The Four Most Common Survival Mistakes

When society crumbles, none of us can say what the ensuing chaos will look like. Because of this uncertainty, you have to take any advice with a grain of salt. What seems like good common sense when the lights are on could turn out to be pure foolishness in a crisis.

That said, we can only prepare using the knowledge we have. You could prepare for the next thousand years and never think of all the contingencies. But there are some common mistakes people make that can be pointed out despite the unknowns. If you or someone you know is guilty of making them, try to correct course before it’s too late.

Style Over Substance
For some survivalists, this is just a hobby. They don’t really expect to be around for the end of the world. They don’t expect to wake up one day and confront a world that has changed dramatically. Prepping for them is just another way to pass the time. That’s absolutely fine.

Unfortunately, there are others who really do want to be prepared for the worst. And they wind up taking advice from the ones who are just whiling away the hours. That can lead to putting style over substance, wasting money on equipment, food, and skills that will not be useful in a real survival situation. If you just want to “play” survivalist, that’s not a problem. If you really want to protect yourself and your family in a desperate scenario, though, be careful about your priorities.

You’ve got your garage packed with enough food to last you and your family until the sun goes dark. You’ve got every knife ever manufactured. You’ve set up a water retention system that ensures you’ll never go thirsty. But if you don’t have a plan to go along with all of those supplies, you’re making a big mistake. The biggest part of prepping is planning. Run through several different scenarios, make a detailed plan for each one, and don’t leave the brainstorming for the last minute.

Insufficient Healthcare Supply
The little first aid kit in your medicine cabinet is better than nothing, but it in no way constitutes the extent of your healthcare needs. Remember, in a worst-case-scenario, you may have no access to a doctor. No access to a drugstore. And you have no idea how long that situation will last. Make sure your first-aid supplies are extensive. This is one area of preparation where there is no such thing as “too much.”

This is probably the most common mistake preppers make. They get into the hobby for a year or so, build up a respectable survival kit, and then promptly forget about it. You don’t want to have spent all this money and time coming up with a storeroom only to find that decay has set in when you really need it. Check your supplies regularly, rotate out old stock, and take care of your weapons and tools. No matter what form disaster takes, you’ll be glad you did.

Rubbing Alcohol: 5 Ways to Use This Amazing Solution

Sterilization is one of those concepts we take for granted in modern society. But we are only one destructive storm away from losing access to 2015’s medical miracles. For that reason alone, rubbing alcohol should be part of your survival inventory. But the uses for this amazing solution go well beyond simple sterilization. Here are five fantastic ways you can use rubbing alcohol.

Pain Relief
Rubbing alcohol earns its name when you use it to relieve sore muscles and joints. If you don’t have a supply of Ben-Gay in your storage closet, turn to rubbing alcohol instead.

Pinch the Tick
Depending on where you have to wait out the apocalypse, insects and other crawling critters could make your life miserable. Rubbing alcohol isn’t a great pesticide, but it does come in handy if you need to get a tick off your skin. Douse the tick in the solution and remove the offending leech with tweezers.

Pest Control
Wait, did we say rubbing alcohol made a poor pesticide? That’s true for the most part, but it does give you a line of defense against fruit flies, mites, and bed bugs. Spray down your bedding/kitchen/bathroom with the alcohol, and it should go a long way towards eliminating these persistent pests.

Rubbing alcohol really shines when you use it as a cleaner. Not only does it do a fine job of clearing away germs, it makes an excellent degreaser. Alcohol can cut through grease caked on your sensitive equipment, and it can get it off your skin like nobody’s business.

Fuel for Flame
Because of the danger involved, you don’t want to make a habit of putting flame to alcohol. But if you’re in a survival situation where you either have to make a fire or die of hunger/exposure, rubbing alcohol makes for an indispensable help. You’ll still need to create a spark, but the alcohol should make it much easier to get a healthy flame going.

Rubbing alcohol doesn’t get a lot of press when it comes to survivalism/prepping, and that’s a shame. It may not be the ultimate staple, but its many uses should not be overlooked. Its ability to sanitize should make it an essential tool, even if you disregard its other uses. It’s cheap, it keeps for a long time, and you can find plenty of uses for it in your everyday life. Next time you go shopping for survival supplies, throw a bottle in your cart.

Dental Floss Can Save More Than Your Gums

Most of us have been told to floss regularly since our first trips to the dentist. But for survivalists, dental floss isn’t just a tool to round out your oral hygiene. This tiny, versatile tool has a host of surprising applications, a comprehensive list of which would likely be endless. You don’t need to know every single application, though, to realize how important dental floss is to your supply store. Here are just a few.

A Makeshift Alarm System
Alarm systems can help guard your home against intruders, but ADT probably isn’t going to be online when the you-know-what hits the fan. Dental floss can serve as a substitute. By tying some noisy metal cans to a long string of floss, you can create a strong perimeter that will provide you with plenty of warning if someone approaches.

Protection is a necessary component of prepping. None of us know what the world will look like after a crisis, but it’s naive to think humans will come together in peace and harmony. As they say, hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Dental floss, in this instance, can be utilized as a tool of restraint. As light as it is, this material is extraordinarily strong. Wrap enough of it around an enemy’s wrists and he’ll be secured.

Dental floss is strong, but it may not be strong enough for every purpose. However, if you can braid several threads of it together, you can make rope that is much stronger. Naturally, you’re better off keeping a dedicated supply of rope instead, but floss makes a decent substitute if you’re caught without the good stuff.

A good prepper closet should already have a wide array of cutting implements, but you never know when you might come up short. If you find yourself in the unenviable position of needing a knife and having only dental floss, you aren’t as bad off as you think. Wrap a length of floss around fruit or meat, yank it tight, and it should slice through almost as easily as a sharp knife.

Make Stuff
Dental floss is a handy tool to have when you need to make larger tools. With floss, you can make a variety of things that cover a diverse array of situations. Among the possibilities:

– Use floss to tie a knife to a stick for a hunting spear.

– Use the floss as fishing line by tying a hook to the end of the string.

– Use the floss to make a replacement string for your bow.

This only scratches the surface, but dental floss is worth having around even if none of the possibilities appeal to you. A dentist, after all, may not be available if things go awry. A tooth infection isn’t just painful; without treatment, it can actually be deadly. Flossing is important in modern society, but it may be doubly so in a survival scenario. Take care of your teeth, take care of your health, and live longer in extreme circumstances.

5 Basic Foods to Start Your Prepper Pantry

When crisis strikes, it doesn’t take long for the supermarket shelves to empty. If you’ve ever lived through a hurricane, you know how the local grocery store looks in the days leading up to the storm. Once the forecasters sound the alarm, the entire population turns into one big survivalist army. That’s why it’s so important for full-time preppers to stock the shelves before the rest of the public catches up to the danger.

Obviously, you have to be careful when outfitting your pantry. Look for staple foods that are calorically dense, inexpensive, and are able to stay good for a long time. By focusing on these three criteria, you can slowly build a storeroom you can turn to when darkness approaches. Here are the best five foods to start your disaster-proof nutrition nook.

Beans are power-packed with nutrition, and they can retain their flavor for up to a decade if stored properly. They are among the easiest foods to prepare with limited resources and they are cheap. This conspires to make them one of the top foods for any burgeoning survivalist. Buy them liberally whenever you go to the grocery store, rotating them into your everyday diet on a regular basis.

What would beans be without rice to go along with them? Rice has a similar shelf life of up to ten years, and it is practically pure carbohydrate. With a steady supply of just rice and beans, you’ll have met your basic nutritional needs. That’s not to say that this represents a balanced diet, but beggars can’t be choosers. If crisis strikes and you only have two foods in your pantry, you could do a lot worse.

Flour is extremely handy, and it has a long shelf life. Any all-purpose flour will do, but cornmeal comes with oils that help extend its lifespan. What really recommends cornmeal, though, is its versatility. Even without a steady power supply, you can make a variety of meals from cornmeal with little more than a skillet. Other flours may require oil and yeast to make something worth eating. Under optimum storage conditions, your cornmeal should last 1-2 years.

Survivalists have a tendency to forget about the importance of seasonings when stocking their pantry. And while you can argue that what your food tastes like is a lot less important than how nutritious it is, a long spell of self-sustaining solitude may be easier to cope with if you have a little flavor. Even if you aren’t convinced, salt is a powerful prepper item. Its use as a preservative alone makes it worth the purchase.

Canned Meat
Beans pack a wallop of protein, but there’s no substitute for meat. Look for meats like chicken, ham, and tuna that are stored in the can. They will keep for at least five years, and some of them may be good for up to a decade.

4 Survival Skills Your Kids Should Know

As a responsible parent, you teach your children everything they need to know about getting along in modern society. You teach them your morals, your beliefs, you help them with their homework, and you guide them in their decisions.

If you were living in poorer circumstances (or earlier ones), you would also teach them how to survive without the comforts of technology. Those basic skills have largely fallen by the wayside, unfortunately, because there’s so little need for them in today’s world. But if things go bad and you’re not around, they’ll need to know how to cope without assistance. Here are four essential things to pass along.

Living off the Land
Any number of terrible scenarios could remove us from the luxury of the local supermarket. If such a case should arise, your kids need to know how they can live off the bounty that surrounds them. Teach your children the difference between edible plants and poisonous ones. Teach them how to hunt, fish, and find the edible animals that live in your area. Not only will these lessons prepare your child for the worst, they can serve as bonding opportunities that are often scarce in today’s “gotta check Facebook again” society.

How to Make a Fire
Historians say few discoveries pushed man forward into world domination more quickly than harnessing the power of fire. We don’t have as much use for fire today as we used to, but it will be an essential element in a world without electricity. Teach your kids how to make, respect, and use a fire with as few tools as possible. Teach them how to cook using an open fire as well. Fair warning, though: they may not want to go back to kitchen-prepared meals after this.

How to Find Water
Is there anything we take for granted like running water? The elemental building block of life, water is so ubiquitous and plentiful in America that we rarely give it a second thought. But if everything about modern life changed tomorrow, getting water would be a lot more important than getting the computers back up. Teach your kids how to find water in your area, how to determine whether or not it’s safe to drink, and how to filter and boil it properly.

How to Administer First Aid
Unlike the above three skills, it’s important to teach your kids how to administer first aid regardless of whether you are prepping for a worst-case-scenario. Until science gives us teleportation, paramedics will always be constrained by time. In that time, people can die from a variety of injuries and ailments if not treated immediately. Teach your kids how to stop bleeding, save someone from choking, and how to administer CPR. Sign up for classes if you’re not sure yourself.

5 Common and Essential Survival Tools

Some of the best survival tools you can own share one thing in common: you probably already have them around the house. The modern household is filled with things that can serve a dual purpose in an emergency. Before you go out and stock up on tools you think you might need if the world heads into oblivion, look around at what you already have. You might not have everything you need, but you may have more than you think.

Duct Tape
Whether you’re a dedicated prepper or not, you should have a few rolls of duct tape lying around the house. If not, make getting some a priority. Even with all of our technological discoveries, duct tape remains relevant, useful, and versatile. You could fill a book with uses for this strong tape and still have possibilities left over. In a survival situation, it can be used to keep moisture out of your food storage containers, bandage wounds in a pinch, patch clothes and leaks, and even fashion weapons.

No self-respecting prepper would be without a flashlight, but they aren’t the household item they used to be. Since smartphones arrived on the scene with built-in (decidedly poor) flashlights, many Americans fail to see the use for a dedicated flashlight. Obviously, your smartphone may not be working after certain kinds of emergencies, so make sure you have a real flashlight (or five) around. Stock up on batteries, too.

WD-40 is much like duct tape in that it can be used for a variety of purposes unrelated to its primary function. But that function alone – rust inhibition and removal – could serve you well in an emergency situation. Additionally, this versatile liquid can be used to clean, keep pests out, lubricate tight fittings, and prevent corrosion from building up on your tools. It’s a handy thing to have around and a good tool for the inventory.

Aluminum Foil
Most people find plenty of use for aluminum foil in their everyday cooking scenarios, but you’ll want to add a roll or two to your survival pantry as well. With it, you can make a crude antenna, shape it into a pot for cooking and water collection, protect your stored food, and insulate your windows against heat or cold.

A Map
The ubiquity of the map is like that of the flashlight, except the map may be even further along the road to obsolescence. With GPS systems, Google, and other electronic methods of finding a destination, maps are nearly as old-fashioned as rotary telephones. But if an emergency situation decimates GPS and internet, you’ll need an old-fashioned paper map to find your way around.

Myth: You Need to Be Rich to Be a Prepper

Perhaps buoyed by reality TV shows that focus on the most extraordinary examples of survivalist prepping, the myth that you need a lot of money to effectively prep for tomorrow is a persistent one. If you’ve let this misconception keep you from starting your own preparations, it’s time to let it go. Nothing, actually, could be further from the truth. While you may not be able to afford the greatest arsenal or a $25,000 bunker, you can absolutely improve your chances of survival in a world of disaster.

Value Knowledge
The people who fare the best in a post-societal world will be those who know how to get things done. And you don’t need a six-figure salary to gather that information. Use your free time to study, learn new skills, and practice what you’ve learned. Even if you have no income at all, you can learn to live off the land. In fact, you may be better prepared to learn these skills than someone living in the lap of luxury.

Live Below Your Means
This is good advice for anyone, but it especially applies to anyone preparing for a future that looks drastically different than today’s world. Learn to forgo the little luxuries that our materialistic world has told us we can’t live without. You don’t always need the newest phone, the latest tablet, or the nicest car. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, look around and start cutting unnecessary expenditures out of your lifestyle.

Buy Secondhand
You don’t need to buy everything from the mall. If you’re working off a budget, find cheaper ways to get what you need. Visit yard sales, troll eBay and Craigslist, and find the valuable items that people are ready to throw away. If you want to get really drastic about it, go dumpster-diving. There are people who make up their entire menu from dumpster food. You don’t have to go to that extreme, but you might be surprised at what perfectly good stuff people throw out.

Practice Self-Sufficiency
Self-sufficiency is an excellent practice for any prepper, whether a millionaire or a welfare recipient. By starting your own garden, getting a couple of farm animals, and finding other ways to live without the help of society, you can get a head start on the rest of the country. You’ll be ready to tackle the hardships ahead, and you’ll save a boatload of money in the meantime.

Become a Do-It-Yourselfer
This is related to self-sufficiency, but it deserves its own spot because it’s so important. You may not be able to find mechanics, carpenters, and plumbers once everything goes down. Learn how to do basic repairs on your own. YouTube is filled with awesome videos that take you step-by-step through almost any scenario you can imagine. From stitching your own clothes to baking your own bread, becoming a DIY guy will help you save money and prepare for the worst.

The Staples: Foods That Stand the Test of Time

Because you can head to the grocery store anytime you like, you probably don’t put a lot of thought into buying foods that will last for weeks or even months. Most Americans shop with the idea that they will be back at the store within a week. But if you’re serious about building a survival storeroom, you’ll need to stock it with foods that won’t go bad in a few days. Thankfully, there are plenty of foods that fit the bill.

Wheat and Corn
Dry corn, hard red wheat, and buckwheat should be part of any serious storage strategy. Hard grains like the three aforementioned ones can not only be used to make an enormous variety of tasty recipes, but they can last for a decade if stored properly. Other ingredients that fit the bill include millet, durum wheat, spelt, and kamut. Most can be found in any reasonably-sized supermarket, but you may have to visit a health food store for others. Of course, you can find just about anything on the internet.

Oat Groats
Want to start living healthier right now? Try adding oat groats to your diet. These cereals are made from hull-less oats, and they provide the kind of fiber that can lower cholesterol and make you feel fuller longer. Of course, they also stay good for up to eight years, making them a perfect part of your prepper pantry. Other good options include quinoa, barley, and rye.

Coconut Oil
You’ll need a decent supply of oil for a number of reasons, and coconut oil is one of the best for any prepper. It has a shelf life of 2-4 years, depending on whether you opt for refined or unrefined, and it comes with plenty of health benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked. Among the proposed benefits are its antiviral, antimicrobial properties, which make it the perfect choice for boosting immunity.

Beans are so useful to the prepper that they should be considered an essential part of any good food storage pantry. Kept free of oxygen, many beans can stay good for up to 10 years. Focus your collection on pinto beans, lima beans, kidney beans, and lentils. Other good choices include garbanzo beans and blackeye peas. Beans are nutritionally dense, cheap, and easy to prepare, so stock up!

Dry pasta can last a long time, though you don’t want to build your entire inventory out of it. It doesn’t provide much in the way of nutrition or protein, making it a poor choice if you’re focusing on getting a good bang for your buck. That said, it is tasty and it will fill you up, so it doesn’t hurt to have some around. Another option is white rice, which has a long shelf life when properly stored.

Odds and Ends
Stock up on flour, cornmeal, canned tuna, peanut butter, canned fruits and vegetables, powdered milk, herbs, coffee, baking soda, honey, salt, sugar, and alcohol for a complete survivalist pantry. Not all of these have the extra-long shelf life of the other staples, but they will last a long time. They’re also good to keep around for short-term emergencies.


5 Ways to Start Prepping Now

The prepper community has grown so large and unwieldy that many would-be participants lose their will before they ever get started. With so many possibilities, so many opinions, and so much information, it’s almost inevitable that a certain amount of overwhelm will set in. If you’re so inundated with options that you don’t know where to start, this list will help you cut through the confusion. Survivalism has many doors, but you can’t explore them all simultaneously. Open one, look around, and move on to the next when you’re ready. Always remember: taking a little action is far better than becoming an inactive expert.

Set a Budget
You don’t have to be wealthy to start prepping. You don’t have to have a reinforced concrete bunker to get started. Tailor your purchases to your own budget. Decide in advance how much you can afford to spend, and look for ideas that fit within that budget. There’s no sense ruining your economic life in preparation for a crash that may or may not happen in the future.

Keep Your Tank Full
A lot of people wait until their car is running on fumes before pulling into the gas station. If you’re going to live with a prepper’s mindset, you should amend that practice. Try to fill up when the needle hits the halfway mark, and your car will be ready to go if an emergency strikes. This is a good lifestyle change to make even if you think the odds of a full-scale apocalyptic scenario are slim.

Learn and Practice
It’s important to learn survival skills that can help you in the event of a collapse. Fishing, hunting, making fire – these outdoor skills will serve you well. But it’s not enough to learn them once and assume mastery. Practice them often, and you won’t be left holding the bag if things go south. Bonus: many of these skills are fun, and they can enhance the quality of your life right now.

Master Your Surroundings
It’s not going to do much good to learn the ins and outs of the Alaskan wilderness if you live in North Florida. Learn your surroundings. Practice identifying the wild edibles that are all around you. Know what kind of wildlife lives in your area. By mastering your environment, you’ll have the expertise you need to survive without modern comforts.

Don’t underestimate how detrimental modern society is to the human body. Sitting at a desk for 8-10 hours a day is bad enough. Eating the kind of processed garbage that passes as food is even worse. Reject the sedentary lifestyle as much as possible. Get in shape. Exercise. There’s no telling what life might be like after the fall of society, but it may very well require you to be in peak physical condition. Prep your body just as you would your home.

Unintentionally Inviting Burglars Into Your Home?

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, burglary rates in the United States have been steadily trending downward, decreasing a remarkable 56 percent from 1994 to 2011. Even so, this leaves us with more than 27 victimizations per 1,000 households, and that means more than 2 million homes each year fall victim to a burglar. Many of these breaches are little more than crimes of opportunity, and experts say that up to a third of household burglaries fall into the category of preventable crime. In other words, people leave their doors wide open for crime to pay them a visit.