Category Archives: Survival Tips

Survival Tips: Morality, Integrity, And Action In A World Gone Awry

I have seen much in the way of anti-heroes. Every day, it seems a new iteration of a world gone sideways is foist upon us (The Walking Dead, Sons Of Anarchy, et al), and of course, we sit with rapt attention because the shows are imaginative, entertaining, and betray a brief glimpse at that darker side of ourselves. The side, of which, we dare not speak in polite company.

In watching shows about the crooked timber of humanity, exhibited during times of open lawlessness, we are able to at least partially exorcise some of our demons. It’s a guilty pleasure, if you will.

As most of you know, I enjoy the study of all things intriguing and like to wrap my brain around the motivations of people and their true nature. Jim22 and I were driving back from Branson, MO and discussing this very topic. I had a question that I have wrestled with for some time:
“How do I reconcile my Christian duty to love my neighbor as I love myself, while also protecting myself and my family and the resources we have accumulated at great cost & sacrifice?” For instance, when a woman shows up in a post-American scenario, with her two malnourished kids in tow, begging for food, what do I do?

More below the fold…



One of the first concerns in a grid-down scenario is whether sick people can get the medicine that keeps them alive. Among those considered first to go will be diabetics who are dependent on injections of insulin to control blood sugar. Insulin must be kept cool to prevent its spoiling. That is not easy without electricity to power refrigeration.

Here is the beginning of a discussion of insulin manufacture.

The site also has some pretty important discussions in its archives of other forms of medical care during trying times.

Grid down production of insulin is essentially a review of the history of insulin production.

Read an excellent but non-technical summary here, it will give you the background for the following.

No, really, go read it. It’s not technical, it’s an easy read, and following the step-by-step nature of the progress they made is important. While you are at it, chew on a bit of true history and read the 1923 Nobel Prize acceptance speech by one of the co-discoverers of insulin, Frederick Banting, here.”

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“What To Do If You Are Shot”

I am reading and printing this article to save.

shooting victim

So, what to do if you are shot? Well, if you are aware that you are shot, that’s a plus. Statistically, most gunshot wounds don’t kill. I wish I had a nickel for every thug I have operated on and discharged or ED -treated and released, for nonfatal or nonthreatening gunshot wounds, but, again, that’s with state of the art care, not post-SHTF. Next, assess where you’ve been shot and what you’ve been shot with. A deer rifle or 5.56/7.62 round to your abdomen post-SHTF in a remote location probably means it last rites time. Not trying to be Debbie Downer, but it is what it is. Rapid infusion of IV fluids can briefly maintain pressure, but may paradoxically also maintain bleeding. This is where morphine is important, and a selfless attitude not to get your team killed futilely trying to save you. Military survival rates from such injuries in Iraq/Afghanistan are impressive due to efficient air evacuation and rapid, specialized treatment. Certainly similar rounds to head (you’ll never know), neck or extremities kill as well. Internal bleeding from abdominal or chest wounds cannot be controlled with external pressure. Bleeding from extremity soft tissue wounds and smaller vessels is controllable with pressure.”

The rest is here

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‘Popcorn’ Sutton was celebrated as a moonshiner. They say he made the best. He served Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina. He’s dead now because he killed himself rather than spend eighteen months in federal prison for making whiskey.

Popcorn Sutton, moonshiner

Popcorn Sutton, moonshiner

If you’d like to learn how to make distilled spirits here is a basic how-to video. The maker uses a still that’s made in Europe. Other kinds of stills will work as well. If you make one out of copper you will have to solder the copper. Make sure you use solder that contains no lead. That kind of solder is easy to find in the United States because solder containing lead is illegal to use when plumbing houses with copper pipe.

If you want to know more about Mr. Sutton here is an hour and a half video about him.

Sutton is regarded as one of the last of the American rebels. He lived and died according to his ideas of freedom.

As we have noted before, alcohol would make good barter material.


How To Build An Igloo


Survival Tips: Palcohol – Powdered Alcohol

It even comes in a handy pouch. This is interesting… I’m seeing this being added to my emergency stores. As a barter item, the applications are boundless.

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Grinding Grain And Making Bread Like Roman Legions Did It

The final product

The final product

This is a serious discussion of how the Roman military fed its people a couple thousand years ago. With images they show us how the grain was ground and how bread was made.

I would opt for a dutch oven.


“How To Create A Food Storage Supply For $5 Per Week”…

… If you have long enough.

After more than a few weeks

After more than a few weeks

The trick for achieving such an impressive result lies in rationing your acquisitions according to the list of purchases we suggest you follow to the letter over the next year. The tutorial featured here is very simple: start the buying spree with 6 pounds of salt in the first week, continue with 5 cans of chicken cream soup and so on until week 52. Each of the items on the list doesn’t require more than $5 per week and they will last for a while.”

The whole list is here


Ebola: The Govt Is Preparing, Are You?

The federal government has been preparing for the eventual outbreak of communicable disease in the U.S. If you look at the origins of this Executive Order, you will see that it was written in 2003. This is typical preparedness by the government. A cynic would say that the President including SARS, was a direct response to his open borders policy.

The CDC has issued guidance on how to handle ebola patients. This is SOP for emergency response.
WFSB 3 Connecticut

Then, we have the possibility of mutation and airborne transmission, from a hyper-evolving ebola virus (< --read this NYT Article):

The second possibility is one that virologists are loath to discuss openly but are definitely considering in private: that an Ebola virus could mutate to become transmissible through the air. You can now get Ebola only through direct contact with bodily fluids. But viruses like Ebola are notoriously sloppy in replicating, meaning the virus entering one person may be genetically different from the virus entering the next. The current Ebola virus’s hyper-evolution is unprecedented; there has been more human-to-human transmission in the past four months than most likely occurred in the last 500 to 1,000 years. Each new infection represents trillions of throws of the genetic dice.

If certain mutations occurred, it would mean that just breathing would put one at risk of contracting Ebola. Infections could spread quickly to every part of the globe, as the H1N1 influenza virus did in 2009, after its birth in Mexico.

Then, we see that Congress has deployed viral hemorrhagic fever detection units to all 50 states:

The Chemical and Biological Defense Program has sharpened the DoD diagnostics portfolio by increasing the capability of our fielded system, some 340 of which have been provided to the Military Services.

The Joint Biological Agent Identification and Diagnostic System is a portable system capable of rapid, reliable, and simultaneous identification of specific biological agents and pathogens. By partnering with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and the Food and Drug Administration, we have made accessible additional diagnostic assays for high consequence, low probability biological threat agents for use during declared public health emergencies.

This collaboration has facilitated the availability of viral hemorrhagic fever diagnostic assays for use during a declared emergency and adds previously unavailable preparedness capabilities to this fielded system.

To address the need for a near term capability to combat emerging threat materials, we have already provided Domestic Response Capability kits to the National Guard weapons of mass destruction civil support teams resident in all 50 states.

These kits provide emerging threat mitigation capability that includes detection, personnel protection, and decontamination.

Full Congressional Report via POTR 

Leading suppliers of hazmat suits are already filling orders for 160,000 suits (as far back as 3 weeks ago).

The following video’s source – New England Complex Systems Institute:

The CDC predicts that uncontained, ebola totals in Sierra Leone will reach 1.4 million by January, 2015.

I’m not trying to scare people, or anything close to that. I just ant you to have good information and be prepared. Think of the outbreak type movies you’ve seen, where the worlds populations are decimated. The gov’ts of the world try to keep people calm until the wheels fall off. Then, a year later, they have lost control and life is forever altered. That is Hollywood, but even the CDC warns that the 5% die-off from the Spanish Influenza would pale in comparison to a full-blown, airborne ebola pandemic. Semper Peratus.

Interesting fiction from our very own R.D. Walker.


28 Inconvenient Truths About TEOTWAWKI

I like this. Thought you might, too.

The end of the world as we know it may hold realities that are
very, very different from our expectations. Consider these points:

1. Not everyone will survive. Ouch.
2. For many, circumstances will trump preparedness.
3. Preparedness will cost money. There’s no way around it.
4. If you talk about preparedness, you’ll be ridiculed. If you
keep your mouth shut, you’ll miss out on establishing a support
system that is 100% necessary to survival.
5. A rural retreat won’t save you. The federal government has
you in their cross-hairs, as does the United Nations.
6. Stored food runs out, eventually.
7. Even the best prepared survivalist Navy Seal can be brought down
by an infected ingrown toenail.
8. You probably aren’t tough enough for what’s coming.
9. Gold and silver may be useless if a world currency is
established. Using them may even be criminalized.
10. In a time of plenty, it’s impossible to imagine the reality
of true scarcity.
11. Survival is easy for armchair quarterbacks.
12. Most survivalists and preppers are overly optimistic when it
comes to how much food store, what scenarios to plan for, and their
ability to survive off the grid.
13. TEOTWAWKI will change the way you and your children and
grandchildren live. Forever.
14. The minute you bug out, your chances of reaching your retreat
destination are slim.
15. You’re kidding yourself if you think your hidden caches
won’t be found by others, eventually.
16. You won’t know if you’re ready for TEOTWAWKI until
you’re in the middle of it.
17. Ultimately, a too-powerful government will be the biggest
threat to your survival.
18. Life will become cheap.
19. Free time will become a thing of the past.
20. There’s nothing wrong with preparing for natural disasters,
but if you’re not ready for a collapse of the American economy,
you’re not ready.
21. Coming tough times will threaten even the best of marriages and
other close relationships.
22. Growing your own food is a bigger challenge than you ever
thought possible.
23. Depending on where you live and any drought conditions, a green
garden can be spotted from miles away, thus endangering your food
source and your family.
24. Dealing with human waste and trash will become your new
part-time job.
25. You’ll discover exactly what you’re capable of when your
family is threatened.
26. Formerly strong and capable people will escape their new reality
through booze, drugs, and/or suicide.
27. Protecting and nurturing close family ties will become one of
the most important things you can do.
28. Those who can accept and adapt will find survival easier than
those who hold on to the past or have unrealistic expectations of
the future.

I found it here. Please click the link and show some love.


Have You Considered Freeze Drying Your Own Food?

I learned today that it’s possible. The machines are available. There is a three-part review of the Harvest Right freeze dryers at Survival Blog.

They are not cheap to buy. Amazon lists one at $4,399. EBay has a couple. They are priced $3,899 and $4,099.

The reviewer listed above was shocked by the cost of the unit but he did put this in his review:

Did I mention that you can freeze dry your own products? Let me list the top three benefits of owning this machine in order of importance:

You can freeze dry your own products (determining your family’s preferred quality and content).
You can freeze dry your own products!
You can freeze dry your own products!!”


“Medical gear in SHTF/WROL”

This is number five in a discussion IvyMike has been having about his areas of experience. It is quite comprehensive and he offers some interesting asides about the odd things that will become valuable in an emergency situation; things like, believe it or not, Sharpie pens. His first four essays were titled:

Part I: Physiology and pathophysiology of shock
Part II: Triage, treatment, and the rapid trauma assessment
Part III: Treatment philosophy and things to think about in SHTF/WROL
Part IV: Considerations for trauma injuries in SHTF/WROL


A little taste includes several medical references you should have and links to get them. Things like, EMS Field Guide BLS


About it he says:

I call mine “paramedic school in your pants” because these little guys are great reference books that cover almost everything you need to know in a VERY condensed fashion. It’s very handy to flip through before, during, and after a mission/call. It has lots of pictures, so paramedics and EMTs will actually understand it, and the pages have a coating on them so blood, vomit, and Mountain Dew won’t mess them up too much. They make Advanced Life Support and Critical Care Advanced Life Support guides as well.”

Worth a look.

Again the link is here


Survival Tips: Thwarting An Oppressive Regime

With the lessons learned from the Egyptian, Libyan, and Syrian revolutions, a few hardware and software hackers over at Lulzlabs have taken it upon themselves to create a free-as-in-beer and free-as-in-speech digital communications protocol that doesn’t deal with expensive, highly-surveilled commercial and government controlled infrastructure. They call it Airchat, and it’s an impressive piece of work if you don’t care about silly things like ‘laws’.

Before going any further, we have to say yes, this does use amateur radio bands, and yes, they’re using (optional) encryption, and no, the team behind Airchat isn’t complying with all FCC and other amateur radio rules and regulations. Officially, we have to say the FCC (and similar agencies in other countries) have been granted the power – by the people – to regulate the radio spectrum, and you really shouldn’t disobey them. Notice the phrasing in that last sentence, and draw your own philosophical conclusions.

Find it here. What they are offering doesn’t necessarily fall into the realm of “legal”, but it’s not illegal until you use it. If you’re an inssurgent, fighting an oppressive regime, the least of your concerns will be following some arbitrary & utterly unenforceable administrative regulation.

Conduct yourselves accordingly.


Survival Tips: How To Hide Sensitive Electronic Files


The topic recently came up regarding the security of your records.
RD’s comment about hiding copies on CD, betrayed his age, and got me to thinking. Wouldn’t it be better to hide those records electronically, in plain sight? To wit:

World’s smallest thumb drive.

How to best hide your electronic records.

You can pretty much hide an SD or Micro SD card anywhere. Think about it for a minute, You could make multiple copies of your records and hide them inside your remote control, taped inside a magazine, inside the toilet paper roll in your guest bath, under a sticker on the back window of your pickup, or just about anywhere.


Have a plan, folks, have a plan

Take a look at the shelves in these stores in Atlanta. This is he result of snow. Just snow.

What do you think will happen when pandemic flu shuts down interstate trucking coast-to-coast?

Have a plan.


What Do Supermarkets Do With Dented Canned Goods?

An interesting thing happened to me today in Safeway. I was pushing my cart through the canned vegetable aisle when I came across the store manager bashing a can of corn against the handle of a shopping cart. He said, “We can’t sell dented cans so I am making sure the cans are well dented. Then we can sell them at half price”.

My thoughts turn to asking him to set the stuff aside and I’ll pick it all up for a 45% discount. But, I came across this via SurvivalBlog. There is a list of salvaged canned goods stores. Look here.

It is broken down by state and gives the name and location of dealers who sell discounted canned goods.


Who Might Use Zip Ties To Restrain You? Perhaps A Kidnapper

Here is the first in a series of videos from ITS Tactical. The guys there know how to get loose. Looks like it works, too.

These are the ties demonstrated. They are rated for 175 lb. breaking strength.

zip ties

There are six videos including how to get loose if they put two zip ties on you.

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“A Year of Starvation: My Experience”

Starvation is a problem most Americans have never faced. A few, though, like the writer of this essay, have experienced it because of physical or emotional difficulties, or a combination of the two. In this case it was because the writer was afflicted with Anorexia Nervosa when younger.

What is important about this article is that it describes the physical and mental changes that occur in a starving person both during and after the incident. There were long-lasting effects in both areas. I recommend that anyone who considers long-term food shortages read this. The writer has planning tips for diet and recovery.

In this article, I plan to describe my physical, mental, and emotional experiences during illness and recovery. I also hope to sketch out some basic treatments and coping mechanisms for staying as healthy as can be possible during starvation. Due to the passage of time, and the memory lapses associated with anorexia, I know I’ll omit some details that could be helpful, and for that I apologize in advance. Moreover, I am not a doctor, and this article is not intended to offer medical advice, to substitute for professional care and consultation, or to guarantee or provide any health outcome.

If I had to narrow down the take-away message about real starvation to just the essentials, they would be these two points:
You cannot think straight when you’re starving.
You cannot recover from starvation alone.

Read more here

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“Map: Where You Don’t Want to Be When It Hits the Fan”

There’s one thing for sure. When something catastrophic happens you don’t want to have to go to the store. It will be cleaned out and people will be fighting over what they have and what little is left.

I have a couple of friends who retired from FEMA. They worked disasters. They say stay out of town. Don’t even go armed. More important that food is clean water.

From SHTF Plan:

When it hits the fan America’s population centers will explode in violence, looting, and total breakdown of law and order.

It’s a theory put forth by numerous survival and relocation specialists, and one that makes complete sense if you consider what happens in a truly serious collapse-like scenario.

So, where should you be when it happens?

To find the answer, let’s consider where we shouldn’t be.

Recent U.S. census data indicates that out of the 3000 counties in the United States, fully 50% of the population lives in just 146.

If you want to have any chance of surviving a wide-spread catastrophic event by avoiding the hordes that will be searching for critical resources in its aftermath, then check out the following map to get a visual reference of the areas you want to stay away from.”



‘Gimme Bags”

Good idea:

One work in progress is our assortment of “Gimme Bags.” They are bags to hand out to people who ask “please gimme something to eat” or to tuck into your backpack! They are snack bags and zip lock bags of a pack of coffee, tea bag, kool aid, hot cocoa mix, and sugar in a bag. Then, in another bag, add protein bar, cup of soup, Raman noodles, pack of tuna or whatever you devise. In another add some dried beans with salt and pepper packets. Make a snack bag with band aids, Q-tips, other first aid items. You can add on and on. Another thing we are adding to some is like a Weight Watchers Protein Drink, 10 gram. Dollar Stores are great, but watch for sales. Packets of salt, pepper, and a bullion cube or two helps too.”

More here


Survival Tips: Quick, Cheap, Easy Prepping

If you are amongst the millions of people who have existed in a bubble, refusing to admit that “it could happen here”, and have not put away a little food for a rainy day/month/year – I have a quick, cheap, easy way for you to get prepared and give yourself some peace-of-mind.

Close approximations are used here, to offer guidance. If you’re in a very active situation where you’re burning through tons of calories a day, you will need to make adjustments. A normal adult needs 1200 calories a day as an absolute minimum. For my baseline, I am assuming that you are one person, attempting to eat for survival, for one year… and you’re shopping at Sam’s.


250lbs – Enriched Long Grain Rice – $84 @ Sam’s
419 servings (1.5 cups dry / 3 cups cooked – a lot of rice)
960 calories / 18 grams protein / 210g carbs

    Pancake Mix (bread source)

40lbs (4ea 10lbs resealable bags – Krusteaz) – $7ea / $28
420 servings (1/3 cup dry / 3 pancakes)
150 calories / 4g protein / 31g carbs

    Lard (creamy liquid shortening)

35lbs – emulsifier / pan lubricant – $28
3tbsp servings – 404 calories/day

Seasonings ($30 worth) be sure to get dehydrated onions/mixes/bouillon to change up flavors. Don’t forget salt. Your body needs it. Look at the Sam’s website for ideas. I’m not holding your hand here. 😉


10ea jugs – 64 oz Mrs Butterworth’s Syrup – $3.50ea / $35
1/4 cup serving – 220 calories / 56g carbs

All totaled you’re looking at 1760 calories/day for MORE THAN one year, at a total cost of a whopping $205.

There is no reason that any of you can’t be prepared for a full year in the next month. If money is too tight, mow some lawns.

I promise you’d rather have it & not need it – than need it & not have it!


“How will you know when the balloon goes up?”

Are you preparing for rough times? Do you have plans to bug out when they happen? Or will you stay in place? The big unanswered question no one, until now, has tried to answer is, “How do you know when it’s time to act?”

The Survival Mom asked several knowledgeable people just that question. Their answers are interesting… and surprisingly similar.

First answer:
1. Empty shelves in grocery & hardware stores
2. Unexpected bank holidays/Run on ATM’s
3. Large groups of looters
4. Loss of life due to the police and emergency services being overloaded

The signs are:
Level 1 – No danger – utilities are out – people are getting along
OPSEC is low – neighbors working together.
Level 2- Some danger – utilities are out – people are getting very worried.
OPSEC is medium, should try to band with neighbors to block off your street.
Level 3 – Dangerous – utilities are out – people are desperate and looking for supplies.
OPSEC is high – You should bug out or hide in place

Symptom 1: More violence in your area
Symptom 2: Group behavior changes, survival brings people closer and makes others less human
Symptom 3: Dead streets
Symptom 4: New leaders emerge
Symptom 5: Nobody to trust anymore

There are more.

These are pretty stark and powerful indicators. There’s one thing about them; they all refer to populated areas. Whether you choose to bug out or to hide in place may be largely influenced by where you live. If you live in a city or large town you may think more about bugging out.

Some friends worked with FEMA on many natural disasters. They are full of stories. Their point is that you don not want to have to go the store when everyone else is stripping the shelves. People in those conditions are desperate and dangerous.


Preserving Eggs

Here is a good way to preserve eggs for storage – up to nine months. Without refrigeration. Most Americans believe that eggs require refrigeration. Not true. They last as long without it as with it. Most people in other countries, including Mexico, don’t refrigerate eggs.


This method for extending the storage life includes sealing the porous shell with oil. Other sealers can be used. I have heard of people sealing them with wax.

Read the article. If you like eggs, and keep chickens, this stuff is worth knowing.


Sugardyne for Wound Treatment

Mix Betadine solution and table sugar for serious wound care.

From a letter at Survival Blog comes this information:

I’m sure you’ve heard of this–but on the off chance you haven’t, you definitely need to: The miraculous wound-healing benefits of a goop made from sugar and betadine (povidone iodine–available cheaply everywhere). You mix together and make a paste, which can be packed into deep wounds and gouges. Some people refer to it as “sugardine.”

Not everyone knows that sugar alone has been used for hundreds of years as an effective gunshot wound treatment. The high osmotic gradient it promotes attracts and traps bacteria–and animal cells are better able to withstand high osmotic conditions than bacterial cells. The addition of the povidone iodine makes it even more effective.

There are countless stories of near miraculous saves of horses with bad wounds that wouldn’t heal, using this paste. I’ve used it to great effect on myself and on my dogs–sometimes with deep canine puncture wounds.

Ideally, it should be packed in and covered, and rinsed out and replaced everyday. But any application, under any circumstances, is a lot better than nothing. Granulated (or powdered) sugar and lots of povidone iodine are very valuable additions to prepper medical stores, in my opinion.”

There’s a very good veterinary video about its use here.

Here’s another

Here is a little write-up on the use of sugar, honey, and sugardine on serious wounds.


Survival Tips: Who Knew This Was Legal?

Um, yeah, so I just found a new hobby. It can be purchased or researched HERE. More detailed information can be found here.

ATF Notice Re Binary Exploding Target Compounds
ATF has recently received inquiries about the applicability of the Federal explosives law to binary exploding targets.
The components of these binary targets (typically an oxidizer like ammonium nitrate and a fuel such as aluminum or another metal-based powder) are not separately listed on the List of Explosive Materials and do not meet the definition of “Explosives” in 27 CFR 555.11. Therefore, ATF does not regulate the sale and distribution of these component chemicals, even when sold together in binary target “kits.”

However, when the binary components are combined, the resulting mixture is an explosive material subject to all requirements of 18 U.S.C. Chapter 40 and 27 CFR Part 555. Accordingly, all such exploding targets must be stored in an explosives storage magazine as prescribed in the regulations found in 27 CFR, Part 555, Subpart K — Storage, unless they are in the process of being used.

Further, mixing the binary components together constitutes manufacturing explosives. Persons manufacturing explosives for their own personal, non-business use only (e.g., personal target practice) are not required to have a Federal explosives license or permit. However, individuals or companies must obtain a Federal explosives manufacturing license if they intend to engage in the business of manufacturing explosives for sale or distribution, or for their own business use. Such business uses include manufacturing binary targets for demonstration or product testing purposes.
Licensed manufacturers of exploding targets are subject to Federal recordkeeping requirements and must comply with regulations concerning records of manufacture or acquisition, distribution, exportation, use, inventory and daily summaries of magazine transactions found in 27 CFR, Part 555, Subpart G—Records and Reports.

In addition, a Federal explosives license or permit is required for the transport of explosive materials. Therefore, a person must obtain a Federal explosives license or permit if they mix binary exploding targets and subsequently transport them to a shooting range or to any other location. For further information, please contact the Explosives Industry Programs Branch at eipb [at] or (202) 648-7120.

Could be useful for target practice in a zombie pockeylipse scenario. Just saying.