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.

 

 

Bug Out Bag Cookery

esbit 1_When you find yourself living out of a rucksack,( Bug Out Bag) either camping, or bugging out in SHTF, you carefully watch the size and weight of anything you carry. Having the ability to boil water, make a hot drink, warm up or cook the food you have with you or to cook food you find along the way can be an important consideration.

There are a number of options in selecting lightweight stoves and cooking gear. Stoves generally fall into three categories of fuel types: Those that burn bio mass fuel (sticks, straw etc.) those that burn alcohol or other liquid fuel, and those that burn chemical fuel tabs. In deciding which one, or which combination of cooking stoves and accessories you need to consider weight limitations, how long you plan on having to use it, fuel supply and weight, and the availability of replacement fuel.

Solid Fuel Tab Stoves

One of the most basic of stoves is the field expedient tin can stove like the one pictured. This is the type of stove I used exclusively in the jungle in Vietnam. Take an C-RatStoveempty can, your P-38 can opener and cut ventilation holes in it. Using solid fuel tabs you can boil water in a canteen cup, or heat up cans of food. ( when out of fuel tabs, we would use a round marble size piece of C-4 explosive. It would bring a canteen cup full of water to a boil quickly. Don’t do this at home kids!).

Another excellent lightweight stove for use with solid fuel tabs is the Esbit. This style of stove has been made by Esbit for many years. It was standard issue to German soldiers in WW2 and has been a mainstay for soldiers and campers for many years, and is stillesbit 2_ manufactured by the same company in Germany. The solid fuel tabs can be stored inside the stove when folded, and are lightweight so you can easily carry sufficient fuel tabs for a 72hr. bug out plan. I have used one for years and it rides comfortably in my bug out bag.

Esbit also makes a variety of esbit cook set_solid fuel stoves including a lightweight esbit titaniumtitanium folding solid fuel stove in addition to their traditional model. Their solid fuel stove cook set is also a popular item. Kit includes 585-milliliter pot, lid, and wind deflector/pot stand, and stores in included mesh bag. Pot includes volume indicators in both liters and ounces, and has two hinged stainless steel grips that fold flat against body of the pot. The whole kit weighs 7 ounces.

Pros of solid fuel stoves= Lightweight, both stove and fuel. Solid fuel is easy to light

Cons of solid fuel stoves= Limited capacity. You won’t cook a three coarse meal on one. At some point, you will run out of fuel tabs.

Alcohol Fuel Stoves

esbit alcohol stove_Again, Esbit makes a really good alcohol burner stove. Great little stove, but youesbit alcohol burner set._ need to have something to place your food or cup on for heating. Or you can buy it as a cook set like the solid fuel stove listed above.The pot stand and burner nest inside the pot for storage. A mesh storage bag is also included. Packed, the entire kit is only 5 Inch tall x 4.75 Inch across. With the pot on the stand, the height is 8 Inch. Weighs only 10.9 ounces (310 g).

Trangia from Sweden make a line of small alcohol stoves, some of which are used by mini trangia_NATO. The Trangia 28-T Mini Trangia is a popular little alcohol stove that weighs in at 0.78 pounds 

Pros of alcohol stoves: They are efficient cookers and will use a variety of alcohol types.

Cons of alcohol cookers= They are fuel dependent and alcohol weighs more than solid fuel tabs.

Bio Mass Fuel Stoves

There are a number of great designed back packable stoves that will burn available wood and other combustibles. Sometime refered to “Rocket stoves”

solo stove 1_The Solo Stove is an extremely popular stove. It incorporates a secondary combustion for a more efficient and cleaner burn. Boiling: 8-10 minutes to boil 34 fl oz of water; Fuel: Burns sticks, pine cones and other biomass; Packed size: Height 3.8 inches, Width 4.25 inches; Assembled size: Height 5.7 inches, Width 4.25 inches; Weight: 9 oz; Materials: Hardened 304 stainless steel, nichrome wire. It is designed to work with twigs and other small combustibles you find out doors. The company makes a number of accessories such as a wind screen and pots. This particular stove has received a lot of testing and reviews and is a popular item in the prepper community.

Kelly kettle_The Kelly Kettle is also a very popular stove for preppers. Also designed to use small twigs and other combustible, it  holds 44 fl. oz. of water (5.5 Cups). Ideal; for hot drinks and heating water for freeze-dried meals. The Kelly Kettle Aluminum Scout is 12.25 inches tall, weighs only 1.8 pounds – Comes in a handy carrying bag.

Pros of bio-mass fuel stoves= You don’t have to carry fuel with you and it uses fuel that is readily available.

Cons of bio-mass fuel stoves= You have to have a source of dry fuel. In extremely wet weather that coud be problematic.

Accessories

canteen cup_Having a good stove to cook food and boil water is essential. There are some useful accessories to go along with your stove you might want to consider. The G.I. canteen cup is probably one of the best items of equipment Uncle Sam ever threw out there. You can cook in it, make your coffee in it, shave in it, wash with it. (I have done all of those). Truly a multi task item. Make sure you get an original G.I. cup. There are a lot of cheap knock offs out there. These cups are not all the same size. Eating with you finger may make you feel macho, but it is also a good way to make yourself sick. A good Titanium spork with a carabiner that can alsospork_ open bottles may come in handy. For those who don’t like sporks,mil tec_ Mil-Tec makes a Knife Fork and Spoon set that is traditional German military.

Conclusion

The above are just a small sample of lightweight and portable cooking solutions for bugging out on foot and living out of your bug out bag. In regards to stoves, my solution is to have a small solid fuel stove such as the Esbit coupled with a bio-mass stove such as the Solo Stove. These should cover your bases regardless of the weather or conditions you are in.

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

 

 

 

 

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.

Have A Very Merry Prepper Christmas!

santa-gun-jpg_221736I posted some suggestion for Stocking Stuffers for Preppers earlier,and thought to give a look at some under the tree gifts you might consider for that special prepper in your life (or even yourself).  In these dangerous times, giving family members prepper gifts might be a cost efficient good idea.

kelly Kettle stove set_ The Kelly Kettle

It will deliver about 7 cups of hot water in just a few minutes. Kelly Kettles use natural occurring fuels such as sticks and dry grass etc.

 

Mason jar oil lampsMason Jar Oil Lamp Tops

Once your finished with drinking your White Lightening, turn that Mason Jar into a functional lamp! (or use the White Lightening as the fuel!)

Maxpedition Falcon 2Maxpedition Falcon-II Backpack

Maxpedition makes a quality line of gear. The Falcon-II Backpack is an excellent choice for an EDC or Get Home Bag. Main Compartment: 18″(H) x 9.5″(W) x 4.75″(D). Secondary Compartment: 16″(H) x 8″(W) x 3″(D). Comes in a variety of colors.

solo stove_Solo Stove Wood Burning Emergency Stove w/ Aluminum Windscreen

A very popular and practical stove for the bug out bag.

 

 

Tactical%20RifleThe Tactical Rifle

Every prepper should have a rifle for SHTF. This book is a primer on the tactical use of the rifle by one of the world’s foremost authorities.

 

 

Solar showerLSolar Shower

Stay clean in SHTF and let the sun warm the water.

 

 

 

 

 

weather radioAmerican Red Cross FRX3 Hand Crank NOAA AM/FM Weather Alert Radio with Smartphone Charger

Stay on top of bad weather and charge your cell phone too.

 

sunotoSuunto M-3 D/L Compass

Suunto makes an excellent line of compasses.

 

 

Well folks, just a few suggestions. I hope each of you has a Very Merry prepper Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stocking Stuffers For Preppers

wfxza4czwe5jxlzzpt5lYes, it is that time of year again! Preppers around the world are gearing up for Christmas! Major purchases on lay away, and wish lists being created. I just love the Christmas tradition of the stocking and all the little goodies to be found inside. So I made a list, checked it twice, for all those preppers who were not naughty, but nice. Inexpensive, but useful stocking stuffers for that special prepper in your life!

And what better way to start than the stocking itself! A tactical stocking with manyTactical stocking OD useful features for use after the holidays. Comes in a variety of colors! The following items will fit in it nicely!

Lifestraw Water Filter

The most popular water filter

Life Straw Personal FilterTitanium Spork

Titanium spork

 

Hip Flask With Attached Collapsable Shot Glass

Every Gentleman Prepper should have one! (aso in pink for the ladies!)

hip flask

Emergency Candle

emergency candle_

Quick   Clot

quick clotjpg

Goal Zero 41022 Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharging Kit

Great for the bug out bag

91GuqIDwCwL__SL1500_    

                                                       Cree Ultra Fire 7W300LM

These are really awsome little flashlights and dirt cheapCree ultra fire_

Luci Solar Powered Lantern

Packs to about the size of a CD case and solar charged.

Luci lanternjpg

 Esbit Cooker

This has been a mainstay of campers and soldiers for many years. Great for the Get Home or Bugout Bag

esbit stove_

Columbia River Knife and Tool’s Eat N Tool

Nifty little tool

Eat n Tool_

moda seya 11 Function Credit Card Size Survival Pocket Tool  

Credit card size and stainless steel

moda tooljpg

 

 

 

 

Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener

smiths sharpener_

UCO Stormproof Match Kit with Waterproof Case, 25 Stormproof Matches and 3 Strikers

Matches_

Ultimate Survival Technologies Wetfire Tinder

tinder

 

 

 

 

 

Zippo Emergency Fire Starter, Orange Plastic

 

Coleman fire starter_

Victorinox Swiss Army Classic SD Pocket Knife

swiss army

 

 

 

 

Well, there you go. Some neat suggestions for stuffing your favorite prepper’s stocking!

 

 

Are You The Storm?

i-am-the-storm 2Although I have been a “Prepper” of one sort or another all of my life,  it wasn’t untill I started this blog that I interacted to any degree with the Prepper community. Reviewing the vast number of prepper websites, I notice that there are different mental attitudes towards prepping. I wonder exactly how many preppers have actually thought about why they want to survive, especially in a TEOTWAWKI situation. So, are you prepping to withstand the storm? Or are YOU the storm?

If you are reading this, then to some degree I’m preaching to the choir. It should be obvious that many storm clouds are forming over us, both in our own country and overseas.  Political storms, social storms, financial storms, religious storms, military storms.  An astute observer of history will not need a crystal ball to see that push is coming to shove in a lot of places and in a lot of areas. Human history indicates that major changes are coming, and by storm. America is over 18 trillion dollars in debt, and most citizens go merrily on their way, many seeking more goodies from government. We are at war with a theocracy called Islam, and most citizens of Western civilization haven’t got a clue about it. The United States has a patchwork grid system just begging to be shut down. Foreign hostile militaries increase vigorously, smelling blood in the weakness of the gutless cowards running the Western nations. Storms. Lots of storms.

But you knew that didn’t you? That is why you began prepping. That is why you are probably reading this.

So Why Are You Prepping To Survive?

Obviously we prep for any serious contingency. Short term issues such as hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. have obvious answers to the above question. You prep to survive in order to go back to normal, or rebuild normal. Because a normal is possible to obtain.  But what about if it all comes crashing down and we actually experience The End Of The World As We Know It?  A number of plausible events could cause that. If it happens on any level, is your concept of survival limited to simply waking up breathing each day? Is just staying alive each day satisfactory for you?  For many people, that will be the end goal. After most of the sheeple die off, many will be content to just wake up alive each day.

I see many preppers concentrating on a defensive attitude that proposes just that.

But not for many of us. I plan to survive for a purpose. To fight to rebuild what the gutless and lazy have allowed to be destroyed. To do all I can to rebuild a society where my grandchildren might just have a chance to actually rebuild a decent civilization. Because there has to be a purpose to life beyond just breathing. Beyond just surviving. There are other storms forming. Storms of people in the United States, The United Kingdom, and Western Europe who are fed up. Who refuse to be sheeple.

In The Meantime

I am a Christian. I refuse to be denigrated for my faith and see my monuments desecrated and torn down to appease the shrill minority. I refuse to be told that I cannot express my faith because it might “offend” someone. I will speak out even though way too many “Christian ” pastors worry more about their IRS standing that speaking out the truth. I have great respect for the nation of Israel and the Jewish people. I will continue to support them against Obama’s anti-semitism.

I am a soldier. Even though I no longer wear the uniform I wore for 20 years, I will keep faith with the oath I took to uphold the Constitution of The United States against all enemies foreign and DOMESTIC. I refuse to accept that Sharia law might have any place in my society.

I am an American citizen and I refused to be disarmed by those who wish to manipulate the sheeple to garner votes. I refuse to accept people who come here as criminals in the night and expect me and mine to support them.

There are many clouds on the horizon, each of them whispering to me that I cannot withstand the storm.

I will continue to whisper back, I AM THE STORM!

Are you the storm?

 

Note: I do not know who owns the rights to the Samurai poster. Credit for the quotation goes to 556 Productions.

The Smart Phone As A Survival Tool

i phone 6Being a bit old school, I finally decided to join the 21st century and bought an Apple i-Phone 6. I did it primarily for business communication as I am handling a lot more now and needed more than just the functionality of phone and text that my old clam phone provided. As I started using it, I saw a number of features and apps that would be useful in a SHTF situation as well as day-to-day survival.

Before I get started, I wish to point out that I am still old school in many areas regarding technology. For example, GPS is great. Untill the batteries die or you can’t get a satellite signal. Then you better have a good compass, a map of your area, and the knowledge to use them. I see technology as an enhancement of your basic skills, not a replacement for them. Keep in mind that these phones are dependent on three critical items: functioning batteries, functioning cell towers, and functioning satellites.

I have only been experimenting with this phone for a few weeks. But I can break down it’s survival uses into the following categories: Communication, Reference Storage, Information, and Navigation. These are some of the features and apps I have been looking at. Most of these either come with the phone, or are available from the Apple App store either free or for as little as .99 cents. Some cost a bit more but are all reasonable.There are a tremendous number of apps available. Some useful, some not. Experiment.

Communication

Obviously phone and text capability would allow you to communicate with either help or family in an emergency. Again, dependent on being within range of a functioning cell tower. One app that may be useful in SHTF is Facetime. This app allows you to make video calls using wi-fi. (assuming you have functional wi-fi during the issue). If you are communicating with a family member and trying to describe a situation or object you can just turn the camera towards it and they can see for themselves. This may be useful in early stages of SHTF.

Reference Storage

Unless you have been living, breathing, eating, and sleeping survival for the last 30 years, you can’t remember it all. Having a set of references handy  and downloaded on your phone could be highly useful. Here are some I like.

011SAS Survival Manual

This is probably one of the best survival manuals out there, and you can download a complete copy to your phone. It also has some interactive features such as videos and photos. One feature I like is the compass feature. This doesn’t use a GPS system. Instead, it takes you through using the phone to find cardinal directions similar to using a watch and is set up to work in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Pretty useful if you lose or break your compass. It will also talk you through sending Morse Code messages using the flashlight on your phone( the camera flash)

010Survival

There are a number of apps that are copies of the U.S. Army survival manual FM 21-76. This is one of the better ones I have found, although the photos are picture negatives. It is easy to navigate, and it has a handy button to turn on the phone flashlight. The compass feature will show you your current location in longitude and latitude and your direction in degrees. It will also show your altitude

005How To Tie Knots 

This is a nifty app that will actually guide you step by step, with interactive pictures, on how to tie a very large variety of knots. Categories include basic, climbing, rescue, surgical, bends, friction hitches, hitches, loops and others. It also allows you then option of downloading a very large number of other knots. This is probably one of the more useful apps I have found, not only for survival, but for daily use if you use rope a lot.

002American Red Cross App

This is a complete first aid manual with some additional features. There are short training courses for typical emergencies, as well as a set of tests. This would be a good app to begin learning first aid on if you are a beginner, or a quick and handy reference for those with experience. Using GPS, it will also show you where the nearest hospital is.

 

Information

Staying on top of occurring events can be critical to survival. The ability to scan emergency and police broadcasts in SHTF can be a valuable asset. There are a number of apps that you can download. The one I am testing is

screen568x568Scanner Radio Delux

This scanner app allows you to select the areas you wish to scan, and then select which departments you want to listen to. You can pre set favorites for quick access and scan for stations close to you. It also has an alert set up so that it will inform you if there is a large amount of traffic on any given channel. There are a lot of scanner apps and this one seems to work pretty well. I can listen to police and emergency traffic nation wide.

002FEMA App

Although FEMA is a dirty word in the prepper community, they do have a useful app that you can set up to get weather notifications from the National Weather Service. You can program it you any location or multiple locations. Useful for tracking ongoing bad weather.

 Navigation

The i Phone has a built-in compass function that can be set to orient on either true or magnetic north. But there are some interesting navigation apps that have potential and that I am trying out.

003Spyglass

This is a highly developed and intricate navigation program. It utilizes the phone’s GPS compass system and enhances it with a tremendous number of features. It uses military developed GPS navigation systems. You can find and track multiple locations, bearings, the Sun and the Moon and stars, in real-time. You can overlay the compass over a live camera image or maps to instantly see which way you are facing. It will enable you to find and track your location, coordinates in geo and military formats, altitude, current and maximum speed and course. Use imperial, metric, nautical and military units. You can observe your and your targets’ positions on maps rotated automatically according to the current azimuth. You can use a variety of street, satellite or hybrid maps. It has the capability to be used as an optical rangefinder similar to the way sniper scopes are used. This is a bit of a complicated program and takes time to learn, but it has a tremendous potential in general SHTF navigation and even tactical applications.

001Galileao Pro

This is a standard map GPS navigation program with one important difference. It allows you to download on your phone a tremendous number of very detailed maps worldwide. By downloading maps of your probable operational area, you can navigate even with the loss of GPS. The maps are very detailed street type maps. I downloaded maps of where I live in both Arizona and Germany, and on my German map can expand it to see the street I live on and even my exact house.

screen568x568Google Earth

For those of you familiar with this program, it is simply the i Phone version of the program you have on your computer. You can use it for route reconnaissance, and to see the terrain of every part of the world that has ever had a satellite flying over it. The value of this program is that you are seeing satellite images that will show more details than any standard map. Useful for plotting bug out routes.

Useful Accessories

If you are going to use your smart phone as a useful survival tool, you need to set up a maintenance system for it.

Protection

Otter caseOtter makes a wide variety of protective cases for all smart phones.  The one I bought has a hard rubber case with a screen shield. It comes with a carrying mount for your belt that will allow you to carry the phone either vertically or horizontally. The case can also be snapped open to provide a convenient desk mount.

Power

This is the Achilles heel of technology. No power, and you have a very expensive non functional piece of plastic to stare at. Obviously, a cell phone charger for your auto car charger_should be a normal part of your EDC kit.

There are a number of external battery power packs that you can get to extend the time your smart phone can operate. But for long-term use, you are going to need recharging capability. This means solar, especially in a long-term grid down SHTF situation. Goal Zero  makes a large variety of solar kits that are potentially useful to the prepper.

One portable kit, the Goal Zero 41022 Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharging Kit is a portable 91GuqIDwCwL__SL1500_solar power kit that will enable you to keep you cell phone charged as well as a number of other devices. It will do the following: Charge up a cell phone in 1 hour, and charge up removable AA/AAA batteries from USB or sun. At 6.5 x 9.5 x 1.8 inches  in size and 1.2 pounds in weight, it is small and light enough to be considered for your bug out bag.

Conclusion

A smart phone can be an excellent addition to your preps. You can communicate, navigate, store maps, and store reference manuals with it. It has a built-in camera and flashlight. But it is cell tower, GPS satellite, and charged battery dependent.  As long as you understand it’s limitations, and don’t substitute it for basic survival skills, it can be a highly useful survival tool.

Front Sight Firearms Training Institute 2 Day Defensive Handgun Class

Front Sight 4As a professional firearms instructor, I know that you never learn it all. And it is important to take additional training from other instructors and organizations to stay on top of your game. So when a former boss gave me a Front Sight Legacy Membership which included a lot of free classes, I took the opportunity to start with their basic 2 Day Defensive Handgun class. So how did it go?

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The Bicycle In SHTF

Montague ParatrooperTransportation could be very important in a SHTF scenario. Each person and each group has different treansportation needs and capabilities depending on a number of factors. We have discussed the aspects of selecting a Bug Out Vehicle, but would a bicycle be a practical alternative or addition?

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Night Vision Considerations For Survival

Yukon Nvnt 400Night vision is a consideration many preppers avoid. Partly because the technology is foreign to them if they never used NVD’s in the military, and partly because of the perceived cost. But before you invest in that next expensive firearm, consider the possibility of a night vision device to go with one you already have. You might be glad you did.

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Land Navigation for Preppers. Part 1 Maps and Map Sources

Topographic_map_exampleIf SHTF, you may have to move, and quickly. Hopefully you have established a bug out plan with alternate routes. But you may have to go into unfamiliar territory. Thats where skill in land navigation is important. This will be a series on basic navigation skills for those who didn’t learn them in the military or other professional organizations.

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