These 5 Items Should Be On Your Survival Kit List

The average human can live up to three weeks sans food, but only three days without water. That said, the items that you include in your emergency survival kit, whether for venturing into the wilderness or for urban readiness, can spell life and death. Fortunately, you don’t have to be in a situation where you are left with no choice. You can increase your chances of surviving in almost any situation, provided that you have the right tools.

Ideally, the more items you have in your tactical survival gear, the easier it will be for you to survive. However, it also means that you add weight or bulk to your pack. While you obviously cannot carry your entire arsenal with you at all times (you’re not The Terminator), you can certainly select specific sets for different scenarios. There are also core tools that should also be present no matter the situation. Here are five of these essentials.

 

  1. Tactical knife

 

In a true survival situation, the chances of you needing to cut something are very high. Thus, you need a reliable knife that’s easy to handle, strong, and razor sharp. You will likely be using it for various purposes, so in place of getting a singular unit, you might want to have a multi-tool that also includes a knife feature.

 

  1. Firestarter

 

Fire in the wilderness or in the evenings is essential to maintaining your core body temperature (or to cook). Remember that it takes only 3 hours for the body to survive outside of its base temp. Having a trusty gadget takes the effort out of rubbing sticks together. Your kit should have three ways to start a fire. One is an automatic Firestarter, two is a regular box of matches, and three is a striker. Don’t forget to pack them in waterproof packs and separately.

 

  1. First aid kit

 

This is a critical kit that should be with you at all times. There are plenty of generic first aid kits at supermarkets, but you can expand them with pressure dressings and probably a compass, too. Study the pocket manual that came with the kit before you even head out, so you know what to do instantly and will not fumble when an actual emergency happens.

 

  1. Water or water filtration

 

No person can survive without water for more than 72 hours. Under non-threatening circumstances, an average human should also be drinking at least 1 gallon of water daily. Having a water bottle or a water filtration system ready ensures that you have access to safe drinking water at all times. It is especially helpful if you’re going on an adventure with a group because water in this setup can easily run out, and you might need to take some from an organic source.

 

  1. Flashlight or torch

 

Let there be light! Whether for venturing into an unfamiliar territory or walking at night, you will need light to navigate. Fortunately, there are many models that offer powerful illumination even with very small and lightweight bodies.

 

Of course, the most important tool you should have no matter where you are going is knowledge. Without knowing how to use any of these items, your chances of surviving are slim. Equip yourself with the ability to read weather signs, where to go and what to do in case of a natural disaster, what areas to avoid to secure your safety, and more.

 

There are plenty of online resources and books that will teach you different tactics on how to protect yourself, whether in the wild, when out in the city, or even when you’re just at home. The monthly gear from TacPack also offers the latest gadgets and innovations that can help make you feel safer everywhere you go, without being heavy on the back and on the budget.

Staying Safe in an Earthquake – How to Be Prepared

Nobody wants to confront a major natural disaster. Yet some disasters – hurricanes, blizzards, and tornadoes, to name a few – come with warning signs, allowing for minor preparation and escape.

Earthquakes, on the other hand, happen immediately and with no warning. They are so all-consuming and widespread that you cannot jump in the car and escape them.

If you are in the impact zone, you will be affected. But the degree to which you are affected can be minimized. It all depends on how prepared you are for the quake. Preparation does take some time, but you will reap the benefits many times over in the event of a major earthquake.

What Is a Quake Like?

Ordinary life immediately precedes an earthquake. You are washing the dishes, watching TV, doing homework, or putting on a helmet for a bike ride. Then you feel that initial jolt.

You may not realize it at first, thinking that it is something else – that someone dropped something heavy. Then you become aware of the noises, of chandeliers rattling, the house frame squeaking, glasses dropping and breaking, car alarms going off.

If you are indoors, items that are not secured – books, TVs, glassware, and lamps – will topple and fall. Hanging items will begin to swing. As these things are falling, you become aware that you might just become the victim of one of these falling things.

If you are outdoors, trees sway and water sloshes out of swimming pools.

The first jerk is followed by several more back-and-forth jerks. You may find it hard to stand.

Even though most earthquakes last only seconds – rarely more than thirty seconds – it will feel like forever.

Right after the shaking stops, the noise continues: dogs barking, people shouting, alarms ringing. Milder aftershocks continue for minutes or hours. Your electricity has probably gone out. Water may not be safe to drink, or water mains may be broken. Gas lines may erupt.

You have just experienced an earthquake measuring 7.0 or greater on the Richter scale.1

Predicting Quakes

Unfortunately, no one can predict earthquakes. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), no scientists have ever predicted a major earthquake, nor are any scientists expected to be able to do so in the foreseeable future.

The best that scientists can do is produce tables that calculate the probability that an earthquake may occur. The milder the earthquake, the greater the probability that it will occur within the next 30 years. More severe quakes measuring 7.0 or higher on the Richter scale – those truly life-altering, disastrous quakes – are less probable to happen.

For example, because Southern California already experiences quakes between 5 and 6 on the Richter scale about four times per year, there is a 100 percent chance of another quake of similar strength happening within the next 30 years. However, because major magnitude-7.5 quakes have happened about once every 87 years, Southern California has only a 36 percent chance of another one happening in the next 30 years.2

Be Ready: Making an Earthquake Preparedness Kit

To help make your recovery from an earthquake safer and more comfortable, you should stock up your home with a set of essential preparedness items. Keep these items stored in a clean, dry place.3

Essential Items

  • Water: One gallon per person for every day. Provide for a two-week supply of water.
  • Food: Non-perishable items such as canned food or dry camping food that can be reconstituted with water. Be sure to have a can opener as well.
  • Gas/Water Shutoff Tool: This specialized wrench fits gas and water shutoff valves and can be purchased at your local home improvement or hardware store.
  • Flashlight: Have both battery-powered and crank flashlights. Keep a full set of fresh batteries on hand, too.
  • Radio: Purchase a hand-crank radio.
  • Medications: These are essential daily prescription items that are needed to maintain regular health.
  • First-Aid Kit: Basic kit that has gauze, adhesive bandages, antiseptic, aspirin or ibuprofen, and heat packs.
  • Tool Kit: Small tool kit with screwdrivers, pliers, and a hammer. If you wish, you may substitute a multipurpose tool.
  • Eyewear: Extra glasses, contact lenses, and solution.
  • Personal Documents: Assemble a fireproof lockbox with prescription slips, home and car titles, birth certificates, passports, and all insurance policies, including homeowner’s insurance policy.
  • Contact List: Written spreadsheet or other type of list of phone numbers and addresses of relatives, close associates, local hospitals, and police and fire stations.
  • Cash: Several hundred dollars in small bills.
  • Thick Blankets
  • Paper Maps: Detailed maps of your local area.

Extra or Optional Items

  • Baby Supplies: Bottles, formula, diapers, food.
  • Pet Supplies: Food, ID, collar, carrier.
  • Entertainment: Books, cards, board games.
  • Signal Devices: Whistle, air horn, flares.
  • Feminine Sanitary Items
  • Rain Gear
  • Camping Stove: Stove with extra propane canisters and waterproof matches.
  • Plastic Sheeting
  • Duct Tape
  • Gloves
  • Towels
  • Knife and Scissors
  • Water Purification: Tablets or bleach.
  • Sleeping Bags

How to Make Your Home Safer in Case the Big One Strikes

Chances are good that your home is not prepared for an earthquake. While your house may seem solid and safe, it is likely not ready for the rigors of a magnitude-7.0 earthquake. Undertake these projects now for a safer home:4

Secure Water Heaters

Secure heaters to walls with metal straps. These bands can be purchased as part of a kit, available at home improvement stores.

Attach Bookcases, Filing Cabinets, and Tall Cabinets to Wall

Affix any kind of furniture that can tip over to a wall stud, using a metal L-brace or a nylon strap.

Create Barriers on Shelves

Attach ledge barriers along the edges of shelves to prevent items from sliding off and falling.

Secure Gas Appliances

Attach flexible connections to allow appliances to shift without breaking their lines. As with the water heater, attach large gas appliances to the nearest wall.

Minimize Shattered Glass on Windows

Install clear or shaded safety film on windows. This will prevent glass from scattering across the floor.

Secure House to Foundation

Consult a contractor to install anchor bolts between the house framing and the foundation.

Strap Down Chimney

Attach reinforcing bars or metal straps to the chimney to prevent it from snapping and breaking off in the event of an earthquake.

During and After an Earthquake: Keeping Yourself and Your Family Safe

During The Quake5

DO:

  • Drop to the ground and take cover under the nearest strong piece of furniture, like a table or desk.
  • Stay indoors. Even though open outdoor spaces are safer than being indoors, falling objects can injure you as you try to move outside.
  • If you are driving, stop at the nearest clear, open area, away from buildings. Remain in the car.

DO NOT:

  • Stand under a door frame. Once standard advice, this is now outdated, as modern door frames are rarely stronger than other parts of the house.
  • Stand next to buildings, trees, or power lines, which could collapse and injure you.
  • Go to a window, as glass may break and hurt you.
  • Stand next to book cases, high pantry cabinets, refrigerators, or other top-heavy items that may fall.

After The Quake

Even though the earthquake may last only seconds, the aftermath may go on for days or weeks to come. Follow these fifteen steps, in this order:

  1. Wait for the aftershocks to end.
  2. Check yourself for injuries first before assisting others.
  3. Put on shoes to protect yourself against broken glass.
  4. Check for fires and extinguish them immediately.
  5. Shut off natural gas and water lines.
  6. Move yourself and your family to the nearest open area.
  7. Open windows to ventilate your home.
  8. Check your house for structural damage.
  9. Begin gathering water from the water heater release valve, ice cube trays, and toilet tanks.
  10. Check sewer lines for damage before flushing the toilet.
  11. Inspect the chimney for cracks that may indicate potential collapse.
  12. Keep the freezer closed for as long as possible to retain the cold.
  13. Set up charcoal grill outside for cooking.
  14. Stay at home if at all possible. Roads will be impassable.
  15. Check your emergency radio for information.

Earthquakes are devastating events. Fortunately, you and your family can remain safe by following basic safety plans.


Source: Fix.com Blog

Sources:

  1. How Long Earthquakes Last – http://quake.utah.edu/regional-info/earthquake-faq
  2. Earthquake Probability – https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2015/3009/pdf/fs2015-3009.pdf
  3. Red Cross Earthquake Preparedness Kit – http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/be-red-cross-ready/get-a-kit
  4. 6. Prepare House for Earthquake – http://www.military.com/money/home-ownership/maintaining-your-home/tips-to-make-home-earthquake-ready.html
  5. Quake: Do This / Do Not Do This – http://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/natural-disasters/earthquake-safety-tips/

Here’s A Checklist To Check Against Your Emergency Plan

 

Just how prepared are you when it comes to disaster management? You may never experience a disaster, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. If not well equipped, disasters may strike, and you will be left without a contingency plan to curb them. It is highly essential that you come up with an emergency plan for your family.

One of the deadliest hurricanes in history is Hurricane Katrina which left over 1,200 people dead in August 2005. Such occurrences are quite scary. However, as rare and horrific as they might be to ponder, you need to be prepared when they occur. What you need is a disaster preparedness plan to help you get through such periods.

Before coming up with a plan, have a sit-down with your family and discuss some of the ways you can become prepare for this type of situation. Take a critical look at the possible threats to devise a comprehensive plan. Preplanning helps to bring to light some of the resources you may not have on hand. This ensures that you purchase them before anything happens.

Why should people take emergency plans seriously? They prevent possible injuries, damages and help in increasing the chances of survival after an occurrence.  Some of the things that should be in your family emergency plan are as follows.

 

  1. Create a Communication Plan

Contacts are an essential requirement. Analyze all of your relatives and decide on one your family can all share as a common emergency contact. As you choose, ensure that the relative is not likely to be affected by some of the occurrences in your area. Once completed, confirm that each of your family members has the relative’s contact information.

Ensure that your kids have the contact information as well and if possible, leave the contacts with school management. Also, ensure that there is an email attached to the contacts, so they have alternative ways to get ahold of the family member.  Also, keep your documents safe for disaster times.

 

  1. Have a Common Meeting Point

As a family, being in one place after disaster strikes will reduce stress levels and ensure that everyone is out of harm’s way. Determine a drill where you identify one common location scheduled as a meeting point when any disaster happens. Practice emergency situations and have a defined route available, especially for children.

A meeting point will help in reconnecting so that you can plan the next action as a family without the disorientation of looking for other members.  A useful tip would be for every family to note down the specific location for easier tracing.

 

  1. Have an Emergency Supply Kit

When disasters happen, it’s normal to have accidents. It could be just a regular power outage that if not well prepared for, could cause significant hiccups. In such a case, have rechargeable batteries that will provide a temporary lighting solution.  Create an emergency kit that contains a series of first aid supplies as well as other preventive measures. The FAST-ACT Chemical Decontamination products can keep you safe and prepared in the event that a chemical attack was to occur.

There should be a substantial amount of water and food in your kit for survival. Have food supplies that can last you for about a week or even more. The kit should also have enough necessary medical supplies for every member of your family.

 

  1. Include Photos of Your Family Members

Sometimes, during floods or occurrences of seismic forces, a family member may not have reached home and may be in danger. What comes to mind first? Calling them is the first option but what happens when their phone has been turned off? Have a photo of them so that you can ask nearby civilians or emergency crew for increased chances of tracing them.

 

  1. A Power Bank as a Lifesaver

In this modern age, everybody deserves to have a power bank. It does not matter if you have a 10,000 mAh; it will still go off at some point. To make sure that does not happen, always ensure that you have a power bank on hand; it will definitely come in handy to recharge a dead phone.  It will even help in contacting 911 or an emergency response team.

 

  1. Vulnerability Assessment

As much as emergencies are rapid, some events can never be predicted. Research more on the possible hazards around your region so that you have a contingency plan when they occur. This does not necessarily mean you prepare for the specific risk alone. If preferred, consult engineering experts or fire departments for a more precise picture of potential environmental hazards.

A vulnerability assessment will help you feel a level of certainty in preparation. With such an evaluation, your plan is complete as you will have tackled significant possibilities.

 

  1. Communication with Neighbors

It’s possible that due to work and family obligations, you may not often talk with your neighbors. However, it’s important to keep in touch because when a disaster strikes, you will need their help. You may introduce walkie-talkies so that you can communicate in case your phone goes off. Neighbors are an asset in the emergency plan as they are close by and if you get stranded, they may just be the most immediate help available. Contacting neighbors comes in handy when you desperately need help that can’t wait.

Communication is one of the critical essentials of an emergency plan. Keeping everyone informed is necessary so that you all are on the same page. The program devised may involve planning for evacuation in extreme situations. Put that in mind as you come up with the plan. It’s important to keep your verification documents in a waterproof safety box and if possible, make copies too.

The Importance of Body Armor for Survival

For the past decade, body armor has increasingly found its way into the standard gear of journalists, law enforcement and security agents, fire fighters, rescuers, preppers and civilians alike. With the number of violent incidents on a global scale rapidly increasing – wearing body armor is becoming a necessity. Anyone looking to be prepared in the event of civil unrest, natural disaster, terrorist attacks or any other unforeseen event understands the need for adequate protective equipment.

Image of Multiple Covert Body Armor Vests

Up until a few years ago it was unusual for civilians to buy body armor. This is rapidly changing. The rise in random attacks, violent riots and protests, terrorist attacks and general volatility of the political and economic global situation has prompted a lot of survivalists to prepare themselves for the worst. Body armor is becoming the norm on the street.

Why would you need body armor?

Everyone should invest in some kind of body armor for protection. In the event civil unrest, a terrorist attack or random shooting, a regular person has to be able to take care of their personal protection. This is one area where body armor comes into play.

Safeguard Armor Commander - (This a tactical overt vest with hard armor which can offer ballistic plates for ballistic protection available at NIJ. Level IIa-IV, and Stab and Spike Level 1 and 2)

Most people live and behave like they have all the time in the world. They rarely worry about wars, shootings or other potentially deadly scenarios. This is kind of ironic, considering how many times a week we hear the words ‘violence’ and ‘terrorism’ on TV. Now is the time to start planning and preparing, more than ever. And body armor is necessary wherever there is the threat of attack. Of course, there is no such thing as a ‘bulletproof’ vest, but wearing ballistic resistant carriers significantly improves survival chances in the event of an outbreak of violence. In any doomsday scenarios preparation will dramatically improve your chances of survival, but it may also make you a target. Body armor covers a wide range of products, including helmets and shields, but the most important equipment is the carrier.

What can body armor do for you?

Body armor comes in many shapes and types, but you should have a good understanding of what it can and cannot do for. Essentially, no body armor is 100% bulletproof and different levels are only suited against the type of weapons they are tested against. This means that a bullet resistant vest won’t be effective against knives, needles or other sharp-edged weapons. Conversely, there is a difference in how stab and slash resistant body armor works as well. Combined systems are available, but they are more expensive and cumbersome, so you have to carefully consider if they’re the right choice for you.

Safeguard Armor Ghost - (This a covert lightweight vest which offer Stab and Spike Level 1 and 2, and can offer ballistic protection available at NIJ Level II-IIIa)

Body armor is an integral part of everyone’s protection equipment. It comes in a variety of styles and combinations for discreet and lightweight protection that can be worn anywhere and everywhere. This is useful for everybody, especially in a deadly situation that can occur at any time to maximize your chances for survival.

How to Teach Your Kids to be Prepared… For Anything! [INFOGRAPHIC]

Family survival planning is a very engaging and beneficial undertaking. Not only is it important that everyone is on the same page, should disaster strike, it can be a great bonding experience to bring you all closer. In the long run, this gives you the necessary tools to become a cohesive unit of togetherness that can combat any situation, should the worst happen.

There’s such a wealth of activities you can engage in that your kids will love as well, so it doesn’t have to be a monotonous task, but rather real life lessons exploring the outdoors for example.  If you have young children, then you can start these valuable lessons from as early as five years old to really bed in some of the key lessons that can then be expanded upon, right up to their teenage years. Broadly speaking, there are a few main considerations to address as a starting point.

Shelter, food and spotting early warning signs are great kick off points for any discussion or activity and can be a recurring theme throughout your lessons. After that point, your judgment and intimate knowledge of your kids will dictate how you move forward.

With that in mind, check out the below infographic provided by MIkesGearReviews to get a better understanding and ideas of how to prepare your kids for anything life throws their way.

Teach kids to survive

Source: https://www.mikesgearreviews.com/teaching-kids-survival-preparedness/

How to Live Off the Grid: a Guide to Freedom

We live such hectic lives, filled with absolute non-sense that we forget what it is we’re actually living for. Most of us have 60 hours’ work weeks so we can pay rent, taxes and buy food. We don’t even have time for our loved ones, and we seem too busy or too tired even when we take a day off. That’s when leaving it all behind and starting a new life in the middle of nowhere starts to sound like an awesome idea.

Give it all up

The first thing is renouncing your old life and habits. That sounds pretty terrifying, but it’s liberating at the same time. Ask yourself this: if a tornado were to take you to Oz, what would you miss the most about your life now?

Giving up your life starts by prioritizing the essential things and relationships. After that, you’ll find there are plenty of things you would gladly let go of, if, in exchange, you could have peace, tranquility, and love.

Find a place

Cabin-in-the-woods

After deciding you really need to take off, you can’t simply do it without a plan. That’s why you should find somewhere to stay first. Maybe you have a cabin in the woods or a property in an isolated territory, and that could be your starting point.

But if you have to find your own place, things can get complicated. For instance, you can either buy or rent a piece of land. You should make sure the place is isolated enough so you won’t have any nosy Nellies around, but still, have some neighbors at convenient distances. You should also check that a nearby town doesn’t have future plans to extend closer to your property if you want to live a more solitary life.

After that, you can set up a camp, maybe even move in your trailer and start building your own home. If you have some money saved, you can commission the work to a professional, but you also have the option of turning this into your first DIY project.

Learn survival skills

You can’t move off in the wilderness without learning some survival skills first. The first one would be how to find water if there are limited water sources near your property. If you have very hot summer days when springs peter out, you might need to use other techniques like placing plastic bags on tree branches or digging for water.

making-fire

You should also learn how to build a fire, but that’s the easy part. After all, you can leave home equipped with 20 pounds of waterproof matches. The hardest part is to learn which trees you can cut down, how to chop them and how to store the wood properly. If you cut green trees and the wood gets too wet, you’ll have fewer chances of building a lasting fire.

Grow your own food

This can mean different things depending on where your property is. If you’ve moved off to a deep, damp forest in the mountains, your only options might be hunting, fishing and eating wild fruits. Of course, learning some hunting and fishing skills, along with buying proper equipment is useful no matter where you might end up. And you need to recognize which plants are edible, and which aren’t.

If you’re moving to a friendlier environment, you can always build a greenhouse with basic equipment. So you might need nothing more than some sturdy cellophane and a few pallets, along with plenty of water and the right seeds.

Apart from that, you can farm certain animals, depending on how large your property is. Chicken is the easiest when you take into account all the logistics, like space and food, plus they give you nutritious meat and eggs. Otherwise, you can consider raising cows for their milk, maybe buy a couple of horses if you own a bigger farmstead.

Arrange your amenities

You also need some degree of comfort, especially for keeping a clean environment. So you’ll want a toilet and some sort of washing facilities, and you have plenty of options here too. The easiest would be to buy a camp toilet and a camp shower, which can easily be transported and used no matter where you are.

Or, you can build your own bath, and improvise if you don’t have any running water. For instance, your toilet can be an outhouse, but you have to place it at some distance from your house and greenhouse.

Your shower can be a barrel of warm water with a valve attached to it and a hose with a showerhead for the warmer summer days. Or you can get a bathtub for indoor use, and that would help you relax after a long day’s work.

Earn the money you need

You might still need some money even if you’re living in a remote location for paying the rent or for buying the things you can’t produce on your own, but that doesn’t mean you should get a day job in the city.

One idea is to sell or trade the things you produce in surplus. So if you have lots of eggs or meat, you can sell that to your neighbors, or trade with them for clothes or different tools.

Another idea is to focus on a skill you already have, and sell the results of your work on the Internet. For instance, you might be into crafting and learn how to make interesting sculptures. Or decorate axes. Or make origami. The world is your oyster.

Learn to enjoy solitude

prepare-to-be-alone

This might prove to be difficult enough, especially if you’re all alone. We’re so accustomed to noise (even white noise) that eating a meal by ourselves without constantly checking our social media accounts seems impossible. But if you’ve chosen to live off the grid, you can find pleasure in loneliness.

So after all that, what seems like the most difficult to do? What plan do you have? Tell us all about that in the comments.

 

About the author: Mike is a passionate hunter and his favorite grounds are Alaska and British Columbia. He’s also an expert in hunting gear and he is one of the most reliable resources when it comes to choosing the right tools for the job. He also writes for OpitcGearLab.com

Sticky Stuff: 15 Ways Duct Tape Can Save The Day

Original Article by PartSelect Blog

Written by Alison Hudson

No matter what the seasons is, a trip in the backcountry requires a few essential items: food, shelter, and duct tape. For some people, the list could be whittled down to simply duct tape. Its adhesive capabilities and waterproof exterior make it one of the most dextrous tools you can carry; in a pinch, it can be used to build a shelter and create snares to catch food. Try turning a freeze-dried meal into a tent or vice versa! If you aren’t sold on the wonders of duct tape, here are fifteen reasons to bring a roll on your next wilderness expedition (and a few tips for how to keep your stash of tape organized and safe from the elements).

 

How to Pack It

On a backcountry trip, you won’t be happy carting around an entire roll of duct tape, replete with the inner cardboard roll: it’s heavy, it’s bulky, the cardboard will disintegrate when it gets wet, and the roll takes up an inordinate amount of space. Here are a few techniques for efficiently packing duct tape to bring on your next trip.

 

Flat Wrap

A little time consuming, but with a nice, compact final product. Simply start unrolling a little of the tape. When you have about 4 inches unspooled, fold the tape back on itself so you have two sides that are not sticky. Keep folding the tape on top of itself until you have the amount you need for your trip. Pack the duct tape in a ziplock bag to keep it from sticking to other things in your pack.

 

Spool

This is a common trick used by people who hike with trekking poles. Start by holding the trekking pole sideways so that it’s easier to work with the tape. Then wrap the duct tape around the trekking pole until you have the desired amount. If you don’t like a thick roll of tape, consider wrapping half on one pole and half on the other.

 

Half Spool

For little fixes, it’s nice to have a thin strip of duct tape, rather than the bulky width of the tape on the roll. To create a half spool, find something round, like a tent pole splint or a pencil. Using a sharp blade, slice the duct tape on the roll so that you have either two or three equal widths of tape; if you score all the way around the roll, it’s a lot easier to pull off. Start rolling one strip around the pencil until you have enough.

 

Mix it Up

Duct tape now comes in a variety of colors and patterns, all of which have the same strength and stickiness of the original silver tape. If you’re hunting, pick up some camo-colored tape (or hunter orange for making yourself visible). If you’re wrapping tape around trekking poles, having two different colors of tape can help differentiate the two poles. If you anticipate using the tape to mend clothing, tents, or other wearable items, black, blue, or dark green make more discreet patches than the bright silver. Neon shades work especially well for marking trails because they show up so much better than silver or dark colors.

Fix Things

The original purpose of duct tape was to make repairs. This is one of its best applications in the wilderness, where supplies are limited and multi-purpose items are priceless.

 

Fix Your Gear

Broken Ski

A broken ski can be a huge hindrance, especially if you’re far from your car. Duct tape can be used for an easy fix, whether it’s a nordic or downhill set up. Using a thin tree branch as a splint, tightly wrap duct tape around the stick and both pieces of broken ski.

 

Repair a Tent (pole)

A broken tent pole can be detrimental to an extended camping trip. Even if your tent came with a splint for a broken pole, duct tape is a lot easier to use. Place the broken ends side by side, so they overlap, and wrap them tightly with tape.

 

Inflatable Mattress

Nothing is quite as pernicious as a leaky inflatable mattress. In a pinch, a circular duct tape patch will keep the air from escaping while you sleep through the night. Be sure to clean the area around the patch before placing the tape to make a better seal.

 

Repair Clothes

Rips, tears, shredded cuffs, all of these can easily be fixed with some masterfully placed duct tape. For rips, use a round piece of tape because the lack of corners makes it more likely to stay in place. For cuffs, fold a piece over the edge and press it smooth.

 

Repair Sunglasses

Broken ear piece, loose lenses, snapped nose bridge: these are just some of the ways in which sunglasses can break at the more inopportune time. Duct tape can be used to fix all of these problems, whether it means wrapping the nose bridge in a thin strip, wrapping the ear piece with a wide piece, or carefully outlining the lens with tape to keep it from falling out.

Fix Yourself

Band Aid

It may not have the same padding, but duct tape will keep a wound dry while keeping dirt and other detritus from causing an infection.

 

Ankle Wrap

Though not as flexible as athletic tape, duct tape will make a useable ankle wrap in a pinch. Wrap the tape with the sticky side out to prevent tearing skin away when the wrap is removed.

 

Prevent Snow Blindness

Forgot your glacier glasses in Base Camp? Duct tape can be used to make improvised sunglasses that will help prevent snow blindness and other eye injuries from bright sun on snow or water. Simply cut a width of duct tape (or two) that will extend across your face and make two very narrow slits where your eyes line up with the tape.

 

Tick-proof

In deep weeds or grasses where ticks are prevalent, it’s vital to seal all entrances to bare skin. Wrap duct tape around the bottom of your pants and tops of your socks to keep ticks from slipping through while you walk.

 

Cover Bug Bites

Some bug bites react well to being covered with tape, especially chigger bites. If you’re getting plagued by bug bites, use duct tape to cover the itchy bites and prevent worse damage.

Prevent Things from Breaking

Duct tape is perfect for preemptive use on gear that could get damaged.

 

Pants Cuff Care

How many pairs of hiking pants or rain pants have you seen with blown out cuffs? It’s easy to ruin a pair of expensive pants by walking on the cuff. To prevent fraying, use a piece of duct tape to reinforce the hem. This is especially useful for rain pants, which are expensive to replace.

 

Waterproof Map Case

Duct tape is an inexpensive way to waterproof papers and other items that need to be protected from the rain. To make a map case, start by cutting two pieces of cardboard to match the size of your map or other papers. Once you’re created the template, cover the cardboard with stripe of duct tape. Be sure to overlap the edges of each piece to make it extra waterproof.

 

Dry Bag For Electronics

Using the same process described above, you can easily create a waterproof case for your electronics (everything from a smart phone to a satellite phone).

 

Hide-a-Key

It’s the last day of your wilderness trip and you’re back at the trail head exploding your back in search of the car key. Next time, use a piece of duct tape to secure your key under the car. That way you don’t have to worry about losing it in the woods or a lake.

 

Mark a Trail

Bright strips of duct tape can be used to flag a trail through the woods so that you or others can follow the path without getting lost.

 

A roll of duct tape and some creativity will go a long way toward relieving a stressful situation in the wilderness. Always pack more tape than you think you’ll need and don’t be afraid to experiment with bold ideas; when duct tape first came out on the market it was used on weapons, military vehicles, and boots. There is no situation too sticky for some duct tape.

 

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How to Survive Your First Night in the Forest

Surviving in the wilderness on your own doesn’t resemble much TV shows you’ve watched, though there are some tips from them that you can use. Everything looks easy and achievable from the comfort of your home, but when you find yourself in a sticky situation, your perspective changes dramatically. To keep yourself alive and well if you get lost somewhere in the woods, mountains or any other type of wilderness, you need to be as calm as possible at all times, and this will be one of the biggest challenges you will face.

All is good and grand when we’re watching some pore sap fight his way through rough terrain and we can root for him from our comfy chairs, but how well would we cope with difficult survival circumstances? Let’s take a closer look at what you can do to make sure you get through your first night in the forest unscathed.

 

Have Some Basic Tools with You at All Times

Maybe you’re not much of a camper, but you still love to be in nature from time to time, which is great. What’s not great however is your lack of survival skills that can be a significant problem if you wander off while no one’s looking. You’re probably thinking that you aren’t that thick and you know how to find your way around, but you would be surprised at how little is needed to get lost in the woods. This is why it’s always a good idea to carry some tools with you at all times while you’re in the wild. You can find an easy-to-use fire-starter in the form of a key chain, which won’t take any room in your backpack and it fits in your pocket, so there’s no reason not to take it everywhere you go. Also, taking a multipurpose knife with you is a good idea, seeing that you never know what you will need on the go, and it’s even more so when you’re left to your own devices. There are knives that come with a built-in compass in the handle, and though a high-quality knife might be an investment, it’s well worth buying it. Get a small flashlight that can be a lifesaver in the complete darkness of the forest, it will make you feel safer. Water canteen is another great idea, particularly if you can find those made of stainless steel that can also be used for water purifying.

Think Carefully About Your Next Step

When you realize you’ve wandered off much further than you realized and now you have no choice but to spend a night in the forest, stop for a minute and think carefully. What should your course of action be? Do you feel well? What time of the day is it? How well do you know the terrain? What kind of wildlife can you expect? Do you know of any body of water nearby or a place that you can use as a shelter for the night? These are all valid questions that need to be answered quickly and without panic, so that you can continue to your next step.

Shelter, Water, Food

It’s paramount to secure your basic needs in this order – shelter, water, food. I know that food is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think about how you’ll survive in nature, but water and shelter are far more important. Finding a cave or a hidden place where you can spend the night more or less safely is vital, as you really don’t want to scramble through the forest in the middle of the night, even with your flashlight on. Building an impromptu shelter is also a good idea, supposing that you know how, you can do it while there’s still daylight, and there are many different types of shelter you can make. If at all possible, find shelter near a river, stream or a lake, so that your water needs are taken care of because you can survive without food for a lot longer than without water. Finally, when it comes to food, you should do your best to at least have some energy bars with you or any other kind of non-perishable food and if push comes to a shove, look for berries and plants that you recognize and you know are good to eat. Don’t experiment with plants, as being lost in the woods is the worst possible time to have a food poisoning.

Light a Fire and Don’t Panic

When you’ve managed to find your shelter, get a fire going, it’s essential to keep you warm throughout the night, which can be very cold in the woods. Lighting a fire will make you feel much better and calmer about the situation you’re in and it will give you time to gather your bearings about what you should do next. There’s never place for panic when you’re in survival mode, so think as clearly as possible what you can do to be found and how you can find a way out yourself. Do your best to leave marks and signs where you’ve been and when a new day comes, climb a tree to get a general sense of where you’re at and if there’s a smoke from a fire anywhere near you. Your brain will be in overdrive constantly, but once you decide that you’re not going to panic, ideas will surface and then you can use them to get back to civilization. – Howard Scalia

 

Howard Scalia is 37-year-old former scout leader from Austin, Texas, and one of the best and most trusted blog writers at www.prosurvivalist.com. When he’s not working on some new interesting article, he enjoys taking long walks in the woods with his dogs.

 

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