Author Archives: David Adams

8 Survival Uses For Feathers

When SHTF, you need to consider everything around you as a valuable survival resource. It’s even better if you can find ways to use things that are renewable, such as feathers.

Feathers are a renewable natural resource you can find anywhere and are taken for granted in everyday life. However, I’d like to show you how ordinary bird feathers can be used to make useful survival gear.

Tinder

Bird feathers are very flammable, and when they’re dry, you can quickly build a fire with just a small spark. Small feathers can be used as is, but with larger feathers you should cut them into smaller pieces.

Stack the feathers in a small pile and place your fire starter at the base of the feather pile. Strike the fire starter to send sparks down a rod and directly into the feathers. The feathers will quickly catch on fire, and you can then add kindling to grow your fire.

Fishing Lures

Feathers can be used to make your own fishing lures, which work almost as well as synthetic lures. Try to find feathers that are colorful and shiny because that’s what most fish are attracted to. It’s also best if the feathers you use are fairly small.

You’ll have to experiment to find out which types of feathers attract certain types of fish. Once you do, you’ll have an easy way to catch dinner whenever you’re low on food. You’ll still need a hook and lure to go with your homemade lure.

Pillows

Have you ever slept on a genuine feather down pillow? People gladly pay lots of money for the privilege of sleeping on them…and with a bit of work, you can make your very own feather down pillow for free!

Goose feathers are what’s usually used, though any type of feather will work. It can take a while to find enough feathers to fill a pillow, but if you raise chickens, this won’t be a problem.

Before you use the pillow, stuff the feathers into a pillowcase and wash them to get the germs off. Dry them afterwards and enjoy your fluffy new pillow.

Comforters

You can also use feathers to make a feather down comforter. It’s the same process as making a feather down pillow. Just collect the feathers, stuff them into a comforter, wash them, and then enjoy.

You’ll need a lot more feathers to make a comforter, so if you don’t raise your own chickens, you can expect this process to take a while.

When making your comforter, sew sections into it so the feathers don’t all fall to one side of the comforter. Using sections keeps the feathers evenly distributed so you stay nice and warm at night.

Turkey Wing Hunting Call

Instead of waiting around for your prey to show up by chance, why not make your prey come to you?

You can make a turkey wing call out of turkey feathers that will bring them to you. A wing call mimics the flapping sound a hen makes when landing. Male turkeys hear that noise and come rushing over to greet the hen.

You’ll need to have the primary feathers of a turkey and something to attach the feathers to. You can cut up the wing bone of the turkey as the base for the call, as in the video below, or you can make your own base out of something else, such as a stick.

Writing Quills

Before modern pens were invented, we used feather quills dipped in ink.

Shave off some of the fibers so you have enough room to grip the stem, then cut off the very tip of the stem. Use a razor to cut off part of the tip so you have a pointy end to write with.

Compost

Feathers are perfectly safe to add to your compost pile.  If your chickens are healthy and don’t have any parasites, they make a nice nutrient-rich addition to your pile.

Arrows

A bow and arrow is a great weapon to have in a SHTF scenario. It’s even better if you can build your own bow, or at least make your own arrows. That way, you’ll always have a way to hunt and you’ll never run out of ammo.

Feathers can be used to make the fletch of your arrows. The fletch is what helps your arrows fly straight, fly further, and more accurately hit their target.  Turkey feathers are best for this, though you can use other feathers too.

The Holidays Are a Good Time to Start Prepping

With wildfires in the west, hurricanes lined up in the south, and a crazy guy testing hydrogen bombs that will fit on an ICBM over in North Korea, it’s quite an alarming and unpredictable time we’re living in as we head into winter.

Planning ahead means taking responsibility for your own life and not relying on the government or anyone else to give you a handout, especially when they might be overwhelmed and not able to help you survive a crisis.

This winter, we’ll most likely face blizzards and ice storms before next spring’s tornado season hits much of the country.

We all know disasters happen year-round. Will you be ready if you are in eye of the storm?

The holidays are the perfect time to start learning how to prep with simple, easy steps, such as filling any gaps in your current gear or even just adding an extra layer of gear as you prepare.

What better gift than to give someone a means to save themselves during an emergency? If you play your cards right, you might even be able to score some amazing gear for yourself this year as well.

Shelter

If you don’t have shelter in extreme conditions, you can only expect to survive for a couple hours.

Shelter is all about maintaining your body temperature, whether it’s heat in a cold environment or shade in a hot one. There are various tools to stock up on that will allow you to build or repair the shelter you’ll need in an emergency.

The quick and easy way to have on-demand access to comfortable shelter is to have a durable, waterproof tent that’s easy to set up in a hurry.

Fire

Fire starters are extremely important so you can heat, cook, and purify water. Always try to have several ways of starting a fire, so you won’t have to rely on just one method that might fail.

A good knife (or two) is another tool that has many uses in an emergency. I always suggest at least two, a large knife for heavy tasks and a small folding knife for the more delicate work.

Water

Potable water is a close second in importance to shelter when it comes to prepping. Experts will tell you that you need to plan on using one gallon per person, per day.

You might be thinking you’ll just turn on the tap and have all the water you need, but this might not be the case in an emergency. If you turn on the tap and nothing comes out, or it comes out looking or smelling funny, you’ll need to have another source of water.

There are two ways to get water: store it or collect it.

There are several products available for storing water, from relatively small jugs like WaterBricks up to 55-gallon storage barrels.

From a pocket filter up to a Big Berkey, a water filter is something every prepper should invest in. I’ve owned a Big Berkey for 15 years, and have used it to filter rainwater from my roof for a week after an ice storm.

If you’d rather collect your water on an as-needed basis, the Sawyer Mini is one of the very best portable water filters available. It’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, and makes a great stocking stuffer for your loved ones.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to have clean water in an emergency.

Food

It’s no surprise food is usually the first thing people think about when they start prepping. They might’ve had a power outage and were unable to buy food for a day or two and found out how quickly their cupboards ran dry.

If you look into survival food, there is a wide variety you can buy.

From individual freeze-dried meals in pouches to MREs to food pails or 72-hour kits that come with a three-day supply of food, there is no shortage of survival food a prepper should stock up on.

After the canned food in your pantry is all gone, these survival foods will see you through almost any crisis and they’ll store for many years before you even have to think about replacing them.

Power

While some people invest in a whole-house generator, others invest in solar chargers and backup energy storage devices for charging their electronics.

I personally have a BioLite BaseCamp so I can charge my electronic devices with sticks that I pick up off of the ground.

Most of these devices come with a car charger, but you may find that after a time fuel is scarce and you might not be able to use your car for charging as often as you’d like.

Communications

In any crisis, you’ll want to stay current on any announcements being made over the radio.

In this situation, your phone might not get a signal if too many towers have been damaged or are without power. In some cases, the system may be too overloaded for you to get useful information.

When this happens, an emergency radio is the way to go. They usually have a means of recharging themselves and they cover almost every band available, so if there is a signal being sent, there’s a good chance you’ll pick it up.

Survival Kits

There are pre-made kits for many situations from home to car and even for your pets.

Prepper or not, everyone should invest in a good first aid kit. Even common household accidents can be treated more easily if you have everything in a complete kit.

Speaking of first aid, if you have a prescription to anything, you’ll need to plan ahead in case you can’t fill it right away. Speak with your doctor to find out what options are available in an emergency.

If you have to leave

If staying in your home becomes unsafe, you’ll have to leave. In this case, it’s a good idea to have camping gear available.

All the things we have looked at so far can also be picked up for a camping type situation. In a crisis, kids will handle it much better if you can put a positive spin on it, and what’s more fun for a kid than going on a camping trip?

You can pick up prepacked survival kits, or pick and choose your equipment to make your own custom survival kit.

New Equipment

The holiday season is a good time to check out new equipment you might not have thought about before. I always like to buy a new piece of equipment just to see how it works for me.

If you are just learning how to prep, a new item is just what you need to get yourself on the path to being fully prepared.

The holiday season is traditionally a time where we sit back and enjoy the fruit of our labor and exchange gifts heading into the winter season.

Why not give some serious thought to your future by buying your family a little peace of mind?

Investing in new survival gear and learning some survival skills will go a long way towards keeping you and your family safe.

‘Tis the season to share your prepping gifts with others.