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Best Scope for M1A and M14 – Expert’s Opinion



The M1A is often mistaken for the venerable M1 Garand. Springfield Armory designed and began production of the M1A in 1974 as a civilian version of the military M14 rifle.

Best Scopes For M1A and M14

While the M1A does resemble the M1 Garand superficially, some differences exist. In large part, these differences result from the Federal Assault Weapons Ban that occurred in 1994.

The M1A and M14 rifles have been manufactured mostly as civilian rifles since 1971.

These rifles lack the selector mechanism for full auto fire. Some M1As were later converted to M14-type rifles with the full-auto selector. However, these M1A and M14-style rifles are subject to the National Fire Arms Act and are rather rare.

For all practical purposes, fitting a scope to an M1A and M14 is an identical process. The rifles, except for the selector mechanism, are identical, shoot the same round, and have the same characteristics that drive scope selection. For the rest of this article, I will refer to the M1A rather than consider the M14 as a separate platform.

What You Should Know Before Choosing a Rifle Scope

You should consider two categories of information when choosing a rifle scope for any rifle, not just an M1A and M14.

First, you should understand the rifle’s mechanics, shooting characteristics, and ballistics.

Second, a thorough understanding of your expectations and uses of the rifle and rifle scope is necessary to ensure you get the right set of features to suit your needs and requirements.

The Springfield Armory M1A and its Variants

Springfield Armory makes several variants of the standard M1A platform. Among the most popular variations available for this popular rifle platform are models designed for competition, hunting, and defensive purposes.

Because the barrel lengths can differ on these models, it is important to consider which model of M1A you intend to scope.


The standard-issue M1A is the basis for every other variant in the M1A line of rifles.

Standard features include windage and elevation adjustable rear sights, a two-stage military trigger, a detachable box magazine, and a reliable and proven roller cam bolt system.

M1A “Scout Squad” Rifles

Springfield Armory took the basic M1A rifle and adapted it to a scout-style rifle design that gives added performance and maneuverability.

The barrel is shortened to eighteen inches, and a new style flash hider and muzzle break are added. A Picatinny rail is attached ahead of the receiver to make mounting a scout-style long eye relief scope easy.

M1A SOCOM 16 Rifles

If you want a tactical rifle, the M1A SOCOM version is a great choice. You can enjoy less felt recoil with a 16.25-inch barrel and a proprietary muzzle brake.

A Picatinny-style rail is available from the factory mounted in the forward position. The standard iron sights have been upgraded with a larger ghost ring rear sight and a tritium insert in the front sight post.

M1A Loaded Rifles

Take the standard M1A platform and add the features and upgrades you need to turn this rifle platform into an extreme performer. In addition to the standard .308 Winchester cartridge, you can elect to have your M1A Loaded version chambered for 6.5 Creedmore.

A National Match air-gauged barrel and a National Match-tuned trigger make this a proven long-range shooting machine.

Calibers and Ballistics

Springfield Armory M1A and M14 rifles are generally chambered for the .308 Winchester or the 7.62×51 NATO round. These two cartridges are interchangeable for all practical purposes and have basically the same ballistic characteristics.

The most easily obtainable cartridges in the civilian market are .308 Winchester loads; this is the cartridge I have used for my ballistics data.

The loaded version of the M1A can be found chambered for the 6.5 Creedmore cartridge, which has distinct ballistic characteristics.

A 6.5 Creedmore may be better if your shooting distances go to extremes. If you make this choice, you should choose your rifle scope accordingly.

Typical .308 Ballistic Characteristics

The .308 Winchester cartridge is an impressive round with a long history. Originally developed by the U.S. Military as a replacement for the .30-06 cartridge that had been the standard issue for many years, Winchester saw the advantages and introduced the .308 Winchester cartridge in 1952.

This cartridge rapidly gained a following and became a popular hunting cartridge among civilian shooters.

Ballistically, the .308 Winchester offers some impressive numbers. This data is based on a commercial load with a 150-grain full metal jacket boat tail bullet.

The .308 Winchester cartridge is usually considered a 1000-yard bullet. My data only ranges to 500 yards, but you can easily interpolate out to 100 yards using this data. You should consider that at 500 yards, the .308 Winchester is still delivering 1093-foot pounds of energy. From the standpoint of velocity, at 1000 yards, the .308 bullet travels faster than a .223 or 7.62×39 bullet at 500 yards.

The TAKEAWAYS About the Springfield Armory M1A and M14

With choosing a scope as the goal, some important lessons can be learned from the basic data available about the M1A rifle.

The .308 Winchester cartridge makes the M1A a 1,000-yard rifle, which should factor into your rifle scope selection. You must also consider the variant on which you are mounting a scope. The barrel length and the style of mount all make a difference in your scope selection.

What Do You Expect From Your Scope?

Next, you must consider how you intend to use your M1A rifle. Along with the ballistic characteristics, your expectations should take center stage in this part of the process.

Several important factors enter the equation when making a scope selection for your rifle.

Your Rifle

Your rifle and where you will mount a scope are critical factors in scope selection. If you choose a scout-style rifle, you will need a scout scope with a longer eye relief since the scope will be mounted further forward on the rifle.

Your choice of loads for the cartridge you shoot can also have a minor impact on scope. selection.

Your Shooting Style

Competition shooting calls for an entirely different set of scope characteristics and features than a rifle used for hunting.

If your rifle is intended for self-defense or combat purposes, some special considerations go into a scope selection. A thorough understanding of how you intend to use your rifle is necessary to ensure that you get the proper features in a rifle scope.

Let’s Talk Rifle Scopes

When we get to the nuts and bolts of selecting a rifle scope for your M1A, you will find that the market is almost overwhelming with selections and varieties.

Choosing the best scope can be challenging. Even the most experienced shooters often get frustrated when trying to sort through the different makers, models, and variations of rifle scopes on the market. Finding the best scopes for M1A rifles takes some time and diligence.

When I start shopping for a new rifle scope, and I have fixed the rifle specifications and expected uses in my mind, I move on to the things that I believe to be most important in choosing a scope for any rifle.

Magnification Range

I always consider how much magnification I may need.

In the case of the M1A, I wouldn’t consider any scope that won’t let me go out to at least 1000 yards with good clarity and image quality. This means quality optics are essential since most lower-cost scopes have optical problems at a higher magnification range.

In my opinion, anyone expecting to use their M1A as a long-range rifle with acceptable long-range accuracy must consider a rifle scope that provides at least a 24X magnification range on the high end.

Serious long-range shooters may opt to go to a higher magnification range. Competitive long-distance shooters who are interested in pinpoint accuracy will also appreciate the higher magnification levels.

Mid-Range and CLOSE-RANGE Shooting

If you are configuring a scout style rifle where rapid target acquisition and mid-range accuracy are important, different specifications are usually needed.

Scout rifles have unique scope mounting challenges. For the close-range shots typically expected with scout rifles, you need less magnification with excellent image quality. Your scout style rifle requires a scope designed to accommodate the forward scope mount.

Most scout rifle shooters don’t expect long-range precision, so the best scope choice for these installations is usually a scope specifically designed for scout style rifle mounts.

Objective Lens Sizes

I typically stick by my belief that long-range shooting and high magnification demand a larger objective lens.

Even high-quality scopes can have problems with optical clarity and color at high magnification. Larger objective lens sizes help gather more light for better light transmission.

If you are a hunter who may be tracking moving targets over long distances, you will appreciate the larger field of view afforded by a larger objective lens.

Long-distance shooting on moving targets calls for selecting a scope with at least a 50mm objective lens. A larger objective lens can make finding and tracking long-distance targets a much easier task.

Construction, Materials, and Quality Control

I always counsel anyone shopping for a scope of any type to buy the best quality and materials they can source.

I also look for scopes from known manufacturers with a solid reputation for quality control and customer service.

There are a lot of less expensive rifle scopes on the market that come from unknown and often questionable sources. You may save a bit of money, but in the long run, my experience has been negative with these scopes.

Quality control and construction are important factors when considering mounting a scope on a high-power rifle like an M1A. The recoil shock can be deadly for many scopes that aren’t built for that kind of abuse.

You may find other scopes that seem to offer a better price point, but I question the capability of these budget scopes to withstand the rigors of the .308 cartridge and field use.

When you consider the best scopes for M1A rifles, the manufacturer’s reputation is often your best guide to quality and durability. It is hard to judge the internal quality of a rifle scope. A manufacturer’s history and reputation among comparable shooters are my usual guide.

First or Second Focal Plane?

There is always a great debate about which style of scope is best, the first or second focal plane. My preference, especially on scopes with high magnification, is a first focal plane scope.

Keeping the graduations on the reticle proportional to the target as magnification changes is a great advantage at long range.

On scopes meant for short-range applications, a second focal plane scope may make sense, especially since second focal plane scopes tend to be less expensive overall.

One factor to consider is the adjustment range of the parallax setting in relation to the scope’s magnification range.

Optical Glass Quality

The optical glass used to make the lens assemblies is at the core of your rifle scope. The quality of the optical glass determines the quality of the images you see in your scope. The optical glass can determine how well the scope will perform in low light conditions and at high magnification.

The highest quality construction and design will not make poor optical glass perform better. The best scopes for M1A rifles will have top-quality optical glass that will perform equally well for long-range shooting and short-range needs. A good scope will provide you with clear and crisp images, even in low light conditions.

Eye Relief

Eye relief in your scope can be a major factor, particularly if you consider scout scopes for M1A rifles.

Scout scopes typically are mounted well forward of the traditional scope mounting position. A scout scope usually is not a high-magnification scope. The basic design of a scout rifle makes a scout scope a bit of a specialty item.

Even a traditional scope mount requires attention to eye relief length. Your head placement when shooting is critical to accuracy, and the length of the eye relief on your scope is a part of attaining a consistent cheek weld and eye location when shooting.

Other Features To Consider

There are so many bells and whistles available from different manufacturers that it is hard to determine which may be the ones that make the best scopes for M1A rifles.

Many of these options and features come down to personal preference. These are the features and options that I consider most important:

1. Reticles

Reticle selection is critical in a long-range scope.

Professional shooters look for many more options than long-distance hunters. One of the most popular reticle options is a bullet drop compensation reticle. Professional shooters, competitive shooters, and long-range hunters all benefit from bullet drop compensated reticle in a scope for M1A rifles.

Long-range shooters tend to favor scopes graduated in mil-dot, while most hunters choose MOA graduations. At long range, mil-dot graduations can afford more accuracy in the eyes of many competitive and precision shooters.

MOA graduations are easier for some shooters to manage since an MOA graduated scope will produce approximately one inch of change at 100 yards.

2. Parallax Adjustments

At higher magnification, you may notice that it is difficult to keep the reticle and target in focus simultaneously.

This is due to the parallax difference when the target image is on a different focal plane that the reticle image. A parallax adjustable scope allows you to solve this issue by bringing the reticle image onto the same plane as the target image.

A parallax adjustable scope is almost a must if you plan to take advantage of the distance your M1A rifle can deliver. Target shooters and anyone who hunts long-range targets understand the problems that can come from parallax errors.

The best scope for an M1A used for long extreme distances should include a parallax adjustment feature.

3. Magnification Rings

Variable magnification scopes usually have an adjustment ring near the ocular end of the scope. Better scopes will have an integrated throw lever on the adjustment ring to allow you to quickly and accurately adjust the magnification on your scope.

This small feature will become increasingly important if you hunt in extreme weather where gloves are necessary.

4. Lens Protection and Coatings

If you pay to get high-quality glass in your scope, you want to ensure that the glass is protected and delivers the best performance you can expect. Any scope for M1A rifles should have fully multi-coated lenses.

The best scopes will coat all the glass surfaces, not just those exposed to air.

5. Ocular Assemblies

The end of your rifle scope closes to your eye and contains the ocular assemblies and lenses. Several options may be important to you when you choose a scope for target shooting or hunting.

If you are like me with older eyes dependent on glasses, a fast-focus eyepiece with diopter adjustments may be high on your priority list. Ensure the diopter adjustment range is adequate for your eyesight needs.

6. Illuminated Reticle

One of the best new technologies in scope design is illuminated reticles. I highly recommend that you choose a rifle scope with an illuminated reticle. For older shooters, like me, the illumination can make a world of difference.

Most scope manufacturers now offer illuminated reticles on most of their scope models. Technology has matured, and the illumination systems are as tough as the scopes, so you needn’t worry about durability or reliability.

An illuminated reticle can give you a huge advantage, especially when you can adjust the brightness settings to match the light conditions.

7. Scope Mount

Don’t forget your scope mount.

Many shooters go to great lengths to find the perfect rifle scope only to grab the first set of scope rings they find on the store shelf.

You should consider the quality and reliability of the rings you use to mount your scope almost as closely as you consider the scope. The scope mounts ensure that your rifle and scope work together as a single unit. Poor scope rings and mounts can lead to very disappointing results from the most expensive rifle scope.

What Do I Recommend?

This really isn’t a best-of or a product review article, but most readers will wonder what I would recommend as a good scope for M1A rifles.

Without going into a lot of detail, I will give a quick rundown of the scopes that I would choose if I were shopping for a scope for M1A rifles.

Standard Issue M1A and M14 Scope

For a standard issue Springfield Armory M1A, the best general-use scope, in my opinion, is the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-12X56 AO SFP rifle scope.

For the money, I don’t think you can do better than these Vortex Optics scopes. These scopes are loaded with features and have the power and clarity to allow you to take your M1A rifle out to its full capabilities.

Vortex Optics scopes are fog proof, water proof and come with one of the best warranties on the market

If you are on a budget and need a scope that doesn’t wreck your wallet, consider the UTG 6-24X50 Hunter Scope AO SFP Rifle Scope.

UTG has come a long way with its rifle scope designs and quality. The glass is Chinese, but UTG sources some of the better optical glass from China. For a scope in this price range, you get features that normally are only found on scopes costing 4 or 5 times the money.

UTG warranties their scopes to be fogproof, waterproof and shockproof.

At the top of the line for your standard issue M1A rifle, I almost always recommend the Nightforce SHV 5-20X56 SFP AO rifle scope.

These are professional quality rifle scopes designed for extreme conditions that hunters may encounter in the field. The large objective lens and easy-to-adjust turrets are perfect for those long-range shoots that demand the best optical images you can get.

Nightforce is a premier scope manufacturer that goes the extra mile to ensure fogproof, waterproof, and shock-resistant operation.

Scout Rifle Scope

The Springfield M1A Scout Squad rifles demand a different type and style of a rifle scope. You need a much longer eye relief on a more compact package than most traditional scopes offer.

Most better scope manufacturers now offer scout scope models specifically for these applications.

My recommendation for most shooters using the M1A Scout Squad rifle is the Burris Scout Scope 2-7X32 rifle scope. The Burris scout scope offers great optics for short to medium range shooting.

These scopes are rugged, provide clear and sharp images, and are designed specifically as scout rifle scopes. With these scopes, you can expect eye relief up to 12 inches, giving you plenty of mounting options.

I suggest looking at the UTG 2-7X44 Scout Scope for the cost-conscious shooter. I have mentioned UTG before, and they again get my nod as the budget choice of scout scopes.

For the money, you get rugged reliability, good glass, and parallax adjustment in a scope with up to 11 inches of eye relief.

If you want to go with the best glass and top-line optical glass, you can’t do much better than the Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4X28 IER Scout rifle scope.

Leupold is a premier optics manufacturer. This scope is designed to meet Jeff Cooper’s ideal for a scout rifle and scope combination.

Make the Right Choice For Your Needs and Expectations

Funding the best scopes for M1A rifles can be a challenge. Finding that reliable scope for your M1A is the goal.

You may be looking for the best budget scope at an affordable price or opting to purchase the best scope for your M1A money can buy.

Whatever the case, finding the best features and options to fit your needs and expectations should be the ultimate goal.

Dennis Howard

A life long hunter, fisherman, and outdoorsman, after surviving a devastating tornado in his home town, he saw the effects on people’s lives as they struggled to cope. He built his first bugout bag a few weeks later and has been a dedicated prepper/survivalist since that time. After a career as a fireman, Dennis opened a retail store (FFL approved) catering to the military, law enforcement, and like-minded individuals. The store built their own AR platforms. Furthermore, Dennis was also an NRA instructor in both long gun and handgun as well as a certified range safety officer. Read his full interview here.

Source link: by Dennis Howard at

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Igniting Hope in Damp Desolation: Mastering Fire Starting in Wet Conditions



man warms himself by the fire in the forest, rain

Imagine being stuck in the wilderness. Your surroundings are damp and cold… and you have no heat source. These are the times when mastering the art of starting a fire isn’t a “nice to have”… it can make all the difference between life and death

It doesn’t matter if you’re a camper, a hiker or getting ready for the end of the world as we know it. Understanding how to get a fire starting in wet conditions is absolutely crucial. In this comprehensive guide, we will explain the principles involved in getting a fire started in even the most damp conditions.

Why You Need To Know How To Light A Fire In Damp Conditions

Fire serves multiple roles in the outdoors. It provides warmth, cooks your food, boils your water and even provides you with comfort and protection. Fire is always a survival necessity, but this becomes a serious challenge in wet conditions, be it rain, snow, or even high humidity.

Modern Need's Emergency Sleeping Bag

Preparation Is The Key to Success

Before getting into the meat of specific techniques, it’s crucial to prepare properly for fire starting in damp conditions. Here are some essential steps to follow:

You Need To Have A Fire Kit

Reliable fire kits are not expensive, so you should invest in a good one, rather than just the cheapest one you find. A good fire kit will include waterproof matches, fire starters, a butane lighter, and dry tinder. Store them in a waterproof container or a sealed plastic bag inside your bugout bag or hiking backpack.

Tinder and Kindling

Gather and prepare your dry tinder and kindling in advance. It’s one less thing you have to do to stress yourself out in a survival situation. Good tinder and kindling includes dry leaves, birch bark, small twigs, or wood shavings. Keep them in a waterproof bag.

Shelter Building

Setting up a shelter or even using a tarp to protect your fire-starting area from rain or snow can be a real game changer when it comes to not only making a fire, but ensuring that your fire stays lit. 

Techniques for Starting A Fire in Wet Conditions

There are a number of effective techniques for getting a fire started in less than ideal conditions. The more tools you have at your disposal, the more options you can have when it comes to getting your fire started, staying warm and cooking food. 

Waterproof Matches

Waterproof matches are one of the best things you can have in wet conditions. These matches will light even when wet and can be an excellent backup source of fire even when they’re not. However, it’s essential to store them in a waterproof container to prevent accidental exposure to moisture. There’s only so much moistures the matches can stand before they don’t work. 

Modern Need's Emergency Sleeping Bag

Ferrocerium Rod

A ferrocerium rod, also known as a firesteel or ferro rod, is much more durable than waterproof matches and a highly reliable fire starter. Scrape the rod with your pocket knife or a special striker to create sparks. This can be used to ignite your tinder.

Fire Piston

A fire piston is less common than some of these other options, but a highly effective tool for starting fires when it’s damp. The fire pistol rapidly compresses air, igniting the tinder inside the piston’s chamber. This method can be used successfully even in wet conditions if you have a dry tinder source to get things started

Solar Fire Starting

On a sunny days, you can use a magnifying glass or even a clear plastic bag filled with water to concentrate sunlight onto your tinder. Again, you’re going to need the sun for this and it helps if it’s directly overhead. 

Fire Plough and Fire Saw

The fire plough and fire saw are primitive methods for starting a fire that work just as well as they did thousands of years ago. The fire saw and plough work together to create friction between two pieces of wood, which  generates intense heat. These methods don’t work as well in damp conditions, but if you prepare your dry tinder properly, they can still work.

Fire From Electricity

If you have no other options, you can attempt to generate fire using a battery and steel wool. Touch the battery terminals to the steel wool, which can ignite and can be used to light dry tinder. Exercise extreme caution when using this method. 

How To Build A Fire In Damp Conditions

Regardless of how you start the fire, the key to success is building and sustaining the fire. Here are some effective techniques for getting a fire going and keeping it going under wet conditions:

Teepee Fire

The teepee fire is the classic method for arranging kindling and fuelwood. Arrange your fuel in a cone or teepee shape. This structure allows for proper airflow, which dries out damp wood more efficiently.

Lean-To Fire

The lean-to fire places a long piece of kindling against a larger piece of fuelwood, which creates a sheltered space under itself. This structure helps protect the fire underneath from moisture and rain, just as a lean-to protects people inside from the elements.

Modern Need's Emergency Sleeping Bag

Upside-Down Fire

An upside-down fire is also known as a “self-feeding fire,” which stacks the largest fuelwood at the bottom, with progressively smaller pieces on top, ending with the tinder on top of the kindling. This method prevents the fire from being smothered by damp or wet fuelwood.

Platform Fire

A platform fire is built on a flat, elevated surface preventing the fire from sitting in water or on the damp ground. Rocks or logs can be used as a base for your fire.

In damp or wet conditions, fire starting can be a daunting task, but is possible. Using the right techniques, tools, and general preparedness, you can ignite that crucial flame. It doesn’t matter you’re camping, hiking, or facing down the end of the world as we know it; understanding how to start a fire in adverse weather can save your life. Hone your fire-starting skills before you have to. This will ensure they’re at your disposal when the time comes. 

Have you ever had to light a fire in damp conditions? What methods were most effective for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Food, Water and Medicine: Long-Haul Survival Prepping For The Whole Family



A disaster supply kit

No one wants to think about it… but modern civilization is built on a flimsy foundation that could come crashing down at any moment. 

Think about it: The power grid is extremely fragile. North Korea’s nukes aren’t for taking out cities. They’re for taking out our power grid with an EMP. What’s more, sophisticated hackers already have access to the American power grid… and can shut it off at a moment of their choosing.

Speaking of nukes, the international situation gets more and more tense with each passing week. The Russo-Ukraine War could easily spill over into a neighboring NATO nation, triggering a response from the nuclear-armed powers of NATO. Non-state actors are always in pursuit of nuclear weapons and it’s only a matter of time until they get them. 

Civil unrest is another strong candidate for collapse, alongside its close cousin economic meltdown. It doesn’t matter which side of the political fence you fall on, the writing is on the wall: America is more polarized than ever and our currency is rapidly inflating thanks to the unprecedented money printing that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. This sets the stage for a perfect storm of civil unrest and economic collapse. 

We’re not saying any of this to scare you. In fact, nothing would make us happier than for you to live a happy and prosperous life with your family with absolutely no collapses, calamities or catastrophes to deal with. 

That said, however, it’s much wiser to be prepared for a disaster that never happens than it is to be totally unprepared when the SHTF. 

To that end, you’ve got three things at the very least that it’s absolutely essential to stockpile, whether you’re worried about the lights going off for a couple weeks or the rest of your life: food, water and medicine. 

How Much Water Does My Family Need?

Before you even start thinking about food, you need to think about water. You can last a lot longer without food than you can without water. What’s more, water is probably going to provide challenges you haven’t properly considered even if you’ve done a bit of research into the topic of how to survive a major natural disaster. 

The general guideline for water is one gallon per person per day. This includes drinking water as well as cleaning water, including personal hygiene and things like doing the dishes. 

Shockwave Mini

However, this is not an adequate answer because if you’re subsisting on a lot of dehydrated food, you’re also going to need water for cooking with. So do the math on how many people there are in your family times how many packets of dehydrated food you’re each going to eat in a day and add that to the gallon of water per person.

Just knowing how much water you need isn’t nearly enough, however. That’s because water is extremely bulky and heavy. Stockpiling water isn’t an effective solution for getting your water needs met. Even if you have a massive three car garage and use it to store absolutely nothing but water from the floor to the ceiling, you’re eventually going to run out of water in the event of a long-term collapse. 

So where are you going to get water from?

We’ve got some bad news about that: There’s a very good chance that the local rivers and streams aren’t going to be a viable source of clean water in the event of a total collapse. That’s because when the power grid goes off, it’s not just the water pumps that stop working. It’s also the water treatment centers and sewage systems. When this happens, the sewage that you mostly forget about the second that you flush the toilet is going to start backing up into your home, but also into those rivers and streams, making the water undrinkable. 

It’s nasty to think about, but it’s a contingency that you must be aware of, because sewage will not just be gross and smelly, it will also contain toxic gasses that can kill you and your family. 

So the rivers and streams are off limits. What are you supposed to drink, then? There are two main options for making sure you and everyone else in your family has enough water to drink. 

  • Personal Filtration Systems: Some of these are no bigger than a straw, while others are more robust. You can learn how to DIY a water filtration system if you want – and frankly, that’s an excellent skill to have. A better alternative, however, is just buying one, given how inexpensive and readily available such supplies are these days. 
  • Personal Well: You’d be surprised how close you are to the ground water depending on where you live. That water under the ground will need to be cleaned, treated and filtered, but it also is right there under your home, saving you a potentially dangerous trip somewhere to get water. Use a hand pump system or have some kind of backup power supply that’s not reliant on the power grid to get the water out of the ground. 
  • Water Purification Tablets: Water purification tablets can be purchased on Amazon or down at the local Walmart. They can take what would normally be toxic, fetid water and make it into something drinkable for you and your family – and it takes up way less space than buckets of water. 

Water is arguably the most challenging part of survival when it comes to a post-collapse scenario. In addition to having a source, you also need a method for purification. It’s difficult to store and you’ll run through it a lot faster than you think.

How Much Food Does My Family Need?

Food is the next layer on your survival pyramid. Technically you can go about three weeks without food, but after three days you’re going to enter a world of hurt. You’re going to be hungrier than you’ve likely ever been in your life and surrounded by people in the same situation. 

That kind of hunger – with no easy end in sight – creates anxiety, panic and desperation. Your formerly likable friends and neighbors will now be willing to do absolutely anything for just one morsel of food. 

It’s going to be absolute total chaos. The less you can go out in that, the better. 

72 Hour Food Kit

Beyond the simple safety issues associated with leaving your home, there simply isn’t going to be any food to be had through normal sources. Modern supply chain technology delivers new stock as soon as old stock has been sold. The local supermarket and even the distribution centers that supply them will be stripped clean in a week tops. 

So you need some kind of food supply that’s all yours at home or at your bugout spot. The big thing most preppers do wrong, though, is they think they have to rely entirely on a massive cache of dehydrated food. In fact, this should be part of your prepper plan but it absolutely should not be your whole plan or even the base of your pyramid. 

The main thing that you should be stocking up on is non-perishable goods that your family eats regularly anyway. This provides your family with some degree of comfort and “normality” at a time when they’re going to need it the most. Introducing an entirely new menu into your family’s life at a time of crisis is only going to increase stress at a time when you probably won’t have much extra stress tolerance to spare. 

You’re going to want foods that is both calorie and nutrient dense and you always want to have some variety in your food – nothing is going to make post-collapse life more miserable than relying entirely on a supply of canned beans, rice and dehydrated milk.

Next up, you’re going to want to have lots of ingredients on hand to help you to cook things from scratch. This might not sound like the most fun way to feed yourself, but it can help you to really stretch out your pantry, as well as giving your family something to do to avoid thinking about the collapse of everything you ever knew happening all around you. This is where things like freeze-dried meats and vegetables and even more basic ingredients like salt, flour, baking soda and the like come into play. 

After that you’re going to want to fill in the gaps with that pre-made, dehydrated “prepper” food that we talked about above. It’s great as a supplement for your supplies, but it’s not the whole ball game. It’s expensive, requires a lot of water and instantly marks you as a “prepper” to anyone who sees it in your home. The last part can be big trouble in the event of a catastrophe because you become the local supermarket, but instead of trading for it, your neighbors are likely going to beg, demand and then take whatever you have. 

What Should You Eat?

When everything is collapsing around you, it’s more important than ever to make sure that you’re eating properly. So what should you eat and how much of it should you have? 

The main thing is this: not only does your body need a certain number of calories every day, you also need a certain amount of protein, fat and carbs to stay alive and healthy. It’s all about proportion and ratio, but you’re not going to last long on a diet entirely made up of spaghetti and nothing else. 

The problem is that the macros that work in your normal, everyday life are not the macros that will work in a survival scenario. For example, the Harvard School of Public Health recommends about 130 grams of carbohydrates per day for an adult human, but admits that you might need almost four times that – 500 grams a day – in a time of high stress. There is no time more stressful than when all the supermarket shelves are bare, law and order has broken down and there’s no indication that “normal” life is coming back any time soon. 

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What’s more, you’ll want to be carrying around more fat in a survival situation than you would for a day at the beach. That’s not just because fats provide you with twice as much energy per gram as carbs, it’s also because having a little extra padding can help to keep you warm when the heating doesn’t work. 

The main thing to remember is that fats provide long-term energy that your body can live off of during the lean times, while carbs are your short-term energy supply for bursts of activity. 

As far as protein is concerned, it’s probably going to be in short supply so “as much as you can get” will likely be the order of the day, but beyond that, about .8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. For pregnant women, you’re going to want to get between 75 and 100 grams of protein every day. 

72 Hour Food Kit

One quick hack to start getting more healthy calories in your food? Adding olive oil to MREs… or just about anything else. It’s nutrient dense and a super healthy source of fat that can keep you moving when you’re scraping by. 

How Much Food Do You Need?

How much food you need is an extremely complicated topic. It’s obviously dependent on a number of factors including how many people you believe you’re going to have to feed in the event of an emergency and how long you plan to feed them for. However many people you have in your family, plan to feed more. 

There are a couple reasons for this. 

First of all, there’s a very good chance that in an emergency you’re going to have some unexpected family visitors if you have even the slightest reputation as a “prepper” in your family. So it’s not just you and your spouse and maybe your kids – it’s also prudent to prepare to feed siblings and their kids, grandkids, parents, spouses of siblings and so on. Your budget might not allow for this and that’s fine if it doesn’t, but you’ll still want to prepare to have more than “just enough” food for you and your family because in a world where the supermarkets are closed and show no signs of opening up again, food and other supplies are going to be the coin of the realm.

It doesn’t matter if you’re into gold, silver, Bitcoin or even think that good old U.S. dollars will still maintain some kind of powerful psychological value in the event of a major catastrophe. You can’t eat any of these and you can’t shoot them at deer to put food on the table. So durable goods like ammunition and, yes, food are going to become extremely valuable. Having something that you can barter for other supplies that you need is always a smart move whether we’re talking about food, ammunition or even little odds and ends like sewing needles or toilet paper. 

Briefly, on the subject of barter food, it’s worth considering whether or not you want to stockpile alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, candy or other similar goods for the express purpose of bartering them. 

In any event, the main way to plan for how much food to have is the most basic guiding principle of “you can never have enough.” But, of course, space and money is limited. So with that said, it’s important to know how much of various foodstuffs can feed a fully grown adult human over the course of a year and then multiplying that by three or even five years. 

72 Hour Food Kit

Look at how much beef, pasta, bread and other staples your family goes through in an average week. Then multiply that by 52 and you have how much you’re going to need of everything for the course of an entire year. You can then extrapolate out from there how much food you’re going to need for a long-term emergency. 

When Your Supplies Run Out: Hunting, Fishing and Farming

Ultimately, though, like your water supply, your food is going to run out on a long enough timeline. And while you might be able to forage and barter some, the best thing you can do is become as self-reliant as possible.

That means growing your own food supply to the extent that it makes sense. This is a great way to grow some fun stuff for the family to eat to spice things up from the usual rotation of food. Hunting is also one of the best skills you can have as a prepper, ensuring a supply of fresh meat no matter how long the grocery stores are closed.

Now we know that not everyone is able to move off-grid to a 100-acre homestead and become a farmer because the end of the world might come one day. However, even if you live in the city or the suburbs, there are some ways that you can prep for your food supply in the event of a short-term or long-term collapse. 

We’re talking, of course, about hunting, farming and fishing. You need to start thinking less in terms of how you can stockpile food from now until kingdom come and more about how you can quickly become self-sufficient in the event of a disaster. 

Experienced hunters, anglers and farms can probably scan this section quickly. But it’s worth remembering that you’re not going to be out hunting for sport with a license in competition with other responsible sportsmen who would never dream of bagging and elk without a tag. Instead, you’re going to be competing with people who are absolutely desperate for food and will do completely stupid stuff like bag 10 deer even though 9.5 of that is going to go bad before they can eat it.

So even if you already have what it takes to bag game big and small alike, you need to put a bit of planning in and assume that hunts might be 10 times as hard as they are now when people start overhunting and depleting the available supply of game.You also have to remember that for others, you will be the quarry – and transporting game from the kill site to your home is going to be a heck of a lot more difficult when the world has descended into “eat or be eaten.” 

Depending on the nature of the disaster, it might just be a simple fact of life that there isn’t as much meat to go around, such as in the event of a nuclear disaster or a tsunami or something else that takes out a lot of the available game in a given area or even across the entire United States.

For the rest of you who have never had the pleasure of hunting or fishing before, there’s no time like the present to learn. 

It’s not quite as simple as happening upon an animal and shooting it. Fortunately, there are a number of inexpensive courses you can take that will help you to obtain a ready made source of protein in your backyard in the event that you can no longer go to the deli section and pick out your favorite cut.

72 Hour Food Kit

Gardening is also important and you don’t need a huge tract of land to make it worthwhile. World War II-era “Victory Gardens” are an excellent guide to how you can grow a lot of nutrients in a very small space. If you live in a more urbanized environment you can still get a little windowsill garden going on for herbs and spices that will add a little extra flavor to your meal and keep spirits up when you don’t have any idea when the supermarkets are opening up again. 

Keeping Your Food Fresh: Long-Term Storage Of Food

It goes without saying that in a collapse scenario you’re not going to be able to rely on your fridge or coffin freezer if you’re relying on the grid for electricity. To that end, you’re going to need to know how to store food over the long term if you want to be able to eat any of the stuff that can go bad, whether you bought it at the store before the collapse or grew or caught it afterward. 

First, when you’re making your purchases at the grocery store (while they still exist), you’re going to want to lean heavily on things that are “non-perishable.” While this is a bit of a misnomer (on a long enough timeline almost everything will go bad, especially if not stored properly), you’re looking to fill your larder with foods with extremely long shelf lives. 

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  • Six Months: Potatoes, dry crackers, dried fruit, powdered milk.
  • One Year: Condensed soup, canned fruits and juices, instant cereal, dry cereal, peanut butter, chocolate, jelly, canned nuts.
  • “Indefinitely” (Two To Three Years): Wheat, dry pasta, rice, bullion, salt, wheat, baking powder, instant coffee, corn. 

You should also acquaint yourself with various methods of increasing the shelf life of your food. This can make food you prepare, grow, catch or kill after the collapse last longer. 

Dehydration is great for both fruit and meat, giving quickly perishable food a much longer shelf life. Canning is another way to keep your food fresher longer. You can learn this for free at one of hundreds of Latter-Day Saints canning centers around the country, whether you’re of the LDS faith or not. 

If you’re in a situation where you have to start hitting your reserves or are at least concerned about this being an issue, start with the food in the fridge that’s perishable, then the freezer food then they dry food that you specifically bought for long-term storage. 

Preparing Your Food In A Survival Scenario

Of course all the food in the world isn’t worth squat if you don’t have some way to cook and prepare it. 

No matter how you break it down, you need two heat sources to cook and heat water from. This is in case one breaks down or doesn’t have the appropriate fuel supply you need. Now you might be thinking of propane or a wood stove, but both of these require a steady supply of a large amount of fuel or they stop working. So they might be good for one cooking and water heating food source, but you’re going to want to have at least one more. 

72 Hour Food Kit

There are a two main options that we like a lot for a backup source or even an alternative primary source: 

  • Solar-powered ovens that allow you to store the energy of the sun and use it later. No electrical grid, propane, charcoal or wood required!
  • Fuel-efficient rocket stoves are another option. These require wood, but when we say “wood” we don’t mean you have to build a huge campfire. You might be able to cook an entire dinner for your family with just a few twigs.

New technologies are making it easier than ever to get ready for the end of the world as we know it and nowhere is this more true than with regard to cooking your food. A generator is also great to have for a variety of reasons, including helping you to cook and prepare food. If you can’t afford one, consider making friends with someone who already has one. 


One very scary thing about a collapse scenario many people fail to properly consider is this: The drug stores and hospitals won’t be around, either. That means something as simple as a small cut or abrasion can go horribly wrong and take you out of action for weeks or even result in your death. 

Another factor important to remember is having enough medical supplies around for a disaster. This can mean your regular medications but it can also mean simple supplies like bandages as aspirin. 

You might be worried about expiration dates, but studies show that most medications retain 90 percent of their potency for five years after their alleged “expiration date.” 

In addition to food, water and bullets, you should stockpile the following over-the-counter medications:

  • Aspirin: Everyone knows this and it’s great to have around in abundance for the end of the world as we know it. Aspirin fights fevers as well as reduces pain, inflammation and swelling. Low doses help to prevent strokes, heart attacks and blood clots due to its blood thinning properties. 
  • Acetaminophen: Sold under the brand name Tylenol, this pain reliever is not an anti-inflammatory. It doesn’t irritate the stomach like many other over-the-counter pain relievers.  
  • Ibuprofen: The brand name for this is Motrin or Advil and the U.S. Army prescribes it for just about everything. It reduces fevers and relieves just about any kind of pain you can imagine. 
  • Naproxen: Commonly known as Aleve, this does much the same thing as ibuprofen, but it lasts for 12 hours at a time. 
  • Loperamide: Sold under the brand name Imodium, this is an anti-diarrhea agent which is worth its weight in gold in a world where the water treatment plants aren’t working. 
  • Diphenhydramine: While it’s scientific name is a mouthful, you already know this one as Benadryl. You also probably know it’s great for hay fever and allergies, but it also helps combat insomnia, anxiety, nausea, hives and itching. 

You should also have a big supply of laxatives, antibiotic and antifungal creams or ointments, antacids, and whatever prescription medications you need. If you can find a legal way to stockpile antibiotics, those are also great to have around both for personal use in case of an emergency or for barter. 

Much like food and water, your medical supplies are eventually going to run out. Fortunately, there are a number of natural sources that can act as substitutes for the medications that you stockpiled. 

You can grow some of these in your garden, but you should also be aware of what medicinal herbs grow in your area. Many basic medicines are provided to you for free by Mother Nature. We’re not suggesting you skip a trip to the local pharmacy, but when you don’t have any other options these will do in a pinch:

  • Burn Treatment: For burns you can apply a mixture of 2-4 drops each of frankincense, helichrysum and melaleuca. 
  • Diarrhea: When the runs come calling drink water with a couple drops each of lemon, clove, wild orange, eucalyptus and cinnamon. For more severe cases up the dose to five drops and add fennel, peppermint, ginger and coriander. 
  • Infections: You can treat infected wounds with myrrh, lavender, frankincense and melaleuca. 

To get into each and every plant or oil that can treat each and every illness would be a whole other book altogether. Fortunately, there are a number of books out there that teach just this. Equally fortunately, much of this grows wild around you or can easily be grown in your garden. 

Preparing for food, water and medicine in the event of a disaster isn’t difficult, but it does take time and attention. No matter how much prepping you’re able to do, you’ll likely be miles ahead of everyone else around you who didn’t take any actions to keep themselves and their family safe in the event of the unthinkable.  

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Earthquake Safety for Families from Preparation to Protection



After the earthquake

Gearing Up to Guard Your Family Before Trouble Strikes

In the ever-changing world of survival and preparedness, earthquakes pose a unique challenge. Unlike many natural disasters, they give no warning. One moment, everything is normal, and the next, the ground shakes violently beneath your feet. For families, especially with young ones, the unpredictability and potential severity of earthquakes require specific planning and preparation. Here’s your guide to fortifying your household against the potential devastation of an earthquake. BE PREPARED: Claim Your Ready for Anything Kit Here!

Recognize the Reality

Firstly, realize that earthquakes can happen anywhere, not just in historically active areas. While places like California are notorious for seismic activity, other areas are not immune. This broad-reaching potential makes understanding and preparing for earthquakes essential for every family, no matter where you reside.

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  • Secure Your Spaces: Begin by anchoring tall furniture to walls. This includes bookshelves, wardrobes, and any other pieces that can topple. Make sure heavy items are placed on lower shelves.
  • Safety Zones: Identify safe spots in each room, like under sturdy tables or against interior walls, away from windows and items that could fall.
  • Emergency Shutoffs: Familiarize yourself with the gas, water, and electricity shut-off points in your home. In the event of a significant quake, you might need to turn these off to prevent fires or flooding.

Survival Supplies: The Essentials

Every family needs an emergency kit specifically tailored for earthquakes. This kit should be easy to grab and should include:

  • Water and Food: At least a three-day supply of water for each family member and non-perishable food items.
  • Medical Supplies: Basic first aid items, a week’s worth of prescription medicines, and any special-needs items for children or elderly family members.
  • Communication Tools: Battery-operated radio, extra batteries, and a whistle to signal for help if needed.
  • Documentation: Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification, and bank account records in a waterproof and portable container.
Ready For Anything Kit

BE PREPARED: Claim Your Ready for Anything Kit Here!

Train, Practice, Repeat

Have regular family drills where everyone practices the “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” method. This ensures that, in the panic of the moment, every member knows what to do instinctively.

Stay Informed

Lastly, stay abreast of geological surveys and updates for your area. Many governmental and independent agencies provide updates on seismic activities, and some even offer apps or services that send alerts directly to your mobile device.

The very nature of earthquakes – sudden and unpredictable – means that preparation is key. It’s not about living in constant fear, but rather ensuring peace of mind knowing your family is ready to face whatever seismic challenges come your way. With the right knowledge, tools, and practices in place, you can stand firm when the ground beneath shakes. So, let’s prepare today to protect our tomorrows.

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