4 Essential Oils to Add to Your Survival Kit

Editor’s Note: This is a guest article by Trysh Sutton of Pure Path Essential Oils. I am in the process of expanding and upgrading my SHTF medical capabilities, and this is a brief but concise article that explains the contribution essential oils make to your medical planning.

When it comes to holistic health, there is nothing more beneficial and powerful than essential oils. Adding them to your survival kit is an easy way exponentially increase its versatility, without having to include several new, bulky items.

The wide range of uses and benefits they provide will help you to truly be prepared in ways you may not have considered to be important until now.

Here are the top four essential oils that everyone needs in their survival kit.

Lavender

This oil is probably the first one you should buy for your survival kit because it is widely believed to be the most versatile essential oil, and with good reason.

Lavender is known for its host of benefits, from its antimicrobial properties to wound healing. Using lavender oil for cuts and scrapes will not only clean the wounds, but help to speed up the healing process.

Another huge benefit it provides is relieving pain. Whether it’s chronic or temporary pain, lavender can help to reduce the pain so you can move effectively without being distracted and limited by the discomfort.

Furthermore, when SHTF, there may come a moment when you or someone in your party will be under extreme stress which can cloud mental clarity and severely impact your ability to survive. Inhaling lavender oil will help to reduce stress and have you thinking much more clearly so you can make the best decisions for you and your family.

Peppermint

Peppermint oil is another essential oil that needs to be added to your survival kit to prepare you for everything that’s going to come your way.

For one, it is an incredible pick me up that is used by many athletes to boost their performance during competitions. Inhaling peppermint oil improves your breathing significantly and allows more oxygen to enter your lungs, drastically improving the performance of your muscles when you need them most. So if you’re feeling mentally or physically exhausted and need a quick boost, peppermint oil should be your go to.

Additionally, it has been shown to relieve nausea in minutes when inhaled so if you have someone prone to nausea in your party, that’s just another reason to keep a bottle in your kit.

Orange Oil

Orange essential oil has antiseptic properties that makes it an ideal cleaning solution for wounds, thereby reducing the possibility of infection.

Like lavender, it is also an excellent intervention technique for dealing with pain, confirmed in a study by Arak University. In the study, it was found that inhaling orange oil significantly reduced pain in individuals with fractured limbs.

Clove Oil

Clove essential oil is an amazing insect repellent which can be very useful when setting up camp in an area where mosquitoes and other insects are plentiful. Combine this oil with a carrier such as coconut oil or jojoba oil and apply to the exposed arm and leg areas.

FInal Word

Essential oils are compact, easy to use hacks that can help you in long list of ways when SHTF. Whether you need to clean a wound, reduce pain or boost your energy levels, adding these oils to your survival kit will allow you to make the best out of any situation that arises.

 

Reactive Skin Decontamination Lotion (RSDL)

rsdlA beginning Prepper will start out focusing on the basics: Beans/Bullets/Band Aids. And hopefully the training that goes with them. As time goes on and experience increases, he hopefully becomes more adept at identifying those threats that have the potential to cause him harm, and to start mitigating them. And expanding his equipment and supplies.

At some point you have to decide if a chemical/biological/nuclear threat scenario is something you need to concern yourself with. And that you need to equip for. Some preppers will, some wont.  I covered protective masks some time back.

Emergent BioSolutions  makes a product they call Reactive Skin Decontamination Lotion. It has been used by the United States Government as well as other agencies. They sent me one of their packets, but I have decided not to open the packet. I will rely on published data instead. The purpose of these kits is to decontaminate your hands, arms, face, neck, and inside your protective mask in the event you are contaminated with a biological warfare agent. The agents that it will effectively neutralize are:

  • Tabun
  • Sarin
  • Soman
  • Cyclohexyl Sarin
  • VX
  • HD (Mustard)
  • T2 Toxin

 

The kits come with two packets, one blue, one green. The blue one is a training packet o71eettDhP0L__SL1500_nly. The green packet is the real deal.

Steps1Steps2Steps3Steps4

The kit comes in a cardboard box with instructions.

So, do you need to invest in this product? Only you can answer that. I think that the threat of a localized terrorist biological attack is a legitimate concern. These packets are extremely light weight, small, fit easily in a shirt pocket, and by all accounts, effective. The negative side is that they are expensive at $50.00 a kit.

You can see a good You Tube video and learn more about this product here.

You can by the kits on Amazon

Survival Hax Ferro Rod Fire Starter

81ySwXPWKyL__SL1500_It is a common prepper mantra that redundancy is critical. Try not to ever rely on only one method to accomplish the critical. Fire making is a critical survival skill, and you should always have at least three methods on hand to start a fire.

A ferro rod should be in your survival kit along with other options such as lighters or matches. There are a lot of them out there. Sometimes you get them free as part of another item or set. Sometimes they are individually free-standing.  But they are everywhere in various sizes and grades of efficiency. When Survival Hax  asked if I would like to review theirs, I said sure. They import a number of reasonably priced but quality made survival item, and I have reviewed a number of their items before, all with good results. But I was wondering what could make a ferro rod fire starter worth $20.00. When the package arrived and I opened it, I found out.

This thing is BIG! The ferro rod is six inches long. In seriously cold weather, with most ferro rod fire starters you would need to take your gloves off to properly manipulate them because of their size. Not this rod. It is big enough that you should be able to manipulate it in extremely cold weather with mittens on. THAT is what makes a ferro rod fire starter worth $20.00.

In addition to the large size of the rod, it comes with an excellently designed striker, which has a serrated half-moon striking surface. It is long enough to get good leverage and create a good shower of sparks. It also functions as a bottle opener and hex wrench.

Attached to it is a small waterproof capsule with cotton tinder inside. Although a bit small, it suffices for the intended job. Especially with the amount of sparks you can generate on the large rod. Personally, I keep cotton ball impregnated with Vaseline in old medicine plastic cases for my tender.  Holding the whole set together is a large roll of 550 cord, which has a small whistle on the end.

This is an outstanding fire starter. The size allows you to use it effectively even with thick gloves on, and it is of high quality. If you are only going to have one ferro rod fire starter, this one should be it!

Available at Survival Hax or Amazon

7 Best Survival Gadgets for All Your Outdoor Needs.

This is a guest article by Anthony Maldonado

There are plenty of outdoor activities. Some want to practice outdoor sports, some enjoy just running in nature, some want to go for hunting and some would enjoy just a picnic in nature or camping under the stars. It is very healthy to spend some time in nature. That way we clear our mind from the negative thoughts and release all the negativity. Our muscles relax and our lungs fill with fresh air. With the everyday use of the technology and working all week-long, we try to reconnect with our roots and spend some time in nature in order to recharge our batteries and have plenty of energy for the tasks we have to do. Most of the people want to use the free time they have to spend some time in nature with their friends and family and have a good time. They decide for some outdoor activity and enjoy the benefits they get from spending some time in nature.

Before deciding on any outdoor you  need to prepare and take the equipment needed in order to avoid some impediments that will ruin your time in nature. In this article, we offer 7 best survival gadgets for your outdoor needs.

  • Gadget number one – Personal water filter – There is no life without water, so you need to take plenty of water with you when you spend some time outdoors. Sometimes it happens that you run out of water, so the personal water filter is a must have  gadget with you when spending some time outdoors. Our bodies need to be hydrated so that they can work properly. This tool can be found online or in many shops. It is not very expensive. With the personal water filter you can drink any water you find near you. The filter filters the water and after that the water is safe or drinking. So, when you consider some outdoor activity make sure you do not run out of water or just take the personal water filter.
  • Gadget number two – A flashlight and a battery charger – During  darkness, you will need a flashlight with you. When spending  time camping or maybe doing some other outdoor activity you should have a flashlight and some batteries for it. Rechargeable batteries  will need a battery charger in case the ones you have do not work. A solar battery charger will be perfect for charging your batteries for your outdoor needs.
  • Gadget number three – A lighter – Whether you smoke or not you definitely should have a lighter with you. It is very useful  not only for lighting your cigarettes but also for starting a fire. You may need to get warm or you can use the fire as a source of light.
  • Gadget number four – A hand warmer – When your hands are cold you are unable to perform the activities you need to do. When our hands are warm we are able to do important tasks. Hand warming devices are easy to use; they are re-usable and can be used 12 hours straight. They make your hands warm faster than using gloves.
  • Gadget number five – Sun oven – This might be a more expensive gadget, but it will definitely serve you if you want to spend some time outdoors and prepare the food in nature by yourself. This oven uses the sun lights as energy and heats up to 200 degrees Celsius. You can prepare some food using this oven and enjoy your time outdoors.
  • Gadget number six – A gun – This may not be something that will come to your mind when you want to spend some time relaxing in nature, but it is something you must have with you. There are many animals in nature, especially in the woods. Animals see people as a threat and they just want to protect themselves so you need to have a gun with you in order to defend yourself from the possible danger.
  • Gadget number seven – First aid kit – When spending some time outdoors, you must have a first aid kit with you in case of accidents, or maybe if bitten by an insect, if you cut yourself accidentally and so on. Also have some disinfectant swith you and bandages in case you got wounded. You never know what may happen. It is better to be prepared.

Author-Bio

Anthony MaldonadoAnthony Maldonado has over Thirty (30) years of experience in the field of hunting, sports and self-defense related fields. Now he keeps on doing it through teaching others about how to prepare and DIY. He is an expert in the area of DIY. He is presently working at his tenbesttipz.com

 

 

Survival Hax Roadside Emergency Kit Review

j1QtBrR_1_1024x1024Many preppers spend much time and money preparing for extreme problems such as SHTF or even TEOTWAWKI. They sometimes forget that prepping is as much involved in day-to-day survival as the extreme catastrophes. Most of us spend a considerable amount of time in our autos, but many people fail to have a proper emergency kit in them. Survival Hax makes a good basic roadside emergency kit to get you started.

When I received my example from Survival Hax, I opened it up and laid out the contents. Here is what comes in it.

  • Bungee Cords x 3812GMCxHwJL__SL1446_
  • Jumper Cables x 1
  • Cable Ties x 15
  • PVC Tape x 1
  • Flashlight x 1
  • Fire Starter Flint x 1
  • Long Candle x 1
  • Gloves with grippers x 1
  • 9 in 1 Multitool x 1
  • Tire Pressure Guage x 1
  • Reflective Safety Vest x 1
  • Light Sticks x 2
  • 8″ Crescent Wrench x 1
  • 9 Foot Tow Rope x 1
  • Reflective Warning Triangle x 1
  • Rain Poncho x 1
  • Glassbreaker / Seatbelt Cutter Tool x 1
  • Emergency Whistle x 1

It also comes with a first aid kit which I will cover shortly.

The bag it comes in has reflective tape and closes with a velcro handle. It also has room to add more items which I will cover shortly. The reflective safety vest and rain poncho are pretty basic. They will do the job, probably more than once, but were not meant for sustained use. They will help keep you safe fixing a flat on the side of the road. The warning triangle is a good item.  It gives oncoming traffic warning that they are coming up on a stalled vehicle and to drive accordingly. It is especially good if you are just around a curve, and you put it out a bit back from the curve. The glassbreaker/seatbelt cutter seems adequate for the job, but this item should be kept up in the driver compartment with you.  It will help you escape your car if your seatbelt or window are stuck. But only if you have it with you. The flashlight is a battery free squeeze generator type and would help you to deal with emergencies at night, as well as the light sticks. The 8″ crescent wrench seems to be basically functional and well made, but I haven’t actually tested it. The bungee cords and twist ties would have a number of functional uses. The jumper cables are pretty light duty but similar to what you would buy at Wall Mart. The whistle, fire starter, and emergency candle would be useful if you were stranded somewhere for a while, but you would really need a lot more in an emergency survival kit. Tire pressure gauge and whistle are self-explanatory. The roll of electrical tape would have many uses. The tow strap looks good enough to perhaps tow a mid-sized vehicle on a paved road, but it is not a heavy-duty strap

multi toolThe one item that I was particularly impressed with is the multi tool. This is a very well made item. The handle is slightly rounded, and stainless steel. The blade could use a good sharpening, but that is an easy fix. Really a good little tool. glovesFinally, the gloves are interesting with their rubber grip buds. They will do fine to keep your hands clean while changing a tire.

The First Aid Kit

First aid kitI treated this separately because I think a first aid kit for an auto is an essential item. Here is the packing list for the kit.

  • Gauze Pads x 4
  • Band-Aids x 20
  • Alcohol Prep Pad x 6
  • Tourniquet x 1
  • Antiseptic Wipes x 4
  • Scissors x 1
  • First-Aid Tape x 1
  • Metal Tweezers x 1
  • Mylar Blanket x 1
  • Elastic Bandage (small) x 1
  • Elastic Bandage (large) x 1
  • PVC Gloves x 1

As you can see from the contents, this is a pretty basic kit for minor injuries. I recommend that you upgrade it with some serious bandages such as the Israeli combat bandage. If you are on medication, you should add at least two days to a week’s  worth and rotate them out regularly. A better tourniquet would also be recommended.

As for additional items to add to the kit , I would recommend a basic tool kit.

Keep in mind that pre made kits like this have items that are meant to get you through an individual emergency, and not necessarily to hang through a year of SHTF or TEOTWAWKI.

This kit normally retails for $49.95, but If you buy this kit on Amazon here, you can get a  $25.00 discount using the promo code OFROAD50 at checkout.

Summary

I think that this is an excellent starter kit for someone who has no emergency roadside kit set up. It has a lot of the basics you would need for safety, and you can add additional items to suit your individual needs. Using the promo code this kit will only cost you $25.00 which is a lot less than buying the items individually. I think it is a good buy for the price.

 

 

How To Prepare Your Homestead or Property To Protect You During SHTF Situations

mummonmokkiSurvival is a job that modern civilization makes very easy. Do you have plans to keep on doing it when the support structure you rely on falls away? Survivalists call this the “Sh#t Hits The Fan” or SHTF scenario. It means making your household safe and self-supporting for an indefinite amount of time. Here are some important general strategies for getting your property or homestead ready for such a situation.

Always Have A Bug-Out Plan

To start with, you need to consider a fundamental question of survival strategy: Hunker down or bug out? Do you stand firm on your existing property and make it self-sufficient and secure, or do you flee to a less dangerous place? There is plenty of helpful advice for pursuing both strategies and a healthy SHTF plan may well combine the two – bugging out of your day-to-day home to settle on a prepared rural property, for example.

Bugging out Regardless of what you plan for, put emergency plans and supplies in place to make retreating an option at any time. Bug-out bags aren’t just for escaping a city that’s become too dangerous to live in. You should have one prepared at all times so that you can get mobile without placing yourself in any more danger than is absolutely necessary. Plan redundant lines of retreat. The further down the list you get, the less preparation and research you’re going to be able to do, but that’s alright. Even a plan as simple as, “grab this backpack and head north” is preferable to being stuck in a dangerous place without options.

Balance Convenience Against Visibility

 Most survivalists who are seriously considering SHTF scenarios aren’t thinking about short-term interruptions of emergency services and the rule of law. They’re planning for an indefinite time frame where every instance of human contact is likely to be a risk. This is why you need to consider how visible your occupation of your survival property is going to be. Taking steps to conceal your presence can save you a lot of trouble.

In rural survival scenarios, for instance, being close to a reliable source of water is a huge convenience. It makes gardening, cooking and cleaning much easier for you. It also makes your property much more??????????????????????????????? attractive and tempting to outsiders. Strike a balance between concealment and convenience when you pick out your property and start making survival plans.

 Practice Vital Skills In Advance

 Keeping yourself and your loved ones safe in an SHTF scenario requires good timing and fast, efficient work. These qualities are tough to achieve if all of your survival skills are based on something your read months or years ago and then forgot. Organize your day-to-day activities so that your ordinary mode of life gives you opportunities to practice survival skills.

Start a garden in your backyard or join a community garden if you live in an urban area to keep your 110701_BURKARD_50075thumbs green. Get out into the wilderness regularly to camp and be sure to camp a little rougher thanbill_stagg_turning_up_his_beans_pie_town_new_mexico__he_will_next_pile_them_for_curing_loc pulling your RV up to a campground with plumbing and wi-fi. If your SHTF plans include defending yourself with lethal force and they probably should, make sure you put in plenty of practice hours at your local gun range. All the plans in the world won’t Front Sight 5help you if you don’t have the skills to execute them.

 Detailed planning for an SHTF scenario is going to depend heavily on the type of property you have to work with, the skills your household brings to the table, and even the general climate conditions in your region. Regardless of the details, you should not lose sight of these basic principles. They will serve you in good stead in virtually any survival situation.

About the author

William Sheridan is a successful businessman and operates the site, Best Home Security which provides answers and solutions for all your home security needs. Visit today to discover on-topic and useful information that can help keep your family safe.

This Election As A SHTF Scenario

6080137063_71b986b12f_bIf your reading this blog, odds are, you are already aware of how serious this election in November is. Those of you who have been in the prepping community for some time are already taking prudent steps. I believe that the future of this nation is grim, regardless of who gets elected. I do not think Trump will really be able to slow the locomotive down that is rapidly taking us to the brink. It has been too bad for too long but at least with him, one can hope. And if Killary is elected, she will push the throttle to the wall. This nation is more seriously divided now than we have been since the Civil War. And emotions of the serious people on both sides are just as high. The vast majority of the Sheeple really haven’t a clue, although I do sense that a lot of people are starting to wake up.

If Trump wins, the radical left is not going to just lay down and disappear. You can expect to see serious increases in violence from BLM and other radical groups. You canCivil unrest expect to see an increase in radical Muslim terrorist activity. If Killary wins, do not expect the majority of the Republican gutless cowards to try to prevent her from shredding the last vestiges of the Constitution, even if they retain control of the House and Senate. They couldn’t even control Obama. But there are a number of armed Patriots who are just going to say NO! And that could get serious quickly. 2017 is going to be a seriously dangerous year, no matter who wins. And those of you who care enough to survive, are going to have to make some serious decisions based on your individual situation.

But what if you are a guy or gal new to prepping or are just waking up? January isn’t that far off.  So how do you achieve some semblance of preparedness in time?

Educate Yourself Now!

There are a lot of good prepping blogs on the net and a lot of armchair expert idiots. You have to do your own sorting. I have a series of articles that will help you get started if you are just beginning.

_WAAC_-_SILENCE_MEANS_SECURITY__-_NARA_-_515987_tifYou especially need to pay attention to your OPSEC. And learn to be the Grey ManInvisible

Regardless of what stage you are in your preps, the election may cause you to change your plan, especially in regards to equipment and supplies and your schedule of accumulation. I am specifically talking about firearms and ammunition. If Killary wins, there is going to be a mass rush of people buying all of the weapons and ammo they can get with the accompanying shortages as we have seen before. But much worse. m&P 2She is going to use the executive order to control the availability of firearms and ammunition.  She will use BATF to rule and regulate firearms dealers out of business at any cost. Expect to see the mail order sale of ammunition prohibited at the federal level.

If you feel that you have a good basic battery of defensive weapons, Hornady critical_defenseI think you should seriously consider moving ammunition up to the top of your budget bucket list while it is still available. This is just my suggestion and each person and family will have to set their own priorities. Freeze dried food and camping equipment are probably not going to be regulated, at least not any time soon.  But I honestly feel that ammunition is subject to become a scarce commodity after the first of the year, either by runs on stores by concerned citizens, or dictatorial edict by Queen Killary. Just my opinion. As always, do your research, think, and form your own opinion.

CrusaderThen survive whatever comes!

 

Smith And Wesson M & P15 Sport II

m&P 2Most of my readers know that I tend to favor the AK system over the AR system for a number of reasons. I describe them here. But for a while I have decided to add an AR platform rifle to my battery. First, in about nine months I plan on increasing my small arms classes for those who carry an AR as their primary rifle. Secondly, with the election coming up and the possibility of Killary being elected, I decided now was the time to get an AR .

As I advise my readers. I did my research. When looking for a firearm for serious social work, quality has to be your first consideration. Then price. There are a lot of high quality AR system rifles on the market. And many of them have prices that reflect it. But after careful consideration of quality, features and price, I settled on the Smith and Wesson M&P-15-II . MSRP is $739.00 from Smith and I was able to get mine for $690.00. If you shop around, you can often find them in this range. I consider it a good bargain.

Right out of the box I was impressed with fit and finish. There is very little play between the upper and lower receivers. The bolt parts are tight and well finished. This is the Second Gen version that has the standard spring-loaded ejection port cover and the forward assist. Except for barrel length and only semi-auto, this rifle is basically the military M-4. However, the trigger guard is one piece and not the military style that folds down for arctic gloves.

MP-15-II

Basic Technical Stats

  • Caliber: 5.56 mm NATO (which means the chamber will also seat .223 Remington)
  • Action: Gas Operated Semi Auto
  • Capacity: 30+1 Rounds
  • Barrel Length: 16” (40.64 cm)
  • Front Sight: Adj. A2 Post
  • Rear Sight: Folding Magpul® MBUS®
  • Overall Length: 35.0” (88.90 cm) Extended, 32.0” (81.28 cm) Collapsed
  • Grip: Polymer
  • Weight: 6.45 lbs. (2,925.7 g)
  • Barrel Material: 4140 Steel
  • Upper Material: 7075 T6
  • Lower Material: Aluminum
  • Finish: Matte Black
  • Forged, Integral Trigger Guard
  • Armornite® Finish (Durable Corrosion Resistant Finish)
  • Chromed Firing Pin.
  • Rifling: 1/9, 6 groove
  • Picatinny rail forward of the rear sight for mounting accessories.

Magazines, Sights and Sling

GetImageThe rifle comes with one Magpul Gen 2 P-mag. I ordered four more from Gabe Suarez’s One Source Tactical. This magazine is a highly tested and reliable mag used by military units around the world. There is now a Gen 3 version but I have not tested it.

The front sight is the standard A-2 sight with square post, and even has the bayonet lug at the bottom. Since federal regs require a rifle barrel be at least 16″ the barrel is too long to effectively attach a bayonet. The rear sight isGetImage3 a folding Magpul® MBUS®. This is a spring-loaded flip-up sight with two apertures. The smaller aperture is for fine shooting and the larger is for CQB applications. The rear sight is windage adjustable only as elevation adjustments are done on the front sight. ( Please note that the sights that came with my rifle are black and not green as pictured. These photos are from the Magpul site and the sight comes in various colors)

WINDAGE ADJUSTMENT3

  • ~0.7 MOA (0.754″/100m) per click with a 14.5″ sight radius
  • ~0.5 MOA (0.547″/100m) per click with a 20″ sight radius

I decided to fit the rifle with a simple military black strap sling. I have never liked tactical slings. Tried a number of them in Afghanistan and always went back to a simple strap sling. To each his own.

Range and Zeroing

I took the rifle to Joe Foss Range in Buckeye Arizona where I do most of my training classes. The M&P15-II comes with a 1:9 twist barrel. This is a good compromise to allow for the stabilization of both the M-193 55gr. bullet and the M-885 62gr. bullet. I decided to zero the rife with the M-193 round to begin with. I was using Federal M-193 military production from the Lake City Arsenal. The cases had LC 2013 and the NATO stamp on the cartridge base. I set up a military zero target at 25yds and began zeroing from the bench. I started out with sights as they came from the factory. AllIMG_0321 zero groups were three shot groups using the small sight aperture . The first group was way low right. I made a sight adjust ment and was then a bit high left. I then went to the second target (pictured) first group slightly right, and the second in the center. After getting a 25yd zero, I then moved the target out to 50yds and did three shot  drills on a silhouette target. The rifle grouped nicely in the center chest area.  I then moved it out to 100yds and did three shot timed fire drills from the bench. The group was nice and tight in the throat area. I brought the front sight down a bit so I was hitting a bit high in the chest area. I wanted a good 100yd zero, as this is the maximum range I would probably use this rifle at most of the time. I then moved the target back to 50yds and did Mozambique drills ( two to the chest, one to the head) from the standing ready position using the larger CQB aperture for the remainder of the ammunition. All chest shots were centered and all head shots were also, with no flyers. This is one accurate little rifle! I fired a total of 120 rounds out of four brand new magazines with no malfunctions. My next range foray I will try it with M-885 ball and see what zero and accuracy changes might ensue.

Summation

This is an accurate, reliable, well made and reasonably priced AR rifle. I am really impressed with it. I plan on working out with it a lot more and if accuracy and reliability remain constant, it may just end up being my primary go to rifle. If you are looking to get an AR before the election, the S&W M&P Sport II would be a good choice.

The Zika Virus. What It Means To You

Anopheles_stephensiMosquito borne diseases have been the bane of mankind from the beginning.  Malaria, for example, is an ancient disease that probably originated in Africa. It has been described by the Chinese as far back as 2700BC and the Sumerians from 1700 BC

Mosquitos can carry, and transmit to humans, diseases such as : malaria, dengue, filariasis, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, Saint Louis encephalitis, Western equine encephalitis, Eastern equine encephalitis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis[.     

Zika

Zika is a relatively new mosquito borne virus that we really don’t know a lot about. What we do know isn’t good. Zika virus is carried by the Aedes mosquito, It seems to have started in equatorial Africa and is now running rampant in South America. There are also now cases reported in the United States. It is especially harmful to pregnant women, and can cause serious birth defects in the unborn called microcephaly. The child can be born with an abnormally small head diminishing mental capacity, and in some cases it can be fatal. For adults, the resulting illness only lasts a few days. The symptoms, including a rash, joint pains, inflammation of the eyes and fever, Basically, serious flu like symptoms. However, it is important to note that evidently a large percentage of infected people seem to show no signs of having the virus. It has been reported that Zika can possibly  be sexually transmitted. It can rapidly spread when a mosquito bites an infected person, and then transmits it to another, uninfected, person.

Prevention and Treatment_Are_you_a_mosquito_breeder__-_NARA_-_513877

There is no vaccine to prevent or cure Zika. However, prevention techniques are the same as for any other mosquito borne disease. Avoid traveling to those areas where a large number of infections have been reported. The Center for Disease Control has a list of travel warnings on their website. If you have to travel to these areas, try to avoid areas with a lot of mosquitos, wear Sawyer 51sMNFe6SiLlong pants and long sleeved shirts, and use EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or IR3535.. Consider using mosquito nets when sleeping, and even wearing insect repellent clothing.91ureNoVsPL__SL1500_

Right now there is serious ongoing investigation into the Zika virus. It is important to stay up to date on the findings. There is a lot that we do not know about this virus yet.

 

Oral Hygiene When SHTF

Toothbrush-20060209Sometimes when prepping, it is the little things we forget to prepare for. And often, it is things we do daily, like brushing our teeth. Not as glamorous a subject as the fastest way to reload an AK, how to build a fire in the rain, or how to find water in the desert. But it is a subject, that if ignored, can put you down seriously. And possibly permanently.

Death from tooth abscess was a fairly common occurrence up until the 20th century, even though  methods of tooth cleaning were practiced for thousands of years.  Just like you need to prep for all forms of hygiene, you need to seriously consider oral hygiene preps. And in SHTF, you need to clean your teeth as often as possible.

Tooth Brushes

Toothbrush_x3_20050716_001Store a good quantity of spare tooth brushes. You should change your brush when the bristles start flaring out. Don’t throw them away though, they make good additions to your weapons cleaning kit.  There are some natural alternative to factory tooth brushes. For centuries people have used “chew sticks” to clean their teeth. This is simply a small twig flared on the end to simulate a tooth-brush. Find a twig about the thickness of a pencil and chew on the end until the fibers separate. Not all woods are suitable. Some that work well are Willow, Ash, Chestnut, Peach, Hazel, Apple,  and Birch.

Tooth Paste and Substitutes71Z69w3M5bL__SL1500_

Factory tooth paste is good to stock up on. Estimate a tube a month per person. There are a number of alternatives that are just as good though. Brushing with even plain 81P54GuNR1L__SL1500_water can help. 81qUyZl7G4L__SL1500_Baking soda and salt are also good substitutes. If you are planning on bugging in for extended periods, you will want to stock up on these two items anyway. You can make an effective tooth paste by combining the two.  Mix one part salt to two parts baking soda after pulverizing the salt into powder. It will remove plaque and help keep your gums healthy.

Flossing

Flossing is actually more important than tooth paste. Your tooth-brush can only reach about 2/3 of the teeth surfaces. If you run out of floss, thread from your sewing kit can be used. Flossing is an essential part of oral hygiene, especially in the field.

Rinses

31MDnnk+8xLEven just rinsing your mouth with water by forcing it between the teeth will help. An excellent mouth rinses is 3% Hydrogen Peroxide, mixed with an equal amount of water. Rinse your mouth with while forcing it through the spaces of the teeth for about 15-30 seconds before brushing. This will kill a lot of the bacteria that causes oral health issues.

 

Dental First Aid

Many preppers will go to considerable lengths to stock first aid supplies, manuals, and take first aid training courses to be prepared for SHTF scenarios. But even under ideal conditions, with a dentist available, many people will have dental issues. In a SHTF situation, without the availability of a trained dentist, this situation becomes serious.61emvBmNwYL__SX337_BO1,204,203,200_ An abcessed tooth can end up killing you as dead as a looter’s bullet. Learning to apply dental first aid is a critical skill all preppers should consider. Where There Is No Dentist is an excellent book that covers a broad spectrum on oral health, and dealing with many of the oral health problems you would find in a SHTF situation, and how to handle dental first aid in a primitive setting.  It is a first aid manual for your teeth. It should be in every prepper’s library.

 

 

My Top 10 Favorite Prepper Blogs For 2015

Picture1There are a LOT of prepper oriented blogs on the internet. A LOT! You could spend a whole day (or more) trying to do just a brief visit of many of them. As a prepper blogger myself, I spend a bit of time reviewing other blogs for some essential reasons. Partly for my own education and entertainment, and partly to see what trends preppers seem to be interested in. I then try to fill gaps with my own articles. Some sites, like my own, publish original content with the occasional guest article. Other sites re post good article and serve as sort of a “Readers Digest” for the prepper community.

The following 10 sites are simply my favorites currently. They may or may not be listed on anyone’s “Best” prepper lists, but they are the ones that I enjoyed the most this last year, and had the most influence on both my writing and personal prepping direction. Check them out. They are listed in no special order.

Thoughtfuly Prepping

This is a U.K. based site that has some really interesting content. The owner is former Brit military, and has some very interesting points of view that are often not in line with “mainstream” preppers. Much of his content revolves around U.K. politics, but he also has a large archive of practical prepping articles. “Thoughtfully” will often cause you to stop and re-evaluate pre conceived ideas you may have. Many Americans forget that there are other defenders of Western Civilization that see the issues through different eyes. Worth reading and  worth subscribing to.

Graywolf Survival

When I came home from six years of security contracting overseas and settled in Arizona, I began re doing my preps based on the desert location I was in. This was the first blog I began actively reading because the content is written by a combat vet with much of the same experience I have, and he also resides in Arizona. His articles tend to be longer than the average “puff” prepper reads and he focuses on practical, useful information. And he does it in detail. His articles are well researched and well written and you actually get knowledge from what you read. Worth subscribing to.

Handy Granny in da Woods

Granny is a relatively new site and has a lot of good articles from the homesteading natural living point of view. She will tell you a lot of things your granny would have told you were she still around and she links to a lot of very readable articles on other sites. She wrote a good book on surviving Grid Down.

Backyard Preppers US

This site has a large amount of archived material that runs the entire gamut of prepping. Like Graywolf, their articles tend to be a bit longer and more informative that your average prepper “Puff” posts. Great for research on subjects that interest you.

The Defensive Training Group

These folks post a large amount of tactical oriented material. Their articles are well written and illustrated. Large amounts of tactical training tips and equipment reviews. I use them often for research and general knowledge. They also provide online training courses, but since I have not taken any, cannot comment of them.

Backdoor Survival

This blog has been around for some time and is currently number 2 on the Prepper Website Top Prepper List. ( I think I am somewhere around 37). Great archive of articles and I use it some for research.

US Crow

This is a seriously patriotic blog that tends towards a lot of tactical information. They have an extensive archive of articles of use to preppers. They also advertise an “elite” membership but I havn’t indulged. Their free content is very useful.

Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine

Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy are a husband/wife doctor/nurse team that has one outstanding blog that deals primarily with medical issue related to survival. They have a TREMENDOUS archive of survival medicine oriented article and I highly recommend you spend some of your prepping studies on their site!

SHTF Prepper

This is a relatively newer site that posts not only his own written material but re posts really good articles from other sites.  (He has re posted a number of mine).

Prepper Website

And finally, the grandaddy of them all. Prepper Website is a daily reader’s digest of current prepper articles. He reviews articles on a daily basis and posts links to those he thinks the prepper community will benefit some. If your article makes it to his daily page, your hits explode! This is a great place to start and he also has a tremendous archive by subject. A great place to prepper research. He also hosts the Prepper Website Top Prepper Sites list where the prepper community can vote for their favorite prepper blog once daily. I am now #37 out of 167 listed sites.

So, those were the top 10 sites I spent my time on in 2015. I am sure the list will change a bit in this coming year, but I can highly recommend all ten of the above.

 

 

 

10 Items To Stockpile For A Disaster

This is a guest article by Barbara Allen (Nom de plume)

TornadoNature is known for not giving a rat’s about humanity and what we do in relation to politics and war. If you’re someone who isn’t afraid of a future economic collapse (and therefore refuse to buy gold to prepare for it) or afraid of the amount of war going on in the world right now, that is completely fine.

There is something you do have to be very afraid of, and that is a natural disaster. This is the one thing that humanity has no defense against. When nature decides that it has had enough of a particular part of the world, the scale of the disasters that occur is so terrible and huge that it will leave your jaw on the floor.

Indeed, the aftermath of a disaster is almost as bad as the pain that is inflicted during it. For example, when a hurricane hits a city, it can easily be blocked off by stormy weather conditions and debris. This can lead to the hundreds of thousands of people in the city being trapped without food, water, emergency services and a way out.

Be prepared for anything

However, you won’t have to suffer as much if you are stranded after a disaster has happened, as long as you prepare yourself, your home and your family for the eventuality. While mankind can’t defend against the disasters, we do have early warning systems in place to warn people long before the event actually occurs. If you are prepared even before this system warns you, you are immediately going to have the tactical advantage in the field right after the disaster takes place.

For example, if the disaster that is coming in is a storm with a chance of floods, the early warning system would allow you to move all of the items you have stored for a disaster to higher ground. This will prevent your food and water as well as your medicines from being washed away. When a warning does come through, drop what you are doing immediately. If you have an evacuation plan, take it. Leave your material possessions behind – nothing is more important than your life.

10 essentials for survival

If you plan on riding the storm out in your home or a safe location, there are some items that you need to keep in storage for this situation. When it comes to it, you are definitely going to need these in order to get the best chances of survival and possible comfort.

1 – Water

Water brickStore enough water for every person to have a gallon a day. Get a water filter as well. This should be one that is portable so as to take it up to the roof if you need to. It will serve you well if flooding causes the government supply of drinking water to become polluted. If you live near the CDC, it would be best not to touch the flood water unless your need is dire. Just saying.

2 – Non-perishable foodMRE_20071124

Canned food is a good example of this. Any food items that can be kept for years without an expiry date fall into this category too. You need to make sure that you have the right items to help you get through the experience in one piece. Make sure that you also stock a can opener or two in there. The last thing you want is to be surrounded by cans of food without a way to open them up.

These are the two most important things to have. In addition to this, have a supply of:

Mini%20Mag%20Lights3 – Flashlights and extra batteries

4 – Candles, lighters and matches

5 – Clothes and blankets

6 – Cooker (stove)esbit 1_

7 – Source of heat (kerosene heaters are good)

8 – Alcohol and cigarettes

9 – First aid kitIFAK

10 – Basic tools

These are just 10 of the hundreds of items you can have to survive and barter with in a disaster situation.

Ground Insulation When Sleeping Outdoors

Therma rest z lite_I recently did an article on selecting sleeping systems for SHTF. Having a quality sleeping bag is a necessity in most climates, but it is only part of the story. Insulating yourself from frozen ground, ground moisture and wind are also critically important.

Without trying to get into the science of thermodynamics, suffice to say that if you lay your warm body on the cold ground, the ground will win the contest. It is a mass that you will never reach equilibrium with, so it will pull heat energy from your body until you are the same temperature as it is. So you need insulation between you and the ground. Since the insulation in your sleeping bag will be compressed underneath you reducing it’s effectiveness, the sleeping pad is an essential piece of gear in your sleep system.

The R Value

Insulation is measured according to its capacity to resist heat flow. That is called an R value. The R-values are provided by the manufacturers and range from 1.0 (minimally insulated) to 9.5 (well insulated). Thicker pads generally offer higher R-values but are heavier.

Types of Sleeping Pads

Inflatable Air Mattress: Although they provide a lot of comfort compared to sleepingair mattress_ on the hard ground, I feel they have some drawbacks for SHTF survival. For one thing, with hard usage they will leak. I don’t care how well made they are. I used them in the Army (fondly refered to as the Rubber Lady), and without air, they are useless for insulation. If you are bugging out by vehicle, they may have some merit as you can easily inflate them from your vehicle accessory plug using an electric pump. But you really need to have a pad that you can carry with your sleeping bag in your bug out bag for bugging out on foot.

Therma rest z lite_Closed Foam: These are basic pads and are usually lightweight with good insulating qualities. Therma Rest is a company that make an excellent line of sleeping pads. The Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Mattress is a good example. The foam construction is soft on top and dense on bottom. It has an R value of 2.2, weighs 10oz.

Self Inflating: These are foam mattressestrail pro_ that will self inflate to some degree. They offer a combination of additional comfort as well as good insulation: The Therm-a-Rest Trail Pro Mattress is an example. It has an R value of 4.0. It weighs in at 2.7 pounds.

These are just a few examples of the types of sleeping pads you should consider for your survival sleeping system. The idea is to get insulation between you and the ground to retain body warmth in a package that you can travel with.

As always, decide what you need, do your research, and buy the best quality you can afford.

 

 

Body Armor. Should You Include It In Your Preps?

untitledI get this question sometimes from students in my classes, and by e-mail from people who read this blog. So, as an average prepper (if there is such a thing) should you spend the money and effort to get body armor, and if so, what kind? For those who have not been trained in body armor use, there are a lot of misconceptions about this subject.

First of all, there is no such thing as a “bullet proof vest”. Body armor is categorized according to the level of protection that is based on the type of ammunition they will protect against. I read a lot from armchair generals who insist that you must have the highest level of body armor protection available, I.E. will stop 5.56mm and 7.62mm. armor-piercing or why waste the time. Evidently none of these heroes have ever worn this type of armor anywhere other than the dressing room of their local police supply shop. I have. I am not going to go into the large variety of body armor available. I want to discuss concepts so you can understand what you may or may not need/want.

Up to level IIIA, body armor is generally made of woven Kevlar panels. Higher levels will consist of insertable plates made of steel or ceramic.

First lets look at how body armor is rated according to levels of protection, according to the National Institute of Justice rating scheme.Craig_Ballistic_Plate

Level IIA: Will protect against most handguns (not 44 magnums and larger). It is the thinnest and lightest armor.

Level IIIA will stop all handgun rounds, even if fired out of sub machine guns .Will stop shotguns with buckshot.

Level III is when you start the ability to stop rifle bullets and are traditionally hard body armor. Level III armor will stop military 5.56, 7.62 , and 308 . Basically Level III will stop most rifle rounds that are not armor piercing.

Level IV armor will stop armor-piercing bullets.

For more detailed information, check out the National Institute of Justice website. You can download a pdf document that will tell you more about body armor than you probably want to know.

Keep in mind, when we are talking protection, we are talking penetration. Bullets will not bounce off of your armor like you were Superman. Getting a solid torso hit with a high-caliber round, even when wearing a vest rated to stop it, is going to hurt. A lot. And may cause internal damage.

So, should you consider body armor in your preps? What threats are you expecting? Are you anticipating a sustained shoot out with heavily armed opponents? Does your prep plan include the weight of this type of armor ?

While contracting in Afghanistan , the Department of State issued us level IIIA vestsanother%20day%20at%20the%20office and Level IV plate inserts. Protection up to 7.62mm armor piercing. I wore my own IIIA vest and had a local taylor reinforce the bottom seams of the carrier so I could insert the hard plates. The whole set weighed at least 25lbs. Trust me, with all of the other gear I was also carrying, I was sweating like a harlot at a Baptist convention. This level of armor is heavy. Do you really need that? And are you prepared for the limitations of speed of movement it carries? Have you thought about the amount of attention that this level of body armor would bring you? Body armor is like most things in your kit. If you don’t have it with you when you need it, you wasted your time.

If you are planning on staying in a fixed, fortified bug out location, then heavy armor might be useful if you wanted to spend the money on it. But for most preppers, this level of protection is neither needed nor feasible. A more practical approach might be a IIA or IIIA panel set that you could wear under your clothes to be inconspicuous or outside your clothing if you were not worried about people noticing.

If you decide that body armor should be part of your preps, then do your research and buy wisely.

What Skills Can You Barter in SHTF or TEOTWAWKI?

Preppers often think in terms of extra supplies or equipment to survive an extended SHTF situation or even TEOTWAWKI. But at some point, those supplies will run out. And even if you chose the Lone Wolf prepper mode, at some point you are going to have to interact with other people. Very few preppers have the skills and lifelong experience to totally live off the land.

At some point, groups of people will band together. Some will have prior to the event, some after. For long-term sustainability, you better have some skill(s)  that you are good at to barter with. And I don’t think stock brokerage would be a useful one. Once the initial chaos settles down, those who survive will need to be useful.  So lets look at some of the skills or experience that would be useful to others that you might trade for what you need. I will group these into broad categories.

Operation in Nahr-e SarajThe Protector: If you have serious military, police, or security experience, you might be valuable to people who need to be organized to protect themselves. Leadership experience in any of these would be a plus. Can you organize a bunch of former shopkeepers, Wallmart workers, factory workers, stock brokers,  etc. into an effective defense force? Can you teach these subjects as well as lead? Are you familiar with any martial arts? Can you teach weaponcraft?

The Healer: Doctor, Dentist, Nurse, or EMT. If you have any serious training or skills inThe_Doctor_Luke_Fildes_crop the medical professions, you are going to be extremely valuable. Start working now on learning natural healing herbs and ways to provide medical help without the luxury of a staffed emergency room. Stocking up on meds and equipment would be a good idea. You may want to enhance your skills to include veterinary capability.

lossy-page1-800px-NRCSCT07047_-_Connecticut_(716026)(NRCS_Photo_Gallery)_tifThe Farmer: Do you know how to grow food crops? Evaluate soil? Tend food-producing farm animals such as chickens, goats, pigs or cows? You could be the food producer. Can you keep bees? Know how to dig a well?

The Fixer: Having mechanical training in order to repair usable items will be essential.Kovář_při_práci_(Velikonoční_trhy_na_Václavském_náměstí)_055 Are you a car mechanic, a blacksmith, a gunsmith, a plumber?  Can you repair small appliances and small engines? Electronic repair (yes, some electronics will still work and people will figure out how to harness water power for electricity again).

The Builder: Are you a carpenter, or contractor? Do you have experience in architecture? or construction? Can you pour cement properly? Build a wood building? And have you stocked the non power tools that will still work to do it all?

The Householder: Can you make clothes, repair clothes or make soap? Can you spin wool into yarn to make clothes? Are you familiar with canning, dehydrating, sealing, smoking, and storing food? Can you tan and work leather?

The Scrounger: This is a unique individual. Every military unit tries to have one of these. This individual has a viable imagination combined with intense curiosity. His value? The scrounger can look at a pile of scrap metal and see 14 usable tools where everyone else only sees scrap metal. He has an instinctive feeling for where things may have been hidden or stored.Junk99

The above is just an overview sample of skill sets that would be valuable in an extended SHTF or even TEOTWAWKI situation. I’m sure you can think of a lot more. The point here is that if you survive the initial chaos and live to see people coming together again, you had better have some useful skills to contribute to the group, or to barter with. Because there isn’t going to be any “public assistance”.

Peanut Butter For Prepping

Jiff_It’s the food you slap between two pieces of bread and with a little jelly, and feed a hungry kid. (or a hungry you). It’s the midnight munchie sandwich, along with a glass of milk that allows you to go back and get a good night’s sleep. It’s also a valuable addition to your survival stores. It’s peanut butter.

Peanut butter was known to the Aztecs and Incas. It was patented in 1884 by Canadian Marcelllus Edison. So why is peanut butter a good selection for your prepper stores or bug out bag? Because it packs a lot of nutrition in a small package, and space is at a premium when stocking or carrying food.

Protein: A 2-tablespoon serving of peanut butter contains 7 grams of protein. protein is essential to build and repair muscle tissue. Potassium: 2 tablespoons of peanut butter boosts your potassium intake by 238 milligrams. Potassium counters excess sodium in your system and helps your heart function better. One serving of peanut butter has 3 mg of the powerful antioxidant vitamin E, 49 mg of bone-building magnesium, 208 mg of muscle-friendly potassium, and 0.17 mg of immunity-boosting vitamin B6. Peanut butter is also a good source of dietary fiber. One 40oz jar of peanut butter has over 6,000 calories. Peanut butter has been a staple of military field rations since at least the Second World War.

Shelf life: Various sources cite various time lines, but an unopened jar of peanut butter can be expected to last 6-9 months. Some sources will claim at least one year beyond the “use by” day on the label.

Allergy Issues: It is estimated that between 4 and 6% of the population is allergic to peanuts. Make sure you know if anyone in your family or survival group has the allergy.

Why Christmas Matters. ( And Should Matter To Even Non-Christians)

CrusaderDecember 25th is the day that Christians world-wide celebrate the traditional birth of Jesus Christ. The religious meaning to Christians is deeply felt. But Christmas, as well as Christians, are under relentless attack, both in Western Europe, and the United States. It parallels a similar rise in anti-Semitism that is also growing in both places. But Christmas is a symbol of something else, something of vital importance to all people, whether Christian or not. It symbolizes the Judeo-Christian value system that built Western civilization. And the United States in particular. And the concepts of liberty and freedom it was founded on.

Contrary to populist leftist propaganda, the Founding Fathers of the United States were mostly practicing Christians and Jews. The flames of freedom were fanned from pulpits in Churches and Synagogues during the American Revolution. And even though the Founders approached their belief system from differing points of view, theDeclaration_independence underlying principles of the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of The United States were based on Judeo-Christian values. These two documents established the freedoms enjoyed by all Americans and have been a beacon to freedom movements around the world, even freedom movements of Non-Christians.

The Judeo-Christian value system is predicated on the concept that every human being is a reflection of his or her creator, and has certain inalienable rights. These are rights given by God, not by the government. And as such, the one and only responsibility of government is to protect those rights.

This value system brought Europe out of the Dark Ages. It allowed for the founding of the United States of America, a beacon of freedom to the entire world. It is the value system that allows tiny Israel to be an island of freedom and democracy in a sea of Muslim hatred and violence.

The Battle of Long IslandBut this value system is under relentless attack, both by Muslim extremists on the outside, and the leftist populist atheists and agnostics on the inside. Numerous politicians and judges actively attack any symbol of Christianity. Prayer has been removed from schools, Christian monuments are being removed from public places, nativity scenes are being removed from public parks, athletes and coaches are being harassed and even fired for expressing their religious beliefs in public. All in the name of “Seperation of Church and state”. Nowhere in any of our founding documents is the term “Seperation of Church and state” to be found. Nowhere. This is a concept used by the left to pervert the meaning and intent of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution which simply prohibits the government from establishing an official “government” religion, and at the same time allowing for the free expression of religious beliefs.  As a matter of fact, nowhere in the Constitution does it give the Federal judiciary the right to make laws from the bench, or to even declare laws unconstitutional. It simply isn’t there.

The Judeo-Christian value system was the framework that made it possible for theGerard_van_Honthorst_001 Founding Fathers of the United States to form a bastion of freedoms and liberties for all people. believers and non-believers alike. Freedoms that even allow the leftist one worlders to attempt to destroy the very hand that has fed them.

It is the value system that motivated people from around the world to repel the barbaric invasions of nazis, communists, tyrants in various forms, and  Muslim invasions of Europe. It is the value system that will eventually triumph over the current one.

There are too many people in the Western world who claim to be Christians, when in fact, if they were charged with it, there would not be enough evidence to convict them. Too many ‘Pastors” who are more worried about their IRS status, that speaking the truth.

Christmas matters. Because, in effect, it also celebrates the foundation of a set of principles, the Judeo-Christian value system, that allowed the codification of  liberties and freedoms  unprecedented in the history of mankind. Freedoms and liberties that too many people are willing to destroy, along with Christmas.

So, to anyone reading this, believer or non-believer, I wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Survival Uses For Honey

Runny_hunnyHoney is one of the most amazing foods you can acquire. And it has a large number of uses in a survival situation. Cave paintings in Spain indicated that humans were harvesting honey as long as 8,000 years ago. Honey is made by honey bees from flowers. There are a lot of different varieties and flavors, but it is the survival benefits we care about here.

So why do you want to consider honey in stocking your survival food, or when foraging in the wild?

Honey is both an antibiotic and an antibacterial.  The ancient Egyptians wrote of using it to treat wounds. When applied to a minor wound, it cleans and protects the wound and promotes congealing of blood. When diluted in your body fluids, it releases hydrogen peroxide, a formidable antibiotic.  When applied on an open wound, the glucose, contained by honey, is diluted and gradually releases hydrogen peroxide. It also helps to prevent bandages from sticking to wounds. Honey when mixed with vinegar can help expel parasites from the body.honey

Honey will actually store for almost ever. If it starts to crystallize, place the jar in a pot of hot water and stir it. Archeologists have found sealed jars of honey in Egyptian tombs that were still fit for human consumption.

Some additional benefits of honey in a survival situation. It is high in B vitamins along with vitamin C. honey is also a good source of magnesium, calcium, copper, iron, sulfur and zinc. Honey will boost your energy level., and boost your immune system. It is good to soothe sore throats and is a natural cough medicine.

Having a stock of honey in your stores or a small jar in your bug out bag could be very beneficial.

 

 

Solar Options For Bugging Out Part 1. Man Portable

suntactic 2Everyone should think deeply on their options in a SHTF situation.  Even if your primary plan is to stay put and bug in, you still should have a bug out plan. A place to go, a route to it, bug out bags pre packed, and a concept on how you will operate while on the go. And a way to power small electronic devices you may be taking.

Anyone who reads my articles knows that I seriously urge folks to have basic skills before relying totally on technology. Use a GPS to navigate? Great, so do I. But you had better know how to use a map and compass in case your GPS fails. And a way to navigate without a compass in case it breaks or gets lost. I do. Alternative power options for your home when you are facing a SHTF situation, especially grid down, are numerous. Backup generators and large solar panels are just two.

6b605359-2819-4526-8a33-9828dce87940__CB325028736_But what about if you are on the move? Either by vehicle or foot? Most of the devices you may be using will be battery-powered either by its own internal battery, or by AAA/AA or D cell batteries. These items would include a cell phone, various sizes of flashlights, battery-powered lanterns, a GPS, emergency radio, two-way radios, any item that can be charged with a USB cable, and a head light to name just a few. To keep these going, you have a choice of carrying a large amount of spare batteries (and the ensuing weight) or using rechargeable batteries. But how can you recharge them on the go without access to electrical outlets? Portable solar panels are one option. A hand powered crank generator is another.

Lets break down our solar equipment possibilities into two categories: Those items light enough to be carried in your bug out bag or on you if you are on foot. And those items that could easily be transported by vehicle if you are traveling in your bug out buggy.

Man Portable Solar Equipment

There is one fundamental truth about a bug out bag: If it is too heavy for you to effectively carry in an emergency, it is useless. You either have to lighten the load in a hurry( and run the risk of ditching a vital item) or move so slow as to be easy prey for any number of threats. So you want to plan your bug out bag carefully. The following items are discussed from the point of view of possible aids to your bug out plan, and not to be considered essential or gospel. Lets look at man portable solar charging kits to begin with.

91GuqIDwCwL__SL1500_Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus. This is a man portable solar panel kit which  includes Nomad 7 solar panel and Guide 10 Plus power pack. This kit weighs in at 1.2 pounds, and the dimensions are    6.5 x 9.5 x 1.8 inches. This would easily fit in your bug out bag.  The power pack can charge AA/AAAGoalZero__V385199228_ batteries. With a D cell adapter, your AAA batteries can be used to supply any D cell item such as a flashlight. The power pack  will  charge AA or AAA batteries. Inputs: Mini USB (5V), Solar port (6.5V). USB Power Output: 3.5W. Solar Power Output: 7W. The battery pack has a built-in LED flashlight. Any AA or AAA* NiMH batteries can be used . You can charge directly from the panel, or from the battery pack. Will charge 4 AA batteries at once. This is one of the more popular portable solar kits and has overall great reviews. There are a number of combinations that can be set up with this kit. Manufacturer claims that you can directly charge a smart phone in 1 hour. You can arrange the panels on your rucksack to charge while you are moving.

The SunJack 14W Portable Solar Charger With 8000mAh Fast-Charge Battery. This issunjack_ another popular portable solar charging unit. It charges an attached battery pack that can then charge a variety of devices by USB. It Folds to compact size of 6.75″ x 9.25″ x 1.75″ – similar to an iPad, and weighs about 2 pounds . These can be had in 7, 14, and 20W power outputs. You can buy an additional battery charger that will charge AA/AA batteries using a USB cable that plugs into the battery.

Suntactics sCharger-5 Portable Solar Charger is another man portable charger. Thissuntactic 2 unit by American company Suntactics is waterproof and weighs 8 oz. You can plug your USB cable into it directly. It r up to 6 watts, outputs up to 5 watts continuous, 1.2 amps, 5 volts. You can buy a supplemental storage battery for it also.

The above three kits are examples of portable solar panels light enough to carry when bugging out and capable of charging devices through USB, and charging AA/AAA batteries which, with an adapter, can also be used in D cell devices. You can buy various adaptors to charge most small electronic devices.

There are a number of useful solar-powered items that are portable enough to go inLuci lanternjpg your BOB. The Luci Foldable Solar Lamp is an excellent example. It will fold to the size of a CD disk. It has 3 Light settings – Bright, Super Bright and Emergency Flash. It is very Light (4 oz.) – Packs Small – Inflates in seconds – Hang Handles top and bottom.

Goal Zero makes an excellent line of solar equipment. Their Torch 250 Flashlight withGoal zero flash light_ Integrated Solar Panel is not only an excellent flashlight, but it had a built-in USB cable and a hand crank. It has multiple light options that allow you to use it as a 250 total lumen output flashlight, floodlight or red emergency light. It weighs 14.4 ounces and measures 10 x 1.8 x 3.5 inches.

Conclusion and Considerations

You bug out bag should be a reflection of your overall bug out plan. Once you have carefully considered what electronic items you will carry with you, then you can evaluate whether a portable solar charger is appropriate. Portable solar panels can be useful if they are used within their limitation. To begin with, charging with them is time intensive. On a bright sunny day it can take up to an hour just to charge your cell phone. All three of the solar panel kits mentioned can be placed over your ruck sack and charge as you go along, however solar panels can also be light reflective. Something to keep in mind if you are trying to move in stealth mode. To get maximum use from them, you do indeed need bright sunlight. The less sunlight you have, the slower they are to charge. Even where I live on the edge of the Sonoran Desert, we have long periods of time where the sky is overcast. Consider the climate conditions in your operational area when planning to use solar charging. And as always, do your research to ensure you buy the proper equipment for your needs.

In Part 2 we will consider solar equipment suitable for vehicle transportation when bugging out.

 

Situational Awareness=Staying Alive

Radar2Note= As I began writing this, the Muslim terrorist attack in California began. It is time to wake up and stay awake in more ways than one people. There are no more civilians in this religious war that has been fostered on us. There never really were. The world is an increasingly dangerous place. Violent crime, expanding terrorist attacks, and the increasing possibility of economic collapse are all wake up calls to anyone with two brain cells working in tandem.  There are no magic bullets to keep you safe at all times. But there are techniques you can develop to give you the best chance. And that’s what it is all about.

Situational awareness is a topic that has been studied and written about for years. As a military and security professional, I have seen countless times where people have been killed or seriously injured because they walked right into a situation that they should have seen coming, and didn’t. The practice of situational awareness would have prevented much of this.

situational awarnessSo exactly what is situational awareness? It is paying attention to what is going on around you. But it much more than that. It is also the ability to recognize when things are not normal, draw the proper conclusion about the anomaly, and make the correct decision as to how to respond, and then acting on that decision. Situational awareness can be developed by understanding one concept and employing one basic technique. The technique is staying in Condition Yellow in the Color Codes of Awareness and the concept is Boyd’s OODA Loop.

The Color Codes of Awarenesscooper-color-code-definition

I wrote a more in depth article on this subject titled Defensive Mindset. The Color Codes.  But for our purposes here, it is important to learn to stay in Condition Yellow. This is a state of mind best describes as relaxed alertness. It is not paranoia. It is the state of  mind that a good driver is in. Head up and moving, checking the mirrors for what is behind and to the sides as well as what is at a distance up ahead. You are aware of what is going on around you 360 degrees and you are prepared to react to any immediate situation. This is the mental mindset you need to cultivate and stay in.  It takes practice, and later we will go over some techniques. If you really don’t understand the various mindsets as labeled by color, I urge you to read the article I linked to above. O.K., so you learn to pay attention to what is going on around you. So what more is required?

Boyd’s OODA Loop

Col. John Boyd

Col. John Boyd

For an in-depth discussion of this, I refer you to my article Boyd’s OODA Loop. No It’s Not A Cereal. Col. John Boyd was a fighter pilot who did a serious study of why fighter pilots won or lost a dog fight. The results of his study gave him a logical system that is applicable in any endeavor in life whether a one on one gunfight, a serious financial negotiation, or avoiding being done in by Achmed trying to get his 72 virgins. Lets analyse OODA.

Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.

OBSERVE= What is going on around you. Especially if it is something happening that concerns you,

ORIENT= Yourself to the situation. This may be a physical orientation, or a quick mental change based on factors such as long-term memory, training, past experiences, and your genetic heritage.

DECIDE= On a course of action based on your understanding of the situation.

ACT= On that decision.

situational awareness._You then start over as the situation developes. This mental process is a continuum of beginning at Observe and working your way through the situation, and the idea is to get inside an adversaries (or situations) loop. So how does this work in real life? A quick example= Terrorist points a gun at you (he has Observed you, Oriented on you, Decided to shoot you, and is now Acting on that decision).  He is committed to an action and you need to disrupt and get inside his loop. You do something unexpected like throw your keys at his face while attempting to escape or fight. You just got inside his loop because now he has to process what you are doing that he didn’t expect and go through the OODA process again because the situation has changed for him.. You are now ahead of him. This is a simplistic explanation but it serves to show how the process works.

Developing a Habit of Situational Awareness0e5587a45a951c15f4dcb5a8514b31c4

Learning to live in Condition Yellow . Keep your head up when walking around. Develop the habit of scanning what is going on around you. Learn to pay attention to all of your senses, including hearing and smell. When using your cell phone in public, stop and place your back against a wall and use your peripheral vision while glancing up and around frequently if texting. Look around you constantly if speaking. When approaching your car in a parking lot, is anybody near it and how do they look? Anyone in the back seat or under it? When in a public eatery, try to sit where you can observe the entrance and know where the exits are. Use windows as mirrors to keep track of whats behind you. At the ATM do you look around to see if anyone is coming up on you? Always try to keep yourself in a position of optimum observation. Once you get into the habit of doing things like this, many other techniques will come to mind.

O.K. so you are alert. What are you looking for?

Do your due diligence. Have you ever walked into a place and felt that something just was not right but you were not sure what?  Well, something wasn’t right. It may not have been dangerous. it may have been something as simple as the flowers arranged wrong. But your subconscious was telling you that something was out-of-place. Trust your instincts, but you have to develop them first.

Schizophrenia_PET_scanBefore you can identify that something is wrong, you need to know what “right” is. Start with your home. You should be so familiar with where you live that you can navigate your house in total darkness. How about your route to and from work? Do you really pay attention to what goes on with the houses and business along the way or do you just focus on following the car in front of you? At your workplace, how well do you know your co-workers? Do you know them well enough to detect if they are acting strange? The places where you shop. What is the normal situation there? Start paying attention to the small details. Really look at things around you as you go about your daily business. Make a game of it. What color eyes did the waitress at lunch have? Can you tell me right now what color the houses on either side of yours are? Can you count the number of windows in your own house from memory? Once you have programmed your subconscious to understand how things should look right, it will be easier to suddenly spot when they look wrong. And once you have Observed that something is wrong, you can quickly Orient yourself for possible action, Decide on what that course of action should be, and then Act on it.

Conclusion

Situational awareness is a combination of staying alert in condition yellow, being able to identify when something is out of order, being trained well enough to draw a proper conclusion, and quickly acting on the decision you made. Stay alert and watch six.