Survival Food Storage – 5 Tips For Keeping You Fed In An Emergency

Survival Food Storage

Survival Food Storage

Survival food storage, something that once seemed silly and outdated, is now becoming more popular and a regular practice of many prepared civilians as global problems and tensions continue to rise.

Whether by weather, economic collapse, attack, or other earth-shattering circumstances, the chances of something catastrophic leaving you with little else other than what you have with you or in your home are significant enough to at least take the time for some simple precautions.

First on your list should be the most vital thing to keep you alive, food and water.

Without these, all else is lost, and having food stored away can make things much easier than having to grab a branch, fashion a makeshift spear, and stabbing the first Grizzly bear you come across.

Even though the average American has access to a seemingly unlimited supply of food, thanks to modern technology and farming methods, recent polls show that the average family only has enough food to last for about a week.

On a broader scale, the ratio in grocery stores and supermarkets is about the same.

This means in the event of a global calamity or even something as simple as a heavy snowstorm, if we’re stranded more than just a few days, our food supply could quickly run dry.

Here are a few tips to ensure you have the right foods stored in the right way to provide the most bang for their buck and needed space.

5 Survival Food Storage Tips

  1. Variety. Bland, bland variety. Sure, the most storable foods aren’t the most flavor-packed, but you can store large amounts of these nutritious foods for long periods of time: powdered milk, survival seeds, cabbage, potatoes, and more.
  2. Latest expiration date. When buying fruit and other perishable goods from the store, always look for the latest expiration dates, because even only a few days could mean the difference between hunger and starvation in an emergency.
  3. Buy it in bulk. Try to purchase as many of your storable foods as you can from wholesale stores to save money. Plus doing your regular shopping there could ensure you have more current food available as well.
  4. Put on your chef’s hat. Learn the proper way to prepare each of your survival food items, especially without the convenience of modern technology or a power supply, so you’re prepared for any situation.
  5. Protect your investment. Store your food in an airtight and durable container to protect it from insects, rodents, and the elements.

Once you have your survival food storage in place and maybe even a few outdoor survival skills, you can rest easier knowing that you have the bare essentials to ensure you and your family’s survival for an extended period of time.

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Wilderness Survival Guide: First Aid 101

Wilderness Survival Guide

Wilderness Survival Guide

Anytime you venture into the great outdoors, there is an equal part adventure and danger brewing in the underbrush, so don’t leave the comfort of your modern home without a wilderness survival guide.

Whether you like foraging through thick forests or not, taking a CPR class and having an updated certification is always a good idea, because you never know when it will come in handy. Heck, you might even have to use it on a baby bear, so its mother will spare your life.

In the event that you or someone you’re with does get injured, the first thing to do is make sure the victim stays as calm as possible.

Panic and shock will only further complicate the situation, so keep them still, talking, and as relaxed as possible.

Offer water and a quick snack from your survival food storage to get the mind and body focused on something else, then immediately start contacting professional medical help, while you use the following tips in the meantime to help while the pros are on the way.

  • Breathe, baby, breathe! If the victim isn’t breathing, now is the time for that CPR class you took to really pay off. While in the event of a heart attack, ever-changing guidelines now suggest to only focus on chest pumps, avoiding the breathing bit all together, it can still come in handy in the event of drowning or other breath-taking adventures.

    First, elevate the neck and tilt the head back, and once in position, pinch the nose and blow into the mouth until you see the chest start to expand.

    Continue breathing and blowing at the rate of about 15 blows per minute until they can start breathing on their own.

  • Bleed, baby, bleed! There are an array of prickly, sharp, and downright razor-like objects in nature, so if someone gets a serious laceration, you need to know what to do.

    First, elevate the wound above the level of the heart to slow the bleeding, while also wrapping it in gauze or even a clean shirt to apply direct and firm pressure, without being so tight as to cut off circulation.

  • Break a leg! If someone sustains a break or fracture as a result of a fall, it’s always good to have a formal or makeshift splint available.

    Position the splint so that it extends above and blow the adjacent joint, making sure to wrap it just tight enough to not cut off circulation.

    Be sure to keep an eye on it, adjusting and retightening to keep it in place while you wait for or make your way toward help.

  • Snake in the grass! It’s obviously best to keep your eyes open and on the path in front of you to avoid snakes in the first place, but if one does bite, try to get a picture, whether mental or real, so you know what kind of snake attacked you.

    This will help medical teams identify potentially lifesaving anti-venom.

    Once bitten, immediately position the bite below your heart level to slow the movement of venom toward your heart, and remove any bracelets, necklaces, rings, and such before swelling starts to set in.

These are some of the basics of outdoor survival skills, so whether it’s mental or an actual book, always have your wilderness survival guide with you.

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How To Survive On A Deserted Island

So, what do you do if you’re stranded on a deserted island?

Order for pizza, perhaps?

An unlikely possibility in the real world, as you would’ve noticed if you’re a fan of the television series, ‘Lost.

Anticipating a situation as unlikely as being deserted on an island can be considered as wildly neurotic but you just never know.

So let’s say you do get stranded on a deserted island, what next?

Make a boat with imaginary bamboo shoots and pray the mermaids appear to take you to safety.

Hardly.

But seriously, being stranded on an island is an unenviable position to be in if not completely disheartening to say the least. Yet there have been many people who have been in such a situation and have been rescued.

So what do you do in the meanwhile to survive until ‘your ship comes in’?

Here are a few tips that might be useful if you ever find yourself in such a situation:

Shelter
This is the first thing that you should look for as soon when you land on shore. If you’ve arrived on the island by way of a raft, by boat, or a plane – these can give you protection from the elements and wildlife that surround you. Many islands have trees, rocks, vines, bamboo, thick grasses, and other natural supplies that you can use in building a suitable and strong shelter.

Consider the following method to construct a suitable shelter when stranded on a deserted island:

1. Find branches that resemble the letter “Y”.

2. Stick these branches down into the ground rather deeply, making sure that each one is approximately five to six feet away from the other one.

3. Find a long limb of branch that is light enough to be supported by the two “Y” shaped branches, and place it on each so that it goes across.

4. Now, you have a basic frame. You will want to find long branches that can be rested on the limb that goes across on either side.

5. Once you have all of the branches in place, simply search for a vine or something that can act as a rope to tie everything together and secure it.

6. Finally, gather leaves, boughs, palm tree fronds and similar items to cover the structure with for additional security.

7. Take leaves and fronds from trees and line the inside of the structure in order to make a “floor” to rest on.

Water Collection

The next step is to find water which is essential to staying alive (yes, more important than food). Perhaps this saying rings a bell: “Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink.” Any nitwit would know that seawater is not conducive for drinking as the salt and other chemicals will leave you dehydrated. So it is important that you find a freshwater source which might not be readily available.

What do you do then?

Creating a solar water still is a very good idea. Here’s how:

  1. Select an area that is higher than where the tides come in that is exposed to a lot of sunlight on a daily basis.
  2. Dig a hole that can be used. This hole should be about three feet deep and three feet deep.
  3. Find a bucket or other type of container that can be placed in the very center.
  4. Now, go around and choose healthy green plants that can be placed around the container.
  5. Place a piece of plastic sheeting over the hole and then put rocks and sand on the sides in order to ensure that the plastic stays in place.
  6. Then, put a rock in the center of the solar water still and a small hole. Water will now drip down and the green plants will help produce more.

If you’ve made a strong shelter and have found a good source of fresh water, the final step is finding food. Obviously, the ocean can be a good source but you can never be certain that every living creature will be good for consumption, so here are few tips to keep in mind:

1. Avoid consuming fish that have the appearance of spikes on their body.
2. Avoid eating jellyfish.
3. If a fish puffs up for protection, do not consume it.
4. Fish that appear to have “beaks” on their faces are also not a food type that is safe.
These are three simple steps that you can follow in order to survive on a deserted island. However, you will find yourself having to use your creativity in order to make a shelter, find water and food.

Remember anything goes here… as there won’t be any Luigi’s pizza delivery boy making his way in record time to satisfy your hunger!

What is the first thing you would do on a deserted island to survive?

Survival Kit Ideas

Ever been caught in a hurricane, tornado or storm before, with your pants down? Er… not literally, of course! Meaning, with no survival kit!

Well, of course you have!

And if you haven’t, your friends, colleagues or well-wishers would’ve have at some point of time ruminating over the gory details of a survivor’s story that they’ve heard from the friend of a friend’s friend.

And if that hasn’t happened, the news is always ready, willing and able to provide you with the latest survivor stories (not before flashing the ‘Parental Advisory’ warning, though) as well.

And if you’re forgetful or the careless types, sooner or later you’d hear yourself go: “Oops! That could’ve been me alright.”

As for the macho types who have these deluded fantasies of playing a real-life Alan Quartermain or Indiana Jones, just remember you’ll be gone long before you can say: “Oops!”

Nature, in all its glory, does not take prisoners… for example, look at Pompeii. And if you think this example is rather far-fetched and ridiculous, the timing of the disaster was far from it at least from Nature’s point-of-view! As for its inhabitants, their chances of survival were ridiculous!

You’re no stranger to the old saying: “Prevention is always better than cure.”

So, it bodes well (not unless you have suicidal tendencies nor do you care about the lives of your loved ones) to prepare a survival kit for a storm, hurricane or tornado.

You might say: “Alright genius. Innuendos, we can do without. What next?”

So here we go:

For one, you can build yourself a nuclear shelter or a panic room. OK, kidding.

From the top once again:
The first thing to keep in mind is that a survival kit should contain supplies (medicinal or nutritional) that will keep you going 3 days or more.

Secondly, depending on whether you’re in a storm, hurricane or tornado zone, it would be wise to assess what supplies you need most. A little creativity would go a long way in saving money and more importantly saving your life (or another’s) rather than buying general survivor kits at your nearest hardware store.

To cut a long story short: Prepare a survival kit according to your needs!

Next, find the safest place at your residence for your survival kit. Normally, the bathroom is the strongest section of the house, so it wouldn’t be too bad an idea to store it there.

Then, if you’re not necessarily the meticulous kinds, prepare a checklist of items and supplies that you think is most needed.

To get you started, here is a list of general must-have items such as Band-Aids, bandages and tape, cuts and scratches sprays, disinfectants, alcohol, scissors, a small knife, a flashlight (with extra batteries of course), candles and the scourge of every forgetful smoker, matches. Water and food won’t be such a bad idea to keep just in case you do stay in a disaster-prone area.

Other items that are very useful are a small weather or FM radio with batteries (still in their packaging). Tweezers, needle and thread are also great survival kits ideas (nylon or thin fishing line is best) as well as some non-prescription aspirin and antacid as well. A supply of prescription drugs is mandatory if someone in your family is dependent on medicine such as Insulin, heart and high blood pressure medicine.

Perhaps a smaller version of this survival kit would come in handy in your car. Victims of accident are a common thing these days, and perhaps you can save a life (or someone can save yours) until the ambulance arrives to take it from there. Better safe than sorry, right?

Now what if the accident takes place away from your car or home?

No big deal. Carry items such as band aids, a pocketknife and other items on your person when traveling. Women would find this easier to do, as they carry a purse but there’s still hope for the men since the advent of slacks or belts with zippers pockets built to keep your money safe. How about carrying items that keep you safe as well?

Some might say: “Isn’t that being a bit paranoid? I’m a free spirit.”

Well, in that case, do it to help someone else who you might run into (pun not intended) that might be less fortunate than you.

The last thing that they need is someone who just stands around and says: Oops!

What do you have in your survival kit?

Survival Videos: Unlimited Guidance on Extreme Weather Survival

Battling the elements is perhaps the most difficult aspect of a survival situation. Hunger, thirst, loneliness and pain all become twice as hard to bear if the temperatures soar too high or drop too low. Surviving such conditions becomes a challenge at which you cannot succeed without sufficient background knowledge of survival strategies, tips and techniques. While books are the richest source of survival knowledge, many of us do not have the patience for reading entire volumes on a subject. For such people, the best option is to learn all they need to by watching videos. In the past, it may have been difficult to gain access to a sufficient number of survival videos that the knowledge you gain from them can actually equal that which you gain from a book. Now, however, Youtube has made this immensely easy for us. Ultimate survival guidance about any aspect or environment is just a click away, and extreme weather survival is no different.

Type “winter survival” into the search field. You will get so many results that it will take you days to get through and fully absorb the nuggets of survival wisdom handed out in each video. For instance, there is a series of videos by monkeysee.com. These are basically three to five minute video clips regarding various aspects of survival in the winters. They deal with subjects like fire craft, survival gear, shelter making and frost bite when trapped in the freezing wilderness. The method of narration is brief enough to avoid monotony and clear enough to make even a beginner fully understand the ideas explained. Also, the steps suggested for avoiding or dealing with winter survival issues are relatively simple and easy to implement, and do not require much skill or specialized equipment. Apart from this series, there are videos from the popular “Extreme Survival” series aired on BBC, in which Ray Mears explains several ways of dealing with winter survival situations, for example building shelters, making an improvised pair of snow boots, and kindling a fire. In addition, there are a lot of other videos that will teach you almost all you nee to know about battling the elements in a winter survival situation.

basket_shelter

Next, try typing “desert survival” or “heat survival” into the search field. Once again, the number of relevant videos returned is amazing. You can keep viewing them for days on end and still not run out of them. Like winter survival, this topic too is covered in great detail by Ray Mears in the Extreme Survival series. He gives examples of real survivor stories from the deserts, and explains in detail the qualities, provisions or techniques that kept these people alive in this most hostile of natural environments. The tips given include an improvised headdress to protect you from the heat, improvised shades to prevent sand blindness, and building a fire by rubbing two pieces of wood together.

Also, videos by Cody Lundin, popular survival author and an expert on primitive survival techniques, are very helpful in learning about the desert environment. The videos focus on using natural resources of the desert to fulfill your needs of food, water, shelter and fire. They point out how we have descended from people who lived in harmony with desert life of animals and plants and thrived in the arid, harsh environment, so we too have an inherent ability to “live off the land” and survive the harshest of conditions by making use of bugs, birds and bushes.

istock_desert

The point, therefore, is that there is no extreme heat or extreme cold survival situation that you will go through without being significantly benefited by watching these videos. Consider YouTube a blessing, therefore, and use it well to ensure your survival in any unexpected danger that you may land in.

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Preparedness – the Key to Home Survival

Most of us consider our daily routine safe enough that we do not bother with precautions, preparation, and training for possible survival scenarios in the safety of our home. The truth, however, is that safety can never be guaranteed in any situation. A person who has lived through ten wars may die because of slipping over a banana peel.  The point is, you can never assume you are safe simply because there is no indication of danger: the deadliest disasters often strike without warning. The only way to ensure that you and your family live through a home survival situation, therefore, is complete home preparedness. For those who consider this too paranoid, author Howard Buff has the best answer: “It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark!”

Where should you start your preparations? Generally, it is best to envision possible home survival scenarios that could arise, and work to prepare yourself for each of them. The two most common examples are natural disasters and robbery or other break-ins. Specifically considering the construction of your house, the number and ages of your family members, and the neighborhood you live in, among other things, consider the largest problems that each possibility would bring. If you live in a third floor apartment, for example, then getting out of the house would be a problem if any situation requires you to do so, Similarly, having old, infirm or very young family members would be a problem in case you need to defend yourself from a criminal. Only once you know the possible problem areas can you come up with solutions for all of them. Discuss your ideas with your family and come up with ways to overcome each problem. Young children, for example, can be used as hostages by a criminal and should be hidden or leave the house if a break-in occurs. You can decide a safe place for them to hide and communicate to them the procedure to follow, in order to minimize the confusion, fear and anxiety that a crime situation brings.

Once you have agreed upon the procedure to be followed by each member of the family, you should set about preparing for the procedure to be put into action. For instance, you may need to construct a way out of your cellar for your family to escape through in any situations that require immediate and discreet evacuation. Another very important thing you would need is a survival pack for such a situation. For example, if a flood warning is announced, you would all need to leave the house immediately but would have to take a few essentials with you, such as a change of clothes, medicines, food, important documents, or any other items depending on where you are headed. Instead of waiting for the flood warning before you start packing bags, have “grab and go” bags ready to take with you at once. Pack in items such as spare clothes, non perishable food, medicine that needs to be taken regularly by any family member, general first aid items, copies of all important documents you could need such as a driver’s license, passport, ID cards or any other identification. Not only would this help save precious time, but would also help overcome the danger of leaving behind something important because of the last minute hurry, stress and fear.

No matter how unnecessary all this sounds, these are actions you would be grateful to have taken in case a disaster does strike. By preparing for the worst, you have nothing to lose – and in case you end up in a survival situation, everything to gain, so start preparing today for anything tomorrow may bring.

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Military Survival – Travel Guidelines for the Soldier in Distress

While traveling in a survival situation brings myriad challenges for just any person, the military survivor probably has it hardest of all. In addition to the challenges of navigation, signaling, danger from animals, and health problems, the soldier has to cope with the additional – and considerable – difficulty of avoiding capture by the enemy. Traveling in the wild is hard enough as it is, but with the constant worry of keeping yourself well hidden and safe, it becomes twice as challenging.

Camouflage techniques are very important.

Camouflage techniques are important.

The first thing to worry about is keeping yourself well hidden should you accidentally or intentionally come across an enemy site. Camouflage techniques are immensely important here. You must ensure that you blend in with the background as completely as possible. Camouflage uniforms are a great tool for such a situation, and there are other options such as camouflage paint and natural material such as mud and vegetation to make your body blend in with the surroundings. In case your skin is too shiny, or you have any shiny materials with you, smear them with dust to ensure that reflections do not give you away. You must, in addition, know how to camouflage your scent so as not to cause a disturbance among animals or birds that will attract enemy attention. Some smells are distinctly human, for example toothpaste, soap, tobacco and candy, and can be recognized even by other humans. Avoid all objects that can leave such scents on you, and try not to disturb any wildlife that will give you away.

Secondly, you must avoid being spotted even from a distance. Disguise your human shape by tying shrubs, grass, twigs and vines across your body, in a way that you do not stand out from the environment. Be very careful traveling across high mountains or hills, because you may silhouette yourself against the horizon very clearly for the enemy. Crawl or creep over places where being upright can give away your position. When you are in a forest or any area with a lot of vegetation, use that to your advantage by keeping as much of it as possible between you and enemy areas. They will have difficulty detecting you among all the shadows caused by trees and shrubs. Be careful about your shadow; at certain times of day, the sun lengthens shadows, so make sure your shadow does not extend so far out ahead of you that it is spotted before you can hide. Also, if you are in a populated area and moving between buildings keep to the center of their shadows, where the darkness is deepest, and again make sure that your shadow does not extend out beyond the building.

Apart from being spotted, noise can also give you away. Avoid making sharp, repetitive noises in a natural environment. Rhythmic rustle of leaves or cracking of twigs in a forest, for example, will alert an enemy to your presence. Moving too fast will create noise that you cannot control, so make slow, calculated movements. If the enemy is nearby, try to avoid moving completely. If you walk, make sure your arms do not swing about and hit surrounding trees or bushes. A crouch is the best position to move through a forest, and helps you avoid too much noise.

The thing to remember when traveling is to keep as close to potential hidey-holes as possible. Even if you are seen, you should be able to hide fast enough that the enemy cannot hunt you down and capture you, and move away from enemy areas as soon as possible to save your life.

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Survival Books – Carry-Along Guides for Wilderness Survival

Wilderness survival is no joke and no mere adventure; it is a match of strength and wits between you and nature, and while you cannot outmatch nature in strength, you can use your wits to escape the trap it sets up for you. However, wits alone will not work without sufficient background knowledge, and what better path is there to knowledge than a comprehensive, well-written book, containing in-depth survival information that could save your life? For the nature enthusiast, outdoor survival knowledge is immensely important, and fortunately, myriad books have been written on the subject that can help you arm yourself with the necessary skills and information.

One excellent survival guide is “The Book of Survival: The Original Guide to Staying Alive in the City, the Suburbs or the Wild Lands Beyond,” by Anthony Greenback. This is the kind of book that is a compulsory part of your camping, hiking or mountaineering gear, because it covers every topic of outdoor survival and has advice relating to every situation that could possibly arise. The chapters have names like “Too Fast: Avalanche,” “Too High: How to Get Down,” and “Too Dry: Searching for Water.” Apart from wilderness survival topics, there is even a chapter called “Too Many – Surviving Crowds” that can be applied to urban crowds in malls, museums, etc., as well as to tourist crowds in the outdoors. The best thing about the book is that it will inform you of very simple steps you can take that can make the difference between life and death. This difference can be as small as a hand mirror or a wrist watch packed into your bag, and if such easy steps can save your life, then the time and money you spend on this book is surely worth it.

Another book that has gained very favorable customer reviews is “Primitive Wilderness Living and Survival Skills – Naked into the Wilderness,” by John McPherson. The key feature of this work is that unlike most survival books that will, for example, tell you to build a raft and end it at that, this one will give you explicit, step by step instructions on how to make one. It teaches essential and little-known skills such as tanning animal skin (buckskin to be specific), make simple bows, baskets, tools and shelters, and to create fire from naturally-occurring substances. A common problem with many survival books is that they often focus too much on techniques using modern equipment and methods, for example fishing using motorboats. In reality, you will most likely be without any motor boats when you are battling a wilderness survival situation, and this is one book that deals with survival on a completely primitive level, without use of any fancy equipment or the latest engineering knowledge. This book will not tell you how to fight against a hostile natural environment; rather it will teach you to thrive in the wilderness by really becoming a part of nature itself.

Either of these books, and ideally, both of them, should be studied carefully by people who are likely to spend a lot of time outdoors, and will be beneficial even for those who already have some basic knowledge of the subject. Both of these can be easily carried with other outdoor gear, and have enormous potential to save your life should it ever come to a closely-fought battle between you and the wild!

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Extreme Survival: Living through the Heat

To most people, there are few survival situations more frightening than being stranded in a hot, arid desert environment. These are indeed hostile enough to come under the category of “extreme survival”. However, there are many environments that can be much worse, and deserts are actually manageable with a little wisdom in the use of one’s resources.

The key to desert survival is to never, ever, expose yourself directly to the sun. Extreme heat can cause exhaustion, dehydration and sunburn, none of which would help your chances of survival. Also, the difference between a sunny area and a shaded area in a desert can be up to fifty degrees! This is because the sand gets much, much more heated than the surrounding air. Never sit down on the hot sand but try to have an insulating layer between yourself and the ground that will protect you from direct heat.  Restrict movement and travel during the day to a minimum. Sleep through the day instead and move during the night, when temperatures drop abruptly, feeling actually cold at times! Night travel is usually well suited to the desert environment as the moon is very bright. However, on an unlit nigh, do not risk traveling as you will probably lose any sense of direction you had to begin with. Choose early morning instead.

Second urgent need is water. In such extreme heat, your body needs far more water than usual to perform its routine tasks. Procuring water in the desert is no easy task, so if you do not have water supplies with you already, then try to conserve your body’s water as much as possible. Also, when you do find water, fill as many containers as you can carry to take with you and clearly mark the spot in case you need to return in a hurry. Usually water will be found in places at lower altitude, and some of the indications are more than usual vegetation, damp sand, flocks of birds and converging animal tracks.

One of the many dangers in deserts is a sandstorm. These can completely disorient you and also physically harm you as the sand enters your eyes, nose or mouth. The only option in a sandstorm is to wait it out. If you have a shelter, use it. If you do not, then cover your face and lie down, after marking any directions you know. Only move once the storm is over.

As far as food is concerned, you will find that the heat often takes your appetite away. Do not force yourself to eat in such circumstances, because digestion of food requires water, and in case you are already dehydrated, eating is a bad idea. If you are lucky enough to stumble on to an oasis, then you will find palm trees such as dates that will solve your food problem. Dates are highly nutritious and even a few a day can keep you energetic. However, if you do not find such vegetation then you will have to live on the insects, rats or lizards that you can catch and cook. This isn’t very tempting, but there aren’t a lot of options to choose from.

Survival in deserts and extreme heat is mostly about conserving your energy and using your food and water, as well as physical resources, wisely and sparingly. Try to escape as fast as you can by signaling as much as possible or navigating towards civilization – a fast escape is the only really surefire way to ensure survival in an environment this hostile.

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Survival Packs – Where to Find Supplies

With the exponential rise in the number of websites and the number of internet users over the past decade or so, there comes a proliferation of websites retailing every product possible. Survival gear, too, is no different. Searching for a good website from where you can safely buy quality products becomes a nightmare if you do not know exactly where to buy what you need. Even with normal store shopping, the variety of products on display is baffling. It is impressive to see the array of products that guarantee your survival in every situation imaginable. However, while some of these products are truly remarkable innovations, it is unfortunate how many are merely fancy gadgets with no application whatsoever in a real survival situation.

So if you are gearing up to meet a survival situation, how do you decide what to buy for your survival pack and where to buy it from? Well, the best way, I feel, is to start from the comfort of your home. Search the web, first of all, for information about what items you are most likely to need in the kind of situation you are preparing for. Read up on the needs you will have to satisfy and suggestions on how to satisfy them. In a desert, for example, your immediate needs are water and shade, so read up on water bottles having long shelf lives and on easy to carry tents, ready-to-build huts or other types of shelter. Then look for websites providing such items, and try to visit survival blogs to discuss with other people which products are best. Do not blindly trust any website’s claims of the quality and effectiveness of their products. Cross check and research thoroughly before you decide to buy an item off the internet.

Alternatively, if you are visiting you local outdoor equipment or disaster survival store, then you will have to research a little on the kind of items you need to find and the kind you need to avoid, for with no background knowledge you are likely to fall into the trap of smooth talking salespeople and end up buying substandard or simply useless products. Read web articles or survival handbooks to help you decide what items to buy, or ask a friend or relative who is an expert in this area. Usually, you need to avoid overly fancy looking items that you will take ages to learn to operate – real survival situations are usually more about improvisation and using time tested, reliable techniques for meeting your needs, and fancy machines usually hinder more than help.

There are also other considerations you need to pay attention to while filling up your survival pack, some situations require you to prepare for extended time away from home comforts. For example, a mountaineer could get lost for weeks, and would certainly need items that last him that long. Therefore he would need to pack a large number of items, although the golden rule for outdoor expeditions is always to travel light. To counter this problem, look for lightweight, compact items that can fit in a side pocket or belt pouch. Make sure that tents and sleeping bags are light and can be rolled up and slung over a shoulder or are otherwise easy to carry.

Finally, a word of caution about purchasing survival pack items: never, ever go for discounted or on-sale items simply because you are saving money. The money you save could end up taking your life, in case the discounted items are shabby, low quality, or in any way unreliable. Go for established brands and the highest quality items, for it is the most precious of your belongings – your life – that is at stake.