We have talked about the need for private wells in previous articles, because in a SHTF scenario, you need a water source that you control, and the source must be reliable. If you depend on your local municipality for water, you will be without water in a grid down situation or even worse, your local water supply could become contaminated at anytime.

However, once you have dug or drilled your well, you need a way of pumping that water to the home or to storage tanks. Most wells would have an electric pump inserted when the well is drilled or dug, but what happens when the grid goes down.

Alternatives Include Hand Pumps, Solar Pumps or Even Windmills in Some Cases

The easiest by far would be a hand pump that can be installed right alongside your electric pump. The hand pump can be used when the electric pump is in operation and more importantly, it would pump water when the electric pump is not operational because of a power disruption.

Solar water pumps are an option but of course, the pump unless connected to a battery bank would only work when the sun is shining. You can use solar powered pumps to fill or top off elevated water tanks during the day and then let gravity feed water to the home at night or you can install battery banks for nighttime operation and on days when the sun is behind the clouds.

Windmills are ideal in remote areas or for when you are completely off grid. Windmills are traditionally used for watering livestock or for field irrigation.

Solar Water Pumps

You would need a solar panel array capable of supplying enough Direct Current (DC) to operate your water pump. You can connect a converter to convert the DC from the solar panels to Alternating Current (AC) to power your pump. Otherwise, you would need a pump that operates off DC.

The solar panels would usually be pole mounted near the water source. How many panels you would need would depend on the pump size, which in turn depends on the well depth. You have to decide if the well and pump is to be used for emergencies only, or if it will supply water to all sources inside the home at all times. This would be an off grid scenario in most cases.

Keep in mind that unless you have a battery bank capable of operating the pump at night or on cloudy days, you can only pump when the sun is shining.

Windmills can pump tremendous volumes of water, but you will need holding tanks to store the water. Typically, windmills are used to fill and maintain water levels in livestock watering tanks and for irrigation of crops, but they can also be used to supply water during a crisis. You can purchase windmill kits that can be installed directly over a well housing.

In most cases, you would not be able to insert the pumping components needed for the windmill alongside any electric pumping mechanisms. Windmills would be ideal if you are completely off grid and solar panels are not an option.

Hand Pumps

Hand pumps come in all shapes and sizes with various pumping capabilities. Many of you are familiar with the traditional red metal hand pump that sits atop a well casing. The pump has a handle for pumping and a spout for hanging buckets for filling. The older versions did not have a way of attaching a hose to pump water closer to the source or to the source directly. The water had to be collected at the pump and then carried to the home or to the garden.

Newer model emergency hand pumps can be installed in minutes. The handle is typically “T” shaped and the components are flexible PVC tubing that can usually fit inside a casing as small as 3 inches. This hand pump is considered an emergency pumping system that is not normally attached permanently.

If your electric pump is not operational for whatever reason, you would insert the flexible tubing into the well casing to the water depth and in a matter of minutes, you can be pumping water. This type pump allows you to attach a hose than can be used to service sources inside the home or to anywhere. Once the emergency is over you would remove the flexible tubing and pump handle to store away for next time.

More advanced models can be installed as a permanent fixture right alongside your electric pump. The advanced models require assembly, and it is recommended that you have a helper or two available to help with the installation. The PVC piping is normally connected with PVC glue in sections down to the required depth. Once your electric pump stops operating you would have the hand operated pump ready to go.

Pump housings would be attached on top of the well casement if you have one of the advanced models. You would permanently connect the tubing in sections down to 10 foot or so below the static depth of the water. The pump components would fit alongside your electric pump and all its components in the well casing. You can pump up to 150 feet from the static depth using this type of hand pump in most cases. The pump housing would allow you to attach a hose/pipe to pump water to the house or to water containment tanks in the basement or to anywhere for that matter.

You have to ensure the quality of the water is tested prior to consuming however if you have recently dug or drilled your well.

In some cases, you may have to filter and purify your well water or use a water softening system. This means you would have to pump water to any filtration or purification system inside the home and then pump to user sources such as faucets, showerheads, washing machines and so on.

What Is Meant By Static Depth

Suppose your drilled or dug depth is 200 feet but you have 50 feet of water in the well for example. This means your static depth is 150 feet. However, your pumping mechanism would be lowered to 160 feet. You would choose your pump size based on these figures. Your pumping mechanisms would be installed at 160 feet and you would use a pump capable of pumping from a static depth of 150 feet.

Adding the 10 extra feet allows for a lowering of the water level to ensure the mechanisms is always below the water level. A pump rated at 150 feet will have already configured in the additional 10 feet of depth.

You would purchase a pump that is capable of pumping from a static depth of 150 feet and not from the 200 foot depth at which the well is actually dug or drilled. Typically, hand pumps would be rated at 50, 100 or 150 feet (this is the static depth rating). Of course, you can purchase pumps that can pump from any depth but then you would likely need professional help with the installation.

How Do You Measure Your Water Depth

Attach a bobber to some string, and make sure the bobber is heavy enough to keep the string taunt but will still float on top of the water. Lower the string with the bobber through the casing until the string goes slack. This indicates the bobber is floating on top of the water. Measure the length for the static depth, and then add 10 feet.

Certain models of hand pumps allow you to attach a small electrical motor that would operate the pump handles for you. You could attach a solar system to operate the motor or use a small generator for 24-hour pumping capability during a power outage. Certain pumps would allow pumping directly to the source (s), just as if the electric well pump was in operation.

Things to Consider

What if you are currently receiving water from your local municipality and you dig or drill a well. First, you would have to decide if you want to stay connected to the local water source and use your well for emergencies, or use your well exclusively for your water.

If on “city water”, a water meter is connected to the main water supply line before it’s piped into the home. You would have to connect piping from the well to the main water line “down line” from the water meter.

When choosing a hand pump ensure it has “freeze proof” pump housing. This means once you stop pumping there are weep holes below ground level that allow the water to drain out of the pumping mechanism to prevent it from freezing up. This method to prevent freezing does not cause the pump to lose its prime. The weep holes have to be located below the freeze depth in your area.

This content was originally published here.

Dehydration can sneak up on you and impair your thinking to the point you may not realize you need to take immediate action. Rescuers have at times found lost hikers and others that have succumbed to dehydration with water still in their canteens. People think they should ration their water for when they need it and this can have serious consequences.

Once you begin to experience dehydration your mental acuity is affected. You will not be thinking straight, and you can make decisions detrimental to your survival. Trying to save water for later is a bad decision, but the amazing thing is the decision is usually made when the mind is clear.

Some people do believe, they need to ration their water in some situations, save it for when they need it, is the thinking. However, when your mind is fuzzy you cannot make any rational decisions, and some people have ended up dying with water within reach.

The human body is made up of approximately 60 percent water. Every part of the body depends on water. You need it for healthy skin, hair, and nails as well as to help control heart rate, blood pressure and most importantly control the body’s temperature (WebMD, n.d.).

So What Counts As Water?

Fruits and vegetables can help hydrate you. Watermelon for example, is 90 percent water, so it can be tapped to help keep you going as well as cantaloupe, oranges, grapefruit, cucumbers, celery, and greens such as romaine lettuce.

There is no substitute for just plain water however, and medical experts are finding that more and more people are fluid deficient, in other words, some are not drinking enough water in the course of a normal day, and this can spell disaster if you find yourself sweating heavily, and do not have an adequate supply of water.

Certain foods can help you stay hydrated, but no one should assume that the foods you eat would hydrate you enough to keep you healthy without adding water to your normal daily routine.

According to WebMD the myth that coffee and tea dehydrates you has been debunked. While both are considered a diuretic they can provide you with essential fluids, but again, you should offset coffee and tea consumption with water (WebMD, n.d.).

Everyone expels fluids throughout the day, fluids that have to be replaced. Headaches are common in people who are dehydrated as well as fatigue, foggy mind, and cranky mood and in the advanced stages you can become unconscious.

How much water a body needs everyday depends on certain factors, but most experts agree for the average adult two quarts/liters is required. Keep in mind teas, fruit drinks and other beverages can contain artificial ingredients as well as, sodium, and sugars and so will add calories to your diet.

The body can lose a gallon or even more of fluids a day in hot weather when sweating heavily. The amount of water you need is dependent upon your body size, overall health and your activity level. This is not an exact science, so drink water, whether you feel thirsty or not, and if the color of your urine is dark or you are not urinating at all then you are not getting enough water.

Dehydration will lower the sodium and sugar levels in the body and treating dehydration with plain water may not be the best treatment method for very young children and older adults. Always consult with a medical professional before treating anyone however. When you sweat you are losing fluids and essential minerals.

Water will dilute the already low mineral levels in the body. For young children, infants, and older adults dehydration is a real concern, and it will have a greater impact on these age groups. You can use an oral hydration formula along with water to help treat mild dehydration in some cases.

Certain sports drinks do contain electrolytes that are necessary for fluid retention and for the cells to function properly, and so can be used to help keep the body hydrated.

A squeeze or two of real lemon in your water can help those who simply do not like water straight from the tap. You can also bruise a few fresh mint leaves to add flavor to your water as well.

WebMD. (n.d.). Retrieved 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/healthy-beverages

This content was originally published here.

An EMP attack hitting the United States is a popular concept amongst members of the survivalist community.

That being said, while many people are aware of EMP attacks, far fewer people actually understand what an EMP attack is, how it works, or how it would affect the country.

Here’s some truth: an EMP attack would, without question, be one of the very worst things that could happen to the United States. If you’ve ever heard of the idea that an EMP could throw America back to the 1800s, that’s fairly accurate.

In this article, we’ll cover what an EMP is and how it works, and then what you can expect to happen if one were to go off in the United States.

What Is An EMP?

EMP stands for ‘electromagnetic pulse,’ and it’s basically a very powerful and intense pulse of electromagnetic radiation.

If this pule is powerful enough, it can fry the wiring in circuitry, and in a strong enough magnetic field, electronics can be completely destroyed by the burst.

Now, this doesn’t mean that those electronic devices are going to explode or anything.  But it does mean that the electrical components are going to get fried and, well, quit working.

Take note that an EMP is not going to be dangerous to animals, plants, or people (unless if you’re wearing something like a pacemaker or are in a moving vehicle), so you shouldn’t need to fear for your physical health when the blast goes off.  

How can an electromagnetic pulse be created? One way is through detonating a nuclear weapon high in the atmosphere. The energy created by that blast could create an electromagnetic pulse that would then be sent out in all directions.

There are also different kinds of electromagnetic pulses as well: E1, E2, and E3.

An E1 pulse is the most powerful and intense. It creates microwaves as it passes through the earth magnetic field and would most certainly cause voltages in electrical conductors as well.  This is the type of electromagnetic pulse that would fry computers and similar electronic equipment.

The E2 pulse is similar to lightning strikes, and is far less powerful than an E2 pulse. Finally, the E3 pulse is even less powerful than the E2, and is comparable to solar flares created by the sun. While E3s are still powerful enough to damage power lines and other infrastructure, they’re still not nearly as powerful as E1s.

Now that we understand what an electromagnetic pulse is, it’s time to answer the big question: what is (realistically) going to be taken out by an EMP attack?

What’s Going To Get Taken Out By An EMP?

Honestly, the answer to this question depends on a number of different factors: the type of electromagnetic pulse, how high in the atmosphere it’s detonated (the higher the device is detonated, the wider range it’s going to affect), and whether any electronic device are shielded or not.

That being said, any device that is not shielded or protected against an E1 electromagnetic pulse is likely go be either completely fried or at least damaged. These include, but are not necessarily limited to:

Any of those above items that are going to be extremely vulnerable to an EMP.  Phones and laptops that are being housed in a metal building *might* be able to survive an E1, but it’s not at all guaranteed and you can’t count on it.

What Will An EMP Attack Look Like In The United States?

What you need to do is imagine a world where each of the items listed above are taken out instantly, because that is exactly what an EMP attack is going to do.

For instance, cars are going to quit working instantly, at least cars that were built since 1990. Planes will fall out of the sky.  Phones and laptops will be fried, and even if they weren’t, they wouldn’t do you much good without cell service or the internet.  

In essence, America will be thrown back to the Stone Ages as hundreds of millions of people across the country find themselves in a world without power.

Looting and rioting would be almost certain to develop in the hours and days following the attack across most of the major cities in America. Due to the lack of working electronic equipment, military and law enforcement would be enormously slow to respond, which is why 

What’s worse, is that such a scenario could potentially last for literally years.  It would take years, if not a full decade, for the power grid to get back up and running the way it was before, during which up to 90% of Americans could be killed by starvation, rioting, disease, dehydration, murder, and suicide.

In essence, if there’s one thing that an EMP attack would create in the United States it would be this: chaos.  And it wouldn’t be over quickly either.

Preparing for an EMP attack is something that the United States should be doing, as right now, it remains woefully underprepared.

As for you, you need to be prepared as well.   An EMP would change your world as you know it and literally transform your city into a war zone.  The supply trucks would stop, the grocery stores would become looted, and raiders would prowl the streets.  

You will need to take action to stock up on supplies, establish close alliances with people in your area for bartering and mutual protection, and to build Faraday cages to shield electronic items from the effects of an EMP.

Hopefully, this article has given you an idea of what would realistically happen if an EMP attack were to happen in the United States.  If you take anything away from this article, it’s that you need to start preparing now.

This content was originally published here.

Maybe you don’t want to or can’t carry a firearm. Maybe you work in an office high rise where weapons are forbidden, That doesn’t mean that you should be without means to defend yourself. Sometimes you have to be creative to exercise your right to self-defense. For just a few dollars, you can put together a concealable self-defense tool that you can carry practically anywhere for last ditch emergency use. As always, make sure to check your state and local laws to see if they’ve stripped you of the right to defend yourself in this manner. Please be aware that I am not responsible for any bodily harm or injury that may befall you or others with this tool, this is to be made and used at your own discretion.

What You Will Need:

Piece of Rubber or Jar Gripper ( I used a piece of bicycle inner tube)

Hot Glue Gun or Epoxy (if you want it a lot stronger, will take longer for epoxy to set)

Small Screw Driver (like for eyeglasses)

1 Sharpie Fine Point Marker

1 11/64 Drill bit (preferably a longer sized drill bit)

Step 1.

To disassemble the Sharpie with out marking it up take your piece of rubber to grip the cap securing the ink. You’re going to want to pull straight out instead of twisting because the cap has fine splines in it. It does take some strength.

Step 2.

Next remove the ink cartridge and set aside, you’ll need it later. Then take a pair of pliers and pull the felt tip from the marker.

Step 3.

The 11/64 drill bit is slightly bigger than the felt tip was so by hand drill the cap by twisting it so the drill bit will slide through.

Step 4.

Next sharpen the drill bit on the smooth side into a point using a file or a bench grinder. If you use a bench grinder do it in little increments so you won’t heat up the metal too much. Once sharpened to satisfaction slide the drill bit into the marker tip cap. Try and set it so it’s the same height as the felt tip was so it looks original as possible.

Step 5.

Once you have the proper height take your hot glue gun and glue the drill bit into the cap. Try and stuff as much glue or epoxy in as possible. I used a small screw driver to pack the hot glue down as much as possible, then let glue set.

Step 6.

This next step I don’t have a picture for because I had to do it quick. Depending on the length of the drill bit you used, you might have have to cut some off. You want the drill bit to go down into the handle as much as possible. Once you have the bit cut, fill the handle of the pen about 3/4 the way full with hot glue or epoxy then stuff the cap back on. Let glue set up.

Step 7.

Now take the ink cartridge you set aside and color the sharpened tip to make it look like the stock tip. As you can see from the video below it works quit well and the glue and drill bit add a bit of weight to it. Enjoy your new Self-Defense Sharpie.

Here is a video of it stabbing a piece of pine wood.

This content was originally published here.

Preppers Do You Need a Generator or Do You Even Want One: Things to Consider

While it is possible to live without electricity and all the conveniences that go along with electricity, it would be difficult. Those with medical conditions that require portable oxygen or chilled medication, for example, will need a power source if the power grid goes down, so decisions must be made as to how to supply your home with the much-needed electricity when the grid fails.

Options include solar, wind, hydro and portable or not so portable generators that can supply you with some if not all of your electrical needs during a crisis.

Refrigeration would be difficult to give up during a crisis, and not having refrigeration can be costly due to wasted foods because of spoilage. Refrigeration may be needed to chill medications such as insulin as well.

In most cases, insulin can be stored out of refrigeration for up to 28 days but if you have a 90-day supply of insulin then 60 days of insulin will have to be chilled. Heat is important as well and lack of a heat source in the wintertime can be deadly.

Given the lowering of gas prices this may be a good time to look at generators and look to stockpile the much-needed fuel to operate one. There are various ways to power up generators and you will have to choose one that best suits your needs. Keep in mind that if natural gas is used to power a generator it can be disrupted if the power grid fails, and natural gas is not a fuel that can be stockpiled like gasoline, diesel or propane.

What Size Do You Need

The following is just a general guideline. To determine what size generator you would need specifically, you can visit the following website and checkmark the appliances/tools/equipment that you would expect to use during a crisis to determine running watts and starting watts needed.

Things to Think About

What is running watts and starting watts? This is something you will see when shopping for generators and it is an important consideration.

Running watts are the constant watts needed to keep an appliance or piece of equipment running. Starting watts are the additional watts needed on start up, sometimes referred to as the surge wattage needed to start motor-driven products like a refrigerator and certain tools.

A Small portable is capable of producing 3,000 to 4,000 watts what it can power includes 

Midsized portable and small stationary is capable of producing 5,000 to 8,500 watts what it can power includes

Large portable 10,000 watts and what it can power includes

Large stationary 10,000 to 15,000 watts and what it can power includes

A portable generator is one that usually has wheels, which makes it easy to move from one area to another as demand requires or it can be carried by one or two people.

Stationary generators once installed are considered somewhat permanent, but unless they are what is called an “inline generator” they can still be moved, but with considerable effort involved.

Inline generators are installed between the main electrical source and your home. Once the power company flow is disrupted, the inline generator would automatically take over to supply the home. A qualified technician is usually needed to install unless you have a complete understanding of the installation process. The power company in most cases would need to inspect the inline component to ensure the safety of their workers during an outage.

You will need extension cords rated heavy enough for the demand placed on them. Do not skimp on extension cords because having to light of a gauge can cause an electrical fire.

The thicker the wire in the extension cords means a lower gauge and the more amps or current the cord can handle. The length of the cord also has an effect on how many amps the cord can safely handle.

The longer the cord the less amps it can handle. If you need a 100-foot extension cord for an appliance that normally requires a 14-guarge cord, for example, you may need to buy a 12-gauge cord to compensate for the distance the current has to travel.

These are only guidelines, and it is important that the cords you choose be rated for outdoor use.

Generator Placement

Yes, people still need to be reminded not to operate generators in enclosed spaces like garages crawlspaces, basements and even in some carports. Generators placed outside next to a dryer vent can also allow toxic fumes to get inside the home for example. Do not place generators near any windows, doorways or venting from inside the home.

Stationary generators will need a solid foundation and they need to be placed where heavy rains would not leave standing pools of water around the generator. Generators that cannot be moved easily by carrying can be mounted on trailers for easy placement if the trailer can be secured properly once the generator is in operation.

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2012/10/to-get-through-an-emergency-how-big-a-generator-do-you-need/index.htm

This content was originally published here.

Survival Uses for Baking Soda

Sodium bicarbonate has a slightly salty, alkaline taste and in its natural mineral form, it is called nahcolite. It is a component of the mineral natron and is found dissolved in many mineral springs. It is often called baking soda, bread soda, cooking soda and bicarbonate of soda.

Sodium bicarbonate helps to regulate pH in other words; substances would be neither too acidic nor too alkaline.

Personal/Medical Uses in a Survival Situation

1.) Rehydration drink for survival situations or for those that may be sick and would need electrolytes, glucose and sodium added back into the body. This is considered an effective rehydration method.

The recipe below is for informational purposes only, and should only be used when other methods of replenishing the body with electrolytes is not available. You can of course add your own flavorings while keeping in the intended purpose of the recipe in mind.

Measure all ingredients exactly because variations can make the drink less effective or even harmful, because of sodium and sugar levels. To make mix the following ingredients together

2.) Use as deodorant by patting under the arms to help neutralize odors and also sprinkle some inside of shoes and even inside of your socks to help control odor.

3.) Mix a teaspoon with a glass of water and rinse to freshen breath. The baking soda does not cover up odors it helps eliminate the cause of the odors.

4.) Sprinkle some on your toothbrush or mix with hydrogen peroxide to help remove stains and plaque from the teeth and bacteria from the mouth, (do not swallow the mixture).You can use alone or with your regular toothpaste. It can be used as an alternative to toothpaste, and of course, it does not contain fluoride.

5.) Baking soda can relieve stomach upset due to excessive stomach acid. Refer to the packaging for mixing instructions but typically, it is one teaspoon mixed with a full glass of cold water.

It is not recommended that you treat yourself using this method immediately after a heavy meal. Baking soda is considered an antacid and it helps neutralize digestive acid in the stomach.

6.) A paste made of baking soda and water can be used to treat insect bites and to help with the discomfort of poison ivy and will help with other skin reactions to plants as well. To help with itchy skin apply the powder directly to the skin after bathing.

7.) In Ancient times natron was used as a cleaning agent for the body and for anything else, that needed cleaning. Use baking soda to help remove dirt and stains from the hand and body by making a paste with water. For stubborn stains on the hands and body, mix with less water and for a more gentle lotion use more water.

8.) To freshen camp bedding sprinkle baking soda on to the bedding and let set for 15 minutes then shake the blankets or sleeping bags well to dislodge the baking soda.

9.) Use to deodorize pet bedding by dusting the bedding well and then let set for 15 to 20 minutes. Shake well to remove the baking soda.

Camp Kitchen

10.) Sprinkle baking soda directly on cooking utensils and scrub with a damp cloth or sponge, baking soda is mildly abrasive but generally will not scratch surfaces.

11.) Use to smother fires by tossing on the base of the fire. Be careful not to splash hot oil if you have to smother a grease fire. Stand back as far as possible when smoothing fires.

12.) Use to absorb odor in coolers and portable refrigerators. You can purchase boxes specifically to control refrigerator odor otherwise place a small open container filled with the soda inside the cooler or refrigerator and keep the lid or door closed. Sprinkle the soda in trash bags, garbage pits, and latrines.

13.) Use a half of a cup in your laundry tub to help balance the pH levels, which will help your laundry detergent to work more efficiently.

14.) Use to scrub fruits and vegetables by applying directly on the food or by making paste using clean water. The scrubbing action will remove contaminates from fruits and vegetables. Friction will dislodge bacteria, but a clean water rinse is needed to complete the removal.

15.) Last one and possibly the most import one. Use baking soda to help you brew a better pot of camp coffee. Sprinkle a small amount over the coffee grounds before percolating the coffee. This will help reduce the acid taste, of over percolated coffee.

This content was originally published here.

Survival Channels for Baofeng Programming. Chirp SHTF Radio Frequencies.

This content was originally published here.

The Pocket Shot is new take on the slingshot, a natural evolution, if you will, from the traditional slingshot to a circular one that you can carry in your pocket, tackle box, or backpack, closed it measures 2.3 inches by 1.3 inches, so carry it anywhere.

It is described as a projectile launcher with a cone-shaped latex pouch that is securely attached to a fiber-reinforced composite ring, so all you do is drop your ammo into the pouch, stretch it back, and let fly.

Manufactures’ Description:

It uses high-quality latex cups instead of the traditional rubber bands found on most slingshots. You can use small marbles, steel balls, small paintballs, and Airsoft ammo with the Pocket Shot Recommended sizes are 1/4 to 5/16″ in size. BB’s are not recommended, nor are stones or other irregular shaped ammo or any sharp object, because this type of ammo could tear the latex or wear it out prematurely.

I didn’t test feet per second, which would be very difficult if not impossible to do with any accuracy, without precise equipment, but the manufacturer states up to 350 feet per second, which is several times higher than most slingshots, but you would not have the same range, or I couldn’t achieve the same range that is. It would be hard to because you can only draw the latex cups back about eight inches. This is to be expected, though, the range is not as important as the wallop it packs at a short range

The manufacturer states it can stretch up to 10 inches but I imagine excessive stretching at this length will wear out the latex must faster.

It is not likely that you would attempt to bring down rabbits or turkeys at great distances anyway so you need a hard punch at short ranges for small game. Keep in mind the type of ammo you use will have an impact on this. The Pocket Shot would be ideal for survival hunting. You would have rabbits, squirrels, and birds roasting over your campfire in no time with a little practice.

The pouches will need to be replaced, and you can buy them in packs of three or eight and the pack of eight right now is 20 dollars so it’s not too costly to stock up on them at that price so you can always have spares. The standard pouch gives you between 300 and 500 shots, with fewer feet per second, however. I suspect the difference between 300 and 500 shots is in how far and how often you draw back to the maximum and types of ammo you use.

The pro pouches offer 300-350 feet per second but the number of shots per pouch is between 200 and 400, so a trade off. Harder punch, but wears out faster. You can buy the pro pouches in packs of three or eight as well, and the pack of eight is 25 dollars right now, not a bad price.

An optional Whisker Biscuit cap in orange or black can be purchased so you can fire arrows with your Pocket Shot. You would have to screw on the cap, which takes just seconds, but then, you are ready to fire. Arrows are not included, though, and you would use light 3/4 inch arrows. Arrows can shoot up to 150 feet per second.

This is not a toy even though it is typically used for recreational use, target practice in other words, but it will bring down small game, and then, when you add arrows to the mix you have a serious weapon in your hands so treat it as such. Always wear safety glasses when using and you know not to shoot steel balls or marbles at hard surfaces to prevent ricochets.

The Pocket Shot is not a novelty toy or curiosity piece.

I found my accuracy is much better with the Pocket Shot than with a traditional slingshot simply because of the way it is held. I can see myself hitting small game more consistently in the field with this one.

It is easy to carry and you can even store the ammo inside the Pocket Shot. I like the idea I can buy spare cups and keep them in my pocket too, and the changeover is quick, literally in seconds, you are ready to fire. You can purchase a Pocket Shot for $25.00 at ThePocketShot.com

This content was originally published here.

It seems like the summers are getting shorter and the winters longer, but then again, we say this every year, and it may just seem that way as we get older. Nonetheless, winter is just around the corner, so it is time to start thinking about winterizing your home. Some things can wait, while others cannot.

1.) Garden hoses can be damaged if left exposed to the cold, so start thinking about storage places. In addition, if you have freeze proof spigots, hoses have to be uncoupled to allow the water to properly drain from the spigot to prevent freezing and bursting the line.

2.) Cover outdoor spigots with insulated covers as an added measure to prevent freezing.

3.) Lawn sprinkler/irrigation systems must be drained to prevent damage to the system.

4.) Crawl space vents will have to be closed or covered to keep cold air out of the crawl space. In warm weather, of course, the vents are opened to reduce moisture buildup which can lead to mold and mildew problems, not to mention moisture attracts insects in particular certain termites.

5.) Have your heating system checked before you need it. Heating and air conditioning service companies experience high demand for services during the first cold snap of the season, so get ahead of the rush.

6.) Make sure your gutters are cleaned out. Stopped up drain spouts will allow water to build up and if it freezes it can damage the roofline, soffits, and the guttering system itself.

7.) Prune back any branches that overhang the roofline. Snow and ice can weigh down even healthy limbs that right now do not seem to be a hazard, but once under strain from the weight of snow and ice could snap and damage the roof or walls of the home.

8.) Stock up on ice melt now, because as you know, the minute the first snow or ice is predicted people rush to the stores and clean out the supply. Retail stores never seem to have their act together when it comes to inventorying certain items, because if they order too much then they have to inventory a product that has only one use for a short period.

9.) Service your generators and stabilize the fuel. Make sure they work properly and that you have fresh fuel going into the colder months. Inspect your electrical cords for serviceability and if you had purchased appliances over the summer months, make sure you have electrical cords rated for the appliance and ensure your generator can handle the additional load.

10.) Check your water pipes insulation, and if you use heat tape make sure it is working by testing it before it gets cold.

11.) Inspect your hot water tank blanket, and if you do not have one it is recommended you do get one if your tank is located in a non-heated part of the home such as in the garage, basement, or crawlspace.

This may also be a good time to drain your tank to clear out the sediment. Too much build up in the bottom of the tank can have an effect on the efficiency, and may even cause damage, and in some cases the sediment may build up to the point you cannot drain the tank, because of a clogged spigot. In addition, if you need to use your hot water tank as an emergency water supply, you want it as sediment free as possible and of course you want the drain to work.

12.) If you have a wood burning fireplace or wood stove have your chimney cleaned and inspected for damage before your first fire. Creosote buildup as you know is dangerous and over time it will build up even if you only burned well seasoned wood. Seasoned wood will still have up to 20 percent moisture content which will cause a buildup.

This content was originally published here.

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By Selco

Every now and then I get into “rant ” mode, and then even I realize that I am being grumpy. I can’t help myself, I have to go through it, and usually, that means I have to write.

So…

My very good friend told me a story some time ago. This friend is into survival training, and he is a very good observer of people and events.

He was traveling and landed in some airport somewhere.

There he spotted a guy in tactical grey pants, 5.11 shirt, and dark glasses, tactical boots… the guy was looking like the “prototype” of “being tactical.” He was standing there with a “tough” expression on his face.

He did not move.

He was being all “tactical”.

But being tactical means not standing out.

The only problem is that he was sticking out badly because he was in the middle of hundreds of people who were in holiday mode; funny shirts, suitcases, travel bags, or business suits. Yet, he was standing there like a wannabe mercenary.

I mean maybe the guy just likes to wear cool stuff, I do not have anything against that.

The point is the concept of “looking tactical” went into some wrong and weird directions a long time ago for many reasons: books, Hollywood, survival industry, money… and that guy is a perfect example of how you can be dressed in tactical equipment and look tactical but still stick out ridiculously.

Looking tactical at that airport probably means being dressed like you are going on a holiday, or business trip, or walking and acting like you are checking the arrival of a plane, or talking on the phone or whatever else.

A problem with the tactical industry

One of the cool things about taking physical courses is getting some equipment for testing in a “real” situation.

It is cool because I like to check new things- survival items. It is also very good to discover some points in course situations when that piece of equipment works great or really sucks, because you may plan to improve it before you need it in real life.

Examples are many.

We have seen and tested in courses, good and high-quality tactical shirts, waterproof, lightweight, warm… with a very cool “tactical” patch on the sleeve. The only thing is that the patch is too cool, it “glows” in dark, which looks cool and tough, but not if you want to hide from someone who wants to harm you, or if you want to move unnoticed to harm someone else.

Now, the shirt is still great, more then great, but we realized what needs to be improved (the patch).

So, please memorize this: in survival business, cool does not necessarily mean good and usable.

Test it first, no matter how cool it looks on first sight.

How you act and look matters in an SHTF event.

One of the main takeaways, from my experience, when we are talking about the first period of SHTF is mass confusion and disorder.

You have (in urban areas) a whole bunch of confused and frightened people.

Now, what is the main and most important point of blending in?

It is the fact that you need to look and act like everybody else around you.

So, as a result, no – in the beginning phases of any SHTF – you probably do not want to look like an overly tactical mercenary who is tough and knows what to do.

You will want to look like everybody else around you until you figure out what to do and how to do that (bug out, bug in, etc.).

People often do have fantasies of looking like a Delta Force guy driving a tricked out monster truck when the SHTF, but actually the reality is in the beginning phase you have a better chance if you like the average guy who does not have too much valuable stuff while moving away, together with other frightened folks.

Otherwise everybody else around you will want to have your cool stuff.

While everybody else around you is in panic, moving away from danger with whatever they have in a hurry – you being truly tactical means you need to look exactly like them. You have to be the gray man, and being gray always changes.

Hide everything else.

You are completely “tactical” then.

The situation is fluid.

People like easy and concise explanations and solutions, while in reality, life (when SHTF) has intentions to kick you in the teeth right at the moment when you set in motion your perfect plan about whatever.

So yes, there are no easy and “all situation” solutions.

A perfect example is a favorite topic, the BOB (bug-out bag).

Whenever someone asks me about the “perfect BOB,” or what my BOB is I have a hard time answering.

The reason for that is in fact that I do not have my one, perfect BOB.

Now consider the situation when something bad happens and people are on streets, moving, rioting, running away and you go to bug out with a BOB that looks like it cost $500 dollars.

Most out there will probably be some folks who will want to hurt you in order to take it away from you.

In that situation, it makes more sense to have a bag with you that looks like a simple gym bag, or maybe something a bit more complicated than a shopping bag? Maybe nothing more.

Remember you need to adapt.

Adapt your BOB to the situation outside

So do I have my perfect BOB?

No.

I have several of them that look different, some of them are nothing more complicated than a school bag, others are really “tactical.”

I do have things and equipment that are ready to be put in a bag very fast, and in layers on me, but BOB alone is going to be chosen based on the situation outside, just like my clothes for example.

I cannot be ready for everything but I can try to adapt to the situation outside.

SHTF is “fluid,” there are usually phases of it.  While having an assault rifle in your hand and full camo and night goggles makes sense in some situations, in others it will clearly make a target out of you in split second.

You need to feel how the situation changes around you right from the first signs of SHTF to the full extent of it.

It is nothing spectacularly smart, it is just careful observation of how people around you react in events (when SHTF), and you need to adapt to those reactions. If you fail to do that, you’re simply going to fail to recognize the new rules outside.

About Selco:

Selco survived the Balkan war of the 90s in a city under siege, without electricity, running water, or food distribution.

In his online works, he gives an inside view of the reality of survival under the harshest conditions. He reviews what works and what doesn’t, tells you the hard lessons he learned, and shares how he prepares today.

He never stopped learning about survival and preparedness since the war. Regardless what happens, chances are you will never experience extreme situations as Selco did. But you have the chance to learn from him and how he faced death for months.

Real survival is not romantic or idealistic. It is brutal, hard and unfair. Let Selco take you into that world.

This content was originally published here.