[This is a cool idea. I’m even interested! Jan]

While many government authorities advise evacuating, in some situations it is vital to stay and protect that which you’ve worked so hard to build.

Before we jump into the spider hole discussion, follow these 4 simple steps, so you can have the best chance of avoiding the situation entirely. If you ever face some stranger breaking through your window, you know that those thugs are going to be in for a rough day.

The 4 Steps to Secure Your Perimeter When SHTF

Assess Your Weaknesses

Take a long look at everything that could possibly entice someone to target your property. Do you currently live near a bad neighborhood? Is your house relatively secluded? In a disaster scenario, many people will become emboldened by the lack of structure, though criminals will want to rob a soft target, not a house that appears like they mean business.

Develop Deterrents

While it is possible that your location might have higher security than your neighbors, a looter will not care about a video camera if the government has collapsed. A guard dog offers a strong psychological protection against a trespasser, and this can be combined with warning signs to demonstrate your intent to defend. If it is clear that you will fight for yourself and property, most criminals will slink off to easier targets.

Build Fortifications

Eternal vigilance is an impossible task. The basic repetition of a routine will create compliancy and when everyone else is out of resources, they will come for you. It is important to have built defenses against intruders before they are needed. Drop bars, plexiglass, and panic rooms are great for those with money, but many people do not have the capital needed to turn their home into a fortress.

Plan for Contingencies

While you might have boarded up your windows and sealed your doors, it is important that your plan covers exactly what you will do if your home is breached. Don’t stop there, though. After your home is breached, it will likely be the best option to leave. Develop a strategic bug-out plan with multiple egress routes.

Spider Hole Tactics to Protect Against Looters

The United States Army’s Infantry school specializes in a specific subset of warfare called Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT also referred as Close Quarters Combat, CQC). These tactics guide how small units can effectively enter, clear, and neutralize any targets within a building.

By focusing on the critical danger areas outlined in MOUT training, it is possible to see the best places to develop a spider hole with the maximum destructive force against your enemy. Spider holes were heavily used during the Second World War by all belligerents in their quest to maintain strategic superiority.

Spider holes are used primarily for scouting and observation rather than extended combat. But of course this is for millitary purposes. When SHTF, there will be no “extended” battles between two looters and a concealed prepper with an AR-15.

How to make a spider hole

Spider holes usually require little effort due to their small size and minimal construction materials. Here are the basic steps of how to build your own spider hole:

  • Find a tactical spot. Look for spots away from trees and bushes unless they don’t obstruct the view of the area you want to defend. I would personally build my SHTF spider hole in a position good for retreating if I’ll ever have to (retreat), or if I miss my first shots and my position is discovered. Anyway, even in that situation, looters tend to move to an easier target rather then picking on a dug in prepper.
  • spider hole coverNext step is designing the lid. It should be made of a light, yet resistant material that can be easily camouflaged. Depending on the spider hole’s location, you can use a variety of elements such as native plants, grass, bushes, soil or rugs – the most important fact to consider here is to perfectly blend your spider hole with the surrounding landscape!

Once you have found where to place your spider hole, you will want to have two major elements for your position, cover and concealment. Cover is defined as obstacles that can stop a bullet. Concealment is the stuff that can hide you. It is important that your fortifications do not block your vantage of the fatal funnel, and do not trap you in the spot in case you are overrun. The latter is the reason why you should not hide in a closet.

Deliberately construct your spider hole to misdirect the enemies’ attention. Create a makeshift mannequin so that in the chaos, it might draw some rounds away from you. Try to break up your own silhouette, because the eye looks for shapes rather than details once it is in the fight or flight response.

Fatal Funnels & Engagement Zones

fatal funnelThe most dangerous points of contact while fighting within a building are areas called, “fatal funnels.” These spaces restrict movement and force targets into a specific spot. The most common fatal funnel in any building is a doorway. Since a doorway offers the easiest avenue of approach for an intruder, it is possible to lead would-be looters to the specific door of your choosing. Make all of your home’s exits incredibly difficult to bypass, except for your intended fatal funnel. A smart criminal may realize this for the trap that it is, so try to find a way in which they will get caught before they realize what is going on. This often runs counter-intuitive to the deterrent method outlined above, because you want your adversary to underestimate your strength.

In order to inflict maximum casualties, the element of surprise will multiply your forces exponentially. Imagine the looters walking in through your front door, only to be constricted by a long hallway (even if your house opens naturally, move furniture to enlarge your fatal funnel) then you unleash a volley of lead from somewhere above.

Though doors are the most common danger areas in a house, MOUT teaches that stairways are the most lethal. The difference in elevation drastically reduces the perception of the incoming self-defenseforce and the stairway itself elongates the killing zone. If you wait until the enemy is halfway up the stairs, you have effectively trapped them in, since neutralizing your nearest threat will act as an obstacle for their future forward movement. Once they turn their backs, light ’em up.

Even though you will likely have the upper hand, you have to be prepared for anything that is thrown at you. In addition to having a primary engagement area, you should develop a secondary that is much more flexible depending on the situation. An example of this would be to set a spider hole somewhere within sight of the only stairway that leads up or downstairs. If someone breaks into your house in a location other than your fatal funnel, this can serve as a last ditch effort to eliminate the threat.

Source: https://www.askaprepper.com/spider-hole-tactics-defend-looters/

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This content was originally published here.

How to Survive Mentally When SHTF

It’s time to face reality. As human beings, we are incredibly frail and fragile, especially when it pertains to natural disasters and maliciously violent storms that can quickly flip our entire world upside down in just a matter of seconds. We’re living on a planet that seems to be experiencing more and more of this lately, and you just never know when your family could be directly affected. That’s why it’s so critical that you get yourself prepared and stocked up with the right supplies before SHTF. Here is how to survive mentally when SHTF.

Mental Health Issues After A Disaster

“Prepare Your Family For Survival”by Linda Loosli

How to Survive Mentally When SHTF

How to Survive Mentally When SHTF

But did you know that your survival depends more on your mental toughness than the actual prepping and precautions that you’ve taken ahead of time? During a crisis, your survival equates to about 90% mental, and only 10% physical. 

  • For some people, it’s not the catastrophic event that puts them six feet under, it has more to do with them not knowing how to cope mentally with their new and undesirable circumstances. 
  • That’s scary for some of us to think about, especially for those who have a hard time managing stress and anxiety.  
  • An experienced prepper might have everything that they need as far as supplies to survive a major apocalyptic event, but if they quickly cave into the stress and hopelessness of an unfortunate situation, those supplies they’ve gathered will only get them so far. 
  • Being able to keep a sound mind that’s able to use the right judgment in certain situations will also prove vital. Here’s how to survive mentally when SHTF.       

Staying Calm

Unfortunately, staying calm is easier said than done. When a major calamity strikes, it’s normal for people to freak out and act in irrational ways. To be fair, fear in itself is not necessarily a bad thing. 

It’s the built-in response in us that keeps us from making reckless decisions, but giving in to that fear may have severe negative consequences. Keeping your focus on that fear can immobilize you, and that’s a very bad thing when you need to perform certain tasks just to survive another day.  

So again, learning to stay calm will have a huge effect on where you are once a major devastating event has finally blown over. Find ways to keep your anxiety in check, which may look a little differently for everybody. That may require you to sit down and break down the situation, talk with someone about your fears, and manage what you can control. 

Keep an Adaptive Mindset 

Do you struggle with change? Most people do, and this is especially true as we grow older. But after SHTF, you may never get to go back to how things once were. It will be important that you have a mind that can adapt to these changes that are happening all around you. After all, you don’t have any way of controlling all your circumstances, but you can be adaptive and flexible to those changes.  

Don’t Give Into Isolation and Hopelessness

When all hope seems lost, it’s only a matter of time before some people decide to toss in the towel and lay down to die. Which is why hanging onto hope is so critical. But if you’re isolated from others and not able to communicate with other people, it’s hard for hopelessness not to set in.

  • We as individuals were created to have interaction and relationships with one another. Not having anyone to talk with can be a very lonely experience and something that was never intended. 
  • Do you remember the movie “CastAway” when Tom Hank’s character was stranded on an isolated island? He had nobody to talk to except a blood-smeared volleyball. In the movie “I Am Legend,” Will Smith’s character talked to not only his dog, but manikins strategically placed throughout the city, and also watched old televised news reports. 

As strange and awkward as it may have been to watch these scenes play out, those were healthy ways of dealing with isolation. You need to do whatever works for you so that you can cope without losing hope.      

Keep Active

People who workout have not only found that it helps to reduce stress, but it also makes them feel better about themselves. I’m not implying that you need to head to the gym first thing following a major disaster, but you do need to make sure that you keep active and spend less time sitting around moping. Along with staying active, getting fresh air by going outside can also have a positive effect on you mentally.  

Finding Purpose In Life 

For just a moment I want you to stop and think about your life. Think about your family, friends, beliefs, and even your deepest dreams. What motivates you to get out of bed each morning? Or let me put it this way, what’s your very purpose of being here? If you can’t answer that question for me now, you’re probably not going to have the will to survive when SHTF. 

If you think that your existence is just an accident and that there’s not any purpose or relevance for anything, you probably won’t have anything to fall back on to keep the hope alive in you. Finding purpose in your life now will give you the motivation to keep on living when things have turned bleak.   

Final Word

I know that some of you are skeptical and on the fence about prepping. Especially for some of you who have watched television shows of some pretty nutty people who have gone to some pretty unusual extremes to ensure their survival. I get it, some of them are very unusual. 

But instead of taking your chances and choosing to ignore the real possibility of a natural disaster from ever happening, it’s better to always be safe than sorry. I’m not necessarily implying a doomsday scenario as I stress this, but you must take the proper precautions for your family now before it’s already too late. 

I can’t stress this enough. Having a good head on your shoulders and being mentally tough will play a huge role in whether you’re able to keep fighting to stay alive. What are some other ways that you can stay mentally strong, even during scary and unprecedented situations?  

Please talk to family, friends, and neighbors, mental health is a problem right now. We must face it head-on and help those in need. May God bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Mental Health Deposit photos_138207362_s-2019

The post How to Survive Mentally When SHTF appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

This content was originally published here.

Keeping a flock of chickens safe and healthy to ensure they will be around to provide meat and eggs can seem like a challenging task on a daily basis now, before the SHTF.

Once a doomsday disaster strikes, keeping the chickens safe becomes a life necessity. It doesn’t take a lot of money to protect the flock, but doing so will demand planning, manual labor, and regular checks on the coop and run.

free-ranging chickens

Chickens will be an incredibly valuable asset during a SHTF scenario. Wise preppers already know this, and are creating large and sustainable flocks are part of their survival food plan.

Poultry birds are one of the best types of survival livestock a prepper could keep. They are inexpensive to both buy, feed, enclose, take up little space, and provide a steady supply of meat and eggs. Butchering a chicken does not require costly tools or heavy lifting.

Keeping a live food supply safe is not a new concept in America, merely one that has been nearly forgotten during our modern times.

During the Great Depression families across the country had to survive largely on the food they could grow and raise themselves because they had no money to buy items from a local store.

Developing and putting into practice chicken husbandry habits now, that will also keep the birds safe not just today, but during a SHTF event. Getting the birds and the keepers used to a routine is a vital part of the safety and security process.

Not only will you be able to cross train others in all aspects of chicken husbandry from the hatching of chicks all the way up through butchering and preserving the birds, but can afford the time to work out any kinks in your plan – now, when adapting it is still feasible.

Revamping Old-Fashioned Chicken Keeping Tactics

Our grandparents and great grandparents knew that both two and four legged predators would be eager to snag a free meal or eggs that they could otherwise sell to buy other wanted items.

The same scenario will play out during a SHTF event – but probably during a WROL situation.


The essential part of maximizing the benefits of chicken keeping while minimizing losses involves not only keeping the flock in a safe and clean pen, but keeping them hidden from being viewed or heard by others.

OPSEC is the vital first step is not done properly, everyone passing by will know that you are keeping a food source all to yourself while the unprepared masses are starving. Get this part wrong, and you won’t be a chicken keeper for long.

Practicing both sight and sound discipline will help prevent others from detecting your growing food source.

If you live in a small town, do not buy your livestock feed locally. I feel horribly typing that, I try very hard to support the few businesses we have in our rural county.

But, if you buy locally in a small town everyone who works at the store and frequent customers you chat with while shopping will known – and remember, that you keep livestock.

In my area, most folks keep animals and have gardens, but most does not mean all. There will be hungry and panicked people just three days into a SHTF event.

You do not want scared, hungry, and armed masses of people showing up at your place because they frequently saw you buying livestock feed at the local store.

Do not share photos of your livestock on Facebook. Far too often folks post images of their cute new chicks, lambs, baby goats, and calves.

The people in your community that see those images will know where to come after grocery store shelves run empty – which we all know will take only hours.

The chicken coop should be placed as close to the house as possible, preferably downwind. Even if you do not visit the coop daily, it should be built near the home with an extremely spacious run (more on that below) and room for the flock to grow.

The closer the poultry birds are to the home, the better they are protected from both humans and animal predators.

Don’t forget to build a brooder – or several, for keeping a momma hen and her chicks until they are old enough to be filtered into the larger flock.

A smaller and more portable brooder should be built for housing chicks indoors due to inclement weather after late fall or early spring hatchings. Even if you cannot run brooder heat lamps, the chicks will have a far better survival rate inside where it is not frigidly cold.

Rooster Crowing

You must view keeping the poultry birds a secret just as strongly and as diligently as you do you stockpile of weapons and ammo. Purchasing a quiet breed of chickens is a great first step but all … ALL roosters crow.

In a survival chicken flock, you must keep a minimum of two roosters at all times – one is none and two is one – as the prepping mantra goes.

If one rooster dies you will have to wait and hope that a cockerel chick reaches maturity and furthers flock numbers before your family is forced to consume all the available eggs and birds.

Purchase multiple no-crow rooster collars as a part of your food security survival plan.

Preventing a rooster from doing what comes natural seems cruel, and it may very well be even though the collar does not physically harm the rooster – but, keeping the bird as quiet as possible increases the chances that you children will not go hungry.

Remember, sound carries, especially during the winter months that there are no leaves on the trees and the forest brush has died back.

We live literally in the middle of the woods on a 56-acre survival homestead and I still would want no-crow collars on our roosters during a SHTF situation.

It is not uncommon to hear the sounds of our nearest neighbors, who live across the road from the start of our half-mile private farm road, during the winter months.

Wyandotte chickens
a few Wyandotte chickens

Quiet Chicken Breeds

Hens clatter, sometimes loudly. Keeping the ladies quiet will not be as difficult as taming back the loud noise of a crowing rooster, but to help prevent all of the clucking of the hens from being herd, consider purchasing one of the top five quiet chicken breeds.

Roosters in these breeds tend to be quieter than those of other varieties, but make no mistake about it, fellow preppers, they will still crow… and not just at dawn.

  1. Rhode Island Reds – These chickens are known to be docile, quiet, cold weather hardy, and layers of superbly large brown eggs. The only downside to keeping Rhode Island Reds is their poor sitting abilities. To better your chances of being able to hatch chicken eggs naturally, also purchase some Bantam hens. These little hens lay nice small white eggs year round, and are dedicated mommas that are eager to adopt the eggs of other hens that are not doing their jobs properly. They are also a laid back and quieter breed of chicken.
  2. Buff Orpingtons – These stately looking poultry birds are not only a quiet and hardy breed, their roosters are known to be among the most docile, as well.
  3. Barred Rock Plymouth – Chicken of this breed are quiet, great free rangers, boast some of the most docile roosters, and lay medium to large brown eggs.
  4. Wyandottes – The hens from this breed are excellent layers and fairly good sitters. Wyandottes are hardy in nearly all climates and while not affectionate with their keepers, tend to be easy to handle. They are known as a dual purpose meat and egg bird.
  5. Ameraucanas – This is another dual purpose and quiet chicken breed. Ameraucanas grow to reach seven pounds, lay medium white eggs in substantial quantities, and are good free rangers.
chickens inside run

Building A Stealth Coop And Run

Spend both the money and the time to build the “Fort Knox” of chicken coops and runs. This cannot be stated firmly enough, spend the money now so that you and your family can eat later.

Do not use chicken wire on the coop or run in any way, shape, or form. Chicken wire is good for keeping chickens in but will NOT keep predators out. The wire is too thin and gives too easily to prevent raccoons, mink, opossums, weasels, or snakes out.

Hardware cloth, also known as rabbit hutch wire, should be used on the chicken run from top to bottom.

  • Dig one foot down around the perimeter of the entire chicken run.
  • Lay at least one layer of hardware cloth down so it runs through from one side of the run to the next other – from the back of the run where the birds enter from the coop to the front.
  • Cover the hardware cloth with ample dirt so it is no longer visible.
  • Use pressure treated 4 X 4 or pressure treated 2 by 4 boards to build a frame on top of the hardware cloth of the perimeter – make sure to leave enough excess on the bottom run chicken wire layer so that it can be pulled up and around the board and stapled firmly into place.
  • From here, use pressure treated wood posts or T posts on all four corners of the chicken run and spaced no further than three feet apart along the side of the chicken run.
  • Use hardware cloth stapled or wired to these supports and to the bottom pressure treated boards to frame out the chicken run.
  • The top of the run should also be made of chicken wire. Adding a wood or metal roof over part of the chicken run to protect the birds from getting too much sun and to allow them an outdoor space to room when it is raining or snowing is highly recommended.

You do not want the birds spending too much time indoors and walking around in their droppings – doing so not only makes more mess for you to clean but can also cause and spread disease.

Some poultry diseases can wipe out an entire flock in mere days. Keeping poultry birds in multiple coops to prevent the loss of an entire flock from a contagious disease is also a wise idea.

Predators will not be able to dig through hardware cloth. It can rust and weaken to the point that it is no longer predator proof over time, but this will take at least three years to occur.

Purchase enough extra hardware cloth and keep it stored indoors so the coop (and run) can be repaired as needed.

Stealth Chicken Coop

The coop itself should be placed directly on unprotected ground. This will make the birds far too vulnerable to digging and clawing predators.

  • To better protect the chicken flock, attach thick metal sheeting to pressure treated boards to make a base plate.
  • Cover the boards with two sheets of hardware cloth.
  • Cover the hardware cloth layer with another layer of pressure-treated boards.
  • For ease of cleaning, covering the top layer of boards at the base of the chicken coop with thick rubber will allow you to use buckets or water or a water hose to clean the bird waste easier.

All of the doors and flaps on the chicken coop should have at least one two step lock to secure them closed.

A raccoon can open a one step lock in only a few minutes when determined to find a meal. Using latches that can have a lock applied to them is also a good idea.

A human with an axe or wire cutters will still be able to get inside the coop, but doing so will take a while and cause a bit of noise… a lot of noise if the flock becomes startled and starts carrying on in fright.

Do not use a dusk to dawn automatic door on the chicken coop. A clever human can hold a flashlight up to the sensor and free the birds at night, making them more accessible to theft when they venture into the run.

To further protect the chicken coop and run and the poultry birds that live there, add solar motion detector lights to all sides of the coop.

Action motivated predator decoys – plastic owls that can be attached to the coop or run, etc. also can help deter two and four legged predators and alert you to the threat.

Many chicken keepers also raise guineas. They are the junkyard dog of the poultry world. They will fight animals far larger and more vicious than themselves to protect “their” flock.

When anything, anyone, or any animal is in an area it does not belong in, they will shriek loudly and frequently to let you know.

Now, both the predator decoys and the guineas are not OPSEC friendly. Only you can decide how to balance the need for secrecy with the desire to be alerted if a predator of any type of getting near your birds.

Flock Growth

Do not neglect to factor the growth of the flock into your chicken coop and run plans. You will want to raise as many birds as you can feed during a SHTF situation.

Adding ample space inside both structures, along with enough roosting areas and nesting boxes for the birds, is in a prepper’s best interest.

Overcrowding the coop and run will cause fighting and potentially injuries of the birds and vastly increases the possibility of disease spread as well as trampled and cracked eggs.

Place several hanging solar coop lights (a cord runs to the outside of the coop with the sun sensor) will help the birds achieve the 8 to 10 hours of sunlight they need to lay eggs during the short days of winter.

The lights also invite the birds to spend more time indoors when the temperature drops, staying too long outdoors to be exposed to light can cause you to lose birds to frostbite.

Chicken Longevity and Sustainability

Keeping the chicken flock safe means keeping them alive. Keeping the birds alive will require providing them with all the clean water and healthy food they need to survive.

Stockpiling chicken feed and straw is only one step in making the chicken coop a sustainable place to live.

Dig a shallow pond, or sink a plastic baby pool in the chicken run as well as setting up a rainwater collection system on the coop to help collect and store free water.

The pond option is a lot better than the baby pool due to not only the cleaning needs of the pool, but also out of concern that young birds will get into the water when the level drops below a side perching level, and drowns.

Create a composting pile in one corner of the chicken run so the birds can help you develop quality dirt for the survival garden, and you have a place to put any food scraps you may have so the birds can eat them and the bugs they attract.

Growing food in planters next to the chicken coop so they can easily be moved inside to feed the birds should also be a part of the poultry bird sustainability plan.

Micro sprouts grow quickly even indoors under normal room lights, and can be used to help supplement the nutrient intake of the flock during the winter months.

Planting a berry bush and Jerusalem artichoke plants inside the run will keep a growing supply of food for the chickens to eat.

Planting millet in a raised garden bed to cut and toss into the run for the birds to eat as a nutrient supplement, will also keep them fed after commercially manufactured chicken feed runs out.

Save your eggshells for the flock. By crushing them up and feeding them back to the flock you are infusing more calcium into their diets and will help them lay stronger and thicker eggs.

Some folks staunchly believe hens should only be fed their own eggs for fear or spreading disease.

I have never been fussy about which hens gets which eggs because I diligently do health checks on my birds during daily livestock chores, and have never had a problem with a transfer of birds germs – but your experience could differ.

Chicken Tractors

Building or buying a chicken tractor is a must for feeding the flock during a SHTF event. The flock can be moved about in the tractor so they can safely forage for their own food.

The chicken tractor browsing for food daily activity alone could keep your flock alive when their purchased feed runs out – depending upon the size of your prepper retreat.

Ample free chicken tractor plans exist online, including ones created with wheelbarrow style handles that makes it more closely resemble a rickshaw – designed to be easily pulled or pushed by humans.

I free range my poultry flocks now. They, along with my ducks that share quarters with the chickens, are trained to walk back into the run on their own before dusk to get a treat and locked up for the night.

This habit will be really risky during a SHTF event – supervised browsing for food only or a chicken tractor offer a far safer option.

Boredom Busters

Once you have built the Fort Knox of chicken coops and runs, and have taken steps to fulfill the sustainable food need of the poultry birds, it is time to turn your attention to boredom busters.

I can guarantee you that the birds will not care that the SHTF, they will still want to find ways to enjoy their day – and you will need them too.

A bored bird can not only get aggressive with other flock members, but start the bad habits of plucking out its own feathers, or try to peck its way out of the coop or run.

If you free ranged your birds before the SHTF, they will be used to a lot more freedom of movement than they will receive when kept inside of a run day and night, eagerly awaiting their turn in the chicken tractor.

Place tires with dirt, sand, or cooled wood ash inside the chicken run so the hens can take dirt baths. This is not only a social activity for the hens but it also helps rid them of parasites.

Adding several perches, swings, and natural items the birds can climb upon will also keep them physically active and mentally stimulated so they do not get bored and act out.

If you live in a small town, city, or the suburbs and want to safely keep chickens during a SHTF event the best piece of advice I can offer is – move. There are a plethora of reasons preppers are better off in a rural area, and the covert keeping of livestock is chief among them.

Trying to prevent neighbors from seeing or hearing a flock of chickens, even a small flock that includes a single rooster will likely make too much noise to adhere to the OPSEC guidelines you will need to follow to prevent the loss of the flock to the unprepared.

If they come for your birds, odds are pretty good that they might be leaving with a lot more of your preps…

chickens safety pinterest

This content was originally published here.

3 Best Ammo Calibers To Have After SHTF

On the other hand, not all guns are created equal. Each caliber has its own advantages and drawbacks, and you need to have the right weapons on hand to get through a disaster in one piece.

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9mm ammo is the most popular pistol caliber in the world. It isn’t the most powerful caliber, but a study by the FBI found that it is normally the optimal choice for defensive carry. The difference in power between 9mm ammo and the larger pistol calibers is not big enough to have a significant impact on stopping power.

Shot placement is usually the factor that matters with all calibers in that general range of sizes. Since 9mm ammo has less recoil than heavier rounds, it tends to be the most effective.

It is also light, so it’s easy to carry more of it for occasions when reloading is necessary. Most 9mm guns also have more room to hold ammo, so shooters don’t have to reload as often. At a practical level, it’s also cheap and easy to find, so it’s possible to store enough to stay supplied in an emergency.

Those factors make it the best choice for a defensive pistol. It can be used for hunting small game in an emergency, but it is better to have a more powerful round for that. If it is necessary, loading it into a pistol caliber carbine can help, and doing so allows you to share an ammo supply between multiple guns for easier logistics.

Even if that isn’t your first choice, the versatility can make it useful to have such a carbine and ammo for a backup weapon.


While 9mm ammo is versatile and potent, there are times when heavier ammo is necessary. In that case, .45 caliber ammo is usually the best bet. It offers much more stopping power than 9mm, and it can also go in both pistols and rifles.

The big advantage to using this ammo is that it offers much more stopping power. It will not make a big difference against humans or anything smaller, but it will be meaningful against deer, bears, and other large targets. That significantly widens the range of viable hunting targets and boosts your odds of a successful hunt.

The ammo is also less prone to jamming than most others. Even more reliability is possible when using a simple revolver, and most of the viable hunting revolvers on the market are chambered in this caliber.

The downside to using .45 ammo is the size. It’s heavy, and most guns can’t hold very many rounds, so you need to shoot accurately to use it. The price of the ammo can also be a little too high, so it can be hard to stockpile.

Use it if you’re confident in your aim and you need the power, but be sure to either stock up or have secondary weapons in case you can’t get enough.


Most people learn to shoot with a .22 caliber weapon. It is not a very powerful option, but it still packs enough of a punch to take down small game animals. It is also cheap and easy to acquire in massive quantities, so it’s the best way to ensure that you have an adequate supply of ammo.

The recoil is minimal, so smaller shooters can also take advantage of it without losing any accuracy. The rounds are also light, so it’s easy to take a lot of it out on hunting trips when necessary, even if the trips involve a lot of traveling.

The downside is that the ammo is weak and not always reliable. Premium rounds are available that prevent most jams and dud rounds, but that defeats the purpose of buying cheap ammo.

It probably isn’t wise to rely exclusively on .22 ammo in an emergency, but the ease of equipping yourself with it and its usefulness in hunting small game means that it is also unwise to go without it.

In the event of a dire situation or when you run out of ammo, it is always best to have a caliber that you can easily reload. Just remember, when shit really hits the fan, bullets will not be in production anymore. You might be your only supplier of bullets, so save them up and brush up on your reload skills, it could mean your life.

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About the Author: Joe Humphries is a contributing writer and media specialist for Diamond K Brass. He regularly produces content for a variety of firearm and survivalist blogs, with an emphasis on DIY ammunition reload projects.

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

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

Redfora has an Emergency Supplies Backpack that is easy to store and is great to keep in your car. It includes food, water pouches, medical supplies, hand crank flashlight and an emergency shelter. These items are basic survival gear every prepper should have.

Fire Extinguisher

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

Knife & Axe

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

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

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

Emergency Radio

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

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

Shovel and Traction Pads

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

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

Recovery Bands or Winch

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

Truck Bed Liner or Mat

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

Flashlight and Flares

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

Use flares to alert others to your location if you need assistance; otherwise, it may be impossible for the authorities to find you. It usually takes around 31 hours for search and rescue teams to find those who have gone missing in the wild.

Under Seat Storage

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

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

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

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The post The Gear You’ll Be Glad You Had When SHTF appeared first on Preppers Survive.

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The purpose of Thrifty Thursday is to read a book which was free (at some point).

Kindle freebie on May 10, 2016  (currently 99¢ at Amazon as of writing this post)

Overall rating 4.24 with 127 ratings and 19 reviews

Thrifty Thursday: SHTF by Gillian ZaneSHTF by Gillian Zane
Series: NOLA Zombie #0.5
on December 22, 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopia, Romance
Pages: 130
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
One StarOne StarOne Star

It’s Friday night in New Orleans and Tim “Romeo” Voiter has the night off. A night of rest and relaxation is something new for the former Marine, and he’s looking forward to enjoying a fun night out with his buddy, Lucas Martinez. The two men try to ignore the emergency broadcasts and news about the spreading iKPV virus and just enjoy the evening. Romeo, true to his name, even hooks up with a hot redhead and plans on ending the evening at her place.

Plans come crashing down, though, as he comes face to face with what the iKPV infected really looks like-and it is not like any infection he’s encountered before. Knowing the media is sugarcoating the virus and things are about to get a lot worse in his city, Romeo talks his family into leaving their urban home and bugging out to a more secluded and secure area; the compound his employers own at the edge of the city, deep in the marsh that surrounds New Orleans. But, as the infection spreads and New Orleans begins to fall under the chaos of victims gone made with the virus, Romeo begins to realize that the “stuff” has hit the fan in New Orleans and things will never be the same for the Voiters.

SHTF  is a prequel of sorts for the series.  It is short, 130 pages, but more realistic than the next book, RUN, in the series. The shortness of the books mean there are less pages for developing the world or characters. It was written later than the next book and has different main characters.

“Romeo” is the main character, an ex-military man, who works for the security company.  He obviously has some security skills and experience.  However, he lets his judgement get clouded by entertainments or family guilt.  When the hot redhead’s roommate comes home infected, he sees how bad this is going to be.

He goes to gather up his siblings and head out to the compound.  Here is where things get unrealistic.  They grudgingly agree to go with him, but even when they see how things bad are, they don’t seem to be in enough of a hurry to get to the compound to me.

There are some open plot threads like what happens to Lena?  The next book, RUN, covers more of the team getting to the compound.

These are only Kindle freebies I get, or ones through author newsletters which anyone can sign up and get for free. I don’t include things like Kindle Unlimited or Prime Free Reading (I do have it). Both Tantor and Audible have occasional free audios (to anyone) and I do include those.  Since I one-click on 1-2 freebies a day or probably at least 5 a week, I came up with this feature to make sure I start reading them.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • COYER-20

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

There are lots of statistics floating around the dental professional community, but the one that seems to stick out like a sore tongue is the fact that only around half of the people in the USA see their dentist on a regular basis.

As a practicing dentist in a rural community for the last 35 years, I would be inclined to disagree with that statistic. I’d guess that the number would be closer to 33%. However, it is pointless to argue facts and figures, The bottom line is that there are entirely too many people that are currently DENTALLY unprepared for potential long-term catastrophic events. Add to that the medical conditions that can arise from untreated dental disease, and you can see why there is increased concern for individuals that have neglected their oral health.

What can the SHTF Prepper do to protect himself (or herself) and their respective families? Obviously, the best defense against a wide array of oral problems is simple. Get checked. Get cleaned. Get treated. Now. Dental offices depend on electricity to operate the equipment that dentists and hygienists use on a daily basis. If the electrical grid goes off line, there will be a limited number of dental options available to the patient requiring even the most common procedures.

Once you have taken your mouth into the 21st century, you need to be aware that there is a product available on the market today that has shown some promising and encouraging results after short-term usage. Let me first state that I am not employed by, nor am I reimbursed for any comments I make regarding the company that manufactures and distributes this product. I am simply offering information to the SHTF Prepper that may be beneficial.

Many of you may already be familiar with Xylitol. Although it has no magical properties that would enable you to reverse dental decay or to replace loss of supporting dental bone, the product nonetheless appears to be a potent preventative measure that could control rampant oral disease when used in conjunction with effective oral hygienic home care. It can be purchased in many forms…as a powdered sweetener, in flavored hard candies, and it has also been introduced in saline nasal sprays. Again, please do not misunderstand me, I am not recommending its use as a cure-all. The current research merely suggests that use of Xylitol MAY be favorable during extended times of challenging local or regional events that would preclude periodic visits to the dentist. We currently have a limited number of inexpensive samples available for purchase if you are unable to find the product near you.

It should be noted that Xylitol does have a shelf-life, and the effectiveness of the product can be diminished over a fairly long period of time. Accordingly, it would be unwise at this juncture to purchase large quantities. I would, however, urge you to at least try it.

Finally, it goes without saying that you should be stockpiling quality tooth brushes and tooth pastes. Utilizing dental floss is also highly recommended. In addition, it certainly wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep away from storing the high-salt, high-sugar foods that can insidiously undermine good dental health. Stick with foods that contribute to overall good physical health, and that kind of diet will also help you avoid potential dental set-backs.

There are a plethora of dental and oral conditions that can often be treated on a temporary or intermediate basis with home remedies or over-the-counter concoctions and elixirs that you can make at home.

If you would like to read more short articles like this one, or if you have any questions, please let us know.

Yours in Good Dental Health,

Bonus: How to Make Pemmican, the Original Survival Food

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

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

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

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

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

This content was originally published here.

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

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

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

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

Waste Management

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

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

First Aid

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

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

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

Bonus: How to Make Pemmican, the Original Survival Food

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

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

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

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

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

This content was originally published here.

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(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you’ll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

by Daisy Luther

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You need to train yourself not to freeze.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What made Selco realize that the SHTF was actually there?

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

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

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

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

Back on topic.

Do you have a potential predator living next door?

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

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

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

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

And you want to be ready for them.

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

There are different levels for which we prepare.

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

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

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

Up to and including SHTF.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out Selco’s books,  and

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

This content was originally published here.

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

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

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

French Press

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

Coffee Options

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

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

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

Whole Bean Roasted

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

Ground Coffee

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

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

Deals On Coffee In Cans and Sealed Bags

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

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

Let’s talk about tea for a minute.

A Kettle or Two

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tea Bags

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

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

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


Roasting Coffee

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

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

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

Grinding Coffee

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

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

How much tea and coffee should a prepper plan for?

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

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

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

52 weeks x 1.2 lbs=62.4 lbs per year

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

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

Tea Calculation

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

Quick Note on Shelf Life

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

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

Tea Additions and Non Caffeinated Options

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

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

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

This content was originally published here.