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You’d never know, running into any of us, that we are prepared to handle all sorts of crazy situations. When they aren’t pushing the kooky extremist stuff or warning of a dangerous survivalist-run-amok, the mainstream media likes to poke fun at preppers.
Civil unrest: You need look no further than Ferguson, Missouri to get a glimpse of the kind of havoc civil unrest can wreak on a community. Financial problems:  This is a different kind of disaster, but one many of us can relate to, given the current state of the economy. Preparedness means you’ve taken responsibility for your family no matter what situation arises.
Someone who can prepare for and accept reality is much more easily able to adapt to a fluid situation. Although we have the mainstream reputation of being immersed in gloom and doom all the time, there is nothing more optimistic than preparedness. If the songs that make you think of your significant other are sad, with reference to breaking up and getting back together, unsatisfied yearnings, arguments, frustration, anger, and broken hearts, you just might be doing the whole “love” thing wrong.
If you want to be able to peacefully meet challenges and provide for your family without panic, prepping is where it’s at. Maybe the recent news headlines have brought you here, or perhaps a friend who cares about you emailed you a link to this article.
If you never buy a single canned good or bag of pasta for long term food storage, please store water.
A full month’s supply of drinking water for a family of 4 is approximately $150, give or take a little, depending on the prices in your area.
Once you have water stored, consider adding filtration devices, secondary water sources, and water harvesting to your preparedness endeavors.
Keep in mind when building your emergency food supply that you might not have electricity during some disasters.
A great starting point for someone who is just getting started on a preparedness journey is prepping specifically for a two-week power outage.
It’s an unfortunate fact that disaster situations bring out the worst in many people. The best way to win a fight is to avoid getting into that fight in the first place. Secure your home and lay low, but be prepared if trouble comes to visit. Don’t answer the door.  Many home invasions start with an innocent-seeming knock at the door to gain access to your house. Be armed and know how to use your weapon of choice.  When the door of your home is breached, you can be pretty sure the people coming in are not there to make friendly conversation over a nice cup of tea. Plan an escape route.  If the odds are against you, devise a way to get your family to safety. A common cause of illness, and even death, during a down-grid situation is lack of sanitation. If you are on a septic system, with no risk of the toilet backing up into the house, simply store some water for flushing in the bathroom.
If this is not an option, another solution is to stock up on extremely heavy duty garbage bags (like the kind that contractors use at construction sites) and kitty litter. If your power outage takes place in the winter and you live in a colder climate, heat is another necessity.
It’s important to have a basic first aid kit on hand at all times, but particularly in the event of an emergency.
In light of the current panic over Ebola, pandemic preparedness may be the very reason you’re reading this article and considering taking the leap.
Please feel free to share any information from this site in part or in full, leaving all links intact, giving credit to the author and including a link to this website and the following bio. Daisy Luther is a single mom who lives in a small village in the mountains of Northern California, where she homeschools her youngest daughter and raises veggies, chickens, and a motley assortment of dogs and cats. Daisy is a prolific blogger who has been widely republished throughout alternative media. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health, self-reliance, personal liberty, and preparedness. Solo Scientific contacted me and asked if I could do a review on one of their 2SA firestarters.
About a quarter way down from the keyring end is a rubber o-ring where the two pieces unscrew. What this means is that not only is it a better flintish kind of starter as far as its effectiveness, since the magnesium is built into the rod, you don’t have to take up room in your bag for a magnesium block.
You need to have some kind of firestarting ability in your bugout plan, and with everything else, you need to have not only backups but backups that will work when your situation is such that your primary system won’t. What I wish this thing really had is a spikey end like my Surefire Defender flashlight does so it could double as a personal defense weapon without taking away any firestarting effectiveness, or at least something to justify its larger size.
My goal is to help families to understand how to intelligently protect their family and their way of life against real threats, without all the end-of-the-world doomsday crap. Former Counterintelligence Special Agent, US Army Chief Warrant Officer, and Combat Veteran. 99 freakin’ awesome ideas for your bug out bagLots of articles tell you the basics of what you need in your bug out bag. How to communicate when the world goes silentSo if cell phones stopped working, how would you communicate? What you need in your bug out bag – a comprehensive lookA bug out bag is critical but what do you put in it? My personal go bag contentsThere are a lot of different things you can put on your bug out bag list and there’s not really one list of contents that you should follow. Everyday carry (EDC) gear – what I carrySo what do you really need to carry every day? If you would like to include a short snapshot of my article (the preview paragraph) by way of RSS feed with a link to the rest of the article, please feel free to do so, and I thank you if you do. The same arguments that you have made could translate to most AR platforms when comparing them to any of these takedowns and the defensive limitations of the .22LR.
The mini 30 is a nice platform, but given the choice I’d rather have the mini 14 because of the ability to shoot the same ammo than an AR15 fires. I am not a fan of the .223 either but you are entering the realm of personal preference here.
In the end, it all boils down to what you need, what you are comfortable with, your budget, and a whole host of other factors that are unique to you. The Henry is a good SHTF rifle just from the stand point of portability… the Ruger is more accurate but heavier and larger.
For someone new to being a Survivalist building your first Bug Out Bag can seem like a big task. A Bug Out Bag, (also called a BOB, Get Out of Dodge Bag, GOOD, or 72 Hour Bag) is usually designed to get you out of an emergency situation and allow you to survive self-contained for up to 3 days.
To expand your capability or survive longer than a couple of days you will need a water purification system.
Obviously you will need a longer term food solution in any type of wide area catastrophe, but for your basic Bug Out Bag backpack meals are a good set up.
Your Bug Out Bag clothes should be similar to what you would pack for a weekend backpacking trip. This list could go on for a while and many people would never dream of leaving their Bug Out Bag without twice that much, but in a pinch that set up could get you by for 3 days.
If you are going to survive for 3 days you are going to need protection from the elements and a warm dry place to sleep. Trying to cover everything you need in your Bug Out Bag First Aid Kit is another article entirely to itself, probably several more.
What I will do is recommend that you build your own First Aid Kit instead of buying one of those prepackaged first aid kits that claim to have 1001 things to get you through any emergency. Plus, building your own first aid kit gives you an intimate knowledge of what it contains and how to use it. Basic Gear sounds repetitive (what have I been talking about?) but it is my category for the things you absolutely cannot live without but don’t really fit well into another category. Survival Knife – The most used and most versatile tool in your Bug Out Bag is your survival knife. The fact of the matter is you are might be dealing with a “Without Rule of Law” situation, or close to it, and people are likely to do crazy things. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. In another video this same guy went on to explain and demonstrate his own personal Ham Radio setup complete with a really nice antenna that was suspended from trees and hidden from view with additional comments about how he would not get his Ham license because he didn’t need to be on any government lists and if TSHTF, the first place they would go would be the Ham operators and take them offline. This got me to thinking a while back and I really debated whether or not I should be like this guy and be a conscientious objector to the whole notion of licensing and just be a rebel with my antenna hanging in a tree. Ham Radio operators can still communicate if there is no electric power, satellites or cellular service. Ham or Amateur radios fall under the control of the FCC and there is a licensing process associated with being able to communicate on the radio. Like my friend above, I had some initial concerns regarding licensing because like any good Prepper, I am concerned with OPSEC. Like I mentioned above, Ham radio is probably the single best – disaster proof communication method the average person can use. It turns out that two things influenced my decision on whether or not to be a law abiding citizen.
The second and more important factor that influenced my decision was the learning curve that is associated with Ham Radio. So with all that said, I went and took the exam for my Technician level license and passed. I will add some Ham links to the site on our Resources page and will post from time to time on this subject as I learn more. I would think operating for the shortest amount of time at a mobile location via spread spectrum would be optimal. As Sparky says it will fairly easy to locate any rogue transmissions and jam as they please.
I agree with you that if we have a complete collapse, a license will be the least of your worries. I love pathetic immature childish HAM shills, the FCC does not and doesn’t care, no one finds anymore because no one cares because they know the FCC will do nothing, just look at most repeaters out there all over america.
As someone who is just beginning the process of looking into Ham Radio (I will be going the licensed route for this discussion), I was wondering about your comment about the power being down.


For a base station that has its own power supply, the battery backup will work too, but could draw more power at higher wattage. I am still trying to build my system so I hope to write about the process and what I learn as I go.
Where you going to learn this tech when the internet is down and local library is being looted? Plus, if you’re worried about opsec so much, you need to immediately quit using the internet on any computer or phone you own or have regular access to. I understand your belief that the license is a limit, and that’s true during non-SHTF, but during emergencies, ANYONE, ham or not, can operate on any ham band, at any power with any mode.
If nothing else, realize you are far more likely to endure localized natural disasters like floods, tornadoes, ice storms and blizzards than any SHTF scenario. Hope you took no offense to any of this, just my opinion and point of view from where I stand. If you’re using this level of PerSec, isn’t your car registered under the name of the trust that owns it?
In Europe many preppers are starting to use PMR 446 band radios imported from China to set up a Non Ham comms system for preppers, its looking also very likely we will soon have access to 12 watt SSB CB frequencies unlicenced like the rest of Europe. I find the scenarios of the government looking up addresses of Ham Radio operators so as to confiscate their equipment pretty far fetched among the probabilities, but everybody has their own imaginings.
They prep not only for themselves, but for their daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren. I’m a single mom, with one daughter away at college on an academic scholarship and another daughter in high school.
What would you do if the primary breadwinner in your family suffered a job loss or a serious illness that made them unable to work? Just this year, three communities have suddenly had water crises that left shelves cleared.
I recommend the refillable 5 gallon water jugs for thisAs well, fill empty containers with tap water that can be safely used for pets, for flushing, and for cleaning and hygiene purposes.
Because of this, even if you stay safely at home, you could be called upon to defend your property or family. There’s no need for people walking past to be able to see what you have or to do reconnaissance on how many people are present.
Sometimes criminals use an animal in distress to get a homeowner to open the door for them.
If the worst happens and your home is breached, you need to have a room into which family members can escape. Remember that sometimes power supplies are lost during a variety of situations, so keep the potential for a down-grid situation in mind when preparing. All I need is an email address, and a link to the newest articles will come right to your inbox.
The ideas expressed on this site are solely the opinions of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions of sponsors or firms affiliated with the author(s). You just gather your tinder etc into a pile, unscrew the top of the firestarter, and scrape the striker on the rod down the shaft, pointing the sparks toward whatever you’re trying to catch on fire. Unlike the other fire starter I have in my bugout bag, you don’t scrape off magnesium first and then strike the rod because the magnesium is in the spark itself coming off the rod. That, and due to the fact the rod can be used as a field-expedient knife sharpener, you can work this into your bugout system and cut down on some weight.
There’s a gap in the shaft of the body where the rod fits in that increases the overall diameter that could probably make it smaller. They’re only a few bucks and about the size and weight of a piece of paper so they fit easily into any backpack.
Scrape a pile of magnesium and then send a spark to it and you get a brilliant 4000 deg F or so fire that will start most anything. I grew up in the woods and spent a lifetime in various environments from deserts to jungles to politically-sensitive urban environments, and I'm here to tell you what I know. When considering disaster preparedness, keep in mind that what survival gear and emergency supplies you add to your bug out bag and then pack for your survival kit can mean the difference between life and death, or at least affect your level of comfort if SHTF and you had to get outta dodge.
Each item in your kit will depend on your skill set and what you’re trying to prepare for.
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It does have a folding stock , one thing that I do is put it in a fishing rod tube , people see that and dont freak out ( or snitch ) made sure it has a big Zebco emblem on it as well as other fishing stickers . The British have been trying to get us to switch to the 8mm , which is a far superior round for years . When your talking about walking away OR back home, weight x distance x whatever your comfortable shooting x will it feed me? Everybody you read about has been tweaking theirs for months or even years and has a pile of gear built up.
A lot of people plan their Bug Out Bag to sustain them for much longer than that, but there is always a limit to what you can carry on your back and a 3 day target is a good place to start. While some are ok, in my experience these types of kits are usually filled with a lot of stuff you are unlikely to need and not enough of the things you will probably need a lot of.
How many people buy one of those pre-made set ups and just assume they are prepared because there’s so much crap in it there must be what I need? Many survivalists will not like this list because it is not exhaustive by any means, but again I will say: It will be enough to get you by for a couple of days. Also something as simple as a big walking stick or club can be a strong deterrent for bad guys. After a lot of thought and some research I decided to pull the trigger and get my Ham license and I want to explain why and discuss why you might want to do the same. Ham Radio is also known as Amateur Radio and is a network of radio communications that rely on antennas and individual pieces of equipment to communicate using radio waves. That is the primary reason they are the go-to method of communication for preppers as well as emergency response teams in virtually every large city.
In order to speak on the air legally, you must first obtain your Technician level license and a call sign from the FCC. Even if I wasn’t into prepping, I wouldn’t want my name and address posted anywhere that someone could easily access it and part of communicating on Ham Radio is that you are required to give your call sign. I could either get my license and put my name and address out there for everyone to see or I could simply buy the radio equipment and use it illegally. Getting started is pretty simple and once I had a radio, I was listening in on channels fairly quickly, but there is so much you can do that is outside of dialing through some frequencies. Now, as soon as the Government opens back up, and the backlog clears I will have a call sign and my name will start appearing in those databases. I think if you are seriously considering how you could communicate in a grid-down environment, HAM radio deserves a close look.
I haven’t really thought about Ham as barter though, but that does make perfect sense. Unless I am mistaken, the two most common models only have UHF and VHF bands and those are covered under the FCC guidelines for the amateur service. The FCC routinely runs locator vans around the countyside looking for illegal traffic and the fines can be stiff, just ask some of the businesses that get caught without licenses. I got mine now to practice though so that if anything does happen I’ll already know how to use my equipment and will have made contacts I know and trust. And if you’re a licensed ham you will have the skills and equipment to help your friends, neighbors and community. These 2 m 70cm 5 watt hand sets from the likes of Baofeng and THT have been a boon for us over the other side of the pond, especially as those same sets also have the PMR 446 bands installed as standard.
They are a pain to program manually, but with Chirp its a breeze and I just copy the configuration to all my units in a second. Most of us hopefully will never have to worry about the 1% chance that our most ominous thoughts present, but you never know. But most of the time, you’d never realize someone was a prepper unless they came right out and told you.
Earthquakes can cause structural damage, close down roads, cause power outages, and taint both municipal and well water supplies. They can use these supplies to control you by requiring certain actions from you before you are allowed to have your rations doled out. Shouldn’t thoughts of that special someone make you more prone to goofy smiles and a warm glow than to melancholy longing or the urge to gleefully burn all of their belongings in a great pile in the front yard? Focus on nutrient-dense foods for good health and energy no matter what’s going on in the world around you. Fortunately, it’s one of the easiest things to plan for, as well as one of the least expensive.
While there ARE some curmudgeonly folks out there, most are delighted to answer questions and help you on your way.
The author may or may not have a financial interest in any company or advertiser referenced. I like to keep either lint or cotton balls coated with vaseline with my EDC (Every Day Carry kit).
The striker grabs a nice big chunk of metal for the spark and the magnesium in it keeps burning for several seconds after it starts, giving it a few extra seconds to bounce around until it sits next to something to ignite before it burns out. Starting a fire with a spark in a real SHTF or survival situation isn’t as easy as it is at home but this particular one works better than others.
Sure, I could have just checked to see if the battery it it was good or cleaned off the grease so it conducts its spark better, but where’s the fun in that? Even without it, I’m still carrying it every day but I may replace it with something else due to its size.
Here’s what Graywolf from Graywolf Survival carries and why, as well as some suggestions on how to plan your EDC kit. It’s hard to know where to start, but if you cover all of the basics in a survival situation you will still be much better off that 99% of the people. In this video he proceeded to show how you could look up any Ham radio license holders address from several different websites. Ham Radio has many strengths but chief among them for Preppers is its ability to be counted on in a disaster.


With the right equipment, Ham operators can talk to people in other countries using technology that was around in the early 1900s. Your name and information will be listed in at least one public database and this information is freely accessible to anyone who wants to look.
Anyone you are talking to, or anyone simply listening in can look up your call sign and see where you are from. The thought process for some people is that if TSHTF, nobody is going to care if you have a license so the latter option is one I considered just like the YouTube guy above. To get around that, I simply purchased a PO Box in a nearby town and used that for my FCC information. To fully take advantage of Ham Radio, I would need to practice and you can’t do that illegally, well without risk that is. I am looking forward to finally being able to talk on the radio, but more importantly learning about the different frequencies and antennas I can use to communicate to others should our normal method of communications go down. You can listen in on those radios all you want, but if you want to talk on them, you need to legally have a license. They simply allow you to talk without to another person without hearing someone else on the channel. Having a license, you learn where repeaters are in your area, how far you can transmit, you gain friends in the radio community who can help you out in an emergency, you learn the best times of days to broadcast, etc.
Optimally, I will have two 100w solar panels hooked to an inverter to run double duty charging my battery during the day or if my radios are charged, running small appliances (lights, recharging AA and AAA batteries, laptops) etc.
You need an inverter to convert the DC in the batteries to AC for the radio battery charger. Part of being a prepper is being prepared, hard to be prepared if there is nothing available to prepare with…especially at a time when you need it most. Limits are necessary during non-SHTF to maintain some order and usefulness on the ham bands. I remember a massive ice storm in Kentucky some years back that took out the vast majority of power in one area (Lexington I think?). I already have three and plan on getting 2 or 3 more the next time I get some milk money saved up.
These are NOT outrageous Armageddon-style situations, but things that can happen to any of us. You can’t control the weather or the economy or the actions of an irresponsible industry, but you can be prepared to take care of your family. There should be communications devices in the room so that the person can call for help, as well as a reliable weapon to be used in the event that the safe room is breached. Any action taken as a result of information, analysis, or advertisement on this site is ultimately the responsibility of the reader. Due to the obvious marketing-speak bullshit of the exclamation points and ALL CAPS of some of the email, I wasn’t expecting much. Just a friendly hint, if you have dogs or a girlfriend who sheds, you might not like the smell of burning hair from using lint. Due to the knurled body, I just slide it in my pocket and let my keys hang outside so they’re easy to reach.
It was a lot more satisfying to just reach into my pocket and kick off a spark to ignite the fire.
This is because each strike only shaves away a very small amount of magnesium and you cannot accumulate enough of it fast enough to get an intense fire.
Plus , you and I both know that most people will get stuck in an urban area no matter how much they say they are a rural.
He did this in response to someone who left very incendiary comments on his blog if memory serves and used this as a lesson in both OPSEC and how it’s bad for the government to have your name on any lists.
If some disaster knocks out the cell phone service, emergency communications can be routed through Amateur Radio and you can keep in touch with others in your family, group, region or state pretty easily. For that reason alone, you should take great care in choosing what you talk about or divulge when you are talking on the Ham bands. Technically you can get on the radio and start talking without a call sign or you could lie, but just because radio waves are invisible, that doesn’t mean you can’t be found. I think of this as a decent trade-off for being able to communicate legally over the radio and besides, it isn’t like my name isn’t in several databases already. In addition, the radio has a removable antenna, which is also banned for FRS and I believe MURS. An example that comes to mind was a lady who placed a heating pad in her dog’s house to keep it warm during a cold snap and they detected some interference to one of their dishes from it. You’ll have to learn the stuff from wherever, and you may only have minutes to do it in. In a true major SHTF situation, the repeaters they rely on for any real distance will be inoperable pretty quickly (through loss of power, lack of maintenance, commandeered by the gov, theft, etc). The hams provided comm for the power companies, relief orgs and some gov agencies for at least a week or two.
But they also go out to the movies, shop at department stores, and let their children go to sleepovers at other kids’ houses.
Nearly everyone has experienced one or more of these scenarios, and in each of them, some basic preparedness supplies would have made their lives much easier.
Another chemical spill dumped arsenic into the water in North Carolina.  After Superstorm Sandy, millions of gallons of raw sewage contaminated the water supply. If you have a stockpile of food, health and beauty supplies, and other basic needs on hand, your limited money can be directed towards keeping a roof over your head instead of meeting your basic day-to-day needs. The family members should be instructed not to come out of that room FOR ANY REASON until you give them the all clear or help has arrived.
After a quick inventory and re-organization, you may be pleasantly surprised at how many supplies you actually have on hand. To be fair, the size does make it easier to work with so if you have the room, it’s actually better. For a primary starter, in a lot of cases, a simple 99cent throwaway lighter works perfectly. However, with the two part systems such as Doans, you form whatever size pile of magnesium you need and you get a VERY HOT AND INTENSE fire, something not possible with this system. The ubiquitous walkie-talkies that everyone has are affective at limited ranges, but what about longer distances?
There is the GMRS, which has a much higher power limit, but this requires a special GMRS license, which costs like 90 bucks, as a licensed ham, even i’m not allowed to use the GMRS frequencies without paying the 90 bucks (which is crazy I know, they should do away with the crazy fee). Nobody will be looking up your location on the internet during a major SHTF anyways, because it will be down completely, blocked by the gov, etc. The only anonymous internet usage is via public computers without any video surveillance near them (good luck finding that), or by the most elite of the elite users.
There are always scenarios that will require you look out for you and yours first (and maybe only), but the scenarios where we’ll have to come together are far more numerous and likely. For fun, we like to read and hike, and this year at Christmas, we’re having a Mexican fiesta instead of a turkey. We can’t control whether or not disasters happen, but we can control our response to them. If they sent you to your room and took away your privileges, you didn’t have much recourse. If you want something REALLY cool, this solder torch adapter for disposable lighters makes an awesome flame using just one of those throwaway lighters. If you are talking on the radio and shouldn’t be, someone can report you, they will find you and the fines from the FCC are steep. As for MURS, like the above radios, Baofeng isn’t certified to use on the above frequencies. If they can locate something as common as this you will have little chance to get away with RF transmissions. The only way to be sure you understand and are able to use that equipment is to be licensed and use it on at least a semi-regular basis. I know the wild-west of it can be a bit fun, but the government actually WANTS lots of hams for emergency comms, so they want the ham bands to stay orderly so plenty of people want to use them and be involved.
Sometimes your area is battered for days, making it unsafe to do anything but ride it out at home. If they replaced a lost or damaged item with one you didn’t actually want or like, well, you were totally at the mercy of their decision.
Plus, having the magnesium built into the rod and it being able to double as an emergency knife sharpener make up for its larger size. If you have a psychopath running around trying to find you, chances are there are much easier ways of getting to your house.
If they want to find me they already know where I am and just because I have a radio now, that won’t be much more motivation to come get me I don’t believe. The reason they are okay for ham is because, hams are able to use any radio (even a home built one) on ham frequencies, but these frequencies only (except for live saving emergencies, which anybody can use any channel if needed.).
By the way, I’m a prepper and just went ahead and got a license a couple of years ago anyway.
Also keep in mind, about the only people who even know about the FCC database, are ham operators, most of which, appear to be pretty good people. Hardcore preppers are always talking about using and knowing your equipment ahead of time — why should this equipment be any different?
If they were busy and delayed resolving your problem until they had time, you had no option but to abide by their schedule, waiting until they decided (and if they decided) to help. I would think that if you want the best of both worlds , than a .22 anything is not what you need , although it is better than just a knife .
It’s like having a map and compass in your BOB, but never even trying to use it before you need it. They will NOT assume every licensed ham has a bunker full for food, guns and antibiotics, then hunt them down.
In my experience, most hams are old, pudgy white guys whose preps amount to some extra cheetos and tomato soup in the pantry.



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