Before you end up growing a sustainable garden or establishing a bartering system with other survivalists, you must survive the first week on your own.

If our power grid crashes or if your hometown gets hit by a blizzard, normal living conditions will be disrupted, and surviving week one post-SHTF will become a challenge.

In some cases, help will likely come, but we shouldn’t take that for granted, and there’s no guarantee that a relief plan will unfold as initially established. To survive the first week you will have to rely on your prepping plans, and there’s no doubt about it. This doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult, and you just need to plan in advance and organize properly.

The harsh reality in today’s world is that many Americans don’t have a bug out location (or safe haven) to go to. Not to mention that keeping a household is already a challenge for most of them. For these people and many others, leaving their home is their last resort.

Since in some cases, you may have more or less than 24 hours to evacuate and take your chances on the road, you have to be prepared to do so. When that bugging-out time-frame comes to an end, you might as well hunker down and make it last as long as you can.

One of the major mistakes of emergency preparedness that people make is to worry about and preparing for long-term survival. They do so without taking into account their immediate needs and how they can cover them. You can’t think about long-term survival if you can’t even make it past week one.

Not to mention that you will manage to understand what you have to deal with, only after the first week has passed. To give you an example, many Californians that are now without power understood that they need a power generator after they manage to go without electricity the first week. And these are the people that weren’t affected by wildfires directly. Some even waited for two weeks to figure out what to do next.

I’m not going to debate here that, if you live in California, you should have a bug out plan and that a generator is a must, this should be common sense by now. However, you can learn a thing or two about the pattern most people follow when faced with such a scenario.

To survive the first week, here are the essentials you should cover:

Vital medicine

Unfortunately, we are one of the nations that gets sicker and sicker, year after year, even though we have high standards of living. Most Americans need vital medicine in order to survive. Health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory affections are disturbing the lives of many people. Some of them rely on medicine just to make it through the day.

If you happen to be one of the people that require such medicine, you should make an assessment of what medication you need and lay in an extra month. Some insurance companies won’t cover it, but your doctor should be supportive if you explain the reasons why you need to stockpile medicine. He or she should be able to give you a separate prescription of a month’s worth of medicine if necessary. If they don’t listen, I think it would be a good time to change your doctor and get someone who cares about their patients.

Since medical aid won’t be available for everyone, it’s better to have a complete first aid kit, and you should keep it close, together with your vital medicine.

Think about your eyesight

This is one of the most neglected preps, and few people have a plan B when it comes to their eyesight. Many Americans over 40 need readers, and if you happen to be one of the people that need glasses due to various reasons, you should always have an extra pair of glasses (or contacts) and keep them in a place where they are easily accessible.

My wife keeps an extra pair with her at all times, regardless if she’s at the office or if we go on vacation. If you wear contact lenses, I recommend picking those that can be worn for up to 30 days without requiring cleaning or replacement.

Staying hydrated

As humans, we can live for up to 30 days without food, but going more than 3 days without water is impossible. In any SHTF scenario, the time and place play an important role in how you are going to deal with the lack of water.

Storing water is a good practice not only for preppers but for every American family. Even if you have access to a potable water source, you shouldn’t take it for granted, and you should think of ways to purify the water in case it gets contaminated. I can tell you from experience that a Berkey water filter is worth is weight in gold in a prolonged emergency. It can turn any wretched bilge drinkable.

To stay alive long enough to plan for long-term survival, you need water, and chances are you may need plenty of it for various survival purposes. Gathering water or finding ready to drink water sources may be easy for some, but purifying the water may be a completely different story. Always make sure you have ways to purify water and don’t cheap out when it comes to this emergency preparedness plan.

Stay out of the dark

Finding your way in the dark is a hard and dangerous action without a proper light source. Many families have already a flashlight in their home and a dozen batteries. However, is that enough for your needs?  The way I see it, every family member should have a flashlight and the way to power it without struggling.

A quick note here: Many batteries need to be rotated if you want to keep them fresh. They can be depleted rather quickly due to various factors. They have a discharge rate even if you don’t use them.

I recommend sticking with solar or crank lamps for lighting and rechargeable batteries for your other needs.

As I said before, having a generator is ideal during a blackout, but for this to work, there are other factors to consider. You need to calculate your power and fuel needs, and you need to learn how to use a generator without putting others at risk. Not to mention that you being the only one with power in the neighborhood, will attract other survival like moths to a flame.

Plan for your local weather

I kept stressing the “know your region” topic and somehow it always finds its way back to me. You need to know your region, folks! This is a must regardless if you plan for short-term or long-term survival. Your region is known for certain weather patterns, and there are historical records for it. You need always to have a backup plan to stay warm or to cool off. If the power goes out and your furnace dies at 40 below, you will freeze in less than an hour.

The problem with the weather is that most people believe it becomes a problem only during long-term survival. They seem to forget that even experienced campers can succumb to hypothermia due to a single, unnoticeable mistake. Hypothermia kills even in “warm weather” and you should take this seriously. You can’t predict the weather, and you won’t be able to control its actions, you can only prepare for it.

Think about self-defense

This is a sensitive topic, and I honestly don’t care about your opinion on gun control. This is not about that topic. However, what I can tell you is that when things go south, and people are fighting over a can of food, you will need to have ways to defend yourself.

All sorts of conflicts and altercations may arise even from the simplest things, and people will go to extremes to have their ways. Emergency situations have a pattern of bringing out the worst in people, and desperate times will create desperate people. While some of them will turn to looting just to survive another day, there are others who see looting as the best opportunity to replace their old electronics.

If people come “knocking” at your door in the middle of the night, I guarantee that having a decent handgun with a couple of magazines will keep you safe while 911 puts you on hold.

Maintain your energy levels

As said before, you can survive for quite some time without food. Even so, there’s a difference between surviving and being functional. Since our nation is obsessed with eating and we are used to having snacks in between snacks, for most Americans, going a few days without food will make them lethargic, and they won’t be able to function properly.

In a high-stress event, food equals energy, and you need to have the right food to make it even though it may seem that you don’t need it, or it’s not a priority. In such scenarios, MREs, freeze-dried food, canned goods are all proper options you can choose from.

When you stockpile food, don’t just go on a shopping spree and buy everything you see labeled or recommended as survival food. Be at least curious to try the options you have before you buy large quantities. From experience I can tell you that some MREs taste great, but your stomach may disagree after one or two days. I always do the “24-hour test” when buying food, and if my stomach is happy after those 24 hours, I can rate the food as edible.

Some people may say that you can’t be a picky eater during a survival scenario, but I strongly disagree. Some adults may keep anything down, regardless of the taste or texture of the food, but things are totally different for seniors or kids. When in doubt about food storage, keep in mind the following, “ store what lasts and what you and your family eats.”

Statistics show us that a big percentage of Americans don’t have enough food and water stored in their homes to last for more than 3 days. When you think about this, you might understand that surviving week one after SHTF is not as easy as it may seem. If you want to start planning and preparing for long-term survival, you must first plan for your immediate needs.

This content was originally published here.

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you’ll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

by Graywolf

Throughout my Army career, I had been told to, “embrace the suck,” or “suck it up,” countless times when dealing with frustrating or harsh conditions. For pretty much all of it, I thought they meant the same thing. I finally realized they do not. Both, however, are great pieces of advice. I had meant to write this article on my own blog but I decided to write it for you here instead. This isn’t just advice that can help you if SHTF, it’s advice that could literally change your life.

Let’s break this down.

Preparing for emergencies, disasters, or even SHTF takes several avenues. Most people understand that you need to continually work on:

Did you see the most important thing on the list though? It’s preparing yourself mentally.

Sucking it up

Another way of saying this is to just push through the pain. Sucking it up is great advice for most situations, and it’s something that’s kind of an acquired skill. What it basically means is to just quit b*tching and get back to the problem at hand.

It’s what an EMT has to do when they come across a child who was hit on their bicycle or what a soldier has to do when their buddy has been hit and is starting to bleed out. You’ll have the rest of your life to freak out if you need to – now is not the time.

By learning how to become less reactive to stressful situations in life that aren’t so crazy, you toughen your mind a bit at a time. Some things that would freak others out become no problem for you. Things like waiting in traffic due to an accident ahead become less and less stressful and your life actually starts to improve. Eventually, situations that would have been debilitating to you previously become quite bearable.

Now, what does this have to do with embracing the suck and how are they different?

Embracing the suck

Sucking it up means to just deal with the situation even though you really don’t want to. Embracing the suck means just what it literally says – embrace it. When you embrace your loved one, that doesn’t mean you’re just tolerating them or just accepting them, it means you’re welcoming them into your life and your heart. You’re asking them to be a part of you. Not only do you accept the situation – you want it.

Embracing the suck means to put yourself in situations that you normally wouldn’t be in and to push yourself more than you normally would. It’s a mindset. It’s a whole different level of toughening your mind than sucking it up is, and is incredibly powerful.

A lot of people have survived incredibly dangerous situations without the skill or equipment they needed because they just flat out refused to give up. This is a skill that can be learned and improved. It’s a skill that you can master.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should run out and yell at a tornado but there’s nothing wrong with just standing in a rainstorm and enjoying the experience instead of running for shelter every time.

How to embrace the suck in your life

So what can you do to learn how to embrace the suck in your life now and what will happen in the future?

The best way to do this is to start with a few small things and gradually take on tougher and tougher challenges. Here are some examples:

As I mentioned above, this little life hack isn’t just something that could help you deal with some catastrophic event, it’s something that could help you achieve great things in life.

Check out this video by former Navy SEAL David Goggins. He explains this quite well, using personal examples.

Have you learned how to embrace the suck?

How do you deal with uncomfortable or unpleasant situations? Have you learned to embrace the suck?  What are some unpleasant situations in your own life to which you could apply this philosophy? Let us know in the comments.

About Graywolf

Graywolf is a former Counterintelligence Agent and US Army combat veteran. His experience as an agent, soldier and government contractor on assignments around the world gives him a unique perspective on the world and how to deal with it. His website is Graywolf Survival.

This content was originally published here.

In the wild, you can survive by making a meal out of edible insects. You’ll be glad to know they are actually nutritious and could fill your protein needs.

7 Edible Insects to Survive Starvation Outdoors

Eating Insects in the Wild

Being stuck in the wild can make you think of crazy things like having insects for lunch. Disgusting as it may sound, this could actually save your life.

If you’re in no luck finding some edible wild plants outdoors, you might as well start looking for edible insects to get through your hunger problem. You’d be surprised to know of this edible insects list is, in fact, abundant with nutrients that can provide your cellular needs.

It’s better to be prepared and know what can help you survive in the wild, so go on and read along!

1. Ants


One great thing about ants is that you can find them in a lot of places. Dig among anthills and scoop up the ants into a container.

It is recommended for you to boil them first before eating to remove the bitter and vinegary taste it has. An ounce contains about 14 grams of proteins and 5.7ml of iron.

2. Termites


Termites can be found in hordes and fill your protein needs easily. 100 grams of termites is equivalent to 14.4 grams of protein.

A termite mound can feed a couple of people in one go. These edible bugs for humans are in damp climates like coastal areas and thick forests.

3. Maggots


If you ever find a corpse of an animal laying there and being fed on by maggots, never think of these maggots as a waste.

While the maggots are feeding upon the corpse of an animal, you may feed on those maggots in exchange and have the meat they’ve eaten for yourself. Maggots contain both protein and carbohydrates you would need for energy.

4. Slugs


These slimy creatures are rich in minerals which help maintain normal blood flow. Slugs are carriers of harmful parasites that can kill you so it would be wise to cook them first before eating it.

These edible insects can be found abundantly during the rainy season.

5. Cockroaches


These are the ones you can find in the wild and not those pesky little buggers that fly around your house. The ones found in the wild feed on fruits and vegetation which are rich in fibers and vitamins A and C.

Have them fried or boiled to kill any bacteria they might have.

6. Locusts


Locusts can actually save your life from hunger plus it is rich in both protein and calcium. They travel in swarms and are much bigger than the grasshoppers.

Locusts go to places that have fertile soil, thus, it would be best to look for these edible insects in those places.

7. Grasshoppers


Grasshoppers are very rich in protein — for every 100 grams of grasshoppers, there are around 20.6 grams of protein. They can be eaten raw or cooked. But, to add some palate of crunchiness, consider having them cooked.

You can find them on meadows and grassy fields.

Here’s what you need to know about eating edible insects by STORYHIVE:

When SHTF and you run out of food to eat or there are no edible plants in sight, hunt for these edible insects and you’ll get by. However, while these insects are quite nutritious, there are also some that can be poisonous.

Be aware of what you can eat or it could lead to having an upset stomach or something even worse. Make sure to know how these edible insects look like and not mistake them for a poisonous kind.

With that said, it’s also imperative to know how to identify edible insects for your safety.

Have you tried eating any of these edible insects? How was the experience? Share your survival stories in the comments section below!

  • How To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes | 9 Best Ways to Keep Insects Away
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 17, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

This content was originally published here.

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Whether you believe the end of the world is nigh or think it’s a really good idea to be prepared just in case, building a SHTF home begins in the kitchen. You see it in every disaster-struck area: food and water are the first things to go scarce. There are no two ways about it: you need to keep eating to live. Let’s see what you need in your SHTF kitchen.

Must Haves of a Proper SHTF Kitchen

1. Food

If you’re prepping for SHTF, chances are you’re buying food for the kitchen. Lots of food! Anything dried, canned or freeze-dried is ideal. Your pantry should be stocked with enough food to last you and your family for a long time.

Whether you’re prepping for a few months of disaster or a full failure of society as we know it, you’ll have to determine what your goal for stockpiling is.

As far as how much food to stockpile, you know your family best. Observe how much food you go through and plan accordingly.

You’ll need a place to put all those canned goods, whether they’re put together by the Jolly Green Giant or in your own kitchen. Keep in mind, for security purposes you’ll want a good, out of sight place to store all this food. We’ll get into that later.

So what are the best foods to stash in your SHTF kitchen and pantry? Canned goods and dry goods are among the best. Properly stored, they’ll last for years. This includes canned meats. Rice and pasta are filling and preserve well. Sugar, spices, flour, cooking oil and other basic cooking goods can round out your stores.

If you’re prepping for an event that lasts longer than a few months, you might want to start your own garden to upkeep your food stores.

Beans and potatoes are easy to grow, filling, and nutritious. They also stay good for years if properly stored. Fruit trees, while they take a long time to mature, can pay off in a big way down the road.

2. Water

Water will be your most precious resource. Stockpile it first, and stockpile a lot of it. You should collect one gallon of water per day per person (and don’t forget your pets).

If you live near a natural source of water, purification tablets can protect you against contaminants. Additionally, be sure to have water filters and other water purification methods on hand.

However you have access to water, conserving your supply is important. Ration your daily expenditures of water, bathe quickly and efficiently, use half-drunk glasses of water to water plants or clean dishes.

If you retain access to running water or have a well, make sure to practice water-saving techniques like running your faucet only when necessary or mending water leaks in showers and toilets.

Nobody likes a cold shower, but if you keep a hot water heater running through your power supply, be careful not to use that hot water to excess. Your home will need power in other places, like cooking and heating or cooling (depending on the climate).

3. Appliances

How you want to cook in your SHTF homestead kitchen is greatly influenced by two things: how you’re powering your home and how discreet you wish to be.

In a TEOTWAWKI scenario, discretion can be your best friend. Smoke from a fire and food smells can draw unwanted attention from outsiders who might not have the best intentions. In that scenario, something like a solar oven is the best way to prepare your food, since they reduce food smell.

Wood burning ovens or stoves can pull double duty: you can use them to cook food and to heat your home. They do give off smoke, so this is better for a power-grid-down scenario where law enforcement is still in place, or to cook at night when it won’t be so visible.

If you still have power or have solar power to keep your lights on, you can use hot plates, thermal cookers, crock pots or traditional ovens.

You have your food, water, and method of cooking the food. Now you need your little odds and ends that make up a kitchen.

Knives, naturally, are incredibly useful for so much more than cutting food. When purchasing your knives, make sure they are the kind that can be sharpened. You’ll need a sharpener to go with them.

Matches, a teakettle, cutting board, and a colander can all be very useful. Think about what you’ve stockpiled. Lots of pasta? You need the stuff to make pasta.

A can opener will be useful if you’ve stockpiled canned goods. For anything you can get as a hand crank, like a can opener or egg beater, go that route.

If you have electricity, you’ll want to use it for other things. Select your pots and pans carefully. Cast-iron skillets are low maintenance and incredibly useful for open-fire and kitchen cooking.

5. Safety first

Always keep an eye on safety. Be careful of what you can burn in your home, and what you can’t. Charcoal and treated wood should never be burned inside, as they can release chemicals that can sicken you and your family.

Make sure your chimney or wood oven ventilation is cleaned and maintained, or it could become a fire hazard. Keep your kitchen stocked with cleaning materials: you might not be able to go to a doctor if you get sick from bacteria on your cutting board.


We all know that OPSEC, or operational security, is vital to maintaining your SHTF kitchen at your BOL. In the worst-case scenario, you’re playing the long game. Your supply won’t last forever if everyone within a 5-mile radius can see your smoke and smell your food. It can even be dangerous for you and your family.

So how does OPSEC relate to your SHTF kitchen? Kitchens are one of the biggest sources of household trash and other waste.

While a lot of your kit will be reusable, like jars and pans, you’ll need to find a low-key way to store your trash. You can compost most of your organic materials (especially if you’re growing your own food) and everything else can be buried. Make sure it’s deep enough not to attract animals.

Your food stash should be secured in a hidden, safe place. You want to make sure your food is preserved well, but you also want to make sure it’s as hidden as it can be.

Prepping for SHTF means a lot of secrecy about what you’re up to. When things go wrong, you don’t want your hard work to become a solution in the minds of everyone who knows you.

This content was originally published here.

Selco interviewed by Daisy Luther

I was recently emailing back and forth with Selco and we were discussing the situation in the US right now, with the political polarization, the rage, and the general cognitive dissonance. I asked him if he saw any similarities between our situation and the one in Bosnia when the SHTF there during the war. When he replied I knew I had to share this information with you.

While we might like to think it could never happen here, the current events here are eerily similar to what happened there in the 1990s.

When you read this. think about recent events. The deep rage about the last presidential election and the upcoming one. The scorn, derision, and actual hatred for neighbors who think differently. The way the media fans the flames of dissent between our fellow Americans. The anger about immigration. The destruction of Civil War monuments. The unease between the races.

You’ll realize that it definitely CAN happen to us…and there’s not one darn thing we can do except to be prepared.

What parallels do you see with events in the US and Bosnia before the SHTF?

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US and Yugoslavia (in 1990) on first look do not have anything in common because people are going to say, “The USA cannot have anything similar to any socialistic system.”

This is true but only on first look.

Yugoslavia had somewhere around 20-22 million citizens, six republics (similar to states in the US), 3-4 main religions, and many national groups (ethnicity).

The official state policy was to build Yugoslavian “nationality” (from the end of WW1) and through different ways that effort was successful until the 90s.

We were “something big, united through differences with a strong connection to make something big.”

And then those differences were used to make chaos.

In the late 80s and beginning of the 90s (when democracy came) the problems started and ended up in series of wars and cases of complete collapse.

Things that I experienced in my case prior to SHTF, and things that you might recognize:

Can you explain how the current political polarization could make matters worse when the SHTF?

Strong polarization eventually brings fear and hate towards “others”, and once you get into that state of hate and fear it is very easy to be manipulated, even though prior or later, it looks weird and funny how easily you were brought into that state.

I remember the exact moment roughly 25 years ago when I was brought in discussion and actually rioting over the statue of a general from WW2 which was about to be destroyed because for some people he was a war criminal and for others he was a hero and important political figure.

It was a big event, and people were brought into that event in big numbers, arguing and fist fighting and rioting…

At the same time, the wheels of big events were actually already starting to move, and if I were smart I would have left the country or bought a weapon instead fighting over a historical figure.

Does this sound familiar?

It was only one event that was used in order to polarize people more. “Us” and “Them”.

It is so easy to manipulate people when you throw hate and fear in the game.

Polarization makes things worse when SHTF because it is easier to “dehumanize” others that are different than you. Through the fear and hate, groups are pushed to do whatever the people in power want them to do, even if that means horrible crimes. Remember, once some group of people (religion, political, regional, race…) is dehumanized (for example through smart media work) the rules are changing and everything is possible.

For example, with careful media work even today (in time of the internet, social networks, and independent information) it is possible to make the prepper movement look like a terroristic and anarchistic movement and then it’s open season on preppers.

Did political disagreements go away when it hit the fan or did they intensify?

In essence yes, they went away because it all went to how much food, ammo, or whatever resource you had. You realized that big opinions simply do not matter, especially once when you realize that all was somehow planned, and especially once when you realize how foolish you were because you trusted some things.

But of course rage was fed with again fear and hate for ”others”.

It is like that story about how they tried to explain to a conscript [someone who was drafted into the military] what is war all about: higher causes and honor and everything else, and he simply could not get it. Then later in the middle of a fight he suddenly understands everything and yells: “Oh I understand now – THEY ARE TRYING TO KILL ME.”

When you strip everything down to the bare facts, he was right.

How does it move from political arguments to one day, it has all hit the fan and everything has changed? Is there something predictable we could look for?

Again it is about dehumanizing, no matter who or what group. It is about adopting opinions like “they are so different that they do not deserve…( to live here, to have rights…)

Once that happens a whole new set of rules jumps in and those rules mean that lot of your liberties and rights gonna be taken too, and that is the problem actually.

When that happens, you will understand that it is not really important who is who. The only thing important is that somehow you do not have your rights anymore (for example the right to carry a firearm) and then you are in s..t.

You can be so mesmerized with “important political events” or something else that you might even not notice that you are suddenly not allowed to grow your own food or have a solar panel on the roof, or carry a pistol.

You might say now “it is impossible in the US”  but I think in this moment it is bigger news than if some reality show star had “spicy” video than to understand how food delivery in your city works and how much food is in one average store if everything stops moving.

Yes, it is possible.

Have you taken Selco’s online courses yet?

Taking the online courses are the next best thing to getting over to Europe and studying with him personally.

If you want the real deal from a legend who has lived through the SHTF, these are the online courses for you.

Which events in the US have you seen that made you immediately flashback to your situation?

I do not follow politics too deeply even in my country, not to mention politics in the US, but what I do follow is people’s reaction to political events. By that, you can sense where the majority of people’s opinions go and what you can expect from that.

Maybe a year ago I did comment (through an article) on some events in the US and I got an excellent comment from one of my readers who said “My nation, America, is being abruptly dragged out of a deep and prolonged state of subconscious anxiety and depression. It is being assaulted with hope and this is beginning to produce a state of relief which will be managed into uncritical nationalism if at all possible. This euphoric state of national mind is the perfect cover from which to ambush a nation. The pressing for a one world government did not die under Trump, it simply got a new face. The danger to America and to the other nations of the world is more real now than ever. Extreme sobriety is warranted at this time. Most people I have spoken with cannot see this…”

Hope in something new and something better was exactly what I was experiencing just prior SHTF, new leaders, new democracy, freedom…

It clouded my perception, I trusted too much.

What suggestions, if any, do you have to help us be better prepared for political upheaval?

As always, operate in “small circles” (your family, prepper group, network of friends). Learn useful skills, meet good and interesting people (in prepper terms).

That small circle is what it is all about and what is important when SHTF. Sorry, but your political opinion and worries about state policies are worthless, and can not change anything big- it is the big circle, and it is important only in terms of looking and recognizing signs of future events, so you may recognize the correct moment for bugging out for example.

Do not be pulled into general fear and hate because it clouds your judgment and it simply wastes your time.

Do not be pulled into it.

Do people start to realize that their opinion means nothing in politics or do they still hang on to their illusions even after it all goes sideways?

Illusions were the first victims when SHTF. Here are a few of many:

Anything else to add?

I have seen many people killed, a lot of women and children too, civilians. A huge number of people suffered, were hungry and cold and were terrified through that period.

But I can count on one hand the dead or hungry politicians in that time.

Things were good for them through that period. Some of them ended up even richer. A lot of them are still powerful in the same or different parties, and are still talking about “their people” or “ causes” or “fear from others”.

It is the way it works.

About Selco:

Selco survived the Balkan war of the 90s in a city under siege, without electricity, running water, or food distribution. He is currently accepting students for his next physical course here.

In his online works, he gives an inside view of the reality of survival under the harshest conditions. He reviews what works and what doesn’t, tells you the hard lessons he learned, and shares how he prepares today.

He never stopped learning about survival and preparedness since the war. Regardless of what happens, chances are you will never experience extreme situations as Selco did. But you have the chance to learn from him and how he faced death for months.

Real survival is not romantic or idealistic. It is brutal, hard and unfair. Let Selco take you into that world.

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, voluntaryism, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, Daisy is the best-selling author of 4 books and lives in the mountains of Virginia with her two daughters and an ever-growing menagerie. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

This content was originally published here.

(Natural News)
Weeds like bull thistle aren’t usually welcome in home gardens. But while most gardeners consider bull thistle as invasive plants, you can use certain types of thistle as a food source, an herbal remedy, and emergency cordage. (h/t to

What is bull thistle?

Bull thistle (Cirsium horridulum), also called bristly thistle, is an herb with distinctive prickles. Livestock owners aren’t fond of this herb because only a handful of domesticated animals will feed on it.

Bull thistle can grow in different environments, but it will thrive in disturbed soil. The plant grows best in soils with intermediate moisture, but it can also grow in dry and wet soils.

You can occasionally find bull thistle in your lawn or garden. The plant will also grow near the edges of woods, fence lines, pastures, and roadsides.

How to identify a bull thistle

Bull thistle is an annual or biennial herb. The plant has a fleshy taproot on horizontal or vertical root-stocks with several side roots. This kind of thistle is usually spindle-shaped, and some are swollen or filled with fibers. Its roots are usually white, but they can also be tinted with the color of its soil.

Thistle stems are straight and either branched or unbranched. Thistle can grow up to six feet tall, and covered with white woolly hairs.

The stems bear spines. When you cut the stems, the sap that oozes may be clear or whitish-yellow. The sap has a sharp, bitter taste. Stems become hollow when the plant matures.

Bull thistle has alternate, lanceolate (lance-shaped) leaves with rough, bristly hairs on top and hairy underneath. The leaves can grow from 7.5 to 30 cm long.

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Lobes on the leaves are tipped with stout spines. However, mature leaves grow down the stem beyond their bases, making the stalk appear “winged” and prickly lobed leaf-like structures.

Bull thistle flower heads are purple, measuring 3.5 to 5 cm in diameter, 2.5 to 5 cm long. The flowers tend to be solitary. Flower clusters grow at the ends of shoots and branches.

Bull thistle as food source

Except for the spines, all parts of bull thistle can be used for food, making it essential for foragers. (Related: Why you should learn about herbs in your area: Wild edibles and medicinal plants can offer food security.)

Bull thistle root is edible, but it is best served with other vegetables. Cook young flower stems before serving.

Thistle leaves taste rather bland. Remove the prickles from the leaves before preparation. Young thistle leaves can be eaten in a salad or cooked as a vegetable.

Cook flower buds and use them as globe artichokes. Bull thistle seeds can be roasted before eating.

Bull thistle as an herbal remedy

According to herbalists and homeopathic practitioners, thistles have the following properties:

Tea made from thistle root can help relieve the symptoms of diarrhea, dysentery, and intestinal flu.

Tea made from fresh, young thistle leaves can help address bladder complaints, kidney infections, and urinary problems. The tea can also be used to wash and treat mild burns.

Bull thistle as cordage

Fresh thistle stems contain hard fibers that run parallel from the roots to the flower head.

Pull the fibers by hand from the stems, then twist the fibers into a strong twine. Let the twine thoroughly dry for several days before use. Make larger ropes by plaiting long strands of thistle twine.

Use thistle stem fibers to weave a coarse cloth that can be used as a makeshift canvas. Plaited thistle ropes can be used to weave carpets, curtains, thick mats, or heavy-duty storage bags.

Dry thistle seed down (hairs) are soft, making them the perfect tinder for firestarting. Combine the down with dried stem fibers or root-bark chips for best results when catching and kindling flaming sparks.

Learn to identify different types of thistle, like bull thistle, and know their different uses by heart. When SHTF, you can use thistles as food, herbal remedies, or as emergency cordage.

Sources include:

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This article was originally published by Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper

If disaster was a human named SHTF, it would be that person who takes delight in dropping by unannounced and seeing you at your worst: still in your PJs, out of coffee, and taken utterly by surprise.

The kind of person who takes advantage of your unpreparedness to ask to borrow the keys to your new car while you’re still in shock at his arrival. The kind of person who acts surprised that you’re surprised and makes you feel like 12 kinds of an idiot for being surprised. The kind of person you must always plan for like an unpleasant in-law, whether you want them to come by or not.

SHTF doesn’t generally drop by at the most convenient of times, nor does SHTF care about your prepping excuses. In fact, SHTF thrives and grows exponentially under more adverse circumstances.

25 Excuses That Won’t Matter When the SHTF

So, suck it up, put on your boots, and power through it – SHTF doesn’t care about your prepping excuses.

  1. SHTF doesn’t care about inclement weather – snow, hail, tornadoes, pouring rain, and hurricanes all just add to the party atmosphere for SHTF.
  2. SHTF doesn’t care that you sprained your ankle, broke your leg, or are otherwise less than ambulatory. If you have to bug out without a vehicle, you have to bug out, regardless of your injury status.
  3. SHTF doesn’t care that you had planned to get your vehicle repaired.  You have to evacuate regardless of the leak from the oil pan, the condition of the brakes, and the funny noise in the transmission.
  4. SHTF doesn’t care that the entire family is ill with the stomach flu.  The entire family will just have to pause to throw up while bugging out.
  5. SHTF doesn’t care that you need new hiking boots and that you just haven’t had time to get to the store and buy them. You’ll be walking through the apocalypse in the ratty ones with the sole half torn off.
  6. SHTF doesn’t care that you had planned to get the propane tank refilled and now the propane trucks aren’t running because of the ice storm that has turned your neighborhood into a mini Arctic Circle.
  7. SHTF doesn’t care that your truck is almost out of gas and the local gas stations have closed because of the disaster.  If you have to bug out, you may end up walking instead of driving.
  8. SHTF doesn’t care that your wood is not dry. It’ll bring you a blizzard if it wants to bring you a blizzard.
  9. SHTF doesn’t care that you don’t know how to cook over an open fire without inflicting 2nd-degree burns on yourself.
  10. SHTF doesn’t care if you have only a week’s supply of toilet paper – if the crisis lasts longer than a week, things will be progressively less pleasant regardless of your intention to purchase more Charmin.

Whatever your excuse may be, you may rest assured, it could easily be on this list. And SHTF won’t care about that either.

You already know what you should do.

You probably already know the things that you should be doing to prepare for a disaster. How will you feel if you procrastinate doing them and your family suffers because of it? Most of the time, it’s an inconvenience, but in some cases, a lack of preparedness can mean the difference between life and death.

If you need help and motivation, check out this article, which was designed to boost your prepper mojo in a hurry.

The world is increasingly more dangerous. The signs couldn’t be blinking in brighter neon. It’s time to get prepared. No more excuses. Disaster won’t wait to strike until it’s convenient for you.

Please feel free to share any information from this article in part or in full, giving credit to the author and including a link to The Organic Prepper and the following bio.

Daisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her websites, The Organic Prepper and She is the author of 4 books and the co-founder of Preppers University, where she teaches intensive preparedness courses in a live online classroom setting. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter,.

This content was originally published here.

sCharger-5 USB Solar Charger
Description and Specifications
The sCharger-5 is capable of charging anything with a USB connection at wall charging speeds. It can charge a Smartphone in two hours or less. It will charge anything with a male USB connection. The sCharger is water and weather resistant.
Independent testing shows that the sCharger-5 will in direct sunlight charge an iPhone in 2 hours or less, the same amount of time it would take using your homes’ electrical outlet. Out in the wild you can recharge you device as fast as you can at home. Employs a standard USB type “A” connector Output for USB is 5 volts, 1 amp (1000mA), 5 watts Length is  11.5 inches, width is 1.8″ (with USB width is 8/16″), Height is 6-1/8″ Weight 8.5 ounces Can handle temperatures up 160ᵒF
Connect it and forget it. Utilizing exclusive “Auto-Retry” technology the charger will automatically re-start charging if for whatever reason the panels have been temporally blocked from sunlight. Similar products require you to reset manually to begin charging again if the sun goes behind a cloud. Connect your device and carry on with what you are doing knowing your device will be charging. This technology is ideal for campers and hikers that may want to leave their devices at camp while they do some exploring.
Now you do not have to worry about coming back to camp to find out the charging station stopped operating because of temporary cloud cover. It would be frustrating to find your device had not been charging the entire time you were gone because it needed to be reset to continue charging.
Communications is critical so take one with you on hikes, hunting trips and camping or carry one in your vehicle in case you have a mechanical failure and your cars’ electrical system cannot charge your phone. Keep one in the car and the home so you’re always prepared when the power does go out.
The sCharger is also great for Mt. biking or going on bicycle tours, and you don’t have to worry about it getting wet in your pack, simply dry it off and you are ready to start charging again. Lightweight and compact enough it can be carried anywhere, and remember it will charge virtually any device that uses a male USB cable.
No more worries about running your phones’ battery dead because you love to listen to music as you ride. Stop for a break, recharge you phone and you are ready to go again, recharge your phone literally on the fly.
In today’s world regardless of where you live, you have to start thinking about the “what ifs”. Anything can happen to anyone at anytime. Individuals and families have to begin thinking about how they will perform essential tasks during a power disruption. Just because the power goes out does not mean certain things do not have to be done.
Final Thoughts
I found the sCharger-5 lived up to its advertised charge times and it charged my completely drained Samsung Galaxy S4 in just about 2 hours, nothing unusual about the sun it was sunny and I plugged in the phone and went about my usual business for around two hours. It performs the same every time, obviously with longer charge times under cloudy conditions.
I really cannot stress enough how important the Auto-Retry feature is. You cannot babysit the charging station and keep resetting it manually every time the sun hides behind a cloud to keep it charging your devices. The Suntactics device does it for you, so you truly can go about your business knowing it is charging your device while you are away.
One fault I did find with it however, there is not any way to strap it to my backpack or even to my body. It needs lanyard slots or sling ports for attaching webbing or cordage of any sort for throwing it over my shoulder. I would like to be able to hang the charger across my back, or strap it to my pack, plug the USB cable in while my phone is on my belt clip or even in my pack while I am walking or hiking, so hopefully Suntactics will remedy this soon.
I would like to thank Michael over at Suntactics for sending me the sCharger-5 for review and testing. You can purchase the Suntactics sCharger-5 for $139.95 at

This content was originally published here.

Has Our Infrastructure Collapsed to the Point It Is Dangerous Now

According to a U.S. study,( Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston and Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts) the water supply to more than six million Americans contains unsafe levels of industrial chemicals. The toxic chemicals have been linked to certain cancers to include kidney and testicular cancers along with hormone disruption, high cholesterol, and obesity.

The chemicals are known as PFASs (polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances). The chemicals are used in fire-suppression foams, food wrappers, clothing, and non-stick cookware to name a few.

According to one researcher that was part of the study, the chemicals have been in use for the past 60 years. Why are we just known finding this out, if the chemicals have been in use for six decades? One possibility is better testing methods and another possibility is that construction for several decades or so has been expanding to where homes are now being built in places they were never intended to be built 60 years ago.

People need water and the water sources are typically close to large metropolitan areas where industry is humming along. Industrial areas are always close to railroad and highway hubs around large cities.

Even though you may not live in town, as it were, runoff from heavy rains can get in the rivers and streams from far upstream and thus, get into reservoirs that supply cities and towns with their drinking water. Some rural areas do get their water from local municipalities, because you are inside the city limits and yet do not live in the city proper.

Most of the waste treatment plants that supply water to city dwellers do not have the capability of filtering or otherwise removing the chemicals mentioned above from the water source. Filtering, boiling, and/or chemical treatment will not remove the toxic chemicals.

There are methods, of course that would reduce the chemicals to a so-called safe level, but they are extremely cost prohibitive.

Drinking water from 13 states accounted for 75 percent of the unsafe supply, led by California, New Jersey, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Georgia, Minnesota, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Illinois.

The study conducted did not test water from smaller public water systems and private wells that serve roughly one-third of the U.S. population or about 100 million people.

Yes, private wells can become contaminated if they are not designed properly, in other words, not capped correctly, or dug deep enough. Improperly capped wells allow ground runoff to enter the well from the top. You do not have to live near an industrial site or city to have your well contaminated. Runoff from farms, septic systems, roadways, and parking lots can contaminate your well, as would any floodwaters from rivers or streams in the area that may contain toxins from industrial sites miles upstream.

The Earth is a Natural Water Filter and Water Purifier but It Has Its Limits

As water seeps through the soil certain soil clay particles, which have a negative charge will attract any constituents in the water that have a positive charge, such as some heavy metals, salts, organic chemicals, and pesticides. Another mechanism is the formations of covalent bonds (sharing of electrons).This sharing helps soil retain many organic chemicals, pesticides and some inorganic constituents (Pierzynski, n.d.). 

Well-constructed wells receive water from aquifers, underground springs, or artesian wells deep underground. Water has traveled many feet, hundreds of feet in some cases, through the soil to replenish the underground water supply, and for the most part the water is safe to drink unless the soil in the area is heavily contaminated.

It is important that you test your well water and take corrective action at the user end, such as more or better filtration and purification methods. Mother Earth at times needs helps to purify water so make sure you test regularly and make changes to your system as needed.

Those receiving your water from a municipality must keep track of testing and read the reports carefully. All public water supplies must be tested and the findings made public. You can test your tap water as well, and if you find and abnormalities, then call in the professionals to do a follow up test. In the meantime consume bottled water, and depending on the contaminates you find, you may be able to shower, water plants and do laundry without any ill effects, but knowledge is key along with regular testing.

As we have stated in previous articles, when a crisis strikes you may very well be on your own. As the government expands into more and more of our lives the more it seems we are on our own. Fair, unfair, right or wrong, it doesn’t matter, you as an individual must do what you need to do to ensure the safety of you and your family. Waiting on the government to do what is needed is not the answer when an emergency arises.

Pierzynski, G. M. (n.d.). Retrieved 2016, from

Reuters. (2016, August 10). Retrieved 2016, from

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Insertion and extraction, terms used by the military, but applicable in certain SHTF scenarios. Typically, insertion and extraction are done without notice. Stealth is important, but acting sneaky can also have a downside, because in an urban area, for example, regardless of the situation someone is always around, so going without notice can be difficult, …

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