Search results for: 'first aid'

  • 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 . . .)

    20120820-_MG_0669 cutout

    #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).

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    #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.

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  •  Basic survival skills: know how to build a campfire

    I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to be doing during an emergency is reading an instruction manual. All the gear in the world—and I know, there’s some pretty sweet gear out there—is not going to build that shelter or clean that water by itself. As crucial as stocking up on the right supplies is, we also need to be actively building a base of survival skills to call on in a crisis. We can’t all be Bear Grylls, but the following list and resources offers a good place to start.

    So here is a list of the top Five Survival Skills (or How to Make an Emergency Less Scary) that all new and experienced preppers should know.

     

    1. Water

    Pop quiz: Which of the following will kill you fastest?

    • Lack of food
    • Lack of heat
    • Lack of water

    You guessed it—water should be your #1 concern in a disaster. Storing water will help you at home; purifying water will help you when you’re not close to a clean supply. However, purifying water can also help you at home as well. If officials issue a boil order or you’re concerned about the safety of your at home water supply you’ll want to purify your water. Check out our Insight Article, “Water Filtration and Purification” to learn more. But everyone should know the basics of water collection for survival. Howstuffworks.com has a handy-dandy tutorial about collecting water for survival.

     

    2. Shelter

    Basic survival skills: Building a shelter

    What do dry grass, garbage sacks, and a fallen tree have in common? They could all keep you from freezing. Knowing how to raise your ultra-light, four-man, double-walled tent in under six minutes won’t help you if you’re caught in the outdoors without it. You’ll need to know how to build a backup shelter out of natural resources if you don’t have that fancy tent on hand. Our Insight article, “Emergency Shelter” tells you how to construct 10+ emergency shelters with little or no gear. Learn just one, and you’re better prepared than you were yesterday.

     

    3. Fire

    By all means, keep torches, lighters, and waterproof matches handy. And you’re one step ahead of the game if you’ve been collecting dryer lint or newspaper for tinder. But could you get a flame going without all that on hand? Been a while since Scout camp? Brush up on your fire starter skills by watching one of seven video tutorials from the guys at  (wait for it…) http://howtostartafirewithoutmatches.com/.

     

     

    4. First aid

    We recently devoted a whole blog series to beefing up your first aid skills (check out August 2013 in our archives). Don’t know where to start? Learn the Heimlich maneuver.

     

    5. Food

    This is kind of a cheat category. Being able to eat during an emergency includes a variety of survival skills from hunting and foraging to gardening and canning—and frankly, you’d be doing great if you knew a little about each of those skills. You can become a gardening expert by browsing the “gardening tag” on our blog.  You can also develop your food preservation skills by checking out the “canning section” of our blog as well.

     

    But let’s assume the worst. If you were stranded in the woods, miles from your stockpile of freeze-dried entrees and canned peaches, what could you do? Check out these  list of forage-friendly eats from the Chicago Tribune, the Daily Green, and discovery.com. Before you start foraging in your neck of the woods, get a plan guide and get familiar with local plant life.

     

    These are good starting points to begin developing your survival skills. Pick one thing to learn, get really good at it, and then pick a new thing. Before you know it, you’ll be leading treks across Mongolia and hosting your own reality series.

     

    --Stacey

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

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