Trekking Poles

11 Advantages of Using Trekking Poles When Hiking

Trekking poles, also called hiking sticks, hiking poles, walking/hiking staff, or walking poles are designed to aid walkers with their rhythm as they walk and to provide stability on rough terrain. Trekking poles today are typically sold as a pair, whereas a walking staff, for example, is a single pole used as a walking aid for those out for a stroll versus those traversing rough terrain.

Usually, trekking poles are adjustable so you can adjust to your height and for stability on any terrain. You would normally shorten the poles when going uphill and lengthen for downhill.

Collapsible poles are easily lashed to a backpack for carrying or storing.

Read Full Article
Hiding Food and Gear

Is Hiding Food and Gear in Your Home a Good Idea?

We here do not have the answer to this question. It is up to you to answer it based on your situation, but we will put forth some thoughts on the subject and point out some pros and cons.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of articles on the Internet about this very subject. There is a difference in finding storage places for your emergency stockpile, and hiding your food so others cannot find it, however.

Storage is always a problem unless you have unlimited space, and who has that, so you do have to get clever, and be organized when it comes to storing emergency supplies. How much effort should you put into actually concealing your supplies in hidden walls, and fake countertops and so on, are actually the real questions.

Read Full Article
Garbage on Street

Operational Security: Your Trash Says a Lot about You

In many municipalities, trash at the curb is considered public domain. There are some arcane laws regarding this, however, and much depends on where you live. Therefore, assume once you have bagged it and placed it at the curb it is fair game for anyone that wants to grab a bag or two to sort through at their leisure.

If you pick up an item off the streets of New York City and put it in your car, for example, you’d be violating a local law. However, on the same token, a passerby on foot is allowed to take stuff from the curb without penalty, according to the city’s Department of Sanitation (

The Supreme Court in 1988 ruled that police could conduct a warrantless search of trash that had been left for collection outside the curtilage of the home. Curtilage is defined by the courts as,lands immediately surrounding a home, according to distance, what a fence encloses, and the nature of the land’s use and if the space can be easily observed”. State constitutions may define the term a little differently, but, typically, trash left by the curb or at the end of a driveway is considered outside curtilage (

Read Full Article
Leather Belt

6 Survival Uses for Your Belt

Do You Wear a Belt Every Day: Maybe You Should?

Belts have been in use since the Bronze Age according to historians, but it wasn’t until the 1920’s that belts became a common item used mainly to hold one’s trousers up. Belts, before pants had belt loops were mainly decorative in the civilian world and utilitarian in the military.

Soldiers had gear to carry and so a wide heavy belt was usually buckled around the waist so things could be attached to it such as sabers, daggers, money, water, and tobacco pouches along with rations in small leather sacks. In some militaries, a belt cinched tight around the waist gave a soldier a trimmer looking physique. A tightly cinched belt produced a puffed out chest and a trimmer looking waist, the perfect looking soldier.

Read Full Article
Caching Firearms

Caching Firearms Ammunition Food and Gear

We have delved into this subject a number of times in previous articles, but like anything else attitudes change or a situation arises that makes one stop and contemplate their actions thus far.

Common sense tells us that a cache should be such that if you arrive with nothing but the clothes on your back you would have what is needed in the cache to survive going forward. Survive and defend yourself, so this means firearms in each cache along with sufficient ammunition.

A cache for an individual or even a family is a personal stash if you will, a collection of items that the family or that the individual needs for survival.

When working with a team or group, however, you have to consider the needs of the team, mission requirements and consider unforeseen and somewhat predictable situations that may arise, and not just the needs of an individual. This particular article, though, is only going to focus on caches for individuals or families.

The Question Is Not Always, What Goes in the Cache

The question is, rather, do you put the best you have in the cache. Imagine that you just purchased a new AR-15, and then modified it to suit your needs. It’s a good weapon, solid and dependable. Is it then, one that would go in the cache or stay by your side while some less worthy, considerably less expensive firearm gets buried.

Some may wonder what difference it makes. There are a number of things to consider when choosing what to leave out and what to put in your cache, however. If you have all of your best weapons in your home, close by your side and you get robbed, overrun, your house burns down or a natural disaster blows or floats it away, then all of your best is gone. On the other hand, if something happens, you want your best with you, right by your side.

If something happens and you have to leave most of your supplies behind and you make it to your cache, then you want the best available in your cache so you can survive. A conundrum for sure and there may not be any easy answers unless money is no object.

The dilemma is that most people cannot afford to put thousands of dollars worth of firearms in a cache. Besides firearms and Ammo, you need food, water, medical supplies, clothing, tools, and other necessities, which in and of themselves could cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

Typically, people have one or two good weapons and then several that get the job done but would not be considered top of the line firearms. Any firearm you have is a good firearm, but when you have choices, you have to choose wisely.

A firearm is a tool that has to be ready for use at all times under any conditions. You need a reliable firearm on you, and you need a reliable firearm in a cache so if you have to resupply you can maintain the same security status as before. Make your cache as equal to or better than what you have close to hand and this includes, food, gear, medical supplies and so on.

Forget about the first tier second tier firearms mumble jumble on the Internet. Leave all those flow charts to military units. You are a family trying to survive, and to do so, you have to overcompensate by having the best available at all times, less training means more equipment, gear, and firearms.

You have to be able to assess your own capabilities realistically. You cannot pad your Resume when it comes to training, knowledge, and experience. Understand you will need every tool and piece of gear available to survive. You don’t carry a cheap, get by handgun for home defense, so what makes you think it would okay to bury one in the ground, your need for personal defense will only increase during a crisis.

If you have to find your way to your cache then that means the SHTF and you will need everything you can get your hands on to survive, and those things that you get your hands on better be reliable and ready to go once your hands touch them.

No, the question has not been answered, and it cannot be answered by anyone but you.

Read Full Article

Two Is One and One Is None: Do You Believe In Redundancy

Redundancy is often times called the best backup plan. Nevertheless, there are limits to just how many items you can carry, because you fear one may become lost, broken or in some cases, is not the exact tool or material for the job.

Where Redundancy Is Important

Survival packs for each member of the group or family is important. If a member becomes separated from the group or family that person needs the supplies, tools, and materials to survive independently of the group. It would be easy to imagine a family or group dividing supplies in various packs based on how much a person can carry. The older or bigger members may be tasked with carrying the water or food supply because it is heavier. The younger children would of course carry the lighter supplies. This method only works if everyone ends up in the same place at the same time.

Read Full Article

Water Pasteurization: What We Know

Water Pasteurization

We here have written extensively on water purification methods, and one method bears writing about again, because it is an important method that some of you may not be as familiar with as you should be.

Certain survival shows have shown water pasteurization, and for the most part, have depicted the method correctly. With that being said however, the shows typically have the stars using plastic bottles or even snake skins that are placed close to the heat, so as not to melt the container (s). There is a better method though.

The traditional and mostly foolproof method of water purification is rapid boiling of water for at least one minute at sea level. At sea level water boils at 212° F, and at higher elevations, it boils at lesser temperatures because of the reduction in air pressure, and thus, would have to boil longer.

Read Full Article
AquaBrick Water Filtration System

The AquaBrick™ Water Filtration System by Sagan™

Having access to clean drinking water and having a system in place to filter contaminated water is an important, if not the most important aspect of prepping. Regardless of how much water you stockpile using a reliable and clean source before the crisis; you have to plan for the eventual depletion of your water source. 

This means you will have to collect and purify a source, a surface water source that may very well be contaminated.  The AquaBrick™ Water Filtration System is ideal for anyone needing a way to eliminate contaminates from water to make it safe to drink in any survival situation or emergency. With aging water pipes and contaminates from the pipes themselves it is important that you have a system in place to filter even your very own tap water.

Remember Flint Michigan and other municipalities. Your tap water can become contaminated at any time for any number of reasons.

Read Full Article
Olight S30R Javelot

The S30R Javelot and i3S-CU Limited Edition by OLIGHT

When I pulled this one out of the box, it yelled quality, which is hard to find these days regardless of price sometimes. One of the features I immediately liked is the magnetic charging base, which means you can pull it from the charger one-handed if you have to, no cables to deal with. Its things like this that can be a deciding factor for me sometimes.

The magnet is strong enough so that you can mount the base on uneven surfaces, and the light fits snug so it will not fall out of the base even if you do have to charge it on an uneven surface.

Having the ability to charge using a USB cable is another great feature, and it would pair up well with a small solar panel, which could be attached to your backpack as you hike. You could charge it in your vehicle if you have a USB port, as well, as with many of the portable battery packs and converters on the market today.

Read Full Article
Hiking Boots

Does the Weight of Your Hiking Boots Make a Difference

There is no question that weight slows you down when hiking, and where you carry the weight while hiking, makes a bigger difference than you may have realized.

In 1983, the United States Army conducted a study titled “The energy cost and heart-rate response of trained and untrained subjects walking and running in shoes and boots” (Army Research Inst Of Environmental Medicine, 1983).

The study found that a very small increase in the weight of your shoes added up to a significantly higher expenditure of energy when walking. The adage “one pound of added weight to your feet equals five pounds of weight on your back” may be credible. The weight of your hiking shoes or boots can make a difference.

Read Full Article