Make Great SHTF Bread with a Homemade Starter

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Bread has fed the human race for millennia. Whether leavened or not bread has been a staple of society as far back as we have been able to create flour. However crude those first breads were, they were hot off stone and must have been a gift in the harsh world.

Storing flour and growing grain are two great practices if you are preparing for a self reliance lifestyle. Making bread is not that tough. It takes some muscle to knead the dough but beyond that its a game of patience.

How does bread rise to become the crusty and fluff wonder that we all enjoy? Well, it needs something called yeast. Now, yeast comes in packets at the store and is often called Active Dry Yeast. For many, using yeast is simple but once they are out it means no more bread, right?

What if I told you that yeast was naturally occurring and in the air all around you?

Its the truth. You can harvest your own yeast and use it to make all sorts of bread at home. This requires an understanding of the needs of yeast but beyond that its pretty easy.

Take about a 1/4 cup of flour and dump it into a small bowl. Add 1 tbsp of sugar and  some water to make a stodgy mix. Leave this uncovered on or near a windowsill for a day. Next cover it and let it sit for 7 days. The mix will go grey and start to bubble. You may need to add more water or flour to keep it stodgy and feed the yeast.

After 7 days you will be able to mix some or all of this into a dough recipe and it will have enough yeast to make your bread rise, just like you would with dry yeast. Its an amazing practice that will open your eyes to the world of natural yeast!

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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By J.G. Martinez D.

An outbreak of a sickness is always bad, but can you imagine how bad it would be in a country where the system has already collapsed?

They say there is no isolated disgrace. They always come three in a row. My country is totally vulnerable nowadays. Our economy has crumbled. Our medical system has collapsed. We can´t respond in any way to this sort of threat like the coronavirus out of China.

With such a close economic relationship with the Chinese, I heartily doubt the world will learn anything useful about the spreading of the disease. Remember, we in Venezuela are being subject to an extermination policy. Who dictated it? I can´t tell…yet. But once the truth can be told, I will.

It would be worse in metropolitan areas.

The spreading of the disease can be much faster in places like the Caracas metro, where the air conditioning is no longer working, and the crowding of people is constant and quite high. This is the perfect media to get infected. With the coverage of the metro and Caracas being a small city, in a couple of weeks the real disaster will present itself.

My perception is, most of the medical staff will get the heck out with their families. There is a real difference between battling a potentially deadly virus under normal circumstances and a totally different animal when medics are going from patient to patient without even being able to change gloves.

How many of those attending to some medical care center with regular flu symptoms will be contaminated? How are the doctors to be able to perform the needed tests? The gangsters already burned semi-trucks loaded with the aid trying to get into the country and blocked the borders.

It will take longer than usual to reach the countryside

Our vulnerability is high, indeed. However, there are some interesting aspects to consider, brought along with the induced collapse: the lack of mobility will slow the disease spreading outside the cities themselves.

The arrival to the countryside is inevitable, though. There are too many products that can´t be found there, and finally, someone will start trading, and, just as has happened in human history, it will bring the disease.

Despite my acknowledgment of the spirit and dedication of our doctors, my impression is, that given the high level of risk, they will get their families out of the cities, to get out of dodge as well, once the conditions are given. I know there is a lot of control exerted by the military over the hospitals. These have become an underground business in some instances. I haven´t got any proof (yet), but it has been like this for a long time. This was one of the needs for change that people who voted Hugo wanted in the first place. Health care was available freely, but good healthcare was just for those who could afford it.

Back on topic, we know that being isolated in a secluded, self-sufficient and sustainable place is the safest way to overcome this type of disaster, if it gets out of control (at least for some time).

Nowadays, Venezuela is lacking a capable workforce in most of the cities and public administration positions. We all know the disaster already present in the hospitals, without money to acquire the supplies my people desperately need.

The disaster will be unparalleled in our current situation.

You don´t need too much imagination to know what could happen once the mostly useless medical facilities start to receive the patients. Those who perhaps assisted looking for care or accompanying someone who maybe was not even part of the contaminated crowd will be exposed and it´s very likely they will get sick. This part could happen anywhere.

Right now, in the United States, people in the know rush around getting supplies. Hospitals establish protocols.

Under the current circumstances, there is no way that Venezuela can resist an epidemic event. Once the disease starts to affect the barracks where the uniforms live…it´s going to be an epic catastrophe.

Arsenals undefended will be looted. Gang wars will start in a matter of days. Maybe a lockdown of the cities would be enforced…provided there are troopers healthy enough to execute it. Maybe finally, people will lose fear and some kind of revolution starts. This is a truly shadowy scenario, indeed. It reminds me of those areas of Pakistan that suffer an earthquake first and later flooding. Dang.

The Caracas Metro subway was considered once the most modern in all of Latin America. But, as usual in everything the commies occupy, I would rather take a cab, even being broke. It´s not being properly maintained, breaking down in the middle of the tunnels, and people have had to risk their integrity walking between stations…INSIDE the tunnel. Public transportation is one of the most likely ways to get infected, indeed. The other ways are those present in most of the cities. Elevators, stairs, hallways, markets, supermarkets, and alike.

Leaving the city would be difficult once the outbreak occurred.

Once the roads are closed…I don´t know what could happen. The law enforcement organizations lack enough resources. Most of the vehicles are in need of repair. This includes ambulances and fire/police trucks. Someone riding along a road could be subject to harsh treatment if he gets caught. Maybe at night, but with the high risk of road pirates…this is hard to predict.

What I feel is, that those unable to isolate themselves for enough time until the breakout resolves by itself are going to have a real hard time in the cities.

You would need to be in a secluded place, stocked with supplies and some degree of sustainability and communications with the outside world (a police scanner with a good antenna in a mountain hidden of prying eyes would be extremely useful right now if you ask me).  Maybe this will be the only way to survive.

There would be so many deaths.

The few supplies that could be sent to the affected communities, as usual, will never arrive there. It has happened before with the rationing scheme. Just like in every place the communists have stomped, a black market is quickly in place, with all kinds of rationed products at inflated prices.

Facing a sudden pandemic, with our people already weakened from malnutrition, would result in tons of casualties, that´s for sure. Those in charge of at least recording the numbers will hide everything. That data will never be properly collected, and if someday those numbers happen to see the light, they will be inaccurate and unreliable.

The death toll and suffering will be unfathomable.

And it will be covered up.

About Jose

Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on Patreon. Donations:

This content was originally published here.

In a post-SHTF world, there will be trash piling up everywhere, and for the most part, it will stay undisturbed until vegetation takes over.

Every movie portraying the end of civilization depicts cities where garbage is piling up and we see scavengers looking for hidden treasures in those garbage piles. However, the reality may be different than what we see in the movies and the survivalist doesn’t really have the luxury to throw out garbage.

What may seem garbage to some, in a desperate situation, that garbage may have contradictory qualities to others. After all, improvisation is the mother of necessity, and everything can be reused and given a new life, even the garbage you throw out.

The topic of reusing garbage ore recycling it is not covered
as much as it should within the prepping communities. It’s one of the sensitive
topics that few people bother to think about, let alone talk about it.  Some are afraid that reusing their garbage
will make them a hoarder in the eyes of others, while others fear that society
will isolate and condemn them for their practices. 

Re-purposing garbage for survival may seem eccentric in our
“modern society,” but this is a common practice in third world countries. As
you will see in the following lines, there are many ways you can reuse your
garbage, and this is the knowledge you want to acquire before SHTF.

Dumpster diving is already a common practice in our country,
and in recent years, there has been an increased number of people having to
rely on it just to survive. Not to mention that we see more and more in the
news how people living in countries affected by economic collapse (such as
Venezuela) are eating whatever they can find in the trash just to survive
another day.

For the purpose of this article, we will look at how organic
and non-organic waste can be reused when SHTF.

Non-organic Waste

Many American families are recycling their non-organic waste,
and it’s a good practice to keep our environment clean. However, when recycling
facilities no longer work, we would have to think of ways to reuse this garbage
without suffocating our living area. In your household, you are probably
recycling a certain amount of glass, plastic, paper, and metal every year. But
what would you do with all that waste if you are forced to reuse it?

It’s obvious that every glass bottle or jar can be used as containers. However, you can also cut these items to make various objects. You can find a lot of info online about turning glass items into drinking glasses, candle supports, toothbrush supports, and whatnot.

Since you cannot fill your house with drinking glasses and
you won’t need more than one or two toothbrush supports, you need to find
another life for your bottles and jars.

You can use the bottles and jars you recycled for your
garden chores and even as building materials. Some people will make a bottle
torch, while others will use them as planters. I’ve also seen shelves created
from bottles and other furniture. There are also people using them as building
materials for Earthships and similar construction projects.

Glass items are also ideal for creating perimeter alarms or
traps that will slow down intruders. Broken glass is cemented to the top of
brick walls to keep nosey people at bay, and if you top your fence with barb
wire, you will have a double layer of security. If you can afford to buy a
small kiln or if you are able to build one, you can melt glass and make floor
or wall tiles. There are all sorts of possible uses for your glass items.

Reusing plastic in a survival scenario is much easier
compared to glass. In fact, there are all sorts of projects online teaching you
how to reuse plastic items besides their obvious use as containers. Finding a
new life for your plastic items is limited only by your imagination. Preppers
are making plastic cord from plastic bottles, and it’s the “new thing” on the

All the plastic bottles you have can be used as garden
planters, fishing traps, or as building materials to create all sorts of
objects. Some can build rafts from plastic bottles, while others can build an
entire shelter.

If you have plastic bags, these can be reused for weed control in your garden. You can also use plastic bags to waterproof items, to gather water or to set animal traps. Plastic nowadays is melted and turned into blocks used in construction. Some countries are using plastic to build roads while the modern teenager is using it to 3D print various objects.

In a survival scenario, most preppers will use paper and
other paper products as fire starters and burning fuel.  However, I would personally use paper and cardboard
as insulators since this is one survival trick I’ve learned from the homeless.
They often use newspapers to insulate their clothing and footwear during the
cold season. Those that have found an abandoned place and made it their
temporary home will often insulate the walls using cardboard and duct tape.

In a blackout scenario where you can no longer heat your
home, you can use cardboard to insulate the walls of a room and move everyone
inside in order to survive the cold days.

If you like gardening, you can make homemade seed pots, and
you can use newspapers for weed protection since its biodegradable.

You can move things up a notch and make papercrete (concrete
made from paper) for your building projects. Back in the day, people were
stealing phone books and use them inside their shelter to increase protection
against home intruders.

However, if you would like to reuse paper or cardboard, I
advise you not to store these supplies inside or near your home as it can
become a fire hazard.

This is another versatile resource that can be reused in various ways post-collapse. Metal cans, coat hangers, and pretty much everything you can think of can be reused. All metal containers can be used to store or cook food, but you can also use them to improvise trip wires and alarms.

From coat hangers, you can improvise snares or make various
traps to catch small animals. With a little patience, you can use a few coat
hangers and improvise a grill to cook your food. If a metal object can be bent,
cut, drilled, or melted, then you can reuse it for your projects and give it a
new life.

Some preppers have their own foundry at home and their hobbies
include making various blades and other items they can sell. Since metal was
the main material that helped humans evolve, it will also help us survive long
after this civilized world fails us. You can do pretty much everything you want
with metal as long as you get the proper knowledge on how to transform it.

Organic Waste

When we talk about organic waste, we should make a clear distinction between the two main categories. These two are human waste and everything else that is biodegradable.

The idea of using human waste is repulsing for some, and
from experience, I can tell you that some people don’t like to talk about the
“human waste handling business” of prepping. Regardless of how the following
lines will make some people feel, I still believe this is something worth

Human waste

In ancient times, human urine and faces were used as
fertilizer by many cultures, but today, it’s an unpleasant concept for modern
people. For most of you, promoting a waste product that people associate with
diseases and consider hazardous as a resource to grow your food may seem like a
paradox, but even developed countries do it. For thousands of years, China’s
farmers have used human manure as fertilizer.

In fact, to recycle human waste is a good method to prevent
polluting surface water with nitrogen and phosphorus-rich waste. When gardening
centers are closed, you may have to use human waste in your garden since it’s a
readily-available and convenient nutrient source for your soil.

If you don’t believe me and you think I might have lost my
mind, I encourage you to read the “Humanure Handbook,” and you will learn more
about this subject.

In a dog eat dog world, you can use human waste as a
deterrent for other humans. I’ve heard survivalists say that they will use
human byproducts to conceal their stashes and make cache sites uninviting.

Biodegradable, non-human waste

All the other waste coming from your home that is biodegradable can be reused in an SHTF scenario in two major ways.

As you probably have figured it out by now, the most common
one is to turn biodegradable waste into compost. Almost all the organic
leftovers from your kitchen can be turned into compost, and this is a common
practice in the countryside. Country folks use organic waste to improve the
quality of their garden soil and boost each year the gardening season. There is
a lot of information online about what can be turned into compost.

The second method of reusing biodegradable garbage is to
build a biogas generator that would provide you with energy to power your
appliances when the grid is down. This approach is rather new (and complex) for
most preppers out there, but it can be done.

In today’s world, the consumerism trend is making us dormant
and obedient, and we often forget that everything we produce can be reused and repurposed.
We are being trained to consume and produce garbage, and we keep repeating this
cycle. If you take a moment and think about it, you will realize that every
object you come in contact with during your day to day activities may have
other used besides ending up as garbage.

Fabrics can be reused, batteries can be reconditioned,
furniture can be repurposed, and we can prolong the lives of the items instead
of creating garbage. This may not sound appealing to most folks, but in a world
where resources are scarce, you may be forced to hold on to your garbage.

This content was originally published here.

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Do you really know all the benefits that natural world possesses? Are you at all familiar with what you can do with wild medicine? Perhaps you know all about it but have you used any of it?

Native Americans have used these naturally occurring medicines for at least a thousand years.

One thing you want to be very careful about is the hard reboot. In other words, if you are living a completely dependent and convenient lifestyle you are going to have a serious struggle, post collapse, when you realize its all on you!

Lets look at 5 medicines that you can find close by and can help out with a number of different ailments.

Aside from smelling great and having legitimate affects on the mind, lavender is also a filled with elements that help the skin with all sorts of itch and bothersome rashes. Having a oils or tinctures can go a long way in dealing with these types of rashes.

The bark contains a powerful pain reliever and fever reducer. Understanding what willow looks like and how to use it is paramount if you are going to be a natural healer of any kind. Its a tree, too, so that means you can use all four seasons of the year!

A simple weed that grows anywhere, this plant is great for wound treatment as a poultice to help your wound heal faster. Avoid chewing this plant up in your mouth as your mouth is full of bacteria. Instead you can process it in a shemagh or in the bandage you will be using.

Long known to be a powerful healer of winter woes. Elderberry is great for cough and flu. Its easy stuff to make and cans well. No SHTF medicine cabinet is complete without some elderberry syrup.

Even the common dandelion have a powerful medicinal affect, if you know how to use it.  As a tonic dandelion can be used to stimulate appetite and deal with stomach upset. This could be more of a problem than you think in a SHTF scenario.

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.”

Permanent link to this article:

This content was originally published here.

Bug Out or Ride it Out and Hope for the Best?

The problem with SHTF contingency planning is how difficult it is to know if/when it’s time to load up and get the hell out of Dodge. If you wait too long you may be trapped, like the people in Wuhan, China.

If you leave too early you run the risk of burning bridges with your employers, leaving your property vulnerable to looters, kids missing too much school, and maybe looking foolish to those people who already think you’re a kook. I know some of you have lifestyles that allow you to bypass the above consequences, but not most people.

Armageddon movies make the decision look easy. 

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Alien spaceships suddenly appear in the skies or the country is invaded or nuked. The hero is prepared, and he or she saves the day. Rarely do they make a movie or write a prepper novel that has people already in their bug-out location when SHTF. It’s half the adventure getting there!

What makes for a great screenplay is different from what makes for a successful and safe evacuation from a danger zone. You want to reduce the number of potential obstacles to your escape, including keeping your vehicle fueled, having your equipment and supplies organized, paper maps available, and stockpiling food and water so you don’t have to deal with potential shortages.

Paralysis by analysis

So, let’s assume you are that guy…or gal. You and your family are prepared to bug out on a moment’s notice and you have everything you need to arrive at your destination. When do you pull the trigger? Have you talked about it? Are you discussing it now that the coronavirus has been unleashed on the world? Are you adding items to your inventory before the crush hits local stores?

You can’t wait until your community is quarantined. Do you leave when someone in your city or county is diagnosed? If not one person, how many? How will you know when local cases are diagnosed? What is the situation where you are planning to go?

Are you feeling a little paralyzed yet?

What to do

No one has a crystal ball, and even the experts most involved in this pandemic  (or whatever it is called right now) have no idea how far this virus will spread or how lethal it may become. Thailand has officially announced the virus is out of control there, and we can’t trust what China is telling the world so, it really is up to each person to take a reading and monitor the situation.

Listen to the local and national news. Obviously you don’t want to be traveling through affected areas so you may have to adjust your planned route. Did I mention paper maps?

Decide what the conditions will be that trigger your bug-out, and don’t waver, or second guess. Get everyone involved, on the same page. Stick to your plan. If you have vacation or sick days on the books, take them before you leave; you may be coming back. Use the time in front of you to complete unfinished preparations.

If you do leave, limit your contact with other people along the way. Don’t go to restaurants or convenience stores. Buy your fuel at the pump if you didn’t bring any, and use disposable plastic gloves when you handle the gas hose, tossing them before you return to the vehicle. Take a porta-potty and plenty of bags, and a shovel.

If you are taking perishables, a cooler with dry ice (don’t store inside your vehicle) will last a lot longer than bagged ice. Dehydrated foods for the trip would be more ideal. Take plenty of water (at least a gallon per day per person).

Whatever time you think it will take you to get to your destination, triple it if you waited too long and the roads are crowded; double it anyway for a margin of safety. Stay current on outbreak news. A small Ham radio would be handy for international news. Avoid cities and large communities even if it adds miles to your trip.

This may all blow over in a few weeks and never reach the point where you decide to make your move. Use this situation as a good training scenario for the future. Watch what happens to people in other parts of the world and adjust your contingency plans.

The one human weakness that leads to death in the face of adversity is the failure to act when it is time, hoping things won’t get any worse.

While you are here, take a minute and click one or both of the links below and visit our sites for “fresh daily” news and opinion. Don’t forget to sign up for our email list!

David Brockett is a Vietnam Veteran and former Marine aviator.  He writes fiction and historical fiction, as well as articles on politics, religion, gun-rights, preparedness, and current events. 

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This content was originally published here.

The Three Most Important Factors for Managing Disease in SHTF

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Hollywood, video games and authors have done a great job at portraying what an SHTF scenario might look like. We are all well aware of the threats from humans, the warring factions, the struggle to eat and drink. Maybe even the struggle to find safe shelter.

These portrayals have done a lot to open peoples eyes to the fact that our society can change drastically in a matter of moments. Its not set in stone that we live in this hyperconvenient society forever. So if you build your preps on this model there could be somethings you are missing.

While Mad Max type villains may seem like the most dangerous part of a post-apocalyptic world, you will find that its actually disease that presents the greatest threat. Lets look at the three most important factors to consider for managing disease in SHTF.

Human Waste

From day one you are going to see the issue of human waste. Its gotta go somewhere and if the water system is compromised, you are going to have real struggles dealing with that. Unless you have a plan. Something like a compost toilet or an outhouse is going to become the main method, if you take the time to make a method.

The worst case scenario will be those around you who just start going anywhere, that is how disease spreads in a hurry.

The only thing as consistent as our bodily functions is our ability to create trash waste. What do you plan on doing with that? Well, there are a few answers for trash. Most of the time you are going to burn that waste. What about those around you? There is a good chance we can see piles of trash and pests in our streets. This is the best breeding ground for disease and viruses.

Human Contact

The final factor is simple, its human contact. Others will be carrying disease and coming in contact with them will only spread that disease. If you can understand these three factors you might be able to mitigate them, at least on your end.

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.”

Permanent link to this article:

This content was originally published here.

Our motto is “Hope for the best and prepare for the worst!” even though hoping has little to do with the outcome of a disaster.

An SHTF event can hit unexpectedly and the manner in which you act, but most importantly, the timing will be the main key to determine your odds for surviving.

The following article can be classified under the “common
sense” category although, many of us know too well, common sense has become a
rarity nowadays. Before starting to evacuate or hunkering down, it is mandatory
to stop and think, and to act with a clear mind.

There may be little to no warning before a crisis arises, and people usually start panicking when time is running out. The event is the main thing that will dictate your course of action and response time, regardless if you are a prepper or not. However, to make sure you are doing the right thing, you need to develop a crisis mindset.

This type of mindset is common among first responders and
other agencies dealing with the natural or social element. They develop it
through regular training on the field, and the lessons they learn following a
certain real-life event will often become a new chapter in their training

For the common Joe, it would be ideal to be aware of the
signs of an impending emergency situation. However, due to our way of life and
the fast-moving times, developing a good sense of awareness is almost
impossible. Even so, if you will ever have to face a disaster, you should remain
calm and figure the answer for the following questions before making the next

Ask yourself this when SHTF:

1. Am I Ok? Are those that count OK as well?

During a stressful event, you could be hurt without even
comprehending it. Due to the adrenaline rushing through their veins, most
people don’t realize they are hurt only after the event has come to a stop.
This is a common occurrence during terrorist attacks, and panic, combined with
an adrenaline rush, makes people unaware of what happens to them. Their
well-being may be at risk, but they won’t check themselves due to other

Regardless of the event currently unfolding, you should
first make sure you are ok. Once you have established that you were not exposed
to physical harm, you can check those close to you.

Under certain circumstances, you may not provide medical
assistance to everyone surrounding you. If you happen to find yourself in such
a scenario, your loved ones should become your main and only priority.

If you are not together, the next step would be to get in
touch with them by telephone or other means of communication or by trying to
reach their location. This last action depends mostly on your bug out plan and
how trained everyone (meeting points, alternative route, etc.).

2. What happened? (not why)

During a crisis, one should gather as much Intel as possible
in the shortest amount of time. However, most people will just waste time
figuring out unnecessary details. They may do so involuntarily, depending on
how their brain is wired.

All you need to know when a crisis occurs is what happened,
where it happened and where it is heading. Any other detail can wait for when
you reach safety. An old saying goes, “curiosity killed the cat,” but
unfortunately, humans are curious creatures as well. Whatever you do, avoid
risking your integrity when seeking out information.

A quick example of situational awareness, in this case, could be the chaos created inside a building by a shooter. In such a case, you can hear gunshots and that’s pretty much all the information you need to work with. You need to know where the shooter is located if there’s one or multiple shooters (depending on the locations of the gunshots) and where the shooter is heading. Details like who the shooter is, what his motives are if some will step in to stop him and other such things are not needed at that time.

3. Is it safe to be here?

Once a crisis has occurred, you need to establish if your
home’s integrity was affected or if it will be affected in the future. If you
notice cracks in the walls or if there are large holes in your roof, you should
leave your home. Since you are not a construction engineer, you cannot
establish how long the home will stand. It may very well crash down on you,
tapping you for God knows how long. Act based on the information you have and
don’t get trapped.

If a hurricane will hit your region, logic dictates that you
should seek safety in an underground shelter. If waters are rising and you are
caught up in flood, heading up may be the only way of escaping. However, don’t
get trapped in the attic and bring some tools to make your way out. Many people
die during flooding because they cannot escape from their attic once they end
up there. Most emergencies will dictate a specific course of action and you
should evacuate if you consider it’s not safe to stay put.

4. If I need to get out of dodge, how far and how fast do I need to go?

This question is strictly related to your bug out plan, and
if you don’t have one, you might as well hope things will go your way. If
evacuation is foreseen in your future, a bugging out plan becomes mandatory.
You should have a destination point with three or four alternative routes to
reach it, some stopping points which can serve as meeting or observation points,
and last, some caching or re-provisioning points.

The timing of your bug out plan should be calculated based
on the required travel distance, and this means you should make calculations
for traveling by both vehicles and on foot. Also, you should acknowledge that
every stopping point will affect the overall timing and the time of travel
(nighttime or daytime) will also influence the speed of travel. Make assumptions
and plan some buffering time. However, all this means squat if you don’t
practice based on your bug out plan. You need to test it a few times to make
sure it is feasible for everyone.

5. Based on what caused the event, where should we go?

Although this may seem like a contradiction, if you have a
bug out plan, things may not work the way initially planned. Certain events
will force you to rethink your actions. Think about it this way, if you are
evacuating because a wildfire is threatening your community and once you’re on
the road, you find out the fire is also heading towards your bug out location,
then going there should be out of the question. There are certain events that
could block your escape routes and in some cases, hunkering down may be your
only chance of surviving said events.

If your family is out of town or anywhere else that would require a long detour, your destination point may change more than once. Having a bug out plan is, without a doubt the right way to go, but having a backup plan to your bug out plan should also be considered.

6. What is readily available to take with me?

The importance of a bug out bag is not up for debate, and
everyone knows that a survival bag (may it be a go home bag or other
customizations) will increase one’s survival chances considerably.  If you are not preparedness minded, you can
still take supplies with you that will keep you alive for some times. The type
of supplies you can carry such as food and water, the tent you’ve used during
your camping trips, money, etc.

Take things that are in reach and the ones you can carry,
regardless if you go by foot or vehicle. If time allows it, I recommend using
your mobile phone and taking a few pictures of your home, both inside and
outside, before you go. This will allow you to notice if something is missing
and will greatly help with the insurance.

7. Is the current season an obstacle for my survival plan?

Going into the woods during the cold season is a totally
different survival game compared to the warmer months. Most people organize
their bug-out bags, and they forget to upgrade (or update them, if you will)
for the particular season. This is what I call seasonal prepping when it comes
to your bug out bag and you need to take it into account. A crisis might
dictate your next moves, but the time of the year may affect your chances of
survival worse than the crisis itself. Make sure you are equipped to face the
seasonal weather.

Not to mention that driving is also different on snow, and
it will affect the speed and the overall timeline of your bug out plan. Even if
you travel by foot, cooking a meal and building a proper shelter is much more
difficult in wintertime compared to summertime. These are things you should
consider before stepping out the door.

8. Am I alone in this?

The nature of the crisis can drastically affect the social
element, and as we all know, this is the most unpredictable and random factor
when it comes to emergency preparedness. If you are not the only one affected
by the event, and others around you are asking for help, you have basically two
choices: leave them be or give a helping hand. Your decision may be influenced
by many factors and it’s hard to predict all of them, what kind of training you
have, and overall, what type of person you are.

Even so, assuming you have time to help others, the first
thing you need to do is assess their condition. Deciding whether they should be
moved or not is an important step, and it requires first aid knowledge. Triage
may also come into play and telling someone their loved ones can’t be saved is
not easy.

Deciding to make an improvised survival group is a complex
task and requires certain actions dictated by the event itself. Every group,
regardless of its nature, requires a leader. Without leadership, there’s only

Keep in mind that improvising a survival group will take a toll on your time and resources. In a survival situation, the main thing you need to keep in mind is that being selfish or altruist is always up for debate. Not everyone is a hero, and nobody can judge you if you do what you think it’s right for yourself.

9. Is it safe to get out or go back?

This follows under the “curiosity killed the cat” classification, and regardless if you hunkered down or bugged out, at some point, you will have to go back or emerge from your shelter. The hardest part here is to decide when it is best to do so and everyone has different timing. The timing is calculated based on the type of information you manage to gather. You should listen to the world outside of the safety of your bugout or bug in locations by using any means you have (Radio, Internet, TV, etc.).

If you are bugging in, the safest approach would be to keep your head down and maintain a low profile. Observe the outside world without putting yourself at risk. The number of resources you have should give you a general idea when it is time to return to normality. Those who are bugging in may be forced to get out sooner if they don’t manage their supplies properly.

10. What are my next moves now that it has passed?

The nature of the event dictates your next steps. However,
the safest course of action would be to assume that the event is a long-term
one and may produce consequences that can last. If you are well prepared, you
can last for months and you won’t have to worry.

However, at some point, you will need to figure out what you
should focus on. Rebuilding is the next step for most Americans when dealing
with a natural disaster. If the event has long-lasting and large scale
consequences, one might want to become self-sufficient (which is impossible
without planning for it in advance).

The point here is that even though it may be impossible to
predict the aftermath of an emergency situation, you should not wait on others
to help you. There are still people in Puerto Rico without power, and there’s
no one who can tell how long it will last. Not to mention that the recent
discovery of the unused hurricane aid is something that should make you think.
When reading about it, my blood started boiling, and regardless of the anger I
felt, for me, it was once again confirmed on how little the Government cares
for its people.

The type of person you become and how you manage to mitigate the risks of an SHTF event is two things conditioned by your prepping plans.

In the current state of the world, there are many concerns,
but the most frightening part is that people are starting to see this as
normality. If you feel that you are at risk and that something may one day
alter your way of life, it’s better to develop a certain mindset that can keep you
ahead of the masses.

You can’t afford to have any “unknowns” in your survival plan. Take some time and figure out if you have the right answers for the above-mentioned questions and I guarantee that you will discover new things that need your attention and involvement. Stay safe and be prepared!

This content was originally published here.

Click HERE to learn more about Midland.

When we reviewed Midland’s .410 Backpacker in June of 2018, the company was already talking about releasing rimfire and centerfire barrels that could be easily swapped for a scattergun bore. Now, nearly two years later, Midland has announced the release of the first component of that system: the Backpacker .22LR.

The Backpacker is a single-shot, break-action firearm capable
of being folded into a compact configuration small enough to fit into most
mid-sized backpacks. The barrel can also be entirely removed with a single Allen
wrench and replaced with a barrel chambered in a different caliber/gauge. There’s
no need to change anything about the receiver—just swap barrels and you’re good
to go.

The versatility and advantage of this design are obvious. Rather than carry two separate firearms into the outback to target different game species, users can carry a 12GA barrel and a .22 LR barrel and swap them in the field.

Such a design would also appeal to the survivalists among
us. Securing food in a SHTF scenario might require both a rimfire and a
scattergun, and the Backpacker lets users have both in their bugout bag without
taking up too much space or costing too much money.

Cost separates the Backpacker from much of its competition.
With an MSRP of $170.00, you can afford to purchase two Midland firearms and
throw one in the bugout bag and one in the camper/truck/canoe.

But you shouldn’t worry about sacrificing dependability. The
manufacturing quality of the .22LR Backpacker seems to be consistent with
Midland’s other offerings.

“Making guns using these materials and finishes are what ensures Midlands can be handed down from generation to generation,” as Midland President and CEO Val Forgett told us. “That is what I want to see in this line. I still have my old single-shot from when I was a kid and want to make sure that 100 years from now, today’s Midlands are still being shot.”

A full review will provide more information, but it looks like Midland has produced another great product at an extremely accessible price point. The 16.5-inch .22 LR barrel is eminently maneuverable, and the included rail can mount a variety of magnified scopes and red dots. The trigger is heavy, but otherwise the firearm appears to be easy to operate.

For those hoping for a centerfire version, the wait isn’t quite over yet. Company reps told us they’re still working on those, but they couldn’t provide a planned release date.

They are, however, working on a combo .410/22LR firearm that they plan to release this year. Details are sketchy (no images or specs), but it’s something to look out for.

The .22LR Backpacker isn’t currently listed on Midland’s website, but company reps tell us it will be shipping to retailers soon.

Click HERE to learn more about Midland.

This content was originally published here.

It’s the end of the world, as you know it, but you feel fine. Why?

Because your tiny house has everything you need to get by. Okay, the Apocalypse isn’t really upon us, but you need to prepare for the unexpected. Even though tiny living involves downsizing, adding these must-haves means you’ll be ready for any disaster.

The great thing about a tiny house is that it’s easy to pick up and move when disaster strikes. Invest in a tiny house trailer so you and your home can make a quick get-away when necessary. You’ll have a head start evacuating an area since you won’t have to spend time packing.

Collapsible Items

No matter how many square feet surround you, you still must eat. You can whip up a quick lunch or a gourmet meal using space-saving collapsible cookware. You’ll find cooking pots made of stainless steel, silicone, and glass that flatten to a disc smaller than a Frisbee. Boil water in a teapot and strain spaghetti in a collapsible colander. Put your leftovers in collapsible containers. Even wash the dishes in a tub that collapses to a flat shape. If you need it in the kitchen, chances are good you can find it in a collapsible form.

An impending cataclysmic event like a hurricane, typhoon, or
even a blizzard in the forecast will empty the store shelves fast. Once the
disaster hits, the grocery stores close. But your tiny home will be stocked up
on fresh fruit and vegetables thanks to your garden. You don’t need a lot of
floor space or a huge yard to grow food. A vertical garden will give you more
than enough room to grow the essentials around your tiny home. Climbing plants
like pole beans, cucumbers, peas, tomatoes, and winter squash can easily grow
up a trellis.

Hydroponic gardens allow you to grow fruit and vegetables inside
year-round. And you don’t need soil. This is a must-have if the impending
disaster keeps you indoors.

Just because you’re living tiny, doesn’t mean you can’t create a pleasant environment. Your vegetable plants will help, but adding several more small houseplants will brighten your home and help keep you healthy. Houseplants can remove up to 87% of air toxins in 24 hours. Plants with broad leaves can help regulate humidity. So, what do you choose? A tiny house calls for tiny plants. Succulents work well in small homes. A succulent stores water in its leaves, stem, or both. They release oxygen at night, leading to better sleep, especially in limited space. Many indoor succulents stay small, making them an excellent choice for your tiny home. There are many choices when it comes to houseplants that add to your decor. Consider Bonsai, Air Plants, or Anthurium. Choose one or mix and match. Houseplants make your tiny house feel like a home.

First Aid

You won’t be the only one running for cover when disaster
strikes. Plenty of creatures, including the poisonous pests, are also
looking for a place to hide and keep warm. In Dallas, for example, copperheads
and rattlesnakes like the wilderness as much as you, and they could easily make
their way inside your tiny home. Black Widows and brown recluse spiders are
good at hiding, and surprising you. Stock up on anti-venom just in case the
unthinkable happens.

You’ll also need a supply of bandages, aspirin, and safety pins. Other items in a basic first aid kit include:

It wouldn’t hurt to put a few surgical
masks in your kit. You never know what kind of disaster will hit.

Even standard size houses can lack storage, so coming up with
enough of it in a tiny home is especially challenging. Circular containers take
up a lot of space, so look for square ones. You can stack them tightly and push
them against a wall. Dry baking goods, like flour and sugar, breakfast cereal,
chips, and pretzels, need less room when poured into a square container. You
can even put cold items in them and stack them in your small refrigerator.
Durable, airtight containers will do the trick. And don’t forget slightly
larger containers for toys, clothes, and pet necessities. Your motto, when it
comes to containers, is stackable!

Fresh Water and Water Filter

Finding water won’t be a problem in a blizzard, but fresh
drinking water will be in short supply in a hurricane or nuclear holocaust.
Keep a couple of gallons in the freezer. When the power goes out, you’ll be
able to keep things cool for a few days. A portable water filter will also
allow you to fetch water from streams.

You’re looking for ways to use every square inch of space in
your tiny home. Furniture takes up most of the floor, but you still have the
walls. That’s where hooks come in handy. Use wall hooks to hold hats, bags,
sports equipment, and shoes. In your sleeping space, store your jewelry and
accessories on hooks. You can use them in every room. Put them as high as you
can, maximizing wall space. Solid, sturdy hooks work best. Get creative and
incorporate them into your home decor.

The great thing about a tiny house is that it’s easy to pick up
and move when disaster strikes. Invest in a tiny house trailer so you and your
home can make a quick get-away when necessary. You’ll have a head start
evacuating an area since you won’t have to spend time packing.

Surviving tiny house living (not to mention, the Apocalypse!) is a matter of being ready. Stocking up on these items can help make your journey a smooth one.

This content was originally published here.

We are a reader supported blog and this page may contain affiliate links. When you buy something through our links we may earn a small commission.

Over the last few years of writing about prepping, survival, and current events it has come to my attention that a lot of people immediately think violence is the answer. This is across the board too. Men and women are increasingly commenting on my current events posts suggesting that violence and even killing are the ultimate solutions to a great deal of the problems that are going on today.

This has led me to ask why so many people feel this way? It is not just a bunch of fringe types that are typing these comments. I see similar sentiment on a ton of social media groups and other prepping related sites as well. This is a rush towards violence that seems to encompass all walks of life.

So what makes even housewives suggest shooting people that act out?

Some of you might be familiar with the article I wrote on lawlessness in the cities. The tendency towards violence as a solution is related.

What if the reason people from all walks are suggesting extreme actions and violence in response to crimes is that there is largely no respect or enforcement of law and justice in America today and as a result, people feel that extreme action is the only chance at reclaiming some justice in the lives of the masses?

Forced Vs Voluntary Violence

Some may get mad at me for saying this but I am going to anyway.

I think those that were drafted into military service were forced to commit violence. Sure they could have run or they could have tried to find a way out but I ask you to stop for a second and put yourself in the shoes of an 18-year-old. Now consider yourself an 18-year-old in the 30s, 40s, 60s, and early 70s. Times were different and people that age felt a lot of pressure to go and “fight for their country/freedom”. Some honestly thought they would be disowned by their immediate family or shunned by their entire community if they did anything but go and plenty would have been.

Those people were essentially forced to commit violence and in the case of some, it totally ruined them. There are some that handled it better than others but one must understand that some were more fortunate than others as far as where they were positioned.

My Dad had to fight through the TET offensive during the Vietnam War. This changed him and it changed me. I grew up in a household where I knew what violence could do. I knew the possibility was there and what it could do to a person.

When I was older and angry about something my Dad said something that stuck “you never want to have to kill someone. Never.”

I am not going to go into the nitty-gritty of Vietnam in 67-68 here but I will say this. My Dad is a kind-hearted person but as a soldier in Vietnam, they made him watch areas, sometimes with villages with children playing and working in them.

Then he was expected to call in the airstrike on those people he had watched going about their daily lives. I am going to leave it at that. These things have set the course for his life and my own because of how this level of violence changes someone permanently.

This is why I take violence so seriously. It is also the reason why I stop and think a bit when I am too angry. I have an instinct to be on guard all the times and I don’t want to lash out at people when I shouldn’t.

I also have always known that the kindest person in the world is capable of extreme violence if they are pressed hard enough. A lot of people do not understand that they are capable of such things when pressed. It is instinct and something that is buried deep in societies where there is a good safety net.

Just because you feel someone is wrong, doesn’t mean that violence is the answer.

Using violence may get others to do what you want but they will always hold you in contempt. While some people will put up with violence at times due to love, fear, and circumstances, using violence against someone that doesn’t have an emotional attachment to you whatsoever is going to mean they will always see you as that contemptible person unless they go down the path of Stockholm syndrome where they start idolizing or loving their abuser.

When part of society or an individual thinks they are morally justified to commit violence because they have a different opinion, we are in a very delicate and volatile state as a nation, group, etc.

I don’t care what political opinion you have, it is wrong to say that someone should be harmed merely because they feel differently than you. If they act in a way that is harmful or try to commit a violent act, then that is different and needs to be considered on a case by case basis.

It is important to look at both sides of an issue, especially before you call for extreme acts. Consider that there will be people out there that will manipulate information and emotions to suit their agenda. You need to research and come to conclusions yourself not just on what they say.

No matter if something occurs within a family, prepper group, or on a regional or national level, it is critical to look at the whole issue. It is very easy to make the wrong assumptions and create a worse problem or harm innocent people. The national news media does this all the time. Once false information is out there or statements are made that cater to the person making the call, it can be hard to rein in the words or negate the damage.

One must watch out for harm that comes from confusion and fear. Do not assume that you will not be used in some way by either side if you find yourself in the crossfire of violence.

While I believe that law enforcement means well in most cases, there are plenty of incidents where innocent people have been killed or harmed by law enforcement because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Drawing fire to your position

Being next to the wrong person or close to the action can mean that you are used for cover or as a distraction. People do not always react emotionally to a situation but fall back to the training and instruction they have been given.

You can be mistaken for the perpetrator

I heard a lot of people make comments asking why people with concealed weapons didn’t take down active shooters. For starters, it is easy to say these things if you are not in a violent situation and especially easy if you have never been in a position where you were front and center during a violent act.
Consider what would happen if a lot of people got out their guns and then law enforcement, SWAT, etc arrived. Now consider what might happen if one or more well-meaning citizens start shooting.

Sure there is the possibility that someone may take out the perpetrator but there is also a chance that someone may draw fire to themselves and everyone nearby them or even draw fire from law enforcement.

Decisions have to be made fast during violent situations and there is so much going on that it is impossible to know the whole scope of the situation.

Frustration and desperation can lead to peaceful people committing violent acts

Sometimes people think violence is the answer because they cannot see any other way to get what they need. Desperate times can lead to desperate measures. During an SHTF situation, people that might have been the most peaceful human beings in a neighborhood may be the first to choose violence as a means to an end.

Food, medicine, water, and drugs are common goods and vices that will lead to violence in a long emergency.

When it comes down to your family going without or someone else, what would you do? The truth is that very few people are able to admit or come to terms with the fact that they are capable of violence if the conditions are right.

People will use others to commit violence for them for a fee or favor

Gangs do this regularly. If you read the news, this is a common occurrence. What some do not realize is that this is a tactic that a lot of individuals use regularly and people fall for it. Do you know someone that seems to stir up a lot of trouble and discontent but always has others fight their battles for them regardless if they are words or of a physical nature? I sure do and I have made it a priority to not allow them to be part of my life regardless of the occasional good memories or type of relationship.

People like that are annoying and trouble causing enough during good times. Imagine what these people will be like if times are tough and they have to reduce their standard of living?

Violence is already more normalized for some people than others.

People are often products of their environment. If someone is raised in a household where violence is encouraged as a solution then they are statistically more likely to continue this behavior as long as they can in their adult life. It is a bit harder to get away with some types of violence than it used to be thanks to everything being recorded in some way.

I know families where the parent’s attitude when a fight occurs is that “a person can only take so much”. What they mean is that if someone bothers you enough then it is justified to pick a fight with them. The other party was clearly asking for it after all. I feel sorry for the kids that feel that they have to act that way to make their parent’s proud or take notice of them.

Expressing your views can make you a target, even if you are just a member of a society or organization and word gets out that you are.

I had a reader write to me and ask what a person could do that was getting harassed for their views while selling at a farmer’s market. After I asked the exact circumstances I found out that the lady in question was a member of an organization that had been accused by left-leaning groups of being racist. My response was that if you voluntarily become a dues-paying member of a group then people are going to judge you based on that. Once you put it out to the world that you feel a certain way there is no going back.

Regardless if the group truly feels a certain way, by putting your name on a membership roster you are putting yourself in the position to be categorized with anything that group is ever accused of or does. Even if your views change, years down the road that may still get used against you. By feeling the need to be too outspoken, this person put their husband and kids in a position to be targeted and harassed. Is it right, no, but it does show that you need to think about how expressing yourself and getting yourself on lists will affect those that are closest to you. I have to do this myself quite often considering the type of writer that I am.

Another question I get asked is “how people can defend themselves against harassment and potential violence?”

In some areas, there is more tolerance for one group harassing the other so to speak. The law is even told to look the other way.

Some of the issues I get asked about don’t really happen as much in a lot of areas of my home state. One of the main reasons I believe it is this way is that where I live there are no rules and laws that prevent one from defending themselves with force or firearms.

In my neck of the woods, if you harass a woman and get physical, she can shoot you. Home invasions happen but they are rare and usually done by people that are not thinking at all clearly. The threat of getting shot when you first enter a home is very real and the law will be on your side if you have to use lethal force to defend your family.

There is also the potential of starting grudges and feuds that can go on for generations. In cities where there are a lot of people coming and going, the dynamic can be different.

When people know that others are not as capable or even allowed to defend themselves, it creates ripe conditions for increased levels of bullying and violence.

Recent attempts to band some self-defense classes in states such as Virginia are nothing more than an attempt to make people more helpless and easier to control and victimize.

Defending Yourself and Your Family

There is a lot to think about when it comes to defense. I am going to link to some previous posts that can help you decide what defenses are best for you.

This content was originally published here.