What Golf Tournaments Have Taught Me About Survival

6 Dec

Written by Cody on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: At the 19th hole, after 18 holes of joy, frustration, self recrimination and surprise I sat down with Golf Expert, Coach and Mentor Jordan Fuller and talked about The Prepper Journal and what we were trying to accomplish here. He thought for awhile and then told me the following. I hope I have captured it all. You can find him at Golfinfluence.com. I adopted golf as a business tool long ago because, after 4+ hours of all the above emotions you really do learn a lot about the character of people. 

As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share then enter into the Prepper Writing Contest with a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies!

When preparing for the worst, it is always a good idea to utilize the lessons you’ve gathered throughout your life. For me, that education came through my experiences with playing tournament golf.

Now you might be wondering how golf carts and popped-up collars will help you prepare you and your family for disaster, but I assure you what I learned on the course has helped me immensely with my prepping homework. Here are five lessons that golf tournaments have taught me about survival.

Practice Never Made Perfect, But It Got Me Close

Anyone who has built their golfing skill set knows that it takes hours upon hours of practicing on the range and putting greens. Not only do you have to develop your fundamentals for your swing, but you also have to learn the correct way to chip and putt. The rhythm of each style of swing can be thrown off by the smallest ill-advised adjustment, so you have to make sure that you are continually working to keep your swing healthy.

The same is true with your emergency plan. You will want to make sure that your checklist is streamlined and always attainable. By attaching too many tasks, you can “alter your swing” causing problems down the road. If you find yourself overwhelmed, get back to basics. Don’t be afraid to scrap everything and start again.

Much like playing in a tournament, running through your plan will cause uncertainty and anxiety, but if you put the work into your preparation, you’ll give yourself the best chance at survival when disaster strikes.

Expect the Unexpected, So Practice The Unexpected

Even with the best preparation, I have learned that things will go wrong on the golf course. There are trees, sand bunkers, and water hazards to deal with when the bounces don’t go my way.

For these reasons, I always spend some of my practice time working on strange shots. I’ll hit golf balls over trees, I’ll practice shots on uneven ground, and I’ll roll my pants up to my knees, I’ll switch shoes to get comfortable ones and blast shots out of the water. I certainly get some strange looks on the range, but when the time comes to hit shots like these on the course, I’m ready.

When you take your emergency plan and start to put it in action, you’ll want to spend some of your practice time creating obstacles. By doing this you’ll be prepared when the worst is thrown at you during a disaster.

For example, perhaps you run through an alternative scenario where you split up your family and work on finding one another through unique methods. (Always remember when running drills for your preparation that you do so safely and with backup communication devices handy to end the exercise if necessary.)

Remember, there is no wasted time here with these outside-the-box preparations because it will create the type of thinking that will save you and your family.

Communicate Like a Caddie

Golfers trust their caddies implicitly. They are a trusted voice when determining wind direction, distance to the hole and other significant judgment calls on the course. When I have played in tournaments with a caddy to handle my bag, I make sure that the communication between the two of us is always open. Even if I do not take the caddy’s advice, I want them to feel comfortable enough to share their true opinion, so that I can take all the information into account before I make a final determination.

There is little difference with a golfer-caddy arrangement and how you should communicate with your loved ones when making critical decisions if a disaster strikes your location. Although it is essential to have a leader cast the deciding vote, if necessary, it is equally important for members of the group to have their voices heard in any discussion.

Quality communication is imperative for surviving a disaster, and that includes covering your emergency plans far ahead of time to make sure that everyone is on the same page. That said, it is also necessary to be able to discuss any tough choices if unforeseen issues should arise.

Always Have Your Fuel to Have Your Energy

When I’m playing a round of tournament golf, the last thing I want to be worrying about is my energy level. 18 holes can take around five hours to complete, and over that stretch of time, I will walk close to six miles. Now I always make sure to hydrate and eat before I play 18 holes, but during the round, I have a set number of snacks that keeps my energy even and allows me to perform at a high level.

With your previous preparation and planning, you have taken care of your long-term nutritional needs, but in the hours after a disaster hits, you’ll need to make sure that you do not stumble. For these reasons, having a pack that houses assorted snacks and energy boosting foods for the first 12 hours after a disaster strikes will keep your brain focused for the bigger decisions that lie ahead.

Making Sure Your Nerves Are Made From Steel

In my experience, there is nothing sweeter than when a tournament ends in victory. But, before I get to the point of holding a trophy, I will have been tested throughout the tournament with tough shots and situations where I’ll need to save myself from a terrible score by getting the golf ball out of trouble. Nothing tests my nerves like a tournament, but now that I have played in so many events, I don’t feel the pressure like I did in the early days.

If a disaster strikes, the situation will test your courage in difficult ways. The only way you can even come close to understanding that level of stress is by putting yourself in circumstances that test you now, so when trouble occurs, you have the resolve necessary to handle the situation with a calm and steady focus.

Conclusion

Although these five steps may be broad in scope, they will help you push away the noise so you can focus on the tasks at hand. With proper planning and a large amount of prep work done now, you will be able to handle any disaster imaginable.

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The Essentials and the Extra Weight – The Make-and-Break Gear of the Wilderness

3 Nov

Written by Cody on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note:A review of the basics is never a waste of time. A contribution from a far. Every prepper starts with the basics. 

You never know what the wilderness has in store for you. It’s big, mysterious and always has new things for you to discover. For that reason, many people choose to adventure themselves in nature for a certain period, to experience survival in the wild.

However, people tend to pack unnecessary things as well, leading to extra weight and ending up with a severe back pain and other aches. Because you want to avoid that, here is what we think you need to survive in the wilderness without carrying those extra kilos.

The Essentials – What Should You Pack?

Whenever you go on a trip, this question is playing with your mind – “What should I pack?” You wish you could take any small and insignificant thing, because “you never know”. Nevertheless, you should take only what you need to survive for that certain period. In order to avoid carrying around unnecessary objects that will only hold you back, here is a list of essentials we think you need to survive in the wilderness.

Backpack

It’s obvious that you’re not going to carry everything in your arms. You’ll need something that can handle everything you need for survival. It needs to be compact, though, and it’s always better to choose a waterproof one, just in case.

Clothing

It’s essential to bring weather-appropriate clothing. If you think about it, you never know how the weather is going to be. What if you go to sleep in only your boxers, and you wake up covered in snow?

Make sure you have both warm weather and cold weather clothing as well as rain gear. Depending on the destination, do some research to make sure you’ll not make any mistakes.

Tents and Sleeping Bags

Unless you want to hang some hammocks and sleep between trees, it would be a great idea to bring a tent. Although you’re going to explore the wilderness, that doesn’t mean you won’t have to camp somewhere and sleep. A tent is very much needed.

Additionally, if you’re going to colder areas, you should consider some sleeping bags as well. You definitely wouldn’t like waking up with icicles hanging from your nose.

IWB

Wilderness can hold a lot of dangers. As a safety measure, you should consider having an IWB (inside the waistband holster.) Basically, it’s a holder that allows you to have a weapon concealed and ready to fire in case you’re under attack from a wild animal.

So, if you don’t want to be eaten by a bear, check for some concealed carry holsters.

Purification Tablet and Water Bottles

Water is important, and you need to be hydrated at all times. Despite some areas having drinkable tap water, it’s better to bring purification tablets. You’ll be so thirsty you may not have time to find out whether the water is drinkable or not. Also, make sure you bring reusable bottles. You want to protect the environment as well, don’t you?

First Aid kit

Anything is bound to happen when you’re in nature and not protected by walls anymore. Therefore, a first aid kit will likely come in handy at some point. Who knows when you get some cuts, splinters or burns? The kit will be your best friend in these situations.

Eye Mask and Ear Plugs

If you’ve ever had annoying roommates, you know how godly an eye mask and ear plugs are to have. Because you are not going alone on this trip, you will have to endure other people’s habits. Some may be snorers, cough very loud or just chat until very late. You need proper rest, so make sure you bring these items and you’ll sleep like a baby.

Toilet Paper and Wet Wipes

Oh, how you’re going to miss your bathroom, where you would stay in the shower for two hours. Sadly, not all public restrooms have toilet papers, so you’re going to need some.

Moreover, wet wipes may be the only shower you could take in a while. You will feel cleaner and not smell (too hard).

Small Towels

Small towels are a necessity because you are going to need something to wipe your hands on or wipe your face after washing it in the morning. You shouldn’t take big towels, though. They are only going to take a lot of space, and they dry slowly as well.

The Extra Weight – What Should Stay at Home?

There are several things you shouldn’t pack. Some of them are:

Extra Clothes or Shoes

Although you’re tempted to take your best clothes, this is a bad idea. Not only that they will take a lot of space, but you risk ruining them as well. What if your favorite t-shirt gets stuck in something, and you end up shredding it to pieces?

You should only bring weather-appropriate and comfortable clothes. That means no jeans. You want to move freely, don’t you?

Laptops

A laptop is only going to require extra care and attention, because it may get damaged in certain conditions. Unless you need it for work, you can leave it at home. You need to survive without TV-shows for a while.

Valuables and Jewelry

Not only that you avoid being a theft victim, but you’ll also be at peace of mind knowing you don’t need to take extra care of them. And seriously though – why would you need them considering you’ll be in the wild most of the time? Bears certainly won’t compliment your expensive necklace.

Things You Can Buy During the Trip

There’s no point to pack some extra things if they can be purchased at your destination. They will only take unnecessary space.

Books

One book may not be such an issue but abstain from bringing your whole Stephen King collection. Not only that you’ll not have time to read so much, but you will have a stuffed backpack as well.

Final Thoughts

Going on a survival trip can be a great experience if you know how to properly enjoy it. One of the things you could do to ensure success is to pack the essentials only. Getting too many items will make you focus more on the weight than the trip itself.

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Practical Fuels for Off-Grid Survival

27 Oct

Written by Cody on The Prepper Journal.

Prepping is not just about stocking up for an event such as an economic collapse or a natural disaster that rends away the systems that keeps modern society functioning. It’s also about independence, self-reliance, family and community cohesion, and pride in our ability to survive.

We can be self-reliant in a number of ways, by for example, being self-reliant for food with having a smart crop rotation, raising our own cattle and keeping our own bees.

We can also be self-reliant for water, ensuring a fresh, drinkable water supply is available by either harnessing natural fresh water available, or by using filtration and pumping technology to recycle water which may be contaminated.

But ensuring we have fuel, for warmth, for cooking, to operate machinery like water systems and to power utilities such as lights and battery charging stations is of the utmost importance as without it, all the other essentials for survival become more difficult to obtain.

Two Main Categories of Fuel

Not every fuel can be used in every way and so you’ll most probably need to rely on multiple fuels to keep your systems up and running.

You may have an abundance for wood for home cooking for example, but this can’t necessarily be used to power your generator for lights, refrigeration, water pumps, etc. And if you do run out, have you got a different fuel type to fall back on?

To get an idea of what kind of fuel diversity you’ll need, first we need to break the fuel types down into two distinct categories: fuels for domestic use and fuels for heavy duty use.

Domestic Fuel

Your domestic fuels such as wood, propane, kerosene or solar are relatively easy to obtain and maintain a supply of. They’re typically used for things such as cooking, home heating and boiling water.

These fuels provide the essentials for survival and for an individual or a family who lives a simplistic, modest lifestyle. Living this way can be easy with the safety net of society always there to fall back on, but without it you’ll find that relying on these fuels alone will be difficult and time consuming.

However, they can supply you with more than enough power for your domestic needs and some are renewable enough to last you for quite some time. They make great supplementary fuels so that you can make your heavy duty fuels last longer.

Heavy Duty Fuel

From the perspective of a prepper or a homesteader, heavy duty fuel is used for powering internal combustion engines. Having a generator, a vehicle or heavy duty tools make life a lot easier and are often required as a means of sourcing other survival essentials. Especially if you are a part of a larger prepper community.

Gasoline is by far the most common fuel used for home generators and vehicles. Modern diesel and gasoline is produced by a specific process with additives and fortifications resulting in a complex mixture that many think is required for a combustion engine to work.

On the contrary, a combustion engine will run from anything that can fill its combustion chamber and be ignited to produce enough energy to get the engine going. Popular diesel fuel alternatives include the use of ethanol and bio-fuels such as wood gas and even vegetable oil.

Practical Domestic Fuels

Just how pragmatic a fuel can be will depend on a number of factors. How easy is it to acquire? Can it be easily reproduced? Can it be easily stored and for a long time? Is it efficient? And can it be used in different ways?

The answers to these questions can vary on things such as your location, state restrictions, how much land you have, how much of it you’ll need and whether you have the means to acquire it, process it and store it.

Fire Wood

Wood has been the reliable fuel of choice by humans since the discovery of fire. For the modern man, it can be used for cooking, heating, for lighting and even for central heating if you have a wood fueled boiler.

It is a great supplementary and domestic fuel source for preppers who live in rural and even suburban locations.  If you have your own land with the right trees, or a permit to go chopping in a local forest then you have a sustainable fuel source that you can stock up on!

Many people chose to simply burn their wood in a fireplace or just as a campfire, but much of the heat is lost into the air or up the chimney this way and is less efficient.

A common mode of home heating and cooking with wood is the humble wood stove which directs heat forwards and allows a safe space for the wood to combust. Quality wood stoves for preppers would not incorporate a catalytic combustion feature, as the catalyst element degrades over time and will need replacing.

Of course, even though wood is sustainable so long as it is harvested sustainably, the over use of wood can be a problem as it can easily run out, and even if you’re replanting trees, they do take their time to regrow.

Many prepare their wood into wood chips by using a wood chipper or burn wood in a low oxygen environment to produce charcoal which can then be used as fuel and stretch your wood source for longer.

Once you have obtained and split your firewood, it will need to be seasoned before use which is a process of drying the wood over a period of time (usually around 6 months). During this time it will need to be stored in a dry place such as a wood shed as moisture will cause it to rot.

Solar Power

Using solar power is a fantastic way to save on your other means of fuel whilst solar energy is available. You can set up an off grid solar power system in which the energy absorbed by solar panels would be stored in a battery for use or you can purchase separate solar powered gadgets and appliances which are handy to have when no other power sources are available.

For instance did you know that solar powered freezers are available? Freezers and refrigerators can be a huge drain on energy since they need to be run all the time, but are vital for preserving food and medicine. Having stored solar energy just in case a generator goes down or another fuel runs out can be a life saver!

Even in low conditions, solar power can be used for charging batteries, cell phones or lighting which is unbelievably useful in and of itself. With the right set up using decent inverters and batteries with at least 600 watt/hour of usable capacity, can drastically reduce your monthly energy bills.

Propane

When crude oil is broken down during the refinery process, several classes of product are obtained: refinery gasses, kerosene, gasoline, diesel oil and other residues. Propane is one of the refinery gasses alongside methane, ethane and butane.

As most RV owners and those who live outside of the range of the natural gas pipelines will know, propane can be purchased in cylinders that can be connected directly to the device or appliance that requires it.

Even though it can be quite a pain to stock up on and store, it is versatile as you can purchase many devices and appliances that use propane such as space heaters, generators and cookers. And even more devices, appliances and even vehicles can be converted to run off of propane (even though this may not be a wise decision).

The benefit of using propane is it is highly energy efficient meaning that you get a lot of power for the amount that you burn and it is regarded as clean fuel in the 1990 Clean Air Act as well as the Energy Policy Act of 1992.

Additionally, propane is a great fuel to store up on because it does not suffer much degradation over time unlike gasoline or firewood. However, pressurized propane tanks can be dangerous if not handled and stored correctly though, so ensure that you know what you’re doing to avoid any accidents.

Kerosene

Kerosene, another by-product of the crude oil refinery process is also another fantastic fuel to store over a long period of time. It is not as volatile as gasoline meaning it’s less likely for any mistakes to cause a major incident.

It’s highly versatile and can be used in stoves for cooking and heating or used for lighting. Kerosene fueled lighting may not be the safest as an accidental spillage could cause a fire but having kerosene lamps as a backup light source is extremely handy.

It’s a lot more efficient to burn than propane as its chemical makeup allows it, in simple terms, to store more energy and it’s easier to source and cheaper. This means not only are you getting a decent back up fuel source, it’s also great value for money.

The benefits of kerosene doesn’t just stop at being a fuel source either. It makes a great cleaning agent for bicycle and motorcycle chains and has in the past been praised as an effective home remedy for head lice, although one need to use it as such as a last resort as it is a toxic substance which can cause damage to the skin, burns and scarring.

Practical Heavy Duty Fuels

Gasoline

This is the most popular fuel that preppers stock up on, particularly for bug outs. There’s good reason for this because more vehicles used in the US are gasoline based rather than diesel.

If it comes to a SHTF scenario, the gas pumps may no longer have power to deliver your fuel to you, and so many others will rush there to get some last minute emergency fuel that it wouldn’t be viable anyway. And that’s why it’s wise to have it stored.

The problem with gasoline as whilst it’s easy enough to stock up on, it hasn’t got the lifespan that many other fuels do have and there’s not much possibility of you being able to produce it for yourself when it runs out.

Gasoline has about a year in storage before it becomes totally unusable but you do have the options of purchasing certain additives which can increase its lifespan. The additive will need to be introduced to the gas every year to ensure it remains useful to you.

Of course, in the SHTF scenario, a massive survival strategy would be to scavenge gas from abandoned vehicles. This means you should without a doubt have yourself a siphoning kit and learn to siphon gas efficiently so that you can always be on the lookout for more fuel to keep your vehicles running and keep your generators going.

With that said, gasoline is highly volatile and needs to be stored safely and out of the elements. No direct sunlight should be able to reach your gas stocks, no ignition source anywhere near by and it should be stored in a separate building to your living area to avoid any major incidents.

Diesel

Although not as popular as gasoline, diesel is known as a more efficiency fuel, especially for larger vehicles which are usually used as bug out vehicles. However, if you thought gasoline has had a short shelf life, diesel can be stored for between 6 – 12 months, and that’s in ideal conditions.

Just like with gasoline though, additives such as fuel stabilizers, can be bought and added to the fuel to extend its lifespan. They work by reducing its degradation following exposure to light and oxygen.

There is also the option of nitrogen blanketing the tank which is the process of removing the oxygen from the storage tank by replacing it with nitrogen. It greatly extends the life of diesel and also mitigates much of the risk of explosion.

Gasoline and Diesel Alternatives

When thinking of long term survival in regards to fuel, we have to consider the possibility of the fuel running out and whether there are other useful alternatives to these fuels that may not be as efficient but are cheap and easy to obtain.

Wood Gas

Timber or charcoal can be converted into a usable gas for combustion engines using a wood gas generator. It’s a diverse fuel that can be created from on-hand materials and is far cleaner than petroleum based fuel.

A DIY wood gas generator can be made if you are quite talented at engineering but it’s not recommended. A downside to wood gas is that it contains a high concentration of carbon monoxide making it highly toxic and so it will need to be very securely contained.

If you can get your hands on a reliable wood gas generator, you will be able to fuel your generators and vehicles using a fuel that you can make yourself. It allows you to go without relying on the products of big oil companies which to some preppers, is a huge benefit.

Ethanol

Most diesel and gasoline formulations that you buy now are a formulation containing about 10% ethanol, the reason being, ethanol, whilst being less efficient than petroleum based fuels, still releases enough energy when combusted to run an engine. The exhaust produced is also a lot cleaner.

It’s cheap to obtain and can be made easily enough by fermenting vegetable matter like corn or sugar beet. After fermenting the crop, you’ll need to refine the ethanol/vegetable mush to extract the pure ethanol.

If you plan on doing this yourself, check your state laws as although distilling your own alcohol is legal in most states, ethanol can be problematic as they’ll think you are in the business of making moonshine.

Also if you are distilling alcohol to be used as a fuel, you’ll need to go to measure to make it undrinkable and you may need to pay a tax as well.

Just how good ethanol can be does depend heavily on the kind of engine you are running on. Older engines, that is pre-2001, may have a better time with running on higher percentages of ethanol but too much can cause damage to the engine and render it unusable altogether.

Bio-diesel

Another alternative is the use of a diesel engine to run from bio-fuels such as plant based oils. Diesel engine models, particularly older ones, do not use a spark plug to ignite the fuel and instead use the heat generated from compression allowing items like cooking oil to be used as a fuel for vehicles.

Unfortunately it’s not just a case of putting the cooking oil straight into your generator or vehicle and some processing will be required to remove the glycerin. This is done by mixing lye and methanol into a solution which is then added to the oil to separate the biodiesel from the glycerin.

Even though a diesel engine can start from the use of bio-diesel, one of the downsides is that it can sometimes take longer than you would expect if the oil in the tank is cold. Other drawbacks include the propensity it has to corrode rubber tubing, caps and other components and that it gels in low temperatures, more so that gasoline.

No pure renewable cost efficient pollution-free fuels have really come to the market but, as preppers, we need to make do with what is available, what is reasonable to produce/obtain and store, and what will work best for our individual needs.

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Accidents on the Information Superhighway

28 Sep

Written by Cody on The Prepper Journal.

Even if you completely discount the circus that is taking place in Washington D.C., which you should, and just open up your computer to the Internet your are suddenly in a unique swamp all to its self, one replete with low-life creatures that even the creators of fiction in Hollywood would envy.

As Preppers we, like everyone else, deal in information, we depend upon it and should always understand its sources. We are already aware of the American Media and its agenda and hopefully we have learned to apply the proper filters. On the one side we make planning and life decisions based on the information at hand and on the other we keep valuable data in these smart devices. Date that can be used to hurt us financially.

Can we be sure our laptop is secure? Any of our internet capable devices? I know I have received a half-dozen scams through email of late phishing for information. Emails that are mirror images of the actual sites we deal with on a regular basis (JP Morgan Chase, Amazon, E-bay, even Google) looking to “verify” account information and now with required fields for my social security number and drivers license number sprinkled in the mix.

I even got a phone scam last month from someone claiming to be from the IRS and leaving a voicemail that I must call back if I don’t want the matter passed off the next 24 hours to local law enforcement to process. The IRS does NOT call. These scammers are out there and they can be pretty slick.

Am I complicit in this loss of innocence since I have allowed myself to use the “free” email from Yahoo, G-Mail, Hotmail or AOL (ugh)? I am certainly guilty of taking a convenient short-cut to save some money, and can I even be sure that a paid email service is any more secure? Where do you draw the line between reasonable caution and paranoia? A simple way to make that call is where do you put your car keys after you park the vehicle somewhere? Locking it and taking the keys does not assure it won’t be stolen, but it does make it a lesser target than perhaps others. Or do you leave it unlocked, windows rolled down and the keys in the center console? I have a friend I sail with who does just that. Understand that the car is a 1990’s beat to death Ford Taurus, but still it is wheels, something to take for a joyride.

To be honest I had a good laugh this month when there was “breaking news” that Google is working with the Chinese Government to connect all data and search results with a users phone number there, making it easy for their government to know their every keystroke. My laughter was because people will read that and think it isn’t true elsewhere, including here.

So, do you think your computer is protected now? By Norton or McAfee or whatever software. Well, it is safer for sure, but no one can guarantee it 100%.

And what about your laptop (if they are not one in the same)? Smartphone? Are you 100% sure nobody is monitoring your traffic now, reading your emails, running searches for strings of numbers that could be credit card numbers? The Payment Card Industry (PCI) is one of the bright spots in this cyber jungle because they have to be; without them on-line would just be looking at pictures. They bend over backwards to insure, as best they can, the security of your credit card number. It is a race and the hackers are the mechanical rabbits and the cyber-security industry are the greyhounds.

Besides phishing for financial data other scams include:

  • “Your Domain Name is Expiring+ = phishing for login credentials
  • Technical Support Calling – a call claiming to be from Hp or Microsoft that they have detected a problem in your computer and need you to log into their site to address it – capturing your login/password
  • FBI – contacting you over license infringements on files, usually music or videos, that you downloaded
  • …and on and on

The list is endless and runs from clever to “who would fall for that” but people do, daily. I for one am still waiting for my winnings from the “fill in the blank” countries lottery winnings. And one has to be as clueless as our elected representatives to not know about the ransom ware traveling the world wide web.

I even had my Uber account hacked. I began getting confirmation numbers in text messages for scheduled pickups. I tried contacting Uber, an impossible task for anything other than a ride somewhere. Only took a few weeks, like 7 of them, to get Ubers attention.

I find that when I am driving the information superhighway I have to be just as alert and aware and on top of things as when I am driving the roads of America, a threat can come out of nowhere and your reaction time is all you have to recognize it and avoid a costly collision.

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Tips for Defending Your Bug Out Location

15 Aug

Written by Cody on The Prepper Journal.

A guest post from Megan Ray Nichols.

When things go down, you’ll need to be ready to defend your bug out site, whether it is someplace off your normal beaten path or your home or the home of a relative that has been selected and stocked by your extended family. Whether you also have family or vital supplies stored there, standing your ground becomes critical to keeping your attackers at bay. And the key to this is to know your force multipliers to turn yourself into a fighter with the force of a group. This alone will help you to defend your location and keep those within it safe.

Choose Your Bug Out Location Carefully

The first step in defending your bug out location is making sure it’s justifiable to hole up there. You will need adequate space for yourself, your family and your survival supplies. It should have access to fresh water and fresh sources of food. Food can be from hunting, from growing it or from both. Locations in valleys or low spots are hard to defend. Choose high ground for easier defense.

From experience during Bosnia’s occupation, survival expert Selco noted that the best locations during disasters changed. Immediately after the event, you want to stay away from places people loot, like gas stations and stores. Later, the best places were homes in densely packed neighborhoods. This gave people more places to escape to if one home was destroyed. It also allowed a hideout to blend into the background, making it less noticeable to others.

If you have trusted friends, they can hole up in the nearby houses to provide extra security to the area, to cover your 6.

Know Multiple Ways to Defend Yourself

You will need a variety of weapons to keep marauders away. At a minimum, your arsenal should include a long-range rifle, semi-automatic shotgun, a handgun per person and a semi-automatic defensive rifle. To arm these weapons, plan on 1,000 rounds per weapon. Each semi-automatic rifle should have at least ten (10) magazines in stock. And handguns require a minimum of five (5) magazines per weapon.

Depending on where you live, you may need more ammunition than the minimum. Some states have a higher percentage of gun owners. In 2014, Wyoming had the highest number of guns per 1,000 people, at 195.7. Other states with a high number of guns per 1,000 people include the District of Columbia (not really a state but it says volumes about Washington D.C. politics), Arkansas, New Mexico and Virginia.

In these places, when things go down, you’re more likely to encounter another gun owner and get into a firefight. Be prepared with enough ammo.

While guns are useful in survival situations, you’ll also need to know about hand-to-hand fighting. A gun does not help a lot if you end up in close combat.

But fighting with your hands or a knife will do you no good if you have someone sniping at you from a distance. Having handguns, shot guns and knives in your arsenal in addition to non-lethal options like mace will help keep your location safe.

Create Barriers to Your Property

 

You want to keep invaders off your property and as far from your location as possible. Surround the perimeter with thick, thorn-covered plants. Cacti or holly bushes can deter people and wildlife from entering the area.

In lieu of plants, create a perimeter of barbed wire fencing. Nail boards and pit traps will also stop enemies from closing in on your bug out location.

Inside this perimeter, clear the space to your hideout. This gives you a clear line of sight to see who’s coming. Anyone who makes it past your first line of defenses will then have to pass right in front of you. If they pose an immediate threat, you may need to use your firearms. But assess the situation before shooting on-sight. Those coming could become trusted allies. If they’re looters, shooting will alert them to your location. It might be best to lay low if you have a bunker and it seems they will pass by.

Defending Your Bunker

While creating a perimeter works for both houses and bunkers, underground bunkers have other unique defense requirements. You will need to create positions in the area to defend your bunker from. Since you won’t have above-ground windows to watch the area or snipe from, you’ll need defense pits. A simple hole for a pair of defenders dug four to five feet deep and surrounded with 12 to 18 inches of dirt provides protection and cover for those inside.

If you’re concerned about vehicular traffic reaching your bunker, install heavy concrete bollards around your perimeter. These are the same types of barriers retail stores use at their entrances to prevent cars from accidentally driving through the front doors.

Defending a Home

Freestanding homes, cabins or RVs on a property have different defense requirements than bunkers. You can keep someone in an upper story window as a lookout the entire time. For optimal protection, your home should be built on the highest ground possible. This makes it easier to defend. It also makes seeing invaders from a distance easier.

If you have access to cameras and the means to power them, use these to create a visible perimeter around your property. Flying drones can help you pinpoint the location of invaders hiding nearby.

Have an Escape Route

Sometimes, even the best-laid plans fail. Have an escape route planned before you need it. If you have a bunker, consider installing an escape tunnel from it when you build the bunker itself. Heavy-duty culvert pipes can create this tunnel to a safer location. Just be certain to block off the end of the tunnel. Even a concealed trench can allow you and your family to leave the property unnoticed. Just remember that tunnels and trenches, like tracer rounds, work both ways,

From a house, it will be more difficult to construct a tunnel. But a trench could still give you a way out. If you have your vehicle on your property, a back road leading away from the house can give you a fast way to get out. Make sure to keep the gas tank filled to be ready for a quick egress from your property.

Surviving Bugging Out

When it’s time to bug out, you need to be ready for anything. Defending your bug out location is critical. You’re not only protecting yourself and your family, but also your important survival supplies and land. The land around your bug out location is just as important to your survival as the bunker or home itself. Be ready to keep invaders off your property to set yourself up for surviving the worst.

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SOURCES:

https://www.wingtactical.com/blog/needbased-gun-ownership/

https://www.theorganicprepper.com/selco-defend-your-home-shtf/

https://urbansurvivalsite.com/tips-defending-bug-out-location-marauders/

http://undergroundbombshelter.com/new-articles/defending-the-shelter-ways-to-protect-what-youve-built.htm

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What to Bring When Camping in the Rain

9 Mar

Written by Cody on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: Another guest submission from Cody Jarrett to The Prepper Journal. Some good points for prepping for all kinds of weather. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award like Cody, as well as being entered into the Prepper Writing Contest AND have a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, then enter today!

Camping in the rain doesn’t have to be a miserable experience. If you plan on going camping in the UK, there is always a good chance that it’s going to rain. In this article, we’ll share our 10 tips on camping in wet weather to help you make the most out of your camping trip regardless of the weather conditions.

What to bring:

Tarpaulin

A tarpaulin is ideally the single most essential item to bring when planning a camping trip, as it can be a total life saver. Think in multiples! You want to have at least one large sheet of tarpaulin that you can place over the tent, so that in case of a downpour, you pitch it with ease; and an additional one to place underneath the floor of the tent for the extra waterproof protection.

  

The tarp also has a variety of other useful purposes, such as creating a sheltered space for firewood, bikes, and camping chairs. You may also use a tarp to set aside a rain-free area close to your tent for other camping activities, which can be super handy as it gives you the freedom of enjoying everything you had planned for in spite of the rain.

Groundsheets

Groundsheets serve as your ultimate line of protection between you and the soggy ground. For this reason, be sure to have one with you, ready. Aside from serving as an extra level of defense against the soggy ground, the groundsheet will effectively insulate the tent floor, providing you with a much warmer night’s sleep.

Ensure that the groundsheet underneath the tent matches the size of the tent’s floor. Keep in mind that if you use a larger groundsheet, it will retain rainwater, leading to undesirable funnel effect.  Have the ends of the groundsheet folded away underneath the tent floor to secure them properly.

Another key benefit of having a groundsheet is that it can be pitched perfectly on a smooth foundation, and the floor of the tent will in turn be more comfortable to sleep on.

Gazebo

Although a gazebo is not on every camper’s list for possessions to bring along, it can be quite essential when roughing it out in the wet wilderness. As large waterproof structures, they offer ample space to roam around, relax, and set up a table camping style, while you smugly listen to the sound of the pattering rain nearby, thereby avoiding getting soaked in it. Modern gazebos are also very easy to install.

Blankets

 

When it comes to camping, especially when the weather forecast doesn’t look so good, a few extra blankets wouldn’t go amiss. Extended rainfall can lower the air temperature substantially and raise the humidity levels. As such, you’ll want to wrap yourself up in a toasty, dry sheath come night time. With a few blankets, you will get the cozy camper feeling, which makes listening to the rain an enjoyable experience.

Waterproof Footwear and Clothing

From the first instance, the waterproof clothing you wear should be both lightweight and breathable, with fully loaded wrist cuffs, taped seams, and adjustable hoods to keep the rain out. Your kit should cover the basics such as waterproof trousers, waterproof jacket, and waterproof boots, and if the temperatures are too low, have a fleece and a base layer.

Keep the waterproof ratings of each of your kit’s pieces in mind, since they’ll come into play if you do find yourself in the shower. Anything that goes beyond 5,000 mvp of breathability and 5,000 mm of water-proofness should keep you well ventilated and securely watertight.

Avoid putting on cotton clothing as these soak up moisture rather than wicking it. It’s also recommended that you bring extra waterproof clothing, which should be safely stored in plastic bags, just in you accidentally get wet and need a change of clothing or gear. So, before you set out on your trip, you should reproof any old waterproof trousers, jackets, or boots to power up the coatings using wash-in or spray-on water-proofers.

Emergency Rain Ponchos

You need to have rain ponchos for you and the rest of your cohorts in case you need to get out of the rain. Wear them when you’re setting camp too, to keep you dry, keep your waterproof gear intact and prevent getting drenched.

Plastic Bags

These are some of the cheapest, most compact, and most versatile tool out there, so make the most out of them. You can ideally get them from any shop selling anything under the sun, for a price that’s next to nothing. They also pack away brilliantly, and take up negligible amount of space. You can essentially use the essential items to stay absolutely dry including extra clothing, gear, books, bedding, etc.

Dry Bags

These are the pricier and more sophisticated alternative to the regular plastic bags. As waterproof sacs, you can use them to store anything from laptops to wallets in order to keep them safely from moisture. The key advantage with dry bags is that you can reuse them endlessly, and they are a bit kinder on the environment compared to the normal plastic bags. They also generally feature straps, clips, and draw cords to secure your items perfectly.

Newspaper

Newspapers can be used as a drying medium for stuff that might get wet despite your best efforts. You can use newspaper to stuff any damp socks or shoes to speed up the drying process and have them dry much faster.

Lighting

Lighting is a must-have feature on any camping trip, and particularly so if you pitch your tent under an overcast. The gloomy skies will leave little light to show your way. You can use a hand-held torch to explore the outdoor environment, a headtorch to shine some light as you pitch your tent, or even lanterns to light the camping space up for eating, reading, etc.

Cords and Ropes

  

These are a necessary multi-purpose tool when you’re out in the wild, especially in rainy weather. You’ll find them quite useful if you’d like to hang a few sheets of tarp to build separate rainproof shelters, or if one of your tent’s guy rope accidentally snaps from the pressure of the bad weather. As a rule of thumb, always bring a few extra ropes and cords for contingencies. 

Additional Tent Pegs

Before leaving, ensure that you have extra tent pegs with you. They’re largely inexpensive, and can be your guiding savior in case you lose one of the regular ones in the swampy ground. You can also use them to fasten the tent more strongly so that your tent can withstand the strong winds. 

Entertainment

If it’s raining heavily, you’ll naturally be less inclined to go for long voyages outside during your trip. So, it’s better to have alternative forms of entertainment to keep you occupied and satisfied. Bring some magazines, books, chargers, music players, a deck of cards, board games, and anything else your comrades will appreciate and enjoy throughout the trip.

Reproofer

It’s a great idea to throw in some reproofer in your camping backpack. You need to reproof your gear and tent before you head out camping, but it never hurts to have it handy in case of an emergency. If you find that your waterproof trousers or jacket is leaking in water, a quick recoat can save it from disuse.

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Points That Will Leave You Questioning Your Bug-Out-Bag Efficiency

14 Feb

Written by Cody on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: Another guest submission from Cody Jarrett to The Prepper Journal. Nothings says love on Valentines Day like making sure your significant other(s) have every edge. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award like Cody, as well as being entered into the Prepper Writing Contest AND have a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, then enter today!

Are you going camping or bugging out? Does it involve hiking and sleeping out in the woods?  Well, it does include considering a bag that will be convenient enough for you during your escapades. One of the mistakes you can do is traveling with a stressful backpack. For this reason, it is beneficial for you to consider the different bug-out bags available for your journey.

A bug-out can be an asset as well as a liability if not carefully selected. Below are some pointers to help you pick out the right bag for you.

Comfortability

A bug-out bag needs to be comfortable. Depending on what the bag is for, comfort is one aspect of it you can’t compromise. The bag needs to be something that you can easily carry without hurting your shoulders.  Why bug-out with a bag that is any more of a burden than it has to be during an emergency evacuation when a disaster strikes?

The padding and straps are a great way to confirm if the bag is comfortable or not. The belt that is close to your hip is the most important piece since it is the one that allows the bag weight to rest on the hips. It should be much stronger than the one designed for the shoulders. The straps of the bag should contain the right measurements for your body weight.

You need a bag that does not have any rigid frames. Also, find a bag that has no metal frames near the head. You risk hurting your head especially if you slip and fall with your back.

Size

One of the crucial aspects of a bag is the size. What is the bug-out bag for?  If the primary purpose of it is for carrying more items, then you should consider a more significant option. However, if it is mainly for moving lightweight stuff like the FAST-ACT Decon Mitt which contains a containment system when you are in a position where there are chemical spills, then you don’t need a large bag.

Sometimes, you may need the bag to carry out a few first aid necessities, therefore, when shopping for a bag, consider the number of items you intend to carry. Note: avoid carrying excess things because they make your bag heavy, minimizing your mobility.

Bag Color

Choosing the right color for your bag matters a lot. In cases where you need to blend in with the surrounding, get camouflage colors. If the bag is for hiking purposes, choose a neutral color that will blend in with the environment like brown, green and so on. The reason for such neutral colors is to avoid unnecessary attention. You don’t want to attract animals or unwanted visitors with your bag’s colors. I use the can of Coke analogy. That bright red color is what attracts bees close enough to get the sugar scent that makes them stop by for a drink. Put a can of open Coke on one end of a picnic table and a second open Coke, but in a dull colored koozi on the other and see for yourself.

The Framing

Whether you need to buy a bag with a frame or not depends solely on you but, it’s highly recommended to purchase a framed bag. The reason? This helps in balancing the bag against your body weight. On average, filled, it should not weigh more than 20% of your body. This translates to about up to 40 lbs.

A bag that has frames will help in weight distribution which in turn reduces pressure on your shoulders.

Bags that have an external frame are designed to hold heavier items. They also give you a chance to carry sleeping bags when you have decided to go hiking with your friends up the mountains or, well, bug out!

Internally framed bags are also helpful because they make the bag more stable and lighter.  This, in turn, helps in mobility for those who are looking for such a bag. A frameless bag will in the long run cause back pains which could result in a long-term problem.

Of course the final weight of the bag will depend on how much supplies you are carrying as well as the number of people who you intend to support with them.

Durability

Cheap is for now, but expensive is forever. Do you want a cheap bag or one that will serve you for the longest time? The choice is yours though the trick is investing in a bag that will last almost a lifetime. Consider a bag that will withstand intense conditions regardless of the environment.

Purchase a bag equipped with quality material. To find a bag that has higher chances of lasting long, you can check on reviews of the specific bag and see what other people think about it. Additionally, find one designed for survival.

Accessibility

A secret towards successfully purchasing a bug-out bag is one that has compartments. How stressful is it to keep searching for items that are all packed in one place? This can also become time-consuming. The bag should have a significant compartment for carrying larger items while other smaller compartments of different sizes for varied items.  These little items could include the FAST-ACT Microfiber Towel Pack which contains the FAST-ACT Powder Bottle Pack for decontamination purposes.

Compartments are a great way of organizing your bag to trace items easily, especially during extreme emergencies. If possible, find one with compartments that can be closed to avoid dropping out some things.

Air Flow Feature

Find a bug-out bag that will keep you aerated.  Walking miles and miles will eventually cause excessive sweating.  Get a bag that has enough space which is designed to allow adequate air to flow. This because the sweating creates a lot of discomforts hence the need for such a bag. Most bags will come with a rain cover in cases of rain. They will ensure that your items are safe and there are no chances of soaking in the rain.

Gender-Based Features

There are bags designed for males and females. If you prefer one that is of a specific gender, then consider the strap size as well as the shape of the bag which is the most crucial. However, you may want to go with a bag that is universally designed with no gender in mind. Whatever you decide, make your choice worthwhile.

Put into consideration that the bag you choose will affect you long term.  The bug-out bag is a great move towards your disaster preparedness journey. The wide selection of bags is there for you to decide what you are comfortable with. Put into consideration the above points for successfully picking out a bag that will increase your chances of bugging out during emergencies.

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And a sweet and happy St. Valentines Day to all who have a sweet and happy Valentine to share it with!

 

The post Points That Will Leave You Questioning Your Bug-Out-Bag Efficiency appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

For Survivalist Being Prepared with N95 Masks is a Must!

15 Jan

Written by Cody on The Prepper Journal.

In uncertain times, many people are gathering the things they need in the event of an emergency. Food, water, and shelter are usually at the forefront of everyone’s minds; however, other safety and precautionary equipment are often overlooked, like items to reduce the impact of chemicals threats and attacks. N95 masks, and chemical odor masks like the FAST-ACT VapourKlenz Face Mask, are just one of these things that are essential to have in an emergency pack.

What is an N95 Mask?

An N95 mask is a specially designed mask that is worn on the face, covering the nose and mouth to protect against potentially harmful airborne particles. It is sometimes referred to as a respirator. N95 means that the mask will filter at least 95% of particles that are at least 0.3 microns in size.

Can I Just Use a Surgical or Dust Mask?

While a surgical mask looks very similar to an N95 mask, it most definitely does not do the same thing. Do not get a surgical mask thinking you are fully protected from a harmful environment, as it does not work like that. Surgical masks are usually worn by doctors and surgeons to protect their patients from their germs. N95 masks work the opposite way by keeping potential surrounding bacteria and other harmful elements away from one’s respiratory system. There are also surgical N95 masks available. This works both ways by protecting the user against outside germs and prevents the spread of their own. Surgical N95 masks get the seal of approval from both NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) and the FDA.

Dust masks are also popular and found in most hardware stores. While they protect the wearer from the outside elements, they are not NIOSH approved and do not protect against harmful vapors and gases.

The Importance of Face Mask Ratings and Certifications

It is crucial that face masks are rated appropriately to guarantee the level of protection you will receive. Do not buy any mask that has not been approved by NIOSH or does not meet the European Standard. N95 is just one of the several ratings you can find on NIOSH-approved masks but is the most common. You are more likely to see N95 masks at your local hardware store or online. The NIOSH ratings are explained as follows:

Masks not resistant to oil:

N95 – Filters at least 95% of airborne particles.

N99 – Filters at least 99% of airborne particles.

N100 – Filters at least 99.7% of airborne particles.

Masks partially resistant to oil:

R95 – Filters at least 95% of airborne particles.

Masks that are very resistant to oil:

P95 – Will filter at least 95% of airborne particles.

N99 – Another type of the N99 that will filter at least 99% of particles but is resistant to oil.

N100 – Another type of the N100 that will filter at least 99.7% of particles but is resistant to oil.

As previously mentioned, face masks can also be at European Standard EN-149 and are slightly different to NIOSH ratings. The three main levels of EN-149 are:

P1 EN-149 – Will filter out at least 80% of particles.

P2 EN-149 – Will filter out at least 94% of particles.

P3 EN-149 – Filters 99.5% of particles.

You will be able to find these ratings right on the front of the mask towards the bottom of the model if it is NIOSH approved. It will also have the company, model, and lot numbers evident.

Does the Rating Make Any Difference?

It is not worth buying a cheap mask under any circumstance. Inexpensive masks will not give you the specific level of protection necessary and will end up being a waste of money. Studies have shown this to be true – testing out NIOSH approved masks against cheap surgical ones. The results are astounding, with a significant difference in the level of protection. NIOSH and CDC came to the following conclusions:

(Source: http://www.pitt.edu/~super7/51011-52001/51081.ppt)

It is evident that some unregulated masks will hardly do anything while others can offer a lot regarding protection.  However, this level of security is utterly uncertain without a NIOSH or European Standard rating. Therefore, it is always recommended that you guarantee your safety with an approved face mask, like FAST-ACT VapourKlenz Face Mask.

How Efficient are N95 Masks?

With many face masks, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach when it comes to levels of protection, so the answer here differs depending on the situation. As mentioned before, N95 masks offer at least 95% protection against particles that are 0.3 microns in size or larger. This chart will help put it into perspective:

1-inch = 25,400 microns

(Source: https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/particle-sizes-d_934.html)

Since N95 masks can handle particles 0.3 microns in size or more, it is pretty obvious that it is a good choice for most incidents.

N95 face masks have been shown to help reduce the spread of viruses too, despite the size often being less than 0.3 microns. If you are around someone who is suffering from an infection, it can help. However, if there is a viral outbreak going on, you will need to do more than rely on the face mask.

Will N95 Masks Help Against Chemical Attacks?

There are a lot of chemicals that the standard N95 mask would be able to help with, although using one is better than no protection at all. For protection against particulates, chemical and gas odors, go with the FAST-ACT’s VapourKlenz Face Mask. The VapourKlenz Face Mask works by using FAST-ACT technology to neutralize chemical odors. FAST-ACT technology is also proven to aid against the thousands of chemicals found in smoke, such as in the event of a wildfire, and even chemical attacks like mustard gas. It does this by using metal oxides rather than zeolites or carbon to help filter particles.

A Mask is Only as Effective as the Fit

If a mask does not fit correctly, then you may not be wearing one at all. N95 masks are only effective if they are correctly fitted around the head.

N95 masks are ideal for adults. Children will need specially made masks. N95 masks are also not recommended for those with facial hair since it can prevent a proper seal from forming, allowing for particles to get in. Depending on the model, there is often one or two stretchy straps that go over the head. They can usually be tightened for a better fit. If you find it still too loose, then you might need a different make.

There are a few checks you can do to ensure a good fit, and you will want to do these before an emergency should occur. Never wait until an incident occurs where you will need the mask only to find out it doesn’t fit. First, put both hands over the mask and take a big breath in. The mask should collapse towards the face without any air leaking out. Then breathe out and try to feel for any air escaping. If your mask has an exhalation valve, you will need to cover this first. If you can feel air leaking, then this may not be the right size/model for you. Go for a face mask that has a metal nose piece like the FAST-ACT VapourKlenz Face Mask, because this can be bent to provide the perfect fit over the nose.

Are Face Masks Worth It?

You can never be too prepared in the event of a disaster. With all that the FAST-ACT VapourKlenz Face Masks can do, everyone should have one in the emergency kits. They’re lightweight, inexpensive, and can be invaluable in times of emergency.

When choosing your air purifying respirator masks, go for one that is made with high-quality materials from a company that has experience in protecting against chemical and toxic threats. FAST-ACT has been a trusted name in the CBRN and Deconn. market in protecting against chemical threats, specializing in chemical hazard containment and neutralization systems for liquid and vapor threats. The VapourKlenz Face Mask is just one of the many products designed with patented neutralization technology to keep harmful particles out with a comfortable seal that can be adjusted, fitting most adults with no problem. It is compact and easy to store anywhere, including as part of your emergency pack. To find out more about the FAST-ACT VapourKlenz Face Mask, visit our page and order yours today.

Bio – As survivalists and a community that likes to be prepared for all circumstances, the threat of chemical vapors, releases, and attacks are some of the most serious as they pose an immediate threat to life. FAST-ACT was developed for that purpose, FAST deployment, with a minimal logistical burden, and broad-spectrum effectiveness to ACT upon the chemical threat.

Use coupon code TPJ15 and get 15% off your first order.

The post For Survivalist Being Prepared with N95 Masks is a Must! appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Why Geodesic Shelters Make the Best Emergency Shelters

18 Nov

Written by Cody on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A second guest submission from Cody Jarrett to The Prepper Journal. Serious Preppers will see the advantages in new products like these. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award like Cody, as well as being entered into the Prepper Writing Contest AND have a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, then enter today!

This year the United States has seen a large amount of natural disasters including earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and blizzards. In many cases these disasters left thousands of people stranded without food, water, first aid, shelter and other necessities. It is a recurring theme we as preppers follow, plan for, and hope against.

A good shelter is one of the most important items when planning for an emergency. The website Ready, the Official website of the Department of Home Security  lists shelters as the 2nd thing to plan for in an emergency. While most preppers plan to shelter at home as a first base, they also know having a bug-out destination is always necessary planning. After many disasters, it may be difficult to evacuate because of road damage, flooding, or lack of resources. In these instances, it is important to have a good shelter on hand that is adequate for your climate and family situation.

When researching shelters there are various kinds from army tents, yurts, bunkers and even camping tents. There are pros and cons to each one, but I am here to write about why geodesic shelters (specifically Geo Shelters) are the best shelters to live in after a disaster.

What exactly is a geodesic shelter?

The word geodesic refers to the shortest distance between two points on a curved surface. A geodesic shelter is a dome that is made of half a geodesic sphere. They are usually made from an array of triangles that form this sphere. These spheres enclose a maximum amount of space with the least amount of materials and they don’t require any interior supports.

What are the Benefits of a Geo Shelter?

Geo Shelters have several advantages when compared to conventional emergency shelters or housing. But some of the best benefits are:

  1. Strength Most people find it difficult to comprehend the strength of a geodesic dome. The American Institute of Architects say that “The Geodesic Dome is the strongest, lightest and most efficient means of enclosing space yet devised.” The strength of a Geo Shelter comes from the characteristics of the triangles and dome shape. Triangles are the strongest shape because they have a fixed angle and don’t distort very easily. If a pressure is applied to one edge of a triangle, then the force is evenly distributed to the other two sides. A force applied to the corner of a rectangle can deform it into a parallelogram, but the same force will not deform a triangle. Pair the triangles with a dome and you incorporate the strength of the triangles with those of an arch. When many triangles are connected to form a dome, the structure then becomes self-supporting.  This means that any pressure applied to the Geo Shelter will be evenly distributed throughout the structure making every part of the structure work against the pressure.  That cascading distribution of pressure is how geodesic domes efficiently distribute stress along the entire structure and help eliminate the need for supporting structures. Each connection or hub on a Geo Shelter can support hundreds of pounds of weight.
  2. Size – Geo Shelters have a 24 foot diameter giving the shelter over 450 square feet of open space. A geometric dome supports itself without needing internal columns or interior load-bearing walls; which gives the shelter more openness.
  3. Most effective against wind and storms Unlike square structures that have flat surfaces and corners, Geo Shelters are naturally resistant to the forces of nature because their dome shape allows wind and storms to pass around them. Geodesic domes are especially efficient at shedding snow, rain, and wind. The aerodynamic exterior allows high pressure air to force the dome towards the ground instead of lifting it up and blowing away.
  4. Maximum solar exposure A square or rectangle building receive less sun in the morning and evening and more sun at midday. A Geo Shelter receives more direct sunlight throughout the day because the sun follows the shape of the dome. This solar exposure helps to naturally heat the shelter in the winter and allows for more natural light. The shape is also ideal for solar panels to collect energy.
  5. Air circulation The spherical design makes the Geo Shelter highly effective at circulating warm or cold air since it can move freely without being trapped by corners. The dome shape also means outside air will flow around the structure instead of forcing its way into the interior.
  6. Even temperatures – Easy air circulation allows the Geo Shelters to maintain an even temperature. Lack of corners eliminate the cold areas found in square shelters. The surface area of a geodesic dome is less than 40% of a box shaped building that covers the same floor space. Less surface area makes it easier to heat and cool the Geo Shelter and gives less surface area to be exposed to outside temperature fluctuations.

Other benefits include affordability, ease of assembly, energy efficiency, and versatility.

What makes a Geo Shelter different from other shelters?

Geo Shelters are one of the most portable shelters for their size. The frame on the Geo Shelter is made of aerospace grade aluminum giving the structure its strength and integrity while also helping to keep it significantly lighter than its competitors. The base weight of the 24-foot shelter is 211 lbs. and is broken up into 4 bags giving the shelter the ability to be loaded into cars with ease.

Geo Shelters are also made for long term use. The fitted cover is made from an architectural vinyl fabric that is rated to last 5-7 years, 365 days a year under any weather condition. The cover material is UV protected and fire retardant.

One of the great benefits of a Geo Shelter is the ability to customize the shelter to fit your family’s needs. Some of the options are the number of vertical doors, its color  (white, tan, or digital camo), or added insulation and stove jack insert. A wide selection of accessories also help customize the shelter. Some of these accessories include vestibules, interior doors, gear lofts, room dividers, screen doors, stoves, solar panels, lighting, and sleeping systems.

We are a fan of Geo Shelters lightweight and portable structures and they will guide you through the process of designing your shelter to best fit your needs, and your budget. The code “ThePrepperJournal2017” is good for a 10% discount.

The post Why Geodesic Shelters Make the Best Emergency Shelters appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

For the Want of a Nail…..

25 Aug

Written by Cody on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A first time guest submission from Cody Jarrett, an article on a core theme, the currency of preppers, a good read with an EXCELLENT reference at the end (hint, I have read this book.) As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award like Cody, as well as being entered into the Prepper Writing Contest AND have a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, then enter today!

On a dive trip to the Cayman Islands I observed the following while on a boat 8 miles off-shore: One diver had his regulator mouthpiece fail while suiting up for the first of 3 dives. Too many trips biting down had finally done it in and he had no spare. I did not have a spare, but mine was fine – emergency missed (mental note taken). The boat had spare regulators but the guy brought his own and hesitated. One guy did have a spare and struck up a conversation with him and sold it to him for $20, cash. Normal costs $2.50, $5.95 for a high-quality one and $12.00 for a “fancy one” in a non-resort location. But, 8 miles from shore, the beginning of a 3-dive trip that had already cost $165, not wanting to depend on a rental that may have been in every mouth on the island to date, it was a sellers’ market. Pay the price or watch the birds and the waves for 8 hours. I am sure most of you have seen this in some form when you are off the grid.

  

The message here was that cash still worked but hyper-inflation had kicked in. Was the seller a jerk or was he simply planning? He was going to buy a replacement for his spares bag when he got back to shore, and dive shops have LARGE mark-ups, especially the ones in dive destinations, and making change in a world driven by ATM machines that use $20 bills as their standard, at sea, can be a hassle. Your call.

Trading, bartering and negotiating to supplement what you may have forgotten, left behind, or lost, or are running out of could require some creative thinking to come up with a payment. Like any trade, are you negotiating from a position of strength or weakness? If you wait until your supply of what you need is depleted, you have already lost most of your negotiating tactics.

  

While history is full of stories on what has been used as currency (salt and spices, coffee, tobacco, knives, furs, etc.) what will you have to trade? What four things will you have the most of? My guess (and hope) is ammunition, food, medical supplies and water. What things are you most likely going to want to trade for? Ammunition, food, medical supplies and water as they are all consumables. Other consumables like batteries, fuel, and clothing also come to mind. Shoes pop into my head as I had hiking boots “fail” while walking the Pacific Crest Trail north of Tuolumne Meadows (Yosemite National Park.) Had to limp back and ended up wearing sandals I purchased at the camp store for the rest of the trip. Fortunately, it was June. Do you have extra shoes and the things to repair them in your plans? I didn’t and at that point for me, feet too blistered to even tolerate socks, let alone new boots, I was down a few links on the food chain, my bad. Ben Franklin would understand.

I have heard often that gold will be the first currency of choice, as well as silver. My reply is a single $0.29 .380 round in a $127 Cobra Arms Freedom .380 will convince me to give up all my gold, on the spot.

I have always wondered about the condition of the world when gold again becomes the accepted currency over paper money. I have been to Thailand on several occasions and gold and gold jewlery is traded as street currency, hoarded for savings, used to honor Buddha, but so is the Bhat, their paper currency. Fast forward to a war or natural disaster and you have a people already comfortable in an alternative currency, and we are too somewhat, as we trade stocks, bonds, vehicles, Alaskans still trade in gold, and we all trade in our sanity, at least temporarily, on major holidays “to be with family.”

I postulate that if the EOTW, SHTF, total loss of the ROL occurs, gold will not buy much for long, that ammo and a reliable means to deliver it will trump the American Eagle, the Canadian Maple Leaf and all the others, and that the perishable and the consumables will become the currency of choice, and that you better be prepared to set trade points (minimum quantities) and act on them to maintain your position on the food chain. Just how valuable is a fresh apple after weeks of jerky? Or a real roll of toilet paper?

I suggest reading E.E. Rich’s “Trade Habits and Economic Motivations among the Indians of North America”. Available on-line, link provided, not as dry as it sounds, eye-opening as to what their culture was truly like, and lessons from a world where governments were minimal at best, mostly unnecessary, and not only were their societies self-sufficient, they could interact successfully with other societies. What a concept!

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