Forget stocking for that two-week event, it’s not that difficult. The hard part is stocking for the total paradigm shift, that few remember how to do much of. You won’t be making your own saw blades anytime soon.

Now, ask yourself, what else will you NOT be making, that you need to learn how to make, or replace with older technology, before you need it. Once the ‘short duration expendables’ are consumed, you won’t be re-supplying, you’ll be making your own or doing without. Knowledge and durable supplies will be the real money.

Think about critical needs, before you think all that ammo is so important. I bet my wool blanket is worth AT LEAST all of your ammo, if you’re cold and we’re both armed. Again, don’t plan on thuggery, stock what you can’t afford to trade for. Have extras to trade, in regards to those critical things we MUST have. Take a 3 year, 1000 mile trip in your mind, and imagine only meeting others on the road like yourself. Each packed differently, not all are nice, not all are passive. Now, prepare for the trip in your mind and take it. What do you see yourself needing?!… each day, as the seasons change, as the environment changes, and as bad and good people cross your path.
In my opinion these SHTF items will have a really great trade value .

Items Everyone Will Be Looking For After SHTF

Antibiotics and painkillers

Antibiotics are hard to stock up on unless you have a very understanding doctor. Fortunately, there are sources for antibiotics you can take advantage of now. Go to your pils local pet store and buy fish antibiotics (its amoxicillin). They come in 250mg capsules, I buy them at a feed store near me and vacuum seal them in doses (two tabs in one dose x 3 doses a day x 7 days) then in mason jars. It sure is best learning to make penicillin.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. A bit of pain here and there is the last thing you’ll worry about when the SHTF. Maybe when it comes to a little pain, yes, that’s true, but what happens when you get a cavity and that tooth absolutely has to come out?

Get some reasonably strong over-the-counter pain meds, and make sure you have enough to last you if the SHTF. Though painkillers have expiration dates, they don’t really expire. They get weaker instead, so don’t be afraid to stockpile pain meds just because of the expiration date. Try to mix and match since many painkillers like Ibuprofen (Advil) and Acetominophen (Tylenol) have different uses, and can even be take simultaneously. Stronger pain killers like Codeine will become useful too, as medicine will run out pronto. It’s also beneficial to keep quite a few of these in a bug out bag if you happen to have one. Read also the article below. It might come handy when your pills run out.
17 NATURAL ANTIBIOTICS OUR GRANDPARENTS USED INSTEAD OF PILLS

Saw blades, hand drills, hatchets, axe heads, hammer heads, wrenches etc – many of them coming from auctions, garage sales, etc. These items will be in high demand after SHTF. If the grid is down, power tools will be worthless. Without tools you won’t be able to build or fix anything or you’ll have to improvise. Having more than one of these tools will be a big advantage as they make great barter items.

Fire starters

Fire-making will ALWAYS be critical, and having a dozen of extra ferroceramic rods and striking steels will be worth their weight in gold, if it all goes south. Lighters are good too but eventually they run out of gas. Really and truly, you cannot have enough of these lying around. Sure you can make fire without them, but it’s hard, really hard. Unless you have apt practice in the fire-making field, stock up on these as much as possible. They’re so inexpensive. You might as well spare wicks and flints for your gas-fueled lighters wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

Screws, Nails and Building Materials

You’re definitely not going to regret having stocked up on hardware materials post-collapse. In fact, you’ll probably wish you’d stocked up on mnails-screws-1ore. Nails and screws are
essential hardware materials. They go fast and are a giant pain to make from scratch. Make sure you have enough lying around while you still can. They’ll become highly tradable items.

Even more useful than the candles are the flashlights. So, having a good stock of batteries will be of great help. An excellent prep would be to have some extra rechargeable batteries with a solar charger for when the light stay out for a long period of time.

Along the lines of disinfecting, you’re going to really regret not having enough soap post-crisis. Without basic sanitation, you’re going to get sick fast, and ill is something you definitely don’t want to be when medicine is in short supply and you need as much energy and strength as you can possibly have. The best tip you could possibly have is to learn how to make your own soap out of fat leftovers and lye obtained from ashes. Here’s a great DIY for soap that anyone can make:
BASIC SOAP MAKING TUTORIAL THAT ANYONE CAN FOLLOW
Tampons & pads

They’re essential to a good survival pack, and not just for the obvious reason, but for bandages, for emergency water filtering, and can be used as tinder to start a good fire. They’re also better than a lot of other methods for stopping a nosebleed that won’t quit.

Get Heirloom seeds, and then you can save the seeds from what you grew for the next year. The seed type you are looking for is “open pollinated”, so don’t limit yourself to the “heirloom” name. The open pollinated will breed true from generation to generation, and there are many excellent commercial versions available in large quantities at low price. The seeds sold in most stores will not produce usable seed.

drink-bleach-1200x800What happens if your septic tank overflows and you’re left with contaminated waste everywhere? Need a quick way to disinfect water so you can safely drink? One simple and effective way to fix both these problems is by using bleach. It’s as cheap and easy as a cleaning agent gets. Once you’re out of bleach, you’ll definitely notice. Get your hands on as much as possible while you still can. One caveat to the Bleach: store bought liquid bleach (Clorox or Purex) begins to degrade the moment it is manufactured. I’ve seen lots of different expiration dates, but they all run from 6 months to 2 years. I have stocked up on Calcium Hypochlorite. You can either find it on the internet or buy CH at the pool store. Just make sure it does not have algaecides or clarifiers in it which are said to make you sick. It comes in a powdered form which you mix as needed (1 tsp to 2 gallons of water to make the solution). This solution will then degrade just like bleach, but if you have the powder, you can keep making it for years. There is a learning curve, so do your research on the internet first. The ratio is 1:100 (such as 16 oz of solution to 12.5 gallons of water to be disinfected) which is slightly different than the household bleach numbers. One bag will purify 10,000 gallons so the directions are important –a little goes a long way.
Keep the bag cool and dry and it has a forever shelf life, not like commercial bleach.

This one’s obvious. Even if you’ve got the guns to hunt or protect yourself and your family with, you can’t without ammo. You’ll probably need more than you expect, so really, you can never have too much ammunition. It would be best to have the means to make your ammo, so stockpiling on primers would be your best choice.

Along the same lines, it’s also beneficial to stockpile arrowheads and bow strings. Just remember that in a SHTF situation, you probably don’t want to advertise your position and the fact you have guns. Best of all, learn to load and shoot all the things you have. When you trade a gun and ammo to someone who doesn’t have a clue, they’ll want to know how to use it. Become proficient.

It’s one of the few foods that has an unlimited shelf life; honey will never go bad due to its antibacterial properties, which are also part of what makes it so healthy. Considering its versatility in the kitchen, along with its medicinal value, honey is likely to prove to be an extremely valuable commodity to have on hand during a long-term survival situation.

The medicinal importance of honey has been documented in the world’s oldest medical literatures, and since the ancient times, it has been known to possess antimicrobial property as well as wound-healing activity. The healing property of honey is due to the fact that it offers antibacterial activity, maintains a moist wound condition, and its high viscosity helps to provide a protective barrier to prevent infection.

Keep sponges for just in case…. It worked for the Romans… You can only store so much toilet paper! True.. But Synthetic sponges have evolved! And their cheap….Sooner or later TP will run out. Once again, toilet paper is like a good cigar or stick of chewing gum and then what?. It might give you ’modern comfort’, but there are far more important things you need first.

Water containers

Seems simple now, but if things go wrong, one of the hardest things to usually find is a good canteen or water jug. Put enough back for yourself, but put more back for trade.

In the coming winter months, if you get hit by a major ice storm and the light go out, candles will make the difference between having to spend the night in the dark or not. Light gives us a comfort feeling. In case you run out of candles here’s a great alternative. Boiling soup bones to get the fat out of the marrow, then rendering it will make a decent lamp fuel. Keep the wick trimmed low enough to keep it from getting smoky. Make sure that, if the lamp spills, the spill is confined and maintain the ability to smother the whole thing with something that isn’t going to catch fire.

History has shown us many times that it can all fly away in a split of a second. The biggest misstep that you can take now is to think that this can never happen in America or to you! Call me old fashioned; I don’t care…but I completely believe in America and what our ancestors stood for. They all had a part in turning this land into one of the most powerful countries in the world. Many died and suffered before a creative mind found an ingenious solution to maybe a century old problem. Believe it or not, our ancestors skills are all covered in American blood. This is why these must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same for our children and our children’s children. Would you like to learn the lost skills that made our grandfathers completely self-sufficient? Than you really need this book:

You can get your paperback copy HERE

What items do you think you’ll miss the most when the SHTF? What would you add or remove from this list? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

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It may not be what you think however. S.T.A.N.D is an acronym that should always stand out in your mind every time you step foot outside your door. “Stand” will help you become more aware, and to help you to begin thinking in a more tactical way.

Combat Ready: Sufficiently equipped, trained, and numerically strong enough to engage an enemy

In today’s world, walking around with your head down staring at a cell phone or with your head in the sand for whatever reason is dangerous. No matter who or where you are, you need your head up, eyes moving and your nose “sniffing the air” if you will.

Engage with life around you. Do not be one of those people that walks in front of a bus while texting. Do people really need to be told to look both ways before crossing the street? The problem is some are not even aware the street is there, because their mind is not focused on the here and now.

It is not so much about your physical capabilities, but about how well you can appraise the situation and then act decisively if action is required.

Survival and evasion, a skill everyone should learn so you are not forced into resisting and escape.

S.T.A.N.D.

S – Situational Awareness
T – Tactical Advantage
A – Assets on Hand
N – Neutralizing the Threat
D – Determination

Crowds are dangerous because there are simply too many threats for you to assess properly. If there is an active shooter, the panicking people around you will also become a danger. If you try to drop below the level of fire, you could be trampled and people crowded around you would make it difficult to reach an exit, or to find cover/concealment, as well.

First, avoid crowds if possible and in particular the middle of crowds. This goes for movie theaters, concerts, restaurants or any public gathering place. Situational awareness is important. You must know where the exits or escape routes are, and map in your head how to get there from where you are. The moment you enter a building you should be seeking out emergency exits such as windows and doors and looking for static sources that can provide cover and concealment such as, furniture, heavy doors and walls if there is an active shooter. This needs to become an automatic response, and it will become such if you do it every time.

Walk next to the buildings on busy streets. Walking on the street/traffic side may mean you end up under a bus if the crowd panics and it increases your chances of being shot if there is a drive by shooting. Additionally it is easier and safer to crouch next to a wall than it is to hit the deck in the middle of the crowd.

Being away from your home or typical area of operation gives an aggressor the tactical advantage. Shooters or others setting up an ambush would already be aware of the cover and concealment available, and the aggressor (s) could have “staged” the area to increase their tactical advantage.

In some cases, you are on their “home turf”. They have the element of surprise, and you would not normally have access to as much weaponry as you would at home or even while inside your car.

This is where thinking ahead can help you avoid stumbling into an ambush. First, it is never recommended that you go out into public under the influence of alcohol or any type of mind-altering drugs. Drugs as common as prescription pain medications or medications for allergies will cloud your thinking. Stay off your cell phones, even if you have Bluetooth capabilities. You simply do not need any distractions.

Regardless of your training or weapons, you immediately lose any tactical advantage you may have had if you are under the influence of drugs, alcohol or if your attention is focused on gadgets.

Those that target people for robbery or for other reasons will look for those under the influence, or for those that have obvious disadvantages such as inattention because they are texting. What is easier than robbing someone that can barely walk because they are drunk or literally “drugged up” or cannot raise their heads from their cell phones?

Training always gives you the tactical advantage. Knowing how to handle a firearm is important and along with training, you must learn when not to “flash “one. A firearm is not to be used to “shoo” people away or to wave around as a way to intimidate.

When you simply do not have the tactical advantage, you must do what you can to extricate yourself from the situation and if this means running, yelling, kicking and screaming then do it.

Pulling a weapon and not using it means the aggressor (s) will likely end up with your weapon and with you lying there wondering what happened, and why does it hurt so much, as you hear sirens in the distance.

Know what is in your purse and pockets that can be used as a weapon. Car keys, nail file, credit cards, pens and pencils can all be used to stab, puncture and slice. Use your feet if you have heavy shoes, otherwise you may end up with a few broken toes.

Use the heel of your hand to strike the face and body of an attacker, otherwise you could easily break a finger or damage a knuckle. The heel of your hand can strike with considerable force (enough force to break noses and cheekbones) and not cause damage to your hand.

Punch straight in and then slightly twist your wrist as you deliver the blow putting your weight behind the strike. Prepare to strike by having your elbows tucked into your side with the heel of your hands forward.

Do not slap or swing at your opponent. A solid hit to the rib cage using this method can fracture ribs regardless of your size compared to the aggressor if your deliver the blow with the weight of your body behind it.

As you “snap” your hand in, turn your head and body away, and lean slightly forward to present a smaller profile and to increase the force of the blow. This makes it harder for them to strike your face. A roundhouse swing has no weight behind it and it can easily be intercepted. Never present your body or face full on to any opponent.

Going hand-to-hand with anyone is your last resort, once a person is close enough to put his or her hands on you then you have lost considerable tactical advantage.

How quickly can the threat be neutralized or can it be dealt with at all. Retreat is always an option, saving your life is the objective, not the stories you would tell over beers the next day. Do not let pride get in the way. It is important that you are able to size up the situation quickly and either neutralize the threat quickly, or extract yourself from the situation just as quickly.

Follow through if you pull a firearm, so be prepared to use it, and this means you must have considerable training. Half measures do not work, so give it all you have when, shooting, striking, slashing or stabbing.

Training gives you confidence. Practice shows your weaknesses so they can be improved upon. Training and experience will allow you to overcome size differences. By simply paying attention, you can avoid many situations. Learn how to plan better by not ending up in a dark parking lot or on an unfamiliar street late at night.

Actually, look around you, when you are out and really see what is going on. Look for trouble, so as not to become tangled up in it. Multi-tasking may be a great skill at the office, but on the street, your focus needs to be on the possible dangers around you. This means not mulling over in your head why your boss asked to see you in their office first thing in the morning.

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For some, the list of things they do not know how to do, but may be required to do during a crisis can be quite long. For others, some of the tasks are old hat. Where you live, how you were raised and even your occupation influences everything.

Those that live in cities would not be required, or expected to know how to do certain things that may come secondhand to those living on a farm. Conversely, those living in the country may not know how to do certain things that those living in the city take for granted. 

However, once the SHTF we are all in it together, and there will be certain tasks that will have to get done regardless of where you live, and to survive, you may need to know how to accomplish what may end up being life saving tasks.

The following may seem to be a ridiculous article to some people, because the tasks listed are something that most men and women of a certain age have had to do, or still do on a regular basis.

Today only 69 percent of 19 year olds have a driver’s license. Individuals are driving less, apparently there is less incentive to own a vehicle if you live in a city. In 1983, for example, almost 90 percent of 19 year olds had a driver’s license.

Research shows that about 15.3 percent of the U.S. population aged 18 to 39 now gets by without a driver’s license (Plumer, 2013).

The recession had reduced homeownership, so more people are living in apartments, and thus, the upkeep is done by someone else, so there is no need for apartment dwellers to know how to do certain things.

1.) Operate a Chainsaw

A good number of you are already thinking, who doesn’t know how to operate a chainsaw. Well did you know how to operate one before someone taught you how? You cannot assume that others have had the same training, have the same background, or skill level as you, so yes there are some that have no idea how to operate a chainsaw.

There is the gas and oil mixture, the starting, the safe operation so you don’t cut a leg off, and then the maintenance such as chain sharpening. To operate a chainsaw takes some level of training.

You may need to cut firewood, clear downed trees, and limbs from roadways, and you may have to cut into damaged structures for rescue operations. Knowing how to safely and effectively use a chainsaw will be a valuable skill, no matter where you live.

2.) Drive a Standard Transmission

At one time you had to special order a vehicle with an automatic transmission. Standard transmissions were, well the standard years ago. Everyone knew how to drive a car with three on the column or four on the floor. Today, however, it’s a different story and a surprising number of drivers have never driven a “stick shift”. It takes practice, and during a crisis your means of transportation may be limited, so learn how, so when the times comes you can use your new found skill and are not hampered by your lack of skills.

3.) Change the Oil in Your Vehicle

Along with changing the oil you need to know how to check the oil and then add oil. Again, a number of people simply do not know how to check their oil, add oil, or change the oil in their vehicles. The quick lube places dot the landscape in and around communities and towns and the price is right, so it is not worthwhile for most people to even bother doing it themselves.

During a crisis you will have to know how to check all the fluid levels, and add if needed. Oil has to be checked to make sure it is not low. Otherwise, engine damage could occur and oil will break down overtime, reducing its effectiveness as a lubricant, so it has to be changed on a regular basis. You may be the only that can do it.

4.) Can You Change a Tire?

A flat tire is like a broken leg, if you have either one you are not going far. In a crisis you may need to move quickly and the quickest way is by vehicle. Even if it only gets you few miles away from the disaster zone, because a few miles may be all you need, but if you cannot change a flat tire you are on foot.

You buy a new car, and the tires are in great shape, and besides you have roadside assistance like AAA or what the manufacturer provides for the first few years. AAA will tow the car to the nearest drive thru service center, Wal-Mart, or local car dealership or may even change the flat for you beside the highway as you text work you will be late.

For a few bucks you are back on the road. No worries right, you don’t need to know how, because it’s cheaper to have it done than to fuss with all the work needed to change a flat by yourself in your work clothes no less.

Do you even know where the jack, jack handle, and spare tire are located? Spares are hidden in newer cars and it may take some maneuvering to get them loose. Some even have a locking mechanism on the spare, do you have the key. You may need the jack handle so you can crank the spare down from its nesting place under the back of the vehicle, did you know this.

In Conclusion

The above is by no means the only tasks that you may be called upon to do during a crisis. The only reason they are listed is because people tend to look at the big picture when planning for a major crisis.

Some envision big happenings like gun battles, Martial Law, rogue military units rounding up people, FEMA internment camps, zombies wandering loose, nuclear wastelands, and the list goes on.

All of these things may happen, but in the meantime, you will be struggling hour by hour, day by day with the simplest of things. You will struggle with the simple things because you took them for granted. Someone else always cleared the roadways of limbs, always delivered the firewood for your fireplace, and the Quick lubes had you in and out in less than 30 minutes, but now that has all changed.

This content was originally published here.

Non-Lethal Self Defense

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It is very important that you keep a balanced mind when it comes to your prepping and survival. If you are not careful you could find yourself focusing too much on one aspect of this. While some fall into this trap with guns, ammo and body armor, some fall into the just the opposite. It’s a scary proposition to those who like to avoid violence but non-lethal self-defense is crucial.

It is no wonder that we are in such a time where violence is something to be avoided. However, when the world comes crashing down, you are going to see that violence gets a welcoming committee.

If you are not prepared to face that violence you will most certainly fall victim to it. So what does someone like you do if you don’t want to carry a gun every day?

The best alternative is to explore non-lethal self-defense methods.

Stun Guns

The power of electricity is something special. You will find that you can do serious harm and stop attackers in a hurry with something like a stun gun. They are easy to get your hands on and easy to use. Just keep them at full power.

Pepper Spray

Having the right kind of pepper spray is important. Pepper spray affects the attacker’s eyes nose and throat. It can stop the attacker’s ability to breath effectively. The spray has become so effective that a tiny little bottle is all you need.

Extendable Batons

The extendable baton can make a huge difference. Anytime you add the element of surprise and some hard metal, it can do some damage. The benefit of a baton is that it can stay concealed very easily and spring to life at a moments notice.

These non-lethal self defense items might be just what you are looking for. They could be the answer if you are unwilling to carry a firearm.

After watching recent events unfold and speaking to family and friends, my wife and I decided to start prepping. Preparedness is a big part of our lives now and I would be honored to share some knowledge with you. Here at SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central we gather the best prepping, survival, homesteading and DIY articles from around the web.
– “Those who prepare today will survive tomorrow.”

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Why Don’t We Fish More?

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When you talk about wilderness survival or even urban survival there is one food source that is around in mass. It’s a captive food source that most people won’t spend time going after. I am talking about fish. Most big cities were built on rivers that are filled with catfish and other species.

Fishing is by far the best way that you are going to get your hands on real protein in a survival situation. Hunting is going to take so much time and could prove unsuccessful. Unfortunately, many preppers are not versed in trapping as it can be very effective as well.

Why don’t we fish more?

Understanding habitat and food sources will make you a much better fisherman. Each river and species has these preferences and it’s important to understand them. You can get really good at fishing pretty quickly if you are consistent with it.

The other benefit attributed to fishing is that you can do it all the time. You can be on the water every weekend. If it gets too cold you can even ice fish! These are priceless repetitions that you cannot get with things like trapping and hunting because of shorter seasons.

Beyond just fishing with pole and reel you should look into the many different survival fishing rigs that are out there. There are all sorts of options that don’t even require you to be there while you fish. Things like fishing weirs and nets can catch food while you are building a shelter or out doing something else.

The benefits of pulling for fish in a survival situation is that you can focus on quick, easy protein that will actually fill you up. Foraging is good but its a much better supplement to protein. Get out and enjoy the water and practice fishing so you will be prepared to catch them when you need them.

After watching recent events unfold and speaking to family and friends, my wife and I decided to start prepping. Preparedness is a big part of our lives now and I would be honored to share some knowledge with you. Here at SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central we gather the best prepping, survival, homesteading and DIY articles from around the web.
– “Those who prepare today will survive tomorrow.”

Permanent link to this article: https://www.shtfpreparedness.com/why-dont-we-fish-more/

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Pride can get you killed. Refusing to admit you cannot do it can put you in a survival situation. It’s one thing to shoulder a pack and walk around the block a few times, or to hike the two mile walking trail through the park, it’s another thing entirely however, to hike over rugged, uneven terrain with a 40 to 50 pound pack on your back when it’s cold, snowy or raining and its close to dark.

You start out with one scenario in mind but the tables get turned on you. Instead of stopping a few hours before dark to establish a camp you push on. You push on, because you imagine yourself tougher than you are, smarter than you are, and better trained than you are.

This is human nature, you are told that to succeed in life you have to push, test your limits, and take risks. This may work when buying stocks, or positioning yourself for a promotion at work, but it does not work out on the trail in the backcountry.

One of the problems is that some if not many today are not taught failure. Everyone gets a trophy for participation. No one is taught the harsh realities of life and one of the realities is that everyone fails at some time or another at something, no one is perfect, and you are not always the smartest person in the room.

Some refuse to accept advice from those that have traveled the path before them. Some are told by their parents and their teachers that they can do anything, are never told no and that they are nearly perfect in every way. With this mindset people die on the trail, people get lost 200 yards from camp, from their homes and from their vehicles. They thought they knew better, because no one had ever told them otherwise, no one prepared them, and they did not prepare themselves.

Even when advice or recommendations are given some refuse to listen and wander off the trail to get in touch with nature. In some cases, they are never found or their remains are found months or years later during the spring thaw.

Before You Listen To Anyone Else Listen To What Your Body Is Telling You

You can train for anything at any age. If you want to hike you must prepare your body for hiking. If you have never hiked what makes you think you can physically take it. Just because you go to the gym a few days a week does not mean you can hike 12 miles a day with a pack shouldered. The only way to condition your body for hiking is to do and you can start training using small steps.

Your steps may only be a half mile at a time, then one mile and so on. It may take months before you are ready for the back country, but if you attempt to do more than your body will let you,  you may not come back, because once you get exhausted, cold, and hungry you start making possibly fatal decisions, and you get this way, because you were not ready.

Your mind fogs over, you want to drop and just relax, and sleep, but if you do, you may never awaken. You pushed on past dark and now you have no idea where you are, because you wandered off the trail in the dark. The guides had told you to stop at designated points. They know from years of experience how far you should push yourself in the wilds to prevent this exact scenario from happening, but you didn’t.

If you cannot carry what you need to survive in your pack, because it is too heavy then you are not prepared to leave the house. The first thing people do is to start emptying their packs along the trail.

You thought you needed this or that, but now all of a sudden you don’t, because the pack is too heavy. You still need the items left scattered along the trail however, and it is easy to toss away a heavy sleeping bag when its warm out, but it will be a different matter once the sun sets and you are left to spend the night along the trail.

Lack of skills and real life experiences may mean you toss away much needed survival items and hang on to other items you don’t necessarily need, but you didn’t know, because you lacked experience and pride forced you to attempt to carry the heavy pack in the first place.

Some people are under the impression that instinct will carry them through any crisis, but what exactly is instinct and is it enough. The will to survive is there in most of us, but people still perish along the trail. Instinct is behavior. It is a pattern of actions one takes without thinking about it so is it a learned process, or is it something that is coded in our DNA well it’s both.

You know instinctively that if meat smells bad you don’t eat it. If a snake comes to close you move away. You know without thinking that fire can kill or hurt you and that the dark can hide predators and you know without thinking that you are the prey when the sun goes down.

Humans are not challenged as they were in the past. We have no need to train ourselves to behave in a certain way, because we do not live in caves or stick huts. The threats are different today than they were 10,000 years ago, and for most people there are no wolves or other large four legged predators lurking just outside the door ready to pounce as we leave to forage for food or to carry water back from the river.

We do not have any instinctive behavior associated with this type of survival situation anymore. However, once on the trail in the wilds you need to know how to behave. You have to train yourself so you take the right action, make the right decisions without hesitation.

People get stranded close to civilization, because of medical issues and some perish due to this. A twisted or broken ankle, arm, or leg can be deadly even if you are just a few miles from home, camp or any type of civilization.

Pride led you push a bit too hard, your pack is too heavy, you walked to many miles without stopping. You should have set up camp and spent the night, but instead you carried on past dark. Some injuries could be prevented. You tried to cross a steam when tired, when your muscles ached. You climbed up when you should have gone around. Your decisions have consequences.

Train first, gather skills first and never go it alone until you have your body ready, your mind ready and you have the skills to handle a survival situation.

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Fermenting vegetables is not only an excellent way to preserve them, but it’s also a great way to improve their flavor and their nutritional value. The fermenting process produces beneficial microbes that are extremely important for our health. These probiotic-rich vegetables will help balance your intestinal flora and boost your overall health. So check out this excellent video …

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When SHTF and world have gone berserk, these essential homemade weapons can protect you and your loved ones. Any prepper or survivalist will tell you that the advantage of having weapons can’t be stressed enough. It’s ingrained in each one of us; we must have one or a few (or a dozen) or else and when things get really ugly, we’re left to fend for ourselves. What would you do when there is no gun or ammo around? It’s when these improvised weapons will come into play.

How to Craft These Essential Homemade Weapons

1. Homemade Knife

Knives carved themselves an indispensable spot in a survival situation. They are versatile tools you can use for a variety of task. Their ability to cut, slice, and dice along with its size make it one of the most excellent self-defense weapons we can use. So when you find yourself in dire straits, knowing how to make a homemade knife will give you an edge and increase your chances of survival.

2. Homemade Mini Cannon

You can easily turn an ordinary BBQ lighter into a mini cannon which shoots airsoft pellets. You just need a BBQ lighter, an epoxy or any strong adhesive, a few screws, and a drill. Find out the simple steps to make your own homemade mini cannon.

3. Homemade Bow

You’ll never believe how easy it is to make your own DIY bow. The first thing which comes into the mind of a survivalist when they think of survival bow is getting it from some hearty tree sampling in the woods but actually, we can use readily available materials like a scrap PVC. Learn how to make your own PVC fiberglass bow here!

4. Homemade War Hammer

Just looking at this bad boy leaves you in awe of its destructive power. You can make it out of common plumbing pipe which you can get at your local hardware store. This homemade weapon may have a simple design but never underestimate its potential to defend you when SHTF. Find out how to make this DIY war hammer!

5. Homemade Sword

Sure it’s medieval, but a sword has long reach and it is one of the most effective and lethal self-defense weapons you can make provided you know how to use it. Check out the step by step instructions and the materials you need to create your homemade sword.

6. Homemade Stun Grenade

In an SHTF situation, when the crowd becomes unruly and they are coming after you, having a DIY flashbang can keep you safe and deter your attackers. One of the most effective improvised street weapons you can create. All you need are some PVC plugs and couplings, glue, baking powder, and vinegar. Learn the simple instructions to make a homemade stun grenade.

7. Homemade Slingshot

Hit your target or attacker from a distance with this homemade slingshot. It is easy to make and you can use a variety of ammunition. You can steel balls, bearing, rocks, pebbles, marbles, and whatnot. And if you have a good aim, this slingshot can be as deadly as a firearm in close proximity. Find out the different ways to make your own homemade slingshots!

8. Homemade Saw Blade Slinger

No one, not even a zombie, would want to be on the receiving end of this slinger. This homemade saw blade slinger may be a bit eccentric but this bad boy is extremely deadly. Here are the steps in making your own saw blade slinger! You can include this one on zombie apocalypse weapons.

9. Homemade Compound Bow

Compound bows are easier to pull than traditional bows and give you more time to take aim. This is what makes it an ideal weapon when SHTF. You can simply make your own compound bow using a few items.

10. Homemade Arrowhead

Now that you have your bow, it’s time you make a broadhead with a spoon. In times of distress and survival, it’s not enough just knowing how to defend yourself. Other skills such as hunting will increase your chances of survival. And this is where your bow and arrow will come into play. Find out the simple ways in making a homemade arrowhead out of a spoon!

11. Homemade Throwing Stars

Summon your inner ninja with these shurikens, just be careful in handling them. This is a great alternative weapon to defend yourself without using a gun. Learn how to make this homemade throwing stars in 7 easy steps!

12. Homemade Pump-Action Rocket Gun

This is a very interesting project which has great potential for some more research and development. A homemade pump-action rocket gun is not difficult to make plus, the materials you need are affordable and easy to come by. Here are the instructions for building your own pump-action rocket gun.

13. Homemade Flame Thrower

Scare away or burn away intruders or attackers with a homemade flamethrower. Hell, you can even kill zombies with this badass weapon. Ever played Plants Vs. Zombies? Find out how to make a flamethrower using an air compressor.

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14. Homemade Survival Cane

This is probably one of the best innocent-looking weapons you can make but don’t be fooled by its appearance. For a cane can be deadly when utilized by a trained person or even in the hands of an angry mob. A cane is not just one of the most excellent self-defense weapons, you can also turn it into a survival equipment. Here’s how to make a survival cane!

15. Homemade Mini Stun Gun

It’s not as powerful as the real stun gun, but it’s enough to give a good shock. You can adjust it and add more power to it if you deem fit. This homemade weapon is pretty easy to do— anyone who knows how to use a soldering iron can hack it. Check out the easy step in making a homemade mini stun gun.

16. Homemade Landmine

This homemade lunch-bomber landmine can blast airsoft pellets or any material you want. In an SHTF situation, anything can be used as a weapon even an ordinary lunch box. A homemade landmine is an interesting and fun project but things might go south and hurt those around you if you are not careful. Find out how to build one!

17. Homemade Bat

One of the easiest to find weapons when SHTF is a baseball bat but you can turn your Louisville Slugger into a more deadlier weapon. After all, in a post-apocalyptic period, it’s either kill or be killed. Find out the different ways to modify your good ole reliable baseball bats and use it when things go sour.

18. Homemade Primitive Club

Knowing how to make a homemade primitive club is a good leverage in a survival situation. In the event when you don’t access to guns or pistol, these homemade clubs can be used to smash or hit your attacker. One solid strike can certainly knock them out! Check out the materials you need and the instructions to make a primitive club.

19. Homemade Staff

With the right technique, even a wooden staff is a formidable weapon. Just like a primitive club or a baseball bat, a homemade staff can surely deliver your opponent to the ground. This project is pretty straightforward to do. All you need to do is look for a robust stick then, voila! You now have a weapon to defend yourself.

20. Homemade Pocket Dart Gun

This little dart gun is proof that even small weapons can be dangerous, especially when you hit your assailant in the weak spots such as the eyes. Learn how to make this homemade pocket dart gun and do some practice shots after.

The good thing about DIY weapons is you can always improve them to make them better or more effective. Knowing how to use these essential homemade weapons is also important. Take the time to learn the techniques. This will make the weapon safer and more useful. You may not have semi-automatic rifles with high-capacity magazines and an armor-piercing bullet or powerful assault weapons, but these essential homemade weapons listed above can protect you when things become a little unruly.

Do you have other essential homemade weapons in mind? Share it with us in the comments section below! 

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**Disclaimer: All content on this site is for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer here**

Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on May 13, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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Leave the house prepared or you may perish. Ideally, you will travel with a friend. Having someone watch your back has a very practical and psychological value. You both can spot that patch of white, which may mean frostbite on the nose or cheeks of each other, inspect the bottoms of each other’s feet, and recognize the signs of hypothermia, so treatment can begin to reverse the potentially deadly condition. However, situations are never ideal, and so you have to be prepared to survive on your own for hours or possibly days in the cold.

A previous article discussed the basics of cold weather survival. In general terms, it outlined what hypothermia is and some prevention methods. We will try not to be redundant. Instead we will talk about shelters, the need for water, and the need for food in particular high protein food and how to keep the body from sweating when it’s cold out.

Shelter is your biggest priority before dark. Winter days are short, so once you realize you will be spending the night outside, you need to get started on your shelter. Shelter and a fire before the sun sets can save your life.

If you have a tent and the proper cold weather sleeping bag, then you are all set, but what happens if you don’t have a tent or a cold weather bag. If you are lost, then stay put, get to work on a shelter, and build a signal fire.

If in a heavily forested area you can get under evergreen trees or other foliage. Spruce trees make ideal shelter locations. Knock the snow off the branches as best you can and create a snow cave under the branches near the trunk of the tree. Look for dead branches that could fall on you before settling in, because you may have to find another tree if there are a number of dead branches overhead.

Snow can be your friend. Dig down or simply move snow to create walls to break the wind and use a tarp or poncho for overhead cover by stretching and securing across the snow walls. You must have good insulation between you and the ground.

Build your fire on rocks, green branches, or aluminum foil. Place other rocks near the fire so they absorb the heat and can then help heat the enclosure. You can place the warmed rocks in your sleeping bag or in the thermal blanket or tarp you roll up in.

Melt snow for water even if you have an ample supply. Save your supply so if you have to hike about or hike out of your predicament you have water with you. Melt the snow near the fire before drinking. Cold water will lower your core body temperature.

You can become dehydrated in the winter and not be aware of it, so drink water by sipping throughout the day whether you feel thirsty or not.

Remove the outer layer of clothing as you work to put together your shelter so you do not sweat. If you feel yourself sweating then rest for a bit or remove another layer. However, be careful not to get chilled. You have to monitor your situation carefully and pay attention to details like sweating and leaving a layer off too long so you get chilled.

Eat just before sleeping because the digestive process will raise your core body temperature. Protein takes longer to digest, and so the digestive process will create more heat when its protein you are digesting.

Protein bars, jerked meats, and peanut butter is easily packed and can be eaten without preparations so make sure you have ample food when traveling in cold weather. Carry hardtack as well, and make it at home, so you always have some in your pack.

Build a separate fire for signaling during the day. Your signal fire will be in the open and you will have to create as much smoke as you can, by using pine boughs, leaves and so on, but only after you have a good base built up otherwise you could extinguish the fire. Use colored garbage bags, and make three designs in the snow to signal distress. Use a signaling mirror if you hear aircraft overhead.

Wandering around trying to find your way back will cause exhaustion, cause you to sweat more and will increase your chances of injury. Stay put, keep a fire going, and improve your shelter.

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People tend to want to go on the offensive when they are scared or are convinced someone or some group is out to get them. If you are in a military unit then offensive and defensive strategies are a part of life. Orders come down to defend your position or to take a position currently occupied by the enemy.

In the civilian world, you are mainly in a defensive position. Your home has alarm systems, fences, walls or other barriers designed to keep people out or to let you know someone is snooping about. You are not roaming the countryside attacking others in their home. No, you are home waiting to defend your family and possessions, essentially waiting for someone to start something so you can counter their attack.

Once the SHTF, until you know otherwise, everyone or every group you encounter is a potential enemy out to invade your territory, which could be your home, compound, or section of land you have staked after evacuating an urban area.

You will normally be in a defensive posture until attacked and then you can counter attack if you have the means, and thus, put the opponent on the defensive. To avoid casualties and to mount a proper counter attack, you need information, and a force big enough to be successful.

Obviously, the best way to stay alive and to avoid firefights is to not offer up a reason for anyone to attack. You have to set the groundwork early, long before something happens. Keep your business between you and family only. Do not advertise you are prepared by bragging in the coffee shops and at gun ranges. If everyone in the county knows you have a stockpile of food, water, and Ammo and are ready for anything, of course, you will be a target.

When the SHTF the things you do can make or break you, so first assume an attack is possible, and assume people are watching and waiting for an opening.

Know the area you are defending first and foremost. Know the hiding places. You need to know where someone attacking the home can seek cover, and where you can seek cover if you launch a counter attack.

Know distances, for example, how far from your front door to the end of the driveway, to the mailbox, and to that large oak tree in the middle of the field. Know your firearm’s capabilities at the marked ranges, and know your own capabilities and of those helping you.

Do not gather in a group anywhere outside of adequate cover and/or concealment.

Never open any doors to the outside when there is a light on behind you. Always turn the light off before opening any doors to the outside. Cover windows so silhouettes cannot be seen if there is a light on in the room. The best method is to leave lights off or turn the lights off when entering a room and then look out windows to scan the ground.

Do not establish any patterns by going to the barns, or walking the grounds at the same time each day. Stay in the shadows at night, and never walk under or near any outdoor lighting. You need an escape route, one that allows you to get clear of the structure into the woods, under cover or to seek concealment outside the home.

You may have to come out a basement window, drop out of a back window or even crawl under the home to a covered corner of the house.

Simply put, if you cannot be seen, you probably cannot be shot unless someone wants to waste ammunition like in the movies and just sends hundreds or thousands of rounds into the home without having acquired a target. This is not likely to happen, however.

If fired upon your immediate reaction should be to move to cover as you deploy your firearm. Standing in the same spot to return fire will get you killed. Moving targets are harder to hit, as are smaller targets. Crouch, kneel or lay on the ground if cover is not available.

To move to cover you need to know where the cover is relative to your position. As we stated earlier, you need to know the area you are protecting. You need to know is so well that you can move about in the dark without creating noise or injuring yourself.

If you suspect snipers may be used, then you need to identify possible positions, however, there are many variables to consider. Would a likely sniper be military trained, and if so, then they are trained in bushcraft, camouflage, and they are likely positioned at a greater distance, and of course, they have patience.

Snipers will look for positions that maximize their cover but are within the effective range of their weapon. They will take the weather, terrain and the target into consideration when looking for a position. They could be 300 meters out or only 50 meters out.

A civilian shooter with just a basic understanding of their firearm may move constantly looking for an ideal shot or position. This will give them away, and they may not spend much time on concealing their position by using natural camouflage because of the fact they will move around.

Law enforcement snipers do not camouflage their positions well either, because they may know that the target cannot return effective fire at the range they set out at, or they have ample backup to protect their shooting position. A lone sniper, however, needs to be hidden and stay hidden until the target has been acquired and taken down.

A trained sniper always gets into position undetected and they have a plan to get out undetected regardless of the successfulness of the mission. Snipers generally do not shoot into the sun but you cannot count on this.

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