If you’re like me, you’ve invested a lot of time and money into having the right supplies, tools, and skills to prepare for and survive when SHTF. But there’s one resource you may not have thought about or adequately trained – a dog.

I’m not talking about the family pet, who barks at passing traffic or a squirrel in the yard. I’m talking about a dog that’s seriously useful in a survival situation – a companion that helps you – not hinders you in a critical time. Let’s call him Gunter.

survival dog

The first thing to do is be emotionally prepared for that dog to get hurt or killed. When SHTF, it will be a dangerous world out there. Gunter will be a working dog and perhaps a weapon and put himself at risk.

To maximize Gunter’s usefulness and minimize his chances of being injured or killed, there are many skills and tasks that he must master. Training is critical, and we’ll show you how to do it.

But don’t be afraid to get help. Just like you’ve taken advantage of experts to train you in other skills, like self-defense or accurately shooting a firearm, I suspect you’ll invest in the right help for training your dog for survival and self-defense.

Keep Your Dog Healthy and Strong

One thing all preppers and survivalists should do is keep healthy, fit, and strong. Because when SHTF, you want to be healthy because the medical system will be gone. You also want to be fit and strong because you’ll be working hard, and you may have to bug out or survive on the run for a while.

It’s no different with your dog. Gunter needs to be healthy and in top condition, as strong and with as much endurance as possible.

Home and Property Protection by Your Dog

You have a fundamental decision to make here, which will impact how Gunter protects your home and property. There are two options – a guard dog or an attack dog.

A guard dog is trained to alert you to the presence of danger or an intruder by barking or growling. Once warned, it’s your job to deal with the threat.

See the video below for the basics of training Gunter to be a guard dog:

However, an attack dog is one often used by law enforcement. They attack on command or otherwise respond aggressively to potential threats.

Here’s a good video on how to train Gunter to be an attack dog:

Which type of dog will Gunter be? If you decide on an attack dog, please seriously consider getting professional help to train him.

The consequences of a poorly trained attack dog are too dire to contemplate. Be a responsible citizen, and make sure your dog only attacks when there is indeed a danger to you or your family.

Probably the best help Gunter can be is in protecting you and your family in the home. When SHTF, you will be working hard to survive. You’ll be exhausted at the end of the day.

You need to have peace of mind while sleeping, and Gunter can give you that by providing any warning of danger. If he’s an attack dog, then he can actively help defend the home against intruders.

If you live on a larger homestead and have livestock, protecting them after SHTF will be more important than ever.

Here’s some guidance on training a dog for livestock protection:

Instead of just dealing with coyotes and the like, Gunter will have to deal with two-legged predators. How he deals with it depends on whether he’s a guard dog or attack dog. Below we discuss the best breeds for livestock protection.

Your Dog Finding You after a Disaster

Your family is your number one priority. So, there’s nothing worse than family separation. You can teach your dog to find you and your family members after a disaster. Whether it be a tornado, hurricane, or human-made catastrophe like an enemy bombing – it’s worth it to train Gunter to do this.

Start by playing hide and seek with your dog. Gunter won’t take long to notice you are missing. He’ll get anxious and start looking for you. Once he begins searching, make a little noise to encourage him. When Gunter finds you, praise him.

After playing hide and seek a few times, don’t make any noise to encourage him. Stay quiet and let Gunter start wondering where you are. He will start looking and soon find you. Again, praise him for a job well done.

Have other family members repeat this with Gunter until he understands what’s expected of him.

Prevent Poisoning

After SHTF, there will be a lot of desperate people around. They will want to steal what you have. To do this, they’ll have to get around Gunter, so they may try to poison him with food.

You can train Gunter to only eat from his food bowl or your hand. It’s a long process of monitoring your dog when food is available and discouraging him from eating food he shouldn’t. Ideally, you could get a neighbor or friend to help by having them offer food and training your dog not to take it.

Multiple Dogs

You should give serious consideration to having more than one dog on the homestead. There are pros and cons to this.

The primary benefit to this is specialization – a guard dog, an attack dog, a hunting dog, a livestock protection dog, etc. Gunter can’t really do it all, and even more relevant is that specific breeds are better at certain tasks than others.

Recommended breeds of guard dogs include Akita, Australian shepherd, Doberman pinscher, German shepherd, and Rottweiler.The best attack dogs are German shepherds, Doberman pinscher, Akita, and Beauceron, among others.

Certain traits mark the preferred livestock protection dogs. These include:

  • Large size and strength.
  • Comfortable being outside most of the time.
  • Peaceful in demeanor, unless provoked.
  • Love of work and need a job to keep occupied.
  • Great smell, sight, and hearing to better notice predators at a distance.

Common breeds for livestock protection dogs:

  • Great Pyrenees
  • Tibetan mastiffs
  • Akbash

There are two types of hunting dogs. Bird dogs, which focus on birds and sometimes other smaller prey like rabbits. They retrieve the shot animal for the hunter.

Scent hounds track prey with their nose or chase it up a tree. In either case, the hunter follows the dog’s calls towards the prey. See below for more information about training them.

Common bird dog breeds include golden retrievers, English springer spaniels, English pointers, English setters, and Irish setters.

Scent hound breeds are often beagles, American foxhounds, or bluetick coonhounds.

Many dog breeds have no prey drive, and therefore aren’t useful for hunting: Maltese, Boxer, Vizsla, and Japanese Chin.


The most significant liability of having multiple dogs is feeding them. When SHTF, you won’t be able to go to the store and buy a couple of 50-lb bags of kibbles.

Instead, providing them food after SHTF can be a serious challenge. It’s not an insurmountable problem, just one that you need to think about and plan ahead of time.

For example, perhaps you live near a lake or river and have access to fresh fish. This can solve the feed problem. Or maybe you do a lot of butchering livestock, and there’s always plenty of leftovers.

Bugging Out and Survival after SHTF

A dog can be an invaluable asset in a bug-out situation.

Carrying Gear

Teach Gunter how to carry his own bug-out bag. Practice putting it on and having him walk and run around with it on his back. At first, he’ll probably try to shake off the bug-out bag, but with practice, he’ll get used to it.

The more Gunter is used to it being put on him and carrying it around, the smoother bugging out will go. Since he’s in shape, the extra weight shouldn’t much inhibit his speed or endurance.


Dogs are an invaluable tool in hunting, as discussed above. They can track prey, and also chase it and trap it in trees. After SHTF, no matter the viability of your homestead, you’ll probably need to supplement your food supply by hunting.

Here some guidance on training your dog to track birds:

Here’s a good video on trapping prey in a tree:

How Dogs Help Your Physical and Mental Health after SHTF

What are we talking about here? Well, an obvious but sometimes overlooked necessity to survive when SHTF is your health. And a companion dog can benefit your health in several ways.

First, dogs are stress soothers. Petting a dog makes you feel good, and it has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce levels of stress hormones – and there will be plenty of stress post-SHTF.

Second, people with pets are happier and tend to need medical attention for minor problems less often. A good thing when professional medical care is no longer available.

Finally, dogs are suitable for any young ones you may have. Babies in families with dogs generally are not as susceptible to allergies and asthma. Babies a year old or less have fewer colds and ear infections. Again, a great benefit if you’re the only health care provider available.

A Lot to Think About

A dog or dogs on the homestead is a crucial necessity. Don’t overlook this. Think about what needs you have – home and property protection, bug-out assistance, livestock protection, or hunting – a find and get trained the right dog or dogs. When SHTF, you’ll be glad you did.

survival dog training pinterest image

The post How To Train Your Dog for Survival and SHTF appeared first on Survival Sullivan.

This content was originally published here.

This article was originally published by Charl M on www.askaprepper.com

What will you need to know if you want to survive in a post SHTF world?

This article will answer that question by referencing skills that were common amongst our forebears living in the 18th century. But before I give you a list of skills you need to master, I need to talk about the 18th-century survival mindset.

You will often hear someone say that people nowadays are soft. And that we couldn’t survive out in the wild on our own. That may be partially true, in particular, as it refers to mindset.

You probably know more about surviving than you realize, but do you have the right mindset?

The loss of knowledge about how to survive is real. But what I see today is a loss of common sense, a lack of daring, and an absence of initiative.

Home Alone

18th Century people didn’t harbor the expectation that someone else was on their way to save them. They were on their own and understood that they were responsible for their survival.

Common Sense

18th Century people lived by common sense. Any animal can be eaten, including dogs, cats, snakes, and even bugs.

Modern people rarely apply common sense. Believing if they don’t have access to modern solutions, then there is nothing to be done.

Let’s suppose you need to treat a cut but have no antiseptic? What about whiskey, salt, bleach, or even a searing hot piece of wire to sterilize and cauterize the wound?

Lack Of Daring

If you can only do what you have been taught, you will be in for a rough time in a world where you can’t call someone or Google for a solution.

In my mind, lack of daring refers to trying things that no one has taught or shown you. Can you find your way? Can you figure something out? A pioneering spirit is all about finding a way where none currently exists. A willingness to keep failing but also keep trying is required.

Absence Of Initiative

18th Century people knew that no one was coming to save them. They understood that surviving was their responsibility, and as such, didn’t wait around for instructions.

There was no one to tell them what to do. 18th Century people had to seize the initiative and assume responsibility for themselves.

It’s your fault if you freeze to death or have nothing to eat. You need to set the ball in motion.

18th Century Skill Set

Here are a few suggestions on what every prepper should learn or have.

#1. A Practical Walking Staff

You must have a walking staff. The most practical solution is a staff that has a sharp point on one end, and a Y shape on the other. This is the most useful staff possible.

Firstly, both the sharp point and the Y-shaped end can serve as a defensive weapon, protecting against both people and animals.

Animals that have been wounded or trapped can be pinned to the ground with the Y section.

The sharp end can be driven into the ground and used as a tentpole. You can also push it into soft soil and hang a satchel or small bag on the Y section, keeping food or clothes off the ground.

The staff can also be used as a shooting stick while hunting, or rested against a tree and covered with a camo cloth to create a small shelter or hide.

Your walking stick can be used as a flagstaff if you need to signal someone. Another practical use is as a crutch that can support your weight in case of a serious leg injury. A cloth wound around the y-section will enable the stick to be placed under the arm, supporting maximum weight.

The ideal thickness is around 1″ to 1,5″ inches. The ideal height is just below your arm. (If you want to use it as a shooting stick or crutch.) Fire can be used to harden the sharp point.

#2. Estimating The Time Till Sunset

If you are out in the wilderness you need to know how much time you have till it gets dark.

The best technique is to use your hand at arm’s length, palm toward you. Your fingers must be held horizontally. Now measure how many hands/fingers between the horizon and the bottom of the sun.

Every full hand is about one hour, and every finger about 15 minutes. This is only a rough estimate, as the time of year and width of hands differ.

But still, if the sun is two hands and two fingers above the horizon, you have roughly two and a half hours till sunset. I would work for two hours just to be safe.

#3. The Distance You Can Cover In An Hour

On a flat surface, along a reasonably well-maintained path, the average person can walk between 3 and 4 miles per hour.

Forests, mountains, deserts, and even alongside the sea on the beach will be slower going. Thick forest or rocky mountainous terrain can slow you down to between 3/4 to 1 mile per hour.

Use this in conjunction with estimating time till sunset when moving around outside.

#4. Maintain Direction While Walking In A Forest

I write this assuming you have no compass, GPS, or watch and that there is no sun by which you can navigate. Maintaining direction when you can’t see the sun and have no navigation tools is more difficult than most people think.

Some would say it’s impossible. But if you have to try, this is the best advice.

Don’t trust your inner sense of direction. Rather, have a sound strategy based on reason.

Method 1 – Marker To Marker

Try to move from marker to marker. Gauge the direction you want to move in. Look ahead and find a tree, rock, or landmark to focus on. Walk to that tree or landmark.

Then, using your starting position and current position, mentally trace a line and identify a new focus point ahead.

This will be tedious and slow going but will keep you in an approximate straight line. You can use broken branches at your starting point and waypoints to help you maintain a straight line.

Method 2 – Navigate With Moss

Another way of doing this is to use moss to navigate. In the Northern Hemisphere, moss grows on the north side of trees. This can keep you going in the approximate direction that you want to head.

If you want to head east, the main growth of moss on trees must consistently be on your right-hand side, etc.

Method 3 – Use The General Slope

This will work on mountains, and also only if you know the general lay of the land.

If you follow the slope straight up or straight down, you will be walking in more or less in a straight line or general direction.

Walking horizontally along a mountain will take you in the direction that the mountain lies, east-west or north-south, or in whichever direction the range stretches. Don’t try this on a round outcropping, as you will end up where you started.

If you find yourself walking downwards, then level, then later you’re heading upwards, then down again, the chances are good that you are walking in a circle or a curve.

Method 4 – Passing Left Then Right

The last method is speculative at best but may keep you from walking in circles. The theory is that while walking in a forest, there will often be a tree directly in our path.

If you keep on passing to the left of every tree in your path, you will trace a circle. But, if you alternate passing to the left and to the right of trees that lie roughly in your path, you would trace a straighter line than when passing every tree on the same side.

The best is to try and navigate using the sun or moon or large visible beacons.

#5. Sling

This easy to make object can be used quite successfully to propel stones at high velocities, and can be used to hunt birds and small animals.

In the bible, David killed Goliath with the sling he used to drive predators away from his flock of sheep. A sling is easy to make.

You Will Need

A length of rope or twine, even animal hide can be used. A length of between 4 and 6 feet will work best.

You will need a leather patch to put hold the stone. The size of the patch should be about half the size of your palm.

Next Steps

Cut the patch into an oval shape. Then cut two small slits close to the thin/sharp ends of the oval.

Run the rope through the tow slit of the patch, positioning the paths roughly in the middle. You need to tie a loop onto one end of the rope. Make sure that the loop must is large enough to insert your last two fingers through

How To Use

To propel a stone, you insert your two fingers through the loop and place the other end of the rope in the same hand. Now make a fist and hold both ends tight.

Next, enclose the stone within the patch, ( rope on the outside, stone cradled inside) and then slide the patch until it’s in the middle of the rope (The furthest position possible from your hand.)

You can now start swinging the rope in a circular motion above your head. To “Fire”, just open your hand to release the loose end.

Aiming with the sling involves letting go of the rope a few instances before the stone points in the direction you want it to go in. You will need to practice this.

Lastly. You don’t need to twirl the sling tens of times. Keep it in motion while you find the object you want to throw at. Once you have it spotted, speed the sling up vigorously and release it. Two or three spins overhead should do.

Trial And Error

Lastly, it’s never prudent to field test skills for the first time when your life depends on getting it right. Try and put the above into practice whenever the opportunity presents itself.

This content was originally published here.

Most of our readers will definitely fall more on the prepared end of the spectrum than your average citizen. And it is unfortunate, then, that these average citizens that will place such a terrible strain on supply lines when a sudden and unfortunate SHTF situation strikes society. The shelves of every store will be stripped bare of survival necessities in no time flat.

What kind of items will fly off the shelves in a regional or large-scale emergency? The bare minimum essentials needed to support life as most people know it, things like bottled water, food, batteries, ammunition, gasoline, propane, hygiene supplies, soap, toilet paper and baby items.

When the chips are down, these are the immediate “life support” items that people will scour the countryside looking for in the immediate aftermath and onset of a long-term survival situation.

Chances are you already have these items stocked up in abundance. But if you don’t, or you have just been caught flat-footed by an event and need to start your survival cash from scratch right this second, keep reading and we will expand a little more on each of these items.

No Time to Waste

Have you ever rushed to the grocery store ahead of an approaching front of bad weather, something like a major storm front or a blizzard?

You remember how packed the store is with everyone in there trying to get a few last minute items, you know, just in case? Imagine how much worse it will be when something truly terrible is happening.

While it is instinctively understood in a time like that, that the longer people wait, the worse and worse their chances will be of getting the things they will desperately need in order to endure a long haul survival situation.

And don’t get derailed asking what “long haul” truly quantifies; consider that most citizens don’t even have enough survival supplies to last themselves and their families three days! A situation lasting only a week or two will seem like a very, very long time without these supplies.

It is obviously essential that you keep these supplies on hand, but just in case you need to plus-up real quick along with everyone else or start from scratch because of catastrophic loss you had better have your shopping list in mind and be ready to make one heck of a quick pit stop when the balloon goes up.

Time will be short, and the stakes will be high, so get in and get out with the following survival items that will be literally flying off the shelves before your eyes.

10 Survival Items that Will Fly Off the Shelves

1. Water

Water is a crucially important substance for survival, and the only thing you consume more important than it is air!

Many people focus disproportionately on food when they get caught out at the onset of a survival situation, but they rarely stop to think that they can survive for weeks and weeks without food, but only a few days without water.

While it is true that you can get water from all kinds of places, most found water sources require considerable purification before they are safe to drink.

It would not do to drink an unknown, sketchy water source in desperation, only to come down with some life threatening illness because of it.

The topic of water filtration can fill books all on its own but you can get yourself in a much better position by obtaining a hefty supply of pure, clean bottled water.

You should buy whatever you can at the instant if this is a rush trip, but otherwise multi-pack bottles or large multi-gallon containers are probably your best bet for convenience.

Remember that each person needs at least a gallon of water per day for both consumption and general hygiene!

2. Food

Food is definitely a survival essential, even though I just got done saying you can go for weeks without any food and still not starve. That is true, but consider that most people will begin to physically and mentally deteriorate (and deteriorate rapidly) after just a few days without it.

The business of survival will require energy, and the best way to supply your body with energy is by keeping the calories rolling in. It also does wonders for keeping your spirits up!

Chances are your daily menu is going to change somewhat for the duration, and you should not be buying strictly based on preference but buying for longevity.

You want to get food that is completely shelf stable and easy to prepare, preferably items that are in sealed pouches, cans or otherwise packaged in such a way that they require no refrigeration.

Remember, any event that has sent you scrambling to the store is probably going to result in a power outage if it hasn’t already.

Grab yourself some canned meat, soups, vegetables and other staples, and you will be okay for a time. Don’t forget you can raid the camping aisle for dehydrated meals that work great as survival food, and only require some hot water to prepare. The panicked masses might not think to look there at first.

3. Batteries

Batteries are an essential source of power for other survival essentials, most importantly your flashlights and radios. Since the power is most likely going to be out for quite a while, you will be plunged into darkness that is not typically experienced by the average person living in modern suburbia.

Additionally, where other modes of communication will fail, radio is likely to persist and will be one of the most reliable ways to get updates from the government and other relevant agencies concerning the state of things during the disaster.

Take the time to write down or commit to memory what size batteries your devices take and how many. It is generally helpful if you can standardize for one or two sizes, but this might not be possible. Now is also the time to identify what other gadgets require disposable batteries so you can get them all in one go.

Get more than you think you will need, as you’ll be relying on your tools more than you might think at first- even if you are being miserly with the power. Most flashlights, even those with comparatively low output using energy efficient LEDs will still burn through batteries with shocking rapidity.

4. Ammunition

It is a sad commentary on human nature that the predatory elements of our society will often take advantage of disruptions in law enforcement and utilities for their own gain, taking advantage of those who are vulnerable.

Accordingly, you’ll always see major spikes in ammunition sales and consumption ahead of rough times, including natural disasters.

You are wise to have a firearm to protect yourself and your property, most especially when you will not be able to count on the police to effectively suppress crime and be everywhere when called.

They will have bigger problems just like you. But the gun will do you no good without the ammunition so you’ll need to swing by the sporting goods counter or the gun shop on your foray.

Now is not the time to be picky when it comes to load or projectile; take what you can get, and be glad you have it. If it is generally reliable in your firearm we will call that good enough!

5. Gasoline

All of our readers living in hurricane-prone areas will already be well acquainted with the impending scarcity of gasoline every time a hurricane threatens. The same ethic will apply elsewhere when things are bad enough!

While it is true that America has an effectively limitless supply of gasoline when you consider the sheer amount of crude oil we have at our disposal and in reserve, the amount of gasoline available at any one time, or rather accessible at any one time, is indeed limited.

Gasoline is a fuel made viable only when many cogs of industry and commerce work together, both for production and for delivery, and the amount of gasoline that is in your town sitting in those giant tanks beneath every gas station does not add up to as much as you might be thinking.

Those gas stations are entirely dependent on daily or twice-weekly deliveries in order to meet the impossibly thirsty fleet of consumer vehicles that purchase it.

You need to be ready for this eventuality by keeping your vehicles topped up, first, and second by having a spare gas can or two ready to fill up at the first sign of trouble.

That gasoline might be all you can get for the duration, and the added range it provides your vehicle or extra time at furnishes to your generator, might make the difference in whether you survive or not.

6. Propane

This is another entirely mundane, common fuel that will become vanishingly scarce in a surprisingly short period of time when disaster looms.

Propane is most commonly thought of as a fuel for outdoor barbecue grills but it is also used in portable propane heaters, heaters that might keep you and your family warm and toasty when the power runs out, and other supplies of heat are damaged or disrupted thanks to the event.

In many ways and in most places, propane is even scarcer than gasoline for the average consumer. Most folks get their propane from corner gas stations through a tank exchange or purchasing a fresh, full tank for their use.

Propane tank filling stations and services exist in most locales, but they are far from common and are usually located remotely from commonly traveled areas for obvious safety reasons.

Even if you are able to reach one in a short period of time, chances are the people manning the station might have “abandoned ship”.

So long as you aren’t trying to grill indoors, a propane grill is an excellent option and a convenient one when it is time to prepare food, boil water or do anything else that you would normally do on your stove in the middle of a disaster situation. Don’t get caught out, and plan on nabbing at least two tanks of propane.

7. Toilet Paper

Toilet paper is one of those things that you don’t miss until it’s gone, as everyone who lived through 2020 painfully learned.

Any prepper that is worth the name will be able to improvise a solution for wiping their behinds and private parts using any number of things, both man-made and natural, but it will be better if you didn’t have to improvise at all. Trust me, your family will thank you.

The solution is obvious: simply stock up on toilet paper and you need to grab at least a package and preferably two while you are in the store on an emergency errand.

Even if the event you are facing has knocked out sewer service entirely, or even damaged your septic tank, you’ll still be glad to have toilet paper even if you are not flushing when you go.

It is just one of those things that makes life a lot more pleasant, even in the middle of a major emergency. Consider grabbing baby wipes, too, while you are at it.

8. Hygiene Items

Everything you use for your nominal, daily bathroom routine fits in this category. Think deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, feminine hygiene items and the like.

Also, if you or anyone in your family requires specialty items, like pads or briefs for incontinence, catheters, denture fixative and so on make sure you get them now.

Quite a few items in this category are actually very difficult to improvise compared to other things on this list, so you definitely don’t want to be caught out with a short supply when trying to survive a major happening!

9. Soap

The value of soap can hardly be overstated. Keeping clean is not just the stuff of social nicety as it is critically important for keeping disease and other maladies at bay.

Not to mention it will do nothing to help your morale or the morale of anyone that has to live with you if you stink to high heaven a few days into the situation.

You can pick any kind of soap you are comfortable with here, and in a pinch any soap will do for getting your body clean. Traditional bar soaps are versatile, and can be broken down into smaller sizes if necessary.

They are not lost if they are dropped or their containers broken compared to liquid soaps and are generally easy to transport, and can make for good trade fodder in a pinch.

But if you prefer liquid soap, especially hand soap in a pump for convenience, you should grab a few bottles. The most important thing is just to have soap on hand for keeping bodies and other surfaces clean!

10. Baby Supplies

For those that have an infant or a toddler a running checklist of what baby care items you have on hand is probably never far from your mind. Indeed it is impossible to plan and prepare too much when it comes to care of the little ones!

Tiny children will be even more vulnerable and dependent during a SHTF situation then they are normally, and that means you had better have plenty of what you need on hand.

You should pick up all the baby supplies you know you will need, and a few that you wouldn’t anticipate needing. Make sure you grab a package of diapers, formula, rash creams, and other over the counter medicines, changing pads, and so forth.

Most stores don’t have an abundance of these items in stock at any one time, and depend on constant resupply so work fast because they will disappear fast.

You should also know that these items are among the most hotly contested and quickly consumed during a purchasing stampede so if you have a little one at home prioritize these items above everything else on your route.


There is bound to be a run on the stores whenever a major disaster or other society shaking event occurs.

If you are low on any given item on this list or through negligence or mishap are starting from scratch make sure you get into whatever local store will have these goods and to get them before they disappear. The longer you wait, the worse your chances of procuring what you need.

prepping items disappearing when shtf pinterest

This content was originally published here.

Have you thought about your teeth in your plans for a life that took a turn for the worse? With so many other vital things on your mind, caring for your teeth might not be your priority.

No matter how well-stocked you are on food, water, and other essential supplies, forgetting your tooth care, you forget something significant. Your teeth have the potential to knock you out of commission.

A broken, decayed, or injured tooth can become a constant source of pain. Pain strong enough to keep you from protecting your house or securing extra food. If an infection develops, a problem tooth can lead to your death.

You must take care of your teeth!

So, what will you do when you can’t go to the store and pick up toothpaste? Or order a dozen toothbrushes in bulk, delivered straight to your door? How will you handle toothaches when there are no dentists available?

Prevention of problem is the absolute best course of action for taking care of your teeth when the SHTF. Your goal is to stop dental problems before they start.

Two main problems cause dental problems in the first place: poor hygiene and inadequate nutrition. Let’s talk about what you can do to keep your teeth clean and healthy, even when your main focus is on survival.

Start with a Healthy Mouth

When the SHTF, you want to start with a healthy mouth. That means while you can still access a dentist, get any cavities or troubled teeth taken care of. Ensure everyone in your house stays current on cleanings.

If you can’t afford dental care and don’t have insurance, look for a low-cost clinic in your area. There are several in my location with a sliding scale based on income or that use student dentists. Your visits might take longer with a student doing the work, but it’ll cost less.

In addition to seeing a dentist, keep your mouth clean between visits. Make sure you’re brushing and flossing to help keep those pearly whites ready for a life-changing event.

Dental Hygiene When the SHTF

What’s your current dental hygiene strategy? If you’re like most people, you brush your teeth twice a day and floss once. It’s a common strategy.

Unfortunately, it relies on several commercial products: dental floss, a toothbrush, and toothpaste. It also requires a bit of water each time you brush.

While you should stock up on each of these items, you will eventually run out.

Then what?

Do you throw your dental hygiene practices out the window and hope for the best? Or do you start thinking a little differently about keeping your teeth clean?

It’s time to learn about some alternatives.

Toothbrush Alternatives

Toothbrushes are relatively new on the dental scene, at least in their modern-day form. The nylon bristles were invented in 1938 by Dupont de Nemours. It took a few years to become popular, but versions of this toothbrush have been used ever since.

Before the modern-day toothbrush, how did people care for their teeth?

With chewing sticks, hog-hair toothbrushes, and rags.

When you can no longer pick up a pack of your favorite toothbrush, you will also turn to one of these methods. Here’s a little bit more information about each.

Chewing Sticks

Used as far back as Ancient Egypt, chewing sticks helped keep teeth clean for thousands of years.

A twig from a tree is selected. One end is chewed on until it splits and frays. Now can be used similarly to a toothbrush. The other end remains solid and is used as a toothpick to get small bits of food out from between teeth.

Some trees work better than others for making chewing sticks. Ideally, you want to select yours from a tree with a large amount of tannins. These will help provide some natural antibacterial and astringent properties to your mouth.

Here are ten trees that make great chewing sticks. You could consider planting these trees now in anticipation of needing their twigs in the future.

As a bonus, chewing sticks aren’t the only survival item many of those trees will provide. Select varieties that grow well in your area and that serve a dual-purpose to maximize your survival garden space.

Instead of a chewing stick, you could also chew on a small section of fresh pine needles. That will provide similar results.

If you have some clean rags, you can use those to keep your teeth clean. Wet the rag and use one of the toothpaste alternatives described below. Then rub your teeth carefully, making sure to get all surfaces of each tooth.

When you’re finished, rinse your mouth well.

Ensure you wash these rags out often, especially if you are dealing with any mouth sores or infections. That will help prevent reinfection.

Toothpaste Alternatives

When you run out of toothpaste, there are several other things you can use as toothpaste. Here are some of the most common:

For the powdered alternatives, you can get your toothbrush wet with a little water and then dip it in. Or you can sprinkle a bit on your damp brush. If you share a larger package with other people, the second method is preferred to avoid sharing germs.

With liquid alternatives, you can swish them around in your mouth, skipping the brush entirely. Or you can use a small amount to dampen your brush and then proceed as usual.

Some of these ingredients, such as baking soda, can be a bit abrasive. If you find yourself experiencing undesired results, consider trying a different alternative.

Oil Pulling

Gaining in popularity, oil pulling is another way to keep your mouth clean. Coconut oil is a common oil used. You take a tablespoon of oil and put it in your mouth.

Then, you swish it around vigorously for 10-15 minutes before spitting it out. That helps clean all the spaces in your mouth that can be hard to reach with traditional cleaning methods.

DIY Emergency Dental Care

Keeping your mouth clean is an essential component of oral care, but it isn’t the only one. Accidents happen, teeth decay, and additional dental care becomes necessary.

It’s essential to have a reliable book for dental care you can pull of the shelf when you need it. Here are two you could investigate:

Spend some time now investing in your knowledge of oral care. Watch some YouTube videos of tooth extractions, so you have a basic understanding of how to proceed if the time ever comes.

Learn how to identify a cavity, an abscessed tooth, and other common dental ailments. You don’t want to come across something new when dealing with all the additional stress from an SHTF scenario.

You should also purchase some dental supplies now and add them to your emergency stores. Here are some basics:

Take time now to start building an emergency dental kit. Learn how to use the supplies and keep an eye on expiration dates for medication.

By preparing now, you can save yourself from a potentially deadly tooth infection when you can’t get to a dentist.

If you’re preparing for a dental emergency after the SHTF, what would you add to my list? Please share your ideas in the comments.

This content was originally published here.

SHTFPreparedness may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.

Beans, bullets, and bandages are the prepper mantra. They also represent off-the-shelf solutions to SHTF scenarios. How many of us actually make bullets, or sterilize and package bandages for the dark times. This extends to beans and food. Do you know how to select the best survival seeds to stockpile for SHTF?

By going to the source of food (seeds), you gain the ability to break free from the big box store and produce your own food. The trick is to know which seeds to buy, and then how to grow them. Let’s look at that now!

Seed Types

Not all seeds are created equal. Yes, you put them all in the ground, and, with a bit of luck and a green thumb, they grow. That’s where the similarities end.

In a survival situation, you need to be more selective as the wrong varieties of seeds will only provide you with short-term gains. You need to prepare for the long-term.

There are shortcuts available here. You can get a survival seed vault or other seed kits. But are they really the correct choice for you, your needs, your growing season, and your emergency survival situation? Make the correct choices for your personalized seed kit.

What Is the Difference Between Heirloom vs Non-Hybrid Seeds?

Speaking broadly, there are two types of seeds: hybrid and non-hybrid.

Hybrid seeds are the product of a cross between two parents where the designer pursues a specific goal. This may be fruit size, disease resistance, or yield.

Regardless of the goal, the outcome is a seed that produces the desired trait. This is a forced process and rarely happens naturally.

A side effect of this process is that the line ends with the next generation. Any fruit from the seeds’ offspring will either be sterile or will produce unreliably.

In contrast to hybrid seeds, seed companies produce non-hybrid seeds via open pollination. The plants exchange genetic material naturally. These seeds and their offspring will produce the same fruit year after year.

Preppers always talk about heirloom seeds. Heirloom seeds are a subset of non-hybrid seeds. Heirlooms have proven themselves over the generations. As non-hybrids, their seeds will produce true for generations to come.

Manufacturers label seed packages with their seed type. As heirlooms are currently a rage in the gardening community, any heirloom variety is prominently advertised.

Which Type of Seed Should I Stockpile?

SHTF planning requires recognition of long-term needs. This includes the ability to grow food season after season without a trip to the big box store.

As you develop and stock your survival seed vault, focus on non-hybrids and heirlooms seeds. Through the process of seed saving, you can keep seeds for next year’s season and they will still produce true.

Select the varieties that grow best in your area and stock up. Keep them dry and cool. An ammo can, or a sealed tote stored in the basement is the perfect combination.

The shelf life of most seeds is about 5 years. But it may be longer.

Add new survival seeds every year and keep the older ones. You never know when a seed has a few extra years in them.

Best Survival Seeds for SHTF

Ok. What to stockpile? Let’s look at a few categories of garden produce that will get you through the year. We will focus on early producers, summer staples, and food that can store throughout the winter.

One of the earliest crops to plant and harvest is Spinach. Plant it in the late winter or early spring before the ground has thawed. It’s cold hardy and you’ll have a fresh salad just as you are craving greens after a long winter.

Our first root vegetable is radishes. Radishes are another early harvest vegetable. Most radishes can be harvested within 30 days. You can even do a second batch in the fall. Let a few go to seed for the next season.

The first summer staple and root vegetable is carrots. Plant carrots early and harvest them throughout the summer. If you live in a mild climate, you can overwinter carrots in the ground. Otherwise, keep them in a root cellar once the frost settles in.

Beets are a significant source of carbohydrates. They also bridge harvest seasons. Plant a few to harvest the greens in early summer. Let the rest mature for the summer harvest and winter storage. Store them with other vegetables in your root cellar.

Beans (lots and lots of beans)

Next are beans. Beans are the cornerstone of prepper food storage. Plant them in quantity and variety. Stock up on both bush and pole versions. Grow enough to can and dry. Cook and eat some of the dried beans. Save the rest for next year.


Turnips and rutabagas grow big and in numbers. It doesn’t take a lot of room to grow a few bushels. These hearty root vegetables will overwinter, giving you fresh food throughout the colder seasons.

Purchase a few hybrid potato seeds. Hybrids. Yes, I said hybrids. Potatoes are naturally unreliable from seed. However, if you select the right hybrid, you can get reliable germination and production. After your first batch, switch over to planting last year’s sprouting potatoes.

Sweet Corn

Eat sweet corn right off the cob, can it for later, or let it dry and it will store for decades. Corn fertilizes via the wind, plant more than six rows to ensure complete fertilization. Corn is easy to add to your survival seed collection, and the seeds last forever.

Is there anything better than a vine-ripened tomato? Tomatoes come in countless varieties. Some of the best are heirlooms! Save the earliest and biggest fruit to harvest seeds from for next year. Include several varieties in your survival seed stash.

Zucchini and Summer Squash

When you are on your own, you won’t mind an overabundance of zucchini. Eat these prolific vegetables raw, steamed, or baked. Don’t forget to dehydrate some for use during the winter.

Hearty Squash

Butternut, acorn, winter, and other hearty squash are perfect for winter storage. You will need a lot of room to let them wander. Including squash in your winter cooking is a great way to increase your meal calorie count.  

Nothing makes a meal better than herbs. I can turn plain rice into a gourmet meal with a few fresh herbs. When SHTF limits your food pallet, there is nothing better than a broad selection of herbs to make even boring food wonderful. Dedicate a section of your survival seeds to herbs!

Winter Wheat

Not exactly a food, winter wheat is essential to keeping your garden fit when you can’t run to the store for fertilizer. Plant winter wheat after your harvest and grow it into the early winter. Used as a cover crop, winter wheat prevents erosion, chokes out weeds, and builds soil nutrients when you till it under in the spring.

Perennials to Start Now

Gardening does not need to be all about annual seeds. Annuals must be planted year after year. Each season you must harvest enough seeds to plant for the next year. Break this cycle with a few perennials.

Plant Jerusalem Artichokes, asparagus, rhubarb, and strawberries once then harvest them forever. Perennials require a little planning, as you don’t want to move them, but the payoff is great.

Survival Gardening Tips

The care and maintenance of survival gardens is not an exact science. It’s amazing how many plants are not easy to grow. With a few simple tips, you can hedge your garden in your favor!

I will leave the basic tips to the rest of the internet. The following tips are focused on the specific needs of preppers.

Plant according to your caloric needs. An acre of lettuce may be easy to grow, but will it fill your stomach all year round? The simple answer is no. You must plant a variety of foods that you harvest throughout the summer.

Also, you need foods that can sustain you through the winter. For each season, both growing and yearly, make sure to plant enough so that you meet your family’s calorie needs. This includes both leafy greens and more substantial vegetables like potatoes.

Plan for losses. Disease, insects, and general neglect will all subtract from your garden’s productivity.

You also need to plan for germination rates that are not 100%. As seeds age, your germination rates will decrease. Plan on over planting and thin later. Just don’t plant too much. Wasting seeds is a luxury you can’t afford when the SHTF.

Save your seeds! Start practicing saving seeds now. As with most gardening, it’s a learned skill. There are enormous benefits to saving seeds. By choosing the earliest fruit, biggest fruit, or the ones that weren’t affected by diseases, you quickly develop seed stock that is more to your liking and is adapted to your area.

Soil is the foundation of your garden. You can amend the soil and improve it, but poor soil produces a poor garden.

Assess your soil today. Get it tested at your local cooperative office and adjust it appropriately. Enrich your soil with nutrients and organic matter as necessary. Once you have good soil, maintain it!

Add organic matter every year. This can include compost, mulch (leaves, grass, straw, etc.), even wood chips.

After top-dressing your garden rototill the mulch under.  This helps to aerate and mix the new soil additions.

When growing your own food, every advantage counts. This includes fertilizer. Fertilizers provide plants with the food they need to produce. Some plants like pepper and tomatoes are heavy feeders. They need fertilizer if they are to produce numerous and large fruits.

Commercial fertilizers can be used to great effect, however, for the long-term you need to find alternate sources of garden goodies. Manure is one of the best natural fertilizers that you can add. Chicken, rabbit, horse, and cow manure can all be aged and used to boost your plants.

Second, you can find natural sources of fertilizers, especially nitrogen sources. One is compost tea. Soak your compost in water and use the water to fertilize your garden.

Next, you can use fish to augment your garden’s nutrition. A few fish chopped up and tilled in will feed even the most hungry plants!

One of the key factors to a successful garden is quality soil. It follows that the key to quality soil is compost!

Compost is gardening black gold! Use your yard clippings, leaves, and garden cuttings to build up a quality compost pile. Layers of greens and carbon-rich materials (e.g. wood chips, brown leaves) eventually decay into the richest soil additive you can ask for.

Give your survival seeds the environment they deserve with these organic compost ingredients.

Start a compost pile the moment you clear land for your garden. Add to it throughout the year and use the product of your labor to dress the garden in the spring!

Learn More About Survival Gardening

Food storage is a constant worry of all preppers. We can’t store a lifetime of freeze-dried meals, beans, and rice. We need to have a plan for the future that allows us to be self-sufficient without a trip to the corner grocery store.

Your long-term plan needs to include gardening skills and supplies. Those supplies must include the ultimate self-sufficiency item. Seeds!

With the proper seeds, especially heirloom seeds, you can grow food from now until the next generation takes up the mantle. Look at how you can start with our article on survival gardens.

Take control of your food security and your food future with the best survival seeds to stockpile for SHTF

Bonus: Root Cellar That Can Be Used as a Bunker

Do you remember the old root cellars our great-grandparents used to have? In fact, they probably built it themselves, right in their back yard.

If you want to learn how to build a backyard bunker like your grandparents had, without breaking the bank, then you need Easy Cellar.

Easy Cellar will show you:

Easy Cellar will also reveal how a veteran, with only $421, built a small nuclear bunker in his backyard.

This content was originally published here.

(Natural News)
The first week after SHTF is the most difficult. As society collapses, you’d have to do away with many creature comforts and adjust to this new life. This transitional period will be a test of your endurance and resourcefulness.

If you’re able to come out stronger on the other side, then that means you’ve adapted and are better equipped to face whatever survival scenario that comes your way.

If you’re not prepared at all for disaster, don’t worry. Here is a seven-step guide to surviving the grueling first week post-SHTF: (h/t to Survivopedia.com)

Stockpile medicine

Stockpiling medical supplies is a must especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition. Should an emergency arise, you should have a month’s worth of medical supplies. You might need a doctor’s approval first before being able to stockpile, so consult your GP and lay in all your reasons for stockpiling medicine. Take note that you need to rotate your supplies to ensure that they don’t go past their expiry date.

Mind your eyesight

Your eyesight is the most vulnerable among your five senses. You see, many people need eyeglasses and contact lenses to see clearly. But when SHTF, those things can get broken or lost. Keep an extra pair of glass and contact lenses so you have a spare.

Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is a vital rule of survival. You may last for over a month without food but you cannot last for more than a few days without water.

Unfortunately, potable water will be a scarce resource when SHTF. With a collapsed society, nobody will be manning the water treatment plants that the civilized world relies on for its drinking water. But don’t worry, there are various water purification methods that you can do yourself.

Stockpile food supplies

While being hydrated is enough to keep you alive for months, subsisting on water alone isn’t going to guarantee your survival in the long-run. You need food.

Stockpile ready-to-eat meals, canned goods and foods with a long shelf life like flour and grains.

Keep alternative sources of light

Many families already keep a couple of flashlights at home. But will those be enough when SHTF?

In the event of a prolonged blackout, you’re going to need more than flashlights and a few extra batteries. In order to power a home, you will need a decent generator, as well as other sources of light like candles and solar lamps. (Related: Can you survive after a massive power outage?.)

Prepare for local disasters

On top of SHTF, you must also brace yourself for common natural disasters in your area. Nature and the weather will not stop running its course just because the situation is already going badly. As such, you must familiarize yourself with your area and the kind of disasters that typically occur there. Study weather patterns and come up with a backup plan to stay warm or cool should the power goes out.

Have something for self-defense

During a life-and-death situation, people will go to great lengths to survive, even if that means resorting to heinous crimes. Without law enforcement to protect you, you are at great risk of falling victim to them unless you’re equipped to fight back. Have something for self-defense and learn self-defense skills.

The situations you’ll face further into SHTF are not going to get any better. But if you survive the hellish first week, then you’re all the better for it. It means you’ve gained the right mindset for survival.

This content was originally published here.

No matter how domesticated we’ve become, at our genetic core, our hunter-gather within longs to be unleashed

By Todd Walker | Survival Sherpa

In our quest to express our primal genes, we encounter Nature’s revenge from stings, bites, cuts and injury. The fear and misery that follows is enough to keep one indoors and isolated from our natural environment.

If you only learn to identify and use one medicinal herb, I’d like to recommend plantain. Over-the-counter medicines won’t always be available. In North America, this plant is prolific.

Plantain (not the fruit) can be found most any place there’s soil and sunshine. On the trail, in the backyard, and growing in sidewalk cracks, this pesky plant is sprayed, pulled, and hated by millions hellbent on preserving pristine lawns.

I first discovered plantain’s effectiveness on tick bites years ago. It is now my go-to remedy. My skin reacts wildly to stinging/biting insects and poisonous plants. You’d think I would avoid the woods but I can’t. The rewards outweigh the risks many times over!

The good news is that nature provides an antidote – in abundance – which works better than store-bought chemical stuff!

Picking Plantain

There are over 200 varieties of plantain around the world. The roots, leaves, flowers and seeds can be used both internally and externally. The two commonly found in North America that I use are…

Broad leaf plantain without the stalks and spikes formed. It’s too early for them to grow the spikes I guess. The spots on the leaves are dirt from a recent rain.

Common name: Common plantain, broad-leaf plantain, snakeweed, and White Man’s Foot. The last nickname came about as the English and Europeans brought seeds over to North America because of its healing properties. Native American’s are said to have coined this name since everywhere the white settlers stepped, plantain seemed to sprout.

Scientific name: Plantago lanceolata

Common name: Lance leaf, snake plantain, ribwort plantain, black plantain, narrow-leaf plantain, and long plantain.

The long stems on the narrow-leaf plantain have seed heads at the tip. As a kid, we would pick these stems, wrap the end around the head and ‘shot’ them like a sling shot of sorts. I know, we were easily entertained.

For more identification info, here are a few links that may help: Broad-Leaf Plantain and Narrow-Leaf Plantain.

Properties of Plantain

I’m not a herbalist or expert feral food forager. After all…

it’s the things that you learn after you know it all that really matter!

I’m not giving medical advice here. This is simply my first-hand experience of Doing the Stuff with this wicked-good weed.

Understanding the properties of this plant broadens its medicinal application. My main use of this plant has been for stings/bites and skin conditions. However, with a little research and digging, I’ve discovered many uses for this common weed.

NOTE: Traditional uses of plantain and other herbal remedies may not have been proven effective through scientific studies or approved by the FDA. But you probably know how I feel about the Food and Drug Administration – use their advice (and herbal remedies) at your own risk after doing your own due diligence.

There’s no money to be made in herbal meds by the FEDs. Commercial pharmaceutical companies can’t monopolize a weed. Just a thought!

#1 Alterative (Cleansing) Uses

An Alterative herb cleans the blood and organs that help eliminate waste products from your body.

#2 Anti-inflammatory Uses

#3 Demulcent (Soothing) Uses

#4 Diuretic (promotes production of urine) Uses

#5 Refrigerant (Cooling) Uses

#6 Styptic (stop bleeding) Uses

# 7 Anti-toxic Uses

#8 Astringent (drawing) Uses

#9 Laxative

#10 Antimicrobial (antibiotic) Uses

Plantain packs high amounts of beneficial chemicals for health and healing. Vitamins A, C, K, and calcium are abundant in this ‘weed’. The chemical mix of tannin, sorbitol, aucubin, acids (eg, benzoic, caffeic, chlorogenic, cinnamic, p-coumaric, fumaric, salicylic, ursolic, vanillic, ascorbic), alkaloids (boschniakine) and amino acids (eg, alanine, asparagine, histidine, lysine).

Note: This information should be verified by YOU before using plantain medicinally. In no way is this information intended to overlook the advice of medical personnel. If you are taking other medications, please consult your physician before using plantain for self-healing. While plantain has no known toxicity, be aware that there are documented adverse effects in pregnant women.

Further scientific studies on plantain’s usefulness can be found here.

Medicinal Recipes

Plantain decoctions, salves, teas, tinctures, poultices and infusions can be made with simple recipes. Here are few you can check out:

Plantain is a prolific ‘weed’ that tops the list in my herbal medicine chest! What’s your top healing herb?

Keep Doing the Stuff,

Thanks for sharing the stuff!

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

This article originally appeared on Survival Sherpa.
is an all original fast-paced comedy, variety, news show where nearly everything goes. Shepard Ambellas is the founder and editor-in-chief of the popular independent news website Intellihub.com (news and politics). Bethany Adoni sits shotgun. The Shepard Ambellas Show airs LIVE weekdays (Mon-Fri) on the Shepard Ambellas YouTube channel from 5-7 pm Eastern/4C/2P.  Turn notifications on immediately. The show is nationally syndicated on iHeart Radio. An archived version of the show is also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Deezer, Podcast Addict, Podchaser, JioSaavn, and Spreaker for you listening pleasure.

This content was originally published here.