Letter Re: T.P. for the Bugout or Get Home Bag

I’m constantly looking online at what people put in their bug out and get home bags. So far as I’ve seen their always missing one important item– toilet paper! I keep at least two rolls in every bag. Yes, they take up room but weigh nothing. All of my vehicles also have a couple rolls. An immediate dietary change, going from norm to survival mode, is going to have an immediate effect on one’s system (aka: bowel movement). Yet, as I review preppers/survivalist bag setups, good old TP seems to be never mentioned. So, load a couple rolls in a zip lock bag! It also makes great tinder, too. – DMS

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Letter Re: Spam Can Storage

Hugh, Attached are two pictures of Spam cans, Russian Wolf manufacturer, I buried in 2009. You can see the difference of the one I repainted and covered in grease at the time of burial and the one left as bought. All ammo was fine inside of both, even though one rust spot did make a pin size hole. I re-canned them all. The ground was moist most of the time. Ammo was steel case. Thanks for the website. – W.W.

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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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Everyday Survival Living Overseas Among Muslims, by A.E.

I read articles and letters on this site, and other blogs and web sites, where people are prepping for survival. Oftentimes these articles and letters concentrate on hypothetical or theoretical post-TEOTWAWKI situations. My family’s and my survival experience is not theoretical. We live in an everyday survival context. I hope this article can help to enlighten some of you on prepping for everyday living and to expose some of the challenges faced across America and the world by people wishing to prep in less than ideal circumstances. I am an American, an Army veteran of foreign wars, believer in the Lord Jesus, and a missionary overseas. I woke up this morning to the sound of the imam calling out over loudspeakers, only three blocks away. He was calling his faithful out of their slumbers and to their morning prayers. Walking down the street to get started on my work day I passed numerous police checkpoints, body scanners, bag checkers and armed guards. In the country where my family and I live, the central government is extremely strong and often heavy-handed. The reason for all these security measures is that this area is 100% Muslim and they are not happy. The … Continue reading

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Training for Truly Defensive Driving, by K.W.

After a long day of work, where you had plenty of motivation to get your rear in gear and start working on your projects, you hop in the car for the drive home. As you grab 5th gear, good choice on driving a manual, and look over your left shoulder to merge on the highway as a truck 200 yards in front of you just dropped a huge pile of tree branches in your lane. You look ahead as you are merging and see that pile of branches! What do you do? Time is quickly going by, and so is the distance. Hitting this pile of tree debris just might disable your fancy Prius that gets so many miles per gallon, let alone the fact you may be injured severely. Hit the brakes and the driver that was only feet behind you as you merged might end up in the middle of your car. Instinct takes over in a situation like this. Your instinct was to physically lock up and slam on the brakes, you hit the pile of debris and the driver who was texting rear ends you causing major injuries sending you to the hospital in a Helicopter … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Hurricane Matthew–Some Lessons Learned

JWR & HJL: That was another great article [on Hurricane Matthew]! A suggested alternative that I have adopted is buying a turbo diesel automobile and truck.  The benefits are simple and yet many people still have not discovered the option. Here are a few:My VW tdi as an example gets about 43 miles per gallon, so with a 15 gallon fuel tank it achieves about 600 miles plus on a  tank, and by adding three NATO style 5 gal metal cans (15 gallons total) in the trunk I have a 1,200 hundred mile cruising range. That is hard to beat. Another advantage diesel in several scenarios I have been through was that diesel will still be available when regular gas is sold out.  In my own testing, diesel is not nearly as volatile as gasoline. Diesel stores for 3 to 4 years without stabilizers with no noticeable degrading (in my own experience and only use 55g al metal drums or 5 gal current NATO style gas cans). [JWR Adds: It stores even longer with an anti-microbial stabilizer such as PRI-D added.] You can buy diesel at the service stations and transport it in any type of container without violating any … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Hurricane Matthew–Some Lessons Learned

Good Morning, SurvivalBloggers, SurvivalBlog recently had a very good list of hurricane preparation tips in Hurricane Matthew–Some Lessons Learned, written by a Florida resident. As a former 20+ year Florida resident I’d like to add to his excellent piece. In Florida, hurricanes are a way of life, and the period from June 1 to November 30 is known as “hurricane season.” The period from December 1 to May 31 is known as “not hurricane season.”  “Not hurricane season” is when one should be doing their preparation for the other six months. During “not hurricane season” one can find plywood on sale occasionally, generators are plentiful, frequently at reduced prices, and contractors and handymen are available. “Not hurricane season” is when one purchases plywood (tip: thicker is better), cuts it to fit windows and vulnerable doorways, drills mounting holes in it and labels each sheet as to which window or door it fits so installation can be done faster when a hurricane arrives during “hurricane season.” In short, anything non-perishable that one might need during “hurricane season” is procured and gotten ready during “not hurricane season.”  This includes laying out multiple travel plans to escape direct contact with a hurricane. As … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Tracking Dogs

Dear Editor: I have some experience with dogs that were specially-trained to track living humans, and with cadaver dogs. I agree with the previous Tracking Dog posts regarding restrictive points of terrain and/or infrastructure. In any escape route, there are always certain areas of heightened vulnerability, which an experienced team of searchers will not disregard. The Texas Rangers at one time (reportedly) enjoyed an annual manhunt in the Texas Panhandle. They would seek volunteers from vetted and trusty inmates whose reward at the end of the day, would be the day’s freedom and a good meal. The inmate would be given a head start before Rangers, handlers, and dogs from a local state penitentiary would sally forth in pursuit. The Rangers and dog handlers were usually on horses and I don’t think they ever ‘lost’ a trustee. Before this practice fell in disrepute, the trustee manhunts provided great training with the captured inmate returned to the general population unable to remain at large, certainly sending a message to the inmate population. I will always remember one real-world dog-assisted manhunt: A deputy sheriff had been murdered during a vehicle stop. Good police practice led to the department knowing whom the deputy … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Tracking Dogs

Dear Editor:I would like to relate my experiences with tracking dogs that are not even trained. We had a beagle who was born mostly blind. She was a pet. She had an incredible sense of smell that I have seen in other trained hounds, but not in a pet. We would bring her to our children’s high school, which had 2,000 students. I would put her in the front of the multi-building facility and command her to “Find the kids.” She would start off walking making big S-shaped turns as she headed to and between the buildings. All of a sudden the large sweeps would stop, the dog would change her demeanor and now she would head in a straight line with just her head moving side to side. She had the trail. At that point you could just follow her and she would locate my children very quickly. I would not believe that a dog could pick out my two kids trails from among 2,000 stinky students  at the front of the school but she would do it any time we brought her. Once upon the trail, nothing would distract her and to get her to stop would require … Continue reading

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A Micro Solar Power System With Maximum Utility, by B.C.

Necessity being the mother of invention, I recently stumbled backwards onto an inexpensive and truly totable way to power two-way radios, shortwave, and other receivers; charge smart phones and iPads; provide lighting; quickly purify water on the go; keep night vision functional; enable electronic security systems; and pump rainwater to a gravity tank, while protecting all these functions from EMP in the interim. I will quietly be turning 50 next month. I joined the survivalist movement in the early 1980’s, at the tail end of that upswing of interest in such things. Vietnam was still fresh in our minds, and the cold war in full gear. There were movies, magazines, and books but not the saturation made possible by the Internet today. I still have issues of Mother Earth News that I saved from the seventies and a survival book copyrighted in 1978. Having endured the Blizzard of ’78 in Ohio as a child, Hurricane Hugo in college, and been hit by the Blizzard of ’96 in Atlanta, the day after arriving for graduate school I had long recognized the necessity of radios for listening to broadcasts and so I accumulated many different ones powered many different ways. I even … Continue reading

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A Holistic Approach to Packing a 72-Hour Bug Out Bag- Part 2, by C.T.

Water. Though you may die after three days without water, that is most likely in ideal conditions with low exertion. If you have ever gone hiking before, you know that after an hour or so you are pretty parched already, and by the end of a single day you will be pretty much functionally depleted of water and in desperate need of rehydration. Especially if your bug out happens to be in the summer or a very hot time of year, water is going to be the most important element you need to keep going effectively. This is where knowing your bug out route is essential. If there are going to be places you could refill from natural sources, you don’t need to carry enough water to get you all the way from Point A to Point B. If you have a short (under three day) bug out route that crosses or follows rivers or free standing water, carrying a lightweight water filter should meet most of your needs. If you are planning on traveling with a larger group and will need to supply water to multiple people, it may make sense to carry a higher output water filter designed … Continue reading

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