Monthly Archives: December 2014
Posted: 18 Dec 2014 04:21 PM PST
Getting prepared for the chaos that is coming to America in the years ahead is not that complicated. Help is out there – if you know where to look. And it doesn’t have to be expensive either. In this article, I have put together a list of 122 of the best prepper websites on the Internet that will teach you how to prep for free. The great thing about the prepper community is that there are always highly skilled people that are willing to freely share their knowledge and experience with the general public. As the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, I am constantly being asked about what people need to do in order to get prepared for the hard times that are coming to this country. And when I am asked, I do my best to encourage people to build up their emergency funds, to store food and supplies, to put together bug out bags and to do everything that they can to become more independent of the system. But sometimes people need a lot more than that. Sometimes people need to have someone give them some real hands on practical advice about things like canning food or setting up home defense systems. So in this article my goal is to connect you with some of the top experts from all over the nation for free. I think that this list is going to be a great resource for people that they can reference again and again, so don’t forget to bookmark it.
And sadly, the truth of the matter is that most Americans are not prepared for much of anything at this point. The following statistics come from a survey conducted by the Adelphi Center for Health Innovation. As you can see, a substantial portion of the population is not even prepared for a basic emergency that would last for just a few days…
- 44 percent don’t have first-aid kits
- 48 percent lack emergency supplies
- 53 percent do not have a minimum three-day supply of nonperishable food and water at home
- 55 percent believe local authorities will come to their rescue if disaster strikes
- 52 percent have not designated a family meeting place if they are separated during an emergency
- 42 percent do not know the phone numbers of all of their immediate family members
- 21 percent don’t know if their workplace has an emergency preparedness plan
- 37 percent do not have a list of the drugs they are taking
- 52 percent do not have copies of health insurance documents
So needless to say, there is a great need to educate the general population about preparedness.
Before we get to the list, I want to explain a few things about it.
First of all, this is a list of sites that offer practical advice about prepping. So I kept most websites that focus on the news off of it. Perhaps in the future I will do a list of my favorite alternative news websites. Some of my favorites include Infowars, Zero Hedge, WND, SteveQuayle.com, TruNews, and Raiders News Update.
In addition, I have only included websites that offer information for free. There are a lot of great companies out there that sell some really cool survival supplies, but the goal of this list is to help people find useful information that they can access without cost.
Finally, I want to make it clear that these websites are listed in no particular order. Some of the best known prepper websites are toward the front of the list, and some of the newer ones are toward the end, but I do not want anyone to get offended if they are not as “high on the list” as they think they should be. In this list, I have not attempted to assign a value to each site. All of these sites have excellent information, and in fact some of the ones toward the end have some of the best hands on practical advice.
With that being said, the following are 122 of the best prepper websites on the Internet…
6. Natural News
18. Prepper Website
20. Doom And Bloom
25. Home Ready Home
26. Survival Cache
29. Rural Revolution
34. Mom Prepares
37. TEOTWAWKI Blog
39. Ask A Prepper
45. Survival Life
47. SHTF School
50. Expert Prepper
51. Maximum Survival
52. Survivor Jane
57. SHTF Wiki
59. Prepper Forums
61. Ready Nutrition
65. Ed That Matters
68. Mom With A Prep
69. Survival At Home
70. Patriot Rising
73. Survival Sherpa
74. Prepper Recon
81. The Daily Prep
85. Mama Kautz
86. Happy Preppers
87. Tin Hat Ranch
88. Living Prepared
93. Survive Hive
96. Freedom Preppers
101. Practical Tactical
102. SHTF Dad
103. Prepper Ideas
104. Geek Prepper
106. Prepper Chimp
108. Survival Prepper Joe
111. Code Green Prep
112. Preppers Survive
113. Stealth Survival
114. Totally Ready
115. Preparedness Pro
116. The 7 P’s Blog
117. Preparing With Dave
118. Disaster Mom
119. Destiny Survival
120. Underground Medic
122. Vigil Prudence
So what do you think?
Are there any other great prepper websites or blogs that were left off of this list?
Are there some sites on the list that you feel should not have made it?
Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…
What Every Prepper Ought To Know About Bug-Out Bags – Part 3
Briefly stated, it’s a mobile container that allows you to store enough items to guarantee your survival for up to 3 days or more following a major crisis or disaster.
What is special about these bags is that each one is made in such a way that it reflects your personal needs.
In this sense, you can even say it’s much like your lifeline in a container.
Most will use these bags in order to store any items they think will help them survive for 3 or more days.
While as a single individual you won’t need but a few items, if you have a family, then you’ll need a small “survival arsenal” so every family member can make it until substantial help arrives.
While there is no exact fixture item you should include in these bags, there are of course a few generally agreed upon items.
Check out the top five things the world’s foremost and well-respected survivalists have in their bug-out bags, so you can model what’s best for you.
As a former U.S. Marine I understand the need to carry ample equipment while taking speed into consideration. The five most prominent things you’ll find in my bug-out bag are based on essential needs for water, food, defense, medicine and concealment.
Let’s start with the easy one, water. I have a water bladder in my bug-out bag but I also carry the ability to convert non-drinkable water into drinkable water. In my opinion LifeStraw is a must have tool for every bug-out bag because in most cases starting a fire to boil water breaks concealment. That’s not acceptable in my view. For food I prefer dehydrated meats and a couple of MRE’s largely because they’re light weight and can be rationed easily for longer term survivability. However, I also carry survivalfishing equipment and if possible my silenced air rifle for small game hunts.
For defense I carry ammunition for my AR-15 and my 9mm pistol in magazines and clips (I don’t want to fool with reloading magazines or clips on the move). I will be adding arrows to my bug-out bag as well as a lightweight compound bow for reusable and silent hunts (a new tool I’m getting to know but I believe is highly valuable).
Most survivalists have medicines and first aid kits in their bug-out bags and I do as well; but I also carry a medicinal plant book for identification which also explains the medicinal uses of certain trees and plants for long term survivability. The reality is that in long term disasters (or worse) medicine will become scarce and your supply will run out. Having a botanical pharmacy as a back up just makes sense to me.
Concealment isn’t as complicated as most people think. It’s always better to move by night and hold up during the day. Dark or camouflaged clothing is extremely helpful in a bug-out but you can use your surroundings to provide adequate concealment if necessary.
The first four match what I consider are the most important (water, food, shelter and security). I have food for three days, a way to filter water because carrying three days of water is silly and heavy, bivy sacks for cold weather and tarps and lastly spare ammo for my weapons. The 5th item would have to be a knife because for eons knives have enabled man to make so many useful things. I guess that could double in the security department but I can’t make a sharp stake with my Glock.
I’ve redone my bags multiple times over the years and they even change for the seasons (e.g., more cold weather clothing during the winter) but by-and-large I always have and recommend the same following five items for everyone: a sturdy fixed blade knife, fire-starting supplies, clothing (even shoes), water, food.
A knife should be a no-brainer for most but it’s probably the one tool that is very difficult to reproduce from nature. From shelter building to hunting to defense, a knife is a must-have.
I list fire-starting supplies rather than something specific like a firesteel or lighter because the general ability to start a fire—in multiple ways, mind you—is paramount. You should include both a way to start a fire and ways to sustain it.
Clothing—and shoes if you regularly wear business attire—is another must. You need both comfortable clothing so you’re able to walk miles upon miles if needed as well as clothing that is capable of keeping you protected from the elements be it cold or raining. I actually like to keep a basic set of clothes (e.g., pants, long-sleeved shirt, etc) at all times and then add additional cold weather gear for the winter.
People often focus on water treatment supplies expecting that they’ll be able to find water. While important, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to find water on the move. Obviously, since water is heavy you can’t take much (maybe a few bottles) but I feel it’s a worthwhile tradeoff considering how important water is to your survival.
Food, though not critical in the short term, is certainly an energy and morale booster. Pack lightweight foods (like dehydrated or MREs) and even small hard candies to keep your spirits and energy up. Remember the kids need and expectations for food too.
Obviously, there’s a lot more you can and should include so don’t ignore the many, many additional supplies you can add.
1. Diva Cup – I know people are tired of hearing about my periods and love affair with menstrual cups, but this is definitely number one in my bag! I would rather go without food and water than to bleed all over the jungle
2. LifeStraw – It’s nearly impossible to carry all the water I would need if had to leave in a hurry, so having a lifestraw or some type of water purifier would hopefully help me stay hydrated until I could get to another water source.
3. 72 Hour Food Kit – I can get very “hangry”, so having food is a must if I want to stay happy, sane, and keep me from stealing yours – j/k
4. Headlamp – I’m scared of the dark, so I definitely needed to pack a light. Having a head-lamp frees up my hands so I can help cook, set-up tents, spank kids, or whatever else that needs done.
5. Knife – Having a good knife is a must for all those extra things – kill dinner, make dinner, eat dinner – important stuff like that
I don’t have a fully complete bug out bag, but I do have a sling bag that I travel with whenever I go out of town and I also have “supplies” that I take in both vehicles, which would normally go in someone’s bug out bag. The top five items in my travel “bug out” bag include:
1. A Bear Grylls knife (by Gerber) that includes a fire starter. Probably the most important and versatile tool for me. The list of benefits of a survival knife with fire starting capabilities is too long to list.
2. A Glock 23 .40 caliber with zombie killer ammo and 2 additional magazines with an extra small box of ammo. After a lot of research I chose the Glock .23 for its smaller size (but not too small). I also like the stopping power of the .40 caliber. It is also big enough to enjoy shooting on the range. I typically do not carry a gun, because I feel I could take care of an attacker faster with my bare hands, because of my training, but if I get stuck in a big city and need to make my way out, I would definitely feel more comfortable with my gun.
3. A spyder lightweight jacket. This is a very light weight and foldable jacket manufactured by a leading ski company. Since I have never needed to “bug out”…yet, this item has probably come in handy more than any other item in my bag. I have had to use this jacket many times and it always comes in handy and is actually quite stylish.
4. Cash and some silver coins for bartering. I have cash, because in a blackout or EMP type situation, credit card and ATM machines will not be working and cash will be king. Then, at some point, cash will be trash and then barter items will be the currency of the day such as ammo, food, gold and silver, toilet paper, etc…
5. Flashlight. If I am stuck somewhere at night I want to be able to see. A flashlight is a must for a bug out or survival bag. I have a tactical LED flashlight, an additional flashlight and a head lamp in my bag. I keep the battery out while in storage and change batteries every few months or so even if I haven’t used them.
1. Money. Some preppers might disagree with this, but I think money will hold value long enough to be useful in some way. It can pay for transportation, protection, passage and purchase any unforeseen essentials.
2. Smart-phone. A smart-phone is an invaluable resource in a disaster situation. If the cell networks remain active, a smart-phone will provide news, communication and GPS. They also serve as a flashlight and you can store survival and medical resources on them as well as map information on the phone’s memory card. In the event that cell networks go down, smart-phones still have an AM/FM receiver built in and can be used as a radio.
3. Solar powered charger. If the electricity goes out, electronics would be useless. I have a versatile solar charger in my bag to charge my phone as well as re-chargable AA batteries for flashlights/lamps, etc.
4. Water. In a bug-out situation, my priority is getting to my destination as fast as possible. For this reason, my bug-out bag is designed for mobility. I use a backpack with a built-in water bladder. The sooner I can get to my destination the better, and that means eliminating unnecessary stops including food and water.
5. MRE’s. As I said above, I want to make as few stops as possible. MRE’s make it easy to fuel up while on the move.
This is quite a tricky question. I once wrote an article on MyFamilySurvivalPlan on this topic and I had a lot of comments saying pretty much the same thing: you’re insane, that’s not how you should do it. As I said before, I am not looking to give people a recipe. If my readers have found a bug-out bag that suits their needs perfectly, that can only make me happy. But it doesn’t mean that the same BOB works out for MY family.
For example, I don’t put ANY knives or sharp objects in my BOB. I did put 3 knives there at some point, but David – my younger son who’s extremely curious – found it and wondered around the house with it. I nearly fainted when I saw him playing with it, especially since I make sure my survival knives are in tip-top shape, extremely sharp blade and all.
I can tell you this much: I make sure I cover EVERYTHING my family may need and that is:
4. Hygiene/Medical care
5. Feeling safe
I want to add just one thing about #5: this is one of the most crucial things that is, unfortunately, ignored by many. Ask each of your family member what makes them feel safe and ad that item to their own individual BOB. Andrew asked for his Superman figure. It’s now in his BOB, ready to “protect” him if needed.
1. Kershaw OSO Sweet Pocket Knife: This knife goes everywhere with us. Although it is only $23, it is reliable and holds its sharp edge forever.
2. Cash: Face it. If the situation is dire, cash can be used to purchase food, water, fuel, and just about anything else you can think of.
3. Glock 19 and ammo: Both my husband and I have concealed permits. Although we live in an idyllic bug out location, if things get bad and we need to bug out, they will be VERY bad. Our firearm will be used for personal defense.
4. Prescription meds: Not so much for me but my husband has a number of meds he takes on a daily basis. Slowly, with the support of his doctor, we are finding holistic and natural alternatives.
1. Water – Berkie Sport water bottle with built in filter. Good for drinking from ANY water source. Always keep a case of bottled water in our vehicles. A human body MUST have water to survive. PERIOD.
2. Food – home made gorp (nuts, dried fruit, chocolate,etc), with homemade jerky (Hi Mountain Season’s factory is here in town, some of the best stuff on the market) A few other food items that are stable in the wildly fluctuating Wyoming weather ( -40 below in deepest winter to 100+ in the hottest summers, albeit with mostly very low humidity). I’ve been out in the wilderness without the right food in my youth…learned the hard way.
3. Gerber Multi-tool – many times a lifesaver either while traveling, or on foot in the mountains or prairies of the Rockies. I’ve had several models, and I swear by them. Dug many a thorn out, carved some fire sticks for campfires, fixed the throttle mechanism on my 1300cc Road bike on the side of the road, and mended broken parts in my rig when I was driving coast to coast for a living.
4. Folding Saw – fits in my pocket, back pack or day bag, and even my fishing vest. Great for many uses other than just making firewood. Cuts through rubber coolant hoses, shredded but tangled serpentine belts, and an occasional seatbelt like you wouldn’t believe. And, if it ever came to it, and found myself trapped under a rock or fallen tree, when nothing else would work, this tool would cut me free (instead of leaving me to be found expired later along some trail). Watch the movie “168 Hours” and think…which would YOU rather have in that kind of situation? It has happened many times. A simple sawz-all or jig saw blade literally just would not cut it…pardon the pun.
5. 1st Aid Kit. I have kits for several levels, from every day carry (home, work, basically everywhere I might ever be), to a tightly packed medium kit customized from my factory kit in my Nissan Xterra rear door grab bag, to an off-grid mini trauma kit, capable of wound cleaning, stitching, etc. Too many times on the road, I’ve been first on scene of major vehicular accidents and found a need for something, and now prepare for those potentials, up to and including serious blunt force trauma, open arterial bleeding, and airway control. My job for the state of Wyoming in Corrections/LEO gives me annual training and certifications for whatever may happen…and I’ve seen it all in my career. In a state where the major (and even minor) cities are hours away, and across 120-150 miles or more of empty high desert, you’d be surprised just how many one car rollovers occur in the middle of nowhere.
The top five items I include in my bug-out bag are:
1. Bandanas, because they are very versatile, and not only to keep your neck warm. They filter out dirty particles in river water. They make emergency bandages. They provide a face mask during a dust storm.
2. Water purification tablets. I also have a LifeStraw, and a container in which to boil water. It’s wise to have several ways to keep your water drinkable.
3. Dental floss more than keeps your teeth clean, it provides an emergency suturing thread, a fishing line, a way to hold small items together, such as foraged food, in your bandana. This also means you need some kind of a needle for suturing and hooks for fishing.
4. My knife also has a whetstone attached. It’s in a holster in my bug-out bag because I feel silly wearing it to church. A knife is a portable tool with many uses.
5. I also include a sewing kit. I don’t see very much printed on the value of a sewing kit, when so much information concentrates on items like paracord, which is also a very versatile necessity. But my pack will be valuable when someone’s clothing needs to be mended, a button replaced, or a pack resewn.
At the end of the day, when you’re armed with the right survival tips and with a lot of self confidence, you can make it through any type of situation no matter how bad it may initially seem.
Finally, I hate to be the bearer of bad news. I’m an optimist by nature. These experts are professional survivalists, but in general all we can do is give you few pointers on the most important things you should have. It’s up to you to chose the “right” supplies. This is based on our experience, but there are many other items you may need to know about. If you want to learn more, I recommend starting here. Click here to learn more.
10 New Expert Ideas on Survival Gear – Part 2
According to the Environment America Research and Policy Center, over 243,000,000 Americans have been impacted by at least one weather related disaster in their local areas since 2007 (Over 80% of our countries population). Tornadoes and hurricanes are infamous for leaving thousands without power and confined to their homes for extended periods of time.
The average American fails to prepare because they have become so accustomed to being able to go to the local Wal-Mart for any last minute purchases they deem necessary before a disaster strikes. They never stop to consider what could happen if this was no longer an option.
Being a survivalist is about more than having a closet full of emergency supplies, it is a lifestyle. Every time you purchase something, you should ask yourself, does this item serve a dual purpose?
Can I use it in my everyday life and as a survival tool if necessary?
Check out the responses we got after asking 10 preppers, what is your favorite odd ball everyday item that you have found multiple uses for in your daily activities?
Prepper #1- Gaye Levy
What is your favorite odd ball everyday item that you have found multiple uses for in your daily activities?
Without question, using Biomass to cook food in a Rocket stove. I was a city girl. Who knew?
Another odd ball item (that, by the way, is no longer odd to me), is the use of essential oils to virtually replace every single over-the-counter remedy in my household. I dumped the various OTC ointments, potions, and pain-killers in a large box last January and have never turned back.
#2- Richard Fleetwood
I’ve always had some kind of every day carry (EDC) kit ever since growing up hunting and fishing all over Texas. Something I never really played with until recently is Paracord. I’ve found it indispensable for any kind of survival need, backup tool, attachment resource, key chains, multiple motorcycle needs, fishing kit, and even expedient dog leashes for my 6 year old German Shepard, Josey.
I’ve used it to make the bracelet I got on, my survival necklace, key chain pogs, and much more. I keep it near me all the time. It is a wonderful, way underutilized tool with a million and one uses.
Who knew “string” could be so cool? My grandkids and I have found a ton of new ways to use it. For example, I’ve taught my grandsons how to make a fishing pole with a branch and the outer string wrap. Paracord and a just right tiny stick cut into a rudimentary fish hook makes a perfect fishing pole every time.
I caught my first catfish on a similar pole when I was 13, but used a shoelace instead of Paracord…and it worked. Can’t wait for the kids to get their first bite on this homemade rig. It really does work.
#3- Alec Deacon
This may make you laugh, but one of my boys, Andrew, got this skipping rope for his birthday. I swear it’s so sturdy and flexible at the same time, it’s like nothing I’ve seen before. He says it’s probably made of the same material Rubber Man is made of.
He might be right, you know… I take it everywhere with me, I have it in the trunk of my car. It’s great for camping, tying up heavy cargo and I even used it to haul my car once.
#4- Alex Miklovic
I use party-poppers as tripwire. I’m not really sure if these would be considered everyday items, but you can get them pretty easily at everyday stores such as Vons or Target in the children’s toy sections. If you don’t know what they are, party-poppers are indoor fireworks.
They are basically a cardboard tube filled with confetti and gunpowder with a string coming out of one end. When you pull the string, they pop and expel confetti. What you can do is tie a few poppers together with a string, fasten them in place with tape, and snare the string over something (as you normally would a tripwire).
The party-poppers will make a loud bag when the string is pulled! It’s very cool.
#5- David Alexander
My brain would be my most useful tool and you could probably say “odd ball” item. What gets me through the day with complete confidence is my self-defense skills and my ability to think logically about any situation. My knowledge of real self-defense gives me amazing confidence that I could handle most situations if something went bad.
I have learned and teach a very unique method of self-defense (howtosurviveaviolentattack.com) that can eliminate a threat within seconds and is useful against multiple attackers with weapons. I also have confidence, that what I have taught my family, can possibly save their life if they ever encounter a worst case scenario attack.
#6- Pat Henry
It isn’t odd at all but my two EDC items are a multi-tool and flashlight. I have used them more times than I can count. You would be amazed at how many times I have needed a simple flashlight, but how often do most people carry one around with them?
It’s the same with the multi-tool and I am constantly reaching back for this thing if I need pliers or a knife. I haven’t needed them to cut my way out of a collapsed building or anything like that, but they sure come in handy in the dark or when I need a tool.
#7- Keven Card
In my opinion every newbie prepper should first develop a plan of action based on where they are, what their primary concerns are, and what resources they already have available. Prepping in a major city isn’t going to be the same as a prep for the back woods.
In developing that plan I would ask several key questions:
- What are my primary needs if I had to shelter in place?
- What would I do if I had to bug-out (leave my home)?
- What would I do if my family was in different locations during an event?
- How would we reunite?
- What defenses do I need to protect myself, my family and my stuff?
- If all the stores shut down, how would I survive?
- What medicine would I need and how would I survive once it ran out?
#8- Patricia Scholes
I never buy cheesecloth. To me, buying something as single-functioning as cheesecloth is a waste of resources. I use bandanas, other cloth or even coffee filters to (for example) strain out seeds from cayenne peppers when I’m making my cayenne muscle rub lotions. Coffee filters make an excellent straining tool. In fact, they can be better than a tea strainer, which works just fine for coarse straining home-grown herbal teas.
#9- Jamie S.
Hmmm, let me see… I don’t know how crazy this is especially if you’re a prepper, but my neighbors sure thought it was strange. I made a wonder oven(looks like a bean bag) and cooked soup for them in it. Often times it rides in the passenger seat of my car so I can throw ice cream or other frozen items in it. And whenever my kids get a chance, they use it as a pillow or chair.
#10- Damian Brindle
Perhaps this isn’t an unusual item but more of an “overlooked” item: buckets. Lots and lots of buckets! When it comes to survival, especially in a SHTF scenario, I can’t think of anything more invaluable than 5 or 6 gallon buckets. For instance, they can be turned into a ready-to-go survival kit and scattered around your property, stored in your vehicle, stashed at a friend’s home, and so on. You can store quite a bit in them if you’re careful.
They can be used to store, transport, and purify water. If you learn to make a Berkey Clone filter you can save at least half the price of buying the real thing. Buckets can be turned into a makeshift toilet, hand washing station, laundry wash station, clothes wringer, and more.
You can use them in the garden, to store ammo, hold bait, keep long term foods fresh, an animal trap (they make great rat traps), to grow food in, and plenty more. Be sure to include the lids (with gaskets) and if some are food-grade they can store food directly.
In order to have the best chances of surviving anything, it is a good idea to go ahead and prepare for everything.
You may never end up being able to transform a wrist watch into a high tech compass like MacGyver, but knowing the alternative survival uses of basic household items can be the difference between life or death in the event of a disaster.
Find a way to incorporate this way of thinking into your everyday life and don’t forget to share this post with someone who desperately needs to read it.