180 Mind Set Training

6 No-Drama Survival Tips for a Clothed and Confident Summer

by Todd Walker

Part of our Self-Reliant Summer series

6 No-Drama Survival Tips for a Clothed and Confident Summer

It’s Summertime! A season where families and friends hit the trails and waterways for hikes, boating, and outdoor adventures. Sounds fun, right?

But here’s the thing…

Well over half of all survival scenarios occur on short outings in the woods or on the water. One wrong turn and you’re lost. Or an ankle sprain hobbles your partner. Your two-hour day hike turns into an over-nighter. Fly fishing that river in your canoe becomes a survival trip after a late-day thunder-storm.

Have you seen the Naked and Afraid show on TV? Apparently, people volunteer to be hurled into a jungle or tropical island with only one tool and their birthday suit.

My only question is… WHY?

I get it. Survival TV is a booming bonanza for network executives. But quite frankly, some of the drama on these shows will get you killed!

When was the last time you took a day hike naked? You may add color to your butt cheeks, but it’s neither realistic nor smart. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around a scenario in the wild where I would voluntarily spend twenty or so days without clothing.

Wait! Just thought of one. Maybe a mischievous woods gnome hides in the brush to snatch my clothing while I skinny dip in the creek (now that is realistic and enjoyable!). A gnome stealing my clothes would happen before I’d voluntarily leave my protective clothing at home. But I digress.

To make it out alive during an unexpected survival scenario, you need every advantage available. Here are my top tips to remain clothed and confident on your next outdoor adventure this summer.

Note: I can’t lie. I stole the phrase “clothed and confident” from a fellow bushcrafter (grierwolf) on his excellent Youtube channel. He’s working on a whole series of videos to debunk or confirm the drama portrayed on the many survival TV shows, survival blogs, and video channels. I love that he’s trading theory for real-life action!

You can check out his entire Clothed and Confident series by clicking this link.

How to Have a Clothed and Confident Summer

1.) Clothing (Capt. Obvious here)

Or the lack of appropriate clothing and footwear. Those new hiking boots you’ve never tested in the field could become your Achilles heel. Think of the painful blisters that may become infected and hobble your chances of self-rescue. You can’t grin and bear bad shoes! Test and break in new footwear before heading out.

Wear appropriate clothing to protect you from the sun’s blistering rays and extreme conditions. Due to a skin condition, I wear a wide-brimmed hat when in the field. I also wear a buff around my neck with built-in UV protection. Know your individual needs and environment before heading out.

2.) Water

sawyer squeeze water filter

Sawyer Squeeze and 32 oz. Pathfinder bottle kit

Have multiply methods to make water potable. At over 8 pounds per gallon, you can’t carry enough water in your backpack to keep you hydrated on multi-day treks. At a bare minimum, you need a metal container and a way to make fire to boil water for disinfection.

Commercial filters are available and weigh next to nothing. I’ve become very fond of the Sawyer water filter. Whatever you choose, become proficient with your method. Summer heat saps your body of hydration goodness. You’ll need more than you think if your ever have to self-rescue!

3.) Fitness

Know your limitations. Loving a good challenge is one thing. However, taking adventures that are not in line with your physical condition or fitness level is an invitation for disaster.

Once fatigue crawls on your back like an angry gorilla, you’re more prone to serious injury and bad decisions. There are no short cuts or magic pills to increase your physical conditioning. Time, effort, sweat, and soreness are involved. Your outdoor ambitions should line up with your skill/fitness level.

More of our health and fitness articles can be found here, and here.

4.) Planning

Being lost in an unfamiliar wilderness or body of water kills the fun factor. Always leave a written itinerary of your adventure with a trusted friend or family member before the journey.

Your plan should include at least these three W’s:

  • Where and when you’re headed out. Including a map of the trails and area would be very useful to a search and rescue team.
  • When you plan to return. A written itinerary isn’t much good if your family knows where you are but have no clue when to expect your back. If they think you’re camping for a week, when you really only planned a two-day outing, the extra five days could leave you in a world of hurt.
  • Who and how many are in your group. Are there any special needs in the group (age, special needs, health conditions, male/female, etc.). If rescuers are tracking you or your group, this info would be very valuable.

5.) Weather

More people die of hypothermia in the summer than in the winter. This is probably due to people not being prepared to control their core temperature on hot summer days. Hypothermia begins when the human body’s core temperature drops below 95º F.

If you have to hunker down to wait out a storm on a ridge, know the enemies of thermoregulation…

  • Wind
  • Cold
  • Moisture

My brother-in-law and I were caught in a thunderstorm on a large lake in my small Jon boat years ago. We saw signs of the gathering storm and headed back to the truck which was located two miles away. We couldn’t outrun the storm with my 7.5 horse powered engine and almost capsized hitting the 3 foot wind tossed waves.

The July heat in Georgia hit the mid 90’s before that storm. By the time we made it to the boat ramp, we were soaked and shivering – an early sign of hypothermia. We weren’t prepared for unpredictable weather or the bone-chilling cold that followed.

Take along some type of covering like an emergency space blanket or contractor trash bag on short fishing trips or day hikes. A more substantial cover (tarp/tent) would be warranted on overnight trips in the outdoors. Being drenched from a summer thunder-storm may be refreshing at first but can lead to hypothermia in extended situations. The key here is to be prepared for thermoregulation. Lightweight plastic can be folded to fit inside a tackle box or pant pocket without adding much weight.

6.) Pride

“It can’t happen to me” attitude gets people killed. The more I learn about any subject the more I realize how much I don’t know. The moment we know it all is the most dangerous time.

Stay humble, my friends!

And keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,


P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, and our Facebook page… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network on PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there…

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.


Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Doing the Stuff, Preparedness, Self-reliance, Survival | Tags: , , | 14 Comments

31 Ways to Help Kids Trade Screens for Streams

by Todd Walker

“Go outside and play” were words rarely spoken in our home growing up. “Come inside and eat” was the usual echo coming from the back door.


Nothing indoors held my attention like the woods and streams of my youth. Curiosity drove me and my band of woodland brothers to explore the next creek bend, hilltop and raven. We were amazed by all creatures great and small. All the while imagining Daniel Boone leading our scout party with animal calls from cupped hands. We threw knives at our feet in games of wit and courage, climbed trees, built forts and tree houses. We camped under open skies on horseback, walked barefoot, sprawled in fields of clover, caught crawfish, frogs, and snakes. We’d swim underwater through jagged wooden crates in the muddy farm pond, fished with a homemade cane pole after digging for worms, discovered poison ivy, chiggers, nettles, and yellow jacket nests, shot bows and arrows, sling shots… and managed to retained our sight after many a BB gun battle (not recommended – but very instructive). We managed to return home smelling of campfires and creek mud.

All without adult supervision!

Our wild adventures took place before the video game era. Do you remember a time… before screens replaced streams?

Many blame the “easy” entertainment industry and techno babysitters for the apathy and aversion to the outdoors in kids these days. If electrical outlets and wifi were available on the river bank, Johnny would take more fishing trips with grandpa.

There’s no denying the usefulness of our modern information age. But… is this modern tool using us instead of us using it? In our age of glowing screens and systematic knowledge, our children (and many grownups) have lost touch with the hands-on, down and dirty, wonder of nature.

We’ve become domesticated animals. Bored. Pacing in our cages we and society built. The days of running the woods like savages to bring home nature’s treasures are being replaced with watching all manner of things gone wild on video and TV. Our faith in high-tech is a poor substitute for the real thing.

Trade Screens for Streams

Our feral genes scream for streams not screens! This primal urge has always lurked within.

There’s no condemnation or finger-pointing here. Instead, a simple call to action to get out there. Outside where the wild things live. Where curiosity knows no bounds. Where boredom is swallowed by wonder. Where life is not artificial and sanitized but raw and real. Where constant distractions and advertisements ends.

With summer break approaching, schooled kids will finally be freed from concrete captivity and mind-numbing restraints. No longer stuffed with useless facts and test taking strategies, kids can be feral and free. Wet, filthy, cold, hot, sweaty, curious, healthy and living their wildest dreams!

“My children don’t like being outdoors,” you may be thinking to yourself. That’s why I’m writing to you, the parent, grandparent, aunt, or friend. Your job is to foster feral activities that reconnect your child to the natural world. Notice I used foster, not force. When they yell, “I’m bored!”, your role as a feral facilitator begins. Please don’t couch your nature proposal as an educational experience. Simply get them outside and they will teach themselves as they follow their self-directed interest. Safely supervise without smothering their creativity and curiosity.

Backyard or mountain side, nature is just outside your door. Even apartment dwellers can find natural spaces for feral gene expression. If you live in a neighborhood with restrictive HOA rules, a tree house in the front yard may not work. But backyard fire pits could make a heck of a summertime mini wilderness camp site – tents included!

Your re-wilding efforts are only limited by your imagination. This list is not exhaustive but is meant to spark wild thoughts.

31 Ways to Help Get Your Child Outdoors

  1. Catch lighting bugs in early evening. Place them in a vented glass jar and release them at dawn. What makes them light up?
  2. Star gaze. Lay out a blanket and stare at the universe around us. Identify as many constellations as possible. Discuss navigation techniques using stars.
  3. Revive the art of story telling. It’s a dying art.
  4. Puddle stomping. After or during a rain (not lightning) storm, stomp through the mud puddles. There’s no such thing as bad weather, just wrong clothing.
  5. Build a fort, shanty, shelter, or tree house. Then camp in your fortress.
  6. Trail blaze. Hoof it through the woods or local park. Introduce navigation with a compass and topographical map.
  7. Climb a tree – while it’s still legal. Excellent physical training and it’s what kids do!
  8. Spot a critter. All mammals, birds, insects, and reptiles are fair game. First one to 10 wins.
  9. Night moves. With a full moon, take a family walk in the dark. Listen to the night sounds. Bring a flashlight for back up. Kids love flashlights!
  10. Backyard camping. Set up a backyard tent or tarp shelter over the jungle gym and spend some nights there.
  11. Graduate to car or pioneer camping as skills increase.
  12. Take a digital hike. No, not on the computer. Document plants, trees, animals, and tracks with a camera for later identification.


    Look for animals too

  13. Sketch and draw wild stuff. Even if you think there’s not an artistic bone in your body. Nature brings out creativity in us all.
  14. Discover little things. Roll a dead log over and count the life forms under it. Replace their house gently. Come back in a week to see what’s new.
  15. Feral Food Walk. Learn to safely identify, harvest, and prepare wild foods. Wild food resources can be found on our site – Here.
  16. Go fish. Use a rod andreel, cane pole, or limb hooks to harvest dinner. The worst day of fishing is better than the best day at school or work!


    She was caught on a fly rod

  17. Feral Food Walk. Learn to safely identify, harvest, and prepare wild foods. Wild food resources can be found on our site – Here.
  18. Keep a Wild Journal. Write down questions, observations, and feelings you experience as you re-wild. Go back to the same place in different seasons and record the differences.
  19. Fox walk. Maneuver through the woods as quietly as possible… barefoot. You’ll experience more of nature, see more animals, and hear bird songs that are missed when trudging through a forest.
  20. Get grounded. Bare feet on the earth is called grounding or earthing and offers many health benefits. Don’t miss out on the fun!
  21. Bushcraft. Bushcrafting is simply learning to craft stuff in the bush. While learning these skills, your child’s self-reliance quotient increases.
  22. Find a personal wild space. It could be in your backyard, park, or vacant lot in the neighborhood. This is the safe place where you recharge. It should afford some amount of privacy and freedom to discover your wild nature.
  23. Nurture wild free play. The less adult supervision the better. Of course, supervision depends upon age, maturity level, skills, and setting. Children learn through play. Recommended resource: Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life
  24. Archery. Introduce your child to the world of archery. Take advantage of an increased interest in archery created by the Hunger Games books and movies. 31-ways-to-help-kids-trade-screens-for-streams
  25. Summer camp. I’ve run many youth camps over the years. Find one with a focus on wilderness skills and nature.
  26. Field guides. Acquire field guides for wild and medicinal plants, trees, native animal species, animal tracks, birds, reptiles, etc., etc. Humans tend to value what we can name.
  27. School work. The school class I learned the most from was 6th grade English. Not because my Aunt Cindy taught it, but because she let us take time to sit under trees to write and draw as a class. We published a book of poetry and drawing which my mom kept after all these years. Great creative memories of connecting with nature came from her English class.
  28. Wild cards. Make your own field guide cards. Start with easily identifiable plants. Sketch/draw a diagram and write a description on the back of the index card.
  29. Get naked. Not literally, kids. Leave all electronic devices behind and pack minimal gear. This strategy is best for teens who have developed basic wilderness skills.
  30. Skip Stones. Find smooth, flat stones and throw them sidearm across a pond. Count the number of skips on the water’s surface.
  31. Race ‘Ships’. Choose a small stick and set it adrift on a creek or steam in a race to the finish line. Use your bushcraft skills to build a mini log raft and test it in the water.

Up for the challenge of cutting the electronic umbilical cord? Modeling and facilitating is your job. There’s no app for that. However, kids will follow your enthusiasm and their primal curiosity of our ever-changing natural world if given the chance. Get out there. They will follow and get lost in the right direction!


We’d really like to know any methods you’ve found useful in the re-wilding process. Thanks for sharing the stuff that works for you!

Keep Doing the Wild Stuff,


P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at our Doing the Stuff Network.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there…

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright © by Survival Sherpa: In light of the recent theft of all my content by a pirate site, my sharing policy has changed. I do not permit the re-posting of entire articles from my site without express written consent by me. My content on this site may be shared in digital form (200 words or less) for non-commercial use with a link back (without no-follow attribute) to the original article crediting the author. All photos, drawings, and articles are copyrighted by and the property of Survival Sherpa. You are more than welcome to share our photos and articles on social media for educational purposes as long as you link back to the original article/photo with credit to the author.

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Bushcraft, Camping, Doing the Stuff, Preparedness, Resilience, Self-reliance, Wildcrafting | Tags: , , | 20 Comments

The 2% Solution to Prepper Paralysis

by Todd Walker

Stuck in a paralyzing paradigm? Want to improve your skills but feeling overwhelmed?

If so, 2% is your solution.

The 2% Solution to Prepper Paralysis

Your preparedness equation

The American Heritage Dictionary defines paradigm as…

“A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them”

Paradigm and mindset are closely related. The emphasis on paradigm is geared towards our preparedness community. Mindset, for our purposes, will focus on the individual.

According to the Oxford American Dictionary, mindset is…

“an established set of attitudes held by someone”

Many believe mindset determines actions. Hipster life-coach gurus tell you to get your mind right before tackling a new skill, shedding pounds, or reaching goals. Your body follows your head.

This theory may sell books, but will it work in the real world?

Too often people believe they have to get mentally ready to start doing the stuff. A common result of information overload is prepper paralysis – drowning in a sea of knowledge.

It’s not complete gobbledygook that our thoughts determine our actions. However, I have found that my actions determine my mindset – for good or bad.

The act of doing a new skill or honing an existing one builds confidence in your ability. This cycle creates a circle, if you will, with no beginning or end. However, your circle remains broken until you take the first step… Action! Thoughts won’t get the job done.

Think of it this way…

The 2% Solution to Prepper Paralysis

Left: Closed – Right: Open  

Image source

Action (Doing the Stuff) is the light switch in an electrical circuit above. Flip the switch “On” and your circuit is closed or completed allowing electrical energy to flow to its target. Turn it “Off” and your circuit is open or incomplete. The energy is there but can’t bridge the open gap without action.

This should be applied to your preps – and life in general. And the good news is that it only takes 2% more time, energy, and resources to give you a slight edge.

Overrated Moments

There’s a dangerous mindset that new preppers embrace. This kind of thinking will sink you before you start. You have to have X amount of beans, bullets, and Band-Aids to be prepared. Once you’ve reached that defining moment, you’re prepared… for anything.


Any veteran will tell you that preparedness is a journey, a marathon of skills, not a sprint to some illusive summit. Preparedness is a culmination of the tiny things over time.

Meaningful improvements happen with consistent, minimal changes. Don’t fall into the trap of large visible events.

The 2% Solution

The beauty of this mindset is that you only need an extra 2%. That may not seem like much, but over time it has a huge impact. This is why I say a daily process is more important than setting lofty goals.

In our Doing the Stuff Network, everyday people are challenging themselves to learn a minimum of one new skill this year. This is what we’re learning…

Our skills and abilities are not fixed… unless we decide they are.

Use 2% of Your Time and Energy

You’re life doesn’t have to come to a complete stop to learn how to safely pressure can your harvest or start a friction fire. Simply start giving 2% of your time to learn the basics. That translates to 30 minutes in a 24 hour day to learn a new skill. Take a Doing the Stuff lunch break.

When I coached football in the 80’s, I never understood why we asked our players to give 110%. Not a realistic goal. That’s when I began to understand the 2% Solution. I only asked my players to give 2% more than the guy they were competing against in practice or the player across the line of scrimmage in a game.

This was a mindset teenage jocks could understand and employ. They pushed themselves an extra 2% in fundamental drills, conditioning, strength training, and nutrition. Doing this stuff over the course of two seasons led to small gains over time which helped land us in the state playoffs after a years of losing seasons.

You can find 30 minutes a day to work on your skills, right? Set boundaries on common time sinks. Social media sites are one of the worst offenders. I mean how many cute cat videos are really necessary!?

Set a timer to budget the amount of time you’re willing to spend on Facebook or Twitter. When time is up, move away from the mouse! This saves you valuable time to devote 2% to your skill set.

Using 2% of Your Resources

Hopefully no one remembers my epic fail at fire by friction. Actually, failure is our best teacher if we fail forward. I created a bow drill on training wheels a year ago. What I learned from this experiment is that I don’t need training wheels to create an ember with a stick and string.

I successfully created an ember and fire with a bow drill last night with my friction fire kit!

The 2% Solution to Preparedness Paralysis

Fire at last!

Here are the tutorials I watched (took less than 30 minutes) on the finer tips and tricks of friction fire by David Wendell at Bushcraft On Fire.

<iframe width=”640″ height=”360″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/sNcYyUn38qY?feature=player_detailpage” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

Resource gathering is an important part of preparedness. If you’re like me, you don’t have time to waste looking for value-adding resources. I’ll save you some time and point you to our Doing the Stuff Trusted Resource list. There are more out there, but these folks I know and trust. You’re welcome to add suggestions to our list.

The modern convenience-store mindset conditions us to want immediate results. If we could only reach that big event, we’d be ready. In reality, preparedness is not an event. It’s a chain of tiny stuff linked together over time.

How do you plan to leverage your 2% this week, month, or year? Share in the comments if you don’t mind.

Keep Doing the Stuff,


P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, and our Facebook page. Trade theory for action and join us in the Doing the Stuff Network on these social media sites: PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook.

P.P.S ~ If you find value in our blog, DRG and I would appreciate your vote on the Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding Prepper Sites while you’re there…

Thanks for sharing the stuff!

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Doing the Stuff, Preparedness | Tags: , , | 8 Comments

Surviving School Shootings with Weapons of Mass Instruction

by Todd Walker

“Shooter in the building! Lockdown! Lockdown!”

The resource officer is dying on the lobby floor. With the only other human in the building with a gun bleeding out, the shooting spree continues, unabated. The shooter, clad with body armor, deliberately makes his way down the main hallway firing his weapon at unarmed targets.

He approaches the locked door of your child’s classroom…

“Quite,” her teacher barely whispers to her class huddled in the corner.

Imagine this scene playing out in your child’s school or your office building. We don’t like to think about the possibility of such a horrible event. But we have to. It’s the world in which we live.

It’s quite possible you, a family member, or a friend work in a Weapon Free Zone. It’s highly unlikely that teachers, properly trained to use a firearm, will ever be allowed to carry this tool to protect innocent lives. So we are forced to use what’s available.

I work in the epitome of victim zones. A place where hoplophobia is instilled in young minds by our ever-expanding zero-tolerance regime. The inconvenient truth about these “evil” tools is not lost on many of my fellow teachers. They too value their life and the lives of their students and refuse to be a victim, cowering under desks, hoping and praying the good guys with guns show up before an active shooter sprays bullets across bulletin boards.

We plan to fight back, smarter.

Gun-Free Killing Zones

Our present shooting-fish-in-a-barrel strategy is deadly… and should be abandoned. Immediately!

Signs of hope do exist in the rational thinker realm. My hint is located a few paragraphs above. In mass shootings, defenseless prey, stripped of modern weaponry in No-Weapon-Zones, frantically wait for officials (even a non-official would suffice) with guns to stop the violence.

In my earlier Teacher Self-defense Toolbox post, I made the case for creating a non-victim zone – if you work in a fish barrel (Weapon-Free-Zone) like me. The comments from that post and another brilliant source I follow spurred me to update my school survival strategy.

Disclaimer: Some school systems and employers are more hoplophobic than others. Even chewing a slice of pizza into the shape of a gun could land you in deep-dish doo doo. Employ your work place survival strategy at your own risk. This is what I do – not necessarily what you should do. Think for yourself and find ways to camouflage (hide in plain sight) your tools of self-defense if necessary. Any step you take is better than waiting for good guys with guns to rescue you. Refuse to be a victim!

Weapons of Mass Instruction

Armed with only weapons of mass instruction, my MacGyver gene goes in full effect. To justify self-defense tools in the classroom or office to the boss, you’re improvised weapons should fit your environment.

Surviving School Shootings with Weapons of Mass Instruction

Not your typical teacher toolbox

Take a tour with me through my classroom and steal ideas. Start at the gateway…

The Door

The gateway for an active shooter is your door. In our school, solid wood classroom doors swing inward. My door is always locked. This new county-wide policy took effect after the Sandy Hook shooting. I’ve followed this protocol for many years.

Don’t depend on door locks to keep shooters out. To beef up my door security, I cut wooden door wedges from scrap 2 x 4 lumber. [Note: Cut with the grain or length wise. Cutting short wedges across the grain will cause the wedge to splinter when hammered under the door.] I’ve made these available to all teachers and staff.

A roll of Gorilla Brand duct tape is in my drawer for so many reasons. One use is to tape the folding arm at the top of the door to prevent it from opening. There are commercially made straps designed for this application. Gorilla tape is less expensive and strong enough for the task.

In lockdown mode, drive two or three wedges under the door from inside the classroom. Do this with one of your other tools, a hammer. A spray-on rubberized coating ensures friction on our tiled floors.

Door Plan B, which my students and I have tested, is to build a barricade extending from the door to the back wall. This consists of two teacher’s desks, a computer cart, a door I converted into a table, and one book shelf. The assembled furniture creates a solid barrier from door to wall.

Hat tip to Straight Forward in a Crooked World for the following strategy. I’ve finally found a good use for vegetable oil. On lockdown, the only person on the tiled hallways of our school will be the shooter. Before securing my door, I plan to remove the lid from a plastic cooking oil container and give it a stomp, spewing its contents over the hallway tile.

Surviving School Shootings with Weapons of Mass Instruction

Left over from four years ago when I stopped using veggie oil. Repurposed now!

Add a bag of kitty litter and a scoop to your cabinet in case you and your students need to get out of the room over the oil spill. Or a rolled up rug could be unrolled over the slippery stuff. I stand on a yoga mat at my stand-up desk which would bridge the slippery stuff to exit the building.

A concerned commenter was worried about good guys with guns slipping on the oil. A lot of carnage can be inflicted in the several minutes it takes for first responders to show up at the scene. That is the least of my immediate concerns when I only have improvised tools of self-defense to protect the lives of my students. Once I’m allowed to carry real tools of self-defense, I won’t deploy the oil slick.

Blind and Disorient

If my door is breached, I have a fire extinguisher ready to spray to disorient the shooter.

Surviving School Shootings with Weapons of Mass Instruction

Blinding chemical cocktail

Also, Vikki suggested a can of wasp spray on my last toolbox post. The insect killer shoots over 20 feet. Bear spray and pepper spray are not allowed in our schools. Wasp spray is in my desk drawer.

Be Ready to Inflict Violence

Temporarily blind or disorient the threat and begin your assault. First order of business is to disarm, disable, and/or kill the shooter. I’d rather die fighting than be shot while curled up under a desk.

There are many items that can be used as improvised weapons in an office or school. Granted, they not as effective as gun, but, for now, that may be all you have available.

You need striking tools. Here’s a few of mine…

1.) Jawbone of an Ass

Samson, of Biblical fame, smote 1,000 Philistines with this improvised weaponry. Comes in handy for Science, too.

Surviving School Shootings with Weapons of Mass Instruction

Get smitten!

Bone tools and weapons have been used for thousands of years. It’s sad, but true, that we’ve been transported back to the Stone Age in our Weapon-Free-Zones.

2.) Annihilator™ wrecking tool

The Annilator is the black "hammer" in the center

The Annihilator is the black “hammer” in the center

Any metal tool or bar can be used as a striking tool. I’ve opened stuck lockers and hammered stuff with this beast. In close quarters, a blow from this tool to the head or neck would neutralize the threat.

Some have suggested a golf club. In my experience as a “golfer”, the shafts are not solid enough to deliver repeated strikes to an intruder. A section of metal rebar standing in the cabinet would be a solid metal option.

3.) Hoe Handle

Pictured above with the spade removed. Self explanatory. The length of the handle generates power for the metal end when swung.

A baseball bat (aluminum or wooden) works. You could display it on your office wall as the bat that won your State Championship. You’re limited only by your imagination.

Until I’m able to legally carry real defensive weapons on campus, I’ll keep MacGyvering weapons of mass instruction. If you have thoughts you’d like to add, please do so in the comment section.

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,


P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there… 

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Self Defense, Survival | Tags: , , | 24 Comments

Attention Men: Pinterest is a Prepping Goldmine

by Todd Walker

I catch hell and get crazy looks when I tell my male friends that I’m on Pinterest.

Here’s a recent snide remark…

“You’re kiddin’, right!? That’s where girls post about manicures and weddings!”

Yep, there’s lots of estrogen induced pinning going on. But, guys, I’ve found Pinterest to be a great tool for preparedness and self-reliance.

Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.

~ Thomas Carlysle

assorted wedges

There are lots of manly Pins that will stoke the fire of preparedness and self-reliance for anyone interested. In fact, it’s quite likely that your favorite prepared blogger has an active board full of value-adding pins. Whatever you’re into – prepping, survival, self-sufficiency, homesteading, DiY, bushcrafting, pioneer skills, guns, hunting/fishing, tools, permaculture, fitness – you’ll find it on Pinterest.

One cool thing about this social media tool is that your pins don’t disappear into the ether like Facebook or Twitter. What you pin on your board(s) stays there for future reference. My Pinterest boards serve as my Doing the Stuff refrigerator where I pin “fridge worthy” stuff I’m working on.

One preparedness project I found and finished yesterday is the self-feeding battery storage unit below. I was dressed for a hunting trip and my truck wouldn’t start. So I salvaged the day by heading to my shop to build preparedness stuff!

Power at your finger tips

Power at your finger tips

From left to right are the most common batteries: AAA, AA, C, D, and 9V batteries are ready for use and in one place. You can find the plans on my DIY Preparedness Project Board. I modified my battery storage unit by making it 21 inches tall instead of the original 8 inches to accommodate a Prepper load of batteries.

It beats my old scattered drawer storage method. There are 23 AA batteries in the slot with room for at least a dozen more.

When DRG or I need a battery, we can easily pull one from the self-feeding rack.

Who’s on Pinterest?

Alright manly men, before dismissing Pinterest as a girly hangout, you need to head over to Pinterest and Pin some preps!

While you’re there, you can follow your’s truly and some of my recommended preparedness pinners:

These are just a few of the folks I’ve got pinned to my Doing the Stuff internet fridge. Add your favorites in the comments.

Keep Doing the Stuff,


P.S. – You can also connect with us on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, and our Facebook page.

Thanks for sharing the stuff!

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Preparedness | Tags: , , | 33 Comments

7 Tips to Keep You Alive and Found in the Wilderness

by Todd Walker

Get out there!

Spend enough time with Mother Nature and you’ll likely experience emergencies.

7 Tips to Keep You Alive and Found in the Wilderness

Things went right this trip.

Even the most innocent outings are potential survival situations. That fishing trip can turn nasty for all the wrong reasons. Your day hike may find you sleeping under the stars with a busted knee.

Always carry a minimal what-if emergency kit. With these tools, a survival mind-set, and Doing the Stuff skills, you increase your odds of staying alive and being found.

A.) Mindset Training

No matter the crisis or survival situation, your ability to come out on the other side alive is largely dependent upon your attitude. Recognizing that there will be added stress – mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual – is your first step.

Let us train our minds to desire what the situation demands. – Seneca the Younger

All your other skills will be affected by your mindset. Obviously, the more skills and knowledge you have, the more comfortable you’ll be when starting a fire to stay warm when your lost in the wilderness. Being collected enough to start a fire not only provides physical life support but boosts morale.

The more you practice skills, the more you’re attitude improves. Doing the Stuff beforehand keeps panic at bay.

B.) There’s No “I” in Team

This clever slogan adorns team t-shirts and locker room walls in the world of sport. Unfortunately, the saying won’t work on surv”I“val. There it sits, smack dab in the middle of the word!

In some cases, “I” is all you have. This scenario requires you to be a team of one – without a camera crew filming or emergency personnel standing by. You’ll have to survive on your wits and create your own ‘luck.’

C.) Resilient First Aid

Injuries happen. A scrap becomes infected. A misstep twists your ankle. Now you’ve become the doctor. All the more reason to pack a basic first aid kit. Learning basic first aid builds resilience.

The larger threat in wilderness survival situations is hypothermia and hyperthermia. Getting cold and wet leads to hypothermia. You’re ability to make sound decisions is reduced when your body’s core temp drops.

D.) Improvised Emergency Shelter

I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating. Mother Nature is temperamental. She likes to see how much hell you can handle while visiting her “house.”

Humans aren’t built for prolonged exposure to nature’s elements. We require shelter. We may stumble upon a cave if one is available. But one advantage we have over our furry critter friends is our ability to use logic and reason to survive.

Any crisis over a couple of hours in wet, cold conditions will likely escalate into a life-threatening setting. Shelter is more important than water in this case. Humans can only go three hours without shelter. Having experience in building emergency shelter can save your life. If you’re caught without a piece of plastic or a tarp, you’ll have to improvise and use what nature provides.

Here’s some ways to build a temporary ‘home’ in the wilderness…

E.) Fire

7 Tips to Keep You Alive and Found in the Wilderness

The fire triangle

The ability to make fire is everything in the wilderness. This skill aids in cooking, purifying, heating, signaling, security, and comfort. Fire affects all your other physical and emotional steps to survival and rescue.

Fire is life!

F.) Signaling Rescuers

This one doesn’t get much attention but may be your best hope of being found alive. A series of 3 of anything (sound or visual) let’s search and rescue know you’re in distress. Three whistle blasts, rocks, logs, and/or fires. Use fire at night and smoke during the day. Be sure not to set the surrounding forest ablaze.

If you want to be found, leave a trail or signs for search and rescue. Leave a bandana or strip of cloth hanging from branches if ground rescue is involved. Also build arrows with natural or man-made material to indicate your travel direction.

For ground-to-air rescue, find an opening or clearing and create large signals with straight lines and 90 degree angles or circles. Use logs or rocks that contrast with the background. Build a log cabin fire setup with dry tinder and fuel in the bottom and green leafy material on top that will produce lots of smoke. Fire it up when you hear airplanes or helicopters.

Number Message Code Symbol
1 Require Assistance V
2 Require Medical Assistance X
3 Proceeding in this Direction
4 Yes or Affirmative Y
5 No or Negative N

The above chart indicates to rescue how to proceed. Use any available contrasting material to make these symbols a minimum of 3 feet wide and 18 feet long to alert aircraft.

Shiny Object Signaling

A signaling mirror or any shiny object will work to alert pilots. Reflected sunlight can be seen for several miles. For more details on signaling with shiny objects, Creek Stewart shows you how to improvise here.

Always leave the 3 W’s with a trusted friend or family member:

  1. Where you’re going
  2. When you plan on returning
  3. Who’s in your group.

[I intentionally left water and food out of this post. Well, to be honest, I’m running short on time and don’t have the energy to cover these in this post. 🙂 We’ll chew on these later.]

Keep Doing the Stuff!


You can also connect with us on TwitterPinterest, and our new Facebook pageThanks for sharing the stuff!

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, with a link back to this site crediting the author. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Bushcraft, Camping, Survival, Survival Skills | Tags: , , | 8 Comments

The Single Most Disastrous Effect of Forced Schooling on Preparedness and Self-Reliance

by Todd Walker

“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”

     – HL Mencken

In my recent interview on Preparedness Radio Network, I was asked by Joyce Pierce what impact our present educational system will have on future generations concerning preparedness and self-reliance. I didn’t answer her question as fully as I would have liked. I’ll give a more thorough response today.

In a word, disastrous!


Image source

I’m afforded an insider’s view of the intentional dumbing of your children. And I’m not even touching on the evil Common Core in this post.

Many of you reading this will be shocked. Some will bristle defensively and defend your child’s public school because they attend one of the ‘good’ schools. I may get a few shouts of “Amen!”  from those who already know the damage compulsory schooling inflicts on millions of young people daily.

If you can’t handle the truth about force, click away now! You’ve been warned.

“When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.”
— Thomas Sowell

Every parent wants their child to go to the best school, with the best teachers, the latest technology, and the best everything. What caring parent wouldn’t? The problem with meeting these expectations, especially in Schools of Excellence, is that the system simply won’t allow your child to reach his or her full potential.

What if the dismal results of our schools had nothing to do with the teachers, students, administrators, or facilities? Throwing another billion dollars at our system of schooling won’t fix the problem. In fact, more money turns a twin sized Procrustean-bed into a California King-sized torture device.

Dumping gasoline on a burning structure only intensifies the damage!

The puzzle pieces come together when you realize the eye-opening truth: Our system of schooling is not broken. It’s functioning as intended on all cylinders! Sadly, your child is fuel for the tyrannical machine.

*It’s not too late to click away*

Still following along?

Okay, here it is.

What’s the single most disastrous effect of our monopolistic system of coercive schooling on you and your child’s ability to becoming self-reliant, self-sustainable, and prepared?

Habit Training

Pavlov’s experiment is repeated hundreds of times daily in school. Bells ring. Students and teachers spring into compliance. After 12 + years of bells and single-file lines, you’re handed a fancy piece of paper signifying your ability to endure long periods of boredom.

Habit training hold society captive. Understanding this is your first step to building independence and self-reliance. Our ruling class relies on you and your children to follow the habits taught in factory schooling.

It wasn’t always this way. In today’s enlightened schools, your child is being taught dangerous, non-life serving lessons.

Just so you know where I’m coming from, I hold not disrespect for individual teachers or administrators of the compulsory schooling system. To openly buck the system would lead to immediate removal. I work with other brave individuals who feel as I do but are strangled by a system hell-bent on control.

Here’s a few habit training lessons you’ll never see in a teacher’s lesson plan but are unwritten in the system’s approach of forced schooling.

  • Never question authority – rulers are right
  • School nutrition is healthy
  • Teachers are experts
  • College is the only ‘real’ choice for success after high school
  • History taught in schools is accurate: “God cannot alter the past, but historians can.”  – Samuel Butler
  • Faux hero-worship is encouraged
  • Regurgitate answers rather than solve problems – (State Standardized testing is a money-making scam to pad pockets while keeping the masses dazed and confused. Of course, this isn’t openly taught, but true none the less.)
  • Give up your right to privacy in exchange for security in a world filled with boogie-men
  • Understand that the State owns your child and there will be no negative consequences when you transfer your authority over your children to that of government force
  • Individualism is not tolerated and will be squashed with great force
  • Students are lumps of clay that need to be molded to be useful to the collective
  • Guns are evil – knifes too
  • Schools incubate a mini police state in every child to forcefully mold compliant subjects
  • Learning through play is no longer allowed

What keeps the ‘lowliest’ job holder from rising like a meteor to challenge the ruling class? Habit training. We’re trained to accept our station and lick the boot on our neck.

Nothing about prison-like school buildings comes from research as to how children learn best. ‘Experts’ would have you believe the myth that educational best practices only take place when your child is packed into cubicle classrooms with 30 other children of the same age group.

The truth of the matter is that schools extinguish your child’s natural curiosity, drive to play, and socialization. These foundations of learning crumble under the pressure of teach-the-test and the reward-punishment system in our schools.

Self-directed learning, along with self-reliance, ends with the school bell and scheduled habit training.

I’ll leave you with a few quotes for an indictment on our system of forced schooling:

A big Hat Tip to my friend at Durable Faith for sharing this with me. Below are a few quotes taken  from Sheldon Richman’s book, Separating School & State: How To Liberate American Families.

Chapter 3: Why There Are Public Schools – Read the entire chapter here.

Let our pupil be taught that he does not belong to himself, but that he is public property. Let him be taught to love his family, but let him be taught at the same time that he must forsake and even forget them when the welfare of his country requires it. – Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence

As Horace Mann put it, “We who are engaged in the sacred cause of education are entitled to look upon all parents as having given hostages to our cause.”

For John Dewey, the mission of education was sacred:“The teacher always is the prophet of the true God and the usherer-in of the true Kingdom of God.”

William H. Seawell, professor of education at the University of Virginia, got caught in that position in 1981. He said, “Public schools promote civic rather than individual pursuits” and, “We must focus on creating citizens for the good of society.” But most startlingly, he said, “Each child belongs to the state.”

Any parent wishing to build preparedness, self-reliance, individualism, abstract thinking should take heed of the intended, but unspoken, consequences of government schooling. As John Taylor Gatto states, “the purpose of state schooling was not intellectual training but the conditioning of children ”to obedience, subordination, and collective life.”

Proceed with caution my preparedness friends.

Keep doing the stuff!


P.S. ~ Thanks for sharing the stuff! If anything from our site adds value to your life, please pass it on. You can also connect with us on TwitterPinterest, and our new Facebook page

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, with a link back to this site crediting the author. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Recommended reading for prepared parents:

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Government "Education" | Tags: , | 24 Comments

Nick Saban’s One Secret That Every Prepper Should Practice

by Todd Walker

In case you’re unfamiliar with Nick Saban, he’s the head football coach at the University of Alabama. Why bring up a football coach on a preparedness blog?

BCS Championship

Image source

As an old football coach myself, I enjoy learning from others who find a way to consistently succeed in the face of overwhelming odds. Under Coach Saban’s leadership, his Crimson Tide football team has won the last two B.C.S. national championship games and seems to be rolling toward their third consecutive title. I know. I feel the haters! But ya gotta hand it to him, he’s doing something right.

What’s Saban’s Secret of success?

His daily process is responsible for his team’s phenomenal success!

In his own words:

“Well, the process is really what you have to do day in and day out to be successful.” [Emphasis added]


Seems simple, right?

Well, it is, sort of.

Since you’re reading this, being prepared is probably a general goal for you and your family. Even with specific, measurable, realistic goals, you’re not going to reach them without establishing and practicing a daily process.

True, people can stumble along and reach a goal from time to time. Even a blind pig finds an acorn from time to time.

Being a SmartPrepper, you’re different. You not only want to survive, you want to thrive in troubled times! That takes Doing the Stuff with consistent, boring regularity.

[By the way, Saban’s Secret works for prepping, business, blogging, sports, health, fitness, relationships, education, and everything else in life!]

You see, the secret to making progress in your preps is to stop focusing on the goal. The goal is the destination. The process is the path that gets you there.

I call it a ‘path’ intentionally. The process is the unbeaten path, not a superhighway. When you exit the goal-setting highway to follow a process, you’ll begin to notice fewer people on the path.


Everyone sets goals. But not everyone is willing to commit to the daily process to realize achievement.

I’ll throw in my personal example related to optimal health. I began a journey to better health and fitness in 2010. I realized I wasn’t physically prepared to be useful to my family for the long-term. I hated the thought of being a liability to those I loved.

I had set weight-loss goals and physical strength goals before and failed. The difference this time was I didn’t set specific goals, I simply followed a daily process that produced results – results beyond my expectations.

I lost 50 pounds, gained overall body strength, and killed my sugar craving! These benefits happened by following the process – without being a slave to goals.

Here’s why you should stop chasing goals.

  • Goals are heavy, pressure-packed things. If you don’t meet a goal, you have the tendency to feel like a failure. (Am I the only one that does this?)
  • Unmet goals wreck momentum. You turn into a car-be-que on the goal-setting superhighway. You wait on the curb until you get repaired. Or until the goal-setting tow truck drags you and your goals to the junkyard.
  • Goals are short-term – the process is long-term. Have you ever gone on a diet, achieved your goal weight, stopped the process that got you there, and gained it all back, plus some?
  • Goals are sexy – the process is boring. Your health goal may be to looking good naked again. Very admirable! Without a process, the goal is nothing more than a plan.

The thought of setting a goal to lose 50 pounds would have stopped me before I even started. What I found was that if I ignored goals and followed a daily process, I easily reached and exceeded my unwritten goals.

The Prepping Process

There’s a wide range of scary events we’re told to get ready for: all manner of personal SHTF situations, everyday emergencies, job loss, natural disasters, food shortages, economic collapse, societal collapse, hyper-inflation, martial law, government tyranny, and for some, the Zombie Apocalypse.

So we set specific goals to reach in x amount of time.

  • Water – Have twelve ways to Sunday to purify, store, and treat
  • Food – Have, at a minimum, a one year supply of stuff we eat
  • Security – Have an assortment of guns and ammo in common calibers
  • Shelter – Have …. (and the list goes on and on)

These are great goals to set. But goals won’t keep you fed, clothed, or covered.

Here’s a few ideas to help you apply Saban’s Secret to your preparedness and self-reliance plan. You can try it or not. If you do, let us know how it works out for you.

  1. Don’t look for immediate results. Build small changes into your lifestyle. Too big, too quick can be overwhelming. You’re personality may be an all-in type. If so, jump in with both feet. But you’re in this for the long run. It’s a long journey, remember!
  2. Be patient and wise with time. Creating a daily prepping process takes time. You have the same amount of time in each day as Nick Saban. People have written entire novels in their spare time. Use those hours lost in traffic listening to podcasts on preparedness.
  3. Observe your results. Once you’ve committed to the process, measure the small results. The pantry is growing since you’re adding small amounts of extra food on each trip to the market. Your jeans are getting loose. Feedback loops keep you going on the right path.
  4. Test your process. If you’re not seeing the desired results, tweak your process. Don’t be afraid to scrap it completely and start over. Find and stick to a process that works for your personality.
  5. Be ‘good enough.’ Perfection is highly overrated! Alabama’s win-loss record was blemished with one loss in each of their last two championship seasons. The reason they didn’t fold after these setbacks points to Saban’s Secret. They kept following his process.
  6. You control your process. Prepping is geared towards future events out of our control. You had no vote in whether the parasitic elites would force Obama’s sick-care on our nation, or continue their print-and-spend policies to bail out their too-big-to-fail crony banksters, or which third-world country to drone next. Nope. Those decisions are above the commoner’s pay grade. But you do control your process. And that’s your best chance at winning in the game.
  7. Recruit the best players. Prepping, contrary to the lone-wolf ideal and OPSEC (Operational Security) concerns, is like a team sport. You need to be a part of a team. And your on-line fantasy prepping team doesn’t count. Sorry. You need real, live, physical people on your team. You can’t plan for all the unknown unknowns!
  8. Stop window shopping. Starring at the merchandise in the window day in and day out won’t make you prepared. Your desire to be prepared continues to grow. But here’s the catch – there’s a price tag. That price tag doesn’t change your desire. You still want it. But you’ve got to pay the price up front. We call it ‘Doing the Stuff’ around here.

To reach your preparedness goals, a process of systematically ‘Doing the Stuff’ is fundamental to success. Gimmicks can’t replace the process.

The new year is almost here. Set all the goals you like, but keep in mind that your process is the path you must follow to hit your targets.

My goal for 2014 is to master my prepping process. What’s yours?

Keep Doing the Stuff!


P.S. ~ Thanks for sharing the stuff! If anything from our site adds value to your life, please pass it on. You can also connect with us on TwitterPinterest, and our new Facebook page

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, with a link back to this site crediting the author. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Preparedness | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

3 Simple Things That Will Turn ‘Virgin’ Preppers into SmartPreppers

by Todd Walker

Here’s my motivating-but-not-preachy advice to get you started on your journey to preparedness!

3 Simple Things That Will Turn ‘Virgin’ Preppers into SmartPreppers

Little seeds grow into big things!

What I’m about to share with you is a short, simple formula that will transform ‘virgin’ preppers into SmartPreppers.

This formula works on any stage of your journey! 😉

How can I make such a promise? Because the formula is time-tested. This exact method has made many people wealthy, saved millions of lives, and created revolutionary inventions.

It’s true for prepping, writing novels, building a business, or any other thing you do in life.

What are the 3 things?

  • Thing #1: Start SMALL
  • Thing #2: Pay Attention
  • Thing #3: Make it Repeatable

Thing #1: Start SMALL

Here’s the truth about starting…

You’ll never feel truly ready to start. SmartPreppers start even when they don’t feel ready.

The abundance of quality material and info on prepping is everywhere. But that can be a curse. Information overload happens and you’re trapped in the cycle of ‘researching’ the best method for (fill in the blank).

The journey to self-sufficiency and preparedness may seem too long ~ even foolhardy.

Maybe this age-old question will clarify Thing #1 a bit. Which came first – the chicken or the egg? It doesn’t matter. Either one of these tiny things holds potentially for a flock.

You may be thinking….

All the stars have to align, the right resources need to appear, the timing isn’t in place, and/or you need to catch a break or two to succeed in self-sufficiency.

The fact of the matter is that your journey starts with a tiny step that is repeatable. You can take one step, right?

That one small step has a way of creating a new identity in you.


Yep. Buying an extra case of water on your trip to the grocery store begins to add up. You’ll start seeing your pantry grow by simply adding small items along the way. With a little time, you’ve become prepared for that winter snow storm or power outage. Then it hits you…

I’m prepping!

Congrats! You’re now doing the stuff!

Thing #2 ~ Pay Attention

This is the hallmark of SmartPreppers. They pay attention to their steps. Was that small step successful or a failure? If was an epic fail, they learn from the mistake and fail forward. If it adds value to their journey, they move on to the next thing…

Thing #3 ~ Make it Repeatable

This cycle will become a repeatable habit loop.

Oh, one more thing. You will fail at times. Welcome to the Failing Forward Club! You’re human. Failing doesn’t make you a failure. True failure happens when you forget about Thing #2 and Thing #3.

If you’ve spent any time with us here on our blog, you know we’re not experts who have it all together or figured out. But you will find a community of regular people committed to helping each other on our slow climb together – every step of the way.

Knowledge may weigh nothing, but it’s useless without action. You know you need to start.

You’ll never get anywhere without that first tiny step. It really doesn’t matter where you start – just start. You won’t be alone!

Keep doing the stuff,


P.S. ~ As always, if anything from this site adds value to your life, please pass it on. You can also connect with us on TwitterPinterest, and our new Facebook pageThanks for sharing the stuff!

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, with a link back to this site crediting the author. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Doing the Stuff, Preparedness | Tags: , , | 10 Comments

Prepping Partners: How to Increase Your Survival Rate Exponentially

by Todd Walker

One is the loneliest number!

2 x 2 = 4 ... 2 x 2 x 2 = 8 ... 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 16 ... 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 32 ... 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 64 ... 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 64 ... 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 128

Image source

Who’s your partner?

Butch Cassidy had the Sundance Kid. Wyatt Earp had Doc Holiday. Tarzan had Jane. Superman had… nobody!

When Jane got into trouble, Tarzan always came to the rescue. Doc Holiday had Wyatt’s back in the O.K. Corral. Butch and Sundance went down together, guns blazing.  When a villain exposed Superman to crippling Kyrptonite, who had his back?

No one!

But he had super-human strength – and x-ray vision, you say. Right. But even the Man of Steel had a weakness. The last I checked, there are no prepper superpowers to save us. We need help. We need partners.

We all need people who will walk side by side in our journey. Step for step. Prepping without a partner can be done, but not near as productive.

I remember a conversation I had with our activity director as a sophomore in college. He had hiked the Appalachian Trail a few years before. He had one regret on his solo journey from Georgia to Maine.

Being alone.

He’d walk up on a picturesque stream or overlook and catch himself expressing words of awe verbally to a friend he wished was with him. He took pictures but that just wasn’t the same.

We are social creatures and need human interaction. A pat on the back, a hug, or an encouraging word from a partner is all that’s needed sometimes to get us over a hump.

A byproduct of a good partnership causes individual strengths to be multiplied. Working with a partner has the potential to build strengths exponentially.

Consider this example in math.

2 + 2 = 4. 2 x 2 also equals 4. Multiplication is simply adding in a faster way.

But here’s where it gets good. If we take the little number 2 and raise it to the power of 3 (2 x 2 x 2), we get 8: Now the power of partnering begins to shine. Raising 2 to the 4th power gets you to 16.

Just for fun, try some mental gymnastics.

How many were going to St. Ives?

To demonstrate, look at this scenario from my 8th grade math class. Whip out your calculator and read this 18th century riddle that the Guinness Book of World records claims to be the oldest mathematical riddle in history:

As I was going to St. Ives,
I met a man with seven wives.
Every wife had seven sacks,
And every sack had seven cats.
Every cat had seven kittens
Kittens, cats, sacks, wives,
How many were going to St. Ives?

Answer choices: A.) 28  B.) 29  C.) 2801  D.) 1

You could reasonable defend ‘C’ and ‘D’ depending on your interpretation of the poem. If you chose answer ‘C’, you’ve discovered the power of exponential growth.

Exponents in Prepping

Let’s apply this to our prepping partners – even our extended prepper community.

Not everyone is into preparing for life changing events. It’s entirely possible your spouse or significant other falls into this category.

You, on the other hand, have come to the realization that governments can’t fix what’s wrong and their constant interventionism actually makes a bad situation worse. You’ve left the national ‘everything will be okay’ slumber party. You’re living with eyes wide open now.

You want your partner to join you.

If you’re as fortunate as me, your partner in prepping is flat-out, balls to the wall. Dirt Road Girl disengaged her ‘preparedness’ governor after the real estate bubble of 2008. She has our prepping engine maxed out.

If your partner hasn’t joined you on the preparedness journey, you can still climb solo. It’s not as easy or enjoyable, but very doable. Just realize that you’ll be adding when you could be multiplying.

Iron Sharpens Iron

In the process of iron sharpening iron, lots of heat is produced. The last thing you want is to create a bunch of sparks and unnecessary heat with your partner on your climb to preparedness.

If your strategy to convert your partner isn’t working, re-evaluate yourself. You can only ever change one person.


All is not lost. You might be able to influence your reluctant spouse or partner or family member to join you in building self-reliance.

Here’s how:

A.) Avoid annoying acronyms. (TEOTWAWKI, SHTF, B.O.B., G.O.O.D., WORL, etc.)

Your audience should not need a prepper lexicon to understand the babble coming out of your mouth. Keep it simple. Discuss events that are ‘most likely’ to happen and would have a direct impact on y’all. Example:

  • Weather related events – Snow in Georgia is a big event that rapes grocery store shelves.
  • Job loss. There’s no such thing as job security today.
  • Crime. Start making the connection between the economy and uptick in crime.

B.) You can influence your partner without trying to influence them.

  • Make sure they can eavesdrop on that your listening to podcast by an authority on survival and prepping. It’s not coming from you.
  • Do the stuff. People are more apt to trust and follow you if they see your actions match your words.
  • Practice practical preps. When hiking, camping, hunting, or other outdoor activities, first aid and other essentials go along. Maybe they’ll make the connection on the importance of prepping at home. Start by building an emergency kit for the family vehicles. They don’t drive around without a spare tire, do they? Take care of ‘what if’ situations. Especially if you have kids together. Preparedness really hits home then.
  • Do the stuff. “I really respect talking heads on the TV,” said no one ever!

C.) No bootlicking. Playing hard to get uses a bit of reverse psychology.

  • Be patient – but stand on your principles.
  • Coming across desperate makes you look like a cheap used car salesman in a polyester suit. If they haven’t woken up to the need to prepare yet, they’ll just blow you off.
  • Operate with integrity and respect. They’ll see that you have their best interest in mind if you’re not kissing up to convert them.

D.) Stop hard selling.

  • Do not try to change your partner’s mind by pushing preparedness. Treat him/her with the respect they deserve.
  • Drop the ‘I told you so’ attitude. Divisive comments will only widen the gap you are trying to close.
  • Scare tactics probably won’t work. Highlight the positives of preparedness.

E.) Gain trust. 

  • Actions vs. words. When that storm knocks out your power, having emergency essentials at the ready speaks louder than words. Lead.
  • Be humble. When you’re wrong, admit it, apologize and move on. No one is perfect. Don’t sweep mistakes under the rug.
  • Be there. You’ve done your homework and practiced your preps. When the time comes, show out. Become the go-to source for your partner in preparedness.

Doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results is the classic definition of insanity. Convincing your partner may only take a little tweaking in your approach. Or it may have nothing to do with your efforts at all.

However it comes about, SmartPreppers understand the importance of having your partner on board. Once that happens, get ready for exponential growth!

Keep doing the stuff,


P.S. ~ As always, if anything from this site adds value to your life, please pass it on. You can also connect with us on TwitterPinterest, and our new Facebook pageThanks for sharing the stuff!

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely, in part or whole, with a link back to this site crediting the author. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.


Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Doing the Stuff, Preparedness | Tags: , , , | 26 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: