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Learn how to Prep Gluten-Free | The Survivalist Weblog

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Gluten-free, gluten-intolerant, gluten-sensitive. It may be arduous to maintain monitor of all these totally different phrases and much more tough to know what all of them imply.

However, gluten is in every single place in our meals today. So, it’s important that you simply perceive precisely what gluten is and what it means on your prepping efforts.

Right here’s what it’s essential to know:

What Is Gluten?

First issues first, what even is gluten? Based on Harvard Health, gluten is a combination of two proteins that naturally happen in some meals. In reality, gluten comes from the endosperm, or the within of the seed, of some totally different cereal grains, together with wheat, barley, and rye.

Successfully, it acts as a binding agent in meals, and helps to carry every part collectively so it doesn’t crumble and disintegrate in your arms.

Gluten additionally offers meals with texture and is among the the explanation why dough is so “stretchy” whenever you’re attempting to make bread.

What Meals Has Gluten?

As I’ve talked about, gluten happens naturally in wheat, barley, and rye. So, any bread or baked items containing these flours will even have gluten in them.

Different flowers, equivalent to spelt, emmer, triticale, einkorn, and Khorasan wheat (a.ok.a. Kamut), even have gluten, however in decrease portions. Moreover, oats are naturally gluten-free, however they usually get contaminated with gluten within the manufacturing course of.

The place it will get difficult, nevertheless, is that any meals made with wheat, barley, rye, or any of its derivatives (equivalent to malts), even have gluten in them.

This contains something from imitation meats to soy sauce. Plus, gluten is usually added to meals like ice cream and ketchup, as a stabilizing agent.

It will get much more complicated whenever you notice that some meals, like corn and rice, that are sometimes called having gluten, are literally gluten-free. As an alternative, they’ve totally different proteins that act equally to gluten, notably in risotto rice, however that aren’t “true gluten.”

Oh, and when you’re questioning if that good bottle of Scotch you simply purchased has gluten in it, fear not.

Whereas beer has an entire lot of gluten in it, the distilling course of that’s used to supply spirits, like whiskey, deactivates the gluten proteins, making these drinks gluten-free.

Is Gluten Unhealthy For You?

This all sounds nice and all, however is gluten really dangerous for you? Regardless of all of the hype about “consuming gluten-free,” until you will have a selected medical situation or a sensitivity to gluten (extra on that in a bit) gluten isn’t essentially dangerous for you.

According to the College of Rochester, individuals who cease consuming gluten usually discover that they lose slightly little bit of weight within the course of.

Nonetheless, that is usually extra to do with the truth that gluten is present in a number of extremely processed meals, like pizza, pasta, bread, and baked items, than with something that’s inherently dangerous about gluten.

Whereas lowering the quantity of processed meals that one consumes is healthier on your well being, it’s not right to say that merely chopping out gluten is the healthiest alternative.

As an alternative, many individuals who shed pounds and really feel higher whereas consuming a gluten-free weight-reduction plan acquire these well being advantages just because they’re changing a number of these glutinous processed meals with fruits and veggies.

Who Ought to Keep away from Gluten?

If gluten isn’t dangerous for you, although, then why do folks keep away from it? Nicely, whereas some folks select to not eat gluten as a result of it makes them really feel higher, others have medical situations that make it in order that they need to keep away from gluten in any respect prices.

Though it’s not that widespread within the grand scheme of issues, celiac disease is maybe the best-known situation that requires a gluten-free weight-reduction plan. Celiac illness is an auto-immune dysfunction, like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, a number of sclerosis, kind 1 diabetes, and Sjögren’s, amongst others.

Because of this it causes the physique’s immune system to assault itself, killing and damaging wholesome cells within the course of.

With celiac illness, the physique instantly assaults the liner of the intestine when somebody who has the illness eats gluten. This may trigger long-term digestive health points and even cease the physique from absorbing important vitamins.

Whereas celiac illness is pretty nicely mentioned right now, it’s actually not new. In reality, among the earliest references to a situation that could be celiac illness date again to the second century CE, though the first recorded attempt at treatment wasn’t till 1924.

However, experts believe that about 2 million folks in the US have celiac illness, lots of whom haven’t been recognized.

That being stated, celiac illness shouldn’t be the one situation that may trigger folks to keep away from gluten.

Some folks have “non-celiac gluten sensitivity” which can lead to a variety of indicators and signs, together with cramps, lethargy, and really painful abdomen aches.

Since many of those signs are additionally much like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), it’s not but clear how many individuals have non-celiac gluten sensitivity, IBS, or each.

Do I Want To Fear About Gluten For My Stockpile?

All this speak about avoiding gluten is sufficient to make anybody surprise in the event that they, too, ought to steer clear.

Nonetheless, until you discover that it makes you are feeling higher, or if you understand that you’ve celiac illness, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or IBS, you don’t essentially need to keep away from gluten.

In actuality, it’s usually greatest to seek the advice of your physician when you’re enthusiastic about switching to a gluten-free weight-reduction plan. If you’re having digestive points that you simply suppose could be linked to gluten, they’ll have the ability that will help you resolve on the most effective path ahead.

Moreover, there’s some research that means that, when not completed correctly, a gluten-free weight-reduction plan can result in some vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

So, when you’re enthusiastic about going gluten-free, it’s a good suggestion to speak to knowledgeable about what you must and shouldn’t eat to make sure that you’re getting all of the vitamins that your physique wants.

It’s additionally vital to remember that even when you don’t have a gluten sensitivity or a situation that requires you to keep away from gluten, another person in your prolonged household or one among your folks would possibly.

So, if that particular person must bug in with you, it’s vital that you’ve meals in your stockpile that they’ll eat.

How To Prep Gluten-Free

Prepping with a gluten-free weight-reduction plan in thoughts is all about ensuring that you’ve an ample stockpile of gluten-free meals available.

Nonetheless, it additionally entails realizing the right way to determine gluten-free meals, the right way to put together your individual gluten-free meals, and the right way to retailer this stuff correctly to stop cross-contamination.

Establish Gluten-Free Meals

Today, it’s an entire lot simpler to determine gluten-free meals within the grocery store than it was even ten years in the past.

Earlier than folks began to appreciate that non-celiac gluten sensitivity existed, “gluten-free” meals was restricted to the then-small variety of folks with formally recognized celiac illness.

Fortunately, it’s now pretty simple to determine gluten-free meals that you should utilize in your stockpile. Right here’s what it’s essential to know:

Search for “Licensed Gluten-Free”

There’s now an unbiased group that certifies meals as gluten-free. All of those meals could have a “certified gluten-free” label on their packaging, which tells you straight away that it’s a good selection on your gluten-free stockpile.

Nonetheless, these labels are discovered nearly solely on processed meals, so that you gained’t discover them on issues like contemporary produce.

However, when you thought that was too simple, then you definately’re proper: Despite the fact that a meals is labeled as “licensed gluten-free,” it doesn’t imply that it’s essentially secure for folks with celiac.

In reality, there are some meals that, even when processed to be below the authorized restrict for gluten in “licensed gluten-free” meals, nonetheless may cause issues for folks with celiac illness.

In case you’re trying to construct a stockpile for somebody who isn’t celiac gluten delicate, this often isn’t an issue.

Nonetheless, when you or somebody in your loved ones has it, you’ll wish to be further cautious that the licensed gluten-free meals isn’t additionally marked “not secure for Celiac.” Whether it is, you’ll wish to keep away from it.

Learn The Substances Record

Sadly, not all processed meals which are gluten-free even have the “licensed gluten-free” label. That doesn’t imply that they’re not secure, however, reasonably that it’s essential to do a little bit of investigating earlier than you resolve that it’s or isn’t gluten-free.

The simplest solution to determine if somebody has gluten in it’s to search for wheat, barley, or rye within the elements checklist.

Since wheat can also be a serious allergen, any meals with an ingredient that accommodates wheat also needs to be recognized in large daring letters on the backside of the elements checklist as “Incorporates: Wheat.”

Additionally, simply because one thing is labeled “wheat-free,” it doesn’t imply that it’s gluten-free. Plus, barley and rye usually are not main allergens, so that you’ll need to do a bit extra sleuthing to find out if a product really has gluten in it.

Sadly, there are an entire lot of various wheat, barley, and rye derivatives which are present in packaged meals. This contains:

  • Malt: Malted barley flour, malted milk, malt extract, malt vinegar, malt syrup, malt flavoring, maltose)
  • Starches: Wheat starch, modified meals starch, hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, pregelatinized starch, hydroxypropylated starch
  • Yeasts: Brewer’s yeast
  • Wheat derivatives: Durum, semolina, wheat berries, spelt, farro, farina, Khorasan, einkorn

Many different meals that characteristic flavorings, seasonings, soy sauce, miso, bouillon cubes, spreads, canned soups, or gravies are additionally often produced from wheat, barley, rye, or their derivatives. When doubtful, it’s greatest to keep away from the meals, research the product, or name the producer instantly.

This would possibly sound over-the-top, however for folks with celiac, specifically, consuming gluten can have some critical penalties. They’ll actually respect your due diligence ought to it’s essential to stay off of your stockpile.

Fruits, Greens, And Meat Are Naturally Gluten-Free

You’ll usually see luggage of child carrots or containers of blueberries within the grocery store which are labeled as “gluten-free.” Whereas that is true, it’s probably not essentially the most useful label since all vegatables and fruits are naturally gluten-free.

Though you most likely gained’t have any contemporary fruit and veg in your stockpile, you’re possible going to have dried fruit, dehydrated veggies, and canned produced in your shops.

Nonetheless, whenever you get store-bought dried fruits and dehydrated greens, it’s vital to examine that they don’t have any added gluten-containing elements.

Some firms will add a gluten-based stabilizer to their dried fruits and veggies to assist them keep more energizing for longer. However, this additionally implies that they’re now not gluten-free. For essentially the most half, although, plain and unsweetened dried fruits and nuts are a-okay.

Moreover, when you’re going to home-can a few of your individual fruits and veggies, they’re additionally gluten-free. Simply ensure that you wash them totally earlier than canning, particularly when you additionally occur to develop wheat or different gluten-containing grains close by as they’ll get cross-contaminated.

Lastly, meat is of course gluten-free. Nonetheless, many firms will add gluten-containing elements to their meat merchandise, particularly processed meats, like sausages.

In case you’re shopping for contemporary cuts of meat, you ought to be okay, however something that’s processed ought to be investigated additional.

Know What Grains And Meals Are Naturally Gluten-Free

Whereas something with wheat, barley, and rye has gluten in it, there are many grains and different meals on the market that don’t have gluten in them which are good choices on your stockpile. These embrace:

  • Rice (not rice pilaf, which accommodates pasta) and rice flours
  • Beans, lentils, and different legumes (be cautious with baked beans or something flavored)
  • Sorghum (a.ok.a. Milo)
  • Millet
  • Buckwheat (sure, it accommodates the phrase “wheat,” however it’s not associated)
  • Oats (remember to get licensed gluten-free oats)
  • Corn and corn flours (get licensed gluten-free)
  • Quinoa (might be simply contaminated with gluten, so go for licensed gluten-free)
  • Potatoes and potato starch/flours
  • Tapioca and tapioca flours
  • Arrowroot powder
  • Nuts and nut flours (select licensed gluten-free)

For many people who find themselves non-celiac gluten illiberal, any of those grains and meals are okay to eat. Nonetheless, for some folks with Celiac, any cross-contamination could make these meals unsafe to eat.

In case you’re purchasing for somebody with Celiac, it’s greatest to go for licensed gluten-free merchandise every time potential.

Be Acquainted With Gluten-Free Alternate options

Many people have loads of flour, pasta, and different gluten-containing meals in our stockpile. So, it’s comprehensible when you’re scratching your head and questioning what you’re going so as to add to your shops that’s gluten-free.

Fortunately, there are many nice gluten-free options on the market which are good on your emergency stockpile. This contains gluten-free pasta, snacks, canned soups, vitality bars, flours, and just about something you may consider.

Some firms have gotten so good at making gluten-free merchandise that even individuals who don’t need to eat gluten-free suppose they’re fairly tasty.

Before you purchase giant quantities of gluten-free meals on your shops, although, remember to familiarize your self with the merchandise you’re shopping for. Cooking gluten-free meals might be tough, so that you wish to ensure that you understand what you’re doing earlier than you get in an emergency state of affairs.

That is notably true with gluten-free flours. Making gluten-free bread shouldn’t be simple, so check out a couple of totally different recipes and have one available that works for you.

Until you actually get pleasure from experimenting with baking, I extremely advocate getting “cup for cup” gluten-free flour, which can be utilized as an alternative choice to wheat flour in most recipes.

It’s additionally a good suggestion to have a mixture of totally different gluten-free flours, equivalent to rice, almond, and coconut flour, in addition to some xanthan gum (acts as an alternative choice to gluten) in your shops.

These elements are referred to as for in a number of gluten-free recipes and can be utilized to make practically any baked good.

Fast disclosure: In case you go to a hyperlink on this article and then you definately purchase one thing, I’ll earn a fee. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. You’ll be able to learn my full disclosure here.

Additionally, loads of firms make gluten-free dehydrated meals, equivalent to Augason Farms and Mountain House.

Augason Farms is especially helpful for gluten-free preppers as a result of they’ve an entire facility that’s particularly devoted to creating gluten-free merchandise which are licensed gluten-free, a few of that are additionally allergen-friendly.

Different firms, equivalent to Arrowhead Mills, Bob’s Purple Mill, Udis, and Take pleasure in Life Meals additionally particularly make gluten-free merchandise which are good on your stockpile.

Making Your Personal Gluten-Free Emergency Meals

Sadly, an entire lot of gluten-free meals (particularly if it’s licensed gluten-free) is kind of costly. Because of this shopping for gluten-free meals on your shops can actually eat away at your prepping budget.

However there are many methods to organize your individual gluten-free meals at dwelling that may prevent an entire lot of cash, and may be certain that your meals is gluten-free.

Dehydrating, canning, and even freeze-drying, are all good choices when you’re trying to preserve some of the food you have round your house that’s naturally gluten-free.

You’ll be able to even make your individual gluten-free flours at dwelling simply by processing them by a blender. Nut flowers are notably simple to make, and doing so can prevent some huge cash over shopping for them in-store.

Whereas there will definitely be some objects that you simply’ll have to get in-store, by prepping a few of your individual gluten-free emergency meals, you may reduce down in your total prices.

How To Stop Cross-Contamination

In case you’re going to spend so much of money and time on creating a great gluten-free stockpile, you don’t wish to waste your efforts by letting your gluten-free meals get contaminated with wheat, barley, or rye.

Thus, it’s vital that you simply take some steps to stop cross-contamination in your stockpile, or throughout an emergency.

Listed here are some ideas for doing simply that:

  • Label Every little thing. That is stable recommendation for anybody constructing a stockpile, no matter if it’s gluten-free. It’s a good suggestion to label every part, notably when you’ve taken it out of its authentic packaging. Clearly write what the merchandise is and if it accommodates any allergens, equivalent to gluten.
  • Have A Lot Of Cleaning soap. In case you’re cooking for somebody who’s gluten-free, you’ll want an entire lot of cleaning soap available to make sure that any utensils, pots, or pans are totally cleaned between makes use of. Ideally, you’d have a totally separate cook dinner set for somebody with celiac, but when this isn’t potential, an intensive cleansing is important to stop cross-contamination.
  • Strive To Cook dinner The Gluten-Free Meals First. In case you’re bugging in and have to cook dinner up a meal, it’s often greatest to cook dinner the gluten-free meals first, particularly if in case you have a restricted quantity of cooking house. That means, you might be much less meticulous about cleansing throughout the meal however nonetheless be certain that there isn’t any contamination of the gluten-free meals.
  • Be Cautious When Baking With Flours. Flour will get completely in every single place whenever you bake, so it could actually simply contaminate your gluten-free meals. So, when you’re performing some non-gluten-free baking whereas bugging in, ensure that you don’t have any gluten-free meals sitting out that would get contaminated by flour particles within the air. Then, whenever you’re completed baking, remember to totally clear any surfaces in your kitchen. That is extra of a priority for folks with celiac illness, however it’s good follow for anybody that additionally wants to organize gluten-free meals.

Wrap-Up

Prepping for a gluten-free weight-reduction plan would possibly sound intimidating however it doesn’t need to be. The secret’s to know the right way to determine it in meals and the right way to construct a gluten-free stockpile to be used throughout any SHTF state of affairs.

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Domestic Terrorists Target The American Power Grid

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Buckle up, prepared families. The threat to America’s power grid is closer and more pressing than you probably thought. The enemy this time isn’t an EMP blast or sophisticated cyberattackers backed by a hostile foreign power. Indeed, the most pressing threat to America’s power grid is much less exotic and closer to home – domestic terrorists are targeting the American power grid. 

What’s more, a critical breakdown in communication between law enforcement agencies and officials responsible for the security of the power infrastructure has left state and federal regulators largely uninformed about the true extent of these threats. 

The blind are leading the blind when it comes to protecting the national power grid against threats from domestic terrorists. What’s more, the power grid is likely much more fragile than you suspect. All of this underscores the need for you and your family to be ready for a massive blackout, perhaps only lasting days, but potentially lasting weeks or even years. 

According to energy regulators, a lack of comprehensive information is impeding efforts to safeguard the extensive electricity system of the nation. The problem is that there’s simply not enough data to ensure the grid is properly guarded against all threats, including domestic terrorists hellbent on crashing the grid for their own nefarious purposes. 

Statistics reveal a troubling trend with the national power grid. In the first half of the current year, utilities reported 94 physical and computerized threats or assaults on electric grid infrastructure to the Department of Energy. This is a significant spike from the 67 incidents reported during the same period in 2022. The country is on track to equal or surpass the previous year’s record of 164 major cyber and physical attacks.

All signs point to “we’re just getting started” rather than a troubling and disturbing trend that’s about to run its course. Indeed, the actual number of attacks might be higher than indicated by the Department of Energy’s data. Certain incidents reported to Homeland Security officials by utilities did not appear in the DOE data. The lack of a centralized agency maintaining a comprehensive record and the lack of automatic alerts from law enforcement investigating potential threats further contribute to the challenge.

Law enforcement officials attribute much of the rise in grid assaults to white nationalist and far-right extremists who use online forums to disseminate tactical advice on disrupting power systems, according to the FBI. Indeed, the far-right in America is well aware of the threat that the increasingly rickety American power grid represents. Younger members are increasingly concerned with ecological issues, making the average left-wing climate activist look like Bambi by comparison. 

That might not sound very threatening to you – after all, how many far-right extremists are there attacking the power grid in, America? However, it’s important to understand just how fragile the American power grid is. There are over 10,000 high-powered transformers in the United States. However, crippling a mere eight of them would result in the entire power grid crashing coast to coast.

The power grid isn’t like your laptop which you just turn off and turn back on again when it crashes. It would take at least 18 months for replacement parts to appear, plus a significant amount of time to install them and get the grid going again. 

It’s estimated that in the first year of a grid-down scenario in the United States 90 percent of the American population would die

For those responsible for running and regulating electricity plants and power lines, understanding the nature of the threats is of paramount importance. An illustrative example is the case where suspects with neo-Nazi ties were charged with plotting to take down Baltimore’s power grid earlier this year. ‘

Maryland’s top utility regulator, Jason Stanek, discovered the scheme from news reports, not receiving any information from law enforcement before or after the news broke. The incident left regulators “caught flat-footed” and underscored the urgency of improving communication channels to enhance the security of the nation’s power grid.

How is your family preparing for the grid to go down? What steps are you taking to protect yourself and your family in such a scenario? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Financial Freedom: The Backbone of Prepping for the Future

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In the ever-shifting landscape of preparedness, financial independence emerges as a crucial pillar for preppers gearing up for uncertain times. In this guide tailored for the vigilant prepper community, we delve into the essential strategies to achieve and uphold financial freedom, a key component of ensuring self-reliance.

Understanding the Crucial Role of Financial Freedom

Financial independence stands as the bedrock of prepping, offering the means to secure resources, fortify assets, and navigate economic challenges. For preppers, attaining and sustaining financial freedom is not just a financial goal; it’s a proactive stance toward ensuring self-sufficiency.

A robust emergency fund serves as the initial line of defense against unforeseen expenses. Preppers are encouraged to amass three to six months’ worth of living expenses in a readily accessible account. This financial safety net ensures the ability to weather crises without compromising prepping efforts.

Strategic debt reduction is paramount for financial freedom. Developing a systematic plan to pay down high-interest debts, starting with the most burdensome, liberates resources for critical prepping initiatives.

Dependence on a single income source can be precarious. Preppers are advised to explore diversified income streams, such as investments, side businesses, or freelance opportunities. A varied income portfolio provides resilience against economic uncertainties.

Creating a realistic budget serves as the foundation of financial freedom. Tracking income, categorizing expenses, and identifying areas for potential savings ensures that resources are allocated efficiently, supporting both daily living and prepping goals.

In times of economic turbulence, precious metals like gold and silver act as a safeguard against inflation. Allocating a portion of the financial portfolio to tangible assets adds a layer of security and enhances overall financial resilience.

Knowledge is a powerful asset. Investing in financial education equips preppers to make informed decisions about investments, wealth preservation, and economic trends. A well-informed prepper is better positioned to navigate the complexities of the financial landscape.

Advanced Financial Strategies for Preppers

If you want to truly be prepared, you need to go beyond eliminating debt and start making your money work for you. That means investing in financial instruments as well as hard assets. For those seeking to elevate their financial preparedness, consider these advanced strategies:

Strategic real estate investments can provide both passive income and a tangible asset. Exploring opportunities to invest in properties aligns with prepping goals and can contribute to long-term financial stability.

Investing in self-sustainable ventures, such as homesteading, renewable energy sources, or small-scale agriculture, not only promotes self-reliance but also presents opportunities for income generation.

Protecting assets is crucial. Preppers are encouraged to consider establishing trusts, creating legal structures, and consulting with financial professionals to safeguard their wealth and prepping resources.

Safety Measures for Financial Freedom:

In the pursuit of financial freedom, security is paramount. Implement the following safety measures:

    • Regular Financial Audits: Conducting regular audits of the financial portfolio ensures alignment with prepping goals and allows for adaptation to changing economic conditions.

    • Security Protocols: Implementing robust security measures for financial assets, both digital and physical, safeguards against theft or unauthorized access.

    • Legal Consultation: Seeking legal advice ensures that financial strategies comply with local laws and regulations.

For preppers, achieving financial freedom is a proactive step toward ensuring self-reliance and preparedness. By strategically managing finances, reducing debt, diversifying income, and investing wisely, preppers can build a solid foundation for navigating the uncertainties of the future. Incorporate these financial strategies into your prepping roadmap, and embark on a journey toward true financial independence. 

In the world of preparedness, financial freedom is not just a goal; it’s a strategic imperative for those committed to securing their future. Stay vigilant, and stay prepared.

How are you securing your financial freedom? How important is this for you in the overall scheme of prepping? Leave a comment below.

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Winter Vehicle Preparedness: Be Ready for Anything Mother Nature Throws at You

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It doesn’t matter if you want to be prepared for getting caught in a blizzard on the way home from work or you’re planning for a 500-mile bugout in your car: You need to have your vehicle prepared and ready for anything that mother nature is going to throw at you. 

Ensuring your vehicle is winter-ready and having a well-packed winter emergency kit can make all the difference when facing these challenges. What’s more, the best place for your bugout bag is in your car. Why? Because if you have to shelter in place, you can just go out to your car. If you have to bug out well… you’re going to have to go to your car. 

Your car itself should also be ready to have to undertake a potentially arduous journey at a moment’s notice. Few things are going to be more frustrating and potentially terrifying than having to bug out and realizing that you forgot some minor, but important, part of getting your car ready to weather the winter roads. 

Winterize Your Vehicle

Your journey to safety, be it from work or away from a disaster affecting where you live is going to begin with properly winterizing your vehicle. For most people this is the type of thing they plan to do, never get around to doing and conveniently forget every year because “nothing ever happens.”

For the prepared family, however, this is an absolute must. You have to have your car ready to go at a moment’s notice because, as a prepper or survivalist, you know that just because it’s always been safe where you live doesn’t mean that it will be safe there tomorrow – or even in ten minutes. 

Here are some ways to get your vehicle ready for the winter:

  • Winterize Your Tires: Invest in winter tires. This will improve your traction and control on snow and ice. What’s more, these tires are designed for greater flexibility in colder temperatures. You don’t need to be escaping disaster for this to save your life.
  • Battery Inspection: Batteries are not fans of cold weather. Ensure it’s in good condition. Most chain auto supply stores will test your battery for free and do free installs on new batteries. You should always have a set of jumper cables or, even better, a jump box in the event that you need to bug out. 
  • Antifreeze and Coolant: Checking your antifreeze levels is something else you should just be doing anyway. In the winter months, it’s absolutely crucial. It takes two minutes and can save your car over the long run. 
  • Wiper Blades and Fluid: Winter is the perfect time to replace your blades. Change them out for something winter-specific and change out your wiper fluid for something that’s going to work during the winter months. 
  • Snow Chains or Traction Mats: For people who live in areas with heavy snowfall and high-grade roads, this might be the most important thing on our list. Keep your snow chains and traction mats in the trunk in case you need them to get through some seriously deep snow. 
  • Oil Change: Go get an oil change before the cold weather comes in. Ask if they have a lower-viscosity oil that can keep your engine well-lubricated during the colder temperatures. 
  • Engine Block Heater: An engine block heater in the trunk of your car can be a lifesaver. Even if it doesn’t save your life it can make your cold starts easier and also increase the fuel efficiency of your vehicle – and who doesn’t want increased fuel efficiency? 

Winter Emergency Kit Essentials

Remember what we said about keeping your bugout bag in your car? That’s a great idea. But you should also have some basic emergency essentials in your car, even if you don’t have a bugout bag. You never know when you might even, say, break down and be stuck somewhere in the cold for potentially hours because you’re one of approximately 10,000 people who have called in about your winter breakdown. 

Here are some things that no car should be without during the winter months: 

  • Shovel: Keep a compact folding snow shovel in your trunk. You can use that to dig your way out of snowbanks or even just clear a path when needed.
  • Flashlight and Extra Batteries: A reliable flashlight, along with a spare set of batteries or three, can help you to navigate the outdoors if you have to abandon your car, or even signal for help. 
  • Blankets and Warm Clothing: If you take no other piece of advice from this article, you should listen to us here: You need to have extra blankets, warm gloves, hats, and jackets in the event that you are stuck inside your car for an extended period of time, can’t run the engine and need to stay warm. 
  • Non-Perishable Food and Water: Likewise, non-perishable food and water (preferably with high calories and high protein) can keep you fed and hydrated in the event that you end up stranded.
  • First-Aid Kit: A basic first-aid kit with bandages, antiseptic wipes, and essential medications is a must for any vehicle.
  • Fire-Starting Tools: You never know when you might have to start a fire. So keep some waterproof matches, lighters, and fire-starting materials in your car in the event that you find yourself needing a fire.
  • Basic Tools: A multi-tool, a knife, and some basic tools like a wrench or pliers can really come in handy if you break down. 
  • Sand or Kitty Litter: This is a little trick almost everyone who lives in a cold weather environment knows. Sand and kitty litter can give you the extra traction you need to get out of the snow if you find yourself stuck
  • Road Flares or Reflective Triangles: These can be extremely helpful in keeping you safe on the side of the road or, in an emergency, signaling assistance. 
  • Communication Devices: Always charge your cell phone in your car if you can. Keeping a two-war or CB radio can be another way for you to contact emergency services if you don’t have a cell phone or your phone dies. 

With just a little preparation and maintenance – some of which you should be doing anyway – your car will be ready to weather whatever the weather throws at it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a snowstorm on the way home from work or a total collapse of human civilization: your car will be ready to get you from point A to point B

What are some things we left out that you wouldn’t go without in your car? What’s the one item everyone serious about survival needs to keep in their car? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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