Committed to providing you and your family with the best survival knowledge, skills and equipment.
5 Essential Tips on Surviving Your First Hiking Trip
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
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
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.
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
difficulty and trail type
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
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.
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
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.
considerate of other people and the wildlife that live in the area. As the
saying goes, “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.”
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.
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
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.
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.
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)
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
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.
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
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
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!
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
Benefits of Rainwater Collection
To say that water is a precious natural resource in this world is an understatement. There have been many stories told about how people have survived on water alone in the most dire circumstances. Water sustains life, not just human life but all life on earth. However, there is a growing worldwide concern on the limited supply of water that we use.
People living in Australia, considered as one of the ‘driest continents in the world’, have learned to harvest rainwater to supply their household needs using it for just about everything from drinking, to cooking, to bathing, doing laundry, irrigating the fields and whatever else that might normally be done with water.
Rainwater harvesting is the accumulation, collection and distribution of rainwater for use in the household and, in some cases, in the work place. If done properly rainwater makes for a safe and sustainable supply of water, not to mention it being very economical as it can effectively eliminate paying monthly water bills. It also makes you self-reliant when it comes to water supply because people who harvest rainwater are not dependent on the water companies especially during the times when it has to be rationed due to lack of supply common during the summer. Having your own rainwater harvesting system would ensure you a steady supply of water all year round.
Not only is rainwater free, but with its natural quality most also believe it is safer than those supplied by some water companies which often collect water from dams which is chemically treated to make it potable. With rainwater being chemical-free, it makes for a healthier option.
Aside from its economic benefits, investing in rainwater harvesting can also be socially and environmentally beneficial. As noted earlier, having your own rainwater harvesting system makes you self-reliant by allowing you to supply your own water needs, meaning you would become one less person who will be dependent on the government and water companies for water supply. There would then be no need to build more dams and to install more pipes, the cost of which will eventually find its way to your taxes. Rainwater harvesting also lessens the accumulation of water in creeks and other water habitats especially during a storm, which is one of the many factors that contribute to damaging these natural water habitats.
Don’t bury your head in the sand. Don’t be the person that refuses to think about an unpleasant situation, hoping that it will improve so that you will not have to deal with it, PREPARE for it.
No matter where you live, you have the possibility of experiencing a natural disaster. But by putting our heads in the sand, we can leave our families at risk if we don’t prepare. Don’t be this person.
When the success or failure of your families survival hinge upon your readiness, a head-in-the-sand approach will surely backfire. Be ready, Be prepared.
Myth: Ostriches bury their heads in the sand when they are scared or threatened.
On A Budget: Prepping For 5 Bucks
Unless you have deep pockets, and most people don’t, you are going to have to purchase and store your prepping supplies a little at a time. When your at the store buying clothes for your kids, pick up a pack of batteries. When you are out picking up dinner at the grocery store, don’t forget to grab a couple of cans of soup. You get the picture.
With all this in mind, here is a list of items that you can start buying when your out and about to add to your prepping supplies that will cost you right around 5 bucks. You would be surprised at how much stuff you can amass when you think to pick up a few extra things a few times a week.
Add in some Aldi coupon codes and your entire grocery bill will shrink, allowing you to save money or get extra supplies.
(Note: This list comes from other posts and articles of read over time with a couple of items I have added from my own experience. If you have got any suggestions, please leave a comment and share your knowledge. )
(Note: I’m aware that the dollar has been devalued such that some items on this list may now far exceed the 5 dollar limit. Adjust quantities accordingly.)
Whether it’s $5 or $500 you have to spend per month, just start prepping a little bit at a time and it will add up. When I started I used my camping gear as my base and built from there. No matter how much you have to spend you CAN survive if you put your mind to it.
DIY Chicken Watering Hole (and Other Critters Too)
Easy Fill Chicken Waterer
We keep our chickens in big cages to keep them safe from predators and so we have an easy time finding the eggs. One of the biggest hassles of this is filling the waterers inside the cages, especially after it rains. I decided there had to be a better way. Here it is and it doesn’t cost a lot.
The parts list is:
1 5 gallon bucket with lid
1 new oil pan
And some 1.5″ PVC pipe, some fittings, PVC primer and cement, some gasket material, and a valveI started by using a hole saw to cut a hole in the top of the bucket for the pipe to fit through.
You can see that the hole ended up a little bigger than the pipe but I’ll take care of that.
Here is the label from the gasket material I used. It comes in sheets. This kind came from Lowe’s but I’m sure you can get some at any hardware store.I used some snips to cut the gasket into squares and to cut holes into the squares. These were my first cuts, so to speak. I had to enlarge them a little to fit around the pipe perfectly.
Here are the fittings I used. Put a gasket over the long threaded piece on the left, then put it through the hole. Put the other gasket over the fitting on the inside of the lid, then install the nut on the inside and tighten it up.
Here it is with the gasket on the upper fitting. It looks a little sloppy but I don’t think the chickens will care.
After you tighten up these fittings you need to make sure that the pipes and fittings fit together. Here is what it looks like.
Then I used the PVC primer and cement to make the connections permanent. You probably don’t want to cement the valve on at this point because you will want to put the pipe through the side of your cage. If you have the valve cemented on you will have to cut a big hole in the side of your cage and then repair it. You might want to assemble this in your chicken cage to make sure you have the height and angle of the fittings correct before you use the cement. Here is the primer and cement I used.
Next, I used a drill with a 3/16″ bit to drill four holes in the bucket about a 1/2″ above the bottom.
Here is the assembly placed into the oil pan.
Here is the assembly in the corner of the cage.
Here is the valve I used. It will keep bugs and vermin out of the water tank and it creates a vacuum that keeps all the water from pouring out.
I used a tie wrap to hold the pipe to the side of the cage and used wire to hold the bucket steady.
To fill it just turn on the garden hose, open the valve and pour water in. The pipe is big enough to let the air out while you are filling it. When you get it full just close the valve and you are done.The total cost was about $15 and now I don’t have to get my feet muddy when it rains.