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What are your grid-down reference resources?

I’ve recently recognized that a fair number of my preparedness resources require electricity to access, whether they’re out on the internet or just saved to my computer. While there are plenty of disaster scenarios where I might still have power, I also recognize that’s not a given—that’s a weak point in my preparation!

Naturally, the ideal situation would be to have every skill I’d possibly need practiced to familiarity, and every iota of relevant knowledge committed to memory. Let’s just say I’m not there yet. 😅

What are your reference resources that you could turn to if you didn’t have electricity? Are there certain books (or zines) you like? Have you printed hard copies of particular guides? Neighbors or community members you know you could count on? Or maybe you’ve compiled your own hand-written reference materials?

I figure building these resources out for myself could be a useful stopgap, at least until I reach the Platonic ideal of ingrained preparedness. 😜

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How many of you have moved town / city / state PRIMARILY for prepping reasons?

As per the header, I wonder how many of this particular community actually bit the bullet and decided to relocate with PREPAREDNESS the the primary motivating factor.

Its 20 years since it dawned on myself and my wife that the urban location (pop 270.000) we were living in may have been ideal for affordability and commuting, but its drawbacks outweighed any benefits ( highly urbanised, highly industrialised, high population density, high crime levels and above average pollution levels.

No we could not afford the idylic homestead,not even close, but we could afford to get way out of town to a much smaller very rural village ( pop around 3000)

The benefits were myriad and immediate, cleaner air, freshly grown local foods, smaller schools, very low crime, much more of a community spirit, more room to manouvre etc.

We took a large economic hit with me having to give up my main job and focus only on occasional contracts, but my wife retained her nursing role, but again the overall quality of life / peace of mind outweighed the loss of income.

So have any of you good people made the leap, if so whats your story?

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Life on Redneck’s homestead

I figured I’d create a new discussion topic, where I can post pics of what goes on around the homestead, as opposed to posting a lot of individual topics as I’ve done in the past.  I have 20 rural acres in northern Mississippi with most in yards & pastures.  I have a smallish garden in the back yard and an orchard in my upper pasture.  In my bottom pasture I have around a 1 acre pond with grain fed catfish.  As a prepper, my intent is to become self sufficient during a severe crisis.  With my small garden, it provides my wife & me with all the fresh veggies we can eat thru the year.  I test different varieties to find the best ones for my area, and then store large quantities of that seed.  Fruit & nut trees take too long to reach bearing age, so you can’t wait for a crisis to start them.  Thus I have much more fruit that I can currently use, however when I retire in a couple of years, I probably will sell it a farmers markets.

So today my main chores, after grooming horses, are to turn on the drip irrigation in the blueberry patch & in the muscadine grapes, spray the apples & peaches in the orchard & to drag the horse paddock with the chain harrow.  Here I’m filling my 50 gallon sprayer at my upper barn, which is in my front yard.  That is a crabapple finishing blooming out front.  Today I’m spraying myclobutanil fungicide (concentrated version of Immunox available at hardware stores) plus a bactericide to fight fire blight.

I have other fruit & nut trees in my front yard, such as Asian persimmons, pecans, apples & pears.  Here is a pear in the side yard.  Can’t really see here but it is loaded with baby pears.  The pears that come off this tree are absolutely amazing.  I also have climbing roses in multiple locations out front that also get sprayed.

Now headed down to the orchard.  The house & front yard are up on top of a hill.  I’m entering what I call my upper pasture.  The orchard, paddock & horse barn are to the left.  In the bottom is my lower pasture, with the catfish pond to the right.  The little group of trees behind the pond is actually a large berm.  My metal targets are in front of that berm & that is my shooting range.  The blueberries & muscadines are at the very bottom of the orchard, next to the paddock.  I enter both thru gates in the paddock.

Turned on the drip irrigation to the blueberries & muscadines and verified there are no leaks or busted joints from the winter cold.  Here are the blueberries.  They are so danged easy to grow & put out a tremendous amount of food.   Note the bird netting, which also covers my muscadines.

Not much to see here, but this is the muscadine area.  There are three trellises using high tension wire.  The muscadines are just starting to leaf out.

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Making a free cardboard hatchet sheath

Years ago I bought a cheap 1.25 pound hatchet for $8. For how often I chop wood (which is never), it wasn’t too bad of a deal and I am a little more prepared in case I ever needed to. But the one draw back with this hatchet is that it didn’t have a sheath. And with how often I actually use this, I thought a cardboard sheath would at least keep me from accidentally cutting my fingers when I’m reaching for it in my work closet. Definitely not a long term solution for a hatchet in a bug out bag, but it will work for my needs.

Take any old cardboard box and measure an area slightly larger than the front of the head of the hatchet. Then cut three more, these will be the end pieces

Next, cut out some U shaped pieces that will be the inner spacers. The amount will depend on the thickness of your hatchet/axe head.

Glue two end pieces together, then layer the U shaped pieces and glue them together. I just used Elmers glue. This will form the little cavity where your hatchet head will sit.

Finally glue on your last two end pieces. I used the weight of the hatchet head or rubber bands to hold things together and have pressure between steps so it could dry.

What you are left with is a little box that fits the hatchet head perfectly.

I wrapped the outside with packing tape to hold it all together, add durability, and a slight amount of water resistance. Really junky looking… I know, but it works and was free.

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What are you asking Santa for this year?

Christmas is coming up, and family is starting to ask me for gifts I would like. So far I am going to be asking for some Darn Tough Socks, and a Bayite Ferro Rod.

What are you hoping to get for Christmas this year that is prepping/survival/outdoors related?

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Emergency food prep in urban, apartment living?

So, let’s say there’s a big power outage and we have to dig into our emergency food stash. Most of us still rely on heat and boiling water to prep that food. How do you cook in a survival situation if you live in an apartment without easy access to the outside? If you have a gas stove you can use that, if the gas stays on. But what if the gas is turned off? Or what if you have an electric stove? If you have access to the outside, you can use a propane stove, assuming the authorities aren’t asking you to avoid making any sparks outside, as they do here in Northern California during elevated fire danger days. But what if it IS one of those day? Or what if you live in an apartment with no private outside space? What are the best preps for making sure you can cook your food?

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Best survival knife: Complete Guide

In this post, I will write about survival knife, or simply knife for those who don’t do outdoor activity.

This post will be a little bit longer, but it will cover almost everything, including steel, size, and etc.

Disclaimer: I do not have connection with any affiliate, I simply share my own knowledge.

If you are picking up a knife for prepping purpose, you will want durability as first, so I can only recommend fixed blade in this purpose, no matter how strong a folding knife, it is still not one piece, no matter how the advertisement say, you will want a fixed blade.

You will also want a full tang and not rat tail tang, this is not always the case, but if you can, always look for full tang, skeleton tang is also as durable (maybe slightly different) as full tang.

First most important: Steel

A steel is the most important point for knife (of course), I simply list steel in three type, followed by different grade.

Type 1: Carbon steel: as it name suggested, a steel with some carbon added (actually ANY steel need to add carbon or boron to be able to harden well), and forged into a knife. It is my favorite steel, carbon steel knife will rust badly if left in moisture for a long time, especially salt water, so most carbon steel knife come coated, but you will still need to take care of the exposed edge. However aside from rust, carbon steel can be sharpen easily to wicked sharp, hold an edge quite long, while still very tough and can handle lots of abuse.

Type 2: Stainless steel: The name speak for it self, a steel thats stainless and resist corrosion well. They are rust resistant but not rust proof, they will still rust (With the exception of H1), but only if you done intentionally (throwing it outside for a year). Stainless steel will not rust because it contain at lease 11% chromium, the more chromium, the more it resist corrosion well, but at the same time it also decrease the toughness. This is the reason why functional long machete or sword are made of carbon steel, if you see one in stainless, they are wall hanger for sure.

Type 3: Semi-Stainless: this one is a little bit special, its carbon steel with little amount of chromium (around 7-8% but no guarantee), these steel have a balance between the two steel above, with toughness from carbon steel, and fairly well corrosion resistant. Some tool steel fall into this category.

Second important: Heat treat

If steel is the body of knife, heat treat is the soul. depending on different heat treat, same steel and be brittle, tough, springy, and much more. Most manufacture will heat treat their steel base on the intention use of the knife, and if the manufacture is a well known brand, their heat treat should not have issue. you won’t be needed to worry about their heat treat much. However, do pay attention to what the designer hope the knife to do, so you won’t be buying a combat knife for wood working.

Third important: Grind

Grind means the blade edge shape, there many much grind available, I will only mention some here:

1. Scandi grind: This is the grind that the popular morakniv companion use, best for wood working and bushcraft, is it easily to sharpen as you could lay the bevel on stone, best for beginner)

2. Convex grind: This is the edge without bevel (some have micro bevel), it can be done thick to offer good and strong edge, or go thinner side to be better at bushcraft, the popular Falkniven F1 use this grind, you can also see this grind in Condor machete and some other large tool in a thicker version, notable mention, katana also use this grind, the only downside is it is harden to sharpen without proper skill.

3. Full flat grind: Full flat grind is one of the most versatile grinds, it can be thick and heavy, or it can be extremely thin and sharp, or it can be a balance between the two. This grind work on most (if not any) knife, it is also easy to sharpening if you have basic sharpening skill, and this is the one I prefer.

Fourth Important: Handle

Many would go straight for the steel and forgot about this one, but having good handle is just as important as the steel itself, bad handle could make your handle blister in long work (which is very bad in a disaster), or the handle itself could crack, sometimes the bad handle material would give your hand lots of shock in big chopping knife.

Luckily its easy when choosing handle, most people prefer G10 or Micarta, they are near indestructible and will last longer than the steel itself. G10 is made from glass reinforced plastic, it have a plastic feel and resist water very well, while micarta is made of natural canvas, paper, or other material, micarta will absorb water a bit, and will be grippy under wet condition. Notable mention: G10 is slightly durable than micarta. Micarta will develop patina after some use and have a special character, when you look at like and a same knife, you could tell the difference like: yes thats my knife.

Fifth important: Sheath

Lets keep it simple:

Kydex: Good durability, waterproof, most custom sheath maker use kydex. Some kydex will scratch blade, some bad sheath will in contact with edge and dull the blade.

Glass reinforced plastic: Indestructible, but if you like to pull out knife with edge rubbing the sheath, then you would be better just wrapping knife in paper. Glass have high hardness that dull blade, cold steel old sheath have bad design that will dull the blade, but they have remodified the design.

Leather: The old and classic, good looking, some expert will instantly pick this one. Leather need care, and you need to avoid water unless treated with bees wax. Not a good sheath for humid and wet environment. You can also find some very good custom leather sheath maker.

Now we have basic understanding (above seems much, but its only basic), we will talk about how to pick a knife for what you intended to use.

You can skip to conclusion below if you don’t want to read this long article.

Best carbon steel: There are lots of best carbon steel, S7 for legendary toughness and shock absorb, 9260 and 5160 for the durability of long blade, but for short-mid size knife, you will want 1095, or even better, Sharon Steel 50110B (1095 cro-van or Carbon V). Carbon steel work best for those who don’t like a long sharpening time, tough as nails when heat treated properly, but will rust very quickly in salt water or left wet. You might not care about rust if you use the knife daily, since most carbon steel knife is coated, the rusted edge will be sharpen and removed by the end of day.

Best stainless steel: I am the one that hate stainless steel, despite years of outdoor experience, I still can’t bring myself to like stainless steel(with the exception of m390/20cv/204p), the only reason to choose stainless is for working in a wet environment. Personally I think m390/20cv/204p is currently the best steel in the market (For the jack of all kind): It has superior edge retention: While not as good as those super hard s125v, you will only need to sharpen after weeks of works. Good corrosion resistant: top tier with H1 in lead (H1 is the only steel that will not rust no matter what you do with it). Ease of sharpening: Super steel is hard to sharpen, but m390 is fairly easy if you not trying to reprofile, ceramic and leather strop work well for normal touch up. Toughness: when properly heat treated, can be as tough as s35vn. If you want slightly tougher than m390, elmax will be the go, with little drawback of slightly less edge retention.

Best semi-stainless steel: Now come to the interesting one: I personally thing the best steel for toughness is cpm-3v, tougher than even 1095 carbon steel, while still offer some corrosion resistant when compared to tougher S7, better edge retention than most carbon steel. Crucible also have some other great steel that could compare to 3v: cpm-4v(or Bohler vanadis 4e) that have lower toughness than 3v but higher edge retention, cpm-m4 is also a notable popular option. Sleipner used in Lionsteel knife is also a good semi-stainless if you can’t get American steel knife for whatever reason.

Conclusion: 1095cro-van or 1095 for carbon steel, m390/20cv/204p or elmax for stainless steel, cpm-3v or cpm-4v for semi-stainless steel. The only reason to chose 1095 over 3v is that not much 3v knife on the market to choose, and not every maker could bring out the steel potential, or one of the most important things: price, which bring us to the next topic.

Th best knife would be: cpm-3v steel, with maker heat treated it for hard use, come with g10 or micarta handle, in kydex sheath. Currently Lionsteel M5 with cpm3-v is the only knife that match all these expectation (except sheath), if you don’t like the design, you can only go custom, which again, cost a lot of price. Notable mention: if you work with corrosive chemical daily, you will need a H1 knife rather than normal stainless.

Now goes the price:

You can find the good durable knife under $100, with the better handle and sheath going up to $150 (either after market accessory or including with knife), the premium one are around $200-$250. If you want to go custom, be expected to pay for $300-$500, or even more, depending on how you want it.

And the knife length: 4″ blade length is the sweet spot for most people in small knife, 7″is the best for those who like those do it all blade, 9″ and above is a little big, you will be better with a better tools in this case, but I myself carry two knife (4″ and 9″) for different purpose in almost every outdoor activity.

About the knife I recommended:

In case you missed the words above, I would type it again: I do not have connection with any affiliate, so this is only my person opinion, and I only recommend what I use.

Short knife:

Ultimate Pick:


This is recommended by my friend, who have more experienced than me in survival knife. Semi custom knife, Multiple length to choose from, CPM-3v steel or other steel you prefer, heat treating expertly with cryo treating, G10 or Micarta scale, Kydex sheath, which match every terms listed above. Around 200-250$, it is expensive, but you get what you pay for and its worth every penny.

Carbon Steel:

KA-BAR BK16 Short Becker Drop Point Fixed 4.375″ Carbon Steel Blade, Zytel Handles, Cordura Sheath (You could also get BK2 if you want a longer edge)

ESEE Knives ESEE-4P-MB Plain Edge, Coyote Brown Sheath, MOLLE Back and Clip Plate

Both are very durable and could take a lot of beating. Kabar use slightly better 1095 cro-van, while esee use plain 1095, esee has better handle and sheath, if you buy kabar, trust me you will want to buy the aftermarket micarta handle, kabar sheath is usable. kabar heat treat their steel around 56-58 HRC, esee is around 55-57 HRC, while not much big different in numbers, I notice kabar have a slightly better edge retention, vanadium added in the 1095 cro-van might slightly affect it too some also report it is better rust resistant than plain 1095. Lower HRC on esee give it almost bomb proof, I once see someone use a metal hammer to baton with esee knife on youtube (destruction test), the knife bend and did not break, still remain usable afterwards, while I am sure kabar would break in the same circumstances. Personally I pick kabar over esee, since both is durable, I would take the edge retention and better steel, since I would not do stupid things with my knife.

Stainless Steel:

Fallkniven F1 Swedish Pilot Survival Knife 3.8″ VG10 Satin Blade, Black Thermorun Handle and Leather Sheath – F1L

Fallkniven R2 Scout Fixed Blade Knife 3.15″ Elmax Satin Blade, Black Thermorun Handle, Zytel Sheath – R2z

Stainless steel is not better than Carbon steel or semi-stainless if you want a indestructible knife, but if corrosion is important for you, you can also choose to go stainless. Fallkniven F1 one of the most popular bushcraft knife, laminated VG-10, which is VG-10 as the edge, and 420J2 as outer soft layer, VG-10, while not being any special, is still a time proven knife in the field and good stainless steel that hold an edge. The Fallkniven R2 scout is cyro treated Elmax steel, which is a steel with closed performance to m390, but tougher, cyro treated Elmax let it stay at 61-62 HRC which is very hard, I through it would be a little bit brittle, but Fallkniven make the knife super thick at a crazy 4.8mm, which make up for the hardness. It has a shorter edge at 3.25″, also shorter handle which is suitable for medium to small hand, so its not for everyone. Having 62 HRC also make it incredibly hard and stay sharp for a long time, its also mean you will certainly need diamond stone to resharpen easily, ceramic and leather strop as usual will be fine for the touch up.

Semi-Stainless Steel:

Benchmade 200 Puukko Fixed Blade Knife 3.75″ CPM-3V Satin, OD Green Santoprene Handle, Black Leather Sheath

Cold Steel 36CB Master Hunter Fixed 4.5″ CPM-3V Stonewashed Blade, Kray-Ex Handle, Secure-Ex Sheath

I have a chance to handle the Benchmade puuko from a friend that collect knifes, comfortable and good to use. I truly wanted to buy this one, but since its humid where I live, I choose a stainless and carbon combo. I am currently resisting the urge to buy this one, but might give up somewhere. I don’t have experience with Cold Steel master hunter, but having tried their 3v knife, I could say their quality is good. One note mention is the master hunter has a more durable sheath than puuko.

Mora Pick:

Morakniv Garberg Utility Knife Fixed 4.3″ Black Carbon Steel Blade, Black Polyamide Handle, Multi-Mount Sheath – M-13147

Strongest mora available, for those who swear by their knife and skandi grind, also available in stainless steel. Its an upgrade over the morakniv companion, full tang compare to the cheaper model. However if you want scandi grind in the best steel (3v), there are choice available by other brand, but the size might not meet your need.

Mid size:

Carbon steel:

KA-BAR BK7 Becker Fixed Combat Utility Knife 7″ 1095 Carbon Steel Blade, Zytel Handles, Nylon Sheath

The modern upgrade over classic Kabar USMC, do it all type knife, but same as the bk16, you will want a better aftermarket micarta handle. I once used only this knife and was happy, but eventually I switch to the two knife combo since I need higher chopping power.

Big Size:

Carbon steel:

KA-BAR BK9 Becker Fixed Combat Bowie Knife 9″ Carbon Steel Blade, Zytel Handles, Nylon Sheath

ESEE Knives Junglas-II-E Machete 8.375″ 1095 Black Blade, ESEE Logo, Micarta Handles, Kydex Sheath

Big knife is for the experienced user only, you will wanted to replace bk9 handle with aftermarket micarta to reduce shock of chopping. One of the most important is, you are NOT rambo and you will not be fighting with a big knife, the big knife listed is suitable for wood working and utility task, you will want a lighter knife for combat purpose. Most people won’t need a big knife, but if you know you have reason to, there’s no problem with it. Why I need big blade: I personally live in humid tropical environment, I will want to bring a machete anyway, and bk9 done the machete and heavy duty wood work perfectly, that’s the reason I choose it.

You will notice that I use lots of becker knife, mainly because of the handle is so comfortable, and thee finger choil on BK7 and BK9 make the work of small task like carving work so well like a small knife. The only dream knife I want is BK9 in cpm-3v, but its not going to happen without custom.

The current knife combo I carry is Lionsteel m4 + Kabar Becker BK9. I don’t list weapon style knife here because I don’t think they would suit here, might post them soon if I have the time, feel free to share your opinion too.


EDC knife and the folding category

Thanks for the comment, I agree that a best survival knife is the one that at your hand when you need it, I once think about that when I am cutting thick manila rope with plain edge knife, while leaving the serrated at home.

Other than outdoor use, we end up using our EDC knife more. While the Lionsteel m4 above work great for normal use, some might want a folding knife to get rid of the sheath. When buying folding knife, most of them are stainless since they assume you won’t be hard use on it, when it come to folding knife, lock matter more than steel, by the lock, I mean the mechanism that secure the blade so it wont break flip around when you are using it, which is dangerous.

Lots of lock and the explaination:

Knifeinfomer: Lock Types

After buying some folder from different company, and have them take apart for cleaning after some use, I could say that the Cold Steel tri-ad lock is the most durable, but someone on Youtube do baton with a ZT folder which is Framelock without any problem: Video

So in the end, assuming you are not trying to do hardcore things with folding knife, buy whatever you like about the look of the knife from a company with good reputation. I will still list some folder with durability in mind.

Cold Steel 27BT Recon 1 Tanto Folding Knife 4″ S35VN Black DLC Plain Blade, Black G10 Handles

If you ask me about the most durable folding knife, this come in mind. Bombproof G10 scale, s35vn which I consider a premium steel (But not super steel), American tanto point which stronger than clip or spear point, which is also available as choice for the Recon 1. While their marketing video cutting meat seems a little bit weird, I love the abuse part of their video, which proof they could withstand the extreme condition.

Cold Steel 58B American Lawman Folding Knife 3.5″ S35VN Black DLC Blade, Black G10 Handles

Short pick if you want a shorter blade or not so aggressive lock for legal problem.

Self defense:

Now this is an interest topic, many people will overdo this, but if you can use gun in this purpose, gun is better, if gun is illegal in your country, only then you consider knife. I only cover knife here so I will not include other things such as pepper spray. The following scenario assume that you see the treat coming and not realize the treat after being shot or stabbed, which is useless even if you have anything, so be aware of surrounding is the most important.

Disclaimer: I did not encourage violence and it is not the best way to solve problem. There are better way than knife for self defense, only consider this after you see other option for self defense. The best way to solve conflict is to get away before the fight start, while you might think it is a coward act, but the coward get home safely while the brave one lying at the hospital.

Facts above knife for self defense:

1. Run away wins the fight, assume you are not surrounded (of course) and you have confidence you could out run the attacker.

2. If the attacker also have a knife, you will have bigger chance to get wounded in the knife fight if the fight is longer, so don’t thinking about knife fighting like the movie, aim for a cut and run.

3. If pull out the knife enough to intimidate the attacker, then you don’t need to use the knife, but don’t put back the knife until you sure you are safe.

I will recommend some choice, no dagger here since its for the aggressive use.

Spyderco Matriarch2 Lightweight Folder 3.57″ Black VG10 Serrated Blade with Wave, Black FRN Handles – C12SBBK2W

Emerson wave to open the knife once out of pocket, Spyderco classic serrated edge that slice very well, black coating that reduce light reflection, one swipe to the hand or face will certainly cause a real pain and giving you chance to run away. Having cut my accidently before, I am sure self serrated wound are generally more painful than plain edge.

Spyderco Civilian Folding Knife 4-1/8″ VG10 Serrated Blade, G10 Handles – C12GS

Same as the matriarch, the civilian has a bigger and more intimidating look, the only downside is it doesn’t have the emerson wave, you could use zip tie as make shift wave, but it will certainly not as good as the emerson.

The most important part is, no matter which knife you get for self defense, be sure to practice with it, for example you will need to familiar with how the wave feature work. Don’t always assume the attacker will go easy on you, even if the serrated wound in painful, if the attack is very piss off or drugged, he/she might not care at all. If the attacker have a more dangerous weapon: dagger, pure fighting dagger, big machete, it is best to run, if you cannot, fight like your life is on the line, because it is.

Fighting Knife: The ultimate pick

Cold Steel 13QMBII Magnum Tanto II Fixed 7-1/2″ 3V Blade, Kray-Ex Handle, Secure-Ex Sheath

While I owned some fighting knife, including the SOG and the famous Kabar USMC, neither is “PURE” for fighting and have some utility consideration built into them, which make them not the best for this task. The magnum tanto come with cpm-3v steel, DLC coated to prevent light reflection, powerful pommel that could do lots of damage and break bone or glass, and most important the American tanto point point which can make snap cut and pierce very goodly, tanto point with cpm-3v combo make it also suitable for light prying. 7.5″ blade also make it could reach vital organ easily and cause fatal damage. I am also surprise to found out it is the only knife I have that is truly balanced, if you put it on table table it could stand by the guard, which means it has 0″ point of balance.

Keep in mind if you are buying knife for self defense this is NOT the one. This is knife mean for aggressive use and hard use, it is better suited for those who have trained in knife fight, or someone who is on mission and want a fighting knife as backup, but do remember if you are in the US gun is still better than knife.

Dagger will not be listed here as I don’t view them as “knife”.

Prying, Break and Enter

KA-BAR BK3 Becker Tac Tool 7″ Carbon Steel Blade Rescue and Tactical Knife, Zytel Handles, Plastic Sheath

The knife that also seen used for rescue team, 527.3011 Kg in weight, if you try to chopping something, you will feel like rather that cutting, its like hitting something with a steel bar. This is the knife that specially built for prying, breaching and entering, perfect for rescue team purpose, or someone who’s lock outside by their wife because drinking with friends whole night (Just a joke). Its a chunk of monstrous steel and not suitable for any other wood working, having tried this first hand, don’t even thinking about using it for wood work or fined task, unless you reprofile the edge first, but that defeat the purpose of this knife.

My Choice: Short and Long combo, the Fallkniven R2 (More suitable for Humid rainforest and for my medium sized hand), the Becker BK9 (Big chopper is a must for rainforest), if I am bugging out in SHTF, I might also bring the Magnum Tanto 2, a blade that wont break, work for utility task, better suited for urban environment (strong tip for stabbing and prying, blunt force pommel), while also suitable to ty to a stick as spear with the lanyard hole at the pommel. 

Final conclusion: As you see what I choose above is mostly based on the environment. First know what suit your environment, then know what suit you, and finally know what you want to do and what you are able to do. Try go camping with your knife, even just in your backyard, that help you better understanding with your knife and gear. I tried to cover as many thing as possible, if you like nothing above thats fine, after reading you should know what you want, go for what suits you and your environment.

FINAL UPDATE: Changed some choice on the stainless and ultimate pick, after discussion with a friend which is more expert than me. Added mora pick, fighting knife, and prying knife. I might as well not update this in the future, but will still reply to comment, if you need anything please let me know. Also fixed some typo.

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Seasons Greetings

To all members, moderators and admins, I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year. Here’s hoping 2022 will be a great year for everyone!

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Had a road trip – felt very unprepared

My wife and I recently returned from a road trip to Door County WI, where we both lost cellular service even though we were supposed to have it according to the “service maps”.

Now, I thought that I was fully prepared for this trip. I had packed my car go-bag, extra tools, batteries, everything. But I truly didn’t think about losing cell service in one of the most popular vacation destinations.

I had also packed my Yaesu HT, but we we were driving north on the peninsula in the dark at 11pm, watching our headlights reflect back the eyeballs on deer just waiting to jump the ditch and smash into our car, I had a very sinking feeling in my stomach. I realized that my HT was mostly prepped for “bugging in” because I had only programmed the repeaters local to my house. I also regretted not having something stronger than a 5W HT available.

Luckily nothing happened and we had a great trip, but I’ll always remember that pit in my stomach and I’ll work towards never having that happen again. It did get my thinking, though, about the best way to prep for trips in the future. Obviously I should plan on programming repeaters that are along my trip’s route. But what else? I thought about either:

1. Buying a linear amp and a car-mount antenna to get ~40W of output with my HT, or, 

2. Buying a dedicated 2M mobile unit for my car, or,

3. Creating a “travel pack” for my ICOM 7100 (all-mode radio) so that when I go on long trips, I just take the larger ICOM with me. Something like building a battery box and just having the ICOM ready to leave the house at any time.

What would you all think?

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Rotation in food storage

I was viewing another forum and came across a topic regarding using OOD stores. the OP was saying about how all the items used in a recent meal were at least 18months out of date. I know I am easily confused, but why on earth would you by choice consistently eat food past it’s best in times of plenty?

I would call that an epic fail! 

I practice rotation. Even my deep stores are rotated out to keep them fresh. It is well known, that the older preserved and packaged food is, the nutritional value becomes compromised. So with just this in mind, why on earth do it?

Now don’t get me wrong, I have eaten OOD food myself when a bag of flour has gone unnoticed or a tin of something has hidden, but it’s not something I want to do on a regular basis.  

Maybe I’m being too precious, but am I the only one who would put themselves in the naughty corner for allowing so much slacking?

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Does anybody have a game plan for rare/refrigerated medication?

Hi everyone. I’m a long time lurker but a first time poster. In January I got diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, and “failed” a couple of the first line treatments, so I have recently started a super-expensive, refrigerated, injectable medication. I’m not new to the chronic pain game; I had an experience similar to the one Ubique has described a few months back. I got mono in college, had a mysterious post-viral syndrome, developed some auto-immune stuff, including pre-clinical RA. Luckily, and nobody has been able to explain this to me, a lot of the symptoms went away after about two years. My experiences with health are part of the reason I got into emergency preparedness. 

Anyway, I’ve known since 2015 that I was going to eventually get full-blown RA, and now it’s here. Last year my shoulders got gradually stiffer, then it quickly moved to my hands, feet, ankles, knees… you name it, it hurt. It was aggressive, and debilitating. Thankfully I was still mostly working from home, so I didn’t have to take too much time off. Now, thanks to a medicine with a $15k/month sticker price (I pay $5 a month due to my income) I am back to normal. It feels good, and once again I feel pretty lucky. 

I used to feel powerful when I was able to keep living despite chronic pain, through a combination of rationing my energy and just keeping going, but RA is another beast. I couldn’t move the fingers on my right hand for all of April. I couldn’t do most daily life tasks without this medicine. I am getting my PhD in biological engineering, and making decentralized, disaster-resilient biopharmaceutical manufacturing tools is something I’m hoping to eventually tackle in my research. But for now… I’m doing a lot of yoga to build more strength and flexibility. I’m learning all I can about the disease and what people did before treatments existed (which mostly sounds like suffering). I have some great people in my life who took care of me during my flares earlier this year and would do it again. I can’t buy myself an emergency stock of this stuff, but I’m looking into stocking up on the other medicines I take (an NSAID and a more traditional RA med that just didn’t do enough). Do you or your loved ones rely on refrigerated medicine? What do your plans look like? 

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Learn about animal behavior and basic tracking this winter

I like to go out early in the morning after a fresh snow and see all the wildlife tracks in the snow. I try and identify what animal it might be, follow the tracks to see where they came from, why did they come to this area, and where they are going.

There are many benefits of studying tracks such as to know what kind of wildlife is in your area, look out for predators that might harm you, your children, or pets, know what you can hunt and trap, look out for pests that might be setting up home in the foundation of your house or up in the warm engine block of your vehicle, and more.And the snow is just to make it a lot easier while you are learning how to track and identify prints.

What animals are in your area? If you see any cool prints, share them here. My area has been lacking snow so far this winter so the above pictures are ones I stole online. I will keep an eye out for tracks when we do get snow and post my pics here.

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Best online first aid course?

I just took an online first aid course from the Red Cross called “Adult, Child and Baby First Aid/CPR/AED Online” for $35 and found it very informative. In addition to the material mentioned in the title, it also covers some of heat stroke, hypothermia, bleeding, diabetic emergency, and other stuff. It’s an interactive course where you work through scenarios and click on the screen to apply pressure, perform CPR, etc.

Have y’all found any other courses you’d recommend?

I also recently took First Aid for Severe Bleeding Online ($30), which was brief and not as interactive but still informative. Next up I’m planning on First Aid for Opioid Overdoses Online ($11) because I regularly interact with IV drug users, and I’m scheduled for REI/NOLS Wilderness First Aid ($245) in June (with 4 fully vaxxed buddies). My final plan is to take REI/NOLS Wilderness First Responder ($765) after WFA.

The Red Cross courses described what is useful in various scenarios, but did not get into how to carry the gear in an EDC so that you have it when you need it. I’ve been doing that part myself, with substantial assistance from this site! I’ve got stuff for bleeding (shears, tourniquet, quikclot, etc.), various pills (aspirin for heart attack, diphenhydramine for anaphylaxis), and other stuff like an emergency blanket in case of shock, all in an EDC that I take whenever I leave my home. See:

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Covid omicron – Holland going into lockdown tomorrow

Holland is going into a hard lockdown tomorrow

UK is seeing huge surges inOmicron infections and government is considering a Circuit Breaker lockdown,  10,000 new cases in UK in one day.  infection rates doubling every 24 hours near as dammit.

London declares Major Incident over Omicron

The Mayor of London has declared a “major incident” due to the rapid spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant in the capital.Sadiq Khan said Omicron is now the “dominant variant” in London and was having an impact on staff absences in the emergency services across the city.He said London was the UK region with the largest number of Covid cases.Latest government data shows there are 1,534 Covid patients in London hospitals – up 28.6% on last week.Mr Khan said in the last 24 hours, London had seen the largest number of new cases since the coronavirus pandemic began – more than 26,000.

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Hardware for emergencies

I went to pick up some of those nifty little hang-on-a-bar to organize your hardware bins, and was told that the contents (a bunch of humongous nuts and bolts) were included.  Not one to turn down a free meal, as it were, I hauled the mess home, put it in a large plastic bag and let it all sit for months to kill any spiders/eggs.

The house from whence I was gifted this treasure was some distance from any hardware store of any size, so I can understand why someone would want to keep common hardware around, and for this guy, musta been nuts and bolts.  If I ever need to bolt 2 2x4s together, I have the hardware…

Which gets me to my point:  other than the obvious screws and nails (and bolts as big as your thumb), what other hardware would be useful to have on hand? 

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An article on the huge growth in gated communities

The global rise of gated communities – a by-product of shifting social needs

One of the most notable features of urbanisation in recent years has been the surge in popularity of gated residential communities and commercial parks and, although often associated primarily with security, there is a lot more to the growing global trend than a peaceful night’s sleep.

Chris Cilliers, CEO and Principal of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in the Winelands, believes that that these developments truly are a sign of the times for a number of reasons over and above need for heightened security.

“This trend has been one of the most widespread global patterns of development over the past three decades and, transcending cultures, the rise of gated communities has not only been prolific in the Western world but also in countries like Egypt, Turkey and Russia.

“People who prefer living in gated communities are seeking certain values, be it a sense of community, prestige, lifestyle, convenience or security.”

Cilliers says that convenience is a key factor in the appeal of these properties.

“Since the advent of the digital age, we have become increasingly used to having every convenience at our fingertips or the click of a mouse and, in gated residential communities, especially lifestyle estates, this need is very much catered for.

“Many now have facilities such as a golf courses, tennis courts swimming pools and gyms and, as the collective memberships to such facilities would costs an exorbitant amount, significant savings is an added benefit.

“In the commercial sector, developments that are generally faring best are the newer parks or precincts which offer a safe environment and often the convenience of being mixed-use which means that staff needn’t even leave the property to have lunch or visit the hairdresser.”

Shifting demographics have also been a major influencer, especially the fact that life expectancy today is higher than it has ever been.

“It’s predicted that by 2050 the global percentage of people aged over 60 will exceed that of those under 15 for the first time,” says Cilliers.  “They are also more vibrant and active at this age than the generations before them and therefore have very different property requirements for their golden years and is making a notable impact on the industry, especially in developed economies.

“Most looking to extend their independent lifestyles well into retirement and when they do give up the family home there is a growing preference for multi-generational communities, preferably with amenities.”

And, as they will also require more nursing homes, healthcare and associated facilities will also become more significant.

Cilliers says that increased congestion in cities is also driving people to seek peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle and gated communities, even in the heart of cities, offer them a tranquil haven.

“As entry is restricted, there tends to be a lot less traffic in streets within gated communities which considerably cut down on the noise levels and the lack of traffic also creates a safer environment for children.

“There is also far less chance of them encountering strangers and, with dedicated communal play areas, it’s also easier for parents to monitor their kids.”

Another advantage of living in a gated community is the extra privacy that it provides.

“As only residents and verified guests are permitted access, residents can enjoy their own space with little chance of intrusion by trespassers or strangers ringing their door bells – and the world at large.”

Cilliers adds that people who enjoy living in clean and orderly environments are also attracted to these communities.

“Estates generally have stricter community rules and codes of conduct which require everyone to take care of their homes and surrounding property and be considerate of their neighbours and this makes for a peaceful living environment and also keeps up the appearances and value of the community.

“It also engenders a strong sense of community which is lacking in so many neighbourhoods these days.”

Cilliers concludes: “With emergent trends like cocooning and hipsturbia fast becoming established trends, it is unlikely that the growing popularity of gated commercial and residential communities is likely to wane any time soon.”

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Analyzing past SHTF history to prepare for the future

when we talk of a SHTF situation I look what happened to the UK during world war 2 and what people had to endure for 6 years and beyond.   I was born in London in 1947 and growing up I was told of what is was like in the UK during the war, a lot of the food and everyday products was imported this stopped very quickly and rationing was introduced , everyone was encouraged to grow vegetables ,  fruit  to have chickens and rabbits , some families would get together to raise a pig but on the day of it was killed a police officer had to be present as half of the pig would go into the rations for everyone . Hoarding was illegal [preps] and any one found to do so would have those confiscated and could face criminal charges. Government soon realised that farms would have to increase output so inspectors would check production and there where 3 categories ABC , if you where A you doing good if you where B you where told to improve if you where C you could loose your farm and some farmers did with tragic consequences . On the whole the vast majority of the population was behind the government  of Winston Churchill .

So fast forward to 2021 a SHTF today would the vast majority be behind the government of any free voting democracy in any country I have my doubts 

Would any one who as been preparing give up there  preps so they can be shared 

Would farmers who for generations have had the farm give it up 

When everything is in short supply would we help each other to get through this which what happened a lot of the time in the UK.

Look forward to your Comments 

Regards John


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Should membership sign up be changed?

Just wondering because of the notification about every 30 minutes of new posts only to see those bloody spammers trying to sell drugs every time. Can the system be tweeked a bit more so their attempts to post dont come up as notifications ? 

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Evergrande, a Chinese property developer, has defaulted on debt. This could possibly be very bad on a global scale

Global crash warning as Evergrande defaults on debt: $300billion black hole cripples world | City & Business | Finance | |

WATCH: Fitch downgrades ailing property firms Evergrande and Kaisa Group, bringing them closer to a full and formal default

— Reuters Business (@ReutersBiz) December 9, 2021

China’s giant property group Evergrande has failed to pay interest due on US$1.2 billion of bonds, ratings agency Fitch has reported, resulting in its formal downgrade to ‘default’ status.

— NBR (@TheNBR) December 9, 2021

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Foodmageddon Youtube series

I’m not a big YouTube user but stumbled across this and thought it was cool:
Foodmageddon Playlist

The scenario is basically a peak oil related fast crash knocks us back to muscle power overnight and how this guy thinks he might try to feed his family on a small plot. Right up my alley! Regardless of the peak oil part this is hard core prepper-stuff.

I came in on episode 20, harvesting wheat. I dig how this guy tries to remake some old equipment, then experiments and revises his method.

Give it a look if deep prep are your thing and report back if you care to.

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How to prepare for the crazy weird weather we are experiencing

Can we have a discussion on the crazy weather of late please ,BUT not on its causes, just how we can possibly prepare for it.

I’ve seen storms, droughts, blizzards, hurricanes etc, but come on guys, in the US Tornadoes lasting for HOURS and staying on the ground for 200 miles is something else.

In the UK 95MPH Winter storms tearing down the UK from the NORTH, Both events almost unherd of before this year

The SIZE and FEROCITY of some of the WILDFIRES on the US West coast, The INCREASE in the number of major storms, the VERY prolongued droughts in places where only moderate droughts are the norm.

I watched Met office guys in both countries recently looking utterly dazed and confused by these very unusual events.

I think the prep community needs to have itself a conversation about what possible changes, adaptations and increased investments in our preps we need to undertake.

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50 dead at least in Kentucky storms, could rise to 100

Least 50,000 homes also without power


The primary tornado was on the ground continuously for over 200 miles in the state. 

“Something we have never seen before,” Beshear said.

According to the governor, Graves County appears to be hit the hardest — which is where the city of Mayfield was destroyed. 

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Looking for Miami area community- hurricanes, zombies, Liechtenstein invades, whatever…

My impetus for prepping is now more or less 4-fold: building mental fortitude, getting physically fit, being as minimalist-savvy as possible- wild edibles, field craft, etc.- and building and maintaining a community. I need others for the last, of course, so I’m reaching out to any in the Miami area. I just got out of a shop & into a storage unit, and after only 2 days there, it looks like I may have trouble with management, who don’t even know about all the food I have, but smelled something funny (I smelled it myself, you can probably guess what) and thought it was me. In short, living out of a van & storage is almost as illegal as being homeless, and it’s only going to get worse as CC forces people out of homes. Having a national group for help  and advocacy would be great, but I’m looking for others here, for now. Tried to get to Ham radio Meetup 2 months running, will get there next month. Anyone in the area who wants to share ideas, get coffee, go to the beach, start a Meetup, whatever, let me know.

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Reflections on “Move: The Forces Uprooting Us” by Parag Khanna

I was one of the people given a courtesy copy of the book. Here are my reflections. My frame of mind is a bit gloomy due to the omicron variant and because I live in Wisconsin. The verdict in a recent high-profile trial continues to weigh on me. In addition, my home town is where, sadly, someone recently drove a vehicle through participants in a parade. And it’s winter. The next three weeks have the least sunshine of the year. Under other circumstances, I might have been more upbeat. The book is good. 

My review:

Reflections on Movement as Destinyby Seasons4

Given the news headlines in early December 2021, it is surreal to read about the importance of relocation as a necessary human strategy in Parag Khanna’s persuasive book Move: The Forces Uprooting Us. Movement is destiny, he proclaims, in a provocative sound bite. Overpopulation is not the world’s major problem. Instead, there are too few people, and too many of us are living in unsustainable places. Adaptation to a changing environment requires that we make it easy for people to move into and out of the neighborhood, region, country, and continent.

Where we live on the planet and whether we are able to adapt to disruption by moving are key variables in determining our likelihood of survival in the future. To survive in the year 2050 and beyond, Parag Khanna writes, we need to move inland and move northward, eventually perhaps to areas of Canada and Russia that are relatively unpopulated today. Those areas will probably be able to sustain agriculture in the year 2050, in contrast to many population centers today.

Can we get there from here? I am not feeling optimistic. We need movement of energetic, talented people to places of opportunity, yet often we are emotionally stuck defending NIMBY (not in my back yard) or OIMBY (only in my back yard). There is no guarantee that we can develop the broader perspective necessary to exercise enlightened self interest as individuals and larger social groups. Obstacles to enlightened self interest include travel bans, restrictive immigration policies, supply chain breakdowns, toxic politics and political deadlock, rising crime, climate change (disproportionately affecting poor people and people of color), and new virus variants emerging from the pandemic pressure cooker.

My attitude is shaped by my social location as a white middle class American who is retired. I am more conscious of my physical limitations than my prowess. Relocation requires the stamina and risk taking of youth, I suspect. As the lifespan gets longer, it often gets harder to muster the wherewithal to make big moves. With age come vulnerabilities that make staying put, even in a danger zone, feel like a better option. In my work life, I encountered quite a few older people who were living with cognitive decline. Perhaps by the year 2050, the young will be in Canada and Russia, checking in by videoconference call to elderly friends and relatives in assisted living bubbles bobbing in the rising seas.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought emotional trauma to places and people who had managed by class, race, or other characteristics to evade such trauma in “The Before Times.” If we manage to find a way forward to a future worthy of human beings, I believe we will have to prioritize trauma-informed care for the long term. How will that look in what may be a future of “postmodern feudalism”? I am intrigued by Parag Khanna’s views on the potential for city-states to re-emerge along the lines of ancient Greece or the medieval Hanseatic League. It is smart to pay attention to what is local – and the next locale, and the next, and the next.

Quality of life matters, for ourselves, for our loved ones, for acquaintances, and for strangers whose fate is entangled with ours. As people with an orientation toward preparedness, we do well to read and reflect on Move: The Forces Uprooting Us.

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Prepper – a free light take movie on YouTube

I actually thoroughly enjoyed this light hearted PRO prepping, it portrays preppers and community cohesion in a very positive manner.

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