One problem with prepping when there are others that must get involved to make it work is the varying levels of commitment. Enthusiasm is never equal among those in a family or group.

In Prepper groups the problem may be more profound, because some people gravitate toward groups simply because it is a group, and not because of what the group is all about. This means you will have members that are not committed to prepping, but simply want to be involved in something.

Those not really committed may eagerly follow orders, and are pleasant to be around, but they do not understand the need. It is never enough to simply know that you need to do something. You need to know why you need to do it as well.

Once you as the leader know the why, you can then convince others of the need. You need to make sure you are committed before you can expect others to be committed.

Overtime the level of commitment on the part of others may increase, but in the meantime someone has to establish goals, plan how to achieve those goals, schedule training and practice sessions, and the list goes on from there.

In some cases, family members may outright reject the notion of prepping for any number of reasons, leaving the one that understands the need for prepping in charge of a rudderless ship. Simply telling your children they need a backpack packed and ready is not enough, they will not take it seriously until they understand why they need to.

Ideas Have To Be Sold

Just because your spouse/partner or children do not believe in the need for prepping does not mean you do not prep. Finances play a role in prepping, and if families had money to burn your spouse or partner might not have a problem with what they might consider a hobby on your part. However, you do not have money to burn so any money spent, better be for a good cause is what your spouse is likely thinking. A tangible cause not based on some conspiracy theory you read on the Internet.

What gets prepping plans shelved sometimes is an overwhelming sense of urgency. Someone reads an article or sees a video online and they feel an urge to immediately do something, and they may think that failing to start right now would be devastating.

Your overwhelming sense of urgency overwhelms everyone else. They cannot comprehend the need as quickly as you would like, and thus, will probably balk at your ideas. Slow down and let others catch up before you start yelling that the world as you know it is ending and you only have a few days left to get ready.

No one else in the family will likely ever feel the same sense of urgency, and spending money you do not have never goes over well when one or the other thinks it may have been wasted. However, there are any numbers of disasters that you can point to that do happen, and are likely to happen again, and so family members can relate to this, and then can see that there is a need for prepping.

Start Small With What Is Evident To All

Point to natural disasters in your region and point to the times where the power has been disrupted or the water has, and then emphasis the inconvenience of it. Prepping takes on a whole new meaning as soon as people realize the effects of a crisis and then emphasis what can be done to mitigate the effects. It is surprising the number of people that simply do not understand that when the power goes out so does everything else.

No one can dispute the need for 72-hours worth of supplies when there is a blizzard headed your way or a hurricane or ice storm, so start there. Start with a 72-hour kit for the home, then build from there and show everyone this is what can happen because look it has happened before.

Stop with the doomsday scenarios and stick with what people can see, hear, and feel. If you cannot understand why your spouse is not willing to get ready for a zombie apocalypse by running out and loading up on gear and supplies then maybe you do not fully understand prepping yourself.

Most sensible Preppers understand that the term zombie apocalypse is tossed around a lot and it is used to describe something bad happening in most cases, but not everyone understands this, so when you start tossing it around saying everyone needs to prepare for it, you may get the sideways stare.

This content was originally published here.

What Is Eating Into Your Budget Every Month

You keep hearing that everyone needs to begin prepping, or that you need to up your prepping for calamities ahead. You already know this though. What some experts fail to tell you however, is how to afford to do all this prepping on a budget.

Prices go up and wages are either stagnate or they have been reduced due to a cut in hours or you had to take a lesser paying job. This all adds up to less money every month and yet you still have the same bills, you still have the same wants and needs and you need to begin prepping or increase your current stockpile. Is there room in your budget? There may be if you take a closer look at it.

Break It All Down

There is any number of places in your budget that you can save money. Only you know what you spend, and on what. You do not need a financial expert to tell you that you can live without cable, cell phones, tablets, fancy cars and the list goes on. You are the only one that can stand up and say, “You know what; I need to start investing in my future by prepping today”. Money spent today on preparations is money invested in you and your family’s future survival.

Saving money or putting some, back for other things require sacrifice and you must have the ability to prioritize your life. You want everything but in reality, you only need a little, and to be able to afford to prep and do other things in life, you have to be able to separate the two. Only you can however, because the best advice in the world is only that, no one will do it for you.

It is easy for others to say get a second job, cut back on this or that and that you can live without certain things. However, once you find yourself unable to meet your needs or to reach goals you have set then you do have to make changes and evaluate your priorities.

You have to be able to make adjustments before you find yourself mired in debt and simply cannot work your way out of it. There is a point of no return in some cases. You have to make changes before you get to that point.

It is too easy for others to give advice and say what you need to do. The premise of this article is not necessarily telling you what to do but pointing you in the right direction so you can make the choices. They will be hard choices; the hard ones are usually the rights ones however.

This content was originally published here.

First, smoking and using tobacco products is detrimental to your health.

Nicotine is a potent parasympathomimetic alkaloid found in the nightshade family of plants (Solanaceae) and is considered a stimulant drug. Nicotine can be toxic to humans and to insects/parasites. Nicotine is found in the leaves of Nicotiana tabacum, the tobacco plant.

At one time the United States Military provided cigarettes in rations that were issued to members of the military. Typically three non-filtered cigarettes were provided, but they were not just for smoking. Some of you may remember “Smoke Em If You Got Em, Bum Em If Ya Don’t”.

Tobacco use today is discouraged of course, but there are some uses for tobacco in a survival situation that you should look at nonetheless.

The following is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice, nor should you infer that this article condones the use of tobacco products for recreational purposes.

If you have ever studied a military survival manual you would have found under survival first aid a remedy for intestinal parasites. The remedy described in the manual brings us to our first survival use for tobacco. FM 21-76 pg. (s) 42/43

1.). Remove Intestinal Parasites

Eat 1 to 1.5 cigarettes to stun intestinal parasites so they can pass through your system. Nicotine will stun, or possibly even kill the parasites. Follow up treatment is 24 to 48 hours after the first treatment, and you would apply the same dosage.

In a survival situation intestinal parasites can enter your body from contaminated water or food, which could create a serious medical condition if not treated. The treatment described to rid your body of parasites has been used for decades, if not for centuries around the world.

2.) Fire Tinder

Obviously tobacco burns and when in cigarette or cigar form, the tightly packed tobacco will maintain an ember for a certain period. It will require that you draw on the cigarette/cigar to maintain the ember however.

The ember will not last long, but long enough for you to move your fire from one location to another. If you light a cigar and draw on it occasionally you could maintain an ember for several hours in some cases.

Cigarette paper is excellent tinder if kept dry, so if carrying cigarettes keep in the cellophane until ready to use to help keep the paper and tobacco dry.

3.) Insect Repellent/Insecticide

You can make your own insecticide/repellent by soaking tobacco in water overnight to leach out the nicotine and other chemicals in the tobacco. Some state that boiling a package of chewing tobacco in one gallon of water works the best, but you can put a single cigarette in a quart of water and let soak overnight for field expediency. After boiling and cooling or soaking overnight, strain the mixture well and then spray or pour around the area where control is needed. The mixture is extremely effective at controlling spiders.

Add dish soap to the solution to help it cling to surfaces.

Some people spray the mixture directly onto the plants to control aphids and other pests, but the solution can harm certain plants, in particular tomato plants, so be careful and experiment with just a few leaves at first.

In a survival situation you would use the insecticide/repellent to control pest in and around your shelter, around your food caches and to keep pest out of your gear or pack. The mixture can be applied to the walls of the shelter and around the outside of the shelter and even applied directly to certain pieces of equipment and gear.

Some articles have you applying the mixture to clothing and other material you would be handling often, but this means the solution could be absorbed through the skin. This is not recommended. Therefore, carefully consider what equipment or materials to treat.

4.) First Aid for Stings, Cuts, and Other Medicinal Uses

Wet the tobacco either by chewing or by mixing with water to create a poultice that can be applied to stings or minor cuts.

Native Americans believe that a poultice made from tobacco leaves will draw the poison from a snake bite. Tobacco also acts as a pain reliever when applied as a topical agent, and some believe it acts as a disinfectant as well.

A poultice made out of tobacco can be used to relieve toothache pain, but keep in mind when doing so you will be introducing nicotine into your body or into the body of your children or other people. Nicotine in certain forms can also be absorbed through the skin, nicotine patches are just one example.

5.) Bartering

As a Prepper you want to stockpile items that you need and want, but you have to consider the needs and wants of others, as well, so you can use items to bargain with others for goods and services they can provide. Bartering is when goods and services, and not money exchange hands.

Tobacco in all its forms can be used for bartering. Just because there is a crisis does not mean people are no longer addicted to tobacco products, so keep this in mind even if you do not use tobacco products yourself.

The above described are not the only survival uses for tobacco, but they are the most widely known and for the most part, there is some scientific evidence behind what has been noted.

Jacksonville State University. (n.d.). Retrieved 2015, from http://www.jsu.edu/news/july_dec2005/07282005a.html

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LED Light Bulbs Really Are Cost Effective Especially If Using Solar Power
While they may seem expensive to some, if not to most people, LED bulbs are however, cost effective, and they will pay for themselves over time. You can also purchase LED grow lights that have an extended bulb life and they do have the same cost effectiveness as regular LED bulbs. Grow lights would typically be on longer than a lamp inside the home for example, so you would save energy even though grow bulbs are usually on in excess of 16 hours a day.
The prices are dropping and have dropped considerably from just a few years ago.
According to Consumer Reports LED bulbs usually do not burn out, but rather dim over time. The claimed life is an estimate of when brightness will decrease by up to 30 percent. Some LED bulbs according to experts claim to be bright enough to be useful for close to 23 years when operated on average of 3 hours per day.
Save your receipts because Energy Star LEDs must have at least a three-year warranty, but it is common to see five and 10-year warranties (Consumer Reports, 2015).
For Preppers using generators or solar systems or are thinking about using solar, wind and/or hydro power keep in mind LED bulbs require less wattage to run, thus reducing the load on your electrical generating system. The bulbs will pay for themselves over time, because obviously, if you only have to replace a bulb every 5 to 10 years and they cost less to operate day to day you have saved money.
Additionally, if you find yourself in a grid down situation, you will not have to worry so much about blown incandescent bulbs if you have solar power or are using a generator. If an LED bulb can stay lit for years this in itself may be worth the initial upfront cost for some people. Photo Credit: NRDC Lighting Chart Guide
Before running out to replace your incandescent bulbs however, make sure the LED bulb will fit your lamp. Energy saving bulbs may be bulkier in size and may not fit in some fixtures if that fixture has a globe, for example, and in some cases, because of the design the bulb may not fit as well into the bulb socket on some lamps. Typically, this is not a problem, but check before buying. Also if using outdoors make sure they are damp rated and can be used in a wet area.
Because the bulbs may be bulkier make sure they do not make contact with glass globes if they are used. Typically, LED’s are much cooler, but it may be a problem if they make direct contact with surfaces when lit.
If you have dimmer switches make sure the bulb can be dimmed. Dimming bulbs can be another way of saving some additional money when using LED’s.
The bulbs can come in different colors, soft white, bright white, soft blue hues and ones that simulate sunlight and other colors may be available as well.
Lumens tell you how bright the bulb is and this information will be printed under the lighting facts on the back of the box.
General purpose bulbs used in lamps and other fixtures are known as A19’s for their bulbous shape. You will want at least 800 Lumens when replacing a 60-watt bulb, for example, with an LED and 1,100 lumens and up for a 75-watt replacement, and for a 100-watt bulb replacement you would need 1,600 or higher to get the equivalent lighting.
When replacing floodlights such as an R30 you would need at least 10 times the watts of the bulb you’re replacing, 650 Lumens to replace a 65-watt bulb, for example. Watts tell you how much energy a bulb uses.
Reference(s): 
Consumer Reports. (2015). Retrieved 2015, from http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2015/02/as-led-prices-drop-it-s-time-to-make-the-switch/index.htm

This content was originally published here.

f you begin prepping for TEOTWAWKI, and a good stockpile is on your list of preps, it will quickly become evident just how many different items are useful to stockpile for a SHTF situation.

Your list can be short and sweet at first, but once you really get into things, you’ll see just how enormous a list of gear to stockpile can really get.

Every once in a while, it’s good to go back to the basics: to make sure that out of all those things you’ve already stockpiled, you’ve got enough of the stuff that you’ll really miss the most. Here’s 16 items that instantly make the cut.

16 ITEMS YOU’LL REGRET NOT HAVING ENOUGH WHEN SHTF

Need a quick way to disinfect water so you can safely drink?What happens if your septic tank overflows and you’re left with contaminated waste everywhere? One simple and effective way to fix both thesebleach 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 net 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 net 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.

Lighters and Matches

Really and truly, you cannot have enough of these lying around. Sure you can make fire without them, 2b5898930a56c40ff34f663c80bdc2bfbut 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.

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, and there’s no real SHTF substitute for the strong painkillers without going for more risky natural opiates. It’s also beneficial to keep quite a few of these in a bug out bag if you happen to have one.

There are many reasons why alcohol is an excellent resource. The top two are obvious: its physical impact on us when we consume it, and its ability to disinfect wounds. Whether you’re personally into drinking alcohol or not, you’re going to regret not having enough alcohol when the SHTF. After all, think of all the people who would be willing to trade almost anything for a bottle of their favorite whisky. Or you can stockpile a simple still (or the components to assemble one), as this will make your alcohol for drinking, cleaning, medical use, etc. (don’t forget to learn how to make the corn mash itself, or to have extra parts put back)

How to Make Alcohol at Home

Screws, Nails and Building Materials

You’re definitely not going to regret having stocked up on hardware materials post-collapse. In fact, you’llcat-30-rad3DF17 probably wish you’d stocked up on more. 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.

Saw blades, hatchets, axe heads, hammer heads, hand drills – many of this tools being available from auctions, garage sales, etc. Without tools you won’t be able to build or fix anything or you’ll have to improvise. Having more than one of this tools will be a big advantage as they make great barter items.

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 and stock up before the hospitals are overflowing with people.

Everyone needs a warm place to sleep. A good blanket is like a good coat. We’ve all planned for clothes (I hope), but when’s the last time you heard someone brag about having a couple of good wool blankets put back? I’ve got two good wool blankets. I paid $40 each for them. Let the power go out, in November, and you not have one. I don’t know how much you’re willing to pay for them, but I know what you’re going to trade me for them, if you don’t want to freeze at night. I won’t trade both at all, but I’ll be looking for what would be several thousand dollars worth of trade for the one I can ‘spare’.

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. The harder to break, the better. I’ve got a dozen military 1-qt canteens laying around here than there, in a pinch, I have 2-3 I’ll use, but the rest can be had – for a price.

Survival information

Survival information is valuable, and in a time when it is desperately needed, being able to have a few copies of condensed information on-hand and barter-ready will be very valuable, indeed. Type up and print a dozen copies of general information that others may not readily have. It may help you too. When fear and panic takes over all the info you learned will vanish from your head. Having the info printed will be helpful.

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 everything you need to make ammo 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.

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.

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 in terms of soap shopping for post-crisis scenarios: try to stock up on soap that’s anti-bacterial.Bellow you have a soap making tutorial.
BASIC SOAP MAKING TUTORIAL THAT ANYONE CAN FOLLOW
Alternatives for soap

Again, you’ll be using that fat from the soup bones. Learn to do this as a skill. Even if you don’t apply this for a number of years, you’ll still know how to do it. The lye that is used in the process can be obtained from ash or you can buy THAT by the pound at the hardware store in the plumbing aisle.

Even if somebody doesn’t drink, they might want to be clean once in a while. Make more soap than you’re ever going to need so you can trade it. Even if some dude would trade his left hand for a bottle of his favorite hooch, his wife would probably trade both of her husband’s hands for him to take a bath once in a while.

Don’t get Crystal Drano. It contains other ingredients that are not good in soap. You want 100% Sodium  hydroxide (otherwise known as lye). There are many good how-to books on soap making and general day-to-day life, but doing it all yourself. I like the one that was written by Carla Emery . It primarily addresses modern day homesteading, but what’s going to happen when the SHTF?

Tampons & pads

They’re essential to a good survival pack, and not just for the obvious reason! They are indispensable for bandages, good 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.

One thing that stood out to me is multivitamins. Regardless of what happens, you can’t always ensure you are getting what you need, and if living off the land is your last recourse or you are surviving off whatever you could salt or smoke in fall for winter you will run short of your bodies need.

Saving our forefathers ways starts with people like you and me actually relearning these skills and putting them to use to live better lives through good times and bad. Our answers on these lost skills comes straight from the source, from old forgotten classic books written by past generations, and from first hand witness accounts from the past few hundred years. Aside from a precious few who have gone out of their way to learn basic survival skills, most of us today would be utterly hopeless if we were plopped in the middle of a forest or jungle and suddenly forced to fend for ourselves using only the resources around us. In short, our forefathers lived more simply than most people today are willing to live and that is why they survived with no grocery store, no cheap oil, no cars, no electricity, and no running water. Just like our forefathers used to do, The Lost Waysteaches you how you can survive in the worst-case scenario with the minimum resources available. It comes as a step-by-step guide accompanied by pictures and teaches you how to use basic ingredients to make super-food for your loved ones. 

NIGHT VISION GOOGLES,  High End Night Vision (PVS-14 3rd generation Autogated) is a force multiplier unlike anything you will put in your preps. With a quality pair of Night Vision you can drive a car, hike, hunt, see a predator at night. There is nothing that can fulfill this other than a good NVD.

There will be two kinds of people after SHTF, those with night vision and those that get everything taken from them, possibly their lives and female members of their family. Sorry for being brutal but that is the truth.

Cheap Night Vision is not worth money, there is no comparison, in fact most of the cheaper units do not allow you to see much better than your normal night adjusted sight and use a infrared illuminator. That Illuminator will put a green dot right on your forehead for the guy who owns a real pair. 

This content was originally published here.

With Summer waning and yields on your spring crops winding down, right now is the time to start planting for a fall crop. Plenty of species will do well, giving you a bumper crop to get you through the winter. It is best to get into this practice now, not when you need it, as …

This content was originally published here.

Some are convinced the Feds will be, and some are convinced they already are an institution to be feared by its citizens. In part the fear is based on an executive order signed March 16, 2012, by then President Obama, titled National Defense Resources Preparedness.

The order falls in line with the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (50 U.S.C. App. 2061 et seq.), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code. The President of the United States is given the authority as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States (The White House, 2012).

The following is the exact wording taken from parts of the executive order under “general functions.”

(a) Identify requirements for the full spectrum of emergencies, including essential military and civilian demand;

(b)  Assess on an ongoing basis the capability of the domestic industrial and technological base to satisfy requirements in peacetime and times of national emergency, specifically evaluating the availability of the most critical resource and production sources, including subcontractors and suppliers, materials, skilled labor, and  professional and technical personnel (The White House, 2012).

What it states is that the government can commandeer resources to satisfy requirements in peacetime and times of national emergencies. Now, the million dollar question is who determines requirements and whose resources can be used?

The lack of specificity is what bothers many people. Just how far can the government go, can they come into your home and seize whatever resources they determine are needed for the greater cause, and what about your needs, your cause, and just what constitutes a national emergency by the way, and who gets to decide.

It’s all very confusing and somewhat scary, but there are over 315 million people in this country, so it is hard to imagine soldiers will come knocking on or kicking in every door to ransack the structure for Prepper supplies.

They do have the apparent authority based on the order, but it is also assumed as a matter of policy that they already know what resources are available and who controls said resources, so it is doubtful that anyone reading this is on the list of resources needed during an emergency, but just in case prepare based on the worst case scenario.

We have talked about staying off the radar in past articles, and how to avoid raising red flags and so on during your day-to-day activities in particular when it comes to gathering supplies for emergencies.

If they don’t have a reason to look at you closer they probably won’t. In most cases, you would have more to fear from friends and neighbors and other residents in the community than from the federal government. With that being said, however, local governments without direction from the federal government may decide they know what’s best for their community and law or no law about the commandeering of resources they may decide to take it upon themselves to start seizing property or goods once the SHTF.

Stashing or Caching

There are hundreds, if not thousands of articles online about hiding your supplies in your home. Well, if you think you have the perfect hiding place and received tips online about the perfect hiding place, do you think you are the only one that has figured it out besides the one that wrote the article on where to stash your goods.

What happens if the government or rogue Preppers, neighbors or so-called friends comes a knocking, or your common garden variety thief breaks in. Would they give up if they didn’t see your supplies scattered in plain sight about the living room.

Criminals know where the best hiding spots are, and desperate friends and neighbors would look and look hard for your supplies, but some of the hiding spots are great for deterring crimes of opportunity though.

If someone sees a wad of cash on the coffee table, they may grab it and run, but if they had to search for it, they may not have the time and or they fear getting caught. It’s the old saying about locks are for honest people. Criminals make their living from your hard work, and they will ransack your house if you are gone or they have taken it over, and they will find the best-kept secrets that survival experts are splashing all over the Internet. The government will find your supplies as well if they are hidden in the home, if they want to that is.

If you do hide all of your supplies in your home what happens if your house burns down or a flood carries it away or a tornado or hurricane levels it? Most, if not all of your supplies would be ruined. Do you have a plan for caching so you do have some resources to fall back on, plus caching means, they would be hidden from the government and others?

We have talked a lot about caching in previous articles. In fact, we are big advocates of it, if it is done right. Personally, I have never thought much about caching supplies along a predetermined route to a bug-out location because the route (s) can change. Bridges can wash out, tunnels can collapse or the river, which was five miles from your cache site, and was once peaceful and serene is now a rushing torrent carrying houses, trees, and your supplies along with it as it changes course until the next flood.

It makes more sense to cache supplies at your destination, so if you do have to alter your route then you are not leaving supplies behind. All you have to worry about is having enough supplies to get there, along with the capability of getting there. This requires planning, and it also means you need a destination in mind with a reliable means of transporting yourself there.

Another option is to cache supplies near your home, in your backyard even, so you have supplies for the journey or for sustaining yourself if you have to shelter near your home, which may have been taken over or destroyed. You can cache supplies at your destination and/or at a location near where you would embark on your trip.

Caching is hard work especially if you have a large stockpile and the rule of thumb is to assume you would come upon your cache with nothing in hand so all caches would need to meet all of the basic requirements, which are shelter, water, food, protection and medical. You have to assume you would be empty handed when arriving at the cache site or otherwise you would start splitting up supplies.

Some like to cache firearms and ammunition in one spot and other supplies elsewhere. People sometimes get it in their heads that during a crisis all you need are weapons. In most emergencies a firearm would be the last survival tool you would ever use, we say in most cases.

Have more than one cache but make sure each one is capable of sustaining you from that point forward. You don’t want to wander hither and yon gathering water from one cache and food and medical supplies from another and so forth or be caught without a firearm or ammunition.

Your objective is to protect your supplies, and have supplies ready to pack and go if need be. Having all of your supplies in one place means they can be destroyed or stolen at one time. Anyone, to include government agents that come knocking would expect to see the normal three to five days of food, and water on hand. Make sure that’s all they see.

Unless they have reason to believe you have a small armory in the basement or have been gathering massive amounts of supplies they would not look further in most cases. It would be hard to believe that any government agency would take supplies you need to survive because this would defeat their purpose. However, again a very large supply may be taken and redistributed. Their purpose would be to keep everyone alive, supposedly, so factor this into your prepping plans.

The White House. (2012, March 16). Retrieved 2017, from https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2012/03/16/executive-order-national-defense-resources-preparedness

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Knowing how to pack your own food for long term storage could save you a lot of money. With proper storage techniques, dry goods like rice, wheat, sugar, beans, oats and pastas could last up to 20 years or more. Here is an excellent tutorial video by BisonRMA on how to use mylar bags, food grade …

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If you cannot defend it, then you do not own it. In other words, someone, or some group can come along and take it. Take over your shelter, and enjoy all of the luxuries you have stockpiled while you sit shivering in the cold rain plotting your strategy for getting back inside.

Once the SHTF, readymade shelters like the one you have will be on the minds of those without one, and there will be plenty of people without one. The ones least prepared will be forced by their circumstances to try and take what others have worked hard to gain.

You Are Always In a Defensive Position

You have something that someone else wants, and you want to keep it out of the hands of others. You are defending it, so you are usually in a static position presumably ready to repel all boarders if you will. However, to ensure you are at the ready when there are intruders, or potential intruders lurking about, you need a warning system in place, and you need personnel in a position to add fire support from outside the structure if there is an attack.

Spider Holes

There is a difference between a spider hole and a foxhole. A spider hole is traditionally a camouflaged observation post dug in the ground. A spider hole is not considered a fighting position. However, it may become an ambush position in some cases or a fighting position if it is spotted due to poor camouflage or if someone spots a muzzle flash, for example.

The hole is just big enough for one person to squat or sit with a pack on and it has to be roomy enough for maneuvering a weapon as well. The top is concealed by what is found in the environment so it blends into the environment. A person is concealed and yet can observe trails, roadways or paths leading up to your shelter or to a structure you are defending.

The person in the hole would act as an early warning system and would provide firepower in the event the shelter came under attack. Spider holes allow fighters to conceal themselves so they can be used to flank an opposing force moving toward the shelter, or as stated earlier, the holes can be set up as ambush points, or in some cases, can be used as a temporary sniper post. Once you fire from the position however, it is compromised, and you should then seek cover and/or concealment elsewhere.

Dig the spider holes along the perimeter so when occupied personnel can observe 360 degrees around the shelter. The holes have to far enough out from the structure so that when you receive radio signals that an intruder has breached the perimeter those near or in the shelter have time to ready for a possible attack.

Choose the locations carefully because you do not want them flooded during heavy rains, and you do not want to expend time and energy digging through heavy root systems. The holes must be camouflaged, and to test the camouflage have those in the group that are not aware of where the holes were dug attempt to spot them from obvious and not so obvious avenues of approach.

A foxhole is a defensive position, a position to retreat to or a position to take up when the shooting starts. A foxhole is bigger than a traditional spider hole, and is typically dug big enough for two shooters or even more to stand up in and to shoot over the berm. It allows a shooter to stand and shoot while still offering some cover from incoming rounds and protection from shrapnel.

Foxholes located on your property would be firing positions away from the structure, but close enough to get to during a fight. If you fear your shelter might be burned or bombed then you would seek cover in a foxhole.

Military foxholes will have a grenade sump. A grenade sump is a hole or depression slanted into the sides of the hole so grenades and other explosive devices can be kicked in, to help reduce/reflect the blast. Foxholes should also have drainage sumps to keep it from filling with water. A foxhole on your property would be considered a permanent post.

You can build up one side or all sides to create a berm using the soil from the hole, or you can use sandbags to deflect/stop rounds and flying shrapnel.

You can cover and camouflage the holes when not in use to prevent them from being detected by surveillance of the property.

Defending a position is about being ready to defend. Lacking a good defense, your only option would be to escape. You have to make decisions quickly. Size up the opposing force, and decide if you can sustain the fight long enough to defeat said force.

If you had unlimited ammunition, food, water, and personnel that can shoot, then you can of course, sustain the fight. However, this will never be the case, but in most instances those trying to take your shelter or supplies will be unprepared citizens, looters, or opportunist looking to grab something quickly without a fight.

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It is important that in your quest for the so-called big-ticket items that you do not over look the small things. The little things can add up to big problems once disaster strikes.

Things You May Not Be Thinking About Today but You Should Be

1.) Eyeglasses/Contacts

Eyeglasses are important to those that need them today, tomorrow and for the rest of their life. Ask yourself what happens when you cannot drop in at your local optometrist and pick up a new pair. The obvious answer is you have to wear the ones you have.

The point is you need extra pairs, because it is not likely you will be able to get an eye exam during an extended crisis and change prescriptions. This means you will have to wear the same strength you have been wearing whether it is a strong enough prescription or not. Even if they are not strong enough, what is your alternative during a crisis?

It is recommended that you have more than one pair of the same prescription and that you save older glasses for emergencies even if they are a different prescription. Make sure you have backup contacts and plenty of cleaning/storage solution along with storage cases.

2.) Reading Glasses

You may not need them today but nearly everyone over the age of 40 or even earlier in some cases needs them. You will need them regardless of your distance vision. Even if you wear prescription glasses, you may need bi-focal lenses. If you wear contacts, you may very well need reading glasses over the age of forty or even before that age.

Remember that during a crisis you will be operating in less than ideal lighting conditions. You will need to read instructions or do close up detailed work using candle light or illumination other than electrical lights. Make sure reading glasses are always available if you know you need them or you are near the age of 40.

3.) Hearing Aids/Devices

If you need them today then you will need them during a crisis. Some hearing aids have rechargeable batteries, but if there is a power outage then you will have to use regular batteries. Ensure the device you have allows you to remove the rechargeable battery pack and replace it with standard batteries.

4.) Shoelaces

You may think this is not a problem until you are without any. Some survivor shows routinely show the experts removing their shoelaces to use as cordage. They use the laces for fire bows and drills and for snares, for example, and then they show the experts hobbling along using shoes that are falling off, or do they show this?

You never actually see the experts trying to contend with shoes that are falling off or rubbing your heels to the point they cause blisters. This is what happens when your shoes are not secured to your feet.

Take some 550-Para cord then and make some shoelaces, great idea right? Well you have to cut the cord and then burn and trim the ends so it fits through the eyelets and it usually does not because it is typically too thick. Then you have to unravel a few strands and do the burning of the ends all over again. You are wasting good cordage when all you have to do is make sure you have extra shoelaces.

5.) Needle, Thread and Extra Buttons and Some Basic Sewing Skills

You suddenly lose a button on a shirt or even your pants or there is a small tear at a seam, so what do you do? Some may stuff the now less than perfect item in drawer with the intentions of getting to it someday. However, what usually happens is that the item is replaced.

During a catastrophe, you cannot run to the store to replace an item, it must be repaired. If you lose a button, you need to have extras on hand to replace it. In a crisis, clothing becomes a valuable commodity and it must be in good repair.

You need to have the basic skills to replace buttons, hem up pants or “take in” clothing and be able to patch a rip or stitch up a loose seam before it unravels completely.

The List Is By No Means Comprehensive

The list of the small things is endless but with a bit of luck what has been listed will get you thinking about other items that you may not think are important now but will be during a crisis.

Some Perspective 

Consider Adapting the Following Proverb as Your Prepper Doctrine

“For Want of a Nail” is a proverbial rhyme showing that small actions can result in large consequences. (By most accounts, the proverb first appeared as a reference to the death of Richard III of England at the Battle of Bosworth Field).

“For want of a nail, the shoe is lost, for want of a shoe, the horse is lost, and for want of a horse, the rider is lost”. (1640 George Herbert Outlandish Proverbs no. 499)

The ripple effects can be profound when it comes to prepping, because one mishap, one that could have been prevented, can cause serious problems. You can have the best and most expensive weapon there is and all the ammunition you can carry but if your rifle snaps a firing pin, all is for naught unless you are prepared.

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