Prepping at the Dollar Store, by Ani

Editor’s Note: Coincidentally, I received two very similar articles from readers in two states, in the same month. But because they have different perspectives, I’ve decided to post both of them. (The other one was posted yesterday.) — With a lot of attention being paid in the past few weeks to the spread of the novel coronavirus in China and the potential but still unknown ramifications for both the health and economy of other countries. preparedness has been getting some attention. While many of us who have been avidly following the news on this virus are experienced preppers, there are …




A Dollar Store Prepping Expedition, by T. Lee

Editor’s Note: Coincidentally, I received two very similar articles about dollar store shopping from writers in two states in the same week. But because they have different perspectives, I’ve decided to post both of them. The other one will be posted tomorrow. — I’m here visiting our oldest son in New York City, always an eye opening experience. After church, several of his friends have asked how to get started on building an everyday carry (EDC) bag after seeing our day bags. However, after seeing their respective apartments, we decided to start more basic (understanding we are teaching a few …




My One Month TEOTWAWKI Road Test – Part 2, by Maui Dan

(Continued for Part 1. This concludes the article.) I was consistent with daily hikes using them for recon practice, making maps, taking notes of locations and observing any nearby people. Judging who I thought may be friends or foes. I did take note of two males in their 20’s who appeared fairly intoxicated early in the afternoon. I hiked for the benefits of physical exercise and enjoyed the quite beauty of the land. There were several memorable hikes. The day time temperatures were now in the upper 80’s. I wore Timberline hiking boots and stripped down to shorts. Finally found …




My One Month TEOTWAWKI Road Test – Part 1, by Maui Dan

Backround: I’m a country boy who grew up in the farm land of Western Pennsylvania. I lived in the Amish region, observing their off-grid way of life. I was taught to take care of our animals, and that they would take care of us. Nearly everyone learned to hunt and had a knowledge of basic outdoor skills. I was a Boy Scout and learned “Be prepared.” I was a multi sport athlete in high school and  college where I made life-long friends. I have a career in physical therapy spanning 38 years, and achieved a 4th degree black belt. I’ve …




Planning Your Escape – Part 4, by JMD

(Continued from Part 3.) Some Kit In my previous article I talked quite a bit about the kit I take on the road, but there are a few items that are a lot more relevant to a long Return To Base (RTB) journey that I’d like to focus on. Keep in mind that if you’re flying you’ll be a lot more limited in what you can take, and I’m not recommending that you’ll want or need everything on this list – do your route planning and figure out what makes the most sense for your plans. If you can’t bring …




Build the Plan vs. Test the Plan – Part 4, by T.R.

(Continued from Part 3.) Later that morning/early afternoon, we sat down at the kitchen table (having brewed a pot of coffee on the spare camp stove from the basement according to our “A” plan) and talked through this. We needed a balance of water, fuel, gear/shelter, food and safety/security. Optimizing the mix of these five items (plus cash and valuables) and optimizing how to pack them efficiently with some degree of access to the right items in what order took significantly longer than either of us expected when a filter criteria of “not coming back” was inserted vs “we are …




Build the Plan vs. Test the Plan – Part 3, by T.R.

(Continued from Part 2.) Some background: I still work almost full time, but portions of the year are full throttle 60+ hour weeks and other blocks are much lighter, with my husband retired from the military. We wanted a vacation in terms of scenery and wildlife and we wanted to test our plans across a number of elements. To appropriately field test our plans with a degree of stress testing that would replicate a certain amount of tension present in real threat condition whilst isolating certain elements one at a time to calibrate parts of our plan in a systematic …




Build the Plan vs. Test the Plan – Part 2, by T.R.

(Continued From Part 1.) During 2018, I made a dot chart counting how many days fit into each category A, B, C and D in terms of readiness and then converted the “dots” into a percentage of time for the year. As a corollary, if things are leaning environmentally towards TEOTWAWKI, then we would already be limiting our “D” types of trips away from home and/or starting to pursue our exit via our “B” plan scenario. If things look particularly grim but quasi-temporary, then we would limit our “C” scenarios to avoid leaving home for long blocks of time and …




Build the Plan vs. Test the Plan – Part 1, by T.R.

(Editor’s Note: This Part 1 of a five-part article series.) My goal in this article is to detail how to “build the plan” versus “test the plan” for bugout, while having fun. We regularly read SurvivalBlog and enjoy it immensely. We’ve also read and studied a lot of great books including Lights Out and Patriots. However, a few years ago we realized our learning curve was too slow for the fast-moving risk profile of a civil society becoming more frazzled (coupled with having moved to a hurricane-prone state after my husband’s retirement). We brainstormed how to compress the time required …




When Kids are Old Enough to Prepare, Part 2, by M.K.

(Continued from Part 1. This part concludes the article.) Teach By Reading and Watching Books My youngest son loves to read. My oldest will do it when he has to. One way I get them both on board with reading is by finding them books to read that keep them engaged and that is often with a book about the outdoors. As we all know, books can be both entertaining and educational. The best way to teach your kids through books is to find ones that are both! I know that Bear Grylls is a polarizing personality in the survival …




Our Wildfire Evacuation, Part 5, by SoCal9mm

(Continued from Part 4. This installment concludes the article series.) OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT: Make sure you wait until the last moment to do your Christmas shopping – seriously, I never have to worry about “rescuing presents” when I procrastinate. Stupid “get-stuff-done-early”… Laundry – have enough clothes so that you don’t have to go commando next to the washer, waiting for your lone pair of choners to get clean. Trust me, not cool. Air – we worry about food, water, shelter, protection, etc., but we rarely worry about preps for air. Dust and ash are (relatively) easily removed from breathing air …




Our Wildfire Evacuation, Part 4, by SoCal9mm

(Continued from Part 3.) LESSONS LEARNED OR THINGS THAT WORKED OK: Priorities – again, having a to-do list for the day really helped us, even one that we just made up on the fly. I really wanted to ensure there was no firearm left in the house, and I really wanted to get the flammable materials out of the shed. We took the diesel cans with us, and we left the propane tanks in front of the house at the street (per fire department recommendations). We really wanted to clear our fridge before everything spoiled, which would have ruined it. …




Our Wildfire Evacuation, Part 3, by SoCal9mm

(Continued from Part 2.) OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT:  Radios – both Motorola radios AND handheld ham radios were left behind that would have helped us stay in contact between our 2 cars. Cell phones worked (thankfully), but I noticed bad connections nearly every call. NOTE: if we had a better means of communication, W. could have taken her car to the other neighborhood exit to see if traffic was flowing better and reported back to me to either follow her or stay where I was (oh well, hindsight and all that). Scanners, or even scanner apps – having access to information …




Our Wildfire Evacuation, Part 2, by SoCal9mm

(Continued from Part 1.) So we put this plan together on paper, that’s all that we needed to do, right? Um, no. Practicing an evacuation drill is probably at least as important as having an evacuation plan. After I had revised our plan into the checklist format, I knew that we needed to practice it to see if the timeframes were correct (i.e., could we actually do all the stuff that I’d written down on the 1-minute checklist in 1 minute?). Shortly after the Tubbs Fire (in October, 2017) we did a walk-through of the house and pointed out all …




Our Wildfire Evacuation, Part 1, by SoCal9mm

Editor’s Introductory Note:  At nearly 10,000 words, this is one of the longest multi-part articles ever to appear in SurvivalBlog. It will be presented in five parts, concluding on Saturday. Despite its length, this is some fascinating and detailed reading. The author’s insights and “lessons learned” are quite valuable, and they go far beyond just the particular concerns of wildfire evacuation. — On the evening of December 4, 2017, the Thomas Fire started in Ventura County, California. By the time it was over, about 440 square miles had burned across Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, more than 1,000 structures were …