Six Ideas for Building a Bug Out Shelter in the Woods

Veteran survivalists innately understand the Rule of Threes. The Rule of Threes is as follows: humans will die after 3 minutes with no air, 3 days without water, or 3 weeks of going without food. At least, those are the most commonly known rules. One that is equally essential and that gets glossed over is the fact that people can die in three hours without shelter that thoroughly protects them of fatalities in harsh conditions.

You may not think the weather in your area is harsh enough to kill you but you might be surprised. During a 1964 race in England, three competitors were cut down by the cold even though it never dropped to freezing temperatures. Even without the threat of imminent death, you can still face abundant health risks if you spend an extended period of time exposed to the elements. You name it, Heat, UV rays, cold, rain, snow, all these and more can quickly shorten your lifespan if you are continually exposed to them without a proper shelter to safeguard yourself.

Are You Prepared for a Disaster While You’re at Work?

Most of us spend a lot of time on preps for our homes, vehicles, and bug-out locations, but our places of work are often neglected and rarely discussed. This is a big gap in preparedness for those of us who are still “working for the man” and find ourselves spending half of our waking hours in an office or traveling. I assumed my EDC and vehicle Get Home Bag had me covered at work until a simple request for a screwdriver made me realize all my gear is down a flight of stairs and across a parking lot. I immediately added a Leatherman to my laptop bag, but more importantly, I started thinking through potential scenarios.

Crossing Borders in a Crisis: Passports, Cash, Credit, & Respectability

We recently sent in our passports for renewal. While we don’t do a lot of international traveling- maybe once in 5 years or so- we do keep our passports up to date. Ours expire in August, and since some countries won’t allow entry on a passport with less than six months left on it, it was time to renew. Yes, that does mean that for certain purposes, like entry to another country, passports for practical purposes expire six months before they say they do.

It is true that if things are so bad in the US that we must flee the country, other places may be worse, or may simply refuse Americans entry. On the other hand, getting from Point A in the US to Point B in the US MIGHT require crossing a border. I used to drive from Wisconsin to New England every summer. I usually took the US route, but once I tried the Canadian route. That is where a passport would be critical: it provides route options not open to people who don’t have passports.

The Halfway Homesteader EDC

As you browse the inter-web and the many websites that are on it devoted to prepping and homesteading, if you’re anything like me, you’ll start to notice a trend: people are far more interested in talking about the future than the present. Everyone is happy to talk about their bug-out bag with their full load out and the rifle they’ll carry with it. Folks can go on for days about their bug-out vehicles with 4 wheel drive and off road suspensions. People will discuss endlessly their perfect retreat property, it’s attributes and location, strengths and weaknesses, whether they currently own the property or are planning on buying it or simply dreaming of it.

Urban Prepper Basics for Catastrophe Survival in the City and Urban Areas

Even if you are fortunate enough to have a retreat out in the country getting to your safe-haven maybe impossible during an urban upheaval. Roads blocked by wrecked and fuel-less vehicles will stop most people who are bugging out in their tracks. Maybe you were born lucky and can make it out safely before the balloon bursts, then what?

People in rural areas will start shooting if threatened by mobs of refugees fleeing the city. Don’t expect to be welcomed with arms outstretched. Most country folks don’t trust outsiders; you will likely be greeted with a load of buckshot and not the cup of fresh coffee and meaningful conversation you had hoped for.

After the cities are in ruins, criminal gangs will start to migrate into surrounding rural areas (especially known farming areas) where they will continue their business of stealing, raping and terrorizing in more fruitful territory (when selecting a rural retreat location get as far away from urban areas and main roads as possible).

If you can’t or won’t get out of your urban location NOW at least start making plans to survive the best that you can where you are. It won’t be easy, but it can be done.

7 cool gadgets for smart camping and prepping

Camping and prepping are cool and fun, especially when you have the right kit. Don’t think you’ll have to forego all your mod cons while you’re exploring the Great Outdoors. Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), technology is developing at such a rapid pace that going camping has never been more a more connected experience.

Email from Mike About his Ford Ranger Camper Set-up

I thought maybe your readers might enjoy this camper I made from a 2005 Ford Ranger (complete with a 2005 border terrier).

It’s a bit messy but I’m still working out the kinks. I purchased a used leer cap for $125. The wood that I used cost less than $60, and I got the carpet free from a carpet store.  The LED string lights were $20 and the battery is a used battery from a scrap yard for $20.  The most expensive part was the 30-watt solar panel, 800-watt invertor and various wires, connectors etc. All that was about 200 or so.

I still have some kinks to work out. Like heat. I was in it this weekend up north but a freak cold front pushing a system through made the temp drop to below 0 and my tea light heater system did nothing – as well as figure a way when that happens to keep my water supply from freezing and my butane stove from becoming unusable until it warms up.  That said, the bed area is 6ft in length and with a plywood underlay, plush carpeting, 2″ thick foam, a twin sized comforter and a heavy sleeping bag it was actually very comfortable.

Anyways, I thought the readers here might enjoy some a creative ‘home on the road’ on the budget. Any suggestions for improvements are welcome, of course.

Ideas for SHTF transporta​tion

Alright, we’ve got our Bug Out Bag (BOB) filled with all the essentials of getting from here to there safely. Flashlights, food, bullets and fire makers are all stashed in their own special place in the hopes we never have to use them. We have publications, tools and weapons we want to bring with us. It’s all been calculated and planned down to the last ounce. We’ve drilled and practiced until its second nature to grab the BOB and jump into our predefined spot in the vehicle.

A Road Trip with BOB

My sister called me last year concerned about getting to our retreat. She was one of the many motorists who got caught out in a snowstorm and had to overnight in her car. Fortunately, she had put her BOB (bug out bag) in the car just a day earlier.

It had been sitting in the ready near her front door for months. She had water, a blanket, and food enough to be comfortable throughout the ordeal, but she realized this was just a one-night stand out in the world and the real event was most likely going to be much worse.

Our retreat is 360 miles from her home/work in the city but she has other options that are closer to her location, just in a different direction. I have always put pen to paper to figure out the facts and did so for her as well.

Understanding Kidnappings

Kidnapping Over the past decade kidnapping for ransom and hostage taking have become a booming multi-million-dollar business. These days you do not need to be a high roller to be kidnapped or involved in a hostage situation, it can happen to anyone. If you are an international traveler you need to be especially aware of the threat from kidnapping even if you’re not going to one of the worlds kidnapping hotspots like Haiti, Mexico, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Nigeria, Columbia or the Philippines. The fact you are a foreigner can make you a target especially in poor countries, where the contents of the luggage, watch and jewelry of most travelers from the U.S. or Western Europe will at least match, if not far exceed the average monthly earnings of most citizens.

It is very difficult to get accurate figures on kidnapping rates as a lot of incidents are not reported to the authorities or media, also governments keen to attract tourists and investors try to keep official crime rates favorable. You should do your research and a threat assessment on all locations you’ll be visiting and identify what the main threat is. If you identify a kidnapping threat look for patterns in how the kidnappers operate and work out procedures to avoid them.