is incomplete without survival training up your sleeve. Survival training should be the basic training to prepare you for any type of disaster or dangerous situation, starting with basic skills such as finding your way in the woods, building a camp or shelter, looking for trail signs, or gathering food in a different environment. There are numerous videos online and even classes which offer survival skills training.

You should remember that part of the training does not involve actual zombies nor an asteroid actually hitting your home. Therefore, you should practice on your own and regularly. Work on those skills during your free time; go hiking or mountain climbing. Be one with the environment which you intend to be your safe place. If you intend to stay at home, master your house and your neighborhood. Always have a back-up plan. Here are some of the benefits that you can get from survival training:

  1. It increases the odds of your survival.
  2. It helps you manage yourself during tough situations, building up your character in dealing with harsh realities.
  3. You learn to be less dependent on the system.
  4. You gain a stronger sense of self reliance.
  5. You also learn which gear and kits to buy among a whole lot of necessary things.

Have you ever pondered upon these points? The world, nature, economy, everything is unfathomable. It may be here one second, and gone the next. People who are building their survival skills to become independent and prepared are not at all crazy. The concept of a zombie apocalypse may be crazy but just like everyone else, you value your safety and even that of your family’s. Now, would you like to take on zombie survival classes? Anyone?

Preparedness Month MEGA Giveaway

sep giveaway

In honor of this month being Preparedness Month, The Prepared Bloggers are proud to present a Mega giveaway of some of the best preparedness products on the market.

We are proud to partner with six great companies for a total of seven great prizes. These prizes are the perfect way to either begin your preparedness journey or add to your preps.

The Fine Print: We will have seven winners in this giveaway. Each winner will win one of the following prizes listed below. The giveaway starts September 22nd, 2014 @12:15 am (CST) and ends September 29th, 2014 @ 11:55 pm (CST). This giveaway is open to anyone 18 years of age and older who is a US resident of the 48 Continental US States only. Each winner will be sent an email and the winner must respond within 24 hours or another winner will be chosen.

Berkey

1 Royal Berkey System–From LPC Survival–This system is perfect for 2-6 people, filtering 3.25 gallons in about 2 hours. It comes with 2 Black Elements and is perfect for large families but is small enough for travel.

sun-oven

1 Sun Oven–From Sun Oven–This is a great off-grid cooking solution using only solar energy. This Sun Oven includes a cookbook, dehydrating and baking rack set, two easy stack pots, a WAPI, and two loaf pans.

new-kelly-kettle

1 Scout Kelly Kettle–From Kelly Kettle–The Kelly Kettle boils water quick and with very little fuel. It’s great for camping trips, hunting trips and emergencies.

grainmill

1 Wonder Junior Deluxe–From Wonder Mill–This is the perfect solution for making your own bread off-grid. It’s one of the easiest to use hand mills on the market. A great mill to use in an emergency situation, an off-grid environment or for everyday use.

propur

1 Propur Big with 2 ProOne 7″ G2.0 Filters–From End Times Warehouse–A clean water supply is super important in every situation. This gravity fed water treatment system makes it super easy to always have clean water.

72-hour-kit

2 Seventy Two Hour Kits–From Survival Based–Be prepared for a sudden storm or power outage with this all in one 72 hour kit. Complete with fuel to cook the food contained in the kit. Keep this kit in your car, house, or grab it if you need to evacuate. Two lucky people will each win one 72 hour kit.

Cox-Honey-two

1 Case of Six 5lb Creamed Honey (30lb total)–From Cox’s Honey–Honey is the perfect item to place in your food storage. It’s also great for a number of other uses. Cox honey is raw and unfiltered making it some of the best honey on the market.

Thanks again to all of our sponsors.

Enter Below

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sep giveaway two

Sunday Survival Around The Web

To start things off this week I want to let you all know to make sure to check back here tomorrow. There is a MEGA giveaway that is being launched as the last event for National Preparedness Month by myself and a group of fellow survival and preparedness bloggers. Make sure to check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

The internet is loaded with great information about survival, preparedness, homesteading, security, self-reliance, and literally just about anything you could possibly think of. I feel that it is important to share anything that could be valuable to all of us. Here are a few things that I found this last week:

BREAKING NEWS: 3 Afghan Soldiers in U.S. for Training Reported Missing From Cape Cod Base - There is a report coming from Massachusetts National Guard officials that three Afghan National Army officers are missing from their place of duty as part of a tactical strategies joint exercise. This could be a coincidence however, is a particular concern in light of the threat from groups like al Qaeda and ISIS who would like nothing better than to attack Americans on our own soil.

How To Communicate When The World Goes Silent – This is a great piece from Graywolf Survival (an awesome resource by the way!). In this article Graywolf covers a myriad of communication options that could be viable choices when events place strains on telecommunications or when things just plain don’t work.

10 Disaster Preparedness Tips for Couples – Some great tips for all couples who are working towards becoming prepared for a disaster. My favorite tip listed was to make the joint decision to prepare. Things are always easier in a relationship when everyone is in agreement!

Plans Fail…Skills Endure – Todd over at Survival Sherpa has this great piece on the value of having skills because while plans are great, they do not always come together in the end. This is a great point and further value can be gleaned from it when you stop and think about the fact that even if you have supplies, they will run out and all you will be left with is your skills.

This wraps up my best finds of survival related gems around the web last week. I hope everyone has a blessed week and continues to prepare for any difficult times ahead.

What did you find last week that everyone could benefit from?

If you appreciate the content here on The Prepared Ninja, a monetary donation of any amount is always appreciated but I also appreciate any show of support whether it is a social media share or a comment about an article. If you would like to make a monetary donation of your own, it can be made via PayPal here. Thank you for your support!

Kelly Kettle – September Giveaway #3

I am excited today to introduce the 3rd giveaway for National Preparedness Month! This week’s group giveaway is for not one, but TWO Ketlly Kettles!

kelly-kettle-group-giveaway
Who would love to win a Kelly Kettle in our group giveaway? A large group of my blogging colleagues and I are trying to show the world what is available to use in an unforeseen disaster or emergency. We are so thankful to Glen at KellyKettleUSA for sponsoring our giveaway today! If you are interested in seeing a post on how one of these Kelly Kettle kits work, we have you covered: KellyKettlePost. There is also a YouTube on the Kelly Kettle website that will show you the different sizes they have available. These rock because you do not have to store fuel. You can use dry leaves, twigs or pinecones. Basically you put a small piece of newspaper or scraps of tinder in the bottom and you light it with just a match or flint. You can add more pinecones, twigs and other natural fuel as needed to keep the fire going. Water boils in minutes. Gotta love it! In this Kelly Kettle giveaway we will have two winners. One will win the stove kit on the left, the second winner will win the stove kit on the right in the graphic shown above. Good luck everyone!

This weeks giveaway is brought to you by the great group of bloggers below. Please make sure to stop by their sites and check out the astronomical amount of knowledge that is available to you about survival and self-reliant living.

Group Involved In This Giveaway:

1. Food Storage Moms
2. Frugality Gal
3. Survival At Home
4. Home Ready Home
5. Fabulous Farm Girl
6. Ever Growing Farm
7. Sharing Lifes Abundance
8. Food Storage and Survival
9. I Get Ready
10. Timber Creek Farm
11. Kneaded Creations
12. Blue Yonder Urban Farms
13. Simply Living Simply
14. Your Own Home Store
15. Prepared-Housewives
16. PreparednessMama
17. Survival For Blondes
18. Common Sense Homesteading
19. Trayer Wilderness
20. Melissa K. Norris
21. Memories By The Mile
22. The Busy B Homemaker
23. The Backyard Pioneer
24. Whole New Mom
25. Imperfectly Happy
26. Lil’ Suburban Homestead

Here is some additional information from the NOAA about National Emergency Preparedness Month

The fine print: This Kelly Kettle Giveaway is open to any resident who is 18 years of age or older who lives in one of the 48 US Contiguous States. This giveaway starts on Monday, Sept. 15th at 5:00 am (MDT) and ends on Saturday, Sept. 20th at 5:00 pm (MDT). The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If we do not hear back from said winner in the designated time period of 24 hours we will choose another winner and they will have 24 hours to respond from the time the notification email is sent. Please check your SPAM email folders. Good luck to everyone! Let’s be prepared for the unexpected!

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Survival Around The Web

I would like to start off by expressing a huge thank you to Brian N. for his generous donation this week via PayPal. If you appreciate the content here on The Prepared Ninja, a monetary donation of any amount is always appreciated but I also appreciate any show of support whether it is a social media share or a comment about an article. If you would like to make a monetary donation of your own, it can be made via PayPal here. Thank you for your support!

The internet is loaded with great information about survival, preparedness, homesteading, security, self-reliance, and literally just about anything you could possibly think of. I feel that it is important to share anything that could be valuable to all of us. Here are a few things that I found this last week:

SR’s [Steve Reichert] Handgun Caliber Choice and Why – For those of you who are not familiar with Steve, he is a medically retired Marine who after taking an IED blast in Iraq has moved on to be a big part of the firearms training world. In this article Steve uses his knowledge and expertise to outline his handgun caliber of choice and why that is a good choice.

Prepping on the Sly – This is a great article for those of us who have a spouse or significant other who think we are crazy for being concerned with preparedness. It is also a valuable resource for those who might be looking for a good place to get started with the survival and self-reliance lifestyle but are overwhelmed with how to get there.

The 25 Points of Hitler’s Nazi Party - This link was sent to me by a good friend and reveals what was essentially the outline of the core beliefs of the Hitler’s Nazi party. What resonates with me is how similar some of the Nazi party’s beliefs are to those of America’s current politicians and government officials. See if this sounds familiar:

10. The first duty of every citizen must be to work mentally or physically. No individual shall do any work that offends against the interest of the community to the benefit of all.

We can’t have anyone being offended now, can we? Of course, we would never do anything like force a sports team to change their name because of the perception of offense. Not in the United States anyway….right?

Self-Igniting Fire Starter - This is a great DIY on how to make your own fire starters that are not only self-starting, but if made properly will be waterproof as well. I like the concept and further appreciate the fact that they are simple to make. On a side note, one of the key elements to making these fire starters are strike anywhere matches which are becoming very close to impossible to find. If you are out and about and happen to notice these matches for sale anywhere, I would encourage you to stock up for you and your loved ones.

This wraps up my best finds of survival related gems around the web last week. I hope everyone has a blessed week and continues to prepare for any difficult times ahead.

What did you find last week that everyone could benefit from?

Fresh Water Giveaway!!!

I’ve teamed up with a group of preparedness and self-sufficiency bloggers to bring you all a chance at another great survival item. This week we have another HUGE giveaway for National Emergency Preparedness Month!

GIVEAWAY #2

National Emergency Preparedness Month
Most of you that read my blog are probably familiar with the fact that the month of September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. This is a great time to focus on what you have done, and what you still need to, to be ready for a disaster if one were to occur. It was really concerning to me when I read that the city of Toledo, Ohio was not able to use their water supply for quite some time. They could not even boil it to make it safe because of the toxic nature of the water. There was nothing that anyone could do except wait for clean water to be brought in! This is one more reason we need to tell the world about National Emergency Preparedness Month. Wow, this makes me wish every family in the world could have some type of system to purify their water. Today, you have a chance to win the security of clean water.

This is a sponsored giveaway by CampingSurvival.com and you really need to check out this website. You will be glad you did! We are extremely grateful that Tom at Camping Survival believes in the Big Berkey Water Purifier system as much as we do! Thanks again Tom for showing the world what is needed to purify our water everyday, or in an unforeseen disaster. We thank him for helping the world celebrate National Emergency Preparedness Month. Please enter this giveaway and you will have a chance to win one of these Big Berkey Water Purifiers! Good luck to everyone, and please visit the other bloggers listed below.

Here are my blogging colleagues involved in this giveaway:

1. Food Storage Moms
2. Imperfectly Happy
3. Frugality Gal
4. Survival For Blondes
5. Fabulous Farm Girl
6. Home Ready Home
7. Prepared-Housewives
8. I Get Ready
9. Kneaded Creations
10. Timber Creek Farm
11. Ever Growing Farm
12. Sharing Lifes Abundance
13. Your Own Home Store
14. Blue Yonder Urban Farms
15. Survival at Home
16. The Backyard Pioneer
17. Food Storage and Survival
18. The Busy B Homemaker
19. Simply Living Simply
20. Memories By The Mile
21. Common Sense Homesteading
22. Trayer Wilderness
23. Whole New Mom

The Fine Print:

This Big Berkey Water Purifier Giveaway is open to any resident who is 18 years of age or older who lives in one of the 48 US Contiguous States. This giveaway starts on Monday, Sept. 8th at 5:00 am (MDT) and ends on Saturday, Sept. 13th at 5:00 pm (MDT). The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If we do not hear back from said winner in the designated time period of 24 hours we will choose another winner and they will have 24 hours to respond from the time the notification email is sent. Please check your SPAM email folders. Good luck to everyone! Let’s be prepared for the unexpected!

Let your frineds and family know about this great opportunity! Or don’t, if you want to increase your odds of winning! (Just Kidding)
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Proper Food Rotation & Storage Procedures

The following article is a guest post submission from Lee Flynn, a freelance writer and expert in emergency food preparedness and food storage.

Proper Food Rotation And Storage Procedures

Rotating food supplies is important. During emergency situations, families must have plenty of food and if the proper food storage and rotation procedures are used, everyone will have enough food for several days or weeks.

Why Food Must Be Rotated

When food is rotated, the food will better maintain its nutritional content. Food must also be rotated often so that it maintains its flavor. When homeowners rotate their food items, there is always a suitable store because the stored food is not expired.

Rotation also helps families because everyone gets to try dehydrated or freeze-dried foods if that is what is stored. Learning how to eat these long-term storage foods is important because it may be the only option in an emergency situation. Eating long-term food storage items also offers health benefits because the items have less fat and plenty of nutrients.

Using Food Storage Items Efficiently

Many families store their food items in basements and in food pantries. These locations are great because they are cool and dry; these conditions make food last longer. This poses one unique challenge however…because basements and pantries are out-of-the-way places, homeowners usually do not use their food on a regular basis after it is stored. There is a way to solve this problem though. Many preppers use solutions that were designed by food storage specialists like the Shelf Reliance Food Rotation System.

Kitchen Storage Procedures

Food items in the kitchen should be stored in small containers. These small containers can be used to remind others that there are more items in the basement. Because the containers are small, they will not take up a lot of space and will need to be replenished more often, resulting in stored food being rotated. Canned items should be stored on the kitchen shelves.

Designing A One-Week Menu

Many preppers test their food storage skills by making a menu. After they design a menu, they usually notice that certain items are not as efficient as others. A menu also helps preppers understand if they have enough food for certain meals, such as breakfast. In most cases,  an initial trial of the menu will demonstrate that you do not have enough items for certain meals; this is why a menu is important. An efficient menu also prepares families for disaster situations because they can test emergency meals and know what they need to have stored.

Advanced Storage Procedures

It is also an important practice to rotate your food storage items in to your current recipes. For example, many food storage professionals use cheese powder in macaroni and cheese. They also make pancakes using wheat. Beginning to incorporate food storage products such as these into your current recipes will allow you to become familiar with the qualities of the food products you store and how they can be included in recipes you are familiar with and know how to make.

How To Increase The Life Span Of Stored Emergency Food

Food usually lasts longer when it is stored in an area that is 40-60 degrees. Each food item should be rotated and dated properly. All new foods should be placed towards the back. Placing the food on the floor is not recommended because the air will cause problems. Instead, place all food on a shelf. Depending on the weather, the food could get very cold. However, the food should never be placed in an area that has a freezing temperature to best preserve it.

Date And Rotate

Individuals and families should practice their food rotation procedures. Rotation keeps food in great condition, as long as the food is also properly maintained. Most long-term items should be used regularly, such as bulk foods. This procedure is what best helps preppers rotate and replenish their inventory.

It is wise to remember that there are food items that do not last as long as others. For example, canned foods do not last as long as a bucket of grain. However, most items have a date that lets you know how long the food will last.

It is also helpful to remember to use organizing techniques when storing preparedness items. One way to organize food is to place the newest food to the left, leaving the older food on the right. Then as food is used, take food from the right because the items on the right are the oldest. The oldest food should be eaten first because fresh food is needed during emergencies situations and it will avoid losing valuable food resources to spoilage.

Photo Credit: Tim Patterson via photopin cc

All American Sun Oven Giveaway

HUGE NEWS TODAY!!!

I am excited to be partnering with an awesome group of preparedness bloggers to giveaway a Sun Oven package worth $448!!!

All American Sun Oven Giveaway
As you may know, September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. It is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), within the Department of Homeland Security. Americans are encouraged to take the necessary steps to prepare for any emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, churches, neighborhoods and communities. We all need solid emergency planning in order to get back to business after a terrorist attack, a tornado, flood, landslide, fire, etc. It is imperative to have a plan before a disaster strikes us unexpectedly. Have a plan and talk about the plan with family, co-workers and neighbors. If we put our plans into action before we need them, we will be much better prepared for the unexpected.

The bloggers that I have partnered with are:

Here is the fine print:

This All American Sun Oven Giveaway is open to any resident who is 18 years of age or older who lives in one of the 48 US Contiguous States. This giveaway starts on Tuesday, Sept. 2nd at 5:00 am (MDT) and ends on Saturday, Sept. 6th at 5:00 pm (MDT). The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If we do not hear back from said winner in the time designated time period of 24 hours we will choose another winner and they will have 24 hours to respond from the time the notification email is sent. Please check your SPAM email folders. Good luck to everyone! Let’s be prepared for the unexpected!

September is National Emergency Preparedness Month

ENTER TO WIN!!!

Imminent Terrorist Attack Warning Issued

Judicial Watch has shared on their website that, “High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the [southwest U.S.] border has been issued.” Sources have revealed that ISIS and Al Qaeda operatives are currently in the Ciudad Juarez area across the border from El Paso, Texas. The specific threat that has been identified are Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIEDs). Federal law enforcement officers have been placed on high alert and it is reported that Lieutenant General Sean MacFarland, Commanding General of the U.S. Army III Corps and Fort Hood, Texas is also being briefed on the situation across the border.

 

All of this is happening at the same time that Britain has raised their terror alert level to ‘Severe’ indicating  that a terror attack in Britain is highly likely. See the entire article from Judicial Watch here.

Take the opportunity to be ready if you are in the immediate area. If you are not in the local area, be ready anyway. There is no telling what the repercussions could be of a wide spread terrorist attack. It is important to be aware of what is going on and the threat to our nation.

Some of the things that should be done or checked to get ready if there was an attack include:

  1. Have an evacuation plan to at least two bug out locations (vacation property, friend’s house, family member’s house, etc.) with primary and at least two alternate routes.
  2. Conduct inspections of your Bug Out Bag (BOB) to ensure that all items are functional and up to date. If you don’t have a BOB, get one.
  3. Review your security and defensive measures. Consider designating a safe area in the house. If you don’t have body armor, think about getting body armor while you still can.
  4. Have at least one way to defend you and your loved ones everywhere you go. If a firearm is your method of choice, make sure that you have appropriate defensive ammunition for each one. Alternates that are easily carried include a knife, pepper spray, taser, or stun gun.
  5. Maintain the flow of information. Have a portable radio with AM/FM, Shortwave, and Weather capabilities. Don’t forget some extra batteries!
  6. Have an ample supply of food, water, hygiene supplies, and a plan for dealing with waste and sanitation issues if you have to hunker down.

I know I missed some stuff but I wanted to get the word out if you haven’t heard about this most recent and imminent threat. My guess is if the government is finally admitting it, the threat has probably existed for some time.

Stay safe and let me know what I missed in the comment section. Thank you.

The Reality of Disaster Preparedness

This week I found myself on the receiving end of an inbound hurricane, a first for me. I have experienced minor earthquakes, tornados, wildfires, ice storms, blizzards, and a variety of strong storm systems before but this was the first time that I was on an island, with no where to go, waiting for a swirling mass of mother nature named Iselle to inflict her damage on us. (We were fortunate, the hurricane turned south and missed our island.) It is worth mentioning that because of technology, we knew that Iselle was on her way a full week ahead of her arrival. This gave me the opportunity to observe the chaos that ensued before the hurricane was even 2000 miles away.

photo credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video via photopin cc

There was an obvious race by everyone on the island to secure items necessary to sustain life following the hurricane. It was so bad that radio and news stations were reporting the locations that still had items like water and generators. Most stores were limiting the quantity of specific items that could be purchased. The governor issued an emergency proclamation to prevent retailers from gouging prices on the sale of items but it didn’t prevent private citizens from selling cases of bottled water for upwards of $50 a case. It seemed to me that this situation was caused from two major factors; most people did not have what they needed on hand and most people also realized that we are on an island and there wasn’t any more inventory coming in with a storm on the way.

Some of the “hot” items that were being bought up faster than they could be put out on the shelves were:

  • Water
  • Ice
  • Shelf Stable Food
  • Bread
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Battery Operated Radios
  • Alcohol
  • Plywood
  • Tarps
  • Chainsaws
  • Generators
  • Fuel
  • Cookstoves

This is only a short portion of what would be a long list. To me, this would demonstrate the need to keep at least a minimal stock of these items in the event that there ever is a disaster. This is especially true with things happening recently like the Lake Erie algae bloom that caused over 400,000 residents in Toledo, Ohio to be left without any water to drink or cook with for a few days. You  would think that events like this would convince people that preppers may not be so “crazy” but that is not the case. Today’s newspaper already featured an article on the large number of items like generators that were being returned because they were not needed.

My family and I were fortunate in that we have taken the steps to ensure that we are not in crowd of people at the hardware or grocery store fighting over the last sheet of plywood or a loaf of bread but I think this made us the exception to the rule. Take it from someone who just lived through a close call, do what you need to do and get what you need to get NOW before you find yourself in a situation where danger is imminent and there are no supplies available to ensure your survival.

If a hurricane were headed your way, would you have everything you need to survive the aftermath?

See the Ninja… Be the Ninja… Secretively

This is a guest post from reader Lukas. I would like to say thank you to Lukas for sharing his take on secrecy and prepping.

See the Ninja… Be the Ninja… Secretively

As an avid reader of The Prepared Ninja, I am often interested in the knowledge that can be bestowed to me by others who have a similar passion for preparedness. There is something I enjoy when it comes to reading and sharing this knowledge with others. Maybe it is the common ground I see with others who have a general love and joy from prepping. Maybe it is the pure adventure that is found understanding the variety of tactics others use. Either way, I have realized that reading The Prepared Ninja helps me fill the void I have.

After reading The Prepared Ninja for several weeks now, I was prompted (mostly by curiosity) to read the About The Prepared Ninja Page. If you haven’t read this yet- you should. Tom does a great job explaining his reason for the site. While reading this page, there was one thing that stuck out in my mind. This was the relationship Tom indicates exists between ninjas and the prepper minded individual. Specifically, I wanted to discuss Similarity #2. As Tom indicates in this section, “– A ninja is secretive and does not share what he does with anyone other than other ninjas. A prepper will spread the message of preparedness but will not tip their hand by disclosing information about their preps, making themselves a target of the unprepared.” I couldn’t agree more with the ideas in this statement and quickly wanted to discuss some of its ideas in more depth.

photo credit: Funky64 (www.lucarossato.com) via photopin cc

So how do preppers remain secretive and only talk to other preppers so as not to become a target? Especially when SHTF? Good question right? After some contemplation, I have had some thoughts I wanted to share-

Some might assume that being secretive like a ninja means keeping your lips sealed about all topics related to preparedness. Others might think it means taking some drastic measures, such as 100% covert prepping. I would tend to disagree with these ideas and present that there are problems with this mindset. For instance, how do you share your tactics and a love of prepping if your lips are glued shut? There isn’t much fun in that. How do you learn new tactics and help others prep if you aren’t willing to share ideas? How do you manage 100% covert prepping while being a regular person of society? If keeping complete secrecy was the best way to complete a task, I wouldn’t be on here writing about prepping.

So let’s think about this. I don’t think being secretive about prepping means keeping my lips sealed. I think it means taking preventative action to avoid “being the target of the unprepared.” Even if I were to keep my lips sealed… who is to say someone isn’t secretly spying on me and my every move? One step I have taken (at the most basic level) is to censor my information before making it public. I often ask myself, is this information going to expose some type of personal information about me? Is this information identifiable or going to expose me to problems when SHTF? I believe examples of information that might expose me, is information tied to my physical location, my family, and anything that might be traceable over time.

A second step I have started to take is to install a security system to protect the equity I have from several years of being a prepper. I have found this adds an extra level of security and eases my mind. If you are interested in installing a good security system , I have a found a good review of home security systems here. A third and final step I take in determining the type of secrecy I should have is to go with my gut feeling. If there is anything I have learned after many years of prepping, it is that if you have a funny feeling about something… it is probably right. This means, if you don’t feel right about something you are sharing online don’t make it public. If you feel good about it… share it.

Navigational Methods In An Emergency

Using Technology and Old School Navigational Methods in an Emergency

Finding our way from point A to B is something we now mostly take for granted. Navigational skills and technology can come in handy whether it’s using a satellite navigation system or using the night sky to find your way home.

In-car navigational tools

Satellite navigation systems- or sat nav- have been used by the public since 1983 although GPS was first used by the military during the 1960s. Our sat nav systems today use around 30 satellites to provide world-wide GPS ensuring that we should never become lost again. Many vehicles come with this little mapping system but the devices themselves are relatively inexpensive to buy. Maps of countries around the world can be downloaded via computer and these are essential if you’re looking to get somewhere, whether during an emergency or not.


photo credit: tj.blackwell via photopin cc

Navigational systems without the internet

The question of what would happen to our vehicle sat nav systems if the internet went down is one that many people consider. Many of our satellite navigational systems such as those in our vehicles would still run the maps if they are already downloaded. There are specific sat nav applications that can run maps without the use of data traffic, whereas assisted GPS such as those used on an iPad to triangulate position will need a Wi-Fi signal. However, car batteries do run down and if the electric grid was to go down it may be a case of returning to tried and tested navigational methods.

Old school navigational skills

Most of us over a certain age are familiar with the compass pointing north and a paper map technique. If these tools aren’t to handy then it could be a case of using the North Star to navigate and keep on course. First you would need to identify the ‘Plough’, which is a group of easily identifiable seven stars. From there you would identify the two ‘pointer stars’ – the North Star will be five times the same distance from the pointer star. It will take only a short amount of practice to identify the Plough and it’s relation to the North Star but once you recognise this you should be able to always find your True North.

Hopefully you will never have to rely on old school navigational methods but these are excellent skills to learn. Try some star-gazing and work out exactly where the North Star is; it’s an easy to learn skill that could indeed prove very useful.

Debt & Its Relationship To Prepping

This is a guest post from Gale about debt and prepping.

When it comes to prepping, it is often forgotten that prepping as a set of actions is much more than stocking up on extra cans of vegetables or gallons of water. It is also a common fallacy that prepping is done exclusively for the future when it is also a set of strategies to improve your current situation. Don’t believe me? Take debt as an example. While debt is something you’ll need to someday completely erase from your future, working to pay down starts now. Getting out of debt is prepping.

Never Go Into Debt By Prepping

Prepping can be bank breaking if done incorrectly. Prepping is one of those activities that can turn out to be a money pit; one purchase can lead to another, then to another, then to another, and so on and so forth until you’ve expended your entire account balance and still have other weapon attachments, security measures, food supplies, and improvements left to purchase. Set an overall budget for your prepping purchases each month (I limit myself to $225). Do not go over this arbitrary limit, even though I realize how difficult that can be as TEOTWAWKI draws closer with each passing day.

Pay For Everything In Cash

No more credit cards, no more loans. It’s easy to make purchases with money you don’t have, and this is exactly why people buy with credit cards. If I have a $5,000 credit limit, it is much easier putting a new television on a credit card as opposed to writing a check (or using a card linked to your checking account) for that money to be automatically deducted from my current account. This is how people get into trouble and deep debt fast. Pay for everything in cash and don’t give debt collectors a reason.

Become Debt Free And Stay Debt Free

Student loans, auto loan, mortgage, credit cards – these are all types of debt that can cripple your monthly budget, and for a long time. One of my best friends from high school went to college for 5 years. Here is the conversation we had:

-Friend: Man if it weren’t for my student loans, I’d be making bank right now.

-Me: Really? I’m sorry bud, is it that unmanageable?

-Friend: Yes! I barely even make enough to pay for rent and student loans! That doesn’t even count towards food or my other bills.

-Me: That’s so sad. Not to pry, but what are we talking – $20k to pay back?

-Friend: Nope, guess again – $70,000.

-Me: (speechless)

Sorry to say it, but my friend is a slave to his student loan debt. In some places in the United States, you can outright purchase a home for $70,000. Instead he is paying for a college degree for the next few decades of his life. While this is an extreme situation (average student loan debt is $29,400), it goes to show the tough situation many people find themselves in. If you have any debt, get all hands on deck to pay that debt off completely and as quickly as possible. Work on paying off one debt at a time, generally higher interest debts should be paid off first while making minimum payments on all other debts. As interest accrues, you are throwing money straight out the window towards whoever owns your debt. Break the shackles of debt and regain your financial independence.

At first glance, debt and prepping may seem unrelated. By looking a little deeper, you will find that debt and prepping are interconnected and it is imperative that a prepper must break the bonds of debt to protect themselves and their families. No one said the task would be easy, but as someone who regained control of their financial livelihood by putting forth all effort to paying off a heinous amount of debt on a new boat (talk about feeble financial decisions), I can say that the journey may be long and hard but the feeling once you reach the end is something so gratifying and liberating that it is a road certainly worth traveling, for anyone. Will you take control of your financial future?

About The Author

Gale Newell is continually working on being a self-sufficient human being. She finds herself spending her summer days outdoors, whether that raising her own food in her organic garden or playing cards with friends and family. She is very much into grilling meals on her old-school charcoal grill and has since lifted her addiction to multiple television series. She feels freer than ever and is truly happy. She is prepared for the future and ready for whatever happens next.

photo credit: StockMonkeys.com via photopin cc
photo credit: stevendepolo via photopin cc

A Packing List For All Occasions

I recently was cruising the endless chasm of the internet and stumbled upon a nifty tool that someone put together called the Universal Packing List. This immediately piqued my interest for two reasons:

  1. There is no possibility that there is a universal packing list for anything.
  2. This could be a great tool to provide a foundation for putting together a bug out bag or other survival kit.

 photo credit: lemonad via photopin cc

The packing list tool allows the user to enter a set of criteria and it in turn generates a customized packing list for the user based on the conditions they entered for their trip. Some of the components of the tool that determine what is on the list include:

  • Start & End Date Of The Trip
  • Maximum & Minimum Expected Temperatures
  • Gender
  • Expected Accommodations
  • Kids (By Age Group)
  • Various Possibilities (Is it an international trip?, Will it rain?, etc.)
  • Activities Participating In (Climbing, Beach,  etc.)
  • Transportation Method
  • The Size Of Your Bag

Another convenient detail that is included with the Universal Packing List is the option to email your completed list to yourself or someone else of your choosing. This makes it easy to share with family members or a group.

To get a good idea of how useful this tool would be, I went ahead and input the following information to simulate bugging out by myselfon foot during the summer:

  • Dates of Trip: 25-27 July
  • Temperatures: 50-86 Degrees Farenheit
  • Gender: Male
  • Accommodations: Camping
  • Kids: None
  • Other Conditions: It may rain, I use a backpack, wash my own clothes, and cook my own food.
  • Activities: Trekking
  • Transportation: Hitchhiking
  • Size of Bag: Normal

Here is the packing list that I was provided:

Things To Do Before You Leave -

  • Wash the dishes
  • Shave
  • Pet Care
  • Unplug electrical stuff
  • Turn down (or up, depending on where you live) the temperature in your home
  • Memorize PIN codes to credit cards and your phone’s SIM card
  • Memorize the PIN code to your phone’s SIM card
  • Check out what hospitals are covered by your health insurance
  • Install or recharge batteries
  • Get maps

Clothes -

  • Underwear
  • Shirts
  • T-shirts
  • Shorts
  • Socks
  • Trousers ( Pants, Jeans )
  • Sweater
  • Cap ( Hat )

Shoes -

  • Walking shoes
  • Sandals ( Flip-flops )

Optional Clothes -

  • Belt
  • Raincoat
  • Umbrella
  • Swimming trunks ( Bikini )
  • Pyjamas ( Pajamas )
  • Beach pants
  • Jewelry

Clothes For Cold Weather -

  • Jacket ( Wind breaker )

Money And Documents -

Basic Documents -

  • Insurance certificate ( Health Insurance card )
  • Cash
  • Credit/ATM cards ( Visa, Eurocard/Mastercard, American Express etc )
  • Driver’s license
  • ID card
  • Address list (with phone numbers and email addresses)

Optional Documents -

  • This packing list
  • International Student Identification Card ( ISIC )
  • Tourist organization certificate

For Carrying Money And Documents -

  • Wallet
  • Paper folder

Maps -

  • Small scale map
  • Large scale map

Books -

  • Novels
  • Guidebook

Equipment -

Things For Packing -

  • Backpack ( Rucksack )
  • Small extra backpack ( Knap sack, Day pack )
  • Luggage tags

Things For Sleeping -

  • Sleeping bag
  • Tent
  • Sheets ( Bed covers )
  • Pillowcase
  • Sleeping mattress

Cooking Equipment -

  • Stove
  • Extra fuel
  • Can opener
  • Eating utensils ( Cutlery )
  • Drinking cup
  • Plate
  • Washing-up liquid

Eating Equipment -

  • Cork screw

Miscellaneous Equipment -

  • Compass
  • Candle
  • Earplugs
  • Lighter ( Matches )
  • Sunglasses
  • Keys

Hygiene -

  • Toilet bag ( Bathroom bag, Necessaire )
  • Razor
  • Shaving gel ( Shaving foam )
  • Electric shaver
  • Toothbrush ( Electric toothbrush with charger )
  • Toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Soap box
  • Liquid soap
  • Shampoo
  • Toilet paper
  • Deodorant
  • Sunblock lotion

Hygiene (optional) -

  • Comb
  • Hair brush
  • Barrettes, headbands, hair ties
  • Detergent ( Laundry soap )
  • Sink plug
  • Fingernail clippers
  • Moisturizer

Health -

General Health Items -

  • Prescription medicine
  • Condoms
  • Sore tape ( Adhesive tape )
  • Insect repellent
  • Water bottle
  • Water purifying filter

Pills, Tablets And Medicines -

  • Motion sickness tablets
  • Fever tablets
  • Pain killers
  • Allergy pills ( Anti-histamines )

Electrical Stuff -

General Electrical Items -

  • Cell Phone ( Mobile Phone, Cellular Phone )
  • Charger to Smartphone/Cell Phone
  • Multi Power Outlet
  • Computer
  • Watch
  • Flashlight ( Torch )
  • Bookmark reading light
  • Extra batteries for your camera, flash, torch, watch, MP3-player and GPS
  • GPS

Camera Equipment -

  • Camera
  • Memory cards
  • Film

Generic Photo Equipment -

  • Camera bag

Music Items -

  • Music player ( Cassette, CD, MiniDisc, MP3 )
  • Headphones

Mountain Equipment -

Hiking Equipment -

  • Hiking trousers
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Hiking Boots
  • Woolen socks

As you can see, there are WAY too many items here to fit into a normal sized bag. At the same time, there are items listed that would not be necessary in a survival situation like a music player and headphones, a computer, or a corkscrew while there are items that would be necessary to survive like food, water, and a knife. Regardless, if you are not sure where to start when putting your kit together or are curious how various conditions might affect your packing list, the Universal Packing List may be a useful tool.

Make your own packing list using the Universal Packing List

What Convinced Me To Change My Lifestyle Choices For Good

The following is a guest post about one person’s story and what convinced her that prepping was the right choice to make…

When does preparation ever become over-reaction?  In my mind, never.  And my guess is: people who have lost their homes to disasters, lost their loved ones to an epidemic, and lost all they have to tragedies feel the same way. The bottom line is: you have to be prepared to survive.

The “polar vortex” officially became a thing this year as it turned weather conditions upside down. Epidemics and viruses, threats of war, and economic meltdown — these are some of the occurrences no man could stop from happening.  In June 2012, four million people went without electricity when an unexpected summer storm knocked out power across the mid-Atlantic region.  Hardest hit were the Washington suburbs of Northern Virginia and Maryland.  A storm during the summer? Who would have thought?

On that fateful day, I decided to never compromise the safety of my loved ones.  On that day, I decided to be a prepper.  Yes, a prepper — a growing community that gave National Geographic its highest ratings ever.  The majority of people who saw the “Doomsday Preppers” series were not very kind, calling preppers crazy and wild-eyed people waiting for the end of the world as we know it.  But the thing about preppers is they don’t wait, they prepare and not just for the apocalypse (as most assume) but for emergencies and occurrences that most people don’t take seriously.

However, if you were with my family who huddled in the basement as the storm ripped through our neighborhood, tearing our roofs, slamming windows, and blowing down trees, you would probably understand.  More than 20 people died.

Source: Flickr

Photo 1 via Flickr

The next day after the storm, temperatures reached triple digits again. The extreme heat was hurting recovery efforts. Our house was damaged, we had no power, supermarkets and shops were mostly closed, and we ran out of food.  During those weeks, I thought: I will never let this happen to my family ever again.

A Prepper In All Of Us

It dawned on me that I was not alone.  I was not the only one who will do whatever it takes to keep my loved ones safe.  I was not the only one who fights hard to survive.

As many as three million Americans call themselves preppers.  They are regular people who like regular things.  They are professionals, couples, rich and poor, old and young. You could be living next to a prepper and not know it.  They are the new breed of survivalists whose preparedness guide and practices go beyond the norm.

A prepper’s emergency management includes not just a 72-hour survival food kit.  Prepping means sustainability.  Keeping a stockpile of food and artillery, getting survival training, and having an escape plan are among prepper practices that make people cringe and laugh.  But the truth is: there is a prepper in all of us.  Preparing for the future, preparing for simple home emergencies, preparing for hurricanes make everyone preppers.  The difference probably lies not in magnitude but the extent and degree of wanting to survive which transcends beliefs, orientation, and practices.

Being A Prepper

It is not easy to be a prepper.  The “Doomsday” series was more like a weekly invitation to laugh at us, “lunatics”.  Some imagine preppers as armed zealots hunkered down in bunkers.  When visitors drop by my house, I still don’t have the courage to show them my own survival kit.  We call them bug-out bags: our own array of disaster swag.  Members of the New York City Preppers Network proudly exhibited them at a church in Washington Heights last year.  They contain: compasses, hand-cranked radios, solar-powered flashlights, fire starters, road maps and pills.  Some preppers tweaked bug-out gear to suit their needs and interests.

Source: Flickr

Photo 2 via Flickr

Preppers often have their own checklists and preparedness guides. Prepping seems like a tough practice and the common question is: “where do I start?”  If you are the type that will do everything to protect your family, then prepping should not be a difficult task.  Everything will come naturally with training and practice.  There is no single formula for prepping — emergency survival kits must be patterned with what you and your family need and the training required varies with what specifically you are preparing for.

However, for beginners to have an idea of what prepping is all about, the basics are food kits, the art of stockpiling food and preserving it, first aid kits and skills, keeping your place warm or cold, locating sources of water and power, and disaster training.

Preppers And Pop Culture

Preppers are an ever-growing community, thanks to television shows, documentaries, movies, businesses and dedicated websites that make the idea of preparing popular and common.  Taking after the National Geographic’s “Doomsday Preppers,” the Discovery Channel launched its own series called “Doomsday Bunkers” and the TV special “Apocalypse Preppers.”

Movies such as “2012,””Contagion” and “World War Z” show viewers that, while fictional, the world is not safe from disasters and epidemics.  Like these movies, preppers do not intend to cast paranoia among people.  They simply remind that complacency has no place in this world.

There are also hundreds of websites and blogs, personal or official that are dedicated to preppers.  Top websites such as SHTF Plan and Survival Blog get as much as 60,000 visits a day combined.

Whether for long-term or short-term emergencies, people seem to be taking action and industries cashing in on preppers are proof of this — from ordinary household items to bug out gear.  The demand has made prepping a multi-billion industry.

Prepping is often seen as overly-dramatic but to me it is nothing but preparing to survive.  It is survival revolution.  No one deserves to feel the pain of losing someone we love or losing everything we worked so hard for.  Prepping is more than just a phenomenon; it is here to stay because danger does not discriminate — it can happen anytime, it can happen to anyone.  Preppers are regular people who will do everything to keep themselves and their families alive. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

About The Author

Jona Jone has been a mortgage originator in Philadelphia, PA. She is also a Business and Property Specialist. She has been writing articles about real estate investment, business, and sustainability. Know more about her by following her Twitter.

Decreasing Summer Emergencies

Decrease Summer Emergencies By Staying Prepared

There are various types of emergency situations that tend to happen during the warm summer months. Whether it involves heat exhaustion, electricity blackouts, or dehydration, it is important to stay informed on things that you can do to protect yourself, your family and your pets. The summer heat can be dreadful for the elderly, young children, and people with serious health conditions. However, anyone who is exposed to the heat for a long period of time should be concerned about how the summer heat can have a negative effect on their health and everyday life.

Tips for Preventing Summer Emergencies

Summer emergencies can range from irritable to severe, however the good news is that they can be prevented. Here are a few things that we can all do to ensure safety this upcoming summer.

  • Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids even if you are not thirsty. Water is best, but any non-alcoholic beverage can help keep you hydrated on a hot summer day. (Tom adds: Not all non-alcoholic beverages are as helpful in staying hydrated as others. In addition to water; fruit juices, sports drinks, and clear beverages like flavored waters are the best options for maintaining hydration.)
  • Wear light colored, light weight clothing that is loose fitting if you plan on being outside for a long period of time
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  • Stay cool indoors by keeping the thermostat turned down or keeping doors closed if there is only one source of cool air in the home. If fans are used, place them in the windows or doorway to circulate cool air.
  • Always wear plenty of sunscreen when you plan on being exposed to the sun.
  • Exercising outdoors should be limited to the early morning or late evening hours when the temperature is at its lowest
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  • Visit your local county facilities that are air conditioned and open to the public if you need to cool down quickly such as the local library or community center.
  • Conserve energy inside your home so that you can help decrease the possibility of a community-wide blackout which could be dangerous for many people.

The Dangers of Hyperthermia

Hyperthermia is a term that is used to describe a variety of illnesses that occur due to overexposure to heat. The most common types of hyperthermia include heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Seniors and those with serious illnesses are most likely to develop this serious medical condition. Anyone who is showing signs of hyperthermia should seek immediate medical attention. While it is most common in the summer, hyperthermia can occur at any time to anyone. Individuals who take a lot of medication can be at a higher risk as well as young children and the elderly.

Avoid Blackouts by Conserving Energy

Warm temperatures outside mean higher electricity bills for most homeowners. While it is important to stay cool, it is also a good idea to keep an eye on your thermostat and try to keep it at a comfortable and conservative level. With so many people turning on energy-draining air conditioning systems it is highly likely for many communities to experience blackouts due to heat waves. When a blackout occurs, the power can go out and stay out for several hours. It is important to take precautions if you suspect that a blackout may occur such as keeping emergency food and water on hand so that you can stay hydrated. Stock up on food and snacks that do not require heating up and keep plenty of bottled water available.

Summer should be a fun and enjoyable time for all, unfortunately there are many areas where the high temperatures can make this happy time of year, a dreadful one for many people. Be sure to keep a close eye on at-risk individuals in your local community by checking in on elderly neighbors or those who are sick or disabled to see if they need assistance with staying cool. Many charity organizations provide free fans or window air conditioners for seniors or low-income families. By staying hydrated and avoiding long time exposure to the sun, you can help yourself beat the heat and make the summer season more enjoyable.

About The Author

Lee Flynn is a freelance writer and expert in emergency food preparedness and food storage.  

Prepper Checklist Infographic

The information below originally appeared on thesurvivalistblog.net in the post, The Prepper Checklist – Ten Things To Do Now. M.D. Creekmore has now updated that info into an easy to follow infographic and has allowed me to share it with you. It is full of great information and is the perfect tool to share with those that are new to prepping or have been thinking about getting started on an emergency preparedness plan.

In addition to the above info graphic, make sure to check out M.D.’s follow up article, Ten MORE Things To Do Now.

Thank you to M.D. for all the great work he does and for being willing to share what he does with as many people as possible.

What Would You Do?

There is a named storm, Arthur, bearing down on the east coast of the United States and a mandatory evacuation has been ordered for some areas while voluntary evacuations have been ordered for other areas. This is not ideal by any means, especially because it is forecasted to make land fall today which would make it the first hurricane to ever hit the United States on Independence Day. Facing a hurricane, or any disaster, reminds us that things happen around us all the time and it reiterates the necessity to prepare for such events constantly. These threats are real and show up on God’s time, not ours. It is not possible to predict such disasters on any type of long term calendar.

Hurrucane Ike, Picture Origin Unknown
Hurrucane Ike, Picture Origin Unknown

Let me put a twist on the situation…imagine that you are there visiting a resort in North Carolina’s Outer Banks on your summer vacation, right where Arthur is headed. It is not likely that you have brought along much in the way of survival or preparedness kits or items. You might not even have a car! Do you carry the bare minimum essentials to survive if you were caught in this situation? Do you have the knowledge to complete the survival tasks necessary in this situation?

It is a good mental exercise to participate in. What would you do if you found yourself in this situation? It is typically not practical to travel with a dedicated bug out bag which can be cumbersome, not to mention that the type of travel can greatly limit what you can have in your bag. The amount of space needed to carry the bare minimum essentials can easily fit into a small portion of the average suitcase.

There are 10 survival items that I would suggest that you consider carrying with you when you travel include:

  1. First Aid Kit
  2. High Quality Multi-Tool
  3. Flashlight
  4. Chemical Light Stick(s)
  5. Whistle
  6. Emergency Poncho
  7. Paracord (~50 Feet)
  8. Water Bottle (Lexan bottles like Nalgene are durable and can be used to pack other items into.)
  9. Way To Purify Water (Tablets, Straw Filter, Etc.)
  10. Duct Tape (~50 feet wrapped around an old gift card) and Zip Ties
  11. Mylar Survival Blanket
  12. Snack Foods (Jerky, Protein Bars, Nuts, Candy, Etc.)
  13. Lighter
  14. Bandana
  15. Sewing Kit

What would you add to this list?

I would also like to say happy Independence Day! It is my hope that everyone enjoys their day and stays safe while celebrating the freedoms that we enjoy. Don’t forget to keep your thoughts and prayers with those who are dealing with Arthur on the east coast and our military who are serving abroad so that we can have fun at home.

Today is the last day to take advantage of the 4th of July sale over at Black River Outpost. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to save a ton of money on marked down items and FREE shipping on ALL orders!

10 Items to Keep Your Survival Chances in Check

The following is a guest submission on some of the ways to ensure your survival in the wake of an emergency.

10 Items to Keep Your Survival Chances in Check

Zombie apocalypse. Doomsday. End of the world.

These are some of the situations that we just regularly see in movies, TV shows, or in books. We tend to be amazed on how the protagonist manages to survive a certain kind of situation that seems impossible to escape. But have you ever thought of your escape plan if ever these situations happen in your lifetime? More importantly, have you ever thought of the things that you need to have in order to survive?

And if natural disasters and panic have already raged your neighborhood, will you just get the items that you instantly see based on your instincts and or will you easily grab your ever-reliable emergency survival kits and run as fast as you can for your dear life? For me, the latter sounds much better.

Of course, preparing ahead is much, much better compared to rushing things especially during doomsday where the atmosphere is already tense, nerve-wracking and full of fear. A prepper naturally has the foresight and prepares everything as organized and as detailed as possible. You wouldn’t want to miss out on a single item that you need to have for you and your loved ones’ survival.

Here are 10 security items that you need to have to keep your survival chances in check if ever the worse day happens.

1. Water Supply To Quench Your Thirst

This comes first in our list. Without water for 3 to 4 days, you’ll eventually die and that is the ultimate situation that you need to avoid as you fight for survival. You will definitely need to have ‘drinking’ water intact and not just any other type of water unless you want to die of other water-related diseases. Have a big table-top ceramic filter type of water container to store your drinking water.

2. Food Storage To Avoid Starving

This is a no-brainer if you really want to survive doomsday. Come the end of the world, major supermarkets will definitely run out of their food supply because of the panicking people that filled the supermarkets and retail stores. You can choose to store and prepare survival food kits that match your nutritional needs. Don’t forget to address the food allergies of your family for your survival. Make sure that these food kits will last longer, say 6 months. These survival food kits in case of disasters will surely provide you food and energy that you need if ever the food supply totally runs out in your area.

3. A Handgun For Defense

If the situation becomes truly chaotic (think of the possibility if zombies attack you at your own home or if other people desperately try to get your food supply), you will need a handgun for self-defense and for defending your family. For example, if your home alarm system has been destroyed by an earthquake, you need to be aware of burglars and people who will target your house for their own supplies. Learn how to use one and for starters, experts recommend having handgun that you are comfortable shooting in a caliber that is 9mm or larger. Don’t forget to load set-defense ammunition in the handgun, that is what it is made for.

4. A Portable Radio To Be In The Loop

After you have safely evacuated your chaotic neighborhood, you’ll definitely need to be in the loop on the current events in your area and for possible safe places that you can evacuate to. Having a portable radio will allow you to stay informed and this is a great advantage since information is power.

5. First-Aid Kits

Prepping for the worst day also includes preparing for what might happen along the way during your escape. In case of an emergency, make a handy list of your first-aid essentials such as regular medicines, antibiotics, and gauze bandages if you or a family member ever gets wounded while on the run. Check to ensure that you have enough of each item in your first-aid kit.

6. A Handy Map And A Compass

Another no-brainer, these will come in handy should you need to locate the fastest and easiest escape route towards the next safe place. Yes, a lot of people are relying on their GPS or their other gadgets but if battery runs low, then your map will be your golden ticket to survival. Have a good quality road map of your area or secure a topographical map of your hometown and possible retreat areas. Along with a map, a compass will also come into good use if you need to go around the woods for your safety.

7. Flashlights

This will be extremely useful at night and for dark places that you might encounter. Be sure to have extra batteries as well for this item. A handy L.E.D flashlight that produces a strong light is needed for your survival.

8. Lighter And Fire Starters

If ever you need to stay out in the woods for several days, you will need lighters, matches and other fire starters to keep you warm and to possibly cook food as well. This will also be handy should you need to boil dirty water for it to be potable.

9. The Reliable Swiss Army Knife

This item is definitely included in the top security items list. A Swiss Army Knife is incredibly handy and valuable thanks to every function that it can do for your survival. You’ll never know when you’ll need it especially if you’re in an area where certain tools are out of reach.

10. A Hiking Backpack

You might think of the need for a place to put all the necessary items for your survival. Why not go for your hiking backpack as your “bug out” bag? Be sure that it has plenty of space and/or compartments and check to be sure you can carry it with a full load of your essential items. This will contain all of your emergency survival kits so be sure that your backpack is strong and intact.

Having this top 10 security items list will serve as your preparedness guide for terrible events such as doomsday. Properly securing and preparing each item will definitely help you in your survival and you will be assured that you’ve prepared ahead of those terrible times in the future.

About The Author

John Anderson is a writer and an Executive Street Contributor. He runs the blog InfiltrationAlert.com

Book Review: Forsaking Home by A. American

I just finished reading Forsaking Home, the fourth installment of the Survivalist Series by A. American. I really enjoyed the first three books in the series and was excited to see how things would work out for Morgan Carter and the rest of the gang. While I was not disappointed in the least, I was surprised how some of the events played out in Forsaking Home. It was not what I expected, although all of the loose ends from the previous three installments were tied together in this book which was a relief and a disappointment. I am glad to know how everything works out for Morgan and the cast of characters but I am bummed that things may have come to an end. I don’t know that this is the last book in the series or not. Things could be done for Morgan Carter but maybe Mr. American will let us know how the rebuilding of the United States goes eventually.

The first three installments of the Survivalist Series revealed the challenges that Morgan Carter faced after the collapse of the electrical grid across the United States. After a long journey, he finally made it back home to his family and made some great friends, and terrible enemies, along the way. Nothing could have prepared him for everything he has faced but between the relationships forged and the preparations that he did make, he is in much better shape than most. As the days continue on, Morgan, along with his friends and family, is forced to try harder and harder to provide the food, security, and hope that is necessary to continue to thrive. This is all on top of the DHS’ attempts to smother any resistence they get from those who do not want to conform to the government’s new rules of martial law, etc.

Forsaking Home takes us along as Morgan continues to try to keep his family and group alive and together in their newly established oasis by the river while Sarge and his self-titled band of misfits try to pull together an operation that will take down the DHS camp that is holding Jess and her friends captive (in the name of their own good of course). While things continue to be chaotic, there are many who wonder what the future holds and whether or not they will even survive to see. I think that compared to the previous three books there was perhaps a little less excitement overall but the story was still very captivating and I appreciated the realism in the behavior of the characters and the facts contained.

There were some great take away points that I highlighted as I was reading the book that I wanted to remember to share.

Point #1 – People will fight to the death for the food needed to survive (there may not be a greater truth).

Food is freedom. Control the food, control the people. While a lot of people don’t see it that way, if you think about our current situation, it really applies. How many people do you think have gone to the [DHS] camps because they are hungry?

Point #2 – The skills of the generations that came before us are what made their survival possible and their lives better. Knowing these skills could be the key to future survival if the grid did go down.

There’s decades of skills lost that would make our lives easier. The rush to make life easier, more convenient, overshadowed those skills, and we’re paying the price now.

Takeaway # 3 – The idea of preparing for the unknown is not crazy. Obviously the electrical grid has not collapsed but if it ever did (and it’s possible), it will be those who prepared who will survive.

You guys remember that show Doomsday Preppers? I used to watch that and laugh at those people. I thought they were all so crazy. But they were right. Everyone called them crazy, but they’re probably the best off out of any of us.

Among these points and the additional practical skills and knowledge that is shared in the book, one of the other things that I appreciated was the inclusion of a few characters that had used their bikes with trailers to travel and move their belongings after the majority of vehicles became useless. This is something that can be a useful tool for a prepper, not only as an alternate form of transportation but as a means of exercise and maintaining physical fitness for long term survival.

I truly enjoyed all four of the books in this series and can honestly say that I was anxiously awaiting the release of Forsaking Home. A. American continued to do a great job in the latest installment with the characters and the storyline. It is easy to relate to all of the characters and how they feel and function but there were definitely some that I almost feel like I had met before. As an example, Sarge and crew easily remind me of my time in the Army and several of the Soldiers who I worked with, not only in attitude but in the shenanigans department as well. For those who are interested in the Survival/Post-Apocalyptic Fiction genre or have thought about checking it out, the Survivalist Series by A. American would be well worth your time. Just make sure to order all the books at once because you will go through them quickly.

The Survivalist Series can be found through your local book retailer or online from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and Powell’s Books.

Interested in winning all four books in the Survivalist Series? All you have to do is leave a comment about this review and you will automatically be entered to win. Make sure to leave a good email address (it will only be seen by me) so that I can contact you if you are the winner. The winner will be selected using a random generator on July 15th, 2014.

BBQ’s, Fireworks, & Baseball

I know, what an odd title for an article on a preparedness blog but I promise I will make it relate. (Bonus fact – I love BBQ, fireworks, and baseball.) Most of the country is preparing for the big celebration next week by readying parades, festivals, and all the security measures that go along with them. It is such a weird time in America right now when there has been such a seismic shift in the militarization of the police forces, the way we look at the risk of terrorism, and perhaps even the way we look at each other. I feel like what used to be ok, no longer is and what was once incomprehensible has become quite popular.

I truly believe that we still live in the greatest country in the world. I know that there are many parameters that the government likes to highlight as areas where we are failing; education and healthcare as examples. While this is very true in some regards, we still have more freedom (at least those freedoms that matter in my opinion) than anywhere else you can go in the world. (I don’t believe that freedom has anything to do with the government providing clean needles for drug users as an example.) We can still for the most part, say what we want, own firearms, do what we want, live where we want, and own what kind of car or house we desire. It is apparent that based on recent government activity that some of these liberties may be eroding.

For me, this makes it vital that steps are taken now, while they are still legal and items are still available, to secure my family’s and my future. This means a lot of things. It means getting out of debt, finding a place to call home that I own, storing up food and water, obtaining the tools necessary to survive on my own, and most of all, learning and sharing skills with others to be ready for difficult times. All to the best of my ability.

Now I guess I better bring things back around to my article title. We are officially a week away from the annual celebration of our country’s independence and that can only mean a couple of things: bbq’s, fireworks, baseball, and Black River Outpost’s 4th of July sale. My friends over at Black River Outpost have not only put a bunch of their items on sale but they have also made shipping FREE on all orders from now until Friday, July 4th. This provides a prime opportunity to make a shift towards personal independence in your personal lives at a great savings. I hate to make this post sound like a commercial but I am absolutely concerned about the ways things are going and the opportunity to secure the items we need for survival NOW is the only way to ensure you have them when they are needed. There are a number of items that can help you accomplish your survival goals at Black River Outpost and it would be a shame to miss out on the discounted prices AND free shipping (this can be a huge savings). Check out the Black River Outpost 4th of July sale here.