Posts Tagged With: Survival

How To Avoid Having A Mountain Pass Named After You

by Todd Walker

Can you get there from here?

Photo credit

Dirt Road Girl loves mapping our trips – even if I know how to get there. She claims I have a built-in GPS in my head. That doesn’t stop her from whipping out her trusty atlas from behind her seat. She’s the first to admit that she’s directionally challenged. She doesn’t use her smart phone map. She likes the paper version.

I’ve been “lost” a few times due to poor planning. Being of the male persuasion, I never admit to being lost. I call it exploring. Here are three strategies that will help you navigate the not so clear path to preparedness in Lewis and Clark fashion.

How to Avoid a Donner Party Bug Out

Over 160 years ago, a bunch of pilgrims hitched about 90 wagons and let the dust fly on the “Great Highway of the West” chasing their dream of a better life. The tragedy that followed in the Sierra Nevada happened to everyday folk like you and me – merchants, teachers, farmers, fathers, mothers, and children. Almost half of the group died.

Keep in mind, they weren’t bugging out as we know the term today. The pressure and stress of bugging out runs through my mind like a bad taco through my business end. If you’ve ever packed for an extended vacation, or visit to the in-laws, you know what I’m saying. I once packed my young family of four and moved to Siberia for 6 months. The amount of stress involved in carrying a two-year old on my back, carry on luggage, my four-year old by the hand, and wife #1 by the feet, was memorable – but doable with modern transportation. How about trying it Donner style with primitive means of locomotion? I now understand why death visited these pilgrims even before the winter snows reduced them to eating each other.

Reading survival fiction makes me go hum at times. Some authors portray what I think would be a fairly accurate journey in the land of TEOTWAWKI. For some, not so much. Who knows what to expect? I’m certain that it won’t be a drive or walk in the park. To get a glimpse of a real-life SHTF event, look no further than the Donner Party tragedy. Their life and death struggle offers many lessons on survival. Here’s a few.

Beware of untested advice

Decisions made by ‘leaders’ of the group didn’t end well. Leaders lead only if they have followers. I’ve seen many self-proclaimed leaders and leaders-by-title in this category. All they’re doing is taking a long walk by themselves…with no followers. It’s always easy to follow leaders when they make good decisions and the journey is easy. No one makes all the right choices. I’ve made many horrible decisions that not only effected me, but those following me. That’s the worst part. Knowing I’ve caused pain to those closest to me. There’s no easy way or short cut to right the ship. And the bigger the ship (group), the longer it takes to turn it in the right direction.

James Reed, the unofficial leader of the party, read “The Emigrants’ Guide to Oregon and California” by Landsford W. Hastings before their departure. Granted, Reed had no way of knowing that Hastings route was untested when they packed their last cast iron skillet on the wagons in Springfield, IL. Hastings claimed his short cut would shave 400 miles on easy trails for westward pioneers. It didn’t. Pay close attention to snake oil salesmen like Hastings. Examining his motives, one finds his vision of building his financial empire in the Golden State. Nothing wrong with making money. However, choosing to follow untested advice from his little book was one cause of the Donner Party’s doom.

Even with new information available along the journey, proving this short cut to be a hoax, the ‘leader’ decided to stay the course. If you’ve read advice or watched videos on preparedness and survival, follow your gut – no matter what the ‘experts’ say. Some in the Donner wagon train followed their gut and a proven route and dodged disaster.

Beware of untested equipment

Photo credit

There’s nothing wrong with owning quality equipment. In fact, I encourage it. However, all the high-tech gadgetry promoted to ensure your survival is worthless if used stupidly. Mr. Reed had a two-story bug out wagon with extravagant suspension, sleeping quarters, and a stove for heat and cooking. His daughter called it “The Pioneer Palace Car.” This pimped out BOV (Bug Out Vehicle) might have made the journey in tact had the head-strong owner, hell-bent on saving a few miles, not pushed it and his family over the proverbial hill of destruction.

Accidents happen. I get it. This was no accident. He was warned. Here’s an account of Reed’s stupid decision from Legends of America:

At Fort Laramie James Reed ran into an old friend from Illinois by the name of James Clyman, who had just traveled the new route eastwardly with Lansford Hastings. Clyman advised Reed not to take the Hastings Route, stating that the road was barely passable on foot and would be impossible with wagons [Emphasis mine]; also warning him of the great desert and the Sierra Nevadas. Though he strongly suggested that the party take the regular wagon trail rather than this new false route, Reed would later ignore his warning in an attempt to reach their destination more quickly.

If your Survive-O-Meter is pegged on red-alert, back off and reassess. Getting to your destination alive is the objective, right? Experience is a great teacher. Why would Reed jeopardize the lives under his care after hearing first hand advice from an old friend? Pride? Belief in untested equipment? Whatever drove him, it cost him and his party dearly.

Putting confidence in your equipment you personally have never tested is dangerous. I’m afraid too many in the preparedness community fall into this category. My nephew and I had a conversation around the fire pit about his ability to make fire. He told me about his journey to making fire from friction. When he was in middle school, he wanted to make fire with a bow drill using only what he had on his person – a pocket knife and his clothing. He’d read “how to” do it. Now he wanted to test the methods in the book. He gathered wood from behind his house, used his boot lace as cordage, and constructed the bow drill. On the second day and many disappointing hours later, his labor paid off. He created fire from friction! Something I’ve yet to manage, even with training wheels.

Doing the stuff trumps knowing the stuff. Have you tested that new pressure canner, rifle, solar charger, or other shiny survival gizmo?

“In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there is.”
— Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut

 

I’ve ignored experience-based advice before and have the scares to prove it. If an alternative route to your “destination” is proven, take it. Weigh the risks and calculate the potential pros and costly cons. Follow your gut. Arriving off schedule is better than dying. Stay prayed up and laid back.

Beware of untested relationships

JIMMY- IRON SHARPENS IRON

Photo credit

Iron sharpens iron, but there’s a lot of heat in the process. How do you plan for the internal stress that will visit any group on the run to their hide-y-hole? Even if you are able to shelter in place to weather an extended TEOTWAWKI event, plan on tempers flaring. Will arguments over those struggling to keep up or pull their weight with the party end in death? James Reed was banished (some of the group wanted to hang him) for stabbing one of his fellow stragglers. Geez, keep up or die, eh! Other accounts say he killed a teamster for excessively whipping the oxen. Whatever the cause of the attack, it highlights our susceptibility to stress when facing less than predictable situations.

Even if you’re in a group of people you really like and respect, sparks can fly. It would be wise to develop a plan for the added stress and pressure of bugging out or staying put in a world of ‘zombies’ when civilization collapses. The Donner Party had to deal with their own ‘zombies’ – some from within, some from outside their group. Mr. Wolfinger hung back with a few others to cache his wagon in Nevada. Not wise. The survivors in his small group said he fell prey to Indians. The oxen and cattle were easy targets for the natives as well.

From within the group, there was an accidental shooting, minor accidents leading to infection and death, and in the most extreme stage, cannibalism. I’m in no position to judge. I’ve never been close to this kind of extreme survival situation.

In our unpredictable futures (maybe the future is predictable to a degree), it would be wise for us all to heed lessons from the tragic trip of the Donner party. Practicing resilience, self-reliance, and preparedness might keep our names out of the history books.

 

Categories: BOV, Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, Survival, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

What Does It Mean to “Prepare for the Economic Collapse”?

Two days before Christmas y’all! Our 5 gallon bucket of coconut oil was delivered yesterday. Thankfully the Mayans were wrong 🙂

Tropical Traditions

Tropical Traditions

I deal with the denial Daisy describes in her article below everyday I walk into my school. Entitlement, dependency, and even violence when their world view is challenged. If you’re able, pay Daisy a visit and lend a word of support.

Still doing the stuff,

Todd

______________________________

December 22, 2012

Last week I wrote an article in response to the media’s vilification of preppers in the aftermath of the horrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.  The article was quoted in an article on Yahoo.com, to my great astonishment, and that is when I saw how little most people understand about prepping.  You can see in most of the 4492 comments the article received that many folks just don’t “get it”.

My inbox was filled with a barrage of  hate mail and a number of people felt compelled to leave angry (and rather ignorant) comments on my website. I got messages from people that called me “batsh*t crazy”, messages from gun control advocates, messages from people who directly blamed me and all other preppers for the massacre, and even one particularly hate-filled email from a person who said “I hope that your kids are killed at the next school shooting.

All of this leads me to reconfirm my belief that people sincerely do not understand why we do what we do, and that ignorance leads to fear.

People fear what they don’t understand and hate what they can’t conquer. ~ Andrew Smith

If you go back through history, the “visionaries” or “wise ones” were always mocked at best and feared at worst.  They were  cast out of society to live alone at the edge of the village; children would sneak onto their property to show their bravery; they were burned at the stake as witches and heretics.  Anything the larger percentage of people does not understand is treated as something evil and frightening.

Am I saying that preppers are all visionaries and sages?  Not in a mystical “Joan of Arc” sense – but I am saying that preppers are willing to see the writing on the wall and search for a deeper understanding.

Many preppers are preparing for an economic collapse and the subsequent social collapse that will be close behind.

If you don’t think this is realistic, then you aren’t paying attention to the world around you.

People have this image of hunger – they see it as the skeletal dark-skinned children in some third world country, bellies protruding as malnutrition sets in.

But the face of hunger and poverty today is as close as your next door neighbor. Millions of North Americans can barely afford to put their next meal on the table. They are living in their cars, if they’re lucky, and without shelter if they are not so lucky.

For many people the economic collapse has arrived. Their “end of the world” event has already occurred in the form of a job loss, the foreclosure of the family home, or an illness that has caused such massive personal debt that there is truly no way out of it.  Less than 60% of Americans who are of age to be in the work force have a full time job.  When you tally that, it means that more than 100 million people are out of work.    More than 100 million people in the United States have no jobs.  For more than 100 million people, the economic collapse has arrived in full force.

Read the rest here

Author bio: Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

Categories: Economic Collapse, Preparedness, Self-reliance, Survival | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Knoppix Thumb Drive (KTD) Project

Claire Wolfe over at Living Freedom sent me an email last night around 10:00. Of course, I’d been sleeping for an hour and a half when it hit my inbox. A reader of hers, Scott, has a project going that will put 600 + preparedness documents in a thumb drive. Don’t know if you can get one by Christmas for stocking stuffing, but I’m ordering one today.

Like Dirt Road Girl, Scott is fighting cancer. He’s working to put a little (very little) extra money into his pocket with this project. If you’re so inclined, get one ordered today. I have no financial interest in Scott’s project. I just love preparedness and support folks who show initiative, love liberty, and build self-reliance. I’ve added Claire’s post about the project below. To order, just follow the links.

Still doing the stuff,

Todd

________________________________________

Practical preparedness essential; everybody should have this

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

The first entry in our “Two Weeks of Sanity” was inspirational. Now for the practical. Not just the practical — the essential.

You already know about the DIY Knoppix Thumb Drive Preparedness Project dreamed up by Mark/Greylocke. It puts 600+ preparedness documents at your fingertips — bootable on nearly any USB-capable computer. Carryable in an emergency. Great for a bug-out bag or any prepper stash. The only catch: it’s been a do-it-yourself project (and I confess, beyond the likes of me).

Reader Scott said he’d like to set up a mini-business supplying ready-made KTD drives. And with Greylocke’s cooperation, he’s done it.

Now, for just $10 above the cost of the thumb drive itself, you can get a ready-made bootable drive with vast amounts of preparedness/survival information on it. Just $30. Postpaid. For all that.

Scott’s making one for me right now.

For the few dollars extra, I hope you’ll send some business to Scott. Who went through a lot to set this up. Who has cancer. And who’s a dedicated reader of this blog. Besides, the DIY version is WERK!

Everybody should have one — or two or three — KTDs stashed various places. And how about telling prepper friends and neighbors about them, also?

NFI on my part. And frankly, not all that much FI on Scott’s, considering the amount of work involved.

You want an effective way to fight the bastards? Be ready not to need the bastards.

 

Categories: Preparedness, Self-reliance, Survival, Survival Manuals, Survival Skills | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

My MacGyvered Teacher Toolbox for Self-Defense

 

 

 

teachertoolbox1 - Copy

I’m a sitting duck. I work in a Weapons Free Zone – (A.K.A.) Victim Zone – with 850 potential victims.

We hate to entertain the thought – especially during the holiday season – of a crazed, heavily armed student strolling into school and spraying lead like he’s playing a video game. But it has happened – and could happen again. How likely would a massacre happen at your child’s school? Don’t know. One set on killing will simply stroll through the front door with the “No Weapons” sign posted. I’d call this fear mongering if school shootings had never occurred.

Bringing pencils and paper to a gun fight

I am not allowed to carry my normal tools of self-defense to my government school since I don’t wear a funny hat and uniform. That leaves me vulnerable. So, to minimize my sitting-duck-ness, I employ what’s legally available.

In any trade, craftsmen need the proper tools to get the job done right. My teacher tool box doesn’t contain bulletin board trim, red pens, pencils, or gold stars. My red toolbox is full of real hand tools.

I’m the resident school handyman. Teachers and administrators ask me to fix stuff from shelving to hanging white erase boards. Well, that requires tools. Think redundancy here. The small toolbox pictured above serves two purposes:

  • The intended purpose – fix stuff
  • Alternative purpose – tools of defense if necessary

Here’s a run down of my alternative tools of defense I’d employ only if escape and evasion is not possible with an active shooter inside the building. NOTE: This is my plan. Your mileage may vary. I’m not advocating that others (adult or student) use my plan. Until the Powers That Be issue me a permission slip (I’m not holding my breath on this one) to carry real tools of self-defense to my job, I’ll have to improvise. I mean, what makes the funny-hat-crowd more ‘qualified’ to carry guns into schools? That’s a topic for later discussion.

1.) Annihilator Ultimate Wrecking Bar

Show some tough love!

I bought this one just for my teacher toolbox. I’ve used to open a stuck locker before. It even has a bottle opener. It would make an improvised throwing axe if a target was in range. Closer, and with an element of surprise, it offers skull/bone demolition.

2.) Jawbone of an ass. Samson, of Bible fame, used a jawbone to put the smack-down on 1,000 Philistines. I’m not sure which animal donated this one. A fellow teacher brought it to me from a pasture. From an ass or not, it’s a menacing weapon in my Science class.

Samson's wild weapon of choice

Samson’s wild weapon of choice

You’ll also notice a hoe handle and juggling pin in the photo of the toolbox at the top of this post. The hoe handle has the metal end attached. I found it in the throw away pile in the back of the school. Two more alternative tools of defense in my arsenal.

3.) Flashlight. Being a flashaholic, I carry a Streamlight ProTac 2L in my pocket at school. The tail button switches from high, strobe, and low. Strobe would be useful in a dark environment to disorient attackers and give me time to escape or use another improvised tool of violence on the shooter.

Clockwise from top: Aluminum clipboard, Swiss Army Knife, StreamLight ProTac 2L flashlight

Clockwise from top: Aluminum clipboard, Swiss Army knife, StreamLight ProTac 2L flashlight

  • Clipboard – From my contractor days, this tool filled with paper might stop a small-caliber pistol bullet intended for vital bodily parts. I’ll have to put it through testing to find out for sure.
  • The Swiss Army knife serves as pencil sharpener, nail trimmer, screw tightener, and other handy tasks. It’s not for self-defense. It’s always in my pocket at school.

Escape is the first order of action. Which leads me to ….

4.) Alternate escape/concealed route. Bringing pencils to a gun fight is a bad idea. Escaping from the threat is first priority. If running out of the building exits is not an option for me and my kids, we will barricade the locked classroom door, climb on the lockers and hide in the ceiling until the treat is neutralized. Experts say that these types of incidents last between 3 to 15 minutes on average. There’s not much room to move about between the drop ceiling and the roof. But sitting quietly on the cinder block walls in the crawl space might work. If I’m without kids, I can move to the end of the hall along the top of the wall and drop into the hall at the exit door to make an escape.

On barricading my door, I have enough solid furniture to wedge between the door and the opposite wall. Making my door “hardened” might buy enough time to escape through the ceiling or shelter in place until good guys with guns show up.

Through the ceiling hidout

Through the ceiling hideout

Peeking into the ceiling with my flashlight

Peeking into the ceiling with my flashlight

5.) Fire Extinguisher. A blast from this to the face may give me the advantage needed to escape or overcome the attacker.

Unload on the shooter

Unload on the shooter

I’ve tried to think of alternative weapon legally available to me in my gun-free work environment. While they are no match to a heavily armed crazy man, thinking ahead might save my life and those in my care.

Got any more ideas on tools to add to my teacher toolbox? I’d really appreciate hearing from you.

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

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, Government "Education", Preparedness, Self Defense, Survival Education | Tags: , , , , , | 36 Comments

6 Deadly Assumptions About Violence

by Todd Walker

The Zombie Treadmill Defense Concept

Photo credit

The “Treadmill Defense” made me laugh. Great idea! If it were only that simple. I think we all make dangerous assumptions about how to defend our property and person.

Social upheaval and “peaceful protests” are increasing and not likely to decline anytime soon. Let me say upfront that I’m not an expert in self-defense. Never allow anything I write (or anyone else for that matter) override your real-life experience and common sense.

Most people have never faced a life-threatening, violent encounter. The more I think I know, the more I begin to see how little I know. I’ve always heard that the majority of shootings happen up close and personal. How close? Two yards are less. David Nash over at Shepherd School shares some real world stats:

These FBI-compiled numbers have been pretty much the same for many years: 50% of LEOs killed are killed at five feet or less, and 75% killed are killed at ten feet or less.   The second source is the Police Marksman Association survey done in 1992 showing the average police gunfight was won at about 20 feet seven yards (but note that this conclusion was from a pretty small sample.)   Finally, there is the data from NYPD’s SOP-9 that indicates that from 1994-2000, 69% of their shootings (of all types) were at two yards or less, and 88% were at seven yards of less.  These numbers are pretty consistent from year to year.

Priorities dictate that we address our most immediate threats. Evidently, they’ll be too close for comfort. Spending range time shooting handguns at paper targets 25 yards away is not the best use of time or ammo. Statistically speaking, long shots (over 10 yards) are not likely. It’s not so ego-boosting to shoot silhouettes that you could almost touch with your outstretched hand. Could I hit that target when a chemical dump occurs in me when facing a kill or be killed violent encounter?

I’ve been guilty of preparing for home and self-defense based on theory. I’ve been in fights growing up and one legitimate street brawl that Mama caused (not really). There were no rules. Nothing fair. Just complete mayhem. Do not assume real-world violence will be anything close to what you see in scripted Hollywood fight scenes.

6 Deadly Assumptions

1.) I live in a “safe” neighborhood

We’ve had several car break-ins in our middle class neighborhood over the last several months. Two of our locked vehicles were broken into just recently. Nothing of great value was taken except loose change. My truck ax, hatchet, two knives, and a limb saw valued at over $300.00 were untouched. This still doesn’t negate the fact that some thug violated our space and sense of security.

Never take for granted that your surroundings are safe. Assuming you are secure is a myth.

2.) Violent encounters in the real world are similar to Hollywood versions

The good guys never run out of bullets and are able to summon superhuman strength to beat the bad guy. This thought process is similar to today’s Hollywood survival shows. They are entertaining but nothing like a real survival scenario.

The theory is only helpful if it works – which is usually not the case. Let’s erase the visions of mall ninjas and Rambo action heroes. Predators don’t fight fair. There won’t be a referee to stop the guy before you lose that last breath of air trying to “tapping out.” All the black belts moves you learned in class won’t save you in real violent encounters.

3.) Rules of engagement apply

There are no rules in violent encounters. If you are fighting fair, you’re doing it wrong. Criminals intent on violence don’t worry that you’ve had years of martial arts training or achieved top-gun status at your gun range. Predators pick the time and types of bad stuff to do to you. Their advantage is the element of surprise. It immediately puts us in the  mode of self-defense. Self-defense is reacting and recovering from being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

In my coaching days, I worked on both sides of the football. I made my living on the offensive side. I liked the advantage of knowing where we would attack. The defense was always guessing even though they knew our tendencies. I’ve always been told to go on the offensive in any unavoidable violent encounter. Take the violence to the attacker.

This is not a school yard chicken dance with kids bumping chests and talking smack. In life or death situations, do whatever it takes to stay alive. This will require losing our moral codes and social niceness and do unthinkable violence to our aggressor. That’s what thugs plan to do to you.

4.) The police will help 

Even if you have time to dial 911, the response time is usually so slow they have to make a report and inform the next of kin. The police are not obligated to protect individual citizens no matter what the motto on the black and white cruiser says. NEVER delegate responsibility for your safety to someone else. With cities going bankrupt, we do indeed need to lock our doors and load our guns. San Bernardino has seen a 50 percent increase in murders this year.

Don’t be a statistic.

5.) I am trained to handle violence

This has been a difficult article to write. Being a civilized, moral person, it’s depressing to delve into the mind of violent thuggery. Unless you’ve experienced this kind of violence and lived to tell about it, I don’t think it’s possible to fully wrap our minds around what it takes to flip the switch and become violent.

From everything I’ve read (people with actual experience) and seen in real life, no one single act of violence is the same. No amount of controlled training in a class can prepare us for real world violence. Yes, Chuck Norris groupies are included here. You are a resource to predators. A piece of meat. There are no training facilities that I know of which allows students to destroy and kill each other. But that’s what it takes to stop predators hellbent on their mission – destroy, rape, pillage, and kill.

Will our social training and martial arts classes save us? I’m not anti-martial arts. Get all you can get. I just don’t want you to assume that you’re trained for real violent encounters when your attacker has no rules.

Knowing how to perform roundhouse kicks is not enough. Being mentally able to flip the switch from controlled, moral, socialized citizen, to a primal eat-or-be-eaten violence machine is necessary – and dark – and outside the paradigm of who we say we are.

6.) I’m safe because I carry a gun 

While I highly recommend this tool, it offers no guarantee of safety. Carrying my weapon gives me some sense of security. I’m not overconfident or cocky when carrying. Being aware of situations and surroundings is helpful. It’d be convenient if predators could be identified by external appearance. We simply can’t tell sometimes.

I’ve never shot another human being with a gun, unless BB gun wars count. They don’t. A higher standard is imposed on legally armed citizens. To quote Boston T. Party on why to pull the trigger, “You shot to stop – not to kill. Any kill is incidental, unless the only way to stop his lethal actions was to kill.” This is not to say aim for extremities and not vital organs.

Mr. Royce does a great job explaining your responsibility and liability when pulling the trigger in Boston’s Gun Bible – a must read for anyone legally carrying weapons and concerned about liberty, personal safety, and defense. A gun is designed to put distance between you and those intending you harm. After a certain distance, the threat is no longer a threat. Guns are the great equalizer. A 110 pound female has an advantage over a 250 pound thug if she has her gun in hand.

A human being is the most dangerous animal in the world as it alone has the ability to strike a deadly blow at a distance. ~ Boston’s Gun Bible, p. 4/1

 

Are you guilty of any of these deadly assumptions?

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

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, Preparedness, Self Defense, Shooting/Marksmanship, Survival | Tags: , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Protecting Yourself and Your Property After a Disaster

Chris Ray of Prepared Christian writes excellent advice for self-protection. I also want to thank Chris for posting Neighboring Matters on his site. Be sure to visit his site.

Protecting Yourself and Your Property After a Disaster

November 19, 2012 By

Scenario:  Jerusalem has been devastated by war and is in ruins.  It’s walls have been broken down and it’s gates burned by fire.  Nehemiah, King Artaxerxes’ cup bearer, has received permission from the king to go to Jerusalem and rebuild it.  Their enemies have plotted to catch them unaware, kill them and stop their work.  Nehemiah has discovered this and decides:

Neh 4:16 From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah 4:17 who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, 4:18 and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me. 4:19 Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. 4:20 Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!” 4:21 So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out. 4:22 At that time I also said to the people, “Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so they can serve us as guards by night and workmen by day.” 4:23 Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water.

In every medium to large scale natural disaster there are people who come to the area to loot.  There is a second group of people; “disaster tourists”.  These are people who want to go to the disaster area to see, in person, what they have seen on TV.  One of these is obviously a criminal but the other isn’t as nefarious, at least not on purpose.

Looters

These dirtbags pray on the misfortune of others during what might be the worst time in their life.  I have heard of people both sneaking around and stealing items that have been relocated by the event, as well as people dressing up, pretending to be representatives from utility companies.  I have also heard reports of items gone missing once a restoration company is hired, the home owner believing their contractor’s employees stole from them.

Read the rest here

Categories: Preparedness, Self Defense, Self-reliance | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The Science of Fire

This was originally published by Norseman (Gunny) at his site Survivology 101 and reprinted here with his permission. I discovered Norseman via Wilderness Outfitters, Dave Canterbury’s site, about two years ago. I became a fan of Gunny for two reasons: A.) He’s not an armchair survivalist, and B.) He wears kilts! That sealed the deal for this fellow kilt-wearer. How many folks do you know that does bushcraft in a kilt? In a recent email, he informed me that he’s retiring from the Marines in 6 months and intends “to be all over the survival and prepping scene.” I’m looking forward to it! Check out his YouTube videos here. I think even non-science geeks will enjoy…

The science of fire

Many of you are aware of the fire triangle and the fire pyramid (yes they are different) but how many of you REALLY understand the science behind these catchy terms?

A quick review: The fire triangle is heat, fuel, and oxygen or sometimes referred to as air.  Picture a triangle and if you remove any one of the sides the triangle loses support and collapses.  Remove any piece of the fire triangle and the fire goes out.  This is a fortunate effect as you will understand soon, if you don’t already.

And the fire pyramid which is tinder, kindling, and fuel not to be confused with the pyramid fire that is unrelated to this article.  A pyramid is unlike a triangle in that it is built on a stable platform and can support itself.

Fire is a chemical process known as oxidation: In this process oxygen combines with hydrogen and carbon, together the atoms rearrange and form water and carbon dioxide.  This energy causes heat, the same process takes place when metal rusts but the apparent lack of heat is due to a much lengthier time involved.

Read the rest here

Categories: Bushcraft, Preparedness, Self-reliance, Survival | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Fear Factor Is Proportional To Our Preparedness

John Keats once said, “Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced – even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it.” What are you painting on your life canvas? Fearing hard times ahead? Durable Faith offers wise advice from the life Joseph.

Taking our lead from Joseph

by Durable Faith

I often think about Joseph and the dream about the prosperous years followed by the hard times. There are several interesting things about the biblical account.

In ancient Egypt most people were involved in agriculture. In agriculture, the weather plays a huge role. One bad storm can ruin your crops. So, most farmers would not put all their seed in the ground. They would have next season’s seed set aside. And they would have enough food/money on hand to get them to at least the next harvest season in case the unexpected happened.

Can you imagine the fear, the uncertainty, the paranoia that a farmer would feel if he had been reckless. If had all his seed in the ground, crops near harvest, and a deep dark hail storm was approaching, how would he feel? If the farmer had sufficient food stored up for his family in his basement, and he had enough money to procure next season’s seed, perhaps the storm would be disappointing but not devastating. His fear would be in proportion to his preparation.

How would farmers behavior tend to shift, if for seven years straight they had record crops? Would they hold back more seed or less? Probably less. Would they have more food storage or less? Probably less. The natural effect of 7 years of prosperity would be reckless behavior as people began to believe that times would always be good. But as we know, as any student of history knows, that is simply not true. So God sent a warning and had Joseph put in just the right place to ensure the survival and even prosperity of his people.

In our modern times, hardly anyone is involved in farming, we live in a just-in-time economy that is possible because we have had DECADES of prosperity. As I have discussed in other posts, fossil fuels, modern technology, and fractional banking have come together in a perfect storm to create a period of unrivaled prosperity in human history. So naturally, we have become reckless. All our seed is in the ground, we have no reserves, we have borrowed money from our children’s children and the mother of all hail storms is fast approaching.

So what should we do?

Read the rest here

Categories: Preparedness, Survival | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Six Tips for Dealing With the New Prepper

Gaye Levy, also known as SurvivalWoman, is the owner of Backdoor Survival and a Contributing Writer to Activist Post, a Guest Writer for Wake Up World and a Reporter on Before Its News. Six Tips for Dealing With the New Prepper was originally posted on Backdoor Survival and shared here with her permission. Thanks Gaye! She’s one of the Regular Gals offering common sense advice on preparedness and self-reliance I mentioned yesterday.
Doing the stuff,
Todd
______________________________
by Gaye Levy

Six Tips for Dealing With the New Prepper   Backdoor SurvivalOver the last few days we have seen one the biggest storms in the history of the US slam into the east coast of our country.  And then, a week ago, a huge 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck off the northwest coast of British Columbia.  In the case if the former, there are – as of this writing – 62 casualties with more expected.  There are still six million homes and businesses without power and the cleanup efforts will cost billions.

On the other hand, we lucked out with Canadian earthquake.  Luckily, it was located a bit off shore on a sparsely populated rural island.  There was a tsunami warning but the tsunami did not materialize.  But can you imagine the devastation if the earthquake had occurred in nearby Vancouver or Seattle?

Which gets me to the point of this article.

In the weeks and months to come, friends, relatives and neighbors who thought you were a bit nuts with all of your prepping may now be thinking: ”Heck, those crazy preppers may have been on to something”.

And this, as far as I am concerned is a good thing.

What to say the the new prepper?Six Tips for Dealing With the New Prepper   Backdoor Survival

Today I would like to encourage you to coach newbie preppers in the best way you can: with common sense and practicality.  No mention of “I told you so”, no fear mongering and no recrimination.  Instead, consider the following six tips for dealing with the new prepper.

1.  Go slowly and exercise patience.

It takes months for seeds to produce viable food and it takes years for a tree to bear fruit.  Prepping is no different.  I like to promote the one-month-at-a-time method of prepping which adds new tasks, skills, and food items each month until, at the end of the year, a decent and well rounded set of preps is good to go.

The prepping one month at a time overview here on Backdoor Survival is a good place for the newbie to start.  It also makes for a good review and check-up for the more experienced prepper.  In addition, you can access all twelve months of my series on Getting Prepared One Month at a Time from a single page.  Here are the links:

Getting Prepared: 12 Months of Prepping, One Month at a Time
Getting Prepared One Month at a Time

2.  Compare prices.

I really want to emphasis the importance of comparing prices to insure that you are not be subjected to a price that has been artificially inflated.  That is what happened shortly after the Fukushima disaster and it was heartbreaking for me to hear of people that spent double, or even triple the normal price for something.

Six Tips for Dealing With the New Prepper   Backdoor SurvivalFood and gear for survival and emergency purposes does not have to be overly expensive. In many cases, you can shop your own home for the items you need to get started and use the savings to fill in with additional items. The recent article Back to the Basics: The Bug-Out-Bag talked about this and offered some suggestions for gathering items you already own to make up a starter – or even a spare – bug out bag.

The best advice I can give in this regard is to be aware and spend your money accordingly.  Stay calm, stay prudent, and if it sounds too good to be true, it is probably best to move on.

Read the rest here

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Frugal Preps, Preparedness, Self-reliance, Survival | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Individual Preparedness Plan: Weak Preps Become Strong

by Todd Walker

You’ll never be the best, but you can be good enough.

Lay aside your dreams of grandeur for a moment. At one point I wanted to write a book. Dreams of being a bestselling author use to bounce around in my head. Then I woke up. I don’t have what it takes. Maybe I do. I haven’t tried it yet. I’ve been writing this blog for less than a year. What makes me think that I could write stuff that millions of folks would line up to buy? I’d settle for hundreds.

Yep, I’ve come to a place of reality. I no longer have to write my masterpiece. What a relief. My mind bending activity focuses on being good enough now. The same goes for preparedness. My survival is not dependent on my being the best survivalist on the planet.

Is mediocre good enough?

In my Preparedness Wheel analogy, spokes (individually weak) intersect at the hub to strengthen the wheel. I mentioned this concept the other day when I told you about Dirt Road Girl’s radiation treatments. Weak beams of radiation are directed towards the tumor in several directions. One beam is so weak it causes little to no damage (according to our doctor) as it passes through healthy tissue. But when all the beams intersect at the target, the dosage is multiplied many times. It’s like a horrible car crash of radiation beams delivering devastation and destruction. The tumor screams in agony and dies.

Even our weakest attempts to prep for emergencies can add power to our IPP (Individual Preparedness Plan). Instead of causing a pile of twisted metal and mangled bodies, minor preps help us navigate safely through deadly crossroads. Over time, and with proper aim, the little stuff starts to build strength. Preparedness and self-reliance happens at the intersection of ‘weak’ preps.

Your individual needs will determine the nature and scope of the spokes in your Preparedness Wheel. We will all have a different looking wheel. Before you build a fancy wheel with lots of bling, make sure you have the basic spokes. Once your wheel is rolling, customize it to your individual needs.

Here is the first spoke to help you on your journey to preparedness and self-reliance.

Water is life

Our bodies, depending on age, gender, and body type, are made of between 77% to 45% water. We need it to function. We can’t survive without it. When building this spoke, consider your activity level, availability, storage capabilities, and climate.

I’m a Container Freak. How important are they? Whole civilizations have been built around containers. For thousands of years lumps of clay on a potter’s wheel has been turned into bottles, jars, and jugs to store liquids. You don’t have a potter’s wheel? No problem. Simply save used food grade containers. I’ve got empty plastic coffee containers (with handles) hanging from a string under my shop. DRG wonders how I’ll ever use all these. They could be forced into service as water containers. I mostly use them now for odd hardware storage in my shop. But you never know, right. Below are some options for getting your drink on.

  • Used drink containers: Two liter soda containers can be cleaned and re-purposed. I’ve got an unlimited supply of one gallon jugs from my school. The concession stand sells a sugary, frozen slushy type drink to unsuspecting student consumers to wash down the SAD (Standard American Diet) meals from the lunch line. The artificial flavoring comes in 4 – 1 gallon jugs per case. They are HDPE (High Density PolyEthylene) and coded with a #2 inside the recycle symbol on the bottom of the container. I collect these when they’re empty, place them into their handy shipping box, and take them home. I clean them with hot soapy water and refill with tap water. They stack very well in the boxes. The boxes also block light to prevent algae growth in my liquid storage. I’ve tasted water from these jugs with hardly a hint of flavoring. I’m ahead of the curve when it comes to buying expensive “flavored” water WTSHTF.

4 gallon jugs per case

  • Emergency water:Don’t forget that your hot water heater contains 40 gallons (depending on the size) of potable water. In an emergency, simply shut off the power source (gas shut off or electrical). Electrical should be labeled in the breaker box. If not, identify the correct breaker and label with a permanent marker. Even if the power is out at your house, it’s wise to take this step. If the power is restored to your empty water heater, you’ll be replacing the heating elements. Next, attach a garden hose to the bottom valve. Open the pressure relief valve on top of the water heater and fill those used drink containers you’ve been hoarding. Don’t forget these sources below either…
    • Toilet tank water. A typical tank (NOT the bowl) will hold will hold over 3 gallons of water. Even the government regulated 1.6 gallon/flush toilets hold that much. To keep from stirring up the sediment in the tank by scooping the water out when needed, disconnect the fill-line from the bottom of the tank. Unless the connector nut is really tight, you should be able to use your super-human strength to loosen it. If not, use a pair of pliers. Sit a container under the outlet and collect the water. Yes, it’s potable – unless you put bowl cleaning chemical cakes in the tank. If in doubt. Don’t drink from the toilet tank. Reconnect the fill line so you can still use the toilet to flush waste with a bucket of water you scooped from the tub or other source. With a bucket/container, refill the tank with water. Now you’ve still got the convenience of flushing with the handle. The ladies will appreciate the extra effort.
    • Bath Tub. Plug your tub and fill it with water if you have an early warning of possible disasters bearing down on you. This water can be used, as mentioned above, to flush toilet, personal hygiene, and even drinking. If you have to resort to drinking from the tub, you’ll want to disinfect the water by boiling and chemical treatment. You do have an alternative method of cooking, right? Don’t want to drink from the container (tub) after all those dirty showers? Try this…
    • Water BOB. For $30.00 you can add 100 gallons of potable water to you bath tub. I haven’t tried one of these yet. I’d love to hear feedback for any who has.
    • Drain your pipes. In a two story home, open the tap on the upper floor and collect the water in the pipes from the lowest faucet in your home. On single story homes, find the lowest water spigot (usually an outside garden hose bib) and follow the same advice in the previous line.
    • Mosquito pools. Bird baths, kiddy pools, and other outside containers can be tapped in an absolute emergency. Be sure to filter, boil and disinfect water from these sources before drinking.
  • Make your own potable water. I’ve got a MSR (Mountain Survival Research) brand filter for my hiking/BOB. For the home, it’s wise to have a gravity fed filter in case electricity is lost. Yes, it takes electricity over at the city water works to pump H2O to your tap. Even if you have well water, power is need to pressurize your water lines – unless you have a manual hand pump. Then forget what I just said. Can’t afford the Royal Berkey? Buy the filters and make your own. Or try this one. Also, Prepper Helper has an article comparing common water filtration systems. You can read it here.
  • Lightweight Collapsible Container. Creek Stewart, author of Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag, has a great article on water storage containers on his site Willow Haven Outdoors.
  • Pictured below is my mobile filtration system. I keep these in my BOB (Bug Out Bag). They are lightweight, durable, and functional.

L to R: MSR water filter, G.I. issue canteen with nesting cup, MSR bladder

  • Yard Sale Containers. I picked up these two blue containers at a yard sale for $2.00. The previous owner said she used them one time on a hunting trip and threw them in the corner of her garage. They hold 7 gallons each. Lots of emergency storage solutions can be found at yard/estate sales.

Cleaned with hot soapy water then refilled with tap water

Preparedness and self-reliance, like any other skill, takes time. It’s more of a marathon than a sprint. For those waking up to our fragile world and the need to prepare for uncertain times, information overload is a real threat to your success. Your fears are only heightened by the gap between your new-found knowledge and your needed action steps. The last thing you need is fear mongering and ‘experts’ berating you for not being prepared for TEOTWAWKI. [Sarcasm on] No worries my friend, they’ll sell you an all-you’ll-ever-need-kit to get you through the zombie apocalypse [Sarcasm off]. I’m a huge fan of free-markets. Just beware of who you get your advice from. What we all needed is a healthy dose of sensible, practical, Regular Guy common sense on our journey together. Here are few of my Regular Guy & Gal resources. Check out my Blogroll & Resources tab for more.

Prepper Website

Living Freedom

Ready Nutrition

Backdoor Survival

The Survivalist Blog

Prepography

Alt-Market

The Survival Mom

Perhaps you found this helpful. Next week we’ll continue the Individual Preparedness Plan series by adding another spoke to our Preparedness Wheel: Food Storage – How hard can it be?

If you found this info helpful, I sure would appreciate y’all sharing it with family, friends, and social networks.

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

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: Frugal Preps, IPP: Individual Preparedness Plan, Potable Water, Preparedness, Self-reliance, Survival, Water | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: