Survival Bug Out Gear

There are many many things to know and consider when buying or putting together survival bug out gear. Perhaps the single most important issue to realize is:

There is no such thing as a one size fits all.”

If you perform due diligence and investigate say … 10 of the best survival websites pertaining to building a bug out bag, with strongly recommended survival bug out gear, you’ll end up with a bug out bag that will weigh between 150 to 225 pounds. What is also somewhat remarkable is you still won’t have everything you need for addressing every anticipated situation. To me this is totally unacceptable. I haven’t carried a pack that heavy since VietNam and could hardly do it then. (Just as a note: a Pack’s weight should equal 15% of your body weight and no more than 20%. After that it becomes extremely difficult to manage)

Instead of putting a survival pack together I suggest we put a list together first in order to organize and classify the individual elements into weight and need. Another thing you must remember is “if the pack is too heavy it’ll either slow you down, injury yourself, or have you discarding elements as you go.” None of which is desirable.

Let’s get started with a plan on assembling Survival Bug Out Gear, keeping in mind, this does not have to be difficult or nerve rattling.

Obviously the first thing we need to decide is what type of bug out bag are we going to buy? We immediately run into two trains of thought both that will argue till the cows come home their position is correct.

  1. Buy all the items first, then buy the bag to fit the load

  2. Buy the bag first, then proceed to fill it.

Personally I’m entrenched in the buy the bag first, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m right.

  1. Don’t buy a bug out bag by price. Most likely you’ll want to stay within budget but don’t think expensive equals better, as that’s not always true

  2. Buy for comfort. Comfort of Straps are extremely important

  3. Go to a reputable sporting goods store, not Walmart. The sales people are knowledgeable and you’ll probably be shocked at how many varieties there are available.

  4. Once you’re happy with your bug out bag, let’s begin to fill it with survival bug out gear.

    Classify the needed items: I’m not going to recommend specific items you’ll need. Instead I want to classify them into certain needs and requirements, suggestions and allow you to fulfill or ignore the segment.

Water/Hydration: People tend to argue about anything and everything these days, but arguing the importance of water is not one of them. Without water, within 72 hours the body will shut down and you will die. Compare that to 3 weeks without food before death and … enough said. It’s recommended 1 liter of water minimum (¼ gallon) per day, per person.

Suggestions to fulfill this requirement:

  • Collapsible Water Bottle to obtain and hold water

  • Hard Water Bottle

  • Canteen

  • Water Filters / Purification System

  • Water Purification Tablets

I highly recommend to carry at least two (more is better) Lifestraws. These water filtration devises remove 99.9% of the bacteria and other deadly microbes from the water without boiling or additional treatment. A lightweight life saver.


Food & Food Preparation: You’ve addressed the single most important survival issue, water. (Although that is not always true) Let’s rephrase that to Normal survival issue. Now we must address the issue of food, and since most food will require cooking, preparation items. We won’t address hunting or foraging yet as that’s another whole ballgame. Let’s concentrate on bringing enough food to maintain us for 3 days.

Suggestions for take along food sources:

  • Protein/ Energy Bars (at least 6)

  • MREs / Dehydrated Meals (3)

Cooking Utensils:

  • Spork

  • P-38 Can Opener (little, lightweight, excellent for opening metal cans)

  • Metal Cooking Pot (Hard to cook anything over an open flame in a plastic or paper container)

  • Metal Cup (also handy if you must boil water to safely drink)

  • Fuel tablets (8 to 10)

Clothing: The type of clothing you have available can save your life. Style is out the window in this requirement. Some people may not take the importance of this requirement near seriously enough. Don’t be one of them!

  1. Choosing bug out clothing is somewhat similar to regular shopping. That is, choose the type of clothing that fits your body type, fitness level and tolerances.

  2. First rule of clothing … layer. Take off if hot .. put back on if cold.

  3. The type of clothes will depend on your environment and climate. You don’t want cold weather clothing in the desert. However, remember the desert becomes frigid at nightfall. Re-evaluate every six months as conditions may change.

  4. You must have at least 2 changes of clothes. The last thing you need is to be wet and unable to change into dry clothes, causing not only discomfort, but hypothermia. Don’t count on being able to start a fire and dry the wet linen. 99% of the won’t happen for some reason or the other.

Suggestions for clothing:

  • Lightweight long sleeve shirt (mosquitoes can drive you insane)

  • Durable pants (zip-off pants are ideal)

  • Underwear (chafing can disable you)

  • Wool hiking socks / 3 pair (wool wicks moisture)

  • Medium weight fleece coats (2 for layering)

  • Working gloves (to protect hands from cold, blistering and firm gripping)

  • Rain gear (poncho or rain suit)

  • Wear a hot, wide brim if possible (think cowboys wore wide brim hats for style?)

Shelter & Bedding: This is one of those ahhh subjects. Most survivalist rely on their own experience and skills to provide these items and scoff at store bought items. They’ll fill a trash bag with leaves for a mattress or pillow. However, companies are becoming more attune at making items designed for packs. At least explore the options.

  • Tent

  • Tarp

  • Sleeping Bag

  • Ground Bag

Heat Source: No matter where you are located or what time of year … you need a fire for heat and a 100 other reasons. If you think you’ll start a fire by rubbing 2 sticks together … I’ll notify your next of kin. You MUST have at least 3 sources of making fire. Always remember the motto … “Where there are two there is one. Where there is one, there is none.” I have no idea who thought of that but it’s kinda brilliant. Murphy’s law applied. You got 2 matches, figure one won’t light. Got 1 match, same as none as it probably won’t light.


Mylar Tent

Suggested items for Survival Bug Out Gear:

  • Stick matches dipped in wax (waterproof)

  • Fire Stick

  • Steel & Flint

  • Tinder

  • Lighters

  • Research it as new products are always becoming available

First Aid & Hygiene: I group these two because they can overlap, plus try to buy items that could serve 2 purposes. For instance disinfectant for a cut can be used to sanitize your hands.

Suggested Items:

  • Small First Aid Kit

  • Insect Repellent (very important) with deet

  • Mylar Survival Blanket

  • Hand Sanitize

  • Travel tooth brush & paste

  • All-Purpose Soap

  • Compact Mirror

Tools: The following items are very nice to have, but you must be extremely selective in what you want to carry. Unless you hire equipment bearers like in the Tarzan movies, I wouldn’t get carried away with these items, but I feel it helpful to list them for your knowledge.

Suggested Items for Survival Bug Out Gear:

  • Survival Knife

  • Multi tool

  • machete

  • 550 Parachute Cord (50’+)

  • Duct Tape

  • 55 Gallon Contractor Garbage Bag (2+)

  • Resealable Plastic Bags (5)

  • Sewing Kit

  • Latex Tubing

  • Fishing Kit

  • Ax

  • Sunglasses

  • Binoculars

Crisis Situation: Lets switch gears for a moment. We have tended to lean towards a short survival situation or hike that may go wrong. But let’s look at a few items we will require if we are actually looking at a SHTF situation.

kit2   Amazing What You Can Carry

Crisis Bug Out Bag:


  • $400 to $500 cash in small denominations – buy and barter

  • Quarters (8 to 12) vending machines

  • Precious metals (gold / silver)

  • Compass (It’d be nice if you knew how to read one)

  • Note Pad & Pencil

  • Emergency Whistle

  • Cell Phone

  • Emergency Radio with Hand Crank

  • Pepper Spray

  • Handgun

  • Ammunition (50 to 100 rounds)

  • Rifle or shotgun (preferably both as they serve different purposes)

  • Candles

  • Flashlights & batteries

21dayflatbelly Fantastic Program

Some people get the idea that the Prepping / Survivalist agenda are set in concrete. There’s a right way and a wrong way only. I’m going to take this opportunity to briefly play devil’s advocate and show you how some items considered essential by some experts are a total waste of time, money and energy to others. Let’s begin.

  1. Sleeping Bags can be a total waste depending on where you are. Why carry a heavy sleeping bag when a couple of bivvies are adequate?

  2. Tents are a waste. Simply carry a lightweight tarp and some cordage to build a shelter. That will save @ 5 lbs.

  3. Camping Tripods are stupid. Why carry 6 lbs of iron around when you can quickly and easily construct a tripod for cooking out of available tree limbs.

  4. Camping Lantern. Why? Build a larger fire or use a flashlight.

  5. Flare Gun. Why? Build a signal fire or use a mirror to reflect sunlight as a distress signal.

  6. Plates & Utensils. Pack a spork and eat directly from the can or package.

  7. Medications. Some medications are essential, as are some pain relievers, etc. It’s doubtful you’ll use an entire bottle of these items. Dump them out and combine and adequate amount of each and put into one bottle or plastic Ziploc bag.

  8. Survival Books: If you’re bugging out it’s too late to begin reading. Grab a SAS Survival Guide, 7 ounces, as it will contain all you’ll need to know.

I think you get the idea. There is no one way to pack or do things. There may be better ways, but not only one way. When you are considering what Survival Bug Out Gear to pack it’s important to think. Do I really need this? Can I lighten this? Will another tool work just as well and on other things? Survival is a game of critical thinking.

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How to Hide Your Food

Unless you know the context of the subject matter “how to hide your food” sounds somewhat and possibly, totally ridiculous. Why would I want to hide food? Well, maybe hide my candy bars from my blood-hound nosed grand-kids. Other than that, why would I want to hide food? If that’s your answer, obviously you are not a member of the Prepper community.

Stockpiling food and other survival supplies is the centerpiece of a motivated Prepper’s ultimate goal… stockpile items that are essential for the survival of your family and anticipation of nearly immediate shortage of such items. I believe everyone will agree food will be high on the stockpile list.

For the novice Prepper you may think this isn’t rocket science.

  • Do some research to identify the best food to store and remain edible.

  • Withdraw money from the savings, make a loan or max out the credit card.

  • Buy the food, bring it home, store it in the house.

What is the big deal you may say.

There are a couple of big deals and a lot of small ones.

  1. Anyone who has been building a stockpile, or rents a U-haul and fills it with food, will most likely run into a space problem. Unless you have storage space, such as a basement where you can build a dedicated storage room, space quickly evaporates. No basement, house is built on a slab … no problem, use the spare bedroom for storage. What? No spare bedroom, in fact the kids are doubling up. See what I mean?

  2. Lack of space is one matter, but a much worse problem is keeping the food you have stockpiled. That’s no problem, you’ll just keep having stored food a secret. Yeah, right. Good luck with that.

  • Your kids will tell their friends what you’re doing. Sorry, but kids are kids, even yours.

  • The neighborhood has eyes. You won’t realize it, but a nosy neighbor has peered through the blinds and have seen you unloading enough groceries to feed an army. What could you do with so much food and only 4 people to feed? Ah … stockpiling it for bad times. How clever. I’ll make a mental note of that.

  • In today’s information age your life is an open book. I assure you people with the proper authority, or proper hacking skills, can review every purchase you’ve ever made in the last 5 years and possibly beyond. You think they won’t be able to figure out you’ve been stockpiling?

Bottom line is keeping your food stockpile stash may be the hardest thing to do. You may arm yourself and fend off attacks by looters, but eventually enough people with enough firepower will break your defenses and take the food. If not looters, soldiers under Marshal law will confiscate the supplies.

These scenarios make it sound like it’s useless to try and store a stockpile of survival food because it’ll just be taken from you. However, there are always options and there’s a very real option that offers the chance for you to keep your food or at least severely limit the amount lost. Hide Your Food.

Let’s look at a few examples of how to hide your food. This method coupled with brute force may be just enough to make assaulting you just not worth the price. It’s a cost benefit equation that wild animals utilize. Even the king of beast, although possibly capable of achieving success, will mess with a cobra. The meal is too small to risk the life threatening venom.


Inside Walls

Building Hidden Compartments:

This is an excellent method of hiding food, but unless you have a rather large home, difficult to do. Any hidden room must flow naturally with the structure. Any newer construction or obvious out of place huge piece of furniture will draw immediate suspicion.

Perhaps the best place to build a secret storage area for an average house is under the steps, especially stairs leading to a second floor level. Looters will definitely look there, but if you build a fake wall about half way to the end, there’s a good chance they’ll overlook it. Store a few things, bats & balls, tennis rackets, whatever, for the appearance you use the area for storage, but there’s nothing of value there.

How to Hide Food Your Utilizing the Insides of Walls and Ceilings:

Common building codes call for 2” x 4” studded walls, interior and exterior, and you may even be lucky enough to have 2” x 6” walls. Remove the drywall sheeting on any wall and you will expose a 3 ½” deep by 16” wide vacant void between the studs. There will most likely be electrical wires and possibly water lines running through these walls, but they occupy very little space and are not dangerous. (You still don’t want to yank around on them and create a leak or a short circuit.)

Install shelves inside this void, fill it with non-perishable food (can goods) and replace the drywall. It’s important the replaced drywall be taped and painted to match the existing wall. If you are not skilled enough to do this, consider building an attached bookcase or placing a heavy piece of furniture in front of it to hide it.

ceiling tile

Suspended Ceiling Tiles

If you have a finished basement with a suspended ceiling you can turn the space between the floor joist into storage. Simply remove the ceiling tile, carefully as to not break it, and install shelves between the floor joists. You’ll experience the same issues as inside the wall but probably more congested as sewer and other drain pipes, heating/cooling duct-work and water lines all run inside these joists. If you remove ceiling tiles and encounter a lot of obstructions, put it back and go to another spot.

*** Floor joists will offer more room than walls because they are normally 2” x 8” or 2” x 10” and on 24” centers.***

A normal bedroom or hall closet can be used for food storage. Place a few boxes (containers) in the closet and have them clearly miss – marked. A bottom box of canned goods can be marked Xmas stuff while supporting real boxes of Xmas stuff. Or fill the box half way with food and finish topping it off with clothes.

An additional spot is above the door in the interior of the closet. Who looks there? Remove the drywall as in other examples, and store food in the vacant spaces. You won’t have to replace the drywall because chances of being seen are all but zero.


Fake Duct Work

Outsmart Them by Faking Them Out:

Maybe 1 in 100 people have the expertise to know a home’s systems well enough to know what is real and what’s not. And that 1 person will be focused on stealing food, not analyzing your sewer system. This offers you a golden opportunity to hide a vast quantity of food.

Your ventilation duct-work will be located either in the basement or the attic. You can construct a duct branch, however long you want, made from the same material and same appearance of the real ducts and store food inside it. You can store a lot of food in such a fake storage spot. Be sure to adequately support the fake as canned food is quite heavy.

You can do the same thing with your plumbing system. Drain pipes in the house will either be 3” or 4” wide. Even if they are 3” into the main sewer drain you can use 4” fake pipe and nobody will notice. Simply fill the 4” void of the pipe with canned goods, and place it onto the floor and secure it to the floor joist. Make sure it appears to go through the floor, concrete and wood, is plumb, and isn’t obviously out of place. They’ll never spot it if you do it right.

Do You Garden?

Another good place for how to hide your food is the back yard. If you have a garden this is an excellent hiding spot because the ground is already disturbed. Don’t shake your head. Burying food is one of the oldest ways of storing food. Early American history clearly describes casks and barrels of food being buried underground as a means to preserve it and/or hiding it from hostile Indians.


PVC Pipe

Dig a hole at a corner of the garden where a steel post can be inserted to appear as a fence post, or in the center of the garden where a scarecrow can be placed, in order to disguise the spot. Use food grade five gallon buckets filled with food and bury it. The container is leak proof and insects can not get in.

Another method is to take a 4” piece of PVC, fill it with food, glue caps on either end and insert into the ground. This pipe will fit nicely inside a hole you make with a post hole digger.

How to Hide Your Food in Plain Sight:

The soffit above your kitchen cabinets is a totally void spot. Remove the drywall, re-enforce the framework and install a bottom flooring. This can offer a tremendous amount of storage space. Either replace the drywall, finish and paint to match the rest of the kitchen or maybe wallpaper it, eliminating taping and painting.

Remove the toe plate from underneath the kitchen cabinets and you’ll discover an empty space for some storage. This space can be utilized for a diversion. Place food inside the void, but don’t reinstall the toe plate correctly. If looters spot this and find the food, they very well may think that’s all you have and will leave. Just a thought.

If you never use your dishwasher, or you haven’t replaced the broken one, use it for storage. Just be sure to disconnect the electric to prevent a well meaning in-law from turning the dishwasher on attempting to help with holiday dishes.

The washer and dryer can also offer space. Remove the backing, place food inside and re-secure the backing. Be sure that no food interferes with any mechanical movement of the appliance or you may have bought yourself a big repair bill.

Other Options:

If you absolutely don’t have enough space to hide food supplies, or live in an apartment, you can rent a storage unit at one of those self contained storage facilities. A 5’ X 5’ storage unit would hold a huge amount of non-perishable food.


Rented Storage Unit

Don’t overlook disgusting and diversion tactics:

  • Keep a weapon (pistol) in a water tight container and store it in the toilet water tank.

  • Build a cat litter box with a hidden shelf underneath it big enough to store a pistol.

  • Put a shelf large enough to place a pistol in the bottom of the pet food storage container and fill with pet food.

Don’t forget looters will be in a hurry. They want as much stuff as they can quickly find without too much problem and a fast get away.

  • Raise your bed onto blocks and store food under your bed. It’s not exactly inspector gadget hidden, but if they locate it, they’ll probably stop at that point, saving the rest of your cache.

Preparing for a crisis by knowing how to hide your food should be rather high on your priority list. However it’s only one element of a crisis management plan.


21 Day Abs    



Be Prepared



Prepper Supplies at Costco – Part II

To continue our Prepper supplies at Costco segment, let’s look at available Prepper camping and survival equipment. To prepare for the majority of crisis events, one must assume they will be caught away from home, or must evacuate the safe confines of home. Therefore, let’s look at some equipment that will make life in the wild sustainable and as comfortable as possible.

Prepper Supplies at Costco – Sleeping Bags

  1. Klymit Traverse Hammock $150.00

  2. Coleman 2 in 1 30 degree to 70 degree sleeping bag $45.00

  3. Klymit 35 degree down sleeping bag $100.00

  4. Klymit 2 person sleeping bag $270.00

  5. Klymit zero degree sleeping/compression bag $190.00

It’s important to be able to protect yourself from the elements, whether it be cold pouring rain, blistering hot sun or heavy frigid snow. Of course each element requires a certain type of shelter, but I don’t think we have any North or South Pole visitors here, so let’s look at normal, quick set up shelters.


Prepper Supplies at Costco – Tents

  1. Coleman 6 person Instant Cabin Tent $130.00

  2. Coleman 6 person Dome Fast Pitch Dome $100.00

  3. Coleman 13’ X 13’ Instant Eave shelter $120.00

  4. Coleman 12’ X 12’ Screen Dome $150.00

  5. Apex Modular Tent $400.00

Having a tent, an avenue to at least protect you from the majority of weather elements, is a giant relief. But… has anyone ever tried sleeping on rocky or wet or buggy ground? Yeah, it’s nearly impossible to get a good night’s sleep unless you have reached the point of exhaustion, which is not good. Call it spoiled … I call it smart .. let’s look at ways to add a little comfort to our sleeping facilities.

Prepper Supplies at Costco – Air Beds & Cots

  1. Disco-Bed XL Portable Cot $250.00

  2. Klymit Double V sleeping pad with 2 pillows $120.00

  3. Klymit Insulated Static V Pad & Pillow $70.00

  4. Klymit Self Inflate Sleeping Pad & Pillow $60.00

  5. Light-speed Outdoor 3” Deluxe Sleep Pad $100.00

  6. Aero Comfort Loc Queen Size Air Mattress $150.00


Cooking Equipment

Most primitive or survival type situations will most likely have you cooking on a grill of natural material. A ring of rocks, to contain the fire, and sticks to skewer the food to be cooked. But it never hurts to look at a couple of alternative methods if the situation fits.

  1. Coleman & Triton Propane Stove $70.00

  2. Elevate Grill $200.00

I must stress these suggested Prepper Supplies at Costco are just that … suggestions and are not meant to be all-inclusive. But it gives the beginner a place to start reviewing their needs at prices that do not break the bank. Prepper supplies and equipment can quickly become very expensive and a newbie can quickly become a “kid in the candy store.”

I’ll finish with this tip. Quality Prepper equipment is one of the things, for the most part, that you get what you paid for. Don’t expect a $45.00 sleeping bag to keep you warm in zero degree environments. It won’t.

Prepper Supplies at Costco

Prepper supplies at Costco sounds like the beginning of an advertising commercial, an immediate turn off for me. However, sometimes people who are somewhat familiar with the Prepping lifestyle, forget what it was like when they first began. Where do I start? What should I concentrate on first? I’ve a limited budget so where do I buy the least expensive items. On and on.

This is not an endorsement of Costco, as we’ll explore other venues that offer essentially the same products, but Costco is a very familiar name and located over a vast area of the country. Therefore, I decided to begin our series of where to obtain “Prepper and Survivalist” supplies at wholesale prices at a large wholesale outlet. Let’s start our Prepper supplies at Costco with food.

*** I have listed prices at the time this article was written and there is no guarantee the prices won’t change, but it’s a guideline of estimated costs.

30 day supply

Bulk Food Supplies:

  1. Mountain House 12 servings turkey dinners $47.00

  2. 6 pack of P&B powdered peanut butter $47.00

  3. 60 servings of Mountain House dried breakfast skillet $160.00

  4. Mountain House Lasagna 60 servings $150.00

  5. Chef’s Banquet Macaroni and Cheese Bucket 180 servings $90.00

  6. 320 servings of freeze dried variety vegetable bucket $110.00

  7. 72 hour survival food kit $100.00

  8. Mountain House 4 day supply 28 servings $70.00

  9. Emergency Food Ark Month supply of 390 servings $115.00

  10. Mountain House Freeze Dried chicken stew 60 servings $145.00

  11. Mountain House freeze dried beef Stroganoff 60 servings $ 130.00

  12. Easy Prep cook in bag instant entree 236 servings $190.00

  13. Mountain House 30 day outdoor adventure meal 204 servings $ 480.00

  14. Glory Bee Clover Blossom Honey 40 lb $127.00


236 servings

This finishes our first article on Prepper supplies at Costco concerning food. I have decided to write several small articles concentrating on only one or two items in the event somebody would want to build their cache in small steps and I thought this would be the best and not so overwhelming. Until next time.


First things first … what are sinkholes? Basically speaking, a sinkhole is created when a void is created under the top layer of earth. This void grows in depth and width until the top layer of soil can no longer support itself and caves into the void, thus creating sink holes.

What exactly causes sinkholes?

We’ve established that the sinkhole opens up when the immediate sub surface material shifts to another location and leaves a void. Sinkholes can be created naturally or by the actions of man. But that’s only the beginning of the story.

What causes the shift?

There are three main situations that cause sinkholes:

  • If the rocks below the surface are made of materials that dissolve in water, such as limestone or gypsum.

    Over hundreds or thousands of years, the water trapped beneath the surface causes natural underground currents that dissolve the rocks and forge chasms under the ground. As this occurs the top of the chasm gradually grows towards the surface and, eventually, the surface layer getting thinner and thinner, until it becomes too weak to support what is above it and falls in.

  • When the rock under the surface doesn’t dissolve in water, but instead is made of grains that are small enough to be carried away by underground water currents. For instance in Guatemala City, the underlying rock on which a three story building was built on, was predominantly weak crumbly volcanic rock, fine ash and other debris that had erupted from a volcano, the three-story building vanished into the sinkhole when the underlying material shifted,
  • The third situation has nothing to do with underground water currents, it’s all about water movements above-ground. They are triggered by intense rainstorms or floods, and burst or long-term leakage from sewer or storm-water pipes.

You’ll notice in all these examples, the water can’t go where it used to, so it finds a new path.


Where do sinkholes form? Sinkholes form mainly in limestone.

Limestone areas in a tropical, moist climate are much more likely to form sinkholes than those in dry climates. However, since they can be natural or man-made, Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, and Missouri, are experiencing sinkholes that appear from nowhere with little to no warnings. This threat obviously gives constant worry for anyone living around the areas where sinkholes are known to exist and the unpredictability of when or where in may occur makes the concern that more frightening.

Methods of mining have been directly linked to the sudden onslaught of sinkholes where few if any existed before. A sinkhole can range anywhere between a slight depression in the ground right up to an enormous hole reaching down half a Kilometer (1640 feet). The world’s current deepest sinkhole is in Chongquig, China, reaching down 662 meters (2171 feet).

Since there is no natural surface drainage, once water gets into a sinkhole it can’t get out via the surface, thus must drain downward, into the subsurface layers creating an ever deeper hole. Such an occurrence, of an abandoned mine creating a swirling water erosion created a huge sinkhole in the backyard of an Ipswich Brisbane neighborhood.

Sinkholes: Staying above the Abyss

The best method to avoid the catastrophe of being engulfed by a sudden opening of a sinkhole is being knowledgeable of the early warning signs and being aware of your surroundings. For instance, if the area is known to be prone to sinkholes it may be a wise idea to not build or buy a home in that area.

What are the warning signs?

In many cases sinkholes don’t form suddenly, they build up slowly over many months or even years. Its the last stage, when the formation of the hole or basin is at the very surface, that’s sudden. Here are signs that might indicated you have a slow-burning sinkhole on your hands:

  • Fresh cracks in the foundations of houses and buildings

  • Cracks in interior walls

  • Cracks in the ground outside

  • Depressions in the ground

  • Trees or fence posts that tilt or fall

  • Doors or windows become difficult to open or close

  • Rapid appearance of a hole in the ground

  • Dying or wilting vegetation in a circular form



A sudden collapse of a sinkhole is nearly impossible to escape unless you happen to be located at the very edge of the hole and lucky enough to grab hold of something substantial enough to stop your fall. Or the depth of the sinkhole is only a few feet, as not all sinkholes open to the center of the earth. So what can you do to help avoid being swallowed alive?

  • Hire a Professional … If you are located in states or areas prone to sinkholes and wish to build or buy a home or business, hire a professional geologist to do tests in and around your property. It’s not an ironclad guarantee, but it’ll stack the odds in your favor.
  • Double Check Repairs … In certain cases, it is possible to repair a sinkhole. If you are considering buying property with a repaired sinkhole, make sure a licensed engineer certified the repair. Demand all documentation and data on the repair and if possible, have another licensed engineer review the documentation for accuracy. I couldn’t tell the difference between a quality repair report or a forged one. Could you?
  • Talk to Your Insurance Company … It’s best to do this before purchasing a property. Make certain the insurance company will insure against sinkhole disasters and the cost of such coverage. Having full insurance coverage, but at $1000 a month fee, is all but the same as not having insurance … for normal people anyway. See if there are any prior qualifications such as a certified engineer buy-off.

Warning Signs Review:

There is usually some sort of sign that a sinkhole is developing, not always, but usually. It’s important to take notice of these signals and know what they mean.

Be on the Lookout:

  • Constantly check for unusual ground and plant depressions in and around your property. These telltale signs are:
  • If a sinkhole is in the process of forming the structures on top of it can give a hint to its existence: for example, slumping or sagging fence posts, and trees that start to lean. More subtle signs can include doors and windows that don’t close properly.
  • Heavy rains can trigger the collapse of a sinkhole that had been slowly forming earlier. When rainfall collects in an area where water previously did not collect, that is another sign that the land is subsiding.

Hurricane Triggers:

Bad enough that sinkholes could be forming under your feet in normal rains. Bring a hurricane to the region and it could feel like not only the sky is falling, but the ground is falling as well.

Earthquake Triggers:

When the earth falls out from under your feet, it may not be a sinkhole at all, but rather an earthquake. When the Alaskan earthquake struck on March 27, 1964, Fourth Avenue dropped 20 feet below normal level as the result of the shifting fault-line.

When sudden seismic shaking occurs near the coast don’t wait for a tsunami warning siren, head to higher ground.

Blue Holes:

Blue holes along low-lying coastlines are the remnants of sinkholes formed during past ice ages when sea level was 300 to 400 feet lower than today. As sea level rose, the sinkholes became flooded, forming vertical caves. The deep blue color of the hole contrasts with the lighter white carbonate sands of the surrounding seafloor and the water is home to many varieties of marine species.

Scuba diving in a blue hole can be dangerous as the depth is difficult to judge with just your eyes. Divers must vigilantly check their depth gauges to make sure they don’t exceed their safety limits.

Sinkholes are an anomaly of nature that was no more of a danger to man than being struck by lightening, but that has changed recently. The ever increasing encroachment on nature by man and the damage that creates, both unintentional and mostly intentional, has completely changed the earth’s composure. New and destructive methods of mining and drilling for fossil fuels have restructured the earth’s crust in a matter of years, that which took a million years to establish.

You don’t need to know all the reasons, new and old, for the eruption of sinkholes, but you must be aware of their increased activities and the new areas which they have suddenly sprung up. Fortunately, few lives have been lost to sinkholes, however, losing a lifetime of valuables to a sudden catastrophe can make you wish you were dead.

Be mindful of the signs of sinkholes and act accordingly and you should be alright, physically anyway.

Basic Chicken Raising Tips

Let’s talk basic chicken raising tips. Obviously we’re not delving into any type of a commercial aspect of raising chickens, we’re delving into “I like fresh chicken eggs” and “I like fresh fried chicken.” type of endeavor. Besides, any self respecting long term Prepper or survivalist should know the basics of keeping chickens as they would be an integral part of maintaining a survival family farm plot.

The first tip I’ll give you is … as with all things nothing is as simple as it sounds. I’m sure if you’ve ever driven down a gravel country road you’ve seen the Norman Rockwell scene of a small farm house, with tin roof, wash hanging on a clothes line tied between two trees, and a dozen or so chickens wandering around the front yard pecking and ridding the homestead of pesky critters. It’s a tranquil scene and enticing for anyone that may want to have an on-call pest controller, breakfast and/or Sunday supper food source. However, where do these chickens go when they pick the front yard clean or it gets dark?

Reality Check Number One:

Chickens need a place to roost, that’s where they lay their eggs, sleep and socialize with one another. For that you’ll need to build a chicken hotel known as a chicken coop. You can find diagrams, blueprints and fully assembled chicken coops on the internet or probably at your MFA dealer.

A chicken coop is not an easy thing to build. A lot of thought and planning need to be considered before you begin hammering nails. For instance:

  • It must be large enough to hold a feeder and a water container

  • It must be large enough to build a nesting box for every three hens

  • It must be tall enough for you to be able to stand up in as you’ll have to gather eggs, refill food and water containers, etc etc

  • There will always be an ample supply of chicken manure that must be shoveled out

  • Do you want or need heat

  • Do you want or need lighting

As you can tell it’s not rocket science, but make a critical error in calculation, like no easy way to remove the manure, and you’re in a world of hurt. Chickens are sociable, so you’ll need at least 4 to 6 birds and at least 2 square feet of space for each. Cramped chickens become angry chickens and will peck and pull feathers from one another, which contributes to disease.

Realty Check Number Two:

Chickens are not what you’d call self-sufficient. Yes they capture their daily snacks of insects and what not, but they still require being fed and watered daily.

  • A 50 lb bag of feed costs @ $20. How long a bag lasts depends on the number and health of the chickens. Cost of feed is also market driven.

  • As long as hens have 12 to 14 hours of sunlight per day they will lay eggs, sometimes twice a day, which require gathering. In other words essentially from Spring into Fall

  • Shoveling manure is a year round en-devour

  • Taking a vacation is problematic unless you have a chicken sitter who can take care of the flock while you are gone.

Basic Chicken Raising Tip:

Building a prison is not cheap. What? What are you talking about? A good comparison to raising chickens is maintaining a prison of violent criminals.

  1. They must be fed and watered daily … check

  2. They must have a coop (jail cell) … check

  3. They must have an exercise yard … Say what?

Chickens, healthy ones, must have room to exercise, strut their stuff, take a dust bath and catch a few rays. Unfortunately the Norman Rockwell setting of chickens feeding in the front yard is not realistic. Does it happen? Sure. Are chickens killed and carried off by predators who have unrestricted access to the front yard? Yes!


Chicken Hawk

A chicken enclosure, known as a chicken run, is required and it must be protected by fencing of some sort, normally chicken wire (thus the name). You have to keep the chickens in and the predators out, which includes the family dog. The size of the outside exercise area depends on how many chickens to have and how spacious you want to build it. A good faith estimate at today’s prices is a 20’ x 5’ run will be @ $300 – $400. That’s material only. Add labor if you can’t perform the work yourself and the price may double. That’s a whole lot of store bought eggs.

*** Caveat *** I’m sure this is explained somewhere, but I haven’t seen it, so I’ll give you the tip. They don’t tell you, but your chicken run, exercise yard, whatever you want to call it … must have netting draped over the entire top of the opening. This net cover is not to keep the chickens in, but the predators out. My son learned this the hard way.

We built a chicken coop, a rather massive structure I designed and built, my eyes are always bigger than my stomach as the saying goes. The yard was rather large and very well fenced in and protected. It actually looked like a professional job when we finished.

The next week I visited and saw his flock was half the size it had been just 7 days ago. “What happened?” I asked.

Hawks, turkey buzzards, owls and whatever other kind of birds of prey we have in these woods.” he said.

*** Caveat *** Here’s another tad bit of info that the rookie won’t know. When a rooster(s) is introduced to the flock he will turn into a sex crazed maniac. If there are enough hens that’s alright, but if the hen to rooster ratio is not right, the rooster will literally kill the hens with too much sex.

Basic Chicken Raising Tip: Win … Win situation:

Gardening and chickens go hand in hand, not only because they both will exist in a farm like setting, but because they also compliment each others existence. When the bounty has been harvested and the gardening season is finished until next year, unleash your chickens into the garden patch and watch them go. You’ll swear they’ve never eaten before.

They will uproot the stems and stalks of weeds and inhale any damaged or overripe vegetables that remain on the ground. They’ll eat any weed seeds or insect they find in the soil, pecking apart and digesting any vegetable remains, such as carrot tops, kale, chard, broccoli stems and will scratch out any hidden worms or insects. In other words, they will clean your garden of negative issues that could be next years problems with the enthusiasm and work ethic of the employee of the year.

The chickens have joined in the garden harvest bounty, now they will repay it. Chickens if nothing else, are supreme manure creators, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, they never stop pooping. Fortunately this chicken manure is excellent compost and after aging, will greatly enhance the soil quality of the garden.

Simply collect the manure and used bedding materials, 2 parts manure to 1 part bedding, and add to the compost pile along with grass clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps, leaves, twigs and shredded paper. Stir it regularly to mix the decomposing materials.

Like the heading states, this is basic chicken raising, but if you read this, the pros and cons and are still interested in raising chickens, go for it. There’s nothing better than a good fresh egg for breakfast, plus you can make a little extra cash selling your excess. All in all a win, win, win situation.

Suicide in the Wilderness

I’ll assume committing suicide in the wilderness is not your goal when venturing out into the forest or desert, but an excitingly anticipated adventure can easily turn deadly in the wild. How? Well, accidents of course, falling from a cliff while attempting a selfie. Being mauled by the bear you didn’t notice because you were busy taking selfies, or being crushed by the huge branch that broke off the dead tree at a most inopportune time. These and probably another fifty accidental occurrences could result in death or severe injury. However, depending on how you view it, a death could be the result of a suicide in the wilderness.

The point I’m trying to drive home here is, going into the wilderness unprepared can end in tragedy. If you know this and still venture out into hostile unexplored areas, it could be viewed as a suicide should tragedy occur. Let’s look at a few examples or tools which could be construed as contributing to ones own demise.

Suicide Tips:

Venture into the wilderness without shelter. This stat does not include accidental deaths, but one must remember @98% of reported deaths from being lost in the wilderness are the result of exposure, which translates into the person died of hypothermia or heat stroke. The best method to avoid this type of potential deathly situation is to protect yourself with a shelter. That does not necessarily mean you need to pack a tent on your back, although that’s a good idea, but you must have the knowledge to use natures materials to construct a suitable shelter.

Originally this may sound ridiculously simple, but …. next time you’re in the wilderness stop and survey the immediate area. Then from what you see, imagine constructing a primitive shelter that would at least partially protect you from heat and cold. You may find yourself astonished at how difficult that may be. You require a certain amount of knowledge, adaptability and construction savvy to utilize several different available materials to build a primitive shelter.


Amazing what can be built

Suicide in the Wilderness Tips:

Most people, by nature, don’t want to face or think about an unpleasant experience occurring, much alone a life or death scenario. This is a person’s first potential fatal mistake. Have you ever read or heard of a person intentionally going into the wilderness totally unprepared just to see if they could survive the harshness of nature? “Just for kicks let’s see if I come out alive.”

99.9% of wilderness survival situations begin quite innocently. A canoe trip down the lazy river, a day hike with friends, or a father son hunting or fishing trip, all innocent adventures. However, we miscalculate the risk involved and are suddenly faced with a life and death scenario. The canoe tips over in the river and all the supplies are swept away in the middle of nowhere. An unexpected storm hits while you’re hiking at high altitudes with no shelter or the father accidentally shoots himself in the foot. These and a hundred other things could happen which turns the fun day trip into a nightmare.

The only thing you can do is take a reality check of your plans before you leave… after is far too late. No, you can’t think of everything nor could you carry everything needed to address all types of situations. But … you can do the basics.

  • Nice sunny day … take a jacket just in case the weather turns

  • Drinking fountains along the hiking trail … take a bottle of water anyway

  • Tell someone where you are going and when you’ll return…. Hard to find someone you don’t know is missing

  • Have a well supplied bug-out bag in the trunk of your car

Suicide Tips:

Dressing stylish. A day hike will probably mean meeting other hikers and one must be dressed stylish in order to impress. Short shorts, a sports bra top and flip flops, maybe sandals, creates an exciting appearance. It’s also an excellent way to die prematurely. Wearing the wrong clothes is an open invitation for disaster. There are a few Cardinal rules which should be adhered to even if you think they’re stupid.

  • As a rule always dress one layer warmer than you anticipate you’ll need. If its a 90 degree morning, wear a tee-shirt, but tie a windbreaker around your waist or around your shoulders. You may grumble all day about towing this annoying jacket around with you, but if the temperature drops by 20 degrees F, you’ll be very glad you have it to put on.

  • Along this same line. Forgetting your second layer of clothing in the car, or closet or at the front door hopefully would not come back and bite you in butt. There’s little worse than shivering in the cold and knowing your warm jacket is in the backseat of your car, 20 miles away.

  • Clothing of the right type of material. If you are an outdoors person you have probably heard the slogans “cotton kills” “cotton is rotten” and “friends don’t let friends wear cotton.” Once cotton clothing becomes wet it loses all its warmth retaining qualities and actually contributes to making you colder. Wear wool clothing when possible.

  • Have a shell jacket and pants tucked away somewhere. These articles can be squeezed into small packs and will help protect you from snow and rain.

  • Keep in mind …. most cases of deadly hypothermia occur in temperatures above 40 degrees F. You don’t need to be at the North Pole to die of exposure.

Suicide in the Wilderness Tip:

It Can Happen

Many people feel if they are hiking or what not in a public area or that they know the area, there is no need to know how to navigate. Just follow the trail. A potentially deadly mistake.

  • A short version. The entire summer I was helping my father-in-law log his 600 acre parcel of land before returning to school. I knew every inch of that 600 acre parcel. While deer hunting that winter I climbed to the top of a hill I knew very well. The entire mountain top had the appearance of an Apocalypse. The winter gray sky and devastation bewildered me and left me totally lost. What happened was loggers had clear cut the area since I had last been there leaving me confused and slightly panicked.

Anybody, experienced or not can easily enter a thicket of trees and brush and get turned around. You will swear you know where you are going, the entire time traveling deeper into the wilderness. It’s important to remember the survivalist saying “Two is one and one is none.” Meaning if you only have your cell phone GPS to guide you and it stops working you have no navigation help. If you count on your GPS also take a compass or a map. Familiarize yourself on how to navigate by the sun and/or stars. You may encounter a situation you had no time to plan for. Knowledge doesn’t break or gets lost.

Suicide Tip:

The wilderness is a strange thing. If you’re lost in a stand of timber and brush, you can hear the rescue workers yelling for you, but they can not hear you yelling back at them. Defies logic, mine anyway, but its true, So you can be yelling your head off and the rescue personnel will trek right on by. Moral of the story is you need to know how to signal for help.

Any well supplied sports store or gun shop will have an area dedicated to devises to be used to signal for help. They will include whistles, mirrors, flare guns, emergency beacons, radios, GPS locators, etc. etc. Know how to signal from natures bounty. Remember the number Three (3) which is an internationally recognized signal for distress. Pile three piles of rocks where they can be seen. Build 3 fires, one fire may be mistaken for another campers campfire. Use SOS in the snow. Learn how to draw attention to yourself.


Suicide in the Wilderness Tip:

They say that without fire man would have never evolved into what we are. The ability to cook our food offered us an advantage over other animals. I don’t know…I wasn’t there, but I do know what fire means to me:

  1. Warmth. There’s nothing better than a roaring fire to warm the body and soul.

  2. Protection. A raging fire will keep wild animals and a lot of insects at bay providing protection in a hostile world

  3. A fire can be used to signal for help. Few things can be seen for miles like a fire at night and smoke during the day.

  4. Can be used to purify life giving water.

  5. And can be used to cook wild meat

  6. Can be a companion on a pitch black night

Always have more than one method of creating fire. Matches can get wet, lighters run out of fluid, rubbing 2 sticks together work once in a lifetime. Carry a fire starter, flint and steel, and tinder.


Where’s the water? We all know, or should know, we are mainly made of water, @70% I think, therefore the idea that going without water for only a few days, (3) will result in death should come as no surprise. The issue may not be where is there water, it may be all around, river, lake, stream or pond, but the issue is where is safe water?

Water running along a babbling brook, clear as a bell, may contain waterborne organisms such as Giardia or Cryptosporidium which will inflict severe suffering on the drinker. You won’t die, but the severe diarrhea and vomiting will make you wish you’d die. Additionally the constant fluid loss only compounds the problem of dehydration, which is what you were attempting to avoid in the first place.

There are many methods for purifying contaminated water, but we’ll look at only a few. The first is obviously boiling the water over a fire, which will destroy any harmful bacteria. There are chemical tablets designed specifically for this purpose. Water filters, which look like a straw will filter dirty water. Bleach will also make potable water as will filtering through charcoal ash. Learn as many of these water purification methods as possible. Your life may depend on it.

Final Suicide in the Wilderness Tip and Summary:

Be Prepared” the famous motto of the Boy Scouts was not created to be a catchy or cute term. It’s a life long lesson that everybody should follow, but many who venture blindly into the wilderness do not. For some reason they think the hardships are only on the TV set, or they are immune to such situations. I can’t answer for them, but I can tell you “Nobody is exempt or protected from the unexpected.”

Know these 5 Keys to surviving in the wilderness:

  1. Know how to build a shelter

  2. Know how to start and maintain a fire

  3. Know how to find and produce potable water

  4. Know how to signal for help

  5. Know how to locate food

Suicide in the Wilderness should probably read how not to commit suicide in the wilderness, but I thought I’d try a different approach and maybe reach more people.


Fantastic Book for Coaches


Baseball Tutoring Book


Survival Kit

Whether you call it a survival kit, bug-out bag, emergency survival kit or a backpack, the intent of the survival kit is to contain enough supplies to sustain your existence for x amount of days. The problem arises when one must determine what constitutes what supplies to pack as obviously packing for a trip to the arctic is entirely different than preparing for the Amazon jungle.

But what do the professionals, the people who make and sell survival kits think should be included in a standard survival kit? I’ve listed sample survival kit items from a very reputable company to give you an idea of how the professionals pack a survival kit.

Professional Survival Kit Examples:

Five Day Emergency Survival Kit for One Person. Giving an individual everything they need in order to survive for five days.

  • 32 TOTAL SERVINGS (Including Apple Cinnamon Cereal, Brown Sugar Cereal, Creamy Pasta, Southwest Beans and Rice, Hearty Tortilla Soup, and Whey Milk)

  • 5 X 4.227 FL. OZ. WATER POUCHES

  • PORTABLE STOVE (Including Fuel Tablets)




  • 42 PIECE FIRST AID AND HYGIENE KIT (Including 37 Piece Bandage Kit, N95 Dust Mask, Pocket Tissues

  • 3 Wet Naps and Waste Bag)





Standard Issue Items: These products have a 5 year shelf life.
24- 4oz. Water Pouches
12400 Calorie Food Bars (4800 Calories)
20 Water Purification Tablets-each tablet purifies 1 liter of water

Light and Communications: In the event of a power outage caused by you’ll have independent access to your own means of lighting and communication with the outside world.
AM/FM Radio with Headphones and Batteries
Rechargeable Squeeze Flashlight-3 LED flashlight
30 Hour Emergency Candle
12 Hour Emergency Bright Stick
5-in-1 Survival Whistle
Box of Waterproof Matches

Shelter and Warmth: These supplies will provide protection from outside weather forces. They will protect you from wind, sun, rain, and many other conditions you may encounter.
2 Emergency Survival Sleeping Bags
2 16 Hour Body Warmers
2 Person Tube Tent with Rope
2 Emergency Ponchos with Hood

Tools: These items are designed to be useful in disaster situations. They will be a valuable resource when you find yourself faced with navigation, transport, personal protection, or shelter troubles.
16 Function Knife
Pair of Leather Palm Work Gloves
295 Respirator Dust MasksNIOSH approved
50 Feet of Nylon Rope
Safety Goggles
Sewing Kit
All of our kit items are packed securely in a resealable, waterproof storage bag

Hygiene and Sanitation: When in a disaster situation it is useful to have access to hygiene products. Staying clean can protect against infection, disease, and depression.
224 Piece Deluxe Hygiene Kits
Tooth Brush
Tooth Paste
8 Wet Naps
Shampoo/ Conditioner
Dental Floss Pick
Twin Blade Razor
5” Black Comb
4 Maxi Pads/ Bandages
Shave Cream
6 Pocket Tissue Packs

First Aid: These first aid items can assist with minor injuries and protect against serious health concerns in disaster circumstances.
Guardian 65 Piece Deluxe First Aid Kit

Other: These items are useful for stress relief and activity in strenuous or challenging circumstances.
Golf Pencil
Deck of playing cards for entertainment
Infectious Waste Bag

Emergency Survival Kit Information:
This survival kit was designed using advice from experts in the emergency preparedness industry. It follows guidelines given by government agencies and non-profit preparedness organizations.

This survival kit was designed to meet the needs of a child 11 years and younger. This quality kit is packaged securely in our Multi-pocket Hikers Backpack.

The kit includes the following:

Food and Water: The food and water in this kit will comfortably provide you with adequate nutrition for 72-hours without access to additional supplies. These products have a 5 year shelf life.
12- 4oz. Water Pouches
6 – 400 Calorie Food Bars (2400 Calories)
10 Water Purification Tabletseach tablet purifies 1 liter of water

Light and Communication: In the event of a power outage caused by you’ll have independent access to your own means of lighting and communication with the outside world.
AM/FM Radio with Batteries and Headphones
Rechargeable Squeeze Flashlight3 LED flashlight
3 – 12 Hour Emergency Bright Stick
5-in-1 Survival Whistle

Shelter and Warmth: These supplies will provide protection from outside weather forces. They will protect you from wind, sun, rain, and many other conditions you may encounter.
Warm Fleece Blanket
16 Hour Body Warmer
Emergency Poncho for Children

Tools: These items are designed to be useful in disaster situations. They will be a valuable resource when you find yourself faced with navigation, transport, personal protection, or shelter troubles.
Warm Winter Gloves
N95 Respirator Dust MaskNIOSH approved
All of our kit items are packed securely in a resealable, waterproof storage bag

Hygiene and Sanitation: When in a disaster situation it is useful to have access to hygiene products. Staying clean can protect against infection, disease, and depression.
Hygiene Kit
Tooth Brush
Tooth Paste
8 Wet Naps
3 Pocket Tissue Packs

First Aid: These first aid items can assist with minor injuries and protect against serious health concerns in disaster circumstances.
37 Piece Portable First Aid Kit

Other: These items are useful for stress relief and activity in strenuous or challenging circumstances.
Activity Coloring Book with Crayons
Children Toys Emergency Survival Kit Information:
This survival kit was designed using advice from experts in the emergency preparedness industry. It follows guidelines given by government agencies and non-profit preparedness organizations.

Weight: 9lbs

Dimensions (length x width x height): 15×12×6

This kit contains the following:

Food and Water: The food and water in this kit will comfortably provide you with adequate nutrition for one day without access to additional supplies. These products have a 5 year shelf life.
6- 4oz. Water Pouches
1 – 400 Calorie Food Bar Cherry Flavor
10 Water Purification Tablet’s – each tablet purifies 1 liter of water
24 oz. Water Purification Bottle

Light and Communications: In the event of a power outage caused by disaster you’ll have independent access to your own means of lighting and communication with the outside world.
Four Function Dynamo Flashlight with Radio
5-in-1 Survival Whistle
Box of Waterproof Matches
36″” x 24″” Bright Orange Help Flag

Shelter and Warmth: These supplies will provide protection from outside weather forces. They will protect you from wind, sun, rain, and many other conditions you may encounter.
Fire Resistant Wool Blanket 62″” x 80″”
2- Emergency Poncho’s with Hood

Tools: These items are designed to be useful in disaster situations. They will be a valuable resource when you find yourself faced with navigation, transport, personal protection, or shelter troubles.
Tundra Fire Extinguisher
Compact Multi-function Shovel
16 Function Knife
Leather Palm Work Gloves
2 N95 Respirator Dust Mask’s
NIOSH approved
50 Feet of Nylon Rope
Safety Goggles
Hard hat
3 Function Hatchet (hatchet, pry bar, hammer)
Pack of nails
All of our kit items are securely packed in a resealable, waterproof storage bags

Hygiene and Sanitation: When in a disaster situation it is useful to have access to hygiene products. Staying clean can protect against infection, disease, and depression.

24 Piece Deluxe Hygiene Kit
Tooth Brush
Tooth Paste
9 Wet Nap’s
Shampoo/ Conditioner
Dental Floss Pick
Hand/ Body Lotion
Deodorant Gel
Twin Blade Razor
5” Black Comb
4 Maxi pads/ Bandage’s
Shave Cream

First Aid: These first aid items can assist with minor injuries and protect against serious health concerns in disaster circumstances.
Piece First Aid Kit
10 Burn Cream Packet’s

Other: These items are useful for stress relief and activity in strenuous or challenging circumstances.
Deck of Playing Cards for Entertainment
Infectious Waste Bag

All items are packed securely in one Elite Multi-pocket Hikers Backpack which contains extra space available for your personal items and one 5 Gallon Bucket with Toilet Seat Lid

This kit contains the following:

Food and Water: The food and water in this kit will comfortably provide you with adequate nutrition for 72-hours without access to additional supplies. These products have a 5 year shelf life.
60- 4 oz. Water Pouches
40 – 400 Calorie Food Bars (24,000 Calories)
50 Water Purification Tablets
each tablet purifies 1 liter of water

Light and Communications: In the event of a power outage caused by you have independent access to your own means of lighting and communication with the outside world.
Dynamo 4-in-1 Radio Flashlight
Rechargeable Squeeze Flashlight
3 LED flashlight
30 Hour Emergency Candle
12 Hour Emergency Bright Stick
5-in-1 Survival Whistle
Box of Waterproof Matches

Shelter and Warmth: These supplies will provide protection from outside weather forces. They will protect you from wind, sun, rain, and many other conditions you may encounter.
10 Emergency Survival Blankets
2 Person Tube Tent with Rope
10 Emergency Ponchos with Hood

Tools: These items are designed to be useful in disaster situations. They will be a valuable resource when you find yourself faced with navigation, transport, personal protection, or shelter troubles.
5′ x 7′ Blue Tarp
7-1/2 Flat Pry Bar
16 Function Knife
2 Pairs of Leather Palm Work Gloves
Roll of Duct Tape
10 – N95 Respirator Dust Masks
NIOSH approved
Safety Goggles
Sewing Kit
All of our kit items are packed securely in a resealable, waterproof storage bag

Hygiene and Sanitation: When in a disaster situation it is useful to have access to hygiene products. Staying clean can protect against infection, disease, and depression.
2 Toilet Bags with Chemicals
10 Hygiene Kits
Tooth Brush
Tooth Paste
8 Wet Naps
10 Pocket Tissue Packs
Air Freshener

First Aid: These first aid items can assist with minor injuries and protect against serious health concerns in disaster circumstances.
37 Piece Portable First Aid Kit
107 Piece Deluxe First Aid Kit

Other: These items are useful for stress relief and activity in strenuous or challenging circumstances.
2 Decks of playing cards for entertainment
Emergency Survival Kit Information:
This survival kit was designed using advice from experts in the emergency preparedness industry. It follows guidelines given by government agencies and non-profit preparedness organizations. This 10-person deluxe office emergency kit has a retail value of $308.

Weight: 46lbs

Bucket includes 50 servings of delicious breakfasts, entrees and drinks for 1 person. The six entrees contains real meat and the entrees and breakfasts in this kit can be cooked directly in the pouch. See the description below for details.

What’s included in this kit?

  • 2 pouches of Chili Mac with Beef (4 total servings)

  • 2 pouches of Pasta Alfredo with Chicken (4 total servings)

  • 2 pouches of Teriyaki Chicken *GLUTEN FREE (4 total servings)

  • 2 pouches of Noodles in Mushroom Sauce (4 Servings)

  • 2 pouches of Cheesy Lasagna (4 Servings)

  • 2 pouches of Creamy Pasta with Chicken (4 servings)

  • 2 pouches of Strawberry Granola Crunch (4 servings)

  • 2 pouches of Apple Cinnamon Cereal (4 servings)

  • 3 pouches of Dairy Delight (18 servings of Whey Milk) 

Additional Product Details:

  • Includes 1 bucket

  • Total calories: 11,200

  • Average calories per day: 1600

  • Food is safely sealed in Mylar pouches

  • 7 year shelf life

What’s included in this kit?

  • 12 pouches of Cheesy Lasagna (48 total servings)

  • 18 pouches of Creamy Pasta (72 total servings)

  • 12 pouches of Pasta Alfredo (48 total servings)

  • 12 pouches of Chili Mac (48 total servings)

  • 18 pouches of Chicken Noodle Soup (72 total servings)

  • 18 pouches of Savory Stroganoff (72 total servings)

  • 12 pouches of Hearty Tortilla Soup (48 total servings)

  • 12 pouches of Potato Pot Pie (48 total servings)

  • 6 pouch of Teriyaki and Rice (24 total servings)

  • 12 pouches of Baked Potato Casserole (48 total servings)

  • 18 pouches of Tomato Basil Soup (72 total servings)

  • 18 pouches of Southwest Beans and Rice (72 total servings)

  • 12 pouches of Cheesy Macaroni (48 total servings)

  • 30 pouches of Strawberry Granola Crunch (120 Servings)

  • 60 pouches of Brown Sugar and Maple Multi-Grain Cereal (240 Servings)

  • 30 pouches of Crunchy Granola (120 Servings)

  • 60 pouches of Apple Cinnamon Cereal (240 Servings)

Additional Product Details:

  • Includes 12 total buckets

  • Food is safely sealed in Mylar pouches

  • To avoid waste, each pouch conveniently contains 4 servings

  • Lock-in stacking buckets for compact and secure storage without the need of shelving

  • Grab-and-go handles for easy transport in an emergency

  • 25 year shelf life

These professional survival kit manufactures invest millions of dollars into research and development for information which informs them of the most valuable resources, such as certain high calorie food for your required additional energy. However, in my opinion they can be confusing and unless I’m ordering the food packets from a survival food supplier, I’m not going to be able to find, for instance, potato pot pie. Not in my part of the country anyway.

My advise is to review these lists, make notes of items which may effect your situation, then repeat another review to include items overlooked. Be generous, include stuff that may or may not be for you, as you can cull them when you prepare your final list.

Bottom line: A survival kit is just that. It’s not an overnight bag for a pajama party or a snack pack for tailgating. It’s a serious survival tool that must be treated as such, as your life may depend on what’s inside.

How to Survive the Swamp

How to survive the swamp, imaginary or real is a deadly serious subject, one that very well could turn out to be a life or death situation. Recently Washington DC has been politically referred to as a swamp, a derogatory implication of the type of business, people and politicians that infest the nation’s capital. That’s another subject all together that could be debated for days if not months, but why would the capital be referred to as a swamp? Let’s explore the most likely reasons.

A swamp is one of the most inhospitable places on earth to survive. Why? Mainly because of the complexity of problems one encounters which threaten your health, safety or actual life. Swampland consists of rugged and dangerous terrain, hordes of midges, an atmosphere of extremely high humidity which makes finding wood dry enough to burn highly problematic. There is no drinkable water in the swamp, therefore the inability to start a fire on which to boil water creates a severe dehydration issue. There are an abundance of deadly and dangerous creatures which pose an immediate threat to your life 24 hours a day.

The swamp is a master of disguise and without proper equipment your chances of getting out of a swamp unhurt is minuscule. For instance, you may think you are walking on solid ground when in fact you are standing on an island of unstable floating grasses, decaying leaves and tree branches which are constantly shifting. This is prime swamp territory where inhabitants stealthily crawl through the mat of vegetation in order to ambush one another… or an unsuspecting human. However, it is what it is, and for whatever unfortunate reason you are now stranded in the swamp, let’s explore ways you can survive the environment and escape in one piece.

Study the Environment:

It’s important to take stock of your immediate area. Where do you think you are? A few miles from the nearest fishing supplies and convenience store, or hours into uncharted swamp channels. What’s the ground like? Solid high ground or marsh. Is it a good place to set up a camp or must you move to a better location? Take a deep breath and slowly and logically analyze your findings. The worse thing to do is to run off half cocked into a swamp filled with dangers.

Secure or Make a Weapon:

Surviving in the swamp calls for some alterations of normal survival guidelines. Because there are so many dangerous animals in the swamp the procurement of a weapon for self defense is of the utmost importance. Hopefully you have a knife for shaping a spear and chopping small limbs for a shelter. If not, you are in deep trouble, find some sort of solid object to use as a club.

If you are forced to move, which more than likely you will be, you’ll be wading through soggy terrain most likely covered, at least partially with vegetation, which hides creatures that may pose a danger to you. You must have a solid stick, at least 4 feet long, but wield-able, nothing too large or bulky to control quickly, that you can use to extend your reach and ward off animals before they get too close. If you see a gator, bubbles percolating out of the water is a sure sign, try to reach dry land, climb a tree or slowly travel away from the gator while maintaining visual contact. In a worse case scenario of how to survive the swamp, use the stick to slap the water or make noise by whatever other means. A startled alligator, like you step on him, will feel threatened and is more likely to attack.

Building a Shelter & Starting a Fire:

These two essential requirements require a little multi-tasking, extremely fast multi-tasking if night is quickly approaching as gators hunt at night. If there is no solid ground available, climb a tree and secure yourself for the night. You won’t get any sleep due to the insects, strange noises and uncomfortable living quarters, but you’ll survive to begin the fight again at day break.

Decide where you are going to build a shelter. Gather wood for making the shelter, above ground sleeping, and wood for a fire at the same time. Discovering anything dry, such as fibrous lint or moss, has no benefit for shelter construction, but is worth its weight in gold for building a fire. Finish your shelter, the sides and elevated floor, then start a fire, then return and finish the roof of the shelter.


Boil Water for Drinking:

Dehydration is a killer and the extremely humid swamp conditions will quickly sap your body’s water and energy. Therefore, creating safe (potable) drinking water is critical and the only way to insure that is to boil the water at extremely high temperatures and length of time. The swamp water won’t look clean, but even in your thirst blurred vision it appears to be clean, remember the water is totally infested with billions of pathogens that will kill more than likely you if consume them. If you don’t die immediately, you’ll be so sick you will wish you would die. Never drink swamp water that has not been thoroughly boiled.

Protecting Yourself from Insects:

Unfortunately there is no method for totally keeping insects from tormenting you, but there are a few things to do to try and help. Building a fire will help ward off most insects but not totally because you can only stay so close to the fire before the flames and smoke force you away, the exact results the insects experience. However, any reduction in flying pests is a plus. Another method is to rub mud on your exposed skin, creating a barrier between mosquito and you.

However, how to survive the swamp can be tricky if you’re not always alert to consequences of actions. Smearing mud on your exposed skin may help retard insect bites, but if you have open wounds and smear the bacteria laced mud into those wounds, you are welcoming infection which could result in death or the losing of a limb. Careful what you do in the swamp.

Watch Where You Are Stepping:

Always look where you are stepping. I know that’s not always possible, like when wading through water, but look whenever you can. Swamps are home to a mass of extremely dangerous animals, numerous species of poisonous snakes, leeches, clouds of midges, alligators and its not impossible to run across a very aggressive beaver defending its territory. Remember, you are the invader into their environment. I doubt you’d take too kindly to a rattlesnake slithering through your front door. Additionally, there are holes, roots and other obstacles which could result in a fall or trip and an ankle injury. Things are bad enough without adding injury to the list.

Swamp Food Menu:

Eventually you will become hungry and if not particularly excited about the menu, you must eat in order to replace calories that are used for energy. Too low on calories and you lose muscle strength, coordination and logical brain processing methods.

Frogs are in ample supply in the swamp and are quite delicious roasted over an open flame, tasting similar to chicken. If more desperate, snakes of all varieties can be killed, skinned and eaten. Turtles are another food source, where cutting the legs off and roasting them is the easiest method of acquiring nourishment. Unless you are a skilled survivalist do not risk eating mushrooms or other vegetation as they can be very poisonous and just aren’t worth the risks.

Avoid Drowning:

Be quite aware that you can drown in a swamp, marsh or bog as easily as any other body of water, even if its shallow. The swamp has its own unique water dangers that are nothing like trans-versing a river, pond or a deep swimming pool. A swamp is composed of soft nature bio-silt beneath water formations which can essentially make a 4 foot depth of water 9 foot deep if you become entangled and sink in it. Additionally, a bog may seem secure to walk on but hide very deep water underneath the peat layer, which if you fall through can result in drowning.

The best way to avoid being captured by a bog is to use a long stick to prod the ground ahead of you in order to insure its sound enough to step on. But… bad things happen and you need to know what to do if you do stumble into a bog or marsh. If you can’t avoid it … learn how to escape it.

Treat sinking into a swamp, bog or marsh in the same manner you would as if stepping into quicksand. Do not panic! Do not struggle or flail about as this only makes the situation worse by causing you to sink deeper and much more quickly than being still.

  1. Eliminate excessive weight. Toss your backpack to the side, do anything to make yourself lighter, thus making it easier to extract yourself.

  2. Backpedal. Before you sink too deeply, take a few quick steps backward to where the ground was solid. Do not use large lunging steps, because a straddled position will make it harder to maneuver.

  3. Keep your head above water! Keep your arms and head above the surface at all times.

  4. Float your way out. If you sink and find yourself waist deep, lean back onto your back in a floating position. Much like sitting, this will evenly distribute your weight and allows your feet to float to the surface. Once your feet break through the surface, slowly inch your way back to shore.

  5. Use all available resources. Assess your surroundings, utilize any reachable tree limbs. Only grab them after you have achieved a safe position, such as floating on your back.

  6. Free your legs! Inch by inch move your legs, one at a time, upward towards the surface. After every inch of movement allow a moment for the quicksand to fill the space it once occupied. Depending on how deep you have sunk, this process could take hours. Patience is imperative! Big movements further liquefy the quicksand and reverses any progress you’ve made.

  7. Breathe Deeply. This will help keep you calm and increase buoyancy.

How to Survive the Swamp is obviously a complicated issue due to the many dangerous variables the swamp hides. Hopefully you have learned some valuable information from this article, from actions to take in order to survive the swamp … and why the term SWAMP perfectly describes Washington DC.


How to Begin Prepping

You are an educated civilized person, raised with good moral values and always attempted to follow the Golden Rule. There have been events that have raised your fears for your family’s future, such as the Iraq war, terrorism and if you are a baby boomer, the Vietnam war. You tinkered with the idea of how to begin prepping several times, but the crisis passed and you returned to your normal life.

Today’s world has your senses of pending doom on high alert. Our country is divided, there seems to be no right or wrong anymore, our moral compass is not only broken, it’s shattered beyond repair. Lying is acceptable behavior, Claims of fake news leaves us confused as to what to believe, criminals are running the country and there have been no good people to stand in resistance. You’ve had it. It is time to begin preparing for the coming collapse of society. Trouble is … how to begin prepping? What do you do? How do you start?

Take a deep breath and relax, part of survival prepping is never panic. I’m going to walk you through a how to begin prepping course that will set you on the right course. FYI … I am not God, I don’t know it all and you don’t have to follow my advise to a T. In fact I encourage you to structure your survival plan to your own specific needs. Let’s begin the lesson.

Who Are We Prepping For?

This simple Q&A will dictate our planning. If you have a family which includes infants, you must be prepared to store diapers and baby formula. Elderly parents live with you, a supply of prescription medications and over the counter antacids and pain relievers are a priority. Young children, 5 to 10 years old, require some sort of entertainment, board or card games. Remember, the grid is down, there is no computer, Ipad or whatever. So once we decide who will be involved in our survival planning, we make a list for their anticipated needs.

What’s the Likely Danger?

Anything is possible especially when dealing with man-made catastrophes, but look around you, what would be the mostly likely disaster you’re vulnerable to? Live near a river, even where it’s never flooded before. We are recording historically high flood levels the last decade, don’t discount the potential of be flooded out. Live on the coast? Catastrophic hurricanes are becoming a normal event. California, earthquake dangers. Live in a major city? Gangs and looters may run rampant. You get the point.


Relearn the Old Ways

So How to Begin Prepping for such potential dangers? Ironically the preparations are nearly identical for any crisis survival situation, Water, Food, Shelter and Security. You will need these basics no matter what. The aftermath of what type of natural disaster you experience is the only variable. For instance, fires may be a problem after an earthquake, but not likely after a flood. Unfortunately SHTF somewhere in the world on nearly a daily basis. It’s normal to watch these events unfold on TV with empathy and amazement, but use these tragic events to learn what to do in order to survive the situation. What did those people do right or wrong? Learn.

Learn Skills

How to begin prepping can be viewed as a learning experience, an opportunity to enhance your skills and broaden your horizons. Take an inventory of what you know you’ll need to know, but don’t now have the skills.

  1. Can you start a fire without matches and charcoal lighter? Buy a striker and practice making tinder and starting a fire without matches.

  2. Do you know basic first-aid, CPR or how to perform the Heimlich maneuver? Take a Red Cross First Aid class.

  3. Have a weapon but not really sure how to take care of it or use it? Go to a firearms dealer or shooting range and take a course.

You don’t want to be trying to build your fire while shivering uncontrollably in a the frigid wind, or trying to figure out how to load your weapon while danger is plowing down on you.


Amazing Simple Methods Will Astound You

Gather Important Documents

This may sound like the last thing in the world you’d be concerned about, but …  Medical information could be a great help to first respondents.

  1. You may need your drivers license/passport to prove who you are and that you belong in the neighborhood and are not a looter.

  2. Have recent photos of yourself and family members. Let’s face it, in a catastrophe people will get separated and some will die. Having photos can help in identifying remains or helping in a search and rescue attempt.

Begin Building Slowly

There are a lot of catchy phrases, 5Ws, Pillar of 3, etc. which help you remember what you need in order to survive, and they all offer excellent information. However, it doesn’t matter if a tornado destroyed your town or King Kong, as a human you must have food and water to survive. Period … case closed.

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Therefore the first requirement is fill those needs. You can find food calculators on the internet that will aid you in figuring out how much food is required for X amount of people, for X amount of days. It’s a good guideline to refer to.

I can’t stress this enough because it’s the biggest reason people who attempt to prep fail, you don’t need to break the bank trying to stockpile everything you’ll need to survive when the SHTF. Begin slow. Buy a couple of gallons of water, it’s cheap, when you do your grocery shopping. Buy exactly what you normally buy, except instead of 2 cans of tuna, buy four (4). Slowly build until you have a 30 day supply of food and water for the number of anticipated people you’ll provide for. That goal alone will put you far ahead of 97-98% of the people in the United States. Don’t go out and max the credit cards, it’ll only cause problems.

Make a Plan

In how to begin prepping this may be the single most important thing you can do to help ensure your survival. In fact you don’t make 1 plan, you make 2 or 3 plans for every scenario you can think of.

  1. Where you going? The most popular answer to that is “I’ll go to the countryside or bug-out to the mountains.” Really. Do you own property in the countryside or in the mountains, because I guarantee you you’re not the only one planning on bugging-out to these places.

  2. How long do you figure it’ll take for rural peoples’ good nature to turn sour and start refusing the roaming hordes? You know as well as I do … there is a certain segment of people who are just plain assholes. These are the ones who will steal and destroy property forcing rural people to resort to arming themselves for self protection.

  3. People who are stationary and not on the move are much more equipped to defend themselves. They have the fire-power and have allegiances with their neighbors that will enable them to easily fend off a roaming mob of hungry and unprepared looters.

Make a plan for staying at home and not bugging-out. You may have enough supplies stockpiled for an extended crisis, but surviving alone is nearly impossible to do. A group can divide the work that will be required and can help defend one another. Get to know your neighbors, you don;t need to be hugging buddies, but a wave and an occasional short chitchat builds a bond. As a lone wolf survivalist, even in a family group, you must sleep and eat and long term survival alone is not feasible.

You may want to add a PS on how to begin prepping when it comes to communication and bonding with your neighbors as a potential ally. The famous WWII saying Loose Lips Sink Ships applies to today as well. There’s no need to announce to the world how much food, water and armament you have stockpiled. Let everyone think you’re as desperate and unprepared as they are. That does not be heartless or a scrooge. Help people when you can, but don’t paint a target on your back.


The saying no man is an island is true. Events, no matter good or bad, will affect you in some manner. Therefore, it’s important you utilize situational awareness which simply means pay attention to what is happening around you. It does little good to have a years’ stockpile of food and water if you don’t know a looting mob is approaching your street and you’re caught outside, off guard and defenseless. You must be aware of your immediate surroundings but also neighborhood, region, state and country events. Have a weather radio if you’re concerned about tornado or hurricane warnings. Have a hand crank radio and/or walkies talkies for outside communication. Just be aware anything transmitted through the air can be heard by the bad guys as well as the good guys.

Self Protection

This can be a rather sticky subject. Many people think how to begin prepping is a signal to turn their home into an armory. That mindset is OK if you have the money to fund the en-devour, but firearms are extremely expensive and the cost of some ammunition will leave you stunned with sticker shock. Don’t get me wrong … you must have firearms in order to protect yourself, but with limited funds, one rifle may be adequate instead of two and spend the other $1000 on other supplies and equipment.


Learn to Shoot

The cold hard truth is you cannot defend your house against everything the world can throw at you. If someone can observe your daily actions long enough they will find holes in your defense. For instance, you’re shelter is well fortified, but every day at noon the family has a sit down lunch. By building family unity and problem solving discussions you have left yourself vulnerable. Prepare the best you can, but never think you are in a thoroughly protected situation as there is no such thing. That’s why building a neighborhood coalition is important. You couldn’t see you were being stalked, but your neighbor could see the strangers lurking around and raise the alarm.


Preppers will tell you prepping is a lifestyle not a part time hobby. You can’t loose sight of the end goal, which is …. being prepared to survive a SHTF situation. How to begin prepping must be initiated with a mindset that you will not stop no matter how fatiguing or long the journey may seem. Everything in life gets old. Having fun gets old after awhile. Ever learn a new and exciting game that you could not stop having fun playing, only to discard it because it became boring after awhile. Ironically you are preparing for something you never want to happen. View it this way: you have an emergency savings in case you get laid off or injure yourself and can’t work. You don’t get mad because you didn’t lose your job or hurt yourself so you couldn’t spend the emergency money. Same with prepping. Sounds kinda silly to get aggravated and stop because you didn’t get caught in some kind of catastrophe.

The last thing I’m going to offer you is a list of potential survivalist supplies to consider buying as part of your prepping plan. Preppers are big on lists … maybe because we have short memories, I know that’s a problem with me. Believe it or not, this list is no where complete. So here goes:


It’s normal procedure to have at least a 30 day food supply to start and build from there. A lot of these staple foods you can pick up at Sam’s or Costco.

5 Gallon buckets – For food storage, these are a must have for your bulk, dry, & staple foods. Make sure you get the gasket lids.

Mylar Bags – Combine these with your 5-gallon buckets to store your food. Just drop a few oxygen absorbents in the bag once filled and seal them up and you’re good to go.

Sugar– You can store this indefinitely if air tight. Sugar is useful for all sorts of cooking as well as doubles as a nice comfort food.

Salt – Another essential storage item, As you cannot survive without salt intake. Salt, useful not only for flavoring but for preserving foods as well, and a healthy body needs the minerals & electrolytes it provides. Salt will also be a powerful barter item if the local stores are closed. Estimates are about 4-5 pounds per person for 1 year.


Living Wild

Honey – Honey can last forever and is not only a natural substitute for sugar but an effective antibiotic for colds and sore throats, energy booster, as well as treatment for burns and wounds. Honey stored in glass jars will preserve it best so that it will not crystallize. If it does it can be heated back to a liquid form.

Rice – Simple and cheap to store. Buy the white rice as the brown rice has some natural oil mixed which doesn’t store as well as.

Beans/Legume – Beans & Rice combo makes one of the best long term food storage options for your prepping strategy. Combining rice and beans together is packed with protein and is a perfect substitute for meat. This is why some many cultures eat rice & beans at meals. Pinto, navy, black, and Lima beans make good choices here.

Oats– Another staple, that is super cheap and can be stored for up to 30 years.. Oats are perfect because they only require boiled water to prepare, then just add some cinnamon or sugar and you have breakfast. It also helps to control blood sugar and cholesterol. Oats can also double as feed for most animals.

Wheat – Another must-have in your long term food plan.

Flour– Flour should also be included in your long-term storage. However, if storing grains or beans you can grind that into flour using a simple grain mill.

Pasta– Pasta is nice, because the packaging as is, is usually good for a solid 2 years. This makes it a great short-term food option. To get longer shelf out of pasta you will need to seal it up in a Mylar bag. Note, pasta has very little protein and although it fills you up. The beans & rice combo will be much more important for survival.

Powdered Milk, powdered milk is recommended to store 16 lbs. per person per year. Make sure it is not the instant milk, but powdered dry milk.

Powdered Cheese– Who doesn’t like cheese? For long term storage though, it will be best if you buy the dry powdered kind.

Canned Cheese A little company in Australia, called Bega, makes a wonderful canned cheese that can last for an extended time! The manufacturer says that the shelf life is only 2 years, but canned goods if handled properly can last much longer than that.

Red Feather Butter What can be better than canned cheese than canned butter coming all the way from New Zealand. Not powdered or freeze dried but real creamy butter made from pasteurized cream and salt.

Peanut Butter– High in plant protein and packed with nutrients, peanut butter is a great item to stock up on. However, because of the fat/oil content it contains, it will most likely go rancid after 10-12 months. So you will need to rotate your stash if you stock up on peanut butter.

Corn Starch– Will last forever if stored in a cool dry place. Apart from a sauce thickener, good for heat rash, sunburn, underarm deodorant, and works as a shampoo for pets.

Spices– Left in the original jars, most spices will last for 1-2 years before they go bad.

Soy Sauce– Loaded with sodium this will last almost forever and is a great flavoring agent, especially to bland rice. However, with the high salt content, you better make sure you have your water storage filled to the top!

Vinegar/Apple Cider Vinegar– Great for both cleaning and cooking, several bottles of vinegar should be in every pantry. Drinking apple cider vinegar mixed with water also makes a great energy tonic.

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Canned Tuna/Veggies– This is one of the easiest ways to start prepping for food. Next time you go to your grocery store pick up a few extra canned veggies to jump start your food prep. Canned tuna, corn, beans, green beans, etc… all make great starters.

Power/Energy bars– While probably not the best for long-term storage, they make great for bug-out bags and short term food plans.

Freeze Dried Option – Just add water! Nothing beats freeze dried foods & having a nice selection of #10 cans in your storage plan is a wise choice. Lots can be said here, and this option will definitely give you the longest shelf life, but it is the more pricey choice. There are some great food companies that offer freeze dried storage packs. 3 reputable food storage companies are:

Coconut Oil– can be used as substitutes for cooking oil, butter, & health salve. Most cooking oils will go rancid in a very short time. However, extra virgin coconut oil can last 2-4 years if stored properly. It has many uses including cooking, dry skin, energy boost, reduces inflammation, and even heals diaper rash, but my favorite is to use it for popping popcorn. Gives it a nice buttery flavor.

Baking Powder/Soda– Must have for your long term storage as there are many uses for this: cooking agent, doubles as a toothpaste, household cleaner, and also great for heartburn mixed with a little water!

Coffee– This bean is a great all-around thing to have in a doomsday scenario. It gives water a nice taste, increases energy and alertness, and will always be a great bartering item due to many who need their morning fix.

Tea– Tea bags as long as they are vacuum sealed away from moisture should keep awhile.


Can Opener– If you’re going to store canned goods, you will definitely need a nice can opener. Be sure to buy 1-2 extra, you will want a backup of this item!

Unbreakable Dishes– If an economic collapse really does happen and chaos ensues, fine china won’t last long. Having some unbreakable dishware around especially if you have children will be prudent. Plastic or enamelware camping tableware will work well in this scenario.

Paper goods, plates, cups, utensils– In addition to the above, having a nice stock of paper plates, cups, and utensils will be extra convenient. Next time you see a super sale on these items at Costco’s or Sam’s try to shoot for a 1 month supply. These can always be used in a short-term crisis, as well as for the first month in a long term to eliminate washing while other critical things needs to be done.

Cast Iron– Good cast iron can last a lifetime if properly cared for. Cooking at home or over an open fire makes this versatile cookware essential.

Wood Burning Stove– These are great for not only cooking but if you love anywhere where there is snow on the ground 6 months out of the year can make great heaters if the power goes out. The price range can vary substantially depending on the size and quality of the stove.

Grain Mill– These can be useful if you ever intend to grind/mill flour for breads. Since wheat berries store much better than flour, these can really come in handy. Unfortunately you ‘get what you pay for’ when you start researching around. This can also double as a coffee grinder & nut butter maker.

Hand Processor– If you use an electric food processor or blender often, consider grabbing a hand or manual food processor as backup. Makes cutting and chopping much faster if only knives are available.

Solar Oven– Yes you can use the sun to cook without anything else. Although you’re not going to reach temps of 400F for all-around baking, 200 – 250F is enough to slow cook most food.

Heirloom Seeds– Storing some heirloom seeds could be a smart choice. Apart from growing fresh vegetables from the ground, seeds will be a hot commodity which will always have value & be useful for bartering.

Pet Food – Last but not least in the food department don’t forget to stock up on dog food, cat food, chicken feed, etc … for any and all animals or pets that you have.


Probably the most important item when considering prepping is your water storage. You can go several weeks without food, but water just for a few days. And given its bulk and weight storing water takes a little planning and prepping.

It is recommended to store 1 gallon of water per person per day. So for a family of 4, you will need ~120 gallons of stored water for a 1 month supply.

Food Grade Plastics – Many plastics will leach dangerous chemicals into your water supply. For long-term storage be sure to get food-grade plastics.

WaterBob – This is a nifty way to fill up 100 gallons of water in an emergency situation. It is a plastic bladder that fits in your bathtub for quick fill up.

Rain Harvesting – Harvesting rainwater is an simple and easy way to collect water for storage. If you have a roof, gutters, and spout system you can start immediately. The main concern is keeping the water bacteria/chemical free, especially if you are harvesting it off your roof or gutters.

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Storage Tanks – Water storage tanks are important and can be anything from 1 gallon jugs to 50 gallon barrels or 2000+ gallon water tanks. An important concept is to have a ‘dirty’ water tank and a ‘clean’ water tank. So if you need to collect water from a nearby pond or river, you can store it first in the dirty tank and then filter it to the clean tank.

Water Bricks– Patented design for a water and food container, is a stack-able and portable water container for easy water storage.

Water Filters (Big Berkey) – Water filters come in all shapes and sizes. This little compact filter can cleanse over 6,000 gallons of water with 2 black filters. For a family of 4, that is over 4 years of water filtration if you assume 1 gallon per person per day!

Bug Out Hand Carry Filters– There is no shortage of ‘pocket’ filters. The following 3 all caught our eyes:

Lifestraw– Great for the single person in mind, hiker, backpacker, and for general emergency preparedness. 1 ‘straw’ can filter and purify 1000 liters of water. Simple, compact and convenient. Throw one of these in your bug out bag.

  • Steripen– is an ingenious hand held ultraviolet water purification system. Just dip the wand in the water that needs to be treated and it kills 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and protozoa, including cryptosporidium and giardia. They even have a military grade version.
  • Katadyn– The Rolls Royce of water purifiers. The Swiss made Katadyn, besides your standard hand held water filter, they also carry tablets,and desalinates for larger water amounts. This little hand held filter is good for 13,000 gallons!Chlorine Tablets – While not a long term solution, these can treat immediate water needs for about 5-10 gallons.

    Medical Supplies:

    Medical is another critical group of items that should be well-stocked. The most important thing about this is the individual needs of yourself and your family. Special antibiotics, diabetic medicine, hearts medications etc.. will vary from family to family. Aside from the basics be sure to understand your family’s special needs as well.

    Hydrogen Peroxide– this can be a go-to natural first-aid cleaner & topical antiseptic to prevent infection from minor cuts, scrapes, and burns. The best part about hydrogen peroxide is that it is dirt cheap! Grab some next time your at the grocery store.

    Band Aids – Always need to have a stocked supply both large and small for unwanted cuts. Especially if you have kids, keep these handy.

    Neosporin– Great antibiotic & antiseptic ointment. This could be your backup to hydrogen peroxide, yet somewhat more pricey.

    ACE bandages– For general injuries, recovery, and compression, have several bandages in different sizes

    Rolled gauze– Clean & sterile gauze are a must for dressing woods and stopping bleeding to keep infection at bay. Keep in mind, variety is key when it comes to medical supplies like this.

    Butterfly bandages / If suturing is not your thing, butterfly bandages are a must.

    Burn Jel– for fast and minor relief of burns, should be included in every burn kit.

    Duoderm– this stuff is absolute gold! It is a sticky covering for external wounds that give optimal healing and prevent infection.

    Tape– first aid tape should also be kept in your medical supplies. 3M makes all sorts of medical tape.

    Scissors/shears– trauma shears should be handy if needed to cut through tough material.

    Splinting material– portable splint devices used in the field and for medical emergency teams can be very useful.

    Blister/moleskin– if you’re doing lots of walking or hiking nothing can stop you quicker than bright red blisters. Have some moleskin in your kit for those unwanted blisters.

    N95 masks– if there is ever a pandemic, having a mask can be invaluable. Flu, Ebola, etc… when the crises hits these be will go fast, so stock up on some before they are needed.

    Nitrile gloves– when dealing with blood, infections, etc… high quality disposable exam gloves can be very useful.

    Quick alcohol pads– another first-aid antiseptic. Clean minor cuts, disinfect medical gear, or prep skin prior to injections. Although stingy, these are very compact and useful when cleansing wounds.

    Tylenol/aspirin– always need to have a quality pain reliever or fever reducer in your medical kit.

    Thermometer (mercury free)– measuring your temperature should always be available. Make sure to get a mercury-free thermometer and an accurate one at that!

    Snake bit kit– depending on where you live, not a necessity. But if you’re out about in the country especially in the southern half of the US, having a snake bit kit is wise. These kits usually come with a powerful suction extractor that can double for any poisonous bite or sting.

    Benadryl– very useful for allergies or allergic reactions as well as a general anti-histamine.

    Vaseline– this topical ointment is primarily used for skin protection, windburn, rashes, etc …

    Pedialyte– can be very useful for dehydration or diarrhea issues.

    Aloe-Vera– this little plant is also useful for sun protection, rashes, and burns.

    Sutures/needles– while this is more of a skill, sterile sutures could be a handy item to have in store.

    Tweezers– don’t want to get a splinter without having these handy.

    Hand-sanitize– when you’re on the go, having a portable sanitize and disinfectant is extremely important in prevention of disease and infections.

    Syringes– disposable syringes are recommended if there is ever a need for a quick injection. Especially if there are special needs

    Quick Clot blood stop– very handy and used by the military to stop bleeding fast!

    Q-tips/cotton balls– Always need some cotton balls and q-tips handy for cleaning wounds and scrapes. They can also double for gun cleaners, tinder, and preventing blisters.

    Essential oils– Having a good stock of essential oils will be very useful if the system goes down and its hard to find quality medicine. Essential oils are inexpensive and needs no prescription to buy them and can be used for antiseptics, relieve headaches, promote sleep, reduce anxiety, treat wounds, etc

    Vitamins / prescription medications– Find a good multiple-vitamin for you and your family. Specific supplements that you may need based on your health and current needs should also be well stocked. If you’re on any prescription medications, research how you can store up a several month supply if possible or alternatives that maybe sufficient.

    Insect repellent – A strong repellent for insects and bugs, especially if you work & live outdoors. If the grid goes down, everyone will be ‘working’ outdoors …

    Chapstick– as you spend more time outside, Chapstick will be equally important.

    Smelling salts– inhalants that are used when light-headed or just dizzy. If you need a jolt to wake up, use smelling salts!

    Charcoal tablets– charcoal tablets are used for many types of digestive and stomach issues. They contain lots of small cavities able to absorb unwanted materials and gases sitting in the gut causing bloating, pain or gas.

    Antibiotics– the scary thing about an economic collapse will be the scarcity of antibiotics and prescription medicine. IF you’re not a doctor/nurse and don’t have access to such medicine, there are some alternatives. Some people say, some animal antibiotics use the same ingredients as the one for humans.

    Potassium/iodide tablets– it’s wise to store Potassium iodide or KI in your medical emergency kit. This is a type of salt that can be used to combat radiation poisoning. Potassium Iodine will block radioactive iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid gland. KI (potassium iodide) is a salt of stable (not radioactive) iodine that can help block radioactive iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid gland, thus protecting this gland from radiation injury. The thyroid gland is the part of the body that is most sensitive to radioactive iodine.

    Isopropyl alcohol– this is another useful topical agent for disinfecting items, cleansing wounds, and general antimicrobial liquid.

    Sun Block – More time outside, more sun on the skin, get some sun block.

    6 mil plastic– this can be useful in case of a bio-hazard. Creating a safe room requires 6 ml plastic, some duct tape and proper ventilation. This type of plastic sheeting has lots of other uses as well such as rain collection, or for sheltering or a tarp.

    First Aid Manuals– a solid first aid book that covers the basic should be on your shelf. We rely so much on the internet, that if the grid went down, the only information you would have are the books on your shelf.



    Next on the list comes safety and security measures. You want to be able to protect your home and your family in case anarchy ensues and there is no law & order. Think weapons and ammo and a home fortress. The first thing we will look at on the list are guns.

    Handgun– While there is some argument on the perfect caliber, 9mm, .40. or .45, owning a pistol is essential for defense. This can be your go-to gun by your bedside to things that go bump in the night. If you want a simple point-shoot go for the revolver.

    Shotgun– Many will argue if you could only have 1 weapon for home defense, the shotgun would it. The ammunition is inexpensive, is a long gun so there are less background checks when purchasing one, and can always double as a hunting gun. Also, if someone is in your home, and they hear the pump of a shotgun, it will scare any would-be intruder.

    Long rifle– For hunting and long range needs you will need to have a long range rifle for 400+ yards out. Suggested calibers are the .30-.06, .308, or the .223.

    Knife– You should always have a knife in your bug-out bag or as an everyday carry. The uses of a knife are limitless.

    Short range rifle– The .22 LR rifle is regarded as the Survivalist best friend. The ammo is plentiful and extremely cheap and could always double as a barter item, so stock up!

    Ammo– whatever your choice of weapons are both handguns and rifles, be sure to stock up on as much ammo as possible. Prices will skyrocket and ammo will be non-existent if there ever is a collapse scenario that unfolds. Guns and ammo will always hold their value.

    Neighborhood defense– Get to know your neighbors now! If law & order ceases your neighbors will be your closest allies or enemies. The more neighbors who are prepared the better. If you can develop a plan even better.

    Guard dog– Man’s best friend can prove indispensable in an end-time collapse. German Shepherds or Rottweilers are standard guard dogs, but any decent sized dog will be of great aid. Remember to stock food/water/medicine for your canine friend.

    Tasers/ pepper spray– If guns for some reason are not an option, at the very least own some tasers or pepper spray for home defense.

    Pre-cut plywood– This can be a wise strategy if you leave in a high risk area. You can use pre-cut plywood to board up your windows to harden your home and make it more difficult to enter.

    Security cams/alarms– Strategically placing security cams or alarms around your home can notify you of danger in advance. Some will say this can make your home more of a target because the average home doesn’t have cameras. Your choice. There’s also the option fake cameras to deter would be thieves. Actually fairly cheap for $6.

    $500 cash– While this would fall more under financial security having extra cash in your home could prove wise in a financial collapse scenario. Credit cards may stop working and having a decent supply of 20’s, 10’s 5’s and 1’s for buying essentials for at least 1 month is a prudent strategy.

    Precious metals – you could write a whole article on preparing yourself financially for an economic doomsday scenario. Investing in precious metals is one of them.

    Lighting for home– A well lit home is less likely to be targeted at night. Security lighting around the perimeter of your house my encourage the riffraff to look elsewhere. Go for the solar-powered option here.


    Power & Heat

    When the grid goes down or power from the state is no longer reliable how will you power your home or keep warm during the winter. What alternatives from electric power do you have? The following is a short list of options

    Blankets – Thick and heavy blankets, enough for several unwanted guests that may pop in as well.

    Sleeping bags– Along with blankets, having a solid sleeping bag for each member in your family is also recommended. Be sure to check for temperature rating and type of insulation.

    Batteries– An ample supply of batteries should always be in your prepping supplies. One tip is to use battery operated devices that use the same type of battery preferably AA, which is the most popular out there. Then you only have to stock up on 1-2 kinds of batteries as opposed to every size of battery.

    Rechargeable batteries– Some tools eat batteries like candy! You will want some rechargeable batteries to go the extra mile.

    Spare fuel– Whatever fuel you have to power your car/generator/stove etc… you will want to have store some spare fuel.

    Gas cans– Gas cans are needed to store spare fuel.

    Power inverter– A power inverter enables a 12 volt DC to be converted to a 120 AC.

    .Solar power watt kit– A solar power watt kit allows you to power your RV, home, cabin, boat, etc… all from the power of the sun. Solar power especially in the south can be very attractive as an alternative power source. To piece together a solar power kit you will need, solar panels, charge controller, batteries, connections & wiring, as well as a power inverter.

    Flashlights– Remember to try and stick with the AA flashlights to standardize your battery selection.

    Candles– Emergency lighting at its best! Candles are great for short-term light needs around the home, which also provide a small source of heat as well.

    Oil lamps– Another short-term light source that are somewhat better than candles and can be used in power outages, outdoors, or just for camping fun.

    Head lamps– Head lamps are extremely useful when working, exploring, camping or whatever and you need your hands free with a bright light.

    Propane– Heat for cooking will always be a priority, and nothing works as good as old-fashioned propane. Although not super cheap instant fire for cooking and heating is a worthy trade-off if there is no power or gas coming in.

    Solar cooker/oven – Solar cooking has been around for hundreds of years. They are amazing and you really can cook with the sun, though it does take some patience. A proper solar cooker can easily reach degrees of 300F so cooking should be no problem! And what more abundant energy source do you need as the sun.

    Fire extinguisher – Prepping is about preparing for the unknown. If the Fire Department no longer exists, catching a small flame before it gets out of hand could potentially save you your home! Be prepared and get a small extinguisher.

    Generator– Generators are great in emergency situations, especially if power is crucial for medical reasons. Long-term however there is debate at how viable generators can benefit as you will need a constant supply of fuel as well as fuel storage. Not to mention if the power has been down for months and would-be scavengers are rummaging the neighborhood when they hear the sound of a generator running? If you do plan on getting one, look for triple-fuel generators.

    Bio-diesel fuel– while not a particular item to stock, the skills and know-how to make bio-diesel could be a life-saver if fuel is critically needed. Bio-diesel is just a renewable fuel to replace diesel fuel, and can be homemade with the proper equipment.

    Iron stove– A wood burning iron stove maybe a smart choice for a solid heat source as well as double as cooking outlet. Northern winters are brutal, and a wood burning stove will do wonders to heat your house and offer a place for cooking. Some popular brands are Ashley, Heartland, and Franklin.

    Firewood & matches– For those that live in colder climates, preparing and storing firewood should be an ongoing prep. Wood is free and abundant if you live off the grid and with a little labor can be used to heat any home with no power. Also never hurts to stock up on strike-anywhere matches.

    Tools & Miscellaneous

    Adequate tools and equipment will be crucial for survival in a complete shutdown of the system and economy. Begin to stock up on useful tools, equipment, and items now before they are needed.

    Ax– A solid ax will be useful mainly for cutting wood. Now that you have your wood-burning iron stove, you will need to procure firewood to heat your home.

    Buckets– Buckets are very versatile and can have tremendous use for life hacking and different situations.

    Wire– Wire can be a life saver for makeshift repairs. Use it to fix chicken coops, machinery, fences, etc… very useful when things breakdown and you can’t go to the store and buy a new one.

    Shovels– Practical, shovels are useful for camping, hunters, hikers, etc… outdoor use is endless. Have 1-2 quality shovels in your garage or shed.

    Wheelbarrow– Like a shovel, a sturdy and durable wheelbarrow will be highly useful as we move more to a agrarian society again.

    Hammer & Screwdrivers Standard tools again, make sure you have some.

    Nails/screws– Building up a nice supply of mixed nails and screws will be a smart choice when you can no longer buy them. Home and fence repairs almost always include a hammer, screwdriver & some screws.

    Jumper cables– always have a pair of jumper cables.

    Bleach – Good ole fashioned bleach has many uses in a survival situation. Bleach can be used for purifying water, disinfect supplies & tools, as well as general purpose cleaning.

    Duct tape– The go to item for makeshift repairs. My favorite brand is Gorilla Tape.

    Epsom salt– Epsom salt is a cheap medical alternative to treat sprains, soak in, cramping, athlete’s foot, general laxative, and to relax and distress. You can pick up some Epsom salt at your local grocery store of pharmacy.

    Siphon tubes– Moving fluids from buckets and gas is easy with a proper siphon tube. These are handy to have around the home.

    Zip ties– Zip ties are another universal item for makeshift repairs and keeping things locked together. Somewhat like duct tape, their uses of infinite.

    Gadsden Flag– Made popular by patriots, the yellow flag with a coiled rattlesnake and the words Don’t Tread on Me has become more and more famous. Flying this flag sends a message to like-minded patriots where you stand.

    Dish washing liquid / Gloves– Never hurts to have an ample supply of dish washing liquid/soap and proper gloves for cleaning your dishes and utensils. Several extra scrubber pads and steel pot scrubbers can help ease the pain of doing the dishes.

    Garbage/Trash bags– Another item with endless uses. Gathering trash or other items, trash bags cannot be beat. Make sure you get the heavy duty kind!

    PVC Piping– Extra PVC pipe can be useful for DIY plumbing, most likely there won’t be a plumber to call if chaos ensues.

    Glass Jars– Very useful to store foods and liquids.

    Toothbrush/paste– Extra toothbrushes will be very useful.

    Writing pencil & paper– If the grid goes down, and there is no electricity, paper & pencil will again come to the forefront.

    Diapers & baby stuff– If you have little ones, or are planning to have a baby anytime soon. Store up on diapers and other essential baby products.

    Ziploc bags– Ziploc bags are versatile and useful for storing small loose items and keeping them dry.

    Backpack (bug-out bag)– It is very useful to have a bug-out bag packed with essentials for about 3-5 days. If something threatens your neighborhood or home and you have to leave, a bug-out bag could sustain you the first 36-72 hours of the emergency.

    Land maps– We rely on the internet and free digital access for everything! What if the net goes down? Land maps of your surrounding area could be very valuable especially if you’re new to the area or are out in the back country. Make sure these are water and tear proof.

    Tent– Another useful item to have along with sleeping bags. Gives you mobility and shelter out in the land.

    Bicycle– Bicycles could become very popular again if gas prices skyrocket or energy shortages appear. Have a good quality mountain bike with spare tires and tools to make repairs to keep it running.

    Tarps– Tarps can collect rain water, provide cover from the elements as emergency shelter, hide tools and equipment, and the list goes on!

    Bungee Cords– Another all-around multiple-purpose tool. Very strong in securing and tying down items. You usually don’t hear about bungee cords in prepping,

    Welding Kit– Welding will be a useful skill down the road, and having the tools before they are needed is prudent.

    Sewing Kit– Fixing ripped clothes, tents, tarps, sleeping bags, etc … you will need a proper sewing kit and gear.

    Screwdriver/wrench set– It’s best to stock up on everyday tools now, especially if you don’t have any. DIY, makeshift equipment, and machinery will be more and more common and having the proper tools will go a long way in keeping things running.

    Multiple-tool– Carrying a good multiple-tool is essential for the outdoors-man. A multiple-tool is about efficiency and usability in a small compact tool.

    Rope / Para-cord– Rope is needed in all things outdoors. .

    Compass– A sighting compass is a smart and useful tool out and about. Again think of no electricity or if the power goes down, this can be convenient for navigation.

    Hand saw– Handy for most woodwork, tools dealing with wood will become very valuable if a collapse occurs.

    Flint starter– A fire starter if your matches ever run out. For heat, warmth, and cooking, fire will always be important.

    Hatchet– A solid hatchet is ideal for chopping kindling and small firewood.


    If there ever is a major catastrophe, EMP attack, or the grid goes down, the ability to obtain information as well as communicate with others will be a critical resource. Below are several items to help you in getting started in communications prepping.

    HAM radio– The gold standard in communications, HAM radio or amateur radio, has always stood the test of time when all other communication fails.

    Hand crank radio– An emergency radio for disaster situations to keep you up to date on weather and basic FM/AM radio stations.

    Pocket list of contact numbers/frequencies/channels– Important numbers and all relevant contact numbers should be written down somewhere for quick access.

    Faraday cage– A Faraday cage will protect your electronics in the event of an EMP, which disables any object with a circuit.

    You might say how to begin prepping begins with lists. As I stated earlier, this list is no where a complete itemized list, but it’ll give you a good starting point and an example of a prepping list.

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