Failing to Prepare is Preparing to fail

"Surviving to Fight means Fighting to Survive"

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Sunday, 23 March 2014

Show contents 22nd March 2014

Show Notes
I start this week with the Blizzard Survival Discount Offer, Ribz Discount Offer and the Wilderness121 Discount Offer, Field Leisure Discount offer, A Zombie Pandemic, Staying Warm in a Power cut, Staying Warm as a Homeless Person or a Survivor Support these companies, EDC Myths, more companies to support, Bugging Out, What Is Prepping?, further companies to support, Questions, Questions, Questions, What to do if a Nuclear Disaster is Imminent
I have sorted out some great discount offers for you dear listener so many thanks to those companies for offering special discounts just for you.
Blizzard Survival 20% Discount Offer
Blizzard Survival .com have a fantastic offer for you the listener they are offering  a 20% discount on all goods bought from them at
The Ultimate in Lightweight Thermal Protection.
The Blizzard Survival Brand incorporating Reflexcell™ material has become the new standard wherever thermal performance in a lightweight compact package is essential - for military use, casualty care, emergency preparedness, disaster relief, personal survival, outdoor activities...and more.
Reflexcell™ products are totally unique: weight-for-weight far warmer than goose down, yet 100% weatherproof, tough, ultra-portable and re-usable.
Life-saving technology has never been so affordable.
Their product represents a step change in the way both civilian and military users prepare for emergencies and treat trauma cases.
Here is an exciting New Product from Blizzard Survival
Blizzard has launched the Blizzard Heat Blanket an insulated and active warming system for the whole body. Utilising its unique 3-ply Reflexcell™ material in a reflective insulating blanket with self-activating heating pads it incorporates front & side vents for easy access, and integral hood for head protection. Now is the time to visit

All you have to do to get a 20% discount is enter the code “PREPPER” at the checkout, it is that simple. Thank you Blizzard Survival.
A front pack is a pack or bag that allows for access of equipment from the persons chest. Front packs first and foremost allow for easy access of gear without the removal of any equipment.
In many adventure outdoor activities it can be critical to the sport to have the ability to reach essential gear fast without the removal of a backpack. Simplicity is the foremost purpose of the front pack but there are many additional benefits as well.
Weight distribution and balance is a key element in the utility of the front pack. Shifting weight forward in situations when carrying heavy loads can be critical to the comfort and balance of an individual.
Backpacking is a sport where in many situations it is critical to both minimize and maximize the contents of your load for a longer or lighter duration of stay. The ability to move small amounts of weight to the frontal region significantly reduces overall stress on a person’s shoulders and back.
Moving a small amount of heavy equipment forward to a front pack can allow for an individual to either maximize or minimize the overall load contained in a backpack.
In all there are unlimited uses for the front pack. Front packs are the best compliment to any outdoorsman’s gear when accessibility, functionality, mobility and simplicity are required.
From horseback riding, long distance biking, motorcycling and kayaking. All sports where fast and easy access of gear is essential, a front pack is your best solution and as you can imagine it is going down a storm within the prepping and survivalist community.
Here's your code for 30% off all RIBZ
Your summer code is "TRAILBLAZE" and can be used in the coupon section within the Store.    Have a Great Summer!
Wilderness121’s 10% discount
The new supplier of Purificup to the UK is Wilderness121 and they really mean business, having spoken to the director Rob Williams he has agreed to offer you dear listener a 10% discount just by putting the letters UKPRN into the code box it is that simple.
Now pop along to and check out their great range of survival related products.
Now thanks to the Managing Director Paul listeners visiting Field Leisure - The Bushcraft & Wilderness Store    at can get 10% OFF by entering the code UKPRN at the checkout now Paul guarantees next day delivery all over the UK and fast European and US delivery and that is reassuring and refreshing too.
So a big thank you to Blizzard Survival, Ribz front pack, Wilderness121 and Field leisure for your great offers to listeners of this programme.
I am very proud to announce that I have been invited to join the Disaster Survival Network. The DSN, not only has its own radio station and Bi-monthly magazine but it also produces a daily update of the latest breaking news. Survival Tips. Prepping, outdoors, self-reliance and off grid living.
In conjunction with the DSN I am going to give away 20 free copies of DSN magazine to the first 20 listeners who email the magazine at and the competition is open now and one lucky listener will win 1 year’s subscription to the DSN magazine so get emailing and good luck.
Actiion Outdoor Aid
UK preppers have formed a charity to raise funds for those affected in the recent floods. The charity is called Actiion Outdoor Aid.
At this very moment are walking alone from John O Groats to Lands’ End, that’s right the length of the UK is Michael Pennock Founder & Chief Instructor at ancestral living, he expects his journey to take two months.
Now guys please go onto their Facebook page and please check out his route and perhaps meet him on route, offer morale support, food, or perhaps drive his heavy pack to his next overnight location.
Please also make a donation to this charity as charity begins at home, good luck and well done Michael.

When: 24-26 May 2014
Where: Catton Hall, Derbyshire
The Bushcraft Show is set to enthral and entertain families and individuals of all ages in a celebration of all things bushcraft over the May Bank Holiday weekend.
Visitors are travelling from around the world to attend the most exciting, entertaining and educational bushcraft event of the year.
The show provides an all-inclusive experience that cannot be experienced anywhere else in the world…
Why? We have Massai Warriors from the Rift Valley Kenya who will entertain and teach you some of their Massai ways; from cultural dancing to native beadwork, find out if you have what it takes to be a Massai Warrior. CODY LUNDIN, co-host of Discovery Channel’s television series Dual Survival and author of 98.6 Degrees and When All Hell Breaks Loose is coming from the USA to teach his skills in a hands-on practical manner. Also coming over from the USA is DAVID SCOTT-DONELAN who is regarded as one of the worlds most effective and capable tracking instructors, sharing knowledge and experience gained over almost 50 years.
Very few people have the skills to match JOHAN SKULLMAN’S outdoor knowledge. As an officer in the Swedish Armed Forces, he has spent over 30 years in nature’s most unpredictable environments.
He is the author of classic books such as, Soldat I fält (Soldiers in the Field) and Vintersoldaten (Winter Soldier) that are still used in the Swedish Armed Forces. Today he works at Fjällräven as an equipment expert and test manager and he will be sharing his skills and expertise at the show.
John ‘Lofty’ Wiseman, author of The SAS Survival Handbook, says he wouldn’t miss coming to the
Bushcraft Show for the fourth year running! This survival expert led numerous operations including the SAS Counter-Terrorist Team that ended the Iranian Embassy siege in London and brought the SAS into the media spotlight, he also ran the SAS Survival School and trained the first members of the US
Green Berets who returned to the USA to form the famous Delta Force (US Special Forces).
We have the author and living legend of British canoeing RAY GOODWIN teaching you how-to pack a boat and the art of portage, hear his personal accounts of bushcraft on his inspirational canoe trips and wilderness journeys and you can even take a tuition session with him! Tracking Expert PERRY MCGEE, son of the late Eddie McGee author of No Need to Die, will be teaching you essential tracking skills on a variety of terrains. In addition, there are many leading bushcraft, wildlife, woodland craft and survival experts on hand at the show.
If that’s not enough you can experience numerous activities, demonstrations, talks and see a host of trade stands, specialist instructors, expert speakers and so much more... all in a wonderful setting, with like-minded folk. Whether you’re a bushcraft enthusiast, love the outdoors or simply want to learn more about this fascinating topic, there is something for everyone!
There’s plenty for the children to do - Stories from the Wild Man of the Woods, Birds of Prey, Craft
Activities, Woodland Games, Low Ropes Course, Weaving and Whittling, Knife Safety classes and much more...
You will be able to track animals in the woodland and find their prints and signs without disturbing the animals, learn about all types of plants and wildlife with one of the many bushcraft experts, see a wonder of nature as a Land Rover is pulled by blades of grass! There are activities running throughout the whole weekend and with most of them included in the price of your ticket, it really is great value for money!
Hold the world’s most extreme animals in your hands, cuddle a cockroach, snuggle up to a snake and tame a tarantula, there’s Open Canoeing, Archery, Axe Throwing, Campfire Cookery,
Tracking, Fire lighting, Star Gazing and Storytelling. And, that’s not all 4X4, Raku Pottery Firing,
Whittling Sessions, Campfire Music, Wilderness First Aid, Bushcraft Career Advice, Expedition
Preparation, Competitions, Rifle Shooting, Flint Knapping, Game Preparation, Woodland Crafts and so much more! Add to this delicious locally sourced food, local ales, evening entertainment in the Tipi’s and an evening campfire surrounded by newfound friends.
“We just can’t wait!” says Simon Ellar show organiser, "We have created a show that cannot be experienced anywhere else, with such talented and skilled outdoors people gathered together in one place to learn from one another and most importantly, have fun!
We specifically placed the show in the half-term week to open up the event to families. As a father of four, it is important to me that the show includes as many children’s activities as possible to encourage children to learn new bushcraft skills and increase their love of the outdoors, moving them away from indoor activities which usually involve technology."
The Bushcraft Show this year has a new location at the stunning and privately owned Catton Hall
Estate, ideally situated in the centre of England, in Walton upon Trent, Derbyshire. The 250 acre Estate has been owned by the same family for over 600 years and is perfectly laid out for The Bushcraft Show 2014, having a 10 hectare Showground and Campsite surrounded by a lovely deciduous woodland with the River Mease to one side and exclusive access to an exquisite lake and the River Trent.
The show is sponsored by a select number of outdoor companies whose support helps to make the show a great success, our thanks to this year’s sponsors; Woodland Ways, 1948 Original Equipment,
Nordic Outdoor, BG Craghoppers and Bushcraft & Survival Skills Magazine.
With only three days to try all the activities at the show, it is set to be a fun-filled weekend full of adventure and discovery!
Information about The Bushcraft Show – including: tickets, prices, timetables, accommodation, the full entertainment programme and details of the wonderful location are available at: or call 0333 4567 123 (option 2)
3. The Bushcraft Show is run by Bushcraft & Survival Skills Magazine

A Zombie Pandemic
Ryan Wiggans tweeted and asked me to do an article on a Zombie Pandemic, and to be honest I thought no chance. However having seen the CDC website the idea did not seem so daft.
A zombie is currently defined as “an animated corpse that feeds on living human flesh.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contend that zombies are typically “created by an infectious virus, which is passed on via bites and contact with bodily fluids.”
The vehicle for the spread of infection will depend on the nature of the virus that causes the zombie outbreak. However, due to the nature of zombies, it is more than likely that the main mode of transferring the virus, will be through bites or scratches.
In the event of an "Official" outbreak of the Zombie Apocalypse, the CDC (Centre for Disease Control) wants to assure you they'll keep you safe.
The Killer Zombie Apocalypse is happening NOW!  Gather foodstuffs. Water, medical supplies, and everything you'll need to avoid having your brain eaten by ravenous Zombies roaming the streets bringing the apocalypse promised in the Bible.
OK, so they're not Killer Zombies but the CDC hopes we prepare for the coming apocalypse. And what is this apocalypse — a natural disaster or epidemic.
While the chance of Killer Zombies is a little remote, these apocalypses can cut a similar swath of death and destruction.  So can infectious diseases, such as the 1918 Influenza epidemic. Neurotoxins found in frozen samples of the disease, show our minds might even create an attack by Zombies under the effects of an unknown disease.
Developing an emergency plan and collected critical supplies like food, water and medicine might just help you survive until the Zombies can be rounded up and sent to internment camps
Frankly, preparing for a natural disaster isn't very "sexy" and few people take preparations seriously until it's too late — those killed in the tornado in Joplin, MO had only 20 minutes to evacuate and many didn't make it. So, the CDC is using social media with the theme of a Zombie Apocalypse in hopes it will go viral - and I think the pun is intended.
We all know social media is great because it amplifies your message and, when it goes viral, great things can happen. The trick to making your message go viral is having something people HAVE to share with everyone.  Enter the Zombie Apocalypse.
In fact, the Zombie Apocalypse social media campaign might be the smartest viral campaign ever.
What are you doing to protect yourself from the Zombie Apocalypse? 
If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation.
This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine).
It’s likely that an investigation of this scenario would seek to accomplish several goals: determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin, learn how it is transmitted and how readily it is spread, how to break the cycle of transmission and thus prevent further cases, and how patients can best be treated.
Not only would scientists be working to identify the cause and cure of the zombie outbreak, but CDC and other federal agencies would send medical teams and first responders to help those in affected areas.
Staying Warm in a Power cut
Its winter, and if you are not a prepper it is fair to say that you always “planned” to get supplies if the power went out.  Now it’s below zero and the power just failed.
What do you do when a winter storm leaves you without power?  Here are some ideas for winter storm survival while sheltering in your home, but many of the ideas could be adapted for elsewhere, especially the section on cold weather clothing.
Plan NOW instead of trying to remember all this when you are freezing and the power is out.
Keeping the House Warm without Power
Eliminate Heat Loss
  • Avoid opening and closing exterior doors. We don’t think about it much when heating is working but a blast of cold can easily drop the temp 5 to 10 degrees with no easy way to get that heat back.  If you need to go outside, go through a porch or garage or other area that can act as an airlock to prevent colder air from entering the home.
  • Close all the doors in the house. This keeps unused exterior rooms from cooling your main living/survival area.
  • Block drafts – Place rolled up towel at the base of a front door or drafty door to keep heat in or cold out.  Hang blankets over windows and doorways to block out even more cold.
  • Insulate windows – Close your blinds/curtains to insulate the windows (reduce heat loss).
  • Consider moving to the basement. – Even though basements are normally colder, they can be “warmer” because of the insulating quality of the ground.  45 degrees ground temperature is a lot better than 20 below zero air temperature, especially with high winds.
Safely Add Heat to the House
  • Wood stoves – If you have a wood stove, fire it up and keep it burning. If you have a limited amount of wood, burn at regular intervals, letting it get quite cold between burns.
  • Use the sun for heat.  If it’s a sunny day, open the windows on the sunny side of the house. Place dark blankets on the floor, furniture or bed in direct sun to soak up the sun’s heat. As soon as the sun goes down re-insulate the windows best you can.
  • Add extra heat before you lose power – If you have some warning that the power will go out, set the temperature higher in your house.  The warmer it is to start, the longer it will take to cool.
  • Open FlameUSE WITH CAUTIONDo not burn anything larger than a candle inside your home without providing adequate ventilation to the outside.  Keep a fire extinguisher right near whatever open flame heat source you are using. Carbon monoxide and fire can be deadly.  Pay special attention to kids and pets with any open flame.
You might be tempted to use a Coleman pack heater or Alcohol Fuel heater, but these can quickly build up dangerous levels of combustion products in confined spaces.  The terracotta pot candle heaters (in all their variations) do help to trap the heat given off by a candle and slowly radiant it into the room. 
Don’t leave open flames unattended
Conserve Heat by Living in One Room
When faced with an extended power outage, living and sleeping in a single room will help conserve heat.  Select a room away from the prevailing winds.  If you have a room in your house that normally stays warmer than the rest of the house, that’s probably a good choice. 
Hang blankets over the door to your “warm” room, and insulate the window with blankets if possible.  Use painters tape, duct tape or other tape to seal the blanket over the window.  Pillows function well as insulation. 
If by chance you have spare fiberglass insulation, bubble wrap, or Styrofoam sheets, those can be used to cover windows, too.  Heat may also be lost through the floor.  Put blankets, rugs or pillows on the floor to further insulate the room.
Set up a tent in the house.  You can sleep in sleeping bags or a mattress in the tent to share heat and warm a smaller area. The tent can also keep kids distracted.
Choose the Right Clothing to Stay Warm
Layer your clothes – include wool and/or Thinsulate if you have it. Loose layers will keep you warmer than tight layers. Wear gloves under mittens to trap more heat around your fingers. 
Remember, extremities are in the most danger from intense cold.  If you have no gloves or they aren’t warm enough, wear socks over gloves.
Look for a Higher Gram Count – When considering winter clothing, get 100 gram (Grams per square meter of insulation) or higher if possible. Higher gram counts provide more warmth. Traditional wool, down and fur jackets, hats and gloves are also good options. 
When you are active, it helps to have a wicking layer close to your body to draw excess moisture away so you don’t end up cold and clammy. 
From the 3M website – Recommended grams of 3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation for footwear:
  • 200 grams for cool conditions or high activity levels
  • 400 grams for cold conditions or moderate activity levels
  • 600 grams for very cold conditions
  • 800 grams for extremely cold conditions with light activity levels
  • 1‚000+ grams for extremely cold conditions with light to minimal activity level
Use chemical hand warmers in gloves, footwear or pockets – but be careful because they may be too warm to place directly against the skin.  These warmers can be purchased almost anywhere.  They are inexpensive and work fast.
The heat can really make a difference for comfort and keep you from getting frostbite. Many gloves and mittens have a pouch for the warmers.
Keeping Warm While You Sleep
A bulk of your heat loss is through your head, so put on a warm hat or other head cover to sleep. Use a sleeping bag if you have it.  Wool is an amazing insulator, so combining a wool blanket a cotton sheet and even a mediocre sleeping bag can give you a very warm bed.
If wool makes you itch, layer a wool blanket with a cotton sheet above and below.  Use fur or fleece if you have it.  Both are great insulators and can add some comfort.  Put on warm socks/slippers or even boots.  Watch those extremities!
Sleeping in a group will allow you to share body heat.  If you have your indoor tent set up, this is the perfect time to put it to use.
Eating and Drinking for Warmth and Safety
Your body will need more calories just to stay warm.  If you are active (which will also help you stay warm), your calorie needs will increase even more.  Eating raises your metabolism, which generates some additional internal heat.  Consider a calorie dense bedtime snack to help get you through the night.
Make sure to keep hydrated.  Drink plenty of liquid.  Hot beverages such as tea or hot chocolate can act as hand warmers while you drink and warm you from the inside out. They also add variety to emergency meals.  You can melt snow for water if needed using one of the emergency cooking options. 
You may want to filter the water before drinking.
Avoid large amounts of alcohol!  A sip or two is one thing, but some folks think that if a little is good, more is better.  The “warming effect” of excess alcohol is a false one.  It can impair judgement and put you at an ever greater risk.  Just ask the people that the cops found drunk outside the Packer stadium during the last playoff game. Not good!
Personal Hygiene – When the Potty Won’t Flush and Washing Gets Tricky
We take toilets for granted.  When the power goes out, most of us no longer have running water.  You should have emergency water storage and filtration as part of your basic preparedness supplies. 
If you have warning that the power may go out, you can supplement these supplies by filling a bath with warm water. 
When water is scarce, the “mellow yellow” rule should apply.  Don’t flush the toilet unless you really need to.
If you have no water for flushing, use a 5 gallon bucket and paper or sawdust to absorb liquid and odour.  You could also cover a bucket tightly or use a black bag.  If you have a wood stove and don’t mind getting a little primitive. 
Rather than running out to the outside in winter in the olden days people would poop on several sheets of newspaper and burn it in the wood stove.  Primitive yes, but it worked
Don’t bathe unless absolutely necessary.  Getting wet is a quick way to get really cold.  Keep some baby wipes on hand for waterless cleaning.
If you still have running water, protect taps that are at risk of freezing by turning on a pencil size stream of water.
Cars, Cards and Food Storage
Your car can be a refuge. If you are seriously cold, you can start your car up and heat up for a brief period. Bring blankets and other things that will get warmed up and bring them back in the house all toasty. Remember never run the car in an unventilated area.  Carbon monoxide can be deadly.
Have something to help pass the time that doesn’t require power.  Get a couple of decks of cards and a card game book. Board games are great, too.
Use the cold to keep food fresh.  If the power is out and it’s warm enough inside that food in the refrigerator or freezer will spoil, move food to an unheated porch or garage or outside to take advantage of natural refrigeration.
Stay safe and warm!
Staying Warm as a Homeless Person or a Survivor
Staying warm is one of the single most important problems facing a human being? If it were not for the need to stay warm, I believe few people would fear homelessness. There are only a limited number of strategies available to keep the cold at bay.

You can dress warmly. Wear lots of layers. Wear thermal underwear during winter. Wear more than one pair of socks at a time. If you are in a place that gets down to 30 or 40 degrees Fahrenheit, wear earmuffs and wear warm gloves.
The thermals are available in department stores. Gloves and fleece earmuffs are good too. For other layers at a discount price, try wearing multiple undershirts or any warm clothing. If even that is out why not try an old hobo trick is to stuff your clothes with crumpled newspaper. It does help.

I always have three blankets in my car during winter, and one was always a loosely woven blanket. The loose weave leaves air spaces that make for good insulation. The other two can be any inexpensive cotton, fleece, or poly blend you like.
I avoid wool, because although it is an exceptional insulator, itchiness is simply unacceptable. You may disagree, particularly in freezing climates.

An astronaut's Mylar blanket is always handy, too. They only cost about £1 and can usually be found in army surplus stores and sporting goods stores in the camping section. Wrapped around you, they retain 95% of your body heat by reflecting it back at you.
You can save less heat, but be more comfortable, if you simply place the Mylar between a couple of other blankets. One of the problems with Mylar is it can get slick with condensation from your body's sweat, and that is unpleasant and can cause a chill.
If they're thin blankets, I recommend you fold the Mylar sandwich all together, to make it easier to get ready for bed the following evening. The best way is to fold the blankets in half once and roll it like a sleeping bag.

Shops supplying camping gear will also have hand warmers. These chemical pouches cost about £1, but it is handy to have a few for particularly cold moments. You can optimize their value by using them under a Mylar blanket.

Another great source of heat is a hot water bottle. Buy a camping stove, again available in camping shops for £10 or under. You are going to want one to cook with anyway.
Boil some water and fill the water bottle before you find your final parking spot for the evening, so that neighbourhood busybodies are not tipped off to your presence.
Wrap the bottle in a towel to avoid leaks, or at least place a towel under it. Leaks will happen without warning. Boiling water is hotter than the rubber bottle is designed to take, but for the bottle to work most of the night, it has to be boiling.
The leak will happen as it cools, and it will be slow. I have never been burned by a leak, but caution is in order while filling the bottle. Scalding is a hazard.

When all else fails, you can make sure the exhaust pipe of your car is not under the car cover, and run the engine and heater for a while. It is a giveaway that you are there, of course, but there are few people about on a cold night. 

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The following companies have supported this station and I will support them they are:
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The Lifesaver bottle
For the Knot Bone Lacelock
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Browning Night Seeker Cap Light RGB
Multi lite Multi-tool
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EDC Myths
Sharpness Out of the Box Matters

Watch one or two knife videos on YouTube and you will hear, especially from some of the more high profile folks, that this knife did or did not "come sharp out of the box."  This is always struck me as a curious basis for praise or blame.

In the woodworking world hand planes and chisels are in fashion again.  Lots of people do hand tool-only woodworking and need their stuff razor sharp as they do not have the mechanical muscle to force their way through the wood. 
Additionally they are willing to fork out tons of dough to get really high end planes and chisels.  But even the high end stuff have edges that require some work. 
They NEVER come sharp straight out of the box.  They can cut, that is for sure, but they are not in their prime condition.  The expectation, even in high end stuff, is that you will do some finishing work on the blades to get them into tip top shape.

So when survivor Joe slams a knife or a knife company for producing a knife that is NOT in tip top shape out of the box I am always a bit confused. 
Sure, I'd like everything to come super sharp, and for the most part the knives do come that way, but getting them sharp is something I can readily do, so long as the edge is not dull or dinged, I could not care less if the knife is "sharp out of the box."

You wouldn't rate a car more or less highly if it came to you with only a little in the gas tank, so why do the same to knives?  I get that it is a nice finishing touch, but it is certainly not something to get bent out of shape about.

You might be saying "hey, I don't have a knife sharpener, my stuff NEEDS to be sharp out of the box."  Well, if you are saying this I can't help you.  No one can. 
Go get a sharpening kit.  They aren't that expensive, they are very useful (even for kitchen knives), and you’re going to have to get one eventually.  Are you going to insist that your new car have a full tank because, well, you're never going to buy fuel?

High Lumen Counts Matter on Small Lights

"Oh, man this little light really pushes out the lumens.  It is a single cell light that hits 500 lumens."  Great, fantastic.  You have a light with a feature that is almost COMPLETELY useless. 
Lumens counts have been the red herring of the flashlight world forever, a benchmark and a number that is as meaningless as they come.  The reasons are many.

First, most tasks do not need more than 100 or 200 lumens.  Aside from tactical applications, there is no need to go beyond the 200 lumen mark. 
Even the "blind an attacker" use is kind of silly.  Try to blind yourself, really blind yourself with a light and you will find that even the 500 lumen lights while being unpleasant to look at DOSENT REALLY BLIND YOU.  You need to flash about 2000 lumens to really blind someone for a significant and useful period of time.  They may distract you, but even in dark conditions you can still see a little and all an attacker needs is a little sight to get you. 
This is, of course, assuming that you think the "blind the attacker" strategy actually works or will be employed.  Quite frankly I think it is a dumb idea, something that probably will get you in more trouble, but I am not a tactics guy.  Common-sense, though, laughs at the notion.

So apart from that one very specific and possibly silly use, a small light with high lumens counts is stupid for other reasons as well. 
First, in a small light, one without a throw-type reflector, all of those lumens are wasted in a floody beam.  You do not have the ability to really light up a target a long way away because without the focus offered by a throw-type reflector all of those lumens are just dribbling out all over the place in a less than optimal beam pattern. 
Second, these ultra-high lumens counts come at a cost because flashlight design, like a lot of things in life come at a price. Awesome lumens count equals ridiculous heat output and short runtime.

Spine Whacks Matter

You can find all sorts of silly things on YouTube involving people utterly destroying their knives.  Like this.

I appreciate people's willingness to take one for the YouTube gear community and destroy their stuff, but what does this really prove? 
In this particular video he does a lot of prying with the knife.  You shouldn't pry with your knife.  You shouldn't pry with your violin or your blender or your table saw for that matter.   Saying that a knife somehow "failed" a test when you are testing something that it is not designed to do just seems bizarre to me. 
But you might say: "How awesome would it be if your knife could pry AND cut?"  Awesome, yes, I agree, but in the real world those two things require so many design compromises that I am just not willing to tolerate a folding knife that is bulky enough to both cut well and pry well.

Then there is the spine whack itself.  What are you proving by showing that knife can survive this test?  That it has a strong lock?  I guess, but how often in regular use do I test the lock in the way that a spine whack tests a lock? about never. 
Not once, ever.  But again, you might say "How awesome would it be if the knife could survive the spine whack test?"  To that I would reply: Not awesome at all.  I would prefer that designers and engineers focus on more practical concerns than spine whacks. 

I am not an advocate of or someone persuaded by grossly abusing a knife to demonstrate its performance.  I use my knife to cut stuff.  Show me that.  All of this horse droppings reminds me of those dumb Mercedes Benz commercials where people sat on the door to demonstrate its strength and build quality. 
This is a good test if you are a Duke of Hazard and slide through the windows of your car relying on the door's ability to hold weight.  For the rest of us--eh... 

You will ACTUALLY Use All this Stuff

Oh my goodness.  Some people carry SO MUCH stuff on them that I can't imagine them actually doing much of anything at all other than tending to their gear I have a bag for work and that is stuffed to the gills, but that is with work stuff. 
I have a BOB bag too. I also carry a UK legal blade most of the time.  I guess there is some random chance that I get mugged, but I am pretty heads up most of the time. 

I'd much rather focus on a few nice items that I use all of the time than a bunch of middling stuff that I never use.  So carry that spanner key, spy capsule, lighter, pry bar, medical scissors, and the bag to carry them and whatever you think you need.   

I have a BOB bag too. I also carry a UK legal blade most of the time.  I guess there is some random chance that I get mugged, but I am pretty heads up most of the time. 

I'd much rather focus on a few nice items that I use all of the time than a bunch of middling stuff that I never use.  So carry that spanner key, spy capsule, lighter, pry bar, medical scissors, and the bag to carry them and whatever you think you need.  

Here are some more companies to support
72 hour survival pack
Blizzard Survival jacket
Survival Ration Packs
SOL Complete Survival Kit and SOL Bivy Bag
The answer to rough ground sleeping
For all your military equipment needs
The Fire Piston
Great tasty MRE’s
The 95 Puukko Survival Knife
Gold Standard Whey Protein isolates which are 90% pure protein by weight
The RIBZ Front Pack
Nuclear Fallout Shelters
Their company provides Nuclear fallout shelters for those who wish to prepare for the inevitable. The Syria crisis is evidence people need to prepare.
America has been moving nuclear warheads to its east coast and Russia has 160,000 soldiers massed on the Syria border. Iran said it would 'set Israel on fire' if Syria was attacked. 
Now is the time for people to act if they want to make their family safe! For me it’s not just about business, I have made arrangements where I can accept assets other than cash for those who don't have the money (as I don't want a lack of cash to stand in the way of peoples safety). Please check their website for details
An Instant survival shelter and a good tool for a bad day. Land Shark is designed to save your life from hostile elements on land or in water. Its patented design keeps you warm, dry, and visible to search & rescue crews for miles. It also returns 80% of heat loss back on to the person inside. When traveling into the unknown, always bring your Land Shark.
TBS Boar Folding Pocket Knife the Perfect EDC Knife
Bugging Out
I have looked at the Bug out bag, so now I want to look at actually bugging out.
When the situation around you is so bad that you have to leave, then go.
This can be a complete disaster all by itself, but a little prior planning will certainly help. There are three things that you should consider before going anywhere:
Where are you going?
How are you going to get there?
What will you do when you get there?
You should plan for the worst possible situation. If you live in a highly populated area the roads will be jammed up. The airlines may or may not be flying in or out of your area. 
Busses, trains and taxis will be full, if working. Walking may be dangerous. So what do you do?
Consider first: Stay at home. Bug in. Everything you have is already there. You and your family know where everything is, and you are in an area you are familiar with. But are you safe staying at home? Is there a raging fire close by heading your way? Is there a flood? Terrorist threat or actual terrorist activity?
Is there a nuclear, biological or chemical problem in your area? 
Is the electricity and water still working? Are thugs running rampant? Is it summer or winter with lots of snow? Is there a wild elephant in the yard? You have to consider all the facts before you decide to bug out. If, after all this thinking, you still have to leave, what do you take with you?
Most travel today has to be by private vehicle. Even with the streets jammed with others trying to get away, it is still your best bet for getting out safely. If you haven't already done it, prepare an vehicle emergency kit.
This kit depends a lot on the size of your vehicle, and the number of people in your party. Here's a list of some items you may want to include in your own automobile emergency kit:
Extra fuel in an approved container.
Warm clothing for everyone in your party.
Maps of the area you are leaving/going to.
12 Volt tire inflation pump.
Spare tire... a real one.
Blankets, towels, pillows.
Roll of plastic sheeting or large plastic bags.
Torch with spare bulbs and batteries.
Fire extinguisher.
Small shelter or tent.
Small cooking set & charcoal briquettes.
Individualized personal non-perishable items.
Snow Chains for tires.
Folding shovel.
Tools for vehicle repair
Extra oil for engine and transmission
Change of clothing for everyone in your party.
1 Gallon of water per person in your party, per day. Plan on 3 days
Emergency food for up to 3 days without re-supply, preferably dehydrated types.
Books suitable for all members of your party.
A heavy knife, axe, or machete.
Weapons of choice.
All the above items, except the water, can be kept locked in your car all year long. Water can only be included when the outside temperatures will stay above freezing. A frozen water container will crack, and when it thaws will leak out all over your stuff. Space permitting, feel free to add any other items you think you will need.
The Best Place to go is the place you've already set up.
Where are you going? And for how long? If you can safely travel, try for a safe place the shortest distance away from your home that you can find.
Is it a hotel on the other side of town, or Grandma's house in another county? The shortest distance to safety gets you off the roads the quickest.
Did you make arrangements with a friend or relative, in advance, to use their home as a "bug out" location? Did you agree for him/her to come to your house if they have an emergency? You should have.
Consider the following when deciding WHERE to go:
Is the location you have pre-arranged under the same threat as you are? Floods and bad weather will cover huge areas, but forest fires are generally smaller in area.
Does the location you choose have all the facilities that you need in order to survive? Is their water and electricity still on, or is it questionable? Are hospitals available?
Can every member of your party agree to where you plan to go?
Is food and water available where you plan to go?
Is the shelter large enough to handle you, your party, and everyone else who may show up to use the same facility?
Is the area you pick in a relatively safe location, or will the situation later deteriorate and force you to pack up and move again?
Are you comfortable with your decision?
Once you've considered all the items above, and you've made your decision, it's time to pack up. Everyone in your party must know ahead of time how much space they will be allotted in your vehicle.
If you have a small car and someone shows up with a trunk full of clothes, you've got a problem. Like a ship at sea, if it's your car, you are the Captain. Your decisions stand...don't back down. Pack all the things you absolutely HAVE to have first. 
Then add all those "nice to have" items next. Don't forget important items.
PACKING CHECKLIST ("Need to Have" items)
The relevant maps with or without a sat nav
Medications for a 30-day supply. Prescriptions for refill, if necessary.
Glasses and spare glasses, sunglasses.
Warm clothing for cold weather, regardless of the time of year.
Extra shoes, belts, gloves, and hats.
Mobile phone/s and 12 volt charger.
At least one change of clothing each.
Extra shoes and shoelaces
Dental care items. Includes false teeth care.
List of names, addresses and telephone numbers for family, friends, co-workers   
Elderly care products, hearing aid batteries.
MONEY. As much as you can get. Hide it.
Female hygiene products.
Baby care items: nappies, food/milk mix, bottles, etc.
Personal hygiene items: Top of list: Toilet Paper
Laundry detergent, softeners, personal soap.
Lose change for vending machines and telephones.
Credit cards, ID cards, Insurance papers.
NHS card/number and National Insurance number
Handicapped persons - special equipment and supplies needed for daily life.
Any special item of apparel that anyone in your party needs to live day-to-day.
Everything else is on the "Nice to Have" list. There are just a few items that I include on my "Nice to Have" list. Most of them involve entertaining children. But, in planning for any trip, water, food, and shelter have to be considered:
WATER: The number one priority on your list of survival items. One gallon per person per day. There must be a means of refilling or re-supplying your water while you travel. If your travel is planned for 1 day...and the roads are may take 3 days.
You must have water to live. If the electricity is out all along your route, you will not be able to get either food or fuel. Most of the stores and restaurants on the route will be closed. 
Don't depend on someone else to help you...they're probably worse off than you are.
FOOD: Dehydrated food requires water to re-hydrate it so it can be eaten. Pre-plan what foods you ALL can eat, and add them to your car. Plan at least for 3 days’ worth of food.
You can live a long time without food, but only a short time without water. Do not take foods that are overly salty or make people thirsty. An ice chest of fresh fruit and sandwiches goes a long way.
Small children need milk, so don't forget that item.
Include some snacks to augment the above supply. Don't be afraid to have the same thing 3 days in a row. It's boring but it cuts down on buying supplies. If you include perishable food, you must eat it the first day out, or it will spoil.
The ice in even the best quality chest will eventually melt. (Melted ice = water.) You can wash using melted water from the ice's very "refreshing"...and cold.
Every car should already have an emergency first aid kit.  
There are many commercially available kits out there that have adequate supplies for up to 3 days, barring catastrophic accidents.
However, most kits only include enough plasters for one person, for 2 or 3 days. Consider buying extras and throwing them in the kit. 
You don't have a first aid kit...get one.
SHELTER: Shelter includes the time you are traveling as well as when you get there. Nobody can drive continuously for 3 days without relief. Eventually, you will have to stop, eat a meal, and sleep.
Hotels and motels may not be available. The roadside rest areas will already be full, if you're allowed in them at all. What to do? If you can find a friendly local in the area off the main road (particularly farmers), you can ask to camp on their property.
Be sure to assure them you will clean up your mess before you leave. You can even offer to pay them for their inconvenience. Private property is safer than public areas in a mass evacuation. But public campsites (parks, forests, etc.) may still be open.
OK: You've got your vehicle fully packed with everything you need to travel. You've counted heads, and everyone is present and ready to go. Are you ready? Not yet.
HOW TO GET THERE? The route of travel between two places in the UK is almost infinitely variable. . Remember there's a lot to think about on how you are going to travel to your destination:
Route Planning Considerations
Does your planned route avoid major populated areas? More people = more problems.
Are all the roads open?
How many drivers are available you trust?
Are there places available where you can reasonably expect to get water, fuel, and food?
Are the civil authorities still available to direct traffic and provide emergency services?
Is another route available, even if it's longer?
Are all the bridges and tunnels open?
Does this route avoid bad weather conditions, or take them into account?
Can this route safely be driven at night?
Can anyone unfamiliar with the route drive it while you are resting?
Does an alternative route offer better conditions and safety than the originally proposed route?
Are there safe areas within a reasonable drive that you can use for emergency sheltering, including camping overnight, if required?
Is driving time a planning factor?
Are mountains, or hazardous terrain a problem for your vehicle?
Can you safely get to "A" from "B"?
You made your decision, you're on the road. You left word with friends in the area you just left on where you were going, and how you plan to get there. You promise to keep others informed of departure and arrival times. 
You know someone will miss you if you don't show up in a reasonable time period. Your plan works perfectly, and now you have arrived where you were supposed to be.
Once at your destination, quickly evaluate the shelter arrangements. Is it too crowded? Is it safe or unsafe? Are there people there you don't trust? Evaluate everything.
If something doesn't "smell right", move on to another shelter? 
The last resort is to sleep on the side of the road or in the car park of a shopping centre.
Ask the local police if there is a safe place to park and sleep. You probably will not be allowed to cook over a campfire in the local shopping centre car park.
Putting tent pegs in concrete is very difficult too. But, assuming the current shelter will be OK, they next logical step is to ask "NOW WHAT?"...
You're alive and well. You have money and the tools to survive. Get on with your life. Post-Disaster Recovery is an entirely different problem.
What Is Prepping?
When some people think of prepping, it conjures images of strange people wearing tinfoil hats huddled in a shelter while they wait for the mother ship to return. 
For others, thoughts of a recluse living in a one-room shack in the middle of the wilderness come to mind.
But neither of those thoughts captures the real nature of prepping.
At its heart, prepping is simply preparing for the future. And since there is no certainty of what that future may bring, preppers frequently hope for the best yet prepare for the worse. And with good reason, many preppers feel that we are on the verge of a significant change in life as we know it. So they prepare.
Three Facets of Prepping
For the modern prepper, prepping involves three primary areas: acquiring the necessary supplies, learning requisite skills, and building a community.
Acquiring the Necessary Supplies
Food, water, shelter. We all need these things to survive. Moreover, we all need a continual supply of them. Preppers know this and take steps to prepare themselves in case the supply is disrupted for any reason.
Preppers don’t want the loss of a job or a truckers strike to keep them from eating. So they prepare. They buy extra food when it’s on sale. They grow their own in a garden and preserve it. They buy in bulk and store it for a rainy day.
Similarly, preppers don’t like debt. So they pay off their mortgage, they live within their means, and they work hard at their jobs. They are not afraid of physical labour to provide for their families. 
Preppers don’t want the loss of a job to turn into the loss of a home or car.
Prepping may start with food and supply storage, but it doesn’t end there. Preppers regularly learn and practice new skills. They learn to cook. They learn emergency first aid. They learn to hunt with a variety of weapons. They learn to build debris huts and other shelters.
From sewing and canning to fire starting and knot tying, preppers learn important and potentially lifesaving skills before they may need them. It’s part of being prepared.
Building a Community
Preppers recognize that there is value in getting to know other like-minded individuals. We can learn from each other. We can help each other. We can share our knowledge and encourage one another. Prepping is not a zero-sum game; we can expand the pie by helping others.
Additionally, it’s impossible for a prepper to acquire every supply and every skill he may ever need. There’s simply not enough time or money to prepare to that extent. So preppers get to know others in their local community with similar passions yet different skill sets.
If you’re having car trouble, it’s nice to know a mechanic. If you’ve injured yourself, it’s good to know a paramedic. If the food supply is disrupted for an extended period, it’s good to know a farmer.
People helping people; that’s part of prepping.
Where to Start?
Prepping is a journey. And as the old adage goes, every journey begins with a single step. Recognizing the need for and prudence of prepping and acknowledging that you are woefully underprepared is a good first step.
Next, make a plan. Identify where you are with your supplies, your skills, and your community. Then determine where you’d like to be and make a plan to close the gap. If you have 3 days’ worth of food in the pantry and you want 6 months’ worth, prioritize that and plan.
The key is to do something. A plan without an action is simply a wish.
Prepping (verb) is the act of a group or individual preparing themselves and loved ones for any potential threat to life as we know it. There are a few basic things that one would need to know when becoming a prepper, and preparing their family for any potential threats that could come their way, and surviving any ordeals you may face.
First, the basics:
These three are probably the absolutely most important things to start off with when considering your survival needs. Why are these important? Well let’s go over each one:
Food - Right now, get up and go look in your kitchen (if you’re home of course) and count the number of days you could survive off of just the food you have at this moment.
You probably counted the food in your fridge too huh? Don't. The reason being is that in most SHTF situations, the electric grid is more than likely to be gone, and any food you have in your fridge or freezer will go to waste within a matter of hours to possibly two days depending on the weather.
So now just look at the non-perishable items that you have. Most people will find themselves with less than three days’ worth of food.. So now consider this, if you’re like most other people, your first thought is to panic and run to the supermarket and try to stock up.
Well guess what, that's what all your neighbours are doing too.  
So now you have to fight to get whatever is remaining in the shops closest to you.
Once the grocery stores are out, then what? In most SHTF situations, transportation and motorways will become impassable or impossible, meaning that the food that is delivered to supermarkets by road will no longer be on its way. 
So with no way to replenish the shops, what do you do? 
That is what prepping is all about, preparing your family with either the ability to grow and produce your own food, or having enough food to last you until proper order can be restored.
Best is to try and have at least 72hrs worth of food for if you need to leave (bug-out-bag), and 90days worth of food in your house for storage.
Shelter - For obvious reasons, this is an important factor to consider first when beginning to prep. Is your shelter reliable for protection against raids?
Natural disasters?
If you answered no to either of those two questions, then your next step would be to consider how to prepare your home or bug out locations for any type of situation.
Many people who live in places where natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes and earthquakes already have plans in place to protect their shelters. But if you aren't already prepared, knowing your location (geographical region), what types of dangers you might be exposed to, and how to properly secure and defend it is going to be important.
Having wood to board up doors and windows, basement to seek deeper shelter and weapons to defend your location is all important things to consider.
Water - One of the most important keys to survival, of any living creature on this planet, is water. In most SHTF scenarios, water will be obtainable for only a short period of time.
With no electricity, how will water be pumped to your house?  
Unless you have a well, you’re out of luck. One of the very first things to do in an emergency disaster situation, is to run to your bathroom and fill up your bath as quickly as you can. Having extra water on hand will be important, not just for drinking, but for cooking as well. It would be a good idea to have at least 3 months’ worth of water on hand at all times.
Remember, that food and water have a shelf life, and can expire over time. It’s important to think ahead and get food that will stay fresh and eatable for as long as possible.
Further Companies to Support
Uses natural fuel
EDC steel tools
Highlander Trojan Hydration Pack – Multicam
Alum Crystal and natural spa products
Tool logic Survival 11 Credit Card
BackHawk Web duty Belt
Guppie Multi=tool
Go Survival Pack
Beautiful Handmade Catapults
1 Person BASIC Backpack Survival Kit, the back pack that does it all
DD Hammock –The ultimate in Travel Hammocks
Elzetta ZFL-M60 Tactical Weapon-Grade LED Torch
Ultimate Adventurer Survival Kit everything in one kit
Adjustable Knife Lanyard Review
Handmade knives by James D. Sanders
Mini alarm Device with an Ultra bright White LED
Lightload towels
The Power Trekk
The LUCI light
Nubé: (new-bay) The Ultimate Hammock Camping Shelter
Check out Black Cat Survival with its new shop Good Luck Guys
Maxpedition Jumbo E.D.C.
Solar Fire Starter Solar Lighter & Survival Tool
Questions, Questions, Questions
How in the world is someone supposed to actually prepare for an economic collapse?   
What should you do with your money?  How can you make sure that your family is going to be okay?  How can you prepare if your resources are extremely limited? 
These are the kinds of questions people ask me all the time.  Once people understand that the economy has been collapsing and will continue to collapse, then the next step for most of them is that they want to get prepared for the storm that is coming. 
So where should someone get started?  Well, the truth is that no two people are facing the exact same set of circumstances, so preparation is going to look different for each individual. 
But there are certain core principles that we can all benefit from. 
For example, when a financial storm is coming that is not the time to be blowing thousands of dollars on vacations and new toys.  You would be surprised at how many people there are that claim that they have no extra money in their budgets and yet somehow have plenty of money to run down to Wal-Mart and buy a big stack of DVDs. 
When times are difficult, each hard-earned dollar becomes much more precious, and we all need to start getting into the habit of making the most out of our limited resources.  The seemingly endless prosperity that we have all been enjoying for decades is coming to an end, and most of us have absolutely no experience on how to deal with truly hard times. 
If you are under the age of 60, it might be a really good idea to read a book or two on what conditions were like during the Great Depression of the 1930s in America or how people survived in ration UK during WW11. There is a lot that we can learn from our own history.
Another key characteristic that we will all need in the years ahead is flexibility.  Anyone that has spent any time in the military knows that very few plans ever work out perfectly.  As the global economy breaks down and the world becomes increasingly unstable, conditions are going to change rapidly. 
What might work really well in one situation might be the exact wrong thing to do 6 months later. 
If you are not willing or able to adapt to dramatic change then you are going to have a lot of difficulty in the years ahead.
Many people refer to me as a "doom and gloom merchant" because I plan and prep so I keep pointing out that the entire world is heading for a complete and total financial nightmare.
But I don't think that it does any good to stick your head in the sand.  I believe that there is hope in understanding what is happening and I believe that there is hope in getting prepared.
It is those that are completely oblivious to what is really going on that will be totally blindsided by the coming crisis.  When they finally realize what has come upon them many of them will totally lose it.
I am trying my best to warn people so that they can have a chance to be prepared for what is coming.
I am not spreading doom and gloom.
I am spreading hope.
And I want to make another point.  Generally, things are going to be getting progressively worse as the years roll along.  As I have written about before, I believe that the economic collapse is not a single event.  Rather, I see it as a series of waves that will be punctuated by moments of great crisis.
So advice about preparation is going to be different depending on whether you are talking about the short-term or the mid-term or the long-term.  Hopefully you will keep that in mind as you read my answers to the questions below.
The following are common questions that people ask about how to prepare for the collapse of the economy....
How Do I Get Started?
When the financial crisis of 2008 hit, what was the biggest danger for most people?
The biggest danger was that they would lose their jobs and not be able to pay their bills.
During the last recession, millions and millions of people did end up losing their jobs.
And because many of them were living pay day to pay day many of them also ended up losing their homes.
You do not want that to happen to you.
So what I am about to say next is not considered to be very "sexy" in prepper circles, but it is absolutely crucial advice.
You need to have an emergency fund saved up that can cover your expenses for at least six months.
That way if you lose your job or your business goes under you will be able to keep going for a while as you figure out what your next move will be.
These days it takes the average unemployed person nearly 40 weeks to find a new job, and it will likely be even worse in the next major economic downturn.
So make sure that you have plenty of cash saved up just in case.  If you are currently living pay day to pay day you are extremely vulnerable.
What Should I Do With My Money?
I get this question a lot.
People always want to know where they should put their money.
Well, my first piece of advice is always to build an emergency fund. Most people do not have one.
After that is done, I am a big believer in not putting all of my eggs into one basket.
Sometimes people will tell me that they are going to take all of their money out of the banks because they don't feel safe having their money in them.
Well, if you stick all of your money in your mattress, what happens if there is a fire or what happens if someone robs you?
That is why I believe in spreading your risk around.  Having money in different places is a good thing.
But one place I would not put it is in the stock market.  If you were fortunate enough to catch the recent rally you should get out while the getting is good.
If you have blind faith in the stock market you are going to be deeply disappointed eventually.  I do not have a single penny in the stock market, and a couple of years from now that is going to look like a very wise move.
Should I Invest In Precious Metals?
A lot of people that write about the economic crisis in this country really advocate investing in precious metals because they tend to hold value over time.
I like precious metals myself, but if you are going to invest you need to get educated so that you know what you are doing.  If you go in blindly you are likely to get burned at some point.
In addition, you need to be prepared for wild fluctuations in price over the coming years.  There will be times when gold and silver absolutely soar and there will be times when they drop like a rock.
So if you are going to play the game you need to be able to handle the ride.
Should I Get Out Of Debt?
Many that write about the coming economic collapse say that you shouldn't even bother to pay off your debts because the financial system is going to collapse anyway.
I don't see it that way.
I don't believe that our banks are going to totally collapse and suddenly go out of existence.
Not in the short-term anyway.
So I believe that it is actually a good idea to get out of debt.   
When financial troubles hit you don't want a horde of collectors coming after you.
There is a lot of freedom that comes with getting out of debt, and in this environment it is wise to become as independent of the system as possible.
What If I Don't Have Any Money To Prepare?
In this kind of economic environment it is no surprise that I get this question a lot.
Many families are just barely scraping by each month and they do not have much money to put into anything.
And I can definitely sympathize with that.
However, I would say that there are very, very few families out there that do not have anything that can be cut out of the budget.
The truth is that most families are experts at blowing money on really stupid stuff.
In general, I recommend that all families do what they can to reduce their expenses.
The smaller of a financial footprint you have, the better off you will be and the more resources you will have to help you get prepared.
Also, now is the time to be looking for ways that you can increase your income.
For many people, starting a side business is a way to bring in some extra cash.  Yes, this will cut into your television watching time, but now is not the time to be lazy.
The time you spend working hard now while the sun is still shining will pay off later.
Don't be afraid to work harder than you ever have before.
Should I Rent Or Buy?
This is a question that I also get a lot, and it really depends on your situation.
If you rent, that gives you a lot more flexibility.  You can move for a new job or a new opportunity without having to sell a house.  And you get to avoid a lot of the expenses and hassles that come with being a homeowner.
If you buy, you get to "lock in" your housing expenses for many years.  In a highly inflationary environment this would potentially be very beneficial.  And interest rates are very low right now.
In addition, it is going to be really hard to rent a really good "prepper" property.  If you are looking for a property that is away from the big cities where you can grow your own food and become more independent of the system, then in most cases you are going to have to buy such a property.
But remember if you do buy, it is going to be much harder to move if something does happen and you need to go somewhere else.
What about My Health Condition?
Over the next few years, the NHS care system should continue operating at least somewhat normally.  But the truth is that our health care system is in horrible shape and it is not a good thing to be totally dependent on pills and doctors.
Even if economic conditions were perfect it would be a good idea to learn what you can do on your own to improve your health.  But this is especially true as we move into a time of great economic instability.
Should I Be Storing Food?
However, even though the United States is experiencing an historic drought right now, I do not believe that there will be major food shortages in the UK this year or next year.
Down the road, however, is a different story.
And your food £’s are never going to go farther than they do right now.  As I wrote about the other day, this drought is likely to cause food prices to go up substantially, and so the food you store now might end up being twice as valuable a few years from now.
In addition, you never know when a major disaster or emergency is going to strike so it is always good to become more independent of the system.
I encourage everyone to learn how to grow a garden.  Yes, your space may be limited, but there is no excuse for not growing what you can.
Should I Be Storing Water?
It is always good to have some water on hand in case disaster or emergency strikes.
And you should be rotating whatever water you currently have on hand because you don't want water sitting around indefinitely.
But what is much more important is to make sure that you and your family have access to a source of water that you can depend on if disaster strikes and the grid goes down.
For safety and security reasons, most water supply plants maintain a larger inventory of supplies than the typical business. However, the amount of chemical storage varies significantly and is site specific.
According to the Chlorine Institute, most water treatment facilities receive chlorine in cylinders (150 pounds and one ton cylinders) that are delivered by motor carriers. On average, trucks deliver purification chemicals to water supply plants every seven to 14 days.
Without these chemicals, water cannot be purified and made safe for drinking. Without truck deliveries of purification chemicals, water supply plants will run out of drinkable water in 14 to 28 days.
Once the water supply is drained, water will be deemed safe for drinking only when boiled. Lack of clean drinking water will lead to increased gastrointestinal and other illnesses, further taxing an already weakened healthcare system.
Other Than Food And Water What Other Supplies Will I Need?
Anything that you use on a regular basis or that you would use in an emergency situation is something that you should consider storing up.
For example, if you could not buy any more toilet paper from the shops, what would you do?
Basic things like that are often overlooked by many preppers.
In a previous article, I listed dozens of things you may want to consider storing.  Preparation is going to look different for every family, but hopefully that list will give you some ideas.
What Happens If The Power Grid Goes Down?
This is a very important consideration - especially if you live in a colder climate.
Some people have a backup generator for such circumstances.
Others have set up wind and/or solar systems for their homes.
Alternative energy solutions are great if you can afford them, and they will enable you to become much more independent of the system.
But not everyone can afford to put in solar panels or a big wind turbine.
So do what you can with what you have.
Should I Leave The Big Cities?
A lot of people ask me this, but there is no easy answer.
In this day and age, a good job is like gold.  It can be really, really tough to give up a good job and move to the middle of nowhere.
But without a doubt, society is starting to come apart at the seams and I do expect rioting and major civil unrest in our major cities at some point in the future.
In the end, you need to do what is right for you and your own family.  Nobody else can make this decision for you.
What Should I Do If My Family And Friends Won't Listen To Me?
This is another very common question that I get.
What should people do if nobody will listen to them?
Well, you just have to do the best that you can.  If they won't listen now, just keep planting seeds.  Keep sending them articles that are packed with statistics and information that show why an economic collapse is going to happen.
In the years ahead we are all going to need our families and our friends because communities will endure what is coming much better than "lone wolf" individuals will be able to.
No matter how hard you prepare, at some point you are going to need the help of someone else.
So don't be afraid to reach out to others.
If nobody among your family or friends will listen to you at the moment, you may have to prepare on your own right now.
In fact, you may have to do extra preparation because at some point it is probably inevitable that your family and friends will come to you for help.
That is the perspective that my wife and I take.  We are not only preparing for ourselves.  We are also preparing for the family members that may have to depend on us someday.
Nobody said that preparing was going to be easy.
But beyond any physical preparations, I also believe that it is absolutely crucial to prepare mentally and spiritually.
The times that are coming are going to be incredibly challenging.  They are going to require a great deal of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual strength.
If you are a "lone wolf" that believes that you don't need anyone or anything, then I feel sorry for you and I honestly don't know how you are going to make it.
None of us have all the answers.
I know that I certainly do not.
What to do if a Nuclear Disaster is Imminent
This guide is for families preparing for imminent terrorist or strategic nuclear attacks with expected severe destruction and widespread radioactive fallout.
IF ONLY A 'Dirty Bomb' Attack was to happen and not the vastly more devastating nuclear weapon blasts I will discuss in a minute.
You can expect localized and downwind contamination from the explosion and dispersed radioactive materials. If you are near enough to see or hear any local bomb blast, assume that it includes radiological or chemical agents.
You should move away from the blast area as quickly as possible.
If the wind is blowing toward you from the direction of the blast, travel in a direction that keeps the wind to your left or right as you move away from the blast area. If possible cover your face with a dust mask or cloth to avoid inhaling potentially radioactive dust.
Upon reaching a safe location, remove your outer clothing outside and shower as soon as possible. Refer to local news sources for additional instructions about sheltering or evacuation. The government is better prepared to direct and assist the public in a 'dirty bomb' incident, unlike an actual nuclear weapon attack.
In a national crisis of imminent nuclear weapon attacks, read all the way through this guide first.
(It will be on my website for all to see)
Should you stay or go?
You must decide FIRST if you need to prepare where you are, or attempt evacuation. The nature of the threat, your prior preparations, and your confidence in your sources of information should direct your decision.
If you are considering evacuation, your decision requires a very high confidence that it is worth the risk. You do not want to get stuck between your current location and you’re hoped for destination, as there will probably be no easy getting back.
If you fail to get to your destination, you may be exposed without shelter, in a dangerous situation with little effective law enforcement, perhaps among panicked hordes of refugees.
Whatever supplies you have may be limited then to what you can carry on foot.
IF you are in a big city or near a military target, AND you have relatives or friends in the country that you know are awaiting you, AND the roads between you and them are clear, AND the authorities are not yet restricting traffic, AND you have the means and fuel, evacuation may be a viable option for a limited time. DO NOT attempt evacuation if all of the above is not clearly known, or if the situation is deteriorating too quickly to make the complete trip.
You do not want to get stuck and/or become a refugee being herded along with panicked masses. If evacuation is truly a viable option, do not wait - GO NOW!
Do so with as many of the supplies as possible. Better to be two days too early in arriving than two hours too late and getting snagged mid-way, potentially exposing your family to a worse fate than having stayed where you were. Because of the very real danger of getting caught in an evacuation stampede that stalls, I think almost all families will be better off making the best of it wherever they currently are.
Because time is of the essence, you need to first delegate and assign to different adult family members specific tasks so they can all be accomplished at the same time. Your first priorities to assure your family survival are Shelter, Water, and Food/Supplies. While some are working on the water storage and shelter at home, others need to be acquiring, as much as possible, the food and supplies.
Because much of the food and supplies required may quickly become unavailable, quantities restricted, and/or the streets and stores may become un-safe soon, you need to assign someone NOW to immediately go to the stores with that list! Get cash from the bank and ATM's first, but try and use credit cards at the stores, if at all possible, to preserve your cash.
With one or more adults now heading to the stores with the list, those remaining need to begin storing water IMMEDIATELY! Lack of clean water will devastate your family much more quickly and more severely than any lack of food.
Without water for both drinking and continued good sanitary practices in food preparation and for bathroom excursions (which will inevitably be much less sanitary than normal), debilitating sickness could rampage through your household with little hope of prompt medical attention.
That is a highly likely but an avoidable, disaster, ONLY IF you have enough water.
Every possible container needs to be filled with water RIGHT NOW! It will be very hard to have stored too much water. When the electricity/pumps go down or everybody in your community is doing the same thing, thus dropping the water pressure, that's it, what you've got is all you might be getting for a very long time.
Empty pop bottles (1-3 litre) are ideal for water storage, also filling up the bathtub and washing machine. (Remember, later you'll have some in your hot water tank.) If you have any kiddie pools or old water beds, pull them out and fill them up, too. Anything and everything that'll hold water needs to be filled up quickly RIGHT NOW!!
One of the shopping items should be rubbish bins and liner bags which you'll also use for storing water. If you can't get any more new bins, you could clean out an existing rubbish bin and scrub it throughout with bleach, then put in a new rubbish bag liner and fill it with water.
Choose well where you fill up your rubbish bins with water because they won't easily be moved once full and many of them together could be too heavy for some upper floor locations. Ideally, they need to be very near where your shelter will be constructed and can actually add to its shielding properties, as you'll see below. BE ASSURED, YOU CANNOT STORE AND HAVE TOO MUCH WATER! Do not hesitate; fill up every possible container, RIGHT NOW!
The principles of radiation protection are simple - with many options and resources families can use to prepare or improvise a very effective shelter. You must throw off the self-defeating myths of nuclear un-survivability that may needlessly seal the fate of less informed families.
Radioactive fallout is the particulate matter (dust) produced by a nuclear explosion and carried high up into the air by the mushroom cloud. It drifts on the wind and most of it settles back to earth downwind of the explosion. The heaviest, most dangerous, and most noticeable fallout, will 'fall out' first close to ground zero. It may begin arriving minutes after an explosion.
While the smaller and lighter dust-like particles will typically be arriving hours later, as they drift much farther downwind, often for hundreds of miles. As it settles, whether you can see it or not, fallout will accumulate and blow around everywhere just like dust or light snow does on the ground and roofs. Wind and rain can concentrate the fallout into localized 'hot spots' of much more intense radiation with no visible indication of its presence.
This radioactive fallout 'dust' is dangerous because it is emitting penetrating radiation energy (similar to x-ray's). This radiation (not the fallout dust) can go right through walls, roofs and protective clothing.
Even if you manage not to inhale or ingest the dust, and keep it off your skin, hair, and clothes, and even if none gets inside your house, the radiation penetrating your home is still extremely dangerous, and can injure or kill you inside.
Radioactive fallout from a nuclear explosion, though very dangerous initially, loses its intensity quickly because it is giving off so much energy. For example, fallout emitting gamma ray radiation at a rate of 500 R/hr (fatal with one hour of exposure) shortly after an explosion, weakens to only 1/10th as strong 7 hours later. Three days later, it's only 1/100th as strong, or as deadly, as it was initially.
That is really very good news, because families can readily survive it IF we get them into a proper shelter to safely wait it out as it becomes less dangerous with every passing hour. 
What stops radiation, and thus shields your family, is simply putting mass between them and the radiation source. Like police body armour stopping bullets, mass stops (absorbs) radiation. The thicker the mass, the more radiation it stops. Also, the denser (heavier) the mass used, the more effective it is with every inch more you add to your fallout shelter. The thickness in inches needed to cut the radiation down to only 1/10th of its initial intensity for different common materials is: Steel 3.3", concrete 11", earth 16", water 24", wood 38", etc. The thickness required to stop 99% of the radiation is: 5" of steel, 16" of solid brick or hollow concrete blocks filled with mortar or sand, 2 feet of packed earth or 3 feet if loose, 3 feet of water.
You may not have enough steel available, but anything you do have will have mass and can be used to add to your shielding - it just takes more thickness of lighter wood, for example, than heavier earth, to absorb and stop the same amount of radiation. Increasing the distance between your family and the radiation outside also reduces the radiation intensity.
The goals of your family fallout shelter are:
To maximize the distance away from the fallout 'dusting' outside on the ground and roof
To place sufficient mass between your family and the fallout to absorb the deadly radiation
To make the shelter tolerable to stay in while the radiation subsides with every passing hour.
While a fallout shelter can be built anywhere, you should see what your best options are at home or nearby. Some structures already provide significant shielding or partial shielding that can be enhanced for adequate protection.
If you do not have a basement available, you can still use the following techniques in any above ground structure, but you'll need to use more mass to achieve the same level of shielding. You may consider using other solid structures nearby, especially those with below ground spaces, such as commercial buildings, schools, churches, below ground parking garages, large and long culverts, tunnels, etc.
Some of these may require permissions and/or the acquiring of additional materials to minimize any fallout drifting or blowing into them, if open ended.
Buildings with a half-dozen or more floors, where there is not a concern of blast damage, may provide good radiation protection in the centre of the middle floors. This is because of both the distance and the shielding the multiple floors provide from the fallout on the ground and roof.
Bottom Line: choose a structure nearby with both the greatest mass and distance already in place between the outside, where the fallout would settle, and the shelter inside.
If you have a basement in your home, or at a nearby relatives' or friends' house that you can use, your best option is probably to fortify and use it, unless you have ready access to a better/deeper structure nearby.
For an expedient last-minute basement shelter, push a heavy table that you can get under into the corner that has the soil highest on the outside. The ground level outside ideally needs to be above the top of the inside shelter. If no heavy table is available, you can take internal doors off their hinges and lay them on supports to create your 'table'.
Then pile any available mass on and around it such as books, wood, cordwood, bricks, sandbags, heavy furniture, full file cabinets, full water containers, your food stocks, and boxes and pillow cases full of anything heavy, like earth. Everything you could pile up and around it has mass that will help absorb and stop more radiation from penetrating inside - the heavier the better. However, be sure to reinforce your table and supports so you do not overload it and risk collapse.
Leave a small crawl-through entrance and more mass there that can be easily pulled in after you to seal it up. Have at least two gaps or 4-6" square air spaces, one high at one end and one low at the other.
Use more if crowded and/or hotter climate.
A small piece of cardboard can help fan fresh air in if the natural rising warmer air convection current needs an assist moving the air along. This incoming air won't need to be filtered if the basement has been reasonably sealed up, however any windows or other openings will require some solid mass coverage to assure they stay sealed and to provide additional shielding protection for the basement.
With more time, materials, and carpentry or masonry skills, you could even construct a more formal fallout shelter, such as the lean-to shown to the right, but you should pile up much more mass than what little is shown here.
An effective fallout shelter constructed in a basement may reduce your radiation exposure 100-200 fold. Thus, if the initial radiation intensity outside was 500 R/hr (fatal in one hour), the basement shelter occupants might only experience 5 R/hr or even less, which is survivable, as the radiation intensity will be decreasing with every passing hour.

THE ELEVENTH WILDERNESS GATHERING 2014 14th to the 17th August
The Wilderness Gathering has over the years become a firm date in the diaries of those who enjoy bushcraft, nature and wilderness survival skills. The previous ten years have seen this event grow from a small event in one field with some traders and schools sharing bushcraft skills and knowledge to a festival of wilderness living skills encompassing bushcraft/survival and woodland crafts.
The show has grown into an event with something for all the family with stories and music by the campfire in the evenings and skills workshops and activities throughout the three whole days of the festival.
The Wilderness Gathering has without a doubt become the premier family event for all those interested in bush crafts and the great outdoors.
The show has bushcraft clubs for all age groups of children to get involved in plus more activities for all including den building and wilderness skills classes for all.
There are hands on demonstrations of game preparation, knife sharpening, basha boat building, bowmaking, greenwood working, archery and axe throwing and primitive fire lighting to name just a few. There are talks on survival phycology, classes on falconry and wilderness survival fishing. All of these skills are there for everybody and anybody to participate in.
You can probably pick up information on nearly all the skills needed to live in the wilderness and prosper at The Wilderness Gathering.
There is a wealth of good quality trade stands that are carefully selected to be in theme for the show selling everything from custom knives to tipis and outdoor clothing to primitive tools. The organisers have even laid on a free service bring and buy stall where you can bring along your used and unwanted kit and they’ll sell it for you.
There are local scout and explorer groups onsite promoting the World Wide Scouting Movement as well helping out with some of the classes and site logistics.
The catering is within the theme of the event with venison and game featuring on the menus plus organic cakes and drinks. The woodland and open field camping facilities (with hot showers) giving you the option to visit for the whole weekend or just to attend as a day visitor.
Check out or call 0845 83870620845 8387062 you really won’t regret it.

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