Ok folks – so I’ve been doing this blog for a little over 3 years now – sharing my thoughts and wisdom on Prepping with you all. So I want to do something different this week – I want to HEAR FROM YOU. Today’s question to you is, what advice would you give someone who is just starting out in the Prepping World “How Do I Start Prepping?”
Whether its something as simple as “start buy picking up a few extra cans of food, toilet rolls, tooth paste with your weekly grocery shop” or taking an advance shooting course – I want YOU to leave your feedback and comments in the section below!
As preppers most of us are very aware of the difference between cover and concealment. If not, to recap quickly cover will save your ass and concealment will just hide you from view. It may seem obvious but just because you cannot be seen by an assailant does not mean that they cannot shoot you.
Plenty of us here in the USA live in homes constructed of wood (as opposed to brick) and I thought it would be worth discussing how safe we are from gunfire in a wooden home.
Whilst hardwood may stop some pistol rounds it will not stop a rifle round in fact I had a colleague who had someone fire a rifle round that traveled through 5 wood walls of his house before coming to a stop. Law enforcement assumed it was a 30 cal round. Needless to say shortly after that he bought a home in a more secure location.
One of the few woods to slow down bullets better than most is maple , such as the maple used to make bowling pins. I have seen people test a .44 magnum on maple only to have the bullets simply bounce off.
Brick or block homes are a better option however acknowledge that if you do come under fire there will be concrete flying about. If you are taking machine gun fire and your house is built from concrete blocks ..it won’t be cover for long.
That’s why many preppers recommend purchasing bulk sand bags especially if the SHTF and we start living in a world without rule of law.Sand bags and earth stop bullets far better than concrete and metal do but sooner or later any sustained attack from a machine gun or rifle fire will compromise your cover.
The bottom line is the outer walls of the average house will stop nothing, If you use cinder blocks you will need to fill them with steel reinforced concrete and make it two courses thick, staggering the weak points between both walls so you are not left vulnerable. Which is pretty much going to make you feel like you are living in a prison cell.
I guess what started off as an article looking at the stopping power of your wood home has morphed into a piece on home defense, the bottom line is if aggressors have you and your family pinned down in your home ..its not good….that’s why it always pays to have a large remote property and have concentric circles of defense before invaders even get close to your home.
Ultimately the best defense is a house with an unseen entry and exit that can be used if needed to silently slip into the wilderness .
I’ve been getting a lot of emails lately asking for advice for preppers wanting to get into growing their own vegetables, on route to becoming self sufficient, healthy and prepared. It’s not easy but if I can do it then surely you can too. Here are some of my favorite tips to get you started. Feel free to add your own in the comments box below:
* I think the first rule for anyone starting out with a homesteading garden is to focus on growing only what you intend to eat. There is little point growing tomatoes if your entire family does not like them!
* Know what will grow in your location – starting a homesteading garden in say the South West you can probably get away with a lot broader varieties of fruits and vegetables than you can say starting your gardening in South Dakota – where of course you will need to focus on my robust vegetables and legumes (beans)
* Having a successful homesteading garden takes effort at first and accept that there will be a learn curve. The first year my family started pretty much everything but our tomato crops failed. learn from your mistakes and accept that it will take time to get good at this
* It is wise to start with a limited run of vegetables and scale up over time. A small well cared garden when you are starting out will yield better results than a large one given less focus and attention
* Once you narrow down what plats you want to start with its best to invest in non hybrid seeds. Non Hybrid seed (often called Heirloom seed as well) is seed that has been naturally pollinated – this difference between this and hybrid seeds is hybrid seeds lack nutrition in the final fruit or vegetables and you cannot save the seeds from these plats to be used again in next seasons garden
* If you have a limited amount of space for your garden look into “container gardening” You can plant your veggies on your balcony, deck or patio using this method. Containers also make it easier for you to control the soil, light, water and fertilizer.
* Again if you are limited in the amount of space you have for your garden you way want to investigate vertical gardening – using trellis’s to grow crops up not sideways The best plants for vertical gardening are Peas, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Asparagus pumpkins and sweet potatoes. You can even buy prepackaged “grow walls” at many home and garden centers now!
* For those who still live a city you can get your start right on your own balcony start with herbs, the best ones to start with oregano, parsley, thyme, basil, rosemary, dill and some smaller vergetables like cherry tomatoes and peppers.If you choose to plant cucumbers they will each need their own pot so that they are not overcrowded.
* Consider putting wire over your veggies to stop your pets digging in your vegetable gardens, my dogs love to dig in the toiled soil,especially when its hot.
* Look into “companion planting – Its about how certain plants can protect each other from pests and diseases, if done right you can get away with using no pesticides on your plants. There is a book i cannot recommend enough called “”Carrots love Tomatoes”
* If you cannot get companion planting to work for you please look into organic alternatives to pesticides to keep bugs and other predators off your plants – its just not wise to dowse the vegetables you plan to eat with such toxic chemicals!
* Once you get into your second year of homestead gardening make sure you rotate your crops, so that you do not deplete the nutritional value of your soil (which happens when you plant the same crops in the same soil year after year) So don’t plant the same plants in the same spot year in year out.
* Consider canning. Its a great way to make your vegetables last the winter months and its easy to do. Easy but not the cheapest, however you cannot put a price on knowing exactly what is in your jars! There is something deeply fulfilling about preserving fresh food for later.
Once you spend some time on your garden and start to see results you will never go back to store bought veggies again!
We had so much feedback on our recent blog post on Ak47s versus Ar15s that we thought it would be cool to do a piece covering the pros and cons of revolvers versus pistols. While I own a couple of each, this blog post is going to cover the pros of adding a couple of revolvers to your personal arsenal especially now before the cost of owning a quality one goes through the roof.
Personally I think a revolver makes a great “nightstand gun” perfect for a middle of the night home invasion type scenario. I think the average civilian with little practice with their semi automatic pistol would fumble with it especially with the adrenaline dump of being suddenly awakened by intruders in their house. At least with a revolver a live round is already chambered and there is no safety catch to mess with. All is needed is to point and shoot.
Another plus point with a revolver versus a semi automatic pistol is if you do have a dead round with a revolver you can keep pulling the trigger..with a pistol you are S*** Out Of Luck.
If you are keen on investing in a revolver consider purchasing a 357 as you can use both .357 and 38 special ammo with it.
I use my revolver (as mentioned above as a night stand gun) but I know plenty of people that use one for their Every Day Carry (EDC) a friend of mine living in bear country swears by the heavier copper jacketed ammo for his .357 as he swears its good enough to stop a bear. Something your 9mm will not do!
A question I get asked often is which is a better rifle for reliability the Ar-15 or the AK 47
Let’s look at the pros and cons for both today:
As much as I love a good AR I am going to have to veer towards a AK 47 as far as reliability is concerned. You can literally leave them out in the snow, not use them for 10 years and come back to it and an AK is going to work for you.
There is a very good reason why the Ak47 is the rifle of choice for poor people living in the third world. The system can take a fair bit of environmental abuse and with minimal care and maintenance it will shoot. Of course like all things in life there is a trade off and that one being you lose accuracy on an Ak vs an AR
AR’s, M16 and M4’s require much more maintenance to keep them functioning properly especially if they use a direct impingement system (rather than a gas piston) Of course if you keep them in good condition they will perform excellently
If you are looking to purchase a good quality AK try to get an original with a milled steel receiver and not one of the later versions which used stamped steel.
Some specs that differentiate an original AK versus a modern one are:
* Original AKs have a larger and sloped Front Sight versus the slimmer one of a modern AK
* Barrels for the modern AK are much more lightweight approx 2mm thinner
* Original AKs have a more solid and thicker Gas block than the vented gas blocks of modern Aks
* The modern AK has larger and smoother cleaning rod retainers
* In original AKs the front sling loop wraps around the gas block and the bayonet lug and in modern AKs the front sling loop is integral to the Lower hand-guard retainer.
Some champions of the AR platform claim they see more misfires using an AK47. However, I personally believe that it is not so much the rifle but the quality of ammo out there for the AK, which can vary greatly. Installing a sharper firing pin in your AK usually helps with hard primers.
To sum up if reliability and very low maintenance is your only criteria then definitely go for an AK 47 but do try and get an original, keep in mind that you will be sacrificing accuracy for reliability,. Forget about hitting anything over 300 meters with your AK.
Like I said above I do love a good AR15 and they are not as finicky as people think they are.
Thanks for reading – I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback – leave a comment below!
If you’re planning to pick up a first aid kit at the store, you might be in for a shock. Most of those pre-planned kits don’t contain the items that you need for long term or even short-term survival.
Those kits were put together based on normal living conditions. Since surviving a natural disaster or other crisis situation doesn’t qualify as normal, you’re going to want to look specifically for a survival first aid kit. These aren’t the same as a regular first aid kit meant for a soccer mom whose kid needs a BandAid for a scraped knee.
You’re going to want to make sure you have what you need so if you can’t find a kit made specifically for survivalists, then put together the supplies you need yourself. Get a sturdy bag for it – you can use a hard shell case or you can use a backpack for your first aid supplies. If you use a backpack, mark it as your first aid kit.
You’ll want a first aid manual. No matter how much knowledge you have with emergencies, if you’re the one that needs aid, this can help someone else know how to treat you.
Next, besides bandages that range in shape and size, you’re going to want gauze pads. Make sure these are in a variety of sizes and make sure they’re the absorbent kind. You’re going to want butterfly strips, but in a pinch, you can make your own with regular medical tape – so make sure you have medical tape in your kit. Have burn dressings in your kit, too.
You need Ace bandages because these not only help with a sprain, but they can also be used to fasten a splint or a sling if needed. Have a supply of gloves on hand to use while you’re performing treatment.
You’ll also need a way to clean the wound. You can use a piece of gauze if you have to – but most people pack some cotton swabs. You’ll need scissors for cutting and you’ll need tools to get out splinters or other foreign objects.
Tweezers are best for this but in some events, you’ll need a needle. You’ll want a flashlight so that you can see what you’re doing. You’ll want a thermometer as well as the medication to treat in the event someone does have a fever. You’ll want one of those ice packs for help with swelling injuries.
Make sure your kit has plenty of antibiotic ointments and even allergic reaction tablets since you’ll be living in areas where you and your family may not have been exposed to the allergens. Pack the liquid kind if you have children who can’t swallow pills yet.
Having the means to suture up deep wounds in order to save a life is a necessity. For that, you’ll need a suture kit. Superglue can also be used to close a wound. Some people also choose to have a handheld blood pressure machine. You can find ones that can also monitor a victim’s heartrate.
If you’ll be out in the woods or if you’ve set up a camp somewhere away from your home, you might encounter snakes. So take a snakebite kit. It’s a good idea to investigate the area you’ll be staying in to see what dangers you might encounter so that your kit can be built specifically for those issues.
Do you think that using solar power for home is a great idea? Well, only you can answer that question. Before you embark on any project, you must have enough knowledge about it. Make sure that you do your homework first and learn everything you can about solar power. The world is suffering greatly from global warming and one of the primary causes is the use of fossil fuels to create electricity. Electricity is a necessity and because of this fact, people can’t do away with it. There is a need to look for alternative energy sources and a very good one is the use of solar power.
Before you make a decision and use solar power for your home, here are the important considerations that you should look into:
1. Where do you live? What is the weather in your area? Is it always sunny in your area or is it always raining? Are there tall trees near your house? You must answer these questions first before you start with any DIY project to create solar power for your home. If the weather is frequently sunny, then it might be a good idea to use solar power. For those with lots of trees in their yard, you need to get rid of them but this is not a very easy thing to do since trees are also very important. Local authorities might not permit you to do cut down huge tall trees. Study the weather in your area as well as your location. To use solar power, you will need the rays of the sun. Rain, clouds, and trees can block the sun’s rays and so you might end up wasting money.
2. Where do you plan to install the solar panels? You must determine the place where there is lots of sunlight all throughout the day. You can’t install the solar panels in an area where there is very little sunlight. Study your home’s surroundings. Find the perfect place where the panels can get a lot of sunlight so that you can benefit from it greatly.
3. Do you have enough knowledge on how to connect solar power into the electricity grid of your home? You can also conduct a research about it. The solar power DIY projects usually provide a complete guide on how to install the solar power to your homes. Just follow the instructions carefully to avoid committing mistakes. If you’re not that sure, you can always get an electrician to help you with the task.
Solar power can reduce your monthly electric bills by more or less 80% depending on your solar power project. In no time at all, your home can become self sufficient and you will no longer depend largely on the conventional energy sources.
Aside from that, the carbon emissions are also reduced thereby saving the environment from further damage. With a solar powered home, you can enjoy an endless electric supply that is clean, green, and fresh.
Get a solar power DIY kit now and get the needed materials. You can also ask other family members to help you out. That is, if you think that solar power is best for your home. Go through the three considerations mentioned above so that you can make an informed decision. This is the time to save money and help the environment, act now.
Many homesteading prepper families make the decisions to invest in a dairy cow for their property. This will provide plenty of milk for your family – and possibly extra for your pigs, if you’re raising those.
You can drink the milk, or create yogurt, ice cream and other items from her milk. Each type of cow and size will produce a variable amount of milk, so you may want to find a smaller option (like a goat) if your family doesn’t use much milk.
Or, if you live in a prepper community, you could share the milk with another family – along with the responsibilities of raising it. You need to milk it at the same time each and every day, so scheduling is important.
Some people wonder about the safety of drinking raw milk, but you can also buy a pasteurizer for your family to use. They’re not expensive and it will provide you with the same safety that you get off the grocery shelves.
It can get expensive to raise a dairy cow if you’re having to buy all of your hay, but many prepper families grow their own, so that cuts down on the cost of raising your dairy cow enormously.
You can sometimes go to a dairy farm and ask if they have any lower production cows they want to get rid of. If the volume isn’t enough for a dairy farm, they’ll often sell off the cows to a family that requires a much lower volume of milk.
Most families recommend that you get a Jersey dairy cow, but there are many options. You want one that’s gentle and won’t be hostile to you or your little ones in a farming situation.
You have to make sure that your property has room for her to graze and roam around. If you get a Brown Swiss or Dexter cow, then you can allow for more grass grazing than hay feed, which saves you money in the long run.
Your dairy cow will provide milk twice a day for almost a year. After about 10 months, give her a break for a few months and then let her produce another calf to begin milk production again.
Keep in mind that your water supply has to be significant to provide for a dairy cow’s needs. They can drink anywhere from 25-40 gallons of water each day. Make sure you have enough water for her and your own family’s needs.
Your dairy cow might produce anywhere from 2-8 gallons of milk per day, so make sure you don’t over-invest in something that’s going to make all of the milk production go to waste.
You never know when you’re going to have to get out in a hurry. Having a bag packed with all of the necessities you need – including clothing – will allow you to be prepared for any situation.
You already know that you should have the basic items like food, water and first aid. When it comes to clothing, it can be a little confusing knowing exactly what or how much to pack.
A good rule of thumb to follow would be to pack as if you’re going to be gone for three days. You’ll also want to consider exactly where you’re going when choosing what clothing to pack because the area you’re going to may have different weather than where you’re currently living.
If you’re heading to a rainier area, then you’d want to make sure you had rain gear – and if you’re going to an area where the weather is colder, you’ll want warmer clothing. Since room can be limited in a backpack, you want every piece of clothing to serve a purpose.
Pack two pairs of pants to wear. Since you’ll be wearing a pair, that counts as your third day pair. You’ll want to take long pants rather than shorts since you might be hiking through rough terrain. Plus, having long pants can help protect your legs against insect bites.
Take two shirts along for the journey. You’ll need one that’s fit for warmer weather – such as a short sleeve t-shirt. But you’ll also want a long sleeve shirt for cooler temperatures. Remember that temperatures always drop in the evening hours. By having both a short sleeve and a long sleeve shirt, you can double these up for warmth if needed.
For undergarments, you’ll need to take two pairs of socks and two pairs of underwear – but you’ll also want to pack a pair of thermal underwear. You can wear these under your clothing in the event of cold weather.
You’ll want to take along a hat to protect your head from the sun’s rays as well as to keep your head warm if it’s cold. A hat can also be useful to keep the rain out of your eyes.
A jacket is a must-have clothing item, but you want one that can serve two purposes. You want one that help you keep you warm but can also protect you from inclement weather like rain.
Many jackets have a waterproof shell and are lined with warm material on the inside. You can find some that are lightweight so that fitting them in your backpack won’t be an issue.
Don’t forget to pack footwear. When you first start out, it’s best to wear your waterproof boots and pack a pair of athletic shoes. Break them in ahead of time to prevent blisters if you have to hike around a lot.