Monday, February 28, 2011

Ten Must Have Medications - Barrowed

So today's post is unabashedly barrowed from the Chief Survivalist himself, Mr. James Wesley, Rawles and compiled/written by Cynthia J. Koelker, MD. I also recommend his excellent novel "'Patriots', A novel of survival in the coming collapse". This is practically the bible for being a survivalist in the modern world. All of this great information is placed in the setting of a modern day collapse that is eerily parallel to what is going on in America today. You can purchase the book Here.

You can also check out his website/blog here.

The reason I'm reposting this directly is that I feel this is critical information and want more people to have it. Please go visit and join the SurvivalBlog. Become a contributor there!

Ten Essential OTC Medications to Stockpile by Cynthia J. Koelker, MD
By James Wesley, Rawles on December 13, 2010 12:12 AM

Are over-the-counter (OTC) drugs really worth stockpiling? As a family
physician my answer is a resounding yes. Most of the following were actually
prescription medications when first released. (In higher dosages, several still
are.) Although other OTC drugs are worth considering, these ten have been
selected due to their ready availability, affordability, safety in both adults
and children, and multi-use potential. Used alone or in combination, they can
effectively treat dozens of conditions including: headache, fever, sore
throats, ear ache, menstrual cramps, heartburn, arthritis, ulcers, diarrhea,
allergies, hives, congestion, dizziness, mild anxiety, nausea, vomiting, poison
ivy, athlete's foot, ringworm, eczema, insomnia, backache, gout, diaper rash,
yeast infections, and many more common illnesses.

1. Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) - Among the OTC anti-inflammatory medications,
ibuprofen is probably the most versatile. Primarily indicated for pain and
inflammation, it may also be used to relieve headaches, earaches, sore throats,
sinus pain, stiff neck, muscle strains, menstrual cramps, arthritis including
gout, and back pain. It is also effective at reducing fever and is generally
safe for use in children. It is not advisable for most stomach-related pain,
although may decrease the pain of kidney stones, kidney infections, and possibly
bladder infections. The most common side effect is stomach irritation or
heartburn. When combined with acetaminophen it is nearly as effective as
codeine, tramadol, or hydrocodone in relieving more severe pain.

2. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) - Acetaminophen is the only OTC pain-reliever
that is not an anti-inflammatory drug. It will not irritate the stomach like
ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen. It is useful for the same conditions as
ibuprofen, though effectiveness varies according to patient. As mentioned
above, it may be combined with ibuprofen in full doses for more severe pain.
Side effects are very few, though in high dose, especially when combined with
alcohol, it can lead to liver failure. It is available in several pediatric
dosages, both for pain relief and fever reduction.

3. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) - An inexpensive antihistamine,
diphenhydramine is primarily used for drainage due to respiratory infections and
nasal allergies, in both adults and children. It is also indicated for hives
and itching, including itchy rashes such as poison ivy. Although not all
patients become drowsy when using diphenhydramine, many do so, making this
medication useful for insomnia as well. Some people find the drug relieves
nausea or mild anxiety.

4. Loperamide (Imodium) - The most effective OTC medication for diarrhea is
loperamide, which is available both as tablet form and liquid for children. It
is often useful for relieving intestinal cramping.

5. Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) - Pseudoephedrine is effective at relieving
congestion of both the upper and lower respiratory tract due to most common
causes including infection, allergy, chemical irritation, and mild asthma or
bronchitis. It frequently has a stimulatory effect, similar to caffeine. The
most common side effects are those resembling a burst of adrenaline: rapid
heart rate, palpitations, and increased blood pressure. Years ago this drug was
used in young children, even babies, though now most pediatricians do not advise
it in patients younger than about six years old.

6. Meclizine (Bonine, Dramamine) - This antiemetic drug is available both
over the counter and by prescription. It relieves nausea, vomiting, motion
sickness, and vertigo-like dizziness. For some patients it causes drowsiness,
and therefore may be used as a sleep aid. It is related to medications for
anxiety and may help with this as well.

7. Ranitidine (Zantac) - Although several medications are available OTC for
the treatment of heartburn, ulcers, and other acid-reducing conditions,
ranitidine is among the best-tolerated, is inexpensive, and is also useful for
relieving hives. Doctors often advise an acid-reducing medication such as
ranitidine for patients who experience stomach upset when taking ibuprofen,
though this must be done with caution.

8. Hydrocortisone cream - The 1% version of hydrocortisone is the strongest
steroid cream available over the counter. It is safe for use in both adults and
children in treating inflamed and/or itchy rashes such as eczema, poison ivy,
diaper rash, and other minor genital irritations.

9. Bacitracin ointment - This ointment is best used to prevent skin
infections when the integrity of the skin has been breached, as by an abrasion,
laceration, insect bite, or sting. It also may be used to treat a superficial
skin infection such as a mildly infected wound or impetigo. It is less likely
to produce a topical skin allergy than other topical antibiotic preparations
that contain neomycin. It cannot be used to treat deeper infections, however,
which generally require an antibiotic by mouth.

10. Clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin) The same antifungal medication, clotrimazole,
is contained in both Lotrimin and Gyne-Lotrimin. Gyne-Lotrimin may be used to
treat both female yeast infections and any other yeast or fungal infection that
Lotrimin would treat, including athlete's foot, jock itch, ringworm, diaper
rashes, and skin fold irritations.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bug Out Bag

Hi again!

Today I wanted to go back to a basics mode in that there is a term used by Survivalists and Preppers alike called the "Bug out bag". Even though they are related it should not be confused with the three day emergency kit. They are similar when you think about them from the view that hold basic survival supplies for an individual however, their mindsets are completely different in my opinion.

For one thing a 3 day kit is really prepared with the idea in mind that in a few days everything is going to get back to normal, or that the Gubbamint will be along shortly to save your bacon. But that is zactly where the similarities end.

The Bug out Bag is setup with the notion that you might not be coming back - PERIOD! So with that in mind I would gather up things that would be found in the 3 day kit but you will want to be even more compact and add additional items such as survival knives, a hatchet, perhaps a hand gun, the list can get big in a hurry. You toughest task will be to keep the list short. Here are some suggestions from a post on the Survial Groups Blog. Go check this site out.

One last word from me. When you look at this list your first inclination is to say "I can't possibly carry all this stuff or get it into one bag!".  Yes I feel the same way. I think the idea here is to stage layers of stuff. First of All the bag you can carry, then the boxes you throw in the car, and then the extra stuff to put in the truck and drive out of town in. Keep each layer mobile as possible. Each of these layers is a "class" ranging from 3 day kit, to walking out and not coming back, to driving out in the middle of the night, etc.


What items should be in your Bug Out Bag?

This will depend on a number of factors, such as the area you live in (climate, elevation, etc….) But the basics are as follows:

    * A disaster plan that includes the location of emergency areas, rallying points,  multiple evacuation routes, maps of the area, trail maps, etc (make sure you use a water proof laminate to protect your plans).

    * First Aid Kit
      Possible Kits to look at are as follows:
         1. All-Purpose First Aid Kit, 170 Items In Plastic Case With Carry Handle
         2. First Aid Only Outdoor First Aid Kit, Soft Case, 205-Piece Kit
         3. Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Medic Kit
         4. 10-Unit First Aid Kit

    * Professional Survival Book
      This should be studied before hand and kept for reference during a disaster.
      Recommended books are:
         * SAS Survival Handbook: How to Survive in the Wild, Land or at Sea
         * When All Hell Breaks Loose
         * US Army Survival Manual: FM 21-76
         * Water bottles and metal canteen cup
         1. Stainless Steel GI Canteen Cup Great for Boiling and Sterilizing
         2. Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel, Bottles that can be used to boil water

    * Clothing
      Socks, gloves, rain suit, poncho, jacket, hat, bandannas, clothing
    * A few assorted knives
      Recommended Knives:

       1.The Seal Pup By SOG is one of my favorite Knives
       2.EvoGrip S557 Knife with Red & Black Handle from Swiss Army
    * Camp Axe & Shovel
      1.Fiskars 8-Inch Hatchet #7855
      2.Fiskars Splitting Axe 23.5-Inch #7853
      3.Gerber 45905 Camp Axe – Sheath – Clam
      4.Folding Spade NATO Approved Knife from Gerber Knives

    * Flashlights 
      1. Gerber 22-80010 Infinity Ultra LED Task Light, Green
      2. Nightstar Magnetic Force Flashlight Hi-Tech Clear Self Powered Flashlight
          A must have for when the batteries fail. Sturdy and not a cheapo imitation
      3. Surefire E2E-HA Executive Elite
      4. Radio A must to keep up on what is going on. 
                1.Etón FR500 Solarlink (Black) Solar PowerAM/FM/Shortwave/NOA radio built-in LED flashlight and cell phone charger * Awesome Radio

    * Fire Starting
      Waterproof Matches, a couple Lighters, Tinder and one of the following:
       Ultimate Survival Technologies BlastMatch All Weather Firestarter (orange)
         1. Brunton Striker Magnesium Fire Starter (Silver/Black)

    * MultiTool
         1. Leatherman 830040 New Wave Multi-Tool with Nylon Sheath
         2. Leatherman 830160 Surge Pocket Multitool with Leather Sheath

    * Cordage
         (wide variety of uses, traps, etc….) *550 Paracord

    * CASH & Documents
      have some extra cash in your bag, as well as a copy of all your important
documents (SS Card, I.D., Fishing hunting License, Gun License, etc…)

    * Firearm(s) and ammunition.
        10/22 Ruger is a great all around survival gun that will never fail and will last forever. Ammo is dirt  cheap at under $20 for 500 rounds It also has A ton of 10/22 after market gear

    * WATER
      a liter per day per person (enough to get you by)

    * Water Purifiers & Filters: (Any one below would be a good choice)
      SteriPEN Adventurer Handheld Water Purifier
         1. Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter
         2. Katadyn TRK Drip Ceradyn Water Filter
         3. Lifesaver Bottle 4000 Ultra Filtration Water Bottle
         4. Katadyn Combi Water Microfilter

    * MulitVitamins
       Keep your strength up as your diet changes

    * Extra Medicine
       If needed because of preexisting condition

    * Navigation
       Compass, Maps, GPS, etc….

      Suunto MC-2 Global Compass
       Brunton Pocket Transit Conventional Compass with 0-360 Degree Scale

    * Communication
       Portable C.B or Ham Radio

    * Fishing Gear
       Bobbers Hooks, fishing line, small collapsible pole

    * Emergency Food
      Stuff that will last and give you the most bang for your buck 
         ( peanut butter, jerky, sardines, granola bars, salt, dried fruit, MRE’s, etc…)
      1.SARDINES IN WATER, 24 pack of 3.75 oz cans
      2.Clif Bar Energy Bars, 2.4-Ounce Bars (Pack of 24)
      3. 3600 Calorie ER Bar – Emergency Food Ration

    * Shelter
      Sleeping bag, tent, tarp, etc….

    * Extra Batteries
       Energizer NH15BP-4 ACCU 2500mAh Rechargeable AA Batteries  
       rechargeable with solar charger below

    * Solar Charge r
      Brunton Solarport 4.4 Watt Foldable Solar Charger with Battery Charger
      Brunton 26 Watt Foldable Solar Array - For Small Electronics

    * Signal Devices
      Flares, Signaling Mirror, Whistle

    * Duct tape

    * Misc
      Candles, Safety Pins, sewing needles and thread, Playing Cards for entertainment, Wire for snaring

You will also need some type of water filtration system. It can be simple as boiling your water or buying those little tablets they sell in Wal-Mart to purify your water.

You should also take with you a couple of good hunting knives. A good knife is worth its weight in gold.  

Simple Tools. You will need simple hand tools such as an axe, saw, hatchet, hammer. The reason I say you will need these tools, it will be easier to build shelter and any other type of structure you may require.

Flashlights or candles. It is dark in the wilderness at night. Make sure you take something that will help you see at night.

A good sleeping bag that will keep you warm in the winter, you can find good sleeping bags as well as tents on line for a cheap price.

Make sure you take with you warm clothes, a good set of boots for winter, you will need gloves. If your hands get cut up then you are not able to do much work so it is important to keep your hands protected.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Roughing it Long Term

However, unlikely you should consider the possibility that you may have to evacuate the city. Now I know most people feel that the likelihood of that ever becoming a reality are not even worth considering. However, if you are a survivor then you will have a plan.

Perhaps first we should define what long term means. For this set of documents I mean indefinitely, probably longer than 2 or 3 mos.  Anything less would probably be a change in the dynamics of what you need. So lets just say that the bare essentials list would probably get you by for 3-5 months if you can keep the food coming, have water purification and fire. 

Needless to say you should start off with most of the items in the Bare Essentials article posted previously and grow from there.

Long Term Camping Bare Essentials 

1. A Regular Camping tent, or a family cabin style tent can work but these tents would usually not be able to handle the Sun's UV rays long enough  to get you through more than a season or two. It most likely will not accomodate a wood burning stove either.  So with that in mind the best options I know of for a tent are (not in any particular order) :
  • The Alaknak Tent: This is an outfitter tent that many hunters use which also accommodates a wood burning stove. As of this date the link can be found here:  Alaknak Tent
  • Also the excellent standard in tents is the Canvas Wall Tent with a floor  built in. The downside to these tents is that the tent poles are separate. Here is the link for Canvas Tent
(Note: these links are for Cabelas but there are many other good places to shop)

2. Sleeping bags should still be capable of handling very cold (say 10 degree or colder nights). And have extra blankets as well.

3. Water purification should be in the form of a quality filter as opposed to a filtration/purification system only,  that can produce large  quantities of highly purified water.  Go to Berkey to find out more about this subject

4. Cooking pots, dutch ovens, skillets, cooking utinsils etc.
5. Your long term food storage supply (don't rely on hunting and fishing, there may be 100,000 other people thinking the same thing) 

6. White gas for cooking and heating, along with the means to create fire for cooking.

Extended Long Term Camping List Continued

Here is a partial list which does not include food storage. If I have
to haul my own food storage then it will replace a great deal of what I
have here. A second small trailer is a possibility. So please be honest
in your assessment so you can give this some serious consideration. 

  1. Two canvas tents (Or one canvas wall tent and another collapsible storage shelter).  
  2. Wood burning stove for cooking and heating 
  3. Sleeping bags 
  4. Additional Blankets 
  5. Medical supplies and some medicines, tweezers, hemastats, sutures, scalpels etc (more than just first aid) 
  6. Sewing Kit 
  7. Tarps (several big and small) 
  8. Cast Iron Cooking pots, dutch oven and fry pans, and utensils 
  9. Cots and insulating pads to sleep on 
  10. Guns and Ammo for Hunting/Protection, Fishing Poles 
  11. Cleaning supplies for washing clothes and dishes, fine 0000 steel wool (can be used to make fire with 9volt batteries) 
  12. Toiletries (soap, tooth brush/paste, TP) 
  13. Heavy Coats, gloves of all types, jeans, shoes and boots 
  14. Ropes, rachetting tie-downs 
  15. Back packs prepared for hiking and remote camping (with small tents or at least tarps) 
  16. Towels, wash clothes, rags 
  17. Chain Saw with extra chains, bar oil, engine oil, gasoline
  18. 3 - 4 days worth of food and water to used during travel 
  19. Steel tub to wash clothes, dishes, and people in

We haven't even discussed
  • Tools
  • Medical Supplies
  • Communications Rigs and Methodologies
  • Orders of Business at the Sites or Retreats

Comments and additions are appreciated 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bare Essentials and Survival Mode

I thought I might post a little follow up to the previous days post about food storage. I figured it might be helpful to know what kind of things would be needed to survive for a time after an emergency such as an earthquake. So this is for short term survival.

These items would be essential to sustain life and provide comfort. Providing comfort to your family is THE most essential thing you can do for them. In the case of bare essentials you may get hungry, in fact very hungry but if you are warm and dry and can get hot liquids when it's cold you will have a better chance at surviving for even several weeks without substantial food. I will list minimum food requirements later. These will not be satisfactory for long term needs. Just a few weeks.

It is recommended that you carry only what you can handle safely and efficiently. If you try to bring the kitchen sink then you and/or your family will be buried with the sink. Others may need assistance so bring what you can but not at the sacrifice of yourself or your family, it is not required or wise of you. A wise leader will not try to save everyone even though he will want to. In other words, do what you can for others without destroying the success of your family. You will have to keep a level head under this pressure.

Okay, lets look at the list


1. One backpack per person from 5 years and up (size appropriately). The strongest may carry full packs.

2. Comfortable Hiking shoes - worn in but not worn out

3. Sweater - Button up - You can adjust it for cooling if required, pull overs cannot

4. Brimmed Hat to protect from Sun and Rain - Baseball cap, Fedora

5. Large Handkerchief - to cover neck in the sun, or to be a large bandage on a wound

6. Stocking cap

7. Gloves of any kind is better than none - for protection and warmth

8. Warm Coat of any kind - below waist length would be good

9. Long Pants - rugged Blue Jeans recommended (except in cold wet or snow conditions)

Life Sustainment - two weeks worth of each for individual or family

1. Very Sharp Knife - a strong hunting knife is appropriate

2. Matches and metal match or magnesium fire stater

3. Candles, petrolleum jelly and cotton balls or 0000 steel wool and 9 volt battery work well in the wind

4. Herb Teas

5. Bouillon Cubes

6. band-aids and neosporin

7. tiny sewing kit - this may be needed to sew clothing or skin

8. Water purification - See Appendix "A"

9. 10-20 feet of 1/8 inch light rope or para-cord per person

10. Sleeping bags

11. Consecrated oil

12. Prayer

PHASE 2 - Should Have

1. Tarp to lay on or cover your family

2. One Change of Socks and a Warm Woollen Outer Shirt

3. Hand/Bath Soap

4. Compass

5. Flash light

6. Medical kit with large bandages, scissors, tweezers, extreme pain medication if have access to it.

7. Topographical and Road maps.

8. small mess kit or just a steel cup and a fork or spoon

9. Toothbrush

Here is some longer term preparedness items this would work for a two person, two week food supply! This is only going to be available in your home as you couldn't carry it.

1 Case Cup-of-Noodles

7 Cans Canned Meat

2 2lb bags of Dry Kidney Beans

2 2lb bags of Rice

1 box of instant potatoes

7 can peas

7 cans corn

14 cans peaches

14 can stew

Black Tea as a stimulant for medicinal purposes


Here a some links for camping equipment and clothing:
Sports Authority
Big5 Sporting Goods

Food Storage - Why and Some of the How

I thought I would chat a little about food storage today, specifically why one might want to store food, secondly how to get started and list a couple of resources to get started with.

First of all there are probably as many reasons to have food storage as there are people living in your city but in reality the only reasons you need are the ones who sit at your table each night. After all it's because we want our families to be safe and comfortable when an unusual event occurs and happens to come our way. We usually can't anticipate when we will need to be more self reliant, we can't always depend on someone else or some government entity to come and save us in our time of need.

For example, everyone talks about Katrina, one of the biggest Hurricanes to hit the United States. This massive hurricane was being watched by the whole world for several days before it even made land fall. Two days before it hit they were predicting how strong the winds would be, where it would hit and for people to prepare for the worst. Even with warnings being shouted from the roof tops we couldn't prepare in time. People were not evacuated efficiently. Shelters where not adequate, food was not to be had and water was everywhere but nary a drop to drink. And worst of all many people refused to leave.

In the wake of a disaster such as this we always feel like we have dodged a bullet but was it enough of a warning to motivate us to action? Apparently not. Literally MILLIONS of people  are no more prepared for trouble than they were before that disaster. Will the gubamint be able to help everyone when the next disaster hits and do you want to depend on them getting the buses to you?

What about the people who suffered in the latest cold snap, the worst winter weather in more than 50 or 60 years. Will anyone be more prepared next year? Will anyone have made a plan for next year to have a little more firewood, will there be water stored in the basement to boil rice or soup with; who knows the pipes might freeze and break.

Well if you feel you would like to be prepared for even a small disaster you might be asking yourself where do I begin and what do I really need. If you can plan for what you really need you can save money by not getting things you don't need. Here are some great places to start your search.

1. The American Red Cross has an emergency preparedness site:

2. The LDS Church has some good tips for shorter term storage as well as for very long term items, methods and locations to purchase.

3. How about a Survival Blog

If you search a little you will find so many resources you won't believe it. You will soon realise there is a giant movement you may have never even heard of.

After browsing some of these you might still feel overwhelmed so lets break it down a little.

Start off with three days of water per person. How much is that? Well don't just think about water to drink, although that is the most critical, you also need to have water to cook with and even clean utensils with. So I would say 1 to 2 gallons per day. Check out what the Red Cross recommends. There are many people who own water filtration devices. I would recommend something that filters bacteria and protozoa like giardia.

Try to have extra cans of beans, stew, soups. Canned fruits are great for their nutritional value and the liquid they contain. There are some great dehydrated soups out there that are actually pretty low cost and a small bag will make a gallon of soup. Once you start to think in this manner you will start to notice items in the store you have never even looked at before.

I've personally used Emergency Essentials for my food storage. I trust them, the prices are very competitive and their service is top notch.

You can either buy or build your own medical kit. Find a kit that can take care of most small cuts and scrapes as well as something that can stop severe bleeding and perhaps a sewing kit for stitching up a deep wound. Additionally, you will need something to sterilize your hands and the wound.

If its summer time and you are putting together some clothing to have on hand don't forget to pack away some warm clothing, extra socks and gloves. Think about something to keep the rain and snow off of you as well.

You can of course go nuts in all of these categories but one of the the most expensive single items will be a good tent. Be careful and consider what you think might be required. Do you think you might need a tent for a week or a month? What about a year? The tent you have in mind might not be able to handle more than a season of use due to the lack of UV resistance.

Cooking and Heating:
If you might need to heat that tent then what will you do, will you have to build fires or will you have hundreds of gallons of propane? There are some awesome but not cheap tents that will support a wood burning stove which can be used for cooking and heating. I would go to some major outdoor stores like Cabelas or Bass Pro Shops.