When is the right time to Bug Out

When is the right time to Bug Out

When is the right time to Bug out ?

Many Prepper websites advise Bugging out as the first response in SHTF situation ! I personally see Bugging out as a last resort ! so Prepping and Survival Guide asks itself the Question … “When is the right time to bug out ?”

Obviously if your home is in danger of flood or destruction you will need to evacuate asap, but most SHTF situations (such as economic collapse, terrorist attacks, Martial law and possibly full scale war) staying put may be the best option, especially if you have prepped correctly.

I live in a fairly safe area and have prepared to survive at home for as long as possible, taking into account food, water and alternative energy sources. I can conceive of only a few scenarios that would force me to leave. Even then, I have pre-arranged with relatives living a few hundred miles away that I can go to them (or they to me) following a SHTF scenario.

My reasoning to stay put ….

  1. As a prepper, you are likely to have stockpiles of supplies (food / water etc)  that can last for many weeks or months as opposed to a couple of days supplies in your Bug out Bag.
  2. A home is going to be easier to defend than a make shift shelter or tent.
  3. Any help (food / water / medical help / temp shelters and blankets etc) that is sent to SHTF locations will be more accessible if you stay put.
  4. Even under Martial law the threat to life should be minimal provided you don’t break the law.

Times to consider Bugging out immediately !

Knowing when to Bug out is much more important than the contents of your Bug out Bag or even where you will go. Don’t jump and run before you need too, but you don’t want to wait too long or you may never reach your destination so constantly assess your situation.

If you wait for the authorities to give the order to evacuate chances are it’s already too late as you’ll then be competing with the rest of the population leading to the roads being blocked and impassable by motor vehicle. Even walking to your destination may be impossible or too dangerous to attempt.

when-to-bug-out

Bugging out scenarios ….

  1. If it looks like a possible Nuclear Strike is imminent and you are in the Blast Radius of Nuclear Warheads (click here to determine your chances of Survival) it is advised to move as far from potential targets (large cities, military bases and industrial areas).
  2. The recent situation in Syria has highlighted the dangers of staying put following Radical Religious invasions (especially if you are not a follower of the invading Religion.
  3. Severe flooding, even if only half your property is underwater ! the sewage in the water etc can breed deadly disease.
  4. You home becomes structurally unsafe due to earthquakes / storms etc

For most people an evacuation bag is a better choice than a bug out bag. An evacuation bag should contain the gear necessary to get you from point A to point B, whereas a bug out bag (in most cases) is geared more toward survival in the wilderness. As a dedicated Prepper, I have both a Bug out Bag and Evacuation Bag, but admittedly my bug out bag is considered a last resort.

So in conclusion the decision to Bug out all comes down to the type of threat, your personal situation and your preparedness level – in the end only you can make that decision based on knowledge and common sense.

So in conclusion … When is the right time to bug out ? The answer is there is no definitive answer !! I guess it all depends on the situation and your personal circumstances !

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How to Keep Carrots, Potatoes and Beets Fresh All Winter

How to Keep Carrots, Potatoes and Beets Fresh All Winter

How to Keep Carrots, Potatoes and Beetroot Fresh All Winter

Potatoes

If you are planning to grow your own vegetables for storage over the winter, remember that some varieties store much better than others! So its always best to research the best varieties to plant for wherever you live in the World (for example, in North America potatoes like Russet, Yukon gold, and Kennebec are best for storing longer). Note: Don’t wash your potatoes until you are ready to use them.  

To cure potatoes, lay then out on newspaper in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated place.  Let them sit there for about 2 weeks, that will give their skin a chance to toughen up for storage.

To store your potatoes, move them to a cool dark place (basement, cellar, etc – roughly 45-55 degrees). Next, find a good sturdy box and make plenty of holes for air circulation (but not enough to let too much light in). Next, line the bottom of the box with newspaper, then a flat layer of potatoes.  Cover the layer of potatoes with newspaper and repeat the process until you fill the box.  Tuck the sides of the newspaper in on each layer.

Also, it is best to check your potatoes monthly.  If you find a rotten one, remove them from the box. They are like a bad influence on the other potatoes and will quickly cause the rest of the box to rot.

Carrots and Beetroot

For small crops, place unwashed carrots / beetroots in Ziplock bags, seal tightly to ensure no air is coming in, and store them in the coldest part of your fridge.

For larger crops, take unwashed carrots / beetroots (make sure to remove any damaged ones as they tend to spoil quickly) and cut off the leaves as close to the base of the edible part as you possible can without damaging it (as the green leaves pull moisture from the vegetable making them dry out).  Brush off any loose dirt and then place the carrots / beetroots in boxes full of SLIGHTLY damp sand, alternating rows of carrots/beets with rows of sand.

Place the box in a cool place {shed or garage} and use them as needed.  If the carrots/beets are too wet, they will rot.  If they are too dry, they will split, harden and be mostly disgusting.  It’s a delicate balance that may take some trial and error.  Again, check them regularly for spoilage.

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Nuclear Attack Survivability

Nuclear Attack Survivability

Nuclear Attack Survivability

Ever wondered what the chances of your Survivability following a Nuclear Attack on your City are ?

This very useful Map allows you to Select your nearest City and detonate a selection of Virtual Nuclear Warheads ! showing clearly the damage and survivability based on distance of Ground Zero !!

http://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/

Surviving a Nuclear Attack

According to Wikipedia, the average size of the ICBM Warheads is 500 – 800 kilotons …. BUT, there much bigger out there like the Russian TSAR Bomb (100 Megatons).

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Long Term Survival Foods available at Supermarkets

Long Term Survival Foods available at Supermarkets

Long Term Survival Foods available at Supermarkets

Many companies have now started to produce Long Term Survival Foods and specialist Emergency Foods aimed at the Prepper and Survivalist community. Whilst this is great in many ways we do seem to be paying a premium for the specialist packaging etc. However, for Urban Prepper’s most of the Long Term Emergency and Survival foods can be found at much lower costs in your local Supermarket and with a little knowledge can be stored Long Term just like the specialist foods.

One of the best things about canned / Jarred foods, is that they will keep forever. You can forget about the expiration date on most canned goods and keep them for 15 years or more. 

Long Term Survival Foods to Stock up on:

  • Canned Vegetables
  • Canned Fruit
  • Canned Soup
  • Canned Fish
  • Canned Meats (Corned Beef and Spam are my personal Survival food) !
  • Tomato and Pasta Sauces
  • Jams.
  • Nuts & Beans when stored correctly in Air Tight containers can last for years.
  • Peanut Butter
  • Jerky (Beef, Chicken and Turkey) is also high in Protein and have a considerable shelf life.

The biggest portion of most people’s food stockpile is actually dry foods. That’s because they pack the most bang for the buck. We’re used to eating a diet which consists of about 40% carbohydrates, which come from those dry foods. Fortunately, they are easily adapted to survival situations:

  • Hard Red Wheat / Whole Grain (will keep longer than Ground Wheat) ofcourse this means you will need a grinder but its a worth while play off for the extra longevity.
  • Millet
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Quinoa
  • Rolled Oats
  • Pasta (all varieties)
  • Cornmeal.

Of course, if you’re going to do any baking with any of the above ingredients, you’ll need to be sure to have the baking supplies to use: 

  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Sugar
  • Powdered milk
  • Powdered Eggs
  • Vinegar (especially apple cider vinegar)

Long Term Survival Foods Essentials:

  • Coffee
  • Honey
  • Spices
  • Salt
  • Cooking Oils
  • Dry Fruit
  • Boiled Sweets

Non Edible Essentials:

  • Soap
  • Personal Hygiene Products
  • Feminine hygiene supplies
  • Over the counter Medicines (Cold and Flu Remedies, Painkillers etc)
  • First Aid Supplies
  • Vitamins
  • Candles
  • Batteries
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic bags in various sizes
  • Canning jars and lots of lids
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Bleach

For Storing your Goods you’ll need:

  • Five gallon “food grade” buckets, with lids
  • Six gallon Mylar bags
  • Oxygen absorbers
  • Vacuum cleaner with a hose
  • Hair straightener
  • Magic marker
  • Rubber mallet

As already mentioned the canned goods will keep virtually indefinitely, without anything else being done to them. But those are about the only foods you can buy in the grocery store, which are packed for long-term storage.

Everything else is packaged with the intent that you will consume it within a few days or weeks so you’re going to need to make your food last much longer than that, especially if you want to use it as your survival stockpile. Fortunately, there are ways of doing that. Of course, wet foods can be canned; but you’ve got to do something else with dry foods.

Please note that you won’t be able to find these items at your local grocery store. You can buy the food grade five gallon buckets at the big home improvement and DIY centres. But the Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers will have to be purchased online. Just do a search for oxygen absorbers and you should find several suppliers.

This is a fairly simple procedure, which is best done with bulk foods. After all, we’re talking about filling five gallon buckets with it. If you decide to do smaller quantities, you can buy smaller Mylar bags and put several of them together in one bucket.

It is best to have some help when doing this. The oxygen absorbers are very fast acting. So if you don’t close up the packages quickly, they’ll just absorb oxygen out of the air, rather than the air in the buckets. That won’t do you any good at all.

To package Long Term Survival Foods:

  • Place the six gallon Mylar bags, open, in the five gallon buckets.
  • Fill them with appropriate dry food, one type per bag. Leave about one inch of space at the top of the bucket.
  • Mark the outside of the bucket, in several places, with the contents.
  • Using the hair straightener, seal the top of the bag, leaving only enough unsealed to fit the vacuum cleaner hose in.
  • Place a oxygen absorber in the bag, through the opening. From this point, you need to work rapidly.
  • Suck out the air from the bag with the vacuum cleaner. Don’t put it into the bag far enough that it sucks out the food; just put it barely in the opening.
  • Seal off the opening with the hair straightener.
  • Fold the top of the bag down and place the lid on the bucket. Use the rubber mallet to seat the lid on its seal.

These buckets should be stored in a cool, dry place. Most dry foods, including everything mentioned above, will keep for about 20 years, if stored like this.

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Autumn Foraging Foods

Autumn Foraging Foods

Autumn Foraging Foods

Autumn is upon us and this is a great time for Foraging. Foraging for Autumn Foraging Foods and the ability to Forage is a great skill for Survivalists and Prepper’s alike. Foraging can also be great money saving skill for Sustainability Prepper’s … seems pointless to pay for produce in the supermarkets when it can be found growing wild for free !

Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts are amongst my favourite Autumn Foraging Foods. With Hazelnuts you need to be quick to beat the Squirrels to this great tasting nut. Rich in Protein, Fat and Flavour, hazelnuts make a great snack and can be used in cooking. The nuts always grow under the leaves so can often be overlooked. You can eat them when the shells are still green, if they have a developed nut inside, these are really tasty, and sold as ‘cobnuts’ in the UK. You can also dry nuts in a dry dark place or in a dehydrator, then use them dry or roast them.

Hazelnuts

Hazelnut

 

Apples

Once you become aware of your surroundings, you’ll notice there’s apple trees everywhere. As a Survival food it’s ideal as you can simply pick them and eat them or they can be stored for a number of weeks. For the sustainability prepper’s apples have many uses from cooking in pies, made into cider and wine  or peeled, cored, chopped and frozen for future use.

There are many different types of Apples available but general rule of thumb is if it tastes a bit sour and is quite large it’s probably a cooking apple, so save these for pies. If it’s tasty and palatable, it’s an eater, and if it’s small, sour and astringent, puckering your mouth, it will be a crab apple and best used making wine.

Autumn Foraging Foods Apples

Blackberries

The blackberry or bramble likes to colonise open spaces in tangled thickets. The first fruit to ripen is at the end of each cane and these tend to be the most sweet and plump.

As a change to making pies, jam and bramble jelly, try making blackberry wine or blackberry whisky.

Wild Blackberries

Rose Hips

During the Second World War, Rose hips were widely used as a replacement for citrus fruits, they where widely collected and made into syrup for flavouring foods. Rose hips are typically found in hedgerows, rough grass and scrub. The leaves grow in pairs of toothed leaflets, the flowers are pink or white, and the fruit is orange-red and oblong shaped. Watch out for thorns and be sure to remove the inner seeds. Rose hips can be used for herbal teas, jam, jelly, syrup, rose hip soup, beverages, pies, bread, wine, and marmalade. They can also be eaten raw, like a berry, if care is used to avoid the hairs inside the fruit.

rosehips

Beech Nuts

Beech Nuts can be found in plentiful supply in Britain and Ireland, Continental Europe, North America and even Asia. The Beechnuts themselves can be found in small burrs that drop from the tree in autumn. The Beechnuts have a high fat content and can be pressed for edible oil. In addition, fresh from the tree, beech leaves in spring are a fine salad vegetable, as sweet as a mild cabbage though much softer in texture.

beechnuts

Hawthorn

Another readily available example of Autumn Foraging Foods and sometimes snubbed because of its mealy texture, hawthorn fruit makes spectacular liqueurs, jellies, fruit sauce, chutney and even a very bitter coffee. While you’re enjoying the rosy colour and gentle sweetness of this late summer and early fall fruit, you may also be getting some health benefits: hawthorn has a long history of use as an herbal medicine for the heart, especially for arrhythmia. It is useful for both high and low blood pressure, acting as a balancing tonic.

Look for hawthorn on open hillsides, near pastures and stream banks. It is also widely planted as an ornamental in city parks.

Hawthorn Berries

 

Blackthorn, Sloe Berry

The Sloe Berry is the fruit of the Blackthorn bush and is found in abundance in Europe, Eastern United States and the Pacific Northwest.  Sloes are too bitter and sour to eat raw, but taste superb when preserved. They have an intense plum taste. Flavour them with orange zest, cloves, cinnamon or almond essence. Preserve them as sloe gin, sloe wine, sloe jelly, sloe syrup, and sloe plum cheese. A spoonful of sloe jelly can be added to plum pies or used in sponge cakes.

Traditionally, sloes used for sloe gin are picked after the first frost as this helps the alcohol to permeate the fruit. Alternatively prick each fruit with a darning needle, or spread them out on a baking tray and leave in the freezer for a couple of hours to simulate frost.

Blackthorn Sloe Berries

Sloe Gin

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The Perfect Bug out Bag

The Perfect Bug out Bag

The Perfect Bug out Bag

A Bug Out Bag carries the essentials you will need to survive when faced with most disaster situations. In the event you need to evacuate prior to or following a Shit Hits the Fan situation, you should prepare a Perfect Bug Out Bag / Go Bag that meets all the needs of your own Personal Disaster Plan.

Choose a good Bug out Bag

There are many options available that make for a good Bug out Bag and options will vary greatly depending on where you are are based but provided you stick to a few essential rules when deciding on your Bug out Bag you can’t go far wrong:

  • Choose a good robust and branded design … Berghaus, Karrimoor etc
  • A Waterproof design is preferred.

What to you include in your Bug Out Bag / Go Bag:

There is no “one size fits all” list for the perfect Bug out Bag ! What you pack into your own Bug out Bag depends very much on your own personal preferences and your own disaster plans !

The following list will give you a good idea of the sort of items you should consider packing:

Knives and Tools

There are several things to consider when choosing which knives and tools to carry with you in your kit. Whilst any knife or tool you have with you could be considered the best survival knife / tool ! I strongly suggest that if you are able to select / choose your knives and tools you have with you, ensure you invest wisely and choose reliable products !

All to often I see Youtube Videos showing Bug out Bag contents and Get home Bag contents containing what I consider way to many knives and tools just creating extra weight to carry ! My personal kit consists of 1 Morakniv Bushcraft Black Survival, a Bahco Laplander folding saw and a Leatherman Wave. I see little point several survival knives or duplicating use by packing both Axe and Saw !!

Documents and Financials

  • Copies (or originals) of all your important documents and Disaster Plan in a waterproof / portable container.
  • A copy of your Disaster Plan
  • Credit Cards, ATM Cards, Cash (possibly small quantities of Gold or Silver in 1gram ingots).
  • Extra set of House and Car keys (especially if the use of your Vehicle is part of your Bug Out Plan).

Lighting

  • The Best LED Flashlight you can afford (I personally use a wind up model to save reliance on batteries).

Storage

  • Zip bags (these will help keep things dry).
  • 6 – 8 Large (120 litre) heavy duty refuse bags.

Fire Starting

  • Good Quality Pencil Sharpener (ideal for making kindling for fires).
  • Fire Starting Kit.

 

Fishing and Hunting

  • Fishing and Hunting Kit (include fishing line / hooks and snare wire).

Food and Water

  • Drinking Water (3 Litres)
  • Good sized Collapsible Water Bottle
  • Water Purification Kit
  • Protein / Energy Bars (Qty 6)
  • Dehydrated Meals (Qty 3)

Cooking

  • Solid Fuel Cooker
  • Mess Tins
  • Eating utensils

Clothing

  • Lightweight Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Convertible (Zip-Off) Pants
  • Underwear
  • Wool Hiking Socks (Qty 3 pair)
  • Fleece
  • Hat
  • Good Gloves (Leather)
  • Poncho
  • Combined Safety / Sunglasses

Shelter

  • Tarp
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Ground Pad
  • Wool Blanket
  • Survival Blanket

Personal Hygiene and First Aid

  • First Aid Kit
  • Personal Hygiene Kit
  • Sewing Kit
  • Insect Repellant

Useful items to include

  • 550 Parachute Cord (50′)
  • Duct Tape (25’)

 

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