Key Ways To Prep and Save Money On Your Survival Gear

Camping, hiking, and hunting can test your survival aptitude. But, of course, before heading to these activities, it’s important to equip yourself with the right knowledge and skills in order to become a true survivalist. Also, it’s crucial to prepare your gear to ensure safety and a more enjoyable overall experience.

However, premium quality survival kits and gear don’t come cheap. So check out some ways you can save money on survival equipment by reading below.

How do you save money on survival gear?

Take Advantage of Online Promos and Discounts

When going on a survival journey, make sure that you have all the right equipment to help you get through emergency and life-threatening situations. Remember that essential survival gear can make a big difference in terms of your personal safety and of the people around you. That being said, make certain that you purchase only high-quality survival equipment that can withstand harsh elements and great impacts.

One of the best ways to save money when buying essential survival gear is by using discounts or promo codes such as  Palmetto State Armory discounts. But, where can you find such?  Good thing there are promo sites that are readily accessible to make your search a lot easier.

Here are the benefits of using online discount codes or coupons when purchasing your survival gear:

  • Stack Coupons and Discounts: You can use multiple discount codes on some of your purchases. For instance, you can get a 5 percent discount on the item price of a portable water filter to ensure safe drinking water in the wild, plus a promo code for free shipping.
  • High-quality Survival Gear at a Lower Price: The best thing about using promo codes is that you don’t have to pay for the full price of premium-quality survival gear, such as survival boots, knife, and rifle. You can use your special discount codes to get them at more reasonable prices that fit your budget.
  • Save Time and Effort: Bring with you the best survival gear you purchased at a discounted price online. You don’t have to search every manufacturer’s website to get some special deals because online coupon sites serve as a one-stop shop for all your promo needs.
  • Peace of Mind: Because your survival equipment can be pricey, you are assured that you can rely on them whenever you need them, most especially during emergency situations.

Invest in High-quality Survival Gear

By spending money on quality survival gear, you can save more money in the long run. Whether you need new hunting shoes, cutting gear, binoculars, tarp, or sleeping bag, make sure to consider quality over the price. While you can save with cheap survival gear for the upfront cost, you wouldn’t want to risk your health and safety with poorly made products that easily get damaged after one or two days of use.

Here are some tips and tricks when assessing the quality of survival gear:

  • Check the Stitches: Stitching should be consistent and tough for survival gear made of fabrics, such as survival shoes, pants, jacket, and even tarp and tents.
  • Know the Make: For metal survival gear, such as a knife, rifle, and other hunting tools and supplies, make sure that they don’t rust right away, and maintenance should be minimal.
  • Know the Functions: For devices, such as cooking tools, ensure that you purchase one with multiple functions allowing you to save resources, like cookware that allows frying, boiling, baking, and steaming food at the same time.
What to look for in high quality survival gear.

Testing and Proper Use of Survival Gear

You don’t have to purchase new survival gear every time. By investing in high-quality items and taking care of them through testing and proper use will surely save you a lot of money over a long period of time.

When choosing the best survival gear, you need to prioritize food, fire, shelter, and water. Make sure that your survival kit carry items that meet your basic needs. Also, you need tools that aid in security, self-defense, stealth, and shelter building. However, make sure that you also know how to use these equipment to avoid self-injury or causing harm to other people as well as to wildlife

Here are some tips when testing and using survival gear:

  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions regarding proper use and maintenance tips.
  • Check the duration of battery-operated devices to ensure they will last for a couple of days before they need recharging. Solar chargers are very helpful in the wild.
  • Watch video tutorials or join survival courses to learn how to use survival tools and equipment properly and efficiently, and to develop and enhance your survival skills.

Conclusion There’s no secret in survival–you just ought to survive no matter what. But, you need to be prepared with the right tools and survival gear, along with the right survival knowledge and skills. Of course, the prices of survival tools and equipment can be tough on your budget, but using promo codes can help. Also, investing in high-quality survival gear and using them properly can save you money in the long run. 

17 Life Hacks Camping Tips that Will Save You Time and Money

Camping trips take a lot of organizing.

Storage space, unpredictable weather, and food supplies are just some of the things you have to consider when preparing a trip to the great outdoors.

This list of 17 life hack camping tips from GuideCool will tell you exactly what materials you need and how to put them together for the best trip possible.

Camping Hack #1 – Keep Your Keys Safe with Cork

Camping Hack #1 Keep Your Keys Safe with Cork

If you plan on being near the water on your camping trip then get on board with this simple but effective trick.

Gone are the days of watching your keys fall to the bottom of the lake.

Plus, attaching an old wine bottle cork to your key ring takes less than a minute.

What Do You need?

A screw eye

A cork

How Do You Do It?

Simply twist the screw eye into the cork. Then attach your key-ring and you’ve got a buoyant set of keys.

Camping Hack #2 – Light up Your Tent with a Water Bottle Lantern

Camping Hack #2 Light up Your Tent with a Water Bottle Lantern

A water bottle lantern will easily light up your camping tent or camping area with minimal fuss.

What Do You Need?

A head torch

A water bottle

Clear tape

How Do You Do It?

Firstly make sure the water bottle is full of water. Then point the torch into the bottle.

Once you have the best angle that gives you the lightest, attach the torch to the bottle with clear tape.

Camping Hack #3 – Use a Bowl Speaker to Increase the Volume of Your Music

Camping Hack #3 Use a Bowl Speaker to Increase the Volume of Your Music

Most camping fans listen to music or podcasts through our phones from time to time, but the sound is never loud enough for a group. Luckily, this simple hack changes that.

What Do You Need?

Smartphone

Camping Bowl

How Do You Do It?

Place your phone with the music or podcast playing into the bowl.

The key here is to point the phone’s speaker towards the bottom of the bowl.

The sound waves then reverberate around the bowl as it acts as a speaker, filling the air with sound.

Camping Hack #4 – Use a Watering Can Shower to Wash off the Day’s Activities

Camping Hack #4 Use a Watering Can Shower to Wash off the Day’s Activities

Smelling fresh and staying clean on a camping trip can be tricky, especially if you spend a few nights in the wild.

However, this homemade shower means the beauty of adventure doesn’t have to mean sacrificing hygiene.

Watering cans can take up valuable packing space, so it’s a good idea to use them for storage while they aren’t being used.

Packing them up with your bathroom products or plastic-wrapped foods like pasta works perfectly.

What Do You Need?

A good-sized watering can

Bungee Cord

How Do You Do It?

Fill the watering can full of water and put it out in the sun.

You can even leave it by your camp in the morning before you head out for the day.

When you get back your warm shower will be ready.

Your challenge is to find a place to hang the watering can at an angle so it pours the water evenly.

Loop the bungee cord through the handle. Then find a tree branch above head height to attach it to.

As the water slows down, simply move the bungee further along the handle to create an angle so the water keeps on flowing.

Camping Hack #5 – Keep Your Clothes Fresh with a DIY Washing Machine

Camping Hack #5 Keep Your Clothes Fresh with a DIY Washing Machine

Camping trips are almost always full of activities. And, while long hikes and kayak trips down river create amazing memories, they also create dirty clothes.

Luckily, this simple washing machine will have your t-shirts and shorts feeling home washed in no time.

What Do You Need?

A standard bathroom plunger

Water Container (Size varies on storage space)

Knife

How Do You Do It?

The water container can be of any size.

Big18 liter water buckets are perfect because the water really gets to move around.

However, standard plastic washing up basins also works well.

It all depends on how much space you have for storage.

Once you have the container, fill it up halfway with water and some laundry detergent. (Baking Soda is a great camping substitute for detergent).

Let your clothes soak for 10 minutes while you prepare the plunger.

Using the knife, cut six evenly spaced holes in the plunger.

They should be the size of the top of your thumb. About half an inch around.

Then start sloshing around the water with your plunger washing machine! The average item of clothing takes about 10 minutes to clean.

Camping Hack #6 – Eat Like a King (Even if it’s wet) on this Swedish Fire Stove

Camping Hack #6 Eat Like a King (Even if it’s wet) on this Swedish Fire Stove

The Scandinavians know their fair share about surviving outdoors. This Swedish Fire Stove can be premade and then used if the weather takes a turn for the worst.

What Do You Need?

Six logs of wood

Strong Wire

Wood Shavings

Fire Lighters

How Do You Do It?

You can either buy the wood before you go or go out looking for it once you’re at your campsite.

Either way, you will need six logs of a similar height.

Place the logs together so they make a circle and bound them with wire.

The key here is to leave enough space in the center of the logs to place your firelighters and wood shavings.

Mix the firelighters and wood shavings together before you push them into the center of the six logs. This way, when you come to light them you won’t have any trouble starting a flame.

You can also store the fire starter mix away from the logs until you use them together.

Once the flame is lit you can expect your stove to be ready in around 30 minutes. During this time you may need to gently blow into the logs to stoke the fire.

The logs will start burning within the center and create an enclosed heat perfect for cooking on. So just place your pot or pan on top of your stove and enjoy your meal!

Camping Hack #7 – Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with this Banana + Mars Bar Dessert

Camping Hack #7 Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with this Banana + Mars Bar Dessert

After a long day in the woods, there’s nothing better than a sweet bite of this campsite dessert. Plus, the banana offers a great source of magnesium to help with muscle recovery.

What Do You Need?

Bananas

Tin Foil

Mars Bars

How Do You Do It?

Make a cut in the banana from the top to the bottom. Do not cut all the way through.

Slice the Mars Bar into slivers. Then push the slivers inside the banana.

Wrap the Mars Bar filled banana in tin foil and then place into the fire. Try not to eat in 2 seconds!

Camping Hack #8 – Save time and Boost Energy with Pre-made Oats

Camping Hack #8 Save time and Boost Energy with Pre-made Oats

Oats are an amazing carbohydrate packed full of B-vitamins that help to metabolize your energy so you can keep going way past lunchtime.

It can be tiresome preparing them every day, however, so follow this guide for a tasty and convenient breakfast.

What Do You Need?

A Ziplock Bag or Jar

Rolled oats

Your favorite dried berries and fruit

Your favorite nuts and/or seeds

A dollop of honey

How Do You Do It?

There are two options. You can either make a large batch and store it all in one container, or make separate daily rations.

In both cases, you mix at a ratio of:

1 cup of rolled oats

Half a handful of berries/Fruit

Half a handful of Nuts/Seeds

A teaspoon of Honey In the morning, add two cups of water for every cup of mix. Heat gently and stir until your desired consistency is reached.

Camping Hack #9 – Take Corn Chips for Food and Fire

Camping Hack #9 Take Corn Chips for Food and Fire

Corn chips are cheap and, like all good camping hacks, are useful in more than one way.

We all know they are great for a trail snack on a long hike, but actually they make a decent backup for firelighters as well.

What Do You Need?

Corn Chips of any variety

How do You Do It?

The eating part is pretty straightforward, obviously. And actually so is the fire part.

Corn chips will burn a little slower than matches if you put a flame to them. Perfect for using inside your Swedish Wood Stove or tucked under some kindling in a traditional fire.

Camping Hack #10 – Throw Your Beans in the Fire, Get in the Cowboy Spirit

Camping Hack #10 Throw Your Beans in the Fire, Get in the Cowboy Spirit

This little camping hack dates way back to the American frontier, because cowboys didn’t much like washing plates either.

A tin of beans will go straight in the fire and start bubbling when they’re ready.

What Do You Need?

An open fire

How Do You Do It?

Peirce the top of the can with a knife. This gives the heat inside the can somewhere to go and stops the contents inside from burning.

It also acts as a whistle to let you know when they’re boiling.

Place your can of beans on the edge of the fire and wait.

Also, remember to use a wet cloth or a pair of tongs when you take the can back out of the fire.

Camping Hack #11 – Pack Vinegar for the Ultimate Multi-Purpose Cleaner

Camping Hack #11 Pack Vinegar for the Ultimate Multi-Purpose Cleaner

Vinegar is one of those special substances that can do everything.

First and foremost it’s a great cleaner because of its acidity.

It’s perfect for camping because it’s non-toxic, so you can freely clean with it without having to worry about your effect on the surrounding environment.

The same cannot be said about most generic cleaning agents.

What do You Need?

White vinegar is best for cleaning because it doesn’t have much of a smell.

Darker vinegars still work great but if you don’t like the smell of vinegar you may want to avoid them.

How Do You Do It?

If your cool box or any cooking equipment starts to smell, empty it out and soak it in undiluted vinegar.

After an hour or so wash it out with water and the bad smell will be gone.

If you have a propane lantern you can soak the wicks in vinegar for half a day and expect your lantern to burn brighter and longer that evening.

Camping Hack #12 – Use Candle Wax to Un-Jam Zips

Camping Hack #12 Use Candle Wax to Un-Jam Zips

There are few more irritating things than a jammed up sleeping bag zip.

Apart from maybe a jammed up tent zip.

The process of delicately trying to move the zip without breaking either your sleeping bag or tent door can be a painful one.

Luckily, that spare candle you packed can get rid of this problem forever.

What Do You Need?

Any candle, preferably unscented. You want the wax to be as pure as possible.

How Do You Do It?

Gently rub the wax onto the jammed area.

Then gently move the zip up and down. The wax will act as a lubricant and help you to slide the zip to safety. Do not use too much wax initially. This can lead to the wax itself jamming the zip.

Camping Hack #13 – Stop Stifling Hot Mornings with an Emergency Blanket

Camping Hack #13 Stop Stifling Hot Mornings with an Emergency Blanket

Waking up in a hot, sticky tent can take the fun right out of camping.

There is a really simple way of making life a lot more bearable when the sun beats down through the trees, or if you’re staying in an open campsite.

What Do You Need?

An emergency blanket (Foil Wrapped)

Reflective blanket

How Do You Do It?

Place the blanket over the tent where you expect the sun to hit in the morning.

You can use more than one although consider the weight and how it may affect your tent’s structure.

Well placed, the reflective blanket will keep the sun at bay until you’re good and ready to start your day.

Camping Hack #14 – Keep the Mosquitoes Away by Burning Sage

Camping Hack #14 Keep the Mosquitoes Away by Burning Sage

Burning sage is an effective and natural alternative to keeping mosquitoes away from your campsite.

The plant has also been found to clear almost all bacteria from the air, creating a much cleaner and hygienic living area.

What Do You Need?

Sage leaves. Bundles of sage are available to buy online for less than $4.

How Do You Do It?

Light the sage and blow gently so it begins to smoke.

Then place your bundle near to where you are sitting so the smoke wards off any mosquitoes.

Camping Hack #15 – Stop the itching from bug bites with household items

Camping Hack #15 Stop the itching from bug bites with household items

It’s never fun getting bitten by a mosquito, especially when you forgot to pack a soothing gel and the itchy pain won’t go away.

Interestingly, there are loads of household items that will help to soothe the irritation. Below is a list of the most effective ones.

What Do You Need?

Vapour Rub – The Eucalyptus extract helps to soothe.

Aspirin – Salicylic Acid is an anti-inflammatory

Thousand Island Dressing – This really works! How? It’s just one of life’s big mysteries.

How Do You Do It?

Crush the aspirin down with water to make a paste and then cover the bite.

The vapor rub and dressing can be gently applied to the area.

Camping Hack #16 – Store Your Seasoning in Tic Tac Boxes and Make Your Campfire Food Taste Great

Camping Hack #16 Store Your Seasoning in Tic Tac Boxes and Make Your Campfire Food Taste Great

Slow cooking on a campfire is one of the best ways to eat food.

So it makes a lot of sense to bring your favorite spices and seasoning with you.

The problem is that they often come in odd-shaped bottles and are prone to spill.

That’s why those refreshing little mints provide excellent storage cases for travel-size seasoning supplies.

What Do You Need?

Empty tic tac boxes

A marker pen for labels

Elastic band

How Do You Do It?

Fill the little boxes with your chosen delights and label them.

Store them by tying them together with an elastic band.

Camping Hack #17 – Use an Old Tool Belt to Keep your Camping Essentials Organized

Camping Hack #17 Use an Old Tool Belt to Keep your Camping Essentials Organized

It’s so easy to forget where you put the torch when you need to leave the tent at midnight.

An old tool belt is a brilliant camping hack when it comes to storing your essential items.

Plus, it’s a reusable item that’s just been sitting in the garage collecting dust in its many useful pockets.

What Do You Need?

A multi-pocketed tool belt.

How Do You Do It?

Make a list of the items you think you will need the most during your trip.

That will depend on the type of trip, but in most environments, you’re going to want a torch, a knife and some rope tucked into the conveniently place pockets of your new storage system.

Conclusion

Little improvements to your camping experience can make a huge difference to your enjoyment and safety in the great outdoors.

Preparation is everything.

We hope these 17 Lifehack camping tips will set you up for a great trip and remember to share them with other people on the trail.

Bio

I am Jacob, the man behind GuideCool. I’m an incredibly enthusiastic (my friends would say nigh-on fanatical!) outdoors person and spend a lot of my time either in the mountains or planning my next trip. And my wife? She is passionate about seeing new places, meeting the people who live there, and immersing herself in another culture. We create GuideCool to share our travel life with others. I hope you enjoy our 17 life hacks camping tips.



 

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Throughout the year we will be posting some of our favorite Survival Quotes, we hope you enjoy and SHARE them.

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People will do amazing things to ensure their survival
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How To Choose The Best Instant Tent For Camping

How To Choose The Best Instant Tent For Camping

Instant tents take the hassle out of camping due to how easy they are to carry around and set up. However, with a few different types available, it can be tough picking one for yourself. In this article, we’re going to help you make the right choice when it comes to instant tents, and cover all the basics that you need to know. 

Instant Tents – What Are The Benefits? 

Ease of Use

Instant tents are just what they sound like – they can be pitched in no time at all, thanks to the fact that there are poles already attached to the body. Hence, even first-timers can set up camp without anyone’s aid or having to read through a manual. 

Price

An instant tent for camping can vary in price from cheap to very expensive, depending on the brand and the size. As a result, you can find several that fit your budget. 

Time-Saving

Imagine there’s a storm approaching and you need to set up a shelter as soon as possible. With regular tents, there’s a high probability of you getting soaked before you’re done pitching them. If you’ve got an instant tent, on the other hand, you’ll be done in less than a minute!

Freestanding

This means that you’re able to pitch an instant tent on any terrain without needing to stake it down. As a result, you can always adjust the position if necessary. However, when winds are particularly strong, it may be a good idea to go ahead and pin the tent down with stakes.

What Size Is Right For You? 

Instant tents come in both large and small sizes. If you go camping with friends or family, then it might be better to go with the former. However, that isn’t the only reason to go for a larger tent. If you’ve got claustrophobia, for instance, the extra space can help you feel more comfortable.  

The only drawbacks with larger tents are that they tend to be pricier and can be harder to carry around.

Which Type Of Instant Tent Should You Pick?

Which Type Of Instant Tent Should You Pick?

There are two main types of instant tents to choose from – cabin and dome. Let’s take a look at each:

Cabin Tents

These come in either square or rectangular shapes (hence the name) and are usually able to house anywhere from 6 to 12 people. In addition, cabin tents usually have tall ceilings, allowing people to walk around without having to hunch. In addition, the roof is made out of mesh materials, which means that you can stargaze at night. 

Typically, cabin tents come fixed with strong poles that can stand their own against the roughest winds. On the flip side, cabin tents do come with a couple of downsides. First of all, they’re quite heavy to carry around. Secondly, they can’t be repaired easily if something breaks. Due to the size, it may be difficult for just one person to pitch a cabin tent without help. 

Dome Tents

These are much smaller than cabin tents, meaning that you can’t walk around in them comfortably. However, there are quite a few pros to having these type of tents. For starters, they can be set up in a minute or so, while cabin tents take longer. Plus they’re lighter as well, while still being able to withstand rough winds. Furthermore, they just require one person to set up.

At the same time, there are a couple of negatives, like being unable to take them apart to make it easier to carry. In addition, you have to keep it fixed in the ground while it dries.

Instant Tents With Screened Porches

You’ll come across instant tents that contain screened porches. These are ideal for summer and spring camping because you can let in some sunlight without having to open up any flaps. Hence, you don’t need to worry about bugs getting inside the tent.

Are Fast Pitch And Instant Tents The Same?

Even though the names sound similar, fastpitch tents are not the same as instant tents. In fact, there are quite a few differences between the two. The biggest is that the fastpitch is faster to set up. This is due to the fact that the poles are pre-assembled inside the body, unlike instant tents. In addition, most fastpitch tent models come equipped with a hub as well. 

In Summary

Instant tents can make campers’ lives much easier, considering all that they offer. To begin with, they’re very quick and easy to set up – so much so that even amateurs can make do without any instructions. In addition, they are freestanding and come in a variety of price ranges and sizes. 

The two types – cabin and dome are suited for different scenarios. The former is more suited for larger groups while the latter is perfect for the single camper. 

Lost In The Wild: Survival Skills That You Can Always Depend On

A close friend who was reported missing for several days made it back and recounted his ordeals in the Amazon. Surely, he would not have returned alive if he hadn’t some survival skills. Not many people hope to be lost in the wild. People may lose their way for many reasons such as hunting or hiking in unfamiliar locations, after some mishap of shipwreck or air crash, or even a war situation. Sometimes, one could even decide to get lost in the wild just to test his ability to survive!

Lost in the wild: Survival skills that you can always depend on

You owe your survival in the wild to two major factors: Luck and your survival skills. If you do not want to gamble with your life, then you should acquire some basic skills in preparation for any sticky situation. Below are ten survival skills that should get you going:

Skill #1: Constructing a Shelter

Constructing a shelter helps you in several ways. It shields you from the harshness associated with the wilderness. Life is easily taken out by hypothermia than starvation or dehydration. You can build your shelter by leaning logs of woods against the main structure and then pile debris from the ground and leaves on top of it. You generally need some tools when building a shed. Ensure that the ground of the shelter is dry (probably spread with dry leaves). Your shelter should be designed in such a manner that it protects you from the cold ground, open-air and wind.

Skill #2: How to Find a Source of Water

Once you are in the wild, the first thing you should do is to find water. Bodies of water are always located in earth depressions or valley between mountains. The reason is that water flows downhill. Let your compass be your guide as you wander away from your base where you have always constructed a temporary shelter.

Where water is not located, you then have to dig up the earth in the valley a foot deep or more and place lined leaves or a piece of clothing inside it to filter the water as it gradually fills the small pit.

Skill # 3: How to Search for Food

In terms of surviving while lost in the wild, one has to source for food to replenish the out-burning calories in the body. Although human beings can stay for weeks without food, there is still the need to eat to get refreshed with needed energy.

Think of food that you could easily find in the wild. However, if you had found a large body of water, using your fishing hook to get fresh fishes for protein readily comes to mind. Besides this, you can make some animal traps in the forest. Other tips to finding food include tracing of trees that have edible inner bark. The wild is filled with such trees. Your knowledge of some local nut trees makes it easier for you to find them in the wild.

Skill #4: Igniting a Fire

Your ability to make fires while in the wild is essential. Fire would give you warmth. When you are wet or in a chilling cold night, five to ten minutes of warmth from the fire can save you from possible death caused by hypothermia. Striking one stone against the other over dried and rusty leaves severally in quick succession will spark off the fire. It is more advisable to acquire the easier method of making fire, which is through the bow drill skill. As soon as a fire is made, keep it burning throughout the night and the days that follow. Fire will help you make food, keep you warm, and scare away predators.

Your ability to make fires while in the wild is essential.

Skill #5: Sending Smoke Signals

Remember the stories of ancient Red Indians, who were skilled in sending messages across miles with sending clouds of smoke into the atmosphere?  You do not have to be like the Red Indians anyway. All you need to do is to choke your fire with dried leaves to send up cloudy smoke into the atmosphere during the day. This will enable possible rescuers to spot your location in the wilderness easily.

Allow the upward flow of smoke to rise consistently into the air when you are trying to attract attention and help. This smoking skill is normally done in broad daylight upon mountaintops.

Skill #6: Water Discipline

There might be a scarcity of water, especially if you find yourself in desert prone areas. All you need to do is to maintain a high degree of water discipline, which means drinking one or two mouthfuls of water and carrying it for a very long time before taking another gulp of water.

Surviving in the wild requires taking drastic measures as well. Perhaps, you may have no option than to drink your urine in places where there is an absolute lack of water.

Skill #7: Self-Disguising

An enemy might be lurking around the forest. You need to disguise yourself by hanging on some green leave around your body. As you move around the greenish bush on green leaves, you will be hardly noticed. You may need to rub your face and hands with either mud or charcoal.

Skill #8: Herbal Knowledge

Good knowledge and use of medicinal herbs is yet another skill you need to acquire. Knowing where to source for these herbs in the wild will help you boost your immune system against fever and infections.

Skill #9: Follow Water

Life largely depends on water. So if you ever find where there a stream or river, follow its flow. Chances are that you are likely going to meet a settlement of people who depend on the river for their survival.

Skill #10: Maps and Compass Reading

Reading of maps with a compass will be very helpful while navigating your way in the wild. This tool never disappoints, as it continues to work under any sort of weather condition. Even where you do not know how to read a map or use the compass, you just have to follow the tip pointing to the North Pole to get to your destination. Sometimes, you may climb a high ground to see where you are heading.

The Eleventh Skill – The Survival Tools/Weapons: You will require a tool or more to complete each of the above mentioned tasks. Most importantly, you need some sort of weapon to defend yourself when the need arises. Since you cannot carry a big box of tools and weapons around, I’d recommend you always carry a portable survival knife with you. Knifing skills should be the first anyone should acquire in preparation for survival in any environment. Quality is a very important factor to consider when choosing a multipurpose knife. Only the best survival knife can be used to cut sticks and thick tree barks, catch fishes, dig holes, tear meat, fight off predators and help you through any sticky situation.  I have a personal resolve to always carry a good pocket knife along with me.

In summary, you’re better off not getting lost at all. But should you miss your way in the wild at any time, with these basic skills, you stand a chance of returning alive with an interesting survival story.

Survival Supply Caches: A Brief Introduction

During emergencies and disasters, having the ability to leave your home while still having easy access to the most important supplies is necessary. This makes it essential to have a good survival supply cache complete with all the supplies that you need in any emergency situation. With a survival cache around, you will have easy access to supplies that you can’t carry or store inside a bug-out bag.

pvc burial cache vault

Why Do You Need a Survival Supply Cache?

A survival supply cache can be defined as a well-hidden stash or stockpile of survival items or supplies. It contains a collection of additional supplies that you want to reserve or hide only to access them at the exact moment that you need them. There are several reasons why you need to use survival caches.

One reason is that it ensures that all your survival supplies will not just be in a single location. It allows you to spread the supplies in unique and concealed spots. With this, you can lower your risk of losing all your supplies in case one site is compromised because of a disaster or emergency.

Another reason why a survival supply cache is necessary is that it helps support a bug out. Putting it in a strategic location can offer additional supplies together with your bug-out route. This is beneficial as it makes your survival backpack weigh less while still giving you the chance to restock critical bug-out supplies and gears, including ammo, water, and foods.

Having the cache around will also prevent you from losing the entirety of your survival stash in case someone reaches that spot when you are not around. You just have to make sure that you create your survival supply cache considering all important factors. One factor to consider in creating the cache is the specific container that you will use.

Your goal is to find a container that is strong enough that it can keep all the supplies inside fully protected from the harshest elements. It is also necessary to think about the ideal places or spots to hide the cache and the best methods to bury and hide it. Also, make sure to create a cache that adapts well to your specific geographical location. Note that various environments also need a different set of practices for creating the cache.

Of course, you also need to determine the key supplies that you should add to the cache. Decide on the specific number of items that you should store in the cache, too.

Survival Cache Supplies

So what should you put inside your survival cache? Here are just some of the most vital supplies:

  • Medical Supplies – There is no need to build a cache filled with all the medical supplies that you can think of. You just have to cover the essentials, like the ones needed to provide first aid. Among the medical supplies you can include in the cache are sterilizers, bandages, as well as basic over-the-counter medicines that can raise your chance of surviving a disaster.

Note that during disasters, there is a high risk of dealing with a short supply of medicines. This might cause even those basic infections to become deadly, so it is best to prepare for it. Aside from having medical supplies, it also helps to have a dental emergency kit inside the cache.

  • Fire Starter – You need a fire starter in case you have to spend several days away from your home. It is even considered as the ultimate survival tool. With that in mind, do not forget to fill your survival cache with lighters, strikers, and waterproof matches.
  • Artificial Light – This is necessary during night and low-light survival situations. Store a quality flashlight and a set of batteries inside your cache. It also helps to have some candles inside. Other sources of artificial lights that can help you during survival situations are gas lanterns and fuel.
  • Ammo and Guns – Note that situations requiring you to open up your cache are usually those that require you to prioritize your own defense or protection. This is why you should also consider having ammo and guns inside your chosen container. The good thing about tucking ammo and guns inside the cache is that it can prevent you from worrying about firearm confiscation.
  • Food – Of course, you also need a good supply of food during survival situations so it helps to have some of them stored in your cache. Storing some food in the cache can help ensure that you will still have an adequate supply of it in case your primary food supply becomes inaccessible or gets stolen. Make sure that the supply is enough until you have a new source of food secured.
  • Water – There should also be a water filter bottle, which is a space-friendly supply in case you live close to a source of water, like a lake or stream. It also helps to pack some bottled water.
  • Utility Items – Your survival supply cache should also contain some utility items. Some examples of these items are sharp knives, multi-tool, duct tape, 550 cords, and steel pot designed to cook food. The knives and cords are ideal items to put in the bin or box’s odd corners.

The cooking pot is also a wise addition to your cache because it can provide space where you can put some gears. The multi-tool is a big help in overcoming the most challenging and realistic scenarios that might happen during a disaster or emergency.

Where to Hide your Survival Supply Cache?

Note that your survival supply cache should be created and hidden in a way that you can use and access it in case you can’t reach your bug-out bag or when it is stolen. One of the best places to hide it is along the road where you can reach your bug-out location. It should be a secluded place to avoid drawing attention when you are trying to get it.

You may also put the cache inside your home. Make sure that it is hidden from view. This is a big help in case your home gets looted, allowing you to have ready supplies to hunker down. Also, take note that you can just choose to bury the cache inside a hole. You may then camouflage it.

Another way to keep the cache concealed is to spray paint its container in a way that it blends with the trees or foliage. You can then conceal it behind vines, inside a hollowed tree, or any other place that only you can see and access.

Conclusion

Your survival supply cache serves as a supplement to your survival or bug-out bag. It is meant to give you almost all the supplies you need during a survival situation when you can’t access the primary source of your essentials. With the cache around, you have a higher chance of surviving any emergency.

5 Essential Tips on Surviving Your First Hiking Trip

Hiking is literally not a walk in the park. It involves walking on trails of various terrains, elevations, and steepness. Given the right weather conditions and preparations, even a couch potato can successfully complete or even enjoy a hike.

Tips to surviving your first hike

The beauty and tranquility that can be offered by Mother Nature is usually a great way to dilute the stress of the daily grind. However, there are certain considerations that you must keep in mind to reduce untoward incidents––and have as much fun as you possibly can.

If you are a novice hiker, you might be at a loss on how to go about it. The list below shares what’s essential for your very first hike––in order of importance.

1. Choose a Trail that is Suited to Your Fitness Level

The best way to increase your chances of surviving any endeavor is to carefully plan ahead. Hence, if you wish to make your first hiking trip memorable in the right way, you must choose a trail that suits your current fitness level.

Given that most hikers post great photos of their adventures, it can be easy to underestimate the trail level if you just rely on “Instagrammable” views. Here are some of the things that you should take note of when you do your trail research:

  • Trail difficulty and trail type
  • Trail length
  • Elevation gain
  • Hiker reviews
  • Best months to go

Once you start your hike, make sure that you don’t rush into it. Pacing is vital to a successful hike. You are not in a competition—you are here to enjoy what’s around yo

2. Prepare an Appropriate Hiking Pack

The contents of your hiking pack will depend on the weather and the season you’re currently in. Outdoorcommand has a number of buyer’s guides to help you choose which gears are best suited for your upcoming adventure. Here are the bare essentials that must you must bring with you in any hike:

  • Daypack: 20L to 35L capacity should be enough, though you can go for bigger ones if you eventually plan to level up.
  • Water Bottle or Hydration Pack: The general rule is 500mL of water for every hour of hiking.
  • Trail Food: Go for food items that don’t need cooking, such as dried fruits, energy bars, biscuits, and nuts.
  • Headlamp or Flashlight: You may not plan on night hiking, but you never know when it would come handy.
  • Multi-tool or Knife: These will always prove to be useful at one point or another.
  • Navigation Device: This can be a compass, a map, or a GPS device. The trail may be well-labeled, but it’s better to be prepared.
  • First Aid Kit: Include antihistamines, antiseptics, bandages, pain killers, and tweezers, just to name a few.
  • Extra Clothes: Weather conditions can be unpredictable, so you’re better off bringing some extra clothes.

3. Wear the Right Clothes

It might be tempting to choose stylish clothes just to look good on your photos, but you will be sorry if you wear the wrong clothes and footwear to your hike. For clothes, go for moisture-wicking fabrics and wool (for cold weather hikes) as these materials dry quickly.

Wear the proper hiking clothes and equipment

You should also bring sun protection accessories such as hats and sunglasses if you are hiking in the heat. Make sure that you do your research on the best hiking clothes for men and women so that you’re well-protected when hiking day comes.

4. Fuel and Hydrate Adequately

The importance of hydrating before, during, and after the hike cannot be stressed enough. Additionally, snacks can also keep you going when you’re already feeling weak. Make sure that you also pack a “victory snack,” or the snack that you will eat at the end of the hike. This will serve as your reward for a job well done.

5. Follow Outdoor Etiquette

“Leave No Trace” is probably the most widely known outdoor etiquette in existence. It just simply means that you should clean up after yourself, and leave the trails exactly as you found it––or even better than you found it, if you chanced upon it in bad condition.

Be considerate of other people and the wildlife that live in the area. As the saying goes, “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.”

Conclusion

Even if it might take a lot of physical effort, hiking can be a tremendously rewarding experience. The key to surviving hikes is to ensure that you know exactly what you are getting yourself into. If you are fully prepared for the challenges of the trails, you’d surely enjoy your first hiking trip.

SHTF Essentials – A Comprehensive Bug Out Bag List

A bug out bag is basically pack of survival items that you can easily carry around with, especially with the aim of reaching your bug out location. The bug out backpack has to be resilient and comfortable enough for you to carry around, at least for 72 hours. The main reason of having a bug out bag is so that you can easily evacuate if there’s a need.  

What would you pack in your Bugout bag?

To have the ‘BEST’ bug out bag, you need to have an awesome bag, and the bug out bag contents has to be planned as well. This would mean you need a comprehensive bug out bag list. Having a quality bug out bag is only half the battle, you need suitable survival gears and survival skills to face the situation.  

Do note, you can further split this into categories too such as children’s Bug out bag or even a bug out bag for the elderly! There’s no hard and fast rule as to how you should pack your bug out bag, but I’ll raise some of the common items everyone should consider putting in their bug out bag.

In my view, there are some fundamental items your bag should contain, and you can customize your bag for different emergency situations.

Important Rules

The purpose of making a bug out bag list is so that you will have a clear idea of what you need (making a distinction between your wants and needs). Although we don’t know what the future holds, you can’t be bringing too many things. There’s no way you can carry it for long hours.  

The goal is to keep only items that help you become self-sufficient, surviving various situations. You don’t need to stuff any fancy shmancy tools that you don’t use. With that said, let’s see what are the top items you need for your bug out bag. 

1. Water

Water is placed number 1 because of its importance. Without getting proper water supply, your success of surviving a bug-out situation will drastically decrease.  I would suggest prioritizing the need to get good water supply before even thinking about food. Especially if you are caught in hot weather, you may suffer from dehydration.

Water can be seen in 2 aspects, (1) Storage and (2) purification.

For Storage, you can use water bottles or even sealed pouches. The water bottle you choose should be solid and has no paint or coating.

Ideally, you should keep 3 liters of water in your bag because it’s suggested that one adult should drink at least 1 liter of water per day. Since you are aiming to survive for 72 hours, you’ll need 3 liters.

You can even get a Platypus Bladder, where most of them has holsters for a bladder container which you can use to store water and drink from it. Make sure to get one that is easily collapsible so that you can store it with ease when you are not using it.

For Purification, you can keep some iodine tablets or some other device to filter the water.

You need to pick your water purification tablets wisely because there are a huge range of products in the market, manufactured for different needs. For example, some tablets are made to purify water you obtain from rivers.

Alternatively, you can pack water filters such as LifeStraw. They are often compact, which makes packing them easy.

To kill two birds with one stone, I would suggest storing a backpack stove because they are an excellent tool for cooking water and food. Let’s be real, it’s extremely time consuming to get an A-frame logwood to ignite. This would be highly dependent on your surroundings as well, if the temperature is cold or its drizzling, the probability of you successfully setting up a campfire would fall drastically.

Since water is heavy, you need to consider how to balance the need to pack clean water, and getting water purifiers as substitute.

2. Food

Next, you may want to ensure that you have enough food supply. There are several criteria to consider, including how long the food can last, how much energy content does it contain and what nutrients it has.

You definitely need to keep some food supply packed in your bug out bag to keep your body healthy and obtain stamina. You should definitely consider the weight of the food as well.

If you live in a rural setting, you can consider packing hunting gears so that you can hunt animals as a source of food when you are en route to your bug out location.

If you don’t want to make things complicated, you can just get any energy bars that is jam-packed with calories. If you want to be more careful with what food you pack, you can check out this list of food which I recommend having:  

Energy bars – It’s important that you distinguish between a food bar, a ration bar and even a candy bar. Candy bar is self-explanatory, so I’ll skip that.

Ration bars are often packed in mylar, which are made of a combination of flour, vitamins and electrolytes. Ration bars usually have a bland taste, made to address a particular emergency situation.

Since there are many types and flavors in the market, you need to test them out to see which one you like. You can check out Mayday Apple Cinnamon Bar which come in individual packets and they come with specific flavours. Or, you can even choose the Datrex 3600 Food Ration Bar which comes with multiple bars with each sub-packaged to ensure freshness.

Some do not consider this as food for your bug out bag because they are designed to save lives (such as being stored in lifeboats).  But to me, they are fundamental items you should store as well.

For Food bars, they are portable bars which taste better than ration bars. Most of them taste like candy or even cookies. These bars are made to give you energy and sufficient nutrition as well. However, ration bars tend to give more nutrients because they are ‘made’ that way.

You can check out Clif Bars to get food bars that have a good source of protein and fiber.

MREs – Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) or “wet food” often taste better than energy bars. Also, most MREs are made to last for years. If you would like to prioritize long-term storage, MREs would be your top pick.

However, your body may have some reactions to MREs if you are not used to consuming them. This can be solved by getting your body used to it. 

Dehydrated Food – Dehydrated foods are excellent for long-term storage but they are a bit pricey. Dehydrated food requires a reasonable amount of water to re-constitute, which cause you to use-up some clean water-supply.

Mountain House is THE company to look out for when it comes to dehydrated food. They are known for producing survival food kits and dehydrated food that taste awesome!

Pack your bugout bag to survive

3. Clothing

Clothing comes hand in hand with shelter, because both of them are aimed to protect you from external elements.

Although there are various disaster scenarios that you may be caught in, you can still reasonably predict what environment you will be in when Shit Hit the Fan.

To make your thought-system more systematic, you can think of what layer of clothing you need to pack for.

For myself, I would like to see it as Base Layer Clothing, Mid-layer clothing and outer-layer clothing. Each layer has different functions and purposes.

The base layer is meant to keep your body as dry as possible. This means that getting a fabric that easily absorbs moisture would be ideal. Keeping your body dry throughout the bug out scenario is important to avoid bacterial growth and it helps keep you comfortable. I’ll suggest that you use cotton or wool for base layer clothing.   

For mid-layer clothing, its purpose is to help maintain your body temperature. Therefore, it’s important that you get a mid-layer clothing with good insulative qualities. For this layer, the materials which you can look out for is cotton, wool and fleece.

The Outer layer should be waterproof and durable but allows moisture to escape. One excellent material you can consider is jackets that are coated with membrane.

With that said, here are some general ideas for what clothes you need to pack – spare clothes, long pants, coat, boots, extra socks, mid-layer shirts and a hat.

4.Shelter                                                                                                                                                                                           

In your bug out bag, you need to include some type of shelter to protect your body from external elements. You can either pack a tarpaulin sheet, a tent or a sleeping bag.

Tents are really comfortable to be in, but they are heavy and bulky. Try to get a tent that weighs less than 5 lbs so that you won’t go overboard on the weight.

If you are looking for something more portable, you can opt for tarps. Since you can set them up into different configurations, they are definitely more feasible to be used in most situations.

Since ‘shelter’ include anything that protects your body from external elements, it will include fire starting kits as well.

A general list of items you can consider include a space blankets (first aid blankets), poncho, Tarp, sleeping bags and tents.

As for a list of items to help you maintain surrounding heat., you can consider getting a firestarting kit, single Burner Folding stove, hand warmer and windproof torch lighter. 

Shelter is important because exposure to cold temperature for long hours can kill you. If you stay in a place with extreme weather, you need to take shelter SERIOUSLY. For cold weather, you will need to find ways to create heat sources so that you can retain your body heat. Make sure you don’t lose your body heat unnecessarily.

If you live in an area with warm weather, you may have to consider bringing more water and packing more loose clothing.

5. Medical Supplies

Getting ready a first aid kit in your bug out bag is a MUST-HAVE. Usually, they won’t take up a lot of space.

Medical supplies are highly personalized, so you need to mull through what you need to use. This includes going through what are the potential diseases that you will likely contract.

To do this, you need to know what are the injuries that you will most likely face in a bugging out situation. There are various categories of injuries including Traumatic injuries, burn injuries, minor wounds, mobility injuries, infectious diseases and your individual medical needs.

To understand your individual medical needs, you need to go through a personal screening by talking to your doctor and ask what are the medicines you need.

Generally, it’s important to include some basic items such a bandage, disinfectants and scissors. Other items you can consider are Tourniquets, Israeli Bandages, Hygiene Kit, Wet Naps or even ThyroSafe Potassium Iodine Tablets.

To Sum Up

I hope that the bug out bag list has helped you consider different aspects as to what you should pack. This list is aimed to help you create a new bug out bag list, which is definitely not an exhaustive list. Feel free to give your suggestions in the comments on what to add in the list.

Bear in mind the important factors when considering which items you want to store in your bag. Be sure to take into account other considerations too such as what location you live in, what bug-out skills you have, what are the likely threat you will face and how many people you need to protect. With all these factors considered, I am sure your success of surviving a calamity will drastically increase.

By Peter Betts

Peter Betts
I have been an active prepper since 2016. Although it’s only been a few years, I have learnt a lot along the way. I have spent hours reading before purchasing a gear. Also, I have spent hours practicing survival skills such as building a lean-to shelter or getting an A-Frame fire kindling. Hope you love the blog as much as I enjoy writing it.