“So I don’t know much about archery, but I’m planning on taking some lessons soon… I believe it’s a great skill to have in any SHTF situation. However, I’m not sure which bow to use between the compound and recurve bow since I’m planning to use only one for now. What would you advise me to use?”

This question – and many others of the same nature – have been flooding our inboxes over the past month. Many folks who have just realized the benefits that come with using archery for SHTF are confused on the right bow to invest in for SHTF use.

If you too are unable to make a decision on the best bow to use for different survival situations, don’t worry. We’ve got your back. We did some extensive research and put up this post to teach you which is the appropriate bow – between a compound and recurve – to use in any SHTF situation.

Let’s dive into the details right away:

Compound Bow vs. Recurve (Traditional) Bow

Both bows share some similarities since they both have strings and arrows – but that’s the end of their similarities.

The compound bow is quite a new, exciting evolution in the bow technology field that has been there for the last few decades. Its modern design allows you to shoot more accurately and for longer.

But that does not mean that the recurve is not any better. Featuring the traditional style, the recurve bow offers you a simplistic as well as a historic advantage. That is, it has an overall lightweight design and does not get bogged down by technology and loads of accessories.

Archers are embroiled in an unending debate on whether a recurve or compound bow is the better for SHTF. The fact is: both bow models present you entirely different pros/cons in all SHTF scenarios.

If you’re having a hard time figuring out which one to buy, here are the real differences between these bows that will help you make an informed decision:

Compound Bow Explained

Compound bows come with longer strings that allow you to pull back as far as you can to produce more power. This helps loosen your hold on your bow given that you won’t need much energy/effort to keep the arrow in the firing position. Overall, this enhances stability, making the bow more powerful and accurate.

And given that this bow features draw spots in the pulley system, you’ll need to apply a consistent amount of force for every shot you make – further enhancing your accuracy. That being said, a compound bow has been proved to be an excellent companion to archers (especially in hunting) given its deadly precision. In fact, it can knock down even the large preys such as bears!

The cams and pulley system that accompany this bow aids in direct control the acceleration of the arrow. Soft cams tend to generate the arrow more gently than the harder ones. If you’re a beginner archer, I’d highly advise you to go for the soft cam.

How does a compound bow behave when it’s drawn? Well, its limbs pull towards each other in a horizontal manner, unlike in the recurve bow where the limbs tend to flex in bow string direction. The slight difference goes a long way in minimizing the recoil and vibration you feel when you release the arrow – making it an excellent choice for beginners.

Recurve Bow Explained

Because of its greater mass, this bow offers you a greater stability which ultimately leads to greater accuracy.

It’s important to note that the accuracy of your bow is directly related to its draw weight and you handle it. For this reason, it’s critical that you avoid overestimating your capabilities (especially if you’re beginner archer) and choose a draw weight that matches up to your body build as well as your level of experience.

When put side by side with a compound, this traditional style bow is not as much powerful and accurate. This stems from the fact that it requires the same amount of force to hold the draw which leads to momentary shakiness and affects accuracy. As such, these bows are best used in the shooting competitions as well as hunting the smaller game.

This bow may lack in power and accuracy, but it compensates you with its interchangeability and ease of use. It’s incredibly easy for you to detach the limbs of this bow from the riser, hence the name takedown bow.

Final Thoughts: Compound vs. Recurve Bow

After learning the essential characteristics and the walking of both bows above, it’s now time to decide which bow works best for you. Let’s make a quick comparison of both arrows below on the following important aspects:

1. Power and accuracy

The compound bow ranks best regarding power and precision. The longer string lest you draw back farther and generate as much power as possible, boosting your accuracy.

As for the recurve, they don’t deliver as much power. They require you to use a lot of energy to hold your draw, which can lead to shakiness and decreased accuracy.

2. Use in SHTF Scenarios

Compound bows work best when used for SHTF scenario such as survival hunting. Given their power, accuracy, and long range, they’ll efficiently take down even the largest of the games.

Recurve are best suited for hunting the smaller game. Though they can also take down the bigger games, the shot placement is quite important. They enjoy a wider usage in shooting competitions.

3. Accessories

There are more accessories available for the compound bows as opposed to the recurve bows. The most common accessories for compound bows include a single pin bow sight (helps you aim more accurately) and the trigger release (makes it easier for you to release your bowstring consistently for a greater deal of accuracy).

You can as well use the above sight with recurve bows, but they tend to be uncommon because archers who use this bow are mainly pursuits who prefer the skill-based experience.

4. Price

Compound bows come with longer strings, larger bodies, and even pulley systems which make their pricing a bit higher than that of the recurve bows which don’t come with complicated mechanisms.

However, it’s possible to come across a compound bow with a similar price to a recurve bow if you’re willing to shop around.

In summary, neither of these arrows is better suited for SHTF situations than the other. Which bow is the best for you boils down to your personal preference, experience, skills, and budget.

Author Bio:

BuckwithBowJennifer is the founder of BuckWithBow, a great blog that focuses on helping you learn how to hunt deer with a bow. As an experienced bow hunter, she will guide you through the Do’s and Don’ts of the bowhunting world and transform you into a better hunter. Whether you are an experienced bow hunter or an absolute beginner, you will find BuckWithBow a gem!

This content was originally published here.

Tablets, like the Kindle, are often overlooked pieces of gear on prepper’s lists. There are many misconceptions about how they function, where they store data, and who has access to them. In truth, they may turn out to be invaluable. They store tons of information, and in the kindles case, can run for weeks on …

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1.) Fish Trap

Plastic Bottle Fish TrapThis works best with a two liter bottle because of the size. First, cut the top off to create a funnel. Then you cut the threaded neck off to create a bigger opening in the funnel, or leave it in its original state depending on what size fish you want, or expect to trap.

Then push the cut top into the bottom portion. You can punch holes through both pieces and secure together with fishing line or any cordage. Punch holes in the sides of the bottle and the bottom to allow for water flow.

The fish swim in the enlarged end and are funneled into the bottom portion. You can cut a flap in the bottom of the trap to release any fish you do not want. Bait and then secure the trap with line or weigh down by placing stones inside.

Use the same method, but do not cut the opening bigger to trap live bait.

2.) Cordage

There are several ways of doing this, but for a field expedient method you would need a stump or log and a sharp knife, and of course a plastic bottle. Cut the bottom off just above the seam. Plunge the knife (preferably a fixed bladed one) in the stump/log so it can be utilized without you having to hold it. Start a cut, a thin cut, because remember you are making cordage. Pull the starter end against the knife blade with one hand while turning the bottle with the other the hand. Pulling the cut end will do most of the work, and the other hand essentially holds the bottle to make sure the cut is consistent. (see Creek Stewart demonstrate in the video below)

Once you have cut all that you can wind the cordage around a spindle made from wood or from whatever is available to make it easy to carry and to use. You can cut the plastic bottle into cordage using scissors as well, or set up a system similar to an apple peeler. Keep it simple however, in a survival situation the more complicated the method the greater chance of failure.

3.) Water Filter

Cut the bottom off above the seam, and leave the cap on for now. To make a filter you would need filtering medium. In a survival situation charcoal is ideal along with sand, coffee filters, cheese cloth, fine gravel, or grasses. The best case scenario is that you have all, or several of the recommended filtering mediums that can be layered in the bottle.

The finer material will go in first, so layer from finest material to more coarse until about two inches from the top. Open the cap to allow water to flow out, or punch holes in the cap. If using without a cap stuff cheese cloth in the opening or place a coffee filter in first so the finer material does not fall through the opening. If you do punch holes in the cap punch the holes from inside the cap so the ridges created go with the flow of water.

4.) Water Still

Plastic-Bottle-StillCut the bottom off above the seam, and then fold up an inch or so all the way around the bottom to create a trough. Leave the cap on because this method will not work well without the cap. This method only works when there is sufficient sunlight if you are relying on the evaporative method (water to vapor process). We will discuss salt water distillation next. Once you have the trough made you can place the container over some cloth that is soaked with contaminated water, over a mud puddle, or over any saturated soil or other material.

The sun’s ray will begin to evaporate the moisture, which will rise inside the plastic container. Without a cap the water will evaporate through the opening leaving you much less water volume. The moisture will condense on the plastic sides and then begin to flow into the channel you created. The water is purified because the evaporated process leaves contaminates behind. Once you have collected enough water you can uncap the bottle and drink, as you would form any beverage container.

5.) Salt Water Distillation

Build your container as described in number four. Once constructed suspend the open side down over a vessel of boiling salt water. The bottle will have to be suspended so the rising steam collects inside the bottle. The steam, which is distilled water, will condense on the plastic and run into the trough. You can distill any contaminated water this way. It does not have to just be saltwater.

6.) Water Pasteurization

Pasteurization is a process, named after scientist Louis Pasteur. The method simply applies heat to destroy pathogens. Sounds simple enough, but when heat is not available then what do you do. You turn to solar heat.

Remember in a field environment, you will not have any way of knowing whether the process has worked or not, and you probably would not have a way of gauging the temperature either. This is not a foolproof method of making contaminated water safe to drink, and it certainly would not purify any water contaminated with chemicals or toxins. Only use this method when no other means of purification is available. This method is time consuming as well.

The plastic container must be clear, and the water filtered. Turbidity will affect the pasteurization process. If you do not have way of filtering then you must first let the debris settle, and this will take some time.

Once the water has been filtered or allowed to settle place the bottle in direct sunlight. It must remain in direct sunlight for at least six hours. To enhance the process, you can place the container on a reflective surface such as a solar blanket, or on a piece of aluminum foil. This will reflect the sun’s rays into the bottle with more intensity. This process however, does not employ the same methods as a solar cooker (U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d.).

Reminder: If you used the container to collect the contaminated water the cap threads where you would drink from or pour water from will be contaminated. Use alcohol wipes to clean the area, or use hand sanitizer that contains alcohol if you have nothing else available.

7.) Drinking Cup/Food Serving Container

Do not discard the bottom portion. It can be used as a serving container or water cup or used for other purposes.

8.) Water Storage

This one is rather obvious, but it needs to be mentioned. Remember to thoroughly clean the container before storing drinking water, and mark the date if possible on the outside. A 10:1 solution of water and bleach can be used to sanitize the inside of the container.

9.) Fill with Clear Water to Create Light in Your Shelter

Fill as many as need and secure in your shelter walls and particularly in the roof to allow light in during the day. It will be dark inside even during the day, so to save on batteries or to save fire fuel, you can use the bottles to allow light in without allowing cold in or allowing heat to escape.

10.) Food Scoop

Cut the top off and then clean and dry well and then use as a scoop for, grains, sugar, flour or even for pet food.

Miscellaneous Uses around the Home or Camp

Storage of dry foods, grains, beans and so on.

Cut the top off and use the bottom for growing plants, or for seed starting. For seed starting you can start the seeds in the bottom half and then tape the top half over the bottom to retain moisture levels until the seeds have germinated. Water the seeds through the cap opening by dribbling water through do not pour in the water.

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved 2015, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC91110/

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As if there isn’t enough articles on tools and materials that Preppers may need, and yet here is another one. However, this article is more of a reminder that the simplest of tools tend to be overlooked, because they do not fall into the nifty gadgets, gizmos, and gear category.

The following are simple tools that can be used for multiple purposes by anyone during any situation, and they all rely on muscle power and not electricity.

Some of you may even have some, if not all of the tools and materials that will be mentioned. They may be scattered in the garage, basement, and attic.

1.) Pointed Tip Shovel

Used for general digging and they can be used in extreme situations as a self defense tool against predators four legged, and otherwise. Not that this article condones the killing of snakes, but as a reminder, a good pointed shovel can get the job done when it comes to snakes.

In some situations you may have to bury garbage, dig a latrine, clear a clogged drainage ditch after a flood, fill sandbags, work the soil for a garden, and clean up after a natural disaster.

There are entrenching tools with added gadgets that fold/collapse and can be carried in a pack or lashed to one, and they are great for camping trips, but the standard pointed tip shovel leaning against the tool shed wall gets the job (s) done without any fanfare.

Buy one with quality metal, and a stout wooden handle. If you have a shovel that for whatever reason the shovel end is ruined, cut off the wooden handle to make an excellent blunt tool/weapon for striking. Drill a hole in the handle end to attach a Paracord Lanyard (Dummy Cord) for better control when swinging it.

2.) Firefighter Ax

Besides being able to split/cut wood with it, a firefighter’s ax is a tool that is also designed for demolition/extraction. A firefighter’s ax will have a demolition/prying spike which is used to breach doors and walls, pry up beams, break into vehicles, and they can be used for digging as well. You could be trapped inside of a structure and need to get out, or someone is trapped inside and you need to get inside to rescue them.

3.) Nylon Towing Strap

When buying a tow strap get one heavier than what is needed to pull or haul your own vehicle. You may encounter heavier vehicles during a crisis that may need to be pulled from a ditch, mud, snow bank, or even from water. The straps can be carried in any vehicle or even backpack. Chains and cables are heavy and they can be dangerous to use, because under stress they can snap and whip around causing serious injury or even death.

4.)   Bolt Cutters

When it comes to bolt cutters, heavy duty and high quality is important, so do not scrimp. You can literally bend the handles on a cheap pair when cutting heavy chain, cable or even a padlock. There are a number of uses for bolt cutters during a crisis. Breach a chain link fence, cut barb wire, metal cables, and of course cut off a padlock to get in or out of a building or fenced enclosure.

Do not cut live electrical cable, because even if rubber coated the handles generally would not protect you against electrical shock. There are cutters specifically designed for use around high voltage that you can purchase.

5.) Pry Bar/Crowbar

The prices are all over the map when it comes to pricing, but cheap is not always better. The uses for a pry bar are endless however. They can be used to pull nails, loosen soil, break up rocks, pry open locked doors, rip hasps from doors, make an egress through walls, and they can even be used to pry open vehicle doors if you need to extract someone from the vehicle after an accident. They can be used to disable a vehicle by puncturing the radiator and tires and can be used to smash through heavy glass, and light metal.

6.)  Spud Bar/Pinch Point Bar

A spud bar is a long and heavy metal bar typically with a chiseled or slightly pointed end. Use the bar for breaking up hard soil, to break though ice for fishing or to get at water, break through rocks, and they can be used for prying/levering heavy objects.

A spud bar is indispensable when digging holes. The bar is heavy enough so little effort is required to loosen the soil so it can be shoveled out. They can cut through roots and break up rocks making any digging project easier. Other uses would include breaching doors and walls, and in some cases used for self-defense. The bars are heavy, so they would not typically be carried around as a weapon or as a walking aid however.

7.) Sledge Hammer/Splitting Maul and Wedge

The uses are endless and you do not always need one but when you do, you do. Along with a sledge hammer you should have a splitting wedge to split chunks into firewood. A wedge can also be used to split rails for fences or logs for cabin building.

8.) Propane Torch

The typical propane torch used to solder copper pipes, for example, burns at approximately 3,623 °F (1,995 °C). That is hot, so already you can imagine the uses for a simple torch that has a small propane cylinder attached, that can be essentially carried anywhere in an emergency. The torch can also be used for light welding/brazing and of course for shaping metal and starting fires.

It is recommended that you attach a flint sparker to the torch head so you always have the means to create a spark to ignite the propane. If you have a torch and a spark you can create a fire in virtually any situation.

Obviously the above listed is not all of the tools you may need or want but it is a good start and many of you probably have some if not all of the above listed. Start inventorying, and you may find that you do not need to run out and spend money on survival tools, gear, and materials because you already have the tools on hand for most jobs during an emergency.

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There Are Some Things You Will Need Help With When the SHTF

You are probably familiar with the phrase “It is not what you know, but who you know”. Today if you cannot treat yourself medically, for example, you know who to call, or where to go for help such as to the emergency room. You can call your doctor for an appointment, or simply stop by a clinic.

Do you know your primary care doctor personally however, or do you know any doctor at all enough to call on a personal level. Do you know a medical professional that you could call upon in an emergency when the power grid has failed and chaos reigns?

In the business world, knowing the right people can get you promotions or a better job or make a sales contact to move product. In a survival situation however, knowing the right people can save your life or the life of a family member.

Knowledge Tree

An objective for you and others, if you are in a group, is to establish a knowledge tree. You as an individual may not have much luck getting the undivided attention of a doctor, or other professional during a crisis. If you are part of a group on the other hand, and have developed a knowledge tree, and recruited professionals to become a part of it, then you stand a better chance of getting the help you need.

The knowledge tree is nothing more than a list of professional that can be called upon for help during a crisis. People on the list will have certain skills and knowledge that will be invaluable during a disaster. The community of course, as a whole would need help, but having the right connections means help can be directed more quickly, to where it is needed most.

Those that simply want to be left alone and/or go it alone during a crisis will have a very difficult time making contact with those that can help. If you have a “bunker mentality”, and suddenly develop appendicitis, you will die without medical care. What happens when one of your family members gets a high fever, or breaks a leg or arm, you will need help, and you need to know where to find that help.

Networking now and finding out who is available can save your life during a crisis. Obviously, you cannot just call someone up but knowing a doctor, or police officer lives in your neighborhood is a good start. You need to know who your neighbors are, what their professions are and decide if they can be called upon during an emergency. You may even need engineers and chemists during an extended crisis, and they may be living right next door.

You certainly can use nurses, carpenters, mechanics, cooks and people that can help fill sandbags or put plywood up on windows. You cannot have too much help during a crisis.

Make a point of knowing who lives near you, and what skills they have, and of course, you can trade your skills for theirs during a catastrophe.

Things You May Need Help With

1.) Medical Care
Medical care is not always on people’s minds, especially if they are young and healthy. However, accidents happen, and the chance of injury jumps dramatically during a crisis, so while you are not worried about chronic illness so much right now, you do need to worry about injuries during a crisis. Diseases will be widespread during a disaster, as well, and medications will be in short supply, you will need help and possibly emergency medical care, so where will you go during a crisis, if you do not know any medical professionals.

2.) Security
You may be able to secure your home against looters and opportunist looking to smash and grab, but what about securing a small community. Regardless of what you may think now, once the SHTF and the calamity is extended for weeks or months you will be seeking out others, and eventually small communities or groups will form.

Security will be important, and simply having a few firearms is not going to be enough. You will need planning and strategies, duty rosters, and criteria for dealing with hostilities will need to be established. This will require trained individuals who can in turn train others. Law enforcement and military personnel and certain other professionals would generally be able to establish security protocol for a community.

3.) Farming
You will need people that know how to raise crops and care for livestock, and you will need them, because they have the land to feed a community. Unless you have acres of land, skill, materials and equipment, you will likely have a hard time raising enough food for you and your family let alone for anyone else. Farmers know how to do things in a big way. They put in plants by the thousands and not by the dozens, so you will need their expertise if the crisis is an extended one.

4.) Animal Care
Farms animals and domestic pets will need help during a crisis, and having a healthy herd may mean the difference between surviving and not during an extended crisis. Veterinarians can also be called upon to help with humans aliments as well. Many of the medications that animal doctor’s use can in some emergencies could be considered for use by humans.

5.) Engineering and Construction
Tools may have to be built, and shelters and towns fortified against attack. You will need people that can make things and build structures. Dams, community buildings and other structures will have to be repaired or built at some point if the crisis is an extended one. Community rebuilding will be an important part of recovering from the disaster.

The above mentioned is by no means a comprehensive list, there are literally hundreds of task that need to be accomplished, and you may or may not have the skills to accomplish them but someone else may.

The list is meant to get you to think about the things you will need that you may not be able to provide by yourself. Going it alone may seem the best route at first, but at some point you will have to come out of seclusion to seek help for something, so whom will you call upon.

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Now this list is in no particular order, but all of these are fantastic reads. All of them will certainly get your mind working, when it comes to what would happen if SHTF…

This book follows John, a retired Army Colonel and history professor, during the aftermath of an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse). Extremely well written, Forstchen touches on some very real problems one would face during such an event. This book was so well received and thought provoking that it was actually referred to, during a meeting with congress, about the threat of an EMP attack on the United States.

The master of horror does his take on the apocalypse in the form of a Super-flu. The story follows several survivors as they journey across a landscape ravaged by a weaponized strain of influenza. It gives a frightening look at life where 99% of the population is dead and the rest are left to fend for themselves. Anyone that is interested in survival and the apocalypse, would certainly want to check this one out.

Going Home is book one in what’s called The Survivalist Series. A family man named Morgan, breaks down over 200 miles from home, during which the country’s power grid completely crashes. Being a survivalist, Morgan straps on his emergency pack and starts the journey home. Written by a prepper, for preppers, this book(and the rest in the series) will certainly grab ahold of you and leave you wanting more.

What if a secret society was responsible for the Black Death plague of the 14th century? What if it was a plan to wipe out the majority of the population, so that a new era could be born, resulting in The Renaissance? Now imagine if that secret society planned to do it again in the year 2020. JD Dutra has written an excellent story that makes your mind wander, and makes you look at survival from a whole different view. With relatable characters, and a story some may see as not far from non-fiction, this is a great read for any prepper.

A comet slams into Earth resulting in catastrophic natural disasters, the beginning of a new Ice Age, and the end of civilization. Written in the late 70’s, this is a disaster novel that still holds it’s own today. The world is thrown in complete disarray, leading to political issues that change mankind forever. Some very violent and unsettling topics are touched upon, which in the world that’s left over, not much more is to be expected.

This is a real-world story of a man making the transition from another sheep of society, to a prepared individual with his eyes open to what’s going on in the world around him. This is another first in a series, but this one in particular resonates very well with any people new to prepping. Take the title literally, this book is all about a man’s journey into becoming prepared for a post-collapse scenario. It touches on some very real hurdles one faces with their family, friends, and jobs, when it comes to a prepping lifestyle.

Life in Chester’s Mill is pretty normal until all of a sudden an invisible force surrounds the town in a huge dome. Closing the citizens off from the outside world, the town’s people must work together to figure out what exactly is going on. Without knowing how long they will be trapped inside the dome, eventually egos start to clash, supplies starts to dwindle, and people start acting strange. This story does a great job in showing how people can go from friendly neighbor, to someone you need to keep your eye on, in an instant. When you’re trapped with nowhere to go, you’re forced to confront your issues head on.

Written in 1959, this book tells the story of a threat we face even today: nuclear war. A Soviet missile strike tears across the U.S., but a central Florida town is spared for the most part. Survivors band together to try and rebuild a community, and fight back against bandits. An eye-opening look at the struggle society would face, in trying to come back from an event of that nature. Another classic tale, and one that shouldn’t be missed.

This tells the story of a man and his son and their journey of survival. An extremely bleak look into a post-collapse world, McCarthy does a great job of setting the pace and environment for a grueling tale of life on the road. Faced with starvation, lack of water, and blood thirsty cannibals, this father/son duo trek south in order to survive the coming winter. This is one that stays with you for a while after you finish reading.

Isherwood Williams becomes ill and begins to fall in and out of consciousness. He wakes up to find that most of the population has died, due to the same disease that had him down. He goes on a cross country journey scavenging for supplies and other survivors. Once back in his California home, he decides he must attempt to rebuild society. This is a great look at what happens when someone takes the initiative to rebuild, and the consequences that come along with that daunting task.

Article By: KYPrepper89

This content was originally published here.

While I am a strong proponent of concealed carry, let’s face it, you are still carrying a deadly weapon. You are taking on a huge responsibility to yourself and the public. Carrying a weapon opens up the opportunity for mistakes, some are just embarrassing, but some can be deadly. Whether you just started carrying or …

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When you first enter the survival community, you hear a great deal about bugging out, but for most people in most survival scenarios bugging in makes more sense. Bugging in is the process of fortifying your home and having all the needed resources on hand to survive long term. With most SHTF situations, staying home makes much more sense than packing up and heading into the unknown. You must be prepared for this to work.

Bugging In | Fortifying Your Home Before SHTF

Have a Plan

The most important aspect of bugging in is to have a plan to secure your location. Rarely do people live on high alert in a secure location 365 days a year. That means that when SHTF there will be work to do. You need to figure out what your priorities are and be sure that everybody in your household knows what to do. In addition, you need to practice this drill on a regular basis to ensure everybody is ready to go for bugging in.

Security

One of the biggest priorities with bugging in is keeping your home secure. There is the possibility of looters or other intruders breaking in, so you need to develop several layers of protection for your home. The first layer of security is the perimeter of your property. For us, this is a barbed wire fence extending around all four sides. Next is your on-property security. This can consist of dogs, cameras, motion detectors, and even armed patrols. Next is your outer house security. This is your door locks, bars on windows, and a home security system. Finally, you want a security plan for inside your home. This consists of having a choke point between you and the intruders and having weapons on hand to defend that choke point. With these levels of security in place, it is unlikely that anybody will be able to get to you and your family.

Food

In order to bug in successfully, you will need a good supply of preserved foods to survive. Plan on working without electricity, so frozen foods are out. Canned goods can last for a while, but are not ideal. Your best bet is to have dried goods available to last several months. This includes jerky, hardtack, pemmican, and other salted and dried or dehydrated goods. Dried pasta is good to have, and all grains and beans are ideal if they are kept away from insects. MRE’s are alright, but they are expensive for long-term survival.

Water

Supplying water to your home can be an issue if the pumps that move the water are shut down. We are fortunate to have both a well on the property and a pond for water. Rainwater collection systems are a good way to keep a steady supply of fresh water. In addition, you should have the tools needed to purify water if you are forced to venture out looking for it. With a good filter, boiling, or iodine tablets you can purify water from any stream or pond you find. Be sure you know how to find water around your home, for you can only last three days without it.

Warmth

If you happen to be dealing with a cold climate, you will need a way to stay warm. Fire is always an option, but you risk burning the house down and risk carbon monoxide poisoning. You should have several different tools to start a fire with you including lighters and Ferro rods. In addition, a good supply of blankets can make a huge difference. The best options are wool blankets and emergency blankets. Wool can keep you warm even when wet, and emergency blankets reflect 90% of your body heat back to you.

Watch this video by Reality Survival & Prepping and find out the 25 things you want to avoid when bugging in:

Just put in mind that there are certain scenarios where the need for bugging in has lesser risks compared to bugging out. As you make these preparations you need to know those possible situations and anticipate then plan for it. It’s best to be prepared than not being prepared at all. This is a good bug in prepper list to get you started!

Have you tried making preparation for bugging in before SHTF? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 7, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

Featured Image by rexdixon.com

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When you are in danger, it is natural to get stressed. However, the way you handle your stress and respond to the danger make a huge difference to whether you will come out a winner. And, your odds improve if you have a well-trained dog at your side. So if there is a bug out situation, you definitely want a dog at your side. It will give you peace of mind and also ensure you come out unscathed from the SHTF situation.

If you are skeptical about taking a dog as your companion for bugging out, here are 10 reasons to allay your fears and change your opinion.

1. Early Warning System

Remember, when you are bugging out, resources will be scarce. There will be other survivalists who may not be as prepared as you are. So you will need to protect your resources and stake claim to them. Under such circumstances, your dog can function as an early warning system to make you aware of possible threats, be it humans or animals.

Dogs have an uncanny ability to sense threats, and as a pack animal, their instincts are to protect the pack – meaning you and the rest of the family. So your dog will sound out the alarm let you know that a threat is close at hand. This will buy you time to get prepared or reach out for your gun to protect yourself and your loved ones.

2. Protection

In a bug out situation, your personal protection becomes paramount. A well-trained dog can protect you from all kinds of threats. If you are attacked by a bear or mountain lion, you can command your dog to deter the animal. Similarly, if you are attacked by a person, a single command from you will be sufficient for your dog to attack the person and protect you – well if your dog is trained to do so of course.

It goes without saying that you would have to train your dog for situations like these as just stated. This training should be ongoing so that your dog understands. You can use a combination of words and signs to train your dog to protect you if the need arises. But most dogs will naturally do so anyway.

3. Livestock Gathering and Protection

Many preppers prepare for the long haul. When a situation arises, such as natural disaster or terrorist attack, you never know how long you will have to bug out. So it is best to be prepared. Under such circumstances, you may want to raise livestock to supply you food regularly. Having a dog as a companion for bugging out can help you with the livestock.

Your dog, if trained to follow commands, will prove to be extremely useful in not just gathering livestock, but also protecting them. In the wilderness and in a survival situation, livestock will become extremely rare. So you need to go guns blazing to protect your cattle not just from other survivalists, but also from wild animals. Your dog will be able to do all this and some more to ensure your livestock is safe and secure.

4.  Help in Tracking

Dogs are inherently fantastic trackers. You may be put in a situation where you have to go scouting for water or food. If you get lost, you will be extremely happy to have your dog with you. He will be able to help you retrace your steps.

Also, dogs can prove to be extremely useful if you want to find something or someone. In fact, your pooch could be your only hope during a bug out.

5. Good Hunters

If you are ill-prepared for a bug out situation or your rations are running low, your dog can truly be your best friend! He can help identify small game in the forest and also help you corner it. You can also rely on your dog to fetch the shot small game to you. Of course, once again, it all boils down to the right training.

If you have a dog at your side during a bug out, you can increase your chances that you will not run low on protein sources!

6. Excellent Foragers

Having access to fresh water is the key to your survival in a bug out situation. Your trusted, four-legged companion will be able to find natural sources of water that you may not be able to find. Also, dogs are prolific foragers. So you can use them to find natural sources of food, including edible plants.

This quality of a dog could mean the difference between surviving and dying in an emergency situation where you don’t have access to food and water.

7. Warmth in Cold Weather

In a survival situation, you will not have the benefit of having central heating. Depending on the type of bug out shelter you have built, you may be exposed to the elements. Having your four-legged friend with you will allow you to cuddle up with the animal and stay warm through the night when you cannot light a campfire.

This warmth from your dog can prove to be a lifesaver in situations where you are injured or you are lost while trying to make your way back to your shelter.

8. Emotional Support

Many people, when forced into a bug out situation, tend to give up emotionally rather than physically. It is this that causes their downfall. However, dogs are wonderful and soothing companions. When you have nothing else to do, you can play with your dog and even talk to him to keep you sane and emotionally strong.

If you have children, your dog can keep them entertained so that they don’t get cranky and whiny without their PlayStation, toys, playing cards, cable TV, and so on.

9. Detect Changes in the Weather Pattern

Dogs have an uncanny ability to detect changes in the weather. Dogs are extremely sensitive to any drop in barometric pressure, and this drop is an indication of an impending storm. Also, it has been suggested that dogs have the ability to sense changes in the static electrical field. Coupled with their excellent hearing, your dog will be able to warn you about an approaching storm long before you will realize that it is coming.

If your dog starts pacing and acting anxious while you are out hunting or foraging, take it seriously. It is an indication that a storm is approaching, and you should make your way back to the camp before it hits you.

10. Good Judge of Character

Dog seem to have the ability to discern friend from foe. You will find that your dog sometimes wags his tail at complete strangers and other times, he is snarling and baring his teeth. In a survival situation, this ability of your dog could save your life.

If your dog is unfriendly to people who approach your camp, trust your dog and get rid of them as quickly as possible. There could be a threat to your life or these individuals may have plans to raid your stock.

Once you understand the benefits of having a dog as your companion while bugging out, you may be tempted to get a big dog, who has the ability to carry his own bug out bag, offer better personal protection, and also be better equipped to withstand the rigors of the elements. However, don’t forget a big dog means he will need a lot of food, and you can never predict how long a disaster situation will last.

Hence, you will have to stockpile large amounts of food not just for yourself, but also for your dog. In comparison, smaller breeds tend to require less fuel, but the drawback is they may not be intimidating enough or at all and may also be overly sensitive to cold.

However, it is critical to remember that both large and small breeds can be trained for a bug out situation. While some breeds are bred usually for disaster situations, remember the skills your dog acquires will reflect your ability and skills as a trainer. Your dog will be of no use if you don’t train it properly. Hence, make sure you put in time and effort to train your dog so that he can turn into the perfect companion for bugging out.

Qualities of an Ideal SHTF Dog

When you are scouting for the perfect dog for a disaster situation, you should be looking for certain qualities. Usually, these qualities are breed specific, and include:

The best breeds for survival situations are a German Shepherd, Dutch Shepherd, and a Belgian Malinois. Even crosses of these breeds are judicious and ideal dogs for bugging out. In fact, crosses of these breeds are used by the military and police.

There are other breeds and crosses that make wonderful protection dogs that can prove to be useful during a bug out. However, you should consult a dog trainer to help you identify these breeds so that you find the perfect fit for your personality. Also, request the trainer to customize a dog training program that is suited for you and your dog.

Refrain from using poodles, huskies, Labradors, and great Danes. They are not the best dogs for preppers. Instead, these breeds are more suitable as house pets and companions. They are too playful and loving to act as protection dogs. But if you have seen the movie Old Yeller you will know a Labrador can be a fine dog for protective purposes. Some people have different opinions one what one dog is appropriate for and so on.

The Key is Training

If you want the perfect companion for bugging out, you need to invest time, money, and effort in training your dog. Your dog should be trained to follow your commands and be aware of when to attack or sit by you quietly. The dog should also know when to stay quiet and when to make a noise to raise an alarm. He will learn this only when he receives this type of training, and there is no time better than now to begin this process.

Train your pooch to sit, lie down, and heel. Also, teach him to stay quiet, as you will need complete silence during a tactical operation. The last thing you need is a rambunctious dog in a stressful survival situation. The Internet is a treasure trove of dog training articles, books, and videos. Use these resources to start training your dog right away.

You can reach Alexandra Horowitz’s Inside of a Dog which a fantastic dog book.

While it is best to start training your dog the moment you adopt him, it is never too late to train an old dog. However, you will first have to break their old habits by rewarding them for good behavior. Remember, dogs have this instinct where they want to please their masters. So with a little bit of love and patience, you should be able to get your dog responding to your commands.

Keep each training session short, about 15 minutes, and make sure the commands are short, if possible of a single syllable. You can use code words to train your dog so that no one else has the power to control him. Remember, you can choose how to train your dog, but focus on being consistent so that he remembers what you are doing and saying.

You may also want to focus on teaching your dog certain commands that you can use in a survival situation. These includes:

It is critical when training your dog you take measures not to hurt yourself, your pooch or anyone else. While it is not possible to list down all the commands you will need in a bug out situation, it is best to focus on some of the basic commands. Keep training your dog until he masters these commands, and thereafter continue practicing them so that he does not forget them and responds to them when the need arises.

The Bottom Line

Dogs are wonderful friends and when trained properly, they can become excellent partners in a tactical or bug out situation. Start training your dog now and you will be glad you spent the time and effort on it. Your dog can turn into an asset when you are pushed into an off-grid survival situation, whether it is to alert you about intruders, predict the weather, keep dangerous animals at bay, or offer you warmth and companionship when you feel low and when you need it.

About the author:

Benjamin Roussey is from Sacramento, CA. He has two master’s degrees and served four years in the US Navy. His bachelor’s degree is from CSUS (1999) where he was on a baseball pitching scholarship. He has an MBA in Global Management from the Univ. of Phoenix (2006). He grew up camping and loving the outdoors. He loved to fish and shoot guns as a child. He joined the navy and survived two tours to the Persian Gulf and one to Central America. He now writes about survival and reads a lot about surviving and thriving in the wilderness. He has gone on white water rafting trips, hikes, camped all over the place, operated fishing boats, and so on. If you want to read more of his work, check him out on Survivor’s Fortress. Make sure to follow us on Twitter.

This content was originally published here.