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
If you read the modern prepper press and peruse the current prepper websites, you would be convinced that unless you have a modern tricked out M-4 or a upgraded AK with all the bells and whistles, then you are simply out of luck when it comes to surviving a SHTF situation with WROL or even TEOTWAWKI. Guess what? They are lying to you.
This has been an ongoing subject in the prepper and survival community for a long time. If SHTF should you go it alone, or should you be a member of an organized prepper group? Or some version of both?
White Bean and Lime Chili
I have had the opportunity to eat a wide variety of “field” or “Emergency” rations over the years. From military C rations in Vietnam to the whole line of MRE’s including today’s varieties (which I can buy in military commissaries), foreign military rations, and civilian freeze dried foods. I am always looking for efficient and tasty long term storable food, so when Valley Food Storage asked me to test one of their products, I happily agreed.
The sharpened edge is probably the first tool humans made. From sharpened bone, to knapped stone, to bronze, then iron and steel, we now have a selection of edged weapons and tools for every use. So what do you need?
I have often been accused of being too “Gun Happy” when it comes to prepping and survival. But I still maintain that unless you can adequately defend yourself, all the prepping in the world just makes you a convenient supply room for someone else and a convenient meal for buzzards. However, there is something that rates right up there with self protection and that will be your second consideration. Water.
Bugging out is an often discussed issue in the prepper community. You should have a plan for both staying in place (bugging in) and evacuating your domicile (bugging out) but what should cause you to make that serious and potentially life and death decision to bug out in a SHTF situation? There is no one size fits all, but there are areas of consideration you need to think about.
In a SHTF situation of serious results and duration, the decision to stay in your home or evacuate could mean life or death. You need to have a serious plan for both eventualities. So what do you need to consider for long term holing up in Ft. Livingroom?
The beginning prepper can get confused by much of the terminology being used in the prepping movement, but keep in mind that again, there is no “one size fits all” plan.
By Johnnie L. Mock PSP
( Please note: This article was the first of a series I posted on my website geared towards the new prepper. If you want to read these in order, each article will have a link at the end taking you to the next)
When it comes to being intelligently prepared for unforeseen disasters, most Americans are like our friend above. However with the advent of shows like “Doomsday Preppers’ the “Prepping” industry is flourishing, and honestly concerned citizens want to prepare themselves and their families.