Knowledge For Outside The Norm, by Phoenix WEA

If you’re like me and you spend a great deal of time reading articles and books or viewing videos about survival and prepping, this article will resonate with you. Getting out there with boots on the ground, learning the basics, is very important. However, what I would like to offer you today are some out-of-the-box suggestions to keep in mind while you train. It’s knowledge for outside the norm.


To start, if your scenario requires you to walk several miles to get home, you will need water. Well, most people don’t think about the water that’s in the pipes under homes. Most new constructed homes have easy access to their CPVC pipes in the crawl space. The pipes can be easily cut and drained into a large container. I can tell you from experience even a half inch pipe can hold a large quantity of water, so be prepared for that. I would just boil or filter this water before drinking it. Also if you come across a house or business you can find at least one water heater that will often have easy access to 50 gallons of water.

Another way to access water that is not most commonly laid out in prepper sites is the four-point Sillcock key. It is easily found in hardware stores or ordered online. This key will unlock a variety of locked water compartments and faucets on the outside of some businesses and most gas stations. The water is inaccessible without this key, unless you take a great deal of time and energy trying to access it. The ability to drain any leftover water in these lines could save your life.

Good Items in Your Vehicle

Let’s discuss some good items to keep in your vehicle. (I am a believer in storing as much as I can in my truck (without going overboard) for different survival situations.) Depending on the situation you are in, you can pick and choose from your larger pack or lockbox what you will take with you in a smaller backpack. Try and keep your pack at around 25-30 lbs., although this may change depending on your size and fitness level. Your larger pack holds several options for different scenarios, along with empty water bottles or bladders that can be filled later on your trek home.

Before leaving your vehicle, fill the water bottles, canteens, bladders from a three to five-gallon heavy-duty water bottle that is always stored in your vehicle. Of course, this depends on your vehicle size. I personally get them from grocery stores and will swap out the water for fresh water every three or four months. The extra water is also nice to have for overheated vehicles you see on the side of the road.

A few more items I always keep in the truck are things you may not use for months at a time but having them will make a bad day better or increase your odds of survival when it hits the fan. Keeping your gear under seats or in those hollow spaces around the spare tire or jack will keep these items out of the way.

Some More Things to Never Leave Home Without

A 350 Watt inverter that I’ve had for years works great with a 12V miniature air compressor and a tire patch kit. I’m reminded of three occasions on the side of the road or in a parking lot, pulling out something that plunged into my tires. After pushing in a very snug, sticky, plug into the hole and waiting for about five minutes with the air compressors low groan, I can hit the road again. Also, never leave home without your jumper cables, tow strap, fire extinguisher, and some rope and duct tape.

If you have room, keep a collapsible cart in your vehicle. The wheels may not last for an extended trip, but it will be good to help you start off with any extra water or gear at first. You may have to shed unused gear along the way, but it will be a great companion to start off with.

Barter Items

How about we discuss a couple uncommon barter items. Over the years I have enjoyed collecting multiple online survival books, articles, and videos with information, and I have either downloaded them onto USB thumb drives or CD’s. While I have always planned on taking with me in any bug out situation, I personally may not have the ability to read the info on the CD or upload the information on the USB while on the road. However, other people in your travels may have a working computer.

I made enough to hand out to others, either in a barter situation or as a gift to someone who has helped me along the way, so that they can then find a way to view the information. Imagine the benefits that you could receive if you come along a situation where a group of people could benefit from all that information that you have stored. You could offer them medical knowledge, primitive water filtering, weapon making, maps, and almost an endless amount of information on a simple thumb drive. I also download songs and books to help pass the time and relax. You know, anything to relieve you from the hardships of the day, if only for a short time, is good.

Option For Different Scenarios

Having an option for different scenarios all in your truck is a good idea. I always have my Every Day Carry and Med pack, a large truck bag, and smaller pack for the trek home. I keep a pocket-sized SAS manual in my pack at all times, and I have distributed them throughout all my different packs. They have come in handy on multiple occasions, referring me to forgotten basic information.

Information Packet

Something else you can do to assure success in finding your family members in the area is to prepare an “information packet” in all the vehicles. They will contain phone numbers and addresses of family members, along with maps of possible evacuation routes and rally points– a planned meeting place along the way. Have fun with it, check out the route while taking a road trip, and find places to leave notes if the plan needs to be adjusted; be sure to mark these places on your map.

Portable CB

Have a portable boxed CB in the vehicle. I have found several older model CB’s at flea markets and yard sales with a magnetic antenna that plug into your lighter. The range is limited, but it could come in extremely handy for communicating with your loved ones or picking up local information.


Be sure to have some petty cash, at least $100 in $20 and $10 bills Try not to use it in everyday situations, like going to the store without a wallet. I have a separate location for that money.

May Help If Need Glasses To Correct Vision

If the next scenario includes long-term survival, even years, this next part may help you if you need glasses to correct your vision. This may be a cool option that I have personally attempted and had successfully changed my prescription on my glasses as a result. Now to be completely honest, I still wear glasses while driving at night but my prescription was altered, and I feel if I would have continued these exercises, especially in a long-term grid-down situation without access to new eyeglasses, this method would be a great option to try. However, like most exercises, you must do them frequently to stay strong.

If nothing else, it feels good to do when there’s nothing else to do on a nice sunny day. There are several exercises you can apply to your daily routine, but to get started, here is a basic rundown on a few of the exercises you can experiment with. You can look at more info on this online, if you find it as interesting as I do.

Sunning and Other Exercises For Eyes

  • Start with something called sunning. Sit with your eyes closed while facing to the sunlight. Relax the face, allow the sunlight to go through the eyelids and relieve any stress. To avoid any strain on the eyes, rotate your head from one side to the other. With your eyes still closed, draw circles with your nose. Breathe deeply and don’t squint while feeling the sunshine on the eyeballs. Remember this is an easy and convenient exercise you can perform anywhere.
  • Sit or stand in a comfortable position. This exercise will only take between two and three minutes. Put your thumb just in front of your face at about 10 inches distance. Then focus on it. On every deep breath switch the focus from the thumb to an object about 10-30 feet in front and repeat this several times. This exercise will strengthen the eye muscles. Over time, there should be an improvement to your vision.
  • Also, an exercise called palming is excellent for relieving stress around the eyes. Make yourself comfortable in a sitting position. Lean forward with the elbows, resting on the knees. Close the eyes. Place your hands over your eyes. Now the cups of the palms should be covering your eyes. Fingers should be on the forehead, and the heel of the hand should rest on the cheekbone. Make sure your eyes can freely blink. Don’t put too much pressure on your eyes. That’s it, simple, yet effective. Palming will not only rest your eyes but the mind as well.
  • Figure eights are a simple yet good exercise for the eye muscles for increasing their flexibility. Just picture a huge figure “8” at 10 feet in front. Turn that imagined figure “8” on its side. Now, slowly trace that figure “8” with the eyes. Perform this one way for a couple of minutes. Repeat then in the reverse direction for the same number of minutes.
  • Another of my favorites among eye-exercises that is quick and easy to do is to sit comfortably and then stretch out an arm. The thumb should assume a hitchhiker position, and then focus your eyes on the thumb with the outstretched arm. Without losing focus on your thumb, bring it closer until it’s about three inches away from your face. Now, slowly move the thumb away once more until the arm resumes the fully outstretched position. Do this exercise for a couple of minutes at different times throughout the day. The exercise can improve focusing skills and will strengthen your eye muscles.

If I were to continue this process of improving my eyesight over a long period of time (if there was no other option for surgery or corrective lenses), I would like to think it would help improve my eyesight, or at least relieve stress.

Vital To Be Prepared

It’s vital to be prepared and skilled, but the most important part is to have fun, while learning and teaching these skills. In time, the skills you learn become second nature to you and when the time comes no matter what it may be, you’ll know you can handle it.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been another entry for Round 79 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by,
  7. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
  6. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from (a $240 value).

Round 79 ends on November 30th, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.


  1. I’m confused about using the 350 watt inverter to power the 12volt mini-compressor. I have a small compressor that connects directly to the battery. Did I miss something? I also carry a bicycle tire pump and have used it successfully. It’s definitely no fun, though.



  2. Wayne,

    as far as inverter discussions go, the below model is an excellent one. It is so small it fits about anywhere in your car, and has the flexibility of providing power to both charge your cell phone or any other USB cable devices, and run your freezer, while your vehicle is running. Pushing 350 to 400 watts or more through your cigarette plug in tends to blow those pesky little fuses, so get the model with short cables with clamps that attach directly to a car battery.

    And get a separate cigarette plug-in air tire pump. After a year in Montana, it was the first thing I bought after I I became a responsible husband. Sometimes you can find decent ones on sale for 5 bucks each (get two or three, in that case). I know you were asking about the article, but hope my comment here is useful for your planning.

    Phoenix, thanks so much for the great tips. I just got a couple items to add to my Christmas list from your recommendations, and reminded of great eye exercises to help vision. Thank you so much!

    Best wishes and God Bless

  3. I think Wayne’s point was that the passage seems to indicate that you need the inverter to operate the air compressor. By definition, 12 volt compressors work off the cigarette plug and don’t need an inverter.

  4. Having a folder with directions to/from your home in your vehicle is a bad idea. This type of plan should be committed to memory or kept encrypted electronically.

  5. As well, evac routes and rally points should be secure information, not available to anyone searching your rig. Be a shame to point the same trash that ambushed you and took your stuff to places where they could do the same to those you care about.

  6. I have several low cost single blade folding knives (work knives) with sheaths and cheap lighters in my car. For my use or as trade material. I also keep a 50ft roll of 1/4″ braided nylon line. This tucks in real well around the spare tire in the trunk. I changed out the mini-spare for a full size one the 1st chance I could. The spare tire well can be use to store a lot of things if you are creative and pack things right. This way you still have the trunk space and things are out of sight

  7. If everybody is so concerned about flat tires go ahead and upgrade to a floor jack, about 25% of your flats are going to be something you can’t repair. A 100.00 floor jack will take most of the pain out of changing a tire. Also carry 2 spares.

  8. That made me realize how much items lying around that are actually very useful than what they are designed for. I just finished building my own toolbox at the bed of the truck with the bed cover from 4WheelOnline on the way to keep the rest of the items dry at the back of the truck. Now I got some good space for more items and other survival gear.

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