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Survival Kit


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

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

Save space

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

Save weight

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

Increase simplicity/Reduce clutter

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

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

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

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

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

Survival Axe

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

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

Survival Knife

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

Survival Whistle

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


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

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


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

Plastic Bags

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

Duct Tape

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


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


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

Sanitary Pads/Tampons

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

YOU’RE Grey Matter

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

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

Rely on your knowledge before any of these other tools I have mentioned, will get you out of most sticky situations alive.

A Faraday Cage
Whether or not your electronics are plugged in, how long of an antenna you’ve got on something, what voltage it is, or whether or not they operate with batteries—all non-protected electronics will be affected by an EMP.

Batteries will be affected, usually in the form of “shorting” as well.

Electronic phone systems will also be damaged.
Surge protectors are useless in the event of an EMP exposure.

Just because your car has rubber tires, it will not be impervious to the effects of an EMP. Rubber containers are insufficient protection against an EMP.

And oh yeah—yes, your Faraday cages DO need to be grounded. If it’s NOT grounded, then the Faraday cage merely becomes a reflector or an amplifier.

Yes, a microwave can act as a Faraday cage, but why in the world would you want to use it for that? That’s just silly when you can make one simply.

Faraday cages do not have to be solid, thus the name “cage” instead of the often misused term—“box.” In fact, many of them that you can build yourself or will see on the internet will resemble a bird cage or a very finely meshed chicken coop wire.

Also, contrary to what you may see on the internet, a sheet of foil on a box will not protect you. It’s not thick enough to withstand the pulse. However, you CAN protect your items if they are buried a couple of feet underground in every direction (up and sideways.)

Last, but not least, a car is NOT a Faraday cage sufficient to withstand an EMP incident. It has some similar components, yes. Most cars made today consist of fiberglass and disjointed parts, not a continuous metal material.

In addition to that, they are on tires. Tires on a car do NOT serve as grounding. Folks are simply getting an EMP strike confused with a lightning strike. 

Now, IF you had an old fashioned car that was made of metal, that had its tires removed, that was also attached to an Iron or copper pole and that was ALSO on dirt—not gravel—then yes, you may have a car that doubles as a Faraday cage. 

The cages do not have to be solid, but they do have to be constructed continuously without gaps between the protective material.

You can use an old metal filling cabinet lined with cardboard to act as a faraday cage or metal biscuit tins for example, just check the net out and you will find many examples of how to make a faraday cage simply.

Prepare 72-Hour "Bug-Out" Bags.
This is an easy, cost-effective preparation that makes a ton of sense — no matter what happens. 

Even a small preparation like this can have an enormous impact on how you survive the first few days after any type of catastrophic event.

I’ll bet there were a lot of people after evacuated flood hit Britain that would have loved to have such a bag for each member of their family...

This could be a backpack or bag of some sort for each family member that contains all the items that individual may need during the first 72 hours after a disaster strikes.

Items to include in such a bag would be toiletries, important papers (see below), change of underwear and clothes, some bottled water, snacks, a few bags of freeze-dried food that only require two cups of hot water to reconstitute within self-contained bag, water purification device,
metal cup and small pot for boiling water, backpacker mini-cook stove with fuel, sleeping bag, towel, ability to make fire, flashlight with extra batteries, glow sticks, ground cloth, tarp, rain gear, plastic forks, knives, spoons, parachute cord, personal cleaning wipes,
a first aid kit and medication, good sharp knife and a multi-tool, fishing line, small fishing hooks, compass, cash, physical gold and silver, map of areas you may need, and any other items that would make sense for you.
Special items required by the elderly, babies, and pets need to be considered as well.
Important paperwork you should bring with you includes: birth certificates, insurance policies, passports, medical records, pet medical records, bank account information, deeds and titles to cars, homes etc., computer backup.

Gather these and put them in a suitable container and wrap in plastic against the elements.

Having such preparations after a tornado, hurricane, or any calamity would allow you to grab and go because it’s already prepared.

Each member of my family has such a bag. I keep each one of them in the basement of our house in a heavy-duty large trash bag for protection against the elements.

Understand what “just in time inventory” is — and how this can affect you.

Most Brits take for granted the intricate systems that make it possible for us to engage in seemingly mundane day-to-day tasks like filling up our petrol tanks, loading up our shopping carts at the local supermarket, obtaining necessary medications, and even pouring ourselves a clean glass of water...

When we wake up each morning, we just expect that all of these things will work today the same way they worked yesterday.

What very few people have considered is the complexity involved in the underlying infrastructure that allows goods, services, and commerce in GB to flow.

Fewer still have ever spent the time to contemplate the fragility of these systems or the consequences on food, water, health care, the financial system, and the economy if they are interrupted.

The truth is, our "just in time" inventory and delivery systems leaves us incredibly vulnerable to a nationwide disaster.

You see, it is very expensive to hold and store inventory, so most manufacturers and retailers rely on a continual flow of deliveries that are scheduled to arrive "just in time," which significantly reduces their operating expenses.

This is considered to be good business practice for manufacturers and retailers, but it also means that if there was a major nationwide transportation disruption, our economic system would grind to a halt almost immediately.

Once store shelves are picked clean, they would not be able to be replenished until trucks could get back on the road. In the event of a major nationwide disaster, that could be quite a while.

A report prepared for legislators and business leaders highlights just how critical our "just in time" inventory and delivery systems are, and assesses the impact on the general population in the event of an emergency or incident of national significance that disrupts the truck transportation systems responsible for carrying some millions on tons of commodities and supplies across the United Kingdom each year.

A shutdown of truck operations as a result of elevated threat levels, terrorist attacks, or pandemics would, according to the report, have "a swift and devastating impact on the food, healthcare, transportation, waste removal, retail, manufacturing, and financial sectors."

So too would events such as an EMP attack or a coordinated cyber-attack that could shut down global positioning systems and the computers responsible for inventory control.

Another potential scenario that is more likely now than ever before is liquidity problems within the financial system stemming from currency crisis or hyperinflation...

All of our "just in time" delivery systems are built upon the unhindered transfer of money and credit, but when credit flow becomes restricted or money becomes worthless, no one will be able to pay for their goods. Likewise, no one will trust the credit worthiness of anyone else.

This is exactly the scenario playing out in Greece right now and the consequences on the health care industry in that country have left many without lifesaving drugs. When there’s no money, no one will be transporting anything.

The effects of a transportation shutdown for any reason would be immediate (in some cases, within hours) and absolutely catastrophic.

an event that disrupts truck transportation systems may seem unlikely to many, recent history suggests it is fully plausible — and the blowback can be devastating...

A day after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, panicked government officials stopped all transportation flow into the region, forcing hundreds of trucks loaded with emergency supplies like food and water to wait for permission before they could enter the area.

As a result, thousands of residents of the city were left without items essential for survival. It took days before truck routes were re-opened and supplies were allowed to flow.  

FEMA Cocked up again.

Government officials acting on limited information, lack of knowledge, and personal politics were responsible for restricting the flow of goods into New Orleans, potentially killing hundreds of people

It will be exactly the same here in the United kingdom.
What this incident demonstrated is that when the trucks in America stop, all commerce and delivery stops with it.

Educate yourself on and take measures to store food.

There is plenty of material available on the Internet about the best ways to store food. I personally have read many books on the topic, and one of the most important features is trying to gather materials that have a long shelf life and which keep their nutritional value...

Most store-bought items have very short shelf lives and don’t work well for long-term food storage. Canned goods can work, but these must be stored in a cool, dry environment well below room temperature for increased shelf life (but not freezing).

Freeze-dried food can also work, but can be rather expensive — and the taste can sometimes be questionable. (There are many different manufacturers, and you need to educate yourself before purchasing. I like tasting the items first before making any major purchases.) as most taste of cardboard to me.

Better yet is to store staples such as wheat, rice, beans, sugar, oats, etc. — which, if stored properly, can last up to 30 years.
I look at my food storage as an investment, and I want it to have a long life. 

There are various methods of storing these staples, and each person should consider what method would work best for their circumstances.

Obtain water and purify it.

In my search for "safe drinking water," I found what I consider the best available situation on the planet...
The Lifesaver water bottle uses the latest technology to provide clean, pure drinking water. I have spent a lot of time searching the best way to purifying water, and in my opinion, there's nothing better whilst in a bug out or in location.

However whilst on the move the Purificup comes into its own as the best water purifier on the market for those on the move.

Also under the water category, it is wise to consider some form of water storage — whether it's five-gallon containers, 55-gallon plastic drums, or some other form of storage, all of which can be obtained from many different sources.

The bottom line in water preparedness is to always have a safe source(s) of clean drinking water and a way to store it.

To most this may sound absurd, since you can get clean drinking water from the tap in your home, but in times of emergency and/or civil unrest, the water may be shut off — or you may be displaced from your home and will need a way to access clean water.

This is one of the most rehashed subjects of survival, but probably the most important one.

Most people just assume the taps will continue to flow and water will be there.

People need to know that unless water is from a spring, it will likely need to be purified — and this means some reliable filters or boiling (which requires heat from a fire along with pots to boil it in).

Aside from drinking, water is also needed to rehydrate food, make milk from powder, and of course, for personal hygiene.
How much water will be needed and used is something that is often vastly underestimated.

Economic Collapse

Know how to protect yourself. This almost certainly means owning a firearm and knowing how to use it to protect yourself or others.

Many TV survival documentaries show people who feel they can defend themselves with knives or clubs, but in reality, they are going to lose 98% of the time against someone else with a firearm.

Someone that has been specifically trained on how to use firearms in a defensive manner will almost always win the day in a gun battle.

You can’t just own a gun; you have to know how to use it at a very high level. 

You also need to know how to clean your weapons and take care of them. Access to a gunsmith may or may not be available to you during an emergency situation...

Some people think they cannot use a firearm against another person, but this feeling changes abruptly when they see one of their family members at risk.

Some people still cannot use a firearm in any circumstance, and these people should consider some form of self-defence such as the non-lethal devices (stun batons, pepper sprays, TASERS, even baseball bats).

People can feel that everyone will come together and rebuild society, and many good people will — but there are plenty of bad people in this world. And it may come down to you or them.

Everyone needs to practice over and over with any self-defence armament they have so there is no hesitation when it comes to saving one’s life from someone that is willing to take yours or your loved ones'.

Some other types of guns to consider are a good defensive shotgun (12 gauge) with large-size buckshot and a long-range rifle with a quality scope.

If you are not familiar with guns, it is best to find a friend who is who can help you through the process of buying handguns, shotguns, or rifles.

Once you have the guns you want, it then becomes necessary to know how to safely use those guns without hesitation if needed. If you are not familiar with the handling of guns I highly recommend you find someone that can properly train you in a safe environment.

Unfortunately, the "bad guys" always have illegal guns. So it is in your best interest to go through whatever permitting or paperwork hassles necessary to obtain legal weapons of any kind in your own country.

Have a way to cook food in case the power is off. A story below from someone who experienced an earthquake serves as a great reminder why we want to have the ability to cook our own food during a crisis...

A few years ago, I remember seeing people waiting in long food lines after an earthquake hit California. Many of the people in the damage zone spent hours in breakfast lines, then long lines for lunch, then a repeat for dinner.

They had to spend many hours a day in food lines because either they had no food reserves or had no means of cooking their stored food.

A little preparation can go a long way in preparing for emergencies. Had these good people stored a little food, fuel, and invested in a good quality Dutch oven for example, they would be set for cooking in their back garden instead of relying on hand-outs to supply their family's nutrition.

Good quality Dutch ovens are fun to use, the food always tastes great, and they're invaluable in emergencies. They require charcoal to prepare your food.

Understand the psychology of desperate people. This is a difficult one.

After a SHTF event, people will not behave normally. That neighbour who was in control during many minor emergencies may be the one pounding on your door with whacked-out eyes demanding what you have because they did not prepare for anything.

Someone in your own survival group may just blank out in a zombie-like stare.

Unexpected times bring out the best and worst in people — and you need to prepare for this possibility.

You yourself could lose it. Again, preparing for this will help should it occur. You always hope that disasters will bring out the best in your fellow human beings, but often this is not the case.

Maintain proper hygiene. This is one of the top priorities within the armed forces because disease and sickness can and do take down the toughest of soldiers.

People must realize that after a terrible disaster, it is not like someone going camping, comes back dirty, and taking a nice long shower or a hot bath...

After a SHTF event the water to the taps, as well the hot water heater, may not work. Bathing on at least a semi-regular basis is necessary to avoid all sorts of bacteria from building up on the skin and causing a variety of concerning ailments that will then have to be treated.

People should plan on how they will keep themselves clean — think sponge baths or using personal wet wipes as an option.

How to dispose of waste and proper sanitation. In third world countries and the pre-flush toilet era, one of the leading causes of illness and death was (and still is) improperly discarded waste. If the toilets won’t flush because there is no water to make them work, human waste is going to be a huge whopping problem for people trying to survive. 

Even improperly burying human excrement can lead to disease. Portable toilets, toilet paper, and disinfectant (bleach, for one) should be one of the top items in any survival kit.

Disposal of other rubbish is an issue that can bring hungry dangerous animals around drawn to the stench. Burning of trash is one method; plastic rubbish bags and the means to find some place to dump them is another alternative.

Learn to control pests and other vermin. I have talked about this before, this is a problem that led to about half of Europe dying several hundred years ago with the Black Death.

Fleas and ticks carry some terrible diseases. Even people that stay inside their own homes will have to deal with this problem. People outside will have to contend with the fleas, ticks, flies, mosquitoes, mice, rats, and so on...

There are many repellents in nature that can help: citronella, even the smell of garlic will repel most vermin. Stocking up on insect and other commercial repellents is always an excellent idea. It only takes one bite to make a person deathly sick.

Understand radiation fallout and how to protect yourself. This is one of the least understood of the survival precautions taken. There are hundreds of nuclear power plants that could fail after the world as we know it goes down the tube.

There are still tens of thousands of nuclear weapons available for war should countries decide to use them. 

Fallout is something that you cannot even see... and until you are sick, you might not even know you have been contaminated.

The purchase of a radiation detector that is protected against EMP is a wise idea. Understanding about radiation accumulation dosage (rad) and how to shield oneself from exposure is paramount.

Learn first aid. Treating yourself and/or others will probably be the only thing someone can do, as medical professionals are going to be few and far between.

Many places offer free classes on first aid because they want people in the community to be prepared. A good first aid book along with a first aid kit is something every household should have before, during, and after a disaster.

Primitive conditions should be expected when anyone is helping someone after a catastrophe. A stockpile of antibiotics is always a good idea.

From my viewpoint, this is a skill set that is valuable in any circumstance — but particularly in SHTF events when medical personnel may not be available in a convenient time frame.

Learn about nutrition. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are nothing to fool around with. Just consider what scurvy, the lack of Vitamin C, can do to someone...

Many survivalists and "preppers" make the critical mistake of only being concerned about calories to keep them going. Certain vitamins (A, B1-B12, C, D, E, K), minerals (Calcium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Zinc) and trace minerals are necessary to keep a body going.

Each person needs different amounts and any survival food supply should take this need as important as the food itself. Many survival foods have some of what your body needs, but sadly lack in others...

Vitamin and mineral supplements should be stocked with food if someone is unsure about what they are getting. Trace mineral drops are a liquid that can solve this problem, and are a good addition to any emergency supply.

How to start and maintain a fire. This is for everyone. Having a fire and keeping it going when you need it has been the essence of survival for thousands of years.

Fire cooks, heats water, keeps you warm, sterilizes items, and gives light. Having a lighter, matches, and a starter is one thing; but actually keeping the fire going is another...

Making sure the fire does not cause damage to your home or shelter is something not everyone thinks about. Burning of toxic wood or other material is something to remember as well.

While most everyone thinks that using a fire is rudimentary, there is much more to it. As a matter of fact, a church group recently tested some of their members and gave them matches to start a file.

Most of the people had trouble starting a basic fire even though they had matches. This is a skill that you must acquire that allows you to consistently start a fire anywhere at any time.

You should also learn to start a fire without matches.

Learn how to grow food and/or find it. People’s supplies will only last so long, and eventually self-sufficiency will mean acquiring your own food — by either growing it or hunting for it.

Many people are into seed storing, and in many cases, growing your own food will feed the family. However, growing food has many drawbacks that people need to look at.
Water is an issue in dry areas as irrigation is very man- or animal-power intensive.

One of the gravest things to contemplate is actually guarding your yield, as two-legged problems could be a bigger issue to your crops than some beetle infestation. Hungry people will see food growing and take it, 24 hours a day. No one can grow enough food to feed all those seeking food.

From a practical sense, it might be a better idea for some to go the hunter-gathering route. There are many good survival shows on television today that are very informative on surviving off the land.

Learning these skill sets can make a huge difference in any survival situation.

Last-minute items to secure from the supermarket. Hopefully you already have your long-term food storage and other preparations in place: canned goods, grains, rice, pasta, paper products, and freeze-dried foods that store well over time...
This should allow you to concentrate on these other items while most other people are trying to secure what you already have.

Once a SHTF event occurs, you may want to quickly go to the supermarket to secure these last-minute items before the shelves are empty. These are typically items that don’t store well for the long-term, but would be critical to own once a breakdown occurs.

Studies have shown these short-term storage items go first when a crisis happens. 

Most of these products have a shelf life of less than 18 months:

Bottled Water
Powdered Milk
Pancake mix (never use beyond shelf life, as this has been known to cause toxic shock)
Ramen Noodles
Beef Jerky
Cooking Oils
Dried Fruits
Power Bars
Juice Powders
Spices (salt, pepper, etc.)
Baking Essentials (flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder)
Alcohol for medicinal purposes or for bartering
Hard Candies
Baby Food, Diapers, Wipes
Pet Food
These are just some suggestions that people need to address now — before trying to survive the aftermath of a horrible event.

People who prepare have to realize that when civilization stops functioning, so too does everything that most of us depend on.

There may never be a safety net there for us WHEN our stocked-up survival supplies run dry.

Much of survival is having supplies — as well as backups for when food, water, and other necessities cannot be found. The other part is being ready for everything our new situation could throw our way. For this, we all need to learn survival skills.

When someone thinks about their personal needs, an individual can probably add many more survival skills to the items I have talked about above. 

You want to become quite proficient in these skills before the SHTF so you and your family have a better chance of surviving.

Emergency Survival Items Bug-Out-Bag
Disasters here in the UK such as floods and storms or power cuts can strike at any time, sometimes without warning. 

All disasters have the potential to cause disruption, damage property and take lives.

The information here will help you learn about the disasters that can affect you and what you can do to be prepared before they happen. And knowing what to do during and after these disasters will also help you and your loved ones keep safe and get through.

In most emergencies you should be able to stay in your home. Plan to be able to look after yourself and your household for at least three days or more. 

Assemble and maintain your emergency survival items for your home as well as a portable getaway kit a, Bug-Out-Bag in case you have to leave in a hurry. You should also have essential emergency items in your workplace and in your car.

Emergency Survival Items

Torch with spare batteries or a self-charging torch
Radio with spare batteries
Wind and waterproof clothing, sun hats, and strong outdoor shoes.
First aid kit and essential medicines
Blankets or sleeping bags
Pet supplies
Toilet paper and large rubbish bags for your emergency toilet
Face and dust masks

Check all batteries every three months. Battery powered lighting is the safest and easiest. Do not use candles as they can tip over in earthquake aftershocks or in a gust of wind. Do not use kerosene lamps, which require a great deal of ventilation and are not designed for indoor use.

Food and water for at least three days
Non-perishable food (canned or dried food)
Food, formula and drinks for babies and small children
Water for drinking. At least 3 litres per person, per day
Water for washing and cooking
A primus or gas barbeque to cook on
A can opener
Check and replace food and water every twelve months. Consider stocking a two-week supply of food and water for prolonged emergencies such as a pandemic.
Bug-Out Bag

In some emergencies you may need to evacuate in a hurry. Everyone should have a packed getaway kit in an easily accessible place at home and at work which includes:
Torch and radio with spare batteries
Any special needs such as hearing aids and spare batteries, glasses or mobility aids

Emergency water and easy-to-carry food rations such as energy bars and dried foods in case there are delays in reaching a welfare centre or a place where you might find support. If you have any special dietary requirements, ensure you have extra supplies

First aid kit and essential medicines
Essential items for infants or young children such as formula and food, nappies and a favourite toy
Change of clothes (wind/waterproof clothing and strong outdoor shoes)
Toiletries – towel, soap, toothbrush, sanitary items, toilet paper
Blankets or sleeping bags
Face and dust masks
Pet supplies
Local maps
Survival Knife
Survival Kit

Include important documents in your getaway kit: identification (birth and marriage certificates, driver’s licences and passports), financial documents (e.g. insurance policies and mortgage information), and precious family photos.
First Aid

If someone you care for is injured in a disaster, your knowledge of first aid will be invaluable. Many organisations provide first aid training courses. Consider taking a first aid course, followed by regular refresher sessions. You can buy ready-made first aid kits or make up your own.

In some situations you may be forced to evacuate your home, office, school or neighbourhood at short notice.
Before an evacuation

Consider your transportation options in case you have to evacuate. If you do not own or drive a car, ask emergency planning staff at your local council about plans for people without private vehicles.

Know which local radio stations to listen to during an event for announcements from your local emergency planning officials.

Discuss and practice your evacuation plans with everyone in the household.

Make in-case-of-evacuation arrangements with friends or relatives in your neighbourhood as well as outside the area you are in.

Know the evacuation routes you could take and plan several evacuation routes in case roads are damaged or blocked.

If you have pets, domestic animals or livestock, include them in your emergency plans.

If there is a possibility of an evacuation, fill your car’s fuel tank. Keep in mind that if there are power cuts in an event, fuel stations may not be able to operate pumps.

If you are in an area this is being evacuated
Listen to your local radio stations as emergency planning officials will be broadcasting the most appropriate advice for your community and situation.

Evacuate quickly if told to do so by authorities. Take your getaway kit with you. If you are outside the evacuation zone when a warning is issued, do not go into an at-risk area to collect your belongings.

If there is time, secure your home as you normally would when leaving for an extended period.

Turn off electricity and water at the mains if there is time. Do not turn off natural gas unless you smell a leak or hear a blowing or hissing sound, or are advised to do so by the authorities.

Take your pets with you when you leave if you can safely do so.

If you have livestock, evacuate your family and staff first. If there is time, move livestock and domestic animals to a safer area.

Use travel routes specified by local authorities. Some areas may be impassable or dangerous so avoid shortcuts. Do not drive through moving water. If you come upon a barrier, follow posted detour signs.

Get your car ready

Why not plan ahead for what you will do if you are in your car when a disaster strikes. In some emergencies you may be stranded in your vehicle for some time. A flood, snow storm or major traffic accident could make it impossible to proceed.

Consider having essential emergency survival items in your car. If you are driving in extreme winter conditions, add ice scrapers, brush, shovel, tire chains and warm clothing to your emergency kit.

Store a pair of walking shoes, waterproof jacket, essential medicines, snack food, water and a torch in your car.

When planning travel, keep up to date with weather and traffic information.

Your Survival Kit
Making a Survival Kit is essential for people who live in areas that are prone to natural disasters. 

The majority of these disasters are earthquake, flooding, hurricane, bush fires, tsunamis, etc. A bug out bag is not only necessary for all households but for sportsmen as well.

There are times, that survival skills equates to life or death and this determines the well-being of a person during emergencies. Making a survival kit does not only equate to the preparation of some items to survive a catastrophe being trained to use the actual survival kit items is also necessary.

There are survivalist who refute the usefulness of making a survival kit. This is due to the fact that people who make them do not really have the actual hands on experience with the items. 
In this regard, we may say that these survivalist are correct. What will be the use of these materials if a person does not qualify or know how to use them?

Throughout this article I will not only discuss how important the making a survival kit is but how the 10 most important items are to be used. Scenarios such as being lost in a wood can turn out into an ugly situation, however if you have your urban survival kit things can be steered into a more positive experience.

There was a story of a 93 year old woman who survived a devastating snow storm. She remained inside her house for 5 days. When rescue arrived, she was asked if she wanted to evacuate, she refused evacuation and asked for fire wood instead.

She survived eating canned foods and was able to warm herself by burning fire wood she does not have knowledge of making a survival kit. Using her common sense and being prepared at all times helped her through.

A survival story does not have to be grand, laced with several horrific incidents however not all stories have a happy ending but being equipped with the correct tools and knowledge may ensure safety.

Steps in making a survival kit

1. Making a survival kit requires a list of the most important things to include in your very own kit. Create a list of the things you may need once a disaster or emergency occurs.

2. Pick a container big enough to contain all of the items in your list. The container should be easy to carry around and have a room for all the items that you may need.

3. Gather your materials the most important are the things that will aid you once you are on the run or looking for an evacuation centre where food and other necessities are present. We will break down the materials that you may need while you are looking for a suitable temporary shelter.

4. Water – When making a survival kit make sure that all persons in the household are accounted for. One gallon of water is suffice for a person for one day. Your kit must contain supplies that will last for 3 days or 72 hours.

5. Food – When a tragedy strikes expect that food will be scarce. When making a survival kit, make sure to include food that has a long shelf life, a good source of energy and no cooking is necessary

6. Clothing – Warmth is important, pack clothes that are warm and comfortable for movement.      

7. Making a survival kit is not complete without the items that will allow you to know what is going on around you. Prepare a battery operated transistor radio with fresh batteries. Also include whistles, flares and matches.

8. Include a first aid kit in your survival kit, medical supplies such as over-the-counter medicines, special medical equipment if someone in the household needs it. Although some medical apparatus is heavy and may slow you down find an alternative for it if possible. If there are infants, make sure that the supplies they need are also included in your kit.  

Making a survival kit is not easy, but it will prove to be useful in the future.
The logic behind in making a survival kit

Making a survival kit may prove to be useless if the person who has it does not know how to use the items included in it.

Train yourself on how to use and operate items that are included in your kit. Read manuals ahead of time to ensure that the emergency arrives you are well prepared.

Making a survival kit requires patience and dedication, you do not have to have all the materials right away, however you will have to complete it as soon as you can. In doing so, you are well prepared and ready for an emergency.

If a certain situation arrives and you are unsure of what to do, ensure that you think clearly and assess the situation. Your survival kit items are your life line during emergencies. 

Making a survival kit does not ensure your safety however it increases your survival rate dramatically.

Winter Survival Car Kit
We've already seen a number of nasty winter storms and we're sure to see more before spring. Every time there's a storm, someone is sure to get stranded, but being prepared makes it easier.

Take a few minutes now to put together an emergency kit; you'll be glad you did, should that fateful time come when conditions cause you to stop and stay that way for hours - either on the road or because you slid off it.

First things first, find or buy a kit or overnight bag about the size of a couple of plastic grocery bags. You'll be able to establish the right size after reading through this list of suggestions. 

It should be waterproof and made of a material that will remain pliable in extremely cold conditions.

Now place one side of a strip or two of Velcro on the bottom of the bag and the other(s) in a remote corner of the boot or load space.

That way when you are finished loading the bag and put it in the boot, it won't be constantly sliding around. If the boot is carpeted, you can probably use only the hook side of the Velcro If there is a suitable tie-down spot, you can also use a bungee cord or two to secure the bag in place.

Now let's fill the bag. 

In no particular order you should obtain:
Small containers of antifreeze and lock de-icer.
A folding plastic warning triangle.
A blanket.
Thick wool socks, oversize boots, mittens and a thick hat with fold-down ear covers or pair of ear muffs.

Raid the wardrobe for little-used but bulky and warm items. 

You can also use these items to wrap others items within the bag to prevent rattling.

A torch is a good idea but chances are the batteries will be dead when you need it, so make sure it will also operate off the 12-volt system or use an LED version, which is compact yet powerful, and will use less energy, allowing batteries to last longer, (spare batteries)

A charger for your mobile phone.
Jumper leads.
A 10-metre length of rope or tow strap
A small folding shovel: it can be wrapped in the blanket to prevent it from moving around in the boot

A candle, waterproof matches or instant lighter and a clean old juice can. The candle in the can is capable of supplying some much-needed heat and light when stranded in a dark, remote location.
A first-aid kit.

A couple of high-energy snack bars from the supermarket or health food shop.

A small tarp folds into a very small package and would certainly be appreciated if the incident has left your vehicle in an unfriendly place like a river or down a bank. 

It will also help cover holes made by broken windows and keep the elements out and heat in.

A spare pair of glasses if the intended driver uses them.
Duct tape: Its ability to hold almost anything together could be critical

A long bungee cord: Besides holding the bag of emergency equipment in one place, it may hold car parts in place or a door closed after a crash.

A coat hanger: it can be used for a number of repairs or to hold things together. It's also useful to stick up above a snow bank to help others locate you.

Multipurpose tool or a Swiss Army knife wrapped in an oil-soaked cloth: put it in a water-proof baggie to make sure it doesn't get rusted shut.
A small bag of cat litter to create some grip where none exists.

A survival blanket, Medication, wet wipes
Self-heating meals

After this it is up to you this is not an exhaustive list by any means.

When You Have to Go-You Have to Go
There is probably no place on earth that's not at risk for some type of widespread emergency, be it a hurricane, tornado, blizzard, earthquake, volcano, tsunami, flood, or wildfire. 

A little common-sense planning and preparation can go a long way to minimize the adverse impact on you and your family in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. Once a crisis is imminent it may be too late; think about it now and take the necessary steps to protect yourself and family.

Every crisis has its own special features. Way back on the 25th June, 2007, Hull received an unusually high amount of rainfall that led to widespread flooding across the city and the surrounding area.

Over the wider city region, over 10,000 properties were damaged impacting upon the livelihoods and well-being of tens of thousands of people. 

In December 2010 hundreds of drivers were stuck on the main route between Glasgow and Edinburgh for 12+ hours as the snowy conditions blanketed the central belt of the country and recently over 80,000 people in the North East were hit by a power cut.

After any widespread disaster there is the likelihood of public services being disrupted. You can probably carry on without electricity or natural gas, but once water and sewer service are lost we quickly realize how much our civilized world depends on indoor plumbing and in particular the flush toilet.

A major lesson from past disasters is that as individuals we must be prepared to survive on our own for at least the first few days after a disaster. Disaster can strike quickly and without warning. It can force you to evacuate your neighbourhood or confine you to your home.

What would you do if basic services--water, gas, electricity or telephones--were cut off? Perhaps it is true that local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone right away, you will be on your own.

Below are ideas and suggestions to help you get started in preparing your home for an unexpected disaster.

Flooding is always a threat to homes located near water. But the flooding Hull in 2007 showed how widespread flooding can get. And you don't need to live near water to have your home inundated with water, a friend of mine had four-inches of water in his basement from a nearby ruptured water pipe.

One of many steps you can take to help minimize the damage to your home is to put a sandbag into the toilet bowls. This will not prevent your home from being flooded, but it will prevent sewer waste from backing into your home.

Emergency toilet seal

There is a unique product in the UK that provides an emergency seal for toilets. It looks a bit like a lid to a small rubbish bin. The seal is quick to fit, easy to store and secures the toilet during a flood to prevent backflow. 

This company will ship to the U.S. by the way it is click HERE

Value of Household Bleach
In the mid-50s the country was also concerned about civil defence. I remember numerous newspaper and magazine articles on preparing our homes for a widespread disaster.

The one suggestion that I've never forgotten is to NEVER throw out an empty bleach bottle. They make great containers for storing water. Rinse out, fill with water, seal and label them, then store in a dark spot in your house.

I always buy bleach in the largest container available, usually a one and a half gallon size. While you should replenish the water every six months (use to water your plants), it's not hard to forget to do so, but it's easy to disinfect the water if you need it for drinking purposes.

You can use household liquid bleach to kill microorganisms. Use only regular household liquid bleach that contains 5.25 per cent sodium hypochlorite. Do not use scented bleaches, colour safe bleaches or bleaches with added cleaners.

Add 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water stir and let stand for 30 minutes. If the water does not have a slight bleach odour, repeat the dosage and let stand another 15 minutes. The only agent used to treat water should be household liquid bleach.

Other chemicals, such as iodine or water treatment products sold in camping or surplus stores that do not contain 5.25 per cent sodium hypochlorite as the only active ingredient, are not recommended and should not be used.

If you are uncertain about the purity of any water source, treat before you use it for drinking, food preparation or hygiene. In addition to having a bad odour and taste, water from questionable sources may be contaminated by a variety of microorganisms that can cause dysentery, cholera, typhoid and hepatitis.

To treat water, follow these steps:

1. Filter the water using a piece of cloth or coffee filter to remove solid particles
2. Bring it to a rolling boil for about one full minute
3. Let it cool at least 30 minutes. Water must be cool or the chlorine treatment described below will not work.
4. Add 16 drops of liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water, or 8 drops per 2-liter bottle of water. Stir to mix. Sodium hypochlorite (concentration 5.25% to 6%) should be the only active ingredient in the bleach. There should be no added soap or fragrance.
5. Let stand 30 minutes.
6. If the water smells of chlorine, you can use it. If it does not smell of chlorine, repeat steps 4 and 5. If after the second try the water smells of chlorine, you can use it. Otherwise, discard and find another source of water.

People with certain medical conditions may need distilled or sterile water. Your doctor can tell you whether you fall in this category.

How to build a toilet for surviving a disaster

After a disaster or in an emergency it might be necessary to build an emergency toilet. If water pipes are broken or sewer lines are not working then a sanitary emergency toilet can be built. This is an easy project that can be finished in 10 minutes.

How to convert a flush toilet into an emergency toilet.

1. Line the inside of a toilet bowl, 5 gallon pail, or another appropriately sized waste container with two heavy-duty plastic garbage bags.
2. Place kitty litter, fireplace ashes, or sawdust into the bottom of the bags.
3. At the end of each day, the bagged waste should be securely tied and removed to a protected location such as a garage, basement, outbuilding, and so on, until a safe disposal option is available.
4. You can dispose of the waste in a properly functioning public sewer, or septic system, or they may bury the waste on their own property.

Note: During a declared emergency, these bags may be included with the regular garbage if a public announcement has been made that allows this method of disposal.

Temporary Toilet Provisions

Right after an emergency, or during one, you will probably not have the time and tools to prepare a complex emergency sanitation system.

If there is a delay of several days in restoring sewage service to your neighbourhood, you may find that disposal is a big problem.

Build a Make Shift Toilet

To build a makeshift toilet, line a medium-size plastic bucket with a garbage bag. (If the sewage lines are broken but the toilet bowl is usable, place the plastic garbage bag around bowl.) Make a toilet seat out of two boards placed parallel to each other across the bucket. An old toilet seat will also work.

After each use, pour a disinfectant such as bleach into the container to avoid infection and spreading of disease.

Cover the container tightly when not in use. Bury garbage and human wastes in the ground to avoid the spread of disease by rats and insects. Dig a pit two to three feet deep and at least 50 feet from any well, spring or water supply.

Sawdust Potty

During a flood, your city's sewer system or your household's septic system may not work. To be prepared, store materials to make a sawdust potty in your emergency kit as well. All you need is organic material such as sawdust, peat moss or soil, and a 5-gallon bucket with a lid. After you use the potty, just pour a layer of organic material in the bucket and put the lid on.

The Survival Spear
When it comes to a survival situation, having a useful weapon is a necessity. 

However, an easily obtained weapon is not always readily available. 

That said though if one uses their wits about them they can fashion an effective survival spear from many different materials.

One of the first types of survival spears that can be relatively easy to make is the wood tipped spear.

To make this spear, you simply need a straight piece of wood and a knife. You then take the knife and sharpen one end of the straight wooden piece into a spear point. 

To strengthen this weapon, you can fire harden the tip of it.

In order to fire harden the tip of it, you will need to place the tip of the spear into the fire and let the tip begin to burn. As soon as the tip begins to burn, you remove the spear from the fire and extinguish the burning end of the spear.

At this point, you then use your knife to scrape any charred wood from the tip of the spear. The spear is now finished and the tip has been fire hardened to make a sharp and durable weapon.

Another type of survival spear that can easily be produced is the rock or glass tipped spear. To make this type of spear, you simply need a straight piece of wood, a knife, a sharp piece of rock or glass, and a length of some kind of cordage.

With these materials, you first split one end of the straight wooden piece down the centre of the shaft for a length of about 2 inches. Then you place the blunt end of the sharp piece of rock or glass into this split.

Make sure to position the sharp side of the rock or glass to the outside so that the tip of the spear will be sharp. Next use the cordage to tightly tie the split back together. Once this is done, the spear should be finished.

It is a good idea to make sure that the tip of the spear is firmly locked into position. If there is any slack in the spearhead, then you should tie the cordage tighter around the split in the wooden piece until the spearhead cannot move. Once this is accomplished, the spear is completed.

The final type of survival spear that can be easily produced is the metal tipped spear. This type of spear requires you to have a sharp piece of metal or a few straight sharp metal pieces, like bike spokes. 

Then you will also need a knife, some form of cordage, and a straight wooden piece.

Once these materials are in hand, you can begin making your spear. To make this type of spear, you need  to either split the wood down the middle in the case of a single metal spear point, or you will need to sharpen the wood piece to a tip in the case of using several sharp narrow metal pieces.

Then use the cordage to secure the single metal point into the wooden split, if this is the type of spear point you are working with. 

If you are working with multiple narrow metal points, then you will use the cordage to secure these pieces to the outside of the spear around the sharpened wooden tip.

Once this is done the spear will be finished. Of the three types of spears mentioned here for survival, this is the most durable and useful. 

A metal tipped spear cannot only be useful for hunting game, but it can also be used for fishing and defending yourself against threats.

Overall, the knowledge gained from making your own survival spear will serve you well, should you ever be in a survival situation. It will allow you to quickly and easily make a weapon that can help you to procure food and to defend against threats. 

In the end, the skill and know-how gained from building your own survival skill could one day save your life.

Getting Started in Air Rifle Shooting
There are really only three questions when buying your first air rifle, the first one is what do you want it for, plinking or hunting, two, spring or gas and lastly which calibre .177 or .22

Let’s say that you want to hunt, well OK then, I say that for the survivalist and prepper that the best air rifle is a spring operated one because they are dead simple to maintain and fix should things go wrong with it, and the main reason I recommend spring operated air rifles is because they never run out of air, which is ideal in a survival SHTF situation.

So which calibre doe he choose well, is the .177 caliber pellet adequate for squirrel hunting? It certainly looks very tiny, and 

I suppose it is a fair question as to whether or not it is a viable hunting caliber in air guns.

Now there is a school of thought in the air gun world that uses this rule of thumb: “.177 for feathers, .22 for fur.” In other words, if you are shooting birds, a .177 is sufficient. If you are hunting non-avian game, then consider a .22 caliber. In my experience, it really comes down to the issue of pellet placement on the target. 

I have had good luck using both calibers in squirrel hunting, and the caliber issue is less of a concern to me than the issue of what particular air gun do I want to carry around with me today.

With the great number of models and power plants plus the huge price spread in airguns today, picking one specific gun is a challenging task. It's even more difficult for someone new to airgunning who has to learn the technology before making a choice.

You want to get something right away, but how do you know whether it's the right gun? If there were airgun stores in most big cities the problem would be somewhat easier to solve, but even then how would you know whether you had found exactly what you wanted?

To narrow the field, you need to answer some questions:

How will you use the gun? General shooting? Hunting? Competition? For each of these, there are a host of other questions, like...What will you be hunting or what kind of competition will you be involved in? 

Sometimes the answer also provides much of your decision criteria, such as the rules for target shooting that govern the few models that exist.

How strong are you and how much work are you willing to do? Spring-powered guns require a cocking effort measured in pounds.

Some of these guns, such as the Webley Patriot or the Gamo 1250 Hunter, can be much more difficult to cock and only a strong adult male and very few strong women will be able to operate it.

You may be very strong, but you may not want to work that hard to shoot. If so, choose a spring gun that's easy to cock, or better yet, get a precharged pneumatic or CO2 gun.

Do you want to hunt or kill pests? If so, an air rifle is almost certainly mandated. There are very few air pistols powerful enough to kill animals reliably. 

The best hunting caliber is probably .22 because there are a greater number of pellets available in that calibre, and the .22 hits game with more authority than the smaller calibres.

Here are 10 air rifle hunting tips that will ensure that you are up to the challenge of hunting with an air rifle.   

Air rifle hunting can be a great challenge and a great deal of fun.   

It does require a lot of practice not only with the air rifle itself, but with hunting the game species in question.   

Here are 10 tips to get you started hunting with your airgun.

Before every hunt verify the rifle is properly sighted in.
Verify the gun is in good working order.  For pneumatic guns this means they are holding air pressure and not leaking.   

Same goes for CO2 guns.  For spring guns this means verifying the guns cock easily and without binding or interference.  Always make sure the safety is on and working properly.

Spend some time practicing with your gun before taking it to the woods.  Air rifle, unlike firearms have a pronounced "loop" in their trajectory and will require a certain degree of holdover at longer hunting ranges.  

For this reason it is very important that the shooter practice to be effective in the field.

Select appropriate ammunition for the quarry and hunting conditions.  Flat headed and hollow point pellets work very well on smaller pests and offer less penetration around buildings, where safety and damage to property may be an issue.   

Round head and pointed pellets are great for longer range shooting and often provide the best accuracy and penetration.  Select round or pointed pellets for larger game and in instances where shots may be taken at longer distance.

Camouflage is always important, regardless of the kind of hunting you are doing.  It is even more important when hunting with airguns, as you need to be very close to your quarry before attempting a shot.

Practice your stalking and still hunting skills,  Go slow and be as quiet as possible while hunting small game.  This will aid you in getting the close shots required in airgun hunting.

Typically adult air rifles have an effective maximum range of 50 yards.  Until you become very familiar with your gun, it is best to keep your distance and shots in the 30 yard range or less.

Shot placement with an air gun is paramount.  Most small pests such as birds and mice can be dispatched easily with shots placed in the chest or head.   

But for larger game species such as squirrel, rabbit, rats, etc.  It is best to stay with head shots.

One of the great joys of hunting with an airgun is the relative low power and thus safety of the weapon.  Regardless of the guns limited range it is always important to be aware of pellets trajectory and where it might land if it either passes through the game or if you miss entirely.   

Be safe and try to select shots that offer a good back stop for you projectile.

Always take the time to learn the habits of the game you intend to hunt.  If you are hunting squirrels you need to learn about what types of food they eat, where they stay during the day, and how to stalk and approach them without being seen.  Same is true for other species such as Rabbit, Crow, Rat, Starlings, etc.   

Take a little time to research before you hunt.  There is a wealth of information available on the interment on hunting of all types.  Take advantage of it.
Above all be safe, and enjoy the wonderful sport of airgun hunting.


Airguns can, in the wrong hands, be lethal. 

However, by following a set of simple, commonsense safety rules, you can ensure that you are never the cause of an accident.

Always assume your gun is loaded. You'd be amazed how many accidents have happened with guns their owners 'knew' were unloaded.
Never point your gun at another person.
Never carry a loaded air weapon in a public place and when you are carrying your gun in public, keep it fastened securely away in a gunslip or case.
Never load your gun until you are ready to shoot.
Never fire your gun unless you are certain the shot will be a safe one. 

This means checking there are no other people nearby who might be endangered by the shot and ensuring there is a suitable backstop to catch pellets and prevent ricochets.
When at a shoot, never let your gun out of your sight.
Never let young children near your gun unsupervised.
Never touch anyone else's gun unless you have permission.
After using your gun, make sure it is unloaded and store it in a secure place to which children cannot gain access. Store ammunition in a separate secure place.

Getting Started

Air weapons are mainly sold from firearms dealerships and outdoor sports shops.

Air rifles with muzzle energies of less than twelve foot pounds (16.3 joules) and air pistols with muzzle energies of less than six foot pounds (8.15 joules) can be bought by any person aged eighteen years or more.

However, if you want an air rifle with a muzzle energy greater than twelve foot pounds, you must first obtain a firearm certificate from your local police firearms licensing department. 

Air pistols with muzzle energies greater than six foot pounds or air pistols and air rifles which use the self contained gas cartridge system (these used to be manufactured by Brocock as BACS Cartridges and does NOT include the CO2 cartridges used in CO2 rifles and pistols) are prohibited weapons which may only be acquired with the authority of the Secretary of State. 

If you are in any doubt, seek advice from your local police firearms licensing department.

Having bought your gun, you can use it for a number of purposes including target shooting, vermin control and hunting small ground game. 

However, if you have never shot before, you would be well advised to go to a shooting club with an airgun section and learn from a qualified instructor how to handle your gun safely and responsibly and become an accurate shot. 

You may find that target shooting provides all the challenge you need or you may want to move on to shooting live quarry.

If you do move on to live quarry shooting you must be careful only to shoot on private property over which you have permission to shoot. 

Provided you follow the safety rules contained in this guide, you will be able to shoot safely and enjoyably even on quite small pieces of ground.

Airguns and the law

Although air weapons, with very few exceptions as outlined above, are not required to be kept on a firearm certificate, they are still classed as firearms and fall under the control of the firearms legislation.

As an airgun shooter, you must make sure that you know the law and keep within it. If you don't, you could find yourself in court facing charges with sanctions ranging from heavy fines right up to life imprisonment. 

The following is a list of the laws by which you must abide and you might be surprised at just how long it is:

It is an offence to sell or make a gift of an air weapon to a person under eighteen years of age.

It is an offence for anyone under eighteen to carry an air weapon unless - they are under the supervision of a person aged twenty one or more or they are on private land and have permission from the occupier or they are shooting as a member of an approved club or they are shooting at a shooting gallery for miniature rifles.

It is an offence for a person under eighteen shooting unsupervised on private land to allow any pellets to cross the boundaries of the property.

It is an offence for any person, regardless of age, to be in possession of an air weapon in a public place without a reasonable excuse. A reasonable excuse might be carrying a gun to and from a target shooting club or to and from land on which you have permission to shoot. It would also include taking a gun to and from a gunsmith for repair or service or taking a new gun home from the dealer.

It is an offence to trespass with an air weapon, be that in a building or on land.

It is an offence to have an air weapon if you are a person prohibited from possessing a firearm by section 21 of the 1968 Act. This section prohibits anyone who has been sentenced to a custodial sentence of between three months and three years from possessing an air weapon or other firearm for five years from the date of release. Anyone sentenced to three years or more is prohibited for life.

It is an offence to fire your gun within fifty feet (fifteen metres) of the centre of a public road in such a way as to endanger or impede any road user.

It is an offence to shoot protected wild birds or animals. When live quarry shooting, it is your responsibility to make sure that you only shoot legal quarry.

It is an offence to shoot pet animals. Besides being abhorrent to most people, this is, above all others, the offence that gives all air weapon shooters a bad name.

It is an offence to have an air weapon with intent to damage property.

It is an offence to have an air weapon with intent to endanger life.

This may seem a long and onerous list, but it is all no more than common sense. If you use your gun safely and responsibly, you will be in no danger of committing an offence.

In Conclusion

You should always remember that airguns are capable of inflicting severe injuries and even of killing people.  

Irresponsible owners have given airgun shooters a bad name by breaking windows, shooting pets and protected wild birds and even sniping at people.

You can do your bit to help change this perception by using your gun in a way that demonstrates that air weapon shooters are, in the main, responsible people who pose no threat to anyone. 
Always follow the guidelines set out in this information. 

Urban Survival kits
In 1986 John "Lofty" Wiseman's book "The SAS Survival Handbook" bought the concept of Survival Kits to the public attention.    

Tobacco tins were looted and crammed full of fishing hooks and candles and anything else small and useful you could fit into them.  

After a time, when people realised you couldn't eat them and they didn't keep you warm at night, the realisation dawned on schoolboys up and down the country that carrying survival tins for wilderness situations was, perhaps, a little foolish.

I would say that 25 years ago survivalism was a niche area - the preserve mainly of the military. 

There is no evidence to suggest that the number or scale of natural disasters have increased in modern times but the explosion of the travel industry into more remote areas, a greater number of independent travellers and increased urbanisation in and around areas with high probability of Natural disasters have increased our exposure to such events.

Other heightened threats include political uncertainty, civil unrest, military action and the Post-9/11  7/7 world of modern terrorism.

'Survivalism' is experiencing a resurgence in the form of 'Preparedness' for major incidents in urban environments, at home and abroad.

In the same way that the contents of your First Aid kit should reflect your needs and situation, the equipment you might consider should similarly reflect your:

Geographical location,  areas of political / civil / military unrest. Terrorist targets - typically western city centres, especially business districts.

Your occupation Diplomatic service, NGO's, Financial sector, frequent traveller Proximity to definitive safety
Urban versus remote,  Home nation versus travelling abroad

What do I need?

To best answer that it is worth considering the likelihood of experiencing a hostile situation (kidnapping, terrorism etc) or natural disaster (earthquake, flooding etc.) and deciding which Tier of preparedness is appropriate for you.

Tier 1 - Every Day Carry

Every Day Carry (EDC) is an American term for the items you would always want to have about you to help get you home safely or safely out of harm’s way.    

The key to it being an 'everyday' list is that it needs to be a small list and things that you would really have the tenacity to carry with you all day, every day.   It is very easy to let this list grow.  

Before you know it you have a belt full of pouches and your bulging key ring is full of whistles, torches, compasses, knives and so on, which becomes an inhibitor to carrying it.

Your EDC should be small, unobtrusive and be able to fit in your pockets.

Mobile Phone

The cheaper the better as it is less likely to get stolen.  If you have a smart phone there are a range of useful Apps which in tandem with most smart phone's GPS will be able to give you an accurate location which is important when trying to establish help, be it in a foreign country or a nondescript British B road in the dead of night. 

Credit Card

It is a good insurance policy to have a credit card with as much limit as you can negotiate which you never use.  This requires willpower.  In most urban areas, anywhere in the world, having a Visa or MasterCard with £1000 can get you food, accommodation or even a plane flight home.


Of course not all places will accept your flexible friend and sometimes real money is actually worth more.   

Carry as much as you can afford to lose - if that makes sense.   
Remember, this is emergency money, not spending money.   

An old travelling tip is to carry two wallets; your real wallet secreted somewhere and a sacrificial wallet with a few pounds which you are willing to hand over if forced.    

For added authenticity (nothing looks more suspicious than a brand new wallet with a single bank note in it) use an old wallet and add a couple of supermarket club cards, some stamps and a photo.


As with the phone, in many ways cheaper is better.  A posh watch will draw attention to you which is not wanted in a hostile situation and a cheap one won't hurt if it gets stolen or broken.    

The key thing with a good watch is to ask yourself "what do I need it for?"   The answer should be 'to tell the time' and nothing else. 

It doesn't matter if it is analogue or digital; the face needs to be uncluttered and easy to read.   Esoteric chronographs have overtones of the 'professional pilot' but you will never need to time anything down to 1/100th of a second.   

Similarly, a digital watch laden with accessories and features is unnecessarily bulky, unnecessarily difficult to read and unnecessarily expensive.   Numbers, Day, Date.  That is it.   If it glows in the dark or illuminates properly, all the better.


Again, it is about functionality.   Don't go for the biggest tool with the most features as its size and weight will put you off carrying it around with you all day.  The Leatherman Wave and Gerber Multiplier are both regarded as benchmark multi-tools.


A small AAA battery torch like the Fenix E05 or a lithium LED 'pinch' torch which is small enough to fit on your key ring.  Whilst you would not expect it to illuminate you journey home, these powerful little torches provide enough light to guide you out of a dark or smoke filled building or even signal your location over short range.

Disposable Lighter

basics of survival, be it urban or remote, short or long term are shelter, food, warmth and signalling.  A lighter and any combustible material can provide the last two.

Permanent Pen

A fine point marker pen is more use than a thick marker for making notes and can write on more surfaces than a ballpoint pen.  Don't worry too much about carrying a notebook as you can usually lay your hands on some writing material somewhere.
Tip - Be frugal.  Each item should have a purpose and they should be essential.  Avoid gadgets or gimmicks such as credit card sized multi tools or carabiners with a built in torch and compass.

Tier 2 - Grab Bag

The Grab Bag is for higher risk settings or when your need to be self-sufficient for longer.   Again, less is very often more.  It is very easy to choose an overly large bag and fill it with things you do not need.   

A 25-30 Ltr rucksack should be plenty.  Messenger bags have their advantages as well, being less obtrusive in a cosmopolitan area and it is easier to carry a messenger bag if already carrying another, larger rucksack. 


Enough for 72 hours or more.   Cramming 3 days of food into a 30Ltr rucksack means it won't be fine dining but make sure that whatever you carry is high in calories and easily digestible.   Try several brands of dehydrated food or foil packed 'wet' food such a Wayfarer meals to ensure they do not disagree with you.


A 2-3Ltr bladder system is ideal in a rucksack, taking up next to no space when not in use.   Also consider carrying a larger fold-flat water carrier such as the ones from Ortlieb or Platypus, if you need to stock up on clean water when it becomes available.  

For short term use, water purifying tablets will suffice but in areas where water is expected to be dirty as well as contaminated, or when larger quantities of clean water will be needed a water purifying system such as those available from  Purificup and Lifesaver systems will solve the problem


A torch is an essential Grab Bag item.   The brighter the better; the Zebralight SC600 offers a ridiculous 750 lumens on full power and a range of lower level outputs for longer lasting usage.  Headlamps have the 'hands free' advantage.   The Zebralight H600 is a headlamp version with similar output levels.   Both of these torches are some of the most powerful on the market but require expensive and obscure 18650 rechargeable Li-Ion batteries.  Other well-known high power torches include Fenix, Led Lenser and Sure Fire which use more commonly available CR 123, AA or AAA batteries.  Always carry spare batteries.
A couple of chemical lights ticks have their place too, notably for marking people and places.
Birth certificates, insurance documents, tickets, passports, details and contacts of the nearest hospital, Embassy and transport hubs.   Either carry the originals or photocopies.  If you do carry the originals, have photocopies kept separately but secure.   Of course nowadays it is possible to store scans of these documents and carry the information on memory sticks but hard copies are more user friendly in developing countries or when there is no electricity supply. 
Aloksak make the best waterproof reseal able bags and don't cost the earth.  These documents may be the difference between getting home or not, so keep the dry, clean and safe.
Phone Charger
Your phone might have 300 hours standby time but the 12 hours talk time will quickly be eaten up if trying to arrange repatriation home from abroad or if you are the only point of contact via phone with the emergency services.
Personal Hygiene
No need for deodorants or make-up but wet-wipes, toothpaste and toothbrush.  Wet wipes have the advantage of not needing water to give yourself a rudimentary clean.   Shower Gel in an arid environment or when there is no water will just be frustrating.   It is not so much about personal appearance but more about good hygiene.  Hygiene prevents illness and infection which can be debilitating.
One spare change of clothing
Appropriate for the climate and environment.
Even if you don't think you will need them, pack a small, lightweight waterproof jacket and trousers together with a hat and pair of gloves.  The warmest of places can become very cold on a cloudless night.
First Aid Kit
Enough for you, with your medication. 
A small, basic GPS unit (with spare batteries) is of more use abroad or when evacuating an urban area.  Maps of the local area and a compass and knowledge of how to use them are always useful.
Sleeping Bag
A good night’s sleep can have a profound effect on your psychology, whether it is on the floor of an airport waiting area or an emergency refugee camp.  Down filled sleeping bags provide the best warmth to weight/size ratio but provide no insulation when wet.  
Modern synthetic bags are nearly a good in terms of warmth to weight.  Choose the lowest warmth rating (expressed as 'Seasons') as you can get away with.   A combination of a 1 Season sleeping bag with a 3 Season sleeping bag can provide a more flexible system depending on the climate at less than the cost of one Down filled sleeping bag.
If your risk assessment includes the risk of benightment - being without shelter then a solution must be considered.  The two best lightweight shelter systems are a bivvi bag with tarp (or 'basha') or a Hammock with tarp.  Hammocks are more comfortable and don't require an even, flat surface beneath you to get a good night’s sleep but they do require two good fixing points from which to hang. 
Hennessy Hammocks make very good hammock/tarp sleeping systems.  Conversely, you will probably find more suitable locations to bed down in a bivvi bag.  .
Para Cord
A good length of Para Cord will satisfy a multitude of uses, not least for setting up your tarp to sleep under.
Several options:   The Hexamine stove is often favoured for its diminutive size but it is far from the most efficient stoves and is limited in fuel choice - typically hexamine fuel block, fire lighters, charcoal etc.   The Jetboil is one of the most efficient gas stoves on the market and is sold as a complete cooking system together with pot and lid, that stacks away inside itself for ease of storage. 
Again it is limited to one type of fuel source that may not be available.   If traveling, remember that there are strict laws on traveling with pressurised canisters.   The most robust multi-fuel stove is the Primus Omni-Fuel which will burn almost any liquid fuel and also works on conventional gas canisters.
To cook in you will need pans.   Traditional army style mess tins really can't be beaten, certainly not on price.  At the other end of the scale the MSR Titanium Kettle is favoured with alpinists as their all-in-one camp kitchen.  An 850ml pot with lid that is large enough to cook something in and small enough to drink straight from as a mug.   Whatever you choose it is an added benefit if your stove can fit in you pans to save space.
Save more space and weight by just packing a spoon or a 'spork'.  But do pack a green hairy scourer and a small bottle of washing up liquid.   This may sound luxurious but hygiene is not a luxury, it is a necessity to prevent illness.
Tip:  Avoid camouflage or drab green colours:  It can be a benefit to be unobtrusive but there is also a benefit to being easily seen if you need rescue.  In many parts of the world camouflage clothing or army surplus equipment will make you look like a terrorist or member of a paramilitary organisation with serious consequences.
Tier 3 - Vehicle Equipment
If you have use of your own vehicle you are instantly able to carry more equipment, expedite yourself away from danger and remain self-sufficient for longer.  The contents should be securely and unobtrusively stowed.  Most accidents on expeditions involve vehicles so seek further training if appropriate and learn the basics of vehicle repair.
Most serious accidents which happen abroad - whether package holidays, business trips or pioneering expeditions for unexplored areas - are caused by vehicles.  The incidence rate of accidents increase ten-fold when driving off road.  The use of a vehicle should be seen as a responsibility rather than a luxury. 
Additional First Aid Kit - more substantial, especially with more wound dressings for serious bleeding.
    Additional Food and Water - sealed water if possible.  In a vehicle Hot Cans can easily be carried
    GPS & Software for your area.
    Phone Charger
    Tow Rope
    Additional Torch
    Jump Leads
    Fluids - Antifreeze, Coolant, Oil and Spare Fuel
    Spare Tyre, Jack, Wheel brace and Foot Pump
    Tool Kit (minimum)
        Selection of spanners - open and ring
        Socket set
        Selection of screwdrivers
        Hex & Torx bits and driver
    Rescue Equipment
        Bow saw
        Pry Bar
        Sledge Hammer
        Bolt Cutters
Ensure your vehicle is maintained and roadworthy.  The word POWER is a useful prompter for long journey checks:
P Petrol or Diesel:  Enough fuel in both the main tank and a reserve Jerry Can
O Oils:  Check levels of Engine Oil, Brake, Clutch and Power Steering Fluids.
W Water:  Engine coolant and Anti-Freeze levels are checked.
E Electrics:  Check all lights and wipers.
R Rubber:  Check tyres (including the spare )for tread depth, pressure and uneven wear.  Check wiper blades and drive/fan belts.  Carry spare of both.

The British Quarterstaff
The late Victorian era was a time of exploration and innovation in many fields, including the arts of self-defence.

Wrestling in various regional styles and boxing according to the rules of the London Prize Ring (later the Marquis of Queensberry Rules) were immensely popular spectator sports. T
he merits of newly introduced methods such as French Savate and la Canne, Japanese Jiu-jitsu and the English adaptation, "Bartitsu", were enthusiastically debated in newspaper and magazine articles.

British soldiers were still trained in combat with weapons such as the bayonet and cavalry sabre, and research into antique methods of swordplay was undertaken to improve their skills. 

In many ways, the period between 1870 - 1900 was a Golden Age of close-combat.

The Victorian English penchant for the "manly arts" also included quarterstaff fencing. In this sport, players wearing fencing uniforms and protective armour competed for points by sparring with lightweight staves, typically up to eight feet in length. 

Two manuals detailing the rules and techniques were produced; Sergeant Thomas McCarthy's "Quarter-Staff" in 1883, and a chapter of "Broadsword and Singlestick" by R.G. Allanson-Winn in 1898. 

In the early 1900s, quarterstaff fencing was taken up by members of the Boy Scout movement, who produced a simplified manual for training towards their "Master at Arms" badge.

In his "Paradoxes of Defence" (1599), the English Master-at-Arms George Silver wrote:

The quarterstaff was closely identified with sport and civilian self-defence, as a weapon of expedience used by travellers or in formal duels. 

By the early 1700s the weapon was commonly employed in public prize-fights, with the winner receiving both gate-money and the proceeds of wagering. 

The famed English stage gladiator James Figg promoted the art, along with back swording and pugilism, in bouts at Southwark Fair, and after his retirement from the stage in 1735 he taught it to young aristocrats at his own School of Arms in London's Oxford Street.

There does not appear to be any records of recreational quarterstaff-play between 1748 and 1870, probably because during this period armed prize-fighting was virtually replaced by the new sport of boxing. 

Quarter staffing was militarily obsolete and does not appear to have been a popular rural pastime, so it is possible that the art effectively became extinct.

A Victorian Innovation

I suggest that the sport of quarterstaff fencing as practised between 1870 and 1898 was not a direct, lineal continuation of the traditional art, but rather a Victorian innovation or reconstruction drawing upon three main influences. 

These included the widespread availability of bamboo, the boom in sporting equipment manufacture, and the popularity of the Robin Hood legends.

The traditional English staff was a sturdy weapon of oak or similar hardwood, difficult to manoeuvre with any regard for a sparring partner's safety. 

It's important to remember that Figg and his contemporaries were professional fighters, willing to risk injury in un-armoured, full-contact bouts with weapons (although it was suspected at the time that some professionals fixed their fights, in the manner of modern pro-wrestlers.) 

The danger of fencing with oak staves may have dissuaded amateurs from taking up the art recreationally, in contrast to the gladiators who fought to earn their living.

Bamboo was introduced into England around 1827. Bamboo poles were light enough that players could strike to the body at full speed and risk only a welt or bruise, and a slender eight-foot length was flexible enough to absorb impact without splitting. 

British cavalrymen employed bamboo training weapons in lance manoeuvres, following the example of Indian soldiers they encountered during the "Raj" period, beginning in 1858, and bamboo quarterstaves are recommended in all of the surviving Victorian-era manuals.

As Britain entered the Industrial Age, there arose a relatively affluent urban middle-class with time to pursue sports and other diversions. 

Supply meets demand, and the first sporting equipment companies were established, leading to a rapid evolution in sporting equipment design and manufacture.

Even armed with lightweight bamboo weapons, the knees and shins, groin, hands, temples, throat, and eyes were still vulnerable to serious, even if accidental, injury. 

By 1870, however, amateur quarterstaff fencers could choose from a diverse range of protective equipment designed for other sports.

Between 1820 - circa 1850, the mask used by fencers (more accurately, "foilists") had been a simple wire mesh screen across the face. 

In response to the demands of heavier weapons such as the singlestick and training bayonet, mask designs began to incorporate hardened leather panels to protect the top and sides of the head, or helmet attachments woven out of strong wicker.

The facial mesh was strengthened and reinforced with an internal framework of heavy wire that reduced denting and the chances of penetration. 

By the 1880s the Army had commissioned the "military broadsword helmet" for use in training cavalry soldiers, with additional protection for the back of the head.

Broadsword (military sabre) fencers developed padded leather aprons in a variety of styles, providing some degree of protection to the groin area and effectively padding the thighs against cutting attacks. 

At about the same time, new knee and shin guards, constructed out of bamboo strips backed with padding, were invented for the sport of cricket. 

Finally, the widespread availability of commercially manufactured boxing gloves allowed a measure of hand and finger protection beyond the requirements of sword fencers, but ideal for quarterstaff players whose weapons lacked guards.

By the late 1860s gladiatorial stage combats were a thing of distant memory, and the quarterstaff was most widely associated with the legendary outlaw hero of Sherwood Forest.

Victorian England was in the grip of Robin Hood fever, and hundreds of books, songs, plays and poems were produced, commemorating and elaborating his adventures.

A key incident in these stories, instantly familiar even today, is Robin Hood's quarterstaff match with Little John, taking place on a bridge over a shallow stream.

It is not unlikely that the recreational quarterstaff play of the later Victorian period was influenced as much by the popularity of the Robin Hood legends as by the memory of Figg and his peers fighting on the stage at Southwark Fair.

Tragically, many young English athletes gave up their lives in the trenches of the First World War, and the generation that might otherwise have perpetuated the new sport of quarterstaff fencing was all but lost.

Many other Victorian-era combat arts and sports were similarly afflicted, some experiencing a brief revival in the 1920s (such as quarterstaffing as practised by the Boy Scouts) before finally succumbing during the Great Depression and then World War Two.

Similarly, the homogenising effect of the international Olympic movement caused many obscure sports to fade from memory through lack of publicity and funding. It is only in comparatively recent years that these activities have been researched and, in some cases, brought tentatively back to life.

Making a Quarterstaff

So why not have a go at making your own Quarterstaff, the fact is, it is British tradition is to make your own staff. The ancient ballad of Robin Hood (15th century or earlier) describes how Robin cuts a staff in order to fight with Little John.

Find a suitable sapling

The best staffs are made from whole saplings, not from branches or sections of a tree. 
Suitable woods are: hazel, ash, oak and hawthorn. It is easy to find straight hazel and ash; both are light and springy. But neither are as strong as oak (the wood used by Robin in the ballad) or thorn and will not last as long. 

The surface of ash has a tendency to flake and split. Thorn has proved itself the toughest and most durable material. The sapling should be at least 2.5 inches in diameter at the narrowest point. 

Its length should be your own height to the crown of your head plus about 3 inches.

Cut in winter

If you cut a sapling in spring or summer, it will be full of sap. This will make it heavy and more important will tend to cause it to warp as it dries out. The best time to cut a staff is in winter. 

When you cut a staff, you can easily strip off the bark with any kind of knife. It is best if you store the staff without stripping the bark for a period of a few months, it improves its durability. But the removal of the bark is then more difficult.

Trimming the staff

The ideal staff is perfectly balanced. The British style is double-handed, so even balance is helpful in alternating right and left handed blows. The best implement for trimming a staff is a draw-knife, which is a curved and inclined blade about 9 inches long with wooden handles at each end. 

You draw it towards you down the staff, slicing off a layer of wood. The modern option is the electric plane, but the draw-knife is actually more efficient.

A Work Mate is good to hold the staff while working on it, but the old method was the shaving horse, a log raised on three legs with a pivoted bar/footrest for gripping the staff while trimming.

A keen draw-knife will give as fine a finish as is needed, but perfectionists may use a spoke-shave (a small plane with a 2-inch blade and metal handles allowing you to draw it down a length of curved wood) or even sandpaper. 

A few coats of a light oil such as teak oil will prevent the staff absorbing moisture, which may cause it to split- repeat this every few months.

Complete Winter Survival Kit
Warm socks, hat and mittens
Long underwear
Fleece or wool sweater and pants
Ski or snow pants and jacket
Sleeping bag or blankets
Snow boots
Water and a coffee can, pot or disposable bread pan (to melt snow in)
Large stainless camp cup
Dried fruit, nuts, granola, tea, Swiss Miss
Flashlight and batteries
Camp Heat, Sterno or emergency stove (to melt snow and heat water)
First Aid kit
1 or 2 backpacking meals and spoonMatches and lighterEmergency candles/candle lantern
Multi=purpose tool or knife
Colored ribbon (to tie to antenna)
Vehicle Emergency kit (tire changing tools, fuses, belts, hoses, clamps, strapping tape, assortment of screws, nuts, washers and bolts, bailing wire, tow chain, sand, flares, booster cables)
Tool kit (screw drivers, needle-nose pliers, channel lock pliers, crescent wrench)
25-50 ft. of nylon cord
Windshield de-icer and scraper
Hand warmers
Ski goggles
Road maps
Cell phone
A good book...

It's vitally important that you stay in your vehicle, warm and dry, protected from the weather. Trying to dig your way out of a ditch, or attempting to walk back to town can be fatal. 

Instead, call 999 to let them know your location and predicament then sit tight.

Do not leave the engine running. If it's extremely cold (-5 to -30 F) if you want you can idle the motor for a few minutes at a time -- but only after making sure the exhaust system is not damaged and the tail pipe is clear of snow and debris.

Personally having spent a full night in my car during a snowy/icy night dressed as a normal driver would be I can tell you that running the engine for a few moments does not really help as it takes ages for the engine to warm up enough for warm air to be blown into the car, and once you turn the engine off the temp. drops very rapidly indeed.

Carbon monoxide can sneak up on you without warning one minute you're feeling normal and the next you're unconscious. 
Almost 60% of the unintentional deaths caused by carbon monoxide are from motor vehicle exhaust. So don't use the engine for heat -- use your head -- and your winter survival kit.

If you keep your gear packed and stowed in the passenger compartment, you're set. Settle in, put on those warm clothes (socks, hat, gloves, long underwear and fleece or wool layers) and relax wrapped in your sleeping bag or blankets. 

If you get out to set your flares or check on something during a severe blizzard, first put on your outer layers and goggles, then use the nylon cord to tie off a life line so that you can find the way back to your car -- visibility can be as low as 12 inches!

Ventilate the car by opening a downwind window (on the side away from the wind and blowing snow) approximately 1/2 inch. Fire up your candle lantern -- the candles burn for 8 hours and will raise the temperature in the car 8 to 10 degrees F.

Break out your snacks -- roasted nuts, dried fruit, chocolate Bars, etc. sure taste good in a situation like this -- and will provide the protein and fat you'll need to keep warm. Use your water sparingly (you should keep 2 large bottles in your kit) but don't let yourself get dehydrated.

In the rare event that you're trapped for more than 24 hours, things get a little trickier, but you'll do just fine. When you run out water and dry food, you'll have to do some cooking'. If the snow and wind have stopped blowing hard, gear up and head outside.

Dig out a shelf in the snow, line it with your floor mats and set up the stove. If the storm is still raging clear out an area in the car, protect it with the floor mats and set up a galley. 

Fill the coffee pot or pan with snow and fire up the stove -- carefully! Pour the first pot of melted snow in your bottle.

If you're hungry, you'll have to melt more snow and heat the water to near boiling. Open one of the backpack meals (buy the kind that you cook in its package -- all you do is add hot water) and enjoy. 

Help should be just around the corner -- severe storms don't usually last much longer than a day -- you can survive 4 or 5 more if you're prepared.

Survival Knife Safety
We in the UK are not allowed to carry a knife in everyday use so we have lost that natural knife instinct, that natural ability to use this survival tool without even thinking about it, or that fact that we might accidently cut ourselves when using it.

So when we take to the woods on a survival exercise we need to be very careful initially as this ultrs sharp survival tool can cause us or others great harm.

A survival knife can help save your life, but it can also cause you harm if you aren't careful using it. The most basic safety measure is to always cut away from your body. 

Keep your eyes on what you're doing, and keep a firm grip on the knife and whatever you're cutting so there are no slipups. You also want to make sure you don't run with a knife, try to grab a falling knife or leave a knife lying around unsheathed. 

Always use two hands if you're closing a folding knife.

I recommend the use of a lanyard when using your survival knife as it not only firmly attaches the knife to your hand but if you do drop it the knife will just swing below your hand. You just simply put your thumb through the lanyard loop and then wrap it around your hand.

Be extremely careful about using a knife if you're not focused on the task at hand. Hunger, thirst, cold and exhaustion can all be powerful distractions, so make sure you're up to performing whatever activity you're attempting. 

Otherwise, you could just end up making your situation much worse.

Since your survival knife is so incredibly useful, you'll want to take great care you don't damage or lose it. If you don't let it down in this respect, it's much less likely to let you down in return.

Survival knives are built tough to undergo rigorous use, but some are less durable than others so it's usually best to avoid getting too creative when using them.

For example, since these knives aren't meant to bend, they can break if you try to use them to pry things open. You also want to avoid using then as awls because this can damage the tip. Don't stick your knife into the ground and don't heat it unless it's essential.

Keep your knife clean, dry and sharp at all times. When you sharpen it, be careful to maintain the point and overall shape of the blade or it could weaken. Always make sure you put it away (ideally fastened to your belt) after you've finished using it, because otherwise you could break camp without grabbing it.

Sheaths can be made of many materials like leather, metal, plastic or cloth. Whichever you choose, make sure it's reinforced and attaches firmly to your body. A hole for hanging it on a lanyard can be handy, too. 

Remember never to throw your knife either -- beyond possibly damaging it, this is also a good way to lose it.

One last good tip is to always buy a survival knife from someone knowledgeable in the field. It's worth the trip to a specialty store to know you have a knife that won't let you down, even in the face of dire circumstances.

Remember: it is not a knife it is a Survival Tool.

Unusual Survival Kit Items
Do me a favour for the next five minutes.  Try to forget everything you know about tampons.  I know, it’s hard.   

But pretend that this is the first time you have ever seen or heard of them and it is a new survival product on the market: the Tactical Adventure Medical Preparedness Outdoors Necessity (T.A.M.P.O.N.).

All kidding aside, a tampon really does have a ton of uses to a survivor.  One could even argue for including a couple in your survival kit.  Ultimately, I’ll let you be the judge.

Before I get into the details, a brief history of the tampon might surprise you.

The tampon is actually regulated in the US by the Food & Drug Administration as a Class II Medical Device.  The word “tampon” is a derivative of the French word tapon which means “a little plug or stopper.” 

My research indicates that tampons were used as early as the 19th century as battle dressings to plug bullet holes.  There are even accounts of tampons being used as wound plugs in modern warfare.    

A friend of mine told me that it’s not uncommon for Army Medics to carry tampons in their med kits.  They are also the perfect product for a bloody nose.  There seem to be mixed accounts of whether the tampon was used as a feminine product before or after its use on the battlefield.

Regardless of intended use, the common tampon has many practical survival uses. 

Tampons are sterile, come very well-packaged in their own waterproof sleeves, and are designed to be ultra-absorbent — making them the perfect first aid bandage.  They can be opened and then taped or tied over a wound as an improvised dressing.  And, as I’ve already mentioned, they can be used to plug a bullet hole until more sophisticated medical attention can be administered.   

Accounts of this use date back to World War I.  Many items in modern society were first developed as a facet of military research — tampons may very well be one of these products

Another excellent tampon survival use is as a crude water filter.  While it will not filter out biological, chemical, or heavy metal threats, it can certainly be used to filter out sediments and floating particulates.   

This would be considered a 1st Phase Filter, which can drastically increase the life and efficacy of your main water filter. 

You can also use a filter like this before boiling to filter out larger particulates.  In this example, I’ve pushed a tampon into the neck of an empty water bottle.  I poked a small hole in the cap and then poured in dirty water to filter through the tampon and into the container below. The water dripped out nearly crystal clear.

Nearly everyone knows that cotton makes excellent fire tinder.   

When the dry cotton fibres of a tampon are pulled apart and hit with a spark or flame, they will burst into a nice steady fire.  If you’ve done the right amount of fire prep work, you can easily split 1 tampon into 3 or 4 fire-starting tinder bundles.   

Add in some chapstick or petroleum jelly, and you’ve got even better fire-starting tinder.

As a last ditch water filter, you can make an improvised Survival Straw from the plastic housing and cotton from a tampon.  As you can see in the photos below, just tear off a bit of the cotton and stuff it into the plastic housing.   

I find it better to leave a little bit sticking out to make the housing pieces wedge tightly together.

Again, this filter will not PURIFY your water by removing biological, chemical, or heavy metal threats, but it will filter out sediments and particulates.  This would be a last ditch effort if no methods of water purification were available.

The string attached to a tampon is a cotton twisted cord typically made up of several 4-6″ pieces of twine.  Though it’s not much, it is usable cordage.  This amount of cordage could easily be used to make a Paiute Deadfall Trap.

The blow gun certainly has its place in survival history.  From Native Americans to tribes in New Guinea, the Blow Gun and primitive darts have put food on the table for thousands of years.  They are silent and deadly hunting tools, especially for small game.   

Oftentimes, especially here in the US, natural cotton was used as blow dart fletching.  Thus, the cotton from a tampon is a perfect candidate to make cotton-fletched blow darts.  

You can use the string on the tampon to lash it into place on this bamboo skewer.

Watch out birds and squirrels — you may get shot by a tampon-fletched blow dart!

In wet and damp conditions, keeping fire-starting tools such as matches and tinder dry can be a challenge.   The waterproof tampon package/sleeve makes an excellent improvised “dry-sack” for any items that are moisture sensitive.   

Just fold over the top 2-3 times and tie it off with the tampon string and you’ve got a great waterproof match case.

Fishing with hook and float is an incredibly effective method — especially when using live bait such as grubs and worms.   

A thorn hook, some natural braided line, and a tampon float make the perfect combination for a survival fishing rig.  Watch out Blue-Gill!

Make the float with the tampon package/sleeve by folding over and tying off the top to create a little bubble that will float your bait.  If the package isn’t water-tight, just put some of the cotton inside and it will float just fine.  Then, simply tie it to your fishing line.


I am a huge fan of multi-functional products that can serve double or even triple survival duty.  For the size, weight, and cost, a tampon has an impressive list of survival functions.   

If nothing else, this is another lesson in the importance of looking at everyday products through the eyes of a survivalist. 
Remember Creativity and innovation are critical.
So what did you decide?  Are you manly enough to include a tampon or two in your survival kit?
Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

Wilderness Survival Kit
Whether you’re planning a day hike in a National Park or a week long adventure in the wilderness, always plan for the unexpected. 

A wilderness survival kit is a great idea.

It’s all too easy to find yourself in a survival situation due to something as simple as slipping on wet rocks or a muddy section of trail and spraining an ankle. Naturally, if this happens, you hope you’re not alone, but what if you are? Or even worse, what if your companion is unable to provide any help? 

Can you take responsibility for saving your own life? And maybe even saving your companions life?

The key to survival is planning. Plan for an emergency BEFORE it becomes necessary. It’s impossible to anticipate every contingency, but you can take steps to prepare for what you may encounter as you explore nature.

Dress for Success

Often, the area you are going into is the first clue to items you’ll need in your survival kit. You need to dress appropriately, from head to toe. You may not have thought about it, but the very clothing you wear is part of your wilderness survival kit.

If you plan on spending time in high country above the treeline, protection from the sun and wind is necessary. Once you’re out of the trees, your body temperature will drop quickly as wind chill becomes a factor. 

Those rocky slopes don’t offer much protection from the wind.

A light jacket can protect you from the sun, too. Even SPF 40 may not be good enough to prevent a bad case of sunburn at higher elevations. While on that subject, don’t forget the sunblock!

Today’s new fibres make warm clothing light weight and virtually waterproof. When I started spending time outdoors, we wore mostly wool because when it got wet, it still retained some insulating qualities. It was heavy, it itched and when you did get wet, you smelled like a wet dog. 

Also, woollen clothing was difficult to clean. You couldn’t just throw it in the washer.

Modern fabrics are much more “user-friendly”. They are washable. They come in a variety of colours. Extreme weather clothing available today is much more comfortable than the clothing I wore 30 years ago!

Dress in layers, and always, even on warm summer days, put a jacket or poncho in your Daypack – Just In Case.

Don’t forget to wear a hat. A hat prevents 75% of heat loss in cold weather and protects you from the heat during the really hot days. I have two favourite hot weather hats. One is a new leather wide brimmed hat that I’ve had around for about two months now.   

I love it and it stops my head itching from those midges as well as keeps the sun out of my eyes and my head warm in the cold. The other is a Wooley hat that’s also seen better days, but it’s warm and comfortable.

But in cold weather, I like hats that cover my ears if I’m going to be out for any length of time. A simple wool stocking cap will suffice, but a balaclava that can cover my nose and mouth is much better for keeping warm. Cover that with the hood of a parka, and I can keep warm!

The Basics

Lessons learned in the past year point out a need for two survival kits. One personal kit to carry with you when you hike and a second, larger, survival kit geared for long term survival in an urban survival scenario. What if you need to evacuate your home? 

What should you have prepared in a BOB of essentials?

First, let’s take a look at the personal survival kit, the one you’ll be carrying when you hike and explore. Later we’ll take a brief look at the essential elements of a BOB for a home evacuation plan.

A personal wilderness survival kit should be small enough to be carried on your body without being a burden. Anything which is an inconvenience will be more apt to be left behind. 

Make it only the essential items to survive an emergency situation of a short duration. After all, you’re not going into the wilderness to homestead. 

This is just a simple expedition to enjoy natures’ wonders.

Now what items are essential? These should be carried where they are readily accessible. Less important items can be stowed away in your pack.

I like to keep a map and compass handy, although these days, I use a GPS (Global Positioning System) a lot more than a compass. 

Here’s a word of warning, NEVER rely solely on a GPS as a means of navigation. 

A GPS is fragile. It can be dropped and break. Learn how to use a compass. Also make sure you carry extra batteries. If it’s cold, carry the extra batteries in an inside pocket to protect them from cold. I like to put extra batteries inside a ziplock bag to keep them dry.

With the price of GPS dropping more every year, I strongly recommend adding this item to your gear list. Adding a way point for the trail head to your GPS makes finding your way back a lot easier. It also lets you know just how far you need to go to get back before dark.

As you select items for your wilderness survival kit, choose items that have more than one purpose whenever possible. DO whatever you can to cut down on the size and weight of your survival kit. Above all else, do not duplicate items.

Your personal survival kit doesn’t need to be elaborate. A mate of mine uses an Army Surplus Ammo pouch to carry his things in. A bum bag can work well for something when you’re not going to carry a day pack. An empty Band-Aid box or even a soap dish works well for a basic survival kit container. 

I’ve seen a lot of plastic cases at the supermarket that are water proof and air tight, small enough to carry easily and durable.

Now what items are essential for a survival kit?

First of all, some sort of first aid items. Since we’re talking survival, I mean REAL first aid item, not band aids and first aid ointment. Get a triangle bandage and some large gauze pads to use for compresses. 

If you need a first aid kit in a survival situation, you don’t need a Band-Aid, you need serious help. A triangle bandage can be used for a pressure dressing or to attach a splint. This is useful.

I’d recommend picking up a good personal first aid kit. Better yet, pick up several and put one in every one of your backpacks so you never go off without it.

Your basic wilderness survival kit should include:

First aid items.
Water purification system.
Fire starting equipment.
 Signaling items.
Food procurement items.
Shelter items.
Some examples of these items are:
Butane Lighter, magnesium fire starting tool, waterproof matches.
Snare wire.
Signaling mirror.
Fishing line.
Small magnifying lens.
Water purification tablets.
Solar blanket.
Surgical blades.
Butterfly sutures.
Needle and thread.

I suppose everyone has an opinion on what kind of knife you should have. Normally, I always carry a Chris-Caine Companion on my belt and a True Utility multi-tool which It has a variety of blades and tools and comes in handy every day. 

For woodsman, I’d recommend carrying another knife, a sheath knife with a full tang blade comes in handy, I carry the Chris Caine ® Survival Knife (CCSK-1)

Don’t waste money getting a “Rambo” knife. It may impress the unknowing, but it’s not really all that useful. Stick with a good quality blade, and learn how to keep it sharp!

A lot of survivalist types think you should always carry a weapon when venturing into the wilderness. To be honest about it my advice is unless you’re going hunting, ditch the weapons. They only get in the way.

Urban Survival Kit

In light of the events of the aftermath of heavy flooding in parts of the UK any discussion of survival needs to include a brief mention of how to prepare for an urban disaster which could throw anyone of us into a survival situation. 

It may not be a flood, but a terrorist attack, or other act of nature that could interrupt our lives and disrupt the pattern of support we’ve become accustomed to.

You may need to evacuate your home at a moment’s notice, or “shelter-in-place” (staying where you are) and wait out the disaster. 

Your disaster supplies kit can save lives.

Here are a few ideas to prepare your urban survival kit. Use an easy-to-carry container such as a duffel bag or large, covered plastic container with handles for easy carrying.

Include the following essential items: food supplies that do not require preparation or refrigeration; at least three gallons of water in a tightly sealed container per person (roughly three days’ worth of water); special needs items for any member of your household (such as infant formula, medicines or items for seniors or people with disabilities);

First aid supplies and a first aid reference book; a small flashlight and extra batteries; a change of clothing; sleeping bags or quilts; a battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries; cash; and copies of essential documents. 

It is very important to check all perishable and dated items at least twice a year, including things like food, batteries and medications.

Think Ahead

The best advice is to think ahead. Learn and practice basic wilderness skills so you’re prepared if you ever need to use survival techniques. Take a First Aid course and learn CPR.

Don’t overstep your abilities. 

Know your limits. Don’t attempt to travel farther in one day than is a realistic goal. Don’t allow others to force you to overextend your limits. If you’re not comfortable with a trail or the pace, speak up!

Whenever you venture into the outdoors, take time to enjoy the sights, but remember that you are responsible for yourself. Plan for the unexpected. Make your wilderness survival kit. 

Don’t allow an unfortunate incident to force you into a survival experience.

That’s one story I don’t want to hear from you.

Which Survival Knife
When one thinks of survival knives, images of Rambo come to mind, as the name Survival Knife was actually coined after his film First Blood. 

Let’s look at those knives and see the pros and cons. I will be focusing on single edge fixed blade knives because of the safety and function factors that should be addressed in a survival situation.

Most of these Survival Knives are large, bowie style blades with hollow handles and saws on the spines. 

Movies like Rambo made them popular and mass production and a cheap price kept them popular. But trust me; there is a reason for the low price.

First let’s look at the handle construction. Hollow handles, for the most part, are all fad and a huge "no no" in the survival world.
 Don't get me wrong, there are 1 or 2 custom makers that take the time and use the right materials to make these knives work well like the LMF II Survival Knife by Gerber.

This is not so in cheap mass production knives. Most are held together with a single nut or rolled pin and they call it good. 

Trust me, they will fail. Just take one on a camping trip and try to build a shelter with one like I did. 10 chops and that was all she stood..

So for the most part, unless you have to have a hollow handle, let’s stick to a full tang with a comfortable, secure handle. You won’t be sorry

Next let’s look at the blade. Once again double edge is a big danger in a survival situation. You can't afford the risk in the woods. 

A large blade can, and will, do everything a small blade can do plus more.

Survival requires a lot of chopping, and large weight foreword blades with a thick spine cut your work in half. That's why machetes are a huge part of outdoor life in many tribes around the world.

The saw back spine on early aviator knives were made for aircraft escape, and found their way onto all outdoor knives mainly for looks than for function. 

It has been my experience that they don't work that well on wood, and it’s easy to pack a nice saw in a small survival kit. So if you decide to stay with a small blade, you will have a saw to make up for it.

Blade steel is best left up to the person and situation. Air crew may want to stick with the 499 Air Force Survival Knife - Ontario Knife Company Stainless versions that require less maintenance. 

But on the other hand, they are harder to sharpen in the field. I like a blade with a high Carbon content. It takes more care and maintenance, but the trade-off for a scalpel sharp edge that's easy to keep is worth it. 

In both cases it is best to learn to sharpen your blades and keep a sharpener with it at all times. 

I really prefer the Chris-Caine Companion do some homework and decide for yourself what would be best for you.

As with any tool, you £5.00 Wally World blade won't last long under stress. Remember your life is on the line. That being said, let’s look at the specs of a good survival knife.

A quality survival knife has to feature high quality construction with a reasonable. Put that into a full tang knife with a comfortable secure handle, along with a good sized thick blade for chopping, with the right steel for you and round it out with a usable sharpener and you've got yourself a nice survival companion.

Now let’s put it in a package. Leather sheaths have been around for a long time, and they work well. In many cases it is better to find a sheath the fits securely that is made of a strong webbing and lined with a thick plastic or better yet Kydex insert. 

This will help protect you and your knife for years to come. They usually hold up well in all conditions. Try to make sure it has a drain hole so no water or dirt stays on the blade.

As a final thought, when you decide on a survival knife, be sure and use it. I have seen too many sit in kits or on shelves and when the time comes for the survivor to use it, they don't know how. 

Get in touch with your blade until it becomes an extension of your arm. 

Safety is the key in all things survival. With a little preparation and practice, you will come to trust your blade and yourself in any situation.

Survival Kit Preparation
The best way to survive a disaster or emergency situation is to be prepared for it. People have known this for years; it’s the reason our society has storm cellars and fire extinguishers.

Outdoor enthusiasts, however, face a more challenging obstacle when trying to prepare for an unfortunate camping, hiking, hunting, or fishing emergency. 

Or preppers and survivalists training for a SHTF event out in the woods, or even Bugging Out for real.

The sheer number of different types of disasters that can happen to an even seasoned outdoor enthusiast makes it especially hard to prepare essential tools and supplies before leaving on an adventure.

You might think did I forget something? Do I have too much of one item? Not enough? Putting together a survival kit for you can be frustrating, time-consuming, and costly. Luckily, many outdoor supply companies carry pre-assembled survival kits, or can at least help you put yours together.

But first, you’ll want to understand the specific types of dangers your outdoor activity presents and the best ways to protect yourself against them.

Different outdoor activities present different physical challenges to enthusiasts. These different challenges require different types of survival kits.

The camping or hiking enthusiast will most likely be more concerned with reliable navigation tools, such as maps and compasses, and making sure he or she has plenty of provisions. 

The hunter, however, might be more concerned with his or her protection against potentially dangerous animals, while those who fish will obviously want to bring plenty of dry clothes.

It’s important not to get too caught up in the niche of your specific outdoor activity, however. Just because the main point of your trip may be camping doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring along a hunting knife or fishhooks.

The prepper and survivalist must plan for all these eventualities while either training or seeking a covert life style.

Another important aspect of your adventure to consider when deciding on a survival kit is the climate and terrain of where your outdoor activity is taking place. Different weather extremes can cause problems for outdoor enthusiasts, even on a single trip.

Hikers traveling through the cool lowland lakes area can still experience heat exhaustion, especially in the summer, just as desert campers can easily freeze at night despite the daytime heat.

Get a professional opinion of what you should include in your survival kit if you are unfamiliar with the climate and weather patterns of the area you’re exploring.

Of course, there are basic items that are essential to any survival kit, no matter what your outdoor activity of choice. The most important components of a survival kit are ones that satisfy the following needs: protection against the elements, or, shelter; first aid or medical supplies; food, water, or the tools needed to procure them; ways to signal rescuers; and finally, tools to help guide outdoor enthusiasts back to familiar territory. 

The duration of your outdoor adventure will determine how thoroughly you should pack your survival kit, but here are a few essentials.

The best way to keep warm and protect your from the elements is by packing lightweight, water-resistant clothing and blankets. Reflective aluminium blankets help retain body heat and act as signals to rescuers.

Waterproof ponchos are an effective way to stay dry in wet climates, as well as being lightweight and easy to pack. 

Mosquito nets are another easy-to-pack, effective protection method against nasty elements.

You will probably want to start a fire, so include in your survival kit tools that will help you do so. Waterproof matches and lighters are easy and convenient, but if you happen to be in an outdoor setting for long you run the risk of running out of matches or fuel for your lighter.

Do-it-yourself tools, such as fire steel, can help provide you with warmth longer and with greater reliability.
Making sure you keep your physical body healthy is essential for outdoor enthusiasts. 

Any good survival kit will include first aid supplies meant to treat a wide variety of health problems or accidents.

Bandages, sterile pads, gauze, and disinfectant are crucial if you happen to experience a flesh wound while aspirin, antacids, and allergy medication will help with internal afflictions. 

Other first-aid items you will want to include are insect repellent, lip-balm, sunscreen, toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, and a large supply of any prescription medication you take.

Food and water are essential safety kit items but are unfortunately difficult to pack in bulk. It is recommended to have at least three gallons of water – a three to six day supply – on hand for any outdoor trip, unless you plan to filter your drinking water un-route.

Ready-to-eat or canned foods are great but take up a lot of space in a kit. High-energy foods, such as chocolate, nuts, and dehydrated fruits, are a better bet; they are more compact and are easier to ration, making them last longer. 

Multi-vitamins are also a good idea; in an emergency situation you may not be getting all the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.

Finally, you will want to pack items that will help search-and-rescue workers find you more easily. Lightweight LED flashlights and lanterns are perfect. They have long battery lives and can be spotted from quite far away.

Flares are attention-grabbing, yes, but are single-use and carry the risk of starting an unwanted fire. A good compass can help you find your way back to more familiar areas or, at the very least, get you comfortable with the terrain you’re currently in.
Many outdoor supply companies sell multipurpose tools that have miniature compasses built in. 

These are very handy reduce the number of items you have to carry in your survival kit.
There may be, of course, other items you deem essential to your specific outdoor adventure. 

While it is important to be prepared, you don’t want to over pack and weigh yourself down unnecessarily.

Survival kits should be helpful, not burdensome. Wherever your enthusiasm lies – camping, hiking, hunting, fishing – a well-packed, well-prepared survival kit will add peace of mind to your adventure, even if you never have to use it.

Unusual Survival Items
Today I wanted to share with you a few ‘unique’ items that we have in our supplies. When it comes to prepping, everyone usually talks about having food. 

Plenty of food. And believe me, there is nothing wrong with that at all. In fact it is the first step in a prepping plan. However, trying to maintain some sort of a household, survival retreat, or ‘home’, will require more than just food. 

I happened to come across these unique items in our supplies, while I was looking for something else and I thought I’d share.

Washboard – This simple, inexpensive, yet unique little item, we found to be quite impressive. Whether you are bugged out or bugged in, you will need the ability to clean some clothes and undergarments, particularly if you are out of power. 

If you are in a disastrous situation, you won’t be doing your normal laundry on a regular basis, but I am sure you will have some things that need to be washed. Our washboard removed stains and cleaned clothing. 

What surprised us was how lightly you really had to scrub on the steel ridges to get your clothes clean. Again, it’s a simple, inexpensive item and it’s great!

Maxi pads –  I recommend that you have them in your first aid supplies/kit. Why would you need maxi pads with your first aid supplies? 

Well, they are great blood absorbers, so use them when you are trying to stop heavy bleeding coming from someone’s wound. If the bleeding is light, then by all means, use some gauze. 

Maxi pads will be much more helpful when trying to stop heavy bleeding so that you can apply bandages once the bleeding has stopped. 

Remember that you need to apply pressure to stop the bleeding.

Cable ties or zip ties – Many of you have probably seen these. They are primarily used by electricians. However, they are great fasteners. Generally, they have a one time use. They are inexpensive and lightweight. 

They will also fit nicely into your bug out bag. They can secure tarps together as long as they have grommets. They also come in handy in your garden for tying plants, such as tomatoes, to a stake to hold them up. 

There are many uses for these lightweight, but effective fasteners.

Bandanas – Here is another useful, inexpensive and unique survival item. First of all, some more obvious uses would be to use them as a washcloth or a dishrag. I love to use one as a sweatband and I use one to cover my head to help prevent heat exhaustion. 

Tying one around your neck will help to prevent your neck from getting sunburn. You can also keep some in your first aid kit to use as a sling or a tourniquet. They also make a nice impromptu little ‘basket’. 

Tying the ends together through your belt loop or a loop on your backpack and you have an extra way to carry things.

Aluminium Foil – The best thing about foil is you can wrap meat and veggies in it, throw it in a fire, and a few minutes later have a hot meal. 

It can also be molded into a bowl, cup, funnel, or a pot for boiling water. In addition, it can be used to enhance an antenna, to sharpen scissors, to make sun boxes for small plants, to collect dew from trees, and in the summer it can be put in windows to keep the heat out. 

But the most important usage: Tin foil hats!

Map of Local Area – Nowadays people are used to using Google or Yahoo maps and many don’t even have a physical map anymore. 

I have always said how important it is to have a good map and identifying potentially dangerous areas. It can also be used for identifying the shortest, safest route to a friend or relative’s home, a place with supplies, etc.

These were just a few unique and inexpensive items that are great for all preppers. There are so, so many items that are handy for prepping. It’s always fun to list a few that are not typically in the main-stream short-lists.

Disaster Activity Children’s Kit
This year saw some bad weather and massive floods here in the UK and around the world we have seen earthquakes, extreme heat, landslides, tsunamis, blizzards and tornadoes which have forced thousands of families to flee their homes.  

Children account for many of the victims displaced.

Parents can help a child get through the long days that follow a natural disaster with an activity survival kit. What are the benefits of a disaster activity survival kit? What are a few suggested items that can reduce stress and help a child cope with the disaster? 

What items should not be taken to an evacuation shelter?

Kids and teens find it hard to camp out in a survival shelter for very long. Some people have to wait for days or weeks after a flood or other weather disaster has passed before they can safely return home. 

A disaster survival kit can help keep a child (or teen) occupied for much of the waiting time. Let the child help pack his kit; older children and teens can pack their own. 

Keeping the kit packed and ready-to-go saves valuable time in the event the family has to evacuate on short notice.
The most obvious reason for having a disaster activity survival kit for each child is to stave off boredom. Here are some other good reasons for building a kid's survival kit?

The child who builds or helps to build his disaster survival kit gets a sense of understanding and control in disaster planning.

Familiar, favourite items on hand will give comfort and hopefully keep stress and anxiety levels manageable in strange surroundings during a disaster crisis.

Items (such as drawing and colouring sets) gives the child an alternative way to vent feelings and fears about the disaster.
Items that make up a child's disaster survival kit depend on the child's age and personal preferences. 

Consider too, where the family is going to be staying for the next few days or longer. Use a backpack or duffel bag to hold a child's survival kit items.

What items are recommended for a child's activity survival kit?
A few favorite books and/or magazines
Writing Pads and pens
Personal CD player, gaming device or other player that uses headphones
Laptop or notebook computer and headphones
Crayons, washable markers, paper and colouring books
Sticker books and word puzzle books
Favourite cuddly toy
Board games and puzzles with large pieces
Deck of cards
Favourite blanket and/or pillow
Small dolls, cars, action heroes and other toys that prompt a child's imagination

In a shelter situation or even in a hotel, don't forget batteries and headphones. Don't count on being able to plug in a battery charger at a shelter, and don't expect Internet service.

If your family is going to take refuge in a local community centre for example? There are rules parents need to be aware of – guidelines to follow when making activity suggestions to a teen or helping a child make a survival kit.

Remember that hundreds of evacuees can add up to a lot of noise unless shelter rules are observed. Know too, that space is extremely limited – spots are taped off in some shelters – so limit your belongings.

Horseplay, loud talking, profanity, musical instruments and loud music are not tolerated.

Plan "quiet" activities like a good book for reading or a diary to write in. If you want music, then bring a radio, personal CD player or similar player and a good set of headphones. 

Don't assume that everyone is going to like your kind of music.

Show consideration when bringing toys for young children. No noisy toy instruments, remote control cars (can cause people to trip, too), whistles, or toys that emit sirens or other loud sounds. 

Please, no balls, Frisbees or anything that might invade another person's space.

Steer clear of games and items with small pieces that could easily become lost. Leave messy things like glue, moulding clay and paint sets at home.

Leave behind sharp items like scissors and craft needles unless it's an older child that is responsible.

Incidentally, if you're going to be stuck in your home's basement shelter for a lengthy bit of time, then you still might want to follow the public shelter guidelines above.

Children will feel less stressed if they're allowed to pack-up and bring a few favourite belongings to an emergency shelter or other place of refuge. 

Stick with quiet toys and devices that will reduce boredom and maintain peace for other evacuees.

It's no fun to leave the comfort and conveniences of home when a weather or land crisis strikes.

Include your children when making disaster preparations and allow them to make an activity kit.

Whole family involvement will make coping with bad weather and flooding and other natural disasters a whole lot easier.

My EDC consists of the following. Firstly unlike the US prepper and survivalist there is no firearm I am allowed to carry, and no pepper spray either.

The UK law states that ANY object that I carry for self-defence is an Offensive weapon, figure that one out. 

The crim carries whatever they want but if I try to defend myself against a future attack by some drug crazed knife wielding scumbam I get arrested for carrying an offensive weapon.

With the draconian knife laws we have here in the UK lock knives are illegal as is any knife blade longer that 3”, when I was a kid hundreds of years ago I always carried a pen knife or a boy scout sheath knife and it never crossed my mind once that they were weapons as to me they were and always will be just tools.

So what I carry as EDC is dictated by not wanting to fall foul of the law and not by carrying what would make the difference in an attack situation.

Therefore I carry the following a Timex E expedition watch, time, tides, temp, electronic compass, A king cobra paracord bracelet from, a Multi-tool +lite from with a paracord lanyard, a Stop a red marker spray from

I also carry a 30ltr back pack with the following in it. A UK road map, a Yorkshire Dales OS map, 

A 500ml bottle of water, two packets of Dextrose tablets, a wind up torch, a SOL survival kit and the SOL emergency Bivy Bag from, A compass, A whistle, three MX3 ready meals from, a Swedish gel cooker from, a small saucepan, a spork, spare walking socks, a pen and a note pad, bag of boiled sweets, 

A £20 note in a cash holder, a Nano Striker XL from and an egg box filled in with my home made tinder, it is made from the lint out of the washing machine placed into each egg compartment in the cardboard egg box and the I drip melted candle wax over each one, it burns for ages, tea, coffee, whitener and bovril.

This back pack goes with me wherever I go either walking or driving in the car.

The Survival Staff
Just walk into the woods barehanded and you'll soon encounter the first tool. 

A knife takes a little more evolution to create, but there's always a stick at hand. Even a crude broken branch has a myriad of potential uses, from brushing aside the webs of spiders to keeping enemies at a distance. 

Ever since humans learned to walk upright they've compensated for the loss of those two other feet with sticks.
Go onto a modern hiking trail today, however, and the staff is a rare item. People are almost embarrassed to carry them. 

Is it a sign of weakness? a mark of age? a fashion miss statement? Unless it's a high tech trekking pole, the staff has fallen out of favour.

Historically, stick weapons are the mainstay of cultures where people travel isolated and wild pathways yet do not wish to present a threatening appearance. 

If you want a fundamental level of defensive ability without looking like a paranoid invader, the staff is the perfect choice.

Although we think of today's world, especially here in the UK, as tame and civilized, the reality we face in the wilderness isn't so different from that of older and tougher days. 

Animals of all kinds share the world with us and get cranky about it, and you can't trust everyone you meet on the trail. A good poking stick can preserve the peace without causing serious injury.

In recent times society's reaction to any form of animal violence has been to eliminate both species and ecosystem. I think we've grown beyond that, but not far beyond that. In modern instances of predation against humans, the individual animals pay the price--as well as any suspect animals who just happen to be in the area.

Our fellow beasts are intelligent as well as cautious--if they test one of us, and learn that we are pointy and belligerent, they probably will not try us out again. 

That's good for everybody. The guy with the stick is not dangerous to the balance; the guy without one is.
Luckily, I have seldom had any reason to apply this aspect of the art of Stick. The most common encounters I've had are with cows and the loose dogs who probably already had a low opinion of humans.

The only potentially deadly confrontation in my collection was with a grumpy young bull who showed up in a bad mood as I was trying to cross his field. No real carnivores have ever attacked me, and they probably won't. I carry a big stick.

The hiking staff is much more than a self-defence device tool. It will be used most often for very ordinary things like keeping your footing. I can think of any number of reasons to have one. 

To part underbrush on a trail, to take some weight and balance before you shift from this boulder to that ledge, to prop yourself against a current on a swift water crossing--the needs and the uses are endless. 

Yes, you could make a staff on the spot, when you happen to need one--no, if you choose that last minute response, you won't have anything dependable. 

A good staff will save your life. A rotten branch won't.

How to Choose the Best Survival Knife
All those who have ever devoted a quality amount of time in the outdoors will vouch for the effectiveness of a good knife but to the survival professional his knife is one of their best friends and the most securely guarded of his survival equipment. 

Similar to a close friend, his/her survival knife should not disappoint.

These days most people have forgotten the importance of always having a survival knife. 

Without a doubt it is now normal to meet those who are scared of knives and question people who keep them. It is an unfortunate fact that many present day individuals have no clue regarding the numerous functions of a great survival knife.

When I was a little boy around 10 years old my father gave me a pen knife and I used it every day from sitting on my back step whittling to using it every day, all day without even thinking about it. 

I then joined the boy scouts and was able to wear a “bone handle sheath knife” and I have to tell you that whichever knife I had it never crossed my mind to stab someone with it, even in anger on the day my next door neighborough shot my frog with an air rifle as I released it into a local stream

A great survival knife is a vital piece within your survival equipment and is among the essentials that all survivors need to have with him or her. 

With a capable knife you can take or acquire almost anything you need to thrive as well as succeed in the outdoors. With this in mind, your selection of the best survival knife for your requirements has to be dependent on solid build quality, correct parts, craftsmanship, and capability.

To newcomers, survival knives usually conjure up images of the huge Rambo style knives as shown in Hollywood cinema. 

Though they look like powerful tools that could take on everyone, these oversized blades really are a phony from the best of blades used by survival pros.

The big blades have problems with being tough to handle as they are very hefty and huge. Additionally, double edged knives are recommended mainly for thrusting. As their tips are fairly weak they are prone to breaking up. 

A number of survival knives are sold which may have hollow handles – the idea being you can stash survival necessities like matches, compass, and various strings within the water-tight handle. 

One issue empty grip survival blades experience is that they are prone to being sluggish compared to solid handle selection and also they can easily break at the hilt as the handle or the blade fly’s during heavy use.

There are exceptions, but usually you’re best holding the survival gear somewhere else. 

One benefit is if you should lose your survival knife you will still have survival kit items to use.
The best survival knives need to be functional in the number of things they are often called upon to do. At the same time mass and weight are crucial considerations just like any survival items.

Some people advise that the ideal survival knife blade length is approximately four to six inches long. This particular size blade gives good mixture of size and control.

If a larger sized survival blade is necessary then you would possibly be best taking a machete or an axe. Whatever the case, you would still do well with a normal sized survival knife.

The best survival knife is constructed of one joint of metal, to which there might be sections of material joined to create a snug grip. This kind of construction is well known in the blade community as “full tang” or “narrow tang”.

Full tang survival knives are manufactured so that the blade fuses the handgrip. Typically 2 parts of materials attach to each side of the steel to create a secure handle. 

To be able to save money on weight and mass some knives avoid adding grips and the steel remains bare, these can be wrapped with paracord to make a comfortable hand grip for example.

Narrow tang survival knives reduce the proportions of the blade material as it makes its way into the grip of the knife. A handle is then connected on the smaller bit of the blade. 

Often the knife handle consists of leather-based disks. Narrow tang knives sometimes use a pommel attached to the handgrip end of the tang.

Cheap survival knives tend to be made in order that the metal blade is split from the handgrip. The weaker point on these terribly made blades is when the blade and grip are bolted and glued together. You’d do best to stay away from such cheap knifes in favour of the full tang or narrow tang types.

There are two major forms of knife blades that the survivor need, specifically smooth and serrated. Serrated survival knife blades do best at slicing artificial materials, garments, and skin. 

For self- defence and paramedics, serrated sides make the perfect choice.

A downside of serrated cutting sides is that they are tough to sharpen effectively in the wilderness. This is really a major disadvantage in a survival situation where keeping a sharp edge in the course of tough use is extremely necessary. 

In addition, serrated knives don’t have an effective blade for carving and chopping.

A plain smooth edged blade is the blade of preference for almost all survival circumstances. This kind of blade is useful for chiselling, dicing, and sawing. 

Although it might not chop through nylon material webbing, clothes, or flesh as efficiently as a serrated blade, the straight bladed knives will still make quick work of such elements. 

The added benefit of the normal blade is that you may sharpen your survival knife on a stone or piece of cement should you not have a normal sharpening rock on hand whereas the serrated blade typically needs special sharpening equipment and technique.

Around the back of numerous survival knives are a saw designed for sawing through metal or solid wood. In lots of situations, as in the Rambo variation knives, these saws simply do a bad job at very best. 

In the event you require a small saw in your survival tools you would thrive to add a tool specifically developed for this instead of use your knife for this purpose.

The best survival knife will usually have a blade width of around 6/32 and 9/32 of an inch. Any thinner and the knife will become too bendable. It is crucial that the tip of the knife sustains its durability, as this is a likely spot where the knife could fail.

There’s two primary forms of metal used in producing top quality survival knives:

Firstly stainless-steel knife blades are decay immune and function really well in damp settings. They need much less care compared to carbon steel knives. Disadvantages to using stainless steel in knives is because they tend to be more costly, are more tough to sharpen, and might not hold an edge as nicely.

Carbon Steel knife blades however may rust if not used frequently or sprayed. Many people think carbon steel knives hold an edge much better than their stainless steel counterparts.

I carry the Chris Caine Companion which is in my view the complete survival tool

1 comment:

  1. Unique Outdoor Survival Skills

    Don't you find it ironic that even with all this scandalously expensive education, people today know so little?

    If they can't even fix their car, how are they supposed to handle a - let's say - long term food shortage?

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    These may seem advanced outdoor survival skills now, but back in the days, they were merely called "Living".

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    Thanks again.