Showing posts with label preparation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label preparation. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Vehicle Tips For Winter Survival Situation



During the winter, there are a lot more opportunities for things to go wrong in a survival situation. In fact, being stranded in certain geographical areas could cause great health problems and even death. That’s why it is so important that you be prepared with a proper vehicle survival kit.

The kit should be kept in your car throughout the winter, especially if you often travel in sparsely populated areas. It could potentially become a life saving kit, for you as well as your passengers.

General Vehicle Survival Tips
When it comes to survival, we cannot stress “preparation” enough! This is definitely the case when it comes to your vehicle. Prep it and make sure it stays prepped at all times. For instance, make sure your gas tank has an ample supply of gas, given the terrain you will be traveling. Also, we sure to check your antifreeze before each trip.

It’s a lot easier for someone to come to your aid if you’re easy to find. Tell a trusted friend or family member where you’re headed, what route you plan to take and make sure you contact them once you arrive at your destination. Let them know that if they don’t hear from you, that they should first contact the area to which you are going. If you did not reach your destination, they will know which way to go and greatly increase your chances of survival.



If your vehicle becomes stuck, make sure to leave a flag tied to an antenna and keep those dome lights turned on. Rescue personnel can see the smallest glow in the distance, especially at night and in the snow. If you’re worried about draining your battery, keep an ear out for approaching emergency vehicles and only use your emergency flashers at that time.

If Forced To Stay In Your Vehicle
If you do become stuck, it’s always questionable as to whether you should get out and go for help or just stay in the car. We suggest the latter in most cases. Walking in a winter storm can be incredibly dangerous and it’s easy for exhaustion to set it in cold weather. Your vehicle makes a good shelter, and you won’t suddenly find yourself lost.

However, if you have been in your car for a longer period of time, there are other things to keep in mind. For instance, if the snow is falling hard and fast, your exhaust can become blocked or plugged. Continuing to run the vehicle in this situation will cause carbon monoxide to build up inside the car, which can be deadly in a very short period of time.



If this is the case, only run the car for ten minutes on every hour. Make sure that the exhaust is free of snow, if possible and keep your windows cracked while the engine is running, just in case. It’s better to be cold than to risk the outcome of staying warm.

Avoid Overexertion
If you become trapped in a snow storm, it’s very tempting to try to free yourself, in any way that you can. However, pushing the vehicle or attempting to shovel snow to free the vehicle takes a lot more effort in extreme weather conditions than it normally would.

Don’t attempt this, as you could sustain an injurty that would make things worse, or you might possibly have a heart attack. Additionally, you will become hot and sweaty. While warming up always sounds like a good idea in the extreme cold, the aftermath could cause frostbite or death. Wet garments that have become sweat-soaked will quickly lose their insulative properties and can cause hypothermia.

Put Together A Survival Kit For Your Vehicle
We mentioned a survival kit earlier, and now we’re going to tell you a few items you should make sure to include. While you may not use every single one of them, it’s always better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it!



Here’s what you have in a kit in your vehicle during the winter:

  • A shovel, for keeping the exhaust free of snow buildup or to move a light amount of snow from around your tires.
  • A scraper for your windshield, or a small hand broom. It’s important that rescuers and emergency personnel be able to see inside the vehicle.
  • A flashlight with an extra supply of batteries. In the event that your car battery dies, a flashlight can be used to alert rescuers to your location.
  • A battery powered emergency radio. Not only will it give you something to listen to in order to pass the time, it can keep you up to date on any special weather conditions and whether they will let up or worsen.
  • An ample supply of water. Always keep at least enough for 24 hours, but if you have room, keep more.
  • Snack foods. Make sure you have snacks that provide ample energy and are of the utmost nutritional value. In any emergency situation, nutrition is important, but even more so during cold weather.
  • Matches, candles or other small items such as this. This will make sure you don’t use up all the battery power of the car’s battery or your flashlight batteries.
  • Extra pairs of socks, mittens and hats. Remember that in cold weather, dressing in layers is always the best route. It’s one of the main cold-weather survival skills taught in the military.
  • First aid kit.
  • Any medications that you simply cannot do without. This would include medications for blood pressure, diabetes and breathing disorders such as asthma, which can be made worse by cold weather.
  • Blankets or a sleeping bag. This adds another layer of insulation for protection against the elements and can sometimes be used by more than one person. Two people inside one sleeping bag, especially children, can create more heat than just one alone.
  • Tow chain or a rope that is big enough to tow  a vehicle. If you happen to be found by someone other than emergency workers who are well equipped, having this one item could potentially be a life saver.
  • Sand, cat litter or road salt.
  • Booster cables.
  • Emergency flares. These can be used to alert someone to your location who may not be very close to you.

If possible, store the kit inside the vehicle instead of the trunk. In extremely low temperatures, the trunk lid can become jammed or even freeze shut. A kit you can’t get to is like having no kit at all, so think ahead.



Saturday, October 14, 2017

Preparing for Fire – Tools for Firefighting

By Forest Puha


Wildfires are scary, furious and incredibly destructive. As of this writing, the effort to control wildfires in Northern California and around the United States are pushing local, state and federal firefighters to their limit. For people living on farms and other rural areas, adopting firefighting techniques to keep their homes same can often mean the difference between losing everything and staying alive. Although I’m not a firefighter, every year I gather and burn tumbleweeds, pull clumps of plants away from the house, trim low-hanging tree branches, create some firebreaks and other routine fire maintenance expected of me as a rural homeowner. This helps my local fire department and my neighbors so they don’t have to automatically divert resources to defend my home, and it helps me for concentrating on other important aspects of my fire preparedness, like planning for evacuation.

In this article, I’ll examine some tools I have to remove debris and burn weeds that everyone should have. All of these tools can be purchased brand new or found at local garage sales and thrift shops for pennies. Everything I discuss was based on my experience using them.

For widespread convenience, I've posted images are of products that can be bought at Wal-Mart, Amazon or Harbor Freight. As of this writing, the prices I've listed for everything were what I paid at the time for the items. You don’t have to buy all of these at once; what is important is that you work up a collection of tools that works for you and your needs, so that you can be prepared for fire.



A Bottle of Water

A refillable bottle for drinking water. I own several, so this was "free".


It sounds funny, but this really is one of the most important tools you can have. You’ll want this at all times, whether in a canteen you carry or a bottle you stash at your feet. Stay hydrated, soak your clothes, and reduce your fatigue.



Safety Glasses
Impact-rated safety glasses from Harbor Freight. $1.79 at most stores.

Fires generate lots of smoke that gets into my eyes. They’ll also pop and crackle, sending up sparks that land on my face. Eye protection is an absolute must. These impact glasses are slightly wider than normal safety sunglasses, with more of a rectangular shape and clear side panels that cover more of my eyes and cheeks. They also have adjustable earpieces, so you can shorten them for children or lengthen them while wearing a mask. I prefer clear versions; they also come in various tints to act as sunglasses.




N95 Respirator Masks
3M's N95 respirator with valve. Available at most stores for under $15.

Fires generate a lot of smoke, and sometimes the smoke blows back on you. Like the water bottle, keep these on you at all times. They won’t completely eliminate the smoke and the smell, but the mask will filter out enough to let you breathe and get away. 




OSHA-rated Hardhat

The Occunomix “Vulcan” Cowboy Style Hard Hat. Available at Amazon for $18.50.


I didn’t use to believe that these were necessary for fire prevention around my house, until one day I was cutting off some very small tree limbs around my house and a branch fell on my head. Four hours later, as I held an icepack to my throbbing head while lying down on my living room floor, I came to a realization: hard hats ARE necessary. Go figure.

As the above picture shows, they come in multiple styles nowadays and for pretty cheap. Protective gear pays for itself over time, and with the Cowboy and Construction hardhats I’m two-fifths of the way toward making my own personal Village People collection. Win-win!



Leather Gloves 
Leather gloves with cotton backing. $7.99 for a 5-pack at Harbor Freight.

You need gloves when working around fire; things get hot to the touch. Avoid non-leather gloves as they’ll get hot enough to melt and stick to your skin, causing severe burns and worse. Leather gloves also come in arm-length and full-wrap styles, so you can cover as much of your hands and arms as you like.



100% Cotton Pants and Shirt

“Dickies” double-layer carpenter pants from Wal-Mart. $35.99 at most stores.
I prefer double-layer carpenter pants from Dickies and Carhatt. While they don’t offer as much protection as leather and firefighter pants would, these carpenter pants do protect my legs and feet from burning embers and scratches, can be found anywhere and they’re pretty cheap. Always remember to wear 100% cotton clothing when fighting fire; polyester, nylon and other synthetic material will burn, melt and stick to your skin in horrible ways.



Leather Boots
Brahma unisex “Owden” leather boots. $19.97 at most stores.

Footwear is absolutely important when fighting fires. Because your feet will be stepping on, stepping over and touching fire, extremely hot ground and other dangerous material, you’ll need footwear that can handle abuse. 

These Owden boots are made entirely of leather with metal grommets and a semi-rubber sole which will hold up to most small fires around your home and keep your feet and ankles protected from contact burns and scratches. They don’t have a steel toe or steel shank, which means they don’t weigh much and are very comfortable to move around in, but they also lack the protection you’d get from more expensive boots.
Danner Men’s Wildland Tactical Firefighter Work Boot. Starting at $237.65 at Amazon.com.

If you want to do serious firefighting—assisting your neighbors, becoming a volunteer firefighter, controlled burns in national forest—here's a sample of specialized boots for the task. These come with a metal shank down the sole of your foot that can block nails and glass you step on. Prices go up as features are added, but quality tools repeatedly pay for themselves over time.


A Reliable Shovel 


56-inch Fiberglass Shovel from Harbor Freight. $9.99 at most stores.

One of the most useful tools for fighting a fire. You can shovel burning brush, shovel dirt upon fire, cut and split bushes, dig trenches, dig fire pits, use as a hiking stick, balance across your shoulders and tie things on the back, use as a visible marker, use as a camera monopod… the list goes on. 

Like all the tools in this list, fiberglass or metal handles are preferable to wood, which lessens the chances of the tool catching on fire or breaking in the middle of a project. Fiberglass shovels also weight a bit less than their wooden version of equal length.



A Reliable Rake

14-tin Fiberglass Rake from Harbor Freight. $19.99 at most stores.

The rake is one of the most ubiquitous tools in a homeowner’s firefighting arsenal. It can pull together burning weeds, pull down burning branches, and push ashes into a pile for easy watering. As with the shovel, spend the extra money on a fiberglass or metal handle rake; they’re more fire resistant than the regular wooden ones and can be recovered if dropped into hot embers.





A Pulaski Axe
34-inch Pulaski Axe from Harbor Freight. $24.99 at most stores.

The Pulaski Axe, also known as as the cutter mattock, is one of the more unusual firefighting tools in your arsenal. It consists of a sharpened vertical axe head on one end, with a curved and sharpened horizontal mattock blade on the other end. This allows the user to chop and split tree branches, trunks and roots at various angles, and in firefighting the mattock end can also be used as a makeshift rake and hoe to pull apart and push away burning embers and brush. 

I've found that the wooden versions are too heavy for my practical use; the one I bought from Harbor Freight comes with a fiberglass handle and weighs around 5 to 6 pounds altogether, which makes it relatively lightweight and handy. I can pick it up and use it all day long. 




A Chainsaw


The Husqvarna 445 16-inch chainsaw. Around $250 at most hardware stores and Amazon.

Finally, a chainsaw is a basic tool every rural homestead should own. The above model happens to be one I own, but Stihl also makes reliable saws. For chainsaws, bigger engines mean more reliable power, although the bigger the chainsaw, the more expensive it becomes. I recommend a 16-inch bar chainsaw for the absolute minimum in cutting wood, but others will recommend an 18 or 20-inch bar for a beginner. Keep in mind that bars on chainsaws can be switched to be a few sizes larger or smaller than the original, so you have some discretion in what you need for your purposes. It’s no coincidence that the safety gear for firefighters work perfectly when operating a chainsaw, and you’ll also want to purchase a good pair of ear protectors so you don’t lose your hearing while using it.

In addition to the chainsaw, you’ll want storage containers for gasoline, two-cycle oil to mix with the gasoline, and 30-weight bar oil to lubricate the chain blades with, as well as spare parts, an owner’s manual and tools to fix and adjust the chainsaw. Your local hardware store will carry most or all of the things you need, and the rest can be ordered by them or you from Amazon. Again, be careful and practice with your chainsaw in normal and safe conditions, so that you can rely on it and your own ability during a fire.

That covers the basics for tools. In the next article, we’ll be discussing some tactics and strategies to make your home and your land more fireproof. Thanks for reading and stay safe!


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Foods You Can Regrow and Eat Over More Than Once




By Karen Roguski


Fresh foods, as we all know, lead to a healthy lifestyle. These healthy foods, however, are often some of the more expensive items on one's grocery list.


Today, we offer options and solutions to homesteading, survival, frugal living, and so much more. The following tricks will change the way you shop, cook, and even plan your next garden.

Herbs And Spices



Re-growing fresh herbs and spices are much easier than many might think and takes minimal supplies.


All that is needed is a medium sized container, fresh water, sunlight, and a fresh cutting of the herb or spice wanted or needed for your favorite recipes.


Trim all but the top two sets of leaves. Place in a few inches of fresh water. Now watch them grow. Once they have a nice new root base transfer them to a bit of soil. Soon you will have an all-new set of herbs and spices awaiting your use.




Below are some examples of herbs and spices that grow easily and are used frequently.
  1. Rosemary

  2. Chives

  3. Peppermint

  4. Sage

  5. Lemon Balm

  6. Oregano

  7. Thyme

  8. Basil

  9. Cilantro

  10. Garlic

Vegetables


Image result for Vegetable


Vegetables, much like the herbs and spices, can be grown again using the same materials. Some might also need toothpicks or dowels for best results. Below are some examples of the multitude of vegetables awaiting regrowth.

The primary difference, however, is the manner in which each vegetable must be prepped. Some require pruning, some just cut, and others yet deseeded. No matter which prep needed the outcome will be just as deliciously enjoyed.
  1. Carrot

  2. Bok Choy

  3. Turnips

  4. Onions

  5. Sweet Potato

  6. Celery

  7. Pepper

  8. Romaine Lettuce

  9. Potatoe

  10. Tomato

  11. Avocado

  12. Green Onion

  13. Leeks

  14. Pineapple

  15. Ginger

  16. Pumpkin

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Surviving MacGyver Style: Duct Tape Survival Tips

By Karen Roguski




MacGyver, televised from 1985 - 1992, gave millions a sneak peek of using unconventional items in an entirely different manner than they were intended. Almost every episode showcased MacGyver in a survival necessary situation that he was able to escape, survive, and thrive.


One product that was highlighted numerous time and in hundreds of ways was duct tape. Here is our very own MacGyver style list of ways to help survivors with the use of the fix-all duct tape.

Twenty-Three Survival Uses For Duct Tape

Originally invented in 1942, for military waterproofing, “duck tape” has inspired many a person in the art of quick fixing. Later the name was changed to duct tape, but the many practical uses remained the same.  

Blister Protection

Reduce the friction of blisters, especially on the feet, by covering the blister with moleskin and duct tape.


Clothing Repair

A quick way in which to patch a snag or hole in garments is to make a patch out of duct tape.

Off- Ground Sleeping

To avoid bugs, water, or any other potential ground issues a quick solution could be an inexpensive hammock.

Location Marker

Wishing to mark the trail back to home or camp is easy with the use of duct tape as it easily adheres to almost any source.

Tent Fix

To prevent bugs, water, or other issues from bothering you or your belongings no matter the material duct tape is one of the best ways to go in a pinch. For best results place tape on both sides of the hole.

Hang A Light

In the event of electrical power failure, one can attach a flashlight to the wall to allow a better light cast throughout the space.

Bandage Wrap

Duct tape bandage wrap can be used for keeping the dressing dry, wrapping a sprain, covering stitches, or so many more medical means.

Drying Clothes

Clothesline made out of duct tape can be done by twisting or braiding until strong. This same technique can be used to create rope, belts, or even means to hang supplies.

Animal Treatment

Just like with humans, animals are often in need of medical or support like means of attention. Duct tape can be used for hundreds of various animal needs.

Tiki Torch

Wrapping duct tape on the end of a large stick and setting the duct tape on fire is a great means of extra light.

Mending Patch

Duct tape is an awesome way in which to patch a leaking hose, duct work, or virtually any object in need of a temporary patch.

Spear Creation

Need a tool, weapon, or food hunting source make a quick and easy spear.

Injury Sling

The following images show just how simplistically making a sling out of duct tape can be created.

Frostbite Prevention

By placing duct tape directly on exposed areas of skin in cold, windy, and snowy conditions can help prevent frostbite and help with overall warmth.

Arrow Fletching

Duct tape can make arrow fletching quickly and easily. One will be easily surprised at how far your arrow can fly.

Weather Preparation

Sealing cracks, stopping air leaks, or even hanging plastic over windows is a perfect use for duct tape.

Sprain Support

Keep a sprain or potential break from getting worse by wrapping the area with duct tape. You can even add sticks, bark, or other items to help support the area in question.

S.O.S.

The use of bright or fluorescent duct tape can help save a life or allow help to find you much easier. Create a giant S.O.S. or a large arrow to guide rescuers or help in your direction.

Waterproofing

Nothing is worse than having to walk about with wet socks. To remedy this add or cover shoe or the hole with duct tape.

Restrain Someone

Strong means in which to bind someone’s hands and feet until you come up with a plan or means to contact authorities.

Stop Leak

Fix a leaking water bottle, Camelbak, bowl, or any other container by placing duct tape over the hole or crack.

Butterfly Stitches

First aid in a pinch is a must when off the grid. The use of duct tape can help seal, cover, or protect a wound.

Bug Catch


Fly or flying bug catcher use duct tape to make flypaper. Hang duct tape from the ceiling, the inside of the tent, or anywhere around the camp site.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Fourteen Everyday Household Items That Can Improve Outdoor Survival

By Karen Roguski


There are so many items that you use everyday that can improve outdoor survival, help achieve a missing item in your camping kit, or make it easier to eat outside. More often than not survival items can be just about anything if you take the time to think outside the box a bit.

That being said here are our top fourteen everyday household items to help make life a bit easier, dryer, safer, and all around more functionable.

  • Shower Curtain or Garbage Bag
An everyday shower curtain or garbage bag can have numerous uses. They can be used as a ground tarp, shelter, a means to catch rainfall, or a watertight means of storing items.

A fun outside the box idea can be digging a hole and then use the shower curtain or garbage bag as a liner - instant outdoor bathtub.

  • Watch
Besides simply a means for telling time watches are great makeshift compasses, timers to ensure water safety, or even a blade when taken apart.


  • Can - Aluminum Or Tin
The aluminum or tin can can be the perfect pan in a pinch, fill with kerosene for a lamp or torch, a popcorn popper, a candle holder, a scoop, when strung can become a noisy alarm, poking a  hole in the sides can make a lantern, or they can even used for a campfire cake pan.

  • Ziplock Bags
Some of the many uses for ziploc bags can be found by reading this article.

When thinking outside the box the ziplock bags can be filled with water and then hung from a tree in the sunlight to warm the water. When ready poke small holes in the bottom for a makeshift shower. For a bit more showering privacy use the shower curtain or trash bag from above to shelter your backside from others.


  • Tool Belt or Apron with Pockets
Yet another item that is often overlooked as a means of outdoor use or survival. They can be attached to trees for clean storage, storing items away from critters and animals, or any other hack one can come up with when thinking outside the box.

  • Rope, Bungee Cord or Shoe Laces
Ropes, bungee cords, and shoe laces can have complete books written about there many outdoor and survival uses, For example these can be used for virtually anything from a  tourniquet, a snare, a splint, a clothesline, or even bundling wood.


  • Dental Floss
Dental floss is great for way more than just great oral hygiene. Dental floss is also great for fishing line, a means to hang food bags, patching or sewing holes, for snares, trip wires, cutting food items, and even for clothesline. Dental floss is a must have in every home, kit, or pack.

An outside the box hack that many look is using dental floss to fix pack or backpack straps.  


  • Bandana
The square cloth bandana can easily make life easier or possibly even save your life. For this list we think bright colored bandanas are the best as they are easier for you to be spotted if hurt, lost or otherwise in need of a quick rescue.

Other uses for the bandana also include water straining, face coverage, bandages, splints, a sling, or a means of keeping the head cool and shaded.

  • Nail Polish
Waterproofing matches can be done by using nail polish. Simply paint the match about halfway down the stick for a guaranteed way to light a fire every time.


  • Gallon Jug
The gallon jug is another item with more uses than many possibly consider. Obviously they can be used for water storage. When cut can become a scoop, or even a spoon.

When thinking outside the box one should consider filling the gallon jug with water and freezing it to make the perfect outdoor refrigerator.

Another creative outside the box idea can be to poke numerous small holes in the cap, add water and place in the sun to warm, hang at an angle for a quick shower.

  • Book
The book is great for reading and helping to pass the time. But thinking outside the box a book can also be used in a pinch for toilet paper, or a great fire starter.

  • Coffee Can
Much like the aluminum can, tin can, or gallon jug the coffee can (the kind with a lid) can be utilized in a number of ways such as a toilet paper holder, food strainer, bowl, utensil holder, or even a scoop.

  • Paperclip
The common paperclip cannot be forgotten when it comes to improving outdoor survival and outdoor hacks. They can be used as fishing hooks, as a hook for hanging items, keeping packages closed, a zipper pull, and even a sewing needle.


  • Duct Tape
Duct tape ideas are too numerous to list. I mean seriously what can you not do with duct tape?


As one can obviously notice this is by far nowhere near all of the items around that can be utilized in a number of ways or for alternative means but merely the top fourteen my family have used personally.

We would love for you all to let us know of any everyday items that you use or have used to help with outdoor living or outdoor survival.