7 Survival Tips From The Homeless

Look around your city. What do you see? If you open your eyes a lot of the people around are homeless. Some of them chose the lifestyle while others have been forced into the situation. Either way, they have a lot to teach us about surviving harsh conditions. They have tricks and strategies up their sleeve to survive. Here are 7 tips from the homeless you can use to survive any survival situation.

Your backpack is your most prized possession

Look at the homeless. One thing you’ll notice is they all have backpacks, or something to hold all of their gear. Many of them actually have nice backpacks. A lot of them are using the military style tactical backpacks easily found at military surplus stores. Others have spent the money on nice backpackers packs. They are weathered but durable. The homeless know that it isn’t a good idea to cheap out on a backpack. It’s only a matter of time before zippers bust and seams come apart. Invest in a good backpack for all of your gear.

Essential reading: Best tactical backpacks for your survival gear

Trash bags are your friend

garbage-bags
Garbage bags – More useful than you think

 

Trash bags are versatile pieces of gear. The homeless use trash bags as make shift parkas or as a way to waterproof their gear. You will often see them wearing trash bags in the rain or wrapping up their backpacks. Industrial sized black trash bags can even be used to create a make shift shelter in a snap. Pack a few of them in your backpack. They are extremely light and very useful!

Cardboard is a close ally

Have you ever slept on the raw ground outside in the middle of winter? It’s not a fun experience. Even in the summer time the ground will sap you of all your warmth. The best way to keep yourself warm is to create an insulation layer between you and the ground. There’s a reason why the homeless can always be seen sleeping on cardboard. The cardboard creates a layer to keep you warm at night. You can easily find cardboard in the recycling dumpsters behind retail stores and restaurants.

Dog is a mans best friend

You can always see the homeless person with their dog. A dog will alert you to anybody approaching your camp. Especially while you are sleeping, it’s important to know when somebody is coming up on you. A dog can protect you and let you know when trouble is abound. Beyond protection, a dog will keep you company during those lonely apocalyptic days and nights. Many homeless people do not have friends or people they can trust. A dog keeps them company and is their closest companion. Scientific studies prove time and time again that dogs contribute to the mental health of the lonely.

Avoid populated shelters

You will often see homeless in remote areas if you do a little exploring around your city. Even though there are shelters, the smart ones never go there. They are a breeding ground for mental illness and deranged folks who have no problems stealing your stuff and causing you problems. When it comes time to find a camp, try to find a spot that is out of the way. This will serve you well and give you peace of mind knowing you are safe at night. A remote camp with your dog is one of the best survival combos out there.

Good boots are essential

You will often see homeless people wearing rags and cheap clothes. If you look at their feet, however, you will see many of them wearing top quality waterproof boots. They know their feet are a very valuable asset. If they get wet or injured they will have a hard time surviving. I have worn a pair of these for well over a year now. They have held up nicely and are still waterproof to this day. I always opt for a Goretex lining but they make other waterproof material just as effective. Whatever you do, always make sure you have a good pair of boots!

Survival mindset

Look into the eyes of the homeless. There you will see the eyes of a survivor. Perhaps they weren’t confident in their abilities at first. But overtime they learned what it took to survive. They learned what they needed to do to survive in this environment. They have the mindset of the survivor. It is most crucial to extract any kind of victim mentality from your psyche. If you think like a victim you will become a victim.

At the root of anybody who has survived anything is the survivor mindset. Cultivate this mindset and you will be able to pass through any tribulation – any survival scenario. And here’s the thing. If you don’t think you have what it takes to survive you’re wrong. You are here because your ancestors at one point in time were able to survive. You are here because you come from a long line of survivors.

Don’t forget that.

~until next time~

 

 

 

 

Prepping On a Budget

Thinking about prepping for a fully blown SHTF situation? It’s a good idea…especially with Hillary and Trump going head to head for the presidential election. You’ve probably read a lot about prepping but can’t afford a lot of the gear recommendations. That doesn’t mean you can’t start with the basics. In fact, a lot of the stuff I’m about to mention is perfect if you are prepping on a budget.

Food

Everything the body needs
Everything the body needs

 

Food can be expensive or food can be budget friendly. Sure, it would be nice to have top quality meats canned and ready to go for a fully blown SHTF situation. Meats are expensive but the good thing is that meat isn’t necessary for survival. Rice and beans are dirt cheap and provide a complete amino acid profile. Grain type foods should form the mainstay of your preps. Grains are extremely affordable when purchased in bulk and they store well for the long term.

How much grains do you need? 300 pounds per person is the recommended amount for years supply. That sounds like a lot of grains – and that’s because it is! When things go fully blown, are you really going to dread the thought of having a years supply of food? Of course not. The thing is, you don’t have to buy all of it right away…

You can start with 25 pounds at a time

Get a few of those crossed off your list as soon as possible. Don’t forget the seasonings!

Water

Water will become an invaluable resource when things go fully blown. If you are prepping on a budget, I recommend picking up as many of those 5 gallon jugs of water as you can store. Also stack your garage or storage room to the ceiling with bottled waters – snatch them up before water becomes more expensive than gold.

It’s also wise to pick up a water filtration device. If you have to bug out of location, you can secure water from local ponds, rivers, or streams. A water filter is necessary to filter out any bacteria or impurities which can lead to explosive cases of diarrhea and sometimes death.

The sawyer water filter is the standard for water filtration and surprisingly cheap. Too cheap too pass up. Water purification tablets are also inexpensive. Having multiple methods to secure water is a very sound idea.

Essential Gear (cheap)

The following list is stuff you can generally cheap out on – so to speak. I have cheap flash lights I’ve owned forever that still throw a beam.

Finding deals when prepping on a budget

The key to prepping on a budget is always being on the lookout for cheap gear. You can find a lot of the gear you need at garage sales and places like craigslist. Look out for knives, tarps, camping gear, tents, and anything that looks like it would be useful if TSHTF.

Your local stores should have coupon booklets you can go through to find deals on food. You’re mainly looking for deals on canned foods as the food you get needs to be non perishable. Beef jerky is expensive but occasionally stores will have deals on them. Canned foods frequently go down in price especially during the holiday seasons. When you find a deal stock up on as much of it as you can.

Final thoughts

The key to prepping on a budget is going slow. Whenever you have the money invest a little bit into your prepping. Eventually you will have a fully stocked storage room full of all the essential gear you need to survive a fully blown SHTF situation.

 

 

The Complete SHTF Survival Guide

shtf-survival-guide

Imagine, a full blown EMP blast takes out all the electronics in your local region. At first, everything seems okay – until after the 3rd day. After the 3rd day you start to wonder if things will ever return to normal. You notice you are running low on food. You notice that everybody seems to be on edge. By the 4th day your city resembles something out of Planet of the Apes.

Full scale riots and looting start. Men start behaving like apes and become increasingly violent. What do you do? What do you do when the food trucks stop running? What do you do when it looks like the power may never be restored?

In this SHTF survival guide I’m going to give you a few tips to survive even the worst of situations.

SHTF survival guide

Here are a few practical tips to start implementing today. While you can’t possibly prepare for EVERY situation, you will put yourself ahead of the game by making sure you have a few things in order…

Start prepping – preparing for a full blown SHTF situation starts today. You need to start stocking up on all the essential supplies:

  • Bags of rice (the big ones)
  • Bags of beans (the big ones)
  • Salt
  • Canned meats
  • Canned fruits
  • Canned veggies
  • Water (5 gallon jugs + bottled)
  • Water purification
  • Tactical flashlight
  • Batteries
  • BIC lighters
  • Bug out bag
  • Medical kit
  • Weapons

Your SHTF Plan

shtf-plan

Just having the important gear is not enough. You need a full plan. You need to inform yourself on a deep level about what it takes to survive a fully blown SHTF situation. At the core of your SHTF plan is what actions you are going to take to rally your team members and get the hell out of dodge.

It’s important to establish communications with your team and get everyone to safety as soon as possible. Create a plan with your close family and friends and periodically check in with them to run through the SHTF escape scenario. When SHTF you should have a central meeting point where everybody gathers and then a secondary bug out location where you head to.

You can take it a step further and identify a third bug out location in case the second one becomes compromised. It’s also crucial to understand how you’re going to interact with others you meet during a fully blown SHTF situation.

How do you respond to violence? How do you respond to others who want to join up with your group? The more of these types of questions you can answer the less thinking you will have to do when it comes time to make decisions. In a fully blown SHTF situation the name of the game is speed. You can’t be sitting around thinking about stuff for too long – lest you and your team become sitting ducks for somebody who HAS a plan (one that doesn’t have your best interest in mind.)

SHTF knowledge

Begin absorbing the knowledge of experts. Knowledge weighs nothing and could save your ass in a fully blown situation where survival flows from the poorly prepared to the knowledgeable. There are loads of survival books that are absolute must reads. These books have been written by experts with years and years of survival training. Many of them are ex military and have experience operating in SHTF type situations.

Here is a list of recommended reading:

The U.S. Marine Corps Summer Survival Course

marine-corps-summer-survival-course

A crash course in survival brought to you by the guys trained as the first ones in and the last ones out. This book documents the requirements of survival and includes practical tips for securing food and water, making traps and snares, navigation, escape and evasion, and a lot more. Highly recommended read.

The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook

doom-and-bloom-survival-medicine

The definitive resource for treating medical cases using all natural herbs and plants. It’s a book designed for a post-collapse world where one cannot simply go into the doctors office to get medicine. Do you fancy yourself the healer of the group? Pick this book up and start learning about plants. It will serve you and your group very well.

The SAS Handbook

survival-guide-book

You’ve probably seen this book plastered and recommended on every survival blog on the internet. That’s because this is the ultimate survival resource. It literally covers every possible survival technique to survive in any condition. If there is one book you should get it’s this one.

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

guide-to-canning-shtf

Ultimate resource for preserving your meat for long term. When they drop the nuke or trigger the EMP blast, old school skills like canning and hunting will be of CRUCIAL importance.

The LDS preparedness Manual

LDS-preparedness-manual

Extremely practical advice to prepare for an emergency situation. The book is written with an engaging style – a nice change of pace from the many survival type books that tend to be dry. It has in depth sections on Food storage, water purification and tons of other practical survival/preparedness advice.

Final thoughts

With a little bit of gear and some knowledge, you can secure yourself and your family in times of collapse. If anything, you will be fully prepared and able to handle an extended power outage or other less serious problem. Knowing that you are prepared will instill you with the confidence needed to be a leader – someone who knows what is going on and what to do.

People will look to you for advice and your skills will greatly benefit your group and community. Always learn. Always prepare!

Guide To Doomsday Prepping

doomsday-prepping

Full system meltdown. Complete and total chaos. DOOMSDAY has arrived. Do you sit and piddle your pants or do you go forward knowing you’ve done the proper doomsday prepping? In this guide I’m going to show you exactly how to prepare for a complete doomsday meltdown.

Doomsday prepping basics

First off, let’s define what a doomsday situation looks like. To me, doomsday is the complete annihilation of the planet. It’s the destruction of mankind and everything we hold dear to our hearts. In my mind, there is no preparing for doomsday because by definition, the level of destruction is so ultimate it’s impossible to prepare for.

But what about other situations? I’m talking about wide spread power outages, riots, famines, financial depressions, nuclear attacks etc. These are situations you can prepare for while you are living in a relatively calm and chaos-free environment.

Since we’re talking about survival there are 4 things we need to cover:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Shelter
  • Protection

Food

Everything the body needs
Everything the body needs

 

Let’s crack straight into the good stuff. What happens when the food trucks stop running? What happens when total chaos descends upon the land? What happens when the grid goes down? You must have a decent supply of food to cushion the blow of these temporary or permanent inconveniences. 3o days worth of food for you and each member of your family MINIMUM. Here are some ideas:

  • Bags of rice (the big ones)
  • Bags of dried beans (the big ones)
  • Canned meats
  • Canned fruits
  • Canned vegetables
  • Salt and seasonings
  • Powdered drink mixes
  • Vitamins

Think about foods that don’t need refrigeration. When the grid goes down you’re not going to have any place to store perishable food items. Even with a generator there is only so much gas before it putters out completely. Dried foods can be stored indefinitely and will not spoil.

Water

shtf-water

 

Water is the most important resource for the physical body. Without water you will die. It’s that simple. Your survival is hinged on your ability to secure clean drinking water. Water can be purchased in 5 gallon containers and stowed away for easy access when you need it. Go to your local Walmart or other store and snatch up bottled water too. Store the water in your basement or basically anywhere in your house or apartment.

When TSHTF this stuff will be absolute gold. Also, your going to want to snatch up a pump action water filter or purification device. If you ever run out of water you will have to obtain water from dubious sources. These places could be local ponds, rivers, streams, lakes etc. The water here is probably ripe with bacteria and pathogens from years of human pollution and waste.

You can make this water safe to drink by filtering out the impurities with a water filter. Any decent filter will do. Products like the Life Straw are cheap and effective. Grab one for yourself and one for each family member.

In addition, a pump action water filter can filter water very fast and fill up large containers for storage. Also snatch up some water purification tablets. The name of the game is diversification. If something happens to one piece of gear you always have something else to get the job done.

Shelter

This is probably your home or your apartment. Depending on where you live you may have to bug out as they say. Especially in the city, there is more of a chance that leaving will be the only option. Cities like San Francisco are built right over the San Andreas fault. If that thing decides to crack off aint nobody gonna stick around to wait it out.

What do you do if you have to leave your primary shelter? This is where having a proper bug out bag and SHTF plan comes into play. In your bug out bag you will either have a tent or a tarp you can use to rig up a makeshift shelter. This is what doomsday prepping is all about. Preparing for every possible scenario.

Building an underground shelter – if you have a bit of land you can build an underground shelter using storage or septic containers. This is a relatively affordable way to secure yourself and your family from riots and men who have descended down the evolutionary scale. Violent apes will be on the lookout for houses to loot. They will have a very difficult time even finding your underground shelter. You can wait it out here until normalcy is restored.

Protection

AR-15 semi-automatic rifle
AR-15 semi-automatic rifle

 

Guns and ammo. The more guns the better. The more ammo the better. At least 250 rounds for each weapon you have – more if you have the space and the funds to do so. You have a number of options when it comes to weapons:

Shotgun – perhaps the cheapest and most effective solution. A shotgun can double as a hunting weapon and works well for close range self defense. A truly jack of all trades weapon. Aim and blast. Aim and blast.

Semi-auto rifle – A semi auto rifle is a rifle that loads the chamber each time you pull the trigger. In other words, you don’t have to manually reload the thing when you’re in the middle of a fierce fire fight. The standard for semi-auto rifles is the AR-15. The AR-15 is praised highly and one of the best assault rifles you can get your hands on. Try to pick one up before the lib tards ban them completely.

Pistol – versatile and portable. A decent pistol will serve you well. keep one by your nightstand at all times and holstered on your belt in times of chaos or SHTF situations. A 9mm, .40, or a .45 will get the job done.

Don’t be afraid of protecting your family if it comes down to doing so. There are a lot of limp wristed people walking around trying to get guns banned. Yeah, good luck with that one buddy. Nothings going to get in the way of me and my doomsday prepping!

Doomsday prepping gear list

Here’s a list of items you would be wise to pick up ASAP, in addition to the items above.

Final thoughts and advice

Doomsday prepping is an always evolving journey of education. Read up on prepping and stay informed about current events. You don’t, however, have to go all tin foiled hat mode. Many preppers take their preps too far and are very difficult to relate to. Do your preps, gather the gear and supplies you need and then set your mind at peace. Life is too short to be in a constant state of fear.

 

SHTF Training HOW TO

SHTF-training

Have you been paying attention to recent events? A discerning eye can easily see we are on the brink of a fully blown SHTF situation. But, this isn’t a reason to panic. With a calm mind a willing heart, anybody can put themselves through a DIY SHTF training course – because luck favors the prepared.

The SHTF training method

How does one actually prepare for a fully blown SHTF situation? What should you focus on? These are important questions to ask but must be framed in context of what an SHTF situation is. The thing about SHTF is you never know when it’s going to hit. You never  know where you’re going to be when things decide to crack off. It’s not like things are going to wait to explode when it’s convenient for you.

The nature of SHTF situations is random. With that said, let’s crack straight into the core SHTF training you need to become highly skilled in any SHTF situation.

Being adaptable

SHTF-training-adaptable
Train yourself to be adaptable in any situation

Because SHTF situations come as a surprise you must cultivate an adaptable demeanor towards life. Nothing must phase you. You must cultivate the ability to adapt to any situation you find yourself in. This is simply a matter of training your mind to be adaptable in situations where things don’t go your way. Maybe you make dinner reservations and you get to the restaurant only to find out the hostess who took your call never wrote your name down on the books. Instead of crying, take the lead and make a decision. Instead of being a victim make a choice to be pro active about the situation.

Being proactive

Lets be honest, life throws a lot of shit sandwiches your way. In fact, it would appear that life is simply one shit sandwich after the next. When you’re confronted by a tough situation you have two choices – being reactive or proactive. Being reactive places you in the role of the victim. Victims don’t get anything done in life. They wait on the sidelines hoping for somebody to come and save them. Unless you’re a super hot princess trapped in a tower and guarded by dragons, nobody cares about you. It is up to you to dig yourself out.

Physical fitness

SHTF-training

Your physical health will benefit you greatly if things go south and you have to move. Your physical body is your primary mode of transportation. You have to maintain the body or else it’s going to run like an old beater car chocked full of rats nests. Stagnation breeds disease. You don’t have to adopt some ridiculous diet or exercise program to get in shape either.

You can start by walking around the block or going for long walks. You can throw on your bug out pack and go hiking. None of this has to be boring. Going on hikes with your family or friends is an easy and fun way to get in shape. Pack some healthy foods and get out of the house.

Your SHTF plan

Do you have a plan in place if SHTF? If you don’t you should put one together straight away. Where will you go if you have to bug out? How will you communicate with friends and loved ones? How will you communicate with family if the grid goes down? These are all things you need to think about before TSHTF.

Graywolf survival has a very comprehensive guide on the matter.

Final thoughts

You can see that SHTF training is all about mindset. It’s about being flexible in chaotic situations. It’s about keeping your cool while others are freaking out. You can’t train for a nuclear bomb or a fully blown riot but you can train your mind to adapt to situations you aren’t used to.

Always be cool. Always be prepared. This is the formula for ultimate survival.

 

Drinking Urine For Survival?

drinking-urine-for-survival

Bear Grylls in his Man vs wild show is notorious for getting naked and drinking his own urine. It would seem as if drinking urine for survival is a reasonable solution if you’re in a desperate survival situation – but is this the case? Let’s examine whether or not it’s actually safe to drink your own urine.

bear-grylls-drink-urine

Is drinking urine safe?

Drinking your own urine appears to have benefits in the short term but may lead to critical problems in the long term. Let’s start with a few basic facts. 95% of your urine is water. This is a good thing as far as hydrating goes. But, 3% contains harmful waste products. These waste products can ultimately lead to kidney failure if you keep recycling them through your body. Each time you urinate and recycle the urine back into your body the concentration of harmful byproducts increases.

The thing is, your body is designed to take in nutrients and eliminate waste. When you pee, this is your bodies way of eliminating the wasteful byproducts of the nutrients you consume through food and drink.

2% of your urine is salt. Salt is well known to worsen the effects of dehydration and rapidly speeds up the process. While the body needs a small amount of salt to keep a proper electrolyte balance, too much will cause the body to eliminate the excess and increase your thirst. Ever wonder why they salt the living hell out of everything at baseball games? More salt equals more thirst. More thirst means more money for the stadium as you rush back and forth from the vending stands!

Urophagia

Urophagia is the consumption of urine. Ancient cultures drank urine because they believed the liquid contained powerful healing properties. Even in modern times people drink urine for its supposed health and cosmetic applications.

The drinking of urine was popularized by a 20th century naturopath named John Armstrong. Armstrong was raised in a family where urine consumption was used to treat toothaches and other ailments. He then went on to treat thousands of his patients with urine therapy.

What does science say about drinking urine?

I’d rather hear from a scientist than some whack job when it comes to health matters. Unfortunately there hasn’t been any extensive studies done on the matter (not surprising.) I guess drinking urine isn’t that high on the totem pole of scientific research.

The closest thing to a definitive answer on the matter is from the U.S. Army Field Manual. There’s a survival section where they do NOT recommend the consumption of urine.

Purifying urine with a solar still

Here is a way to make your urine drinkable. If you can find a plastic sheet you can create a solar still. Dig a hole and urinate directly in it. Place a water catcher in the center and then cover the hole with your plastic sheet. Put a rock in the center. The rays from the sun will evaporate your urine and the water vapors will collect on the sheet and drip into the water catcher.

This will be pure H20 minus the salt and impurities. Another and more reliable method of water procurement is using green vegetation in your solar still. The heat produced from the plants will condense and collect on your sheet.

In fact, even without vegetation or urine you can extract water from the soil with this method. Even the driest soil has moisture that can be extracted for drinking purposes.

The final verdict

Consume urine at your own risk. There isn’t enough data to make an informed decision ether way. In a life or death situation drinking urine is safe for a short period of time. It might hold you over long enough for you to get to safety or find a clean water source. I definetely would not rely on urine as a primary source of water!

Let me know what you think about drinking urine in the comments below.

 

 

 

5 Epic Survival Fires and How To Build Them

survival-fires

There are different types of survival fires. Each one has a unique set of strengths and characteristics that offer advantages in specific situations. Your choice of fire depends on the situation at hand. Do you want to go stealth mode? Do you need a fire that burns hot? Making a fire in wet weather? Yes, there’s a fire for that! In this post I crack deep into 5 survival fires you should know about.

The Tepee

Synopsis – Use the tepee fire when light and warmth are number one priority. Great for gatherings and traditional camping scenarios.

Everybody knows about the tepee fire. It’s usually the first fire you learn how to build and it’s what they teach in the scouts. It’s an easy way to get a fire going. The tepee is what’s known as a vertical fire. Vertical fires produce tall flames and draw the majority of their oxygen from the bottom bed of the fire. The tepee fire burns hot and quick.

Advantages – The tepee fire is an effective hot burning fire and will quickly warm you up. By design, it will burn hot and fast. The tepee fire produces very little smoke so it’s great for a general campfire when staying warm is the only requirement.

Disadvantages – The tepee fire burns fast. You’ll be spending a lot of time adding more wood to keep it stoked. The structure can easily collapse if not setup properly. Because of the generous supply of oxygen and heat, the tepee fire produces little coals or embers. Once it burns it is out. The design of the tepee fire does not allow for a flat surface for cooking.

How to build

Step 1. Lay down a layer of dry wood to form the base of the tepee:

tepee-fire-base

Step 2. Place your tinder bundle on the base:

tepee-fire-tinder

Step 3. Create a skeleton structure in tepee formation:

Step 4. Place the rest of your kindling against the skeleton structure:

Step 5. Light that bad boy up:

light-the-tepee-fire

Full Video

The log cabin

Synopsis – Build a log cabin fire if you need a hot bed of coals or a flat top for cooking.

Also known as the box fire, this is a method of fire making less prone to problems found in the tepee. The structure of the log cabin fire make it stable and less prone to collapsing. The flat top design allows for a flat surface to cook on. The fire burns slower and longer than the tepee.

Advantages – The flat surface makes this a great fire to cook on. It’s also a whole lot easier to maintain because of its slow burning and stable design. Many people start out with a tepee design but end up with a log cabin anyways. Why not skip straight to the point?

Disadvantages – Difficult to light with limited access to the tinder if something goes wrong. Produces less heat and more smoke.

How to build

Step 1. Create a tepee structure from dry sticks and material:

log-fire-base

Step 2. Create a log cabin structure around the tepee. Taper off into smaller pieces towards the top so they catch fire easily:

Step 3. Light your tepee. Continue to stoke the flame through the large gaps until the entire structure catches:

Full Video

The upside down fire

Synopsis – Upside down fire is a great fire for the fireplace. In a survival situation I could see it being used if you didn’t need the fire right away but wanted to get it started. It’s a light and forget method of fire making that lends itself well to efficiency and long term heat.

Snotty survivalists have long had a superior air of snootiness over knowing about this fire. They are quick to rattle off the many advantages of the upside down fire. It’s quite an unconventional approach to making fire and goes against everything you were taught. It’s literally a reversed fire – you stack the large logs at the bottom and work your way up the stack laying smaller pieces until you get to the top. At the top you have your tinder bundle.

So how the hell does this work? The same way a regular fire does except upside down. The smaller pieces of tinder at the top ignite the kindling and so on.

Advantages – Extremely low maintenance. With a regular fire you have to wait before you lay on the big logs. With the upside down fire you make your entire stack and light it once. It’s very efficient and burns for a long time before dying out. Plus, you get to look cool in front of all your friends who will inevitably want to see how the heck you’re getting to get that fire to light.

Disadvantages – Very slow to start. It takes a long time before you can do anything useful with it like cook. It’s also trickier to light and requires very dry wood to ignite properly. Not ideal if you need heat straight away.

How to build

Step 1. Start off by laying a base layer of substantial logs:

upside-down-fire-base

Step 2. Criss cross large layers of logs, tapering down to smaller pieces as you work your way up:

Step 3. Build a tepee fire or any other fire style you would normally build on the ground:

Step 4. Light your tepee fire and sit back. Stoke the flames with more firewood if necessary:

Full Video

The Dakota fire hole

Synopsis – use a Dakota fire hole if you need to stay hidden.

The Dakota fire hole is an extremely effective fire and boasts a number of advantages. Placing your fire in a hole conceals it from peeping Toms. If you’re going full on stealth mode this is the fire you want to build. The Dakota fire burns very hot because of the draft created by the air hole. Hot air gets sucked out of the hole and creates a vaccum effect by pulling outside air in. This stokes the fire to blistering temperatures and makes for a very efficient environment to cook what you need fast and stealthy.

Advantages – Stealthy, hot burning, self stoking.

Disadvantages – Can be difficult to build in areas with hard soil.

How to build

Step 1. Dig a fire hole about 1 foot deep:

dakota-fire-hole

Step 2. Dig a second hole a foot away. This one doesn’t need to be as deep as the first – about 1.5 feet will do:

Step 3. Dig a tunnel connecting the two holes:

dakota-fire-hole-tunnel

Step 4. Build your fire per usual in the fire hole:

Full Video

The long fire

Synopsis – Build a long fire for those deathly cold nights where maximum heat is required to stay alive. Long burning fire with little maintenance required.

The long fire is raw heat generator. I’m talking hellish levels of heat through even the bitterest night. The ultimate fire for maximum heat and warmth. Creates a massive heat radius and gigantic bed of coals. It’s the type of fire you can feel from miles away.

Advantages – burns extremely hot and leaves a massive bed of coals. Epic survival fire to stay warm through the night.

Disadvantages – Overkill for cooking or anything else that requires you to be close to the fire.

How to build

Step 1. Start by laying 2 “long” logs in parallel over a set of shorter stumpy pieces. This will elevate your fire from the ground and create pockets of air:

long-fire-base

Step 2. Pack the space in between the logs with dry sticks and kindling:

Step 3. Light the fire and lay larger pieces of deadfall diagonally over the logs:

Full Video

Closing statements

That should keep you busy for a while. Master all of these fires and you will become a formidable force of nature in any survival situation.

Did I miss anything? Yell at me in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

7 Crucial Urban Survival Skills

urban-survival-skills

Where will you be when TSHTF? At home? In Wal-Mart? The majority of the us live in dense urban environments – the type of environments where people transform into violent apes when their survival is at stake. The power gets cut and people lose their minds. Stores are looted for goods and wares. Do you have what it takes to survive? Do you have the urban survival skills required to make it out alive? In this post I’m going to crack deep into the skills you need to survive an urban death trap.

1.) Stay cool

Most people are going to completely lose it during an SHTF situation. Have you ever been to the shopping malls on black Friday? People trample and kill each other over consumer goods – what do you think will happen in a life or death situation? While most people are panicking you must be calm as a Buddhist monk. Panicked people make mistakes. Cool people with level heads make wise choices. Choices that will lead them to ultimate survival.

Chances are you get stressed out over many things in life. We’ve been programmed to behave like this. Practice staying cool in situations that get you heated. This will strengthen your ability to take a smooth step back and properly assess the situation with an objective eye. You will see the situation for what it is. Emotions cloud reality and force you deeper into suffering. Stay cool at all costs.

2.) Know your city inside and out

A deep understanding of your city will help you greatly when it comes time to bug out. Think about the routes most people are likely take. Take the route less traveled. It might be longer but you will bypass traffic congestion. Think about the back roads available to you. If you don’t know your city then spend some time getting acquainted. Find a map. Use different modes of transportation. You will understand the city differently on a bike or walking. The slower you go the more details you pick up. Survival is all in the small details. You might not be able to simply drive out of the city depending on the circumstance. Walk or bike to get a pulse-level understanding of the layout. This will give you a significant advantage when it comes time to leave.

3.) Exit strategy

Just where do you plan on heading when all hell breaks loose? In the event of a long term power outage, where will you go? It makes no sense to bug out if you don’t have a final destination. Think about friends or family in the surrounding areas you could post up with until things cool down. Think about the route you will take to get there. How will you smash through a wild urban wasteland full of apes?

4.) Self-defense

urban-survival-skills-self-defense

In the city there will be no rules when all hell breaks loose. Wild and violent apes will inhabit the freshly collapsed landscape. The primitive mind will inflict a stranglehold on men desperate to survive. Cities are already ripe with violence. When TSHTF this violence will skyrocket to untold levels. It will only be a matter of time before they start flinging shit all over the place.

Not all of us are martial arts experts. Hell, not all of us are even survival experts. God knows that I am not one to give you karate lessons, but I will say this – self defense is an important urban survival skill. At the very least, learn how to properly throat chop a potential assailant. You should have pepper spray in your bug out bag – perhaps multiple canisters.

Required reading – the ultimate bug out bag.

Avoid conflict at all costs but don’t be afraid to bust caps or let loose with some bear mace if it comes down to it. There will be no rules when the apes begin to fling shit into the fan.

5.) Identifying shelter

urban-survival-skills-find-shelter

You might have to bug out of your apartment. If you become stranded in an urban death trap you must find temporary shelter. These can be abandoned buildings, warehouses, homes, or even cars. Many of these establishments could be crawling with violent apes so tread carefully. Find a safe nook and hunker down for the night. You have everything you need in your bug out bag so stay calm and focus on the master plan.

6.) Securing clean water

You know how important water is for survival. Finding clean water is an urban survival skill that you can’t overlook. Local rivers around the city are deeply contaminated from years of industry. Pockets of water that have collected from a recent rain are sure to be polluted. There are ways you can purify the water you locate around the city – the easiest way is to use a water filter.

Required reading – everything you need to know about purifying water.

If you don’t have a water filter you can make one using a 2 liter bottle, sand, gravel, and charcoal. The following instructions are taken from my post on 7 survival techniques to learn ASAP:

Snatch up an empty 2 liter or other plastic container and chop the bottom off. Fill with activated charcoal, sand, and gravel. Stick a piece of cloth in the hole to keep everything in place. Simply pour in some water and collect it when it comes out with a clean drinking container.

DIY urban survival water filter

7.) Hunting and gathering

urban-survival-hunting-pigeons
Good eatins’ in the city

Hunting is a biggy. If you can hunt you will gladly be accepted into a group where you will have access to resources and safety. You could also choose to go lone wolf and provide for yourself. Either way, hunting is an urban survival skill you don’t want to pass up. If you don’t think there’s anything to hunt in the city think again – there are plenty of street pigeons and squirrels. On the outskirts you will find larger animals and edible plants. In fact, there are a lot of edible weeds and plants that grow in the city if you know how to identify them. These plants will provide you with nutrients and medicinal properties – invaluable resources in a survival situation.

Final thoughts

These are a few skills you can work on in your spare time. If you’re feeling brave you can go out and practice in the city. Take down a couple pigeons and learn to cook them. Map out your city. Find where the edible plants grow. Have fun with all this stuff. You can still have fun while learning the essential skills you need to survive!

Post up below with your comments and criticisms. Do you agree with this article?

 

Tarp vs Tent – Best Choice For Bug Out Bag?

tarps-vs-tent

Talking tarps. Talking Tents.  And more specifically, what’s the best for your bug out bug? Making the right choice comes down to a personal audit on your situation and preference. Variables like location and weather will determine which one is best. Are there bugs, rattlesnakes and other creepy crawlers? You might not welcome a visit from senor snake in the middle of the night. However, both tarp and tent have respective advantages and disadvantages that I will cover in this post.

The tarp

tarp-shelter

Ah yes, the humble tarp. The ultralight backpackers prime choice for a lightweight shelter – and for a good reason. Extra weight will slow you down. Even a mere couple ounces can effect your physical performance. Weight is the tarps first advantage over the tent.

It’s also an easy piece of gear to wrap up and stuff in to your pack – and with a bit of paracord you can achieve many different configurations. While the tent is locked into a single setup, the tarp can be rigged in a number of ways. Take a look at all the possibilities. You can get super technical with the setup depending on your situation and all it requires is a bit of paracord. Paracord is something you should have anyways so I don’t count it as part of the total weight of the tarp.

It also outshines the tent when it comes to packing. The tent has metal poles that make it stiff and rigid. You can only stuff the tent in one way. Usually the only place the tent will fit is on the outside of the pack on the sides or strapped to the bottom. You can easily stuff a tarp wherever you want. It folds up nice and clean and is happy to get stuffed down to the bottom of your back or lashed to the externals.

Some people feel claustorphobic in a tent. They appreciate the tarps openness and their ability to see what’s going on around them. I can attest to feeling cramped in a tent – not to mention feeling like I’m sometimes in a death trap. You never know what’s around.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Cheap
  • Versatile setups
  • Covers large areas around camp
  • Multi-purpose

Cons

  • No protection from bugs
  • Not fully enclosed
  • Wind and rain can pass through if not properly configured

Tent

tent-vs-tarp

The tent is your second shelter option. The tent is the all time classic shelter solution that immediately comes to mind when your buddy says “Let’s go camping.” The tent has been tried and true for many years. It’s a complete full enclosure system. Most tents are somewhat waterproof and come with a rain fly. Guy lines allow you to brace the tent to absorb high winds and heavy weather. This complete enclosure system is an obvious advantage over the tarp. You won’t have to worry about bugs or other nuisances paying you a night time visit – and the shelter from the wind and rain is a double bonus.

This protection comes at a price. The tent is much heavier than the tarp. Weight should be taken into careful consideration for your bug out bag. Only you can know your weight limits. I suggest you put a pack together and take off into the wild for a day or two – just so you can get a feel for how heavy your pack is and whether or not you can endure. If you find that weight is a non-issue, by all means, pack that tent.

But if you feel you need a lighter load, consider the tarp.

Pros

  • Full protection from the elements
  • Full protection from bugs
  • Easy to pitch

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Expensive
  • Less versatile

Final Thoughts

To sum it up shortly, if you’re going ultra light – pack the tarp. If you’re going full comfort mode – pack the tent. At this point an out-of-the-box thinker might say, “why not pack both?” To which I say – “I didn’t know pack mules could talk!”

Post up with a comment below and let us know what you think.

How To Make Your Own Bow and Arrow

make-your-own-bow-and-arrow

Using raw materials anybody can make a powerful bow to take down small to medium sized game. Materials to make your own bow and arrow are readily found in nature. Even in the city you could scrounge up what you need to make one. Let’s get started.

Making the bow

Step 1.) Locate either a Willow or Ashwood tree. The branches from these trees flex well under pressure without snapping. This flexible characteristic is crucial to making a proper bow.

Step 2.) Find a straight piece of branch roughly the same height as your shoulder:

Step 3.) Carve away the thicker pieces of the stick. This will give the bow an even flex for increased accuracy:

Step 4.) Carve a notch out of both ends of the stick to hold the string:

Step 5.) Attach a length of cordage to the bow. This can be paracord or any other cordage you have:

 

Bonus tip: duct tape a rounded piece of wood with an “L” shaped notch and attach it to the bow. This will prevent damage to your hands from having to hold the arrow in place with your fingers.

Making the arrows

The materials you use for your arrows isn’t as restrictive as the bow. The main thing is that the arrows need to be straight.

Step 1.) Find a thin sapling and cut a length from the straightest part. Bamboo is great material if it’s available. Your arrow needs to be at least the length of your draw – from the corner of your mouth to a little bit past your hand.

Bamboo makes great arrows because it grow straight

Step 2.) Strip the stick of the bark.

Step 3.) Carve a point on the skinniest end of the arrow.

Step 4.) Make your nock into the other end by spitting it right down the center:

Step 5.) Temper the tip of the arrow in the fire and shape into a sharper point. The fire will draw the moisture out of the arrow and strengthen the point.

DIY fletching

Fletching will make your arrow fly straighter. You can make fletching from a few strips of duct-tape:

 

Sources

1.) How to make a survival bow

2.) The survival arrow