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.

A Survivalists Guide To Body Armor

Owning body armor these days makes a lot of sense for civilians as well as professionals in the security industry. With crime statistics through the roof in recent years, frequent terrorist attacks, violent protests and demonstrations – more and more people are viewing the purchase of a tactical vest as a sound investment.

It’s hard to put into words just how important body armor is, but let’s just say – it can be the difference between life and death in a number of scenarios. Still, many survivalists are quick to buy different type of guns and ammo, but overlook protective vests. However, it’s really this simple – if you own a gun or plan on owning a gun, you should also have a bulletproof vest in your house.

It’s a common trait of all survivalist to plan ahead, to be prepared. Equipping yourself with adequate protection helps you stay safe in specific circumstances. You need to understand how body armor works, what it can and cannot do for you against different threats, and how to select the best one for you.

Types and Styles of Body Armor

While there are 6 levels of protection in ballistic armor, there are three forms of armor platforms: covert,overt armor and tactical overt.

Covert armor is worn under the clothing and can be easily concealed. It is lightweight and flexible, making it idea for prolonged use. Recent advancements in the development of body armor have allowed the use of breathable materials that improve heat transfer, making it more comfortable for the wearer.

Overt armor’s main function is to protect the wearer and can also be used to intimidate the opposition. It comes in a variety of colors, styles and levels, although it is usually used when a high threat level exists. Overt armor is typically bulkier and heavier than covert and it conveys a sense of authority. Apart from offering more protection, its other main benefit is that it’s easy and quick to put on and take off.

Tactical armor is worn in a situation that is associated with a high degree of risks that prove too much for soft armor to handle. This means that it is likely for armor-piercing rounds to be used. This type of system relies on a combination of overt armor fitted with additional SAPI (hard ceramic) plates and panels that cover the neck, arms, thighs and groin area for maximum safety.

Levels of protection

Body Armor is rated at different levels based on the NIJ standards. Because the protection of the armor increases with the level, so does its weight and the cost. Ballistic body armor is rated by the Department of Justice against different round calibers. Basic soft body armor does not stop penetration from sharp objects and weapons, but it will stop thick-bladed stabs and offers protection against slashing attacks. These makes them suitable to wear in places, where there are large gatherings of people (protests, marches, during riots, etc.) as in close quarters – people often use concealable but deadly weapons, such as knives, broken bottles, screw drivers or other piercing objects to cause harm.

Survivalists who want to ensure they receive maximum protection can go for a combination of ballistic and stab proof systems that are available for purchase online but they are more expensive. In terms of bullets – pistol bullets are easier to stop than rifle bullets, because they are slower. This type of combined protection gives the best chances of surviving in risky situations, such as riots or a scenario, where you might need to travel from point A to point B while facing attacks and poor weather conditions.

Basic levels, such as Level IIA. (Level I is not in use anymore) through IIIA are considered soft body armor types and don’t always offer sufficient protection in high-tension situations, while Level IV provides the fullest protection against pistol and melee weapons but is bulkier and heavier on the wearer.

Do some research and compare the different options on body armor available online. Make sure you measure correctly and select a vest that fits well, is lightweight and comfortable apart from offering a high level of protection – these are just a few of the ground rules that every survivalist should stick to when shopping for body armor.

Essential Items for Your Black-Out Kit

One of the scenarios most likely to occur that has nothing to do with extreme, Doomsday scenarios is the black out. Power outages are on the rise (source) due to aging infrastructure as well as the rising demand from consumers. As we’re using more and more devices to make our lives easier, we’re pushing it thin. Besides this, there are a number of external risk factors, such as EMP attacks (natural or man-made) and hacker attacks.

Blackouts, EMPs, Brownouts, No Power, Off The Grid

What to do to prepare for Blackouts.

Prepping for a lights out situation isn’t just for preppers, it’s for anyone worried about small-scale emergencies. The idea is to have a box or a pouch where you keep a few inexpensive yet critical items to assist you in power outages. Some preppers use plastic boxes to keep them items but you can also have a pouch that you can take with you in case you have to bug out.

Flashlights

You can never have enough flashlights! Small or big, battery-powered or hand-crank, you should have at least a few of them inside your lights out kit. Surefire, Ultrafire and Maglite are all good brands that you can find on Amazon with a quick search. To make sure you pick something of quality, all you have to do is read the star reviews.

There’s also the debate between LED and incandescent light bulbs on flashlights. LEDs take less battery but incandescent shine brighter, very useful if you’re dealing with fog. But for bug in situations such as this one, that’s not important. Just keep in mind that LEDs are costlier to replace.

A Small AM/FM Emergency Radio

With the power gone, knowing what’s happening is going to be critical. What if things go from bad to worse and you need to bug out? A company named iRonsnow is selling such a radio for $20 on Amazon that’s hand-crank, has solar panels on it, has a built-in flashlight and even a cell-phone charger; it’s probably the best seller in the category.

A Lantern. Or Two

Lanterns are great because they light up the whole space around them, useful if you want to read a good book until the storm passes or play board games with your family.

You can find battery-powered lanterns online and some of them even have solar panels at the top, so you can recharge them during the day (if the power outage lasts for days or if you’re hiking or if you take them with you hiking or camping).

Candles…

…and a lighter or matches to light them. The only problem are, they’re a fire hazard. You’re not going to believe this but between 2009 and 2013, an average of 9,300 house fires per year were caused by candles. 86 people died and over 800 were injured (source). If you have small children or pets that live inside your home, you may want to keep the above statistics in mind.

Chemlights

They are brighter than you’d think, they don’t need a lighter or matches to be lit and, best of all, the fire hazard is zero. Chemlights glow through a process called chemiluminescence, which is, in essence, a chemical reaction. They’re a safe alternative to candles and the best part is, they work under windy as well as wet conditions.

A Battery Charger

No that you’ll be able to use it when your town or city descends into darkness but at least you’ll know where to find it when you need it.

Spare Batteries

The more flashlight you have, the more batteries you’ll need. Even if you don’t, you’ll still use them to power your emergency radio or your other electronic devices.

Anything Else?

You can add as much gear as you’d like but keep in mind the volume and the weight. Think about the scenarios you’re preparing for. You should stockpile things that will make your life easier during a power outage that won’t go directly into the kit. Things like:

  • a first aid kit
  • a water bladder (fill it with water from your sink before that runs out as well)
  • a whistle (since phone lines may be dead)
  • board games and a deck of cards
  • food and water
  • a Kindle
  • an MP3 player
  • a propane stove and a canister of fuel (for cooking purposes)
  • maybe even a DVD player
  • a first aid booklet
  • blankets to keep yourself warm

Final Word

Blackout kits are one way of preparing yourself and your family for this common small-scale disaster, which is why it’s easier to convince them to do it (if they’re not into prepping). Keep in mind that the supplies you’ll get won’t just be helpful during blackouts. They can assist you in any kind of disaster situation. Your money will be well spent.

However, if you want to do something today that won’t cost you anything, how about you do a little planning for these power outages? You can start with a list of items you will need for your kit or you can look for a convenient place to keep the box. You may even start reading on topics such as first aid, cooking on a propane stove or taking care of hygiene with minimal water.

Good luck!

Dan Sullivan


7 Must Have Items for Wilderness Survival

By Jack Neely 

Surviving in the wilderness, no matter the time of year or location, does not only depend on human will and wit, but also on the type of gear you have got in your pack. If you are injured or lost, the right type of gear can mean all the difference between a comfortable and easy night outdoors, and a grueling ordeal. In this article, we have compiled 7 must have items for wilderness survival.

Matches

A means to make fire is very essential when you are out in the vast wilderness. Your survival might completely depend on whether you have the ability to create a fire. For instance, you might want a fire when it is cold and snowing/raining, or after you have just waded across a river and now you are completely soaked, and at the verge of hypothermia.

Rubbing 2 sticks together in order to create fire is much more difficult than it seems in the movies. It is best to carry matches when going out into the wilderness, particularly the waterproof matches.

Fire is important to your survival.

Even for those who like starting fires the old fashioned way, carrying matches in case of emergency is the smart move. You should consider carrying the magnesium starter matches which have white phosphorus tip; you can strike almost anywhere for fire. These types of matches are advantageous when out in the wilderness since they don’t need the box striker in order to light up.

Stainless Steel Water Container

When going out into the wilderness, you should bring with you plenty of water, and the best way to carry it is in a stainless steel container. This type of container is not only durable and strong, but it can also be put over a fire to boil water. You should consider taking a stainless steel water container that’s big and sturdy enough to carry adequate water for the long treks.

Survival Knife

A knife is a rather essential item and has many uses not only in the wilderness, but also in everyday life. Look for a reliable knife which you can easily keep on your person when you’re out wandering in the vast wilderness.

You should consider bringing with you a fixed blade knife. It is durable, sturdy, resilient, and great for cutting all kinds of objects. This type of knife can also be used to perform various different tasks including, opening packages, clearing bushes, among many other things.

Cordage or Rope

Having a rope can be very useful, especially when in a survival situation. Some uses of rope can include, but not limited to; climbing, making a splint for a broken bone, building an emergency shelter, attaching your gear to your back, hoisting your food so as to keep it safely away from the wildlife, lashing poles, repairing the tent, and much more. You should consider carrying a 550 parachute cord which is light and strong.

A Map and Compass

A map and a compass are very essential survival items which you must have when out in the wilderness. This is particularly crucial, in case the location you are in has low cell coverage, or if you have damaged or lost your phone.

Even if you get lost, as long as you have a good working compass and an accurate map, you will eventually be able to find your way back to civilization. A compass will not only help guide your directions, but it will also help you find the various signs that are on the map, like road signs which might help you find the right routes. Pro tip: you also want to make sure you have a good flashlight with you to read the map in the dark, and also find your way around. You can read more about that here.

Duct Tape

Duct tape is another must have item which is often overlooked. Duct tape can actually save the day in a number of ways. For instance, if your sleeping bag, tent, or clothing happens to get torn or damaged, duct tape may be used to quickly patch it up. Duct tape can also be utilized to wrap up bandages, and can aid in various other medical situations.

First Aid Kit

It is very important to make sure that you’re well prepared for the situation you are putting yourself in. Whenever you are going out in the wilderness, make sure you carry a First Aid Kit. Carrying a First Aid Kit with the appropriate supplies greatly enhances your chances of survival when out in the wilderness.

You do not need to carry the entire first aid kit; you simply need to have the basic items like band aids, gloves, sterile gauze, burn cream, scissors, personal medication, bandages, and such other essentials. It’s wise to build your very own first aid kit instead of purchasing the pre-packaged kits. Building your very own First Aid Kit gives you knowledge of what’s in the kit, and even more importantly, exactly how to use what’s in it.

 

About the Author

Jack Neely is a fitness expert, survivalist, and world traveler. He’s been in several life or death situations, and he’s making an effort to spread his knowledge around the web to help others survive these situations as well. He’s also on the content team at The Tactical Guru.

12 Survival Hygiene Tips for when SHTF

How will you stay clean post-collapse? It’s an issue people don’t give much thought about, yet of crucial importance. Disease is one enemy that can take you down without realizing it, and no amount of tools, gear or survival skills can help.

The people who found refuge on the Louisiana Superdome during Katrina know very well what it’s like. Rotten food, lack of showers and functional toilets, no electricity was hard to endure for the thousands who were crammed into that open space. We need to be prepared, so let’s see some common sense hygiene tips…

#1. Water, water and more water.

Having the means to procure water is the cornerstone of any good hygiene plan. Not just for keeping you hydrated, but also for things like:

  • showering (or, at the very least, to use a damp cloth to wash your body if you don’t have enough of)
  • doing the dishes (though you could stockpile plastic plates and plastic eating utensils to save water)
  • washing clothes
  • cleaning wounds (yes, you could get hurt!)
  • and other things unrelated to hygiene such as watering your garden

Let’s face it, the moment we run out of water, our lives become 10 times more complicated. I’ll even go as far as to say that not having it is way worse than having no electricity.

Ways to ensure you’ve got plenty of water post-collapse:

  • get large, 55-gallon barrels and, if you have a back yard, large water tanks
  • install a rainwater harvesting system
  • have means to filter and purify water in your bug out bag as well as the trunk of your bug out vehicle
  • split your water stockpile between your home and your bug out location, because you never know where you’ll end up
  • keep extra room in the trunk of your bug out vehicle so you can carry extra water with you to your BOL (if there’s time to load it)
  • re-use water from the kitchen sink and shower to water your garden

#2. “If it’s yellow, let it mellow”.

You don’t have to flush the toilet every time. This may not be something you want to do right now but definitely something to keep in mind post-collapse. Follow the “if it’s yellow, let it mellow” rule.

#3. Keep contact with other people to a minimum.

This doesn’t mean you have to stop seeing other people, because you might need information or help. Just remember to avoid touching them, including shaking hands. It may not be polite but manners won’t be as important after the big one hits.

#4. Out of soap or shampoo? Use soapwort!

No, this isn’t some brand of organic soap I’m advertising. Soapwort (lat. saponaria oficinalis) is a perennial plant with beautiful pinkish-violet flowers that can make a great substitute for soap and shampoo. One thing to keep in mind is that it’s “mildly poisonous” if you eat it so only use it externally. There’re plenty of recipes on other sites and the list of ingredients is very short.

#5. Keep dirty clothes contained.

This is especially true if you’re camping somewhere in the woods or if you’re bugging out. All dirty clothes should be stored in plastic bags until you have a chance to wash and dry them.

#6. Show some skin.

The best way to avoid dirty clothes is to avoid wearing them! Now, I’m not sure if the temperature will allow it but if you can, go ahead and do it. One way of getting yourself used to wearing less clothing is to do what I started doing 6 months ago: I stopped wearing pajamas. If you’re older, you should check with your doctor before doing it, but I can tell you it’s working for me.

The benefits? Better immune system, less sweating, your body gets accustomed with lower temperatures (which you might have to face if you’re going to sleep outside) and, best of all, less laundry!

#7. Comb

Combing requires no shampoo and no water, you just have to you remember to add one to your bug out bag. Benefits of combing include removing dandruff, uric acid crystal deposits and other waste. There’s also a side benefit in that you stimulate the blood vessels to bring more blood to your hair, making it stronger and shinier.

#8. No toilet paper? No problem.

There’re plenty of other options that our ancestors used before TP was invented. Things like cloths, newspapers, the leaves of some plants and more.

#9. Remove facial hair.

Though this is an ongoing debate among preppers, you will be less likely to host parasites if you shave your beard and mustache and keep your hair short.

#10. Get a travel sports towel.

If you thought the only way to pack a towel is to sacrifice a good amount of space, I have the solution. There are so-called camp towels that are not only compact but also very absorbent. You can find them on Amazon for around 15 bucks a piece.

#11. Keep your fingernails and toenails neat.

This is very important, as all sorts of bacteria will gather underneath. All you need is nail clippers that you can throw in your bug out bag as part of your hygiene kit.

#12. Take care of your teeth.

Brushing, flossing and using mouthwash should be done DAILY, regardless of whether or not you’re in a disaster situation. Cavities are one of the last things you want to deal with when there’s chaos all around you.

#12. Keep your hands clean.

If you’re doing a lot of office work, you probably don’t feel the need to wash that often. But when you’re working the field and the garden all they, when you’re feeding the animals, fixing your home and doing your own cooking, you’re going to have to wash A LOT more often. You’re also going to need soap (or the means to produce it) and/or hand sanitizer. It’s always a good idea to keep some sanitizer in your BOB and BOV.

Final Word

The thing I hope for the most is that you act on the advice I’ve given you. The tips are easy to put into practice and, some of them should be done on a daily basis, anyway. Post-collapse, you need to be a little more rigorous, so why not start today?


Can You Knit Your Way To Survival?

Can you knit your way to survival? It could come in handy in a SHTF world.

Make clothes for yourself or barter for trade.

Certain basic skills may seem useless today with all of our modern machines, but you’d be surprised how good they will be post apocalypse. Gather as much knowledge and skills now. The more you learn, the more likely you are to survive.

Here are some basic instructions:

Knit-for-Survival-1m Knit-for-Survival-2m

 

Knit-for-Survival-3m

 

You can also teach yourself to knit or crochet by watching youtube videos.

Homemade Sling-Bow

by Kayak Kid

Picture of Homemade Sling-Bow
In this DIY I will be showing you how to make your very own sling-bow.  A sling-bow is basically a slingshot that’s altered to shoot arrows.  They are pretty powerful depending on what materials you use to construct them with, and can be made on a very slim budget. So without further ado lets begin!

Step 1: What You’ll Need

Picture of What You'll Need
You’ll need:

  1. A sling shot
  2. A golf tee
  3. An O-ring
  4. Two medium zip ties
  5. An old beat up arrow
  6. A few strips of duck tape

Optional:

  1. Whisker biscut

Step 2: The sling shot

Picture of The sling shot
IMG_6974.JPG
The first thing you need to do is to prep the sling shot.  The first step in doing this is to take off the existing elastic bands, and discard them.  Next take your heavy duty replacement bands and trim them until there’s 1 inch of band for every 5 inches of arrow.  For example I trimmed my bands to 5 1/2 inches, and they work perfectly with my 25” arrows.  Next put your bands on and leaving a quarter inch to a half inch of extra band extending at the end.  To test pull it back to it’s max draw and have someone measure the distance from the pocket to the extra bit of band on the sling shot.  You want this number to be less than the length of the arrow by one or two inches.

Step 3: The Arrow Rest

Picture of The Arrow Rest
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The arrow rest is what is going to hold the arrow before and during the release.  You want the O-ring, to be perfectly vertical, so to do that you first need to put one of the zip ties through the O-ring and then around the end tag of the elastic band like in the picture above. Don’t tighten it all the way yet, we’ll get to that later. Then next to get the ring to stand vertical you need to counter twist the other zip tie. If you are confused at this point just reference the pictures above.  Now tighten the zip ties until the ring is right in the center, and vertical.

Step 4: Optional: Whisker Biscuit

Picture of Optional: Whisker Biscuit
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Attaching a whisker biscuit is optional, but will help your accuracy and help preserve your arrow fletchings.  To do this put a rubber band around your O-ring using a small zip tie, like in the picture. Then slide your whisker biscuit into place.

Step 5: Arrows

Picture of Arrows
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The arrows I use are just some carbon fiber arrows I out grew or some that just have bad fletchings.  First you need to remove the fletchings and knock.  The knock should pull out with a pliers, and the fletchings are easy to remove using a pocket of your hunting knife.  You should by now have an arrow striped of everything except it’s Insert.

Step 6: Fletching The Arrows

Picture of Fletching The Arrows
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To fletch the arrows I use duck tape.  This is the best, cheapest, way I found to do it. First rip a section of duck tape about 2-3 inches long. Next crease the duck tape in the middle leaving a little bit not stuck together at the top. Then stick that part to the arrow shaft about 1 to 1-1/2 inches from the end were the knock use to be. You will get better flight and accuracy if you angle your vane’s to make the arrow spin, but it isn’t required for good performance.

Step 7: Reapeat

Picture of Reapeat
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Once you have repeated this to all three to five sides you are ready to cut out the actual shape your vane/feather will be. I like to use a downsized version of the original vane’s shape, and make normally three of these.

Step 8: The Nock

Picture of The Nock
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For this I found that hot gluing a golf tee into the shaft is the best way to go.  Shooting arrows with the standard nock is OK but it seem to put more stress on your fingers, and can sometimes slip out. The last thing to do after this is to screw in your point.
Now you’re all set to shoot!  I hoped you enjoyed this instructable and wish to see more in the future.

41 Genius Camping Hacks You Must Try

 

 

1. Make pizza in your pie iron with biscuit dough.

Get the complete recipe here. You can also just use sliced bread and a little butter.

 

2. Line your pie iron with foil for easy clean up.

Line your pie iron with foil for easy clean up.

You can go from grilled cheese to apple pie pocket with practically no clean up.

 

3. Wrapping your meat in cabbage leaves will keep it from getting burnt to a crisp.

Wrapping your meat in cabbage leaves will keep it from getting burnt to a crisp.

The cabbage is dense and moist enough to create the perfect nonstick barrier. No more accidental charred-to-a-crisp meals!

 

4. A miniature Tic Tac box makes a great miniature tackle box.

A miniature Tic Tac box makes a great miniature tackle box.

 

5. Adding sage to your campfire or fire pit keeps mosquitoes and bugs away.

Adding sage to your campfire or fire pit keeps mosquitoes and bugs away.

 

6. Kids can make an adorable and easy keepsake bracelet out of duct tape.

Kids can make an adorable and easy keepsake bracelet out of duct tape.

They can stick things on, like tiny pebbles, flowers, or leaves, and create a souvenir from their nature walk. Just make sure the sticky side is on the outside.

 

7. Here’s an awesome s’mores hack your kids will love:

Here's an awesome s'mores hack your kids will love:

 

8. Stovetop popcorn (like Jiffy Pop) can be made over a campfire.

They’re so easy to transport, and kids will be amazed when the foil begins to expand. Just be careful, as the handle will become very hot.

You can also make your own out of popcorn kernels and aluminum foil. Directions here.

 

9. Keep extra duct tape for emergencies right on your water bottle.

Keep extra duct tape for emergencies right on your water bottle.

 

10. Make eggs and bacon in a paper bag.

It’s an easy way to make multiple breakfasts at once. Get the recipe/directions here.

 

11. Use an acorn cap to loudly whistle for help if you’re lost in the woods.

Use an acorn cap to loudly whistle for help if you're lost in the woods.

Get the step-by-step instructions here.

 

Or make a willow whistle.

Or make a willow whistle.

Get the instructions here.

 

12. These compact towels can dry off two people after swimming and are dry to the touch within an hour of use.

These compact towels can dry off two people after swimming and are dry to the touch within an hour of use.

Purchase here.

 

13. Bailey’s dipped toasted marshmallows are a must for camping.

Bailey's dipped toasted marshmallows are a must for camping.

Toast a marshmallow over hot coals, and then dip the warm marshmallow into a cup of Bailey’s. They’re so delicious and addictive, you’ll want to make them even when you’re NOT camping.

 

14. Make flaming Jell-O marshmallow shots.

Make flaming Jell-O marshmallow shots.

HOW COOL IS THIS. Fill the marshmallows with a Jell-o mixture and dip into rum. Get the full recipe/directions here.

 

15. Make a last-minute camping spoon with a knife and a plastic bottle.

Make a last-minute camping spoon with a knife and a plastic bottle.

 

16. Fill a gallon milk jug with water and 1/4 cup salt to use as a salt block for your cooler.

The jugs mean that you won’t get water all over your food when the ice melts. The salt will make the cold last longer — however, it also means that the water in the jugs won’t double as emergency drinking water.

Read more about it here.

 

17. Carry your seasonings in straws.

Carry your seasonings in straws.

Just use a lighter to re-seal.

 

18. You can also keep seasonings, toppings, and condiments separate but organized in stackable pill containers.

You can also keep seasonings, toppings, and condiments separate but organized in stackable pill containers.

Label with a Sharpie.

 

19. Blue cheese filled bacon-wrapped mushrooms are the savory version of a campfire s’more.

Blue cheese filled bacon-wrapped mushrooms are the savory version of a campfire s'more.

Get the full directions here.

 

20. This is the coolest tarp trick:

This is the coolest tarp trick:

Use a small stick to help secure the main center line. When pressure is put on one end, the line will tighten evenly, keeping the grommets from being torn out.

 

21. Pre-make your food and vacuum seal it.

Pre-make your food and vacuum seal it.

It will stay fresh longer and will be easier to pack.

 

22. Keep your toiletries hooked onto a shower caddy.

Keep your toiletries hooked onto a shower caddy.

You can buy one here for $9.95 or make your own.

 

23. Slit foam swim noodles lengthwise and slip over each awning strut.

Slit foam swim noodles lengthwise and slip over each awning strut.

Not only are you less likely to bump into them in the dark, but they’ll be padded!

You can also use a pool noodle to cushion a canoe before strapping it to your car to protect from scratching.

 

24. Carry some emergency TP in an Altoids container.

Carry some emergency TP in an Altoids container.

Especially if you’re going to be venturing off on a hike or nature walk.

 

25. A 16-ounce water bottle will hold 8–9 large eggs.

A 16-ounce water bottle will hold 8–9 large eggs.

Pre-scrambling your eggs will save you the trouble of having to figure out a way of transporting them. It also eliminates the need for a separate bowl and whisk.

 

26. This collapsible silicone coffee dripper takes up almost no space.

This collapsible silicone coffee dripper takes up almost no space.

And it has a super high Amazon.com rating. Get it here for $10.99.

 

27. For fewer burrs, rub the laces of your hiking boots with paraffin before hitting the trail.

28. Corn chips (like Fritos or Doritos) make a great substitute kindling when starting a fire.

Corn chips (like Fritos or Doritos) make a great substitute kindling when starting a fire.

 

29. Make an inexpensive candle lantern out of a used tuna can and a candle.

Make an inexpensive candle lantern out of a used tuna can and a candle.

The foil will reflect the light and create more glow. It could potentially block some wind, as well.

 

30. Silicone cups are unbreakable and super easy to pack.

Silicone cups are unbreakable and super easy to pack.

Get ‘em here.

 

31. Make toothpaste dots.

Make toothpaste dots.

Spread them out on a plate, let them dry for 2–3 days, and then sprinkle baking soda over them. Once they dry, just pop them into a resealable plastic bag.

 

32. Keep your TP dry in a CD spindle.

If you’re trying to save space because you’re backpacking, take the tube out and flatten the toilet paper. Keep it in a plastic bag instead.

 

33. Instant grits will keep ants away from your campsite.

Instant grits will keep ants away from your campsite.

Just sprinkle wherever you see the ants.

 

34. Use biodegradable trail marking tape so you don’t get lost while hiking.

Use biodegradable trail marking tape so you don't get lost while hiking.

Buy it here.

 

35. Safely remove a tick with a cotton ball soaked in liquid hand soap.

Keep it on the tick for at least 20 seconds. The tick will cease biting, back out, and will remain stuck to the cotton ball when it’s pulled away. If the tick has been embedded for awhile, keep it in a jar so you can test it for Lyme disease.

Note that there is debate on whether this actually works. Here’s a testimonial that says it does, but there’s no scientific evidence to back it up, so try at your own risk and keep a pair of tweezers in your first aid kit.

 

36. Your deodorant doubles as a mosquito bite itch queller.

Your deodorant doubles as a mosquito bite itch queller.

 

37. Make solar camp lanterns out of mason jars and solar disks.

Make solar camp lanterns out of mason jars and solar disks.

Get the full directions here.

 

38. Johnson’s Baby Creamy Oil doubles as a super effective mosquito repellent.

Johnson's Baby Creamy Oil doubles as a super effective mosquito repellent.

And you won’t smell like bug repellent.

 

39. Glue sandpaper to the top of your match holder.

Glue sandpaper to the top of your match holder.

Keeping your matches in a tupperware or stainless container will ensure they don’t get wet.

 

40. Cobble together a makeshift shower using a large water jug and a watering can head.

Cobble together a makeshift shower using a large water jug and a watering can head.

Get the full directions here.

 

41. Make camping sangria concentrate using a mason jar.

Make camping sangria concentrate using a mason jar.

No, you don’t have to go camping to try this delicious sangria. Get the full recipe here.

Click here for more ingenious camping spots!

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