Monthly Archives: March 2015

Is a Storage Unit a Viable Survival Cache?

For quite some time now, caches have been rather popular amongst the prepper/survivalist crowd. Most commonly, this involves filling a large diameter PVC tube with gear and supplies, sealing it up, then burying it. Often, these caches are hidden somewhere along a bug out route, thus allowing for resupply during the journey.

One major problem, though, is finding an appropriate location for the cache. To avoid any legal issues, it should always be placed on land you own or that is publicly owned. Several times I’ve heard a recommendation of using cemeteries for cache locations. This is an extremely bad idea. Think about it. Just as you get the hole dug, along comes Officer Friendly, who is very curious to hear your reasoning for being in the cemetery in the middle of the night with a shovel.

Another issue with this type of DIY cache is inaccessibility for rotation and inspection. Remember, these PVC tubes are generally meant to be buried. The idea is to fill them with supplies that will last quite a long time. You’re not going to be digging these up every six months to rotate out canned goods and such. Once buried, it is there to stay until you truly need it. That’s usually how caches work. Because of this, most people don’t store their “good” stuff in a cache.

Might a storage unit survival cache be a viable option?

One option worth considering is to utilize a storage unit as a cache location. Once, these self-storage facilities were most often found in the seedier parts of the city but today they are everywhere. Here in the upper Midwest, I find them out in the sticks as well as in urban areas. There are usually different size units available, from the size of a closet to as big as a two-car garage. For our survival cache purposes, the smallest will usually suffice.

Quite often you’ll find these facilities are climate controlled, so you don’t have to worry about your stuff freezing or going bad in the heat of summer. While there is a cost involved, these units could serve a dual purpose. Not only could you stash some emergency gear there, you could clean out some of the clutter in your home and store it here as well. You know, the stuff you don’t really need on hand but you don’t want to throw away – kids memorabilia, household goods you’re saving for your child’s first apartment, old clothes that you keep promising to yourself you’re going to fit into again.

I’d be willing to bet that if you examined your bug out routes, you’ll find at least one or two of these storage unit businesses along the way. Look for one that is at the outskirts of town or, even better, out in the country. If you can find one that is family owned and operated, you might have a bit of room to haggle on the price, especially if you’re willing and able to pay for several months in advance.

The bonus with one of these storage units is you might be able to use it as an impromptu shelter as you’re bugging out. Not just a resupply point but a place where you can hunker down for a day to catch your breath and plan your next move.

While I would fully expect these places to get looted eventually, should the disaster go on long enough, I think it would take weeks before that starts to happen. There are just too many more appealing targets, such as supermarkets, drug stores, big box retailers, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants. My guess is that people will flock to those before making it to the storage businesses.

As with anything else related to survival and disaster planning, you need to take into account your own individual circumstances and determine whether this option would work for you. If it does, great! If not, just keep researching the different options available until you find the perfect fit.


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Via: thesurvivalmom

Why is the Military Planning Drills that simulate battles across the Southwestern United States?

The United States Army has announced they will be conducting a simulated training exercise over the summer in which they plan to simulate battles and insurgent attacks throughout Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado. According to recently unclassified documents, the exercise, which categorizes Texas and Utah as “Hostile” States, will run from July 15 through September 15th.

Multiple branches of the military are expected to take part in the massive drill including Navy Seals, Green Berets and the 82nd airborne division.



While a number of liberal news organizations are doing everything they can to defend the drills, smearing anyone who dares question why the military is conducting large-scale drills that look like preparation for the implementation of Martial Law,the fact is we have the right to ask questions. Imagine if this drill happened under the last president; these same people would be up in arms crying about Martial Law and begging the ACLU to do something about it.

Military offers official response.

While the U.S. military has confirmed the drill, they say the public has nothing to worry about. They claim that the drill is just “a regular training exercise.” But that hasn’t stopped many from wondering why their documents list Texas and Utah as Hostile zones.

The Army says Jade Helm is a real exercise and will take place in the Southwest, as the slides indicate. But USASOC spokesman Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria said that’s the extent of the reports’ accuracy.

“It’s a training exercise. Just a regular training exercise,” Lastoria said of Jade Helm, which USASOC documentation references as a training exercise in at least one previous year as well.


Documentation showing where Drill will Take Place


Why are so many of these drills looking at American Citizens as a Threat?

Back in 2012, an army report about the future use of the military as a police force within the United Statescaused a huge controversy. The report included theoretical situations where the U.S. Army could be sent into U.S. cities that have been taken over by Tea Party “insurrectionists.” The report titled, Full Spectrum Operations in the Homeland: A “Vision” of the Future, was written by a retired Army Colonel and described how future warfare could be conducted on American soil. It also described tea party members and “immigrant-bashing by right-wing demagogues.”

In 2013, the Ohio Army National Guard 52nd Civil Support Unit conducted a training drill where Second Amendment supporters with “anti-government” opinions were portrayed as domestic terrorists.

Make no mistake, I believe most of the Military is very Patriotic. In fact, many of them have also expressed concerns over these exercises, and concerns over why the most patriotic among them seem to be beingforced out of the military. A number of them have emailed us about this administration’s attempts to demonize anyone with patriotic views, and warn that our country is being fundamentally transformed into something that our founders never intended.



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Via: offgridsurvival

18 Reasons a Trash Bag (or three) Should be in Your Bug Out Bag Right Now

When it comes to your bug-out baggiven the limits you have in terms of space and weightthe best survival items you can pack are those that are lightweight, have multiple uses, and don’t take up much space.


I’m sure you know the importance of duct-tape and paracord (and likely have those in your bag right now) however, there is one item that many of us overlook that should also be in there…

A trash bag.


Yes, trash bagsespecially heavy-duty contract bagsare one of those excellent cost-effective, space-saving, multi-use items that should be in every bug out bag. They have a plethora of uses, 18 of which I’ll be listing in this article.


So without further ado, here are 18 uncommon uses (and reasons) why a trash bag (or two) should be in your bug-out bag if it isn’t yet…

18 Uncommon Bug-Out Uses for a Trash Bag

  1. Warm Shower: Fill your trash bag with water, tie it up above your head and let it sit in the warm sun. The black color of the bag will absorb the sun’s rays heating up the water. Once the water has reached your desired temperature, poke some tiny holes to enjoy a nice warm shower.

    *Note: Some trash bags (not so much with contractor bags) are lined with chemicals on the inside to prevent odors and mold. It’s not a bad idea to turn the bags inside out if using them for the next three uses.

  2. Food Transporter: Whether you just took some game while bugging out or if you’ve opened your packaged food and need a clean place to put it in, a trash bag makes for a great container for transporting and protecting game meats, opened food, etc.
  3. Water Container: Besides a one-time use shower, a trash bag can make a decent way of transporting a fair amount of water if you’ve lost or don’t have a water container. Here’s where having a contractor bag would be idea given their strength.

    *Note: Some trash bags (not so much contractor bags) are lined with chemicals on the inside to prevent odors and mold. It’s not a bad idea to turn the bags inside out if using them for the above purpose>

  4. Water Collector: Dig a hole around 2 feet in diameter and 2 feet deep, tear open your bag so it’s one large piece and lay it over the hole to set up a makeshift rain water collector or container.

    *Note: Some trash bags (not so much with contractor bags) are lined with chemicals on the inside to prevent odors and mold. Given that, it’s not a bad idea to turn the bags inside out if using them for the above purpose>

  5. Poncho: Trash bags make for excellent ponchos. Just rip a hole in the bottom of the bag for your head and two on the side for your arms and it will do a fine job at keeping the wet weather at bay.
  6. Waterproof Leggings: Take two trash bags and place one foot with your shoes on inside each. Tie up the bags around your ankles and calves with some duct tape or cordage (both of which aren’t bad ideas to have in your BOB). Now you have some decent waterproof leggings to temporarily cross through shallow brooks or streams or traversing over deep, wet snow.
  7. Gear Protector (Dry Bag): You can use the bags to keep your gear stored in your BOB dry while traveling in wet conditions. In addition, you can enclose your entire bug-out bag with the trash bag (cutting slits for your backpack straps to get through) for a makeshift poncho for your bag.
  8. Makeshift Toilets: If you happen to have bugged out to an urban area and there aren’t many places to dig a latrine, trash bags make for excellent makeshift toilet liners (like in a 5-gallon bucket or in a non-functioning toilet if the grid’s down).
  9. Comforter and Pillow: Large trash bags filled with leaves or other light debris make for great expedient comforters that can be placed on top of you when it’s cold out. In addition, a smaller bag (or a large one only partly filled with leaves) will work pretty decent as a pillow (it would be best to place a piece of cloth on it (like a Shemagh or bandana) for your face to lie on for more comfort.

    Although less than ideal, you could also partially inflate the bag for a pillow (but it will be less comfortable than leaves or other soft debris).

  10. Strong Rope: Yes, trash bags can actually make surprisingly strong cordage and rope when braided correctly. I plan on doing a video of this pretty soon so I’ll update this article with that when I do.
  11. Ground Cloth: One thing that’s very important when setting up a tent or other makeshift shelter is laying down a groundcloth to keep the moisture from coming up from the ground into your shelter at night. A trash bag cut open and laid out will help in this way.
  12. Makeshift Shelter/Lean-To: While obviously not ideal, a trash bag can work as a fair shelter against wind, rain and the sun’s rays. Just stretch it out and tie it off as you would with a standard lean-to shelter.
  13. Life Preserver/Flotation Device: While certainly not Coast Guard approved, trash bags can be blown up with air like a balloon, tied off, and be used to provide flotation while crossing bodies of water. A few of these can also be tied to a makeshift raft to aid in buoyancy. Again, the stronger the bag (like a contractor bag) the better to prevent tearing and puncturing.
  14. Arm Sling: Similar to how the boy scouts use their neckerchiefs for slings, you can follow the same approach to sling someone’s arm if recently injured.
  15. Bandage Protector: If you’ve just finished bandaging up someone’s wound, you can use a strip of a trash bag to wrap over the bandage and tie it off to further protect the bandage and wound from getting dirty.
  16. Bug Out Washing Machine: For extended bug-out travels you can place your dirty clothes in a bag, some soap scrapings (or if you packed small amounts of detergent) and some water, twist or tie off the bag and vigorously shake the bag for a few minutes. Drain the dirty water, replace with clean water and repeat for the rinse cycle.
  17. Window Black Outs: While at your bug-out location or when bugging in, you can use trash bags to cover your windows at nightpreventing a “light signal” to those less-than-friendly people looking for occupied residences. Again, it’s best to use contractor bags here since some thinner bags will require multiple layers.
  18. Cold Compress: Trash bags can be filled with snow or ice (if available) to provide for a makeshift compress for treating inflammation caused by injury.

Final Thoughts

In addition, let me just stress again that while normal trash bags can work in the above examples in a pinch, again, ideally you want to pack contractor bags which you can find at most any hardware stores.


Also, as a side note, others have mentioned using trash bags as “thermal underwear”. While it will hold in heat, it’s not a good idea since it also traps in moisture, which when cold outside can easily lead to hypothermia. True thermal underwear “breathes” to allow the moisture to escape.



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Via: tacticalintelligence


From AlertsUSA



Another Middle East War Breaks Out
Danger Brews for America in Yemen
Dramatically Increased Threat of Terrorism

March 28, 2015


On March 25, 2015, AlertsUSA issued the following
related Flash message to subscriber mobile devices:
3/25 – Saudi Arabia, Egypt and multiple Gulf States launch military strikes against Iran-backed Houti rebels in Yemen. US forces throughout region on high alert.
What You Need To Know
On Wednesday of this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding the start of a massive military offensive launched by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and multiple Gulf States against Iran-backed Houti rebels in Yemen. Known as Operation Decisive Storm, the stated reason for the attack is the danger posed by having an Iranian-backed government on the southern border of Saudi Arabia.

Middle Eastern news outlet Al-Arabiya is reporting Saudi Arabia alone has deployed 100 fighter jets in the attacks. An additional 70 fighter aircraft have deployed from the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Sudan and Egypt.

Next up is the ground invasion. The Saudi government has deployed 150,000soldiers near the border of Yemen. Other nations set to participate include Pakistan, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Sudan and Egypt. The U.S. has the Iwo Jima amphibious assault group offshore with 2000 Marines and the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier is in the Persian Gulf (though it appears the U.S. is not playing an active role in offensive operations). At the time of this report’s preparation on Friday, the ground invasion had yet to be launched though multiple media outlets are reporting the action is imminent.


Late Wednesday the White House reported President Obama has authorized logistics and intelligence support for the Saudi campaign, a move which appears to have come after the fact. There are conflicting reports about when Washington was notified of the planned attack. While the usual lapdog media outlets report that the White House has been at the center of the planning effort, Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee offers a very different take on the matter.

In all fairness, it is important to note that while Saudi authorities may not may have proactively notified the DoD or White House of their attack plans, the U.S. most certainly knew something was in the works. It is nearly impossible to position 170 plus fighter aircraft from 10 nations, as well as deploy more than 150,000+ ground forces and all their equipment, without it being picked up by land based, airborne and space-based reconnaissance assets. Additionally, with the number of countries involved there is a high likelihood there was significant information being shared between intelligence agencies.



As AlertsUSA Threat Journal has reported on multiple occasions over the past several years, Yemen is home to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the terror organization’s most active branch. The group is responsible for multiple previous attempted attacks on commercial aircraft, including the failedChristmas 2009 attempt to bring down an airliner near Detroit and the October 2010 plot to bring down cargo aircraft using bombs built into printer toner cartridges.

According to Matt Olsen, the former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center; “This group, AQAP, is absolutely determined to try and carry out an attack on a U.S.-bound airplane. The prospect of AQAP trying to get a bomb on an airplane has been, for the past several years, at the top of the list for concerns of the U.S. counterterrorism community.”

Most recently, AQAP also took responsibility for the January terror attacks in Paris which killed 12 people and intelligence services report an increasing operational collaboration between AQAP and the Islamic State in Syria.

According to Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, the U.S. no longer has human intelligence [assets] in Yemen, a development intelligence sources say will dangerously limit America’s ability to track and target al Qaeda and other extremist terror movements in the region.


When U.S. diplomatic staff and Marines made a hasty exit from the embassy in Yemen back in February, and then again this past weekend when U.S. special operations and intelligence teams were evacuated from Al Anad air base near the capital, rebel forces obtained a trove of US intelligence files which were left left behind and in turn, delivered them with a bow to Iran.

Current and former U.S. intelligence officials call this development a disaster for US counterterrorism efforts. It is believed the Houti advance through Yemen has resulted in the delivery of crucial information about US intelligence operations throughout the Middle East to a US-listed state sponsor of terrorism.


Considering the players involved as well as geography, there is potential for this conflict to bring about soaring oil and gas prices. In addition to the obvious vulnerability of Saudi oil facilities, another critical pressure point is the southwest corner of Yemen which forms a portion of the gateway between the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. Strategically and economically, Bab el-Mandeb(“The Bab” or the “Gate of Anguish”) is one of the most important waterways in the world. If Iran-backed fighters control this area of Yemen, commercial shipping and military vessels are at grave risk of attack from both sea and land.

If you think this is far fetched, keep in mind the “Tanker War” and mining of the Persian Gulf in the 1980’s. The threat is even greater now as Iran has dramatically expanded their military capabilities. More recently, in 2012 the commander of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp, Mohammad Ali Jafari, publicly stated the following:

“This is a declared policy by Iran, that if war occurs in the region and the Islamic republic is involved, it is natural that the Strait of Hormuz, as well as the energy market, will face difficulties.”

One will also see there are only two routes between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean; via “The Bab,” the Red Sea and Suez Canal or an extremely long trip around the Southern tip of Africa. In a situation where Iran itself is under attack, hampering maritime traffic through The Bab, or sinking ship in the 102 mile long Suez Canal would be one of their highest priorities so as to hamper movement of U.S. and other Western warships.


Russia and Iran are demanding an immediate end to the airstrikes. As a reminder, Russia and Iran signed a mutual defense agreeement in January.


As of the time of this report’s preparation, there have been no public reports of U.S. participation in offensive operations. Even if U.S. forces were involved, it is likely there would be attempts to keep it quiet due to the disjointed foreign policy pickle within which the Obama administration finds itself: How do you realistically go about negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran at the same time as you are bombing Iranian troops or their proxies in Yemen while also backing up Iranian Quds forces fighting against ISIS in Iraq?

AlertsUSA continues to monitor developments in this region, as well as its impact on the domestic terrorism threat environment and will immediately notify service subscribers of changes in the overall threat picture for U.S. citizens and interests as events warrant.



3/26 – French authorities say co-pilot of downed Germanwings A320 locked his captain out of the cockpit before “intentionally” destroying the plane killing 150 people.

3/24 – Overnight: Lufthansa GermanWings Airbus A320, flight 4U9525, Barcelona to Dusseldorf, down in the French Alps. 142 aboard. Conflicting rpts of distress call.

3/23 – House of Reps passes resolution (348-48) urging POTUS to arm Ukraine. Moscow warns move would be viewed as “act of war.” Poland calls up reserve forces.

3/23 – US/UK auth warning of growing poten for ISIS-inspired chlorine gas attacks on trains, subways or at sporting event. Technique now widely used in Iraq / Syria.

Homeland Security Threat Info Direct to Your
Mobile Device 
* Get Away Early, Give Your Family Extra Safety.
* In Wide Use By Gov, 1st Responders, Travelers.
* 24/7/365 Monitoring. No Hype. Just the Bad Stuff.
* Issued Hours and Days before the MSM.
* On your Cell Phone, Tablet or Email.
* We Give The Clear Truth, Unlike the MSM.
* Over a Decade in Operation!
We are NOT part of the government.
In fact, they are our customers!

Travel Security Update

The U.S. Dept. of State is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning on international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to do a little research on the security situation prior to departure.

Latest USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings

Syria   03/03/2015
Honduras   03/02/2015
Jordan Mall Alert   02/26/2015
Ebola Travel Alert   02/02/2015
Worldwide Caution   01/09/2015
Worldwide Alert   12/19/2014


See all USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings HERE.


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Via: threatjournal

10 Best Survival Items

Guest post by: Chuck Savage


What is the best survival tool you can have along with you? A lot of people are looking everyday for the best survival tool or tools to have if things go wrong. Thousands of dollars are spent each month on the things we think will make us safe.  The truth is no one can have everything that you need in a compromised world nor would you be able to carry everything you might need when disaster strikes.  I believe that the best tool that we all have is sitting right between our ears.

Coming up with strategy and plans and having the knowledge to improvise as you go is your best bet. If you’re old enough to remember the show MacGyver, you’ll remember how he was able to come up with solutions to problems with sometimes not much more than his brain and a Swiss army knife.  However, in all survival situations a few basic tools and supplies are needed. My list includes the following:

1. Knife and Sharpener: This is where I can go overboard but a good quality folding knife with a 3 to 4 inch blade knife will work. I prefer a fixed blade with a full tang for strength. This knife will be used for the normal cutting jobs but may be called on to split wood, fashion a shelter, remove splinters, prepare food and strike your fire steel. I carry a small sharpener to touch up my blade from time to time.

2. Fire Starter and Lighter: Being able to start a fire could be a matter of life or death. A fire can ward off hypothermia, cook food, make water safe to drink, and give encouragement.  Magnesium and a fire steel are great for starting a fire. They last a long time and can be used in damp conditions. Lighters are good to have but will eventually run out of fluid.

3. Cordage: 550 cord is great. I have a survival bracelet made with 550 cord that I wear everywhere. It’s good to keep a roll in your pack. Some people even replace their boot laces with 550 cord. Cordage has so many uses including making shelters, snares, repairs, or fishing line.

4. Poncho: This will keep you dry and warmer in the rain and wind or can water proof a small shelter.  Because wind will accelerate the cooling of your body and speed up the onset of hypothermia, a poncho is important.  I prefer a poncho because they have more uses than a rain suit and cover you.  Plus, they can be worn over your pack. A poncho can even cover your rifle and scope from the elements.

5. Wool Blanket/ Space Blanket: Wool blankets are water resistant and can provide heat when wet. They can also be tied with cordage to make a jacket.  I recall pictures of soldiers during the Civil War wearing their blankets tied at the bottom and worn across one shoulder as a sash.  Wool blankets, however, can take up so much room that I carry a space blanket in my shoulder bag at all times. These are less than the size of my wallet and weigh even less.

6. Water Purifier: There are so many products out there to purify water.  There are drops, tablets, powder, filters, or boiling to name a few.  Finding a vessel to carry and treat your water is the trick.  Military canteens with built in water cups work well but are a bit bulky. Small portable purifiers are great and easy to carry.

7. Food Source: M.R.E.’sfreeze dried foods designed for backpacking and food bars are a few ideas. High energy snacks are good because they sustain your energy level longer than foods high in carbohydrates. Our bodies burn carbohydrates quicker than protein. I think of the word picture that carbs are like putting paper on a fire and protein is like putting a log on the fire.

8. Firearm and Extra Ammunition: I prefer a pistol that you are good with or possibly a light weight rifle. A firearm is not one of the most important tools but with good hunting skills, you can put food in your belly. Guns can also be used to signal for help. Three shots spaced evenly apart is the universal signal for help.

9. First Aid Kit: Careful as we may be, we will need a first aid kit at some time. Survival takes work and when you are working hard, it’s hard not to get cuts, scrapes, and bruises. Most important are wound control and splinting. If you are on medication, be sure to put some in your kit and rotate it out to insure freshness.

10. Flashlight and Batteries: A LED flashlight would be my choice because of the amount of light it gives out using less energy from the battery. I use a headlamp and small tactical flashlight. Be sure to buy the best quality batteries so they will last longer.

The Most Important Item

This list is the most basic of things a person might need to survive. Without the knowledge of how to use them though, they areall but useless. Because we will all be limited on what we can take with us in an emergency or survival scenario, priorities need to be set.  If I could choose only five things, what would they be? I would take the knife, fire starter, water filter, space blanket and cordage. What would you pick?  These are tools and supplies for the short term but because the crisis may last far into the future, plans need to be made for sustainability. Food and water and shelter are the three main things you will need to provide in order to survive.

Knowledge of planting crops, sustained water treatment and sewer treatment, renewable lighting sources are among some of the most important considerations. Long guns for hunting and traps will be useful in the future.  Keep in mind that being able to provide meat from a quiet means could be important. It may be good to be as silent and draw as little attention to yourself and your location as possible. Quiet sources to hunt with would be pellet guns, using sub sonic ammo, bow and arrow, blowguns, sling shot and traps.

I am even preparing to set a trap line for squirrels using large rat traps attached to lower limbs of trees. Just drill holes on both ends of the wooden traps and secure with 550 cord or baling wire. Peanut butter is the perfect bait for these little critters as they can’t resist it!

I found that if you leave food out, it will not take long for your protein to find you. Our hunting camp became over run with raccoons and opossums this season because some in our camp had become careless with trash and left over food. They visited us every night just after dark.  Snares for rabbits and raccoons are easy to set. These animals are all good for adding protein to your diet.  Man cannot live on meat alone so I plan to have heirloom seeds to plant a garden. We just can’t stock or carry enough can goods to sustain us.

Another source of food is wild edibles. I admit that I am not an expert in that area. Because of the danger of getting sick orpoisoned, I would suggest that you learn what is safe from an expert in that field.  I was told that Native Americans learned what they could eat by observing what animals ate.  Sounds smart but I would rather be taught by an expert.  The bottom line is that we all need to be prepared for short term emergencies and work toward being able to live off the land for an extended time in the future. With all the hype and craze of prepping, use your most important asset, common sense, to guide you as you make decisions for preparing to survive.

This list is by no means complete and I am sure that you would want to add or take away some of the items. I have made this list based on need and what I can comfortably carry in my shoulder go bag that goes with me every day, everywhere.
What is the best survival tool?  That is subject to debate but I think that without knowledge, they can all become useless. Learn how to use these tools and practice often with them.


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Via: SHTFBlog

Government Orders Bank Tellers To Alert Police About Your Cash Withdrawals: So They Can “Seize the Funds… Investigate”

How can you tell if you’re living in a police state?

The short answer is that you’re living in a police state when everyone becomes a suspected criminal or terrorist. And if the following report is any indicator, then welcome to the Reich.

The Justice Department has ordered bank tellers across America to contact law enforcement if they suspect your cash withdrawal may have something to do with illicit activity. There doesn’t need to be proof, or any sort of red flag indicator – merely suspicion by the bank teller processing your transaction is now enough to have you investigated by authorities.

Via The Sovereign Man Simon Black

What a lot of people don’t realize is that banks are already unpaid government spies.

Federal regulations in the Land of the Free REQUIRE banks to file ‘suspicious activity reports’ or SARs on their customers. And it’s not optional.

Banks have minimum quotas of SARs they need to fill out and submit to the federal government.

If they don’t file enough SARs, they can be fined. They can lose their banking charter. And yes, bank executives and directors can even be imprisoned for noncompliance.

This is the nature of the financial system in the Land of the Free.

And chances are, your banker has filled one out on you—they submitted 1.6 MILLION SARs in 2013 alone.

But now the Justice Department is saying that SARs aren’t enough.

Now, whenever banks suspect something ‘suspicious’ is going on, they want them to pick up the phone and call the cops:

“[W]e encourage those institutions to consider whether to take more action: specifically, to alert law enforcement authorities about the problem, who may be able to seize the funds, initiate an investigation, or take other proactive steps.”

So what exactly constitutes ‘suspicious activity’? Basically anything.

According to the handbook for the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council, banks are required to file a SAR with respect to:

“Transactions conducted or attempted by, at, or through the bank (or an affiliate) and aggregating $5,000 or more…”

It’s utterly obscene. According to the Justice Department, going to the bank and withdrawing $5,000 should potentially prompt a banker to rat you out to the police.

Do you need to withdraw cash to purchase a used car from a private seller?

Or perhaps you are pulling out some emergency cash for a loved one.

Either one of these activities are now considered suspicious and if your cash withdrawal amounts to even a few thousand dollars your bank teller is under a legal requirement to alert officials about your suspected criminal activity. And before you argue that you can’t possibly be a suspect because you have done nothing wrong, consider that even being suspected of being a suspect is now enough to land you on a terrorist watchlist in America.

In fact, according to the Obama Administration concrete facts are no longer necessary:

The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.

Because the government tracks “suspected terrorists” as well as “known terrorists,” individuals can be watchlisted if they are suspected of being a suspected terrorist, or if they are suspected of associating with people who are suspected of terrorism activity.

But you’re not a terrorist, right?

Wrong. In America, everyone is now suspected of terrorism or suspected of associating with people who might be terrorists. And because this is now the culture that exists within law enforcement agencies on the local, state and Federal levels, everyone is considered guilty until proven innocent.

And that goes double for your personal assets.

In 2012 law enforcement agencies seized $4.2 billion in assets from Americans. In most cases the money, homes, cars or other assets were seized without probable cause, warrants, charge or trial.

Because according to the government, you don’t own that and the Justice Department just made it easier to engage in authorized “shake-downs” of the American people.

Here’s how the scam works:

A police officer pulls a car over for speeding.  The officer thinks he smells marijuana and seizes money and perhaps other property from the vehicle. The officer (or other law enforcement agent) writes and signs a statement or affidavit explaining the situation and reasons for the seizure of the property.   That statement is used to show the courts the link between the alleged criminal behavior and the seized property.

This amounts to true “highway robbery” or roadside piracy.

Because the case is against the property and not the owner, court cases have names like these:

United States v. $124,700 in U.S. Currency

State v. One 2012 Mercedes Benz

United States v. One Gold Necklace

Property, of course, does not have constitutional rights.  As Sarah Stillman explains in her New Yorker article Taken:

There’s no right to an attorney and, in most states, no presumption of innocence. Owners who wish to contest often find that the cost of hiring a lawyer far exceeds the value of their seized goods. Washington, D.C., charges up to twenty-five hundred dollars simply for the right to challenge a police seizure in court, which can take months or even years to resolve.


Asset forfeiture creates huge incentives for law enforcement officers to “police for profit”.  The money can be used for salaries and to purchase advanced equipment.

Full Report –  Civil Asset Forfeiture: “You Don’t Own That”

From this point forward keep in mind that a trip to the bank could end with you being “investigated” by police. As we’ve seen time and again, police can simply call in a K-9 unit that will inevitably find trace amounts of drugs on your cash (because all cash has trace amounts of cocaine, meth or other substances). Once you’ve been identified as a suspected drug smuggler, they give themselves the authority to seize your cash, car, and even your house if they so choose.

It’s a sad state of affairs when law-abiding American citizens now have to worry about how to hide their money where the bankers and police can’t find it. When travelling or keeping money at home consider the Shovel and Maneuver for Hiding Gold, Guns and Other Assets:

And of course, you’ll want to keep mum about your new investments and how they’re being stored, because loose lips will pose a threat to not just your gold hoard, but your life as well. If thieves get wind of your investments, they may show up not with a metal detector, but armaments, putting your entire family at risk.

The scary part is that the thieves are now our very own government officials and law enforcement authorities so they can give themselves the legal authority to come in guns blazing anytime they so choose.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


Via: shtfplan

Spinning Your Own Yarn: How to get started

From our friends at:


Spinning is one of those skills that, once ubiquitous, has become something of a novelty. In the past, spinning your own yarn with a drop spindle or spinning wheel was as common as cooking dinner.

Everybody used to spin.

If you are alive on the earth today, you have ancestors who spun.

The industrial revolution pretty much obliterated spinning as a cottage industry, and spinning dropped out of the public consciousness as a result. This is particularly evident in the sheer number of film adaptations of fairy tales that don’t get it right. (By the way, Princess Aurora, that was the distaff, not the spindle!)

Spinning your own yarn saw a slight revival beginning in the 1970’s when more people saw the merits of spinning one’s own yarn. My mom was one of these, and I learned from her. Today, thousands of people spin. Most major metropolitan areas on the United States have a spinning guild.

Spinning your own yarn is for everyone!

Everyone should at least dabble in hand spinning, if for no other reason than to appreciate the ease by which we come by our clothing in the modern world. Clothing, prior to the invention of mechanized spinning machines, represented an amazing amount of wealth, not because of the cost of materials and equipment, but the amount of time required to produce it.

Adding spinning to one’s repertoire is wise also from a preparedness standpoint. If ever a situation arises where it is impossible to obtain blankets or mittens, but your neighbor happens to have a flock of sheep, you will have the skill set necessary to keep your family warn during the winter. Maybe that’s a long-shot, but maybe not.

100% wool, from a merino ram named Mikey

Even if you never find yourself in a situation where you will have to know spinning to obtain clothing, often the items you can make yourself will be superior in quality to anything found in the store. The wool mittens I made my son two years ago are so warm that, after playing in the snow for forty-five minutes, every part of him is chilly except for his hands, which sweat. I made my middle child a woolen bodysuit/ coat when he was a baby, and everyone who has ever seen it gushes over how adorable it is.

Finally, there is the personal satisfaction that comes from producing tangible, usable items out of mere fluff.

Necessary Equipment

Yes, people still use these!

Spinning your own yarn is a hobby that will allow you to spend as much or as little money as you want. A spinning wheel is the biggest and most expensive piece of equipment, and these can run anywhere from $300-$1200. Other items, mostly for the purpose of preparing the fiber for spinning, are also available, but that’s a subject for another article. Until you are sure that you really enjoy spinning, I would discourage you from spending more than $30.

When I was fifteen, I spun my very first yarn out of the combings from my family’s fluffy shetland sheepdog, using a spindle my mom happened to have laying around. A couple of months later, when my family moved overseas and my mother’s other equipment was in storage, I managed to throw together a working spindle using the top of a cottage cheese container and a chopstick. I couldn’t find knitting needles, so I used sharpened pencils. (Not recommended, but doable.) I made a very fluffy scarf.

If you are not confident in your ability to utilize common household items in this fashion, I would recommend that you buy a basic drop spindle (Ashford’s student drop spindle will only set you back $9.50), and some commercially prepared fiber, known as “roving” or “top.”

If you want to try some actual raw sheep’s fleece, the very cheapest way to get it is to make friends with a kid with a 4H lamb. You could also search local sheep farmers in your area and contact them aboutpurchasing a fleece directly – expect to pay in the neighborhood of $40-$50 for a decent fleece. The methods for washing fleece are many and varied; that is also a topic for another day. In the meantime, you can’t go wrong with roving.

How To Start

As in everything, the best way to start spinning is to jump right in and do it. It is best learned from another person, one-on-one, sitting in the room with you, but not everyone has another spinner readily available to learn from. For this reason, YouTube tutorials are a godsend. A quick search for “how to spin with a drop spindle” will turn up a lot of possibilities.

Yarns spun by the author. Pennies are to show scale.

You’ll notice first off that it is an activity that requires the coordinated use of both hands. It can be tricky to get both hands to work together at first, but don’t be discouraged. I promise you’ll figure it out, and soon! My oldest learned how to spin on my spinning wheel when he was four.  If a child can do it, you can do it, too.

Other good spinning resources can be found from the Joy of Handspinning and Interweave Press.

I hope this quick overview of spinning inspires you to try it. Once you have knit with your own handspun yarn, you will never want to go back.

In this video, I demonstrate how to spin yarn with a wheel.

Resources mentioned in this article:

Managing Blood Pressure With Essential Oils

Something of that concerns every single one of us is how we will deal with health issues in the event modern medicine and western doctors are no longer available to keep us well.  This goes far beyond current health woes because, as you know, stuff happens and someone that is perfectly healthy one day may be stricken with a health-related malady the next.

With that introduction, a few months back I decided to explore whether the use of essential oils could help manage high blood pressure during times of trouble.  From the get go, I will tell you that managing blood pressure with essential oils is a very personal quest.  My own, traditionally perfect blood pressure, had suddenly taken a leap from 120/80 to 160/90 and higher.  I was not a happy camper.

After consulting with my physician, I decided to experiment using essential oils before taking more drastic measures, named pharmaceuticals.

What is Blood Pressure?

Let me quote from Joe and Amy Alton’s excellent book, The Survival Medicine Handbook:

Blood pressure is the measure of the blood flow pushing against the walls of the arteries in your body.  Without this flow of blood, oxygen would never get to all the organs of the body.

If this pressure, however, is elevated over time, it can cause long-term damage.  Many millions of adults in the U.S. have this condition, which is often asymptomatic (no signs or symptoms).  Because of this, it has been referred to as a “silent killer”.  Blood pressure tends to rise with increasing age and weight.

For better or for worse, many adults routinely take blood pressure medications to control this silent killer.  The hope is that by managing blood pressure, a stoke or heart attack can be avoided.

Essential Oils to Manage High Blood Pressure

The results of my research and testing have been quite remarkable.  Before I share what has worked for me, I want to state that my use of essential oils to manage high blood pressure began with a baseline of good health.  A healthy diet, frequent exercise, and height and weight in proportion are always a good starting point for any sort of natural protocol and I passed on all accounts.

With that out of the way, I can tell you that by applying the blend below, my blood pressure has stabilized at about 110/76 in the mornings and 106/66 in the evenings.  On a few occasions it has been lower; low enough for me to verify that it was not too low. (It wasn’t.)

After a bit of trial and error, here is the recipe I use.

Blood Pressure Salve

1 ounce Simple Salve
30 drops Ylang Ylang
15 drops Cypress
15 drops Marjoram
15 drops Rosemary
15 drops Frankincense

After melting the Simple Salve, add the essential oils and mix well using a small stick or toothpick.  Set it aside to firm up overnight.

Twice a day, take a bit of BP Salve, as I call it, and rub some into the sole of the left foot, right below the big toe.  Also rub some below the ring finger of your left hand and over your heart.  These are commonly referred to as the “reflex points” for the heart.  (You might find the WikiHow on Reflexology interesting.)

If you don’t want to make up a batch of Simple Salve (directions here), you can use coconut oil, olive oil, or some other carrier oil.

Although I prefer the salve, I have also used the same essential oils in a roller ball topped with fractionated (liquid) coconut oil.  In that case, use just 10 drops of Ylang Ylang and 5 drops each of the other oils.

Essential Oils Equals Calm Equals Less Stress

There is one additional step I have been taking as part of my overall blood pressure management protocol.  Nightly, I have set a diffuser up on my nightstand and have diffused this same blend throughout the night.

To simplify the process, I have mixed a small bottle of the oils in the proportions shown.  Then before bed, I add water to the diffuser and 8 drops of my blend.  Whether it is a coincidence or not, my nocturnal visits to the bathroom have gone from six or seven times a night to one or two.  I am sleeping better and, of course, my blood pressure is back in the normal range.

This has me thinking that perhaps the reason this protocol is working is because the the oils have been calming.  Calm evokes relaxation and the end result is less stress.  Is that really what is happening here?

I leave it up to you to decide whether you want to try a diffuser; all that I can say is that it is working for me.

A Word About Blood Pressure Monitors

I currently have two blood pressure monitors, although one is new and did not arrive in time for this article.  One, the LifeSource UB-512 is more than a few years old and is being replaced because the battery cover has broken.  It is being held together with tape at the moment but still is cranking away giving readings very similar to those in my doctor’s office.  That said,  I am looking forward to my new Omron 7 and expect that it will perform equally well.

Both Shelly and I have found that our BP readings are lower at night than in the morning. According to our physicians, it is normal to have some fluctuation so there is no cause for worry unless the numbers start to climb above the 140/90 range and stay there.

Regardless of what particular monitor you choose, taking a periodic reading is important so that you can take action if your levels become too high.  As I discovered myself, that can happen in a flash.

The Next Step

Before you rush off and begin to self-medicate using essential oils let me say this.  If you are under a doctor’s care for hypertension (high blood pressure), keep track of your results and share them with your health care provider before making any change in your drug protocol.  With Shelly (aka the Survival Husband), his cardiologist was on board and changed his drug protocol ever so slightly because the results with EOs were promising.  Not as good as mine, but promising.

The other thing is similar to all natural remedies, what works for one person make work better – or not at all – for someone else.  Always keep that in mind and anticipate the need to experiment to find your own unique formula.

Disclaimer:  Remember that I am not a health care professional.  Furthermore, essential oils have not been approved by the FDA for medical use and this should not be construed as medical advice.

Essential Oils for Health and Wellness

After a ton of research, for wellness purposes I use 100% pure essential oils from Spark Naturals.  There are a lot reasons the most important being their commitment to both quality and value.  I am satisfied that the raw materials used in Spark Naturals products are tested and authenticated to be of pharmaceutical grade purity.

I also like that they are not an MLM and everyone pays the same price without having to cough up dues or membership fees. Spark Naturals is open about the fact that there is no official system that grades essential oils as A, B, C or Therapeutic grade.  If you see a site that makes that claim, it is marketing hype and not fact.

The Final Word

I personally feel that essential oils are minor miracle workers.  Some of my personal favorites include Melaleuca (Tea Tree), OreganoPeppermint, and Lavender as well as the oils used in the blood pressure salve/blend.  That said, if you are just starting out, I suggest you start with these four and branch out as you become more comfortable with using essential oils for day to day first aid purposes.

If the time ever comes when modern medicine is not available, I know for sure that I will turn to my cache of oils to get me through.  As I have taken to saying:  Stuff Happens – Be Ready!

Related Articles:

Spotlight:  Essential Oils from Spark Naturals

For health and wellness purposes, I use Spark Naturals oils exclusively. By that I mean any essential oil that is applied directly to my skin.  You will find that dealing with Spark Naturals is a pleasure; they have great monthly sales and customer service is top notch!


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


Via:  backdoorsurvival

Iran’s military endorses Plan to Hit United States with EMP attack

American officials are confirming that Iranian Military commanders have endorsed a plan to attack the United States with a strategic EMP blast that could cripple the country’s power grid for months, possibly years.


The news was leaked earlier this week when Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and Director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, wrote a column for an Israeli news organization. He warned that American defense experts made the discovery when translating an Iranian military handbook.


The news is even more troubling, since the Obama administration is in the middle of nuclear negotiations with Iran that could allow the Iranians to keep 19,000 installed centrifuges – equipment that can be used to enrich uranium for nuclear bombs.


EMP plans mentioned over 20 times

The Washington Examiner reports that the Iranian document discusses an EMP attack over 20 different times. With a relatively small amount of nuclear materiel the Iranians could be capable of launching an attack that would cause a nationwide blackout.


Arizona Republican Rep. Trent Franks, who recently introduced a bill to protect the grid from EMP attacks, is also warning of the threat from Iran. He wrote on his website:


“The threat of an electromagnetic pulse weapon represents the single greatest asymmetric capability that could fall into the hands of America’s enemies. Should a nuclear weapon from a rogue state such as Iran be detonated in Earth’s atmosphere at a sufficient height above the continental United States, the blast of electromagnetic energy could immediately cripple America’s electric power grid. Currently, the vast majority of the United States’ infrastructure is unsecured and exposed.”

“According to some experts, just one properly placed EMP blast could disable so large a swath of American technology that between 70-90% of the United States’ population could become unsustainable.”

Obama administration continues to ignore the threat

As the Obama administration continues to make excuse after excuse to defend the Iranians, the government of Iran seems to be preparing to go to war with the West. In fact, last month Iran’s Military Chief said, “we are ready for a decisive battle against the U.S.”


Late last month, Iranian military officials conducted military drills, named Great Prophet 9, where their military attacked and destroyed a replica of a US aircraft carrier. Iranian TV aired pictures of the mock U.S. aircraft carrier as the ship was attacked during the Revolutionary Guard naval exercises near the Strait of Hormuz.


The Guard’s navy chief, Admiral Ali Fadavi, said on state TV, “American aircraft carriers are very big ammunition depots housing a lot of missiles, rockets, torpedoes and everything else.”


What would an EMP attack look like?


If the United States were hit by an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) the damage would be catastrophic. In a matter of minutes, everything our country depends on would come to a screeching halt.


From ATM’s and banking systems, to key infrastructure like power, water and gas utilities, you would immediately see failures across the board. Our way of life would change in the blink of an eye, and it would take years to even begin to repair the damage.


Dr. Peter Vincent Pry’s Column warns:


Iran armed with nuclear missiles poses an unprecedented threat to global civilization.

One nuclear warhead detonated at high-altitude over the United States would blackout the national electric grid and other life sustaining critical infrastructures for months or years by means of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). A nationwide blackout lasting one year, according to the Congressional EMP Commission, could cause chaos and starvation that leaves 90 percent of Americans dead.

Iranian military documents describe such a scenario–including a recently translated Iranian military textbook that endorses nuclear EMP attack against the United States.

Thus, Iran with a small number of nuclear missiles can by EMP attack threaten the existence of modernity and be the death knell for Western principles of international law, humanism and freedom. For the first time in history, a failed state like Iran could destroy the most successful societies on Earth and convert an evolving benign world order into world chaos.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


Via:  offgridsurvival

What Do You Prep For: Common Personal Disasters

Guest post by Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker.


Today we’ll discuss what I argue is the most common set of circumstances that you might prepare for.  Indeed, it has been my experience that these scenarios are likely to come up for most people several times during their lives.  This marks them as quite unique among things you might prepare for, in that the odds of most things that are “prepped” for are extremely unlikelyyet they tend to occupy most people’s minds in this regard.

Consider your ordinary “stomping grounds”; that is, where you roam during your daily life over the space of a year.  It probably involves a radius of a hundred miles from your home on a very common (weekly or monthly) basis and it might involve a range of as much as 500 miles from your home, depending on what you do for a living and where you are situated.  For some who live in a small town or in a big city that range may be smaller, but it almost certainly involves a radius of at least 20 miles.

Now consider this: It’s 3:00 AM.  You wake up choking and there is a nasty, yellow, flickering light coming from the hallway.  Your house or apartment is on fire!  You have 30 seconds to grab whatever and make your way out or you’re going to die.

Far too many people in this situation do die, and we read about them all the time in the newspaper, but nearly none of them should. This sort of emergency situation is one of the “base” levels of preparedness that everyone should have thought of and had put effort into.  The obvious from the fire departments and such is “have a smoke detector” but there’s much more to it than that.

How many times have you seen someone who survived with nothing more than their underwear?  They had no “go bag” sitting inside their sleeping area they could grab that had a few basics in it — like some sort of lightweight but effective means of preserving body heat.  Now consider that if this occurs while in a place not so-populated in the winter time you might well be in serious trouble or even die of exposure!

The other place that such disasters commonly happen is in our vehicles.  Do you have a small, easily-toted “get me the F out of here” bag in your car?  If so, what’s in it?

In today’s world of cellphones most people blow this sort of thing off.  That’s a serious mistake; not only is there no guarantee of a signal but cellphones require battery power and can be damaged in a crash or other incident.  Water exposure, in particular, can render your phone instantly useless and in many (but not all) cases a fractured screen renders the phone unable to be used as well.

Never mind a reasonable med kit, which most people simply do not have.  Why not, given how cheap this is?

If you broke down — or had a serious mechanical failure and crashed as a result — 20 miles from nowhere, how serious would this be?  What if you find yourself somewhere that forces you to abandon your vehicle for some reason (e.g. it’s mechanically broken beyond your ability to fix it) without assistance?  It gets even worse if you are on required prescription medication or are injured and have nothing to deal with your injuries.

The goal here is to have something you can grab in seconds and that will get you home (or to someone you trust, if your home is destroyed) in a bad situation.  Comfort is not a factor and neither is the end of civilization, social order or anything similar.

These scenarios all presume the disaster is local to you but that doesn’t make it any less real from your point of view.  They are the most-common scenarios and yet they’re also the ones that most people who call themselves “preppers” pay the least attention to.  This is a serious mistake as you’re rather likely to have several of these incidents happen to you during your life; all of the other potential scenarios are either almost-entirely avoidable or unlikely to happen at all!

There is utterly no way anyone can call themselves a “prepper” unless they have in their possession pretty-much all the time a bag or other “go kit” containing, at minimum:

  • Warmth and makeshift shelter.  You’ll die of exposure faster than anything else out in the open under less than great conditions.  Accidents and personal disasters never happen when it’s cold, rainy or you have otherwise compromised environmental situations, right?  The cheezy one-time-use mylar “space blankets” are small, light, and sort of work; if not so much for warmth they will help keep you dry.  Their problem is that they’re almost-literally “one time use”; unwrap it and it’s a pain in the ass to pack back up, plus they rip very easily.  But they can be wrapped around you under a light jacket or even a shirt and pants and will provide a near-impervious wind barrier and some heat reflection, which is good.  The more-serious versions take a bit more room, aren’t much heavier, are reusable, wrapped around you will actually keep you warm and a couple of them can be turned into a quite-effective makeshift shelter.  Be aware that wind + wet = bad news, even in relatively moderate temperatures.  If you travel in places where the temperature goes below freezing a poly blanket that will not absorb water is a damn good idea to keep in the car although it’s totally impractical to stick in a bag due to size.  Ditto for an extra woven hat and at least light gloves.  If the temperature where you are goes below 20F or so you need to pay far more attention to this circumstance as any sort of wind turns such temperatures into immediate life-threatening exposure if you don’t have good thermal and wind protection, and effective protection against those conditions is quite bulky.  Get wet in such conditions and you’re in big trouble.
  • At least two means of making fire.  The simple is a pizeo butane lighter, preferably a “jet” or “torch” style.  These are cheap; you can get ’em at the local Chinamart for under $10.  Why that rather than a BIC? Because the flint-based striker lighter will not work if it gets wet.  Try it yourself; take your common BIC and stick it under the faucet for a few seconds, then try to use it.  Surprise!  The pizeo one will function with nothing other than blowing the water out of it with your mouth.  The second should be some form of mechanical fire starting device but don’t kid yourself about how easy these are to use; they certainly work (especially the magnesium ones you shave and then use an embedded flint) but they take time.  Fire isn’t just for warmth, it’s also a signal and can be used to draw attention.  Be aware that in many situations you may not be able to get a fire going (think deep snow or soaking rain and no dry flammable material) but if you need warmth and can get one going life gets a lot better in the immediate sense.
  • Light.  LED flashlights are great but be sure to have a couple of new, wrapped and thus waterproof batteries.  Two flashlights are even better.  A flashlight and a wearable headlamp trumps six flashlights; the latter is extremely useful for fixing that which you CAN fix on your vehicle in the middle of the night out on a dark road, for example. Rechargeable batteries are fine in these but you must have alkaline or lithium primary dry cells in your kit for them, double-bagged to keep them from getting wet — rechargeable batteries all self-discharge and a dead battery means no light!
  • A means of obtaining reasonably-certain to be drinkable water.  Water is life.  Water of unknown quality can literally be death and if it’s not you may wish it was.  This typically doesn’t mean bottled water (it’s heavy, containers are subject to puncture and can go bad over time if stored) but it does mean a way of filtering appearing-to-be-clean but of unknown quality water.  You need a half-gallon a day per person if not under stress, and more if you are or would like to use some for reasons other than drinking (trust me, you do.)  Forget food, by the way. You’ll be fine for a week without anything to eat and this is a 48 to 72-hour situation at worst.  You won’t be happy but you’ll live.
  • A cutting device; combined with a minor toolkit is even better.  A decent multitool fits this requirement.
  • Vinyl gloves.  Those are for two purposes — they are great for routine emergencies where you can fix what’s wrong (e.g. with your car) but would trash your hands and then clothing in doing so (and that would suck) and they’re also very useful if you come upon someone else who is in serious trouble such as having just had a serious auto accident.  Blood-born disease is a no-bull**** thing and being able to immediately don basic hand protection is always good.  These are so cheap, light and small that there’s no excuse for not having two or three pair in your bag all the time.
  • Money.  If you always have access to credit on your card lines it might be ok to rely on that but if not a couple hundred bucks needs to be in your kit.  A vehicle with nothing wrong with it other than being out of fuel is at best a shelter against the wet  and wind (but not cold) and at worst is an instant tow and a big fat bill.  Note that if you have a diesel vehicle the necessary tools to restart after running out of fuel or getting air in the system, and knowing how to use them, are necessary.
  • A reliable, small and light noise-making device.  Fox40 whistle anyone?  Have one in the bag.  Believe me, these things are loud
  • A basic med kit.  A fair discussion can be had as to what ought to be in there, but if you have particular required medications that will leave you infirm or worse within 24-48 hours those must be in there.  A small supply of both DEET-based bug spray and sunblock are things you’ll be happy for in non-emergency situations when you forget them, and you will.  Some sort of infection control wash (e.g. Hibiclensfor minor to moderate wounds that could be significant sources of infection is a good idea.  If you want to get more-aggressive you can; I have my personal preferences here including a couple of things that are very unlikely to be needed but if they are they can save your life or someone else’s (e.g. Celox.)  I also carry a pretty-serious OTC systemic antihistamine (generic Benedryl), my personal favorite anti-allergy medication (since hayfever gets me pretty good) and aspirin. Note that if you need a generic antihistamine due to some sort of allergic reaction and don’t have any you’ll be damned miserable at best.  This is not a substitute for serious allergies (e.g. peanuts or similar); if you have that sort of thing going on you need an epipen in the bag as not having one at the wrong time could literally mean your death.
  • A modest amount of decent cordage.  The gold standard is so-called “550 Paracord.”  It’s inexpensive, light, small in reasonable quantity and strong.  That plus a couple of the heavier space blankets = makeshift shelter.  The inner strands can be stripped out and used as kindling if necessary (yes, it burns.)  It can be used as a component of a sling or splint.

Everyone wants to talk about weapons, of course, but consider carefully the law in the areas where you are and travel to.  There’s little worse than wrecking your vehicle, surviving without much bodily damage, successfully bailing off with your go bag in the car and then getting arrested when found because there’s a pistol in the bag and where you are forbids their possession outside of one’s home or business.  It’s even worse if you wind up needing to take some form of public transportation back home after such an event and can’t take that weapon with you; now what?  Attempting to sneak it through is risking a prison sentence while not doing so or removing enough pieces to make it legal to transport means abandoning or intentionally destroying an expensive piece of equipment.

All of this should fit in what would look like a moderate-sized purse.  LA Police Gear has a “tactical bail out gear bag” that is of a decent size and is very serviceable for this sort of purpose; it’s inexpensive and solid enough, while having a sufficient number of compartments to separate and keep things organized.  I own a couple of them and they both do the job and are cost-effective; the included and detachable shoulder strap makes for easy carrying if required.

IMHO this is the most common set of circumstances; indeed, I’m willing to bet you’re at least 10 and perhaps 100 times more likely to need this level of preparation than anything else, and yet not one person in a hundred, including many who claim to be “preppers”, have this covered.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


Via:  shtfplan