Archive for June, 2012

How to Make a Decoy Wallet

Monday, June 18th, 2012

One thing that I carry around with me when I go to the city or travel overseas is a decoy wallet.

A decoy wallet is a wallet whose purpose is to fool a would-be mugger or pickpocket from stealing your real wallet.

The theory is, if you’re ever threatened to give up your wallet, you pull out the decoy and let them take that instead of your real stash of money, IDs, and credit cards (which are concealed somewhere else on your person).

In this article I’ll show you my decoy wallet and give you some tips on how to make your own.

My decoy wallet

Here’s a pic of my decoy wallet:

From initial investigation, it appears to be an actual wallet: It’s worn out, has credit cards in it, pictures of the wife and kids, a few rewards cards, and some cash (a $10 bill, a $5 bill, and five $1s).

While the $20 bucks is real and will work for them, that’s about it.

The credit cards though are inactive, the pictures of the wife and kids are not mine (I printed out a nice picture of some lady and kids on photopaper), and the rest is just a filling of old receipts, rewards cards, and other worthless items.

If I get pick-pocketed:

Well, then the worse thing that happens is my pride is a bit hurt and I come away with a lesson to be better aware of my surroundings.

If I am mugged:

Here is my plan:

  • If I have the option to throw the wallet and beat feet to a public area, then I’ll do it, otherwise…
  • If I have nowhere to go and they take the wallet and run, then that works as well.
  • If they force me to stay while rummaging through it, then I will prepare myself for a possible escalation of force. If the ruse is enough to fool them and they leave me alone, it’s a good day.
  • If they escalate after that point, hopefully the time it takes for them to figure out they want to tango, I’ve prepared myself enough to meet their escalation with my own (preparing my carry weapon).

This is my own continuum of force. You are welcome to create one that you feel comfortable with.

For me, the decoy wallet really serves two purposes: as a ruse for them to hopefully leave me alone, or as a momentary distraction that allows me a bit of time to prepare for an unavoidable physical confrontation.

As a side note, I highly recommend you read my article on crisis visualization. It greatly helps to visualize exactly how you would respond to this sort of incident (with all the variables you can think of) and play them over and over in your mind until they’re ingrained as natural responses. As a result this will greatly shorten the OODA loop to give you the best chance possible.

Remember, in situations where seconds count you don’t want to be a statistic because you hesitated.

How to make a decoy wallet

Making a decoy wallet is a pretty simple process. Here are some pointers that you’ll want to consider.

  • If you have an old/beat-up wallet, use that. The more you can make it look like it’s your real wallet the better
  • Add to it inactive or expired credit cards, fake family pics (of kids, spouse etc), a decent but small amount of cash, store rewards cards you don’t use, some old store receipts you don’t need etc. Anything to add to the ruse and make the wallet look “full”.
  • Keep your real set of cards, IDs, and cash in a concealed place on your body (not in your pockets)
  • When you need to make a purchase, use the decoy wallet. If you need more than what’s in the decoy, go to the restroom and put what cash/card you need from your concealed place and reverse the process when done.

    You don’t want to go digging down into your crotch for your “concealed cash” at the register — not only will the register person think you’re a weirdo but any would-be mugger watching you will now know where you hide the real stuff…and may just go looking.

  • When stocking your decoy wallet, keep in mind that some expired/inactive cards will use the same credit-card number as your current one. Confirm that’s not the case since the criminal could potentially still use the card by trying out various expiration dates.
  • I wouldn’t recommend putting any notes in your wallet like “Sorry Dude, You’ve Been Punked” or “Nice Try Loser” or filling it with monopoly money. If the perp makes you stay there while checking out what’s inside it could just make things worse for you…

A word to the ladies

For women that don’t carry wallets per se, the principles still apply: Keep your important collection of cash, cards, and IDs somewhere concealed on you. (I know some ladies who can conceal quite a bit in their bras).

In your purse you’ll put a decoy wallet in there and either hand that over to them or the whole purse (you just can’t sweat about losing your MAC makeup).

It really comes down to awareness

Ultimately, mugging is a crime of surprise. Don’t forget the importance of keeping your head on a swivel and always being aware of your surroundings.

If you haven’t yet, check out my article on The Color Code of Awareness: Always stay in Yellow.

Home Study Herbalist Discount Link is Now Live!

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Just wanted to let you know that the discount link is now live and the bonuses are all set for those who want to purchase the School of Natural Healing’s Family Herbalist home study course.

You can purchase it here: Family Herbalist Home Study Course

As far as the bonuses go, once the purchase is made and you receive a confirmation email, just forward that confirmation email along to me at erich@tacticalintelligence.net and I will send out the bonuses to you (keep in mind these bonuses are only valid during the week of this sale — until eod Sunday).

Here’s the sales letter from the School of Natural Healing:

Family Herbalist – Take Control of Your Family’s Health

The first course, Family Herbalist (Level 100), is the starting point to mastery of your own health and is a prerequisite for all courses that follow. The Family Herbalist course is comprised of five information-packed sections that will give you the knowledge you need to take full control of your family’s health care.

All materials are delivered online, allowing you to move through the course at your own pace from the comfort of your own home. With this knowledge, you really can become your own primary care provider.

Family Herbalist Section 1: “Herbal Home Health Care” Learn to Treat Common Childhood Illnesses Quickly and Easily

In this section you will…

  • Learn the best ways to prevent childhood diseases.
  • Understand how to avoid the most common germ environments.
  • Learn the best herbal foods for expectant mothers.
  • Discover the best way to prepare foods for pregnancy.
  • Learn why this common herbal tea is an invaluable aid for women.
  • Find out the common causes for miscarriage and herbal formulas to prevent it.
  • Study wholistic healing programs for children.
  • Know the most common symptoms of childhood illnesses and how to treat them.
  • Learn what causes colic, a parent’s nightmare, and how it can be healed.
  • Discover the three herbal teas most useful for colds and flu.
  • Learn easy herbal treatments for common children’s illnesses
  • Be amazed to find this one herb you can easily grow in your yard is packed with vitamins and minerals and has many, many medicinal uses. It will allow you to throw away almost everything in your medicine cabinet.
  • Learn of a common food causing huge problems in your body. Eliminate just this one food from your diet and it will change your life.
  • …And Much More!

Family Herbalist Section 2: “Herbs to the Rescue” Learn Herbal First Aid for Accidents and Injuries

In this section you will…

  • Discover that natural first aid remedies are easy, inexpensive, and accessible.
  • Learn natural remedies to quickly heal minor injuries.
  • Learn a common herb that is invaluable for building calcium in the body.
  • Uncover a simple formula to clear up Acne.
  • Read how to quickly heal and reduce pain from bee stings, spider bites, and insect bites.
  • Discover natural remedies for poisonous bites.
  • Understand the symptoms of shock and how to treat it.
  • Discover simple herbal treatments to aid in healing broken bones.
  • Learn what herbs are used to treat hypothermia and frostbite.
  • Learn how to make fomentations and poultices.
  • Know how to heal burns with herbs you probably have in your kitchen.
  • Discover what herbs will dramatically reduce pain in scrapes, cuts, and bruises
  • …And Much More!

Family Herbalist Section 3: “Simple Home Remedies” Learn to Heal Using Ingredients You Already Have in Your Kitchen

In this section you will…

  • Discover easy herbal combinations for healing glands.
  • Learn how to make various herbal teas for many types of ailments.
  • Be amazed to discover many common ingredients right in your kitchen that can be used for healing. Learning this will save you tons of money on prescriptions.
  • Learn which herb is nature’s anti-biotic? (You probably have some of this in your cupboard).
  • Learn what herbs are used to stimulate the immune system. Being sick is not inevitable, there are many people who rarely, if ever, get sick because they know this.
  • Find simple home remedies for treating bloody noses.
  • Discover easy-to-make remedies for sunburn.
  • Understand herbal combinations for colic and upset stomach.
  • Watch how real people just like you use this knowledge every day to keep their families healthy and happy.
  • Be delighted that this common ingredient you regularly cook with has incredibly powerful healing qualities. Learn how to use it to quickly get rid of colds, and flu.
  • Find a simple, easy-to-make herbal formula that will eliminate congestion.
  • …And Much More!

Family Herbalist Section 4: “Fundamentals of Herbology” Discover the Origins and Philosophy of Herbal and Natural Healing

In this section you will…

  • Discover a very easy treatment for fevers.
  • Learn how to treat lung problems and cardiovascular problems.
  • Find an easy herbal combination to help PMS. Ladies, you will be forever grateful for this simple solution. Guys, you will too!
  • Be delighted to find easy-to-make herbal combinations for migraines. If you suffer from migraines this bit of information will change your life forever!
  • Uncover simple herbal remedies for preventing most diseases.
  • Learn what the difference is between a vitalist and an atomist, and why it is important.
  • Understand the philosophy and differences between modern medicine and natural healing.
  • Learn the cause for most disease in your body. You will also discover that this cause is easy to avoid.
  • Learn an easy cleansing method to rid your body of toxins.
  • Hear real life examples of people who have experienced ‘miraculous’ results in their health by learning and applying this knowledge.
  • …And Much More!

Family Herbalist Section 5: “Internal Cleansing” Learn How to Maintain a Clean Healthy System

In this section you will…

  • Discover the safety and efficacy of herbs.
  • Learn the history of herbs and how they have always been used.
  • Uncover the difference between herbs and drugs and what that difference means for you health.
  • Discover a simple herbal remedy for hearing problems.
  • Learn an easy herbal remedy for strep or sore throat.
  • Learn how to cleanse your system for optimal functioning.
  • Discover how to maintain a healthy colon. It’s said 90% of all diseases originate in the colon. Learn to take care of it and change your life.
  • Uncover the facts and fiction about vaccines. This is a hot topic today with loud voices on both sides.
  • Hear real life stories and facts so you can make the best decisions for your family.
  • Hear Master Herbalists speak of their experiences with their own families and clients.
  • …And Much More


Start Your Herbal Education Today

A Simple Home Remedy for Curing Strep Throat

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

In this post I want to share with you a simple home remedy for curing strep throat using common items you’ll find in your kitchen.

I also want to go into more detail about the online herbalist-training course I’m taking from the School of Natural Healing (where I’m learning all this from) and tell you the great deal I got you guys if you decide to sign up.

A simple home remedy for curing strep throat

What is the School of Natural Healing?

The School of Natural Healing was founded by Dr. John R. Christopher in 1953. It is the oldest (still functioning) herbalist school in the United States.

Since it’s founding, many of the world’s top herbalists and naturopathic healers have become instructors and contributors to the program and it has become the means for thousands of students to begin or further their herbal knowledge. The training is top notch and has more material incorporated in it than any other school in the world.

Ultimately, they show you that you can become your own doctor. Best of all, their courses are available online so you can become a qualified healer in the comfort of your own home.

The courses are designed to teach herbalism from the ground up. Beginning with a foundational understanding of natural methodologies, you’ll progress through the many aspects of herbal healing, including herb identification, horticulture, medicinal usage’s, methods of preparation and more.

Students who complete the Master Herbalist program are prepared to take care of themselves and their families, and educate others in natural healing methods.

The School of Natural Healing’s curriculum and philosophy is built upon the understanding and practice of four fundamental principles:

  1. Preventative Nutrition
  2. Eradicating the Cause of Disease
  3. Healing the Body through Natural Methods
  4. Education

The School of Natural Healing’s curriculum consists of 22 course levels ranging from beginner all the way up to Master Herbalist. All courses are provided online so you can do them in the comfort of your own home at your own pace. You can take just one course, or go all the way through to achieve your Master Herbalist Certification.

The first course, Family Herbalist (which I took), is the starting course and is a prerequisite for all courses that follow. It consists of five information-packed sections that gives you the knowledge you need to handle the most common health issues that would arise.

A special deal for readers of TI

I know a bunch of you have been waiting to hear from me on this so I finally got word back about the deal I can offer you guys. Here it is:

If you were to go to their site right now, the normal price of the online home-study course is $295.00.

The deal I was able to get for you is $100 off, so you’ll pay $195 for that same course.

That’s not bad (I wish I got that deal when I signed up); especially when you consider how much you’ll be saving in medical expenses as well as the knowledge you’ll be gaining (which will truly come in great need if things ever go south).

In addition to the $100 discount, they also provided me the following bonuses for you guys:

Bonus #1: A Healthier You Starter Kit ebook (a $29.00 value) which details Dr. Christopher’s renown 3-day and Extended Herbal Cleanse, the Mucusless Diet, How to Set up an Herbal First Aid Kit, the six things you should do each day for maintaining good health and much more.
Bonus #2: The Herbal Legacy Recipes ebook which contains healthy versions of standard recipes we all eat as well as specialized drinks such as the “Infection Fighting Lemon Garlic Drink” and “Green Veggie Energy Drink”.
Bonus #3: A free 6-month Membership (a $39.95 value) to the “A Healthier You” radio show audio archives which go all the way back to the early 90s (and is still going). A Healthier You is hosted by Master Herbalists David and Fawn Christopher, who over the years have covered about every conceivable health topic – from Asthma to Cancer, Heart Disease to Stroke, Pregnancy to Weight Loss (and everything in between) — explaining in detail how and where natural remedies fit into all of this.

The caveat to this is,

I’m only allowed to give you these bonuses this week during the sale.

After Sunday, the bonuses are gone and on top of that, I’m not sure how long thereafter I’ll be able to offer you the $100 discount.

On Thursday morning (tomorrow) I’ll be posting the special link for the discounted price as well as instructions on how to receive your bonuses. Again, this will only remain active until Sunday so if you’re interested be sure to jump on right away.

How to Turn Mullein into Medicine

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Disclaimer: Consult your doctor first!!

The information contained within this article is no way intended to be taken as medical advice. Be certain to consult a professional before trying this for yourself. The owners of this site will not be held responsible for any lapses in judgment or stupidity when handling, using, or consuming wild plants.

For those of you already subscribed to my newsletter (which you should definitely do ;)) then you already know a little bit about my journey into finding a solution to the concerns I had about the health-care system.

Specifically becoming free from my dependence upon it.

With the way the world is going and given the direction the health-care system is going, I think it’s best for all of us to reduce our dependence upon it as much as possible.

I also shared with my subscribers how I finally found a solution that at first I was skeptical about but as I learned more about it, I totally embraced it.

The answer I found was in herbalism, and the solution was signing up for a fantastic home-study herbalism training program (more on that soon).

Well, without spending too much time on this I wanted to share just a little bit of what I’ve been learning by teaching you how you can turn a common plant found throughout North America (and Hawaii) into an effective medicine for all kinds of respiratory ailments and ear infections. This wonderful plant is Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsas).

How to find and identify Common Mullein

Where to find it

Mullein loves to grow in well-drained soils in a sunny position, so a good place to find it is on slopes that are south-facing. It does not like shade or moist soils, so if you live in a moist area you’ll need to get out in the sunny locations that have drier soils like abandoned fields, roadsides, slopes, and waste places.

What to look for

Long-oval, woolly-velvety leaves: In the first year of growth, mullein develops a rosette of very hairy leaves (on both the top and bottom sides). In the second year, a stalk develops and the leaves grow in an alternate pattern up the stalk. Leaves can grow up to 2 feet long.
Large Stalk: In the second year of growth, a tall stalk (from 2 feet to upwards of 8 feet) will emerge.
5-Petaled, Yellow Flowers: The yellow flowers grow in a dense cluster toward the end of the stalk. They are around 1 inch in diameter and consist of five petals.

How to turn Mullein into medicine

Mullein infusion

Making an infusion is just another way of saying making a tea. There are five steps:

Step 1: Gather and dry out the mullein leaves. On sunny days, I like to use the ledge abutting my rear car window. It typically only takes around a few hours on a good sunny/warm day.
Step 2: Boil some water
Step 3: Remove the water from the heat source and pour 1 cup of water over 1 – 2 teaspoons of dried mullein leaves
Step 4: Steep the plant part(s) in the hot water for around 10-15 minutes
Step 5: Strain out the plant matter and keep the medicinal water

Mullein oil infusion

Similar to a water infusion, an oil infusion is made by steeping the desired plant parts in oil. Typically this is done by submerging the plant parts in oil within a sealed glass jar. This jar is then left in the sun over an extended period of time (depending on the plant).

To make a mullein oil infusion:

Step 1: Ready the container: Prepare a glass mason jar by filling it 2/3 – 3/4 full with semi-dried mullein flowers (semi-dried means just leaving them in a warm spot for about 30 min to get some of the moisture out).
Step 2: Steep the mixture: Pour the oil of your choice (I like to use olive oil) over the flowers until they are completely submerged and the container is full. Be sure to tightly close the jar’s lid. With the jar full of flowers and oil, place it in a warm, sunny location and let it steep for two to four weeks.
Step 4: Strain the infusion: Now that the infusion is complete, the last step is to strain out the plant matter with a cheesecloth (or old, clean t-shirt). This resultant infusion can now be used for medicine

How to use your mullein medicine

Here are the uses of your mullein medicine (broken down by the types you made above):

Infusion

Mullein infusion (or mullein tea) is an excellent remedy for congestion, dry coughs, and emphysema since it is an excellent expectorant. As an expectorant, it will help loosen phlegm and mucous from the walls of the lungs allowing it to be coughed up.

To administer: Just drink it like any herbal tea. You can also add a bit of honey to improve the taste.

Oil Infusion

Mullein-flower oil infusion is a well known and very effective remedy for ear infections.

To administer: Using a dropper, place 2-3 drops of mullein oil in the ear canal twice daily until resolved.

At home herbalism training

In the next article (on Wednesday) I’ll be going into a bit more detail about the home-study herbalist program I’m doing.

If this subject interests you, check back in a couple days since I’m working on a special deal for my readers with the herbal school. So stay tuned!

Also, if you have any personal experience with or questions about medicinal plants I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

EcoZoom Lightweight Rocketstove Review

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

If you’ve been a regular reader of my blog then you know how much I recommend EcoZoom’s rocketstoves (for you newbies to rocketstoves, check out my review of the EcoZoom Rocket Stove for more details).

From the people that have purchased it, one of the common complaints I hear about is how heavy they are. Weighing in at around 21 pounds, these bad boys will not be part of your ultralight camping gear anytime soon. But despite the weight, they are an excellent addition for long-term off-grid cooking — perfect for temporary and long-term power outages and super efficient to boot.

Recently I was contacted by EcoZoom to do a review of their new lightweight EcoZoom Versa stove. It’s essentially the same thing as the last one I did a review on but a good 6 pounds lighter.

Since I already did a fairly thorough review of their standard Zoom Versa I didn’t want to rehash the same details that I spoke of last time (not much has changed in terms of form and function). With the significant weight drop though, I did want to compare the performance of both stoves to see if the new lighter-weight one had been negatively affected in any way.

Here are my observations and tests:

Comparative review of the EcoZoom Zoom Versa and Zoom Versa Lite

Form and function

From the picture above you can see that there is no difference in outward appearance or function between the original Zoom Versa and the new lightweight one. They both have the same 6-pronged pot supports, reinforced swinging fuel and airflow doors, and metal-lined combustion chamber (see pic below).

Weight


This is obviously the main difference between the original stove and this newer one. 15 pounds compared to 21 pounds may not sound like much of a difference but it definitely feels significant when you’re hefting the two around.

Performance comparison

To compare the performance of the two stoves I did the following:

1. Put five charcoal briquettes in each stove:

2. Fired up both stoves within 30 seconds of each other:

3. Waited until the charcoal burnt down to smoldering coals and placed the same container with 2-cups of water on each stove:

Performance results and further comparisons

At around the 15 minute mark the water was still not boiling (I never used my rocket stoves with charcoal before so I didn’t know how much I needed) so I added four more briquettes to each stove. Within 30 seconds of adding the charcoal both stoves started to produce a rolling boil:

Actually the older stove started to boil about 5 seconds before the newer one, but it’s not significant enough to say there really is a difference.

The next test I did was to remove the water containers and let the coals burn down. I wanted to see if one stove burnt off the coals faster than the other (implying that it was less efficient):

At the 60 minute mark, both stoves were still hot enough to cook a hotdog:

Finally, at the 80 minute mark I was able to hold my hand over the combustion chamber without having to remove it.

Final thoughts

All in all I did not see any significant difference in performance between the two stoves. EcoZoom certainly did a great job at reducing the weight but at the same time maintaining the performance of the original stove.

It still may not be light enough for an ultralight backpacking trip or when bugging out on foot, but for home and camping use it’s perfect. This year I’m definitely going to be taking it on a canoing trip with me to test it out in the bush. I was on the fence with the older one due to the weight but with this newer one I have no issues taking it along.

I realize there are a lot of other smaller and lighter camping/off-grid stoves on the market, but having a stove that requires nothing but minimal wood or charcoal to cook and simmer food for over an hour is the ultimate benefit of these stoves.

If you haven’t yet bought one, I highly recommend it. You can check out (and purchase) EcoZoom’s stoves at the EcoZoom website here. Although I do make a small commission if you purchase through this link (which I’d be very grateful for!), these would be high on my recommend list even if I didn’t.

Let me know if you have any comments or questions in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you!

How to Train Your Mind to Prevail when the SHTF

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Learn how to train and condition your mind to respond instantly to a crisis situation without leaving the comfort of your recliner

Many of us have the gear, gadgets, and even the know-how to effectively respond to a dangerous situation or crisis but the fact is, without actual experience or realistic training, far too many will hesitate (or worse freeze) when it really hits the fan.

While direct experience and realistic training is certainly most effective in conditioning your body to respond in a certain way, it is not always possible or practical.

There are other options.

Enter Visualization

Outside of realistic training and direct experience, another very effective way of conditioning your mind and body to respond to crisis is through visualization.

In this article you will learn how visualization can train and condition your body and mind to instantly and effectively respond to a crisis situation.

Visualization in a nutshell

Before you think I’ve gone all new-agey on you, let me point out that visualization is not some mystical technique but is in fact a well known tool used by some of the most elite athletes on our planet — some notable examples being Michael Jordan, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Mohammed Ali. This isn’t new age mumbo jumbo, it’s science.

What is visualization?

Visualization is a type of mental rehearsal used to create and strengthen brain patterns. Scientific studies have revealed that visualization can actually enhance performance almost as effectively as physical practice.

So how does visualization work?

With each experience, a neural pathway is formed or strengthened. These neural pathways are essentially clusters of neurons in the brain that work together to create a mental instruction or a learned behavior.

What’s interesting is brain studies show that thoughts can form the same mental instructions as actions. When you imagine something, this imagery impacts the same cognitive processes in the brain as a physical action would: motor control, attention, perception, planning, and memory. In other words, during visualization your brain is getting trained for actual performance.

Back to the neural pathways again: When your brain conceives of an act, impulses are generated that prompt neurons to form neural pathways in the brain, essentially programming your body’s actions as if you physically performed the activity.

Athletes use this ability of the brain to “practice” their golf swings, free throws, and dance routines; martial artists use it to better perform in breaking ice blocks or boards; and even doctors will use this to do difficult surgeries in their mind before performing the actual surgery.

Personally I used it with great success when I was a competing in gymnastics. My coach would have me visualize many of the difficult or dangerous moves in my mind until I had an absolute clear “feeling” of the move before performing it in real life. Although it was the first time doing a certain move, in most cases I felt I had done the move already.

With regards to my mind, there really was no separation between the two.

Visualization for preppers

So where does visualization fit in the life of a prepper?

Well, I think it’s a perfect fit for preparing for any type of dangerous or crisis situation we may encounter.

Let me give you some examples:

Home defense

One example in this category might be visualizing you’re in bed and waking up to the sound of someone breaking into your home or rummaging around in the living room. What would you do? What if the intruder runs away? or runs toward you? Clearly visualize your what your actions and response would be.

Another example may be to imagine being in your home or bug-out location during a period of social unrest. Visualize someone knocking on your door asking for help. Imagine how you would respond during this situation. Play out different scenarios in your mind like little kids coming to the door or a woman who seems to be by herself. Would you respond differently? What if they turned violent?

Natural disasters

Some examples in this category might be visualizing what you would do if you were caught in your home during a severe earthquake, tornado or some other type of natural disaster. What if you were at your place of employment? Or on the road when it happened?

Urban/Wilderness survival

In this category, you might imagine the actions you would take if stranded in a rural or urban area that you might frequent. Or mentally practice building a shelter or performing a skill that you are reading from a wilderness/urban survival guide.

These scenarios are just examples. You’ll be able to come up with many more.

How to properly visualize

Now that you know what visualization is and where you can apply it in prepping I want to briefly discuss how to perform effective visualization that will have greatest effect on training and conditioning your mind.

Step 1: Write down list of scenarios

The first step is to write down a list of potentially dangerous or critical situations that would require immediate action. Start with the scenarios that are most likely to happen to you and then work your way down.

Step 2: Choose a scenario to visualize

Now that you have your list it’s time to choose one and focus on that one before moving to the next.

Step 3: Relax your body and mind

If you are preoccupied with something that is stressing you or you are too stimulated, visualization will not be very effective. It’s best to perform visualization techniques when your mind is clear and your body is relaxed.

Step 4: Close your eyes and engage all your senses

Now that your relaxed and you’ve chosen your source of visualization, close your eyes and engage as many of the five senses as you can.

Some helpful questions: What are you feeling in your body? Is there any specific smells in the air? Who are you with? What are you wearing? What do you hear? Are there any bright flashes or loud sounds that would startle you? Visualize you staying in control and relaxed. What emotions are you feeling right now?

The more realistic and vivid you can make it where you can imagine the sights, sounds, feeling, smells of your environment and situation, all the better. The more you do this the stronger your powers of imagination will be — to the point that it is so vivid it feels real.

Conclusion

The benefits of doing these visualization exercises are that they will in many cases expose the holes or flaws in your preps, plans, or
training. You’ll go about visualizing a certain scenario when you say to yourself, “Man, I need to get this piece of gear or learn how to do such and such skill to better be prepared for this.”

It’s an awesome technique and the applications of visualization are really limitless.

For example, besides practicing for crisis situations I personally like to use visualization to learn new edible/medicinal plants. I’ll imagine what they look, feel, taste (in some cases) and smell like. It also helps for me to mentally practice making them into the food/medicine I would use from it.

It’s really amazing but in so many cases I’ve been able to positively identify a plant out in the wild without a field guide because of the visualization practices I’ve done.

So that’s it. I hope you really consider doing these exercises. They are very effective and best of all they can easily be done before going to bed, upon waking up, or any other idle time you find in your day.

As always, if you have any personal experience or questions with visualization I’d love to hear from you so please post a comment below!