Daily Survival Tips – Vol. 5

Survival Tips

Survival Tip of the Day: Almost without exception, amazon.com will have the lowest prices on non-regulated gun smithing parts and accessories, like AR-15 hardware, pistol holsters, magazines, etc.

Tip of the Day: For a simple, effective toothpaste, mix water and baking soda with 1 -2 drops of peppermint or cinnamon extract/oil.

Tip of the Day: If you have an emergency supply of heirloom seeds, be aware that certain plants do not produce seeds until their 2nd year. So in order to harvest seeds you may not harvest the actual crop the first growing season. These include: beets, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, onion, parsley, parsnips, rutabagas and Swiss chard. So always make sure you have enough food stored to get you through the first growing season.

Tip of the Day: Rhubarb, asparagus, and most fruits and berries are perennials, meaning they will bear fruit year after year without replanting. But note that if may take years, for asparagus and blueberries for example, before the plant yields a harvestable crop. If you have a bug-out location, it would be beneficial to plant these crops now, so hopefully they’ll be ready when you need them.

Survival Tip of the Day: Consider homeschooling your children. Homeschooled kids learn more and do better on standardized tests than those in public schools. They’ll benefit from the 1-on-1 attention and, though you have to satisfy the educational requirements of your resident state, you’ll still control their learning schedule and much of the curriculum.  

Tip of the Day: Acquiring supplies is only one part of your preparedness plan. Practice practical skills (sewing, knitting, fire starting, chopping wood, shooting, archery, etc.) so in the event you need them you’ll be ready. 

Tip of the Day: Get a good encyclopedic book on herbal medicine in the event you need to treat ailments and do not have access to modern treatments. “Herbal Medicine” by Diane Dincin Buchman is one of my favorites.

Tip of the Day: Learn home repair. You can save lots of money repairing, replacing and renovating your home by yourself. There are tons of free information available online and at your local library. I’ve found YouTube to be an invaluable resource on “How-to” instruction. I also subscribe to “The Family Handyman” magazine to stay abreast of the latest tools, techniques and even building code changes available to the DIYer.

Survival Tip of the Day: Fevers have gotten a bad rap. Though they can be dangerous and even deadly if left unchecked, a fever is your body’s way of killing germs by, essentially, cooking them to death. Bringing a fever down prematurely stops this process and can actually lengthen healing/recovery time. Again, fevers are deadly (that’s the point) and allowing them to run their course may prove beneficial. Still, monitor any fever closely and do not hesitate to seek medical attention if necessary.

Tip of the Day: Change factory passwords on all electronic devices. Some wireless routers and video baby monitors for example can be “hacked” by criminals surprisingly easily.

Tip of the Day: Make your kids do chores. My kids clean their rooms, feed the dog and wash the dishes, among others. Instilling a healthy work ethic early on can help encourage kids to become productive members of society when they reach adulthood.

Tip of the Day: John Seymour said “Nothing should be wasted on the self-sufficient holding. The garbage collector should never have to call.” Take a look at your refuse and see what can be reused or repurposed. Be creative. For instance, instead of throwing old socks away, you can knot them and turn them into dog chew toys.

Survival Tip of the Day: Reinforce window and door locks. A large portion of burglars report entering homes through an unlocked door or open window. If you add additional window locks (available for a few dollars apiece at hardware stores) and additional security (chain locks, bar locks, etc.) this will make it harder and less attractive for thieves to enter.

Tip of the Day: Add security film to sidelights. If you have windows around your entry doors, these bring in extra light but make your house less secure. Prevent burglars from easily breaking these windows to unlock your door by adding a security film which will laminate the glass and prevent it from shattering.

Tip of the Day: Be very aware of what visitors see in your home. If you have workers or friends of friends come over, they can easily “case” your house for later burglary. If you have high-end furnishings, expensive electronics or a visible gun safe, either attempt to disguise them or make sure your security measures (extra locks, security monitoring system, big dogs, etc.) are obvious and intimidating, making your house less attractive to thieves. 

Tip of the Day: Comfrey is one of the rare plants that supply vitamin B12. This is particularly important to vegans.

Survival Tip of the Day: If you find yourself lost in the woods without a compass or GPS, a way to determine cardinal direction is to study the trees. In the northern hemisphere, and in the absence of high winds, tree branches will grow more horizontally on the south, or sunny side, and more vertically on the north, or shady side. Find an isolated tree or one that extends above the canopy for best results.

Tip of the Day: Knives made with 01 tool steel make some of the best all-purpose backwoods/camp knives.

Tip of the Day: Waterproof strike-anywhere matches (the ones with the white tips) by dipping them in melted paraffin wax. A good and widely available brand is Gulf Wax. Matches can also be waterproofed by painting them with a coat of clear fingernail polish.

Tip of the Day: Recent studies suggest that consuming coconut oil may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. With healthcare and insurance costs on the rise, the best healthcare may be prevention.

Survival Tip of the Day: You can grind popcorn kernels to make your own corn meal.

Tip of the Day: To help prevent disease naturally in your garden, use a 4-year rotation in your plots, planting different crops each year. Alternate legumes, root, stalk, vine and cover crops, etc., for best results.

Tip of the Day: Looking for cheap investment, homestead or bug out property? I’ve found landwatch.com to be a great resource and starting point. 

Survival Quote of the Day: “The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.” – President George Washington

Survival Tip of the Day: Everyone has a dominate eye. To improve consistency at shooting, archery, sports, etc., you need to figure out which eye is dominant. Do this by punching a small hole in a piece of paper, then hold the paper at arm’s length and close one eye and look through the hole. Repeat with the other eye. Your passive eye will cause the object seen through the hole to “jump” out of view. Your dominate eye will keep the object in focus.

Tip of the Day: If you carry a concealed weapon for self-defense, practice drawing your pistol from concealment every day. We take for granted that we’ll be able to do this smoothly in an emergency, but adrenaline dulls our ability to perform fine-motor tasks. Create muscle memory by practicing drawing your weapon from the same holster, concealed in the same way, all the time.

Tip of the Day: Improve your defensive shooting skills by competing in matches held by associations like the IDPA or the IPSC.

Survival Tip of the Day: Save plastic coffee cans, applesauce jugs and pickle jars instead of buying Tupperware containers.

Tip of the Day: Save junk mail from insurance agencies and credit card companies. The paper is often printed on one side and can be reused as scrap paper or for coloring/sketching pages for your kids.

Tip of the Day: Save old newspapers for emergency fuel for a wood burning fireplace. Pack the papers tightly into the grate with the fold down, and open side up. This will allow it to burn slowly and longer.

Tip of the Day: Splitting firewood is easier if you angle the wedge slightly (approximately 30-40 degrees) before striking it with a maul.

Survival Tips

Quote of the Day: “Destroy the seed of evil, or it will grow up to your ruin.” – Aesop

Tip of the Day: Buy a French press or a camp-style percolator and some cans of Sterno and you can make coffee when the electricity goes out.

Tip of the Day: If you don’t mind the smell of vinegar, use it as a cheap, food-safe, kid-safe alternative to Lysol disinfectant.

Tip of the Day: Buy paper maps of your city, state and surrounding states. A U.S. atlas is good to have in your home and car. Don’t rely solely on GPS (which is vulnerable to malfunction) to get your bearings.

Tip of the Day: Don’t keep all your survival supplies in one place. Ideally, keep some of your provisions off your property, but still close and accessible, like in a storage facility. This ensures that you’ll still have some supplies if there’s a fire or you are burglarized.

Tip of the Day: Guns don’t do any good when they’re locked in a safe on the other side of the house, with an intruder blocking the way. Buy a few small safes and place them throughout the house so your self-defense weapons are secured (vitally important if you have kids), hidden and accessible.

Tip of the Day: 
Remember to be positive. It may sound corny, but there’s always some good to be found even in the most dire of situations. Mental attitude can make or break a survival situation. Start cultivating a positive survival mindset now. You’ll be happier, less stressed, be easier to get along with, and be better equipped to react to emergencies when they arise.

Tip of the Day: 
If calls won’t go through on your cell phone, try sending a text message. Often, they will go through faster when cell towers are overloaded.

Tip of the Day: 
Most people don’t keep 5 gallon buckets full of food in their homes. To hide your supplies better, buy opaque plastic storage tubs and metalized storage bags with oxygen absorbers. Your food, sealed in the bags and hidden in the tubs and stacked in a closet or basement are less conspicuous. Go the extra step and label the tubs with mundane descriptions (“Grandma’s Needlepoint”, “College Textbooks”, “Board Games”, etc.) to deter theft in the event of a break-in.

Tip of the Day: Full refrigerators and freezers will keep cooler for longer than those that are partially-filled. If you have room, fill the space with water bottles. The additional thermal mass will keep food fresher for a longer period when the power goes out. It will also help reduce everyday power use when the doors are opened.
Tip of the Day: If I had to pick one food to stockpile for survival, it’d be raisin bran cereal. It is high in vitamins, fiber and carbohydrates, requires no cooking or prep, is shelf stable, cheap and is available at any grocery store across the country. Each box contains roughly 1500 calories and costs less than $3.

Tip of the Day: Want to stay healthier? Spending 15 minutes in the sun boosts your body’s vitamin D production which helps strengthen your immune system. If you can’t get out in the sun, take a vitamin D3 supplement which replicates the benefits of the sun, unlike other types of vitamin D available.

Tip of the Day: Duct tape is great for temporary repairs and improvised medical treatment in the field. But it tends to break down fairly quickly when exposed to extreme temperatures and moisture. Spend a little  extra and get some Gorilla brand duct tape, which is tougher, UV resistant and sticks to just about anything.

Tip of the Day: Give the news a break. If you’re constantly scanning local, national and internet news feeds, it can be overwhelming (and often just downright depressing). Remember that 24 hour news networks don’t make money unless they keep your attention. It is a business after all. Limit yourself to a few minutes in the mornings/evenings. You’ll stay informed and still have a life.

Tip of the Day: I’m a huge fan of stocking cans of non-condensed soup. They’re shelf-stable for years and you can heat/cook them over an open flame directly in the can. (Before MREs came along, our military had “C” rations, or “canned” rations, and made the P-38 can opener an essential piece of gear for our troops.)

Tip of the Day: Don’t have flannel sheets? Place a fleece or knit blanket over your cotton sheets for extra warmth on cold nights. Your bed won’t feel nearly as cold getting in and you’ll stay warmer throughout the night. This allows you to lower the thermostat and save on utility costs.

Tip of the Day: Most people know that wearing a hat keeps you warm, but many forget to cover their neck. Pack a scarf in your emergency gear to keep warm in extreme cold.

Tip of the Day: Bag all of your trash. We all know the importance of shredding sensitive documents, but neglecting to disguise the rest of your trash can cause problems. Use black garbage bags to prevent passersby from learning about your living/spending habits. This is especially important after Christmas. If you have boxes for a new tablet, hdtv, game console and computer sitting out in the open waiting for trash pickup, thieves can easily see which houses would make the most profitable targets.

Tip of the Day: Kick your addictions. I’ll spare you the sanctimonious benefits. Practically-speaking, if a natural disaster strips the shelves bare and supply trucks can’t get through, it may be impossible (or very expensive) to get a drink, a smoke or even a caffeine fix. You’ll be irritable and prone to making bad and/or dangerous decisions. Withdrawal is stressful even in good times. Don’t wait for an emergency to break your habits.

Quote of the Day: “Be yourself and think for yourself; and while your conclusions may not be infallible they will be nearer right than the conclusions forced upon you by those you have a personal interest in keeping you ignorant.” – Elbert Hubbard

Tip of the Day: The little syringes you get from the pharmacy for kids’ medication are great for flushing wounds. Be sure to stock rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or even sterile saline (contact lens solution) too.

Tip of the Day: Learn and memorize your blood type. It’s a good idea to do this for your spouse and kids as well. In an emergency, this information could be vital.

Tip of the Day: Once per year you can get a free credit report from the nation’s three credit reporting agencies. It’s common for adults to do this, but you should also do it for your kids. If their social security number or other sensitive information is compromised, it could be years (even decades) before they apply for credit and discover their identities were stolen.

Tip of the Day: Though Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day have passed, take a moment to remember our nation’s military, especially those who are spending the holiday season far from home and their families. Thank you for protecting our freedom.

Tip of the Day: There are things we can control and things we can’t. Instead of worry, focus on finding solutions to problems. It is easy to forget that the world is a beautiful place, filled with good, honest people. Remember why and who you’re making preparations for. Take time to relax with friends and loved ones and allow yourself to decompress. Merry Christmas.

Tip of the Day: Stock an emergency supply of gasoline, at least enough to refill your tank from empty. If you need to evacuate immediately preceding or following a natural disaster, odds are that area gas stations will have run out. Buy a few 5 gallon cans and a bottle of Sta-bil (a gasoline preservative). Rotate your supply every 12 months.

Tip of the Day: Keep a few sheets of plywood on hand in case a window breaks in a storm. If it is a wide-spread disaster like a tornado, hurricane or earthquake, your local lumber yard will likely sell out quickly. Be sure to stock rolls of foam weather stripping and screws/nails to make a weather-tight seal until you can get a window repair crew onsite.

Tip of the Day: Stockpile extra food and water for pets and livestock. In an emergency when your pantry shelves are getting bare, you’d hate to have to choose between feeding yourself and your animals or possibly turning them loose.

Tip of the Day: Plan your shopping trips and how much you’ll spend. When out and about you don’t want to flash a wad of bills, making you a target for theft. Instead split your bankroll, including credit/debit/gift cards, and place it in different pockets. It’s handy if you need more, but this way you only have to pull out a little at a time when paying.

Tip of the Day: Get sleep. Studies show that a lack of sleep can affect you much in the same way as drinking alcohol to excess. Try to get at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. Odds are that during your waking hours, your productivity and mood will improve as a result.

Tip of the Day: Take stock of your supplies and survival education. Make a list of the preparations you made this past year and the preparations you have yet to make. Organize your “to-do” list by priority and schedule when/how you’ll accomplish them in the following year. Be realistic. Goals like “Become a black belt in two weeks” set you up for failure. “Buy 5 more buckets of beans and rice this week” or “Take a concealed-carry class on March 9th” are achievable and will encourage you to complete your remaining preps as you tick them off your list.