Preparedness for when you have flown far from home

Mission objective: Get back home. At least that’s what it will be for most situations.

I recall the September 11 (2001) attack. Many of my work colleagues became stranded in place. Why? Because they were working in other cities (having flown there). All private and commercial airline traffic was immediately grounded in the United States and Canada.

I used to fly a-lot back then. Part of the job. That day I was local. I was not stranded. Though my work mates were.

What did they do? Some of them immediately rented cars and began the drive back home. It took days (for some). But they made it.

Why am I talking about this? Well, though I personally haven’t flown in 10 years (thankfully!), I know that others who are preparedness-minded DO FLY (because of their jobs). So the question is, how do you prepare for the unknown possibilities of SHTF while you’re far away from home (having flown there)?

I’ve written a few articles on the subject. You might want to visit them and read the comments too (links at bottom). It’s been awhile since I discussed this particular topic. So I’m looking for your input so as to help others with the thought process of preparedness for this.

Things To Take With You

I’ll get the discussion going by letting you know some of the items that I used to bring along with me when I flew all over the place…

Flashlight. A good quality small flashlight ). Always kept one on the nightstand next to the bed in the hotel. Otherwise it was with me in my bag wherever I went.

Small portable AM/FM/Shortwave radio (related article). News and information will be critical immediately following an ‘event’. It will help to understand the potential scope of the problem. Better decision making that way.

A good pocket knife. I couldn’t do “carry on”, but I would tuck one in my luggage (if I had luggage other than carry-on). Always had a pocket knife as part of my EDC (related article).

Cash. 20’s (nothing larger). Cash is King. At least for awhile…

Food bars (related article – and my suggestion). Great for keeping you going.

Water. I would take at least one water bottle on the plane (not sure if you can do that anymore). Also would be sure to have some water bottles on hand during the trip.

Backpack. Instead of a traditional type of carry-on bag, I would often use a soft backpack instead. If I needed more space for the trip, I would also carry on a nice bag on wheels – extendable handle. Good quality.

Navigation. Map your way home. Today’s cell phones have excellent GPS navigation capabilities. (Getting home?). The only thing that would inhibit you in this regard might be a EMP-event (which would be total/major SHTF!), or major power outage whereby your phone battery eventually goes dead. Though a car-charger would still work (if the vehicle runs). Prior to my travel, I would look at mapping of the area. Had a good idea prior to hitting the ground where I’m going and how I might get back.

Okay, I got the ball rolling. For your flyers out there (or former flyers), what do you carry with you for preparedness, just in case? And/or what measures/precautions would you take (or do).

This content was originally published here.

Even without an SHTF scenario, our roads are teeming with drivers looking for potential targets. From criminals to assailants, the reasons you may have for evading and avoiding someone while in your vehicle are innumerable.

We use our vehicles for a vast percentage of our transportation needs, and the chances of us being attacked while in a vehicle in dangerous zones are very high. In order to travel safely in your vehicle while the threat of attack or ambush looms, you must learn the basics of evasive driving.

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A vehicle is a weapon; it kills thousands of people every year and can be wielded effectively by anyone from an angry teenager to a maniacal terrorist with little effort. Using it defensively requires much more effort and patience.

Techniques for avoiding pursuit and damage on the road are not as straightforward or as simple as they may seem. Take the time to practice and never drive beyond your abilities. Driving recklessly is as likely to harm yourself as it is others.

Disclaimer: The tactics methods we talk about in this post are unlawful and dangerous in many cases. This article is not an endorsement of the methods, nor should it be regarded as a training source. Only conduct the techniques in this article under the supervision of trained professionals and always obey the rules of the road.

Different vehicles have very different capabilities. This may seem like common sense, but it is worth saying. Having the proper vehicle goes beyond make and model, however.

The appropriate vehicle is also reliable and well taken care of. You don’t have to worry about it failing you at an inopportune moment. Clean the windows, have a full tank of gas, ensure the fluids are good to go, as well as the brakes, tires, etc.

The best vehicles for escaping a road incident or attack will be a midsize or large sedan that is low to the ground. These vehicles are the best compromise between mass, handling, durability, and maneuverability. Lighter and faster vehicles can’t handle getting bumped well, while vehicles with a higher center of gravity can roll during sharp turns and maneuvers.

The environment will ultimately dictate the optimal vehicle. Muddy backroads will have a different “best” vehicle versus the highway versus salt flats and everything in between.

Other Considerations:

You must ensure you are well-versed and comfortable in your vehicle. Like any weapon or tool you plan to use, it must feel like an extension of your body. Know how wide it is, how it turns, and feel the road through it.

Vehicle Modifications

This is where you can get a little James Bond with it. The following are some vehicle modifications suggested by the sources we used for the post:

In-Car Equipment

These are some other modifications or considerations regarding your vehicle.

Keep all gear neatly stored or tied down inside your vehicle so they don’t become a hazard or become damaged.

Basic Driving Awareness and Routines

You should already be applying the following tips in your general driving practices. Awareness of your surroundings are key to safety on the road whether or not the other drivers intend to harm you.

If a threat occurs, assess it using the five W’s:

Random attacks like those from drunken or angered drivers, those that occur in everyday life, are generally easy to see coming. Hidden ambushes from motivated individuals can be much harder to spot. Be ready and aware.

Evasive Driving Techniques and Philosophies

This is only a small example of a vast skill set. If you think of it like learning a martial art, this is the stuff you’d learn in the first month or so. It takes decades to get a black belt. However, these basic skills we are providing can be incredibly effective when properly employed (reminder, please see disclaimer).

If You are Being Followed or Have a Tail

For celebrities and politicians, being followed is a constant concern. For the everyday person, less so. But if you are well-stocked when the SHTF, you can expect your profile to rise. Sometimes you cut somebody off in traffic, use an ATM, or have the wrong bumper sticker, and they are following you home to get revenge (like in this story, or this one).

Which brings us to our first and most important point about being followed: Don’t lead them to your home or stockpiles. Don’t assume your home is where the tail began (they may only have an idea of where your neighborhood is). Don’t lead them to those you love.

Often a tail is simply a case of childish harassment, or it may be a legitimate government official. Attempt to identify the level of threat and act accordingly.

Often driving to a well lit or public area can dissuade the majority of petty tails. Never leave your vehicle or box yourself in when traveling to these areas. Lean on the horn and attempt to signal help that way.

If you believe you are being tailed, take the following actions:

To try and shake the tail:

Use legal maneuvers and speed when possible. Don’t make it known you are aware of the tail unless necessary. Giving away that you are aware may cause them to escalate tactics. Be prepared.

Evasion Tactics During a Chase

Chases can begin in many ways. If a tail knows you are aware of them and they don’t call off the tail, you can consider it a chase. The difference between a tail and a chase is simply that the pursuer knows you are aware of them—it is a cliche that they must occur at high speed (more on that in a second).

If you can’t call for help or reasonably get to a safe area without endangering your location or others at a secure location, then you must lose your pursuers on the road.

As we stated before, a “high-speed” chase is a bit of a cliche. You will not want to go above 60 mph unless necessary or on a highway. If you can’t navigate turns or avoid obstacles, you are only endangering yourself further. Drive to you and your vehicle’s realistic capabilities.

A blowout at top speeds will end your chase (and life) pretty dramatically. Be cautious of the damage and strain you are putting on your tires:

Methods for losing your pursuer without engaging in breakneck speeding:

Either through maneuvers or by using the natural flow of traffic to cut off pursuit and send them astray. Suddenly take a side street and don’t allow them time to react. If your pursuer is coming on to you quickly in another lane, use a quick stop and turn down a road away from them.

If traffic or a sudden change of direction allows you to get out of eyesight for a bit, you may be able to sneak into an alley or behind a house. Don’t get out of a vehicle, and don’t get yourself trapped in an enclosed area looking for a hiding spot. Make sure the terrain you are on is not proving tracks that give away your position.

If your vehicle can handle terrain the pursuit vehicle can not, you may need to jump a median or cross a lawn. Do so at a safe distance so you don’t damage your tires. Hedges and small fences may be passable by some vehicles but not others.

Other Tips:

Dealing with Firearms

If you think the vehicle chasing you has a firearm, you must not allow them to get alongside you and must maneuver to cut them off. Even small arms can be effective at 300 meters so get as much distance as possible (this is when going fast is allowed).

The J-turn: A Basic Evasive Turning Technique

This is an example of one of the most effective and basic evasion techniques, a reverse 180. Sometimes also called a “J-Turn”.

A Bootlegger’s Turn is similar to this maneuver but is done while still traveling forward.

Practice this technique as various vehicles react very differently to this maneuver. Conducting this maneuver repeatedly will likely damage your vehicle in some way, so judge how to practice and when to use this maneuver for yourself.

Make sure everything inside your vehicle is strapped down (including you) before trying these turns. There are a ton of high-level maneuvers you can learn.

Destructive Techniques: Ramming, Crashing and Avoiding Them

Attack EscapeSometimes contact between vehicles is invertible. Either they will try to run you off the road or you will need to get past a blocking vehicle. Practicing this can be hard without participating in a destruction derby.

Sideswiping is often just as dangerous to the vehicle coming in as to the one being swiped. If your goal is to keep moving, try and avoid any side contact. The wrong angle can send you spinning out of control.

Trained pursuers will often try and use the Pursuit Intervention Technique or PIT to stop a fleeing vehicle. This involves touching your car to the back quarter panel of the vehicle you want to stop, then accelerating at an angle into them.

To counter this technique, you must attempt to drop your speed below 30 mph where it is very hard to spin a vehicle. Real-life example of a police PIT stop.

Road Hazards, Barriers, and Ramming

Very often, an ambush will involve blocker vehicles. This occurs frequently in the third world; someone will pretend to have a broken down car to get you to stop. Sometimes robbers or assassins will purposely get in small fender benders in order to get you to stop.

Very often, you must use your vehicle as a weapon or battering ram in order to effectively escape. Doing so incorrectly can lead to the vehicle being disabled and you being killed (either through the crash or by your pursuers).

Ramming a roadblock should only be done as a last resort as even soft debris can damage your vehicle or windshield and impair your vision or maneuverability. You also don’t know exactly how reinforced a roadblock may be.

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In a natural disaster, civil unrest, or other public emergency, being able to communicate up to 5 miles or more is very important. 

When there isn’t a working cellphone system or the internet is unavailable, it can wreak havoc. People that take their phone everywhere, or rely on it for all forms of contact with other people will be at a serious disadvantage. Sadly, as we have seen already in some disasters, these individuals can and will mentally shut down or be unable to function at all.

While many people today take their cell phones and internet access for granted, there are other effective ways to communicate in an emergency. Here are some older ways of communication that you should learn how to use.

Types Of Non-Cellular or Non-Web Radios and Phones

Many people today think of radios only in terms of their capacity to receive signals. While this is important for obtaining timely information in a crisis, there are other radios that you can use to transmit information to others that have a compatible receiver.

Codes and Why You Need to Learn Them

In a major crisis, there may be times when you will not be able to transmit information using voice and words. Instead, you may have to tap out sounds, or use a series of light flashes to communicate important information. Here are two code systems that will be well worth learning. They can be used with anything from drums to flashlights and mirrors as well as for communication over electronic networks.

Morse Code

Was invented by an American Samuel F.B. Morse, and first used in 1844. It is a relatively simple code that turns letters, numbers, and punctuation into a series of dots, dashes, and spaces.

The most important advantage of Morse Code is it’s ability to be used in almost any circumstance. It works as long as it’s possible to make a signal of some sort. Morse Code is usually transmitted by on-off keying of an information carrying medium such as electric current, radio waves, visible light, sound waves, and signal flags.

Morse Code was used extensively from the Civil War through Vietnam, and was also the standard format for ocean communications until the Global Maritime Distress Safety System replaced it in 1999. Most people will tell you that Morse Code is obsolete, and no longer worth learning. As a prepper, however, you may appreciate the following advantages:

5X5 Tap Code

This code was originally used as a way for prisoners of war, penal incaceration, and others to communicate with each other without individuals outside group knowing what is being said. It’s a short range communications system that only travels the length of the medium being sent on.

5 x 5 Tap Code is similar to Morse code in the sense that alphanumetric characters must be translated into a system of taps. The sounds can be made by tapping on anything available such as pipe, metal bars, the walls of a room or cell, or any object that can transmit the tapping. It can also be used with a Morse Code on-off sending key.

The code itself uses a square to make a 5×5 grid of letters in the English alphabet. Since the alphabet has 26 letters, C and K are both located in the top row third column spot to avoid an uneven grid.

In order to interpret the message, a listener must be able to gage the timing of the taps.

How To Use The Tap Code

To use this system each letter is identified by tapping two numbers.

As an example, to specify the letter “O” tap three times, very short pause, then tap four times, and a little longer pause.

To Spell Out The Word “HELP” In The 5X5 Tap Code

H      E       L        P

2,3    1,5     3,1      3,5

Other Methods of Communicating Over Long Distances

Aside from instantaneous transmissions, there are also other methods that will take more time. Most of these rely on the use of animals. These methods can be used during or after an EMP as well as other situations where no electricity or electronic transmissions are possible.

Homing Pigeons

These pigeons have been used for centuries to carry messages back to their home cages. Pigeons are good at remembering where they live and figuring out how to get back home even if they are transported a great distance away.

To use homing pigeons, your transmission point will be to a pre-set location that the pigeon has been trained to return to. When you need to send messages, just place the message in the pigeon’s message case and strap it to the pigeon’s leg, then let the pigeon go.

Homing pigeons will go straight back to their cage location. They will not make side trips or divert from the course that will get them home. Surprisingly, a homing pigeon can travel faster than a car over short distances. Unless people are looking for homing pigeons or notice the message case, it is not likely the bird will be intercepted.

Despite their advantages, there are some limitations to using a homing pigeon. First, they can get lost. Predators can also capture and kill them. You may need to send multiple birds with the same message, especially if they are going through a dangerous area.

Horseback Pony Express Type Mail/ Communication Carriers Or Mule Trains To Carry Mail

Today, just about everyone takes text messaging and emails for granted. In a major emergency, you may have to go back to paper letters. Even the post office or other mail carriers may have to rely on animals such as horses and mules to carry mail from one location to another.

Where we use trucks, trains, and planes to carry mail at varying speeds, this type of system might use relays of horses and couriers for express mail. Other mail and packages might be placed on freight wagons and then dispatched to local carriers.

Before the arrival of cell phones and the internet, people were able to communicate with varying levels of speed and efficiency. In time of need, we can use these older systems to transmit and receive vital information. The important thing is to remember how these systems work, how to set them up, and how to use them.

This content was originally published here.

“SHTF” is a time-worn and borderline cliché prepper acronym we have all heard, seen and continue to hear and see daily in prepping circles. What will you do when the SHTF? Where will you go when the SHTF? Has the SHTF? It never ends.

Even so, it is an important concept. In case you have been sadly out of the loop for the past couple of decades, “SHTF” stands for Shit Hits The Fan, a vulgar euphemism for things going well and truly pear-shaped; FUBAR, sky is falling, hell on wheels, you name it.

A SHTF event is one where your daily survival necessities are no longer guaranteed, where the typical social order is suspended or heavily disrupted, where help in the form of emergency services is not available and where government intervention is either useless or part of the problem.

In this article, I’ll offer my thoughts on the matter.

Small Fans and Large Fans

Disaster is a matter of perspective, I suppose, and perception being what it is in this day and time with everything, every word, concept and interpretation rendered hideously malleable by the current cultural zeitgeist, it makes sense that event the concept of disasters would be subjected to the same.

A common car crash, however bad the effects on life, limb and property, is not a disaster and never will be unless the car crashed into a tanker full of nuclear waste and knocked it into a nearby river.

That has not stopped some people from treating car wrecks like “serious” SHTF events. And one could say they are if you treat SHTF as shorthand labeling for any event that requires you to employ emergency skills at any level.

How about the destructive crash of some larger conveyance? How about a train? I say that is not a SHTF event, either. How about a jetliner crash? I still say no, though the passengers aboard the doomed vessel hurtling toward terra firma would doubtlessly dispute my assertion. So what does qualify as a SHTF event in my eyes?

For me, it is a matter of scale, and not simply in property damage or lives lost, or the potential for either. A real, SHTF scenario will affect almost every facet of your day to day existence for some time going into the future.

How long that disruption lasts being of course dependent on the intensity of the event, its reach and any other of the thousands of potential variables that keep society knit together and recognizably functioning as such in 2019 America.

Severity Counts

As a ‘for instance,’ one could say that a powerful natural disaster would qualify as a SHTF event. Landfall of a severe and powerful hurricane could qualify as a SHTF event without question.

One need only look at the aftermaths of Hurricanes Katrina, Harvey and Andrew in the not too distant past to get a glimpse into the dystopian misery awaiting us. Natural disasters of many kinds, if severe enough, if they strike the right place at the right time, could do much the same.

But if one were to drive far enough outside the majorly affected area, one would probably see life as normal chugging on without a care in the world, save perhaps a rise in lumber and gas prices. I would not say an event has to have a truly regional or even national area of effect to qualify as a SHTF incident.

Disruption of Society

Anything you can walk away from and go get a burger after or go to get groceries after is certainly not a SHTF event. SHTF events by any measure should disrupt society almost entirely, or rather disrupt our day-to-day “normal.”

If you cannot turn a switch and expect electricity, cannot open a tap to get clean water and cannot expect waste in any form to be vacated from the premises, you are dealing with a SHTF event.

If you cannot reliably call on the cavalry in the form of EMS, police and fire responders, you are likely living in a SHTF scenario (or a major American city). If everyone has to seriously start relying on bartering and get deals done before returning home to meet a curfew, you are likely dealing with a true SHTF event. If you are fleeing rampant pillaging and looting, or a city on fire with no end in sight before it turns to ash, you are dealing with a SHTF event.

A major prolonged breakdown of any and especially multiples of the above facets of our societies should be considered herald enough for a true, blue SHTF instance.

A power outage lasting a half hour to an hour is not. A protest that turns violent and gets put down harshly is not. A freak fire that burns down a handful of buildings is not.

When the bad things we take for granted as taken care of start going unopposed unless you oppose them yourself, that is a SHTF situation.

Reach and Area of Effect

A SHTF event that affects a handful of people cannot be said to be a true SHTF event. You and three friends who get irretrievably lost in bear country while out joy hiking are in the shit now, for certain, but it is not a SHTF event, even when Yogi and Boo-Boo come sniffing around.

There will be people, authorities, friends, family, looking for you. Helicopters will be scrambled. Dog teams deployed. Rangers on four wheelers. The works.

An entire town a couple of hours away from a major metropolis that is left to rot and fend for themselves because what functioning government is left is triaging the situation and deploying all available resources to keep command and control facilities, government institutions and critical supplies and infrastructure solvent? Oh yeah, that would definitely qualify as a SHTF situation.

Essentially, the more people that have to say to themselves in chilling realization “No one is coming. I am on my own,” the more likely it is that you are facing a true SHTF scenario.

Paradigm Shifting Events

As awful as some things are, like city-wide riots and cataclysmic natural disasters, as much havoc as they spread, as much damage as they do and as many lives as they claim, they are not what I denote as paradigm shifting events, a sure symptom of a SHTF situation.

Flood waters will recede. Things will eventually dry out. Rubble will be swept away, bodies will be hauled off to be disposed of, power lines reconnected and life will eventually go back to normal.

So what do I mean by paradigm shift? When a paradigm shift occurs, things don’t go back to normal. It might mean a technological regression, a near-permanent loss of modern commodities, or living under the constant burden of some new threat or vulnerability.

A great example of a paradigm shifter is something like a typically imagined cataclysmic EMP that wipes out much of or the entire nation’s electronics and electrical grid.

Author R. William Forstchen imagined this precise scenario in stunning detail in his speculative fiction novel One Second After. Give it a read. You’ll get some inkling of just how irrevocably things will change in the aftermath of such an event.

So much of what we assume is “just the way things are” will vanish, permanently, with one stroke of fate. Something similar will happen in the wake of a nuclear exchange, major asteroid impact, or super volcano detonation.

As an example that most will understand, a paradigm shift would undoubtedly occur if zombies were to rise from their grave or aliens were to invade.

A paradigm shift is knowing, “Things will never be the same.” Whatever caused it is definitely a SHTF event.

Government Conflict

Any time a widespread, regimented crackdown is inflicted on citizens by their government that qualifies as a SHTF event unto itself. History furnishes ample examples of how badly and how quickly violence and loss of life and freedom happens when things finally boil over.

Even at the state level, it is all too easy for the government to start infringing on basic rights and liberties, imprisonment and executions being the hallmarks of tyranny.

Even for those outside of conflict zones, disruptions to travel, commerce and utilities can quickly turn a scuffle into a proper siege at the larger scale.

Checkpoints, inspections and constant stress will lead to flaring tempers, overreactions and the spilling of more blood and subsequently tighter restrictions. Your staples and essentials are now officially no longer guaranteed thanks to localized sanctions.

These things have a way of snowballing, especially in the histories of Western nations. We don’t generally do sustained, low-level, brushfire conflict, preferring instead to let things become intolerable before our animosity erupts in an orgy of violence that changes the course of history and the lives of the surviving populace forever after.

If the tree of liberty must be refreshed with blood, you can be certain of SHTF.

All Together

To me, a SHTF event is one that not only sends you scrambling to respond, but will put you and everyone else in your area, and probably your region, in prolonged mortal peril.

Your basic survival requirements, and I mean the necessities- clean air, shelter from the elements, clean water for drinking, food- will no longer be guaranteed unless you are clever enough and prepared enough to provide them.

The institutionalized trappings of a functional society will be strained past the breaking point or just cease to exist. The uneasy quasi-truce between the rabid dogs of society, criminals, and the rest of us will disappear, and the natural law will once again take precedence.

What is yours will only stay that way of you can keep it. Your next meal will only be ready if you provide it. Your continued existence will no longer be guaranteed by default barring a fluke. Survival, real moment-to-moment, day-to-day survival is the new normal. The Way Things Were is the simultaneous plea and eulogy on everyone’s lips.

Diseases that are rendered powerless by modern medicine will reassert themselves with fury. Death will harvest his grim crop in ways that were once laughable inconveniences. Infection from a scratch. A fever gone unchecked. Parasites. A rotten tooth.

Medieval ailments will once again spell nearly certain doom. There will be no competing pleasures to occupy your time. Every moment will mean another minute of life, earned, or a squandered opportunity in the face of the encroaching night.

When things have changed so utterly for the worse that your most fervent wish is full bellies and a warm, safer place to sleep next to your loved ones, that’s when you’ll know you the Shit has well and truly Hit the Fan.

Conclusion

The term SHTF should be reserved for major events that severely threaten lives and the fabric of society, not localized disasters and crises no matter how bad they are.

While events that mortally imperil you, even for days at a time, are scary and might be the penultimate test of your life, they are still likely not true SHTF situations.

Try not to water down the import of a term that should be reserved for properly cataclysmic situations by tossing it out every time a riot occurs or a tornado touches down.

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This content was originally published here.

(Natural News)
What if your entire world fell apart in an instant, the closest people in your life ripped away, without a chance to say goodbye?

Most in the prepping community are armed to the teeth and have a stockpile of food, water and medical supplies. The prepping community wants to be fully equipped and materially prepared for any disaster that may lie ahead. What many are not prepared for is dealing with the emotional, physical and psychological pain that can come from great loss and catastrophe.

As Americans turn to prescription opioids and antidepressants for various forms of pain relief, there are better ways to manage pain that do not require a prescription and do not impart side effects and physiological addiction.

Is CBD oil a must-have preparedness item?

Should you rely on natural cannabidiol (CBD) oil for pain relief when disaster strikes? Advertisements for CBD oil are popping up all over the place, and many people are now clinging to this plant-based extract for pain relief.

The endocannabinoid system of the human body regulates appetite, pain, immune response and sleep cycles along the cannabinoid receptors on cells. CBD oil communicates along these receptors, regulating these important bodily functions. CBD can be therapeutic because it acts as an antioxidant in the body. A little bit goes a long way, so it is easy to stockpile for emergencies.

During stressful times, CBD can help because it reduces the quantity and severity of inflammatory compounds in the body. Even at low doses, CBD can be used to improve the body’s response to stress. As a neuro-protectant, CBD can quell feelings of anxiety and bring about a sense of calm. It can even induce more restful sleep, helping the body recover from a stressful and/or emotional day.

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Having CBD oil during a calamity will keep you from relying on doctors and drug dealers for pain relief. While it is not as powerful as prescription opioids, CBD is also not physiologically addictive. During a disaster, your family will need to look up to you as a reliable leader who can think clearly during times of severe stress.

CBD oil, although a natural solution for many ailments, can become a material excuse to perpetuate anxiety. If you cannot deal with reality and constantly feel the need to have CBD, you can form a psychological attachment to the substance and your condition. For some, CBD could become habit-forming substance that allows you to wallow in pain and seek sympathy. If used responsibly, CBD oil can be a therapeutic way to cope with grief and high stress – in the short term. Be mindful of psychological attachment to any substance as this can cause self sabotage in the end.

Here are some things to consider when selecting CBD oil for your bug out bag or home preparedness kit: Choose an extract that is packaged in a dark, amber glass bottle. This will protect the phytochemicals in the formula from light damage. Also choose an extract that is organic and not genetically modified. It is best that the extract has been quantified – its potency validated by a laboratory.

CBD oil is structurally different from hemp oil. The two oils should not be confused. Hemp oil is a nutritious extract obtained from the seed of the plant. It is a great cooking oil that contains vitamin E and healthy fats. Moreover, CBD oil will not get you high, for it only contains trace amounts of THC. It is available over-the-counter in all 50 states.

For more on CBD, check out CBDs.news.

This content was originally published here.

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During a long emergency, anything that is sweet is going to be a welcome sign of normality. At the moment we take it for granted that we can get something as basic as sugar no matter where we are at.

The United States pays very high prices for real sugar.

In other countries, high fructose corn syrup is not what is used to sweeten everything. Sugar that is imported is subject to high tariffs so the cost is higher for us than other places around the world. Combine this with the fact that we have a lot of corn grown by big agriculture and their arsenal of toxic chemicals, and that the corn crop is highly subsidized, and it is pretty clear why the cost of sugar is triple what it is in some countries.

Our main sources of sweeteners may not always be as readily available and they may get quite expensive.

High fructose corn syrup is a cheap and heavily subsidized filler that satisfies the urge for sweets. Big agriculture is going to have a hard time providing that to us if SHTF or there is a long emergency.Natural disasters that cause corn crop failures or inability to plant fields are not out of the question.

Although we have corn reserves that can help insulate us from supply issues for a season, a few years of low yields or crop failure is not out of the question. The ability to process and deliver a product are other factors at play.

Sugar in the past

In the past, sugar was highly prized and people did not get sweet goods as often. When they did get anything sweet, it was usually fruit based. Soda and sugary drinks might have been consumed weekly not daily and some people didn’t even get that.

I remember that even when I was a kid and the tiny store in my town was still recovering from a huge flood, the first items on the shelf were boxes of candy bars and sugary drinks. Nowadays, it is cheaper to buy soda than it is sparkling water.

Back in the old days, when my great-great-great-grandfather had a general store in the mountains of North Carolina, that white sugar was special and had to come a long way in a wagon. There was a reason why the sugar bowl was hidden in a lot of houses or kids were punished for raiding it. There was only so much to go around and it cost money.

At the moment white sugar is plentiful and easy to afford. This could easily change if times get tough. As a nation, we are pretty addicted to sugar.

During the holidays it is easy to find a good deal on sugar. Bags used to be in 5,10, and 20 lbs increments but now what was a 5 lb bag is a 4 lb bag. Sales can be a little weird so there may be times when it is better to buy a lot of small bags and not the larger bags. Do the math and take advantage of what sales you can. As long as sugar stays dry and free of bugs and rodents it will stay good forever.

Honey

In the South, we grow quite a bit of sorghum. It is tasty stuff and can be cooked down into a nice syrup. You can grow a lot of it in a small space too. We grew enough to winter a cow over one year. Livestock really love it. You can get seeds from it for feed and use the stalks for making syrup.

Boiling down maple syrup used to be more common. Some people assume that you have to tap a specific type of maple tree in order to get the sap you need for syrup. The truth is that any maple tree can be tapped but Sugar Maple will yield more syrup so it is what people plant that want to produce a lot of syrup in as small an area as possible.

The higher the sugar content of the syrup, the less time it requires to be cooked down into usable syrup. One must be careful and not tap trees too much or you can weaken the tree.

My Dad uses Stevia at times. You can get it in liquid form or mixed with maltodextrin in a powdery crystal format that is made to replace standard granulated sugar in baked goods. I have only baked with it once and while it did sweeten, there seemed to be a bit of a flavor in the granulated form that I did not care for. It also changes the texture a bit. I would say that baking with it yielded cupcakes that were not as light and fluffy as when standard sugar is used.

This is basically white sugar that has molasses added to it. It is great for baking and has a distinct flavor. It is usually sold in bags of no more than 2 lbs at the regular grocery store. It has more of a tendency to clump up than white sugar so you may have to bust it apart or just dissolve it as is.

Fruit For Sweetening

Of course some of the most basic and plentiful sweeteners out there come from fruit. This is a good way to satisfy your sweet tooth while getting some additional nutritional benefits such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Apples are the most wide-ranging and plentiful source of fruit sugar in the United States. They are found wild and there are so many varieties that are adapted to various climates, making them an important fruit to look towards when typical sweets and sweeteners are not available. Apples are sweet enough that even without adding sugar, the juice will make an apple cider with 5% alcohol too.

Prunes are really sweet and a good source of fiber. A single plum tree can yield a lot of fruit that can be easily dehydrated and consumed throughout the year.

Sweeteners For Short to Moderate Food Storage

I don’t think it is good to always think that everything in prepper food stashes should always have a 10 year or longer shelf life. That is just missing out on good eating and deals. Sure you should have some items that are for long term emergencies but there is nothing wrong with having items that keep for 2-5 years. You just have to remember to use items and replace with fresher shelf life. The vast majority of situations that you and your family might have to deal with are going to be much shorter term than a real SHTF scenario.

Canned or Bottled Pineapple Juice

This is some of the least expensive juice in the grocery store. The canned and bottled varieties that we recently bought are good for 2 years. I think if you get it very close to the manufacture date you can get 3 years out of it. We keep some of this on hand all the time to make sauces and glazes. Pineapple juice is super sweet to just drink but it makes a great addition to fizzy water or blended with other juices.

Concentrated Canned Juice Mixes

The 12 oz cans of grape juice or apple juice concentrates made by Welch’s store well and undiluted, they are quite sweet. These can be used to add fruit flavor and sweetness to a lot of things you cook or if you want to flavor fizzy water or add just a little flavor and sweetness to regular water during a long emergency.

Other Sweeteners

Depending on where you live, there may be other sweeteners that are available to you. I know that there are plenty of fancy sweeteners at the grocery store now but I also know that chances are I am not going to be able to get agave syrup during SHTF and it is a lot more expensive than other sweeteners that I can stash back.

Learning To Make Do With Less Sweeteners

There are some major advantages to reducing your overall sugar intake. Obesity is one of the leading causes for health issues in the United States. Tooth decay can be expensive to fix at the dentist, painful, and even deadly if let go. During SHTF you are going to want to be in the best physical condition possible considering your age and any pre existing conditions and considerations.

I can tell you from experience that if you start to reduce your intake of sweeteners and salty foods, you will get to the point where if you have to eat something that has the typical amount that most people consume, it will taste overwhelming.

Matt and I gave up high fructose corn syrup years ago as well as highly processed salty foods. I will not say we don’t eat any salty mass-produced foods, but it is rare. Even frozen pizzas are way too salty for us no matter what brand we buy.

Your taste buds get used to certain things so in the beginning, you may miss sweeteners a lot but it will get a lot better the longer you stick to your plan.

This content was originally published here.

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One thing that has been instilled in me since I was a very small kid is the importance of socks and dry ones at that. You never had to tell me twice about that because my Dad was obsessed with keeping extra socks on hand.

My Dad got jungle rot and had a lot of foot issues from Vietnam. He was out in the wet jungle so much there was just no way to keep his feet dry and in good socks. He used to soak his feet a lot when I was a kid and he just couldn’t ever get his feet right again.

For those that do not know, you can permanently damage your feet if you don’t dry your feet out regularly and wear clean socks.

Athlete’s foot is one thing, the fungal and skin issues that can occur with real jungle rot is something else.

Cracks in the soles of your feet make you more prone to infections and parasites. During an SHTF situation, this can be incredibly serious. Consider that during an SHTF situation, some bodies of water, floodwaters, etc are going to have more bacteria in them.

Warmer climates are going to be the worst. Jungle Rot/Immersion Foot can lead to dead and literally rotting tissue on your feet if not treated in the beginning stages.

Avoiding Jungle Rot/Immersion Foot

Now on to the socks…

At the moment there are a lot of socks that you can buy and put back for a long emergency or SHTF. Cotton socks are good for hot climates and times when you are sure you are not going to be caught out in really wet conditions. Synthetic socks or natural animal fiber socks are what you want for situations where things could get wet or wet and cold.

There is something to be said for buying winter boots ½ size larger than needed to accommodate thicker socks that you may need to wear during the cold months of SHTF.

During a long emergency you will probably be using your feet a lot more and under a variety of conditions so it is very important to take foot care and socks seriously.

Choose socks based on your climate but remember that people can get hypothermia even when outside temps are fairly warm if they get wet and cannot get dry.

If you live in Southern California you are probably not going to want to buy the thickest socks an outfitter has to offer. Regardless of climate, it seems that having a variety of choices available or some socks that can be layered with other socks, is a good idea. Buying socks that are larger and hat can be put over others is something to consider. I have tried to do this with socks that were the same size and it always seemed difficult so I can see having a few pairs of socks that are a size larger.

Sock Choices

With so many to choose from, I have just selected a few that are worth considering. I encourage you to look for others too.

Sock Sales

I advise shopping out of season for some types of socks. Spring or summer is a great time to buy wool socks from outfitters both online and in-store. During the holiday season is also a good time.

I bought these at Old Grouch’s Military Surplus and I have been very happy with them. ( If you have a military surplus store, be sure to check them out for sock deals, if not then follow the link to Amazon.)

For starters, the silver blend helps make them more antimicrobial. They also come up to the knee which is nice for a little extra warmth on chilly days. They seem to wash well.

These are great for general use and as a trade item during short and long emergencies. The fact that they are made to fit a variety of foot sizes makes a great choice for stashing back for SHTF. The Hanes or Fruit of the Loom Mens Socks Size 6-11 is what I would recommend if you are unsure what cheap cottons socks to put back. Sometimes you can actually get better quality and a good price by purchasing packs of 2-3 pairs of socks at the grocery store. Our local Ingles Market sells really good cotton socks and it is convenient to just throw a few pairs in the cart when doing a grocery run.

I really love Smart Wool. I used to have a nice sweater made of it that Matt bought me back in 2004. Well, his parent’s wonderful cat decided it liked it too so I wound up with a lot of holes in it after years of reliable service. Smart Wool is unique because it is just so darn soft and easy to care for. People that don’t like the itchiness of wool but like the positive aspects of a natural fiber sock will find that Smart Wool is the answer. You can buy just about any piece of outdoor clothing made from Smart Wool now and the price has come down some from when it first came out on the market.

Height of Socks

Crew length is the most popular length. Some people may like ankle socks but for putting back for SHTF or a long emergency, they are not something I would go out of my way to store up. Chances are you are going to be wearing more footwear that goes above your ankle so that you have good support for hiking and doing manual labor tasks. If you find a good deal, maybe get some quarter socks, but when in doubt go for crew length.

A Note on Expensive Socks

I don’t blame folks for buying a few pairs of socks that are a bit more costly or of very high quality. What I would recommend though is that you buy a single pair or two and wear them on some long walks or a few trips and see how you feel about them before buying a lot of one type. Not all socks are great for all people.

Also, be sure to look at the care instructions. Most clothing is pretty easy to care for nowadays but you still need to follow the recommendations.

Black absorbs heat. I like black socks for wearing with some clothing but for general wear, go with light-colored socks. The lighter colors are probably going to be more cost-effective and easier to find anyway. The one thing I dislike about light-colored socks is how easily they get stained but during SHTF that is going to be the least of my worries.

Men’s Socks Vs Women’s Socks

Women can sometimes get a much better deal by purchasing men’s socks unless they have very small feet. If I was a woman with really small feet I would check out the boy’s socks to get a better deal.

One thing I have noticed with women’s and men’s socks is that in some styles and brands, the women’s seem to be thinner and wear out faster. I don’t think this is a much a problem with some of the mid to higher-priced brands but it is something to consider when shopping for nice socks.

Washing and Sanitizing Socks

Keeping some soap around is something everyone should do. Water can be boiled and allowed to cool a bit before socks are added with some soap if you are dealing with very dirty socks that can be washed with warm or hot water. For basic washing or socks with special care instructions you can get away with colder water and soap but something, I want to recommend no matter what is allowing socks to be in the sun to help sanitize them further. UV rays are excellent at killing nasty things that may be lurking in socks.

I have a small drum style hand-washer called The Wonder Wash I use for handwashing delicates or single items of clothing at times. I tested it out and you can wash a week’s worth of dirty socks for 2 people in just a few minutes of cranking. Letting them soak in strong soap in the drum is helpful for getting them the cleanest.

I will turn the crank for a minute with a lot of soap and then let them soak for 30 minutes and then turn for another minute, rinse, and then wring out to dry. I have a spin dryer that wrings out clothes with very little power.

Here is the link to my article “Laundry Kit For SHTF” for those that are interested in low-cost alternative laundry options.

Other Foot Care

Socks are great but you should have a few other things for your feet.

Spray or cream for athlete’s foot

These can help prevent blisters and abrasion in shoes that don’t fit perfectly and they can help avoid other foot pain from lack of support. Even the best shoes will lose some support over time. Insoles can help give them a tune-up so that they offer you better support and comfort.

Moleskin for blisters

Salicylic Acid for removing bunions and growths

For more info, you can check out my article “Foot and Shoe Care Kit For SHTF”

Socks are useful for more things than just wearing on your feet. Here are a few ways to use socks beyond the norm.

Combine with rocks or other heavy objects to make a weapon.

People use to make jokes about a roll of quarters in a sock. The truth is that it would be truly awful to get hit by something like that. You can also use some rocks. A sock will only take so much so you may only get a few good hits depending on what you are wailing on.

Filtering sediment out of dirty water.

I have talked about the value of pre-filtering in many of my water-related articles. A regular cotton sock can be used as a pre-filter.

Old socks or very dirty gross socks can be used to make fires.

Cotton fibers are great for fire starting. Don’t throw away socks that have a few holes in them even if they are the cheapest cotton socks out there.

Clean socks with holes in them can still be used as toilet paper or for cleaning things.

Some people say that they use socks for gun cleaning rags. For some tasks, I guess this would be okay. The small fibers I find annoying though and so I avoid socks for gun cleaning rags. Some may be better than others. I do use clean but worn out socks for scrubbing things and then I just toss them. It is better than just throwing them away.

Use a sock as a dust mask

Anything is better than nothing if you have dust and debris saturating the air. Put a sock over your mouth to help filter out air until you can get to clearer air.

Makeshift potholder

I am definitely guilty of grabbing a few clean socks and using them as extra pot holders when Matt and I were living under tougher conditions while building our house. They are not ideal but if you double them up and then use then they can work. The thicker the sock the better of course. Never try this with synthetic fiber socks.

Carrying things

Socks can hold a lot of small items that you don’t mind being mixed up together. You can even stuff a tube sock with a bunch of other socks so you can keep them all together if you want.

Socks that are white or brightly colored can be used for signaling or marking things. You could even tie one to a long stick and use it to wigwam or do other signals. For more info on signaling, be sure to check out my article on “Signaling”.

Socks can be used to cushion various things and protect them. Backpack straps or slings could be made more comfortable with a sock. You could even cut out the toes and slip it over a strap or sling so you could adjust where it sits for comfort.

What socks do you stash back? How many pairs do you think is a good guideline per person in your family? Do you have extra pairs in your bug out bag?

This content was originally published here.

We all get blindsided by personal end of the world as we know it situations. Loss of a job or the death of a loved one can turn your plans to a pile of rusting rubble. Some events are worse than others. There’s no way to prepare for all of life’s storms. Losing a job sends desperation and panic through a single mother’s bones. How will she feed, clothe, and shelter her babies?

Life is not fair

I’ve repeated this line to our own children and the students I teach more times than I can recall. The pain of this statement is like sliding down a dull razor into a wading pool of alcohol. It does more than just ‘sting’.

Our world as we knew it stopped this past January. Dirt Road Girl (DRG) was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer that had metastasized to her brain. After melting down in tears and working through the initial wave of emotions, we were empty. All we wanted were answers and healing, maybe a miracle. TEOTWAWKI happened. Personally.

SHTF happens

Whether it’s a sudden change or gradual loss of quality of life, SHTF happens on a personal level all the time. Ours happened suddenly and has progressed gradually. Fighting the cancer has left us drained physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, and every other ‘ly’ imaginable except spiritually. We aren’t the first to get strapped into this crazy cancer roller coaster ride. It just seems that way. We had no answers. Just questions. Hanging on for dear life.

Why am I sharing our personal SHTF struggle? There are lessons in it for all of us.

1.) Physically: I heard more than one doctor say that due to her “being young and fit” we can be aggressive in our treatment. After months of her body being assaulted by chemo and radiation, she’s glad she put effort into her physical conditioning. Just going through the treatments has added years to her. She’ll recover and rejuvenate when they stop pouring poison in her.

What kind of shape are you in for your personal SHTF or worse, a universal TEOTWAWKI? You could be in the best physical shape. It doesn’t matter if you’re deprived of sleep. I just spent the last three nights on a plastic hospital cot next to DRG. I may have gotten 12 hours in three days. I wondered how sleep deprivation would affect me in a long-term collapse situation. The number of pullups, pushups, and squats I can hump won’t matter if my brain shuts down from no sleep. Without REM sleep for more than 3 days, we lose our ability to think and act coherently. This highlighted a glaring weakness in our hunker down strategy. We must have enough bodies for watch duty in a long-term collapse.

2.) Mentally and Emotionally: I lumped these two together because I’m to mentally drained to separate them. Everyone who has survived cancer told us that attitude determines survival chances. Never quit. This past week DRG got an infection and spent three days in the hospital with hoses pumping fluids and drugs into her body. I’ve never seen her more sick. Being raised by mid western parents that survived the Great Depression taught her mental toughness. You can’t get that from popping a pill. Being tough mentally was passed down from her parents. She’s gone through a lot of fire in her own life that has forged her attitude. Something that all preparedness minded parents need to instill in their kids. Don’t lie to them and cave to PC pressure by telling them that everyone is a winner and gets a trophy. You’ll only hamstring them for life.

Get them off the video game baby sitter. Take a walk…together. Breathe the air. Smell the wind. Listen. Just sit somewhere and listen. No talking. Look inside for just five minutes. As the adult, fight the urge to think outside of yourself. Focus on you and your child. And don’t forget to turn off the cell phone. You’ll come away refreshed…mentally and emotionally. Take advantage of these peaceful times while we can.

Get rid of the crutches. Millions of Americans are on all kinds of mind and mood altering drugs to mentally make it through a regular work day. An increasing number of students have to be drugged to get through 8 hours of forced schooling. According to this report, “since 2007, the number of prescriptions for A.D.H.D. medications dispensed to people ages 10 to 19 has risen by 26%, to almost 21 million yearly, or about two million individuals.” What’s going to happen when there aren’t pills to help them cope? Mood swings from hell and dangerous levels of freaking out will follow.

Personal SHTF events, while they suck going through, with the right mental attitude, will prepare you for the big one. Get your mind right.

3.) Financially: We are down to one paycheck. That’s it. Not complaining here. We’ve had to make major adjustments. We’ve always been frugal in our preparedness purchases – always looking to save money. It’s pretty simple. We either have to spend less or take in more. At this point, we are going with the former. What use to be extra time for me is now used as a caregiver to DRG. Side jobs that produce extra income take time that I can’t spare. So we cut our spending. Here are a few ideas that you may want to try. They may not sound like much, but they do add up.

I’m sure you folks have more great ideas. I’d be glad to hear them.

4.) Spiritually: I was a part of organized religion for most of my life. Over the last ten years or so I’ve grown closer to God by not being involve in institutional church. Your mileage may vary. Since DRG’s diagnosis, we both have grown more in tune with what we think God is trying to show us. Mercy, love, peace, and forgiveness. There was someone I held a lot of unforgiveness towards for a couple of years. “Life is short” really sinks in now. I didn’t have to forgive this guy, but I did. How can I withhold forgiveness when I need so much myself. That’s freedom. Letting go. Embracing my humanness. I can’t change this dude. I can only change me.

Our personal SHTF experience was a dark-night-of-the-the-soul for our family. We’ve overcome the initial shock. I’m still scared of the unknown. The way we prepare is to be prayed up and laid back. Find out what God is doing in your world and join Him. Be thankful for each day. Have fun and enjoy life like there’s no tomorrow. There’s a purpose in all of our personal SHTF events. It’s our job to figure it out, learn from it, and move forward.

Ideas are always welcome!

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there… 

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by Todd Walker

I’ve read lots about the little that is written about functional fitness when the SHTF. The image of svelte bodies in wet t-shirt contests on spring break clouds the mind. Snap out of it. TEOTWAWKI is here! The only wet t-shirts you’ll see after a collapse scenario will be sweat-soaked. I personally am not looking forward to the site or smells emanating from Uncle Joe’s overalls while splitting firewood. The bonus of overalls is it saves us the disgusting site of his plumber’s crack.

I’ve written before about my fitness philosophy. Looking good naked may be a fine goal now, but will it help you survive? Life after TSHTF will be, shall we say, challenging. I know a man down the street in his early 80’s that can work circles around me in the garden. Yes, there’s a bit of shame in that for me. This got me to thinking about my functional fitness plan. First question: Is it functional? Duh! Will my weekly pull-ups, push ups, squats, and sprints really make me useful to my family when it really counts?

For instance, I’ve dabbled in blacksmithing. I’m not good at it. The first time my farrier friend taught me to make a simple wall hook, the simple motion of swinging the hammer made my forearm swell to painful Popeye proportions. I swing a carpenters hammer on side jobs all the time. The hammer-on-anvil swing is different, but transferable. So, will your present level of fitness be transferable in post-SHTF? If you’ve got a nagging in your gut that you’ll be toast, you may want to try these functional workouts.

Legal disclaimer stuff: If you’re starting any exercise program, consult your physician first. There’s the legal advise. This is not intended to be professional advice. It’s simply exercises that I do. Your mileage may vary. If you do stupid stuff, bad things will happen.

Build your own SHTF gym!

A.) Taken to the Woodshed

Obviously, the best way to build strength and functional fitness is doing SHTF stuff. Here’s your first workout. Grab an axe, splitting wedge, and sledgehammer and destroy that pile of round wood stacked behind your house. Don’t have any wood? Someone in your neighborhood probably does and would love to have it split and stacked. You’ll be rendering random acts of kindness while earning a reputation at the rotary club as that crazed-wood-splitter.

Don’t want that label in the community? Simulate it in the privacy of your own backyard with one tool, a sledgehammer. Check it out here. I use a ten pound hammer. DRG uses a six-pounder. After a month of swinging the hammer, you’ll be in lumberjack shape.

B.) Haul Water

Water: It’s not just for drinking

Nerd Alert: What is the density of water in pounds per gallon? 8.328676 lb/gal. Being the frugal prepper (cheap is more like it) that I am, I bought these two 7 gallon water jugs at a yard sale for two bucks. Reeking with redundancy, I do walking lunges with these puppies in my back yard. That’s 58.31 pounds in each hand if I measured correctly. Don’t try this at home kids!

Here’s how to haul water like your great grand parents… with proper form of course. If you’ve never done lunges, start out with your body weight only and work up to weighted lunges. Too heavy and your asking for injury.

Starting position: Arms hanging by your sides, feet shoulder width apart, back straight, chest out, core (abs) tight.

Next: Step forward a few feet. As your foot lands, bend your extended leg so that your front heel is below your knee. DO NOT allow your knee to pass beyond your toes during lunges. Your back knee should be about an inch or so off the ground with the heel of the back foot pointed to the sky if performed correctly. From this bottom position, lift your body up to standing position and repeat with the other leg. Your entire lower body will beg for mercy after a set of these.

While you won’t be doing lunges to tote water from the creek or pond, this functional movement will certainly make daily life after a crisis much easier. Whatever your goal, lunges will help build a balanced and stable foundation.

Recommended lunge link:

There are so many prepping uses for the sandbag. From flood control to hardening areas of your retreat for ballistic protection. Even if you’re not worried about either of these potential emergencies, repeatedly lifting dead weight bags (livestock feed, rice, beans, etc.) takes functional strength. Could you fireman carry a loved one out of a burning house? For the hunter/gatherer types, can you sling your field dressed carcass over your shoulders and hump it back to camp? Remember, your mechanical advantage disappears WTSHTF. Your four-wheeler is yard art by now.

Here’s how the humble sandbag can help.

Start: If you don’t have sandbags, I’ve seen them at home improvement centers cheap. If your cheap like me, use any bag that is durable enough to hold sand. Use sand or small pea gravel to fill the bags. Get creative.

Once you have several filled, you’ll need a larger bag to hold the smaller sand bags. I’ve seen army duffel bags and sports bags modified for the workout. Again, start out with a weight that you can comfortably handle with good form. You can always add more bags as your strength progresses. Do a search on the internet for ideas on sandbag workouts. I’ve posted a link of a short 3 minute video below.

Don’t want to go through the trouble of sandbagging? Clear some land. You live in the city? So! You’ve got parks right? I’ve got a section of fallen tree in the local park that I shoulder for doing squats. I’m guessing it weighs about 100 pounds. If you’ve done squats with barbells and squat racks in the gym, the form is the same. However, balancing a piece of wood on your shoulders enlists muscles for balance that you don’t use in a controlled gym setting. I like to alternate the log to each shoulder between sets of squats. Then drag the log up a hill and carry it back down. You’ll be the land clearing queen/king at your retreat.

Don’t forget the rocks. I also throw basketball sized rocks in the same park. The great thing about rocks is that they stay where you leave them. I’ve had to replace my log several times. With rocks, I just keep a stack at the base of a pole with a bird feeder on top. It looks like they belong there.

Start: Grab a rock and lift it with your legs, not your back. Hold the rock chest high with both hands and press away from your body like a basketball pass. It’s not going very far. Run get it and repeat. After a few tosses at chest level, raise it over head, slightly bend your knees and press it up and out away from your body. Do I need to warn you about physics here? What goes up must come down. So, be sure to press the rock up and away from your body, not directly overhead. Throw it over the railing and into an imaginary horse-drawn wagon. Your clearing land post-SHTF. Try throwing for accuracy. Imagine crushing the head of predator ten feet away – caveman style. You’ll be ahead of the curve when all your guns are confiscated. Geez, I just had to get off topic.

Recommended link:

MovNat in a city park

MovNat in the woods

Post-SHTF will require functional fitness. Get started now. You’ll be ahead of the herd!

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there… 

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Copyright: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

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