Category Archives: Survival

Survival Giveaways!

I hope everyone is having a great week. It is Thursday and that makes me happy because the weekend is almost here!

There are always obstacles in life. There is no exception when it comes to getting prepared for tough times. It doesn’t matter whether it is time, money, or something else, the resources required for prepping can be hard to come by. This makes giveaways a great way to build on your preparedness efforts for a great price…FREE! Here are a few giveaways running right now that you might want to enter:

Trayer Wilderness Giveaway – I teamed up with Trayer Wildernesss and several other bloggers to giveaway a $75.00 gift certificate for the Trayer Wilderness store. They have some awesome stuff!

Maxpedition Backpack Giveaway – Make sure to enter the Maxpedition Vulture II backpack giveaway that I am doing with some other bloggers. This is a great bag for and survival kit.

Zombie & Dystopian Books Giveaway - The Survival Mom, Lisa Bedford is running a giveaway of several Zombie and Dystopian themed books during the Halloween season. One of the books being given away is Expatriates by James, Wesley Rawles that I just reviewed.

Survival Bunker Giveaway – Rising S Bunkers is giving away a 10 foot by 30 foot underground survival bunker complete with NBC air filtration, solar power, and a whole bunch of other stuff. It is the real deal!

AR500 Armor Giveaway – This is a body armor package valued at over $1300. It would be a great addition for your personal security.

I hope this helps! If there is anything else that I can do to help out, feel free to send me an email at

Sunday Survival On The Web 10/26/14

Happy Sunday Survival! I hope that you are all having a great weekend and are gearing up to not only survive the week ahead but the unknowns that our future may hold. It is imperative to be prepared because you never know what is going to hit and when it will happen. There has been a lot going on in my life this last week but I was still able to find some great stuff to share with you all.

Before I get to all of that though I wanted to ask if you have you gotten your free copy of Special Operations Forces Medical Kits guide yet? If you are a current WordPress subscriber and would like to receive a free copy of the Special Operations Forces Medical Kits guide, send an email to Make sure that you use the email address you subscribed with. This is also going to be the last week that I will have updates going out through WordPress and MailChimp. After this week, I will be shutting down my WordPress subscriber database and will strictly use MailChimp.

Sunday 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 for todays edition of Sunday Survival:

Body Armor Giveaway! - AR500 Armor is giving away a body armor package that is valued at over $1300. This is a great chance to improve your defenses and peace of mind!

What If Your Apartment Has Ebola? - We are living in interesting times! Even if you do not watch the news or read the paper, we all know that Ebola is spreading and is a hot topic right now. This article by Bernie over at Apartment Prepper has some great advice about what to do if you find yourself living in close proximity to the Ebola virus.

Planning On Bugging Out? Some Things To Consider – It seems like the idea of bugging out in a survival situation is always viewed as being somewhat glamorous. Here is a look at some of the things that you should consider if this is part of your survival plan.

Build An EDC You Can Be Proud Of – Here is an area where I often fall short. It seems like putting together an Every Day Carry Kit, as simple as it should be, is often complicated because it can quickly become cumbersome. Here is a look at putting together a functional EDC set up.

How To Make An Emergency Shelter In 5 Minutes Or Less – Sometimes it seems like the simplest things are the best. This is especially true when you find yourself short on time. Todd at Survival Sherpa has put together a light weight, down and dirty plan for building an emergency shelter, quick.

Is Expired Food Safe To Eat? - This is a topic that I often find myself discussing with my wife. She will almost never eat anything, regardless of how the label reads, that is past the “expiration” date. Make sure to check out a little insight into what the information on our food labels actually means when it comes to the safety of eating it.

Ten Fall Preparedness Projects – The seasons are changing and that means that it is a good time to take care of some projects. We all have things we need to get done but here are some that we should focus on as preppers. I know that numbers 4 and 5 are the ones that are easy for me to forget, even though they are some of the easier and faster tasks on the list.

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 the difficult times ahead.

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

If you appreciate the content here on The Prepared Ninja, I would love it if you left a comment or shared a post with your friends or loved ones! We are all in this together after all, right? With that being said, it does cost me money every month to keep The Prepared Ninja up and running. If the site does help you and you would like to help support it, you can make a monetary donation to help keep things going via PayPal here. Thank you for your support!

Expatriates Book Review

I just finished reading the book Expatriates by James Wesley, Rawles  and I was not disappointed. In fact, this is my new favorite Rawles novel. It is not only entertaining, but informative as well. This is not the first JWR novel that I have read (they were all good) but Expatriates clearly demonstrates what I believe to be his best writing and a great amount of research to develop such intricate details throughout the book.

In previous installments of JWR’s writing, I was somewhat conflicted by the fact that the story was often broken up with the explanation of what the characters had done to prep or were doing to survive. Don’t get me wrong, the additional details are what makes his novels very helpful and they would lose some value if those facts were missing. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that Expatriates seems to be a great balance of the helpful preparedness facts that are reminiscent of a JWR novel with a story that flows nicely.


The story of Expatriates is unique because it tells the story of a missionary family in the Philippines and a petroleum engineer in Australia, all Americans, and their struggles as they find themselves outside the United States during a major socioeconomic meltdown. Away from their family and systems of support at home, the Jeffords (missionary family) and Chuck Nolan (petroleum engineer) are forced to not only endure the fallout of the socioeconomic meltdown (referred to as the “Crunch” in Expatriates), but the ensuing power grab that is carried out by the newly radicalized Islamic government in Indonesia. It is not the typical “defend the homestead” type of post-apocalyptic thriller.

While a fictional account, Expatriates also gives the reader a good account of what guerrilla warfare is all about and what the actions of a few can actually accomplish. This is why, as a conventional force, we have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan for years without “winning” these wars. But even as the Guerrilla forces fight against an oppressive Islamic army, there is plenty of knowledge to be gleaned from the experiences that the characters in Expatriates go through. It is a great demonstration in the power and importance of community and relationship building. Without the relationships that were formed in the story, the outcome would have been very different.

Not only did I enjoy the story, I appreciated the various quotes that were printed at the beginning of each chapter. Here are two of my favorites:

Never forget, even for an instant, that the one and only reason anybody has for taking your gun away is to make you weaker than he is, so he can do something to you that you wouldn’t let him do if you were equipped to prevent it. This goes for burglars, muggers, and rapists, and even more so for policeman, bureaucrats, and politicians.

- Aaron Zelman and L. Neil Smith, Hope, 2001

The more I learn about people and society the more I love guns and explosives. Guns and explosives are more understandable, more predictable, and less hazardous.

-Joe Huffman, in his blog The View from North Central Idaho

This first quote represents one of the ways in which some of the world’s most well known dictators have risen to power. The second quote I like because it is true.

The bottom line is that Expatriates was a great read that I could not put down. It was entertaining, informative, and thought provoking. You will not be disappointed. If you have read any of James Wesley, Rawles novels, you will love Expatriates. If you like the post-apocalytic thriller genre, you should read this book. It is available online and from most major book retailers.

Other fiction titles from James Wesley, Rawles include:

Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse

Survivors: A Novel of the Coming Collapse

Founders: A Novel of the Coming Collapse

And the soon to be released:

Liberators: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse

In addition to these titles, JWR also has two great non-fiction books which are a great resource to either establish or grow your preparedness efforts. They are:

How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times

Tools for Survival: What You Need to Survive When You’re on Your Own

Survival Sunday On The Web

This week I made a big move in trying to improve the quality and overall user experience of The Prepared Ninja by migrating my subscriber list over to MailChimp. As a result of this move, I will be able to offer new subscribers the opportunity to download a free copy of the Special Operations Forces Medical Kits guide (a look at the med kits that America’s elite medics carry into combat). If you are already a subscriber, I migrated your email address over MailChimp (unless you were a WordPress subscriber, then you will have to subscribe in the new box in the right sidebar). Thank you for your continued interest in The Prepared Ninja!


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:

50 Last Minute Ways to Prepare for and Emergency - This is a great list of tasks that should be completed in the last few days, hours, and minutes leading up to a disaster. On a side note, if you are looking for more food storage information then you know what to do with, make sure you sign up for Jodi & Julie’s mailing list.

Four Greatest Kinetic Threats To Preppers – I recently hear about Forward Observer ( a magazine by veterans, patriots, and preppers) in a podcast interview. This article outlines the greatest physical threats to preppers. Look around the site because there is plenty of other useful information!

How to Safely Shelter In Place During a Pandemic - This is a great article from Gaye at Backdoor Survival about setting up your home to shelter in place during a pandemic. This is timely information based on the fact that Ebola seems to not be going away.

Where You Should Hide Your Food - Do you have a plan in place that allows you to hide your food from intruders, marauders, or even the government? Check out these great places to hide your food to keep it safe during a disaster or unrest.

Camp Fire vs. Survival Fire vs. Cooking Fire - Do you know which type of fire to build for each survival situation in which you might find yourself? This article sheds some light on the different types of fires you can build and what the best use of each type is.

Evaluate the Perimeter Of Your Property - I found myself thinking pretty hard about some of the questions posed in this article. How is the perimeter of your property protected? What would you do if you needed to better protect it? Read this article for some good questions that you should ask yourself.

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!

21 Survival Uses For Dental Floss

Most everyone knows that dental floss is an integral part of daily oral hygiene but how many of you knew that dental floss was also a key component to a survival kit? In fact, for the little that it weighs and the amount of space that  it takes, dental floss could very well be one of the most valuable components in your survival tool kit!

Dental Floss
Survival Uses For Dental Floss
  1. Sewing – It is hard to beat the durability of dental floss, especially when it comes to making emergency repairs to clothing and equipment. Unwaxed dental floss is typically the best option for sewing.
  2. Whip A Rope – This is the best way to keep a rope that is not nylon from unraveling. Check out this tutorial to see how to whip a rope.
  3. Replace A Shoelace – This is pretty straight forward but doubling or tripling the thickness of the floss will work best.
  4. Clothesline – Fall in the lake? No big deal, just tie up some floss between two trees and hang your clothes up to dry.
  5. Trip Wire – A nice tight length of dental floss is a great trip wire for an early warning device. Just make sure to rub some dirt on the floss to keep it from standing out like…well, a piece of white dental floss tied between two trees.
  6. Suspend Food In The Air – If you find yourself in the woods without a good place to store your food, place it all in a bag and then suspend it in the air from a tree with some floss.
  7. Fishing Line – It is estimated that dental floss is equivalent to about 20 lb test line which makes it great for almost all survival fishing.
  8. Fix Glasses – While not pretty, a piece of floss can be tied through the frame of your glasses to replace a missing screw.
  9. Start A Fire – Wax dental floss burns well! Wrap dental floss around a match to significantly increase the burn time.
  10. Make A Snare or Trap – Dental floss will not hold its form as well as wire but it can definitely be used to make a snare or trap in a survival scenario.
  11. Lashing Together A Shelter – An improvised shelter will need to be lashed together in most cases but if you don’t have any cord, use some floss!
  12. Tie A Knife To A Pole – Dental floss can be used to secure a knife to a stick or pole for use as a spear to hunt or fish with.
  13. Securing Gear – Don’t have room in your bag for a piece of gear? Tie it to the outside with some dental floss. It can also be used to make a dummy cord for an important piece of equipment.
  14. Make A Bow String – I don’t know that a single strand of dental floss would work well as a bow string but a braid of three strands would likely work well as a backup or improvised solution.
  15. Hand Cuffs – This one makes me cringe a little. (I think it could be a bit painful!) If the emergent need arises to detain an attacker or invader, floss can be used for handcuffs in a similar manner to handcuffing someone with paracord.
  16. Make A Fishing Net – This takes the knowledge of how to make your own fishing net but, dental floss will hold up well against the water and makes a strong net.
  17. Cutting Food – While not sharp, the small diameter of dental floss allows it to easily cut through some foods. In this case, think soft foods like cheese or bread dough.
  18. Make A Rope – Dental floss can be woven together to make a rope.
  19. First Aid – Floss can be used as a substitute for sutures as well as for tying off a severed artery or the umbilical cord of a newborn baby. (It is not a great substitute for a tourniquet because it can just cut into the skin instead of effectively stopping bleeding.)
  20. Hide Items In A Wall – Use dental floss to suspend items in the hollow space inside interior walls.
  21. Treasure Hunting – This was a surprise to me but there has been successful treasure hunts using dental floss as the key component of the treasure recovery system. Read a first hand account here.

Hopefully if you didn’t realize it already, you now know how valuable dental floss can be in a survival situation and some of the many reasons that it should be included in your kit.

What else do you use your dental floss for?

Sunday Survival On The Web

To start things off this week I want to thank everyone for participating in the National Preparedness Month giveaways last month. They were a huge success! With that being said, just because September is over doesn’t mean that the giveaways are over. Make sure you come back tomorrow for the next great giveaway. Now on to last weeks great survival, preparedness, homesteading, security, self-reliance, and literally just about anything you could possibly think of…finds on the web!

Prepping and Fish Antibiotics – Dale and Lisa over at SurvivalistPrepper always put out great content and this article, with  its accompanying podcast, are without exception. (On a side note, the SurvivalistPrepper podcast is one of my favorites!) This will give you a good overview of the various fish antibiotics that are currently available and the uses that they serve. Make sure to check out the Camping Survival link in the right sidebar for a great selection of fish antibiotics.

Baiting Tips For Hogs – It doesn’t matter if you are hunting to put food on the table during good times or bad, the successful hunters are those who know what it takes to bag their prey. Check out these awesome tips on how to successfully bait when hunting for hogs.

CDC States…”now is the time to prepare” – Rourke over at ModernSurvivalOnline posted a piece about a short guide that the CDC recently shared with hospitals about being properly prepared for Ebola. Make sure to check out the checklist for tips on how you can get prepared for Ebola or any pandemic.

Why Carry A Gun?: People Carry Concealed Guns For Many Reasons – This article takes a look at the many assumptions that the anti-gun crowd makes about concealed carry and how that compares to the facts surrounding concealed carry and personal security.

How to Make Oral Rehydration Solution: This Knowledge Could Save a Life! - This is a basic recipe for oral rehydration salts (ORS). While there are several recipes that can be found for ORS, the basic ingredients are typically the same. This is a good bit of information to have in your survival tool kit!

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 it would mean everything to me if you would be willing to share my page with your friends and family! Of course, a monetary donation of any amount is always appreciated. If you would like to make a monetary donation of your own, it can be made via PayPal here. Thank you for your support!

Sunday Survival Around The Web

To start things off this week I want to remind everyone about the Preparedness Month MEGA Giveaway that has one day remaining to enter! It is the last event for National Preparedness Month that was put together by myself and a group of fellow survival and preparedness bloggers. Make sure to check it out, and don’t forget to enter if you haven’t already!

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:

Not A Good Sign: Iran and China Prepare Joint Naval Exercises: While not directly a survival article, this is information that is worth knowing. I don’t know what the future will bring but it is even more important to be prepared for the unexpected if Iran and China are becoming friends. Especially knowing that we just had China participate in the U.S. led, Rim of the Pacific naval exercises! But they wouldn’t share what they learned with Iran would they?

3 Barter Items You Probably Haven’t Considered But Will Be Valuable Even If The Poop Doesn’t Hit The Fan!: There are tons of articles out there about barter items but not all of them are about items you will actually use. I have seen many accounts where people were stockpiling up on items like tobacco when they don’t even smoke! This will only work if you actually get to barter with someone that needs tobacco. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

13 Steps To Prepare For Civil Unrest: Civil unrest can come about as the result of almost anything and it can happen without any notice. Ask the residents of Ferguson, Missouri. In all reality, next to a personal disaster (loss of a job, loved one, etc.) or a natural disaster, civil unrest is probably one of the most likely survival scenarios to occur. Check out these steps that we can all take to make sure we are ready!

Creating The Average Joe Look: I am sure that most of us are familiar with the “gray man” look but what is your plan to achieve mediocrity with your appearance? This will help you make sure that you are not noticed; good, bad, or otherwise.

So You Can’t Afford To Prep, Eh?: This is a valuable article that will help you think about the financial choices that we all make, and how those choices come at the cost of lost opportunities. At a minimum, this could be a valuable mental exercise on where we could all make some cuts.

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 it would mean everything to me if you would be willing to share my page with your friends and family! Of course, a monetary donation of any amount is always appreciated. If you would like to make a monetary donation of your own, it can be made via PayPal here. Thank you for your support!

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?

All American Sun Oven Giveaway


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


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?

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
  • 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
  • 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 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

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.

My New Favorite Flashlight & Other Stuff

In my most recent order from Black River Outpost I ordered a number of items that I needed to help round out my preparedness efforts but I also added a couple of $3 flashlights. It was almost an afterthought because as my wife would tell you, I don’t really NEED any more flashlights. But for $3, I figured what could be the harm? The unique thing about these flashlights are that they do not require batteries. All the energy that is needed for the flashlight to run is created by a hand operated squeeze lever.

Not only are these flashlights awesome, but they are awesome! I was curious to see how long the light would run so right out of the box I decided to turn it on and let it go until it ran out. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. The light ran for over 48 straight hours (I would not recommend this though because it took a lot of squeezing to get it back where it was bright again). It is lightweight (literally only a few ounces) and would be perfect for a survival kit because of this and the fact that no batteries are required. You can get your own from Black River Outpost.

There is also a new supporting partner at The Prepared Ninja. CB Mint has joined up with me to help provide an affordable source for precious metals as part of a long term survival and self-sufficiency strategy. They provide the standard gold, silver, and platinum rounds and bullion that you see from your standard precious metals dealer but they have some unique offerings like Palladium, Rhodium, and Copper. My absolute favorite item they carry are the silver bullets that they have in various calibers (each caliber is a different weight from a 1 ounce .45 ACP to the 100 ounce 30 mm Autocannon round).

I also stumbled upon some more great stuff around the web over the last couple of weeks. Here are a few things that are worth checking out if you have the time:

9 Booby Traps to Rig Your Homestead

Prepping Resources from Dale @ Survivalist Prepper - There are a number of great resources here that were contributed from myself and fellow survival and preparedness bloggers around the net. My contribution was a PDF compilation of the medical kits used by the US Military Special Operations units in the First Aid section.

Preparing Your Neighborhood Against Attack

Book Review: Sanctuary by G. Michael Hopf

Just when you thought Gordon Van Zandt had been through enough, he finds himself buried in a new heap of difficulty. Sanctuary follows G. Michael Hopf’s cast of characters through the next set of challenges they face as they fight hard to right wrongs and come back together in their ultimate destination, the Van Zandt family home in McCall, Idaho. If the first two books in the New World series revealed anything, it was that the post apocalyptic world is not an easy one and nothing is just given, it is earned.

I will tell you that just like The End and The Long Road, I was not disappointed with Sanctuary and found myself carrying it with me everywhere I went until I was done reading it. Not only is the story believable and engaging but Hopf’s character development has me fully engaged and anxious to see what will happen next to Gordon Van Zandt, his wife, daughter and friends, his brother Sebastian, President Conner, Colonel Barone, and Pablo (drug cartel magnate turned new world conqueror).

I definitely don’t want to give away too much so here is the official synopsis from G. Michael Hopf:

The journey down The Long Road proved to be more than they all could have imagined.

The country is now unrecognizable. The major cities are now controlled by gangs. Those lucky enough to have been prepared for such an event find themselves unprepared for guarding against the hordes of the wandering masses of survivors.

With the lack of a consistent and adequate governmental response many are now dying of starvation. What scattered remnants of government that is functional is having a tough time coordinating efforts and are themselves becoming victims of lawlessness and chaos.

Gordon Van Zandt, unable to confront his wife, Samantha following the loss of their son, Hunter, is on a mission to track down and kill the man who killed his son. This will take him places and into situations that he himself could not have predicted.

Samantha, Nelson and their group have reached Idaho but with no equipment to keep the roads open to complete the journey to McCall, they find themselves with no place to go.

Sebastian has safely delivered Annaliese and her family to their family compound in Utah, but his desire to find his brother will put him back on the road again.

Barone, now having fulfilled vengeance against a man he felt had wronged him, must keep his group of Marines together with purpose. His fledgling country is only being held together because of the false promises he keeps making the civilian leadership in Coos Bay. These lies will see the light of day and thrust him into making unconventional alliances.  With, Cruz, as his prisoner he has some leverage but will it be enough to stop President Connor.

President Connor is back in control of the federal government, but he is not the man he was before. Does he have what takes to confront all the threats and heal his wounded nation?

Pablo’s army has landed successfully in Southern California and after establishing a strong foothold he is expanding quickly across the southwest. His populist call to arms is helping recruit many to his ranks. His dreams of empire are unfolding with each day and each mile his army conquers.

The one common thread that they all have deep in their hearts is one of a place to call home, a safe place away from the horrors that have become the norm. They all have different paths and different ideas of what it means, but all are in search of a Sanctuary.

There were so many things about Sanctuary that I enjoyed that I could not possibly list them all, but I will list a few including the fact that once again the story is not predictable, the characters have human attributes, and because I am a veteran I always appreciate the fact that the military related portions of the book are accurate. Additionally, as someone who is concerned with being prepared for difficult times, I truly appreciate the fact that G. Michael Hopf is able to craft some potential survival scenarios into his storyline in a realistic manner.

There are plenty of different fiction survival novels on the market, and I have read plenty of them, but I find that Hopf’s New World series continue to find themselves at the top of my list because the story is so phenomenal. You can learn more about G. Michael Hopf on his website. To get your own copy of any of the books in the series, check with your local book retailer or find them online from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Indiebound, iBooks, or Penguin Books.

Interested in winning the three books in the New World 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.

The Survivor’s Guide To Storing Firearms


The following post is a guest submission from Aaron. In this article, he discusses some great storage ideas for gun owners and how to properly care for these.

A gun can come in handy when caught in very tough situations. While some would likely promote the idea that guns be totally eradicated in all parts of the globe, this proposition is still only perfect for an ideal world. If everybody was following the written laws and unwritten ideals as was intended by most governments in the first place, then living in peace without the need to carry or keep a gun may be possible. Until the world is a safe haven free from criminals, then it is the right of every sane person to own a gun and protect themselves and their loved ones from the possible dangers of robbery or related incidents, and always being prepared for tougher times. To all gun owners, remember that having a firearm at home also comes with the responsibility to store these safely for the sake of everyone at home. It is understandable that you may want to keep guns in places that are easily accessible when the need arises for you to use them.

Firearm Concealment Ideas

There are a lot of ways by which you can hide your firearms without arousing suspicion from other family members or visitors. Here are some tips that might help you come up with your own idea:

1. The Prized Painting by the Wall

This one is probably one of the most used ideas as shown in many action movie films. You may have seen one too. You also might recall how the bad guy decided to crash into the hero’s home and wanted to make quick money and maybe get lucky and bring home some jewelry too? But alas! The owner of the home heard someone trying to break in and the gun stored behind the paintingwas just what he needed to take a warning shot and scare the goon away.

2. The Librarian’s Stuff

Do you have a bookshelf in your living room, bedroom or home office? Unless your visitors are bookworms and love to read books in somebody else’s home, your books would go untouched and unnoticed by anyone but you. For the old books that you no longer use, you can use the side covers, glue this in a small box and use this as a hidden gun and ammo storage compartment. Keep the box at the upper level of the bookshelf to prevent small kids from reaching it.


3. The Household Furniture

If you love working with carpentry and building your own furniture, then you can put your talent to good use and incorporate hidden spaces in these. Get creative. Even solid and bulky parts can be made to look like it is made of pure wood, but what most would not notice is that there may be something hidden behind the façade. The coffee table, the bed post, the arm of the chair, and even the underside of the dining table – all these could be used to store guns.

4. The Not-So-Usual Places

There are many things in your home that usually go unnoticed. The more plain these are, the better the chance that these will never be thought of as something that carries your prized guns. Examples of these are the food containers at the top of the kitchen shelf that you’ve never touched and will never probably be able to use. Other firearm safe storage places could be a hollow trophy or a wall shelf, an old violin case, inside a jacket pocket in your closet, an old boot, behind the window curtains or places that can be seen in plain sight but are not considered a usual place to hide a firearm.

Caring For Guns Prior To Storage

Remember that your guns are made of metal. With constant use and abuse, these could easily succumb to rusting. Instead of your family being protected when you needed it, a rusting gun may fail to work or end up hurting you instead. Prepper gun storage comes with being able to care for guns the right way. Here are some tips to keep your guns always in top condition.

  1. Clean guns from the inside out. Whenever your gun is used, gunpowder residue is released and this could accumulate inside your firearm. With its buildup inside your gun, this can be likened to dirt that seeps at the insides of your shoes. Just as dirt attracts unwanted bacteria and fungus in shoes, gunpowder attracts the formation of rust since this easily absorbs moisture from the air. Take note that there are many small movable parts inside your firearm and these can stick together with the presence of gunpowder.
  1. Grease is not always a good option. Steel metal windows may need constant lubrication for these to open and close easily and to prevent rusting. However, this rule is not always applicable when it comes to firearms. Many products which were specifically designed to prevent rusting in firearms are now available in the market and these only leave a protective film instead of grease.
  1. Keep guns away from moisture. The easiest way to render your gun useless is to keep this in a moist place. While keeping your gun in a movable tile in the bathroom or the kitchen sounds like a great idea, this is not doing any good for your ammo and guns. Keep your guns in a dry place and/or airtight containers.
  1. Periodically perform maintenance. Just because you have cleaned your guns before storing them is not enough reason for you to never clean them again. Even after applying a rust protective agent and keeping firearms in an ideal storage space, you still need to check these from time to time and take them apart for regular cleaning.

Additional Reminders

Take note that guns can be dangerous when used by the wrong people which includes children. For additional safe gun storage tips, keep your guns out of the sight and reach of your children until they come of age and are responsible enough to use one. If you choose to get a gun for the lady of the house to protect herself and the kids, teach her some of these tips too.

About The Author

Aaron Mulligan creates content for Gun Mate, Hunting Magazines as well as being a regular contributor for other hunting websites. His expertise has seen him camp alongside some of the greatest campers, trekkers and adventure seekers in the world – unfortunately he hasn’t cracked the Kokoda Trail. You can grab him on Google+ or via his current Twitter Profile: @Gun_Mate

Is Body Armor Necessary For Civilians?

Most people tend to think of body armor as a necessary item for those who are engaged in offensive operations against an enemy of some variety. It doesn’t matter whether it is the soldier on the frontlines of Afghanistan or the police officer rounding up gang members in Los Angeles, body armor can be a vital, and lifesaving, component of an individual’s daily ensemble. What is regularly passed over is the thought that body armor can be employed by those seeking to use it as a defensive measure. There is a potential place for body armor use as a defensive measure in all of our lives.

When I think of some of the recent events that followed last years Boston Marathon bombing, there were many of the citizens of Boston who were exposed, or came real close to being exposed, to the shooting from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan as they ran from just about every law enforcement agency in the greater Boston area and multiple federal agencies. In addition to the shootings that occurred in various areas of Boston over the course of the manhunt, a very anxious group of law enforcement officers conducted dozens, if not hundreds, of house-to-house searches in the Watertown, MA area as they tried to find those responsible for the carnage at the marathon.

Now think of being one of the Bostonians that, following such a terrible incident, were in fear of their lives as shootings are occurring across the city. All the while, police officers are pulling people out of their homes at gunpoint to conduct searches. It doesn’t matter if it is the fear of being shot by a terrorist, or shot by a police officer with an itchy trigger finger that feels you made a wrong move, in this case, having a set of body armor could greatly reduce the anxiety that was felt by those forced to endure this real-life scenario.

This is but one such possibility in the world today. As a soldier, I wore body armor every single day when I was in a hostile environment. Did I think that I was going to get shot or blown up every single day? The answer is no, but it would have been foolish to not wear such a useful piece of equipment in such an environment. My point is simply that since I had it, I used it and I was glad that I did because it, along with my competent colleagues, and top-notch training, helped ensure that I made it home.

Just for the sake of the argument, let’s say that you have the $400 that would be required to make a one-time purchase of a quality set of body armor and that you elect not to because you would rather use the money to upgrade your TV to that new ultra-high definition flat screen that it now even one eighth of an inch thinner. You wouldn’t ever want to find yourself in the position where you were forced to wonder if the opportunity cost from such a decision was worthwhile or not. Especially when the new TV doesn’t look any different than the last one!

Clearly not everyone needs a set of body armor though. It is a decision that should not be taken lightly and it is also important to consider the fact that your hard earned money should likely be used to secure the preparedness basics first and foremost. But there is certainly a place for body armor as a key component to a personal preparedness plan, especially in the areas of defense and security.

While there are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of body armor companies to choose from, if you do decide that obtaining a set of body armor is crucial for your long-term survival and survival strategy consider going with a reputable manufacturer like Point Blank. Of course there are some stores like Inter-American Security Products (ISP) where you can shop multiple lines of body armor products in one place. Shopping at an online store like ISP not only allows you to see a variety of different sets of body armor but it will let you shop by the coverage level desired and the price point that fits your budget.

To tie back into the earlier example of buying a set of body armor instead of a new TV, not only can $400 buy you a set of body armor, it will buy you a set of custom built concealable body armor. This is hard to beat and will serve you better than any TV ever could in a life or death situation. While it would have once been difficult to foresee a situation where you might find yourself in need of body armor, there seems to be constant reminders in the news where innocent bystanders were involved in a situation that could have had a different outcome if said bystanders were wearing body armor. While it is not a piece of equipment for everyone, it is an integral component of a well-rounded survival strategy.

Prepping Gems From The Web

One of the great things about the internet is that it is always being updated. It is a constant and never ending process. While this is great, it also means that it is impossible to keep up with everything. With that in mind, here are a few items that I found over the last week or so that I though were worth passing on to you. Hopefully, there will be at least one thing of value to you.

Super Easy Survival Bread

This last  week I stumbled across a REALLY simple recipe for a bread that could easily be made in a survival situation or even just a time of personal economic difficulty. There are only four ingredients and an oven is not required. Check out the recipe from

12 Gauge is Enough Gun

In the last release of All Outdoor’s newsletter, they included an article on shotguns and why the 12 gauge caliber of shotgun is the universal do-it-all smoothbore gauge. It is a well versed take on why there should be no substitute for the 12 gauge when it comes to smoothbore firearms. Read the whole article here.

How To Hide Your House From Google Maps

This article originally appeared on Off The Grid News in October of last year and has the step by step instructions on how to block the street view of your house on Google maps. What is significant about this process is that it can also be used to block license plates, cars, or even people if you feel that you would rather not have you or your property on display to the world. Read the article as well as the necessary steps to complete the process here.

Yard Sale Prepping

The Backyard Pioneer shared a piece on prepping and the use of garage or yard sales to obtain items at a fraction of the price for which they could usually be acquired. While it is not a comprehensive list, there are some good pointers and the article highlights a solid strategy for preparing on a budget. Check it out here.

How To Plan A Bug Out Route For Emergency Evacuation

Graywolf Survival has a great article on how to plan a bug out route. Not only does the article cover how to plan a bug out route but also how to assess a route and the follow up steps that should be taken once you have selected your route(s). Plan your bug out route here.

Quick-Start Guide for Preparedness Newbies

If you have not had the chance to review it yet, James Wesley Rawles over at Survival Blog has compiled a wealth of pertinent survival information for the new prepper. While this info is geared toward newbies, it is a valuable reference for any level of survival minded individual. My recommendation would be printing a copy to keep as a guide to prioritize and keep track of your progress. View the guide here.

I hope that you all are having a great weekend. If you have a moment and like the content that I share here on The Prepared Ninja, please consider following the link in the right sidebar and voting for me on the Top Prepper Sites webpage. For those who are fans of social media, you can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Lastly, if you would be interested in supporting the blog with a monetary donation, there is a link to do so through PayPal in the left column. Any assistance is appreciated. Have a great week!

Dream Vehicles For Preppers

With the rise in popularity of the zombie apocalypse culture (thanks in part to the worldwide popularity of shows like The Walking Dead, books like World War Z, and video games like Left 4 Dead, Dead Rising, Day Z and State of Decay), many people wonder what they would do if a cataclysmic disaster struck, and how they would be able to handle themselves. If the worst of the worst DID occur, how would you cope?

Would you stay in your home and defend yourself, or would you grab a vehicle and go on the run, never standing still long enough to become a target? And if the end of the world hits, would you stay in the city or go off-road? Or would you perhaps avoid land altogether and maybe sail away in a boat until the hazards hopefully disappeared? What type of dream vehicle would you want?

As far as land vehicles are concerned, there are many options to choose from, including the Earth Roamer XV-LT, the Conquest Knight XV, the Chevrolet Silverado Black Ops, the Sportsmobile 4WD Vehicle, the Campa EVS and, naturally, the Hyundai Zombie Survival Car that is lovingly featured during recent episodes of The Walking Dead. The main benefit of each of these is that they can house multiple people, which means they are the perfect choice for families who are on the run together. The Earth Roamer XV-LT even features a machine gun turret and solar panels, while the Campa EVS possesses a water purification system!

Photo Courtesy of
Photo Courtesy of

In these kinds of “What’s the ultimate dream prepper vehicle?” debates, many people think about driving a tank and, although this makes sense from a protection standpoint, a tank’s severe lack of maneuverability, poor gas mileage and general slowness also makes it a target for attack, and you will obviously need to minimize the possibility of all-out enemy assaults. Also, even though the term “dream vehicle” usually means choosing an Aston Martin DB9, Porsche 911 Carrera, Bugatti Veyron or Lamborghini Gallardo, these particular speedster super-cars are too flashy to offer any genuine kind of defense if you were caught unaware.

What kind of vehicle would be suitable if you were alone? Given that you don’t have anyone else to worry about, a motorcycle is a wise choice. The BMW R 1200 GS Adventure has superior fuel-efficiency and can go off-road whenever needed. If money is no object, the Triumph Rocket III Roadster is a top-of-the-line alternative.

Another idea is to opt for a Jeep Wrangler or an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV). Aggressive and hard-wearing 4-wheel drive tires mean that ATVs can traverse almost all obstacles and types of terrain and its matchless off-road capabilities make it a real winner. If the streets were both silent and deserted à la Dawn of the Dead, abandoned SWAT vehicles, RDVs (Rapid Deployment Vehicles) and BATTs (Ballistic Armored Tactical Transports) would also be no-brainer choices. Even the typical bank security vans you see on the streets that are used to transport money would seem an improvement on walking everywhere!

A final consideration is to select your own dream sail boat. Many modern models make use of both wind and solar power to create and store energy but, if something serious happens to your boat and you need to jump overboard, you will be at a high risk of losing your supplies as you swim ashore. Not an ideal situation. Also, one of the biggest disadvantages of using a boat, ATV or motorcycle is the repeated exposure to extreme weather conditions.

In any apocalyptic scenario, you will have to ask yourself how long fuel will last before it runs out. Therefore, with the majority of the vehicles mentioned, a considerable downfall is that you will frequently need to stop for refueling. There are arguments for using a mountain bike since you will not need to continuously refuel, although this is obviously one of the slowest modes of transportation.

The dream vehicle for any doomsday prepper has to fulfill some specific criteria. Not only should it offer high levels of safety and protection from attack, be it from mutated zombies or dangerous animals in the wild, but it also has to be quick enough for you to escape if things get too unpredictable for you and your family to endure. You would also need a vehicle big enough for you to comfortably live together with other people in close proximity, as well as enough storage for food, weapons, and other everyday supplies you need to survive.

The Armored Group, LLC are the number one source for both new and pre-owned armored personal protection vehicles, specializing in armored cars as well as SWAT and tactical trucks, money transport vehicles, and much more. If you would like more information, please visit our website at or call us at (602) 840-2271.