Do You Wear a Belt Every Day: Maybe You Should?

Belts have been in use since the Bronze Age according to historians, but it wasn’t until the 1920’s that belts became a common item used mainly to hold one’s trousers up. Belts, before pants had belt loops were mainly decorative in the civilian world and utilitarian in the military.

Soldiers had gear to carry and so a wide heavy belt was usually buckled around the waist so things could be attached to it such as sabers, daggers, money, water, and tobacco pouches along with rations in small leather sacks. In some militaries, a belt cinched tight around the waist gave a soldier a trimmer looking physique. A tightly cinched belt produced a puffed out chest and a trimmer looking waist, the perfect looking soldier.

Belts today still function as a fashion accessory and a belt can be used as a survival tool. Holsters for handguns, knives, axes, canteens full of water and magazine pouches can all be attached to a belt, but there are other uses as well.

1. Self defense

A belt wrapped around your closed fist can help protect your hands and fingers from cuts and to create greater impact against an assailant’s body. A heavy belt can also reduce bruising and broken hands/fingers caused by striking the head and/or face of an aggressor.

A belt swung with the belt buckle end toward someone can be used to strike at the face or body or used to distract an aggressor so you can escape. A sturdy belt can also be used to deflect baton blows by grasping each end of the belt and holding up so a club/baton hits the belt to help reduce or stop the impact.

2. Emergency First Aid

A belt can be used as a tourniquet, though, not ideal in some cases. Some belts can be drawn tight enough to stop or restrict the flow of blood, while others cannot, so consider this when choosing one to wear.

A belt can be used as a sling, or to secure splints to immobilize broken limbs.

3. Carry Items on Your Waist

Knife sheaths, holsters, flashlights, magazine pouches, and other gear and tools used for survival normally are designed so they can be carried on a belt. If not, it is a simple matter to rig up a system to carry most any tool on your belt.

4. Carry Items

Bundle items to carry such as wood and clothing by securing the belt around whatever it is you need to carry.

5.) Rescue

A belt can be used to help pull someone from the water if he or she can grab the end or a belt can be used help pull someone up a steep incline.

6. Use as a Strop for Your Blades

This one is self-explanatory, but it does require a quality leather belt for stropping knife blades.

Types of Belts

Leather is the most common type, especially for dress wear, but leather has its limitations. It weakens over time and can break at a crucial moment. If you work in an office or have some type of job that requires you to wear so-called dress clothes, then a tactical belt may not be the best option unless you have an understanding boss.

This is not to say that leather is a bad option, but just make sure it is high quality and in good repair at all times.

Paracord belts are a good choice, but once you have to use the Paracord for shelter building, for example, then you have eliminated its use as a belt, and if you had relied on a belt to carry knives, firearms and so forth you may have a problem. Again, Paracord is very useful so you do have to weigh the pros and cons of wearing one.

A sturdy canvas belt made out of webbing material can last for many years and take all kinds of abuse, and for the most part is impervious to water if dried out well before storing away.

This content was originally published here.

Today I am going to share with you how to make an all-natural first-aid antiseptic that you can easily make at home. This homemade antiseptic has excellent antibacterial properties to treat everyday cuts, scrapes and abrasions just as you would with any tube of over the counter ointment. Antiseptic Ointment  Ingredients 1-1/2 ounces beeswax, grated 1 Cup Coconut …

This content was originally published here.

Freeze-dried foods retain virtually all of their fresh-food taste and nutritional content just like frozen foods will. The Freeze-drying process removes 98 percent of the water content but not the flavor or the nutrients. Removing 98 percent of the water and oxygen means the foods will not deteriorate. The last thing you need is to find out during a crisis is that your foods have turned rancid or are well past their expiration dates.

If you have to worry about finding food immediately after a disaster strikes then you were not prepared. Make sure food and water is not a concern for the short or long term so you can focus on developing sources if the crisis is an extended one.

Most of you are familiar with freeze-dried foods. Emergency readiness is on peoples’ minds these days, and so is good quality food for when the SHTF. Preppers and others are looking for foods with an extended shelf life, for foods that taste good and for foods he or she is used to eating, in other words variety is important and so freeze dried foods do fit the bill.

Mountain House has a significant variety of freeze dried foods. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner entrees are available along with desserts and side dishes.

Just because there is an emergency does not mean you have to eat foods you do not like. However, this requires being prepared for an emergency. Being prepared means you have choices, choices made when you are not under stress, so you do not have to scramble and fight for the last can of pork and beans on the shelf at the local grocery. You cannot prepare during or after disaster strikes, you have to be prepared well ahead of the catastrophe. 

Mountain House foods started out nearly 50 years ago, and one of their pivotal moments was when they started supplying nutritious and good tasting food to our elite United States Military units.

Shelf life is important and Mountain House foods in the pouches are good for 12+ years when stored under the proper conditions, and food in the cans are good for 25+ years. Store it and forget it you might say.

GMOs and Gluten Free Foods

Mountain House does offer a line of “Gluten Free Products” along with a vegetarian line, as well as, low sodium foods.

However Mountain House does not offer Non-GMO Project Verified products at this time, and no other survival food company that I know of offers Non-GMO Verified products either.  

GMO products stir heated debates even arguments among people. There are some very strong feelings on both sides when it comes to GMO foods, and the debate is far from settled. It is a decision you have to make based on careful research and your own personal preferences. The regulating agencies (FDA, USDA) are not much help when it comes to deciding.

The Non-GMO project is North America’s ONLY independent verification for products made to avoid GMOs. So if a company claims their foods are Non-GMO make sure it has their seal.

For more on Non-GMO Project Verified Foods Visit http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/understanding-our-seal/

We are here to talk about survival, when the SHTF and when the last thing you need to worry about is food, food for you and your family during a crisis. You cannot stockpile foods for an indefinite period. At some point your supplies will be depleted.

You stockpile knowing you may have to develop your own food sources at some point. You need quality foods that can get you to the point where you have developed a sustainable and renewable food supply.

It can take considerable time for your garden to start producing, months in facts if you do not have one already established. Gardens do not flourish over night, and depending on the seasons and other factors it could be a year before you see your first harvest. You need foods that have an extended shelf life, have ample variety, are nutritious, and are foods that actually taste good.

You will not be eating your emergency supply of freeze dried foods forever, GMO or otherwise. Your freeze dried food stockpile is food to get you through the crisis, whether it is a few days, weeks or even for a few years. 

You do what you have to do to survive the crisis, and food does not need to be a worry in the short or long term if you prepare properly by stocking up on freeze dried foods that have an extended shelf life, and have enough variety so that everyone in the family can have their favorite foods.

Survival Needs

First, Mountain House foods taste as good, if not better than most freeze dried foods out there. They are actually as good as or better than most MRE’s on the market today and it actually, in some cases, comes down to the food varieties that are offered, and Mountain House has a large variety from which to choose. If you like biscuits and gravy, for example, you will love Mountain House’s version, it is good, It’s better than good actually, it tastes great.

The foods are packaged with emergencies in mind. The pouches are ideal for bug-out bags and for storing in your vehicle and they are perfect for camping trips as well. When storing in your vehicle the temperature variations may affect the shelf life so carefully read the product description.

The #10 cans are ideal for home storage, they are lightweight, and each #10 can holds a significant amount of meals with 25 years plus on shelf life. Remember that 98 percent of the water is extracted so the weight is considerably less than traditional canned goods. The food in the cans can be distributed into other containers for carrying in backpacks or for in your vehicle, but the shelf life will be reduced once the can is opened however.

Preparation Considerations

Freeze dried foods require reconstitution and this means you need water and the means to heat the water. Mountain House foods in the pouch are ideal for many emergencies, because all you have to do is pour the recommended amount of hot water into the pouch, stir let sit for a few minutes and then eat right out of the pouch if you like. The foods in the #10 cans will require a cooking vessel to prepare them however.

When calculating water needs during a crisis you will have to ensure you have water for your cooking needs. Visit Mountains House’s website to get a better idea of how much water is required for their various meals. Once you have an idea of how much water is needed for cooking requirements add 10 to 15 percent to account for waste. Energy for heating the water is important as well, so factor this in when preparing.

Final Thoughts

I was recently given the opportunity to sample a few of Mountain House’s freeze dried meals, and I now know why outdoor enthusiasts have made Mountain House freeze-dried foods their first choice for over 40 years. Every one of the meals that I’ve tasted so far have exceeded my expectations. The biscuits with gravy was extremely satisfying and so was the apple crisp. My favorite meal from Mountain House is their new Italian Pepper Steak. It’s loaded with tons of steak, peppers, onions and rice, and it has such great flavor.

The Beef Stroganoff was my least favorite out of the four varieties I tried, however as freeze-dried food goes, it still tasted good and much better than most frozen dinners. I wouldn’t turn my nose up to any Mountain House meal if offered them, overall they’re very tasty and easy to prepare, just add hot water, wait a few minutes, and enjoy! So, if you’re looking for tasty freeze-dried, meals for your next camping trip, long term storage plans, Bug Out Bag or for virtually anytime, Mountain House gets my vote! In my opinion Mountain House is one of the best long-term Freeze Dried Food brands available today.

Mountain House. (2015). Retrieved 2015, from http://www.mountainhouse.com/

Non GMO Project. (2015). Retrieved 2015, from http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/understanding-our-seal/

This content was originally published here.

Bottled water and tap water if exposed to prolonged periods of direct sunlight and/or heat sources may develop algae, or mold (IBWA, 2015).
BPA and Sunlight/Heat
Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical building block that is used primarily to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastic has for 50 years been the choice for food and beverage product containers. It is lightweight, shatter-resistant, and transparent, making it ideal for food and beverage storage.
FDA’s current assessment is that BPA is safe at the very low levels that occur in some foods. Studies suggest however, that heat and light have an effect on how quickly and how much BPA will leach from the plastics in water bottles and other food packaging.
Cool and dark are the recommended environments for storing bottled water. While the FDA has stated that commercially bottled water has an indefinite shelf-life the packaging does not, and how your water is stored will have an effect on how long the packaging remains intact.
If you were to fill plastic water bottles that had been previously used, and you did not properly sanitize the container, and then you left the clear plastic bottles where direct or even indirect sunlight will reach them, you may very well see mold and algae developing inside the sealed containers.
Any water you draw from your tap should only be placed in approved water containers, (food grade containers), and only after proper cleaning of the containers. UV light will encourage algae growth so it is important that water be stored in the dark or stored in non-transparent containers.
Temperature swings will also have an impact. Bottled water stored in a hot car over the summer months will not last nearly as long as bottled water stored in a cool environment away from light and high heat and/or temperature swings.
Water stored for long periods will go stale, because of the lack of dissolved oxygen. Fish aquariums, for example, use bubble stones and other methods to aerate the water so there is always a certain level of dissolved oxygen in the water. 
The bubbles created by the aeration rise to the top and collect dissolved oxygen from the air and then disperse it throughout the water. Obviously you cannot put aerators in your bottles and uncapping them to shake to create bubbles may cause some contaminates to enter the water.
Proper rotation is the key to fresh water. Water in and of itself has an indefinite shelf life, but how it is stored, what it is stored in, and where it is stored will have an effect.
Glass is an option, but it is transparent and it is heavy. It can be easily sterilized and the containers can be used repeatedly however, as long as the cap remains intact. Glass is hard to transport, because of the weight and the fact it has to be packed a certain way to prevent shattering.
Stainless Steel is an option as well, but again it is heavy, but it is not transparent so sunlight/artificial light has little effect, but water provided by a municipality would contain sodium hypochlorite (bleach), which will corrode stainless steel over time.
If you were to store water in Stainless Steel drums that were properly sterilized and the water was treated correctly you could safely store the water for years if sealed tightly. Once you open a container then you should use the entire contents.
Plastic has been for decades the choice for food storage because of the weight, durability, and ease of manufacturing. BPA is a concern, but as of now there is no medical evidence to show the amounts you be ingesting would have an effect on you. Of course it is a personal choice whether you use plastics that contain BPA, but if you do not choose plastic you will need reliable storage container options.
IBWA. (2015). Retrieved August 2015, from http://www.bottledwater.org/education/bottled-water-storage

This content was originally published here.

I have been thinking about  home security a lot lately. I am not sure why, but this is the latest thing that has been an ever present thought as I go through my daily activities.

I suppose it is a logical extension of prepping after food and water sources are shored up that your mind would turn to security. I started to analyze our defensive options at our home since we have chosen to shelter in place should any type of disaster scenario happen.

This carried me down several paths that I hope to discuss with you and they all focus around steps you can take to keep your family safe, or provide some additional protection in your home if things get really bad. This is the first post in a series about what problems you may be faced with in a WROL (Without Rule of Law) society. This is a worst case scenario but I believe that exercising your mind by thinking about issues like this could prepare you better for less catastrophic emergencies. Honestly, I hope to never be in a situation that requires these plans and methods, but I think it is valid to discuss them in terms of preparing your family.
With all that said, I want to be realistic with you. What I am going to suggest is not going to make your house bulletproof. It will not stop a tank or military assault or prevent a fire. It will probably not stop several determined people who have the time to attack unopposed either, but it could give you just enough of an advantage that it could save your life and hopefully make them look for an easier target. What I plan to highlight are several considerations that you can implement that are relatively easy which can make it a little harder for people who want to get in and cause you harm or try and take what you have. This should offer some protection from the casual thief or looter, not necessarily the mutant zombie biker gang.
I think it is also worth saying that if someone is intent on killing you or getting to you or your family you have to consider what you are willing to do to stop them. I do not believe that it is realistic to expect bad people to simply go away because you talk sternly to them or get in touch with the pain they are feeling. If someone has made up their mind to get to you, the very least they will do is take what can either keep your family alive (food, clothing, water, money) or safe (security). If you are incredibly lucky, the only thing they will do is take your supplies. I don’t think that is realistic though and you may be in for a very horrible lesson if things get to this point. The lesson might end up costing you your life.

I do believe that you owe it to yourself and your family to be mentally prepared to use deadly force in a situation like this if the need arises. If you have no plans to fight back, then you should be prepared to live (or die) with the consequences. I fully expect anyone in my family and probably most who are reading this blog to be open to if not embracing the same beliefs. I never want to have to harm anyone, but if you are in my house or property with intentions to harm my family I will do what is necessary. Do I expect this is going to be easy or that it won’t change me when it’s over? No, but that is beside the point. I have sworn that I will do what is necessary to protect my family. That is one of the reasons I advocate carrying a concealed weapon, because violence like this doesn’t wait for a disaster. It can happen any day.

So, now we have the framework. Bad things have happened, you are forced to stay in your house and try to ride out the storm so to speak and people are or could be trying to get into your house or get at your family. If it comes to that, are you prepared to use deadly force if necessary to stop them?

Home security: 9 steps to keep you safe when SHTF

Step 1 -Know your enemy

The spectrum of people who could possibly be threats run the gambit from desperate beggar to organized gangs. Burglary and looting are crimes of opportunity. The opportunity for a burglar is usually an unsuspecting homeowner or a house that is easily broken into. Looting uses the opportunity of a situation in which the perceived enforcement of laws by police has dissolved. In time after time we see situations like Hurricane Sandy where people were looting the day after the hurricane. Some of these people were even dressed like power company workers to fool anyone who saw them poking around houses. You can expect that regardless of where you live, if the crisis is bad enough and prolonged enough there will be homes near you, maybe yours that are targets for this segment of society.

I think it is reasonable to assume if we routinely see this type of behavior with what is considered a relatively minor weather event; much worse could be expected as the level and intensity of the emergency increases. Right now even with all of the lights on, food and fuel still being shipped to stores and the welfare and unemployment checks getting delivered;  we have women who are gang raped in Chicago, Veterans are beaten to death and there are attacks and murders in every major city it seems weekly. Can you imagine how bad this will get if we are plunged into total chaos? Can you foresee how completely dangerous your neighborhood might get if there is no Rule of Law (WROL)?

Staying in your home and Bugging In may be the only option you have, but depending on how serious the disaster or crisis that we are going through, that home might have to be your castle and fortress. There are some steps we can take to give you an advantage if this is your Alamo and may keep you alive to see another day. Hopefully, you can take steps to make your house a less ideal target and keep your family safer.

Step 2 – Gathering intelligence

First things first. Before you even consider how you would begin the planning process of defending your home it helps to know what is around you. By that I mean understanding what is in the area immediately surrounding your home and expanding outward from there, further out. I recommend periodically conducting what I call the neighborhood RECON to familiarize yourself with what is going on in your neighborhood. I don’t mean simply knowing your neighbors although that is very important; what I mean is knowing how to get to your house by methods other than the surface roads. What are the landscape features that may help or work to your advantage? Knowing who has certain resources that may become targets will give you information that the looter who is driving through won’t have. This can be as simple as taking walks through your neighborhood, but the key is to pay attention to details.

Having area maps is another step you can take in planning defenses and even exit strategies if the need arises. You can go online and order very detailed Topographical Maps from the USGS store. Knowing this information before you need it can show you paths of likely drift and avenues you can use to escape.

Once you know what is around you, another prerequisite to any defensive strategy is intelligence. The first and perhaps most important piece of intelligence is knowing who is in the area. It is important to know as far in advance as possible when someone is headed to your position before they are actually at your door. For a lot of people, this would be difficult without a large group and training. If you live in an apartment complex, this article might not work for you. On the other hand, you may be able to use the other people in your apartment complex to form a network that can take turns watching activity and alerting anyone of an advancing threat. If you have a typical home you do still have neighbors unless they have bugged out already. A security network would be even more advantageous in this situation but I will discuss how that might be set up in another post. For this discussion, lets pretend you are mostly on your own.

If we think about defense in rings around your home where the first ring would be your home itself. Going out from there would be your yard and then going out from there maybe 2 houses or 200 feet in either direction. These rings would indicate where you have different methods of identifying and stopping the threats. Ideally, you would want to know that someone is coming as early as possible so the outermost ring would demonstrate that distance. How would you be able to tell if someone was a few houses away and headed to your position or who at a minimum was worthy of additional scrutiny?

Assuming again that you are on your own, that you don’t have a squad of marines or a checkpoint at your disposal you would optimally have a method of knowing what is going on all around your property. This usually requires a position that is elevated so you can see over houses and bushes. Without having to have a guard tower installed. One option could be a tree climbing stand or my personal favorite, a kids tree house. These can give you the ability to gain an advantage and see a larger piece of the surrounding area. This may not be practical or possible so your advance notice will need to be adjusted to the defensive ring that you can see. If you can only see your yard then you greatly reduce the amount of head start notice you can have for this type of situation. It may also be that you must stay inside for quarantine or weather issues.

A simple way to be alerted to approaching people is wireless Motion detectors. Motion detectors outside can alert you to someone who shouldn’t be there. Assuming that we are talking about a real crisis here, there is a high probability that the power won’t be working. This is when having your own backup power would be extremely helpful but there are other, low-tech options you can deploy that work as well. If you have power and motion detectors at the perimeter you will have advance warning of someone who is entering your yard. Using this you can run to where the threat is coming from and address it or at the very least be ready to address it when they reach your home. Dakota alert has systems designed for this exact purpose.

There are also small trip wire devices that will pull a pin that triggers a .22 blank cartridge. These can easily be set up (provided you have blank .22 shells) and can alert you audibly. You can set the wires up in the places that someone would most likely travel to make it to your home and when they go off, you would have advance warning that someone is approaching.

There are other low-tech options too like setting up a string of cans on the porch that can make noise once the line holding them has been disturbed or crushing a light bulb so that you hear the glass breaking as someone walks on it. These are less ideal and probably work better in the movies in situations with complete darkness, but can work in some cases. The perfect system alerts you well in advance of when someone is near your home, but you do have to be able to hear it.

Now that we know what type of scenario we may have to defend our homes and families from and have a general understanding of knowledge that can help us, I want to talk about some options. Again, just to be clear that anything we plan for can be undone by a wide variety of factors. The suggestions aren’t meant to imply that you will have an impenetrable fortress, but it may buy you some time and will offer more protection than just closing the curtains.

Step 3 – Preventing access

Knowing when someone is approaching is only half of the problem. The real challenge is to keep them away as far as possible. If you have a group of people, this may mean meeting whoever is approaching far away from your property and dealing with any threats there as opposed to your front door. If this isn’t possible and you are forced to retreat, then your next best bet would be to not let them have an easy way into your house.

Starting with the driveway and your yard, if you can, move your car further away from the house to block access. Provided the bad guys don’t drive through your yard, this would prevent them from rolling up close to your house very quickly. Every yard is different of course, but these are just ideas. In a true collapse scenario it may be necessary to block the road entirely. Of course, this only matters if cars are still functioning, but let’s assume they are. This is something you would want to discuss with your neighbors naturally, but could be an effective way of blocking or slowing vehicle traffic. Blocking access to your neighborhood can be done a lot of ways and could provide a first line of defense against anyone who isn’t supposed to be there gaining access easily.

No matter what the roadblock is, unless you have a high wall guarded by a moat with crocodiles, even if they have to walk a little, they will eventually make it to your home. I started thinking about the preparations that homeowners make before a hurricane and this seems perfectly logical to apply to this situation. During a hurricane, windows and doors are boarded up to protect your home from a vicious assault by Mother Nature. The same could be done with your home to great effect. There was actually even an episode of Doomsday Preppers where one of the featured preppers, Jay Blevins already had this idea.

With some planning now while everything is relatively normal, you could acquire sheets of plywood and have them cut to fit over your window openings. This of course could be done later I guess, but it would be quicker to have them pre-cut and numbered for easy installation. Jay’s plan was to cover all of the ground floor windows and doors to prevent people from entering while leaving the second story windows open. This seems like a great idea too because he could coordinate fire on the people below if they really started trying to get in with axes or chain saws. The plywood boards themselves are attached via long bolts to a horizontal board going over the window opening inside so there are no nails or screws that can be pried out. That is pretty smart.

The weather is a consideration too because if it is hot outside you likely aren’t going to want to board up all of your windows and doors. Even drilling vent holes in the windows won’t help much and could weaken the strength of the board.

Even if you have everything boarded up, you will likely still need to get into and out of your home unless your supplies of food and sanitation can keep you comfortably confined for a while. An exterior door with protected access would need to be your way out, but you could have this barricaded with items that can be moved later.

Step 4 -Slowing access

Maybe you don’t have the time or money to have every window and door around your house fitted with heavy-duty plywood. You can still board up windows and doors. This is another reason to keep scrap wood and lumber around because if you can’t keep someone out permanently, at least you should be able to slow them down. Couches and refrigerators in front of doors will slow people down. Implements like the Bar-Ricade bar or something like the Master Lock Door Security Bar will reinforce your entry doors and should slow an attacker down. The Armor Concepts door jamb hardware kit is simple to install and will reinforce your doors so they can’t be easily kicked open. Will they stop a big police style battering ram? I don’t know but they are better than nothing.

Step 5 -Reaction Plan

If you have some level of difficulty set up on your exterior entrance points, there will undoubtedly be noise associated with someone trying to get in. You may have a dog that is warning you also and I would say pound for pound they would make the best intrusion detection system unless your dog was like ours and got a little too sleepy after steak night. That’s my fault though.

You should prepare well in advance for situations where someone is trying to get into your house. Several methods can be deployed to try and fool you into thinking the attack is coming from one direction when actually it is coming from two or three. Once you have been alerted to someone trying to gain access, the key is to move quickly. Knowing ahead of time who is going to the front and who is going to the rear will give you two sets of eyes instead of one and hopefully you have some firearms for self defense so you will have two means of defending yourself and your home also. This may be easier said than done if the members of your party are wounded, sick or tired from guarding against assault all night. Depending on your defenses, the people attacking if they are smart will come at you from more than one location. This is so that if they can get you to focus on the front door while another one of them sneaks in the back they can attack you from two sides.

Step 6 -Plan for distractions

If the people attacking you are a small group they will likely try to distract you with noise or commotion in one area while they sneak in another. If possible have one person deal with the commotion in the front and position another in the back. This will give you the ability to at least deal with someone from either direction. If this isn’t possible you may have to fall back into a hallway or some other narrow spot so that you can concentrate fire if they do enter your house.

Step 7 -Take the high ground

If you have a second floor, your fallback position might be the second floor. If this happens, and they have gotten into your house you have to block their access to you at all costs. Stairways can be deadly if you are the person at the top firing down on the intruders. Obstacles on the stairs can slow them down; even throwing items at them while they are trying to navigate the stairs can slow an advance. This might sound a little too much like Home Alone, but we aren’t all Navy Seals (even the bad guys) so fight with everything you have. It may be your bowling ball, but if you crush a skull of someone who was trying to kill you who is going to care that you saw it on a movie?

Step 8 -Make a backdoor escape

If you are forced to retreat into the second floor, having a way out may be your last hope. This could be a window ladder down to the first floor or attic access to a point that you could escape. If this is really your last stand barricade the doors again to give you more time to exit and run if possible. Our attic gives me access to a door over the garage and I can escape through there and out into the yard. If I had to I would punch a hole in the wall to gain access to the attic and then try to escape while the bad guys were trying to get into the room on the second floor. Whatever you do you have to try and fight to survive.

If you are forced to flee, you should have a rally point already defined to meet everyone at in times like this. Hopefully everyone makes it there and you could have supplies stashed in a hidden cache so that you aren’t completely out of options for continuing to survive.

Step 9 -Live to fight another day

Hopefully, if things have gotten so bad that you have to employ any of the suggestions above just to stay alive you were able to defend yourself before you had to run away from the house. However, it may not work that way. You may have to run away to live and I think running and living in some cases is better than standing and dying. Now, I wouldn’t say this if I didn’t have everyone in my group with me, but I think you get the point.

Bugging In is not a perfect solution either

To Bug in and hunker down or to Bug Out and take your chances on the road? This is one of the major questions at least logistically for preppers and you will have people on both sides of this issue. Bugging out brings with it an entirely different set of circumstances and must be planned for in different ways. Hunkering down can eliminate one set of problems, but presents a whole new set of challenges. Further complicating the issue is that life gets a vote. Just because you make a decision now whenever everything is pretty much normal doesn’t necessarily mean that circumstances won’t change and cause your plans to need adjusting. In some cases your carefully laid plans may need to be thrown out altogether.

A lot of careful consideration usually goes into the decision to either hunker down or to bug out. I think that in no small part it comes down to your resources and your common sense when you are asking yourself these questions. First off the obvious question, do you have a place to go to? If so, bugging out becomes much more realistic. Then questions like how will you get there, what to take and who else will be going with you start to get answered. The pieces begin to fall into place and you can make a plan for dealing with the contingencies as you think of them. For a long trip, you can plan how to load the vehicles, where to refuel, storing caches of supplies along the route, alternate routes, etc.

If you have no place to go and there is not an immediate, life-threatening situation that is making you leave your home; if you have supplies such as food and water then why leave? For a lot of people, absent some impending natural disaster, disease, nuclear accident or chemical spill, staying where they are living currently is going to be the best option. You may have a support structure at your current location or family that prevents you from leaving. Even in war torn cities people stay behind and this isn’t without precedent historically. Bugging in would seem to me to be a logical choice in a lot of situations unless you have a fully stocked survival retreat within a few hours away or have friends and family to turn to within a relatively short distance. It may be the only choice you have if life steps in again and prevents you from implementing your Bug Out plan above.

Regardless of whether you chose to Bug In as part of your plan to be fully prepared, or are forced to stay where you are, you may have to deal with the unpleasant reality that usually rears its ugly head anytime there is turmoil or disasters. Humans can on one hand be incredibly loving and also incredibly evil and after a disaster there are usually stories of both. In this article I plan to talk about some steps you can take to protect your family from the later type if you find yourself Bugging In.

Hopefully that gave you some ideas. If you have any suggestions for everyone else, please let us know in the comments below.

Prepare! And do it the old fashion way, like our fore-fathers did it and succeed long before us, because what lies ahead of us will require all the help we can get. Watch this video and learn the 3 skills that ensured our ancestors survival in hard times of famine and war.

If you found this article useful, please like our Facebook page and stay up to date with the latest articles.

This content was originally published here.

One fear that many have is not being able to get the medication they or their loved ones need for treating chronic conditions. The problem with running out of meds is much deeper than that. There are a ton of problems that our dependency on big pharma has created.

I am going to start this post with some ugly truths that we all may one day have to face in some way even if some of us don’t take any prescription medications.

You are going to have to learn how to mentally handle the prospect of what will start to happen and the result of medications not being available if you want to be truly prepared for a SHTF scenario.

There will be people that your heart aches to help but there is a good chance you either cannot or you have to decide that it is not in the best interest of your family to do so. The person may be someone very close to you.

This is a heavy article and very much an overview. There are many classes of drugs and conditions that I simply could not put in without writing an article many times this in length, If you have something to add, I highly encourage you to do so in the comments!

Did you know that 218,000 people died of prescription opiate drug overdoses in the USA between 1999-2016? 

More than 49,000 of these deaths occurred in 2017 alone and included the synthetic opiates like fentanyl that are deadly in very small doses. Heroin use has also increased significantly.

Overall drug overdose deaths for 2017 was more than 72,000!

Just to put it in perspective, we lost 58,220 soldiers in the ten years we were fighting the Vietnam War.

People protested in the streets and rallied for major change during the Vietnam years. You don’t see that level of outrage about the opiate crisis, and we are losing insane amounts of the youth of America.

So using the CDC’s numbers, in 2017 alone we lost 14,000 more people due to drugs than in the entire 10 year Vietnam War. IN ONE YEAR! 

The zombies in the streets SHTF fantasy

The theory: People that are addicted to opiates or other hard drugs will go nuts and be dangerous.

Yes and no. While someone that cannot get their fix is going to be volatile and on edge, there are other things that have to be considered. Withdrawal can and often kills people with severe addictions. Going off heroin or prescription painkillers cold turkey with no medical support such as medication to ease off and someone to make sure an addict gets enough food and fluid to make it through, doesn’t always work out so well. I know people that have worked in the medical industry, and they see withdrawal kill people, and it doesn’t discriminate based on age.

There will be people acting crazy but the first month of SHTF will probably be the worst for this type of thing. Those with severe addictions may very well not have the physical capabilities within a few days of not having their “fix “to cause any trouble.

A real SHTF situation also means people will be on guard and even those that cause some trouble will likely not make it that long. There will be someone out there that eliminates them when they make a wrong choice because they are desperate and not thinking clearly. Where I live, a home invasion or intrusion results in someone getting shot.

This is the same reason why lone wolves during SHTF that don’t prepare and think they will take whatever they need from others will not last long.

Compassion reminder: There are people that are born with issues that they have no control over like schizophrenia or autism. Also, there are plenty of people with chronic conditions that are faced with a terrible situation when the meds run out.

Disorders like schizophrenia are often easily controlled with medications. The effects of autism are another example.

Remember before you judge someone too harshly that they may have an actual medical condition. This is not the same scenario as someone that is addicted to street drugs or pain meds.

Those with conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure are just a few examples of those that need medicine for a major health issue.

Addicts are people too. While their behavior is not acceptable, it is important to not dehumanize them either. People make mistakes, and some overcome them if given a chance.

Suicides have increased and will get worse if meds or drugs run out for any reason

One of the major side effects for a lot of “medications for the mind” is an increased risk of suicide. Withdrawal from narcotics also increases the risk. Someone in withdrawal may feel like they are dying anyway and be more inclined to follow through.

This is one reason why someone withdrawing needs people to look out for them.

Natural remedies to ease opiate withdrawal

This is not a substitute for major treatment. Long-term opiate abuse can cause a lot of different health effects. Cardiac events are all too common no matter what age the person addicted may be. During SHTF or for those that have a less serious addiction may find that these treatments help them get through the hardest parts.

I have listed at home treatment options by symptom. These are some of the more common withdrawal effects.

Fever and sweating or chills

Ibuprofen can be used to reduce the flu-like symptoms.

Dehydration due to vomiting or diarrhea 

It is critical to replace fluids and electrolytes. Pedialyte is an option during good times but something like Emergenc-E that comes in a powder form is a more realistic option to put back for a SHTF situation, and it stores in a small space. Imodium-AD can help eliminate diarrhea symptoms too.

Having the shakes

Shaky muscles and tremoring are common, but there is some evidence that St. Johns Wort can help relieve the shaking symptoms. St. Johns Wort can affect how other medications work, so it is best to find out if someone is taking other medicines.

Various mental issues

Drug addiction can affect someone’s mind in many ways. If they take other drugs on top of opiates, then the mixture can have all types of results. I am no psychologist, but when anyone is going through a hard time in their head, then it can help to take their mind off that as much as possible and direct that energy towards something else.

Staying busy can help at a certain point. Drawing, coloring, or building and creating something, for example, can create a sense of accomplishment and improve feelings of self-worth. That can be a very powerful force on the road to recovery. This is where having a supportive family and friends can be a big help and make all the difference.

Xanax is the most widely prescribed psychotropic drug in the United States and if you if you just stop taking it suddenly, your risk of death increases a lot. Those that take higher dosages are at the most risk of death if they suddenly cannot get their medication. I use this drug as an example, but there are others that have a higher death risk if a person suddenly cannot take them.

If you take medications, I recommend looking up info on withdrawal or stopping taking the medication. If you take something like this and there are alternatives, then you may consider looking into them.

If you wish to continue taking them or feel that you have to, then at least have an extra supply on hand so you can gradually wean yourself off of them if SHTF. Also, consider asking your doctor if a lower dosage is an option for your issue — the higher your dosage, the greater the withdrawal risks.

Of course, prescriptions like Xanax are often only refillable every 30 days so you legally cannot keep enough on hand to do much good in a SHTF situation. This is why I strongly encourage you to find other treatments if you can. Ask your doctor about alternatives with fewer side effects and withdrawal issues. 

SSRI’s or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

This class of medications includes the following FDA approved drugs:

The side effects of stopping SSRI’s are similar to many drugs and include:

There will be more people exhibiting some weird behavior.

We have a nation that is largely dependent on antidepressants. The ironic thing is that many of these medications increase the risk of suicide. All antidepressants including the SSRI’s listed above are required to have a warning on them that they may increase the risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts.

Consider this theory, if a medication makes you care or feel less about yourself then what is that going to do about your feelings for others. In short, if you are numb towards your self and have little love for yourself as a person, isn’t it less likely that you will feel good about others?

All the major school shootings that I have researched have something in common, and that is that the shooter was taking prescription drugs that can cause suicidal thoughts or a tendency towards violence. Most of the media doesn’t like to touch on this fact, but it is true.

SHTF may out some addicts that did an excellent job hiding the true nature of their addiction

While there are some signs of addiction or prescription drug usage, you cannot always tell the extent of someone’s problem. Some addicts have the means to use substances and hide the fact from those around them. People don’t always act majorly out of it, and plenty of people keep to themselves.

Those of you that say that they have no room for addicts during SHTF may want to consider what you would do if someone you care about turns out to be taking medication or is on drugs that are suddenly not available.

Dealing With Hypochondriacs

Some people are used to getting medical treatment for the smallest thing. Our doctor system encourages hypochondria among the population.

Small visits to doctors cost the country a lot of money in medical reimbursement costs. People are often poor judges of what is severe enough to require a doctor visit. They always go, just to make sure,

There are people out there that don’t think that medical care or advice is worth anything and will not work unless it comes directly from the mouth or office of a doctor.

There are people out there that have a lot of medical knowledge and experience. They have kits put together for their families medical needs, and so they can respond and help others around them if needed. The sad thing is that there are some that would let a medical condition get worse before actually accepting medical supplies and advice from someone that doesn’t have Ph.D. or MD after their name or a fancy office. This is a big deal because more serious medical supplies are precious during SHTF. People don’t want to get into their major stockpiles of medical supplies unless necessary.

If you worry a lot about medical stuff or have someone in your family that does, prepare now!

If you are afraid that there will be no medical care available then prepare yourself now. Learn how to do basic first aid and take care of typical emergencies as well as a few advanced things if you can take a course. If you have a spouse or partner, then this is something you should learn together so you can take care of each other and any members of your group.

You may be squeamish, but you need to try to get over that. You can be prepared to take care of many different emergencies when no help is anywhere!

Anti Depressant and Anti Psychotic Withdrawal will be a tragedy in itself. I think it will be long lasting and people will not expect it to be so bad so they will not be prepared to deal with loved ones that start to exhibit symptoms.

So what do you do if you have to take in or care for a family member that is withdrawing from medications?

First of all, you need to realize the extent of the problem as much as possible. What substance or substances are the sources of the problem?

The severity of symptoms can vary so much. If someone is going into severe withdrawal, then they may need someone to keep a close eye on them and provide food, water, and clean up of the messy symptoms. Put it this way; you are going to need a bucket or two nearby if someone is ill and cannot keep food or fluids down. Electrolytes in water are a good idea because they can quickly be depleted.

If someone is exhibiting signs of being a danger to themselves or others, you may have to confine them. No one wants to have to do this but locking someone in a room that has been checked for anything they can use to hurt themselves or others.

During SHTF, some may be hopeless cases. This can be an extremely painful conclusion to come to.

I will say that I have personally seen people that do not have the will or the true desire to change. You have to ask yourself if you can help someone. I love the idea of bringing someone out of a very dark place, but if they chose the substance over someone they cared about you have to ask if they are going to do something for you that they wouldn’t work for their spouse or child even.

Consider alternatives to what you are taking or ways to reduce your meds now.

I have readers that have told me their wonderful stories about how they started getting physically fit and taking care of themselves and reversed a lot of their health issues related to cholesterol and blood pressure. These are not younger readers either, these are active adults in their 70s, and I applaud them for making the effort because it seems like people sometimes think it is too late for them to make improvements.

Consider natural substitutions

I know that there are some medicines for which there is no comparable natural replacement, but in some cases, you can use natural supplements to control symptoms. I know of plenty of people that take garlic for blood pressure control. When I was taking the SHTF school course by Selco, I remember he mentioned that during the Balkan War, many people used garlic in place of blood pressure medicine and it worked. I made a note of that because he saw it first hand in a real SHTF situation when there truly was no major medical care available and the medications wore out fast.

ADHD Medication

I have my concerns about how children and teens will be affected when they cannot get any ADHD medication.  If any of you have seen the results of this and feel comfortable sharing, please do so in the comments at the end of this post.

It seems like more and more kids are being diagnosed with ADHD. I honestly think that while this is a real condition, there are times it is used to label any child that has a hard time in a traditional school setting and needs more physical activity.

The problem is that one of the most commonly prescribed medications for ADD and ADHD are Amphetamine Salts. It is an upper, but doctors say that those with ADD experience a calming effect in many cases.

I was given Amphetamine salts a few years out of college by a doctor, and I don’t think that it calms you down. If you go to a doctor and say you can’t focus they throw pills at you, so you walk away feeling like you have done something. I stopped taking them after a few months.

Of course an upper will make you focus. Kids take this stuff all the time, and if the doctors treat them like they did me, they try to up the dose a lot more often than they should. You have to tell them no, and they still bring it up at the next visit.

My experience was 12 years ago, and I truly hope that things have changed and doctors are not trying to get you up to a high dosage as soon as possible.

A lot of Ritalin is prescribed too, but that is often changed to Adderall or the generic form, Amphetamine salts by middle school. I don’t think giving children a lifelong amphetamine habit is a good idea.

Natural Solutions and Alternative Treatments

Source:

Alternative treatment information came from Healthline, an excellent source for health and wellness information on the web.

Remember to discuss any changes with your doctor if you have access. Everyone is different, and other health issues besides ADHD may need to be considered.

Steps To Take Before SHTF

1. Make a list of medications used by members of your household.

2. Research the side effects and withdrawal effects online. Print the information and put it in a binder for reference if needed.

3. Research natural alternatives for treatment and put back a natural medical alternatives kit.

Examples may be garlic pills for blood pressure or passionflower for anxiety and depression: melatonin for sleep disorders, arnica for muscle soreness and pain.

If you don’t have a medicinal plants guide for your area, then I highly recommend getting one and learning some plants. Peterson’s Field Guide to Medicinal Plants is my go-to guide for this, and what was used at the college I attended for folk medicine classics. CBD oil is readily available at even some drug stores it seems. It can help with anxiety, stress, depression, and a variety of other disorders.

Ask your doctor about an extra prescription.

A lot of medications you can get a lot at once. I suppose some medical insurances may have restrictions, but unless something is a controlled substance, you can usually get 90-day supplies. If you can get two of these, then you at least have 180 days.

Do you have a plan for when the meds run out? Have you used any natural alternatives to successfully treat medical or mental conditions?

This content was originally published here.

There is no question that weight slows you down when hiking, and where you carry the weight while hiking, makes a bigger difference than you may have realized.

In 1983, the United States Army conducted a study titled “The energy cost and heart-rate response of trained and untrained subjects walking and running in shoes and boots” (Army Research Inst Of Environmental Medicine, 1983).

The study found that a very small increase in the weight of your shoes added up to a significantly higher expenditure of energy when walking. The adage “one pound of added weight to your feet equals five pounds of weight on your back” may be credible. The weight of your hiking shoes or boots can make a difference.

A heavy boot or shoe is as a rule considered a good thing, however. Heavy soles protect the feet from stone bruises, nails, and other sharp objects while the heavy leather uppers help protect against snake bites, sharp sticks, and so forth, but all that protection comes at a cost, however.

Often times, people buy hiking boots to help support their ankles and feet, to prevent twisted ankles and supposedly, to prevent aching feet, good arch support in other words. However, if your boot or shoes do all the work your ankles, feet, and legs will essentially never be able to. They may not get stronger or strong enough, so you can reduce the weight of your hiking shoes.

Your Shoes/Boots Are Based On Your Activity

1.) The so-called trail runners are made for those that literally run woodland trails, as opposed to road-running shoes that are designed to run on flat terrain like sidewalks, and asphalt or concrete roadways. Trail runners typically have a stiffer sole to help protect against stone bruises, and usually have a toe protector to stop those annoying and sometimes serious toe stubs.

Trail runners are not designed for steep, slippery, or very rough terrain. They would be ideal for those hikers that stay on well-defined and relatively even hiking trails. If you wear a lightweight runner, you can add more weight to your pack without noticing the difference, more food, and water for example. Trail runners typically rest below the ankle, so do not expect any protection from snakes, heavy brush or sharp branches along the ground.

2.) Hiking shoes are made for rougher terrain, but all of the added layers of protection add up to more weight. Hiking shoes can be the all around shoe for that outdoors person who has over the years developed foot and ankle strength because the shoes do not offer much if any protection from twisted ankles. Experience counts, because the shoe is heavier so your backpack load will have to be lighter. This means you carry minimal supplies, but have the skill and knowledge along with the essential tools and materials that allow you to replenishing along the trail.

3.) Hiking boots are for those concerned about twisted ankles or for those that have had injuries in the past that make you susceptible to sprained ankles. The soles are designed for slippery terrain and most quality boots offer protection from water and cold weather. Boots will go above the ankle, and so offer, some protection from snakebites, sharp branches, and other objects. They are heavier in comparison, of course so keep this in mind when choosing.

Unlike a backpack, your boots or shoes cannot be stripped down to lessen the weight once you have them home. The only realistic thing you can do is to honestly evaluate your capabilities and where you plan to hike, so you can purchase the boot or shoe that fits your lifestyle and still offer the protection your need, while reducing the weight in some cases.

To be prepared, it may be a good idea to have a pair of trail runners and a pair of hiking shoes or heavier boots in your vehicle or even in your backpack so you can adapt to the situation. If you get stranded in a vehicle, for example, and have to hike out, you want the right footwear for the terrain, and keep in the mind the terrain can change quickly.

The more you hike the stronger your feet, legs and ankles will become, so you can lessen your dependency on the heavier boots if a twisted ankle is your main concern.

ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE. (1983). Retrieved 2016, from http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA131420

This content was originally published here.

It is called “all round defense” because a threat can come from any direction. It is important that you know the area around the structure you are defending. Ideally, you have sketched on paper your property’s’ prominent terrain features, features that could offer cover and/or concealment to an opposing force or offer the same to you the defender.

Once down on paper you would then measure the distance from any cover or concealment that the terrain offers back to shooting positions, such as foxholes, spider holes, blinds and from the structure itself. You need to know the range, so firearms can be chosen for specific shooting positions, and then you can zero your firearms to that range.

Once you know how far it is to the big oak tree at the end of the driveway, you would start to note all obvious avenues of approach and the not so obvious ones. If you have a road that is accessible by vehicle up to the structure, for example, then you have to expect an opposing force may try and force their way to the shelter using vehicles. What weaponry or tactics can you employ to stop or to hinder an approach by vehicle?

The objective is to keep people from getting close or inside the structure, so build up with that in mind.

Obvious paths or driveways leading to the structure can work in your favor or work against you, and much depends on the opposing force. A trained force that intends to take your shelter is not going to saunter up the driveway, nor would they drive up unless they had the element of surprise and overwhelming force.

You would have to assume that a trained unit would have conducted surveillance prior to any attack, and would tailor that attack based on what information they had gathered. They would know the number of personnel you have, type of weaponry, and possibly your skill level.

You can of course block the driveways, paths and other avenues that would allow a vehicle through, but at the same time you would be blocking your escape, as well, if it comes to that. Untrained looters and others may very well think they can drive up the road, or even walk up the road, and thus, they are grouped together in an area of your choosing. Pick your battle space when you can. Do not allow the enemy to choose the ground upon which to fight.

If you do block vehicular access, what other ways would someone approach? This is how you would pick your battle space. Force someone to choose a path of your choosing, so you can plan for an ambush, and set the stage for the fight if you will.

If you put everyone that was in a vehicle on foot how will the group approach? If they are trained they will separate so they are not bunched up. Several will attempt to flank the structure and/or your guard units. They will try to penetrate your “all round defense”.

Untrained personnel will be noisy and will likely walk as a group through the brush. They probably will take a head on approach and head for the front of the structure. They will have guns and will think just because they are armed they are the superior force.

Once you know the skill level of the opposing force you can better define your defense. Decisions have to be made quickly however. Overwhelming force is just that, and so being ready to evacuate is essential. To safely evacuate, you need an avenue of escape. This can be difficult, because an escape route is also an avenue of approach.

You cannot wait until the enemy is banging on the door. A previous article talked about foxholes and spider holes, which are defensive, and observation posts respectively. Considerer utilizing both as you plan your perimeter security. You need to know early enough what size force you are up against so you can decide whether to stay and fight or escape to fight another day.

In most situations it will be up to you and family members, or in some cases, a small group to defend your shelter or compound. Looters and criminal opportunist can be driven off easily enough by one or two people, but a larger force not so easily. You need force multipliers, to augment your limited force. Some examples would be guard dogs, barriers like fencing, motion activated lights and other early warning systems that do not require monitoring by personnel.

Getting burned out or bombed. You could fortify your structure to make it less prone to fire damage, by building with stone and soil. To use soil effectively you could dig into the side of a hill, so your roof is essentially 10 feet or so of soil, or dig down into the earth and cover with soil. These structures are of course, labor intensive to build and not practical for most people and they would need an escape hatch.

Most homes are not designed as defensive structures, so it is important that you engage outside of the home, otherwise you could be trapped inside until your supplies run out, or you are burned out or the structure is destroyed by grenades or other explosive devices.

This content was originally published here.

The goTenna works with iOS or Android devices.

Pair goTenna to your Smartphone via Bluetooth, and use the app to connect with other goTenna users, which can be up to several miles away. This system essentially turns your Smartphone into a walkie-talkie.

It takes less than a minute to create your own people-powered network, anywhere. This system does not require towers, routers, or satellites.

The manufacturer recommends that you attach your goTenna externally and as high off the ground as is practical for best results. Attach to the outside of your pack, or attach to your person in some manner, such as a belt loop or shoulder straps. When not moving about put the antenna where the signal is less likely to be obstructed by heavy foliage, hills and so on.

GoTenna is a cognitive digital radio that when combined with the app generates its own signal and then automatically coordinates with other units within range.

The key here is “radio”, which means a radio signal, so you have to be mindful of terrain and other factors that may interfere with the signal. The signal goes from one goTenna to another, so it can be considered a Line-Of-Site (LOS) communication device.

The system gives you the ability to text as a group using the device or you can text other users. For example, with this device, you can text your GPS coordinates to someone if you have GPS activated on your phone. The system also allows you to broadcast openly to anyone nearby that has the goTenna and corresponding app installed. 

You may not know the person who hears your broadcast, but this can be important in an emergency. You can put out an emergency call in hopes someone can receive and respond, just as you would with any walkie-talkie/two-way radio. Again, only those with the goTenna installed can hear your call.

The goTenna is sold in pairs so you can give one to a friend. There is no point in you having the only one, so they are sold in pairs for this reason.

The goTenna is ideal for families and Prepper groups that want and need to stay in contact during a crisis, particularly in a grid down situation, and of course, every member of the family or group will need the goTenna device and app installed on their Smartphone. Once this is completed, you can communicate by text with anyone that has the goTenna.

The device needs to be charged as well as your phones, so a power source is important. Consider a small solar panel, for example, that can be attached to your pack so you can charge your phones and goTenna if the grid is down.

Remember this device is primarily designed for off-grid use, but it would be invaluable when the grid is actually down, but only if you have a way of charging the device and your phones. You need the means to charge devices when out in the backcountry, or at home on the back deck, as well, if the power grid fails.

The goTenna has a strap and snap so you can attach it to your belt or backpack, and the antenna can be extended a few inches as needed for reception.

Having a communication plan is an essential part of Prepping, and the goTenna is an ideal solution for any emergency where cell phone reception is a problem or can become a problem. If the towers are destroyed or you are not near one, for instance, your cell phone is useless until reception is restored.

It is a 2W VHF radio, and so, the signal can be jammed or intercepted. The goTenna does work, and frankly, it works rather well, but an interception of sensitive information is possible and in some SHTF situations it should be expected. Do not reveal personal information, or information that would cause harm to you, your family or to your group.

It has a micro-USB for charging, built-in flash memory for storage of hundreds of text messages and, of course, it has Bluetooth capability. The battery is good for approximately 20 hours on standby. How long the battery actually lasts, of course, depends on usage, but if not used expect it to stay charged for 20 hours. Keep track of the charge (there is a battery charge indicator built in) so you are not caught without the means to communicate in a crisis.

This content was originally published here.

Here’s How You’ll Die When the SHTF (and How to Prevent Your Untimely Demise)

When it hits the fan…I mean REALLY hits the fan in a permanent kind of way, the most likely outcome is death.

That’s not pretty, and I’m well aware of it. I always try to be positive and optimistic, because for me, preparedness is the ultimate act of optimism, but sometimes we have to look at the numbers and face some things that are pretty terrifying. The first reality check is that some research says that only 3 million Americans are preppers.  That means that 315 million Americans are not preppers. Some experts predict that within 30 days of the power going out, 50% of Americans will be dead. Within a year, an astounding 90% of the population will be dead.

Do you want to survive such a scenario? Do you want your children to survive? When you read this information, you have to realize that it’s very unlikely that you and your family would live through a grid failure of a year or more unless you are proactive and develop a preparedness plan that takes all of these causes of death into consideration.

The Top 10 Ways to Die in a Long-term Disaster

So here are the cold hard facts. One of these is the way that you are most likely to die when the SHTF, particularly in the event of a long-term grid failure. The good news is, now that you know this, you can take steps to prevent your untimely demise.

Good news: nearly all of these deaths will be preventable

Now that you know how you’ll die, you can take the necessary steps to prevent it. Almost every cause of death mentioned here is entirely preventable.

What will save you when an epic disaster strikes is what you do now to prepare for it. Make education and good health your mission now and you’ll not only survive the SHTF, you’ll thrive against the odds.

What do you think are the most likely ways people will die? What are the best preventative steps we can take ahead of time?

Note: This article was written with the unprepared or the beginner in mind.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, voluntaryism, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com. Daisy is the best-selling author of 4 books and runs a small digital publishing company.  She lives in the mountains of Virginia with her family. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter.

You Need More Than Food to Survive

This content was originally published here.