Prepare for the Unthinkable: Arm Yourself with Essential Survival Skills and Knowledge!

Get Started with Prepping: Essential Tips for Beginners

In an unpredictable world, being prepared for unexpected events and emergencies is a wise choice. Prepping, short for preparedness, involves acquiring the knowledge, skills, and supplies necessary to effectively navigate and survive various crisis situations. Whether you’re interested in natural disasters, economic uncertainties, or personal safety, embarking on your prepping journey can provide peace of mind and the ability to take care of yourself and your loved ones.

effectively navigate and survive various crisis situations

This guide will help you get started with prepping by recommending online channels to follow, providing steps for exploring this new journey, and sharing essential tips for beginners.

1. Online Channels for Prepping:

The internet is a valuable resource for preppers, offering a vast array of educational and informative content. Here are some recommended channels to get you started:

a. Year Zero Survival: Is a comprehensive website that covers various aspects of preparedness. They share practical tips, gear reviews, and survival techniques.

b. Canadian Prepper: This channel provides a wealth of knowledge on prepping, survival skills, gear reviews, and discussions on current events. Canadian Prepper offers practical advice for both urban and wilderness survival scenarios.

c. The Urban Prepper: Focusing on urban preparedness, this channel offers tips for city dwellers, apartment preppers, and those with limited space. It covers topics such as food storage, self-defense, and urban gardening.

d. Sensible Prepper: Offers a wide range of prepping videos, including bug-out bags, gear reviews, DIY projects, and everyday carry items. The channel emphasizes practical and cost-effective solutions.

e. Wranglerstar: Is a homesteading and self-sufficiency channel that covers various aspects of preparedness, such as woodworking, off-grid living, and outdoor skills.

start your prepping journey on the right foot

2. Exploring the Prepping Lifestyle:

To start your prepping journey on the right foot, consider the following steps:

a. Assess your needs: Identify the potential risks and hazards in your area and determine the specific areas of preparedness you want to focus on. This could include food and water storage, emergency shelter, first aid, self-defense, or alternative energy sources.

b. Research and educate yourself: Read books, articles, and online resources about prepping. Watch videos, attend workshops or classes, and seek advice from experienced preppers. Building a strong knowledge foundation is crucial.

c. Start with the basics: Begin by acquiring essential supplies like water storage containers, non-perishable food items, first aid kits, flashlights, and batteries. Gradually expand your inventory based on your needs and budget.

d. Practice skills: Prepping isn’t just about stockpiling supplies; it also involves acquiring practical skills. Learn first aid, basic self-defense techniques, fire starting, gardening, and other relevant skills that will be valuable in emergency situations.

e. Connect with the community: Join online forums, social media groups, or local prepping communities to connect with like-minded individuals. Networking with experienced preppers can provide valuable insights and support

emergency alerts and notifications

3. Essential Tips for Beginners:

As a beginner in the world of prepping, keep the following tips in mind:

a. Prioritize the basics: Focus on the essentials first, such as water, food, shelter, and medical supplies. Aim to have a sufficient amount of clean water (at least one gallon per person per day) and non-perishable food to last for at least two weeks.

b. Create a bug-out bag: Prepare a portable emergency kit, often called a bug-out bag or go-bag, that contains essential items for survival on the go. Include items like a multi-tool, first aid supplies, a flashlight, extra clothing, cash, and copies of important documents.

c. Rotate and maintain supplies: Regularly check the expiration dates of food, medications, and other perishable items in your supplies. Create a rotation system to ensure items are consumed or replaced before they expire.

d. Develop a communication plan: Establish a communication plan with your family or household members. Determine how you will stay connected during emergencies, including meeting points, emergency contacts, and alternative communication methods like walkie-talkies or ham radios.

e. Practice and adapt: Regularly practice your prepping skills, such as setting up a tent, purifying water, or starting a fire. Conduct drills with your family to ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities during an emergency.

f. Stay informed: Stay updated on current events, weather forecasts, and potential hazards in your area. Sign up for emergency alerts and notifications to receive timely information.

g. Physical fitness and self-defense: Engage in regular exercise to maintain good physical fitness, as it will contribute to your overall preparedness. Consider learning self-defense techniques to enhance personal safety and security.

h. Consider sustainability: Explore sustainable practices such as gardening, composting, and renewable energy sources. These skills can provide long-term self-sufficiency and resilience.

Learn skills can provide long-term self-sufficiency and resilience.


Prepping is a journey that requires ongoing learning, preparation, and adaptation. By following informative online channels like Year Zero Survival, Canadian Prepper, The Urban Prepper, Sensible Prepper, and Wranglerstar, you can gain valuable insights and guidance.

Remember to assess your needs, research, start with the basics, practice skills, and connect with the prepping community. Prioritize the essentials, maintain your supplies, and develop a communication plan. Stay informed, stay fit, and consider sustainable practices. Embrace the prepping mindset to ensure you and your loved ones are better prepared for whatever challenges may arise.

(Note: is a comprehensive website that covers various aspects of preparedness. It offers practical tips, gear reviews, and survival techniques. Visit the website for more in-depth information.)

How Long Do Magazine Springs Really Last?

As a gun owner, you’ve probably assessed your firearm and examined where its reliability could be tested given a slew of survival scenarios. Undoubtedly, you’ve looked carefully at the magazine. It is after all the critical component that a magazine-fed firearm relies on to feed ammo into the chamber effectively and efficiently. Are you positive it’ll always work when you need it to? As you most likely know, a magazine contains a certain metal component which renders the entire firearm ineffective when it breaks or loses its elasticity. We are speaking of course about the spring, which is why the latest project from recently garnered our attention.

How long can a mag spring last? Does leaving a mag loaded for an extended period of time gradually damage its spring? Does the simple act of loading a mag damage its spring in any measurable way? These are the questions Ammo To Go set out to answer by conducting a mag spring torture test (or mag spring enhanced interrogation test, if any congressional committees ask about it).

Ammo To Go’s Mag Spring Test Process

The team at Ammo To Go spent almost a year loading, unloading, and testing the spring functionality of 13 different mags:

  • Magpul Gen 2 PMAG (30 rds)
  • Magpul Gen 3 PMAG (30 rds)
  • Magpul Gen 3 PMAG (40 rds)
  • Amend2 AR-15 mag (30 rds)
  • Lancer AR-15 mag (30 rds)
  • USGI AR-15 mag (30 rds)
  • Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm mag (8 rds)
  • ETS Glock 17 mag (17 rds)
  • Glock 17 Factory mag (17 rds)
  • Magpul Glock 17 mag (17 rds)
  • Glock 17 Factory mag (33 rds)
  • USGI 45 ACP 1911 mag (7 rds)
  • Wilson Combat 45 ACP 1911 mag (8 rds)

First, they used a digital force gauge to establish each mag spring’s resistance. Then they subjected samples of each mag listed above to the following test protocol over the course of year.

  1. Load to full capacity; store in climate controlled environment
  2. Load to full capacity; store in shed where temperatures regularly fluctuate to over 100 °F
  3. Do not load; store in climate controlled environment
  4. Do not load; store in the miserably hot and stuffy shed
  5. Load to half capacity; store in climate controlled environment
  6. Load and unload to full capacity five times biweekly; store in climate controlled environment
  7. Load and unload to full capacity 15 times biweekly; store in climate controlled environment
  8. Load and unload to full capacity 15 times biweekly; store in the same horrible shed

The ATG crew regularly took the mags to the range for field testing throughout the duration of the test. Their team fired one round every two seconds, and then used the same digital force gauge to determine whether the mag springs’ resistance values changed in any significant way.

The Mag Spring Torture Test Results

After about ten months, hundreds of hours, thousands of rounds, and countless mosquito bites, their team determined the following: zilch.

Allow us to elaborate using the PMAGs as an example. Regardless of how frequently they were loaded or unloaded – and regardless of their storage conditions – not a single PMAG failed. The digital force gauge revealed zero significant variability in their springs’ resistance!

This isn’t to suggest that the PMAGs weren’t changed over the course of testing. In many cases the springs put up 20-25% less resistance than they had when the mags were fresh out of their factory packaging. Even so, all of the PMAGs performed flawlessly during field testing, and the other manufacturers’ mags followed suit.

So, They Did Even More Testing

The test protocol revealed that factory mags are pretty much unaffected by regular usage. But they wanted to determine precisely how much punishment a mag can tolerate before its spring starts pushing up daisies. That’s why they recruited help from the only people who are bigger nerds than us: the laboratory technicians of Applied Technical Services.

The team gave ATS a factory 17-round G17 mag and a 30-round PMAG. They slightly modified each mag to fit correctly into their spring compressing contraption and proceeded to punish the absolute bejeezus out of the poor little springs.

Their results were fascinating. The G17 mag spring endured 14,842 cycles (the equivalent of 252,314 rounds) before it snapped; the PMAG endured 69,881 cycles (2,096,430 rounds) before it finally gave up the ghost. To put that into context, if you were to fire a case of 223 Rem ammo every two weeks, the PMAG spring would endure for eight decades. That’s bananas!

Infographic: PMAG Torture Test Results

Test Limitations

You can’t pretend that ATS’s testing perfectly emulated real world conditions. When they’re used by actual firearm enthusiasts, mags get dirty, subjected to temperature fluctuations, dropped, quickly reloaded, and otherwise mistreated. You can reasonably expect environmental damage to shorten a mag spring’s lifespan, but their tests didn’t confirm that expectation through scientific experimentation.

Regardless, it’s safe to conclude that mag springs are outstandingly rugged. Kudos to the manufacturers for appreciating just how essential springs really are!

Does Storing a Mag Half Loaded Extend Its Lifespan?

Many folks believe they can protect their mag springs by “downloading” – i.e. loading their mags shy of full capacity. Their reasoning is simple enough: by avoiding full compression, the spring retains its resistance and full functionality.

The ATG team put this theory to the test by downloading Gen 2 and Gen 3 PMAGs, as well as Amend2 AR, G17 and S&W Shield mags. After 10 months of identical use and storage conditions, they measured no significant difference in spring resistance between the downloaded mags and analogous mags that they left unloaded or fully loaded when they weren’t in use. Like we pointed out earlier, the test’s protocol doesn’t perfectly emulate real world conditions, but there’s no evidence downloading poses any actual advantage.


At the end of the day, it’s typically wear and tear or factory defects that render mags ineffective – not gradual spring deterioration. So long as you take care to maintain your firearm, you can expect reliable performance from your mag for many decades. One less thing to worry about, we say!

What Is The Shortest Effective Barrel Length For An AR-15

In this piece, we’re going to take a pass at addressing the question: what’s the shortest effective barrel length for an AR15? To do so, we’ll start with a little bit of general ballistic science to get some basic concepts under our feet. From there, some specific commentary on the operating mechanism of the AR platform, specifically the gas system, is important.

effective Barrel Length

But first, let’s define effective. Here, we mean an effective barrel length as one that can be used in an AR with which you can reasonably expect to engage human-sized targets out to about 300 yards with some skill involved.

Ballistic Science 101

When a bullet is fired, the burning powder builds pressure behind the bullet, pushing it forward through the barrel, where the bullet roughly seals against the rifling, accelerating as it travels down the barrel.

In general terms, greater barrel length means more velocity, which, in turn, means less bullet drop and greater accuracy. Of course, there’s a limit to this: a six-foot barrel would not net you many gains in velocity, but it would make the rifle extremely unwieldy, something like an old-timey Punt gun, which was a bow-mounted shotgun people used to hunt ducks.

AR15 Gas Systems

Regardless of barrel length, the AR15 is a direct gas impingement gun, requiring a gas tube that runs parallel to this barrel. To have the gun cycle as a semi-automatic firearm rather than a bolt action one, you’ll need to have a function gas system. These days, gas systems come in several more or less standard lengths.

Pistol length gas systems are the shortest, and they’re about 4” long. A carbine length system is 7” long. Further, a midsize gas system is 9” long and the longest, rifle systems are 12” long. These, as you’ll see soon, correspond to several barrel lengths, and with accompanying pros and cons.

Six Inch Barrels

About the shortest barrel that you can hope to have normal function in an AR is a 6” barrel. These will have substantial accuracy problems because of a short sight radius as well as the fact that the bullet will not get up to normal velocity, resulting in a bullet drop. These will function with a pistol-length gas system and might work for extremely close quarters work, but be careful as you’ll have your hands awfully close to the muzzle at all times.

 the shortest barrel that you can hope to have normal function in an AR is a 6” barrel.

Ten To Twelve Inch Barrels

With a little bit longer barrel comes a little more velocity: with a carbine gas system, these short ARs can gain some serious accuracy over the extremely short models, but you’ll still notice that bullet drop will start sooner than you’d like.

This is a common length of AR for folks in special forces who know that their mission will take them indoors, as this is a compact weapon that still can reach out to about 200 yards with a little bit of practice. Overall, these are the first reasonable option we think is out there if you want accuracy past room-clearing distances.

Thirteen to Sixteen Inch Barrels

This is, in some regards, the Goldilocks zone for AR barrel lengths, as we’ll develop in the next section. Paired with a Carbine length gas system, rifles with barrels of this length give up very little in terms of velocity when compared to longer barrels but are a little more compact than longer weapons. Additionally, the carbine gas system, balanced with an appropriate buffer spring and weight, are exceptionally soft recoiling weapons, which makes follow-up shots a lot easier.

the Goldilocks zone for AR barrel lengths

Twenty Inch Barrels

About the longest barrel you’re likely to see on an AR platform rifle is 20.” These give the greatest possible velocity out of standard 5.56mm ammunition, without being too bulky for people to use in adaptable mission settings. Barrels of this length are less common now but are a good choice for folks who want to stretch the legs of the platform. With a rifle-length gas system, they’re also exceptionally reliable weapons as well, as this is basically the design as it was first developed in the 1950s.

So, What’s the Best Barrel Length?

As with most things in the firearms world, the answer is: what’s your purpose?

If you want the best possible ballistics, then a 20” barrel with a rifle-length gas system is the way to go. Even though these are long and a little heavier than what’s common these days, most accuracy-focused setups will have longer barrels to get additional velocity and a longer sight radius for iron sights.  The M16A1, as issued in Vietnam, came with a barrel of this length and it performed well for troops for years.

Of course, some people don’t want the best ballistics, and they are looking for a handy gun to use in home defense. To that end, a Short-Barreled-Rifle might well be the most effective: a 10” barrel with a pistol length gas system can be highly effective in close quarters and they’re super handy. If it were up to us, we’d also put a suppressor on it to tame the unholy muzzle blast that comes from all of the unburnt powder and unused energy from short barrels.

For most folks, something in between works well. Enter the M4, the standard service rifle in the hands of several million people in the armed forces all over the world. With a 14.5” barrel and a carbine length gas system, the M4 can reach out to about 300 yards with no issue but is also handy enough to be pressed into room-clearing duty in, say, Fallujah. This is what we go with most of the time on our personal rifles.

With all of that said, and government paperwork aside, you don’t really have to choose. It’s entirely possible to have a single lower receiver, a few buffer springs, and a set of uppers that you can change out in seconds depending on your mission requirement. That’s one of the brilliant things about the AR 15 design, and we personally own several different barrel lengths for different tasks.

Must Have Items to Take Hunting

If you do not have the items you need to get through the day, hunting can be tricky! There are the normal things you need to have on hand like rifle magazines, snacks, extra water, or a small first aid kit. But what are some things you may need that you would not normally think to pack? Forgetting the small things is so easy to do, but it can make a significant impact on the experience you have on your trip. Save yourself some grief and be sure to include the following five things in your hunting pack.

 Must Have Items to Take Hunting


Just the thought of lugging around an extra bag or crate of decoys can feel frustrating. However, having a few on hand can increase the amount of game you see in your crosshairs. Either those of deer or of fowl, are made of light materials, but they help your prey feel safer in the area you set the decoy. An important tip to remember is to set the decoy upwind from where you will be. This will help keep your scent from flowing towards the decoy and tipping off the prey of your whereabouts. Decoys look interesting and cause the hunted animals to be curious about who the decoy is (are they from my herd or somewhere else?). If you want to make decoys extra effective, you can purchase decoy smells to add, further luring out the hunted prey. The sense of smell is one that animals rely heavily upon, so adding this layer to your decoys can further increase your daily yield.

Laundry Detergent

You may not think about doing laundry before or after your hunting escapade, but you will if it means further disguising yourself from the animal you are hunting. Wildlife Research Center’s Super Charged Scent Killer Clothing Wash is one of the many options available to kick the nasty scent of “human.” There are body sprays and the like that you can keep in your pack for your trip. However, you will be adding a layer of smell protection when using the detergent, as your clothes will not smell like you, and they will trap in some of the odors that typically emanate from your body. Taking advantage of this will keep animals from suspecting you. Try washing your clothes in a scent killer laundry detergent and you will not be disappointed.

Trail Cameras

If you are new to the hunting scene, you may have never heard of or thought of setting up cameras around where you will have your hunting stand. At face value, this sounds like a lot of work for an unknown yield. However, they can help you keep an eye on your prey, even from a distance. Trail cameras are made rugged so that you can even consider putting them up for extended periods of time, no matter the weather. This gives you the opportunity to plan your hunting patterns on the grazing patterns of your prey. This allows you to create hunting locations based on the areas the animals frequent most. If you have been struggling with your tracking, if you are wanting to bag a certain amount or a specific animal, trail cameras can help you make better plans and properly execute those plans. Investment of time and money will serve you well. Do not let the novelty and the time commitment discourage you from using this helpful tool!

Surveyor’s Tape

Surveyor’s tape or another brightly colored tape or tie off will serve you well in the field. When you make a shot, you want to know you can gather your kill without getting lost in the woods. It can be easy to do, thinking you are on the correct trail then lose sight of both your kill and your stand. This can lead to you heading home emptyhanded. Avoid this tragedy by keeping surveyor’s tape in your pack to brightly mark where you have been. As you follow the blood trail or your trajectory path, put some of the tape on a nearby tree or other standing structure. This will guarantee that you can make it back to your starting point. If you lose track of your kill, you can also go back to the last place you were sure you were on the right track and continue the search from there. Having tape on your person can prove helpful in other situations, too, where you need to tape something back together or ensure you do not lose an item. Brightly colored tape can also be used as a signal to other hunters or emergency personnel in emergencies.

Zip ties

This may be a surprising suggestion, but zip-ties can serve many uses in the field. If you need to attach an extra item to your pack or if a zipper happens to break, zip ties can help you fix that! They can also be useful in tagging your kill or binding up their extremities for easier carry. Zip ties can also be used to help you mark your trek if you run out of or have forgotten your surveyor’s tape. Also, they can help you tie back branches that may be problematic when aiming or looking through your scope. Zip ties are cheap and are easy to use. They are even easier to take apart when you are done with them; just cut them!

Some items on this list may not be what you initially think of when you imagine packing for a hunting trip. However, thinking outside of the box with these items can help you better bag your prey, keep on the trail, and go home successfully. Why work harder when you can work smarter with things like decoys, scent killing detergent, trail cameras, surveyor’s tape, and zip ties? Make it easier for yourself and keep these items in your pack and encourage others to do the same. What are some other out of the box items you like to keep on you?

What Is the Best First Gun for New gun Owners?

What Is the Best First Gun for New gun Owners?

While many gun enthusiasts begin their journey at a young age, there are just as many late entries into gun ownership these days. Not everyone can build an AR lower into a complete AR 15.

Suppose you’re one of those thousands who are considering purchasing your first firearm. The odds are that you’re more than likely not going to enjoy the benefits of a tactically configured AR15 with an offset RMR red dot optic system attached to the upper receiver.

What you’ll discover is that you have minimal knowledge of firearms, in general, and your first trip to a gun store will be a bewildering mass of choices that will make your head spin.

Whether it’s a shotgun, small or big game rifles, or full-sized or concealed carry pistols, the best thing you should do in advance of your purchase is to do your homework.

Speak with veteran gun owners about their choices, take a few safety training classes that will not only teach you how to handle a firearm safely but give you advanced knowledge of the type of gun you’ll enjoy firing.

For the first-time gun shopper, the three targets you need to hit before you ever fire that first shot mean you’ll want to find a weapon with an acceptable balance of durability, price, of course, and lastly, a gun that is easy to use.

Concerning doing the research, here are a few suggestions that may help your decision-making regardless of whether you’re seeking to purchase your very first rifle, shotgun, or pistol.  


Pistols as a first gun

The field of quality pistols on the market today is vast and can be downright confusing when picking out the right one for you. How you carry one, what you intend to use it for, and what size you need that’s a perfect fit for your hands and shooting style all come into play in the world of pistols.

You’ll likely come across brand names such as Glock, Smith & Wesson, Sig Sauer, and others while searching for the best handgun for you. While these companies may provide the best solution, note that it will still take much investigation on your part before you finally choose the right one for you. 

Suppose you decide to search for the perfect concealed carry pistol. While there are no actual guidelines that help you resolve the complex subject of concealed carry, one handgun that arguably comes as close to the perfect handgun is the M&P Shield 9mm from Smith & Wesson. A pistol red dot sight attached to your handgun is a great option for concealed carry.

The M&P Shield has redefined the concealed carry industry for over a decade, offering an affordable pistol with outstanding ergonomics regardless of hand size and seven or eight-shot magazine capacity.

You may want to consider purchasing a Performance Center Shield that offers two ports along the barrel to reduce muzzle flip traditionally experienced with smaller pistols. Buying a Performance Center Shield like the M&P 9mm means making a perfect concealed carry pistol even better for a few dollars more.

While this list of guns for the first-time gun owner is not comprehensive, it should help you on your way to years of exhilarating moments at the range, in the woods hunting small or big game, and while sitting in a duck blind.  


Are rifles a good first gun to own?

Produced for over fifty years, the Ruger 10/22 is arguably one of the best small game rimfire rifles on the market today.

Capable of firing .22 caliber and 22LR caliber cartridges, this single rifle from Ruger has created a proliferation of aftermarket parts and accessories, giving a new gun owner endless customization capabilities that meet and exceed all the needs of a first-time gun owner.

Another fantastic feature of the Ruger 10/22 is that the rifle’s operation has changed very little over the years, providing its owner with a highly reliable and unique rotary-feed magazine and semi-automatic blowback action.

If you dream of being one with nature and making a long shot to bring down a much bigger game but still love the feel and action of your Ruger 10/22, then consider graduating to another rifle by Ruger, the Ruger American.

Ruger introduced the American almost a decade ago, providing a reliable and affordable alternative to Ruger’s Model 77 Hawkeye. The American comes in multiple calibers and various magazine configurations, and the American buttstock integrates with the bedding block to create a free-floating barrel.

The Ruger American also sports an adjustable trigger and a two-position tang-mounted safety system. One of the most notable features aside from the ease of operation that separates the Ruger American from most big game rifles is its out-of-the-box accuracy.

With sufficient amounts of practice, you’ll soon surprise yourself with spectacular shot placement and grouping even if you’re firing a high-velocity caliber round such as a Creedmoor 6.5 at a distance of over one hundred yards.


What about shotguns?

While you can choose a reliable shotgun such as Remington 870 Wingmaster for upland fowl hunting, keep in mind the three things you’ll want to achieve as a first-time gun buyer. Remington offers a shotgun that provides all the excellent functionality of the Wingmaster but at a much more affordable price. With a receiver machined from a single steel block, the Remington 870 express comes in .410, twenty gauge, and 12-gauge models and vent-ribbed barrels of either twenty-six or twenty-eight inches.

Like its cousin, the Wingmaster, the 870 Express is a literal no-frills workhorse for upland hunting and handles two and three quarter and three-inch shells consistently and effectively. The 870 express from Remington also comes in compact and Jr. versions for the younger first-time upland hunters.

One of the best things about a pump shotgun is that most of them hit the sweet spot for affordability.

In 2020 Browning introduced the BPS Field Mossy Oak Shadow Grass. Though this waterfowl pump shotgun is slightly heavier, weighing in at around eight pounds, if you’re sitting in a duck blind, the additional weight probably won’t be much of an issue.

The Mossy Oak Shadow Grass is somewhat more costly than other Browning shotguns, but it does offer one fantastic feature that makes it a perfect choice for both the veteran and the first-time waterfowl hunter.

Browning manufactures the BPS Field Mossy Oak so that the spent shells eject straight down from the bottom of the shotgun receiver. Browning’s straight-down approach to shell ejections prevents distraction and helps you keep your eyes on the sight and the target.

An essential factor, especially for a first timer who needs plenty of practice learning to hit those fast-moving birds on the wing.  


You’ll discover that purchasing and firing your first gun will become a very personal moment for you. Many veteran gun enthusiasts will quickly point out and proudly display the very first gun they ever purchased.

Over time while on your journey from novice to veteran gun owner, you’ll never forget the first gun you ever bought and will probably want to break it down, clean it and take it to the range for a few hours of nostalgic shooting. 

How To Make Your Own Clothing

Many survivalists continuously check and rotate their potable water and food stores stocks and make sure their AR15 provides dependable operation and efficiency and that they have plenty of ammunition. Each veteran prepper will also ensure they stock sufficient stores of survival equipment such as radios, maps, survival tools, and plenty of paracord for building shelters.

Learn to make your own clothes

Suppose you’ve been in the survivalist circle for longer than a few months and are confident in your off-the-grid stocks. It’s probably safe to say that you’ve already thought to include several clothing changes to accommodate survivability depending on the weather conditions amongst all those bug-out bags. Where the problem begins is when tough stuff hits the fan, and you and your family’s life changes dramatically to the point that your off-the-grid lifestyle eventually becomes your daily grind. Many survivalists have a checklist to make sure they are prepared. Is your AR scope still zeroed in and are your rifle’s well maintained? Do you have enough ammo? When’s the last time you checked your potable water and food stores stocks?

Yes, you may have learned all the necessary skills to forage for food and water when the supplies run out, and you probably took advantage of the pre-disaster time to learn and practice hunting skills when the food sources thin out, but what about your clothing? Shirt and pants fabric will wear out much faster than the internal mechanics of your tools and AR15. Although you may be able to muster up enough skills to mend the rips, eventually, the clothing you and your family donned at the beginning of your venture and the clothing you stocked will wear to the point that you’re going to have to replace them.

Keep in mind that if everyone who lived through the disaster is in survival mode, the chances of making a trip to a local store and picking out a few outfits off the rack will probably not happen. Aside from eventually being forced to wear a few well-placed fig leaves to cover the appropriate areas, you may want to consider how to make your fabric and how to make your clothing.  

The Material Comes First

When making your survival clothing, the first skill set you’ll need to master is how to make the material you’ll use to make all the clothing. If you think you’ll be able to depend on an overabundance of leather on the hoof, remember that food and leather sources on the hoof such as cattle and deer will become scarcer as the length of an emergency expands. 

Not only will you not be able to bag multiple leather options for you and your family, but you’ll not be able to score material, patterns, or even the tools necessary to make shoes or clothing. Remember that for hundreds of years before we came into the picture, our ancestors relied on readily available cotton, flax, hemp, and other plants to create clothing material and thread with manually operated spinning wheels and looms.

Sew for survival

You may be thinking right now that it’s not like you’ll be able to carry around a full-sized fabric loom around with you each time you bug out to a new location, but you don’t have to. You’d be amazed at the amount of yarn material you can create with a drop spindle, a spinning wheel, and even a good pair of sturdy crochet needles. If you’re already into knitting, you’re ahead of the game when it comes to making sweaters, gloves, hats, and other types of clothing for you and the family. Begin investigating the skills you’ll need to find, grow, or collect the plants you’ll need for creating material now. After you’ve mastered those, then practice using a manual spinning wheel or drop spindle until you can instinctively spin fibers into workable yarn or thread. One thing to note about drop spindles is that they come in various sizes to meet the needs of the fiber you’re attempting to spin.

Fasteners and Tools

During an extended emergency, don’t expect to find an abundance of zippers, hooks-and-eyes, and even Velcro fasteners for your survival shirts, coats, pants, or shoes. You’ll probably need to rely on buttons made from animal bone, sanded, or carved wood in an actual survival situation. You can use just about anything at your disposal when making buttons, so long as you can poke between two or four holes of sufficient size that allows you to pass your survival-made thread through.

When it comes to tools to use when making your survival clothing, you’ll probably want to have one or two bug-out bags dedicated to only what you’ll need when putting the material together. While the list of tools you’ll need to carry is not exhaustive, ensure you have crochet hooks of various sizes and knitting needles, again in multiple sizes.

When it comes to cutting thread or the material you’ve created with your drop spindle, then you’ll need small scissors for the yarn or thread you make and a larger pair for the thicker pieces of leather or material. While many of you may have used patterns to cut out your clothing material, you’re probably not going to get a chance to shop for pre-cut patterns. In your survival clothing bug-out bags, be sure to include an ample supply of large paper bags or newspapers to shape and cut out your latest survival fashion designs. Finally on the list, your clothing survival kit should include a significant number of push pins, stick size guides for knitting, a flexible tape measure, and when working with leather, a reliable leather punch or awl to top it all off.

Better Than a Pair of Moccasins

It’s an excellent possibility that you’re not likely to find a sufficient supply of resins or synthetic rubber to fashion soles for a new pair of dependable shoes in the post-disaster world. However, if you stumble across a cache of old tires, you’ll want to ensure you cut several swatches of the tire to take along. Rubber tires make perfect soles for a pair of lightweight survivalist shoes. One thing you’ll need is a few shoe forms in various sizes, and since you’ve already included heavy-duty scissors in your kit for material, the same should handle your leather or canvas cutting needs as well.  

Learn to make your own shoes

A good pair of dependable survival shoes made from canvas or leather uppers, rubber lowers, and yes, even wood will become second nature after a few attempts. If you think crafting a pair of dependable shoes out of wood won’t work for you, here’s an interesting fact. Wooden shoes, or clogs, were created in the thirteenth century, worn for everyday use by the local peasantry, and eventually became fashionable footwear in the fourteenth century.

As with any skill you’ve never attempted before, growing, or locating the right plants to form yarn, thread, and material, learning how to shape clothing patterns out of paper bags, and building a pair of dependable shoes with canvas uppers and tire lowers will take a lot of practice. It’s doubtful you’ll not learn these skills by osmosis, so you’ll need to start now to be ready when left to your own devices and making your own clothing while off the grid.

What Attire Should You Wear for Your First 3-Gun Competition?

While going through an ample supply of magazines, plinking targets at the range might be ideal for most recreational gun owners; nothing says excitement more than participating in a 3-gun competition. Most first-timers typically ensure their AR15 upper receiver has a match-grade barrel and the perfect red dot ruggedized miniature reflex sight.

What Attire Should You Wear for Your First 3-Gun Competition?

Also, they’ll probably want to adequately maintain their semi-automatic shotgun and pistol to guarantee superior functionality while on the course. There are, however, a few other items you’ll want to include in your gear on your first attempts, such as a range bag with all the maintenance tools and cleaning items, plenty of water and high-protein snacks, and the proper eye and ear protection.

If you’ve studied what a 3-gun competition requires, you’ll understand that the correct competition clothing will make all the difference in the world regarding comfort and mobility. As any seasoned 3-gun veteran will tell you, wearing suitable tops, pants, belts, and footwear not only should keep you cool and comfortable but also help you gain a tactical advantage.

Shirts for Competition

When selecting a competitive shooting top, the first thing to check is how well the fabric stretches and moves with your body. Not only should the shirt flex with your body motion, but the material needs to move about without getting in the way of your movements.

A breathable top is essential when participating in any USPSA 3-gun competition, which calls for continuous action as you run through an obstacle course while firing three different types of firearms. The tactical top you select should also contain snag-resistant fabric so you can quickly deploy and return your pistol, rifle, or shotgun to its preordained place.

USPSA 3-gun matches call for rapid movement and running the course

Moisture-wicking properties are essential when picking out a competition shirt or top for 3-gun matches. USPSA 3-gun matches call for rapid movement and running the course against the clock while rapidly acquiring targets and maintaining precise shot placement. You’ll no doubt break a large sweat, and extensive collections of perspiration can not only be uncomfortable but frequently prevent you from your giving it your best performance.

Shooting Jackets

Not all 3-gun competitions occur in the late spring or summertime, and you may discover your first time in competition may require more than just a tactical shooting top, pants, and footwear to keep you comfortable during the match. Remember that not every winter jacket is equal when wearing a shooting jacket while participating in your first 3-gun competition.

The first thing to look for when picking out a shooting vest, let’s say AR500 Bullet Proof Vest, is that it won’t restrict arm motion when worn while aiming and firing at targets on the course. If you can’t quickly acquire the target and place the shot were intended because the jacket restricts your motion, then the fact it keeps you warm and dry during a match won’t matter much.

The jacket you choose needs rip-stop fabric in case of an accidental snag or contact with a sharp object, and the lining should be thin enough to allow freedom of motion and yet provide you the right amount of layer protection without bulk. While many first-time participants don’t think about them, you’ll want to ensure the cuffs of your jacket are hook and loop so you can keep the sleeve cuffs out of the way of your hands as you make it through the course.

Blue Jeans or Shooting Pants

Admittedly, many first-time 3-gun competitors slide into a pair of their favorite relaxed-fit blue jeans off the hanger to wear during competition. Unfortunately, your favorite blue jeans can sometimes rip in the most embarrassing locations. When selecting a few pairs of shooting pants, be sure to check for reinforced seams in the seat of the pants and bar-tack reinforcement at all the major stress points.

When selecting a few pairs of shooting pants, be sure to check for reinforced seams

Also, when it comes to a ripped pair of pants, you should check to ensure the pants are made of Flex-Tac® rip-stop fabric. If you’re not sure where to find shooting pants such as this, look at some of the tactical clothing the Stryke company manufactures.

Since this is probably your first time competing in 3-gun competition, you may not have thought about the amount of kneeling instances you’ll experience as you travel through the course. Even the least challenging 3-gun course may resemble a few blocks of a war-torn city that recently suffered a catastrophic event. There’ll be rubble and rocks and all kinds of objects you may have to plant your knees on to make the shot. Ensure the shooting pants you pick out have kneepad-ready knees beneath the exterior fabric to make the entire ordeal more palatable and less painful.

A Belt That Works Overtime

Although it stands to reason a belt will hold up your shooting pants, a genuine shooting belt does so much more than that. A proper shooting belt should not only be sturdy enough to hold your pistol’s holster, but it should also be strong enough to handle items such as additional mag pouches, multi-tool packs, and assorted accessories.

One of the best belts to consider is the Maverick Battle Belt which features the correct type of ergonomic curve to provide maximum stability while remaining extremely comfortable to wear. While many first-time 3-gun competitors don’t think a belt is essential because the fit of their pants is perfect on the hips, there are a few 3-gun competitions that require a belt of some sort to participate. As a first timer, be sure to check on the requirements of the match you intend to sign up for before you arrive.

Shoes on the Ground

Many first-time entries on a 3-gun match show up on their first day of shooting trials with various types of footwear such as combat lace-up boots, steel-toed work boots for additional ankle support, and yes, even cowboy boots. While this type of footwear may work well for some, it may not be the best selection of footwear for 3-gun competition.

When selecting the right kind of footwear, think about what you’ll need to accomplish as you compete. One of your shoes’ key capabilities needs to give you positive traction in various surfaces and conditions such as wet grass, mud, loose dirt, and even snow. If you don’t want to sacrifice mobility for stability, look at the line of competition footwear from Salomon Speedcross, which provides the perfect style of tread and traction you’ll need when racing through a 3-gun competition course.

Additional Gear

While these items aren’t clothing, they are essential items you’ll want to take with you when heading out to your first competition. Things such as tactical eyeglasses, workable earmuffs, and shooting gloves that withstand the heat of your upper receiver’s handguard and provide a positive grip on your shotgun and pistol are just as important when competing. So, be sure to bring them.

The Best Concealed Carry Pants for Women

Many women conceal carry their weapons. Many, if not most of them, make it look effortless and who knows how much they’re spending? Trust us when we say there are many great deals out there and they offer fashionable, as well as functional options that you don’t have to spend a fortune on.

The Best Concealed Carry Pants for Women

As any survivalist knows, the element of surprise can be the most advantageous asset you would ever need. Not to mention, the many “Gray Man” prepper enthusiasts who hold their own when it comes to effective and rational self-defense.

So it stands to follow that if a woman can conceal carry the right way, then an untrained eye will never suspect they were carrying a weapon under their clothes.

How do these women manage to hide the fact that they are carrying?

Are they simply uncomfortable the entire time?

Many women have found the comfort and ease of concealed carry pants made especially for them. These are a game-changer in the conceal carry world and make it easier than ever to carry your weapon.

What are the best options?

 Let us look.

Graystone 5.11 Concealed Carry Womens Concealment Compression Leggings

If you are all about comfort, these leggings are for you. They are made of polyester and spandex, making them extra stretchy while also being sturdy. They have a specially made front and back pocket, made specifically for conceal carry and giving you as quick of a draw as possible.

Grayston concealed carry women’s concealment compression leggings make It possible for you to carry your weapon while walking, running, working, or playing. These pants open many options for you if you want to carry more often.

women's concealment compression leggings

AC Undercover Concealment Leggings Holster

These leggings also provide comfort and support. They do this while offering you a variety of holstering options, including a pocket in the front and in the back. Both are placed in such a way that give you the easiest access possible.

Each holster in the leggings contain a retention strap, ensuring your weapon stays put during all activities. Small and medium weapons work best with this brand. Also, this brand has been known to run small, so you will want to purchase a larger size than you normally would.

UnderTech Undercover Women’s Concealment Shorts

Many conceal carry underwear made for women consist of bras or corsets. It is rare to find a well-made conceal underwear that look like shorts.

These UnderTech Undercover Women’s Concealment Shorts not only fit comfortably, but they are affordable at about $35.

It has two holsters in the back, making front carry impossible. They fit only small or medium handguns, but they give you the ability to carry in a dress, jeans, or even your pajamas without the bulk of other holsters on the market such as the belly band.

Undertech Undercover shorts are a great option for the summer months or in hot climates and still provide secure but concealed coverage for certain carry styles.

UnderTech Undercover Women’s Concealed Carry Bootcut Leggings

If you shop around, you can have a pair of concealed carry pants that are also bootcut, for under 100 bucks. They are made by UnderTech, a popular brand that is well known for creating comfortable, usable conceal carry clothing for women.

These pants feature two holsters, front and back, in your choice of left or right draw. These are more like legs than leggings, having a zipper enclosure and two functional zipper pockets.

It also has another zipper pocket on the inside of the front band, giving you a terrific way to hold credit cards, keys, or other sensitive items you want to keep close.

Bugout Bill Soft Rifle Case

Graystone Holster Shorts for Women

Graystone is another well-known brand, creating compression shorts for women. These can be easily used indoors, outdoors, as a layperson or as a military or law enforcement member. With the ambidextrous design, you have multiple options of how to carry.

With the perfect blend of polyester and spandex (73% polyester and 24% spandex), you will forget you are even wearing these holster shorts.

All you need to conceal your weapon while wearing these is a T-shirt and you are good to go! Plus, they come in your typical black or stylish white and free shipping is offered with both.

UnderTech Undercover Women’s Concealed Carry Short Shorts

If you are in the market for more contemporary short shorts or are wanting a pair that is more like underwear, this is the option for you. Coming in at about $63, these shorts are ambidextrous with two easily accessible holsters.

They are tailored from a micro/polyester blend, and are made right here in the USA. These were originally made for law enforcement officers to use in conjunction with their uniforms.

These are made especially for women, and the shorts contour to your body shape, no matter what body type you happen to have.

Comfortable to wear, easy to wash, and affordable, these may be the shorts you want to purchase.

UnderTech Undercover Women’s Zip-Pocket Concealed Carry Leggings

If you are enjoying the UnderTech Undercover products, these leggings may be for you. They come in varying colors to fit your personal style, and they have zipper pockets created to help you tote around what you need without having to hold onto an extra bag.

They also have a zipper closure, making them more like pants than leggings, allowing you to enhance your personal comfort.

Made of 90% nylon and 10% spandex, comfort is key with this set of concealment leggings.

You may want to keep this material in mind depending on what season you are going to be wearing them in. The inseam for these leggings is 29”, making them sit higher on your torso for a more flattering look.


There are many different options for women when looking for concealed firearm pants. You can even choose to wear shorts instead of pants, or you can have a pair of pants that are boot cut so you can wear your cowboy boots or work boots with them.

You could use the underclothes, holsters, or purses made for women to conceal. However, these are notoriously uncomfortable and difficult to conceal the shape of the weapon under your clothing.

This is not even to mention the possibility of becoming separated from your bag and having the added fear and worry of losing your firearm along with it.

Choosing the best conceal carry option for you can be overwhelming. Why not start with the best conceal carry pants?

Bottom line: Shop around, try your carry pants out, check them in the mirror as well as ask friends, and the more comfortable you are, the more prepared you will be in case of an emergency.

Be prepared!