Category: Wilderness Survival

46 Must-Have Items for Your Emergency Vehicle Kit

46 Must Have Items For Your Emergency Vehicle Kit

As much as I like to think I have a handle on things, sometimes projects slip through the cracks. Case in point: Since the big road trip to Arizona in late September, not once have I gone out to the Subaru and reviewed the contents of my car kit.  At the time of my journey I was certain that I had everything I needed in the event of a calamity along the way.  The journey, after all, was close to 1,500 miles.

Since then, life has happened.  We needed room to cart groceries and, in Shelly’s case, to transport 4 set of golf clubs along with 3 of his buddies.  Something had to give, but what?

Today’s challenge is to take inventory of your emergency vehicle kit and supplies.  To get you started, here is a car kit submitted by long term reader, Elaine K.  I think it is a good one and am going back to check my own supplies to make sure that I am as prepared as she is.

Best Practices: 46 Items to Include in your Vehicle Emergency Kit

  1. Tow chains
  2. Jumper cables
  3. Spare tire
  4. Tire jack
  5. Fix-a-flat (I like this brand)
  6. Fire extinguisher
  7. Gasoline funnel
  8. Candles
  9. Flashlight
  10. Cigarette lighters
  11. Matches
  12. Flares
  13. Duct tape
  14. Disposable gloves
  15. Well-stocked first aid kit (here is one I put together myself)
  16. Well-stocked tool kit
  17. Solar blankets
  18. Wool blankets
  19. Warm socks
  20. Rain coat
  21. Cash (bills and coins)
  22. Winter hat
  23. Heavy gloves
  24. Heavy sleeping bag for winter, lighter sleeping bag for summer
  25. Paper
  26. Pen
  27. Whistle
  28. List of important phone numbers
  29. Can opener
  30. Knife
  31. Map
  32. Garbage bags in various sizes
  33. Paracord or rope
  34. Quart of oil
  35. Sewing kit
  36. Baby wipes
  37. Toilet paper
  38. Hand soap
  39. Comb
  40. Hair brush
  41. Tooth brush
  42. Change of clothes
  43. Various towels in Ziploc bags (women can use to urinate in if caught in traffic)
  44. Water
  45. Survivor Filter Pro
  46. Edible nuts stored in raw honey

I don’t know about you, but I got some good ideas from this list.  And shame on me; for all of my foresight I did not have a fire extinguisher in my car.  Thanks, Elaine, for your valuable contribution to Backdoor Survival and to our preps!

Source: backdoorsurvival.com

The Importance Of A Pocket Chainsaw For Survival

The Importance Of A Pocket Chainsaw For Survival

I am well aware of the fact that most of us that deal with prepping and take surviving in a SHTF situation seriously are familiar with the pocket chainsaw. Many of us have repeatedly used one, no doubt about that. And with good reason too.

The motorized chainsaw is a vital tool to have if you live out in the forest, especially when you are a long way from major roads. It requires very little effort from your part when it comes to cutting down trees or chopping wood (mainly); however you do need to be trained as they can be super dangerous in the wrong hands. Safety clothing such as chainsaw proof pants are a must also. The chainsaw comes in a lot of shapes and sizes and makes the work as easy as possible; all it asks in return is fuel and occasional maintenance.

But no matter how efficient it is in a day-to-day situation, it’s not very reliable when it comes down to a survival scenario. The fuel it requires will stop being a commodity and will become harder and harder to find; same goes for the oil and other parts that are required for maintenance. Plus, you would have to lug it around. If it was a ‘pack what you can carry’ situation, it might get abandoned pretty fast.

Fortunately, there’s an alternative available – and it could be a lifesaver. It’s called the pocket saw, and it’s basically a chain similar to that of a chainsaw, but it has a handle attached at each end of the cutting chain. This gadget will require a lot more effort from your part in cutting wood, as you will need to “become the engine” that drives the chain; but it’s the best option you’ve got. So if some manual labor doesn’t scare you, it will be extremely efficient in a survival scenario, when you’ll need to cut wood for building a shelter, firewood or surpassing and obstacle that might be in your way. The workout will be good for you and keep you warm too!

One of the best things about this particular piece of kit is its portability. A pocket chainsaw takes up a fraction of the space (and weight!) of other types of hand saw.

LIEUTNNT Survival Pocket Hand Chainsaw

This particular pocket chainsaw got tons of 5-star reviews. It has high quality steel teeth and comes in a 36 inch size (21″blade). One feature that really makes the chainsaw stand out are the comfortable plastic handles. This pocket chainsaw should cost around $20 – $25 and as a bonus, you also get a pouch.

The Supreme Products Pocket Chainsaw

The pocket chainsaw put out by Supreme Products also has a bi-directional chain, but what makes it stand out is that the product is modular. The saw can be detached from the handle, and if stored in its box, it weighs only 4 ounces and it can easily be fitted safely inside any pocket. The chain is made of carbon steel that has been coated with an anti-rusting agent. The blade is 28 inches long and the teeth are placed every 1/4 of an inch. At each end of the saw you get a stainless steel hook, to which you can attach the plastic handles, which are more comfortable than the handles made out of fiber, especially when you’ll be using the saw for longer period of time. The purpose of making this chainsaw modular is that you can add extension if you want to rich high limbs; just add as much rope as you like in-between the hooks and the handle. It’s very reliable and sturdy, easy to carry and to assemble and because the blade cuts both ways, you can go through a 3-inch diameter limb in about 10 – 15 seconds. Getting one won’t cost you more than $21.

The SaberCut pocket chainsaw

The SaberCut is released by Ultimate Survival Technologies and it’s a very efficient and qualitative tool. The 24 inch blade is bidirectional, cutting both ways easily because it’s very flexible and durable. The saw weighs in at about 4.5 ounces. It’s one of the easiest-to-maintain pocket chainsaws I ever came across. The teeth are self cleaning and they can easily be sharpened with a standard 1/8 chainsaw sharpener. The handles are made from the same material as the pouch it comes with, which is pretty durable and strong enough. Although this particular saw is not modular, you can always add as much length as you want tying cord to the handles. Not only is the SaberCut efficient and trustworthy, but it’s also one of the cheapest pocket chainsaws you can find, as it costs no more than $11.

Survival First Aid: Treating Bone Fractures

Survival First Aid: Treating Bone Fractures

Broken bones, fractures and joint injuries are a common thing that happen on a daily basis. We’re only one phone call away from receiving immediate medical assistance if in need. It’s not a life threatening situation in the 21st century, unless there are immediate complications. But what if we happen to brake a hand or a leg in a TEOTWAWKI scenario, where medical assistance will cease to be a commodity and when our very survival will depend on our mobility and full functionality? In case this happens, all is not lost, there are procedures to follow that will get as out of harm’s way. But if the treatment is to be successful, you’ll need to do everything by the book. The first thing to do is to make sure that the injured person’s life is not threatened in any way; once he’s out of harm’s way you can start treating the injury. Once his vital signs have been checked and you’ve concluded that he has been completely stabilized, you can start treating the fracture.

First and foremost, you’ll need to make sure that what you’re dealing with is a fracture and not something else. Most commonly fractures bear the following signs and symptoms: the inability to use or bear weight on the affected body part, severe pain, swelling, deformity, discoloration etc. In some cases, the ones that suffer the injury might even hear a loud cracking noise. In extreme cases, the fracture is so bad that the bone will pierce the flesh. Apart from bone fractures there are other injuries that are easier to treat and not as severe, but can be just as debilitating if left untreated, like muscle strained ligaments and joint dislocations. Fractures can be very tricky and should be approached with care. Many complications can arise (damaged blood vessels, torn muscles, damaged nerves), so minimal and gentle manipulation is imperative. If the affected area becomes swollen, pale, numb and the patient succumbs to shock, it’s probably that an important blood vessel has been damaged, causing internal bleeding. In this case, you should put on hold the fracture treatment and stop the hemorrhaging instead.  The best method of dealing with broken bones is splinting. Many people would advise that the splint should be applied without traction, in the position found, but this would be completely impractical, as the bone should be placed in an anatomically correct position in order to prevent severe pain and loss of function (partial or even complete). So it’s ok to manipulate the fracture gently.

Broken legs

You’ll need two forked branches that are strong enough, so you’ll need them to be at least 2 inches in diameter. One should measure the exact distance from the armpit to 12 inches past his broken leg, while the other should measure the distance from the groin to 12 inches past the broken leg. Next you’ll need to pad the splints. The ends that go past the leg (that measure 12 inches past the leg) will get a 2 inch in diameter branch placed in between them. Now the two splints should be tied together accordingly with the splinting guidelines with anything you can get your hands on: cloth, vines, rope etc. With the same material (provided it’s strong enough), tie a wrap around the ankle; the free ends will get tied to the cross member. Finally, add a twisting stick at the free end of the ankle wrap; twisting the wrap will provide traction. Continue twisting until the broken leg is in line with the healthy leg.

Broken feet

Splinting a foot will require a piece of long and tough cardboard or plastic. This piece of material should be bent lengthwise so that you get three identical (more or less) segments. You can add cloth or padding on the inner side to add comfort. Place the splint under the foot and the leg, so that it reaches halfway to the knee, yet it goes enough under the foot to immobilize the ankle; once this is done, add some cloth between the ankle and splint. Fold the cardboard around the leg and secure it with some tape.  Now do the same as you did with the ankle for all the empty spaces between the leg and the splint: add cloth. You can reduce swelling and discomfort with ice, but don’t keep it on for longer than 20 minutes.

Broken arms

Once the arm is adjusted in its natural position, you should apply the splints. You can use any material as long as it’s hard enough (strong cardboard, sticks, wood etc.) and long enough, so they extend passed the wrist and the elbow. Before the splints go on, wrap the arm in a clean and soft cloth, for comfort more than anything. Once the arm is wrapped, you can wrap the splints as well. The splints should be applied equally when it comes to length; for forearm fractures the splints should go beyond the wrist, while in the case of upper arm fractures, they should extend beyond the elbow. The cloth that holds the splints together should be at least 5 inches before and after the fracture. Don’t tie the bonds too firmly; if you can slip two fingers in, it’s perfect. In order to keep the arm secure and in place, tie a piece of cloth around the neck of the patient and slip the fractured hand in it. The hand should be centered on the sling and it should be at a flat and horizontal position. If the elbow is at a 90 degree angle, you’ve done an excellent job.

Broken hands

Securing a broken hand in place will be a bit trickier, as you’ll need a material that is strong and rigid enough to hold the hand in place, yet flexible enough to fold. It should extend from the wrist to the end of the fingers. The hand should be straight and relaxed, with its fingers slightly opened. Place some cloth in the palm of the hand and place the first splint under the wrist, so it extends to the end of the fingers. The splint should be folded up and around the wrist. Tie it together and add tape for extra security. Once you’re done, stuff the open spaces with cloth to increase comfort and firmness.

If you ever find yourself in the posture of treating broken bones or fractures, remember the first thing to do is to keep calm and act with caution. You’ll need to be very aware and have enough knowledge in the matter. You can educate yourself further in anatomy of the limbs and learn a few knots that will secure your splints in place. You can practice these techniques and even take up courses for first aid, so you won’t have to do it for the first time in a SHTF situation.

By My Family Survival Plan

How To Improvise A Fishing Rod

How To Improvise A Fishing Rod

Every serious fisherman knows the importance of owning the right fishing rod. Whether you’re fishing for sport or you’re simply trying to feed yourself, there’s no better way than doing it the old fashioned way. But in a SHTF situation (whether you’re lost in the wilderness or you’ve found yourself trapped in an end-of-days scenario) you might not have you trusted fishing rod on you. But you won’t necessarily need to. You’ll need nothing more than a knife; having a small tackle box with the right assortment of hooks and some spool of monofilament will make things easier. If you’re lucky enough to have these items on you, you’ll need to improvise the fishing pole only, which it’ll be more than enough to feed yourself in desperate times. If not, well, you’ll need to improvise the whole thing. The rest of the materials you can easily find in your surroundings. And here’s how to do it.

The pole

The first thing you’ll need to find is the pole; any 6 – 7 foot-long branch will do, as long as it’s no thicker than a human thumb. Once you’ve found the right one, you’ll have to break it off from the tree. Once this is achieved, you’ll need to break it again to the desired length. If it’s dry enough, you can snap it in half against your knee or against any hard surface; but if it’s not dry and it’s still rather flexible, you can try cutting it with the knife. Using dead branches is a bad idea because their durability is very low and break easily. You can test the tip by banding it to the point of snapping. If it snaps, fine; the more it does snap, the stronger the remaining pole gets. As soon as you got the pole to the desired length, use the knife to remove any remaining branches, leaves or shoots. Make it as smooth as possible in order to improve weight and handling.

The fishing line

If you happen to have some monofilament fishing like on you, your job gets much easier. If you don’t, sewing thread could get the job done as well. But in sewing thread isn’t an option either, you’ll need to get your hands dirty and look for thin green vines in ground cover or in the undergrowth found around various bushes. The greener the vine, the stronger it will be. If you find a vine that’s about 10 feet, look no further. Remove any tendrils by pulling carefully so you don’t damage the line. For safety, the line should be tied midway down the pole and wrapped as many times as possible towards the tip, where a simple overhand knot will suffice for holding it in place. This way, if the pole breaks, you can immediately catch the line with your hands.

The hooks and the bait

Some professional hooks will work extremely well, provided of course you brought some along. If not, you can always use paper clips, safety pins or soda can tabs. Another viable option is to carve your very own V-shaped hooks out of wood (green wood preferably). A one end you’ll need to carve a groove, in the hook-eye area. This will allow you to tie fishing line onto. As bait you can use pretty much any insect you can get your hands on. The easiest things to get are the earthworms, which can be found underground, under rocks, around moss and in other moist areas. Once you’ve baited the hook, you’re pretty much ready to go. From here on in it’s all about patience and skill.

When it comes to fishing is a SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation, fishing areas are very important. It’s absolutely necessary to procure the maximum amount of fish with as little resources as possible. So it’s not all about the gear that you have or that you’ve crafted. It’s just as important to know where, when and how to fish. If you’re fishing in stagnant waters, you’ll need to go after still pools. The stillness of the water will make the bait as visible as possible, thus increasing your chances of catching something fast. When it comes to running waters, the area behind exposed boulders would be the best location to catch anything, as fish have a tendency of gathering in such places. You might also want to consider bank fishing, as standing on the water’s edge can also be a very productive fishing method.

As you can see, improvising and entire fishing pole is a rather difficult task, but not impossible to achieve. As previously stated, having line and hooks on you will spare you a lot of trouble. But if not, you’ll just need to put some extra effort into it. Just follow all the steps and you’ll have your DIY fishing rod in no time.

By My Family Survival Plan

The Best Types Of Camouflage Gear For Survival Situations

The Best Types Of Camouflage Gear For Survival Situations

If you ever find yourself either 1) on the brink of existence, struggling for your very life (in your own home or in hostile territory), or 2) simply hunting for your dinner… one of the greatest assets you can bring to the table is the element of surprise. Not being detected depends a lot on you moving silently and cautiously, but you’ll need to make your presence as hard to detect as possible. Wearing the right type of camouflage gear for survival in the right settings can make you virtually impossible to spot, provided you don’t attract any unwanted attention to yourself.

Camouflage has come a long way since the old days. To my surprise, I’ve noticed that many preppers don’t know much about the various types of camouflage patterns that are now available, and a lack of knowledge here could be very detrimental in a survival situation. If you’re hunting, you risk getting seen by the prey; it flees, and you remain hungry. But in the case of a combat / war / invasion scenario, wearing the wrong type of camo could get you captured, tortured and ultimately killed.  There are plenty of manufacturers that produce a lot of patterns, so there’s plenty of variety to be had when choosing your gear; and this is some of the best gear the market has to offer.

Multicam

The MultiCam pattern is probably the least specialized camouflage pattern you’ll find. As most patterns tend to work specifically well in particular surrounding, the multicam is based on the “one size fits all” idea, meaning that it was designed to keep you out of sight in most (if not all) situations and environments. The design is similar to classic camouflage models, but it will do well in many settings and scenarios; it’s hard to detect even in nightvision mode. Check out some multicam gear here.

Realtree XTRA

Realtree XTRA is one of the most versatile camouflage patterns ever produced. The pattern itself combines the images of various natural elements (tree trunks, tree branches, vines, leaves etc.) in order to create a very complex final result; the 3D effect the Realtree XTRA creates is amazing and it works in a lot of natural surroundings and it can fool all the eyes that are out scouting for you, be it man or animal. Get it here.

Realtree MAX-5

This type of camo gear is excellent for those that find themselves for some reason or another (whether hunting water fowls or escaping some sort of search party) mash-like zone, mud flats, prairies or agricultural fields. The camo pattern itself is very efficient in these types of surroundings, creating a great deal of depth that breaks the outline and makes you virtually part of the scenario. If you want to find out more about it or if you want to buy your very own MAX-5, try here.

Vertigo Grey

The Vertigo Grey camo pattern is undoubtedly the way to go for those of you that hunt or seek sanctuary in elevated blinds. Your whole silhouette will fade in the natural surroundings, as the pattern that consists of colors that mimic the sky, branches and leaves can render virtually invisible to any animal that man that happens to pass by. Stand perfectly still and quiet, and whoever is out to get you won’t even notice you’re there. If it’s the right stuff for you, take a look here.

Concealment Open Country (by OptiFade)

The Concealment Open Country camouflage pattern is done by OptiFade but it was the brainchild of W. L. Gore, who had a lot of money on developing a camo pattern based on scientific studies of the animal vision (especially deer). Even if the animal detects movement and sees you, it won’t recognize you as a direct threat for a while, so it gives you a lot of time to react. It’s one of the most efficient lines of clothing for hunters, especially for those that hunt in mountainous areas. If you wish to purchase this type of gear, simply click here.

Seclusion 3D

This is one of the most intriguing, complex and efficient patterns ever to be created. Cabela’s Seclusion 3D consistsof a multitude of shapes, sizes and various degrees of contrast and focus. Thanks to its complexity, it doesn’t project a two-dimensional scene, but rather a very realistic illusion of depth that will make you very invisible even to the keenest eyes. If you won’t settle for anything but the best, go here.

Seclusion 3D Winter

This particular camo pattern is very unconventional for snow / winter camo gear, and its strength lies in its uniqueness. It has nothing to do with the ordinary winter camo style (all white or white combined with various shades of grey), but the image it produces is of rather high photographic quality. The design itself consists in mimicking trees and branches; the design is so effective, that in winter conditions it can break the outline and it renders you immediately invisible. Get your very own realistic snow camo here.

The first thing you should keep in mind when buying camo gear is that most camo patterns are specialized for certain surroundings. Plan ahead and decide on what’s the right type of camo gear for you, based on your activities and surroundings. And never think that camo gear is the only thing you’ll need to become totally invisible. It depends a lot on the way you act as well. Be vigilant, cautious and stealthy in a hunting or SHTF situation and don’t move more than you absolutely have to.

5 Seemingly Harmless Animals You Should Avoid In The Wild

5 Seemingly Harmless Animals You Should Avoid in The Wild

Nature is very diverse. And we all know (roughly) the dangers that lurk in the wild, especially when it comes to wild animals. We all have the common knowledge and common sense to stay away from big fangs, sharp claws or insects with stingers. It’s as clear as day that an encounter with a creature that posses such tools will result in a harmful or even fatal outcome.

Other animals may simply be disease carriers or territorial in nature, and if you’re not aware of their behavioral patterns, you’re in for a nasty and painful experience. Let’s have a look at some of the animals that are apparently harmless, but actually dangerous.

The swan (Cygnus sp.)

The swan is a swwmingly graceful creature that not many of us would consider dangerous under any circumstances. But they’d be dead wrong. Most nesting birds, like the swan, have a very acute parental instinct, meaning that if they feel that they’re nesting ground is danger they’ll fight off the attacker. Most nesting birds will fight only up to a point; if they fill they’re losing the fight or that the attacker is simply too strong to take on, they’ll flee and leave the nest and eggs to chance. But things differ in the swan’s case. The swan is relentless in defending its nest and territory and will keep going until either the attacker or the swan itself is dead. It will attack viciously: it can scratch, bite and poke and an angry swan may even try and drown its opponent if they find themselves near water. The bird itself can even grow as heavy as 30lbs, so taking on a defensive mother swan it’s not a thing you’ll want to do.

The Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops aduncus)

Experts consider dolphins to be the second most intelligent creatures on the face of the Earth, after humans. And rightly so: an adult dolphin has the intelligence of an average 4 year old human. Not only that, but their societies are some of the most evolved on the planet. They are fast learners, work together for common goals, communicate efficiently and even have a sense of humor, as studies have shown that dolphins will regularly play jokes on each other or even on people. But they’re intelligence comes with a price, as they tend to have a larger-than-normal tendency toward violence. They’ll hurt or maim for no apparent reason; cases have been recorded when dolphins kill just so that they get to play with the carcass of they’re victim. They have a higher than average sexual drive and will attack human males for territorial reasons.
Although friendly most of the time, dolphins have been known to be unpredictable and should be avoided unless you’re in the presence of trained professionals.

The Slow Loris (Nycticebus sp.)

The slow loris is a tiny, fury mammal, with big eyes and it’s extremely shy by nature. It makes a great pet because its cuteness is undisputable. But despite being one of the cuddliest animals in the world, it’s also one of the most poisonous. They have an active gland inside the elbows that produces a very powerful toxin. They use this toxin mostly to smear their young, which makes them less likely to be attacked and eaten by predators. The toxin itself, if ingurgitated, produces terrible stomach aches and even death. If attacked, they’ll suck the contents of the gland into their mouth and bite the attackers. This way, the toxin gets injected into the attacker’s bloodstream. If there’s an allergic reaction involved, the bite victim can die in a matter of hours if the left untreated. So think twice before making a move towards a slow loris; it might be the last thing you do.

The Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibious)

This big and gentle herbivore is known as one of the biggest mud lovers on the face of the Earth. Because they live in arid places, where temperatures rise intensely, they’re beast means of cooling themselves is to roll around in the mud or muddy waters. Although they’re not violent in nature, they tend to get very territorial and will stop at nothing in protecting they’re mud ponds or females and young. Don’t let they’re funny looks throw you off. Despite their heavy structure, they can run to speeds of up to 20 mph and have a bit of 6,000 lbs of pressure, which is more than enough to snap a human in half. If you find yourself in their presence, thread carefully. You do not want to find yourself in the crosshairs of an angry hippo.

The Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes)

The common chimpanzee has been proven to be the closest relative modern man still has in the animal kingdom. There are many similarities between us and our not-so-distant cousins, like opposable thumbs, facial expressions, cerebral activity and many more. They mostly live in small societies or groups (rarely solitary) and they tend to often manifest violent behavior for one reason or another. They’ll attack each other for dominance, territorial feuds or simply if they don’t like someone or something. Their violent nature can’t be completely overridden by training, as there have been many documented cases in which trained chimps have viciously attacked and maimed humans.

It’s plain to see that nature is not meant to be cute. Nature is primarily meant to be persistent. No matter how cute an animal might seem to you, don’t throw yourself directly at it, unless you know the species you’re engaging and you’re absolutely sure that nothing bad can happen. If you’re planning a trip of some sort in a wild location, educate yourself on the animals in the region so to have an idea of what you’ll have to face along the way.

MFSP

Three Best Binoculars For Survival Purposes

Three Best Binoculars For Survival Purposes

Owning a pair of binoculars for survival in a TEOTWAWKI scenario is not only meant to make every day life easier for you, but it could also save your life. Most binoculars are very precise and will let you spot from afar all sorts of dangers that might be coming your way, leaving you with enough time to react. It could also be used for hunting (spotting wild game), guarding your property or simply scouting new territory. So no matter the scenario, binoculars would be always welcome.

A good pair of binoculars (and a bit more expensive one) will work fine even in low light or moon light. There are plenty of companies on the market that have specialized in making quality products and are well-known for it, like Olympus, Pentax, Steiner, Brunton, Carson, Zeiss, Leica, Nikon and more. Sadly, there are plenty of counterfeit products (coming mostly from China) that cost far less but are worth less than the plastic they’re made up from, so stay away from such devices and anything that seems “too good to be true”; any high-end or designer brand selling through unusual channels at a fraction of the normal price should be viewed with a healthy suspicion.

To fully understand the importance of such a device we must comprehend what it is and how it works. There various types of binoculars for survival on the market and they come in a great variation of shape and size, but in principle they are all the same:  they’re comprised of two telescopes that are linked together by an adjustable mechanism. The most important factor you have to consider when buying your own binoculars is a sequence similar to, for example, 9×35. These numbers are giving you a lot of information on the capacity of the product, as the number before X (9 in this case) is the magnification factor. A 9X binoculars means that the image will appear to be 9 times closer than it actually is. The number following X (35 in our case) is a specification of the front lens, which is responsible for the light intake capacity.

The greater the light intake capacity, the clearer the image is going to be.  So the bigger the number following X is, the more suited the binocular will be for lower light conditions. The RBI (the relative brightness index) is responsible for image brightness. It’s determined by a simple mathematical equation. First we need to figure out the exit pupil in our case, for the 9X35 mode we used as an example. The exit pupil is 35 / 9 = 4 (roughly). The RBI is the square of the exit pupil: 4 x 4 = 16. It’s commonly known that the best binoculars for low lighting conditions are those that hold an RBI bigger than 25, so our example wouldn’t do so well outside proper lighting conditions.

Lens coatings are responsible for light transmission; they’re purposes is to prevent hazardous light reflection and to deliver a clear and focused image. There’s single coating, or a single layer of antireflective coating (Coated), the whole lens to lens surface is coated (Fully Coated), some surfaces have multiple layers of coating (Multi-Coated) and last but not least, all surfaces are covered in multiple antireflective coating layers (Fully Multi-Coated).  Now that we covered the basics, let’s see some of the best binoculars for survival scenario.

The Olympus Outback 10×21 RC 1

This particular model by Olympus is one of the best binoculars you can find if you consider the quality / price ratio. It’s only about $69, and it’s not much if you consider its capabilities. Its field performance is simply outstanding, as it can produce superior images to those of binoculars that are twice as big or pricy. It has great sharpness and definition thanks to its high quality roof prism, which is made out of a very high quality optical glass. But like most 10x devices, it requires a steady hand for maximum efficiency, because it also magnifies movement.

Carson Raven RV-826

The Raven RV-826 is real bargain and possibly the best deal for budget preppers. It’s an 8×26 binocular that despite its tiny size, (4.5 x 4.25 inches and 10oz) it delivers quite a clear and steady image. It’s perfect for hikers who simply want to observe their distant surrounding or for people that are out nature watching. It will allow a steady and focused image without making your presence known to the animals you’re watching. These tiny binoculars are really tough and resistant; they come with a waterproof housing that is just impenetrable. And as a bonus, you also get a microfiber cloth for lens cleaning. If the Raven RV-826 is the right tool for you, know that it’s no more expensive than $79 and that you can find it here.

The Brunton Eterna Compact 10×25

The Eterna Compact 10×25 by Brunto is worth mentioning because of its image clarity and focus despite its tiny frame. Despite its small carcass, it’s pretty heavy, weighing in at 1lb 1oz. The excessive weight seems to justify if you consider the toughnes of the Eterna Compact 10×25. It has neoprene lens covers that are easily removed (even if you’re wearing gloves), it has a padded neck strap and a very efficient and functional focusing dial. What sets it apart from regular, cheaper binoculars is the adjustable diopter setting for each eye that allows precision focusing for maximum clarity. It’s not a cheap device (it costs about $360), but it’s precise, well built and durable.

There are many options, and the prices vary from tens to hundreds of dollars. What you ultimately buy is entirely up to you. Just know that for survival purposes you don’t need the latest and greatest, so you don’t have to necessarily spend a lot of money. You can find good binoculars even on a tight budget that, if need be, we’ll undoubtedly provide you with an advantage in a SHTF scenario.

Keep Breathing: Some Of The Best Gas Masks You Can Afford

Keep Breathing: Some Of The Best Gas Masks You Can Afford

We’re all aware of what a gas mask is; at least we have some idea about them. Gas masks (aka. respirators) are heavily used in society. The Police force has them, the Special Forces have them, the firefighters have them, spray painters have them etc. The basic use of a gas mask is to serve as filter for the air you’re breathing in and to stop possible irritants and noxious substances from getting into your respiratory system and affecting you general state your health.

The best gas masks (or respirators) are based on the same principle: the air is pulled into the canister that has a filtering system (on 3 layers: aerosol filter, charcoal filter and dust filter) and then is released towards the interior of the mask; the filtered air is safe to breathe.

The air is sucked into the canister as the wearer breathes. There are also battery operated gas masks, equipped with a fan, that will syphon air inside, but become useless when the batteries die out. There are also some that work just like a scuba breathing system: they don’t have a filtering canister, but a pressurized air canister, that is completely sealed.

A gas mask is a real asset for any serious prepper. It’s an absolute must-have in case of a chemical or biological attack. Works just as well in a combat zone, as it’ll filter out heavy smoke and even dust clouds. There two main types of masks: half masks and full mask. I half mask will cover your mouth and nose only; they’re used in spray painting and are recommended only if you know what contaminant you’re dealing with. In case of an extremely dangerous contaminant or if you simply don’t know what you’re facing, a full gas mask is the way to go. Not only will it cover your respiratory system, but I’ll also protect your eyes and face from dangerous agents, like Anthrax etc.

Israeli Civilian Gas Mask

This gas mask was issued by the Israeli government, is NATO approved and it’s perfect if you consider the quality / price ratio (it costs about $80). Because of the relatively low price and good features, it’s regarded to be as the standard gas mask for civilian protection. It’s best used in an evacuation scenario from a contaminated area. The mask itself is made out of a soft but durable rubber that covers the whole face (full mask); it offers great protection not only for the respiratory system, but also for the entire face. It has extremely efficient filters (NBC filters) that will keep you safe from almost everything, from nuclear and biological agents (like Anthrax) to chemical agents. This particular gas mask comes in both adult and child versions.

M61 Finnish Gas Mask

The MA61 model was developed in Finland and it’s meant to be used as a heavy-duty gas mask. It’s a side-mounted mask, which means the filter is screwed into the side of the mask, rather than in the font. The rubber it’s made from is extremely durable, but rather soft flexible at the same time. Its flexibility means that the mask will incase the face of the wearer perfectly, making it airtight, so that noxious fumes or chemical agents won’t find their way inside. It uses a twin goggle system rather than a single visor. The exhalation system has a plastic valve with an integrated speech diaphragm, for better communication.

ADVANTAGE 1000 CBA-RCA Gas Mask

The 1000 CBA-RCA mask is 100% American and it was developed based on a US Military design that was used by the USAF during the Operation Desert Storm. It has a Hycar face piece which is about 40% lighter than most full gas masks and also a customizable fit. There’s also a standard nose cup to eliminate visor fogging and a mechanical speaking diaphragm. The visor is a one piece that’s extremely tough and offers great field of vision. The canister can be mounted on both the left and the right side and it’s effective against all sorts of biological and chemical agents, like Mustard, Lewisite, GA, GB, GD etc. The head harness is adjustable and stable. There’s also an ID tag attached and it includes a CBA-RCA canister. The whole package comes at about $300.

There are plenty of models that are available on the market, it’s only a matter of personal choice. The price of a certain gas mask does not necessarily reflect its quality, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money for a good product that will filter well and fit great. But you’ll need to educate yourself in the matter a bit so you won’t throw your money out the window. Luckily there’s many manufacturer’s and sellers and price ranges vary from one to the other. So keep hunting for bargains, you’ll most likely find them.

By My Family Survival Plan

Survival Footwear : Choosing The Right Shoes For The Right Situation

Survival Footwear: Choosing The Right Shoes For The Right Situation

Those of you out there who have done hiking before or any sort of expedition, be it on moderate or rough climates and settings, will no doubt understand why having the right shoes in a TEOTWAWKI situation could mean the very difference between life and death. If you’ll find yourself obligated to travel a lot and carry heavy stuff with you, you’ll need to have the right provisions and gear for the job; and the right pair of shoes or boots is no exception. When it comes to survival footwear, wearing the right pair of shoes or boots will spare you a lot of trouble. There is no universality in this case, there is no one pair of shoes or boots for all scenarios and settings, but rather specialized products that will suit the wearer’s needs based on terrain, weather and distance.

When choosing yours, looks will be the last thing to consider. You’ll have to take into consideration insulation, durability, shoe size (make sure you get the right size or walking in the wrong size shoes will take itstoll very soon), the type of socks you’ll be wearing (normal or hiking socks), the terrain and weather conditions you’ll need the shoes or boots for and ultimately the fact the sturdy footwear will need to be broken in. They might not feel comfortable at first, but in time, you’ll get used to them. Price is also an important issue, especially for tight budget preppers like me, who never feel like spending more than they absolutely have to. There many products available on the market and the prices vary a lot. But know that “expensive” is not necessarily equivalent with “best” when it comes to survival footwear, so you won’t have to sell your soul just to afford a pair of trail shoes or boots.

Hiking boots

Hiking boots are the right shoes bring along for planed trips, especially if you’re planning on staying a bit longer outdoors; they work extremely well and will be very comfortable if you’re dealing with moderately rough terrain. They should be well built, fairly insulated and if you’ll be carrying some weight, they’ll be the best option you have. The sturdier the boot is, the more resistant it will be in the field. The taller boots are usually more durable and will offer better ankle protection. The best ones are partially waterproof and will be as comfortable as possible even after long walks on rough terrain. The Durand Mid WP is what I’ve been using lately and it’s probably the best pair I’ve had so far: it’s waterproof, breathable and it has an integrated heel cushion and midsole for better comfort.

Heavy duty hiking boots

This particular type of hiking boots takes the hiking game to a whole new level. They’re the best option for those who spend more time on the go then they do in their homes. They’re generally used for cross-country backpacking, be it on normal or very rough terrains. They might not be as light as regular hiking boots, but they’re the better option, as they’re tougher and better for people that are carrying heavy loads throughout rough terrains and settings. Choosing a pair of heavy duty hiking boots will require a great deal of attention from your part. These types of boots don’t necessarily feel comfortable at first, you’ll need to break them in first. So try them on carefully before purchasing and analyze whether they’re worth the money or not. The most serious stores have small areas that will simulate the boots performance on various terrains. The Asolo backpacking boots, with Gore-Tex inserts and Vibram outsoles are some of the best heavy duty hiking boots on the market; they’re pretty light too, as they weigh less than 2lbs.

Mountaineering boots

They’re the epitome of survival footwear, and  the first clear sign you get is in the price, as even the cheapest pair of mountaineering boots will cost no less than a couple of hundred bucks. As the name clearly shows, they’re suited for hiking in extreme and rough alpine terrain, at high attitudes and low temperatures.

They’re built to be heavy and rigid, but with good reason. Even the standard models have very stiff soles and shanks (in order to provide maximum protection to your feet and ankles), a multi-layered build comprised of rigid shanks for stability and protection, an insulating inner lining and a waterproof lining. The soles are very thick and rigid, built for maximum grip even on slippery surfaces. The Nepal Evo, by La Sportiva, is everything I just mentioned and more, with durable leather and metal lace loops and with an impressive overall built that will make it suitable for even the roughest conditions.

If what we’ve been looking at so far is a bit much for you, worry not. If you’re nothing more than an amateur hiker that goes on light hikes only, you can always buy a simple pair of regular hiking shoes. These are nothing more than improved sport shoes that will do well on regular strolls in the wild.

Unless you’re facing rough terrain on bad weather, you’ll have nothing to worry about. But whether you’re considering buying the simplest pair of hiking shoes or a state-of-the-art mountaineering boots, always try them on before buying. Unlike regular pairs of shoes, hiking footwear will require some wearing arround the house before you’ll get completely used to them.

Survival Tents: DIY Shelters For Critical Situations

Survival Tents - DIY Shelters For Critical Situations

Whether you’re simply having a camping a trip or you’ve found yourself fighting for your life in a post-apocalyptic scenario, you’ll need to have a good quality tent with you in order to make your situation just a bit more bearable. If it’s a trip in the local surroundings or you’re exploring uncharted territory due to some sort of unfortunate event that forced you to leave everything behind, it doesn’t matter that much. As long as you’ve packed the right tent before setting off, you’ll have a proper shelter that will offer your insulation and protection. Those of you that aren’t that knowledgeable in the area, let me tell you that there is a great variety of products to choose from. There is basically a tent for every hostile situation that you can think of: tents for low temperatures, tents for flood situations, above ground tents (that will keep you safe from ground predators, etc.), simple hiking tents and more.

Upon purchasing your very own tent, there are many things to consider apart from the price. You should consider first of all the type of situation you are trying to counter (cold climates, high temperatures, wild animals, excessive precipitations etc.), and once you have this figured out, you can start looking into the size of the tent, the material it’s made up of, the price etc. 

I’ll show you some of the most affordable and versatile tents on the market.

The Trango 3.1


The Trango 3.1 by Mountain Hardwear is a semi-professional product from Mountain Hard Wear, built especially for those who take wilderness adventures really seriously. It costs about $559. It’s pretty sturdy as a tent and it packed form it weighs about 11lbs 4oz. It’s roomy enough for 3 people and it was built to withstand much of what nature can throw at him: it has welded guy clip anchors, welded corners and it’s waterproof and watertight. The DAC Featherlight NSL poles used by these tents are extremely resistant despite they’re light weight, and make for a great foundation. The structure itself is more intricate than what you’d expect; it has a vestibule in which you can change you wet dirty and wet clothes before entering the main, warmer chamber of the tent. It does way a bit much and it may become strenuous to carry it over long distances, but it makes up for it in quality and toughness. Be it cold, windy, rainy or hot, this tent won’t let you down. Check out the Trango 3 on Amazon

The Tentsile Stingray 3-Person Hanging Tent

Well, the product name says it all: this is less of a tent and more of a tree house, all for the price of $675. The idea is that you
can suspend this tent from trees and have a hammock-type, covered structure, large and strong enough to shelter 3 people. The ratchet buckles and straps are about 19.5ft long and the manufacturer assures us that they can withstand about 2.5 tons of weight. So unless you’re planning to park your car inside, you have nothing to worry about. The floor of the tent is made up of a certain 240D composite that is wide enough for 3 people to sleep comfortably. The whole surface of the tent is coated in 190T PU polyester rain fly, which not only makes it completely waterproof, but also resistant to all sort if insect stings or bites. The rain fly can be extended down to ground level, making a rainproof vestibule for your gear. Once the tent is set up, you can gain access through 2 doors. A side door is available, but if you’re too high from the ground, you can also use the center floor hatch. This tent is perfect for survival scenarios which involve predatory ground animals. Not only will you be safe, but the experience of camping in such a tent is unique.

The Sundome 2-Person Tent

This is a fairly simple tent released by Coleman, which weighs in at about 8lbs. It costs under $50 in some places and it’s the optimum choice for serious campers. If camping is your lifestyle, look no further than the the Sundome 2-Person Tent. It’s a one door tent and it can easily accommodate 2 people. The tent is pretty stable even in tougher weather conditions thanks to its 2-pole system; it also is very easy to set up, as an untrained camper can put it together in no more than 20 minutes.  The outer coating, the material on the outside of the tent wall (aka. the outer fly) is waterproof, so precipitations won’t bother you much. But keep in mind, although it’s a perfect camping tent, it’s not all that great when it comes to expeditions to remote and extreme areas; using it as a survival tent will not be a good idea. It’s not well ventilated, and this may cause dampness on the inside as a result of moisture buildup. I’ve been using this tent myself for a while now, and as an occasional camper myself, I think this is the best camping tent when it comes to quality / price ratio. Check out the Coleman Sundome 2-Person Tent on Amazon

Camping for fun or survival requires some education in the matter and should be done properly. Whether you’re just a casual camper, an avid one or you find yourself in need of shelter in order to survive the harshness of the wild, you should always be prepared and leave nothing to chance. Do serious research in the matter and you’ll find one or several tents to suit your needs.

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