The Dangers of Symbolic Events or Holidays in the United States

Symbolic Events and Holiday Dangers

Any gathering of people can be a potential target for someone or some group. This is nothing new however. Attacks at gatherings have happened for centuries, and they will continue to happen.

Mass casualties are the intention, so when people are grouped together it takes less effort and little training to inflict injury and to cause fatalities. Shooting into a crowd of people requires no training to kill a number of people in the crowd. It only requires the mindset needed to pull the trigger.

The definition of terrorism is to use violence and threats to intimidate or to coerce others, particularly for political purposes.

Staying home huddled in fear is not an option. If you are forced to change, because of a threat or a perceived threat then you have been coerced, and you now have lost a certain amount of freedom, but then again survival is the objective.

The so-called lone wolf attack is the hardest one to guard against, because a person can have intentions that are not disclosed or obvious to anyone, and if they are, it is usually to sympathizers that only encourage the behavior and not deter it. In some cases, there is no trail to pick up, so to speak. This person can show up at any event with a firearm concealed on their person and open fire. They can use a vehicle as a weapon or use explosives.

Situational Awareness

You have all heard the term, but how many of you practice it. Early humans literally had to guard against predators lurking at the entrances of their shelters. A foraging expedition or a trip to the river for water was fraught with dangers from other humans and four legged predators. Humans for centuries were conditioned to scan the trees, the darkened woods and to check the shadows for danger. A weapon was always at hand, and no one became so engrossed in his or her tasks that they did not look up continually to check their surroundings. They knew which way to bolt if the chance presented itself and if not they stood and met the threat head on. They had a plan.

If you hear gunshots do you run toward them or away from them? If you do not have a weapon and are not trained to counter an attack then you run from the sound of gunfire, otherwise you may lose your life. You literally herd your friends and family away from the sounds. You need to know where the exits are, what objects can offer cover (protection from rounds), and you need to know what can conceal you from an attackers’ view. Cover and conceal. You need to always look for avenues of escape no matter where you are.

Do you know what a gunshot sounds like, or will you confuse it with fireworks, it would be easy to pass off explosions and loud bangs as fireworks. Stay out of the middle of the crowd and if you hear what may be gunshots look for people running, and if the crowd begins to move or panic then you have to move quickly, more quickly than the crowd.

You should never let yourself get caught in the middle of any crowd. Once an attack starts those around you will panic and impeded your movements, and in some cases, if you fall you could be trampled to death. People trapped in a burning building will pile up at blocked exits and can suffocate or trample people around them. Crowds are dangerous for this very reason. They impeded your escape and they can kill you.

Alcohol makes you an easy target and when celebrating in public when there is a large gathering you need your wits for any number of reasons. Becoming drunk in public makes you a target for literally anyone, because you may think you can deter someone but you cannot.

Soft targets are typically those not guarded well or at all, and so they make easy targets. Attackers do not want to be fired upon. They do not want anything to slow or to stop their carnage, so they will choose targets that they suspect or know will not be guarded well, such as malls, outdoor markets, parades, parties, and any gathering in a public place.

If you have to leave in a hurry do you know which way to go and if the first avenue is blocked do you have an alternative route mapped in your head. This is the world we all live in today, and we all have to pay attention to what is happening in our immediate area, and around the world so we can do threat assessments.

Enjoy life, enjoy celebrations, but always have an eye to the trees, to the shadows and always have an escape route mapped out in your head. Consider the “what ifs” at all times.

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Surviving out of your vehicle

Surviving Out Of Your Vehicle in Hot Weather

Some people do live out of their vehicles for various reasons, but there is a difference when it comes to living out of one as part of daily survival, and surviving out of one for short periods due to an emergency.

This article will talk about emergencies that come up while away from home or from civilization in hot weather, where it is just you and your vehicle. There may come a time when you are traveling and cannot make it back home for whatever reason, and you have to turn your vehicle into a survival shelter. Can you do it?

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Survival Shelter Location

Survival Shelter Location: Placement is Important

Shelter can mean the difference between life and death in a survival situation, and so the importance of a shelter cannot be stressed enough. However, your shelters’ location is just as important, and it is something that must be carefully considered.

Your shelter will protect you from cold winds, the scorching rays of the sun, from rain, snow, from insects and from predators that prowl the night as well. Mother Nature is unforgiving and she will insist on near perfection when it comes to the location of your shelter.

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Bear Safety

Wildlife Encounters: Staying Safe with Bears

Bear attacks do make the news and the reason is an attack by a bear is news. Why is it news, because they are rare? According to Back Packer Magazine, on average less than three people are killed each year by bears. There are bear and other wild animal attacks every year of course that do not lead to death however.

In comparison 26 people in the United States are killed each year by dogs, and 90 people die each year from lightning strikes (Back Packer Magazine, n.d.).

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Survival Food

Things to Watch Out For When Buying Survival Foods

Understanding the Packaging Material When It Comes To the Shelf Life of Survival Foods

What is the Water Vapor Transfer Rate (WVTR)? WVTR measures the transfer rate of moisture as it pertains to packaging materials, moisture that is transferred from the storage environment that then mixes in with the foods in the packaging.

This is particularly important when it comes to freeze dried survival foods, and their stated shelf life. In reality, a survival food company cannot state with any certainty what the shelf life is unless they know what the WVTR is.

The Question Is Do the Manufactures Know or Care What the WVTR is and Would They Tell You If They Did Know

Let’s keep in mind food may be edible, (term used loosely), when it reaches its stated shelf life. However, in some cases it may not in fact be edible. Nonetheless, vapor transfer overtime will affect the quality of the food.

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Top 5 Reasons to Be a Prepper

Reasons to be a prepper

Some people are not motivated to do anything to prepare for a crisis until something happens, until something happens to them, and then of course, it is too late. They can sit all day and watch one crisis after another unfold around the world, but the disasters are a world away, and do not touch their lives, so a shrug and change the channel.

People can always point out what should have been done once the crisis is over like locking the barn door after the horse gets out, but guess what it’s too late.

However, it is not too late to make sure it is locked next time, in other words begin Prepping for next time. Some people have to experience something, observe what it can do, and what it means not to be prepared before they realize the need for prepping, but why go though the suffering and misery. All you have to do is become a Prepper, so you are ready, so you can mitigate the suffering that accompanies a crisis.

History Shows Us What Not Being Prepared Means

1.)  Hurricane Katrina and Super Storm Sandy Should Have Been a Wakeup Call

The local authorities and even the federal government were woefully underprepared. It was almost as if no one prepared at all.

Therefore, reason Number 1 is natural disasters, because they will continue to occur and the more cities and communities expand, the greater the destruction and fatalities, and greater damage to our already antiquated infrastructure.

When people build at the water’s edge they need infrastructure, and it’s not as if they add new power stations and new high voltage transmission lines. They simply expect the current infrastructure in place to carry the load, which of course, puts more strain on existing components. When a storm strikes it affects more than just the homes and cities in its path.

2.) Cyber Attacks

Cyber attacks have happened in the past and will continue to happen. To date, as far as we know they have not been destructive attacks, in other words the attacks did not cause countless fatalities and did not change the world, as we know it. The focus has been on intelligence gathering and industrial espionage for the most part when nation states sanction the attacks.

One day however, hackers in the employ of a nation state or rouge hackers working on their own, may decide to see what happens when they shut down the power grid along the Eastern Seaboard, or decide to tamper with the computers that control water treatment plants in a few heavily populated cities. Where will you be within a few hours, within a few days, if not prepared, you will be in trouble is a safe assumption.

3.) Is There a Nuclear Power Plant in Your State or Even Your City?

Fukushima, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and a host of other less disastrous meltdowns have occurred. Again history shows us the need to become a Prepper. You wake up tomorrow to blaring headlines that a nuclear power plant in your state has been attacked or damaged by a natural disaster. Are you ready to evacuate, are you prepared. If you are not a Prepper you probably will not know what to do, it’s too late once disaster strikes.

4.) Financial Melt Down Similar to the Great Depression

It is likely to be worse however, because of the population and global financial structuring. You may have lights for a few days, but after that no one will be able to afford it, so the grid may as well be down for all intents and purposes.

Things you need to survive daily cannot be had, because of the cost. Soon the production of essential goods will cease. If you do not have the needed supplies stockpiled before the financial collapse, you will not be able to obtain them after the collapse.

5.) Pandemics

As far as we, the average citizens knows, we came through the Ebola Virus breakout relatively unscathed in the United States while Africa did not. Next time we may not, and what else is lurking out there ready to manifest itself whether it be man-made or natural. We do not know, so every reason to become a Prepper, because no one knows, and it is better to be prepared, and not need your supplies than, well you know the rest.

Skeptics cannot say the above listed will not happen, because they have happened in the past and some are happening right now. We know our cyber networks are being probed as this article is being written by foreign governments. We also know natural disasters occur almost on a timetable, and the financial systems in this country are being propped up by the Federal Reserve, so what happens when they kick the crutch out from underneath.

There is fear mongering, and then there are the facts, and what your very own eyes and ears tell you. The Yellowstone Volcano has been on the verge of erupting ever since it was discovered. It may go 10 thousand more years or it may erupt tomorrow.

It is easy to predict a comet will hit earth, because you would probably be right, but when and how severe is the question, it may be a million years from now or a week from tomorrow.

We have to deal with the here and now, because frankly, if Yellow Stone erupts and it’s as bad as they predict no amount of prepping will save you, and the same applies to a comet, there is no Prepping for the end of the world.

You know the five listed reasons are not abstract. They are solid and some have visited death and destruction upon us before and will again. If the above listed are not reason enough to become a Prepper then there is no reason at all.

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Shelter and Fire: First Priority When Surviving in The Wilderness

Shelter Fire Survival

Fire is an important ritual in the wilds, an important lifesaving ritual that must be mastered for survival. First, however you need shelter, particularly when it’s raining and cold, because fire comes hard, if at all the first night under wet conditions.

Fire is needed for warmth, signaling, boiling/purifying water, cooking foods, repelling insects and to help keep four legged predators at bay. Fire is also needed for morale, because fire has a positive psychological effect on humans, something that is sorely needed in a survival situation.

Imagine Its You Alone

Imagine you are one of the participants on History Channel’s new show Alone, the first show was “Alone: And So It Begins”. Of course it is easy to sit in our comfortable, dry, and warm homes and critique the actions of others, so we will not. What we will do, however, is figure out what we would do, if we found ourselves in a similar situation. It doesn’t matter what tools and materials they carried, or what survival training they may have, all that matters is what you have with you, and what you carry in your mind, your knowledge.

You will never have to worry about fire if you carry fire starting materials. Most of the survival articles you read online will stress the importance of tinder and fire starting materials, materials such as magnesium sticks, waterproof matches, flint and steel and Ferro Rods. There is no reason not to carry all the mentioned tools and materials. They would fit in practically any pocket, and along with the tools, you would carry dry tinder.

You cannot tote firewood around with you, so you would have to find it in your environment, but you cannot light a log with just a match or sparks from a Ferro rod. You have to build up to it by igniting smaller pieces in progression. Tinder is the beginning.

A bag of wood shavings, WetFire, and cotton balls dipped in petroleum jelly all make excellent tinder that can be easily carried in your pockets.

It’s wet its cold but you are under your tarp and your tinder is dry, so what are you doing. Are you shaving wood into curls? Wood may be wet on the outside but the inside will be dry if the wood is not rotted (punk wood). Are you splitting small pieces of pine into fat wood, and are you digging pine pitch out of some small pieces of pine.

Instead of picking up wood from the forest floor that has been soaking up moisture from the ground look instead for dead twigs and limbs still attached to trees. Air circulating around the wood will dry the attached branches and twigs much faster. Break them away and put under your shelter to dry out even more.

Dead grasses, dead leaves, and pine needles will dry quickly as well. Pine needles and birch bark will have oils in them that make igniting fire easier even in damp conditions. Pine needles shed water and will not absorb it nearly as much as wood will. Pine pitch is an ideal fire starting aid that will burn even in very damp/wet conditions.

Start your fire small and make a tepee, without inhibiting air circulation, with bigger pieces of damp wood around the fire so they can dry. You will need enough small dry pieces to sustain your fire to dry out the larger pieces. If it is raining you will need to build your fire under cover. Hollow out a spot under a fallen log or make a small covering, a mini lean-to, to shield your fire.

Do not over complicate things, start small, and build to big. There are no short cuts and there are never any guarantees. It all looks good on paper when planning your adventure, but once reality meets the plans things can go off the rails quickly, but nothing should be unexpected.

People when planning say they are planning for the unexpected, but instead they should be planning for the expected. Expect things to go south in a hurry, expect the wood will be wet, and anticipate your so-called waterproof matches will be damp and ruined, for example. If you expect it you can plan for it.

There is no reason that a healthy adult with some wilderness survival skills cannot survive for days or even weeks in the wilds. It truly is mind over matter and painting by the numbers if you will.

Shelter first, and then fire if possible before dark then water and food. Stumbling around looking for food in the first few hours is not sensible and shows a lack of skills and knowledge.

You will get hungry but ants, worms, grubs, and termites will give you enough energy to perform the tasks that have to be accomplished first, and then once established you begin to forage for real sustenance.

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PVC Slingshot

How to Make a PVC Slingshot

When I was a kid, I used to spend hours looking for that perfect Y shaped branch to make a homemade slingshot. A stick, two rubber bands and a patch of leather and I thought I had the perfect weapon. Little did I realize back then how under powered my little homemade slingshot actually was.

Today however with a little ingenuity, some PVC and some high power slingshot bands you can make a homemade slingshot that can do some real damage. Slingshots are light weight and are ideal for hunting especially when you have to keep the noise level down, so they make a great addition for your bug out bag. If you have some extra PVC laying around take a look at this excellent video to learn how you can make your own inexpensive PVC slingshot.

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Rose Hips Vitamin C

The Importance of Vitamin C in A Survival Situation

Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) usually called ascorbate is an essential vitamin needed by every one of us. A vitamin C deficiency can lead to scurvy, which if not treated leads to death. In the early stages of scurvy patients experience lethargy, spots on the skin and spongy gums. As the disease progresses patients experience open wounds on the skin, loss of teeth and jaundice. Once in the advanced stages hemorrhaging occurs internally due to weakened blood vessels leading to death.

Scurvy was common among sailors’ centuries ago because of long sea voyages where there was a shortage of fresh fruits and vegetables. The reason there was a shortage is because sailors simply did not know how to preserve perishable foods for the long voyages. Eventually doctors of the time figured out that a lack of citrus lead to scurvy. However, a direct connection between Vitamin C deficiency and scurvy was not made until 1932.

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Stealth Hunting

Stealth Hunting: Practicing Noise Discipline

If they can hear you they can find you. In some cases, you will have to minimize your noise signature so as not to comprise your location, or mission if you will. In a grid down scenario or in certain other situations, you may have to hunt to survive, and you may have to hunt using stealth and noise discipline to keep your location or the fact you are even hunting a secret.

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