It’s another packed show this week and I begin with the Blizzard Survival offer then move onto The FREEKEY System Review, Survival Essentials, Navigation for Survival, Support these Companies, Infused Dandelion Flower Vinegar, Dandelion Salad with Vinegar and Oil Dressing, Old-Fashioned Elderflower Recipe, Forming Prepping and Survival Groups, more companies to support, Prepping For The What Ifs and The Oh Nos!, Britons Must Dig for Survival, Urban Survival Preparation– Testing the Bug Out Plan, further companies to support, SO, You Are Going to Bug-Out, What to do if a Nuclear Disaster is Imminent, Here is a Great Offer From the Wilderness Gathering, Basic Survival Skills, Can We Catch Parasites from Foraged Foods?, When the Trucks Stop the UK Stops, Chinese Researchers Created Flu Virus Strains, Outbreak Of New SARS-Like Virus Kills 5 In Saudi Arabia, And Another Super Bug, A Terrifying holiday bug that can burst your blood vessels, Bushcraft shows.
Blizzard Survival 20% Discount Offer
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All you have to do to get a 20% discount is enter the code “PREPPER” at the checkout, it is that simple. Thank you Blizzard Survival.
The FREEKEY System Review
The FREEKEY SYSTEM is the Press to open key ring with three smaller rings attached and boy is it a welcome sight. Last Tuesday I managed to rip my thumb nail when attempting to add another item to my EDC key ring, unfortunately it being titanium it decided to resist my attempts.
Freekey System is not just any old keyring but is designed with a patented wave to enable keys to be added without pain, broken nails or frustration.
By pressing the Freekey System logo position of the Freekey, the end part will open to release or add the key or set of keys appointed. The Freekey System is ideal for carrying keys for different locations or as in my case my EDC key ring
And at only £ 4.99 it is a must have for the prepper who uses key rings to carry his EDC you gat get your from http://www.wilderness121.co.uk/
This part is why you need to stock up on all of the other items now. Most of us live a cashless lifestyle. We use checks, debit cards, and credit cards. When we lose power in a disaster, so do the shops. If the shops were not damaged too badly, and their goods were not damaged too badly, the owner might even open the shop for business.
You could buy whatever didn't break. Well, some people could. You see, the owner can't run your credit card or debit card through any machine. You have checks, but he isn't set up to deal with them either without electricity.
That's okay because you have three £50 notes in your wallet. But, his cash register is electric and won't open. You can use one to buy whatever you want to, but he can't give you any change.
The ATM machine that would have been able to give you smaller notes doesn't work without electricity. So, an important item to stock up on is cash. Twenties, tens, fives and ones, and even some coins.
Those who didn't prepare were the first ones to go the shops. That includes lots of people. There is a run on water, milk, bread, baby food, batteries, matches and candles. To prevent a riot, the owner has to put a per-person limit on all these items.
The queue is around the corner. Two hundred people want to buy water at the very least, and there are now only about forty bottles left.
Your credit cards, debit cards, checks, and even your cash probably won't be able to help you survive a disaster after it strikes. Most of where you live is broken, damaged or destroyed. Grocery items are delivered daily, and supplies could certainly be brought in from other counties. But, the motorways all have major damage and trucks can't get the supplies through.
Trains won't dare run until every inch of track is checked for movement or breakage that would throw the train onto its side or worse. Even if you could get to another town for supplies, your car is almost out of fuel. Don’t forget petrol station pumps work off electricity.
Too many people, not enough supplies, no spendable money, no fuel, and family members at home waiting for you to bring home dinner. Dinner? It could be at least three days before a safe route can be found for supplies to reach the stores - or it could be three weeks.
Please start stocking up on essential items now, and stock up for at least a month's worth. Three months would be better if a major power station were to be put out of commission. It would take so little to give you so much peace of mind.
You can't even balk at the cost for two reasons: 1) buying for such a long period of time can be done in bulk, resulting in a lower price per item than buying one or two at a time; and 2) you can use all of these items now if you simply replace them right away.
In fact, this replacement method will insure that everything will be safe and usable when it is actually needed.
Your only real worry at the time of a disaster should be the immediate safety of you and your family, and taking care of any injuries that may have occurred as a result.
Firstly you need to check to be sure that no one is injured. If there are any injuries, you will have to use your own first-aid kit. Phone lines may be down so you may not be able to call for help, and rescuers will be helping those most seriously injured first. Even if the phone lines are down, your mobile will probably work.
If a disaster strikes while you are at work and your family is at home, you might need a mobile phone on both ends to check on each other.
Think through possible injuries so you can be prepared in advance. Butterfly bandages can be used as "stitches" in smaller wounds.
Menstrual pads can be used to cover and protect large wounds. You may actually need to stitch a large wound yourself if medical help simply can't reach you and you are unable to get to help.
St. Johns and the Red Cross both run first-aid courses locally, you should sign up now.
Many types of disasters can severely damage your home. If you are not sure if your home is safe after the initial strike, stay outdoors. Go "camping." If your home seems unsafe but your garage looks very safe, get the car out of there and move into the garage.
You can get an idea of a building's stability by looking at the walls, ceilings and floors. There may be many thin cracks, but these should not be a real problem. Large cracks, broken beams, or any new gaps or openings are not good signs, neither are creaking or cracking noises.
Before September 11, 2001, most wives thought that having a mobile phone simply was an essential. If a woman's car broke down in the middle of nowhere, she could either call roadside assistance or her husband for help. And, she could tell her husband she was late but safe. This spread to parents feeling safer about their teenage drivers if their kids carried a mobile phone at all times.
Watching all of the disaster news, we kept hearing about people who called their wives, husbands and mothers (etc.) to say good-bye or "I love you" when they knew they were going to die. That was like being hit with an emotional hammer.
Some people who were trapped during the disaster were able to tell people where they were because they had a mobile phone.
We now know that a mobile phone can be a critical "survival essential" in more ways than we ever imagined.
If we lose phone lines during or after a disaster, wives will most likely still be able to call their husbands if they both have a mobile phone. Kids with their own mobile phones can call their parents to let them know where they are and if they need immediate medical help or if they are safe. Etc.
You will need a solar or battery-operated radio to find out what is happening in your immediate area and the rest of your city, possibly even the rest of your county. It can be comforting to hear that all is well in many areas and that help is on the way.
You will probably also hear warnings like the water supply is not safe to drink or looting is occurring three streets away. You can protect yourself and your family from problems only if you are able to find out that they exist.
If you don't hear any warnings about the water supply being tainted, you may want to quickly clean out the bathtub, rinse it well, and fill it with water because the water may be shut off soon.
Rinse the dust out of any buckets you have on hand, then fill them with clean water. If you do find out afterwards that the water is not safe to drink, there are many more ways that it could come in handy in the next few days or weeks and of course there are many ways to make it safe to drink if necessary.
The atmosphere of most disasters is one of helping each other and sticking together. But, sometimes you have those few who think it is a good time to go looting. In an extended disaster scenario, you could be threatened by people who are desperate for food and water.
It is totally up to you, but you may want to have some sort of weapon on hand for emergencies. Even in a disaster, children could still find a gun and the bad guys could still turn your own gun on you. So, if you do arm yourself, you must keep the gun locked up and separate from ammunition that is also locked up.
Baseball bats seldom fire unexpectedly and they never miss fire.
You need an ample supply of all of the medicines that anyone in your family take on a regular basis. The need for other medicines may arise later. An unbreakable thermometer is a good item to have on hand. Vitamin supplements for all members of the family will be very beneficial with a limited diet, and will be needed more than ever due to stress.
It is not likely that you will be able to get antibiotics in advance, but you could ask your doctor saying that you were going off on a long trip, or you could buy OTC vetinary drugs as they will work on humans. Some people have been putting some away from what they get from the doctor.
This is a dangerous method because the full dose that you are prescribed is necessary to kill an infection. On the other side, you would need to save up enough antibiotics to make a full dose to receive any benefit - and that is only for one infection for one person.
Since you know that a biological attack is possible in the immediate future, start a fasting regimen now. This doesn't mean you stop eating. A fasting regime includes eating less, which puts your body in its own protective mode.
Besides eating less food overall, a fasting regimen includes giving up fast foods, junk foods, and most sugars; adding natural fruit juices; and making all of your food healthy, whole or raw foods as much as possible.
In addition to eating correctly, start taking multi-vitamins now.
And, take natural Vitamin C.
Since you may be on your own for all your first-aid and health care needs, it is a good idea to learn now how to take care of yourself and your family.
Don't forget to stock up on any medicines or vitamins that your pets may need.
Navigation for Survival
The wonders of modern technology are all fine and dandy, with super accurate compasses and GPS gizmos making navigation as simple as can be.
However, what would your situation would be if, in the middle of nowhere, you come to the realisation that your GPS unit has gone South or been crushed underfoot or run out of batteries, and your trusted compass is lost/broken/left at home because you were trusting in your GPS?
Alone, in unfamiliar territory, without your basic compasses, maps, communication equipment, unless you have some idea of 'survival navigation', you are effectively in the deep and smelly region of LOST.
Such situations call for an innovative approach - what the psychologists call "lateral thinking". With a degree of natural cunning, you can utilise various odds and ends, plus celestial bodies (no, not the kind in dodgy magazines - the ones in the sky) to find your way.
This requires some knowledge and application to get right, but even Cub Scouts know the basics and can navigate without a compass with reasonable accuracy.
The first step is to improvise a compass. This can be done in various ways, but each requires a ferrous metal object such as needle, pin, nail razor blade, metal rod or similar, and a suspension system.
The simplest way to magnetise your rudimentary compass needle so that it is attracted by one end to magnetic North just like and compass needle, is to stroke it with a magnet in one direction only. If you stroke towards the point of your needle, the point will indicate North.
Failing the availability of a magnet, stroke your compass needle with silk. Both these methods will need to be repeated regularly to maintain the magnetism of the compass needle.
Lacking silk or a magnet, you can also magnetise a needle, or similar, using a battery of 2 volts or more, and some insulated wire, preferably copper.
Coil the wire around your soon-to-be compass needle, and connect it to the terminals of your battery for about 5-10 minutes. It is important that the needle is insulated from the wire, so, if you only have bare wire insulate the needle by first wrapping it in paper thin card or similar.
A razor blade can be magnetised in the same way, or by stropping it (be careful here) on the palm of your hand.
It is also possible to magnetise metal with a hammer and the earth's magnetic field. Place the nail/needle against the ground aligned with magnetic North/magnetic South, the raised end pointing South in the Northern hemisphere, North in the Southern hemisphere.
The angle that the earth's magnetic field enters the ground the angle to which you elevate the rod - unfortunately varies from place to place; it is 68 degrees in England, but between 62 and 80 degrees around Europe.
This angle of elevation should be as accurate as possible, though good results can be achieved with up to 10 degrees error either way. Hit the positioned metal with the hammer, and with trial and error, and time, you should be able to produce a magnetised compass needle this way.
Of course, you will need to suspend your compass needle so that it can swing freely. This can be done by tying it onto the end of a thread - beware of kinks and twisting in the thread, and be sure to balance the needle carefully.
For more accurate results, float your improvised compass needle, using paper, bark, grass etc. as a floating base on a still pool of water, eg. a puddle, full mess tin of the like. Be sure to protect this compass from any wind.
You will need to identify which end of your compass points North and to mark it for easy recognition. Check it against other systems of finding north. Be warned: gross errors may be caused by nearby metals, such as tanks, knives, and metal deposits underground.
If you lack the materials to make an improvised compass, you can rely on the sun, moon and stars for guidance.
Everyone knows the sun rises in the East, sets in the West and is due South at local noon (or North if you are in the Southern hemisphere). To find which hemisphere you are in (boy, are you lost!) watch the shadow's movements for a few moments to establish East and West.
To use your watch as an approximate compass outside of the tropics in the northern hemisphere, hold the watch horizontal and point the hour hand at the sun.
Half way between that point and the twelve o'clock mark on your watch points to the south. For example, if it is eight o'clock, point the 8 on the watch face at the sun and south would be at the ten o'clock position.
If it is four o'clock, point the 4 on the watch face at the sun and south would be in the two o'clock position. At midday (twelve o'clock), the hour hand itself should point south.
The method of halving the angle between the hour hand and the twelve o'clock watch position is required since the earth rotates once in a day, but the hour hand goes around the clock face twice.
In the southern hemisphere, hold the watch horizontal and point the twelve o'clock mark in the direction of the sun. The north-south line is half way between the hour hand and the twelve o'clock mark.
Using a watch to determine direction within the tropics is more complicated, since there are two solar maxima. The sun may lie to the north or south (or at midday be directly overhead), depending upon the time of the year.
Because time on our planet is divided into 24 broad time zones, the sun is not normally directly south or at its highest point in the sky at exactly midday. The watch-as-compass method is therefore an approximate guide to direction only.
The most exact method of finding direction without using a compass is to mark and measure the shadows that occur around midday. The shortest shadow cast by an object always points exactly north.
To find where the sun is on a cloudy day, hold a pencil or stick upright over a light piece of paper or a lighter part of the ground. The stick or pencil will cast some kind of shadow, indicating the position of the sun.
While reasonably accurate, this is a fairly rough and ready method of finding North/South, and it gets less precise the nearer you are to the Equator. In addition, it relies on your having a timepiece, knowledge of true time and a visible sun.
Lacking all, or any of these, the system fails, but as long as there is enough light to cast a shadow, and you have a stick or similar object (even your oppo standing still will do) the sun can still give you the North/South line. A straight stick about 3 feet long is ideal, and you will need preferably flat, clear ground to work on.
The quick method can be used on the move, takes about 15 - 20 minutes as you take a rest, but is not terribly accurate: Stick the pole upright in the ground and mark where the tip of its shadow falls. Wait at least 15 minutes, then mark where the tip of the shadow now falls.
Join the two points to give your East/West line. Your North/South line naturally bisects this at right angles.
A more time consuming, though more accurate method uses the same stick upright in the ground, but can take all day (your oppo may resent being used for this method): Mark the first shadow in the morning at its tip, then draw a perfect arc (use string tied to the base of the pole for best results) with the pole as the centre point.
When the tip of the shadow fall reaches the arc again in the afternoon, mark this spot exactly. Join the morning and evening marks to give the East/ West line, and, again, the North/South line bisects this at right angles. In both methods the first mark is West.
At night you lose the sun (never!), but you will have the moon and the stars to guide you as they have guided travellers for centuries.
The moon, having no light of its own, is seen by way of light reflected from the sun, because the moon's lighted area varies as it waxes (grows larger) and wanes (diminishes), this, combined with its rotational rate, can give a rough help to your navigation.
Cutting the technical explanation, if the moon rises before sunset, the light side of the moon is on the West. If the moon rises after midnight, the illuminated side is to the East.
As a rule of thumb, stars rise in the East and set in the West, but knowing, and being able to identify, some simple to recognise constellations will give you an even more accurate fix on your North/South line.
In the Northern hemisphere, we are lucky to have the Pole Star sitting over the North Pole with a variation of only about 2 degrees. This star is extremely useful for navigation, and can be found using the obvious constellations of the Plough (also known as the Dipper)
The Plough and the Cassiopeia never set. While all three constellations seem to rotate around the Pole Star, Orion is the most useful if you are near the Equator.
An imaginary line drawn from the 'tail" of the Plough to the lowest of the points of Cassiopeia, goes through the Pole Star while the central peak of the 'W' formed by Cassiopeia points to the Pole Star.
The two lower stars of the Plough also point to the Pole Star approximately four times the distance between the two stars.
Orion rises above the Equator, and can be seen in both hemispheres rising due East, and setting due West. The three stars forming the 'belt' point East/West.
In the Northern Hemisphere: if the star seems to fall, you are facing West; if the star seems to curve flatly to the right, you are facing South; if the star seems to curve flatly to the left, you are facing North.
Although this is a rough and ready system, it can be made to work with any star other than the Pole Star. In the Southern hemisphere, the directions are reversed.
Should you have zero equipment, and 100 per cent cloud cover day and night, the best advice is to sit and wait either for better weather or for a rescue party!
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Spring is here and the Dandelion is here too
Infused Dandelion Flower Vinegar
My garden is totally full of dandelions at the moment. My wife goes made as she hates them so I decided to make some dandelion flower vinegar.
Dandelion flower heads
So I took a carrier bag out into the garden and filled it full of dandelions.
Back in the kitchen I washed them to remove any bugs etc. shook the water off and put them into the sealable jar and I covered them in good quality cider vinegar then sealed the jar and put it into the cupboard under the sink.
Some say they should be left for up to 8weeks but I usually attack in after about a week.
Do try it as you might just like it.
Dandelion Salad with Vinegar and Oil Dressing
This is a salad of freshly gathered dandelion greens, tossed with a homemade vinegar and oil dressing
One huge bowl full of freshly gathered dandelion greens
Vinegar and Oil Dressing Ingredients:
1/4 cup vinegar
1/8 cup water
1 rounded tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon onion salt
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
1/8 cup olive or vegetable oil
chopped fried turkey bacon
chopped hard boiled eggs
any other favourite salad topping
1. Wash the dandelion greens in water in the sink. I usually wash in at least two sinks of water, and then cut off the root and put the (now separated) dandelion greens in a clean bowl. Be sure to include the buds (which have not flowered) -- they're tasty!
2. Combine dressing ingredients in a container with a tightly sealing lid. Shake until sugar is dissolved.
3. Put dandelion greens into a large bowl (to allow room for stirring). Pour dressing over greens and toss to coat. Serve into bowls and add optional toppings if desired.
Dandelion greens are best eaten before the flower has appeared. Using a large flat-head screw driver (or similar object), cut the root of the dandelion to release the plant.
Old-Fashioned Elderflower Recipe
With May nearly upon us it is time to think of this most English of drinks.
20 heads of elderflower
1.8 kg granulated sugar, or caster sugar
1.2 litres water
2 unwaxed lemons
75 g citric acid
Shake the elderflowers to expel any lingering insects, and then place in a large bowl.
Put the sugar into a pan with the water and bring up to the boil, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved.
While the sugar syrup is heating, pare the zest of the lemons off in wide strips and toss into the bowl with the elderflowers. Slice the lemons, discard the ends, and add the slices to the bowl. Pour over the boiling syrup, and then stir in the citric acid. Cover with a cloth and then leave at room temperature for 24 hours.
Next day, strain the cordial through a sieve lined with muslin (or a new j-cloth rinsed out in boiling water), and pour into thoroughly cleaned glass or plastic bottles. Screw on the lids and pop into the cupboard ready to use.
Forming Prepping and Survival Groups
Lots of people talk about how forming a group of like-minded preppers which I think could be a big advantage in a SHTF scenario. But how exactly do you form a group like this and how realistic is it really to do so?
I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately and I have watched the usual films and documentaries and I think it’s fairly clear (even in the fictional accounts) that groups do better than individuals in SHTF events.
I myself am not preparing for the end of the world or anything that sinister, I am prepping for more likely events like flooding and power cuts, you know things that happen all the time.
However I really do feel that a prepping group could be a big help and a giant safety net. But how exactly do you form one?
For me I think that forming a group of likeminded preppers will start with my existing contacts, people like family and close friends and then expand the group slowly depending on the skill sets of any proposed new member.
Imagine what a benefit that would be in just about any situation. With these family members and close friends who are also serious preppers it means that I’ve got people I can rely on in an emergency that also know they can rely on me.
Imagine if your house gets flooded or is damaged all you would need to do is go to your buddies place and you’re safe and sound. If Civil unrest starts and it is getting a too dangerous for you and your family I would head for a friend who owns a farm where we could stay and survive very well indeed. Of course that means I could get a knock on my door from him and might have house guests for a bit but I’m fine with that.
So what about my neighbours then? Well the more prepared they are the safer the whole neighbourhood is and by extension, the safer I am.
I’ve always said that the more prepared people are the less panic there will be. If my closest neighbours are at least somewhat prepared to get through a series of bad storms or other natural disaster then I’m less likely to have to carry them through by sharing my stores. Also, if one or two happen to be gun owners then the safety factor goes through the roof.
So how do you go about broaching a subject like Prepping where many uninformed people may automatically assume you’re an over the top survivalist preparing for doomsday whose movements should probably be tracked by the security services and Local authorities??
I actually think it’s not as tough as you might think. First of all, in my experience when I have nudged close friends in the direction of prepping it has never taken more than a couple of mild real world examples and a gentle reminder that we live in a very vulnerable way to get people to stock up on food and water.
Without exaggeration there are probably ten or twelve families that have stocked up on at least two weeks of food because of conversations I’ve had with them. None of which were shocking or frightening in any way. It’s all about how you approach it.
Also living here in the country it is quite easy to persuade people to stock up just in case of power cuts or bad weather anyway.
For the neighbours I think this is a great time of year to bring up the subject very softly. It’s not too tough to strike up a conversation while your neighbour is out cutting the grass especially if you offer to help out a bit.
Mentioning the damage the last flooding we had and how we’re all just one storm away from being in the same boat as the folks in the Northeast is an easy intro as well.
Especially if you live in an area that is prone to flooding, drifting snow, power cuts and other natural disasters.
I’ve had a couple of these conversations lately and they’ve always ended with my neighbour saying, “come to think of it, I should stock up on some extra food and batteries”. There you go, now you’re a prepper.
I also mention that having an umbrella, a first-aid kit or a spare wheel in your car makes you a prepper and the only difference between them and me is that I prep for different scenarios that’s all.
Now, I should probably point out here that while it’s great to encourage friends and neighbours to prep that doesn’t mean it’s a great idea to let them know the extent of your own preps.
Personally I’m very open about the fact that I have extra food and water stored up, just like everyone knows you’re supposed to when you live in the country (although very few people actually do).
I also give a little “tisk tisk” to people who say they don’t, but I don’t overdo it. Leading by example is great, but no one should know the full extent of your preps. Keep that to yourself.
If you can do all of this then hopefully what you end up with is not a full on mini-special forces troop of preppers ready to battle the end of the world, although I do love reading those adventures in fiction novels.
But rather a community of like-minded individuals that can rely on each other during times of strife and who are prepared to help themselves and others. If every community was like that we wouldn’t have near the problems we have now.
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Prepping For The What Ifs and The Oh Nos!
The flooding disaster that hit the North East and many other parts of the UK this year was bad enough to leave over 80,000 people without power which meant no lighting, heating, hot food, or baths and showers.
These floods happened in what would normally have been our spring time seeing only a fraction of the actual rainfall that fell in such a short period of time.
Without doubt, being prepared for the what ifs and the oh no’s, makes sense. Whether or not you feel compelled to prepare at the level of those practised by the Doomsday Preppers – a popular TV show on the Discovery Channel, because of their heightened awareness for disasters;
I believe this group offers a lot of great tips for consideration when creating plans to protect your family and assets.
If a flood disaster were to hit your town today as has already hit many here in the North East, are you prepared at all to hang in there for the necessary time it would take to put the pieces of
normalcy back in place? If not, listen up because that is what this show is all about, helping you get prepared.
I first considered prepping way back in the 80’s when involved in civil defence and other things closely connected to it and it was obvious then that if I survived an attack from the Warsaw Pact then I would need to learn how to survive post attack.
9/11 reminds us that not all disasters are natural disasters, and 9/11 did point out significant issues with disaster preparedness and response, 7/7 brought it home to the British public, who now had to contend with living with people who actually planned to do us all harm, and the realisation that they were vulnerable and that perhaps they too should plan to survive post an attack.
If we are lucky to get pre-warnings, can you be ready to go with all the important things already considered, some basics already packed so you can evacuate on a moment’s notice?
If you had no warning and found yourself trapped where you were, could you hang in there with meals, water, basic first aid and more until help arrived? If the answer to any of these is no, then you need to start thinking about how you need to protect your family and assets today, because it is not really an issue of IF, but when.
Disasters can strike at any time, and I want all of you to be prepared.
Prepping involves setting aside resources, and with finances so tight for many, saving in any way, shape or form has become impossible. That is why I am doing this show now, well ahead of the next heavy floods – to give people time to add a few things to their shopping trolleys as they go along since most can’t just go out and shop for all the supplies at once.
We can never know what exact disaster to expect, although the risk for some are higher than others. What are some of the disaster risks to keep in mind when prepping?
What do you think realistically are the most generic preparations that a person should have in place to encounter most types of possible disasters?
In flooding disasters, the personal loss is so excessive, and many even lost proof of their identity – loss of your driver’s license, birth certificates, passports and more. In the planning process, what are some strategies for keeping vital documents safe and within reach for escape?
Now some people have been known to decide to remain in their homes rather than leave when they are warned. Heavy flooding can led to sewage and rats surrounding homes.
Water contamination, downed trees, power cuts and more. Let’s talk about having an escape plan, and what that includes.
What if computers were down and basically service came to a complete halt as computers can easily be down because of lack of access to electricity or damage to a location. With the credit /debit card swipe habit, most of us no longer carry cash on us.
Let’s talk a bit about financial preparation for a disaster.
Sometimes there isn’t a large scale disaster, just personal ones that impact a single family. These days, zero income homes are a stark reality for some. It seems to me that the preparations I just discussed for preparing for a financial disaster would have come in handy for those who lose a job unexpectedly, or have to quit a job to care for an ill partner or loved one.
Preppers are prepared to be self-sufficient for up to several years. However, for those just getting started, let us break down the basic prep into stages of time say: How much more of the basics I just mentioned do we need to get by for say 3 days? 7 days? Two weeks?
What are the most basic skill sets, if any, listeners should consider getting?
It is said we are only 3 meals away from anarchy that is approximately one day.
Preppers talk about this a lot, and so many are secretive about their prepping in anticipation of neighbours and friends becoming aggressive about getting access to your stuff.
Britons Must Dig for Survival
Farming Minister David Heath has urged families to grow their own to cope with food shortage crisis
The Government is promoting the famous WWII slogan 'dig for victory'
Our fruit prices up almost 11% since March 2012, vegetables 7% higher
And farmers warn Britain is running out of wheat after year of bad weather
Families have been told they will have to grow more of their own fruit and vegetables to cope with food shortages.
Mr Heath warned Britain could not rely on cheap imports to meet its food needs.
Disruption to the food chain triggered by disease, conflict or bad weather hitting harvests would drive prices even higher.
Britain is on the verge of running out of wheat after a year of terrible wet weather, with more than 2million tonnes lost in last summer's deluge.
Farmers have also struggled to sow crops for the 2013 harvest, which is already predicted to be 25 per cent down on potential production.
Households will have to consider becoming more self-sufficient to limit the impact of high costs and bare shelves, Mr Heath warned.
He said: ‘with an increasing population, increasing demand not just in this country but across the
World, we are going to have to increase food production. We made a huge mistake a few years ago when the idea got around that we didn't need to produce in the agricultural sector any more, that we would be able to buy our way through whatever was necessary to feed the country.
Once we used to “dig for victory”. There may come a time soon when we need to “dig for survival”.’
New inflation figures published today show how food prices have impacted on the cost of living.
While the headline Consumer Prices Index figure remained unchanged on 2.8 per cent, a detailed breakdown showed how food costs have leapt in the last year.
Bread and cereals have risen by 3.6 per cent, meat 2.4 per cent and items like sugar, jam and chocolate were 4.1 per cent year-on-year.
Mr Heath told the Daily Telegraph that that the idea of the public ‘digging for survival’ was ‘not overstating it by a lot’.
He added: ‘We need to be able to produce enough to deal with the requirements in this country. Food security is going to be an issue of increasing relevance.
‘There is nothing that provides more classical insecurity across the world than not being able to feed populations adequately so we need to be aware of that and we need to respond to it.’
He suggested that the use of genetically modified crops could be significant in securing food supplies in the future.
Well Mr Heath there you are wrong as nobody wants scientifically designed and mucked about food. But we have and we will provide for our families not because you say so, but because it is the right thing to do.
Urban Survival Preparation– Testing the Bug Out Plan
The Urban Survivalist in Planning and having completed his basic Survival Bug Out Bag, needs to develop the when the shit Hits The Fan”, known by its acronym of SHTF, Bug Out plan.
The Urban Survivor will have to develop or otherwise have an idea on when it is he needs to leave his urban environment for his safe haven or BOL.
Human nature being what it is, that is hoping and expecting things to get better – hoping that the government will fix things, may hold the Urban Survivor back from leaving or delaying the departure to a point when it becomes riskier.
Without stocks of food, the ability to provide security and defence and a source of water, the Urban Survivor cannot afford to wait.
The Bug Out will need to be put to the test.
This testing is a process of “what if’ing” the plan. It is used to determine the problems and develop solutions.
Time to put the Bug Out Plan into action, you will need a full tank of fuel to get from the house to the safe haven.
Problem: What if I only have a half tank and the ability to get commercial fuel is no longer an option?
Solution: At an appropriate time when things are getting worse, you would need to ensure that you stock fuel at your house which will require fuel storage tanks such as 2, 3 or 5 gallon containers available at garages or motor accessary shops.
Problem: Fuel stored for a long time will go bad.
Solution: Routinely replace the stored fuel.
Problem: The vehicle has a mechanical problem during the movement from your house to the safe haven.
Solution: Carry parts and tools for common problems that are within your ability to fix such as a broken belt or flat tire. In fact, having two full spare tires complete with rims are a good idea,or you could take a basic mechanics course.
Problem: The primary route from the house to the safe haven becomes clogged with traffic or otherwise too dangerous to drive.
Solution: Plan Alternate and Emergency routes on less travelled roads.
Problem: You may have to stop and hide the vehicle during darkness as driving during the night with lights on is a very bad idea.
Solution: You need a large canvas or earth tone tarp to cover the windshield and a camouflage net to drape over the vehicle. You will also need green or brown duct tape to cover exposed shiny parts of the car.
Problem: Your route becomes impassable and there is no option to take another and/or the vehicle becomes disabled.
Solution: Plan to walk overland to the safe haven. You will probably needs maps and have areas selected along this foot route that would be tentative safe areas to hole up in for a day or two. If you need maps, you probably need some map reading and land navigation training.
Can you carry enough food, water (water is more important) in your Bug Out Bag to make the trip on foot? If you are initially traveling in a vehicle, you should drink and eat stocks placed in your vehicle rather than use it from your Bug Out Bag.
Remember your Survival Bug Out Bag is your last ditch option for when you are on foot or on the run.
If you carry this testing through to arrival at your safe haven, you would need to plan how you are going to approach and identify yourselves to people at the safe haven.
You may even have the forethought to pre-place supplies and material at the safe haven, either stored openly at a safe haven that is full time occupied or cached.
A cache is a hidden store or equipment, supplies or material. Sit down and think about your trek from your house to your safe haven and imagine what can go wrong. This will identify what contingencies you need to plan for. Remember Murphy’s Law,…….What can go wrong, will go wrong.
Further Companies to Support
Uses natural fuel
EDC steel tools
Highlander Trojan Hydration Pack – Multicam
CUDEMAN HEAVY DUTY OLIVE WOOD BUSHCRAFT KNIFE - 111L
Alum Crystal and natural spa products
Tool logic Survival 11 Credit Card
BackHawk Web duty Belt
Go Survival Pack
Beautiful Handmade Catapults
1 Person BASIC Backpack Survival Kit, the back pack that does it all
DD Hammock –The ultimate in Travel Hammocks
Elzetta ZFL-M60 Tactical Weapon-Grade LED Torch
Ultimate Adventurer Survival Kit everything in one kit
Adjustable Knife Lanyard Review
Handmade knives by James D. Sanders
Mini alarm Device with an Ultra bright White LED
You are listening to the UK preppers Radio Network on KPRNDB-UK I’m your host Tom Linden.
SO, You Are Going to Bug-Out
If worse came to worse and the world was in chaos, where would you go?
Many people already have determined where they would go – a bug out location – a spot where they could lay low and live for a while if things got pretty bad. If you haven’t decided where you’d go during an emergency, or you already have an idea, here are a few points to consider.
How far away?
How far away is your bug out location going to be from your home? With some disasters it doesn’t need to be very far away. For example, a flood zone might only take up a few miles and you might be able to walk to your bug out location. Other disasters, like an economic disaster or nuclear one, might require you to get a little further away from your home.
What kind of shelter?
Once you get to your bug out location, what kind of shelter are you going to live in? Is there a house on the property? Are you going to be staying in a tent? The type of shelter that you have might affect how long you are able to stay in the location.
If you have to go to your bug out location in the dead of winter, you might be moving if you’re only living in a tent.
Many people even considering purchasing land in a more remote location so they don’t have to worry about living on someone else’s property. This would allow you to build a home and place supplies there.
Do you have an emergency bag?
We’ve talked previously about what kind of items you’d want in an emergency bug out bag or 72-hour kit. Depending on what area you’re in, your emergency items might differ. For example, if your bug out location is right next to a river, you might want a water filter instead of large water containers.
Speaking of water, it’s important to know where you will have access to water during an emergency. If man-made water sources aren’t working, you might need to choose a location that has its own natural water source. You might want to choose a location close to a lake, river, stream or natural well.
Mind you, if man-made water systems are out of service, a lot of people are going to be looking for water in these locations. You’ll also need to consider how susceptible those sources are to contamination.
Depending on how long you plan on staying at your bug out location, food might be a major consideration. Are you going to have enough animal or plant life around you that you can just live off the land? Are you going to be packing in all your food? Is the ground suitable for planting?
Popular for other people
If you think you’ve found the perfect place for you, there might be others that think the same. While at times, preparing to defend yourself is necessary, you might have a leg up if you know how to barter and maintain a good relationship with other people who are also bugging out in the same location.
How are you going to get there?
Like we mentioned above, this really depends on how far away your location is from your home. If it’s close to your home, you might consider walking or riding a bike. If it’s far away, are you going to be driving? This also has an impact on your ability to prepare with food and water. If you are going to be packing in a lot of water and food, how far you have to travel might be a big decision.
How many people are you planning for?
Is it just going to be you? Your spouse? Your children? Friends? Extended family? Many times, people will join with a family friend to buy property and build a home on their bug out location. This is probably one of the first things you’ll need to determine because it has a huge effect on your food storage, water storage and other emergency supplies.
How are you going to get in contact with others? Going to bug out location doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t need to communicate. Are you going to be too far away that you don’t get mobile phone coverage? Are you going to get radio and/or TV coverage? Staying in contact with people will help you know what is going on and help you stay prepared.
Are you going to have the right supplies at your bug out location? While you might have enough food and water, what if you have a large cut and can’t heal yourself? You might consider a bug out location that is close enough to civilization that you can go to a hospital or find the right drugs that you need but is also far enough away that you can escape if you need to.
What do you think? What other considerations did you take into account when you were determining your bug out location?
What to do if a Nuclear Disaster is Imminent
This guide is for families preparing for imminent terrorist or strategic nuclear attacks with expected severe destruction and widespread radioactive fallout.
IF ONLY A 'Dirty Bomb' Attack was to happen and not the vastly more devastating nuclear weapon blasts I will discuss in a minute.
You can expect localized and downwind contamination from the explosion and dispersed radioactive materials. If you are near enough to see or hear any local bomb blast, assume that it includes radiological or chemical agents.
You should move away from the blast area as quickly as possible.
If the wind is blowing toward you from the direction of the blast, travel in a direction that keeps the wind to your left or right as you move away from the blast area. If possible cover your face with a dust mask or cloth to avoid inhaling potentially radioactive dust.
Upon reaching a safe location, remove your outer clothing outside and shower as soon as possible. Refer to local news sources for additional instructions about sheltering or evacuation. The government is better prepared to direct and assist the public in a 'dirty bomb' incident, unlike an actual nuclear weapon attack.
IN EVENT OF NUCLEAR WEAPON ATTACK!
In a national crisis of imminent nuclear weapon attacks, read all the way through this guide first.
(It will be on my website for all to see)
THEN TAKE EFFECTIVE PROTECTIVE ACTION WITH CONFIDENCE... FAST!
Should you stay or go?
You must decide FIRST if you need to prepare where you are, or attempt evacuation. The nature of the threat, your prior preparations, and your confidence in your sources of information should direct your decision.
If you are considering evacuation, your decision requires a very high confidence that it is worth the risk. You do not want to get stuck between your current location and you’re hoped for destination, as there will probably be no easy getting back.
If you fail to get to your destination, you may be exposed without shelter, in a dangerous situation with little effective law enforcement, perhaps among panicked hordes of refugees.
Whatever supplies you have may be limited then to what you can carry on foot.
IF you are in a big city or near a military target, AND you have relatives or friends in the country that you know are awaiting you, AND the roads between you and them are clear, AND the authorities are not yet restricting traffic, AND you have the means and fuel, evacuation may be a viable option for a limited time. DO NOT attempt evacuation if all of the above is not clearly known, or if the situation is deteriorating too quickly to make the complete trip.
You do not want to get stuck and/or become a refugee being herded along with panicked masses. If evacuation is truly a viable option, do not wait - GO NOW!
Do so with as many of the supplies as possible. Better to be two days too early in arriving than two hours too late and getting snagged mid-way, potentially exposing your family to a worse fate than having stayed where you were. Because of the very real danger of getting caught in an evacuation stampede that stalls, I think almost all families will be better off making the best of it wherever they currently are.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO FIRST
Because time is of the essence, you need to first delegate and assign to different adult family members specific tasks so they can all be accomplished at the same time. Your first priorities to assure your family survival are Shelter, Water, and Food/Supplies. While some are working on the water storage and shelter at home, others need to be acquiring, as much as possible, the food and supplies.
Because much of the food and supplies required may quickly become unavailable, quantities restricted, and/or the streets and stores may become un-safe soon, you need to assign someone NOW to immediately go to the stores with that list! Get cash from the bank and ATM's first, but try and use credit cards at the stores, if at all possible, to preserve your cash.
With one or more adults now heading to the stores with the list, those remaining need to begin storing water IMMEDIATELY! Lack of clean water will devastate your family much more quickly and more severely than any lack of food.
Without water for both drinking and continued good sanitary practices in food preparation and for bathroom excursions (which will inevitably be much less sanitary than normal), debilitating sickness could rampage through your household with little hope of prompt medical attention.
That is a highly likely but an avoidable, disaster, ONLY IF you have enough water.
Every possible container needs to be filled with water RIGHT NOW! It will be very hard to have stored too much water. When the electricity/pumps go down or everybody in your community is doing the same thing, thus dropping the water pressure, that's it, what you've got is all you might be getting for a very long time.
Empty pop bottles (1-3 litre) are ideal for water storage, also filling up the bathtub and washing machine. (Remember, later you'll have some in your hot water tank.) If you have any kiddie pools or old water beds, pull them out and fill them up, too. Anything and everything that'll hold water needs to be filled up quickly RIGHT NOW!!
One of the shopping items should be rubbish bins and liner bags which you'll also use for storing water. If you can't get any more new bins, you could clean out an existing rubbish bin and scrub it throughout with bleach, then put in a new rubbish bag liner and fill it with water.
Choose well where you fill up your rubbish bins with water because they won't easily be moved once full and many of them together could be too heavy for some upper floor locations. Ideally, they need to be very near where your shelter will be constructed and can actually add to its shielding properties, as you'll see below. BE ASSURED, YOU CANNOT STORE AND HAVE TOO MUCH WATER! Do not hesitate; fill up every possible container, RIGHT NOW!
The principles of radiation protection are simple - with many options and resources families can use to prepare or improvise a very effective shelter. You must throw off the self-defeating myths of nuclear un-survivability that may needlessly seal the fate of less informed families.
Radioactive fallout is the particulate matter (dust) produced by a nuclear explosion and carried high up into the air by the mushroom cloud. It drifts on the wind and most of it settles back to earth downwind of the explosion. The heaviest, most dangerous, and most noticeable fallout, will 'fall out' first close to ground zero. It may begin arriving minutes after an explosion.
While the smaller and lighter dust-like particles will typically be arriving hours later, as they drift much farther downwind, often for hundreds of miles. As it settles, whether you can see it or not, fallout will accumulate and blow around everywhere just like dust or light snow does on the ground and roofs. Wind and rain can concentrate the fallout into localized 'hot spots' of much more intense radiation with no visible indication of its presence.
This radioactive fallout 'dust' is dangerous because it is emitting penetrating radiation energy (similar to x-ray's). This radiation (not the fallout dust) can go right through walls, roofs and protective clothing.
Even if you manage not to inhale or ingest the dust, and keep it off your skin, hair, and clothes, and even if none gets inside your house, the radiation penetrating your home is still extremely dangerous, and can injure or kill you inside.
Radioactive fallout from a nuclear explosion, though very dangerous initially, loses its intensity quickly because it is giving off so much energy. For example, fallout emitting gamma ray radiation at a rate of 500 R/hr (fatal with one hour of exposure) shortly after an explosion, weakens to only 1/10th as strong 7 hours later. Three days later, it's only 1/100th as strong, or as deadly, as it was initially.
That is really very good news, because families can readily survive it IF we get them into a proper shelter to safely wait it out as it becomes less dangerous with every passing hour.
What stops radiation, and thus shields your family, is simply putting mass between them and the radiation source. Like police body armour stopping bullets, mass stops (absorbs) radiation. The thicker the mass, the more radiation it stops. Also, the denser (heavier) the mass used, the more effective it is with every inch more you add to your fallout shelter. The thickness in inches needed to cut the radiation down to only 1/10th of its initial intensity for different common materials is: Steel 3.3", concrete 11", earth 16", water 24", wood 38", etc. The thickness required to stop 99% of the radiation is: 5" of steel, 16" of solid brick or hollow concrete blocks filled with mortar or sand, 2 feet of packed earth or 3 feet if loose, 3 feet of water.
You may not have enough steel available, but anything you do have will have mass and can be used to add to your shielding - it just takes more thickness of lighter wood, for example, than heavier earth, to absorb and stop the same amount of radiation. Increasing the distance between your family and the radiation outside also reduces the radiation intensity.
The goals of your family fallout shelter are:
To maximize the distance away from the fallout 'dusting' outside on the ground and roof
To place sufficient mass between your family and the fallout to absorb the deadly radiation
To make the shelter tolerable to stay in while the radiation subsides with every passing hour.
While a fallout shelter can be built anywhere, you should see what your best options are at home or nearby. Some structures already provide significant shielding or partial shielding that can be enhanced for adequate protection.
If you do not have a basement available, you can still use the following techniques in any above ground structure, but you'll need to use more mass to achieve the same level of shielding. You may consider using other solid structures nearby, especially those with below ground spaces, such as commercial buildings, schools, churches, below ground parking garages, large and long culverts, tunnels, etc..
Some of these may require permissions and/or the acquiring of additional materials to minimize any fallout drifting or blowing into them, if open ended.
Buildings with a half-dozen or more floors, where there is not a concern of blast damage, may provide good radiation protection in the centre of the middle floors. This is because of both the distance and the shielding the multiple floors provide from the fallout on the ground and roof.
Bottom Line: choose a structure nearby with both the greatest mass and distance already in place between the outside, where the fallout would settle, and the shelter inside.
If you have a basement in your home, or at a nearby relatives' or friends' house that you can use, your best option is probably to fortify and use it, unless you have ready access to a better/deeper structure nearby.
For an expedient last-minute basement shelter, push a heavy table that you can get under into the corner that has the soil highest on the outside. The ground level outside ideally needs to be above the top of the inside shelter. If no heavy table is available, you can take internal doors off their hinges and lay them on supports to create your 'table'.
Then pile any available mass on and around it such as books, wood, cordwood, bricks, sandbags, heavy furniture, full file cabinets, full water containers, your food stocks, and boxes and pillow cases full of anything heavy, like earth. Everything you could pile up and around it has mass that will help absorb and stop more radiation from penetrating inside - the heavier the better. However, be sure to reinforce your table and supports so you do not overload it and risk collapse.
Leave a small crawl-through entrance and more mass there that can be easily pulled in after you to seal it up. Have at least two gaps or 4-6" square air spaces, one high at one end and one low at the other.
Use more if crowded and/or hotter climate.
A small piece of cardboard can help fan fresh air in if the natural rising warmer air convection current needs an assist moving the air along. This incoming air won't need to be filtered if the basement has been reasonably sealed up, however any windows or other openings will require some solid mass coverage to assure they stay sealed and to provide additional shielding protection for the basement.
With more time, materials, and carpentry or masonry skills, you could even construct a more formal fallout shelter, such as the lean-to shown to the right, but you should pile up much more mass than what little is shown here.
An effective fallout shelter constructed in a basement may reduce your radiation exposure 100-200 fold. Thus, if the initial radiation intensity outside was 500 R/hr (fatal in one hour), the basement shelter occupants might only experience 5 R/hr or even less, which is survivable, as the radiation intensity will be decreasing with every passing hour.
Next time I will look at further home shelters and suggested supply lists.
Here is a Great Offer From the Wilderness Gathering
Roger and Dom who own and run the Wilderness gathering have decided to offer the chance of winning a Wilderness Gathering Knife to everybody who books in advance for this year’s Wilderness Gathering
You can book here at www.wildernessgathering.co.uk
All you have to do is simply book in advance and you'll automatically be entered into the prize draw. Existing bookings are automatically included.
This year’s WG knife will be similar in profile to the 10th anniversary models offered last year in the “bushtool” type profile.
Roger says they will be made in O1 high carbon tool steel. I'm looking into handle material choices at present; I aim to make them all the same and am open to suggestions as per the handle material. Post on the Wilderness Gathering Facebook pages with any thoughts.
Rogers two sites are www.bisonbushcraft.co.uk and www.wildernessgathering.co.uk or call his office on 0845 8387062 you really won’t regret it.
Basic Survival Skills
You might be asking, “What is the best way to approach basic survival skills,” especially since there is so much information available. Here are 6 primary components of wilderness survival to help you thrive in any situation:
More than any other skill, your attitude determines how successful you are in a survival situation. This first of the basic survival skills might even determine whether you live or die!
To start, consider “The Rule of Threes.” A human can survive for:
- 3 minutes without air
- 3 hours without a regulated body temperature (shelter)
- 3 days without water
- 3 weeks without food
The “Rule of Threes” provides a guideline of how to prioritize basic survival skills: first shelter, then water, and lastly food.
Surviving a difficult wilderness situation also requires meeting many challenges while avoiding panic.
When faced with a potential survival situation, remember to use a "SPEAR":
By systematically assessing, planning, and executing your basic survival skills, you will help keep your mind and body actively engaged in addressing your situation. This will greatly aid in avoiding panic and other negative states of mind. By upholding an upright attitude, your chances of survival are greatly improved!
Many people who are forced into survival situations often get into serious trouble because of direct exposure to the elements. Most people in survival situations die of hypothermia, which can be easily avoided with basic survival skills.
Being able to build a shelter is of paramount importance in a survival situation. It is extremely important to prevent or minimize heat loss, or if in a desert environment, to minimize water loss.
Here are some things to think about when planning to build a shelter:
- Location (away from hazards, near materials)
- Insulation (from ground, rain, wind, air)
- Heat Source (body heat or fire-heated)
- Personal or Group Shelter
There are many types of shelters to consider including natural shelters such as caves, hollow stumps and logs, as well as building shelters such as a debris hut, lean-to, debris tipi, or snow shelter. Of the shelters listed, the debris hut is often the most practical to construct in almost any environment. Learn how to construct a debris hut.
Since the human body is composed of 78.2% water, it should be no surprise that water is higher on the list than fire or food. Ideally, a person should drink about a gallon of water per day.
Many lost persons perish due to dehydration, and or the debilitating effects of water-borne pathogens from untreated water. In addition to water-borne pathogens, minerals and metals can be found in waters downstream from industrial and agricultural operations.
The best sources for clean drinking water in a wilderness setting are springs, head-water streams, and collecting morning dew.
Popular modern methods for purifying and treating water include filtering pumps and chemical treatments, such as iodine. These can be efficient and effective solutions if you have access to these items in a survival situation.
The most widely used and proven method for safely purifying water is boiling. Bringing water to a boil and allowing it to continue to boil for 2-3 minutes will kill bacteria and viruses.
By maintaining a level attitude, creating a shelter, and obtaining clean water, a person can successfully survive for many weeks.
Even though it is not directly a survival need, fire is one of the most useful basic survival skills. It can help warm your body or your shelter, dry your clothes, boil your water, and cook your food.
Also, fire can provide psychological support in a survival situation, creating a sense of security and safety.
Ideally, when traveling in the wilderness, it is best to carry multiple fire-starting tools, such as a lighter, matches, flint and steel, etc… Even with these implements starting a fire can be challenging in inclement weather. We highly recommend practicing fire starting in different weather conditions within different habitats.
Good fire-making skills are invaluable. If you were to find yourself in a situation without a modern fire-making implement, fire by friction is the most effective primitive technique. Popular friction fire-making methods include bow drill, hand drill, fire plow, and fire saw.
Learn how to build a fire using the technique that works for you and practice it.
You might be surprised to see food so low on the basic survival skills priorities list, though we can survive for much longer without it as compared with shelter and water.
Remember “The Rule of Threes”: humans can survive without food for roughly 3 weeks (though I'm sure you would not want to go that long without food!).
Thankfully, most natural environments are filled with a variety of items that can meet our nutritional needs.
Wild plants often provide the most readily available foods, though insects and small wild game can also support our dietary needs in a survival situation.
Be sure that you properly identify any plant you plan on consuming (using field guides and or the guidance of an experienced expert). Many plants can be difficult to identify and some edible plants have poisonous look-a-likes. If you cannot identify the plant, do not eat it.
The more you know about nature, the better you will be able to survive in the outdoors. To be great at wilderness survival, beyond the basic survival skills, requires an in-depth understanding of a variety of nature skills.
For example, wildlife tracking skills allow one to effectively locate wild game for food, and knowledge of herbal medicine allows one to heal illnesses with wild plants. Especially for the situation where you may choose to purposefully practice survival living for a lengthened period of time, naturalist knowledge is absolutely invaluable.
All of our hunter–gatherer ancestors had classification systems for living organisms, knew their names, understood their uses, recognized how they inter-related to each other, and were aware of exactly how to utilize those resources in a sustainable fashion.
This knowledge was at the foundation of their ability to thrive within the natural environment.
For even the recreational wilderness skills practitioner, a basic knowledge of the natural sciences (such as botany, ecology, geology, etc…) can be very useful and enriching.
A great place to start is by purchasing the relevant plant and animal field guides for your region. These resources can help you begin to identify species and understand how they relate.
Now, with these keys to basic survival skills, you are well on your way to thriving in the outdoors!
Can We Catch Parasites from Foraged Foods?
Foraging for food in the wild is in. Let’s be honest; it’s never really been out. Nothing tastes more exotic than a tender spring fiddlehead cut by the river and steamed right away. Who wouldn’t reach for a plump ripe blackberry at the edge of the trail, or a low-hanging apple in the autumn?
I suppose you could say that recent interest in edible wild plants and wild meat has, however, made foraging fashionable.
Is foraging safe? Articles about foraging often focus on identification of wild plants, when to pick them, and what species to avoid. It’s true that whether or not a mushroom or green is poisonous is of more immediate concern than whether it might transmit a parasitic disease, but organisms like parasites rank high in food safety issues too.
So can We Catch Parasites From Foraged Foods?
Think back to the days before plant and animal domestication; our distant forebears were hunter-gatherers. They foraged for everything, and this was how they acquired most of their parasites (those that they weren’t sharing directly person to person, such as lice).
Picking up parasites from contact with soil, drinking water, and the wild foods that they ate was the norm. Make no mistake, those parasites haven’t gone away; so far as I know science does not record any instance of a parasite infectious to humans going extinct.
If anything, we have made things worse. Domesticating crops and animals has given a lot of parasites unprecedented opportunities, but dense human populations, large numbers of domestic animals, and our environmental impact have changed things in the wild as well. For example:
All surface waters, everywhere, should now be considered contaminated by intestinal protozoa of humans and cattle.
Human communities in North America support unusually high populations of raccoons, carriers of a deadly roundworm.
Roaming and feral house cats have contaminated soils worldwide with the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii.
Migrating humans have spread lots of parasites to places where they were formerly not found.
Where droppings from grazing animals wash into streams, liver fluke larvae infest watercress.
Foraged Food and the Risk of Parasitic Diseases
While studies of the risk of parasitic disease faced by foragers as a group may be lacking, mountains of literature document the risks of eating and drinking, and even walking, in the wild.
The risk you face while foraging for wild food depends a lot on what you’re looking for, and where you’re looking for it. Eating wild animals can be the source of diseases such as trichinosis, toxoplasmosis, and intestinal flukes and tapeworms.
Plants may be contaminated with human or animal faeces, or they may harbour larval forms of parasites. In some places, picking up a zoonosis – a disease of animals – is the major worry; in others, parasites of humans are more common.
In tropical developing countries, sanitation is often poor and faecal contamination of the environment intense, let’s be honest outside toilets are merely one of the places where we accidentally sow the seeds of wild plants that we eat.
These outside toilets are also good places to pick up parasitic infections; forage there at your peril.
In industrialized countries, wild plants are relatively safe as long as they are not contaminated with animal droppings (although, here too, aquatic plants such as watercress may transmit liver fluke) as I have mentioned.
Pick with clean hands, leave anything questionable, and wash thoroughly. If you want to eat anything raw, wash it with running potable water.
Thorough cooking will kill just about everything, but be careful to clean surfaces that have come in contact with the uncooked food. Wild animals can carry nasty parasites in both meat and faeces so, again, cook well and clean thoroughly (and don’t feed raw trimmings to the family dog).
Foraging for Parasites
No discussion of foraging and parasites is complete without noting that, in many cultures, people deliberately forage for parasites.
Some fish, and shellfish such as oysters, are particularly tasty when infested with certain parasites; pea crabs, parasites of oysters are eaten as gourmet foods in North America. Robin Overstreet describes tasty caterpillars, nut-like botfly and warble fly larvae, fried “sweet meat” (liver flukes) from deer, and both fish and mammal tapeworms eaten raw, among other things.
Thus, in the true spirit of foraging in the wild, when we come across a parasite, the first question is “will it hurt me?” and the second is “can I eat it?”
When the Trucks Stop the UK Stops
OK so you are not a prepper and you think that preppers are a few cards short of a full deck? you assume that anyone that is "preparing for doomsday" does not have their elevator going all the way to the top floor?
Well, you might want to listen to me first before you make a final decision that all preppers are crazy.
The information that you are about to hear I hope will shock you. To be honest, you have no idea how incredibly vulnerable our economic system is to a transportation disruption. I am continually getting emails and comments on my websites asking "how to prepare" for what is coming, so when I came across this information I knew that I had to share it with all of you.
Hopefully what you are about to hear will motivate you to prepare like never before, and hopefully you will share this information with others.
Originally, I was going to write an article about the rising unemployment in Europe today. Did you know that unemployment in the Eurozone is now at a 15 year high? It has risen for 10 months in a row with no end in sight.
But I have written a few articles about the economic crisis in Europe before. So before starting on this article I started thinking of all the "preparation" questions I have been getting lately and I went surfing for further information.
The truth is that our "just in time" inventory and delivery systems leave us incredibly vulnerable to a nationwide disaster.
You see, it is very expensive to hold and store goods, so most manufacturers and retailers rely on a continual flow of deliveries that are scheduled to arrive "just in time", and this 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 that 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.
So what could potentially cause a nationwide transportation shutdown?
Well, it is easy to imagine a lot of potential scenarios - a volcanic eruption, a historic earthquake, an EMP attack, a solar megastorm, a war, a major terror attack, an asteroid strike, a killer pandemic, mass rioting in UK cities, or even martial law. If something caused the trucks to stop running, life in the UK would immediately start changing.
So exactly what would that look like?
A Timeline Showing the Deterioration of Major Industries Following a Truck Stoppage
The first 24 hours
Delivery of medical supplies to the affected area will cease.
Hospitals will run out of basic supplies such as syringes and catheters within hours. Radiopharmaceuticals will deteriorate and become unusable.
Service stations will begin to run out of fuel.
Manufacturers using just-in-time manufacturing will develop component shortages.
UK mail and other package delivery will cease.
Within one day
Food shortages will begin to develop.
Automobile fuel availability and delivery will dwindle, leading to skyrocketing prices and long lines at the petrol stations.
Without manufacturing components and trucks for product delivery, assembly lines will shut down, putting thousands out of work.
Within two to three days
Food shortages will escalate, especially in the face of hoarding and consumer panic.
Supplies of essentials—such as bottled water, powdered milk, and canned meat—at major retailers will disappear.
ATMs will run out of cash and banks will be unable to process transactions.
Service stations will completely run out of fuel.
Domestic rubbish will start piling up in urban and suburban areas.
Container ships will sit idle in ports and rail transport will be disrupted, eventually coming to a standstill.
Within a week
Automobile travel will cease due to the lack of fuel. Without autos and busses, many people will not be able to get to work, shop for groceries, or access medical care.
Hospitals will begin to exhaust oxygen supplies.
Within two weeks
The nation’s clean water supply will begin to run dry.
Within four weeks
The nation will exhaust its clean water supply and water will be safe for drinking only after boiling. As a result gastrointestinal illnesses will increase, further taxing an already weakened health care system.
This timeline presents only the primary effects of a freeze on truck travel. Secondary effects must be considered as well, such as inability to maintain telecommunications service, reduced law enforcement, increased crime, increased illness and injury, higher death rates, and likely, civil unrest.
All this would happen almost immediately if there was an EMP attack or a CME event, I suggest that if you are not a prepper that you seriously consider becoming one and if you are a prepper heed my words please.
So you don’t think a Pandemic could happen well these stories will prove you wrong
Chinese Researchers Created Flu Virus Strains
Scientists slam 'appalling irresponsibility' of researchers in China who deliberately created new strains of killer flu virus
Former government chief scientist Lord May accused Chinese team of 'blind ambition'
Researchers created strains in a bid to develop vaccines
Comes as experts warn new flu strain that has killed 27 in China could spread to Europe
One of Britain's leading scientists has hit out at Chinese researchers who created new strains of a killer flu virus in a bid to develop vaccines.
They claim the 'hybrid' flu, which mixes bird flu virus with human flu, could escape the lab and lead to a global health crisis pandemic killing millions of people.
It comes amid rising fears of a flu epidemic as China struggles to contain an outbreak of the virus.
The Bird Flu Virus up close: researchers fear an experimental strain of he killer virus could escape from the Chinese lab that created it
The Bird Flu Virus up close: researchers fear an experimental strain of the killer virus could escape from the Chinese lab that created it
Fears over hybrid flu escaping led to scientists imposing a voluntary moratorium on their H5N1 research, banning transmission studies using ferrets.
However, researchers decided to lift the ban earlier this year, arguing that they have now consulted widely with health organisations and the public over safety concerns.
However, some scientists still oppose the work, saying any work is too dangerous and experimental strains could escape the lab.
Professor Hualan Chen, director of China’s National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory at Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, deliberately mixed the H5N1 bird-flu virus, which is highly lethal but not easily transmitted between people, with a 2009 strain of H1N1 flu virus, which is very infectious to humans.
GPs advised how to spot bird flu as virus continues to mutate at an alarming rate
The researchers claim the work could help develop a vaccine.
The work of Zhang and colleagues provides a framework for further studies examining how the structure of the avian flu virus influences how readily it could transition to being a pathogen with human pandemic potential,' Science Express, the journal which published the research, said.
The study, which was carried out in a laboratory with the second highest security level to prevent accidental escape, resulted in 127 different viral hybrids between H5N1 and H1N1, five of which were able to pass by airborne transmission between laboratory guinea pigs.
However, it is feared the mutated viruses could escape, sparking a global pandemic.
They claim they are doing this to help develop vaccines and such like,' Lord May of Oxford, a former government chief scientist and past president of the Royal Society, told The Independent.
In fact the real reason is that they are driven by blind ambition with no common sense whatsoever, and the record of containment in labs like this is not reassuring.
They are taking it upon themselves to create human-to-human transmission of very dangerous viruses. It’s appallingly irresponsible,' he said.
It comes as experts warn human cases of a deadly new strain of bird flu that has killed 27 people in China are likely to crop up in Europe and around the world.
Quarantine activities at a bay in Hwaseong City, South Korea. Lord May, a former Government science advisor, warned the 'hybrid' flu, which mixes bird flu virus with human flu, could escape the lab and kill millions
In his first media interview since returning from an international scientific mission to China last week, Professor Angus Nicoll, the head of the influenza and respiratory viruses programme at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), said the H7N9 flu outbreak in humans was one that should be taken extremely seriously and watched closely.
We are at the start of a very long haul with H7N9,' Nicoll told Reuters in a telephone interview.
He said there were many scientific questions to be answered about the new flu strain, which was first detected in patients in China in March having been previously unknown in humans.
The flu has so far infected at least 127 people in China and killed 27 of them, according to latest data from Chinese health authorities and the World Health Organization.
Scientific studies of the virus have established it is being transmitted from birds - probably mostly chickens - to people, making it a so-called zoonotic disease that humans catch from animals rather than from other humans.
Nicoll, who visited Beijing and Shanghai last week with a team of international scientific experts, confirmed what the WHO has repeatedly said - that there is no evidence yet of the virus efficiently passing from person to person - a factor that would make H7N9 a serious pandemic flu threat if it were to evolve.
A worker sprays disinfectant in a live poultry market in Banchiao, New Taipei City, ahead of a sweeping ban on live poultry slaughter in markets that will take effect across Taiwan in two weeks
Nicoll said the 'most pressing public health question' for now was to identify the source of the circulating virus - the so-called 'reservoir' - that is leading to chickens contracting it and sporadically passing it on to humans.
This is likely to take time, with any results unlikely for several months.
He said the ECDC, which monitors disease in the European Union, and health authorities around the world should expect that 'imported cases' of H7N9 flu may well begin to crop up elsewhere.
Flu experts speaking at a briefing in London on Wednesday said those mutations, together with evidence that H7N9 is still mutating rapidly and probably spreading almost invisibly among birds because it does not make them obviously sick, meant this new flu was a 'serious threat' to world health.
You can never predict anything about flu, but it is concerning to see those mutations there, Nicoll said. 'That's why it's important Europe should take this very seriously.'
Nicoll added that he thought the Chinese were doing an 'impressive job' handling, reporting, investigating and seeking to contain the outbreak.
Outbreak Of New SARS-Like Virus Kills 5 In Saudi Arabia
With a new bird flu in China, it's easy to forget that there's another worrisome virus emerging in the Middle East.
Today we got a rude reminder of its presence.
Five more people have died from a new SARS-like virus on the Arabian Peninsula, the World Health Organization Thursday. Two others are being treated in intensive care.
That brings the total cases to 24, including 16 deaths.
Since the virus in April 2012, it has been detected in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and the U.K.
There's very little information about the seven new cases, except that they were all reported at the same hospital in Al-Hasa — a region on the eastern edge of Saudi Arabia, bordering the Persian Gulf.
Virologists discovered the new coronavirus after it killed a Saudi Arabian man last summer.
Coronaviruses can cause a mild cold or severe pneumonia-like symptoms.
Bats harbor many types of coronaviruses and were probably the original source of the new coronavirus that appeared in the Middle East.
We have not found any cases anywhere else in the eastern region, Dr. Ziad Memish, from the Saudi Ministry of Health, The National.
The virus is a cousin of SARS, which killed more than 750 people in 2003. Like SARS, nCoV causes severe pneumonia, but it doesn't spread easily between people.
In February, two family members in Britain the virus from a relative who had been traveling through Saudi Arabia. But otherwise, there has been little evidence of person-to-person transmission.
Genetic sequencing shows that nCoV is most closely to a bat virus. But health workers still don't know where the virus comes from.
That's the million-dollar question, virologist of the U.K. Health Protection Agency told Shots a few weeks ago. "We don't really know how any of these patients have caught the virus, except for the two families in the U.K.," Bermingham said, referring to the first 17 cases.
We don't have a good handle on what's happening on the Arabian Peninsula or elsewhere," she added. "But we're hopeful that authorities there are actively investigating their severe respiratory illnesses.
Viruses are one of those things that pop up every now and then. You just don't know when they're going to cause human infections," she said.
And Another Super Bug
Gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported sexually transmitted disease in the U.S.
A growing number of cases are being reported globally of an antibiotic-resistant strain known as HO41
It has been listed as a superbug and doctor are warning it has the potential to become very dangerous very quickly
Gonorrhea is especially common amongst young people aged 15-24
Doctors are warning that an antibiotic-resistant strain of gonorrhoea, now considered a superbug, has the potential to be as deadly as the AIDS virus.
This particular strain of gonorrhea, known as HO41, was discovered in Japan two years ago in a 31-year-old female sex worker who had been screened in 2009. The bacteria has since been found in Hawaii, California and Norway.
In a bid to avoid contracting gonorrhea, in particular the HO41 strain, people are encouraged to practice safe sex
HO41 has so far proved resistant to current antibiotic treatment and so it has been placed in the superbug category.
This might be a lot worse than AIDS in the short run because the bacteria is more aggressive and will affect more people quickly,’ Alan Christianson, a doctor of naturopathic medicine told CNBC.
Nearly 30 million people have died from AIDS related causes worldwide, but Christianson believes the effect of the gonorrhea bacteria is more direct.
Getting gonorrhea from this strain might put someone into septic shock and death in a matter of days,’ Christianson said. ‘This is very dangerous.’
In a briefing on Capitol Hill last week, William Smith, executive director of the National Coalition for STD Directors, urged Congress to target nearly $54 million in immediate funding to help find an antibiotic for HO41 and to conduct an education and public awareness campaign.
A Terrifying holiday bug that can burst your blood vessels
All it takes is an insect bite and you could even fall victim on a trip to France. The growing danger of deadly dengue fever
James Bradley had planned a romantic holiday to Bali as a surprise for his wife. But a few days into their trip, the 33-year-old developed what he thought was flu.
It was, in fact, a tropical disease, and he deteriorated so rapidly his wife Katie feared the worst.
He had contracted dengue fever, a disease spread by infected mosquitoes. While it usually produces only flu-like symptoms, James went on to develop a severe form, which causes internal bleeding and can prove fatal. Worldwide, 20,000 people die from it every year.
With no cure or vaccination, dengue is endemic in more than 100 countries (compared with nine in 1970), and there are 100 million infections every year.
Though it’s a tropical disease, cases have been reported in France and Croatia. After it struck the island of Madeira last year, the World Health Organisation warned of a future European outbreak.
Though it cannot be passed from human to human, a non-infected mosquito that bites someone with dengue then becomes a carrier, passing the disease to the next person it bites.
Infected travellers can also inadvertently bring home the disease to their native country.
Dengue incubates for several days — after the initial bite, the disease multiplies in the lymph glands.
By morning, the fever had hit 40c. I was also being sick and suffering terrible diarrhoea. The hotel called a doctor, who diagnosed gastroenteritis.’
By the next day, James could barely walk.
Not only was James showing the characteristic symptoms — fever, aches and vomiting — but blood tests showed his platelet count was plummeting.
Platelets are the tiny cells that are vital for blood clotting. A healthy person usually has 200,000 to 400,000 platelets per cubic millimetre of blood. James’s had fallen to just over 100,000 — a common level in dengue sufferers. A count of 50,000 can prove fatal.
Here are two great Bushcraft shows for you to attend this year
The Bushcraft Show
It’s a jam-packed, three-day event filled will amazing bushcraft activities that will take you, your friends and family on a bushcraft and survival adventure that you’ll never forget. Whether you come for the day or stay for the weekend, you can try your hand at woodland crafts, fire lighting, shelter building, tracking, foraging, woodland games and so much more. Click onto their site to learn more http://www.thebushcraftshow.co.uk See YOU there between the 25 and the 27th of May
THE ELEVENTH WILDERNESS GATHERING 2013 15th to 18th August
The Wilderness Gathering has over the years become a firm date in the diaries of those who enjoy bushcraft, nature and wilderness survival skills. The previous ten years have seen this event grow from a small event in one field with some traders and schools sharing bushcraft skills and knowledge to a festival of wilderness living skills encompassing bushcraft/survival and woodland crafts.
The show has grown into an event with something for all the family with stories and music by the campfire in the evenings and skills workshops and activities throughout the three whole days of the festival.
The Wilderness Gathering has without a doubt become the premier family event for all those interested in bush crafts and the great outdoors.
The show has bushcraft clubs for all age groups of children to get involved in plus more activities for all including den building and wilderness skills classes for all.
There are hands on demonstrations of game preparation, knife sharpening, basha boat building, bow making, greenwood working, archery and axe throwing and primitive fire lighting to name just a few. There are talks on survival phycology, classes on falconry and wilderness survival fishing. All of these skills are there for everybody and anybody to participate in.
You can probably pick up information on nearly all the skills needed to live in the wilderness and prosper at The Wilderness Gathering.
There is a wealth of good quality trade stands that are carefully selected to be in theme for the show selling everything from custom knives to tipis and outdoor clothing to primitive tools. The organisers have even laid on a free service bring and buy stall where you can bring along your used and unwanted kit and they’ll sell it for you.
There are local scout and explorer groups onsite promoting the World Wide Scouting Movement as well helping out with some of the classes and site logistics.
The catering is within the theme of the event with venison and game featuring on the menus plus organic cakes and drinks. The woodland and open field camping facilities (with hot showers) giving you the option to visit for the whole weekend or just to attend as a day visitor.
Check out www.wildernessgathering.co.uk or call 0845 8387062 you really won’t regret it.