Tag Archives: survival life

What is a Survival Cache

What Is A Survival Cache And Why Should I Have One?

A survival cache is a container of some sort which contains essential survival supplies that you would hide in a secret location.  What you store in them is entirely up to you but most people will store extra ammunition and guns, food, first aid kits, tarps, tools, and anything else they think will be of use during an emergency or shtf scenario.  It should basically contain the same type of items that you would place in your main bug out bag.  Some people who have a bug out location selected have gone out and hid several survival caches along a secret and random path.  They stock these caches with essential supplies that will help them along the way to get to their destination.

It’s extremely important to have survival caches in place and why you should have one should be pretty obvious by now. Lets say a disaster of some sort has occurred and you are unable to get home where your main bug out bag is located.  Instead, it might make more sense to go to your secret location and retrieve your cache of supplies.  Another example could be that society has completely broken down and a group of vigilantes break into your home and demand you hand over your remaining emergency supplies.  Instead of confronting them it would probably be easier and safer to just hand over what they want and chances are they will leave you alone.

By having a survival cache in place you are guaranteeing yourself that you will have a backup of essential supplies in the event that you use up your main stockpile, it has been stolen or in case you are not able to get to it safely.  By having the mentality that a well stocked bug out bag is all you’ll need, please think about this again and consider your family’s well being in the event that a disaster does strike. Perhaps you will be spared and a disaster will never directly affect you in your lifetime, but simply coming to the conclusion that you have enough stuff prepared could prove to be a costly or even fatal mistake.  When it comes to preparedness, you’re never finished.

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

http://inchsurvival.com/blog/what-is-a-survival-cache-and-why-should-i-have-one/

What Are Your Prepping Blind Spots?

The cooler temperatures in the air remind me of the approach of winter and with it many of the things I take pleasure in. Colder days give me excuses to wear my big warm coats that have been stuck in a plastic bin all year. I get to break out a completely new set of hats to keep my head warm and my closet has undergone a revival, albeit a pretty pitiful one where my short-sleeved shirts are now replaced by warmer garments. Hunting season preparations are well underway and this weekend I will be sighting in all of my rifles.

The cooler weather seems to have sent the flies and mosquitoes packing with spiders now seemingly the only holdouts. I watch their webs from my windows because obviously that is the only place they can set up house but they too will disappear soon. Everything has a cycle.

This is also the time of year where the subject of prepping seems to start falling off the radar for most people. This year I think it has been even more pronounced because the perfect storm of predicted events in September never materialized. The blood moons, the Shemitah, the stock market, UN speeches all culminated in… not so much.

Michael Snyder calls this the calm before the storm in a recent article and I am inclined to believe him. I didn’t get too wrapped up in the predictions of September, but I take a long-term view of prepping on my best days. I don’t look for anything to happen when we are all looking. When the eyes of the world are watching for the big one, they rarely ever happen do they? It is much more interesting to surprise people and I think we are still in for a big surprise some day down the road.

Check your prepping blind spots

I was thinking about this cyclical phenomenon that we go through in prepper circles of the buzz about the next event creating fervor then silence when nothing happens. The news events are probably exacerbating this somewhat this time around, but if you ignore the huge migrant crisis in Europe and don’t get bogged down into politics too deeply at this point, there seems to be nothing to worry about on the surface. It is times like these that I am reminded that as a Prepper I need to be checking my blind spot.

You probably know what I mean when I refer to blind spot. It is most commonly discussed in the context of driving your car and it is the space you can’t see between what your side mirror shows and your peripheral vision. Normally, this is where the big sedan is lurking and if you only check your mirror, you might miss it and in the process of going around the slow poke in front of you, smash right into that car in the other lane. This is a danger to you as well as the other driver on the road.

The blind spot for preppers manifests itself in a similar fashion. We are happily driving along down the road of life and we react to the threats we can see in front of us. We keep an eye on the threats behind us and to our rear, but if we get complacent and don’t keep looking around, disaster can be waiting for us in our blind spot. If we don’t see an immediate threat (Y2K, Global Warming, Global Cooling, Acid Rain, Nuclear War, Mayan Calendar, Shemitah, blood moon, Stay Puft marshmallow man) in front of us we think everything is OK. Once the “threat” has passed it is in our rear view mirror and we think we are in the clear.

What are some of your prepping blind spots?

After Y2K, there was a lot of prepper “embarrassment” for lack of a better word. We certainly didn’t have the non-stop abuse factory that can be the comments section on social media now, but when nothing happened, a lot of preppers felt duped. Even without dozens of trolls talking about how stupid they looked for prepping, preppers felt silly for buying survival gear and stocking up on food only to wake up on January 1st, 2000 and find that the world was still spinning. I hadn’t really gotten into prepping at that time and my only real investment was s few jugs of water and some Mexican Veladoras that I picked up at my grocery store because I thought they would burn a long time. Our canned food was eaten and the water made it into the rotation. I still have the candles.

And every other event that we are supposed to be worried about is largely the same. Preppers will get extremely animated and stressed about the next upcoming event. Prepping blogs like this one will be inundated with requests for more information, there will be articles about preppers and their motivation for prepping in newspapers and online articles and when the event passes. Crickets.

I do know that we have a large amount of regular readers who are here every day – when nothing is going wrong just as they are here when some tragedy has struck. I am not talking about you, but I would say the majority of people who are interested in Prepping when it is convenient might be missing some large objects if they only focus on prepping when there is the potential for disaster in the news.

I have enough X to last me forever – Stocking up is a given for most preppers. We stock up on the items we need to live out of concern that we won’t be able to purchase them after some disaster. But simply stocking up on a few cases of water and some toilet paper does not a prepper make. Anything and everything you have will run out at some point. You can’t just go on an extreme Sam’s club trip and expect to be prepared for everything.

My Bug Out Bag is all I need to escape anything – Bug out bags are a very important survival tool. Properly sourced with the right essentials by someone who can carry that gear the distance and who knows how to use the contents, makes the bug out bag a huge advantage if you are forced to leave your home. However, just because you have a well-stocked bug out bag, that doesn’t make you invincible. It is an important step, but you shouldn’t just sit back when you have yours completed.

Want a compelling vision of what life without electricity looks like? Read One second after.

Want a compelling vision of what life without electricity looks like? Read One second after.

We will defend our castle from all zombie bikers/ I will be able to stay in my home forever – I am a huge believer in Sheltering in place as opposed to bugging out – provided my situation at home does not warrant I leave for safety. I believe there are many advantages to being in a known location, but I can’t believe that I will always be able to stay in that house. My plans and preps need to continue to evolve to account for different scenarios that might force me to grab that bug out bag and hit the road.

Living without power won’t affect me – I have been guilty myself of downplaying the importance of electricity. How hard can it be? I go camping all the time and there is no power, right? A world without power would be hell for a long time and to simply think it would be like camping is missing a much larger reality. I recommend reading One Second After if you don’t appreciate the potential of life without an electric grid.

There are many more and I bet each of you can identify your own prepping blind spots. What do you conveniently ignore or put out of your mind until the next forecast of extreme weather? I think one thing we can try to keep is a constant but low-level vigilance. I try not to get too wrapped up in the day-to-day news, but I think that one reason is that I am somewhat prepared for a lot of different contingencies. I have spent years stocking up on supplies, coordinating plans with friends and learning as much as I can. I feel I am half-way down the road. I can see a lot of old events in my rear view mirror but I know that if I get complacent, I could end up in the ditch. Keep your eyes on the road because as we speed through life, what is ahead can change quickly.

What do you forget until there is rioting in your city? What are your prepping blind spots?

 

What Are Your Prepping Blind Spots? was written by Pat Henry with Prepper Journal and can be viewed here:

http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2015/11/03/what-are-your-prepping-blind-spots/

The 10 Personality Traits of Successful Survivalists

Have you ever noticed that most preppers have a lot in common? There are certain personality traits that seem to be present in nearly every single prepper and survivalist I have met, and the more prevalent these traits, the more successful they are at prepping and survival.

We do a lot of talking about what preppers do wrong, and about those mistakes and oversights that can get you killed, but today I want to focus on the positive: those core traits that will see you through the ups and downs of life, whether it’s in the midst of a major disaster or a daily inconvenience.

Today I’d like to share with you my take on ten things that preppers get right.  I list them in no particular order although I tend to think the first and last might be the most important.

10 Traits of the Successful Prepper

1.  The Will to Live

Preppers approach long term survival with gusto.  As busy as they might be with job and family obligations, they are laser-focused on ensuring that they will be safe for the long term.  They want to live and want to enjoy the bounty of life itself.  To that end, they are prepared to endure hardships and are prepared to defend what is theirs.  They want to live, no matter what, and want to be productive members of society.

2.  Thirst for Knowledge

There is always something new to learn and to keep the prepper’s brain engaged.  There is never a time when they say “enough”.  As difficult as it may be at times to deal with the reality of our world, preppers seek knowledge and truth. They relentlessly pursue just one more skill and one more fact that will help them prevail if their world goes to heck.

3.  Belief in Family Values

The family as a social unit is important, whether it is a family of two or a family of twenty.  Preppers know that and embrace and protect the family unit because it provides a sense of belonging, as well as an environment for honesty and respect.  However the family unit is defined (and each of us may define “family” in different terms), the core ideals remain the same: responsibility, accountability, and love.

4.  The MacGyver Instinct

Every prepper is a handyman.  We fix stuff.  We make things work by cobbling together odd bits and pieces into something newly purposed.  We throw away nothing, lest it have some useful purpose down the road.  We strive to jerry-rig our way out of just about anything, sometimes with only some paracord and duct tape.  The words “I can’t make it work” do not exist in the Prepper’s vocabulary.

5.  Compassion for Others

Wikipedia defines compassion as “the emotion that we feel in response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help”. The so-called survivalists of old were stereotyped as loners.  These days, most preppers understand the value of being around others and feel a strong emotional connection to helping those that are unable to help themselves.

This is not to say that we as a group are a bunch of bleeding hearts that will give away our hard-earned preps to anyone who comes asking.  Quite the contrary.  What it does mean is that we show compassion for those that are disabled, elderly, ill, or simply lack the financial means to do more than a modicum of preparations.  From these individuals we will seek knowledge and skills rather than physical possessions.

Of course, your compassion must be tempered with common sense. In an all-out disaster (and heck, sometimes it doesn’t even take a major event) some people will try to take advantage – brutal advantage – of your willingness to help. Use extreme caution when assisting others. Even people you feel you know can turn ugly in desperate circumstances.

Read more here…

This article was written by Gaye Levy from Backdoor Survival

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 FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest or purchase her eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage on Amazon.com.

This article was written by Gaye Levy and can be viewed here:

http://www.backdoorsurvival.com/10-personality-traits-of-successful-survivalists

Coping with Stress After Disaster

When planning for disaster, we run through scenarios in our mind and those scenarios give us a visual baseline for which we make plans. As preppers we talk a lot about the steps you can take right now to get prepared so that you will have a plan, supplies and options for when that disaster may strike. Often preparedness deals with the immediate effects of disaster like having a vehicle to bug out or having plenty of food and water to deal with shortages. The next logical step from that is a longer term plan, but those long term prepping plans usually revolve around extensions of those same basic needs: Food, Water, Shelter and Security.

Take any crisis with a timeline much longer than we associate with “typical” natural disasters and you need to consider different items as part of your planning. For a “typical” emergency, the chaos is relatively short lived. Even though the rebuilding and recovery process may take years, the process can start as soon as the dust has settled, the earth has stopped shaking, and wind no longer howls, the fires are extinguished, the rains have stopped or the water has receded. We shed tears and hopefully hug all of our loved ones and start to pick up the pieces.

But what about a scenario that just doesn’t stop? What if you are visited by the potential threats of a new fresh hell every day? We hopefully plan for food that we can eat off of and grow for future needs. We can band together with others in our neighborhood for security or devise alternative energy schemes to keep the lights on. We rarely talk about the stress, anguish and for some, crippling fear that could be a part of life in the worst apocalyptic view of the future. You have plans for everything else, but do you have a plan for coping with stress after disaster?

First world problems

It’s interesting to try and research stress from the standpoint of some end of the world as we know it perspective. So much of our current world is about as far away from disaster as you can be. In the U.S. currently, we lead very comfortable lives when compared with large parts of the rest of the world. Don’t get me wrong, I am not apologizing for that at all, but it does change how you view stress.

We have a running joke in my family and I am sure we aren’t alone in this of whenever one of us encounters something that irritates us or “stresses us out” we jokingly, but accurately label that as a “first world problem.” If I can’t find any good movies out of the thousands available to me via the internet piped into my living room, that is a first world problem. If my computer is not running as fast as I want as I sit in an air-conditioned home or I have to wait 3 minutes for it to reboot due to a free OS upgrade, that is a first world problem. If I have to leave the security of my bathroom to walk two feet to a closet with dozens of rolls of soft toilet paper… you get the point. We don’t have anywhere near the stress in our lives now that some people do and we frequently take that for granted. I don’t expect anyone to sit and feel ashamed for our lifestyle, but what will you do if that is all gone?

Imagine the father who has walked hundreds of miles with his family across a desert to avoidethnic cleansing or the mother who is alone with three small children living in a refugee camp. The same camp with hundreds of thousands of other displaced people where she is lucky to have a small meal of watery rice a couple times a day. Oh, did I mention that she has to walk almost a mile to stand in line for that rice and she goes back to a tent to live in with 15 other families. I won’t even mention the people who are still running for their lives from groups bent on their complete destruction who kill men, women and children with machetes. We don’t know real stress in the US right now.

We don’t know stress in the US like some people.

We don’t know stress in the US like some people.

You can find lots of information about the “stress” we do have in our lives and plenty of advice for dealing with stress. In a disaster, getting fresh air or exercise probably won’t cut it but that does say something about what we do all day. I think in a crisis like many of us are expecting in our worst nightmares, our very definition of stress will be radically rewritten. Even if nothing that bad happens, stress and I mean real stress is something we should plan for.

What are some symptoms of stress?

  • Frequent headaches, jaw clenching or pain
  • Gritting, grinding teeth
  • Stuttering or stammering
  • Tremors, trembling of lips, hands
  • Neck ache, back pain, muscle spasms
  • Mood-swings and easy bouts of crying.
  • Overwhelming guilt and self-doubt.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Low threshold of frustration.

As preppers reading this article I have to assume that you will be leaders to the people in your group. Recognizing stress will be important for a couple of reasons. First you want to be able to identify situations where someone needs a little extra care, assistance or rest. Stressed out individuals can make mistakes that could get people hurt or killed. I am not talking about the kind of stress caused by not having enough space on your smart phone to take a one hour video of your daughter’s birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheese either.

When you are living with loss, possibly death, great uncertainty or dangers to your safety, people can deal with stress in a number of ways. I think at some point stress will become a part of life and you will have peaks and valleys depending on the relative safety and security you are living in at any moment but when your entire life has been thrown into a blender and dumped on the ground, stress might take it’s toll for a while.

Stress

How can you deal with stress?

Each person deals with stress in their own way and in a disaster it would be perfectly normal to have feelings of sadness or loss and uncertainty. You as a leader will be living with stress just like anyone you come in contact with most likely and if you know how to deal with your own stress you will be better prepared to help others like a spouse, children or parent deal with their own stress.

Stress frequently brings dark feelings and doubt to the surface. It is very normal to want to lash out when you are stressed, to hit back at the situation that has impacted your life. Sometimes this may work to your benefit, but for most times I think you want to reserve anger like that. What can you do?

Focus on what you can control – We can easily dwell on the problems we can’t fix right now and worry about how that will change. There are so many things to consider when we are in a stressful environment and that is one additional reason to prepare now so that all of the basics of life and security will be checked off the list.

Admit you are stressed out and talk about that with someone – When I am stressed, I tend to focus on all of the things I am worried about. I rush through my day trying to knock things off my list or thinking about them until I reach some level of satisfaction about where I am. I don’t normally go to my wife to discuss things I am stressed out about but she seems to know when I am stressed and engages me to talk about it. Even though the things I am worried about don’t disappear, it helps to talk. Sometimes she does help me with ideas or just a different perspective. I would never want to be without her counsel.

Don’t blame yourself for bad things – I know that personally, I prepare because in the back of my mind I feel responsible for my family and I don’t want to let them down in an emergency. Its one thing if Dad forgets to stop at the store and get ice cream for dessert (first world problem) but another thing entirely if a storm knocks out power for two weeks and I can’t keep them warm and fed. There will be things you can’t control and dwelling on what you should have done is useless. Focus on what you can do, make things happen and move on.

Sleep, eat and drink – Our bodies are amazing creations and so many problems can be remedied themselves with the simple basics our bodies need to function properly. Making sure you get enough sleep is an important stress reducer. You also need to make sure that applies to everyone in your group. That is another reason why a group of people is better than lower numbers of people so that you have more people to work, stand guard and help. Food and Water is the fuel our bodies need to function at peak capacity. So that should be one of the first things you check off on your prepper to do list. See a theme here?

Rely on your higher power – The saying goes that there are no atheists in foxholes and that simply means that when you are worried about dying, you start to believe/hope for an afterlife and a loving God to watch over you and keep you safe. Many of us already have a spiritual component in our lives and we should be embracing this daily. You can certainly lean heavily on your own higher power for strength and peace in a time of high stress. Sometimes a simple prayer is all it takes to calm me down and I know that if I ever was in a real “stress” inducing situation I would be praying much more often than I do now.

How do children react to stress?

Adults are one thing and you might think we can do what they did in old movies. Just slap the person going hysterical and yell at them to “Snap out of it”! That may work, actually it might feel pretty good depending on the person on the receiving end of the slapping. Just kidding… sort of.

Children are different though so understanding the stress from their eyes will help you deal with them in ways that make them feel better. Children all deal with stress differently at different ages. This is a breakdown from FEMA:

Birth through 2 years. When children are pre-verbal and experience a trauma, they do not have the words to describe the event or their feelings. However, they can retain memories of particular sights, sounds, or smells. Infants may react to trauma by being irritable, crying more than usual, or wanting to be held and cuddled. The biggest influence on children of this age is how their parents cope. As children get older, their play may involve acting out elements of the traumatic event that occurred several years in the past and was seemingly forgotten.

Preschool – 3 through 6 years. Preschool children often feel helpless and powerless in the face of an overwhelming event. Because of their age and small size, they lack the ability to protect themselves or others. As a result, they feel intense fear and insecurity about being separated from caregivers. Preschoolers cannot grasp the concept of permanent loss. They can see consequences as being reversible or permanent. In the weeks following a traumatic event, preschoolers’ play activities may reenact the incident or the disaster over and over again.

School age – 7 through 10 years. The school-age child has the ability to understand the permanence of loss. Some children become intensely preoccupied with the details of a traumatic event and want to talk about it continually. This preoccupation can interfere with the child’s concentration at school and academic performance may decline. At school, children may hear inaccurate information from peers. They may display a wide range of reactions — sadness, generalized fear, or specific fears of the disaster happening again, guilt over action or inaction during the disaster, anger that the event was not prevented, or fantasies of playing rescuer.

Pre-adolescence to adolescence – 11 through 18 years. As children grow older, they develop a more sophisticated understanding of the disaster event. Their responses are more similar to adults. Teenagers may become involved in dangerous, risk-taking behaviors, such as reckless driving, or alcohol or drug use. Others can become fearful of leaving home and avoid previous levels of activities. Much of adolescence is focused on moving out into the world. After a trauma, the view of the world can seem more dangerous and unsafe. A teenager may feel overwhelmed by intense emotions and yet feel unable to discuss them with others.

Coping with stress may not be the first thing we consider when we are prepping, but it is a natural by-product of the events we are planning for. Your job as leader won’t end simply at gathering supplies. You will also have to provide strength and compassion and understanding as appropriate to help others around you. I don’t expect to turn into a touchy feeling – hug it out kind of guy when we are trying to survive and cannibals are munching on your legs. That is just not in my nature and I will be focusing on other things I assume. I do think it’s important to be able to realize how each person is dealing with the stresses in their lives. You can use this to help people by guiding them in certain directions or collaborating with others to provide assistance while you focus on slaying the metaphorical dragon.

Call it prepping for the emotional component of your group under duress. It is something that we all should spend a little time thinking about. You could be the person who brings someone through their stress and helps them survive. Helping others cope might even help you in the end.

 

Coping with Stress After Disaster was written by Pat Henry with Prepper Journal and can be viewed here:

http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2015/09/18/coping-with-stress-after-disaster/

Survival Basics: 16 Ways to Conserve Water in Your Home

With the recent proliferation of water shortages caused by wonky weather patterns, finding ways to maximize the water we do have has become a focus of preppers near and far.  That said, in addition to knowing how to find, harvest, purify, and store water, it is important to develop a lifelong habit of conserving water.

The bottom line is that careful water conservation methods will allow you to make the most of limited supplies not only following a disruptive event but also day to day as you learn to make do with what you have during a drought.

Today I share 16 ways to conserve water in in your home.  We’ll begin in the bathroom since interestingly enough, that is where 75% of all household water is used.

16 Tips to Help You Conserve Water

1.  Do not keep the bathroom faucet running.

The faucet at the bathroom sink does not need to be running continuously while you brush your teeth, wash your face, or shave.  You will save between three and five gallons of water each minute your faucet is turned off.  That is a lot of water! Instead, use the stopper on the sink and drain the basin when you are done.

2.  Only flush when needed.

The toilet is not a wastepaper basket for tissues, cotton balls, or other bits of trash.  Even better, flush the solids every single time but alternate flushing the liquids.

The prepper’s motto is ‘yellow, let it mellow’, ‘brown, flush it down’.

3.  Flush using less water.

Most toilets installed before 1980 use 5 to 7 gallons of water per flush. Toilets installed between 1980 and 1993 use 3.5 gallons per flush. Toilets installed since 1994 use 1.6 gallons.

If you happen to have an older toilet, consider filling a used soda bottle or jar with water and small pebbles or marbles and place it upright in the tank.  This will cut down on the amount of water that flows through the tank with each flush.  Just be careful not to place the bottle where it will jam the flushing mechanism.  Also, make sure you don’t displace so much water that you have to double-flush.

Double flushing wastes more water than you would save.

4.  Check for leaky faucets and toilets.

It is easy to replace worn washers and since a small leak can waste many gallons of water a day, it is well worth the effort to test for leaks now.

The way to test for toilet leaks is to put a few drops of food coloring in the tank to see if the colored water appears in the bowl.  This takes about 10 minutes.  If the water color changes, you have a leak.  Not to worry, though.  Most leaks can be repaired with a kit that you can pick up at your local hardware store or on Amazon.

You can find a lot of information on toilets and toilet repairs at the Toiletology 101 website, including a free course on toilet repairs.

Keep in mind that little leaks can add up quickly.  A faucet drip or invisible toilet leak that totals only two tablespoons a minute comes to 15 gallons a day. That’s 105 gallons a week or 5,460 wasted gallons of water a year.

Are you wondering how long the parts in your toilet tank should last?  The answer is: it depends.  Replaceable parts such as flappers and washers or seals inside the refill valve may last several years. However factors such as water treatment processes, toilet bowl cleaners, and high water pressure can cause parts to disintegrate much sooner. If you touch the flapper and get black “goo” on your hands, the flapper needs to be replaced.

5.  Check for hidden water leaks.

Check for hidden water leaks elsewhere in your home by reading your water meter.  What you do is read the house water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.

Read more here…

This article was written by Gaye Levy from Backdoor Survival

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 FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest or purchase her eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage on Amazon.com.

This article was written by Gaye Levy and can be viewed here:

http://www.backdoorsurvival.com/survival-basics-16-ways-to-conserve-water-in-your-home/