Sunday, April 28, 2013

Important Survival Skill: How to Build a Fire

campfire photo: Campfire campfire.jpg
Well, it happened. Define “it” in your own unique way: the world economy collapsed; a meteor struck the earth and only a few – including you – survived; the zombie apocalypse has come, or the Russians finally invaded and Red Dawn is actual reality.

Hope you’ve been buffing up on your survival skills. Because after North Korea initiates a global nuclear war, there won’t be any more grocery stores, running water or Wal-Marts. Simply put: you’re on your own.

If you’ve been preparing, you know how to purify your own water supply and maintain your own garden, not to mention butcher, preserve and cook your own wild game that you trapped or hunted yourself. But chances are you haven’t been preparing, so let’s introduce you to one of the most rudimentary of skills necessary to survive the ever-looming apocalypse: how to build a fire.

Types of Wood to Use to Start a Fire

Get a book on trees, because you’re going to need to know the visual difference between all types of regional trees.

In general, hardwoods burn better than softwoods and produce much less smoke – a major plus in any situation. This way you won’t give away your position to the zombies/highwaymen/Russians. So say yes to oak, ash, aspen, poplar and birch hardwood for long-term burning. Softwoods, including pine, cedar, spruce and firs, serve well as fire starters, as they tend to catch more quickly; but if you’re planning long-term, know that softwoods peter out much faster than hardwoods, so have some of the latter ready to go as the meat of your newfound pyromania.

How to Actually Start Your Fire

So you have the wood. You have the kindling (dry leaves, pine needles and twigs) Now what?

Ideally you’ve somehow acquired a flint and steel – that’s the easiest method that still makes you feel like you actually belong in the backwoods. If not, you’re going all Tom Hanks on this one. You’ll have to utilize friction to create an ember that catches on nearby tinder. Common techniques include the hand drill (spinning a long spindle into your fire board that serves as your base) and fire plough (rubbing your spindle up and down a groove in your fire board). But you better have some time on your hands and patience in your soul, because this might take a while. I definitely recommend checking out some YouTube videos on how to do this, as it’s difficult to understand without seeing it in action or watching Castaway.

Types of Fires

If you’re unfamiliar with fire starting, chances are you haven’t realized that fires for keeping warm and fires for cooking are different. Most of us just know about the big bonfire we build for fun and to keep warm. Well if that’s all you know when that meteor strikes and highwaymen are trolling the roads and brutal warlords have asserted themselves, you’re screwed. So I’m here to save your ass. Here are the different types of fires and how to prepare them.
  1. Fire for Keeping Warm
  2. This fire requires less skill to build than the other two, but is no less valuable for cold nights and nuclear winters. Remember, though – if you want it to burn through the night, you will have to utilize hardwoods for longevity. The softwoods are great for starters, but will require constant maintenance and tend to burn inconsistently. I recommend building this fire against a cliffside, boulder or earthen palisade (mound of dirt built for defense against invading Russians). This is more efficient and will reflect most of the heat in the desired direction – toward you.

  3. Cooking Fire
  4. Cooking fires should only be utilized when you have some time on your hands and either have dead game in hand or are in an area rife with loping gazelles. You’ll want to start a smaller fire first with dry kindling – if you need to you can create your own kindling by hacking up softwoods with your manly hatchet or long-handled axe. Hatchet works best for this operation, plus you’ll look more like a bad-ass and less like a lumberjack.

    Once the fire is going, contain it with two large green logs to either side of it that won’t catch. The larger, greener logs might be harder to find so you may have to range a bit or chop down your own (it’s post-apocalypse so nobody can give you shit about it). From here, if you can set up a roasting pit to turn your gazelle carcasses over the open flame, have at it. Otherwise, utilize your pots, pans and handheld spits to cook what you need, piling good hardwood where you need a hotter flame.

  5. Quick “Snack” Fire
  6. Think “tepee.” This is a small fire where you lay twigs in a tepee-like structure with kindling on the ground in the middle. Keep it going and getting hotter by continually adding small twigs as it burns. The snack fire is ideal for boiling water, for coffee, and for small catches like fish, rabbits and squirrels. Roasting spits and placing pots directly on top of the fire are the best methods for cultivation, but beware you keep a close eye on the pots so they don’t burn.

    Note that I recommend a cooking fire for any once-living-and-fleeing-from-you food besides fish, but if you need a quick fire on the spot, this is your best bet. You can also expand this into a cooking fire so long as the zombies that are chasing you have been killed, the Russians that are shooting at you have been dealt with, and the mutated bears that have been on your trail for the last three days have been summarily executed.

    You have the knowledge. You have the power. But, like any skill, this will require practice. You won’t have much time to learn after the bombs drop, the water wars start, or zombies are chasing you through the woods. Teach yourself now and be the Boy Scout all the people that died in the first few months of the fallout couldn’t be.

Jeff Hirz is a writer, freelancer and avid hiker. He contributed this article on behalf of Premier Firewood.

Friday, April 26, 2013

What to look for when buying land for the Self Sufficient Lifestyle


More and more people are making the move from the concrete jungle to a simpler and more sustainable life for their families. And it is not uncommon these days for many families to pack up and move to the middle of nowhere and declare unparalleled happiness without the modern creature comforts our society has come to rely on.

Romantic images of misty Sunday mornings with nothing more than the sound of the content cows mowing the grass in the fields around you, with nature’s orchestra a perfect backdrop to your farmhouse breakfast of homemade bread and organic eggs from your chickens that morning, intoxicate stressed out families to the point that they can no longer fathom another day in the city.

But picking the right piece of land, in the right area, being surrounded by the countryside but still having access to civilization is a difficult combination to achieve. If you are looking to purchase land to start out a new life in the country for your family, here are some important considerations one might want to take into account before jumping ship completely.


The thought of never ever seeing another human being other than a fellow countryman once every 2 months or so may sound extremely appealing to a stressed out corporate executive with an exhausted family. But as alluring as that initially sounds, it may start to crawl into your soul with frustration after a while.

Picking a location that is so very remote, where you are 3 hours from the nearest town may be enchanting for a weekend, but if your sick child needs a doctor or you run out of milk – it will become rather less enchanting almost immediately.

Have a look at just how remote your location is. Draw a circle around the location and sweep out within a 20km -120km radius – have a look at what is there, how easily other areas are accessible in comparison to yours and how long it would take you to get to things like emergencies services.

Decide just how remote you want to go – the further away from amenities you are, the more peace, tranquility and good value for money you are going to get. But isolation still comes at a price. If your kids want to see friends when they are older you are going to spend your life commuting – take this all into account.

Sometimes you can really just travel an hour or two away from the city and find yourself in total paradise – without the serious commitment to the raw countryside. And you could still commute to work if need be – keeping the finances afloat.

Land Restrictions

Find out beforehand from your real estate agent about what kind of land you can buy. There may be laws and restrictions preventing you from ever using the land for farming or agriculture- ever – and you may find you are restricted in building other properties on your land as well.

In some cases, people think they will be able to sub divide their land and sell off sections to other people later on, making some money and reap the rewards, only to find out that because of the zoning restrictions sub division is not allowed under any circumstances – ever. Take the time to read up on the laws of the land, tax liabilities in the state you plan on buying in and information pertaining to access rights, otherwise an uninformed decision to buy a piece of land that you dream of building cottages on for all your children and their families could go up in flames before its even started.


Water is one of society’s most precious commodities and it has never been more apparent until you move out to the country. Water is scarce and many land owners struggle to get the quota of the water that they need with adjacent land owners sometimes using more than their quota – it’s a sticky situation with no municipal meters measuring out everybody’s portion. It can turn into a bit of a bun fight if there is not enough water for everyone and might be the reason the previous owners or sellers want to move.

Find out everything you can about water availability, who gets what and from where? Are there rain water harvesting systems to supplement a short water supply? Does everybody rely on one dam for their main water supply and what happens in summer when the water is short? Don’t be afraid to approach business owners in the area or neighbors to find out everything you can about the water situation. It will have an adverse effect on your quality of life for you and your family if you can’t even get enough water for your household let alone your land.

Plans in the neighborhood

Have a look and see how far away you are from your closest neighbors? Are they right on top of your house and are you looking at purchasing land that is downwind from the new pig pen they are about to build? Ask as many questions as you can about what plans are in the pipeline for your neighbors and what development is being considered for the area.

The tranquility base will be destroyed and the value of your land go down along with everything else if there is an electrical power plant or mobile phone tower gearing to proceed with construction in 2 years’ time. Once they have started to build it will be too late – you can forget about trying to recoup the losses on the investment you put into your land and your view will be spoilt by unsightly towers and the like.

Small town neighbors love to chat and they may give you a totally different scenario on the area than your real estate agent who is trying to get a sale. But don’t buy into all the stories – small town chat is full of plenty of stories as well. Just aim to get as much of a comprehensive look at your investment as you can before you make the decision to purchase.

Author bio: Korah Morrison, writer on that helps students achieve their academic goals.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Five Post-Disaster Meals Your Kids Will Actually Eat

canned food

While most adults plan to stoically "do what needs to be done" in the face of a crisis, most experts agree that familiar survival food is a great comfort in times of stress, especially for kids.

Three ways to better prepare for post-disaster dining are to integrate your emergency food supply into your regular meal rotation, adapt favorite recipes to storage ingredients, and never underestimate the power of funny names and tasty treats. Here are five sample menus to get you started:

Merry Mac

Kids love macaroni and cheese. You can prepare their favorite boxed mix with rehydrated milk and butter, or try the "just-add-water" freeze dried version.

Serve with tasty salmon patties. For each 6 oz can of skinless, boneless salmon add 1 egg, 1 tsp dried onion, and 1/3 c. bread or cracker crumbs. Fry until golden brown. (Each can makes 2-3 patties.)

For dessert, serve a simple fruit salad made with fresh, canned or rehydrated oranges, pineapple, banana and miniature marshmallows.

Pizza Pasta

Grease a 13x9 cake pan. Pour in a box of rotini pasta, 1 jar of spaghetti sauce, 1 jar of water, 1/2 c. of sausage crumbles (fresh or freeze dried), 1 small package pepperoni. Stir together, cover and bake at 350 until pasta is tender. Top with mozzarella cheese (fresh or rehydrated.)

Serve with corn and your favorite fruit jello.

Mystery Meat Sandwiches and Soup

Mix together 1 6 oz. can tuna, 1 6 oz. can white meat chicken, 1 6 oz. can ham, 1 boiled egg (optional), 1/4 c. onion (fresh or dried), 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, 1 tsp. sweet pickle relish, mayonnaise or Miracle Whip to taste. Serve on bread or crackers.

Serve with potato soup (fresh, canned, or dehydrated.) For dessert, top simple graham crackers with canned frosting and a few festive sprinkles.

Wobbly Wiggles

Cook 1 bag of noodles in water with 5 beef bouillon cubes. Do not drain. When noodles are tender, add a can of beef in gravy (or rehydrated beef chunks). If desired, thicken with a few instant mashed potatoes.

Serve with green beans and instant pudding in your family's favorite flavor.


Brown 1 lb. ground beef with 1 packet of taco seasoning (or use freeze dried taco meat). In a large pan, cook 1 box ziti. Drain. Mix in taco meat, 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce (or tomato powder and water.) Add chili powder to taste. Top with cheddar cheese (fresh or rehydrated.)

Serve with refried beans (fresh, canned, or freeze dried) and peach dumplings.

To make peach dumplings, grease an 8x8 cake pan. Pour in 1 can sliced peaches in syrup. Mix 1 packet of Bisquick as directed on packet and drop by spoonful’s on top of peaches. Bake at 400 until dough is set. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

Annette Hazard is a freelance writer that usually writes about home and family issues. She is a mother of one and spends her free time exploring the outdoors with her family.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Prepare Your Body for Survival and Daily Balance


Planning for any major life transition can get in the way of a normal and balanced lifestyle. Things are hectic while designing the perfect wedding, for example, or anticipating the birth of our first child (or parenting that baby in the first year of life). All of our energies and the way we live ahead of— and during— a big event are directed to the challenges connected to it. You can’t very easily go mountain climbing when you or your partner is six-months pregnant, and you probably won’t have the inclination (or the strength) to train for a marathon if you have a four-month-old. Yet the very skills we need to prepare for doomsday can help us live a balanced life right now.

We will be happy and at ease by learning skills that will serve us if the worst happens. Physical activities that enhance endurance lift the mood and raise optimism.


Hiking on the weekends, for instance, is a great way to get or stay in shape, bond with family, learn about nature and refine survival skills. Check online for great places to hike within a few hours of where you live. You might even want to attempt one of the five greatest hikes in North America.


Climbing at indoor rock wall facilities is a great opportunity to learn about (or teach) tying knots, staying safe, overcoming fear and building trust. So-called “gym” climbing appeals to a lot of people because it’s a noncompetitive, physically taxing but gratifying pursuit. This activity provides a fresh take on what may have become a stale workout. It’s also much more fun than a standard cardio or weight-training routine. In addition, rock gyms are climate controlled.


Archery has acquired a new appeal and popularity due to shows and movies such as "The Hunger Games." Practicing this sport along with marksmanship will heighten confidence and increase physical fitness. Certified instruction and education about safely handling and discharging firearms and bows and arrows also result in a greater sense of freedom and control over personal property.

Repair Skills

Building projects at home or tackling repairs around the house can make you more comfortable in your environment and sharpen skills you might need in the future. Projects that kids can help with are an especially productive use of your time. The website Built by Kids has some great ideas for do-it-yourself construction, including a bean-bag toss, a footstool, a backyard BMX bike track, a kids’ play kitchen, a folding camping stool and even fireplace childproofing.

A balanced life isn’t difficult when learning new skills that are fundamental to both successful, happy living today and to getting ready for whatever scenarios may come our way.

Michelle Herrera
Known by her friends as the DIY diva, Michelle is always coming up with new and creative ways to decorate on a limited budget.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Zombie Classification 101

zombies Alright, we’ve all imagined the zombie apocalypse as it might go down – a lighting fast virus that starts in the news, and ends on the streets. Zombies will terrorize all corners of the Earth, with only the most prepared and resilient left fighting for survival. But ask around, and you’ll get quite a wide variety of the “right” depiction of what a zombie will be. Are they ultra-fast “infecteds” that “rage” and hunt down humans with increased strength and speed? Are they the slow mob of rigamortis riddled corpses that are only dangerous in large groups? Perhaps zombies will resemble humans evolved into a complete other form, bent on consuming and converting their former ancestors? Let’s take a look at the breakdown of different types of zombies we might expect, and what their unique benefits and drawbacks would be…

The Shirker

shirker zombie The shirker is the most popular depiction of a zombie, and what most people statistically would expect. They are in fact a corpse – affected by rigamortis, partially rotten, and often hobbling or crawling across the landscape. The benefits to shirkers are, they move slow – and can typically be easily beaten one, or even two at a time in an open area. Downsides to the shirker are that they persist the longest; being that even partial corpses could crawl up from behind a park bench to bite your ankle. In a shirker zombie apocalypse, strategy can almost always endure – as humans possess superiority in every element except minor injury. You could practically print a guide on how to beat shirkers with enough notice.

The Rager

rager zombie The rager is the zombie who catches a disease, dies – but is somehow faster, stronger, and of course angrier than his human form ever could have imagined. The benefits to this type of zombie vs. others would be few, other than maybe that they got so enraged that they hurdled themselves off a bridge or the like. Drawbacks to a rager zombie apocalypse would be the strong mobs would chase you down faster than you could run, beat you in a short fight before the kill, and probably reach you in any type of protective environment you’ve created for yourself. A rager apocalypse is not widely followed – as most of us imagine the shirker image of a zombie as the most logical form.

The Evolver

evolver zombie The evolver is a zombie who hardly even resembles a human once they’ve caught the virus. Like the rager, they’re often stronger and faster than they’re previous human state – but they’ve changed into some kind of alien life form. One could argue that this hardly even qualifies as a “zombie” anymore, but it’s the natural extension of the “rager” scenario. Benefits of the Evolver apocalypse would be an ease of identification, and emotional ease of separation in fighting them. Believe it or not, many people simply wouldn’t want to battle zombies no matter what – they look too much like us! Not the evolver though, they would be totally changed to something else. Drawbacks to the evolver apocalypse would be the increased likelihood that these new life forms would simply take over the world – heck, they’re not even dying off of a disease, so much as the virus as pushed them into a stronger state of life.

What do you say?

I’d love to throw this one to the crowd – what do you think the zombies of our final apocalypse will look like? If you think there’s unanimous agreement out there, just ask a few people, and you’ll be in a debate in no time! So, make your vote – will zombies be Shirkers, Ragers, Evolvers – or something else altogether?!

Author Bio:

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

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Water Will Soon Be Our Most Valued Resource

drought photo:  kodakpics370.jpg

There was an idea in the 1960s that we were entering an enlightened Age of Aquarius. They were only 50 percent correct. Although we wouldn’t reach enlightenment, we have indeed entered the era of water.

Water will be the single most important resource in the coming century. Already in 1995 the VP of the World Bank said that the wars of the 21st century would not be over oil, but over water. There is a name for this: water wars.

One of the unexpected effects of global warming has been a diminishing supply of fresh water, as many parts of the world have been experiencing droughts. There are already a large number of flashpoints around the world where water wars are in the process of breaking out.

Israel and Syria will likely enter a dispute over access to fresh water. Egypt will likely enter a conflict with Ethiopia over access to the Nile. India and Pakistan are already in conflict over Kashmir.

Of all the nations in the world, it is expected that Yemen will soon not have enough water for its growing population in an already arid landmass. By 2030, it is estimated that fully half the world’s population will not have access to drinking water. The Middle East—an already volatile area of the world—is set to run out of water in the next decade, which sets the stage for massive conflict.

What Can Be Done?

Several countries are already preparing for the coming shortages in potable water. By all estimates, water will become the most sought after commodity in the world, poising Canada to be the Saudi Arabia of the new century. Instead of oil, their main export will be their vast clean water stores.

Australia is expected to be hit hard in coming years. They are among the trailblazers in using a vapor compression system for purifying the saltwater that surrounds their continent. Desalination is one of the emerging technologies that will dominate the near future. It is currently prohibitively expensive for most countries to implement. Indeed, although Israel develops the technology and sells it to Australia, it lacks the funds to set itself up to desalinate water from its Mediterranean coastline.

But Is It Real?

To drive the point home, the United States has already experienced a minor domestic water conflict. The town of Orme, Tenn., officially ran out of water in 2007. Furthermore, the states of Georgia, Alabama and Florida have had to sign to a water-use agreement, which pre-empts an escalation of conflict once the water supplies can’t keep up with the population.

The question, it is agreed, is not whether there will be water wars in the future. The question is when. Of course it is always possible that scientists could find a way to avoid these wars by making clean sources that can be distributed worldwide without bloodshed and with an eye to helping our fellow man. But that may be a shade optimistic.

Adrienne is a skeptical blogger who writes on a variety of topics. To catch up with her latest work/paranoia, check her Twitter at @adrienneerin.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Profiting after Doomsday

gold jewelry photo: Jewelry jewelry.jpg

by Shane White

The world has finally fallen apart. That one big event that everyone has been hoping would never happen has finally come and tipped the planet over the point of no return. It probably won't be back to normal for a long time. It is back to the dark ages for us. it looks like horse and buggies, grow your own food, and government silence for us. Electricity has become very scarce and is certainly not a normal product that a company would produce. After all, companies can't stay open if people can only pay them with excess pinto beans. So how do we succeed in this brave new world?


We are all very thankful that we all had the foresight to store food for our long and short term goals. We stored canned food, freeze dried foods, MREs, dehydrated foods, and dried foods. We learned how to grow our own food from plants, and can them ourselves. We also learned how to raise and butcher our own animals. Now what? If we set up a good system here, we should have a good excess that we can use to barter with our neighbors. On top of that we should be willing to teach these skills to others as well. They thought this was silly before everything came crashing down around them, but now they need help. Teaching these skills is essential to your survival. Not only are you now the smartest person on the block. If you are there to trickle out information to your new best friends. Many of them may even be there to return a few favors for you when troubles come your way.


There are lots of ways to clean up your water, and you were wise enough to set up a system that would give you a long term supply of water for many years to come. Again, this is something you will need to teach your neighbors, and quick. After all, you only planned on just a little more than enough for you and your family. Teaching your neighbors how to obtain and purify up their own water system and helping them to set it up quickly is essential to your survival. You certainly don't want these people to rise up against you and take yours.


Now that you have set up your client base with food and water, you can get to the good stuff. All these skills and supplies are putting you in the unusual position of having a products that everyone else needs. Guess what all these skills and products are worth? Whatever you want to sell them for. Don't get too greedy now, or your neighbors will just take them from you. This is a great time for you to trade what you know and the excess that you are producing for products that you need, or products that you know will be worth something again someday. Essentially, you are the new Walmart.


It has been said that after a major catastrophic event, gold, silver, and other precious metals will take a huge dive in value. After all, you can't eat gold. This will be the best time to get your hands on as much as you can. I am not saying make this a priority over the other things that you need. I am saying this is your new retirement account. You should be able to get lots of gold and silver very cheap for the skills and services you are providing. In the future, when the world that you helped to rebuild has begun to stabilize again, your cache of rings, necklaces, and coins will begin to approach normal levels again. What does this mean? Huge profits for you. You saved the world, and now you are a very wealthy person for doing it. Everybody wins.

What do you think?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Why learn the skill of Canning?

dehydrating corn There are a few types of people who preserve their own food. There are those who can jams, jellies and pickled items, for fun. Then there are those who are health conscious, they love organic foods and love knowing what they are eating. When you can food that you’ve grown in your own garden you can know exactly what you are getting. You know what the quality of that food is, you know who has handled that food and you have control over your diet. These are great reasons for canning and home preserving.

However, I’m guessing that a lot of the readers here at Doomsday Moose are people who are concerned for the future. You are concerned about what you will do if the world as we know it changes. Most survivalist websites encourage you to look at food storage as a part of your overall preparedness plan. Good idea!

I have two suggestions for you today.

Suggestion One: Get sustainable with your food storage and preparedness plan.

Think about it. What happens when your store of number 10 cans runs out? It doesn’t matter how much you prepare and how much you stock up. If you start using that food on an everyday basis…. It will run out eventually. It will not last forever. Gardening, canning and dehydrating is a sustainable way to provide for your family.

Don’t get me wrong! Traditional food storage from the many food storage suppliers has its place. But my opinion is it should just be a buffer. Freeze dried foods should give you time to plant a garden and grow your own food.

Gardening and preserving foods will sustain you year after year. Grow it in season; preserve it for out of season. People lived that way for years as an everyday self-reliant lifestyle.

Suggestion Two: Don’t wait to learn. Skills are another important part of a good preparedness plan.

You don’t have to be like me and grow and preserve all your food right NOW! I’d seriously think about adding this to your list of skills to learn. When it counts, you’ll be spending a LOT of time canning and dehydrating. It takes a lot of food to provide for a family.

Spend the time learning now. Start small, start with making your own applesauce or canning tomatoes. Then you can gradually learn and add more foods to your skill set. Believe me this is much easier than a crash course when your food supply for the winter will depend on your ability and knowledge.

Canning Green Beans Check out I’ve got instructions for canning vegetables, fruits, even meat, chili and soups. Do you know what foods require a pressure canner? Do you know why? Do you know what types of canners you’ll need?

If you do want to learn the skill of home preserving there are things you must know. I’d love to help!


Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Self Defense for Survival -- Your Mindset

military in neighborhood It is not something we want to think about, but in a survival situation, we may be forced to defend ourselves and family members. Unfortunately, crisis situations tend to bring out the worst in people. Although you may be putting in a lot of time and effort to prepare for your family’s survival, there are those who are not and will be forced to resort to harsh measures to take what is yours.

Ideally, you want to avoid any nasty situations. Physical altercations rarely end well. Whether you are the victor or not, you are likely to get injured in some way. If you can, avoid the situation. That is your only guarantee you will not get hurt. Part of our emergency response system includes a place for survivors to gather. These places get crowded. Think back to Hurricane Katrina. You get a lot of people in close quarters and things get a little crazy. Obviously, the gathering place provided shelter and some necessities, but knowing what you do about human behavior, it would behoove you to plan ahead and make other arrangements. These are a few things you could do to hopefully prevent any altercations.
  • Get together with a small group and start planning how to rely on yourself in an emergency situation. This also takes some of the strain off FEMA and the Red Cross.
  • If you have to move, do so at night when there are likely to be fewer people about. Early in the morning is also ideal.
  • Do what you can to go undetected. Be quiet and do your best to avoid being noticed by others.
self defense class If you have tried your best to avoid a situation and it is just inevitable, you must be prepared to defend yourself, mentally. Yes, your mindset plays a huge role in self-defense.
  • Get ready now. Do not put it off.
  • In a physical assault, you must set your mind to being victorious or at least left alive. Do not give up.
  • Mentally prepare yourself to deliver an incredible “violence of action.” Physically, you must be prepared to dole out more, repeated violence on your attacker.
  • If possible, take some kind of formal martial arts training 2 to 3 days a week. Keep in mind, the real world is not exactly like your martial arts studio.
These are just a few tips. These suggestions are not meant to be your comprehensive guide to self-defense. This is a good place to start. Find somebody in your area who can provide you with professional instruction. In the meantime, you can get yourself in good physical shape.

Craig Caudill puts together disaster survival kits for Dan’s Depot. He also teaches at his Nature Reliance School.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Updating Your Survival Kit: 13 Things You Might Not Think to Include

When putting together a survival kit, everyone knows to include food, water and some kind of shelter. But besides waterproof matches, iodine tablets and a flashlight with spare batteries, what extras do you need?


Especially if you aren't roughing it, you don't want to look (or smell) like you are. Include toilet paper, pack a small kit with travel-size shampoo, lotion, sunscreen, soap and deodorant. Tuck in a toothbrush and toothpaste, as well as contacts and solution if you wear them, a comb and feminine products if you are a woman.

Hand-Crank radio

Great because you won't need to pack extra batteries, a hand-crank radio is a necessary edition to your survival bag. It can provide information about world events or weather conditions if you are stranded or on the run.

Garbage Bags

Useful buggers, garbage bags can be torn to wear as a poncho or tied to keep things sanitary. Fold a few and keep them in your bag for whatever needs may arise.

Portable Power

A compact portable-power source is easy to include in your survival kit and handy for several reasons. You may need to make a life-saving call, or power your phone to access helpful apps. Some security systems allow users to view video feeds from their phone, including home alarm systems from This could be useful if you need to see what's going on at home before you go inside.


Pack a whistle in case you need to signal for help. Most dollar stores carry them by the bagful.


In some situations, greenbacks will get you absolutely nothing. But in others, cold hard cash will do the trick. Keep a wad of bills in your bag, but store them in separate pockets so you aren't easily robbed.


No matter the reason you are on the run, you will inevitably have some downtime. Whether it's your turn at night-watch duty or you are stuck on floor at a bus station, you'll need something to do. Pack a deck of cards or Rubik's Cube to keep yourself from going insane.

First-aid Kit

If you don't want to buy a pre-packaged one, make one yourself. Gather up a few bandages, sterilizing creams, latex gloves and pain killers. If you are on prescription medication, include a week's worth of it in your bag. Instead of including scissors, slip in a multi-tool pocket knife.


Depending on what type of emergency you are preparing for, pack clothes to fit the part. If you think you may be roughing it in the wilderness, pack sturdy shoes and a sweatshirt. If it's a storm evacuation you are worried about, fresh underwear and socks will do.

Copies of Important Documents

Depending on the emergency, a copy of your passport, medical insurance, credit card information and photo identification can be helpful and while it may not be enough it can at least speed up the process.

Contact Information

Chances are you rely on your cell phone a little too much. Write down emergency contact information and other details you'd need if you couldn't turn on your phone. Put them in a plastic baggy before including them in your survival bag.


A small, foldable, emergency space blanket that can fit in your pocket cost about $3 at Walmart. They reflect and retain body heat and are waterproof, meaning you don't need to pack a poncho.

Recent Photos

A few recent photos serve several purposes: not only will they be nice to look at if you are bored or lonely, but they could be used to identify you or whoever you are with in case something goes awry.

Frank Wood
Frank encourages all homeowners to protect their investment and get a top-notch security system. He also shares other tips on how you can protect your home.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

PVC Prepper Ideas - 10 Ways to Use PVC Pipe for Survival

PVC Pipe When it comes time to put your preparedness to the test it will be all about making the most of what you have. Lucky for you, if you have PVC, there are a plethora of things you can make. PVC is light weight, inexpensive, easy to assemble, and highly durable. Here are just some of the ways PVC can come in handy in a survival situation.

PVC Survival Cache

Many preppers have taken up caching supplies. This is where you put together a small collection of things you might need and hide or burry them in designated places only you know about. PVC makes a great cache storage container. Take a length of PVC pipe in whatever diameter you need to fit your supplies. Use two PVC caps or threaded plugs to close up the ends and secure them with some PVC cement to make a closure that’s watertight. (See instructions at

PVC Survival Fishing Kit

There are a few absolute necessities to survival. One of those is a food source. Try using about a foot of 1-1/2 or 2” PVC pipe and fit it with two end caps. Inside store hooks, weights, floats and fishing line. Tie some durable rope around it to make a handle, and you have a self-contained fishing kit.

PVC Longbow

In situations where you aren’t near water, you might want to try your luck on land. You can make a pretty nice longbow from PVC pipe and bow string. Take about six feet of ½” PVC pipe. Mark off a foot long section in the center of the pipe for your handle. Cut or shave the surrounding pipe along the front side to allow for bending. Make a notch at each end for the string and stretch it tight as your bend the bow to shape. Tie it off and you’re ready for action.

PVC Blow Gun

Shooting for smaller game? Simple blow guns have been used for centuries to hunt birds and small animals. These air-propelled weapons can be extremely accurate, and can be used with metal, wood or clay ammunition. All you need is a 5-6” length of small diameter PVC pipe. Insert your dart, aim, and blow.

PVC Well Bucket

A well can be an invaluable resource – if you can get to the water that is. Create a retrieval bucket using a PVC pipe with end cap and a hole drilled in the cap. Insert a bulb syringe and attach a weight to the end. Tie the pipe to a length of rope and lower into the well. The bulb will act like a check valve, allowing water into the pipe as you lower it down, but stopping up the hole as you raise it up. If you want to get more advanced try an actual PVC check valve Z (styles to choose from).

PVC Chicken Feeder

Keeping your own chickens is a great way to provide your family with eggs and meat without having to rely on other sources. PVC pipe and fittings can make wonderful livestock feeders. Try using a length of pipe vertically with an elbow and second length of pipe attached to the bottom. Drill holes in the bottom pipe for animals to get to the feed. Cap off both pipe ends – leaving the top cap removable. Pour your feed into the top of the vertical pipe, and as the animals eat, more will be released. Experiment to find the best design for your unique setup.

PVC Planter

A fruit and vegetable garden can be an affordable and sustainable food source for survivalists. Try making your own portable planters by taking PVC pipe and laying it down horizontally. Cut out a section of the top of the pipe for the plants to grow out off. Cap off the ends to hold in the dirt, and drill small holes for drainage. These PVC planters take up minimal space and can be stacked on racks for convenience. Move them indoors during cold spells or to keep them out of sight.

PVC Soap Mold

In a survival situation hygiene might not be the first thing on your mind, but if you’ve made the proper preparations, you’ll be around long enough to start stinking. Consider keeping a small length of PVC pipe on hand to use as a homemade soap mold. Use a removable cap one on one side. When it’s set, the two open ends make it easy to push out the soap and start scrubbing up.

Makeshift PVC Sink

Since you have soap, you might as well have a nice fresh water sink to wash in. Take two five gallon buckets, one for clean water and one for waste water. Install a PVC pipeline from the clean water bucket and add a PVC ball valve to the end for easy on/off function. Elevate the clean barrel using PVC scaffolding so it’s above the waste barrel and you’re good to go. Add a big plastic bowl with drain hole over the waste bucket if you really want to get fancy with it.

PVC Periscope

Have an underground bunker (things to consider) or just want to keep an eye out for intruders without being seen? Try making a periscope using two feet of PVC pipe, two 90 degree PVC elbows, and two small mirrors. Position the mirrors at 45 degree angles in each elbow and glue into place. For extra cover spray paint the PVC to match your surroundings.

These are only a few of the many ways PVC can be used for survival. Remember, PVC is inexpensive and easy to find now, but in a doomsday situation it might not be. Have your own ideas for using PVC or detailed instructions for one of the items above? Share them with your fellow preppers here.

This list of PVC Prepper Ideas was created and brought to you by Amanda Hill a PVC project expert. Amanda contributes to Commercial Industrial Supply's Resource Center. To connect with Amanda or ask her questions follow her on twitter @AmandaBlogsPVC

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

How Cyprus' Bailout Affects Stock Markets and the Euro Zone Crisis

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Almost all newspaper headlines from around the world have these very words screaming at you, ‘Cyprus saved from disaster’. But let not this bold, black and white letters fool you. Cyprus may be saved, although for the moment, but Europe is still very much a boiling hot mess. You might think that staying in the other end of the world keeps you save from the financial crisis of Cyprus, but that actually may not be the case. It is very important to understand the Cyprus financial crisis, Cyprus bailout and its possible effects on the stock market. It is important to also note that the Cyprus bailout may affect the Euro Zone crisis as well. Before we dwell deep into these murky topics, let’s first understand the Cyprus crisis and the bail out in detail.


Cyprus, a small island nation nestled in between Greece, Syria, Israel, Egypt and other countries, joined the European Union in the year 2004. It adopted the Euro sometime in 2008. Although Cyprus accounts for a bare minimum of 0.2% of European Union’s annual output, it was until recently known as a safe haven in the banking sector. Many rich multinational corporations and Russians reached the banks of Cyprus for many years. The reason for this was the country’s political stability and economic status prior to its sudden collapse.

Cyprus Financial Crisis:

Called as the Cypriot Financial Crisis, it involved Cypriot banks and their reaction to their neighboring country Greek’s Debt Crisis. This was further accentuated by the fact that Cypriot’s economy status was reduced to an abysmally low rating by international rating agencies such as Moody’s and Fitch and S&P. The domino effect of the financial crisis of Greece and Ireland was felt even in Cyprus.

Another reason for the fall in economy was due to the steep fall in its tourism and shipping sectors as well. The Cyprus economy contracted and the rate of unemployment shot up alarmingly, the investors didn’t turn up and the banks were running almost dry. This pushed the economy in to recession.

The Cyprus economy, unlike other economies, is a strange contradiction in itself. The country’s complete economic output is less than 25% of its bank deposits. This disproportion between the countries economy and its banking sector was huge enough to mean that a collapse of the Cypriot banks ultimately had a catastrophic effect on its already fragile economy.

Cyprus Bail Out:

The Cyprus bailout, sealed in the small hours of Monday, aimed at pulling the island nation out of bankruptcy. According to the deal, Cyprus is to receive €10 billion from the EU-IMF officials. Furthermore, all bank deposits amounting to more than €100,000 will attract a one-off bank deposit levy of 6.7% and higher deposits will attract a 9.9% tax. Cyprus’s second most popular bank was closed and all its assets are to be transferred to the Bank of Cyprus. The bailout money cannot be used by the Bank of Cyprus to recapitalize itself. Measures have been put in place to prevent excessive withdrawal or money transfers from the bank as well. Although Cyprus, presently, is sitting pretty on the €10 billion cushion, the deal includes restructuring the complete Cyprus banking structure.

Cyprus banks were closed over the weekend to prevent excessive bank runs. The population of Cyprus has been restricted to using cash transactions only.

Cyprus Deal and its Effects on Stock Market:

Even as many analysts say that the savers would be compensated for any losses they may incur by bank shares, the public don’t seem to be sharing the same enthusiasm. The stock markets around the world seemed volatile after the controversial Cyprus deal. Euro tumbled in Asia trade, falling below its lowest level this year. The Asian Stock Markets were colored red as fears of another recession loomed large. It was not only the Asian Stock Markets that reacted to the Cyprus bailout; European markets fell sharply as well. There were more concerns after key officials suggested that the Cyprus deal would be used as a model to bail out other struggling economies like Slovenia, Malta and Luxemburg.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said that he had to accept to the bailout deal and to tax bank deposits in order to receive international aid. He went on to say that without the deal the island nation would be reeling under the threat of bankruptcy. In exchange for the €10 billion bailout deal, Cyprus agreed to revamp its banking sector, reduce its budget, increase taxes, implement more stringent economic reforms, reduce withdrawals, retain currency within its borders and privatize many state assets.

This deal has further intensified the eurozone crisis, as the continuation of the present day eurozone is threatened. The crisis can actually also pose a grave threat to Euro to recover any of its potentialities. But when the banks did reopen on Thursday, after remaining closed for nearly two weeks, there was palpable anger and pain among its people. Cash laden trucks were shipped around Cyprus to make sure that when the banks opened, they would be having sufficient funds to manage. Cyprus, for now, seems calm and composed. But when the dust settles down, the Cyprus deal will resemble a jumbled and botched up bailout deal that threatens to engulf the whole nation.

This is a guest post by Mark Bennett of, a site that offers savings and current information on comcast bundle deals.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Doomsday Giveaway for April 2013!

For our April 2013 giveaway, we are proud to be sponsored by Food Insurance Emergency Supply Food at They would like to give away two awesome prizes. They have a box of Freeze Dried Ice Cream Sandwiches, and a Water Bottle with Filter.

The Water Bottle & Filter is a perfect addition to your survival bag, for outdoor activities, or any other place you will need clean drinking water. Features of this water bottle as indicated on the Food Insurance Web Site are:

  • Safely removes 99.9% of giardia and cryptosporidium.
  • Removes organic sediment and other contaminants.
  • Removes chlorine taste.
  • Each filter treats up to 460 refills (100 gallons).
More information is available at the Food Insurance web site.

Freeze Dried Ice Cream Sandwiches! Need I say more? This is a a good mood food addition to your survival food cache or maybe just a fun way to get introduced to Freeze Dried Foods.

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. You can follow Food Insurance as well. Easy as that. On May 1st we will select the winner. Good luck!

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