Survival Kit

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My Survival Fishing Kit

Many commercial survival kits contain a few small hooks, tiny, weights, and a short length of lightweight fishing line.

With some live bait an amateur could use that miniature fishing kit to catch a few small fish for food.

However, small fish contain very little meat and it would take many of them to make a meal.

There will be many setbacks, such as broken lines and lost hooks. A tiny fishing kit of this type might help catch a few small fish, but it isn’t going to do much good in a real survival situation.

Further, most would not know how to use that gear to catch fish when live bait is unavailable.

I love fishing and I wanted to design a survivalfishing kit for myself, a kit I could have fun with as well as a kit capable of providing fresh food in a survival situation.

It stands to reason that commercial fishing line will be far better than any fishing line I could make in a true survival situation.

Generally speaking, a half-mile of commercial fishing line weighs only about one-quarter of a pound, can be contained on a spool the size of a human fist, and costs less than a typical fast-food lunch.

With the internet and a little surfing you can source cheap line in fact some is free if you pay shipping.

For me it is simply a must-have item for fishing kit.

Fishing line is available in many different strengths and styles. For example, a hooked quarter-pound fish tugging on a small 6-pound test monofilament line will probably not cause it to break, but the line will likely snap if you have hooked a twenty-pound fish.

Abrasion from jagged rocks and underwater obstructions will also weaken a fishing line, as will fishing in extremely cold water.

Having a stronger fishing line than you expect to need is the key, but smaller fish can become “spooked” by a strong large-diameter fishing line. A fluorocarbon line can overcome this problem as it is nearly invisible in the water, but small-diameter fluorocarbon lines can still break when big fish are hooked.

In a survival situation a person would want to catch fish of all sizes so a versatile line is needed.

Chosing the best all-purpose survival fishing line is a matter of personal opinion, but I would recommend a braided line which generally has 3-5 times the breaking strength of a monofilament or fluorocarbon line.

For example, a braided line having a 50-pound breaking strength can have a line diameter equivalent to a 10-pound monofilament or fluorocarbon line. Even with mild abrasion damage, such a strong braided line would continue to be useful for fishing as opposed to most lightweight monofilament or fluorocarbon fishing line of equal diameter.

Remember the weakest link in the set up is at the knot which ties the line to the hook, a fact which is especially true for braided lines.

I suggest having pre tied hooks to line with you, it’s a lot easier than than trying to do this with freezing cold fingers.

Fishing hooks can be crafted by hand from wire, wood, or bone with unpredictable results, but off-the-shelf hooks are far superior in strength, sharpness, design, and function.

Plenty of straight hooks in small and large sizes as well as medium-sized treble hooks are also must-have items for survival fishing kits. Both modern-day fishing line and hooks are so useful, effective, dependable, and affordable it makes little sense to be without them and try to make your own.

From a minimalist perspective strong fishing line and hooks are the two primary items in my fishing kit and I would be content just having that. However, I can greatly improve my kit without adding much bulk by including the following:

Multi-tool containing pliers and a single-edge knife blade (for hook removal, scaling/cleaning fish, and crafting artificial lures)

Container with lid (such as a small tin or margarine tub, used to contain the miscellaneous hardware noted below, also useful to hold live bait when needed)

Many large and small paper clips, safety pins, rubber bands; as well as a few strong finishing nails (miscellaneous useful hardware)

A small pack which will be useful for storing the entire fishing kit

Of course, a telescoping fishing rod and a reel can be useful too, but they are bulky and can break fairly easily.

I have the Pen Fishing Rod and Reel which I really love to fish with.

Other fishing kits usea s mall hand-held stick (or dowel rod) so the line can be retrieved by hand in the same way as when flying a kite.

I also have a small assortment of plastic baits, spinning lures, but don’t go overboard as the kit should be as compact as possible.

There are many ways to catch fish using hooks and line, one of which involves live bait.

Anything can be used as bait: worms, crickets, various bugs of all types, as well as pieces of raw meat. Small fish can be used as bait to catch larger fish.

Food such as fruit, bread, and kernels of corn can attract fish. Simply attach the bait to a hook which is tied to a line and cast the baited hook into the water.

Don’t expect instant results as several hours might pass before you catch a fish, if at all.

Use a short length of nylon cord to retain captured fish by feeding one end of it into the mouth of the fish and working it out through the gills. Allow the captured fish to remain in the water while securing both ends of the nylon cord on the shoreline so the fish do not swim away.

If weight is needed to keep the bait on the bottom of the water then rocks can come in handy for this purpose.

Using a separate three-foot strand of nylon cord, repeatedly wrap and tie the rock into a cocoon of sorts which can easily be tied to a baited fishing line.

I do not use floats as are not usually needed to catch fish, but when necessary they can be fashioned from nearly any piece of buoyant material.

The small paper clips and safety pins can help serve as attachment points for weights and floats while the large paper clips can be used to create artificial lures.

There are two main types of artificial lures we can easily craft using common and natural materials. One is a weighted jig we can bounce on the bottom of the lake to imitate the actions of a frog or small fish.

A lure is not live bait, but with some practice we can convince predatory fish that it is alive.

Using a large straight hook and a rubber band, tightly bind a pea-sized rock near the eye of the hook. Within the many folds of that same rubber band attach several 2″ pieces of nylon cord and fray the ends to create multiple separate strands of loose fiber.

These loose string tips will mimic hair or phalanges and add a bit of realism to our artificial lure when it is in the water.

Attach the lure to the fishing line, cast it into the water a fair distance from shore, and allow it to descend to the bottom.

Lightly tug on the fishing line every few seconds so the jig rises up from the bottom about 6-12″ and then allow it to fall back to the bottom again. Repeat this fairly slow process until you have fully retrieved the lure, then cast it back out into the water and repeat the retrieval process again.

During the retrieval process, keep your eye focused on the fishing line at the point where it touches the surface of the water.

If the fishing line appears to be moving quickly in an unexpected direction chances are you have hooked a fish, so tug hard on the line to set the hook.

A jig is especially effective in places having lily pads or lots of underwater grass where larger fish might be hiding.

From my own personal experience using this technique, I have hooked several fish in 24 inches of water or less with some hooks being set when the jig was a few inches from the shoreline.

Another type of artificial lure we can craft is a plug which appears to swim in the water rather than bounce on the bottom. Slide a treble hook onto a large paper clip, tightly wrap a rubber band around the paper clip several times so the hook won’t slide off, and fasten the other end of the paper clip to the fishing line. Although small and very simple in appearance, fish can be enticed to believe this lure would make a good snack. Additional bulk material and weight can be added as desired.

Just about anything can serve as a plug, even an old metal bottle cap. In that example, fold the bottle cap in half using pliers (printed side out), use the nail with a “rock as a hammer” to create a hole on each pointed end of the folded cap, affix one end to a treble hook while the other end is tied to the fishing line. This kind of lure works better in streams and rivers as the moving water will help keep the lure in a near-constant swimming motion which can attract fish.

This simple fishing kit can offer numerous other fishing possibilities, especially when combined with objects found in our surroundings.

Having so many hooks, strong line, and nylon cord you could also create a trot line having many baited hooks. Bait a dozen hooks, tie them to 12-inch lengths of fishing line, and tie each of those pieces of fishing line to a 15-foot length of nylon cord at one-foot intervals. Secured in the water using a stake at each end, a nylon cord trot line can capture multiple fish even when it is left unattended for several hours. (NB illegal in the UK)

A decent and useful survival fishing kit need not be large or expensive, but it should be better than one which can fit inside the handle of a survival knife.

I say buy a good supply of strong fishing line and hooks as making these items by hand would be unnecessarily frustrating and time-consuming in a survival situation.


It has been said that size matters, which implies that bigger is better. Well to buck the rule it appears small is better. Certainly where the ULTIMATE BASIC KIT from Survival General is concerned.

It is only 3.9″ by 2.5″

I have had the pleasure of using just this kit to provide water, fire, boil the water, cook and even fish although to no avail that time, but that is why it is called fishing and not catching.

So what has got me all excited under the collar then?

Well the “Ultimate Basic Kit” has what you need to help your chance of survival!!! This kit will help you complete the absolute basics of survival: water, food and shelter/fire.

Using this tin kit provides you with the tools to start a fire to stay warm, cook your food, build a shelter, obtain drinkable water, catch small game (provide food), go fishing, navigate, 1st Aid, light for the dark, sew, open a can, write a note, protect yourself and signal for help.

Ultimate Basic Kit

Weighs ONLY 3.75 oz

Contains over 40 Plus Items!!!

1-Tin Can 3.9″ by 2.5″- use as a reflective mirror to signal for help and to cook your food.

1-Razor Blade w/ Sleeve- multi-purpose tool

1-P38 Shelby Can Opener- open cans, use as a knife, Phillips and Flathead screw driver.

1-Magnesium and Starter/Striker w/ 12″ of Twine – Magnesium to help start a fire, Striker to start a spark and can be used to cut things. Striker has a black coat to help prevent corrosion. Once black coat is removed you will have plenty of sparks!

1-Glow Stick Approx.12hr- Help navigate at night and to signal at night

2-Safety Pins 1″ and 1.5′”- Use as hooks, traps, 1st aid, and sewing

1-Large Needle- Sewing, 1st aid and for setting traps


1-Small Reusable Bag for Fishing Kit- use to hold things. Waterproofs whatever it holds.

1-Fly Hook(Each fly hook will vary by color)-Fishing

3-Assorted Size Hooks-Fishing

4-Split Shots-Fishing

1-Swivel Barrel-Fishing

1-Compass Liquid Filled-Navigation and use oil to help start fires

2-Aquatabs (One tablet purifies about 64 oz. (2 liters) Exp. 2/19)-Provides over 4 liters of drinkable water!!!

1-Index Card Folded-Use for writing a note, or to help start fires

1-Wood Lead Pencil- For writing and wood can be used to help start fires

1-(12″x2″)- Duct Tape-To fix most anything and everything! First Aid Bandage and to tie things down

1-Butterfly Bandage-1st Aid.

1-2.75″x.75″ Standard Bandage-1st Aid.

1-2″x3″ Patch Bandage-1st Aid. Can also be used to help start fires

1-Alcohol Wipe-medical and fire-1st Aid and fire fuel

1-B-Day Candle (Assorted colors)- light and to help start fires

1-Trick B-Day (Assorted colors)-won’t blow out!!! Good for light and to help start fires in extreme weather

1-(10′) Brass Snare Wire-for making snares to provide you with food. Can be used to help create a shelter and tie things down


2- Weather Matches-Matches for the extreme weather to help start fires

1- Striker for Matches-Striker and Fire Starter

1-(12″x12″) Foil- Use to make a cup to boil water. Can also be used as a mirror/reflective signal to get help

1-Zip Tie 8″- Use to tie things down

2-Ranger Bands- This tin kit is loaded with tons of stuff. Ranger bands help to secure the tin kit. Also used as fire fuel

2-Q-Tips w/ Petroleum Wrapped in Plastic Wrap- Great fire fuel!

1-Cardboard Flat Bobbin- Can be used as a fishing bobbin and as fire fuel

1-(36′) Military OD Thread- The “everything” thread!!! Super super strong!!! Use for fishing, to make a shelter, snares, to tie things down. The best thread ever!!! This is the 550 paracord of threads!

2- Paper Clips- Multi Purpose item. can also be used as a key ring

1-Wooden Toothpick-for snares and fire fuel

1-Straw-for water

2-Nails 1.5″&2″- Multi-tool item. Use as a knife and for your traps

1- Reclosable 2″x4″ Bag 2mm Thickness- Waterproofs whatever you put in the bag and can also be used to transport fresh water

1-(12″) Electrical Tape to Waterproof Tin- Waterproof your tin by wrapping around the tin. Can also be used as bandage and to start fires

This “Ultimate Basic Kit” has what you need to help enhance your chance of survival! Tools herein help to provide Water, Food, and Shelter/Fire!

Disclaimer: This tin kit in itself cannot and will not “guarantee” your chance of survival. You are responsible for yourself. As with most things, proper knowledge is essential to enhance your chance of survival.

The first thing about this kit is it’s size, it will fit into any pocket, it is light and very well thought out indeed.

The amount of kit is “just” enough to manage to survive, but at every stage of using the kit you must plan and prepare. For example, when fire lighting, if you do not have dry tinder you are wasting your time. You should have more tinder than you think you need in a pile, then the same with the kindling and bigger fuel sticks etc.

Please do try starting a fire with just one match in adverse conditions as it is not easy at all.

However the magnesium rod and striker will come to the rescue if required.

I really like the two back up candles as well, not only for fire lighting but light too.

Once the fire was going it did not take long to get the water boiling and a coffee was well received.

Using the OD thread I attached shot and a hook and a worm and launched it into the stream and waited, but it was not to be.

In a survival situation I would have attached all the hooks with a different bait on each and secured it to the bank over night, (illegal pre SHTF).

Most of the first-aid kit will help in fire starting and burns quite well, especially when the Alcohol Wipe is combined with the bandages.

The razor blade is a fantastic addition as it has so many uses, apart from the obvious, I used it to make small feather sticks, cut the twine in two and test with the magnesium rod which worked quite well.

I have to admit that not needing to sew anything the sewing kit was surplus to requirement, but if I was to have to sew up a gash or deep wound I know it would come into its own.

My shelter was to say the very least very basic indeed, but it did the job. Remember a shelter must protect you from the weather elements.

So using two discarded large fertilizer bags split and opened out I placed one on the ground and the other in the form of a small lean-to using a large fallen tree to fix it to.

The bottom end I pegged into the ground and then piled soil onto it.

I fixed the top to the fallen tree with large stones and then covered everything with branches and leaves, not forgetting the ground where I placed around 18″ of vegetation under the plastic bag.

I tell you what guys it was out of the wind and rain and quite cosy too with the fire flickering away.

Multi-use Survival Kit

Just as with the Chap-Stick having multiple uses, practicing this mind
set is an excellent way insure that as much of your survival gear as possible
meets the needs of our Bug out Plan.

Multi-purpose survival gear items improve our survival kit in multiple


Save space


Why bring 3 items when you can use 1 do the same jobs?
Consolidating items to save space will free up room in your Bug out Bag
to carry other useful survival tools or more food and water.


Save weight


There are many dangers in weighing yourself down with everything plus
the kitchen sink, so reducing the number of items you carry will pay increasing
dividends the longer you have to travel.


simplicity/Reduce clutter


Your Bug out partner has just slipped and gashed themselves, quick get
the first aid kit!!!!  It’s in there somewhere, under all the other cool
survival supplies that I packed…..just wait a minute….. I just need to find my
torch/flashlight…     The more items you pack the harder it will be
to find what you need.  Stick to the essentials – Pack less and improvise
more for an efficient survival kit.


Here is a list of the best multi-purpose survival tools below.


For most purposes, there are a great number of options of items to
consider when building your best survival kit.


Here are some of the best item suggestions I could find for those of
you who do not have the time or inclination to search on their own based
on utility, size, and weight.


However as always, you need to choose the best items for YOUR survival.


Survival Axe


These come in many sizes and blade types but most of them will do the
jobs of a hatchet (obviously), pry tool, shovel, and wrench.


You should look for any opportunity to remove high weight to volume
ratio items such as steel tools to build the best survival kit, so being able
to leave behind any of these is a good step.


Survival Knife


For me I chose to have a large survival knife like the Chris Caine
Companion for chopping etc. and a small survival knife for skinning, gutting
and finer work like the Chris Caine Survival Knife, So I do not need or carry
an axe but this is my choice, and mine alone.


Survival Whistle


These are generally quite cheap and are cover a lot of the basics.
Some survival whistles combine a compass, dry container with the whistle
and some even have a fire starting flint within.




Anything with both the words “multi” and “tool” in it is worth having a
look at.  There are a great many options for multi-tools – focus on weight
and practicality when looking.  Are you going to really NEED the one with
the Allen key and corkscrew?  Stick to the basics of a straight blade,
saw, and tin opener and add what few other options you see fit.


Some bonus items that are rarely thought about are a magnifying glass
and USB stick.  These come on some multi-tools and can be used to start
fires and store important family records, respectively. But do not forget the
bottle opener.




There is so much you can do with a tarp, it is a multi-tool all in
itself.  Besides the obvious of keeping gear dry and being used as a
shelter, they can also be used for signalling and be easily turned into a
stretcher to carry the injured and can even be used to collect rain water plus
much, much more.


Plastic Bags


It is good to have a few of these as they have many, many uses and are
very light and small.  Plastic bags can be used to carry water, keep
clothes and fire starting kits dry, store food, and organize small items, and I
recommend using zip lock freezer bags because they are resealable.


Duct Tape


Good old duct tape, where would the world be without it?  Duct
Tape can be used as an emergency bandage, to secure a splint, to reinforce or
repair waterproofing, as a rope replacement for shelter building, and taped
over sore spots to prevent blisters and of course to secure a prisoner for




A bandana can be moistened and tied around the neck to help keep you
cool, be used to filter water, will protect you from the sun, be used as a
bandage, it can be utilized to tie on a splint, or be a replacement for
rope in tasks such as shelter building.




I only use the 550lb strong paracord cord as it can be used to pull a
person to safety or used in shelter building, ascending or descending inclines,
as a clothes line, to fasten a splint, or to build a snare.  




These are often overlooked but are highly versatile. In addition to its
intended use, a sanitary pad can be used as a bandage, it can be shredded and
used as tinder, and it can be used to filter sediment from water.




Remember the more you know the less you will have to carry.


Your own brain is the most valuable multi-purpose survival tool that
you have.  The “WILL TO SURVIVE” is the best survival tool that you will ever
have. Many, many people have survived dangerous life threatening situations
with just that alone.


Rely on your knowledge before any of these other tools I have
mentioned, will get you out of most sticky situations alive.
A Faraday Cage
Whether or not your electronics are plugged in, how long of
an antenna you’ve got on something, what voltage it is, or whether or not they
operate with batteries—all non-protected electronics will be affected by an
Batteries will be affected, usually in the form of
“shorting” as well.
Electronic phone systems will also be damaged.
Surge protectors are useless in the event of an EMP
Just because your car has rubber tires, it will not be
impervious to the effects of an EMP. Rubber containers are insufficient
protection against an EMP.
And oh yeah—yes, your Faraday cages DO need to be grounded.
If it’s NOT grounded, then the Faraday cage merely becomes a reflector or an
Yes, a microwave can act as a Faraday cage, but why in the
world would you want to use it for that? That’s just silly when you can make
one simply.
Faraday cages do not have to be solid, thus the name “cage”
instead of the often misused term—“box.” In fact, many of them that you can
build yourself or will see on the internet will resemble a bird cage or a very
finely meshed chicken coop wire.
Also, contrary to what you may see on the internet, a sheet
of foil on a box will not protect you. It’s not thick enough to withstand the
pulse. However, you CAN protect your items if they are buried a couple of feet
underground in every direction (up and sideways.)
Last, but not least, a car is NOT a Faraday cage sufficient
to withstand an EMP incident. It has some similar components, yes. Most cars
made today consist of fiberglass and disjointed parts, not a continuous metal
In addition to that, they are on tires. Tires on a car do
NOT serve as grounding. Folks are simply getting an EMP strike confused with a
lightning strike.
Now, IF you had an old fashioned car that was made of metal,
that had its tires removed, that was also attached to an Iron or copper pole
and that was ALSO on dirt—not gravel—then yes, you may have a car that doubles
as a Faraday cage.
The cages do not have to be solid, but they do have to be
constructed continuously without gaps between the protective material.
You can use an old metal filling cabinet lined with
cardboard to act as a faraday cage or metal biscuit tins for example, just
check the net out and you will find many examples of how to make a faraday cage
Prepare 72-Hour “Bug-Out” Bags.
This is an easy, cost-effective preparation that makes a ton
of sense — no matter what happens.
Even a small preparation like this can have
an enormous impact on how you survive the first few days after any type of
catastrophic event.
I’ll bet there were a lot of people after evacuated flood
hit Britain that would have loved to have such a bag for each member of their
This could be a backpack or bag of some sort for each family
member that contains all the items that individual may need during the first 72
hours after a disaster strikes.
Items to include in such a bag would be toiletries,
important papers (see below), change of underwear and clothes, some bottled
water, snacks, a few bags of freeze-dried food that only require two cups of
hot water to reconstitute within self-contained bag, water purification device,
metal cup and small pot for boiling water, backpacker
mini-cook stove with fuel, sleeping bag, towel, ability to make fire,
flashlight with extra batteries, glow sticks, ground cloth, tarp, rain gear,
plastic forks, knives, spoons, parachute cord, personal cleaning wipes,
a first aid kit and medication, good sharp knife and a
multi-tool, fishing line, small fishing hooks, compass, cash, physical gold and
silver, map of areas you may need, and any other items that would make sense
for you.
Special items required by the elderly, babies, and pets need
to be considered as well.
Important paperwork you should bring with you includes:
birth certificates, insurance policies, passports, medical records, pet medical
records, bank account information, deeds and titles to cars, homes etc.,
computer backup.
Gather these and put them in a suitable container and wrap
in plastic against the elements.
Having such preparations after a tornado, hurricane, or any
calamity would allow you to grab and go because it’s already prepared.
Each member of my family has such a bag. I keep each one of
them in the basement of our house in a heavy-duty large trash bag for
protection against the elements.
Understand what “just in time inventory” is — and how this
can affect you.
Most Brits take for granted the intricate systems that make
it possible for us to engage in seemingly mundane day-to-day tasks like filling
up our petrol tanks, loading up our shopping carts at the local supermarket,
obtaining necessary medications, and even pouring ourselves a clean glass of
When we wake up each morning, we just expect that all of
these things will work today the same way they worked yesterday.
What very few people have considered is the complexity
involved in the underlying infrastructure that allows goods, services, and
commerce in GB to flow.
Fewer still have ever spent the time to contemplate the fragility
of these systems or the consequences on food, water, health care, the financial
system, and the economy if they are interrupted.
The truth is, our “just in time” inventory and
delivery systems leaves us incredibly vulnerable to a nationwide disaster.
You see, it is very expensive to hold and store inventory,
so most manufacturers and retailers rely on a continual flow of deliveries that
are scheduled to arrive “just in time,” which significantly reduces
their operating expenses.
This is considered to be good business practice for
manufacturers and retailers, but it also means that if there was a major
nationwide transportation disruption, our economic system would grind to a halt
almost immediately.
Once store shelves are picked clean, they would not be able
to be replenished until trucks could get back on the road. In the event of a
major nationwide disaster, that could be quite a while.
A report prepared for legislators and business leaders
highlights just how critical our “just in time” inventory and
delivery systems are, and assesses the impact on the general population in the
event of an emergency or incident of national significance that disrupts the
truck transportation systems responsible for carrying some millions on tons of
commodities and supplies across the United Kingdom each year.
A shutdown of truck operations as a result of elevated
threat levels, terrorist attacks, or pandemics would, according to the report,
have “a swift and devastating impact on the food, healthcare,
transportation, waste removal, retail, manufacturing, and financial
So too would events such as an EMP attack or a coordinated
cyber-attack that could shut down global positioning systems and the computers
responsible for inventory control.
Another potential scenario that is more likely now than ever
before is liquidity problems within the financial system stemming from currency
crisis or hyperinflation…
All of our “just in time” delivery systems are
built upon the unhindered transfer of money and credit, but when credit flow
becomes restricted or money becomes worthless, no one will be able to pay for
their goods. Likewise, no one will trust the credit worthiness of anyone else.
This is exactly the scenario playing out in Greece right now
and the consequences on the health care industry in that country have left many
without lifesaving drugs. When there’s no money, no one will be transporting
The effects of a transportation shutdown for any reason
would be immediate (in some cases, within hours) and absolutely catastrophic.
an event that disrupts truck transportation systems
may seem unlikely to many, recent history suggests it is fully plausible — and
the blowback can be devastating…
A day after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, panicked
government officials stopped all transportation flow into the region, forcing
hundreds of trucks loaded with emergency supplies like food and water to wait
for permission before they could enter the area.
As a result, thousands of residents of the city were left
without items essential for survival. It took days before truck routes were
re-opened and supplies were allowed to flow.  
FEMA Cocked up again.
Government officials acting on limited information, lack of
knowledge, and personal politics were responsible for restricting the flow of
goods into New Orleans, potentially killing hundreds of people
It will be exactly the same here in the United kingdom.
What this incident demonstrated is that when the trucks in
America stop, all commerce and delivery stops with it.
Educate yourself on
and take measures to store food.
There is plenty of material available on the Internet about
the best ways to store food. I personally have read many books on the topic,
and one of the most important features is trying to gather materials that have
a long shelf life and which keep their nutritional value…
Most store-bought items have very short shelf lives and
don’t work well for long-term food storage. Canned goods can work, but these
must be stored in a cool, dry environment well below room temperature for
increased shelf life (but not freezing).
Freeze-dried food can also work, but can be rather expensive
— and the taste can sometimes be questionable. (There are many different
manufacturers, and you need to educate yourself before purchasing. I like
tasting the items first before making any major purchases.) as most taste of
cardboard to me.
Better yet is to store staples such as wheat, rice, beans,
sugar, oats, etc. — which, if stored properly, can last up to 30 years.
I look at my food storage as an investment, and I want it to
have a long life.
There are various methods of storing these staples, and each
person should consider what method would work best for their circumstances.
Obtain water and
purify it.
In my search for “safe drinking water,” I found
what I consider the best available situation on the planet…
The Lifesaver water bottle uses the latest technology to
provide clean, pure drinking water. I have spent a lot of time searching the
best way to purifying water, and in my opinion, there’s nothing better whilst
in a bug out or in location.
However whilst on the move the Purificup comes into its own
as the best water purifier on the market for those on the move.
Also under the water category, it is wise to consider some
form of water storage — whether it’s five-gallon containers, 55-gallon plastic
drums, or some other form of storage, all of which can be obtained from many
different sources.
The bottom line in water preparedness is to always have a
safe source(s) of clean drinking water and a way to store it.
To most this may sound absurd, since you can get clean
drinking water from the tap in your home, but in times of emergency and/or
civil unrest, the water may be shut off — or you may be displaced from your
home and will need a way to access clean water.
This is one of the most rehashed subjects of survival, but
probably the most important one.
Most people just assume the taps will continue to flow and
water will be there.
People need to know that unless water is from a spring, it
will likely need to be purified — and this means some reliable filters or boiling
(which requires heat from a fire along with pots to boil it in).
Aside from drinking, water is also needed to rehydrate food,
make milk from powder, and of course, for personal hygiene.
How much water will be needed and used is something that is
often vastly underestimated.
Economic Collapse
Know how to protect yourself. This almost certainly means
owning a firearm and knowing how to use it to protect yourself or others.
Many TV survival documentaries show people who feel they can
defend themselves with knives or clubs, but in reality, they are going to lose
98% of the time against someone else with a firearm.
Someone that has been specifically trained on how to use
firearms in a defensive manner will almost always win the day in a gun battle.
You can’t just own a gun; you have to know how to use it at
a very high level. 
You also need to know how to clean your weapons and take
care of them. Access to a gunsmith may or may not be available to you during an
emergency situation…
Some people think they cannot use a firearm against another
person, but this feeling changes abruptly when they see one of their family
members at risk.
Some people still cannot use a firearm in any circumstance,
and these people should consider some form of self-defence such as the
non-lethal devices (stun batons, pepper sprays, TASERS, even baseball bats).
People can feel that everyone will come together and rebuild
society, and many good people will — but there are plenty of bad people in this
world. And it may come down to you or them.
Everyone needs to practice over and over with any
self-defence armament they have so there is no hesitation when it comes to
saving one’s life from someone that is willing to take yours or your loved
Some other types of guns to consider are a good defensive
shotgun (12 gauge) with large-size buckshot and a long-range rifle with a
quality scope.
If you are not familiar with guns, it is best to find a
friend who is who can help you through the process of buying handguns,
shotguns, or rifles.
Once you have the guns you want, it then becomes necessary
to know how to safely use those guns without hesitation if needed. If you are
not familiar with the handling of guns I highly recommend you find someone that
can properly train you in a safe environment.
Unfortunately, the “bad guys” always have illegal
guns. So it is in your best interest to go through whatever permitting or
paperwork hassles necessary to obtain legal weapons of any kind in your own
Have a way to cook food in case the power is off. A story
below from someone who experienced an earthquake serves as a great reminder why
we want to have the ability to cook our own food during a crisis…
A few years ago, I remember seeing people waiting in long
food lines after an earthquake hit California. Many of the people in the damage
zone spent hours in breakfast lines, then long lines for lunch, then a repeat
for dinner.
They had to spend many hours a day in food lines because
either they had no food reserves or had no means of cooking their stored food.
A little preparation can go a long way in preparing for
emergencies. Had these good people stored a little food, fuel, and invested in
a good quality Dutch oven for example, they would be set for cooking in their
back garden instead of relying on hand-outs to supply their family’s nutrition.
Good quality Dutch ovens are fun to use, the food always
tastes great, and they’re invaluable in emergencies. They require charcoal to
prepare your food.
Understand the psychology of desperate people. This is a
difficult one.
After a SHTF event, people will not behave normally. That
neighbour who was in control during many minor emergencies may be the one
pounding on your door with whacked-out eyes demanding what you have because
they did not prepare for anything.
Someone in your own survival group may just blank out in a
zombie-like stare.



Unexpected times bring out the best and worst in people —
and you need to prepare for this possibility.
You yourself could lose it. Again, preparing for this will
help should it occur. You always hope that disasters will bring out the best in
your fellow human beings, but often this is not the case.
Maintain proper hygiene. This is one of the top priorities
within the armed forces because disease and sickness can and do take down the
toughest of soldiers.
People must realize that after a terrible disaster, it is
not like someone going camping, comes back dirty, and taking a nice long shower
or a hot bath…
After a SHTF event the water to the taps, as well the hot
water heater, may not work. Bathing on at least a semi-regular basis is
necessary to avoid all sorts of bacteria from building up on the skin and
causing a variety of concerning ailments that will then have to be treated.
People should plan on how they will keep themselves clean —
think sponge baths or using personal wet wipes as an option.
How to dispose of waste and proper sanitation. In third
world countries and the pre-flush toilet era, one of the leading causes of illness
and death was (and still is) improperly discarded waste. If the toilets won’t
flush because there is no water to make them work, human waste is going to be a
huge whopping problem for people trying to survive.
Even improperly burying
human excrement can lead to disease. Portable toilets, toilet paper, and
disinfectant (bleach, for one) should be one of the top items in any survival
Disposal of other rubbish is an issue that can bring hungry
dangerous animals around drawn to the stench. Burning of trash is one method;
plastic rubbish bags and the means to find some place to dump them is another
Learn to control pests and other vermin. I have talked about
this before, this is a problem that led to about half of Europe dying several
hundred years ago with the Black Death.
Fleas and ticks carry some terrible diseases. Even people
that stay inside their own homes will have to deal with this problem. People
outside will have to contend with the fleas, ticks, flies, mosquitoes, mice,
rats, and so on…
There are many repellents in nature that can help:
citronella, even the smell of garlic will repel most vermin. Stocking up on
insect and other commercial repellents is always an excellent idea. It only
takes one bite to make a person deathly sick.
Understand radiation fallout and how to protect yourself.
This is one of the least understood of the survival precautions taken. There
are hundreds of nuclear power plants that could fail after the world as we know
it goes down the tube.
There are still tens of thousands of nuclear weapons
available for war should countries decide to use them.
Fallout is something
that you cannot even see… and until you are sick, you might not even know you
have been contaminated.
The purchase of a radiation detector that is protected
against EMP is a wise idea. Understanding about radiation accumulation dosage
(rad) and how to shield oneself from exposure is paramount.
Learn first aid. Treating yourself and/or others will
probably be the only thing someone can do, as medical professionals are going
to be few and far between.
Many places offer free classes on first aid because they
want people in the community to be prepared. A good first aid book along with a
first aid kit is something every household should have before, during, and
after a disaster.
Primitive conditions should be expected when anyone is
helping someone after a catastrophe. A stockpile of antibiotics is always a
good idea.
From my viewpoint, this is a skill set that is valuable in
any circumstance — but particularly in SHTF events when medical personnel may
not be available in a convenient time frame.
Learn about nutrition. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are
nothing to fool around with. Just consider what scurvy, the lack of Vitamin C,
can do to someone…
Many survivalists and “preppers” make the critical
mistake of only being concerned about calories to keep them going. Certain
vitamins (A, B1-B12, C, D, E, K), minerals (Calcium, Copper, Iodine, Iron,
Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Zinc) and trace minerals
are necessary to keep a body going.
Each person needs different amounts and any survival food
supply should take this need as important as the food itself. Many survival
foods have some of what your body needs, but sadly lack in others…
Vitamin and mineral supplements should be stocked with food
if someone is unsure about what they are getting. Trace mineral drops are a
liquid that can solve this problem, and are a good addition to any emergency
How to start and maintain a fire. This is for everyone.
Having a fire and keeping it going when you need it has been the essence of
survival for thousands of years.
Fire cooks, heats water, keeps you warm, sterilizes items,
and gives light. Having a lighter, matches, and a starter is one thing; but
actually keeping the fire going is another…
Making sure the fire does not cause damage to your home or
shelter is something not everyone thinks about. Burning of toxic wood or other
material is something to remember as well.
While most everyone thinks that using a fire is rudimentary,
there is much more to it. As a matter of fact, a church group recently tested
some of their members and gave them matches to start a file.
Most of the people had trouble starting a basic fire even
though they had matches. This is a skill that you must acquire that allows you
to consistently start a fire anywhere at any time.



You should also learn to start a fire without matches.
Learn how to grow food and/or find it. People’s supplies
will only last so long, and eventually self-sufficiency will mean acquiring
your own food — by either growing it or hunting for it.
Many people are into seed storing, and in many cases,
growing your own food will feed the family. However, growing food has many
drawbacks that people need to look at.
Water is an issue in dry areas as irrigation is very man- or
animal-power intensive.
One of the gravest things to contemplate is actually
guarding your yield, as two-legged problems could be a bigger issue to your
crops than some beetle infestation. Hungry people will see food growing and
take it, 24 hours a day. No one can grow enough food to feed all those seeking
From a practical sense, it might be a better idea for some
to go the hunter-gathering route. There are many good survival shows on
television today that are very informative on surviving off the land.
Learning these skill sets can make a huge difference in any
survival situation.
Last-minute items to secure from the supermarket. Hopefully
you already have your long-term food storage and other preparations in place:
canned goods, grains, rice, pasta, paper products, and freeze-dried foods that
store well over time…
This should allow you to concentrate on these other items
while most other people are trying to secure what you already have.
Once a SHTF event occurs, you may want to quickly go to the
supermarket to secure these last-minute items before the shelves are empty.
These are typically items that don’t store well for the long-term, but would be
critical to own once a breakdown occurs.
Studies have shown these short-term storage items go first
when a crisis happens.
Most of these products have a shelf life of less than 18
Bottled Water
Powdered Milk
Pancake mix (never use beyond shelf life, as this has been
known to cause toxic shock)
Ramen Noodles
Beef Jerky
Cooking Oils
Dried Fruits
Power Bars
Juice Powders
Spices (salt, pepper, etc.)
Baking Essentials (flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder)
Alcohol for medicinal purposes or for bartering
Hard Candies
Baby Food, Diapers, Wipes
Pet Food
These are just some suggestions that people need to address
now — before trying to survive the aftermath of a horrible event.
People who prepare have to realize that when civilization
stops functioning, so too does everything that most of us depend on.
There may never be a safety net there for us WHEN our
stocked-up survival supplies run dry.
Much of survival is having supplies — as well as backups for
when food, water, and other necessities cannot be found. The other part is
being ready for everything our new situation could throw our way. For this, we
all need to learn survival skills.
When someone thinks about their personal needs, an
individual can probably add many more survival skills to the items I have
talked about above.
You want to become quite proficient in these skills before
the SHTF so you and your family have a better chance of surviving.
Emergency Survival Items Bug-Out-Bag
Disasters here in the UK such as floods and storms or power
cuts can strike at any time, sometimes without warning.
All disasters have the
potential to cause disruption, damage property and take lives.
The information here will help you learn about the disasters
that can affect you and what you can do to be prepared before they happen. And
knowing what to do during and after these disasters will also help you and your
loved ones keep safe and get through.
In most emergencies you should be able to stay in your home.
Plan to be able to look after yourself and your household for at least three
days or more.
Assemble and maintain your emergency survival items for your home
as well as a portable getaway kit a, Bug-Out-Bag in case you have to leave in a
hurry. You should also have essential emergency items in your workplace and in
your car.
Emergency Survival Items
Torch with spare batteries or a self-charging torch
Radio with spare batteries
Wind and waterproof clothing, sun hats, and strong outdoor
First aid kit and essential medicines
Blankets or sleeping bags
Pet supplies
Toilet paper and large rubbish bags for your emergency
Face and dust masks
Check all batteries every three months. Battery powered
lighting is the safest and easiest. Do not use candles as they can tip over in
earthquake aftershocks or in a gust of wind. Do not use kerosene lamps, which
require a great deal of ventilation and are not designed for indoor use.
Food and water for at least three days
Non-perishable food (canned or dried food)
Food, formula and drinks for babies and small children
Water for drinking. At least 3 litres per person, per day
Water for washing and cooking
A primus or gas barbeque to cook on
A can opener
Check and replace food and water every twelve months.
Consider stocking a two-week supply of food and water for prolonged emergencies
such as a pandemic.
Bug-Out Bag
In some emergencies you may need to evacuate in a hurry.
Everyone should have a packed getaway kit in an easily accessible place at home
and at work which includes:
Torch and radio with spare batteries
Any special needs such as hearing aids and spare batteries,
glasses or mobility aids
Emergency water and easy-to-carry food rations such as
energy bars and dried foods in case there are delays in reaching a welfare
centre or a place where you might find support. If you have any special dietary
requirements, ensure you have extra supplies
First aid kit and essential medicines
Essential items for infants or young children such as
formula and food, nappies and a favourite toy
Change of clothes (wind/waterproof clothing and strong
outdoor shoes)
Toiletries – towel, soap, toothbrush, sanitary items, toilet
Blankets or sleeping bags
Face and dust masks
Pet supplies
Local maps
Survival Knife
Survival Kit
Include important documents in your getaway kit:
identification (birth and marriage certificates, driver’s licences and
passports), financial documents (e.g. insurance policies and mortgage
information), and precious family photos.
First Aid
If someone you care for is injured in a disaster, your
knowledge of first aid will be invaluable. Many organisations provide first aid
training courses. Consider taking a first aid course, followed by regular
refresher sessions. You can buy ready-made first aid kits or make up your own.
In some situations you may be forced to evacuate your home,
office, school or neighbourhood at short notice.
Before an evacuation
Consider your transportation options in case you have to
evacuate. If you do not own or drive a car, ask emergency planning staff at
your local council about plans for people without private vehicles.
Know which local radio stations to listen to during an event
for announcements from your local emergency planning officials.
Discuss and practice your evacuation plans with everyone in
the household.
Make in-case-of-evacuation arrangements with friends or
relatives in your neighbourhood as well as outside the area you are in.
Know the evacuation routes you could take and plan several
evacuation routes in case roads are damaged or blocked.
If you have pets, domestic animals or livestock, include
them in your emergency plans.
If there is a possibility of an evacuation, fill your car’s
fuel tank. Keep in mind that if there are power cuts in an event, fuel stations
may not be able to operate pumps.
If you are in an area this is being evacuated
Listen to your local radio stations as emergency planning
officials will be broadcasting the most appropriate advice for your community
and situation.
Evacuate quickly if told to do so by authorities. Take your
getaway kit with you. If you are outside the evacuation zone when a warning is
issued, do not go into an at-risk area to collect your belongings.
If there is time, secure your home as you normally would
when leaving for an extended period.
Turn off electricity and water at the mains if there is
time. Do not turn off natural gas unless you smell a leak or hear a blowing or
hissing sound, or are advised to do so by the authorities.
Take your pets with you when you leave if you can safely do
If you have livestock, evacuate your family and staff first.
If there is time, move livestock and domestic animals to a safer area.
Use travel routes specified by local authorities. Some areas
may be impassable or dangerous so avoid shortcuts. Do not drive through moving
water. If you come upon a barrier, follow posted detour signs.
Get your car ready
Why not plan ahead for what you will do if you are in your
car when a disaster strikes. In some emergencies you may be stranded in your
vehicle for some time. A flood, snow storm or major traffic accident could make
it impossible to proceed.
Consider having essential emergency survival items in your
car. If you are driving in extreme winter conditions, add ice scrapers, brush,
shovel, tire chains and warm clothing to your emergency kit.
Store a pair of walking shoes, waterproof jacket, essential
medicines, snack food, water and a torch in your car.
When planning travel, keep up to date with weather and
traffic information.
Your Survival Kit
Making a Survival Kit is essential for people who live in
areas that are prone to natural disasters.
The majority of these disasters are
earthquake, flooding, hurricane, bush fires, tsunamis, etc. A bug out bag is
not only necessary for all households but for sportsmen as well.
There are times, that survival skills equates to life or
death and this determines the well-being of a person during emergencies. Making
a survival kit does not only equate to the preparation of some items to survive
a catastrophe being trained to use the actual survival kit items is also
There are survivalist who refute the usefulness of making a
survival kit. This is due to the fact that people who make them do not really
have the actual hands on experience with the items.
In this regard, we may say
that these survivalist are correct. What will be the use of these materials if
a person does not qualify or know how to use them?
Throughout this article I will not only discuss how
important the making a survival kit is but how the 10 most important items are
to be used. Scenarios such as being lost in a wood can turn out into an ugly
situation, however if you have your urban survival kit things can be steered
into a more positive experience.
There was a story of a 93 year old woman who survived a
devastating snow storm. She remained inside her house for 5 days. When rescue
arrived, she was asked if she wanted to evacuate, she refused evacuation and
asked for fire wood instead.
She survived eating canned foods and was able to warm
herself by burning fire wood she does not have knowledge of making a survival
kit. Using her common sense and being prepared at all times helped her through.
A survival story does not have to be grand, laced with
several horrific incidents however not all stories have a happy ending but
being equipped with the correct tools and knowledge may ensure safety.
Steps in making a
survival kit
1. Making a survival kit requires a list of the most
important things to include in your very own kit. Create a list of the things
you may need once a disaster or emergency occurs.
2. Pick a container big enough to contain all of the items
in your list. The container should be easy to carry around and have a room for
all the items that you may need.
3. Gather your materials the most important are the things
that will aid you once you are on the run or looking for an evacuation centre
where food and other necessities are present. We will break down the materials
that you may need while you are looking for a suitable temporary shelter.
4. Water – When making a survival kit make sure that all
persons in the household are accounted for. One gallon of water is suffice for
a person for one day. Your kit must contain supplies that will last for 3 days
or 72 hours.
5. Food – When a tragedy strikes expect that food will be
scarce. When making a survival kit, make sure to include food that has a long
shelf life, a good source of energy and no cooking is necessary
6. Clothing – Warmth is important, pack clothes that are
warm and comfortable for movement.
7. Making a survival kit is not complete without the items
that will allow you to know what is going on around you. Prepare a battery
operated transistor radio with fresh batteries. Also include whistles, flares
and matches.
8. Include a first aid kit in your survival kit, medical
supplies such as over-the-counter medicines, special medical equipment if someone
in the household needs it. Although some medical apparatus is heavy and may
slow you down find an alternative for it if possible. If there are infants,
make sure that the supplies they need are also included in your kit.  
Making a
survival kit is not easy, but it will prove to be useful in the future.
The logic behind in
making a survival kit
Making a survival kit may prove to be useless if the person
who has it does not know how to use the items included in it.
Train yourself on how to use and operate items that are
included in your kit. Read manuals ahead of time to ensure that the emergency
arrives you are well prepared.
Making a survival kit requires patience and dedication, you
do not have to have all the materials right away, however you will have to
complete it as soon as you can. In doing so, you are well prepared and ready
for an emergency.
If a certain situation arrives and you are unsure of what to
do, ensure that you think clearly and assess the situation. Your survival kit
items are your life line during emergencies.
Making a survival kit does not
ensure your safety however it increases your survival rate dramatically.
Winter Survival Car Kit
We’ve already seen a number of nasty winter storms and we’re
sure to see more before spring. Every time there’s a storm, someone is sure to
get stranded, but being prepared makes it easier.
Take a few minutes now to put together an emergency kit;
you’ll be glad you did, should that fateful time come when conditions cause you
to stop and stay that way for hours – either on the road or because you slid
off it.
First things first, find or buy a kit or overnight bag about
the size of a couple of plastic grocery bags. You’ll be able to establish the
right size after reading through this list of suggestions.
It should be
waterproof and made of a material that will remain pliable in extremely cold



Now place one side of a strip or two of Velcro on the bottom
of the bag and the other(s) in a remote corner of the boot or load space.
That way when you are finished loading the bag and put it in
the boot, it won’t be constantly sliding around. If the boot is carpeted, you
can probably use only the hook side of the Velcro If there is a suitable
tie-down spot, you can also use a bungee cord or two to secure the bag in
Now let’s fill the bag.
In no particular order you should
Small containers of antifreeze and lock de-icer.
A folding plastic warning triangle.
A blanket.
Thick wool socks, oversize boots, mittens and a thick hat
with fold-down ear covers or pair of ear muffs.
Raid the wardrobe for little-used but bulky and warm items. 
You can also use these items to wrap others items within the bag to prevent
A torch is a good idea but chances are the batteries will be
dead when you need it, so make sure it will also operate off the 12-volt system
or use an LED version, which is compact yet powerful, and will use less energy,
allowing batteries to last longer, (spare batteries)
A charger for your mobile phone.
Jumper leads.
A 10-metre length of rope or tow strap
A small folding shovel: it can be wrapped in the blanket to
prevent it from moving around in the boot
A candle, waterproof matches or instant lighter and a clean
old juice can. The candle in the can is capable of supplying some much-needed
heat and light when stranded in a dark, remote location.
A first-aid kit.
A couple of high-energy snack bars from the supermarket or
health food shop.
A small tarp folds into a very small package and would
certainly be appreciated if the incident has left your vehicle in an unfriendly
place like a river or down a bank.
It will also help cover holes made by broken
windows and keep the elements out and heat in.
A spare pair of glasses if the intended driver uses them.
Duct tape: Its ability to hold almost anything together
could be critical
A long bungee cord: Besides holding the bag of emergency
equipment in one place, it may hold car parts in place or a door closed after a
A coat hanger: it can be used for a number of repairs or to
hold things together. It’s also useful to stick up above a snow bank to help
others locate you.
Multipurpose tool or a Swiss Army knife wrapped in an
oil-soaked cloth: put it in a water-proof baggie to make sure it doesn’t get
rusted shut.
A small bag of cat litter to create some grip where none
A survival blanket, Medication, wet wipes
Self-heating meals
After this it is up to you this is not an exhaustive list by
any means.
When You Have to Go-You Have to Go
There is probably no place on earth that’s not at risk for
some type of widespread emergency, be it a hurricane, tornado, blizzard,
earthquake, volcano, tsunami, flood, or wildfire.
A little common-sense
planning and preparation can go a long way to minimize the adverse impact on
you and your family in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. Once a
crisis is imminent it may be too late; think about it now and take the
necessary steps to protect yourself and family.
Every crisis has its own special features. Way back on the
25th June, 2007, Hull received an unusually high amount of rainfall that led to
widespread flooding across the city and the surrounding area.
Over the wider city region, over 10,000 properties were
damaged impacting upon the livelihoods and well-being of tens of thousands of
In December 2010 hundreds of drivers were stuck on the main
route between Glasgow and Edinburgh for 12+ hours as the snowy conditions
blanketed the central belt of the country and recently over 80,000 people in
the North East were hit by a power cut.
After any widespread disaster there is the likelihood of
public services being disrupted. You can probably carry on without electricity
or natural gas, but once water and sewer service are lost we quickly realize
how much our civilized world depends on indoor plumbing and in particular the flush
A major lesson from past disasters is that as individuals we
must be prepared to survive on our own for at least the first few days after a
disaster. Disaster can strike quickly and without warning. It can force you to
evacuate your neighbourhood or confine you to your home.
What would you do if basic services–water, gas, electricity
or telephones–were cut off? Perhaps it is true that local officials and relief
workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone right
away, you will be on your own.
Below are ideas and suggestions to help you get started in
preparing your home for an unexpected disaster.
Flooding is always a threat to homes located near water. But
the flooding Hull in 2007 showed how widespread flooding can get. And you don’t
need to live near water to have your home inundated with water, a friend of
mine had four-inches of water in his basement from a nearby ruptured water
One of many steps you can take to help minimize the damage
to your home is to put a sandbag into the toilet bowls. This will not prevent
your home from being flooded, but it will prevent sewer waste from backing into
your home.
Emergency toilet seal
There is a unique product in the UK that provides an
emergency seal for toilets. It looks a bit like a lid to a small rubbish bin.
The seal is quick to fit, easy to store and secures the toilet during a flood
to prevent backflow.
This company will ship to the U.S. by the way it is click HERE
Value of Household
In the mid-50s the country was also concerned about civil
defence. I remember numerous newspaper and magazine articles on preparing our
homes for a widespread disaster.
The one suggestion that I’ve never forgotten is to NEVER
throw out an empty bleach bottle. They make great containers for storing water.
Rinse out, fill with water, seal and label them, then store in a dark spot in
your house.
I always buy bleach in the largest container available,
usually a one and a half gallon size. While you should replenish the water
every six months (use to water your plants), it’s not hard to forget to do so,
but it’s easy to disinfect the water if you need it for drinking purposes.
You can use household liquid bleach to kill microorganisms.
Use only regular household liquid bleach that contains 5.25 per cent sodium
hypochlorite. Do not use scented bleaches, colour safe bleaches or bleaches
with added cleaners.
Add 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water stir and let
stand for 30 minutes. If the water does not have a slight bleach odour, repeat
the dosage and let stand another 15 minutes. The only agent used to treat water
should be household liquid bleach.
Other chemicals, such as iodine or water treatment products
sold in camping or surplus stores that do not contain 5.25 per cent sodium
hypochlorite as the only active ingredient, are not recommended and should not
be used.
If you are uncertain about the purity of any water source,
treat before you use it for drinking, food preparation or hygiene. In addition
to having a bad odour and taste, water from questionable sources may be
contaminated by a variety of microorganisms that can cause dysentery, cholera,
typhoid and hepatitis.
To treat water,
follow these steps:
1. Filter the water using a piece of cloth or coffee filter
to remove solid particles
2. Bring it to a rolling boil for about one full minute
3. Let it cool at least 30 minutes. Water must be cool or
the chlorine treatment described below will not work.
4. Add 16 drops of liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of
water, or 8 drops per 2-liter bottle of water. Stir to mix. Sodium hypochlorite
(concentration 5.25% to 6%) should be the only active ingredient in the bleach.
There should be no added soap or fragrance.
5. Let stand 30 minutes.
6. If the water smells of chlorine, you can use it. If it
does not smell of chlorine, repeat steps 4 and 5. If after the second try the
water smells of chlorine, you can use it. Otherwise, discard and find another
source of water.
People with certain medical conditions may need distilled or
sterile water. Your doctor can tell you whether you fall in this category.
How to build a toilet
for surviving a disaster
After a disaster or in an emergency it might be necessary to
build an emergency toilet. If water pipes are broken or sewer lines are not
working then a sanitary emergency toilet can be built. This is an easy project
that can be finished in 10 minutes.
How to convert a
flush toilet into an emergency toilet.
1. Line the inside of a toilet bowl, 5 gallon pail, or
another appropriately sized waste container with two heavy-duty plastic garbage
2. Place kitty litter, fireplace ashes, or sawdust into the
bottom of the bags.
3. At the end of each day, the bagged waste should be
securely tied and removed to a protected location such as a garage, basement,
outbuilding, and so on, until a safe disposal option is available.
4. You can dispose of the waste in a properly functioning
public sewer, or septic system, or they may bury the waste on their own
Note: During a declared emergency, these bags may be
included with the regular garbage if a public announcement has been made that
allows this method of disposal.
Temporary Toilet Provisions
Right after an emergency, or during one, you will probably
not have the time and tools to prepare a complex emergency sanitation system.
If there is a delay of several days in restoring sewage
service to your neighbourhood, you may find that disposal is a big problem.
Build a Make Shift Toilet
To build a makeshift toilet, line a medium-size plastic
bucket with a garbage bag. (If the sewage lines are broken but the toilet bowl
is usable, place the plastic garbage bag around bowl.) Make a toilet seat out
of two boards placed parallel to each other across the bucket. An old toilet
seat will also work.
After each use, pour a disinfectant such as bleach into the
container to avoid infection and spreading of disease.
Cover the container tightly when not in use. Bury garbage
and human wastes in the ground to avoid the spread of disease by rats and
insects. Dig a pit two to three feet deep and at least 50 feet from any well,
spring or water supply.
Sawdust Potty
During a flood, your city’s sewer system or your household’s
septic system may not work. To be prepared, store materials to make a sawdust
potty in your emergency kit as well. All you need is organic material such as
sawdust, peat moss or soil, and a 5-gallon bucket with a lid. After you use the
potty, just pour a layer of organic material in the bucket and put the lid on.
The Survival Spear
When it comes to a survival situation, having a useful
weapon is a necessity.
However, an easily obtained weapon is not always readily
That said though if one uses their wits about them they can fashion
an effective survival spear from many different materials.
One of the first types of survival spears that can be
relatively easy to make is the wood tipped spear.
To make this spear, you simply need a straight piece of wood
and a knife. You then take the knife and sharpen one end of the straight wooden
piece into a spear point.
To strengthen this weapon, you can fire harden the
tip of it.



In order to fire harden the tip of it, you will need to
place the tip of the spear into the fire and let the tip begin to burn. As soon
as the tip begins to burn, you remove the spear from the fire and extinguish
the burning end of the spear.
At this point, you then use your knife to scrape any charred
wood from the tip of the spear. The spear is now finished and the tip has been
fire hardened to make a sharp and durable weapon.
Another type of survival spear that can easily be produced
is the rock or glass tipped spear. To make this type of spear, you simply need
a straight piece of wood, a knife, a sharp piece of rock or glass, and a length
of some kind of cordage.
With these materials, you first split one end of the
straight wooden piece down the centre of the shaft for a length of about 2
inches. Then you place the blunt end of the sharp piece of rock or glass into
this split.
Make sure to position the sharp side of the rock or glass to
the outside so that the tip of the spear will be sharp. Next use the cordage to
tightly tie the split back together. Once this is done, the spear should be
It is a good idea to make sure that the tip of the spear is
firmly locked into position. If there is any slack in the spearhead, then you
should tie the cordage tighter around the split in the wooden piece until the
spearhead cannot move. Once this is accomplished, the spear is completed.
The final type of survival spear that can be easily produced
is the metal tipped spear. This type of spear requires you to have a sharp
piece of metal or a few straight sharp metal pieces, like bike spokes.
Then you
will also need a knife, some form of cordage, and a straight wooden piece.
Once these materials are in hand, you can begin making your
spear. To make this type of spear, you need
to either split the wood down the middle in the case of a single metal
spear point, or you will need to sharpen the wood piece to a tip in the case of
using several sharp narrow metal pieces.
Then use the cordage to secure the single metal point into
the wooden split, if this is the type of spear point you are working with.
you are working with multiple narrow metal points, then you will use the
cordage to secure these pieces to the outside of the spear around the sharpened
wooden tip.
Once this is done the spear will be finished. Of the three
types of spears mentioned here for survival, this is the most durable and
A metal tipped spear cannot only be useful for hunting game, but it can
also be used for fishing and defending yourself against threats.
Overall, the knowledge gained from making your own survival
spear will serve you well, should you ever be in a survival situation. It will
allow you to quickly and easily make a weapon that can help you to procure food
and to defend against threats.
In the end, the skill and know-how gained from
building your own survival skill could one day save your life.
Getting Started in Air Rifle Shooting
There are really only three questions when buying your first
air rifle, the first one is what do you want it for, plinking or hunting, two,
spring or gas and lastly which calibre .177 or .22
Let’s say that you want to hunt, well OK then, I say
that for the survivalist and prepper that the best air rifle is a spring
operated one because they are dead simple to maintain and fix should things go
wrong with it, and the main reason I recommend spring operated air rifles is
because they never run out of air, which is ideal in a survival SHTF situation.
So which calibre doe he choose well, is the .177 caliber
pellet adequate for squirrel hunting? It certainly looks very tiny, and
suppose it is a fair question as to whether or not it is a viable hunting
caliber in air guns.
Now there is a school of thought in the air gun world that
uses this rule of thumb: “.177 for feathers, .22 for fur.” In other words, if
you are shooting birds, a .177 is sufficient. If you are hunting non-avian
game, then consider a .22 caliber. In my experience, it really comes down to
the issue of pellet placement on the target.
I have had good luck using both
calibers in squirrel hunting, and the caliber issue is less of a concern to me
than the issue of what particular air gun do I want to carry around with me
With the great number of models and power plants plus the
huge price spread in airguns today, picking one specific gun is a challenging
task. It’s even more difficult for someone new to airgunning who has to learn
the technology before making a choice.
You want to get something right away, but how do you know
whether it’s the right gun? If there were airgun stores in most big cities the
problem would be somewhat easier to solve, but even then how would you know
whether you had found exactly what you wanted?
To narrow the field, you need to answer some questions:
How will you use the gun? General shooting? Hunting?
Competition? For each of these, there are a host of other questions,
like…What will you be hunting or what kind of competition will you be
involved in?
Sometimes the answer also provides much of your decision criteria,
such as the rules for target shooting that govern the few models that exist.
How strong are you and how much work are you willing to do?
Spring-powered guns require a cocking effort measured in pounds.
Some of these guns, such as the Webley Patriot or the Gamo
1250 Hunter, can be much more difficult to cock and only a strong adult male
and very few strong women will be able to operate it.
You may be very strong, but you may not want to work that
hard to shoot. If so, choose a spring gun that’s easy to cock, or better yet,
get a precharged pneumatic or CO2 gun.
Do you want to hunt or kill pests? If so, an air rifle is
almost certainly mandated. There are very few air pistols powerful enough to
kill animals reliably.
The best hunting caliber is probably .22 because there
are a greater number of pellets available in that calibre, and the .22 hits
game with more authority than the smaller calibres.
Here are 10 air rifle hunting tips that will ensure that you
are up to the challenge of hunting with an air rifle.
Air rifle hunting can be a great challenge
and a great deal of fun.
It does require
a lot of practice not only with the air rifle itself, but with hunting the game
species in question.
Here are 10 tips to
get you started hunting with your airgun.

Before every hunt verify the rifle is properly sighted in.


Verify the gun is in good working order.  For pneumatic guns this means they are
holding air pressure and not leaking.
Same goes for CO2 guns.  For
spring guns this means verifying the guns cock easily and without binding or
interference.  Always make sure the
safety is on and working properly.
Spend some time practicing with your gun before taking it to
the woods.  Air rifle, unlike firearms
have a pronounced “loop” in their trajectory and will require a
certain degree of holdover at longer hunting ranges.
For this reason it is very important that the
shooter practice to be effective in the field.
Select appropriate ammunition for the quarry and hunting
conditions.  Flat headed and hollow point
pellets work very well on smaller pests and offer less penetration around
buildings, where safety and damage to property may be an issue.
Round head and pointed pellets are great for
longer range shooting and often provide the best accuracy and penetration.  Select round or pointed pellets for larger
game and in instances where shots may be taken at longer distance.
Camouflage is always important, regardless of the kind of
hunting you are doing.  It is even more
important when hunting with airguns, as you need to be very close to your
quarry before attempting a shot.
Practice your stalking and still hunting skills,  Go slow and be as quiet as possible while
hunting small game.  This will aid you in
getting the close shots required in airgun hunting.
Typically adult air rifles have an effective maximum range
of 50 yards.  Until you become very
familiar with your gun, it is best to keep your distance and shots in the 30
yard range or less.
Shot placement with an air gun is paramount.  Most small pests such as birds and mice can
be dispatched easily with shots placed in the chest or head.
But for larger game species such as squirrel,
rabbit, rats, etc.  It is best to stay
with head shots.
One of the great joys of hunting with an airgun is the
relative low power and thus safety of the weapon.  Regardless of the guns limited range it is
always important to be aware of pellets trajectory and where it might land if
it either passes through the game or if you miss entirely.
Be safe and try to select shots that offer a
good back stop for you projectile.
Always take the time to learn the habits of the game you
intend to hunt.  If you are hunting
squirrels you need to learn about what types of food they eat, where they stay
during the day, and how to stalk and approach them without being seen.  Same is true for other species such as
Rabbit, Crow, Rat, Starlings, etc.
a little time to research before you hunt.
There is a wealth of information available on the interment on hunting
of all types.  Take advantage of it.
Above all be safe, and enjoy the wonderful sport of airgun
Airguns can, in the wrong hands, be lethal. 
However, by
following a set of simple, commonsense safety rules, you can ensure that you
are never the cause of an accident.
Always assume your gun is loaded. You’d be amazed how many
accidents have happened with guns their owners ‘knew’ were unloaded.
Never point your gun at another person.
Never carry a loaded air weapon in a public place and when
you are carrying your gun in public, keep it fastened securely away in a
gunslip or case.
Never load your gun until you are ready to shoot.
Never fire your gun unless you are certain the shot will
be a safe one.
This means checking there are no other people nearby who might
be endangered by the shot and ensuring there is a suitable backstop to catch
pellets and prevent ricochets.
When at a shoot, never let your gun out of your sight.
Never let young children near your gun unsupervised.
Never touch anyone else’s gun unless you have permission.
After using your gun, make sure it is unloaded and store
it in a secure place to which children cannot gain access. Store ammunition in
a separate secure place.
Getting Started
Air weapons are mainly sold from firearms dealerships and
outdoor sports shops.
Air rifles with muzzle energies of less than twelve foot
pounds (16.3 joules) and air pistols with muzzle energies of less than six foot
pounds (8.15 joules) can be bought by any person aged eighteen years or more.
However, if you want an air rifle with a muzzle energy
greater than twelve foot pounds, you must first obtain a firearm certificate
from your local police firearms licensing department.
Air pistols with muzzle
energies greater than six foot pounds or air pistols and air rifles which use
the self contained gas cartridge system (these used to be manufactured by
Brocock as BACS Cartridges and does NOT include the CO2 cartridges used in CO2
rifles and pistols) are prohibited weapons which may only be acquired with the
authority of the Secretary of State.
If you are in any doubt, seek advice from
your local police firearms licensing department.
Having bought your gun, you can use it for a number of
purposes including target shooting, vermin control and hunting small ground
However, if you have never shot before, you would be well advised to go
to a shooting club with an airgun section and learn from a qualified instructor
how to handle your gun safely and responsibly and become an accurate shot.
You may
find that target shooting provides all the challenge you need or you may want
to move on to shooting live quarry.
If you do move on to live quarry shooting you must be
careful only to shoot on private property over which you have permission to
Provided you follow the safety rules contained in this guide, you will
be able to shoot safely and enjoyably even on quite small pieces of ground.
Airguns and the law
Although air weapons, with very few exceptions as outlined
above, are not required to be kept on a firearm certificate, they are still
classed as firearms and fall under the control of the firearms legislation.
As an airgun shooter, you must make sure that you know the
law and keep within it. If you don’t, you could find yourself in court facing charges
with sanctions ranging from heavy fines right up to life imprisonment.
following is a list of the laws by which you must abide and you might be
surprised at just how long it is:



It is an offence to sell or make a gift of an air weapon
to a person under eighteen years of age.
It is an offence for anyone under eighteen to carry an air
weapon unless – they are under the supervision of a person aged twenty one or
more or they are on private land and have permission from the occupier or they
are shooting as a member of an approved club or they are shooting at a shooting
gallery for miniature rifles.
It is an offence for a person under eighteen shooting
unsupervised on private land to allow any pellets to cross the boundaries of
the property.
It is an offence for any person, regardless of age, to be
in possession of an air weapon in a public place without a reasonable excuse. A
reasonable excuse might be carrying a gun to and from a target shooting club or
to and from land on which you have permission to shoot. It would also include
taking a gun to and from a gunsmith for repair or service or taking a new gun
home from the dealer.
It is an offence to trespass with an air weapon, be that
in a building or on land.
It is an offence to have an air weapon if you are a person
prohibited from possessing a firearm by section 21 of the 1968 Act. This
section prohibits anyone who has been sentenced to a custodial sentence of
between three months and three years from possessing an air weapon or other firearm
for five years from the date of release. Anyone sentenced to three years or
more is prohibited for life.
It is an offence to fire your gun within fifty feet
(fifteen metres) of the centre of a public road in such a way as to endanger or
impede any road user.
It is an offence to shoot protected wild birds or animals.
When live quarry shooting, it is your responsibility to make sure that you only
shoot legal quarry.
It is an offence to shoot pet animals. Besides being
abhorrent to most people, this is, above all others, the offence that gives all
air weapon shooters a bad name.
It is an offence to have an air weapon with intent to
damage property.
It is an offence to have an air weapon with intent to
endanger life.
This may seem a long and onerous list, but it is all no more
than common sense. If you use your gun safely and responsibly, you will be in
no danger of committing an offence.
In Conclusion
You should always remember that airguns are capable of
inflicting severe injuries and even of killing people.
Irresponsible owners
have given airgun shooters a bad name by breaking windows, shooting pets and
protected wild birds and even sniping at people.
You can do your bit to help change this perception by using
your gun in a way that demonstrates that air weapon shooters are, in the main,
responsible people who pose no threat to anyone.
Always follow the guidelines
set out in this information. 
Urban Survival kits
In 1986 John “Lofty” Wiseman’s book “The SAS
Survival Handbook” bought the concept of Survival Kits to the public
Tobacco tins were looted and
crammed full of fishing hooks and candles and anything else small and useful
you could fit into them.
After a time, when people realised you couldn’t eat them and
they didn’t keep you warm at night, the realisation dawned on schoolboys up and
down the country that carrying survival tins for wilderness situations was,
perhaps, a little foolish.
I would say that 25 years ago survivalism was a niche area –
the preserve mainly of the military. 
There is no evidence to suggest that the number or scale of
natural disasters have increased in modern times but the explosion of the
travel industry into more remote areas, a greater number of independent
travellers and increased urbanisation in and around areas with high probability
of Natural disasters have increased our exposure to such events.
Other heightened threats include political uncertainty,
civil unrest, military action and the Post-9/11  7/7 world of modern terrorism.
‘Survivalism’ is experiencing a resurgence in the form of
‘Preparedness’ for major incidents in urban environments, at home and abroad.
In the same way that the contents of your First Aid kit
should reflect your needs and situation, the equipment you might consider
should similarly reflect your:
Geographical location,  areas of political / civil / military unrest. Terrorist
targets – typically western city centres, especially business districts.
Your occupation Diplomatic service, NGO’s, Financial sector,
frequent traveller Proximity to definitive safety
Urban versus remote,  Home nation versus travelling abroad
What do I need?
To best answer that it is worth considering the likelihood
of experiencing a hostile situation (kidnapping, terrorism etc) or natural
disaster (earthquake, flooding etc.) and deciding which Tier of preparedness is
appropriate for you.
Tier 1 – Every Day
Every Day Carry (EDC) is an American term for the items you
would always want to have about you to help get you home safely or safely out
of harm’s way.
The key to it being an
‘everyday’ list is that it needs to be a small list and things that you would
really have the tenacity to carry with you all day, every day.   It is very easy to let this list grow.
Before you know it you have a belt full of
pouches and your bulging key ring is full of whistles, torches, compasses,
knives and so on, which becomes an inhibitor to carrying it.
Your EDC should be small, unobtrusive and be able to fit in
your pockets.
Mobile Phone
The cheaper the better as it is less likely to get
stolen.  If you have a smart phone there
are a range of useful Apps which in tandem with most smart phone’s GPS will be
able to give you an accurate location which is important when trying to
establish help, be it in a foreign country or a nondescript British B road in
the dead of night.
Credit Card
It is a good insurance policy to have a credit card with as
much limit as you can negotiate which you never use.  This requires willpower.  In most urban areas, anywhere in the world,
having a Visa or MasterCard with £1000 can get you food, accommodation or even
a plane flight home.
Of course not all places will accept your flexible friend
and sometimes real money is actually worth more.
Carry as much as you can afford to lose – if
that makes sense.
Remember, this is
emergency money, not spending money.
old travelling tip is to carry two wallets; your real wallet secreted somewhere
and a sacrificial wallet with a few pounds which you are willing to hand over
if forced.
For added authenticity
(nothing looks more suspicious than a brand new wallet with a single bank note
in it) use an old wallet and add a couple of supermarket club cards, some
stamps and a photo.
As with the phone, in many ways cheaper is better.  A posh watch will draw attention to you which
is not wanted in a hostile situation and a cheap one won’t hurt if it gets
stolen or broken.
The key thing with a
good watch is to ask yourself “what do I need it for?”   The answer should be ‘to tell the time’ and
nothing else.
It doesn’t matter if it is analogue or digital; the face
needs to be uncluttered and easy to read.
Esoteric chronographs have overtones of the ‘professional pilot’ but you
will never need to time anything down to 1/100th of a second.
Similarly, a digital watch laden with
accessories and features is unnecessarily bulky, unnecessarily difficult to
read and unnecessarily expensive.
Numbers, Day, Date.  That is it.   If it glows in the dark or illuminates
properly, all the better.
Again, it is about functionality.   Don’t go for the biggest tool with the most
features as its size and weight will put you off carrying it around with you
all day.  The Leatherman Wave and Gerber
Multiplier are both regarded as benchmark multi-tools.
A small AAA battery torch like the Fenix E05 or a lithium
LED ‘pinch’ torch which is small enough to fit on your key ring.  Whilst you would not expect it to illuminate
you journey home, these powerful little torches provide enough light to guide
you out of a dark or smoke filled building or even signal your location over
short range.
Disposable Lighter
basics of survival, be it urban or remote, short or long
term are shelter, food, warmth and signalling.
A lighter and any combustible material can provide the last two.
Permanent Pen
A fine point marker pen is more use than a thick marker for
making notes and can write on more surfaces than a ballpoint pen.  Don’t worry too much about carrying a
notebook as you can usually lay your hands on some writing material somewhere.
Tip – Be frugal.  Each item should have a purpose and they
should be essential.  Avoid gadgets or
gimmicks such as credit card sized multi tools or carabiners with a built in
torch and compass.
Tier 2 – Grab Bag
The Grab Bag is for higher risk settings or when your need
to be self-sufficient for longer.
Again, less is very often more.
It is very easy to choose an overly large bag and fill it with things
you do not need.
A 25-30 Ltr rucksack
should be plenty.  Messenger bags have
their advantages as well, being less obtrusive in a cosmopolitan area and it is
easier to carry a messenger bag if already carrying another, larger
Enough for 72 hours or more.   Cramming 3 days of food into a 30Ltr
rucksack means it won’t be fine dining but make sure that whatever you carry is
high in calories and easily digestible.
Try several brands of dehydrated food or foil packed ‘wet’ food such a
Wayfarer meals to ensure they do not disagree with you.
A 2-3Ltr bladder system is ideal in a rucksack, taking up
next to no space when not in use.   Also
consider carrying a larger fold-flat water carrier such as the ones from
Ortlieb or Platypus, if you need to stock up on clean water when it becomes
For short term use, water purifying tablets will suffice but
in areas where water is expected to be dirty as well as contaminated, or when
larger quantities of clean water will be needed a water purifying system such
as those available from  Purificup and
Lifesaver systems will solve the problem
A torch is an essential Grab Bag item.   The brighter the better; the Zebralight
SC600 offers a ridiculous 750 lumens on full power and a range of lower level
outputs for longer lasting usage.
Headlamps have the ‘hands free’ advantage.   The Zebralight H600 is a headlamp version
with similar output levels.   Both of
these torches are some of the most powerful on the market but require expensive
and obscure 18650 rechargeable Li-Ion batteries.  Other well-known high power torches include
Fenix, Led Lenser and Sure Fire which use more commonly available CR 123, AA or
AAA batteries.  Always carry spare
A couple of chemical lights ticks have their place too,
notably for marking people and places.
Birth certificates, insurance documents, tickets, passports,
details and contacts of the nearest hospital, Embassy and transport hubs.   Either carry the originals or
photocopies.  If you do carry the
originals, have photocopies kept separately but secure.   Of course nowadays it is possible to store
scans of these documents and carry the information on memory sticks but hard
copies are more user friendly in developing countries or when there is no
electricity supply.
Aloksak make the best waterproof reseal able bags and don’t
cost the earth.  These documents may be
the difference between getting home or not, so keep the dry, clean and safe.
Phone Charger
Your phone might have 300 hours standby time but the 12
hours talk time will quickly be eaten up if trying to arrange repatriation home
from abroad or if you are the only point of contact via phone with the
emergency services.
Personal Hygiene
No need for deodorants or make-up but wet-wipes, toothpaste
and toothbrush.  Wet wipes have the
advantage of not needing water to give yourself a rudimentary clean.   Shower Gel in an arid environment or when
there is no water will just be frustrating.
It is not so much about personal appearance but more about good
hygiene.  Hygiene prevents illness and
infection which can be debilitating.
One spare change of
Appropriate for the climate and environment.
Even if you don’t think you will need them, pack a small,
lightweight waterproof jacket and trousers together with a hat and pair of
gloves.  The warmest of places can become
very cold on a cloudless night.
First Aid Kit
Enough for you, with your medication.
A small, basic GPS unit (with spare batteries) is of more
use abroad or when evacuating an urban area.
Maps of the local area and a compass and knowledge of how to use them
are always useful.
Sleeping Bag
A good night’s sleep can have a profound effect on your
psychology, whether it is on the floor of an airport waiting area or an
emergency refugee camp.  Down filled
sleeping bags provide the best warmth to weight/size ratio but provide no
insulation when wet.
Modern synthetic bags are nearly a good in terms of warmth
to weight.  Choose the lowest warmth
rating (expressed as ‘Seasons’) as you can get away with.   A combination of a 1 Season sleeping bag
with a 3 Season sleeping bag can provide a more flexible system depending on
the climate at less than the cost of one Down filled sleeping bag.
If your risk assessment includes the risk of benightment –
being without shelter then a solution must be considered.  The two best lightweight shelter systems are
a bivvi bag with tarp (or ‘basha’) or a Hammock with tarp.  Hammocks are more comfortable and don’t
require an even, flat surface beneath you to get a good night’s sleep but they
do require two good fixing points from which to hang.
Hennessy Hammocks make very good hammock/tarp sleeping
systems.  Conversely, you will probably
find more suitable locations to bed down in a bivvi bag.  .
Para Cord
A good length of Para Cord will satisfy a multitude of uses,
not least for setting up your tarp to sleep under.
Several options:   The
Hexamine stove is often favoured for its diminutive size but it is far from the
most efficient stoves and is limited in fuel choice – typically hexamine fuel
block, fire lighters, charcoal etc.   The
Jetboil is one of the most efficient gas stoves on the market and is sold as a
complete cooking system together with pot and lid, that stacks away inside
itself for ease of storage.
Again it is limited to one type of fuel source that may not
be available.   If traveling, remember
that there are strict laws on traveling with pressurised canisters.   The most robust multi-fuel stove is the
Primus Omni-Fuel which will burn almost any liquid fuel and also works on
conventional gas canisters.
To cook in you will need pans.   Traditional army style mess tins really
can’t be beaten, certainly not on price.
At the other end of the scale the MSR Titanium Kettle is favoured with
alpinists as their all-in-one camp kitchen.
An 850ml pot with lid that is large enough to cook something in and
small enough to drink straight from as a mug.
Whatever you choose it is an added benefit if your stove can fit in you
pans to save space.
Save more space and weight by just packing a spoon or a
‘spork’.  But do pack a green hairy
scourer and a small bottle of washing up liquid.   This may sound luxurious but hygiene is not
a luxury, it is a necessity to prevent illness.
Tip:  Avoid camouflage
or drab green colours:  It can be a
benefit to be unobtrusive but there is also a benefit to being easily seen if
you need rescue.  In many parts of the
world camouflage clothing or army surplus equipment will make you look like a
terrorist or member of a paramilitary organisation with serious consequences.
Tier 3 – Vehicle
If you have use of your own vehicle you are instantly able
to carry more equipment, expedite yourself away from danger and remain self-sufficient
for longer.  The contents should be
securely and unobtrusively stowed.  Most
accidents on expeditions involve vehicles so seek further training if appropriate
and learn the basics of vehicle repair.
Most serious accidents which happen abroad – whether package
holidays, business trips or pioneering expeditions for unexplored areas – are
caused by vehicles.  The incidence rate
of accidents increase ten-fold when driving off road.  The use of a vehicle should be seen as a
responsibility rather than a luxury.
Additional First Aid Kit – more substantial, especially with
more wound dressings for serious bleeding.
    Additional Food
and Water – sealed water if possible.  In
a vehicle Hot Cans can easily be carried
    GPS & Software
for your area.
    Phone Charger
    Tow Rope
    Additional Torch
    Jump Leads
    Fluids –
Antifreeze, Coolant, Oil and Spare Fuel
    Spare Tyre, Jack,
Wheel brace and Foot Pump
    Tool Kit (minimum)
        Selection of
spanners – open and ring
        Socket set
        Selection of
        Hex & Torx
bits and driver
    Rescue Equipment
        Bow saw
        Pry Bar
        Sledge Hammer
        Bolt Cutters
Ensure your vehicle is maintained and roadworthy.  The word POWER is a useful prompter for long journey
P Petrol or Diesel:
Enough fuel in both the main tank and a reserve Jerry Can
O Oils:  Check levels
of Engine Oil, Brake, Clutch and Power Steering Fluids.
W Water:  Engine
coolant and Anti-Freeze levels are checked.
E Electrics:  Check
all lights and wipers.
R Rubber:  Check tyres
(including the spare )for tread depth, pressure and uneven wear.  Check wiper blades and drive/fan belts.  Carry spare of both.
The British Quarterstaff
The late Victorian era was a time of exploration and
innovation in many fields, including the arts of self-defence.
Wrestling in various regional styles and boxing according to
the rules of the London Prize Ring (later the Marquis of Queensberry Rules)
were immensely popular spectator sports. T
he merits of newly introduced methods
such as French Savate and la Canne, Japanese Jiu-jitsu and the English
adaptation, “Bartitsu”, were enthusiastically debated in newspaper
and magazine articles.
British soldiers were still trained in combat with weapons
such as the bayonet and cavalry sabre, and research into antique methods of
swordplay was undertaken to improve their skills.
In many ways, the period
between 1870 – 1900 was a Golden Age of close-combat.
The Victorian English penchant for the “manly
arts” also included quarterstaff fencing. In this sport, players wearing
fencing uniforms and protective armour competed for points by sparring with
lightweight staves, typically up to eight feet in length.
Two manuals detailing
the rules and techniques were produced; Sergeant Thomas McCarthy’s
“Quarter-Staff” in 1883, and a chapter of “Broadsword and
Singlestick” by R.G. Allanson-Winn in 1898.
In the early 1900s,
quarterstaff fencing was taken up by members of the Boy Scout movement, who
produced a simplified manual for training towards their “Master at
Arms” badge.
In his “Paradoxes of Defence” (1599), the English
Master-at-Arms George Silver wrote:
The quarterstaff was closely identified with sport and civilian
self-defence, as a weapon of expedience used by travellers or in formal duels.
By the early 1700s the weapon was commonly employed in public prize-fights,
with the winner receiving both gate-money and the proceeds of wagering.
famed English stage gladiator James Figg promoted the art, along with back swording and pugilism, in bouts at
Southwark Fair, and after his retirement from the stage in 1735 he taught it to
young aristocrats at his own School of Arms in London’s Oxford Street.
There does not appear to be any records of recreational
quarterstaff-play between 1748 and 1870, probably because during this period
armed prize-fighting was virtually replaced by the new sport of boxing.
staffing was militarily obsolete and does not appear to have been a popular
rural pastime, so it is possible that the art effectively became extinct.
A Victorian
I suggest that the sport of quarterstaff fencing as
practised between 1870 and 1898 was not a direct, lineal continuation of the traditional
art, but rather a Victorian innovation or reconstruction drawing upon three
main influences.
These included the widespread availability of bamboo, the boom
in sporting equipment manufacture, and the popularity of the Robin Hood
The traditional English staff was a sturdy weapon of oak or
similar hardwood, difficult to manoeuvre with any regard for a sparring
partner’s safety.
It’s important to remember that Figg and his contemporaries
were professional fighters, willing to risk injury in un-armoured, full-contact
bouts with weapons (although it was suspected at the time that some
professionals fixed their fights, in the manner of modern pro-wrestlers.)
danger of fencing with oak staves may have dissuaded amateurs from taking up
the art recreationally, in contrast to the gladiators who fought to earn their
Bamboo was introduced into England around 1827. Bamboo poles
were light enough that players could strike to the body at full speed and risk
only a welt or bruise, and a slender eight-foot length was flexible enough to
absorb impact without splitting.
British cavalrymen employed bamboo training
weapons in lance manoeuvres, following the example of Indian soldiers they
encountered during the “Raj” period, beginning in 1858, and bamboo
quarterstaves are recommended in all of the surviving Victorian-era manuals.
As Britain entered the Industrial Age, there arose a
relatively affluent urban middle-class with time to pursue sports and other
Supply meets demand, and the first sporting equipment companies
were established, leading to a rapid evolution in sporting equipment design and
Even armed with lightweight bamboo weapons, the knees and
shins, groin, hands, temples, throat, and eyes were still vulnerable to serious,
even if accidental, injury.
By 1870, however, amateur quarterstaff fencers
could choose from a diverse range of protective equipment designed for other
Between 1820 – circa 1850, the mask used by fencers (more
accurately, “foilists”) had been a simple wire mesh screen across the
In response to the demands of heavier weapons such as the singlestick and
training bayonet, mask designs began to incorporate hardened leather panels to
protect the top and sides of the head, or helmet attachments woven out of
strong wicker.
The facial mesh was strengthened and reinforced with an
internal framework of heavy wire that reduced denting and the chances of
By the 1880s the Army had commissioned the “military
broadsword helmet” for use in training cavalry soldiers, with additional
protection for the back of the head.
Broadsword (military sabre) fencers developed padded leather
aprons in a variety of styles, providing some degree of protection to the groin
area and effectively padding the thighs against cutting attacks.
At about the
same time, new knee and shin guards, constructed out of bamboo strips backed
with padding, were invented for the sport of cricket.
Finally, the widespread
availability of commercially manufactured boxing gloves allowed a measure of
hand and finger protection beyond the requirements of sword fencers, but ideal
for quarterstaff players whose weapons lacked guards.
By the late 1860s gladiatorial stage combats were a thing of
distant memory, and the quarterstaff was most widely associated with the
legendary outlaw hero of Sherwood Forest.
Victorian England was in the grip of Robin Hood fever, and
hundreds of books, songs, plays and poems were produced, commemorating and
elaborating his adventures.
A key incident in these stories, instantly familiar even
today, is Robin Hood’s quarterstaff match with Little John, taking place on a
bridge over a shallow stream.
It is not unlikely that the recreational quarterstaff play
of the later Victorian period was influenced as much by the popularity of the
Robin Hood legends as by the memory of Figg and his peers fighting on the stage
at Southwark Fair.
Tragically, many young English athletes gave up their lives
in the trenches of the First World War, and the generation that might otherwise
have perpetuated the new sport of quarterstaff fencing was all but lost.
Many other Victorian-era combat arts and sports were
similarly afflicted, some experiencing a brief revival in the 1920s (such as
quarterstaffing as practised by the Boy Scouts) before finally succumbing
during the Great Depression and then World War Two.
Similarly, the homogenising effect of the international
Olympic movement caused many obscure sports to fade from memory through lack of
publicity and funding. It is only in comparatively recent years that these
activities have been researched and, in some cases, brought tentatively back to
Making a Quarterstaff
So why not have a go at making your own Quarterstaff, the
fact is, it is British tradition is to make your own staff. The ancient ballad
of Robin Hood (15th century or earlier) describes how Robin cuts a staff in
order to fight with Little John.
Find a suitable
The best staffs are made from whole saplings, not from
branches or sections of a tree.
Suitable woods are: hazel, ash, oak and
hawthorn. It is easy to find straight hazel and ash; both are light and
springy. But neither are as strong as oak (the wood used by Robin in the
ballad) or thorn and will not last as long.
The surface of ash has a tendency
to flake and split. Thorn has proved itself the toughest and most durable
material. The sapling should be at least 2.5 inches in diameter at the
narrowest point.
Its length should be your own height to the crown of your head
plus about 3 inches.
Cut in winter
If you cut a sapling in spring or summer, it will be full of
sap. This will make it heavy and more important will tend to cause it to warp
as it dries out. The best time to cut a staff is in winter.
When you cut a
staff, you can easily strip off the bark with any kind of knife. It is best if
you store the staff without stripping the bark for a period of a few months, it
improves its durability. But the removal of the bark is then more difficult.
Trimming the staff
The ideal staff is perfectly balanced. The British style is
double-handed, so even balance is helpful in alternating right and left handed
blows. The best implement for trimming a staff is a draw-knife, which is a
curved and inclined blade about 9 inches long with wooden handles at each end.
You draw it towards you down the staff, slicing off a layer of wood. The modern
option is the electric plane, but the draw-knife is actually more efficient.
A Work Mate is good to hold the staff while working on it,
but the old method was the shaving horse, a log raised on three legs with a
pivoted bar/footrest for gripping the staff while trimming.
A keen draw-knife will give as fine a finish as is needed,
but perfectionists may use a spoke-shave (a small plane with a 2-inch blade and
metal handles allowing you to draw it down a length of curved wood) or even
A few coats of a light oil such as teak oil will prevent the staff
absorbing moisture, which may cause it to split- repeat this every few months.
Complete Winter Survival Kit
Warm socks, hat and mittens
Long underwear
Fleece or wool sweater and pants
Ski or snow pants and jacket
Sleeping bag or blankets
Snow boots
Water and a coffee can, pot or disposable bread pan (to melt
snow in)
Large stainless camp cup
Dried fruit, nuts, granola, tea, Swiss Miss
Flashlight and batteries
Camp Heat, Sterno or emergency stove (to melt snow and heat
First Aid kit
1 or 2 backpacking meals and spoonMatches and
lighterEmergency candles/candle lantern

Multi=purpose tool or knife


Colored ribbon (to tie to antenna)
Vehicle Emergency kit (tire changing tools, fuses, belts,
hoses, clamps, strapping tape, assortment of screws, nuts, washers and bolts,
bailing wire, tow chain, sand, flares, booster cables)
Tool kit (screw drivers, needle-nose pliers, channel lock
pliers, crescent wrench)
25-50 ft. of nylon cord
Windshield de-icer and scraper
Hand warmers
Ski goggles
Road maps
Cell phone
A good book…
It’s vitally important that you stay in your vehicle, warm
and dry, protected from the weather. Trying to dig your way out of a ditch, or
attempting to walk back to town can be fatal.
Instead, call 999 to let them
know your location and predicament then sit tight.
Do not leave the engine running. If it’s extremely cold (-5
to -30 F) if you want you can idle the motor for a few minutes at a time — but
only after making sure the exhaust system is not damaged and the tail pipe is
clear of snow and debris.
Personally having spent a full night in my car during a
snowy/icy night dressed as a normal driver would be I can tell you that running
the engine for a few moments does not really help as it takes ages for the
engine to warm up enough for warm air to be blown into the car, and once you
turn the engine off the temp. drops very rapidly indeed.
Carbon monoxide can sneak up on you without warning one
minute you’re feeling normal and the next you’re unconscious.
Almost 60% of the
unintentional deaths caused by carbon monoxide are from motor vehicle exhaust.
So don’t use the engine for heat — use your head — and your winter survival
If you keep your gear packed and stowed in the passenger
compartment, you’re set. Settle in, put on those warm clothes (socks, hat,
gloves, long underwear and fleece or wool layers) and relax wrapped in your
sleeping bag or blankets.
If you get out to set your flares or check on
something during a severe blizzard, first put on your outer layers and goggles,
then use the nylon cord to tie off a life line so that you can find the way
back to your car — visibility can be as low as 12 inches!
Ventilate the car by opening a downwind window (on the side
away from the wind and blowing snow) approximately 1/2 inch. Fire up your
candle lantern — the candles burn for 8 hours and will raise the temperature
in the car 8 to 10 degrees F.
Break out your snacks — roasted nuts, dried fruit,
chocolate Bars, etc. sure taste good in a situation like this — and
will provide the protein and fat you’ll need to keep warm. Use your water
sparingly (you should keep 2 large bottles in your kit) but don’t let yourself
get dehydrated.
In the rare event that you’re trapped for more than 24
hours, things get a little trickier, but you’ll do just fine. When you run out water
and dry food, you’ll have to do some cooking’. If the snow and wind have
stopped blowing hard, gear up and head outside.
Dig out a shelf in the snow, line it with your floor mats
and set up the stove. If the storm is still raging clear out an area in the
car, protect it with the floor mats and set up a galley.
Fill the coffee pot or
pan with snow and fire up the stove — carefully! Pour the first pot of melted
snow in your bottle.
If you’re hungry, you’ll have to melt more snow and heat the
water to near boiling. Open one of the backpack meals (buy the kind that you
cook in its package — all you do is add hot water) and enjoy.
Help should be
just around the corner — severe storms don’t usually last much longer than a
day — you can survive 4 or 5 more if you’re prepared.
Survival Knife Safety
We in the UK are not allowed to carry a knife in everyday
use so we have lost that natural knife instinct, that natural ability to use
this survival tool without even thinking about it, or that fact that we might
accidently cut ourselves when using it.
So when we take to the woods on a survival exercise we need
to be very careful initially as this ultrs sharp survival tool can cause us or
others great harm.
A survival knife can help save your life, but it can also
cause you harm if you aren’t careful using it. The most basic safety measure is
to always cut away from your body.
Keep your eyes on what you’re doing, and
keep a firm grip on the knife and whatever you’re cutting so there are no
slipups. You also want to make sure you don’t run with a knife, try to grab a
falling knife or leave a knife lying around unsheathed.
Always use two hands if
you’re closing a folding knife.



I recommend the use of a lanyard when using your survival
knife as it not only firmly attaches the knife to your hand but if you do drop
it the knife will just swing below your hand. You just simply put your thumb
through the lanyard loop and then wrap it around your hand.
Be extremely careful about using a knife if you’re not
focused on the task at hand. Hunger, thirst, cold and exhaustion can all be
powerful distractions, so make sure you’re up to performing whatever activity
you’re attempting.
Otherwise, you could just end up making your situation much worse.
Since your survival knife is so incredibly useful, you’ll
want to take great care you don’t damage or lose it. If you don’t let it down
in this respect, it’s much less likely to let you down in return.
Survival knives are built tough to undergo rigorous use, but
some are less durable than others so it’s usually best to avoid getting too
creative when using them.
For example, since these knives aren’t meant to bend, they
can break if you try to use them to pry things open. You also want to avoid
using then as awls because this can damage the tip. Don’t stick your knife into
the ground and don’t heat it unless it’s essential.
Keep your knife clean, dry and sharp at all times. When you
sharpen it, be careful to maintain the point and overall shape of the blade or
it could weaken. Always make sure you put it away (ideally fastened to your
belt) after you’ve finished using it, because otherwise you could break camp
without grabbing it.
Sheaths can be made of many materials like leather, metal,
plastic or cloth. Whichever you choose, make sure it’s reinforced and attaches
firmly to your body. A hole for hanging it on a lanyard can be handy, too.
Remember never to throw your knife either — beyond possibly damaging it, this
is also a good way to lose it.
One last good tip is to always buy a survival knife from
someone knowledgeable in the field. It’s worth the trip to a specialty store to
know you have a knife that won’t let you down, even in the face of dire
Remember: it is not a knife it is a Survival Tool.
Unusual Survival Kit Items
Do me a favour for the next five minutes.  Try to forget everything you know about
tampons.  I know, it’s hard.
But pretend that this is the first time you
have ever seen or heard of them and it is a new survival product on the market:
the Tactical Adventure Medical Preparedness Outdoors Necessity (T.A.M.P.O.N.).
All kidding aside, a tampon really does have a ton of uses
to a survivor.  One could even argue for
including a couple in your survival kit.
Ultimately, I’ll let you be the judge.
Before I get into the details, a brief history of the tampon
might surprise you.
The tampon is actually regulated in the US by the Food &
Drug Administration as a Class II Medical Device.  The word “tampon” is a derivative of the
French word tapon which means “a little plug or stopper.”
My research indicates
that tampons were used as early as the 19th century as battle dressings to plug
bullet holes.  There are even accounts of
tampons being used as wound plugs in modern warfare.
A friend of mine told me that it’s not
uncommon for Army Medics to carry tampons in their med kits.  They are also the perfect product for a bloody
nose.  There seem to be mixed accounts of
whether the tampon was used as a feminine product before or after its use on
the battlefield.
Regardless of intended use, the common tampon has many
practical survival uses. 
Tampons are sterile, come very well-packaged in their own
waterproof sleeves, and are designed to be ultra-absorbent — making them the
perfect first aid bandage.  They can be
opened and then taped or tied over a wound as an improvised dressing.  And, as I’ve already mentioned, they can be
used to plug a bullet hole until more sophisticated medical attention can be
Accounts of this use date
back to World War I.  Many items in
modern society were first developed as a facet of military research — tampons
may very well be one of these products
Another excellent tampon survival use is as a crude water
filter.  While it will not filter out
biological, chemical, or heavy metal threats, it can certainly be used to
filter out sediments and floating particulates.
This would be considered a 1st Phase Filter, which can drastically
increase the life and efficacy of your main water filter. 
You can also use a filter like this before boiling to filter
out larger particulates.  In this
example, I’ve pushed a tampon into the neck of an empty water bottle.  I poked a small hole in the cap and then
poured in dirty water to filter through the tampon and into the container
below. The water dripped out nearly crystal clear.
Nearly everyone knows that cotton makes excellent fire
When the dry cotton fibres of a
tampon are pulled apart and hit with a spark or flame, they will burst into a
nice steady fire.  If you’ve done the
right amount of fire prep work, you can easily split 1 tampon into 3 or 4
fire-starting tinder bundles.
Add in
some chapstick or petroleum jelly, and you’ve got even better fire-starting
As a last ditch water filter, you can make an improvised
Survival Straw from the plastic housing and cotton from a tampon.  As you can see in the photos below, just tear
off a bit of the cotton and stuff it into the plastic housing.
I find it better to leave a little bit
sticking out to make the housing pieces wedge tightly together.
Again, this filter will not PURIFY your water by removing
biological, chemical, or heavy metal threats, but it will filter out sediments
and particulates.  This would be a last
ditch effort if no methods of water purification were available.
The string attached to a tampon is a cotton twisted cord
typically made up of several 4-6″ pieces of twine.  Though it’s not much, it is usable
cordage.  This amount of cordage could
easily be used to make a Paiute Deadfall Trap.
The blow gun certainly has its place in survival
history.  From Native Americans to tribes
in New Guinea, the Blow Gun and primitive darts have put food on the table for
thousands of years.  They are silent and
deadly hunting tools, especially for small game.
Oftentimes, especially here in the US,
natural cotton was used as blow dart fletching.
Thus, the cotton from a tampon is a perfect candidate to make cotton-fletched
blow darts.
You can use the string on
the tampon to lash it into place on this bamboo skewer.
Watch out birds and squirrels — you may get shot by a
tampon-fletched blow dart!
In wet and damp conditions, keeping fire-starting tools such
as matches and tinder dry can be a challenge.
The waterproof tampon package/sleeve makes an excellent improvised
“dry-sack” for any items that are moisture sensitive.
Just fold over the top 2-3 times and tie it
off with the tampon string and you’ve got a great waterproof match case.
Fishing with hook and float is an incredibly effective
method — especially when using live bait such as grubs and worms.
A thorn hook, some natural braided line, and
a tampon float make the perfect combination for a survival fishing rig.  Watch out Blue-Gill!
Make the float with the tampon package/sleeve by folding
over and tying off the top to create a little bubble that will float your
bait.  If the package isn’t water-tight,
just put some of the cotton inside and it will float just fine.  Then, simply tie it to your fishing line.
I am a huge fan of multi-functional products that can serve
double or even triple survival duty.  For
the size, weight, and cost, a tampon has an impressive list of survival functions.
If nothing else, this is another lesson in
the importance of looking at everyday products through the eyes of a
Remember Creativity and innovation are critical.
So what did you decide?
Are you manly enough to include a tampon or two in your survival kit?
Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,
Survival Kit
Whether you’re planning a day hike in a National Park or a
week long adventure in the wilderness, always plan for the unexpected.
wilderness survival kit is a great idea.
It’s all too easy to find yourself in a survival situation
due to something as simple as slipping on wet rocks or a muddy section of trail
and spraining an ankle. Naturally, if this happens, you hope you’re not alone,
but what if you are? Or even worse, what if your companion is unable to provide
any help?
Can you take responsibility for saving your own life? And maybe even
saving your companions life?
The key to survival is planning. Plan for an emergency
BEFORE it becomes necessary. It’s impossible to anticipate every contingency,
but you can take steps to prepare for what you may encounter as you explore
Dress for Success
Often, the area you are going into is the first clue to
items you’ll need in your survival kit. You need to dress appropriately, from
head to toe. You may not have thought about it, but the very clothing you wear
is part of your wilderness survival kit.
If you plan on spending time in high country above the
treeline, protection from the sun and wind is necessary. Once you’re out of the
trees, your body temperature will drop quickly as wind chill becomes a factor.
Those rocky slopes don’t offer much protection from the wind.
A light jacket can protect you from the sun, too. Even SPF
40 may not be good enough to prevent a bad case of sunburn at higher
elevations. While on that subject, don’t forget the sunblock!
Today’s new fibres make warm clothing light weight and
virtually waterproof. When I started spending time outdoors, we wore mostly
wool because when it got wet, it still retained some insulating qualities. It
was heavy, it itched and when you did get wet, you smelled like a wet dog.
Also, woollen clothing was difficult to clean. You couldn’t just throw it in
the washer.
Modern fabrics are much more “user-friendly”. They are
washable. They come in a variety of colours. Extreme weather clothing available
today is much more comfortable than the clothing I wore 30 years ago!
Dress in layers, and always, even on warm summer days, put a
jacket or poncho in your Daypack – Just In Case.



Don’t forget to wear a hat. A hat prevents 75% of heat loss
in cold weather and protects you from the heat during the really hot days. I
have two favourite hot weather hats. One is a new leather wide brimmed hat that I’ve had around for about two months now.
I love it and it stops my head itching from those midges as well as
keeps the sun out of my eyes and my head warm in the cold. The other is a
Wooley hat that’s also seen better days, but it’s warm and comfortable.
But in cold weather, I like hats that cover my ears if I’m
going to be out for any length of time. A simple wool stocking cap will
suffice, but a balaclava that can cover my nose and mouth is much better for
keeping warm. Cover that with the hood of a parka, and I can keep warm!
The Basics
Lessons learned in the past year point out a need for two
survival kits. One personal kit to carry with you when you hike and a second,
larger, survival kit geared for long term survival in an urban survival
scenario. What if you need to evacuate your home?
What should you have prepared
in a BOB of essentials?
First, let’s take a look at the personal survival kit, the
one you’ll be carrying when you hike and explore. Later we’ll take a brief look
at the essential elements of a BOB for a home evacuation plan.
A personal wilderness survival kit should be small enough to
be carried on your body without being a burden. Anything which is an
inconvenience will be more apt to be left behind.
Make it only the essential
items to survive an emergency situation of a short duration. After all, you’re
not going into the wilderness to homestead.
This is just a simple expedition to
enjoy natures’ wonders.
Now what items are essential? These should be carried where
they are readily accessible. Less important items can be stowed away in your
I like to keep a map and compass handy, although these days,
I use a GPS (Global Positioning System) a lot more than a compass.
Here’s a
word of warning, NEVER rely solely on a GPS as a means of navigation.
A GPS is
fragile. It can be dropped and break. Learn how to use a compass. Also make
sure you carry extra batteries. If it’s cold, carry the extra batteries in an
inside pocket to protect them from cold. I like to put extra batteries inside a
ziplock bag to keep them dry.
With the price of GPS dropping more every year, I strongly
recommend adding this item to your gear list. Adding a way point for the trail
head to your GPS makes finding your way back a lot easier. It also lets you
know just how far you need to go to get back before dark.
As you select items for your wilderness survival kit, choose
items that have more than one purpose whenever possible. DO whatever you can to
cut down on the size and weight of your survival kit. Above all else, do not
duplicate items.
Your personal survival kit doesn’t need to be elaborate. A
mate of mine uses an Army Surplus Ammo pouch to carry his things in. A bum bag
can work well for something when you’re not going to carry a day pack. An empty
Band-Aid box or even a soap dish works well for a basic survival kit container.
I’ve seen a lot of plastic cases at the supermarket that are water proof and
air tight, small enough to carry easily and durable.
Now what items are
essential for a survival kit?
First of all, some sort of first aid items. Since we’re
talking survival, I mean REAL first aid item, not band aids and first aid
ointment. Get a triangle bandage and some large gauze pads to use for
If you need a first aid kit in a survival situation, you don’t need
a Band-Aid, you need serious help. A triangle bandage can be used for a
pressure dressing or to attach a splint. This is useful.
I’d recommend picking up a good personal first aid kit.
Better yet, pick up several and put one in every one of your backpacks so you
never go off without it.
Your basic wilderness survival kit should include:
First aid items.
Water purification system.
Fire starting equipment.
 Signaling items.
Food procurement items.
Shelter items.
Some examples of these items are:
Butane Lighter, magnesium fire starting tool, waterproof
Snare wire.
Signaling mirror.
Fishing line.
Small magnifying lens.
Water purification tablets.
Solar blanket.
Surgical blades.
Butterfly sutures.
Needle and thread.
I suppose everyone has an opinion on what kind of knife you
should have. Normally, I always carry a Chris-Caine Companion on my belt and a
True Utility multi-tool which It has a variety of blades and tools and comes in
handy every day.
For woodsman, I’d recommend carrying another knife, a sheath
knife with a full tang blade comes in handy, I carry the Chris Caine ® Survival
Knife (CCSK-1)
Don’t waste money getting a “Rambo” knife. It may impress
the unknowing, but it’s not really all that useful. Stick with a good quality
blade, and learn how to keep it sharp!
A lot of survivalist types think you should always carry a
weapon when venturing into the wilderness. To be honest about it my advice is
unless you’re going hunting, ditch the weapons. They only get in the way.
Urban Survival Kit
In light of the events of the aftermath of heavy flooding in
parts of the UK any discussion of survival needs to include a brief mention of
how to prepare for an urban disaster which could throw anyone of us into a
survival situation.
It may not be a flood, but a terrorist attack, or other act
of nature that could interrupt our lives and disrupt the pattern of support
we’ve become accustomed to.
You may need to evacuate your home at a moment’s notice, or
“shelter-in-place” (staying where you are) and wait out the disaster.
disaster supplies kit can save lives.
Here are a few ideas to prepare your urban survival kit. Use
an easy-to-carry container such as a duffel bag or large, covered plastic
container with handles for easy carrying.
Include the following essential items: food supplies that do
not require preparation or refrigeration; at least three gallons of water in a
tightly sealed container per person (roughly three days’ worth of water);
special needs items for any member of your household (such as infant formula,
medicines or items for seniors or people with disabilities);
First aid supplies and a first aid reference book; a small
flashlight and extra batteries; a change of clothing; sleeping bags or quilts;
a battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries; cash; and copies of
essential documents.
It is very important to check all perishable and dated
items at least twice a year, including things like food, batteries and medications.
Think Ahead
The best advice is to think ahead. Learn and practice basic
wilderness skills so you’re prepared if you ever need to use survival
techniques. Take a First Aid course and learn CPR.
Don’t overstep your abilities. 
Know your limits. Don’t
attempt to travel farther in one day than is a realistic goal. Don’t allow
others to force you to overextend your limits. If you’re not comfortable with a
trail or the pace, speak up!
Whenever you venture into the outdoors, take time to enjoy
the sights, but remember that you are responsible for yourself. Plan for the
unexpected. Make your wilderness survival kit.
Don’t allow an unfortunate
incident to force you into a survival experience.
That’s one story I don’t want to hear from you.
Which Survival Knife
When one thinks of survival knives, images of Rambo come to
mind, as the name Survival Knife was actually coined after his film First
Let’s look at those knives and see the pros and cons. I will be focusing
on single edge fixed blade knives because of the safety and function factors
that should be addressed in a survival situation.
Most of these Survival Knives are large, bowie style blades
with hollow handles and saws on the spines. 
Movies like Rambo made them popular
and mass production and a cheap price kept them popular. But trust me; there is
a reason for the low price.
First let’s look at the handle construction. Hollow handles,
for the most part, are all fad and a huge “no no” in the survival
 Don’t get me wrong, there are 1 or 2 custom makers that take
the time and use the right materials to make these knives work well like the
LMF II Survival Knife by Gerber.
This is not so in cheap mass production knives. Most are
held together with a single nut or rolled pin and they call it good.
Trust me,
they will fail. Just take one on a camping trip and try to build a shelter with
one like I did. 10 chops and that was all she stood..
So for the most part, unless you have to have a hollow
handle, let’s stick to a full tang with a comfortable, secure handle. You won’t
be sorry
Next let’s look at the blade. Once again double edge is a
big danger in a survival situation. You can’t afford the risk in the woods.
large blade can, and will, do everything a small blade can do plus more.
Survival requires a lot of chopping, and large weight
foreword blades with a thick spine cut your work in half. That’s why machetes
are a huge part of outdoor life in many tribes around the world.
The saw back spine on early aviator knives were made for
aircraft escape, and found their way onto all outdoor knives mainly for looks
than for function.
It has been my experience that they don’t work that well on
wood, and it’s easy to pack a nice saw in a small survival kit. So if you
decide to stay with a small blade, you will have a saw to make up for it.
Blade steel is best left up to the person and situation. Air
crew may want to stick with the 499 Air Force Survival Knife – Ontario Knife
Company Stainless versions that require less maintenance.
But on the other
hand, they are harder to sharpen in the field. I like a blade with a high Carbon
content. It takes more care and maintenance, but the trade-off for a scalpel
sharp edge that’s easy to keep is worth it.
In both cases it is best to learn
to sharpen your blades and keep a sharpener with it at all times.
I really
prefer the Chris-Caine Companion do some homework and decide for yourself what
would be best for you.
As with any tool, you £5.00 Wally World blade won’t last
long under stress. Remember your life is on the line. That being said, let’s
look at the specs of a good survival knife.
A quality survival knife has to feature high quality
construction with a reasonable. Put that into a full tang knife with a
comfortable secure handle, along with a good sized thick blade for chopping,
with the right steel for you and round it out with a usable sharpener and
you’ve got yourself a nice survival companion.
Now let’s put it in a package. Leather sheaths have been
around for a long time, and they work well. In many cases it is better to find
a sheath the fits securely that is made of a strong webbing and lined with a
thick plastic or better yet Kydex insert.
This will help protect you and your
knife for years to come. They usually hold up well in all conditions. Try to
make sure it has a drain hole so no water or dirt stays on the blade.
As a final thought, when you decide on a survival knife, be
sure and use it. I have seen too many sit in kits or on shelves and when the
time comes for the survivor to use it, they don’t know how.
Get in touch with
your blade until it becomes an extension of your arm. 
Safety is the key in all
things survival. With a little preparation and practice, you will come to trust
your blade and yourself in any situation.
Survival Kit Preparation
The best way to survive a disaster or emergency situation is
to be prepared for it. People have known this for years; it’s the reason our
society has storm cellars and fire extinguishers.
Outdoor enthusiasts, however, face a more challenging
obstacle when trying to prepare for an unfortunate camping, hiking, hunting, or
fishing emergency.
Or preppers and survivalists training for a SHTF event out
in the woods, or even Bugging Out for real.
The sheer number of different types of disasters that can
happen to an even seasoned outdoor enthusiast makes it especially hard to
prepare essential tools and supplies before leaving on an adventure.
You might think did I forget something? Do I have too much
of one item? Not enough? Putting together a survival kit for you can be
frustrating, time-consuming, and costly. Luckily, many outdoor supply companies
carry pre-assembled survival kits, or can at least help you put yours together.
But first, you’ll want to understand the specific types of
dangers your outdoor activity presents and the best ways to protect yourself
against them.
Different outdoor activities present different physical
challenges to enthusiasts. These different challenges require different types
of survival kits.
The camping or hiking enthusiast will most likely be more
concerned with reliable navigation tools, such as maps and compasses, and
making sure he or she has plenty of provisions.
The hunter, however, might be
more concerned with his or her protection against potentially dangerous
animals, while those who fish will obviously want to bring plenty of dry
It’s important not to get too caught up in the niche of your
specific outdoor activity, however. Just because the main point of your trip
may be camping doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring along a hunting knife or
The prepper and survivalist must plan for all these
eventualities while either training or seeking a covert life style.
Another important aspect of your adventure to consider when
deciding on a survival kit is the climate and terrain of where your outdoor
activity is taking place. Different weather extremes can cause problems for
outdoor enthusiasts, even on a single trip.
Hikers traveling through the cool lowland lakes area can
still experience heat exhaustion, especially in the summer, just as desert
campers can easily freeze at night despite the daytime heat.
Get a professional opinion of what you should include in
your survival kit if you are unfamiliar with the climate and weather patterns
of the area you’re exploring.
Of course, there are basic items that are essential to any
survival kit, no matter what your outdoor activity of choice. The most
important components of a survival kit are ones that satisfy the following
needs: protection against the elements, or, shelter; first aid or medical
supplies; food, water, or the tools needed to procure them; ways to signal
rescuers; and finally, tools to help guide outdoor enthusiasts back to familiar
The duration of your outdoor adventure will determine how thoroughly
you should pack your survival kit, but here are a few essentials.
The best way to keep warm and protect your from the elements
is by packing lightweight, water-resistant clothing and blankets. Reflective
aluminium blankets help retain body heat and act as signals to rescuers.
Waterproof ponchos are an effective way to stay dry in wet
climates, as well as being lightweight and easy to pack.
Mosquito nets are another
easy-to-pack, effective protection method against nasty elements.
You will probably want to start a fire, so include in your
survival kit tools that will help you do so. Waterproof matches and lighters
are easy and convenient, but if you happen to be in an outdoor setting for long
you run the risk of running out of matches or fuel for your lighter.
Do-it-yourself tools, such as fire steel, can help provide
you with warmth longer and with greater reliability.
Making sure you keep your physical body healthy is essential
for outdoor enthusiasts.
Any good survival kit will include first aid supplies
meant to treat a wide variety of health problems or accidents.
Bandages, sterile pads, gauze, and disinfectant are crucial
if you happen to experience a flesh wound while aspirin, antacids, and allergy
medication will help with internal afflictions.
Other first-aid items you will
want to include are insect repellent, lip-balm, sunscreen, toilet paper,
feminine hygiene products, and a large supply of any prescription medication
you take.
Food and water are essential safety kit items but are
unfortunately difficult to pack in bulk. It is recommended to have at least
three gallons of water – a three to six day supply – on hand for any outdoor
trip, unless you plan to filter your drinking water un-route.
Ready-to-eat or canned foods are great but take up a lot of
space in a kit. High-energy foods, such as chocolate, nuts, and dehydrated
fruits, are a better bet; they are more compact and are easier to ration, making
them last longer.
Multi-vitamins are also a good idea; in an emergency
situation you may not be getting all the nutrients your body needs to stay
Finally, you will want to pack items that will help
search-and-rescue workers find you more easily. Lightweight LED flashlights and
lanterns are perfect. They have long battery lives and can be spotted from
quite far away.
Flares are attention-grabbing, yes, but are single-use and
carry the risk of starting an unwanted fire. A good compass can help you find
your way back to more familiar areas or, at the very least, get you comfortable
with the terrain you’re currently in.
Many outdoor supply companies sell multipurpose tools that
have miniature compasses built in.
These are very handy reduce the number of
items you have to carry in your survival kit.
There may be, of course, other items you deem essential to
your specific outdoor adventure.
While it is important to be prepared, you
don’t want to over pack and weigh yourself down unnecessarily.
Survival kits should be helpful, not burdensome. Wherever
your enthusiasm lies – camping, hiking, hunting, fishing – a well-packed,
well-prepared survival kit will add peace of mind to your adventure, even if
you never have to use it.
Unusual Survival Items
Today I wanted to share with you a few ‘unique’ items that
we have in our supplies. When it comes to prepping, everyone usually talks
about having food.
Plenty of food. And believe me, there is nothing wrong with
that at all. In fact it is the first step in a prepping plan. However, trying
to maintain some sort of a household, survival retreat, or ‘home’, will require
more than just food.
I happened to come across these unique items in our
supplies, while I was looking for something else and I thought I’d share.
Washboard – This simple, inexpensive, yet unique little
item, we found to be quite impressive. Whether you are bugged out or bugged in,
you will need the ability to clean some clothes and undergarments, particularly
if you are out of power.
If you are in a disastrous situation, you won’t be
doing your normal laundry on a regular basis, but I am sure you will have some
things that need to be washed. Our washboard removed stains and cleaned
What surprised us was how lightly you really had to scrub on the
steel ridges to get your clothes clean. Again, it’s a simple, inexpensive item
and it’s great!
Maxi pads –  I
recommend that you have them in your first aid supplies/kit. Why would you need
maxi pads with your first aid supplies?
Well, they are great blood absorbers,
so use them when you are trying to stop heavy bleeding coming from someone’s
wound. If the bleeding is light, then by all means, use some gauze.
Maxi pads
will be much more helpful when trying to stop heavy bleeding so that you can
apply bandages once the bleeding has stopped.
Remember that you need to apply
pressure to stop the bleeding.
Cable ties or zip ties – Many of you have probably seen
these. They are primarily used by electricians. However, they are great
fasteners. Generally, they have a one time use. They are inexpensive and
They will also fit nicely into your bug out bag. They can secure
tarps together as long as they have grommets. They also come in handy in your
garden for tying plants, such as tomatoes, to a stake to hold them up.
are many uses for these lightweight, but effective fasteners.
Bandanas – Here is another useful, inexpensive and unique
survival item. First of all, some more obvious uses would be to use them as a
washcloth or a dishrag. I love to use one as a sweatband and I use one to
cover my head to help prevent heat exhaustion.
Tying one around your neck will
help to prevent your neck from getting sunburn. You can also keep some in your
first aid kit to use as a sling or a tourniquet. They also make a nice
impromptu little ‘basket’.
Tying the ends together through your belt loop or a
loop on your backpack and you have an extra way to carry things.
Aluminium Foil – The best thing about foil is you can wrap
meat and veggies in it, throw it in a fire, and a few minutes later have a hot
It can also be molded into a bowl, cup, funnel, or a pot for boiling
water. In addition, it can be used to enhance an antenna, to sharpen scissors,
to make sun boxes for small plants, to collect dew from trees, and in the
summer it can be put in windows to keep the heat out.
But the most important
usage: Tin foil hats!
Map of Local Area – Nowadays people are used to using Google
or Yahoo maps and many don’t even have a physical map anymore.
I have always said how important it is to have a good map and identifying potentially
dangerous areas. It can also be used for identifying the shortest, safest route
to a friend or relative’s home, a place with supplies, etc.
These were just a few unique and inexpensive items that are
great for all preppers. There are so, so many items that are handy for
prepping. It’s always fun to list a few that are not typically in the
main-stream short-lists.


Disaster Activity Children’s Kit
This year saw some bad weather and massive floods here in
the UK and around the world we have seen earthquakes, extreme heat, landslides,
tsunamis, blizzards and tornadoes which have forced thousands of families to
flee their homes.  
Children account for many of the victims displaced.
Parents can help a child get through the long days that
follow a natural disaster with an activity survival kit. What are the benefits
of a disaster activity survival kit? What are a few suggested items that can
reduce stress and help a child cope with the disaster?
What items should not be
taken to an evacuation shelter?
Kids and teens find it hard to camp out in a survival
shelter for very long. Some people have to wait for days or weeks after a flood
or other weather disaster has passed before they can safely return home.
disaster survival kit can help keep a child (or teen) occupied for much of the
waiting time. Let the child help pack his kit; older children and teens can
pack their own.
Keeping the kit packed and ready-to-go saves valuable time in
the event the family has to evacuate on short notice.
The most obvious reason for having a disaster activity
survival kit for each child is to stave off boredom. Here are some other good
reasons for building a kid’s survival kit?
The child who builds or helps to build his disaster survival
kit gets a sense of understanding and control in disaster planning.
Familiar, favourite items on hand will give comfort and
hopefully keep stress and anxiety levels manageable in strange surroundings
during a disaster crisis.
Items (such as
drawing and colouring sets) gives the child an alternative way to vent feelings
and fears about the disaster.
Items that make up a child’s disaster survival kit depend on
the child’s age and personal preferences.
Consider too, where the family is
going to be staying for the next few days or longer. Use a backpack or duffel
bag to hold a child’s survival kit items.
What items are recommended for a child’s activity survival
A few favorite books and/or magazines
Writing Pads and pens
Personal CD player, gaming device or other player that uses
Laptop or notebook computer and headphones
Crayons, washable markers, paper and colouring books
Sticker books and word puzzle books
Favourite cuddly toy
Board games and puzzles with large pieces
Deck of cards
Favourite blanket and/or pillow
Small dolls, cars, action heroes and other toys that prompt
a child’s imagination
In a shelter situation or even in a hotel, don’t forget
batteries and headphones. Don’t count on being able to plug in a battery
charger at a shelter, and don’t expect Internet service.
If your family is going to take refuge in a local community
centre for example? There are rules parents need to be aware of – guidelines to
follow when making activity suggestions to a teen or helping a child make a
survival kit.
Remember that hundreds of evacuees can add up to a lot of
noise unless shelter rules are observed. Know too, that space is extremely
limited – spots are taped off in some shelters – so limit your belongings.
Horseplay, loud talking, profanity, musical instruments and
loud music are not tolerated.
Plan “quiet” activities like a good book for
reading or a diary to write in. If you want music, then bring a radio, personal
CD player or similar player and a good set of headphones.
Don’t assume that
everyone is going to like your kind of music.
Show consideration when bringing toys for young children. No
noisy toy instruments, remote control cars (can cause people to trip, too),
whistles, or toys that emit sirens or other loud sounds.
Please, no balls,
Frisbees or anything that might invade another person’s space.
Steer clear of games and items with small pieces that could
easily become lost. Leave messy things like glue, moulding clay and paint sets
at home.
Leave behind sharp items like scissors and craft needles
unless it’s an older child that is responsible.
Incidentally, if you’re going to be stuck in your home’s
basement shelter for a lengthy bit of time, then you still might want to follow
the public shelter guidelines above.
Children will feel less stressed if they’re allowed to pack-up
and bring a few favourite belongings to an emergency shelter or other place of
Stick with quiet toys and devices that will reduce boredom and maintain
peace for other evacuees.
It’s no fun to leave the comfort and conveniences of home
when a weather or land crisis strikes.
Include your children when making disaster preparations and
allow them to make an activity kit.
Whole family involvement will make coping with bad weather
and flooding and other natural disasters a whole lot easier.


My EDC consists of the following. Firstly unlike the US
prepper and survivalist there is no firearm I am allowed to carry, and no
pepper spray either.
The UK law states that ANY object that I carry for
self-defence is an Offensive weapon, figure that one out. 
The crim carries
whatever they want but if I try to defend myself against a future attack by
some drug crazed knife wielding scumbam I get arrested for carrying an
offensive weapon.
With the draconian knife laws we have here in the UK lock
knives are illegal as is any knife blade longer that 3”, when I was a kid
hundreds of years ago I always carried a pen knife or a boy scout sheath knife
and it never crossed my mind once that they were weapons as to me they were and
always will be just tools.
So what I carry as EDC is dictated by not wanting to fall
foul of the law and not by carrying what would make the difference in an attack
Therefore I carry the following a Timex E expedition watch,
time, tides, temp, electronic compass, A king cobra paracord bracelet from, a Multi-tool +lite from with a paracord lanyard,
a Stop a red marker spray from
I also carry a 30ltr back pack with the following in it. A
UK road map, a Yorkshire Dales OS map,
A 500ml bottle of water, two packets of
Dextrose tablets, a wind up torch, a SOL survival kit and the SOL emergency
Bivy Bag from, A compass, A whistle, three MX3 ready
meals from, a Swedish gel cooker from, a
small saucepan, a spork, spare walking socks, a pen and a note pad, bag of
boiled sweets,
A £20 note in a cash holder, a Nano Striker XL from and an egg box filled in with my home made tinder, it is made
from the lint out of the washing machine placed into each egg compartment in
the cardboard egg box and the I drip melted candle wax over each one, it burns
for ages, tea, coffee, whitener and bovril.
This back pack goes with me wherever I go either walking or
driving in the car.



The Survival Staff
Just walk into the woods barehanded and you’ll soon
encounter the first tool.
A knife takes a little more evolution to create, but
there’s always a stick at hand. Even a crude broken branch has a myriad of
potential uses, from brushing aside the webs of spiders to keeping enemies at a
Ever since humans learned to walk upright they’ve compensated for the
loss of those two other feet with sticks.
Go onto a modern hiking trail today, however, and the staff
is a rare item. People are almost embarrassed to carry them.
Is it a sign of
weakness? a mark of age? a fashion miss statement? Unless it’s a high tech
trekking pole, the staff has fallen out of favour.
Historically, stick weapons are the mainstay of cultures
where people travel isolated and wild pathways yet do not wish to present a
threatening appearance.
If you want a fundamental level of defensive ability
without looking like a paranoid invader, the staff is the perfect choice.
Although we think of today’s world, especially here in the
UK, as tame and civilized, the reality we face in the wilderness isn’t so
different from that of older and tougher days.
Animals of all kinds share the
world with us and get cranky about it, and you can’t trust everyone you meet on
the trail. A good poking stick can preserve the peace without causing serious
In recent times society’s reaction to any form of animal
violence has been to eliminate both species and ecosystem. I think we’ve grown
beyond that, but not far beyond that. In modern instances of predation against
humans, the individual animals pay the price–as well as any suspect animals
who just happen to be in the area.
Our fellow beasts are intelligent as well as cautious–if
they test one of us, and learn that we are pointy and belligerent, they probably
will not try us out again.
That’s good for everybody. The guy with the stick is
not dangerous to the balance; the guy without one is.
Luckily, I have seldom had any reason to apply this aspect
of the art of Stick. The most common encounters I’ve had are with cows and the
loose dogs who probably already had a low opinion of humans.
The only potentially deadly confrontation in my collection
was with a grumpy young bull who showed up in a bad mood as I was trying to
cross his field. No real carnivores have ever attacked me, and they probably
won’t. I carry a big stick.
The hiking staff is much more than a self-defence device
tool. It will be used most often for very ordinary things like keeping your
footing. I can think of any number of reasons to have one.
To part underbrush
on a trail, to take some weight and balance before you shift from this boulder
to that ledge, to prop yourself against a current on a swift water
crossing–the needs and the uses are endless.
Yes, you could make a staff on
the spot, when you happen to need one–no, if you choose that last minute
response, you won’t have anything dependable.
A good staff will save your life.
A rotten branch won’t.
How to Choose the
Best Survival Knife
All those who have ever devoted a quality amount of time in
the outdoors will vouch for the effectiveness of a good knife but to the survival
professional his knife is one of their best friends and the most securely
guarded of his survival equipment.
Similar to a close friend, his/her survival
knife should not disappoint.



These days most people have forgotten the importance of
always having a survival knife.
Without a doubt it is now normal to meet those
who are scared of knives and question people who keep them. It is an
unfortunate fact that many present day individuals have no clue regarding the
numerous functions of a great survival knife.
When I was a little boy around 10 years old my father gave
me a pen knife and I used it every day from sitting on my back step whittling
to using it every day, all day without even thinking about it.
I then joined
the boy scouts and was able to wear a “bone handle sheath knife” and I have to
tell you that whichever knife I had it never crossed my mind to stab someone
with it, even in anger on the day my next door neighborough shot my frog
with an air rifle as I released it into a local stream
A great survival knife is a vital piece within your survival
equipment and is among the essentials that all survivors need to have with him
or her.
With a capable knife you can take or acquire almost anything you need
to thrive as well as succeed in the outdoors. With this in mind, your selection
of the best survival knife for your requirements has to be dependent on solid
build quality, correct parts, craftsmanship, and capability.
To newcomers, survival knives usually conjure up images of
the huge Rambo style knives as shown in Hollywood cinema.
Though they look like
powerful tools that could take on everyone, these oversized blades really are a
phony from the best of blades used by survival pros.
The big blades have problems with being tough to handle as
they are very hefty and huge. Additionally, double edged knives are recommended
mainly for thrusting. As their tips are fairly weak they are prone to breaking
A number of survival knives are sold which may have hollow handles – the
idea being you can stash survival necessities like matches, compass, and
various strings within the water-tight handle.
One issue empty grip survival
blades experience is that they are prone to being sluggish compared to solid
handle selection and also they can easily break at the hilt as the handle or
the blade fly’s during heavy use.
There are exceptions, but usually you’re best holding the
survival gear somewhere else.
One benefit is if you should lose your survival knife you will still have survival kit items to use.
The best survival knives need to be functional in the number
of things they are often called upon to do. At the same time mass and weight
are crucial considerations just like any survival items.
Some people advise that the ideal survival knife blade
length is approximately four to six inches long. This particular size blade
gives good mixture of size and control.
If a larger sized survival blade is necessary then you would
possibly be best taking a machete or an axe. Whatever the case, you would still
do well with a normal sized survival knife.
The best survival knife is constructed of one joint of
metal, to which there might be sections of material joined to create a snug
grip. This kind of construction is well known in the blade community as “full
tang” or “narrow tang”.
Full tang survival knives are manufactured so that the blade
fuses the handgrip. Typically 2 parts of materials attach to each side of the
steel to create a secure handle.
To be able to save money on weight and mass
some knives avoid adding grips and the steel remains bare, these can be wrapped
with paracord to make a comfortable hand grip for example.
Narrow tang survival knives reduce the proportions of the
blade material as it makes its way into the grip of the knife. A handle is then
connected on the smaller bit of the blade.
Often the knife handle consists of
leather-based disks. Narrow tang knives sometimes use a pommel attached to the
handgrip end of the tang.
Cheap survival knives tend to be made in order that the
metal blade is split from the handgrip. The weaker point on these terribly made
blades is when the blade and grip are bolted and glued together. You’d do best
to stay away from such cheap knifes in favour of the full tang or narrow tang
There are two major forms of knife blades that the survivor
need, specifically smooth and serrated. Serrated survival knife blades do best
at slicing artificial materials, garments, and skin.
For self- defence and
paramedics, serrated sides make the perfect choice.



A downside of serrated cutting sides is that they are tough
to sharpen effectively in the wilderness. This is really a major disadvantage
in a survival situation where keeping a sharp edge in the course of tough use
is extremely necessary.
In addition, serrated knives don’t have an effective
blade for carving and chopping.
A plain smooth edged blade is the blade of preference for
almost all survival circumstances. This kind of blade is useful for chiselling,
dicing, and sawing.
Although it might not chop through nylon material webbing,
clothes, or flesh as efficiently as a serrated blade, the straight bladed
knives will still make quick work of such elements.
The added benefit of the
normal blade is that you may sharpen your survival knife on a stone or piece of
cement should you not have a normal sharpening rock on hand whereas the
serrated blade typically needs special sharpening equipment and technique.
Around the back of numerous survival knives are a saw
designed for sawing through metal or solid wood. In lots of situations, as in
the Rambo variation knives, these saws simply do a bad job at very best.
In the
event you require a small saw in your survival tools you would thrive to add a
tool specifically developed for this instead of use your knife for this
The best survival knife will usually have a blade width of
around 6/32 and 9/32 of an inch. Any thinner and the knife will become too
bendable. It is crucial that the tip of the knife sustains its durability, as
this is a likely spot where the knife could fail.
There’s two primary forms of metal used in producing top
quality survival knives:
Firstly stainless-steel knife blades are decay immune and
function really well in damp settings. They need much less care compared to
carbon steel knives. Disadvantages to using stainless steel in knives is
because they tend to be more costly, are more tough to sharpen, and might not
hold an edge as nicely.
Carbon Steel knife blades however may rust if not used
frequently or sprayed. Many people think carbon steel knives hold an edge much
better than their stainless steel counterparts.
I carry the Chris Caine Companion which is in my view the
complete survival tool

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