fire lays? (a lost survival skill)

Fire Lays…

It surprises me that many people never heard the term “fire lays.”

But understanding it, lays the foundation for any person to light a fire in any condition.

Learn the fundamentals of the “fire lay,” here.

Note:  Fundamental skills are not sexy, but they are what separates the novice from the expert.

Check this video and become a MASTER FIRE BUILDER.

Stay Prepared, -Lou

Survival Dentistry

Dental care is pertinent to our health. Most tooth decay and periodontal disease (gum disease) are caused by a lack of proper dental hygiene and an unbalanced diet. While there are few deaths from dental problems today, it wasn’t that long ago that most people, regardless of social class, had to have their teeth extracted in order to keep their body healthy and alive. In a TEOTWAWKI situation, with the poor diets that many have today, there are bound to be many deaths from dental problems.

The main mode of defense against these dental problems is taking control of them right now. Proper dental care now can keep you healthy and happy now and in an SHTF situation.

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day keeps gum inflammation down and teeth clean of bacteria, which can cause cavities and tooth decay.
  • Flossing is an important part of dental routine that many of us forget. It clears the bacteria from teeth and gums, and debris that toothbrushes alone cannot.
  • Regular visits to the dentist twice a year allows the hygienist to thoroughly clean the teeth and make sure there are no further dental problems such as periodontal disease or cavities.
  • Eat a balanced diet.  Eating a balanced diet of fruits, veggies and whole grains will keep your body health and your mouth healthy, which is pertinent to survival now or in a TEOTWAWKI situation.

In the wake of a disaster, dentists will be in high demand as regular cleanings become unavailable. Eventually dentists will close altogether because their supplies and instruments will become unavailable. In order to prepare for this situation, it is important to prepare a survival dental kit.

  • Toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss are essential dental care items to have in your dental prep kit, as they are the first line of defense in prevention of tooth decay and periodontal disease.
  • Peroxide is widely used to sanitize the mouth and whiten teeth and is dirt cheap to stock up on. Be careful though; overusing peroxide can cause an oral yeast infection.
  • Coconut oil. Coconut oil is used for what’s called “oil puling,” a technique that has apparently been used in the ancient world to draw toxins out of your mouth and ensure dental health.
  • Oil of Cloves. This is an age-old remedy for tooth aches. Rubbing this on a tooth can relieve a toothache and when mixed with zinc oxide powder, it can be made into a thick filling for a cavity. Beeswax can also be used to make fillings if necessary.
  • Oregano oil. This handy oil helps kill infections, heal your gums and alleviate dental pain.
  • Other home remedies for relieving toothaches and numbing a tooth that can be used in the wake of disaster, such as a cotton ball soaked in alcohol, icepacks, baking soda dissolved in water, and warm salt water.
  • Dental Hygienist tools, which include a mouth mirror, tongue scraper, and interdental cleaners of various shapes and sizes to make sure your teeth and mouth are free of harmful bacteria when you can’t regularly visit a dentist.
  • Forceps, pliers, or sturdy tweezers will be necessary in order to pull teeth out if they are decaying or causing gum disease. There are also older tools such as dental keys that can be used to extract a tooth if necessary, although these have been known to break the tooth off, causing further dental infection or disease, or break the jaw.

Remember that extractions will be painful and your anesthesia will probably involve ice (or a large brick), so do whatever you can to keep your teeth in good shape to avoid dealing with actual restorative work after SHTF. If your teeth are in a really bad shape, my advice to you is to get good quality dentures or implants while you can.

Dental care is essential to our health and it begins with prevention. To prepare yourself and your survival dental kit, check out for the essential instruments and supplies and Murray Dickson’s book Where There is No Dentist.

To your survival,
Richard Marshall

Old World Cooking Methods with a Modern Twist

We’re spoiled with electric ovens, stoves, microwaves, and refrigerators. So what happens when the economy plummets, natural disaster strikes, or the country is attacked and we lose electricity and our means of cooking food the way we’ve always known how to? This is why it is essential to know how to use old world cooking methods.

While there are many items that you probably have stored in order to cook with in case you lose electricity, such as propane, kerosene, solar-powered stoves and ovens, knowledge of the primitive way of cooking is always a good skill to have. Open fire cooking was used up until the 18th century, so how did they do it and how can we make it our own in the 21st century?

Surely we’ve all done this sort of open fire cooking when camping. This is a very simple and quick way to get a fire going in order to cook food to nourish your body in the wake of an apocalypse. To cook in these open fire pits, you may use the familiar style of sticking the hot dog on the stick and roasting it. However, there are many other ways to cook more than just hotdogs and s’mores on the open fire with items that you probably have around the house, or items that are easily found among debris.

  • Foil — one of the quickest and easiest ways to wrap food up and throw it on the fire as it is. You can cook corn, bake potatoes, and make whole meals of meat and veggies! Deer steak? Squirrel on a skewer? Be creative here. Remember that you can use certain kinds of wood (like applewood) to add a smoky flavor.
  • Dutch Oven — you should have at least one of these. It could be made out the traditional cast iron or some newer versions are made out of aluminum. You can find old poles around the yard, off of the old swing-set, or among the debris in the wake of disaster, and construct a teepee like structure to hold the Dutch oven up over the fire and get cooking soup, stew, biscuits and more. You can also use the lid of the Dutch oven as a makeshift griddle.
  • The Grill — that gas grill you worship on the weekends can be useful in the wake of a disaster, even when no propane can be found. You can use the grill top to place over an open fire, using some old bricks or stones to raise it above the fire and get grilling.
  • Brick Stove — those same bricks lying among the debris can be used to make a small stove as well. You can make these stoves by creating a bottom compartment where the fire will be made and making a stone top over the fire, where you can heat pots and pans.
  • Can Stove — sometimes called hobo stove, can be extremely useful and easy to make out of an old can. This is definitely a more modern method. They are also useful because they are lightweight, unlike the Dutch oven or the grill top, and can be carried easily. Because they are so small, they can also use a wide array of heating mechanisms (candles, small twigs, alcohol, etc.)
  • Mud Oven — some food just needs time in the oven to taste good. While the Dutch oven works well, you may not have one, so making an oven could be the solution. You can build these ovens with clay or mud from the ground, creating a hard flat surface with a hood over it. The fire is put in the oven to heat it and then taken out and the food is placed in and cooked from the trapped heat. An oven could also be made out of old stones or brick. A makeshift oven can also be made with a hood made out of an old mailbox or scrap piece of curved metal.

To make survival cooking more convenient, purchase a good cooking kit made for camping. A Coleman Aluminum Mess Kit is only $10 and contains and aluminum skillet, pot, pan and mug.

To your survival,
Richard Marshall

Avoiding Deficiencies in a Post-Apocalyptic World

by Richard Marshall

Tactical and Survival

Out of food? Go to Trader Joe’s! But what if there is not a Trader Joe’s? 7-11 will do, right? Who doesn’t like a Slurpee and beef jerky? No 7-11 you say? Yes, when disaster strikes, there might be a possibility that stores will not be of service and you will have to rely on Mother Nature to supply your food. After all, 7-11 or no, you still have to eat. It’s crucial that you avoid vitamin and nutrient deficiencies if you want to stay alive!

If you want to stay nourished, you know you should keep a nice survival food stash. It’s only one of the most discussed survival topics! Dried or canned meats, dried fruits, nuts, peanut butter, and canned vegetables are good examples of highly nutritious foods to keep around. In order to survive, keeping yourself nourished is absolutely essential, especially if you want to avoid deficiencies.

Depending on the vitamin or mineral, deficiencies can affect the body in many different ways. Everything from major illnesses or depression can be attributed to deficiencies, and can affect all parts of the body, so deficiencies are not something you can take lightly.

  • Vitamin A deficiencies may include slow bone formation, night blindness, dry eyes which can lead to blindness, increased susceptibility to cold and virus infections, and frequent infections of the bladder or urinary tract.
  • There are six different types of vitamin B: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12. Deficiency of any of these B vitamins can range from mild to severe symptoms like chronic fatigue, muscular weakness, or dry cracked skin to dementia and depression.
  • Vitamin C deficiency symptoms include dry hair and skin, weakness, nosebleeds. Severe deficiency of vitamin C can lead to scurvy which rare but not impossible.
  • A deficiency of Vitamin D can lead to irritability and depression, as well as bone and muscle problems including, but not limited to, rickets, osteoporosis, and skeletal deformities and retardation in young children. Vitamin D deficiencies can also increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Vitamin D is a critical vitamin found in many foods ranging from egg yolks, salmon and sweet potatoes, and has many healthy attributes ranging from mental clarity and focus to maintaining the proper amount of calcium in your blood.

Given that other vitamins and minerals perform essential functions in our bodies, deficiencies can cause major problems for our bodies if we don’t properly keep up with healthy food intake. Deficiencies can lower our chances of survival during a chaotic situation such as a major disaster. While the effects of vitamin deficiencies may take a while to appear, the effects tend to linger once they do.

Many crucial nutrients can be found in nature. The most essential nutrients are (in order of importance) protein, carbohydrates, fat, salt and potassium. Protein is most commonly found in meat and fish, but protein is also found in dairy and nuts. Carbohydrates are found in grains, fruits, and a lot of dairy products: dairy products actually contain more carbohydrates than protein. Fat, which is critical for energy and protecting the body from extreme temperatures, is found in many foods, but the most preferred portable sources of fat are peanut butter, canned fish (sardines in particular), nuts, and dried coconut, as well as many food bars. Salt and potassium, which regulate heart and muscle functions, are also found in many natural foods. Potassium is commonly found in fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, cantaloupe and broccoli, but is also found in yogurt and white beans. Salt is found naturally in meats and nuts, and most vegetables have at least some natural salts.

Disaster can strike when you least expect it, so it’s good to be prepared! Proper nourishment is very important in everyday life, but imagine if you had no other option butto stay properly nourished to stay alive. To survive in the wild with limited resources, keep the following in mind:

  • Fish has a ton of survival nutrients, including many necessary vitamins and minerals (something many people aren’t aware of);
  • Some sort of edible wild berries grow in most US states and are rich in vitamins, C, E and K;
  • Meat is rich in protein fat, iron and minerals;
  • Mushrooms are a great source of vitamin D;
  • Many US states have watercress and asparagus, which are rich in vitamin C, B, Folate and a lot more;
  • Dandelions make a good salad.

Get ready now by studying local edible plant live, make sure you have plenty of seeds to plant a garden and continue to grow your food stash. A fun fact before you go: most basic essential vitamins can be found in broccoli and Brussels sprouts!


Yesterday we looked at the idea of relocating to a different location, and whether that’s something you’ve already been thinking about or are just starting to wake up to, there are a lot of good reasons to do so. Once you’ve decided to take the plunge and move, there’s the (not so) little matter of funding. Moving is expensive, but there are ways to fund your quest if you’re willing to put work in and get creative.


One way to fund your move is by cashing in your 401(k) or other retirement accounts. While many would gasp at such a notion, let’s parse it out a moment. It wasn’t until the last 100 years that the concept of “retiring” was even a thing. People worked until they couldn’t, and in most cases their families took care of them in their twilight years. If they couldn’t farm or engage in manual labor anymore, they did other things, such as helping raise the children or doing smaller tasks within the family structure. The idea that at some point you stop working entirely and live off of Social Security or retirement accounts is a fairly new idea, comparatively speaking.

If your goal with retirement was to buy a nice RV and travel the countryside, move to Florida or Arizona, and generally enjoy not working, then getting rid of your retirement funds is probably a bad idea. If, however, you’re chasing the freedom of sustainability and a greater liberty in your own life, or if you believe that you NEED to get out of the location you’re in, then it’s an option. Liberty is a harder existence, to be sure, full of hard work and effort. You’ll simply need to ask yourself what you’re willing to do in order to make it all happen.

I’m not advising that you willy-nilly cash everything in and go on a spending spree for preparedness. There is, however, an argument for using at least some of the funds to get started in your new place. Keep in mind, however, that the more complete and realistic your plan is, the better this works. If you have enough in your retirement to also pay off any outstanding credit card debt, student loans, or auto loans, pay those off FIRST, before your move. In addition, if you do decide to cash some funds in, you’ll need to figure out any penalties and/or taxes you’ll need to pay for next year and set that aside right off the top.


If you can’t bring yourself to cash in retirement accounts, then you may need to simply start budgeting for it. Forego your family vacation and put the money toward your planned move. Start making your coffee at home and pass on the daily latte. Even if you’re getting only one $4 coffee per day, and only on weekdays, you’re spending almost $1000 a year. In some rural locations, that’s rent on a piece of property, or several months of groceries. That’s more than a quarter side of beef, which translates to a few months of meat for your family.

Go through your bank accounts, add up all of your subscriptions and auto-debits, and then take a hard look at them. How much of it do you really need? You might be surprised to see that between the cable TV, the streaming services, the Candy Crush, and other “nickel and dime” stuff, you could be paying out $200 a month that could be going toward your move.

Cutting back on certain conveniences you may be used to, such as dining out, pizza delivery, or your various shopping habits will not only save you money and get you to your goal quicker, but they’ll also be good practice for your new location, which may not have these things. When I made the move from the greater Seattle area to rural Montana, I ended up giving up a lot of things I was used to—pizza delivery was a big one. It also changed how I cook and shop for groceries. Instead of deciding what I wanted for dinner and then making a trip to the store for anything I was missing, I was forced to ask, “What can I make with what we have?” As a result, however, we learned to plan our meals, shop local with a plan in mind, and spend more wisely—and that means more money in our pocket and better quality food.


Another option is selling the stuff you don’t need. Have a garage sale, put it up on Craigslist, get rid of it. You have more than you need—that’s a guarantee. If you’ve been prepping, obviously keep that stuff, but your TV, video game consoles, extra clothes, your collection of fiction books that don’t teach you anything, and all of the assorted junk you have can all go. Not only will you get money to put towards your move, but you’ll have less stuff TO move later.


If you absolutely cannot get enough money to move, even after all of the things above, you could look into borrowing. It’s not ideal; in fact, it’s a horrible idea in almost all cases. Some families, however, find themselves under a time constraint. Maybe their child is involved with destructive people or activities and they need to get their kids out. Maybe they’ve decided that they want to be moved in time for the next school year. Maybe they want to get in on some lucrative seasonal employment in the new location. Whatever the reason, if you find yourself in need of moving sooner than you can afford, and you have literally no other option, you could borrow or use credit.


If you have a specific career, it may or may not translate well to a more rural location. If you have a corporate job that doesn’t really have a rural equivalent, for instance, you might have to either make sure that you’re within commuting distance of someplace that has your particular function—or get creative.

Some skills can find work anywhere. Bartenders, auto mechanics, secretaries and assistants can usually find some kind of work. Even if you’ve never done the work before, if you’re willing to learn and are in good physical shape, sometimes you can get work outside of your regular career path and learn on the job. Keep in mind, however, that you’ll almost certainly be making less than you did in the city. If you’re smart, it won’t be that big a deal; you’ll learn to live on less, and generally the cost of living rural is less than in the city.

Don’t be afraid to look far outside the box for work. Many people who live in rural communities work in the small towns nearest them, or even from home. There are thousands of jobs available to telecommuters of all types, and there’s no rule that says you have to only have one job. Many people raise and sell a specific type of farm animal or use their milk to make homemade soaps for sale. You could also write articles or design websites. People with graphic design experience could open up a virtual firm online and work as a contractor. The sky is truly the limit in terms of what you can do to make money if you’re motivated and have skills to offer. Even if you get a “regular” job in your new location, you can always supplement that income with producing or creating things.

As part of your preparation to move, you might even learn a skill or get certified in something you already know how to do, and start your own business doing it. Here are just a few ideas of things that can supplement your income:

  • Gunsmithing
  • Writing
  • Arts and crafts (crochet, needlepoint, knitting, soapmaking)
  • Raising chickens or other livestock
  • Painting/building
  • Detailing cars
  • Seamstress work

Even having a “business” in which you pick up scrap piles or do other odd jobs can be fairly lucrative if you have a strong work ethic and can get some word of mouth built up. Everything takes time—but if you visit a few farmer’s markets or see a couple Etsy shops (crocheted shawls, for example, go for $100-$200 each, easily), you can get some really interesting ideas.

If you’re looking at a move, then you should also be aware that it comes with a lifestyle change, and that’s hard. Everything worth having is. The real work begins when you get to your new location. There’s a lot more to it than just getting into a new place and figuring out where the grocery store is. That’s what we’ll talk about next.


For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

One of the biggest problems facing the individual in the field can be equipment failure (blowout). Whether it’s your LBE/LBV or ruck coming apart at critical stress points, or your boots deciding to blow out due to hard use, these issues can and will happen in the field. Considering the importance of your boots and your load bearing gear, having some items to perform hasty repairs is very important to the Survivalist.


h/t WRSA

Source: The NC Renegade

Intro to Keeping Chickens

Having chickens is a homesteading and prepping must, but interestingly, it is becoming a hip trend, even in the city. People are starting to look for better, fresher foods and having your own eggs in the morning is just plain appealing and fulfilling. Keeping a flock of chickens in your backyard makes good sense regardless of whether you live in an urban or rural area.

There are different varieties of chickens that you can rear like layers, broilers or you can opt to keep cockerels. You don’t have to start with a large flock. I recommend you begin with about 25 to 35 chicks.

The best place to buy chicks is from a commercial hatchery because the chicks are already vaccinated for different bacterial and viral diseases. Hatcheries have a variety of chicks; make sure you buy those that thrive in your area.

Pros of Keeping Chickens

They Provide Vital Foods

Obviously, we keep chickens for food. Both eggs and meat are rich in protein and minerals that our bodies need to thrive. We know where our food comes from and can eat without fear of getting deadly diseases from various chemicals used by large commercial producers.

They Eat Everything.

Having chickens is almost like having a garbage disposal. They eat almost everything. From the leftovers of rice, fruits and grains, to grass and insects, nothing goes to waste.

They Will Help Control Pests In Your Home

When I open the chicken coops during the warm months, chickens roam around scratching in the grass and raised beds. They eat insects, which provide them with extra protein that is necessary for egg production. Some of these insects can affect the produce you are growing, so the work that my chickens are doing is a huge plus in my book.

Cons of Having Chickens

Expensive feed

I recommend giving your chicken’s free range and adding kitchen scraps to their diet. Only buy feed when absolutely necessary. If you plan on buying chicken feed exclusively, you should know that it is expensive. It gets especially expensive when your chickens quit laying eggs. This generally happens after 2-4 years. Chicken feed on average costs 50-80 cents per pound, which means that you’ll be spending hundreds of dollars keeping chickens that don’t lay eggs; unless of course you make broth out of them (they don’t taste as great when they get old). Obviously, if we live in an SHTF scenario, satisfying gourmet tastes is not going to be our priority and we’ll be happy to have less than perfect chicken.

They Can Kick The Bucket Quickly In The Event Of Disease

If there is an outbreak of disease, your birds can start dying off pretty rapidly. Diseases spread fast in chicken communities, and within a week, you can have all your chickens dead.

They Are Highly Sensitive

Chickens are highly sensitive and they need close monitoring. Though they are easy to keep, they can get distracted and become moody or unable to lay.


Chickens need a lot of space especially if you are giving them free range. During the day I keep my chickens in a large area enclosed by a chain link fence. Even you don’t have a fenced area for them, don’t worry. After a couple of days, chickens get used to their house and will return home every night.If you keep chickens for eggs, ensure you have nests where they can lay.

Thinking of getting chickens? Assess your yard and figure out where you can keep them efficiently, while providing them the space they need; determine what they will eat and whether you will raise for meat or for eggs.

To your survival,
Richard Marshall

Survivalist Magazines Thriving Again

The decline of print newspapers and magazines as the market is absorbed by electronic media outlets only has exceptions to the pulp wood saving rule in custom niches which are experiencing remarkable growth. One such area is survivalism and preparedness. Back in the 1980s, during the Cold War when many preppers were primarily concerned with the threat of nuclear war, there was only one mainstream survivalist magazine, ‘American Survival Guide’. Now, with the Cold War over but Civil War looming, there are several.

Guns and Ammo magazine has now decided to jump into the competitive fray with their own take on a preparedness publication in print form. More and more people are getting ready. Are you?



2018 AR-15 #2

2018 Be Ready!

All you have to do is read the headlines to know why people all over the country are thinking more about preparedness. Whether it’s catastrophic weather, utility breakdowns, terrorist attack or the collapse of civil order, millions of Americans are not willing just to hope for the best. They are taking more active measures to get ready for the times when stopping at the grocery store or the ATM will not be options.

In this issue we take a hard look at a number of firearms to consider for self-protection, provide detailed training tips on how to fight with a rifle and go in-depth on sound suppressors.

Plus, we cover a variety of other topics to aid you in your quest to be prepared for whatever might come.

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Tactical Vs. Regular Fitness

During the past decade, a new fitness genre has been developed.  Fitness programming comes and goes over time, but rarely is an entire new category created.  This new type of fitness training is now called Tactical Fitness.  What we once called Military, Police, Fire Fighter, and Special Ops Fitness programs is now categorized into the ever-growing group of Tactical Fitness.  Even major strength, conditioning, and personal training associations like the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) has a program with a peer-reviewed journal and certification program for Tactical Strength and Conditioning (TSAC).  So, I do not see this genre losing ground like some overused concepts like boot camp workouts and functional fitness.


Tactical Fitness is not about workouts, it’s about work. It is not about working out to get good at working out, it is about creating programs that carry over into real life movements like lifts, carries, crawls, runs, rucks, swims, and mobility, even analytical and creative thinking. It uses non-traditional equipment to lift and carry loads that are not equally balanced.

Tactical Fitness is about choosing a profession where your fitness may one day be the difference between life and death for you, your buddy, or someone you are trying to help.  Not only does your health and fitness need to be developed, but your ability to react as you have been trained and think clearly under stress is an absolute must.

Knowing how to be a team player is critical too.  Find workout buddies with like goals and play sports to learn how to be part of a team.  Your workout today must make you better tomorrow in your job.  This means not only having a healthy heart, blood pressure, sugar levels, and weight, but your workout must help you with the following elements of fitness:

  • Speed and Endurance – Run and ruck farther and faster.
  • Strength and Power – Lift equipment, gear, and people too.
  • Flexibility and  Mobility – Move easily over uneven terrain and in between obstacles.
  • Muscle Stamina – Move yourself and gear up, over, under, and through space.
  • Old Man Grip – Hold gear, climb rope / mountain, grab things and people without tiring.
  • Skills – Swim to save a life, to cross a river, meet up with a ship or sub for extraction, and to be effective on 75% of this planet.
  • And more – Anything and everything in your job.


It is possible to achieve excellent results with each of these elements of fitness.  You will be naturally stronger and enjoy certain routines, but you will also have weaknesses.  You have to determine what these weaknesses are in order to fix and improve them.  When you are a Tactical Athlete, training for all of these elements will not make you the strongest or fastest person in the country, but you will be well above average in both strength and endurance, stamina, and other areas.

It is very common for an advanced Tactical Athlete to be strong enough to do 20 pullups and dead lift two times his bodyweight of 200 or more pounds and still be able to run a six-minute mile pace for several miles.  Those are excellent numbers, but a cross country runner will beat you by a minute in a mile run, but likely fail at strength events.  The strong man will almost double your lift weights, but take a bus when the mile run is tested.  The Tactical Athlete’s definition of optimal is different than the normal single-focus athlete where certain fitness elements do not matter.  They all matter to the Tactical Athlete.


There are specific stages for the Tactical Athlete in training.  As a recruit or candidate, you have to score competitively to enter these public service professions on what many refer to as the entrance exam. These are your typical fitness tests of pull-ups, pushups, sit-ups, 1.5 mile runs, and maybe a sprint or swim test depending on the service you are training for. Training to get to these boot camps, academies, or special ops selection programs is one thing, but training to get through them is another.


The post -training and active-duty worlds of a Tactical Athlete’s profession are even more different.  Your training year will require you to prepare for job specifics, and that may require you to run and ruck more, swim and dive more, or lift and sprint more. It all depends on what your mission skills will be.

Maintenance should be programmed in a way where you systematically stay strong, fast, well-conditioned in cardio, and flexible with periodic growth and peaking zones through the year. Learning about periodization is key to arranging workouts to help you with your job requirements in-country, overseas, and seasonally in your community. It also keeps you healthy and injury-free.

From Tactical Training Tips

More survival hacks.

If you’ve ever been in a real survival situation, you know how quickly your brain kicks into gear to create makeshift tools, weapons and other necessities that you don’t have with you out of whatever materials you can find laying around.  Survivals hacks are these bit of wisdom that real survivors, experimenters, innovators (and bored out of their mind people) have created over the years. Below are a few top hacks. Hopefully, you’ll find them useful.

Soda Can Life Hacks

  1. A pop can opener can be fashioned into a fishing hook.
  2. Fill a soda can with oil and insert a rolled up paper towel into the opening. Light the paper towel and enjoy and oil “candle” that will last for hours.
  3. Make a light out of the Coke can by cutting the side to make a “window” with the flaps that you cut serving as shutters. Place a candle inside of the can. As the candlelight reflects, it will be significantly intensified and you will have a relatively bright lantern.

Duct Tape Life Hacks

  1. Use duct tape to repair:
    1. Your water bottle
    2. Hydration pack
    3. Backpack
    4. Tent
    5. Clothing
  2. Stick some duct tape on a lid of a jar that won’t open, leaving a piece loose. Pull on the piece and twist – the jar will open.
  3. Stick a piece of duct tape on a deep cut or onto a chunk of flesh that was partially cut off to seal it when you have no bandaging material. This helps to piece the skin and flesh together. The downer? You’ll have to keep it there until you can get to a decent first aid kit (ripping it off is not pleasant.)
  4. Freezing? Wrap duct tape to seal the gaps between your sleeves and your gloves, as well as between your boots and your pants to keep the heat from escaping.
  5. Use duct tape as a brace and as a sling to protect the broken limb until you find more suitable materials (if you do).

Milk Jugs Life Hacks

  1. Use empty milk jugs to build a raft.
  2. One milk jug hack I saw recently relates to making a light. Fill the milk jug with water. Strap a headlamp onto it with the light facing in. Turn on. You will have a much brighter light.

Other Cool Survival Hacks

  1. Place any kind of improvised wick into a jar of Crisco and light it. Now you have a functional candle that will burn for weeks!
  2. Use any type of greasy chips (Doritos and Cheetos seem to work wonders) as tinder if there is none around.
  3. Use a coffee can to create a portable stove (cut an opening on the side towards the bottom to feed in branches and other fuel.) It creates a concentrated source of heat to cook your food.
  4. Apply some baby oil on the exposed skin to prevent (or at least delay) frostbite if you have to be out looking for food or supplies in freezing temperatures.

Have you discovered some hacks of your own? Don’t keep them to yourself! Share them with us or blog about them.
To your survival,
Richard Marshall