What’s the most important part of your preps? Water. Food. Shelter. Defense.
And the correct answer is …. none of the above.
Yes, you need those essential life supporting items but if you asked me what is the most important part of survival prepping, I’d have to say information. Some will disagree with me on this, but that’s okay, we all have our opinions and that’s great – but don’t let your beliefs nullify your good judgement lessening your chance of survival.
Information and individual survival skills are key to survival and I can not stress the importance of a well-rounded and organized survival library. Having a good survival library is in my opinion just as important as having a stocked pantry, as they say; knowledge is power and when it comes to survival you can’t have too much information.
But books are expensive and building a survival library covering all the needed survival skills can run into hundreds or even thousands of dollars, dollars that most of us don’t have. If you have an extra $1,000 to purchase books and other related research materials raise your hand. Wow, not many hands raised – okay, Jim you can put your hand down now, we all know you’re bank account is overflowing with cash and you poop gold coins. No need to show off…
So for the rest of us, less fortunate survivors, how do we build a survival library without having to take out an extra mortgage on our home, selling our bodily fluids or pimping ourselves out on the nearest street corner. We start a survival binder (or binders), that’s how… Let’s get started…
What Is A Survival Binder?
A survival binder is simply a binder of collected information gathered from various sources both on and off-line. You can use any type of binder you want, but I prefer the cheapest that I can find. I get mine at the local Wal-Mart here is an example of the type I use.
Most department stores carry 20 lb 8.5 x 11 sized 3-Hole punched paper for use in this type of binder if yours doesn’t have this type of paper in stock a 3 Hole Paper Punch works well and is what I use.
To make it easier to keep up with what subject is covered in each survival binder you’ll want to label it with the title or subject covered. If not as your library grows you’ll have to spend a lot of time flipping through each binder trying to find the one you want with the information you need when you need it.
I write the Name / Subject on a one inch wide by eight inch long strip of paper that I cut from a standard sheet and tape this to the spine with clear two-inch packaging tape covering the paper.
One of the great things about the survival binder is that, unlike many books out there covering a broad range subjects that are of no interest or use to you with only one or two subjects about what you need, you can build your survival binder to cover only those subjects and survival skills that you need relative to your area saving you time, space and money.
What you put in your personal survival binder will depend on several factors, including but not limited to your location, survival plans and skill level. For example, if your retreat is in an area where raising a garden isn’t possible, then filling your binder with information on gardening wouldn’t make a lot of sense .
Or say, you live on the Cumberland Plateau of TN then you probably would not have a binder devoted to desert survival skills. You get the idea. Your survival binder should be put together with your individual needs and location in mind – don’t waste time or resources with anything else.
Now the next question is where to find reliable, printable information for free (I love that word… FREE), well let’s see, this blog obviously (check out the print friendly button at the bottom of each post) but where else…
A good place to start when looking for gardening, raising livestock and homesteading information is cooperative extension publications for your state and U.S. department of agriculture publications. Here is the one for my state –University of Tennessee Extension.
FEMA and the American Red Cross have a wealth of free information on emergency preparedness and survival ready to download and print on their respective sites. A good one from FEMA and a great place to start is FEMA Are You Ready? and best of all its FREE 😀 .
Your states Department Of Natural Resources is a great place to find information on topics such as trapping, butchering game, hunting, plants, trees etc..
If you’re looking for military tactics there are many sites (here is a good one) where you can download and print out hundreds of these types of manuals which detail everything from outdoor survival and weapons training to demolitions.
A useful and quick way to find printable information on many subjects is to do a google search for the topic with PDF (Portable Document Format) appended to the search. For example “raising tomatoes pdf” PDF files are great because they are easy to print and put into book form in your binder.
Take a close look at your area, survival plans, and skills and write down those areas where you need more information – now start a survival binder with the correct information to fill in the gaps. Well, what are you waiting on…