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Survival Skills | SL Things To Consider Before Bugging Out What to Do When You’re Stranded in Your Car How to Prevent Blisters How to Clean Your Gun Psychology of Survival: Fear and Despair 3 Reasons You Should Join a Survival Group Hiking Safety Tips Discovery Announces New “Dual Survival” Hosts Building an Outdoor Shower Survival Uses for Bamboo


Are You Ready for SHTF?

A year or so ago, I became interested in preparing for a disaster, so I went to the Internet to see what other folks are doing to prepare. I was surprised to learn the number of people who have been preparing for quite some time, and also at the level of their preparations; purchasing remote properties, building up a personal arsenal, and buying and storing food stocks for their families.

I figured I needed to ‘get on board’ and start my own preparations. I had a lot to do and a lot to consider; food stocks, weapons and ammunition, off-the-grid living,communications, tools, skills, bug out bag, get home bag, maps, cash, precious metals, and much more. Whew!

I am a planning-type person, and I don’t usually do anything without careful consideration and a solid plan. I like to think through what I will do, what I might need in the way of tools, parts, etc., and what my desired results are before I begin a project. Like all my projects, whether they be a family vacation, changing the brakes on my car, or preparing for a disaster, I feel a need to plan.

I decided to work on my preparedness tasks in parallel. As I was building up my food stocks, I also built up my weapons and ammo stock, and continued to read and learn about preparedness and survival. When I began to tackle a bug out plan, I found the task quite difficult as I thought through the three elements of how I tackle projects:

  1. What is the task or tasks involved?
  2. What items and tools will I need?
  3. What are my desired results?

Right away, I knew the answer to question three. In a bug out situation, I desired to stay alive and have the best quality of life possible for the situation. Answering questions one and two were not so easy. The planning gene in my head caused me to think about what actually is involved with pre and post “bugging out” in order to answer the first two questions. As I thought about making my plan, a sound solution to bugging out became quite murky.

There are many websites, blogs, and videos available via the Internet that provide information, ideas, and examples of bug out situations, bug out equipment, and bug out strategies, and I eagerly studied as much as a I could. I initially thought bugging out was a mighty fine idea when the SHTF. After careful consideration, though, I have concluded that bugging out should be my last resort, my “plan Z”, and only after I’ve tried every possible way to avoid it. I offer these bug out cons for your consideration:

The Plan

Everyone should have a plan and equipment for bugging out for those extreme situations when your back is to the wall, or marauding gangs are torching every house on your street. If you must bug out, have a pre-planned destination, and you must get there before your supplies run out. Essential to your bug out plan is to clearly define the condition(s) that would trigger your “got to bug out” alarm.

Remember, though, you’ll be quitting your job, abandoning your house, and your bills will pile up in your overflowing mailbox and remain unpaid. When a crisis occurs, you will not have time to make a successful bug out plan, so you must make your plan now. Anyone can make a plan, but it takes careful thought and consideration to make a successful plan.

Quality Of Life

The notion of bugging out is quite simple; grab your stuff and go. However, after bugging out and arriving “somewhere”, then what? What will you do and what will be your quality of life? When you are at home, all your equipment, food stocks, weapons, and gear are basically within easy reach.

If you have prepared and planned well, you can stay indoors for quite some time and enjoy a high quality of life. You can continue to sleep in your bed, have a bathroom down the hall, and even keep up with current events and what’s happening in your neighborhood.

The act of bugging out brings on its own set of potentially dangerous problems that you will have to deal with and suffer through “on the fly.” In all of my Internet travels, I have yet to see a bug out bag that was stocked and equipped as well my home. Bug out bags usually provide basic survival-type equipment and rations for up to 7 days.

The prospect that my situation would become that much more precarious after my rations ran out is none too appealing. Can I really depend upon hunting, fishing, and berry scavenging?

Land Mines

You are much safer in your own home in most situations. With adequate planning and supplies, you can hunker down and survive through chemical and even biological gas clouds. You can still call the police who might be able to assist you. You and your neighbors might band together to improve your collective security. Think long and hard before you engage in bugging out.

On your way to your pre-determined bug out destination, you need to avoid being ambushed, injured, robbed, or worse. You will not know who is friend or foe, and you must remain as inconspicuous and “normal” as possible.

I think it is unwise to assume you can and will homestead in the forest, hunting and fishing like Daniel Boone until “someone” gives an “all clear” and you can return home. You will not be the only person in the forest, and any food that is available will quickly be hunted or scared away. Your forest will soon be overrun with survivalist who claim hunting territories, and battles will ensue. Gangs will form and if you’re a loner, you will not survive.

Under such conditions, it would be nearly impossible for you to rest or sleep. You’d have to be on your guard 24/7. You couldn’t leave your camp to hunt or fish for fear of coming back to nothing, or a pack of squatters who have taken over your camp and everything you depend upon.

If you knew or sensed that others were in your forest, having a camp fire would be a bad idea because it would give away your location. How would you stay warm, or cook your kill? What if someone off in the distance sees smoke and calls 911 to report a forest fire? What about the winter cold or the summer mosquitos?

What would you do? Remember, you took only your bug out bag which did not have a sleeping bag or multi-season clothing. Sure, you have your big bowie-knife, your .22 rifle, and your length of para cord, but what about those other hundred items you need now that are back home?

Remote Hideaway

If you are one of the fortunate individuals who has some land in a remote location that you have already set up to be your bugged out location, great! The difficult task for you is to know when to bug out and before the crisis or disaster occurs. Timing will be critical. Bugging out after the crisis only increases your chances that you’ll be stuck in gridlock traffic, apprehended, robbed, or again, even worse.

Predicting when and where a disaster or crisis will occur is anyone’s guess. If you guess wrong, then you would have bugged out for nothing, and increased your chances of coming home to a looted and ransacked house.

Abort! Abort!

If you decide to return home, your immediate task would be to navigate your way through or around newly formed gangs and other non-friendlies you might encounter. If you bugged out with your get home bag, it is safe to say that any food you had in your get home bag would have already been eaten a long time ago.

You might arrive home only to find that your house has been looted, and all the food, gear, weapons, and supplies you didn’t take with you when you bugged out are gone. Your windows are broken, your electronics have disappeared, and you quickly discover thieves stole all the copper wires and pipes in your house, along with your refrigerator.

We all know that thieves are not a considerate lot. Since they took your copper pipes and left the water turned on, your house is now flooded, and your water bill is over $1,000. To add insult to injury, every thread of clothing, shoes, tools, and anything of any value that you had is now gone. Was it bugging out or going home that was the wrong decision?


I am unable to convince myself that I, after being so dependent upon grocery stores, utilities on demand, and sound shelter for decades, could just set up camp in the forest for an unknown length of time with only a bug out bag. You know, I am not the MacGyver type.

What do you think? Is “bugging out” a better plan than “bugging in”?

Courtesy of The Survivalist Blog.

What to Do When You’re Stranded in Your Car Winter Driving Tips In our neck of the woods we have pretty warm winters. In …

Winter Driving Tips

In our neck of the woods we have pretty warm winters. In fact, snow is a rarity so in most cases I wouldn’t need to worry about extreme cold temperatures.  At the same time, I still always carry a lightweight hooded jacked for myself and my wife in my tool bag.  I also have all of the standard tools that I would need to work on my car, a couple of ration bars and several Mylar water bags.  In my area I have more to worry about with heat than blistering cold.

Unfortunately the majority of the country will not be quite so lucky.  As the winter goes on the weather and driving conditions will only get worse.  I wanted to leave you today with a few tips that could help you survive, should you be left stranded in your car at some point in the cold.

  • Never leave the vehicle. If you are stranded, the vehicle offers a form of protection from overexposure to the cold. A single person walking through the snow is also harder to find than a stranded car or truck.
  • While you should not leave your vehicle, you will need something to keep warm.  A car will block you from the wind but the high glass and metal content will also wick away any heat that your body will produce. Make sure you have another way to preserve heat.
  • It is okay to run the car for short periods to provide some heat. Remember to crack the windows a small amount to allow for the circulation of fresh air. Failure to do so will cause exhaust fumes, like carbon monoxide, to build up very quickly. Especially if the tailpipe is buried in the snow.
  • Keep yourself moving. Most cars offer very little extra room to stretch out and move around, but exercise is a must. Do whatever you can to keep your body in motion. Clap your hands, stomp your feet, and move around as much as possible at least once an hour.
  • Another very important step that is often overlooked is to keep your morale high. While potentially dangerous situations are nothing to celebrate, allowing your morale to dip and your body to become stressed will make for a much more dangerous situation that if you were to keep calm.
  • Make sure that your car is as visible as possible. Hang bits of bright colored cloth or plastic from the windows. An open hood on your car is a universal distress signal and helps make you much more visible.  Only do this if there is no snow falling otherwise this could cause your engine to freeze up.

You also need to make sure that you have some kind of emergency kit in your car at all times.

You can purchase a pre-made car safety kit or build your own. If you decide to purchase a kit don’t just store it in your trunk, make sure you are intimately familiar with the contents and how know how to use them!

Learn to use all of the supplies in the kit! When you are freezing cold, and possibly wet, you will NOT have the time to waste reading the directions.

  • Get blankets or sleeping bags such as a space blanket.
  • Flashlight with extra batteries.  LED flashlights work best as they require very little battery power
  • You absolutely need an auto first-aid kit.
  • A knife and some high-calorie, non-perishable food like ration bars or protein bars (make sure that you switch them out regularly to avoid spoilage)
  • A large empty can and plastic cover with tissues and paper towels for sanitary purposes plus a smaller can and water-proof matches to melt snow for drinking water.
  • Sack of sand (or cat litter) for tire traction and a shovel.
  • An auto emergency tool kit Kits should include tow ropes, windshield scrapers, jumper) cables, and a few emergency tools like a small ratchet or wrench set.
  • A compass and road maps.
  • I always keep a small bag with some extra “just in case” clothing that can be worn to replace soiled or wet clothing or as an extra layer for warmth.

Be sure to keep any other items that suit your specific needs, keep an extra set of glasses if you wear them. Bring diapers and formula if you have children.  Also if you have children, it would be a good idea to bring a few games and something like a teddy bear or blanket that will help comfort them.

How to Prevent Blisters Don’t Get Rubbed the Wrong Way Whether you spend your weekends out hiking the trails, your nights tearing it up …

how to prevent blisters

Don’t Get Rubbed the Wrong Way

Whether you spend your weekends out hiking the trails, your nights tearing it up in a pair of heels, or just breaking in a new pair of boots, odds are you’ve gotten a blister or two in your life.

Blisters are a nuisance at best during a normal day, but in a survival situation a blister can quickly cut off your most basic mode of transportation.

A blister is not only uncomfortable but if one were to burst and be left untreated, infection could set in in as little as a few hours.  Below are a few steps that you can take to prevent blisters from forming.


Your shoes must fit properly to avoid blisters. If they are too snug or too loose the shoes will cause excess friction on your feet.

A good rule of thumb is to make sure that there is ½ inch space between your longest toe and the end of your shoe.

Be sure that you have enough room to wiggle your toes inside the toe box, and your heel does not slip when you walk.

Periodically inspect the inside of your shoes for seams or worn areas that might produce extra friction.


Select socks that fit your foot without being too tight or too loose.  Tube socks are never a good option as they don’t fit close enough to the foot. Ensure that the socks do not have bulky stitching at the toes or heels

Some people choose to wear two layers of socks (or a sock that is made with double layers) to aid in blister prevention.

Do not wear socks that are too old. Worn socks will have thin areas and holes are very likely to produce hot spots and blisters.

Do not wear untested socks on a long walk and never wear unwashed socks, dirty socks can cause a whole other mess of problems.

I have run across a ton of different blister remedies but I want to hear from you. Do you have any home remedies or preventions that you personally use on blisters?

How to Clean Your Gun A Clean Gun is a Happy Gun As a Prepper one of our greatest tools besides our mind is …

A Clean Gun is a Happy Gun

As a Prepper one of our greatest tools besides our mind is our firearms.  It can defend our property and loved ones from bad guys. It can put food on the table and just be all around fun to use.

No matter what we use them for, if you need to depend on your gun it needs to be well kept and in good shape.  One of the quickest ways for a gun to fail you is if it becomes dirty.  If you gun fails, you instantly go from having a high powered, ranged weapon to a large club.

You cannot afford to stake your life on a dirty gun!

So many people forget the simple act of cleaning a gun and think that it will fire every time, no matter what.  This simply isn’t the case.

A clean gun runs smoother, shoots more accurately, and lasts longer.  Cleaning your gun takes more time than effort but it is extremely important knowledge to have.

Let’s talk about the easiest and most thorough way to clean a gun and keep it in tip top shape.

Check out How to Clean Your Gun at

To get started you really don’t need to spend a lot on supplies.  Go to your local hardware, sporting goods, or department store (such as Wal-Mart) and pick up a cleaning rod and a hard brass barrel brush to attach to your cleaning rod.

The wire brush needs to be the right caliber (diameter or gauge) for your weapon. If you have a pistol, a small pistol cleaning kit has all the tools you need in it. It is available most places including here for not much money and fits in a very compact case you can slide into your pocket.

You will also need a brush with nylon bristles to scrub your gun with in those hard to reach places.  No need to go buy the typical three brush set you find in the sporting goods department as an old toothbrush should do the job nicely.

If you own shotguns or rifles, it would be in your best interest to pick up a universal cleaning kit.  A full kit should also give you cleaning patches and some different cleaning tips as well.  Having access to one of those should give you all the brushes and cleaning rods for MOST common weapons out there.

44 1/2 Magnum anyone?

Check out How to Clean Your Gun at

If you have something unusual, you might have to pick up a brush for that caliber. In my own personal cleaning supplies I have an Outer’s kit with cleaning rods, but instead of using the provided cleaners and lubricant I use others.  I also have a special brush I was given during my time serving in Law Enforcement called a “Tornado Brush.”  It tends to clean a bit better than the plain bristle brush.

I also use Hoppes #9 Cleaning Solvent, Hoppes Gun Oil, and Winchester Gun Scrubber.  I feel these clean and lubricate the best out of all the products I have used.

Lastly I have a silicone gun & reel cloth I picked up at Gander Mountain.

Break it on down

Check out How to Clean Your Gun at

Getting your gun clean is not very difficult.  Once you have gathered the above supplies, you need a nice flat workspace away from pets and kids.  You don’t want to harm them with any harsh chemicals or lead particles.  I usually put down a rubber mat but an old towel will work fine.

Lay your weapon on the mat or towel and break it down by field stripping it.  It you are not familiar with exactly how to do that it is OK.  Consult your owner’s manual or just do an internet search on “your weapon” field stripping replacing the part in quotes with the name or model you are trying to break down.  You should come up with numerous articles and/or videos of how to do it.

Once you have broken your weapon down, it is good to inspect it for wear and see if there is anything unusual.  If everything appears normal you want to open up your cleaning solvent and dip the nylon brush into it.  Start scrubbing all your metal parts with the solvent to remove lead and powder buildup from firing the weapon.

If I am cleaning polymer or all metal weapons I usually clean the stock or grip too as residue can build up in there also.  Be very careful about using the solvent on wooden stocks and grips as it can wear or mar the finish.

I found that out the hard way, but more about that later.  Once you have cleaned the gun completely as possible, attach your hard bristle barrel brush to the cleaning rod.  Dip that into the cleaning solvent and scrub, scrub, scrub the barrel until the bristles run clean and smooth

You can dip the brush into the solvent again through the process if needed, but usually one dip will get it.  Now if you bought a kit that came with patches and plastic tip attach the plastic tip and insert a patch into it.

Run this patch through the barrel and repeat the process with a clean patch until it comes out clean (no black residue).  Inspect your gun and all of its parts for any spots you might have missed cleaning and touch up as needed.

Scrub a dub

Check out How to Clean Your Gun at

Once you are ready to move on you want to get your can of gun scrubber which will remove all of the solvent.  Be careful using the gun scrubber on any wooden parts.  If it has a finish on it, it could take it off and you don’t want that.  I am going to have to pick up a different product that is less harsh on my weapons with wood finish than what I am using now.

I found out the hard way this can happen while cleaning first gun.  If you have a polymer or metal gun though this should not be an issue and you can spray the gun scrubber over the entire weapon with no adverse effects.

It is best to set the parts out your towel or mat to air dry for 10-15 minutes.  Once the parts are completely dry you can get you lubrication/gun oil out.  I shake my oil bottle for about a minute to mix it well.  Each weapon has its own specifications for lubrication and its best you consult your owner’s manual.

You certainly don’t want to over or under lubricate it as that could cause malfunctions and unexpected wear.  Once you have lubed your weapon, you are ready to put it back together.  When everything is back in its right place, make sure and work the action to get the lubricant into the spots you may have missed.

You want to be careful about dry firing the weapon.  Some manufacturers say not to do it as it can cause damage.  Once you have worked the lube in you can use your silicone reel cloth to wipe down all exterior surfaces of the weapon and make it like new!

Check out How to Clean Your Gun at


Cleaning your guns is not difficult or expensive,  but it is an essential part of gun ownership.  By following these procedures you  should be able to help make your weapons last a very long time and make sure that they are ready when you need them most.

Thanks for reading and happy prepping!

This weeks Mental barrier is Fear and Despair.  I decided to put both of them together as they are so closely related that it …


This weeks Mental barrier is Fear and Despair.  I decided to put both of them together as they are so closely related that it is extremely difficult to tell them apart but they both need to be addressed separately

Despair – This trait takes an interesting form. Despair is the mental view that something will be so horrible that the mere thought of it stops you from progressing forward.  This can easily be seen when someone states that “after XX event, the world would be so bad that I wouldn’t want to live in it, so I won’t”.  This thought process gives the person a complete aversion to even wishing to survive.

Despair is the most difficult barrier to get over simply because a person in despair has lost all hope and is completely apathetic to the idea that the end of the world as we know it is worth surviving.

Fear – Fear often looks like despair but, thankfully with fear not all hope has been lost because of this it is much easier to deal with because all hope has not been lost.  People are often afraid to put together a plan or talk things out with their family or spouse from the fear of possibilities outside of their control and the inability to have immediate answers to the issues they will be facing.

This is especially true in a situation where you have a family involved as the sheer terror around not being able to fully protect your children during every conceivable disaster.  The truth of the matter is…not one of us has all the answers.  We can only prepare so much and the rest will be left up to being able to your ability to improvise during a disaster.

3 Reasons You Should Join a Survival Group There’s Strength in Numbers Most of us don’t realize this but all of us are already … why you should join a survival group

There’s Strength in Numbers

Most of us don’t realize this but all of us are already in a ‘Survival Group’. It’s called the ‘Human Race’. And it has been trying to survive continuously since the dawn of time.

The trick is to differentiate between a survival ‘Rat Race’, and its dangerous mythology that leads us all astray, and a personal social integration with others that can be more beneficial in emergency bad times than going it alone.  

As children we were told that the tortoise ‘always’ beats the hare in the end. So just go slowly and surely in life and you’ll be okay. Which of course becomes laughable after you ’grow up’ and   discover that ‘speed’ initiative is critical in many successful applications in life. Especially if you want to do maximal gains in the shortest time.

Why, then, do ‘they’ tell us these lies? Because it is how ‘they’  get so rich and powerful while the rest of us snooze and lose. They know that time is more often an enemy than an ally. ‘They’ minimize the competition and seize the opportunity to hedge their bets by telling you to slow down while they, themselves, picked up the pace to really get ahead in the competition. This is aka sheeple mind control.

But anybody who has been into prepping for a while realizes that the best survival tool is your brain. So once you learn the reality of things in life you become better ‘prepared’ to survive. Good preppers cannot lock themselves into a mind prison of abject intransigence and obstinacy.

You’ve all heard the expression that ‘the mind is like a parachute…it does not function well until opened!’ Your friends at Survivopedia noticed that too many of us are in a quandary about bugging out or bugging in. And although most preppers ultimately come to the realization that it’s better to bug out to a pre-determined BOL in bad catastrophic circumstances if you want to minimize your risk of life, their personal situation makes this option unavailable for various reasons.

But after you get over the ‘mythology’ of ‘surviving in place’, the fact is that the difference between bugging in and bugging out is like night and day, no matter which you think is best. And the decision must be made with both the long term emergency dilemma, and the short term concern compared in the final analysis.

But both situations share a potential need for having a group support factor with this being even more critical with bugging in if it becomes a bad, long term situation. Therefore forming or joining an SPG (Survival Prepping Group) should be something to seriously consider for improving your odds of any kind of survival, especially in a major event.

It might be as simple as getting your family and/or close friends interested enough to cooperate and plan for a quick evacuation to a far enough away motel for a local emergency such as a hurricane or a nuclear power plant meltdown if you are on the Easter seaboard coastal areas or an earthquake in California. If you’re alone without extensive training or resources, you might have to try to seek out like-minded prepper persons and go from there? In any event here are important things to consider:

1. Stregth in Numbers

There’s a reason for the timeless aphorism ’misery loves company’. It’s one of the foundational concepts for the proliferation of the species. Our primitive ancestors would never have made it past the first predator beast’s lunch hour if their social structures didn‘t evolve ahead of the basic biological family unit and into an extended tribal or clan paradigm, which would then create a ’community’ where the ‘misery’ was mitigated.

Organizing in mutual harmony is intrinsic to our humanity and social structuring. Belonging to a group of friends or relatives that share the same goals and are committed to helping one another achieve them is far better than trying it all by your lonesome. Especially if you are physically ‘challenged’ in some way as many of our senior patriot preppers are.

However, there’s a dark side to the equation. So-called outside the norm group in a variety of cultures are nothing new. Before modern disaster/end times survival became popular there were some who chose to drop out from the conventional status quo and form their own community mini-cultures which became known as cult groups or ‘retreatists‘.

They found remote property and minimized as much contact with the outside world as possible. Most of these contemporary groups failed due to the psychological problems with misrepresented ideals of the group as a whole which more often than not opposed or contradicted the individual group members’ sensibilities, morals, and emotional content.

It was also very difficult to make the transition from the conveniences of modern society and experience the ‘withdrawal symptoms’ of more ‘primitive’ and solitary life styles. These situations eventually devolved into mini-dictatorships and invariably broke apart.

Therefore any group formation specifically related to emergency prepping and survival must be entered into ‘carefully’ in order to preserve the potential benefits and not create a expanded   problem in the longer run. It must not be allowed to become one of those whack-job anti-g para military groups that the treasonousanti-2/A pundits enjoy vilifying as such to make sure the ’authorities’ take ’interest’ in their activities for future ’reference’ as potential ’domestic’ type terrorists.

In a serious long term survival situation, however, even a small core group as tight as two or three persons with good mutual reliability, compatibility, utility, and more importantly, a viable, rehearsed PLAN to help each other, has a tremendous advantage over going it completely alone.

2. Surviving a Major National Catastrophic Event.

First let’s face the largest differential rationale between bugging out and bugging in.

The decision mainly being determined by how bad it is, or going to be. Although a level 5 super hurricane or an earthquake measuring 8 or 9 on the Richter scale can devastate an entire coastal city almost as bad as a bomb, if you planned in advance to set shelter in place that protected you from the initial force of the storm or quake and you survived it, there would soon be immediate first responders and government help and supplies and good outside support for immediate aid and rebuilding again. So bugging in might have worked in these types of disaster.

However, if something like a large meteor strike, a long overdue pandemic plague, or major EMP or terrorist power grid attack shut down most of the nation’s power grid, collapsing the commodity and resource supply, grinding everything down to a massive swath of death and destruction and effected almost everybody with everything from anarchy to widespread starvation and looting then being in a major city would not be the best place anymore for any ’bugs’ let alone humans.

People will always naturally come together for support and help until there is not enough left for everybody, and no help ever coming again, then it will be every man for himself.  And it will be nothing like you could have imagined in your most frightening nightmares.

Did you know that not only was there cannibalism in many parts of the world when starvation set in even in relatively modern times, but in the Roman empire in its last days in the city of Rome after it collapsed, some of the good, but starving, ‘citizens’ killed and ate their slaves and others?

If you are not bugging out from a major city in a true long terms break down of society, you will not likely make it on your own for very long, no matter how much you have stocked, locked, and loaded… But having a prepared survival group that you can count on would be a much better situation for you when it finally occurred to you that you had made a grave mistake by not bugging out earlier.

3. Facilitating the Bug Out

If you are inclined to be one of those who would prefer to get the hell out of Dodge City to a relatively safe spot in a more rural location at the first sniff of any really dangerous ‘dark clouds forming on the horizon’ because you always can come back if the storm blows over, but you have no reliable family or friends and you are all by your lonesome in the big concrete jungle, living almost a monastic lifestyle from day to day and hand to mouth on a very limited budget and you really don’t even have any friends except for the nosey pigeon hanging around your window sill and the mangy alley cat trying to catch it on occasion, and you don‘t even own a car…then you might be a more prudent survivor if you considered joining or even forming your own prepper group- also of like mindedness- to mutually assist each other in a small group bug out?

Remember, if you’re in this situation, you can bet there are others within walking distance of you, likely thinking about this also?

Forming or Joining a Team

Truth be told, if you think you need and want to be in a serious survival group plan, it isn’t something you find in the discount aisle at Walmart. But it’s not that hard to locate or set up if you are willing to do the diligence. You can start with the following:

  1. Do a computer search of ‘prepping/survivalist groups/clubs’ in your city or area. If you google ’prepper communities’ by state you’ll find several which, unfortunately, are closer to the ’groups’ I’ve described above. Many of these are a little more trustworthy as they are of Christian based foundation. And in my state there are even dedicated church groups who have rural ’retreats’ on multiple acre tracts owned by the denomination Co-op that are well stocked and set up for long term ‘end times’ emergency survival for their members. So if you are a loner but attend church you can check with your minister if he knows of any like minded individuals you can associate with?
  1. If you live in a city with no plans for much of anything yet, you can fish around by post a card at your local sporting goods/gun store where sooner or later serious preppers will come through saying something like ’disaster preparedness interested person(s) seeks like minded individuals in the area for mutual beneficial association’. This, of course, has some inherent risks in that there are always those out there that are looking to scam people. So you’d have to be very careful with your screening process. And be very careful with your contact meetings and personal information. The best way for the average person is to simply start up a relative conversation with someone you already know like a family member, neighbor or friend leading into a discussion on ’what would you do if a SHTF situation occurred?’. With today’s current events it would take me about two minutes to re-direct the conversation to ’what would anyone do in that situation’. You’d be surprised at how many of your acquaintances or neighbors would say something like, ’Yeah, I’ve been slowly stocking up for a while now’, which would gain you an opening for you to later inquire as to their opinion on starting a mutually beneficial group?
  1. If you are a senior and pretty much on your own, again, if you have a church community that would be a place to inquire. The other good one is that most areas have local community service senior centers usually for 55 and older which provide everything from discounted daily meals to recreation like card games, field trips, and other services. These become tight knit groups in and of themselves that provide various forms of mutual support. They are a great place to meet people and start a prepper support group. This holiday season week would be a great time to get out and check one of these centers out. They probably even have Christmas and New Years parties.

If you are older and disabled or incapacitated to the point that you can‘t do much of anything physical or don’t even drive, then if you aren’t already being taken care of by someone or in a senior assisted living center, it might be wise to look into that. And if you do, many of the newer centers are better than others. With off grid emergency power and supplies and pretty good primary security. Which would be a better choice.


I’ve noticed that too many of our ‘senior’ patriots seem to have too much trepidation about their personal prepping situations and abilities. While some of the more rigorous physical mechanics of prepping are not for everybody, by no means does this preclude anyone being well prepared just because of their age.

I’ll remind us all that two of the most recent ‘with prejudice’ dispatches of Islamic terrorists were easily accomplished by people in their sixties and seventies. The sixties something security guard at the Art Museum in Texas who quickly and calmly fired and took out two jihadists with his Glock as they exited their vehicle and opened fire with an AK and 9mm carbine on him!

And in Canada the seventy something Sergeant at Arms in their house of parliament was pushing his pencil in his office when a shotgun firing jihadist entered through the building hallway pinning down all around him. It only took the Senior Superman seconds to single handedly engage the attacker in a firefight and take him out with his 9mm pistol! Thus potentially heading off serious carnage because he was heading for the state room where a full congress session was in progress!

Don’t sell yourself short just because you aren’t as strong or nimble as you used to be or use a cane, have a heart condition, or anything else. Survival prepping is NOT only about Rambo style violent activities. Even in a real military combat that’s the ‘job’ of young people aka ’cannon fodder’. And you know who was actually pointing and firing the cannon, don’t you?

You don’t see many, if any, real Army Generals under 40, or humping 100 pound rucks, do you? Not that many of them couldn’t if they had to, but their value is more in expert knowledge and experience and guidance. Unless your survival group is the geriatric ward of the local nursing home many independent persons even in their 80’s and beyond could hold their own if the SHTF in a group team.

Modern tools and tech make it easier for those who are physically disadvantaged to maintain sufficient physical potential to make it when the SHTF. And if you’re that concerned about it, it may be time to include some physical ‘improvement’ toward a healthier lifestyle because I’ve found that one of the main problems with old age limitations is just being out of shape for your age. Start to consider a comprehensive physical rehabilitation program as part of your prepping.

More mature persons also provide a life experienced insight and conditioning to emergencies which balances the ‘shock and awe’ of younger people when it comes to really bad events, because it would be likely that it wasn’t their first rodeo particularly if they’ve accumulated a lot of ’round the block miles on their life odometer.

Why do you think the greatest American Indian warriors were always old people sitting around the campfire drinking firewater and smoking pot? You’d never make it to that blissful point in life if you were stupid. They were respected and obeyed as the council of Elders and Chiefs. Remember this profound fat old bald headed beer bellied red necked pistol packing OTR truck driver aphorism: “Older dudes and dudesses driving around in old pick up trucks, RULE!”

And serious senior preppers also reflect the truth in that country song: They ‘may not be as good as they once were/ But in an emergency, seniors will be as good once–when it counts the most–as they ever were!’

Courtesy of Survivopedia.

Hiking Safety Tips How to Stay Safe While Hiking in the Wilderness Hiking is a favorite pastime among survivalists and outdoorsman. There’s nothing quite …

How to Stay Safe While Hiking in the Wilderness

Hiking is a favorite pastime among survivalists and outdoorsman. There’s nothing quite like spending the day out in nature, taking in the sights and pushing yourself to the limit to go places you’ve never gone before.

But a pleasant afternoon hike can turn into a dangerous situation for the unprepared. Wild animals, bad weather and other factors can pose hazards to even the most experienced hiker. It’s always best to be prepared for the worst and practice hiking safety at all times.

The following hiking safety tips, presented in an infographic originally published on, will help guide you on your next hiking trip so that you can be sure it will be a safe and fun experience.

Check it out, and be sure to share your own hiking safety tips in the comments!

hiking safety tips

Discovery Announces New “Dual Survival” Hosts Meet the New Hosts and See What’s in Store for Season 7 Discovery Communications has announced that its …

Meet the New Hosts and See What’s in Store for Season 7

Discovery Communications has announced that its hit survival show, Dual Survival, will be getting two new hosts when the new season starts on January 13. Bill McConnell, a wilderness survivalist and Grady Powell, a former Green Beret and star of Ultimate Survival Alaska, will be replacing the previous hosts, Joe Teti and Matt Graham. While Discovery has justified the cast switch as a way to get “new perspectives” on the show, there is apparently a lot more to the story than that!

“We’re always trying to get new perspectives, techniques, and insights on how to survive these scenarios,” a rep for the show told a fan on the official ‘Dual Survival’ Facebook page, when asked what happened to Joe and Matt.

In a report released last fall, Radar Online revealed that Joe was not only secretly fired from the show, but also banned from setting foot on the property where Discovery Communications has its offices!

Back in May 2015, TMZ reported that an incident had taken place during filming that led to Joe’s firing. According to the site, Joe allegedly injured or killed a dog while filming the final episode of Season 6 (which aired last fall).

“Joe was shooting one of the final scenes when some stray cats ran across the set … apparently fleeing from a dog,” TMZ reported at the time. “We’re told the dog actually got one of the cats in its jaws, and that’s when Teti went after the canine. We can’t get a straight story from the various sources, although everyone agrees at the very least Teti injured the dog while saving the cat. But some of the sources say he killed the animal.”

The Ashley cannot confirm or deny this story.

(It should be noted here, though, that TMZ reported that ‘Dual Survival’ had been cancelled by Discovery. In May, the network circulated a press release stating that the show was done, but the network has since overturned that cancellation.)

Anyway, Radar reported that, around the time of the alleged dog incident, Discovery sent around a security email to that office’s employees. The email reportedly read, “Information: Joe Teti is a Discovery talent, starring in the reality show ‘Dual Survivor.’ The network is currently evaluating the series and has requested that Teti not be admitted to any Discovery office during this evaluation. If seen: Do not grant access. Call Security and the office manager immediately.”

The office staff was allegedly told to call the police if Joe, a former special operations veteran, arrived and refused to leave the property or caused trouble.

Joe, who is very vocal on his official Facebook page, has not made any mention of the incident, or the new season of the show, for that matter.

This is certainly not the first time the show’s hosts have caused controversy. Back in 2014, popular survivalist Cody Lundin was fired from the show over what Discovery called “differences over safety and health concerns on the show.” At the time, the network claimed that Cody had left voluntarily, but Cody later revealed that he was actually fired. He later threatened legal action against the network. (You can read all about that scandal by clickinghere and here!)

In addition, host Dave Canterbury was fired after the completion of Season 2 filming for allegedly falsifying his military record. (Joe Teti has also been accused of falsifying parts of his military record.)

While the alleged dog incident may have been the cause of Joe leaving the show, it is not known why Matt Graham will no longer appear. As far as The Ashley can tell, he does not maintain any sort of social media account and has not made a statement on why he left the show.

It appears that many of the show’s fans are tired of the merry-go-round of hosts that they have seen in recent years.

“I am not watching anymore because as soon as you start watching it the next thing they do is change the people in it,” one Facebook fan wrote. “I am so tired of them doing that.”

“Going to mess with the show until nobody watches it!” another wrote.

The new season of ‘Dual Survival’ with Grady and Bill premieres January 13 on Discovery Channel. The first episode will feature the new guys heading to Chile.

Courtesy of The Ashleys Reality Roundup.

Building an Outdoor Shower Practicing Good Hygiene and Preventing Infection While in the Wilderness Having the knowledge to build an outdoor shower is extremely …

Practicing Good Hygiene and Preventing Infection While in the Wilderness

Having the knowledge to build an outdoor shower is extremely important whether you’re camping, hiking, or just exploring the great outdoors. This is because maintaining basic hygiene skills is also a form of maintaining preventative medicine, especially while outdoors where infection from injury or an abrasion is likely to happen without proper medical tools or supplies available.

Access to fresh running water may become limited, especially as adventuring takes you and your loved ones further and further into the wilderness. Therefore knowing how to gather an appropriate amount of water from lakes and other large bodies of water is of extreme importance.

The Bucket Shower

making an outdoor shower out of a 5 gallon bucket

The Bucket Shower is the most useful survival shower to build and can be used numerous times, especially if outdoor adventures are anticipated beforehand. All that is needed is just a few supplies to get started:

  • Five gallon bucket with lid with carry handle
  • Spigot
  • Drilling tools such as screwdriver or electric drill

Begin by drilling a small hole at the base of the five gallon bucket for the spigot to be placed. Ensure that the hole to be drilled is small enough to fit the spigot snug inside. Once the spigot feels firm, fill the five gallon bucket with water and allow time for the water to warm up in direct sunlight. If gathered in the morning, the water will be a decent temperature by midday.

Ensure that the carry handle included on the five gallon bucket is sturdy enough to hold roughly 50 pounds of weight as the bucket completely filled should no weigh more than this. If the carry handle seems weak in any way, be sure to reinforce it using additional materials and reinforcements. Once confident that the five gallon bucket is ready, all that is needed is for the bucket to be hung from a tree or an object slightly above head level and the spigot to be turned on.

The Shower Bag

making an outdoor shower out of a trash bag

The Shower Bag is an excellent survival shower for those who are limited on supplies, out in the wilderness for a day or two, or there are no other natural shower alternatives nearby. All that is needed is a few trash bags that are a capable of holding a minimum of 13 gallons. Preferably a box of trash bags is recommended, as a box takes up little space and provides a decent supply. A roll of trash bags can also be placed directly in a backpack and takes up very little space. Although the color of the bags does not matter, it is preferable as well to opt for trash bags that will allow for easier light penetration as to warm the water inside of them in direct sunlight.

Place two to three trash bags inside one another and fill the most inner bag with the appropriate of water needed. Tie off the innermost trash bag than tie the others into a knot as to reinforce the whole shower bag.  Using a tree branch or another object slightly above head level tie off or hang the shower bag ensuring that the bag is secure from the weight of the water. Either allow time for the water to warm up in direct sunlight or poke holes in the bottom of the shower bag using a small knife to begin showering. The small holes will allow for slow drainage, giving you time to soak, wash, and rinse.

Natural Alternatives

using natural water sources as an outdoor shower

Naturally it is always recommended to take advantage of the first source of natural running water. Whether it be a waterfall, spring, river, or a clean large body of water, use these sources as a first alternative to survival showers such as the Shower Bucket and the Shower Bag.  Although the temperature cannot be adjusted, the amount of running water will help to better ensure that all basic hygiene needs are met and that infection or further complications from an already-existing injury will not follow suit.

Importance of Basic Hygiene While Outdoors 

As mentioned before, maintaining basic hygiene while outdoors is of extreme importance, as this is the number one step to preventative medicine. Skin abrasions, cuts and rashes can become worse if basic hygiene needs are not met especially while outdoors. Open wounds can become quickly infected if not cleaned and treated immediately. This is why knowledge of basic hygiene and building a survival shower is of the upmost importance.  Do not let what it took our ancestors thousands of years to master end your adventures.

Survival Uses for Bamboo How to Be “MacGyver” with One of Nature’s Best Survival Tools When it comes to survival tools, sometimes the best …

How to Be “MacGyver” with One of Nature’s Best Survival Tools

When it comes to survival tools, sometimes the best ones are just lying around.

Take Bamboo for example. Many people place it in their garden for its aesthetic value and the privacy you gain from this living fence.  Unfortunately most people do not realize that there are many different species of bamboo and the way in which each specific one grows.  While some species grow in tight clumps and are easily managed, others create runners that spread in all directions, quickly taking over a garden and become a pain to remove.

While this is a frustrating experience for the person overrun with the bamboo, it actually makes it quite easy for the practical prepper to swoop in and get more bamboo than he could possibly use, often times completely free!

Now why on earth would you want to keep bamboo?

  1. Bamboo is extremely fast growing; some species grow as fast as 2-4 feet per day.  It is also ecologically friendly.
  2. When harvested, bamboo you can safely cut up to 20% of your total crop and it will be completely regrown in just over a year.
  3. Bamboo can grow just about anywhere and is extremely easy to transplant.   While some species of bamboo have the ability to grow back from fallen sections, the easiest way to transplant is to take the whole stalk. Simply dig around a stalk and pull it with the root ball free of the soil and re plant. Some of the plant may die off but odds are you will have a healthy start to a bamboo forest in your own back yard.
  4. Bamboo can be quickly crafted into The big three survival necessities (shelter, water, food)
  5. With a little knowledge a survivor will realize the variable cornucopia of tools that can be fashioned out of bamboo.

Today I want to focus on creating a bamboo fishing pole. While simple in creation, it is still a time consuming endeavor.

These simple steps will allow you to create a tool for yourself that will both entertain you on any lazy day that you feel having a few beers and catching some fish the old fashioned way as well as feed you when you have no other choice.

Crafting a bamboo fishing pole does take some time, but only because they need time to dry.  You can create dozens of them at a time with just a limited amount of space. I always recommend making at least 3 poles at a time as it is almost inevitable that at least one of them will have a weak point and break.

To build a bamboo fishing pole, you first need to select some suitable bamboo. I recommend a pole that measures at least 1 ½” in diameter at the base and is about 8-10 foot long, but your preference may be different. You need to keep in mind that bigger is not always better. A stalk that’s too large or too long in diameter will be heavy and unwieldy and you will have trouble transporting it to your fishing spots.

Trim the pole down it is free from leaves and nubs. Find a joint that is close to the final length that you want your fishing pole to be. Then, carefully cut through the middle of the joint so the bottom end of your pole is sealed.

You then need to carefully sand down any excessive nubs with sandpaper.  Do not attempt to sand the pole flat as this will create weak spots at the joints and cause your pole to break.

You’ll now need to dry your pole. You’ll want it to dry so it’s as straight as possible. The best way to do this is to hang it and if you find that the pole is not as straight as you would have liked simply tie a brick to the bottom of the pole. This will allow your pole to straighten during the drying process. Keep your poles out of the direct sunlight or they will dry too fast.

Depending on the size of the pole, the ambient temperatures, etc., your pole may take up to a few months to completely dry out. You’ll know when your fishing pole is dry when it loses the normal green color and takes on a tanned hue.

If you want to expedite the drying process you can lay the poles flat in your car. If you have ever entered your vehicle on a hot day and thought it felt like an oven… you are not far off.  Leaving the poles in your vehicle allow it to act like a low heat kiln and will speed up the drying process.

After your pole is thoroughly dried, give it a few good whips through the air, if the pole breaks, then it had a weak spot in it and needs to be discarded.  Hopefully you made more than one. If not, you will need to start the process over again.

Now, you’ll need to tie a length of fishing line onto your fishing pole. The line will need to run 2.5 times the length of your pole IE: if your pole is 8 feet long you will want to use 20 feet of line.  This will allow you a good length to cast with as well as a few feet for depth.

Start at the base of the pole. Tie the end of the line into a secure knot about 3 inches above where you plan on holding the pole. Then, run the rest of the line along your pole until your reach the end lay the excess fishing line out of the way and make sure it does not get tangled.

Use smaller, additional lengths of fishing line to tie the line to the body of the pole. Tie the lengths into loops around the body of the pole and the line at several points down the length of the pole. These will act like the eyelets on most store-bought fishing poles and help to guide the fishing line. Be careful not to secure the line too tightly to the pole or you won’t be able to slide it up and down. Tying it too loosely will cause your fishing line to droop and tangle.

You can adjust the length of the fishing line by pulling it down through the loops you tied to the handle end. Wrap excess fishing line around the handle.  Simply add your hook and bobber and you are ready to head off to the old fishin’ hole.

Many other tools and weapons can be crafted out of bamboo. You can create bows, arrows, atlatls, darts, blowguns, etc.

I look forward to bringing you more items that can be created through the art of bamboo craft.

This article was originally posted on: survival life Survival Skills | SL

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Homemade Weapons You Can DIY To Awaken Your Inner Caveman

Learn to make your own homemade weapons so you’ll have a fighting chance in a survival situation where all you have is nature.

 [You Get One FREE] Weird Little Knife Drives TSA Crazy!

How to Make Homemade Weapons

Why Should You Learn to Make Homemade Weapons?

Let’s say you got lost in the wild, and you somehow forgot or lost your Cold Steel Leatherneck Tanto 39LSFT (or whichever is the best survival knife for you). What do you do?

While your situation is most likely not quite as bad as Tom Hanks had it in Castaway, let’s face it. The only way you’re gonna get out of this situation in good shape is to let out your inner caveman.

Let me explain. Our very primitive ancestors lived in a time when every day was a survival situation. Any tools or weapons they needed had to be made from scratch.

So, should you be unlucky enough to have only the shirt on your back while you’re lost in the wilderness, you’ll have to follow suit. Let the training of your inner caveman begin.

Today’s lesson: how to make DIY weapons in the wild with only the resources nature provided you.

How to Make a Knife | Homemade Weapons

Having a knife, any kind of knife is probably one of the best things to happen should you suddenly find yourself in a survival situation. You can use it to help you find food, build a shelter, and defend yourself against wild animals.

So it’s highly fortunate nature is waiting like a momma at a craft table with lots of materials you can use to create one.

1. Stone Knives

Bone, shell, bamboo, wood, or even an old aluminum beer can may work to perform the puncturing function of a blade. You know you’ve seen these a million times when you’re out hiking.

They’re easy to crack or break or shape into a fairly sharp point which will do in a pinch. Unfortunately, you’re not going to be able to use a chicken bone or an expertly-shaped aluminum can point to skin, chop, baton, or any of the other necessary functions of a survival knife.

This is where the stone comes into play. I’ll start by saying making a knife out of stone isn’t easy, but it can be done.

You’ll need three things: a core rock, a hammerstone, and a pressure flaker. Remember, you’re going to be smashing these together in true caveman fashion.

So, having stones you can reasonably grip in each hand is going to make your life a lot easier. Although, it’s definitely an option to stand poised over one rock smashing down on it.

You, with a two-hand grip, pounding until you’ve chipped away at it a bit. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

2. The Core Rock

rock formation background | Homemade Weapons You Can DIY To Awaken Your Inner Caveman | homemade weapons | deadliest ancient weapons

The core rock is what you’ll be making into a blade. Find any large stone, preferably made from obsidian, slate, chert, or flint with a relatively flat side.

In case you weren’t a rock collector in any of your previous lives, here’s another way to decide if a rock meets the requirements for good knife-making material. Tap or click a rock together with another rock and listen for a ringing sound (like glass).

The more rock sounds like glass, the better it is as a material for your core rock. If you can, choose a rock which is already a bit sharp to reduce the amount of time you’ll need to shape it.

3. The Hammerstone

The hammerstone is a medium-sized, spherical rock, preferably made of granite. It will be used to smash, chisel, chip and shape the core rock.

You’ll be using it to chip off pieces of the core stone and to narrow the edges to a blade shape.

RELATED: How To Keep Your Edge | Knife Sharpener

4. The Pressure Flaker

The pressure flaker, or flaking tool, is a rock with a sharp point to help you refine the blade’s edges. You’ll use your flaking tool after you’ve thinned the edges of the stone with the hammer stone to make the “blade” sharper.

When you start making your knife, you’ll want to be sure to wet the core stone to shorten the time it takes to shape it into a blade. Begin by striking glancing blows near the edge of the core rock with the hammerstone.

Chip away at the core rock until you get the general shape of a blade. Then, use the flaking tool to refine the edges you need to sharpen.

You can also use a stone with a rough surface such as a sandstone to sharpen the edge. Use some rope, cloth, or leather to lash the base and create a handle.

If you are having troubling shaping the rock into a knife, you can opt to create stone blades instead. Check out the videos below to learn how:

Part One:

Part Two:

How to Make a Spear | Homemade Weapons

south african zulu spear | Homemade Weapons You Can DIY To Awaken Your Inner Caveman | homemade weapons | deadliest ancient weapons

We’ve talked about how to make a spear using your best survival knife in a previous article. The same principle applies here.

Even without your Cold Steel Leatherneck Tanto 39LSFT or whichever survival knife you normally bring with you, you can still make a spear using your newly made stone knife. To make a spear, you’ll need to find a five-foot-long stick tough enough to endure repeated short or long-distance throws.

  1. First, pick the end of the stick which has a more rounded tip and use your stone knife to start shaving to create a spear. Once you’re done, be sure to heat the spear over some hot coals to make your spear sharper.
  2. As an alternative, you can also make a spear by tying your knife onto a stick. Find a stick which is about an inch wide.
  3. Measure about 2 inches from one end of the stick. Mark the point, then split the stick into two until you reach the 2-inch mark, creating a sort of Y shape.
  4. This will create a space where you can stick your stone knife before you lash it on with some twine, cord, or rope. To lock the blade in place, put some moss or lichen in the remaining space.
  5. If you haven’t had time to fashion your knife out of stone yet, you can also use broken pieces of shell or glass or splintered bamboo or bone and secure it to the end of your stick.
  6. If you find a way to split your stick without a knife, you can insert the splintered bone or bamboo into the wedge and tie it off like you would when turning a knife into a spear.

How to Make a Weighted Club | Homemade Weapons

While sharp pointy tools are all well and good, you can never go wrong with a blunt homemade weapon. You can use it for hammering or bludgeoning something such as a weighted club.

The weighted club could be one of the deadliest ancient weapons. To make one, you’ll need the following: a piece of wood around 14-16 inches, a medium-sized rock, and some rope.

  1. Once you have all the materials, you’ll need to wrap some lashing 6-8 inches from the end of the stick.
  2. Split the same end until you reach the lashing in order to create a V-shaped notch. The rock you picked out should be shorter than the length of the split.
  3. Insert the stone then lash it securely (above, below, and across the stone). The lashing on the stick above the stone clamps both sides of the split together providing the first point of security, so it’s especially important to create a good, tight lashing above the stone.
  4. You’ll want to make sure you bind the split ends securely so the stone won’t fall off whenever you use it to hammer or pound on something.

This video from Wannabe Bushcrafter will show you how to make a bamboo knife:

Now, hopefully, you never find yourself in a situation where making homemade weapons is going to be a necessity for survival. But, if you do find yourself in such a quagmire, this little bit of information and inner caveman training may be what saves your life.

Which of these homemade weapons do you want to make? Tell us your progress in the comments section below!

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***Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.***

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 11, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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5 Home Remedies For Chigger Bites

Know these home remedies for chigger bites, or better yet, avoid the bug's bites in the first place with helpful tips included here!

RELATED: Top Ways to Deal with Insects [Especially Mosquitos]

In this article:

  1. What Is a Chigger, Exactly?
  2. Where Do Chiggers Live?
  3. Identifying Chiggers Bites
  4. Home Remedies for Chigger Bites
  5. Tips to Avoid Chigger Bites and Chigger Bites Infection

Home Remedies For Chigger Bites

What Is a Chigger, Exactly?

Chiggers are members of the arachnid family. They are extremely tiny, and my guess is you won’t even see them as they jump from the tall grass onto your skin and/or clothing.

Adult chiggers are about 1/60 of an inch and have eight legs. The larvae are red, wingless, six-legged creatures which measure less than 1/150 of an inch.

Because of their red color, you might be able to spot the larvae when they cluster together, especially on white clothing.

What Is the Arachnid Family? It is a large group or class of invertebrate animals where the spiders and scorpions belong.

Where Do Chiggers Live?

Chiggers reside in tall weeds and grass, berry patches, and wooded areas. They could be in your backyard, by the lake, or your favorite hiking trail.

They are most active in summer and fall afternoons – the warmest part of the day.

Identifying Chiggers Bites

Only the larvae bite humans and they tend to choose warm, moist areas of the body.

Chiggers also have claws which help them grab onto your skin. The chigger then attaches its mouth to the skin and injects saliva.

The saliva contains an enzyme which breaks skin cells down to liquid form. Your body responds by hardening skin cells around the saliva, creating a tube (cyclostome) through which the chigger sucks the dissolved skin cells.

Chiggers can stay attached and feeding for several days before falling off.

When the chigger falls off, you are left with reddish bumps. You may notice a bright red dot in the center—this is a remnant of the tube your skin formed in response to the chigger's saliva.

The bumps may look like welts, blisters, pimples, or hives. Bites generally appear in groups and get larger for several days to a week.

While many insects bite exposed skin which is easy to get to, chiggers like to bite in folds of skin as well as places where clothing fits tightly on the skin. Most chigger bites occur around the ankles, waist, armpits, crotch, or behind the knees.

Home Remedies for Chigger Bites

Just remember, no matter what, DO NOT SCRATCH THE BITES! I know, easier said than done. But, breaking the skin on a chigger bite can lead to infection.

Here are 5 home remedies to help with the itching and swelling.

RELATED: Spider Bite? Here’s How To Treat It

1. Vicks Vapor Rub

Vicks Vapor Rub can put an end to itchy chigger bites immediately and will even reduce the risk of blisters. It’s the cooling menthol in it which relieves itching by affecting itch receptors in the skin.


  • Take a hot shower (use antibacterial soap.) Pat dry your skin with a soft towel.
  • Take a small amount of the vapor rub and add some table salt to it.
  • Mix well and apply to the affected area.
  • Repeat if the swelling continues (otherwise, there is no need to repeat the process)

2. Cold Compress

A cold compress can help reduce the itching associated with chigger bites. Its numbing effect helps reduce the sensation of itchiness.


  • Wrap some ice cubes in a thin cloth.
  • Apply the compress to the bites for 10 minutes. Repeat if needed to relieve itching.

3. Baking Soda

Baking soda is another effective remedy to reduce rashes as well as itchiness. It acts as a natural acid neutralizer which helps relieve itching and reduces the risk of infection.


  • Add 1 cup of baking soda to a bathtub filled with cool water.
  • Stir well and soak in this water for 15 minutes and pat your skin with a soft towel. (Do this once daily)

Another remedy using baking soda:

  • Prepare a thin paste of 2 teaspoons of baking soda and a little water.
  • Apply the paste on the affected areas and leave it on for about 10 minutes.
  • Rinse it off with cool water.

Note: Do not use this remedy more than once or twice a day. Never use baking soda on broken skin or open wounds.

4. Oatmeal

Oatmeal contains anti-irritating, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties providing instant relief from itching–one of the common symptoms of chigger bites. It is recommended to use colloidal oatmeal, meaning oats which are ground into an extremely fine powder.

(You can accomplish this yourself by grinding regular oats in a sealed Ziploc bag, using the backside of a spoon to crush the oatmeal.)


  • Add 1 cup of colloidal oatmeal to a bathtub filled with warm water
  • Stir thoroughly
  • Soak in this mixture for at least 15-20 minutes
  • Repeat 2-3 times a day

5. Olive Oil

Olive oil can also be used to get relief from the irritation and inflammation. It is rich in vitamin E and antioxidants which reduce itching and facilitate healing.


  • After rinsing the affected area with water, apply olive oil to the chigger bite.
  • Reapply several times a day.

Another option using olive oil:

  • Mix a few drops of tea tree oil in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and apply on the affected area.
  • Repeat a few times a day.

Tips to Avoid Chigger Bites and Chigger Bites Infection

As summer and fall are prime time for chigger bites, it is best to take the following precautions:

  1. When hiking, stay in the center of the trail and avoid brushing up against vegetation.
  2. Wear long sleeves and long pants when going into the woods.
  3. Apply mosquito repellent on your hands, feet, and exposed skin on your arms before going outside.
  4. Shower immediately after being outdoors and use antibacterial soap.
  5. Wash your clothes in hot water.
  6. Resist the urge to scratch because breaking the skin on chigger bites can lead to a possible infection.

This video from Online Pest Control will show you tips to avoid chiggers and ways to get rid of chiggers:

Chigger bites much like other insect bites aren't only discomforting, they can be dangerous too. Many of these insects including chiggers carry diseases in some cases.

The best way to deal with these bugs is to avoid them or control them with our tips here. But, if you're so unlucky, you also now know the best home remedies to chigger bites!

Have you had to deal with chigger bites before? Tell us how, including more useful tips which worked for you in the comments section below!

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***Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.***

Home Remedies For Chigger Bites |

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 28, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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9 Good Reasons To Carry A “Survival Stick”

Arm yourself with a survival stick, get savvy with it, but first, find out why as you read on!

RELATED: Deadly Parasols | Umbrella As A Self-Defense Weapon

In this article:

  1. Survival Hiking Stick
  2. Survival Stick for Support
  3. Fetching/Reaching Things
  4. Walking Staff Weapon for Self-Defense
  5. Balance
  6. Gauging Depth
  7. Carrying Gear and Supplies
  8. Club
  9. Fishing Rod

Survival Stick: An Underrated Multipurpose Tool?

The Survival Stick in History

A walking stick or a survival cane were popular in the 17th and 18th centuries as a decorative show of power and a defensive replacement for a sword. Yet, the truth is our ancestors have been using them for thousands of years, and for good reason…

…They work! Even the animal kingdom is smart enough to know just how useful these are:

(It may be hard to see, but this gorilla is holding a walking stick to gauge the depth of the water as she sloshes along)

A walking stick is not a new or revolutionary idea. In fact, the use of a walking stick predates history and its use continued on for generations including this present time.

Yet, it is one which is more often than not overlooked. When most people think of a walking stick, it is usually paired with a top hat or seen as a crutch for someone with a walking disability.

Far too few people even realize how important a walking stick can be, especially to someone in the outdoors. We will dig a little deeper into the many uses of a survival stick and maybe safely say, it could be the first multi-purpose survival tool.

Practical and Survival Uses for a Survival Stick

Walking sticks are also known as trekking poles, pilgrim's staffs, hiking poles and hiking staff have quite a few different uses:

1. Survival Hiking Stick

Hold the survival stick in front of you and you can use it to clear your way by parting brushes and branches or leaves and thick tall grasses. You can also use it to clear spiderwebs, especially if you're not too fond of spiders.

Other insects, animals, poisonous plants, and even animal dung can get in the way. Use a survival stick to inspect or poke at those things if you are unsure, and never ever your hands or your feet.

2. Survival Stick for Support

Hiker in Caucasus mountains is crossing mountain river | Good Reasons To Carry A "Survival Stick" | hiking staff
Making your way through an uneven terrain will be more manageable with a walking stick for support. Whether you're going up or down, use the walking stick to either slow you down or hold you up.

You can use your walking stick like breaks to keep you from speeding down or use it to latch on to a rock or crevice when you're climbing up. Besides for yourself, you can also use your multipurpose stick as a support for your tarp emergency shelter.

3. Fetching/Reaching Things

It happens–a supply or gear falling on water, mud, puddle or in an area you dare not walk into. You can fetch or reach for those items with a stick.

It also happens where you need an item over a physical barrier and only a stick can fetch the item for you. You can also reach for fruits, nest, or other food sources up a tree or high structure with a stick.

RELATED: Unusual Weapons From Around The World And How To Use Them

4. Walking Staff Weapon for Self-Defense

To use a survival stick as a weapon, make sure it's a sturdy stick with a finished look and not just any stick you found along the way. You can use it to defend yourself from an attacker whether it's human or animals.

I would suggest to train yourself in some form of martial arts using a stick like a baton as a weapon to have a better handle at it.

You can also fashion a spear with your stick by tying a survival knife on one end. Don't throw this spear though or you risk damaging or losing your knife and stick.

Hold on to your homemade spear and only use it to thrust at your target.

5. Balance

Hiker is crossing the river in Sweden | Hiker in Caucasus mountain | Good Reasons To Carry A "Survival Stick" | survival hiking stickWhen you're crossing a log bridge over a stream or you're going through the stream itself or other bodies of water, a walking stick can help you balance so you don't fall over. If you're walking through a muddy or rocky waterbed, a walking stick will help you up.

If you're up for it and if the body of water isn't too wide across, you can also use a long stick like a pole vault to cross over so you don't get yourself wet.

6. Gauging Depth

Relative to crossing bodies of water, a survival stick is handy in identifying dips beneath the waters which could cause you to stumble. You can also use the stick to identify where it's safe to take the next step.

You can also use this simple trick with the stick when you're traveling in deep snow, marshland, and even the dessert.

7. Carrying Gear and Supplies

Use your survival stick to help you carry gear and supplies. Pack your supplies with a shemagh, tie it tight to one end of your stick then place the stick over your shoulders in hobo fashion.

You can also carry more supplies with your survival stick. Even today, a carrying pole is used by indigenous people all over the world to carry heavy supplies you never thought possible.

Hang bags of supplies or jars of water on either side of the pole or stick, putting a stopper like a notch or tie on both ends so they don't fall off. Place the center of the stick over your shoulders and balance your load to your destination.

8. Club

Man carrying blue backpack | Good Reasons To Carry A "Survival Stick" | walking staff weapon
Use your survival stick like a club to knock obstacle down. A pillar of rocks or other objects may be on your way and a sturdy stick can help you safely knock those.

If you are in a building with glass doors or windows or inside a car, you can break the glass with a stick. Make to knock over pieces around your entrance or exit with the stick, too.

9. Fishing Rod

You only need to bring a fishing kit and your survival stick will make a good fishing rod. Tie a line on one end of your walking stick and fish away.

A DIY fishing pole is actually effective and many a fish has been caught this way.

As you guys and gals already know, I am a stickler for carrying things only if they have multiple uses. This guy managed to fit almost an entire survival kit into a walking stick he built from scratch, for under $20.00.

Check out this video from SOS 2054 I found, and find out for yourself, too:

A humble walking stick will indeed surprise you with what it can do for your defense, convenience, safety, and survival. Since you know now the practical and survival uses of this primitive multi-purpose tool, it won't surprise me if it lands a top spot on your list of survival tools for camping, hiking, or SHTF.

What other uses can you think of for carrying a “survival stick”? Let us know in the comments section below!

Up Next:

Go to our Survival Life Store to shop some of our favorites self-defense tools and gear!

Check out How To Purify Water | 5 Water Decontamination Techniques at

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**Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 11, 2013, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

This Article Was First Found at Read The Original Article Here

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