Category Archive: Bug out Bags

Free Homesteading, Cooking, Prepper, Survival Kindle eBooks for 01-17-18

Free Kindle Survival Homesteading Books

Free Homesteading, cooking, Survival, , and Prepping Kindle ebooks? Yes FREE Kindle ebooks!! Every now and then Amazon runs special offers on some of their Kindle ebooks, making them free for a limited time (usually just 24 hours).

I will check Amazon on regularly basis for their free Kindle ebooks in related subjects such as survival, homesteading and prepping etc. I will do all the leg-work for you so you don’t have to. You can just come back here regularly, so make sure to bookmark this blog.

These ebooks are only free for a limited time so if you are interested in one make sure you get it right away so you don’t lose out!

Remember you DON’T need a kindle to take advantage of these! There are FREE kindle apps for most major platforms!! iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac and Android. You can find those apps here!

Always check price before engaging, to make sure it hasn’t returned to full price.

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Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

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Free Homesteading, Cooking, Prepper, Survival Kindle eBooks for 01-13-18

Free Kindle Survival Homesteading Books

Free Survival, Homesteading, and Prepping Kindle ebooks? Yes FREE Kindle ebooks!! Every now and then Amazon runs special offers on some of their Kindle ebooks, making them free for a limited time (usually just 24 hours).

I will check Amazon on regularly basis for their free Kindle ebooks in related subjects such as survival, homesteading and prepping etc. I will do all the leg-work for you so you don’t have to. You can just come back here regularly, so make sure to bookmark this blog.

These ebooks are only free for a limited time so if you are interested in one make sure you get it right away so you don’t lose out!

Remember you DON’T need a kindle to take advantage of these! There are FREE kindle apps for most major platforms!! iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac and Android. You can find those apps here!

Always check price before engaging, to make sure it hasn’t returned to full price.


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Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.















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How Do You Find A Good Survival Retreat Property?

With global economic instability rising and personal security issues taking center stage in the U.S., consumer demand is increasing for remote properties that offer security and the ability to be self-contained. This could include providing your own electric power, drinking water, food, and personal protection. In other words, it’s the ability to live independently, in a self-sufficient manner, with renewable resources far from urban chaos.  Are you looking for a remote survival property?

Think very seriously about it. We did, and what follows is a checklist of considerations for finding a survival retreat. It is the culmination of a four-year process of searching, site visitations, and more searching. When we started our search 10 years ago, we were living about 100 miles from “ground zero” for every nutjob with a terrorist death wish. There was some urgency, even then. We knew we had to prepare to Get Out of Dodge. We were convinced that, when things go South, having a dedicated safe retreat for relocating our loved ones would put your minds at relative ease, and it did. It would make no difference what the SHTF crisis was. It could be man-made or a natural disaster that causes you to leave your immediate area; it could be a nationwide financial melt-down or a long-term security situation that could make returning to your primary residence perilous or impractical. Having a retreat, when facing TEOTWAWKI, provides you with a secure place to go that is far from inner city anarchy and where you can safely maintain food reserves and other supplies and start your life over again. If that sounds like a practical alternative to holing up in your house while looters with sledgehammers crack open nearby ATMs, then our experiences could be a good primer for you.

Where do you start in determining a good location for your survival retreat? Start by doing your own research. Understand that it’s going to take some time commitment to find what you want. It’s probably one of the most important purchases of your life and for your loved ones, so take the time to be thorough. Read up on what makes a good retreat property. James Wesley, Rawls’ book, Rawles on Retreats and Relocation, is a good place to start. Joel Skousen’s Strategic Relocation is another well-known reference. Use popular Internet sites (like to select your top two or three areas of the country, and learn all you can about those locations. Be sure what you select is within your budget and is a practical choice for your family and/or retreat mates. Unless you have unlimited funds, there will be trade-offs and compromises in your selection process. Eventually, you’ll boil down to the lowest common denominator– the “must-haves” at your retreat property. Once you’ve really narrowed your choices to one single area, get some professional help. If you don’t buy and sell properties on a routine basis or have a very close friend who already lives in the area you’ve selected and is willing to help you, you’ll want to consider finding a seasoned real estate broker– a highly experienced expert in local retreat properties. Talk with all of the rural property brokers in the area you’ve identified. Research the brokers thoroughly, and talk to their past clients. Consider someone very familiar with the county courthouse and who can demonstrate a good track record of satisfying clients, not just having the most listings or selling the most houses. Remember, this person must be someone you trust to be knowledgeable, thorough, and discreet; you’re not looking for a fast-buck artist. An expert who understands pricing elasticity in your area can guide you to properties that you can afford and assist, if necessary, with finding owner-financed properties and other purchasing options to meet your needs. Of course, you must have your finances in order and be seriously ready to pull the trigger when you find the property that you want.

Significant Points to Consider

Once you have pinpointed a short list of properties in your chosen area, these are some significant points to consider. Later in this article, I’ve included a fairly complete checklist of critical considerations and questions. It’s not exhaustive, but based on our own experiences it can serve as a practical guide for most everyone. These are some initial questions to ask yourself about the best sites you’ve selected.

Location: The most important rule of real estate is always location, and this is the overriding consideration in choosing any retreat location. How will you get to this location in a disaster, if it’s a multi-state drive away? What’s the population of the local area? Is the property defensible? How far off the beaten path do you want to be? How close is it from major population centers and evacuation “lines of drift”? How many access points are there?

Water: You must have year-round reliable drinking water. Are there wells, streams, springs, rainwater collection potential, and/or ponds? You need redundant water sources that are independent from city water services. What will it cost to develop or remediate these? What are average rainfall amounts for the area?

Self-sufficiency: Is the site suitable for solar energy production, wind mills, or mini-hydro power applications? Is the soil favorable for growing your own food, if necessary, and for raising livestock? Is there plentiful wild game? Is their adequate timber for building and firewood for heating your home? If you need it, what would it take to get central station electricity and city water, natural gas, and sewer to the location?

Cost of living: Can you find employment in the area? What’s the zoning situation, and how about property taxes? What are insurance costs? What sources are available locally for various services, such as hospitals, diesel mechanics, electricians, plumbers, and/or earth movers? Where are schools and churches?

Finally, don’t procrastinate. If you’re reading this, you already recognize a serious need for the security of your loved ones and close friends, should a disaster occur. Get started now. Identify a general location that is accessible and well suited to your needs. As noted in other SurvivalBlog posts, you can use as an effective tool to pare down your location choices. Contact a local real estate expert that specializes in retreat properties from your chosen area. Good luck and good hunting.

Checklist for Choosing Remote “Retreat” Property

  • How will you get to the retreat location in a disaster? ls your vehicle reliable and well-outfitted?
  • Do you have a refueling plan if it’s a multi-state drive away? Will you have backup supplies along the way?
  • How defensible is it? Is there high ground to control access and maintain security? Mountainous, rocky terrain limits access, but is it also suitable for planting a garden, digging a root cellar, or building a tornado shelter?
  • What are the prevailing area weather patterns? What’s the average rainfall? Length of seasons?
  • Is your site near an earthquake zone or susceptible to river flooding and/or mudslides?
  • Will any structures be visible from the nearest county road? Is there high ground from which to overlook and control your access points or build an LPOP?
  • Is there more than one ingress or egress point? Is it a private entrance or a county-maintained roadway? Does it require 4WD to access? Does the property entrance look inviting to solicitors, spooners, hunters, or other uninvited individuals? A county road sign (ie: Shady Cove Ln) is an invitation to wanderers. You do not want “curb appeal” at your retreat.
  • ls there year-round fresh drinking water– wells, streams, springs, rainwater collection, or ponds? Look for multiple water sources independent from convention city water services. What will it cost to develop or remediate these?
  • Will the soil need to be amended for agriculture or is it adequate for growing crops now?
  • What is the year round climate, and will you be able to tolerate it (for yourself and for your garden and livestock)?
  • Is there plentiful wild game? Rural areas are home to many insects, rodents, and other indigenous critters that you may not be familiar with. What are the natural predators in the area? Feral hogs and coyotes are growing into a nuisance in the South. Learn what to look for so you’ll not be surprised at what already lives on your selected property.
  • How far is your site from a major metro area or large city? What is the population of the local area, the county, the closest town, and how close is it to migratory “lines of drift” from major population centers. During a crisis, areas with high population densities generally can experience the most crime, social unrest, looting, highest likelihood for diseases, and the highest death tolls due to anarchy, depleted resources, and poor sanitation.  Avoid proximity to these areas.
  • If your site is just a raw tract of land, what are the local zoning restrictions for building? Can you have an airplane landing strip? Can you have fuel storage tanks? Can you build a lake or dam a stream? Can you drill for oil or natural gas on the property? You do plan to buy with all of the mineral rights intact, right?
  • Is there adequate road access for bringing in building materials if needed? Are there fences and gates on the property, and what is their condition?
  • Will you have to install a septic system, and if so, has the soil been perc tested? If not, what is the confidence of passing a percolation test?
  • Is there electricity nearby? Do you know the cost of bringing electricity to the building location? Will you need back-up generation capability? Which fuels (propane, natural gas, et cetera) are available?
  • Will you consider solar power? Is the site suitable for photovoltaic energy production, wind mills, or mini-hydro power applications? If so, check for adequate sun exposure near the building location (South-facing exposure for Northern Hemisphere).
  • Is there plentiful timber for building and/or firewood for heating your home?
  • Are you at least 50 miles from the nearest nuclear power plant? What are the seasonal prevailing wind directions from that plant?
  • Do you or your family need professional medical services? Occasionally, you may need medical treatment from a metro center, e.g. special health care). You might not want to live too far away from a city but beyond the reach of an evacuating mob. We like a 50 mile minimum, but further (75 miles or more) is much better. What about local ambulance service? Do you or your family members have allergies to any environmental (natural or otherwise) elements that could be aggravated at your selected location?
  • What is the general cost of living in the area? What are the median income and education levels?
  • How expensive are the property taxes? What’s the local regulatory climate?
  • What are the State and Local taxes? Is there a state income tax?
  • What about educational opportunity for school-age children? How far away are the schools?
  • What religious affiliations are prominent in the area? Where are the churches?
  • Will you live on site full time? Unless you have enough funds in reserve or lucrative investments, are you going to be able to find employment? Will the location provide a supplemental income? Will it be enough to get by?
  • If you don’t live on-site full-time, who will be looking after your property? Do you have a trustworthy neighbor to look in on the property routinely and report back?
  • What’s the attitude of local law enforcement? How about the local elected Sheriff? The local Road Commissioner is also good to check out.
  • What are the crime statistics for the county your property is in? Review the local newspaper and consider prevalent arrest statistics.
  • Who are your neighbors, and might they be like minded? Stop and visit them prior to any purchase. Make a good first impression; your life may depend on your neighbor’s good will at some point.
  • What is the political climate of the state and in the nearest town that you are considering? Will you be able to tolerate it?
  • What will it cost to insure your property for fire loss and weather-related damage.
  • Are you surrounded by other private property owners or do you have some natural boundaries or Government, National/State Forest, or BLM boundaries? This could be advantageous or not, as some Western ranchers have recently discovered.
  • How far is the location from the nearest small town? (You will need to occasionally replenish your supplies.)
  • How far is the location from the nearest mid-sized town? (They will have special services that you may require from time to time, like refilling your buried propane tanks.)
  • Would it bother you much if a high percentage of county residents were illiterate? What other characteristics of a local population should you be concerned about?
  • What sources are available locally for mechanical services, such as electricians, plumbers, earth movers, and vehicle repairs? If these are scarce, how far would providers have to come to help you, and at what cost? Can you learn to handle property maintenance work and minor medical crises yourself? Are you physically able to handle manual labor and DYI projects common in a remote setting?

There’s a lot to consider in seeking a survival property, but take it one step at a time and you won’t be overwhelmed. You’ll find it’s a lot like prepping; you start with your top survival priorities and work at it with conviction and patience over time until you have assembled what you need and learned how to deploy your acquired resources. A survival property search can be fun and very rewarding, even though it can be a long, thoughtful, decision-making process that you and your family do not enter into lightly. Sure, finding the “right” property for your needs and budget takes some time, but don’t drag your feet on starting your search process. Consider the alternatives; they are not pleasant. Leaving the city at the last minute with your family and a car full of luggage is definitely not a smart strategy. You need a specific safe destination and a solid plan (or two or three or four plans) to get to your retreat. Being aimless and mobile is high risk for even the best prepared individuals. Believe me, most city dwellers assume they are safe if they stay in their cozy house. That’s their survival plan. The error of this supposition becomes sadly obvious when the first well-armed looters invade their neighborhood. These pillagers definitely had their own plan all along, which was to take what you have as a means for their own survival. Of course, there are other city folks who really believe they can “head for the hills” and survive with their old “Boy Scout” skills. That scenario does not have a happy ending. What’s left is about 97% of the population clueless and totally unprepared. By the time they figure out there’s a serious problem and no one is coming to help them, the Seven-11’s are already empty. Be smart; be among the 3% that have a secure retreat location in advance and a plan to get to it in an emergency if you are not already living on site. In fact, have multiple backup plans to reach your retreat expeditiously, with the fuel reserves for a reliable vehicle to transport you and loved ones there as safely as possible.

Finding a good survival retreat location is not a difficult task. But putting off your search will only ensure that you’ll likely not have a safe retreat when you or your family needs it most. Start your research now. Select a general retreat location (multi-county) in a region you like, look over these checklist questions, and contact a local expert in survival retreat properties.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

Via: survivalblog

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How to Disinfect Drinking Water with UV Light Devices

A hand-crank UV device (Photo by Tim MacWelch)

What if you could make safe drinking water with nothing more than light? It may sound like science fiction, but it really is a fact. One of the most recent innovations in water disinfection is the portable UV light purifier. This device doles out a lethal dose of ultraviolet light, which kills or wounds many different types of waterborne pathogens. There are two main types of UV purifiers to choose from.

UV Pens
These little pocket-sized UV purifiers typically run on two AA batteries and work with push-button ease. To use, stick the light element into a glass of water. Hit the button and a 45-second cycle of glowing blue light will begin. The lightbulb should be stirred through the water. In most cases, the water should be safe for immediate drinking. If the water was slightly cloudy, zap it a second time.

UV Hand-Crank Models
What if you are out of batteries? There are hand-crank UV purifiers that provide disinfection with just a minute of manual labor. Fill the water bottle (in the kit) from your local source. Screw the bottle onto the device’s housing and flip it. Crank the handle until the LED light turns green (about 90 seconds). Flip it again, unscrew the bottle, wipe the threads clean, and repeat.

And whichever device you use, understand that cloudiness or significant solids in water will create hiding places for bacteria to elude the burning light of a UV device. This can mean that multiple doses of UV light still cannot properly disinfect the water, so make sure you use clear water with UV methods.

What About SOLDIS?
Technological devices aren’t the only source of UV light. SOLDIS (also referred to as SODIS) is a water treatment method that uses the sun’s UV rays for disinfection. Largely advocated for developing countries, solar water disinfection is gaining some traction in the survival skills crowd. The most common technique is to expose plastic bottles full of contaminated water to the sun for a minimum of one day. The sun’s abundant UV light kills or damages almost all biological hazards in the water. The advantages to this way of treating water are plentiful. It’s easy to use; it’s inexpensive or free; it offers good (but not complete or guaranteed) bacterial and viral disinfection. Furthermore, the method uses no dangerous chemicals; and it does not require constant attention to use.

Now for the bad news: You need sunny weather, or two days of overcast sky, to reach the maximum effectiveness. You cannot use it in rain; it offers no residual disinfection; it may be less effective against bacterial spores and cyst stages of some parasites (similar to chlorine); the water and the bottle need to be clear. If that wasn’t bad enough, this method does nothing to help with chemical contamination, and only small bottles can be processed (the bottles must be 2 liter or smaller).

For more info and additional resources, you can check out the CDC page on SOLDIS here.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

Via: outdoorlife

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Put a BUG in your Bug Out

Guest post by Doc Montana, a contributing author of Survival Cache and SHTFBlog


A BUG or Back Up Gun is a secondary (or tertiary) weapon included in your plan for when things go sideways big time.

The BUG is more than a sidearm to a primary rifle. A true BUG in your plan is a 100% functional replacement of your preferred carry weapon. A BUG is not an afterthought, or grandpa’s old revolver, or some one-off abomination of a handgun designed with form over function, or style over substance.

BUGs come in many flavors, some quite small like the .380 Ruger LCP, and others just a step down from their big brothers such as the Glock 26 and 27. But no matter the choice, the point of a BUG is the same: it is to backup the primary weapon whether called upon by malfunction, injury, no reload possible, temporarily disarmed, or even tossed to a friendly to double the fight. But we will address a particular tangent of the BUG, namely the Bug Out BUG.


The Bug Out BUG does not need to be strapped to an ankle, stuffed in your pants, or bolted onto a chest rig as operating LEOs often do. Instead it can ride along in or on your Bug Out Bag, or other piece of “Luggage” you will carry or at least have handy.  Unless you are chasing bag guys, serving warrants, or running to the fight, the Bug Out BUG is just another tool in your mobile SHTF shed.  The Bug out BUG philosophy is pretty much the same across the survival board, but the choice of Bug out BUG is dependent upon three main factors. First, where will you be bugging out to?  If your answer involves wilderness, having two short-barrel auto pistols might not be the best option. In that case a BUG of a more useful caliber like a .22 Ruger Mark III might be a more useful tool. Hunting squirrels with a Glock 26 is entertaining, but not when you’re hungry.

The next question is who will you be bugging out with? Packing a pair of .44 mags might be great for a big guy in a bad neighborhood, but for the rest of us dirty but not Harrys a wrist-breaking pocket cannon is better served for killing engine blocks then for daily bug out duty.  Plus, unless both practiced with and prepared for the recoil of such a beast, the hand howitzers will be one-shot-only due to either flying out of the shooter’s hand, cracking the shooter in the face, or most likely the latter then the former in the same shot.

The final question is based upon that minor detail that connects Point A with Point B.  In order to reach any useful bug out location, you will need to move through space and time. So what does that space look like?  And what time of day do you plan on traversing it? Urban dwellers will have to escape their concrete jungle first before entering the natural world.  Since any situation that requires a real bug out from a city will be dangerous, the urban BUG (or hopefully BUGs) should error on the side of magazine capacity over slim profile.

Are You Experienced?

The BUGs I have carried in my Bug Out Bags, Bug Out Vehicles, and stored with other preps include Glocks, several small caliber wheel guns, and the Ruger LCP, among others. For the Glock 26 and 19, I use Renegade Ridge Tactical Double-Down pistol cases. A Spec.-Ops Mini Pocket Organizer keeps my LCP, mags, and a small Bug Out Bullet Bottle organized.  As BUGs, I like the idea of having self-contained packages with a gun, mags, ammo all secure in a small padded case. That way I can toss the appropriate BUG into a kit, BOB, or BOV.

Don’t SWAT the BUG

Unlike law enforcement attire, your bug out BUG is for bugging out, not daily wear. So imagine shifting your bug out into high gear and stomping on the gas. I assume a holstered sidearm is at the top of your list of bodywear. Some of you will want to slap some additional cordite jewelry to your lower leg or drop a mouse in your back pocket. But the BUG for bugging out is a self-contained shooting kit unto its own that rides shotgun in your BOB kit.

Some Glock Love

I’m one of the lucky many who finds the Glock frame both comfortable and at the perfect angle for natural shooting. The Glockpoints where my mind aims. A 1911 frame in my hand naturally points towards the tree tops. And on the old-school western revolver side, my hand is more likely to fire off a crotch shot rather than at the center of mass. So for me Glocks are the obvious choice.  Adding more points to the Glock scorecard is the fact that any same-caliber Glock can eat magazines of grip size or longer. That means, for instance, a 9mm G17 can run mags of 17, 19, and 33 rounds along with drum magazines.  A G19 can run all of the above plus a shorter 15 round mag. And a G26 can run all of the above plus its own ten rounder. That means any double stack 9mm Glock mag will run in a G26 so if my BUG is a G26, it will eat all my other mags regardless if I am running my G17 or G19 as primary. In my BOB, I have several 33 round Glock mags ready to go which will work in any of my 9mm Glocks so no matter what I grab, I’m good to go. I cannot say the same about my friends who run 1911s, revolvers, Kimber jewelry, and who diversified their handgun calibers.

As if the mag interchangeability is not enough, the trio of Glock 9mms can, in most cases, share holsters. The Blackhawk Serpaholster is a fine choice and the only difference between one made for a G17 and a G26 is the length of the barrel shroud. A 26 in a 17 holster has an extra inch of coverage, while a 17 in a 26 holster extends through the shroud and out the other end. Since all Serpa holsters are open ended, a good barrel inspection should follow any mud wrestling event no matter which gun is in which holster.

All Things Equal

Finally, the issue of quality between primary and BUG is critical. I know many folks who toss some old kit gun into their BOB, you know, just in case. Yet their so-called BUG is little more than a feel-good accessory chosen out of convenience. True Bug Out BUGs do not compromise quality or function because the only use for the Backup Gun is to become the Primary Gun under even worse conditions than a moment ago. Did that make sense? To state it again, your BUG must completely replace your preferred primary weapon when you have lost control of the situation. So pulling a pearl-handled double-barreled derringer out of your belt buckle might have sounded like a cool idea in the store, but never in a million years would you have chosen that gun for this particular moment. So don’t do it now.

Driving home this point further, some of my 1911 friends have their tricked out race gun or super-tuned primary, and then consider an off-the-shelf budget 1911 as a viable BUG due to the similarities in their manual of arms. The chink in this particular armor is that the reliability and performance of a tuned gun does not transfer to a nearby pistol of similar persuasion through osmosis alone. Perfection must be gun smithed into the soul of the pistol. Yet dropping a few more Benjamins of polish and parts on a crippled mechanism that was already limping when it left the factory is a hard bullet to bite. So now the backup gun is already suspect and the fight hasn’t even started yet. On Glock front, quality is a complete and total non-issue across the entire 9mm product line.

The Other Side of the Coin

On the other hand, why would you want to store, cache, bury, or otherwise hide away and almost forget a perfectly good gun? The flip side of the coin allows for a low to medium quality firearm of usable caliber to be squirreled away, especially if you want to back up your bug in or bugout location. In this case, I have an old eight-shot .22 revolver and a few hundred rounds packed away with the extra knives and can openers in one of my food storage areas. The old double action gun is good enough to count on short term and in a pinch, but certainly not anything I would want for EDC during your bugout. I’ve greased up the little wheel gun and sealed it in a watertight box along with several hundred rounds of .22 in various flavors including subsonic. While not my only BUG, nor even my primary-secondary, if the social scene really does fade to black, then a small infestation of BUGs in your plan begins to make sense.

One Size Fits Some

Of course any BUG is a compromise in some respects unless you just want to keep one manual of arms by replicating your primary and your primary is perfect. While that is certainly a great way to go, and a highly defensible decision, for those who carry a full-sized handgun, or even a large compact (sorry for the oxymoron), BOB space is limited and weight is to be minimized so most BUGs will be smaller in stature but hopefully will order off the basic ammo menu. Additionally, there is the consideration of whose hand will wrap around the grip, and how much recoil that hand can tolerate. When you consider a BUG option, don’t confuse it with your standard set of weapons platforms. The default gunset for bugging out usually consists of an AR or AK military pattern rifle, a 12 gauge pump shotgun, a thirtyish caliber bolt action scoped rifle, an autopistol of 9mm or larger, and a .22 rifle. That’s a lot of blued iron to pack around so adding a BUG to the mix must be more than just one more bangstick. The primary BUG will need a special home similar to a tourniquet. It must be out of the way, but ever-present. It must be handy but not cumbersome. It must be accessible with either hand. And most of all, it must perform perfectly even though you never want to use it.

My comments:

If I’m buggin out…then I’m probably never coming back, so they’re all coming with me.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


Via:  shtfblog

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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.



Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


Via: tacticalintelligence

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DYI MREs – Bug Out Bag Meals

Guest post by Bam Bam

I got a food saver yesterday and I have wasted no time putting it to use. The first project was to seal up 25 lbs. of NY Strip that I bought on sale.

The second project, the subject of this article, was to put together some shelf stable meals for our BOBs. The requirements were that the meals had to be nutritiously balanced and significantly cheaper than MREs. And I wanted the foods to be as close to our ordinary diet as possible so we don’t suffer digestive shock.

I got the inexpensive part down—the meals averaged out to about $3.33 per meal (for one person) with the dinners being slightly more expensive than breakfasts or lunches. The nutritious part still needs work. The inexpensive part was achieved largely by shopping at the dollar store and buying things from Publix BOGO.

For example, I purchased Monet crackers at the dollar store for less than half the price of our grocery store—same brand, same size, half price. To improve upon the nutritious part I plan on replacing the processed food with food from my garden that I dehydrate myself. This is going to be my next big step in meal planning—to take the meals in a jar idea to an all-new level.

(It is absolutely true that there is a learning curve to prepping. You start out by buying stuff that you will need. Then you refine your inventory and get into long-term food storage items. Then you actually learn to make/grow the stuff yourself and how to process it for long-term storage.)

I came up with some ideas that are worth sharing. The best breakfast idea I came up with is to put our regular cereal (Honey Bunches of Oats) into a food saver bag, and add dehydrated banana chips (another dollar store find) and two tablespoons of powdered milk. We can just add water to the bag, stir and eat right from the bag. (What I really want to do is learn to make my own granola from Mormon oatmeal, and then make my own trail mix and food saver that.)


The other important breakfast idea was to include Emergen-C Super Orange electrolyte replacement packets. You pour the packets into a cup of water and drink. I live in Florida and it is very easy to get dehydrated and loose electrolytes. I have also included salt and sugar packets in each meal. (This combo is known as “poor man’s Gatoraid.)

Lunch was more of a challenge. I opted to go with foil packs of premade tuna or chicken salad. (I got these on sale at Publix.) Then I placed individual servings of crackers in food saver bags and sealed them up. (Note: If you have a Food Saver you don’t have to buy the expensive pilot crackers for Emergency Essentials—you can buy cheap dollar store crackers and seal them up—no oxygen, no going stale.) The other lunch option was Top Ramen and canned chicken. I would like to get some freeze-dried veggies to add to the mix. (My dehydrator will be going full speed this year.)

For dinners I planned either Bear Creek chili with crackers or Korr Sides. The Korr sides are somewhat nutritious (they at least have green specks that resemble broccoli) but they take 15 minutes to cook. I am thinking that I can improve upon the Korr Sides by dehydrating my own veggies and adding minute rice and a bouillon cube. I have planned on supplementing the Korr Sides with canned chicken.

In the future, I would like to dehydrate my own chicken. I think this would give me more versatility. I have 80 lbs. of Zaycon Food boneless, skinless chicken breast (antibiotic free and hormone free) on the way (for $1.79 lb. – Whoot! Whoot!). I want to try my hand at cooking and dehydrating my own chicken.


Each meal is individually vacuum sealed so as to save space. Each meal contains eating utensils, extra napkins, salt and pepper, a drink mix packet and an individually wrapped wet wipe. I have added to the calorie count of meals by adding granola bars, power bars and Cliff bars. The lunches and dinners also have desserts: cookies, candy, chocolate bars, and brownies. I have not included gum in any of the meal bags, as we have gum packed in our BOBs already.

In terms of calories, I have tried to make each meal at least 800 calories. If we do have to bug out (hopefully in the vehicles so we don’t have to carry all this food on our backs), we will likely be under considerable stress. Having plenty of food is a good idea. It is very likely that we will encounter good Christian folk who need help; so having a little extra will be a good thing.

These meals will be supplemented with boxes of water and we have Berkey Sport water filters. If we are traveling by vehicle, we will have cases of water.

A central problem with this meal plan is cooking planning or rather fuel planning. (If we can remain at home, our preferred option, cooking will not be an issue as we have a gas stove and a propane camping stove with extra propane tanks (and the converter necessary to run a camping stove from a large tank of propane). And we have a forest behind our house for long term cooking needs.) If we bug out, cooking will be an issue. I can warm water for the coffee, oatmeal and grits using a candle and a camp cup. I have some fire bricks for cooking that are supposed to last half an hour. But I have not tested these yet. Another possibility is the cat food container stove fueled by alcohol. If we are forced to bug out, I need to come up with a better way to cook the Korr Sides.

Do you all have any recommendations?

Below are the meal bags I have put together: breakfast, lunch and dinner for three days for the two of us. Since diversity is essential, I would love to hear your ideas. What food items do you have in your BOB? How do you plan to cook these items?

Since getting my hands on a food saver, I have come to an appreciation of a whole new level of prepping. Before I got the food saver, our BOBs contained mostly snack foods—peanuts, jerky, granola bars, etc. But I would not want to be around myself if I hadn’t eaten a meal in three days. I don’t think my family would want to be around me either. So my new focus will be on improving the nutrition of our BOB meals. It would be nice to reduce some of the weight as well. I would estimate that our meal bag weighs 25 lbs. I have some 5-gallon buckets that I am going to clean out. I will put our BOB meals in easy-to-carry buckets.

The next step in meal planning will be to pack meals for our dog and our four cats. I think we are going to need a separate BOB for our pets. That is on the “To Do List” for next week. Check list: canned cat food, dry cat food, dog food, dog cookies, and catnip to keep my cats totally stoned out of their minds. LOL

What do you think?


Day 1

  • Oatmeal (3 packets)
  • Granola Bar
  • Yogurt Bar
  • Coffee (Folgers Singles)
  • Sugar packets
  • Electrolyte replacement drink packet (Emergen-C)

Hard candy

Day 2

  • Grits (3 packets)
  • Granola Bar
  • Yogurt Bar
  • Coffee
  • Sugar packets
  • Electrolyte replacement drink packet
  • Hard candy

Day 3

  • Cereal (with banana chips and milk powder)
  • Granola Bar
  • Yogurt Bar
  • Coffee
  • Sugar packets
  • Electrolyte replacement drink packet
  • Hard candy


Day 1

  • Tuna salad foil pack
  • Crackers
  • Chicken Noodle Soup (packet)
  • Power bar
  • Raspberry tea packet
  • Hard candy
  • Fun sized chocolate bars

Day 2

  • Chicken salad foil pack
  • Crackers
  • Chicken noodle soup (packet)
  • Power bar
  • Raspberry tea packet
  • Hard candy
  • Fun sized chocolate bars

Day 3

  • Tuna salad foil pack
  • Crackers
  • Top Ramen
  • Lemon aid packet
  • Freeze dried pineapple
  • Power bar
  • Hard candy
  • Fun sized chocolate bars


Day 1

  • Korr Sides: Rice and Broccoli
  • Canned chicken
  • Crackers
  • Raspberry tea
  • Fun sized chocolate bars
  • Cookies

Day 2

  • Bear Creek Chili
  • Crackers
  • Beef jerky
  • Raspberry tea packet
  • Fun sized chocolate bars
  • Cookies

Day 3

  • Korr Sides: Noodles and Broccoli
  • Canned chicken
  • Crackers
  • Raspberry tea packet
  • Fun sized chocolate bars
  • Brownies


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


Via :  thesurvivalistblog

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The Get Home Bag

There’s always much ado about the bug-out bag, but there’s another important bag that we are more likely to use – the “Get-Home Bag”.

Most people spend up to 60 hours per week either being at work, going to work, or coming home from work.  That’s nearly 30% of your life, spent away from home.  If you calculate in the time that you sleep, just over half of your waking hours are spent on the job.  For those who moved to a more remote area and chose to commute, the time spent away increases even more.

With these odds, it’s not unreasonable to believe that when the SHTF, you just might be at work.

Make a Plan!

As with any preparations, it’s important to have a plan.  First things first, you should discuss with your household how everyone is going to get home if an event occurs during the day when everyone is out doing his or her business.  It’s vital to know what the other family members will do so that you don’t duplicate efforts, particularly if communication is down. Depending on the situation, driving may not be an option. It’s important to map more than one route and to be able to make the trek on foot.

Next, you need to create a get-home bag that is unique to each family member’s likely circumstances.  Because you would have planned ahead (see above paragraph) your route home, as well as an alternate route, you will already know how long it will take you to get home.   You can use this knowledge to help plan the contents of your bag.

What Should Your Bag Contain?

For most of us, a get-home bag needs to contain the essentials for 24-48 hours on the road, on foot.  Therefore, you need to consider your basic necessities:

Water:  Water is one of the most crucial items in any disaster situationIt’s also heavy.  Therefore, while you should carry a few bottles of drinking water, you should also have some secondary methods for acquiring potable water.  It is vital to have a portable filter and water purification tablets on hand to purify water on the move.

Food:  Lightweight foods such as Datrex bar, MRE, freeze dried or dehydrated food will keep you bag’s weight down and provided needed nutrition.  For more suggestions on nutrition during emergency scenarios and what foods to consider, read The Bug-out Meal Plan.

Shelter:  The type of shelter you need is variable, based on climate, location and season.  If your area is likely to reach freezing temperatures overnight, you need to supply yourself accordingly, including a highly rated sleeping bag and decent quality tent.  If the weather is more moderate, a light space blanket, a lightweight bivvy sac, and makeshift shelter may be sufficient.

Personal defense items:  Depending on your location and your local laws, you may be able to have a firearm in your bag.  If you can pack a gun, be sure to store it safely and to also bring a sufficient supply of ammunition. Other self defense items might include: mace, pepper spray, a knife, bear spray, a baton, a nightstick, or a steel pocket stick.  Another option is a heavy walking stick.

Tools:  As always having the right tools can be essential to survival.  Try to find items that can perform more than one task to save space and reduce weight.  A large hunting knife, a multi-tool, fire starting devices (matches, lighters, flints), a compass, duct tape, map, carabiner, zip ties, and rope or sturdy cord should all be contained in your get-home bag.

Comfortable gear:  Be sure to pack suitable clothing for the climate and season.  You will require comfortable walking shoes (boots if there is a lot of snow, extreme cold, or risk of snakes), a suitable coat, a rain poncho, and layering items. Also bring essential clothing such as scarves, hats, and gloves, and never forget the importance of extra socks.

Lighting:  Very little light makes for a more uncomfortable night in the forest compared to sitting in complete darkness.  A flashlight, lightweight lantern or light stick can brighten things up for performing vital tasks.  Tea light candles or votives are also good additions. Consider some of these alternative lighting sources.

First Aid Supplies:  Besides basics like bandages, antibacterial spray, and ointments, considers adding some pain relievers (like aspirin, acetomenaphen, or ibuprofen), heartburn medication,  electrolyte powders, anti-diarrheals and even bandages for blisters would be very advantageous if a medical situation call for it.

Hygiene supplies:  Personal hygiene can keep you from becoming ill during your journey.  Baby wipes are a good substitute for toilet paper and can also be used for washing your hands or wiping your flatware before and after eating. Hand sanitizers would also be a good choice to have.

Personal necessities:  This will vary based on the person, but some examples might be prescription medications, feminine hygiene products, contact lens solution, and glasses. Don’t forget money – stash some small bills in your bag in a way that you can take out one at a time without letting people know you have more.

Communications – Most people already have a cell phone – but be sure that you have an extra charged battery pack. Also consider a hand held radio to get access to public information

Do a Test Run

When planning your get-home kit, it’s important to consider the weight of the bag in comparison to your fitness level.  It’s a good idea to hike with this bag occasionally to begin conditioning your body to hauling the load.  When you do this, you can judge several things:

  • Is the weight of the bag manageable?
  • Is the bag comfortable to carry?  (Far better to find out now that the straps dig into your shoulders than when you are in an emergency situation!)
  • Are all of the contents of your bag essential?

And on a related note:

Is your cardiovascular conditioning sufficient to get you home?

Where Should You Keep Your Get Home Bag?

Your get-home bag should be located in a place that it’s easy to access. Some people stash their bag in the office, which is a good solution if you commute via public transit or carpooling.  However, a disaster could strike while you’re on the road to or from work, so you should consider storing it in your trunk or having a duplicate bag in your vehicle.

An option for those who have a long journey home would be to cache survival supplies at points along their route. This can be an entire get-home bag or small stashes of things that you may have used up, like food or ammunition.  You can learn more about setting up survival caches here

Another Layer of Preparedness

A get-home bag is just another layer of preparedness.  A person who is truly prepared is ready no matter where they are.  Being stocked up and mentally prepared to walk home in the event of a disaster puts you ahead of the “Golden Horde” that is likewise trying to get out of the city. You won’t have to waste time figuring out how to get home on foot, bemoaning your uncomfortable shoes or wishing you had a proper coat – you’ll be halfway to your destination before the other folks realize the gravity of the situation.

The world is a very unpredictable place where we must accept that some situations are out of our control. With that in mind, they may be out of our control – but we can be prepared for them.



Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals.

Visit her web site at for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.



Via :  readynutrition

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Bug out bags and vehicles

When plans have gone to hell, when your commandeered short bus is going up in flames…that’s when you need a bug out bag.

As popular as bug out bags are, their role in survival/preparedness plans is often misunderstood.

You’ll often hear stuff like “Man, bugging out is crazy! I’m going to bug in and stay home!” or “Why would I choose to be a refugee with nothing but a backpack on my back?”

And then on the other hand, you’ll have others who for some reason plan to start marching off into the woods with a giant pack to pitch a tent, hang out and start bush crafting.

It’s all too common, and unfortunately both are completely missing the point.

I agree – bugging out shouldn’t be your primary plan. Or even your secondary. Yep, you’ll want to bug in…at least as long as it is safe to do so.

If you’re forced to leave your bug in location and retreat to safety, you’ll want to load up your truck/SUV with every possible thing that you can for that journey. Gear, food, water, fuel…heck, hook up that bug out trailer, too.

There are of course various things that can go wrong or draw you away from your vehicle. Crash, break downs, getting stuck, running out of fuel, getting hopelessly stuck in traffic, floods, impassable roads, attacks on your vehicle…or, even just heading out on foot for a scout/patrol of an area.

That’s when you want your bug out bag.

In the Walking Dead screen grab from above, they crashed their short bus and it burst into flames. Crap – there goes their transportation as well as the majority of food and weaponry they appeared to have brought along for their journey.

In You Took Away Tomorrow, the characters first attempt to bug in at Jack Rourke’s home. Then, when their home is compromised, they try to bug out via their vehicles. When the group’s makeshift convoy falls under attack from machine gun wielding neo nazi bikers, they resort to a bug out on foot.

Soldiers and especially contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan have been well known to carry ‘go bags’ in their armored SUVs – small bags that they can grab during an attack. They pack them with spare mags, medical gear, radios, smoke grenades and other assorted cool guy stuff to help them get back to safety or hold out until rescue arrives.

An example of a ‘worst case’ for this in action. This was shared by a recent Haley Strategic class participant – think instead of just grabbing long guns, they’d be throwing on bug out bags as well.

Post by Ryan Smith.

In my opinion, a bug out bag should work in this kind of environment and scenario. You should be able to move quickly, even move and shoot while wearing it. It should also be of a size ‘works’ around a vehicle and can be retrieved and donned quickly if needed…not some giant hiking pack that you can barely lift.

If you had gunfire (or quickly rising flood waters, or fire, or whatever) coming in your direction, how long would you spend screwing around with a pack? Be able to grab and move – that’s the point.



Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.




Via :   teotwawki-blog

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Is Buying a Pre-Made Survival Kit a Good Idea?

Given the popularity of prepping today, it stands to reason that many companies would jump on the bandwagon and try to cater to that market.  You can now find pre-made survival kits at places like outdoor stores like REI and even at discount retailers like Walmart.  But is buying a pre-made kit a good idea?

Problems with Pre-Made Kits

Well, like anything else in life, it depends.  The first problem I’ve seen with many commercial kits is that some or all of the components are of poor quality.  If you are staking your life on an item, you want it to be up to the task.  Some kits are nothing more than cheap, dollar store quality items tossed into a sub-average knapsack.  You really aren’t saving much money with those kits.  Sure, the package says the kit contains 200+ survival items.  But, they also count each adhesive bandage as a single item.

The second problem I’ve seen is the kits are often incomplete.  They are almost always lacking gear for at least one major category.  Maybe it has food, water, and shelter covered but it has nothing for first aid.  Or, it is missing any sort of fire making equipment.  Few kits on the market today truly cover all of the major categories of survival needs:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Shelter
  • First aid
  • Signaling
  • Navigation
  • Communication
  • Tools

A third issue with many pre-made kits is the container they use, such as the backpack or duffel bag.  Typically, these are cheaply made and aren’t going to hold up in any sort of realistic survival scenario.  If you’re hoofing it to your bug out location, you don’t want to discover a hole in the backpack halfway through your journey, a hole through which much of your gear has managed to leak out from over the last several miles.

Why Bother Buying One?

In most cases, you are far better off assembling your own kit from the bottom up, taking into account your own skill sets, your needs, and your overall situation. What works for one person might not be the best idea for another. However, commercial kits can serve as a starting point.  If you purchase a kit with that in mind and take the time to become familiar with each provided item, you’ll be in a far better position to decide what else needs added to the kit.

Personally, I like the products sold by Echo Sigma as well as those made by Survival Resources.
Both companies take great care in selecting gear that actually works under real life conditions.  Of course, the kits they assemble and sell aren’t cheap, but neither is your life.

Of course you can go back through this blog to older articles and find many ideas for making your own kit.

The best thing to remember is either buy or make your own, but “HAVE ONE“.

Check out what the local Walmart had:

The black bags on top are kits for around $35.00

On bottom where emergency food storage and 72 hour kits.

Not too bad for Walmart.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.




Via :   thesurvivalmom

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