Important tips every survivalist should know!

The world may be unforgiving sometimes, that’s why many folks are getting into survivalism or prepping, which is a great skill to develop, especially when you have a family. Making sure your loved ones will be safe no matter what, is great for your emotional stability. 

However, the two main reasons people are into survivalism are for entertainment or for practical reasons, both of which are valid, with most people having a blend of those two motivations. 

Going to the woods and learning how to rub two sticks together is both cool and useful! But let’s take a while to focus on the practical side of being a survivalist, this will make sure you’ll feed your family even in the direst situations. 


One of the biggest mistakes people make when getting into practical survival skills or emergency preparations is getting overly worried about things that are dangerous and scary, but rare and unlikely to happen. Often, they’re just happenstance and overdramatization. 

We tend to ignore big, common risks and focus on dramatic, unusual risks and this is a problem because it means you are going to get caught off guard. Surviving is not just something we do in the woods.There are many things we face everyday that may cause us to face a tough time, and most of them aren’t big and scary, but dull and mundane. Those are the risk we should be preparing for the most, since they are most likely to happen! 

According to the Center for Disease Control website, in the USA the top 10 causes of death in 2016 were: 

1. Heart disease: 635k  

2.Cancer: 598k 

3. Accidents: 161k 

4. Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease 154k

5. Stroke 142k 

6. Alzheimer 116k

7. Diabetes 80k

8. Influenza and Pneumonia 51k

9. Nephritis or Nephrotic Syndrome 50k

10. Intentional Self Harm or Suicide 45k 

What isn’t on this list: homicide! It didn’t make the top 10 causes of death in 2016. If you go to the FBI’s website, you’ll learn that 15k people died from homicide in 2016. You’re three times more dangerous to yourself than anyone else. For every one person killed, there are 42 deaths for heart disease. 

If avoiding an early death is your goal, then what you should be doing first is eating a healthy diet, exercising  regularly, avoiding tobacco and alcohol and getting screened and examined regularly to detect cancers in early stages. 

Eating your veggies ain’t as fun as stockpiling AR-15’s, but it is much more likely to save (or prolong) your life in the long run. The point here is sitting down and understanding the greatest threats and risks you are facing right now and prepare for those emergencies first, before you get too caught up in the big, dramatic emergencies that may never happen. 

Here are few things you need to have covered before worrying about a pending "doomsday":


1. Financial Trouble

One emergency most people tend to forget, is as mundane as it can get. Job loss due to health problems or injury, downturns in the economy and other occasions are often the cause of ruin. Living from paycheck to paycheck might be one of the most dangerous things you can do, and a precarious way to provide for your family. That means you should always have at least a six month supply of money, enough to provide the basic needs of your family until you get another job, might you ever be sacked. This should be your priority number one, before you spend money on canned food or build a bunker, have yourself a solid financial ground for you and your family.


2. Medicine

The second most important thing you should be prepared for are medical emergencies. Buy a first responder kit and learn how to use and do first aid, especially if you have children. 

Don’t get a kit with just a band-aid and aspirin, but a real first aid kit. It’s not super expensive, you can get a great one from $90 to $150, or buy the $90 and supplement with a few extra things, and you’ll be ready for some serious medical emergencies.  

Go for large bandages and medical or surgical dressings. Get the big stuff, enough to take care of a big burn. Burn dressings are vital, because the first thing you must do if someone gets burnt is cooling down the affected area. With burn dressings, all you have to do is slap it on the bruises and rush to the nearest hospital, that will reduce the severity of the burn and the likelihood of scarring. 

Another good addition is a ready-to-go bleeding control dressing. Just throw it on an open wound and it will reduce the bleeding dramatically. If someone gets a dirty cut, slap it on and rush to the hospital while applying pressure. It can save their life! 

This is absolute gold, make sure to have a lot of antiseptics: a big bottle of iodine, hydrogen peroxide and medical tapes. You’ll notice that medical tape goes faster than bandages. 

Make sure you also keep a lot of medication around, and pay attention to special medical needs from your family members. One of the main causes of nonviolent deaths in the USA are emergencies from people with special medical needs when they get cut off from their pills. Like an asthma attack on someone who can’t find their rescue inhaler, and diabetic people without insulin shots. 

Make sure to keep a supply of medication for any chronic conditions you or any member of your family has. Have a purse with everything just in case you must evacuate your place quickly, so you just need to grab it and you’re ready to go. A small 72 hour kit should be enough to make nearly any evacuation process safe and sound.


3. Food

Having enough food for 72 hour is mandatory! You can keep little ration bars and some water and medical supplies, a few kid toys are also good to keep the peace. To supplement your 72 hour kit, you will need more water and some portable device that can be used to prepare food with minimal tools or fuel. 

Water filtration tools are paramount. There are very practical water bottles available, as well as heavy duty backpack filters for big families. 

In terms of portable food, they should be quick and easy to prepare, for this you have two options: ration bars with 3600 kcalories in little portions that can last something like 20 years in your pantry, needing no fuel at all. You do not need to cook them and they don’t taste that bad. 

To keep it from being tedious (no one will like to eat only those bland bars six days straight), there are also mundane dehydrated meals with an extremely long shelf life that can last for years. They’re good for camping as well. Try to have a month worth of dehydrated food! You can even have breakfast meals, lasagna, chicken teriyaki… you can prepare them on a simple stove fueled by butane. 

Water is more important than food in emergencies, so try to keep as much as possible. A 35 gallon drum with a hand pump is nice, because while it is very heavy,  you can lift it if you need to. 

Canned foods are your best friends in problematic situations. Juice boxes for the kids are a nice treat to keep the mood positive. Rice, oil, toiletries, even plastic forks and thrash bags can help. This doesn’t cost you anything, because you can always eat the food anyway. It is part of the normal budget, and you can even buy stuff in bulk to save some money. 

Just don’t throw it away. It’s just buying food in advance and making your stockpile. 

Make sure you have a ton of garbage bags, they are really useful and can save your dignity if the toilet doesn’t work just by laying it on the toilet and pushing down the seat, picking it up and burning it in the backyard. A lot of people had to do that in Alaska during the 1960’s earthquakes!  

Get a lot of  #10 cans with staple food, like freeze dried raspberries, freeze dried peas, flower beans and sugar.


4. Equipment

Sturdy fire safes are important too, you can keep the titles to your house, car, boat, or whatever deeds and documents you have like birth certificates tucked away safely. A couple thousand dollars cash available as well might come in handy. 

Another great thing to have in your 72 hour kit is a bag full of camping gear: tent, sleeping bags, pillows and a stove with butane and some matches. Whenever you plan to go camping, all you have to do is grab the bag, throw it in the car and you’re ready to go. It is enough for the whole family. 

A good portable wood burning stove is awesome for heating water and cooking with very little fuel. A handful of sticks allow you to cook an entire meal. It may take days to get the power on, and a generator can bring some comfort during a power outage. You can get a generator for less than a thousand dollars. Hire a professional to hook it up so when it turns on, it will safely provide a limited amount of power to run the refrigerator, a space heater, some lights and electronics so you can watch movies and make the most of your food. Try to use propane, because gasoline and alcohol goes bad very fast. 

Propane, on the other hand, can be stored pretty much anywhere and it will always be good. You also do not need permits, while a big gasoline tank is an environmental hazard. Propane bottles can be used to make a barbecue, run the heater and cook stuff.


5. Self-defense

If you’re in a situation where you must worry about home invasions, make sure you get the proper training like self-defense courses. You must also understand the law, because in most places self-defense is guilty until proven innocent, not the other way around.  

Always keep your firearm secured and out of the hands of children, there are a lot of great products that will allow you to keep them both secure and available. 

While these may not be the exciting tips you were expecting, they are very important tips every survivalist should know.

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