Search results for: 'first aid'

  • what's the difference between a burn and a scald?

    Many of us may be familiar with the impact a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree burn may have on the human body, but most of us aren’t as familiar with the impact a scald can have. Since scald recognition and prevention may not be discussed as often as burns, let's talk about scalds and how you can prevent scald injuries in your home.

    What’s the difference between a burn and a scald?

    Understanding the definition and differences of these two injuries will help you decide if the pain you or a loved one is experiencing is a burn or a scald.

    Burns: Although burns are complex injuries with no solid definition, in simplest terms a burn can be defined as damage to skin cells and tissue caused by fire, heat, electricity, chemicals, radiation, light, or friction. If the burn is severe, it can even damage muscle and fat. And if it's deep enough, it can reach bone.

    Scalds: Unlike burns, scalds may only damage several layers of skin. They typically don’t reach connective or nerve tissue, muscle, fat, or bone. However, while many scalds can be considered as superficial or first degree burns, if severe enough, scalds can be just as fatal as a third degree burn and may even lead to death. A scald is caused when a portion of skin is exposed to a hot liquid or steam. For instance, scalding is often caused by hot bath water, hot food, cooking fluids like grease, or a hot drink.

    What's the impact of a scald injury?

    Many people may believe that scalds are not serious burn injuries. But it's important to understand that, like second and third degree burns, scalds may require skin grafting and can have deadly effects if not treated in time.

    According to U.S. News and World Reports, “In the United States, burns from hot tap water result in about 1,500 hospital admissions and 100 deaths per year.” The difference between a scald being a minor burn or being deadly are determined by several factors including:

    • Prolonged exposure to the hot substance
    • The temperature of the substance
    • The nature of the substance (is it sticky? does it retain heat?)
    • The extent of body area scalded
    • The location of the scald

    Also, scalds can happen fast. Shriner’s Hospital states, “People of all ages can be burned in 30 seconds by flowing liquid that is 130 degrees F; at 140 degrees F, it takes only 5 seconds; at 160 degrees F, it only takes 1 second.”

    Who typically experiences scalding?

    Even though people of all ages can be scalded, the three groups that are most likely to experience a scald are young children, the elderly, and those with disabilities and special needs. These groups may not be able to say or understand that their bath water or drink is too hot. And because of mobility restrictions, they may not be able remove themselves from an unsafe situation.

    Additionally, young children and the elderly typically have thinner skin than the average adult or teen. The thinner your skin, the quicker it’ll burn making these groups more susceptible to scalding.

    But just because the three groups listed above are more likely to experience a scald, let's not forget that a scald injury can happen to anyone. It's important to learn preventative measures now to make sure you and your family are safe.

    How can I prevent scald injuries in my home?

    Scalds typically occur at home in the bathroom or kitchen. Since we know the two most common places where they occur, you can enact preventative measures in your home now.

    Bathroom Safety

    • Supervise young children as they use tap water to wash hands, face, etc. (According to Safe Kids USA, “hot tap water burns tend to be the most severe and cover a larger portion of the body than other scald burns.”)
    • Lower the temperature setting on your water heater to 120°F or less.
    • To check water temperature when filling the tub for a child, move your hand through the water. If it feels too hot for you, it’s definitely too hot for a child, elderly, or those with special needs.
    • Place your child on the opposite end of the tub from the faucet. Position them so their back is toward the faucet.
    • Install a grab bar in your shower.
    • A safe bathing temperature for a healthy adult is 100°F ( to test the water temperature, run water for 2 minutes and use a cooking thermometer to measure heat.)

    Kitchen Safety

    • When cooking, face pot handles inward so that no one can walk past and accidently hit the pot or so a child can’t pull it off the stove.
    • Follow instructions and cautions for heating items in a microwave—even the steam from a bag of popcorn can scald you.
    • Supervise children in kitchen and dining areas.
    • Mark a “kid-free zone” in the kitchen close to the stove (with tape) and explain to your child why they cannot cross the line.
    • Never hold a child in your arms while preparing hot foods or liquids.
    • Keep hot foods and liquids high out of a child’s reach.
    • Keep BurnFree in your kitchen or first aid kit

     

    To learn more about scald prevention safety and tips, check out these links

    And while you’re at it, beef up on first aid for 1st, 2nd, 3rd degree, and chemical and electrical burns in our article, “First Aid for Burns.” You could even use these tips to help you treat a minor scald.

     

    Sources

     

     

     

     

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: preparedness, emergency preparedness, burns, burn treatment, burn prevention, burn preparedness

  • Each Monday in January, we’re sharing our Preparedness New Year’s Resolutions for 2014. If you’d like to make some Prepping Resolutions of your own, but don’t know where to start, borrow some of our resolutions or use this series to get some ideas.

    This week we're  talking about Survival Skills. Take a look at last week’s resolutions for Food and Water Storage.

    Prepper style New Year's Resolutions for Survival Skills

    Here is what our Emergency Essentials’ bloggers plan on doing to hone their Survival Skills in 2014:

    New Year’s Resolution Prepper Style: Survival Skills

    Sharon

    I resolve to experiment with and learn different alternative cooking skills, such as basic thermos cooking and one-pot meals on a Single Burner Folding Stove with a Heat Cell Canister. I hope to get a Volcano Collapsible Grill with an Oven Lid and learn to use it for both grilling and baking using the Volcano Dutch Oven. I also plan to continue learning how to grow vegetables successfully in pots. (Last summer’s results were mixed: the cucumbers and peppers were great, but the eggplants were so small I kept waiting for them to grow large enough to harvest while they were actually growing old!)

     

    Sarah

    You may or may not know that, growing up, I used to go camping and hiking with my family all the time. As I grew older, I kicked my inner tomboy to the curb and embraced the world of stilettos and manicures. This year I’m letting the pendulum swing back to middle ground and I’ll be spending some more time outdoors, practicing and learning some survival skills (like building a fire or a shelter, orienteering, etc.). I’m also going to do some canning and dehydrating this year, which will be a totally new experience for me. There are dozens of skills I want to learn, but I’m trying to pace myself, so the first thing I’m going to do is a winter camping trip where I’ll practice building an emergency shelter and a fire. (Wish me luck. But if you’re worried about me, also know that I’m absolutely taking a tent. And an armful of hand and body warmers.)

    Angela

    Sometimes my husband acts like he’s a “dead body” and tells me to try to carry him out of a “burning house” (yes, I know this is weird). It’s annoying when he does it, but I fail at dragging him even two feet every time. This makes me think that I need to strength train to be able to get him to safety if something happened. So my New Year’s Resolution for skills is to learn various methods for carrying another person, strength training (so that I can lift more than 30 pounds . . .), and exercising more in case we have to evacuate on foot, or build a shelter.

     

    Kim

    Once upon a time I was CPR and First Aid certified . . . that was like 6 ½ years ago. This New Year, I resolve to relearn (and get re-certified) in First Aid and CPR. I just hit my one year wedding anniversary this last December and it’s made me realize that I want to be able to be self-reliant in protecting my family, if it comes to that. My husband and I ski . . . a lot. By developing First Aid skills, I will be better prepared to take care of my husband if he gets hurt while we’re skiing (before ski patrol arrives, of course). Knowing CPR and First Aid will also help me in the future when I have children. Learning these skills now will give me confidence to heal/help my children when they are ill or get injured.

     

    What type of Survival Skills do you want to develop in 2014? 

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, Survival, emergency preparedness, survival skills

  • There are just two days left in the year 2013! So you know what that means, right? There are just two days left to check out our December sale items, too. Now that the holiday season is dying down, you can sit back, relax, and look through our December sale items as you ring in the New Year.

    In case you didn’t get a chance to check out our sale items during the hustle and bustle of the last few weeks, here are some items selling at great prices this December!

    Trekker II-Emergency Kit (two person)-- On sale this month for $87.99 (a $147.59 value). This Emergency kit includes basic survival gear for two people to survive for up to three days. The best part is that buying extras of this kit will prepare you for a variety of events that may arise in 2014: birthdays, as a gift for your nephew’s wedding, or for your cousin who has two kids and is trying to get the family prepared. Each kit comes with a medium and a large backpack and includes hygiene items, water, calorie food bars, warmth items, first aid necessities, a Tube Tent, radio, and so much more!

    Trekker II Emergency Kit (two person)

     72-Hour Food and Water Supply— Each combo includes meals-ready-to-eat and water for one person for three days. This combo has a variety of MRE entrees, sides, and desserts to choose from, as well as 18 water pouches, and much more! You can mix and match to create unique meals. You can even use this combo to add more food to your pre-made Trekker II kit or the emergency kit you already own. It’s on sale this month for $52.99 (at $90.50 value).

    72-Hour Food and Water Supply

    Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes—Hash browns are a special treat to have for a weekend or holiday breakfast. After partying on New Year’s Eve, why not wake up on New Year’s Day to the delicious smell of hash brown potatoes cooking in the skillet? Better yet, you can eat these hash browns as a side dish or create a breakfast casserole; there’s just so much you can do with one can of hash browns!  Get them this month for only $7.89 (20% off the regular price of $10.99).

    Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes

    Steripen Ultra— As you start preparing for the upcoming spring/summer camping season, make sure you have a water purifier on hand as you hike on the trails. The Steripen Ultra is a rechargeable, ultra-violet water purifier that can purify up to 50 liters of water per charge! This pen can neutralize over 99.9% of viruses, bacteria, and protozoa in your water. On sale this month for $79.99 (regularly priced at $119.95).

    Steripen Ultra

    As you celebrate the New Year, don’t forget to check out our December sales. All of these items will help you to be prepared not only for 2014, but for many years to come!

    Happy New Year!

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: monthly sales, sale, sales, December sale

  • Take precautions when heading out on your road trip

    Want to put your Christmas plans in perspective? According to AAA’s yearly holiday travel forecast, an estimated 93.3 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles from their homes this holiday season. 90% of those trips will be by car, and 54% of those road trips (you still following the math?) will be undertaken by just one or two adults. See if you can calculate how many cars that puts on the road between December 22nd and January 1st.

    Add to those fun numbers the possibilities of nasty weather, drunk drivers, car trouble, and carsick children, and you’ve got tons of reasons to be extra prepared this December. In terms of peace of mind, a little planning can go a long way. Take these precautions, and turn your Grinch-y road trip into a jingle-all-the-way adventure.

    • Car maintenance – Before a long trip, be sure everything’s working properly on the car and check fluid levels. And a quick wash might seem counterintuitive before a snowy haul, but clean headlights will help you see in dark or stormy weather (and help others see you). 
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    • Route plan – Know where you’re going and which route you’re going to take. Share your route plan with a friend or family member, and let them know when you expect to arrive. Mostly importantly, stick to your route, insofar as weather and traffic allow, and don’t take shortcuts or change your plans without telling anybody!
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    • Emergency pack – Aside from the typical travel luggage, be sure you make room in your car for a substantial emergency pack. Consider the possibility of being stranded in your car, and keep enough of the right things on hand to sustain everyone in the car—especially food, water, blankets, medications, and a first aid kit. A phone charger is an absolute must. And don’t forget car maintenance items, like jumper cables, snow chains, roadside assistance numbers, and a headlamp (ever tried changing a tire in the dark?).
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    • Weather – Plan around bad weather. Check the forecast well before your trip, and build extra hours into your travel plan to accommodate unexpected bumps. Ideally, allowing a window of a few days when making travel plans can help you avoid dangerous storms.
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    • Fatigue – Drowsy driving puts everyone in your car at risk, even if you don’t actually fall asleep. A sleepy driver’s reaction time slows down and their awareness of their surroundings decreases. Beat the odds by taking a lot of breaks, staying hydrated, and singing Christmas carols at the top of your lungs.

    And, for a bonus round, here are three quick tips for air travel:

    • Delays – Basically, plan on them. Carry on as much as possible, in case you can’t get to your luggage for a while. Keep things like meds, toiletries, a change of clothes, snacks, and cash handy.
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    • Communication – Keep friends or family informed of delays, canceled or missed flights, or changes in your plan. Again, a phone charger will be a life-saver.
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    • Kids – The two biggest travel-meltdown inducers are hunger and boredom. Stave off tantrums by packing high-protein snacks and an assortment of books, small toys, or games. These Airplane Travel Games for Kids and these 50 Ways to Keep your Toddler Busy are genius.) 

     

    Vacations, road trips, and all sorts of other activities make this holiday season a magical time of year. Drive smart on the roads and factor a few extra hours into your travel plans to get to your destination safely this season!

     

    Sources

    http://newsroom.aaa.com/tag/aaa-travel-services/

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Winter, preparedness, emergency preparedness, winter preparedness, road trip, drive

  • Winter Camping Tips

    For some of us, winter brings a whole new set of adventures that summer just can’t offer. Some ski or snowboard, others snowshoe, and still others love to sled. For many outdoor enthusiasts, winter camping sparks their excitement; they see it as an adventure and a challenge. One of our bloggers, Stacey, says that her “own husband is one of these lunatics enthusiasts who believes that unless there’s 18 inches of snow on the ground, it’s not a real campout.”

    Whether you ski, snowshoe, sled, or go winter camping, it’s important to know what supplies you need for the weather you may face.  In her Insight Article, Stacey focuses on tips that every winter camper should know before heading out the door.

    For more information on how you can stay safe and happy while enjoying your frosty adventure this winter, check out Stacey’s Top Ten Tips for Winter Camping Insight Article.

    To get yourself totally prepped for this winter season (especially those of you who plan to be out in the cold), check out these other articles:

    “First Aid for Hypothermia and Frostbite”

    http://beprepared.com/blog/8804/first-aid-for-hypothermia-and-frostbite/

    “Emergency Shelter”

    http://beprepared.com/insight/7136/emergency-shelter-2/

    “Staying Warm in the Outdoors”

    http://beprepared.com/insight/7142/staying-warm-in-the-outdoors/

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, preparedness, camping, Survival, emergency preparedness, winter camping

  •  Drowning swimmer: 20 survival tips

    According to Popular Mechanics’s recent article, “How Not to Die: 20 Survival Tips You Must Know,” “accidents are the leading cause of death among U.S. men 18 to 50 years old.” What’s most surprising about this article is that many of the unintentional deaths described occurred while the victim was performing an everyday task like mowing the lawn, watching a live baseball game, or getting snacks from the vending machine!

    This article illustrates how easy it is to misinterpret or fail to register signals of imminent danger in various situations. So Popular Mechanics offers its readers signs to recognize these easy-to-miss risks and ways to avoid or survive them. Some of the risks that they talk about include things like electric-shock drowning, ATV accidents, effects of using generators incorrectly, and health-related issues like hypothermia and what can happen if you drink too much water!

    Check out more of the Popular Mechanics article, “How Not to Die: 20 Survival Tips You Must Know,” to learn how to protect yourself from unseen dangers.

     

    Also, to beef up your survival skills check out these articles:

    Preparedness Tips: Portable Generators Need Maintenance?!

    First Aid for Hypothermia and Frostbite

    The Real Signs of Drowning

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, emergency preparedness, survival skills, danger, risks, avoiding risk, accidents

  • Holiday Gifts under $10

    The holidays are a great time to give the gift of preparedness. If you are just starting your holiday shopping list, here are some possible gift ideas for your family, friends, and neighbors. Each Tuesday in November, we are going to show you a holiday gift guide with lists of preparedness items ranging from $10, $25, and $50 to give you up to 30 different gifts to choose from for your various gift giving needs.

    This post shows 10 gifts that are $10 and under that I’m considering for my husband and in-laws (aka, the most die-hard campers/backpackers, gardening, canners I know).

    #1. Mountain House Pouches

    These just-add-water meals are perfect for campers and backpackers, looking for a quick and easy meal after a long day of hiking. I’m thinking about getting some for my husband and his brothers to share for their next camping adventure. Most of these pouches are under $10 and have 2.5 servings in each pouch. Here is one of my favorites, Mountain House Lasagna with meat sauce:

    Gifts under $10: MH Lasagna (2 Person)

    #2. Hot-Can Self Heating Cans-$2.95

    Hot-Can Self Heating Soup or Hot-Can Self Heating Cocoa is the perfect gift for a hiker, backpacker, or hunter who wants to get warm quick while outdoors. Simply activate, shake, and you have nice hot cocoa or soup in minutes (great for outdoor holiday programs or New Year’s Eve events, too!)

    Gifts $10 and under: Hot-Can Self Heating Cans

    #3. Adhesive In-Sole Foot Warmers-$2.50 (with a price this low, you can stock up!)

    These full-length, ultra-thin foot warmers can fit into boots and shoes, keeping feet warmer, longer than a sock could! These single-use pads provide up to nine hours of heat. The perfect gift for my husband whose feet always get cold in the winter at the warehouse where he works.

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    #4. Spark-Lite Fire Starter-$6.95

    Just light the included quik fire tinder (it will burn for up to 2 minutes), and arrange your tinder, kindling, and flint shavings to make the fire last longer. The U.S. Military uses this fire starter because it’s compact and perfect if you have to start a fire with one hand (like my brother-in law would have to do while camping with two toddlers . . .)

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    #5. Deluxe Sanitation Water Kit-$9.60

    This item is perfect for camping because it allows you to store up to 5-gallons of water for drinking or sanitation in a metallized bag. You can use the box as a toilet, and it comes with toilet paper, a disposable waste bag, and an enzyme packet to breakdown waste.

    Gifts $10 and under: Deluxe Water Sanitation Kit

    #6. 100-Piece First Aid Kit-$7.50

    This first aid kit includes the basics for survival (bandages, anti-biotic ointment, wraps, etc.) and is helpful for everyday emergencies.  Small enough to store in a kitchen, medicine cabinet, or emergency kit, this kit is great for treating minor cuts and scrapes.

    Gifts $10 and under: 100-Piece First Aid KIt

    #7. Tri-Fold Foldable Shovel-$10.99

    This shovel folds to fit into a compact case and has two serrated edges for chopping and sawing. It’s perfect for shoveling your car out of snow, or for digging sanitation holes and securing tent spikes while camping.

    Gifts $10 and under: Tri-Fold Foldable Shovel

    #8. 5-Piece Home Canning Kit-$9.95

    This kit makes canning safe and easy with all the essential tools to get the job done. This kit comes with a canning funnel, magnetic lid lifter, jar lifter, cleaning brush, and jar wrench. Great for my husband’s Grammy because this kit will cut her canning time in half (and she cans a TON of stuff).

    20131017-_MG_4201_ccs

    #9. Clear Mist 100-Hour Emergency Candle-$4.95

    For some reason, my husband really loves candles, so I know this gift would be great for him. Perfect for power outages, emergencies, and outdoor use, this 100-hour candle is great for emergency kits and to have on hand, just in case.

    Gifts $10 and under-100 hour candle

    #10. Fired UP! Fuel and Fire Starter-$4.95

    Use to light campfires, prepare charcoal briquettes, or as a safe and reliable fuel source for cooking or heating in emergency situations. It has a 30 year shelf life and comes in a 2.5 can to easily source with your backpacking/camping equipment without adding extra weight.

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    So there you have it, 10 preparedness gifts for $10 or under.  Now that you’ve seen all these cool gifts and are pumped to do some holiday shopping, don’t forget to come back to the blog next week to see our gift guide for gifts $25 and under.

    Of course, you can always go to beprepared.com or our Pinterest and check out our boards for gifts under $5, $10, $25, $50, and our stocking stuffers and small gifts board to get some ideas as well.

    Happy Shopping!

    -Angela

     

     

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: holidays, gifts, preparedness, emergency preparedness, Emergency Essentials

  • Make your own emergency kit

    Emergency kits come in all shapes and sizes, filled with all types of food, water supplies, shelters, and tools. But what is the right type of emergency kit for you? Building your own emergency kit is as simple as one, two, and three. For $10 or less apiece, you can arm yourself with the right products to help you meet your most basic needs in an emergency.

    1. Food & Water

    • Survival food packages like the Mainstay 3600 calorie bars work well because they are lightweight, compact, and delicious—they taste like cookie dough. Unlike traditional energy bars, these are formulated to withstand extreme temperatures and still last for 5 years. Keep them in your car, boat, RV, or inside your emergency kit at home. For only $7.50, these bars give one person enough calories for 3 days, or three people for a single day. 


    • Purified water in compact sizes can also be a good fit for adding to a backpack. Bottled water is a popular option, bottled water packages are prone to leaking and require frequent rotation. The 8 oz. Aqua Blox comes in sturdy packaging that is designed to keep your water safe for 5 years with the convenience of a juice-box-style package and straw. The water also comes purified, not just filtered, so it is contaminant free. Six of these blox would be sufficient drinking water for one person over 3 days for about $5. 


    • Filter Straws can treat natural water sources that you come across to allow you to find and treat water rather than carrying it. Simply suck water through the filter straw to remove common germs. If the source is frequented by humans or livestock, however, this filter would likely not provide the required protection. Cost is about $10.

    2. Shelter

    • Emergency ponchos pack up tight and are lightweight, yet provide substantial coverage to keep more of your body dry. Staying dry dramatically increases our comfort, making the emergency poncho an affordable and practical (about $1) addition to any kit. 


    • Portable Tents are another way to provide shelter—or even just to mark an area as your own. Unlike traditional tents, a tube tent is inexpensive, lightweight, and packs incredibly small to fit inside of your kit without forcing you to leave other items out. It is so light because of its simplicity – no poles, no stakes, just a tent wall. The tube tent is an 8 ft. long tube that shelters two people for about $4.

    3. Warmth

    There are two simple ways to stay warm in cold weather: 1) keep more of your own body heat, and 2) generate heat around you (campfires or heaters).

    •  Many of us use blankets and sleeping bags to retain more of our body heat.  Emergency sleeping bags are made of a high-efficiency reflective material that retains up to 90% of your body heat. They can be stored in very small spaces and only cost about $4. I’ve experienced a night in one of these bags and was very grateful I had it. 


    •  Having portable heat sources can keep your body from shutting down from loss of warmth. Disposable body warmers (larger versions of commonly-known hand warmers) provide heat for up to 20 hours and take up very little space. Their small size (and price – about $1 each) allows you to add several to your supplies. 


    •  Even if you aren’t a boy scout, you can start a fire with Emergency Essential’s various offerings of matches and strikers. One of my favorite options is Stormproof matches. Unlike conventional matches, these stay lit much longer to help you start a fire. Even if the matches get wet or the weather is windy, Stormproof matches will get the job done. You can buy a box by itself (about $4), or with a weather proof case for about $6. Check out the video on the link to see how amazing they are.

    See? Easy as 1-2-3. We have even set out to help you get started with the Basics Emergency Kit. This pre-made set includes many of these basic items and costs just about $20. This kit includes food, water, a poncho, 3 body/hand warmers, an emergency sleeping bag, a whistle, a lightstick, and an 18-piece first aid kit.

    With these basics, your emergency kit is off to a great start and can help protect you in a crisis. As your kit continues to grow, you can add more durable items to your supply, expanding it to prepare you for whatever the future may hold.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: warmth, shelter, preparedness, emergency kit, water, Survival, emergency preparedness, food, Emergency Essentials, survival gear

  • Gathering fire making supplies

    We’ve been talking a lot about fire lately—how to Build a Fire without Matches, how to Prevent Kitchen Fires, etc. Most of us have matches and maybe a lighter on our list of emergency supplies, but how many of us would have to scramble for everything else (you know, wood?) if we needed to get a fire going?  Here are some things you may not have on that list to help you gather fire making supplies.

    Tinder –Lots of different things can be used for tinder, and some are easier (and cleaner) to store than others. My personal favorite is dryer lint—I keep a jar in my laundry room and fill it regularly, then transfer it to a plastic ziplock for emergency packs. Discounting what you could find in the wild, here are some other easy tinder materials you could collect and store for your fire making supplies: wood shavings or sawdust, cotton fabric or cotton balls, frayed natural (jute) twine, char cloth, paper (Kleenex, toilet paper, newspaper, paper towel), or steel wool.

    Fire starters – You can’t go wrong with a supply of waterproof matches, like UCO Stormproof. Watch the video below to see UCO Stormproof matches in action.

     

    Some survivalists recommend keeping matches in a few different places (emergency pack, car, coat pocket), just in case. A less disposable idea might be getting a more durable fire starter and storing it with your fire making supplies. They won’t last indefinitely, but they’re good for anywhere from a hundred to a couple thousand sparks, depending on the material, and they store a little more conveniently than matches.

    Another way to get your fire started is using a gel fuel like Utility Flame. Simply squeeze the gel onto your tinder then light using a match or lighter. The gel will heat up and begin to burn your tinder, starting your flame. The gel burns for fifteen minutes, giving you enough time to collect kindling and fuel to keep the fire going. Utility Flame comes in handy little packets that are perfect for backpacks and emergency kits. 

    Fuel – For those of us who grew up without gas fireplaces (what do you mean, ‘switch it on’?), woodpiles were a part of life. They’re a rarer feature these days, but could be a lifesaver in an emergency. Whether you buy it by the cord or cut down your own tree branches and logs, there are important considerations regarding storage. Primarily, you want to keep firewood covered, but not enclosed; good ventilation is key to “seasoning,” or properly drying the wood.

    Alternatively, if you need to get and keep a fire burning somewhere away from your immaculately stacked woodpile, a firestarter like Fired Up! can save time and space. For fuel in bulk, Fired Up! comes in 12 oz. cans , 2.5 lb. cans, or 13 lb. buckets, and can store for 30+ years.

    First aid – So, maybe you got that fire burning just a little too hot. Don’t forget burn treatment along with all your other fire making supplies. BurnFree’s comprehensive line of burn treatment products includes everything from a fire blanket to treat full-body burns, to single dose packets of pain relief gel. Burnfree is specifically developed for first aid use on burns and scalds. By storing Burnfree in your camping or emergency supplies, you can begin to care for burns properly before it creates any devastating effects to your body. Burnfree allows you to treat burns in a variety of situations and of various degrees.

    Any other fire-related storage must-haves? What’s in your supply?

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: skills, baby steps, Survival, Fire Safety, Fire Preparedness

  • For many people, building a food storage supply is an incremental process. We start with the basics, buy what we can when we can, save up for larger purchases, and watch happily as the stash grows month by month or year by year. So, it only makes sense to apply the same principle of patience to our supply of emergency survival gear.

     Survival Gear Collage

     

    At Emergency Essentials, we recommend that you build your supply by starting with the survival gear that will meet your most basic needs first. Get high-quality items that will last a long time when you can. But if you’re on a budget, get the most basic survival gear to meet each need until you can afford to upgrade.

    So here are my Top Twelve recommendations to start your collection of emergency gear:

    1. Emergency kit – The contents of the Basics Emergency Kit can be stashed in plastic freezer bags until you find just the right backpack—at which point, you can also start adding heavier-duty elements, like LED flashlights and a multi-tool and a good knife.
    2. Water Filter – The Katadyn® MyBottle microfilter is a water bottle with a microfilter built in—and it’s a great starting point for water filtration. If you need water for a few people or you want to upgrade to something that can filter thousands of gallons of water, something like the Combi would work well. If you really want to pull out all the stops and provide water for a large group, get the Expedition.
    3. Emergency food – Still saving up for the big freeze-dried entree variety pack? In the meantime, get more calories for your buck with high-energy emergency food ration bars.
    4. Shelter – I want the four-man, two-vestibule tent with taped seams and a rain fly. But a rip stop tarp will do in a pinch. Don’t forget the rope .
    5. Warmth – They may look inconsequential, but a reflective emergency bag   and pocket hand warmers stash efficiently, are cheap enough to buy in bulk (less than $2 each), and could very well save your toes.
    6. Light – I buy little lightweight LED flashlights almost every time I pass one in a store. Super long-lasting, surprisingly bright for their size, and frequently on sale, they’re a great value for the money.
    7. Communications – This may be the most expensive item on my list of ‘basics,’ but in a true emergency, a shortwave radio  is an absolute must. And for $20-30, you can get a workhorse with radio, LED light, USB charger, and three different ways to power it all (solar, crank, battery).
    8. Power – Another example of multiple uses in a single product is a solar battery charger. You won’t be able to run the freezer, but you can keep all the vital little things operational. Recharge radio batteries or charge cell phones—with a single device.
    9. First aid – Two approaches: A) Find a small, basic kit and keep that on hand until you can afford something more comprehensive; or B) collect individual components, like bandages  and pain reliever, as you find them well priced, and add to the collection gradually.
    10. Cooking – Start small with a basic collapsible stove  for outdoor cooking. Or start even smaller with fuel and some matches.
    11. Sanitation – Travel size shampoos, toothpaste, and hand sanitizer are logical place to start here. But if the idea of doing your business behind a tree stresses you out, peace of mind can come with relatively little expense. I love this toilet seat  that fits over a bucket. Seriously, genius.
    12. Storage and tools – Absolutely, without doubt, the first instrument you want in your supply is a multi-function pocketknife. The second is a multi-function tool. The pricey ones will definitely last longer, but the value options will do the job. Lots of jobs, for that matter.

     

    That’s my beginner’s list. Gear can really make your life easier (and even save your life) in an emergency, and it doesn’t have to break the bank. Look around BePrepared.com and find the gear that will work best for you and your needs.

     

    Anything else you’ve found crucial in a tight spot? Share your must-have’s in the comments.

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