We are proud to announce Live Fire Gear products are now available through Walmart (Sold & shipped by Walmart at Walmart.com). Walmart is carrying our full product line including 550 Firecord, Live Fire Original, Live Fire Sport, Live Fire Survival Kit, Live Fire Twin Pack, Live Fire Sport Duo and Live Fire Ring O Fire. Visit Walmart.com today and pick up more great Live Fire Gear products.
We have all done it – made a mistake with our preps that was either a stupid use of our time, a waste of our money, or both. The good news is that with a couple of years of prepping experience behind you, you will begin to recognize those things that are worthwhile and those that are folly.
I say this from personal experience. This year I have completely overhauled my bug out bag, started over with my pocket survival kit and EDC, and have shifted my focus on food storage from anything and everything, to a more select group of products that are good tasting and simple to prepare.
And here is the big one: I recognize that while it is important to grow food, for some of us, growing enough to sustain ourselves is impossible due to space, climate, or other factors. It is far more reasonable, for example, for some of us to focus on herbs and especially medicinal plants.
Fortunately, it is rare that any one person will make all of the mistakes in this list, but chances are you have made one or two. Check them out; they are in no particular order.
11 Prepper Mistakes and Goofs
1. Creating a 3 Day Kit and ignoring the long term
The government, the media, and the Red Cross have been promoting the 3-day kit for so long that it is safe to say that the term “3 day kit” is now common vernacular. Not surprisingly, the 3-Day Kit has also become a marketing phenomena.
The good news is that the more that people jump onto the 3 day kit bandwagon, the better for the rest of us. That is three days we will not have to reach out and help them.
On the other hand, something as simple as a winter power outage can last far longer than three days. And a cyber-attack, pandemic, or earthquake? Two weeks, a month,or even a year of emergency supplies would be much better.
2. Not knowing how to use your gear
Who hasn’t been guilty of getting out that combination battery, wind-up, and solar emergency radio and forgetting to use it? (There is a little doo-dad inside of mine that has to be switched over to change modes.)
Or how about the Sun Oven? If it sits in the box and never gets used, how will you know how to place it in the sun to cook your food or boil your water when the sun is the only source of power you have.
Similarly, do you have copies of your gear manuals tucked away in case you need them? Storing them on a laptop or flash drive is a great idea but only if you have some way to power your devices when the grid goes down.
3. Failing to learn how to cook using food storage items
This is another way of saying “not knowing how to cook from scratch”. Most of us store bulk foods to supplement our freeze dried food. We would be broke if we didn’t.
Do you know how to cook rice and beans? How about making a soup or stew without opening a single can? As you plan your food storage, keep your habits in mind and if you don’t already scratch cook, at least learn the basics.
4. Having a comprehensive first aid kit but not knowing basic first aid skills
Many communities offer free or low cost classes on first aid. Now might be a good time to check them out.
This article was written by Gaye Levy and the complete article can be viewed here:
Gaye Levy started Backdoor Survival so that she could share her angst and concern about our deteriorating economy and its impact on ordinary, middle-class folks. She also wanted to become a prepper of the highest order and to share her knowledge as she learned it along the way. On Backdoor Survival you will find survival and preparedness tools and tips for creating a self-reliant lifestyle through thoughtful prepping and optimism.
To read more from Gaye, visit her website, Backdoor Survival. You can also follow Gaye on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest or purchase her eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage on Amazon.com
Our Ring O Fire product was featured in yet another great outdoors magazine, OffGrid Magazine Issue #22 (December 2017 issue). They loved the Ring O Fire and stated:
“Any prepper worth their salt knows you have to have multiple means of starting a flame. The Ring O Fire kit from Live Fire Gear will certainly deliver on that concept. This kit consists of three fire-starting items. First is the FireCord, a 550 paracord with its eighth inner strand being a color-coded red tinder that’s waterproof and easy to ignite. Use the FireCord as neck lanyards, zipper pulls, or boot laces and you’ll always have a way to spark a flame wherever you go. Second is the Live Fire Original, essentially a firestarter made from mineral oil, polymer resin, and other material that’s waterproof, cedar scented, and can be relit again and again. It comes in a tiny tin with a slide-top lid, so you can limit its burn and even use it as a candle. Third is a ferro rod with striker. Together, they’ll provide you with much needed redundancy this coming winter.”
We couldn’t agree more! If you’re interested in purchasing this issue of OffGrid Magazine click here. Also take a look at their website for some great articles and tips. If you haven’t already purchased a Ring O Fire pick one up today here, and grab a few extra for your family members, they make a great stocking stuffer!
No matter whether you hear the tornado sirens or an order comes to evacuate for some other reason, there is a moment of panic that can send every thought from your mind. Even if you have a fully prepared bug out bag, or have made all kinds of plans, stress levels can rise to the point where you may aimlessly wander about the house or start packing things because everything else is forgotten. This guide is intended to show you seven common items (excluding the obvious knives, mirrors and other more common sense every day carry tools) that you may already be inclined to carry with you or have on hand at all times. If you can find ways to include the adaptations listed in each section, you will vastly improve your chances of survival until you have a chance to retrieve other items.
As long as you are wearing one, you will already have valuable survival tool right on your back. Here are just a few things you can do with T-shirts, plus simple modifications that will make them even more useful:
- double or triple the fabric to remove dirt and debris from the water. You can also sew in a layer of cotton and nylon. Four layers of cotton sari cloth can filter almost all cholera bacteria while nylon can remove parasite eggs.
- add a bib of 2 – 4 layers of tightly woven silk to the inner front of the T-shirt to get better results when using it as an air mask.
- Tear into strips to start fires, make tourniquets, bandage wounds, and tie items together.
- Use the hems to hold other important survival goods. Waterproof mmini-packets embroidery thread, and other soft items you might forget about can all be placed in the hems.
- If you are concerned about tear gas or pepper spray, do not assume that you can simply wet the shirt and prevent burns and irritation. Your best bet is to sew in a thin rubber shield within the front bib (see above) of the shirt. Even though this will not protect your eyes, it can still shield your nose and lungs from some of the noxious gases.
By themselves, push pens look entirely innocent, yet they can make a more diverse weapon with just a few modifications:
- Add a LED light and battery to the trigger mechanism to create a makeshift flashlight. You can also rub the battery with steel wool to create sparks for a fire.
- Use the barrel to store B.Bs, bits of cotton balls (for filtering water), and other tiny objects.
- Even if you do not modify the pen, it can still be used to poke out an attacker’s eyes or shoved elsewhere to create a diversion. When combined with specific maneuvers, a pen can be used to kill in several ways, however, it may take several minutes or more.
- Attach a poison-tipped needle to the empty end of the inkwell.
- Drill holes in the upper and lower section, then run a rubber band through to make a slingshot. Do not make the holes too big or other ammo may slip through when using the pen as a spring propelled gun.
- Create canisters that will discharge liquids when the trigger pushes against the canister. You can add just about any liquid of interest, including flammable ones.
- Once you have a suitable model that covers the widest possible range of weapons and tactical lighting, see if you can obtain a polymer base to form into a push pen, and then strengthen each area with other materials.
METAL BUSINESS CARD HOLDER
Simply rub some steel wool across the metal surface to make it shiny enough for signaling and starting fires. If you get into the habit of using a metal business card holder as your debit/credit card wallet, you can tape sewing needles inside and other small objects. Don’t forget to include a plastic card and a credit card tool kit. Put a few rubber bands around the wallet, and you will have yet another handy resource on hand to help you get through an emergency.
A metal business card holder is also the perfect place to store step by step instructions. Don’t remember how to make an alcohol stove from a tin can? Write out these, and other instructions and tuck them away in the card holder. Mini hand drawn maps, directions to different locations, and other guides can also be of immense value. If you laminate these cards, they will also be waterproof and durable enough to last for years on end.
EMBROIDERY THREAD AND SEWING NEEDLE
Even though some people recommend dental floss as an emergency survival material embroidery thread is much better for the following reasons:
- you can use it for everything you would use dental floss for
- the threads are easy to separate, so you can get the exact thickness that you need
- embroidery thread is easy to braid together if you need to make a stronger fishing line or snare
- it can be used to sew everything from wounds to clothes
- cheaper than dental floss
- Much easier to add inside the hem of a T-shirt or any other garment.
- Aside from sewing, needles can be used as weapons, for scraping dirt out of tiny areas, and as a compass needle (when rubbed across a magnet).
You do not need to spend a fortune on travel sized mini-packets, or get stuck with paper wrappings that may break apart or be ruined before you use the contents inside. To make mini-packets, follow these steps:
- Take a drinking straw and cut it to about 1 ¾”. This will give you just about enough room for a single serving or use. You can also use larger or smaller lengths depending on the material inside.
- Squeeze one end of the straw so that it is sealed. Pass this end over a lit candle so that the plastic melts.
- Place contents inside the straw.
- Seal the other open end of the packet with heat from the candle.
- For flammables, leave extra room in the straw, wipe excess away, and use tongs to hold the packet while sealing. Place the candle in the sink and remove all other flammables from the area. Avoid working near electric sockets and wires. Wear fireproof gear until you get the knack for each substance.
Even though there are literally dozens of things you can fit into waterproof mini packets, seven of them are at the top of my personal list.
- Steel Wool – absolutely necessary if you are going to make a polished surface for starting a fire. They are also very important for removing dirt and debris from other items that you may find useful as you go through the crisis. You can also use scouring pads as long as they don’t have soap on them.
- Sugar – sugar packets are important for keeping up your electrolytes, and also for wound care. Adding some sugar to an open wound will reduce the risk of infection and also help it to heal faster.
- Salt – also very important for managing electrolytes. Salt can also be used as an anti-bacterial. Do not add to drinking water, as it will cause your body to flush out water faster.
- Pain Killer Packets – aspirin and other anti-inflammatory medications are very important for pain management and dealing with injuries that cause swelling. If you do not have ice on hand, these drugs can reduce the risk of more serious impairment. Write the expiration date on each packet so that you know when to discard it and replace with new ones.
- Oils – vegetable oil can be used for lubrication and also as a fuel for fire. Include packets of herbal oils for medicinal needs. Just make sure to replace the oil packets every 6 – 12 months (depending on the oil type) so that they do not lose their potency.
- Rubbing Alcohol – can be used as a fuel and also to disinfect your hands. Some people recommend hand sanitizers, however, there is too much controversy about whether or not they actually work as well as advertised. Rubbing alcohol, on the other hand, is tried, true, and just about foolproof.
- Water (in full or half sized straws) – even a few drops of water can be priceless when it will take hours to find water and purify it for drinking needs. Replace these every 4 – 6 months to ensure freshness.
CAN OF FRUIT JUICE
A can of fruit juice can provide more nutrients and just as much liquid as a can of soda. You can also use the empty can and pull ring to make a number of important tools:
- the pull ring can be made into a fish hook
- cut the can in half and use the two parts to make a rocket stove or alcohol burning stove
- store away fishing gear, snare lines, and other small items.
- polish the bottom and use it as a fire starter or signal mirror
- make into a cup for cooking or drinking water
- wrap duct tape or electrical tape around the can so that you have it on hand in time of need.
YOUR MAIN KEYRING
If you are always in the habit of keeping your keys with you, a few simple additions to the ring can give you as many vital tools as the T-Shirt.
- Even without modification, you can use house keys already on the ring to scrape items clean, cut tape, and act as gouges to rake an attacker.
- If you can’t locate or afford a credit card tool kit, go ahead and shape some keys into screwdrivers and other tools that may be of use.
- Sharpen at least one key into a point that will poke a hole in metal cans.
- Take another key and create a serrated knife edge or even a flat edge for cutting. Just remember to put a leather guard or some other material over that key so you don’t cut yourself on it.
- Keep a few extra keys that you can bend into hooks for fasteners
- Make a paracord monkey fist and add it to the keyring. You will have a weapon plus a valuable source of rope to meet many emergency needs.
- Attach a few feathers that can be used as fishing lures.
- Add a small magnet
“It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark” (Howard Ruff), and there wasn’t an actual crisis when you made all your prepping plans. A fire or many other situations may leave you in a position where you don’t have time to get to your bug out bag. If you are unable to get to your vehicle, or another location where you have every day carry supplies, there are still household items that may be of use to you. No matter whether you prepare these items ahead of time, or make it a point to carry them with you, they can save your life in more ways than expected. With a few modifications, the above seven items can go even further and give you an even better chance of surviving most major and minor crisis situations.
This article was written by Conrad Novak with Survivor’s Fortress and the complete article can be viewed here:
Disasters can occur anytime, and when they happen, food becomes scarce in the neighborhood. One of the most beneficial things you can do to prepare your family for these situations is to start a survival garden in your backyard.
What Is a Survival Garden?
A survival garden is a specially prepared small farm where you plant highly nutritious crops for your family’s dietary needs. The garden is also important when it comes to the production of vegetable that can be stored for future consumption. These food crops are selected mostly based on the calories they provide. They include protein, carbohydrates as well as fat producing crops.
Survival gardening is advantageous when it comes to natural disasters. With a survival garden, you are better prepared to face a food shortage problem that will likely affect society in times of disasters. Many harvested food crops from a survival garden also have long-term storage abilities like carrots, potatoes, onions, pumpkins, nuts as well as winter squash.
How to Start a Survival Garden
To start a survival garden, follow these simple steps:
1 – Identify the Perfect Location
When identifying the location for your garden, consider the following factors:
Sunlight – Survival garden should be located in a place that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight in a day. Most of these crops require sunlight as a source of energy for their growth and developments.
Accessibility – The garden should be near your home for easy monitoring. You can then easily check for pests, weeds, disease and the general conditions of the crops. Having it near also reduces the risk of thieves who may decide to harvest on your behalf.
Access to water – Your survival garden requires water for irrigation. This means that a water source must be available and accessible. It becomes easy to set irrigation system when the water source is near.
Fertile and well-drained soil – Most of the crops you plan to cultivate in the garden require proper drainage. A well-drained soil is well aerated, which allows the crops to grow well. You can also do some soil test to determine the nutrients level of the soil.
2 – Select Suitable Crops
Most survival garden crops are for family consumption. Therefore, you must determine how much your family consumes and then calculate how much your garden can produce. It is highly advisable to subdivide the garden into sections and also intercrop to ensure you cultivate several crops. Maximize the garden’s output but don’t intercrop crops that are not friendly.
Make a written plan for your garden. Ensure you have perennial crops like sage, mint, raspberry, blueberry, strawberries, bunching onions and asparagus in the garden. They should be planted at the back of the garden where they will be less disturbed. A survival garden should aim to produce several food crops either at the same time or in a sequence. Therefore, make sure you don’t plant crops that have the same pests or don’t follow each other in the sequence.
When selecting crops, be realistic and go for crops that are well adapted to the regions’ climate. On top of that, it is highly advisable to go for crops that your family loves and consumes more often. Also, consider the season of the year and make sure you incorporate those crops that can be preserved for future use. Don’t make it look too complicated, make it simple for a start so your garden can produce good harvests.
3 – Prepare the Land for Cultivation
If you want to harvest handsomely, you have to prepare your land properly. Clear the bush, plow, collect trash and compost it, and level the garden. Depending on the crop varieties you want to have in the garden, you can select to use either rows or bed. For crops like carrot and onions go for beds, and for crops like kales, cabbages, potatoes as well as corn go for rows.
Ensure you subdivide the cultivated land into plots that will be planted with different crops. If there is a plot, you want to mark and intercrop it to ensure you don’t affect the arrangement. Depending on the times of harvest you can plant some crops earlier to ensure they are not affected by competition for sunlight and nutrients.
When spacing your garden, also consider crops that require special training like tomatoes. Set the poles for training during planting to ensure you don’t disrupt other crops in your garden. If you are going for drip irrigation, make sure to set it properly to ensure crops get significant moisture for their growth. After planting it is necessary to fence the garden to keep off pest like rabbits, poultry, porcupines and squirrels
4 – Plant and Manage the Garden
Apply organic manure before planting, but if the soil needs a special nutrient boost, go for organic fertilizers. Use plant certified seeds as well as seedlings from certified seeds. After planting ensure that crops are well taken care of until they mature. Irrigate regularly and weed the garden when necessary. On top of that do pest monitoring as well as disease checks to ensure your garden is free from pests and diseases.
It is important to be well prepared for any disasters that can lead to a food shortage. With a well-prepared survival garden, you can cultivate the most important nutrient providing crops. The garden can be small, but with subdivision and intercropping, you can harvest enough. Follow these steps, and you will have the best garden that meets most of your family’s nutritional needs.
Resources & Further Reading
Guest Post Author Bio: Henry Rangkuti is a gardening enthusiast. His other passions include the outdoors, travel and technology. He writes about his gardening interest over at his website GardeningJourney.com.