Liberty I – Stealth Survival Weapon

19 Jun

Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

When it comes to being prepared for disasters great or small, readers of this blog know I like to have different options. That isn’t to say that I roll out of my house with 3 different kinds of each piece of gear on me and 5 others in the pack in the trunk, but I do have more than one way to skin a cat so to speak. For food, I have different types of food stored and methods of producing my own food. For water, I have stored water plus many different filtration options and methods to obtain more. When it comes to security, I have plenty of options there as well.

Most of the articles I have written on the Prepper Journal look at security from the perspective of defense as in when you have bad things happening, bad people usually try to take advantage of the situation. My recommendation for most scenarios like this is to have firearms to defend yourself. They also have the added advantage of being able to be used to acquire food if you are lucky enough, but they aren’t without their disadvantages too.

Weapons need ammo, they need regular maintenance and cleaning and they aren’t quiet. Yes, you can mitigate these points to varying degrees by stockpiling supplies but even if you have a warehouse full of weapons and supplies that doesn’t guaranty this approach will work for you. Another huge issue is that for a lot of people, owning a firearm just isn’t realistic or possible due to where they live or personal issues. What is the option for security in that type of situation?

Alternative Survival Weapon

“My intent was to create a very small, lightweight hunting package,” says Howard Winther, the bow’s designer and manufacturer. “I wanted a bow that I could hook onto my backpack and not even feel it as I hiked along. I was looking for a bow that would fit into the corner of my car truck and carry anywhere.”

“My intent was to create a very small, lightweight hunting package,” says Howard Winther, the bow’s designer and manufacturer. “I wanted a bow that I could hook onto my backpack and not even feel it as I hiked along. I was looking for a bow that would fit into the corner of my car truck and carry anywhere.”

You can always go caveman and build your own homemade weapon in a pinch or you could embrace your inner Katniss Everdeen and look toward archery. I haven’t shot a bow since I was a little kid but when Howard Winther of Liberty Archery reached out to me to try out his Liberty I bow I was very intrigued.

I have long admired the skill archers have of taking down large game with accuracy and stealth, but I never had the time to take up the hobby. I sure would have appreciated getting out to the woods during deer season much sooner, but I was content to wait for black powder or rifle season. Bows are very common in hunting circles, but would they also make a good prepper option for a survival weapon?

The Liberty I Bow is unique in a few ways that make it worth a second look.

  • Compact – The bow itself is only 20.5″ axle to-axle* which makes it almost half the height of many traditional compound bows. Also makes this easier to hide.
  • Light – 2.3 pounds will reduce fatigue and makes this friendlier to smaller framed people.
  • Fast – 338 feet per second with Liberty Arrows.
  • Powerful – The Liberty 1 is a proven winner at taking down larger game than you will ever see running around North America, unless the zoos empty out.

Joerg from the Slingshot channel gave this bow a nice review below with some velocity measuring equipment I don’t have.

How does the Liberty I apply to Preppers?

“My intent was to create a very small, lightweight hunting package,” says Howard Winther, the bow’s designer and manufacturer. “I wanted a bow that I could hook onto my backpack and not even feel it as I hiked along. I was looking for a bow that would fit into the corner of my car truck and carry anywhere.”

There are likely some of you out there saying, of course! Who wouldn’t think of a bow as a survival weapon, I mean people for eons have been using them. I do get that, but I wonder if they aren’t second down on the list behind a firearm in the eyes of most preppers. Getting back to my first point about having options – a bow can be a tremendous prepper weapon in a few different ways:

Stealth – There isn’t a market for archery silencers is there? Well, technically there are string silencers but even the noisiest bow isn’t going to be heard more than 25 feet away. Say you decide that you are bugging out to the woods if disaster strikes. I maintain that you won’t be alone and this fact will mean that hunting for the food you need to protect your family is going to be more difficult. Wouldn’t you rather take down a deer with a quiet bow as opposed to any rifle you have?

Peep Site on the Liberty I

Peep Site on the Liberty I

Reloading/Reusability – Yes, you can make your own arrows too just like you can make your own bullets. Granted, there are different supplies and skill sets needed but it is just as viable a method as any. If that approach doesn’t work for you, there is always the possibility of making your own arrows from scratch. Additionally, if you don’t break an arrow, they can be reused again and again.

Legal Issues – Do you need a background check to purchase a bow? Nope! Do they register you in a database when you do purchase a bow? Nope!

Concealabilty – This one might be a stretch but with the Liberty 1’s compact size you will have more options with where to conceal this weapon should you need to keep it away from anyone’s attention. It’s so light you can throw it up in a drop ceiling tile and diminutive enough to hide behind your back if you don’t have the quiver attached. Additionally, it’s smaller size will make it easier to shoot from the ground. You can easily shoot this while sitting down because the bow’s short overall height won’t get in the way.

Shooting the Liberty 1

People seem to think you can pick up any weapon and become proficient in its accurate use in minutes. I know I have a lot of practice yet before I will head out into the woods and try to bring home dinner but the bow feels great in my hands. The pull is steady but when you reach the end, the pressure releases almost completely and maintaining a steady hold is simple and effortless.

No. A bag of pine shavings is not a suitable backstop for an arrow. Fortunately, I had a big tree behind it.

No. A bag of pine shavings is not a suitable backstop for an arrow. Fortunately, I had a big tree behind it.

I tried to save a buck by not getting a proper target but quickly learned that a bag of chicken bedding does not stop an arrow traveling over 300 feet per second. Lesson learned and I still need much more practice, practice, practice.

When I received my Liberty I, Howard insisted we talk on the phone so he could go over a few things with me and answer any questions I had. He was incredibly patient and helpful and I understand he does this for each customer he has. If you are looking for options, I suggest looking at the Liberty I from Liberty Archery.




The post Liberty I – Stealth Survival Weapon appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

The Rise of Liberal Preppers – Welcome to the Party!

30 May

Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Ever since I first began to take an interest in prepping, it seems that someone is always trying to classify the different types of individuals who make up this lifestyle and put us into a box. Back in 2007, when I was beginning to search out websites and blogs, the concepts that caught my eye were probably more aligned with more of a militia mindset, then it became survivalists, then Doomsday Preppers started gaining ground when the NatGeo show came out and really blew up from there. Elite preppers followed the trends of multi-millionaires buying up land in foreign places and constructing fortified bunkers. The latest repackaging by means of classification is Liberal Preppers.

What are Liberal Preppers and are they any different from those who can’t stomach the thought of describing themselves as anything left of Die Hard Conservative? Is the latest attempt at branding preppers any different and if so, who are these Liberal Preppers? Do you have anything to worry about as a new crowd shows interest in what was something you thought was uniquely yours? Could some of your own friends be preppers incognito?

Today I want to discuss this whole new term and break down the similarities and differences between Liberal Preppers and everybody else who used to simply call ourselves Preppers to figure out what this means for the prepper movement at large.

Who are these so-called Liberal Preppers

Liberal Preppers have come to the whole concept of prepping the way I would assume many of you have. They became concerned with what they perceived in the world around them and realized that should their worst fears be realized, they would be in serious doo-doo without taking some precautions up front. Liberal Preppers worry about some of the same things we do like having enough food to feed ourselves or our families so they are learning about canning. They worry about the political landscape and how the current administration policies and regulations could impact them negatively. They are concerned about geopolitical unease and the threats of war. Essentially, like any prepper, they want to do what they can in order to set themselves up for success and not be a victim of their own laziness should the worst happen.

How is a Liberal Prepper any different than a ‘Regular’ Prepper?

So, reading the list of concerns above, you might be asking yourself how is a Liberal Prepper any different from me. How is the steps they are taking to get knowledge, to gain a level of preparedness different from what I have been doing for years? My take on this is that there is nothing different about the steps they are taking. Humans need the same basic things that I have harped on for years. We all need water. Everyone needs food. You will die without shelter and you will be safer with some form of security. This is a universal truth.

What is different is their motivation.

Liberal Preppers are motivated by the flipside of things that you who have been called preppers for years are usually motivated by. Liberal Preppers are concerned about the new Trump Administration where older preppers were likely concerned about the Obama administration or the threat of a Hillary presidency. It is because of this that I think the term Liberal Preppers is a misnomer. Liberal Preppers assumes that you also have Conservative Preppers. What about Independent Preppers?

Your political bent shouldn’t really define you as a prepper but the current political landscape is always a major factor when people start to worry about the future. Both Liberals and Conservatives as well as Independents, Progressives, Main Streamers, Traditionalists all could be more accurately called Political Preppers.

Political Prepper – Noun – A person who makes preparations out of fear of the current political climate or leadership.

We have lots of the same types of worries on the other side here, but we just call ourselves preppers.

What does all this mean anyway?

Prepping is a lifestyle that I think everyone should engage in to the extent that your time and resources allow. I believe every human should take steps to make themselves less reliant on systems around us that bring us water and food. I believe that we don’t need to see the scenes repeated after Katrina and Sandy of people standing around screaming for the government to come help them. I think each parent should be able to take care of their children if the gas stations close, the grocery stores are out of food and the hospitals are unreachable. To a point.

Prepping for most people is really just providing a support net to get them over the initial duration of the most common emergencies we can visualize finding ourselves in. We stock up food and water, but most of us aren’t planning to go completely off-grid for 2 years in a concrete reinforced bunker but that’s ok. Most disasters aren’t apocalypses and simply having a few weeks’ worth of food and water can mean the difference between life and death. Your politics might be driving your rationale for prepping but you are trying to achieve the same personal goals as all the rest of us.

The Prepper Journal has always tried to appeal to anyone trying to take practical steps to be more prepared to take care of their family in a short or long-term disaster. We have people who love guns, who wear MAGA hats, hold lifetime memberships to the NRA as well as vegans, pacifists and yes, Liberals. I have shared the stories of my own life of close personal friends and even family members who hold diametrically opposing positions on social and political issues but we still get along just fine. The comments section at the bottom of every article is open to anyone regardless of your personal philosophy and I would say that mix has created some very interesting and instructive conversations.

Prepping is not an exclusive party and my goal has always been to get as many people prepping as possible. I say to anyone who is new to these concepts and calls themselves a Liberal Prepper, welcome! I’m glad you are interested in taking steps to get more prepared. I hope you will join the conversation here at the Prepper Journal. I think you will find that you have more in common with your other fellow Preppers than you might even know and I think we all can learn a lot from each other.

Here are a few articles that can help you get started:

Good luck and remember that you can always ask any question in the comments of this or any article. The Prepper Journal has a diverse, intelligent and experienced audience who has always shown they are happy to provide their own advice and experience on any issue you are facing.

What are you prepping for?

The post The Rise of Liberal Preppers – Welcome to the Party! appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Build Your Own Earthquake Survival Kit

22 May

Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

According to the USGS, Each year the southern California area has about 10,000 earthquakes. Most of them are so small that they are not felt. Only several hundred are greater than magnitude 3.0, and only about 15-20 are greater than magnitude 4.0. If there is a large earthquake, however, the aftershock sequence will produce many more earthquakes of all magnitudes for many months. Scientists have not found a way to predict earthquakes and earthquakes have a nasty habit of occurring where a lot of people are living.

Just look at the image at the top of the page. Most of the western coast of North America is covered in earthquake activity. We don’t really doubt that if a big earthquake happens, our lives will be disrupted, but outside of the usual power outages and water main breaks, assuming our house hasn’t caved in, what other situations could we be looking at?

Earthquakes are probably the single most destructive force on the planet when you factor in damage caused by Tsunamis and the earthquake itself. In a serious quake, services such as power, water, communication, emergency response, gas, transportation could all be wiped out in a matter of a few terrifying seconds. If you live in one of those areas above with all the white circles, you have undoubtedly considered what you would do if an earthquake happens, but what do you need to plan for after the earthquake? I put together this earthquake survival list for those preppers who want to put a bag together and prepare for the possibility that their entire world comes crumbling down around them.

What do I do after an earthquake?

Before we get into the earthquake survival kit itself, you must first make sure everything is OK in the immediate minutes after the shock-waves have stopped.

  • The initial shock-waves may only be the first of many that could still cause injuries. Expect aftershocks and use the time between instances to get to a safer place. If you are anywhere near the coast, Tsunamis could occur so immediately seek higher ground.
  • Check your family or group for injuries and move injured people to a safe location.
  • Make sure you are wearing appropriate clothing, footwear and protection for your hands if there is a lot of debris.
  • Make sure any fires are extinguished as quickly as possible.
  • Check radios for extent of the damage and any emergency notifications.
  • You should already have stored water, but if not and the water is still working, it may make sense to fill your bathtubs (providing your house is safe) to use the water for hygiene if the water is cut off.
  • Stay away from power lines and out of damaged buildings as much as possible.
  • Contact your loved ones if possible and let them know you are OK.
  • Go to your prearranged rally point if you are able to do this.


Earthquake Survival Kit List

You may be asking how an earthquake survival list is any different from say a Bug Out Bag. For many it may not be much different as we are addressing the same basic needs we all have as humans for survival. The contents of your earthquake survival kit can be stored in a backpack which could make transporting it simpler. Optionally, you could store all this gear somewhere in your home, but with that you risk not being able to retrieve it potentially if the neighbors garage falls on top of your storage area.

A sturdy Backpack will give you the greatest flexibility with mobility. If the situation is so bad that your home or location is unlivable, you may have to make it to a safer location. I like something like the Osprey Men’s Atmos 65 AG because it is so light and holds so much. It was a major relief on my last backpacking trip, you can get much cheaper backpacks though like the TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack – It’s a third of the price.


  • I always recommend freeze-dried food for situations like this over something like canned food. It’s just lighter and only needs water for preparation. I go with higher-calorie options like Mountain House Chili Mac or Lasagna. Is this super healthy? Nope, but it’s light and will keep you going. Plus, you don’t need to bring along any bowls or plates – just eat right out of the bag. Bring enough for 5 days. You should augment with energy bars. You don’t have room to carry a month’s supply but you don’t know when the McDonalds is going to be back in business.
  • Cook Stove – Yes, you could just start a fire, but a good camping stove is light, relatively cheap and much simpler. For the burner, I purchased an Etekcity Ultralight Portable Outdoor Backpacking stove for my last trip. This replaced my JetBoil Cooking System and I was very happy with the results. The Etekcity is only $10 and folds down to about the size of two decks of playing cards. I am seriously considering purchasing 5 of these and throwing each one in the bug out bags that are in the car to replace current gear. Just screw this to your fuel canister – which I used my JetBoil 230g canister – turn on the gas, light it and you are in business. It even has little feet to sit your pot on.
  • Cook Pot – It’s much easier to boil water in a pot so I would throw my stove into a TOAKS Titanium pot. Super light and you can use this over a fire if needed.
  • Can Opener – I have a can opener on my Leatherman Wave(along with 16 other tools), but you can save a lot of weight and cost by purchasing a few P38 Can openers. You can get them on Amazon, but if you are ever near an Army Navy Surplus store, just run in. They are much cheaper.
  • Aluminum Foil – This can be used to grab hot surfaces or act as a cooking surface itself. Wrap food up in aluminum foil, set it near the fire for a little while, or even on top of your cook stove and give it a few minutes.


  • Water Filter – There are so many water filtration options out there. I recommend a larger Platypus GravityWorks because it has no mechanical parts and will filter a lot of water quickly with not much effort. Optionally, the Saywer Mini is a great alternative. It’s smaller, but much more compact and the cost is much more reasonable for those preppers trying to save money. If you are only considering yourself, the Sawyer would be OK. For larger groups you need more capacity so I would go with a larger option like the Gravityworks.
  • Something to carry your water in. I have two options and it just depends on which I would rather pack in the bag. A BPE Free Nalgene is a great, relatively cheap, lightweight option. Optionally, you could just use any old plastic water bottle you find in the trash (wash it out first). You could go with a stainless-steel water bottle, which would be great if you needed to boil water, but you can use the TOAKS cook pot above for that. You don’t want to carry your water in the TOAKS though, so I recommend something with a lid. The Platypus has an adaptor that screws right onto any wide-mouth Nalgene bottles.


  • Clothing – Bring a change of clothes and two pair of socks. Good walking shoes should be on your feet. Depending on weather – Hat and Gloves
  • Poncho and liner – This can double as shelter if you rig your poncho up as a shelter and with the liner will keep you warm. Or it makes a good pillow.
  • Emergency BIvvy – If I leave this off the list, someone is going to complain. I like these better than the simple mylar blankets, but if you already have those, use them.


  • Concealed Carry Firearm – All things being equal, I prefer to carry a firearm if I am forced to defend myself. Your mileage may vary. Carrying while wearing a backpack is a little tougher concealed and you might be tempted to run that drop-leg holster but I would seriously consider whether or not you want to advertise you are armed in a crisis like this.
  • A good full-tang knife – Assume you already have a knife on you but a sturdier option would be better in this situation. I have the Gerber LMF II, but you can get a nice KA-BAR and save $10.
  • Shotgun – As a backup, I would have a shotgun if I didn’t have a better option. Shotguns are cheaper and easily deployed in a violent situation to serious effect.
  • Taser/Pepper Spray – For those who can’t or won’t carry a firearm, you can still protect yourself in many ways. Tasers are a good fall back, lightweight – non lethal, but you have to physically touch the person you don’t want to touch you. Pepper Spray is less effective but can still buy you time.
  • Axe Handle – When all else fails, you may have to go Babe Ruth on someone’s cranium. Swing harder than you ever think it would take to knock someone out.

Miscellaneous Gear and Supplies

  • Cash – ATM’s, Banks, Credit Card readers will all be out of commission for some period after the earthquake. Cash is still relatively easy to carry and store even in higher amounts. Diversify where you have your money (put some in each pocket and hide more somewhere else) so if you are pulling it out, nobody will see the whole wad.
  • Ham Radio – Tons of information about the superiority of Ham radio in a disaster if you want to read this post.
  • Backup ID, copies of Tax documents or bills proving your address.
  • First Aid – There are so many first aid kits out there. You can choose between something more for Boo Boos or go to the other extreme and build your own IFAK.
  • Spare Glasses – You could bring contacts, but I find that glasses irritate my eyes much less and are better in a pinch if there are eye irritants or injury.


  • Toilet Paper
  • Baby Wipes
  • Hand Sanitizer

There are the basic items in an Earthquake survival kit that will give you an advantage if you ever find yourself riding out one in your life. These are just the most basic items I think could give you comfort in times of great crisis. There are always other items you could add.

What would you bring with you?

The post Build Your Own Earthquake Survival Kit appeared first on The Prepper Journal.