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

SHTF isn’t just a modern phenomenon. Our ancestors survived many disasters. It’s best to learn their lessons. The Gila Cliff Dwellings are a great example.

Many people are starting to believe that somewhere around 10,000 years ago a massive comet colided with the earth and erased some serious civilizations that we are just revealing. Humans had to find any means of dealing with the onset of the ice age. 

Our people sought refuge in caves to deal with predators and the cold. 

While caves are not the cliff dwellings the idea is the same. 

In the mid-13th century, SHTF when a 24-year drought uprooted Native Americans throughout the U.S. Southwest. One band of the Mogollon (muggy-YON) people resettled at the headwaters of the Gila river.

There they built a fortress village in defensible cliffside caves. Attackers coming up the ravine and trails would be vulnerable to rocks thrown down by defenders.

From the clifftops, attackers would have a difficult time getting arrows or sling stones into the caves and over the walls.

A well-chosen, defensible homesite and good natural resources helped this Mogollon band survive and thrive when SHTF. Visit the Gila Cliff Dwellings, and see what lessons you can apply to your own prepping.

Your Relocation or BOL

Whether your gameplan is to buy a piece of land and live off the grid from now on or to have a piece of land that you can bug out to, you should consider some version of relocation. 

It helps to consider these things that the Mogollon tribe considered with their cliffside caves. Not to say you need cliffside caves to live in. However, you can buy a piece of land that is strategically placed. The idea of moving away is so you dont have to fight the masses.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared to!

Bonus: Root Cellar That Can Be Used as a Bunker

If you can’t afford the box culvert option you can look into is building a backyard root cellar that can be used as a bunker.

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

Easy Cellar will show you:

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

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.

One thing that recent events have led to is the realization that the kitchen and pantry cannot continue to be set up the same way. I always felt that my small kitchen could be organized better and have really tried to make some improvements but I have to admit I have never really been satisfied with how it is organized. Both Matt and I are always rummaging to find a specific thing. Now that we are eating more bulk foods and have stopped stocking some items in our kitchen, it has really gotten out of hand.

Opening up vacuum-sealed bags and mylar so that we can rotate our preps means having bags open and clipped. You cannot just glance in the cabinet and see exactly what we have. There is also the issue of bags always falling over which can lead to spillage if you are not careful how you clip it.

I really love my kitchen but it is small compared to what a lot of people have. I have quite a few cabinets but I am low on counter space at least in part due to buying an electric toaster oven and a hotplate to help reduce our propane consumption during the pandemic and have a back up if the propane runs out at some point.

Extra Table=More Prep Space

Eventually, the plan is to have a small table near the kitchen that will provide additional counter space rather than sometimes using the dining table which is not that far from the kitchen. No matter what size kitchen you have, if you are making enough food products at home, there may be times when it feels a little cramped.

You can get small carts and other things that can help add counter and prep space to your kitchen but I think Matt is just going to make mine out of wood we have on hand so that it matches the rest of the house. Never underestimate just how much a little extra counter space can help in a kitchen. Of course, the downside to that is that it is more space to get cluttered too.

Finding containers to fit your space can be challenging.

I did a lot of research on different containers. For starters, I didn’t want to buy something that was not durable. I don’t like buying things again and again. We have a cast iron sink that is notorious for causing breakage of glass items that slip out of your hands. I love my sink but here lately with so many things stored in mason jars, there have been a few incidents. Once time just the lid broke but I lost about 4 oz of bread yeast and I found out the hard way that yeast will not just wash down the drain. It will clog your sink quite badly. I had to use oxygen cleaner to clear the line out. I was just thankful that the pipes didn’t have to be taken apart and cleaned out that way.

Rubbermaid Brilliance System

I found this system after doing a lot of research. There are a variety of appealing features when it comes to this system. For starters, they come in a variety of sizes and shapes that are made to easily stack on each other. Sizes range from 0.5 cups to 19 cups. All containers are airtight and leak-proof and have easy to lock down handles.

The pantry sized containers are a much better deal if bought in a set. The same goes for the smaller containers if you are just getting started. Of course, you can pick up multi-packs of a certain size if you decide that you need more or a certain size meets your particular pantry needs.

Considering I have never really bought anything except a few baskets and pan racks, I didn’t feel too terrible about spending around $160 on containers, especially something from Rubbermaid. I have never bought a Rubbermaid product that was not of superior quality and exceptionally tough. For those of us that are making even more of an effort to buy US-made products, Rubbermaid makes sense for a lot of household needs.

How COVID-19 has changed my kitchen.

We are eating more foods that come in bulk and we have less garbage.

Purchasing larger amounts of one thing we use a lot of and then repackaging into smaller sealed containers has made a lot of sense for us and reduced how much garbage we produce. It is amazing. We have actually had to start reminding each other about taking the trash out occasionally even when it is not full sometimes because it will sit too long. In order to avoid wasting bags, we just look around the house for anything that needs thrown out and empty all the waste bins into the one bag.

We are opening up some of our older stored foods and using them in our cooking.

It was time to rotate some food. It is very easy to put back food thinking it is for your 5-10 year food supply. That is that it will stay good for that long. Some things will and there are still other foods that may stay good for decades if sealed properly.

That being said, it is a good idea to use some stock and replace it with newly purchased preps. For example, if you find a mylar bag that seems to have a little too much air in it and it is a few years old, it is a good candidate to open and use up if it is still palatable and bug-free.

Remember that flour doesn’t keep as long as you might think. We opened some up that was 5 years old and sealed in mylar and it was pretty stale tasting. This is why so many choose to put back whole grains that have not been ground if they want something that will last for a very long time without tasting weird after a few years.

We have mostly just opened up some beans, grits, and mashed potatoes. After a few years, they all seem fine.

The refrigerator is mostly used for storing leftovers, unthawing meats, condiments, waxed cheese, opened canned goods and fresh pickled and fermented products. Oh and fresh yogurt and yogurt cheese!

Any really fresh stuff is coming in from the garden or from our Shiitake mushroom logs. We don’t have as much space taken up by canned beverages as we used to since we are making a lot of our beverages and kegging them. Seltzer and beer are on tap rather than in a can.

We are better about not leaving dried goods open for extended periods of time. We find creative ways to use them.

Let’s be honest. How much did you actually eat dried beans, rice, potatoes, etc before the pandemic? Maybe I am wrong but I think a lot of people didn’t eat some of these foods except occasionally because they take a little bit of time to cook and they need to be combined with other things to be tasty and not bland.

This is one of the reasons I asked James to do his article on recipes with beans and rice as well as a post on using oats. Even seasoned preppers that have been putting back those types of foods for years, don’t necessarily have a ton of ideas off the top of their head as to how to use them for meals they will actually enjoy. Here are the links to James’ posts if you are struggling with recipe ideas.

Our selection of spices has increased and we have been better about storing them and keeping them in more convenient containers.

Spices are really important when you are cooking from scratch. We have stocked up on some that we use often. Basically none of the ingredients we are using to cook are already seasoned so a good selection of spices to cook a lot of different cuisine is essential. Once you start cooking from scratch you realize just how much salt and other spices it takes to create a meal. When you are buying everything at least partially made already, it is easy to not know that.

Here is a link to an article on what spices and seasonings are good to have on hand. Remember that some spices are only grown in certain areas so the ongoing pandemic situation could lead to some not being as readily available. I didn’t realize that the basic black peppercorn that graces practically every table in the USA is mostly grown in India.

We cook from powdered foods more. Items like powdered whole milk and buttermilk, cheese powder, and more.

There was a time that I would have been a little appalled at the idea of using so many dried powders for cooking but that was years ago when I wasn’t aware of the variety and quality that was available. For example, if I had to make every cheese sauce with cheese powder that was full of artificial colors or flavors, I wouldn’t be as enthusiastic as I am when using a powder with real food ingredients. Yes, it costs more to get better quality dried goods but it is worth it.

Impulse Items and Treat Management

I have found that limiting the number of snacks and the types of snacks offered in the kitchen pantry help us both eat better and not blow through the convenient and easy to reach items quite so fast. During this time I have bought a few foods that before the pandemic I rarely bought but I figured I would buy a bulk pack of 2 oz bags of potato chips for example. I stashed half of the little bags in the more long term preps and have no plans to bring up more for quite some time. At least part of this is due to the fact that when they are too easy to get too they get consumed more than they should.

We don’t have kids so we are just having to practice food self-control ourselves. Those of you with kids are probably having to figure out some ways to keep them from eating up a lot of the snack foods and such. I have heard more than a few parents talking about how they are going to have to start rationing some items more because people being at home more has resulted in some things getting consumed way to fast and other more healthy options getting set aside.

The containers I bought are going to be a big help with rationing things out. Instead of having 4 lbs of one type of dried fruit or nuts out, we have had a single pound or even less of some items. When there is a huge container of something, it is easier to eat more in a single session.

It is important to have items stored where you use them the most.

For example, the dried items like chives, vegetable broth powder, minced garlic, and onion, are above the stove where we can get to them ins seconds when preparing meals.

Consider your kitchen layout and the flow of things.

It may take some time to get it set up the way that is best overall. It is one of those cases where you learn by doing and even if you have lived in your house for quite a while, you may not have spent that much time actually using your kitchen and pantry if you are like a lot of people in the USA. More time at home means more time preparing meals and eating at home too.

Other Food Storage Container Systems

These are often sold under the Foodsaver brand and they require a vacuum sealer that has an accessory port and hose. Even some of the inexpensive vacuum sealers have these on them. Of course, the seal is broken every time you open the jar but this would work well for sealing up a larger container or maintaining the freshness and quality of a product that you simply don’t use that often.

You can buy a lid that will seal standard Mason jar lids and one for Wide Mouth jars too. This is a good way to use standard lids and rings to keep dry food in regular jars. If you are trying to save money and have a lot of Mason jars anyway, this might be a good choice.

These look impressive and they are in the same price range as Rubbermaid Brilliance. I kind of wish I had got a few of these just to see how well they perform. I may have to do that if I need some more really big containers. One of the negative aspects of the Rubbermaid Brilliance System is that it was sometimes hard to find packages of large containers for a reasonable cost. Regardless of the brand, it seems that you can do a lot better by getting a package of assorted size containers rather than buying individually. The downside is getting some smaller bins that you might not find as useful.

Generic Plastic Bins

I saw a lot of these on Amazon and eBay but I was a little concerned about buying just random plastic bins for our food. I am going to include a few that I found that people seem to be satisfied with. Most of these are made with the same style of heavy-duty plastic that you see in Rubbermaid containers but I cannot personally testify to the quality of any of these.

Amazon has their own brand that is similar to the Rubbermaid Brilliance System. These seem to lock down on 4 sides. To me, these would be a little annoying to open and close for that very reason but I have to say the price is alright and despite the shortcomings of Amazon, they do have an excellent return policy.

These are very similar to the Rubbermaid Brilliance containers. If I had not already bought a lot of containers I would be tempted to try these out because they have a solid rubber seal that is airtight and the size and shape of each container are appealing for a variety of dried foods.

Has the pandemic situation changed your kitchen and pantry? Have you found the need to organize things differently? Have you found that you would rather cook at home rather than go out to eat or get take out?

This content was originally published here.

It is one thing to plan and prepare for safe travels before and even during a crisis or a major disaster, but not too many preppers have a plan for how they will travel safely and in good order after a major disaster takes hold.

Have you stopped to consider how long you might truly be living in working in the aftermath? You should, since it will affect every element of your life, including your travels.

There is so much we take for granted today when traveling…

We know where we are going, generally how we will get there, the routes we take will be clearly marked, clear, safe and we enjoy all manner of protection when traveling from first responders as well as private interests who can swoop in to help us when we run afoul of accident or get waylaid.

It is not hard to imagine that you will be lacking most or even all of those factors in the aftermath of a serious crisis.

And the situation might stay that way for some time. Will you be prepared to set out across the land on foot or by vehicle in an era where you are far from guaranteed to arrive safely at your destination? We will help you prepare for that eventuality in this article.

A Free Man (or Woman) Traveling the Land

It is easy to forget just how dangerous travel was in eras past. There were not necessarily highways as we enjoy them today. There certainly weren’t interstates.

Road signs might have been non-existent, or if they did exist, they could have been inaccurate or easily tampered with.

There was definitely no Highway Patrol, no AAA and, potentially, not even many other fellow travelers to help you if you got in a jam.

All sorts of hazards have awaited travelers over the centuries, everything from becoming stranded or overtaken by bad weather to getting lost or even waylaid by highwaymen and bandits.

If you were not fortunate enough to have people in your party, real traveling companions that you could count on, all you had and could rely on was your own wit, grit and resourcefulness to get yourself out of a potentially lethal situation.

Every once in a blue moon, a Good Samaritan might happen by and help a stranded traveler.

But as we all know the expectation of mercy and helpfulness when someone was truly helpless was hardly a thing that could be depended on until our modern age.

If you call yourself a prepper, it is definitely in your best interest to have a contingency plan for dealing with these types of conditions should they befall us again.

In the wake of a major natural or man-made disaster you might no longer be able to rely on the technology, the services, the landmarks and the flat-out certainty when traveling that you are used to.

If you only had to take care of yourself, and take care of business while en route to your destination under the new paradigm is the difference between life and death, between reaching your loved ones or getting back home, ask yourself honestly: will you be up to the task?

Considerations for Post-SHTF Travel

You will have plenty to plan and consider while properly traveling in the aftermath of a major disaster.

If you are going anywhere further than down the street or perhaps across town, you must treat the journey with extraordinary seriousness. Becoming stranded, getting lost, injured or attacked could mean certain death.

Below are a few considerations that should be factored into your trip planning:

Route Conditions

If at all possible, attempt to ascertain the conditions of your route before striking off. This could be challenging if modern communications are disrupted.

You want to know if the route has been physically damaged, is clogged with traffic from evacuees coming or going, or just an ocean of stalled and abandoned vehicles after the situation became untenable.

If you’re unable to raise anybody at your destination or at any official agency that can offer guidance via phone, radio or some other electronic method, try to find someone who has recently come into town via the way you plan on going and ask him or her about the conditions on the path.

Any information might make the difference. You’ll need to know if it is completely impassable, partially passable or clear, along with any possible detours that might exist.

One major consideration is the presence or absence of road signs, Trail markers or any other dependable physical landmarks so you can navigate reliably to your destination.

Do not assume that you will know the way just because you have traveled it a hundred, or even a thousand times before things went really bad: the entire landscape is liable to look very different from the way it did before.

Also factor in the return trip if you are planning one. Just because a route is clear does not mean it will stay that way, and deteriorating road conditions due to weather or other circumstances are far from out of the question.

You might trade a certain outcome where you are for being marooned with an unknown outcome elsewhere if you are not careful.

How far are you going? Are you going across town, across the county, all the way across the state or halfway across the country?

With greater distance comes more challenges and a greater logistical burden, including your method of conveyance, the supplies required and the overall exposure to risk or mishap.

If you are not going far by vehicle, for instance, and something goes wrong be it a flat tire or other mechanical breakdown, you can always grab your essential goodies and hoof it back home or on to your destination.

This will not be a surefire Plan B if you are making a trip of several hundred miles, however. There are too many variables to compute to say your outcome will be anything but uncertain.

Generally, the greater the distance you are traveling means you must weigh even more cautiously the downsides to not making the trip compared to making a trip over a shorter distance.

Getting derailed or sidetracked on a short trip is usually nothing to worry about. The same thing happening on a long trip could spell disaster.

Stopping Points

Whether you’re making a short trip or a lengthy one, do you know where you can stop if you get into trouble or just get tired?

This is especially important on long trips as you might imagine, as having a safe place to stop, rest and attend to other creature requirements of the flesh will be mandatory.

It isn’t safe to stop just anywhere, as you can be more vulnerable to all kinds of things, not the least of which he’s being overtaken by your fellow man who has bad intentions for you, or exposed to the elements.

This is critical if you are traveling on foot; an automobile can at least offer the nominal protection and shelter of its bodywork.

A poorly-planned stop will do nothing but increase your vulnerability, all other things being equal.

You will face increased danger from your fellow man anytime you are living in a without-rule-of-law scenario, for instance the kind we experienced in 2020 that has made travel so risky and uncertain.

When policing agencies and efforts start to fall apart or lose effectiveness at any level you will see an increase in crime, no matter what other existential threat everyone, as a populace, is facing. There are always wolves at the border, and this situation will be no different.

Be they desperate or merely of a criminal bent makes very little difference, practically; many of them will want what you have, including the contents of your BOB, the supplies your vehicle carries if you are driving one, and the vehicle itself.

Some of them will just want to kill you for sport. Others will want to do worse things. Do you have a plan for dealing with such an eventuality?

Hand-to-hand skills are always useful, but the presence of weapons is a virtual certainty, and you must be able to respond in kind.

Effective use of a weapon requires training, and there will be no or little time for training after an SHTF event. Get armed, get trained and practice now so that you will have proficiency later.

Even then, if you are traveling alone, you will be extraordinarily vulnerable to even a single attacker. Multiple attackers will be a critical threat.

Do not delude yourself. This danger magnifies when you are stopped or resting, but blundering into a roadblock or ambush is far from out of the question, and a constant threat on the most heavily traveled routes.

Terrain Factors

Consider what terrain you might be facing in your travels. Especially if you are forced to go off road and travel cross-country, the condition of the underlying terrain will drastically alter your timetable, and the effort/fuel required to transit.

Making a bad call or running into bad luck on terrain might see you halted or, even worse, stuck fast. This is definitely what you would call a bad day if you are traveling by vehicle.

Terrain that you could typically count on, assuming you know the area and your route well, could be transformed into a hazardous trap by bad weather: snow, rain and attendant conditions of reduced visibility will all affect your progress as well as your safety.

If you do get stuck or run into terrain that you cannot risk traversing, do you have a back-up plan? Is there a detour you can take or an entirely alternate wrapped?

For vehicles, do you have any recovery gear like a winch, straps, shovels, jacks and so forth? Failing to plan for these eventualities can spell disaster.

“Flight” Planning

Before embarking on any dangerous adventure, any seasoned wasteland wanderer or expert survivor will advise you to file a flight plan with a third party that you can expect to at least give a damn if you go missing or are significantly overdue.

This might be difficult to arrange in a post SHTF setting, but it is still achievable so long as you are not a complete Lone Wolf.

Filing of your flight plan is simple. You’re simply handing off your intended route along with any alternate routes to a third party that you know you can trust to come look for you or, if they cannot come look for you, to send someone who will if you do not arrive or return by a certain time.

A smart flight plan will leave some wiggle room for contingencies, delays and other generally harmless mishaps, but not so much that you’ll be stranded for an extended period of time sucking down supplies or slowly bleeding out.

Your contact can be someone at your home base or at your intended destination if you can raise them, but what matters most is that they know what your plan is and that they have a plan of their own for seeking you out if you do not show up by a certain time.

One of the most obvious and simple factors for planning any trip is also one where many preppers stumble or get things wrong. What do you need to successfully negotiate your trip, and how much of it?

Fuel is obviously one critical factor, even if you are traveling on foot. A steady supply of calories taken in will keep you operating mentally and physically at peak condition.

It is true that you can go quite a while with no food before you starve to death, but you will start to deteriorate physically and mentally once you have missed several meals.

Vehicles will require liquid fuel, of course, and assuming it is not a one-tank trip you will have to make allowances for the weight, space and security of spare fuel containers.

Other supplies will abound as well: spare parts if you have them along with tools to take care of any mechanical breakdowns or flat tires, shelter supplies in the form of tents, bivys, blankets and so forth.

Perhaps some spare clothing. Various other survival supplies that you should already have in your BOB, and so forth.

All of these things will count against your personal weight tolerances if you are moving on foot, or your vehicle’s space and carrying capacity if going by auto.

Post-SHTF travel will be significantly different from the comparatively smooth, safe and easy travel that we enjoy today. The experience will be harrowing, dangerous, stressful and full of uncertainty.

But like any other facet of survival you must prepare for this contingency. Take the time to study the factors we have outlined above, and you’ll be ready to minimize risk, and help ensure a positive outcome when the time comes to hit the road on a lengthy trip or a short one after the shit hits the fan.

This content was originally published here.

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

The bug out is a big deal and it goes a long way if you truly need to get out of dodge. However, bugging out on foot should be avoided if it can be.

Images: instructables.com

Having an effective, wheeled, method to get to your bug out location could make all the difference. 

You will get there quicker and you will obviously be a harder target to deal with. 

Have you ever dreamed of one of those extreme bug out vehicles? What about a decommissioned ambulance. There are many benefits here but how on earth do you go about getting an ambulance? 

Government Auctions

While it might seem impossible to get your hands on something like this, it’s well within the realm of possibilities. In fact, the governments both locally and federally auction of things all the time! 

You need to do some work on your end. Seeking out the local auctions or the best auctions is going to require you do a little research on your end. 

However, you could find ambulances or something even cooler at these government auctions. 

Repair and Modification

If you want to save money at the auction be sure that you look for vehicles that need some repairs. These will be cheaper and more available. 

This will also give you a chance to learn about the vehicle as you repair it. These things are very important. It’s just like any other type of gear. You need to understand how it works. 

This also gives you the ability to modify your new BOV. This could be aesthetic or operational. The ambulance presents you with many unique options. Be sure you get to know them all before starting to mod this BOV. 

Not only will an ambulance bug out vehicle be a great BOV it is also a great DIY project. 

Bonus: Root Cellar That Can Be Used as a Bunker

If you can’t afford the box culvert option you can look into is building a backyard root cellar that can be used as a bunker.

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

Easy Cellar will show you:

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

This content was originally published here.

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

Puerto Rico is an island and I think when we saw that massive storm bearing down on the island we knew what was coming next. The first story I read was that the island could be without power for up to 6 months.

Image Credit: mashable.com

That was a terrifying realization in the modern world. I thought it would be very interesting to see how our nation responded. I was interested in seeing what aid looked like to an island that is so decimated.

SHTF Logistics

We learned from Puerto Rico that its not just about having the supplies and resources. There has to be a means of getting those resources to the people who need them. That takes logistics. Without planning how food, water, and medicine will move, following a disaster, you really have nothing. 

You can look at it the same way as the supply chain. Its post-disaster supply chain. 

The Florida Panhandle 

While Puerto Rico got a lot of press there was very little given to the Florida Pan Handle. At this moment there are still people living under little more than blue tarps. Whole lives have been reduced to meager belongings and tarp overhead. 

This terrifying situation is happening in the United States of America. It got almost hip to point out the fact that the people of Puerto Rico were suffering. Of course, no one wants to see that but what is happening in the Pan Handle is very alarming. 

What this tells us about FEMA is very clear. These government agencies are not inherently evil but they are inherently prepared to deal with disasters of this magnitude. That leaves us with only one answer. We must prepare ourselves. 

If you depend on yourself it will be much harder to fall short. 

Bonus: Root Cellar That Can Be Used as a Bunker

If you can’t afford the box culvert option you can look into is building a backyard root cellar that can be used as a bunker.

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

Easy Cellar will show you:

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

This content was originally published here.

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

On a subject like this, there is an awful lot of conjecture. You find that many people have opinions but very few have factual data to support those opinions.

Of course, either round would be a great one to stockpile. I think this article offers some insight that will help you decide. Which weapons you choose is a big deal because you only have the option to carry so many.

The same can be said for rounds. When you are in a well-stocked shelter you have options but the moment you decide its time to bugout things change drastically.

End of the day this is your decision. Let’s look at three things to consider when looking at ammo choice. 

Power 

How important is power? Is it the only reason you are using your gun? Are you concerned with breaching heavily guarded areas, putting holes in body armor or are you looking for a weapon to hunt and deter with? 

Hopefully, you are looking for a weapon to deter with. If you are the type of person that is going to be killing and breaking into homes, well, not cool. 

The availability of ammo is also important. Can you readily find that caliber, is it cheap and can you store a lot of it? Which is easier and more available. You know that the .223 is carried by most militaries in the world, therefore, they are making a lot of it. 

Another big thing to consider is what do the other people you associate with carrying? More important than the caliber you choose is the compatibility you have with people in your group or mag. If you find yourself in a gunfight protecting the perimeter or on security detail, you want to be able to both give and receive ammo. Be sure you are not the guy with the obscure round or you will be the guy with no ammo. 

Bonus: Root Cellar That Can Be Used as a Bunker

If you can’t afford the box culvert option you can look into is building a backyard root cellar that can be used as a bunker.

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

Easy Cellar will show you:

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

This content was originally published here.

The Most Important Food for Surviving SHTFOne of the foundational pillars of civilization is agriculture. On a smaller scale, it’s called horticulture. And that’s important because the only way to survive a severe grid-down experience is to have the ability and the knowledge to grow your own food.

In this Youtube video from Canadian Prepper, he talks about a one-year test he did to plant a survival garden. He started with a small, 10 x 10-foot plot and primarily grew potatoes, carrots, onions, and some green beans. The question was, which of these foods is the most important for survival?

To Heirloom or not to Heirloom

Heirloom vegetable seeds are a great thing to have and grow, but don’t depend totally on heirloom seeds. They don’t present a lot of staple crops providing calorie-dense foods, although they do provide a nice variety.

The Importance of Calorie Density

The best survival foods you can plant are calorie-dense, providing more calories per pound. You also want a hardy variety that will grow in numerous plant hardiness zones.

Some Key vegetables he planted were:

The Importance of Micronutrient Density

You want to plant vegetables that provide you with high amounts of vitamins and minerals and also have a long shelf life. Off the grid means no refrigerator so you’ll need to think about root cellars and vegetables that store well.

You need to think about not only how a vegetable or fruit tastes, but its versatility. There’s only so much you can do with rice, but there’s a lot of things you can do with potatoes:

Think Russet

One of the best known and longest lasting potatoes for storage and versatility is the Russet Burbank potato. They can store for up to 165 days, which is enough to get you through the winter and still have some potatoes leftover to replant for the next crop.

What’s the Catch?

Potatoes are high in starches or sugars and can raise your glycemic index if your blood sugar is a problem, so remember to supplement your garden planting with a range of vegetables, particularly onions, carrots, and squash.

The Rototilling Key

Make sure you turn, loosen, and if you can, rototill your soil. Potatoes need room to expand and grow and tightly packed soil doesn’t make it easy for them.

This post is just a brief summary of the video below. For more details on growing potatoes for survival food, watch the full video.

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This content was originally published here.

In this articles, I will discuss some considerations for selecting and preparing your Schumer Hits The Fan (SHTF) vehicle.

Nearly all post-disaster/prepper/survivalist/etc. novels follow one of two plot lines. The first, our heroes are caught away from home and forced to travel on foot when their vehicle ceases to operate due lack of fuel, mechanical failure, being stolen, etc. The second, our heroes are at/near home and are bugging-in, using the vehicle for short trips until bugging-out when the situation deteriorates. Either of these plot lines show how vital reliable and capable motorized transportation will be when the worse happens.

Over several years now, my Bug-Out Vehicle has changed several times and I have made numerous modifications with the goal of maximizing what I thought to be the required capabilities. During this process, my thought process, goals, equipment have all changed many, many times as my thinking matured, routes and destinations evolved, and new equipment and vehicles have entered the market. I hope that my latest line of reasoning and evaluation will provide you with a springboard to start your own Bug-Out Vehicle Project.

The first place to start your considerations is to clearly define your needs, operating environments, and capacities. Someone that is bugging-in in a major city with a bug-out route over the Rockies will need a much different vehicle than some in a minor suburban area going thirty miles across the Plains. Try to use actual numbers, not just “Well, this should be plenty” or “Hmm, better take few off.” Doing so will help define the type of vehicle that is required.

To define your needs, consider some of the following items. Please take this outline as a starting point–not a completed list.

If the local situation is to the point where evacuation is being taken by substantial parts of the population, then it can be guaranteed that traffic conditions will be a mess and will resemble a cross between Mad Max and the end of major sports or entertainment event. Include the likelihood that law enforcement will not be pre-positioned to deal with traffic accidents and keep lanes open, a gridlock situation is almost guaranteed. This would require a vehicle that can: a) maneuver between and around vehicles easily, such as a micro-car, motorcycle or dirt bike, or b) maneuver off established roads onto secondary state and county roads or onto bare dirt, mud, grassy terrain at a variety of inclines without the risk of loosing control, such as a Jeep, a 4 wheel drive truck, or a side-by-side ATV, or c) be physically robust and powerful enough to force its’ way through, such as a large military surplus diesel powered truck.

Don’t forget non-motorized options for bugging-in transportation such as bicycles. These can greatly increase your range of operation, are quiet & highly maneuverable, low maintenance, and are easy to store. A small pull behind cart could be a great addition for transporting items.

What are the possible, worse-case weather conditions that could occur? We are all aware of how even moderate weather events can turn even the best roads into unpassable, crawling-along nightmares. Would the highly maneuverable micro-car or motorcycle still be a good choice if trying to move around gridlock with 6” of snow and ice on the roads? How stable will a lifted Jeep with mud tires be traveling at interstate speeds in a downpour? Will that surplus 2-1/2 ton truck diesel start or run when the temperature drops below zero for days on end?

For most, this would consist of your immediate family. Don’t forget to include pets, other members of your prepper group, or close friends and neighbors as they may apply. Try to be realistic in how many people can comfortably fit into the vehicle, particularly if your bug-out route is more than several hours long at best. As anyone who has drawn the short-straw and had to ride in the back of Camaro/Mustang/sports car, just because it has four seats, doesn’t make it a four adult passenger car.

This will vary wildly from individual to individual. Someone that has an established bug-out location that they visit regularly, such as second home, hunting cabin, etc., will most likely already have that location supplied. If so, the vehicle will only need to handle individuals, their bug-out bags, and perhaps a last round of “nice-to-have” supplies and luggage. At the other end, someone who’s bug-out location is several days away and is set up for short term visits may have to bring as much food, clothing, ammo, etc. as possible to have any chance at all at surviving.

Weight and Volume Test Loads

Once you determine how much “stuff” will need to be transported, you can begin estimating and test fitting for volume by using moving boxes, egg cartons, or ammo boxes to fill the cargo areas. It is best to try to pack as much weight forward of the rear axle as possible. This splits the weight onto the front and rear wheels instead of pulling weight off of the front wheels and making the vehicle “float” in the front. Weight can be estimated by packing a test container full of different supply types such as ammo, dry foods, canned foods, clothing, etc., and weighing with a bathroom scale. Another option, and the most highly recommended, is to do an actual test loading of all of your survival supplies and equipment.

Protecting your supplies and equipment is obviously of vital importance, as all the equipment in the world is of no use to you or anyone else if it arrives at your bug-out location damaged and unusable. Packaging gear is fairly simple if it is going inside an enclosed cab vehicle such as the hatch area of an SUV or back seat of a car and should be little different from loading up after a trip to Wal-Mart. Packing gear for extended travel in possibly poor conditions can be more complicated if using an open cargo area such as the bed of pickup truck or a hitch cargo rack. Options include installing a camper top shell over the cargo area of the truck, packaging supplies in weather proof containers such as Pelican or RubberMade cases, use cardboard moving boxes and then wrap each box with a plastic stretch wrap, or completely load the cargo area and then cover with a tarp. Each option comes with it’s own set of pros and cons and will have to be an individual choice. Be sure to adequately secure the load to prevent movement and damage. If using a tarp, the tarp needs to go around the outside of the vehicle cargo box and secured, not tucked inside. Tucking the tarp inside allows water to pull in the bottom of the cargo box and infiltrate your cargo.

Tow-behind trailers will depend highly on the individual locations and routes. Someone that is trying to bug-out from a city via the interstate to their bug-out location will most likely not want to use one due to the decreased maneuverability, additional vehicle length, reduced fuel mileage, and reduction in off-highway performance. Someone who is traveling along a lightly traveled secondary or lower ranked road from one rural or suburban community to another may not encounter conditions where a trailer is a hindrance. Most likely a loaded trailer– open or enclosed–would be a very tempting target for those taking advantage of the breakdown in social order.

As anyone who has ever went on a road trip gone bad knows, even the most comfortable vehicle to travel in is among your worst options for places to sleep. This condition will be much worse when every seat in the vehicle is filled with either an individual or supplies which may or may not be weather sensitive. Several options are available to minimize this challenge. Having a rotating driver schedule so that more distance can be covered before having to stop. Keep caffeine supplements on hand. Pack all-weather camping equipment that allows for sleeping outside of the vehicle, there are also roof-top pop-up tents are available for a wide range of SUVs and pickup trucks.

Defining the operating range of the vehicle should generally be defined as either a) the longest route practically possible to travel from your bug-in location to your bug-out location or b) the maximum range of your vehicle carrying as much fuel as possible. There are few options available for shortening your bug-out route aside from planning and even than you are still at the mercy of Mr. Murphy as to how far you may have to travel to reach your final location.

Options for Extra Fuel

Increasing the amount of fuel you can carry is an area you can have meaningful effect. For almost all vehicles, it’s possible to somehow carry an additional 2 to 90 gallons of fuel. Multiple manufactures make saddlebag fuel cans for motorcycles, standard 5 gallon metal jerry can or plastic fuel jugs can be found at many local gas stations and nearly every hardware store. Vehicle specific enlarged replacement fuel tanks or in-bed transfer tanks can be sourced at most farm and equipment stores. It should be noted that fuel cans should never be transported inside the cabin of a vehicle and that federal law limits what kind of tanks and jugs that can be used for gasoline.

Vehicle Modifications

Now that your needs, environments, and capacities have been defined, let us consider how to prepare your vehicle with some useful modifications, tools, and equipment that can maximize the performance of your vehicle.

Hopefully the preceding outline will provide you with starting points in evaluating your vehicle needs to bug-in or bug-out.

This content was originally published here.

(Natural News)
Air conditioning is a common part of most households, but like most modern appliances and devices, it relies on electricity to function. With the U.S. power grid on the brink of a breakdown, one intense heatwave could fry the grid and millions of households would lose electricity. If this happens, would you know how to keep cool without air conditioning?

In a grid-down scenario, preppers make good use of their resourcefulness. Here are some ways to keep cool without electricity. (h/t to SHTFPlan.com)

Sustainable ways of keeping cool

High temperatures may lead to discomfort, dehydration and even heat stroke. This is why it’s important to know how to keep cool when the air conditioning fails.

Solar-powered attic fan

One of the best sources of power is sunlight. A solar-powered attic fan can keep your house cool while preventing humidity. A 40-watt cooler costs around $175. This can cool off spaces of up to 2,200 square feet. (Related: Stay cool without electricity: New “radiative sky cooling” system may prove useful for preppers.)

DIY solar-powered cooler

If you don’t have the budget for a solar-powered attic fan, you can improvise with a DIY solar-powered cooler. It’s simple, effective and a great sustainable method of cooling your home.

This portable air conditioner works by letting cold water flow through a bucket, cooling a window screen and dissipated by a fan. (h/t to SurvivalLife.com)

Materials:

(Note: A fountain pump is a device that spouts up water in a pond or aquarium.)

Tools:

Instructions:

If you want to use this DIY air conditioning while camping, you can add a 90-degree piece of PVC pipe and dryer vent hose to isolate the air.

Hang up wet sheets

Back when civilizations had no electricity, people kept their homes cool by hanging wet sheets. Damp sheets or towels hung around the house — even on the headboard of your bed — can cool through evaporation.

Open the windows

Open your windows once the sun starts to set to let cooler air in the house. You can keep them open well into the night, but consider your location and level of security before doing this, especially if you’re living in the city or suburbs.

Use curtains or blinds as cover when the sun starts coming in through the windows. You can use reflective window panels if it gets too hot.

Plant trees

Planting trees is a long-term solution for keeping the air around your property cool. Big trees provide natural shade and fresh air. If you start right now, you can enjoy the benefits of growing trees after a few years.

Plant the trees in locations around your property that receive direct sunlight, especially during summer.

You should also learn how to spot heatstroke in humans and pets, so you can take the necessary actions in case one occurs. Learn more about keeping cool the prepper way at Preparedness.news.

This content was originally published here.

(Natural News)
Preppers know that when SHTF, safety is a priority. Before you bug in at home or head to your emergency hideout in your bug-out vehicle, you must first decide which will be the safer option: Mobility or defense. (h/t to ThePrepperJournal.com)

On a normal day, you’d be planning vacations months in advance to get the best bargains on plane tickets and hotel rooms. It makes sense to do the same for your bug-out plan.

Weigh the pros and cons of bugging in versus bugging out, and set up your preps for both scenarios. If you’re living in an area prone to storms, it might be best to make bugging in preparations.

On the other hand, if you’re worried about impending civil unrest in your area, it might be best to be on the move.

Setting up an armored bunker for bugging in

Nothing beats a heavily armored bunker for long-term bugging in. If your hideout is deep enough underground, with limited access in or out, you would be safe when SHTF.

Building a bunker involves a lot of planning before you start digging your backyard. Some things to consider include:

It’s reassuring to wait out a disaster in a bunker with steel and concrete walls. Consider this option if the outside world is getting chaotic.

If your hideout is well-made and properly camouflaged, your bunker may remain untouched during times of conflict.

Bugging out and staying mobile

You should also have a plan B for when the situation escalates to a point where staying in your bunker is no longer safe. In this scenario, it’s crucial to get moving. Get as far away as you can from the chaos.

When bugging out in a jeep or truck, you may need to sleep in a tent or portable shelter at night, so pack accordingly. Another option is to bug out in an RV so you won’t have to worry about finding shelter.

An RV is a great choice for a bug-out vehicle because it offers a lot of storage room and you can treat it as a home away from home while you’re on the road. RVs are also a civilian vehicle, meaning you can blend in with the crowd while bugging out. (Related: 5 Must-haves for your bug-out vehicle.)

A jeep or other military-style vehicle might draw unwanted attention; with an RV, it will be easier to slip past others who might be targeting you or your supplies when SHTF.

Maintaining overall health when disaster strikes

Once your armor, mobility and weapons preps are done, you need to prioritize your well-being before SHTF.

Stock up on survival essentials such as:

Finally, get enough quality sleep. If you opt to have someone assigned on lookout duty, make sure the people in your group take turns so the others can rest when they need to.

Before you decide to bug in or bug out, consider your options and set up your preps accordingly to ensure that you have whatever you may need if SHTF.

This content was originally published here.