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Outdoor Survival Skills

A Power Outage During The Winter Months Can Be Deadly

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We don’t often think of a power outage as a deadly event. It’s more of an annoyance than anything. However, a power outage absolutely can kill. Look no further than the huge blackout in Texas just a couple of years ago that killed over 200 people… and that only lasted a few days.

Now think about what could happen if the power went out for two weeks, or two months… or for good.

The bottom line is that you need to be prepared for a long-term power outage. Be it an EMP, a sophisticated cyber attack, or our nation’s rickety power grid finally reaching its breaking point, a long-term, wide-scale power blackout is absolutely a possibility you need to prepare for. 

The Potentially Deadly Power Outage Predicament

Something as simple as a fallen branch can cause a short-term, localized blackout. There are more nefarious actors in the world, however, that can have you and your family in the freezing cold at any given moment. That’s going to have you thinking seriously about questions of basic survival – and at that point, it’s too late. 

  • Heating and Warmth: Staying warm is absolutely necessary for survival. Exposure to frigid temperatures can easily be life-threatening, or, at the very least, incapacitating.
  • Food and Water: When the power goes down due to inclement weather you’re going to need a way to keep your family fed and hydrated. Stockpiling, growing or long-term storing food is a must.
  • Communication: It’s hard to stay connected when the power goes down, so consider alternative communication methods to ensure that you can stay in touch with your family and your survival community.
  • Health and Safety: Have a backup plan for sanitation and life-saving medical equipment in the event that the power grid goes down, be it for a week, a month, a year, or forever.

Constructing a Winter Storm Survival Kit

Emergency Kit

When winter storms threaten power outages, a basic survival kit will become your lifeline. At the absolute minimum, a survival kit, preferably kept in your car so that it’s wherever you find yourself, should contain:

  • Warmth: Sleeping bags, warm clothes, and blankets, as well as a means to start a fire if need be, such as waterproof matches or firestarters.
  • Light: Flashlights are good, but headlamps are better because they keep your hands free while providing you with the light you need to see.
  • Food and Water: You should have at least a three-day supply of food and water for emergencies, but hopefully a supply that’s going to last a lot longer than that in the event of a prolonged power outage.
  • Medical Supplies: Medical supplies include a First Aid kit and any necessary medications as well as sanitation products.
  • Communication: Keep crucial contact information on a piece of paper rather than on your phone. Make sure you have lots of backup power for your communication devices and invest in a solar or hand-crank radio for public announcements.
emergency-sleeping-bag

Heating Sources for Survival

Maintaining a comfortable temperature is paramount during a winter storm power outage. Explore alternative heating sources to keep the chill at bay:

  • Wood-Burning Stoves: Wood-burning stoves are one of the best sources of alternative heat because they allow you to easily cook food in the same place that you generate heat from.
  • Portable Heaters: Battery- and propane-powered space heaters have come down considerably in price and are much safer than in years past. You still need to exercise caution, however.
  • Emergency Blankets: Reflective, heat-insulating blankets are particularly good for making sure that you keep all the heat on the inside if you find yourself caught out in a winter storm or have to make a run for it over a long distance.

Communication Lines Are Lifelines During An Emergency

It doesn’t matter if it’s a minor winter storm or the end of the world as we know it. Communication is essential to making sure you and your family stay alive during any emergency So it’s necessary to develop an emergency communication plan for any disaster scenario:

  • Emergency Contacts: Keep a list of emergency contacts – written on paper, not your phone – so that you can reach out any way you can when disaster strikes.
  • Alert Systems: Signing up for emergency alerts and notifications from local authorities can give you advance warning of a disaster before it strikes.
  • Portable Charging: You can never have enough power sources and backup energy. Stockpiling chargers can be as valuable as stockpiling food.

Emergency Lighting For Survival And Rescue

Illumination is not only comforting but crucial for safety. Equip yourself with reliable lighting sources:

  • LED Flashlights: LED flashlights are energy-efficient, allowing them to provide long-lasting, bright illumination in the darkest of times.
  • Candles and Lanterns: Candles (used safely) and battery-powered lanterns can light up a space if you can’t charge up your LED flashlights.
  • Glow Sticks: Glow sticks can provide light both for vision and for signaling and are especially safe for children.

Save Your Life With Generators and Fuel

Usage of gasoline portable outdoor generator, home power generator to backup the house during blackouts

For extended outages of the kind you’re likely to be preparing for, a backup generator is an absolute must. Still, generators come with their own challenges and not all are created equally. Before you buy a backup generator for a grid down scenario or even just a winter storm there are some things to keep in mind:

  • Generator Type: Choose the right generator for your family’s power needs, including wattage and fuel supply.
  • Fuel Supply: Without adequate fuel, your generator is little more than a glorified paperweight. So stockpile the fuel you need to keep your generator running in case of an emergency.
emergency-sleeping-bag

When Your Home Is No Longer Safe: Evacuation Plan

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Your home is your castle and you want it to be the safest place for your family… but that might not be the case. In the event that your home is no longer safe, the sooner you leave the better. Still, you’re going to need a plan for getting out of dodge.

That means having a safe destination in mind, as well as the means and knowledge to get there. Physical, paper maps of your local area are a must for any prepper. You also need a vehicle that’s ready to traverse anything, including snow and ice. If your generator runs off of regular gas, it can act as a backup fuel supply for your bugout vehicle in the event you have to abandon ship as it were. 

You need to be prepared for the worst no matter what the weather is like. Having a bugout plan that ceases to work the second the temperature drops below 40F is a plan for death for you and your entire family. Following the steps above, however, ensures that you are going to be able to survive and thrive no matter what mother nature, malicious state actors, or sophisticated cyber-criminals throw your way. 

Are you ready for a “grid down” scenario? What are you doing to prepare? Share your prepping efforts in the comments below.

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Teaching Kids About Wilderness Safety and Survival

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Exploring the great outdoors offers numerous benefits for children, from fostering a love of nature to promoting physical activity and learning valuable life skills. However, venturing into the wilderness also comes with inherent risks. Teaching kids about wilderness safety and survival not only empowers them to enjoy outdoor adventures responsibly but also prepares them to handle unexpected situations effectively.

Understanding the Environment

The first step in teaching kids about wilderness safety is helping them understand the environment they’ll be exploring. Discuss potential hazards such as uneven terrain, wildlife encounters, and changes in weather conditions. Encourage curiosity about nature while emphasizing the importance of respecting its power and unpredictability.

Hiking Essentials

Before setting out on a hike, ensure that your children are equipped with the essential gear and knowledge to stay safe. Teach them to dress appropriately for the weather, wear sturdy footwear, and carry essentials such as water, snacks, a map, and a whistle. Emphasize the importance of staying on marked trails and never wandering off alone.

Navigation Skills

Teach children basic navigation skills to help them stay oriented in the wilderness. Show them how to read a map and use a compass, pointing out landmarks and trail markers along the way. Encourage them to pay attention to their surroundings and make mental notes of key features to aid in navigation.

Emergency Procedures

Prepare children for emergencies by teaching them essential survival skills and emergency procedures. Demonstrate how to signal for help using a whistle or mirror, build a shelter using natural materials, and start a fire safely. Discuss what to do in case they become lost or separated from the group, emphasizing the importance of staying calm and staying put to make rescue easier.

Wildlife Safety

Educate children about the wildlife they may encounter in the wilderness and how to coexist safely. Teach them to observe animals from a distance and never approach or attempt to feed them. Discuss how to react in the event of a wildlife encounter, such as backing away slowly from bears or standing tall and making noise to deter smaller animals.

Water Safety

If your outdoor adventures include activities near water, such as swimming or boating, it’s crucial to teach children about water safety. Emphasize the importance of wearing a life jacket, swimming with a buddy, and avoiding strong currents or dangerous water conditions. Teach them how to recognize signs of drowning and how to perform basic water rescue techniques if necessary.

Leave No Trace Principles

Instill in children the importance of practicing Leave No Trace principles to minimize their impact on the environment. Teach them to pack out their trash, stay on designated trails, and avoid disturbing wildlife or natural habitats. Encourage them to appreciate the beauty of nature while also being responsible stewards of the land.

Teaching kids about wilderness safety and survival empowers them to enjoy outdoor adventures responsibly while equipping them with valuable life skills. By helping children understand the environment, providing essential gear and knowledge, and emphasizing the importance of safety and respect for nature, parents can foster a love of the outdoors that lasts a lifetime. Encourage curiosity, exploration, and a sense of adventure, while always prioritizing safety above all else.

How do you teach children about wilderness safety? Leave your tips for other parents in the comments below.

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Family-Friendly Wilderness Survival Skills: Navigating Nature Together

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When it comes to venturing into the wilderness as a family, being equipped with essential survival skills can turn what might seem like a daunting prospect into a thrilling adventure. From navigating rugged terrain to building shelters and finding sustenance, knowing how to handle various wilderness scenarios not only ensures safety but also fosters a deeper connection with nature. Here, we’ll delve into some family-friendly wilderness survival skills that are both practical and empowering for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.

Navigating Nature’s Maze: The Art of Orientation

Wilderness navigation skills are absolutely necessary for survival. Teach your family members how to read a map and use a compass. Turn it into a game, plotting imaginary routes or exploring nearby trails. Understanding how to interpret natural landmarks, such as mountains or rivers, can serve as invaluable guideposts when technology fails or trails grow faint.

Shelter from the Storm: Building Safe Havens

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Constructing a shelter in the wilderness isn’t just about protection from the elements; it’s also an opportunity to foster teamwork and resourcefulness. Encourage your family to work together to build a shelter using readily available materials like branches, leaves, and logs. Even practicing with a simple tarp or emergency blanket in the backyard can instill confidence and prepare everyone for unexpected situations.

Quenching Thirst: Finding and Purifying Water Sources

woman taking water from forest spring

Water is essential for survival, but finding safe sources in the wilderness can be challenging. Teach your family how to locate water sources such as streams or springs, and emphasize the importance of purifying water before drinking. Show them how to boil water over a campfire or use portable water filtration systems. It’s not just about quenching thirst; it’s about ensuring hydration without compromising health.

Mastering the Flames: The Art of Fire Building

Building a fire in the wilderness is not only a practical skill but also a primal experience that connects us to our ancestors. Teach your family the basics of fire building: selecting dry tinder, arranging kindling, and patiently nurturing the flames. Show them how to practice fire safety, such as keeping a safe distance from combustible materials and extinguishing fires completely before leaving a campsite.

Harmonizing with Wildlife: Respectful Coexistence

Encounters with wildlife are part of the allure of wilderness exploration, but they also require caution and respect. Educate your family about local wildlife, teaching them to recognize signs of activity and respond appropriately. Instill in them a sense of awe and appreciation for the natural world while emphasizing the importance of maintaining a safe distance and avoiding confrontations.

Equipping your family with wilderness survival skills is not just about preparing for the worst-case scenario; it’s about empowering them to explore and thrive in the great outdoors. By teaching navigation techniques, shelter-building skills, water purification methods, fire-building basics, and wildlife awareness, you’re not only ensuring their safety but also nurturing a lifelong love for nature and adventure. So, gather your loved ones, pack your gear, and embark on unforgettable journeys into the heart of the wilderness, where every challenge becomes an opportunity to learn and grow together.

Do you practice wilderness survival with your family? What do you do? Leave your pointers in the comments below.

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Outdoor Survival Skills

Banding Together In Times Of Crisis: The Important of Survival Communities

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In times of crisis, whether natural disasters, economic downturns, or other emergencies, fostering community resilience is paramount for families to navigate challenges successfully. Building strong bonds and collaborating with neighbors can provide essential support networks and resources. In this article, we’ll explore strategies for families to work together and contribute to community resilience during times of crisis.

Establish Communication Channels

Clear and reliable communication channels are essential for coordinating efforts and sharing critical information within the community. Establish methods such as neighborhood watch groups, social media networks, or communication apps to stay connected with neighbors. Create contact lists with essential contact information for each household and designate emergency communication protocols.

Collaborate on Emergency Preparedness

Encourage collaboration among families in preparing for potential emergencies. Organize community-wide preparedness events or workshops to share knowledge, resources, and skills. Pooling resources such as emergency supplies, tools, and equipment can enhance the collective readiness of the community. Develop evacuation plans and designate meeting points in case of evacuation orders.

Share Skills and Resources

Identify the skills, expertise, and resources available within the community and leverage them to support one another. Encourage neighbors to share their knowledge of gardening, first aid, construction, or other relevant skills. Create a network for exchanging goods and services, such as food, water, tools, and shelter materials. By collaborating and supporting each other, families can address challenges more effectively.

Establish Mutual Aid Networks

Establish mutual aid networks to provide assistance and support to vulnerable members of the community during times of crisis. Identify individuals or families who may need extra help, such as elderly residents, people with disabilities, or single parents. Coordinate efforts to check on their well-being, provide assistance with essential tasks, or evacuate them safely if necessary.

Organize Community Resilience Projects

Prepper Community

Engage in community resilience projects that enhance the overall preparedness and resilience of the neighborhood. Examples include community gardens, rainwater harvesting systems, emergency shelters, and neighborhood watch programs. Work together on initiatives that promote self-sufficiency, sustainability, and disaster resilience.

Foster Social Connections

Building strong social connections within the community fosters a sense of belonging and solidarity, which is crucial during times of crisis. Organize regular neighborhood gatherings, potlucks, or block parties to strengthen relationships and build trust among neighbors. Encourage open communication, empathy, and mutual support to create a resilient community fabric.

Participate in Training and Exercises

Participate in training sessions and emergency preparedness exercises as a community to enhance readiness and coordination. Practice scenarios such as earthquake drills, fire evacuation drills, or first aid training exercises. Evaluate and refine emergency plans based on lessons learned from simulations and real-life experiences.

Engage with Local Authorities and Organizations

Collaborate with local authorities, emergency responders, and community organizations to enhance resilience efforts. Stay informed about emergency protocols, evacuation routes, and available resources in your area. Advocate for community resilience initiatives and participate in local planning committees or advisory boards.

By working together and building strong community connections, families can significantly enhance their resilience and ability to withstand crises. By establishing communication channels, collaborating on preparedness efforts, sharing skills and resources, and fostering social connections, families can contribute to building a resilient community that supports its members in times of need. Remember, resilience is built through collective action and mutual support.

Are you a part of a bigger survival community? If not, do you plan on changing that? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

 

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