Pepper Spray

Pepper Spray

Pepper spray is an often recommended personal security solution — often recommended by people who have not tried it. I have tested high-quality pepper sprays on multiple occasions and have not been impressed with the results. Pepper spray is really only effective if you manage a direct face strike.  A hit on clothing or even on unprotected skin has almost no effect.  A hit to the face can be very difficult in any situation that involves movement.  In armed combat, we almost always train to shoot center mass (the chest area), because the head is such a difficult target to […]

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Canned Food

Canned Food

When we think of long-term food storage, it is often easier to focus on the storage of dry foods. Dried foods often pack the most nutrients into the smallest amount of space. They don’t often, however, provide a well-balanced and tasty diet for long-term survival. For the long-term storage of wet foods, canning is the right answer. Industrial Canning vs. Home Canning As modern consumers, we can purchase an incredible variety of foods packaged in durable metal containers. Alternatively, we can grow (or purchase) fresh foods and “can” them ourselves in glass jars with relatively simple equipment. Both options are […]

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Outdoor Survival

Outdoor Survival

People become stranded or lost in the wilderness for various reasons. A leisurely day hike can turn into days of wandering sick and exhausted, or an overnight camping trip can go horribly wrong because of an extreme weather event. You might even be on a small plane that goes down in a remote area. Your car can slide down a ravine leaving you waiting days for rescue. Anything can happen to anyone at anytime. However, you can survive virtually any situation by preparing, and being aware of what can happen. Survival experts will tell you they prepare for the expected, […]

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Don’t Eat Wild Mushrooms

Don't Eat Wild Mushrooms

Every few years another “expert” on wild mushrooms dies from poisoning themselves by eating the wrong mushroom. They die painfully of liver, kidney, or heart failure. There is no fool-proof test for differentiating edible and poisonous mushrooms. There are simply too many mushrooms species for any human to learn all of them — and the penalties for being wrong are often fatal. Experienced mushroom gatherers can pick mushrooms in their own local area fairly safely but even they cannot safely pick mushrooms in another region. Identification of wild mushrooms is extremely difficult. People die every year by mistaking Amanita phalloides […]

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Improvised Weapons

Improvised Weapons

Many jurisdictions outlaw not only firearms, but also knives, pepper spray, mace, and expandable batons, or any other tool which the powers that be deem too dangerous for your use. On the other hand, many common household items can serve double-duty as improvised weapons — and these won’t get you into trouble with law enforcement. Weapon Types Weapons do damage by blunt force, slashing, or piercing. Slashing weapons are anything with a sharp edge. Improvised weapons in this category consist mostly of kitchen knives. I do not recommend focusing on slashing weapons because 1) they are difficult to make look […]

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Food Security

Food Security

Food security is something most of us take for granted, because we have enjoyed easy access to relatively inexpensive food all of our lives. This is a relatively new phenomena for humanity and is still only true for a small portion of the more than six billion humans living on this planet. In a civil emergency or natural disaster, the food distribution chain can easily become disrupted. You may be able to go to your local grocery store, but your local grocery store may not have food available for you to purchase. Worse, in a real civil emergency, it may […]

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First Aid Kits

First Aid Kits

In most wars, more people die from disease and infection than from combat wounds.  The ability to provide immediate first aid to family members and guests can mean the difference between an interesting story to tell the grandchildren and a disaster that ends with a shovel and a bouquet of flowers. You cannot count on emergency medical personnel to always be available — or to respond in a timely manner.  In the event of a real disaster, your “emergency” could be put on hold for days while first responders are dealing with other wounded.  It is the responsibility of each […]

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Antibiotic Security

Antibiotic Security

Antibiotics are a special class of drugs which deserve special care and respect. If the junkie down the street misuses heroin or oxycodone, it does not affect me. On the other hand, if one of my neighbors misuses antibiotics, it can create serious negative consequences for the entire world. Bacteria evolve very quickly and one of the most successful evolutionary changes for a species of bacteria is to develop resistance to antibiotics. Bacteria are able to develop resistance when they come into contact with an antibiotic, but are not killed by the antibiotic. The classic case for this happening is […]

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Long-Term Food Storage

Long-Term Food Storage

The question is not “will the food supply fail?”, the question is “when and where will the food supply fail next?” Food scarcity caused famine and death in China in the 1950’s, across Europe in the 1940’s, in Russia in the 1910’s, and in the American South in the 1860’s. During these time periods, millions of people were cut off from reliable supplies of safe and nutritious foods. In China alone, approximately 30 millions people died of starvation during Mao’s “Great Leap Forward.” Historically, bad government is the #1 cause of famine, but food shortages can also be caused by […]

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Travel Security

Travel Security

We are at our most vulnerable when traveling.  We step out from behind the shelter of our walls and security systems and leave our best security tools behind due to convenience and legal restrictions. An attacker with a bit of patience will wait until their victim is traveling to conduct their attack with the greatest possibility of success. However, there are steps we can take to make the attackers job more difficult. Timing Never tell anyone when you are planning to leave your home. If you are attending a scheduled event, leave earlier than necessary in order to make it […]

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