It used to be that pretty much only preppers were worried about widespread societal collapse in America. I would reckon that anyone who isn’t today at least a little worried about it is actually the crazy one.

There is no denying that the rifts in our society, cultural, economic and governmental, are becoming wider and wider every day, and it won’t be long before we can’t even see the other side.

Accordingly, you can expect things to change, and as frightening as this is to consider you should take some measure of cold and clammy comfort that this has all happened before to empires and societies all around the world.

Life will go on, and indeed society will go on, but in new shapes and in new ways. But some places are going to fare much better, in my estimation, than others.

This is because the death throes of the societal ways of old will be calamitous indeed. There will be destruction on a level unimagined by most people living today, and unfortunately many deaths as the contractions and new growths attendant to the death and birth of nations take place.

And the interest of giving yourself and your loved ones the best possible chance for success and new beginning, picking when and where you will ride out this process counts for a lot. We will talk about five such regions in today’s article.

Even the Safest Places Could Fall…

One distressing tendency I have noted in my long years of teaching personal preparedness is the tendency of many folks, seasoned preppers included, to “put all their eggs in one basket” when it comes to choosing a place to settle that will afford them the most advantages should society start to break apart.

This is understandable, but perhaps a bit misguided. Yes, we all have to put our chips down on the table and then the cards will be revealed; you have to make a stand somewhere!

But it is critical to understand that the safest, best possible place, any place, including that small town you set your eyes on, could still be affected by the forces unleashed during a societal collapse. To say it will be a time of unpredictability is an understatement!

The regions on the list below have been chosen because they have proven to fare better over time in times of distress than elsewhere and also because they have endemic advantages to people who are well-prepared and skilled enough to take advantage of them.

Also, they are “less suitable” for so many of the people we are trying to avoid in trying times, namely people who are completely dependent on modernity to survive.

Bottom line, you should go or move to any of the places on this list with confidence, but be prepared with a Plan B if trouble befalls the region!

The 10 Best Places to Be When the SHTF


river in the Appalachian mountains
river in the Appalachian mountains

Appalachia has long been a redoubt against outside forces. Although the Appalachian mountain range stretches all the way from the southern US up into Canada, the region properly known as Appalachia comprises several southern, southeastern and a few northern states, but we are particularly concerned with Eastern Kentucky, Eastern Tennessee, West Virginia and the western reaches of both Carolinas.

Although suitably rugged, the Appalachian Mountains are comparatively short and gentle compared to giants like the Rockies and are nothing compared to the steep ranges of the Alps in Europe.

This makes them easy to hide in and easy to hold, but difficult to traverse in the remotest regions for outsiders.

Even better, the mild, temperate climate throughout much of this region is nonetheless suitable for a variety of farming and growing, and plentiful wildlife and water combined with decidedly conservative cultures means that surviving the fall of empire in Appalachia is as likely to be as appealing as anyplace else.

The Ozarks

cows in the Ozark mountains
cows in the Ozark mountains

Also known as the US Interior Highlands, the Ozarks is a sprawling geographic region taking up a significant chunk of northern Arkansas and southern Missouri.

With gently rolling mountains, expansive forests and natural resources in great abundance combined with a relatively mild climate all year, the Ozarks will prove to be a sustainable and highly inhabitable retreat in the event of societal collapse.

Furthermore, the Ozarks region is fairly strategically located for our purposes, being not too far from major population centers in any direction that accessing trade or other necessities that would prove to be impossible, while being far enough away from most to dissuade adventurous or opportunistic pillagers and refugees.

The diversity of the region means that you can remain as communal or get as isolated as you want, and all the while have plenty of access to water, wood and more.

Agriculture is definitely possible and hunting is plentiful, all kinds of species in all. If there’s one bad thing we can say about the Ozarks it is that the area is fairly tornado prone, but not too bad compared to other places in the greater region.

The Mid-South

An area making up southern Tennessee and much of northern Alabama and Georgia, the Mid-South exemplifies excellence and agriculture and hunting with plenty of variation in biomes and geography.

Sweltering summers are just about the worst you’ll have to worry about when it comes to weather, and the entirety of this region is intensely conservative.

Excellent gun and property rights throughout means you won’t have any trouble setting up your own homestead for surviving SHTF, and abundant freshwater sources combined with higher than average rainfall compared to much of the country means that one of your most pressing survival needs will rarely go unmet.

Also, much of the Mid-South outside of the largest population centers is very sparsely populated, meaning you’ll have easy access to affordable land that you can furthermore customize more or less to your liking. If you really want to get away from it all, and do it while they’re getting is good, you’ll definitely want to check out the Mid-South.

Texas Panhandle

Palo Duro canyon in northern Texas
Palo Duro canyon in northern Texas

Texas is a greatly beloved state by freedom lovers, and if you didn’t know that, just ask any Texan and they will tell you!

Although not quite as free and libertarian as popular conception would have you believe, and suffering from blistering property prices and taxes alike in a couple of areas, there is nonetheless much to love about Texas from a prepper’s perspective, particularly northern Texas in the panhandle area, when it comes to surviving a societal collapse.

Land is abundant, people are few and the climate is surprisingly mild compared to the Gulf Coast and interior regions.

This is also a place that is famous for produce and livestock alike, and with the right skills or the right connections you can easily ensure that you keep access to a bountiful food supply.

Perhaps the only detractors from the Texas panhandle region when it comes to riding out the collapse of society is that it is uncomfortably close to the US-Mexico border in the grand scheme of things ,and the fact that teeming throngs of refugees might pour out of the population centers of the state to the south, meaning you might be dealing with more neighbors than you had bargained for.

Idaho Region


Idaho is what I like to call a “sleeper” state. There is so much to love about it, but you hardly ever hear anyone talking about it unless they are making a joke about potatoes.

The people that I know who hail from Idaho, and those who have been long-term transplants, would probably prefer to keep it that way in order to avoid undo influxes to the population!

Idaho is an amazing state, both for its incredible climate suitable to growing a wide variety of crops to its amazing hunting opportunities and overall biodiversity, with many parts of the state being sparsely inhabited indeed.

Also, the state is broadly homogeneous, culturally and politically, meaning it will start off being more stable than most places. Harsh winters can be a problem, but this is a relatively small price to pay for everything you gain otherwise.

One should be aware though that you are ultimately a hop, skip and a jump away from Washington and Oregon, both two infamous colonies of progressive craziness, craziness that might in time be heading your way or just result in a mass displacement of other freedom loving people who would rather avoid being burned at the stake.

Northern Yankeedom

Vermont homestead during winter
Vermont homestead during winter

If you are like me, you probably want to get away from Yankee strongholds, not head towards them, but if you live in New England or have family up there, take heart because there are opportunities for excellent survival retreats that will likely survive the collapse of civilization.

In particular, Vermont and New Hampshire, though often regarded as quirky, liberal states, are in fact sparsely populated areas with incredible and abundant natural resources, both plant and animal.

Harsh winter weather will always be a problem, but one that is not insurmountable, and the state culture outside of leftist strongholds is one of largely traditional values and frontier independence.

You could do a lot worse than heading to the rural areas of either state so long as you know how to handle yourself when the cold takes hold.


Ark-La-Tex is the informal but popular name ascribed to the intersection of Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana given to it by residents of the region. It also has a lot going for it, and brings a little bit to the table from the advantages of each state.

Highly biodiverse, and with excellent hunting and agricultural opportunities this region is a sweet spot that is free from the climate extremes that each state is known for.

It is neither blisteringly hot nor too humid, and can give you plenty of breathing room to stay well away from the coast and its dense population.

If you live elsewhere in any of these states and need a backup plan, this is a good region to head toward to keep your options open and maximize your return on investment.

South Central Alaska

Alaska is popularly thought of as a frozen hellscape, but you might be surprised to learn that the southern reaches are quite mild in the summer and the winters are not absolutely, positively grueling so long as you know what you are doing and prepare.

The best part about Alaska is that there are precious few people in total in this absolutely massive state, and self-sufficiency is truly a way of life. You need to make sure you are up to snuff before you move there, but you can take cold comfort knowing that this area will not tolerate the weak or the pretender.

And while it is a giant pain in the ass to relocate yourself accordingly, take heart knowing that throngs of refugees swarming the lower 48 will hardly have a prayer of reaching the natural bounty that this rugged, frontier environment has to offer its residents.


country road in Wyoming
country road in Wyoming

Wyoming is one of the most sparsely populated states in the US, but one that has plenty of land and a strong conservative culture going for it.

Whether you into farming, raising livestock or something else Wyoming can accommodate it. This is a place where old world values rule the roost, and considering the lack of people most communities are very close and invested in each other.

Make sure you aren’t a carpetbagger if you want to thrive in Wyoming. Many places are incredibly remote and difficult to get to throughout the state, and it isn’t even guaranteed you’ll have cell phone service while you travel.

If you really want to get away from the mass of humanity during a societal collapse without leaving the lower 48, Wyoming is an excellent choice.


lake in Missouri
lake in Missouri

Missouri is yet another state that has so much going for it when it comes to prepping. Biodiversity, fertile land, abundant wildlife and a livable, relatively mild climate year-round.

The fact that it is centrally located makes it even better, and it is also not particularly a crossroads for those who are traveling between major metropolitan areas, a perk for our purposes.

Another park, is that Missouri is crisscrossed with many rivers that could be useful in place of highways during a societal collapse allowing for relatively easy and unfettered travel.


No one wants to think about dealing with a societal collapse, and certainly nobody wants to think about dealing with a societal collapse or that collapse will do the most damage.

Choosing where to make your stand as a prepper in order to survive the death throes of a society will greatly influence your chances.

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Even now, with no immediate disasters on the horizon, water is the most valuable resource on Earth, and when the SHTF, there’s a good chance that clean H2O will be much harder to come by.

Food will likely also be quite scarce in an emergency situation, but it’s thought that a healthy adult could survive up to 2 months without eating, but no matter how healthy you are, you’ll only make it around 3 days without water.

What you need to guarantee survival when disaster strikes is a quality emergency water filter. The market can be a little tricky to navigate, but this article will be your guiding light.

So, let’s field the key question straight away… Which emergency water filter is right for you and any possible future emergencies? Well, I’m afraid there is no one-shoe-fits-all answer to this query, as the perfect filter for you will be determined by your own personal needs.

Having said that, there are three, basic, universal features to consider.

Okay, with the basics of your search for clean water covered, let’s discuss why water filtration is essential.

How Can My Water Supply Be Dangerous?

All manner of nasty stuff can find its way into our water. In fact, in the Middle Ages, water was so filthy that beer was often used as a substitute, but, as tempting as a frosty cold one may be in the event of a disaster, it’s essential to get your H2O supply in drinking condition!

To do this, you must be able to remove two main categories of contaminants…

The Biological Contaminants In Water

Biological contaminant is the term given to any form of microbial organisms living in our water. These include bacteria, parasites, protozoans, and viruses.

What Are Protozoa?

Protozoa are a class of single-celled microorganisms, including cryptosporidium and giardia parasites, and though they may be “micro”, they’re the largest of the biological contaminants found in water.

These big-little things sometimes have a protective outer shell, which protects them from disinfectants such as iodine and chlorine, but, thankfully, their sheer size makes them relatively easy to filter out of a water supply.

What Are Bacteria?

Bacteria are slightly smaller than protozoa, but they can be just as, if not more, problematic. Some common examples of bacteria in water include E. coli, campylobacter, salmonella, and even cholera.

Needless to say, they can make you very sick, which could mean life or death in an emergency situation, but the good news is that they’re not too small to slip through the cracks of a quality water filter.

What Are Viruses?

Viruses, on the other hand, are so dang tiny (Sometimes less than a single micron) that they’ll mosey on through almost any water filter, which means we have to get a little creative to eliminate them.

Common waterborne viruses include Norwalk virus, poliovirus, Hepatitis (both A and E), echovirus, and rotavirus, and every last one of them can make you and your cohabitants incredibly ill. In severe cases, some may even be fatal.

The Chemical Contaminants In Water

The important thing to note about chemical contaminants is that they’re not living organisms, which means they cannot be killed by means of disinfection. So, the only way to get rid of these nasty little invaders is to physically weed them out with sufficient filtration systems.

There are far too many forms of chemical contaminant to address individually in this little segment, but, to give you the gist, they include pesticides, heavy metals, salts, and any other chemical that shouldn’t be there.

Chemical contamination is a particular worry in the event of nuclear fallout, as the dissolved radioactive compounds and elements may settle in our water supply.

Much like any other chemical contaminant, these viscous pollutants cannot be removed by way of disinfection or distillation. Therefore, our only way of evicting them is through filtration and settling.

What Is Water Purification?

Simply put, water purification is the cleansing of contaminated water via three steps: clarification, disinfection, and filtration.

Do You Always Need To Follow All Three Steps Of Water Purification?

You don’t always have to treat your water with all three purifying techniques. It all comes down to the source and possible contaminants. 

For instance, if you’re drawing your water from a compromised municipal source, clarification isn’t necessary as the water has been pre-clarified, but you will still need to disinfect it by boiling to destroy any residual pathogens.

What Is Water Clarification?

You can think of water clarification as macroscopic filtration. It’s a process of removing all the suspended particulate matter that can be seen with the naked eye. These pollutants might include leaves, dirt, and any other insoluble matter floating around in our H2O.

If necessary, clarification should always be the first step of your water purification protocol, otherwise, biological contaminants may avoid deactivation by “hiding” within the solid matter.

Clarification is achieved via passing water through paper towels, coffee filters, fine-woven cloths… anything that lets the moisture pass through but stops the solids in their tracks.

In the great outdoors, clarification can occur naturally as water is sifted through sand and other permeable mediums.

What Is Water Disinfection?

Once your water is clear of visible contaminants, disinfection should be your second port of call. Disinfection serves one purpose in two ways. The purpose is to neutralize biological contaminants, and it achieves this either by deactivating them or killing them outright.

There are a number of methods you can use to kill off harmful biological pathogens in water, including boiling, pasteurization, chlorination, and distillation, and it’s a good job, too, as you may not be able to destroy all biological contaminants in one fell swoop.

What Is Water Filtration?

Water filtration is the microscopic variant of clarification — now that the larger particulate matter is long gone, you can focus on the tiny stuff! Using a water filtration system, you can remove most chemical pollutants and any surviving biological contaminants, making the water both safer and more pleasant tasting.

There’s a reason why filtration is considered the “headlining act” of the purification process — if you want your filters to last a while, you’ll need to get your water as clean as possible before passing them through the system.

Filter Micron Ratings: Just What The Heck Are They?

Micron ratings refer to the distance between pieces of filtration media. For example, if you picture a wave lapping the shoreline and the seawater sinking into the sand, the micron rating would be a measurement of the gaps between the grains of sand.

In other words, it determines the size of the pollutants that can be weeded out when water passes through something. The smaller the rating, the smaller the particles a filter can separate from your water.

As helpful as micron ratings can be, there are a couple of things you need to be wary of when shopping around for a filter. Firstly, manufacturers may only provide the “nominal” micron rating, which is a measure of the average pore size, not the exact pore size — some will be smaller and some larger.

You may also run into something known as “absolute” pore size, which is a measurement of maximum pore size. No pores will be larger than this rating, but many may be smaller.

Understanding these terms, you’ll be able to determine the efficacy of a filter, and the kinds of contaminants it’s capable of removing from water. 

Shopping Around For An Emergency Water Filter? Here’s What You Should Know!

As I mentioned earlier, the world of emergency water filters is a confusing one, to say the least, and this is exacerbated by the fact that there’s so much at stake. It may sound melodramatic, but hypothetically, choosing the right one could be the difference between life and death. Let’s take a look at a few initial considerations.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, rather a few thoughts to get the juices flowing. You also need to consider the various types of water filters, which I’ll discuss in detail below.

Gravity Filters: What Are They?

Gravity water filters are exactly what they sound like. You pour water into a top section, gravity pulls it down through the filtration media, then you can access the cleaned-up H2O via a spigot near the base of the unit.

These filters are usually quite large and immobile, but they produce sizable quantities of drinkable water, so they’re perfect as countertop units for everyday use around the home. Having said that, there are plenty of portable gravity filters out there, too.

Now let’s take a look at the leading gravity filter manufacturers and their key products.

Crafted from stainless steel, AquaRain’s Natural Water Filter can certainly roll with the punches, which is exactly what you need during and after a disaster event. It boasts three micro-pore ceramic filters, each containing self-sterilizing metallic silver and granulated activated carbon filtration media.

While it’s not rated to remove viral pollutants, it is capable of ousting most harmful contaminants without dragging any of the natural minerals and electrolytes from the water.

You can clean the filters up to 200 times, which equates to the passage of roughly 10,000 gallons of water. Capacity-wise, you’re looking at 3 gallons, which is a day’s drinking water for 6 people, and it’s capable of producing 1 of those 3 gallons every hour.

Berkey And Their Range Of Gravity Filters

Berkey is an industry leader and one of my favorite water filter manufacturers. They produce a range of differently-sized, incredibly high-quality gravity filters.

Berkey water filters are user-friendly, they look fantastic on a countertop, and their 3000-gallon Black Berkey filters are rated to remove 99.9999% of viral contaminants — that’s nothing to shrug at!

The Travel Berkey Water Filter is their smallest gravity-based option. It has a 1.5-gallon capacity, it’s crafted from commercial-grade stainless steel, and its two filters have a flow rate of 2.75 gallons per hour.

Next in line is the Big Berkey, a 2.25-gallon gravity filter suitable for use by 2–4 people. It arrives with two filters but has space for an additional two, which would boost its output to 7 gallons per hour.

Then we have the Royal Berkey, a 3.25-gallon filter that can support 6 people. Much like its little “Big” sibling, it arrives with two filters, but has room for another two, and it can produce 8 gallons of clean water per hour.

Last but not least, there’s the Crown Berkey, a 6-gallon monster of a filter capable of supporting 10+ people. It arrives with two filters but takes 8 if you have them spare, amounting to a mammoth output of 26 gallons of fully drinkable water per hour.

Measuring 11 inches width-ways, and 31 inches tall, it’s pretty massive, but this is the sort of unit you’ll need to support a large household.

I’ve got one last honorable Berkey mention… the highly portable Berkey Go Kit. This diminutive dynamo has a 1-quart capacity, which is enough to support 2 people on the go.

It has a single Black Berkey filter and can produce 1-gallon of purified water per hour. The kit also includes a BPA-free Berkey Sport Bottle for easy slurpin’ when you’re on the road. 

As the name suggests, this is a portable water filter designed for camping. It has just over a 1.5-gallon capacity, features a single filtration element rated for 0.3 microns, and produces a quart of water per minute.

This product is undeniably fantastic, but the filter isn’t robust enough to tackle viral pollutants, so all water will need to be treated before passing through the Camp.

This is another portable system to help an individual survive a stint exposed to the elements.

It has a capacity just shy of 1-gallon, processes a liter of water per minute, and the hollow fiber filter is rated to remove all particulate solids, bacteria (99.9999%), and protozoa (99.9%). You will, however, have to pre-treat water to eliminate viral pollutants.

Platypus is another top contender in the emergency water filtration industry. Their GravityWorks system is a highly portable unit with a 0.879-gallon capacity, and a hollow fiber element capable of removing almost all bacteria and protozoa. The filter has a flow rate of 1.75 liters per minute and has a service life of 1500 gallons.

Pump Filters: What Are They?

If a water filtration system requires you to manually pump the water through the filter media, then it’s classed as a pump filter. Much like gravity filters, pump filters can be purchased in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Some are suitable for individuals, while other larger units are designed to provide for groups. I recommend checking out the following…

The Hiker Pro is a portable, 11oz unit kitted out with glass fiber and activated carbon media, amounting to a 0.2-micron rating. It’s capable of removing most bacteria and protozoa from water sourced in the wild.

Highly durable, it’s capable of weathering the rigors of a trip to the backcountry, but you will need to treat water to remove viral contaminants before filtration rather than simply tapping a drink from the nearest river.

Made from stainless steel and aluminum, the Pocket is one of the more robust portable pump filters on the market, so it’s a no-brainer for adventurous types that often go on solo scouting missions into the wild.

In fact, Katadyn has so much faith in their creation, that it arrives with a 20-year warranty!

Featuring a silver-impregnated ceramic filter with a 0.2-micron rating, you can rely on the Pocket to whittle biological pollutants down to an absolute minimum.

The filter has a 13,000-gallon service life, so if you keep it clean, you may not have to replace it for years.

The MiniWorks EX is a fantastic portable filtration device with a hyperefficient filter composed of both carbon and ceramic, capable of producing a liter of purified water per minute. With proper care, a single MiniWorks filter can pass 2000 liters of water.

The MSR Guardian is a military-grade pump filter designed to keep you hydrated in the most extreme environments and circumstances.

Boasting an insanely high 2.5-liter per minute flow rate, rugged construction, a self-cleaning pump, and medical-grade filtration fibers capable of removing viral, bacterial, and protozoan pollutants, this thing is impressive on every level!

Putting the icing on the preparedness cake, each high-tech Guardian filter cartridge is rated to clean up to 10,000 liters of water.

HydroBlu Jerry Can Pump Filters

These charming Jerry can-style filters utilize a combination of hollow fiber and carbon filter technologies to eliminate both biological and chemical contaminants. The can has a 4-gallon capacity, which is a good size for a family camping expedition, and it only weighs 4.7lbs, so it’s not going to throw your back out when you’re searching for a pitch.

There are currently two HydroBlu Jerry Can options to consider…

The standard pack comes with the pressurized Jerry can pump with a 4-gallon capacity, and a 10,000 gallon, 0.1-micron, hollow fiber filter with integrated carbon media for removing chemical contaminants.

It’s an amazing product, and I highly recommend it, but bear in mind that, as strong as the filter is, it’s not rated to remove viral pollutants. For that kind of filtration power, you’ll need HydroBlu’s second offering.

HydroBlue Pressurized Jerry Can Pump Filter (Virus Free Package)

The Virus Free package comes with all the incredible stuff you get in the standard package, but you’ll notice a little extra in the box in the way of a 0.02-micron hollow fiber filter for stopping waterborne viruses in their tracks.

The Virus Free package is only marginally more expensive, and don’t worry if you already have the Standard package, as the filter expansion can be purchased separately.

Personally, I’d recommend forking out a few extra bucks for the virus protection, as the extra peace of mind it brings is well worth the premium.

This is the ultimate short family vacay water filter. When I’m headed out for a weekend in the woods with my people, this is the filter I bring. It’s easy for the kids to use, and it’s robust enough to rough a few nights in the wild. It’s also my go-to evac filter!

Suction Filters: What Are They?

Suction filters are straw-like devices used to draw water directly from a contaminated water source. For example, if you were near a river, you could lie on the bank, insert your suction filter, and take a good old sip.

Due to the proximity of your face to the contaminated liquid and the fact that the filtration happens in real-time as you drink, I’ve always been a little warier of suction filters than the types we’ve already discussed.

That said, there are some fantastic suction filters out there, and their portability makes them a great addition to a hiking kit. Some of my personal favorites include…

Using a pre-filter membrane, activated carbon, and a 0.1-micron hollow fiber filter, the Sidekick is primed and ready to remove heavy metals, protozoa, bacteria, and chemical pollutants; however, viral villains are a touch too small to arrest.

Weighing a minuscule 1oz, this 6” filter makes a perfect addition to a BOB (Bug Out Bag), or even just a hiking arsenal, and, as a bonus, both the unit and replacement filters are incredibly affordable — who says survival has to suck your wallet dry?

This one’s a little different. Featuring a screw fixture, rather than sucking contaminated water directly from the source, you can fill your own bottle or hydration pouch, attach SP105 MINI, and use it as an interim filtration device.

The 0.1-micron filtration media protects against 99.99999% of bacteria and 99.9999% of protozoa, and, amazingly, with proper maintenance, it’s rated to filter up to 100,000 gallons of water.

Of course, you’ll need to treat any water to remove viral contaminants before drinking them through this filter straw, but I still consider these essential BOB and evacuation devices. I keep two for each of us in our mobile emergency preparedness kit.

Water Filter Bottles: What Are They?

Water filter bottles combine the straw mechanism of suction filtration systems with an integrated reservoir, so you can drink cleaner water when you’re out and about.

The quality of the filtration media varies from bottle to bottle, but they’re all highly portable, perfect for throwing in your suitcase or backpack, and they make a great addition to any emergency kit. Here are some of the best in the biz…

The SP140 from industry stalwarts Sawyer features a 0.1 micron, hollow fiber, inline filter rated to separate all bacteria and protozoa from your drinking water. To use it, simply fill the bottle then slurp the water through the integrated straw.

What blows my mind about this product is that Sawyer claims it’s good for cleaning up a million gallons of water, which is roughly 30 times the amount a human will drink over the course of their entire life. If that’s not value for money, I don’t know what is.

Granted, the GeoPress is a little expensive for a bottle filter, but it more than earns its price tag. Not only does this 24oz capsule and filter remove 99.9% of protozoal and 99.9999% bacterial content from your water, but 99.99% of viruses, too!

The filter doesn’t last quite as long as some of the other more affordable bottles on the market, but being that it’s apprehending so many pollutants, it’s only natural that it clogs up quicker than the competition. Proper maintenance and pretreating water will help to prolong the service life of the filter.

We’re back with Berkey to celebrate this fantastic 22oz bottle with an ionic adsorption micron filtration system that will remove impurities from 25 gallons of heavily soiled water, or 100 gallons from a municipal source.

It’s an awesome bottle filter, but do bear in mind that it needs to be flushed out with a chlorinated substance before being put into storage. Replacement filters can be purchased here.

The Clear Flow’s 0.1-micron hollow fiber filter removes nearly all bacteria (99.99999%) and protozoa (99.9999%) from your drinking water, and thanks to the addition of activated carbon, it keeps heavy metals, sulfur, and discoloration at bay as well.

HydroBlu claims that a single filter will last for 1500 gallons of water (that’s a lot of slurps), but, like many bottle filters, it’s not suitable for removing viral threats.

What Is the Best Emergency Preparedness Water Filter?

As we touched upon earlier, the best emergency water filtration system for you will be determined by your needs, wants, and circumstances.

Some prefer to invest in a versatile filtration unit that does a little bit of a lot of things, while others prefer to amass multiple discrete systems, each tailor-made for a singular purpose.

I personally recommend the latter of these two options, as it’s the only way to truly prepare for an emergency, but I’ll take you through my own personal setup in just a moment.

Ultimately, only you have the insight to decide which filtration system is right for you and – if you have one – your family; however, I would like to recommend the following products that I’ve categorized in terms of budget.

Tight Budgets ($20+)

The Versa Flow is one of the best value for money filtration packs on the market. Much like the Sawyer MINI we discussed earlier on, it can be screwed onto your bottles or hydration pack or even be used as a straw for drinking straight from the source.

It will rid your water of most of the bacteria and protozoa, but it falls short when it comes to viruses, so water will require pretreatment before filtration.

There are certainly cheaper bottle purifiers out there, but the GeoPress is the only one that neutralizes viruses as well as bacteria and protozoa, so if you’re sick of pre-treating your wild water, you can buy this and drink straight from the bottle.

Medium-Sized Budgets ($100+)

As you well know by now, this triple-filter Jerry Can system is one of my all-time favorites! But do yourself a favor, and invest in the Virus Free expansion. It still won’t break the $200 mark, and you won’t have to worry about pretreatments.

Larger Budgets ($200+)

This sleek and robust pump filter is perfect for the consummate outdoors nut. It can handle the rough and tumble of challenging terrain, and the 0.2-micron filtration media is hugely effective. However, for potential viral pollutants, you’ll have to pre-treat the water.

The Berkey Bunch

If you can afford a countertop Berkey water filtration system, get one! They’re the best, trust me, and they ensure all the water you consume in your home is completely clear of contaminants.

The Travel Berkey is the smallest I’d go for an in-house system. It has two filters, a 1.5-gallon capacity, and can support 1–3 people.

The Big Berkey is next in line. It has a 2.25-gallon capacity that can support up to 4 people.

Then we have the Royal Berkey, a 3.25-gallon gravity filter that can keep up to 6 people hydrated day in, day out.

The Imperial Berkey offers up 4.5 gallons of spotless water, which is enough for 10 people to wet their whistles. There’s also the Crown Berkey (the biggest Berkey of all), but that’s moving into unnecessary territory for most family units.

What Water Filters Does My Family Have in Place?

Most would say that I’ve gone a little overboard with my water filtration setup, as there are quite a few stationed in various parts of my home, but I don’t think there’s really such a thing as putting too much emphasis on clean drinking water.

At the core of our water-based emergency preparedness network, we have 2 Berkey gravity filters, the Travel, and the Royal. They have the capacity to support my entire family, so it always gives me an immense sense of wellbeing when I see them there on my kitchen counter.

That said, if we see a few new additions to the family at some point in the future, we’ll likely bring home an Imperial as well.

We upgraded to the Berkey filters from the AquaRain filter, which is an amazing unit, but the filters aren’t capable of removing viral contaminants. We still have it as a back-up, though.

Another staple of our safe water network is, of course, the HydroBlue Pressurized Jerry Can with the Virus Free expansion, the ideal filter for family road and camping trips. Its reliability and portability have also earned it a place in my evac pack.

And finally, have quite a large variety of different bottle filters, some for everyday use, and some set aside in emergency packs, just in case.

Final Thoughts — Which Emergency Water Filter Should You Choose?

We’ve covered a hell of a lot of ground here today, and, to be honest, we could have covered a whole lot more, as there are plenty of awesome filters out there that we didn’t discuss, filters that might be just what you’re looking for.

Still, we’ve addressed all the basics, so now you’re fully equipped to buy an emergency water filter (or three), with confidence.

The two main questions you should be asking yourself are…

Take a moment to think it all through and visualize possible emergency scenarios.

Let your needs guide you to the right products. If you can’t quite afford the perfect filter for your circumstances, invest in a temporary solution that will ensure you have safe water to drink if calamity strikes tomorrow.

Hopefully, it won’t, and you can build your water filtration network from there over time.

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.

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

Spam has become a staple in homes across the country thanks to its versatility and low price point. It might not sound appealing, but being able to turn it into quick meals is enough of a reason to draw people in. especially when you consider its long shelf-life.

It’s the perfect item to add to your collection of tinned goods and is sure to keep you sustained should an emergency arise. No power? No problem, Spam can save the day and keep you and your family well-fed.

But how long does it last for? Does Spam go bad? And what about its shelf life? Can we make Spam last longer? These questions float around and keep you up at night while you debate whether or not Spam should be added to your supply list.

Well, wonder no more! Today we are here with the answers you need. Keep reading to find out if Spam goes bad and everything you need to know about its shelf life and expiration dates.

What Is Spam?

Before we dive in, let’s have a little recap for those in the room that need it. To help us determine how long Spam will last, it’s helpful to consider the ingredients on it too. Spam, as we mentioned, is canned meat, and specifically park with ham meat added to it.

There is also modified potato starch included that binds the ingredients together. Spam also contains sodium nitrate, which acts as a preservative to help it last, along with salt, water, and sugar.

The sodium nitrate works to preserve the flavor and color of the meat, helping it look appealing even after being in the tin for a while. It also stops the meat from going bad by inhibiting the oxidation of the lipids (fats) in the meat. This process also prevents bacteria from forming in the meat, keeping it safe to eat.

The modified potato starch not only binds the ingredients to give you a consistent texture and taste, but it helps protect the meat from extreme changes in temperatures or acidity levels. You can rest assured that should something happen; your Spam should be safe!

Now that we have explored Spam in more detail and cleared up what is in this mystery meat let’s move on and see how long Spam lasts!

How Long Does Spam Last?

All cans of Spam will have a best before date printed on the bottom of the can. Hormel, the makers of Spam, state that the contents should be eaten by the date in the bottom. However, Spam can be eaten after this date.

Instead of viewing the date as a use-by date, consider it a best before date, where food can be eaten after the date stated. Providing that your can of Spam is not bulging and has no dents or punctures, then it should be safe for you to consume.

If you have any doubts, though, be sure to throw away the can and its contents. You don’t want to eat anything that has gone bad, so keep an eye out for smells or color changes, and don’t take any chances!

Spam contains additives and preservatives that help the food last for a long time. It is also packaged at high temperatures helping extend the shelf life. It’s certainly one that can stay safe in your pantry until you need it.

Usually, you can expect a can of Spam to last between two and five years, and that’s plenty of time should the country collapse overnight!

Once a tin is open, it will last in the refrigerator for seven to ten days. Without electricity, you will want to eat the contents once opened to avoid warm temperatures spoiling your Spam.

When it comes to Spam and other canned meats, the best before date usually indicates a product’s time before losing its prime quality, texture, and flavor. Just because the Spam is past its expiration date does not mean it will be rotten or disgusting; it might just not taste or look as good as usual!

Now the information on Hormel, Spam’s manufacturing company’s website, is a little different. It states that you can keep Spam in the refrigerator and consume it within three to five days. Why is this less time than what we said?

Usually, this is to offer a time buffer that can help to avoid customer complaints. While Spam should be safe to eat after this time, you can follow the manufacturer’s guidelines if you have any issues.

So how is it best to store your Spam? You will want to keep it in the dark and dry cupboard where the temperature does not exceed 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If you notice any of your cans are leaking, rusted, or dented, then throw them away. Their integrity will be compromised, and they won’t be safe to eat.

When storing open Spam cans, cover them with plastic cling wrap and place them in the fridge. You can also place the Spam in plastic Tupperware containers and keep it refrigerated until you next eat it.

Storing it like this will help keep your Spam as fresh as possible!

Final Thoughts

And there you have it; your Spam can last for as long as five years! Be sure to check the tins regularly to ensure that your Spam has not spoiled, and you are sure to enjoy plenty of Spam filled sandwiches and other delights should we end up in an apocalyptic crisis!

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.

Off Grid Internet Full TutorialDoesn’t look like much, but this little TP-Link 4G Router saved the day when everything else failed! Full story below.
Photo / graphic ©

Off Grid Internet: 5+ Ways To Get Online When Normal Internet Is Not Available (Including SHTF Options)


Internet access is pretty much a life-essential for the majority of people now – and in many cases it can be a make-or-break factor for whether a given location will be a viable option or not.

I sure did find this out the hard way, when I moved to my place deep in the countryside… and learned that not only did I have barely any phone signal (0 to 2 bars, constantly going in and out), but that the “land line” internet was totally shot. 1Mb download speeds at best, with dropouts every few minutes. Downloading a large file was almost impossible. Not a word on any of this from the $500+ home appraisal surveyor, of course. The telecom companies literally would not fix it, either. I lost count of how many times I called their support, they “ran their tests”, told me it was dropping out over 100 times per day (yes I know), then a couple of days later they told me they had fixed it. All lies. They had not fixed anything! This went on for months until, exasperated, I explored all the other options I could think of… until finally finding a solution 18+ months later!

I tried several options, plus I have run an internet based business while bouncing between different countries for several years – so all in all I think I’ve learned a fair amount about this topic and have some useful tips to share…

Ironically the recent “pandemic times” have probably been the first time in history where a large number of people had both the necessity to work remotely and the technology to be able to do so.

This combination of circumstances, together with the increased appeal of being “away from it all”, has opened more people’s minds to various off grid possibilities than ever before. Why would you be in a city under lockdown when you could be out of town and still earn your money?

An internet based income is one of the key factors in this equation. It frees you from one of the predominant chains forcing you to be one place: The need to make money – which until very recent times required in pretty much all cases that you showed up at a certain location at a certain time, rain or shine.

While some jobs of course still necessitate this, more people than ever are working remotely. There are also innumerable internet based business opportunities nowadays.

For just one example, there are a number of folks, call them “road warriors” or “van lifers”, who run a Youtube channel documenting their adventures. If this is done well, the advertising revenue from Youtube can be a lifeline and a means to fund their life on the road.

But in order to do this – you gotta be able to get online! Solve that and the world is your oyster!

Ok so here are all the options I’ve explored. Let me know if you think of any others.

1. Starlink

Starlink – Elon’s mega satellite internet plan – has brought connectivity to various folks in remote parts of the world, which is of course a great thing. You could be in a forest, or even on an island, miles from anywhere – and still be able to get a fast connection. Gotta love that.
• Super fast. Blazing speeds (well over 100Mb download) reported by numerous users. Competitive with or even better than fiber connections.
• True remote location possibilities – can work in wilderness areas with no other services available.
• Low Latency. Because the satellites are in low orbits, the “ping time” (the time it takes the signal to reach the dish) is much lower than with conventional satellite comms. 20ms claimed by Starlink, which is amazing.
• Expensive. Setup is I think $499, with a price of around $100 per month after that.
• Fixed location. Starlink’s own materials state that you can’t just pack the dish in the back of the truck and head out of town. You need to be static. This would be a real bummer for – say – ocean going yachts, or other on-the-move applications. However I’ve heard individuals claim that they took their Starlink dish on their adventure in the Black Rock Desert and got online! This might however have been an exceptional case; I am fairly sure that a number of Elon’s team go out to the desert for that lil’ thing called Burning Man and they might have rigged something so that they could get online. So make of it what you will.
• Not available in all areas – yet. They are still rolling it out and if it’s not in your area, well, you just have to wait. I signed up on the waiting list in early 2021 and waited nearly a whole year. Nada. Finally, exasperated, I cancelled (and got my deposit back without any fuss).

2. “Regular” Satellite Internet

I tried this one too! Honestly, I hated it. It was slow, kept cutting out and was fairly pricey. My life got ridiculous – at one point I had satellite that didn’t work, regular DSL that didn’t work and a cell phone that was out of range…. try dealing with that and managing an outsource team + 20 websites! Nightmare.

Satellite internet does work in general – and for those that rely on it, it’s a lot better than nothing. But for me it fell a long way short of desirable.

• Can get you connected when there are no other options. If you are in a “remote part of a well populated country” then you will probably be able to get online. A remote island in the middle of the South Pacific, however? Maybe not – because it depends on whether their satellite, which will be in geostationary orbit will cover you. YMMV
• Data tariffs. There’s no unlimited data with satellite plans, as far as I know. Once you chomp through your bandwidth, which is all too easy, you are booted onto the slow bus and get low speed until the beginning of the next month. It’s all done to get you to buy a bigger data plan…
• Not that fast, even with the “gold” package I was often getting only around 6MB/s on
• Slow ping time. Mine was around 740ms as far as I can remember. Uploading a batch of web pages to a big website took hours.
• Hulking great dish, which needs to stay fixed and be pointed exactly at the satellite with no trees or anything in the way.
• Seemed to fail whenever it rained!
• Used a lot of power! The power pack for the dish was rated at 80W.
• The dish belongs to them. Which means you can’t even take your rage out on it when you finally lose your marbles and want to hit it with a 2×4. You don’t get that deposit back unless you ship it to them in one piece. The dish is huge. Just finding a sturdy box big enough for all of it was a real hassle and I still haven’t received my deposit back. So. Much. Hassle. Such. Crap. Support.

3. Wifi Leeching

This is not so much of a serious option, but I have to put it in for the sake of completion. Most people, these days, have their Wifi password-protected, and the good ole’ days of being able to leech Wifi from your blissfully-unaware neighbors are mostly long gone. Not that any of you good folks would do such a thing, of course. 🙂 It’s not very cool, all things considered. You can still of course go to Wifi hotspots and connect there – for example, most cafes – however that means you have to go into town to get a connection, which gets old really fast. It can be useful in a pinch – and there are still plenty of road warriors who drive into town for the purpose of finding an internet cafe so that they can get caught up on their admin.
• Typically Free. No power requirements, no contracts, no black boxes.
• Inconvenience. You have to go where the Wifi is and stay there until you have done everything you needed to do.

4. Mobile Phone Hotspot

The speeds of 4G (and even 3G) networks are actually not all that terrible. Many times when my satellite internet was failing I would get in the car with my laptop and phone, drive to the top of the hill and park up in a spot where I knew I could get 4 bars. It was faster than satellite and faster than my unbelievably crap DSL! There are lots of people in the world who rely on mobile hotspot to stay in touch with the world.

5. 4G Router + SMA Aerials + Unlimited Data SIM (Worked Best For Me!)

Now if someone had clued me in on this in 2019, they could have saved me almost 2 years of tearing my hair out in sheer frustration.

One of the main criteria with cellular reception is height – as in, the higher up you are (above your immediate surroundings and giving you a more direct line to the tower) the better the signal. For example I found that there was one spot in my attic, near the ridge line, where I could get 2 to 3 bars on my phone with 3G. So for months I literally had the phone on a tripod in the attic. It wasn’t all that great, but it was better than the satellite. Then (without thinking) I insulated my attic with “isotherm” panels, which are foil-backed… and then that was the end of that.

Researching online, I discovered a 4G router on Amazon and it was a real game changer. I got EPIC results and completely solved my internet problems. So I am going to go into much detail on this one, because it could be a winner for a lot of folks.

The 4G router I found (link below) is a beauty. It literally has all the options I want:
1) Very small and portable.
2) You can disconnect the little stubby aerials and connect signal-boosting 4G antennae with SMA extension cables. This was the game changer – because you can get those aerials outside the building, which increases the signal strength. This is mission critical if you are on the edge of service!
3) Runs from a 12vDC adaptor, which means it can connect to vehicle electrics and off grid power packs – oh yes!!
4) You can disable Wifi completely with a switch on the back of the unit and run in ethernet only mode (this is a game changer for anyone Wifi sensitive!)
5) Pop in a SIM with a monthly unlimited data plan and you are off to the races. Mine literally worked out of the box. Depending on the physical size of the SIM you have, you might need one of those tiny SIM trays to get it to work with the 4G box, but this is an easy fix.
6) Some people are saying that they are getting this to work internationally. Reading reviews on Amazon, there are people who are using these in USA, Middle East and other places. I haven’t tried it but for international travelers it could be a win.

Here is the setup I purchased. I’ve given links to both UK and USA Amazon. Full disclosure, I earn (peanuts) commissions on purchases made via these links.

1) Unlimited data SIM.
I got a Vodaphone SIM and it worked right out of the box with the router, using an ethernet cable to connect to the computer. Rates always vary and you’ll likely be on a contract, but you should be able to get one for significantly less than the price of any of the other options! Alternatively you could use pay-as-you-go but after you’ve watched a couple of movies and burned through your data, you’ll want to get on unlimited I am sure.

2) 4G Router.
UK: TP-LINK AC1200 4G+ Cat6 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router, 4G/3G Network SIM Slot Unlocked. (£149.99)
USA: (similar, looks like 9v not 12v): – currently sold out.
Here’s a couple more for options to check out for the USA and other regions (not tested) Cudy AC1200 Dual Band Unlocked 4G (“not for Verizon”) Alcatel Link Hub 4G LTE Unlocked Worldwide HH41NH 150 Mbps

3) 4G LTE Antenna SMA Aerial (2-pack)
UK: £13.99
USA: $11.99
(note that there is a legal disclaimer on the Amazon USA page that seems important. There seems to be some kind of legal restriction on the use of these signal boosters and a requirement of permission, although it lists major providers that have given “blanket consent to all boosters meeting the new certification standards.” (which from their wording one presumes this device does, although I don’t see that explicitly stated).

4) SMA WiFi Antenna Extension Cable 5M (2-pack)
UK: (£23.08 for 2)
USA: ($19.98 for 2)

Installation: The 4G antennae are fantastic. Super low cost + they are small and light, about 12″ tall and weigh almost nothing. They have strong magnetic bases: I cut some 1″ wide strips of 1/16″ steel and bent them to a thin L-shape – so that I could slide them under the top-but-one roof tile and they would hook on. This worked beautifully and gave me a metal plate sticking out from the tile I could stick the antenna on to. I have a “proper” roof ladder so I went up there with my mobile phone and looked for a spot with the strongest signal. It was easy to get a very solid 3 to 4 bars.

I attached the 2 aerials about 8 feet apart from each other, close to the ridge line. Several months later and they have not budged! I then drilled a small hole in the wooden frame of my skylight window and ran the SMA cables through to the router, removed the SIM from my “attic phone” and popped it into the 4G router, ran an ethernet cable to my computer and… bingo. Download speeds around 10-15Mb/S during the day and around 20-25 at night.

Connecting the antennae and putting them on the roof of the house gave a massive signal boost. Huge. I was amazed. The first thing to note is that walls, roofs, metal boxes and other materials have a big damping effect on mobile phone signals. The second factor is height. When it comes to mobile phone networks, height is critical. My house here is in a “hollow” in between hills and also has a forest in between me and the nearest mobile phone tower, which is a couple of miles away. It’s a beautiful location and I am blessed – but useless for phone signal.

So if you can get your aerials outside those four walls and somewhere up high, you should be in good shape. I’d say I tripled or quadrupled the speed I was getting with just the mobile phone in the attic! If you want to experiment further, you could try some using kind of tripod or pole to get additional height. Just make sure that whatever you rig up is not going to become a danger if it gets windy. And these were of course cheapie antennae. I’m sure there are bigger and better if you are in the market for that.

Had this running now for about 3 months (in the UK) and there has been barely a drop-out. It has succeeded where all else failed.

Pros: (the advantages of this setup are numerous).
• Low cost. I got a Vodaphone unlimited data plan and it’s cheaper than DSL, cheaper than satellite, cheaper than all the other options I have found.
• Fairly fast. Running Youtube videos at 1080HD is now not a problem. No problems at all.
• Mobile. Wherever you have phone signal, you can exist. Plus with the aerials, you have much better capability than just mobile hotspot alone. I would imagine that for truckers, road warriors etc this setup would be peachy. And the fact that the 4G box I got was 12 volt was just the icing on the cake.
• Location tracking seems less than accurate. Google is guessing my location and they seem to be getting it wrong by about 150 miles. Oh, how this pleases me!
• For best results you will want to get the little antennae outside and up high somewhere, which may involve drilling holes in things and climbing ladders. So be safe (and get some assistance if needed).

6. Post-Apocalypse Connectivity

This is of course all speculative and much of it depends on which grids go down – although there are some options that may enable you to connect peer-to-peer without any grids at all. The key here is redundancy. In other words, for greater resilience you need more than one means of comms…

Let’s think first about power – because without power you are out of the game, and power blackouts are a real possibility, wherever you are. Get your “self-reliant comms power” handled first.

The good news is, this is relatively easy: Whereas a “whole house off grid” power setup requires a bank of solar panels, big batteries and a high ticket installation; your comms equip probably consists of low-powered devices. So small-medium solar panel + lithium battery pack should be able keep your devices powered at all times – so long as you are using laptop / mobile tech and not desktop / mainframe computers.

Now let’s think about networks….

Mobile phone networks: Fairly resilient but have been known to go into blackout in the case of states of emergency. Cell phone towers, as far as I know, have backup power generators so that they can continue to function in case of power grid down. Still, to be prepared for a true SHTF scenario, you need a means to connect without them.

Satellite: “Ordinary satellite” internet relies on one satellite. This creates a single point of failure. If the satellite goes off line (or gets taken out), there goes the connection. Starlink on the other hand seems like it will be more reliable, though it’s too early to say, yet. This is because with a swarm of satellites, you’ll likely have more than one available to connect to. So if one or even a few go pop, the network stays up. I’ve no idea how the signal routing on these works, though. Does it go from one dish to the satellite and then directly to another dish, in a peer-to-peer fashion? Or are all signals routed through a base station of some kind in Elon’s back yard? Something to research!

2 Way Radio / Walkie Talkie: Now as far as I know, these won’t work for internet, however for survivalists they are a fantastic option because they are peer-to-peer. In other words, if you and your buddy both have charge in the batteries, you can communicate without any other intermediary. So if every single grid goes down – power, mobile phone, satellite, cable modem… your 2-way radio will still reach other 2-way radios on the same band. Now, whether or not anyone has figured out a way to send internet data via 2-way radio, I do not know (and whether there is some legal restriction on this in some areas, I’ve absolutely no idea as I have never looked into this). But there’s an intriguing avenue of research here for the survival minded…

Ham Radio: Of course this enables communication and with correct licensing (if required in your region), you can communicate verbally. But what about internet? Well, it turns out that you can do this. Found a Youtube video of someone demonstrating how to surf the web using an Icom ID-1 D-Star ham radio:

This is an old video so things have probably progressed since then. I don’t know much about it and judging by the comments, it’s slow – but the potential here could be huge if all else fails. Absolutely no idea on legal restrictions so pls do your homework. But the possibility of being able to connect peer-to-peer via radio, with no ISP & no cell phone data plan required… that’s definitely interesting!

7. How To Run Your Business From A Mountaintop / Treehouse / Etc

Civilization? Is it ok to admit that I am losing interest? So my next mission here is to create a fully mobile setup based on the 4G router. I’d like to see a) how portable I can make it and b) how much extended range / distance away from mobile phone towers the aerials will give c) ways to increase this. The great thing about these 4G boxes is that they don’t use much power. With a 13″ laptop, one of these tiny 4G boxes, a portable 12v lithium battery pack such as this one that only weighs 3.6 lbs, small solar panel and perhaps a light tripod for the aerials, I really might be able to put it all in a backpack and run my business from “wherever”… or how about a bug-out vehicle with full wired internet. I’ll post my results! In the meantime, it’s still a big, wide, beautiful world – so let’s get out and explore! 🙂

8. Internet On A Boat

I don’t know too much about this but just found a great tutorial that would be a perfect entry to the topic.
Turns out that with some of the marine signal boosters you can pick up cell phone towers up to around 8-10 miles offshore. Similar scenario for marina wifi services. I’d imagine that these devices work somewhere near as well on land – and that certainly gives you some range. They have the fancy hardware on that page, including routers that connect both wifi and cell signals, pulling from whichever is strongest. However, once you get past around 10 miles offshore, it’s down to satellite. Now this is where things get expensive. Of course, you are a yacht owner so spending another $1,400 to $30,000 on satellite hardware is no biggie. But now you can really be a Bond villain.

Final Thoughts

So there it is. In a few years, they will probably have figured all of this out. Not only Starlink but Amazon are in the process of deploying swarms of satellites, which no doubt will mean that in just a few years from now, you can be kept under observation anywhere on the planet, I mean, you will be able to get internet anywhere on the planet. Yay! “Connectivity everywhere” is a double-edged sword if ever there was one. And let’s hope nature doesn’t suffer as a result. Hmmm. Faraday cage bunkers? Deep tunnels? It’s all starting to sound good to me!

The post Off Grid Internet: 5+ Ways To Get Online When “Normal Internet” Is Not Available (Including SHTF Options) appeared first on Off-Grid.

This content was originally published here.

Scavenging: It’s Not Just When the SHTF. It’s Already a Way of Life for Many.

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by Fabian Ommar

Here’s a fun fact. Approximately one percent of the urban population in developing countries makes their living from scavenging. And more than 15 million people get their income from waste picking worldwide. Scavenging is a multi-billion dollar industry and a way of living for many, even in wealthy nations.

It’s also one of the oldest economic activities known because living is consuming. Therefore we produce waste simply by existing. The type and amount of waste generated are constantly changing. The more wealthy and urbanized a society becomes, the more waste it will produce. A lot of folks think of scavenging as an activity that only happens after the SHTF, but it’s a way of life for many on the planet.

Waste management is crucial. Most people are just content to have their trash magically disappearing from the front of their houses every day and give this no second thought. I suspect society, in general, would be a lot more discerning and restrained (and respectful) about consumption habits if a more significant number of people became more aware of this process and its implications, but I digress.

What’s happening out there

Judging from what I have seen, the numbers above have grown rapidly since 2020. The social agents I speak with corroborate. The news is bad but still doesn’t show an accurate picture.

Tents are everywhere.

I’ve been meeting a lot more families that lost jobs, income, and homes. They are now in the streets and are scavenging their way to survive. Most people I spoke with admit they never thought they’d come to this, but insist that thinking like that is a mistake. It can and does happen anywhere, to anyone. Also relevant, it affects everyone, not only those who get evicted. This situation has developments that will impact the entire society.

I confess that despite forecasting a more severe slump since 2008, I always hoped we’d never come to this point and for so many. But now it seems that it won’t stop there and get worse before it turns again, unfortunately.

Why and how scavenging connects to prepping and survival?

When resources become scarce, people look everywhere for stuff. We naturally go from the easiest to the hardest when it comes to getting what we want or need. In other words, we start shopping at the nearest grocery store and end up scavenging as the situation worsens.

People scavenge for food to eat, for clothing to wear, and for appliances to use. Many make their living from collecting and selling scrap and recyclables. Scavenging takes place everywhere and at all times but grows exponentially during a crisis or some other SHTF. So, yes, it’s genuinely a survival activity.

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

A lot of still-in-good-condition and usable stuff gets discarded all the time. Some of the stuff thrown away would be viewed as pure gold by the have-nots. Scavenging is a productive way for urban preppers to acquire items that can be used, recycled, repurposed, or sold.

Most people don’t even want to think about it

Understandably so: scavenging deals around trash and waste, and no one likes that. We instinctively know it’s unhealthy. But mostly, it’s seen as unpleasant and somehow detached and far from their reality. And yet, it’s so close at the same time.

So, there are serious mental and social barriers right there. I advocate thinking in different terms. Scavenging is a last resort, yet a legitimate and dignified activity, in my opinion – especially when compared to the option taken by many (crime, in case it isn’t clear). It’s hard and brings some risks, but it can come useful during difficult times.

“I’ve done so much with so little that now I can do anything with nothing.”

We hear that quite a lot when we’re in the streets, especially among the have-nots. Those who are (or have) hit rock bottom and reside on the fringes of society know all too well. For years, I followed and interacted with scavengers (or “catadores,” as we call them here). Still do on occasion. I’ve rummaged trash for food, “stuff,” and even tried a hand at collecting and selling recyclables. I faked trash-picking a couple of times to get out of trouble (I will go into this below).

Most scavengers are thick-skinned fellows hardened by years of street struggle

Some scavengers steal mostly metal parts from public lighting fixtures, manhole covers, handrails, electrical wires, even parts of statues and plaques from civic patrimony to sell as scrap or to vendors in second-hand or black markets. Cast iron, steel, or brass parts, especially copper, weigh quite a bit and are of high value.

But that’s a crime in most places and can be punished by law or by “popular justice.” It’s not uncommon for someone to get shot or badly beaten when caught stealing from private property or public appliances and utilities. It’s also risky: thugs do get hurt and even electrocuted when trying to steal electrical wiring, for instance.

For the most part, scavengers have no time nor inclination to follow safety rules and roam town searching for stuff to make a living. It’s very physically demanding to say the least. Coming back empty-handed means no food on the plate.

There aren’t many rules, but the few ones that exist must be respected, or there might be retaliation. Care must be taken with authorities and other street folks too. After all, it’s the dog-eat-dog life of the big city. Scavengers can and do get assaulted, robbed, scammed, just like everyone else.

Scavenging has four main practical aspects to it: what, how, where, and when

What is the type of stuff to scavenge. Mostly, food, recyclables (cardboard, plastic, glass, metals, old tires, etc.), construction materials, wearables, furniture and appliances, books, old records, discarded tools, toys, etc.

How is related to the safest and most productive ways to scavenge, using protection (gloves, perhaps a dust mask and goggles), the right tools (a crowbar, a poking pole, etc.), and the means of transport for the stuff collected.

Where is in respect to the most favorable places to look for each type of material. For instance, a person can find food around markets, food courts, and commercial spaces. You can usually find recyclables and materials around construction sites. Appliances, furniture, wearables, etc., are more commonly found in residential areas.

When relates to the best time, week, month, and year more appropriate to find the desired stuff. For example, when is the best time to discard/collect different materials in different moments and places? It takes time to get that right, but once you do, productivity increases considerably.

The social, physical, mental, and psychological barriers

Another important aspect of scavenging is the stigma. If you’re a “creature of the streets,” you’re almost nothing and invisible to a significant part of society. At the same time, you’re a potential target to another. I won’t go much into this. If you’re a prepper, you know your objectives and limits, so I’ll focus on the practical aspects of scavenging.

As expected, it’s both mentally and physically hard. At first, it may seem like a challenge or a break from the routine. But the toil is real. It’s psychologically taxing, too: even people born or living in landfills and abject misery don’t appreciate being around trash. It’s something we become accustomed to by necessity and contact only.

Physically it’s always demanding. Depending on some aspects, risky and even dangerous (there’s a fierce competition just like in every other activity). Even the smells are way different than what most people experience. It’s not rocket science, but it sure isn’t something for the sensitive.

That’s why I propose in my book that we try it now when things are “normal,” and we can find support if necessary (for example, in case of an accident). To have an idea, a feeling of what it takes, how to do it, and how we handle it.

Some tips for beginning scavengers

As with any trade, it takes years and a lot of hard work to learn and become proficient at something. This is not the idea here – unless you’re planning to start a recycling enterprise or become a full-time scavenger. But if you’re willing to try it for prepping purposes, here are some tips to help you get started and going:

Tools for scavenging

Get a decent, tough plastic bag to carry your stuff. This is fine for beer and soda cans and papers or cardboard in general but won’t be enough for pointy or too heavy items. You will have to carry heavy items in pull carts, but this is another level, so I’ll leave it out.

The crowbar is the “official” scavenger tool. It’s very useful and versatile. But in most places, it’s not seen too well by people and authorities: it’s too “professional” and, of course, can also be used as a weapon. Around here, if a scavenger gets caught using or even carrying a crowbar, it can raise suspicion because it gets used to dilapidate public and private property. Heed this warning; I’d assume it’s the same in most civilized places.

Still, we need something to poke and turn over the trash, both to search for stuff more safely (beware of glass, pointy and metal items, chemicals, etc.) and also to scare away animals and insects. A broomstick is an alternative – which one can easily find discarded in the trash, by the way. Some scavengers here use old crutches. I’ve used a folding blind’s cane. Whatever works.

Being in the streets can be unsafe in many ways, regardless of social status

The poor and the homeless can be victims of urban violence, as they’re more exposed to it. Even though belonging to the lower strips of society means no invisible cloak or safe pass against criminals and other dangers, it turns someone into a less interesting target to profiteers in general. There isn’t much to be made from someone who’s turning trash bins for a living (at least when things are normal).

I’ll go straight to the record and say there was some risk involved in what happened, especially the second time. It really was the opposite of what we preppers and survivalists advocate (“Don’t be where danger is”). But it is what it is, and I’m here to tell, so this works to illustrate some street dynamics, maybe keep in mind if things reach a boiling point one day.

Faking scavenging saved me from trouble – twice

Once a group of thugs came my way on an avenue where people get mugged daily for their smartphones. I could tell they locked on me. So, without showing that I noticed them, I casually turned into a trash bin and started picking some cans while following them with my peripheral vision. I noticed they lost interest and changed their attitude, and moved in another direction. I kept at it until they went their way to the other side of the avenue.

Another situation happened during the protests just before the impeachment of former president Roussef when the squares and avenues near my home were the stages for protests and riots. Even with the turmoil, I was still doing my outings (a risky thing to do, I admit) and somehow got into the thick of it (even riskier, I know). The police clashed with the rioters, and I took protection behind a lamp post with a trash bin. I guess the mob couldn’t care less for someone picking beer cans in the middle of the mess (if they even noticed me). After they passed, I went in the opposite direction and away.

Recyclables market and industry

The recyclables industry is somewhat area-specific, But, to see how it works, I dabbed into it and ended up selling aluminum cans, cardboard, and even metal scraps from construction sites to cooperatives. Basically, you collect stuff and take it to the recycling centers. It gets weighed, and you get paid in cash based on the daily rates for each material.

That’s the simple part. But as always, there’s a lot more to it. I got inquired a few times by other “catadores” trying to intimidate me and shove me away from their turf. Some have regular routes and may have fixed suppliers that we must respect. But other than that, there’s no territory. If a dispute arises, you have to defend yourself (or move away, which can be a more sensible option).

Landfills are dangerous and unhealthy, usually located out of town. Still, a lot of people live and work in such places. Some are off-limits, so workers do their stuff at night, using a headlamp or flashlight. It’s a hard, hard life for entire families. I met some scavengers who only pick stuff that can be recovered, for instance, old discarded furniture. Others take broken computers or toys, ornaments, and art. These may work with repair shops (or even own theirs) to recover and sell this stuff.

What are your thoughts on scavenging? 

This article is an excerpt from my , based on my experiences in the streets. I hope it helps others learn about, think about, and perhaps become more open to the idea if things go bust. We never know.

How do you feel about “dumpster diving”, recycling and scavenging? Do you have experiences with this you want to share with other readers? Let’s talk about it in the comments section.

About Fabian

Fabian Ommar is a 50-year-old middle-class worker living in São Paulo, Brazil. Far from being the super-tactical or highly trained military survivor type, he is the average joe who has practiced self-reliance and outdoor activities since his youth. Fabian also chooses to practice the practical side of balancing life between a big city and rural/wilderness settings. Since the 2008 world economic crisis, he has been training and helping others in his area to become better prepared for the “constant, slow-burning SHTF” of living in a 3rd world country.

Fabian’s ebook, , is a practical training method for common city dwellers based on the lifestyle of the homeless (real-life survivors) to be more psychologically, mentally, and physically prepared to deal with the harsh reality of the streets during normal or difficult times. 

You can follow Fabian on Instagram 

This content was originally published here.

(Natural News)
The quest for clean water does not stop even after SHTF. Therefore, it’s important to know how to purify water when you’re forced to source it from lakes and streams.

Different ways to purify water

Water purification differs from water filtration. The latter uses a porous substance to filter water and is less effective at removing pollutants. Meanwhile, purification is a chemical process that focuses on removing all kinds of impurities, including biological contaminants, chemicals and debris. It includes the following techniques: (h/t to

Boiling water is a simple but effective purification method that can eliminate biological contaminants a minute after the water has reached the boiling point. The downside is that it requires a major heat source and evaporates a portion of the water.

Water purification tablets

Using water purification tablets is one of the simplest ways to purify water. These tablets are commonly made of chlorine dioxide and iodine and are very easy to use. Just drop a tablet into a quart of water, wait for the recommended time (usually around four hours) and your water will be safe for drinking.

Water purification tablets are perfect for preppers as they have a long shelf life and are small enough to fit nicely in your bug-out bag and emergency kit. Also, they don’t leave a nasty taste unlike iodine drops (more on these later). The drawback is that they take longer to effectively purify the water and are more expensive than other purification methods.

Iodine drops

Iodine drops are easy to use too – simply add five drops for each quart of water, ten drops if the water is extremely cloudy. The solution only takes around 30 minutes to eliminate harmful substances.

Iodine tinctures work faster and are cheaper and more effective than chlorine tablets. They’re also readily available in small bottles that take little space in your bug-out bag. Unfortunately, they leave a nasty taste that can be off-putting for young children. They’re also unsafe for pregnant women and people with a shellfish allergy.

Chlorine bleach

Chlorine can kill all harmful pathogens found in water. Because common household bleaches contain chlorine in different strengths, the number of drops per quart will vary depending on the chlorine concentration. Add 10 drops per quart of water if the product contains one percent chlorine or less. Add four to five drops if it contains two to three percent chlorine and four to five drops if it contains four to six percent. If the water is cloudy, let it settle and filter it using a clean cloth, paper towel or coffee filter.

Only use unscented, regular chlorine bleach products with a label indicating they’re suitable for water disinfection. Do not use scented and color-safe bleaches or those with added cleaners.

Solar disinfection

Solar disinfection (SODIS) is the simplest and most affordable method of water purification. It works by trapping heat inside a water bottle and letting UV radiation and photo-oxidative destruction inactivate harmful organisms in the water.

Fill up clear plastic bottles with water, shake to oxygenate and expose them to direct sunlight for six hours (if sunny) or two days (if cloudy). Lay the bottles on their side to maximize exposure time.

SODIS has been proven to work and is supported by the World Health Organization. Besides being cost-effective and easy to ease, this method causes minimal changes to the taste of the water and entails only a small risk of recontamination as the water is stored in bottles. The downside is that they take the longest out of all purification methods to work.

These five purification methods each have advantages and disadvantages that make one technique more appropriate over the others depending on the situation. Choose one that works for your current scenario to increase your chance of survival.

This content was originally published here.

I’d like to start this article with saying that I am not a tree hugger. I love meat, eggs, cheese and fish. I’m not trying to convince anyone to quit hunting and fishing. I have been an outdoorsman my entire life. I drive and use 4×4 trucks and ATVs every week. I just want to impart what has profoundly changed my life.

I have given a lot of thought to how we would survive and provide the protein requirements for my family if suddenly we were faced with the prospect of having no supermarket or source of meat and dairy products. I keep fish traps, gill nets, minnow seines, etc. as a silent means of catching fish and crayfish (“freshwater lobster”). I also keep traps for small game.

I recently learned, quite accidentally, that you can not only survive, but actually thrive in the absence of meat, dairy, and fish. I learned that with the exception of vitamin B-12 you can eat just one food and sustain yourself for a lifetime. That food is the sweet potato. You only get B-12 from the bacteria in your food, it is not found in the meat and dairy products, only the bacteria consumed by the animals and winds up in the meat and dairy. Cheese is full of bacteria. To get the vitamin D your body needs is easy. Go stand in the sun with your face and arms exposed 10 or 15 minutes a week. You can get all you need taking a short stroll every day.

As I entered middle age, I became obese and no matter what I tried, I was unable to drop the weight in any meaningful amount. I developed high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. My ankles would swell to the size of softballs after a day at my desk. My knees hurt and my activity was severely limited. I was 80 lbs. overweight. I started researching my diabetes and I discovered a video of Dr. John McDougall and watched his video on YouTube titled Stop Eating Poison. I watched in disbelief at what he said and it was directly opposite of what my doctors advised, and everything I have heard and read for the past 30 years.

I have spent years not eating anything that had a carbohydrate in it. I ate huge amounts of chicken, eggs, cheese, green vegetables, etc. I never lost weight. I started intermittent fasting where I consumed nothing other than unsweetened coffee and tea, three days in a row each week. I once went on a 7-day fast and guess what, I was still 80 lbs. overweight. Sure, I would lose 4 or 5 pounds here and there, but nothing substantial.

According to Dr. McDougall, you can obtain all the protein, and more, that you need eating rice, potatoes, corn and legumes (beans). He recommends avoiding all processed oils (olive, corn, peanut, etc.). It turns out that the oil blocks the insulin from doing its job. I thought about what he said and decided to give it a try as I had nothing to lose. I now eat no meat, dairy, eggs, cheese, or processed oils.

I started on March 30, 2021 eating exactly as he suggested. In less than six months, I have lost 60 lbs., no longer need medications of any kind, my ankles no longer swell and my aches and pains from getting older (age 67) are all but gone. I can actually look over my shoulder and check for oncoming traffic and no longer depend on the truck mirrors. When I reach my desired goal of 175 pounds, I plan to add nuts and avocados to stop the weight drop and thus maintain my weight.

I eat all the potatoes, rice, beans, corn, pasta, bread (with limited or no fat), and fruits that I desire. Sure, I sometimes miss the grilled meat and fried fish and I may partake of them from time to time in the future. The meat will only be on occasion (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.). The key to this is that you are never hungry.
I live on a tract of land in the middle of the city limits. My city has a huge population of welfare hippos and a thriving drug culture. I realized that it would be impossible for me to keep livestock and chickens in a true Stuff Hits the Fan (SHTF) scenario. Three days after the shelves become empty, my animals would disappear. If I had to evacuate to a safer area, I can carry large quantities of rice, beans, pasta, flour, etc. Carrying and caring for animals would be a different story altogether.

It would also be better to not have roosters crowing in your yard, while people are running around starving.
A good book is The China Study by T. Colin Campbell. It is an excellent read concerning primarily starch-based diets.

If you need additional calories, you can buy lard that keeps and stores well. Lard added to any dish will vastly multiply the calories of the dish. The first question most of you are now thinking is, “I don’t think I could give up meat, dairy, eggs, and cheese”. Just try it for one week. It is easier than you think.

If you are suffering from the effects of the American “Western” diet, this is your opportunity to get well.
There is nothing I like better than meat cooked in my smoker, fried catfish, French fries, etc. But in a SHTF scenario I can live and thrive without it.

Food Storage

Everyone has their way of storing food. Pre-packaged freeze-dried food is an easy but expensive way to store food. I find that using food-grade 5-gallon buckets with sealable screw lids are the best for me. They are air and watertight and easy to seal. You can also easily check the contents to make sure that there is no spoilage. They can be stacked [up to four high, without damaging the lids], and the size and weight are manageable. The large food grade barrels with gasketed lids are a good option, but try moving one that is full of dry corn, wheat, or rice. They are unwieldly even with a hand truck. You would need a tractor with a front bucket to even get them into a truck or trailer.

Now imagine trying to catch and load up your animals. My two dogs are a handful, but at least they will readily hop in the truck. You also have to carry food and water for the animals and have food readily available at your destination.

Planned Barter and Reality

We all romanticize about bartering and growing our gardens and harvesting eggs after the collapse. If you think this is going to happen you are delusional. Pick any major us city (New Orleans, Chicago, Baltimore, St Louis, Memphis, etc.) and visit the local WalMart and hang out for a couple of hours. After the two hours is up, you need to think what your world is going to look like after these people miss their 9th meal. As soon as they realize they can’t eat big-screen televisions, Louis Vuitton handbags, and Nike tennis shoes; they will hear your rooster crowing and smell the smoker cooking.

We also romanticize about taking our bug-out bags and trusty rifle and heading to the woods. Guess what, you aren’t the only one with that idea. It won’t take long for virtually every deer, rabbit, and squirrel to disappear. You can’t carry enough food in a backpack to last more than a week or so.

Who in your immediate family is capable of carrying a loaded backpack more than 100 yards?
For the cost of preserving a pound of meat, you can store 50lbs of rice. Rice is 11% protein. Your body doesn’t care if it the protein is from a cow or a grain of rice. What about calcium? You can get calcium from the same place that the cow gets theirs. It is in the plants we eat. Plants pull it from the soil and store it. When you eat the plants, you get the calcium.

Just like me, I’m certain that you are having a hard time wrapping your head around the fact that you can live quite well in the absence of eating meat, dairy, eggs, and fish. But in a SHTF scenario, you have to think of staying alive and healthy. If you are 60 lbs overweight, do you think you can put up much of a fight? Try crawling under your truck to work on it, try getting up after you’ve been on your knees changing a flat.
I want to stress, I love meat, cheese, eggs, bacon and fish. But I also love recovering my health and vitality. Much of my youth was spent on my grand parent’s farm. We had cows, chickens and a huge garden. I probably still sweat bacon grease. But in a SHTF scenario, I can quietly feed my family and should the need arise, evacuate with enough food to sustain us at our destination.

With beans, rice, and dried potatoes, you can store a huge amount for very little cost. SurvivalBlog has many articles that you access to learn how to store food so I will not go into detail on how to do it. Good luck, and pass the potatoes.

About The Author

Ken Gallender is the author of the Jernigans War novel series.

This content was originally published here.