Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Items that need to be prioritized when Packing Bug out Bags

 photo Backpack_zpsa88f6128.jpg

Bug out bags are essential commodities that could save the lives of many in times of calamity. This is because they can carry all the essential items that can help persons survive for one week. For this reason there are a myriad of bug out bags for sale out on the market that are specifically designed for survival situations.

On the other hand, not all bags are created equal and there are things that should be more prioritized than others. Below are some of them, they are not the only items that should be brought during times of calamity, but they are some of the most basic commodities.

Water Water is arguably the most essential item in terms of survival. In general, the amount varies from one person to another, but around two litres per person is sufficient. Some bug out bags for sale even comes with water holsters and other similar features.

When travelling, boiling water before consumption can be a good option. Also, bringing iodine caps can be essential since it can kill bad bacteria that accumulate in drinking water

First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is always essential, especially if injuries and other detrimental conditions. There are countless commercial kits out there that contain essential first aid items. Interested individuals can purchase additional items that can be included to the contents. Sting or insect medications can be added since one can be bitten by small critters along the way.

Other Essential Items A metal lighter, a 24-hour emergency light, a multipurpose knife, a set of rechargeable batteries are additional tools that should be put on bug out bags. They should be properly packed into the said bags since they can be very beneficial for those who want to make sure that they are well prepared in a survival situation.


While there are different approaches to packing bug out bag, it should be noted that it usually varies since everyone has different needs. Also, those who want to make sure that they will have everything that they need during times of emergency or survival should plan according to their area. Do they live in the woods, city, mountains or near rivers or lakes?

The aforementioned aspects should not be neglected since they can make or break a survival plan. Also, some experts seriously recommend packing for at least five days for those who live in remote locations. By taking heed of the tips and pointers in this article, anyone can survive blizzards, storms, earthquakes, and other disasters.

Author Bio

Kylie Elcano is a big fan of bug out bag. She’s into survival topics, tips, and guides. She love’s watching apocalyptic movie theme and series like The Book of Eli and The Walking Dead.

See our Survival Bag Page for more information on Bug-Out bags.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Thank you Emily at for the Awesome T-Shirt!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Tracking Part 2

Tracking can be a powerful skill if you know how to use it properly. Part of understanding tracking, is by practicing and utilizing the “super seven” characteristics to examine a track. Along with those seven items, there are a few more things you can do to really hone your tracking skill. Before you can really begin honing your tracking skill, you will need to learn the fine art of actually seeing the track. From there, you will soon learn how to see all the little details about the track.

One method of viewing a track is, sun-track-you. Basically, you are looking at the way the light hits the track. Typically, the sun is going to be your light source. Because of this, your position in relation to the track is crucial. You need to be able to see the entire track. Casting a shadow with your body could interfere in the process.

Using Light to View a Track

When examining a track, you want the track between you and the sun. This allows you to see those super seven characteristics that are so important in identifying a track. Remember, you want to look at the texture, outline and shape of the track you are examining. You need uninterrupted light to do this accurately. If the sun is impeded, you can apply the same method to a flashlight or other light source. Place the light on one side of the track and yourself on the other, creating a sandwich effect with the track in the middle. If you are carrying a compass or signal mirror, even better. You can use the mirror to reflect light onto a specific area of the track for closer examination.

Get Down and Dirty

Tracking is not all about simply standing and observing. You are going to need to get low and possibly, dirty. It is imperative you look at the track from various heights. This allows you to see more detail than you would if you simply stared down at the track. This is especially important in your early days of training. As a beginner, you will likely need the added viewing angles in order to see everything your track is telling you.

Slow Down

Once you spot a track, don’t get all excited and rush right into the examination of the track. There are a few basic steps you should do before you begin your perusal.
  • Spot the track
  • Examine the track from your current location and take in the surroundings.
  • Go for it! Begin your track examination

Taking the time to get your bearings and examine the whole site is the key to not contaminating the tracking site. Remember, a track is only part of the equation. You are looking at the surrounding environment as well. Not to mention, you may inadvertently cover an existing track with your own. Part of your tracking process is to look for a rhythm to the tracks. If you interrupt this rhythm, you are hindering yourself. It is entirely possible the track you spotted is not alone. Taking the time to examine the area before you go traipsing in will help you to spy other tracks that may help you in your process.

One of the last, and probably most important tips of tracking, is remembering to keep a notebook with you at all times. Be prepared to make sketches of what you see and take plenty of notes. This practice is a tracking basic. Nearly every trainer or school will teach you this important lesson. Don’t worry about your artistic ability. Sketching tracks is essential to honing your skill. You are not trying to make some grand piece of artwork. You are simply sketching what you see. Keep in mind, only sketch what you actually observe, not what you think or envision is there.

Craig Caudill shares his knowledge of survival techniques at When he is not tracking or blogging he is an instructor at the Nature Reliance School.

Continued from Tracking - An Essential Skill The Super Seven

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Nuvona Premium Emergency Food Review

by Shane White

The folks at Nuvona Premium Emergency Foods were kind enough to send me some samples for this review.

My first impression was about the packaging. The packaging is easy to open without destroying. Nuvona's packaging is extremely solid Mylar, is resealable, and it floats, which may come in handy if you are searching for your food storage in a flooded basement. Also, if water is not getting into the packaging, air shouldn't either. While the packaging doesn't have all the pretty pictures and such, I honestly say, "who cares". With long term foods, what is important is the packaging, not how decorated it is, and what is inside that counts. The directions on the packaging is also easy to understand and clearly state allergens, ingredients, and what sorts of foods they favor (Uses Sea Salt, Low in Fat, No Cholestorol, etc.)

Nuvona also prides themselves in using Non-GMO, Gluten Free, products. They also nitrogen flush and put oxygen absorbers in their hermetically sealed 5mm Mylar pouches. They have also taken the extra step to ensure that their foods will actually last the 25+ years that they claim by removing unnecessary oils and fats that can cause spoilage in many other brands.

Chicken & Rice Soup - The first product I am trying is the Chicken and Rice Soup. There are five servings in this package at 140 calories per serving. All you need to prepare is a whisk, a pot, and boiling water. It takes about 20-25 minutes to prepare. It mixes easily and smells good. I thought the texture and the flavor was very good.

Granola Crunch - I love granola and was not disappointed with this at all. There are five servings in this package at 260 calories per serving. You can eat this by itself, or eat it like you would cereal (just add milk). This mix tasted excellent by itself, but I liked it much better with milk. I confess that I ate all five servings in one sitting. Yum!

Chili - I have to say that I really liked this chili. It says that you can add 1/2 pound of meat if you want, but I thought this tasted great without adding anything. Being a meat eater, I will in the future try this again with meat. I am sure that will make it even better. I thought this mix tasted suspiciously similar to my secret chili recipe. I will need to talk to the folks at Nuvona about this. There are five servings of Chili in this package at 150 calories per serving. Everyone who ate some with me asked for more. This is good stuff.

Overall, everything I tried from Nuvona was easy to prepare, fresh, and delicious. Also, their pricing seems to be very competitive. I recommend these people.

Also check out Nuvona Foods Freeze dried meats (not reviewed).

See our Survival Food Page for more information on Emergency Foods.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

How to Start Your Bug-Out Bag

Whether you are faced with an economic collapse, a natural disaster or even a shortage of food or supplies needed to survive, having the best bug-out bag is highly recommended and may ultimately contribute to saving your life. Ensuring you have a bug out bag for any situation will not only allow you to actually be prepared, but it can also relieve stress and worry in case you are ever faced with a life-threatening situation.


Ensuring you have an adequate water supply for any disaster is essential when you are trying to protect yourself or your entire household at all times. To stay alive for more than 72 hours, each person you are supplying for must have at least three full liters of water to avoid the risk of dehydration and death. Water should be sterilized by boiling it or by purchasing water in bottles to store in your home in case of a shortage or even contamination in your tap water.


Although it is possible to survive without food for an extended period of time, packing food inside of your bug-out bag will keep your energy sustained and allow you to function and focus more clearly. Food such as non-perishable canned items and meats are ideal to keep in a bug-out bag, as they ultimately can have shelf lives for decades depending on what you choose to eat. Beans, canned vegetables, canned pastas and even dried fruits and peanut butter can also be used for months or years. Purchasing non-perishable foods that are high in fat will help you to stay energized and more full for longer periods of time when you are on the run or need to leave your home due to a disaster.


Having a large supply of batteries including lithium batteries is highly recommended for any type of disaster situation you may need. Keeping lithium and additional batteries inside of your bug out bag will allow you to power items such as flashlights, radios and additional electronics that you may need to use depending on where you live and the type of disaster you are facing.


Wool socks, pairs of underwear, ponchos, tarps, work gloves, a variety of pants and jackets and even hats and bandanas should be placed within your bug-out bag to ensure you are prepared to leave your home or location on a whim should a disaster of any type strike.

About the Author:
Madyson Grant is a small business owner and a survival buff. She enjoys blogging about information on bug out bags that may be right for you along with the battery supplies you may need by visiting s official website.

See our Survival Bag Page for more information on Bug-Out bags.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Digipocalypse Now: The Odds of an Online Semi-Extinction

It seems like forever ago that the History Channel started airing those masterfully edited docu-scare-tactic programs about the Mayan Apocalypse, and before that we were force-fed Y2K mush.

SHOCKER: both didn't happen. We know the media loves to capitalize on all the fear juice they unapologetically squeeze from the masses, but that doesn't mean there isn't some diluted truth behind all the hullabaloo.

As disturbingly cool as some of us would find a "Walking Dead"-esque scenario, our true undoing will probably be a lot less violent and more subtle, and the people who come out ahead aren't the ones who can shoot a cross-bow with the most accuracy. The winners will be the ones who took the time to learn about the vulnerabilities in our current framework, and know how to avoid falling victim to them.

All-Hell Breaking Loose

Because the Internet is almost entirely decentralized, most of us have come to treat it like it's a staple, invulnerable part of our daily life, but it's not. In 2009 when Gmail experienced a brief outage, half the world was up in arms, acting like the sky was falling, and that's just one site!

The Internet is actually connected from continent to continent by a handful of trans-oceanic cables that are only about as wide as your thumb, and they are thousands of miles long. If one or more of these were damaged in any way, major populations would be be offline and large portions of the global economy would come to a screeching halt...not to mention all the information and data left in "The Cloud." We'd be like digital sitting ducks for the looters who are still online.

It All Hangs on a Wire, Literally

In 2008, Telegeography reported that many communications between Europe and the Middle East had been cut or downsized dramatically when a simple anchor cut the Internet cable (called SeaMeWe-4) that connected 15 different telecommunications companies. In an instant, jobs were lost, business went undone, and teenagers no longer had access to social media.

This could happen again anytime, by anchor, coral, or narwhal, and unless you happen to work as a cobbler or a haberdasher in an Amish town, odds are you use the Internet for work and for your personal life. Identity protection software is an essential piece of the Internet-using pie in this scenario, as you'd lose the ability to track "yourself." You'd never know whether you just maxed out your credit card on a yacht you can't afford for a guy named Yousef in Kiev. Using an external hard drive for back-up is another must. You might not be able to carry on with your business as usual, but at least it won't be lost in the cloud.

Survival Skills, But Not the Kind Your Thinking Of

The cave-man-like hunters and grunters won't be the ones leading the Internet-outage pack, it'll be the people who have landlines and remember how to use phone books. In the real apocalypse, patience and attention to detail will be much more valuable skills than brute force and primal instincts.

Would you remember how to get to your great-aunt Edna's farm without GPS? When is the last time you used a paper map to locate anything or planned and executed an important get-togther, party or meeting without text messages or a Facebook event page? We rely on our cyber protection for smartphones, tablets and laptops like they're bionic-limb-extensions of ourselves, which makes a digipocalypse all the scarier, and more likely. While others are stock piling food and re-enforcing their panic rooms, be the lone, wise wolf who uses an hard-cover encyclopedia the next time they want to look up "how to purify water with iodine," and you'll have 'em all beat.

Paul Burns

Paul believes that it's possible to be smart and funny at the same time, and proves it by being the first accountant/comedian, that he knows of, anyway.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tracking - An Essential Skill The Super Seven

We have all seen the person in movies--the impossibly hard to find tracker who possesses skills no mere mortal has. That is a far-fetched idea that has been developed overtime in Hollywood. Is it true that only a handful of people can learn the valuable skill of tracking? Not quite. On the flip side, you have folks who claim to be superior trackers with vast knowledge when they probably have very little knowledge about the actual skill. Alas, both of those types of people are abundant and unfortunately, both of those types think they can teach tracking.

I have informally been tracking my whole life as an outdoorsman, farmer and hunter. Only in the last 10 years have I been trying to develop the skills to teach tracking. I am by no means an expert, I only feel comfortable giving out a few basic tips. In fact, I tend to find I am left with more questions about tracking after an exercise rather than answers. Despite my somewhat limited experience, I can tell you one thing for sure, I am definitely seeing a lot more than I did before I started developing my tracking skills.

Why Tracking is Important to Survival

Are you sitting there thinking, “Is tracking a survival tool?” In many ways, yes it is.
  • If you were ever lost, would you be able to find your way back to safety by using signs and tracks you left on your way in?
  • Can you find a member of your party if they get lost? Tracks and signs can fade away quickly.
  • If you do get lost and can’t find your way back, wouldn’t you like to know how to alert a search team to your location?
  • Can you identify animal tracks? Knowing what animals are in your surroundings can help you determine a great deal. Did you know spotting raccoon tracks indicates you are somewhere near water?

You have probably realized why tracking is a fabulous skill to possess. Each of the above questions are valid and can happen. Learning to track will help you along with your family and friends if there is ever a need. The following are something I like to refer to as the super seven methods of identifying a track. These seven things are the characteristics of a track that will tell you a wealth of information.

  • Shapes--look for identifying details in the track, like toes, claws, heels and the pads on an animal’s foot.
  • Outline--look for partials, edges and the inside portions.
  • Colors--looking for different ground colors, shadows
  • Value--Check for sun exposure that causes lighter or darker variations due to position as well as differences in substrate.
  • Texture--Determine whether track is smooth or rough.
  • Shine--Check to see if the ground, leaves or surrounding foliage reflect light or absorb it.
  • Rhythm--How far are the tracks apart? Are they regular or sporadic?

Tracking is not a skill you can learn sitting behind a computer. You have to get out there and really use a hands-on approach. Really open your eyes and look for tracks and apply your new found knowledge about the characteristics of a track. Practice your tracking skills and you will soon see more than you ever did.

Craig Caudill is a regular contributor to where he also tests and assmebles survival kits and gear, click here to see some of them. He also is an outdoors instructor at the Nature Reliance School.

Continued on Tracking Part 2.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Good Mood Shelter Food

We all want to be prepared for the day of reckoning, and that means having food that will survive the apocalypse and provide us with the nutrition we need to carry on. But why settle for only sustainability when you can actually stock up on non-perishable grub that’ll put a smile on your face as well? The fact is that a lot of non-perishable food tastes exactly how you would expect non-perishable food to taste. It’s bland, it’s cold, it’s just not all that good. Below, I have listed 3 types of non-perishable foods to stock up on that won’t just keep you going; they’ll also keep you smiling.

1. Canned Peaches

Canned Peaches If you like fresh peaches, then you’ll freakin’ love canned peaches. The peaches are drenched in that sweet, thick, sugary syrup, and you can get them in halves or quarter slices (I personally prefer quarter slices, as you can eat each slice whole with ease). I recommend Del Monte brand if you have a choice, but if not, any brand will do, and if you are able to can your own peaches, this is ideal! Cracking into this canned delight will truly give you a reason to smile even in the midst of the direst situation. If I may be so bold, I’d recommend also stocking up on some graham crackers to go with the peaches; this makes a terrific snack!

Spam 2. Spam

I have a feeling this is going to be a controversial one, as a lot of folks are not fond of Spam, but I love it! Spam was first introduced in 1937, and was fed to American soldiers during World War II. As of 2007, over 7 billion cans of Spam had been sold, and you know what they say, 7 billion people can’t be wrong! If you have the resources, I recommend frying up slices of Spam on a skillet until the corners darken a bit, and then dipping it in ketchup. Delicious!

3. Twinkies

Twinkies I know, I know, Hostess went out of business. But, as of January 2013, Flower Foods was on track to buy the company so that the production of this American dessert staple can carry on! If you are able, stock up on Twinkies; they won’t go bad, and no one has ever frowned with a big bite of that delicious cake and cream combination in his month.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this list in the comments below. Think I left something out? Disagree with any of my choices? Please let me know!

This article was written by Matt Green, a member of the Marketing team at 007 Airport Limo Denver.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Solar Self-Sufficiency

As a certified solar photovoltaic designer and installer, one of the first things I often hear from a potential customer is that they want to become independent from their electrical utility company, and they want to have power in the case of a power outage from their utility company. To become completely independent and maintain power during an outage, an Off Grid photovoltaic system must be used. The more traditional alternative, the Grid Tie-in system, will not fulfill these goals, but is significantly less expensive.

With Off Grid systems, there is no agreement needed with your local utility company because you will not be using their power lines, and you will need to store a portion of the energy created on a large battery bank. There are three important factors to consider when designing a photovoltaic system:

Assess your needs

You will need to discuss what critical loads you have (heating, refrigerator etc.) These are loads that you wish to have power to at all times and are what determines the size of your battery bank.

Assess your weather conditions

If you have a several days of foul weather with very few sun hours than your battery bank will need to be able to provide enough power to these critical loads for the couple days of low sun hours. You will also need to install a charge controller for your battery bank so that the batteries are not over or undercharged.

Balance cost vs. other options

The pricing of an Off Grid system is often more than double the price of a Grid Tie-in system – which, in 2012 cost on average $40,000 before rebates. Another cost factor to keep in mind is that the battery bank will need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years and periodical maintenance will need to be done. The cost of replacing a battery bank depends heavily on the energy needs of a home. $6,000 for a full bank is not uncommon.

By way of comparison, Grid Tie Solar, which involves having a “smart meter” and an agreement with your electric utility company. If you do not already have a “smart meter” than the utility company must install one for you at no charge prior to the commissioning of your new solar PV system. The smart meter keeps track of the amount of electricity that you pull from your utility company (the grid) and the amount of electricity that your solar pv system produces and sends through your meter in the opposite direction. As a part of the agreement, in the account of a “blackout” your solar pv system will automatically shut down and stop sending electricity back to the grid. This is to protect the utilities technicians who may need to work on the power lines. Not so great in the event of a power outage.

What’s right for you?

Grid Tie systems are easier to design, cost significantly less than off grid systems, and provide a much better return on your investment. They will, however, not provide complete self-sufficiency, and will not always provide backup in the case of a blackout.

Ultimately, cost should be balanced with need. A quality solar-installer will help you design a system that meets your requirements.

Jim Noden is the founder of BrightEye Solar, LLC. a solar installation firm located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Doomsday Networking - Your Most Important Job Interview

If you didn’t believe that being a prepper will make a difference in a doomsday scenario, you wouldn’t be taking these types of measures to arrange for your survival. So you know that you, and people like you, are going to be the ones left standing after the stuff hits the fan. Think about this, and you might realize that maybe the complete isolationist mentality is not the best approach for a doomsday scenario. Sure, you might not be able to rely on the government for support – but you might be able to create a mutually beneficial relationship between your family, and others that are well prepared for the apocalypse. Check out these few simple tips on building your Doomsday Network, and how it will benefit you in the end.

Finding Like Minds

Step one to creating your Doomsday Network is simply to locate like minded prepper individuals like yourself in your general area. Most of this is going to happen online, because preppers aren’t huge on posting signs outside their home saying “Attention: 5 year supply of food inside this home!” They don’t want to do that, because in a doomsday scenario, it would defeat the entire purpose of their preparations as hungry thieves and profiteers robbed their property. It’s okay to enter online forums where people use code names, and simply talk about living and prepping in your unique geographical area. Once you have a real network of people that you regularly share ideas with, that you know live in your area – you’ve already made huge progress toward benefiting from a future network. Now that you have a group that trusts your communication and expertise, you can begin to move on to creating an understanding…

Create an Understanding

This strategy is going to involve a pretty typical sales scenario where you 1.) build rapport 2.) identify need, and 3.) close the deal. It’s fair to say that your prospective doomsday network members probably don’t realize the future value of having a like minded human network to rely on. You are going to have to help them identify the greater challenges they’ll face without a network, before they’ll have any interest in discussing future meet-ups. Once you have the ear of some interested parties, you can assure them that no one has to release their real identity – or their specific current location! A network plan can be as simple as assigning a specific meeting place (including a backup location, or two) after the stuff hits the fan. There’s always going to be a certain amount of trust involved with meeting anybody anywhere after the doomsday, but this is all you going to put at risk – and the gains of having a multi-family network later are completely worth it. Remember to print any complex details you can’t remember in your head – as digital data won’t be reliable after the lights go out.

Some Secrets are best kept…

Remember, even though you may think you aren’t revealing any details that are too precious – you still need to be careful you’re not exposing yourself too much. Obviously you aren’t going to reveal your actual identity, or current geographic location, but that’s not all you have to consider. If you get too detailed about the unique prepping strategies you use, or where your best routes are going to be through the area; you can jeopardize your value for these systems. Amongst other things, if you reveal too many tangential details about you location – it might not be that hard to find out who and where you currently are. For example, if you’re constantly sharing about how you plan to slip your boat into the canal system to get around crowded streets, and how this or that vacant field is perfect for farming – it might not be that difficult for someone to be in your area, and see the house with the bullet proof windows, or security fence, and know exactly who you are. Just be careful, you want to build a network based on meeting up if and when the time is right.

Author Bio: Tyler Watkins is a online blogger and web contributor, his content can be found across many website genres.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Lacerations & Avulsions

Skin injuries are frequently occurring injuries amongst people. If you are into plenty of physical activity, or have a job that entails plenty of manual labor, then you are probably familiar with this. There are several types of skin injuries, as well as varying severities of injuries. Some skin injuries can be linear and superficial such as incisions or lacerations, which is often painful. Other skin injuries, such as abrasion, puncture injuries, and avulsion are also frequently occurring injuries. Here is a short definition of each of these skin injuries:

  • Abrasion – damage of the outer or surface layer of the skin due to rubbing or scraping.
  • Laceration – a cut through the skin, which is jagged and uneven and frequently penetrates all skin layers and possibly even deeper.
  • Incisions – a cut through the skin, which is straight, linear, and usually more superficial than a laceration.
  • Puncture - a piercing of the skin.
  • Avulsion – skin injury with tearing of the skin.

Administering first aid in these situations is often a pretty straightforward process. The first step is to apply compression on the wound, which is also usually an instinctual reaction. If you need to administer first aid to a bleeding individual, make sure to wear clean medical type gloves (remember to add this to your first aid kit). This is to prevent any blood contact, and also to ensure that the wound is kept clean. When applying compression make sure to use clean bandages or gauze. Take note of the person’s tetanus vaccination or booster (usually with the last 5 – 10 years). If the person does not have an updated tetanus shot, make sure to call for immediate medical attention. Another consideration is if the skin injury is from an animal bite. After thorough rinsing with soap and clean water, the person should be bought given immediate medical assistance.

First Aid for Lacerations & Avulsions

As mentioned before a laceration is a cut through the skin, which is jagged and uneven and frequently penetrates all skin layers and possibly even deeper. Lacerations present with a gap in the skin that can be closed or opened when pressure is applied parallel to the sides of the site of the injury. To apply first aid, here is what you should do:

  • Stop the bleeding – apply steady and direct pressure on the wound, with a sterile or clean gauze or cloth for at least five minutes. If it doesn’t stop within five minutes, you might have to apply pressure for twenty minutes or more. Do not perform frequent checks on the injury, as this will not help the blood to clot properly. Blood that is spurting from the wound may indicate arterial damage and can be life threatening. Continue to apply steady and direct pressure in the case, while waiting for proper medical consultation.
  • In case of severe bleeding, also perform compression. If this is not enough and there is a severe “spurting” bleed due to an arterial injury, you can try applying a tourniquet. Take note that the tourniquet should be applied on the area of injury that is closest to the heart. Apply the tourniquet over a wide surface area to minimize tissue damage. Remember to not tie your tourniquet too tight as well, as we do not want to cut of the blood supply to the normal tissue.
  • There are also “over-the-counter” coagulation products to stop bleeding that are available in pharmacies. They are frequently expensive, and we suggest you take a formal first aid course, before attempting to use this.
  • Once the bleeding has stopped or minimized, you can proceed to directly wash and rinse the injured area with sterile water or a sterile saline solution. Directly wash the injured area with bursts of water, to dislodge any possible debris that may be lodged in the wound. If there are remaining debris that cannot be washed or picked out, seek medical advice. Do not apply peroxide or Betadine wipes directly on the wound as this may affect tissue healing. Peroxide and Betadine can be applied to the surrounding area of injury. You can also use antiseptic wipes to clean the area around the injury.
  • Allow the wound to dry, then after drying, you can apply some antibiotic ointment to prevent infection and dress the wound with a clean bandage.
  • Occasionally some lacerations may need to be closed with stitches to hasten healing and minimize any scarring. If the laceration is not too deep, then some physicians use sterile adhesive strips or medical grade cyanoacrylate (Superglue) to re-approximate the wound.

First Aid for Abrasions

Abrasions as mentioned above are a damage of the outer or surface layer of the skin due to rubbing or scraping. The bleeding is due to injured smaller blood vessels called capillaries. Abrasions tend to be painful because of the nerve endings in the surface layer of the skin are affected.

  • Clean the abraded area thoroughly with clean water and antiseptic soap. Make sure to wash and pick out all the debris on the abraded area. If you can’t remove all the debris, seek medical advice after administering first aid, to prevent infection.
  • Apply antibacterial ointment on the abraded area then cover with a sterile gauze pad, moistened with sterile water or sterile saline solution. Change the dressing at least two times a day. If the abrasion is on a moving area such as a joint, make sure to keep it moist.

First Aid for Puncture Wounds

Puncture wounds or wounds that pierce the skin, and are prone to infection. They can also be deceiving, as puncture wounds may seem deeper than they are.

  • Wash the affected area, in the same way that abrasions are washed. Apply antibiotic ointment and then cover it with clean or sterile gauze. Due to the nature of the injury, it is important to seek medical advice as soon as possible.

If medical advice cannot be immediately sought, and tetanus shots are updated, then monitor the wound for signs of infection such as persistent pain, redness, pus, bad odor, and swelling. If these symptoms are present, immediately seek medical advice.

  • Puncture wounds on the chest may go straight to the lungs and require immediate medical consult. Symptoms would include painful as well as shallow and difficulty of breathing. If these signs appear, then immediately apply tape (such as duct tape), to temporarily seal the air leak. You can also apply direct compression and keep applying compression, until you reach the hospital.
  • Puncture wounds to the back and neck can be dangerous as it can involve the spinal cord. Evaluate the situation and any abnormal symptoms, with particular attention to numbness, difficulty of breathing, and the weakness or inability to move the limbs.
  • Puncture wounds to the abdomen may affect the stomach and intestines, as well as other organs located in the area. Monitor for signs of internal bleeding such as any enlargement or ballooning of the abdomen, abdominal pain, and paleness or cold, clammy skin.

I hope this gives you a general idea of how to manage basic skin injuries, should you encounter them. Remember to keep your first aid kit adequately stocked with sterile bandages, sterile water (if possible), and some antibiotic ointment, as well as some handy items such as a duct tape and a bandana for those unforeseen circumstances.

Alex Estra M.D. teaches about emergency supplies and other outdoor medical concerns as a regular medical contributor to Dan’s Depot.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Weather Safety Tips for Homes

Freak weather events can strike with no warning, and therefore to save money and even lives you should always be prepared for potential weather event in your area. Prepping your home for crazy weather of all kinds (whether that be snow, rain or shine) is possibly the most important thing for you to do as a homeowner, so once you know what kind of weather is most likely to cause you problem, make sure you are ready for it!

Here is a 5 step weather safety guide to make sure your home is always prepared for a weather event at minimal cost.

Step 1: Identify potential weather risks

The first step in ensuring that you are prepared for potential weather events is assessing what type of weather events are likely to strike in your area. Find out if your home is in an area that has even been hit by events like floods, hurricanes or tornados. If you have just moved into a home, research on the internet or ask your new neighbours if there are any weather patterns you should be aware of. Neighbours are a great source of information because they are likely to know what common weather events happen in the area and where is best to get materials to prep your home.

Step 2: Prepare a disaster kit

Once you know what kind of weather is most likely to cause you a problem, prepare a disaster kit and keep it in a water-tight box in a safe and accessible part of your home. Make sure everybody in your home knows where the box is incase you yourself are incapacitated in an emergency.

Some essential items for a disaster kit are below, but each should be tailored to your particular weather circumstances:

A wind-up radio or a battery operated radio with spare batteries
A wind-up torch or a battery operated torch with spare batteries
Candles and matches
Plastic water canisters capable of holding at least 4 litres of water per person
Water sanitation tablets
Basic emergency foodstuffs like granola bars

Step 3: Always keep up-to-date with the weather and heed warnings

Make a habit out of watching the weather forecast or checking your local weather website everyday just to make sure you are aware in advance if any dangerous weather fronts are headed to your area. While some natural disasters are completely unpredictable, others (like hurricanes) often give you days to prepare. If you know a weather front is heading even vaguely in your direction, listen to the news and heed any evacuation warning you may hear.

Step 4: Don’t put off home improvement

You might think that there is no harm in putting off fixing your roof or replacing a window pane, when in reality you should always make sure your home is sturdy and ready for any kind of weather. Regularly check your home for leaks, damage to your walls and roof and fix any problems you find as fast as possible. If your home is damaged, then it won’t take an extreme weather event to cause damage. If you have a leaking roof for example, a standard rain storm could wreck your belongings just as badly as a hurricane could do to a sturdy house.

Step 5: Always make sure your home insurance policy is up-to-date

In trying economic times, many people cancel their various insurance policies in an attempt to save money. However this often backfires when disaster strikes and they are left with a crippling bill of thousands of dollars which often pushes many into bankruptcy. Don't take chances with your home, your life or the lives of others - keep your insurance policies and make sure they are up-to-date and suitably cover all of your liabilities.

Kate Simmons is a freelance journalist and occasional blogger on topics related to safety. In case you are seriously concerned about your home’s safety, make sure you check out

Monday, February 04, 2013

Is Your Family Emergency-Ready?

Tragic events are constantly occurring around the world. Some of these events are tsunamis, earthquakes and tornadoes. Unfortunately, nobody can predict when a natural disaster or emergency will strike his or her hometown. Due to this, it is important that families prepare for emergency situations.

1. Have a Fully Stocked First Aid Kit

Studies have shown that most Americans do not have a first aid kit in the home. When an injury occurs, the last thing people want is to have to go looking for the proper medical equipment. Every home needs a first aid kit. This item is useful during emergencies and in everyday life. Listed below are some of the items commonly stocked in first aid kits.

  • Bandages
  • Gauze
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Pain relievers
  • Cotton balls
  • Adhesive tapes

2. Stock Up on Batteries

Weather related emergencies generally cause power outages. To prepare for this, families need to have a supply of fresh batteries in their home. These batteries can be used with torches and weather radios.

3. Prepare a Food Supply for Emergency Situations

Many families only buy enough groceries to last until their next shopping trip. This is short sighted as there are a number of emergencies that could impact food supply. For example, a storm could result in local grocery stores shutting down for a few days. Many people were unprepared for the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. As a result, they were without food and water for days. Families can prevent this from happening by stocking up on food for emergency situations. Ideally, people will have enough food to last them until help arrives. Experts recommend that there is enough food in the house to last at least 72 hours. Some people like to stock up for as long as two weeks. Water should also be stored as emergencies could limit accessibility to safe drinking water.

4. Make Copies of Important Documents

Lastly, families need to make copies of their important documents. Fires and floods can damage electronics and paperwork. These copies should be kept in a fireproof safe.

Preparing for a natural disaster or emergency situation will keep families relatively comfortable while they wait for help. Those who do not have the proper supplies will suffer from injuries, pain, hunger and a range of other issues. These problems can be easily avoided by disaster preparation.

Author Byline: Chelsea Joanne Smith is a freelance writer who specializes in prepping topics such as disaster preparation and long term food storage options.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Surviving Civil Unrest

A crisis will bring out the best and the worst in people. Leaders and followers will emerge, along with those that simply want to survive and to be left alone, the ones that are willing to work hard and ask nothing of others. Your friends, neighbors and even strangers will act differently. Some that are not prepared may believe that after a few days they are starving and will commit crimes in the name of providing for their families. Then there are those looking to take advantage of the situation.

Looters and other criminal elements will be active almost immediately once disaster strikes. However, it does not always take a disaster to cause civil unrest. Governmental policies, police actions and general frustrations among the citizenry can bring about demonstrations and riots. Agitators and so-called anarchists will co-op demonstrations, which may then lead to property destruction and violence against people.

Avoid Crowds

You cannot change the collective minds of a mob, and a large number of those involved in demonstrations do not even know why they are there. Avoid demonstrations, and under no circumstances attempt to intervene. In times of despair citizens turn to the government for help and when that help is not forthcoming they turn against the government. Once they have vented their anger at city hall they will turn on each other.

Evacuate or Stay

Obviously if the disaster has created, a dangerous environment such as chemical or biological contaminates or damage to your home then you must leave. Evacuate before the civil unrest takes hold. If a financial collapse or governmental policies have created civil unrest and you are in a heavily populated area then you may have to consider relocating as well.

If you live in a high-rise apartment, it is recommended you leave before you are trapped on the upper floors. You may be able to commandeer a vacant apartment on the bottom floor. You have to be in position where you have an escape route if the buildings' electrical system fails and the building is set on fire or otherwise compromised. Those looking to victimize others will realize you would have to use the stairwells during a power outage so they become ambush points. Avoid them and if you cannot avoid them, go down one floor, enter the hallways, and use the next set of stairs down to deter someone anticipating your moves.

Looting is many times a crime of opportunity. Looters want to grab items and run, so they will check for unlocked doors and windows that can be smashed in. The more organized criminal elements will be planning elsewhere to relive banks and other organizations of their valuables. You have to protect against small roving gangs of looters looking for drugs, weapons and other valuables.

Do not go near commercials areas because that is where looters will be most active. Retails stores, commercial storage areas, and warehouses are prime targets during a crisis. There will be criminals looking for other than material goods, as well, so you must have personal protection and an escape route. Know your area, where the blind alleys are, and what stores have a back exit if you become trapped in one. Part of your preparation plan is situational awareness. You have to conduct reconnaissance of your area before a crisis, so you know in which direction to move if your community becomes hostile.

Making It Difficult For an Intruder

Unless you are a specific target, putting up barriers may cause the opportunists to move on to an easier target. Heavy furniture in front of entranceways, blinds and/or tarps and plastic taped over and against windows will slow an intruder down enough for you to escape. Do not barricade yourself in to the point you do not have an escape exit.

Evacuation Plans

Know the routes out of your area. Ideally, you have walked the routes to get a street level perspective. Landmarks and other navigational aids look different when viewed from a bus, taxi or vehicle window.

Do not leave in the dark if it can be avoided. Start out at dawn with your survival essentials, and walk with a purpose. Head held high with an air of confidence. Make sure your travel routes do not include any bridges, tunnels or major highways. You can become trapped on a pedestrian walkway, bridge or even on a highway overpass.

Some have a safe haven to go to if they have to evacuate. You will need somewhere to go to if your city becomes dangerous and you have to leave to save your life. Sometimes it is just a matter of getting a few miles beyond the urban sprawl and yet certain disasters may create a danger zone that extends miles from the city. You have to make decisions about distance and location and much depends on the disaster itself.

Planning Ahead

Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. It is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Civil unrest is a very real possibility in any city or community, just ask those cities that have hosted a G8 summit, or the survivors of hurricane Katrina.

The city of New Orleans degraded into a situation reminiscent of a third world war torn country where neighbors and friends victimized each other and seeing police was not always a good thing. Looters, ruled the city for weeks, and organized criminal elements brazenly walked the street unchallenged by law enforcement. Homes were set fire to drive the occupants outside so they could be victimized. Law-abiding citizens broke into pawnshops and sporting goods stores to arm themselves against their very own friends, neighbors and others. Many failed to evacuate because they simply did not have the means, or where afraid to leave their possessions behind to be stolen.

Be prepared by having your essentials packed, and do not hesitate to leave. Stay informed so you can make life saving decisions about whether to stay or go.

My Name is Rex Michaels and for the past 30 years, I have had the privilege to train Special Operations Teams, Military Academy Cadets, Military Recruits and civilians in mastering survival techniques and methods. -Rex Michaels, US Army Retired

Friday, February 01, 2013

Doomsday Giveaway for February 2013!

There are only 28 days to enter this one so act fast or you will miss it! The Doomsday Giveaway for February 2013 is one of two Country Wisdom & Know-How: Everything You Need to Know to Live Off the Land in paperback.

Reminiscent in both spirit and design of the beloved Whole Earth Catalog, Country Wisdom & Know-How is an unprecedented collection of information on nearly 200 individual topics of country and self-sustained living. Compiled from the information in Storey Publishing's landmark series of "Country Wisdom Bulletins," this book is the most thorough and reliable volume of its kind. Organized by general topic including animals, cooking, crafts, gardening, health and well-being, and home, it is further broken down to cover dozens of specifics from "Building Chicken Coops" to "Making Cheese, Butter, and Yogurt" to "Improving Your Soil" to "Restoring Hardwood Floors." Nearly 1,000 black-and-white illustrations and photographs run throughout and fascinating projects and trusted advice crowd every page.

Check out our review of this book. Country Wisdom & Know-How (Everything You Need to Know to Live Off the Land) - A Prepper's Book Review

All you need to do is use the Rafflecopter tool below to enter. You can tweet about this giveaway or another link on this blog, follow us on Twitter, "like" us on Facebook, share us at your favorite social network, or follow this blog. Easy as that. On March 1st we will select the winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Good luck!

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