This is the first of what I hope to be a series of several “prepperviews” (interviews with preparedness professionals).
Damian Brindle from reThinkSurvival was kind enough to give us some insight into his views on preparedness and survival. I found his answers both informative and entertaining. For those that are not familiar with his [...]
This is the first of what I hope to be a series of several “prepperviews” (interviews with preparedness professionals).
Damian Brindle from reThinkSurvival was kind enough to give us some insight into his views on preparedness and survival. I found his answers both informative and entertaining. For those that are not familiar with his site, make sure to check it out at reThinkSurvival.com. It is loaded with great information, YouTube videos that are posted daily, and the Pathway 2 Preparedness course.
Here is what Damian had to say…
Please don’t consider me a professional. I’m just another American trying to better prepare his family for whatever might come our way… nothing more, nothing less.
1. If I were limited to only one firearm for survival, I would own a: Ruger 10/22 (or something similar) for a variety of basic survival reasons, including cost of ammo, ease of use, versatility around a homestead, etc.
2. The single most overlooked prep item are: buckets—and plenty of them—in all sizes. They have so many uses, from hauling water to storing food, caching supplies, as a makeshift toilet, wash station, and plenty more uses. Be sure to include the lids too!
3. The first thing to disappear following a disaster will be: whatever it is you failed to stock up on yesterday. But, if I had to be pinned down then I would say gasoline because nobody knows how to do anything if they can’t use their cars.
4. If I could have a retreat anywhere in the world, it would be: wherever nobody else has thought of and, sadly, I’m pretty sure there are no more hiding places on Earth. That said, it would probably still be here in America, specifically the northwest. I would need a plentiful water resource and a lot of trees to harvest. Beyond that, I could make do fairly well with whatever I’m presented with.
5. In my opinion, the best commercially produced survival food on the market today is: anything made by Mountain House. I know there are plenty of freeze-dried food choices but I tend to like their products, particularly the spaghetti and lasagna meals.
6. The items that I have on me at all times include: my keys, cell phone, a USB drive with pertinent info (encrypted, of course), a photon keychain light, CRKT folding knife, kubotan, wallet with assorted supplies (e.g., credit card Fresnel lens, bandages, some OTC meds, duct tape, etc), and occasionally a Leatherman Wave with a firesteel and another mini light.
7. The last book that I read was: a review of Fight, Flight, or Hide. The Guide to a Mass Shooting. One of these days I’ll get to reading classic novels instead of survival and preparedness info… one day.
8. One thing that I would miss the most if an EMP shifted my lifestyle back to the 1800’s would be: music. But, if we’re relatively prepared then we should be able to play a few favorite tunes every now and then without much trouble.
9. Stuck on an island and forced to choose one person to survive with, I would pick: my wonderful wife as my survival partner. Gee, how could I not… she might read this?
10. The vehicle I drive is: a lowly Saturn Sedan. Some day it will be a tank, I swear it.
Thank you to Damian for sharing with us. Keep an eye out for future prepperviews with professionals from the survival and preparedness niche.
SafeGuard Body armor is giving away another set of their Stealth Body Armor. This go around the set of body armor offers NIJ Level II ballistic protection as well as Level I stab and spike protection. To enter the contest:
- Go to SafeGuard Armor’s Facebook Page.
- Share the May Giveaway post.
- Like their page.
The winner of the contest will be selected at random. Contest runs through the 14th of May.
Essential Body Armor Gear
From SafeGuard Armor
Body armor is a very important part of proper protection in many different areas. Body armor can be used by the military, law enforcement officers, security guards, and even regular civilians. There are different situations, needs, and requirements that should be met for the former two. [...]
Essential Body Armor Gear
From SafeGuard Armor
Body armor is a very important part of proper protection in many different areas. Body armor can be used by the military, law enforcement officers, security guards, and even regular civilians. There are different situations, needs, and requirements that should be met for the former two. Every situation heavily influences what body armor gear is essential for you.
If you are a civilian, you can’t just buy a complete military body armor gear with helmet, arm and leg pads, and whole bunch of other stuff and expect to just walk on the street. You will get a lot of looks from passersby and will definitely be stopped and questioned by the law enforcement representatives about the reasons you are wearing all this stuff on the street.
However, UK and USA civilians are allowed to own and wear body armor gear whenever and wherever they want and can be bought online and delivered directly to your door legally from trusted armor suppliers such as SafeGuard Clothing. It’s just that the police will consider there’s a threat – either in you or somewhere near – if you get out on the street, like it’s a war out there. Before you get a body armor set, it is better for you to take time and make the effort to research what you actually need.
First of all, define what type of body armor you need. There are bullet proof vests and stab/spike proof vests. There are also combined vests, but this is a separate topic. So, if you live in a dangerous neighborhood and are afraid that you may catch a stray bullet, you obviously need a covert bullet proof vest to minimize the threat. If you are a security guard at a mall, store, or any other type of premise, your body armor choice will depend on the object’s strategic importance. In this case, you will also have to take a deeper look into your work to decide whether you need covert or overt body armor. Covert body armor will provide less protection, but will provide more mobility, whereas overt armor will provide more protection and will hamper your movement. If you are a policeman or soldier, you should talk to your commander on this matter, in case you aren’t provided with body armor and must get your own.
Let’s narrow the choices. If you are a regular civilian, who just wants to be safe, while traveling to work and back, you don’t need any additional pads, except a stab proof or bullet proof vest, depending on the threat. If you are a military person, you will probably have to take a wider look at the body armor assortment and check out helmets and various armor pads. All of the gear should be bullet proof in this case. It doesn’t really matter, if you choose overt or covert body armor, but if your choice is overt gear, make sure it matches your camouflage in color.
Don’t forget about the US NIJ and UK HOSDB protection levels to get the most optimal protection. Bullet proof vests differ in the calibers they provide protection from. Stab proof vests have two types of ratings. Make sure you sort it all out before buying a set, because if you purchase body armor that doesn’t respond to your requirements, you can lose your life. And this is definitely the last thing you want to happen to you.
There are many reasons to make the effort to be prepared. The driving force behind many preppers is the hope that if something happens, they and their family/close friends will be better off than if they were not to make such efforts. With that being said, what event(s) should you focus on being [...]
There are many reasons to make the effort to be prepared. The driving force behind many preppers is the hope that if something happens, they and their family/close friends will be better off than if they were not to make such efforts. With that being said, what event(s) should you focus on being prepared to survive? Below are 75 reasons that should be considered when you decide what your greatest risks are and what you should tailor your preparedness efforts towards. While this may not be every reason to prepare, it should at a minimum provide a good foundation to get started with. Note: They are numbered as a means of keeping track of the different reasons and not because they are in any order of significance or preference.
75 Reasons To Prepare
- Power Outage
- Structure Fire
- Financial Collapse
- Societal Collapse
- Nuclear Reactor Meltdown
- Acts Of Terror
- Acts Of War
- Flu Pandemic
- Food Shortage
- Disruptions In Supply Chains
- Government Imposed Rationing
- Civil Unrest
- Coronal Mass Ejections/Solar Flares
- Government Imposed Furloughs
- Martial Law
- Permanent Disability
- Temporary Disability
- E. Coli
- Contaminated Water Sources
- Oil Spill
- Disease Outbreak
- Contaminated Medication Supplies
- Government Shut Downs
- Financial Depression
- Heat Wave
- Currency Inflation/Devaluation
- Internet Crash/Outage
- Bank Run
- Blizzard/Snow Storm
- Population Spikes
- Medication Resistant Infection
- Modified Strains of Disease/Illness
- Industrial Accident
- Military Coup
- Sudden Changes In World Leaders
- Skyrocketing Commodity Prices
- Cyber Terrorism
- Terminal Illness
- Government Regulation
- Ammunition Shortages
- Loss Of A Loved One
- Gas Leak
- Unavailability Of Emergency Services
- Genetically Modified Foods
- Hail Storm
- Animal Disease Outbreak
- Crop Decimation
- Hazardous Material Incident
- Infrastructure Failure
- Labor Strikes/Disputes
- Lightning Storms
- Transportation Disaster
- Ice Storm
- Save Money(Buy In Bulk/Buy Now=Savings on the future cost of goods.)
- Avoid being in a position of regret later, “It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.” ~Anonymous
What are you prepared to survive?
Please leave a comment if you have any others reasons that you prepare…
The End of the World: The Sequel
For let us make no mistake. If the end of the world appeared in all the literal trappings of the Apocalypse,* if the modern materialist saw with his own eyes the heavens rolled up* and the great white throne appearing,* if he had the sensation of being himself hurled into the Lake of Fire,* he would continue forever, in that lake itself, to regard his experience as an illusion and to find the explanation of it in, psycho-analysis, or cerebral pathology. – CS Lewis
I am in my late 50s, and have seen “end of the world” predictions for a half century.
I also do preparedness.
So… what gives?
I have indeed lived through the “Run for the hills, the end of the world is coming” scares of many past decades: the Cold War, various asteroid, comets and rogue planets making a guest appearance at a planet near you, sundry predictions of WWIII starting, Y2K, the annual end of the world meltdown predictions from the global warming charlatans, and much, much more (including the epic global catastrophes of Jennifer Lopez’s Gigli and Kevin Costner’s Waterworld!) I have a particular distaste for the issue of anthropogenic global warming – on which I have done a 400 page paper – and which I consider to be perhaps the most expensive fraud ever perpetrated on mankind, bar none.
As one writer, whose name escapes me now, once observed, he had lived through many disasters, the vast majority of which never happened.
So, why is it that I do preparedness?
Simple – risk mitigation, a knowledge of history and an understanding that we live in a universe that – like it or not, be it long or short, a culture eventually reaps what it sows (even though individuals may escape). There clearly is one “possibility” that is indeed certain: I have to die, and I have to live until I die. In other words, if I don’t die, I have 100% probability of getting old, and then dying (of course, as Keynes famously observed, in the long run, we’re all dead). Thus, one form of preparedness is that I plan for either retirement, and/or make sure my will is in order (it might also be helpful to make peace with God – after all, you are going to be dead a lot longer than you are going to be alive.) Similarly, it is also likely that if you devote an extreme amount of time to preparedness, your wife and children will either leave you, or you run the serious risk of alienating all of them. Or, if you aren’t married, you will end up with very few friends – and even less prospects of ever getting married! Preparedness starts with a dispassionate analysis of possible outcomes, based on your understanding of the world and history. It also means the prepper should make sure to take adequate time to smell the roses in his journey to readiness. You do not want to reach the end of next year, next decade, or the end of your life, having lived in a bomb shelter, or never having had the opportunity to actually visit the Corn Palace, in Mitchell, South Dakota. (Ok… well, make that the Pyramids at sunrise, or the Eiffel Tower at sunset, but you get my drift.) By the same token, one also needs to determine the value of that new Lexus vis-à-vis the value of preparedness and “only” being able to afford a Toyota Corolla instead. I don’t know your financial situation – however, I do know that a plurality of westerners have chosen to live for today – with the problem being that the results of “Live for today, for tomorrow we die” is that tomorrow you don’t die. Rather, you wake up and you have a massive hangover, you wake up and find there is no seed corn for next year’s planting – or you wake up and find you and are in debt (as an individual or society) that you will never be able to pay back.
This, then, is the initial step in the preparedness journey – prioritizations, and a cold analysis of what is certain to happen, likely to happen, possible to happen, and only remotely likely to happen. Yes, this will certainly be a judgment call – it can’t be helped – but your decisions can be reasonably informed, as much as your – and my – time allows.
So why prep? First, the goal is not to live in fear. Preparedness – paradoxically combined with faith in God – is the antidote to fear. In contrast to FDR’s dictum that the government should provide freedom from fear and want, the prepper is one who believes the same thing – only brought about by his own actions, not that of the nanny state, which inevitably can only do the exact same thing using your money – and do it half as well, using twice the dollars. You also need to weigh how much you believe is self-reliance - can you live with yourself being utterly dependent on everyone and everything. Yes, no man is an island, most of us live in community, and we need to interact, so there is indeed a continuum between total dependence and total self-reliance, with no one at either extreme. However, there clearly is a point where one “depends on the kindness of strangers,” or worse, becomes a ward of the state. If you are comfortable with this, please stop reading!
Another goal is to have the self-respect that can only be found in a reasonable degree of self-reliance. You cannot have true self- respect if you have no preparations made for what you determine are realistic threats, and expect others to rescue you. Further, one also has an obligation to provide for one’s family – not the nanny state, not the government, not the socialists – but you and me, individually. Indeed, the great falsehood about socialism, as Bastiat observed, is that “it is the great fiction, whereby everybody endeavours to live off of everybody else.” It doesn’t work, it hasn’t worked, and it by definition can never work – but that never stops socialists from their “we’re smarter, and this time we will get it right.” As a corollary of this, yet one further goal of the prepper is to not become victimized by the by a socialist mediated economic collapse (and they always end up collapsing) – be is a slow, grinding Argentinian-style collapse, or something more rapid and calamitous.
Am I being overly dramatic about what might result from an economic collapse? Ask someone from Argentina (which used to be one of the richest countries in the world 100 years ago), from the Weimar Republic, from Greece, Spain, Portugal or Ireland today, or New Zealand in 1986, or any number of other countries around the world that have experienced this.
History also guides my concern for preparedness. And yes, those who don’t know history – think those people you saw interviewed on Jay Leno’s walkabouts – will indeed watch it repeat… or at least see it rhyme.
And what is that history? Just to select a few examples:
- The Black Plague of medieval Europe. Ahhhh, but we’re much smarter than that now, you object… that would never happen now. Really? Are you talking about today’s developing antibiotic resistance? Designer germs or intentionally spread diseases by terrorists? Maybe just a “vanilla” global nuclear exchange? Of course, the explicitly stated intentions by globalists is to reduce the world population by a very large percentage, so who knows how that may come to fruition.
- The Jews in 1936 Germany thought it couldn’t get worse, and particularly the most civilized, advanced country in the world would not go to serious extremes. You know that story – though you may not have taken it to heart.
- The Haidas on the Queen Charlotte Islands, located off British Columbia, my old home province. This proud tribe – the only Indian tribe that was advanced enough to hunt whales – saw 80 – 90% of their population wiped out when smallpox and other diseases were accidentally introduced when explorers arrived. The Mayan collapse is another aboriginal disaster many are now familiar with, given the Mayan calendar end of the world scam of 2012
- Perhaps the history to be repeated will be something more along the lines of Russia in 1918. You may laugh off predictions of disaster, but 61 million people who died in the USSR did, in fact, see their very own TEOTWAKI situation realized, including perhaps seven million who were intentionally starved to death in Stalin’s Holmodor of the Ukrainian Kulaks. In fact, according to Stephane Courtois, around 100 million were murdered last century due to various socialist “solutions.” No doubt many Russians in 1910, as they listened to Tchaikovsky and read Tolstoy, felt the hell of the USSR just around the corner was not even a theoretical possibility.
- On the other hand, we may see the slow, leftist devolution of an economy, such as seen in Argentina, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Greece. If you are one of the youth who has been unemployed for the past five years, you are experiencing your own slo-mo TEOTWAKI. (And in fact, if you are one of the 48 million Obama now has on food stamps, up from 32 million when he took office, you don’t need to wait to imagine.) Would preparedness have done a disservice to those Greeks who were “paranoid” enough to have anticipated the future five years ago, and engaged in preparedness? What are those who mocked the Greek or Argentinian “preppers” thinking right now? Perhaps Spiros the prepper in Greece prepared for an EMP event, but do you think that since it was an economic collapse that occurred instead, all his work was for naught?
- What would you have said if, in 2007, I told you that GM or AIG would no longer be functioning companies in a couple years without a slew of free money? Would you have believed me? There has indeed been an economic collapse in the US – it is just covered over by printed money and ensuring Dancing with the Stars keeps running weekly.
- The list could go on, from the Irish potato famine to Krakatoa to the possibly collapse of Las Palmas Island in the Atlantic to that occasionally restless magma below Yellowstone, but you can fill in the blanks yourself.
There is a full panoply of potential disasters – admittedly with low probability – but high stakes if they do occur. What is the cost/benefit ratio for you, personally? Only you can figure that one out, of course, but the point is: many times things go on just as they always were for centuries. Then one day, an 8th century Copt looks up and sees an Arab army in the eastern distance; a citizen from 13th century eastern Europe observes some Mongolian heritage peoples gathering their cavalry before his country’s foot soldiers using something never seen before in battle – stirrups. Or perhaps it is Vladimir Lenin quietly entering a train to be transported via sealed train car back to Russia for political reasons, or a group of Arab radicals the summer of 2001 finishing flight classes that did not include lessons on how to land their aircraft. Low probability, high impact indeed!
So, what to do? First, recognize that things change, and sometimes rapidly, after years of stasis. A very close friend who was doing his Ph.D. examining chaos theory did one study on what causes sand hills to collapse. Condensing years of study into several sentences, one can pile sand grain upon sand grand, until finally, after a seemingly infinite number of grains, one single grain causes a slide. What number of grains is it, and when is it that this occurs? Suffice to say, at one point there is a hill, and after what seems an imperceptible addition, the slide has occurred. Not a big deal if it is a sand castle at a beach. But it is a giant deal if it is 2008, the week before Bear Stearns collapsed, and you have your life savings in a failing bank – or perhaps it is October, 2015, the week before the $6 trillion-dollar pyramid of derivatives (which Warren Buffett famously called “weapons of mass financial destruction”) collapses. In fact, the dog’s breakfast of derivatives may never collapse. Maybe the Bernanke Fed really has invented a perpetual motion machine. Maybe they actually have mapped out the cause and correction of economic downturns. The question is, as Clint Eastwood put it, “So… do ya feel lucky, punk? Well.. do ya?” Less theatrically, does central planning still work – and are you willing to stake your life, and that of your family on it – or does it just make a worse collapse inevitable, as Ludwig von Mises of the Austrian school of economics pointed out: “There is no means of avoiding a final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as the final and total catastrophe of the currency involved.”) Similar to von Mises prediction, Reinhart and Rogoff’s book This Time is Different documents that, historically, there has never been a good outcome when a country’s debt exceeds 100% of its GDP. What is it worth to you to hedge against this threat of economic disaster?
When it comes to economics, warfare, or politics, is mankind fallible or not? Are you willing – after seeing the tech and housing bubbles just in the past dozen years or so – still willing to repeat the “this time is different” mantra? What are your assumptions about human nature, and what could possibly result from that analysis? Is the government all-seeing an all-knowing, or even relatively so? Or does bigger government just increase the risk when something does go awry? (“Hey, Klem – no need to get out of New Orleans… the Army Corp of Engineers know what they are doing). And when it comes to natural disasters, do we really still need to examine what a hurricane can do, or what havoc another Carrington Event from the sun might possibly create (one credible analyst predicted that if an EMP event were to occur, 90% of the U.S. population would be dead in a year). What is it worth to you to protect against that? And if it is not worth a penny, then presumably you do not buy auto or home fire insurance, either.
One final note. A great portion of us still need to keep a job, which in turn means compromises need to occur with time and money, as well as keeping living quarters in or near an urban area. If you are independently wealthy, good for you – go ahead and build, or move to, that retreat. I’d love to join you. Alternatively, you may be able to re-jig your life style by downsizing, changing jobs, or similar, to allow for a move. Well and good. Just be careful you don’t turn into Mel Tappan. Mr. Tappan was a well-to-do banker that – convinced society and the economy were going to collapse – relocated to a rural Oregon retreat off the Rogue River and created the highly regarded Personal Survival Newsletter in the 1970s – yes, getting to be almost 40 years ago now with still no cataclysmic disaster! Unfortunately, Tappaan was not near medical care when he suffered a fatal heart attack in 1980, only in his late 40s. Tappan is thought by many to have been foolish, but that is Monday morning quarterbacking. Perhaps if something like the early 1960s Cuban Missile Crisis occurred in 1979, and the missiles had actually launched, he would be considered prescient by the survivors. We know today that the Cuban missile crisis came within a hair’s breadth of seeing an actual exchange of missiles.
Recall, too, that rural retreats like Tappan’s, in a partial meltdown, may in fact be more dangerous, in that you have no community to rely on for defense, mutual encouragement and practical support. Large cities also may get more attention and funds from a bankrupt government – or, alternatively, they may turn into Detroit on steroids. The truth is, there are too many variables, too many facts, too many websites and too many opinions to arrive at a conclusive answer. We thus arrive back where this article began – risk analysis and risk mitigation - and which is where I leave you. Risk mitigation is a sober analysis of all the facts that you able to gather at present, then progressively elaborated as you move forward.
In conclusion, consider well this nine minute segment on lack of preparedness from the Twilight Zone, entitled The Shelter:
Long or short, there indeed will come some period in the future when citizens in the West will have wished they prepared. Don’t be one of them.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DAVID CRAWFORD’S REVOLUTIONARY INTERNET BEST-SELLER “LIGHTS OUT” TO BECOME A FEATURE FILM PRODUCED BY REEL EQUITY FUNDING & ATLANTA’S BUG OUT PRODUCTIONS, DIRECTED BY THE BROTHERS YOUNG
Action-Packed, Post- Apocalyptic Prepper Novel Has Been Downloaded Over Three Million Times
Indiegogo.com Crowdfunding [...]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DAVID CRAWFORD’S REVOLUTIONARY INTERNET BEST-SELLER “LIGHTS OUT” TO BECOME A FEATURE FILM PRODUCED BY REEL EQUITY FUNDING & ATLANTA’S BUG OUT PRODUCTIONS, DIRECTED BY THE BROTHERS YOUNG
Action-Packed, Post- Apocalyptic Prepper Novel Has Been Downloaded Over Three Million Times
March 18, 2013 – ATLANTA – David Crawford’s wildly-successful, action-packed, post-apocalyptic novel LIGHTS OUT (lightsoutthebook.com) will soon become a feature film executive produced by Reel Equity Funding, Inc. (REF) and Atlanta-based Bug-Out Bag Productions (bugoutbagproductions.com). Downloaded over three million times, the novel has been championed by America’s growing “prepper” and 2nd Amendment Rights communities. The Brothers Young will direct the film, with pre-production and casting to start immediately in Atlanta. REF and Bug-Out Bag Productions recently wrapped production on feature film “Remnants,” with Tom Sizemore.
LIGHTS OUT’s Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign (indiegogo.com/projects/lights-out-saga) launches today, with a set goal of $175,000 for production costs. In exchange for contributions, the filmmakers and supporters 5.11 Tactical, Noveske Shooting Team, AR15.com, Airsoft Extreme, and Mystery Ranch are providing perks such as personal thank you’s; Limited Edition DVDs; 5.11 Tactical Rush 12 Backpacks; and special mentions in the film credits just to name a few. In addition, for the first 48 hours of the campaign, all contributors who donate $50 or more will receive a limited edition Challenge Coin (after that, the Coin is only reserved for Legend Level donors). The campaign runs through April 21.
In the tradition of “The Walking Dead,” the film LIGHTS OUT examines how a group of everyday middle-class Americans copes with a worldwide disaster that takes down the nation’s electrical grid, flips all technology off, and throws the country into a harrowing, fend-for-yourself downward spiral – as currently anticipated by preppers and planned for by the CDC, FEMA, and others. The story focuses on suburban accountant, karate instructor, and hunting enthusiast Mark Turner, who must find the strength within to unite his family, friends, and neighbors if any of them are to survive the harsh reality of life as the veneer of civilization strips away.
Initially shared by readers from a variety of prepper and gun enthusiast online communities – includingAR15.com, BackwoodsHome.com, FrugalSquirrels.com, and TheSurvivalPodcast.com – this popular serialized novel was ultimately collected and published in December 2010.
“I’m thrilled to see the unplugged struggle of LIGHTS OUT moving to the big screen,” said author David Crawford. “Executive producer Travis Fox of Reel Equity Funding & Bug-Out Bag Productions and directors The Brothers Young share my self-reliant, family- and community-based vision here, so I feel confident that fans of the book will embrace and enjoy this wild ride on film.”
“I’ve followed LIGHTS OUT for almost a decade,” said REF head/executive producer Travis Fox. “I discovered it as an online story, talked with author David Crawford as he wrote it, and seized upon the opportunity to bring this important tale to the big screen when the rights recently became available again. LIGHTS OUT is a fantastic story that entertains and educates simultaneously. It explores the weaknesses of society and our dependence upon a fragile infrastructure, while providing a thought-provoking scenario that pulls people in. This is a story that sticks with you, and captures the good and bad within each of us.”
Author David Crawford is an avid outdoorsman who likes to hunt, fish, hike, off-road, and shoot. He is a third-degree black belt with the American Society of Karate where he teaches kids and adults. Crawford resides in San Antonio, TX with his wife and two children, and is working on his next novel, a sequel to LIGHTS OUT.
Based in Atlanta, Bug-Out Bag Productions (bugoutbagproductions.com) is a creative collaboration between AFX Studios Inc., Brothers Young Productions, and White Flame Studios. This seasoned team of filmmakers, special effects artists, set designers, fabricators, digital animators, graphic artists and costume designers can handle anything creative. BOBP’s mission is to provide a turn-key solution for your multimedia and multi-platform needs. The company specializes in narrative marketing, immersive environments, interactive storytelling, specialty props and sculptures, and good ole fashion movie-making. Recent projects include the feature films “Remnants” and “Miss Bobbins and Her Trees”; and award-winning shorts “The Boy and The Bard” and “The Princes Perfect Party.”
Led by identical twin writer/director/producers Matthew & Jared Young, Brothers Young Productions (broyopro.com) creates worlds, reaching beyond the ordinary, time and time again, to explore uncharted territories of cinematic storytelling. Their original multimedia children’s franchise, “The Fantastic World,” combines live-action and animation, packed with original music and whimsical characters. From their low-browed spoof “Galactic Perry’s Learning Starship” to their recent sci-fi/steampunk collaboration “Remnant,” the pair captures hearts and minds of audiences by taking singular ideas and molding them into worlds of fantastic possibilities. Matthew & Jared Young’s imaginative productions are brought to life through their essential strengths: ingenious writing, visionary directing and producing, unforgettable art design, and talented acting. Creative boundaries are simply nonexistent in the limitless, fantastic world in which they work.
Reel Equity Funding (REF) is a film investment and production group, owned by Travis Fox. A successful entrepreneur, security consultant, disaster planning specialist, and firearms instructor, Fox serves as an executive producer on LIGHTS OUT. His passion for preparedness and self-sufficiency are what drew him to this story. Fox is based out of Sanibel Island, FL.
The Prepared Ninja is looking for a few good ideas! Despite my best efforts or at least the justification of such in my own mind, I do not always have the time or cannot always think of great stuff to share with you all! If you would be interested in helping out, there are a few things that you can do.
- Write an article for submission.
- Share an idea(s) for an article.
- Contribute a link to an interesting article or website.
If any of these ideas appeal to you, please complete the contact form or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Articles, ideas, and links to be contributed can be anything that can be useful, helpful, or instructional for:
- Emergency or Disaster Preparedness
- Home-Based Business Ideas
- Medicine/Alternative Healthcare
- Bushcraft Skills
- Precious Metals
- Alternative Investments
- Community Building
- Food Storage
- Survival/Preparedness Skills
- Personal or Home Defense
- Every Day Carry
- Financial Preparedness/Survival
- Survival Gear
- Dealing With Disaster
- Recommended Books/Equipment/Movies
- Organization Skills/Methods
- OR…Anything Else That May Be Useful And/Or Pertinent
When submitting an article please send it either as an attachment in Microsoft Word format or include the full text in the body of an email to email@example.com. There is no need to worry about including pictures or graphics unless they are an essential piece to the article that you have written. Don’t forget to include your name, email address, your article/idea/link, and any other information that you feel is important.
Note: If writing an original article for submission please ensure that all content is your original work or sources are properly cited and if possible refrain from use of questionable/suggestive language.
There are almost an infinite number of survival/prepping websites out there and many of them have a ton of great information on them but there are a some that I would consider to be consistently invaluable. As a side note, since there are so many survival and prepping websites, thank you for taking some of [...]
There are almost an infinite number of survival/prepping websites out there and many of them have a ton of great information on them but there are a some that I would consider to be consistently invaluable. As a side note, since there are so many survival and prepping websites, thank you for taking some of your valuable time to spend it here at The Prepared Ninja. There are many sites that I have spent time and found some useful information but when considering the time spent to useful information found ratio, it leaves something to be desired. Other sites where I have spent time yield a gold mine of information in short periods of time which is what I would like to share with you all today.
The two places I consistently get my modern survival/self-reliance inspiration and information from are:
The Survival Podcast - Jack Spirko is the voice of this daily podcast that is, “Helping you live a better life, if times get tough or even if they don’t.” There is not an episode that I can recall that I did not get something of benefit from it. Jack is also the king of guest interviews and will have just about every subject matter expert on just about every subject in his archives. If for some reason you don’t find the interview you are looking for, let Jack know and he will most likely make every reasonable effort to make the interview happen. As an added bonus, I love the fact that TSP is a podcast which allows me to listen to it while I am in the car. Since I travel a fair amount for work, I can listen to a good amount of modern survival info while I drive.
The Survivalist Blog - MD Creekmore is the keeper of The Survivalist Blog and rolls out some outstanding new content on a regular basis as well as maintaining an archive of over 3,000 survival and self-reliance related articles. My favorite piece of content that I look forward to every week from MD though is the weekly feature, “What Did You Do To Prep This Week?” where MD outlines his weekly preparedness activities for the week and in turn his readers respond with their prepping efforts and usually a healthy discussion ensues.
Both of these resources are outstanding and if there were only two survival/self-reliance communities that I could be a part of it would be The Survival Podcast and The Survivalist Blog.
Some other resources that are extremely valuable that I subscribe to and use on a regular basis include:
The Survival Mom - Lisa Bedford AKA The Survival Mom has a website that is overflowing with information and resources that can help you, your family, loved ones, friends, and community members get through tough times such as natural disasters, economic collapse, or even how to live a simpler life through practicing basic skills. The Survival Mom also offers free online classes and webinars on a regular basis which are a great value that can be enjoyed by anyone without cost.
Modern Survival Online - Run by Rourke, MSO is focused on survival, self-reliance, preparedness, firearms, and thoughts on the world of today. Rourke has a fairly extensive database of downloadable resources ranging from gardening to terrorism and everything in between. If you enjoy writing, make sure to check out Modern Survival Online’s guest writing contest while you are on the site. Another great opportunity that exists on MSO is the list of every post that has ever been published on the site which without having tried, I would have to guess would take just about an entire day to completely digest it all.
SHTF Plan - Mac Slavo runs a great ship over at SHTF Plan. While there is some great information about survival, what I rely on this site for is information about the economy and government operations that you can’t find anywhere else. The SHTF community is also very interactive which allows for its readers to not only benefit from the published content but also from the opportunity to converse with each other in the comments section.
Hopefully you are already benefitting from some, if not all, of these resources but if you are not I would encourage you to take a look at them. One or more of these websites may prove to be a valuable asset in assisting you in preparing for difficult times.
Do you have a favorite prepping resource that I didn’t mention? Mention it in the comments section below!
I located these five common survival myths on the SurvivalState.com and felt that they should be passed along. While there are a great many myths that circulate the survival and prepping communities, these five will hopefully at least invoke thought and cause everyone to consider their survival plans. I could not identify who had written [...]
I located these five common survival myths on the SurvivalState.com and felt that they should be passed along. While there are a great many myths that circulate the survival and prepping communities, these five will hopefully at least invoke thought and cause everyone to consider their survival plans. I could not identify who had written this piece and I am not sure if it is an original work by the folks at SurvivalState. If you are a gun nut, definitely make sure to check out survivalstate.com. They have a ton of gun reviews on their home page!
Survival Myth #1 – Weapons Are The Most Important Thing
Firearms should be treated just like catastrophic health insurance. You should own them hoping that you never need them, but just like insurance, if you need them, you need them badly. And, just like with hypochondriacs, there is a certain segment of society that can’t seem to look beyond the terrible events that would necessitate using a firearm in self-defense at more likely occurrences. To make matters even worse, popular culture and the media both suggest that violence during survival situations is normal, and that hardship always brings out the worst in others.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The most common survival situations are brought on by diseases, accidents, and various kinds of disasters. With the exception of civil unrest, none of these situations require being armed. Yes, we can all be mugged walking down the street or we can wake up in the middle of the night to a home invasion, but these events are fairly rare. The average, reasonable person is much more likely to fall down a flight of stairs or get hit by a car than they are to be the victim of a random life threatening attack. No gun, however large, is going to help you relocate a dislocated shoulder or keep your house from burning down.
There are exceptions, of course. People who live in dangerous areas are, in fact, more likely to become victims than others in more peaceful areas. But that’s a given and people have the ability to make their own choices as to where they choose to live. Indeed, if the FBI statistics are to be believed (and most of the time they aren’t), we will all likely fall victim to fairly serious crime at one time or another. However, despite these somewhat sobering numbers, a possible violent crime occurring once in a person’s life is a far cry from the guaranteed eventualities of illness and financial burden, both of which can greatly impact survival and quality of life.
So, from a survival perspective, while firearms are useful tools and can prove to be vitally important, they should take a definite backseat to almost all other preparations, especially if one has no indicators to the contrary.
Survival Myth #2 – It Will Be Every Man For Himself
Most of the people responsible for giving everyone in the survival community a bad name are the same folks who focus on the self-defense aspects of survivalism. It doesn’t help that these same people are also the primary focus of the media, and together these strange bedfellows have led the rest of the world to believe that survivalists are all unwashed white folks with mangy beards who live out in the woods in rotten cabins with their even mangier dogs.
The media loves to focus on these people because they represent danger and radicalism. They did the same thing when they focused on looting after Hurricane Katrina, and in doing so implicated entire neighborhoods in criminality. Neither representation is accurate and certainly should not be used to classify large segments of society. The problem is that the participants in either group, and the populace at large, don’t recognize that they are anomalies. In other words, the handful of gun toting survivalists who live out in the wilderness lprobably really believe that they are making reasonable preparations for a world ending calamity and the looters in New Orleans probably believed that they were entitled to what they were taking, while the media does what it can to make either group seem larger and more dangerous than they really are in order to gain viewership.
Neither group represents how the vast majority of society functions. Despite frequent and well-publicized occurrences of self-centered behavior, humans are intrinsically group animals and we rely on each other to survive. Even though the media takes great efforts to obscure this fact, America’s communities function fairly well and are essentially peaceful. Our communities work and we need them to survive.
Except for a few historical examples, I can’t think of a single person (and certainly nobody I personally know), that does not rely on other human beings in their daily life. Whether we like it or not, in order to be competent, healthy, and happy, we need a high degree of tolerance and civility towards others, something that certain members of the survivalist community (and, indeed, any community), seem to be lacking.
Survival Myth #3 – You Will Rise To The Occasion
Surviving a genuine, full-fledged large scale crisis is, by its very nature, a difficult undertaking and there is a significant difference between just surviving a situation and being a hero. Too many folks are caught up in the glamorized militaristic and self-defense fantasies which represent idealized heroism in our culture. This type of heroism, as most people understand it, is nothing but a Hollywood myth. No matter how brave a or careless a person might be, nobody, and I mean nobody, goes into a life or death situation with any degree of enthusiasm. Sure there are those people who are so moved by adrenaline or even sheer mania, that they can accomplish impossible feats, but that’s reaction, not bravery. Bravery occurs only when someone is scared out of their wits and still takes action, regardless of personal consequences. Such individuals are to be honored, but they also tend to have short lifespans.
I’ve never spoken to a single person that had been involved with heroic action (and I’ve spoken to a lot of them) that was proud of what they had accomplished. In fact, some of them seemed downright embarrassed. Not too long ago, for instance, I was speaking with a former military officer who had risked his life to save that of a child. When I asked him if he would do it again, he answered: “Sure, it was a kid.”
When I asked him if he would have done the same for an adult, the response was accompanied by a cocked eyebrow: “No. They made their own bed. Let them lie in it.” In other words, even a known hero has his personal limits. Which brings up another point — everyone, and I mean everyone, has their limits.
Socrates pointed out that men might be brave in battle one day and less than brave the next. Discipline and dedication can help calm quaking hearts, but even the best trained men and women will still break when their limit is reached. It happens to everyone. More to the point, survivalists aren’t taking parts in organized battles…their goal is to stay alive. Whether or not they are brave should be a non-issue. When it comes to reality bravery has much more to do with ego than it has to do with staying alive. Leave the heroics for the movies.
Survival Myth #4 – You Can Live Off Of The Land
This is one of my favorites. So many people think that they can live off of the land in the event of a catastrophe. Let me tell you, I’ve tried it, and it just isn’t possible for any length of time. The knowledge and skill necessary to live “naturally” is extremely difficult to obtain and even more difficult to put into action. Living off the land should only occur out of dire necessity and never by design.
At this point I would like to remind everyone that none of the first settlers in the United States would have survived without the provisions they had brought with them or help from the local natives. And that was during a period when the land was barely inhabited yet full of fish, game, and edible plants. Since that time we have essentially denuded our landscape (just about every tree has been chopped down and replanted more than once). There are hardly any bears left, turkeys were only recently reintroduced to large segments of the country, and overall fish stocks are at their lowest points ever. To think that a person could survive off of these paltry pickings alongside another 300 million famished Americans is ridiculous. Anyone that suggests otherwise is fooling themselves.
Survival Myth #5 – You Can Hold Off Multiple Armed Marauders
Fighting multiple, dedicated opponents is difficult, regardless of your training and prowess. Successful, unarmed fights against multiple attackers generally take the guise of running street battles where the victim uses the environment to limit their opponent’s numeric advantage, getting in the occasional blow at the opportune moment. Such a strategy can’t be relied upon and should be viewed as a last ditch, neck saving effort.
The only way to take on multiple opponents with a reasonable chance of success is to bring along an equalizer. A man with a solid understanding of how to use a knife or a stick can hold off a number of unarmed opponents. However, if you’ve got a weapon then the other guy probably does too. We live in a nation where 70% of men carry pocket knives and there are probably 400 million firearms in civilian possession. To imagine that a serious fight will occur without someone resorting to a dangerous implement is a fantasy.
As humans we have limited senses and abilities. Studies have shown that in an ambush situation even the best shooters are generally only capable of hitting two aggressors before they are eliminated by a third, and this is with the aggressors in the line of vision. To imagine that a poorly trained shooter could do any better against multiple, dedicated assailants that are not directly in front of them is simply not reasonable. Defending a static position without support is nothing short of a death wish unless one is better equipped, trained, and more dedicated than their opponents, and even then the odds of success are extremely slim.
Do you know another survival myth? Add it to the comments section!
Whether it all hits the fan some day or not, food is an everyday necessity. Ideally, as preppers, most of us will be adequately prepared if there is a tough time. Factually speaking though, even if you are prepared with a decent amount of food stores, wild edibles can stretch the amount of time that [...]
Whether it all hits the fan some day or not, food is an everyday necessity. Ideally, as preppers, most of us will be adequately prepared if there is a tough time. Factually speaking though, even if you are prepared with a decent amount of food stores, wild edibles can stretch the amount of time that your stored food will last while also adding fresh vitamins/supplements to your meals. If for some reason you, your loved ones or friends are not prepared with appropriate stores of food, wild edibles may be a primary source of food for you during a food shortage. This makes finding, properly identifying, knowing which parts are edible, and how to prepare wild edible plants a must for anyone who plans on surviving in good times and bad.
The following is a list of the top ten wild edibles located in North America:
Arrow Root – The arrow root is a water plant found across North America and is usually found growing along the edge of slow-moving rivers. The edible portion of the plant is the tubers at the end of the roots which is high in starch and can be eaten raw but may best be suited cooked as part of a stew. These tubers may also be dried and found into a fine flour. The arrow root is best harvested after midsummer to avoid bitter tastes. Easiest to identify by its arrow shaped leaves, the edible tubers can be dug up out of the mud at the base of the plants stalk.
Birch – The birch tree is found in many temperate climate forests across the country. Edible portions of the tree include the inner bark and the young leaves. It seems that the most popular use for the inner bark is to cut it into strips and use it as a substitute for spaghetti noodles. Because of the barks bland taste it pairs well with a pasta or other sauce. The young birch leaves make a soothing tea when they are dried. This tea is believed to help in treatment and cure of urinary infections, diarrhea, dysentery, kidney stones, gout, and rheumatism. It is also believed that birch tea is a mild sedative and a diuretic.
Blueberry – Blueberries are perhaps one of the easiest wild edibles to identify on this list because North Americans see them in the grocery store, in recipes, cereals, desserts, and other places all the time. The blueberries that you will find in the wild are not really any different. Located across most of North America, blueberries can even be found in the extreme Northern portions of the country. Just remember to be mindful of the fact that there are many wild creatures that enjoy blueberries as well, and no I am not talking about your mother-in-law! These berries are very versatile in that they can be eaten plain straight off of the plant or they can be used to make pies, breads, or added to a salad. If you are able to find wild blueberries, they are a great addition to foods that are easy to cook on the trail like bannock. The blueberry harvest varies depending on what area of the country you are in but typically occurs from June-August.
Bunchberry - Located in the Northern half of the United States, the bunchberry is known to usually grow in areas along the margins of moist forests, on old tree stumps, in mossy areas, and in open/moist habitats. The fruit of the bunchberry are edible although I have never tried them myself. What I have heard though is that these are dry and little gummy in consistency but are tolerable to eat. I have also heard that the taste is sweet and the flavor resembles somewhat soft apples. What I have read also stated that bunchberries tend to be acidic so you should be careful not to eat to many at once. While the berries can be eaten raw, they can also be added to foods such as breads, cereal, or oatmeal.
Cattail – This is another edible plant that is found across the United States, primarily in close proximity to water and usually stagnant water. It considered by many survivalists to be the best survival food out there. The entire plant is edible but the young fresh shoots are usually the tastiest and primarily consumed raw. The roots of the cattail are similar to the arrow root in that they are best used, cooked in a stew, like a potato. The cattail roots can also be dried and milled into a flour. Some say that the signature part of the cattail which is the top that actually looks like the tail of a cat is the best part and while it tastes different, it is similar to eating corn on the cob.
Cranberry – The cranberry can be found along the shores of lakes and ponds. This is the same cranberry that Americans traditionally eat as a sauce at Thanksgiving with our turkey. The harvest of wild cranberries is typically done after the first frost making it a perfect option for a survival food during colder periods of the year. Once harvested, these berries can be made into a sauce, added to breads, cereals, oatmeal, or eaten raw.
Labrador Tea – Found across the United States and Canada, this evergreen can be located in sphagnum swamps all year-long. The leaves are dried and then boiled to create a tea which is known to be rather acidic in taste. There are some recommendations to overcome this taste which includes adding sugar, liquor, or both if you have them at your disposal. The plant that yields these leaves is slow-growing so it is recommended that full branches not be harvested off of individual plants and instead individual leaves should be picked from different branches on several plants.
Milkweed – Found in Southern Canada and across the United States, the milkweed plant can be found growing in farm fields. One thing that must always be remembered is that the milk weed plant contains a bitter, milky sap that must be removed by boiling the plant two or three times, changing the water in between. The young sprouts of the plant are cooked and are similar to asparagus (the basic rule I have been told is that the smaller, the tastier). Milkweed flower pods are best gathered in late summer and can be cooked and stuffed with things like rice or cheese and breadcrumbs. The flower pods are also useful in soups, mixed with vegetables, and in stir fry.
Wild Leek – Also known in some parts as ramps, wild leeks are located mostly in deciduous woodlots across North America. The wild leek’s stalk/root system can be a great addition to a salad but the leaves are edible as well as the stalk. The nutritional value is best when consumed raw but due to what some consider the overpowering onion/garlic odor and flavor some people prefer to cook wild leeks before eating them. In addition to being used in salads, wild leeks can be used as a substitute for onions or garlic in any recipe but are well paired with potatoes, egg dishes, and soups.
Wintergreen – The wintergreen plant’s leaves and berries are edible but the plant is most valued for its leaves which are dried and boiled to use primarily as a tea. Native Americans used this tea medicinally to treat rheumatic symptoms, sore throat, fever, headache, and aches/pains. Located mostly in Northern areas, it can be found year round but the red berries of the wintergreen should be harvested in the summer and fall while the leaves can be taken from the plant year round.
If you have a favorite wild edible that I did not mention, please leave a comment telling us about it and why you think it is so great.