Friday, June 28, 2013

Water Purification Article

dirty water photo: Dirty Water j0437215-1.jpg

This article will outline 5 ways to purify water and make it safe for drinking. This is an essential skill to have for anyone even remotely interested in survival, be it out in the wilderness or in some post-disaster world. Drinking contaminated water can make you sick and even kill you, so it’s important to have this handled.

Purifying water will eliminate most if not all pathogens (viruses and bacteria), with varying effectiveness of eliminating pollutants, depending on the method.

Let’s look at some of the ways water can purified for drinking.


The most widely used method of water purification is boiling. Heat the water to a rolling boil for 3-5 minutes, then let cool. Boiling is cheap, easy, and will kill most pathogens.

While boiling has its advantages, there are also many downsides. Some of them are:
  • It requires a heat source, whether fire electric stove
  • You will lose some of your water through steam
  • It requires time for the water to cool
  • Is impractical for large quantities of water
  • It may not eliminate pollutants from water


A chemical purification method. Use regular 2% iodine solution. Add 3 drops to each quart of clear water you want to purify. Add 6 drops for each quart of cloudy water. Stir and let it sit for half an hour before attempting to drink.

Iodine treated water should not be ingested by pregnant women.


Another chemical purification method. Chlorine is a poisonous chemical, so be very cautious when handling and applying amounts. Use regular 5% household chlorine bleach, with no added cleaners or scents.

Add 8 drops to each gallon of water you want to purify. Stir, and let sit for half an hour before attempting to drink. The water should clear, with contaminants collecting on the bottom. The water will have a slight chemical smell.


A very effective means of purifying water. It will eliminate all pathogens, pollutants and salts, making it useful for purifying even salt water.

The process involves evaporating a source or water in one container and collecting it in another. This separates water molecules and leaves you with pure, distilled water.

Check out this article to learn how to distill water at home.


Ultraviolet radiation will kill or sterilize most pathogens. UV lamps are available that will do this very effectively.

UV radiation does little to eliminate other pollutants, so it should be part of a multi-step purification process if this type of contamination is a fear.

Always run your water through at least two filtering and purifying steps, to maximize your chances of catching the bad stuff and ensuring your water is safe to drink.

Good luck and stay prepared!

For some extra reading, be sure to check out DIY water softener.


Rambo Moe

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How to Manage Babies and Children in a Post-Apocalyptic Situation

zombie baby photo: Oh Shit! ChildWithGun.jpg

On “The Walking Dead,” Lori gave birth to her baby to much anticipation, died, and then there was a short flurry of activity to get everything ready for the baby. What would they feed her? Where would she sleep? What would they name her? Then Little Asskicker all but disappeared. Every now and again she would pop up in someone’s arms, reminding you that she was still there. However, someone always seemed to be available to hang back and take care of her – even when every man (and woman) on deck were needed to fight in a standoff in which they were greatly outnumbered. On top of that, the baby never seems to cry like any baby inevitably would for hours out of the day, bringing all the zombies to the yard.

If you’re in a zombie apocalypse or some other type of doomsday situation, don’t count on your children being so cooperative or convenient. They are going to cry. They are going to run directly into the mouth of danger (perhaps literally). They are going to do everything that kids do that are annoying when you’re just out at the market but that could be potentially life-threatening if you are in a post-apocalyptic situation. Here’s how you can handle them:

Baby Wear

Cradling that baby in your arms may be sweet, but it’s going to severely limit your ability to wield a hatchet or to run. Invest in a good baby carrier now and have it in your emergency preparation kit. Make sure you get the kind with the buckles and not the woven wraps. You can strap the baby to your back just like a backpack, and then your arms will be free to fight off whatever you may need to or to run quickly. Make sure you have one on hand even if you don’t currently have a baby: You never know when you or someone in your entourage may get knocked up and be slowed down.


If Glen and Maggie had never gone to get formula for Little Asskicker, they never would have been captured and taken to The Governor, and Season 3 would have never happened. The point is that going on any additional runs for supplies can put you and your crew in danger – not to mention the fact that you don’t know if you’ll even be able to find formula in such a situation. Breastfeed: It’s always available, and you don’t have to go anywhere to do it.

Teach Toddlers to Maneuver Small Spaces

You never know when something you need will be just out of reach. However, it may be possible for small hands and small bodies to reach it. By teaching your toddler to maneuver small spaces, you may be able to get out of many a jam. For example, a toddler can fit through a small wedge in a fence that you can’t and can run over and unlock a gate. A toddler can wiggle through a small window or hole in a wall to access a room with supplies that has been blasted shut.

You can also teach your toddler to maneuver small spaces as a survival skill. For example, he or she can hide under just about any car and stay out of reach of zombies.

Use their Natural Energy to Your Advantage

When you’ve been on the road all day in search of food or have been running from cannibalistic bandits, you are likely more than a little beat by the end of the day. If you still have to take care of chores, supply runs or other physical tasks, you may not have the energy. You can tap into your children’s natural energy here, asking them to do what they can. They’ll still be go-go-going while you can preserve your energy for the important tasks of fighting, hunting and foraging for another day.

Use them for the Sympathy Card

You run into a gang of sociopaths who want to rob your whole crew of all your food rations. You point out the babies and children in your group and plead for their case. Or maybe you run up on a rescue station, but there are only a few spots left. You plead to be admitted with your child, who’s so young and so helpless.

The sympathy card might be able to get you out of a great number of jams. Use it wisely.

Whatever you do in a post-apocalyptic situation, it’s important not to do two things: DON’T eat your baby, and DON’T allow your children to become gun-wielding sociopaths who will kill you later in a fight for the fittest. In the meantime, learn how to manage them to the best of your ability so you can get you and them through the whole situation alive.

About the Author:

Bridget Sandorford is a freelance blog and culinary writer, where recently she's been compiling beer clip art. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Unexpendable Fifteen

A bug out bag is a collection of items that are meant to supply you with everything you need during the first 72 hours of an emergency. It is an essential piece that anyone even remotely interested in prepping should have. There is a countless combination of items that a bug out bag could have. The article will cover 15 items that all good bug out bags should have.

bug out bag photo: the motherlode OFFRIGHT.jpg


  1. A Weatherproof Bag:

    All of your items should be stored in a weather-resistant bag that is easy to carry. Keep your bag stored in a place that is out of the way, but can still be grabbed at any moment.
  2. 3 L of Water:

    More is always better, but as a minimum this will get you through a day or two.
  3. Water Purification Tablets:

    Allow you to purify unknown water sources, giving you a secondary source.
  4. Protein Bars:

    They’re long-lasting, high in nutrients and calories, and lightweight. Other good options are peanut butter, beef jerky, MREs.
  5. A Survival Knife:

    It’s important to have a good knife in your kit. Some things to consider:
    • The blade:
      • 6-9” in length
      • Made of stainless steel or carbon
      • Single edge
      • Sharp point (no hooked, rounded or flat points)
    • The handle:
      • 4-6” in length
      • Full tang
      • Solid pommel
      • No-slip grip
  6. First Aid Kit:

    Every survival kit should have one. Buy one, or learn to make your own.
  7. Battery-powered Radio:

    Your only source of information on the road. Have some extra batteries.
  8. LED Flashlight:

    It’s important to have a flashlight for when things get dark. LED’s shine brighter and last longer. Have some extra batteries.
  9. A Fire Starting Kit:

    You need a way to get fires started. A kit should include:
    • Strike anywhere matches
    • A piece of emery board for striker
    • A water-proof plastic case to store them
  10. A Floss Kit:

    This one is interesting. Have some dental floss, sewing needles, and fishing hooks stored in a container. These items can be used or:
    • Stitching wounds
    • Making fishing lines
    • Sewing torn fabrics
  11. Plastic Sheeting, Paracord and Duct Tape:

    These items can be used to:
    • Make rain shelters
    • Seal broken windows
    • Make rain collectors
  12. Garbage Bags:

    Can be used to collect garbage, or turn into ponchos (the clean ones, obviously).
  13. A Compass and Maps of the Area:

    essential for navigating yourself and others to safety.
  14. A Warm Hat, Gloves, and Extra Socks:

    To keep you warm.
  15. A Photocopy of Important Documents:

    It’s important to have identifying information on your person during an emergency. Some ideas:
    • Your driver’s license
    • Your passport
    • Home and vehicle ownership and insurance
    • Important contact phone numbers
Have these 15 items in your bug out bag, and you’ll be ready to go in an emergency.

For some further reading, make sure to check out How to Make a Wilderness Survival Kit.


Rambo Moe

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Preparing Children for a Natural Disaster: How to Pack Kids’ Bug Out Bags

kids backpack photo:  Stoplight_Neoprene_Kids_Backpack-1.jpg

Natural disasters and the need for an emergency evacuation can occur at anytime and anywhere. Although some areas are more prone to certain types of disasters, it is important to prepare kids of all ages for any kind of emergency. When it comes to preparing for disasters, natural or otherwise, it is vital to have your entire family ready. The most important factors of preparing for a disaster are having practice drills and making bug out bags for each member of the family. These tips will help your children learn how to pack their own personalized bug out bag.

During an emergency situation it is important for your kids to feel prepared and safe. Having their own bug out bag packed with items they are familiar with as well as the necessities for survival, it can help them feel more secure. When selecting the bag for your children to carry, back packs work the best, because they are lightweight and easy to carry. Children’s bags should only contain basic gear, so pack heavy items in adult bags. Kids name labels are a great way to keep each child’s bag and bug out items separate for each other. Allowing children to label their items also gets them excited to pack their bug out bag. Here are a few things you will want to include in your child’s bug out bag.

  • Comfort items. These items will vary according to the child’s age, but most children will want a small, lightweight toy, a fleece blanket, crayons, activity book, playing cards and an Ipod or other small device to play games on.
  • Food and snacks. Snacks may include items such as trail mix, granola bars, hard candy, bubble gum, one or two bottles of water and drink mix packets. Pack at least one or two easy-to-open and eat meals, such as individualized MRE’s. Ideal meals for children are pre-cooked individual meals made to cook in the microwave (not frozen) that come in small, plastic containers, because they are pre-cooked and lightweight.
  • Emergency Kit. Emergency kit items include band aids, antibiotic ointment, a couple of gauze pads and a small roll of paper tape.
  • Each child’s bug out bag should include a flashlight, glow sticks, whistle, rain poncho, extra pair of socks, knit hat or bandana, gloves, goggles (kid-sized swimming goggles work well for children), dust mask, laminated emergency contact information (remember to include your pre-paid cell phone number), hand sanitizer, pre-paid cell phone and a small pocket knife for older children.

Keep in mind that a child’s bug out bag is not meant to be used as an adult bug out bag. The primary purpose of a child’s bag is to provide them familiar items to reduce their fear and to have the necessary items in case they become temporary separated from you. To help prepare your children for an emergency bug out, schedule regular disaster drills. Scheduling drills will help children understand that their safety depends on knowing the escape routes, where to go if a disaster occurs and how to find their bug out bags in case the power goes out.

About the Author: Rene is a freelance writer who frequently contributes information about the importance of effectively preparing family members for the possibility of a natural disaster.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Weather Gone Wild: Preparing for Today's Monster Storms

Today's storms, including tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and winter storms, are getting bigger and increasing in frequency. Every household needs to be prepared for conditions like extended power outages and downed cellular networks. By preparing a disaster kit that includes a satellite phone, choosing a place to take shelter and rehearsing disaster plans with the family, today's households can stay safe in hazardous weather conditions and cope with the aftermath.

Prepare a Disaster Kit

As the recent damage from tornadoes in Oklahoma attests, when a storm strikes your family may not be able to walk away from the wreckage with many helpful items. To be better prepared for disaster, prepare a kit that everyone in your home can access. When the word comes to evacuate, or if you find yourselves taken by surprise at home, you’ll be better able to deal with the storm’s aftermath and help your neighbors if you have essential supplies.

What to put in your disaster kit depends on your local weather patterns and the members of your household. If you are in a place prone to flooding, for example, you’ll want to make sure that you include rain gear, life vests for children, and maybe even an inflatable raft. If hurricanes are prevalent, then you’ll want foul weather gear and flares.

It’s a good idea to include a satellite phone and a radio in your kit, so that you can be sure of both contacting disaster relief authorities and of hearing updates on the situation, even if power lines or phone lines are down. Also, don’t neglect the needs of the youngest members of your household. Kids will be understandably frightened by a storm and sometimes bored by the long periods of inactivity without electricity, so keep a few toys, books or board games on hand to help relieve their stress. Dogs, cats and other household pets will need some consideration too. Include pet food in your kit along with rations for the rest of the family.

Other useful items to put in the kit include: water or a water filtration device, a first-aid kit, a knife, blankets, a mirror for signaling emergency crews, foods that require no preparation and have a long shelf life, flashlights, extra batteries and a striker or other fire starter.

Choosing a Place to Take Shelter

Some of the children and teachers who survived the Moore, Oklahoma, tornado at school took refuge in the bathrooms, where sturdy walls protected them and a source of water could be relied on if they had to wait for rescue. Other survivors hid in closets. Still others went to local emergency shelters or fled to home shelters such as cellars.

You and your household should have a clear emergency plan for each of the types of natural disasters occurring in your region, and each plan should designate a series of the best shelters. If you can’t make it to the community shelter, then where do you go? It’s important to discuss this with the whole family, so that you move in concert when disaster strikes.

For flooding, you will need to seek higher ground quickly. In this case, it might be obvious where to go, but not so clear how to get there. Your emergency plan for floods should include driving instructions including alternative routes in case roads are blocked.

Rehearse Your Plans

Even the best emergency plan can fail if it’s not followed. Your household should rehearse the steps necessary in case of a disaster to make sure that everyone remembers their own part in it. Conduct practice runs including locating the disaster kit and seeking shelter until everyone is comfortable with the routine.

Should you live in an area that is often subject to extreme weather, it’s a good idea to rehearse as a neighborhood. Cooperation will increase everyone’s chance for survival.

About the Author: Steve Manley is the president of Globalcom Satellite Communications, a leading distributor of satellite phones for both purchase and rental.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Portable Internet Every Survivalist Needs

internet photo: Internet site_internet.jpg

It used to be that a radio was one of the most important things in a survival kit. However, now it is equally important, maybe even more important, to have portable Internet service. Wireless Internet which uses cell phone towers to deliver high speed Internet via a portable plug-in connection is the ideal solution to your portable Internet needs in case of doomsday.

Why You Need Internet When Survival Is Your Concern

No one is denying that food, water, shelter and personal safety will be at the top of your list in the case of the coming apocalypse. These things absolutely must be your priorities. However, access to the secure Internet can actually help you survive, especially when it comes to personal safety. Knowing the dangers that lurk and where other survivors are can make a huge difference to your own survival.

With a wireless Internet connection you have a connection to the world, or what’s left of it. You can easily establish contact using social media, or even chat with other survivors. You will be able to find news from media sources that are still reporting. With Internet access you will also be able to find the how-to guides and virtual maps that you need in order to make survival easier. If and when you get to a place of safety, Internet access can also provide some much needed entertainment, to give your mind a break from the many survival concerns running through your head.

What You Need To Run Portable Internet

If cell phone towers have not been destroyed, you can have portable Internet anywhere in America. The one thing you do need however is a power source. For portable Internet to work, you need an electrical outlet to plug the modem into. Even if there is widespread power outage, finding a source that can run your Internet is easy enough.

You can harness electricity:
  • From a car’s battery, using an inverter that lets you plug in items to a cigarette lighter outlet
  • From a backup battery jumper to avoid draining your car’s battery
  • From deep cycle batteries, a more long term durable battery
  • With a generator, but be sure to have a gasoline stockpile.
  • Using solar panels, provided you are in an area where the sun can reach the panels.
  • With a micro-hydroelectric system if you are close to running water
  • Via a wind turbine system connected to a magnet alternator

Sites to Visit after the Apocalypse

You may be short on time when you get online, so you want to have important websites bookmarked on your laptop or tablet, so you can quickly and easily get to them when you need them most. Here are our top picks for post-apocalypse, must-visit websites: – A fountain of information on survival - How-to information on living out of your car - Find out what suspicious events are happening and where - This website is a go-to resource for everything from preparedness to finding other preppers. - This site will help you navigate unfamiliar areas.

Why Portable Internet?

You may wonder about just simply using Wi-fi for your Internet needs. Think again. Most Wi-fi will likely be down due to power outages. How do you know that any available Wi-fi is not a trap to lure you into a dangerous situation? Most Wi-fi, especially public access Wi-fi, is unsecure access, which means what you sent can be seen by others. You don’t want to make information you are transmitting easy to access. With your own portable access you have secure Internet access that relies just on your own electricity-generating capabilities.

For preppers, there are many things to consider, and Internet access is definitely one of them. Portable wireless Internet is the best solution out there.

Suzanne Turcotte is a content writer who loves the freedom wireless Internet gives her to take her work anywhere.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Guide To Protect Your Home From Deadly Natural Disasters

wildfire photo: wildfire wildfire.jpg
Natural disasters can strike any area any time and sometimes without any warning as well. These calamities can inflict serious damage to both life and property alongside demolishing everything that stands in their way. However, catastrophes like earthquakes, wildfires, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes and lightening can seriously be disastrous and therefore, you should plane in advance to wither them of if you want to keep your home and family safe and sound.

Guide to Prepare your Home for Natural Disasters:

Following lines contain a comprehensive guide to prepare your home for deadly natural disasters.


Earthquakes are one of the most destructive calamities that can strike any area. Therefore, in order to prepare your home against them, you need to take following safety precautions.
  • Check and prepare cracks that are long and penetrating deep into your ceilings.
  • Use special construction materials such as horizontally reinforcing or sheer walls.
  • Remove heavy objects from high areas.
  • Check professional advice for bracing and steadying to reinforce your roof.
  • Install fire protection walls and metal roofs.
  • Install seismic straps on things like water heaters to keep them in place.


Some effective safety tips to counter wildfires are as follows.
  • If you happen to live in the area that is heavily wooded, you need to cut the tree line and all other vegetation close to your home as recommended and permitted by the local authorities.
  • Water your garden and plants as much as possible and also install an irrigation system if possible. Well hydrated and wet plants are less likely to catch fire.
  • If your house is surrounded by woods, always build your house with non-combustible materials such as cement bases roof shingles and cement wall sliding.
  • It is also important to install suction lines and pumps for firefighters especially if you live near any pond or stream.


Although incidents of lightning are somewhat rare yet they can be extremely dangerous as well and you need to protect your home well in time.
  • Keep all electrical components in working order and get your house inspected by a professional on regular basis.
  • Keep an automatic electrical generator ready for power breakdowns.
  • It is also important to install a surge suppressor for the whole house to prevent electricity from frying wires and cables.
  • Finally, you need to install grounds in your house to protect it from catching fire if lightning strikes.


Floods are one of the most fearful phenomena of the nature and following lines explain how to counter them.
  • Allow water the free passage by keeping your gutters and downpours clean and blockage free.
  • Get a flood alarm and install sump pumps to remove water easily.
  • Keep your appliances such as stoves and ovens above the ground to prevent electrification of flood water.
  • Always buy insurance that covers damage caused by the flood water.
  • Ensure that the ground slops away from your home. Furthermore, you can also install a moat like trench with pipes and drains around the foundations. You also need to check regularly especially when it is raining to check whether water is accumulating around the foundations.

Author’s Bio:

Anthony Powell is a home safety expert and is really passionate about his work and also loves to write about anything related to home like printing photos on canvas for personalized home d├ęcor. He works for an online store dealing with large canvas prints and unique home decoration items.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Alternate Uses for Cars in a Post-Apocalyptic World

The television series Revolution depicts a world where the power grid has failed and all electrical devices are rendered useless. It’s a daunting prospect, given our reliance on modern technology, yet in some ways an intriguing one. It recently gave rise to a discussion amongst some of my friends as to how we would manage in such a post-apocalyptic scenario, and eventually the conversation segued into possible uses for the huge piles of non-functioning electrical junk that would be lying around. Eventually we hit upon cars, as they would amongst the largest – and potentially most useful – of the detritus we’d have left to work with.

When I say cars, of course, we’re not talking about tanks or other hardy combat-ready vehicles – as handy as they no doubt would be in terms of defensive capabilities (assuming you were able to find a sufficient fuel source to run them), most people would simply lack ready access to such specialised vehicles. Instead, we focused our minds on standard, run-of-the-mill family cars – the type of vehicle that would be left scattered about the streets in every city.

Initially some of the ideas were fanciful – one person wanted to rig up the car as a sauna in the baking desert sun, another wanted to use it as a lightning rod in order to channel enough energy to charge her smartphone. But the more we thought about it, the more we realised there were practical uses to which we could put cars that would go some way toward addressing some immediate, fundamental needs.

First of all, one of the most obvious uses was shelter. For small families and groups, a car could provide a roof over their heads and shelter from rain or fallout, depending on conditions. As most cars today have power windows, one left with the windows shut would be most versatile – during hot weather, the doors could be opened and the interior used for shade, or alternately kept shut to allow the interior to heat up, providing a warm space to sleep at night. As most cars don’t offer much in the way of insulation, in colder climes seats and other interior fabrics could possibly be stripped from other vehicles to help enhance the main shelter’s snugness.

Alternately, if you had a larger, MPV-style vehicle and sufficient physical labour, the vehicle could be buried to serve as an underground hide-out. Granted, this would require careful ventilation, reinforcement, drainage and a well-camouflaged entrance – some ideas revolved around parking a smaller car on top of the entry tunnel, to shelter the entrance and provide a lookout point from which to assess your surroundings before exiting into open ground.

Moving on from shelter to food, there are several ways in which a car could assist with the necessity of feeding ourselves. Again, if the windows were closed and the climate suitably temperate, a car could easily be converted into a small-scale greenhouse – although admittedly you would need a fair few vehicles to produce any quantity of food. In a later stage, parts of the car could conceivably be modified to serve as cooking equipment. For instance, the engine cavity could be partially gutted to serve as an enclosed grill or barbecue pit, and in hot, dry climates metal sheeting from the car’s exterior could be left to heat up and serve as a spacious, if rudimentary griddle.

There are in fact a number of ways that individual parts of a car could be stripped down and reused. As already noted, seats can be used for insulation and bedding; mirrors could be used for signalling; and exhaust tubes could serve as pipes for a rudimentary irrigation system. Tires could be repurposed on a horse-drawn wagon – indeed, if the engine and other heavy components of the car were removed, the shell itself could conceivably be converted into a wagon and continue to serve in its original role as transport.

There was even some debate over whether a car shell could be rendered sufficiently watertight to serve as a reservoir for collecting rainwater, either for crop irrigation or bathing, or even to be adapted into a boat – but this may come down to the other materials at hand and the skills of those performing the conversion.

Ultimately, the debate proved a good test of ingenuity and lateral thinking – both important qualities to have in a survival situation, expected or otherwise. It’s always a good idea to have an awareness of the materials around you, and the potential uses to which they can be put in a time of need.

Stella Connor is a freelance writer who covers everything from auto and travel to finance and technology. When time allows (and she can get away from her computer), she loves taking to the hills with her family for a spot of camping. She feels somewhat comforted now that should anything ever go wrong, she clearly has a good resource in the family car.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Basics For Living Ultra-Frugal In A Conversion Van

The last six years have been an economic nightmare for many Americans. There were at least 3.4 million completed foreclosures nationwide from September 2008 to February 2012, according to data compiled by CoreLogic. Millions more lost their retirement funds to various unscrupulous individuals and companies. And unemployment rates were above 9 percent for most of 2009 through 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This adversity caused many Americans to re-evaluate their priorities and lifestyles. This is particularly the case for students trying to get through college and older people having difficult times securing employment after being laid off.

A phenomenon known as vandwelling - a form of off-grid living - is picking up steam as a viable alternative for those unable or unwilling to pay monthly rent or mortgage payments. UCLA law professor Gary Blasi told the New York Times that he believes most vandwellers do it out of necessity as opposed to choice. Regardless, vandwellers have the advantage of always being ready to "bug-out" in the event of some sort of doomsday scenario.

This lifestyle, however, is only suitable for single individuals or physically small couples, as living space in a van is limited and must be utilized carefully. Based on personal experience and information from several videos, blogs and forums online from vandwellers, you can live comfortably and happily with all the necessary amenities you'd have in a small apartment. Some even take a boater exam, haul around their paddle boat and catch their food everyday to save even more money. The best news is that the initial investments are relatively inexpensive if you exercise due diligence.

Get Your Van

The most important factor to consider when you purchase what will, for all intents and purposes, be your home for the foreseeable future, is its mechanical and physical condition. That said, you do not have to spend a ton of money for an above average rig. Craigslist is one of the best places to find older vans for sale that are suitable for your needs. Chevy, Dodge, Ford and GMC vans from 1990 to 2000 are some of the more popular choices. They can last upwards of 250,000 miles with proper maintenance. A used van with 150,000 miles or less is something to seriously consider if the price is right. Many vandwelling bloggers seem to prefer a van with a high-top roof for extra head room.


Whether you live in a warm climate (preferable) or a place with freezing winters, insulation is the key to comfort. Windows are where most of the heat enters in the summer and where it escapes in the winter. Reflectix is an excellent window insulation that keeps the sun out. If you decide to cover your windows with insulation, you will need a roof vent fan for ventilation and air flow. The floors, roof and all the walls (on the bare metals) should be covered with some type of polyethylene insulation that is mold and moisture resistant. EZ Cool Insulation is a popular choice for van dwellers.


This is the step that will make your van feel as close to a small bedroom as possible. Decide what all you will want and need to run on electricity in your van. You'll need to add up your approximate total daily use (note: Watts = Amps X Volts) to determine what exactly you'll need to produce the needed power. Some people combine solar power, wind power and/or a small gas generator to power their van. An inverter and charge controller will also be needed for solar applications. Appliances such as air conditioners and microwaves use a lot of electricity to get started, and will require you to have a generator. All other appliances can run on (minimum) two, in-series, 6-volt, deep-cycle golf cart batteries that can be charged either by a generator or solar.

Vandwelling is a liberating experiencing and one you'll never stop learning from. You can get a gym membership to take showers, find places that will allow you to park overnight (Wal-Marts, truck stops or pay someone to stay on their property) and probably get a storage unit for extra possessions you can't carry around. The sacrifices you make will bring freedom like you've never had before.

Rob Lambert
As a writer and activist, Rob believes it's important he raise his pen, rather than his voice, to be heard.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Gardening: Cultivating the Right Crops for the Right Climate

green chili photo: Green Chili GREENIE.jpg

I’m a survivalist at heart. I was the guy with a hiking pack and a go-pack filled to the brim on December 21, 2012, ready for that impending doom of the Mayan varietal. I had a well dug, a full tank plus a dozen extra gas cans in the garage, dried and canned foodstuffs in the basement, and a fledgling garden in the works. I was ready.

Fortunately (or unfortunately?) the misreadings of the Mayan calendar were just that – misreadings. Leaving folks like me with a bunch of extra stuff we didn’t need and a bunch of places we no longer needed to go. Which left me wondering: what do I do now? I couldn’t let everything go to waste! It didn’t take me long to realize that just because 12/21/12 had passed, that didn’t mean another apocalyptic event wasn’t waiting in the wings – zombie apocalypse, nuclear winter, World War III. Which then made me realize that I didn’t really want to survive an apocalyptic event if I had to do it alone.

So I’ve decided to share my knowledge with the world in the hopes that, a few years after some catastrophic, near-human-race-ending event, I run into someone who has survived because they read one of my articles.

Fat chance, you say? Probably. Regardless, here is an unadulterated gift from me to you – may it one day save your life!

Top 10 Survival Skills

As you could probably tell by the title of the article, we’re primarily going to be discussing gardening. But I would be remiss if I shared no other basic knowledge with you. After all, you’ll need to know how to do more than grow food in the event of a world-ending catastrophe. If I had to decide the top 10 “outdoor” survival skills you would need to survive an apocalyptic event, they would be these:
  • Carpentry/Home Repair
  • Self-Defense and Military Tactics (for the roving bands of highwaymen)
  • Advanced First Aid
  • How to Start a Fire
  • Hunting and Trapping
  • Fishing
  • How to Butcher
  • Food Preservation
  • How to Find Water
  • Gardening

But why is gardening numero uno? Because gardening, simply, is the gift that keeps on giving. Fish for a man, you feed him for a day. But show him how to garden and he’s set for life.

Countless books have been written on how to garden – this is not meant to replace those, but rather to jumpstart your research into what types of crops you can grow in which climates. Methinks that’s a good starting point.

Planting Your Garden Based on Climate

As you’re likely aware, numerous climates exist around the world, from dry and arid to temperate, and from arctic to tropical. Depending on where the apocalyptic event catapults you, you’ll need to know which types of plants flourish in which types of environments.


Try to relocate yourself to an oasis or a lower altitude that has a better chance at accumulating water – it should be something you can visually identify as a depression in the ground. Plants you can cultivate here include cacti, which you can stew for sustenance, dates from palm trees, black walnut trees, agave, and various artichokes.

Ideally, an arid climate is not the place in which you find yourself following a natural disaster. I recommend heading for a temperate or tropical zone with all due haste.


Beets, endives, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, fennel, kale, and squash are examples of plants that grow incredibly well in temperate climes. Many of them can give year-round yields, and these tend to be the most nutritious of plant varieties.

Kale, especially, is considered the most nutrient-dense food on the planet. Primary benefits include its pervasive, positive effect on bone density, cell growth, liver function, cholesterol, and body detoxification, among dozens of others.


With a more humid climate come those foods we associate with the tropics: bananas, sugar cane, cacao and mangoes as some of the most prominent examples.

Green chili is an especially good example of a plant to grow in your apocalyptic tropical garden. Rich in calcium, potassium, vitamins and a healthy variety of trace minerals, one would do well to incorporate green chilies into the everyday diet. “A green chili a day keeps the doctor away.” Isn’t that how it goes?

Regardless of what climate you may find yourself in, be sure to take a look at your surroundings and see which plants seem to be growing naturally and which ones seem to be thriving. Use your common sense and your best judgment to determine what you should be cultivating. One of the worst scenarios you can find yourself in is having worked to the bone trying to get non-native plants to thrive in a climate and soil that was never meant for them.

Do your research, do more research, then, post-apocalyptic event, come find me. I live in Ohio. We can be friends.

Jeff Hirz is a writer and freelancer and avid survivalist. If you want to survive an impending apocalypse, you can come to his house. He wrote this article on behalf of The Hatch Chile Store.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

5 TV Shows You Need to Watch to Improve Your Survival Skills

dual survival photo: The hosts of Dual Survival DualSurvival01.jpg

The hit reality show “Survivor” may have started it all, but the “survival” genre of American TV has become more popular in the last decade. Viewers marvel at the brains and resourcefulness displayed by these survival stars – the skills they demonstrate are truly remarkable. Here are a few shows to check out if you want to brush up on your own survival skills.

Dual Survival

Airing on the Discovery Channel, “Dual Survival” stars a pair of survival-savvy experts. The show started in 2010 and has been renewed for a fourth season. The two men are shown using survival skills to overcome various situations such as being stuck on a deserted island, lost in a jungle, or wandering in an empty desert. The show’s website features bios of the two men, photos, and videos, including one titled “Survival 101,” which is packed with helpful information about survival basics like avoiding animal attacks, navigating the land, bathroom sanitation, food, how to find water, containing water, tracking animals, how to make fire, and improvising with what you have in your surroundings.

Man vs. Wild

This show’s general format centers on author and adventurer Bear Grylls and his attempts to survive and find a way back to civilization after being stranded. The show’s website offers overall tips for survival, as well as specific information and tips for regions such as Utah, Nevada, the Costa Rican rainforest, and the Alaskan mountain wilderness.

Ultimate Survival Alaska

In this show from the National Geographic Channel, eight men are dropped in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness and must survive tough weather conditions. The show premiered this May and airs Sundays at 9 p.m. The Anchorage Daily News gives a nice summary: “In ‘Ultimate Survival Alaska,’ cast members travel 3,000 miles in a 10-stage expedition that begins in the Brooks Range and traces 200 miles of the Yukon River before heading to the Juneau ice cap. No GPS units, cell phones, watches or tents allowed.”

The Walking Dead

If the idea of a zombie apocalypse rattles you, tune into AMC’s hit series, “The Walking Dead” to learn how to stay alive. Returning in October, the show has a cult-like following, and is the most watched drama series on basic cable for adults 18-49 and adults 25-54, according to AMC’s website. Entertainment Weekly has called it “the greatest thriller ever produced for television.” On AMC’s blog, “Walking Dead” cast members have provided their own suggestions for how to survive an apocalypse, which include having a rifle, crossbow, or axe; eating beans, and cooking them all the way through; and remembering that “you do what you got to do, simple as that.”

Naked and Afraid

In this new series from Discovery, a pair of strangers will be stranded in some of the planet’s harshest environments with no food, water, tools, or clothes for 21 days. Each week features a new couple and a new environment; the first episode takes place in Tanzania on the Serengeti plains. Other episodes have been filmed in Panama, Costa Rica, the Maldives, and Borneo. In a New York Daily News article, Discovery channel executive Craig Coffman says the show had to go to extremes because survival shows have become more common. “Having no clothes just takes it to the next level. It’s the ultimate test and makes survival exponentially more difficult.” “Naked and Afraid” premieres June 23.

Catie Fry is a content writer/blogger for DIRECTV satellite television.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Pet Considerations in Survival


You have probably spent a lot of time thinking about how you will survive an emergency situation. If you have been studying, you have probably also done a lot training in the field as well and have hopefully included each member of your family. Are you sure you haven’t forgotten anybody? What about Fido or Fluffy? Have you thought about what you will do with your pet in an emergency survival situation?

If you have not considered this issue, now is the time to do so. During a survival situation, you will be forced to make hundreds of quick decisions that will impact your life. The last thing you need to worry about is if you will leave your family pet behind or take them along with you. Obviously, many people consider a pet a part of the family and struggling with that decision during a stressful time would be extremely difficult.

Here are a few things you need to consider before you make a final decision. The first list would be why you should keep the pet.

  • They offer comfort and companionship in an uncertain time.
  • Can act as a security alarm for you. Animals are able to hear and smell things before humans can and can alert you to any trouble headed your way. They may also be able to deter anything that attempts to harm you, man or animal.
  • Warmth is another major benefit. Snuggling up with Fido can help keep you warm in a cold weather situation.
  • They could be a big help in hunting.

Reasons you may not want to keep your pet with you are as follows:

  • Your pet is another mouth to feed and water. When things are tight, could you split your resources with your furry friend? This is a very real possibility and you need to think about it today, rather than in the heat of the moment.
  • An animal that doesn't obey could be a liability for you. You cannot afford to be chasing after a wayward pet.

As you can see, there are certainly more reasons to keep the animal with you than to abandon it. With that said, you can take steps to make sure your pet will be beneficial to your survival plan. Teach him to hunt now and get a handle on his behavior.

Craig Caudill is an outdoor enthusiast who teaches what to put into and more importantly how to use the items in your bug out backpack for Dan’s Depot. You can watch his free training videos here. He also is the chief instructor at his Nature Reliance School.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Finding and Cleaning Water for Survival

North Pickering Waterfall

Water is an essential resource that absolutely no one on this planet can live without. It can make or break empires and it can slowly destroy mountains. If you think that you can go more than three days without this key ingredient of life, you are dead wrong.

Finding water during a survival situation can sometimes be as easy as walking to a local stream and gathering some fresh spring water. That may be the case for most of the time, but there are other times in life where water just isn't as easily had.

If you find yourself in a location where water is scarce, like the desert, you are going to want to know something about the local plants. Desert plants are designed to hold water for long periods of time and if you know exactly what ones to slice into, you are going to be able to survive for a considerably longer time, if not indefinitely.

In deserts and other locations that water is not easily found, you may want to consider digging for your drink. This technique requires a lot of effort and if you are spending a few hours hopelessly digging in the hot desert sun, you are going to dehydrate quickly and die quickly as well. Digging water wells is only a viable option if the water is just a few feet under the surface and you are sure that you have the strength to do it.

Another place to look for water in a survival situation is to scavenge for it. If you find yourself in a situation that takes place in a recently abandoned urban landscape, you can easily break into buildings and break the pipes, water tanks or water heaters to get a drink. Just make sure that the building you are breaking into is completely abandoned. Some residents might not care how thirsty you are.

Occasionally you are going to find yourself absolutely surrounded by water that is unsafe to drink. Theses places include the ocean, swamps, pools, and other locations that will contaminate drinking water with harmful and sometimes fatal chemicals.

Some of the various bacterias and parasites that live comfortably in swamps and other sources of stagnant water are perfectly happy living inside of you. They will make you extremely sick as well. If death by diarrhea sounds like one of the worst ways to die, make sure that you never drink from stagnant water without purifying it first.

The salt water in oceans is also terrible to drink. This is due to its 3.5% salt content, while your body is only 0.9%. If you consume a small amount of salt water, you will be fine as long as you keep drinking more regular water but if you are using salt water to stay hydrated it will destroy the bodies renal system that works to remove the salt from your blood. Too much of this and you will eventually die.

Don't worry though, there are methods of cleaning dirty water and making it safe for human consumption. You can easily construct an improvised water filter, boil it, add miniscule amounts of bleach, make a solar still and even purchase tablets that will purify water for you.

If you are fortunate enough to own a pool or come across one on your travels, you can drink the chlorinated water as long as the levels of chlorine are not over four parts per million.

In order to safely filter your water, you are going to need to use charcoal to remove most of the particles in it. To make a charcoal filter, you simply cut the bottom off of a soda bottle and turn it upside down. Then in this order you add the following materials; cloth, charcoal, sand, then gravel. This will make a simple filter but you are still going to want to boil your water for at least five minutes to kill off any additional bacteria or other contaminates that might have slipped past the filter.

Bad water sources kill millions of people around the globe every year but now you can consider yourself adequately informed about how to find and clean water during a survival situation.

Justin G is the kind of person who loves to get lost on purpose just to try and get himself out of a bad situation. If you want to read more about him or his survival tips, you can visit for more information.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Doomsday Giveaway for June 2013!

For our June 2013 giveaway, we have teamed up with Beat the End in our first ever multi survival blog giveaway. We want to give two lucky winners each one of two great prizes.

paracord knife The first prize is a Gerber Bear Grylls Paracord Fixed Blade Knife with Slim Sheath. This great knife is a full tang fixed blade knife that also includes over 4-feet of paracord. This knife weighs less than 6 ounces and is 7.75 inches long. You can also customize the grip to the way you like it. Nice knife.

Cabelas Gift Card The second prize is a $25 Cabelas Gift Card! Cabelas is an excellent option for all your survival needs. This gift card is perfect for helping you get just a little more prepared.

All you need to do is use the Rafflecopter tool below to enter. You can tweet about this giveaway or another link on this blog, follow us on Twitter, "like" us on Facebook, share us at your favorite social network, or follow this blog. You can follow Beat the End as well. Easy as that. On July 6th we will select the winner. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Beat the End works towards providing you with the most interesting and up to date information that is relevant to the world of the survivalist and the prepper.

The Blog List