Failing to Prepare is Preparing to fail

"Surviving to Fight means Fighting to Survive"

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Monday, 3 November 2014

Show Contents 3rd November 2014

Show Notes
This week I begin with the CHILD'S PPE Review, then the Blizzard Survival 20% Discount Offer, Which Survival Knife, the Ribzwear 30% Discount Offer, You could not make it up, Disaster Activity Children’s Kit, the Wilderness121 10% Discount Offer, Why Prep, UK Self Defence Items, the Field Leisure 10% Discount Offer, Survivalist Thoughts, A Simple Breakfast, Duct Tape and some of its uses, Setting Snares, How to Survive and be Comfortable, How to Cook Food on Your Car's Engine.

I have a request from Chris T. on Twitter to promote a petition to demand the release of Marine A. I have placed a link to the petition at the top of my blog please take the time to sign it.
For those of you who have purchased a Pandemic Quick Kit from and if not WHY NOT, they have come up trumps with the CHILD'S PPE protect your children with this Personal Protective Equipment combo designed to cover their entire bodies.
At last there is a whole family solution for protecting your loved ones from Ebola and other contagions too.
WARNING Around the world these one piece protection suits are selling very fast indeed.
Mr Todd West, GM 0f First Aid Global, LLC said “I actually had to buy the last 500 Tyvek suits in small size.
Personal Protection for children has been difficult to procure until now. Tyvek suit, face shield and mask and much more and I fits most children.
1 Face Shield with attached Surgical Mask that ties around the back of head and neck and fits any size. Mask is cool and comfortable to wear and features soft, latex-free ties.
Breathable and roomy pleated facial pockets for superior comfort over extended periods of wear time. Shield provides a clear, plastic wrap-around that protects eyes and face from contaminants.
1 Small Tyvek Suit with elastic wrists and ankles and attached hood. Can be gathered-up to fit most children. Tyvek is composed of high-density polyethylene fibres.
It is strong and breathable, yet it won't allow liquids to penetrate. We are one of the only sources for size small.
1 Pair of Blue Bootie Shoe Covers
1 Earloop face mask for additional coverage
2-pair of Small Nitrile Gloves
1 Bio-hazard disposal bag to discard soiled suit
4 PAWS Antimicrobial Wipes
1 Emergency Light-stick
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Which Survival Knife
When one thinks of survival knives, images of Rambo come to mind, as the name Survival Knife was actually coined after his film First Blood. 
Let’s look at those knives and see the pros and cons. I will be focusing on single edge fixed blade knives because of the safety and function factors that should be addressed in a survival situation.
Most of these Survival Knives are large, Bowie style blades with hollow handles and saws on the spines. 
Movies like Rambo made them popular and mass production and a cheap price kept them popular. But trust me; there is a reason for the low price.
First let’s look at the handle construction. Hollow handles, for the most part, are all fad and a huge "no no" in the survival world.
Don't get me wrong, there are 1 or 2 custom makers that take the time and use the right materials to make these knives work well like the LMF II Survival Knife by Gerber.
This is not so in cheap mass production knives. Most are held together with a single nut or rolled pin and they call it good. 
Trust me, they will fail. Just take one on a camping trip and try to build a shelter with one like I did. 10 chops and that was all she stood..
So for the most part, unless you have to have a hollow handle, let’s stick to a full tang with a comfortable, secure handle. You won’t be sorry
Next let’s look at the blade. Once again double edge is a big danger in a survival situation. You can't afford the risk in the woods. 
A large blade can, and will, do everything a small blade can do plus more.
Survival requires a lot of chopping, and large weight foreword blades with a thick spine cut your work in half. That's why machetes are a huge part of outdoor life in many tribes around the world.
The saw back spine on early aviator knives were made for aircraft escape, and found their way onto all outdoor knives mainly for looks than for function. 
It has been my experience that they don't work that well on wood, and it’s easy to pack a nice saw in a small survival kit. So if you decide to stay with a small blade, you will have a saw to make up for it.
Blade steel is best left up to the person and situation. Air crew may want to stick with the 499 Air Force Survival Knife - Ontario Knife Company Stainless versions that require less maintenance. 
But on the other hand, they are harder to sharpen in the field. I like a blade with a high Carbon content. It takes more care and maintenance, but the trade-off for a scalpel sharp edge that's easy to keep is worth it. 
In both cases it is best to learn to sharpen your blades and keep a sharpener with it at all times. 
I really prefer the Chris-Caine Companion do some homework and decide for yourself what would be best for you.
As with any tool, you £5.00 Wally World blade won't last long under stress. Remember your life is on the line. That being said, let’s look at the specs of a good survival knife.
A quality survival knife has to feature high quality construction with a reasonable. Put that into a full tang knife with a comfortable secure handle, along with a good sized thick blade for chopping, with the right steel for you and round it out with a usable sharpener and you've got yourself a nice survival companion.
Now let’s put it in a package. Leather sheaths have been around for a long time, and they work well. In many cases it is better to find a sheath the fits securely that is made of a strong webbing and lined with a thick plastic or better yet Kydex insert. 
This will help protect you and your knife for years to come. They usually hold up well in all conditions. Try to make sure it has a drain hole so no water or dirt stays on the blade.
As a final thought, when you decide on a survival knife, be sure and use it. I have seen too many sit in kits or on shelves and when the time comes for the survivor to use it, they don't know how. 
Get in touch with your blade until it becomes an extension of your arm. 
Safety is the key in all things survival. With a little preparation and practice, you will come to trust your blade and yourself in any situation.
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.
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.
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You could not make it up
“Officials” in Tawas, Michigan had a man and woman caged for keeping chickens on their property.
The couple thought they would be given the opportunity to explain why they were keeping chickens but instead they were jailed.
The justification given by the aggressors was that the couple was guilty of the heinous action of “junk and blight.”
The system wants to control our food. Keeping chickens should not get you arrested. This is hardly the first instance of something like this happening. This is the outcome of a legislative move to criminalize backyard farms and small, residential farming operations.
Certainly, if a person or group of people is believed to have the sole right to set standards of conduct for strangers, and to then enforce their dictates through ransoms, those self-imposed rulers are incentivized to define peaceful actions as “illicit.”
Disaster Activity Children’s Kit
This year saw some bad weather and massive floods here in the UK and around the world we have seen earthquakes, extreme heat, landslides, tsunamis, blizzards and tornadoes which have forced thousands of families to flee their homes.  
Children account for many of the victims displaced.
Parents can help a child get through the long days that follow a natural disaster with an activity survival kit. What are the benefits of a disaster activity survival kit? What are a few suggested items that can reduce stress and help a child cope with the disaster? 
What items should not be taken to an evacuation shelter?
Kids and teens find it hard to camp out in a survival shelter for very long. Some people have to wait for days or weeks after a flood or other weather disaster has passed before they can safely return home. 
A disaster survival kit can help keep a child (or teen) occupied for much of the waiting time. Let the child help pack his kit; older children and teens can pack their own. 
Keeping the kit packed and ready-to-go saves valuable time in the event the family has to evacuate on short notice.
The most obvious reason for having a disaster activity survival kit for each child is to stave off boredom. Here are some other good reasons for building a kid's survival kit?
The child who builds or helps to build his disaster survival kit gets a sense of understanding and control in disaster planning.
Familiar, favourite items on hand will give comfort and hopefully keep stress and anxiety levels manageable in strange surroundings during a disaster crisis.
Items (such as drawing and colouring sets) gives the child an alternative way to vent feelings and fears about the disaster.
Items that make up a child's disaster survival kit depend on the child's age and personal preferences. 
Consider too, where the family is going to be staying for the next few days or longer. Use a backpack or duffel bag to hold a child's survival kit items.
What items are recommended for a child's activity survival kit?
A few favourite books and/or magazines
Writing Pads and pens
Personal CD player, gaming device or other player that uses headphones
Laptop or notebook computer and headphones
Crayons, washable markers, paper and colouring books
Sticker books and word puzzle books
Favourite cuddly toy
Board games and puzzles with large pieces
Deck of cards
Favourite blanket and/or pillow
Small dolls, cars, action heroes and other toys that prompt a child's imagination
In a shelter situation or even in a hotel, don't forget batteries and headphones. Don't count on being able to plug in a battery charger at a shelter, and don't expect Internet service.
If your family is going to take refuge in a local community centre for example? There are rules parents need to be aware of – guidelines to follow when making activity suggestions to a teen or helping a child make a survival kit.
Remember that hundreds of evacuees can add up to a lot of noise unless shelter rules are observed. Know too, that space is extremely limited – spots are taped off in some shelters – so limit your belongings.
Horseplay, loud talking, profanity, musical instruments and loud music are not tolerated.
Plan "quiet" activities like a good book for reading or a diary to write in. If you want music, then bring a radio, personal CD player or similar player and a good set of headphones. 
Don't assume that everyone is going to like your kind of music.
Show consideration when bringing toys for young children. No noisy toy instruments, remote control cars (can cause people to trip, too), whistles, or toys that emit sirens or other loud sounds. 
Please, no balls, Frisbees or anything that might invade another person's space.
Steer clear of games and items with small pieces that could easily become lost. Leave messy things like glue, moulding clay and paint sets at home.
Leave behind sharp items like scissors and craft needles unless it's an older child that is responsible.
Incidentally, if you're going to be stuck in your home's basement shelter for a lengthy bit of time, then you still might want to follow the public shelter guidelines above.
Children will feel less stressed if they're allowed to pack-up and bring a few favourite belongings to an emergency shelter or other place of refuge. 
Stick with quiet toys and devices that will reduce boredom and maintain peace for other evacuees.
It's no fun to leave the comfort and conveniences of home when a weather or land crisis strikes.
Include your children when making disaster preparations and allow them to make an activity kit.
Whole family involvement will make coping with bad weather and flooding and other natural disasters a whole lot easier.
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Why Prep
To those of you who have seen the importance of preparing and have a desire to keep your family safe during a disaster - congratulations.   
Prepping is for those who are preparing for the unknown future, and for those who see the importance of having necessary items in place before a disaster strikes.   
I hope this piece will give you the basic fundamental knowledge on how to start prepping, help you gain an understanding of why you need to have certain disaster supplies, and give insight on where to get certain supplies.
Those that are new to prepping should start with planning for a given disaster and then begin acquiring items for their basic needs.   
The logic behind prepping is the same for those preparing for a short term disaster or a long term disaster.   
That logic is: To be self-sufficient and have the ability to care for yourself and your family independently during an unforeseen disaster.   
Creating a disaster check list will add another layer of disaster planning, and expedite the process of getting ready for a disaster, if one comes your way.
Disasters can strike quickly and without warning.  Knowing what type of disasters could affect the area you live in will help you plan more thoroughly for the disaster.   
Deciding on the type of disaster to prepare for will also determine the type of survival gear that is needed.   
For example, if a person lives in an area prone to flash flooding and torrential downpours from thunderstorms, the items they choose would be different than survival items chosen for earthquake preparedness. 
Typically, the best way to prepare for a disaster is to plan for the worst case scenario so that all areas are covered. 
Many think this ideology is a bit excessive, but being completely prepared and self-sufficient for a given disaster is the reasoning behind prepping. 
It is a state of mind for many.
There are different types of preppers – the short term and the long term preppers.   
Short term preppers are those that want to be prepared for anywhere between 1 week-3 months.   
It is common sense I would say, that every family have a short term food supply in the case that food routes are interrupted due to severe storms, or unforeseen circumstances.
For longer term needs preppers generally are planning for disasters that have a longer term effect, thus they plan for longer self-sufficiency in the event the disaster does occur.   
Long term preppers have a short term supply to complement their long term supply.   
A longer term food supply usually includes dehydrated foods, MRE’s, seeds, hand crank wheat grinders, and equipment to be used in a non-technological environment.   
Disasters do not just happen to other people - they can happen to you, and they can happen to me.  As long as you are prepared for a given scenario, then you already have tools in place when you need it most.   
According to some, prepping has become some sort of a social movement.  Preparing for a disaster and being self-sufficient has occurred for centuries. 
It is nothing new.  It is simply families trying to make the hard times easier.
UK Self Defence Items
Being in some US states it must be nice to be able to carry a concealed firearm with you wherever you go to be able to protect yourself and your family from any of the millions of crazy people in the world who don’t have your best interest in mind. Unfortunately, I live in the UK were it is illegal to carry any weapon.
Even if what you do carry is not a weapon and you use it to defend yourself it will then be classes as a weapon, how stupid is that?
Some governments have decided that it is up to only a chosen few to be able to do that and if you’re not lucky enough to be one of those chosen few, you need to hope that you happen to have one in the room if something happens – and hope they can take care of it on their own.
The chosen ones generally wear uniforms and I believe it to be a very dangerous thing if the only ones with the weapons are the police.
As they say, when seconds count, cops are just minutes away.
Luckily, there are many items that you can carry in public, and into pretty much any establishment. These items also don’t draw attention to yourself, in fact they are carried in open sight.
This is probably the most inconspicuous weapon of the group but with some training it can be extremely effective. It’s an improvised weapon that’s been taught to Special Forces and intelligence operatives for generations.
The key is rolling it up tight and holding it in the right spot. If you roll it toward the fold, you won’t have all the pages layered out alongside it so it’ll hold up better. You can also pre-roll it and keep it tight with rubber bands too, which would make it very effective, but now you’re starting to lose the inconspicuousness of it.

I like the Elzetta ZFL-M60 Tactical Weapon-Grade LED Torch which has a strike bezel in the front that would allow you to dig into an opponent while striking them.
I think that would definitely stop someone if you got hit by it. The problem is, that will also draw attention to you and some places don’t allow them because they consider them weapons – and rightly so; there is no other use for that tip than as a weapon.
The truth is, however, you don’t need that tip. Any torch of the right size can be used just as effectively without it. Just as with the newspaper, it’s all about where you strike. 
Some of them have a mode where you can ‘disorient’ an attacker with a strobe light and a good torch has a setting were you can chose strobe or beam from the off.
The best ones to get will be ones that will extend out both ends of your hand while holding it so you can strike from either direction, but will also fit in your pocket and can be easily pulled out when you need it.
Walking Stick/umbrella
A walking stick or umbrella is probably the most effective weapon on this list. It can give you more reach, can hit harder, and can give you more leverage than anything else I have mentioned.
Most umbrellas are terrible weapons. They break easily and have a tendency to pop open if you shuffle them around too much. There are exceptions though. The U-115 is just one example of an umbrella that you can use to defend yourself effectively but won’t be typically seen as any kind of a weapon.
It’s built very tough and is discreet. The problem with umbrellas though is if it’s not raining or about to rain, you look a little suspicious carrying it around.
However a sturdy walking stick can be used as a weapon extremely well. You just have to pick one that doesn’t look like a weapon. The key here is to find one that won’t break easily and has a heavy handle on the end.
You can get hardwood walking sticks with brass handles fairly inexpensively. Contrary to what you may think; the fancier something like this looks, the less likely it is that it would be confiscated.
Nicer things aren’t seen as often as being intended for nefarious purposes. Don’t go for something that has a skull or dragon on it.
You don’t need to have a hidden knife to use a belt effectively. You do need to find a belt and a pair of pants that will allow you to pull it off quickly without your pants dropping to your ankles in a fight.
A wide leather belt with a heavy buckle works well. Just watch that the loop near the buckle doesn’t catch on the front loop of your pants, causing it to not want to come out.
I personally carry a tactical/survival pen a lot of times because it’s now part of my personal EDC kit. These are really useful to have but more likely to be seen as a potential threat than a normal pen will.
The fact is though, just about any pen can be used as a weapon. All you need is to have an inch or so sticking out of your fist as you hold it, and then use it to poke holes in the fleshy parts of your attacker.
UK Legal Spray
In conjunction with the items I have mentioned I also always carry a UK legal spray, mine is made by Mace in the US and is readily available in the UK at it gives you the option of flight or fight.
I would rather be judged by twelve than carried by six.
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Survivalist Thoughts
Those of us who've figured things out to various and lessor degrees, realize the need to prepare for a time in the not too distant future when the society we've become accustom to will no longer be functional.
Let's pause a moment and savour the meaning of what I just said. Some people who have not really paused to consider the true ramifications of a societal collapse, look forward to these times with an almost naive glee.
Visions of "Red Dawn," fire fights with well-armed but incompetent troops, camping out and feasting on venison seem to figure heavily in these ill-conceived fantasies.
Let's explore some of these myths. Anyone who has spent any time in the wilderness or in actual combat knows that running and gunning is the option of “LAST” resort!!!
When things get down to running and gunning your prospects for long term survival have just become tragically thin. Even elite forces such as the Navy Seals, try to avoid "running and gunning." They operate from a base.
They are inserted, do their jobs and are extracted back to the safety of their base. In the scenario so often fantasized, it would be like being permanently behind enemy lines with no support, no hope of extraction and no supplies. Could you survive? Some could, but they are few and far between.
Let's explore the notion of living off the land. The reality is, there isn't enough game in the UK, to support a group of any size for any length of time. By the way, you've got to figure you're not going to be the “ONLY” person or group out there fighting for the limited resources.
Small game? How many rabbits will you have to kill to feed yourself per day? Per week? How about your family? You're going to run out of rabbits pretty quick in whatever area you happen to be in. Fishing? That's a good plan if you're near a body of water. But again, you're not going to be the only one with that idea.
Suppose you have a good day and harvest a deer, or twenty or thirty fish, how are you going to preserve the meat? You're probably aren't going to be lugging around a fridge or a freezer.
What about items you take for granted, like toilette paper? How much are you going to carry with you on a bug-out? There are many things to consider. The closest description of the bug-out experience is the Mountain Man life style. However, it's important to note, even the "Mountain Men" had to come back to society for supplies every so often.
When you begin to consider all the ramifications of "bugging-out," the magnitude of what you're attempting begins to become clear.
Of course all this becomes a moot point if you become stuck in a traffic jam trying to leave the city, or if you get rounded up at an unexpected road block. A simple rule for survival in these circumstances is, look at what everybody else is doing, and don't do it!
Let's be smart. The best place to be at in a survival situation is your home. Your home should be your survival retreat! If it's not, make it into your survival retreat.
If it's not suitably located, buy one or build one that is. A well-conceived home location can become a survival retreat with some work and planning.
The two most powerful assets you can have are storage and concealment. If you want to understand survival, study the masters. The animal kingdom is without exception the best place to learn survival.
Almost all animals, as a first line of defence use concealment or camouflage. Even predators such as tigers, cheetahs and leopards use camouflage to assist in their survival. How can we profit from this strategy?
The most important thing we can do as survivalist is to “NOT” draw attention to ourselves. A friend of mine once suggested we join an "intentional" community of likeminded people and live in a rural communal setting. Visions of Waco and Ruby Ridge immediately sprang into my mind. I told this friend I'd rather live next door to the local mayor. The likelihood of them taking tanks through the Mayors garden to get to me would be extremely slim.
In essence, "bugging-out" is like leaving the safety of the herd. If you've ever seen predators hunt animals in the wild, the first thing they do is cut them off from the protection of the herd. Then they descend on them and rip them to pieces, while the rest of the herd looks on grateful that it's not them being ripped to pieces.
They've even gone so far as to justify what happened by saying these people were extremist. This is very much like what happens in the animal kingdom. Only the sickly and diseased fall prey to the lion. Hence, if people are attacked by our government... they must be politically sick.
Too many times we trade the illusion of security for reality. The reality is, everything is governed by chance and probability. Our goal should be to turn a low probability of survival into a high probability of survival.
Being a survivalist is a way of life. Is your home hardened? Is it stocked and supplied? Are you constantly thinking of ways to manufacture more of the things you go to the store and purchase? If your mate doesn't sew, do you?
Could you make a serviceable outfit out of cloth or fabric? Or will you be reduced to foraging for garments if TEOTWAWKI comes in our life time? It certainly looks like it's just around the corner... Being able to "Bug-Out" is good, but it should never become your primary survival strategy!
If you don't have a hardened place to "Bug-Out" to, you're probably wasting your time. Your best bet is to harden your home.
Don't blow your cover by bragging about your supplies, in fact be extremely cautious about who you allow into your home. If things blow up, you don't want someone who's seen and noted your food stores, showing up on your door step with their family asking to share what you've set aside through your hard labour and sacrifice.
The best neighbours are those that mind their own business. Mind yours and insist they mind theirs. You want to develop a support network of people who not only believe the way you do... but who believe strongly enough to act on their beliefs. In a survival situation everyone must pull their own weight.
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A Simple Breakfast
It’s true, with this recipe you only one cake tray there are no spoons, bowls, spatulas or skillets to clean which makes this the perfect breakfast recipe for us as preppers and survivalist.
Sunrise Breakfast Bowls
Whole grain bread- 12 slices with crust taken off
Eggs- 1 dozen
Bacon- 1 package precooked bacon
Allow your campfire to burn down to ashes so it is really a Bar-B-Q
Grease a cake tin with butter and place one slice of bread into each hole pressing down in the middle.
Crack one egg directly onto each slice of bread.
Precooked Bacon
Bring with you some pre heated bacon and place one cooked slice into each egg
Bake until egg is just cooked, or until desired consistency- yolk runny, about 10 minutes; slightly runny, about 13 minutes and cooked thoroughly, about 17 minutes.
Duct Tape and some of its uses
Duct tape with a little ingenuity, in a pinch, it’s an adequate solution for just about everything.
Duct tape should be in every backpacker’s survival kit and every camper’s toolbox. Here are some uses for duct tape. When the time comes, you’ll be glad you have it.
Repair a Tear
Duct tape is a temporary tear fix in nearly any situation, whether it’s your tent, a camping chair, a tarp or your sleeping bag that’s in need of repair. Put a strip of duct tape on the front and back of the ripped item for extra reinforcement.
Make a Rope
Though this shouldn’t be your first option, twisted duct tape can substitute for a non-load bearing rope in the case that you left yours at home. For a thin rope, simply coil two long pieces of tape together. Use more pieces for added thickness.
Seal Packages of Food
Use duct tape to close packages of food when you leave your campsite or go to bed. Curious animals are attracted to crumbs and scents, so keep everything closed up tight with a strip of duct tape.
Temporary Sprained Ankle Wrap
Duct tape can be used to support a sprained or rolled ankle when you’re far from a hospital. Learn how to properly tape your ankle.
Fly Trap
If your campsite has more flies than you can handle swatting, hang a strip of duct tape somewhere in your campsite and wait for the pesky insects to stick to it. The best place for this is near the food, where the flies are likely to gather.
Make a fishing spear
Want to catch a fish, but don’t have a pole? Tape your knife to a long stick, and create a spear fishing pole. Be sure the tape is wrapped tight and thick before trying to catch anything.
Keep Your Tent Closed
A busted zipper lets in the cold and bugs as your tent door flaps in the wind. Hold the door down with duct tape, and deal with your broken zip at home.
Make a Windbreaker
If the wind picks up in your campsite, tape a few sturdy rubbish bags together and hang them on the side of your pop up shelter for a windbreaker wall. Tape the windbreaker to the poles of your shelter so it doesn’t blow in the wind, which would defeat the purpose.
Cover a Blister
Hiking with a blister is painful, especially if you’re trekking for miles at a time. Cover the affected, or potentially affected, area with duct tape to avoid any further pain.
Fix Your Glasses
If your glasses break straight down the middle, use duct tape to put them back together. Simply wrap a thin strip of tape a few times around for a quick and easy fix.
Mark a Trail
If you’re hiking in unfamiliar territory, with few trail markers, make your own. But, don’t leave them on the trees; take each strip off as you find your way back.
Fix a Broken Tent or Fishing rod
A broken tent or fishing rod should be replaced or fixed in a shop. While camping, however, use duct tape for a temporary remedy. The tape will hold for a few days so you can still make use of the items when you need them most.
Keep Your Tablecloth On
On an especially blustery day your tablecloth will blow around the campsite. Tape the sides down to keep it on the table
Fix a Leaky Water Bottle
Place a thick strip of duct tape over a crack in your water bottle. Reinforce the patch with two or three strips to be sure no water leaks on you or in your backpack.
Keep the Cold Out
Wrap duct tape around the seams of your tent windows. On an especially cold night, this will help keep as much of the chill outside as possible.
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Setting Snares
Most survival kits on the market today have snares in them and that is great. But can you actually set a snare as if not then they are just lengths of wire
Nowadays, there are so many 'experts' on setting snare traps it’s hard to know who to trust. Fact of the matter is, the internet is full of fakes who know that the bulk of people have no idea what's right and what's wrong. So first of all, let’s sort out the lies and clear up some misconceptions.
Lies about Snaring

The biggest lie out there is what height you need your snare loop to be set. There's lots of stories about using your hands as a scale of size. Such as using so many fingers to gauge the distance from the ground.
The only size you need to know is 6 and a half inches from the bottom of the loop to the floor. This size can change a little depending on the conditions of the beats (more on that later) buts it’s a great example size.
The next big myth is the diameter of the loop. A lot of different people say different sizes but they often make it far harder than it has to be.
It’s as simple as this with snare traps; the loop has to go over and under the rabbit’s ears and chin. Most people forget about the ears and set it to about half the size it should be. With the ears, a rabbits head is about 6-7 inches tall. Make your loops about 7.5 inches wide.
Sadly that’s not the end of the rubbish you can read. Snare traps don’t need to have their smell masked. There is no need to use smoke or your compost bin.
Just make sure you aren't covered in strong unnatural smells, like perfumes and such. Some say "Check the trap often, so you can reset it and not miss a second". This is a great way of scaring off your prey. Leave them all night and for the early hours of the morning.
Snares do not break necks, ever. It is also extremely rare for the rabbit to be 'skinned'. I know a few snare hunters who go on a lot of trips and I have only heard of it happening once. And it only took off a little fur. Snaring is humane and is miles from cruel.
So with my rant about lies over, let’s move onto how to really hunt with snares.
How to Set Up Your Snares
Beats, tracks and paths are your target. Just like beaten mud paths, its clear where the rabbits have been and they use the same routes over and over.
So clearly these are your target. If you watch a rabbit closely you'll notice that it doesn’t run, it hops. When it does this it flattens the grass and pounds the dirt leaving bent over grass and dead patches of green. This is called a beat.
The goal is to set your snare traps between the hops so the rabbit’s neck enters the loop before/after it hops. So you want to aim for the middle of the beat. Stick your peg to the side and have the loop cross the path half way across. Simple right?
Well it is until you think about the height. Like I said it’s roughly about 6 and a half inches from the bottom of the loop to the ground.
This is a good rule of thumb but sometime the grass between the beats is tall. If it looks like the bunny is jumping higher to cross it you need to lift your trap about half an inch. Short grass? Some people like to lower it half an inch but I stick to 6.5 myself.
The height of the snare is important, so if needs be take a ruler. Get it wrong and the loop will simply be jumped on or over, leaving it on the floor.
Other Tips for Snare traps
Setting the peg right is important. If you just stick it in the ground you'll find it can come out nice and easy. You want it at a very small angle away from the loop.
To find your snares in the dark or low light a lot of people will use marker pegs. Just make a peg and paint the top a nice bright colour and place it somewhere near the snare but away from the beat.
Then on the other hand, it’s not uncommon to have snares stolen by other hunters. If you feel the area is away from other hunters and you'll need markers (I.E. your using many traps) I would recommend them.
When setting a snare, look for paths though tall paths. It’s not uncommon for rabbits to hit a tall bit of grass so many times it shapes a kind of hole. This is a golden area and you would be a bit silly not to set a trap over it.
And finally, make sure you check your snare traps daily! Or they could be classed as illegal and cruel.
How to Survive and be Comfortable
Once you have studied the realities involved in surviving a long term catastrophe (years, not weeks), it becomes painfully obvious that maintenance of a reasonable comfortable standard of living in a post disaster situation is beyond the resources of one individual or one family.
It is simply impossible to know enough... to learn enough... or to afford enough to meet all the needs of a family unit living at more than a bare subsistence standard of living... a standard of living far below what we would now consider to be "third world". This is a future I would wish upon my family only if death were the only alternative. We can, however, do better... much better.
"How?" you ask. "With a little help from our friends" is the answer.
Team work is the key to survival, not only individual survival, but survival of an acceptable standard of living... even survival of a productive society. It is simply not possible to cover all of your future needs from within your family unit.
For example, you may be a great gardener, but can you build and maintain the tools necessary for production level farming. Even if you can forge ploughshares and tan leather for tack, what if your animal gets sick, or what if your family gets sick? Can you diagnose the problem, and if you can, will you have stored the supplies needed to treat the problem?
What if you are a great farmer, a great blacksmith, a great vet, and a physician on the side? What if someone attacks your family while you are in the field?
Who will spin the yarn? Who will weave the cloth? Who will make the clothes? Who will tan the leather? Who will make the shoes?
Who will teach your children? Even if you have every one of these skills, you are not likely to have the current resources to stock the supplies needed to maintain the trade.
Even if you stock everything that might possibly be needed for every one of these trades, there will simply not be enough hours in the day to meet even your most basic needs.
What is the answer? The answer is specialization. This is the root foundation for human society. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Forget the idea that you will survive in your secure fortress with your solar power, your tons of wheat, and your thousands of rounds of ammunition.
You will succumb to a superior force, or to disease, to starvation, or to isolation and depression.
The "dream" survival situation would be a small, relatively isolated community with a large agricultural base and some manufacturing resources. It would have its own power supply, temperate weather, and a good mix of trade skills. Very few of us have the luxury to live in such a plane.
In fact there are very few such places at all. Even if you can find one, they are not likely to welcome a total stranger into their community during the turmoil of a post-catastrophe situation.
If you know of such a place, consider moving there now, even if it means a career change and an income reduction. You may have to give up your weekly trips to the symphony and the theatre, and you might not have a choice if 15 different French restaurants, but you might find your life very much richer for the safety, fraternity, and slower pace of life.
I realize that we cannot all live in small town utopia, and even in these communities, the vast majority of people don't give a moment's thought to post-disaster survival. They don't have on hand even a fraction of the supplies needed to carry on their trade for even a few days out of touch from the regional and national distribution system.
So what can you do? You can learn all you can about everything you can. You can stock up on reference books. You can collect all the supplies needed for short term survival and intermediate term subsistence.
But most importantly, you can learn a practical skill, then stock deep in what you do well, then recruit friends of like mind who will do the same for other complementary skills. A carpenter with some wheat and a rifle with loads of ammunition might be in a poor situation with a sick or hungry child.
A carpenter who has seen fit to put aside a top quality set of hand tools and several hundred pounds of nails might be a rich man in a community with a need for shelter and building skills.
A physician may be a lousy shot and unable to defend his family, but a physician with the tools to diagnose illness and a stockpile of medicines to treat them is guaranteed to have the whole community turn out in his defence.
The combination of his knowledge and his supplies, not necessarily either one alone is what makes him an immense asset to the community. The whole is again worth more than the sum of the parts.
After realizing that the team or group approach to preparedness is superior, one must consider what skills are essential in order to know what to learn or who to recruit.
Skills might be divided into essential or primary, and desirable or secondary, based on whether they are necessary for personal or cultural survival respectively. Primary skills needed for personal survival, and the people to provide them, might include:
Sustenance - storage, preparation, and production of food and water
A) farmers
B) serious gardeners
C) cooks and bakers
Shelter - short and long term protection from hazards of toxins, fire, radiation, the environment, and antisocial behaviour, including maintenance of existing shelter
A) builders - electricians, plumbers, carpenters, masons
B) wood cutters
C) sanitation or radiation engineers
D) mechanics
Security - protection from the antisocial conduct of insiders or outsiders
A) Police officers
B) military personnel or veterans
C) hunters or others skilled with weapons
D) administrators (yes, even after the great disaster there will be a need for a few petty bureaucrats. Someone has to keep the ducks in a row.)
Medical care - maintenance of the personal and public health of the community
A) physicians, especially Family Practitioners and Surgeons, a Pathologist might have his place but would be of less general use than a primary care clinician or surgeon.
B) dentists
C) nurses, physicians' assistants, paramedics, EMTs, ex-military medics
D) pharmacists
E) sanitarians and public health officials
Secondary skills are things you personally might be able to live without, but society cannot.
A) teachers - parents can teach, but not as well or as comprehensively as someone who is trained in it professionally. Note also that teachers frequently make good administrators if you don't want any real bureaucrats in the group.
B) Parents - education is their principle job anyway.
C) Lawyers and accountants - Their primary skills may be useless, but they are well educated people. Don't let lawyers administrate, however, unless you want a new world as screwed up as the old.
Transportation - life proceeds very slowly when you must walk everywhere.
A) Mechanics - There will be no shortage of surplus vehicles, but keeping them running will be a task.
B) Chemists and/or distillers - Those surplus vehicles and machines must run on something.
C) Animal breeders - If you can't get your vehicle to run you can ride an animal. This form of transportation is also edible and produces fertilizer. Petroleum may be hard to come by as well.
D) Wood and leather workers - to make harnesses, saddles, wagons, etc.
Communications - vastly increases the efficiency of production, distribution, and security.
1) CB and Ham radio operators - they almost always have plenty of equipment and they think a lot about emergency preparedness.
2) Telephone technicians - the telephone system will still be there but keeping it working will be a vital help to the community.
3) Electricians or electronics technicians - the generation and storage of electricity is vital to communications and very helpful to almost every other sector of the community.
4) Athletes - If you can't get the message there any other way, you can always send a runner.
Others might add quite a few more categories to this list, but it's easy to see that the scale of the task in mastering even a fraction of these skills is beyond reasonable expectation.
The dedicated survivalist must consider himself a leader and teacher. After having mastered the basic skills of self- reliance his next priority must be to master his specialty skill, and having learned it well, to stockpile the tools of his trade.
He must then work on the other specialties important to survival, with special emphasis on skills not yet filled by recruitment.
A good plan would be to become a specialist in one of the primary or secondary skills, develop a good working knowledge of all of the primary skills, and become familiar with the secondary skills.
The camouflage clad, rifle toting loner of the popular media isn't practicing survival, he is practicing for suicide. Don't imitate him, and don't recruit him. Survival means teamwork, and the bigger the team the more comfortable the future.
Just think, if everyone thought like a survivalist, then it's likely none of us would ever need these skills and supplies we work so hard to obtain. The best life insurance policy is the one you don't have to collect on.
How to Cook Food on Your Car's Engine
I think nothing is worse on a long drive than having to stop the car, pop the bonnet, and check the engine—unless of course you're just checking to see if your pork tenderloin is done.
Many years ago I used to cook fish this way and you know it is basically a free meal. Imaging you are bugging out and when you get to your BOL you actually have a hot cooked meal ready to eat, wouldn’t that be great?
Engine-block cooking is a tradition going back almost as long as the automobile itself, and now that Fuel prices are at an all-time high, it's never made more sense to ask your engine to do more than just get you from point A to point B. Start your engines and get ready to cook on the go!
Plan the right meal for the trip.
If you're not going to be taking a journey anyway, engine block cooking is probably the most expensive way to cook anything, so don't plan a trip just to cook.
Instead cook a dish that fits your journey. Cooking on your car's engine is essentially the same as braising food, and cooking times are generally a bit longer than in a conventional oven and shorter than in a slow cooker.
If you're taking a long journey, you can cook just about anything—roasts, complete meals with Potato side dishes, etc.—but even a quick commute affords you enough time to heat up a pre-cooked breakfast sandwich, for example, or make some hot dogs.
Prepare the food as you would if you were going to put it in your oven. You can follow the pre-cooking preparation directions in any oven recipe.
Wrap the food in aluminium foil.
Tear off two or three sheets of heavy duty aluminium foil. Don't skimp on the foil, as you'll want to make sure that your food is completely wrapped and that you can fold one edge of the foil over the other—too much foil is better than too little.
Lay out the pieces of foil directly on top of each other, and then spread a little butter or oil (cooking oil, not motor oil) over the top sheet so your meal won't stick to it.
Lay the food in the centre of the sheet of foil and then wrap the foil over it. Fold the edges of the foil over each other so that the package is sealed all around.
Find a suitable cooking surface on your engine.
You can't just drop the food under the bonnet and expect it to cook; you first need to find a good, hot spot on the engine for it. Drive for a few minutes to warm up your engine, and then stop. Turn off the engine and open the bonnet. Find your engine's hot spots by quickly and lightly touching a finger to metal parts on the engine.
Sounds like a recipe for burning your finger, doesn't it? Well it is, unless you really do it quickly and lightly. If you can hold your finger in a spot for more than a moment without getting burned, as a general rule, the best spot—if you can safely get to it—is on or near the exhaust manifold.
Check the height of your cooking spot.
Crumple up a piece of foil into a loose ball. The foil should be about six inches high. Place it on the spot on the engine you've decided to cook on, and then close the hood. Reopen the hood—the foil has probably been compacted a bit.
Make sure your food will fit snugly in the cooking spot.
Remove the foil you used in the last step and place it next to your wrapped package of food. Compare the height of the foil "test ball" to the height of your food package. If the food package is higher than the test ball, your meal will be crushed when you close the bonnet. If it's more than a little lower, it won't fit snugly and may fall out of place while you're driving.
Secure the food package on the engine.
Assuming the package is not too high to fit in the cooking area, place it on the engine. If it was lower than the test ball, crumple up a little foil to lay on top of the package.
You don't want the food moving from side to side, either, so make sure it's a snug fit all around. You can do this either by surrounding it with additional crumpled foil pieces or by tying it down. Some people will ease the food package under conveniently located rubber hoses, for example, or you can use wire to tie the food down.
Use common sense when securing the food. Avoid placing it near moving parts, and don't strain hoses by trying to force the package under them. If you're going to use wire, use baling wire rather than trying to use the wires that are already in your engine compartment.
Drive until the food is done. As with all cooking, a little trial and error is usually necessary before you get a feel for the proper cooking times.
Even if you're following an engine-block cooking recipe, it's a good idea to check on the food a little before the time (or mileage) when it's supposed to be done. If you need to put it back in, remember to reseal and secure the package.
Remove the food carefully and enjoy. First, turn off the engine. Second, remember that the engine is hot, and the food will be hot, so use tongs and/or potholders to remove the food—you wouldn't just grab a hot pan out of the oven with your bare hands! Unwrap it and serve. If you've still got some driving to do, skip the wine.


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