7 Survival tools every prepper must have

7 Survival tools every prepper must have

7 survival tools every prepper must have

7 survival tools every prepper must have

Prepping is so multi-faceted, that it seems like you never have all the prepper tools you need. I like to go for multi-purpose tools as much as I can, as they give me more capability than what I can get otherwise, for less cost, less space and less weight. Actually, I’m talking about survival tools more than anything; but to me, the distinction between the two is very slim. So, here are a few of my favorites:

Gerber Steadfast – Fine Edge knife 22-41120 – Out of all the survival tools available the knife is the number one survival tool, bar none. If I had to head off into the woods with only one thing to help me survive, it would be my knife. I use a Gerber Steadfast  survival knife, their model number 22-41120. This is a fairly simple sheath knife, without any serrated edge, double edge or other fancy modifications you’ll find on some knives. But it’s a quality blade with a fine point and a rubberized, easy grip handle.

Chainmate CM-24SSP Chainsaw – Since I don’t have a saw on my knife, I need one in my kit. I carried a three wire saw for years, which was all right, but then I found this baby. This is actually a manual chain saw, with a 24 inch chain. Straps at both ends give you something to hang onto firmly while cutting. The chain-saw style teeth are great for cutting off limbs and cutting up firewood.

Sona Enterprises 9-in-1 Emergency Tool Kit – I used to carry a separate camp shovel and hatchet before finding this one. Granted, the hatchet had a hammer too, but it wasn’t as versatile as this one. This one tool combines a shovel, hatchet, hammer and saw, along with a few smaller tools. It’s not all that heavy either and takes up less room than the separate hatchet and shovel did.

Multi-tool – There are lots of good multi-tools out there. I turned to Leatherman for mine, as they are the original multi-tool company. I like their “Rebar” model because the wire cutter jaws are replaceable. I’ve replaced more than one tool in my life because of ruining the wire cutters on something that was just too hard for them. This way, I just replace the cutters and save myself money.

WAPI (Water Pasteurization Indicator) – Water purification is such an important part of survival. Everyone knows that you can purify water by boiling it, but not many people realize that you don’t need to boil it, you can pasteurize it instead. This means raising it up to 160oF, rather than the 212oF required for boiling. That saves fuel and allows the water to cool down quicker for drinking as well. The WAPI is a plastic capsule that floats in the water. A wax pellet inside it melts and drops when the water reaches 160oF, letting you know that it’s hot enough.

Lifestraw – Speaking of purifying water, I always keep a straw-type water filter with me. The one I prefer is the Lifestraw. It was actually designed for use in third-world countries, where they don’t have enough clean water. A Lifestraw allows you to filter 1,000 liters of water for personal consumption. It’s larger than the other straw-type filters around, which I think makes it filter better.

Headlamp – I’ve become so addicted to headlamps that I have several of them I use. The headlamp allows you to keep your hands free, while providing light right where you’re working. Some of the newer ones are really bright as well, providing as much light as a tactical light does.

What would you add to the list and why?

Why prepare

Why prepare

Why? That’s an amazing question. Little children learn it well and use it to drive their parents bonkers. Answering the question doesn’t get you out of trouble either, as they respond with one more “Why?”

This has to be the most common question that non-preppers ask preppers too. “Why prepare?” Those who haven’t asked the question have probably thought it; they just haven’t found anyone to ask. Even if they did, they might not understand the answer they’d get.

There are laws which require that anyone who drives a car has car insurance. Why? Any financial advisor worth their salt will tell you to buy life insurance. Why? The fire department (as well as your homeowner’s insurance provider) will tell you to have a fire extinguisher in your home. Why? Even the government tells you to have at least three days worth of food in the house in case of emergencies. Why?

All these things have one common root; they are insurance. Does the person who buys life insurance of a fire extinguisher expect to need either of them in the next week? Probably not. What they are doing is recognizing the fact that life occasionally throws us a curve-ball. The idea behind having insurance is to be ready for that curve-ball.

Many will follow their question of why one should prepare with some sort of platitudes of how big brother government will take care of us all, should anything happen. We’ve all seen one president or another making announcements about authorizing X number of billions of dollars in “disaster relief” to help people out after a disaster. It’s one of the better sound bites for the politician in question, making them look good and increasing their chances of reelection.


WHY PREPARE – Don’t be another statistic.

However, the government’s track record on helping out in a time of trouble is dismal at best. When Hurricane Katrina hit, the government at all levels was so busy pointing fingers at one another, that very little actually got accomplished to help the people. Even with emergency crews working round the clock, it took over a month to restore electricity to everyone.

Hurricane Sandy wasn’t any better. After all the high-level investigations in the wake of Katrina and all the talk about revamping FEMA, they didn’t do a bit better seven years later, when New Jersey was plastered by Sandy. Oh, it looked better to the people, but that’s only because the news media refused to report on what was happening, whereas with Katrina, they hounded the story to death.

So, if you want to count on FEMA to rescue you, go right ahead. But I don’t see any reason to trust them. They don’t have a good track record and they don’t have your and my best interests in mind. Therefore, if I can’t trust Big Brother to take care of me, I’m stuck with having to take care of myself.

That’s what prepping is all about; taking care of me and my family. Where most of the population is still expecting Big Brother to take care of them, preppers have decided that they can’t count on it. Instead, they develop a plan for taking care of themselves and then take the necessary steps to make sure that they can do it. It’s just one more form of insurance; because none of us know what tomorrow may bring.

The federal government has completed a study which states that in the event of an EMP attack from our enemies, only ten percent of our population will survive. That breaks down to the three percent of our population who are preppers, probably another percent who are people living in remote areas and the other six percent will be federal government bureaucrats, who will take care of themselves, before even thinking about taking care of anyone else. So, where does that leave you? If you’re not preparing, you may just end up becoming a statistic.

Investing in precious metals; get started before SHTF!

Investing in precious metals; get started before SHTF!

We don’t know what tomorrow may bring, it seems pretty clear that the United States is heading for recession and when SHTF (shit hits the fan)  you and I can expect to lose the vast majority of our savings and investments.

If your planning on investing in precious metals now’s the time to invest; get started before SHTF!

More and more people are getting concerned about the rising National Debt and our country’s ongoing recession. Oh, I know, Obama says we’re in a glorious recovery; but I haven’t seen any recovering going on. I mean, how can you call it a recovery, when there are more people out of work than before?

The big scare is that we’re heading into an economic meltdown. Actually, if you’ve studied the Argentinean financial collapse at all, it appears that we’re already in the first stage of it. Their collapse happened in two stages; the long slow slide into financial problems, followed by the fall over the financial cliff. Well, we’re sliding along way too good. The only thing that’s kept it from seeming worse is the government lying about the numbers.

The government is lying about the unemployment rate, saying it’s going down when the labor force participation rate is what’s really going down. The only way that they can make the unemployment rates look so good is to say that people have left the workforce, because they’re not looking for jobs. They’re also lying about inflation, leaving out food and fuel, the two costs that are rising the fastest, while showing us that manufactured goods and housing aren’t going up in price. The interesting thing is that those two figures, inflation and unemployment, are the two prime signs of economic collapse.

When Argentina had their collapse, unemployment was over 25 percent, just about the same as the United States during the great depression. In the five years of the Argentinean collapse, the cost of goods inflated by a total of 1589 percent. During the same time, salaries only increased by 230 percent. So, everyone ended up being poorer, except for those who were very wealthy to start with.

investing in precious metals

If you’re planning on investing in precious metals get started before SHTF!

Don’t invest it in anything that is measured by the American dollar though. When the dollar crashes, everything that’s based upon the dollar will crash as well. That means stocks, bonds, even property values. Most foreign currencies will follow, going down in value, as their value is tied to the dollar.

There is only one thing that historically retains value when the value of everything goes down; that’s investing in precious metals. Any time there’s an inflation, the value of gold and silver go up. That makes it the most secure investment there is, especially in troubled times.

There are a few things you should know when you start investing in precious metals:

  • First of all, the “spot price” isn’t the price you’ll pay. That’s a theoretical price for trading on the stock exchange. You’ll actually pay more than that. Compare the price of your purchase with other sellers, to verify that it is a fair price.
  • Always deal with a reputable seller, like jmbullion.com. While there are many reliable companies to deal with, there are also some unreliable ones. Make sure you check the company you are going to do business with, before committing.
  • Buying actual coins, such as old $20 gold pieces, is a more secure investment than buying collectors coins or ingots. In the past, when it was illegal for Americans to own gold, they could still own collectible coins.

The price of gold and silver fluctuate all the time, so you need to realize that when you begin investing in precious metals it is a long-term investment. Don’t be depressed if the price drops one month after you buy. Give it time and it will more recover, ultimately making you a nice profit and will be incredibly useful when paper currency is worthless.

Investing in precious metals will be one of your best decisions when preparing for the worst.

What are your thoughts on investing in precious metals, do you think having precious metals on hand will be better than paper currency when SHTF?

Comment below to join the conversation!

Where and How to Find Flint

Where and how to find flint

“Where and How to Find Flint”

Knowing where and how to find flint is a useful skill to have in a survival situation.

The two main uses of flint are :

  1. For starting fires by striking it together with steel or iron and
  2. “knapping” it (chipping it) to make arrowheads and knives.

While most people probably won’t need these skills in a survival situation, you can never be sure. It’s better to know and not need that knowledge, than to find yourself in a situation where you wish you knew.

Flint is actually a form of quartz. It occurs naturally in sedimentary rock, often as nodules in chalks and limestone. It can be black, green, white, dark grey or brown in color and is typified by a glassy or waxy appearance. It’s not as glassy as obsidian, but rather more like a dull glass. It fractures along crystalline lines, so it will pretty much always have sharp edges.

You can find flint almost anywhere that you can find stone.

While some areas of the country are more likely to have it than others, the crushed rock used to pave dirt roads often has some flint mixed in. It can also be found mixed in with other types of stone in streambeds. 

New construction sites will often unearth flint while excavating, so if you’re trying to find flint, be sure to check out any construction sites near your home.

Since flint fractures, it is important to find flint that is not shattered, but rather solid pieces.

This can be difficult, as water can get into the flint through air holes and expand when it freezes, causing the flint to crack. Flint that is uncovered during excavation for a building won’t have this problem, as it hasn’t been exposed to freezing.

Pieces of flint may not be obvious when you pick them up. In that case, you may need to break the stone open to see what’s inside. You can do this by using a larger piece of hard stone as a hammer and striking across the edge of the stone you want to break. If it is flint, this should cause a piece to flake off, allowing you to see what’s inside.

Identifying flint is easy.

Start with its appearance; if it doesn’t fracture leaving a waxy looking surface, it’s not flint. I remember hearing a survival instructor say,

“If you’re looking for flint, pick up a likely looking stone and strike it with the back of your knife. If it sparks, you found flint.”

That advice still works just as good today, as it did years ago. While there are some other types of stone which will spark when struck on a knife, only flint has the right appearance, as well as sparking when struck against a piece of steel.

If you’re looking for flint that you’re planning on using for knapping, you want to be picky about the pieces you save. Look at them closely, preferably with a magnifying glass, to see if there are any cracks air bubbles. Those air bubbles will cause the flint to fracture in ways you don’t want, so only save stones which don’t have air bubbles in them.

Have you every set out to try and find flint? If so, where did you find the flint and how long did it take?

(Comment below)

What are Survivalist Preppers

What are Survivalist Preppers

As the prepping movement has grown, it has changed as well. Preppers, especially more experienced preppers, are expanding their ideas about what it takes to be prepared. They are learning new skills and becoming more self-sufficient. Some are even buying land out in the countryside and starting homesteads; returning in many ways to the lives of our great-grandparents.

There are two terms which are bandied about the prepping movement and there seems to be a bit of confusion about the difference between the two of them. These are the words “prepper” and “survivalist”. To many people, the two terms are pretty much synonymous; but in fact, there is a true difference between the two. The difference, not surprisingly, is in how they focus on the problem of surviving a disaster.

Back when I got started in all this, there was no such thing as a prepper. We were all survivalists.  We made plans for getting out of Dodge (bugging out) if Washington ever pushed the button and tried to learn the necessary skills for surviving in the wilderness and rebuilding some semblance of society.

When I first became aware of prepping, I saw a distinct difference from the survivalist mentality I had known. Most preppers aren’t really focused on bugging-out, but rather on bugging-in. 

Their survival philosophy is based upon having the equipment and supplies to make sure they can make it, even if the rest of society collapses.

They stockpile supplies and work towards getting off-the-grid, so that even if something catastrophic were to happen, they’d be able to survive.

Even preppers who were planning on bugging-out held to the same basic prepper mentality. They would prepare their stockpiles as well, only they’d have the stockpile at their prepared bug-out retreat. They wouldn’t be planning on living off the wild, more like “bugging-in” in an out-of-the-way location.

Being a long-time survivalist, I quickly embraced the prepper mindset and started building my stockpile; even though I didn’t give up any of my woodcraft skills. But as time has gone on, I’ve seen more and more preppers adopt more of a survivalist mentality. Mostly, these are people who have been preppers a while and already have a fairly good stockpile on hand. As they continue in their preparations, they seek to learn more skills, so that they can survive, even without all those supplies.

Some preppers are building bug-out retreats, much like the survivalists of old did. Others are building bunkers under their homes; once again, copying the survivalists I knew.

So, what’s happening is that preppers are becoming more like survivalists, or becoming a “Survivalist Prepper”

Actually, this is a sensible progression. True survival requires skills, knowledge, supplies and equipment. The more of any of those you have, the better your chances of survival.

Just being a prepper isn’t the final answer, nor is just being a survivalist. Combining the two strategies together and becoming a survivalist prepper makes the most sense of all.

As the prepping movement continues to grow, I think we’ll see more and more preppers morphing into survivalist preppers. These people will have their homes ready for surviving, a prepared bug-out location ready for any emergency and the necessary skills that they can get by without either of the two.


When a crisis comes, the survivalist prepper will have a leg up on any and all others, including either preppers or survivalists.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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