Author Archives: Damian Campbell

Emergency Cooking With Portable Stoves

Emergency Cooking Stoves

In any emergency situation a hot meal is something that will definitely bring down the stress level. The problem is, if there is an emergency, there is a good chance you may be without power and can’t make a hot meal.

The solution may just come in the form of a portable stove. These stoves are designed for backpacking, camping or emergency use, and they come in many forms and use several different fuels.


Solid Fuel Portable Emergency Stove

Click Here to Learn more about this Portable Stove

Emergency food

Emergency food, along with backpacking and camping food is usually dehydrated or freeze dried. This means that you are basically boiling water to cook it. Some of these stoves can barely do that, while others will cook just as well as the stovetop in your kitchen.


Sterno/ canned fuel

Used mainly by caterers to keep serving dishes warm at events, canned fuel can be used in folding stoves and will boil water as long as there isn’t a strong wind to keep the water cool.

They are safe to use indoors, and the fuel can be bought in most camping departments.



Without power you may be burning candles for light and heat. With some of the multiple wick emergency candles you can rig up a cooking surface you boil your water. Not the fastest way to get the job done but it should get there in the end.

Emergency Survival Candle

Click Here to Learn More about this 36-Hour Emergency Survival Candle


Another indoor safe stove is a butane stove that uses canned butane for fuel. I have had one of these for about 25 years and love it. It will boil water as fast as your home stove, and is more than capable of frying.

They are usually a one burner affair that produces a flame very similar to natural gas. The fuel can be expensive if it is your only source of cooking for an extended period of time. I have used mine in several short term power outages and camping trips and have only gone through a few canisters of fuel in all this time.



My grandmother used a kerosene stove for canning, and I still have it in my basement. I have seen several similar stoves in antique stores, and if you look around on the internet you will be able to find replacement parts.

Another neat way to cook with kerosene is to get a convertible lantern. This lantern will allow you to cook on top of it, making a multi purpose tool.



You can find many different types of propane backpacking and camping stoves. The fuel is readily available and stores pretty well as long you can keep the canisters from rusting or exploding.

A portable propane stove is not generally safe to use indoors.

Another source of cooking with propane will be your gas grill. Many different types of food can be cooked on a grill if you just learn how.


Emergency Propane Stove

Click Here to Learn More about this Single Burner Propane Stove

Whitegas Stove

My first survival stove was a coleman stove. While (in my opinion) not as good as the butane stove mentioned above, they have produced millions of these camp cooking stoves, and a lot of people use them.

I have found them to be a little temperamental, and they require close supervision when cooking, but they will surely get the job done if you know how to use one efficiently. These stoves should be used in a well ventilated area.

They also make small backpacking stoves that use whitegas. They can also be temperamental if you don’t know what you are doing. If you plan on relying on one of these stoves for your emergency cooking you will want to make sure you get plenty of practice beforehand.


Wood/ Charcoal

Wood is our most basic cooking fuel and can be utilized in many different portable cook stoves.

From a Kelty Kettle to a Volcano stove there are many innovative ways to use it. If you run out of charcoal for your grill you can use wood instead. I do it quite often.

One of the newer wood stoves to hit the market is a stove that uses wood to cook with but also has an incorporated thermopile that turns the heat into electrical power. The Biolite company has started making several products using this thermopile technology. They make a backpacking/ camping stove along with a “Base Camp” stove (which I have) that will charge your phone or other electronics in an emergency.

BioLite Camping Stove

Click Here to Learn More about the BioLite CampStove


I have with my afore mentioned antique kerosene stove a stovetop oven that sits on top of a burner and allows you to bake in an emergency. I am surprised these are not more popular in the survival community. These are still available and are relatively inexpensive.



One of your survival supplies should be a carbon monoxide detector. If you plan on doing any alternative cooking inside, this is essential so that your entire family doesn’t wake up dead.

Carbon Monoxide Smoke Alarm

Click Here for More Information on this Carbon Monoxide / Smoke Combo Alarm

You will also need to have a good charged fire extinguisher or two on hand whenever cooking, lacking this, a large box of baking soda.

Fire Extinguisher



You will also need to find a safe place to store fuel for your stove. If possible this should be away from your living area, so there is no chance of burning down your shelter in case of an accident.

One last bit of safety to consider. If you are in a serious survival situation a nice meal of fresh bread and BBQ might be just the ticket to brighten up your world, but if you have food and others don’t, the savory aroma wafting out of your home will draw hungry people like flies. If you are running a soup kitchen for refugees this is a good thing, if you are trying to maintain a low profile and take care of your family it may be life and death. Think before you cook.

As you can see there are many different ways that you should be able to cook just about any type of meal you can think of with a portable stove.


Click Here to Check out a full line of various Survival Stoves



Where to Find Hidden Water in Your Home

During a disaster potable water is at a premium. Once domestic services start going out you can no longer turn on a tap and take a drink.

Besides obvious places like your backyard pool there are hidden reservoirs of water in most homes


So how do you find hidden water in your home during an emergency?



Even when the water stops coming in, your pipes can still hold up to several gallons depending on the size of your home.

You will be able to access this water by turning on the lowest spigot in the house and letting the water gravity feed. Once this is gone you can sometimes open an upper spigot as well and that will release any water that may be vapor locked in the system.

If you still run out you can find the water inlet into your home and open it there (you may have to cut the pipe. If you do this turn off the inlet valve first. After this water is gone open the valve and see if any more will trickle in.

Water Heater

Unless you have gone the on demand water heater route your tanked heater will have between 40 and 80 gallons in it. You can access it by opening the drain valve at the bottom of the tank.

Hidden Water in Toilet

Toilet Tank

Most toilet tanks hold around a gallon of water in the back tank. This water is clean as it has not been in contact with the bowl.


If you live in a humid climate you may run a dehumidifier to keep humidity levels lower in your home. If it is the catch basin type you may have a supply of water if you haven’t dumped it lately. If you have the type with a drain pipe you can tap into this and see if there is any water.

If you happen to have power but not domestic water a dehumidifier will give you distilled water from the atmosphere.


In the winter many people run a humidifier. These are another source of water in your home. If you have the old style that has a fan the blows through a rotating cloth or mat you should purify the water before drinking since little beasties like to grow in dark wet environments.

Swamp Cooler

If you live in a dry climate you may have a swamp cooler. Many swamp coolers work like a
humidifier that is run in the winter. They may have a reservoir of water.

Hidden Water in Canned Foods

Open tin cans of french bean, beans and peas isolated on white

Canned Foods

Canned vegetables and even tuna (packed in water) have drinkable water in them. Most people just dump it down the drain but in a survival situation this stuff is life. It may be slightly high in sodium depending on what veggies you have but it is better than nothing.

Hidden h2o in Waterbed

Water Beds

The gallons of water available in a water bed are not good for drinking (but may be used for other things to save your drinking water). This water is treated with all kinds of chemicals to keep algae and bacteria from growing in it.


If all else fails you can collect rain water from your roof. It is best to filter it since you never know what those birds are doing to your roof while you aren’t looking.

As you can see there are many sources of water in almost every home. If you are smart and conserve what you have available you should be able to get through most disruptions to your domestic services.

If you want to always have a safe and clean supply of water, consider picking up a few WaterBricks. Each brick stores 3.5 gallons of water (or food or ammo!) and they are made to stack easily like Legos. Their easy grip handles also make them easy to grab n’ go in an emergency.

 Learn more about the WaterBricks.

WaterBrick_Standard_Pair_Spigot_1024x1024 (1)



How to Start a Fire Without Matches

Do you know how to start a fire without matches? While matches have been the mainstay of fire starting for the last 150 years or so, mankind had been starting fires just fine for a few years before that.

The best and fastest way I know to get a fire going quickly in any weather is to use a road flare. But what do you do if you forgot your flare, or matches or even your lighter?

Image Source:


There Are 3 Main Ways To Start A Fire…



Used to be any kid “knew” you could start a fire by rubbing two sticks together, and while it is slightly more complicated than that, the basic principle is there. Using a bow drill, hand drill, fire plow, fire thong or fire saw are all ways to start a fire by using friction.

The basic idea is to create enough friction between two pieces of wood that hot dust is created. This dust is allowed to collect into a small pile, and if conditions are right an ember will form in the smoking dust. This ember is then transferred to your dry tinder and blown into a flame.



Some time in history long gone someone was experimenting with building a blowgun and discovered that compression causes an increase in temperature. From this the fire piston sometimes called the fire syringe was invented.

Fire pistons work on the same principle as a diesel engine. Tinder is placed in a small cup on the end of the piston. It is then inserted into the cylinder and slapped down quickly. The fast change of pressure inside the cylinder raises the temperature enough to ignite the tinder. Then the tinder is treated just like the ember from a friction fire.

It sounds more complicated than it is, and it is a handy way to get a fire going without matches.



The last method is creating a spark to catch in tinder.

This can be accomplished in a couple ways. You can use electricity or you can strike a piece of steel with a sharp rock (flint, quartz, or pyrite) and you will get a shower of sparks. A flintlock rifle uses this method of ignition.

You can also get sparks with a ferro rod or with a cool product like fire laces.

Fire laces have a steel shoelace anchor that can be used as a striker to create sparks, or even used as a knife in emergencies. The laces are tipped with flint rods covered with weatherproof rubber covers. They give you a fire starter that is always with you. (as long as you have your shoes)

One more thing about the fire laces is that they are made up of paracord. That means they have an outer sheath and seven inner cords that can be separated out. This gives each lace 35 feet of 50# test line and allows you to still tie your shoes with the outer sheathing.

Remember when you are trying to start a fire without matches to gather plenty of dry tinder, and then plenty of small sticks to feed your small fire as it gets going. If you take care of these things and practice you might soon be leaving your matches behind on purpose.


Like this article? You may like this one too…How To Heat A Room Without Electricity




How to Survive a Bear Attack

Surviving a bear attack

I grew up in Rocky Mountain bear country. I spent a lot of that time in the mountains trying to get as far from my fellow human beings as possible, I even tracked several bears in the fall snows, and in all that time (over 25 years) I saw exactly three bears. One while driving and two while bow hunting. The first of those saw me, turned and ran away at full speed, the second never saw me and went about its business.

I tell you this to say I have never been attacked by a bear, but I have gone to lengths to avoid the possibility of a bear attack.

Kinds of Bears

In North America there are three types of bears you will likely run into. If you are attacked you will want to know which type of bear is attacking you as it might make a difference on how you react.

In the far north you may run into the polar bear. These bears are white in color and very dangerous. Polar bears have been known to actively hunt humans. If you are attacked by a polar bear, there is a very good chance it intends to eat you. You will need to fight back with every thing you have at your disposal.

A little farther south, all the way down into Wyoming (and arguably Colorado) you will find the Grizzly bear. These bears are brown in color with a large hump on their back behind their head, along with a dished out face. The Brown and Kodiak bear are subspecies of the grizzly.

Also starting north with the grizzly but covering a far larger part of the continent you will find the black bear. The black bear has a longer narrower (like a fox) head, and lacks the hump of the

grizzly. As the name implies they are usually black but in the west they can be a cinnamon phase that looks similar to the grizzly or even a blonde phase where they appear yellowish or golden.

How to avoid being Attacked

Many bear attacks come when humans and bears come together unexpectedly. The result is a startled bear that may react and attack instead of avoiding contact altogether. To this end many people wear bells when hiking in bear country. They also talk or sing to let any bear in the area know that there is a human about. Many times the bear will take off without the human ever seeing it.

Avoid a bear attack

If you startle a bear do not run as this may provoke an attack instinct. If you can stand your ground, move slowly and avoid eye contact, pull up the hood of your jacket and move your arms out away from your sides to give the appearance of being larger than you are. Slowly start backing away. The bear may charge, but there is a good chance it is a false charge and the bear will stop. Continue backing away until the bear is out of sight.

Leaving food out in bear country is an invitation for a visit from the local bear population. This opens you up to attack from startling a foraging bear or from a bear that is hungry and looking for a meal that could include you.

Always police up your campsite and leave no food in camp. The best practice for an extended stay if to make a camp kitchen where all food handling is done at least 100 yards down wind of your sleeping camp. Then all foodstuffs should be secured to a line and hoisted at least 20’ off the ground.

If you are attacked

Sometimes for whatever reason an attack will happen; even bear experts who live with bears sometimes guess wrong and end up a meal. If a bear is stalking you through the woods there is a very high chance it will attack since it sees you as prey.

Bear attack

If an attack seems imminent you must make up your mind right then how you will play it. If you have a pack on leave it on as it will offer some protection. If you have time (like if you are being stalked) put on your heaviest jacket and put up the hood and tie it in place. Put on as many clothes as possible in the time you have.

If you have bear spray you should try to use it. Read and learn the instructions on the can before you need to use it.

Running is a bad idea as a bear can run much faster than you can. You may be able to get and keep a large tree between you and the bear and make it lose interest. Climbing a tree isn’t a good idea either as bears are excellent climbers. They can go right up a smooth aspen tree with no branches for handholds. They can climb anything you can.

Playing Dead

Many people will recommend playing dead and the bear will lose interest and move on. Most experts agree this will only work with grizzlies that have been surprised. By playing dead they will no longer see you as a threat.

To do this drop to the ground face down with your hands laced behind your head. Do whatever you can to keep from being rolled over. Stay as facedown as possible and keep your knees and elbows tucked to protect your stomach if you are rolled over. If the bear is pawing trying to turn you over you can spread your legs out in a “Y’ to make it harder to turn you over.

If the bear starts licking your bleeding wounds you will need to start fighting, as he now thinks you are a meal.

If you are attacked by a black or polar bear you are most likely going to have to fight back.

Fighting Back

If you have to fight a bear it is obviously a life and death situation, so if you have been holding anything back, such as a firearm or bear spray you should use it now.

A bear will attack mainly with its mouth and try for a killing bite. It will swat with its paws to try to knock you down or to hold you there for a bite. If you have a weapon such as a knife or even pointed stick, the mouth, eyes and neck coming at you will be your target. If for some reason you get a chance to stab at the chest, right behind the front shoulder will hit lungs and if you are lucky the heart.

If all you have is a rock you were able to pick up smashing the head and eyes will be your objective.

If you are attacked and the bear breaks off the attack, watch out as many times it will return shortly for another round. This can continue several times. The only time you will be safe is after the bear is dead or you are rescued.

If you decide to go into the bear woods it is prudent to go well armed so you can avoid the messier details described here. But if you must go without a firearm, at least take a large knife and bear spray.

ABC US News | World News



How to Identify Heat Exhaustion and What to Do About It

As summer wears on you tend to get used to working in the heat. If you aren’t careful and pay attention to what you are doing you can find yourself suffering from heat exhaustion or even continuing on into heat stroke.

Your body cools itself by sweating to put liquid (sweat) on your skin and allowing airflow to evaporate it and cool you down. When something interferes with this or you are heating beyond your body’s capacity to cool yourself down you run the risk of getting heat exhaustion.

Untreated it can turn into heat stroke and heat stroke can lead to organ damage and even death.

Two types of Heat Exhaustion

There are two types of heat exhaustion.

The first being dehydration.

This happens when you sweat and urinate out more fluids than you take in. It can be made worse by drinking caffeine or alcohol.

The second type is salt depletion.

Similar to the first type but it is the result of urinating a sweating out more minerals than you have been taking in. This type is usually associated with cramping.

As the name implies this all takes place during physical activity in a hot environment.

Symptoms of Heat Stroke

The first symptom of dehydration is usually excessive thirst. Other symptoms of dehydration will include weakness, dark urine, weakness and headache.

Salt depletion will show up as well as the previously mentioned cramps along with possible nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and dizziness.

Other symptoms of both kinds can include fainting, pale skin, profuse sweating, rapid heartbeat and loss of consciousness.

Heat Exhaustion

Certain medical conditions can make you more susceptible to heat exhaustion. If you are over 65 or over weight, have high blood pressure, sickle cell or diabetic you are at an increased risk for heat exhaustion. Medications for these conditions may also raise your risk. If you fall into any of these categories you will need to be extra vigilant watching for the symptoms.

Treating Heat Stroke

If you suspect you have heat exhaustion your priority should be to rehydrate and cool down.

Move into a cool room or at least find some shade to sit down in. Remove any clothing (especially any tight clothing) and drink plenty of fluids. If possible take a cool shower to speed up the cooling process.

If you have a thirst quencher like Gatorade or Powerade drink it as it will replace the minerals you have lost and help with the second type of heat exhaustion.

If you have not recovered within 15 to 20 minutes of this treatment it is time to seek professional help as you may have already slipped into heat stroke.
According to WebMD if you do recover from this heat exhaustion you will probably be more sensitive to the heat for the next few days, so you will need to watch for symptoms even more diligently.

Preventing Heat Stroke

Anytime the humidity exceeds 60% everyone is at a higher risk of heat exhaustion. There are several things you can do to reduce your risk.

When you know you are going to be working outdoors in the heat it is a good idea to drink 20 ounces of water a couple hours before you are set to start your outdoor work, then while you are actually working stay hydrated by drinking extra fluids during your workday.

You should dress for the heat. This would include light colored loose fitting clothing, along with a wide brimmed hat, to keep the sun off your head. The use of sunscreen will also help. A 30 spf sunscreen has become the standard recommended minimum.

The last thing is to avoid alcohol and caffeine. I know many would find a cold beer a refreshing break in hot weather, but too much alcohol will actually work against you.

The main thing to remember is that your body will work to keep you cool. Your job is to allow it to do its job the way it was designed. Stay hydrated so you have enough liquid to sweat out and keep your clothing light and loose enough so your sweat can evaporate and cool you down.

When working in hot weather stay aware of your environment and how your body is reacting to it, and if you see symptoms, start acting immediately to remedy the situation. If you stay on top of it you should have a safe, pleasant summer without any unforeseen trips to the emergency room.

Always have a supply of water handy in your car, home and bug out bag. We recommend having a 6-Pack of Water Pouches like these that have a 5-year shelf life and are easy to grab and go.

Water Pouches

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Top 5 Ways To Survive A Government Takeover (Martial Law)

Ronald Reagan famously said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”


The Nine Most Terrifying Words Quote by Ronald Reagan


What is Martial Law?

Technically, martial law is when the military takes over governance and imposes its own rules and regulations on the populace, bypassing the civil government.

Many people equate martial law with a heavy handed civil government takeover of their rights, along with the suspension, either temporary or permanently, of the Constitution. This can happen for a number of reasons as seen in the past with Hurricane Katrina or police manhunts like the Boston bombers or New York trooper shooter.

Either way, the effect on us is basically the same; an authority suspending our rights and imposing their own rule of law.

In certain situations, this may seem like a reasonable course of action to those outside the effected area. This is how they can get away with it on a small scale. But if you are under martial law, there is a good chance you are not going to want to be under it, or think highly of those who have placed you in that situation.


What should I do?

If something like this happens to you, there are several things to keep in mind.

Every situation will be unique, and you will have to take all the facts and options available in your own situation into account in deciding how to react.

Here are a few general tips that will help you get through, hopefully unscathed, and without loss of life or property.


Be Smart

The number one thing to remember is that the U.S. Constitution no longer will apply. You can not stand up for your rights when you have none in the eyes of the “law”. We Americans have been spoiled to have been raised in a country where our rights are guaranteed (well, at least until they are suspended).

This can lead to confrontation with authority that can turn deadly over your pride.

Is freedom of speech worth dying for? Of course it is, but is talking back to a cop that now has the authority to throw you in jail indefinitely with no charges filed worth it, just to satisfy your pride? Maybe…but who will care for your family if you get thrown in jail for something stupid and avoidable?

Will there be things worth fighting for? You bet, but do it smart, not by getting busted for something petty that, if you swallowed a little pride, would go right by without any incident.

You must keep in mind at all times that authority figures in this situation are not your friends. Your friends may not even be your friends. There will always be those Quislings who will turn you in to gain some sort of favor or perceived sense of power over you.

Be smart. Don’t poke the bear.

If you think this is the pansy play, read on.



If a Government takeover lasts more than a couple weeks, it will most likely give rise to a resistance of some form. I’m not talking about the people out rioting and burning; I am talking about actual freedom fighters.

You will need to make a choice for you and your family…will you become involved. If so, how involved will you be?

There are several levels of involvement that can be carried out with a fair degree of safety (if you stay smart). Things like gathering information, having a message drop on your property, scrounging food and supplies for the actual fighters.

Each person will have to make their own choice about how involved they want to become. In most cases, your family safety should come first, but that is your decision to make.


Be Silent

Loose lips sink ships.

If you have prepared, that means you have some supplies put back for an emergency. The problem is that in a time of martial law your supplies might be seized to be redistributed to others. And trust me, the Government might know you are smart and prepared, so they may come looking.

The best bet is to have a stash that is easily found and then one that is a little better hidden (how, I will leave up to you). So when they come they may take your stash, but your main stash will remain behind.

Now, don’t go telling folks about this awesome prepping advice. Don’t be running your generator nonstop for the neighbors to hear when everyone else has no power or gasoline.

Some of us, because of our faith or other beliefs, will help others in need. This is fine, but don’t go advertising that you have extra supplies or some Quisling will turn you in for sure.

Keep it under wraps.


Blend In

Part of blending in I already mentioned in “Be Smart”; don’t poke the bear.

Don’t do things that will draw attention to your family. This means do what all the other sheep do for the most part. Don’t break curfew, follow the rules as best you are able. If everyone else shows up at high noon for a government handout of food, you should be there also, or folks will begin to wonder how you are feeding your family, and you may become a target.

If you need to avoid detection, you will need to learn what kind of cameras are out there and how to avoid them.

You will only be able to drive on rural back roads. I drive a short stretch of interstate in my daily commute. Aside from rest area cameras and cameras at each interchange I have counted seven cameras on signs and poles between my home and work. You can find the rural cameras fairly easily just by looking for the small solar cell used to power them.

You will not be able to buy gasoline at a station without being filmed. It will be best to workout with a willing neighbor to buy it for you and transfer it in cans.

Did you know an ATM can be set to take pictures at intervals? Even when it is not in use the ATM is still filming the area and recording anything and anybody that passes by it.

There are eyes everywhere, do what you can to keep a low profile.


Be Ready to Leave (Bug Out)

Sometimes you may be able to turn grandma’s picture to the wall and get out. If martial law is a localized event you should have a window of opportunity to get out before they secure the borders of the effected area.

This reason alone should be enough for everyone to have a bug out bag packed and ready to go at all times. If you can keep your head when it is all going down, you may be able to get your family to safety before things get really bad.

If you cannot get out of the effected area, or the takeover is nationwide, a rural retreat will come into its own. If you have taken the time to get to know the neighbors of your rural area they will watch out for you and there is a good chance they are like minded in their beliefs about the government.

If you do end up in a FEMA camp or some other such facility, the best advice I can offer is go back to the steps of be smart and blend in.

The less attention you bring on yourself, the better your position will be to survive the takeover. Avoid others as necessary and remember the people in charge are not your friends.

Bugout bag

Learn More About This 4-Person Survival Kit





3 Ways You’re Being Digitally Pick-Pocketed

In the modern age, pick-pockets don’t even need to reach into your pocket, they just need to be near you to steal your personal and financial information in seconds. You may not realize it, but we are carrying our most personal information with us almost everywhere we go, and you could easily become a victim of “digital pickpocketing“. Whether it be our financial information or personal details, pick pockets can gather our information without us even knowing it using various forms of technology you need to be aware of.

Pick-Pockets Have Gone Digital…

RFID Hacking

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a wireless communication method that is often used for access control. This includes ID badges used to get into our garages, homes, and offices. RFID-based technology doesn’t only come in the form of a badge either. You might not know it, but you could have a credit or debit card that uses RFID to transmit account information from your card—even when you’re not shopping. These credit cards are extremely vulnerable to being skimmed by fraudsters who steal your personal info without your credit card ever leaving your pocket.

Because RFID cards transmit data all the time, they have the potential to be hacked very easily. All a hacker needs to do is get the frequency of your card. They can do this by simply standing near you and using a small special scanning device to steal your info.

You can protect yourself though with RFID Blocking Sleeves like the Safe Wallet Shields. The Safe Wallet Shield prevents the transmission of your RFID beyond the sleeve. When you want to use your credit or debit card, simply take it out of the RFID Blocking sleeve. This is a cheap and simple answer to keeping your personal data safe.


The Safe Wallet Shield will protect your personal and financial information by blocking unwanted RFID signals. Never leave the home (especially when traveling!) without protecting your credit cards in a RFID-blocking sleeve like this.

Click here to get your supply of Safe Wallet Shields today.

Bluetooth Exploitation

Bluetooth exploitation may sound like something out of a spy movie but it is completely real. People can access your Bluetooth device if they are skilled enough and eavesdrop on your calls. This is less of an issue with the latest encryption on Bluetooth devices, but it is still possible. Bluetooth can also be used to block phone calls, drain your battery, and access data on your phone. Bluetooth’s range is further than most people think, if a hacker has the right antenna they can hack your device from much further away than a normal Bluetooth connection.

How can you prevent Bluetooth exploitation from being a risk to you? The simplest answer is to turn your Bluetooth feature off when you are not using it. This will prevent people from easily being able to connect to your phone. If your phone offers an option to prevent older styles of Bluetooth communication (less than version 3.0), then activate that feature as older methods of Bluetooth communication are more susceptible.

Weak Passwords

Payment programs like PayPal allow you to pay for items easier on the internet, but they also allow easy access to our wallets and financials. Having weak passwords for websites means that they are easily accessible to others. If someone is able to get your password, they can access your account and transfer money to another PayPal account and out of that other PayPal account before you even notice it’s ever happened.

Losing all of your money is a scary thought, so let’s review how to protect ourselves:

First and foremost come up with a very secure password. You can use a random password generator which will give you a string of characters, or if you are worried about being able to remember that password, here are a few other tips.

·       Mix numbers, letters, and punctuation marks in your password.

·       Avoid using words that are in the dictionary.

·       To further secure your online accounts, look into getting two stage authentication. Many websites offer a service where to log in, you need your normal password then you will get a text message with a onetime use code to log in. Two-stage authentication helps prevent hackers from being able to gain access to your account.



4 Camping Hacks to Use This Summer

List of Camping Hacks


With another summer camping season kicking off, the internet is filling up with lists of camping hacks for all of the neophyte (as well as old time) campers heading out for the weekend.

I have tried to glean some of the more practical tips along with sharing some that might not make it on other lists.

Check out our new Camping Section for all the cool camping tools and more…

Here Are Some Useful Camping Hacks



There are quite a few good tips out there about how to deal with bugs.

One way to keep bugs away from your campsite is to add sage to your fire. This is the spice, not the common sagebrush that grows in the west. Buy the cheap stuff from the spice rack, and save the expensive organic spice for your cooking. Just sprinkle some on the fire every once in a while to keep the camp smelling nice and the skeeters at bay.

Another fire additive (or fuel, if you like) is a cow pie (yes, cow manure). When it burns, it emits something that drives the skeeters away. Don’t worry; they don’t stink while they are burning. The pioneers heated and cooked away the long prairie winters with nothing but buffalo chips as a fuel source. Any ruminant (deer, elk, etc.) droppings should work.

Citronella Tiki torches do an okay job of keeping bugs at bay, but they kind of put a cramp in the camping mood unless you are camping in the South Pacific. The cool thing is you can burn the citronella oil in any kerosene lamp or lantern with the same effect as the torches. You can even use the oil to make your own citronella candles. Just add a few drops of oil to the liquid wax of your burning pillar candles.

If you find a tick attached to you, take a cotton ball and put some liquid soap on it, then place it over the tick. The tick will let go and reattach to the cotton ball.

The last advice on avoiding bugs I can give you is to camp where they aren’t. This means picking a spot that is windy. As long as it doesn’t drive you crazy, the constant wind will keep the bugs away from your camp site.



Keep your TP clean and dry by storing it in a coffee can. You can also use a bulk pack CD case.

If you somehow run out of TP on your trip, you will have to use “natural” materials. Mullein is agreed to be the nicest and softest available. If you can’t find leaves you know are safe to use on your sensitive skin, you will need to test it before using it where you might regret it. Take a leaf and crush it up and rub it briskly on your inner upper arm. If after 15 minutes or so you
aren’t having a reaction where you rubbed it, it will probably be safe to use for your TP.



Cooking over evergreen flames will coat your food with a black tar that tastes like turpentine. As many times as I have seen this advice given, it amazes me how many people I still see cooking over evergreen fires.

If you must use evergreen for your camp fire, you will want to cook using the radiant heat from beside it. Better still, wait until it is completely burned down to coals before doing any cooking.



Jewel weed grows in the same areas as poison ivy; it is a good idea to learn to recognize this plant. Just crush some of the leaves and rub them on exposed skin to lessen the poison ivy’s effect.

If you somehow have forgotten your tea or coffee, you can substitute from the wild. Dandelion or chicory root make a passable coffee. Those that have tried it and don’t like it most likely have not roasted it long enough. It should be cleaned, crushed (or chopped fine) and then roasted until black (even burnt), then brewed.

My favorite wild tea is Goldenrod leaf tea. It brews up bright green but has a nice astringent flavor like real tea.

My final tip here is for those who smoke and have run out of tobacco. Kinnikinnick makes a fine pipe tobacco if you happen to be in the west where it grows.

Simple hacks can make your camping so much more enjoyable. Hopefully something on this list will be useful to you this summer.

P.S. If you’re looking for a great little camping or survival stove, check this out...




How To Turn Off Your Gas In An Emergency

Do you know if your home uses gas? You need to know the answer to this question ASAP. Gas can potentially be explosive and harmful if the lines become damaged during a disaster – it’s critical you know how to turn off your home’s gas supply quickly and easily before it’s too late.

Disasters that may require you to shut off your gas include anything that has the potential to damage gas lines. This includes earthquakes, bombings, hurricanes, tornadoes, and the likes. If you were out of the house during the disaster and smell gas inside the house when you return, do not attempt to enter the house to retrieve a gas shut off tool. Instead, call 9-1-1 or borrow a gas shut off tool from someone as emergency services will likely be overwhelmed.

First, you need to identify if your house uses gas. Houses can use gas for heating, water heating, and cooking (stoves). If you think or know that your house has a device that uses gas, you should be aware of where your gas line is.

For small situations, like a gas leak that occurs during a non-disaster situation, it may suffice to cut off the gas at the appliance that uses gas. Most gas-fed appliances have a local shut off valve that will cut off gas just to that appliance. During a disaster this will not suffice as you still risk the pipes in the house breaking.


Locate Your Gas Meter


To completely shut off the gas to your house you need to find the gas meter. This is almost always located outside so that you are not trying to cut the gas off in a saturated environment. A gas meter itself will resemble a power meter, but it will have several pipes coming out of it. To shut off the gas you are looking for a pipe with a T-intersection in it. There will be a little lever that requires a wrench on one side of the T intersection.

The easiest way to turn this little lever is with a gas shut off wrench. The gas wrench can be kept in your survival kit and is a flat piece of metal with holes on either end that resemble the shape of your gas cut off lever. The wrenches don’t need any adjusting and all you do is turn the gas connection. If for some reason you can’t access your gas shut off wrench, you can use a crescent wrench or similar tool. It just takes a little more work to properly adjust the size.


Main Gas Valve Shut-Off Tool

Click Here to check out this Main Gas Valve Shut-Off Tool


When you shut off your gas you need to realize that it won’t instantly come back on. It is recommended that you never try to turn your gas back on yourself after a disaster. You won’t know if there are any breaches in the gas lines in your house. It may be a while before the gas company can return to turn the gas back on, so plan on having alternate methods of cooking and/or heating your water.

It may sound like a pain, but cutting off your gas in the case of an emergency can save your life and the lives of those around you. Safe guard yourself today by ensuring you have a gas shut off wrench and know where your gas meter is.



5 Ways to Purify Water

If you find yourself in a survival situation, whether it be out in the wilderness or after a disaster (whether it be man-made or natural), you are going to need clean and safe water to drink. Depending on the circumstances, it can be extremely difficult to nearly impossible to find purified water in a survival situation. Before it’s too late, learn five different ways you can purify water so it’s safe to drink.




Boil Water to Purify



If you are looking for safe drinking water, one of the easiest ways to purify water is by boiling it. Boiling water is the best way to get rid of any potentially bad organisms in the water; however, it will not remove many of the various chemical pollutants found in water around the world. Boiling requires a heat source of some kind such as a fire or electric heat from a stove. Water must be at a rolling boil for at least one minute before it is safe to drink.


Water Purification Tablets

Water Purifier Tablets



Water purification tablets can be another easy way to purify water. They do not take up much room and are great for when you can’t start a fire. Because these tablets contain chemicals, they are not recommended for long periods of time. Just like with boiling water, water purification tablets will not remove chemicals from the water.


Click Here to Learn More


Solar Still

Solar stills use condensation to collect water. They are often considered to be a secondary method of collecting water because they can take some time to produce water. You will need a plastic sheet, rocks, and a collection container. The solar still can take some time and effort to set up due to the requirement of digging a hole. This method works really well in hot locations.



LifeStraw Water Purifier

The LifeStraw is a really cool water personal water filter that was developed as an easy way to purify water in emergency situations. The LifeStraw is capable of removing over 99% of bacteria and parasites from water. They are also incredibly easy to use. Simply find a water source and drink through the LifeStraw (or water bottle if you have the Lifestraw GO Bottle) to enjoy clean and safe water. The LifeStraw does not remove chemicals or viruses from the water. If you are worried about removing viruses from the water, the LifeStraw Family removes over 99% of viruses from water.

Click Here to Learn More



Wilderness Purifier with Charcoal

The last water purifying method we are going to mention is the wilderness purifier with charcoal. This filter requires that you obtain or make a container that is water tight but pours into a second container on the bottom. Inside the top container you will layer grass, sand, and charcoal. The more times that it is layered, the more effectively it will filter the contaminated water. This method is the only way mentioned to remove even some chemicals. For best results, you should still boil your water once you have run it through your filter as charcoal, grass, and sand will not remove bacteria that is commonly found in water. Setting up a filtration system like this is great for long-term survival needs or when you suspect there are chemicals in your water source. This system will also remove mud and debris from your water, leaving it cleaner.


To check out more Water Purifying Survival Devices, visit’s Water & Storage Section.