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Building an Emergency Kit (Bug Out Bag) That’s Right For You


If you’re trying to research on putting together a BOB (Bug Out Bag) it can be quite daunting with the amount of information available. Much like the 5th point of contact when it comes to opinions on the matter everyone has one, and at times they are conflicting. This only goes to further confuse the poor sap trying get a bag together (sorry about calling you a sap; don’t take it personal). As if there’s not enough information already out there (some of it great and some better labeled as DOOKIE) I’ve decided to offer up some advice on the topic.

First, let me share a little wisdom. That’s right I’m wise, and by wise, I mean old enough to have learned the hard way through experience. I have a few perspectives that have allowed me to understand the use and nature of the BOB as well as feel very comfortable with throwing mine together. BTW: I keep multiple bags stocked for various reasons (work, vehicle, home etc.).  So about that experience:

  • I’m a Prepper

I’ve been what you would call a prepper for well over a decade now. During that time I’ve had the opportunity to test various bags and content on different trips and such. Even during a few small events (nothing of significance). Additionally, I’ve read quite a lot on the topic and processed and banked what I consider worthwhile.

  • I’m a Special Operations Veteran

I throw in the Special Operations here because it has relevance. In my unit, we would constantly deploy on short training trips and short real world deployments. Additionally while deployed we would also deploy on missions frequently. All of this as you can imagine encompassed a lot of bag packing and toting. Over the course of deployments and years, you learn a lot about what really matters in the bag. Most related to this topic would be what we called our overnight bag (or many other names). When you’re consistently humping a bag around on your back in a combat zone or even a training exercise you tend to take a personal interest that it is tailored to what really matters.

  • I’m a Survival SME

This has a bit of relevance too. My background with the SERE program (keyword Survival in the acronym) gives me an in-depth understanding of what survival really entails. As such this is considered when packing my bags.


This article is not going to provide you a BOB packing list, but rather covers some items and general topics to consider as you build your kit.


Now that we’re passed me trying to validate myself as an expert (both for your peace of mind and my personal desire to feel important) let’s get down to business. This article is not going to provide you a BOB packing list, but rather covers some items and general topics to consider as you build your kit. Before I move into a point by point list let me give you this advice. Don’t stress it! You’re putting together extra credit. Everything you add is one more thing you didn’t have otherwise, so don’t go stressing about….what if I forgot something. Of course, you’ll forget something don’t be a puss, adapt and overcome. Trust me when I say that knowledge and training go a lot farther than gear in most situations. If you continue to sharpen those, an oversight on packing is a small challenge. If however, you are the type who believes you can obtain security through simply buying some cool gear and watching a few YouTube videos you’re probably going to die. I hope not, but it’s best to accept that now or change it. For the list below I want to mention a few things. They are not in any particular order of priority. Also, I’ve included inline links throughout for your convenience. Any of the products I’ve linked to are ones that I personally own and use unless otherwise noted.



Actually less really isn’t more, but it is a cool saying. That scientific fact aside, less can be better at times. Lugging around a heavy ass bag with a bunch of extra stuff you don’t need is not a good situation. Even worse in the wrong conditions, it could cost you your life. I’ve seen people that brag about how they can hump their 3,000lb BOB around with no issues. They even do it occasionally to make sure they are ready for the SHTF day. The problem is they are doing it on their leisure time. While it is great to use and get familiar with your equipment, merely toting your bag around on a Saturday afternoon is not a true simulation of conditions you would likely need to use the bag. Sleep, Nutrition, Nerves, Weather, and numerous other factors will influence how that load really carries for you when really use it.

Additionally, duration and speed make a great deal of difference as well. If given the choice between a too heavy bag and no bag at all I would choose……the heavy bag of course ….duh. Still, it’s not an ideal choice. Of course you can shed some weight by discarding gear, however, it’s best to get it closer to right the first time. If you’re in an evasion situation discarding gear is not a good thing. Furthermore who likes to throw good gear away? There are a lot of great bags out there. Here is one by 5.11 that I’m a fan of. Of course shop around and find the one that’s right for you
Check out more here: Tactical Bags



                Sure quantity is more important at times; like for instance ____________ _________________
I’m not sure what you filled in there but it tells you a lot about yourself. You should reflect on that and then continue reading. One particular area I want to hit on here is your actual bag. Quality should be a serious consideration. That’s not to say that quality always = expensive, however, it often does. Regardless, you want to ensure you have a well-fitting and very durable bag. It would truly suck to set out in movement only to have a shoulder strap break on you. A lot of people like to buy the pre-packaged kits (bags and contents). This is better than nothing but I prefer a more personalized approach. Either way, if you do go that route I encourage you to replace the bag with a better quality one as soon as you can. Most of them I have seen (or tested) are not fit any type of rigorous use.

Beyond the bag, there are other areas that quality should be considered. Use good common sense and you can generally identify those particular items.  For instance, it probably doesn’t matter if you choose to carry some generic beef jerky over the brand name stuff. Conversely, if you carry a High Point over a Glock you need to re-evaluate your priorities.




One important note here. DO NOT place all your eggs in one basket. I highly recommend cross loading those items (or categories) across your persons and gear. For instance you may keep the primary first aid kit in the bag, however, it would be ideal to keep personal kits (like this) on each individual. Ultimately you do not want to put yourself in a position that you’re empty handed if you lose the bag for some reason.



Water is in my opinion (and Biology’s) one of the most important necessities in a BOB. That said it is heavy stuff! Fortunately, there are some considerations here. One simple consideration is your surrounding area and that along the planned routes you’ll be taking. Are there water sources available? Of course, a chemical attack would contaminate the water, but then again it’s probably best to not bug out in the middle of a chemical attack (I know floods, pandemics, etc. can also impact the above). The bottom line is this if I live in a well-hydrated area having actual water in my bag is less important than the guy in the middle of the Nevada desert.

What should be important for all is having the means to procure (Container), Treat, Purify and Filter water. If you have this capability and a knowledge of where and how to acquire water you’ll be set. I personally carry a steel cup that fits over my Nalgene bottle. This works great as the cups space is negligible in this case and doubles as a boiling pot.

Condoms (non-lubricated) are also an excellent addition to your pack as they work great for a quick water container. I actually recommend that everyone carries one on their person. If you are married and you do this I highly encourage you to inform your spouse in advance. Not doing so could drastically decrease your chances of survival in general.
QUICK NOTE ON TREATING WATER: A lot of treatment tablets use iodine. If you’re allergic to shellfish you very well may have a reaction to iodine. It is best to test or find out ahead of time in a safe manner (consult your doctor).

A quick personal secret that I don’t recommend necessarily but I’ll share anyway, along with my logic. I’m personally not a huge fan of plain water (I wish I were) so I don’t typically pack water. Instead, I pack a replenishing type sports drink. It has worked fine for me (I’ve not been a dehydrated victim yet). It allows me to stay hydrated, enjoy the taste (somewhat), and provides needed minerals and electrolytes for virtually the same weight. Avoid caffeinated drinks and other supplements that are diuretics if you go this route. Finally, I also pack some flavor packets in my bag as well… like I said I prefer flavored water.


Another survival necessity, and can also be used for purifying water. Fire is critical in a wilderness survival situation, as such it should be given a fair amount of attention in your BOB. I don’t care if you can whip up a bow drill in your back yard just fine I would still recommend a more expedient method making it into the bag.                                                                  In fact, I would highly recommend that you carry a Ferrocerium rod (or a couple). These last a very long time and work in any environment. I also personally carry survival matches and a lighter as well. By all means, they’re great, but if stuck with one I (along with most others I know in the field) will choose the ferrocerium.

Beyond the spark, I encourage you to carry some tinder as well. Depending on weather and environment tinder can be challenging to gather for a quick fire. There are plenty of buyable options out there like WetFire or you can make your own. One of my favorites is a small tin (Altoids, Skoal,) filled with cotton balls or dryer lint that have Vaseline rubbed into them. These really take the sport out of getting a good fire going, and if you’re in a survival situation you want easy.



                A knife (or multiple ones) is a critical piece of gear. The uses for such an item and numerous in many of the situations you’ll likely encounter. I recommend at a minimum having a great quality fixed blade and folder. I’m a big fan of knives and as such have a pretty extensive collection, some of which are quite expensive. That said I realize that not everyone wants to (or can) go out and buy a few hundred dollar knife so the two knives I’m linking to here are ones that I carry quite often and consider an excellent buy for the cost.       FIXED BLADE     FOLDER  In addition to the knives I like to include a small sharpening stone (if the knife doesn’t have one built into the sheath).



                Food is a low priority in the BOB. Ultimately you can survive quite a while without food, it just sucks to do so. I do carry some edibles but I’m very picky on that. I recommend some energy gel packs. I’ve used these out of necessity and they work short-lived miracles. Personally, in the food category, I look for best caloric/nutritional bang for my space. Look for lightweight high-calorie nutritional options. They sell some pretty good bars made for this purpose. I also like to carry some beef jerky. IMO it’s a good treat to chew/suck on while moving out. A small fishing kit is a great item to include. I make my own or you can buy a readymade kit. Though flatware is not a food they do make it easier to enjoy it. I recently received a K-Bar Spork and like it quite well. I also use this cheap collapsible flatware set. I personally love these. They’re light and hold up quite well for just a few dollars. A nicety that I include in my bag and consider worth the space is a small container of salt and spices. While not a necessity some niceties are worth the weight/space cost IMO.

Baby formula should be considered if required in your situation.


                Clothing is one of those areas I consider pretty objective specific. If I’m traveling to an area that I may need to evade then a clothing change or modifier is considered as well as the ability to blend with the local populace. For general purposes, I don’t get to caught up on clothing. There is an exception to that. SOCKS!!! At a minimum pack some. Take care of your feet and they will take care of you. Here are some of my favorites. They’re not cheap, but they are great.


                Lighting is one of those things that just make life easier. This is one of those areas that I don’t consider an absolute requirement, but I always pack nonetheless. There are some excellent options in this area from extremely cheap to very expensive. In my bag, I include a headlamp (if not worn), Surefire, and 6 Hour candles (note: I’m not giving a candle link because the cost is ridiculous on the internet. Get them at your local Dollar Tree; they are the ones that look like fat crayons). I also have a few chem-lights as well, but I utilize those more for signaling or marking areas.



Navigational aids are an important part of a BOB. I recommend at a minimum a small map and compass. Personally, I carry (between bag and person) two GPS (not counting my phone), Compass, Pencil, and Map. Also, this is an area that I highly advise practicing on….with the compass navigation. Trust me on this, I’ve seen people that couldn’t find the CLAP in Vegas trying to navigate in the woods; it’s a developed skill and perishable.


                This particular area is often left out of the BOB discussion. I can understand why as the BOB is often thought of from a get out of town quick the Russians are coming type bag. That being said you’re much more likely to use it in a natural disaster or emergency style event. Regardless it is a good idea to have the ability to signal in rescue if needed. There are numerous methods and equipment out there for this. At a minimum, I recommend a quality signal mirror. They can alert rescue at a very good distance, potentially aid in fire, and most importantly allow you to make sure you look good while on the run. After all just because you are a refugee doesn’t mean you have to look like one…..get some self-respect!


                Humans are by nature social creatures, therefore it only makes sense that a certain level of communication should be included in your BOB. That and the fact that your ability to communicate could directly correlate with a quick recovery if the need arise. When I approach communication for my bag I do so from a few angles. I consider communication between those I’m conducting movement with, and the ability to communicate with those outside of our group. For internal communications, I carry two-way radios and emergency whistles. For the outside world, I carry my cell phone and a small portable HAM radio. This doesn’t all need to necessarily go in your bag as some can be worn by the individuals on their person. Another consideration for this I highly recommend is buying a multi-powered option radio, preferably one that includes hand crank and/or solar power capability. After all, you may not be able to simply stop and plug into an outlet along your travels. Beyond the obvious above considerations, you can also include a drop phone and multiple pre-paid calling cards.


                What is our one natural response anytime a major news event or the like occurs? No, I’m not talking about pulling out your cell phone to record it, but sadly that is the case for many. Typically we want to know more, right? You rush to the TV or the internet and do a search to find out the latest update. It’s an uncomfortable feeling of being left in the dark when you don’t have that ability. Part of this is curiosity and part of it is self-preservation; especially when the particular event has an impact on you or your family. For this very reason, I carry a small weather alert radio.(and the HAM mentioned above). I personally carry a ETON FRX3. What I like about it is that it will run via electricity, rechargeable battery, solar, and hand crank. It also has a built-in flashlight and cell phone charger. A good rule of thumb in survival (and packing in general) is to utilize items that give you a lot of value for their space.


                I’m not going to bog down too much on this particular area, but I will share a few things. Obviously, you should travel with a firearm and ammunition for the respective weapon(s). If you hate guns and think they are evil then you’re on the wrong site I would encourage you to visit HERE instead. Great, now that we’ve gotten rid of them let’s move on. There are times, and places that you, unfortunately, cannot travel or carry a weapon. In these cases, you’ll have to be creative and consider other options for the bag. Note this; I do not encourage placing your only firearm or all spare ammo in or on the bag. This would obviously leave you in a pretty compromised situation if you lose the bag for some reason.


                Shelter is one of those areas that you need to be somewhat creative with in your BOB. For my actual bag, I do not carry shelter. Instead, I opt to carry a lightweight tarp (folds flat and takes very little space) and 550 paracords. By carrying this minimal amount of equipment I can make a variety of good shelters depending on the environment that I’m in. I also recommend carrying some excess 550 line as you’ll find there are numerous excellent uses for cordage.

I do have personal tents (similar to those, however mine are subdued) and even a large family tent that is co-located with our evacuation gear. These make the cut if we’re traveling in our vehicle for the evacuation. We also keep a couple of space blankets in the BOB as well. These can be utilized similar to a tarp, however, they are not nearly as durable (that’s not their purpose). What they do work particularly well at is a firewall reflector (reflects heat toward your sleeping area).


                There are numerous considerations when thinking about what types of power sources you should throw in your bag. What items do you have that require power? Some examples of mine are Night vision, Optics, Flashlights, cell phone, GPS etc. I recommend you try your best to align your equipment to utilize similar batteries. This allows you to carry less. One of my favorite items I keep in my bag is a high capacity battery (recharger) like this. They have numerous styles out there and a good one will provide a great deal of charge for the small tradeoff in space. Another option to consider is a solar power recharging panel. I haven’t personally used these so I can’t speak to their effectiveness.


                This is an area that can be quite broad in category. As a general rule here I like to keep it primarily trauma related. Pack a basic compact first aid kit. A few unique items that I include in mine are Skin Stapler; Quick Clot; Nasopharyngeal Tube; EMT Shears and Tourniquet. Additionally, I also carry a small supply of various medications in the kit, antibiotics are great to have on hand. An important (and I would like to think obvious) note here is that it’s important your trained on the use and application of the equipment you carry. Throwing a tourniquet on little Johnny’s arm for the paper cut is generally not good practice.

Another thing that should be considered and I find is often not thought of are your teeth. I carry an emergency dental kit for this purpose.

Required medicine or supplies. Depending on your family’s specific needs you will want to ensure you have any required medicines or supplies. For instance insulin for a diabetic in the family.


                You definitely want to include some purchasing power in your BOB (and/or on your person). I personally approach this like many things and include a variety. I keep approximately $200 cash in a mix of $1-$20 denominations. Some pre-paid Credit Cards (note; many of these expire or charge you after a certain period of time so make sure you keep track). I also include some precious metal items (Primarily coinage) as well. Ideally, you want to shoot for smaller value items to allow broader flexibility. After all, you don’t want to end up trying to cut a sliver off of a 1oz gold coin to pay for a gallon of gas.

QUICK TIP 1: I keep a dummy wallet with my kit or when I travel. This is a cheap wallet with fake credit cards, hotel room key (old) and twenty dollars in small bills cash. This can be handed over in a robbery and gives the appearance or realism.

QUICK TIP 2: I don’t really use checks anymore, however, I always keep at least one or two blank ones folded in my wallet for those unforeseen needs. This has helped me out of tight spaces on multiple occasions over the years.


You want to ensure you have your most important documents and IDs packed. Some considerations are Government ID, Passport, Social Security Card, Emergency Contact #’s and Information, and Bonds.


                Below are some various items that I don’t necessarily include at all times, but do make it into the bag for various situations. It’s worth noting here that my setup is likely different than a typical family would have or need. This is in large part due to the fact that I run a training company and travel frequently. At the end of the day, you’ll want to tailor something that fits best with your lifestyle and preparation concerns.

NOTE: Check the legality in your area before buying or utilizing these.

55 Gallon Trash bags. These serve numerous purposes and always come in handy.

Ziplock Bags. Another great all-purpose helper.



CLEAR OUT (Tear Gas)


DISGUISE MATERIAL. I intend to write a full article on this topic in the future.

RF Detector

Once again this list is not complete, but it should give you a great start toward putting your bag together. Remember, rather than approaching it with ‘which items should I pack?’ consider the question ‘what situations may I encounter and what are my essential needs’. Finally, enjoy the process. Use it as an opportunity to learn while you prepare. Get to know your gear. Don’t just buy it, pack it, and not look at it again. It’s important to use it to identify bad products as well as shortages in your equipment or skillset.

Please share your tips and thoughts in the comments below!

Make sure and join us at ‘The Omega Group’ on Facebook for more great information and a community happy to share !

Max Velocity on Patrol Loads and Packs

United States Army ranger during the military operation

Max dropped some truth bombs in a post today over at the MVT blog – check it out.

A few quotes, but the whole write up is worth a read:

You have to figure out what you think it is sensible to carry, and what you can carry, and how it applies to your task. I tell people to pack smart. You need what you need, but you should try and cut down. Prepper mindset can lead you to try and pack a whole bunch of stuff, ‘just in case.’ Well, unless it is absolutely essential, like your weapon, then don’t take it! Be smart about it. Concentrate on ammo, water and food, shelter (as applicable) with items to support that WITHIN REASON.

You have to get away from the idea that you can operate in some sort of self contained way indefinitely. So you pack a weeks’ worth of rations and all your camping gear. Now you can hardly move, and are no longer alert on patrolling. After a week you run out of rations. Perhaps pack 2 weeks? NO. You need a base and you need logistics. If you are operating out there for an extended period, you need a team and a logistics plan. You cannot operate on your own indefinitely. How about someone resupplies a cache by some means? ATV, vehicle, whatever? Use your brain to figure it out so you can move lighter and smarter. If you are planning on some sort of extended forward patrol base operation, see what means you can use to get supplies in there without having to hump them, or at least cache them close?

If you are conducting security patrolling, you may be patrolling light at relatively close range to your base, in your standard loadout, like my light battle belt/ CUTT chest rig configuration as an example. Ballistic plates or not, pick your poison. I recommend a light hydration pack so you have water and the ability to carry a small amount of other gear, such as night vision, some food , extra mags etc. Camelbak MULE type item. That loadout will probably have at least 8 or 9 x 5.56 magazines on it (including your rifle). If you are going on an extended patrol and need to take the patrol pack, then you need that ‘second line ammo scale’ on the patrol pack, which would be another 8 mags. See how this is never going to be light anyway, so you need to cut it down where you can.

I will carry the least amount of gear that I can get away with, but there are basics that will always be present. Here are some examples, not an ultimate list, just what pops to mind mentally going through gear:

First Line: Light Battle belt / CUTT Chest Rig / hydration pack:

  • Rifle
  • Rifle magazines (9)
  • Handgun
  • Handgun magazines (3)
  • Small IFAK
  • 2 x TQ
  • Radio – if using.
  • Leatherman Tool
  • Knife
  • FLIR Scout
  • PVS-14 / Crye Nightcap
  • Map/Compass
  • Basic rations – energy bars
  • Water bladder
  • Water purification tablets / straw
  • Lighters
  • Smoke
  • Batteries for all above.
  • (Ballistic Plate carrier – if applicable)

Add Patrol Pack:

  • Magazines (8)
  • Water (either stow the hydration pack as a mini ‘grab bag’ or carry a separate bladder in the patrol pack)
  • Rations (3 days stripped down)
  • Light jungle sleeping bag / blanket (upgraded for winter)
  • Goretex bivvy bag
  • Thermal sleeping mat
  • MVT SHIELD (use as tarp shelter)
  • Spare socks
  • Spare clothing / cold weather gear
  • Foot care kit / first aid / medications
  • Lightweight rocket /solid fuel stove with pot
  • Helmet – if applicable / night vision
  • Folding saw
  • Paracord
  • Add misc. items such as batteries and misc. gear.
  • Add special to task gear as appropriate.
From Alex: Again, read the whole write up, it’s good advice.
I’ve been writing about keeping bug out bag/patrol packs/go to hell bags (I prefer the latter term personally, but whatevs) as light as possible for a while. That doesn’t mean ditching the essentials, it means packing what you need and trimming weight where you can. Your pack might not be an ultralight one, especially if you’re conducting some variety of post apocalyptic patrol/operation, but it shouldn’t be heavier than it needs to be.

Example – you don’t need a stove, but you might want to have one for convenience/comfort. But if you are going to pack one around on foot, it’d better be pretty lightweight.

My personal pack lists is fairly similar to what Max details above — certainly some nuances; I don’t have a stove or a bivvy bag, have 5 mags versus 8, I do have a weapons cleaning kit, that kind of thing. Max didn’t intend his lists to be exhaustive and all encompassing, just a starting point for a total collapse, armed citizen’s patrol pack.


CQB and the Revolver

A photo of snub nose revolver isolated on a white background. This handgun was a standard issue weapon for police detectives for many years.

A couple weeks back, we looked at what would happen if, during a close-quarters fight, an attacker got his hands on your pistol.

It does not take very much to stop an auto-loading pistol from actually reloading. A hand on the slide can not only push the gun off target, it can also cause a malfunction.

Several people responded saying such a possibility is a good reason to use a revolver. Not quite. The truth of the matter is that if a bad guy gets a hand on your revolver, it too will be temporarily out of commission. Grasping the cylinder makes a double-action revolver inoperative in the double-action mode. If you have cocked the hammer manually BEFORE the bad guy grabs the gun, you will get one shot off. You might also have the benefit of hot gasses escaping from the cylinder gap prompting the attacker to release his grip. Might. This is not certain and I am not going to test it by placing my hand over the cylinder gap and firing the revolver.

The best course of action is to do everything you can to keep the attacker from getting a hand on your gun. If you fail in that, know that a fight for your gun is a fight for your life. Use any means to cause enough dysfunction to stop the attacker from getting your gun. We will talk more about weapons retention in future editions, but know that you should use any method at your disposal to retain your firearm.

Two Hands Are Better Than One

In a fight for your gun, if you can get your support hand on top of the gun’s barrel (ensuring no part of your hand is in front of the muzzle), you greatly increase your leverage and control over that gun. This, of course, ties up both of your hands, so you will be forced to strike your attacker with your elbows, knees or feet as you thrash about with all your strength to ENSURE you keep control of your firearm. Do not lose your gun.

The post CQB and the Revolver appeared first on USCCA.

USConcealed Carry Association Blog

Five Scary Signs That Your Health May Be Rapidly Declining


Most people try to avoid the thought of what their lives would be like if their health failed. But for those who are brave enough to have those thoughts, they probably don’t have an accurate perception of what it’s really like to be near death’s door and in need of medical attention. They’ll likely base their assumptions on what they’ve seen in movies, and dread the day they develop an inexplicable cough or debilitating nausea.

In the real wold however, the signs that indicate poor health often aren’t very obvious. Here’s what you should really look out for:

  1. If you’re beginning to lose your sense of smell, look out. Studies have shown that people who have trouble smelling or have lost that sense completely, have a drastically higher mortality rate. Their chances of dying over a 5 year period are somewhere between 2-4 times higher than people who can still smell.
  2. A loss of appetite, particularly among seniors, is a common symptom seen in people before they die of natural causes. That’s because the human metabolism begins a precipitous drop before death occurs. Mortality rates typically rise if the appetite loss continues for more than six months.
  3. One little known sign of declining health is poor grip strength. Obviously, there can be other causes. It’s safe to assume that if your grip isn’t what it used to be, you could just be getting older. It’s no secret that we all lose muscle mass as we age. But if you’ve experienced a dramatic loss of grip strength, then you have a much higher chance of dying by any cause. More importantly, people who have weak grip strength have a significantly higher chance of suffering from a stroke or a heart attack.
  4. If you’re not treating your body right by smoking, not eating healthy food or exercising regularly etc, over time your heart rate and blood pressure is going to increase. We all know that this isn’t a good sign, but most people don’t realize how significant the ramifications are. An examination of 46 studies that collectively involved over 2 million people, found that those who have a resting heart rate that exceeded 80 beats per minute had a 45% higher risk of mortality by any cause.
  5. One of the easiest ways to tell if you’re in bad health isn’t a symptom, but a test that can be administered anywhere. It’s called the SRT test, which measures your physical mobility, and has been proven to show your chance of dying from any cause over a five-year period. The goal of the test is to sit down on the floor and stand back up without using any support. If you can cross your feet, sit down and standup without any support, you get 10 points. You lose a point for each hand, arm, or knee you use to support yourself. Each point you have represents a 21% lower chance of dying over a five-year period, but if you score three or less, than your chances of dying of any cause is five times higher.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published December 4th, 2017


Survival Gear Review: Fällkniven MB Modern Bowie



Trigger Alert: This article is about a very big knife. If that scares you, then click here.  March 6, 1836 was aFallkniven_MB_Modern_Bowie_Knife_Cobalt_posing-survival bad day for Jim Bowie. In fact the two weeks prior weren’t much better since the small mission building in which Jim and a hundred others took a stand was under attack.  Remember the Alamo? But long before that fateful Sunday morning James Bowie was famous for his knife prowess whether true or not. In 1827 Bowie (pronounced BOO-ee) was involved in a skirmish known as the Sandbar Fight where Jim Bowie essentially won a gunfight with a knife. A very large knife. And, as they say, the rest is history.

By Doc Montana, a Contributing Author to SHTFBlog and SurvivalCache.com 

Modern Sporting Knife

The Bowie Knife is a pattern much like the AR15 is a pattern. The so-called Bowie Knife is general form withfallkniven knife review some characteristics, but there is no one type of Bowie, nor any particular feature that makes or breaks a Bowie Knife. In general a Bowie Knife is a large blade, something eight or more inches, an overall length more than a foot, a crossguard separating the blade from the handle, and a clip point blade tip. Finally, there is the appearance of a false edge running along the top of the blade from tip through a curve ending at the spine proper. The false edge may or may not be sharpened, and thus the Bowie might cut both ways. Today, however, most Bowie Knives are not sharpened on the upper portion of the blade due to weapons laws in many jurisdictions. But originally as a fighting knife, that was the point.

Related: CRKT Redemption Knife 

The origin of the Bowie Knife is a little tangled in lore and opinions. Even the facts depend upon which story Fallkniven_MB_Modern_Bowie_Knife_Cobalt_Granfors_Bruks_hand_hatchetyou subscribe to. But in the end, and even with all the unknowns, the Bowie Knife is one of the most recognizable and famous blades in the world. And just as the initial Bowie Knives were evolving and upgrading as each one was pounded into existence on the blacksmith’s anvil, the Bowie is evolving even today some 187 years after James Bowie brought a wooden model of his ideal knife to an Arkansas blacksmith named, of all things, James Black who then pounded Bowie Knife life into an old file. So a blacksmith named Black made a Bowie for Bowie. Even more, David Bowie, the famous rock star, took his stage name “Bowie” from the knife because, as David noted in an interview, the Bowie Knife “Cuts both ways.”


In addition to the famous Rambo blades of Hollywood fame, the silhouette of the Bowie Knife can be found inBest Rambo Survival Knife real life in the popular Buck 119 hunting knife, the famous leather-handled USMC KA-BAR fighting knife, and in a smaller form factor, the SOG Seal Elite, Seal Pup and their multitude of versions. However, the rich history of Bowie Knives and its variants are pretty much still using historical designs and antique blade technology. Until now, that is. At the moment, the most modern, the most durable, and the sharpest Bowie Knife in the world is the Fällkniven MB or Modern Bowie.

Although Jim Bowie did not travel much beyond the southern territories of a fledgling United States, the Bowie Knife is a worldwide phenomenon and therefore fair game for all knife makers. But with that fame comes a majority of so-called “Bowies” that are more art than substance, or those versions that substitute size for quality. For Fällkniven to produce such a monster knife rich in American history and then to openly name it a Modern Bowie takes guts. And confidence. So I’m very happy to announce that the Fällkniven Modern Bowie truly honors Jim Bowie and adds yet more cutting magic and lore to the never ending supply of tall tales that Bowie Knives generate. I certainly intend to add my own Bowie adventures to the story line.

Also Read: Review of the SOG Pillar Knife

A Muscle Blade That Would Make Jim Proud

The MB version is not completely new for Fällkniven, but in fact building on both their large Northern LightsFallkniven_MB_Modern_Bowie_Knife_Cobalt_A2_compare series of knives crossed with their professional survival knives. An NL1 crossed with an A1 Pro to be more specific. And the result is bigger, thicker, and certainly badder. The Modern Bowie, abbreviated MB by Fällkniven, is a true Muscle Blade (abbreviated MB by me) . Borrowing heavily from the Survival Pro series, the MB including cobalt steel, a convex edge, a protruding tang, and a Thermorun handle. Even the presentation box and included DC4 diamond sharpener are straight out the Pro playbook. However, three notable deviations with the Modern Bowie include a larger, thicker handle, a double sided guard, and a mild index finger groove just aft of the stainless steel crossguard.

Dynamite in the Hand

The balance of the Fällkniven Modern Bowie is exceptional. The grip The Answer Water Bottle Filtration Solution 300x250 provides both the comfort and control necessary to wield such a large blade with elegance and precision. This is especially important since a key feature of the Bowie concept is a sharp and deadly point effective for stabbing and piercing. In reality the point of the clip point blade is to move the blade point lower and more line with the grip when thrusting the knife like a sword. Unfortunately the clipped nature (almost like a bite (clipped) was taken out of the spine of the blade) causes some limitations in daily work. Fällkniven preserved the spirit of the Bowie clip point but tempered it with the wisdom learned from the A1 Pro blade.

Related: The Mora Camp Axe

The brute thickness of the Fällkniven MB is a staggering 7.4mm or a few hundredths shy of a third of an inch! Survival SHTF Fallkniven Knife Bowie The blade length is a full 10 inches and the overall length of the Modern Bowie exceeds 15 inches. Fällkniven’s laminated cobalt steel uses an incredible edge steel sandwiched between durable and stain resistant stainless steel faces. Laminated steel can be much stronger than solid steel. Fällkniven also uses its famous convex edge profile adding further strength and sharpness to its world class supersteel composition. Add a beefy stainless steel crossguard that is effective without being a tripping hazard, a swollen Thermorun grip, and a full tang that is bigger than some knives and you have a Muscle Blade worthy of proudly wearing the name Bowie.

Bring It On

The Fällkniven Modern Bowie cuts with dangerous impunity whether a small task or massive challenge. WhileBest Fallkniven Survival Knife the Modern Bowie sadly lacks as a canoe paddle, it does chop wood like a beast, and behaves very well when batoning. You can shave arm hair with care, and clear brush with reckless abandon. You can lunge and slope and long point without embarrassment, but when the MB is sheathed on your belt you will be conspicuous.

The Modern Bowie is a vastly different experience than carrying the Fällkniven A2 Wilderness Knife. In factFallkniven_MB_Modern_Bowie_Knife_Cobalt_A2_grip_compare the MB is almost as large as the A2 is when inside its overbuilt leather sheath. And the MB is certainly longer. The A2 seems a perfectly reasonable camp knife when compared to the Modern Bowie, yet in proximity of popular knives the A2 is eye-openingly large on its own.


The sheath the Fällkniven Modern Bowie sleeps in is a four-layer double stitched leather dangler that wouldFallkniven_MB_Modern_Bowie_Knife_Cobalt_in_hand double as a canoe paddle. Perhaps that’s what Mr. Bowie wanted given that swinging a two pound sharpened steel blade back and forth in the water might be a dumb idea. The blade slides into the sheath in either edge direction, and the single leather snap strap is reversible by rotating it vertically. The stern end of the sheath has two grommet holes that are necessary for using a leg strap which is not a bad idea for field work since the Modern Bowie dangles just north of my knee. On the A2 sheath, there are also two grommet holes on each end of the insertion slot of the sheath. On the MB sheath, east and west of the insertion slot are removable screw bolts opening similar holes but without grommets presumably for some more creative mounting options.

The Third Century

Knives claiming to be Bowies range in price from $ 10 to $ 10,000 with the extremes for show only. To get a Bowie that actually performs like the Bowie you will need to spend something much closer to four figures than two.  The Fällkniven MB Modern Bowie is a brand new knife with deep and rich history. If you have a weakness or need for a Bowie-class knife, then the MB should be your starting point. And for everyone else, the Bowie Knife will be waiting right here for you just as it has for the past two centuries.

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Gun Ownership … for the Wife of a Felon

Arrested computer hacker and cyber criminal with handcuffs, close up of hands

Students often ask me unique questions and bring up interesting points of discussion. And while often we can have good conversations and share new information, there are instances in which I don’t have an answer or I don’t feel qualified to share a response. Such a case presented itself the other day after I taught a basic pistol class. One of the ladies asked a question, and I basically answered her with wide eyes, a slight shrug and an “Ohhh … that’s a bit complicated.” So I turned to a friend of mine, Sabrina Karels, who happens to be a lawyer and a member of the USCCA Legal Advisory Board, for a more thorough and qualified reply. I am sharing it with you, because I feel that it’s valid information that someone, somewhere, might need to know.

Here are the basics: My student wants to be able to protect herself and her loved ones, and, after class, she asked me if she can legally have a gun in her home, in her car or on her person when her husband has a felony in his past. “It was over 10 years ago and was a non-violent felony. No trouble since then,” she said. “But I just want to know what I can legally do before spending a lot of money on a gun.”

Thanks to Sabrina, I was able to share with my student that while it technically would be fine for her, it could potentially become a problem. Sabrina shared that her husband can’t be in “possession” of a firearm. And that’s where things can get a bit tricky, depending on the perception of or the definition of that word “possession.” She explained, “If something happens, and there is a firearm in the home and he also lives in the home, the police could consider that in his constructive possession. Some have argued if it is in a safe to which he does not have access, he is not in ‘possession,’ but, again, it will depend on the law enforcement office…

“If it is deemed in his possession, he could be charged with state and/or federal gun crimes, and the firearm will be confiscated. Constructive possession could be found if he knew the firearm was in the home and could exercise control over it. She could be at risk in that scenario, as well, since she knows he’s a felon and may be found to have acted with intent to aid him in constructive possession.

“That said, it will depend on the state and that state’s laws, as well as the jurisdiction, to see if there is a big risk or low risk. He should contact a criminal defense lawyer in his jurisdiction to discuss this and determine if the risk is worth it.”

Sabrina also did mention that my student’s husband does have some options (depending on my home state of Alabama) to try to restore his rights. But all in all, she suggested that my student might be better off talking to an attorney about the situation rather than investing the money for a firearm.

Undoubtedly, it’s great to have friends who are “in the know.” Sabrina’s knowledgeable answer was much better received than my deer-in-the-headlights look. And while I believe the preservation of life is always “worth it,” I hope my student is able to work something out in which she can safely protect herself physically without being unsafe legally.

The post Gun Ownership … for the Wife of a Felon appeared first on USCCA

USConcealed Carry Association Blog

Going Up: Second-Story Safe Considerations


I remember well when I purchased my first safe — a Browning — back around 1992. I wanted to put it — of moderate size and not firelined — on the second floor of the three-story condo in which I lived at the time. Being 25 years younger than I am now, I figured it would be easy for me and two other cop buddies to wheel the safe on a dolly up the stairs.

We were entirely incorrect.

The stairs were a bit narrow, and we found it difficult to get the safe into a position to haul it up, even on a dolly. We also quickly realized that this was not like moving something lighter — like a dresser — up the stairs. Further, we realized that the Browning safe wasn’t going to end up on the second floor and that we were clearly lacking in safe-moving technique. That Browning safe might as well have been a grand piano for as far as we were able to move it up a flight of stairs.

Though fire protection adds weight to the safe, it does not add enough to warrant buying one without it due to weight restrictions of a floor.

As if that first experience wasn’t humbling enough, I would soon eat another slice of humble pie. When I later moved into a house, I hired a moving company for much of the heavy work, including moving the safe. This house also had a walkout basement. There were three movers that day, and while two of them moved other objects, a lone mover tackled the safe. Built like a professional powerlifter — maybe he actually was — the guy took a large nylon moving strap for securing items on the truck, wrapped it around the safe — yes, it was empty — and strapped it around his chest. He bent forward and hoisted the safe onto his back without assistance. He carried it through the walkout doors and placed it in the requested location. All I could say was, “Wow,” and feel that all the weightlifting I did over the years was pretty pathetic in comparison.

I tell you this story for a couple of reasons: first, to reiterate that I am not a professional mover of safes; this is why I contacted a professional source. Second, to show you that there might be some things to consider when moving a safe to an upper level in an individual home, or especially when it is going into an apartment where there are other renters living below.

In order to bring some credibility to the table, I contacted an actual safe mover: Corey Sowards, owner of Moderne Safe Moving in Dayton, Ohio. But before I tell you what he had to say, let’s talk about weights and sizes of safes, and why you should — especially when it comes to the larger models — consider using professional movers. One of the most important reasons for hiring the pros is that if the safe or the building gets damaged during the move, you don’t have to pay for repairs or replacement. Equally importantly (and perhaps not surprisingly), the professionals will come in especially handy when you’re looking to move a safe to a second- or even a third-story location.

In addition to my Browning Safe, I own a Liberty Centurion Series “fire-protected” safe that I purchased back in 2009. Note that the safe is not referred to as “fire proof.” No vault of this type of a reasonable weight with a door that opens can be made to protect its contents against unlimited heat for unlimited periods of time. Though fire protection adds weight to the safe, it does not add enough to warrant buying one without it due to weight restrictions of a floor. In short, if your floor can’t hold a fire-protected safe, then it can’t hold one without fire protection.

Any floor that can support a bathtub full of water can support all but the largest commercial-size safes, since the weight is about the same.

The Centurion I have is the equivalent of the current Centurion 18, which can hold up to 18 long guns. The Centurion line is less expensive than the standard Liberty line and, like the standard line, is made in the USA. The height, width and depth of the Centurion 18 measures 59.5 inches by 24.25 inches by 22 inches. It weighs 340 pounds empty. The Centurion 24 takes the weight up to 375 pounds, which might not be as much weight as you expected.

When you move up to larger safes and greater gun capacity, the weight moves up significantly as well. Some of the more popular large safes in the Liberty line, based on my sales experience at Vance Outdoors in Columbus, Ohio, are part of the Franklin series. The Franklin 35 — the mid-range in that particular line — measures 60.5 inches by 36 inches by 32 inches and weighs in at a whopping 810 pounds. The Franklin 50 weighs 1,045 pounds; the smaller Franklin 25 weighs 665 pounds. The biggest safe I saw purchased while working there was the Franklin 35, which gives us a pretty good range of the most common purchases.

My conversations with Sowards proved interesting with regard to placing safes above the ground floor. First, few of his customers purchase the truly large gun safes for placement in an apartment. I suspect that folks who live in apartments mostly purchase smaller, lighter, less-expensive units like those from Stack-On; their 10-gun Steel Security Safe weighs only 134 pounds, which is pretty easy to move and poses a threat to only the rottenest of flooring.

Sowards told me that most second-story floors in homes or apartments of solid structures are much stronger than most people realize. Any floor that can support a bathtub full of water can support all but the largest commercial-size safes, since the weight is about the same. For those of you who can remember the ’70s and ’80s, waterbeds were quite the rage. Those were far heavier than a bathtub when filled and I don’t remember hearing about any apartment floors caving under their weight. Do you have a two-person Jacuzzi tub on the second floor of your home? A floor that handles a Jacuzzi tub can handle the weight of a safe quite easily.

Modern building standards require that floors can support weight well beyond what any reasonable person is likely to store on them, so unless you are considering a commercial model, Sowards said that the weight itself might not be a consideration. However, if you are considering moving a safe into a second- or third-floor apartment and that safe would have to ascend a set of wooden steps, he would want to make sure that the step design is solid and the wood construction is in good condition. In his experience, any stairs that can handle a pool table can handle a safe.

Now comes the part that I hadn’t thought of since I never bothered bolting a safe to the floor through three moves with the Browning and one with the Centurion: issues involved with bolting safes to wooden floors. After talking with Sowards, I was glad I hadn’t.

What he tells me falls under the “just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you should do something” category.

A professional burglar would find it easier to bring in a power saw to cut through the safe than to haul it out, so don’t waste the time and risk the damage or your lease.

Drilling through subflooring down into the ceiling of your neighbors is a big no-no in so many ways. First, it likely violates the terms of your lease. Second, the likelihood that you will actually hit a solid floor joist that corresponds to the holes that are predrilled into your safe is remote. Then there’s the risk of damage or injury since you cannot determine where in your neighbor’s ceiling electrical lines might run or where their lights or other fixtures are.

Not only do you not want to drill through the floor out of concern for damage to the property of others or injury to yourself, doing so likely isn’t even necessary. While a very intrepid burglar might sometimes remove smaller safes from one-story houses to open at other locations, the odds that he will want to haul a major safe down multiple flights of stairs from a second-, third- or higher-story apartment — likely drawing the attention of curious neighbors — are long odds indeed. Sowards said that a professional burglar would find it easier to bring in a power saw to cut through the safe than to haul it out, so don’t waste the time and risk the damage or your lease.

There is something else that Sowards told me that was surprising, regardless of where you live or on which floor you plan to install your safe. It has to do with the actual bolting-down of the strongbox, and it’s another reason I’m glad I never tried to do it: damage done to the subfloor over time.

This is actually a pretty good argument for not bolting a safe to any wooden floor anywhere. As Sowards explained, the locking mechanism — the bolts — and any other mechanicals that are built into the door make any safe naturally front-heavy. Every time you open your safe door, the weight of the door is pulling forward against the floor bolts. I don’t know about the rest of you out there, but I open my safe doors quite a bit.

Because of the stresses exerted by the opening and closing of the safe door, I would save any bolting down for concrete floors, which should be able to better withstand the stresses. Compact safes, such as the Sentry-brand document fire safes found at hardware and big-box stores, can store a few handguns and can also be carried off relatively easy.

Step Up? Larger safes, like this Browning US37 model, can be difficult to move above the ground floor safely. For starters, some wooden steps are not equipped to handle 800 to 1,000 pounds or more.

Step Up? Larger safes, like this Browning US37 model, can be difficult to move above the ground floor safely. For starters, some wooden steps are not equipped to handle 800 to 1,000 pounds or more.

My dad had a compact safe for documents that he bolted to some heavy built-in wooden shelves in his basement. We then cut out the bottom of a cardboard box (not the box the safe came in) and covered the safe with it, and it blended right in with the rest of the items on the shelf. As rarely as he got into that safe, it could have been bolted to an upstairs floor if he wanted without much concern.

I was surprised to find out this much information when I first spoke to Sowards and was initially concerned that the issue of safes being stored on an upper floor or above neighbors would not generate enough material of interest. However, as we talked, he added more and more valuable advice as a professional safe mover.

If you are ready to get a safe for upper-floor use, you might want to consider these points and then contact a professional safe mover in your area. Have them come out to look at where you intend to put the safe and get their advice about your particular situation.


Moderne Safe Moving: facebook.com/modernesafemoving
Liberty Safe: libertysafe.com
Stack-On: stack-on.com
Sentry Safe: sentrysafe.com
Browning: browning.com

The post Going Up: Second-Story Safe Considerations appeared first on USCCA.

USConcealed Carry Association Blog

Silver at 4-Year Low, Excellent Time to Protect Your Current Wealth


Kevin Hayden – TruthisTreason.net


The stock market has been on a meteoric rise over the last year or so, while precious metals have been on a downhill slope. This occurs because the market becomes comfortable, and quite frankly, greedy, as stocks continue to rise while interest rates remain at or near zero. Gold and silver stocks are mostly considered to be a long-term investment, and are relatively safe, but the allure of fast money compels investors to abandon the precious metals ship and climb aboard the risky, manipulated train of paper stocks.

It is a simple, inverse equation – stocks go up, metals go down. Stocks go down, metals go up. Do you believe that the current stock market gravy train will sustain itself? Or should we take steps to mitigate a massive market change and invest while metals are at their lowest levels in nearly half a decade?



The US economy is dead. The Fed has known this for a long time, but pumped it up to where it is now to draw in all the greater fools, the so-called big investors who have made money like honey from QE and ZIRP. […] The Fed will raise rates because that will make the biggest banks the most money. There’s nothing else that matters. The Fed can’t revive the US economy, that’s just a foolish notion. But it can suck a lot of wealth out of it. – Zero Hedge.com, The Fed Has a Big Surprise For You

We saw a massive spike in silver and gold prices back in 2011 and 2012, when the stock market was tumbling, the Federal Reserve was printing hundreds of billions of dollars that were aptly titled, “Quantitative Easing”, and the public was still reeling from the 2008 depression. During this time, silver rose to historic highs, approaching $ 50 per ounce, gold was approaching $ 2,000 an ounce, and the stock market was taking a brutal beating. It’s about to happen again as soon as the Fed is forced to raise rates.

Right now, silver is trading near $ 18.64 – $ 18.70 per ounce, the lowest it has been in four years.

I don’t typically make market suggestions or claim to have any qualified investing experience, but I do preach about owning tangible goods, which certainly include physical gold and silver. I’ve just made another sizable silver purchase because I do not believe the stock market can or will sustain itself. Whether you choose to buy-in at a 4-year low is up to you, but I’m confident that I’ll be writing another editorial this time next year when silver is trading above $ 25 an ounce. Whether I make a profit or not isn’t the point; I have protected my current wealth and created an emergency financial plan for a sudden market correction, and that is what truly matters to me.

The post Silver at 4-Year Low, Excellent Time to Protect Your Current Wealth appeared first on Truth is Treason.


These Prepper Essentials Are What You Need to Continue Training After the SHTF


Here’s the bottom line – never stop the training.  Even after the world comes to a screeching halt, do not stop.  That may sound inane but there are several reasons behind it and several purposes in front of it.  There needs (as in all things) some structure to provide an organizational framework, so first let us define training after the “S” hits the fan.

You’ll have more time, and you’ll have less time.  You will not be held by specific time constraints, such as the 9-5 “rat-race” from Monday to Friday; however, you will still need to budget your time.  Necessities such as food (obtaining it, growing it, storing/preserving it), water, protection from the elements (wood for heat, for example), and protection from disaster-related factors (ex: radiation from a nuclear exchange, or tektites from an asteroid/comet impact) will occupy a great deal of time.

For a step-by-step guide to planning for short and long-term emergencies, click here.

You will need to train and study more than ever.

  1. First-Line Materials: These would be your books and physical archives set in paper and in notebooks.  All your printouts and information…you will be relying on these for all subjects from farming to defensive tactics. Here are some basics for creating a preparedness binder.
  2. Videos (Instructional): These DVD’s and films will be invaluable for refresher training, as well as introducing the youth to things they might have to have a “crash course” in a video to learn. The portable battery-powered DVD player is a must…ensure it works, has extra batteries and a charging system, and stick it in a Faraday cage until it is needed.
  3. SME (the Subject-Matter Expert): individuals who are experts in a field who are willing to teach the basics to students, whether adult or youth. Becoming a member of local groups in your area and even attending local classes before a SHTF event will help you find these invaluable people to learn from.
  4. Downloaded Material and a Computer in a Faraday Cage: scan everything you can possibly cover, and store the information on jump drives, external hard drives or pick up a computer with enough hard drive and wherewithal to handle it and the “strain” of periodically being used.

There are many categories to train upon, and the training isn’t ever complete: you’ll always need a refresher.  Physical training is paramount.  This includes exercise, such as weightlifting and calisthenics, as well as combat training and instruction with weapons and their employ.  Understand: when I was in the Army, we conducted PT (physical training) in the field.  You need it.

Exercise reduces the triglycerides in the bloodstream, and it also is responsible for a good portion of osteogenesis.  This last term is a formation of healthy bone tissue.  I’m not going to cover the subject entirely: the physical training stimulates the formation of new bone tissue and the “recirculation” of “recycled” material at the end of the cycle of ossification.  Exercise prevents the muscles from atrophying, and it is an excellent way to relieve stress.

Hand-in-hand is recovery, and this is a critical component of physical training that is mostly overlooked.  The importance of it cannot be understated and it must be instructed as part of a course.  After it hits, should our society (whoever has survived the initial destruction and shocks) revert and return to what made our society weak and ineffective, or should we chart a new course?

Many will take a “devil may care” attitude, and this is not what is needed to survive.  Freedom from the constraints imposed by a superficial “phony” society based on the material and superficial instead of value and substance may have been granted…but self-awareness and self-discipline must be followed at the individual and group level.  Many are the communities that emerge from a tyranny to merely replace it with another, or leave a failed society to continue it elsewhere and fail subsequently.

Training needs to incorporate history, science, and self-sustaining arts (farming, metallurgy, construction), as well as training to address the immediate and pressing issues faced by the family and/or community.  Why would anyone halt what they’ve already begun?  A training program doesn’t need (and shouldn’t!) come to a halt because the wheels of society do so.  The training serves a purpose:

Ongoing training in critical subjects sustains individuals and groups for continuity and it enables people to thrive.

That last word: thrive – is an important word, indeed.  It means more than just survival.  It means going beyond the bare needs of the physical and continuing in the quality of life…to build a future.  Many civilizations have built upon the ruins of an older society.  Look at the fall of the Roman Empire for a prime example…and the Dark Ages that ensued.  Eventually, our adaptive species began to adapt and “rewire” itself into formats that enabled progress and continuity.

Your challenge as part of a family or a group is to determine the critical areas and train in them without ceasing.  Train each available moment, taking the failures and experiences of the past to formulate something new that may work for the future.  Stay in that good fight.  How you train in peace is how you fight in war.  Do not stop the training, and keep with it fervently even after the SHTF.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published December 5th, 2017

Ready Nutrition

Survival Gear Review: Clickspring Fire Piston




In today’s prepping survival marketplace there are many choices of fire starting tools.  Fires can be ignited byreview_clickspring_fire_piston_survival using a variety of these available tools by using many different techniques.  The bottom line though is to have a reliable fire starting implement that you can count on to get you a blaze started under all kinds of conditions.  This tool can do that.

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Brand new to the market to the point that sales packaging is not yet even complete, the Clickspring Fire Piston actually uses old school technology that has been around for some time.  In this new tool fire starting is delivered by a precision machined tool constructed of aluminum and brass.

The Origin of Clickspring

If you want a lot of background information on this new product, your search may leave you with more clickspring_fire_piston_shtfquestions than answers, but that does not impact the quality or function of the Clickspring Fire Piston.

The company or founding name Clickspring oddly comes from a home shop project development machine shop whose primary focus is on clock making.  The proprietor “Chris” creates the home shop project videos that you can watch on YouTube.

Firing up the Clickspring

You’ll need access to a computer or device that can dial up the YouTube video that shows you how to start a fire using the Clickspring Fire Piston.  The package I received for this product review contained no written instructions, no owner’s manual or a parts list.  All that is described in the video.  I can only assume once the final packaged product hits the market it will contain the necessary written information to learn to use it.

Also Read: DIY Firestarter

Though I could not ever get the sound working on the video thank goodness it came with subtitles, otherwise IEpic Smart Shield ad - kids water glasses with frame 300x250 would have been lost.  It is not an intuitive use tool, primarily because it is a specialty precision engineered device.  I had to watch the video several times to get the full orientation on it.

The fire piston uses a forceful thrust of air that is heated by a fast pump on the piston inside the chamber tube or body of the tool.  There are seals forward and aft on the end of the piston rod that allows the pressure to rise as the rod is thrust forward down the tube.  Apparently this rise in pressure creates the heat that ignites the tiny piece of pre-burned char cloth inserted into the forward end of the piston rod.

Once the piston rod is quickly thrust down the tube this ignites the char cloth which then glows red as an ember.  The end of the rod with the ember is then held to the remaining piece of the char cloth to ignite it.  Then this glowing char cloth is inserted into a wad of quick fire starting fodder such as a wad of dry grass, leaves or other materials that will start to burn.  From there the fire is tended and built up as usual.

Tool Shop Specs

The Clickspring Fire Piston is milled or precision turned from brass and aluminum.  Both end caps are brass.  The tube is aluminum.  The threaded brass end holds a small liquid filled compass which is a handy item.  This cap is drilled though to hold a piece of lanyard material that is 700mm in length and a sliding brass keeper to tighten around the wrist or other holding spot.  This threaded cap end screws down onto the threated end of the tool body or tube.

Related: Review of the Best Firestarters

The opposite end of the tube is where the brass piston rod with recessed dimple in the end of the rod holds theclickspring_fire_piston_review_survival_tool char cloth fits.  This is inserted into the tube and held in place by the pressure created by the seals when the screw on end is in place.  Caution here.  If the opposite end screw cap is screwed down tightly, then the piston rod will not insert because of the pressure created by the seals on the rod.  Once you handle it a few times you will quickly get the hang of how it all goes together and works.  Again, watch the play-by-play video.

The overall length of the Clickspring Fire Piston is just 5.35 inches long.  The outside diameter of the assembled tube unit is 0.75 inches.  It weighs a mere 5.6 ounces.  The entire unit is quite compact and easy to store in a Bug Out bag, vehicle glove compartment, backpack or cargo pants pocket.  The Clickspring Fire Piston retails for $ 89 and can be ordered on Amazon.

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Cash After the Collapse: 6 Multi-Purpose Preps You Need in Emergency Supplies


Hopefully, our readers will not suffer indigestion of their holiday meals or have a damper placed upon the holiday largesse of gift-giving and happy moments.  After all, a potential nuclear war or EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack should never interfere with the memories being collected in the new pages of the scrapbook album.  Still, if you have the time to tear yourself away from the “holiday treadmill,” you may wish to consider taking some actions that may benefit you later on.

Gathering supplies is one of the hallmarks of the modern prepper and survivalist.  We are going to suggest a few that have dual roles: for barter (primary) and for use (secondary).  That being said, many of us are short on storage space and are looking to find preps that serve multiple purposes will help you make the most of the space you have. Now, there are some of you that may not agree with adding these preps, but then again, that is your choice.  They are being presented here as another option for you to pursue.  We’re going to list those reasons behind each: primary will be “barter” with an explanation, and a secondary (your personal use) will be explained.

6 Multi-Purpose Preps You Need In Your Prepper Supplies

  1. Cigarettes: About 5 to 10 cartons, staggered between your most popular types (such as Marlboro, Camel, etc. You can also purchase tobacco in bulk qualities and repackage it in Mylar bags for long-term storage. Primary: For use as barter. Especially for those who do not smoke, they can be a “gold mine” to obtain something from those who do smoke. Secondary: Tobacco has medical use as an anti-helminthic (fights worms) and also a peripheral vasoconstrictor. It can be used as a bug repellant on plants when the nicotine is extracted by soaking it in alcohol and then sprayed.
  2. Alcohol: Stagger the amounts: minimum of (5) fifths of grain alcohol, (5) of Scotch, (5) of Vodka, and (5) of Gin. Many preppers suggest finding smaller bottles (Similar to the ones used on airplanes). As well, consider adding an alcohol still to your preps to make your own. Primary: For use as barter in small increments for those who need it for a responsible reason, or as a fifth for a “big” trade…something that someone has that you really need.  Secondary: All of these spirits can be used for tincturing, and the grain alcohol especially can be used as an emergency disinfectant. All can be used as an anesthetic as a last resort (and with patients who are conscious and not compromised from a respiratory or a cardiovascular perspective. Read more about the uses of alcohol.
  3. Coffee: Big “cash crop,” and your best bet is vacuum-sealed in metal cans or in aluminized bags of about a pound to half a pound at a time. I recommend picking up about a hundred pounds of it, if possible.  Don’t “X” out good instant coffee, either, as there will be many people who don’t have the time to brew it up. Here are some pointers on how to store coffee for long-term use. Primary: As mentioned, it will be in big demand about six months down the line, and you’ll never have trouble trading it for something. Secondary: Coffee has many advantages – including naturopathic and also helps to restore mental alertness, to help in cases of prolonged nausea and diarrhea, and (as you may know) it tastes great!
  4. Sundries: This would include soaps, deodorants, toothbrushes, and personal care items, such as razor blades, dental floss, and so forth. Good sources can be found in flea markets and thrift stores…especially with sundries from hotels…. individual small bars of soap and shampoo as are found in motel rooms …these are excellent to stock up on. Primary: They will be worth their weight in gold to barter, as they are of a pretty convenient size. Secondary: For your own personal use, they won’t go unused if never traded…they are excellent sizes for your own teams/units when patrolling and out in the woods for several days, or when conducting a reconnaissance.
  5. Fire starting materials: Matches, lighters, flints, wicks for lighters, and higher-end lighters, such as Zippos that can run off white gas or gasoline. Primary: for barter, just as has been mentioned. Secondary: you’ll always have a use for them
  6. Small First-Aid Supplies: to include Band-aids, alcohol prep pads, gauze bandages, medical tape, etc. Many of these items can be purchased frugally at discount stores. Primary: can be bartered effectively in small amounts. Secondary: for personal use.

We could continue, have fifty pages, and need a tractor-trailer to haul it all, but you get the point.  There is the potential to have in your supply room such items set aside dedicated primarily to barter and then able to be used by you in some capacity if the need arises.  I give you my personal rule on ammunition: I wouldn’t barter it or sell it under any circumstance.  Your “friendly traders” will trade for ammo, and then at nightfall, they’ll return and assault your position…and give it back to you the hard way.

You’ll have to use your own judgment and discretion with these items.  Obviously, if a gang of roughnecks wants to trade for booze?  It may behoove you not to have any if you catch my meaning.  Whatever problem you may have with any item on the list, that is your decision.  This piece was meant to stimulate thought and give you a few ideas.  In the long run, your survival and your family’s will depend on how proactive you are to this end.  JJ out!

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Interested in learning more about multipurpose preps? Check out some of these informative articles!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published December 6th, 2017

Ready Nutrition