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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Swamp Survival Tips

Swamp Survival Tips

When most people imagine themselves in a survival situation, they picture themselves in a beautiful forest at the edge of a lake. While that might be nice, it might not be the reality for everyone. You might find that you need to survive in the swamp, which is one of the most dangerous and difficult places in the world to survive. The swamp is full of problems. It’s always wet, so it’s hard to get the materials you need to make a fire. The terrain is dangerous, and you never know what dangerous creatures might be lurking around. If you […]

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Flowers for Food

When building and planting a vegetable garden, especially when space is a major factor, it can be tempting to use every available square inch for edible plants to increase food production.  It seems logical enough, and to some extent it is, space should not be wasted.  But is it a waste to plant ornamental flowers in your vegetable garden?  You might think so, but here are a few reasons why to reconsider. Pollinators All fruiting plants require pollinators like bees to produce their fruit.  You might think that their flowers alone can do the job of attracting bees, but if […]

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Tracking Without Tracks

Tracking Without Tracks

Being able to properly identify animal tracks and determine their approximate age is a great skill to have for wilderness survival.  It can help you to hunt or trap game, find water, and avoid potentially dangerous animals.  But what about the times when tracks aren’t present?  Well, even when the ground or weather makes tracks hard to find, or impossible, there is something that all animals do that will help you get a positive identification on the species, the approximate size of the animal, and tell you how long ago that animal was in the area.  Scat, or poop.  It […]

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Icy Water Self Rescue

Icy Water Self Rescue

Whether you are attempting to cross a frozen lake for expediency in a wilderness survival scenario, or are just having fun on the ice, if that ice cracks your odds of survival have just dropped to near zero.  The intense cold can trigger a gasp response, which could mean that you just inhaled freezing water into your lungs.  Your heart will be pounding and losing temperature fast.  If you don’t get out of the water soon, your limbs will start to lose mobility and strength, making it impossible to get out and to keep your head above water.  If you […]

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Earthquake Survival

Earthquake Survival

Out of all natural disasters, earthquakes are by far the deadliest.  They come with absolutely no warning, and have the power to shake infrastructure to the ground.  If you live in an area that is at risk for earthquakes preparation is a must and decisive action are musts.  Here are some ways that you can increase your chances of surviving an earthquake.   Put together an emergency earthquake kit.  This should include: 3 days worth of drinking water for everyone in your family 3 days worth of non-perishable food such as dried fruit, beef jerky, and oatmeal. All of which […]

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Improvising With Only One Backpack Strap

Improvising With Only One Backpack Strap

If you are deep in the wilderness, whether you are backpacking for pleasure or trying to get out for survival, having a strap on your backpack break can be devastating.  The uneven pressure will start to cause shoulder pain in a mile or so, foot and knee pain soon after, and depending on the terrain you attempting to cover the lack of balance it will create could pose a serious threat to injury, which in the wilderness could quickly turn deadly.  So what do you do if you backpack strap breaks and you have ground to cover with a load?  […]

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How to Manufacture a Bow Drill (Video)

How to Manufacture a Bow Drill (Video)

Given that these days you can get a paracord bracelet that has a fire rod incorporated into the design for less than $10, I don’t usually write much about primitive friction fire techniques.  However, knowing how to start a fire from only the material in the wilderness is a valuable knowledge and a skill that is worth developing, even with the market full of survival fire starting devices. You simply don’t know when you will need to survive, and you can’t guarantee that you will have your gear with you, or that it will last forever and work properly.  Of […]

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Best Types of Camouflage for Survival

Best Types of Camouflage for Survival

Whether for stealth during hunting or for evasion, camouflage is a survival necessity.  Both hunters and military units have developed various forms of camouflage over the years.  Each form has its use, its benefits, and its limitations.  For this reason, it’s important to consider what situations and environments you will be needing your camouflage for to determine which camouflage is best for you.  Here are a few types of camouflage and their strengths and weaknesses.   Woodland BDU BDU stands for “battle dress uniform”, woodland is pretty self-explanatory.  Woodland BDU’s are great for concealment in green wooded areas like forest […]

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Defensive Wrist Locks (Video)

Defensive Wrist Locks (Video)

In most street fights and assaults, at some point, your opponent will try to dominate you by grabbing a hold of you or your clothing.  If they succeed in establishing a solid grip on your collar, hair, or your wrist, they will be able to dictate your movement and force you into a compromised position that you will have a hard time defending against blows from.  If you have a working knowledge of defensive wrist lock techniques you will be able to break their control, dominate their position, and possibly even finish the fight in a brutal fashion by breaking […]

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Log Cabin Fire Build

Log Cabin Fire Build

As I have written about before here, not all fires are equally beneficial in all circumstances.  For those times when warmth is needed and fuel shortage is not an issue, a log fire build is a great choice.  It can be modified to burn slower, to work with damp wood, or to cook on, but the basic log cabin fire build is pretty simple and effective at putting out a lot of heat to warm you in cold weather. It gets the name from the basic shape, which is, naturally, like a log cabin. Here’s how to get started building one: […]

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Tree Identification Guide

Tree Identification Guide

Trees are a valuable source of wilderness survival necessities.  From firewood, shelter material, cordage, food, and even water, trees can provide nearly all of your needs in a wilderness survival scenario.  But not all trees offer the same resources, or any at all.  In order to get the most out of the trees in your surroundings you need to know which trees are best for which resources, and how to identify them.  This is an infographic that has depictions of various leaves labeled to the trees they correspond to.  Knowing this information can be a real life safer.   If […]

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Is Prepping for Survival Worth Your Time?

Is Prepping for Survival Worth Your Time?

If you are preparing for survival, you’ve probably asked the question of whether it is all worth it or not. Maybe you have some friends who think you are crazy for buying all the beans and rice you have in your basement or that can’t understand why you have firearms and go hunting. Maybe you’ve been asked whether prepping is worth the time and money that you’ve put into it. It’s a legitimate question. The problem is that many people see the world as always being there to provide for them. They believe that if there is a disaster or […]

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What to Buy Before a Storm

What to Buy Before a Storm

These days severe weather hardly hits without some warning, offering us precious time to prepare and stock up in case the weather is bad enough to leave us cut off without water and power for days.  Depending on where you are, this threat is more common than other places, and the considerations for each place will vary slightly, but here is a list of items that it is always good to stock up on if you are expecting the kind of weather that could leave you without power and water.   Water By far the most important supply for sheltering […]

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DIY Net Making Instructions (Video)

DIY Net Making Instructions (Video)

Small game traps like dead falls are effective tools, but few bush craft tools are as effective or as versatile as nets.  Nets can be made from any cordage with the techniques demonstrated in this video, and even the cordage can be manufactured from wilderness materials if you needed to.  Nets can used to catch a range of game, from birds, squirrels, and even fish.  If you have enough netting you can even make yourself a nice comfortable wilderness bed by securing the net to a log frame.  Being able to manufacture your own net is a great skill to […]

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Benefits of Air Rifles

Benefits of Air Rifles

No one tool is right for every job.  The benefits of having a semi-automatic rifle like an AR-15 for survival are plentiful, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t benefits to be had by what many would laugh at for a survival gun, an air rifle.  Here are a few reasons why you might want to seriously consider having an air-rifle as part of your survival gear.   Legality It’s unlikely that anyone will be lobbying to ban air-rifles anytime soon (though I wouldn’t put it past them).  As far as I know Chicago is the only place that treats […]

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Survival Lessons from Steve Callahan

Survival Lessons from Steve Callahan

Steve Callahan was a “moderately experienced” sailor that suffered shipwreck while attempting to cross the Atlantic and was stranded at sea and successfully survived 76 days adrift.  When considering the difficulty of surviving in any environment, let alone at sea, 76 days of survival is an amazing feat. And one that deserves attention so that we can learn from Steve’s ordeal.  What was it that made it possible for Steve Callahan to do the near impossible?   Gear When Steve’s boat began to quickly take on water and sink,  due to a what Steve thinks was probably a whale impacting […]

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Homemade Survival Anesthesia

Homemade Survival Anesthesia

Whether setting a bone and digging out a bullet, anesthesia is going to make the ordeal easier on both the patient and on the “survival doctor”.  But the sale of anesthetic drugs is understandably restricted, so if you want to have a supply on hand for survival use, you are going to have make them yourself.  That being said, the manufacturing and use of homemade anesthesia can be dangerous and should only be for emergencies when the risk is outweighed by the potential to save life.  This video demonstrates how to make chloroform at home from cheap ingredients and tools.  […]

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Surviving an Active Shooter

Surviving an Active Shooter

The odds finding yourself in an active shooter scenario are slim, but for the victims of these incidents, the odds don’t really matter.  If you are in public when you hear gun fire, it won’t matter if it is workplace violence or an act of terrorism, survival will be your only concern.  Here are some ways that you can improve your odds of surviving an active shooter scenario. Here are some ways that you can improve your odds of surviving an active shooter scenario.   Do Not be a Bystander Do not watch the incident unravel, or worse yet, try […]

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The Incredible Edible Pine

The Incredible Edible Pine

Pine isn’t usually the first tree that comes to mind for wilderness survival, especially for food.  But the humble pine tree doesn’t always get the credit it deserves.  Nearly every part of the tree contains edible material, from the root to the needles. Pines are full of food!  That being said, the amount of food contained within each part of the tree can differ widely based upon species, but if you are hungry in the wilderness, a pine is always worth a look.   Roots The pencil thin portions of a pine tree’s roots can be eaten.  The outer bark […]

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DIY Alcohol Stove

DIY Alcohol Stove

An alcohol stove is a great piece of gear to have. Whether for backpacking, bugging out, or an alternative cooking method for disaster preparedness, an alcohol stove is worth its weight in gold.  Since prepping can get expensive quick, it’s always nice to save money by manufacturing what you can.  Here are some simple instructions for building a DIY alcohol stove from inexpensive materials you can easily get.   Materials Tomato paste can Cat food can Carbon felt flame protector (available in the plumbing section of hardware stores) Instructions Empty the cans of their contents and clean them out. Remove […]

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Tapping Trees for Water

Tapping Trees for Water

Clear, clean-flowing steams will not always be available to you if you are in a wilderness survival situation.  Even if you do come across a source of water that looks clean, you would still have to boil, filter, or treat the water before consuming it to avoid dangerous parasites such as cryptosporidium.  This may be difficult if you need to spend your time on other necessities like making shelter, finding food, or gathering firewood.  But there is a way that you can get clean, nutrient enriched water passively in the wilderness: tap a tree. Before we get started with the […]

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How to Open a Can With a Spoon

How to Open a Can With a Spoon

Canned food is some of the most common survival food there is, but there is one crucial tool you need: a can opener. So what if you don’t have one, or yours breaks when you need it the most? This amazing trick could literally save your life one day: you can actually open a can with a spoon. Check it out! This is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a long time. If you enjoyed this, you might also like…. Last Resort Home Defense and More… Natural Healing Secrets You Need to Know… The Healthy Primal Diet Everyone Should Try… […]

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