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There are plenty of reasons to prepare your house for an emergency or life change. In case of a catastrophe like an earthquake, tornado, hurricane, a bad snowstorm, or a simple power outage or frozen pipes, there are a lot of reasons one would need to focus on prepping their bathroom just in case. In the event of disaster, the bathroom can be a very important, and overlooked room of the house.

Prepping your bathroom is not just important in the event of a catastrophic emergency. Whether you are moving into a new home, , or preparing for an emergency, taking the time to prep your bathroom for what is to come is important and fairly easy. Most of these things are probably already in your bathroom, but ensuring that they are stocked and ready for an emergency is essential to being prepared.

In the case that your water and sewer lines have been disrupted, make sure you have enough usable water to thrive until the situation is over. Aim to store 1 gallon of water per person, per day, to use in the bathroom to ensure there is enough water set aside for flushing. If you are lucky enough that the water or sewer lines have not been disrupted you can flush your toilet as usual. If it’s not possible for you to store upwards of 20-30 gallons of water, depending on the size of your household, consider what you will do if you cannot use the toilet.

Waste Management

In the event that your sewer and or water lines have been compromised, have a backup option for properly disposing of waste. A sanitation bucket with a seat or medium sized plastic bucket with a tight sealing lid will work well. Make sure you are equipped with bags to collect waste properly and protect infectious material from spreading to your family or community.  Plan to use one bag per person per day.


Every time a person uses the bucket toilet, make sure to sprinkle some type of disinfectant on top of it. Pack a disinfectant like bleach, chlorinated lime, or even just baking soda. Human waste creates very high amounts of hydrogen sulfide which can not only smell bad, but can be dangerous if it builds up. Make sure to keep your portable toilet lid closed tightly. Flies and other unwelcome pests are attracted to this hydrogen sulfide smell and can subsequently pass any diseases on. Failing to properly store and dispose of waste in an emergency can be hazardous to not only your family but also your neighbors and community.

First Aid

Your first aid kit should be stocked up. Consider keeping a first aid kit separate from your normal medical supplies. This will ensure you don’t use up your tool kit before an emergency. Make sure you are fully stocked with: Band aids, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, scissors, tweezers, pain-relief medication, antibiotic ointment, safety pins, towels, instant heat and cold packs, flashlights, and extra batteries.

Knowing and preparing for effective hygiene in an emergency is important to maintaining the health and safety of yourself and your family. The best way to prepare your bathroom for an emergency is to focus on preparing a hygiene kit. Doing so can help ease the stress of an emergency situation. Knowing where everything is can help you relax and deal with what is at hand. Make sure that the kit you pack is sustainable for 7-10 days. Consider packing the following:

When things go wrong, it’s nice to know you are prepared for when SHTF. Having a plan to keep your bathroom stocked with the important things you’ll need to survive will help make your emergency situation more manageable.

Bonus: How to Make Pemmican, the Original Survival Food

Invented by the natives of North America was used by Indian scouts as well as early western explorers.

Native Americans spent a great deal of time on the go and depended on having portable, high-energy, highly nutritious, and filling foods that would last for long periods of time without refrigeration.

Pemmican is a portable, long-lasting, high-energy food. It’s made of lean, dried meat that’s crushed into powder and mixed with hot, rendered fat. This makes it one of the ultimate foods to have stockpiled for when SHTF or disaster strikes.

People really should avert their gaze from the modern survival thinking for just a bit and also look at .

These guys were the last generation to practice basic things, for a living, that we call “survival skills” now.

This content was originally published here.

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by Daisy Luther

There’s something incredibly important for your survival that a lot of folks aren’t doing. I’ve written before about overriding your body’s natural urge to freeze in panic when something terrible happens, but there’s an additional step you must take. You need to know the horrible truth about the SHTF. The ugly, brutal truth.

Because as much as we stockpile, go to the shooting range and shoot stationary objects, can vegetables from our gardens, and raise chickens in our backyards, it only prepares us partially.

From my many interviews with guys like Selco and Jose, I know for a fact that an all-out collapse is a dirty, terrifying, and brutal matter of life and death every single day.

As much as we wish it was, the SHTF is not about you being in a bubble, peacefully working in your vegetable garden while the world goes to hell around you outside the bubble. The darkness can reach you wherever you are.

We’re seeing this in cities around the country right now. Read this first-hand story of a National Guard member in Seattle and this eye-witness account of the riots in Kenosha. Look at the violent plans of wealthy young people arrested for rioting in New York City. Think about this hotly contested election. We’re beginning to see armed conflict right here in the United States of America.

Think about these things and recognize that many parts of our nation are right on the brink of all-out disaster.

Ask yourself whether you’re really, truly prepared for that.

Why is it so important to know about the bad stuff?

Many of us try to insulate ourselves from the dark things going on in the world. I know that I stay away from social media beyond what is required for work because I’m sick of the arguing and the hatred. There are certain articles in the news I hesitate to read because I know they will haunt me. This is human nature – we avoid things that scare us, sicken us, and make us unhappy.

But there are some exceptions to this rule that you should make.

It’s incredibly important to know about the horrible things that could occur when the SHTF well before it happens. I asked Selco about this in a conversation we were having when he wrote his first paperback,   I asked him why people needed to know about the horrors he faced. He replied,

So you won’t be shocked and so you can shorten adapting period while you are shocked.

Generally speaking, there are lot of sick and bad and dangerous people. We just do not see them because the layer of civilization and the system covers it. And of course, if I had known, I would prep more but in the way that I would invest more in skills. Much more than in equipment.

Everything is much more mobile and fluid then people expect, but if you understand this, you will be able to move with it faster and sooner.

And that makes sense. I write a lot about the importance of adaptation. I constantly remind people that the three steps of survival are to Accept, Plan, and Act. But trust me when I tell you, if something truly horrifying happens right before your eyes, it’s going to be a heck of a lot harder to “accept” that if you never even dreamed that such an awful thing could happen in real life. But if you’ve contemplated it, if you’re aware of the possibility, it will still be horrible but you’ll be able to keep moving. You won’t be frozen in shock.

You need to train yourself not to freeze.

Many people freeze in a disaster situation.   It’s human nature, but the ability to break this paralysis is paramount to your survival. You can train yourself not to freeze by exposing yourself to the things you may experience while in a safe environment.

“Freezing” is called “tonic immobility” in behavioral science and it is a biological impulse.  A study exploring the “freeze response” to stressors, describes the reaction:

Part of Barlow’s (2002) description of an adaptive alarm model suggests that a freeze response may occur in some threatening situations. Specifically, freezing — or tonic immobility — may overwhelm other competing action tendencies. For example, when fleeing or aggressive responses are likely to be ineffective, a freeze response may take place.

Similar to the flight/fight response, a freeze response is believed to have adaptive value. In the context of predatory attack, some animals will freeze or “play dead.” This response, often referred to as tonic immobility (Gallup, 1977), includes motor and vocal inhibition with an abrupt initiation and cessation… Freezing in the context of an attack seems counterintuitive. However, tonic immobility may be the best option when the animal perceives little immediate chance of escaping or winning a fight (Arduino & Gould, 1984; Korte, Koolhaas, Wingfield, & McEwen, 2005). For example, tonic immobility may be useful when additional attacks are provoked by movement or when immobility may increase the chance of escaping, such as when a predator believes its prey to be dead and releases it.

Some of our data suggested that reports of freeze were more highly associated with certain cognitive symptoms of anxiety (e.g., confusion, unreality, detached, concentration, inner shakiness). This leads to some very interesting speculation regarding whether freeze responses are also manifested cognitively (i.e., the cognitive system, together with the behavioral system, being shut down). There has been some speculation that a form of cognitive paralysis occurs due to immense cognitive demands that occur in the context of life-threatening situations or stressors (Leach, 2005).

So, in the context of this particular study, the freeze response could be related to an overload of stimuli because of the demands of creating your plan.  By having thought through various situations and getting into the habit of quickly developing plans, you can override your body’s natural desire to “freeze” and you can take definitive, potentially life-saving, action.

By exposing yourself to the darkness, you don’t inoculate yourself against the horror – that’s impossible to do through simply reading a book. But you do take away a little bit of the shock that can cause you to be paralyzed.

What made Selco realize that the SHTF was actually there?

We’ve all read and learned a great deal from Selco and he shares his stories with such calmness that sometimes you don’t fully grasp the horror of what he lived through. I asked him what the event was that opened his eyes to the fact that he was stuck in Hell on Earth, and his answer was chilling.

When I saw people killing for fun. Killing without reason. Killing with no concerns about punishment or the law. Throwing others from 10 story buildings out of curiosity, to see if they’d live – while taking bets on it. Of course they were sure they were gonna die, but they said” I bet you’ll survive and if you do we’ll let you go.” It was a “joke” to them.

That’s when he knew that everything had changed and that there were new rules to living. It was simply not the same world he’d woken up it a few days before.

A while back, I asked Selco to send me a copy of everything he’d ever written so that I could pull together a reality check for the rest of us. Over the years, he’s written nearly a quarter of a million words of memories, articles, and advice. Together, we selected the things that provided a glimpse into the day-to-day events of the SHTF. You can learn more about the result of that here in his books,  and

Back on topic.

Do you have a potential predator living next door?

Do you know people in real life who you think would turn into predators if they knew that there was no risk of punishment? If they knew that they wouldn’t go to prison because the prisons were gone? If they knew there was no 911 or law enforcement to help their victims?

I do. I’ve known people in the past that I’m quite certain would be the kind of animals who kill men and cage their women and daughters for their own sick amusement if they thought they could get away with it. I’ve had people write to me about their plans to take other people’s preps or to “take care of someone” who had done them wrong in the past when it all hits the fan.

They’re out there. They are our neighbors. Our coworkers. The random guy who is in town on business. The person with such strong political beliefs that he sees people who think differently as the enemy.

They may not even realize that they’re waiting for this chance but when the opportunity presents itself and there’s no real risk to them, you can be sure they’ll jump at it with glee. 

And you want to be ready for them.

A lot of us were unpleasantly surprised by what we learned about those near us during the lockdown. And we still had a functioning system at that time. Now, the system is crumbling rapidly, and the last deterrents are disappearing in some areas.

There are different levels for which we prepare.

Are people going to be running around brutally slaughtering their neighbors the next time we have a snowstorm or a hurricane? Of course not. Because we still have the veneer of civilization – and it isn’t going to shatter over a weather event when help is just a few days away.

There are many different types of events for which we prepare. We as preppers want to be ready for everything from

We aren’t like the folks on that show Doomsday Preppers who are presented as only preparing for a giant meteor or a deadly pandemic that will wipe out 98% of the earth’s population. We are the people who want to be ready for everything.

Up to and including SHTF.

Sometimes I think we’re on the brink of darkness.

We’re at a dark point in American history right now. I’m not gazing into a crystal ball and predicting that we are about to face a civil war like the one that Selco endured. But I’m also not saying that we are free of any risk of such a thing.

Tensions (as I write frequently) are at a real high right now. Our socio-political scene is a true nightmare studded with extremists who sincerely see the “others” as the enemy. They surround the homes of spokespeople and threaten their families. They rally, united in hatred against one another. They battle it out for and against the admission of immigrants and things are increasingly heated.

Every time there is a questionable verdict, we’re on the brink.

Every time there is an appointment to offices in Washington, DC, we’re on the brink.

Every time there is an election, we’re on the brink.

Civil debates are a thing of the past. People are enraged when others disagree with them and they react with hatred, not discussion.

Our nation seems to be headed to a very dark place. And if this is the case, you’re going to want – no, you’re going to need – to be prepared for the ugliness and brutality that comes with that.

Knowing just how bad things can get will prepare you to take the steps that you must to survive. Knowing how twisted and evil people can be will help you to take the necessary steps to protect your family. Knowing what to expect when you defend yourself with necessary force can help you to carry through if it is something that you must do.

Check out Selco’s books,  and

And keep reading, because this is the stuff you need to know if you want to survive the increasing violence.

This content was originally published here.

Coffee and tea are both things that should be in your food stockpile. A short to long emergency can be hard enough without being forced to do without something you are used to having. Consider that coffee and tea are also excellent for trade if you are looking for barter items to put back.

I had been considering adding a quality peculator to our preps. While we have a French Press, that is not the same thing. We have found that French presses take more coffee to get the same flavor. Stanley recently had a sale that allowed me to pick up one of their quality percolators for almost half the price it normally sells for. I trust Stanley products so it was just too good to pass up.

The percolator is 1.1 liters so it makes enough coffee for several adults to have a few cups. I like that my Stanley is stainless steel and not aluminum like a lot of percolators out there.

French Press

This is a french press that actually may change my opinion of them. While writing this post I actually found a larger stainless steel french press. The 51 oz capacity is much better than the 34 oz of most and it is stainless steel rather than fancy plastic or glass. If you do want a french press, this is the one I would recommend getting for household use.

Coffee Options

Matt and I have been buying green coffee beans and roasting our own for many years now. It saves a lot of money over buying quality coffee at the grocery store and we get to roast it to a precise level we like rather than having to settle for beans that are often too dark. It seems like a lot of coffee brands have decided to go with a darker roast even if the bag says it is a medium roast.

Buying green coffee beans allows one to experience greater variety. Coffee has a lot of complex flavors. The region and variety of coffee as well as the harvesting and packaging process of the green beans all have an impact on the final flavor.

For green or roasted coffee beans, I recommend Coffee Bean Corral or Fresh Roasted Coffee. Coffee Bean Corral just sells green coffee beans while Fresh Roasted Coffee sells both roasted and green coffee beans. If you are unsure of what types of coffee you want to put back, Coffee Bean Corral has some very affordable sampler packs.

Whole Bean Roasted

Getting beans that are roasted but not ground is another option for those that want some coffee that doesn’t go stale in the bag as fast as ground coffees.

Ground Coffee

While this is very convenient, it doesn’t have the flavor and the shelf life of whole bean coffee. At the same time, I think ground coffee that is sealed in #10 cans is not a bad thing to have as part of your stockpile. It is inexpensive and does the trick.

Green coffee beans lose up to 20% of their weight when roasted. It is usually lower but it does vary based on the variety of coffee and how dark you like to roast it. This is important to keep in mind when buying green beans and calculating how many you need to put back to meet your long term food storage goals.

Deals On Coffee In Cans and Sealed Bags

I am going to include a few options here that my Dad likes. While we roast coffee and take it to him, he gets nostalgic for some brands. I have not tried these brands myself but I trust his opinion on this one. I do have to say he likes coffee with chicory in it sometimes. It is a bit of a French and Southern thing so I won’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of chicory coffee.

This is another old Southern brand of coffee that is a bargain and a lot of people seem to like. You can get big cans of it online at Wal Mart. There are many roast styles and blends available so you may want to try out a few before you stock up. The Wal-Mart cans I just linked to are really inexpensive. You get 2 cans at 37 oz each for just $20 at the time of this writing.

Let’s talk about tea for a minute.

A Kettle or Two

A good teapot is important. While I like an electric kettle, a good stainless steel tea kettle or a cast-iron kettle that is lined with ceramic is a better option for an SHTF situation. If you have the space then I don’t blame you for having both.

While us preppers talk a lot about situations where the grid is down, the truth is that plenty of bug in situations and emergencies happen and the lights stay on. If you have some backup power like a Jackery you can also run some things a few times a day.

My mother in law gave me this exact electric kettle because it was a spare she had. She actually bought it used too. This is a real workhorse. I have used this kettle so much because it heats water up fast. When we were unsure about our supply of propane, I used it to get water boiling before using it for cooking foods on our electric hotplate.

I also use it to get water to boiling to pour over dry beans that I want to cook in our crockpot slow cooker. It gets the bean cooking process going a lot faster and is great for when you forget to put the beans on soon enough or want to give soup a headstart.

This is the tea kettle I am after. I like it because it can double as a steamer for our wood stove and it comes with a built-in strainer so using bulk teas is really easy. This pot is cast iron. Some cast-iron kettles are just designed to add humidity when using a wood stove. They don’t make great tasting tea. We were given a kettle that was just cast iron and it always seemed to give off an odor. It was labeled as not suitable for water used for consumption You can get cast iron and ceramic lined kettles in many different sizes too if you prefer something that is tough but not just metal.

These devices allow you to buy bulk teas. Buying tea by the pound is so inexpensive compared to tea bags. It is actually shocking how little tea is in a box of 20 or 100 bags. A lb of organic green tea on Amazon from Davidson’s Tea is under $10. To get that same amount of product in a premade tea bag, you would need to spend more than $50. While there is nothing wrong with having some tea bags on hand especially if you just have some that you like to drink occasionally and not regularly, for SHTF tea stashes, most of your tea stash should be bulk tea if you plan on drinking it with any regularity during the course of a long emergency.

Tea Bags

As said before, it is a good idea to pick up a few hundred of these. They are very convenient and allow you to enjoy a cup of tea when using a tea ball or strainer is not convenient or possible. Tea bags are easier to throw in a kit or bag for use when traveling.

I buy Luzianne sometimes but tend to go with Newman’s Own Green Tea Bags. Black tea in the morning is a bit hard on our stomachs so we tend to drink green tea unless it is later in the day.

While writing this article I saw an interesting video from my friend Modern Refugee. Brick tea is an interesting historical method of tea storage. Be sure to subscribe to his Youtube channel. He has a lot of very interesting videos for those that like bushcraft and prepping topics.

https://youtu.be/dQC5XK-WQDY

Roasting Coffee

I have a previous article that talks about roasting green coffee beans but I have to say that since that article was published, Matt and I have found an easier way to roast coffee. Due to the pandemic we decided to get a quality toaster oven that has a convection setting. This was a big game changer because it roasts coffee perfectly and you don’t have to babysit it the whole time.

The article I wrote on roasting coffee explains how we use a cast iron frying pan. This requires a lot of stirring and watching the pan and it creates more smoke. We have a standard exhaust fan above our stove. Nothing fancy. It does vent out which helps but it can still be a bit much. The plus side is that you can roast more coffee in a huge cast-iron pan than a single sheet pan in the toaster oven.

To roast coffee in a toaster oven with convection, do the following:

Grinding Coffee

If you go the whole bean route then you are going to need a grinder. Now the small electric ones are the way to go if you have electricity or even a very small amount of back up electricity. We ran our coffee grinder at Prepper Camp last year with no problems using our smaller Jackery.

I recommend having an inexpensive electric grinder and a hand crank option. We have a hand-cranked grain mill we used to use for coffee when we first started roasting.

How much tea and coffee should a prepper plan for?

While a lot of preppers get portrayed in the media as planning for decades, the truth is that the vast majority of us don’t have the space to plan more than a few months or a year. You need to prioritize your prepping space and be honest with yourself or you will run out of space and be lacking some essentials while having too much of something else.

How many people you have in your household that drink tea and coffee must be considered. According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, a pound of roasted coffee will make 48 cups with a cup being 6 oz. I really dislike how coffee and tea are calculated in 6 oz cups. I have never met anyone that uses a 6 oz coffee or teacup. 12 oz is more in range or maybe 10 oz. At that rate, you can expect to get 24 mugs at 12 oz each or close to 29 mugs at 10 oz.

12 oz mug x 2 adults x 2 mugs each x 7 days=28 mugs or around 1.2 lbs of coffee per week

52 weeks x 1.2 lbs=62.4 lbs per year

62.4 lbs of coffee doesn’t take up as much space as you would think.

I understand that space is limited, but a 10 lb bag of roasted coffee will keep two adults drinking their 2 mugs per day for about 2 months and won’t take up more space than a bag of rice or beans. If you are buying green coffee beans, remember that the beans lose some of their weight in roasting so you would need a little more.

Tea Calculation

A single lb of bulk tea will make 181 6 oz cups. This is based on using 2.5 grams of tea per 6 oz cup. So you would get 90 mugs at 12 oz each. A lb of tea, especially if you vacuum seal it using a Foodsaver or similar, takes up hardly any space. While tea has less caffeine than coffee, it does store in less space so for some folks, it may be a better choice for having an extra caffeine stash for SHTF. 4 lbs of loose bulk tea would allow for a single adult to drink a 12 oz mug each morning for a year or two mugs for 6 months.

Quick Note on Shelf Life

Tea can be sealed and kept in jars for a really long time. In Modern Refugee’s video on brick tea, he mentioned sealing tea in a jar for a decade and it being just fine. Some people like to say that coffee will only keep a few years even when stored as whole green beans.

I do not think that is true at all. If you vacuum seal green coffee and keep excessive heat, moisture, and vermin out, it should last for a decade or more. I cannot be sure exactly how long but there is really not that much in green coffee that can go bad unless exposed to the things I just mentioned. Staleness should be minimal as well if you have truly vacuum sealed it.

Tea Additions and Non Caffeinated Options

Having a tea ball or strainer allows you to create your own tea blends on demand if you want. I keep Hibiscus Flowers, Peppermint, and Raspberry on hand for this purpose.

Chamomile and other herbs can be bought in bulk and used for herbal teas. Of course, you can also buy herbal tea blends by the pound and put those back if you want some soothing non-caffeinated options.

For those that want to make custom blends but want the convenience of a teabag, you will be glad to know that you can get bags that you can fill yourself. Here is what I found on Amazon.

This content was originally published here.

(Natural News)
When thinking about survival items, pocket knife, flashlights, water filters and the like are the first items that come to mind. But prepping for disaster means utilizing as many items as you can find in your house to ensure survival. Here are some items you may have lying around the house that have surprising survival value. (h/t to DoomsdayMoose.com)

1. Heavy curtains

In a post-SHTF world, your privacy will be more valuable than ever. Add some thick, dark-colored curtains around your home to keep anyone from spying on your activities.

Heavy curtains can also help regulate indoor temperature when you can’t use too much electricity to cool everything down.

2. Metal detector

In a post-SHTF world, you may be forced to live off the land. Having a metal detector on hand can help you forage for useful items and metal scraps, which, with the right tools, can be repurposed into survival items.

3. Plumbing

In a post-SHTF world, conserving water is a top priority. Make sure to have regular maintenance on your house’s plumbing before SHTF.

If you have your own deep well, you can use a generator to run the pump and keep water flowing in the house. If there is a well nearby, you can extract your water using a hand pump.

Additionally, invest in a good working toilet and bidet to save from stocking up on a lot of toilet paper, which can be hard to get during a disaster.

4. Power banks

In this digital age, a lot of products, services and information are acquired through laptops, tablets and smartphones, so having access to power in the early days of a post-SHTF world will be invaluable. In order to keep your communication lines open in such a crucial time, invest in a couple of power banks that can keep your electronic devices running.

It may also serve you well to invest in a solar charger to charge your power banks, especially since the power grid will most likely be affected by disasters. (Related: Doomsday report warns Americans to prepare for six-month grid-down scenario filled with chaos and disruption.)

5. Smartphone

Besides serving as a communication device, your smartphone may come in handy during disasters because of certain apps that can help you keep track of time, access a compass or have a flashlight on hand. You can also download digital guidebooks on foraging edible plants or the basics of surviving in the wild.

That being said, if you are to use a smartphone for post-SHTF scenarios, make sure you choose a model that is tough and durable. To keep your communication lines open a little bit longer than a traditional smartphone, purchase a satellite phone as well.

6. Smart security

You may think that “smart” devices or “smart” homes have no real use in a post-SHTF world, but they can actually be practical in the event of a disaster.

Take smart security. Knowing that your house can automatically lock itself down in moments of danger can be a comforting notion. Moreover, if you can keep the power running throughout the house, your security cameras and alarms can continue to function.

Whatever unusual item or tool you have, it always pays to look for the survival value in everything you own. Learn more about repurposing items into survival tools at SurvivalGear.news.

This content was originally published here.

From a reader…

QUAERITUR:

The most recent podcast with Ann Barnhardt was on the topic of prepping — HERE — and since the Church in the US might be needing to go underground sooner than we think one of the things we’ll need is supplies on hand so that underground priests can travel light and not carry full kit with them everywhere they go.

What are the minimum essentials to have a Mass if it’s an underground situation? Can a hand-missal be used if all of the Latin is there? Can a votive Mass be said on any day if there’s not access to a proper Missal (eg: print and laminate all the prayers for a full votive Mass to have on hand with wine and unconsecrated hosts)? What’s the best preparation we can make now to support underground priests (to the best we can make predictions about the future)?

Si vis pacem, para bellum.

Firstly, I answer those few questions.  Then I will add some other comments.

Yes, a hand missal can be used.  In a pinch, such as we are talking about here, a hand-held device, screen-device, could be used.  Say you have one in “Farraday” cage or bag against the day when the coronal mass ejection hits and triggers a Carrington event, or an EMP from a foreign power.   Have your sacred books as PDFs (they are available) loaded.  Have physical books if possible.   Remember: if you are networked, more people can share the expense of getting concrete sacred books.    Not every group will need a Pontificale Romanum (for bishops), but the Missale Romanum and Rituale Romanum are indispensable.

Yes, in the situation you describe, when prepper conditions are engaged, sure.  Why not?  It would be great to have the Mass propers for, say, St. John Eudes.  However, if what you have is a set of cards with a couple of Votive Masses, such as of the Blessed Virgin or of the Holy Spirit, sure!   Use a Votive Mass!   And say you want a Mass of the Virgin, but you only have an old set of BLACK vestments.  In those conditions… who cares?  Use the black when “saying the black”.  Have only green but it is Christmas?  Use green!  And laminating is a good idea.  Hard lamination.

Definitely have wine squirreled away.  That might be the toughest aspect of all of this.   As a matter of fact, there is a way to make wine from raisins that would be valid matter for Holy Mass.  So, not only wine, but raisins and the know how to do it.   Flour and water and heat can make a valid host for Mass.  They don’t have to be pretty.  However, there are available for sale host irons.  US HERE – UK HERE  You would not need a high watt machine, since your power could be limited anyway.

What support?

  • Firstly, a place to stay that is safe where he can let his guard down and really sleep for a change.
  • Enough supplies to get to his next destination.
  • Antibiotics and vitamins, first aid stuff.
  • A working “ham radio” station (power, transceiver, antennas(s)).
  • Perhaps stock up on stuff that someone who is itinerant might need: changes of boots, clothes, etc.   Send him on his way refreshed.
  • Ammo: self-defense and also small game (which will be “money” if things get bad enough)
  • Olive oil.  You might ask priests to give you their old oils (SC, OC, OI) at the end of a year and then freeze them or store them in a dark cool place.  Or ask a friendly priest to request extra oils and then do the same.

In the past I have written about

ASK FATHER: Priest’s “Bug Out Bag” for TEOTWAWKI

This content was originally published here.

How To (Legally) Break The Rules When SHTF

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The world is set to change radically if we are ever faced with a true SHTF scenario that melts away our civility. People may literally eat each other and that is some scary stuff to imagine. We have to be better prepared to handle these events and that comes with training and practice. Of course, in today’s world we are looking at a means of prepping that works within the scope of the rules and the laws. What happens when the laws change or they disappear completely?

This is a very interesting article that is not so much about breaking laws but about fudging rules. How much control do you really have over this world? I think you are going to be surprised when you read this article. You might come out of it a little more powerful then you were going in.

Bonus: How to Make Pemmican, the Original Survival Food

Invented by the natives of North America was used by Indian scouts as well as early western explorers.

Native Americans spent a great deal of time on the go and depended on having portable, high-energy, highly nutritious, and filling foods that would last for long periods of time without refrigeration.

Pemmican is a portable, long-lasting, high-energy food. It’s made of lean, dried meat that’s crushed into powder and mixed with hot, rendered fat. This makes it one of the ultimate foods to have stockpiled for when SHTF or disaster strikes.

People really should avert their gaze from the modern survival thinking for just a bit and also look at .

These guys were the last generation to practice basic things, for a living, that we call “survival skills” now.

After watching recent events unfold and speaking to family and friends, my wife and I decided to start prepping. Preparedness is a big part of our lives now and I would be honored to share some knowledge with you. Here at SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central we gather the best prepping, survival, homesteading and DIY articles from around the web.
– “Those who prepare today will survive tomorrow.”

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This content was originally published here.

When things take a turn for the worse, your car can easily become your best and last hope of survival. If you have to travel in the event of an emergency, your car should be well-stocked with everything you might need on the road. If you love taking off on a long road trip or exploring the great outdoors in your truck, finding your way back to civilization can be a challenge if you don’t have the right gear. 

It’s important to be prepared for the worst-case scenario if you plan on taking off on an adventure. You should also have an emergency evacuation plan ready to go if your home suddenly becomes uninhabitable. When your car becomes your home away from home, make sure you have these items on hand, stored in a , to tackle anything that comes your way. 

ReadyWise offers a that is easy to store and is great to keep in your car. It includes food, water pouches, medical supplies and even entertainment. This is a great item to consider having on hand for emergencies. 

Fire Extinguisher

If you get into an accident or your car starts to overheat, it could easily catch fire. responded to by fire departments in the U.S. is a highway fire. Insulation and flammable liquids are usually the first to ignite in the event of an emergency. The fire can quickly spread if you fail to put it out in a timely manner. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand to make sure a small fire doesn’t get out of control. 

Knife or Saw

If you live in a rural area, large trees, rocks and other debris can easily block your escape route if there’s a major storm in the area. Use an all-purpose knife, axe or saw to cut through obstacles that may otherwise be a dead end. 

If you get into an accident, you or one of your passengers may be trapped inside the vehicle. Use a cutting tool to cut through the seatbelt so you can escape the vehicle in a timely manner. 

You’ll also need a knife or saw to survive in the wilderness if you get stranded in the middle of nowhere. Use a knife to build a fire, cut through trees and make shelter until help arrives. 

Emergency Radio

Your smartphone can easily lose a signal when you’re driving off the beaten path. Bring along paper maps of your route and destination to make sure you always know where you’re going. 

You may be unable to call your friends, family and the local authorities on your cell during an emergency so bring along a backup radio as well. You may need to use this for help if your car breaks down or someone needs urgent medical assistance. 

Shovel and Traction Pads

Driving off-road and exploring the outdoors comes with its fair share of risks. The ground can easily crumble beneath your feet when driving over sand, mud and snow. Bring along a hand shovel to dig your way out of these kinds of situations. Clear away the space behind or in front of your tires so you can reverse or accelerate normally. Watch out for loose patches of sand, dirt, mud and snow that may bog down your tires. 

You can also use traction pads when your vehicle gets stuck in the mud. They are made with thick slabs of rubber so your tires can get the traction they need to move forward. Lay them down in front of or behind your tires to get moving again. 

Recovery Bands or Winch

If you consider yourself a serious off-roader, you may need more than just traction pads and a hand shovel if you get stuck. Consider bringing along recovery bands or installing a winch on your vehicle so you can grab onto something when you get stuck in the mud. You’ll need to attach the winch or one end of the bands to a stable tree or rock. Use the added pull of the tree to accelerate out of the mud. 

Truck Bed Liner or Mat

Beware of the elements when hitting the road for long stretches at a time. or liner to insulate the bottom of your truck bed from rain, mud and snow The bed of your truck can become a magnet for all kinds of debris when you’re living on the go. All that excess dirt can soil your equipment over time. With a truck bed liner, you can clean off the inside of your truck bed with minimal effort. Just remove the mat when it fills up with dirt, hose it off in the grass and your truck bed will be as good as new. It’s best to stay clean and organized when your only sanctuary is your truck. 

Flashlight and Flares

Make sure you can see in the dark when driving for miles on end. If you get a flat in the middle of the night or get lost in the woods, you’ll need to find your way back to civilization. Keep extra batteries on hand as well. 

Use flares to alert others to your location if you need assistance; otherwise, it may be impossible for the authorities to find you. for search and rescue teams to find those who have gone missing in the wild. 

Under Seat Storage

As you can see, going off-road or evacuating in the middle of an emergency requires a decent amount of planning and gear. You can easily run out of storage space as you start filling up your car or truck with all this additional equipment, especially if you need to make room for recreational equipment as well, such as camping gear, bikes, kayaks or skis. 

to make the most of what little space you have. You can keep important tools, medical supplies and even food underneath the seat so they stay out of the way until you need them. This will also help you keep the interior organized so you can find what you need in a matter of seconds, instead of sorting through a bunch of different containers and compartments. 

Use this gear to make the most of your time on the road–whether it’s for pleasure or your only means of survival. 

Author: Will Ryan

This content was originally published here.

Bugging out is a central idea in prepping, and serious preppers are constantly refining, inventing and debating which procedures are best suited for keeping themselves and their families alive when the time comes to hit the road during a major disaster or some other crisis.

For many preppers, making use of a motor vehicle’s speed and cargo capacity to ferry themselves and their gear to a selected bug-out location features centrally in their plans.

ford truck

But one spin on this option that they might not have considered is actually surviving the duration of an SHTF event in their vehicle.

It might sound a little odd, but your average motor vehicle has many positives for this task. Vehicles are flexible, highly mobile, and allow you to carry drastically more gear and provisions than you could on foot.

So long as you have fuel and a clear route of travel you can reposition on demand and quickly, a process that will take considerably more time, and dramatically more effort to do the same on foot.

Any vehicle also makes sense as a central fixture of a camp at any bug-out location, providing generally weatherproof shelter for multiple people while still allowing you to get away quickly if called for.

Before you view your car as nothing more than a taxi to get you to a BOL, give this article a read, since we will be providing much information for surviving a SHTF event in your car.

Bugging Out: The Necessities Don’t Change

No matter who you are, no matter where you live in, no matter what kind of situation you are facing, you will be forced to deal with and provide the exact same survival requirements. These are the true fundamentals of survival.

Genuine needs, real needs never change: I’m talking about shelter, water, food and security. Of course, you will also need clean air to breathe, but that is usually taken for granted.

How you provide for all of these things is completely up to you. Some preppers plan to bug-in, staying home where they have all their well-stocked shelves and defensive accoutrement ready to sustain them.

This is generally a good idea, but sometimes you don’t get a choice in the matter, as the situation might become so dangerous and so untenable that you are better off getting out of there.

For those who face the dire choice of leaving their fortified and provisioned home behind, or those who are already living on vulnerable ground or amidst a shaky, risky situation, bugging out is a better (or perhaps their only) choice.

The idea that greener pastures, not to mention safer ones, are just around the next bend that will furnish the things someone needs to survive if only they are skilled enough to obtain them is central to prepping.

It is here, during a bug-out, that a vehicle takes on an entirely new level of importance.

Compared to bugging out on foot, using a vehicle for the purpose will ensure that you can travel faster, with generally better security while carrying significantly more equipment, supplies and provisions then you could otherwise.

Time often equals life in a crisis situation, and saving your energy and your effort for the other necessary tasks of survival instead of spending it on locomotion is generally a winning strategy.

But you can take this idea several steps further by relying on your vehicle as a sort of mobile camp, in a way, and you don’t even need a larger vehicle like an RV or truck to do it.

How Your Vehicle Can Fulfill Your Survival Requirements

Almost any automobile can afford you many advantages when it comes time to an evacuation, and can enable you to survive living solely out of the vehicle with a good plan and a little bit of foresight.

Have a look at the list of pros and cons below. We will break them all down further in the next section:

Vehicle Advantages

  • Excellent Carrying Capacity – Compared to hauling supplies on your back, any vehicle will enable you to carry dramatically more equipment and bug-out supplies.
  • Mobility – A vehicle affords you far greater speed, range and climbing capability with exponentially less exertion than on-foot movement.
  • Weather Protection – A vehicle in good shape provides very good to excellent weather resistance from wind and rain, and some protection from cold. Assuming you have fuel, its climate control features might be a boon!
  • Power Supply – A functional vehicle will ably charge all small devices with the necessary adapters, and can even run small appliances like air compressors and refrigerators.
  • Transport Capacity – If anyone in your family or group is injured, infirm or just less able, a vehicle will move them all the same with no additional exertion required on their part.
  • Greater Work Capacity – A vehicle can tow, push and pull with force far outstripping any human.

But every rose has its thorns, and despite all the advantages that vehicles can afford you they do come with some distinct drawbacks that you will need to be aware of and work to minimize if you want to survive SHTF in one:

  • Fuel is a Necessity – Without fuel, the only thing your vehicle can do for you is provide rapidly diminishing battery power and some shelter from wind, rain and cold. It’s utter dependence on fuel of one form or another means your plots and plans will hinge on storing enough and resupplying when required.
  • Terrain Restricted – Compared to a human on foot, any motor vehicle, even the most capable of off-road rigs, will be confined to the places it fits, and further restricted by underlying terrain. It is comparatively easy to immobilize a vehicle, especially off road.
  • Required Secondary Skills – Truly relying on your vehicle means you must be able to take care of it. That means spending time, money and effort on both the skills and the tools to effect hasty, field repairs, lest you suffer a show-stopping breakdown when you can least afford it.
  • Visible / Noisy – When it comes to security, staying unseen and unheard can go a long way toward keeping you safe. It is much harder to hide an automobile or to move discreetly in one, and their engines can be heard from a significant distance away.

Regardless of these drawbacks, the capability that a car can afford you when the time comes to survive in a SHTF situation is often invaluable, especially when compared to bugging out on foot, and trying to survive a rapidly changing situation on the ground.

If you play your cards right, and work to minimize these drawbacks, your vehicle may very well become your mobile sanctuary.

In the following sections we will examine all these advantages and disadvantages in detail so you may best take advantage of or avoid them, and also provide you with more tips to help make you ready for a vehicle-borne bug-out.

Breakdown of Vehicle Advantages for Survival

Carrying Capacity

Obviously, any vehicle is capable of carrying quite a lot more cargo than a human on foot, no matter how strong your back is or how big your bug out bag is.

This attribute takes on a whole new level of significance when you consider just how much you will need in terms of equipment, survival supplies and provisions for surviving any length of time out in a world currently experiencing chaos.

Assuming you have not done much in the way of multi-day hiking or deep expeditions out into the wilderness, ask any prepper who has, or who has better yet done a bug-out dry-run on foot.

They will tell you that a bug-out bag fully laden with supplies can easily top 50 lbs or more, and some of your most essential provisions like water and supplies for security like firearms and ammunition are darn heavy.

These are things you have to have if you want to have an honest chance of survival, and so will everyone else in your group compounding the logistical burden even further if certain members are not as capable as others.

A vehicle that is operational can greatly alleviate the strain, providing ample internal and external cargo room along with the brute mechanical power needed to move it with a little more than a press of the accelerator.

Even so, your average vehicle cannot carry absolutely everything you want plus the kitchen sink. You’ll still need to develop a load plan, check the total weight, and then upgrade the vehicle and drive accordingly to compensate if heavily laden.

Action Items

  • Plan load according to requirements/number of people in group.
  • Determine gross weight of vehicle when loaded; upgrade suspension and brakes as necessary.
  • Learn how to handle a heavily loaded vehicle.

Mobility

Perhaps a vehicle’s single, greatest strength. Any vehicle not mired in bad conditions or stuck in gridlock will take you farther, faster and with much, much less effort than going on foot.

When you are in a time-is-life situation (as so many true SHTF events are) the speed of a vehicle will translate into a much better chance of getting out of the danger zone before things turn against you, or reaching minimum safe distance when peril is imminent.

Range is part of mobility, and in a head-to-head contest a vehicle blows any mere mortal out of the water so long as it has a reasonably clear path.

Even a gas-guzzling SUV or pickup truck can go for over a hundred miles in a single day on a single tank of fuel, taking you far from harm when the chips are down, or enabling you to reach distant locations in a reasonable amount of time.

This can also afford you the capability to get to family/group members quickly when the chips are down.

Journeys that would take many grueling hours of travel on foot can be accomplished in a short time by a vehicle, and this level of mobility is a boon that you should definitely try to take advantage of if at all possible in a crisis.

Action Items

  • Assess what BOLs and routes are made viable due to vehicle mobility.
  • Determine range under worst-case scenario conditions so you don’t overextend.

Weather Protection

So long as your vehicle is in good repair, all you’ll need to do to gain protection from wind, rain, a degree of protection from cold and possibly even sweltering heat is climb inside, shut the door and relax.

For all but the most spartan vehicles its body work and weather sealing will keep out rain and wind water, allowing you to stay high and dry. This is an important consideration when you understand that simple exposure is one of the biggest killers in any emergency situation.

A vehicle provides a certain amount of protection from cold also, even when it is not running.

It will definitely keep snow and frigid wind off your back, but it also forms a proper shelter that is more easily heated by both body heat and other methods, allowing you to raise the ambient temperature using little more than your own body, and perhaps a couple of candles.

Of course, if your vehicle has a functional heater you will stay toasty as long as the engine can still provide power.

While oftentimes not the best idea, your vehicle can even give you some protection from the heat in the form of shade. With the windows down or doors open for ventilation you can get momentary respite from the sun’s singeing rays.

Obviously you should not shelter inside a closed car on a hot day since it functions in essence like a solar oven.

It can provide all of these attributes with virtually no more extra effort. Compared to setting up a tarp, tent or some other temporary shelter, this will save you even more time and energy.

Power Supply

For all but the most traditionalist preppers, electronics of various kinds are integral to their SHTF survival plans.

Everything from flashlights and headlamps, smartphones and GPS, drone batteries to UV sterilization wands, so much of what we depend on to survive in this modern era is completely dependent upon electricity.

Naturally, a considerable amount of planning and effort goes into providing the requisite power for these hungry devices.

Thankfully modern preppers can rely on such field-ready contrivances as solar recharging systems, power banks and even miniature hydroelectric turbines and windmills to generate and store electricity when far from home and the grid.

But as nice as these modern wonders are, none compare to the on-demand power in abundance made possible by a vehicle.

The electricity supplied to a vehicle’s outlets by its battery, itself charged by the alternator whenever the engine is running, can all but guarantee a steady supply of electricity so long as you have fuel to run the engine.

If care is taken to supplement the vehicle’s batteries, one can even run certain electricity gobbling appliances as air compressors and small refrigerators, to implements that can make all the difference depending on your requirements.

A compressor can run air-powered tools or just inflate your vehicle’s tires. A refrigerator can keep food fresh or life-saving insulin viable.

Action Items

  • Determine what adapters are required for devices included in your bug-out kit.
  • Consider the installation of additional power points in vehicle.
  • If heavy-drain equipment required, enhance vehicle power system with higher capacity battery.

Transport Capacity

Another boon provided by vehicles is their ability to carry passengers of any age or ability, and in spite of otherwise hobbling injuries.

If you stop to consider how many people you have in your family right now that you are responsible for, if your family is like most people’s, you’ll probably have a mix of young and old, fit and out of shape, healthy and ill.

It does not take much imagination to see how trying to get all of these people out of danger on-foot during an emergency will turn into a practical and logistical nightmare.

Those worries will be a thing of the past with a car, so long as your vehicle has ample room for your passengers plus the necessary cargo. All they need do is climb aboard, strap in, and sit back.

This is the height of efficiency compared to attempting, vainly, to devise an on-foot route that is navigable by all members of your family or group as they are shortcomings and all.

Obviously, there are risks to this method, not the least of which is that any emergency or accident involving the vehicle will imperil everyone aboard, and trying to extricate those people from the vehicle in a time-is-life situation can be harrowing.

Even so, the return-on-investment when it comes to ensuring everyone is able to evacuate regardless of fitness or capability is priceless.

Action Items

  • Determine max passenger capacity of vehicle for short trips.
  • Determine max passenger capacity of vehicle for longer trips with cargo.

Work Capacity

Sometimes you just need brute force; to push something, to pull something or to tow something. With enough raw manpower you can do anything, or you could cheat and use… Horsepower!

When you need to move something seriously heavy or break something that could otherwise resist the puny attempts of men, your vehicle can serve as an excellent piece of heavy equipment capable of getting the job done so long as you use a little caution and common sense.

There are all kinds of situations where this might come in handy in a survival situation, like knocking down or pushing through barricades, retrieving another stuck vehicle, or even pulling or hoisting another stuck vehicle through the use of recovery gear.

In grave extremes, a vehicle can also easily plow through a hostile, violent crowd of people that would otherwise spell certain death for survivors on foot trying to pass them.

All sorts of options for heavy work open up to you when using a vehicle by itself or in conjunction with simple machines.

You should not imperil your vehicle needlessly, but done cautiously it’s just another advantage to recommend a vehicle as your primary SHTF survival strategy.

Action Items

  • Consider adding winch and/or straps to your vehicle.
  • Simple block and tackle pulley with strong rope can enable serious lifting.
  • Adding front and rear bull bars or reinforced bumpers can protect vehicle from bumps and nudges.

Vehicle Disadvantages for SHTF

That takes care of the advantages. Now how about the disadvantages? These are not necessarily showstoppers, but you would be foolish to ignore them and would be wise to work toward mitigating or eliminating if at all possible.

Depending on your precise plans and other factors, some of these might make a vehicle your second or even third choice for surviving a SHTF event. It is all about context:

Fuel is a Necessity

Your vehicle, no matter what kind it is, will require fuel of some type or another in order to operate. It could be gasoline or diesel, it doesn’t matter: if you don’t have it, you aren’t going anywhere.

This is no different from any other day, but your vehicle’s crucial reliance upon fuel means it must factor very highly in your planning if you want to attempt to survive a crisis in it. Generally speaking, the farther you want to go no more fuel will be required.

Fuel economy is a subject entirely unto itself, but other factors involved in the calculation include power of the engine, gearing, load, idle time, road conditions and more.

For your purposes you should principally be concerned with how far you have to go and how easy or difficult the travel conditions are.

A big, V8 SUV that must endure heavy traffic on congested roads will be getting fuel economy in the single digits. A performance optimized 6-cylinder sedan carrying a light load over an open highway at optimal speed will be able to go several hundred miles without stopping to refuel.

Keep in mind that even sitting idle with the engine on will sip more fuel than you’re probably expecting over time. This will be of particular importance if you are relying on the vehicle to provide air conditioning or heating for ambient weather conditions.

Since fuel is one of your most critical resources when relying on a vehicle, you must make plans for procuring more, and also for extending your vehicles “up time”, are there by the installation of expanded, high capacity fuel tanks or by installing external carriers for fuel cans.

Obtaining fuel will likely not be as easy as you are expecting in the aftermath of a major disaster.

Action Items

  • Analyze your vehicle’s range based on varying conditions.
  • Perform a cost-benefit analysis regarding installation of an expanded fuel tank.
  • Consider carrying additional fuel separately in specified, heavy-duty containers to extend range and runtime.

Terrain Restrictions

The vast majority of consumer vehicles are highly dependent upon paved or at least smooth and graded road surfaces for swift, certain travel.

Beyond this, the rubber tires that wheel vehicles are dependent on are surprisingly fragile and vulnerable to deflation. Almost everyone has experienced the aggravation or even the minor emergency unto itself that happens when we get a flat on the highway.

This scenario could take on grave new significance if it happens while trying to escape from a major situation with family or group in tow.

You can absolutely count on the roads you are used to traveling upon being made at least partially impassable by the events you are fleeing from, be it a natural disaster or man-made havoc.

Debris, detritus and wreckage will clog roadways and form a significant hazard to flesh and rubber alike.

Human agitators might deliberately season roadways with caltrops, spike strips or other implements designed to puncture the delicate tires of vehicles in order to discourage or prevent passage.

Special run-flat and even “airless” tires that function normally when punctured are a specialized (and expensive) option that can guarantee mobility even when ventilated with sharp objects.

And don’t get too confident in the idea that you can depart the roadways entirely and just take off cross country, winging it.

Even specialized off-road vehicles find cross-country travel challenging, extreme conditions due to seasons, recent weather and other velvets are highly variable, and it is very easy for wheeled vehicles to become stuck even on well-traveled unimproved paths.

You can improve your chances of successfully bugging out in a vehicle going off road or cross-country, but you would be well-advised to invest in significant upgrades to the vehicle suspension, drivetrain and other systems in order to enable this, and it also calls for significant experience and its type of driving and navigation in all but the most pedestrian settings.

Action Items

  • Devise alternate bug-out routes in case primaries are made impassible.
  • Learn off-road driving techniques, and routes.
  • Vehicle recovery skills and equipment are a must; prepare for stoppages!

Required Secondary Skills

As a prepper you should be very comfortable with the idea of taking care of things yourself. That is why we all do the things we do, after all!

It is certainly a good idea to be able to take care of things such as changing the oil, changing the tires, replacing fluids and so forth- but it is absolutely crucial if you truly want to be able to rely on it as an integral part of your SHTF survival plan.

Most of us can afford to outsource expertise to professionals as we go about our lives and day jobs, and we simply take the car into the shop when that dashboard light comes on, or when it starts making an unusual noise.

You won’t be able to do that during a major crisis. If any parts breakage occurs that incapacitates greatly hinders your vehicle, you must be able to take care of it, or at least patch it up, so you can get moving again. This requires a not inconsiderable amount of know-how, and you had better start learning now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joBmbh0AGSQ

If you want to keep your vehicle on the road and rolling you should know how to change a tire, but also replace a tire on the rim or patch a tire that has been punctured.

You should be able to change all fluids, and also know you harvest them from other vehicles as well as what other varieties can work in a pinch.

You must be able to replace all major components that are likely to break, or at least ones that are able to be replaced in field conditions without the benefit of a lift or hoist.

There is much more besides these, and learning how to best affect these hasty repairs in a variety of settings and conditions; it won’t be as easy as it is in your home workshop!

This is one case where the knowledge does almost no good without the appropriate tools.

A comprehensive but compact mechanic’s tool set containing all the sockets, ratchets, wrenches, pliers, jacks, mallets and other tools you might conceivably need is a necessary part of your vehicle survival kit, and this will take up a room like anything else you carry, and also contribute to the vehicles maximum gross weight.

Action Items

  • You must learn how to perform at least basic repairs and parts replacements in order to be “SHTF Ready” in a vehicle.
  • A comprehensive toolkit and common spares must be part of your vehicle equipment complement.
  • Endeavor toward being able to make repairs in “field” or roadside conditions without benefit of a shop.

Vehicles are Noisy and Highly Visible

There are no two ways about it: any motor vehicle, except perhaps electric vehicles, are noisy, highly visible and will attract considerable attention, especially during situations where people are desperate to escape or obtain supplies.

All the attributes we have discussed that make it so attractive for you and yours make it doubly attractive for people who have not prepared and are willing to do anything in order to survive…

There is very little you can do to reduce the noise your vehicle makes except turn it off or install a highly-efficient muffler system. Loud and braggadocious performance pipes are not a positive attribute in a survival situation.

You aren’t impressing anyone, and you sure as hell aren’t scaring anyone. Using basic direction finding and listening skills, it is entirely possible for someone to ascertain your general heading or vicinity just by listening for the sound of your motor in the distance amidst the silence of a world gone quiet.

Hiding a vehicle visually is somewhat easier, at least when it is stopped and can be accomplished through a variety of camouflage methods to include painting, terrain masking, constructing of blinds and a variety of other simple techniques.

This will become especially important when you have stopped to make a temporary or semi-permanent camp, since it is a much easier thing to spot a vehicle silhouette, color or shiny surfaces from any distance compared to smaller human habitation or equipment.

You must be prepared to face down people who want the vehicle itself or just its contents in the aftermath of a major disaster.

People will be able to see the gear stacked high that you carry, or if they cannot they might assume the fact that you have a working vehicle at all is a worthy enough prize to risk trying you.

Since you will not, much of the time, be able to effectively reduce or conceal your presence while operating the vehicle, this means you must be prepared for the worst.

Action Items

  • Be prepared to hide vehicle with camo tarps or netting.
  • Learn how to field-improvise camo paint, or keep some handy for quick “day before” paint jobs.
  • Understand that a working vehicle might put a bullseye on your back.

Vehicular Survival and Sustainment Considerations

Some of your survival and sustainment procedures will change when relying predominately on your vehicle in a SHTF context, but some of them will not.

Below you will find additional advice, cautions and modifications to typical readiness considerations in the context of vehicle-borne survival:

Long Term Sustainment in a Vehicle

Your long term sustainment requirements are not particularly altered by the presence of your vehicle. Typically, in fact, they are made much easier!

Shelter and sleeping arrangements are one we have already touched on, and so long as your vehicle is not completely crammed with your bodies and gear it is an easy thing to lower the seatback, fold out a bench or climb into the bed or cargo compartment for some decent-quality shuteye.

Obviously sleeping in your vehicle will rarely be as comfortable as your bed at home, but often beats sleeping on the ground!

On that note, some vehicles, notably pickups and SUVs, can be equipped with rooftop tents or camper modules that will make setting up a proper, comfortable camp a snap, and are an easy way to extend your sleeping “quarters” for passengers who would otherwise have a tough time getting some rest in a cramped vehicle.

Even so, while the close confines of a vehicle might make for humid and fragrant sleeping arrangements, it is still entirely possible to do without these modern niceties in a real emergency.

Important Note About Sleeping In a Vehicle: Most of us are aware of the danger posed by carbon monoxide, or CO, generated by any combusting materials; car exhaust is full of it, hence why you should never let your vehicle run in an enclosed space like the garage.

CO intoxication can take effect quickly and incapacitate or even kill you, so you must treat it seriously.

Where some preppers go astray is in downplaying the threat of CO in outdoor environments; not buttoned up, not a problem, right? Maybe, maybe not.

CO can still be a major threat in a sealed cabin (doors closed, windows up) since anything that causes exhaust to back up at the tailpipe, like snow, for instance, can result in CO entering the cabin where your vehicle’s weather sealing will do a good job of keeping it bottled up until it kills the occupants or is vented.

This is especially dangerous when sleeping, since CO is such an insidious killer; a drowsy feeling followed by unconsciousness is one of its effects, and extremely dangerous to sleepers for this reason.

Ensure you always allow for ventilation if sleeping in your vehicle while the engine is running!

Food and water procurement are made much easier by a vehicle, since both will afford you the opportunity to carry additional hunting and fishing gear, or water cans, that would otherwise be superfluous in a BOB or left behind for weight considerations.

One should be careful to park a good distance away from any hunting prospects though since the sound of a running engine will easily spook game.

The searching and scavenging of materials is likewise unaffected by your vehicle, since it will only extend your range and speed, making your “foraging” area bigger than it might otherwise be on foot.

This might become doubly necessary since you might be searching for “field expedient” spare parts after your supply runs out! No worries, since you are guaranteed to find plenty of immobilized, wrecked or otherwise abandoned vehicles after a major disaster of any kind.

The only consideration when it comes to employing your vehicle for this purpose is that you may need to leave someone to secure it if you are rummaging far from where you park it. More on that in a bit.

Performance and Defensive Driving Skills

Obviously, actually driving your vehicle is going to be a big part of using it for SHTF readiness, and it pays to know what you are doing when the time comes to get a little froggy; it isn’t going to be like your Monday morning commute, most likely!

You could be contending with roadways clogged with debris, jammed with traffic or blocked by unruly bands of rioters or marauders. Freezing in place or waiting for your turn is not going to be an option when seconds count and lives are on the line.

Your first order of business is to understand how to avoid roadblocks and other obstructions that would stall your forward progress. To do this, you must start understanding and practicing (where you can) the utilization of alternate routes and paths.

Just because your vehicle belongs on the pavement does not mean you cannot hop up on to a sidewalk, jump over a curb or island, or barge through light obstructions like gates and fencing.

Start thinking about where your vehicle can physically go, not where you have always driven. I cannot tell you how many times I have watched people get mired in a bad situation during an emergency because they tried to drive like they always had.

Gridlock traffic is different. Ideally, you do not want to get so webbed in, you have no chance of egress, so if you notice a sea of cars ahead, you likely want to take the first available exit, detour, ramp or whatever so you can try for an alternate route.

If you are sure of it, you might hop onto a shoulder, sidewalk, or even try for the middle grass divider of a major highway. Be cautious that you do not “run out of road” doing this since you’ll definitely be SOL in that case!

One timely and topical issue a vehicular survivor might well be forced to cope with is a road full of, or flanked by, rioters.

This is a scary scenario and one that can lead to tragedy if you halt, get stuck, or allow people to start swarming on your vehicle. There are a couple of methods for coping with this.

First, don’t stop. Ever. The end. If you have a path that is otherwise clear, with “clear” being defined as free from obstructions that your vehicle cannot push, drive over or otherwise move through, then you keep rolling.

If your life is in danger, bump people out of the way or run them down by applying steady accelerator pressure to roll along at about 15 MPH.

You don’t need to blast people at high speed to get past them, as such an impact might set off your vehicle’s crash sensors and cut off the engine.

Ffurthermore, this is unnecessary: it never fails that some unthinking fools think the can prevent an automobile’s passage by leaning into it, even en masse, but these people are wrong.

Second, if dealing with a roadblock made from heavy obstructions or vehicles, don’t attempt to blow through it like you see on TV unless it is actually just a cart full of stuffed animals. This is another way to wreck your car and injure the occupants.

Look for a way to reverse out and get away from the roadblock, or if that is impossible or untenable then a way to slip around it; most improvised roadblocks will not completely block a road.

If they do, try to push through the roadblock at its weakest point. For vehicles, this means the end of the car opposite the engine, which is its heaviest part.

Last, treat your vehicle with a modicum of respect whenever possible: ramming and blasting over obstructions might set off crash sensors that will kill the engine, as mentioned, and can also result in damage that means your escape will be short lived.

If you need to perform dynamic, rough maneuvers attempt to do so in a way that will not result in a skid, serious collision or other adverse effect.

Safety and Security

Probably the biggest changes to your survival plans will come in the safety and security procedures, both the vehicle’s and your own. Since the vehicle is your combination sleeping quarters, supply room and of course conveyance, you will need to keep it safe.

This is easier said than done. Keeping yourself safe from harm while in the cramped cabin of any vehicle is another can of worms.

Let us first consider physical safety while occupying a vehicle. This could be imperiled by people or by events.

Generally speaking, you want to keep a good, compact fire extinguisher inside the cabin of the vehicle at all times since a vehicle fire will not only strand you, but destroy all of your possessions needed for survival as well.

Seat belts are a contentious issue, since many preppers see them as a greater hazard than benefit when it comes to SHTF survival. The idea of being tangled up in a seatbelt after a crash or during an attack has kept many preppers awake at night.

On the other hand, a seatbelt is likely the only thing that is going to save your life if you are involved in any kind of significant crash. What to do?

My attitude is simple: Seat belts off when at slow speed or rolling though a congested area where people might be the primary hazard. Seat belts on when at high speed or travelling cross-country.

Simple, and makes best use of your equipment’s safety features, while mitigating secondary risks.

Self-defense against humans is another biggie preppers worry over. Bottom Line Up Front: You are either driving, or shooting, not both.

You are not Jason Bourne, and sure as heck not John Wick. Trying to drive and shoot means you’ll do both poorly, and either crash or shoot yourself, or your vehicle.

If you are driving, drive. Let passengers do the shooting, if they can and it is required. If they cannot, use the vehicle to get away from a threat quickly or as a weapon itself.

Keeping the vehicle safe when you are not in it is tricky; essentially, you cannot, unless it is guarded and/or well-hidden. Vehicles attract attention, no two ways about it, and are themselves seen as prizes or loot-boxes by opportunists.

If your vehicle, resplendent with all your gear and supplies, is left unattended and unguarded it is vulnerable! You cannot count on any vehicle security system, even armored bodywork and windows to resist a determined attempt to get in.

Lastly, there is one more vehicle survivability factor that you should keep in mind, even it is a fringe threat: EMPs. EMPs, or electromagnetic pulses, can be generated by natural cosmic phenomena, or as a byproduct of a nuclear warhead detonation.

However they occur, they are speculated to fry absolutely anything with a computer chip or circuit board.

That means the vast majority of modern vehicles, so dependent on computer-controlled everything, will be done for, and will require extensive repair and refit to work again at all.

Older vehicles, especially those that rely on carburetors, are far more likely to resist these effects. If you want a truly comprehensive level of readiness, you should consider one of these older models, and keep it in tip-top shape.

Conclusion

A vehicle can be an excellent choice for surviving a SHTF scenario if you work hard to maximize its advantages, and work equally hard to minimize its disadvantages.

The passenger carrying capacity, cargo hauling capability and sheer power, range and speed of a vehicle make it indispensable for escaping disasters or dealing with the aftermath.

Don’t think you can only try to escape on foot, or that your vehicle will not be viable: with the right plans and the correct preparation, it might be just the ticket to whisk you and yours out of danger.

vehicle survival Pinterest image

This content was originally published here.

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by Selco Begovic

Words are important, to be sure that we are talking about the same things and situations. We need them so that we can somehow “categorize” things.

Why?

Because we are living in a world where we want to have reasons and “boxes” where we can put all those reasons for everything. We want to then file away the actions that we are going to take because of those reasons.

We want everything to make sense because it is easier to work in a situation where everything has sense and reason, and where there is a clear and clean solution to everything. Not to mention we want to live in a world in which we want to make a stand – a hard stand – because we live by norms and rules that most people think are written in the stone.

It will not work in that way.

Not in a real and serious SHTF.

Right here I want to make a point that I do not classify myself as ‘better than the average prepper’ in anyway, because I do not live with such a strong need for reasoning and structures, I do not have a higher quality of daily life because of this,

BUT…

I do feel better prepared for serious situations because I do not ‘need’ to always have structures and clear reasoning for my actions. This enables me to decide and act more impulsively and intuitively because I do not need to engage in a lengthy or detailed ‘reasoning’ process.

WROL vs DROL…where to start?

WROL is a word that most people imagine describes something like complete anarchy, absence of rules, law, and everything that makes up a society. Does this mean a society where human rights are absent, dictatorship rules, no freedom at all. Is that WROL?

No. It is not.

They still have laws, rules, police, and maybe courts. But their “rule of law” is not anything that you understand it to be. For example, they may have a law written where you could be jailed and detained without proper court case for months or years, simply because you criticized the government. Or, even because you wear something “improper”.

So basically it is still a world with society and order and laws. Everything is governed by the law. However, this law is absolutely different from any law that most of you imagined. You may call it lawlessness, but it is not. It is not WROL.

It is a Different Rule of Law (DROL)

In essence, for you, it might feel the same though. It will feel like hell because it is so far from what you thought it would be.

What is it really like?

Well, it could be something like we see in movies: hordes of people fighting in the complete absence of any rules for resources or whatever. But, that is a movie.

In reality, it happened, and it may well happen again, but only as a specific stage, it can be a shorter or longer stage,. It is almost always very short.

Why?

Rarely is there a vacuum of power at any level of society, and keep in mind that I talk from the experience of urban survival in an extremely broken down societal situation. As I have written many times before, we currently live in a society where the system is running, and because the system is running we do not see parts of society that are running on the “edge” or ‘fringe’ of that system.

There’s always someone ready to jump in.

We might see it as a “glimpses” in news, movies, or in the image of a local drug dealer that is somewhere standing, maybe on the corner close to your living place. That drug dealer is part of something larger, and rarely we think a lot about that larger part. There is usually a highly organized “system” behind him.

It is an example only, but those kinds of people or organizations are there, living today around us, on the fringes of the ‘normal’ system.

And guess what? Usually, they will be there ready to jump and fill the gaps as soon as they appear.

That is the reason there is no ‘power vacuum’ (or WROL). Even if, in extremes, there is going to be one it is going to be a very short time until those established and effective organizations outside of normal society “jump in”. Keep in mind that it does not necessarily have to be a criminal organization out there that will fill the vacuum, at least not criminal organizations as we see it.

There are other forces who are in the system, and who are enough organized and ready to fill the vacuum. Paramilitary organizations, political fractions, etc.

Understand, in some cases, fringe organizations, or even you and your structures at a local level,  jumping in can be a good thing. It prevents even more extreme elements or total anarchy from taking hold, that otherwise would happen. And then you are not going to have mayhem, chaos, lawlessness like in apocalypse movies maybe, then you are going to have a different rule of law – DROL.

Words are important, but it is also important to think outside of the box.

Yes, words are important. But if someone has a bag with all the essential things inside for surviving running away from home, then it is a good thing. A great thing. It is not important that he or she does not use word BOB for that bag, or does not know what that word it is.

It served the purpose or solve the problem, everything else is semantics.

On the other hand, if you are prepping for the WROL based on fantasies that are out there for years and decades, and if you are sticking hard to it, then words are important, and it is good to think about the word DROL.

There will almost certainly be little-to-no time without rules of governance. There will almost always be rules that you have to be aware of quickly and obey in order to stay safe. Usually, the more challenging the event or time, the more oppression will be used to establish ‘order’. Alternatively, you will make the conscious choice to avoid the rules, hide from them, or fight against the rules AND the structures that enforce them.

Even if you find yourself in a time where there is an absolute absence of rules, rulers, and laws, be prepared for someone or something who is coming, very quickly, who will try to impose rules, most probably by more divisions, factions, parties, or separation.

We can call it the collapse, chaos, WROL, SHTF which essentially is the truth. But make no mistake. Someone will always try to be above us, to rule.

This content was originally published here.

The term “pioneer” evokes a gritty, somewhat romantic image; the first people in a new land or frontier to start carving out civilization from the wild and sometimes hostile bounty of nature all around them.

In every culture around the world it is the pioneers who command a certain respect and not a little bit of awe.

caravan wheel

They are taking a big risk heading off into the unknown to expand the borders of their nation or empire. Throughout it all, they will have only themselves and their skills, along with possibly a few of their fellows as neighbors, to rely on.

Do you ever stop to consider how much you get done or achieve in your own life that is partially or even mostly dependent upon the goods, services and infrastructure made possible by the work of other people? Or indeed made possible by the legions of our forebears that came before us?

This is not to say you don’t work hard to accomplish your goals, but we all benefit everyday from the foundations of society that were laid down ahead of us. We can thank the pioneers of old for that!

As preppers, we can be far better prepared for the unexpected, including society toppling events, by taking inspiration from our pioneer ancestors and indeed swiping a couple of pages out of their playbook.

They, by necessity, had to practice a radical form of self-reliance: there was no calling in the experts for them; they were the experts! In today’s article I will be offering up 10 pioneer skills that are worthy of learning by modern-day preppers.

Do It Yourself or Do Without It

The pioneers of ages past lived lives of intense toil in which their continued existence was anything but guaranteed.

These are people that had to show up to raw, untouched places in the wilderness of a brand new frontier or even a brand land and do everything from scratch with what few tools and materials they brought with them, which were always limited.

They had to create shelter, learn the lay of the immediate area and the surrounding region, discover and then identify which plants and animals were helpful, and which ones were harmful, learn to hunt wild game that was good for eating, prepare the land for planting and so, so much more.

To say these people had grit is possibly the understatement of the century! If they needed something done it was up to them to figure out how to do it if they or someone in their party or burgeoning settlement didn’t possess the required skills or know-how.

Information and expertise were precious, precious things and we all benefit to this very day from the lessons they learned, bought-and-paid-for, in sweat, blood and tears.

But the result of all the toil and struggle was a people and later citizens who were profoundly self-reliant in all things. This is perhaps the most important lesson we can learn as preppers; extreme self-reliance should be an everyday value, not some pie-in-the-sky achievement that we will one day attain.

We don’t need to go back in time and live their experience to benefit from this wisdom. Instead we can adapt it for our own time and our own struggles.

In the sections below, I will share with you 10 pioneer skills lost to time our ancestors were intimately acquainted with. Ones that we should adopt again to improve our own self-sufficiency!

10 Lost Pioneer Skills

small cabin settlement in Oregon

1) Shelter Construction

Many preppers today are acquainted with the importance of shelter in an outdoor survival situation, as it is one of the most crucial tasks when it comes to staving off death from exposure.

That being said, the pioneers of yesteryear would run circles around us; where your average prepper can probably slap together a primitive shelter like a lean-to or erect a tent, your average pioneer was at least skilled enough to build a small house or cabin for himself and his family.

Building even a small cabin sounds like a pretty intimidating undertaking foremost preppers today!

Correctly siting the structure, ensuring the foundation is sound, harvesting and preparing the timber, laying on the roof and then building the chimney and fireplace from locally-sourced stone. That requires a variety of real skills!

But these are skills you should endeavor to learn, even if you are never more than a journeyman.

It is far from out of the question that a SHTF event could be severe enough on a regional, national or even global level that it is literally society-toppling in scope and scale. That means you might be rebuilding society the old-fashioned way- house by house!

It might require a tremendous investment in terms of energy and material, but for serious long-term survival you will want a proper dwelling to survive in for the long haul, not some shabby lean-to or tent.

family and caravan

2) Land Navigation

Land navigation is seeing a renaissance among modern preppers and that is great news, but it is still not nearly the ubiquitous skill that it used to be. We should all strive to correct that!

Pioneers that were moving into any new and unexplored territory oftentimes only had the vaguest idea of where they were heading based on word-of-mouth directions from people who have been ahead of them, scouts, or primitive and oftentimes hideously inaccurate maps.

The smart ones depended upon their own observation and their own instrumentation to ensure they did not get lost. You had better believe that any pioneers worth the name who were moving into deep wilderness had with them a compass, and knew how to keep a pace count while moving from place to place.

This was the only way they had of determining which way they were heading and how far they had travelled. Together, and sometimes with a map if it was dependable, these elements would help them more or less accurately ascertain their position, and whether or not they had made a wrong turn, or just overshot the mark.

We have it easy today with the proliferation of GPS devices in our phones and as standalone tools, and while these things are wondrously accurate and absolutely worth having, we probably will not be able to depend on them forever in a particularly bad SHTF scenario.

What we can depend on (if we take the time to learn how) are our analog navigation tools, namely maps and compasses. We are especially lucky today that our modern maps are extraordinarily accurate, affordable and available almost anywhere.

You will be both lucky and wise if you obtain these maps for your area and the surrounding region well ahead of time, and make them part of your survival stash. But then the real work will begin: you need to learn how to use both together in order to accurately plot your course across the wilderness!

3) Knowledge of Plants and Animals

For the old-time pioneers, intricate knowledge of the flora and fauna in their region wasn’t just a hobby, and wasn’t relegated to a just-in-case skill; wild plants provided medicine, food and material.

The local animals were much the same. If they wanted to make use of these materials, they needed to know where to go to locate them and how best to harvest them. This required committing to memory a fair bit of nature lore.

Also just as important was a thorough knowledge of the plants and animals that can hurt them, or even kill them. I have often stopped to wonder how many unlucky pioneers blundered through nettles, poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac before it was well and truly understood that these were plants you wanted to give a wide berth at all times.

I have also sometimes pondered what unfortunate soul first picked and ate a poison mushroom after confusing it with a similar look-alike. You can wonder much the same about a variety of dangerous or at least annoying animals and insects!

You can learn from the pioneer example by becoming intimately familiar with a variety of helpful and harmful plant and animal species in your region and even beyond, throughout your home country.

Your medicine might run out and your food supply could be all gone or spoiled, but you can replenish both with an intricate knowledge of the plants and animals that are good to eat and where you can find them or how you can catch them.

This takes a significant amount of study and a sharp eye for detail, but doing so will allow you to replenish your stocks from nature’s bountiful pantry.

4) Repair Skills

This is another skill that any pioneer worth the name would be at least competent at, and for a whole host of things. If something wore out or broke down that was needed, they had to be able to fix it if they wanted to make use of it.

If this was an essential item, the success of their expedition and their efforts would literally hang in the balance. This is one of those things that will suffer no excuse when the chips are really down.

Of course it is an easy thing to say “be skilled at repairing things” and another thing entirely to actually be good at it. If you stop to consider how many varied items that a pioneer might have to take care of all by themselves, it turns into quite an impressive feat that they were as independent and self-sustaining as they were.

In the course of a single day a pioneer might have to mend a hole in his clothing, repair a broken leather strap, reattach and true the wheel on a wagon, fix a leaky roof, and replace rusty or broken nails holding some contraption or structure together.

In order to do this he would have to know how to make primitive glue, sew, perform carpentry and blacksmithing, roofing, and more.

Of course there was no “standard of capability” in some pioneer handbook, and not every pioneer was equal in depth or breadth of their skill, but all of them would be expected to be generally capable of tending to their own tools and their own problems.

We should absolutely strive to do the same. You should be able to diagnose and repair problems with your dwelling, your vehicle, your firearms and even your BOB and your clothing.

And for any of you guys out here who would shirk at the idea of doing a little sewing, you can drop that right now; there is nothing girly about repairing your things when they need fixing, and a busted strap on your BOB could spell disaster when you can least afford it!

5) Trapping

Many pioneers made trapping their primary endeavor. This served important economic as well as provisional purposes for themselves, their families and their neighbors.

Hunting skills are of course excellent and can definitely put meat on the table, but the big shortcoming with hunting is that you can only be hunting in one place at one time.

Trapping, despite the modern connotations, is a highly efficient form of harvesting animals because traps work round-the-clock whether you are there to babysit them or not, requiring only periodic checking to see if they have nabbed any quarry or require resetting in case of a miss or failure.

A skilled trapper can set up a field of traps in various environments in an effort to bag a variety of animals. Trapping, on the whole, is a skill unto itself and a person could spend a significant fraction of their life mastering it.

Trapping successfully on a large scale requires intricate knowledge of the game you are after, what traps work best and in what environment and a sense of strategy, since you will be placing traps to catch animals interacting with their environment in different ways in different seasons.

The great thing about trapping is that you can fashion a variety of traps from various natural materials as well as discarded man-made detritus and expect both to work to excellent effect so long as your construction and your placement is good.

With little more than a knife and some quality cordage you can rig a variety of lethal or non-lethal traps just like your ancestor pioneers did.

This is definitely a skill you will want to add to your repertoire, especially if you are planning on surviving on your own or in a small group where manpower will be at a premium. A hunter may sleep, but a trap set never tires!

6) Tanning and Fur Harvesting

This may come as a surprise to some of you but back in the day a pioneer could not simply run down to the local department store or shopping mall and pick up a bunch of new clothes.

Particularly egregious, if you ask me, was the lack of Bass Pro Shops. What were you supposed to do when boots, waders and other cold or nasty weather gear was required?!

All joking aside, pioneers instead made use of what they had to the best effect possible. As it turns out, what the pioneers had at their disposal for clothing and other goods was the skins and furs of the animals they caught.

But this was enough most of the time. With more time, labor and the right materials skin could be converted into sturdy leather, useful for all kinds of things, and as you know it is a material we still use in abundance today. Even more valuable in cold climates was the fur of animals equipped with a warm coat.

Rabbits, foxes, bears and other animals could furnish a skilled hunter or trapper with a pelt that could then be converted into insulating outerwear of all kinds. Animal pelts and leather were also valuable trade commodities that could purchase a pioneer anything he could not craft or obtain for himself.

If you are thinking about long-term survival in an austere environment after the world goes pear-shaped, but you are only planning on harvesting animals for their meat and nothing else, you are planning to throw away extremely valuable materials in the form of the animal’s skin and pelt.

But these materials will do no good if you don’t know how to correctly harvest them, preserve them and use them in a meaningful way.

This is something you should absolutely undertake as a prepper. It is oftentimes gross and smelly work, but the result of your labors will be material that is priceless for crafting warm clothing and durable soft goods. With a little time and effort, you will look like a veritable pioneer yourself!

7) Butchery

Before you become too certain that you’ll be eating complete meals of high quality meat procured from the wild game you’re going to shoot or catch, ask yourself if you know what you’re going to do with it once you catch it.

Specifically, do you know how to best process the carcass of the animal in order to make the best use of the meat? This is important not just for preparation at dinner time, but also for preservation, which we will get to in a minute.

You had best believe that the pioneers of old did, and had to be uniformly excellent at it. Shoddy or amateur butchery could see valuable meat wasted, or at worst even ruin the meat that you worked so hard to get.

This is a sustainment skill like any other that a typical pioneer would rely on. It was not enough to have a camp butcher, although most camps and settlements did. If a pioneer was alone or out working as part of a duo in remote country, they would need to be reasonably skilled at preparing meat that was caught for eating.

You will be under the same auspices whenever you are living off the grid in a bug-out situation. Most animals cannot be roasted whole (like fish can) and will require varying degrees of preparation both for health reasons and for efficiency.

Correctly prepared meat cooks more evenly and tastes better than meat that is haphazardly hacked off the carcass. This is another instance of hard, gross and often smelly work, but it is work that must be done if you want to prosper in the wild! Of course, vegetarians need not apply…

8) Food Preservation

For pioneers, any kind of waste that could be avoided was anathema, and this edict was doubly true for any provision as essential as food. Pioneers knew how to preserve all kinds of food in order to maximize their return on investment when it came to their efforts.

Vegetables, fruits and meat were all preserved when possible in order to pad the pantry for the long winter or time of lack that would inevitably come.

The pioneers from long ago did this using all kinds of ingenious methods that are still viable today, including salting, pickling and smoking.

This was an especially popular approach with meat, since the harvest of a large game animal could produce a quantity of meat that even a couple of families cannot hope to eat before it spoiled.

Preservation was the only way to keep them viable for any amount of time after a kill. It was also done to ensure rations were available for long journeys into unknown territory.

Pemmican, jerky, dried berries and more were all popular trail food and produced by some of the most common methods of preservation available to pioneers.

We do plenty of our own food preservation today, including such ubiquitous methods as canning, but our preservation is typically made possible by modern technology, and the conveniences built-in to our modern kitchens.

That is all well and good, so long as you know how to put them to use in order to prolong and preserve your food supplies to keep them fresh.

But even so, you will not have those “luxury” appliances after the end, and for that reason it is a good idea to keep one or two primitive methods of preservation under your hat!

pioneer cattle farm

9) Animal Husbandry

Humans have raised animals on farms for millennia, and pioneers who had the skills and the breeding stock to start with certainly did for the benefit of everyone.

Farm animals can be raised for all kinds of products: chickens for their eggs and meat, cows for meat and milk, pigs for delicious pork of course, and goats for meat as well as milk, though this is less popular today.

Other animals can be raised for their wool or hair, another source of comparatively rare fiber for the pioneer.

Raising and taking care of animals is an awful lot of work, and requires many specialized skill sets along with a fair bit of room, unless someone only wants to raise a handful of chickens or goats. But the results are so often times worth it, and serve as one of the best hedges against starvation that anyone could hope for!

But aside from the occasional backyard chicken coop, people who did not grow up on a working animal farm often have no idea whatsoever what is required in the raising and care of animals.

The pioneers did, and those skills were often passed on through the generations of a given family, father to son, on and on down the years.

It might not be a skill you have considered before, since most animals are not particularly portable and if you are planning on bugging out your animals will likely not be going with you, but none the less you should learn the basics of animal husbandry.

There are farm animals all over the world, it is not impossible to domesticate certain species of wild animal and breed them in captivity.

These are skills that are worth passing on, and more importantly, are an essential part of any self-reliance plan for preppers. Take the time to get at least a basic education in animal husbandry; you might yet be glad you did.

grandpa and daughter in garden

10) Gardening and Cropping

Gardening and the planting of crops on a larger scale are not lost skills in the greater sense of things, but unless someone is a serious enthusiast or a professional farmer they are highly unlikely to understand the mysteries and the intricacies of planting to ensure a bountiful harvest.

I can promise you pioneers did, even if they were not farmers by trade. This was just one more way to ensure they had the materials and the food they needed if they could not trade for it, gather, or otherwise get their hands on it.

Most folks are not green thumbs, and that is not a surprise. Pretty much everyone knows that you can stick a seed in the ground, cover it with dirt, water it and have a reasonable expectation of seeing some green sprout in a matter of days or weeks.

But that is where most folks’ working knowledge of gardening or cropping ends. There’s so much more to it than that, including such arcane subjects as soil composition and health, crop rotation, seasonal planting, pest prevention and deterrence, and much more.

This is yet one more permaculture skill that any serious, long-term survivor should endeavor to learn even if it is not their primary method of producing food and other resources.

Much like trapping, the planting of crops, even if it is just a small garden, will produce returns out of all proportion with the effort that went into it up front, and once your plans are established all they require is periodic upkeep and regular watering. They will take care of themselves from then on, until it is time to harvest them!

Conclusion

Like so many other lessons, history provides us with many examples of ingenuity, skill and tenacity that we can learn from in order to improve our own performance today.

The pioneers of eras gone by can furnish us many such lessons in self-sufficiency, and the skills that they typically possessed can serve as a useful template for our own prepping.

Review this list of lost pioneer skills above and see if some or all of them do not warrant inclusion in your SHTF survival plan!

pioneer skills pin

This content was originally published here.