101 Uses for Paracord [infographic]

There’s a good reason why you don’t bring a lot of things with you when you go on an outdoor adventure. You may need a pillow for a more comfortable rest at night inside your tent, or a rope ladder to climb some treacherous terrains. But you don’t bring all of what you think you might need when camping or trekking or whatever you do in an adventure. If you did, you would be carrying your whole house with you.

 

This is where a modest piece of equipment comes in. A paracord looks like it won’t be much, but it can actually do so much. A paracord, which means a parachute cord, is basically a lifesaver. You need a shoelace? Use a paracord. Your leather watch strap ripped? A paracord will hold it together. You suddenly need to rappel? Paracord can be your lifeline. Aside from the obvious uses—such as tying an object to something or using it as a rope—there are a lot more that you can do with a paracord. You don’t have to be trekking in the countryside or camping in the wild to have a use for it. You can find that even in an urban setting, a paracord can be crucial to you.

 

Learn how to use a paracord in so many different ways in the infographic below.

 

infographic 101 Uses for Paracord

5 Things You Should Know About Buying Food To Stockpile

For most preppers, safety and food security is of paramount importance. Having your own food supply during an emergency or crisis situation will keep you and your family self-sufficient even during the toughest times. How do you build your own stockpile for survival?

foods list for off grid survival

Here are 5 things you should know about buying food to stockpile.

  1. What Is Your Goal?

Before buying food to stockpile, you will need to set your goal. How much stock do you intend to buy? How long do you want the supplies to last? Ideally, your food and water supply should sustain you for at least 72 hours but for peace of mind during an emergency, go beyond the bare minimum.

Start by writing a list of foodstuff that can sustain you and your family for three days. Once you have achieved that goal, keep building until you have enough supplies to last a few months.

  1. Decide On A Stockpile Budget

When buying food to stockpile, it is important to have a budget from the beginning. Determine how much you can afford and how much money you can spare from your weekly shopping to buy food to stockpile.

Make your budget conservative and reasonable. Avoid getting into debt. Know when to stop. There are times when you will have to pass up a great deal to avoid wasting money. Remember to go over your budget before you start shopping. You can always take advantage of store sales and product rebate offers.

foods list for off grid survival, food storage

  1. Invest In Nutritionally Dense Foods

Sometimes, consuming food from a stockpile can get tiring and boring. This is why you will need to invest in a stock that includes nutritionally dense and tasty foods. Consider your family’s taste and make a list of ingredients they will enjoy. Some of the foods to buy include; multivitamins, dried fruits, cereal, canned meat and chicken, nuts and peanut butter.

Don’t buy food items that your family doesn’t eat. Don’t buy food that will go bad before you eat it. Check all the expiry dates and preservatives used to ensure that your food is safe for consumption for the entire period you will need it.

  1. Prioritize On Water

Water is life. Without it, our bodies cannot survive for more than three days. Buy enough water. You should stockpile and safely store at least two weeks supply of water for every individual in your house.

Commercially bottled water is the best choice since it is safe and does not require sanitizing or disinfecting any further. However, it is advisable to consume or replace the water every six months.

foods list for off grid survival, jars and canning your own supply

  1. Prepare Space For Your Stockpile

Stockpiling on food and water will take up a lot of space in your pantry. Before you head out shopping, ensure that you clean and prepare the space. If you intend to store the food in the basement, ensure that your basement is cool and dry.

Remember, seepage, mice or mold can make your entire stock of food unsafe. You can invest in additional storage shelving or identical boxes that take up minimum space.

Conclusion

There you have it. 5 important things you should know about buying food to stockpile. To find out more on foods list for off grid survival go to simplyoffgrid.com for more information.  

Survival of the Ready – Preparation is Paramount

Millions of people around the world have to face the trauma and consequences of an unforeseen disaster every year, and tens of thousands lose their lives.

You can rarely predict or avoid a disaster happening but you can often improve your odds of survival.

Ammo.com have put together a comprehensive guide for emergency preparation and looks at key reasons why you need to prepare for an emergency and what steps you can take to prepare.

The guide can show ready you are if disaster strikes.

 

Airbed vs Sleeping Bag – Which is Better for Outdoor Survival?

Preppers who are just starting to learn about survival in the outdoors tend to compare the experience with camping, but besides the fact that you’ll have to live and sleep under the clear sky, the resemblance ends here.

Unlike camping, where you eat the food you brought from home, in a survival scenario you’ll be forced to hunt your own dinner. This is why, when you prepare the BOB, you must consider the type of hunting equipment to include.

You’ll also have to rationalize food supplies, learn how to use the environment in your favor, and last but not least, manage to be comfortable enough to catch some Zzz’s. When I describe the process this way, most new preppers get a bit anxious. And, while they’re quite OK with most of the processes, I get a lot of questions about sleeping outdoors and the equipment one should pack.

How to Sleep Outdoors and Be Comfortable

When you don’t have a car to serve as a temporary home, or even a tent to keep you warm during the night, how do you get by?

Well, first I want everyone to know that sleep is crucial in an SHTF scenario. If you’re sleep deprived, your mind will get fuzzy affect fast decision making, your hands may tremble while you’re trying to hunt, and you may lose focus during a life and death situation.

Now that everyone is up to speed, I must highlight the fact that the quality of sleep is just as important. This is why you should always try to improvise a bed that provides some cushioning and protects your body from humidity and low temperatures.

For this, the best equipment to have in your BOB is a sleeping bag and an insulating layer. For the insulating layer, you can use either an air bed or a self-inflating sleeping pad, but in my opinion, air beds are a bit more advantageous – learn more about it here.

But, if you’re forced to choose between the two, which one is more important?

Air Bed vs. Sleeping Bag

When you decide which elements go in your BOB, it’s important to understand their use on the long-term. So, I am not just going to tell you that the sleeping bag is more necessary; I am going to show it to you by comparing the two.

The sleeping bag is designed to cover your entire body and fit around you like a protective cover. I recommend getting a mummy type, so you’ll have protection around the head as well. Sleeping bags come with various levels of insulation but for an SHTF scenario, I recommend one that can be adjusted for all seasons. This type of bag has some inner lining that can be removed when it’s too hot outside, so you won’t sweat.

The main purpose of a sleeping bag is to keep you warm, but it won’t provide insulation from the ground or cushion the feel of a hard surface.

On the other hand, an air bed will do just that: provide insulation from the cold ground and cradle your body while supporting the spine. However, it doesn’t wrap around you, so it won’t provide protection from the cold night air or the humidity.

As you can see, if you have the possibility, it’s ideal to combine the two. But, when you can only take one, the sleeping bag wins. It’s lighter, more compact, and can be used in all sorts of situations. After all, you can always create a bed of leaves or tree branches – it won’t be as comfortable as an air bed, but it will provide insulation.

Sounds Fishy: An Often Overlooked Bug-Out Bag Item

I’m always intrigued by what people argue about when trying to decide what to put in their bug out bag or survival kit. You know…. fire starters, water filters, food rations, I need not say more. We all picture survival scenarios that we try to be prepared for. Maybe one of those is being stranded in the woods or lost near a stream or lake.

Freshly caught trout cooking in a skillet over an open flame

So here is a question…..Do you have any actual fishing lures and line in your kit? I’m not talking about a bit of string, a few hooks and a sinker. I’m talking about maybe a small 150 yd spool of super high tech fishing line. Maybe you have paracord in your kit but think you have nothing but time to strip one of the 8 strands out of it and use it for lashing or fishing line. Why waste your time and precious resources? The latest technology can give you the diameter of old 4 lb test with the strength of 40 lb test using super braids made out of exotic fabric like trademarked “Spectra” lines. Snares, bed and shelter lashing, trip lines, temporary sutures, and yes fishing, the possibilities are endless and ready to use.

So you have some compact line, what kind of lures could you carry for let’s say a salt, fresh or fly fishing situation? Opinions are close but vary on the top 10 lures in the world for these types of fishing. Most would agree on our sample of a short list of some of the best lures ever invented because all and many more are time tested and proven fish catchers. Do your own research if you wish but consider the possibility of including one or two lures from each category to your well thought out survival kit.

add-lures-to-bugout-bag

Here’s a list of just a few lures to save you some time…..

Fresh water:

Heddon Torpedo, Red Devil or Daredevil Spoon, Rapala Floating Minnow, Panther Martin, Hula Popper, Mepps Aglia Spinner, and of course the famous versions of the rubber worm!

Salt Water:

Diamond Jig, Gold spoon, artificial shrimp or DOA shrimp, Mirrolure twitch baits, Bucktail jigs and Johnsons Silver Minnow

Fly fishing manufactured lures:

Hares Ear Nymph, Adams Dry Fly- which some consider the most effective, Woolly Bugger, and one of the new modern favorites…The green “mop fly” (That’s’ right, a fantastic lure made from the tiny microfiber fingers in a floor mop. Talk about survival…make your own!  It resembles the parachute inch worm which fall from trees and the trout and other fish go nuts.)

We hope this article gets you thinking of the few extra inches of space you could add to your survival kit and of course many arguments can be made of all the amazing lures we haven’t even begun to mention. That is the real point of the article…just to get you thinking and preparing!

3 Reasons Why You Need a GPS in Your Bug-out Bag

Intro

Usually, it would be instinctive to stay away from electronic gadgets when you are choosing gears to bug-out or to simply travel in the wilderness. However, handheld GPS receivers can be considered as one such exception. The amount of benefits that you can derive from this wonderful modern gadget would outweigh the cons of holding such a device. The other must-have item would be a boot knife to keep yourself safe.

Handheld GPS receivers can be considered to be rather complex, where there is a huge variety for you to choose from. Some important aspects that you can consider include the display quality in   weather conditions, user-friendly interface and the amount of storage it has. Before going too far with the considerations for a good GPS, here are three reasons why you need a GPS in your bug-out bag.

3-reasons-why-you-need-a-GPS-in-your-bug-out-bag

Reason 1: Ensuring your safety outside cellphone coverage

By just having a GPS, you are already significantly increasing your chances of survival outdoors. A GPS with its basic function can provide you information about where you are, by letting you know your position, orientation and which intended direction you should take. Losing one of these positioning factors would be detrimental because it would potentially cause one of the other factors to tumble.

Equipping your handheld GPS receiver with navigational aids would be necessary if you want to send your coordinates to rescuers when you are in a place outside cell-phone coverage. Your GPS would only be radio signal receivers that contains a logic chip which is good for telling your location, but would be incapable of transmitting signals.

Therefore, you may want to get a GPS which contains an attachment to a cell phone or use it together with other transmission methods. The transmitters that you may want to look into are personal locator beacons and satellite messengers.

Note that personal locator beacons are used only when one is in really bad emergency situations. Personal locator beacons utilize the Distress Alerting Satellite System (DASS) which are monitored by NASA to track distress signals.

Usually, we would just use satellite messengers which is also a navigational aid which helps tell our rescuers the location we are at, even when there is no cellphone coverage. When you are bugging out and when SHTF, having these functions at your fingertips can do you wonders.

 

Reason 2: Understand your surroundings

Also, to facilitate the process of understanding your surroundings, you may want to employ ‘scouting’. This can be said to be like your ‘homework’ before you travel outdoors or go to the location you want. First, you would start by scouting with your computer, where you can go through topographical or 3D maps so that you have a rough overview of the terrain. After that, mark those places that particularly interest you or the route which you intend to travel.

The next step would be transferring those marked waypoints into your GPS, where these waypoints are really helpful when you scout on foot. This can act as an alternative navigation method where you can just follow the waypoints which you saved which simplifies how you navigate.

Planning your outdoor trips is really important if you want to cover more ground in less time. The act of scouting and saving waypoints could save you a ton of time if you do it right. Remember, you would want to look for a GPS that can insert an external SD card as well so that you do not need to worry about memory.

 

Reason 3: Navigate with ease

By having topographical maps saved in your GPS, you do not need to weigh yourself down with loads of maps when you are outdoors. With a GPS with sufficient storage capacity, you can save many maps and waypoints that are necessary for your outdoor adventure. This would be important when you bug-out because you would not know how long more you would need to travel!

Handheld GPS receivers are also equipped with different navigation methods, and I would encourage you to experiment with them to determine the most convenient way to navigate. For example, you can choose to navigate by touching on the place of the screen or simply following waypoints.

Usually, I would prefer to navigate by touching on the screen only to find out new places. While I am on foot, travelling would be much easier when I just follow waypoints. An external antenna would be a useful feature to look out for so that you can be sure that you have good signal even when you are in canyons or thick foliage.

 

Conclusion

Ideally, your bug out bag should have predetermined emergency essentials, so you can be ready for any eventualities at any time. One important aspect is that the gears you carry must be light enough especially when your bug-out location is far from your current location. Another thing to note is the durability of the items you are holding. If you foresee yourself going through rough terrains, you may want to choose a waterproof GPS.

Other options would be considering a GPS that you can primarily navigate through the software using external buttons rather than using touch screen. This is because touch screen GPS would usually be more prone to spoil. If you have any other tips to share, please comment below!

Author Bio:

I am John Lewis, a blogger, survivalist and outdoor enthusiast. You can follow me over at Epic Wilderness. Please click here!

5 Tips for Ultralight Camping | Must-know Tips for Backpackers

The more weight you can cut from your pack, the faster you move, and the more comfortable your camping experience will be. However, switching to lighter setup can cost an arm and a leg. So here are 5 tips for ultralight camping that can shave weight from your pack without making it too costly.

1. Minimize The Stove

Food is one of the easiest things to over pack. It is thus necessary to lay out your foods in a strategic way. And the first thing to notice is the stove.

The most ideal option is just to leave the stove at home and eat cold foods instead. Oatmeal, nuts, cereal, dried fruits, sandwiches are good choices.

And before you start your trip, list out the foods you will need for each day to make sure that you will not bring too much of the unnecessary.

In case you are not ready to leave the fire behind, you can make a mini alcohol stove from a soda can. This stove can also keep you warm and cook some simple dishes.

2. Use Multi-purpose Items

There are many items that can be used for more than one purpose. For examples, you can use your stuff sack as a pillow cover, cooking pot as a bowl, or sleeping bag as a makeshift stretcher.

Besides the shift toward using multiple-purpose items, it is also weight-saving to cut off the non-essentials. Coffee mug and wine cup are the examples. And after each trip, you can eliminate the items with less frequency or with no actual use.

That said, first aids and emergency kits should never be put on the elimination list.

3. Go Lightweight On The Big Three

The three keywords are the tent, sleeping bag, and backpack. For most campers, they always make up for most of the base weight.

– Tent: There are two factors when it comes to using tents – the number of people and weather. If you go solo, a one-man tent is just a perfect fit. And if you have a companion, two-person tents may weight around 2-3 pounds depending on its design and materials.

Depending on whether it is warm or rainy, you can also opt for the suitable tent to minimize the pack weight.

– Sleeping bag: It is ideal to keep the sleeping bag under 3 pounds and the sleeping pad around 1 pound. These numbers are also flexible depending on weather condition.

– Backpack: People usually forget that even an empty pack weights something. So the tip here is that you should go for packs with smaller loads. It forces you to carry less but just the essentials.

 

4. Select Smart Materials

Titanium and synthetic layers are two great option for the materials. Before deciding to include anything in your pack, make sure it is lightweight, easy to clean and dry.

Using backpacking solar charger is also a smart choice. It frees you from having to worry about finding electricity when you want to charge your stuff.

5. Put Everything On A Scale

Weight is everything. There is two way to do this. You can either put your pack on a scale or make a spreadsheet listing out all items’ weights to see if your pack is lightweight enough.

You can group your items into different categories such as Shelter, Sleeping, Foods, and Clothes. This spreadsheet may take you quite a while to complete, yet it is definitely worth your time and effort.

It helps a lot in deciding whether anything else can be eliminated for a lighter pack. Choosing the items for your pack is like choosing the players in a football game. There are always limited spots in the team and as a coach, you need a make ruthless decision when picking which players to cut and which to add.

The Bottom Line

Your love for camping will be put off by the aches after carrying a heavy pack on your back for hours. The ultralight pack is then crucial to boosting your comfort and camping experience.

So here are the key takeaways for a lighter camping setup: Plan your foods strategically, take advantage of multiple-use gears, minimize the weight of the tent, sleeping bag, backpack, scrutinize on the items, and eliminate the nonessentials.

I hope these 5 tips for ultralight camping are useful for your campaign prep work. Thank you so much for reading.

Author Bio:

Luna is a camping and hiking enthusiast from Phoenix, Arizona. She wants to share her experience to all adventure junkies in order for them to get better preparations before any trip.  Visit her blog to find out more!

The Best Way to Purchase Outdoor Gear

For many people not used to purchasing outdoor gear, it can be quite overwhelming finding the best equipment and the best deals available in the market. You surely do not want to fall into the trap of buying gear that is too expensive only to find better quality at a better price sold somewhere else; This is why you need to know some of the best ways to get an outdoor gear with minimal risks.

Here are a few of the best ways of purchasing an outdoor gear.  

1. Shop online for Best deals  

With the internet available and readily available, shopping for gears should be effortless. You can find all the outdoor gears nowadays and even exclusive discounts at online shops. Sites like Amazon and eBay have a wide range of shops selling all kinds of equipment for winter and summer seasons, and all you need is an internet connection to search for them.

2. Shop End-of-Season Sales for Winter Gear

At the end of winter season, most skin shops close and open up camps for summer activities such as bicycle riding. It is the perfect time for you to shop for winter gears like skies, snowboards and others from these shops as they will try to get rid of these items and will end up selling them at very low prices to get rid of the bulky items. A great way of having a good deal with the shops is getting to know the employees or owners, and this can save you a lot of money.  

3. Purchase used Rental Gear

If you are interested in finding serviceable and reliable gear, you do not have to buy the latest equipment on the market. Of course, the latest gear will be a little more expensive, but you can visit gear rental shops where you can find items that the shops are trying to sell at the end of the rental season. These items you will find them at very low prices. However, it is crucial that you perform a thorough check on the gear before purchasing them.  

4. Ask your friend to accompany you to the shop

It is a good idea to have someone with you when going to purchase outdoor gear especially if it is your first time. Your friend might have a better idea that will help you a long way into your purchase. Also if you have a friend who works at gear shops, they will be able to help you and advise you on the different type of gears accordingly. Some shops also offer special deals to their employees’ friends and family.  

5. Get a Job at an Outdoor Shop

Getting a job at an outdoor shop will help you get exclusive discounts from the shop. It will work great for you especially if you are passionate about the outdoor gears. Many shops have great offers for their employees, and most people fill up their garages efficiently using these offers.  

The best way to purchase outdoor gears is being patient and checking out for the best offers in the market. If you are planning to make a trip, then it is best that you plan earlier and get the gear early enough before the trip. Using the above tips, you should be able to secure great deals from outdoor shops and also online shops that will save you some cash, and you will even get quality gears at the same time.

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