Tag Archives: safety

Body Armor for Survivalists - Why it Should Always Be Considered

Body Armor for Survivalists – Why it Should Always Be Considered

Nowadays, body armor is more of a necessity for civilians and survivalists. Anyone looking to be prepared in the event of civil unrest, natural disaster, terrorist attacks or any other unforeseen event understands the need for adequate protective equipment.

Body armor comes in many shapes and types, but you should have a good understanding of what it can and cannot do for. Essentially, no body armor is 100% bulletproof and different levels are only suited against the type of weapons they are tested against. This means that a bullet-resistant vest won’t be effective against knives, needles or other sharp-edged weapons. Conversely, there is a difference in how stab and slash resistant body armor works as well. Combined systems are available, but they are more expensive and cumbersome, so you have to carefully consider if they’re the right choice for you.

How is body armor categorized?

Based on the type of ballistic weapons it can stop, body armor can be classified as soft, semi-rigid and hard. Soft armor is the most commonly used – both by police officers and survivalists to stop handgun rounds. Semi-rigid plates are designed to minimize blunt force trauma while giving additional protection in high-risk scenarios. Hard armor is either ceramic or metal and is designed to stop modern battle carbines such as .223, 7.62 X 39, and .308, making it applicable in war zones and urban riot scenes.

When it comes to a decent array of pistol weapon threats, versatility, and affordability – the best choice is Level IIIa. This armor is considered as standard armor for law enforcement at this time. It offers enhanced protection over level IIa up to a 44mag and it also stops 357 Sig, which is a high-velocity round for a handgun.

What types of body armor are available?

Body armor vests come in two styles: covert and overt. Covert (concealable) body armor is used beneath clothing. For that reason, it is slim and lightweight and designed to end up being undetectable. This kind of body armor is typically made from moisture wicking fabric that will help to keep the person wearing them cool, and are also usually produced in lighter colors than other types of body armor.

Overt body armor is meant to be worn above your clothes, and as a result, it tends to be created from tougher fabrics than covert types of body armor. The idea of overt body armor is to be visible to other people, and for this reason, standard overt body armor covers are usually black, but there are plenty of other colors available. Frequently overt pieces of body armor will include high visibility strips, or be manufactured entirely from high visibility materials, meaning that the wearer stands out.

What to consider when selecting body armor?

Fit affects coverage. Body armor panels and carriers come in many different shapes, sizes, and comfort levels. Getting a proper size is crucial to ensuring your vest will fulfill its protective qualities. If it’s too big – it will be loose and won’t stop weapon projectiles. A carrier that is too tight will put too much strain on the delicate armor, wearing them off quicker.

It may seem like a good idea to immediately upgrade to hard body armor to increase your chances of survival, but don’t be quick to do it. Surviving depends a great deal on moving quickly from point A to point B without drawing attention to yourself. Heavy armor is, well, heavy. It restricts your movement and agility, making you an easy target. Heavy ceramic plates add weight to the carrier and make your protective gear easily visible – something you don’t want in a hostile environment.

Do some research and compare the different options on body armor available online. Make sure you measure correctly and select a vest that fits well, is lightweight and comfortable apart from offering a high level of protection – these are just a few of the ground rules that every survivalist should stick to when shopping for body armor.

Special Thanks to Alex Ashton from SafeGuard Armor for providing this informative article.

Wild Edible Safety Test


If you’ve seen the movie “Into the Wild” than you know just how tragic improper plant identification can be. That poor guy died a horrific slow and painful death due to improper plant identification! Wild edibles are probably the most challenging aspect of survival. Many plants have poisonous look a likes or poisonous parts and edible parts. I have read and explored and still question whether I am identifying a plant correctly. Another common misconception with wild edibles is, it’s safe for human consumption if animals can consume it. NO! That is simply not true. Many animals have a digestive system that is resistant to toxins that could be harmful and/or fatal to humans. The bottom line is- if you are NOT 100% certain of a plants identity and safety-DO NOT EAT IT!!!!!


If you’re in a TRUE survival situation-meaning real life or death- there is what is called “The Universal Edibility Test.” Although this test is suppose to be able to determine a plants safety, I honestly am still somewhat reluctant if I am not 100 percent   certain of a plants identity and uses. But, I guess if I was starving and had no alternative food source, then I would probably choose to use the Universal Edibility Test. This test DOES NOT APPLY TO FUNGI.


How To Perform The Universal Edibility Test

Before doing this test, have a clean water source near by in case you need to wash your skin or flush out your mouth.

1) Avoid consuming anything for approximately 8 hours to ensure accurate results

2) Divide the plant in question into parts. Leaves, stems, flower, root.

3) Smell the parts for any foul, acidic or unusual odor. Sometimes crushing parts will release or strengthen any scent or acidic odors. If it smells odd or acidic, toss it. This is somewhat confusing to me because “what is the criteria for smelling unusual?” A lot of flowers smell pretty, but they are not edible, so I am unclear on how to define “smells unusual” other than smelling acidic.

4) Place a piece of the plant on the inside of your wrist or elbow for approximately 15 minutes and check for any adverse reaction such as a rash or blisters. Be sure not to place the sample on an open cut or scrape.

5) If there was no adverse reaction, move the piece to the outer portion of your lip for 3 to 5 minutes to check for burning or itching

6) If the lip check was good, move the piece to your tongue for approximately 15 minutes, without chewing

7) If that went well, start chewing but do not swallow. Chew and hold the broken down pieces for about 15 minutes

8) If your still showing no signs of adverse reaction then swallow. If you begin to feel ill in ANY way, induce vomiting and drink plenty of water. You should know within approximately 8 hours if it’s safe or not. If it’s safe, be sure to prepare it in the same manor as the test.


Some plants are easier to know to avoid due to certain characteristics they have.

1) Avoid any white or yellow berries. Yes red berries can be bad, however; some red berries are safe, such as those on the Manzanita tree. Manzanita berries are tastiest when purplish red. We have an abundance of Manzanita trees here in Northern California!

2) Avoid any type of bulb

3) Plants with barbed hairs on the leaves and/or stems

4) Any obvious dead or diseased looking plant

5) Three leaved structured plants

6) All plants with a milky white sap EXCEPT the dandelion. All parts of the dandelion are edible and frequently used in salads to brighten them up.The dandelion is also loaded with nutrients and makes a great tea. I have yet to try the dandelion, but I plan on it just to see what it tastes like.

7) Avoid any Almond scented plant. This scent indicates a cyanide compound. Eek!

8) Any fruit with fungus or mildew..obviously you want to avoid that!

9) Avoid plants growing near obviously polluted water


Well there you have it. I would still urge you to be as informed as possible before consuming any plant or berry. Blue and black colored berries are usually safe, however: nightshade has black berries and is deadly. So you can see how complex and dangerous wild edibles can be. Looking at pictures in a book is NOT fool proof. Please do your homework before eating anything in the wild.

Thanks, Dayna


Photo used with permission by M a n u e l