Sunday, September 29, 2013

Top Five Rifles to Buy Before an Assault Weapons Ban

With a renewed push from the Obama administration to impose new, more restrictive gun control legislation following yet another poorly reported on shooting, this time at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington DC, American's are in for another round of devastating blows to their second amendment rights. Gun owners and second amendment rights advocates across the nation know that it is not a matter of if but a matter of when, and many are scrambling to buy up as many of the items that are in the cross-hairs of Diane Feinstein and the Obama administration as they possibly can while they are still available to civilians. In light of recent events, I thought now a better time than ever to examine the firearms that will undoubtedly soon be banned, and put together a buyer’s guide of sorts with my views and opinions about the best firearms to purchase in preparation for a doomsday scenario before a ban is put into action. Each of the items listed has its own merits, strengths, and weaknesses. I will go in depth about the pros and cons of each, and do my best to mitigate risk of any first time buyer mistakes (some drawn from my own personal experience).

  1. AR-15

    ar-15 photo: ar-15 IMG_6162640x427.jpg The AR15 is one of the most widely produced rifles in America, largely due to its highly customizable, versatile, and user friendly design that allows shooters to tailor their rifle to their liking with ease. The AR15 operates on a direct impingement gas system, and is commonly chambered in 5.56/.223. The AR15 platform is the base of the military rifles M16 and the shorter M4A1, and is the most widely used combat rifle by US soldiers and special operations law enforcement. One of the most common mistakes made by first time buyers is thinking that all AR's are the same thing with a different logo on the box, but there are definitely differences in quality and versatility which buyers should be mindful of when selecting which one(s) to spend their hard earn dollars on. High end rifles, like anything else of quality in this world, do not come cheap. You may be able to find a screaming deal on a particular make or model, but when you are talking about something you will have for the rest of your life; something you soon will never have the opportunity to purchase again and something you may trust your life to in a crisis scenario, going for the cheapest option is never a good idea (in my humble opinion). That said, let’s talk about what to look for. For a first time buyer who has little experience with the AR platform, it can be very easy to get lost in the weeds and stuck in the mindset that an AR is an AR. This was my problem when I purchased my first AR a few years ago. I didn't really know what I wanted or what to look for, and I couldn't really tell the difference between one of the $3k rifles and one of the $700 rifles on the wall. This was back in the days when you could actually get a complete mil-spec AR15 of relatively good quality for $700 at the local gun store. Now, prices have literally doubled, supply has decreased and demand has dramatically increased, and you can’t even get a high quality lower receiver for under $250. But I digress, let’s talk pros and cons of the AR15 platform.

    The AR15 platform has been around for a long time, and although there are newer 5.56 caliber military style rifles that have been introduced as an alternative to the AR15, none have been as widely tested and improved by military and law enforcement use than the AR15. Because they have been around for so long and have proven to be relatively dependable, the aftermarket parts that are available for mil-spec AR15 rifles outnumber any other of the proprietary AR15 offshoots such as the Bushmaster ACR or SCAR 16. Basically, the classic AR15 design has time on its side. Ammunition availability is something else you need to consider, especially if you are preparing for a doomsday scenario. The classic AR15 is chambered in the battle tested 5.56 NATO caliber which has been in use by US military and special law enforcement for decades. Not only does the AR15 use the popular 5.56 NATO round, but it is capable of firing several other calibers by swapping out the upper receiver. What this means is that in theory, you could purchase an AR15 chambered in 5.56 NATO, and purchase a couple complete barreled upper receivers in different calibers such as 300 Blackout and .458 SOCOM and have the ability to change your AR15’s caliber in a matter of minutes with no gunsmithing required. This gives you the option of having even more versatility than you would already have with a classic AR15 platform. Due to the small caliber and high velocity of the 5.56 round, rapid fire is very easy while staying on target.

    Some of the strengths of this rifle are negated by its weaknesses. Stopping power is one area where the AR15 leaves something to be desired. The 5.56 NATO caliber offers high velocity and little recoil, but since it is essentially a necked out .22, it lacks the stopping power of a bigger round such as a .308. The smaller, high velocity 5.56 NATO round allows for rapid fire without compromising accuracy due to high recoil and muzzle climb as with larger calibers. It also allows you carry more rounds without weighing you down, which can be a bigger deal than you might think if you are running around with a rifle slung on your shoulder. You will also notice that the 5.56 caliber rounds cannot penetrate through certain objects that a target may be located behind the way higher caliber rounds can. Depending on what you are preparing for, this may be something to consider when making the decision what to buy first. 5.56 NATO is definitely not a round designed for bear hunting, but still can be extremely effective due to the way the round “tumbles” after penetrating its target. Cost can be another drawback for a high quality AR15. You aren’t going to find anything of quality for under $1,000 in this political climate, and that is just for a barebones model with none of the bells and whistles. It is an investment that will not depreciate however, so keep that in mind when you are shopping.

  2. AK47

    ak47 photo: ak47 AK47.jpg The AK47 is another battle tested rifle that has been around for several decades. Its simple design makes it extremely reliable, known worldwide for its durability and effectiveness at close to medium range. It is by no means a tack driver, but it was not designed to be one either. Its rugged minimalistic design is what has kept it in use for so many years without being replaced by more advanced small arms technology. There have been improvements made to the AK platform by the Izhmash factory in Russia where the Russian military and police force’s weapons are made, but those improvements have also driven up the cost. The classic AK47 platform operates on a gas piston system and are chambered in 7.62x39 caliber. They are known for being dirty and difficult to keep clean, mainly due to the gas piston system by which they operate. They are also known for having extremely noticeable muzzle climb, which significantly impacts accuracy especially when firing multiple shots in rapid succession. Although they are not known for their accuracy, there is no denying that the classic 7.62x39 AK round gets the job done. There is an old saying that goes something like “An AR15 is like a prom queen, she’s sexy and will do what you want if you treat her well. An AK47 is like a biker chick; she’s not that pretty, but she will get the job done every time you pick her up no matter how you treat her.” I think that’s a great (and colorful) way to describe the AK47 and compare it to the AR15.

    Because of its simplicity, you know that it is going to shoot every time you pick it up and pull the trigger. It is not susceptible to the same kind of issues that cause malfunctions in the field as an AR15, however by that same token, it is nowhere near as accurate (or as sexy). You have to be a bit more careful when shopping for an AK than you need to be when shopping for an AR platform rifle. There are a lot of low quality AK’s on the market that are poorly made, most from Romania, and some from poorly put together build kits form other parts of the world. The Romanian WASR 10 is notorious for being a low quality rifle that will likely give you more problems than its worth. These WASR 10’s and the slightly improved WASR 10/63’s are known for lacking the dimple in the receiver and having a lot of magazine wobble, canted sights, and poorly machined, rough internals which are prone to sticking. Some people swear that WASR’s don’t deserve their bad reputation and love their WASR 10, but in my opinion those bad reputations were hard earned and nobody who wants a quality firearm should purchase one of them. The Arsenal/Saiga AK47’s however are excellent and have redeemed the AK platform among gun collectors and AK enthusiasts. The receivers are double the thickness of a WASR, and that makes them significantly more accurate and reduces recoil. If you want a quality AK, a Saiga is the way to go. Saiga’s (also known as Arsenal AK’s) are genuine Russian AK47’s made in the Russian Izhmash factory that supplies their military and law enforcement. Having owned both, I can tell you with absolute certainty that they are the real deal, and they are the best AK’s on the market. I would recommend staying away from any rifle with WASR in the name.

    A battle tested 30 caliber round that is relatively inexpensive and easy to locate. These Kalashnikov style weapons are used all over the world, so finding ammunition in a crisis scenario shouldn’t be very difficult. AK47 rifles are extremely durable and can be thrown in water, sand, dirt, mud, and face extreme weather conditions without failing or having any functionality issues. This is one of the most, if not the most durable rifle you can buy. Pair that with the stopping power of the 7.62x39 caliber round and you have a true battle rifle. Cost of a high quality Saiga AK47 is higher than you would see one of the lower quality WASR 10’s priced at, but even the top of the line Saiga’s are reasonably priced considering what you are getting. Like the AR15, these rifles have time on their side, and there are many aftermarket parts available to customize your weapon to your liking. Also, because they utilize a gas piston system, there is no need for a buffer tube. This means if you are so inclined, you can modify your rifle to have an under-folding or side-folding stock, or no stock at all. They are relatively lightweight as well, which comes in handy if you plan on using high capacity steel surplus magazines.

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of cons for this particular item. One of the biggest is range and accuracy. There is a lot of debate about accuracy from AK enthusiasts, but in my experience it is not a very accurate rifle. The higher quality Saiga AK’s have improved range and accuracy due to the lessened recoil which is made possible by the thicker receiver (2mm vs the WASR 10 at 1mm), but they still kick like a mule and it is hard to keep on target when firing multiple shots in rapid succession. Another issue that is common with AK’s is the greasy buildup in the internals that seems almost impossible to get clean. If you have ever tried to clean an AK you know what I am talking about. While this can be lessened by using high quality ammunition, it is still an AK and it was basically designed to run dirty. Some people dislike the “rock and lock” motion that is required to insert a magazine into the gun as well. It isn’t a straight forward push to lock the magazine in the mag well like you would have on an AR15, but rather a front to back rocking motion that takes some getting used to and can slow you down if you aren’t familiar with it.

  3. Saiga 12 (also referred to as AK-12)

    saiga 12 photo: Saiga 12 Saiga12.jpg Here is another product of the Izhmash factory in Russia that I just couldn’t keep off of this list. It is one of the most unique and powerful weapons available to civilians without a class three license that I have ever come across. The Saiga 12 is patterned after the Kalashnikov platform, and looks almost identical to the Saiga AK47. What makes the gun so unique though is it is a semi-automatic shotgun (which is also available in select fire for military or law enforcement, allowing it to run fully automatic). If you are familiar with the Striker or Street-sweeper shotguns that were banned under the Clinton administration and classified as destructive devices, picture one of those with a detachable drum rather than having a cylindrical magazine built in to the weapon itself. It can accept both stick magazines and drums, which at present time are available at high capacity up to 30 rounds. Let that sink in for a minute – a semi-automatic shotgun with a 30 round drum. To be honest, after playing with one of these, I was extremely surprised that they were ever allowed to be sold to civilians in the first place considering the way magazine fed shotguns have been demonized and outlawed over the past twenty years. I don’t see any tangible difference between the Saiga 12 and the Striker or Street sweeper in terms of lethality, which have cylindrical magazines built into the weapon itself like one big revolver that shoots three inch 12 gauge shells. In fact, I would go as far as saying the Saiga 12 packs more firepower and potential for destruction than either of the above mentioned shotguns that have been classified as class three destructive devices. With the Striker or street sweeper, you are limited in your shell capacity and reload ability due to the magazine’s positioning within the gun. Reloading is not as simple as dropping a magazine or drum and locking in another one that has been pre-loaded. In theory, you could have multiple high capacity magazines or drums already loaded and ready to go when you are out of ammo, and swapping out mags would only take about five seconds. It is hard to wrap your brain around just how devastating the Saiga 12 can be, so I highly recommend checking out a video on YouTube of someone dumping a full 20 or 30 round drum. Watch one or two of those videos, and just try not to be tempted to buy one. It’s not an easy thing to do. This gun is truly unique and I can’t say enough good things about it. If you are a zombie prepper, this is the weapon for you.

    Versatility and stopping power top the list of pros for this one. Not too many things are going to be able to stand up to 20 or 30 buckshot shells, 12 gauge slugs, or both, being fired in rapid succession. Believe it or not, there are also a pretty good amount of aftermarket parts to customize your Saiga 12 as well, especially considering it has only been on the market for such a short amount of time. Just picture an AK47 that fires twelve gauge shotgun shells rather than the traditional 7.62x39 caliber rounds. Essentially, if you are using 00 buckshot, you are firing eight 30 caliber rounds each time you pull the trigger. Shotgun ammunition is far more plentiful and inexpensive than rifle ammunition as well, so this is a prepper’s dream gun for everything from home defense to zombie slaying.

    The cons that come to mind when I think about a Saiga 12 are almost non-issues, however I am very partial to this gun so you may feel differently about them than I do. Range and accuracy is a factor due to the nature of all shotguns, since they are meant to spread out over a target area and get more loosely grouped the further they travel. However, with the ability to mount optics and use solid rifled slugs rather than shot shells, this is a gun that can handle a lot more than your average 12 gauge shotgun. Another issue is that if you buy this gun out of the box from a retailer, it will not come standard with a pistol grip, or room to add one. In order to set the Saiga 12 up in standard AK configuration, there will be some minor gunsmithing involved to move the trigger group forward to allow room for a pistol grip to be installed. Any gunsmith can do this for you (legally) in less than an hour, or if you don’t want to alter the standard factory configuration on your gun, there are aftermarket stocks with a rear pistol grip that hangs behind the receiver instead of being installed directly into the receiver itself which can be installed at home with no gunsmithing involved whatsoever. This gives the gun kind of a Frankenstein look, and definitely isn’t as sleek or tactical as a fully converted Saiga 12 would be, but it is functional and gives you a pistol grip without having to change the internal configuration. The gun is also very heavy, especially with a loaded high capacity drum on it, so running and gunning with this gun is not exactly easy like it is with an AR or AK.

  4. Ruger 10/22

    Ruger-1022 Ok, before you dismiss this one as a kids gun hear me out. The Ruger 10/22 is an American classic. I never thought I would writing an article which included it among a list of “assault rifles”, but due to the features of the rifle it is in fact considered an assault rifle and made its way to the ban list that was put together by California’s most detrimental politician Diane Feinstein (needless to say, I am not a big fan of hers). Hence its name, the Ruger 10/22 is chambered in .22LR and is a starter rifle that is most often used for target practice or squirrel, rabbit, and groundhog hunting or kept in the back of a truck on a ranch to fend off coyotes posing a threat to livestock. But don’t let the small caliber fool you, this gun has its place in both your gun safe and emergency preparedness kit. In a doomsday scenario, it is likely that .22 caliber ammunition will be one of the easiest to find. Additionally, in a survival situation, this gun can keep you alive and kill your dinner without drawing attention to yourself the way loud large caliber shots would. Sticking a can or plastic bottle on the end of the barrel will muffle the noise made by shooting the rifle and give you as close to a silent firearm you can get without a suppressor. Aside from its use as a survival tool, these things are just plain fun to shoot and have virtually no recoil. People love customizing these little rifles, so there are a lot of tactical aftermarket parts and kits to make it both look cool and improve the shooting experience.

    .22LR ammunition is dirt cheap and easy to find, which as I have stated a couple times already, can make a big difference in a crisis scenario. Another one of this rifles most significant pros is the relatively quiet report when fired which could come in handy if you are in a doomsday situation and don’t want to draw attention to yourself or give away your position. The sound can be further diminished with a makeshift suppressor made from an empty soda bottle if you need to keep quiet. The 10/22 is lightweight and easy to travel on foot with. The simple, classic design makes it easy to clean and maintain, and it is extremely reliable. It is a highly customizable rifle that can be tailored to meet your specific needs or just to spruce up the cosmetics to make it a bit more aggressive looking and intimidating. Cost for this rifle is exceptionally affordable (the least expensive gun on the ban list) at less than $400.

    Obviously, as with any .22 caliber firearm, the stopping power is minimal. If you think a 5.56 NATO round leaves a lot to be desired, you will have a lot more to complain about with .22LR. Range is also less than stellar due to the light weight of the bullet, so don’t expect to be making thousand yard shots with this one.

  5. FN Herstal SCAR 17s

    SCAR 17s photo: Scar 17S IMG_2437_zpsf4c98b68.jpg This rifle is the most expensive and largest caliber on the list. It comes at a high cost for a reason, however; you are paying for one the best and most impressive large frame semi-automatic AR style rifles currently on the civilian market. The SCAR 17s is the civilian legal version the SCAR 17h, a rifle developed for military use chambered in 7.62x51 NATO/.308 WIN. The SCAR 17s is the big brother of the SCAR 16s, which is chambered in 5.56 NATO and was designed by FN Herstal to be a candidate to replace the M16 and M4 in military operations. The SCAR 17s is to the SCAR 16s what the AR-10 is to the AR-15; a larger frame version chambered in a larger caliber, but keeping the same basic parts, design, profile and functionality. The SCAR 17s is built on a gas piston operating system similar to the AK47, but unlike the AK platform it is fully ambidextrous with a modular design that is very easy to disassemble, clean, and reassemble. A true battle rifle, this weapon is capable of making the long shots that the smaller frame AR style rifles cannot, and penetrate cover that would stand in the way of the smaller caliber AR’s chambered in 5.56/.223. The stopping power of this rifle is outstanding, utilizing the large battle tested 7.62x51 NATO round that is big enough to stop just about anything that stands in its way. The SCAR 17s has a side-folding stock that is also telescopic and has a built-in adjustable cheek riser, making it extremely versatile and capable of both mid-range and long-range accuracy. Due to its advanced design, the SCAR 17s does not have the serious recoil you would expect from a .308. A lot of time and testing went into designing this rifle for military use, designed to replace the classic M1 in military and special law enforcement operations, and it is currently being integrated into military installations around the world. When it comes to a heavy hitting round like the .308, you won’t find a better semi-automatic military style rifle than the SCAR 17s.

    The firepower of the SCAR 17s is unmatched when it comes to semi-automatic .308 caliber battle rifles, and drastic improvements have been made over the more traditional AR-10 or SR-25 chambered in the same caliber. The heavy hitting round offers great stopping power in a battle tested NATO round, which can take down anything from a deer to a bear in one shot. The SCAR 17s has very little recoil for a .308 and feels more like a 5.56 when shooting due to the advanced design. The low recoil combined with the advanced modular design of this rifle allows the shooter to be more accurate when firing multiple shots in rapid succession. Built-in flip-up back up sights provide a secondary mode of target acquisition should your optics fail during use. The folding stock offers versatility and maneuverability when moving through tight areas, and makes transportation easier as well.

    Although I am a huge fan of the SCAR 17s, it does have a few drawbacks. First off, it is a very expensive rifle. After tax, DROS and background check fees, you won’t get out of the shop with this rifle without dropping nearly $3,500 for a factory model with no upgrades or modifications. Especially considering the current political situation inflating costs, this is going to hit your wallet hard. Having said that, it is worth every dime in my opinion to have this rifle in your gun safe. Ammunition for this rifle is also going to be expensive and potentially more difficult to find compared to other calibers. Especially if you are looking for high quality factory loads like those offered by Barnes, you are going to be looking at about $2 per round right now depending on what state you live in. Because of the higher cost of the ammo, it may be a bit harder to come by in a SHTF situation. Low availability is another issue you will come across if you decide you want to purchase a SCAR 17s. They are one of the more difficult to find “assault rifles” due to high demand from both military and civilian purchasers alike, and because of that scarcity the price markup will be considerable. It is also a heavy weapon, especially when fully loaded with a 20 round magazine, so moving quickly with the rifle is not as easy as it would be with a lighter AR15 or AK47. One other drawback of the SCAR 17s is the proprietary FN magazines it uses, which cost about $100 each for a twenty round magazine. Unlike many other rifles including the AR15 and AK47, there are no aftermarket magazines available that fit the SCAR 17 mag well, so extra mags are expensive and difficult to find. I have heard that aftermarket magazines for the SCAR 17 are currently being developed, but as of now they are not yet available. One other thing to point out that some may consider to be a drawback is the reciprocating charging handle. Similar to the AK charging handle, the SCAR 17s charging handle reciprocates with each shot. This can add extra kick and make it slightly more difficult to maintain your aim the way you can with an AR15 which has a charging handle that does not reciprocate on one side of the firearm. It can also cause malfunctions if the shooters hand gets in the way while firing the weapon. There are varied opinions about this, some people like it and some hate it, and it’s really just a matter of personal preference.

Author Bio – Brandon Honeycutt writes and coordinates community outreach for The Law Office of Vikas Bajaj, a San Diego criminal defense law firm. Brandon moonlights as a freelance journalist and can be found on Twitter @seoallday.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Canine Protection Dog for Your Home

You probably already realize the benefits associated with having a protection dog around the house. However, what’s the difference between having a “guard dog” and a trained protection dog? We’ve compiled a list of differences between your average guard dog and a trained protection dog. It’s normal to weigh the pros and cons, but don’t let misconceptions get in your way when it comes to providing your family with canine security.

Protection Dog

  1. Flexibility & Focus

    Guard dogs will bark at everyone, and everything. Guard dogs are meant to alert humans of a change in circumstances; the arrival of the UPS truck, the mail truck, or a stranger walking toward the premises. A trained protection dog, in comparison, is trained to sense danger, and react to that danger. Protection dogs are trained to handle a variety of social situations, to ensure predictable, controlled behavior, no matter where the dog is called to go. If you throw a party and invite many people, including small children and other dogs, a guard dog will become distracted. New smells, new situations, and a guard dog can quickly drop their guard or lash out unexpectedly. In comparison, a trained protection dog’s role does not change, no matter who comes to your home. Instincts kick in, and the dog is more than capable of mingling with a variety of age groups and situations.

  2. Temperament

    Many people think that a guard dog who is vicious to everyone but their family will make a good guard dog. This gives families a false sense of protection; as dogs who are known to be vicious can be unpredictable. What if someone who is helping your family approaches? Will someone be able to hold the dog back in case of emergency? Protection dogs are not vicious, and they receive specialized training to use natural instincts to detect danger. They are also trained to respond to commands, and demonstrate obedience. A protection dog chosen for home use is handpicked from birth based on a number of qualities. They are extremely adaptable based on circumstances, and do not exhibit aggressive behavior as a means of defense. German Shepherds in particular make loving and loyal protection dogs which can be trusted with children.

  3. Dominance

    When people think of a guard dog, they often picture a dog as a leader of dogs in the household. However, protection dogs will not hurt other dogs or attack other animals to show dominance. The only thing a protection dog will attack is someone, or something, threatening you. Your pets are members of your family, and a new living security system will understand and respect that.

  4. Proven Reliability

    Guard dog training is minimal. Usually, a guard dog is selected based on its size, breed, and level of intimidation. Even when training is given, guard dogs have not been exposed to and trained for circumstances involved in protecting a family. They may have been trained to attack; but have they been taught to sense danger? To protect without attacking? Have they been exposed to children of all sizes, and other pets? A trained protection dog has been expertly trained for all situations, so protective behavior is consistent, and can give owners peace of mind.

This article was contributed by the Wayne Simanovich team, a leader in German Shepherd Protection Dog Training. Learn more about protection dogs on their website.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Top Tools for Woodland Survival in a Zombie Apocalypse

Picnic Cinema: 28 Days Later Zombie Campover July 2013
Picnic Cinema: 28 Days Later Zombie Campover July 2013 by Porphyria Poppins, on Flickr

If you’re fleeing the city because of a zombie apocalypse (not again!), it is useful to know how to handle yourself in the woods. And remember to pay attention now because the internet may not be up and running if the undead are stalking the earth. Or your iPhone battery could run out.

If you are prepared to spend some time in the woods your chances of surviving and even thriving are much higher when it comes time to leave your comfortable home behind. Think Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator. If you are prepared for the worst, you could be the bad-ass guy rigging traps and sharpening handmade spears, muscles rippling under your ripped army shirt. Maybe not the last bit.

So what do you need to look after yourself out in the backwoods alone and how can you be ready for this eventuality? Here are a few pieces of kit you might want to invest in now, because the local stores will probably look like Dawn of the Dead at the time you need to flee.

Woodland Survival Tools

Chainsaw: If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in a forest it’s wise to have some quality pieces of forestry kit. The ideal items would include a chainsaw – of course! A chainsaw will allow you to cut wood to make a shelter – preferably high off the ground for safety – and to make fires for warmth and cooking. A chainsaw will also come in very handy if any of your living dead buddies make it out to the woods. Take off their heads and you’re safe once again.

Hatchet: A hatchet is another useful item for woodland AND zombie survival. Again you can use it for chopping wood – and more quietly than with a chainsaw, which could be vital – and it will double as a deadly weapon if AND WHEN it’s needed.

Compass and map: These days the most navigating the majority of people do is on their smartphone. And GPS may work for some time in a zombie apocalypse. But when batteries run out and systems crash you will be glad you have a map and compass. It will help you find suitable camping ground in as safe a spot as possible. And if you need to run again you can use your old school navigation tools to plan an effective escape route.

Bow and arrow: Of course guns are the most effective weapons for hunting – and self-defence from gruesome zombies – but a bow and set of arrows is better if you’re going to spend some time deep in the woods. Bullets run out and guns are loud, drawing attention to your position. A bow and arrow, on the other hand, is silent and you can make new ammo at any time.

Hunting knife: Of course you couldn’t live it up in the woods without a quality hunting knife. You’ve seen Rambo; a hunting knife is essential and amazingly versatile! And with packs of hungry undead strolling around an extra weapon is always welcome.

Invest in some survival tools now and you will be king of the woods, dispatching zombies at every turn and eating fire-roasted meat in your treetop pad. And do it quickly, because they’re coming...

Author bio: Sam Butterworth is a writer, a fan of classic horror flicks and a proponent of the virtues of preparedness for a zombie apocalypse. He is known to wear audacious facial hair, velvet jackets and leopard print boots (not ideal for woodland camouflage!)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

5 Different Methods of Starting a Fire without Wood

camp fire photo: Our camp fire juuustthefamily052.jpg

How to Build a Fire without Wood

Some survivalists would say the ability to make a fire is right behind water, food, and shelter when it comes to the most important things in a survival situation. Knowing how to properly build a fire is an essential necessity for survivalists and camping enthusiasts alike, but what if you had to build a fire without wood - would you know how? Is it even possible to build a fire without wood? Yes, it is entirely possible and there are actually quite a few ways to achieve this. Read on to learn the top five ways to build a fire without wood.

Before Building a Fire Outdoors

If you’re planning on building a fire in the great outdoors while camping out, then the very first thing you’ll want to do is look into the park rules of where you’ll be camping. A permit may be required, so you’ll definitely want to look into that. You should also learn about fire safety, as well.

Building a fire is a basic skill that everyone that enjoys camping and/or spending time away from civilization should have, or for in the event of an emergency. When it comes to needing to build a fire for survival, building that fire will help keep you warm and you’ll also need that fire for cooking, so this is a skill that you’ll definitely want to hone and master if you’re a survivalist.

5 Fire Starters

  1. Matches
  2. Lighters
  3. Firesteel and scraper
  4. 9V Battery and Steel Wool
  5. Magnifying Lens

5 Different Types of Burnable Materials

  1. Pine needles and pine cones
  2. Cotton balls soaked in flammable aerosol or soaked in petroleum jelly
  3. Dry rags and clothes
  4. Dried grass and leaves
  5. Fungus and manure

Building Your Non-Wood Fire

  • Step 1: Create a fire pit to fuel your fire in. Your pit can be as big as you’d like it to be, but it should really be a minimum of 2 feet wide and 3 to 6 inches deep. You can dig your pit with whatever tools that you have available – even a spoon. Now that you’ve created your pit, you should place rocks around the outside of the pit, creating a circle with the rocks. Clean up the pit and make sure it’s free of debris.
  • Step 2: Gather everything that you’ll need to fuel your fire. When gathering your tinder (burnable materials), you should keep in mind that some materials will burn quicker, making it harder to keep your fire going. It is best to arrange your larger burning material in a teepee style on top of the smaller tinder nest. This will help to keep your fire going. Slow burning kindling would include charcoal, manure and/or cotton balls soaked in either an aerosol or petroleum jelly.
  • Step 3: Light your fire using one of the ways listed above. Strike your waterproof matches, flip open your lighter, strike your firesteel and scraper, touch steel wool to both pools of a 9v battery, or utilize a magnifying lens. Either gently blow on it or gently fan it with something like a paper plate to get it going.
  • Step 4: Finally, you’ll have to tend to your fire to keep it going. You’ll want to have more kindling on hand to keep feeding the fire, as well as slower burning kindling to make the fire last longer.

As stated before, when building any type of fire, keep it safe. Good luck building your fire, without wood!

About the Author At Survival Life our goal is to be the ultimate one-stop destination for anyone that has an interest in or questions regarding survival and preparation. We strive to maintain a truthful and unbiased compendium of knowledge, both in original content, product reviews and survival tips, as well as curated articles from other top survival websites. Learn more by visiting our website.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bore-busters for Doomsday

target shooting photo: NO TARGET SHOOTING notargetpractice.jpg

Boredom is dangerous when you’re hiding. Unfortunately, the post-apocalyptic era is not the best time to be curious. Now, what are you supposed to do, apart from maintaining vigilance?

You got to do something other than brandishing fresh ammo in your gear. While the world is rotting in decay and ash, you have yourself to take care of. Enrich your intellectual, emotional and bodily physique by trying these suggestions: reading, shooting, writing, and making artworks.

Books & book clubs

What You Need: books, magazine, or any reading material available plus a comfy corner

Have you ever heard about that saying that when you get to read, you also get to travel? For obvious reasons you just can’t actually travel; but that doesn’t mean your mind can’t. Okay, forget about the astral plane and stick to imagery.

Imagery and activating your imagination – you need just that to pass the time. Fiction works could enhance your scenario-making of which may prove to be handy later. Non-fiction stuff is also entertaining – it can remind you of the world as it used to be and, subsequently, light a fire of hope.

Don’t get too comfy, though. Looters and zombies are pretty much around. Read but stay alert as a deer. Don’t ignore the sound you’ll hear. These noises are less likely to come from your hyper-activated imagination!

Practise targets

What You Need: improvised practise arena (sound-proofed to avoid attracting attention), shooting weapon, fake or unlimited ammunition

You might have installed alarm bells all over the place to alert yourself of intruders. Your gun or any other long-range weapon is just beside you. But what good will these prepping bring if you haven’t practised shooting?

Chances are you wouldn’t stand a chance. Worse, you might just waste your gathered ammunition. Don’t wait for them to arrive before you get your first proper lesson. Improvise a practise arena (preferably sound-proofed) and shoot like your target’s there.

For added fuel, set goals and measure your accuracy and speed.

Writing whatever

What You Need: pen, pencils, paper, walls, or any writing paraphernalia

When the post-apocalypse commenced, you might have lost the chance to even get into college or university. You need not despair. You can always do some of the things conducted inside lecture halls or schools.

And one activity you can take in your bunker home is writing. You can write anything – from English essays, to diary-type entries, from short stories, to poetry. Perhaps, you can wear the shoes of those other classic and famous writers, who were long dead but remained immortal – thanks to their written masterpieces!


While busting boredom, ensure that you are not depleting your resources (eg, ammunition or night’s sleep). You know you got to save it to save yourself and your company.

Furthermore, do these activities when it’s not your duty to watch-out. Remember that when it’s your time to be the hawk, you can’t afford to get distracted.

Lastly, try to do these things without causing hassle to your fellow survivors.

Author Bio: Manuela Theissen is an avid fan of post-apocalyptic fiction. She critiques and writes reviews for fiction books, as well as, assists uni-students in English essay writing. She spends her downtime doing DYI projects, grooming her giant mastiff, and cultivating crops. Her current rave is Smythe’s “Did You Hear It?” book.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How to Light and Heat a home without Electricity

oil lamp photo: ancient oil lamp OilLamp2.jpg

There are so many resources outside of our control that without warning your electricity and heat can just disappear. Being independent and capable of dealing with such a scenario for a few days at least can give you confidence and security and allow you to relax in the knowledge you’re okay no matter what.

We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to help ensure that you have power and warmth should such a thing occur. So, let’s take a look at how to ensure this is the case.

Purchase a Generator

The first thing you need to do is to purchase a gas or diesel powered generator. These are a fantastic addition to a household and provide you with plenty of scope if something goes wrong. In addition, purchase some gasoline or diesel – depending on the device. This is useful should anything go wrong. At Nationalgeneratorhire we would suggest that if you intend on keeping the gas for a long time and have no other use, then add a gasoline stabiliser as it will only keep for a few months at a time.

Wood Stove

A wood stove or fireplace is a great thing to have too and are simple and efficient mechanisms that add comfort and allow you to burn a range of different fuel. They can be used to cook and heat water too. These should be placed in the room where the family spend the most time.

Matches are a Must

One thing you can never have too many of is matches and ensuring that you have both long and small matches is a necessity. So, stock up.


Candles are easy to use and great in a sudden emergency as you can simply grab hold of them and make easy use of them. It’s best to purchase some candle holders or storm lanterns as these will be useful should you need to go outside at night. The best candles to purchase are the 6-9 inch candles used in churches as they burn slowly and don’t drip too much wax.

Oil Lamps

These are also a wise investment and most garden stores and DIY shops tend to sell these lamps. There are all sorts of different sizes, though the railroad conductor lamp is used widely due to its reliability and the fact it can be carried around without much care. The wire handle is also good because it doesn’t cause problems for the frame.

Of course, when you stock up on oil lamps, be sure to stock up on plenty of paraffin oil or the sort of oil the particular lamp uses. Extra wicks are also a good shout and as with any of the above items, you’ll only miss them when you need them, so prepare.

As they say in boy scouts – ‘fail to prepare – prepare to fail. Preparation is pivotal to success in such a scenario and can significantly help you in times when things come to a head. These tips should help ensure that should things go wrong, you’re ready.

Chris O’Dowd is a UK writer and lover of sports and the great outdoors.

Monday, September 23, 2013

4 Tips To Help Make Sure You Are Ready For Anything

first aid kit

Being prepared isn’t just a motto for boy scouts. Planning for the worst is the best way to prepare one’s self for any situation. Practicing survival skills and packing emergency kits are just a few of the ways people can prepare themselves for anything. Listed below are four tips to help make sure you are ready for any situation.

  1. Emergency Kits

    Pre-packed emergency kits are fantastic for just about any situation. In many types of emergencies, it may be impossible to gather supplies and get necessary items together. That’s why it is so important to have pre-packed emergency kits. Each member of the family should have their own emergency kit. Items should include first-aid supplies, bottles of water, non-perishable food items, an emergency radio and a change of clothes. These kits should be kept in places that are easy to access. It may also be helpful to have an additional emergency kit in one’s automobile.

  2. Go Camping

    Camping is a great way to prepare for any situation. Camping forces people out of their comfort zones. Campers learn how to improvise and adapt. They learn to deal with inclement weather and natural climates. In many natural disasters, people can be stranded for without utilities or water for days at a time. Camping is a fun way to get prepared for just about any outdoor situation.

  3. Learn Survival Skills

    In addition to camping, it’s also important to learn survival skills. These can be sharpened and practiced on camping trips. It’s important to learn about edible plants, starting fires and building shelters. Hopefully, these skills never come in handy. It doesn’t hurt to know how to forage and find water though.

  4. Safety Training Courses

    Safety training courses are also a great way to make sure you are prepared for any situation. These courses are perfect for families and individuals. They can help to teach safe practices and first-aid procedures. The importance of these skills can’t be overstated.

One of the most important ways to invest in one’s future is to prepare for the worst. Most people aren’t able to summon super-human survival skills on a moment’s notice. That’s why it’s important to prepare one’s self for any possible situation. It takes dedication and planning to be ready for anything. Emergency kits, camping trips, survival training, and safety training courses are four great ways to help make sure you are ready for anything.

Jayla Barnsen is a freelance blogger from Eugene, Oregon. She grew up hiking and camping and has a life-long love of the outdoors. She likes to write on issues related to her passion for nature and her efforts to live and eat healthily.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Protecting Yourself from Marauders after a Natural Disaster

looters photo: Looters looters_will_be_shot.jpg

A major tornado devastated the city of Moore, Oklahoma a couple of months ago. Many people did the right thing and tried to help their neighbors during this disaster. However, some people used the disaster as an excuse to prey on others.

This teaches us an important lesson about natural disasters. It isn’t enough to make sure that you have enough resources on hand after a disaster strikes. You will also need to make sure that you can protect your resources if looters try to steal from you. Here are some essential survival strategies that you need to be aware of.

Look Defended

The best way to protect yourself from looters is to show that you are a force to be reckoned with. They are looking for easy targets and will usually avoid striking targets that seem well defended. Here are some ways that you can keep looters from attacking your home:

  • Make sure that you have high powered firearms. According to the Violence Policy Center, gun owners protect themselves from armed criminals about 67,740 times a year. However, only 230 of those yearly incidents involve a gun owner killing their attacker in self-defense. The other 99.7% of gun owners scare assailants or intruders away by brandishing a firearm.
  • Make sure that all deadbolts and locks are clearly visible. Marauders will be more likely to move to another target if they realize that it will be really difficult to penetrate your defenses.
  • Have a “beware of dog” sign near your house. This can be a deterrent even if you don’t have a dog. You may also want to buy a doghouse and some old bones to make it look more convincing if you can’t find a large dog to help protect your family.

You will want to put on a good show to convince potential robbers that you aren’t an easy target.

Preparing for an Assault

Desperate criminals won’t always be scared away by someone who looks well defended. You will need to be ready to fight against them if they do choose to attack. There are a number of ways that you can better defend yourself.

Teach Your Family Self-Defense

Make sure that everyone in your family knows how to defend themselves. Make sure that they are willing to use lethal force if necessary.

Form Alliances With Neighbors

Form an alliance with your neighbors if a group of marauders attacks. You will be able to fight off attackers much more easily if you work together. This is exactly what Korean business owners had to do in Los Angeles twenty years ago when the police weren’t able to respond during riots. You may not be able to rely on law enforcement to help you after a natural disaster.

Barricade Yourself

Make sure that you can turn your home into a fortress if necessary. Here are some ways that you can do this:

  • Make sure that you can deadbolt and bar your door at a moment’s notice.
  • Try to reinforce your home with steel.
  • Create a panic room with plenty of food and ammo so that you can wait out an attack. Attackers could wait for weeks so make sure that you can survive until they leave.

Protecting your home against attackers can be very frightening. However, you will need to be prepared for this scenario. Taking these steps could save your life.

About the Author: Kalen is a survival, safety and self-defense writer. He writes about the benefits of buying GG&G rifle accessories. Some of the tools he feels no one can do without are Mossberg 500 tactical accessories.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Survive the Rest of a Long Hunting Trip without Food

clovers photo: Clovers Clovers.jpg

Long hunting trips are an exciting way to experience nature at its fullest. It’s like you’re in a Jack London novel; an epic outdoor journey that forces you to survive in oftentimes extreme conditions. Sounds crazy, right? At first, yes, but once you experience the primitive nature of surviving a long hunt, especially one where you’re low on food, it seems no challenge will ever be as difficult as this let alone rewarding.

You need proper nourishment to keep you energized and alert for travelling, scouting and…sometimes surviving. You never know what can happen, especially when you’re out in the wilderness for days. Certain types of food will give you more energy, save space and already prepared for convenience in your pack, but what if you run low or out, whether that’s due to unfortunate circumstances or the hunting’s not going your way? If the situation calls for it you need to know how to find other food sources. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re low on food and need to survive the rest of your long hunting trip, you have two options.


When it comes to foraging, it’s all about knowing what you’re eating. This can be a dangerous game, even deadly if you eat the wrong plant. The #1 rule to follow when foraging and eating plants is to never eat a plant without identifying it first. If you’re new to foraging, then check a local Native Plant Society and do some reading on edible plants in a specific area. Double check with your doctor, as well, to make sure you’re not allergic to those plants.

Every area is different, so make sure to find the most common edible plant in the area you’re hunting. If it’s common, that means there’s plenty or at least more of it than normal. If you only focus on identifying a few plants, then spotting them will be easier and less overwhelming when learning how to identify them.

When foraging, remember to follow the I.T.E.M. acronym.

  1. Identify: Don’t just study a picture. It’s not that simple. The plant may look a bit different than the one in the photo based on its geographical region. In addition, other non-edible plants might take on a similar look, which will deceive the identifier. Consult with an expert to be able to identify other characteristics of edible plants. Takes notes and bring them with you on the hunt. Always be certain when identifying edible plants.

  2. Time of Year: Understand the growing cycle of the edible plants you plan on consuming. Don’t eat a plant if it’s supposed to blossom in the fall when it’s spring. It could be a deceiver, a look alike…a phony. Then again, depending on the geographical location of the plant, it could blossom twice a year. Given this confusion and uncertainty, take the time to consult a plant expert.

  3. Environment: Plants normally have a particular environment they thrive in. Make sure you understand that environment. Again, don’t be deceived by a look alike if it’s growing in a different environment than the plant you’re trying to eat. Consult with your local plant expert and do your research.

    Another environmental factor to take into consideration is the potential pollution a plant might be receiving; water, air and soil are the three you want to pay attention to. This is mainly a concern with urban plants, not ones in the wilderness. Use common sense when analyzing the potential pollution a plant might receive. Most likely, if you’re in the wilderness, the plant’s environment should be fine.

  4. Method of Preparation: Don’t just grab an edible plant and take a giant chomp out of it. It might require a specific method of preparation in order for it to be edible. As always, check with a local plant expert.


If foraging doesn’t work out for you, you’re a hunter; you’ve a gun and a specific set of skills that will allow you to kill your own food. Not that foraging couldn’t come in handy. You never know if you’re gun will get damaged or lost. If that rare instance were to occur, you’d be able to survive on your foraging skills.

The best way to survive a long hunting trip is to travel with buddies or a hunting outfitter. There’s a possibility that your hunting outfitter will know how to identify edible plants, since some are trained for survival situations. Don’t just expect your outfitter to know these things, make sure to talk to him/her about it. The more you consult with other experts, plant experts or hunting outfitters, the better you’ll be off for surviving the rest of your long hunting trip without food.

Sammy Jo writes for KT’s Trophy Hunts, professional hunting outfitters in Missouri and Iowa. Contact them today for your hunting and outfitting needs.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Going Creative With a Flat Roof

flat roof photo: solar roof flat solarroof.jpg

A flat roof doesn't have to be a dull, grey, unattractive slab of concrete. In fact, many homeowners aren't putting up with their standard flat roof and are using every ounce of creativity to turn their roof into a living paradise. Some local authorities are even offering cash grants to help homeowners retrofit their flat roofs into something a bit more attractive to the eye. With this in mind, just how are homeowners retrofitting their flat roofs? Here are a couple of projects that flat roof owners can embark on.


'Living' roofs are becoming more and more popular to owners looking to spice up their flat roofs. Meadow-style roofs with plants, paving slabs and green grass are turning top-floor flats without a traditional garden area into an all-in-one green haven. They're becoming increasingly common for good reason; the idea of a grassy roof complete with deckchairs, tables and space to have a drink with friends is an idea that encourages many part-time developers to spruce up their roof.

However before buying up slabs of grass to stick on your flat roof, it is highly recommended to check if the angle and strength of your flat roof will support such a venture. An ageing, traditional flat roof might not support the weight of a roof garden while the angle of the roof could be an obstacle, especially if it breaches the 20 degree mark.

In addition, adequate drainage will have to be maintained in order to prevent a build-up of rainwater in the soil. Hire a professional to create a system where water always flows properly to guttering. Following on, homeowners will have to ensure the guttering remains clog-free.

Solar panels

Homeowners worried about their flat roof space going to waste could consider installing solar panels, making their flat roof work for them. The electricity stored by solar panels help power homes across the country, effectively paying for itself after taking reductions in utility bills into account. No wonder they're so popular!

Solar panels work best at a 30 degree angle so owners of houses with flat roofs will have to prop up their panels to use them efficiently. In addition, extreme wind can be a potential problem for panels on flat roofs as it could have an impact on the structure propping the panels. If homeowners are having rows of solar panels on their roof, they'll have to ensure the panels in front do not shade the panels behind. After all, there is no point in filling your roof with solar panels if they will only work efficiently when the sun is high in the sky.

Both ideas in this article sound daunting at first but with a bit of research and professional help, homeowners can turn their standard flat roof into a playground for their creative streak. When you sit back in a sun lounger, sipping a ice-cold drink on a hot summer's day on top of your rooftop garden paradise, you'll know that it'll be worth the hassle!

About the author:

Written by Rubberbond ( Rubberbond was founded just under 10 years ago and has built up a solid and - above all - water-tight reputation in the market for synthetic single-ply membranes. Our company is specialised in the development, production and sales of waterproofing systems and is enjoying a constant, dynamic growth.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Wise Owl will buy Gold Online

gold bars photo: biuno gold-bars.jpg

The owl is wise. It knows. It will now opt for buying gold online; it will buy gold, buy gold bars, buy gold coins, and buy silver UK. The buzz word today is ‘buy gold online’. Following the Great Recession in America that kicked off from 2007 the world is watching amazed how gold prices are skyrocketing. The recession showed that virtual money and even real estate value can plummet but gold is gold – eternally valuable. Its price can never appreciate but will always depreciate in the long run, despite minor hiccups.

The general notion is that gold is for jewellery making. But a good proportion of the gold that is mined from the bowels of the earth is used for other purposes. The recent figures show that during 2013 first quarter 1,051.6 tons of gold was diverted for industrial use to the technology sector. The gold reserves of Central Banks have gnawed out 963 tons of gold for this purpose.

Gold is ‘easy currency’ for all nations globally. With it at par exchange is possible at any exchequer. With gold, merchandise is bought at international markets. When any currency becomes weak the government immediately increases its stock of gold bars storing these in their vaults. Recently prices have been running away because of the economic recession in USA. In a snowballing effect all the nations have been affected – developed, developing and emerging.

What does this price increase in gold spell for the man in the streets? Those who purchased gold items in 2009 will find its value has jumped up. At that time the value of an ounce of gold was £428.83. Today, even after a short period of depreciation, the price stands at £916.66; it means that the price has doubled in five years. No other investment would be able to give such handsome returns.

But can this yardstick be applied to the future with conviction? The answer is a strong affirmative because although the recession is officially over in USA, the recovery is happening at a snail’s pace and that too technically. Nobody is seeing the sun shine. Many currencies are tumbling and living costs have shot up in comparison with what it was only a couple of years ago. For instance with the money you kept in the bank in 2009 you will not be able today to buy the same amount of goods that it would have fetched at that time. On the other hand if you had adopted the mantra of buy-gold at that point of time you would have been richer today.

Since it is better late than never sit down in the privacy and comfort of your computer and start buying gold online. There are bullion stores on the Internet and access is very easy. You can see on your screen pure bars of gold (99.99%), and gold coins all conforming to the London Bullion Market Association‘s (LMBA) standard albeit in different measures and sizes. Buy today, store today for tomorrow; you can convert it into cash any time you so wish.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Are HAARP Conspiracy Theorists Crazy? Examining the Facts behind Their Claims

haarp photo: Haarp haarp2.jpg

Conspiracy theorists have existed for centuries, often as subjects of ridicule and mockery due to the eccentric and controversial nature of their beliefs. Conspiracy theories have gradually penetrated pop culture, and captured the national zeitgeist in a way that is compelling, entertaining, and to many, downright frightening. These theories based around a wide range of topics such as extraterrestrial life, government cover-ups, religion, secret societies, population control and a laundry list of others have changed the way we process and perceive information, and caused many to be weary of false information.

One such theory is the idea of weather control, and the notion that governments worldwide are in a race to “weaponize” space and essentially control the world by way of weather manipulation. Although these claims seem extremely farfetched at first glance, the idea of "The Rainmaker" is nothing new. Weather is the most powerful force on earth; it is a force that allows life to exist by providing the conditions necessary to sustain it, and is at the root of the cause of deaths related to natural disasters, famine, plagues and diseases, and more. Weather has such a great impact on all aspects of life, including the economy, that it is hard to think of a cause of untimely death that can't in some way be traced back to the weather. Even murders can be traced back to the weather in developing nations where clean drinking water is a luxury and starvation leads to desperation and drives residents to kill just to feed their family. Without rain, plants can't grow, livestock cannot be raised, and life cannot be sustained. By that same token, sunlight is another key component that allows organic life to flourish, and without it life cannot be sustained. Needless to say, if someone has the power to control the weather, they have the power to control the world.

By now most of us have heard of the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, more commonly referred to as HAARP, but its function and purpose is not only beyond most civilians understanding, it is also a government project which the details of remain classified. The stated purpose of the project on the website is to explore the potential for creating ionospheric enhancement technology for radio communications and surveillance. It is speculated however, that HAARP is being used to create weather systems by sending high frequency waves into the ionosphere that change weather patterns and cause natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, floods and other extreme weather conditions that severely impact the area they strike. A simple Google search will return over two million results, ranging from scientific research and mainstream data about the program and its applications in communications technology, to “fringe” news sites and conspiracy blogs which allege the program has much more nefarious intents than communication and surveillance technology research. With the unexplainable weather patterns and dramatic changes that have grown in frequency and severity at a rapid pace over the past few years, it seems like a better time than ever to examine the claims made by these so called conspiracy theorists for any trace elements of truth.

Here are the facts: According to WorldWatch Institute, in 2012 there were 905 natural catastrophes worldwide, 93% of which were weather related. These catastrophes included storms, floods, heat waves, wildfires, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. HAARP was completed by BAE Technologies, a multinational security, aerospace, and defense company headquartered in the UK. In 2007, when the natural disaster tally was in the area of 450 for that year. Two years later in 2009, the number of reported natural disasters had jumped to nearly double that of 2007 at more than 850. Between 2009 and 2012, that number climbed to over 900 as mentioned above. Was this simply a product of better, more accurate reporting of weather and worldwide disasters, or was there a correlation between the birth of HAARP and the significant jump in weather related natural disasters? Trying to find the answer to that question online will likely only result in frustration as there is a seemingly intentional lack of published evidence in either direction, and the amount of information that is available is largely provided by less than credible sources.

While we can’t know for sure whether or not HAARP is a secret government project designed to eventually give the US government and its allies complete control of the weather, thus allowing them to control the economy, agriculture, population, and just about everything else that exists on this planet, we can be certain that the weather and environment is undergoing a monumental shift at present time that seems to be getting more and more aggressive and grim with each passing day. Although we see ourselves as an incredibly advanced race who have it all figured out, at the end of the day what this really boils down to is advanced primates toying with the ionosphere in a deadly game of Russian roulette on a grand scale. Trial and error can result in devastating consequences when you are dealing with something as volatile as the ionosphere and essentially playing God without knowing for certain what the effects of their “testing” will have on the world in the long run. Needless to say, tampering with the ionosphere poses several inherently dangerous risks to the planet we call home.

We are seeing changes all around us, many of which come tied to disasters and deaths. Right now there is a massive flood in Colorado that has torn apart homes and left several dead and hundreds missing, a typhoon in Japan that has prompted the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of residents and raised fears over the storm causing more contaminated water running out to sea from the Fukushima atomic power plant, and in Mexico tropical storm Manuel has left at least 24 dead and Hurricane Ingrid is moving in on the coast in the Gulf. Those are four enormous weather disasters in three different countries currently acting simultaneously, leaving behind a path of death and destruction. Could this be a result of HAARP tampering with the ionosphere, or is it all just one big coincidence? My grandfather used to say “Coincidence exists only in the minds of those who are too frightened to consider the truth.” I do believe in coincidence, but I also believe in cause and effect. Whether or not HAARP is to blame for the significant increase in natural disasters across the globe, there is no doubting that something is causing the change; we just need to figure out what it is, and prepare ourselves to experience a turbulent and uncertain future where the types of disasters we keep reading about in the news are in our very own backyard.

Brandon Honeycutt is a writer and community outreach coordinator for The Law Firm of George H. Ramos, Jr. & Associates, a criminal defense law firm in San Diego. Brandon moonlights as a freelance journalist and aspiring columnist in San Diego, CA. Contact him via Twitter @seoallday.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Preparing for Emergencies: How to Get Started on Food Storage

food storage photo: 1 years worth of food storage foodstorage1.jpg

Food storage can prepare your family for a variety of emergencies. FEMA warns people that they should be prepared for two days, to a week without outside help when a major disaster strikes. The power may be out, and grocery stores may be bare, so how do you prepare your family to weather the storm?

Calorie Rich Carbs

Carbohydrates can keep for a long time and are extremely filling. Start your emergency supplies by stocking up on rice, pasta, and oats to give yourself a variety of this high energy food group. Be sure it is kept dry and ready for use.

Remember Your Protein

When the power goes off, protein can be hard to come by. Stock your pantry with a variety of canned meat such as tuna, chicken, and chipped beef. A few jars of peanut butter will also give you an excellent source of protein. For a long lasting protein source, invest in some dry beans, and learn how to prepare them.

Fruits and Veggies

Start working on a store of canned fruits and vegetables as well. These will help your family get the nutrients they need in an emergency situation, and will add a little more variety to your diet. Buy whatever kinds you and your family enjoy, but try to develop a variety.

High Energy Sugars

Nothing provides a quick rush of energy like some sugar, and in an emergency you might need your energy. Invest in some jars of honey for a sweet substance that will keep indefinitely. You can also store a few bags of sugar, but make sure they are in well sealed containers to prevent ants and other insects from getting in. Storing your food is important, so if you don't have room yourself consider getting another space to keep your food storage for when you need it.

Easy Meals

Quick meals, like hardy soup, or flavored pasta mixes, are easy to make in tough situations. Powdered mixes, such as a biscuit or pancake mix provided they don't require milk and eggs, can also be a good quick meal to prepare.

Creature Comforts

Emergencies are stressful situations, and having a few luxuries on hand can help you get through. Stock up on coffee grounds or tea bags to keep your morning ritual intact. Chocolate or a favorite candy can be a nice treat in hard times. Keeping spices like garlic, rosemary, thyme, pepper will give you more options with your meals, and can make surviving a little more fun.

Preparing your family for an emergency is a process. Start accumulating the supplies you will need now to prepare for when emergencies strike.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and recent graduate of the University of New Mexico. She enjoys running, hiking and biking and blogs frequently about home, family, preparedness, and fitness. She has found a great way to safely store food is in good storage facilities in Anaheim. Contact her via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Monday, September 16, 2013

How to Sharpen your Bushcraft Knife

bushcraft knife photo: Brian's 5 01j.jpg

Knowing how to sharpen your bushcraft knife is very important. Without a sharpened knife, you’ll struggle to get the most out of your knife when you need it most. To sharpen your knife, you will require a set of abrasive set of stones ranging from coarse to fine. When you are at home, you can use a set of large bench stones, while in the field you will need a small, lightweight alternative.

Abrasive stones are manufactured from a wide range of materials, with many outdoor specialists preferring to use Ice Bear Japanese water stones – which work fast, easily and conveniently to give a razor edge. You should use three grits – 800 for coarse, 1200 for medium and 600 for fine. In the field, carry around a combination of 1200/6000 stone sawn in half

To use these types of stones, you must soak them in water before use. The coarse stone should only be used when you have a seriously blunted knife, or if it has become damaged. You should lay out your knife on the stone and raise the back until the bevel of the blade lies flat on the stone and then push your blade away from you, as if you are trying to cut a thin layer from the top of the stone. If you do this properly, you should complete this movement 8 times, before turning the blade over and sharpening the opposite side.

As you make the movement, a paste should form onto the stone. It is not recommended that you wipe this paste away, as it will help to speed up your bushcraft knife sharpening process. You should keep the stone wet by splashing the stone with water throughout the process. Move on to a finer stone and repeat the process – and the 6000 grit stone does not need to be soaked – just made wet. Try and create slurry on the stone prior to use with a small nagura stone, which are specially made for the purpose and can be purchased with your stone.

After using the 6000 stone, you should clean the blade; strop it on the inside of a leather belt around 50 times, alternating the blade face on each stroke. This will ensure that you are creating a sharp and durable edge. To complete the process, run the blade very lightly down the finest ceramic sharpening rod to give the edge more bite. If you do not have a ceramic rod, use the edge of a car window.

In the field, you can take a simpler approach, whereby you must wet the small field stone and sharpen each side with a slicing action with pressure on the slicing stroke only. Do this to one face, then the other, then continue alternating. If possible you should strop the blade, where a smooth piece of wood can be used if there is not leather belt available.

Should you follow these guidelines, you should have effectively sharpened your bush craft knife and also allow you to start the process of protecting your knife, which can be achieved easily through the application of Camellia Oil, which will protect the blade from rust and corrosion.

Carissa Parnell is an experienced writer and guest poster from North Wales who has written unique content for many satisfied bloggers. I write on a wide range of topics that interest me covering everything from Bushcraft and travel to industrial technology and fashion. Writing is my passion and I hope you enjoy reading my articles.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Gear Up Your Home for Any Worst Case Scenario: 4 Simple Tips

Despite efforts to keep disaster at bay, it sometimes cannot be averted. That means that homeowners should make sure they are always prepared for unexpected worst case scenarios that may occur. The following are kinds of emergency gear that you should have on hand to help protect your family and your precious home.
  1. Fire Extinguishers

    Always ensure that each floor of your home has a functional fire extinguisher. Since most fires start in the kitchen, it is beneficial to place an extra one there. In fact, your insurance company may even offer a special discount for having extinguishers around your home. Multipurpose A:B:C extinguishers are the best buy because they can extinguish flames resulting from combustible, flammable liquid, and electrical fires. Choose a lighter weight extinguisher, around five pounds, so that it can be easily lifted by all members of your family. Once you have plenty of extinguishers, check the pressure gauges often and recharge them when necessary to prepare for unforeseen fires.

  2. Smoke Detectors

    It is crucial to have battery-powered smoke detectors outfitted on at least every floor of the home. Make sure that there are detectors placed near the kitchen and bedrooms especially. For optimal use and less frequent battery replacements, opt for a model with a sealed in, 10 year lithium battery that will give the gear a longer life.

  3. Carbon Monoxide Alarms

    Carbon monoxide is known as being the silent killer because it is not readily noticeable until the severity of the situation causes symptoms. To make sure the air your family is breathing in is safe, place a carbon monoxide alarm on each level of your home. Have these alarms outside every bedroom, so your family will wake up in the night if need be. The most convenient and beneficial models plug into an outlet, while having a battery backup.

  4. Home Security System

    When an unexpected break-in occurs, you will be glad that you have invested in a home security system to protect your family from burglary and potential serious harm. Most companies for security today offer homeowners several wireless security options with remote access and video surveillance to be vigilant against thieves. The best part is the security company will receive an alarm when an emergency occurs, so that police or law enforcement can be on their way immediately.

These are the most critical tools and products to have installed within your home to defend your family and home from emergency situations. Once these items are on hand, you will be able to ease your worries knowing you are protected.

About the Author

Rose McKellen is a freelance writer from Austin, TX. She enjoys exploring the music scene in her area as well as spending time outdoors with family and friends.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Real Desert Island: The Five Products You Would Need if Stranded on a Desert Island

In the game Desert Island, a group of people must answer a question about what they would bring if stranded on a desert island. Like the video above, the question can have a niche area like specific books or movies you would bring. For many people, however, the idea of being stranded on a desert island is a very real fear. Many view crashing into the middle of the ocean as one of the most perilous situations in which a person can find him or herself. For years, it's been a part of popular culture, through movies and TV shows such Gilligan's Island and Lost.

But if this game turned into real life, what things should you bring? Here are five items you'll need to survive and increase your chances of being rescued.

1. Mirror

Although it may not be the first thing you think of when you're considering life on a desert island, a small mirror is actually an invaluable tool. Your chances of being rescued from the island are highest in the hours following the crash. That's when rescuers are most likely to be scouring the area for survivors, and a mirror can help you send signals to others. A mirror, when used properly in conjunction with the sun, can also help you start a fire.

2. Camping Pot and Cup

Technically, it’s 2 items, but if we use Dwight’s technique the cup should fit inside the pot making it one.  Unless you are willing to bring a sea water purification system with you, you’re going to need a way to purify water. To separate the salt from the water, place your cup rim side up in your pot. Fill the pot with sea water making sure none of it goes into the cup. Place the pot lid over the top and let the fire boil the water till it has completely distilled leaving the salt at the bottom of the pot and the purified water in the cup. And, of course, a pot will come in handy to cook food.

3. Duct Tape

In Alaska, which is kinda like a desert island, you don’t go anywhere without at least one roll of duct tape. Not only can it close wounds but it can be convenient in holding a shelter together. Matter of fact, here are 101 uses for duct tape.

4. Camping Knife

A well-made camping knife is an invaluable tool for survival. You can use the knife to hunt, defend yourself, create a makeshift shelter, prepare food — almost anything you can think of. In case you want to maintain some semblance of hygiene while you're on the island, many pocket knifes include a synthetic toothpick and nail clippers.

5. A Survival Guide

No, we’re not going to hollow it out to fill with other stuff. Wilderness survival skills are a lost art in today’s modern tech age. But if you are going to be stranded on an island you better have a book to help you know how to survive. Make sure it includes how to build a shelter, what plants you can eat, and tips on how to create snares or capture animals.

BIO: Alicia grew up in Alaska where she earned her hunter and wilderness safety license at age 13. She now works as a content coordinator for a tech company in Pennsylvania and blogs in her free time at MarCom Land.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Things You Might Want in Your Post-Apocalyptic Warehouse

by Stacey Thompson


With the world being volatile in so many aspects (climatological, political, cultural, economic, etc.), you cannot be too cautious or overly prepared. Don’t even consider the unlikely scenarios of deistic-centered raptures or epic Armageddon-sized meteors hitting our planet; we humans can bring about the end of our own civilization through our own machinations.

Five months ago, I considered the prepper crowd to be on the nutty side. I have to admit that after seeing and reading more into it, I will have to admit I was dead wrong about that sentiment. Sure, there are loonies and zealots among any kind of mutual interest group, but the idea of being ready for anything world-changing is at the heart of vigilance itself, of the desire to live on despite the obstacles.

I’ve read up and watched how the more experienced preppers and survivalists have made their preparations, gathered supplies, safe havens, and most important of all, acquired and absorbed knowledge that will be necessary to live on even after all order and sanity has left the populace due to some calamity.

I am also trying to think farther than that, beyond living off emergency supplies and staying in your shelter, waiting for the chaos to die down. Titanic efforts at looking beyond the crisis inspire me, like the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway. While I wouldn’t have the kind of resources to do something anywhere near that project, I know I can presently afford to make my own preparations at starting over after a global crisis.

In addition to the standard food, water, and medical supplies, clothes, basic tools, firearms, and other essential-level gear, my planned post-apocalyptic warehouse will very likely contain the following:

Computers and Data Storage

If you think I’d be buying an entire data center worth of equipment, I am not that well-laden with dollar bills. This is a humbler, yet more sensible effort of keeping the basic electronic devices handy. I’m not even considering brand spanking new systems; surplus computers that are built tough, like those industrial PCs they use in factories and in the military, those will do in a pinch. For as long as they are in working order, and are able to access the data I am planning to keep (mostly digitized books from all the branches of science, the humanities, world history, and all other collections of information that are worth keeping), they will do.

Let’s not forget a way to power these devices. A portable generator that runs on liquid fuel (petrol or diesel) should also be in storage.

Heavy Equipment

You’re not going to be able to move tons of debris with shovels and picks (you can, but it’ll take a long time and lots of energy), so this is why I am in favor of having some pieces of earthmoving heavy equipment handy in your cache. Landscaping, farming, and fortification can also be done more efficiently with a bulldozer or a tractor.

As with the computers and data storage equipment mentioned above, you don’t need to bankrupt yourself in the effort; buying reliable surplus and second-hand heavy equipment from online marketplaces like Rock&Dirt will more than do.

Fuel and spare parts, and some knowledge on how to maintain these pieces of equipment would also come handy. Mechanics and electricians are going to be extremely valuable assets in a post-crisis world.

Seeds and Soil

Like the seed vault I mentioned above, you are going to have to store your own seed and possibly some bags of soil. Alternatively, you could also learn the beautiful science of hydroponics, but be sure you have plenty of water where you’re going to be holed up in, possibly from a deep well or a natural spring.

Growing your own food will be essential when the global supply chain and logistics break down. It’s very unlikely that you will be able to store enough food for you and your family beyond a few months.

Well-Trained and Prepared People

I’m not advocating locking people up in a warehouse, mind you. I just added this item to make a point that all of these preparations would be all for nothing if you and your family are not prepared.

It’s a given that one person will find it close to impossible to survive, but with a tightly-knit group, each with their own useful set of skills and competencies, you would be surprised at what hurdles you can surpass…

You might even become the progenitors of the human race that survived through the end of the world. Be prepared, and be well!

About the Author

Stacey Thompson is a professional writer, marketer, entrepreneur, and a lover of weird little animals. She is based in San Diego, California, and maintains a blog with some of her closest friends, Word Baristas.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Will the Insects Survive after the World Ends: Are Their Survival Skills Better Than Human's?

cockroach photo: Cockroach cockroach.gif

The end of days has always been a dreadful thought that has been haunting us throughout the ages. Some of us fear the final punishment, others try to be prepared for any fatal world catastrophe, and we all are on a constant alert of lethal tsunamis, world distressing earthquakes, alien invasions, severe outburst of the incurable epidemic that will wipe the humankind off the face of the earth.

The range of threatening turnouts is endless and in this troubling insecurity we all seek for a way to be prepared for the ultimate apocalypse. We rely on ancient and vague prophecies in a fruitless attempt to survive the end of the world, though that End never comes. Whether we rely on Nostradamus’ words that a “great King of Terror” will come from the sky, or we hope that the Bible’s code will give us an insight on the exact date of the doomsday, we keep our ears and eyes wide open and try to figure out when we should hide and stack up with food supplies for the months to come.

We have managed to survive much dreaded events, like the passing of the Halley's Comet in 1910 that was said to suffocate us with a deadly gas; we passed by the year 2000 all safe and sound and for better or worse our computers did not suffer much distress; even the end of the Mayan calendar which made us uneasy in 2012 didn’t seem to affect us much. We are all here to stay, awaiting for another apocalypse, hoping to survive, ready to make use of that stocked indispensable survival kit.

But what if this time we are unaware of the upcoming events, what if the end of days comes unexpectedly and we could not manage to act as planned – will we be able to survive if a world encompassing epidemic, natural disaster or worse threatens our life, or will we perish? Suppose we don’t make it, suppose Earth finally frees herself of our destructive influence, then what would it be like? Would there be living creatures left behind? Not to disappoint you, but the answer is most probably “yes” – there are some pretty resilient pests living among us that would survive almost anything, even a nuclear explosion. But let’s see how that could be so.

Let’s start with the most yielding insects: the cockroaches. Throughout the ages they have gained the authority of having the best survival skills among pests. Maybe their most distinguished accomplishment is related to the development of the atomic bombs. One of the greatest world disasters in our history follows the reckless bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The radiation and the awful destructive atomic blast annihilated every living creature in the area of the impact, leaving life-long traces on those who were affected by its side effects. You’ve got the picture, right; well now imagine that there was a small group of surviving species that remained untouched – the local cockroaches. And if those are not creatures that do not deserve to be called ultimate survivors, I do not know who does!

Their fair competitors on the surviving scale turn out to be the flour beetles which can endure some solid radiation overload. Even though they are rather small they are much feared pests that often cause great damages to the agriculture crops. Those flour beetles not only feed on our “bread” but will also definitely outlive us under some harsh environmental catastrophes.

A rather intriguing notion is offered by the latest news on the so-called “cicadas invasion” that was expected to be observed this summer. And even if those insects are not to be compared to the rigid insects from above they surely offer quite interesting traits. They are believed to have spent the past 17 years underground, waiting for this particular moment to rise above the surface and breed. The prediction foretells a total of a million and a half insects to appear in clouds, each female among them would be looking to create 600 eggs before perishing. The sole thought of having a vast colony of insects striving underground is somewhat quite disturbing. And while we are exposed to various natural disasters those little creatures enjoy the calmness and protection of the warm earth, waiting for their eventual comeback.

All in all pests or better yet insects are quite remarkable survivors. We sure have the knowledge, but is that really what matters? Being able to predict the doomsday could hardly be a worthy advantage if we are not able to outlive its impact. Well, this is exactly the aspect on which the insects outmatch us greatly. Will they survive the World’s End? Most probably yes, hopefully we will mimic their endurance and we will excel at our survival skills just as well.

David Drasnin is a freelance writer who is a true movie addict and an avid fantasy reader. Always keeping busy David is currently engaged on multiple projects including working with Oliver Exterminating.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Could a Syrian War Create a Global Food and Water Crisis?

syria photo: Syria Middle East SyriaMiddleEast.jpg

Many people are still trying to consider all possible consequences of going to war with Syria. One of the biggest problems with a Syrian war is that it could cause a worldwide food and water crisis. Here are some of the problems that could arise and why you should be prepared.

Risks of Global Food Crisis

A conflict in Syria could create massive food and water shortages around the world. Here are some of the reasons such a crisis could occur.

Changes in Oil Market

The United States and most European countries get a lot of their oil from Saudi Arabia and their other allies in the Middle East.

That could all change if we go to war with Syria. Saudi Arabia has offered to let Russia control a large part of the Middle East oil supply if they allow Syria to be defeated. Russia and other countries could cause oil prices to increase, which would make it more expensive to transport food and other commodities. It may not even be economically feasible to transport food to some parts of the world. This could also be a serious problem for parts of the world that don’t have their own supply of drinking water.

Nuclear Fallout

The United States, Israel and Russia all have access to nuclear weapons. China also has nuclear weapons. They aren't showing as much hostility as Russia, but have pledged to help protect Syria if it was attacked. Iran and Syria are also developing weapons as well. The Syrian crisis could turn into a full-blown nuclear war that could affect the entire world.

A nuclear war would be devastating to the world’s food. Nuclear damage could kill off many plants and our water may be too irradiated to grow new ones.

Quantitative Easing to Fund War Efforts

The United States would probably need to use quantitative easing to fund the war efforts. The Federal Reserve has already significantly devalued the dollar since the recession. A 2011 report from the Wall Street Journal said that the Federal Reserve’s monetary policies have caused a spike in food prices around the world. More monetary easing could make food prices even higher for people that already can’t afford them.

Preparing for a Food and Water Shortage

You will need to be prepared for these possibilities if a war breaks out in Syria. Here are some things that you will need to do.

Stock Up on Foods

You will need to make sure that you have plenty of food on hand if a crisis breaks out. Keep some nonperishable food and bottled water. Using a water ionizer can be especially important, because it can counteract some of the problems that may be caused by irradiated foods. You should read water ionizer comparisons to make sure you buy the right one.

Leave Contaminated Areas Before Finding New Food or Water

Jack Jones wrote a good post about surviving after a nuclear blast a few months ago. Jack said that you should keep enough food in your bunker to survive for a few months. He also said that you should try to get away from an area that is within a few hundred miles of a nuclear strike.

You will want to get somewhere that hasn’t been affected by the blast, because the food, animals and drinking water will be contaminated. That is why you will need enough fresh food and water to keep you alive until you escape.

Kalen started reading survival tips after he read Robinson Crusoe when he was 10 years old. He shares tips about health and survival such as making sure you have enough food and water after an Apocalypse.

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