Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Simple Water Storage

 What if I told you that there was no reason to go out and buy gallons and gallons of pre-bottled water. There is such a simple and cost effective way of storing water for your family. How many people now days go out and buy soda in the 20 oz bottles? I would be willing to bet there are many many people that do so. Or how about those gallon jugs of apple juice. Instead of buying the 20oz, why not buy the 2ltr bottles a few times. Not only water, but there are so many uses for these bottles, that it is worth hanging on to a few of them.

Water Storage: It is pretty simple when you think about it. Wash the bottles out with hot soapy water, the hotter the water the better so you can rinse all of the sugars and things out of them. I personally put about 2 cups of really hot water in them. Be a bit liberal with the soap and shake the ever lovin crap out of it, trying to fill the bottle with suds. Let the bottles sit until the suds are all back in the bottom of the bottle. Rinse the bottles very very well. Now, depending on if you have city water or well water will determine the shelf life of your water store.

If you will be filling your bottles from a municipal water source you do not have to do anything special to it, just fill and place the cap on tightly.The water has already been treated and therefore will be safe. Store it in a cool dark place such as the back of a closet or in the basement.

If your going to be using well water for your storage. It is best to put 4-5 drops of bleach in the water to sanitize it. As well water has not been treated, and over time things may start to grow in it that you do not want to drink and could become harmful. Again, store it in a dark cool place where it is easily accessible.

Having said all of that, I truly think that there is no reason to buy "commercial" water. You can save lots of money in doing it yourself.

TIP: When it comes to storing your water, I would suggest writing a date on the bottle so you know when you filled it. If you do not use the water within a years time, empty them out and refill to maintain as fresh of water as you can.

You never know when disaster may strike, wouldn't you rather be prepared, than be the poor shlub down the street that looses his or her mind because they didn't prepare?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Call Me Simple Minded

     I didn't get to bed very early last night but, still I woke up this morning way before anyone else in the house thought about stirring for the day. For some reason I just laid there and started thinking to myself about all of the people who are not even remotely prepared or those that live in the big cities. ya know, the ones that go through life thinking that each and every day they wake up they will be able to go and turn the coffee pot on, or stop at the next fast food place and grab breakfast. How many of them could go and catch fish or trap an animal. Hell or even think about the simplest things like heating up soup or cooking by candle right in the house. yup, you read that right, cooking with candle power. It does take a little bit of time, but has worked for me in the past when the lights have gone out and I didn't want to break out all of the "good gear".

Candle cooking: If you are like me (or not) I am sure you have plenty of candles in your house in case of emergency. Believe it or not, all it takes is three of the about 4 inch diameter candles (unscented). Are you laughing yet? You shouldn't be it really does work. Depending on the heights of your candles, you will need something about an inch taller than they are to hold your pan on at least 2 sides. Lite the candles and set it above the flame and wait a few minutes and there you have hot soup.

Folks, there are so many ideas and common sense solutions to any problem that you face in ANY kind of a survival situation. You do not always have to follow the path that others have made. Be bold and make your own trail, use your own ideas it is the only way that you will learn and hone your skills.

If there is something specific that you would like to know about, please feel free to leave a comment. I will be more than happy to help you out with it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Urban Area Bug Out Tips

We all know there are millions of people that live in urban areas in the country and around the world for that matter. If and when something happens, whether that is another attack, natural disaster or a financial collapse, what are you and your family going to do? I will highlight some tips or questions to help keep your family safe should you decide to bug out and get somewhere else other than your Urban or Suburban home.

Is it safe to move around? If it is safe do you have a preplanned area you are going? Know the risks is the route safe to travel? Remember the more urban the area the more it could be broken down and the people desperate. All people have an instinct to help others, but would you help someone if it endangered your family?

Be Prepared:
Having your Survival bags ready or your 72 hour kits in a place where they are easily accessible is a good start. Should the need arise, you should be able to carry your bag on your back, such as a backpack or a long handled duffel. I would also advise for those that do not know how to use any item in your kit to get familiar with it.

Your Location and Travel
As most of us prepare for anything can be headed our way, we all should have our meeting place planned out. I know that my family has a place in the woods picked out that is complete with a cave on a hill. Over looking a water source. You should also try to map out the best routes to take with back ups if needed. Depending on where you are heading, infrastructure that could be down and so on. How will you be getting there? Will there be gates locked along your way? I would suggest keeping a pair of bolt cutters in your car along with other common tools. Most people sleep at night even in bad situations, your best time to travel is at night especially on foot. Be careful to travel quietly, stick to the shadows as much as possible.

I am a firm believer in taking care of your own, I could offend someone by saying this, If I do I am sorry in advance, but when it comes to a survival situation my family and I will come first. If we have extra I will be more than willing to share. Each family should be prepared on their own. We all know that there are people who are so dependent on things in their everyday lives they just will not make it. I have pitty for those but, at the same time I must protect my own.

Anything that i write is not meant to scare people it is meant to keep people safe in a time where they have no knowledge.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Your biggest and BEST Survival tool.

Take a look through all of your survival things. What is your biggest, best "go to" tool you have? Could it be your knife? It can be used for many things, cutting, carving, chopping and skinning. Or could it be your fire starter whether that is a plain old lighter, flint, ferro rod or any of the commercial fire starters. Nope, neither of those are what you should be using as your "go to" tool. I know your sitting there racking your brain trying to figure out what else it could be, maybe a water purification system of some kind? No, still not it.

Ok, here it is, the single greatest survival tool you have is your mind. I know it was kind of a trick question. Seriously think about it, your greatest tool is your mind and knowing how to use it will keep you from just curling up in a ball sucking your thumb and waiting to die when faced with a survival situation. When faced with a survival situation, whether it is because you were hiking and got lost, or for any other reason, your mind is your biggest asset. Here are some things to think about to keep you safe.

Stop and calm down, you will just make mistakes when your not thinking clearly. Look around you, can you see anything that looks familiar like, landmarks, trees or roads etc. If nothing looks familiar now what? depending on the time of the day you will have different priorities.( will cover in a later post) The first thing you should decide, is what can I do to better my situation and be able to survive for a couple days if you had to. You need to find shelter or construct one. The weather will help you determine the type of shelter you should build BUT, I always say build it once and do it right so you are ready for anything. Look around you, are you in a low lying area or a water run off area, this would not be a good place for a shelter in the rain.

Fire, if you are out hiking you should have a way of making fire with you such as a lighter, flint or other means. This and a knife are the 2 things that I do not leave out on a hike or fishing trip without. Fire does many things, most of which provides warmth, sometimes even more than that, it provides you peace of mind. There have been times I have been out and didnt have a fire for one reason or another. You will hear all sorts of things all around  you, some of which you can even call into question your sanity.

Water, you need to find a water source, in most places water can be found fairly easily. You have to have water (no brainer). Find it, purify it and drink, stay hydrated, stay alive. Not sure I really need to expand on why you need water.

The bottom line, is that your mind and knowledge are the greatest tools you have, without remaining calm, thinking clearly you will lessen your chances of survival.

As always, feel free to leave me a comment if you do not agree with something, I will be happy to talk about anything, we are all here to learn from each other.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Winter Driving Kits

People from the big cities should head this and take it seriously. How many of your friends live in a warmer climate but go to the mountains to ski or to just get away? Do any of them actually go prepared for an emergency or a blizzard? Like it says in my profile, I will tell things like it is, I will tell them as I see them. This post in particular is not meant to offend anyone at all. How many times have we traveled the roads and seen some yuppie broke down or in a ditch or stuck in the snow? How many of them are really prepared, I would venture to guess not very damn many of them. Take for instance, the late winter of 2011 that hit Chicago. There were and estimated 700 people stranded on Lake Shore Dr. How many of them even gave it a second thought to keep water, or even some food in the car with them? Another thing to remember, NO matter the vehicle with all that metal surrounding you it will act like a ice box in cold weather, if you can not run the engine, it will be very cold in there.

Winter Kits and Why
Food: such as Granola, candy bars and dehydrated fruits will keep for a bit longer than most things and do not need to be cooked to eat and provide a decent amount of nourishment.

Water: There is no need to go out and buy bottled water to keep in your trunk or behind your truck seat. Most people drink soda, so why not buy a couple of 2 liter bottles wash them out good and refill them.

First Aid Kit: If you are stranded in bad weather, it could take a long time for medical help to get to you, bandages, gauze and medical tape will help you out until medical services can get to you.

Booster or Jumper Cables: You should have a set of these in every vehicle regardless of the time of year. I Don't think I should have to explain why.:)

Extra Blankets or a Sleeping Bag: If you travel with your family depending on the size you may have to bring more than one. this can be one of the more important items in your kit. If you get suck in the snow and you are low on gas ( which you shouldn't be) a sleeping bag will allow your gas to last far longer than if you didnt have one.

A small shovel: There are many uses for this, such as, digging your self out if you are stuck. you can also use it to clean out around the exhaust of your vehicle to keep from getting covered thus reducing your chance for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Cat litter: I say cat litter over sand for a couple reasons, one is the particles are bigger and you will get better traction over sand. Also in case you have a cat with you ( ok just kidding) Because Cat litter is bigger, it is also much easier to clean up if you gets broke open or it spills.

Flash Light: I prefer to use a rechargeable flash light with a regular battery flash light as a back up. You could use it to signal someone in a rescue situation, for light obviously.

Infant care Items: If you travel with small children, keep them in mind, a few extra diapers and a change of clothes should also be added over and beyond an normal diaper bag.

Extra clothing items: These should be hats, gloves and boots.

A can of Fix a Flat: A can that you can temporarily repair a flat tire.

You should always keep your gas tank full when venturing out in the winter time, not only will it give you more piece of mind, but keeping your tank full will also reduce the chances of moisture build up in the tank. As with all of my tips these are not set in stone, I give you what my kits and strategies are for all kinds of survival, you may have to tailor to your individual needs.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Your Own Cold Room

I will start this off by saying that I may not always be the most grammatically correct, but I put things in the most simple terms as I can so that anyone can understand.

What is a cold room you ask? A cold room is somewhere in your home or on your property that will stay dry and well,... cold. If you do not have a basement in your home it can get a bit more expensive to build. Cold rooms can be used to store a variety of things such as potatoes, squash, onions all of your home canned goods amongst other things. You can also store all of your food storage in it (except frozen) safely. The best part is, you do not have to buy a commercial grade one, you can build it yourself. For arguments sake we will assume you have a basement. Pick the driest corner that is the least used away from the most direct heat source ( furnace-water heater) Since you are putting it in the corner you will only need to build 2 walls and a door. Bare in mind that in some states you may have to obtain a building permit and check the local codes.

Building your Cold Room 

What will you need: Note: all room sizes will be different so there is no set materials list.
1/2" plywood
Rolled Insulation
Door pull

Your cold room does not need to be fancy with drywall and the whole nine yards. It just needs to be able to hold in the natural cold. Start by building the walls making sure to leave room for a door. The door size is determined by the amount or size of the containers you will be taking in through it. Once the walls are built, it might be easier for you to put in the ceiling now. Just simply take plywood and cover the top to make the ceiling. Once you have that completed, line the walls with plywood on the inside and the rolled insulation between the 2x4's on the outside. Cover the outside walls with plywood. There is no need to buy a premade door, although you can if you want, but there is really no need. If your cold room is very near an existing light there may be no need to install one as it may give off enough light. If this is not the case a simple mechanics corded light that you can hang on the wall and take in with you will work just fine.

Depending on what you want to store, you can build shelves in all or part of it. I would though recommend leaving space on the floor to be able to store things such as plastic boxes for potatoes, onions and other such things.