Yes, you should add some tarps to your preps


The tarp is not as glamorous as guns and ammo, but having some around after a disaster will make life easier.

Even if you have a tent to sleep in after your house gets flattened, a tarp will come in handy for making a lounging or cooking space to use throughout the day.

If you don’t have a tent, you can make a trap-tent to sleep in.

If your house survived, but your roof is leaking, a tarp can be used as a temporary patch. You can also cover broken windows.

If the area has been flooded, you can use a tarp to make as a container for collecting rainwater to be used for drinking after purification.

You can also use tarps to create a stretcher for the injured. They are also useful for dragging storm debris and can be cut into strips for cordage as well.

There are many more uses, but I think you get the idea. Go into any disaster zone, and you will see them, and for a good reason, they work.

Buying A Tarp

Tarpaulins (Tarps) come in a variety of sizes. They are generally about three to five percent smaller than the advertised size. Thus, a tarp advertised as 20 ft × 20 ft will actually measure about 19 ft × 19 ft.

They come in different colors, thicknesses, and weave counts. Thicker and higher weave counts will be more durable.

Some stores will sell them in generalized categories such as “regular duty,” “heavy-duty,” “super heavy-duty,” etc.

They can also be bought with or without grommets. If you buy them with grommets, I suggest you still buy a cheap grommet kit for repairs.

20 uses for that cool survival bracelet you’re wearing.


Number 1 – It can be woven into an EDC survival bracelet containing a minimal toolset.

Number 2 – It can be used to set up a tarp or used as tent guy lines.

Number 3 – You can make a lanyard.

Number 4 – Traps can be made to catch small animals.

Number 5 – It can be broken down into a fishing line or used to make a fishing net.

Number 6 – You can use it to replace a broken shoelace.

Number 7 – Turn it into sewing thread.

Number 8 – Floss

Number 9 – Emergency pet leash

Number 10 – Bowstring for a fire drill or DIY hunting bow.

Number 11 – Use it to lash items together.

Number 12 – Create a perimeter tripwire.

Number 13 – Use it to string up a food bag to keep the critters and bears out of it.

Number 14 – Create a zipper pull for your pack.

Number 15 – Make a clothesline.

Number 16 – Replace a drawstring.

Number 17 – Tie up an intruder.

Number 18 – Use it to make a spear for hunting or defense.

Number 19 – Replace a broken generator pull cord.

Number 20 – Use it as a sling or splint broken bones.

Parachute cord, also known as paracord or 550 cord


Parachute cord, also known as paracord or 550 cord, refers to type-III paracord, a lightweight nylon kernmantle rope originally used in the suspension lines of parachutes.

A kernmantle rope is constructed with its interior core protected by a woven exterior sheath designed to optimize strength, durability, and flexibility. Its relatively smooth texture comes from the braided sheath, which has a high number of interwoven strands for its size, making it reasonably elastic.

The US military MIL-C-5040H standard required the material to be nylon. Still, there are products on the market today labeled as paracord that do not correspond to a specific military type and can differ in construction, quality, color, or strength.

The type III 550 cord is commonly found in use. It is nominally rated with a minimum breaking strength of 550 pounds, thus the nickname “550 cord,” and has a minimum elongation of 30%.

Military-specification type III cord may be slightly thicker than commercial grade due to it often requiring three nylon fibers per inner core as opposed to two fibers per core in the retail version.

The military cord will be closer to 4 millimeters (5⁄32 in) thickness, whereas commercial versions are closer to 3 millimeters (1⁄8 in) thickness.

Most people today are familiar with the cord due to the popularity of prepping and its use in survival bracelets that are meant to be unraveled when one needs to use it for a specific purpose.

Crafters also weave it into lanyards, belts, dog leashes, rosaries, key chains, and more.

Paracord can be used in survival situations to make bowstrings for hunting or fire drills. It can also be used to make traps and fishing line. The list of uses for this cord is endless and should be a part of your EDC (Everyday Carry) kit.

Do you think you can live in an RV after a societal collapse​


I just watched the “RV Nomads” movie on YouTube, and one small segment caught my attention. In it, they insinuated that some people were living the full-time RV lifestyle because of a chaotic society that might collapse someday.

Well, I hate to break it to them, but living in an RV after a societal collapse is the worst place you want be, even if you are off-grid.

The off-grid RV’ers and van dwellers all seem to think they are living outside the matrix, but what they are doing does not even come close to being self-sufficient. If the grid goes down, they go down with it.

Most do not have the skills needed to survive outdoors without a resupply source. They need gas stations, propane, cell service, and electronic banking. Food from grocery stores, auto parts stores, and the just in time delivery trucks that make it all possible. Some even need Walmarts to shit in, and gym memberships to shower. They may think their living outside the matrix, but the truth is they cannot live without it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love RVing, and even recommend having one to bug-out in for a localized disaster. But let the grid go down, and you’re going to want a secure home base or survival retreat because life on the road is going to get real.

So unless you have some impressive survival skills that will allow you to live off the land for an extended period. You need to get a plan or hope you happen to be in the perfect “end of the world” location when it all comes tumbling down.

What would happen if you lost all your clothing during a disaster


At a frontier trading post in eighteenth-century America, you would find rolls of fabric for trade right alongside tools, guns, and other items. Traders did not have the luxury of going to a nearby clothing store. They very often had to make their clothes — something most people cannot do today.

So what would happen if you lost all your clothing during a disaster? Well, if it were a localized disaster relief agencies would be there to help, but what if it was a nationwide years-long event?

I had not given this question much thought in the past, but lack of clothing is a real problem after disasters like floods, fires, and hurricanes. During hurricane Katrina, I saw families getting in fights with one another over a pair of shoes like it was “Black Friday” at the relief shelter.

So how could people, with closets full of clothing, end up with none?

1 – Clothing could end up destroyed or contaminated.

2 – The disaster could be so devastating that it goes on for years, and they get worn out.

Either way, to get more, you would need to do one of the following.

1 – Use the rolls of fabric you stored with your other emergency supplies to make new clothing. Assuming you have the tools and skills to do so.

2 – Barter with other survivors if you have something of value.

3 – Loot. Now, this might not be a problem. If a significant portion of the population died quickly, but it’s a dangerous path to take regardless.

So what’s your plan, do you have one? Have you ever thought about clothing as a barter item?

Down feathers, how birds keep you warm


A bird’s down is a layer of fine feathers located beneath the tough exterior feathers that help keep it warm.

Those down feathers can keep you warm, too, if you buy a sleeping bag or coat that uses them for insulation. The loose structure of the feathers traps air, which helps insulate against heat loss.

In the United States, any product labeled “100% Down” must contain only down feathers. In contrast, products labeled “Down” can contain a mixture of fiber and feathers. Also, products labeled as “Goose Down” must contain at least 90% goose down, 10% goose feathers.

Down insulation is rated by fill power, which is the number of cubic inches displaced by a given ounce of down (in3/oz). Eider-down has the highest fill power, at 1200. However, even down with a fill power as low as 550 still provides reasonably good insulation.

Higher fill-power downs insulate better than lower fill-power downs of the same weight.

Most sleeping bags and coats range from about 400 to 900 fill.

Down rated 500–650 fill is warm enough and light enough for most conditions.

Down rated 800–900 fill is very lightweight and suitable for frigid weather.

Cared for down will retain its loft up to three times longer than most synthetic fill; however, there are downsides:

1 – When down gets wet, the thermal properties are virtually eliminated.

2 – Down forms clumps when wet and will mildew if left damp.

3 – Down will absorb and retain odors.

4 – Most down is collected after the birds are killed for meat, but in a few countries like Poland, Hungary, and China, the live-plucking of birds still takes place. The cruelty of this method should not be tolerated, so buy from companies that do not support this or by a synthetic fill.

RV life, hitting the road after a disaster


My wife and I have an RV that is part of our emergency preparedness plan because my home is in a flood zone; if it floods, our RV is ready. All we have to do is turn the key and go.

We also plan to use it if we lose power. If it’s cold outside, no problem, it has a propane heating system. Need to cook, go to the bathroom, take a shower, no problem. RV’s are self-contain living units that fit the bill perfectly for certain types of disasters.

Having a good generator, solar panels, batteries, and composting toilet can extend your time off-grid. Many people live like this full time, but RV’s do have their limits, and bigger is not better in my opinion.

If you’re going mobile during a large-scale disaster, maneuverability will be important. Abandoned cars could block your way, and you may find yourself in a tight situation you need to get out of quick.

Fuel is another concern because you will have to carry enough of it to get to your destination. You will not be able to count on gas stations, so good gas mileage is crucial.

Others problems you may face

Your RV will be a target if there‘s civil unrest. Looters will see no difference between your stick-built and mobile home, and trying to defend it from the inside would be foolish. Bullets will penetrate those thin walls like butter.

You could have an engine failure. If your RV dies on the highway, you may need to head out on foot in an unfamiliar area.

So in closing, I would like to say, while RVs have their limits, they can be awesome bug-out-vehicles. For example, a lot of people evacuated to a campground near me this hurricane season, proving that RV’s are great for vacations, and evac-cations as well.

A damn good sleeping bag


I’ve been hiking in the winter cold all day; It’s almost dark, and the world I left behind is in chaos. The grid’s been down for three weeks; and my neighbors, well they all turned on me when they found my supplies. I just barely got out of there with my life, and I’m too tired to build a fire. All I want to do is sleep, and I can do that because I bought a damn good sleeping bag.

A good bag is a lifesaver when you’re on the move. Having one means you don’t have to start a fire when it’s cold and wet. Just set up the tent, get inside, dry off, and crawl in.

There are three primary types of sleeping bags

Winter bags typically come with temperature ratings of 0°, -20°, and -40° degrees.

Three season bags are the most popular and vary in quality. Fortunately, low quality and high-quality bags cost about the same, so spend the extra money for a good one. Temperature ratings for these bags also vary, but I would not get one rated higher than 20° degrees. Remember your buying a survival bag, and your doomsday can hit any time of the year.

And finally, summer bags are typically lighter but have higher temperature ratings.

What’s Inside Matters

What’s inside the bag matters too, and there are two basic choices, goose down and synthetic. The main thing to remember is, goose down will be lighter, less bulky, and warmer as long as it’s dry and synthetic will be heavier, but will still keep you warm when wet.

The best “rule of thumb” to use when deciding on which bag to buy is to add 10-15° degrees to the actual temperature rating; for example, you should always assume a sleeping bag rated to 20° degrees, will only work to temperatures of 30-35° degrees.

Shape

Their shape is also important. A mummy bag is form fitting and holds heat well, while a square bag allows you to move around in it at the expense of heat loss. There are also other shapes that work well, and some bags have sleeves built into them to hold a sleeping pad.

Other Options

There are other options you can get with a sleeping bag that you may or may not feel you need: right or left side zipper, inside pockets for example.

Just Remember

It is always better to have a bag that is a “bit too warm” than “not warm enough,” when it comes to your survival on a cold winter night.

Tarp vs. tent, the great debate.



Tarp vs. tent, the subject of many survival debates, but I choose the tent, and here’s why.

The tarp can be used for many things, including shelter, but is always open to the environment.

The tent is good for one thing only, providing shelter from bugs and weather.

The tarp can be set up next to a fire for heat reflection.

The tent cannot be set up next to a fire, but who needs a fire if you have a good sleeping bag.

The tarp takes longer to set up, and you may need to cut wood for poles.

The tent sets up quickly and comes with poles.

The tarp is lightweight and small.

The tent weighs more and is slightly bigger due to poles, but not by much for what it offers.

The tarp is great for bushcrafting.

The tent is great for survival situations, in my opinion, because it offers the best weather protection.