February 25, 2017

Fifteen Preparedness Gift Ideas

We’re nearing Christmas, so I thought I would take this opportunity to give you some gift ideas for the Prepper on your list! I own all but one of these items. I stand behind every one I will post. Some of the links posted are affiliate links, meaning if you decide to purchase, I will get a very small commission; thank you if you do buy something!

I am also going to mention the Preparedness Club. If you’re looking for gift ideas besides what is on this list or even if you’re looking for something specific, check the Preparedness Club out. Think of us as the sales section of the newspaper. You come to one site to see sales instead of visiting several, and we post only the best sales daily. If you sign up for updates, you will receive one email per day at 6pm EST that lists the sales found for that day.
 
 

Prepper Pete Prepares: An Introduction to Prepping for Kids; $3.99 for Kindle Edition

If you have a child and are looking for ways to teach them about preparedness, then the Prepper Pete Prepares: An Introduction to Prepping for Kids book would make a great gift. The same can be said for Prepper Pete’s Gun of a Son: A Gun Safety Book for Kids, if you have a child you would like to teach gun safety concepts. I have read and reviewed both Prepper Pete Prepares and Prepper Pete’s Gun of a Son, in case you would like to get my full opinion.
 
 

Resqme Keychain Car Escape Tool; $9.95

I used to have a tool that would cut a seatbelt and break a car window. I kept it in the door pocket, thinking if I wrecked it would be within reach. Then my son wrecked the car, nearly rolling it. I found my tool the next day in the back seat, out of reach.

We now have these on our key chains. To break a window, simply push it against the window and a pin snaps forward shattering the glass. It will also cut a seatbelt. Best of all, it will always be in reach when the key is in the ignition.
 
 

Allen Company Adult Blade 4 Lens Style Combo Case (Clear, Red, Yellow, Smoke); $11.00-$15.00

You can read my review of these glasses here.. I used to just buy the safety glasses that cost less than $5 from Menards. Then someone let me try their set of these in yellow. I was amazed at how everything popped out. To me, the yellow alone is worth $11, but add the other colors and this is a great deal!
 
 

Luci Solar Lantern; $14.00
I recently reviewed LUCI. You can read the full review Here. LUCI is a solar powered light, powerful enough to provide up to an 8’x10’ room with enough light to read by. It takes 8 hours to get a full charge. Once charged, it will keep a full charge for 3 months! After that, it will hold a half charge for two years! If you use it for 12 hours a day, she will last around 2 years! If you use her occasionally you can expect many years of use!
 
 

Maxpedition Micro Pocket Organizer; $16.33
Anyone who carries more than a couple pieces of EDC gear has probably gotten tired of fumbling through their pockets for that one needed item. That is what led to me buying this bag, and it was a great idea! It holds most of my EDC gear and fits in the pocket of my cargo pants with room to spare.
 
 

Ps Quick Draw Gun Magnet; $17.69
This might not be the typical gift idea, but if you have someone trying to conceal a handgun at home, it is the perfect gift. This is a great way to have your handgun out with you while watching TV or at the desk, yet have it concealed. The magnet strength is enough to hold up to 10lbs.
 
 


Seed of the Month Club; Six months $19.74 or 1 year $35.52
This is the one item I do not own/participate in. After several years of failed attempts at gardening I realized we just don’t get enough sun to garden in any part of the yard. Should we move, I will join the Seed of the Month Club.

Give a new variety of heirloom, non GMO seeds every month! Click here to save 25%, and Preparedness Club members receive a 30% discount.
 
 

Space All Weather Blanket; $19.99

If you have the typical foil type space blanket in your BOB, this is a great upgrade. I still have them in mine, but this one is far warmer and more durable. Warmer than wool, it will retain 80% of body heat. It also has grommets in each corner and is tear and puncture resistant.
 
 

Guyot Designs Backpacker Stainless Steel Bottle, 32-Ounce; $21.99
I don’t own this version. I own its big, discontinued, brother and you can read my review of it here. As I say in the review, the Backpacker has a narrower base and is less expensive than the one I have. That aside, this is a fantastic water bottle! It keeps things cooler longer and the wide mouth makes filling it easier. Just make sure it comes with a splash guard (I believe they do. Well, mine did anyway.) This is the last water bottle I will ever own.

 
 

Making the Best of Basics


Making the Best of Basics; $39.99

This is the first informational prepper-type book I purchased after seeing several raving reviews on various forums. They were not wrong! This book is very packed with information on subjects including how to stock your pantry, how to store those items and how to cook with them. There is a sprouting guide, a guide on wheat and dehydrating fruits and vegetables. There are instructions on how to make yogurt and cheese. There is even information on essential oils!

I have said it before, this is one book that should be in everyone’s preparedness library! You can read my full review of it here. There are now digital and DVD versions. I prefer the hard copy, but the digital and DVD version come with a lot of extras not included in the hard copy.
 
 
Howard Leight
Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Earmuff; $48.94
If you go shooting with other people, this is a must have item. If you take any level of training, this is a must have item. I used them during training and could hear the instructor who was speaking normally, and was on the other side of the outdoor range. I would not have heard him that well without the electronic earmuffs! They really amplify voice well, and block the sounds of gunfire to the level any other earmuffs would. You can read my full 5 star review here.
 
 


Cold Steel Spartan; $59.59
This is my EDC knife for last ditch self-defense. I’ll be honest, I liked the look of it and it was getting good reviews, so I asked for it as a birthday gift. It is a far better knife than my previous EDC knife. The handle design means your grip is strong and your fingers are not sliding off. This might be adjustable, but mine doesn’t open easily, which is fine by me. My last knife slid open when it wasn’t supposed to and I ended up with stitches. Be forewarned, this knife is a mammoth, with a total length of 10.5” and is also quite wide. It still fits fine in a pants pocket, but is the biggest folder I have owned.
 
 


AlertsUSA; $99.00 per year
Do you have a news junky in your life? Someone who needs to stay on top of current events? Maybe they check their favorite online sources multiple times a day? AlertsUSA
is the perfect gift for them! AlertsUSA’s goal is to increase the user’s level of situational and threat awareness. They will send a text message to your mobile device and an email with every alert.

I have used the service for two years and they frequently give an alert before the MSM picks up on the topic. Since they are not the MSM and their only agenda is to give you the information they deem as important, they often report information received from an insider that never appears on MSM.

The service is $99.00 a year. However, Preparedness Club members receive it for $75.00! For just this weekend you can get a one year membership to of AlertsUSA for $69.00!
 
 
CrossBreed
Crossbreed holster; Price varies
I was introduced to CrossBreed holsters by a reader, and I am glad I was! I owned 4-5 holsters before my CrossBreed. They either never fit right, didn’t offer enough concealment or were uncomfortable.

I purchased the Snapside and a gun belt to go with it. The combination of the two is BY FAR the most comfortable way I have ever carried. If you CCW on a regular basis, I cannot recommend them enough, especially with a gun belt. The level of comfort, support and conceal-ability is well worth the price!

They also have belly band holsters, ankle holsters and a modular design called a purse defender that essentially turns any purse into a CCW purse. They also have bedside backup and a RAM ball mount that allows you to securely mount your handgun just about anywhere and make it easily accessible.

It might actually be too late to get some of the items before Christmas, but if you have a shooter on your list, consider Crossbreed! They’ll love it.

 
 

Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator; $179.00
I did a lot of research and looking before deciding to purchase the Excalibur dehydrator. There are many that are less expensive, but I either didn’t like the design or didn’t like some other feature. The Excalibur is the champion when it comes to the amount of food that you can dehydrate at one time.
 
 

SIRT R/R Training Pistol. Dry Fire Handgun by Next Level Training; $195.00
The SIRT training pistol is a diagnostic tool and training aid. It allows you to train and form good habits, and actually see deficiencies like breaking down and left when you squeeze the trigger. With the use of the laser it lets you see if and when you are breaking off target.

The cost might seem a little high, but if you consider the cost of ammo and how much ammo it could take to break you out of bad habits, it could actually save you money!

The deal linked here is actually better than what I got. It includes:

•SIRT 110 Training Pistol Red/Red Lasers
•FREE 90min Training DVD and FREE SIRT Safety Glasses.
Also includes a weighted magazine, a carrying case, adjustment tools and manuals.
•Includes $250.00 Front Sight Certificate as well as Coupons and Other Discounts for Accessories and Additional Training Aids
•One Year Manufacturer Warranty. Made in the USA.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully I have been able to give you some gift ideas for the Prepper on your list. I’m sure they’ll be happy with anything I have listed. If you are looking for a gift that is more light hearted or a gag gift, check out this list from The Daily Prep.

Review of the MPOWERD Luci Inflatable Solar Lantern

Review of the MPOWERD Luci Inflatable Solar Lantern

Every once in a while I get to review an item that, because of features, potential and its price, is an item that I am happy to tell you about! LUCI is one of these! Created by MPOWERED, LUCI is an inflatable solar lantern with a diameter of 5”. It’s about 4” tall when inflated and 1” tall when collapsed.

LUCI is waterproof and shatterproof. It is very lightweight and affordable; the Luci Solar Lantern I was sent retails for only $15! Other models can run up to $25.
 
 
Features

LUCI Dimensions

LUCI is made up of 10 LED lights, a solar panel and a rechargeable battery.

It is rated for 500-2000 cycles, meaning full battery cycles from full to empty. If you use it every day for twelve hours, it is expected that it’ll work for about two years! If you use LUCI occasionally you can expect many years of use.

The LED bulbs have a lifespan of 25,000 hours, and the manufacturer states that they will not burn out during the life of LUCI.

LUCI solar panel

LUCI will hold a full charge for about three months. After that it will retain half a charge for up to two years!

There are three power settings; low, high and a slow flashing.

LUCI produces enough light to illuminate up to an 8-10’ square foot room.

LUCI is rated to run in temperatures from 15-122 degrees.

There is a plastic strap on the top and bottom. A carbineer would be needed to hang it from something to cast light or hang upside down to charge.

LUCI can be charged from with sunlight or incandescent light and takes 8 hours for a full charge.
 
 
Potential

LUCI is being marketed as offering “solar justice” to the 3 billion people in the world who either live without electricity or can’t afford it. They even have a program where you can MPOWERED for a LUCI to be given to someone in need!

LUCI will effectively lengthen the ability to get things done after the sun goes down. That is the case for those living without electricity now, and for anyone who owns one if the power goes out!

LUCI in colorLuci doesn’t act like a flashlight. To be fair, flashlights don’t serve the same purpose as LUCI in my book either. A flashlight is a great tool for casting light at length or lighting a specific area for a short time. LUCI is geared toward lighting a general area for a length of time.
 
 
LUCI roadside
Just some of the uses I can see are: In the BOB, lights out/blackout kit, glove box or trunk for use during roadside emergencies, lighting an outdoor area for night gatherings, floating in the pool for evening swims (did I mention it’s waterproof?!?!?). I think LUCI will give a scared child much more comfort in a blackout than a flashlight, as it lights up a bigger area.
 
 
Price

As stated above, the Luci Solar Lantern that was sent to me costs $15. You can visit the MPOWERED site to find all four versions, including the ones in various colors! They range in price from $15 – $25.

At these prices, I think they make a great addition to anyone’s preparations! They would also make great gifts for those who may not be preparedness minded!

 
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The Shemagh

The Shemagh

The Shemagh, pronounced shmog, is a garment worn in arid climates as a scarf or headdress. They were incorporated by many in the American armed forces in the last decade and by many in the British armed forced decades ago. The Shemagh can be worn is several ways and has several other uses. It is an item I believe belongs in every BOB. The Shemagh is a 46”x46” piece of fabric, coming in several colors and designs.

When worn as a scarf, it can keep the neck shaded in the sun, can provide warmth in the cold and can stop debris from falling down ones shirt in the field.

When worn as a headdress, it can shade the head and neck from the sun, and if worn dessert ninja style, can conceal ones face.

Medically, the Shemagh could be used for an arm sling, fashioned with branches in the field for a leg splint or two of them could make a decent, impromptu, stretcher.

With a bit of cordage, it would make a decent “hobo” style bag.

It could also serve as a towel, small blanket or pillow or, dunk it in cold water and use it as a headdress or scarf for added cooling.

For these reasons and more, I think each BOB should have one of these beauties. One word of warning though; if you buy one, you will want to rinse it thoroughly to remove excess ink. Mine came from Pakistan and I had to soak them for days, changing the water and rinsing them several times before the ink quit bleeding; not something you want in your washing machine!

CampingSurvivalShemaghs

Prepared Christian supporter, Camping Survival, carries a wide selection of Shemaghs,! If you’re interested in them, head over and check them out! The colors shown in the image are just a partial view of their selection.

 
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Night Vision for Preparedness

“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.” John 3:20

Let’s face it, Joe Dirtbag and his buddies do most of their evil deeds in the dark. If some of the things we’re preparing for start happening, like blackouts, civil unrest or even TEOTWAWKI Joe Dirtbag is going to have a lot more buddies. One thing we can use as a force multiplier is night vision, it can give us the ability to see the Dirtbag gang and the evil deeds they wish to inflict. For those that don’t know what a force multiplier is, one definition is:

“A capability that, when added to and employed by a combat force, significantly increases the combat potential of that force and thus enhances the probability of successful mission accomplishment.”

I don’t own any night vision equipment, but it is on my wish list. I also only have a novices’ understanding of night vision gear. If I don’t use the technical terms in this article it is because they don’t mean anything to me. I’ll put things in terms that are more understandable for novices.
 
 

Methods of Night Vision


 
There are three methods of night vision; passive, active and thermal.
 
 
Passive

Passive night vision takes in the ambient light in the user’s general area, this light is then magnified several times. The color green is used to display the images.
 
 
Active

Instead of relying on natural light, an infrared light source is emitted and the reflection of that light is used to create an image. Active night vision can give a higher resolution than passive. Because the infrared light can give away the position of the wearer, the US military does not use them.
 
 
Thermal Imaging Night Vision

Thermal imaging does not use light, it relies on thermal radiation. Every object emits thermal radiation based on its temperature. The hotter an object the more thermal radiation it emits.
 

Night Vision Devices


 There are basically four types of night vision, each with pluses and minuses. They are: monocular, goggle, binocular and scopes. I say “basically” because there are some hybrids available, but for a primer on the subject for us novices, let’s stick to the basics.
 
Night Vision Monoculars

This unit offers night vision to a single eye without magnification. These units are often small and some of the newer generations can be mounted to a rifle scope or spotting scope. They can be head mounted as well. One benefit is that, since one eye is not looking through the lens, you have more situational awareness. Another plus is that you can switch back and forth between eyes when one grows tired.
 
Night Vision Goggles

Night Vision goggles are often head mounted. They provide viewing for both eyes with no magnification. This is done either by both eyes sharing one image tube or by each eye having its own image tube. The goggles with two image tubes provide each eye its own image instead of them sharing the same image from one tube. This allows for better depth perception. Some models come with a head piece of sorts, while others require a helmet to attach to. The down side can be the added weight of goggles themselves and the helmet if one is needed.
 
Night Vision Binoculars

These are essentially just what it sounds like; binoculars with night vision. Due to weight they are not head mounted. They are primarily designed for long distance nighttime viewing while standing stationary. The generations will be covered in more detail below, but gen 1 optics don’t illuminate at great distances. Because of this, adding magnification to a gen 1 device will cause the image to be dimmer. A gen 3-4 device offers plenty of illumination.
 
Night Vision Scopes

There are two types of night vision scopes. The first is larger and heavier than a normal scope and attaches to a rifle in the same manner as a regular scope. The second either attaches to or in front of a regular scope, sort of like the monocular. I don’t mind the monocular version, but the scope that offers night vision makes me uncomfortable. If you cannot detach it and must point your rifle to view things you’re breaking one of the safety rules; “Do not point at anything you are not willing to destroy”.
 
 

Generations

Instead of getting into the technical aspects of the difference between the generations of night vision, I will mention what they mean to the consumer.

Gen 1

This is the oldest and, by far, the most affordable. Depending on the night, they have a range of 75 yards. The resolution is poorer than and not as bright as newer generations. They only operate in active mode and, therefore, make you easy to see by others with night vision. Bright light can cause distortion called “blooming” easier than newer generations. Shorter life expectancy, only roughly 1500 hours.

Gen 2

Gen 1 has been around since the 1960’s, so generation 2 is a big step up. Viewable distance is out to roughly 200 yards with higher resolution. Passive mode can be used, and gen 2 is less susceptible to blooming. Life expectancy is roughly three times as long as gen 1. There are several types of Gen 2, some much better than others.

Gen 3

Gen 3 is considered the gold standard of night vision and is what the military is currently using. Gen 3 offers the best resolution and is usable out to 300 yards, depending on the model and night conditions. Gen three also operates in passive mode. Life expectancy is 10,000+ hours.

Gen 4

Gen 4 is equivalent or better than most gen 3. However, I have read that gen 4 is more prone to failures due to the technology it uses.

For those of you who want the more technical terms, you can find that information here. There are also visual examples of the differences between all four generations.

Below is a very ballpark estimate on prices for the various generations of night vision.

gen 1 $200-$1,000
gen 2 $1,500- $3,500
gen 3 $3,000- $10,000
gen 4 $5,000-$10,000+
 
 

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there is a lot of data to take into consideration. Once you’ve figured out your desired generation, whether you want monocular, goggle, binocular or scope, you then get to look at all of the differences between models.

I really think night vision is a prep everyone should have on their list. For many of us it may always stay there. I think, if you can afford it, you should buy as much as your budget will allow. While I would personally love a gen 3 monocular, I’ll work toward a gen 1 and still have a leg up on the vast majority of the dirtbag gang.

One final note; the owner of Ready Made Resources let me know they are having a sale through July on the PVS-14 3RD GEN with a free weapon mount and shutter eye relief.
They are gen 3, so they are expensive, but I did a bit of searching and this price is hundreds cheaper than other stores. If you can afford it and are in the market, this is a good price!
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Starting Seeds With a Soil Cubes and Building Rain Catchment

Here are a couple garden projects we’ve been working on this week. I know some of you are gardeners so I thought I would share them with you.

Soil Cubes

I know its past time to start seeds for many of you but we got a late start on it this year. Over the years I have used many things to start seeds, some worked better than others and some just plain didn’t work. This year I used something called a Soil Cube. While the seeds haven’t sprouted yet, I am pretty impressed. The soil cube is $19.99 +shipping, which gets you the soil cube maker and a tong to move the cubes with.

The problem I have had and seen with several seed starters is that the roots coil around the inside of a container, and are shocked when you transplant the seedling. The idea behind the Soil Cube is that your potting mix is the container. When the time is right you just put the cube in your garden. There is no root shock. Because the soil cube is the container, the roots stop at the edge of the soil, so there is no root coiling. We made fifty cubes in (maybe) thirty minutes and will transplant them to containers later this spring.

You can learn much more by visiting the Soil Cube Site I’ve also posted the intro video below.

 

Rain Catchment

Rain water is better for a garden than city water, so building a rain catchment system has been something on my to-do list for a while. I finally got to it this week. For every inch of rain that falls on a 1000 square foot roof, you can catch approximately 600 gallons of water. Believe it or not catching rain is actually illegal in some states, so check your local laws before building a rain catchment system.

We have two barrels that have holes on the left and right and screened tops. We also purchased a product called a Rain Reserve that you attach to a downspout. It diverts some of the rain water to your barrel. The Rain Reserves are pretty pricey now at $89. But you buy one and get one free. We paid half that at a farmers market a year or two ago.

As you can see from the pictures, we set one barrel up higher than the other. When that one is full, it will then transfer over to the second barrel through the hose. We put them on blocks to add some pressure if we decide to add drip irrigation later.

We’ll use the water for the garden but, if we needed to in a pinch, we could use it to flush the toilet, bathe or even drink. We would need to purify it first if we were going to drink it.

BeforeAfter

Rain Reserve

The top right picture shows that the Rain Reserve is pretty low. This is because that is where it was already cut, and I didn’t want to make another one if I could help it. It rained and it turns out I will need to make another cut and raise the rain reserve above the barrel.

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Review of the Snare-Vival-Trap

The folks at Camping Survival let me know about a pretty cool item they have started to carry.  They were kind enough to send me one to review; the Snare-Vival-Trap™.

First, some info about the Snare-Vival-Trap™ and then I’ll give my review.  From camping survival:

“Created and manufactured by Solo Scientific in the USA the Snare-Vival-Trap™ is a pocket sized survival snare system that is used to capture wild game or fish (see video below).

snare-vival-hand

–CAN YOU THINK OF ANY OTHER CREATIVE USES FOR THE ITEM AND WHY IT WOULD BE GREAT TO KEEP IN YOUR POCKET AS IF IT WERE JUST COIN?

When in the stowed configuration the Snare-Vival-Trap™ is only 1.56″ in diameter and .135″ thick! See complete specifications below. The Snare-Vival-Trap™ can easily be carried in one’s pocket and quickly deployed in the field! Just press the center of the Snare-Vival-Trap™ and your ready for action!

The Snare-Vival-Trap™ by Solo Scientific has a manually windable wire snare, an escape proof sliding-locking noose that is engaged automatically during operation tightening around the animal’s neck or limbs killing or disabling the animal instantly. The Snare-Vival-Trap™ also has a mounting loop and mounting ring that are used to position and mount the Snare-Vival-Trap™ over a known animal path in the field.

The pocket sized Snare-Vival-Trap™ by Solo Scientific is a complete snare system that can fit in the palm of your hand. As a matter of fact, you could easily hold 4 or 5 Snare-Vival-Traps™ in the palm of your hand when in the stowed configuration!

The Solo Scientific Snare-Vival-Trap™ (like all Solo Scientific products) is designed to function in any environment that will support life and is made from corrosion resistant materials. The Snare-Vival-Trap™ is great for all of your outdoors adventures and can also be used for self defense to disarm an assailant. The survival uses of the Solo Scientific Snare-Vival-Trap™ are only limited by your imagination and ingenuity! Comes with complete instructions showing how to set up snares in the field.

 

 

Specifications: Weight 1.12 oz (31.75g) Diameter 1.56 inches (39.62mm) Thickness .135 inches (3.43mm) Wire Length 26 inches (66.04cm) Maximum Load approximately 160 lbs. (72.48Kg)”

snare-vivaltrapInstructions

 

My Take:

I have researched how to make snares and learning to make them is on my never ending list of things to learn about but  I haven’t practiced making them.  I have some food in my BOB and a small fishing kit, as well as some paracord.  I figured I could use the paracord for making snares if needed.  Notice I said I never learned how to actually make a snare, so I would need to learn the right knots, as well as how to set the snare.

With the Snare-Vival-Trap™ , one of the tricky parts is taken care of; there are no knots to be tied.  You just pop the center out, run the mounting ring through the ring, forming the snare.  You then place the mounting loop on a branch or small tree you’ll use as an anchor.

Of course, this doesn’t give you everything you need.  You’ll still need to know how to recognize a game trail.  Knowing how to bottleneck game to your snare would also be helpful, as would how to set the trap itself.  Much of this you can learn online and the included instructions give you four different types of snare traps you can build.

What the Snare-Vival-Trap™ gives you is a high quality, light weight wire snare that takes knot tying out of the equation.  I think knot tying is a good skill to have but I don’t practice enough to remember them.  Plus, if you’re in a survival situation, you could be cold or tired.  Your hands might not have the dexterity to tie the knot but forming a snare and attaching it to an anchor would be much easier I would think.

The length of the snare (26 inches) and the maximum weight load (approximately 160 lbs.) make it great for small to medium sized game.

I would like to get a couple more of these over time, put one in each BOB.  If we ever have to use them, having more Snare-Vival-Trap™ ’s to set will increase the odds of making meat.  I also like that they give you directions and four examples of how to make four snares, while keeping it small enough to store in your BOB.

 
The Snare-Vival-Trap™is available from Camping Survival.
 
I give the Snare-Vival-Trap™ four stars.

Four Stars

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Twenty Great Gifts for Prepper’s

Before I get to today’s article, I want to let you know about a special thank you to subscribers of Prepared Christian.  If you are already a subscriber or become a subscriber by Friday December 14th, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win one of the eleven gifts highlighted below.

To enter simply reply to any of the e-mails you receive alerting you of an update at Prepared Christian.  In the e-mail just wish me a Merry Christmas!  I will respond letting you know that you have been entered.  I will contact he winners to get your mailing address so I can mail you your present.

You have until Friday, December 14th at 5:00 pm Central Time to enter.  I will be contacting the winners on Friday to get your address.  The sooner you let me know, the sooner I place the order, there should be plenty of time for the winners to have a gift from Prepared Christian under their tree!

Thank you all so much and Merry Christmas!

Chris

 

Twenty Great Gifts for Prepper’s

 

If you have a prepper in your life and are looking for some gift ideas, here are twenty great ideas at many different price points.  Everything on this list is either something I own and may have reviewed, or would like to own (hint hint to my beautiful wife).  As I said above, I will be giving away more than half of these gifts in a drawing for subscribers to the updates as a thank you.

I’ll start off with the least expensive on top.

 

Tactical Bible Stories: Personal Security Tips from the Bible Kindle $2.99 Paperback $4.00

This book written by a fellow Prepared Christian Rob Robideau, I reviewed Tactical Bible Stories earlier this year.  Rob does a great job of using Biblical examples of different aspects of self-defense.
 
 


 
The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life Kindle Edition $8.89 Paperback $6.00

I reviewed The Survivors Club earlier this year, I think it is a fantastic book and learned a lot from it.  I think this book does a fantastic job of exploring a lot of the scientific reasons why some people survive, but it also explores some emotional and spiritual reasons as well.
 
 

The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence Kindle Edition $6.39 Paperback $7.73

I also reviewed the The Gift of Fear this year as well.  I think this book should be required reading for everyone, especially woman.  I believe this so strongly that I gave over 10 copies away when I reviewed it.
 
 

 
ResQMe Car Escape Tool $9.95

I love this little tool, it’s small enough to go  on any key chain, which will ensure it is within reach if you need it.  It will cut a seatbelt and has a spring loaded head that will shatter a car window.
 
 

Midland HH50 Pocket Weather Radio$14.19

This is one of the Midland products we own, I did a review of it and another weather radio earlier this year.  This weather radio is small enough to fit a shirt or jean pocket, so you can easily take it with you on the go.  I am so pleased with Midland that I became an affiliate for them.
 
 

Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit in a Sardine Can $16.99

I thought this was a pretty clever idea and a great gift for any Walking Dead fan.  More of a gag gift than anything, but the mini kit isn’t bad in and of itself.

 
 

 
Maxpedition Mini Pocket Organizer $16.33

I reviewed the Maxpedition Mini Pocket Organizerand gave it four stars.  This is a great organizer for your EDC, will fit in a cargo pants pocket or in the great abyss known as a purse.
 
 

 
Rothco All Weather Outdoor Blanket (Colors May Vary) $18.45

I recently purchased these for our BOB’s, it is a HUGE upgrade from the small folded space blanket.
 
 

Victorinox Swiss Army Climber II Pocket Knife$18.69
 
This SAK (Swiss Army Knife) is a step or two above the one I own.  There are others with more options, but I think this one covers all of the needed bases.
 
 

Lights Out $19.99

I reviewed Lights Out earlier this year, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I think it is probably the best piece of fiction I have read in the prepper genre.
 
 

 
Allen Company Adult Blade 4 Lens Style Combo Case (Clear, Red, Yellow, Smoke) $19.95
 
I reviewed these shooting glasses, I purchased them for my wife and I after trying on a pair my friend owns.  I could not believe how the yellow made things pop out.  That there are four other interchangeable lenses are a huge bonus.  I think these are great for any shooter.
 
 

 
Adventure Medical Kits SOL Origin Survival Tool $35.67

I don’t own this yet, but it is on my list of wanted items.  It is a great mini kit, with lots of gear in a compact design.
 
 


 
Gerber 22-41545 Black Diesel Multi-Plier with Sheath$52.29

This is an excellent multi-tool, with the following components needle nose pliers, wire cutter, partially serrated knife blade, cross point screwdriver, small, medium and large flat blade screwdrivers, can opener, bottle opener, file, saw and scissors.  All that and it’s a Gerber.
 
 

 
Complete Cold Process Soap Making Kit $44.95

If you want to learn how to make soap this complete kit is a great idea.  As stated it has everything you’ll need and will make 12 bars.  Once you know the process you can branch out and add different oils and scents.
 
 


 
5.11 ATAC L1 Tactical Flashlight $55.99

This is my EDC Flashlight that link will take you to a review.  I searched for almost two years for an EDC flashlight and this one is everything I wanted.  It’s small enough to fit easily in a pocket, or in the Maxpedition pocket organizer I listed above.
 
 

 
Adventure Medical Kits Weekender Kit $49.99

One of the things that I like about the Adventure Medical Kits is they are tailored to the adventure you’re going on.  Sure there are some over lapping pieces, but some of it is more geared for the situation you might find yourself in.  Some other kits they have are Adventure Medical Kits Hunter Kit and Adventure Medical Kits Tactical Field/Trauma with QuikClot

 
Katadyn Vario Multi Flow Water Microfilter $72.49

While I don’t own this filters, it has a lot of bang for the buck and would be a great addition to any BOB.  Lots of water purification from one of the industry leaders.
 
 

Wagan 400-Watt Power Dome Jump Starter with Built-In Air Compressor and LED Utility Light $99.00

I don’t own this, but when the budget permits I plan on one for each vehicle.  It can jump start a dead batter, pump air into a flat tire.  This isn’t something you might use often, but if you need it once, it’ll be very worth the money.
 
 


 
Powermonkey-Explorer V2 – Grey $109.95

I have looked at items like this a couple times, and it never seemed all that worth it.  Then Hurricane Sandy hit and I read about how they had generators running and turned into charging stations, so people could charge their cell phones.  This will do that for you, and it has plenty of adapters, please make sure it will work for your phone before purchasing.
 
 

 
Excalibur 2900 9-Tray Food Dehydrator – Black – New $219.99

I got the 9 tray dehydrator a few years ago for Christmas, I haven’t used it as much as I would like, but I love it.  It can dehydrate a HUGE amount of food at one time.  Unless you are going to dehydrate a colossal amount of food, you can save some money and go with the Excalibur 5 – Tray Dehydrator.  It won’t do as much at one time, but you can do a second batch.  Even with the five trays you’ll be surprised at how much food you can fit in it.

 

If you liked this article please think about sharing it on the social media listed below, thanks!

 

Paracord; The King of Cordage

Make sure you see the end of this article to see how one of Prepared Christians sponsors, Camping Survival, is spreading some Paracord love with a discount and some free paracord for me to give away.

Paracord or parachute cord, or 550-cord is rope that is as useful as duct tape and something that I think belongs in every home, if not every kit.

What exactly is it and what makes it the king of cordage?  Paracord is a nylon rope that first saw use in parachutes in World War II.  It is made from seven two-ply threads shielded in an outer nylon jacket.  Paracord has a tensile strength of 550 lbs., hence the name 550-cord.  If needed, you can put two sections together, doubling the weight limit.  Its diameter is only 1/8”.  Paracord is also mildew and rot resistant, aiding to its versatility.

 

 

Now that you know what it is, what is it good for?

 

Bracelets

Either worn to make a fashion statement or as a means to always have some paracord close by.  Many people braid their own bracelets, but you can buy them online as well.

 

Belts

This is another option to make sure you always have some cordage nearby.  I also think that this is a perfectly acceptable reason to gain some weight.  You see, if you gain enough you’ll need new bigger pants, which will mean more paracord to keep them up!

 

Lanyards

This is a great way to have a small section with you.  I carry one attached to my keychain.  Sure it’s not a very long piece, but enough to tie someone’s hands together if needed or to make a bow drill.

 

Start a fire

Paracord is perfect for using as part of a bow drill.

 

Dog Collars and Leashes

Can’t find a leash the right length or the right color?  Paracord is your solution!

 

Fishing and Trapping

You can pull out the strands and use one as fishing line.  You can also use paracord to make snares for small game.

 

Handle Coverings

I have seen some people wrap paracord around the handle of straight edge knives.  I have also seen it wrapped around the handle of walking sticks.

 

In the Field

There are so many things it could be used for on a hike or while camping that I wouldn’t be able to list them all.  Here are a few:  Busted shoelace, broken backpack strap, a splint for a broken limb, temporary shelters (would work great with tarps), emergency stretcher, guide rope, babysitter (haha) and hoisting a cooler to keep it away from bears.

 

Camping Survival


Camping Survival is one of the leading paracord vendors in the market.  In fact, I purchased a 1000’ spool from them years before I started this site.  Their selection is almost unmatched.  They have a wide variety of lengths and colors available.  They also have some premade paracord bracelets and other items as well.

 

Special Pricing!

Camping Survival is currently having a sale on all ROTHCO brand paracord for 15% off, but they have offered a 5% discount on all other paracord to the readers of Prepared Christian.  For the 5% discount, just use the code preparedchristian at checkout.

 

Free Paracord!

To help celebrate the goodness that is paracord, Camping Survival has given me three 100’ sections to give away.  To enter, either send an email to Chris (at) preparedchristian (dot) net, with the subject line of “paracord contest” or fill out the form below.  Only one entry per person please, (I’ll just delete multiple entries).  Winners will have to provide your mailing address, which I will delete after I send the paracord.

Update!  I initially forgot to mention that I will select 3 random winners on Monday October 8th.

Final thoughts

Cordage is one thing that is difficult to make do without when you need it.  Sure, it’s possible to make from other things such as yucca plant for example, but it is just not as good as even a regular rope.  Paracord is so lightweight, strong, versatile and durable that I just can’t see a good reason not to have some in your kits.  And with the discounted prices, their availability and variety, I can’t see any reason not purchase it from Camping Survival.  I want to thank them for supporting Prepared Christian and you the readers with this give away as well as the discounted price.

 

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Options for Emergency Radio Communication

In any type of emergency or survival situation, information is one of the most essential commodities. Whether you want to make contact with a loved one to ensure their safety, or just get news from an outside source to find out what is going on, in an emergency, information can be worth more than gold. But in some scenarios, such as the blackout we saw recently on the east coast, most modern means of communication are not available. In a wide spread blackout, grid down scenario, the Internet and TV might both be offline, especially local stations. While they may have a generator to provide some backup power, will they have enough to run 24/7 for days?

There is one medium that has been used for decades to provide entertainment and information; the radio.

There are many different types of radio, so today I want to cover some general information about radio communication and cover some of the different types of radios.

 

Range

Range varies greatly between different types of radios but one limitation that all types of radios have is range. Some types of radios will be impacted by man-made structures such as buildings and houses, but can also be impacted your terrain. Other radios will just be limited by range and the curvature of the earth. Range can be increased on some radios by adding an antennae or a repeater; the bigger the antennae the further you can “reach out and touch someone.” MURS-Radio has an article on range, that goes much deeper in explaining range and its limitations.

 

Types of Radios

 

Short Range

 

Family Radio Service (FRS)

From the FCC:

“The Family Radio Service (FRS) is in the 462 – 467 MHz spectrum range. The most common use for FRS spectrum is short-distance, two-way communications using small, portable hand-held devices that function similar to walkie-talkies.”

This is the type of radio is the one I have the most experience with. I own and reviewed Motorola T5320. You will often see this type of radio advertised as having a range of 30 miles. In my experience you will see nothing even remotely close to this. In a suburban setting you might be able to maintain clear communication for a few blocks. In a wide open flat area, you could probably have clear communication for a mile or possibly two. There is no license required to operate an FRS radio.

 

General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS)

From the FCC:

“The General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) is in the 462 – 467 MHz spectrum range. The most common use of GMRS spectrum is short-distance, two-way communications using small, portable hand-held devices that function similar to walkie-talkies.”

Very similar to the FRS with one exception that, for now, a license is required to operate a GMRS radio. The license is good for five years and covers every family member or employee if purchased for business use. There are eight exclusive GMRS channels and seven shared with FRS. A reason one might want to use a GMRS over an FRS is that, according to the FCC:

“A GMRS system consists of station operators, a mobile station (often comprised of several mobile units) and sometimes one or more land stations. A small base station is one that has an antenna no more than 20 feet above the ground or above the tree on which it is mounted and transmits with no more than 5 watts ERP.
None of the GMRS channels are assigned for the exclusive use of any system. You must cooperate in the selection and use of the channels in order to make the most effective use of them and to reduce the possibility of interference.
You can expect a communications range of five to twenty-five miles. You cannot make a telephone call with a GMRS device.”

What I am taking away from the above statements is that if you have a small base station with an antenna, you could achieve a range of 5-25 miles.


GMRS/FRS Hybrid

There have been numerous hybrids developed. These hybrids have a total of 22 channels instead of the 15 on a GMRS. It is up to the purchaser to know and understand how to use the hybrid, as a license would still be required for transmitting on the GMRS bands.

 

MURS-Radio.com

Similar to the FRS and GMRS in use, the MURS does not require a license to operate. I know from the The Survival Podcast, that Jack Spirko uses a MURS and has said that you can have a base station and set up motion detection that will alert on the base station that there was movement in that sector. MURS-Radio.com is a great source of information on MURS and other types of radios.

 

Citizens Band (CB)

CB’s function much like the other types of radios, though no license is required to operate them. The range of a CB is roughly five miles. This can be increased with a larger antenna. According to the FCC:

• “There are no height restrictions for antennas mounted on vehicles or for hand-held devices.

• For structures, the highest point of your antenna must not be more than 20 feet above the highest point of the building or tree on which it is mounted, or 60 feet above the ground.

• You may use an on-the-air pseudonym (“handle”) of your choosing.”

I just got a little nostalgic, thinking of all the handles from the 80’s TV shows I used to watch.

 

Long Range

To this point all of the radios have been fairly short range. Some could be extended with repeaters or antenna, but are still fairly short range. Now I’ll cover some long range radios that can reach globally.

 

Shortwave Radio

Shortwave radio makes use of the higher end of the AM radio range. It has the ability to bounce its signal off of the ionosphere, which allows the transmission to go great distances around the world. A license is generally required but there are many “pirate stations”, such as the one from the movie “Pump Up the Volume” from 1990. Shortwave radio is often used by Evangelists to spread the Word to far reaching areas of the world. There is no license required to listen to shortwave.

 

HAM (Amateur Radio)

From the FCC
“The FCC established amateur radio as a voluntary, non-commercial, radio communications service. It allows licensed operators to improve their communications and technical skills, while providing the nation with a pool of trained radio operators and technicians who can provide essential communications during emergencies.”

As mentioned, HAM Radio is often used in emergency situations to broadcast information quickly over long distances. My wife and I are trained storm spotters (not chasers) and when we went through the training they were looking for HAM operators.

There is often some confusion when it comes to HAM radio. A license is required to broadcast but not to listen. Often a HAM setup will contain a desk full of equipment and a large antenna, but there are also portable HAM radios that have only the ability to receive as well as some that can transmit.
There are various levels of HAM licensing. The ARRL (American Radio Relay League) is a fantastic resource for information on all things related to HAM radio. They even have some online classes you can purchase to help you prepare for your HAM exam. You can find some free sample exams/questions online at other sites as well. The site the FCC set up for Amateur Radio Services also has some good information.

 

Cell Phone

Did you know that your cell Phone is essentially a radio? One good thing to know is that when the cell towers are overloaded, which happens in emergency situations, a text, which requires much less bandwidth, can still be transmitted. I also know someone who goes to very remote places to hunt. While he can’t get cell service to make a call, he can send a text most of the time.

 

Final Thoughts

If your main concern is staying in touch with your family close to home, then find the short range option that suites your needs and fits your budget. I personally don’t care for FRS and if we upgrade it will probably be to MURS.

However, if you have concerns about being able to communicate over a long distance of 25+ miles or more, you will want to look into getting your HAM license. If you have concerns about getting information when other mediums have stopped working, were shut down, or the information that is dispersed is “being handled”, you might want to look at a shortwave radio or a HAM that can at least receive. If you want to transmit, of course you’ll need a radio capable of transmitting and a license. My thinking with this is; it has been proven by other countries that the Internet can be shut down. Television and local radio can be easily shut down as well. Cell service is also quite easy to stop.

HAM radio is not encrypted. Anything that is said can be heard by anyone listening. As a part of keeping with the FCC guidelines, you must give your call sign every so often. There are databases on-line that you can search for call signs to find the location of where that person lives.

If all you want is to get information that isn’t “being handled”, then you only need to listen. HAM and shortwave cannot be easily stopped. That is part of why they are so popular and are often used by Evangelists to spread the Word in countries that are not pro-Christian.

For some of you that are more rural, setting everyone up with a CB or other type of radio might be a good idea.  This would allow communication independent of phone lines.

While I don’t have my HAM license, it is something I would eventually like to have. What are your plans for emergency communication?

 

Types of Water Purifiers and Their Applications

In The Storage, Filtration And Purification Of Water I covered water purification pretty thoroughly. Today I want to discuss the types of purification systems and their applications, as one purifier might be a better fit in certain situations.

Gravity Fed

These systems have one reservoir to hold unpurified water and often have a second reservoir to hold the purified water. These systems use gravity to pass the water through the filter at a slow and steady pace. In my opinion these systems are often best at home or at a base camp. They are often too big and bulky to be used in the field. The plus side of these units is that they are passive. The only thing you need to do is add unpurified water and take the purified water away.

Any of the pitcher type units such as PUR and other models are gravity fed. Some bigger names geared at preparedness are Berkey and MSR .

Pump

These systems force water through the filter. In most cases there is no reservoir, the dirty water can be taken directly from a source such as a river or lake. Or you can collect dirty water in a separate reservoir. You will also need to have a container ready to collect the clean water. To me, it makes sense to have a system like this in the field, along with your water bottle or canteen.

There are in house systems that attach directly to your faucet. These are pump fed. Some popular preparedness brands are Katadyn, MSR and Lifesaver.

Water Bottles with Purifiers

With these, you add water to the bottle and use a straw of sorts to suck the water through the filter. I think these are a solid second option, but the other options may be a better primary, with the exception of the Lifesaver. The Lifesaver is considered a pump, but it is the size of a water bottle and can filter water fast enough to be useful for multiple people, once the filter has expired on the lifesaver, a failsafe will not allow it to function until the filter is replaced.

Ultraviolet

Using an ultraviolet purifier will kill viruses and bacteria but will not remove any chemicals or other contaminants. To use this method you will need a container to hold the water and place the UV source directly into the water. The water in that container will then be free of bacteria and viruses. A downside to these is that they require outside power, either from batteries of electricity.

In my opinion this is a great option for backup purification.

Steripen and TrojanUV are two companies that produce this type of purification technology.

Chemical

Bleach, chlorine and Iodine water purification tablets are all methods that, like the ultraviolet, will kill bacteria and viruses, but won’t remove chemicals. In some cases such as with iodine will add a foul taste.

This, in my opinion, is another good backup method.

Final thoughts

In looking into the different brands and methods, I am very impressed with the Lifesaver. They do a lot of humanitarian work. It is their goal to end water poverty. They are trying to change the way people think about providing clean water in emergencies. Right now after a typhoon or hurricane, the thought is to bring in clean drinking water. Lifesaver is saying, “just treat the dirty water that is already there.” On their website they show a video of how the bottle works. The jerry can works the same way, though it can do more water at one time. I’m seriously considering buying one of the jerry cans. In the video the creator says that one jerry can will purify 25,000 liters.

If you’re interested in the Lifesaver products in the US, use this link to Lifesaver USA.