All posts in "Survival Guide"
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    Best 1911 9mm Pistol For The Money And For Sale Reviews

    By David Simpson

    You have run out of options, cornered in a dark alley three days after an electromagnetic pulse blasted the inner workings of every electronic device within 100 miles. Maneuvering, fleeing, reasoning, and diplomacy have all but fallen on the deaf ears of your would-be attackers.

    You reach for the one thing that will now speak for you, a model 1911, whose racking slide speaks the international language of authority. It means back up, leave me alone, let me pass.

    If not, it will blaze a trail of self-defense, leaving fist-sized holes in its wake. It is the 1911, one of the best examples of a handgun this country has ever offered.

    The Colt Government Model 1911 has been the most respected combat handgun in the world for over 100 years. Like the Colt Single Action Army (SAA), the pistol has great emotional attachment, along with a strong sense of history, but unlike the SAA, the Government Model is still on the front lines.

    The 1911 is currently more popular than ever, and the reason is an underlying excellence of design. The 1911 was a mature design when adopted by the US Army in 1911, as the pistol had been in development since 1898 or earlier. Longevity, versatility, and performance are hallmarks of John Moses Browning designs.

    On times of trouble, where do you turn? The automatic pistol, caliber .45, model 1911, s.S.Army is, in my opinion, the best pistol for home defense and general-purpose use. You can trust the model 1911 with your life in any kind of survival situation; the gun will defend you with totally reliable, one-shot stopping power against any threat, human or otherwise. Here’s why.

    1911 on the market today

    All 1911 handguns on the market today are not Colt pistols. There are a number of excellent handguns based on the 1911 design, including Kimber, SIG, and Springfield. Others brands are made cheaply to sell inexpensively.

    There is nothing wrong with a basic 1911 GI pistol as offered by Springfield Armory, but the potential for improvement is vast.
    Because of this, the 1911 can be called the Mr. Potato Head of hand- guns. Sights, the slide lock safety, the beaver-tail safety, and grip panels may be easily changed, and internal parts may be modified by those with experience and certifications.

    1911 Varieties

    The 1911 is available in other calibers including the 9mm, .38 ACP Super, and 10mm, but the original chambering, the .45 Automatic Colt Pistol, remains most popular. In a steel frame 1911, the .45 ACP cartridge is easily controllable for those that practice.

    It isn’t painful to fire and has a push that isn’t as abrupt as high velocity numbers. The balance between power and control is unequaled. There are currently claims that the small calibers are as effective, given “proper load selection,” which we have been told for over 30 years.

    Until the laws of physics are changed, the .45 ACP will create a larger wound channel, let … Read the rest

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      How To Prevent Mass Shootings At School

      By David Simpson

      His time, most of the victims were innocent young children. There were 26 dead, including 20 children, at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut that devastated the nation right before Christmas.

      These innocent children died in vain if we do not learn from this tragedy and work together to prevent the next one. The victims of mass violence serve as a warning to us all. We can no longer ignore the risks and continue to do the same things, expecting different results.

      In order to effectively manage future threats, we must be willing to think about the problem differently. These low probability—yet high consequence—events continue to occur and are a growing public concern.

      No place is immune to an active shooter attack, and no one knows when and where the next such terrorist attack will occur.

      Mass violence is a serious multifaceted challenge that transcends all politics, and no single approach in itself can stop these killers. The solution must include two key components: prevention and response.

      Prevention through detection

      The best way to mitigate risk is to prevent it from occurring in the first place, so law enforcement agencies have been diligently working on preventing the next attack.

      Important reports about preincident indicators among at-risk individuals have been published online by the United States Secret Service (USSS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). I urge everyone to read these free reports.

      Recognizing the signs of danger is essential to early intervention by school staff, parents and law enforcement and can prevent some of these attacks … but not all of them.

      Prevention through deterrence

      Perpetrators always attack the most vulnerable victims. It’s no coincidence, that whatever their motivation,mass murderers attack soft targets. What makes a school a particularly soft target for a mass shooting is its vulnerability due to the lack of defense capabilities (gun-free zone) and the large concentration of targets in the area (schools are what we in the military call a “target rich environment.”)

      Potential attackers know that they will be able to create many casualties due to the schools’ inability to immediately counter the assault. The only person armed in a school during such attacks is usually the killer. These inherent vulnerabilities of schools unfortunately increase the likelihood of future attacks.As a first step in improving security, it is highly recommended that every school assemble a Threat & Vulnerability Assessment (TVA) team and conduct a thorough assessment of the security on campus. Following the findings and recommendations of the TVA team, the school can then develop and implement a plan to improve campus security.

      There is no doubt that improving physical security can help deter or delay a violent intrusion, but it does not always work. There is no such thing as 100 percent security and risk can never be reduced to zero. We must be prepared to respond effectively when security fails and act swiftly to protect ourselves.

      Response: Outside intervention

      Since the devastating … Read the rest

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        How Safe Is My Neighborhood ? Follow My Tips For Selecting A House

        By David Simpson

        When looking to buy a new home, not all of us are fortunate enough to search for a tract of land that stands “off grid.” Proximity to work, airports, schools, hospitals, or ailing parents can be factors that restrict us to a more urban area — or perhaps you’re an irrepressible extrovert, requiring you to throw frequent parties for your hipster friends.

        Either way, if you search the web for assistance in house-hunting tips, you’ll find that same old crap — mortgage payments, market value, homeowner association dues, and utility bills seem to be the normal search results. Thanks, Google.

        Though all of this is important, there are ebbs and flows to the market, and perhaps to your income as well. But what is constant throughout is the chunk of terrain on which your home sits.

        You’ve heard this before — it’s said that the three most important things to think about when buying are home are location, location, location. You cannot change your home’s location.

        What to look for

        With the help of your real estate agent and Google, you can assess the typical things folks might consider — the neighborhood, prevailing home values, school districts, crime rates, taxes and fees, and so on. Let’s focus on other key characteristics that aren’t discussed as often.

        As a recent home shopper myself, I found myself in a predicament where my real estate agent and I were not speaking the same language.For some odd reason, she wasn’t savvy to my needs of having interlocking sectors of fire covering all enfilade in small-arms range, and for my concern of any defilade aiding enemy foot patrols. Who would have guessed? To some degree, you’re not selecting a domicile, but a patrol base. As defined by the U.S. Army’s Ranger Handbook, a patrol base is a security perimeter that is set up when a squad or platoon conducting a patrol halts for an extended period. Patrol bases are used:

        • To avoid detection by eliminating movement
        • To hide a unit during a long, detailed reconnaissance execute several consecutive or concur rent operations
        • To perform maintenance on weapons, equipment, eat, and rest
        • To plan and issue orders
        • To reorganize after infiltrating on an enemy area
        • To establish a base from which to execute several consecutive or concurrent operations

        You want your home to be easily defendable. There should be minimal blind spots that would aid in undetectable ingress of a would-be intruder. Holly shrubs directly next to the home and under windows offer great obstacles for creepers, but those same bushes in the yard also provide blind spots for said creeper. These blind spots can be classified as defilade. In military tactics, the terms and defilade refer to how a formation is exposed to enemy fire.

        If there are natural or artificial obstacles shielding or concealing your position, such as those bushes, you’re “in defilade.” If your adversary can direct fire down the length of your position, you’re … Read the rest

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          How To Start Modern Homesteading For Beginners

          By David Simpson

          Start small and then decide.

          If you want to convert to the homesteading lifestyle, you can start with one small project at a time to determine if the lifestyle is for you. If you dream of living off of your land with no outside job, you should know that this isn’t an unreachable goal.

          Anna Hess and her husband Mark have been happily homesteading for years on their 58-acre property, where they enjoy both the labors and the fruits of having a self-sustaining farm.


          If you’re interested in following in their paths, they’ve got advice for would-be homesteaders on how to get started—and succeed.

          Hess’s early childhood was filled with amazing memories on her family’s farm, which prompted her want to return to that lifestyle. “I had dreamed of going back to the land ever since my own back-to-the-lander parents threw in the towel and dragged us into town when I was in third grade,” she says. “As soon as I got out of college, I started saving, studying and planning, eventually materializing a farm, which just about kicked my butt in the first year.”

          Before long, she met Mark, whose combination of common sense and a strong back allowed her to more comfortably transition to homesteading.

          Although Mark hadn’t shared the lifelong goal of becoming a homesteader, the couple helped each other prepare for the life on the farm. “It was tougher for him than for me since I’d been training myself to live frugally since high school, whereas Mark had been considering moving to Los Angeles or New York City,” she says. “In the end, though, Mark taught me as much about enjoying the process as I taught him about simple living, and we both learned to love partnering with the farm.”

          Start several small projects

          If you’re interested in the homesteading lifestyle, your best bet is to ensure that you don’t jump in with both feet too quickly, which is the biggest mistake that Hess sees new homesteaders make. “We all bite off more than we can chew in the beginning, and unfortunately that causes many homesteaders to burn out,” she says. “I grew up watching my parents struggle with a farm, one full-time job, and three kids, but I still tried to embark on projects beyond my energetic means during the first few years on the farm.

          My husband has helped me realize that homesteading is all about the journey, and even if it takes a decade (or two, or three) to reach your goals, you’ve been successful as long as you keep making progress and enjoy every minute.” In her book, The Weekend Homesteader, Hess suggests easy and rewarding projects that new homesteaders can take on during the first year or more. “Your best bet is to get your feet wet in a lot of different areas, but to keep each endeavor small,” she says.

          For instance, planting one fruit tree and a small vegetable garden will help you learn about your … Read the rest

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            Emergency Kit For Car: A Complete Guide For Your Four Wheel

            By David Simpson

            It happens every year. Guaranteed. Each year in the U.S., multiple motorists drive off the road in dangerous weather, get stuck traversing an unfamiliar shortcut or experience car trouble in the middle of nowhere—only to find themselves hopelessly stranded.

            Start with preventive steps

            To ensure your survival during such an event, you must first create a vehicle survival kit. Fill a bin, back-pack or a duffle bag with important emergency necessities, sealing the most important things in zip-top bags to keep them dry and safe. This gear should include basic survival essentials and some gear specific to automotive emergencies.

            Another important consideration is to always let someone know where you are going.  So many “stranded” survival stories revolve around a spur of the moment trip, which left the victim’s friends, family and co-workers with no idea where the missing person went.

            Imagine the difficulty for search and rescue crews or local law enforcement when they don’t even know which county or state they should explore to look for you.

            Stay with your car

            Once you’ve mastered the preventive steps, it’s time to prepare how you’d react in a survival emergency. Let’s say your car has broken down on a remote road. You’ve taken your precautions, but what do you do now that you’re stranded? The number one thing to do when you realize that you’re in a survival situation is to stay put. In the case of vehicle-based survival strategies, your car becomes your shelter, and you do not leave that car.

            Unless that vehicle is on fire or rolling off a cliff, it’s your new best friend. For the past century that cars have existed, the statistics show that people who stay with the car have a higher probability of survival than those who leave the car looking for help in stranded scenarios.

            Any vehicle with the windows intact will provide you with a wind- and rain-resistant shelter. No, it’s not a perfect shelter, as anyone who has ever had to sleep in his or her car can tell you.

            But you can easily enhance the shelter value of a vehicle by adding blankets, extra clothing and sleeping bags for warmth. You can even build a campfire 10 to 15 feet away from the vehicle and heat up stones near the edge of that fire.

            Get the stones just warm enough that you can barely hold them to your skin, and then bring them into the vehicle as a low-tech space heater. Repeat as needed every few hours.

            On the other extreme of temperature, your vehicle can become a useful shelter in hot weather. Open all of the vehicle doors and use duct tape to attach tarps, blankets or sheets to the tops of the doors to create cooling shade in sunny, hot climates.

            If that isn’t practical, then crawl under the vehicle and lie on the cooler ground in the vehicle’s shade. Another great reason to stay with your vehicle is that a car Read the rest

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              5 Tips To Help You Buy The Right Gas Mask

              By David Simpson

              Picture this. An earthquake beyond any seismologist’s wildest dreams rocks southern California. The freeway systems collapse throughout the Southland, and the San Onofre nuclear power plant is nothing but rubble upon the beach. Your air is filled with nuclear radiation particles.

              Imagine this. A terrorist network strikes an Eastern city with chemical warfare. In the Midwest, a smallpox outbreak occurs. What can you do to protect your family from breathing in these dangerous inhalants? Strap on a gas mask so you can breathe clean air. Before you make the investment in masks for your family, consider these five tips to ensure that you make a wise purchase.

              1. Use caution with surplus masks

                If you want a high-quality, military- grade mask, you may be ready to hop in the car and head to your military surplus store to snag one for each member of your family. But be sure the masks are still within code, says survival expert Marty Dent of Seattle. “Some military masks have been used and used masks are probably not going to be airtight to your face,” he says. “Plus, these masks are often out of date and past their usefulness.
                In some models, the filter can be replaced to make the mask effective again, but often that is not the case and you’ll be wearing a mask that does you no good.” No matter what type of mask you use, you’ll want to ensure that it fits tightly around your face so that no fresh air can get into it through the sides, top or bottom.

              2. Know the difference between masks

                A gas mask respirator filters many different types of particles if it’s up to date, has been stored properly, and has a new and working filter cartridge.
                Depending on the type of respirator, the mask could protect you from bacteria, chemical threats and other dangerous inhalants. Standard N-95 filter masks like the type you buy at a hardware store are also helpful to have on-hand, because they also clean particles out of the air as you breathe.
                These masks, however, “do not protect against chemicals, gases, or vapors and are intended only for low hazard levels,” the Centers for Disease Control notes on its Web site.
                The best way to ensure that you can breathe clean air is to get a Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), which is similar to what firefighters and scuba divers use. They allow you to breathe clean air from a tank. However, they are quite heavy and typically only include an hour’s worth of air.

              3. Check the label

                Depending on the type of threat that you foresee, you’ll want to ensure that your mask can do the trick. Most preppers who expect nuclear fallout will have a nuclear-approved respirator or SCBA mask, whereas you may not need such a heavy-duty mask if you are expecting debris in the air from a tornado.
                Double-check the label on any mask you’re considering purchasing so you’ll know what it

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                Situational Awareness Training: How To Be More Observant

                By David Simpson

                With information comes misinformation. Prepping has been around for years, but it has grown in popularity recently thanks to television shows and magazine stories. As a result, more people are aware of how to begin preparing for a disaster. Unfortunately, not everything is accurate.

                For example, simply buying gear and wandering into the woods will not make anyone a survivalist, so before you’re forced to make the decision to either stay in place or leave your home following an emergency, you should get to know a few simple facts.

                Learn situational awareness

                From a domestic point of view, if you’re facing disasters that are threatening your family and home, you will eventually have to make the decision to stay or go, and that choice involves quite a few factors requiring “situational awareness.” Situational awareness simply refers to your knowledge of what you have and how well you’re capable of dealing with the problems and threats around you.

                Situational awareness will be easier to understand if you break it down into its three main areas: self-preparedness, surroundings and resources.

                1. Step 1: Self-preparedness

                  Being prepared means more than stockpiling gear. It also involves looking at things like your overall health, mobility, skill level, and your capability to physically and mentally cope with the situation at hand. I use the term “self,” but in the case of a family unit, you really have to look at everyone involved as one main entity. Examples of how self-preparedness impacts you are best seen when deciding to leave your home in an emergency. If you bug out, each person must be capable of mobility because your group only moves as quickly as the slowest person. The group also has to be capable of transporting its resources, which can present additional considerations.
                  For instance, when transporting by vehicle, you must ask whether yours is capable of transporting the number of people you have, along with the supplies you need to reach minimum safety.
                  As any parent who has brought kids on vacation can tell you, the more people and the more stuff to pack, the larger the vehicle and the more time you’ll need before you’re mobile. With the current price of gas being high, it’s common for those in the city to own small, fuel-efficient cars. If you decide to bug out on foot to avoid main roadways and people, be sure each person in your group is capable of carrying enough supplies to help support himself. No nine-year-old child is going to be able to carry his share of clothing and food, and most certainly won’t be able to move quickly while trying.
                  So when people start talking about just picking up and fleeing to the wilderness, they must be able to envision a good idea of what it takes.

                2. Step 2: Surroundings

                  “Surroundings” does not simply refer to knowing the main routes in and out of your town. It also includes the knowledge of local flood plains and the

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                  Spring Safety Tips: How To Avoid Spring’s Hazards

                  By David Simpson

                  Mother nature shows no favorites. Although spring weather doesn’t necessarily bring to mind the types of perils that winter can present (such as avalanches and thin ice), dangers are always lurking that can jeopardize your health and safety.

                  To ensure that your next expedition doesn’t get derailed, consider these quick tips that will keep you safe.

                  Anticipate lightning

                  With April showers comes lightning, unfortunately, and last year, nearly 30 people died from lightning strikes, according to the National Weather Service. Ensure that you don’t suffer the same fate by knowing when the bad weather is coming, and having a plan to avoid the electrical strike. “The most important component of lightning safety is prevention,” says Gates Richards, M.Ed., special program manager with the NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute in Lander, Wyoming. “This involves knowing local weather patterns, anticipating oncoming storms, finding relatively low-risk locations and practicing a lightning drill before a storm.”

                  If you know a storm is headed your way, evaluate the safe locations that are nearby. “Lower risk locations include low rolling hills,” Richards says. “These would be safer places for campsites.” If you’re caught in a lightning storm, a good rule of thumb is to avoid being, or being near, the tallest object in any given area, Richards says. “In the worst case scenario (being stuck in a lightning storm), you can assume a ‘lightning position,’ ” he says. This means you should insulate yourself from the ground, protect yourself from the weather, and stay small and low. “Disperse a group to minimize the chances of multiple casualties,” he says.

                  If someone in your group does get hit by lightning, know that the symptoms aren’t as clear-cut as you see in the movies. “Lightning strikes can produce a wide range of injuries, ranging from trauma to neurological problems,” Richards says. “Provide supportive care, clean or splint any injuries, and evacuate anyone involved in a lightning strike. Neurological issues may have delayed onset, so it’s best to evacuate.”

                  Deadly stings

                  Spring allergies don’t just involve hay fever and runny noses—they can bring on the potentially deadly sting of bees, wasps and other insects that carry Hymenoptera venom, which is an allergy trigger for thousands of people.
                  Most reactions to bee stings involve local swelling and itching, but for some people, systemic reactions such as anaphylaxis can strike, which could be deadly. If you’re traveling with someone who has a diagnosed Hymenoptera allergy, ensure that an epinephrine prescription is in your carry pack (typically in the form of an Epi-Pen).

                  Deadly bites

                  Anyone who has ever seen an old cowboy movie knows that the best way to treat a snakebite is to cut the bite, suck out the venom and spit it on the ground, right? Not so fast.
                  This outdated advice can actually waste precious time that could be spent getting the victim to an emergency care facility.First, know that your chances of dying from a snakebite are not as high … Read the rest

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                    Best Survival Dried Foods With Long Shelf Life

                    By David Simpson

                    Food is essential to survival. In a disaster situation, the power may go out, leaving your refrigerator or freezer virtually useless. Grocery store shelves will be emptied, and restaurants won’t be serving meals. Food will, no doubt, be a hot commodity in a worst-case situation.

                    Similarly, if you’re in the wilderness, you won’t have access tourban or suburban conveniences. You’ll have to fend for yourself using what’s in your pack along with nature’s resources.

                    You and your family will need access to food, and dried items are among the easiest to prepare, store and transport. Here’s a quick rundown of some dried, portable edibles to keep in your cellar or go-bag and how to best store them.

                    Shell Beans, Legumes

                    Dried shell beans and legumes—such as black beans, garbanzo beans, lentils, split peas and soybeans—are a staple in most pantries thanks to their long shelf life and versatility.
                    These little  protein-, starch- and fiber-rich morsels also travel well. Plus, some beans and legumes can be sprouted and grown (or eaten). They’re a perfect item to have on hand—just in case.

                    • Choosing

                      You can purchase dried beans and legumes from your grocer, or you can grow and dry your own. When you grow your own, let the beans partially dry on the plant. Harvest them when the pod turns light brown and the seeds are mature.
                      Place the pods in a cloth sack and hang it in a warm place for up to two weeks to finish drying. When completely dry, shake or hit the sack to break the pods and release the seeds. Remove the pods and pour off the beans. Store them as you would purchased beans.

                    • Storing and Shelf Life

                      When properly dried and stored in an airtight, moisture- roof container in a cool, dry place, shell beans and legumes can be kept indefinitely.
                      They will take some effort to cook, as you’ll need a heat source, water and a pot in which to cook them. But if you have access to those essentials, the beans will provide a ready source of nutrition for you and your family.

                    Dried Meats, Jerky

                    Who doesn’t love a good jerky? The salted, seasoned, sometimes smoked raw meat dried in an oven was a favorite among pioneers—and it’s still a popular snack today.
                    Because most of the moisture is removed from the meat during the drying process, jerky can be stored without refrigeration, making it ideal for survival situations. The addition of salt and sodium nitrate extends the shelf life of jerky even more.

                    • Choosing

                      Just about any lean fish or meat, including beef, game and lamb, can be turned into jerky. You can purchase ready-made jerky in your local market, or you can make your own.
                      If you make your own, be sure to follow tested recipes that use proper temperature and drying time, as certain dis ease-causing microorganisms, like salmonella and E. coli, may be present in raw meats and survive the

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                      How To Build A Long Term Survival Shelter

                      By David Simpson

                      Location, location, location. Any real estate expert will tell you that location is everything, and when building a shelter, the same rule applies. Shelter building is often key to your survival, but if done incorrectly, it can actually lead to your demise. Follow a few simple but essential tips and your structure will not only keep you safe from the elements but also comfortable.

                      Location

                      When looking at location, you’re not looking for proximity to shopping or schools, but instead you’re seeking safety and security. When seeking a spot to build your shelter, you should make sure it’s close to your building material. The act of building the shelter should be simple and done in such a way that you conserve calories that you’ll need later for tasks such as finding your dinner or creating a fire.

                      In addition, you want to build your shelter in an area that’s naturally sheltered by the wind from other trees or materials, but is close enough to an open area that you can run out and be spotted by search and rescue aircraft if necessary.


                      Be sure to look overhead to ensure that no immediate dangers lurk above you, such as dead trees or rocks that could fall on you or mud that could slide down upon you. You should set up your shelter on a flat piece of land with a little rise to it.

                      This way, if a rainstorm arrives, the rain will have a place to go (down the hill) and you won’t find your shelter in a pool of water. And although you don’t want to construct your shelter too far from a water source, you also shouldn’t be right next to a creek or lake, because if a hard rain falls during the night, you could wake up surrounded by a wet, muddy mess.

                      Should your shelter be ventless?

                      When building your shelter, it can be difficult to decide whether to create venting or to keep the seals shut. The answer depends on your climate.

                      If your shelter will be in a hot environment, you should build it in an area where the sun won’t hit it, but with enough venting so air can circulate. If, however, you’re in a cold climate, you want to seal as many areas as possible so the cold air can’t seep in.

                      Know how to insulate

                      Once you’re securely inside of your shelter, you want to create a simple “floor” of padding that will keep you from lying directly on the ground, which can be wet and therefore drain your body heat.
                      Keep in mind, however, that you don’t want to use fresh vegetation for your flooring. Your body weight will crush out the water and your clothing will simply absorb it, making you very uncomfortable. Instead, use dead grass, old pine straw, dead leaves or dry tree bark as your padding.

                      Straw, wood and bricks

                      The three little pigs learned which materials were best to withstand an … Read the rest

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