Do Your Kids Know these Survival Skills?


As a parent, it didn’t take me long to realize that I was different.

Like the other parents, I also realized that the world is full of dangers (and is quickly getting worse).

But, where all of the other parents were doing everything in their power to shield their kids from the dangers, I felt compelled to prepare my child.

In fact, I feel an obligation to make sure my child knows how to survive when SHTF.


Teaching Your Children the Survival Mentality – It is Never Too Early!

Survivalism isn’t about knowing a bunch of tricks (though that certainly helps). Survival readiness is a mentality.

And, while a 2-year old won’t be ready to light a fire or read a map, it is never too early to teach your kids the survivalist mentality.

It can be really challenging to teach your kids the survival mentality. It means telling them that bad things do happen, that there are bad people in the world, and that things aren’t as stable as they seem.

These are cruel life lessons. But, trust me, kids can handle it. And not telling them is much crueler because they will be unprepared when bad things do occur.

Aside from teaching my daughter specific survival skills, here are some of the things I do to teach her the survival mentality:

  • Take her out of her comfort zone: Whereas some parents never take their kids out of a 3-block radius of their homes, my daughter goes to all sorts of places. This includes the great outdoors, big cities, the metro, ethnic restaurants… By going to as many different places as possible, my daughter has learned to be comfortable and find herself in multiple settings, with multiple types of people.

Ask her what she thinks should be done to solve problems: I want to encourage critical thinking skills in my daughter. If I am always telling her what to do, then she isn’t going to learn to think for herself. So, when a problem arises, I ask her what we should do. Even at 5, she was able to make decisions like whether we should wait for the next bus or walk. These aren’t life-or-death decisions, but they do build the survival mentality.

  • Letting her explore, fall, and sometimes get hurt: As a parent, it is really hard to watch your child get hurt. But this is how we learn important life lessons. For example, there is one mom at the park who never lets her kid climb on the playground equipment because she is too worried that he will fall and get hurt. As a result of being coddled, the kid is one of the most uncoordinated 5 year olds I’ve ever seen. Yes, he could fall. But the chances of him dying or getting seriously injured are practically zero. So, before you tell your kid not to run, jump, climb, etc. out of fear that he/she might get hurt, think of the bigger picture instead!

8 Survival Skills Your Kids Need to Know NOW

How to Build a Fire

When my daughter was 3, I taught her how to make a safe fire pit by surrounding it by rocks (and to be careful lifting the rocks when in snake country!), and how to make the “tee pee” out of sticks.

When she turned 5, I let her light the fire – with supervision, of course! If she is ever lost in the wilderness, she will be able to stay warm, keep wild animals away, and signal for help with the fire.

How to Read a Map

Do you know about the sport Orienteering? It is a race where you have to use a map and a compass to get to certain points in the fastest amount of time. My dad took me Orienteering when I was a kid. I think I was about 6 when we started, and was running through the woods by myself when I was 7.

Start by taking your kids out the first few times. LET THEM GET LOST! Then let them find their way back again. Once they are versed in map reading, you can let them go out on their own.

You can find a local Orienteering club at their website here.


What to Do If They Get Lost

Make a safety plan and go over it with your kids! Otherwise, they will likely panic when they get lost and it could lead to disastrous outcomes. Here is what they need to know:

  • When lost in the wilderness: Stay put! Do not go anywhere unless you have a specific reason to do so (like recognizing a landmark or going to a water source). The more they wander in hopes of finding their way back, the more lost they are likely to get.
  • When lost in public places: Stop and observe! Often, the parents are just a few yards away. If the kids immediately panic and start running around looking for you, they will likely just get more lost. If they cannot find you within a few minutes of waiting, they should seek out an adult. First look for police officers. If none are around, then they should (ideally) approach a woman with children and ask for help.


What to Do During a Home Invasion

This is every parent’s worst nightmare – and a nightmare which unfortunately happens quite frequently. I recommend that you make a home invasion plan and run test drills with your children.

In the ideal situation, your children will sleep on the same floor as you (such as everyone being on the second floor). Then, if you suspect an intruder is on the first floor or outside, you could gather everyone in your “safe” room and call 911.

If you are unable to gather everyone in a safe room, then you need to have a code word or other signal which can be used from across the home. At the signal, the children should know to HIDE and not come out.

Recommended Reading – Bulletproof Home Defense: Tactics You Can Enact Now to Secure Your Safety

How to Find Drinkable Water

If your children ever get lost in the wilderness, they can go without food for weeks – but they will need water if they are going to survive. The problem is that most natural water sources are contaminated. This could lead to diarrhea, which in turn could lead to dehydration and death.

As soon as your children master the art of making a fire, you can teach them how to boil water to purify it.

But, there is a chance that your kids aren’t going to have a pot for boiling water if they ever get lost in the wilderness or are in a similar survival situation.

Teach them how to locate the safest sources of water – such as to drink water from the moving parts of streams and not from stagnant areas.

Also teach them tricks like using a piece of cloth to absorb dew and moisture from plants, and then wringing it out into a bottle or directly into their mouths.


To SCREAM, kick and fight!

If you ever go to a self-defense class, one of the first things you are going to learn and practice is screaming. The same applies to many martial arts.

Unfortunately, most people don’t send their kids to self-defense classes. Instead, we train our kids to be quiet, obedient, and listen to our elders.

So if your kids are in a threatening situation (being attacked, raped, kidnapped…), they might freeze up and become passive.

This is NOT what we want them to do.

As Safe Women and Girls points out,

“the biggest obstacle that most survivors report is the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response to trauma. Many women report that they didn’t realize what was happening until it was too late and then they were in such shock they were unable to think clearly or act in the way they would have thought they should.”

Teach your kids to SCREAM if they feel they are in a threatening situation.

If screaming doesn’t save them, they should fight back with everything they have!

Fighting back (no matter how seemingly hopeless because the attacker is bigger, stronger) could earn them a few extra seconds, during which time someone notices the struggle and is able to help.

Go ahead and get your kids into martial arts classes so they can practice this.

Recommended Reading – Essential Guide To Self Defense

How many of these survival skills do your kids know?  Are you preparing your kids for survival?  Let us know in the comments.

From Primal Survivor.


EDC Essentials

EDC, or everyday carry, is one of the most important aspects of the prepper way of life. After all, it is a key component to the “hope for the best, prepare for the worst” mentality. Even in your day to day life, you will encounter certain situations from time to time that requires simple tools – having these on hand, ready to use at a moment’s notice can make a big difference. You might even save someone’s life.

There are different levels of EDC, depending on what you do for a living and where you live. While a first responder may always have a comprehensive medical kit easily accessible at all times, you may find that your lifestyle allows for a bare minimum EDC configuration. We’ll cover exactly that; the bare minimum every day carry.

Why EDC?

The concept of everyday carry captures the entire philosophy of prepping in general and brings it to everyday life. The implications of doing so benefit the prepper in practical ways, for sure: having the tools on hand to deal with emergency situations, however big or small, is important. There are also mental benefits of doing so. Every day, as you gather your EDC tools and begin your day, you feel more of a sense of preparedness, which is a highly useful and satisfying attitude to have.

EDC can look very different for everyone, based on a number of factors. Where you live, what you’re prepping for, and even certain conditions you might have can affect what you carry with you each day. For example, someone with asthma will surely find that an inhaler is an essential component of their EDC kit. For others, this would extraneous.

That said, certain items are agreed upon as essentials for EDC no matter who you are or where you live. There a few things to keep in mind when choosing EDC items:

  • Size – You’ll want to look for something that is big enough to get the job done, yet small enough to fit on your person without being bulky. (A lot of this depends on your height and weight. Someone who is over 6 feet will probably have an easier time lugging around a full-size pistol on their hip than someone who is 5’5”.)
  • Weight – It is important to keep the weight down to an amount that won’t be cumbersome after extended periods of carrying. (Particularly important for lighter everyday carriers.)
  • Durability – Make sure to filter out low-quality items, as they tend to disappoint when you need them most. (Such items as a poorly made knife can end up causing a grievous injury.)
  • Ergonomic – Keep in mind how things fit and feel in your hands. You’ll want to be able to have a firm, yet comfortable, grip. This particularly important for items that you expect to be used over an extended period of time since don’t want your hands to start cramping up from discomfort.
  • Satisfaction – This is a key factor since a specific item could be the right size and weight, have good durability and ergonomics and still be to your disliking for whatever reason. If that ends up being the case, you’ll be less likely to carry it with you every day – and that completely defeats the purpose.

Should I Purchase A Ready Made EDC Kit?

As you’re probably aware, there’s been a definite increase in awareness about disaster planning and preparedness in general over recent years. This is a good thing but comes with some interesting developments – one of which is some companies capitalizing on the trend in ways that really aren’t beneficial. One of these is the manufacturing of ready-made kits that are of little value to the prepper.

Kits like these pop up in all areas of prepping: food storage, medical supplies, and yes: EDC. While not already made kits are necessarily bad, the vast majority of the time it is more worthy of your time and money to assemble supplies yourself.

The problems with ready-made kits of all kinds are pretty consistent:

  • Substandard quality of tools and supplies
  • Incomplete items – you’ll often find too many of the less useful items and not enough or any of the more valuable ones
  • Inflated price – you pay for the convenience of having everything together and lose the quality you could get by assembling items yourself
  • Lack of knowledge – you learn more about how to use items when you do the research and shopping yourself. Don’t underestimate the importance of this!

Folding Knife: A good folding knife will come in handy, no matter what your usual daily activities are. A handy box opener when necessary as well as the perfect pry bar for stuff that requires more leverage than a fingernail; these easily concealed knives are generally the first thing that beginner EDCers set their sights on. Let’s not forget they provide a viable defense option in a pinch.

Look for blade lengths ranging anywhere from 2.5” to 3.5”. You can spend a lot of time learning about all the different types of steel available, but you mainly want something that is corrosion resistant, has good edge retention, has working hardness, and is wear resistant. A good knife can cost anything from $30 to $150, anything more had better be a collector’s piece.

Here’s a short list of some common quality steel: 154cm, VG-10, CPM D-2, 440 XH, S30V, ELMAX, M390, and ZDP 189.

If you’re not sure about which brands to check out, try these first: Benchmade, Spyderco, Al Mar, Victorinox, SOG, and Kershaw.

Multi-tool: Multi-tools can be a lifesaver in any number of situations. Jampacked with various tools that you find yourself in need of on a daily basis, they tend to be the most used item in your EDC setup. When it comes to choosing one, Leatherman and Gerber rule the industry. These two brands will provide a wide variety of configurations suitable for any type of person. Common prices for a solid multi-tool will be $50 to $150. Gerber and Leatherman both have specialty multi-tools for military and law enforcement that tend to run a bit higher price wise.

A few you may wish to check out first are: Leatherman Wave, Leatherman Juice S2, and the Gerber Diesel.

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[Video] Best “Bug-Out Bag” Ever!

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Flashlight: Having a good flashlight is a must. A large number of everyday carriers will find themselves using their flashlight for tedious chores, such as trying to see where they dropped their keys in the dark, making a flashlight a very convenient sidekick. The reason these are essential, though, is because of their signaling capabilities and not so much because we tend to drop things.

You’ll want something that has multiple setting, such as a low setting with about 5-10 lumens and lots of battery life, for when you’ll be using it for extended periods of time (power outage). The high setting should be able to last at least 2 hours and is recommended that it be around 100 to 200 lumens. Many come with special settings such as a strobe or SOS which can be immensely helpful for extreme scenarios, though it would be wise for you to learn how to signal SOS regardless. (It’s extremely simple)

Sidearm: No one wants to have to use a gun unexpectedly, but then again, no one wants to be caught without one either. Unfortunately, in today’s society, it is becoming increasingly harder to own firearms, let alone get the ammunition to practice with them. However, not only is it important to be able to exercise your rights but also to protect you and your loved ones in case of an emergency. A sidearm is the least used item in your EDC, and with any luck it will never be used outside of practice.

When it comes to choosing one to carry everyday, it is largely up to personal preference. It is recommended that you do no go for a caliber any smaller than a 9mm. Generally, most people are going to choose between a 9mm, 40 S&W, or a 45 ACP. A 45 ACP will pack a larger punch but will limit your magazine capacity. So, for the most part, you’ll be choosing between power and the number of rounds you’ll be able to carry. No matter what you choose, get in lots of practice with it.

Check out these brands, if you don’t know where to start: Beretta, Springfield Armory, Ruger, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, and Kimber.

Bag: While many people would not think of a bag as being essential to you everyday carry setup, you may find that having one with you can provide a certain amount of convenience. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a large backpack or messenger bag, a fanny pack will do just as well in most cases. The idea is to allow for a carrying system that gives you the ability to take other items that are essential to your specific needs. Many people will have basic first aid things with them (band-aids, gauze, ibuprofen) as well as other random tidbits.

When deciding on an EDC bag, it is not necessary to go with something fancy. In fact, most bags that are labeled “EDC bag” are actually a bulky, over-the-top, military assault packs. The camo colors on a bag you carry everywhere isn’t going to do much to keep you concealed, that goes for the O.D. green and tan (classic military camo is still camo). Don’t go for anything that has exterior MOLLE webbing, it’s just another thing that will attract attention and make people think they should follow you around if something goes wrong. It should be the same mentality as a bug out bag, you DON’T want people to know you came prepared. Check out 5.11 Tactical’s COVERT line of bags to get a better idea of what to look for in an EDC bag.

Some good brands are: 5.11 Tactical, Condor, Blackhawk, and Maxpedition.

Miscellaneous – As well as the basics listed above, there are a few other items that you’ll want to consider adding to your EDC layout:

  • Band-aids – dress minor wounds, prevent infection
  • Ibuprofen – reduce inflammation from wounds and injuries
  • Gauze – use for various first aid needs
  • Tweezers – endless uses: you’ll be surprised at how often you can use tweezers when you have it on you
  • Nail clippers – besides the obvious, use for cutting small items and first aid
  • Spare knife – handy for situations when you don’t want to dull your “good knife.”
  • Pen, notebook/notepad – obvious uses for recording data and/or sending messages
  • Paracord – a sturdy enough rope for many emergency needs, a length of paracord could be handy. You’ve probably seen bracelets made from paracord around: many of these can be unraveled to up to 20 feet.

You’ll also know personally what types of items you would need that would benefit you on a day to day basis.

The Difference EDC Makes

What makes EDC such an essential part of preparedness is the fact that it’s one of the most likely components of your prepping to be put to use in day to day life. Not convinced? Consider the following scenario:

You’re driving home at around midnight, getting back from whatever keeps you out that late. Barely any other drivers on the road. You come up to a bridge and you see a driver coming from the other direction. No big deal, but you notice that he still has his brights on and is within a hundred yards and closing, not very courteous of him. Oh well, it happens. You flash your brights at him a couple of times, but he seems not to notice or care. As you two are within seconds of passing each other, he drifts over into your lane.

You have a split second to make a decision; slam on the brakes or swerve. Either way, you’re SOL. So you swerve out of the way, directly into the barrier, over the barrier, and for a split second, you feel as light as feather before crashing into the water below. Now you’ve just gone from one bad situation directly into another; out of the frying pan and into the fire. You have a limited amount of time before your car is completely submerged and the cabin is filling with water fast. you move to undo your seatbelt but it’s jammed.

Luckily, you have your multi-tool on you, which has a saw blade. You quickly pull it out of its holster and get to work, simultaneously fighting off your nerves. After what feels like a lifetime, the seat belt is off. A rush of relief washes over you as reach to open your door only to find that pressure build-up from your submerging vehicle is too much for you to get the door to budge. Your nerves are screaming louder than ever as you find that you’re waist deep in cold water. You realize that your pocket knife has a pommel on it that might just be enough to break your window. You grab it, take a firm grip, and, while covering your face, swing as hard as you can. In the blink of an eye, you’re blasted with shivering cold water.

Wasting no time, you pull yourself out the window and float up to the surface. Gasping for breath, you swim to the shore and drag yourself onto dry land. Relieved to be alive, you stand up only to fall over. You seem to be quite a bit dizzy as well as exhausted. Instead of trying to stand again, you crawl up to the shoulder of the road. Taking a look around, you only see faint headlights in the distance, on a nearby interstate. The guy that ran you off the road probably didn’t even take a second glance behind as you swerved out of his way; he was most likely drunk or high. A little shaky from exhaustion, you rest your back up against the edge of the barrier and pull out your flashlight. Setting it on high mode, you start flashing 180 lumens in an SOS pattern directly at the faint headlights. After about 15 minutes of doing so, you see emergency lives heading towards you. With a sigh of relief, you stop flashing SOS and just leave it on a steady beam pointing in front of you.

Now, imagine the same scenario without any of your EDC items on hand – not quite as happy an ending, is it?


So, where are you going to put it all? Having a bag gives the option of consolidating much of it into the different pockets and compartments, which is great for the miscellaneous items and random tidbits but refrain from putting the more basic items in your bag. You’ll still want to be able to have easy access to your gun, knife, multi-tool, and flashlight instead of them becoming mixed up into a pile in your bag. The exception to this is that some of the high-end EDC bags will have specific slots for those items.

Commonly, people with have a quality gun belt to use for carrying their gun, multi-tool, and flashlight while their knife is clipped into their pocket. Galco Leather has superb belts when it comes to quality. In most cases, multi-tools and flashlights will come with quality holsters already. The same is not true for firearms, they are notorious for coming with no holster or a joke of a holster. Avoid buying the generic holsters you see at local gun stores as they are not made for any specific gun and you’d be just as well off sticking your gun in your pocket (which you should never do). Instead, shop around online and make sure that you get a holster that is made specifically for your model of gun.

EDC Bag vs. Bug Out Bag – What’s The Difference?

Don’t confuse having an EDC bag with the tools you’ll keep with you each day with having a bug out bag – a bag of supplies that you’ll need should disaster strike and you’re forced to evacuate, flee, or otherwise “bug out.” While the differences between the two are many, a few of the most obvious ones include:

  • Food. Unless you’re a diabetic or have other types of blood sugar issues, you won’t likely need food in your EDC bag. Food definitely has its place in a bug out bag, however: a 3-day supply is commonly advised.
  • Shelter. It’s a good idea to carry a tarp or even a small tent in your bug out bag, this would be extraneous as part of an EDC kit.
  • Essential, non-everyday items: the bottom line is there are a lot of essential items you’d need in a bug out situation that would just be too much weight to carry every day.

You might find that you think certain items have their place in your EDC layout and find later that you’ve been carrying them around for weeks and that maybe you misjudged their value. There’s nothing wrong with reevaluating your EDC items from time to time – in fact, it’s smart to do so. Virtually no one will assemble the perfect array of tools the first time, and even if you are lucky enough to be one of those people, needs do change over time!

As you can see, EDC is a great place to start with your preparedness efforts. Think about the day-to-day and begin with the threats and risks closest to you.

Always watching out for you,

Sterling Mason

Are You Prepared For WW3 or Nuclear Strike?

How to survive nuclear war…

How prepared do you feel?

The topic of survival in a radioactive environment is a very broad one. You need to know how to shield yourself, how long to stay inside, when to eat and drink and how to hunt and eat animals safely after the blast. Here are a few basics to remember:

  1. A nuclear blast, leak or other event cause 2 types of radiation effects: initial and residual. You need to know how to reduce your exposure to minimize both effects. Initial radiation is radiation that occurs between the time of the explosion and 1 minute from the time of the explosion. During that short minute, the most intense gamma rays are produced by the explosion and they usually cause fatal exposure.
  2. If there is a nuclear blast, you may be injured by the blast itself, thermal radiation and nuclear radiation (including nuclear fallout). If you are too close to the blast, you are unlikely to survive due to the direct injury from the explosion or due to receiving a fatal dose of radiation, so hopefully, you have protected yourself by not living in large urban centers or close to nuclear power plants. Other injuries can be avoided or minimized by hiding in the shelter, shielding, washing and first aid.
  3. When talking about explosions, we can name 3 kinds of nuclear bursts: subsurface burst, surface burst, and air burst. Each of these has very different effects and therefore your chances of survival and actions you take under each circumstance vary. Learn about surviving each type of burst.
  4. Shielding is the easiest and best protection against penetrating radiation in a survival situation. When shielding, keep in mind the half-value thickness rule: if a shelter of prescribed thickness reduces the radiation by 50%, adding another layer of the same thickness will reduce the remaining radiation by 50%. For example, if 9 inches of wood reduce radiation by 50%; this means that adding another 9 inches of wood reduces the remaining 50% of radiation by another 50%. Essentially, this means that 19 inches of wood will reduce the original radiation by 75% and your exposure will be limited to 25%.
  5. Other very effective protective measures against penetrating radiation are time and distance. A couple things you need to know about time. First of all, radiation effects are cumulative and the longer you stay in the radioactive environment, the more it will affect you. Secondly, the longer the time from the initial nuclear event, the less radiation remains in the area. The general rule concerning distance is that radiation intensity decreases by the square of the distance from the source.
  6. Radiation exposure alters your blood chemistry and makes you susceptible to infection. Make sure you wash all wounds and burns to rinse off radioactive particles (even washing with contaminated water is better than not washing at all) and cover wounds properly. Do your best to practice good hygiene and prevent colds and flu.
  7. If you are sick to your stomach, it is likely from radiation sickness and there is no treatment for that. However, you should get better with rest, fluids and food.

These are just a few facts about surviving the initial few hours. Your life after the blast is a whole other story.

Will you be ready? One little item you can add to your EDC and bug out bags is goggles. They will protect you from particles entering through your eyes.

Always watching out for you,

Sterling Mason

Survival Skills to Teach your Kids

Have you been prepping? Do you have everything you need for your family to survive? Maybe you do, but do you have the skills necessary to make it through long enough to find the new normal? More importantly, do your kids have the skills to make it through various disaster scenarios?

Kids think differently from adults, they frequently fail to analyze a situation enough to determine how to respond to it appropriately. This is why your children need to be trained. As preppers, you will agree that you should train them, but most people are complacent or lazy. We all talk a big game, but at the end of the day, we are happy if our kids can dial 911. The problem is that emergency responders can’t always save us. Even if we are not facing the end of the world, kids can make fatal mistakes in everyday survival situations, such as home invasion, fire, spring flood, accidentally getting locked out or being bullied. This is why, when we talk about survival skills to teach our kids, we talk about a wide array of skills.

Younger Kids 

Skills to Teach Younger Children

    1. Learning personal information. Sometimes, situations arise when it is necessary for our children to relay to public service employees who they are and where they live, so it helps when they can memorize that information. Teach your child to say his or her first and last name, your name and your spouse’s name. Kids 3 years and up can be taught addresses as well. Sometimes, it is easier to teach the child to write the house number rather than to say it. They may remember the number sequence better visually. As long as they remember the street name, you should be okay. If your child cannot remember the street name, ask her to describe the outside of the house to you. Walk around the house and find landmarks that stand out: a certain type of tree, a yard decoration, the color of the door or something of that nature. It s actually a good idea to put a yard décor item in front of the house, so your child can help identify the house by saying something like, “It is a red house with a green door and an angel on the front lawn.”


    1. Calling for help, Your children may end up being the only means of your survival if, for some reason, you were hurt and immobile. Kids may also end up being home alone and experience a home invasion. Teach kids to get the phone, dial 911, stay calm and reiterate what’s going on to the operator. Explain that they can only dial 911 in case of extreme emergencies and give examples of events that qualify.


    1. Basic First Aid and CPR. It is possible to teach children as young as 5 and 6 years old CPR, and although there is no guarantee that they’ll be able to perform it under stress and unguided, it is a good way to start teaching them life-saving skills early on.


    1. Surviving being lost in a public place. Children are scared when they are lost. They will naturally try to walk around and find their family. Train them to stay in one place, as soon as they figure out that they are lost. Explain to them that by the time that they figure out that they are lost, you are already looking for them.
    2. Surviving a fire. Surviving a fire is about responding to the fire alarm or carbon monoxide alarm, finding the closest exit, using a rag to cover your face to breathe and dialing 911. Perform a few drills with the kids and talk to them about not trying to grab their things prior to getting out.


    1. Surviving a home invasion. Home invasions and burglaries are scary and incredibly dangerous. Depending on the situation, hiding or escaping may be appropriate. Hopefully, your young children are never home alone in the first place, but if they are, teach them to keep doors, windows, blinds, and curtains closed and have the phone nearby. Instruct them to call you and report suspicious activity, like someone knocking or walking around the house.


    1. Stranger awareness. Even though we tell our children not to talk to strangers, strangers come in different breeds. Teach your kids to be aware of what’s going on around them when they are playing outside, riding bikes or walking to a playground. Give directions explaining where they should run if someone is following them, teach them to avoid playgrounds if they see an adult there with no children and help them learn to defend their personal space.


    1. Using personal protection items. Even young kids can have personal protection items. One of these items s a cell phone. There is an app called “Circle of 6” that allows you to input 6 emergency numbers into a phone and at a click of a button, the phone will text and call the numbers on record. It will also allow the police to locate your child. Other personal protection items include hairspray (yes, hairspray is great to spray in strangers’ eyes), spray chemicals if you are at home (for the same reason) and other items that may deter a potentially dangerous individual.


    1. Surviving the wilderness. Wilderness survival is really tough. The best thing you can do for your kids is teaching them the common sense skills, like finding or building a shelter, trying to stay warm, finding safe water, being proactive in order to get rescued, etc. Of course, it doesn’t hurt if your child knows how to pitch a tent and use PET bottles to disinfect water.


    1. Surviving on the water. This boils down to teaching your child not to panic, to float on his back and to swim.


    1. SHTF skills. This is the toughest category of skills to teach kids. It is hard enough for adults to learn these skills. SHTF skills include short-term and long-term skills. Short-term skills include surviving extreme weather events, finding family members if separated during the crisis, finding food and water, target shooting (for kids over 7 years old) and going undetected during social unrest. Long-term survival skills include fire starting, shelter building, foraging and finding water.


How to Teach Younger Kids Survival Skills In your serious prepping mode, do not forget that your kids are kids. They like to have fun. This is why when you teach young children preparedness skills, it is imperative that you make it exciting and interactive. In other words, make it a game. For example, when you train them to find the appropriate exits out of the home, you can place stickers or some sort of tokens on windows and doors and allow them to redeem each token for a prize or a piece of candy. You can turn on the music and have them run around the house collecting tokens. You can also print off large red arrows for their first fire drill so they can follow the arrows to “make it out of the burning building.” After the game is over, sit them down and explain what you practiced. Ask questions and let the kids reiterate what they learned.

Another very important thing to remember when teaching youngsters is that they need repetition to learn and retain information. This means that you should be ready to play those games on a weekly basis to begin with and reduce to monthly and then bimonthly as they grow and master the skills. To keep them from being bored, vary the stickers and tokens based on the season, occasion or their favorite movie characters.

Teens and Tweens

Survival Skills to Teach Your Teens and Tweens

    1. First aid and CPR. Unlike younger children, older kids can learn first aid and CPR fully. You should go as far as signing them up for CPR classes and getting them certified. A set of first aid skills is among the best, most in-demand survival skis that you just can’t go wrong with.


    1. Advanced medical aid. If one of your kids is medically inclined, you can focus some energy on helping them acquire additional medical skills, such as trauma response and management, making stitches, stapling, figuring out which antibiotics to give to other family members and similar tasks.


    1. Surviving a home invasion and helping younger siblings. Older kids have a bigger role to play and certainly can take on more responsibility in the event of a home invasion. They should take care of taking smaller children to safety (generally the furthest room on the top floor of the house), barricading the door and calling 911 while you attempt to ward off (or fight off or scare off) invaders.


    1. Surviving a personal attack. If you have a tween or teenage daughter, you have the same concerns as every other teen girl parent. Girls get followed home, date raped, drugged and kidnapped. Some statistics suggest that one out of 3 female college students who live on campus get raped. That is an insane statistic! Teach your girls to avoid strangers and to run like the wind if somebody gets physical with them. Even more importantly, teach them to dress and act modestly and avoid putting themselves in potentially dangerous situations. Instruct them to practice situational awareness, keeping track of who is around them at all times. It may be very challenging to practice situational awareness when using public transportation in a big city, but practicing this skill regularly helps.


    1. Surviving a fire. Just as with home invasion, older kids should have an additional responsibility here They should focus on getting the younger kids out. If you have a fire extinguisher, they should know how to use it.


    1. Hunting and fishing. Teens and tweens usually enjoy outdoors and have fun learning to fish and hunt, especially in good company. The best way to teach them is to take them along with experienced hunters and fishermen in the area.


    1. Outdoor and SHTF survival. Unlike younger kids, your older children should be learning everything you learn about outdoor and SHTF survival, from fire starting to trapping, to building a log cabin.


  1. Creating tools and equipment for survival. In the event of a long-term crisis situation, we may have to invent our own tools to survive in the interim. Bows and arrows, hunting traps, solar ovens and other inventions that replace the everyday things that we are used to, may become a necessity. Give your older kids some freedom and resources to invent cool survival gadgets. It may be fun to make it a contest and see what they can come up with. Getting hands-n now and learning the ropes of basic hand tools may save their lives down the road.

How to Teach Teens and Tweens Survival Skills Teens and tweens are all about having fun, too but they are on a whole different level. Most of them will understand the seriousness of the training, but in their mind, it is still taking time away from what they may want to do more (being with friends, playing video games, watching TV, etc.) This means you have offered some benefit other than the direct benefit of being prepared. They definitely won’t go for tokens, but you can run your drills on a Saturday and do pizza and ice cream afterward (make it a family night).

While camping out and running fire drills is great, survival demands that we and our children master even more intricate skills – personal and social skills. These include communication, conflict management and resolution, de-escalation, active listening and more. These are the kinds of skills that can prevent violence by allowing your kids to appropriately address everyday situations that have a potential to become violent. Furthermore, if your children end up living in a post-apocalyptic society, they will need to display leadership skills, strategic planning skills and communication skills in their communities. People will be sharing, bartering, helping, and tolerating each other on completely different levels than we do today. They need to develop and display patience, kindness, tolerance, ingenuity and work ethic that are becoming rarer and rarer among today’s youth.

It may be a challenge to remember the steps involved in addressing various emergencies for both younger kids and teens, so a great way to have them learn, follow and review the steps is to laminate several documents detailing various processes or your family’s escape plans. For younger kids, laminate flash cards and have them do sequencing exercises to remember the order of steps in each process.

Ultimately, your children will need to know how to use their heads and common sense to make decisions. Staying calm and safe and thinking things through is probably the most practical survival skill of all.

Always watching out for you,

Sterling Mason

What steps have you taken to become more self-sufficient?

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for ways to become self-sufficient. One of the major steps you can take is going “off the grid”.

This means that you no longer use a gas and electric company, or water and sewer company, and you no longer need to rely on their infrastructure to supply essential utility services to your homestead — a huge plus in a survival situation.

What you need to understand first is that this is a major undertaking that involves a significant investment of time and money. This is why most people who go off-grid do it one step at a time.

The main consideration for going off-grid is choosing the right location.

You want to have land that aids in energy production. You also need to acquire water and mineral rights for the piece of land that you purchase. With that said, there are 5 additional considerations for going off the grid: electricity, water, water heating, sewer, and energy back-up.

Electricity/Gas. Two primary sources of power that are not derived from fossil fuels are wind power and solar power. Installing solar panels and wind turbines are simple enough, but both options are pretty expensive if you buy pre-manufactured systems from commercial dealers. They’re still well worth it in the long run, but you can save up to 50% (or more) on the costs by building your own home energy system. Ideally, you’ll use both sources to power your home. There are many other ways to create energy for your house, such as using Propane gas or using fertilizer and waste, but solar and wind energy are free, abundant, and easy to harness once you know how.

Heating. If you live in an area that gets cold in the winter, you need a way to heat your home. While you can use electric power to heat your house, you may want to consider installing a wood burner as well.

Water. To truly live off the grid, you’ll need to have your own water. You can install a well and a pump. Whether you’re building a new, energy-efficient home or thinking about installing a well for your current home, check your area water table to see if a well makes sense. Also, most municipalities in the U.S. do not allow wells to be installed within their boundaries, so check your local zoning laws.

Heating Water. You may not have thought about the need to heat water yet. Actually, there are many options. You can install a solar water heater or a propane water heater, use solar panels or hook your water heater up to your wood burner.

Sewage. The only way to deal with sewage in a sustainable way is having a septic tank installed. The tank will process the waste and release the product into the soil. This can be costly and can be tough to implement in urban areas, but if you plan it right for your off-grid property, a septic tank will last a lifetime.

Backup plans. Having a generator and/or battery backup to meet your energy needs in the event that your primary energy sources fail is a no-brainer. Everything I teach is about being prepared for unforeseen circumstances, and if you don’t have a well-thought-out backup plan then you’re not really prepared for anything.

Always watching out for you,

Sterling Mason


Note: This series was originally published on Defensive Training Group several years ago. This expanded, updated 2018 edition has been designed specifically for AP readers; this is the first installment of a 10-week series meant to walk you through the steps needed to prepare for what’s commonly called SHTF, or literally “sh– hitting the fan.” This could be anything from a natural disaster such as Hurricane Katrina, an economic meltdown, or any other dire situation. If you’re new to preparing, this plan will help get you where you need to be. If you’ve already been doing it, the plan will help you ensure that your plan is well-rounded and correctly set up.  

Right now, there are a bit more than 2 years remaining in the administration of a populist/nationalist president that has, so far, rhetoric aside, left things pretty much alone, in regard to ‘normal’ life.  Anything perceived as a positive measure, such as the ‘tax roll back’ should really be viewed as a temporary measure, adding a slight benefit to you on the prepping side because of the reprieve given when the Hildabeast wasn’t inaugurated.  As everyone knows or should know, it made the Transnational Globalist Marxists insane, and they’re not letting go.  Evidence of this are perceived ‘false flag’ attacks as well as calls for an outright civil war by groups such as antifa (little ‘a’ on purpose) that would necessitate the suspension of Constitutional protections from government interference (what’s left of them) in your life according to the powers that STILL BE, albeit somewhat in the shadows.  That being the case, YOU, yes, YOU, the so-called, ‘Normie’ who’s just been awakened, have until 20 January 2021 to get yourself and your family’s ducks in a row.  Follow this outline for 10 weeks if you can, and add something else in it for the rest of the time available:

Study and training. Across the board.

After completing the basic plan, which gets you at least somewhat self-sufficient, your priorities should be–in this order:

  • First Aid/Medical training.
  • Food storage.
  • Survival.
  • Tactics & weapons.

This is not contradictory; the order is deliberate.  Yes, you need to know how to effectively use a weapon, but you also need, desperately, how to tend to wounds, injuries, infections, and disease not typically seen in a ‘normal’ setting. Here’s one of many resources on the topic.

You also need to know how to purify water; how to put up food so it will last, how to effectively communicate in your neighborhood and how to listen to more distant sources of information.  AP’s own NC Scout is one of the best resources for that.  You’ll even find opportunities to attend classes that will quickly bring you up to the speed you need to be at for effectively communicating.  You’ll also need to learn about the subject of intelligence.  AP will be an excellent resource for that as well.

Bottom line:  Your entire existence from now until the point where you’re adequately prepared needs to be one of study, exercise, training, study, frugal purchasing, setting up your home or ‘hidey hole’ so your family can make it, and so on.  You can do this; it’s not that difficult.  It takes discipline and resolve.

When it comes to recriminations later, during an emergency, when something you could have done to better prepare wasn’t accomplished due to your own procrastination, remember, there’s an old saying that I live by:  “There are no victims, only volunteers….”

I first did this post about 12 years ago under my since retired ‘nom de guerre,’ and a very good friend of mine (Concerned American from Western Rifle Shooters Association, and now AP) and a couple others asked me if I’d mind updating it again for 2018.  Remember, the days we’re living in RIGHT NOW demonstrate things are spinning faster in the vortex than ever before, and this might be the your last chance to get in gear.  Feel free to add or take away from this plan as your situation and local area conditions may require.  This is by no means the best or only plan; rather, it’s one that may help someone with no knowledge or skills.  There are other good perspectives on this subject out there, and they shouldn’t be discounted.


You may be thinking, “WORST case??  What could POSSIBLY get any worse than how things are now?? There’s nothing Ican do.  Things being the way they are, it’s basically over; all we can do is wait for the hammer to fall.”

Well, for one thing, that’s not true!  Many folks just like you don’t agree with or believe that perspective in the slightest!  There’s a lot you can do!  And, if this plan helps get you thinking of what you can do instead of what you can’t do, we all might just benefit from your action!  In fact, if enough folks begin to think about what they can do, we just might avert the “worst case,” and many more of us may live through these ‘interesting times’ that are certainly headed our way!  So, while you’re reading this, keep that thought in mind, ok?

The plan itself is divided into two parts:  The items required and the timetable to do it in.  Remember, prudent people see danger coming and prepare, while the foolish do nothing (or just sit at their keyboard and ENDLESSLY COMPLAIN about how terrible things are) and suffer for it.  To put us all on an equal footing for the case presented, let’s get ready to plan by using the following scenario as a back drop:

The time frame:  To be sure, ten weeks, especially today, when national and world tensions increasing by the hour, can seem to be a very, very long time in terms of ‘getting prepared/trained/fit/mentally ready’ to protect and defend your family, neighborhood, community and country from marauding apocalypse zombies coming from whatever direction or source you care to focus on.  For now, rather than looking at a fictional futuristic even, let’s look at what’s happened in the last 9 years incrementally.

  • Executive orders giving Interpol complete carte blanche to operate within our borders with no restrictions, oversight, accountability, even to the state department or the executive branch.  Never mind congress.
  • A[n]…..election process so corrupted and rigged to be all but worthless in regards to what you and I vote for.
  • 7 plus years of equipping, arming, violently indoctrinating…and militarizing, through federal auspices, civilian law enforcement, and non-law enforcement agencies, even non-governmental agencies.
  • Creation of a continental internal federal police state with powers that ignore every personal liberty based protection [from government overreach] in the US Constitution.
  • Numerous executive branch acts of limiting arms, their manufacture, importation and sale [to citizens], void of due process of law.  [Current implications from the Oval Office are that a series of ‘Executive Orders’ will further curtail the Second Amendment bypassing Congress as well as the Constitutional amending process.]
  • The UN International Small Arms Agreement, a foreign treaty signed by the former administration’s Secretary of State.  A treaty never having been presented to the Senate for ratification.
  • States openly calling for the confiscation of semi-automatic rifles in places like Lexington (yes, THE Lexington).
  • UN troops to be invited into the US for the purpose of assisting the US government in combating violent extremism. Extremely violent criminal gangs and religions with penchants for beheading and burning captives alive are not included in the definition of ‘extremists.’
  • Daily calls from the state co-opted ‘media’ repeating the message to unilaterally disarm the citizenry, constitutional protections be damned.

So, how do you get ready for an imminent disaster affecting the entire nation like that?  Not possible you say?  Think for a moment:  The Law of Unintended Consequences usually provides extreme results beyond those anticipated or planned in any situation it becomes involved with.  So, that being said, let’s examine this, even if only from an academic perspective.

First, consider the description above.  It’s certainly beyond possible that events in our country can become catastrophic; these things above have happened, and more are happening.  But is it nefarious in design?

Many seem to think so, but what’s relevant as you read this is what you think.  Consider current affairs in Eastern, and now, Western Europe.  Examine current affairs in our own country.  Consider the publicized plans of various agencies to quell ‘civil unrest.’  Think about the publicized military exercises that name military veterans and religious groups as ‘domestic terrorists.’   And then, before you go any further, make a determination:  Is this a bunch of paranoid “tin foil hat” crap or maybe, just maybe, is there something to this and you, gentle reader, need to do something positive to take care of your family and friends.  If you had the time (which you don’t, believe me), you could do your own investigation from objective sources, file Freedom of Information Act Requests (FOIA) and find that it is, in fact, not only plausible, but the stage is being set every day for just such an eventuality.

If you decide the facts don’t support your personal preparedness, just toss this out.  Delete.  File 13.  Trash.  Round file.  I hope you enjoy your life and are prosperous.  Read no further.

However, if you decide facts presented do support getting started preparing, you have much to think about, much to do, and much to gain in the way of putting yourself, your family and your friends in a better position of an increased chance of living through it.

Think about it.  I’ll wait.

How to Make a Vegetable Oil Lamp (with Pictures)

Long before there was kerosene (aka paraffin) lamp oil, people used vegetable oil lamps for lighting their homes.

These oil lamps are really easy to make and today a lot of people prefer them to kerosene lamps.  They are natural, don’t produce toxic byproducts, and can be used in a pinch during power outages.

If you want to make your own vegetable oil lamp, here’s how to do it!

What Vegetable Oil Can I Use for Lamps?

You can use just about any cooking oil as a fuel for a lamp. Other types of fat – such as ghee or butter – will also work.

  • Olive Oil: This is the best choice for your vegetable oil lamp. It won’t produce smoke while burning.

  • Canola or Sunflower Oil: These are cheap and will burn. However, they will produce some smoke.

  • Walnut, Almond, Sesame, Flax Oils: Nut and seed oils are great for lamps. They won’t produce smoke like canola will. However, these oils are pricey so you probably won’t want to use them for your lamp.  Cheap olive oil is a better option.

  • Ghee or Butter: Traditionally, animal fats (such as whale blubber or fish oil) were used for oil lamps, especially in cold areas where veggies weren’t available. You can actually just put a wick directly in a stick of butter and burn it.  These thick fats don’t work as well in jars though.

Used Vegetable Oil for Lamps

After frying food, save the vegetable oil in a jar.  You can use this oil for lamps.

Ideally you should filter the oil through a cloth first.  Otherwise the chunks of food residue can start to smoke and smell!

Vegetable Oil Lamp Instructions:

There are a few different ways of making a lamp with vegetable oil. 

Instead of giving you just one way, I’ll talk about the supplies so you can DIY in your own way. 🙂

Container for Holding the Oil

Almost any non-flammable container will do.

To save on oil, look for containers that are wider than they are tall.

For safety, you’ll ideally want a container which entraps the flame.

You’ll obviously want the container to be transparent though so you can actually see the flame inside.

Here are some options:

  • Glass Jars

  • Clay/Ceramic/Metal Dishes: Old Roman oil lamps were made from terracotta. They were shaped like gravy boats.

  • Kerosene Lanterns: You know those antique-style lanterns with a glass globe inside? Even though they are designed for kerosene, you can use vegetable oil in them.

orange peel lamp

Orange peel lamp

DIY oil lamp

Spoon holders work well for DIY oil lamps!

metal oil lamp

Metal oil lamp

Wick (Soaked in Salt Water)

Anything made out of cotton will work as a wick.  Ideally, the wick is made out of a braided material. Otherwise it will burn very quickly. Braided wicks also produce more light. However, in a pinch, you can use:

  • Shoe laces

  • Strips of old clothing

  • String

Tip:  For the wick to burn evenly, you should first soak it in salt water.  Then let it dry before using.

Wick Holder

Here is where you need to get creative with your vegetable oil lamp.

You need the top of the wick (the part that will burn) to sit slightly above the vegetable oil.  Otherwise, the oil will put out the flame.

If you are using a ceramic dish for your lamp, then you can just prop the wick on the edge.  This is a bit of a fire hazard though.

Option 1: Wire Coil

For glass jar lamps, you’ll want to use wire to create a stand for the wick.

  1. Wrap wire around a pencil to create a coil. The coil should be long enough so your wick will stick out of the oil.
  2. Make a much bigger loop on the end of the coil. This will be your base.
  3. Thread the wick through the coil.

Option 2: Bottle Cap and Wire

wick holder in mason jar lamp

One alternative solution is to use wire + a bottle cap to create a stand.

  1. Using a hammer and nail, poke a hole through a metal bottle cap.
  2. Twist the wire to make a holder for bottle cap.
  3. Put the wick through the hole in the bottle cap. Put the cap in place.

Option 3: Hole in a Jar Lid

jar vegetable oil lamp

If your glass jar has a lid, you can just poke a hole through the lid and thread your wick through it.

Note that you’ll have to poke air holes in the lid too.

Drape the Wick

If you use a ceramic or metal container for holding your oil, you can just drape the wick off to the side.

Of course, this means you have an open flame.  It isn’t as safe as enclosing the flame inside the container.

ceramic dish lamp

A traditional ceramic dish oil lamp

How the Vegetable Oil Lamp Works

The vegetable oil will be drawn up into the wick.

The flame ignites it, causing the oil to vaporize.  Even a small amount of oil can burn for a few hours.

Even if you are using olive oil (which is fairly expensive), it still ends up being cheaper than most candles.

Paraffin Lamp Oil vs. Vegetable Oil

Lamp oil that you buy online or from hobby stories is made from petroleum.  Sometimes it is called kerosene.  Other times it is called paraffin.

They are the same thing – just a highly-refined kerosene oil.

Paraffin lamp oil will not smoke or produce odor as some vegetable oils will.

Flash Point:

Compared to vegetable oil, paraffin lamp oil has a much lower flash point.  Flash point refers to the temperature at which it will ignite.

  • Vegetable Oil Flash Point: Around 650 F
  • Paraffin Oil Flash Point: Around 100-150 F

The lower flash point of veggie oil means it takes longer to ignite.  It will burn – but it is not exactly ideal for wicks.   As it burns, it will consume the wick quickly.

By comparison, lamp oil will burn off the wick quickly.  Very little of the wick will be consumed, meaning your wick will last a lot longer with paraffin lamp oil.

As a general rule: The thicker the oil, the faster the wick will be consumed and the more smoke will be produced.

Lamp Oil Is Still the Best Choice

In a disaster situation where you need some emergency lighting, vegetable oil is a great option for DIY oil lamps.

However, if you are making oil lamps for fun, then your best bet is to buy lamp oil.

It simply burns cleaner and won’t consume your wicks as quickly.

You can find lamp oil (called kerosene or paraffin lamp oil) online for fairly cheap. If you want to really save some money, then choose K-1 kerosene.

K-1 Kerosene Lamp Oil

You can find K-1 kerosene at some gas stations and at hardware stores.  It is very cheap to buy and has numerous uses – such as for heating or jet fuel.

K-1 kerosene will still produce some odors (it contains sulfur), but the smell is minimal.

Compared to vegetable oil, the K-1 oil will burn cleanly in lamps and won’t eat up your wicks so quickly.

Recommended Reading: How to Make DIY Emergency Candles

First Aid Kits: You ARE the First Responder (DRTV)

This week Michael talks about the necessity of medical training and emergency kits.

This is the first segment of this week’s Down Range Radio )

The full podcast (audio only) can be found here and second segment continues from timestamp 17m23s.


The Michael Bane Blog

Michael Bane on Facebook

Homeland Security/STOP THE BLEED!

How to Stop the Bleed/American College of Surgeons

Medical Training:

Greg Ellifritz/Active Response Training
Tactical First Aid and System Collapse Medicine

Choosing the Right Tourniquet

Adventure Medical Kits

Adventure Medical Kit TRAUMA PAK

Streamlight Head Lamps

Bravo Concealment Holsters

4 Scenarios to Get the Tactical Advantage

By CTD Blogger in How To, Safety and Training

The right of self-defense is among the most basic of human rights, and the majority of us own, and/or carry a firearm to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Depending on the state you live in, you may be able to obtain a CCW permit and take on the additional responsibility of self-defense. However, having a firearm and the law on your side does not automatically translate into good self-defense. You’ll need situational awareness, quick reactions, solid weapons handling skills, and a good outcome in the event of a violent attack. But first, you’ll need plan and train yourself to respond effectively to a threat in several common scenarios can vastly improve your chances of surviving and eliminating the threat.

Car Jacking Get-Away Tactics

Here are four scenarios that once mastered, will serve as the basics that you can modify and rely on later should you find yourself in a self-defense situation.

Scenario 1

You’re walking in a parking garage, descending a flight of steps, and an attacker confronts you.

Elements to Remember

  • Mindset: If you don’t think you can use deadly force, don’t carry a firearm. Instead, opt for a less than lethal option such as a taser, pepper spray or CQB striking device, and do not concern yourself with the remainder of this article.
  • Clothing for Concealed Carry: Wear a loose shirt or jacket that allows you to easily access your weapon. It’s best to sew in a small weight into the hem of the shirt, so when you sweep it back it will swing out of the way and not interfere with the draw. Loose change in a jacket pocket also works well.
  • Practice: Run through this scenario drawing and firing with an unloaded weapon until you can do it smoothly in 2-4 seconds. IDPA matches at a local range require you to draw from concealment and make excellent practice for real world variations of this practice.

Scenario 2

Driving in a vehicle and facing a carjacking or road rage incident.

Elements to Remember

  • Mindset: Always be aware of your surroundings when stopped at a light, parked, or driving slowly through an alley or behind stores where an attacker can surprise you. Drive through ATMs, especially at night, have you in a funnel where you can easily be trapped. Think about how an assailant might attack, and be aware of what is around or behind the you. If you cannot easily turn to see behind you, do not be afraid to use the car’s backup camera if so equipped.
  • Clothing: Don’t carry on your person where interference from a seatbelt or your elbow hitting the seat as you attempt to draw can hinder your ability to access your weapon. However, if you are carrying on your person, all hope is not lost. The Shooter’s Log recently ran a video showing, while not ideal, how to draw and engage from this situation.
  • Vehicle Attachments: Consider a gun magnet which can be easily mounted near the steering wheel for a quick grab/draw.

Scenario 3

Attacker grabbing young boy

While walking, an attacker approaches and attacks from behind.

Elements to Remember

  • In this scenario, traditional advice has been to clasp your keys like a weapon to strike an attacker, or to throw them far away from you in hopes of giving yourself time to run. This assumes the attack is a carjacking. What if it’s a violent personal assault or a kidnapping? Never carry your keys in your gun hand; always keep them in your support hand. Likewise, if you are on the phone, hold it in your support hand.
  • Instead of turning away from your car to confront the attacker, immediately turn inside and either drop or throw your keys directly at him with your support hand, while simultaneously drawing your weapon with your gun hand.
  • If you are carrying groceries, a purse, workout bag, laptop, cellphone, etc., use it as a weapon of distraction by hurling it at your attacker as hard and as quickly as possible.

Scenario 4

Entering or exiting your car when an attacker is close enough to grab you.

Elements to Remember

  • You are at your most vulnerable entering or exiting your vehicle. Stop, look around and assess the situation before getting out. When pulling into your garage, close the door before unlocking or getting out of your vehicle. Knowing your surroundings, noticing who’s around you and their body language and staying in the “condition yellow” cautionary awareness is crucial.
  • If someone approaches you under the ruse of asking for directions, spare change, etc. and manages to get hands on you, push or kick violently against the attacker to offset their balance enough that you can access your handgun and shoot from retention. This is when having the proper gear is critical. A holster that allows your gun to fall out or is too difficult for you to manipulate under pressure could prove disastrous.

The Tactical Advantage

Ultimately, carrying a concealed weapon is an enormous responsibility that requires you to understand your skill set and be prepared to use deadly force (carrying a round in the chamber). You must also have good weapons handling instruction, so you don’t become a victim of your own gun. Practice regularly at the shooting range until acquiring a sight picture, drawing and firing is committed to muscle memory. Staying in the “yellow” cautionary mindset, and rehearse every step, so if the time ever comes, you could maintain the tactical advantage that saves your life.

Take advantage of your rights.

What scenarios do practice or have committed to memory? What elements would you add to these scenarios? Share your answers in the comment section.

How To Choose A Long-Term Retreat Location

by Richard Marshall

A retreat location is something you better be thinking about, especially if you live in a heavily populated area. If a SHTF scenario does occur, you will be hit the hardest and you may not have anywhere to go if you haven’t planned a retreat location.

Now there are 2 types of retreat locations: short-term and long-term. Here we are talking about the long-term retreat location – someplace that you can either live or where you can go at the very first signs of trouble. Whether you are buying an additional property in the nearby rural area or moving across country to your perfect new homestead, you should do your research before you leap.

Generally when we talk about a retreat location, we talk about some place that is strategically positioned to keep you protected, supplied and comfortable for as long as possible. Hopefully, you can afford a piece of property like that.

First thing you need to think about when you are looking at a potential property is how your land is positioned. You don’t want to be too isolated where you and your family are completely alone. Neither do you want to be located too close to major highways, towns or obvious natural resources, where your property could be wandered into easily. Get in the mind of that desperate wanderer; get in the minds of those looters. If they are able to see your retreat property easily they are going to try to break into your property. You should not be isolated. Before you make the move, make sure you research the area and find a community of like-minded preppers. Look for properties with multiple natural “layers of defense” and strategic advantage. You want something that has varying terrain.

With that said, some states are better for retreat locations than others. Obviously, you don’t want your hideout to be in Washington, D.C. or New York or Florida. In fact, generally the further you go into White rural areas, the better.

You have to consider several factors when you think about the area.

  • First of all, what kinds of weather is the area prone to? Are natural disasters frequent there? What kinds? Consider the general weather pattern, too.
  • Secondly, look at the criminal activity. Are there many gangs in the area? Predictably, gang members will band together during a crisis, terrorizing neighbothoods.
  • Third, consider man-made hazards: proximity to nuclear reactors, toxic waste plants, chemical production plants, etc. In an extended crisis, these facilities will be in disrepair, and whatever they happen to leak or release will be floating in your air or water.
  • Next you need to consider the cost of living. How expensive would it be to live at your retreat location? Will cost more or less than where you’re currently living? Make sure before you make a move that you are not spending more. The goal is to save money and spend some of the money that you save stocking up on a few extra supplies.
  • Available natural resources. Everybody needs to eat and drink, so when you are choosing your retreat location, focus on the land that has good access to water and has the opportunity for you to produce, grow or raise your own food.
  • Simplicity of implementing your off-grid design is another key consideration. If you plan on using a windmill, choose the land carefully to get the most out of it. In other words, don’t move to Seattle with a bunch of solar panels.

These are just the basic considerations for choosing your perfect hideout. There are many other factors that can influence your decision-making, like the availability of native building material, soil type, and more…