How to Cut Rope in an Emergency Without a Knife

Nylon Rope

So, you have run across a situation where you need to cut a piece of rope in an emergency. You reach for your knife and suddenly you remember you left it at home. This short video will show you how to precisely cut string or rope if you haven’t got a knife or a pair of scissors. This is a great little trick to help you in an emergency.


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Turkey Frying Safety Tips

Turkey Frying Safety Tips: Stay Safe This Thanksgiving

Just in case you have forgotten, the following is a reminder. Every year deaths are attributed to turkey frying, but injury and death can be prevented with some common sense and attention to detail and by knowing the facts.

In the days and weeks leading up to Thanksgiving there are television ads warning of the dangers of turkey frying, the Allstate Insurance ad comes to mind. Despite all the warnings on television and warning labels on fryers, people still manage to ruin their turkey, destroy their fryer, burn themselves and in some cases even burn the house down.

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Water Storage System

How to Build a 330 Gallon Water Storage System For Your Home

Water is essential to life. In a grid down situation the search for water will begin shortly after the event occurs. Having adequate water storage on hand will free up time for other post-SHTF activities.

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Power Grid Down: It’s No Longer a Myth it can and Likely Will Happen

Power Grid Down

Headlines: NSA Director: China can damage US power grid (Admiral Michael Rogers Director NSA) (

According to reports not only can China cause the lights to go out, at least two other unnamed countries can as well. We can only speculate, but Russia comes to mind, as do some Middle Eastern countries. Countries where mutually assured destruction is welcomed.

The conventional wisdom used to be that if any kind of attack were launched, a counter attack would follow assuring that both countries would suffer greatly. However, certain countries may welcome such an attack so “mutually assured destruction” is not a deterrent any longer. This also assumes that the United States is capable of launching a counter cyber attack, can we, and would we is the question.

Obviously, any serious attack on the nation’s power grid by another country would be considered an act of war, so for the time being a complete grid failure is unlikely to be caused by a foreign nation, but targeted attacks could be used to probe our response. This means that hackers could shut down a water treatment plant in a small community and no one would know it until people started getting sick. It could be your community.

Unfortunately, too many people in this country depend on municipalities for their energy and water. Energy would include electricity and natural gas. A clean water supply is critical to every living thing and even a small disruption would be catastrophic.

Working toward independence from local municipalities is the goal of some, but it is a very difficult task. People in urban areas depend on their community for water, sewage, garbage pickup, electricity, gas for cooking and heating and the list goes on. Breaking the bonds for some, if not many is nearly impossible, but at some point, it may be broken for you, and if not ready, the results will be devastating.

Whether you are new to prepping or have been doing it for years, you know that building a stockpile of emergency supplies is critical. If you awoke tomorrow to blaring headlines stating the water supply in your city is contaminated would you be ready.

Before you could get out the door, the local grocery stores would be cleaned out of bottled water. What if several or a dozen cities were targeted. Relief agencies would be overwhelmed and not be able to respond quickly with water and all water sources would be suspect, so any water you consumed would have to be bottled water from a retail store, relief agency or water you had previously stockpiled.

People living in cities would be the hardest hit if the nation’s grids went down. The sheer volume of people in a panic would in and of itself cause a crisis.

There is more than one power grid, but once one went down the stress placed on the others may cause a failure, so in essence the domino theory would come into play. Power would be rationed to reduce the stress. Rolling blackouts would become the norm in short order to prevent all of the grids from failing. This means that hackers would only have to disrupt a small portion of the country’s electrical supply to cause nationwide upheaval.

It used to be that authorities and experts would tell you that you need 72-hours worth of emergency supplies on hand. A 90-day supply is probably not enough in today’s world but it is a good start. That should be your goal, getting 90 days worth of water, food, medicines and other supplies stockpiled, more of course if you can.

The average person today uses close to 100 gallons of water daily in the United States. Of course, you cannot expect to be able to have this amount available during a crisis, but you will still need a considerable amount. You will need water for hydration, bathing/home sanitation, laundry, flushing toilets if on a septic system, cooking and for treating the sick. The one gallon a day that survival experts recommend is just for hydration. You should have at least five gallons per person daily stockpiled. This is a considerable amount of water needed for 90 days.

China and other countries of course want world domination but they still need the consumers that live in the United States but if the SHTF China and others know, they could disable the response to a world crisis by the United States by shutting down a portion of the grid.

If Russia decided to take over Europe then they could in theory slow our response by shutting down a portion the grid, the same would apply to China who seems to want to gobble up other countries as well.

There is motive and the means to shut down the nation’s power grid so it is just a matter of when and not if it happens. It will happen at their choosing it appears, so we all have to be ready.

However, most people are not paying attention, will not prepare and then will not know what to do once something happens. Many will die in beginning if the grid collapses for an extended period. There is no getting around this fact. 

It has also been reported that Russia may have a so-called satellite killer in space. This means in essence that the United States is a “sitting duck”. Communication systems could be destroyed or disrupted before an attack on the power grid happened. (n.d.). Retrieved 2014, from

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Bug Out Bag Too Heavy? Well Maybe You Should Stay Put Then.

Bug Out Bag Too Heavy

What you think you can carry and what you actually can carry are usually two different things. Typically, you should be able to carry 25 percent of your body weight in a pack. This of course assumes you are relatively fit. Some simple math calculations will tell you how much you should be able to carry. Of course, there are numerous factors involved, so the only way to know what you can actually carry for any distance is by going out and doing it.

Water weighs roughly 8.5 pounds per gallon (3.8kg), and water needs to be a priority so start there. A gallon a day for 72 hours means you are already at 25lbs plus in your pack starting out. You can cut this amount in half if, you have the means to collect, filter and purify a water source along the route.

There of course has to be a water source you can collect from, so planning is important. You need to know there are sources along your bug-out-route. Good planning means you can adjust the volume of water, to reduce the initial weight in the pack. Water will be consumed reducing weight, but also remember you will have to replenish your water supply so consider water a fixed weight. Once a bottle is empty, it needs to be refilled and carried with you as you move on from water sources.

Canned foods are heavy and they take up space, so they are not recommended for backpacks. Meals Ready to Eat (MRE’s) are ideal because they can be eaten from the package. They are fully contained meals, and they are lightweight and they do not require special openers like canned goods would. Keep things simple and use what you know works, remember you are not heading out on vacation.

People tend to over complicate things, they over analyze and dither and waffle over the simplest of things. Put MRE’s in the pack and move on, simple right?

There is debate on carrying extra clothing, because on one hand, everyone likes clean clothes and clean clothes are better insulators against the cold but on the other hand, clothing is heavy. You do need extra socks and underclothes, so put them with water, a must have in other words.

You will need clothing for the seasons and for the changing of the seasons but really how long do you expect to be wandering.  If it is cold out when you leave then your winter clothing should be worn. Assume the weather where you end up at is similar to the weather you left behind because you are on foot and exactly how far do you think you can walk in three days. In some situations, it may take a day or even longer just to get clear of a large city that has collapsed because of a disaster.

Secure a heavy coat to the outside of the pack and have gloves, hats and scarves inside the pack but otherwise you can forgo extra jeans, extra heavy shirts and so on if weight is going to be a factor.

Lace your cold weather boots together and hang them off your pack or simply wear them. Extra shoes/boots are nice, but again you have to prioritize. What you may think you would need could fill a pickup bed. You have to separate need from want and face reality, you cannot bring it all with you.

Having the means to make a shelter is important, but keep in mind you are not heading off to some campsite, you will be on the move and you may only shelter in one place for a few hours, until you do get to your pre-determined safe haven. Tents are nice but do you have the room in your pack and do you really want to be caught inside a tent if your camp is overrun.

Tarps, ponchos, and even Mylar survival blankets can be temporary shelters and they can easily be packed or secured to the pack.

Tents are ideal for base camps, and if you do not have a base camp already planned for ahead of time, with supplies already there what then are you doing wandering around. Are you hoping to stumble upon one? This is why bugging-out has to be planned for, and it will take months to put together a livable plan, because you have to “live the plan” first to make sure it works.

Water, food, some clothing, shelter, fire/energy and then add medical supplies, illumination, cutting tools such as a hatchet/ax/machete, multi-tool, cordage, blanket or poncho liner and/or sleeping bag and so now you probably have more than you can carry. You will need a fixed bladed knife, personal protection, portable radio, extra batteries and well we can stop here because your bag is now full, probably to full.

Do You Really Need To

Bugging out is a last resort attempt to save your life, so it is not for the faint of heart, it will be grueling, and in some cases, it may even put you in a worse situation? Some may even call bugging out an act of desperation, but only you can decide that, because it may be the only option available during certain situations.

Bugging out is temporary and should be planned that way. Either you will be able to return home or you have taken up residency at another location, meaning you will need shelter and resources stockpiled at another location. In other words, you cannot just wander for days on end hoping for a solution, you need a plan before you have to leave.

The items in your bag either gets you there or gets you back, again simple, so do not over complicate it. Those that think they can head off with their bag and survive by their wit and wisdom for weeks or months on end had better plan a little better, because it is not happening.

The reality is bugging-out is not ideal, and is not recommended unless you do have a place to bug-out to and a way to get there that does not take days of walking. If you have to bug-out with no place to go you will have to remain close to populated areas in hopes that emergency aid organizations get up and running, but if they are able to get up and running then you probably did not have to bug-out to begin with. However, it is something you should consider. Populated areas for the time being will be where the needed resources are. Unless of course you have a safe haven that has shelter and supplies.

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13 Ways to Keep Your House Warmer This Winter

Warm House in Winter

With record lows expected this winter and the average cost for heating your home on the rise, finding ways to keep your house warm and save a few bucks at the same time can be a godsend. By using the tips at the article below not only can you save some money, but they will also make sure you stay warm and comfortable all winter long.

Read more at…13 Ways to Keep Your House Warmer This Winter

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Wood Ash Survival Uses

Wood Ash and Its 10 Survival Uses

Wood ash is nothing more than the burnt remains of wood and the ash typically represents about one percent of the initial wood weight. The composition of wood ash is nitrogen at very low levels, calcium carbonate at between 30 and 40 percent, and then 10 percent potash.

Do not collect wood ash for survival uses if you have burned any composition woods, treated wood or woods you suspect or know have been contaminated with any chemicals.

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ESEE 4 Survival Knife Review

Esee 4 Survival Knive

Before we get started if you are looking for a “Rambo type knife” with sharp curved points with wicked looking Jimping on the back of the blade, and a bug-out-bag sized hollow handle, that houses a tool kit, medical kit, compass, matches, thread, hooks and spearmint gum you probably should stop reading. 

Jimping by the way is the serrations on the blade back that gives your thumb a gripping point when using the knife. On a quality knife, like the ESSE 4 Jimping has a real purpose. Some knives look good, they even look deadly, but looks are all they have going for them. Hollow handled knives with a compass ball and space for survival gear are useless in a survival situation, and useless in any situation for that matter.

Keep the Rambo knives hung over the mantle so you can tell your grandkids some day you used one to fight a grizzly back in 2014, and the fact that you can tell the story obviously means you won.

Esee 4 Full Tang Survival KnifeThe ESEE 4 is full tang meaning the blade and handle are one piece. Full tang means strength. It also means that if the Micarta or G10 handles break, not likely by the way, but if they do, you can wrap Paracord or even duct tape around the handle and get on with surviving. If you break the handle on a blade that is not full tang there is nothing left to wrap with anything.

The ESEE brand screams quality and once you have it in your hand you will see. The ESEE 4 is shorter than the ESEE 6 but that is ok because a shorter blade is ideal for many survival tasks. Use it to skin small game, for example, make wood curls for fire, cut cloth/canvas, cut up food and even repair your gear, cut sewing or suture thread and the list goes on.

Because it is full tang and made with quality carbon or stainless steel, you can use it with a wooden baton to split wood, hack through limbs or chop through ice.

The sheath is quality, which is always a surprise. Usually manufactures put all the effort into the blade, so they tend to treat the sheath as an afterthought, not with the ESEE models though.

You can order the ESEE 4 with the optional MOLLE back, which is ballistic black nylon. Otherwise, you can use Paracord to lash the standard included sheath to a pack or even your belt. The MOLLE back is recommended if you plan to do a lot of jumping from an aircraft or plan other extreme activities, because it comes with additional security to hold the knife in the sheath.

The sheath without the MOLLE back has a place where you can attach cordage for lashing the sheath to whatever you want. The MOLLE sheath can also be used in the inverted as well as the standard mode.

The sheath is a quality Kydex sheath, so there is no need to go looking for another sheath because it comes with a high quality one. The standard sheath is friction fit so you do not have to fumble with straps or snaps and it can be drawn from the sheath one handed. The sheath has a detachable clip so it can be moved from one side of the sheath to the other, to accommodate for whichever side of the body you want to wear it.

If you happen to be caught up in your parachute rigging, for example, and hanging exposed to all below, you can extract the blade one handed, from the inverted or standard position, and use the serrated edge model to cut yourself loose. In other words if one hand is occupied or injured you can still draw your blade.


  • Length 9.0inches
  • Length of cutting edge is 4.1 inches
  • Total length of blade is 4.5 inches
  • Blade width 1.25 inches
  • Weight knife only is 8.0 ounces
  • Blade is drop point style
  • The carbon steel model is 1095 carbon steel (carbon blades can and will rust if not cleaned and oiled properly)
  • The stainless steel model is 440C Stainless
  • The ESEE 4 has removable handles (Canvas Micarta or G10)
  • Comes with rounded pommel with lanyard hole
  • Includes ambidextrous molded sheath (MOLLE Back Sheath Is Optional)
  • Made in the USA

There are hundreds, if not thousands of knife companies that all want your business. Flash and bang, smoke and mirrors are all used to get you to buy one of their knives. ESEE knives are made in the USA and they are not cranked out by the hundreds every hour. Each knife is crafted, inspected and tested.

Esee 4 with feather stick

If you want a survival knife that goes to the field with you and comes back in the same shape it left in, then ESEE knives are the way to go. The ESEE 4 is perfect for bug-out-bags, emergency kits, hunters, anglers and for anyone that spends any time in the woods.

Everyone needs a back up knife in their backpack, and if called upon the backup knife needs to be good enough to be the main survival knife. The ESEE 4 fits the bill. You can purchase the ESEE 4 on Top Spec U.S. online for $114.95. 

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Backyard Basic Survival Skills

5 Basic Survival Skills You Can Practice In Your Backyard Now

Most of the survival reality shows would have you believe that you could awaken one day to find yourself in the middle of a jungle or in a vast wilderness area with nothing but the clothes on your back, and with shoes in some cases. You may be expected to survive with nothing more than flip-flops, a piece of Styrofoam and your PJ bottoms.

Of course, the shows are all about ratings. The reality is however, that you left home for a mountain bike ride and the tire blew out 12 miles from home and the fall makes it hard for you to walk. A few hours day hike turns into a nightmare of days wandering lost, or you got lost on a hunting trip, camping trip or your vehicle breaks down in some remote area. This is how you end up lost or stranded in most cases.

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10 Survival Items to Scavenge from Abandoned Vehicles

Scavenge Abandoned Vehicles

Stripping Abandoned or Disabled Vehicles for Survival Gear and Materials

Only on a survival reality show would you expect to find an abandoned vehicle sitting along a wilderness path or crouched in the middle of the desert. However, if you had to bug-out from an urban area because of a crisis you would find a multitude of abandoned vehicles along the way to your safe haven.

In addition, your vehicle may break down leaving you stranded while traveling across a desert region, while in the mountains, or in any remote area, so it can be used to help you survive. Of course, people would be reluctant to start tearing their vehicle apart and logic dictates you stay with the vehicle if you expect to survive, but if your vehicle were on roadway in areas that may have avalanches, for example, then you would have to get away quickly leaving the vehicle behind.

In some cases, the only way to survive is to make your way out on your own, but before setting off you need to consider what your vehicle can offer you in the way of survival material.

A vehicle is shelter primarily if you become stranded but if traveling on foot and you come upon one, and you cannot remain in one place then the vehicle can be salvaged for survival items.

1.) Seat Covers

Seat covers can be used as shelter material, covering for the body, ground insulation or even made into a pack for carrying items. Leather seats can be harvested to make shoes, clothing, leggings/chaps for traveling though thorny, heavy brush or used as a poncho.

The padding in the seats can be used for ground cover or for insulating the inside of your shelter. The springs inside the seats could be used, but they are under pressure and unless you can identify several uses for them, it may be better to leave them alone, because they can cause an injury. The wire cutters on a multi-tool would not likely be sufficient to cut through the springs.

2.) Wiring

Wiring of course can be used as cordage and it has multiple survival uses from snares to shelter building. Stripped copper wiring can also be used with the vehicle’s battery to start a fire.

3.) Headlights

The glass can be used as a cutting tool if the shard is long enough to wrap in duct tape to create a handle. The headlight case and lamp can also be used as a parabolic reflector/lens to create a fire. The lens reflector is well polished so it can be used as a signal mirror as well.

The reflector that houses the bulb can be used to start a fire by placing tinder in the center and placing the reflector in direct sunlight. The reflective sides will direct sunlight to the tinder and it will magnify the sun’s rays enough to create an ember in the tinder. Use the glass from the headlights as you would eyeglasses or a magnifying glass to create a fire.

4.) Junk in the Trunk

Junk in the trunk can be useful stuff, such as a tire iron which would be a valuable tool for digging, prying or for self-defense against animal and human. You may find siphon hoses which can be used to make a field expedient slingshot, used as a tourniquet and can be used to lash items to your pack or to tie items into bundles.

The carpeting can be used for shelter building or ground cover. The scissors jack or other types of jacks could be used for some things, but once again, unless there is a clear purpose for items you should leave them behind, because remember you will have to carry everything.

The plastic lenses over the backlights/brake lights can be removed and used as cups for drinking or eating from or used as containers to gather water and food in.

Battery cables would have a specific use if the battery had any charge in it. The clamps could be used for clamping insulation to shelter walls, or securing items to a pack or for hanging lightweight items off the ground or for securing illumination overhead in your shelter.

5.) Under the Hood

The battery would be useful if it had a charge, because you could start a fire by attaching the battery clamps to their respective posts and tapping the ends together to create a spark away from the battery. Another way to start a fire is by clamping a thin bare piece of copper wiring to one clamp and before attaching the other clamp to the opposite end place the bare wire in some dry tinder. Once you attach the remaining cable to the wire, the current will cause the thin wire to heat up enough to ignite the tinder bundle.

6.) The Hood or Trunk Lid

It is not likely you would have the tools available to remove the hood or trunk lid but it may already be done for you in some cases, and if you could, get them removed they could be makeshift shelters. It would be rather easy to create a lean to using a vehicles’ hood, providing the vehicle itself could not be used for shelter, for example, because the glass is smashed out and/or four legged tenants have moved in.

Leave the insulation attached under the hood to help reflect heat from the sun and to retain heat if building a fire underneath in cold weather. Using them as makeshift sleds/travois however, would be difficult because of the weight and design.

7.) Door Panels

You can us the door panels as sleds however. The panels are light enough to drag over sand, grass, gravel or snow. Some panels are attached only by clips, some will have both screws, and clips holding them in place, and the screws are usually under vanity panels at the handles. This is where having a multi-tool on you comes in very handy.

8.) Tires

Tires today have steel cable running through them making them very difficult to cut up for shoes or for other uses. They can be burned however, to make a signal fire but the smoke is toxic and in most areas, it would be illegal to burn tires, but in a survival situation, you get out alive first. Better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6 is the old adage.

9.) Inner Tubes

In older cars, you may find old inner tubes, which can be cut up to make essentially large rubber bands. The bands can be used for lashing items to your pack or body, used for tourniquets and can be used in shelter making. There are literally dozens of uses for rubber bands in a survival situation.

10.) Window Glass in Doors

The top of the glass is not polished and that unpolished portion can be used as a knife sharpener. Duct tape the sharp edges leaving the rough surface exposed to carry as a knife sharpener. Make several sharpeners this way so you have extras. Glass today is layered with plastics and resins so the surface may wear somewhat with use, so having extras means you have a fresh sharpening surface when needed.

The rest of the glass can be used as cutting tools. By knapping, you can shape the glass with a stone or other hard object, and then use duct tape and/or use leather from the seats for a handle.

Final Thoughts

Of course, there are many more parts and materials in a vehicle that can be used for any number of things, but remember you will have to carry everything on your back. Any item you carry should have more than one use. Otherwise, it is just extra weight.

Survival reality shows have shown the experts collecting gasoline to make fire. While gasoline can be used, it is however, very dangerous to use it for fire making.

Gas tanks can be dangerous if you try to puncture one to gather fuel for fire making. One spark can cause the entire tank to explode even if no fuel is present in the tank. Vapors in the tank can cause it to explode, and the vapors can remain long after the vehicle has been abandoned in some cases. Use caution when working around any vehicle and only take what you need.

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