The following post has been contributed by Dan F. Sullivan, the owner of the popular SurvivalSullivan survival and prepping blog.
So you spent time and money putting together a stockpile to last you weeks, maybe even months. You chose the foods with the longest shelf life, you made sure you only got things your family enjoys and you cached them in various places around the house, maybe even at your bug out location.
Only problem is, food and water have 5 ruthless enemies that could compromise your entire stash and, I don’t need to tell you that waking up with spoiled food after it hits is one of the biggest nightmares you could face.
They are moisture, heat, light, air and pests and you need to fight all of them. There’s only one way of doing that and that’s to choose the right containers for them in the first place. Your food, water and medicine, even your clothes and gear should be stored in buckets or bags that provide protection from the elements. Let’s take them one by one and see which ones are best under which circumstances.
The vast majority of preppers who store food for the long term use this proven combination to ensure the shelf life of their foods:
- Mylar bags
- oxygen absorbers
- and 5-gallon food-grade plastic buckets
The foods that can be stored of this manner include dried beans, white rice, pasta and whole grains.
Now, you’d think the above trio is enough but we’re not done yet. We still need to protect it from pests. You probably know that mice can easily chew their way through your buckets. This is why you need to put your food-grade buckets inside metal buckets. That’s it; the only thing you need to worry about now is temperature.
What about larger containers? They’ll work but they’re going to be tough to move. Say disaster is upon you and you need to load as much food as you can in your truck. You can carry two 5-gallon buckets at a time on your own but a 30 gallon bucket will require two people.
By the way, you can get free food-grade buckets from deli shops, bakeries, restaurants and fast food places. They’re throwing them out anyway, so why not?
This all sounds good but what about canned food? Whether you buy it from the supermarket or you make it yourself using a pressure cooker, you’re going to need Mason jars. The good news is they are reusable, meaning you can rely on them in a post-apocalyptic world to can the foods from your survival garden.
However, you’re also gonna need calling lids and, unfortunately, these are not reusable. You should stock up on as many as you can, given that they’re dirt-cheap and, before you use them, you need to make sure they don’t’ have any dents or cracks.
The alternative to lids is to use cellophane but that might be hard to find as well in a post-collapse world. They obviously work, people canned food long before lids became popular.
Though water doesn’t really expire, you need to be careful when you store it to avoid the growth of algae and bacteria.
The most basic container is the old plastic bottle that you can get at the supermarket. This would be your emergency water reserve that you’d keep in your survival bag or somewhere in your pantry, ready to load in your bug out vehicle at a moment’s notice.
Of course, the price per gallon would be pretty expensive to grow your stockpile this way. You can move on to bigger containers such as 5 gallon water jugs which you need to keep them in a cool dark place.
You should know that some water jugs have issues, though. Many people report leaks and the ones who prefer to use thicker, milk jugs, risk contaminating their water. You see, no matter how well your rinse milk and juice jugs, you’d still won’t be able to clean them 100%.
The best way to have a serious water stockpile is to keep it in bigger containers such as 55-gallon BPA-free water barrels. These will truly allow you to build a long-term emergency supply of clean, drinkable water.
Most preppers only use plastic water bottles and these 55-gallon barrels but not all of them stop here. You can store water inside larger 300-gallon or 500-gallon tanks or even your pool.
Truth be told, every container in your home can be re-purposed to store water. When you hear the news that something bad is happening and you determine that you need to bug in, one of the first things you should do is turn on every faucet in your house and gather as much water as you can in things like bath tubs, sinks, pots, jars, pans and even glasses.
Containers for Your Medicine
Small disclaimer: I’m not a doctor so please only use my advice for information purposes only. That being said, the first thing I’d like to point out is that you shouldn’t take the pills out of the blister packs they are sealed in. This way, when you’ll need to take one, you’ll leave the others intact.
As far as the container of all these containers, the medicine cabinet, it should definitely not be stored inside your bathroom. Moisture will decrease the shelf life of all your meds. You can just store them in a plastic tote that you should keep in a cool, dark, ventilated room.
As far as containers, go there are other options. For example, if you don’t want your kids finding your medicine, you can get lockable plastic boxes. If kids aren’t a problem, you can simply use those 5-gallon buckets we talked about.
What about the Other Preps?
If you have various other things that need to be waterproofed (such as thermometers, batteries and so on), I strongly recommend using Ziploc bags. One thing, you should put each battery in a separate bag as you don’t want them to be touching. Other than that, you should waterproof most of your bug out bag items.
There’re many mistakes to be made when it comes to food storage. After all, if you don’t get it right, you could face serious health issues so you should never compromise when it comes to containers. The other thing you can do is buy more containers that you need. Right now they cost pennies but post-collapse… they might be impossible to find.
I can still see George Washington pictured astride a gallant white horse. Perched on the generals head crouches the tri corner hat. A dark coat with white piping accented by white breeches is finished off with shining leather boots.
But let your gaze fall lower, and beneath the general and the wafts of breaths from the steeds flared nostrils, is the scarlet trace of blood on the newly fallen snow. For the Continental army has fallen in short supply of shoes.
Fast forward almost a hundred years and a new set of armies rip up the young country. A new southern general rides atop a white horse. This general has a similar problem, once again the army needs shoes. In Southern Pennsylvania, two great armies clash and the Southern hope begins to fall.
Perhaps if you would stretch the facts far enough, one could say the Civil War was won because of sore feet!
Probably most of us who travel in the outdoors have heard of trench foot, that awful bane to the soldiers who failed to mother their feet.
As odd as it sounds, one could say if your feet aren’t happy, you aren’t going anywhere or at least no where fast.
Capitalizing on this truth, businesses abound that offer the glib outdoorsman high priced choices. Glorified sneakers cost you more than a green Franklin. Boots zip, stretch, gel, hook, and shine; but do they work?
Today I propose a trip into the low underworld of the boot!
The Hobnail. – the Old Trooper
In WWII the German soldier wore the hobnail boot for its tough durability. For years, boots were favored for their ability to be worn not for a season of style, but for years. The nails gave extra endurance.
Russia also supplied hobnailed style boots, especially to officers. I came across these boots on eBay for about forty dollars. They seem to be made of thick leather. They are probably 70’s Russian boots, but they still bear a hint of the past. I cringe at the thought of marring their bright sheen with snarling thorns or the fists of craggy rocks.
They remind me of a day when soldiers looked like a crisp, decisive professional. Close cut boots, tight jacket, and a thick Sam Brown style belt cut a smart looking officer. But now comfort has replaced such lofty ideals.
Perhaps for the better.
The Hobnobber- Rich trash
If you are serious about your gear, you early on become a tester.
Some years ago, I bought these Bates boots for over a hundred dollars. They were on the store’s free points or I would be even more bitter about the deal. I eagerly took them to work and began breaking them in.
In a short time, it seemed the tread began to wear and the rubber split. Eventually the side split opened, and I became Doc Backstuffin fixing the rip with a liberal amount of superglue. The superglue seemed to melt the fibers back in place.
I still use the boots, even though the toes are horribly scuffed and they look war battered. Some how I guess, I expected more.
What I’m trying to tell you is- don’t waste money on names if you can get a good deal on a real boot.
Hobo Boot-eBay bounty
On another eBay scavenger hunt, I found a “lot” of ten boots. Some I’ve sold. But this pair, I kept. Seemingly military issue, these boots have marched miles over my concrete warehouse floor.
These boots have kicked pallets and thudded against metal carts. They have pivoted on the wood floors of semi’s and squashed along in the rain. And after all that, they hardly look different then when I first saw them.
I don’t know what the army did, but a $5 boot has lasted far better for me than a $120 one. I understand that when those leaflets come in the mail about a break thru in foot technology some just feel the addiction to buy, but for me I’ve learned the hard way, you have to be skeptical of what you put your feet in.
Heat or Mud- The Light Giant
Another $5 boot I found was this jungle style boot. Already dog eared when it reached my abode, I eventually gave it a try. I was surprised how comfortable it was and especially by its lightness.
So often as survivalists we load ourselves with abundant gear. But this boot seemed just the right balance of tough but light.
My pair desperately needs replaced, but for a $5 test run, now I am willing to buy a decent pair some day.
The advantage of these style boots is their mesh sides. Provided for the military fighting in Vietnam, they were designed so the inevitable rush of water would drain out. These boots are on purpose not waterproof. Their sides are still thick enough to offer fair protection for a long hike.
The High Roller-Mickey Mouse himself!
Sadly, I can give you no picture of the boot that has won my enduring admiration.
Years ago at a yard sale I spotted the pair. For $0.25, I picked them up. Designed for the air force, these boots are tough rubber with the inside providing a soft gel like feel. I suppose one could label them advanced muck boots. At surplus stores these boots run from $50 to perhaps $100.
In my eyes, these are the king of hiking boots. Although at first, rather awkward, they swath one’s feet in a tomb of comfort. After several miles and no blisters, the boot becomes more than a purchase. but a dear friend. You don’t have to baby these boots, they will send you safely over rocks and jagged protrusions.
These boots gained the nomenclature “Mickey Mouse boots” because of their obvious blob style. But ugly or not, they really spoil your feet.
My pair met its demise when a sewer line had to be dug up. At a quarter, these became the martyr for the job. With refuse caked to their sides, I regretfully disposed of such a loyal friend. Now I dream of finding another pair, perhaps my dream will one day materialize.
I used to wonder why a UK based survival magazine always had monthly articles showcasing new boots. Somehow feet gear seemed boring and monotonous. But I have a new appreciation now of how important the choice of a boot is.
Find what’s right for you. Try different options and don’t be afraid to come up with a bizarre favorite. Someday you might take a wrong turn and your feet might have to march for hours. It is a good idea to pick out good footwear now, rather than to have it fail when you need it the most!
The following article was contributed by Bill S in NY state
This is a big topic to cover, so I will break it down into a series of articles, to make it manageable. This article covers basic terms and facts so you can learn enough to make wise choices when starting your new flock.
Having your own chickens is a great way to supplement your food supply and to increase your food security. Even if you only have them for the eggs, you will have the peace of mind to know that should times get hard, you always have the option of butchering them for meat. In many situations, though, it is usually a little more expensive to raise and butcher your own, then it is to buy packaged chicken at the store. But, meat you have raised yourself will be fresher and usually healthier than most store bought meats. Even if there is a large scale contamination problem arising from store bought meat someday, your own food supply will probably not be affected, as long as you take some precautions, which I will discuss later on.
Important Things to Know Before You Start Raising Your Own Chickens
They will need you to provide feed and suitable housing year round, so they can remain healthy and productive. Keeping them restricted to your own property is a must and can be challenging, since chickens can fly, after a fashion. Flying up to and over a 6-foot-tall fence, for most chickens, is not a problem, but finding their way back over it to your property, without help, and before it gets dark, may be expecting too much of them. Chickens are almost blind at night. You may need to go round them up and help them find a way back to your yard. Limiting noise and odors and providing sanitation are vital unless you live in a very rural area. While some neighbors may welcome a rooster crowing early on a Sunday morning, most will not.
Unless you have someone who is willing to take care of them twice a day when you are not there, going on a vacation or staying away from home is difficult to do. Chickens, like any livestock, need to be cared for 7 days a week, rain or shine, summer and winter. Predators will quickly know where to find a good meal and, at some point, you will most likely lose some birds to them. But there are ways to keep this to a minimum.
Any animal that eats meat, loves a dead chicken.
Predatory animals can vary with your location, time of day and season. The main culprits are hawks, owls, fox, raccoon and can include your neighbor’s dog. It is just something you should be aware of from the beginning. You will, most likely, at some point, have need to kill an injured or sick bird quickly. This usually means a firearm, which can be a concern for some – especially if you have small children.
Another thought is bio security.
With the Avian Flu that is infecting so many these days, you must be able to limit the people who are allowed to have access to the chickens. Especially other people who raise chickens.
It is a good practice to leave a pair of rubber boots to be used only in the chicken’s area. This way you won’t bring in unwanted disease into the chicken’s area and you won’t track in manure or disease into your home.
Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling the chickens or any equipment used in their care. Keep feeders and watering equipment clean and pay attention to the birds so you will notice signs of injury or illness quickly and keep loss to a minimum.
How to Keep a Low Profile when Raising Chickens
You should make sure you are allowed to raise chickens where you live.
I would first look around and see who, if anyone is keeping a flock. (A flock can be any number of birds) I would use caution asking town officials if you are allowed to keep chickens. If they say “no”, you will then be on their radar. Most towns will allow you to keep at least a few chickens as long as you keep it clean and quiet. I find it best to ask for forgiveness rather than beg for permission. But use your judgement.
Chickens come in almost any imaginable color, so if you do not want to advertise, look for birds in subdued colors, like the one’s below.
If you want to be even more discreet about raising chickens, you may be able to put your coop inside a kids play set or hide it in a shed or even a large dog house. Making it look like an old hot tub may work too.
You can make just part of it hidden, too. Like under a porch but with an enclosed run in the open. If you use shrubs in the corners, you can string thin wire mesh between the shrubs for a run. It shouldn’t be very noticeable. Put some lawn furniture around it, maybe. Some people have built them partly underground even. Just remember to give them a way to run above ground as much as you can. They shouldn’t live locked away in a shed all the time.
Examples of Discreet Coop Designs
Here are some examples of coops that would stay under the radar:
Keeping Your Flocks Under-the-Radar
You can raise just hens (females) for eggs and go unnoticed by most people if you are discreet. Including a rooster (male) in your flock will make a lot of noise and announce his presence to the world. The positives are that they will guard the flock or at least warn them (and you) of danger, as they perceive it.
But, they can be loud and aggressive, even towards larger animals and people. Having more than one rooster in a small flock can lead to fighting that may leave one or both injured or dead. If you want to keep under the radar, because you are worried about hungry neighbors
stealing them or using force against you or your family to acquire food, or if you might be going against town regulations by keeping chickens, then a loud rooster might not be a good idea. Discretion rarely goes unrewarded.
But, if you plan to have a self-sustaining flock, meaning a new generation of chicks each spring, then a rooster is a necessity unless you want to butcher the flock before winter sets in and then buy new chicks in the spring. Hatching eggs and raising chicks can require some special equipment and knowledge plus time and work. You may want to get used to raising mature birds for a while first before jumping into that.
Important Facts about Keeping Chickens
- The color of an egg has no bearing on how nutritious it is or how it tastes. All other factors being equal, they are the same. Different breeds lay different color eggs. In the early 20th century, most people thought that a white egg represented a more “farm fresh” or “natural” egg.
Today, the brown egg is the fashion. Eggs come in many colors like dark brown, speckled, blue/green and others. The only factors that effect taste and nutrition is the diet and health of the hen.
- “Chicken wire” fencing is not good to use when building your coop. It is too flimsy and will not keep out any predator and can trap the head of a chicken accidentally. Use hardware cloth. You can get it with different size mesh and it is much stronger.
- When making “hard boiled” eggs, using a slightly older egg will make peeling the shell off easier. As the egg ages, the albumin, the clear, runny liquid in the egg, pulls back a bit from the inside of the shell and when boiled will make getting the shell off easier.
- Fresh eggs have a GoreTex like membrane covering the egg to allow the egg to “breathe” and keep moisture out. Once you wash it though, you wash the membrane away.
- Chickens use the same orifice (called the “vent”) for defecating and laying an egg. Urine and feces are excreted from the vent together. Chickens do not have a separate orifice for urinating.
- Chickens absolutely love meat of any kind
- Gardening and raising chickens are a perfect combination but chickens should not be let loose in your garden while it is growing, they will destroy it.
- If you are concerned about ticks and Lyme Disease, get a few Guinea fowl. They LOVE ticks and will keep your property almost tick free. They can be kept with chickens and will not destroy your garden like chickens, because they do not scratch at the ground or peck your veggies. The hens also lay some eggs, which are very good to sell to restaurants, but will not lay as many as chickens. But, they make great “watch dogs” for your property as they will sound the alarm when any intruder (human or animal) is near. Their alarm call sounds like they are hollering the word “buckwheat”. They love to look at themselves in a mirror. Guinea fowl are low maintenance, too. They will tend to fly higher and range father than chickens do. If you need to keep them away from prying eyes, they may not be for you.
- Ducks are also great for eating bugs in the garden and will not damage anything, unlike chickens. Plus, they are very weather resistant and tolerate cold well, usually. But, they are messy and take more maintenance than chickens or guinea fowl.
All of the poultry you read about today will help keep you and your family a little healthier, safer And more secure.
The following article was contributed by Dayna Colvin, a holistic organic writer. She is a very active environmental advocate. She and her husband live in the Pacific NW, USA and are happy new parents of an adorable baby boy and share their home with 2 adorable, wonderful, sweet cats, their furry babies. You can reach her via email and social media at:
Why Prepping Goes Beyond TEOTWAWKI
Preparing for emergencies is not just about preparing for “the end of the world as we know it”. It is important to prepare the body, the mind, and the spirit to be able to do better than just cope and survive. We all have important self-care needs and the last thing we need to be concerned about when the worst case scenarios occur is wondering where our food will come from, how we will take care of our hygiene, and how our families will cope and stay healthy. It is important to think beyond the basic survival mode needs. Self-care includes meditation, aromatherapy, yoga, Tai Chi, positive affirmation, visualization, laughter, everything that helps you stay well and feeling well. A good way to begin to prepare is to start your day acting as if there has been a loss of power and imagining how you will get through your day. It is not easy to put your mind in this mode and think this way, but it is a very real scenario and can occur any moment. Being mindful and aware is very important so that you are not caught off guard.
My husband and I found out the painful hard way that lack of prepping for surviving emergencies turns into a very painful learning curve. When people think about survival and prepping, they mostly think about organizations like the Red Cross and the limited supplies they can provide to victims of disasters. After watching many episodes of families working hard everyday to ensure their families are protected and safe, I have a very good understanding of what it means to prepare and what is necessary to do it. However, I will take it a big step further because my approach is holistic and organic.
One afternoon, my husband and I attended an emergency preparedness demonstration given by the Red Cross and they offered us fruit punch and cookies as a snack and drink. I asked them if they had any healthier options to offer the public and their response was when you are in an emergency crisis and you have to survive, you take what you can get. As a healthy person who is an avid label reader and is very careful about what I eat and drink, I do not like the idea of taking risks with my health. Healthy eating is just as important with prepping as it is for everyday living. There is no difference. The only difference is that I stock up on all the supplies I need as a prevention measure and instead of just one bottle of organic peppermint essential oil, I have two bottles. As a mama who has endured many crises in her life and natural disasters, I have become quite the boy scout. There were times when my husband and I’d have to go shopping for groceries and we would run out of gas and I didn’t think ahead to bring a tote bag filled with healthy snacks and drinks to help us get through the day. Additionally, my husband and I endured some very stressful hurricanes in Florida several years ago and discovered the painful hard way that if you don’t act fast, you lose. Having to go shopping to stock up on supplies only to discover that the shelves are empty is a huge painful awakening. I know it’s a very painful delicate subject that no one wants to think about, but unfortunately, it’s very real, and time is of the essence.
Now is the Time to Prepare
A very important factor to seriously keep in mind is that in the event of any crisis or disaster, you will not be able to count on hospitals, emergency rescue, or your doctor to be available if you get sick or have a painful injury. Also, depending on where you live, should there be Martial Law or the military is out in force, you will not be able to get in your vehicle and drive to the store to buy necessary supplies, so if you don’t stock up now, you are out of luck. This article is not meant to scare anyone. It is intended to make you think and realize that things in the nation have changed and not for the better. My husband and I were born and raised here and we are devastated by the way things have changed and we never thought we would wake up to this happening here. Unfortunately, it is very real and it is only going to get worse.
Tips to Get you Started
To get you started with the supplies you need in order to cope and stay well and protect your family’s safety, here is a list of items you must have in your bug-out bag and your emergency preparedness kit. As you walk through your home and address your needs, whether it be eating, drinking, resting, getting dressed, or taking care of your personal hygiene, it is a good idea to take a good look at what you use everyday and ask yourself a very important question. Should disaster strike, such as the lights going out, no more water, am I well prepared for any eventuality and am I stocked up on everything I need?
I am holistic and organic down to the baby wipes I use for my baby and the capful of organic apple cider vinegar I put in my bottle of spring water to alkalize it and help me stay healthy. I am an avid label reader and I am a 100% holistic herbalist.
My first aid kit contains:
Two bottles each of essential oils of peppermint, lavender, lemon, sweet orange. Peppermint is great for energy, helping the lungs, indigestion, and headaches. Lavender is great for healing burns and is very soothing for babies who are feeling stressed. Lemon is great for energizing your drinking water and keeping it fresh. Sweet orange is great for healing aromatherapy and soothing a stressed baby. Lemon and sweet orange are also wonderful for cleaning the indoor air and keeping it fresh.
Additionally, my first aid kit contains the following basic essentials – hydrogen peroxide, an ace bandage, scissors, and band-aids. I Use organic chlorine-free paper products for personal hygiene.
We have two large bottles of Bach Flower Rescue Remedy when we feel traumatized and stressed and we have two large bottles of melaleuca tea tree oil as a natural oral care disinfectant and to treat wounds. We have six boxes of chamomile tea and six boxes of peppermint tea. I keep one bottle of tea tree oil and Bach Flower Rescue Remedy in my purse and the other bottles in my bathroom.
We rely 100% on Mother Nature’s medicine cabinet for everything. The most important aspect of relying on nature’s medicine is that plants and herbs will always grow in the ground and there is no need to worry about shortage or something being discontinued. Chamomile, garlic, ginger, peppermint, and red cayenne pepper have grown wild for centuries and will always continue to grow wild. My husband and I recently ordered two very important books online that will teach us about wildcrafting and foraging for wild food that grows in our backyard. In times of crisis and disaster, it is important to act as if we were thrown back into the 1800’s before any business came into existence to manufacture and provide the products you find on the store shelves.
Preparedness Brings Peace of Mind
It is challenging after growing accustomed to the convenience of walking into the store and buying it, but the peace of mind that comes from knowing you are prepping now to ensure your family’s survival and you won’t go into shock and be caught off guard, is well worth it. We are avid label readers and when we buy our everyday food items, we buy extra quantities of each to help us prepare and stock up. It is very empowering when can take a glass and pour clean drinking water into it and add an envelope of Emergen-C and a capful of organic apple cider vinegar, stirring it well, you can drink it and protect your immune system. It is very empowering to know that you can take care of your self-care wellness with healthy supplies you have in your cupboard. That feeling will not be created by relying on your pharmacy and knowing that any day, the store may close and you are out of luck because you didn’t prepare.
My husband and I very thankful that we are 100% holistic and we do not rely on synthetic pharmaceuticals for anything, including headaches and indigestion. They have no health benefits for us and we are protecting our health because we are not risking dangerous side effects. We are protecting our health with cannabis, colloidal silver, acerola Vitamin C, organic apple cider vinegar and many other important healing plants and herbs that we learn about everyday. We never supported or believed in pharmaceuticals to begin with and we use common sense and logic and we know that we are healthy, safe, and smart. It is a very smart idea to learn to grow your own herbs and medicinal plants and have the peace of mind that you can rest assured that you will have plenty of all the healing medicinal plants you need for any emergency.
The Need for Victory Gardens
It is interesting to note that in the 1800’s and during World War II, it was very common for people to have victory gardens in their own back yard. Food was becoming scarce and it had become a dire necessity to grow your own food and be self-sufficient for your family. Today, the only people who recognize this as a necessity grew up in these eras and they taught it to their children who are now in their 40s and 50s, like my husband and me. When I was sixteen years of age, my Mother and Grandmother worked together to grow a beautiful vegetable garden in our backyard. At first, I thought they were doing it as an experiment and because it was a nice thing to do, but they told me that the prices of vegetables were going up and they no longer liked to go to the market to buy their food. They wanted to learn to be self-sufficient and they wanted to teach me the same thing. When I saw the vegetables sprouting up and we ate a delicious salad from the vegetables we grew, I had a profound appreciation for growing our own food and it was delicious. Today, my husband and I are growing our own organic herbs and vegetables. The feeling of knowing that we are taking important steps toward protecting our family and ensuring our future gives us tremendous peace of mind. We are very thankful for the knowledge and awareness.
The following article was contributed by James Smith, an avid prepper with a passion for self-protection at all levels.
As humans, we are always vulnerable to danger, no place on earth is safe and no one can be immune from experiencing the unexpected.
People, who laugh at the idea of prepping or learning to survive in the face of danger, don’t realize that no one on earth has ever lived without experiencing anything terrible. Not that we want to experience something like that at all, but we want you to be mentally and physically prepared if things go wrong because dangers are somehow inevitable.
Given the growth in crime rate and the rise in catastrophic events due to various reasons, it is very important for people to learn how to defend themselves. In fact, everyone; men, women, young or old should be able to fight back if someone tries to attack you or anyone close to you. Rather than giving your attacker the benefit of the doubt that you are weak and can’t do anything you better learn a few basic self-defense techniques which can sometimes save you from any big loss.
Here’s a summary of highly effective self-defense tactics that don’t require much in terms of strength or skill:
Simple but Effective Means of Self-Defense
Get the eye
When attacked, the first thing people do is slap, kick or punch as a natural reflex. However, what you can easily and safely do is gouge the attacker’s eye. For this, you don’t have to keep your fit closed, like you do when punching someone. Instead, keep your fist open in a way that your fingers are sprouted out and can hit the eyes. Naturally, humans are rather sensitive with their eyes and when you scratch the attacker’s eyes, he/she will automatically move back or touch his/her hurt eye to ease the pain. This gives you enough time to either run for help or disarm your enemy. If you think your attacker is physically stronger than you then make sure you hit his thigh with an intensity that causes maximum pain and disables your attacker in the most effective way.
Quick tip: Don’t make your action too obvious to your attacker by just spreading your fingers out in the front as he might get an idea and grabs your hand before you even attack. So keep your hand movement as subtle as possible.
Ears can be easily torn off they require only 10 lbs. of pressure to do so. Furthermore, a real hard slap around the ear can send off the attacker to a state of shock, immediately. Like we earlier said, a punch may leave you defenseless, because if the attacker grabs your closed fist there are chances he’ll leave you entirely powerless. Tearing off your opponent’s ear causes more pain than a punch. Also, the latter requires more force and pressure and might.
Although basically being a martial arts and a karate trick but you can use this easy and majorly effective trick when you’re attacked or are in a dangerous situation. Keep your palm flat and strike with the edge of your hand—the beginning of your wrist and top of your pinkie finger. Target for the neck, near the throat or on nose and leave the opponent unconscious.
Break a finger
This again is simple and effective as fingers are the easiest bone to break. Smartly grab the palm of your assailant and bend his fingers to an extent they break. This may sound ruthless but when you’re in a situation where your or your family’s life is in danger this aggressiveness comes naturally. If your attacker is armed then it is better not using this technique. In a stressful time like this when you’re threatened by someone, you won’t be remembering difficult movie stunts or karate tricks but some simple and useful tricks can be of great help.
This one comes naturally and even children are aware of this reflex action if someone tries to grab them against their will. The harder you bite the more pain it will cause. It’s a simple yet brutal self-defense technique. The most sensitive areas like fingers, neck or ear can inflict extreme pain. If you are within close range of your attacker, this is the best technique to use and can give you time to run and even scare your attacker.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- Always carry some sort of weapon like a folding knife or extremely strong pepper spray.
- You should always carry a flashlight with you so that if your attacker takes you to a stranded place and you somehow manage to escape, you have something to use for help or see in the dark.
- If your attacker is armed, don’t try to intimidate him/her because this might provoke him to attack.
- If your attacker is unarmed then give an impression that you’re not afraid and have the power to call for help or even fight back.
- Teach your children how to respond in an emergency and give them code words to remember if they are ever in trouble. They, themselves should know a few tricks to attack someone. Yes, even children can be brave and powerful enough to strike back.
- If you’re unfortunately stabbed or wounded then you should know how to provide first aid or stop an open wound from bleeding.
- Sometimes your best bet is to do as you’re told rather than fighting back. Trust your gut if it tells you that the attacker is extremely powerful and can cause harm.
- Always keep some emergency numbers on quick dial and teach your children to dial 911 in emergency.
- Before trying out any of these tricks make sure you’re not going to make things worse for you. Try to figure out your attacker’s size and physical strength before you just go about hitting him with a kick.
- Although, it’s easier said than done but if you show your attacker that you’re stressed and panic he will take that as a sign of weakness and can attack you more easily.
The following article has been contributed by Nathaniel Kincaid
Wilderness and survival are usually joined together like a bullet rammed into a shell. In the shadowy forest of their definitions lurks the glint of the blade. From man’s conception they have adored the blade; whether it be a knife, a dagger, or a sword. In our short heritage, Generals have treasured the seductive curve of the saber. Doughboys in World War I felt the slap of their tall bayonets as they paced in foreign trenches. In Vietnam, dark bulky daggers clung to Marines as they penetrated the death jungles. Today, we are still invariably drawn to worship the blade.
No post, or video, on a survival site is complete without a long tally of modern knives. Yet today, the hoard of knives in production is so vast, a wise choice in selecting one can be a daunting task.
While I may dream of finding a dusty knife at a pawnshop and noticing in a split second the butterfly wings of the Benchmade brand I’m well aware this is unlikely. I squirm in frustration as article after article flings out review of fantasy knives. Perhaps a good quarter of survival enthusiast live in situations where $300 is just a bit too much for a new knife. So how about taking a second look at some of the ugly duckling of knives that never get any press.
The Lowly Utility Knife.
Years ago, as a boy, I handled with joy a beautiful pocket knife crafted in Ireland. But soon, I realized that the blade dulls quickly. True knife sharpening not only can be a daunting task but also time intensive. I know purist grouse that such fast fading skills should be relearned no matter the cost in time, but sometimes I’m just lazy.
Years ago some brilliant engineer plucked up the humble carpet cutter utilized by thousands of leathery handed laborers and converted it into an even more portable tool. Recently the market has exploded, and I have joined the crowd that just can’t have enough of these tools.
The Kobalt speed release utility knife is a capital example. Able to be purchased at under $15 you can’t go wrong. The belt clip on the knife’s side is aggressive in it’s hold. The hard plastic handle seems sturdy with a grip enhancing texture. The blade whips out with a press of the button and a flick of the wrist. I know this doesn’t excite most people. But I love cheap things that just work!
Over the years probably millions of carpets have been vanquished by the teeth of the razor blade. Just a month or so ago, I flicked open my Kobalt knife and began paring off wood splinters to start a fire. At home, my knife opens those stubborn plastic cases that hold your kid’s toys captive. The chief advantage of this knife is that you can always have a blade razor sharp in seconds. Whether you’re cutting rope, or duct tape, or even shaving wood for a fire, you can count on a razor edge on this knife. Utility knives now come in every size color and shape. So far this is my favorite to date.
The Hybrid Utility Knife
Now a flock of new knives have begun to bloom. The Sheffield 12339 Rhino Lock-back Utility Knife combines the utility of the utility knife with a more conventional replaceable blade. I was thrilled when I saw these. It seemed like a brilliant idea, and I still think it is. But unfortunately it seems most of these knives and the blades are limited to sale on Amazon and the blades only truly fit the Sheffield knife. I have almost bought these blades just to carry in my bug out gear, but so far at about $10 for a couple blades, at last check, I haven’t made the leap.
The Surgical Knife
The Havalon Knives have caught on with hunters with their coy style. Marrying a surgeons scalpel with a hunters knife again births a new genius.
Gerber also has a similar knife and I hope others follow suit driving the prices down even further. On a good day, the Gerber Vital can be found for around $20 or so. Ebay can supply an endless amount of cheap blades for these handy deer skinners. If you really feel cheap you can even buy the medical handle for about $6 to attach these lightning sharp blades to.
The Outdoor Edge
Some people will look at your utility knife, whatever species it may be, and chortle at such a thin blade. For years, utility blades have been hacking through carpet which is far from easy with its highways of thread fiber. Yet still, scoffers will be found.
The advantage of the Outdoor Edge brand of knives is that it lends a spine to the utility knife family. While blades can easily come and go, at the top, the spine lends a stiff support. The knife also comes with its own pouch for belt carry. What I find most exciting is that all these knives can be had for under $50.
The Case for the Humble Utility Knife
I still remember handing my little pocket knife over to my Grandfather and watching sparks fly as he sent the blade skimming across his bench grinder. It was crudely effective. New bright scars would be embedded into my small blade. Within a couple cuts, I would need a new surgery preformed. I still wonder in almost reverence at the select few who can hone a knife to razor sharp. Those with eyes that can set the perfect angle again and again on the stone. Those who take the time to produce a knife that can send hair on your arms falling like a forest being timbered.
But today, my little pocket knife is downstairs in my drawer. You can sharpen a blade again and again relaxing to the buzz of metal against stone or diamond. Or you can invest in a kit, cheap or expensive, that almost gets the knife sharp, but as for me? I would just rather change my blade.
The following article has been contributed by Michael Lemieux, a combat vet and former Special Forces Intelligence Analyst (please see below the article for a full bio)
Prepping is More Than Just Amassing Stuff
Preparing for the unexpected (prepping) is more than just amassing stuff. It is also about understanding the dynamics and fluidity of what will/may happen in a given scenario. As I have said, and heard others say, “Every plan works great up to your engagement with the enemy.” Unfortunately the adversary, man or nature, is not playing by your plan book or your expectations of how they should behave and the plan will divert very quickly.
Most of us try to imagine what could happen in our locality and then extrapolate from that what things we would need and what training we lack and take appropriate steps to mitigate those shortfalls.
But are we thinking beyond our own “things?”
Face it; there are few families that can provide a competent medic, medical supplies for physical and dental requirements, armory, ammunition, food supplies, power equipment, 24 hour guard/security, and livestock management, gardening/farming and so on. For most of us just managing an inventory is a massive undertaking that requires constant vigilance.
I haven’t even mentioned the mountains of reference material, tools, equipment (both hand and powered), and training required individually and as a family. Just the art of silent communication, arm and hand signals, or some other communication system to facilitate working as a team is nearly extinct outside of combat units.
In a grid down or “without rule of law” (WROL) scenario, how well would you be able to defend what you have accumulated? How many people are in your household, do you plan to “bug out” to a retreat or looking to “bug in” and hunker down at home, you have to be able to defend your property in either case 24/7.
A Potential Real-World Example
Some will say they live in a quiet neighborhood with good people and they would not be a threat. Perhaps, but let’s try this scenario:
A massive solar event has caused a global power outage; it will be months before power is restored. Weeks go by with virtually no outside help and food is running scarce.
Gangs and groups of people have started roaming further and further outside their own areas looking for food, and whatever else they can find.
Many of your neighbors know that you were a prepper and you probably have food in your house. Even if you have been quite about your prepping they may have noticed some of the things you have been doing and suspect you are “one of them.”
Two weeks into the disaster a neighbor is looking at his weakened family and crying children who are hungry and literally starving to death in front of him. And now that the water is no longer flowing and all their supplies have run out, he is becoming desperate to keep his family alive.
He has the family shotgun at his side and he will take it with him when he goes to your house to ask for help. But he has made up his mind; he will feed his family whether you agree to help him or not.
So, in this scenario, do you agree to help? How much? How often? Let’s say you agree to give a little food, water, and medicine. Now you have confirmed you have supplies. He will be back again. What if one of the other neighbors sees you giving food to him? Will they want some too?
You can see how this can quickly escalate. And these are not even the “bad guys.”
So how do you defend your home? How many ways can someone enter your house? Doors and windows, regardless of what floor they are on, are all easy ways to enter a home. Can you cover all of them with just your family and for how long? And if you have security running all the time how can you get anything else done. We all know that we cannot be at a heighten state of security awareness while trying to cook dinner or work chores that must be done.
The average family of 5 may consist of a husband and wife and 3 children. My family, for instance, is my wife and I and two sons and a daughter. If we have two people on “guard duty” or lookout the most we could effectively cover is two sides of the building. Yes we could roam back and forth to each cover two sides. But in doing so we are also telegraphing that we have stuff here we are guarding and drawing more attention. And human nature always kicks in with a nature break every few hours, you have to sleep, you have to eat and we all need down time to break the tension.
You can quickly see that in a 24/7 self-protection scenario things could get very taxing very quick.
I have heard others say they could build a safe room with all their supplies and no one can get in. Really? How long would your safe room/bunker last with the house burning down around you sucking the life giving oxygen from the room. Flames would not need to touch you but the lack of air would have the same effect. Which brings up the next weakness of a “bunkered” situation – even if you bunker is below ground with a bomb proof door you still need to swap air with the outside and all it takes is a green brush fire lit under you fresh air intake and your bunker is now a smoke filled tomb.
Don’t get me wrong I love a good bunker but ones with secondary and preferably tertiary egress routes leading to concealed exits beyond the immediate vicinity of what is going on topside. The problem with these are that they are very, very expensive, and not going to happen if your renting or living in an apartment and in most cities if you try to dig a hole in your own yard the city code enforcement officer is there asking to see permits and plans that must first be approved.
The Importance of a Tribe
So in the real world where you and I live we have to rely on one another. A trusted group of friends and acquaintances that can make up your tribe can and most likely will be the difference between life and death.
Some of your tribe members may not even know they are part of your tribe; they are your intelligence gathering folks, bartering partners, and possibly alternative transportation needs. They may be a neighbor that works at the police department or other city department that can feed information as to what the city is hearing outside the neighborhood.
Get a ham radio and get licensed; during times of disaster they are sometimes the only ones that have up to date information. Make friends on air in the four cardinal directions, write down their call signs and when the flag goes up start calling and find out what is happening. Many times, like the move of weather across the landscape, you may be able to get a warning of trouble before it arrives.
Don’t overlook local hams either; yes they are close but if two cities to the north hams are telling of bad guys coming south and you have a ham friend to the north of the city you live in you can get updates of movements that can directly affect your planning and decision making.
Get Comfortable Now
You will also need to build a tribe that is personal; I mean sleep in the same room, brush your teeth and pee in the same toilet personal.
4-5 families can group together to fortify a single family home with a decent odds of survival. But you have to start now, get together weekly, assign tasks and responsibilities, train together, plan together, plan down to actual sleep arraignments, and get to know one another like family.
With additional people come additional requirements; increased meal requirements, waste disposal, water usage, medical requirements, etc. But the tribe also comes with a force of arms and the deterrence of multiple eyes and ears holding multiple firearms. This is much more of a deterrence than mom and dad and a few kids asking bad guys to leave them alone.
A Contingency Plan
Though we don’t like to think about it; our best laid plans may not work out, so we must have a contingency.
One contingency may be to fall back to one of the other tribe member’s house (if reasonable) and set up a secondary site. Have some supplies hidden away for just such a contingency and live to fight another day. Alternatively, establish a bug out location that you can pre-stash supplies and tents, etc. to go to if you must abandon your primary spot. Abandoning a losing battle to save the lives of your loved ones is better than dying to hold on to the things you may have.
It is always advisable to have GOOD bags (Get Out Of Dodge) that have food, water, clothes, emergency equipment, small tent, sleeping bag, etc. for each member. If the vehicle is still running, great, if not, each member should be able to pack their own gear. Pre-stage as much as possible and update often to be sure you are ready. After the emergency hits is not the time to start.
No Man is an Island
We have all heard the adage that no man is an island – this is never as true as when you are trying to survive a disaster and especially when you are caring for loved ones who cannot defend themselves.
I have over 20 years of military experience; I have been to more third world countries than I care to count. I have seen the ugliness that is war, have been shot at, and have shot at others trying to kill me and my brothers in arms. I can tell you from firsthand experience that there is no animal more fierce and more inhumane than a ruthless enemy of the human species when they think there is no law or power to stop them.
The most passive and meek gentlemen can turn vicious and deadly when faced with starvation of his wife and especially his children.
Yet we must retain our humanity in such situations and help where we can with the understanding that we can only share our excess and that any attack on us would be met with deadly force. In time that generosity may prove to create an ally that provides you intelligence or skills which can save your life.
Gear and supplies are important, but they’re not enough. It’s a community, your tribe, that will make all the difference when your family’s life is in the balance.
Michael LeMieux was born in Midwest City, Oklahoma in 1956 and graduated from Weber State University in Utah with a degree in Computer Science. He served in both the US Navy and US Army (Active duty and National Guard) and trained in multiple intelligence disciplines and was a qualified paratrooper. He served with the 19th Special Forces Group, while in the National Guard, as a Special Forces tactical intelligence analyst. He served tours in Kuwait and Afghanistan where he received the Purple Heart for injuries received in combat.
Mr. LeMieux left military duty at the end of 2005 after being medically discharged with over 19 years of combined military experience. He currently works as an intelligence contractor to the US government and owns a small Firearms Repair business called Raven Head Arms.
He has traveled around the world living in 14 States of the Union including Hawaii, and visited (for various lengths of time) in Spain, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Korea, Scotland, Pakistan, Mauritius, Somalia, Diego Garcia, Australia, Philippines, England, Italy, Germany, and Puerto Rico.
Michael now lives in Nebraska with his wife, two of his three children, and grandchild. His hobbies include shooting, wood-working, writing, amateur inventor and scuba diving when he can find the time.
This article was contributed by Jim. Jim was raised by Depression era parents and grew up around prepping skills long before they were called that. Today his focus is on natural health and healing, staying under the radar and sensible prepping. Currently he’s planning the construction of a sailing trimaran – to be used for bugging out ASAP.
Bunches of gear reviews, homesteading primers and futuristic prognostications pass through the pages of various prepping websites and magazines.
Many of them are credible and contain valuable information for those of us who believe that the status quo cannot remain so indefinitely.
The prepper lifestyle is, in itself, a healthier than ‘normal’ why to live. But there is much that can be done to make it more so. Toward this end, I want to introduce you to a methodology that can increase your overall sense of wellbeing and health exponentially. And I’m not exaggerating.
Energy Psychology is a broad range of techniques that spring from the ancient art and practice of acupuncture.
While it’s true that there is little in the way of ‘scientific’ evidence to validate its effectiveness, that has begun to change. And the personal experiences of those who have and do practice the techniques offer hope that there is much that we can do to collectively shift the responsibility for our personal health and wellbeing back into our own hands.
And in the process, away from the toxic environment of the medical/pharmaceutical industrial complex.
The one specific technique that I’d like to introduce you to today is Emotional Freedom Techniques.
And no, it doesn’t involve sticking needles into your body.
An Introduction into EFT
EFT, or tapping as it is referred to, began to take form in the 80’s when a fellow by the name of Gary Craig took notice of the work and practice of a southern California psychologist, Roger Callahan.
Callahan had developed a modality he called ‘Thought Field Therapy’ and was experiencing results that were uncommon in the field of psychology at that time. His technique was complicated and required the participation of a practitioner along with the person being treated.
What Craig did was to simplify Callahan’s process, make it user friendly, easy to learn – and free to all who wanted to learn it.
Thus was born EFT.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve experienced gut related issues. Most notable among them, pain. I called them Big Pains and it got to the point where I was experiencing them for as long as 48 hours at a stretch as often as twice a month.
The pain was so bad that I was planning what I would do when it became unbearable. Note that I wrote when, not if.
I’ve never had much confidence in what passes for modern medicine and had had an interest in acupressure from the moment I first heard of it.
One evening, while researching alternative healing methods, I stumbled across a reference to EFT. It didn’t strike me as being all that promising but ‘something’ did convince me to print out abbreviated instructions and start tapping on my 5km walk back home.
Something clicked, for the next day I returned to the cyber cafe, printed out the entire manual and had it bound. Then read, studied and began practicing it daily.
Seven months later I experienced my last Big Pain. And that’s been over 10 years ago now.
And my life has continues to improve. In ways that I wouldn’t have thought would have unfolded in the way that they have. I continue to practice the technique daily and believe that if the government and the pharmaceutical industry knew of its effectiveness, it would be illegal.
From the Founder: EFT Explained
There is little I can do to coerce you into giving EFT a try. Other than recount my personal experience with the technique. How about a video…?
Gary Craig put this together himself when EFT was still in its infancy. It inspired me then and continues to do so every time I watch it.
Since its inception many others have jumped on the EFT bandwagon. Some have even added value to it. But Craig is still at the forefront of the movement and is continually working to improve delivery and effectiveness.
And in my opinion he’s still the go to source to get started.
Self Reliance is the Key to Survival
Prepping has become an industry. And it’s oh so easy to get into the mindset that if I just purchase this tool or invest in that resource, then all will work out in the long run.
My contention is that we are each our own most valuable tool and resource. And while I’m sure that there are ‘things’ that can be bought to increase our own individual reliance factor, we each came into this plane of existence without money. And when we leave we won’t be taking any of it with us.
Having access to financial reserves may put a person in a position to endure difficult situations more comfortably than most others. For awhile. Maybe.
But in the long run you will be your own best asset. Insight, intuition, health and your personal character will prove to be of invaluable worth. And these are the assets that EFT and other forms of energy psychology help to engender.
Why not give EFT a try? Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
The following article was contributed by Dayna Colvin, a holistic organic writer. She is a very active environmental advocate. She and her husband live in the Pacific NW, USA and are happy new parents of an adorable baby boy and share their home with 2 adorable, wonderful, sweet cats, their furry babies. You can reach her via email and social media at:
The Case for Essential Oils
Organic essential oils are a very important part of my holistic self-care and survival. I suffer from painful chemical sensitivity and asthma and I am often exposed to toxic levels of synthetic scents and cigarette smoke. The horrible exposure hurts my health to the point that I can’t breathe and the only natural remedy that will help me feel better is an organic essential oil.
Essential oils are the life blood of all plants and can save your life. One strong aromatic whiff of peppermint, orange, lemon, and eucalyptus soothes my nose and helps me feel much better. I can feel my lungs clearing and I can breathe better. I must say that I will not leave home without my favorite essential oils. I always carry a bottle of peppermint, orange, and tea tree oil in the event that I need a healing boost and I need an emergency rescue.
Peppermint is wonderful healing for the lungs and helps headaches too. Peppermint is also very energizing. Orange is a natural organic antimicrobial and is great for cleaning the air, as is lemon. Eucalyptus is great for clearing the lungs and is very energizing. I have several bottles of essential oils in my medicine cabinet and I use them to help soothe my baby when he is feeling stressed and needs some calming. Essential oils are a very important part of our first aid kit and they should be in everyone’s first aid kit.
I do feel the need to warn people of a very serious health concern.
There are many synthetic scented products on the market, including commercial detergent, deodorizers, and personal care products that claim to contain essential oils, but the truth is to the contrary.
All synthetic scented products contain petrochemicals that were manufactured in a laboratory and there is nothing natural in any of the ingredients. Synthetic scented products contain cancer causing petrochemicals that can cause potentially harmful health hazards and are best avoided. My sensitive sense of smell immediately knows the difference between an organic pure essential oil and a synthetic scent.
The worst part about synthetic scents is that the US FDA does not regulate any scented products and companies are not required to disclose the toxic ingredients in their products. When you see a scented product that contains “fragrance”, you can be sure that it contains more than 10,000 toxic petrochemicals. When I learned this sobering fact, I was shocked and horrified and made the important decision to only purchase my personal care products from a natural food store or make my own healthy products.
Taking Charge of Your Family’s Health
There is a lot to be said about self-sufficiency and do it yourself.
For many people, this can be a slow process if this is new to you and if you don’t have the budget. I can assure you that as a mother who works hard to take care of her family and is on a fixed budget, it can be done.
A good example is that I save money and protect my family’s health with my earth friendly homemade laundry detergent. I use 1 measuring cup of baking soda and 1 measuring cup of white distilled vinegar in my laundry and it cleans very efficiently. There is no toxic residue, no toxic fumes, and the money I am saving is well worth it.
In today’s day and age, we cannot say we cannot afford to make healthy earth friendly choices. Instead, we need to say we cannot afford to make unhealthy choices. Making healthy choices for your family and voting with your wallet is the best thing you can do for survival and environmental conservation.
I highly recommend that anyone who takes survival prepping seriously take important action steps to green their home and learn to become serious label readers. It’s very important to learn what all the ingredients are in the products you buy.
Learn the difference between propylene glycol and sweet orange and pay very close attention to all the products you buy for all your family’s needs. Please do not fall for marketing tactics like “hypoallergenic”, “scent/fragrance-free”, “sensitive skin”. Unfortunately, I fell into the trap of these marketing tactics and my health suffered in painful ways.
If You Can’t Pronounce It Don’t Buy It
My simple approach that I recommend to everyone is, if you cannot pronounce the ingredients, pass it by and leave it on the shelf. If in doubt, do without is my motto and I live by this motto with all my purchases. My family has been using Dr. Bronner’s organic lavender castile soup for 20 years and we also use Earth Mama Angel Baby and we are very happy with both. My other motto I live by is keep it simple.
In my humble opinion, this is the best motto to live by to be a healthy prepper.
The following article was contributed by Hugo, a native of the UK. Hugo’s expertise and interests lie with EDC (every-day carry) for which he contributes articles and videos in various contexts/specialities related to that. His YouTube channel, “The EDC Guy”, can be found here
What falls under the category of EDC?
When I look across the Internet, I find that many groups use this term. Knives, Flashlights, Cameras, Pens, Handguns, and many other things often have the label of EDC attached to them. Many interest groups claim that it originated with them. I have no idea when this term came into being or where it came from.
Everyday carry seem obvious enough but when you look closer you will see that the definition can be quite loose.
If we carry a certain item 5 days out of the week, is it EDC? I think it still is.
What if we carry an item all of the time except under special conditions when we substitute it with a more specialized tool or larger tool? I still think it is EDC but this is open to debate.
EDC I think is different things to different people in one way or another. I have seen people debate about this subject. A person in a rural area has different needs than a person from a city. One person’s life might depend on his EDC one day while another person just likes to carry certain items. EDC might be different for people depending on their occupation/hobbies. One person may EDC a full sized item where another carries a small item. I am not sure how tight or how loose the boundaries of EDC should be. Perhaps we can figure this out or maybe there is no perfect answer.
I think that that there are many reasons that people would EDC. It could be that it is really useful/practical to EDC many items daily. Some items may be carried a lot but used little awaiting some need to occur. Several EDC items are functional or non-functional luxury items/status symbols. An EDC item can be for comfort or just fun to have and play with. There are many other reasons besides.
If it is in your car everyday, is that another level of EDC? I don’t know what I think on this but have had the thought many times. Maybe there are levels of EDC.
The text above is an edited quote from the EDCforums, on the philosophy of EDC, by JonSidneyB, the forums’ founder. The original can be found here.
I found this blog as a result of an interest in EDC, then preparedness, but felt that EDC as a concept is not dealt with as thoroughly as it should be in comparison to, say, Bug-Out Bags. So I am writing this article, to educate people about the usefulness of taking care of your EDC.
Note: I live in the UK, where handguns and knives of over 3″ are, to all intents and purposes, illegal. Because of this, I will not discuss the use of knives or handguns in EDC in this article.
In my experience there are two types of EDC: that which is carried ‘on-person’ and that which is carried somehow else, normally in a bag or pack. I’ll start with the first type.
It is important to keep the essentials of your life in your pockets. Your phone, keys and wallet for most people.
However, if you were going on a hike, or doing a bug out drill, what would become one of your essentials? Flashlight, knife (though I’m not discussing that here) multi-tool with decent pliers and screwdriver, lighter/matches/tinder etc. right?
If you truly want to live a prepared lifestyle, you need to stop isolating your ‘normal EDC’ from your ‘prep/hike/at home EDC’. When I first got into EDC, I carried a phone, keys and wallet. now I carry a phone, keys, wallet, multi-tool (blade-less), lighter, simple first-aid kit, needle and thread, pen, and notebook.
You might think that all of that would take up a lot of space but actually, I only sacrificed one hip pocket in a normal pair of trousers.
If you decide to carry similar equipment to me, I recommend a small pouch called the Maxpedition Micro. I use it, it will fit in any normal trouser hip pocket, and can hold a lot of stuff.I recommend that you carry at least the following:
- Flashlight – the uses for a flashlight are endless, carry a small one and you’ll barely notice it until you need it, carry a big one and you can use it as a weapon in a pinch.
- Pen and paper – worth putting thought into, you can buy waterproof paper notebooks from Rite In The Rain, and space pens (pens that were developed by NASA for use in space, but which will also write upside down, underwater, in a vacuum etc.) from Fisher Space Pens.
- Small first aid kit – as far as my pockets go, this is merely constitues a couple of plasters and some antiseptic wipes, but if you have space it is worth adding triangular bandages, tourniquet etc..
- Lighter – small but very useful tool, you can buy windproof refillable ones, though everyone who cares agrees that the Douglass Field Lighter is the best.
- Needle and thread – this doesn’t need to be a full blown sewing kit, just a few needles, maybe kept in a film canister or similar small capsule, and a spool of thread, invaluable if your button should come of, or you get a rip in your trousers. Yo can buy fairly cheap, but very strong nylon or kevlar threads, impossible to break with your hands.
- A multi-tool – this can include a knife, but I would recommend carrying a dedicated knife as well, the main purpose of the multi tool is to provide tools which you might not need so regularly as a knife, that means needle nose pliers, tweezers (try to get a multi tool with these, they are so useful for all kinds of tasks), screwdrivers, you get the picture – I recommend the Leatherman Wave.
In addition to considering adding the above the your EDC, it is probably worth considering what you carry now, and how you carry it.
For instance, your keychain offers myriad possibilities: a small keychain flashlight as a backup to lend to a friend who doesn’t carry their own, you can buy excellent keychain sized multitools with various levels of functionality, etc.
With regards to carrying this stuff, I recommend a good quality, strong pair of cargo trousers, and a belt. Find some good trousers at a local army surplus store, or (if you money is no object and you really want quality) buy these.
Along with what they keep in their pockets, most people have a bag or pack that they keep with them, holding secondary, auxiliary or backup items, or items that are too big to keep in a pocket.
I do a lot of traveling, so my bag is largely centered around necessities for relative comfort in urban life (a full change of clothes, and a good hydration bladder), and maintaining this (a good sewing kit, and a wash kit). This corresponds fairly well to a ‘preparedness’ mindset.
- First things first, a backup to everything in you pockets is important. You had to buy a fairly small flashlight to fit in your pocket EDC, so buy a bigger, better one that can go in your bag. if the situation is small, and requires a single flashlight, use the one in your pocket, otherwise use the big one. It is always worth buying the right tool for the job.
- Second, a change of clothes is probably worth it, unless you never go anywhere at all. Make it functional; e.g. good pair of cargo pants, lightweight but string T-shirt, spare pair of hiking socks and undies, and a good spare jumper. I’ll say it again: spare jumper. the single most useful item of clothing you can have. it will warm you up, work as a blanket, and (if you make sure it’s the only one you own in that color/pattern) it provides an instant change of the major look of you outfit, a simple but effective disguise should you ever go on the run.
- Keep a pocket for a wash-bag, including deodorant, razor/foam/soap/brush whatever, toothbrush and paste, flannel or a spare hanky, bar of soap in a box/waterproof bag etc. just be sensible
- A hydration bladder is really worth it. the common names (Camelbak, source etc.) are good, but in my opinion, Geiger rigs are the best. They can be pressurized (though this is not automatic; you can use it with or without), hold up to 2 litres (easily enough for an EDC pack) and are compatible with a wide variety of filtration stems and extra gadgets. You can also buy any part separately, should you need a replacement.
- First Aid Kit. Although point #1 is applicable here, it is very important to have a decent FAK in you bag. It must contain at minimum: plasters, antiseptic wipes/cream, triangular bandage, pain killers (this is a great gadget for keeping two types of pills in), shears/bandage scissors (ideally both), tweezers (separate must-have for FAK, even if you have others in your EDC anyway) and wound dressings (ideally a variety). Other good things to have are: tourniquets, antihistamine, epipen, vaseline, burn cream, you can go on forever…
- Then there are miscellaneous items, which don’t fit into a category but are still very useful. Just good things to have (though this often depends on your situation) are: lock picks (check your local laws), slingshot (check the law again), binoculars/monocular, microfibre towel (packs down very small), space blanket, small survival kit, watch (I’m planing to write another article explaining the usefulness of EDC watches soon, so I won’t go into depth here), paracord (the Spooltool is a brilliant investment for spring and organising paracord), carabiners, etc.
Please take this as advice, but not as a hard-and-fast rulebook. What works depends on the person, so see what works for you.
Thanks for reading.