Author Archives: Survival Frog

Simple Steps for Selecting the Best Tactical Pants

If you think your regular pair of blue jeans is good enough for when SHTF, I’ve got bad news for you. Your regular pair of pants isn’t going to last long, and when they give out you’re going to be at a major disadvantage.

When SHTF, jeans won’t cut it. You’ll need a good pair of tactical pants. The problem is that many survivalists don’t know where to look for a decent pair.

So, let me give you some simple tips for selecting the best tactical pants. These are the four biggest factors that make a good pair of tactical pants.

Are Tactical Pants Really Necessary?

When you’re busy building your bug-out bag and stocking up on supplies, buying a good pair of tactical pants might be the last thing on your mind. But tactical pants aren’t “just pants”…think of them as an important survival tool.

Regular pants don’t offer the freedom of movement, durability, and carrying capacity that tactical pants do. Regular pants rip and tear in everyday life…so what do you think will happen when SHTF?

Tactical pants can withstand all the abuse you put them through without falling apart. Imagine being in a survival situation wearing jeans filled with holes that are coming apart at the seams.

Choosing the Proper Fabric

The fabric your tactical pants are made from makes a big difference in comfort and safety. There’s no one correct choice for everyone, so here’s a quick guide to find the best fabric for you.

Consider what kind of climate you live in. If it’s hot and humid where you live, you’re going to have a miserable time running around in heavy cotton tactical pants. If your tactical pants are too uncomfortable, you’ll fall back to wearing your regular pants instead, which defeats the purpose of having them in the first place.

If you choose a light fabric in a cold climate, it’ll be a bit chilly.  I’d recommend going with a lighter fabric if the temperature in your climate varies. You can always wear thermals underneath if it’s too cold, but you can’t do anything if it’s too hot.

Another thing to consider is what material to use. Poly cotton is a popular choice for tactical pants thanks to its overall comfort. However, some people prefer the feel of natural cotton.

When choosing between synthetic and natural fabric, consider this: Natural cotton takes longer to dry when it gets wet, but it doesn’t melt like synthetic fabric does. If you’re wearing synthetic fabric and it catches fire, you’re going to have to deal with  severe burn damage.

Consider Your Carrying Capacity

The thought of tactical pants brings to mind images of pants littered with pockets, but there are also tactical pants that are designed for freedom of movement over carrying capacity.

When shopping for tactical pants, you’ll need to balance between the carrying capacity you’ll need and being able to move unrestrained. You could buy a pair with lots of pockets that you’ll never need…but an abundance of pockets often entices people into buying them.

Most people don’t need that many pockets and would be better off keeping things basic. It should have enough to carry standard gear, like knives, a flashlight, a multi-tool, some ammo clips, and a few other small things you want with you.

If you still want a pair with tons of pockets, make sure to put your gear in the same place every time. This will help you remember where everything is. The last thing you need is to struggle to find the right piece of gear during a critical moment.

Pattern and Color…Which is Best for You?

You can get tactical pants in a camouflage pattern or a solid color.

I recommend staying discreet by wearing a dull solid color, such as desert tan, olive drab, or black, because you’ll be able to wear them in public without attracting much attention. Some of them are even discreet enough to wear in the workplace.

This is important because you’ll have a major advantage when SHTF if you’re already wearing your tactical pants, no matter where you are.

Of course, camouflage patterns do have their advantages.  Camouflage makes it easier to avoid being seen by potential threats in more wooded or rural areas, whether they come from looters, bandits, or our own government.

Two of the most popular camouflage patterns are UCP (Universal Camouflage Pattern) and Multi-Cam. These two patterns are designed to work well in most environments and are an excellent choice if you’re unsure about a more targeted pattern.

Who Knew Sugar Had So Many Survival Uses?

Sugar might not immediately come to mind when you think of things to pack in your bug-out bag, but this household ingredient is more useful than you might think. Some of the things you can do with sugar are downright amazing.

Here are 9 survival uses for sugar that you can use when SHTF or in everyday life right now.

Create a Sugar-Based Food Preservative

If the power goes out for an extended period of time, or if the grid goes down permanently, you’ll need a way to preserve food without the use of a fridge or freezer.

We all know that salt is used as a preservative, but did you know that sugar is also used as a preservative? Sugar kills bacteria by depriving them of the oxygen they need to survive, which in turn means the bacteria can’t ruin your food. Store food inside jars of sugar to increase their shelf life.

Easy Remedy for Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia simply means you aren’t taking in enough energy through food to meet your body’s needs. It happens most often to people who lose a lot of energy through physical exertion, but aren’t taking in enough energy to replace it.

Sound familiar? It should, because it describes a situation preppers can expect to experience in a SHTF scenario.

It’s worth carrying some sugar with you in your bug-out bag because the symptoms of hypoglycemia will reduce your chances of survival.  Prepare for hypoglycemia ahead of time, or you’ll have to deal with dizziness, lightheadedness and shakiness.

You don’t need sugar specifically if you’re getting enough nutrients through regular food sources.

Natural Cockroach Killer

Cockroaches might not be the first thing you think of when SHTF, but the reality is that cockroach infestations are effective disease spreaders. If you don’t have access to medical treatment, even an ordinary disease could be fatal.

If you do have a cockroach infestation, don’t worry. There’s an easy and natural way to kill them using household ingredients.

Mix sugar and baking soda together to create a natural cockroach killer, and then spread it throughout your house. This is effective because the cockroaches are attracted to the sugar, but the baking soda kills them when they consume it.

Eliminate Nasty Odors with a Homemade Sugar Scrub

You can make your own “salt” scrub that kills germs, eliminates odors, and feels great on your hands. You’ll need a clean container, sugar, liquid soap, and your favorite essential oil.

Pour a small amount of liquid soap into the container and then add the same amount of essential oil. Finally, add the sugar and carefully mix it up without creating too much foam.

Get a Quick Burst of Energy

We all have our own physical limits, but sometimes you absolutely have to go a little further and do a little more.

A quick burst of energy is exactly what you need during those times when you need the extra push…and the fastest way to get that burst of energy is with sugar.

Sugar is already a basic molecule, so it doesn’t take much effort for your body to break down and digest. That means eating sugar gives you short-term energy much faster than eating something with complex molecules like carbohydrates which need time to break down.

You don’t need to carry granulated sugar to get this boost. Even a small candy bar is enough to give you the boost you need.

Barter with Fellow Survivors

What will you do if you run out of something you need or just didn’t pack it in the first place? The good news is that you can trade with someone who has what you need…assuming you have something they want in return.

Some common items that are good for bartering are alcohol, cigarettes, ammo, and salt…but did you know sugar is in high demand too?

Due to its all-around usefulness, sugar will also be a valuable bartering item. Even if you don’t use much sugar yourself, it might just be worth its weight in gold to someone with a craving for sweets.

Start an Instant Fire Even if Everything is Wet

You’re probably aware that using a striker is one of the most reliable ways to start a fire, but it’s less widely known that you can also easily start a fire chemically…with sugar.

It’s really easy. All you need is sugar and potassium permanganate. Mix them in equal amounts and then rub them with a blunt stick to create heat through friction. A chemical reaction will occur, and you’ll have a fire in a matter of seconds…even if everything is wet from rain.

Check out this neat video to see just how easy it is to start a fire with sugar.

Treat Open Wounds and Prevent Infections

Hopefully, there’s at least a basic first aid kit in your bug-out bag, but with the frequency you’ll be using it there’s a good chance you’ll run out of supplies quickly.  When your first aid kit runs out of supplies, you’ll need a way to treat wounds and prevent infections. It turns out that sugar works great for both of those.

Clean the wound with water first as best you can, and then dry it off with a clean cloth. Sprinkle sugar on the wound until a small pile is visible, then keep still for about an hour and repeat the process. Cover the wound with a clean cloth afterwards and the wound should be disinfected.

Distill Your Own Home Brewed Alcohol

Alcohol is a useful bartering tool and can help relieve some of the stress of surviving when SHTF. Unfortunately, alcohol is heavy and takes up a lot of room, just like water. One way to get around that is to distill your own alcohol at home.

One of the primary ingredients needed to distill alcohol is sugar, which is used to make the “sugar wash” or “mash”. Check out the video below to learn how to make it yourself.

Infographic – How Worried Should We Be About a North Korean Nuke?

North Korea’s aggressive behavior recently has Americans concerned about the threat of nuclear war.

Polls show that 82% of Americans fear the threat of a North Korean nuke, split somewhat evenly between the political parties. It’s no wonder people are concerned when there’s a rogue nation eager to use its nuclear weapons to destroy us.

To separate facts from rumors, we’re sharing an infographic that compares and analyzes the military capabilities of the U.S. and North Korea. Check it out below.

north korea nuclear war infographic

As expected, the U.S. is superior in military strength in most areas. However, what’s surprising is that North Korea actually does have an advantage in some areas.

Even though North Korea has a relatively small total population, their number of front line reserves is almost three times the size of ours, which means they have more combat ready troops than us.

The good news is that when it comes to the number of people fit for service, our number dwarfs them. “Fit for service” means anyone that falls between the age of 16 and 49 and doesn’t have disqualifying health issues.

A “fit for service” individual isn’t currently trained for combat, but they theoretically could be. The issue with this is how long it would take to train a new soldier from scratch, and how efficient training would be during a nuclear war.

The next area where North Korea has an advantage is naval power. North Korea has more ships available. They have 967 ships total while we only have 415.

That statistic looks pretty bleak, but we need to consider the overall quality of the ships and their capabilities. It’s safe to assume that U.S. ships are higher quality and have more powerful capabilities, lessening the disadvantage of fewer numbers.

In a nuclear war, the most important factor is, of course, nuclear weapons. The U.S. has 6,800 total nuclear warheads compared to North Korea’s 60.

Unfortunately, when it comes to nuclear weapons, the total number isn’t as important given the catastrophic effect of just one nuclear warhead. Even one successful nuclear strike on the right location at the right time could secure victory for either side.

What that means is that we still need to prepare for the worst even though we have an overwhelming military advantage on paper. If you don’t already have a way to protect yourself against radiation, I urge you to buy iodine tablets right now while you still can.

Special thanks to HuntingMark.com for providing this infographic. Be sure to check out their survival gear reviews!

9 Ways to Survive a Winter Storm

Winter is on its way, and some parts of the country have already had plenty of snowfall. Preppers living in areas that get lots of snow have a difficult challenge to face, because they need to prepare for winter storms.

A winter storm could be as short as a day but have a devastating and potentially lethal impact. At minimum, it could last several days and disrupt the normal flow of daily life. In either case, you need to be prepared for the worst. Here are some tips on how to survive a winter storm.

Staying Warm

It shouldn’t be any surprise that your first priority during a winter storm is to stay warm. Try to stay indoors.

Your first line of defense against the cold is to wear warm clothing. Fleece is very warm, and pretty much anything made of fleece (or wool) is a good bet.

If the power goes out in your house, you might not be able to heat your house properly. In that case, you should do some rudimentary insulating around the house.

Put towels at the bottoms of doors to prevent drafts, and plastic wrap can be taped around windows for insulation. You can also buy inexpensive plastic insulator kits.

If you’re really cold and you don’t have any other means of heating your home, there’s a neat trick you can do to create homemade heaters.

Start a fire outside and place rocks in the fire. After they fully heat up, bring them inside and set them on something that won’t catch fire like a baking sheet. Then swap them out once they get cold. Just don’t use river rocks, because they might have moisture trapped inside that will explode once they heat up. Land rocks will work best.

You will also benefit from having cold weather survival gear prepped ahead of time. The electric hand warmer provides plenty of heat, and the TACT Bivvy sleeping bags will save you if all else fails.

Preventing Dehydration

Next up is securing water sources so you don’t die of dehydration. People tend to think dehydration only happens in the summer months, but it happens in winter more often than you’d think.

A common but incorrect survival tip is to physically exert yourself to stay warm. This is bad because it’ll cause you to sweat. When the sweat evaporates, you’ll become colder after you’re done exercising, and it’ll also cause you to waste fluids and become dehydrated.

The easiest way to prevent dehydration is to stock water reserves in your home. An adult drinks about one gallon of water per day, so assume five gallons for each person to survive a winter storm just to be on the safe side.

It’s a good idea to have a backup water supply, too. You can bring snow inside and wait for it to melt and then purify it, though this is less desirable because you would be letting heat out to get the snow. Never eat snow while it’s still cold because you’ll just waste your body heat melting it into water. Instead, wait for it to melt. The Sawyer Mini is a great little water filter you can depend on.

Stocking Up on the Right Gear

Since you’ll be staying in your house the entire time, you only have access to what you’ve already stockpiled.

Take some time to verify you have all the gear you need ahead of time. Check to make sure you have enough batteries, warm clothes, food, and water.

You might also want to buy an extra snow shovel and sidewalk salt or sand just in case you need to leave in an emergency.

Light Sources

If the power goes out, you’ll need some way to see. Flashlights are the first thing that comes to mind for many, but it turns out they’re not so great for house lighting.

Flashlights are meant to be mobile and shine in a specific direction, not to provide general light to an entire area. Instead, the better option is to use a battery or hand crank lantern, or some other powerful light.

Solar isn’t an option during winter because there’s not enough light, and you’d have to go outside to use it. Batteries should last long enough to get through a winter storm, but hand cranks are better.

Stocking Food

You could go without food for the span of a winter storm if you had to, but who wants to go through such a miserable experience?

Eat perishable food first, such as whatever you have in your fridge and freezer. Only after you’ve eaten the last of your perishable food should you dig into your stockpiled survival food.

Also, don’t depend on getting much of anything from the grocery store. Not only is it unnecessarily dangerous to make a trip to the store, but you probably won’t find anything worthwhile. Stores tend to be out of stock before a big storm hits because everyone panics and buys it all. Good thing you stockpiled non-perishable survival food, right?

Backup Power

It’s pretty common for the power to go out for extended periods of time during winter storms, and the power companies are pretty slow to repair them, so it could be a while before it comes back.

You’ll need electricity to power things like cell phones, radios, and other vital equipment. Small electronics can be powered with a personal power bank so you can call for help if needed or check on loved ones.

If you want to get through the power outage in relative comfort, you should invest in a larger power pack. This one is powerful enough to power any household item, including your microwave.

Communication

During a winter storm you’ll be mostly on your own, but it’s still a good idea to maintain basic contact with others.

Make sure your cell phone has a charge and you’re able to make a call. Buy a power bank for your cell phone just in case.

Prepping for a winter storm would be much easier if you had advance warning that it was coming. The weather channel is usually good enough, but sometimes the news just slips past you. A special purpose weather alert radio gives you emergency alerts specific to your county.

Emergency Medicine

Depending on how bad the storm is, you might not be able to get regular medical help. You should always have a first aid kit in your home, and this is usually enough to take care of minor to moderate issues.

It’s interesting to note that frostbite isn’t your biggest issue during a winter storm…it’s your other medical issues. The elderly have an increased risk of blood clots and heart attacks when their body temperature drops. It’s especially important for the elderly to stay warm for this reason.

Entertainment

Who knows how long you’ll be cooped up in your house, possibly without power? It’s normal to go a little stir crazy when that happens.

An easy and fun way to take the edge off is to have some form of entertainment that doesn’t require electricity. It’s a good idea to keep a few board games in the house, as well as having a few decks of playing cards.

How To Re-use Old Food For Survival

As preppers, we know that we need to keep stockpiles of food to survive a crisis, but there’s one problem…Unlike the rest of our survival gear, food is something that needs to be continually replaced.

Most American households buy more food than they need, and that excess food turns into waste.

This wasted food costs you money every year, and when SHTF, you’ll need to rotate your food anyway, so why not learn a few tricks now while you still have time?

A British non-profit called the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) put together a list of the most frequently wasted foods in the U.K. Waste from the U.K. is probably very similar to ours, so we can use this list to get a good idea of what the most commonly wasted foods are.

The Top 20 Most Wasted Foods:

  1. Potatoes (359,000 tons)
  2. Bread slices (328,000 tons)
  3. Apples (190,000 tons)
  4. Meat or fish mixed meals (161,000 tons)
  5. International breads (e.g. naan, tortilla) (102,000 tons)
  6. Vegetable mixed meals (96,000 tons)
  7. Pasta mixed meals (87,000 tons)
  8. Bread rolls/baguettes (86,000 tons)
  9. Rice mixed meals (85,000 tons)
  10. Mixed meals (85,000 tons)
  11. Bananas (84,000 tons)
  12. Bread loaves (75,000 tons)
  13. Yogurts/yogurt drinks (67,000 tons)
  14. Sandwiches (63,000 tons)
  15. Cakes (62,000 tons)
  16. Lettuces (61,000 tons)
  17. Tomatoes (61,000 tons)
  18. Cabbages (56,000 tons)
  19. Cooked rice (55,000 tons)
  20. Mixed vegetables (53,000 tons)

6 Simple Hacks To Re-use Old Food

Just because you have food that’s starting to go bad doesn’t mean you can’t use it. Here are 6 simple uses for old food that you would have otherwise thrown out.

Use Over-ripe Bananas to Make Banana Bread: Bananas have a very short shelf life, so it’s no surprise that so many get thrown away each year.

Over-ripe bananas are mushy and nasty on their own, but bake them into delicious banana bread and you can get more use out of them.

Make Home-made Croutons Out of Stale Bread: If your bread is starting to go stale, you can salvage it by making home-made croutons before they get moldy.

It’s easy to make croutons. Cut the bread into little squares, drizzle olive oil, sprinkle salt and any herbs you like, and then bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Make a Delicious Soup Out of Chicken Bones and Veggie Scraps: If you raise your own chickens or buy whole chickens from the store, you can get more use out of the bones rather than dumping them in the trash.

It’s easier to make home-made chicken broth than you might think. Place the chicken carcass and veggie scraps into a pot and add cold water. Now bring the water to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer for about 3 – 4 hours. Filter the scraps out, and when it cools, you can use your chicken broth or store it for later.

Turn Your Halloween Pumpkin into a Full Meal: Too many people use their Halloween pumpkins only as decorations and throw away all the edible parts. Use the flesh to make a mouth-watering pumpkin pie, and bake the pumpkin seeds for a tasty nutritious snack.

After removing the seeds from the pumpkin, wash them off and pat them dry.  Then mix them with olive oil and spread them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle them with salt and then bake them at 400 degrees for roughly 20 minutes. You can also lightly sauté them in a pan on medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes.

Preserve Your Extra Fruits and Vegetables: If you’ve harvested too many fruits or veggies during the growing season, you can preserve them rather than let them go to waste.

Canning is the process of preserving food by placing them in glass jars with water and vinegar, and then boiling them to kill the bacteria. Some foods are safe to can with a simple glass jar, but others, such as meats, require more advanced canning methods.

If Nothing Else, Add It to Compost: Even if you can’t find a use for your old food, it doesn’t have to completely go to waste. Rather than throwing it in the trash, let its nutrients return to the Earth in your yard.

By having a compost pile, your old food will give you nutrient rich soil.  Just be careful of attracting bears if you live in bear country, or racoons no matter where you live. The smell of certain foods could attract their unwanted attention.

Of course, you should also supplement your perishable food sources by maintaining long-term food storage.

There’s a lot more ways to salvage food that’s about to go bad, but this should give you a good start. Know any other recipes, tips or tricks for food preservation that weren’t listed here? Share them in the comments below.

How to Survive a FEMA Occupation

You’ve worked hard and spent a lot of money in preparing for a SHTF situation, but what if it were all suddenly taken away by the government so they could give it to the unprepared masses? It’s an infuriating and completely unfair situation to think about, but it could happen.

A lot of preppers are worried about a government organization called FEMA, which stands for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA’s official purpose is to provide aid and disaster management during times of crisis, such as during a hurricane. One of its major responsibilities is distributing food to the public.

This seems pretty justified on the surface, but it pays to be skeptical when dealing with the government. As far as I’m concerned, along with many other preppers, nothing good can happen when the government wants to “help” you.

In reality, it’s entirely possible that armed FEMA officials will knock on your door and redistribute your supplies at gunpoint to everyone else who didn’t bother to prepare.

I’m going to break down how the most likely FEMA takeover scenario will play out and offer some advice on surviving a FEMA occupation.

What FEMA Will Likely Do

To prepare for a FEMA occupation, we need at least a basic understanding of what will likely happen. FEMA’s purpose is to provide relief during disasters. The question is, how will they do that?

FEMA will provide resources to a lot of people, especially in large metropolitan areas. To do that, they need a lot of resources and a way to transport them quickly.

The most efficient way for them to do that is to use their own reserves. However, no one knows how large their reserves really are, and they’ll likely run out very quickly.

At this point they’ll need to get supplies from elsewhere. FEMA thinks on a large scale, so they won’t come after individuals at first. But immediately after their reserves run out, they’ll probably confiscate food from food production factories and farms because that’s the quickest way to get a lot of food.

Once that runs out, they’ll move on to the next largest targets, such as local supermarkets and grocery stores. But in a crisis, stores will already be nearly cleaned out, so FEMA won’t get much from them.

After they’ve exhausted all their large-scale options, they’ll finally come after individual citizens who have resources…meaning you!

How to Protect Yourself from FEMA

What should a prepper do when disaster strikes and FEMA moves in? Of course, the answer is …be prepared ahead of time!

FEMA wants to assist as many people as possible, so that means they’ll operate most heavily in major cities,  so the first thing to do is to stay outside of major cities, or at the very least quickly get out of the city as soon as possible.

FEMA has less support in low population areas.  They’ll send people to rural areas to transport food from farms, but they won’t be interested in your relatively small stockpiles at that point.

Not everyone can live in a rural area all the time, so here’s another important tip: Don’t let anyone know that you stockpile anything!

Announcing that you’re a prepper not only makes people wary of you, it also puts you on FEMA’s radar.  Keep a low profile on your prepping. The fewer people know about it, the better.

Consider hiding your stockpiles as much as you can. If FEMA shows up at your door, act like just another unprepared person, scared, helpless and confused. They’ll probably assume you don’t have anything and move on.

The Bigger Threat

My advice on surviving a FEMA occupation is purely theoretical because FEMA has never actually done anything to this extreme to interfere with the rights and resources of average citizens, as far as I’m aware (leave a comment if I’m wrong!).

While you should be prepared for a FEMA occupation, I believe that there are similar, more local threats that are more likely to happen that you should prepare for.

Rather than FEMA coming to confiscate your stockpile, what if it’s a band of looters or a hungry mob of people? The result is the same: Your stuff gets stolen.

I cannot stress enough the importance of not telling anyone about your prepping. The person stealing your stuff isn’t necessarily a FEMA official. It could be your next-door neighbor or someone at work who’s desperate and knows you have supplies.

Do you think I left out anything important?  Let me know how you’re preparing to deal with FEMA and other looters during a SHTF scenario in the comments section below.

How Broke People Can Get Land For Cheap

Owning land in a rural area is a great survival asset. It allows you to hunt game, grow natural crops, raise animals, and get away from the unprepared masses in a SHTF scenario.

The problem is some preppers don’t think they have enough money to buy land. However, there are a few ways broke people can get land for cheap.

If you thought going through a realtor was the only viable way to buy property, you might find these methods to be unorthodox. Still, they work great if you’re willing to put the work in. In order to buy land for rock bottom prices, you’re going to have to do a lot of the work yourself.

Tax Liens

Not everybody who owns land actually wants that land. Some people have inherited property after a relative passed away, and the land is either a financial burden or maintenance burden.

If they can’t afford the land, chances are that they haven’t been paying their property taxes. When a property owner doesn’t pay the taxes on a property, the government takes measures to get their money through other means.

One of the first steps the government takes is to put a tax lien on the property. A tax lien gives the government a legal claim to a property as a means to pay back a debt.

The property owner has a period of time where they can pay the back taxes and get their property back, but if they still haven’t paid up then the government gets a tax deed. A tax deed gives the government legal ownership of the property.

The government doesn’t have much use for properties like this, so what they try to do next is sell it to anyone who wants it so they can collect their money. This is good news for you, because the government is willing to sell this land for cheap.

Tax liens are usually sold at auction, with the starting price being the amount of back taxes owed. The downside to this is you’ll be competing against other bidders, but not every property will have much competition.

If you go to enough auctions, it’s likely that you’ll eventually find something that’s desirable as a bug out location and cheap enough for your budget.

So, how do you find these tax lien properties? The easiest way is to contact local government offices about them. They want to get rid of them, so they usually have mailing lists or downloadable PDF’s with local listings.

If you’re on a mailing list, you’ll get updates when new properties become available. This makes the search easier on you because you don’t have to do anything after signing up.

Foreclosed Land

A foreclosure is very similar to a tax lien except it’s done by a bank rather than by the government.

A foreclosure occurs when a property owner has taken out a loan to buy a property, but hasn’t been paying the loan back. The bank that issued the loan then reclaims the property to reclaim their investment.

Banks prefer to sell these properties rather than hold onto them, which means buyers like you can get some great deals on foreclosed properties.

Again, the property owner has a period of time where they can continue paying off the loan and get their property back. If they still don’t pay, the property goes to auction where you’ll compete against other bidders for the property.

Make An Offer

Here’s a method that not a lot of people use because it requires a lot of work, but it can produce amazing results.

Find an area where you’d like to retreat to in case of a SHTF scenario. Drive through the area and take note of all the places that you’re interested in and look like they’re either run down or not occupied.

Then, find out the living addresses of the property owners. This probably won’t be listed anywhere, so you’ll have to ask the neighbors if they know anything.

Once you have the property owner’s contact information, write them a short letter explaining that you’re interested in buying the property and make them a fair offer. It works even better if you can pay in full.

Don’t offer too little, otherwise they might get offended and refuse to sell to you even if they would have been interested in selling before.

You should be able to use these methods to find a cheap piece of land. However, nobody is giving away land for free, so you’ll still need at least a little bit to start. Try to save your tax return to use as a bargaining chip when dealing with sellers.

If you still don’t think you can buy land, consider downsizing to a smaller property or even moving West. Property is cheaper West of the Mississippi, so if you’re dedicated enough moving might be a good option.

Also, make sure you’re prepared to live off grid before you go through with it. I wrote a blog post on 10 things you need to know before going off grid.

Once you get your new property, make sure to start planting seeds right away so you have a reliable food source as soon as possible.

7 Survival Uses For Frankincense Oil and Resin

People have known about the healing properties of frankincense for millennia and have used it as medicine since ancient times. Even as early as 500 B.C. frankincense was used to treat medical problems.

Frankincense was considered rare and was highly sought after. It was considered so special that it was given as a gift to Jesus by one of the three wise men.

Today, frankincense is much easier to acquire, but it still has the same healing properties as it did in ancient times.

To take advantage of the healing powers of frankincense, you can either diffuse it in the air via aromatherapy or absorb it directly through the skin with a carrier oil.

Frankincense has a variety of uses, ranging from minor pain relief all the way to helping cure cancer. Here are seven survival uses for frankincense oil and resin.

#1 – Stress Relief

Frankincense has a pleasant stress relieving effect, bringing about feelings of peace and relaxation. You’ll likely be over-stressed during a survival situation, and having frankincense may help you calm down and think clearly.

As an alternative to aromatherapy, you could also add a few drops of frankincense oil to a nice hot bath to really kick back and let the stress melt away.

#2 – Natural Anti-Septic

Frankincense is a known anti-septic, which means it kills bacteria and viruses on contact. Apply it to a wound along with a carrier oil to disinfect it and prevent infections.

This will help keep you healthy, which is especially important during a survival scenario when you might not have access to standard medical treatment.

#3 – Natural Household Cleaner

In addition to disinfecting wounds, you can use it to disinfect nearly anything. Use it just like you would use standard cleaning products.

Apply it to household items you would normally wipe down such as countertops and furniture. It’s all natural, so there won’t be any harmful residue left over when you’re done.

#4 – Relieves Inflammation and Pain

Frankincense is an anti-inflammatory, which makes it an amazing medicinal tool for those suffering from arthritis, allergies, bowel disorders, and asthma.

You’ll be able to function much better during an emergency if you aren’t crippled by pain, and frankincense is a healthy natural way to get relief.

Frankincense is also known to fight certain types of cancer cells. While I can’t promise that frankincense will cure your cancer, it’s at least worth a shot if normal treatment isn’t getting the results you want.

#5 – Improves Oral Health

In a survival scenario, oral hygiene most often gets neglected. What could be more unpleasant than having a tooth rot without access to a dentist? Having frankincense on hand gives you an easy way to keep your teeth and gums healthy so you don’t have to experience that nightmare.

Mix frankincense oil with baking soda to create your very own D.I.Y. toothpaste that’ll keep your mouth in top shape.

#6 – Relieves Indigestion

Do you ever experience digestive issues such as constipation, excessive gas, or cramps? If so, frankincense can help you get relief.

It speeds up digestion so your stomach doesn’t have to work as hard. Less stress on your stomach means you won’t experience those uncomfortable symptoms anymore.

#7 – Helps Fight the Flu and the Common Cold

Breathing in frankincense via aromatherapy does wonders for those with allergies, respiratory problems, and cold symptoms.

Frankincense eliminates phlegm in the lungs and reduces inflammation, which opens the nasal passages and makes breathing much easier.

Frankincense is only one of many different essential oils. The number of essential oils are as vast as the number of plants in the world. If you’re interested in learning more about the healing properties of other essential oils, read my blog post on the top seven most useful essential oils in a survival situation.

How To Convince Your Family Prepping Isn’t Crazy

Even though prepping is more common today than it was just a short decade ago, it still isn’t a mainstream activity.

As a prepper, you’re going to get some weird looks from people and you can expect your views to be challenged a lot. Most of the time you can simply ignore it, but when it comes to friends and family, those you spend most of your daily life with, it’s important to try to convince them that prepping isn’t crazy.

However, convincing someone who doesn’t “get it” is easier said than done. If you want to convince someone that prepping isn’t crazy, try these tips and you just might win someone over to your side.

Lower Their Guard

It doesn’t matter how sensible and well-presented your ideas are if the person you’re trying to convince has a completely wrong idea about what prepping is.

Thanks to sensational reality TV, movies and other media, many people automatically associate prepping with doomsayers, hardcore militants, and anarchists. This misconception will nullify any effort on your part to teach them the truth about prepping.

That’s why the first thing you need to do is clarify exactly what you do. This isn’t hard. Just honestly tell them some of the things you do. Most things preppers do aren’t crazy or even that exciting…in fact, it can be downright boring.

It will also help to use different terminology from what they’re used to hearing. Terms like “prepper”, “survivalist”, “SHTF”, “bug out”, and other terms are familiar to us, but they can be intimidating or alienating to non-preppers.

Instead, use softer, positive-sounding terms that mean the same thing that they are more familiar with.  Use terms like “self-sufficient”, “sustainable”, and “self-reliant” to sneak through their mental defenses.

Find a Situation Where They Agree

If you want to convince someone of anything, you need to find some common ground. This gives you a starting point to expand from.

Ask them if they’ve ever been in a dangerous situation or in an emergency situation. Give them some easy examples to get them started. Things like car crashes, hurricanes, blizzards, power outages, fires, and other emergencies they’re familiar with are excellent ways to find common ground.

Ask them about what they did during those emergencies. They might respond that they had some basic equipment like a flashlight during a power outage, a blanket in their car during a blizzard, or a fire extinguisher to put out a fire.

If they had any of those basic things with them, you’re in a good position, because you’re now both preppers. The question is no longer whether prepping is good or not, but rather how much prepping is good or not.

Take That Situation and Escalate It

Stay on the topic of the emergency they lived through where they used some basic gear. Ask them if having that gear with them helped at all and what it would have been like if they didn’t have it.

Now, ask them to imagine the situation was a little worse. Maybe the power outage lasted for two days instead of one, or the hurricane was more severe than predicted.

Would the gear they used still be enough? Probably not. Ask them what they would have needed to get through this “worse version” of their emergency situation.

At this point you are no longer trying to convince them…they’re convincing themselves by going through this “what if” scenario in their minds! People naturally resist when new ideas are forced on them, but they change their minds quickly when they convince themselves.

After your conversation, let some time pass for them to think everything over. Later on, follow up with a small but fun survival related gift. This is a non-intimidating gesture that might get them to start prepping on their own.

Know When to Let It Go

Some people just can’t be convinced no matter what you say or do. Don’t be hard on yourself if this is the case. Sometimes there’s just nothing you can do.

They may have serious hang-ups that are too deeply ingrained to be changed with something as simple as a conversation.

It might be that they either can’t see anything in the world as a serious threat, or they don’t want to believe that anything could go wrong. This type of person has a positive, albeit naïve, outlook on life.

Rather than having a heated argument and potentially ruining your relationship, it’s probably best if you let them stick to their beliefs.

It can be frustrating to live with someone who doesn’t understand why you prep, but when an emergency does happen, they’ll be thankful you did even though they didn’t support you.

Do you have any funny or frustrating stories where you dealt with non-preppers who just didn’t get it? Tell us your story in the comments section below!

What To Look For In A Survival Bag

Your survival bag is just as important as any other piece of gear. After all, it’s what holds all your equipment together and keeps it organized.

You might think any regular backpack is good enough, but that’s a big mistake. There are a few things you want to consider when finding the right one for you, so in this post I’m going to talk about what to look for in a survival bag.

Finding the Right Size

The first thing to consider is the size of the bag, or rather, its carrying capacity. Get one that’s too small and you won’t be able to fit everything you need. Get one that’s too big and it’ll be hard to travel with for any significant distance.

Let’s split survival bags into three groups: small (40 Liters), medium (60 Liters), and large (80+ Liters).

In general, a medium sized bug out bag is best. It offers enough room while also being light enough to haul around without a problem.

Small bags can be used by filling them with non-critical gear and having a child carry it. That way you can bring extra gear without burdening yourself with the load.

Preppers should avoid using large bags. Campers can use them because they can take their time and travel at their leisure, but as a prepper you don’t have that luxury. If we move it’s because we have to, and we don’t want bulky gear slowing us down.

Keeping Things Organized

If your survival bag only had one large compartment, you’d be in trouble.

Sure, it’s the same amount of space either way, but it’ll be much harder to grab a specific item when you need it. That’s why the ideal survival bag should have plenty of compartments.

Compartments give you a way to keep similar items together and give you easy access to things when you need them.

Try to find a bag that has a large main compartment, and then several medium and small compartments on the side and the front.

One thing that usually gets overlooked is that every compartment needs to be fully closable. If it can’t be sealed then all sorts of undesirable stuff will find it’s way into your bag. Water, dirt, and bugs are all things you want to stay out of your bag.

Plenty of Support

Your survival bag will be heavy when it’s fully packed, probably around 30 to 40 pounds. That might not sound like much right now, but you’ll definitely feel it after you’ve been carrying it for a while.

That’s why your survival bag needs to at least offer basic support. The first thing to look for are extra straps.

A normal backpack only has two straps, one for each shoulder, but a bag with extra support will have more than that. Look for a bag that also has a chest strap and a waist strap. These extra straps will spread the load more evenly across your body and give your overworked shoulders some rest.

That takes care of support for your body, but the bag itself will also need support if it’s really heavy. This is where frames become useful.

Some bags have internal or external frames that offer support to the bag. The frame spreads the load through the bag so it doesn’t tear. As a bonus, it’ll also make it easier for you to carry.

A frame isn’t strictly necessary, but if your bag is over 40 pounds it’s worth the investment.

Rock Solid Durability

Most likely, you’ll be using your survival bag in rough conditions. It doesn’t matter whether you’re bugging out in the city or out in the woods. If you’re in a survival situation, your bag is going to get abused.

It’s going to be a real pain if a strap tears or it can’t hold you gear properly. That’s why any bag you choose should be durable enough to withstand lots of abuse. Look for things like thick straps, water resistance, heavy stitching, and durable materials.

Ordinary Civilian Appearance

Bet you didn’t think appearance would be an important factor! It’s true, the appearance of your bag is an important factor to consider.

Other people will perceive you differently based on how you’re dressed and what you’re carrying. This is important to remember, because in a survival situation you absolutely don’t want to stick out.

If you’re carrying a military-looking camouflage bag, people are going to notice that. Some people will realize that you’ve got gear they can use, and are willing to take it from you…by force if necessary.

I know those military style camo bags look really cool. I get it, but this isn’t a fashion show. It’s more important to stay under the radar when it comes to survival. The less attention you draw to yourself the better.

Camo means you have gear worth stealing, and bright colors draw too much attention. The best way to stay under the radar is to choose a backpack in a solid “boring” color like dark green, brown, tan, or gray

So, which survival bag should you choose? There are plenty of them out there, and you can spend days searching for one. The one I recommend is the LifeShield Bug Out Pack. It checks off all the important points for a survival bag, and it isn’t too expensive either.

Is there anything you look for in a survival bag that’s not on this list? Let me know in the comments section below and share your knowledge with other readers.