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Putting Together Your EDC Bag

Putting Together Your EDC Bag

Hopefully by now you have gone out and bought yourself an EDC bag.  If not, you should backtrack to my previous post, “What is an EDC bag and why should I have one” before continuing on.  At this point it is time to start getting all of your gear together and organizing it.  Yes this sounds like it can be a daunting task especially when trying to figure out which items you really need and which ones should be grouped together.  This article isn’t about keeping a few items that can fit into your pocket such as a knife, a few band aids and a cell phone – it’s about having all of the “essentials” on hand so that you are fully prepared for any situation that might arise.  If you really think a pocket sized kit is all you will need then I hope the only thing that happens is you fall off your bike because you were looking back at a hot chick and scraped your knee.

When you look at the list of items below I know you will probably think to yourself, “how am I supposed to put all this in my EDC bag ?”.  The amount of stuff you can carry will depend on the bag that you purchased, however, the main idea here is to still keep everything as compact as possible.  Many of these items are small and hardly take any room.  There may be some things that you will find you may not need while other items may be available in smaller sizes or formats that can do the same job just as effectively.

To help simplify things we will start by breaking everything down into categories.  Remember that we’re only trying to stock the bare necessities here, not create a complete survival bag.  The items I’ve listed below are just general suggestions.  You will need to determine exactly what you think will be needed to accommodate your bag.

Clothing and Apparel:Hiking Boots

You should keep a complete spare change of clothing in your bag as keeping yourself dry is very important.  Modify the type of items listed here to suit your location and and environment.

  • Pair of underwear and socks (add long-johns if you live in a colder climate)
  • Pair of jeans or pants made of high strength material
  • Pair of gloves and hat or bandana
  • T-shirt and sweater
  • Rain poncho
  • Dust mask
  • Add anything else that you would need for your location and climate but remember to keep everything as compact as possible.

Food and Water:Water

Having clean drinkable water should be your top priority with food following right behind.  If possible, get yourself a water bottle that has a filter built into it so in the case that you need to collect water from a nearby river or stream it will filter out most of the harmful bacteria.  Remember though, it’s always your safest bet to boil the water before you drink it regardless of where you found it.

  • Water bottle, canteen or survival straw with built in water filter (always keep it pre-filled with fresh clean water)
  • Water purification tablets
  • A few MRE’s (ready to eat meals)
  • A few packages of oatmeal, granola bars or high energy protein bars
  • Mixed dried fruit and nuts
  • Hard candies
  • P-38 can opener (in case you come across some cans of food along the way)

First Aid & Medical:First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is another critical component to your EDC bag.  While a pocket sized kit could do the trick you should keep in mind that it’s always better to put together your own kit rather than buying one that’s pre-made because not one kit that you purchase will be tailored to your exact medical needs.  If you choose to build your own kit you should know that many of these items can be found at the dollar store for a fraction of the cost.  Below are some standard items that you should include in your kit if you decide to put it together yourself.  Remove or add items to suit your needs.

  • Band aids – different sizes
  • Butterfly band aids
  • Gauze pads
  • Arm wrap (in case of a sprain or fracture)
  • Medical tape
  • Rubbing alcohol (to sterilize)
  • Peroxide (to disinfect the wound)
  • Polysporin (to help heal wounds and infections)
  • Puffers, Epee Pen, etc..
  • Suture kit
  • Any prescription and non-prescription medication you may require
  • Quick Clot or cayenne pepper (cayenne pepper will thicken the blood and help slow or stop the bleeding)
  • Tweezers
  • First aid manual

Navigation, Signaling and Lighting:Compass and Map

Regardless of where you live you should add a map of your local area into your pack in case you need to take a different unfamiliar route in order to get home or to a safer place.

  • A quality map compass
  • Map of local area and state/province
  • Whistle
  • Signal mirror
  • Glow sticks
  • LED flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries (store batteries separately)
  • Cell phone (preferably a smartphone)

Fire and Heat:Fire and Heat

Aside from having clean drinkable water at the top of your list, keeping yourself warm and dry is also extremely important and being able to make a fire is extremely important.  Hypothermia can set in faster than you think so keep this in consideration when adding any of these items to your bag.  You will want to be able to make a fire in any type of weather so I personally would go with a magnesium fire starter.

  • Waterproof strike anywhere matches, Windproof lighter, Magnesium fire starter or flint and steel
  • Hand and foot warmers (if you live in a colder area)
  • Emergency candles
  • Space blanket (can also be used to create a shelter)



You may come across a time or place where you will need to have the cover of shelter perhaps to ride out the night or to protect yourself from the elements.  Carrying an actual tent or other shelter with you wouldn’t make sense as they would be too bulky and wouldn’t fit in your EDC bag anyway.  Instead, you will probably have to improvise and make one out of available materials.  Here are a few items that can help you to make one:

  • Small tarp (can be used as a wall or roof for your shelter)
  • Large black garbage bags
  • Rain poncho
  • Paracord (to tie and hold together your shelter)

Protection:Fixed Blade Buck Knife

People do crazy things when under pressure and stress, especially during the after affects of a severe natural disaster or when society has broken down.  Besides yourself, everyone else will be in full survival mode and being able to protect yourself will be crucial.  Here are a few items that you should consider putting in your EDC bag:

  • Pepper or bear spray
  • Pocket knife (preferably a quality knife with a fixed blade)
  • Hand gun with spare bullets
  • Taser gun

Tools and other misc items:Gerber Suspension

Aside from some of the items above, here are a few more which you will want to have on hand and will find to be very useful in many scenarios.

  • 50 feet of 550lb paracord
  • Pen and pad of paper
  • Adjustable wrench (to turn off gas valves, tons of other uses)
  • Multi-tool
  • Cable ties
  • Small mini screw driver with bits (to fix eye glasses or other small items)
  • Small hose (you might have to siphon gas) – has many other uses
  • Roll of quarters (for pay phones) and at least $100 – $200 in small bills (you never know when you’ll need to make an emergency purchase or have to buy your way out of trouble

Lastly, you will need to make sure that all of your supplies stay dry.  I previously wrote an article on different ways to “waterproof your backpack” and it’s contents.  Although I used backpacks as an example you can still use the same ideas for your EDC bag.  Click here to read it.

Best of luck with building your EDC bag and let us know what you put in yours in the comments below!

This article was written by INCH Survival and can be viewed here:


Medicine Supplies

Medicine to Stock up on for When There Is No Doctor

As preppers we stock up on supplies that we think we will need in an emergency. The order of priority for these items is usually tied to what our bodies need to survive. We can only live for 3 days (on average) without water so we make plans to purchase storage containers and water filtration systems to cover that base. We next need food, so we stock our pantries full of store-bought and freeze-dried food for a situation where the grocery store is either unreachable or out of food. Security and shelter round out the list of initial survival concepts you want to take care of but what else is there?

There are so many aspects to preparedness, but one of the more important ones to consider is medicine. If the grid goes down, the pharmacy will be in the same boat as that grocery store. If you are still able to purchase items (grid up), they may be sold out with no reasonable hope of resupply. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you need simply medical supplies to treat illness or injury and aren’t able to procure them for your family. Thinking about your families’ health from an injury standpoint isn’t as sexy as buying a good SHTF weapon, but knowing which medicine to stock up on for an emergency will allow you to plan for disruptions and possibly keep your family more healthy when they need it the most.

What are important types of medicine to stock up on?

This list certainly won’t take the place of a hospital pharmacy and it surely won’t give you the skills you need to treat every injury, but even the most basic of medical supplies and a little knowledge could help you out. When shopping for medicines or thinking about first aid, I consider what types of injuries you could encounter in a disaster.

Disasters both natural and man-made bring death, disease and injuries. The medicines you need to stock up on should take some of these into consideration while not addressing every conceivable ailment under the sun. To achieve a basic level of preparedness I would recommend having the following items on hand.

Pain Medication / Fever Reducer

By pain medication I am referring to over the counter pain relievers. This can help with anything from headaches, sore muscles from too much exercise after SHTF or injuries. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is good for relieving pain and fever. It is generally less irritating to the stomach and is safer for children but can be toxic to the liver if you take too much of it.

Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) are examples of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These reduce inflammation caused by injury, arthritis or fever. They can also assist with pain associated with menstruation.

Children shouldn’t be given aspirin as it has been shown to cause Reye’s syndrome and can cause other bad effects. For pain medication I would have at least a bottle or two of your favorite pain reliever. For smaller children who might take liquid or chewable tablets I would stock up on that also. You don’t want your child to experience a fever without having medicine to bring that fever down if needed. The medicines above can be useful for both reducing inflammation, relieving pain and reducing fevers. I personally like aspirin for headaches but we do have large bottles of the other two on hand as well.


One of our readers put this as his top 4 or 5 items to have in his bug out bag and I can understand the rationale. The last thing you need to worry about in a bug out scenario is pulling over every twenty minutes or trying to find a safe place to let it all out. Diarrhea besides being messy as all get out can dehydrate a person quickly. Dehydration leads to weakness, irritability and confusion. Not the state you want to find yourself in an emergency.

There are two main types of medicines that help stop diarrhea, thickening mixtures (psyllium) absorb water and gives number 2 a little more volume. Antispasmodic products slow the spasms of your lower intestine. Loperamide is the active ingredient in products like Imodium and Pepto Diarrheal control. I have also seen loperamide hydrochloride in pill form in dozens of first aid kits. Fortunately, I have never had to use them but have them just in case. Better safe than sorry.


Sooner or later someone you know will need something a little stronger than a clean bandage. Antibiotics are used in the treatment of bacterial infections. A cut from a rusty piece of metal when the grid is up isn’t life threatening. Without something to fight the infection in a grid down world, a bacterial infection could spell death. Antibiotics do not work on viruses though, so they won’t help you out with every illness.

How do you know when to use antibiotics?

The answer depends on what is causing your infection. The following are some basic guidelines from Familydoctor.org:

  • Colds and flu. Viruses cause these illnesses. They can’t be cured with antibiotics.
  • Cough or bronchitis. Viruses almost always cause these. However, if you have a problem with your lungs or an illness that lasts a long time, bacteria may actually be the cause. Your doctor may decide to try using an antibiotic.
  • Sore throat. Most sore throats are caused by viruses and don’t need antibiotics. However, strep throat is caused by bacteria. Your doctor can determine if you have strep throat and can prescribe an antibiotic.
  • Ear infections. There are several types of ear infections. Antibiotics are used for some (but not all) ear infections.
  • Sinus infections. Antibiotics are often used to treat sinus infections. However, a runny nose and yellow or green mucus do not necessarily mean you need an antibiotic.  Read more about treating sinusitis.

In addition to the more serious antibiotics, you could avoid a lot of problems with simple topical antibiotic creams. If you only have small injuries (not serious burns, puncture wounds or deep cuts), quick and repeated application of this ointment per instructions could keep any bacterial infections at bay.

Colloidal Silver

Colloidal silver isn’t loved by the medical or scientific establishment, but that doesn’t mean it does not work. Colloidal Silver or CS as it is referred to by some is said to be an excellent antibiotic with the side benefit of being able to be made with simple materials by anyone. You should research for yourself whether or not this is a prepper supply you want to store and there are well documented cases ofpeople who have abused this. I have some in my medicine cabinet.

Additional medical supplies

  • Oral re-hydration solution – To offset the effects of dehydration caused by illness or diarrhea, make your own by adding 6-8 teaspoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 liter of water. Best to boil the water, add the sugar and salt while it is still warm to dissolve completely and let cool.
  • Multi-vitamins – I know the experts say that vitamins don’t do anything for you, but I believe if your body is deprived of vitamins supplementing with a good multi vitamin is a good idea.
  • Bandages – Probably more than you would ever expect to need. Bandages on wounds need to be routinely changed and the wound cleaned (based upon injury of course, consult a medical resource book for frequency) and you can easily go through dozens with one injury.
  • Rubbing Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide – Both alcohol and hydrogen peroxide are useful for cleaning wounds but each have many other benefits in the prepper’s first aid kit.
  • Cough Drops – Sure there are natural alternatives to cough drops, but you can buy a few hundred for less than $10
  • Anti-itch creme – Itching sucks.
  • Honey – Natural honey can be used to treat wounds and never goes bad if you have it stored properly. Plus it tastes great on that oatmeal you have stored in your pantry too.
  • Knee Braces and Ace Bandages – A lot of injuries will simply take time to heal. A goodknee brace can make getting around possible for someone with mild injuries. Ace bandages can help with sprains.
  • Any prescriptions you take regularly – An entire post could be written about obtaining supplies of life-saving medical prescriptions. The sad fact is that in a grid down world, many people who can no longer access prescriptive medicine may die. There are alternative treatments, homeopathic remedies and natural substitutes for some specific medicines, but these should all be researched thoroughly on your own. At a minimum you should have at least a one month supply of any medicine you must take. If the disaster allows you to make it to another medical provider you have some time.
  • Thermometer – Get the old-fashioned kind if you are worried about EMP, although thenewer digital thermometers are really nice too.
  • Blood Pressure Cuff – Helpful in situations although requires some training on how to use one properly. Don’t forget the Stethoscope to hear the heartbeat. – Hat tip to Ty for these last three great recommendations.

When does medicine go bad?

Yes, medicine does go bad, but it may not be bad in the way you think or as quickly as you might believe. For one thing the expiration date on medicine does not mean that the medicine is badafter that date. Medicine does start to lose its effectiveness over time though so keeping your medicine up to date is the best approach to having a good supply of medicine in your home.

How quickly a particular medicine loses its potency will vary by the medicine and the conditions where it is kept. Moisture and heat are not friends to medicine so a cool dry place out of sunlight is the best location. Medicine that has changed color, texture or smell even if it has not expired shouldn’t be taken. If pills stick together or are harder or softer, show cracks or chips they likely need to be replaced.

This is really just a start at some of the most obvious medicine to stock up on but each person has their own needs. What is your plan if you can’t get to the doctor?


Medicine to Stock up on for When There Is No Doctor was written by Pat Henry with Prepper Journal and can be viewed here:


Identifying Your Survival And Preparedness Skills

Perhaps you have taken the initiative and have started to organize your prepping, survival or self-reliance plans but have you stopped to think about what kinds of skills you possess that will help you and perhaps others in any given scenario?  What about the skills that you don’t have? Will you have the time to learn them or will you rely upon others to help you out?  We all possess at least some skills and now is the time for you to organize them all and understand how you can use them to your benefit in a prepping, survival or self-reliance scenario.

Working by yourself or as a team:

It’s always said that you can achieve more in numbers which is very true but actually doing it is another story.  There are times and situations where one person may feel that they absolutely need to get other people involved while others may feel that they cannot trust anyone and would rather do everything themselves.  Your feelings and thoughts can and probably will change depending on your current situation. I will outline a few examples below.

canning foodPrepping:

If you are just getting your preps together you may choose to do this by yourself or with your immediate family.  Depending on how and what you are prepping, this can most likely be done alone.  Remember that you should always keep your preps to yourself or with someone that you can really trust.  The last thing you need is to have people knocking or busting down your door in a desperate time because they know you have stockpiles of food.  You will need to identify your skill sets for this category as well.  Do you know how to can and preserve vegetables and meat?  Do you have the necessary skills to build a root cellar or shelving units to store your food?  Do you know how to organize and rotate your food supply properly?  If you are missing some of the required skills do you have the time to acquire them or will you depend on someone else’s expertise?  These are just a few examples of things that you will need to think about not only before but also while while you are prepping.

survival shelter in the woodsSurvival:

When stuck in a survival situation most people tend to think that keeping to themselves is the right thing to do.  Again, this is a touchy subject because there are countless types of survival scenarios that you can find yourself in.  Sometimes it will be better to keep things to yourself, other times you may not have a choice and will need to band together with other people in order to survive.  Again, your skills will become an important asset to yourself and to others if you decide to join then.  You will have to go over the pros and cons and decide for yourself or for your family what the best route is that you will take.  Here is an example.  If the best option for you at the time is for you and your family to drive to another location out of harms way but you find that your car won’t start and you don’t have the skills of a mechanic, do you find someone who is able to make the necessary repairs?  Do you trust them to repair your car, or will they turn their back on you, take your car and leave without you?  Do you have the skills to adapt to any type of urban or wilderness survival scenarios?

homesteading chickensSelf-reliance (homesteading):

Before embarking on a homesteading journey you should know that it is very hard work, especially physically and will require a lot of your time.  If you are planning on becoming self-sufficient in the near future and want to do everything by yourself or with your immediate family I wouldn’t suggest creating your homestead on much more than an acre or two of land.  You can accomplish more than you think on an acre or two of land but you will need to sit down and plan out your homestead very well.  Once again, your skills will play a big role in this endeavor.  Do you have experience growing gardens, raising livestock, building fences or buildings?  Do you know how to work the land, rotate your crops, etc.  If you have never done this before and plan to do it all by yourself you’ll have to learn by trial and error.  Perhaps your plan is to start a homestead with a few friends or close neighbors.  There you will be able to combine your skill sets and be even more productive.  Getting other people involved can help you to reap the benefits but it can also prove to be a burden or complete disaster.

So think about your plans, your goals, and the different scenarios that could arise.  Think about your skill sets, what you can do to add to them and what you will do if you require the help from someone who has them.  Nothing in life is certain but the more you can learn the better off you will be.  Perhaps a time will come when you will be able to offer your knowledge and assistance to someone else – in the end it’s all up to you.

This article can also be viewed here:


Treating Broken Bones In The Wilderness

treating-broken-bones-in-the-wilderness-660x265You’re hiking down a particularly steep talus field in a remote mountainous area. You take a step forward and suddenly the ground gives out beneath you. A jettison of loose rock spirals out from under your feet and you fall and begin sliding down the slope. In an instance your descent is halted and your foot slams into a boulder as another rock careens from above and makes impact with your ankle. You hear a pop and sharp jolts of pain and pressure shoot through your leg. In a moment of shock you try and get up but can’t. Your ankle is broken.

A broken or fractured bone is one of the worst scenarios that can occur out in the wilderness. These injuries are not just very painful, but can completely immobilize you–potentially leading to a variety of other life threatening complications. In the event of a broken, fractured, or even sprained limb, you will need to address the affected area immediately by immobilizing the limb, setting it, and splinting the break. Unfortunately, in a survival situation you may not possess the means to efficiently treat a fracture or break and it is likely that you will have to improvise a way to set and splint the break to get yourself back to civilization.

Depending on the nature of the break, you may have to address open wounds as well. Here the distinction between fractures–compound (open) and closed– becomes important. If you are confronted with a compound fracture, you will need to set the break and then clean the wound. One of the most important things to understand about setting a fracture or break is that only minimal adjustments should be made at the site of injury, and very carefully. There is a serious risk of severing or compressing a nerve or blood vessel and causing internal bleeding. While some first aid emphasizes splinting fractures in the position in which they are found, in a back country survival situation, you need to return the bone to its natural position.

fractureSetting Fractures and Breaks

The most conventional and effective way of setting the broken limb or fracture is to use traction to return the limb to it’s natural position. This is done by grabbing an area of the body above the injured area and slowly applying traction by grabbing below the broken limb and gradually adjusting it until it meets the other end of the limb. This should always be done very carefully and slowly to avoid causing excessive pain. When done correctly this practice can help alleviate some pain since you will be returning the fractured or broken bone to its anatomical position. The key is to keep the affected area stable and the bone in place and immediately apply a splint.

applying a splintApplying a Splint:

Chances are you don’t have a medical grade splint on hand out in the wilderness. This means that you will need to improvise one out of materials you can find. The first thing to do, however, is evaluate the circulation and movement of the injured site and reposition the limb as necessary. You may need to loosen tight clothing or otherwise reduce constriction if you lack sensation in the affected area. When it comes time to create the splint, you will want to utilize any materials near to you. A splint can be made out of nearly any material strong enough to support a limb

Tent poles, ski poles, backpack frames, paddles, sleeping pads, climbing rope, straps, webbing, belts, sturdy sticks, and even snowshoes, wood, scrap metal, or your own clothing can be used as splints. You will need to assess how dire your situation is and what you have at your disposal to adequately splint the break. If you have gear with you chances are you can re-purpose something to make a pretty good splint. If not, look for a nearby sturdy object and set the splint in the inline position with the break.

You will next need to immobilize the limb above and below the break and may need to use some traction to set the limb into the correct anatomical position. Use caution and make sure that when you set the splint it is snug but not constricting. The strongest splint will be one that is applied to two or more sides of the break. This will help keep the limb immobilized from multiple directions and the allow the break to properly set and begin to heal.

If possible, use some padding on the area of the splint that comes into direct contact with the break. Something compacted or compressed works best to hold the splint in place while offering some comfort. After setting and splinting the break you will likely experience swelling during the first 24 hours. This may cause the splint to tighten, so you will need to monitor it and adjust as necessary. It should be neither too loose nor too tight. Constantly be aware of your circulation, sensation, and range of movement for signs of circulation loss like numbness, swelling and discoloration.

getting-outGetting Out

If you are stranded and injured you will eventually need to perform a self rescue and get to help. Circumstances and terrain vary, but if you’ve sustained a fracture or broken bone in your lower body you will need crutches to get yourself into a position where you can be rescued. Similar to the splint dilemma, you will likely not have a pair of crutches on hand but should be able to improvise some out of scavenged materials or personal gear. If you have poles–ideally ski or hiking poles–you can use these as aiders to maneuver yourself. Otherwise, look for sturdy tree branches–preferably ones that are forked at the top.

The branches should be about 4 feet long to allow you to comfortably and efficiently walk. Whether you are using poles or branches, you will need to wrap the tops with clothing or some kind of padding for comfort. Use what you have available, though if you can spare nothing you may be able to use some large leaves as padding. Branches that are forked at a broader angle will also be more comfortable as crutches. Gently weight them at first and proceed slowly. Depending on the nature of the break and location, you may not have to totally weight them and can instead use them for balance to negotiate rocky or steep terrain. Move carefully and monitor the injury as you move – resting frequently and staying hydrated.

by +Ben Vaughn
Ben Vaughn writes on wilderness survival skills, natural disaster preparation, and disaster restoration and reconstruction.


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Waterproofing Your Backpack And It’s Contents

Having a bug out bag filled with all your essential survival supplies is great but if they are not protected from the elements all your prepping efforts will have gone to waste.  The last thing you want is to dig into your BOB to get something you need only to find it damp, soaken wet and unusable or completely destroyed.  Unless you have an expensive waterproof backpack, you’ll want to check out the following ways you can help protect your gear.

waterproof sprayWaterproof sprays:

There are many different types of waterproof sprays that you can get.  It’s important to determine what type of material your backpack is made of so you can purchase the proper spray.  Most sprays are silicone based and are designed to penetrate the material to create a waterproof or at least a water resistant barrier.  My suggestion would be to apply several light even coats to achieve the best results.  Although these sprays do work very well, they are not designed to make your pack completely waterproof.  Just remember that if you happen to be crossing a stream and your bag gets partially or completely submerged you can bet that water will still find it’s way in whether it’s through a stitched seam or the opening in the top of your pack.  This is where dry bags and dry pouches come into play.

sealline dry sacksDry bags:

Dry bags are great for storing your clothing or other larger and bulkier items in your bug out bag.  They are available in different sizes, are completely waterproof and although these types of bags are more costly than dry pouches they are well worth the investment.  The bags featured in the image are manufactured by Cascade Designs.  Visit their website and take a look at their wide range of dry bag/sac products.


dry pouchesDry pouches:

Dry pouches are an excellent choice for keeping important documents and smaller items dry.  The ones featured in this image are made by Colemanand can be found in stores such as Walmart and Canadian Tire.  As an example, I keep all of my items for fire, heat and light combined into one bag for convenience and easy access.  These pouches are usually made of tough vinyl type material and are relatively inexpensive.  I also like the fact that they are clear so you can easily identify the contents.

garbage bagsGarbage bags:

If you don’t have anything else available garbage bags can also be used to keep your pack contents dry.  If you are planning on using these for that specific purpose be sure to get the ultra strong and thick kind as they can easily tear when you’re putting them in or pulling them out of your BOB.  You can put a few large garbage bags together (inside of each other) to create a thick and durable barrier to line the inside of your backpack.  Then, you can put all of your gear inside of the garbage bag as you naturally would inside of your bug out bag.  If you want the extra protection, cover your gear first before placing it into the main garbage bag liner.  If you find any holes or tears in your bags while out on the trail  you can use duct tape as a patch.

This article can be viewed here at Inch Survival