Crafting the Survival Mindset

Could one small thing you learned years ago save your life?

Absolutely. Knowledge is power and at no time is this saying truer than when one you are faced with a life or death situation. A serious life threatening scenario can arise in the blink of an eye and often when least expected.

You Only Have Seconds To React

It’s likely that you won’t have but mere seconds to react and the thousands of dollars in gear you have accumulated in your lifetime won’t be there when you need it most. If you haven’t properly prepared your mind and body the decisions you make (or don’t make) could result in grave injury to yourself or others.

Preparing your mind for survival is an everyday learning process. You may have already begun and not even realized it. Scanning individuals as potential threats, constantly being aware of your surroundings and anticipating future events are all survival-based instincts.
Day after day you are faced with challenges, overcoming fear and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. How you go about harnessing and overcoming your fears is one of the most important and difficult survival skills to attain.

Physically preparing your body for survival can be equally difficult. At all times a survival minded individual needs to maintain a certain level of fitness to remain effective. If you are quickly winded or drained of energy you are that much more likely to lose focus and potentially make a mistake.

It seems like most accidents happen because a person fails to maintain focus in the task at hand. Often times as a direct result of being stressed, distracted, or tired. If you consistently train yourself and practice to be completely involved in each and everything you do there is no doubt your efficiency will increase dramatically.

Prepare Yourself With The Right Tools

Tao O SurvivalOne book that has helped me greatly in my quest for a higher sense of awareness/focus is The Tao of Survival by James Morgan Ayres. This book incorporates instruction on everything from Interpersonal Interactions / Conflict, to Basic Life and Wilderness Skills. Click Here to read more…

An you will of course want to pick up a copy of Expert Prepper’s Blueprint To Survival Library by yours truly. In it I have combined my many years of experience and combined knowledge into this wide-ranging collection of books covering topics from bartering to wilderness survival and critical food items to stock up on. Click Here to read more…

Be warned these books will challenge you in ways you aren’t used to in an effort to build you up better than before. Don’t give up!

These books and many others like it serve to help people not only in a survival situations but everyday life as well. The relevant survival situations you are most likely to encounter won’t be in the form of disarming a bomb or wrestling an Alligator. Rather they will show themselves in your everyday lives as a split second reaction to an oncoming vehicle or performing CPR.

James Morgan Ayres, Author of The Tao of Survival says it best:

“Having a plan in case of a fire or earthquake or hurricane or if the boat sinks is only prudent. But trying to plan for all eventualities is a never-ending and ultimately fruitless task. Better to have specific plans for likely events and trust yourself to react appropriately when the unexpected occurs, as it will.”

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How do you prepare  yourself  mentally?


Keep These 5 Things In Your Car At All Times

Car Emergency KitIf you are anything like me you spend a lot of time in your car. Whether it’s running errands across town or commuting to and from work those miles and hours add up quickly.

According to the average American spends roughly 600 hrs a year in their car. That is nearly 15% of your entire year! This only further proves how important it is to keep emergency items in your car as there is a good chance you will be in or near it when something comes up.

1. Basic Road Breakdown Kit This can be extensive or minimal either way it is a necessary starting point. Take note of your car’s tendencies and keep it road worthy. Does it burn oil? Is a tire not holding air? Does it occasionally have trouble starting? Plan accordingly. If you haven’t already practice replacing a flat tire at home. That way when you do get a flat you won’t feel anxious and you will already know what to do. Also include in your kit extra gasoline, gloves, wool blankets, run flat foam, jumper cables, water, tow straps, simple tools and a day or twos worth of food with fire starting materials.

Check Out the 42 Piece Emergency Road Assister Kit Here

2. First Aid Kit There should already be one at your home and office. Why not one in your vehicle as well? Various sized wraps, gauze, and tape all the way down to band aids and hydrogen peroxide. If you take prescriptions keep extra in your vehicle and make sure they are in the correct RX bottles (with your name on them) so that you don’t encounter any issues with Johnny Law.

Check Out the Road Trip First Aid Kit Kit Here

3. Knife / Flashlight Combo – With a good knife/flashlight combo you can take over the world. Well not really, but you can still be the Purveyor of Illumination! Go with a knife you know and trust and be sure it is kept sharp and ready to go. Bring along extra batteries for the flashlight because lord knows it won’t work after you left it on in your trunk for 3 months.

4. Change of Clothes and Comfortable Shoes – It would really suck to break down in the middle of nowhere with only flip flops. You may need to walk a number of miles before you encounter help so comfortable shoes are a must. Everyday little accidents happen as well and being able to quick change if you get wet or dirty will make having these items in your car completely worth it.

5. Gun or Other Self Defense Tool – Whatever you choose be sure it is legal for you to have it in your vehicle. Getting lost at night or in a bad neighborhood won’t be as frightening when you have proper means to defend yourself. Be sure it is kept out of sight and properly secured at all times especially if there may be children riding along.

By having these items in your car you will be ready for a multitude of scenarios. It seems like it needn’t be said but if you don’t have a GPS of some kind get one and back it up with a compass and map.

Always be aware of your surroundings and spend that time driving to think of other ways to stay prepared!

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Have you ever been in a situation when you needed a basic car emergency kit? Did you have one? What did you do?

9 Camping Hacks and Tips

MacGyverMacGyver was a classic show.

One of the things everyone remembers was MacGyver’s ability to jerry rig the most intricate contraptions from everyday objects.

Although sometimes (alright maybe more than sometimes) a little farfetched these ideas and tactics can be practiced and incorporated into your survival repertoire.

Skills in impromptu engineering and problem solving can keep you alive and assist you in other areas of your day to day life.

Use these camping tips and “hacks” to help get your mind kick started on brainstorming ideas that could help serve you when you really need it.

1. Make a spoon from an empty plastic two liter by cutting out one of the nodules on the base of the container. Extend your cut up the side of the container to form a handle and sturdy with a small stick if necessary.

2. Carry seasoning/spices in clear straws and burn the ends to create a seal. Empty Tic-Tac containers can be used in the same fashion or they can hold a small fishing kit.

3. Carry 10 or so pre scrambled eggs in an empty water bottle. Fits easily in your cooler, takes up less space and you don’t have to worry about shells breaking.

4. Make an impromptu speaker by playing music through your phone and then placing it in a ceramic cup.

5. Use a vegetable peeler to make one time use slices of bath soap. Carry 3-5 slices instead of an entire bar of soap.

6. Fill a toilet paper roll with lint from your dryer to create your own fire starters. They make effective tinder when kept dry and it’s an easy way to recycle.

7. Have AAA Batteries and a Device that takes AA’s? Ball up some aluminum foil and place it in the empty gap to complete the circuit. FYI this can only be done with batteries of the same voltage.

8. Aluminum Foil is a great multi use item and one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century in my opinion. Put meat and vegetables in a tin foil pouch and throw it on hot coals for an easy, quick and filling meal.

9. Smoldering Cat Trails or Sage in a fire can be used to repel those annoying insects around your campsite.

If it comes to you against the situation,
don’t let the situation win.” – MacGyver

Keep an open mind towards creative fixes or alterations to gear that will reduce weight, increase space or utilitarian function. Do your homework and continue to research methods that will allow you to effectively do more with less.

Most importantly never leave home without your trusty Swiss Army Knife!

Don’t let the situation win,

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Surviving the Ammo Shortage

If you enjoy the shooting sports as much as I do then you have no doubt been affected by the ammo shortage. There are many theories out there as to why the shortage occurred and how it can be fixed, however it seems that few know the true answers.

What we do know is demand + prices have steadily increased while supply has seemingly plummeted. For the millions of us that own .22 caliber rifles/pistols the ammo shortage has been especially critical. What was once one of the most readily available and inexpensive cartridges has become undoubtedly the scarcest and most sought after.

Rather than spending time and money running around trying to locate .22 ammo, I have been enjoying different and more easily available alternatives. In the past .22 cartridges sold for approx. 4-5 cents a round and recently I have seen boxes at gun shows going for upwards of 15c/round. Unless you are reloading it is unlikely you would be able to get down to those prices with any other common cartridges.

The following calibers are about as close as you can get to affordable shooting while still being able to locate boxes at your local store.

17hmr – Effectively a necked down .22 Magnum Cartridge the 17hmr was introduced by Hornady in 2002 and is as fun as it gets. A laser beam out to 200 yards the 17 “hummer” flies out of the muzzle at 2550 ft/second & packs approximately 2x the punch as a .22lr at distance. 28cents/rd.

7.62×54 – According to Wikipedia one of the oldest cartridges still in service at 120 years in 2011. That is a ridiculously long time in the ever changing and evolving world of guns + ammo. A legit 1000 yard round that is easy to find and because of army surplus continues to be easily available. 24cents/rd.

7.62×39 – The ole AK-47 round. Tested the world over and will more than likely never go away. Hits hard and can be effective out to 300 yards. Again because it is a military oriented round it likely will continue to be easy to find. 25cents/rd.

.223/.556 – The chosen round of the US Military you should be able to find this about anywhere. A proven shooter across the world this little screamer is versatile. Accurate enough to be deadly out to 600-800 yards yet small enough that an average person can still carry hundreds of rounds easily. 40cents/round.

12 Gauge – King of the Road as far as I am concerned in terms of price, availability, and versatility. Self-defense and hunting rounds will be more expensive but you can still get birdshot for under 25cents/round.

9mm – Coming in at .30 cents/round the 9mm is one of the most affordable pistol cartridges that is still considered a legit man stopper. The 9mm can be paired with a carbine style rifle for higher muzzle velocities and effectiveness at distances greater than 100 yards.

Whichever calibers you enjoy always maintain safety as your top priority. Keep your skills sharp by practicing at least 1/month and take care of your guns through cleaning and proper storage.

Most importantly have fun and remember to always be a responsible advocate for firearms whenever you go.

5 Tips That Will Keep You Alive

5 tips that will keep you aliveImagine it’s the middle of the night and you are walking home from a friend’s house.

A shadowy figure appears from seemingly nowhere and begins following close behind you.

In what seems like an instant you are placed in a potentially dangerous situation.

Should the person attack you have no means to defend yourself and you have a bad feeling this person intends to do you harm. With only seconds to decide your next move will you know what to do?

Engaging in hand to hand combat or “fist fighting” should always be considered a last resort. The following tips and techniques are in no way shape or form intended to be used for anything other than self-defense in a worst case scenario type situation.

1. Be Smart - Always be aware of your surroundings. The best way to get out of a bad situation is to not present yourself as a target in the first place. Don’t walk alone at night in an unfamiliar or dimly light area (Duh!). Listening to music through headphones with your head down staring at the sidewalk makes you a prime target for a mugging. Take note of others body language and assess their intentions before you are already within arm’s reach because by then it may already be too late.

2. Manage Your Space - What I mean by this is keep as much distance as possible between yourself and the would be attacker. If you are in good shape by all means run away at the first opportunity. If they are already too close and confronting you for your belongings throw your stuff on the ground. As soon as they go down to pick it up take off running in what you deem to be the safest direction. No personal items or amount of money is worth risking your life over. If you have already given them everything you can and they still want more it may be time to defend yourself.

3. Save Your Punches - Try to utilize other parts of your body to inflict damage before you go straight to the punch. Elbows, knees, kicks, and palm strikes can be just as if not more effective than a closed fist punch. Throwing a hard and accurate punch is harder than you might think and you will likely end up breaking the fragile bones in your hand quickly taking you out of the fight.

4. Placement is Crucial - Make your strikes count and throw them in combinations. A hit to the nose or eyes results in immediate tearing up and distortion of vision which will give you time to escape. Strikes to the mouth, teeth or jaw result in severe discomfort and if delivered hard enough a knock out. A hard chop or punch to the throat is unexpected and will leave an assailant gasping for air. Be careful not to connect with other much denser portions of the skull or you will likely be the one feeling the pain.

5. Strike Hard, Fast and with Intent - Now is not the time to go easy on someone. You may be the one throwing the first blow and it is important you make it count. Moving with speed, aggressiveness and intent may be enough to put your attacker on their heels affording you time to make a getaway.

Take time to educate yourself on different fighting techniques and see which ones fit best with your abilities, size and strength. Practice counters and reverses because sometimes the best time to make your move is when your opponent is off balance or unprotected. Do whatever you can to avoid being on the ground (unless you are a trained wrestler) as you will be at the mercy of the attacker.

Keep your eyes open, head up, and stay out of trouble!

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Do you have any other survival tips for this situation that you would like to share?