Author Archives: Live Fire Gear

Live Fire Gear Products Featured in American Pioneer Magazine

American Survival Guide presents American Pioneer Magazine!

Check out the Premier Issue / May 2018 for a great article featuring our 550 FireCord.  Available on stands now!  Check out our other great products, Ring O Fire, Live Fire Survival Kit and Live Fire Sport Duo.  You can also purchase a copy of American Pioneer at Engaged Media.

 

Special Considerations for Buying Off-Grid Land

Special Considerations for Buying Off-Grid Land

People contemplating the possibility of escaping the rat race, returning to a simpler, more natural lifestyle, or concerned about the political climate and global threats, might be seriously considering an off-grid lifestyle. Before they look for land that will allow them to jump into a safe, sustainable and self-sufficient future, however, it’s important to consider exactly what they will require in order to make off-grid living a viable option.

Special Considerations for Buying Off-Grid Land

Have Clearly Defined Goals

Specific needs will depend on ultimate goals. Planning for post-Armageddon survival involves different parameters from simply seeking peace and self-sufficiency. Are you looking for seclusion or defensibility? Do you want to grow your own food and keep a few chickens, or would you prefer rugged terrain that is conducive to hunting, trapping and fishing, with a small garden plot near the house? Do you want an acre or two in a community of like-minded neighbors of a minimum of 50 acres with a stream running through it?

Before contacting a real estate agent, buyers should be sure to have a well-defined list of their requirements, along with a secondary “wish list.” Chances are the view won’t be the primary concern, but the price may be. To prevent any misunderstanding, buyers should communicate any concerns to their real estate agent. Know that a search for the perfect tract of land may take a good deal of time and some serious legwork.

Special Considerations for Buying Off-Grid Land

Know the Ancillary Costs

Buying raw land means that people must consider not only the cost of the land itself and it’s financing, but also figure the total cost of planned improvements into their budget. Living off the grid can entail spending large sums for sanitary waste or septic systems, power generation (solar, wind or hydroelectric), and road clearances, in addition to housing and/or garage or barn construction.

It can be wise to talk to others in the prepper community or to people who have already made the transition to off-grid living to get some “expert” advice.

Special Considerations for Buying Off-Grid Land

Think About Possibilities and Probabilities

There are a few basics, however, that should be at the top of a buyer’s “Need to Know” list. Consider the following :

  • How Much Land is Enough?
  • Is there surface water — pond, spring or stream — or will a well be required?
  • Is the land suitable for agricultural use; for animals, crops or both?
  • How accessible is the Land? On the other hand, are there naturals impediments to traffic and against strangers?
  • What is the terrain; will there be a risk of erosion, mudslides, wildfires, floods. What about drought, wild animals, poisonous plants. What is surrounding land used for? Is there a danger of toxic fumes or other health hazards?
  • What kind of sustainable power is feasible?
  • Are there existing land restrictions that will impact any plans for building and living off-grid?

Special Considerations for Buying Off-Grid Land

Look to the Future

No matter what their budget, any person’s reasons for wanting to move off the grid, and their long-term expectations, there are valid reasons to consider growth patterns and projections for the locale they have in mind.  Growing populations will create suburbs in coming decades out of land that currently seems far away from the urban core.

Finally, the best advice is to buy as much land as you can to assure that you are able to maintain the level of privacy that your future lifestyle demands.

Special Considerations for Buying Off-Grid Land was written by:

Gary Ashton REALTOR®
The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage
210 12th Ave South, Suite 201
Nashville, TN, 37203

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Live Fire Gear Products Featured in OFFGRID Article

Check out Issue 24 of Recoil OFFGRID magazine for a great article about EJ Snyder and his Nomad Pack, which includes Live Fire Gear products. Ej carries our Ring O Fire, which has 25 feet of 550 FireCord, a Live Fire Original Emergency Fire Starter, a Ferrocerium Rod & Striker. You may remember EJ “Skullcrusher” Snyder from our Live Fire Gear commercial.

EJ “Skullcrusher” Snyder was also on the Discovery Channel series “Naked and Afraid” and “Dual Survival“. EJ is an Extreme Survivalist, Adventurer and Retired Army Combat Vet. He is an expert in leadership, tracking, trapping, building shelter, primitive weapons, navigation, security, self-reliance, and self-defense. He is a true survival expert. Be sure to read the article and purchase a copy of OFFGRID magazine.

 

The Prepper’s Guide to Aquaponics: Urban and Soil-less Food for When SHTF

The Prepper’s Guide to Aquaponics: Urban and Soil-less Food for When SHTF

Aquaponics is the combination of two food growing methods to make a more sustainable and independent system that has many benefits for a prepper. Hydroponics, or growing plants without soil and aquaculture, or farming aquatic animals, are combined so that the animal waste feeds the plants.

It’s a little more complicated, but first let’s talk about why preppers should learn about aquaponics in the first place. After, all it seems complicated, right? Is it worth it?

Why Aquaponics?

Aquaponics is a great solution for producing food in some circumstances where the traditional method of growing food in the soil starting in spring just isn’t going to work for you.

Urban preppers are already familiar with the high risks that their environment places them in during SHTF events. Aquaponics can make up for the lack of available soil, cramped conditions, and even the need for secrecy in the suburbs or city.

Aquaponics can produce a lot of food per square foot, and protein too which is especially difficult to source in the city. Having your own source of food in your home will prevent you from taking a risk by going outside in volatile times. An aquaponics system can also be easily hidden, keeping dangerous folks from being drawn to your property.

Rural and urban preppers can gain other benefits from an aquaponics system. It doesn’t use soil, so in a situation where the soil is tainted with a chemical or other hazard, you can still produce food with aquaponics.

The soil may also be unusable, or less productive, if pests have developed, perhaps as a result of a SHTF event, or perhaps just out of bad luck. Aquaponics protects you from many pests too.  

So, perhaps you’re wondering why anyone would use aquaponics over hydroponics in these situations? Well, with the addition of fish and the bacteria that turn their waste into nutrients for your plants, you don’t need the fertilizer that you’d have to use for hydroponics.

So there’s no stockpiling necessary for this system (although you can stockpile aquaponics specific fertilizer and testing materials to help keep the system running, if you wish). You also don’t need a lot of room to make compost.

Aquaponics also has the benefit of providing you protein, where the best vegetables for a hydroponics system are not those that give protein. You could grow beans, for example, in a hydroponics system, but they will need more inputs and won’t do as well as the leafy greens that people normally grow in these systems.

What You Need

1. Sunlight:

The plants still need light to grow, but there are many ways to get them that light. If you have a generator or another source of power you can use lights (specific grow-lights) to sustain your aquaponics system indoors. You can use a skylight or large windows in an urban area. Of course, you can put your system outdoors, but if you do you need to protect the plants and fish from pests and predation.

2. Water:

You’ll be growing the plants in water and keeping the fish in water, of course. You’ll need to have a non-chlorinated method of sterilizing water before you give it to the fish or plants, as the chlorine will harm the bacteria you are relying on to turn the fish waste into plant-ready nutrients.

Aquaponics require a lot of water when you’re starting up, but don’t need to be topped up too often. Research shows that aquaponics uses 90 percent less water than soil gardening.

This article was written by Gaye Levy and the complete article can be viewed here:

https://www.backdoorsurvival.com/the-preppers-guide-to-aquaponics-urban-and-soil-less-food-for-when-shtf/

Gaye Levy started Backdoor Survival so that she could share her angst and concern about our deteriorating economy and its impact on ordinary, middle-class folks. She also wanted to become a prepper of the highest order and to share her knowledge as she learned it along the way. On Backdoor Survival you will find survival and preparedness tools and tips for creating a self-reliant lifestyle through thoughtful prepping and optimism.

To read more from Gaye, visit her website, Backdoor Survival. You can also follow Gaye on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest or purchase her eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage on Amazon.com.

How to Save on Emergency Supplies – Disaster Prep on a Budget

How to Save on Emergency Supplies – Disaster Prep on a Budget

 How to Save on Emergency Supplies – Disaster Prep on a BudgetIt’s no secret the world is a dangerous place. Every day, we hear about something – whether caused by humans or nature – that’s turned lives upside down. Bad news greets us in the morning and follows us to bed at night.

What are we to do?

Fear and stress are killers. They kill us from the inside out. We must find constructive ways to defuse the situation. Faith practices, physical exercise, counseling and peer groups… all can help, but there’s one thing everyone should consider: Get prepared.

When you take the initiative to recognize potential problems and prepare to deal with them when and if they come, you not only position yourself to face those difficulties, but knowing you’re ready helps lower stress.

In this guide, we’ll talk about disaster preparedness. We’ll talk about the supplies and equipment you and your family need to weather out the storm or make it through the crisis. And we’ll suggest ways you can save money and still get high quality goods.

By getting ready now, you won’t have to worry so much about what might happen. If a news alert says severe weather is headed your way, you’ll be ready for it.

You’ll know that whatever comes down the pike, you’re not going to be joining the crowd desperately trying to find a store with something left on the shelves or wondering how in the world to live without water and electricity.

We’ve tried to keep the recommendations here in line with those suggested by the American Red Cross. Responding to disasters is a big part of what they do every day.

 How to Save on Emergency Supplies – Disaster Prep on a Budget

Most of Us Are Not Prepared for an Emergency – WHY?

Why don’t we stay ready, just in case the power goes out, the water doesn’t flow from the tap, or the grocery store has to close for a few days?

It’s a perplexing question.

We know disasters happen. We know we’re susceptible. Yet most of us are sorely unprepared.

And if we examine the usual answers to why that is, they all fail in the light of reason:

  • I don’t know how to prepare
  • We just don’t have time to figure it out
  • It hasn’t happened yet, so why worry about it?
  • I don’t have the money to get everything I need together
  • Public services like police, fire, and medical can handle any problem

According to data from the United States Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey only about one-third of American households have developed a communication plan and agreed on an emergency meeting location.

In this emergency preparedness guide, we’ll talk about the preparations you should make and suggest ways to check each item off with a minimum of expense and hassle.

After all, the best plan in the world won’t work if you don’t have the means to enact it.

Read More…
This article was written by Coupon Chief and can be viewed in its entirety here

Emergency Medical Preparedness: Prepare Yourself for a Medical Emergency

Emergency Medical Preparedness: Prepare Yourself for a Medical Emergency

When it comes to prepping, there is a lot of talk about what material needs we should have on hand. A bug-out bagfreeze-dried foodwatertransportationfirst-aid kitweapons for protection and a place to bug-out to. The idea is to have the basic needs of food, water and shelter readily available. The problem is; when the SHTF not everyone gets to just go merrily about their way, to easily head out and get gone. In fact, it is quite likely that many of us will sustain significant injuries that need to be tended to. Whether it is ourselves, our loved ones, or the friends who will be with us, we will need to know how to take care of each others injuries and illnesses.

I am an Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant with more than 20 years of Emergency Room experience, the majority of it in Level I Trauma centers (where the most severe cases…crashes, gunshots, severe work injuries, falls from heights, etc. go). Prior to becoming a PA, I was an EMT. I have a great deal of experience dealing with trauma victims and worked in an ER where we saw multiple gunshots daily. I have lectured at several colleges in the Chicago area as well as being responsible for teaching EMT, Physician Assistant, Medical and Podiatry students. I have also been an instructor for the American Red Cross teaching First Aid, CPR and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) classes.

There is a lot of information out there about what makes up a good medical kit for your bug-out bag. Everything you need can be either assembled by you or purchased as anyone of a variety of pre-stocked kits. While the kit you have with you when you bug out is obviously important, it is also completely useless if you have not taken the time to learn how to use it. The truth is you can stop most bleeding with direct pressure. Sometimes you need a torn shirt, some duct tape and a pair of trauma scissors. You don’t have to be MacGyver to do it. You do need proper training.

Emergency Medical Preparedness: Prepare Yourself for a Medical Emergency

Pamela Rauseo, 37, performs CPR on her nephew, 5-month-old Sebastian de la Cruz, after pulling her SUV to the side of the road. The baby was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he is reportedly doing OK.

That said; EVERYONE who expects to deal with the aftermath of when the SHTF needs to know basic CPR and at least basic Trauma First Aid. That means taking classes and practicing what you learn. I can tell you stories about people attempting to administer first aid who had no training, but I won’t. Suffice it to say the outcomes were less than desirable.

Emergency Medical Preparedness: Prepare Yourself for a Medical Emergency

The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way

Let’s think about some injuries you can expect in the woods, hiking or running to find cover. Or for that matter, just being in a place where help is not going to come anytime soon. Falls are very common and can result in anything from a scrape to sprains to more serious injuries like fractures and head injuries. So ask yourself; do I really know how to treat a sprain? What about a fracture? Do I know how to stop bleeding and properly clean a wound? Have I ever done those things? Would I be able to actually do the job the right way should I need to? What if it was something life threatening? Could I save a person’s life?

If the answer to any of the above is NO, then you can have all the gear in the world at the ready, but YOU are not ready to bug-out!

I’m going to give an example of injury event that can be a tragedy if you are not properly trained to treat it. Remember, this is about knowing: both what TO do and what NOT TO do.

You and your companion are moving quickly through a heavily wooded area and your companion falls. When you reach them, you see a branch has impaled their arm. They are essentially stuck to a tree because of a branch sticking all the way through their arm. Your companion is in shock and not even aware of the extent of the injury. They are confused. There is blood coming from their arm and also from a gash on the right side of their head which is bleeding profusely. You think you see bone exposed through the head laceration and it seems that one of their legs has something wrong. Closer examination shows you that the ankle is sitting at a strange angle. What do you do now?

If you are like most people, you freak out, try to compose yourself so you don’t freak out your companion, get really pale and nearly pass out and then reach for your cellphone to call 911. Oops, no connectivity, so no help coming. So what now? The first aid kit! You have a first aid kit with a manual in it to walk you through caring for these injuries. You dig out the kit, open and it and check the book only to find it’s great for small cuts and bruises and simple things, but it has nothing remotely close to what you’re dealing with now.

Suddenly, you realize that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to cancel that first aid class you had signed up for but decided you were too busy/tired to take. Besides, someone else will know what to do or I’ll call 911 anyway, I’ll never need to use it.

WOW! Talk about contrary to prepper philosophy. Or is it? It would seem that Emergency Medical preparedness training is a no-brainer, but in reality, most prepper sites and stores that cater to preppers are focused on the medical equipment you need rather than the training required to use it.

So anyway, I can’t teach you the how to do it in this article. I can give you a good idea of what good, accurate care and treatment of this fall will require. And yes, you can look all these things up on the internet. However, unless you learn from a real, live person who can guide you and correct mistakes you will surely make as you learn, you are never going to be able to really address the problems this very real scenario depicts.

STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN.

Emergency Medical Preparedness: Prepare Yourself for a Medical Emergency

The very first thing required in any trauma/accident situation is an evaluation of the site of the accident. Stop, take a breath and look at where you are about to go. Is it a safe place to enter? In the urban world this is akin to a Paramedic called to the scene of a gunshot victim. In that situation, the Paramedic cannot help the victim until the Police have arrived and determined that the Paramedic is safe from the danger of being shot herself when she goes to help. At that point the scene is declared “safe” and the Paramedics can get to work.

In the wilderness or woods, the dangers are different but still just as potentially deadly. Is the ground stable? Are there dangerous branches or rocks that could fall onto you as you make your way to your companion? Will you slip and fall as well if you attempt to help? Do you need to take time to tie off before going to the person? What about wildlife? Are you in danger of animal or insect attack when you go to help? Can you find a way to make the scene safe?

Only after you treat the area as if it were a busy street corner will you be safe. You have to STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN.

Once the scene is determined safe, or made safe the next thing is to get to the injured person and take stock of the situation by doing an initial survey of them. This is done by looking and speaking to them without touching them. Encouragement to stay still is recommended at this point. Usually saying “Hold on, try not to move, I’ll be right there,” is a good start.

Look carefully at the person and where they are lying. Do you see any blood? Where is it coming from? What about limb deformities? If so, which ones. Are there any objects that will cause difficulty in treating the injuries? Can they be cleared or do you need to find a way to work around them.

Emergency Medical Preparedness: Prepare Yourself for a Medical Emergency

Now it’s time to your ABCDE’s: Airway/Head and Neck, Breathing, Circulation, Disability/Deformity, and Exposure assessment.

Airway: If the person is conscious and talking, then they have a clear airway, but they might have a neck injury which will require stabilization. In the case of any significant fall, or one with an accompanying head injury, be sure that the cervical (neck) spine is stabilized. If the person is unconscious or can’t talk, be sure that the airway is clear of obstruction before going further. Gently lowering the jaw while holding the forehead steady will allow you to see if anything is causing an obstruction. Look for broken teeth, blood, dirt or some foreign body causing an obstruction. Remove any obstruction you can see. Do not blindly probe their mouth. You could push an unseen object backward and cause an obstruction where none had previously existed.

Breathing: Is the person breathing on their own? If they can talk, they are breathing. Is there any reason to suspect a possible lung injury? Do they have any evidence of a chest injury that could have broken a rib? A broken rib can puncture a lung and lead to air in the chest collapsing the lung on that side. You can check this several ways. One is to watch the rise and fall of the chest and see if both sides rise equally. Another is to put your ear on one side of the chest, then the other and listen for breath sounds to be equal on both sides. If you notice that the trachea, the tube that runs down the middle of your neck, is pushed to one side; that is a clear sign of a lung injury. The best case scenario is that you have a stethoscope in your kit that will allow you to hear the actual breath sounds easily. If there is a lung injury, this is a true emergency and will need to be treated quickly, but that is a procedure that requires specialized training.

Circulation: Check for obvious bleeding, but also in the case of extremity injury, is there good blood flow to the far portions of the extremity? Is the color of distal (far) limb pink or pale/bluish? Is it warm to the touch or cool/cold? Pink and warm = good. Anything else indicates blocked blood flow which may be due to arterial injury or compression. Arterial injury needs repair soon. Compression can often be correct by adjusting the limb to an appropriate angle.

Disability/Deformity: Is neurologic function intact or are they confused, unable to answer questions or showing other signs of significant head injury? Are there limb deformities, obvious chest or facial depressions indicating broken bones? Depending on what you find, a variety of things may be needed from re-evaluation of the airway, to splinting or bandaging.

Exposure: How long has it been since the injury took place? Are they becoming chilled or hypothermic? Cold =shock. Putting a warm cover over an injured party ASAP is essential even in hot weather.

Emergency Medical Preparedness: Prepare Yourself for a Medical Emergency

The important thing to do now is stay calm and determine what needs to be treated first. If there is copious bleeding indicating probable arterial involvement (this can also be characterized by blood that sprays with each pump of the heart) apply direct pressure and if necessary a tourniquet that can be tightened and released easily. If there is no major bleeding issue, then recheck the airway and breathing. If there is chest deformity and/or other evidence of a collapsed lung, that is the next thing to deal with unless there is now evidence of airway obstruction or the person is not breathing on their own. The former requires clearing the airway, the latter requires rescue breathing. The collapsed lung requires specialized training you can’t get from the internet or a book. Any other injuries can wait. Remember; the brain starts to die after 3 minutes without oxygen. Airway is first unless bleeding is so profuse that not stopping it would mean there would not be enough blood to circulate oxygen.

Back to our fall victim; we have bleeding, limb deformity, confusion and a fall. The fall means we have to have high suspicion of a neck injury and the confusion could be shock or it could indicate a more serious injury such as concussion or a brain bleed. We also have a penetrating injury which may have been an insult to a major artery. This person is seriously injured and qualifies as a trauma patient. Ideally, we would get this person stabilized and out of there ASAP, but that is not an option. Instead, we have to stabilize and create a sheltered space as close to where we area as possible so we can begin to treat the various injuries.

Assuming there are no immediate life threats (Excessive bleeding or collapsed lung/blocked airway) we begin by stabilizing the neck. A towel, shirt or thick cloth of some kind can be rolled and taped carefully in place to accomplish this. Next stabilize and splint any limb deformities so that we can move the victim with the least amount of discomfort to them. Continue to talk to them to assess their mental status. At this point, things get tricky…

People’s first instinct when presented with something sticking out of or through a body part is to remove it. STOP! Don’t do it! Not only is it exactly the wrong thing to do, it could quite possibly be the thing that kills the person. I know it is scary looking and seems like the danger comes from it being stuck in the person, but at this point the person is alive and has survived impalement. Leaving the object embedded is not dangerous at this point; it is actually the safest thing to do. As long as the object is left in place, it is acting to tamponade (stop) the bleeding. That is, it is putting pressure on any lacerated vessels and preventing any major bleeding. Yes there will be some oozing around the injury site, but it will be minimal as compared to what happens should the object be removed. NEVER REMOVE AN IMPALED OR IMBEDDED OBJECT FROM A PUNCTURE WOUND unless you have been trained to handle this procedure. This is another procedure that requires specialized training courses.

But what about infection, you ask? Yes, infection risk is high, but it is not a life threatening problem at this time. A neck injury or brain injury will need prior attention as will the bleeding from the head wound. Antibiotics are something you can give, but not at this time because the victim has a decreased mental status and it is not clear if they can swallow a pill without causing an airway obstruction or aspirating it into a lung.

For the time being, the safest and most efficacious thing to do is to cut both ends of the branch so that your companion can be maneuvered to the sheltered spot. Start with the end of the branch still attached to the tree and try to keep the arm as immobile as you can while doing so to minimize pain. You can then trim the protruding opposite side.

Don’t cut the ends short. Leave enough to be able to grasp both ends firmly to assist removal when it is time. Use your gauze or Ace wrap to secure the branch so that it moves as little as possible during transport to avoid causing undo pain.

Continue to monitor the ABC’s and mental status and address what need to be done ASAP. Once you have done as much as you can, find a way to get this person out of there and to an emergency care center as quickly as possible otherwise, they will likely not survive for very long.

This all started out as a fall but resulted in multiple injuries placing your companion in danger of dying. With the proper training, you could swing the odds much more in favor of a good outcome. So before you buy that cool medical kit, or put one together on your own, get out there and get trained. If you know someone who has been trained and can teach you the emergency survival techniques you’ll need, ask them to teach you. Meanwhile there are a multitude of courses in first aid, tactical lifesaving, wilderness emergency medicine, survival medicine and CPR. Don’t forget to look into classes that teach herbal remedies. Know what plants can ease pain or prevent infection, they may be the only medications you’ll have available.

So go out and get prepared. Learn.

This article was written by The Prepper Journal and can be viewed here

Live Fire Gear sold on Walmart.com

Live Fire Gear Products Now Available on Walmart.com

We are proud to announce Live Fire Gear products are now available through Walmart (Sold & shipped by Walmart at Walmart.com). Walmart is carrying our full product line including 550 Firecord, Live Fire Original, Live Fire Sport, Live Fire Survival Kit, Live Fire Twin Pack, Live Fire Sport Duo and Live Fire Ring O Fire. Visit Walmart.com today and pick up more great Live Fire Gear products.

11 Mistakes and Goofs That Every Prepper Should Avoid

11 Mistakes and Goofs That Every Prepper Should Avoid

We have all done it – made a mistake with our preps that was either a stupid use of our time, a waste of our money, or both.  The good news is that with a couple of years of prepping experience behind you, you will begin to recognize those things that are worthwhile and those that are folly.

I say this from personal experience.  This year I have completely overhauled my bug out bag, started over with my pocket survival kit and EDC, and have shifted my focus on food storage from anything and everything, to a more select group of products that are good tasting and simple to prepare.

And here is the big one: I recognize that while it is important to grow food, for some of us, growing enough to sustain ourselves is impossible due to space, climate, or other factors.  It is far more reasonable, for example, for some of us to focus on herbs and especially medicinal plants.

Fortunately, it is rare that any one person will make all of the mistakes in this list, but chances are you have made one or two.  Check them out; they are in no particular order.

11 Prepper Mistakes and Goofs

1.  Creating a 3 Day Kit and ignoring the long term

The government, the media, and the Red Cross have been promoting the 3-day kit for so long that it is safe to say that the term “3 day kit” is now common vernacular.  Not surprisingly, the 3-Day Kit has also become a marketing phenomena.

The good news is that the more that people jump onto the 3 day kit bandwagon, the better for the rest of us.  That is three days we will not have to reach out and help them.

On the other hand, something as simple as a winter power outage can last far longer than three days.  And a cyber-attack, pandemic, or earthquake?  Two weeks, a month,or even a year of emergency supplies would be much better.

2.  Not knowing how to use your gear

Who hasn’t been guilty of getting out that combination battery, wind-up, and solar emergency radio and forgetting to use it?  (There is a little doo-dad inside of mine that has to be switched over to change modes.)

Or how about the Sun Oven?  If it sits in the box and never gets used, how will you know how to place it in the sun to cook your food or boil your water when the sun is the only source of power you have.

Similarly, do you have copies of your gear manuals tucked away in case you need them?  Storing them on a laptop or flash drive is a great idea but only if you have some way to power your devices when the grid goes down.

3.  Failing to learn how to cook using food storage items

This is another way of saying “not knowing how to cook from scratch”.  Most of us store bulk foods to supplement our freeze dried food.  We would be broke if we didn’t.

Do you know how to cook rice and beans?  How about making a soup or stew without opening a single can?  As you plan your food storage, keep your habits in mind and if you don’t already scratch cook, at least learn the basics.

4.  Having a comprehensive first aid kit but not knowing basic first aid skills

Having a robust first aid kit (FAK) is a given as is having a supply of emergency medicines.  But what about knowing CPR?  Or cleaning and dressing an open wound that is bleeding profusely?

Many communities offer free or low cost classes on first aid.  Now might be a good time to check them out.

 

This article was written by Gaye Levy and the complete article can be viewed here:

https://www.backdoorsurvival.com/mistakes-and-goofs-that-every-prepper-should-avoid/

Gaye Levy started Backdoor Survival so that she could share her angst and concern about our deteriorating economy and its impact on ordinary, middle-class folks. She also wanted to become a prepper of the highest order and to share her knowledge as she learned it along the way. On Backdoor Survival you will find survival and preparedness tools and tips for creating a self-reliant lifestyle through thoughtful prepping and optimism.

To read more from Gaye, visit her website, Backdoor Survival. You can also follow Gaye on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest or purchase her eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage on Amazon.com

Live Fire Gear Ring O Fire Featured in OffGrid Magazine

Live Fire Gear Ring O Fire Featured in OffGrid Magazine!

Our Ring O Fire product was featured in yet another great outdoors magazine, OffGrid Magazine Issue #22 (December 2017 issue). They loved the Ring O Fire and stated:

“Any prepper worth their salt knows you have to have multiple means of starting a flame. The Ring O Fire kit from Live Fire Gear will certainly deliver on that concept. This kit consists of three fire-starting items. First is the FireCord, a 550 paracord with its eighth inner strand being a color-coded red tinder that’s waterproof and easy to ignite. Use the FireCord as neck lanyards, zipper pulls, or boot laces and you’ll always have a way to spark a flame wherever you go. Second is the Live Fire Original, essentially a firestarter made from mineral oil, polymer resin, and other material that’s waterproof, cedar scented, and can be relit again and again. It comes in a tiny tin with a slide-top lid, so you can limit its burn and even use it as a candle. Third is a ferro rod with striker. Together, they’ll provide you with much needed redundancy this coming winter.”

We couldn’t agree more! If you’re interested in purchasing this issue of OffGrid Magazine click here. Also take a look at their website for some great articles and tips. If you haven’t already purchased a Ring O Fire pick one up today here, and grab a few extra for your family members, they make a great stocking stuffer!

7 HOUSEHOLD ITEMS YOU NEVER GUESSED COULD SAVE YOU IN A SURVIVAL SITUATION

7 Household Items You Never Guessed Could Save You In A Survival Situation

No matter whether you hear the tornado sirens or an order comes to evacuate for some other reason, there is a moment of panic that can send every thought from your mind.  Even if you have a fully prepared bug out bag, or have made all kinds of plans, stress levels can rise to the point where you may aimlessly wander about the house or start packing things because everything else is forgotten.   This guide is intended to show you seven common items (excluding the obvious knives, mirrors and other more common sense every day carry tools) that you may already be inclined to carry with you or have on hand at all times.  If you can find ways to include the adaptations listed in each section, you will vastly improve your chances of survival until you have a chance to retrieve other items.

T-SHIRT

7 HOUSEHOLD ITEMS YOU NEVER GUESSED COULD SAVE YOU IN A SURVIVAL SITUATIONAs long as you are wearing one, you will already have valuable survival tool right on your back.  Here are just a few things you can do with T-shirts, plus simple modifications that will make them even more useful:

  • double or triple the fabric to remove dirt and debris from the water. You can also sew in a layer of cotton and nylon. Four layers of cotton sari cloth can filter almost all cholera bacteria while nylon can remove parasite eggs.
  • add a bib of 2 – 4 layers of tightly woven silk to the inner front of the T-shirt to get better results when using it as an air mask.
  • Tear into strips to start fires, make tourniquets, bandage wounds, and tie items together.
  • Use the hems to hold other important survival goods.  Waterproof mmini-packets embroidery thread, and other soft items you might forget about can all be placed in the hems.
  • If you are concerned about tear gas or pepper spray, do not assume that you can simply wet the shirt and prevent burns and irritation. Your best bet is to sew in a thin rubber shield within the front bib (see above) of the shirt.  Even though this will not protect your eyes, it can still shield your nose and lungs from some of the noxious gases.

PUSH PEN

By themselves, push pens look entirely innocent, yet they can make a more diverse weapon with just a few modifications:

  • Add a LED light and battery to the trigger mechanism to create a makeshift flashlight. You can also rub the battery with steel wool to create sparks for a fire.
  • Use the barrel to store B.Bs, bits of cotton balls (for filtering water), and other tiny objects.
  • Even if you do not modify the pen, it can still be used to poke out an attacker’s eyes or shoved elsewhere to create a diversion. When combined with specific maneuvers, a pen can be used to kill in several ways, however, it may take several minutes or more.
  •  Attach a poison-tipped needle to the empty end of the inkwell.
  • Drill holes in the upper and lower section, then run a rubber band through to make a slingshot. Do not make the holes too big or other ammo may slip through when using the pen as a spring propelled gun.
  • Create canisters that will discharge liquids when the trigger pushes against the canister.  You can add just about any liquid of interest, including flammable ones.
  • Once you have a suitable model that covers the widest possible range of weapons and tactical lighting, see if you can obtain a polymer base to form into a push pen, and then strengthen each area with other materials.

METAL BUSINESS CARD HOLDER

Simply rub some steel wool across the metal surface to make it shiny enough for signaling and starting fires.  If you get into the habit of using a metal business card holder as your debit/credit card wallet, you can tape sewing needles inside and other small objects.  Don’t forget to include a plastic card and a credit card tool kit.  Put a few rubber bands around the wallet, and you will have yet another handy resource on hand to help you get through an emergency.

A metal business card holder is also the perfect place to store step by step instructions. Don’t remember how to make an alcohol stove from a tin can?  Write out these, and other instructions and tuck them away in the card holder.  Mini hand drawn maps, directions to different locations, and other guides can also be of immense value.  If you laminate these cards, they will also be waterproof and durable enough to last for years on end.

EMBROIDERY THREAD AND SEWING NEEDLE

Even though some people recommend dental floss as an emergency survival material embroidery thread is much better for the following reasons:

  • you can use it for everything you would use dental floss for
  • the threads are easy to separate, so you can get the exact thickness that you need
  • embroidery thread is easy to braid together if you need to make a stronger fishing line or snare
  • it can be used to sew everything from wounds to clothes
  • cheaper than dental floss
  • Much easier to add inside the hem of a T-shirt or any other garment.
  • Aside from sewing, needles can be used as weapons, for scraping dirt out of tiny areas, and as a compass needle (when rubbed across a magnet).

MINI-PACKETS

You do not need to spend a fortune on travel sized mini-packets, or get stuck with paper wrappings that may break apart or be ruined before you use the contents inside.  To make mini-packets, follow these steps:

  • Take a drinking straw and cut it to about 1 ¾”.  This will give you just about enough room for a single serving or use.  You can also use larger or smaller lengths depending on the material inside.
  • Squeeze one end of the straw so that it is sealed.  Pass this end over a lit candle so that the plastic melts.
  • Place contents inside the straw.
  • Seal the other open end of the packet with heat from the candle.
  • For flammables, leave extra room in the straw, wipe excess away, and use tongs to hold the packet while sealing.  Place the candle in the sink and remove all other flammables from the area.  Avoid working near electric sockets and wires.  Wear fireproof gear until you get the knack for each substance.

Even though there are literally dozens of things you can fit into waterproof mini packets, seven of them are at the top of my personal list.

  • Steel Wool – absolutely necessary if you are going to make a polished surface for starting a fire. They are also very important for removing dirt and debris from other items that you may find useful as you go through the crisis.  You can also use scouring pads as long as they don’t have soap on them.
  • Sugar – sugar packets are important for keeping up your electrolytes, and also for wound care. Adding some sugar to an open wound will reduce the risk of infection and also help it to heal faster.
  • Salt – also very important for managing electrolytes.  Salt can also be used as an anti-bacterial.  Do not add to drinking water, as it will cause your body to flush out water faster.
  • Pain Killer Packets – aspirin and other anti-inflammatory medications are very important for pain management and dealing with injuries that cause swelling.  If you do not have ice on hand, these drugs can reduce the risk of more serious impairment.  Write the expiration date on each packet so that you know when to discard it and replace with new ones.
  • Oils – vegetable oil can be used for lubrication and also as a fuel for fire.  Include packets of herbal oils for medicinal needs.  Just make sure to replace the oil packets every 6 – 12 months (depending on the oil type) so that they do not lose their potency.
  • Rubbing Alcohol – can be used as a fuel and also to disinfect your hands.  Some people recommend hand sanitizers, however, there is too much controversy about whether or not they actually work as well as advertised.  Rubbing alcohol, on the other hand, is tried, true, and just about foolproof.
  • Water (in full or half sized straws) – even a few drops of water can be priceless when it will take hours to find water and purify it for drinking needs.  Replace these every 4 – 6 months to ensure freshness.

CAN OF FRUIT JUICE

A can of fruit juice can provide more nutrients and just as much liquid as a can of soda.  You can also use the empty can and pull ring to make a number of important tools:

  • the pull ring can be made into a fish hook
  • cut the can in half and use the two parts to make a rocket stove or alcohol burning stove
  • store away fishing gear, snare lines, and other small items.
  • polish the bottom and use it as a fire starter or signal mirror
  • make into a cup for cooking or drinking water
  • wrap duct tape or electrical tape around the can so that you have it on hand in time of need.

YOUR MAIN KEYRING

7 HOUSEHOLD ITEMS YOU NEVER GUESSED COULD SAVE YOU IN A SURVIVAL SITUATIONIf you are always in the habit of keeping your keys with you, a few simple additions to the ring can give you as many vital tools as the T-Shirt.

  • Even without modification, you can use house  keys already on the ring to scrape items clean, cut tape, and act as gouges to rake an attacker.
  • If you can’t locate or afford a credit card tool kit, go ahead and shape some keys into screwdrivers and other tools that may be of use.
  • Sharpen at least one key into a point that will poke a hole in metal cans.
  • Take another key and create a serrated knife edge or even a flat edge for cutting.  Just remember to put a leather guard or some other material over that key so you don’t cut yourself on it.
  • Keep a few extra keys that you can bend into hooks for fasteners
  • Make a paracord monkey fist and add it to the keyring. You will have a weapon plus a valuable source of rope to meet many emergency needs.
  • Attach a few feathers that can be used as fishing lures.
  • Add a small magnet

“It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark” (Howard Ruff), and there wasn’t an actual crisis when you made all your prepping plans.   A fire or many other situations may leave you in a position where you don’t have time to get to your bug out bag. If you are unable to get to your vehicle, or another location where you have every day carry supplies, there are still household items that may be of use to you.  No matter whether you prepare these items ahead of time, or make it a point to carry them with you, they can save your life in more ways than expected.  With a few modifications, the above seven items can go even further and give you an even better chance of surviving most major and minor crisis situations.

Further reading:

This article was written by Conrad Novak with Survivor’s Fortress and the complete article can be viewed here:

https://survivorsfortress.com/household-items-for-survival/