Metallic Cartridge Reloading In The Prepper Tool Kit

14 Jul

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post was an entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Matt W in January of 2017. I am re-posting it because I have had many questions of late on the cost effectiveness of reloading vs stockpiling commercial ammunition and I am still on the fence on the subject in general.

Being a “doer” like most preppers I have always been fascinated with the idea of loading my own ammo. Perhaps caught up in the advertising that shows a rugged individual working a re-loader in a nice wood-paneled room full of hunting gear and trophies, wearing a plaid flannel shirt, a steaming cup of coffee (or hot chocolate) on the bench, with trees in autumn colors outside the window, and of course, his favorite hunting dog laying at his feet in anticipation of time in the field filling his head. 

The cold hard fact from my point of view is that I did not do enough shooting to really justify the initial investment. I once actually had the whole deal in a shopping cart at a favorite supply store. I love hunting upland birds and shooting skeet and trap, but life has gotten in the way of that almost daily. Am I the only one who realizes the more time-saving gadgets I have the less time I have to take advantage of them? So I returned everything to its rightful place back on the shelf. I was looking at $900 and couldn’t justify it not having shot that much commercial ammunition in the preceding 18 months. Of course I would be ahead now, 6 years later, but just barely. And now, looking at favorite pistol and rifle calibers, I see some sense in it as I once had a 264 Winchester Magnum that was a GREAT varmint rifle but commercial ammo was expensive, still is. Traded it away when $$$ was tight. Don’t know that I would have shot it enough to recoup the investment but I would love to have that rifle back. The clarity of hindsight.

In any case I would love to hear what other preppers think on the subject. Wild Bill


With the interest in the preparedness lifestyle growing at an explosive rate, one important skill is often brushed aside: reloading ammunition. Often, persons embarking on their own personal prepping journey will procrastinate on learning to reload their own ammunition. The reasons to put off learning to reload are understandable. Often, many people would rather just buy more firearms and more ammunition than put the time and money into learning reloading. People usually are put off by the expense of reloading equipment, feel that they do not have the time to learn reloading, or they do not have a person available to teach them.

Learning about all the reloading equipment and techniques can seem daunting at first but the skill is worth the effort. The initial investment in equipment and supplies for reloading can cost as little as about $300 or as much as one is willing to spend. However, there are many benefits to making the investment. First, a person can save a lot of money reloading, quickly recouping the startup costs. Second, by reloading ammunition a person can get much improved accuracy over using only factory ammunition. Third, for many rifle and pistol calibers a hand-loader will have many more choices available than solely relying on factory offerings, the combinations of components are near infinite. Fourth, reloading will allow a person to have ample supply of hard to find ammunition for a favorite pet caliber, unusual and rare cartridge, or old hunting rifle. Finally, when the next ammo shortage happens the reloader will be able to maintain his / her stockpile. As can be seen, there are many good reasons for preppers to take up reloading and each one will be looked in more detail.

Lee Precision Breech Lock Challenger Kit – Great starter reloading option.

Without a doubt, one of the most popular reasons that persons learn to reload ammunition is to save money. Ammunition is expensive and it is not getting any cheaper! However, anywhere from 65% to 80% of the cost of ammunition is in the cartridge case. Therefore, a person should always pick up their spent cartridge cases. That reusable brass case ties up a bunch of money, too much money to just leave laying on the ground like garbage. For example: if a box of rifle ammunition cost around $20 then about $15 of that is likely tied up in just the cartridge cases. No one would walk by $15 laying on the ground and not pick it up but people will leave perfectly good cartridge cases laying all over the range. A person could reload that box of ammo for $5 or less. That savings adds up fast and recoups the initial investment in equipment. The amount of money saved can be used to buy more ammo, more guns, optics, range time, training, prepping supplies, and on and on. If shooting those big safari rifles is appealing, the savings to the reloader are truly amazing. Some big game rifles cost the shooter anywhere from $5 to over $25 every time the trigger is pulled. This cost can prevent any frequent or meaningful target practice, often even impairing properly sighting in the weapon or zeroing a scope. Reloading can make shooting these big guns affordable and fun. As mentioned earlier, cost savings is a major motivator for reloaders. As a person living the preparedness lifestyle, allocating money and resources properly to maintain a regular life while preparing for the worst events is an ongoing process. Reloading is a good way to help preppers cut cost and spare resources.

Obtaining greater accuracy is another good reason to learn reloading. Many people who start reloading just to save money quickly discover this benefit. The quest for peak accuracy is what gets many people really fired up about reloading. Once a person experiences how easy it is to increase accuracy for a given load, they are well on the way to a life time of reloading. Firearms are expensive. Many times, people have been very disappointed with a new firearms shot groups, assuming there is a problem with the expensive new weapon. After hand-loading some ammunition, they have discovered there is nothing wrong with the weapon and that factory available ammunition is causing this sub-par performance. For example: this is very typical for 45 Colt revolvers. Historically, there has been some variation in bore diameters of production revolvers in this caliber. For safety reasons, the major ammunition manufacturers will produce loaded ammo with bullets in the smallest produced bore diameter. In some guns, these too small bullets will not engage the rifling’s and just rattle down the barrel, flying erratically out the muzzle. Accuracy is unbelievably poor when this happens. An easy fix for a reloader is to determine the bore diameter and reload using bullets of the appropriate diameter. This method has been proven to turn poorly grouping guns into tack drivers. Sometimes, the problem with a firearms accuracy is not in the gun but in the ammunition. Loading one’s own ammunition can help correct that.

Reloading greatly improves consistency and uniformity in the loaded cartridges. Hand-loading can definitely help with increasing accuracy over the modest distances of handgun ranges but the most dramatic improvements can be gained over the longer ranges usually shot with rifles. Some factory ammunition is very good. However, hand-loads will give the best and most accurate results over factory loaded ammunition. Much of the accuracy potential in a batch of hand-loads comes from consistency gained through precise attention to detail. With factory ammunition, there can easily be a 5% to 10% variation in muzzle velocity from shot to shot. A careful hand-loader can greatly reduce that variation in muzzle velocity, which will give a more consistent point of impact. Reloaders can also adjust the overall length of the loaded cartridge by adjusting bullet seating depth to better match the specific weapon they are using. This will improve accuracy by reducing bullet jump (distance a bullet travels before engaging the rifling) and more closely aligning the bullet center with the bore axis when the rifling is engaged, resulting in a better spin and truer flight. A careful reloader can more precisely align the bullet into the case, keeping the center of the bullet more closely on the axis of the weapon’s bore. The reloader is in control of every variable of the cartridge. The case lengths can be trimmed to exact specifications. Case mouths and crimping can be uniformed. Any possible variable can be minimized or eliminated to produce the most consistent ammunition, which all leads to better shot groups. Competitive shooters have long known that hand-loading is the way to get out the most accuracy from their weapons.

If a person is not shooting one of the more popular calibers, they may be disappointed with choices in factory available ammunition. Some of the lesser known, newly introduced, or very old calibers will not have enough choices of bullet styles and weights available in factory production ammunition. Some very capable cartridges are no longer offered in newly manufactured ammunition. A reloader will still have the ability to produce ammunition for these discontinued calibers. Dies and cartridge cases can still be purchased for calibers that have been discontinued long ago. Handloading or reloading ammunition is a way to get around these limitations.

The combinations of components are limitless. Bullet weights and shapes can be chosen specifically for maximum efficiency for any given purpose. Different bullet tip shapes, ogives, and base configurations can be chosen to fit a rifle or load for greater accuracy, consistency, or function. A person can load expanding bullets into cartridges for old surplus rifles that are generally only available in full metal jacket configuration, turning that old surplus rifle into a viable hunting weapon. Different propellants will burn with different rates and characteristics. This will affect muzzle velocity, consistency, and accuracy. With so many possible combinations of bullets, propellants, primers, and cases, a person can tailor a specific load for any purpose. If the goal is to get maximum efficiency, maximum utility, maximum accuracy, or effectiveness over a wide range of shooting distances, reloaders can tailor ammunition to any purpose. The sky’s the limit on possible loadings.

Money lying on the ground?

One very important thing to anyone living the preparedness lifestyle is securing and maintaining an ammunition supply. In recent years in the United States, we have experienced several ammunition shortages of varying degrees and durations. Everyone knows that is not a question of whether or not there will be another ammunition supply interruption but when the next big one is coming. The author remembers a time when he would give no consideration to leaving the house with a firearm without any ammo thinking “I’ll just pick up some on the way to the shooting range.” It is getting better but not quite back to those days yet. Certainly, anyone reading this article has not so distant memories of going to wally-world and seeing the ammo shelves empty. During the last ammo shortage, reloading components were still available for a time after all the ammo was off the shelves, allowing reloaders to stock up on components before the supply temporarily dried up. Reloading components are easy to stock up on. For example: at the time of writing this article Unique and Power Pistol powders were about $20 a pound. A person could load up around 1,150 rounds of 9mm ammo with one pound of these powders! Store a few pounds of powder and a person is set up to last through the ammo drought. Another way for a reloader to cut cost and extend his or her ammo supply is to cast lead bullets. After the initial cost of equipment, money saved by casting bullets will quickly recover the startup costs. Additionally, lead could be gathered from alternative sources instead of buying it. This will allow the resourceful prepper to make lead bullets at no cost. With some components in storage, the resourceful prepper can spend a little time in the evening reloading and replenishing his or her ammo supply when everyone else is scrounging for ammo or getting gouged by online price hikes.

So, it’s easy to see how reloading is another valuable tool in well-rounded preppers kit. Many people tend to feel rushed and overwhelmed when coming into the preparedness lifestyle. Along with marksmanship, martial arts, archery, fishing, hunting, farming, canning, tanning, mechanics, carpentry, communications, first aid, sewing, sanitation, and land navigation (just to get started) reloading seems like a ton to learn. However, persons reading this already have a great asset: motivation. If a person is willing and motivated to learn, there is a wealth of resources available.

Everyone is different and learns differently. For some people, it will be very difficult to pick up a reloading manual and start off reloading without any issues. For most people, the easiest and fastest way to learn is to have a someone actually show them step by step how to do it. Unfortunately, unless someone already knows a friend or family member who reloads it can be difficult to connect with someone willing to teach. No one wants to deal with that grumpy old condescending jerk at the local gun shop or put up with the know it all attitude from gun show arm chair rangers. This is why I’ve taken it upon myself to bring reloading to the preparedness community. I had no one to help me when I was learning reloading. It was frustrating. There is a whole new crowd of people who are either first time gun owners or have a general interest in firearms but feel isolated because they don’t have good resource people in their social circle. Often these persons are turned off to guns or discouraged because someone at a gun shop or gun show discouraged them or talked to them like they were stupid. That is why I am passionate about teaching others to reload. I offer completely free help, advice, and information in an encouraging, supportive, and nonjudgmental environment through email. Even though anyone could pick up good info from my emails, my emails are geared toward persons who have no or very little knowledge and / or experience with reloading. All you need is an inbox and a desire to learn. I’m not compensated for this service in any way by any one. This is just my way to give back to a great community. I send out emails regularly with reloading related content. Additionally, anyone can send me a message and ask anything they want about reloading. It’s a totally free service. You can follow the link below to sign up to my email list or just message me directly at matt@mattseasyreloading.com or you can subscribe to my newsletter at https://forms.aweber.com/form/82/515771282.htm

I’ll look forward to your questions,
Matt “Papa Bear” Wooddell

The post Metallic Cartridge Reloading In The Prepper Tool Kit appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

It’s Here! Round Fourteen of the Preppers Writing Contest

13 Jul

Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

AGAIN Preppers you get to cast your votes for the “best articles” published in The Prepper Journal over the last three months!  Money, money, money! But more importantly GREAT information!

I have chosen five (5) worthy candidates for Round Fourteen of the Preppers Writing Contest. Again, it was a hard thing to do, so many honorable mentions, so much coverage of wide-ranging subjects. Impressive. Paring the list down to five (5) remains the challenge. As always, I want to thank everyone who entered and, as always, previous winners can still win again!

The contestants, in no particular order, are:

I will leave the voting open through the weekend so please let me know which article you think is the best.

Please Cast Your Vote for Just One:

Loading

Round Fourteen - The Prepper Writing Contest

Thank you for voting
You have already voted on this poll!
Please select an option!

The post It’s Here! Round Fourteen of the Preppers Writing Contest appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

And the Round 13 Winners Are…

3 Apr

Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

The Polls at The Prepper Journal have closed! The results have been tabulated and yet AGAIN no Russian interference has been charged!

The three (3) prize winning articles of Amazon gift cards are (in order):

Never Be Situation Unaware

Lessons From History – Starving Spring

Introduction to Nuclear Survival

All the candidates are worthy of a review-read as 2018 unfolds before us. And now is the time to get your contributions in for a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards worth a total of $500 in the Round 14.

Congratulations are in order to:

  1. Valknut79
  2. R. Ann Parris
  3. John Hertig

The Results:

The post And the Round 13 Winners Are… appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Vote for Your Favorite – Prepper Writing Contest Round Thirteen!

28 Mar

Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

AGAIN Preppers you get to cast your votes for the “best articles” published in the beginning of 2018.  Money, money, money! But more importantly GREAT information!

I have chosen five (5) worthy candidates for Round Thirteen of the Preppers Writing Contest. Again, it was a hard thing to do, so many honorable mentions, so much coverage of wide-ranging subjects. Impressive. Paring the list down to five (5) remains the challenge. As always, I want to thank everyone who entered and, as always, previous winners can still win again!

I will add that the trending was interesting. Looking at the posts the list, from top down of the five (5) most viewed was:

  • Never Be Situation Unaware
  • A Second Language is a Preppers Must
  • Intro to Nuclear Survival
  • What is Your Weapon of Last Resort?
  • How to Use Vodka As a Prepper Supply

While some of these did make the list to vote on (below) I am providing them as just information as to what people are searching for on a regular basis.

The REAL contestants, in no particular order, are:

I will leave the voting open through the holiday weekend so please let me know which article you think is the best.

Cast Your Vote for Just One:

Loading

Round 13 - The Prepper Writing Contest

Thank you for voting
You have already voted on this poll!
Please select an option!

The post Vote for Your Favorite – Prepper Writing Contest Round Thirteen! appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Weather: The Natural Disaster Maker

25 Jun

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Capt. Dennis. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


One of the most fascinating subjects I had to study for a captain’s license was weather forecasting. Back in the late 70s there was no Weather Channel with satellite photos or live radar images to rely on. We had to learn to forecast weather by observing the sky, our surroundings, and recording the change in the barometric pressure. Wind speed is deduced by how it affects objects around us. Offshore, we could look at the wave tops to judge the wind velocity. On land we observe tree branches, weeds, or grass.

When I first started studying weather forecasting, I had several good books on the subject with a pocket weather guide the easiest reference to carry around. A guide helps with determining the different cloud formations and the type weather that would be associated them. Periodically logging, every ½ to 1 hour, the changing barometric pressure in association with the clouds added another layer to the forecast. Next was the direction and speed of the wind. Subsequently, by recording the rise or fall of the barometric pressure over time, the wind direction and speed, and the cloud formations, a forecast would come together. It is important to note that low pressure systems will produce much more wind with unstable weather conditions, where high pressure systems produce milder, more unchanging conditions.

C. Crane CC Pocket AM FM and NOAA Weather Radio with Clock and Sleep Timer

When I first started watching the Weather Channel, in the mid-90s, they focused totally on reporting the weather. If and when some storm or weather event was happening, then they sent people out into the field to cover it. Back in the studio, a meteorologist would analyze the conditions as the weather progressed. That was great for me, because I seeing what I had been studying for the past 20 years and witnessing just how far weather forecasting had advanced.

Today, as I begin my studies on prepping, I realize the importance of knowing some basic weather forecasting. After all, the worst natural disasters in America are weather related. Therefore, understanding what effects weather will have on most any disaster is of a primary concern.

Observing a wildfire, we predict how the wind and humidity affects the speed at which the fire spreads. When a chemical spill or explosion occurs, the weather will determine areas in danger from the fallout. Understanding basic weather principles helps when considering how heavy rainfall may affect a local dam or roadways. Other factors help us predict foggy conditions, hail, ice, or snow. A summer stable high pressure area tends to produce heat waves, which are the number one cause of weather related fatalities in the U.S. Here in Texas, we know all about heatwaves and droughts.

The worst disasters in America are weather related.

The worst disasters in America are weather related.

Predicting the effects of the changing weather around us, gives us the ability to prepare for it. Once the SHTF and we are left to our own instincts, the weather will be a major factor affecting our survival. Subsequently, here are some questions to think about.

  • The Weather Channel will be able help until the electricity goes out, then what?
  • Do you have an emergency weather radio; one with a hand crank or solar cells?
  • What about weather (wx) broadcast on Short Wave, AM, or HAM radio?
  • Where do you find the frequencies that broadcast weather info and at what time they transmit?
  • What about a small handheld anemometer that also displays barometric pressure?
  • A pocket guide to weather forecasting stored in your prepping gear?

All these questions are easily solvable.

As an example of local awareness, here along the Gulf Coast of Texas, we get tropical fronts in the Spring and Summer. The warm, humid Gulf air is drawn inland to the mid-Atlantic states. Cool fronts descend on this area as the jet stream comes south and the cool dry air meets the warm humid air and a front develops. Low pressure systems have a counter-clockwise rotation and high pressure rotate clockwise. Low pressure systems tend to move rapidly where high pressure will remain stationary for some extended period of time. High pressure tends to steer low pressure. Lifelong residents on the Gulf Coast know all about hurricanes and flooding and they both are associated with high and low pressure systems.

Topography also plays a huge part in how weather will affect a geographic location. Learn the local weather patterns for the different seasons of the year where you live or plan on heading when bugging out. Knowing the local weather patterns and having a basic understanding of the weather, you will be surprised at how easy you can forecast the weather. Discerning the wind speed and direction, cloud formations, and barometric pressure, you will have all the data you need at your figure tips. The data is not that difficult to collect.

Use your field guide to classify the clouds and for a reference. Purchase a small, portable, digital weather station to obtain wind speed and pressure data called an anemometer, which are readily available at a nominal price. Also, a compass to record wind direction, a good mechanical pencil, and a waterproof note pad to log readings every hour or 1/2 hour, depending on the situation. Thus, for a small investment, you can have the tools for forecasting the weather in your bug out bag. What I use cost less than a good hunting knife and takes up about the same space. I carry them when I go out shooting pictures or go to the beach just to practice. If you fish, a small weather station would be an excellent tool to forecast the quality of fishing and a good excuse to buy one.

Having some basic weather forecasting knowledge could be the difference in knowing when to seek shelter from a rapidly approaching front, or getting caught off guard trying to shelter after it hits. Weather related incidents cause the worst disasters in the U.S. Many times, just by having a basic understanding of the weather, how it is going to affect your community, and what you need to do for shelter, could save a lot of lives. Make the investment in inexpensive, easy to understanding weather forecasting tools and learn how to use them. It is an enjoyable way to gain one more step toward being better prepared when the grid goes down.

The post Weather: The Natural Disaster Maker appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

4 Absolutely Necessary Things Every Prepper Must Realize

17 Jun

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Kirk Reynolds. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


Now, I have been doing this for over ten years and have been actively involved in a small community of like-minded people for almost as much time – and I have seen plenty of folks come and go (especially since the rise of the show Doomsday Preppers). I – more so than a lot of people involved in this – have dealt with A LOT of other preppers face to face and I want to talk about the patterns that I have seen form over the years.

Before anything else I will quickly mention one thing that has been repeated a lot but is always worth mentioning – physical fitness! I have met people who hold the belief that it doesn’t matter if they cannot handle a flight of stairs as ‘the weight will come off when it needs too’ and ‘my body will adapt’. You can be the best prepared and equipped person on Earth but the harsh reality is that day zero will involve a lot of hard work, even if you intend to hunker down, you need to take into consideration preparing your AO and getting there. The reality is that no matter the event, prepping without the willingness to make some sacrifice to fitness is hoarding under a different name.

Now with that over with…

Skills – not stuff!

All too frequent is the mentality that having lots of “things” is going to make a SHTF scenario easier; while yes, there is a baseline amount of prepping supplies that will improve your chances and are basically necessities (A good knife, a map, a plan, and a gun depending on how you feel about the situation) that isn’t everything. What I am talking about is the huge tendency to believe that having an object is the same as being able to use said object proficiently.

Using a knife as an example – I believe that you will be hard pressed to find a single prepper that doesn’t carry a knife and have a good fixed blade somewhere. However I would say over 80% of preppers do not have knife skills, what I mean by this is do you know you to whittle, make traps, baton well, the uses for various knife blades and shapes, and how to dress a kill for hide and meat?

The same can be said of maps – yes navigating when you know your initial position is easy, but in the event you get disoriented can you triangulate your position with landmarks. What if you do not know the area, can you still find your way around?

Chances are that no matter how well prepared you are, a SHTF scenario will – eventually be similar to living in a completely infrastructure-less environment. Backpacking over a multi-week time period and hunting are excellent ways to learn many skills to make your life easier.

What are your gear priorities?

people tend to think of prepping items of - it is good to have. Instead try to think of it in a mindset of ‘what else could I bring instead’.

People tend to think of prepping items of – it is good to have. Instead try to think of it in a mindset of ‘what else could I bring instead’.

Prepping – like engineering, is not about having the most of everything, it is about having the right amount of everything. Whether you intend to stay or bug out, it is of course important to have the skills (Can you pack a bag correctly etc). However I see many people approaching with a mindset of hoarding will make things easier, as an example I spoke to a man whom had 43 different weapons with almost 500 days of non-perishable food. This mindset of buying without realizing that in a SHTF scenario every item you bring or stock has a cost.

For example with every weapon that man owned he was paying a price in 3 different ways.

  1. Obviously, space and weight. That 2.5 Kg rifle could be swapped for 2.5 Kg of water purification tablets, ammunition or tools – people tend to think of prepping items of – it is good to have. Instead try to think of it in a mindset of ‘what else could I bring instead’.
  2. Ultimately guns must be maintained regularly and more guns will mean more maintenance and man hours spent tending to your weapons.
  3. Finally, almost everything that is a tool for your own survival is also a tool AGAINST your survival. A bigger stash makes you more attractive to bandits and in this situation the only reason to have that many weapons was to maintain a guard force large enough to protect 200-300 people. If your plan is to conscript people and form a sizable community for survival that is fine, but having 40 people armed and only having enough farming tools and equipment to support 10 long-term is very dangerous.

Learn to maintain and make everything!

Learn as much passing knowledge on simple items as possible, learn to make bows, furniture, simple houses, simple clothes, simple bags, and anything along that line

Learn as much passing knowledge on simple items as possible, learn to make bows, furniture, simple houses, simple clothes, simple bags, and anything along that line

This is less applicable for people prepping for 3-4 day events like earthquakes and more aimed at people prepping for a complete breakdown of human society for an indefinite period of time. All too often I hear statements like ‘I have these 2 really super high quality solar panels so I will be fine’ unfortunately the reality is even the most expensive and well made tools money can buy are unlikely to survive 10 years of use. It may not be a nice reality but the reality is that any tool that you bring that cannot be replicated with basic machining knowledge and tools is temporary.

Learn the basics of reshaping scrap metal and wood – learn to make a furnace with materials that are renewable (Think clay and charcoal for the fire). Learn as much passing knowledge on simple items as possible, learn to make bows, furniture, simple houses, simple clothes, simple bags, and anything along that line – not only will it be useful in equipping your group but also for trading, a working and replaceable long-range weapon like a bow will be worth more than luxury cars 15 years after a collapse.

And finally, learn how to lead and how humans think.

People, given tools and direction can and will work and provide for themselves and the unprepared group who bands together will outlast the lone prepper.

People, given tools and direction can and will work and provide for themselves and the unprepared group who bands together will outlast the lone prepper.

Prepping has a strong theme of different strokes for different folks but one of the most common themes is ‘Everyone is going to be marauders and is going to be after me and I am going to have to kill so many hapless raiders and that justifies my federal armory of weapons!’. I have served, and I have been in disaster situations both long and short-term and the reality is there will be raiders for maybe a week – tops.

After that people will work together on a small-scale (think tribes) because we are naturally altruistic. After maybe a year or two and people are established raids will begin again. Preppers are almost always very exclusionary – I have met people who think the world will end if you share your beans but it is almost exactly the opposite.

People, given tools and direction can and will work and provide for themselves and the unprepared group who bands together will outlast the lone prepper. Television always portrays survival groups as a bunch of assholes all fighting for dominance all the time but really, it is the opposite! Almost always everyone just agrees they need food or whatever and no one steps up to the plate to really make decisions. Be that person and you will form a group of 20-30 people who will work for you and with you to make everyone’s lives better – it is how we are programmed.

The final note I leave you with on this topic is that people always form tribes and tribes are ALWAYS communal. Don’t expect that refusing to share what you have will extend your life at all.

The post 4 Absolutely Necessary Things Every Prepper Must Realize appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

To Prep or Not to Prep

5 Jun

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Michael Wilhelm. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


What you need to know about me is that I believe that violence is crap and being unprepared is stupid…I know what actions need to be done to provide for and keep my family safe… and I’m willing and able to perform those actions. But most of all, I expect you to do the same. No one has to do everything…but everyone must do something….It’s better to light a candle than to curse the dark.

WHY I PREP

My interest in prepping started nearly 20 years ago as a volunteer firefighter. During heavy snow and rain storms, the area my station serviced could become isolated from the rest of the district for days. This was mainly due to downed trees and power lines, flooded roads or heavy snowfall that made the roads impassable.

During these events, electrical power and phone service for the area could be out for days, we were basically on our own. As the station officer it was my responsibility to provide emergency service to the surrounding community, knowing that there would be no backup support. If someone was injured, got sick or if a house caught fire I was the person everyone was looking to, to take charge of the situation and provide not only the first response but likely the only response. So I had to have my station geared up and my firefighters trained up to do it all.

To ensure the station could support my crew. I had food, water, and extra fuel stored at the station. I had the district install a heavy-duty military grade generator that was large enough to provide more than enough power for the entire station.

It was in prepping the station that got me thinking about how well I was prepared for a prolonged emergency as home. I remember during an earthquake drill, discussing with my crew how the area could be cut off from the rest of the world for weeks. My station was geared up, but what about our homes? How would our families survive?

Originally my prepping efforts centered around the gear needed to respond to an earthquake, “the Big One”. I bought a generator, purchased extra canned goods, flashlights, batteries, and up scaled my personal trauma kit.

As a volunteer firefighter I had a “regular job” that had nearly an hour commute. The long commute to work got me to thinking about what would I do if the quake happened while I was at work. How would I get home? If I had to walk how long would it take? What route would I take? If it was to take more than a day did I have the necessary gear in my car to make such a trek?

So I put together an emergency car kit for each of our vehicles. At first it was just some beef jerky, an old pair of pants and a tee-shirt and a bottle of water in small day pack. Over the years I have refined my emergency car kit to support a two-day walk during the winter (worst case scenario).

Additionally, in considering the lack of warning that comes with an earthquake I started to become more aware of my everyday surroundings. Imagine you’re at the mall or in a school or at the movies, or in a downtown high-rise. Suddenly the place started to shake and before its done shaking, all the lights go out and you find yourself in darkness with a bunch of frightened people. And all you have to help you to survive is what you have in your pockets.

Again this got me to thinking about what I could carry on my person that would help increase my odds of survival, short of a backpack full of survival gear.

So I thought about what tools I could carry in my pocket that would help my chances of immediate survival. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Flashlight – It not only can help you see in the dark. It can also be used signal for help.
  • Knife – A cutting edge is a basic survival tool dating back to went people lived in caves. You may have to cut your seat-belt!
  • Lighter – The ability to make fire is another basic survival tool. It can provide warmth and comfort and also a means of signaling for help.
  • First Aid – I carry a small packed size first aid kit. You never know when you or someone you’re with will get a cut.

As with my emergency car kits this to has evolved. Today I don’t leave the house without the following:

This may look like a lot to carry around, and at times it is a pain. But after carrying these items in two pocket organizers for over 10 years I feel naked and vulnerable without them. These items go with me anytime I leave home. I also carry a 1911 Colt .45ACP Combat Commander and 14 rounds of ammo, my reasoning is…I would rather carry a gun and never need it than need one and not have it. For me a gun is just a tool that has a specified purpose that there is little or no substitute for.

When my daughter was a little kid I put an “Ouch-Pouch” and a flashlight in her school backpack. One day the power went out at her elementary school and she was the only person with a flashlight. So she got the job of escorting classmates to the restroom. To this day (she’s now 26) she still cares a flashlight along with a knife, a means to make a fire and an ouch-pouch.

To “be prepared” means that you not only have the tools and supplies at hand to help you survive but you also have the knowledge and skills that will aid in your survival. I my option everyone should learn how to start and maintain a fire without matches, should take a first aid class, and how to tie at lease 5 knots

So what are emergency kits and how are they different from survival gear? Damn good question. Below is my definition of both.

Emergency Kit

Emergency Vehicle Survival Kit

We have two types of kits, home and car, both are geared up with items focused on what we would need after a major earthquake.

  • Emergency Car Kit: Our car kits are packed with items that you would need if we had to walk for two days in the snow to get home. We purchased military style patrol packs and filled them with items like water, food, a change of clothes, matches and fire starter, a first aid kit, a poncho, emergency blanket. Each of our Emergency Car Kits contains over 50 items.
  • Emergency Home Kit: Basically an emergency home kit contains enough food, water and medical supplies to keep you and your family safe and feed for a minimum of 3 days (72 hours). Depending on the size of your family this could be a kit the size of the medium day pack or as big as a full size backpack.

Survival Gear

Over time our emergency home kit has morphed into survival gear. We have amassed enough food, water and supplies to support Janice and I for 6 month period at our home in Mukilteo and enough to support are needs for a year in Ocean Shores. Not counting food, our survival gear at Mukilteo consists of over 250 items. Not counting food our survival gear at Ocean Shores consists of over 5000 items. If you think about what you would need for your family to survive a year without the means to be resupplied it’s a lot of stuff.

Survival gear priorities are based on the “prepper” mantra of Bullet, Bandages & Beans (The Three B’s).

  • Bullets: Meaning security, the ability to defend yourself and protect your family and resources. Having all the gear in the whole won’t save you if you’re not able or willing to keep it from being taken. So firearms and ammo are the common solution for protection. The general rule on firearms is that you need two basic types, a rifle and a hand gun. The rifle is for making contact at a distance. The hand gun is for when things get up close and personal.
  • Bandages: Meaning anything to do with protecting your health. We have both first aid and medical kits. Our first aid gear is a system based on a model used by the army. The first aid you carry is only used for when you are injured. You do not use your first aid kit on others, everyone carries their own. Our medical supplies are more geared for treatment. We have meds, suture kits, trauma dressing, and the means to perform minor surgery and to treat broken bones.
  • Beans: Meaning food and anything that has to do with preparing food. The challenge with food is to making sure that don’t spoil before you need it. We have elected to purchase prepackaged survival food buckets. In general each bucket has enough food to provide one adult 2000 calories a day for 30 days. The buckets are vacuum sealed and have a 25 year shelf life. For the most part to prepare the food only requires heat and water. Additionally we have an ample supply of canned goods.

One of the most important aspect of having emergency kits and survival gear is to make sure the stuff is ready when you need it. Buying a bunch a food and survival stuff and putting it in contained and shoving it on shelf in your garage and forgetting about it is just a false sense of security. On a regular basic you need to inspect, resupply and upgrade your kits and gear. I do this annually. In March around my birthday, I go through all the car emergency kits. I cycle out the water, check food for expiration dates, upgrade or add new gear, and check batteries for signs of corrosion. The car kits I put together 10 years ago are gone. Over the years I have upgraded all the gear to include the packs and clothing. In September, around 9/11, I inspect our survival gear and both locations. Given the amount of gear we have this that’s the better part of a weekend, at each home but the peace of mind is well worth it.

The secret to being prepared is to be proactive. It like anything in life you only get out of it, what you put into it.
Besides having the gear and knowledge needed to survive, more importantly you need to develop a Family Emergency Plan (FEP). There are several sites and the internet that can help you with this developing a plan. Our plan is very detailed and I review it with the family at least once a year. Developing a FEP is a great exercise in discovering how prepared you and your family is for an emergency.

The bottom-line, if you’re not prepared you can’t help yourself nor can you help your family.

The post To Prep or Not to Prep appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Keeping Your Blades Sharp Post Disaster

4 Jun

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Redneck Prepper. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


As a beginning prepper, I have noticed that much attention is given to the blades and implements that would be needed to survive and thrive after a myriad of disaster scenarios. There seems however to be a lack of information on keeping these tools sharp, especially given the amount of articles about the tools themselves. Whether you are using a pocket knife to cut rope, a shovel or hoe to cultivate plants, or a skinning knife to dress your game, they are all guaranteed to dull with repeated use. I believe it is time to shed some light on the methods and implements used to maintain a working edge on your tools. This is what I will attempt to do.

Garden tools, axes, machetes, and chopping tools

Now that you are ready, either clamp your tool to a table, or secure it in a vice to begin.

Now that you are ready, either clamp your tool to a table, or secure it in a vice to begin.

While you can find many different and complicated instructions online for keeping your tools sharp, I will attempt to keep this simple and informative.

Your garden tools are different in both material and blade geometry than a knife blade. The first difference you will notice is that the edge is generally thicker and more rounded. This provides the durability needed for tools that will take impacts such as cutting a tree. And the steel is a less brittle alloy, providing both a more durable edge and the ability to more easily sharpen it. This is where the tool file comes in. A high carbon alloy, such as 5160 or D2, is too hard to be cut with a tool file. If you try to file a high carbon knife blade, the file will skate along the top of the surface and never leave a scratch. But it will cut into your tools. Now that we know the correct tool to keep your blades sharp, we move on to technique.

Work Sharp WSKTS-KO Knife and Tool Sharpener Ken Onion Edition

Work Sharp WSKTS-KO Knife and Tool Sharpener Ken Onion Edition – Makes sharpening all edged tools simple.

First you must determine the edge type on your tool. If you look closely at your ax, you will notice it has a double bevel. That means both sides of the edge are cut into a “V” shape with the point in the center of the edge. Look at the edge on your hoe next. You will notice that one side of the blade is flat and the other is beveled to produce a cutting edge. This is where that technique comes in. You always sharpen the blade in the manner in which it was made. Only file the beveled side on the single bevel, file both sides of the double bevel. And as long as you can see the original angle of the bevel that can be used as a guide for you to follow as you file.

The other consideration is how to use the file once you have determined the correct angle and edge type. The most common recommendation is to use the full length of the file as you move along the edge, this way you do not wear the teeth of the file in one small area.

Now that you are ready, either clamp your tool to a table, or secure it in a vice to begin. Align your file with the angle of your blade, and as you move down the edge, press down firmly on the forward stroke. Always release the pressure as you bring the file back. That way you not only have better chance of not cutting yourself, but you will not break the teeth of your file. Now repeat until your tool is sharp.

We are ready to move on to knives next.

Pocket knives, kitchen knives, skinning knives, and survival knives

Now that we assume your blade is only dull, not damaged, or that you have restored the profile to the blade, lets talk about honing

Now that we assume your blade is only dull, not damaged, or that you have restored the profile to the blade, lets talk about honing

 

Without getting too technical about the varying alloys and blade geometries that can effect sharpening, I will attempt to give some basic information on keeping your cutting implements in usable form.

Most of the time the average person will attempt to sharpen a dull blade with either a stone or one of those pull through sharpeners that are laying in countless kitchen drawers. While they will make your knife somewhat sharper, they remove excess material and are not normally necessary. We will examine why.

A stone has a basic purpose, it allows you to remove material from the hardened steel of your blade. This is helpful if you have chipped or blunted the cutting edge and it becomes necessary to re-profile the edge. This will get your blade back into the geometry that provides the best cutting edge. But for everyday sharpening this is unneeded and causes your blade to wear prematurely. The same can be said for the pull through sharpener. It will sharpen somewhat, but it will wear your blade out with constant use. There are numerous instructional articles written on using a stone, and they are far better written that I am capable of, so I will not go into great detail on that.

Now that we assume your blade is only dull, not damaged, or that you have restored the profile to the blade, lets talk about honing. Most everyone has seen a chef whipping his blade up and down a cylindrical tool, but do not realize exactly why. That cylindrical object is known as a honing steel. The idea is not to remove material, but to pull the microscopic teeth that make up your cutting edge back into alignment. Those teeth bend down as the knife is used. This method restores the sharpness to your blade without the effort or wear.

Now back to the chef, he is merrily whipping his blade along the length of the steel without a care. As cool as it looks, it is highly impractical and mostly for the purpose of showing off for his audience. For the rest of us, the correct method is to hold your steel firmly in your hand and press the tip against a table or counter top. Now with a light coating of oil on your steel, it is time for the knife. You want to hold the blade at approximately 22.5 degrees to the steel, beginning with the hilt at the top of the steel. Now bring the blade down slowly while also moving the length of the blade along the steel. This will work better if you have at least the same length steel as the blade you are sharpening. You may not be able to see the effect it is having, but it is working. Just be sure you keep track of how many strokes you make on each side of the blade, this needs to be equal on both sides. Now repeat.

Once you are confident that you have made a difference on your knife, wipe the blade with a rag, and check the sharpness carefully. I will not tell you how I do that because someone will surely injure themselves and blame me. You should notice a remarkable difference in sharpness. Congratulations, you have just taken the first step to keeping your blades in optimal cutting condition.

This article is by no means the most informative source on the subject, nor the most articulate. It is however my hope that I have provided some needed information that may benefit someone along their journey. Even if that is by encouraging you to research the subject elsewhere.

Keep your powder dry and your tools sharp out there.

The post Keeping Your Blades Sharp Post Disaster appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Being Honest with Yourself: A Prepping Reality Check

31 May

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Chevyguy. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


The more articles and prepping books I read and the YouTube Videos I watch I find a very obvious question that I don’t think people are asking themselves. The more I start to question if these people have anything valuable to say or worthwhile to show. What is this huge imposing question? Are these preppers being honest with themselves?

Now I realize in the Survival lifestyle there is a lot of ways to break it down. From bugging in or out, which kind of food storage to have, how to defend yourself, which weapons to own the lists can go on and on. But the word Survive itself is where I think people are completely missing the point. Survival! It’s not a TV show, it’s not a video game, there are no restarts and no second chances. You do or die, make the right call or fail, eat or starve. It’s not glamorous it’s not pretty and if it happens to you,  it won’t be the Hollywood version you have seen on movies. With these thoughts in mind, I have compiled a selected few topics I think people should reevaluate in their lives and make and give yourself a prepping reality check.

Why are you prepping anyway?

First and foremost what in the hell are you prepping for and why? Do you live in area prone to floods or hurricane alley? Is your home in a place that has regularly harsh winters or some other kind of recurring natural disasters? If so, then you have an easy to envision goal to strive for. When part of your normal life could be that you’re snowed in and can’t get out for two months, its nice to have food, water and heat that you can provide for yourself. If you live in flood zones its nice to have sand bags handy that are all ready filled and ready to go and other natural methods of water diversion. But then I read of people who prepare for this TEOTWAWKI and I take a step back and wonder what that means to them.

For my wife, the end of the world as we know it is a world without Facebook. To a guy at work it’s no TV and no way to charge his vape batteries. To others it’s a nuclear holocaust as is portrayed in the Fallout video games. Before you start prepping, you need to have a vision of something realistic that you are preparing for. I find it easy to think of a certain problem, for example how will I stay warm, and go forth from there. Find a simple problem and then find several different ways to fix that particular problem. Keep your problems small and you can tackle them more easily. Don’t start with how to heat your house, focus instead on how am I going to stay warm – how am I going to keep my safe room warm? Because honestly you don’t need your whole house to be warm. You don’t even need your room to be warm, all you need is your body to be warm to survive.

Once you start breaking basic problems down you’ll see that you are a lot better off and better prepared to face your challenges. This is also great for somebody who is just starting out in prepping or maybe have been doing it for a while but feels like they are missing something or there is a giant hole in their supplies. Focus on the little things because you start adding a bunch of little things up and they become a very big thing. Would it be cool to have NBC gear and gas masks for Nuclear Fallout, to have full body armor and a diverse array of weaponry at your disposal? Sure it would be but that’s all it would be, cool. For most people, it would not be practical. When you’re wearing all that cool gear starving or dying from dehydration you will wish you would have used that money to prepare for something that could have been used not something tacticool.

Your supplies won’t last forever.

Second, realize that everything you hoard will run out, it’s not a lifeline, it’s a buffer. There is no way the average person has enough room and space, let alone money to stockpile roughly 50 years of food and water nor have the ability to move it around if needed. The most common responses I get from people when asked what they’ll do in an emergency is, ‘we have rice and beans well be fine’, or ‘we’ll just garden we won’t need the grocery store’. The problem with these people is that they don’t consider the amount of water for rice and beans or the amount of time food takes to grow.

The one, single, solitary thing that will keep you alive are skills. Having a stockpile is great and I myself am working on creating one, but you must have the skills and the materials to replenish that stockpile before it’s all gone. Many people who garden, rarely stockpile plain empty canning jars and lids or know of or have the skills to persevere garden harvests from spoiling. Folks who plan to hunt either haven’t done it in a while or only know how to use a firearm. They’ve never used or considered a bow, traps, snares or other methods. They are just planning on being able to go hunt and survive. They don’t consider how skilled (and lucky) you have to be to even see game, let alone how much competition from other people trying to survive they will encounter.

Another huge problem with stockpiling is people become targets to looters. Chances are someone has seen you unloading your massive amounts of beans and rice at one point or another. Or someone you know is aware of that root cellar you have outside. When you have so much crap that you can’t easily hide it, others are going to look at you as their lifeline or their target. Last note on stockpiling is stop stockpiling crap. Will a hundred empty peanut butter jars be helpful, probably not as much as you think because there going to be so many other empty peanut butter jars out there. Will a hundred cheap flashlights from the dollar store be the cure-all for lights? Good reliable gear is not cheap. I am not saying you have to spend a million dollars to have decent gear as a lot of it is way over priced but have something that’s quality built not just crap. You will appreciate it one day.

How much is too much?

Good reliable gear brings us into our third topic, don’t be a gear whore. Is having some back up gear nice to have, yes, but don’t we all get that momentary high from getting new things? All that gear you have stocked away is great but do you know how to use it? What good does it do you to have an AR and all the ammo in the world if you don’t know how to shoot it? Can you properly tear it down, clean and lube it? What usefulness does a fully loaded medic bag do if you don’t even know basic wound care, CPR or even what’s in the bag?

I find a lot of people will buy these “ultimate anything bags” and throw em in the corner and think they are good to go without ever really knowing what’s in them. They have never used any of the supplies before, hell sometimes they haven’t even unwrapped some of the components inside. The best way for gear to assist you is if you have the skills to use it properly. You want a sure-fire way of knowing what gear you need for a 72 hour bag? Throw in some minor stuff and go survive out of it for 72 hours. Try and build a shelter by testing out that weirdo from YouTube’s latest and greatest shelter design. Try and build a solar still and see how much water you get. Live in an urban environment? Pack a bag and try to leave the city. See how fast and how far you can get each day on foot. Find safe places to hole up for the night.

There is a reason why highly skilled military operatives go through so many mock training courses, because that is the only way you’ll know how you will react in that situation. You train over and over and then reflect back on the experience. It builds muscle memory. Do you really need that 400-dollar ultra light tent or is a tarp that much better to use? Sure flint and steel are a good idea but should I have some matches to use too? Only by going out and trying out your gear will you know if it fits your plan of action and if it actually works for you. Most of you will probably be pretty disappointed.

What shape are you in?

You don’t want to have your health working against you in an emergency.

Now lets talk about physical fitness levels. I work on my feet for 8-10 hours a day -eat like a typical mid twenty year old and weigh 150 pounds. Can I throw on an extra 20-pound bag and walk for 15 miles a day, then sleep on the cold ground and eat crappy food and walk another 15 miles the next day? The answer is no, and if you asked yourself that question, your answers still probably the same. Everyone has the crazy idea of running to the mountains and living like the old school mountain men. The problem is that most mountains are a few hours if you are lucky in a vehicle and a few weeks by foot. Can you make that distance?

I’m not saying that you need to spend 8 hours a day in a gym working out getting ready for SHTF but a few hours a week is probably not a bad idea for anyone. Getting to know your body’s physical limits is a good idea but pushing them is even better. Once you think you know how much you can take, it allows you to start breaking down those mental barriers that are preventing you from achieving more.

A part of overall fitness is physical health as well. This is especially important to those of you who are dependent on medications to survive. I am not talking about medications to just make life a little easier or lower risks of certain types of things but to physically stay alive. In a survival situation there is no drug stores, no pharmacy and there will be no way to renew that medication. If your health is dependent on these medications, in the short-term you die. Everything you have stockpiled will be of no help to you. I’m sorry but the laws of nature and natural selection are what a survival situation really comes down to. The strong survive and reproduce. The weak die off and the ones who have bad traits die off. There is no way around this problem. Now for those who take a blood pressure medicine to prevent risk of heart attack. You’ll probably die of a heart attack once your meds run out and you’re in a high stress situation. But you can still go on, still fight and survive because you are not dependent upon your meds to stay breathing. For those people who are in that category you need to seriously reevaluate your plans and your expectations as you’ll have the hardest and shortest of times.

It’s time for some to have a reality check

Last I want to talk about some people’s grand plans and ideas they have to survive a SHTF scenario. I’ll break this up into two sections bugging in and out.

Bugging Out

Lighter is always smarter.

Lets start with bugging out. A 72 hour bag, bug out bag is supposed to get you to a well supplied location within a 72 hour walking distance. It’s not meant to live out of for the rest of your life. It’s not meant to stock your bug out location. Its to get you from your home to your bug out location or some other safer location. People over complicate the hell out of a bug out bag. Light and fast should be the motto when building a bug out bag.

A lot of people will argue against this idea and try to pack as much prepping supplies as they can carry. If that’s you,  then you don’t have a 72 hour bag you have a INCH bag (I’m Never Coming Home) bag were you will need extra things to survive because you do not have a survival stash location. Your plan is that you are heading out the door and you will be forced to survive with everything on your back. Another question I hear frequently is ‘what if your location isn’t 72 hours away – what if its five or six days away?’ Well then you need to have a resupply location in between your home and your location, a temporary bug out location if you will that some people call a cache. A survial cache is a place that you have another fully loaded 72-hour bag ready to go, or at least additional items to resupply what you have used already. If at all possible, this cache location is also a place where you can rest for a little while and regain some strength and stamina. People might wonder why this is necessary and the answer to that is weight. If you have a resupply location, you can carry only the items you need to get you to that point. You don’t have to add-on the extra 3 days worth of water and food. Instead of having a 60-pound pack you can now have a nice 25 pound pack that you’ll be able to travel a lot faster with. Obviously stashing a pack takes some planning and thought process but its much easier on the back if the mind does all the work. Seriously reconsider what your bug out plan is I realize that sometimes 72 hours away isn’t far enough distance away from a problem so plan ahead of time.

Bugging In

Now lets cover bugging in. I like bugging in because it doesn’t involve as much walking plus there are softer beds to be slept in. But the thing with bugging in is security from a number of aspects. First, when you are on the road in a survival situation, you’re a target. Some loser will think he can come and take what you have and you will need to be ready to take a life if it’s required unless you want to jeopardize your safety or your supplies.

The Second risk is a theft situation, you and your supplies need to be locked up tight from anyone trying to break in which means a better built door and windows to start with. Whatever it takes to keep people locked out. Third is a smoked out situation, in the old days people would die from being trapped in a house because looters or a mob burned it down and they were trapped inside. The solution isn’t to have a secret escape route out of the house its to have a fire-proof house. They make metal roofs and concrete siding all of which are fireproof and if enough money is spent on windows not even small arms fire can get through them. Bunkers are nice but unpractical as the cost of construction and they pose their own set of problems with airflow and sanitation. Consider the construction of your house to determine the safety of your house, remember the home is your castle and that’s what needs defending and they sure didn’t build em out of wood back in the day. Maybe go back through the house and analyze how you would survive your firefight or a Molotov cocktail incident.

To conclude I just want to bring reality back to people. I myself get caught up with having a huge stockpile of stuff. The best gear I can afford in my BOB, and planning for a highly unlikely scenario when there’s a more probable one to plan and prepare for. I want people to be able to take away something positive from this article that will help improve their chances of life in a terrible situation. It’s easy to get caught up in all the hype and the latest and greatest survival gear but ultimately it comes down to you and your skills, mental ability and your planning that will let you see another day. If you take the time to go back through your check lists and evaluate with an honest heart, how well you have things together and have prepared I promise, you wont regret it.

The post Being Honest with Yourself: A Prepping Reality Check appeared first on The Prepper Journal.