Live Fire Gear has officially released our new commercial featuring EJ “Skullcrusher” Snyder. You may know EJ from 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. Live Fire Gear was excited when EJ agreed to endorse our product. The commercial is in production now and should be ready for TV soon! This wasn’t a studio commercial. EJ was in a Florida swamp, built an amazing shelter and trekked through the woods for the commercial. He is a true survival expert.
Live Fire Gear’s Ring O Fire is now available in 13 colors! The Ring O Fire includes 25 feet of 550 FireCord, 1 Live Fire Original Emergency Fire Starter and 1 Ferrocerium Rod & Striker. We have also completely redesigned our packaging. When we launched the Ring O Fire we only offered 5 colors, but due to popular demand, we decided to expand our selection to include all 13 of our FireCord colors. You can pick up yours today for just $24.99.
Our Live Fire Original has burn times which average 30 minutes with the lid completely removed, and much longer when the lid is used. Just get your kindling going and slide the lid closed. The Live Fire Original is waterproof and can be lighted again and again.
Our 550 FireCord is More Than Just Paracord! FireCord is 550 Paracord with an 8th inner strand (color-coded and waterproof) to be used as fire tinder. When you need the fire tinder strand (formulated with Live Fire Gear’s properties) light the fire tinder and build the fire. 550 Outer shell can still be utilized for Survival Kits, Zipper Pulls, Handles, Keychains, Bracelets, Necklaces, Lanyards, Boot Laces, & Outdoor Lashings.
The Ferrocerium Rod and Striker ensures you will always have the spark you need to get your fire started.
Ring O Fire is available in ACU Digital, Black, Coyote Brown, Desert Camo, Foliage Green, MultiCam, Olive Drab, Red, Royal Blue, Safety Green, Safety Orange, Thin Blue Line and Thin Red Line. Pick yours up today at LiveFireGear.com.
A key element of most survival plans is to bug out to a different location. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your personal choice to get out of dodge, the very act of bugging out could be treacherous and could cover hundreds of miles in some cases. What if you are delayed along the way and run out of supplies? Have you imagined the possibility that you may not be at home when the time comes to actually bug out to your retreat location? What if you are vacationing and are hundreds of miles away from your supplies when something happens?
Hidden survival caches offer you the option of hiding or pre-positioning supplies that you may need along your route to your final location. The idea behind this is to hide, usually bury additional food stores, weapons or ammo, fuel, clothing etc. in the off chance that you will need this before you get to your final location. Sounds great in theory, right? If you don’t have any practice hiding, or more importantly finding this buried treasure, all of your pre-planning may be in vain. Worst case is this can put you in additional danger when you try to reclaim your supplies.
This is where Geocaching comes in. For those who have never heard of Geocaching, I will give you a brief background. Geocaching is a game played all over the world. The game involves hidden “treasure” and the object of the game is to find as many caches as you can. A cache is a container that depending upon its size may have little plastic toys, a visitors log or coins inside. Each location where this treasure is hidden has been entered into a website (geocaching.com) and members can obtain the coordinates for caches anywhere. The coordinates will get you to the vicinity of the cache but you will normally need to do a little looking to find the actual booty. When you find a cache you can either swap out one of the toys with one of your own, or just leave it as is and sign the visitor log. The sizes of the caches vary from big 5 gallon paint buckets, ammo cans down to film canisters and even containers as small as two watch batteries. Yes, those are hard to find! The harder caches usually give you a hint or their name is somewhat of a clue to point you in the right direction.
Fun Activity with your family
Geocaching is fun and it is something that can be done with almost any member of your family. The youngest children can participate and most caches are in easy to navigate terrain. I was first drawn to Geocaching as I was researching a good GPS. One of the features of most new handheld GPS units is a Geocaching application. I did a little more digging after I purchased my GPS and went to the Geocaching website to sign up. The membership is free, and allows you to search for any cache anywhere in the world. Pro memberships allow you to actually create and hide your own caches for everyone to find.
Can you see the cache?
The process is simple and you can start out slow. I went onto the site and entered my zip code to find caches near me. I was surprised at how many there were just within walking distance. The website allows you to view the details of each cache such as how many people have found it and how recently. I selected a dozen or so and downloaded them to my Garmin GPS. I did have to download a free plug-in from Garmin first, but once that was installed on my computer sending the coordinates and cache name to my GPS was as simple as one click.
Now that I had my new trusty GPS and a whole bunch of cache locations, I grabbed a couple of members of my family and set out. We spent about 3 hours that first day and found all of the caches except one. With each new find, we were more and more amazed at the creativity of the people who had hidden the caches and the thought that must have gone into choosing the hiding place and camouflaging it so that “muggles” wouldn’t accidentally stumble upon the cache and remove it.
The term “Muggle” comes from Harry Potter and in the Geocaching world refers to people who aren’t playing the game. Some cache descriptions actually say “Beware of muggles around” which you would interpret as the cache is hidden in a very open and public location. In this case, you don’t want to just grab some hidden object out from behind a bush or you may attract unnecessary attention. In fact, this happened to me when one of the caches I was looking for happened to be on a public walking trail. I knew from the coordinates that the cache was somewhere in the bushes right next to the trail, but I was reluctant to dig too far into the bushes for fear that I would scare some woman who may be walking along the trail. If she didn’t know better it would appear that I was hiding in the bushes and that wouldn’t look good at all. I skipped that one and came back later with my children so I wouldn’t look like a creepy deviant.
Another time, we were actually in Paris and believe it or not, the Palace at Versailles has geocaches hidden there also. My wife and I were looking in this park and wouldn’t you know it but about 25 young French students who looked to be in their equivalent of the cub scouts were playing all around the location of the cache. We had to wait on them to leave also. It’s one thing to look odd in your own country, I didn’t want to get caught sneaking around the bushes with a bunch of poor French students, so my wife and I sat there, took photos and laughed. That cache was pretty interesting and I took a souvenir and left something I had picked up in the states.
Learn land navigation
Excellent tool for finding or hiding caches
Getting back to how this “game” can help you with Survival, the website is where you find the caches gives you coordinates. For any caches that aren’t in a parking lot or park within easy reach, it is wise to do a little research before you go exploring. There are some caches that can only be accessed one way and this may not be a direct route. One cache we had to find was in the most inhospitable place I have seen which was in the middle of about 50 acres of forest that had been cleared several years back. The forest had since been taken over by tall and painful briars. I think the name of the cache had the word “hell” in it somewhere and it was hell to get to. We had to choose which path to take to get to the cache as it was in the middle of the land. There were two roads bordering the property and we drove around for a while trying to find the closest (and least conspicuous) place to park and begin our hunt. The GPS has a directional compass built in which will show you the direction of the cache and how far it is away, but that is a straight-line. You may have to go around and backtrack to get to the cache location.
If you are feeling exceptionally adventurous, you could get the coordinates and leave the GPS in the car. Use your topographic map to find the actual spot. In a grid-down scenario we may not have access to GPS or electronics so knowing how to navigate the old fashioned way is a smart skill to have.
Understand human nature
I mentioned above that it was pretty amazing to me to see the cache locations themselves. Some are hidden in fairly easy locations. Others are really tricky. After finding about 50 or so, you start to detect a pattern and I was able to walk to a location and look at the area around me and guess where the cache was hidden. You can use this to your advantage in hiding your own caches. Don’t go with the simple route; be more creative with hiding and you will make your own caches harder to find. Also, hiding your cache in the bushes right off an easily accessible path is a sure fire way to make sure someone finds it and when you go to retrieve your cache, it will be gone. If I am going to hide a bucket with guns, knife, water, ammo and food for a couple of days, it is going to be in the middle of that briar patch deep in the woods. I want this to be a giant pain to find, but one I will easily remember.
Find creative hiding methods/places
The smaller caches are usually the most cleverly hidden and that is due to their size. These smaller containers can be magnetized and hidden on almost any metal surface. That won’t really do us too much good, but familiarizing yourself with their methods can give you ideas. One cache I found was in a container that was sunken in the water. The contents were in a waterproof container, but the lid was attached to a piece of camouflaged paracord that was attached to a strong root on the bank. I only had to find the cord and pull to get the container up off the bottom of the creek. Even if I had been looking, that would have easily been missed unless I knew the exact spot where the cord was attached. Another cache was hidden about 30 feet into a huge storm water tunnel. Again, this might not work for everything but it was creative and gave me a lot of ideas.
The best caches to me are the ones hidden in plain sight. Use your best judgment on these, but let the game of Geocaching give you ideas and experience with hiding and finding your own treasure.
One of the first casualties of our public school system in the United States has been the teaching of history. We’ve permitted the liberals to slander our greatest leaders, diminish or completely ignore our greatest moments in history. Students aren’t taught what actually happened in the past, because they might see history being repeated at present. They might start thinking and getting dangerous ideas.
When it comes to war (and by this I mean all-out war that truly affects our daily lives), both the government and the people boast that it will be over with quickly. The big wars—the American Civil War, WWI, WWII, for example—are never a surprise except to the woefully ignorant, and hostilities have been stoked for some time before shots are ever fired. As part of the propaganda, the intelligence and capabilities of the enemy are diminished or demeaned. The powers that be suggest that the war will end quickly, and the gullible always fall for it. Governments use wars to divert the attention of the people from the problems at hand and to deflect the blame for them that they would otherwise place on the government.
Governments use wars to divert the attention of the people from the problems at hand.
Politicians feel a whole lot safer when their constituents blame a foreign country for domestic problems such as economic collapse rather than the failed policies of government. And wars can very quickly solve a nasty unemployment problem. The media endlessly promotes the importance of making personal sacrifices to support the soldiers, and complaining about shortages becomes unpatriotic. Imports and anything the military says is needed for the war effort simply become unavailable.
Take away lesson: Knowing this, and knowing that our nation needs a war (according to the politicians who need to deflect blame for our collapsing economy), we plan for a long war with no trips to the grocery store, no trips to Wal-Mart, and no UPS guy bringing any of the nice stuff he normally does. We have to have all the food, clothing, medicine, and basic vehicle maintenance items on hand before hostilities break out.
When government fails to manage the exorbitant amounts of money that corrupt legislators and bureaucrats have already extracted from the people, they don’t acknowledge the failure. Rather, they demand more, but generally through means other than taxation. The ancient Romans shaved the edges off their coins to melt into new coins with supposedly the same value. FDR took us off the gold standard in 1935. The printing presses were fired up in Germany following World War I, and more recently in Zimbabwe. It’s happening now in Venezuela.
Venezuela is having food riots due to shortages.
Around the world we have seen the bank bail outs with taxpayer money. We already have larger banks that are charging depositors to hold their funds with negative interest rates. Coming next are the bank bail ins with depositor money. And safe-deposit boxes are anything but; in a pinch the bank will empty yours. When banks face collapse, they start calling in loans. Those with debt are vulnerable. Then there is also the drive to become a cashless society so that every transaction can be monitored and taxed. Only time will tell whether our leaders do away with cash before we collapse.
The chaotic financial situations surrounding WWII affected absolutely everyone, but of course the middle and lower classes were much harder hit. This made the average Joe a little more open to accepting bribes just to be able to feed himself and his family. Many are the people who were able to avoid the Nazi concentration camps by being able to place some gold coins or jewels into the right person’s hand. At the same time, because Germany’s currency was so worthless, it was better used to burn and generate some heat. The take-away lessons here?
There’s a reason why viewership among so-called news programs has been declining for the past several years—they are all in direct collusion with a corrupt government. Most of what should be reported, isn’t. Much of what is reported only diverts attention from the real issues. And this has been going on for well over a century. If you take a close look at the 1918 influenza epidemic (The Great Influenza, by John M. Barry, was a real eye-opener), local and federal governments hid the truth about the spread and the severity of the disease. Newspaper reports were whitewashed or completely scrubbed, all for the sake of not panicking the citizenry (and promoting the sale of Liberty bonds so necessary to fleece the people and finance the war). Phone operators were ordered to eavesdrop on private conversations and break the connection if the parties began discussing the epidemic. Forty years previous, journalists were also complicit in hiding the extent and severity of the yellow fever epidemic (see The American Plague, by Molly Caldwell Crosby).
Nothing to see here… Move along.
Bottom line? If the media and the government are trying to panic you with reports of the latest outbreak of whatever, and especially if they’re hyping a vaccine to go along with it, there’s probably nothing to worry about. But if they’re trying to downplay the severity of an outbreak, it’s time to wake up and pay attention to what’s happening around you. Hopefully you haveeverything you already need to shelter in place for the duration.
Corrupt governments create boogeymen to divert attention and distract the people. In the past two millennia the boogeymen have often been Jews, and sometimes Christians. In addition, throughout history people persecuted anyone who was different, who hadn’t yet been fully assimilated into society due to language and culture, and sometimes, mere appearance. It used to be so important for immigrant children to do well in school and to lose any trace of an accent. Irish, Italians, Chinese and others were routinely discriminated against for even the most back-breaking jobs. At the outbreak of WWII, the Japanese on the west coast of the United States were rounded up and sent to internment camps.
Things are a little different now, aren’t they? In the United States today, who are these boogeymen? Christians, gun-owners, home schoolers, Constitutionalists. White, middle-class, hard-working Americans. For some reason, we boogeymen now finance the new bread and circuses. Just as the ancient Romans gave food to the lower classes by taxing the upper classes and provided the circuses as a means of distracting the less intelligent people, we now have all the welfare benefits provided to anyone who asks (unless they happen to be white American citizens, then there is a test), whether they’re here legally or not. And lest we start pondering how messed up things are, we have the Kardashians, NFL, Netflix, and Facebook to divert our attention. The take away lesson here?
There will always be that group of people who deny the reality that is staring them in the face. As preppers, we already see that every day as we monitor the economy and financial markets, domestic and foreign news, especially as it regards volatile situations liable to erupt into all-out war at any moment. As a whole, Americans in particular seem to suffer from irrational exuberance about their collective future. In The Bielski Brothers, a fascinating history of a trio of men who established communities in the forests of Eastern Europe and saved about 1,000 Jews, there are several accounts of Jews identifying with their captors in the camps. The Jews somehow came to believe that they were special, that they wouldn’t be killed, even as they saw friends and family being raked down. The Bielski brothers encountered dozens of Jews who were afraid to leave the known concentration camps for the unknown forest.
The lesson here?Gentle persuasion and education of our friends and family before SHTF may work with some, but I think we have to resign ourselves to the fact that quite a few of our loved ones won’t accept reality. For the safety of others in our group, we may have to let the sheeple make their own choices and live (and die) with the consequences. It is the most difficult lesson to learn.
We already have government programs indoctrinating our children at all levels, encouraging them to report inappropriate behavior. And while children absolutely need avenues for getting help when any kind of abuse is involved, we really don’t need the problems that issue from someone telling government how much food we have stockpiled or how many guns we have. Government encouraged the betrayal of friends and family in both Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, and especially disturbing were the cases where children informed on their own families.
While the US government still promotes this behavior with their “See Something, Say Something” slogan, our primary concern today is not in being betrayed by others. We are betraying ourselves. We rat ourselves out with Facebook. For the sake of saving a few dollars, we have store loyalty (Kroger, Safeway, Hy-Vee, etc.) and membership (Costco, Sam’s) cards that track our purchases and spending habits. And we have cell phones that record our conversations and cars that track our movements. NSA stores all our emails. All this data is reported and mined to create a perfect profile and history of each person.
The lessons here? Keep your children as far removed from the government as possible. Home schooling goes a long ways towards that. Avoid social media like the plague. Pay cash for everything as much as possible. Don’t ever use membership cards for any store. Use a stupid phone, and that only when necessary. Don’t purchase vehicles that track your movements.
In conclusion, history repeats. It always has, it always will. Each generation will experience all-out war and financial collapse. It’s been seventy years since WWII and eighty-five years since the Great Depression. Our time is up and our turn is coming. Learn from history. Be prepared.
Wilderness survival skills are an extremely important asset to have. In the wild, the skill set you have might just save your life. This is why it is important to make sure you have enough information and knowledge before you brave the wild outdoors. The wilderness is essentially land that has been left to exist in its natural state and where the influence of mankind has been kept to a bare minimum. In the wilderness, it is just you and the wildly powerful forces of nature. One of the most important skills to have when you are braving the wilderness is knowing how to build a fire. It is also important to know how to safely build this fire and how to tend to it so that you do not accidentally start a wildfire. Many people do not see this as a necessary skill to have, but when you are faced with a situation that requires that skill, you will understand why it is important. Here are some of the reasons why it is important that you know how to build a fire in the wilderness.
As beautiful and serene as the natural outdoors can be, there are times where the forces of nature are cold and unforgiving. It is important that you know how to build a fire in the wilderness so that you can keep yourself warm at all times. This lowers your risk of catching hypothermia, contracting frostbite, and even contracting an illness. In some cases, you might not need to build a fire for warmth because the temperature is steady and warm, but conditions can change on a dime. There is always the possibility that temperatures might drop or that it could rain, at which point you will most likely be seeking a source of warmth. The skill of knowing how to build a fire will keep you warm and safe, as well as those around you so it is important that you know how to build a fire in the wilderness before you venture out there. Knowing how to build a fire is a crucial part of cold weather survival. Now, it is one thing to know how to build a fire, and another to know how to build a fire in the wilderness.
In order to build a fire in the wilderness, you have to know the right materials to use, and how to use them effectively so that you are not left with a pile of stuff that will not light. To build your fire, you will need to know how to gather and assemble the right material as well as pick out the right location to use as a fireplace. Once you have chosen the location, you will need to get your fire building material, which will consist of fuel, tinder, and kindling.
Out in the wilderness, you will not be greeted with the same type of comfort you are used to at home. This means that you will not have reverse osmosis water filters nor will you be able to buy a 24 pack of purified spring water. If you think you can avoid drinking water in the wild by stocking up before your trip, I applaud you for your forethought, but in extreme circumstances you will still end up needing to use water from the wilderness. This is one of the times where knowing how to build a fire will help keep you safe and healthy. One of the best ways to purify water is to boil it, and you cannot boil water without having a fire.
Drying Clothes and Equipment
As most of you know, nature is amazing, but it can be harsh. If one is battling with the elements, there is always a possibility that they might get soaking wet or extremely dirty. It doesn’t really matter whether you get rained on, or if you wash your clothes in a river, but one of the best ways to get your clothes and equipment dry again is by building a fire. If you need to dry your belongings during the day, then there will be no need to build a fire, but this is not always the case. If you do not properly dry your clothes and equipment, you might put yourself at risk of getting sick or put your equipment at risk of getting damaged.
Fires also come in handy if you need to signal for safety and emergency purposes. Out in the wilderness, there is always the possibility that something could go wrong and you might need to evacuate or have some emergency services locate you. Emergency signal fires come in handy if you are stranded and lost, if someone in your party is injured and requires emergency services or an everyday situation escalates into something else. The brightness of your fire will help draw attention to your location, but the smoke (which rises much higher) will be much more beneficial to help signal your location.
Ward off Animals and Insects
Building a fire in the wilderness is also an effective way to help keep wild animals and insects away from you and your party. There are many elements of the wild that people go up against when they decide to spend time in the wilderness. It is important to realize that these animals and insects have the upper hand on that environment, no matter how much intense training you put yourself through. They were made to thrive in those locations so they will adjust far better than you. This is why it is important to make sure that you stay well away from bears, coyotes, wolves etc. and one of the best ways to ward off these animals is to build a fire. Not only does it help illuminate your surroundings, but it also helps keep these animals from coming closer than they should. Think of your fire as some high-security locks that were installed by a professional locksmith to keep burglars away!
Sustenance is one of the main ingredients to help people survive in the wilderness. You will be hard pressed to find someone wandering around exploring if they have not had food to eat. In order to keep your energy up, you have to make sure that you are eating right and that you are eating food that provides you with enough nutrients and energy to go about your day. Of course, you can get by with only eating a selection of premade food, but learning how to build a fire in the wilderness will help you survive for the long haul. This skill will give you the ability to cook, clean and eat a much wider variety of food than you would be able to if you did not have the ability to build a fire.
Knowing how to build a fire also comes in handy when you need to sterilize some equipment or treat a wound. It is a very common occurrence for people to get injured in the wild, but it is even more common that people’s injuries become infected because of unsterilized equipment. In emergency situations, you can start a fire and use this to help sterilize any tools that you might use to treat cuts or bruises. This can be done by submerging the part of the tool you will use in boiling water, or by holding that same part over an open flame. This allows the heat to kill off any dormant bacteria that is not visible to the naked eye and it also reduces the chance of the wound becoming further infected.
There are may skills that come into play when you are trying to survive in the wilderness and many of them are similar to life saving prepper skills. However, most of them pale in comparison to the importance of knowing how to build a fire the proper way. This skill is extremely beneficial and it will help you through some really rough spots. I hope that this post has helped enlighten some people on exactly why it is important to be able to know how to build a fire in the wilderness.
7 Reasons Why It Is Important To Know How To Build A Fire In The Wilderness was written by Ralph Goodman from United Locksmith. View more of Ralph’s article’s on his Lock Blog.
Have you gotten started in paracord weaving projects and need more paracord knots to make your creations a bit more elegant, or maybe you’re just bored? Well either way we have compiled the most popular paracord creations to help you make some outstanding pieces!
Paracord weaving is something that continues to grow in popularity. Ever since Bear Grylls burst onto the scene with his paracord bracelet, people have made paracord designs the same way they used to make duct tape wallets and purses.
And we’ve put this article together for you so that you don’t have to scour the web for the most epic paracord knots to add to your bracelets, necklaces, or dog collars (I’m sure someone’s done it).
Why Paracord And Not Duct Tape
Well first of all it would be a lot more difficult to make outstanding multicolored 3D shapes with flat pieces of tape. Paracord lends itself to making different shapes much easier and with the added bonus of being a useful accessory.
Unlike duct tape, you can use these paracord creations in life threatening conditions. Like if you’re unfortunate enough to get stranded in the wild without many resources, having this handy cordage can make a huge difference.
Whether it’s using the cord to put a shelter together or make a trap to get some food you’ll not be sorry you decided to use paracord to make some nifty projects instead of sticky tape!
And if you’ve been an active reader of our site for any amount of time you know that we’re all about giving our readers as many ways to be prepared for anything as possible. And with awesome paracord projects like belts, bracelets, and necklaces, adding these extra knots to them is simple and will give you a little more cordage to work with if you need it.
It’s always better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it, right?
Benefits Of Paracord Weaving
First of all this stuff is incredibly cheap, and can be used to make house hold items for a fraction of what they would cost in stores. If you buy a leather belt from a retail shop all you have is a piece of “leather” and a buckle. Whereas if you made this belt yourself you’re looking at a total cost of around $2 for all the materials. But the choice is up to you.
Keeps Your Mind Sharp
With all of the amazing knots out there for different paracord masterpieces it’s hard to imagine learning them all, but the process of learning and practicing new skills will help improve problem solving and keep your mind sharp. If you’re someone who’s later on in life and looking for a new hobby that will help to keep them mentally engaged, then this is the skill to practice!
Improved Motor Skills
We’re not talking about fixing up a Bronco motor skills, but the skills required to handle small objects with precision and accuracy. Weaving paracord and making specialty knots is a practice that will improve this area of your life, and you’ll see immediate returns within a few weeks.
What You’ll Need To Handle These Knots
You can use a paracord jig if you want to, we’ve done articles that include how to make one yourself in a short afternoon, or you can purchase a ready made one here. We’re not going to be making bracelets with this jig like in the other article, however, you’ll want something to hold the cord steady as you work with it.
And while it does work to just drive a nail into the wall or floor to hold the cord, I doubt that it would be very visually appealing to have random nails stuck in the walls and floors. Or maybe that’s just me…
Tips To Make Weaving Easier
Our buddies over at Survival Mastery have a post that addresses the topic of what not to do when you’re starting on your paracord journey. But since you’re not starting on this journey, this is merely a refresher course, you can just breeze through these.
And if some of them happen to help you then you’re welcome 😉
Don’t Buy Paracord In Small Batches
The goal of this hobby is to keep the budget as minimal as possible, and the one way to destroy that is to only buy the amount of paracord you need. If you know that this is a hobby you’re going to really dive into then go ahead and get a decent amount of paracord.
Improper Fusion Of Paracord
Nothing will spoil your awesome paracord design like a weird looking bulge from shady paracord fusion. When you fuse two cords together it’s a fantastic opportunity to add an extra pop of color, so don’t mess it up with shoty paracord fusing.
Take the time to improve your basic skills so that you’ll be able to move through these knots and projects with the greatest ease!
Melting The Ends, Less Is More
You know that cheap yellow nylon rope you can buy at Walmart right, and how the melted ends of this rope look like a thick flat club? Well that’s not at all what your paracord needs to look like after you’ve cut it and melted it!
You’ll quickly learn that less is more when it comes to melting the ends of the paracord.
And you do need to melt the ends to make sure that it doesn’t come unraveled after you’ve cut it, because it most certainly will.
Most Amazing Paracord Knots
This extensive list of knots and braids are a compilation of amazing resources from around the web like fusion knots, paracord guild, and survival life. It’s a bit difficult to go back and forth between sites to find the one knot you’re looking for, so we’ve taken that step out and put them on this page just for you!
Ashley’s Flower Knot
Cliford W. Ashley, author and illustrator of the Ashley Book Of Knots (ABOK), created many original knots alongside the multitude of historical knots he presented. One of those original knots is shown on page 391 and referenced as #2445 in the Ashley Book Of Knots.
A magnificent design, ABOK #2445 is effectively a simple modification of the flower knot. Still many refrain from tying it, on account of Ashley’s illustration shows all except how to hold and tie the knot in hand. As a nod to Ashley and the knot he created, this video shows how to tie the knot while in hand.
Ashoka Chakra Knot
The Ashoka Chakra Knot is a fusion knot based upon the “Wheel of Law” edict depicted on the pillars of King Ashoka (an ancient emperor from India).
The Basket Weave Knot
The basket weave knot is deceivingly similar to the prosperity knot, with two major exceptions, it’s easier to tie and adjust. Our hope is that you’ll find the knot an elegant addition to a necklace, bracelet, or any other item where a decorative flat knot might be appropriate.
Celtic Heart Knot
The Big Celtic Heart Knot is a video instruction in response to calls for a larger Celtic Heart Knot. Just as attractive as the original design (only bigger), the knot makes an excellent centerpiece to a necklace given to someone you love. Video production by J.D. Lenzen of Tying It All Together.
Bloody Knuckle Knot
The Bloody Knuckle Knot is what happens when you fuse a row of half hitches with the Blood Knot. The hitches make knuckles and the Blood Knot (or Barrel Knot) pulls the tie together, resulting in an unusual but attractive design.
The blood knot was so named on account of the fact that it was historically tied in to the cat of nine tails floggers.
The Bumblebee Knot
The Bumblebee Knot (ABOK) is listed on page 373 of The Ashley Book of Knots. But, regretfully, only a line drawing is provided for instruction, with no over-under instructions included. The following video provides over- under instructions, with the knot tied in hand. Video production by JD of Tying It All Together.
Celtic Tree Of Life Knot
The Celtic tree of life symbolizes strength, longevity, and wisdom. It further marks the connection between earth, the spirit and the universe. Often portrayed in illustration, it’s rarely if ever shown represented in rope…until now.
Although the Celts are known as people who predominantly populated the British Isles. Their customs, beliefs, and religions were shared by people throughout the 1st millennium BC Europe.
Chinese Clover Leaf Knot
Effectively a miniature version of the Pan Chang Knot, it’s cloverleaf pattern is as much a symbol of good luck in China, as it is in the west.
The Cloud Knot branches off the Double Coin Knot in an innovative and seldom realized way. In short, the knot is created via a weaving technique that can be applied to a variety of knots, making them appear more elaborate and decorative.
The two knots you’re about to see are the Cross Knot and the Ladder Wrap. For most, these two knots couldn’t be more different. Still, in truth they’re more similar than they may at first appear. The only difference in the two knots is the number of vertical wraps that traverse the horizontal bight.
Diamond Ring Knot
The Diamond Ring Knot is the fusion of an Overhand Knot and a tying technique called circling. Surveyed separately these two (knot) components might not inspire much interest. But together they inspire so much more, as the following video hopefully shows.
Double Celtic Medallion Knot
The Double Celtic Knot Medallion can be made as a gift for a loved one or for a dear friend. Now on this day, Valentine’s Day (here in the U.S.), tying it together share how to make that gift…with you. Best to you all, and keep tying!
Paracord Knots: The ULTIMATE Resource On Flawless Paracord Creations was written by SurviveTheWild.net and can be viewed here:
Everyone likes to think they are unique and many people even go to great lengths to show the world just how special and creative they are. You have seen these types of people, maybe you are one yourself. Those who have tattoos all up one side and down the other (no judgement), who have multiple piercings and giant gauges in their ever expanding earlobes. They wear all manner of fashion that seems to be designed purely for shock value and their hair is carefully combed into their eyes.
Now before I get anyone upset, I am not advocating anyone dress any differently. I am a firm believer in the philosophy of if you want to let your freak flag fly, go right ahead. You aren’t bothering me at all. Except maybe the hair thing on guys today… I just want to cut that mop out of your eyes because it would drive me insane…And stop with the hair products maybe…
Seriously, I love variety and if you feel that you are expressing yourself, go right ahead. More power to you! However, in a survival situation there are times when being the only round peg in a room full of squares could be a disadvantage so today I want to talk about conforming.
The importance of the group standard to preppers
Now when I mention conforming, I am not talking about conforming to my version of society, your morals or style of dress or personal hygiene habits. I am talking about the decisions you will make regarding the survival gear and equipment that your larger mutual assistance group is going to use. It is important to formalize a group standard on several major pieces of gear if you want to function cohesively as a unit.
If each person is unique, their own purple flower with magenta ombre highlights, and does their own thing – you aren’t a group at all. You are just a bunch of individuals hanging around together and believe it or not, that could be a drawback. Let’s imagine a SHTF scenario for example. It’s bad, really bad and you are huddled together with your survival group, trying to get by and taking each challenge as it comes.
Choosing standard firearms
One of our posts that has had the most discussion back and forth has been The AK-47 vs AR-15: Which Rifle is Better? I wrote this back in March of 2014 but debates about the best firearm in a SHTF scenario have probably been raging since men were carrying around flintlock pistols. We are unlikely to find consensus as a whole prepper or survivalist movement, but your own survival group needs to come up with one choice and stick with it.
Why can’t I have my AR15 and Bob have his FN SCAR? Why can’t Julie carry her KRISS Vectorwhile Mary rocks the tried and true AK-47?
I can give you a lot of reasons:
Standard firearms behave the same way. Once you learn the mechanics of your AR15, every other AR15 behaves the same way
Magazines: Each of your battle rifles should use the same magazines so that if needed, you can grab a spare one from your buddy, lock and load and keep going. You never want to find out that you are under attack and nobody around you has the same magazine, or that two people do, but they aren’t with you at the moment. Try telling your buddy to just hold them off-while you reload a few more magazines.
Spare Parts and Accessories: Let’s say someone has a rifle that has a part malfunction that renders that rifle inoperative. You could either let that sit on the shelf or you can use the spare parts to fix other rifles that may need it. Yes, you should always have spares but it’s far less trouble to buy three of one thing as opposed to one different part three times. You won’t have to learn how to pull apart three different weapons either although knowing how would be a good skill.
You can also look at accessories the same way. I have at least 3 different sets of scope rings I got for 3 different scopes. If I were to have the same scope as my buddy and mine went bad, if needed, I could simply swap his out with mine. The alternative of strapping that nice Vortex Strike Eagle down with duct tape isn’t a good option.
Operation and features: Standard firearms behave the same way. One you learn the mechanics of your AR15, every other AR15 behaves the same way. Learn how to disassemble one, you know how to disassemble all of them. Have a misfire? You know how to quickly clear one AR…I think you get the point.
Reliability: I will also add this minor factor in there. Assuming you buy comparable quality firearms, the make of your rifle and the reliability will be comparable to the other rifles so your lifespans should work out close to the same period of time assuming proper care and maintenance. I know I had an M-16 from the 70’s when I was in the Army and it worked just fine. I did get some new hand-grips though.
Choosing standard calibers
This one should be in the same category but I wanted to break it out because we could be talking about Shotguns, Rifles and Pistols above with your standard firearms. Your ammo should be the same for all firearms as well. So if you have standardized on Glock for example for your pistol, everyone should have the same caliber. This can be .45 or .40 or .357 or .9mm but everyone should carry the same ammo. Same point as above for magazines. When you run out, someone else’s magazine and the ammo naturally will slide right back into your pistol. Which pistol caliber is the best? That is a different argument and a completely different post.
Choosing standard camouflage
Uh, yep! I think camouflage is very necessary in a survival situation.
Is camouflage necessary? It really depends on what you envision as being possible in your survival group. Do you see this as the end of the world as we know it? Do you imagine hostile refugees coming down your street to demand food or the use of your women? Do you expect to be fighting traitorous UN forces who are marching across town? Do you think you will need to hide? Do you think you will need to hunt?
Having the same outfit can prevent someone from easily sneaking into your perimeter unnoticed. Granted, they could be wearing the same old Woodland Camo fatigues I wore in service and if that is what I chose for my group I would be in trouble. There is a case to be made for selecting something a little more novel like German, Australian or British camo. I prefer the easy options available at any hunting store in the US made by RealTree. They match your local foliage and if you are caught in them, you can easily say you were hunting. No need to look like a paramilitary type and gain unwanted attention if you don’t have to.
Choosing standard communication equipment
Baofeng makes a great, affordable radio for preppers.
I am referring to shortwave radios here. Radio frequencies are the same no matter what equipment you have so why do we have to purchase the same radios? I will give you two reasons. The first is batteries and the second is operation. I have yet to see two HAM radios that were programmed the same way. I know there is software that can make this easier, but to my mind if everyone has the same radio, everyone will know how to use it the same way. Less problems, fewer mistakes. You can choose from a lot of manufacturers and spend a little or a lot of money, but radios should also be the same for your group. My personal choice is Baofeng’s BF F8HP model.
There you have a few of my reasons and rationale for setting a group standard and in these instances at least, not trying to be a purple unicorn with sparkles. I am sure there are those out there who have different opinions so let’s hear them!
Survival Gear: Setting Your Group Standard was written by Pat Henry with Prepper Journal and can be viewed here:
Prepping for a large majority of us involves analyzing the risks we see inherent with situations we could be faced with and taking steps to mitigate those risks. For a lot of risks, the answer is simple. To avoid starving due to a disruption with our food delivery system you can grow your own food, you can plan to increase your storage of long-term foods by canning or purchasing quantities of extra foods, freeze-dried foods or bulk food items like wheat, beans and rice. Other aspects we prepare for involve a similar process but usually the place where we are best prepared is home.
Sure we can plan for bugging out if needed. Our bug out bags extend our abilities to leave our castle in the face of impending doom and move to a safer location. We can outfit bug out vehicles with additional capacity to move overland and carry extra supplies but nothing really replaces a strong, stable location where we have systems in place to help us survive. As well has having all our stuff, we know the land, usually have some relationships with neighbors or friends to further build-out ourpotential survival group. Our home base has incredible advantages that we might not miss unless we are away when some disaster happens and you are forced to make it home with only what you have on you and what you are able to scrounge or scavenge along the way.
I think of this subject at least once per year because I travel on business. My family travels to see relatives or to vacation in some nice place if we are lucky. When either of those things happen and I am hundreds or thousands of miles away from home, I feel less prepared for anything than when I am sitting in my suburban (non)bunker with all of my support systems surrounding me. However, I have learned that just because your man-cave isn’t within arm’s reach and all your weapons and gear aren’t as easily available, you can and should still prepare. There are some lessons I have learned and rules that I try to follow as closely as I can when I travel that could keep me alive and help me make it back home if disaster struck and I was away from my family. Today I want to talk about how to travel like a prepper so that you aren’t left with nothing if faced with disaster.
I have discussed in the past how to pack like you are never coming home. That article captured some of my thoughts around what you should consider if you were traveling with family via car somewhere away from home. Today I will focus more on the scenario of a trip where you are going to be traveling alone perhaps on business and need to plan for getting back home and surviving should some emergency occur.
Do your homework before you travel
Naturally, where you are traveling to, what your reason for traveling is, who you will be with and the method of travel all factor into decisions you have to make before you start throwing the first pair of socks into your suitcase. If I am headed an hour or two away, I would not plan the same way I would for a trip overseas. If I was traveling in my car, I would have different items than if I was traveling by plane.
Here are a few things I think about:
How far away from home will I be?
Is the destination a major urban center or more rural?
How will I get there?
What restrictions if any are there on what I carry or how I dress?
Can I make it home if needed on foot from this destination?
What is the best/safest route?
How long would it take?
The goal is to consider my travel destination within the context of what I am traveling for and take with me items that appropriately could mitigate my situation if some emergency happens. These emergencies can scale from minor travel disruptions to a complete grid-down mess.
What prepper tools can you bring with you on your travels?
Many of us leave the bug out bags and our go to war chest rigs at home when we travel and that makes sense. If you leave town for a business trip, you simply won’t be able, without an inordinate amount of headache, take many of your prepping supplies with you.
There are some staples that I bring with me whenever I go that are multi-use and offer me several advantages that the casual traveler won’t have. Before I get into those, make sure your situational awareness doesn’t take a break when you are out-of-town. Know where the exits are at all times, especially in a strange place. Do you know the route back to the airport? Where are the major freeways? Are you watching the news for current events? Keeping connected to what is going on around you is advantageous too.
EDC items packed in suitcase
Many people who fly these days pack all their luggage in a carry on. This has some advantages but many more drawbacks in my opinion. First, you can’t bring anything on the plane that could be construed as a weapon so that rules out knives and firearms obviously. Yes, I know people will say that you can never lose your luggage if it’s with you in the overhead compartment, but I would rather take my chances with that than to not have some defensive measures with me. Actually co-workers have looked at me strangely when they saw I was carrying a knife on a business trip because the idea is so foreign now. They even said, “How did you get that through security” because the idea of checking luggage is so foreign to them. Oddly enough another co-worker. when they saw I had a knife and a multi-tool said, “I know who I am hanging out with if anything bad happens”. They could see I was thinking ahead.
CamelBak Arete 18 Hydration Pack – Day pack for carrying essential gear plus water bladder
Knife – I bring along my tactical folding knife whenever I travel because the utility and advantages of a knife in a survival situation are too great to ignore. Yes, I assume that there might be some way for me to purchase one at my destination should all hell break loose, but who wants to take that chance?
Multi-Tool – Another force multiplier that goes with me. My Leatherman Wave has 17 tools that I could use if needed during an emergency. Some will say that since you have a knife on your multi-tool you could leave the other knife at home. Yes, you could, but I have a backup.
Headlamp – I have extolled the benefits of a great headlamp many times in the past and you don’t even have to worry about sneaking this past security. Being able to see with the added benefit of hands free is a great advantage in a lot of situations. Need to get out of the hotel at night because of an earthquake? Wouldn’t you want to slap your headlamp on your head before you move out?
Bandana – Cheap multiple use item. The ubiquitous bandanna can offer protection from contaminants in the air, can be used to shield you from sun, as a bandage, a sling and many other tasks limited only by your ingenuity. Carry more than one because they don’t weigh anything or take up space. You can have one in your carry-on luggage.
Source of fire – Pack a couple of Bic lighters and some dryer lint or a few WetFire packages to get a blaze going when you need to.
Firearm – If I am traveling any place that has a reciprocity agreement with my state on concealed carry, I am flying with a firearm. Flying with firearms is perfectly legal and relatively pain-free. I also carry a spare magazine, a holster and at least one box of ammo. If the worst does happen and I am forced to deal with a horrific situation, I want something more than harsh language as self defense.
Bag/Backpack – I won’t pack anything large, but a small bag to carry items is another useful thing if you have to walk. Many travelers already have a backpack that they throw their laptops in. If you have one already you are good. I don’t have a backpack though so I carry the Camebak Arete 18 which does two things for me. First, it is a simple day-pack that can hold a modest amount of gear and supplies. I can throw all of my EDC items in this pack if I need to plus some shelter options and maybe some food and hit the road. Additionally, it has a water reservoir so I can carry water to drink at the same time. You can never have too much water capacity though so I also pack a 48 Ounce Nalgene Wide mouth canteen. This rolls up to about the size of a small deck of cards when I am not using it, but allows me to double my water capacity. I throw in a Sawyer Mini Water Filtertoo. For its size, it is phenomenal and gives me the ability to filter more water than I can probably drink in a couple of years safely.
Watch – My Pathfinder watch is solar-powered and it has a compass so if I get lost, this could help point the way.
Backup power – I also carry a battery backup system. The RAVPower 16750 Battery pack can charge my cell phone 6 times. If you are delayed somewhere or the power is out but cell service is still working, this can keep you talking with family. Also makes long overseas flights better when your devices don’t crap out on you mid-way across. Bonus feature, this has a light on it.
Cash – Always fly with cash because your credit cards or ATM cards may not work where you end up. How much cash should you carry? That depends on what you are comfortable with. I generally tend to bring enough to get me out of minor jams, but not so much I could buy a car. A couple hundred dollars could go a long way.
You could be forced to make it home on foot. Will you have the right supplies to do that?
How will you make it back home if the worst happens?
So the EDC items above give me some advantages. I can cut things, shoot at bad people if they try to harm me, light my way and know where I am going. These tools above can help you anywhere you are, but what if you are forced to try walking home? What can you bring with you to assist you on that journey should you be unfortunate enough to have to make it back to your family.
Consider your clothing
I love sitting in airports and observing the outfits that people fly in. I imagine something tragic like a crash landing on a remote mountainous region and visualize how these people in their flip-flops and short shorts will fare.
For starters I always fly in good laced up shoes just in case I have to make it out over sharp or hot surfaces but I also pack a walking outfit that fits the climate and terrain I will be traveling through if I have to make it back home. This isn’t anything fancy and I am not bringing changes of clothing but I do have some basics.
Long pants – Preferably some that are a little more durable. Hiking pants that convert to shorts would work too and pack down small. Extra pockets give you the ability to carry more and make sure they have loops for a belt.
Long Sleeve Shirt – Yes even in hotter climates I pack a (lightweight) long sleeve shirt. I can roll up the sleeves if needed, but cover up if sun is an issue. Longer sleeves also help with mosquitoes and other insects.
Hat and Sunglasses – Seasonal. For warmer weather Hats offer a break from the sun and you always need to protect your eyes. In colder weather the hat would be a toboggan.
Rain Gear – A jacket at minimum even if there is no rain forecast for where I am staying. A rain jacket also doubles as a wind breaker. Colder locations I would bring other layers and a fleece.
Good walking shoes – These don’t have to be hiking boots but something that you can comfortably walk in all day. For many days potentially.
Know your route home
Sure you might be able to pick up a road atlas at a store before you leave, but know the route you would take back home just in case. One business trip I was on put me on the other side of the country. There were several routes home, but most passed directly through large cities. It may be necessary to avoid these in a really bad collapse.
Discuss plans with family
My family knows that if something happens when I am away that I will be coming back as long as I am alive. Cross country trips on foot could take months so they know it may take some time. If communication is open, then likely the emergency isn’t so wide-spread that civilization has failed.They know where the supplies are and what to do in order to stay safe. Make sure your family knows this too.
The items above only scratch the surface. There are so many other ways to stay safe when you travel that aren’t mentioned here but I find that the items above are the ones that most people leave at home. I could go on and on with other items that are useful, but I thought that this list covers most bases. What do you pack when you travel?
How to Travel Like a Prepper was written by Pat Henry with Prepper Journal and can be viewed here:
“Oh no! Now what? A disruptive event has just occurred in my area and what do I do? I know that I have prepared an emergency kit and can survive for a week or two but what do I do now? I am confused and can’t think. Help me!”
Although this is a fictional scenario, those might likely be the thoughts that run through your mind following an earthquake, hurricane, flood, wildfire or other natural disaster. Those thoughts and worse will jump to the forefront if the disruptive event is a pandemic, nuclear event, or civil unrest where your life may be in danger.
While some may think that the likelihood of such a disaster landing on your doorstep is low, it could happen. That is why you prepare, right?
Given that a disruptive event might occur without warning, what will do you do? Here are some tips and possible solutions to the “OH NO! What do I do now?” dilemma.
Take Stock of the Situation
Tip #1: Are you and your family safe? Can you keep yourselves warm, fed, and out of harm’s way? Remember, being prepared for a disaster is part of your basic responsibility. If you have been caught unprepared, this will be more of a challenge than if you’re able to be completely self-sufficient.
Tip #2: If it appears that you are safe inside your home, determine what the conditions are outdoors. Is it even safe to go outside or should you stay put and shelter in place?
Tip #3: Do you have a way to let family and loved ones outside of your home know that you are safe? What communication systems are functional (telephone, cell phone, texting, internet, shortwave radio)?
Tip #4: Are you facing a true emergency or do you need help immediately? If you are okay and the event is a major disaster, place a sign in your window or on your door that say’s “OK”. If you need medical assistance of other help, put up a sign that says “HELP” or “INJURED”.
Prepare Your “In the Moment” Mindset
Tip #5: Assume that you are going to be on your own for a while. Local services will be overwhelmed and you should only look to them for help in true life or death emergencies. Don’t call 911 to ask for information, report power outages, or to pass on information that is not life or death in nature.
Tip #6: Plan to subsist on stored food, water, and supplies. If the situation is dire, transportation systems and power systems will be only marginally functional if they are functional at all. The shelves of the stores, if they are even open, will be empty within hours.
Tip #7: Disasters bring out the best and the worst in people. Be patient with those who do not respond well, and work hard to ensure that your own response is positive and constructive.
Tip #8: After a disaster or disruptive event, there is a natural tendency to blame someone for the event. Remember, disasters are usually no one’s fault, and are an unavoidable part of simply living in our world. Focus on the things you can control such as helping your community heal, staying positive, and moving forward.
Tip #9: Roll with the punches and make the best of a bad situation. Stay secure in the knowledge that things can only get better.
This article was written by Gaye Levy and the complete article can be viewed here:
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.