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!