Posts Tagged ‘Survival’

This is an introduction to a new blog post and video series I am producing in which I have dubbed Surviving Life.  The vast majority of us human beings are struggling to earn an honest income that supports our basic needs.  We need income to provide for the essentials that we need to survive such as shelter, water, food and clothing.  It is a challenge to provide for those things in our economy and present society.  I have chosen to go, as well as think outside the box.  I have chosen to do things the way that I want to do them in an effort to try to gain the upper hand in my present situation and to reduce the struggle to make ends meet.  I do not know from one minute to the next how that may play out.  One day’s solution may be the next day’s problem or learning opportunity.  This is my real endeavor to live my life differently than what is typical within society.  Please join me in this non scripted real life reality based series and please view my video below for a detailed introduction.

Jim Cooper 

http://youtu.be/QjRLjcTyKxU

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As I have stated in my past articles you face the possibility of some threat to your safety no matter where you live.  The danger will most likely confront you when you least expect it.  Earthquakes, landslides, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, wind storms, fires, tsunamis, dirty bombs, mall shootings, government collapse are all potential threats to your safety.  There are so many more threats to your safety, enough that I may write an article just on potential threats.  Some threats could be as simple as your car sliding off a snow-covered road in a remote location.  My point here is would you be prepared by having the most basic of tools and equipment to keep yourself safe or even survive?  If you said no to yourself what the hell are you waiting for?

In previous articles I have promoted preparedness for you and your family in the form of 72 hour kits, BOB’s, Go Bags and the like.  This articles intent is for you to take action by building or purchasing a small every day carry (EDC) kit that you can keep in your vehicle or office or both.  A basic small EDC kit does not have to cost you a fortune or require a substantial investment like the prior mentioned larger kits.  A small EDC kit like the one pictured in the kit below is all you may need to get through 24 hours or less of hardship.

Small Survival Kit EDC

Lets break down what components I recommend that you should include within your basic small EDC at a minimum.

  • Pouch
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Flint Striker
  • Bushcraft Knife
  • Whistle
  • Compass
  • Flashlight
  • Water Filtration Straw
  • Survival Bracelet

 

Now lets examine what you I recommend that you add to your small EDC kit to supplement it.

Altoid Survival Tin

Contents:

  • Lighter
  • Candle
  • Tinder
  • Fishing line, hooks, sinkers
  • Bandaids
  • Duct Tape
  • Signal Mirror
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Safety Pins
  • Can Opener

A small EDC/Survival kit like the one in my video and discussed above may function as a get home bag as well as an everyday emergency kit.  If you are within a day or less travel by foot of your home a kit like this one should aid you in your return home.  My kit goes with me on my short day hikes and serves its purpose very well.  Thank you for watching my video and reading my article.

PouchKnife

As I have stated in my past articles you face the possibility of some threat to your safety no matter where you live.  The danger will most likely confront you when you least expect it.  Earthquakes, landslides, hurricanes, tornados, blizzards, wind storms, fires, tsunamis, dirty bombs, mall shootings, government collapse are all potential threats to your safety.  There are so many more threats to your safety, enough that I may write an article just on potential threats.  Some threats could be as simple as your car sliding off a snow covered road in a remote location.  My point here is would you be prepared by having the most basic of tools and equipment to keep yourself safe or even survive?  If you said no to yourself what the hell are you waiting for?

In previous articles I have promoted preparedness for you and your family in the form of 72 hour kits, BOB’s, Go Bags and the like.  This articles intent is for you to take action by building or purchasing a small every day carry (EDC) kit that you can keep in your vehicle or office or both.  A basic small EDC kit does not have to cost you a fortune or require a substantial investment like the prior mentioned larger kits.  A small EDC kit including the knife like the one pictured above is all you may need to get through 24 hours or less of hardship.

Lets break down what components I recommend that you should include within your basic small EDC at a minimum.

  • Pouch
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Flint Striker
  • Bushcraft Knife
  • Whistle
  • Compass
  • Flashlight
  • Water Filtration Straw

Now lets examine what you I recommend that you add to your small EDC kit to supplement it.

  • Altoid TinAltoids Tin
  • Lighter
  • Candle
  • Tinder
  • Fishing line, hooks, sinkers
  • Bandaids
  • Duct Tape
  • Signal Mirror
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Safety Pins
  • Can Opener

I believe that everyone should have at a minimum a kit containing some or all of the equipment discussed in this article.  Do not delay an emergency is not going to wait until you are prepared to handle it.  Purchase a small ready made kit like the one below or put together your own.

Click the image below

Small Survival Kit EDC

Magnum Elk Hunter 1 Magnum Elk Hunter 3

It can be difficult to prepare for emergencies on a low or virtually non-existent budget.  With little money to spend I research and ultimately purchase the best equipment available for the amount of money I have to spend.  I have conducted a great deal of research looking for low-cost survival knifes of which I have not found many, that is until I finally found a relatively unknown high quality yet affordable knife.

The knife is manufactured by Boker a company that began around 1829 in Germany.  The Magnum Elk Hunter knife is one of the knives within the Magnum line by Boker.  For a review of the Magnum Elk Hunter please view my YouTube video by clicking on the video below.  Click on this Magnum Elk Hunter link for more information or to find out where you can purchase the knife.

In my previous posts on 72 Hour Kits and Survival Bags I discussed the gear needed to assist you during a time of need.  You may have a need for some of the items everyday while other items may only be used durning a natural disaster, roadside emergency or civil disturbance.  If you do not yet have some sort of kit/bag for preparedness for such an event I suggest you do so soon if not now.

IMG_3490This post is intended for you to be able to fairly quickly build your own custom BOB (Bail Out Bag), EDC Kit or 72 hour kit in one place at one time.  Instead of spending hours of research on products online you can pick and choose from quality items already reviewed by myself or others in the BYOB Market Place.  My goal is to help as many individuals and families become prepared for events that may occur at any time.

The BYOB Market Place is stocked with the major items needed for your BOB with additional items periodically being added to the stock.  The following items are things which you can then add to your new BOB inexpensively on your own to make it complete.

Please check out the BYOB Market Place and start preparing today, even just a few items will get you more prepared.  If you have any questions, need help or have suggestions for gear to be added to the BYOB Market Place please feel free to comment.

One of the crucial tools needed in an EDC, BOB, GHB or 72 Hour Kit is a good flashlight.  I recently purchased a FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight.  I purchased the flashlight through amazon for $4.20 and received free shipping as part of my total purchase.

So far I am amazed at the quality and operability of this little light.  It is bright and has what they call an adjustable focus zoom which allows you to adjust from a flood to more narrow beam.  The flashlight only requires one AA battery and operates via a tail/thumb push button.  With one full push of the button the light turns on to full brightness.  A second slight push dims the brightness and a third light push produces a strobe effect.  The order may vary depending on which cycle you are currently on when you fully depress the button to to power off.  Another nice feature is that this flashlight includes an installed belt clip.

From the Manufacturer

Features: Super mini size, bright, blinding effect. Skid-proof design & waterproof design. Output bright can come to 300 lumens (MAX). Adjustable focus range for different usage, stretching to adjust its focus. Clip for convenience carry. Working voltage is wide and can utilize the batteries in the largest extent. Suitable for hunting, cycling, climbing, camping and outdoor activity etc. Specifications: Colour: Black Lumens: 300LM Reflector: Convex Lens Material: Aluminum alloy Model of LED: CREE Q5 LED Switch: Tail-cap press ON/OFF Battery: 1 * AA / 1 * 14500 3.6v Battery (not included)

  • 7W 300LM Mini CREE LED Flashlight Torch Adjustable Focus Zoom Light Lamp
  • Super mini size, bright, blinding effect
  • Skid-proof design & waterproof design.
  • Output bright can come to 300 lumens (MAX). This mini flashlight can use AA size Alkaline, NiMH, and lithium 14500 batteries.

I am impressed with the quality and features of this flashlight especially for the low available purchase price.  If you are like me with your budget for gear being extremely low or virtually non existent I recommend this flashlight for your preparedness needs.

You can purchase one now through amazon just click the link below.


FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight Torch Adjustable Focus Zoom Light Lamp

In my last post I had mentioned that putting together your own Altoids survival tin may be a benefit to you.  This is especially true if you are new to prepping and are overwhelmed with the many EDC, BOB’s, GHB’s and various other kits you may build or buy.  Which type of kit should I prepare?  What equipment do I really need in it?  How do I afford it?  If you have asked yourself these questions and feel overwhelmed I suggest you start small by putting together your own Altoids survival tin.  I enjoyed gathering the items for my tin together and having to arrange the items in such away that they all fit.  You can put your tin together for a very low cost and you may already have a lot of the items in your home or garage.

What you put in your tin depends in part on where you expect to need it.  For instance do you live in a more rural location or explore the forest and wilderness occasionally?  Or do you live in a city or more urban environment?  You may want to consider the following items as a minimum for either location.

Common Survival Tin Contents

  • Lighter, matches or both
  • Candle
  • Fire tinder (cotton, jute twine etc.)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Small flashlight or micro light
  • Small knife, blade or razor blade
  • Cordage or twine
  • Sewing needle
  • Thread or dental floss
  • Safety pints (2 0r 3)
  • Bandaid
  • Duct tape
  • Pen or pencil
  • Paper
  • Rubber band(s)
  • Coffee filter
  • Alcohol pad
  • Pain relievers
  • Allergy medication

Wilderness Survival Tin Content Suggestions

  • Signaling whistle
  • Signaling mirror
  • Snare wire
  • Button compass
  • Fishing line
  • Fish hook(s)
  • Split shot sinkers

Urban Survival Tin Content Suggestions

  • Cash
  • USB drive (thumb drive)
  • Can opener (p38 or similar)

It is your survival tin so you can build it the way you want it with what you want in it.  My tin does not have some of the items I have listed however it is always evolving and may at some point.  You can modify and or reorganize your tin as often as you like. And if you think of any other items put em in if you think they are a benefit.   I recommend that you have your survival tin with you or on you at all times.  These kits may also be called PSK’s (personal survival kit) and without yours you will be more at risk in a time of need.  Put one in your pocket or purse and get used to having it with you.  Please view my Altoids survival tin video below and feel free to comment here or on YouTube.

IMG_3490

Here in part 3 of my 72 Hour Kits and Survival Bags post I discuss tips and information which may  help you to choose and build or purchase a kit/bag of your choosing.  My personal belief is that there is no wrong kit or bag nor one all encompassing mega survival ensemble.  Sure, some individuals may pack so much gear that there bag is too heavy for them to pack around; however it doesn’t mean it is wrong.  I will say if your bag is on the heavy side it would be advisable to hike/walk with it regularly to become acclimated and fit with it.  A survival kit or bag should be balanced with the suggested minimal amount of gear and tools to accomplish any survival task you may find a need to accomplish.

Again a belief of mine in regards to tools and equipment/gear is that the key items such as the following should be comprised of quality brand/researched items.

  • Knife(s) (survival/bushcraft, hunting etc.)
  • Multi-tool
  • Compass
  • Bottle
  • Paracord
  • Flashlight
  • Radio (transmitter and or receiver)
  • Fire Steel or Magnesium Bar

Other items may be comprised of lessor quality or more inexpensive items again my personal belief.  The reason behind this is that the key items are items which you may really need to depend on and use repeatedly.  You do not want any of those items to fail.

What kind of survival bag should I build or buy?  This really depends on what you intend for the kit/bag.  Do you want a bag that has the tools and equipment you need on a daily basis?  Then you may want to consider an EDC bag which would have the tools and equipment you may need daily such as a multi-tool, flashlight, pens and pencils, cell phone, camera and so on.  Is preparedness for disasters, disturbances, emergencies or road side mishaps your focus?  For these types of situations you may want to consider a 72 hour survival kit/bag for longer lasting more survival oriented scenarios.  Or do you desire a bag that will get you home (get home bag) from work on foot if necessary provided you live within walking/hiking distance of your work place.  Maximum walking distance per individual is variable dependent on fitness level, shoes and other factors such as whether you are carrying a pack but may be 6-20 miles in a day.  See the following article for more information and please conduct your own research on this topic.

http://walking.about.com/b/2007/03/19/how-far-can-a-healthy-person-walk.htm

My current survival bag is a morph between a 72 hour bag and get home bag however it also has items minus the cell phone and camera that could be used daily if needed.  Some individuals may consider a bag like mine heavy at 25-30 pounds which to be honest probably is.  I personally would rather have the items I need when I need them as opposed to needing the items I should of had.  One way to reduce the weight of your pack/bag is to pack it with items that have multiple uses such as a pencil sharpener which may sharpen a stick for a spear and provide shavings for fire tinder.  A good survival knife can skin an animal, baton down a tree and split kindling for a fire eliminating the need for an axe, and hunting knife.

If all of this information seems overwhelming to you I suggest you start small literally.  Begin with putting together your own Altoids survival tin which is an affordable way to have basic items you would need for survival that can be kept in your pocket or purse.  You can fit 15-30 or more items in the tin and many of them you can find around your home.  In my next post I will share my Altoids survival tin and suggest items to fill yours with.  Thank you for reading my posts.

 

IMG_3490

I caught hold of the prepping bug and began to put a BOB together three years ago.  At first the bag was just a black back pack I found in our closet which I slowly stocked with the gear I believed that I needed.  I started purchasing items a little at a time from places like Walmart as I did not have funds to buy the name brand high end gear I desired.  You can actually obtain some fairly good items/gear from the mega marts fairly inexpensively however.  The Maglite, Energizer WeatherReady crank LED flashlight and Buck 110 folding knife are the best name brand buys I scored from Walmart.  Another excellent way to get great deals on your gear is to make purchases through Amazon.  If you pay attention and place only the items that offer free shipping at Amazon in your cart you can have an entire order ship for free.  I had an order for gear that totaled over a hundred dollars which shipped for free.  

The BOB pictured above is my current configuration of gear and bags.  I say current because as I mentioned in part 1 of this post BOB’s tend to evolve over time or carry on as a work in progress.  Some individuals even change up there BOB’s gear with the change of seasons.  I chose a Maxpedition Sabercat VersiPack in olive drab as my BOB and later added the Condor H2O bottle pouch in order to carry all of my gear.  The H2O pouch carries my two pots, water bottle, Leatherman Wave multi-tool, emergency blanket, some paracord and a magnesium bar.  For day hikes I split off and carry my H2O pouch with gear inside and have the basic survival equipment needed in an emergency.  The picture below shows all of my gear with the exception of my tarp and sleeping gear.

IMG_0511

My BOB contains the following items:

  • Maxpedition Sabercat Versipack bag
  • Condor H2O water bottle pouch
  • Nalgene water bottle
  • Two cook pots/drinking cups and forks/spoons
  • Folding cook stove and  2 Sterno fuel cans
  • Food for 3 meals per day with a snack
  • Fire starting kit with fire steel, tin foil, water proof matches, Vaseline soaked cotton and a pencil sharpener
  • Fleece beanie cap, pair of work gloves, mosquito head net/fishing net and 2 bandanas
  • 1 crank LED flashlight and 3 other flashlights
  • Ham radio and FRS/GMRS radio
  • 4 AA batteries
  • Toilet paper, tooth brush, tooth paste, bar of soap, compressed towels and bug repellent 
  • Compass, emergency whistle/thermometer, knife sharpener and lip balm
  • Sunscreen, duct tape, pain relievers, tent stakes, thread and needles
  • Signal mirror, lighter and birthday candle
  • First aid kit, poncho and emergency blanket
  • Gallon size plastic bag, coffee filters, local map and navigation instructions
  • Shovel and hand saw
  • Survival knife
  • Hunting knife
  • Multi-tool
  • Paracord
  • Notepad, pens, pencil, and sharpies

My BOB is kept in the vehicle I drive and there is also another different one in the vehicle my wife drives.  Our two daughters that are still at home with us each have a 72 hour kit that I am continuing to build on as well.  If you are new to prepping or are just getting started with a BOB, or 72 hour kit hang in there and build on it a little at a time.  Before long you will have a fully functional BOB with the gear you need.

Danger Sign 2

To increase the odds of your survival in any extreme situation you must start with some knowledge in regards to survival.  Knowledge of survival tips, tricks and skills provide you with the foundation with which you can begin to build on.  This post is intended to give you some of the basic survival knowledge that you should be aware of.

keep-calm-and-survive-812

In my opinion first you must keep calm and avoid panic.  Panic can cause you to make irrational decisions which could jeopardize your life.  Along with keeping calm practice maintaining a survival mindset believing you are going to survive and thinking about survival.  A good survival mindset involves managing your thoughts, fears and anxieties so that you can make good judgements and stay positive about your situation.  Survivors of horrible ordeals have been able to overcome all kinds of obstacles and fears and survive in a large part due to a survival mindset.  There are numerous recounts of documented survival feats such as one individual who overcame all odds to survive 76 days adrift in the ocean.  A survival mindset coupled with the will to survive can help save your life.

You need to know your vulnerabilities in order to protect yourself and as humans we all have the same basic vulnerabilities.  The Rule of Threes will help you remember that in any extreme situation you cannot survive for more than:

  • 3 minutes without breathing (drowning, asphyxiation)
  • 3 hours without shelter in an extreme environment (exposure)
  • 3 days without water (dehydration)
  • 3 weeks without food (starvation)

You need air to breath, shelter to stay warm and dry, water to stay hydrated with and food to maintain your energy.  The order in which they are prioritized with the exception of breathing may change depending on the circumstances or situation.  Memorize the rule of threes; however allow for flexibility of their priority.  If it is extremely hot or cold fighting the threat of exposure will be your highest priority.  Exposure is simply your body being exposed to extremes in temperature, the elements or environment.  If it is cold outside you could succumb to hypothermia with your heart ultimately stopping if no action is taken.  If it is extremely hot outside you may suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke and ultimately die.  So in these instances shelter and fire for the cold and shelter and water for the heat your priorities may be.  However you may need to consider whether in the heat of day it is advisable or detrimental to your health to look for water.  Instead it may be better to look for water in evening as the sun is going down but then it may be too dark and you may get hurt or further lost.  Or maybe you have the material to make a solar still for water which may not take as much energy in the heat of day as foraging for water may.  These are some of the things that you may need to think about and judge in your situation.

Preparation is a key element in your ability to survive as knowledge alone will not generally save you.  You will need some basic tools and equipment to aid you in your survival.  You should always have access to or carry the items that will help you in the event that you need them.  The items needed are directly related to the rule of threes in that they give you the ability to protect yourself from the elements, find or gather food, make shelter or provide warmth,the ability to cook and provide some security.  Items such as a good knife, a fire steel, emergency whistle, and emergency blanket are items that you may want to consider keeping on you or with you daily.  I have researched a lot of equipment and in doing so combined the high quality items together to form what I call an Every Day Carry (EDC) Survival Kit (pictured below).  The kit is meant to be kept in your vehicle or carried with you every day so that you are always prepared by having the basic items you may need.

 photo Picture2_zps83d21ced.png

The above EDC Survival Kit is small in size and weight so it is easy to take along on hikes, kayaking, biking and camping trips or just any time your in the woods.  If you have a kit and don’t need to use it you will be at ease; however if you don’t have a kit and need one you will wish you had one.  Whether you research, find and buy items to build a kit on your own or purchase a ready made one like mine I Recommend that you do so now.  All of the items in the EDC Survival Kit that I sell are quality made items with very good reviews there are no imitations or poorly made items included.
The EDC Survival Kit includes the following items:
  • Water Bottle Pouch/Bag
  • 32 oz Water Bottle
  • Stainless Steel Pot/Drinking Cup
  • Filter Straw
  • Fire Steel/Striker
  • Pocket Cook Stove & Fuel Tablets
  • Bushcraft Knife
  • Mini L.E.D Flashlight
  • Heat Reflective Emergency Blanket/Survival Blanket
  • Compass
  • Emergency Whistle

I also include a list of additional items that you may find around your house to include in and enhance your kit even more.

The items in the kit enable you to perform the following:

  • Drink from a puddle, river, stream or lake with the included filter straw
  • Use the utility/bushcraft knife to process firewood/kindling and fire tinder or build a shelter
  • Start a fire
  • Use cooking pot and cookstove to boil water for safe drinking
  • Use the flashlight for signaling and in the dark
  • Use the emergency blanket for a reflective shelter to stay warm under or to wrap up in
  • Use the compass to navigate
  • Use the emergency whistle to alert rescuers

Thank you for reading my post I hope this post spurs your interest in preparedness and helps you become prepared if you are not.  If you are already prepared and have this knowledge thank you for reading my post.  Either way feel free to comment.  Be safe be prepared and be alive.