Category Archives: survival

36 Common Household Survival Items you have in your home

commoncommon household survival items

A kitchen knife can serve many purposes

In talking with people about preparedness, I find that many people think that you have to spend a ton of money to get started.  They forget about the common household survival items that they already have in their homes that can be used.

For instance someone was complaining about how much it cost to get a good knife, until I pointed out that he already had several that he had not considered.  It took a quick raid on his wife’s kitchen to find a knife that while not the first choice would serve his purposes.…

Posted in Self sufficiency, Seventy-two hour kits, survival | Tagged | 4 Comments

Cotton Ball Vaseline Fire Starters, How to Make and Carry Them

cotton ball VaselineHere is an article written by my friend Ed showing how to make a good fire starter from cotton balls Vaseline.  You will notice that he refers to them as PJCB (petroleum jelly and cotton balls).  Here is his post


I may have posted this before, if so, just repost the link, but for people who have never prepared cotton balls Vaseline tinder before in quantity, this tutorial we use for SAR and CERT may be helpful:

Cotton balls infused with petroleum jelly are reliable wet-weather tinder which has been used by ski patrol and search & rescue units for many years.…

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15 Wilderness Survival Tips

wilderness survival tips

Cotton balls and vaseline are good fire starters

Here are some wilderness survival tips that I have learned over the years.

Waterproof Match Containers – if you break wooden strike anywhere matches in half you can store twice as many in your container.

If you have to fish in an emergency, Tampons wrapper make good fishing bobbers.  Open the wrapper at one end, take the tampon out, then tie the wrapper closed trapping a bubble of air inside.  If it doesn’t float, stuff some of the cotton into the bubble.

Cotton balls impregnated with Vaseline make good fire starters.  I store them in 35 mm film cans and carry one with me when in the backcountry. …

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Urban Survival, What happens if you are Stuck in a City

urban survival

Even in these damaged WW2 cities people survived

Whether you live in a city or just visit on rare occasions, there is always the possibility of being stuck in an urban survival situation in case of a collapse or disaster.  So how do you survive?  If you live there, you should have preps and know the area well.

You should know where water is available.  This could include ponds, fountains, streams and reservoirs.  If you are counting on these types of water sources, read the following link The Hazards of Urban Water Sources, to keep yourself safe.  Many multiple story buildings have hundreds of gallons of water trapped in their plumbing systems, you just have to know how to access it. …

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Emergency Mylar Blankets/Sleeping Bags and Their Limitations

Emergency Mylar Blankets

Here are several different brands, as you can see they vary in size.

I have encountered a number of people carrying The Emergency Mylar Blankets or sleeping/bivy bags in their kits or vehicles.  In talking with them, many do not understand their limitations.

Emergency Mylar blankets can be useful for keeping warm under the right conditions, if used correctly.   Their primary purpose is to keep you warm under limited conditions, not get you warm. Now there are many brands of emergency Mylar blankets on the market and they are not created equal.  They range from very cheap Chinese ones to a good quality bivy sack  made by SOL which is a division of Adventure Medical. …

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Hypothermia and What you Need to Know to Stay Alive

I live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and every year people get lost and die in the winter.  Normally they are not properly equipped and die from hypothermia.  They drive to the snow in their nice warm car and go out to play on a sunny day, when it seems to be deceptively warm.  They end up straying of the trails and night sneaks up on them.  Without warm clothing, a way to start a fire, food or water, and no survival training, they succumb to hypothermia.

The human body temperature is usually maintained at a constant level of 97.7–99.5 °F.  …

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12 Ways to Protect Your Family Against a Terrorist Attack

terrorist attackMany years ago when I attended the FBI Hazardous Device School at Huntsville Alabama, I came away with one idea, that when you were working with explosives you needed to always play the odds.  In other words, you always needed to take as few chances as possible.  The same applies to a terrorist attack.  Always try to keep the odds on your side.

 Protect yourself and your family from a terrorist attack

  1. Pay attention to what and who is around you. Be aware of your surroundings.  For example if I am sitting in a restaurant I always sit where I can see the doors.
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Awareness – Avoidance – Evasion – Escape

Awareness – Avoidance – Evasion – Escape

People survived on the floor of the Bataclan Theater because they reacted.

The following is an article set by my friend Ed, who has many years or experience is dealing with life threatening emergencies.  He is a strong believer in Awareness – Avoidance – Evasion – Escape,  unless you are armed and are part of a functioning group, only fight as a last resort.


A good article on BBC summarizes fundamentals:

Be Prepared: Many survivors of the Paris attacks have said that they mistook the first gunshots for fireworks. This is typical, says John Leach, survival psychologist and military survival instructor.…

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Hunting and Plant Gathering After Nuclear Fallout

nuclear falloutI was recently doing some research on radiation and came across some information in a government publication on gathering wild food after nuclear fallout.  This was written for the US military.  The first part talked about gathering packaged and canned foods.  Canned foods should have the labels removed and then be washed.  The food inside will be good.

Foods stored inside closed containers or protected areas like cellars should be safe.  However, you need to wash them prior to handling or eating.

Now what about Hunting Animals

First, assume that all animals, regardless of their living conditions have been exposed to nuclear fallout. …

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Improvised Footwear to Keep Your Feet Warm and Dry


improvised footwear

If you shoes are too tight for extra socks or insulation, you can make a footwrap out of heavy cloth or canvas.

You are out for the day and are 50 or 60 miles from home, when your car quits from EMP, or some other catastrophic event occurs, and you have to walk home.  The weather is not good, you have to deal with snow, cold or rain and you only have a pair of tennis shoes.  How can you make improvised footwear?

If you have any kind of a get home kit, hopefully you will have a couple of plastic bags large enough to fit over your feet and extra pair of socks.  …

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