Saturday, December 22, 2012

Steps to Become Self-Reliant

As expected, we are all still here. So what lesson should we take from this? Understand that prophecies are nothing to be concerned with. We will not receive a warning that the end is here. So that means we should be prepared for any disaster. Key to being prepared is to become more self-reliant. Self-reliance is so important because as you rely less on others, there will be less disruptions you will need to plan for.

The very first step in becoming self-reliant is getting out debt. The more debt you have, the more you rely on your job for the money to pay all of your monthly bills, which is a recipe for high stress. Take a look at the combined monthly interest you are paying on all of your debt. Do you feel like puking now? Imagine being able to apply that money every month elsewhere, like a weekend retreat in the woods. You dug yourself into this hole, so start climbing out.

Some people choose the higher interest rate bill to pay off first. Some people choose the highest monthly payment to pay off first. I chose the bill I can pay off the fastest. This may not be the most profitable, but it helps me feel like I am accomplishing something. When that bill is paid off, you apply that money to the next bill until everything is paid off. Create a plan and stick to it. Sure it may take three years, but imagine how great it will feel three years from now!

Take a look at each monthly bill you pay and see which ones are unnecessary. Do you really need cable right now? Maybe sign up for Netflix instead? Can you sign up for a cheaper cell phone plan? Stop eating out, stop ordering a morning latte, stop trying to keep up with your friends and neighbors. By simplifying your life, you are saving yourself money. Any extra money you can find in the monthly budget can be applied to paying off debt. Also, look around your house at all of things you have purchased with this debt. Can you sell anything on Ebay?

Ask anyone who is debt-free and they will tell you it is amazing. Work becomes more enjoyable because you get to keep the money each payday instead of divvying it up amongst the bills.

Getting out of debt is the first of many steps to becoming self-reliant. I will post new steps over the next week that are realistic and affordable.

Stay always prepared!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Unless you are a part of the top 1% in our economy, your financial situation doesn't allow you to purchase mass amounts of food and supplies to stockpile. However, bartering with others after a disaster might be a solution to any shortfalls in supplies.Bartering is a method of trade that will rise after a disaster, especially if currency is worthless. Many people will use bartering as a means for survival as supplies get low.

By choosing a specialty item or service, you can make yourself more valuable to society as rebuilding takes place. Using these goods or services allows you to trade for valuable items to increase your survival rate. Some examples of goods I will barter include medical supplies, clean water, ammo, garden vegetables, and honey. I even wrote an article about liquor being a prime bartering item. Medical doctors, gunsmiths, leatherwork are an example of services that are easily traded for supplies.

Those that have not prepared will dwindle in numbers from disease, hunger, violence, and thirst the first couple of months after a disaster. Even the people that have prepared will see hardships, though less common. When the population begins to decline, it is perceived that the threats will too. Because humans are pack animals, survivors will begin communicating and forming villages in order to improve survival. Your role in society will be determined by the skills and goods you bring, so make sure you are valuable.

As you stockpile, choose some items to stockpile more of for bartering opportunities. Also learn about hobbies like beekeeping or gardening so that you can provide renewable goods as well. Renewable goods will be invaluable to your survival because you will hopefully never run out.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

North Korean Missile Launch

It looks like North Korea will be proceeding with their scheduled missile test despite warnings from Russia, China, and the United States. North Korea claims the launch is peaceful and only a satellite.

North Korea Missile Launch

I have two problems with this launch. The obvious first problem is allowing North Korea to test the capabilities of their missile technology. A test allows scientists to see what tweaks need to be made and then brings them one step closer to firing on the U.S. My second problem is even if this missile test is meant for satellite launching, I do not trust the motive. North Korea placing a satellite above our heads will not end well for the West. A satellite has the potential to detonate a nuclear weapon far outside of Earth's atmosphere and the protection of the missile defense system (EMP damage). However, reports state that North Korea does not have the technology to build a rocket that can reach space or build a satellite that can fire a nuclear warhead. But these are reports based on assumption since no one has access to the highly secretive country.

This may just be a peaceful test by North Korea or this may be a more sinister step towards becoming a legitimate threat. I would rather be prepared for them becoming a threat so that I'm not surprised.

Do you think we should take this launch as an act of war and stop them before they proceed further?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Survival Bag

A survival bag is a backpack that contains the necessary items to survive 2-3 days after a disaster until help comes or you receive more supplies. Other names include bug-out bag and get-home bag. This post will show you what I include in my bag and give you a baseline of what should be in yours.

First of all, this is not my bug-out bag. This is more of a get-home bag because I designed this bag as a survival item when I am away from my primary shelter where a majority of my supplies are stored. Because I do not know when an incident may occur, I feel better prepared knowing I have some supplies ready to grab in the trunk of my car. I expect that my car will be useless in a panic situation so having a get-home bag in my trunk allows me to flee on foot. I assume that in my current physical state, I should be able to travel at least 10-15 miles per day. There are many unknowns which force me to lower my potential travel time. This means I need at least 2 days of supplies to reach my home if I am about 25 miles away. These supplies are the bare minimum needed to improve my chance of survival until I reach my home. I built my bag around the necessities for survival and I will order my list in this way.

Some of the items in my survival bag.


I suggest 2-4 bottles of water in your bag. This amount can be altered depending on how far you plan on being from your home. I don't carry purification tablets or filters because I believe that I will either make it home within my time frame or be dead from an attack. Either way I won't need them.


Shelter has different levels. First, your clothes are your primary protection. Most of us don't wear work clothes that could also double as hiking gear so you should have a back-up set. Have at least one extra pair of pants and shirt and 2 pairs of socks with either waterproof boots or comfortable walking shoes. I would suggest that your clothes are not camo because if everyone is in panic mode, a person in camo with a backpack will look like someone with supplies and become a target. You need to blend in as much as possible. A heavy duty rain poncho is also necessary. Plan according to the current temperatures. If you live where winters become cold, then update your bag with warmer clothes. When the seasons change, you can change what clothes are in your bag. Another tip is to pack each article of clothing into a gallon Ziploc bag and squeeze the air out before sealing the bag. Not only will this protect your clothes from getting wet, it also compacts the size.

Your next shelter is where you will be sleeping if your trip will be longer than one day. I suggest a tarp and some paracord (not shown above) because a tent and sleeping bag is way too bulky and will slow you down. There are many guides online on how to build a shelter out of a tarp. A space blanket can also help maintain your heat if the nights are cold.

Fire is the final component of shelter. Maintaining a fire throughout the night might be necessary to your survival if something happens during the cold months. Have at least 3 methods of starting a fire available. I have fire sticks, lighters, waterproof matches, and a magnesium emergency fire starter. I also carry a hand axe so that I can quickly cut up some wood for burning.


I carry canned food because it lasts longer and the packages can take a lot of punishment. Two cans of tuna, a can of baked beans, and a can of soup is enough for me to eat on the run for two days. This is a small amount of food, I know. But when looking at the bigger picture, I can live around 3 weeks without food and would rather save room in my bag for other needs. If you choose the canned food route like me, don't forget a can opener!

Everything Else

Make sure you have a good strong knife that you trust as protection from others without breaking. Being on the run for only 2-3 days, there shouldn't be any other uses for the knife other than protection. Depending on your local laws and personal feelings, a handgun stored in your bag would be a more intimidating form of protection.

A simple travel first-aid kit may also come in handy. It's better to have bandages and antiseptic than not, so add this to your bag.

Finally, a powerful LED flashlight will come in handy if traveling at night. The brighter the better because you can blind attackers and even use the shaft as a club if it is large enough.


My bag is not a one size fits all example. Your situation is different from mine so your bag may have more or less supplies. If you are a slower hiker or out of shape, you will need more supplies than me. If you are typically within 5 miles of your home, you will need less supplies. You know which adjustments to make.

Lastly, please don't forget your family! If you have children, make sure you have enough supplies for their survival as well.

So what's in your bag?

Monday, December 3, 2012

EMP Threat

Electromagnetic pulses (EMP) are a pulse of energy typically found during a nuclear explosion. This pulse destroys anything electrical by overloading the circuits with energy and frying the devices. EMPs can be a serious threat to our country. So much so that our government assessed the impact an EMP blast would have on our nation by appointing a commission in 2008. The results can be found HERE. A nuclear blast miles above America is all that is necessary to wipe out a majority of the infrastructure and result in a 70-90% loss of life within the first year after an attack.

So who would explode a nuclear bomb above the United States? I believe North Korea is a considerable threat within the next 5 years. North Korea continues to test missile technology under the guise of launching satellites. The scary part about their cover is the potential to launch a nuclear missile from a satellite instead of from Earth (most likely outside the range of our missile defense system). The nuclear explosion could be well outside of the Earth's atmosphere, up to 300 miles away according to the commission report and cause significant damage.

Preparing for an EMP is like preparing for the worse case scenario. Every electronic will most likely be destroyed from the blast. That means no electric, no water, no cars, no generators, no flashlights, no batteries, no radios, etc. If it runs on electric, you won't have it. On the positive side, being prepared for the worst means you are prepared for everything else.

What's worse? Our country in not prepared for such an attack. No government could respond fast enough and restore power as necessary. Restoration would take months into years. Imagine the loss of life as hospitals are without power because the generators are fried. Mobs will form within days as hunger begins to set in.If you want to read a chilling account of what may happen, then read One Second After

Faraday cages are believed to be one way to protect your electronics from such an attack. However, there isn't much research on the subject because you need a nuclear explosion in order to test the hypothesis. There are many plans on how to build a faraday cage so just Google it if you are interested in building your own. I believe it is better to be safe than sorry so I will be beginning my project very soon.

Remember, preparing for an EMP attack means you will be prepared for any other disaster. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Prepping this week

I had a productive weekend in which I added some more supplies to my stockpile. I have been extremely excited to get back outdoors for some camping after my last post, so I bought a new tent from Amazon. If you can't tell, I love ordering my supplies from Amazon. Mostly because I can read other people's reviews and do research before submitting my order.

I ordered an 8-person tent because I appreciate a little bit of leg room. I also do not know who else may be sharing this space with me so I allotted as much extra space as I can afford. The price is great as well because I continue to see tents half this size for at least $150. I can't wait to fall fast asleep in this bad boy!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Red Dawn

The remake of Red Dawn was actually pretty cool!And if you need some motivation to prep, this movie is even better.

What I liked about the new plot was the updated threat. They actually appeared to borrow the somewhat realistic idea of North Korea becoming a military threat to the nation from the recent video game, Homefront. By causing an EMP above America, most of the nation's defenses are down, allowing millions of North Korean troops to invade and take over each town.

Even though this movie is fictional, we need to take a serious look at this type of threat. An EMP would devastate our current living situations and it would take years to correct all of the power grids, communications, vehicles, etc. They scary thing about an EMP is it could cause a slow death for millions because we are so reliant on the system now. Everything we rely on, relies on the electrical grid in one way or another.

Take the necessary steps to become less reliant. Wind turbines and solar power is an excellent idea if you can afford the technology. The prices continue to come down as the supply increases to meet demand so maybe we will all have these backup power sources shortly in the future.

Until then, keep prepping!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Learn from Camping

Have you ever gone camping? Now, I don't mean RV camping or camp-site camping with bathrooms and showers and electric. I am talking about miles away from the city; just you and the supplies you brought for a couple of nights. It is much tougher to experience a hardship than just thinking about it. Camping is a great way to experience some the hardships we may be forced to live in.

Camping also gives you an opportunity to try all of those fun camping supplies you have purchased. Testing all of these supplies now when it's not an emergency tells you which ones will actually benefit you. Some may be junk. Wouldn't you rather know now? Experiment with fires, cooking, chopping up firewood, etc. There are so many things you can learn in one weekend in the woods.

What if you had to run from your primary shelter tonight? Do you even have a rough idea of what to grab? Is a bug-out bag enough? Probably not if your secondary shelter is a tent in the woods somewhere. For most of us, this is all we can afford in our prepping plans.

I know we are closing in on the winter months, but it would serve you well to take a weekend and venture into the wilderness of America. See what it is really like to be alone in the cold with no other options. Obviously I don't suggest trying to camp out in freezing temperatures because you are asking for trouble. While this may be a realistic situation, it is a dangerous one you shouldn't choose to put yourself into. Choose a weekend when the temperatures are warm enough at night where frostbite isn't a concern. In other words - Don't be stupid!

Remember, prepping isn't just stockpiling supplies. It's knowing how to survive when all of those supplies are gone.

Camping image from

Monday, October 8, 2012

Ring of Fire Continues to Warn

A volcano in Indonesia has began erupting this weekend continuing what seems to be constant activity throughout the "ring of fire". The ring of fire is a highly volatile area surrounding the pacific basin which can be seen in the map below.
What does this mean? No one knows really but I would take it as a warning sign if I am living anywhere close to this area (hint Californians). Geologists have confirmed that California will either disappear or separate from North America in the future. Maybe tomorrow or maybe 20 million years from now. Either way, prepare yourself and if you are a betting man, buy your beachfront property in Nevada now.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Homeland Security

So I was driving down the road today and I saw a Homeland Security "police" SUV. Ok, I had no idea these existed! So I did a little bit more digging via Google and found some pictures that are rather scary.

What in the world does Homeland Security need vehicles like this for? Is the government really planning for the need to control civilians? These vehicles say "Rescue" on the side, but their steel bulletproof sides say otherwise.

The government seems to be preparing for something. I don't know what, but these vehicles don't look friendly folks. These vehicles are built to withstand all types of ammo with gun ports in every window. These are clearly not for terrorism but more for crowd control.

Start preparing now, because when we find out what these vehicles are for, it will be too late. We don't want to look back at all of this and realize how obvious the clues were. I hope its nothing, but I'm not betting on it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Remember the Priorities

Watching this guy doesn't help much.
When prepping it is wise to think of the "Rule of Threes". There seems to be multiple variations of this rule, but this one is quite effective when planning.
  1. You can survive for 3 hours without maintaining your core body temperature.
  2. You can survive 3 days without water.
  3.  You can survive 3 weeks without food.
Now you have your priority list when it comes to prepping, so now what?

Maintaining your temperature is best done with an effective shelter. So shelter is your number one concern. Shelter includes tents, sleeping bags, tarps, warm clothes, shelter building knowledge, etc.  If you live in the northern areas where snow is common this is a definitely a high priority. Make sure you have multiple options for warm clothing just in case you get wet and have multiple back-up plans for shelters. If your tent rips be prepared with a tarp. Find the information online on how to build shelters in the wild. Here I did the work for you: Survival Shelters Remember my post about printing all information? Print it and file it!

Next is water. I have talked a ton about water so I am not going to bore you. Get yourself a Katadyn or Life Straw filter as a back-up for drinking dirty water. Store extra water in your house with empty and cleaned plastic bottles. Go here for more info: Water Tips

Food. If you don't have at least a month of food for you, your family, and your pets, then you need to sit down and make a list immediately. Should you have 20 years of food instead of only a month stored? Sure that would be fantastic, but I am telling you a month is the minimum. Just do what you can afford. It's probably  more than what most Americans are doing. Go here for the basic list: Food Tips

Prepping can be as easy or hard as you want to make it. The same goes for survival. By prepping now, you are setting a successful path towards survival while others are panicking.  

I first read of the Rule of Threes here: Survival Skills

Friday, September 14, 2012

Earthquakes and Volcanoes. What's Next?

Guatemala's volcano
 Is it just me or does it seem like earthquakes and volcanoes are in the news daily all of a sudden? Just this morning I see that Guatemala had a volcano erupt this morning, the 6th eruption this year, and a volcano in Nicaragua erupted earlier this week. Not to mention Indonesia woke up to an earthquake this morning.

Up to date USGS map of earthquakes in the world.

So what does all of this mean? Well the ring of fire around the pacific basin seems to be very active but it could be nothing. However, I know that if I was living on the west coast of America, I would be planning for a big earthquake at this point. The professionals are not able to predict what the plates of the Earth are going to do next so not being prepared is foolish.

Preparing for an earthquake doesn't have to cost any money either so there is no excuse. Have a meeting with your immediate family and make sure there is a plan. It is highly unlikely that your family will be together when it happens so you want a central meeting spot or a way to contact each other. Have an evacuation route and make sure each member in the family knows which out-of-state family member to contact.

Download this free earthquake safety guide

Preparation is your only option.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Shipping Containers - The New Retreat

So preppers across the U.S. have found a new use for those large shipping containers that are used to ship our goods on cargo ships. The containers can be bought, fairly cheap, in sizes ranging from 20ft to 40ft and then can be welded together into any design desired. I first saw this idea on the new show, Doomsday Preppers, on National Geographic. As seen above, the people on that show had a pretty crude design compared to what others are doing. The following example is much more elaborate and expensive. Video of Shipping Container Castle

There are others that are using shipping containers for underground bunkers. I do not know the price of buying and installing a tornado shelter but I am quite sure using a shipping container would be more cost effective and roomier. The following video shows the steps involved to build your own bunker. Video of Shipping Container as a Bunker

I absolutely love the idea of building a retreat out of shipping containers because a good size retreat can be built with very minimal cost. Add solar and wind energy and a fresh supply water, and you have just successfully moved off the grid. If you have the space on your land this would be a fun way to begin building your retreat.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Where's the Beef?

We should consider the possibility of a long term crisis. I'm talking months and maybe years before society begins to rebuild. Do you have that much canned, dehydrated, or freeze-dried meat stored up for you and your family? I know what you're thinking - "I will just hunt for my meat!" That would work but don't you think everyone is going to turn to hunting when they begin starving? The wild animal population is going to quickly disappear because it certainly can't handle that many hunters at once. You need a back-up plan.

Small farm animals can provide your family with the necessary nutrients to survive a long-term food shortage.If you live on land that is less than an acre, small farm animals are the option for you. I am talking chickens, rabbits, and goats.

Goats can live in an area around 300 square feet per goat. Just two nannies will provide your family with up to two and a half gallons of milk per day. Ideal because they can live in a smaller area and will provide your family with milk and meat.

Chickens cost very little and help your garden prosper by providing fertilizer and eating the pests. A dozen hens could give you roughly 4 dozen eggs per week and will also provide meat when needed.

Rabbits are my last choice because they only benefit us when they are dead and on the table. However, they are quiet and can live in pens anywhere on your property. If your neighbors are starving and they hear your chickens or goats, most likely they will be making a surprise visit to steal your animals. Rabbits give you the ability to quietly provide meat for your family if you are afraid that others will find your food sources.

Do not forget that these animals must be factored into your prepping plans, which means lots of feed needs to be stored up so that your future food isn't dying before you're ready to eat. There are many books out about raising these animals in your backyard and what equipment you would need.

The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals: Choose the Best Breeds for Small-Space Farming, Produce Your Own Grass-Fed Meat, Gather Fresh ... Rabbits, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Cattle, & Bees

Unfortunately, my zoning laws do not allow for me to have farm animals so this is one tip I will not be practicing for now. Always check your zoning laws before buying farm animals and the equipment.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11 Never Forget

'Never Forget' is the perfect motto for such a horrendous day because now 11 years later, we will never forget where we were when we heard the news. The families will never forget their loved ones they lost in the attacks. So much of that day will never be forgotten but I bet there is one that you did forget. Do you remember that feeling that you had when you realized how vulnerable America was to outside attacks? Do you remember the uncertainty about if there would be more attacks? If we are to learn anything from history we must believe that anything can and will happen. Never forget that safety is only a feeling and feelings are never guaranteed.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Should You Have a Survival Retreat?

This question often haunts me. If you're like me, you live close enough to the city that staying put might be risky. Staying home has a ton of benefits if you can manage the risks. The thought of quickly grabbing my stored food and water and leaving the rest behind is a scary thought. So a retreat that is far enough away from others but close enough to get there fast helps alleviate these fears because I can easily store goods onsite and this can save me a lot of time if I have to leave my home fast.

Hunting properties are perfect retreat locations because they are always far from city life and usually provide plenty of natural cover. My favorite part about hunting properties is they are very affordable for most of us because the property would be difficult to develop on and therefore considered useless land for developers. A couple of acres is substantial for most small groups but will need to grow as your group grows. It is worth the extra cost if the property has a stream or natural spring because fresh water is the most important for survival. The last benefit I will mention for buying a hunting property is the ability to absorb the surrounding parcels if society crumbles and the owners fail to use it. Some might consider this stealing, but I call it borrowing because you can always vacate the land if the owners arrive.

If you don't know if you should have a retreat, read the book, Holding Your Ground: Preparing for Defense if it all Falls Apart. This book helps you determine if your house is safe WTSHTF using the author's own algorithm which assigns numerical values for your neighborhood, property, highways, etc. If the algorithm states that you could stay in your home, he gives you ideas on camouflaging the property so it looks as though it was already looted by others and also ideas on protecting your house from the inevitable gangs.

If after reading this guide you determine that you need a bug-out plan then maybe a retreat is necessary. Finances are the most important part of prepping so now is the time that having a prepping group of friends and family already in place can help immensely. Buying a property should not be one person's job and I have found that if a group of people pitch in money they will also pitch in the time to prepare the property. Clearing trees, burying caches, building structures, and planning for the future tends to be much easier with a group.

Keep Prepping Friends!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Yosemite Hantavirus

The latest outbreak of Hantavirus that is currently popping up amongst Yosemite visitors is one of the many threats we will face if we are forced to live outside of our home for an extended period of time. The hantavirus is spread by rodents and you can bet that rodents are always going to be close by because of all the food and trash that will pile up if city refuse ceases to operate post-crisis.

Read about the virus outbreak here

Thankfully, this virus is quite rare and I don't recommend worrying about it when prepping. When planning it can be overwhelming to think of every survival item needed and this outbreak is a great example of how anything can happen when out in the wild. Don't let stories like this damper your motivation.

Keep prepping!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Even the Government is Prepping

I just found this article which was published last week, Alaska to stockpile food, and it states that the Gov. of Alaska has begun plans to build two large warehouses and stockpile food, "just in case". If government officials are preparing for disasters that could interrupt supplies, why aren't you? Don't sit back and hope that your Governor decides to do the same thing, because he/she won't. Relying on the government after a crisis is a horrible plan that will most likely get you killed. The key to staying low and surviving is having your supplies before the crisis and letting everyone else fight over the rest.

 I think of the old Aesop's Fable almost everyday about the ant and the grasshopper. I didn't realize when I was little how important this fable would be to me. Don't be the grasshopper relying on the ants to help you and your family. You can be sure the ants will not help those that did not help themselves.

Get off of your grasshopper butts and get to prepping!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Homemade Wine Venture

The other day I wrote about learning how to brew your own beer and wine at home and how invaluable this knowledge could be. After posting this, I realized that I recommended something for you to do that I have not done myself, so in order to practice what I preach I began my first batch of homemade wine. I will never recommend products to you that I haven't purchased myself and I believe this rule should carry over into my prepping. I now have 6 gallons of Chamblais wine currently fermenting and I am quite excited to try the finished product. I plan on making one more batch of red wine after this batch is done and then I will venture into the beer side of brewing.

My wine fermenting.

There are supplies you must buy in order to make wine and beer at home and I dealt with a few of the companies that supply these kits over the phone before choosing my supplier. A company in Ohio called Label Peelers offered better prices and was extremely nice and more than willing to help a noobie so I highly recommend their products. I am not affiliated with them and am only sharing their site because they were willing to help above and beyond the other companies.

Go here for wine supplies!

Good luck on your brewing!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Alcohol - The Future Currency

Alcohol is overly abundant in this day and age and many people are even learning to make their own at home as a hobby. But imagine how long it would take for the supply to run short if there was an economic collapse or interruption in grocery supplies. Americans rely on alcohol way more than we care to admit. It plays the role as a stress reliever and social catalyst for many on weekends. But did you know that liquor could be used as an emergency disinfectant? Think back to those old Western movies when they would pour the bottle on the wound and then allow the patient to drink the rest prior to surgery.

So where am I going with this? Well, think about the value of liquor now versus post-crisis America. After the supplies have dwindled, liquor is going to be a very valuable bartering item. Times will be very depressing for most so they will jump at the chance for a drink and a taste of the luxuries we once enjoyed. But get your priorities straight. I only recommend stockpiling alcohol if your food and survival supplies are already fulfilled. Sure you could trade the alcohol for the gear or food you didn't buy but don't bet on it. Do not buy top shelf alcohol either! Buy the cheap stuff by the floor and make sure the proof is no less than 70% for disinfectant purposes.

Learn how to make your own beer and wine and you have increased your value to the survival community 10 fold. Experiment with growing your own grapes and master the art of wine-making as a hobby. As a bartering item, wine and beer will most likely be more valuable than liquor because of the improved taste quality.

Here is an informative site on making wine: Wine Making

The Homebrewers Assoc. gives you a lot of good info on brewing beer.

Happy Labor Day.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

What are you preparing for?

Knowing what catastrophe you are preparing for is a wise way to begin your prepping. Each person's preparations are going to be different from another. Why? Because we all have strong feelings about what the future holds for us. Think about it this way: What brought you here? What are you afraid of happening? Each person's answer will be different in some way. I don't need to tell you what crisis to prepare for because I guarantee you already have something in mind. If you live in California maybe you're preparing for the big earthquake. If you're in the Midwest maybe you are afraid of the Yellowstone supervolcano or the current drought situation.

Why is it important to decide on the crisis to prepare for before prepping? Because each crisis requires different supplies and different minimum survival time frames. A massive earthquake in California will have faster response times from the government than a total economic collapse. Preparing for an earthquake means you don't need much more than a weeks supply of food and water. Just by envisioning the scenario you can get a rough grasp on what supplies you will need and how long you will need to survive before help arrives.

As an example, my fear is the economy collapsing and the dollar becoming worthless. When this happens, society ceases to exist and it becomes every man for himself. Not being able to buy food and water will cause a panic situation for millions of Americans. Not a pleasant scenario in my mind so my preparations have more to do with protection and long term survival.

We can't plan for everything. Don't let this get you down. The next best thing is to make a list of what you believe may happen and prioritize on what is most-likely to happen. After you decide on your crisis, head on over to Start Here.

Good luck on your list!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cheap Water Filter Option

As I mentioned in a past post, water back-ups are crucial to your prepping plans. Without safe water all of your plans and prepping have been pointless because you and your family are not going to survive. The options we have are storing clean water and having water filters on hand. The problem is you can only store so much water though.

Water filters are a great item to add to your survival cache because they take up very little room and are easy to carry in a bug-out bag. A Katadyn water filter can fetch a hefty price tag, typically around $300. If you have a nice amount of cash to apply to prepping than I absolutely recommend buying the Katadyn filter because it will filter up to 18,000 gallons of water (many years of clean water).

However, if you are like me and have limited funds I believe the cheaper option is upon us. At only $19.95 the LifeStraw will filter up to 264 gallons (almost a year's worth of drinking water). After reading the reviews I believe this is a definite purchase and I have actually bought a few extras. For the price of one Katadyn I can have at least a dozen LifeStraws. I feel much more prepared having multiple filters over one filter because now I have back-ups. Click below to read more about the LifeStraw

If you would like to order the Katadyn filter also, than the cheapest one I have found is on Amazon. Having both filters is the best preparations but do what you can afford. Find one cheaper please tell me.

Ordering through these links does help me, but that is not the reason I recommend them. They have proven to be the best products and these links are the best prices!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Make Your Own Rain Barrel

Rain barrels are extremely useful for storing water for a garden and can be treated and used in emergency situations for drinking water. I use a rain barrel for my rear garden because I hate unwinding 50+ ft of hose and winding it back up everyday.

Instead of buying a rain barrel at the store or online for upwards of a $100, you can quickly make your own out of a plastic trash can. This video gives you a basic understanding of building your own rain barrel. You do not have to build it exactly as shown in the video, so feel free to make changes that accommodate your set-up. My main suggestion is that you place the barrel on a foundation so that gravity is helping the water flow.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Where Do You Get Your Info?

Most people now-a-days acquire most of their info from the Internet - like you are doing now. Usually when you find an article or tid-bit that you find interesting you bookmark it or save the blog for future reference. Did you stop to think that your computer and the internet will most likely be non-existent if some type of catastrophe hits? No longer can you turn to Google and type in "how to build a shelter" or "how to start a fire". All of that information that would have been so helpful to you and your family is now lost.

Beginning today it would be a great investment to print information that you believe would be useful WTSHTF. I would also cut out pages from magazines and copy pages from books and then organize all of this information into one survival binder. Make sure you buy a large binder since you will always be adding new content. The binder should then be placed into a water proof container in order to protect the contents.

When I buy books for my Prepping library I immediately place them in large Ziploc bags for storage unless I plan on reading them right away. The Ziploc bags help protect your books from the weather and are much easier to grab in a rush if you have to bail from your house in a hurry.

An easy and cheap way to prepare yourself is to build up your library. Increase your knowledge and save it in hard format so that it can be easily referenced in a worse case scenario. "Shoulda - Woulda - Coulda" is a horrible plan to rely on. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

How to Afford Prepping

Many people I chat with about prepping mention that they couldn't afford gathering goods and storing supplies. The truth that many hide from is - You Can't Afford Not to Prepare. Sure the majority of us can't buy the 100 acre retreat or have $10,000 for a small arsenal like other survival sites recommend. Do not let that stop you like it did me! Do what you can afford (don't go into debt) and you will be better prepared than most of your neighbors, I guarantee it.

Take a look at your weekly expenditures and I promise you will find the fat that could be trimmed. Let's be honest, if society sees a catastrophic event wouldn't you adapt faster if you aren't relying on your daily Starbucks or fast food. The key to prepping is becoming self-sufficient and that means living without relying on others for food, drink, shelter, and entertainment. Get started now and you will see the savings.

De-clutter your home with material possessions that you no longer use. Will all of those collectibles be useful to your family if society collapses? List everything you find on Ebay or Craigs List and get it sold. The money you receive from the sales can then be applied to prepping and buying new gear.

Take advantage of sales and coupons. My local grocery store always has great sales on canned fruits and veggies and it is easy to grab a month's supply in one visit. Buy a few extra of the items that you eat a lot of and store it on a shelf somewhere. Flea markets and garage sales are good places to buy camping supplies and used military gear.

You don't need to buy a huge arsenal of weapons, even though it would be freaking awesome! A handgun, shotgun, and rifle is a great start. By limiting your calibers you will also save money when buying extra ammo for your weapons.

Lastly, be patient. Don't go into debt trying to create a huge stockpile. Give yourself small goals to meet on a weekly basis and everything will add up over time and dedication.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Survival Gun to Own - .22 Caliber

I hate hearing "gun professionals" talk about the .22 caliber as if it wouldn't even harm a human in a gun fight. I bet none of those people would volunteer to test this theory.

Actually, there was a school shooting in Chardon, Ohio early 2012 and guess what the shooter used - a .22 pistol. Three students died that day.

A Ruger 10/22 is a great gun to have because it is cheap and it can get the job done. Check out this video if you don't trust my opinion:

Friday, February 3, 2012

FBI says "Expect Cyber Attack"

The FBI has declared that hackers are becoming more of a threat to America's infrastructure than a terrorist attack. The attacks continue to grow and improve and the government may begin to lose this battle if new legislation (more money) isn't passed.

The reason a hacker can be such a large threat is because everything in this country relies on a computer network. Our electrical grids, financial markets, water systems, FAA control towers, nuclear power plants, etc. all rely on a computer network. No longer does a country have to bomb or attack our cities to cause damage. Imagine how quickly things would get out of hand if most of the country's electrical grid was down. This is such a new threat, the government is clueless. They don't even know which branch would have responsibility for such an attack. Do you really want to rely on the government for help during such an emergency?

The reasons to prepare your family for a disaster continue to grow. I can only suggest that you prepare. You have to be the one to act. If something ever happens, you don't want to look back to today and say "if only I would have bought a few things to prepare". Don't put yourself in that situation. Don't put your family in that situation.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Emergency Evacuation

Driving through my neighborhood yesterday made me realize how terrible the roads would be if there was a disaster that created the need for an emergency evacuation. I have two major highways within 2 miles of my home. You would think having two highways so close would be a good thing for a quick escape. Yesterday was an eye opener. Because of an accident, the traffic from one highway was diverted through the main roads by my house creating a traffic jam almost 2 miles long. In all of my years living here I have never seen traffic like this and I quickly wondered if there was a disaster that I did not know about. I am thankful that I witnessed this because yesterday made me realize that escaping this area might not be as easy as I thought.

When it comes to emergency evacuation, you either need to be the first ones leaving or the last ones. The highways will quickly become clogged with all of the vehicles. You have to understand that the highways were not built for every vehicle in your city to be on them at once. Not to mention the accidents and cars running out of gas blocking the lanes.The farther you can get with your car, the better chance you will have. Below are my suggestions to improve your chances during an emergency evacuation.

My first suggestion is to have somewhere to go. You want it to be as close as possible, ideally less than 3 driving hours. I say less than 3 driving hours because you can drive this distance without stopping for gas and if you have to leave your vehicle, it is a feasible hike. If you live in Indiana, the refuge you purchased in Utah will be pointless. I can promise you that in an emergency situation, you will not make it that far. If the blocked roads don't stop you, the hungry and thirsty masses will. Don't have somewhere close? Get out and meet people. Ask your friends. You will be surprised who owns hunting land that they never use and would be willing to sell it to you(cheap).

Next, you want detailed road maps of each county from your home to your emergency evacuation location. Highlight the main route with a red highlighter. Why red? Because WTSHTF, everyone else will be using this obvious route. Red = Stop. STAY AWAY! Now, find alternate routes and highlight these in green or yellow. Give yourself as many options as possible. As you get farther from the main cities in your area, the highways may become safe to drive on, but never rely on them.

Ok, we have our location and we have our route. Next, you want to be able to gather your gear and have the vehicle loaded within 5 - 10 minutes. That means putting everything in a central spot. Any type of large military or hiking bag is ideal for this. If you really want to be prepared, have your bags loaded and ready to go. I find plastic crates can be helpful for quickly loading canned food and containers of water. The only problem is if you have to leave your vehicle, you will have to leave most of the goods that don't fit in your bag. (There are ways around this that I will mention in a later post).

My final suggestion is to be ready. Always maintain at least half of a tank of gas in your vehicle. Keep your gear ready to go. Watch the news. While the news can't predict natural disasters, it is wise to stay up to date on the economy during such a troubling time.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Medical Supplies - Always Overlooked

One area that is often overlooked in prepping is medical supplies. I am talking about supplies that the average Joe can purchase. Sure it would be great to load up on antibiotics and painkillers like other survivalist blogs preach, but I have yet to find a doctor to prescribe me these items for storage purposes. The supplies I am talking about here are bandages, alcohol, and other first aid type gear.

Putting together a storage of medical supplies can be an expensive task that you may not be very excited about. If your like me, than you would rather spend the money on guns, ammo, and food. However, those items won't be very useful if you are unable to take care of your injuries.When the power is out and the food is no longer being delivered to your local grocery stores, your jobs around the house have just increased 10 fold. Imagine the injuries you might incur chopping wood, hunting, digging a garden, and protecting your home from others.

Buying this large first aid kit is a great start to your prepping, and I guarantee you will be more prepared than any of your neighbors, but it's only a start. You want more bandages on hand than you believe you will ever use in a lifetime...and then buy a few more. Remember, most people will have little to no first aid supplies, so it becomes a great bartering item in the future. I would also add a few Quikclot packages to your kit. Quikclot is a sponge that helps to stop bleeding fast and can be the determining factor after a dangerous accident.

One way to have painkillers and antibiotics on hand without a prescription is to save the ones you or your family members don't use. Despite the expiration date, most medicines will still have some effectiveness and will be better than nothing. However, some medicines do become toxic with age, so be sure to research what you are storing. Tylenol and anti-diarrhea medicine is also highly suggested. Do you wear glasses or contacts? Try to have an extra pair handy and plenty of contact solution as well.

I know, this list is getting quite expensive isn't it? I have a solution to this. If your employer offers a flexible spending account for medical costs, sign up immediately. Flexible spending accounts subtract a certain amount from each paycheck, BEFORE TAXES, which means you barely notice a drop in pay. You then have a year to spend the money on anything medical. I use all of our unused portions to buy tons of bandages, glasses, contact solution, thermometers, tylenol, etc. A flexible spending account allows you to build a nice supply of emergency medical supplies without you feeling the expense burden. Don't be afraid to buy the store brand medicine and supplies as well. They are generally much cheaper and just as effective.

What do you recommend?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

WATER - Emergency kit item #1

Focus on water first if you are a beginner to prepping. The first reason for this is because water is so important to our survival and sanity. Not only do our bodies need water but we need it for cooking and cleaning as well. The second reason is because the beginning stages of prepping can be overwhelming and costly. Water is free!
Side Note: For those that have wells, you are better off than us urbanites that are tied into the city lines. Just make sure you have a back-up plan when the power is off and you can no longer pump water from your well. A hand pump can be a great investment that will return your investment many times over.

Most survival sites recommend a minimum of 1 gallon of water per person per day. I agree with this number and believe that some days we will have extra to use the next day. The math portion for this is easy. Just multiply the number of people you are storing for times the number of days you would like stored.

ex: 3(people) x 10(days) = 30 gallons of water to store.

An easy and free way I found to store water is reusing all of my plastic 2 liter pop bottles and juice bottles. If the plastic is strong enough and you can screw the lid on tight than you can use it. Just please be sure to wash the bottles out prior to filling them. Washing won't remove all of the bacteria so I would recommend a couple(2-3) of drops of chlorine bleach in each bottle as well(1/8teaspoon/gallon).

Only use bleach that contains 5.25% hypochlorite and is scent-free.

So if I want to store 30 gallons of water for an emergency situation I would need how many bottles? Here comes more math! There is roughly 4 liters in 1 gallon so we need 2 bottles for each gallon or a total of 60 - 2 liter bottles. YOWZERS! I don't know about you, but I don't have the storage space for 60 bottles filled with water.

There is another option here: Most Americans have a water heater in their home. That tank of water that is sitting in your house will most likely be free of contaminants since it was filled prior to WTSHTF(just make sure you shut the intake water valve coming into your house). My small tank only holds 40 gallons, or about 13 days of water for my family. So I am done right? Depends on if you are satisfied with about 13 days of water storage. I know I'm not. What if this issue lasts longer?

A solution to this problem that takes up little room in your storage is a filter. Filters can turn creek and river water into acceptable drinking water and save the day. With a 13,000 gallon filtering capacity, the Katadyn water filter is my favorite. 13,000 gallons is almost 12 years of clean water for a family of 3. That is worth the cost. I also recommend water purification tablets because they are cheap and can be helpful to remove certain bacteria.

I can write on forever about the different water situations, but this general knowledge will help everyone reading this get started on building their supplies.

Monday, January 16, 2012


If you are here, than like me you are interested in preparing yourself and your family for some sort of interruption in our daily lives as we know it(TEOTWAWKI, WTSHTF, etc). Maybe nothing will ever happen. But if it does, I don't want to look back and realize how easy it would have been to prepare and give my family a better chance of survival. The book that motivated me to begin prepping was "The Patriots" by James W. Rawles.

Most families do not have the necessary stock of food and supplies to stay alive during an extended emergency. I am willing to bet 3 days of no power would really test a majority of the households in America. Sure, Uncle Sam will be there to hand out supplies. But who wants to stand amongst the mobs to receive rations of water and food? Not I. Maybe Uncle Sam's ability to help will be delayed if the disaster is far reaching. Then what?

I am using this blog to track how I am preparing my family and hopefully you can learn something too. Feel free to leave me comments if you have something to share. We all can learn from one another.