Starting Them Young-Getting Children Involved in Survival Preparedness

Starting Them Young-Getting Children Involved in Survival Preparedness

In a time when it is not unusual to see kids as young as two years old using a touchscreen device to entertain themselves while being pushed around in the shopping cart through the store, it should be obvious that most kids are disconnected from the real, natural world around them. Children of this generation are less likely to take an interest in the outdoors, and less likely to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to survive in the wilderness.  Getting them started young can give them a greater appreciation for the natural world, start a foundation for future survival […]

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3 Survival Uses for Soda Cans

3 Survival Uses for Soda Cans

  It’s a shame when hiking in a remote area with pristine wilderness to find trash that careless people have left behind.  But if you are struggling to survive in that same wilderness, that trash might look a lot better.  One common item that can be found even in remote areas that has potential for use in a wilderness survival situation is a soda can.  Here are 3 ways that you can make use of a soda can for wilderness survival.   Fire Starter You can start a fire with nothing more than a soda can, if it’s sunny day.  […]

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Fish Snare

Fish Snare

Fishing is a great way to get meat in a survival scenario.  But it can be difficult to do if you need to spend your time tending to your other needs like gathering wood, building shelter, or hauling water.  You could always just tie a line to a stick and leave it with bait in the water.  It’s likely that if there are fish in the water that you will get a bite, unfortunately, it’s also likely that before you come back to check on the line that the fish has gotten itself free and stolen your bait.  To prevent […]

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Psychological Threats to Survival

Psychological Threats to Survival

The physical threats to your survival like temperature loss, dehydration, or starvation are obvious to just about anyone.  But less obvious, and just as dangerous are the psychological factors that can erode your ability, and even your will to survive.  Just as with the physical threats, the psychological threats to your survival can be dealt with if you can identify them and respond appropriately.  These are some of those threats and how you can deal with them.   Panic When you realize that you are facing a life or death situation panic is a natural reaction.  But panic can make […]

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Debris Shelter

Debris Shelter

  In most cases of wilderness survival shelter will be your number one concern since hypothermia can kill you much faster than starvation or even dehydration.  One of the easiest and fastest shelters that can be built in the wilderness is the debris shelter.  One person, with no equipment, can put one together in less than two hours with the material that is available in most forested areas.  If you find yourself stranded in the woods facing a cold night, before thinking about a fire, get a quick debris shelter built, here’s how.   Locate a health tree that doesn’t […]

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Transpiration Bag

Transpiration Bag

Water is one of the three most important elements for survival, and in some circumstances, it might be the most important.  Even in temperate environments with plenty of vegetation, it can be hard to find sources of water.  But if you have a plastic bag, all you need to do is find the vegetation.  I have already written about in-ground stills that use vegetation and sunlight to harvest water, here is an easier way, that can yield greater results.  It’s called a transpiration bag and this is how to use one.   The only piece of gear that you will […]

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Upside-Down Fire

Upside-Down Fire

As I’ve said before, if all you know about fire is the tee-pee camp fire, then you don’t know enough about fire to survive in anything be the most ideal scenario.  The more versatile your fire building skills are, the better chance of survival you have in a variety of scenarios.  The amount of, and the type of fuel available to you in the wilderness will not always be the same.  Likewise, the purpose of your fire, and the weather conditions that you are going to be using it in will change.  For times when you will need a slow […]

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What to Barter in a Disaster

What to Barter in a Disaster

Recently I mentioned in an article that I don’t recommend keeping sizable amounts of cash stored for disaster, and why I don’t think it would to you any good to do so.  One of those reasons is that after a disaster there will be extreme inflation on the items that people will need most.  One strategy for preparedness is to store items that you will be able to barter with after a disaster to get what you need.  Here are a few of the items that I would recommend storing more of than you think you will need, so that […]

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Wilderness Toothbrush

Wilderness Toothbrush

If you are stranded in the wilderness for any length of time, hygiene will quickly become an issue.  It won’t matter so much how you smell, since nobody ever died of body odor.  But poor dental hygiene can lead to serious issues that could have you incapacitated and dying a slow, painful death. As always, being able to use the material available to you in the wilderness for whatever needs may arise will increase your chances of survival, and elevate your standard of living while you do it.  Being able to make a toothbrush in the wild is one example […]

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Lean-to Fir

Lean-to Fir

Not every fire building technique will work for every situation.  The lean-to fire is a great design for windy situations.  It provides a built-in wind block and allows for you to continually add fuel as the fire grows.  Here’s how to build one.   Gather all your tinder, kindling and fuel before trying to start the fire. Take the log with the largest diameter that you have available and lay it in position, perpendicular to the direction the wind is blowing. This will serve as a wind block to help get the fire started, and as your bed of coals […]

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Best Toilet Paper Protection (Video)

Best Toilet Paper Protection (Video)

Some things aren’t going to change much in the wilderness; you are still going to need toilet paper.  You might even have a greater need for it.  The toilet paper that you bring with you won’t be safe like it is hanging from the wall in your bathroom.  You are going to have to protect it.  So far every method of toilet paper protection I have seen is either so obvious it doesn’t need to be addressed, or it adds size to the toilet paper which will make it more difficult to carry with you.  This video demonstrates an awesome […]

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3 Necessary Skills for Long-Term Grid Down Survival

3 Necessary Skills for Long-Term Grid Down Survival

Being able to start fires and build lean-to shelters will keep you alive for short-term survival in the wilderness, but if the world as we know it comes to an end it’s going to take a lot more to make it.  You will need to be able to repair and replace your gear, your clothing, and build long-term shelter.  But those skills are still dependent upon other skills.  If you really want to be able to live in a world without modern technology then you will need to have a working knowledge of these three skills at least.   Blacksmithing […]

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Saws vs Axes

Saws vs Axes

There is no tool that can equally perform all tasks.  But the more versatile the tools that you carry are, the fewer tools you’ll need to carry and the lighter you pack can get.  One tool that is compact, light, and versatile is a folding saw.  Without suggesting that it can replace the time-tested ax, here is a comparison for you to consider when putting together your gear for “bugging out” or wilderness survival.   A folding saw, even a large one, will take up much less space than an ax. Folding saws can be carried inside of your pack so […]

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Pignut: Wilderness Survival Food

Pignut: Wilderness Survival Food

Pig nuts is not the most appetizing name, but Conopodium majus doesn’t sound that tasty either.  Regardless of what you want to call them, pig nuts can be a great source of survival food  in the wilderness.  They can be found all over Europe and North America.  You can gather then using only your fingers, and they can be eaten raw after peeling the skin around the “nut”, which is actually part of the root.  Here is a short video that shows the plant at various stages of growth, making it easier to identify, and at the end it shows […]

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Cost of Being Armed   

Cost of Being Armed  

  There is no price that one can put on their life, and therefore their safety.  But that being said, it’s not cheap.  The cost being armed adds up, and many don’t calculate the cost prior to beginning.  This can leave you struggling with bills, and still not able to legally carry your firearm.  Let’s take a look at a modest estimate of the costs involved in getting armed.   The first step should be to train. This doesn’t mean that you have to become an expert, but only that you fire enough rounds through enough firearms to be able […]

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Fishing for Birds

Fishing for Birds

If you are surviving in the wilderness, especially in the forest, you are likely to have greater access to plant based food than meat.  But meat is going to be crucial to provide you with protein, fat, and the energy you need to perform exhausting tasks like covering miles of rough terrain, gathering wood, and building shelter.  But it is possible to use some of the available vegetation to acquire meat.  Here is one possible method to catch birds with berries or nuts, and a little paracord.   The first and most important step is observing birds in the area […]

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Fortifying Your Home Against Attack

Fortifying Your Home Against Attack

Whether triggered by post-disaster looting or by “peaceful protests” turned riots, you could find your home targeted for attack.  With proper planning, you can protect your home from a myriad of attacks.  Your location, home design, and access to resources will determine your implementation, but here are a few basic themes that can be adapted to suit most people’s security needs.   Channelizing Landscape The idea behind channelizing landscaping is that it is easier to protect your home from attack if you can control which direction the attack will come from and focus it to a point that you can easily […]

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What Makes a Good Campsite?

What Makes a Good Campsite?

Finding a proper site to make camp, whether you are in wilderness survival scenario or just out in the woods for fun, can make the difference between a good night’s sleep and a total nightmare.  But what is that you should look for in a campsite, and what should you avoid?  Ultimately you are going to have to make do with what is available, but here are some principles to keep in mind when you are looking for a place to bed down for the night.   Avoiding dangerously low night-time temperatures is paramount. For this reason you should avoid […]

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3 Ways to Remove a Splinter

3 Ways to Remove a Splinter

Whether just in the back yard, or worse yet, in a wilderness survival situation, getting a tiny splinter under your skin can cause you big problems.  The pain can be distracting and make necessary tasks difficult or impossible.  If left unaddressed the splinter can lead to infection which could, if you are unable to access medical help, lead to death.  In order to prevent something so small from causing you big problems get rid of any splinter as soon as you can.  Here are 3 ways to get a splinter out easily in different situations.   Fingernail Clippers If you […]

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What Not to Hoard for Post-Disaster Survival

What Not to Hoard for Post-Disaster Survival

If you are the kind of person that likes to be prepared, planning and storing for disaster or the end of the world as we know it can get out of hand.  You can waste resources, time, energy, and space on storing items that won’t offer you much benefit when the time comes to rely on them.  Worse, you might start to develop a survival strategy that includes, or is even dependent upon these items.  Everyone’s situation is different, and everyone’s needs are too, but here is a list of items that unless you have good reason to do so, […]

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Fast Action Control Techniques   

Fast Action Control Techniques  

When there is any other option, it’s always advisable to stay out of a conflict and to avoid a deadly encounter.  If we see a situation that might escalate we should call law enforcement. But is situations after a disaster or in any “grid down” scenario, law enforcement might be overwhelmed or otherwise unable to respond.  So what would you do in a situation like that?  You don’t want to have your only two options be doing nothing at all, or deadly force. In this video, which is mainly geared toward law enforcement, we see demonstrations of what the instructor […]

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Practical Situational Awareness

Practical Situational Awareness

When talking about self-defense and safety, situational awareness is always going to come into the conversation.  Having good situational awareness will allow you to avoid danger entirely or at least respond to it quickly so as to increase your odds.  But what exactly are you supposed to be aware of?   When The easiest thing to be aware of that has a direct effect upon your safety is the time.  If it’s dark out, there is an increased chance of violent crime, but there’s more to it than that.  Is it a holiday weekend?  If so it’s likely that there […]

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Simple Tips to Avoid Ticks

Simple Tips to Avoid Ticks

Ticks aren’t just creepy little bugs, they are also the harbingers of disabling and even deadly disease.  Most people know about Lyme’s disease, but ticks in North America can transmit 15 serious illness.  Some of the diseases are newly discovered, leaving open the possibility that there could be more illnesses spread by these parasites than we know about today.  But there are steps that you can take to protect yourself and your family if you are headed out into tick country.  Here are a few of those precautions.   Avoid Them Ticks tend to be, though not always, in predictable […]

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Morse Code (Infographic)

Morse Code (Infographic)

Morse code was developed in the 1830’s to transmit language over the then new telegraph.  The basic premise of Morse code is similar to binary code, using on and off.  The main difference is that Morse code has a “long on”, represented as a dash, and a “short on”, represented by a dot, with blank space between letters and words. Communication technology has come a long way since then, yet we all know that SOS means.  It is the internationally recognized signal for distress.  While learning the whole alphabet in Morse code could come in handy, knowing SOS is by […]

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Eating Snow Myth

Eating Snow Myth

There is probably no category of knowledge with more myths stuffed in than survival skills.  Survival myths are all over, they get repeated word of mouth around the campfire, find their way online (I’ve even repeated this one), and even taught by experienced survival trainers.  How does this happen?  Someone says something that sounds good, even scientific, and it just gets repeated by those who believe it, nobody really wants to go against it because unlike other categories of knowledge, if you get this stuff wrong you could die.  So with the threat of death on the mind, few people […]

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Empty Hand Defense Against a Knife Attack

Empty Hand Defense Against a Knife Attack

  Despite what Tim Kaine thinks, guns weren’t responsible for the terrorist attack at Ohio State University yesterday.  In fact, a gun is what stopped that attack, luckily before any victims could be killed.  But with idiots like Tim Kaine running around creating “gun free” and target rich environments knowing how to defend yourself against a knife attack with “empty handed” skills is an important aspect of self-defense.   Distance No amount of training is going to make fighting a knife-wielding attacker a safe prospect.  The best thing you can do from the start of the attack is to create […]

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Caring for Your Ax

Caring for Your Ax

Having an ax in the wilderness can be the difference between surviving or thriving.  But like all gear, it can’t take care of you if you don’t take care of it.  To keep your ax in optimal shape for a long life (of both your ax and you), follow these easy steps.   Handle These days there are plenty of survival axes and hatches on the market that have “indestructible” handles made from synthetic materials, and some of them come pretty close to living up to the hype of being unbreakable.  But for those that opt for a wooden handled […]

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Fatwood Firestarter (Video)

Fatwood is basically wood with a high resin content.  This means that there are natural chemical accelerants in the wood.  These accelerants will make it possible to light a fire with only material available to you in the wilderness in conditions that would otherwise be difficult or impossible.  This video describes and shows how to find fatwood, process it for kindling and tinder, and demonstrates how effective it is as starting a fire.  Having this knowledge in your pack could be the difference between a warm night and a long, cold, wet night.   If you liked this, you might […]

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3 Pistol Drills You Can do at Home

3 Pistol Drills You Can do at Home

Depending on what caliber pistol you have, and where you live, going to the range can become an expensive hobby fast.  While there is no substitute for live-fire to train accuracy, speed of fire, and gain comfort for beginners, not all training requires going to the range.  In fact, there are aspects of defensive pistol training that are crucial to self-defense and don’t require firing a single shot.  Here are 3 drills you should be doing to increase your defensive pistol skills that can be done at home.   Draw from Concealment You won’t be able to use your gun […]

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Coconuts for Survival

Coconuts for Survival

The main advantages to survival in the tropics are warmer weather, higher availability of water, and higher availability of food.  But simply because water and food are available doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be able to access them.  Having the right equipment helps, but having the knowledge of what to look for and how to use it is even more important.  One of the best sources of both food and water in the tropics are coconuts, but getting to those life-giving resources isn’t easy if you don’t know how.   What to Look For Not all coconuts offer the […]

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Real life Ways Kids Have Survived Kidnappings

Real life Ways Kids Have Survived Kidnappings

It’s a shame that it’s even something that we have to think about, but the reality is that we live in a world with people hiding in it that would seek out children as their victims.  Children are particularly vulnerable for several reasons, because they are small and therefore less able to fight back, because they are dependent upon adults, and because they are often unaware of the dangers that they as children face for predators who would target them.  You can’t make your kids bigger, but you can teach them self-reliance and inform them about the all-too-real dangers that […]

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How to Split Fire Wood with a Folding Saw   

How to Split Fire Wood with a Folding Saw  

An axe is a great tool to have with you in the wilderness.  But an axe is heavier and bulkier than a folding saw and you might have opted not to bring it with you when you find you need to split wood for a fire.  Being able to improvise with what gear you have on you is a survival essential.  If you have a folding saw, even a small one, you can still use it to split logs for a fire.  Here’s how.   Starting with logs of a manageable size, meaning that you can pick them up, find […]

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Pipe Fishing

Pipe Fishing

Fishing is a great way to get food for survival.  But one drawback to fishing for survival is that the most common method of angling requires specialized equipment.  A pole without line won’t catch any fish, and in a long term grid down scenario fishing gear will not be widely available.  Even if you do have fishing equipment you should have alternate methods to supplement angling to make your gear last longer and keep the fish guessing.  One great survival fishing method that can be done with salvageable material is pipe fishing.  Here’s how.   You will need to get […]

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Defense from Multiple Attackers

Defense from Multiple Attackers

As I have said before, the people who commit violent crimes are not looking for a sporting fight, they are looking for victims and they will not abide by any rules or decency.  One common, and difficult to defend against strategy employed by violent criminals is to outnumber their victims.  This can, and has for many, turned into a deadly situation.  But even in a situation where you are facing multiple attackers there are still steps you can take to increase your odds of survival.   Positioning The best thing that you can do if you are being confronted by […]

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Cross-Ditch Fire

Cross-Ditch Fire

Wind can be a major difficulty in getting a fire started, but it doesn’t have to be.  With a proper design for your fire build the wind’s negative effects can be minimized and the wind can even be used to your advantage.  One such fire build is the cross-ditch fire.  Here’s how to get started.   First, you are going to need to dig 2 ditches in a cross pattern as the name suggests. The ditches should be about 2 feet long, 6 inches wide, and 4 to 6 inches deep at the center where they cross.  This will provide both […]

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Fire Starting Rocks

Fire Starting Rocks

Modern fire starting devices utilize chemical accelerants, while primitive fire starting methods tend to rely mainly on friction.  But there is a method that bridges the gap, used by people with no modern technology, and yet also incorporated into modern fire-starting methods, such as the butane lighter.  This method is that of using the impact from metal and rocks to produce sparks that are tiny pieces of molten metal, which ignites tinder, or in the case of the lighter, butane gas.  And this method can be put to reliable use in wilderness survival to get a fire going when other methods are […]

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Over the Counter Medicine You Should Store

Over the Counter Medicine You Should Store

Any number or disasters could leave you without access to medical supplies, including the otherwise easy-to-obtain, over-the-counter medicines.  The irony is, that the same circumstances that would cut off your access to these medicines, could also increase your need for them.  This is why it’s always a good idea to keep some on hand in your survival supplies.  Here is a list of over the counter medicines that you should keep on hand.   Benadryl Not only can Benadryl treat nasal allergies that can drastically lower your ability to perform even basic functions, but it can also stop potentially life-threatening […]

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Tips for Ice Fishing

Tips for Ice Fishing

Survival isn’t camping, and it doesn’t just happen when the weather’s nice. If you are in a real survival scenario where you are living from day to day and trying to get the food you need to survive, you need to know every possible method of adding to your stores, and that certainly includes ice fishing. Here are some tips you need to employ when you are fishing out on the ice. Know the Safety of the Ice Ideally, the ice will be a minimum of five inches thick when you are ice fishing. This is generally thick enough to […]

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Practicing the Bug Out

Practicing the Bug Out

Even though you might have everything you need as a prepper and survivalist, that doesn’t mean you are prepared to survive. That’s why it is so important to practice bugging out and moving from one place to another with a full pack. It needs to be as realistic as possible, so this means no stopping at fast food joints on the way to your bug out location. Everyone involved needs to treat it as a drill. The practice will allow you to have a better idea of how quickly you are able to get from Point A to Point B. […]

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Drying Clothes in the Cold

Drying Clothes in the Cold

Wilderness survival in the cold means heat retention above all else.  You can last for 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water, but can die in 3 hours from exposure.  Your clothing is going to be your primary protection against the elements.  But what happens if your clothing gets wet?  Wet clothes will not insulate, you will need to dry them.  Here are some tips on how to get your clothes dry and stay alive in cold weather.   Boots Boots can be difficult to get dry, they can’t be spread out or hung like clothing.  But don’t place […]

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