Survival Gear 2017 

The world seems more uncertain now than ever before. Are you prepared?

 

In a world where uncertainty is of the age, we need to be in-line with how best to deal with the essence of living matched with current tragedies that are occurring.  Disaster prepping has gone mainstream along with homesteading. The uncertainty of our world has increased the popularity of post-apocalyptic themes – you can find them almost anywhere. Whether it be in stories, movies, series or books, zombie apocalypse themes as well as economic collapse and disease outbreaks have become ever-popular with the growing concerns of millions of people from across the globe.

Chance Favors the Well Prepared

A popular and commonly used quote amongst preppers, “Chance favors the well prepared” refers to the fact that it is impossible to predict what may come in this modern world of uncertainty and chaos. But it is vital to remember that in the time of a natural disaster or terrorist attack, it will be the people that have prepared for it that will survive and thrive. Prepping for survival is an investment that will set your future up for success and moreover, give you peace of mind today, for tomorrow’s happenings.

Like so many endeavors in life, preparing can often be quite exciting and engaging at first, however it starts to lose is sheen as time passes by and life and its priorities get in the way.

Some people want to become self-sufficient. Others chose to live their life as normally as possible but still prepare a bug out bag in case of emergency. Either way, the key is to be flexible and have options.  Establish and build your survival skills and gear and keep the momentum going as much as possible so that if the SHTF – you are ready.

Threats to Survival – Evaluation 

When we speak about emergency preparedness, it’s impossible to create a one size fits all survival guide or plan. A real-life crisis often has a spectrum of possible issues and as a result, possible tools and techniques to help deal with them.

Each and every crisis is unique to a person’s unique location, needs and situation.

So, the first step in any preparedness plan is to figure out what the threats are in your area – to identify potential dangers that you may face during and after a disaster.

When you do a realistic threat assessment, you can get a better idea of what type of threats are out there and related to your location. From there the key is to learn about how best to prepare for such threats before they become a hazard to your life.

What emergencies are likely to happen in your area?

Natural Disasters

While there are different types of challenges for each and every natural disaster that occurs, there are some things that can be expected during most natural disasters. This could be during a hurricane, tornado, wildfire, earthquake, flood or tsunami. No matter what type of natural disaster, there are a few key points to take note of whilst preparing for survival.

Do you know what disasters are most likely to occur in your area?

The first step to preparing for emergencies in your home, you need to be aware of what type of disasters are most likely to occur and affect your immediate area. Answer these simple questions to help you understand this:

  • Do you live in an earthquake zone?
  • Is your house situated in a flood plain?
  • What disasters have affected your location in the past?

If you live in a specific location that is prone to a certain type of natural disaster, you should plan according to that specific disaster. This should include a detailed threat assessment, evacuation plan and your home should be disaster ready.

Civil unrest 

Civil unrest, also known as civil disorder, is generally a breakdown of a society that we know as normal, which leads to violence, riots or other sorts of disorder. Civil unrest is usually suppressed by armed government, depending on the seriousness of the specific event. Unhappy people in large groups can often be seen as unpredictable and can easily erupt without warning. This can be caused due to economic collapse, a protest that has turned unfavorable or any other incident that was not predicted.

Preparing for such crises and unrest is done much the same as when you would prepare for natural disasters in that we prepare now – before the storm hits. It may not be possible to leave your city during a civil unrest, but you can prepare your home for this by creating a long-term food supply, gather warm clothing, get alternate power sources and sufficient toiletries. If you do need to leave your city, it is vital to ensure that your emergency supplies are left in your vehicle that has a full tank of gas. Emergency supplies and first-aid kits can be used for both natural disasters and civil unrest, so don’t think that they will go to waste.

Who is involved (family, friends)

When there is a threat to your specific location, it is important to have a prevention plan that includes your friends and family. Keep your family safe by having an emergency supply kit built. Also, know your exit strategies and how to protect children as they might be in a panicked state.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

It may be a good idea to analyze what your strengths and weaknesses are when looking at survival techniques.

Analyze strengths by looking at:

  • What survival gear and equipment do you currently own?
  • What other household items do you have that may be useful during a crisis situation?
  • What skills do you already have that may help with a survival situation?

With regards to weaknesses, you need to be very honest with yourself. With detailing weaknesses, you will be able to become prepared for survival easier. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when identifying weaknesses:

What skills do you need improvement on?

You may look at your weaknesses and realize that there are certain skills that need attention. This could be skills such as tying knots, going on a first aid course or learning how to use survival tools. With upskilling, yourself, you are sure to be well-equipped when a disaster strikes.

Are there any specific survival skills that you have never practiced?

It is important to check what skills you already have when it comes to survival. Often there are skills you may have learnt at a young age that help in a survival situation. This could be something you may have learnt in scouts, or even a first aid course you may have done. Other skills include firearm certification and training as well as disaster training.

Are there any weaknesses related to your location?

Weaknesses related to your location could include almost anything – from infrastructure issues to shortage in food and water to bad draining systems. This could all affect you in the event of a threat. You may have to analyze this and look at what could make the disaster worse than what it already is.

Do you have any medical issues?

If you have medical issues, you may want to try and plan out what equipment and medication you need in the event of a panic or emergency. This allows you to have a look at what your location offers you as well as how you wish to go forward in the event of natural disaster or civil unrest. If you know you have, for example, asthma, it is imperative to make sure you have available emergency services and hospitals around you at any point in time.

What are the specific factors that impact your area?

Certain areas are impacted in different ways to others. This is often categorized in relation to the area as well as what types of disasters they are prone to.

Natural

Natural disasters will impact your area based on how often that area is prone to being hit by a tornado, hurricane, flood, tsunami or wild fire. Certain locations are hit more often than others and the area should be well-equipped for consistent natural disasters should they experience them on a regular basis. This includes emergency evacuation routes and infrastructure changes.

Civil 

In the event of civil unrest, it is always a semi-unplanned threat and precaution should be taken as much as possible. People can get very violent and unpredictable, this is where you need to look at bugging out or making sure your home is safe and stocked so that you don’t have to be amongst the violence out there.

Population density

Population density and socio-economic factors are also a major factor to increasing disaster threats. A large natural disaster like a tornado can result in a large economic loss in densely populated areas.

Target potential

If a terrorist attack occurs, it often occurs with a potential location or landmark as a target. It is important to understand that this could well be a large monument or a train station, even just a café on the side of the road. The key is to be aware of your surroundings as often as possible.

Mental attitude

A positive mental attitude often helps when disaster strikes. It may be difficult to maintain however, it makes the world of difference to your brain and consequently, your actions in survival mode. Here are a few ways of how to keep your mind positive in the event of a crisis:

  • Stay busy and keep your mind occupied
  • Repeat statements about surviving in your mind
  • Recognize any negative emotions and address them quickly and efficiently
  • Do not blame yourself

Communication

Make sure you always communicate with the people you are with as well as with yourself. It may be a good idea to keep a survival two-way radio so that you can stay in touch with someone that is out of your location, in the event of a disaster striking.

First Aid Skills

A first aid kit is great to have however, it is imperative that you take a first aid course so that you can use a first aid it effectively, without wasting materials and doing any necessary work as professionally as possible.

Defense (self-defense)

It is important to take a self-defense class and make sure that your body is ever-ready to be able to defend. This means that fitness is of the utmost importance. Also, it may be an idea to take a martial arts class and learn skills versus tactics.

Survival Analysis 

How do you evaluate if it’s time to go?

Often when there is an emergency – either natural or man-made, the question is – Do I stay or do I go?  Should I “bug in” or “bug out”.

When placed in a survival situation the usual protocol is to stay at home. This makes it easier for search and rescue teams to find you and help you when they conduct grid searches. Although this may not always be the right choice during a natural disaster or civil unrest. The situation always dictates whether you should stay or go.

Stay when you have enough resources at home and if the disaster is something like a power outage. This gives you home field advantage however take note that you may lose communication with the outside world.

Go should be a last resort and is generally done when there is a lack of resources in your area such as medical and food stock. You need equipment to leave and know where you are going to with contingency routes planned beforehand.

If you do choose to leave your city or “bug out” as we call it, how do you know it is the right time to leave? The best way is to evaluate the nature of the disaster and if it is seen as something where society and the infrastructure of the your area is in danger and can deteriorate, then it would be a good idea to leave before disaster strikes.

If the area is going through a major disaster it can easily become socially chaotic and a hazardous environment to be in. Desperate situations cause desperate people to do desperate things especially relating to water, food, gas and other supplies that can quickly run out. Most people tend to be paralyzed when it comes to initial decision and as a result, they will not bug out quickly. This gives you as a prepper time to exit before SHTF. However, it is imperative to note that the safe window period will be short lived.

Two ways to know if it’s time to go are:

1) Stores are Empty

2) Emergency Services are Overwhelmed

Stores are Empty

Stores function efficiently under ‘normal’ consumption demands. But when a demand is not properly forecasted due to a disaster, backups and lead times on backups of stock are not quick enough, resulting in shortages.

Consumers also tend to buy more of something when they know it is scarce. This could be anything from food to medicinal products to even gas – because they have noticed that there isn’t much of it out there. This causes an even greater demand and makes people want to relocate to places where there is no shortage.

Emergency services are overwhelmed

Emergency services can become an issue in the case of a disaster. The speed of tragedy hits and before the city knows it, there are sirens everywhere but too few to attend to every individual in need. This results in a high injury and death toll and people tend to get anxious.

A number of people end up having the incapability of rational thought during this process and can to become petrified at the thought of not being able to seek help. Just the thought of this happening is also one of the main reasons why people decide to bug out as early as possible.

Who makes this decision? 

This should be a decision that the parent of a family make and it should be made well in advance to avoid time wasting and quarreling. Everyone in the house should be on the same page when SHTF.

Who goes with? 

When planning ensure that you know exactly who is going. Remember a vehicle can only take so many people with clothing and the necessary survival kits you may need. Prep for who is leaving, maybe Mom, Dad and three kids.  But do you include the cherished neighbor?  What about the grandparents who live down the street?  Also don’t forget to analyze pet situations as well as nearby friends.

Survival Gear

There are 3 levels of Survival Gear

1. EDC (Every Day Carry) – things you use fairly often – sometimes daily.  The Every Day Carry kit are things you might use both every day and in an emergency.

2. Get home bag – what you need to get home as quickly and safely as possible just in case your normal commute is out of operation.  Usually it has what you need for 24-48 hours of surivial and is small enough to carry with you at all times.

3. Bug out bag helps you survive in a situation where the emergency continues for several days or more.   It’s easy to carry, and you don’t carry it at all times.  Usually they are stored somewhere easy to reach but hidden in your house.

Every Day Carry (EDC)

EDC kits depend largely on what the disaster is – if it is a flood, you may not need a folding knife as much as a whistle. If it is a wild fire you will definitely need a fire kit and a flashlight.

Some of the things you might find in an EDC kit include:

Multi-tool  – Try to get yourself a multi-tool that has just the components that you need.  If you never use the saw (and you can’t imagine doing so) then don’t have one.

Flashlight  – Remember your flashlight, this is important for most disaster situations. Also, don’t forget to pack spare batteries.

Survival bracelet  Life in a disaster situation is definitely no fashion parade, however a survival bracelet can save your life – yes, a bracelet. Crafted from woven paracord, it has a lot of different uses.

Whistle – A whistle should always be kept with you in the event of you being lost or trying to attract attention. This may occur if you cannot be seen and are trying to seek help – it’s essential in a flood, amongst debris and in civil unrest.

Fire kit  – A fire kit should be built such that it’s compact yet still has all the necessary items in it. Such items might include tinder sticks, cotton pads, steel wool, char tin cloth, barrier pouches, punky wood, lighters and jute twine to name a few things.   Although some people just carry a lighter.

Essential medicines – You can create a very small mini-first aid kit with whatever medicines you generally take.  Make sure you always carry extra of any urgent prescription medicine.

Folding knife  – Every survival kit should have a knife. This can be used for almost anything that needs to be cut in the event of you being away from home. It can be used as a cutter, scraper or blade.

Get Home Bag

A get home bag is a bag to help you get home as quickly and safely as possible in the event of your usual commute being compromised. It contains essentials to help you for between 24 and 48 hours of survival and should be compact enough for you to carry anywhere.

Depends on situation and distance 

It is key to take note of situational awareness. A get home bag is often very dependent on the situation and what kind of crisis you are going through. Distance to home as well as routes to home, normal and contingency routes, are imperative when planning a get home bag.

Where do you keep it? 

Try to keep you get home bag wherever you are. Leaving your bag in your car while you are at the office is unwise, especially if you park in a garage. Consider a gym locker or leaving it at the office with you.

Having more than 1… 

This is always a good idea and makes life easier for you in the long run. You can keep one bag in your vehicle, one in a gym locker, one at the office and you’re basically good to go from anywhere.

What goes in it?

Clothing (maybe boots) – Try to keep warm clothing and boots in your bag. This will prevent you from getting very cold and it will also allow you to walk through any potential debris or danger areas with hiking boots if possible. Although it is important to remember to try and change clothing seasonally.

Stay dry – Keep a set rain poncho or jacket so you can stay dry.  Hypothermia can impact you in any climate.

Map and compass – You may very well get lost and it is imperative to know your bearings.   If you usually take public transportation or drive, you might not be familiar with the best way to walk.

Emergency signal  – This can be a simple mirror or a set of flares and is vital especially if you are lost or cannot be seen. They also work well in natural disaster situations and could save you much faster, getting you medical attention as soon as possible.

Flashlight/headlamp – Power is generally something that goes off rather quickly in any crisis, so a flashlight is probably going to be your best friend. Keep them in a get home bag along with batteries.

Sunblock/hat – You may have a crisis in the midst of summer and your trip back home could be longer than expected. Take care of your skin and make sure it is protected from UV rays and hydrated with sunblock.

First aid kit  – This is one of the most important elements in a get home bag. Remember to always have a first aid kit in the event of any minor injuries.  Make sure to include emergency medicine – especially daily medications.

Duct tape – This can be used to repair shelter or clothing, as well as bandage injuries and even prevent blisters. Flatten the roll to help save space in the bag.

Cell phone – An emergency cell phone that is always charged can come in handy should yours get damaged during disaster.   You might also consider a solar charger.

Survival knife  – A survival knife is a basic and versatile tool that allows you to control and manipulate almost anything you are trying to do. From cutting to shaping to scraping – it is essential to keep one in your bag.

Battery pack – Batteries will come in handy for many items such as flashlights and radios. Ensure you keep a range of sizes with you.

Food and water – Canned food and water that can be sealed and stored long-term is great to keep with you. There is a high chance of you becoming dehydrated and hungry so make sure there is always food and water.

Water filter – Water filters come in handy when your water runs out and you have access to other water sources and do not necessarily trust them.

Dust mask or bandana – Protect your face from any dust and harm with a dust mask. With disaster comes fire and dust, so make sure you keep a dust mask close to you.

Depending on distance – emergency radio

Depending on how far you are from home, it may be a good idea to keep a two-way radio nearby just in case. Give the other radio to a loved one and make sure you can get hold of them if you are very far off from home.

What To Consider if You are Staying Home in an Emergency

During a disaster, the number one plan should always be to stay at home (Bug In). It gives you home base advantage and allows you to prep your home for the worst – no matter how long a disaster runs.

Here are some things to consider when planning for a disaster.

Mindset – Try to keep your mindset positive – if you have your home prepared you will know exactly where everything is and what type of plans you have for each home member.

Getting everyone home  – Try to create a strategy with every family member on how they will get home in an emergency.  Keep radios with them and stay in communication as long as possible until everyone is back home.

Food – Keep tinned food at home as well as fresh food. At home, you have the advantage of having both foods where you can finish fresh food first and still know that tinned food is available to you.

Water  – Store water – and this is not only for drinking. Water and plumbing can go out so make sure you have sufficient water for bathing too.

Defense  – Make sure your property is safe locked and you all know where to go in the event of your home getting attacked. Basements and attics work well.

Living off the land  – Ever thought of growing your own vegetable garden? Now is the time to do so. You will never run out of food. Also, store elements like water and wood for bathing and fires respectively.

Power  – Power outages are common so ensure that your house is gas equipped and you have plenty candles and LED lights that are charged.

Fire – Keep wood for fire and don’t forget the lighters, matches and fire starters. You may need fire more than you think depending on the disaster at hand.

Friends/Neighbors – Build trust with your neighbors and get to know them. They will be around to help you in a disaster situation, as you are ready to help them. Also, keep your friends close and communicate with them as much as possible.

Creating a survival cache – If you are bugging in, it’s great to have a really good list so you can see everything you need and make sure you have it.  Here’s a great list 

Survival BoxesThese are pre-made monthly boxes packed with materials and items that you will need – from food to gear and much more like garden seeds. These boxes come in categories and are delivered to you on a monthly basis.  (Here is a link to a good one.)

Bug Out Planning

Leaving is usually a last resort and should always be done when there is very little hope of you staying at home due to it being damaged or civil unrest being unreasonable around you.

Mental attitude  – Try to stay calm and positive and have the vehicles packed in advance. This is essential especially when you have family members around you.

Communication  – Always try to stay connected especially if you are going to be in a remote area. Try and keep a radio with you and a spare cell phone to ensure connectivity with loved ones.

Have specific destinations in mind – Try to keep a plan of various places you can evacuate to. This could be as simple as a friend or family home. Alternatively, you could look at going quite far out if need be. Either way, you would still need to plan this.

Maps and plans  – Planning with maps will allow you to be ready for the type of survival gear you need for different terrain and climates.

Understand terrain  – Terrain can vary to what terrain your home is on. Analyze terrain and pack accordingly. Remember to also try to keep terrain in mind if you have kids – rough terrain is not always good for them.

Fitness Keep fit if you need to escape to locations that require quite a bit of walking or hiking.

Who will be coming  – Analyze who you need to take with you and remember that there are only so many places that can host a bunch of people. Your vehicle can also only take a certain amount of people.

Meeting points – Set easy to find meeting points based on who you need to meet before leaving. Remember to have back up meeting points in the event of your primary meeting point being damaged.

Survival Equipment Plan – Leaving Preparation

When leaving it is imperative to have your equipment ready and waiting so that in the event of a disaster, you can quickly up and leave efficiently.

Mindset – Have a mindset that everything will work out and that you have included all necessary equipment in your plan.

Bug Out Bag  – Create a bug out bag that has all the necessary survival equipment in it.

Your Bug Out Bag

Create your own (list)

Remember that emergencies don’t always happen in the best of weather. This is just one of the factors to consider when packing the essentials. Clothing is important, and you will have to pack for everyone included in the trip. A list will help solving this rather complex process.

PremadeSearch for pre-made bug out bags.  On Amazon there are several options for bug-out bags.  Click here to check them out.

Managing weight Managing the weight of your bag is of utmost importance. You may need to carry it for longer than you think and it could result in being too heavy for your back. Keep this in mind when packing.

Keeping it up-to-date  – Understand trends and what is going on in and around your area. This may adjust packing, for example, climate change.   Also change out things that get old – old food, old medicine and the like

Engaging the family

Your family comes first in survival mode. It is very important to be open and honest with them at all times.

Why it’s critical to engage the family in your planning

Family will be there when you are leaving – they will also be there during preparation and during the crisis. Everyone needs to be under one plan and have a safe and calm mindset about it.

7 benefits of engaging your family in Survival Planning 

  1. Survival  – Everyone wants their loved ones to survive. When you engage your family in Survival Planning you are more likely to survive as a family because no one will be surprised and everyone will understand the plan.
  2. Family togetherness  – Planning can be a fun family activity.  You can even make it a game for younger children.  It’s a good way to be more cohesive as a family.
  3. Taking action helps overcome any sense of helplessness over what is going on in the world – Taking action changes mindset and puts your family in a good or better sense of the world that we live in. This in turn will help others around you.
  4. Makes everyone more flexible  – Planning and thinking through the possibilities gives people a problem solving mindset that will help them be more flexible in every part of their lives.
  5. Physical fitness – Survival planning and training can help everyone be more fit and healthier.
  6. Problem solving skills – Puzzles and constant challenging of each other’s minds and skills will assist in survival mode.
  7. Appreciation for the outdoors – Introducing survival activities to your family gives them a deeper sense of the life outdoors. It’s a good thing to know the importance of nature and life.

Survival Games

Survival Games can give the family a sense of  what it might be like to have to survive in an emergency.  Here are some options:

The Long Dark

This PC game has a focus on environmental and atmosphere survival and stands out within its genre. Play as a bush pilot and become stranded in the frozen Canadian wilderness after a global calamity that is rather mysterious. It is you fighting against mother nature elements and wildlife.

Don’t Starve

This has a series of addictive challenges and with the charming artwork, it is bound to win your heart. Attempt to survive busy days and scary nights. Fight and consumer animals and practice magic and science.

Rust

This game can be played alone or as multi player and allows you to survive the primitive ages, fighting animals and surviving each day. There is also a weapon element making this just that much more exciting.

For younger kids here’s a great site with some games as well: – http://beprepared.com/blog/8996/survival-skills-for-kids-outdoor-survival-games/

Survival Movies

127 Hours 

This is based on Aron Ralston’s true story of his journey in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park.

Cast Away

One of the greatest survival movies, one man’s story of survival after crash landing close to a desert island.

Apocalypto 

The story of a Mayan man and his adventure to save his wife and child after a horrendous and vicious tribe attacks everyone in his village and enslaves them.

Survival Books

How to Stay Alive In The Woods

This book speaks about techniques and survival tactics to stay alive in the woods with solid content however dated it may be. – By Bradford Angier

Outdoor Survival Skills

This book is a solid survival guide to how to react in the wilderness and tells you in plain English, what and what not to do. – By Larry Dean Olsen

When All Hell Breaks Loose

Written in 2009, this book is filled with disaster preps and emergency skills. – By Cody Lundin

Real Life Survival Stories

Wildland Plane Crash

Sixteen-year old Autumn survived a plane crash and knowing that there was a possibility of an explosion, fled towards a steep slope down a mountain where she found a river, spending a night on a sandbar. She followed a stream that led her to a highway and it was there that she was picked up.

Teen Survives Flash Flood

Fifteen-year old boy hangs onto a tree during a flash flood, with the water being up to 20 feet high. He held onto the tree for most of the night until the water levels subsided, and he was found the next morning.

Shark Attack Survival

Mike Fanning was attacked by a shark and lived to tell the tale after punching the Great White in the back to attempt to escape. He fell back into the water but luckily the rescue team was out to get him in time.

Zombie Survival Kit

The additional gear you need if you are battling zombies

Zombie survival kits are all about the weapons and ammo. In your kit you want to make sure that you have a good and comfortable backpack, ammo, rifles ear plugs and red glow sticks to name a few things.

How to use zombie prep as a way to engage the family

Some resources are useful in the context of disasters that communities of people are recovering from across the globe. By prepping this way, in relation to zombies and a zombie survival kit, your family will engage in a positive and enthusiastic manner. Try to review potential hazards where you live and know the likely risks of your very own area whether it be a natural disaster or civil unrest. Knowing what to do when disaster strikes is a crucial part of being prepared.