DIY Car Survival Kit


There is a common mistake I see many new preppers make when preparing for disastrous situations. Often times, it’s easy to prep for the more catastrophic situations and overlook the most basic preps of all.

Lots of us are prepared for a fully blown SHTF situation but how many are prepared for basic car problems? In this list I will show you a basic kit you should keep in your car to prepare for a variety of problems.

The kit

Jumper cables – This one should be dead obvious. Perhaps more than anything a set of cables can be used to jump start a dead battery and get you or a friend back on the road. You can also use the cables to help out other stranded drivers on the road.

Pocket Jumper – This has quickly become one of my favorite items in my car survival kit. This device is a bank of batteries you can use to jump a dead battery and charge your USB powered devices. I’ve written a complete review on the Survival Frog Pocket Jumper right here.

Knife / glass breaker – A good multi purpose survival knife should always be kept within arms reach. You can use the knife to slash through seat belts and the opposite end to smash through a window shield. If you flip your a car the knife can help you make it out to safety.

Spare tire – Another obvious one. A dead battery and a flat tire are the two most common reasons for road problems. If you prep for these 2 situations you’ve covered a lot of what might happen on the road. Also be sure you have a tire iron to loosen the lug nuts on the wheel.

Flash light – Nothing too fancy here. Just a flashlight or a headlamp you can use to work on your car if you become stranded at night. A flashlight with a strobing feature can also signal other cars or people around who can offer you assistance.

Water bottles – a pack of water to keep you hydrated. Hydration is especially important if you live or travel through extremely hot climates. You can quickly become dehydrated causing your mind to become cloudy and sub-optimal.

Tool kit – this includes a basic set of tools to make adjustments on your car including a pressure gauge to check the air in your tires.

Paperwork – Registration, insurance, AAA card etc. Basically all the things everybody, even non-preppers, should keep in their vehicle at all times.

Spare clothes – At the bare minimum a change of socks and clean underwear. Pack warm clothes if you live in colder climates. You can change into these if you happen to get wet or something happens to your primary clothing.

Ultra enhanced car survival kit

The above list is a bare bones survival kit everybody should keep in their car. Below is a list of additional items you might consider if you want to go all out with a kit.

First aid kit – a solid first aid kit so you can self treat any minor scrapes and wounds. These could be wounds inflicted on a hike or during an automobile accident.

Fire extinguisher – One of these small ABC fire extinguishers will help you extinguish any fires in or around your car.

Spare cash – Spare cash is always a good thing to have on hand in case of emergencies. If the power goes out businesses will only accept cash. Cash can also be used to barter other items off other stranded folk in the case of fully blown SHTF.

Smart phone charger – A self contained USB battery bank could be your ticket to safety in times of trouble on the road. That is, if your phone has any charge! You can’t rely on your car battery if it’s dead so you’ll need a second item you can use to charge up your devices.

Spare gas tank – You’d be amazed at how many gas stations do not have a spare gas canister you can use to refuel a stranded car. And if they do, many require some kind of collateral to take the damn thing. Not like the old days where people were cool and gas stations actually had stuff to fix your car.

Additional Survival Items

Aside from the equipment specific to helping you with car problems, you can go a step further and include general survival items as well. Here is a list of some common gear options:

  • Fire starter (lighters, matches)
  • Water filter
  • Bug out / duffel bag
  • Sleeping bag / emergency sleeping bag
  • Survival radio
  • Tarp / tent (shelter)
  • Canteen
  • 72 hours of food (non perishable)
  • Spare medicine you need
  • Spare glasses
  • A good book

Final thoughts

And there you have it. Everything you need to put together a fully blown car survival kit. If you think I’ve missed anything, please leave a comment below and I will consider your remarks for the list! Thanks for reading.



WISE Foods Complete Review

A review of Wise Emergency Survival Foods and Products

In this post I go in depth into WISE foods to inform consumers the straight 100% facts about this company. It is my intention to answer all of your burning questions about this company and their emergency food supply products. Questions such as value, taste, and longevity will be discussed and thoroughly analyzed. I hope you enjoy this review.

Who is WISE?

Wise Foods is a company specializing in long term emergency preparedness foods. Their wide selection of foods cater mostly to those prepping for an emergency where access to food is limited or non existent. There are plenty of reasons to invest into long term food storage solutions. Some of these reasons are serious, total system collapse for example. Other reasons include temporary situations where access to food is limited. Wise Foods have been around for years and have quickly risen in the survival food and storage industry.

WISE Foods preparation and quality

wise foods packaging system and quality
The Wise Foods advanced packaging system

The hallmark nature of WISE foods is their use of freeze drying and dehydrating. Freeze dried foods can last for years and still retain their quality. In the case of WISE foods, they guarantee their foods up to 25 years in most cases. Freeze drying is a time tested method of food preservation. This process extracts the water out of the foods which are then dried. The dried foods are then air sealed into Mylar packets. These packets can be preserved for years. The food is then eaten dry or water is added to the food to rehydrate back to original state.

Advanced packaging system – WISE foods implements a ultra-high barrier film for all of its packaging. This hi-tech film is known as Mettalyte – a metalized oriented polypropylene (OPP). The film is formulated to provide complete protection for oxygen and moisture sensitive products with long shelf-life requirements. The material used and the methods used to seal the product provide a strong barrier to entry from oxygen – foods number one spoiler. This results in an extremely long shelf life for your food.

Tasty foods – Nobody wants to eat something everyday that tastes like it came out of a can of fancy feast. WISE foods has some of the best tasting foods out there and has really came a long way. Sure, they don’t taste like a gourmet, fresh, home made meal. But the thing is, nothing will once it has been freeze dried and then rehydrated. As far as taste goes, WISE foods has some super tasty dishes out there. What I would do is grab yourself something like this before you invest into an entire years supply.

Many food options

WISE foods has kits for both the short and long term. 72 hour, 1 week, 1 month, 3 month, 6 month, and 12 month supplies are available. They have a range of tasty meals including dairy and gluten free options.

Here is a list of meal options available in their largest kit:

  • 12 pouches of Cheesy Lasagna (48 total servings)
  • 18 pouches of Creamy Pasta (72 total servings)
  • 12 pouches of Pasta Alfredo (48 total servings)
  • 12 pouches of Chili Mac (48 total servings)
  • 18 pouches of Chicken Noodle Soup (72 total servings)
  • 18 pouches of Savory Stroganoff (72 total servings)
  • 12 pouches of Hearty Tortilla Soup (48 total servings)
  • 12 pouches of Potato Pot Pie (48 total servings)
  • 6 pouch of Teriyaki and Rice (24 total servings)
  • 12 pouches of Baked Potato Casserole (48 total servings)
  • 18 pouches of Tomato Basil Soup (72 total servings)
  • 18 pouches of Southwest Beans and Rice (72 total servings)
  • 12 pouches of Cheesy Macaroni (48 total servings)
  • 15 pouches of Strawberry Granola Crunch (60 Servings)
  • 30 pouches of Brown Sugar and Maple Multi-Grain Cereal (120 Servings)
  • 15 pouches of Crunchy Granola (60 Servings)
  • 30 pouches of Apple Cinnamon Cereal (120 Servings)


Complete product list

WISE has many available kits depending on your needs. Short term and long term kits are available. Here is a complete list of products from their selection of 72 hour – 12 month supplies.

72 hour kits

wise 72 hour survival food kit

  • Wise Company Emergency Survival Freeze Dried Food Favorites Sample – A box of 16 servings made up of 4 of WISE’ customer favorite entrees – Cheesy Lasagna, Creamy Pasta, Savory Stroganoff, and Tomato Basil Soup.

  • 72 hour food and drink supply – Another  72 hour kit similar to the first one I listed but includes drinks and breakfast items. Enjoy a nice combination of chicken noodle soup, creamy pasta, southwest beans and rice, brown sugar and maple multi-grain cereal, Apple cinnamon cereal, and why milk to wash it all down.
  • 72 hour kit for 2 people – This one includes all the classic dishes listed above in addition to a water filtration water bottle and a pouch of fire starters. This is a 72 hour kit for 2 people.
  • 72 hour family kit – All the contents listed above but includes servings for 4 people. Orange delight drink mix included for electrolytes and re hydration. A nice kit for the family.

1 Week Kits

wise 1 week survival food kit

  • Wise 52 servings freeze dried kit – four types of entrees and two types of breakfasts totaling a complete weeks worth of food.
  • Wise 7 day emergency food and drink supply – 36 servings of entrees, 16 servings of breakfasts, and 14 servings of milk. A complete weeks worth of goodies.
  • Wise 7 day food supply with meat – 50 servings of breakfasts, entrees, and drinks for one person. Each dish contains real meat and can be cooked directly in the pouch.

1 Month – 1 year kits

wise 1 year food kit

Wise Foods provides pretty much the same foods you see above in the 1 month to 1 year kits. These kits are massive versions of their basic products and contain up to an entire years worth food. Since freeze dried foods can last up to 25 years, you know what you’re getting is good for the long haul.

My personal review of Wise Foods

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when my first shipment of Wise Foods came in the mail. I ordered a one week kit to get a full spectrum of the breakfasts, entrees, and drinks they had to offer. They come inside of heavy duty buckets. Each food pouch is sealed inside of a Mylar bag to retain the freshness of the foods and to seal the foods from oxygen and moisture.

Everything feels extremely high quality. The bucket is very durable and the Mylar bags are thick and heavy duty.

I had the pleasure of taste testing most of the entrees available. For being freeze dried, they are surprisingly tasty. Don’t get me wrong, they do not have that fresh home cooked taste by any means, but, the food goes down easy. The proportions are also a decent size – not measly by any means. Each serving should go a long ways for filling you and keeping you satisfied until your next meal.

A Wise investment? (no pun intended)

I’ve got to give Wise a big thumbs up and I recommend their products to anybody looking to prepare for disaster. At the end of the day, it’s a MASSIVE time saver buying foods that have already been freeze dried for you. Your only other option is to purchase your own freeze dryer and do this all yourself. Freeze drying machines are very expensive and will set you back thousands of dollars.

Wise foods offer a convenient way to prepare yourself for whatever life throws your way.

You can check out their full line of products on their website or on Amazon.



10 Best Survival Food Kits


Disaster can strike at anytime. Depending on the situation you might not have access to food. Roads could be blocked or maybe the stores have been looted by wild monkeys in the streets. Whatever the case, knowing you have a steady supply of food at hand will give you peace of mind in a state of total chaos. I’ve tested and reviewed many emergency survival food kits on the market.

Below is a list of the kits I’ve found to be fully loaded with great tasting food at a decent price point.

1.) Mountain House “Just in Case” Essential Bucket


For a drop dead basic survival kit, you can’t go wrong with this bucket from Mountain House Foods. They’ve been in the backpacking industry for years, providing high quality foods you can take with you camping. This kit is an extension of these great tasting meals. The bucket contains 32 Servings; 4 pouches each of Mountain House Rice & Chicken, Chili Mac with Beef, and Spaghetti with Meat Sauce.

A single person could eat modestly for a month or 2 people could eat for 2 weeks. Grab a few of these bad boys and save them for a rainy day. They have a 30 year taste guarantee so don’t worry about them going bad anytime soon!

2.) Wise Company Large Serving Package Buckets


WISE company is another heavy hitter in the emergency food supply industry. They’ve been around the block and have many emergency food kits available. You can select either a 40 pound (2 buckets) or 62 pound (3 buckets) supply. They have the foods split up into breakfast and dinner items. Each sealed Mylar pouch in the 40lb option contains 4 servings of the following foods: Savory Stroganoff (12 Servings) – Three Cheese Macaroni (12 Servings) – Pasta Alfredo (12 Servings) – Creamy Pasta and Vegetable Rotini (12 Servings) – Teriyaki and Rice (12 Servings) – Cheesy Lasagna (12 Servings) – Creamy Ala King and Rice (12 Servings) – Chili Macaroni (12 Servings) – Tomato Basil Soup (12 Servings) – Hearty Tortilla Soup (12 Servings) – Apple Cinnamon Cereal (40 Servings) – Brown Sugar and Maple Multi-Grain Cereal (40 Servings) – Crunchy Granola (40 Servings)

Great tasting stuff. Perfect for emergencies.

3.) Patriot Pantry Emergency Food Supply


One thing you’ll notice about Patriot Pantry is all their foods taste home made. While the other foods on this list are definitely tasty, they don’t come close to Patriot Pantry quality. This particular kit is a 3 month survival package for a single adult. It’s a well thought kit too including desserts, snacks, and drinks. While it’s technically for a single person, you can do the math to figure out how many could survive and for how long.

4.) Augason Farms Freeze Dried Fruits and Veggies


I know preppers tend to be more “meat and potatos” types so I included a healthy option for the more health conscious among you. Augason farms is another reputable emergency food supply brand and well known in the industry. This kit contains 522 servings of a variety of tasty freeze dried fruits and veggies. You can eat them dry or rehydrate to bring back a fresh taste. This is also a great way to supplement the other kits on this list.

5.) Long Term Freeze Dried Supply (Large Entrees)


This is for the man who can eat. If most “serving sizes” don’t satisfy your large and growing appetite, the serving sizes in this one will. Each serving is massive and will keep your stomach nice and happy. All you need is hot water to have yourself a feast. Eat up! This stuff tastes great by the way.

6.) WISE 240 Serving Milk Bucket


A life without milk? No thank you. This kit contains 240 servings of whey milk. Add a cup of water to each packet for a tasty drink that almost tastes like the real thing!

7.) Mountain House 14 Day Emergency Supply


Another solid survival food kit from Mountain house. Here we have a 14 day supply for a single person. The kit contains all the famous foods you’re used to seeing from the brand.

8.) 52 Serving WISE Prepper Pack


For the ultimate prepper who demands only the best in emergency food supplies. This kit contains a tasty assortment of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and even drinks! All of the best foods are here including Chili Mac, Stroganoff, the famous Creamy Pasta and Vegetable Rotini. Drinks include a high powered electrolyte mix (orange flavored) and whey milk. All meals are freeze dried or dehydrated. Tasty stuff indeed.

9.) WISE Grab and Go Entrees


This kit contains entree only versions of WISE’ famous and classic dishes. Each serving is packaged in its very own container and cooks right there in the bag. Simple add hot water and you’re good to go.

10.) WISE 4320 Serving Ultimate Package


I had to include this one as a totally insane option only for those SERIOUS about long term  survival. This is the highest price option the list and for a good reason. There’s enough food to sustain 4 adults an entire year. Or if it’s just you, an entire 4 years! Buy this supply kit and you’ll never have to worry about food preps for a very long time.




4 Things To Build a Jungle Survival Kit

Taking off to the jungle eh? Many men have tromped off into the jungle in search of riches and new discoveries. Many men have also died because they weren’t prepared for the brutality of the jungle. They did not have the right gear. Don’t make that mistake and whatever you do, don’t forget to pack these 4 items in your survival kit.

**Note from the editor**

This post only includes survival gear specifically designed for the jungle. This is gear you might not need in other survival situations. It assumes you have a basic understanding of survival gear. Obviously, this isn’t a complete survival kit. Be sure to include all the other essential items that any decent survival kit needs.



In the jungle you need much more than a knife. You’re gonna be doing some heavy bushwacking to get where you need to go. The thick brush of the jungle requires you to do serious hacking and slashing. The right machete will become your closest companion in the deep of the jungle. Not only will a machete trailblaze through the thick, it will also protect you against anacondas and other creatures of the thick.

The machete of choice? The CRKT machete. Comfortable grip with insane chopping power. Chops straight through vines, brush, bushes, and even small trees.

Jungle boots


Jungle boots are a special kind of footwear made specifically for the brutal conditions of jungle life. A jungle boot is designed to allow proper ventilation of sweat while keeping all the other crap out and away from your feet. They keep your feet cool while keeping them protected from dirt, sand, and all those venomous bugs and snakes you’re gonna come across. Another staple of the jungle boot is proper drainage for those inevitable plunges into dubious pools of water. This pair from Amazon has long been the standard for men in the jungle.

Mosquito net


If the thought if being crushed to death by a giant anaconda doesn’t drive you crazy then the billions of mosquitoes buzzing around you will. There is no escaping the bugs in the jungle. There is no escaping their maddening pursuit of blood. Your only option is 360 degree coverage via mosquito net. The mosquito net will keep you sheltered from mosquitoes and any other flying creatures of the thick.

Water purification method


The water you come across in the jungle will no doubt be racked with bacteria and dangerous pathogens. The best method of purifying this water is to boil it but water purification tablets do the trick as well. Another way to purify water is with a filter. Filtering your water becomes crucial if it is muddy. The Sawyer water filter can filter up to 100,000 gallons of water, and it’s relatively inexpensive. To be ultra safe you can filter the water and then boil it. Choose at least one method of water purification and include the right gear in your kit.

Final thoughts

Be safe out there and use common sense survival practices. Don’t forget the jungle is a very dangerous place if you don’t know what you’re doing. Having the right gear is only 10 percent of survival. The rest is using common sense and leveraging your survival skills. Take care.

Making a Long Term Survival Kit


Have you been thinking about how crazy and out of control the world has been getting lately? Even in the first world we are seeing fully blown SHTF situations like never before. While a 72 hour bug out bag will get you through most situations, what if you want to prepare for the long term? What if you want to build a kit that can sustain you for the long haul? In this post I show you exactly what you need to build a long term survival kit for fully blown bug out and never come back situations.

Crucial considerations

If you’re building a kit for the long haul there are a number of gear considerations. First, you want to go for high quality stuff. The gear you buy has to last, unless you think you’ll still be able to place orders on Amazon during the apocalypse.

Cheaping out on gear is not an option for this particular kit. However, that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money. Lots of gear on this list is cheap especially when ordered online.

You also want to include gear to maintain the gear you have. If something breaks you should have tools to repair what has broken. Along similar lines, gear with multiple uses should be favored over gear with only a single use. This allows for not only redundancy but a lighter pack due to choosing tools that are multi-use.

Long term survival kit checklist

Knife – Let’s start off with the most important piece of gear in your kit. A knife proves time and time again to be the one item you don’t want to leave behind. With a knife you can cut cordage, baton wood for your fire, defend yourself, smash through glass, dig, and a host of other survival tasks. There are a number of survival knives out there. My personal favorite? The ESEE-5 hands down. The ESEE-5 was designed for downed pilots who needed to RAMBO their way to safety in enemy territory. Check out my full review of the ESEE-5.

The ESEE 5 survival knife
The ESEE 5 survival knife


Bushcraft hatchet – A hatchet or compact axe will serve you well in the deep bush. If bugging out means starting over, a bushcraft hatchet will make wood processing a lot easier. A bushcraft hatchet is small enough to fit inside your bug out bag but large enough to do serious work once you’re ready. The bushcraft hatchet of choice? The Fiskars X7 hatchet of course…

It’s not what you expect a bushcraft hatchet to look like. It has a modern look and doesn’t give off a very “rustic” vibe. It’s a good thing long term survival is not a rustic fashion show because this hatchet might lose. However, when it comes to raw chopping power, this hatchet over delivers and outperforms many other “manly” looking axes. It’s a well balanced hatchet with a wicked sharp edge.

Cooking kit – you can get by for a few days without a cooking kit. But on day 5, you’re gonna be kicking yourself in the ass for not packing something decent to cook with. Long term bug outs do not have to be uncomfortable. Anything you can pack that will restore a sense of normalcy to the situation is a plus. Food is one of those primitive things that brings us back to our center. You can’t make rabbit stew without a pot!

A camping mess kit fits the bill.

It’s a basic kit with all the essentials you need to get the job done. You won’t exactly be making dinner for a whole family but if you’re flying solo it does the trick. Remember, all this gear is going in your bug out pack so you’ve got to think about compact yet effective gear.

Hunting rifle – Now we’re getting to the good stuff. This wouldn’t be a complete list of long term survival gear unless it included a hunting rifle. If the shit truly hits the fan where will you get your food? How will you defend yourself? Every store will be completely looted within days and you’ll have to rely on your hunting prowess to get by.

Many hardcore survivalists recommend the AR-15 as the best all around rifle in a fully blown SHTF situation – and I’ve got to agree. Especially if you have to smash your way through a major city amidst complete chaos, a .22 just isn’t going to cut it. The AR-15 can be modified in a number of configurations and ammo is plentiful. When you run out of ammo or something breaks, you have the best chance of finding parts and ammo that work with this rifle.

The semi-auto nature of the AR lends itself well to a fully blown survival situation.

Boots – Clothing and boots are one of those things people rarely think about when making a survival kit. Boots are in fact one of the most important pieces of gear on your body. I can personally attest to a pair of Vasque GTX boots. Especially if you have a narrow foot and skinny ankles, these books are great at providing strong ankle support, super grippy treading, and keeping your feet dry with a Goretex lining.


I could flesh out this list with a laundry list of expensive gear but if we’re talking long term, you better know to secure the things you need from natural materials. Nobody was born with this knowledge. The modern age has all but removed primitive skills from society. We get our food from the grocery store instead of hunting. Our water comes out of a magical faucet.

The thing is, at one time we knew how to do all of this. Relearn these lost skills by reading up on how humans used to get by.

The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook


This is the book to read if you want to learn how to heal the body with plants. Plants offer humans a wide range of medicinal benefits. This book helps you identify what plants can be used medicinally to heal all kinds of physical illnesses. When you can’t call up the doctor, who will you turn to?

A Guide to Canning, Freezing, Curing & Smoking Meat, Fish & Game


Let’s say you nab your self a fine looking deer. The meat will spoil if you don’t preserve it in some way. Do you want all of that protein to go to waste? Preserving food is a skill you must learn in a long term survival situation – especially if the grid is down and you don’t have a means of refrigeration.

SAS Survival Handbook


Yes, you’ve probably seen this book mentioned before. It’s widely considered one of the best survival books out there and for good reasons – it covers every possible survival situation you could imagine across many different climates and environments.

Final Thoughts

Long term survival is 10% gear and 90% skills. If I were you I would begin practicing for survival by familiarizing yourself with fire making, water purification, plant identification, and definitely read up on the books I listed. In a few months you’ll have a well rounded understanding of what it takes to survive.

Thanks for reading!

10 Things To Pack In Your Hiking Survival Kit


Going on a hike and want to make sure you have the proper gear just in case something happens? Even day hikes present a potential for dangerous circumstances. You hear stories all the time about hikers getting lost, running out of water, sustaining injuries, and other frightening circumstances. Before you head out, consider throwing some of the following gear into your backpack.

1.) A map of the hike

Most popular hiking destinations have maps you can take of the various trails. While most times they do not provide a true topographical view of the area, they can give you a rough idea about where you are. Some trails go on for a while and intersect many other trails along the way. It’s easy to get lost especially if you don’t have a map that outlines the trail names. A big part of survival is not putting yourself in a survival situation in the first place. Prepare yourself and always check for a map at the station.

2.) Water filter

The Sawyer water filter is the standard for filtering dubious water sources


A water filter is an essential part of any hiking survival kit. Practically, carrying a water filter allows you to filter water as you need it rather than lugging an entire supply. It’s also very easy to underestimate how much water you need. Not bringing enough water is one of the more common hiking problems you can solve by carrying a water filter. Two popular filters are the Lifestraw and the Sawyer water filter. Both are lightweight and won’t take up too much space in your pack.

3.) Good boots

My pair of GTX’s from Vasque


Nobodies idea of a good time is spraining an ankle 5 miles in to a hike. Sprained ankles are extremely common but can be remedied by simply wearing a good pair of hiking boots. The boots you purchase should be mid-level boots with strong ankle support. Make sure they lace up tight around the ankles and that they have good tread. Personally, I have skinny ankles and a narrow foot so most boots do not fit the way I like. I finally found a pair from Vasque that do. The St Elias GTX supports a narrow foot and smaller ankles. That’s a big win for skinny guys like me.

4.) Sunscreen

On some trails the sun can be downright brutal. It’s a given that you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the sun. It’s a good idea to protect your skin from burning with a bit of sunscreen. You don’t need to bring the whole bottle with you though. You can apply a layer at your car before you leave and then carry something smaller in your pack. I carry this in my hiking survival kit. It’s only slightly larger than a thing of Chapstick.

5.) Snacks

Pack a days worth of snacks for snacking on the trail. I enjoy Clif Bars and dried nuts and fruit. Basically you can bring anything you feel is worth the weight and won’t spoil before you eat it.

6.) Light jacket

A hot day can turn cold when the sun starts to go down. Especially when you aren’t hiking, things can get chilly. Carry a light windbreaker or jacket for the hike back to the car.

7.) Water canteen

Something to store your water. I prefer a stainless steel thermos because of the capability to boil water if I need to. Boiling water is a slow but effective method to purify a dubious water source. Alternatively, you can use the canteen to store any water you filter with your water filter. A water filter and a BPA free canteen make for a powerful combination. Using the map you picked up at the station you can identify bodies of water near the trails. Can you see how all of these things work together?

8.) Headlamp

This headlamp from PETZYL is a popular one in the hiking community for its cheap price, long battery life, and illumination.


If you get caught walking back a little later than you thought a headlamp will come in mighty handy. A headlamp has a number of advantages over a flashlight. One, a headlamp is much lighter than a flashlight. Lightness of gear is essential for putting together a hiking pack. Two, a headlamp frees up your hands to do other things. Free hands gives you increased balance on the trail and allows you to use both hands to find gear in your pack you may need.

9.) Hiking socks

Anything but cotton. Wool is a good choice as is many of the synthetic materials out there. Cotton socks absorb more moisture than other materials and creates a breeding ground for blisters on your feet. Remember, you are only one blister away from turning a pleasant hike into a rather annoying experience!

10.) Knife

The popular Morakniv survival knife. Perhaps overkill for a day hike though.


A survival kit wouldn’t be a real survival kit unless it contained a knife. A knife can be used for many tasks including processing firewood, cutting cordage, digging out splinters, defending yourself against mountain lions, and a host of other useful things. Knives come in two varieties: folding and fixed. For a day hike you can probably get away with taking a folding knife. Fixed knives are generally stronger and more reliable because they don’t have a single point of failure (the part that folds on a folding knife.) However, there are many folders that are worthy of your survival kit.

Other hiking survival kit thoughts

Apart from the gear you should bring on a hike you should definitely take some precautions before you hit the trail. Make sure your phone has a full charge before you start tromping off into the wilderness. Put the phone on airplane mode in case you hit patches with no service, roaming drains the battery faster than anything. Before you leave, make sure people know where you are going. Tell a close friend or family member about where you are going and be as specific as possible.

Tell them what time to expect you back and then call them once you get back to your car so they know you’re safe. If you go missing they can call for help and give search and rescue an accurate location of where you are.

Did I miss anything? let me  know in the comments below.





Budget Survival Kit V1.0


Looking for a budget friendly way to build a survival kit? Procuring all of the essential survival gear does not have to be expensive. In fact, you can get all the basic stuff for well under $100 dollars. A lot of the important stuff you need is really inexpensive and will serve you well in a full blown survival situation. Although the tactical backpack is most expensive, most people have something laying around they can use. It is a good idea to keep all this gear in a backpack in case you need to bug out.

Let’s crack straight into the budget survival kit.

Paracord – This stuff is cheap and extremely useful. What can you use paracord for? I can go on for days about the practical uses of a good length of paracord. Rig up a shelter, tie off a load, make shift handcuffs, dragging loads up steep hills etc. If you need any further convincing I suggest watching the movie Boondock saints. They answer the question quite nicely.

Black trash bags – Speaking of budget, I know of nothing cheaper yet more useful than the trash bag. They are the unsung heros of the city. They are waterproof parkas, collectors of water, body bags, insulators, and much more. Not to mention they are the lightest thing in your pack. You can load your pack down with hundreds of them and barely feel the weight. You probably already have some in your garage.

BIC lighters – what are these, like .50 cents at the liquor store? You can buy a whole box of them and still have plenty of funds left over. Use these to start a fire in the coldest conditions. On the highest mountain top you can rest soundly, knowing you have a roaring fire ablaze to keep you warm.

Ferrocerium rod – cheap and effective. It’s a backup to your BIC lighters. The thing about ferro rods is they strike even when wet. If your matches or lighter gets wet you are hosed (no pun intended.)

Budget survival knife – This will be the most expensive part of the budget survival kit but the knife cannot be overlooked. It’s the most important piece of equipment you own. If you don’t have a knife you don’t have a survival kit. Take a look at my review of the Bear Grylls survival knife. It’s actually a solid knife despite his reputation as only being an entertainer. And as a bonus, it comes with a ferrocerium rod. Kill two birds with one stone.

Water container – preferably stainless steel. If you come across any dubious water sources you can boil the water so it’s drinkable.

3 days of food – 3 days worth of food and water. Water is extremely cheap. For food you can pick up some bulk dried nuts and fruit. Clif bars are good and so are candy bars. Think about foods that won’t perish and pack in lots of nutritional value.

Alcohol wipes – you can use these to clean wounds and they double as a powerful fire starter. The alcohol burns long enough for you to get a fire started with relative ease. Especially in wet weather conditions, these can be life savers.

Water filter – Another essential piece of gear you can’t afford to leave out. Water filters like the Sawyer water filter can easily and rapidly filter out bacteria found in dubious water sources.

Extra socks – when the cheese foot sets in you’re going to want a dry pair of socks. There is something about a change of socks that boosts morale and gives you that last little boost of motivation. Do not go balls deep into a fully blown SHTF situation without an extra pair of socks. Your feet will thank me later.

Backpack – All this gear has to go into something right? Sure, you can use that Jansport bag you’ve had since freshman year of highschool but I don’t recommend it. Those straps and zippers will bust at a moments notice. They simply aren’t made to handle the load of a full blown survival kit. While most of the items on this budget survival kit are light, if you add more gear in the future you will run into problems with a standard school bag. I have made a list of the best tactical backpacks for your reading leisure. Take a look at the list. There are some budget friendly bags towards the bottom that are actually quite nice, yet very reliable.

The Grand total

So without the backpack the grand total for this budget survival kit comes to $85.29. Considering many survival kits you see online are upwards of $500 and more, this is a very solid kit at a budget price. If you don’t have the money for everything just buy single items until you have gathered all the gear you need.

With a little time, you will have a bug out bag that rivals even the best. You can then rest soundly at night knowing you are prepared or the worst.

What do you think of this survival kit? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below.








Ultimate Bug Out Bag Checklist


Increasingly unstable times calls for extraordinary preparation – or at least a proper bug out bag. We have assembled the ultimate bug out bag checklist along with some seasoned advice so you can prepare yourself for anything that blasts through – because you never know when they’re going to drop the nuke. When I say ultimate I mean ultimate. There’s a lot of gear on this checklist you don’t need depending on variables like location, your skills, and your unique bug out situation. Let’s crack into it.

What is a bug out bag?

A bug out bag is a special backpack filled with short term supplies to help you get to your bug out location. The supplies you carry will aid in your survival and see you through tough times in the short term. At the bare minimum it will have 72 hours worth of food and water. It is not designed for an extended stay in the wilderness and shouldn’t be seen as a long term survival solution. Your bug out bag only needs to get you to your bug out location or see you through a rough situation until normalcy is restored. Additionally, your bug out bag will have tools to secure or improvise resources for longer periods of time.

Reality check


When most people think of “bugging out” they have a romantic notion of escaping into the woods and living off the fat of the land. They assume that impending doom and “full system meltdown” is right on the horizon. This is very unlikely. It’s much likelier that you get caught in a snowstorm or you lose power for a couple days. Maybe your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere with zero cell reception. Many of these scenarios require you to bug out and seek resources. Having a bug out bag with the resources you need is crucial to making it out through these situations.

Crucial considerations

Your plan – What is your plan if TSHTF? Where will you bug out? How far is your bug out location from home/work? Will you walk? Like Denzel Washington in the book of eli, your actions need a purpose and a plan. Your plan will govern what you pack in your bug out bag.

Your physical strength – Your bug out gear will be carried on your back. Most people drastically underestimate their own physical strength and stamina. The weight of your bug out bag needs to be taken into consideration, along with your own willingness to lug said weight. Your bug out bag is no good if you crumble under the load. Consider that you might have to walk a considerable distance to safety and ask yourself – will you be able to carry all of that gear? Next weekend go out on a camping trip with your friends. Take whatever you think you’ll need for the trip. If your experience is like most new backpackers, you probably packed way more gear than you actually needed. You will inevitably find yourself ditching the heavier stuff in favor of lighter alternatives. This is the spirit of the lightweight backpacker. In fact, your pack for a backpacking trip is essentially a bug out bag!

Your resourcefulness – The more resourceful you are the less gear you need to survive. This comes down to raw survival skills. Knowing how to use your gear is crucial. Knowing your environment is just as important. If you know where to find clean water then you don’t have to carry as much. If you know how to make shelter with a couple garbage bags and a bit of paracord then you don’t need a tent. Packing a bug out bag is like packing for a backpacking trip. Assess your skills and pack accordingly.

Best bug out pack?

The genesis of any B.O.B. is the humble backpack of course. You have many options available to you. Packs can be broken down into military or civilian types. Read this post for a detailed analysis for the pros and cons of each. In short, military packs are bombproof compared to their civilian type counterparts. They can be picked up for cheap at any military surplus store. Civilian packs, on the other hand, are lighter and offer a range of design options and versatility. Some of them even rival the durability of military packs. Civilian packs are more expensive due to the commercialization of the hiking industry.

At the end of the day, a bug out bag only needs to meet 2 requirements.

1.) It must hold all of your gear

2.) It must not fall apart on the road

Stay away from bags with cheap zippers and material that feels like it could tear apart at any second. A popular option is the Rush 5.11 72 hour bag. It’s a best of both worlds choice – the durability of a military pack with the versatility of a civilian pack.

Ultimate bug out bag checklist

Let’s get into the gear. The first section will cover the 4 core components of any effective B.O.B. – fire, shelter, food, and water. This is the gear you need at the bare minimum. The second section will cover secondary make-life-easier items.

Fire – fire is a necessity in a survival situation. If you’re trapped outdoors a fire will keep your body at an ideal temperature for survival. Fire also cooks your food, provides a moral boost, and serves as an effective way to signal. Keep at least 2 methods of making fire in your bug out bag for redundancy.

Shelter – exposure to extreme elemental conditions will kill you faster than anything else.

Food –  72 hours worth of food. Here are some ideas, and remember, survival is not a culinary experience. Pack foods that are high carb, high fat. The foods that deliver your body the most bang for the weight. Also, non perishable!

  • Dried nuts/fruit
  • Clif bars
  • protein powder
  • Tuna packets
  • Snickers
  • etc

Water – 72 hours worth of water. There is no exact science on how much this is exactly. Everybody is wired differently and the amount of water you need depends on a number of variables like how much you sweat, what you eat, etc. My advice is to bring as much as you can carry. Scout your bug out route ahead of time and identify locations where you can get fresh water. This will reduce the amount of water you need to carry in your B.O.B. Packing a water filter is another way to reduce your in-pack water supply. You can filter water from local ponds, lakes, rivers and other potentially dubious sources. Read my guide to purifying water.

Upgraded B.O.B

The above is a skeleton version of any decent B.O.B. It’s lightweight and has everything you need to survive for 72 hours. But what if you want to make life a little more cushy? There are lots of gear options that will make life easier if you’re willing to bare the load. Here is a complete list of items you should consider.

Knife – I almost included this in the skeleton list because of it’s raw practicality. A knife is a truly versatile piece of gear and some argue it’s the most important gear in your pack. You can’t go wrong with the Kabar Bk2. Required reading: How to choose a survival knife.

Flashlight – Ever been camping without a flashlight? Life becomes very dark and difficult. I recommend a headlamp to free up your hands to work around camp.  If you have the extra cheddar the Fenix PD-35 is an amazing tactical flashlight and doubles as a self defense weapon.

Hygiene – Alcohol wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste, tampons, hand sanitizer, toilet paper – you know the drill. Anything you use on a regular basis to keep clean and hygenic.

Upgraded sleep system – Tarp and paracord not your thing? Don’t let me keep you from your creature comforts. Just make sure your tent has a waterproof bottom and a good rain fly.

Duct tape – A million and one uses. Repair ripped shelters, tape trash bags together for make-shift shelter, compression wrap for wounds, heal and protect blisters, fly trap, DIY handcuffs etc. Don’t bring the whole role though – wrap a few rounds of it over a pencil or your BIC lighter.

Plastic spork – Use the spork to eat any food you come across.

Multi-Tool – A good Leatherman multi-tool is a versatile piece of equipment. The built in tools can be used in many scenarios: Cutting up cardboard for shelter, opening food canisters, removing secured items, cutting cordage, etc. Don’t leave home without one boys.

Sillcock key – Ever seen a water faucet with no handle to turn it on? These water sources are on every commercial building and accessed with a tool called a sillcock key. Even if the power was offline there’s a good chance there is enough pressure left to fill your water bottle. On large buildings these sources could amount to hundreds of gallons of water. This tool is easily acquired at any hardware store.

Water Bottle – A good water bottle will store any water you come across in the city. Using the sillcock key above you can easily keep your bottle filled for a good while. Opt for the stainless steel varieties to boil water in a fire. Stainless steel containers will add extra weight to your pack but are more versatile than a plastic bottle.

Gloves – You want to protect your hands from all the sharp edges and glass you will be handling. A good set of gloves will give you a better grip if you need to climb structures and prevent cuts and scrapes. Your hands are too important not to protect. Pick up a pair at your local Home Depot or hardware store to get ones with a good fit.

Garbage Bags – Industrial strength garbage bags are versatile pieces of gear. They are waterproof so you can use them as a make-shift rain coat. Garbage bags can be laid flat to create a dry sleeping system and durable enough to collect and hold water.

Pepper spray – If you aren’t trained to take down an assailant with your bare hands then pepper spray is a great tool to include in your bug out bag. In desperate situations you can’t rely on people being civil. A face-full of pepper spray will stop an attacker right in their tracks.

Dust mask – Put on the dust mask if you’re going to be exploring abandoned buildings for shelter. The dust mask will help protect your lungs from inhaling harmful particles. This becomes more important if you’re surrounded by collapsed structures or buildings that have recently been destroyed. They are also useful in the event of an influenza outbreak. The dust mask is a very light piece of gear and extremely affordable.

Shemagh – a classic trick to stay warm at night is to keep your head and neck covered. A shemagh is a multi purpose article of clothing that has a number of practical uses. Besides, who doesn’t want to look like a ninja while they’re bugging out?

Water purification – Having a way to purify water will reduce the amount you need to carry in your pack. I’ve written a complete guide to purifying water here. Water filters like the Life Straw are extremely cheap and lightweight. Throw one in your bug out bag and call it a day.

Battery bank – Useful to recharge your phone and other electronic devices. Survival might depend on your ability to make a single phone call. SHTF situations do not take your smartphones battery life into consideration before striking.



The clothes on your back are just as important as the gear on your back. They are your first line of defense against the elements. Here are a few tips to pack the right clothing for your bug out bag.

No cotton – Cotton retains moisture and sticks to your skin. This creates prime conditions for hypothermia. Your clothing should keep you dry and wick away moisture. Even in the cold your body will sweat – especially when you’re tromping around with a bug out bag. It’s crucial to stay dry. Opt for wool clothing like smart wool or a polyester fabric.

Layered system – dressing in a layered style makes you highly adaptable to changing environments and body temperatures. You can easily remove layers or add them depending on the situation. Remember, the key is to stay dry and keep the body at a healthy temperature. A common layering system involves 3 layers:

  • The base layer is the layer next to your skin. This layer should be made of a wool or polyester (synthetic) fabric and wick away moisture.
  • The insulation layer is a warming layer – typical fabrics include wool, fleece, or down goose feathers. These types of fabrics trap heat close to the body.
  • The shell layer is your protection from the elements. This can as complicated as a $400 dollar jacket or as simple as a trash bag. This layer serves to protect you from the rain, sleet, and snow.


Protect your feet at all costs. Regular shoes degrade quickly and don’t support your feet very well. I’m partial to a good pair of waterproof hiking boots. Material like Goretex is waterproof and breathable. A mid size hiking boot will also support your ankles. Generally, a good boot will last you years. I’ve worn a pair of these everyday for over a year and they’ve held up like a tank.

Final thoughts

Not many people have the money to go out and buy an ultimate bug out bag. I recommend you start small. Put together the skeleton version of this bug out bag first and then slowly expand it. Once you have the gear you need, take it for a test run. Get out of dodge for a night and hike to someplace local where you can experiment with your gear. While this won’t simulate a real SHTF scenario it will allow you to familiarize yourself with all your gear and test your physical stamina. You will quickly get an idea for what pieces of gear you do and don’t need. The bug out bag is always a work in progress. Have fun with the process but be serious when it comes time to BUG OUT.

Have any additions you would make to this list? Leave your comments and criticisms below. Thanks for reading and be sure to subscribe to the email newsletter.








Must Have Equipment For Urban Surival


What are you going to do if SHTF and you live in the city? If you don’t have the right equipment you’re going to be in for a hard time. Surviving in an urban environment requires that you have a bug out bag filled with all the essentials.

Here a few absolute necessities:

Backpack – You’re going to need to shove all your gear in a backpack. I’ve previously thought that the style of backpack you bring was important but now I really don’t think it matters that much. Just make sure you can carry the thing. It also has to be super durable. You don’t want it breaking on you half way through your bug out.

Knife – Yes, the knife still remains at the top of the list. The knife is an extremely versatile piece of equipment and I guarantee, you won’t want to bug out without one. The knife can be used for self defense purposes along with a host of other survival tasks. The knife just might be the single most important piece of equipment you have.

Cellphone – Short of a nuclear bomb going off there is a good chance the cell towers will still be functioning. It’s much easier to phone a friend to come save your ass then it is to Rambo your way through a disaster site. You’ll also want to call your family to make sure they are okay or to arrange to meet at a bug out location. It would also make sense to stock a portable battery charger so you can charge up if your phone happens to be dead.

Trash bags – You might be laughing but trash bags are another versatile piece of urban survival gear. They can be used to rig a temporary shelter, a poncho, or a rain water collector. Stuff them with leaves to create an insulated sleeping pad. Believe me, the ground will sap the warmth right out of you if you sleep directly on it.

Lighter – Basic firestarter. Fire is an obvious aspect of survival and making one in the city is no different than making one in the wild. You need some form of firestarter, some tinder and some good ol fashion night logs.

Food and Water – Bring 72 hours worth of food and water. Do you really want to start eating street pigeons right out of the gate?

Flashlight – If the power gets cut and it’s dark, you’re going to have a hard time getting to safety. If you’ve lived in the city for a while perhaps you have forgotten how dark it gets at night when there arent any lights.

Proper clothing – Get some solid clothing that makes sense to have in a bug out situation. This usually means layers. Tactical hikers pants with zip offs are good options. Good shoes. Good socks. I like merino wool as a base layer and some kind of water resistant jacket. This really depends on your location. You will have to dress warmer in colder climates.

Bear Mace – No, not for bears. If you don’t know how to defend yourself the traditional fist to face way then your going to need an alternative. I guarantee that whoever trys messing with you will back off right quick when they get maced right in their face.

Gloves – Protect your hands from broken glass and whatever else you encounter in the city.

A Plan – The most important piece of equipment but the most overlooked.. Where the hell are you going to go if disaster strikes Start preparing now. If SHTF right now would you know what to do? Having a plan is the only way to ensure that you get to safety. This means knowing how to contact loved ones and having a plan of where to meet up.

Good luck with your kit.


How To Make A Martial Law Survival Kit


Martial law is the official suspension of the constitution. It is the transfer of power from the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government to the jackbooted boys of the U.S. Military. Martial law is imposed in times where civil unrest, natural disasters, or war has reached a boiling point that local law enforcement officials can’t or refuse to deal with. Having a martial law survival kit is essential for keeping you and your family safe.

This guy gives a good generalized intro to what can be expected:


The Martial Law Survival Kit Checklist

Ideally you will avoid or bug out of any location where martial law is the new order. Civil unrest can threaten your life and liberty as easily as the presence of a military force with zero interest in your basic rights. You will see humans acting like animals. You will see the transformation of man to beast as local populations panic and scurry for resources. Violence will surround you at every turn. Here are a few items that will help you prepare to get out of dodge.

Backpack – You will need a bag to store all of your supplies. Duffle bugs should be avoided because you want to stay as mobile as possible. Your backpack should not draw attention to you. In martial law scenario you don’t want to look like a renegade by running around with a military style backpack. See my post on using civilian packs vs military packs. I personally use the 5.11 rush pack.

The tactical 5.11 Rush bag is a great hyrbid option
The tactical 5.11 Rush bag is a great hyrbid option

Food and water – Pack at least 72 hours worth of food and water. This will give you a 3 day window to secure other resources or get to a safe location where these resources are readily available. Pack high calorie foods like nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Think hiking trail mix. You don’t want to bring food that requires you to stop and cook. In a scenario like martial law you won’t have the luxury of fine dining.

Methods of purifying water – It’s a good idea to pack a means of purifying water. What if you must bug out to the wilderness? What if your only water source is the local pond, lake or river? These sources of water must be purified before drinking. For a cheap compact solution there is the Sawyer water filter or the easy to use Lifestraw. I have written extensively on both why you need to purify water and the many water purification methods you have at your disposal.

First aid kit – A solid first aid kit will assist you in treating many injuries you might suffer during martial law: scrapes, bruises, sprains and lacerations can easily be treated with a first aid kit. You might have what you need around the house but if you don’t there are ready made options available to you. You should also include any medication you take inside your first aid kit.

Tactical Flashlight – A tactical flashlight presents numerous advantages over the standard flashlight. They are light, extremely durable and they double as a self defense weapon. The brightness of the light will easily blind an assailant long enough to make a clean getaway and the serrated edge is something you don’t want to be on the business end of. The Fenix PD35 is the standard for tactical flashlights and one I always keep on me.

The Fenix PD35 Tactical Flashlight

Knife – The knife will be an invaluable piece of gear in your martial law survival kit. Self defense will be a priority of increased magnitude. The knife will also serve you as a versatile companion around the camp. If I had to choose one knife to take out into the thick of martial law it would have to be the Cold Steel SRK.

The Cold Steel SRK (Survival Rescue Knife)

Cash – Short of a complete system meltdown cash will still be an effective and sought after resource. You can use the cash to barter or use it at stores, motels etc once you get to a stable location.

Poncho – Do you remember the last time you were soaking wet and cold? It’s an absolutely miserable experience and not only will it sap your will and motivation but you run a severe risk of hypothermia. A simple poncho will keep you high and dry while you make it to safety.

A means to make fire – Speaking of the cold and miserable you will want to include at least two methods of making fire. A BIC lighter and a ferrocerium rod is a good combination. The BIC lighter will make your life easy in dry weather and the rod will ensure you can still get a fire going in wet conditions if you can’t use the BIC.

Portable Radio – A radio will prove to be a crucial item in your kit. Tuning into emergency radio broadcast frequencies will alert you to changing circumstances – good or bad. If you know how to operate a HAM radio you can receive broadcasts and also transmit to your friends and family. Portable hand cranked radios are available. More robust radios will take time to learn how to operate but will pay off in a big way.

Boots – There’s a good chance you will be walking a lot. A good pair of boots will keep your feet dry and protect you from any debris you will be tromping over.

Trash bags – Keep a few of those black industrial sized trash bags in your martial law survival kit. These bags are versatile and can be used to collect rain water, provide a dry ground cover or used as make shift shelter.

Tarp – A good survival kit will always include items that are multi-purpose. The tarp is one such piece of gear. With a good tarp you can rig up a shelter and collect rain water if you need to.

Paracord – Some might say cordage is the most important piece of gear in your survival kit. Use cordage to rig up a tarp for shelter, lash wood together, string up large game for cleaning, bear-bagging food, making fishing line, rigging traps, making bow-drills, extra boot laces etc. This stuff is light and cheap.

Guns and ammo – I have saved this one for last due to the controversial nature of guns. Guns will immediately draw attention to yourself and in the hands of the unskilled could prove to be a truly unwieldy and dangerous addition the your survival kit. That isn’t to say having a gun is invaluable. A gun is obviously the most effective choice for self defense and hunting. Remember – during martial law guns will surely be outlawed so decide for yourself if bringing a gun is worth it given your skill with the firearm and its probable application.

Final Thoughts

There are many items you could pack into your martial law survival kit. Remember though – you want to keep your pack light. Packing heavier convenience items might sound like a good idea but will become cumbersome down the road. Packing light and using basic survival knowledge will ensure your ultimate survival.