Friday, June 7, 2019

Wilderness Survival TEST

Wilderness Survival Skills are FREE to learn, and by definition, require minimal purchases since we are supposed to survive off of what we can come up with in the woods.

How do your Wilderness Skills really stack up?  There is a TEST that follows.

There are several levels of Wilderness Survival, that are broadly classified by:
    1) the length of time you must survive and
    2) the degree of preparation and supplies you have available and
    3) the number of survivalist present, their skill level & physical condition

Most survival scenarios are solo or small groups, short term, with only what you carry with you, also know as your EDC or Every Day Carry items but often includes what you have in your car.

A popular example, the Naked & Afraid show requires medium term survival at 14 to 40 days (most often 21) with very limited preparations.  Typically only one item each, with usually only 2 people with limited to above average survival skills.  It is an unrealistic scenario, for several reasons. The wilderness regions selected are worse than average and because you have no clothes making your Naked & Afraid Survival Plan notably different from any others.

But other scenarios could be long extended periods like on the highly popular Alone Survival Show, which is a single survivalist (except once season), with a Survival Pack of 10 items.  On Alone, the last person standing out of 10 contestants, wins $500,000 and typically the winners must stay somewhere between 50 to 90 days.  On Alone, the 10 items you select are critical and region specific.  At the bottom of this post are links to items selected in past seasons of Alone, and an Alone Survival Plan.

 Types of Survival include:
  1. Primitive Survival which requires stone tools, wood spears, friction fire, etc.  The TV Show The Great Human Race is the closest example of what this would be like.
  2. Everyday Carry Survival (EDC) varies, but may have a knife, fire starter or a vehicle for shelter.  Hiking or walking the woods and getting lost is a common example of this. The TV Show Naked & Afraid might be an example of this, with insufficient clothes.  Man, Woman Wild is another good example along with Dual Survival which portrays actual scenarios.  Survivor Man was a good one.
  3. Planned Camping / survival - where you carry a back pack of useful tools to stay for an extended period.  For beginners and children, this is the best way to start learning.  The TV Show Alone is an excellent example of this.
  4. Sustainable Living is surviving for years which includes raising livestock and gardeningSecurity becomes a big factor in this scenario.
There are others and varying degrees of the above classifications.

Primitive Survival would historically consist of a small but skilled agile group who inherited a few basic survival tools, region appropriate clothing and a pocket full of food.  Some type of Primitive Fishing tools would also be available. This would be long term survival under Nomadic conditions to avoid exhausting regional resources and would almost always be near a source of fresh water.  This also requires several hundred acres of land per group member.

This is only for the most advanced experts who excel at these primitive skills:
  1. Hunting
  2. Trapping
  3. Fishing
  4. Identifying wild plants
  5. Starting friction fires
  6. Making stone tools
  7. Building shelter
EDC Survival, is definitely the most common.  Even when camping with a comfortable pack of supplies, people will wander off without it and get lost.  So the question at this point, is what tools do you consistently carry with you?  For me, it is a Leatherman Wave, a ferrous rod for starting fire, an un-lubricated condom as a water carrier, comfortable shoes and a strong leather belt as well as a pistol and several rounds of ammo.  If in my car, I have much more, including a case of bottled water, a Wilderness Survival Pack (<- see link for list), several prepper fire arms, several hundreds of rounds of ammo, a coat, a machete, a plastic coated map, a GPS, plus my smart phone.

This is usually for 24 to 72 hours, and you have regionally suitable clothes for the current time of day.

Planned Camping can be the most luxurious survival and usually the best place to start.  In addition, there are multiple levels of supplies, periods of time and difficulty.  Its best to start out, especially with children, with ample gear and supplies.

Other levels are to go camping with only the supplies you can carry in your pack.  Additional variations are to only carry 45 pounds in your pack, or 35 pounds (if cross country hiking), or with only 10 to 15 items in your pack.  Each level is progressively more difficult, especially as you increase the time interval. With experience, you can challenge yourself by carrying fewer items and staying for longer periods of time.

Sustainable Living is perhaps the most unique, especially in the time period, as it basically for ever, with a wide range of pioneer type tools that you can build or maintain with group members skills.  This type of survival requires domesticated livestock, gardening skills and tools plus about 7 acres of land per group member. Sustainable living also requires a higher degree of security as the events that would necessitate this are severe.

OK, here is your TEST (Its not as easy as you think)

Based on your Survival Skills, pick one of the different types of Survival above and go out in the woods for a 3 day weekend and TEST your survival skills.  You set the parameters and what you bring.  As you become proficient at your first level, advance to your next level.

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Monday, June 3, 2019

The Government and You

By CTD Blogger published on in Camping & Survival, Safety and Training
Who can you count on during a SHTF scenario? That depends on the scenario, but when doing your planning there are two at least forces you need to consider. Even in a SHTF scenario, the government will respond, maybe not as quickly as you would like, but it will be there. Second, you will be there.

Green clay container with the words Survival Skills on the outside
Inside this little piece of pottery is the most important component of any plan.

Planning your response to an emergency is critical. Some will plan for the long term, but all need to plan to survive until the government responds. You’ll also need to plan for you safety and security after the government responds. To do this, we need to understand the government’s response to a disaster. That means understanding the actions of the local, state, and perhaps the federal government. You’ll also need to know what you must do before disaster strikes, so you aren’t caught unprepared.

Government Response to a Disaster

The government will play a critical role before and during an SHTF (S*** hits the fan) situation. This will certainly happen at the local and state levels, and in a large enough catastrophe, from the federal level as well.
Here is a step-by-step process of how the government will usually react to large-scale disasters, so you can start making or updating a plan of your own.
  1. First and foremost, the federal government will only lend assistance to the situation after an official request has been made by the governor of the state. The President of the United States will then have to make an official declaration of emergency, and at that point, the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) will then react as quickly as they can to the disaster. The primary goal of FEMA is to provide relief to everyone who has been affected by the extent to the disaster.
  2. Before submitting a request for relief from the President, the governor of the state affected by the disaster will order a preliminary disaster report. The governor will then proceed to request that the President declare a state of emergency in the affected areas. It should be noted that while the governor can submit this request while the disaster is taking place, he or she can also submit the request before the disaster or when it is imminent (such as when it is obvious that a hurricane will soon strike the coastline).
  3. Once the President has declared a state of emergency, he will be able to send funds to the local and state government to help provide relief to those affected. FEMA will engage the services of a dozen different departments at the federal level. The very act of the president declaring a disaster is a clear sign that the disaster is major and beyond the capabilities of the state or local government to handle in its own. In addition, the President will provide assistance to both private and public relief efforts.
  4. The governor will also be able to request different kinds of assistance from the President.
  5. There are also many different ways in which the Federal government will be able to provide assistance, including the following:
    • Providing personnel, equipment, and supplies to help in the relief efforts
    • Loans and grants
    • Technical assistance
  6. Meanwhile, the state government will react to the crisis in the following ways:
    • Reviewing and improving local response efforts
    • Coordinating the state EOC (Emergency Operations Center) to help in relief efforts
    • Determining if more federal assistance is needed
    • An activation of the state disaster preparedness plan (if a state of emergency is declared by the governor)
  7. The federal government will only become a source of resources for local and state governments if the disaster is so severe that local and state governments cannot handle the situation on their own. FEMA will then coordinate the implementation of the FRP (Federal Response Plan), which allows states to then work with FEMA in accessing resources and programs from the government.
  8. The FRP will also decide how the Federal agency resources and the American Red Cross can work together to provide relief to the site of the disaster. An EST (Emergency Response Team) will also be established in Washington to monitor the relief efforts from there.
These are the primary steps that governments will undertake in response to a disaster either before it happens or while it’s happening.

Your Response to the Disaster

Hurricane Katrina survivors
Do your preps include a plan on what you and your family will do during Martial Law?

Let’s say you’ll still be caught off guard, but you’ll at least have some time to make some preparations before the disaster comes to you:

What To Do 2 Hours Before a Disaster

Begin collecting as much water as you can by filling up your sinks, bathtubs, water containers, buckets, and anything else capable of storing water. Here’s how to build a water purification system in 10 minutes.
Double check your home stockpile: water, food, medical equipment, ammunition, personal hygiene items, and so on. If you are lacking anything that’s absolutely necessary, then you should consider making a quick run to the grocery store.
If you decide that you need to bug out, quickly conduct an inspection of your bug out bag and your bug out vehicle to make sure everything is present and in good working order. Most importantly, get in contact with each member of your family and have them meet you at your house.

What To Do 90 Minutes Before a Disaster

  • Get as much cash as you can from ATM machine.
  • Continue contacting more family members you haven’t gotten a hold of.
  • This is your last chance to pick up any additional supplies that you may need, such as aluminum foil or fuel or ammunition or prescription medications.

One Hour Before a Disaster

It might surprise you that the every day items you carry will help in a survival situation.
It might surprise you that the every day items you carry will help in a survival situation.
If you are going to bug in, begin placing your items at strategic locations. For example, have a bug out bag ready-to-go at the front door in case you need to suddenly evacuate without warning, and place firearms at key defensive locations in your home (depending on the situation). For example if a hurricane hits and you didn’t have time to evacuate, then get some of your supplies in the attic.

30 Minutes Before a Disaster

  • If you are going to bug in, then it is no longer safe to go outdoors. You need to have everybody in your home with the doors locked.
  • Have your emergency radio going to keep track of the news.
  • Have somebody in your family on watch for signs of trouble outside of the house.

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Sunday, May 19, 2019


The oldest signs of the bow & arrow are in Europe come from north of Hamburg Germany and dates from the late Paleolithic, about 10,000–9000 BC. The arrows were made of pine and consisted of a main shaft and a 6 –8 inch long fore shaft with a flint point.

The bow & arrow quickly became the leading weapon for warfare, shifting the balance of power to those who proficiently used them in numbers and remained effective until fire arms were invented.  While single shot muzzle loaded fire arms had advantages in accuracy and distance, they could only shoot about one or two rounds per minute (accurately), where as a bow could shoot 6-10 rounds per minute.  Once repeating fire arms was invented, guns became the best weapon for modern warfare, but were not something the average person could build for themselves like the bow had been.

Still today, shooting a Bow & Arrow, is a primitive too that has tremendous advantages.
  1. Silent making it ideal for stealth hunting or guerrilla warfare.   
  2. Can be built with simple tools by the average craftsman.
  3. Accurate out to 40 yards; effective out to 100 yards.
  4. Simple to aim by aligning the tip of the arrow with a spot on the string a few inches above the point where the arrow is notched to the string.
  5. Less expensive than most guns.

20 Yard Accuracy after a few hours of shooting a re-curve bow.

Re-curve and flat bows are inexpensive and easy to shoot.  Every survivalist and hunter should have one and learn how to shoot it.

 60 yard accuracy shooting compound bow

Compound bows are more expensive, but also more powerful, more accurate and easier to shoot.  After you become proficient with your re-curve or flat bow, then consider one of these if you want to move up to the next level. 

100 Yard Accuracy with a compound bow

Even children enjoy shooting a bow

A bow for kids are very affordable and a lot of fun.  Every serious survivalist should have one of these for training the children in the family.  

Build your own bow

Building your own bow and arrows is much easier if you use the right wood.  From top to bottom, we have Hickory, Osage Orange, also know as horse apple, and Pacific Yew as the top bow woods.

Hickory for bow & arrows

Osage Orange for bows & arrows

 Pacific Yew for bows & arrows

Wood for arrows is more diverse, with Ash, Birch, Black Locust, Cedar, Choke Cherry, Dog Wood, Douglas Fur, Hazel, Hickory, Maple, Oak, and Willow.  Maple is one of the more common trees through out the US.

Maple for arrows & bows

Flint napping is how you make your bow tips, which is basically chipping off small pieces from flint to make a point.  Building your own bow is a good skill to practice and enjoy.

Flint Arrow Tip

Your bow string will be the hardest part of making your own bow.  Bow strings most frequently were made of sinew (animal back or leg tendon), rawhide, or gut. The Dakota Indians also used cord made from the neck of snapping turtles. Occasionally, plant fibers, such as inner bark of basswood, slippery elm or cherry trees, and yucca were used. Nettles, milkweed, and dogbane are also suitable fibers. Well-made plant fiber string is superior to string made of animal fibers because it holds the most weight while resisting stretching and remaining strong in damp conditions. However, plant fiber strings are generally much more labor intensive to make than animal fiber strings, and the preference in the recent past was for sinew, gut, or rawhide. 

Making a bow & arrows can be challenge, but a lot of fun.  Even if you don't make one, get yourself a long bow or re-curve bow and practice shooting it. 

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Monday, May 13, 2019

Sustainable Meal Planning - Breakfast

Part of our long term sustainable survival must be meal planning.  A bottoms up approach considering how many men, women, children and livestock we will need to feed is essential to planning our food supply.  Calories, nutrition, variety and desirable taste (spices) are all important.

So lets start with Breakfast, and keep in mind it need to be something that you can raise, grow or hunt on your own property which limits our options.

Without reviewing details covered in our Livestock series, the easiest animals to raise are Chickens, by far, followed by Pigeons, Rabbits and Goats; possibly Ducks and Fish if you have ample surface water.  Bees are easy to raise and honey is the easiest most natural sweetener you can find.  Nuts are also a good source of protein and preserve well.  As much as I like beacon and sausage, pigs require a lot of space to raise food to feed them. The fat from having pigs would be a huge benefit making pigs are great barter item, but still a challenge to raise and feed.  Hunting wild pigs will yield little as Wildlife will be limited from excessive hunting.  Capturing and raising them will be a much better choice. 

With this in mind, a sustainable life style breakfast might be as follows:
  1. Three Scrambled Eggs
  2. Several Biscuits or Pancakes with fresh honey or a bowl of oatmeal or corn grits
  3. A portion of meat or nuts of your raising
  4. Perhaps a glass of goats milk
  5. Maybe some garden onions or dried ground peppers
To achieve this breakfast, we will need:

  1. Eight laying hens per person.
  2. About 200 lbs of chicken feed per person (per year)
  3. Four 50 lb size sacks to package and store the grain
  4. About 0.25 acres of land to raise this feed 
Biscuits, Pancakes, Oatmeal or Corn Grits
  1.  Four 2 ounce Biscuits or 8 ounces of pancakes or grain cereal 
  2. Baking Soda, Baking Poweder or Yeast or sour dough bread mix
  3. 300 lbs of grain per year per person.
  4. Six 50 lb size sacks to package and store the grain
  5. About 0.50 acres of land to raise these grains.
  6. One bee hive per person for the honey.
  7. Fifty pint jars & lids to store the honey.
  1. Sausage, 6 - 8 ounces (whole hog)
  2. About 650 lbs of feed per person (per year)
  3. Thirteen 50 lb size sacks to package and store the grain
  4. About 1.50 acres of land to raise this feed 
  1. One nanny goat that is milked daily
  2. About 400 lbs of feed per person (per year)
  3. Eight 50 lb size sacks to package and store the grain
  4. About 1.0 acres of land to raise this feed 
  1. Pounds of grain - 1,550
  2. Feed Storage Sacks - 31
  3. Acres of land - 3.25

 These are the requirements  per person, per year, for one meal - Breakfast.  Based on heirloom crops with limited fertilizer, but rotating the crops and resting the land every other year.

So as you can see, sustainable living is not easy.  The Prepper Handbook available on Amazon Kindle for $4.99 has a Sustainable food model shown to help develop your own meal plan.

For more information:

Blog Table of Contents
Top Rated Prepper Handbook Posts of all time 
Complete Sustainable Living Plan

Sustainable Meal Planning Series

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Monday, April 15, 2019

Home Schooling for Preppers

After an economic or societal breakdown, i.e. the proverbial SHTF scenario, it will be necessary to educate your children at home, which takes on a whole new meaning under these circumstances.  While we still need the academic school training, there is much more that must be learned, many of these Prepper Skills for Youth we should already be teaching.  So lets look at home schooling from different perspectives.
  1. Academics - Math, Science, English
  2. Basic Life Skills -  Farming, Ranching, Food Preservation, Hunting, Fishing, Wilderness Survival, Delivering Babies, First Aid, Sewing, Business, Mechanics, Electrical and this list could go on and on. 
  3. Art - creativity would clearly seem to be the least important skill for survival as indicated below in Maslow's hierarchy of needs however music has been something that makes life enjoyable after a hard days work, and brings people together. Mental health is important, and randomly scheduled group events are helpful, as long as they don't compromise security. In fact, security should be increased as the noise could be risky.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs
Regardless of what you are teaching, having a hard copy set of encyclopedias (below) is a great resource.  Old copies of these can often be purchased at estate sales or re-sale Book Stores.  Having a CD version can also be helpful, IF you have electricity, which may not be the case after an EMP.

For Academic Books, W.W. Norton seems to have a good selection of school books. 

Another great source of educational materials are College Book stores, where they sell used books at a discount, and, however they are globalist with anti-American sentiment and should only be used as a last resort. Further, buying lots of books, guns, ammo, etc. on line &/or not paying with cash WILL get you flagged as a potential risk with the NSA and FBI, who track every transaction, phone call, text message, etc.

Every year, there are many school books retired and replaced with new (more liberal) ones, so older books may actually be preferable. 

For Basic Skill books,  our Prepper Handbook list of Best Prepper Books will provides many known good books to have for basic skills.  We would welcome your suggestions on some good books in the comments below.

Ideally, we build our own good library of books ahead of time, but if not, then Salvaging books from a school or library may be necessary. If this is not an option, then we may borrow, Barter or Purchase the necessary books from others if still available.

Last, but not least, a Bible is mandatory, and a good bible scholar as a Teacher is priceless.

Teachers are essential; the more the better. Different Teachers for different subjects is the ideal scenario with each having their area of specialization, especially at the higher grade levels.

School must be scheduled around farm work schedules; off during the spring planting (spring break), off during the summer harvest, and in school though out the winter. A college type schedule with some courses on Monday, Wednesday and other courses on Tuesday, Thursday.

Early to bed, early to rise is also a good schedule as students will likely be living a farming life style; up at dawn, break at lunch during the heat of the day, work again in the evening and off to bed shortly after sun down.

Educating our children is an investment in the future and one that must be taken seriously.

For more information:
Blog Table of Contents
Top Rated Prepper Handbook Posts of all time 

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Sustainable Meal Planning - Nutrition

For a healthy Prepper Sustainable meal plan, you must have the right amount of Calories & Nutrition.  Below is a table showing how many servings you would normally need.

I left the size intentionally large to make this easy to read.

To see the original charts, click HERE

 For more information:

Blog Table of Contents
Top Rated Prepper Handbook Posts of all time 
Complete Sustainable Living Plan

Sustainable Meal Planning Series
Or click on a label below for similar topics.