Tag Archives: Survival

  • [INFOGRAPHIC]: The 12 Tools You Need for Survival

    12 Tools You Need For Survival

    Preparing for emergency situations and natural disasters may seem overwhelming—but it doesn't need to be. We’re here to make it as easy as possible. That’s why we've created this infographic: The 12 Tools You Need for Survival. It’s a simple roadmap to help you get all the gear you need to stay safe and healthy in a crisis.

    Whether you live on a dozen acres of your own land or in a studio apartment in the city, this list will help you gather just the right food, shelter, and supplies that make sense for you and your family.

    Click here or on the image above to see the full infographic.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: infographics, survival gear, Survival, tools

  • Predators on Primetime: Shark Week!

    Predators on Primetime: Shark Week

    It’s Shark Week! Also known in my house as “The Week Mom Won’t Go Near the Ocean or a Pool and Becomes Leery of Bathtubs.”

    I hate sharks. I hate them with a phobic intensity that makes me shudder when I walk by the trout aquarium at Cabela’s. I didn’t see Jaws until I was an adult, and even then I spent most of the movie looking down into my lap until the scary music stopped. So you can imagine how much I love headlines like this one:

    “Shark photo prompts closure of access to ocean off San Clemente.”

    While fishermen regularly report shark sightings (the predators are attracted by large amounts of fish), the photographic evidence spurred officials to action in this case. Though the beach was completely off limits for a couple of hours after the incident, caution signs remained posted—signs, one official noted, that did little to divert beachgoers.

    It’s true that shark attacks are relatively rare (check out this hilarious but accurate comparison chart of shark attacks to other potential catastrophes from the Florida Museum of Natural History). However, they’re a real enough threat that the governments of Cape Town, South Africa; Western Australia; and Hawaii all publish their own shark safety pages.

    Whether Shark Week has you glued to the TV or locked in your second-story bedroom, if you’re planning on spending any time in the ocean, it’s smart to know your “enemy.” National Geographic has a thorough article on “Shark Attack Tips,” that includes strategies for avoidance, what to do in case of an attack, and tips for helping a victim.

    It also de-bunks some shark myths (for example, if you see a group of dolphins it doesn’t mean there are no sharks in the area. Dolphins and sharks not only eat the same types of food, but some sharks even eat dolphins!), and helps us understand things from the big fish’s perspective (sharks see contrast well and interpret thrashing around as injured and easy prey).

    Of course, the best course of action is always to stay aware, stay educated, and stay within the boundaries set by those responsible for your safety (like local authorities and lifeguards). But it never hurts to practice a hard punch to the gills once in a while.

     

    Any shark stories out there? Come on, scare me!

    -Stacey

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: shark week, shark, Survival

  • 8 Ways Duct Tape Could Save You in a Bind

    People always joke that duct tape fixes everything, but did you know that it could potentially save your life? In a survival situation, duct tape can have many uses, and here are just twelve ways to use this adhesive wonder in a number of emergency situations you may encounter.

    8 Ways Duct Tape Could Save You in a Bind

    1. Patching holes/Sealing – Rip your tent while assembling? Hole in your siding? Missing a shingle? Duct tape is the perfect way to patch holes, seal items, or make emergency repairs on just about anything (like, for example, a tent whose zipper breaks in the middle of a rainstorm… not that I’ve ever had that happen to me).

    2. Medical Uses – Duct tape is a great resource for first aid. You can use it to make bandages (it might hurt a little pulling hairs, but that beats bleeding to death), provide padding on a blister, or even splint an ankle in an emergency. You can also make an emergency duct tape field stretcher!

    3. Make Cord/Rope – You can easily twist long pieces of duct tape together to form a rope or cord. This can be used to hang clothes to dry, hang up a bag out of reach of pests, or any other number of uses (including a belt, if you’re desperate).

    4. Waterproof/Insulate – While this could apply to just about anything, it’s specifically helpful with shoes, especially in the winter. Just wrap duct tape around the shoe to form a barrier from water and provide extra insulation.

    5. Cup/Bucket – Duct tape can be used to fashion a watertight cup, bucket, or even a bowl/plate if you need one. Check out the Norwegian Bushcraft video below to learn how to make a small bucket from duct tape that can hold water, but can also be used to gather food or other necessary items. (The tutorial begins about 27 seconds in to the video).

    6. Weapons and Hunting – Even if you have more ammo than you think you’ll ever need, eventually it’ll run out and you’ll have to resort to something besides a firearm. You can easily create a spear by using duct tape to fasten your knife or broken piece of glass to a piece of wood. You can also improvise an arrow as shown in the video below.



    7. Transportation – Duct tape can be used to repair the exterior and interior furnishings of vehicles, but you could also create a kayak out of PVC pipe and duct tape (and a few other household items)! Duct tape can even help repair leaks in a regular kayak or canoe.

    8. A Place to Sleep – Here’s an example of a hammock made out of duct tape (although I would suggest using something stronger to support if you plan on using it long-term or for more than 120-150 lbs.). Or fashion yourself a tent if you’re desperate!

     

    There are a lot of other uses for duct tape; what are your favorites?

     

    -Michelle

     

    Other Sources:

    http://www.happypreppers.com/duct-tape.html

    http://www.backdoorsurvival.com/duct-tape-for-survival/

    http://offgridsurvival.com/duct-tape/

    http://survival.outdoorlife.com/blogs/survivalist/2012/06/25-practical-survival-uses-duct-tape

     

     

     

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: duct tape, DIY, Survival Tip, Survival, skills

  • Fantastic Plastic: A Million Uses for a Grocery Bag

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    Fantastic Plastic: A Million Uses for a Grocery bag

    Any of you with diaper-age children already know the crucial importance of keeping plastic grocery bags on hand at all times. As a dedicated bag toter, I found myself vindicated this week by no less than Backpacker Magazine, whose online slideshow, “Survive With a Plastic Bag,” has got me thinking of other uses for this ubiquitous resource.

    Backpacker’s six tips include some predictable, but still helpful waterproofing ideas, as well as some not-so-predictable ones, like using the plastic bag as a windsock or a whistle. I’m more than convinced I need a handful of these in my hiking pack and emergency kits. But just a little more digging unlocks the further utility of the plastic bag. Here’s just a sampling:

    • Survival Common Sense lists a bunch of different kinds of plastic bags—everything from Ziplocs to garbage can liners—and shows what you can do with them. I like the wallet-sized fire starter, in particular.
    • Outdoor Life’s Survivalist blog has a great little write-up on how to use a standard plastic grocery bag to collect water in the wild. Hint: it doesn’t even require digging a hole!
    • The Master Woodsman (we don’t know who he is, but we like his site) dedicates a whole article to the big, black garbage bag. His super impressive list of uses for the bag includes some shockers. On your own, you might have come up with the idea of making a shelter or lining a sleeping bag with a garbage bag. But would you have known that you can make a mattress, strong cord, or even glue out of one? Yeah, me neither.
    • In possibly the biggest mind-blower, this YouTube clip shows how to boil water in a plastic bag! I’m not going to pretend to understand why the bag doesn’t melt or ignite, but the guy in the video successfully hard-boils an egg in one over a bed of blazing coals. In a plastic bag!

     

    If you’re still not convinced (Really? What does it take, people?), check back on these previous posts to see still more ingenious ways to put plastic bags to use for emergency preparedness.

     

    Have we missed anything? What other emergency or survival uses do you have for these fantastic plastic bags?

    -Stacey

    Photo courtesy of Backpacker Magazine Ben Fullerton

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: DIY, Survival, skills

  • The World-Renowned Faces Behind CRKT Knives & Tools

    Quality, innovation, and value is what you've come to expect from Emergency Essentials, which is why we’d like to introduce you to a new line of knives and tools that share our same standards from Columbia River Knife & Tool® (CRKT).

    These are no ordinary knives and tools. CRKT® products are created by world-renowned designers who took century-old designs and brought them into the 21st century with modern technology and killer design (no pun intended).

    Tested in the field by their experts and ours, these tools make great additions to your survival gear and camping supplies. And with this Special Purchase, you’ll get all the quality you need and the value you expect from Emergency Essentials.

    Check out these select knives and tools and the CRKT® designers who made them. Or click here to shop now.

    Kangee T-Hawk designed by Ryan Johnson

    Kangee T-Hawk       Ryan Johnson

    With 27 years of experience, Ryan Johnson “has spent the last decade applying modern engineering to centuries-old tool and weapon concepts.” His work has redefined the role of tomahawks in Law Enforcement and Military applications, as well as playing a vital role in the special operations community.

    Ryan is currently president and primary designer at RMJ Tactical, LLC, and lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee with his wife and three daughters. One of Ryan’s designs is the Kangee™ T-Hawk.

    To learn more about Ryan, check out CRKT’s bio.

    Lil Guppie designed by Launce Barber

    CU-K405s       Launce Barber

    Launce Barber designs new products using what he considers the most fundamental tool everybody shares—our creative minds. With a mindset like that, he continually works on improving designs with new solutions to old problems, even after the product has gone to the shelf. Launce finds it important to partner with leaders in the industry who share his same long-term vision.

    Together, he and Tom Stokes—his long-term engineering and design partner—have created a variety of products which have won numerous awards such as Best in Show (SHOT Show 2003), Most Innovative Import Design of the Year (Blade Magazine 2003), and more. Together, they are responsible for the design of the Lil Guppie.

    To learn more about Launce, check out CRKT’s bio.

     

    Elishewitz Tao Pen designed by Allen Elishewitz

    Elishewitz Tao Pen       Allen Elishewitz

    Allen Elishewitz’s versatile background as a martial arts expert, Recon Marine, and classical artist has led him to create innovative knife models, as well as luxurious pens and watches. This world-renowned custom knife maker’s work is collected by heads of state, royal families, members of elite Special Forces units, and other notable groups. Over the years, he has received numerous awards for his work.

    He works from his studio in Canyon Lake, Texas and is the inventor of the CRKT® Anubis, Pharaoh, Montu, and Horus folders, and, of course, the Elishewitz Tao Pen.

    To learn more about Allen, check out CRKT’s bio.

     

    Onion Skinner & Onion Shenanigan designed by Ken Onion

    Onion SkinnerKen OnionOnion Shenanigan Tanto

    Custom knife maker Ken Onion first learned about the custom knife industry in 1989 after spending his childhood fervently collecting any knives he could find. He designed his first knife in 1991 after begging a local knife maker to teach him how—and he’s been designing ever since.

    Ken is a designer, inventor, and member of the Blade Magazine Hall of Fame. He designed CRKT®’s Onion Skinner and Onion Shenanigan.

    To learn more about Ken, check out CRKT’s bio.

     

    M16-14 Titanium and M21 Carson Folder designed by Kit Carson

    M16-14 TitaniumKit CarsonM21 Carson Folder

    Kit Carson has made knives for over 30 years. His background in hunting and fishing and his time spent around the world in the Army as a professional soldier have influenced his work as a knife designer. Kit concentrates his work on building solid, functional knives rather than knives that simply follow a fad.

    Kit has been a full-time knife maker since 1993 and has designed the M16-14 Titanium and the M21 Carson Folder.

    To learn more about Kit, check out CRKT’s bio.

     

    Ultima 5” designed by Michael and Balthazar Martinez

    Ultima 5"        Michael and Baltazar Martinez

    Michael Martinez and his father, Baltazar E. Martinez, have invented a variety of products over the years, including the redesign of the fixed blade to provide more comfort and control with the patent-pending Ultima. Michael is a former student of R.C. Gorman and specializes in large-scale bronze casting. This sculptor, martial artist, and active club boxer has spent time working privately and in corporate collections internationally, and is the president of Group Design, Inc., along with other design firms and organizations.

    For over 30 years, Baltazar worked for the defense department as a mechanical engineer on a classified nuclear system design. Together, the Martinez’ have created the Ultima 5”- Black Blade with a Veff Combo Edge.

    To learn more about Michael and Baltazar, check out CRKT’s bio.

     

    No matter which knife you choose to use in your adventuring, CRKT® can help make the most out of your experience.

    Which of these knives seems like the best fit for you?

    -Kim

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: weapon, tactical knife, knives, CRKT, gear, survival gear, Survival

  • Survival Test: Can You Bug Out with Your Bag?

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    Survival Test: Can You Bug out with Your Bug Out Bag?

    A few weeks ago, I went on a hike in Southern Utah. It was a warm day, but not unbearably hot. I carried nothing but my cell phone. The hike was only about three miles, but by mile two I felt like I was going. to. die.

    It didn’t help that half of the hike was through a sand wash (I had to empty my shoes at least four times because they were too full of sand for my feet to fit!), or that the steepest hill was toward the end of the hike. Either way, it got me thinking: What if an emergency had happened unexpectedly and I’d been forced to “hike” my way to safety in those same conditions, but carrying a 20, 30, or 40-pound bug-out bag?

    I’d say I don’t want to think about it, but I have to think about it—partly because it’s my job, and partly because I really am invested in getting prepared. I hate to think that in spite of all my other preparations, skills, and gear, I’d be up a creek without a paddle simply because I’m not fit enough to hike to safety while carrying my emergency kit.

    So, I’m committing to a series of survival tests this summer: once a month I’ll do the same hike (one that’s more local) with my survival pack on my back, and I’ll see how far I can go.

    Between tests, I’ll be working to build endurance and strength so I won’t have to worry about “getting out of Dodge” if or when the time comes.

    How about you? Have you ever done a test run with your emergency pack on? Care to join me?

    If you’d like to join me for my Bug-Out Survival Tests throughout the summer, watch the blog and our other social media channels for announcements, and use the hashtag #eesurvivaltest to share your photos and experiences.

     

    Until next time.

     

    --Urban Girl

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: evacuation, Survival, bug out bag, emergency kit

  • Grizzly Details: A Bear Attack Survivor Speaks

     Grizzly Details: A Bear Attack Survivor Speaks

    Do you remember our article from last month, “The Bear Necessities: Resources for Surviving a Bear Attack”? And remember what we said about playing dead only being a good idea in certain situations? Well, the unfortunate woman who was attacked by a bear in Alaska shortly after that post was published has told her story, and guess what? It worked!

    Jessica Gamboa spotted a brown bear cub during a neighborhood jog, and when the nearby mama bear went into defense mode, Jessica went limp. While Jessica did end up with plenty of cuts and a few broken bones, the bear eventually lost interest and left before the mauling turned fatal. Read the whole store here: “Jogger Survives Vicious Bear Attack”.

    According to the expert quoted in “How to Survive a Bear Attack”, “[the] only time playing dead works as a survival technique is if you’re dealing with a brown bear whose attack was a defense—maybe it’s guarding its cubs or food…Simply stop moving and the bear will stop attacking.”

    Good thing Gamboa knew her stuff!

    Another headline from just a few days ago reports, “Montana hunter in serious condition after grizzly bear attack.” While bear attacks are rare, Backpacker Magazine names grizzlies at the top of their danger rating scale, reminding us (oh-so-helpfully) of the animals’ weight (up to three quarters of a ton!), bite force (1,200 lbs), and claw length (more than three inches). If you want to scare yourself in a good way, check out their map of the US divided by each region’s deadliest predator.

     

    ‘Tis the season for close-up wildlife encounters (I found an ant in my bathroom sink just this morning). Brush up on your survival skills before you head outdoors!

     

    --Stacey

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Preparedness In The News, survival skills, Current Events, Survival

  • Surviving a Wolf Attack

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    Surviving a Wolf Attack

    After the recent film The Grey, and other similar thrillers where our heroes are stalked by ravenous wolves, it’s only natural that when we think about being in the woods with a wolf pack stalking us, we get a little antsy.

    Well, I have some good news for you: in the last 100 years, there have only been two documented incidents of fatal wolf attacks in North America. That tells me that the chances of it happening to me or you are pretty low. Even so, it’s always good to be prepared because you definitely don’t want to be that one fatality over the next 100 years.

    So, what do you do if you’re attacked by wolves? Oliver Starr, who has raised dozens of wolves and did field work for wolf rehabilitation in Yellowstone, answered this question on Quora. He suggests that one would have to work pretty hard to be in close proximity to wild, healthy wolves, especially since they are generally cautious to fearful of humans, and because their territories are typically extremely large. But, he does have a few suggestions for surviving a wolf attack.

    1. Don’t run.Wolves hunt prey that is on the run, and typically if their prey doesn’t run, they don’t pursue the attack. And, you wouldn’t want to look like running prey, now would you?
    2. Don’t stare the animal down. Wolves see this as a challenge or a threat. Avoid eye contact.
    3. Don’t turn your back on the animal(s).
    4. Get big and scary. If you have anything available (shirt, jacket, arms, etc.) raise it above your head. Shout at the animals and, if you can do it without being vulnerable, throw a few stones at them.
    5. Back away slowly. If possible, position yourself with your back against a wall/fence and move toward an exit if you’re in an enclosure.
    6. Be careful not to fall or act scared. This could encourage an attack by looking vulnerable.

    If things get really bad… curl into a ball and protect your face. Obviously, the best protection is to be mindful of your location and avoid predatory wildlife whenever possible, but keep this inventoried in your  “How to Survive…” bank. If you ever chance upon a wolf or two (or seven), hopefully you’ll emerge unscathed (and maybe even get to make a movie about it!).

    -Michelle

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: survival tips, Survival

  • The Bear Necessities: Resources for Surviving a Bear Attack

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    The Bear Necessities: Resources for Surviving a Bear Attack

    Were you as surprised as I was when you came across the recent story of a bear attacking a woman in Florida? We get a little used to that sort of story out west, but I don’t generally think of the suburbs of Orlando as prime bear country. Shows how little I know about my own country’s ecology, clearly.

    My own ignorance aside, experts are noticing an uptrend in bear/human clashes in parts of Florida, where new housing developments are encroaching on longstanding black bear habitats. National Geographic addresses the issue usefully—and gives an idea or two on how to avoid a similar encounter—in the recent article, “Why Are Black Bear Attacks Up in Florida?”

    So, if bears can invade even Disney World, I suppose this is a good time to brush up on our bear survival skills. And it turns out that what most of us know about bear encounters is woefully inaccurate. For example, I grew up hearing that when a bear attacks, you should play dead. Did you know that playing dead has no affect at all on black bears, and is only effective on browns or grizzlies in certain specific situations? That’s knowledge you don’t want to acquire firsthand!

    Shortly after the recent mauling, ABC News published an article, “How to Survive a Bear Attack,” full of expert advice from park rangers and biologists. This article is a good starting place for learning about bear attacks. It gives an overview of different kinds of bears and their tendencies; good avoidance practices; and what to do in different bear encounter scenarios.

    An even more thorough resource is the website bearsmart.com, maintained by the Get Bear Smart Society, whose object is to minimize conflict between bears and humans. This site tells you what to do if you encounter a bear in the backcountry or in urban setting. Tabs like “Becoming Bear Smart” and “Bear Management” cover topics from “understanding bear behavior” to “safety in polar bear country” (because you never know!). The “Bear Smart at Home” is particularly relevant, in light of recent events, and offers smart tips on discouraging bears from coming on to your property or safely deterring animals who might wander through.

    Spring is optimal wildlife sighting time in my neck of the woods, when hibernators wake up and tasty new shoots and buds tempt creatures into the open. Know your bear safety and enjoy the wildlife from a safe distance!

    --Stacey

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

  • Could you Survive the Immediate Days after a Disaster? With the Life Cube you Could

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    If tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, or other natural disasters struck your hometown, would you be prepared to weather the rough days that follow until emergency response teams set up?

    Unfortunately, many people aren’t.

    A little while ago, we reported on an innovative idea of an inflatable shelter called the Life Cube. Responses to this survival shelter ranged from “awesome” to “too pricey”. After our initial article, we were interested in the background of the company and the idea of the Life Cube. We called up founders Michael Conner and Nick Pedersen to get additional details about this new way to survive in an emergency. We thought you might be interested in hearing what we found out.

    What is the Life Cube?

    Conner and Pedersen have created the Life Cube to ultimately provide relief within 24 hours to disaster victims.

    Life Cube

    The Life Cube inflates into a 12 ft. x 12 ft. “home” fully stocked with food, water, power, a means of communication, and furniture for a family of five to survive for 72 hours. Once set up, the Life Cube is weather-resistant against 40 mph winds without external tie downs, and against 55 mph winds with external tie downs. It can also withstand heavy snow loads—10 lbs. per square inch.

    And this fully stocked survival shelter only takes about 10-20 minutes to set up. If you’re really fast, it could take you as little as five.

    Check out this video of Conner and Pedersen setting up the Life Cube:

    Life Cube LC12 5 Minute Deployment from Nick Pedersen on Vimeo.

    Why Would I Need the Life Cube?

    The first 72 hours can be the hardest to survive as response teams work to set up. “That’s the time you’re on your own. The Life Cube is to help you in that time,” said Pedersen. Take note, however, that it can take much longer than 72 hours for help and supplies to arrive—three days is a minimum.

    Pedersen recommends that although the Life Cube comes fully stocked, it’s never a bad idea to add extra preparedness supplies of your own. Life Cube, Inc. may add supplies such as the Yeti 1250 and premade food kits for five. But Pedersen’s suggestion of storing extra supplies extends beyond adding more preparedness gear to the Life Cube.

    If you or anyone in your family use medications, wear glasses, or have other specific needs, adding those items to your bug-out-bag will personalize your supplies and provide you with vital items for survival.

    What’s New?

    Over the past few years, Conner and Pedersen have been working to upgrade the quality of the Life Cube.

    Why you need a Life Cube...

    “This year,” Pedersen said, “We are introducing a new foam floor with a special coating to make the Life Cube lighter. It’ll be about the same price, but cold-weather temperate and even buoyant so it can float.”

    These Life Cubes have been designed to be airdropped anywhere on Earth, so even in the most remote locations, disaster victims won’t have to wait for relief. Although the Life Cube is not the end solution, it is a viable option to consider when thinking about disaster relief.

    So how did it all begin?

    The concept of the Life Cube started in 2005, the year of Hurricane Katrina and the Kashmir earthquake in Pakistan. The survivors of these disasters were dying because they couldn’t get the food, water, and equipment they needed to survive. Michael Conner knew something needed to be done; a few napkin sketches were drawn up and the Life Cube was born.

    Each Life Cube is premade for a particular use, according to Pedersen. They can each be configured to respond to issues ranging from Command and Control/Communications Security to Medical to Decontamination and more.

    As of now, everything about the Life Cube is Military spec. For consumer products, Pedersen and Conner are working on a “Life Cube Every Man” which works more like a tent. This Life Cube would have the same features as the military-grade one, but at a lower price ($5000-$6000 each rather than $9,000-$15,000).

    The Life Cube is just in its beginning stages, but Conner and Pedersen have big goals for the future.

    “Our ultimate goal is to build a cache of units [and] have inventories in strategic locations in the country—and eventually around the world—so we can deploy within 24 hours of a disaster. Having caches would help us deploy in hours instead of days,” said Pedersen.

    In the past, Life Cube, Inc. has deployed for FEMA, the military, and the Joplin tornado. Today, Life Cube, Inc. is pursuing partnerships with FEMA, the Red Cross, and the U.S. Army to deploy Life Cubes where needed. They also are looking into pursuing municipalities. If caches of Life Cubes were placed in various cities, then local officials could deploy them immediately after a disaster strikes—without waiting for Federal Aid approvals or third-party organizations.

    What do you think about the Life Cube? Would you ever buy one? Do you think it’s a realistic solution?

    Not quite your style? Learn how to  put together your own all-in-one portable shelter solution by reading our article, "How to Build your Own All-in-Four Portable Shelter."

    --Kim

    Sources:

    “Life Cube Sheltered Delivery System Brochure.pdf”
    Interview with Nick Pedersen

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Survival, shelter

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