Five Things Women Need, by J.W.

My wife has a love-hate relationship with all this personal defense stuff.  She hates the idea of needing to be prepared and can’t stand that her day-to-day life is affected by potential or perceived and often unseen threats of violence, bUT she loves me.  So that means she agrees to all my training, prepping, security protocols, and most of my gear purchases.  Most? Okay, many of them. Many? Okay, fine. I just buy what I want. She gets mad for awhile and then eventually forgives me! The point of this article is to give you five things that we think a woman needs for personal and family security when kids are involved and she finds herself in a dangerous or disastrous situation. These are a 24-hour get home bag, an exfiltration plan, communication resources, personal defense tools, and a proper mindset. Twenty-four Hour Get Home Pack My wife’s 24-hour pack is very similar to mine in terms of the gear she carries, but there are a few additions that I will highlight below. This retro-looking pack is similar to what my wife carries everyday in her Suburban. It’s large enough to carry the gear she needs but not too big … Continue reading

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The Fallacy of the Bugout Bag, by J.C.

I began my quest to become self-sufficient in a bug out situation sometime around the end of 2004 or the beginning of 2005.  My first purchase, if I recall was a gravity fed water filter and a small solar battery charger.  The old saying that one can live three weeks without food but only three days without water, in hindsight is what drove me to that purchase.  I don’t regret buying it to this day, but the chances that it will be with me in a true bug out situation, are slim to none. Before I go any further I would like to state that there are numerous different scenarios in a survival situation and that each requires its own skill set and supplies in order to get through them.  In two of those three scenarios, that big gravity filter will be worth its weight in gold. There is the shelter in place scenario, during which weight, bulk and duplication of gear and supplies mean very little.  In fact, during a shelter in place scenario, in nearly every instance, the more the merrier.  There is also a shelter in or near vehicle scenario.  Here bulk does become a problem.  If … Continue reading

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Prepare to Be Prepped – Sometimes You Have to Survive Daily Life, by Just-Do-It Jane

Most of us in the U.S. have been touched by winter storms. If you live in the South like I do, then you’ve probably tossed your hands in the air and said to yourself, “Wait a minute! What happened to mild winters?!” Fortunately for me, my friend “Survival Messenger” has had the foresight to help me (and many others) understand why we should prepare for come-what-may scenarios. She has shared everything from her favorite high-tech gadgets to trusted and ingenious homemade solutions for everyday problems. I’ve been the thrilled recipient of handy buckets and bags filled with so many helpful goodies that it’s like Christmas each time she walks in the door. But her generosity doesn’t end with physical products. Almost every conversation we have contains a gold mine of valuable information I store for future use.  In January and February of one recent year, I came to know how important her preparedness values had become in my life. Weather/Round I After two years of searching, I finally found the homestead property of my dreams, which consisted of an old 1920s farmhouse and outbuildings on almost seven beautiful acres with trees, a spring-fed pond and plenty of room for gardens. … Continue reading

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A Life Submerged: The Gray Man Existence, by A. Smith

This article explores concealment and the Gray Man mindset and lifestyle in The End of the World as We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) and survival in contemporary society. The tactics, techniques, and procedures I’ll describe are taken from a military point of view.  It is not intended as an end all. It is merely a perspective on some experiences of deployments in 30 years of service to many backwater countries.  Hopefully my shared experiences will help better understand and prepare you in case something really goes wrong with our economy, natural or man-made disaster, etc. 

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Letter: A Recommendation for Storing and Using Fels Naptha Laundry Soap Bars

HJL, I have a recommendation for the readers of SurvivalBlog: I use Fels Naptha soap bars for everything in the shower: shaving, washing body, shampoo.  With it, you feel clean afterwards, nothing left on your skin; there is no sense of harshness, it just cleans everything well. Body odor is suppressed for days. Used for shaving, rubbing the bar into the beard frequently, you get a noticeably closer smoother shave than with most anything else you’ve ever used.  And when it used for shampoo it gets your hair truly clean. – M.R. JWR Replies: Although Fels Naptha is marketed just as a “laundry soap”, I agree that it has a great variety of uses. Here at the Rawles Ranch, we buy it by the case. But most of that gets used in making our own clothes washing detergent. (It is grated and mixed with Borax washing powder along with grated Ivory Soap bars.  This mixture is the the best option for homes where a family member is sensitive to or allergic to commercially-made laundry detergents.)

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Sew and Grow, Save and Recycle Your Way Into Preparedness – Part 2, by S.T.

Minimum Quantities Needed You will need the minimum quantities that are listed below. However, you can start on your path to reusable products with lower quantities and can continue to add additional quantities each and every week as you produce additional quantities of final product. Washable feminine hygiene products- 50- 8” for each female in the home 25- 12” for each female in the home Washable toilet paper- 50 for each male in the home 100 for each female in the home Washable dish towels- 20 each Washable napkins- 21 for each person in the house Washable aprons 2 for each person in the house Growing You can grow not just food and cooking herbs, but medicinal plants and household products. For example, gourds such the little dipper and big dipper can be used to make ladles for your kitchen. Bottle gourds can be made into bowls. These will be very useful and needed items when there are no more manufactured products. Loofah gourds make wonderful kitchen sponges. AloeVera plants are also another item to grow. Saving & Recycling Egg cartons make a very good way to start seeds, make fire starters, and to hold fresh eggs from your hens … Continue reading

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Sew and Grow, Save and Recycle Your Way Into Preparedness – Part 1, by S.T.

As a society, we all rely upon a vast amount of manufactured products every day from canning jars and lids to dishes to pots and pans to toothpaste and dental floss. This list goes on and on. However, we can not forget that gasoline and diesel fuel and electricity are the most important manufactured items. Without these there will no longer be any other mass produced manufactured items made or delivered to a store near you. Every disposable item that you can now replace with reusable items will put you well ahead of the sheeple, save you money, and make you more prepared. Do you want to save from $25,000 to $100,000 per year and become better prepared? On average each and every woman will spend over $7,500 from puberty to menopause on disposable feminine hygiene products. Now add to that cost of toilet paper, kleenex, paper towels, paper napkins, paper plates, and other disposable products that people purchase every week and month that are thrown in the trash or down the toilet. Just check out the other shopping carts next time you are in line at the grocery store. If you have two daughters that is over $22,000 for … Continue reading

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Occupy Wall Street Versus Occupy Malheur: Clear Cases of Selective Prosecution

This news headline makes it clear that the BHO Administration is widening their net:  Nevada Standoff Indictment Names Bundys, Five More.  These “add-on” indictments are quite troubling. I believe that the assessment by Brandon Smith’s (previously mentioned in SurvivalBlog) may be correct:  A Warning To The Feds On Incremental Prosecutions Of The Liberty Movement.  There may be dozens of more indictments of people who attended the Bundy Ranch protests in 2014 that filter out over a the next six to nine months. Let’s draw a comparison: There were overt and quite visible physical threats and considerable actual violence in the “Occupy (Wherever)” protests of 2011 and 2012–particularly Occupy Oakland (rock throwing), Occupy Portland (Molotov Cocktail throwing) and Occupy Fort Collins ($10 million in arson damage.) But the Malheur occupiers and Bundy Ranch protesters who never pointed a gun at anyone are being selectively prosecuted. This smacks of partisan politics.  (Note: The Occupy Wall Street (and Wherever) crowd were leftists and hence media darlings, despite their scruffiness and uncouth public ablutions. It is noteworthy that they received zero Federal indictments for conspiracy. In fact only a few of them got local charges, and only then for overt acts of violence, not … Continue reading

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Ghillie Up, by Molon Labe

From a young age, I’ve been fascinated with hunters and snipers alike who stalk the wilds with a bushy cloak that conceals their location, like a ghost who conforms to his terrain and disappears in plain view. And so since an early teen I’ve researched, constructed and eventually refined the art of personal camouflage by way of the ghillie suit. The truth is that nothing can make you truly invisible and that even the best camouflage can be compromised with movement. However, through constant research and development both for myself, friends and eventually building ghillie making into a side business, I’ve learned many helpful facts that can help you in deciding if you want to add a ghillie suit or similar variant to your Bugout Bag (BOB). First, we must ask, “Why ghillie up at all?” What are the benefits and downsides, and how can they respectively be maximized and minimized? Back in the 19th Century, the Scottish hunting guides and game wardens found it helped them to stalk closer to their prey when they wore burlap bags around their head and shoulders, which disrupted their distinctly “human” shape. From that point forward, increasingly greater forms of concealment were adopted … Continue reading

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How to Prepare a Refugee Bug Out Bag- Part 1, by Charles T.

The idea of leaving home and “living off the land” is a popular discussion point among preparedness-minded individuals. Many think they will grab their bug out bag and set off for a new life somewhere, foraging for wild edibles and having magical adventures on the way as they live out of their untested $200 tactical bag. Let’s be real for a second. There is a word for someone who has lost their home and is now living out of a backpack; it’s refugee! Last I checked, there was nothing glamorous about being a refugee, and if you are planning for this contingency you need to be prepared for some pretty serious physical, political, and emotional junk to be happening all at the same time. In a situation like this, you are going to be desperate and have no power to make any sort of calls. You will be at the whim of whatever authority there is in a region and have no legitimate claim to anything except the clothes on your back. You are going to need a lot more than a backpack full of MRE’s to be ready for this. As soon as you run out of food and … Continue reading

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Base Layers and Their Differences – Part 2, by A.S.

If you recall from the first installment of this article which was posted early this month, I discussed the start of base layering principle which I am sure most people are very familiar with–especially those who read this blog. I also brought up the types of material used such as Polypropylene, Merino wool and the new fibre Tencel. In this installment I want to break down some information on the other layers involved and give my thoughts from long time use of garment materials that work in longevity. Goretex jackets are great for hikers and for those who take trips you maybe10 or 15 times a year in the great outdoors, but they are not suited for day-in, day-out wear/ This because once the waterproofing membrane has worn down by either rubbing on pack straps or other wear points such as where a [holster or] knife sheath is attached, you will see major wear problems. Then your expensive jacket will be pretty much useless. However, before I delve further into my solution, I want to go back to Merino wool and then the layers from the initial skin thermic layer and explain the differences between wool weights that are on … Continue reading

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Base Layers and the Differences- Part 1, by A.S.

Today there is a great deal of knowledge on the Internet and outdoor magazines about “layering”, so most people who are daily or frequent readers of SurvivalBlog would have a good understanding of using different layers to keep the human body neither too cold nor too hot. Either one will have life threatening consequences if not managed correctly away from urban areas. For the purpose of this article my intention is to explain, in layman’s terms, some of the finer points of using different base layer fibers and their properties, as well bring to attention a new space age fiber, namely Tencel, that utilizes the latest in technology. (There will be more on Tencel later.) Today, base layers come mostly in three different materials– wool/Merino, polypropylene, and cotton. (I steer away from cotton.), Sometimes manufacturers use mixes of two materials such as Merino and poly. My experience in discussing this subject by the way is through my involvement over about 35 years in mountain rescue and bush survival. I am by no means an expert, but I have long time field use of what works and what does not. That being said, I will also explain what I use and … Continue reading

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