Checklist of 101 Things All Preppers Should Have


One of the most anxiety-inducing parts about being a prepper is trying to make sure you are truly ready. I mean to say holistically ready to face whatever comes your way. When it comes to personal preparedness, you get the test first and then you get the lesson assuming you survive.

stockpile items water bleach salt and more
stockpiled items: water bottles, bleach, salt, toothbrushes, snap-blade utility knives, hot sauce, dried beans, peanut butter, garlic and onion powder, lightsticks, powdered juice, lighters, winter gloves and more

Accordingly, most preppers I know who are serious spend tons of time reviewing and rehearsing their plans, procedures, and lists of equipment and supplies- over and over and over again- until everything is accounted for.

No matter how skilled you are, no matter how much gear and supplies you have on hand, chances are pretty good you’ve missed an element or two. This giant checklist will help you reassess and reevaluate your own readiness by category. Sharpen your pencil and let’s get going.

Water is absolutely critical for life. You know that, I know that, everybody knows that. But it’s easy to forget that you won’t just need water for drinking. You’ll need it for washing, cleaning, laundry and hygiene too.


  • Water Storage Containers. Water storage containers come in all shapes and sizes, from small bricks you can fit under a bed to giant barrels and tanks that can hold dozens and hundreds of gallons.
  • Potable Water. You’d be wise to have water on hand before trouble strikes. Cases of bottled water, gallon jugs, or water you’ve already stashed in the containers above.
  • Water Filters. When water stops coming out of a tap, or when treatment systems fail you’ll need a way to make water safe to drink. Water filters such as the Lifestraw remove solid contaminants and some chemicals.
  • Purification Chemicals. Water filters can’t get rid of quite everything. For removing biological contaminants like bacteria and viruses solid or liquid purification chemicals can do the job. Make sure you rotate these, they don’t last forever.
  • Water Bottles. For taking water with you on the go. Plastic and metal types are both good with pros and cons of their own. Metal ones will let you boil water in them, though.
  • Bathtub Basin. An invaluable piece of water storage gear if you are bugging in. Unfold this large bag in your bathtub and fill it up as soon as things go wrong and you’ll have many dozens of gallons of water on hand, convenient and ready to use. The WaterBOB is pretty popular.


  • Water Purification. Knowing how to properly purify water through various means and using various improvised chemicals (think bleach) and methodologies can keep you and your family alive when all other means fail.
  • Natural Water Sources. Do you know where viable natural water sources are? Do you know how you’d get water out of it? Are they relatively clean, totally filthy, or something in between? It pays to know this ahead of time.
  • Man-Made Water Sources. If you live in suburbia or in the middle of the city, there will be plenty of places to get water if you know where to look and how to extract it. Pools, pipes, fountains, things like that.
  • Safe Storage Techniques. Getting the water is only half the battle. Storing it and keeping it fresh is the other. Learning how to treat your containers and your water to maximize a shelf life and keep germs at bay is essential in a survival situation

You’ve got to eat no matter what’s going on, and though everyone likes to think they can go for weeks without any food the lack of energy will degrade you severely both mentally and physically. Don’t risk it; keep plenty of food on hand and know how to get more.

food stockpile canned food ramen noodles bottled water
A small food stockpile: canned food, canned Ragu, ramen noodles, bottled water, packs of salt, and more.


  • Shelf-Stable Food. All preppers love shelf-stable food. From canned soups, stews, and veggies to trusty standbys like honey, grains, dried beans, and more. You’ll need around 2,000 calories per day per adult in your household or group.
  • Utensils and Plates. Nobody wants to eat with their hands like some kind of animal. Make sure you’ve got utensils and plates for everyone. You can make a good case for disposables at least in the short term to cut down on water usage.
  • Cookware. If you want to prepare food you’ve got to have something to heat it or cook it in. A cook set for your home or a portable camping cutlery set (if you are on the move) is necessary.
  • Alternate Cooking Appliance. Assume that your microwave, stove top, and other usual appliances are out of commission. Do you have another way to cook? Fireplace, charcoal or gas grill, camp stove? You have a large supply of firewood, and a fire pit?
  • Vacuum Sealer. Vacuum sealers are a godsend for preppers, dramatically increasing the shelf life of dry goods and all kinds of other foods by keeping out oxygen, bugs, and moisture. Probably won’t help much during a survival scenario, but storing your food with one ahead of time is a great move.
  • Food Storage Buckets. For stashing massive amounts of basic staples like grains, beans, salt, and sugar, food storage buckets are tops. You can also use them for making individual menus or caches of food that can easily be handed off to neighbors or family members.


  • Canning. Everybody knows someone who cans, and if you don’t have anyone in your family that does, it’s time for you to start. Canning is one of the best skills you can learn to expand your own survival food stash.
  • Storing and Rotating. Preserving the food is only half of it. Storing it properly for maximum longevity and rotating it before it spoils so you always have a viable stock on hand is the other half. It can be a logistically challenging administrative task, so make sure you master it now.
  • Improvised Cooking. If you didn’t have a single thing to cook with, not even a utensil, could you manage? Learning how to cook well enough and safely enough even in the most austere environments is a good skill for prayers.
  • Prepper Recipes. Let’s face it, most of your favorite foods will be long gone when the chips are really down. But knowing how to whip up a reasonable facsimile of peach cobbler from canned fruit and Bisquick or put together chili mac from instant pasta and dried ground beef can boost spirits and beat menu fatigue.

It is exposure, not dehydration, that is the single most common and most lethal killer in survival situations of all kinds.

Especially when the weather turns cold, if you can’t stay warm you won’t have to worry about staying warm ever again if you take my drift. You must be prepared to provide or create shelter no matter the conditions and situation.


  • Tents. A tent will allow you to get inside out of the wind and rain no matter the situation. Ideally, it will be spacious enough for at least a couple of adults. They even come in handy inside a home when the power is out.
  • Sleeping Bags. Wriggling down into a sleeping bag will be quite comforting indeed when you are very cold and there is no chance of obtaining heat from any source. A good sleeping bag can keep you alive even in the most severe weather.
  • Blankets. It’s always good to curl up with a blanket, and survival or space blankets can help hold in upwards of 90% of your body heat. They’re light, portable and affordable. Get some.
  • Adequate Seasonal Clothing. Wherever you live, you must have adequate seasonal clothing for all weather conditions in all seasons that are reasonably likely to occur. Make sure you have more than one set to allow for damage and washing.
  • Home Repair Materials. The event that starts the emergency might damage your home and compromise the protection it affords from the elements. Having basic building supplies and tools on hand can help you shore up damage.
  • Plastic Sheeting. Plastic sheeting comes in really handy for blocking drafts, patching up busted windows, and keeping water out. Make sure you have a few extra large rolls.
  • Duct Tape. You know it, you love it. Duct tape can fix anything, at least temporarily, and is invaluable when you are repairing or waterproofing a damaged home.


  • Principles of Thermoregulation. Understanding the principles behind keeping warm and more importantly the factors of heat loss will allow you to make good decisions to keep warm, and cool down likewise.
  • Creating a Microclimate. Similarly, understanding how to create a microclimate, a small contained environment that is easy to heat or cool, is greatly beneficial whether you are indoors or out.
  • Construction and Repair. Providing substantial shelter usually involves a certain amount of building, even if it is just a primitive shelter made from all-natural materials. These skills also come in handy for repairing your home as you might imagine.
  • Improvised Shelters. There are dozens of classic primitive and improvised shelters that can be made from all-natural and man-made materials. They’ve worked for countless generations before we got here, and they work today. Know how to make a few for any environment.

A big part of prepping is just having enough on hand. And by enough I mean enough of whatever you need. Aside from food and water, it’s going to be clothing, tools, fasteners, consumables, medicine, spare parts, and anything else you can think of.

stockpiled items canned chicken breast emergency blanket toe warmers and more
Stockpiled items: canned chicken breast, emergency blanket, toe warmers, pinto beans, yellow popcorn, compass, poncho, dried milk, peanut butter, canned brown bread, honey, chicken bouillon


  • Shelves. Maximizing storage space is only possible if you’ve got shelves. Make sure your shelves are sturdy enough and wide enough to hold everything that you need.
  • Containers. Containers prevent clutter. Enough said, and they also make it easier to move and rearrange your supplies and gear.
  • Checklists. Checklists cannot be beat for keeping track of what you have, what you need, and what you need to do.
  • First-Aid. Lots of preppers overlook the importance of medical supplies and first aid materials among their stores. Don’t be one of them. Remember, having enough supplies on hand might allow someone with the skills to save your life or someone else’s.
  • Medicine. Medicines of all kinds are another critical item in any prepper survival stash. Over-the-counter medications of all kinds, of course, but also prescription medications that you or loved ones need. Make sure you rotate them, they don’t last forever.
  • Batteries. All kinds of essential gear, from flashlights to lanterns, cameras, night vision goggles, and a lot more depend on batteries. You’ve got to feed the machine if you want it to work, so accordingly you’ll need plenty of these.


  • Planning. Planning around likely consumption rates and contingencies can be brain-twisting but it is necessary if you want to stockpile enough goods and gear to last.
  • Rotation and Inspection. Just as important as planning are rotation and inspection. Things can go bad simply from sitting in storage too long, and consumables like medicine and batteries slowly go bad over time. Learning how to inspect and rotate all of your gear and supplies at regular intervals will prevent a nasty surprise.
  • Barter. Just because your region or the entire world has gone to pot doesn’t mean people won’t trade among themselves to get what they need. They always have and they always will. Learn how to barter and haggle the right way so you can always make a deal when you need to.

Keeping in touch is always paramount in a survival scenario. Whether it is maintaining radio communications with your friends and family, signaling to rescuers, or discreetly warning your scouts that something nasty is waiting as they come back, communication skills and gear are a must-have.

a Baofeng handheld ham radio


  • Backup Cellphone. Don’t be so quick to think that your phone will be useless when the balloon goes up. Under most circumstances, it will continue to work even if it is in a degraded capacity. Modern smartphones are borderline wondrous in their capability, so it’s good to have a backup against loss or destruction.
  • Power Bank. Your phone, just like all other electronics, is a power-hungry little gremlin. Keep it alive during critical moments with a power bank that you can connect to it.
  • Walkie-Talkies. Sometimes cellular networks will be too busy or will actually be down and in that case, the next best way to keep in touch with an individual is by using a walkie-talkie.
  • Ham/GMRS Radioset. Walkie-talkies don’t reach very far. A ham radio or a GMRS radio set will indeed reach out a lot farther. These aren’t intuitive to use, so you’ve got to have the accompanying skillset.
  • Emergency/Weather Radio. Sometimes you don’t need to talk to anyone, but you do need to know what’s going on. Listen for updates from regional and national authorities by tuning into a specialty emergency or weather radio set. Most feature a built-in crank dynamo so they can always be powered.


  • Radio Operation. Want to make use of that walkie-talkie, ham radio, or GMRS set? You’ll have to learn the principles of radio communication and also the basic procedures for operating any given type of radio set.
  • Morse Code. An old, eccentric and intricate mode of communication but still an entirely viable one that is worth learning. Even better, it works visually and through sound, making it highly adaptable with a little bit of creative thinking.
  • Semaphore. Semaphore, also known as flag code, is typically used to visually communicate between two ships at sea but it has many other uses besides including passive signaling. Another golden oldie well worth learning.
  • Family/Neighborhood Comms Plan. One of the most essential skills. Learning how to put together a family or, if applicable, neighborhood comms plan so friends and neighbors can reestablish communication links with each other when the usual go-to’s fail might be the difference between disaster and survival.

Many preppers fail to plan that sometimes the first and indeed most difficult part of a survival situation could just be getting home or all of your preps and loved ones are. This can be a survival situation and challenge unto itself, one that you should prepare for.


  • Get-Home Bag. Unless you are truly a house mouse, you go out at regular intervals for something. Maybe it’s work, school, or facilitating someone else’s activities. For this reason, you need to get home back. A lightweight bag of supplies that will enable you to move home as quickly as possible with or without your vehicle.


  • Shelter and Evasion Plan. If you travel the same regular routes week in and week out, or are a dedicated commuter, you should put together a shelter and evasion plan for lengthy moves home. Knowing where you can lay up for a time, get some rest, or get away from trouble that might be pursuing you can save your life.
  • Family Contingency Plan. Your loved ones might be going crazy if you aren’t at home when the event kicks off. Or, they too might be scattered to the four winds. An intricate and carefully rehearsed family contingency plan will help everyone link up and rendezvous as quickly and as smoothly as possible.
  • Cardio. When it comes to getting home, cardio will make all the difference. You must assume that you won’t just be able to turn your car around and drive there. Plan on a long, grueling foot movement home. If you can’t keep moving at of brisk pace, it’ll take longer than it should, or you might just wind up dead.

Lots of peppers dream of grabbing their pack and bugging out when the sky turns dark, but invariably a much better and safer option if you’re able to just bug in. Stay put, batten down the hatches, and make use of all this carefully stashed gear we are talking about here.


  • Heavy-Duty Contractor Bags. If you were staying put at home or anywhere else, you must assume that you’ll be responsible for dealing with garbage and human waste alike. Believe me when I say that an immense supply of heavy-duty contractor bags will make both challenges a lot simpler and more tolerable.
  • Camp Toilet. You cannot count on your indoor plumbing to keep working in a major situation, especially in the aftermath of a destructive disaster or other event. A camp toilet will allow you to keep doing your business more or less as you always have, and will make waste management a lot more straightforward compared to an improvised method.
  • Everything Else on this list. No joke here. Basically, everything we are discussing on our checklist is intended to help you get home or to another location and then stay there, riding out whatever comes with the things you need to survive.
  • Battery Bank. A whole-house battery bank can offer plenty of power to keep lights on, run appliances, charge devices, and a lot more. They are expensive and require money or significant electrical work experience to set up and install, but are well worth it for the freedom, flexibility and energy economy they can provide you in a long- or unknown-duration event.
  • Generator. When you need to supply power to vital appliances, your home, or power tools, nothing beats a generator. You can even get a whole-house generator for full-time backup power. Combined with a battery bank system your unused power can be stored for future use, maximizing fuel economy. Consider a dual-fuel model for versatility.
  • Sandbags. For holding back floodwater or stopping bullets, nothing beats a stack of sandbags. You’ll need plenty of clean sand or dirt and lots and lots of labor to fill them when needed, but nothing works as well as they do when things are looking really hairy.


  • Home-Defense. The world will go crazy if something really terrible happens. Even in the case of localized and regional disasters, the worst parts of humanity always come scurrying out of the cracks. It’s terrible to think about, but you must be prepared to deal with them if they come for what you have.
  • Sanitation Protocols. Any group of people that stays in one place long enough will generate tremendous amounts of waste, household garbage, and bodily waste alike. Learning how to properly manage, handle, and dispose of this waste is critical to prevent devastating outbreaks of disease.
  • Leadership. Keeping people focused, reasonably calm, and working together is difficult in the best of times. During a crisis event, it is a nightmare. Your leadership skills will be put to a severe test so work on them now.
  • Bug-Out Plan. As much as we want to bunker down at home or at another fixed location, the situation might dictate that that is impossible. Having a bug-out plan is still mandatory.

Like I said just above, sometimes you don’t get any choice of whether or not you can stay put. Whether you need to move to a pre-selected fallback point or just get the hell out of Dodge having the right bug-out gear and bug-out skills might be the only thing that keeps you alive.


  • Bug-Out Bag. A bug-out bag is basically a mobile store room containing most of the survival necessities that you’ll need to stay alive and sustain while moving to a safer location. I’ll talk more about it in the next section.
  • Maps. Do you know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there? You really don’t if you don’t have maps.
  • Good Boots. There’s a non-zero chance you might have to hoof it to get to where you were going. Your footwear, whatever it is, must be durable and up to the task.


  • Land Navigation. Learning how to read the terrain and correlate it with a map whether you are hiking or driving is a fundamental bug-out skill.
  • Route Planning. Well before the fateful day comes, understanding all of the variables attendant with choosing a route for maximum speed, safety or discretion is crucial.
  • Concealment. If things are bad enough that you are bugging out, you’ll probably have cause to avoid people, stay out of sight, and mind your own business. Concealment and evasion skills will help you keep a low profile.
  • Rucking. You don’t know what it’s truly like to bug out on foot until you are hauling an immensely heavy backpack with you every step of the way. Practice rucking now or curse it later.

More ink has been spilled on bug-out bags than any other topic in prepperdom. There’s a good reason for it, because a BOB is the equivalent to a parachute when things really go wrong.


  • Food. Portable, calorie-dense, and shelf-stable rations are what belong in a bug-out bag.
  • Water. You’ll need a little bit of water to get you started, but containers, filters, and chemicals to treat gathered water as you go.
  • Shelter. Tent or bivy, ground pad, hammock, blanket.
  • Tools. Knife, hatchet, folding saw, multi-tool. Things to help you make and fix.
  • Clothing. Seasonally appropriate clothing with additional layers as they might be required.
  • Fire-Starting. Fire is always needed in a survival situation. Matches, lighters, ferro rods, and similar tools will help you make it.
  • Self-Defense. You’ll likely run into dangerous people and dangerous critters when bugging out. A few trusty weapons will help keep you safe.


  • Packing. It sounds funny, but learning how to properly pack a bug-out bag for maximum comfort, efficiency, access, and load-carrying capability is foundational to success. A sloppily packed bag is likely to break or it will just make you utterly miserable and wear you out.

If you are fortunate, clever, or just very good it is possible to bug out using your vehicle. This is a great way to increase speed, safety, and security but it is a skill set and sector for preparation unto itself.

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  • Spare Parts. No matter what sort of vehicle you were relying on to ferry you to safety, no matter how well maintained it is, there’s a chance that things will break when you can least afford it. Spare parts, along with the right tools and skills, will get you running again.
  • Cargo Racks/Bays. One of the best advantages any vehicle can offer you is expanded cargo room for the things that you and others need to survive, and without having to carry it on your back. Whether it is external cargo baskets and rooftop racks, a truck bed or something else make sure your vehicle can carry what you need.
  • Good Tires. Good, sturdy, well-maintained tires will help you negotiate most terrain that your vehicle could be expected to cross in the first place. Cheap tires are more likely to blow out, again when you can least afford it.
  • Flat Tire Kit. No matter how good your tires are, I guarantee you they will go flat. They will, not might. A flat tire kit consisting of patches and a good jack can get you back on the road quickly enough.
  • Spare Tire. Sometimes a tire cannot be fixed or reinflated. Or it cannot be repaired in a timely fashion. Fix it later; throw a full-size spare on there and get back on the road.
  • Jump Box. Batteries are another notorious failure point for most vehicles. Unlike most times, you won’t be able to depend on someone willingly and cheerfully giving you a jump. A high-quality, charged jump box will let you give that battery a boost to get you back on the road.
  • Portable Compressor. Fixing a flat is only part of the solution. The other part is getting air back in the tire. Forgot your compressor? I hope not.
  • Drone. Don’t neglect the huge intel-gathering and reconnaissance capability that a drone provides. Modern drones are surprisingly affordable, have long ranges, can operate at high altitudes (comparatively speaking), and can provide high-def, real-time video of terrain, people, and problems. Sending a drone out to scout routes and look for threats during a stop or bivouac is a great idea when conducting a vehicular bug-out.


  • Performance Driving. Dropping onto the shoulder at speed, going off-road, hopping a curb, tackling an incline, dodging a speeding or wrecked car. All of this and a lot more might happen during a vehicular bug out and if you don’t know how to handle your vehicle in these extremes you are going to become another casualty on the side of the road.
  • Route Assessment/Selection. Picking a route based on known data is something you’ll have to do even when you don’t have the whole picture, but then learning to read and adapt to changing conditions and, if necessary, detour on the fly will keep you moving and keep your family alive.

As hard as it is to contemplate, the world might not go back to normal for a very, very long time if it ever does. But, life must go on, and it will go on in a way that is a lot simpler and more like things used to be. This means you might be living on a modern homestead.

baby goat and a rooster
a baby goat and a rooster


  • Land. If you want to have a plot to call your own you’ve got to have a plot. You needn’t think you’ll be able to squat or just lay claim to any parcel that looks appealing when the time comes.
  • Cabin/House. If you were settling in for the long haul in a new and strange world, you’d need a proper homestead. It could be something as simple as a primitive cabin or identical to the houses that we live in today. Whatever it looks like, it needs to be move-in ready.
  • Livestock. Different livestock species can provide all sorts of valuable materials and supplies along with food. Whether you’ve got a ton of room or just a little, there is a species that will work for you.
  • Garden. People have been growing their own food for sustenance basically forever, but as you’d expect it takes a long time for fruits, veggies, and grains to grow. You need to get a garden started before you need it.


  • Animal Husbandry. If you think taking care of a pet is hard, wait until you get to take care of a whole bunch of animals! Even more complicated, different species have vastly different needs and you’ve got to learn all of them if you want your animals to take care of you.
  • Gardening. As with animals, taking care of different plants is a lot more complicated than neophytes think. Soil quality, climate factors, fertilization, pests, diseases, and lots of other factors interact if you want a big harvest. This is not a test you want to cram for when winter is approaching!
  • Maintenance. Self-sufficiency is the name of the game, and that means solving your own problems, specifically when things break down, wear out, or stop working as expected. Being a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to the construction and maintenance of structures and machines alike can make all the difference on a homestead.
  • Hunting. Sometimes you simply have to go out there and bag dinner yourself, and when it comes to nutrition hardly anything is better than fresh, high-quality, wild-sourced meat. Whether you don’t have any animals fit for slaughter or you just looking to supplement your stores, there are plenty of animals out in nature that make for good eating if you can bring them down.

So many of the emergencies that accost us are barely newsworthy as far as the rest of the world is concerned, though they can change our lives and not for the better. Be ready for these micro disasters by carrying a few smart tools to make sure you get to go home at the end of the day.

EDC items wallet, sunglasses, keys, flashlight, pen, carabiner, mints and multi-tool.
EDC items: wallet, sunglasses, keys, flashlight, pen, carabiner, mints and multi-tool.


  • Flashlight. One of the single most useful tools that any prepper can have. People are just no good in the dark, and whether you’re moving into a darkened building interior or basement, or caught outside at nighttime, a flashlight will help keep you safe.
  • Tourniquet. One of the leading causes of death from injury and accident is exsanguination due to an extremity hemorrhage; basically bleeding to death from a wound to a limb. A tourniquet, and the skills to use it, can save you or someone else from this unfortunate fate.
  • Multi-Tool. A good multi-tool, be it a pliers-type like a Leatherman or a classic Swiss army knife, will let you deal with 90% of the tasks, chores, and quick fixes that you’ll encounter. If it’s good enough for a MacGyver it’s good enough for us!
  • Pocketknife. Every prepper knows that a good knife is the first and foremost tool for confronting the world. No one should ever leave the house without a pocketknife and that’s a fact.
  • Bandana. A bandana is not just a fashion statement. You don’t even have to wear it to get used to it! It can be used as an improvised bandage, for blotting sweat, carrying small parts, and countless other tasks. Your granddad carried a handkerchief at all times and you should too.
  • Pepper Spray. Pepper spray is one of the very best self-defense options available, and is highly effective at shutting down confrontations before they start. Even better, it rarely inflicts any permanent harm so your liability from using it is much lower. If somebody’s getting froggy and you’re not justified in using lethal force, pepper spray is the answer.


  • First-Aid. First aid skills are indispensable, and you’ll have more opportunity to use them than nearly any other emergency skill set, especially outside of your home. CPR, dealing with broken bones, lacerations, and other ailments, these and more should be at the top of your training list.
  • Verbal Judo. Lots of folks, especially armed folks, gravely underestimate the utility of knowing how to talk your way out of a bad situation. It is a much subtler art than you might think, and understanding cultural, class, and lifeway differences along with some choice words at the right time could keep you from being jumped.
  • Combatives. When it comes to self-defense, you’ll have way, way more opportunity to protect yourself using fists and feet than you will with lethal force in the form of a gun or knife. If you are carrying a lethal force option but don’t know how to handle yourself in a fistfight, you’ve got everything backwards. Boxing, judo, MMA, all can serve as great foundations for a well-rounded fighter.
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Is Moss Edible or Poisonous? 6 Types of Moss You Can Eat


When it comes to survival, everything is about necessities. One of the most important necessities is food. You can go a long time before you starve, but diminishing energy levels will seriously hamper your efforts to survive. Accordingly, making use of wild-caught and foraged food is high on the priority list for preppers.


There’s lots to eat out in the world, and much of it is plentiful if you know what’s safe and what’s not. One of the most common kinds of plant life out there is moss. But is moss edible or poisonous?

Moss, as a rule, is edible though there are a few toxic varieties out there. And while moss is very plentiful, it offers very little in the way of calories or other nutrients. In all cases, it’s best to properly cook it to minimize the chances of food poisoning or digestive trouble.

Moss is one of those things that probably isn’t your first choice out in the wild, and even if it is you should look for something better. It doesn’t have much for you in terms of nutrients that your body has to have for optimum function and calories for energy.

That said, you can definitely use moss to get a little bit in the way of food, or to bulk up other items that you might have. There’s a whole lot more you’ll want to know before you start harvesting, and I’ll tell you about it below…

The good news, as far as survival food is concerned, is it the vast majority of mosses you’ll find around the United States and indeed much of the world are edible.

This is to say they aren’t overtly toxic or poisonous, and you shouldn’t expect terrible outcomes from eating them as long as you prepare them correctly.

Considering how plentiful most varieties of moss are in different biomes, this is something of a comfort because you’ll be able to find at least something to eat if you know where to look and how to harvest it. Definitely good news in a survival situation.

Even better news is that there is a precedent for people eating moss, and there has been for a very long time. A few types of moss have actually been important cultural foods, survival staples, or emergency rations in the United States and elsewhere in the world for centuries.

I’m not saying they are particularly good- they aren’t- but it’s nice to know that you won’t be blazing a trail when it comes to eating moss!

But it’s not all good news concerning moss as survival food. Moss, whatever kind it is, has only very little to offer you in terms of nutrients, both macronutrients like protein, fat, and carbohydrates and also micronutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals.

Basically, you’ll have to eat a ton of the stuff if you want to have a meaningful meal or even get a proper fraction of your daily requirements.

It’s a lot more likely that you’ll use moss as a sort of “filler food” to bulk up your diet a little bit and perhaps make the most of other foraged or hunted foods that you’ve managed to lay your hands on.

That is in fact how moss has most often been used for food historically: added to dough and porridge, used as a thickener for soups, etc.

Plus, even if you are gathering a type of moss that’s particularly abundant like Spanish moss, you aren’t necessarily best served by eating a ton of it…

Many types of moss are either intensely acidic or have other compounds that can cause stomach problems and other digestive distress if you overeat.

In short, moss can’t be a primary food item even if you’re desperate.

Now, most kinds of moss are safe to eat, or at least not particularly harmful, but there are a couple types out there which can really mess you up.

Some of them contain dangerous toxins that they use as protection against predators that would eat them, and others are known to be incidentally dangerous to humans because of high amounts of certain harmful compounds.

We’ll talk a little bit more about these in detail later, but for now, all you need to know is that you must treat moss like you would any other edible, foraged plant: it’s critical that you know exactly what you are dealing with.

Playing the odds might make a bad situation even worse if you’re in a survival situation, and it’s not out of the question you could wind up dead.

If you’re really in a jam, remember to perform the universal field edibility test before you dig in. It could save your life!

Something else you should keep in mind while you’re on the subject of moss is that many kinds of lichen are edible too.

Though often confused, lichens are completely distinct, taxonomically, from moss, but the two are often found growing in the same environments or even right alongside each other.

Lichens are different from moss because they are basically colonies of symbiotic organisms, typically fungi and certain kinds of bacteria or algae. One provides shelter for the other, and the two can even trade types of food for the mutual benefit of both. They really are fascinating!

I don’t bring this up to derail our important conversation about moss, proper, but to make you aware of what resources you’re likely to find while looking for moss. And there’s another very important reason why that we’ll talk about in the next section…

To make this subject even more confusing than it has to be, you should know that there are many kinds of lichen that are called mosses, and I don’t mean colloquially by folks who don’t know better. “Moss” is actually in the common name of these organisms!

That’s right: this can make tracking down and categorizing actual mosses confusing if you don’t have a guidebook or expert help.

But I want to clear this up: it doesn’t matter what the vegetation is called so long as you know exactly what it is and whether or not it is safe. You don’t need to dig into the taxonomy and differences of moss and lichens to make use of either.

Yes, you can, but there are some risk factors. Namely, raw moss is a lot more likely to harbor germs that can make you sick. Cooking your food, as always, eliminates or reduces these germs and makes it safer to eat.

That said, if you don’t have the resources or don’t have the time, or you just desperately need something to fill your stomach with, you can eat most varieties of safe moss without too much worry.

Often, yes, but there are still more trade-offs to consider. Cooking moss will kill any germs, parasites, and other nasty things that you don’t want to eat, but it will also significantly reduce the already meager nutrition that moss has to offer you. Specifically, it’ll lose out on vitamins and minerals which it can’t afford to give up.

That said, if your food situation isn’t in total crisis, you have the resources to cook, and the time to do it, I recommend that you at least cook it gently to improve its safety.

Moss does not taste very good. At its absolute best, it tastes very grassy, vegetative, and often earthy. And at its worst, it has a slimy and ashy taste that is downright repulsive, and it takes a whole lot of seasoning and expert preparation to make it even passingly palatable.

Doesn’t mean you can’t eat it safely, but it does mean you are unlikely to enjoy the experience!

The best way to prepare any moss for consumption without completely spoiling its nutritional content is to soak it in fresh, clean water.

Soaking it for just 10 minutes before shaking it off and giving it one final rinse can remove most of the contaminants that are on the outside and significantly increase safety.

And finally, we get to a list of known edible and nominally nutritious moss varieties that you should always be on the lookout for.


Willa has a place of honor on our list of edible masses both because it is a lichen, not a moss, and because it has a long history of being eaten in the United States.

Used as a staple and local delicacy, and also harvested en masse during times of food shortage, it looks like long, stringy tumbleweeds and is often found growing high up in dead trees.

Reindeer Moss

Another noteworthy “moss,” and another lichen in reality. Often grows in northern latitudes where it is extremely cold. Named both because of its appearance (which is similar to caribou antlers) and also because it is an important food for them when they are migrating.

This one is still eaten today in various Scandinavian countries. It’s intensely astringent and acidic and should be prepared properly prior to eating to avoid major stomach trouble.


You guessed it. Oakmoss isn’t really a moss. It’s a lichen. This is another one that grows in colder regions and is commonly found on evergreen plants. Easily spotted by its light gray or mint green color and tangled growth habit.

Iceland Moss

Yes, Iceland moss is actually… a lichen. Ha, got ya! But jokes aside, it is one lichen that looks very much like its namesake because it has a low-growing, spreading, and almost furry appearance. Look for it on rocks and fallen trunks.

Spanish Moss

Sometimes called “old man’s beard,” this is neither a moss nor a lichen but is instead a type of flowering plant that is invasive but naturalized to the United States.

It’s a very common sight in the Deep South and Tidewater region of the US. Only very small, choice bits of the plant are safely edible and palatable, but it’s possible to boil it and mix in sugar or other ingredients to make a type of tea or syrup that has some calories and nutrients.


This lichen is native to many parts of Asia, and has a distinguished culinary history as an ingredient in various spice mixes for Indian cuisine, and others. It is easily recognized by its fern-like growth habit, and striking pale green-gray to black “leaf” coloration.

Before we get to the list of edible mosses that you should keep your eye out for, we need to talk about two really nasty ones that you must avoid at all costs. Truly poisonous mosses are rare, but they do exist!

Powdered Sunshine

This uncommon moss is actually a lichen, and one that is easily identifiable when it is found growing on birch trees throughout Europe and much of the United States and Canada.

It has a distinct and sunny but vaguely ominous yellow color which is an obvious warning sign, and the reason for its name.

It has a particular toxin that can cause severe abdominal pain and eventually damage and failure in the liver if you eat it. Learn what it looks like and avoid it, and be very cautious when collecting moss from birch trees!

Wolf Lichen

Another notorious “moss,” and obviously from the name a lichen, this stuff is found all over the Western half of North America and some parts of Europe. It has a ragged, almost ruffled appearance and resembles a shrub that has had all of its leaves and greenery knocked off.

Historically, it has been employed as a poison against dogs and wolves, hence the name. This is due to high concentrations of vulpinic acid which is quite toxic to mammals. Learn to recognize it by sight and steer clear!

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Best Tactical Watches That’ll Go Through Hell & Back


Best Tactical WatchesToday I’ve got something really cool to share…

A Complete Guide To Tactical Watches For Survival

Because investing in a tactical watch shouldn’t be about looking cool (although that’s a side benefit)!

It’s about wearing a piece of survival gear.

One that’s ready to use at a moment’s notice.

Because a watch is a survival accessory you’ll wear every single day.

TOPICS IN THIS GUIDE…    ↓(click to jump)
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Best Tactical Watches For Sale

With so many watch choices and features finding the perfect watch is an epic challenge.

Did you know a tactical watch is on the “recommended overseas deployment list?

And they’ve become extremely popular with civilians as an EDC watch.

And the more advanced they get, the more “in demand” they become.

So to help narrow your search down, here are the best tactical watches on the market today:

1. Our Top Recommendation (the one I own)
Garmin Instinct Tactical Watch Series

When it comes to rugged watches, Garmin is a name you can trust.

This bad boy is built to withstand even the harshest of conditions and keep ticking like a well-oiled machine.

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Instinct Tactical is its tough, no-nonsense design. The watch face is protected by a high-strength thermoplastic casing and reinforced with scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla glass.

It’s also water-resistant up to 100 meters, so you can take it swimming, kayaking, or out in a good ol’ fashioned downpour without worry.

But the Instinct Tactical isn’t just a pretty face – it’s also loaded with a whole heap of features that’ll make your survivalist’s heart skip a beat.

First up, it’s got built-in GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo satellite systems, so you can navigate even the most treacherous of terrains with ease.

Plus, it’s got a 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter, so you can get an accurate read on your location and altitude at all times.

And that’s not all – the Instinct Tactical also has a range of specialized tactical features, including stealth mode (which disables wireless connectivity and mutes all tones), a dual-position GPS formatting option (that allows you to switch between MGRS and latitude/longitude), and a Jumpmaster mode (that calculates high-altitude release points based on military guidelines).

But perhaps my favorite feature of the Instinct Tactical is its long battery life – this watch can go up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, up to 16 hours in GPS mode, and up to 40 hours in Ultratrac battery saver mode.

All in all, the Garmin Instinct Watch Series is a top-notch survival tool that any serious survivalist would be proud to wear on their wrist.

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Casio Men’s GW-9400BJ-1JF G-Shock Master of G Rangeman

Casio makes this rugged, military-grade watch built to withstand just about anything you can throw at it. When you strap it onto your wrist, you’ll feel ready to take on the world.

The G-Shock Master of G Rangeman features a triple sensor that measures altitude, barometric pressure, and temperature. That’s right, folks, this watch is like having a tiny little weather station right on your wrist!

It’s perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who want to stay on top of changing weather conditions.

And speaking of the great outdoors, this watch is also equipped with a compass and GPS capabilities. So whether you’re hiking in the mountains or exploring a new city, you’ll always know which way you’re headed.

But that’s not all! The G-Shock Master of G Rangeman is also shock-resistant and water-resistant up to 200 meters and features a solar-powered battery.

So you don’t have to worry about it dying on you in the middle of your adventures.

 It’s tough, durable, and packed with features that make it a must-have for anyone who loves the great outdoors.

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↓ Casio Rangeman GW9400

NOTE: Casio has an entire series of these G Shock watches.

All with triple sensor technology and hundreds of color options.

So if you like THIS watch, you might find a variation you like even better.

↓ Top 5 Best Casio G Shock Watches

Garmin tactix 7, Pro Edition, Ruggedly Built Tactical GPS Watch

Now, let me tell ya, this watch ain’t your average wristwear.

No, sir, this thing is built tough as nails and ready for any adventure you can throw at it.

With a fiber-reinforced polymer case and a scratch-resistant sapphire lens, you can bang this bad boy around all you want, and it’ll keep on tickin’.

But the Tactix 7 isn’t just tough on the outside – it’s got some serious smarts too.

It’s preloaded with TOPO maps and features a 3-axis compass, barometric altimeter, and multiple global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo) to help you navigate like a pro.

Plus, with up to 12 days of battery life in smartwatch mode, you can stay out in the wild as long as you want without worrying about charging up.

It’s got built-in activity profiles for everything from running and swimming to skiing and golfing, and it can even measure your heart rate and oxygen saturation levels.

The Tactix 7 also has advanced training features like workout suggestions and recovery time and performance metrics like VO2 max and training load.

So, whether you’re hitting the trails, conquering the slopes, or want a watch that can keep up with your active lifestyle, the Garmin Tactix 7, Pro Edition, Ruggedly Built Tactical GPS Watch is the perfect companion.

Trust me; this watch is so good; it might just become your new best friend.

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↓ The Most Tactical Watch EVER

Luminox Original Navy SEAL Watch

The Luminox EVO Navy SEAL watch is constructed from highly durable polyurethane.

Its backlight glows 100x brighter than an average watch.

A durable mineral crystal dial window protects it.

And it has a handy date dial at the 3 o’clock mark.

It is water-resistant to up to 200 meters.

This watch can be used for any and all outdoor sports, survival, and day-to-day uses.

Just about the only thing you can’t do with it is scuba diving.

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↓Luminox Dive Watch

Timex Men’s Expedition Shock Digital Compass Watch

Timex is one of the most trusted budget luxury watch names on the market.

You can trust that their watches are both highly durable and extremely reliable.

This tactical outdoor watch is made with the survivalist in mind.

It features an easy-to-read digital display with date, day, time, and compass functions.

It’s both shock-resistant and water-resistant, up to 200 meters.

The Timex Expedition is one of the most affordable and effective watches.

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↓ Timex Expedition Military Series

6. Our Budget Choice
Casio Men’s GD100-1BCR G-Shock Watch

Made in the USA, this shock-resistant watch remains water-resistant up to 200 meters.

It has a large digital display face and can track up to four different time zones simultaneously.

It has five separate alarm options, a stopwatch, a timer, a full date window, and an LED backlight.

This watches black dial is easy to read, helping keep track of various applications.

And it comes with a feature matte black look.

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↓ Casio G-Shock GD-100-1BDR

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What Is A “Tactical” Watch Anyway?

In the wide world of watches, it’s easy to get confused about what is (and isn’t) “tactical”.

For example:

Here’s a short list of today’s watch categories:

  • Pocket Watches
  • Dress Watches
  • Diving Watches
  • Climbing Watches
  • Collectible Watches
  • Survival Watches
  • Belt-loop Watches
  • Digital Watches
  • Analog Watches
  • Field Watch
  • Military Watches
  • Sports Watches

As you can see, there’s an overwhelming number of ways to categorize watches.

And there are more subcategories within each category!

This categorization only exacerbate the confusion.

But I think we can all agree the best watches are at the forefront of technology.

They’re the most durable, toughest, multifunctional, lightweight, technology-filled watches on the market.

I like to say:

“I’ll know it’s tactical when I see it.”

But it should never be an impulse buy.

It’s NOT something you grab in the checkout line of a supermarket.

It’s a serious investment!

↓ Navy SEAL “Coch’s” Watch Collection

That’s why you must determine exactly what you want, need, price range, and goals.

After all, someday, your life may depend on this piece of survival gear.

So, don’t be silly and hinge your own existence on a poorly made cheap watch!

Make sure you get the very best watch for your money.

Trust me; it’ll pay off in the long run.

↓ The Reason Military Guys Wear Their Watch Like This???

Internal Gears Of A Watch

Best Military Watch Features To Look For

We all know watches come in various shapes, sizes, weights, price ranges, and colors.

But, as with any piece of gear, there are a few features the best ones all have.

Note: A watch does not need all the following features to be useful. But ideally, it should have as many of them as possible.

Scratch Resistance

The crystal or plastic that makes up the face of a watch must be resistant to scratches and scrapes.

Otherwise, it may become difficult (if not impossible) to see through it over time.

And if you get to the point where you can’t see the hands on your watch – you might as well disassemble it for parts.

The watch should also include durable plastics surroundings or a stainless steel case.

Water Resistance

This is a non-negotiable IMO.

If water ruins it, it was never meant for survival.

You need to check and see how deep your watch is rated.

The deeper it can go without succumbing to damage, the better.

Diving watches are particularly useful because they can handle depths of hundreds of meters.

But the BEST diving watches will be insanely expensive.

And a tough watch will be able to survive hundreds of meters anyway.

Which is more than enough for the average outdoorsman.

Long Battery Life Solar

The last thing you want is for your digital watch to die in the middle of nowhere.

That’s why it must have a long battery life and include solar power capabilities.

This gives you a long battery and a backup.

Or Automatic

The automatic watch, an ingenious piece of horological engineering.

It’s a timepiece that dances to the rhythm of your life, requiring no batteries or winding.

With no need to worry about changing batteries or winding it up, the automatic watch offers a hassle-free way to keep time.

Making it an essential feature for the modern adventurer.

Backed By A Strong Warranty

Of course, you never want to break your watch or have to send it back for repairs.

But stuff happens.

After all, these watches are designed to take a whipping and keep on ticking.

Sometimes, they’re exposed to more than they can handle.

Which is a major bummer when you’re investing in something that’s supposed to last.

That’s why it’s wise to get one where the manufacturer offers a damage warranty.

It will offer some extra peace of mind.

Warranties are one of those things that you don’t need until you really need them.


Some survival tools do not have to run like clockwork.

But if your watch is not reliable, you should get rid of it.

  • You should stop wearing a watch that measures some days less accurately than others.
  • If the internal compass never points north – take it off.
  • Your watch is unreliable if the altimeter says you’re below where you actually are.

The bottom line is:

If you CAN’T trust your watch, it’s time to find a new one.

A watch worth wearing needs to be extremely accurate and reliable.

That’s why people like to buy their watches from brands they trust.

Some manufacturers have been in the industry for over a century.

Their brand names are synonymous with quality.

This is where it helps to spend the extra few dollars for the brand name.

They have proven their value time and time again.

It Looks Amazing

OK, let’s be real for a second: watches are an accessory, no matter how you slice it.

And many of them look fantastic, on top of being extremely useful.

I said it before and will say it again – vanity should never be the ONLY force in a investment.

Just because something looks incredible does not mean it’s any good.

Watch designers, manufacturers know humans’ bias towards cool-looking survival gadgets.

However, if you find a functional survival watch that also looks great, that’s a win-win.

Because, honestly, watches are fashion accessories.

So try to find a quality one that you’ll also enjoy wearing.

Triple Sensor Technology (optional)

If you pay a bit more for your watch, get one with triple-sensor technology

The best watches are ones that include 3 advanced sensors:

  1. Altimeter
  2. Barometer
  3. Temperature

1. Altimeter

An altimeter measures your current altitude based on atmospheric pressures.

This comes in handy when you’re in mountainous terrain.

It’s much easier to find your exact location on a topographical map if you know your elevation.

↓ Using An Altimeter To Help You Navigate

2. Barometer

A barometer measures the change in atmospheric pressure over time.

And since weather changes are correlated with changes in atmospheric pressure, you’ll be able to predict the weather well before it arrives.

In general:

  • When the pressure rises, the weather is likely to improve.
  • When it’s falling, there’s usually worse weather ahead.

I think it’s fairly obvious how this is a major advantage in a survival or outdoor adventure situation!

↓ The Barometer Explained

3. Temperature

Everyone likes to know the temperature at all times, right?

And with this sensor, all you’ll need to do is look down.

But this sensor can do more than tell you the current temperature.

It can also help predict your destination temperature based on your current location!

Temperatures generally decrease by approximately 3.6°F with every increase of 1,000 feet.

If the temperature at 5,000 feet is 50°F, therefore, the temperature at 8,000 meters will probably be about 39.2°F.

The bottom line is:

Watches with triple-sensor technology are incredibly useful.

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Best Survival Uses For A Watch

Simply put, the practicality of these things goes far beyond their ability to tell time.

So let’s cover those abilities now.


If you wear a survival watch, it will likely have a digital compass built-in.

With a compass, you’ll never be completely lost.

Sure, you might be somewhere you’ve never been.

But you’ll know in which direction you’re heading.

This is critical for survival situations and any outdoor adventure, for that matter.

Don’t underestimate the power of the compass.

And having one strapped to your wrist at all times.

Accurate Countdowns

Accurate countdown timers are essential tools when you need to count down.

There is an unlimited number of countdown tasks.

For example:

Countdown timers come in handy when :

  • Backyard Grilling
  • Lighting Bomb Fuses
  • Coordinating Ambushes
  • Scheduling A Watch Guard

Sometimes an accurate countdown timer is a “nice to have” feature (like grilling).

But sometimes it’s a life or death one (like lighting a fuse).

But most countdown tasks fall somewhere in the middle.

And with an accurate timer on your wrist, you’ll be ready no matter what.

 Signaling In Distress

Many watch faces are made of crystal or another highly reflective material.

So if you’re ever lost and forgot to pack a signaling mirror, you can use your watch instead.

Angle the sun into it and flash at rescuers to alert them of your distress and location.

If the back of your watch is reflective enough, you can polish it up and use it instead.

Team Synchrony

Chronological synchronicity is necessary if you plan a raid or escape with others.

You can sync up your times and operate simultaneously if you both have atomic watches.

Which makes the meeting at a specific time and location more accurate.

Starting a Fire

I recommend this only if you are in serious trouble and your watch is broken or out of battery.

(Namely, because it requires disassembling your timepiece, which will almost certainly ruin it).

But, if you take the crystal face out of the watch, it can be used to concentrate sunlight and start a fire.

If the sun is out, this is easier to start a fire than with sticks.

And, perhaps best overall, each of these survival applications is strapped to your wrist.

Like having a multi-tool or a survival kit latched to your arm at all times.

Except these are elegant and classy and un-intrusive.

The 5 Most Surprising Watch Myths

Myth 1: They’re Way Overpriced

Some skeptics argue that tactical watches come with a hefty price tag simply because of their rugged design and additional features.

But the truth is, you’re paying for durability, precision, and functionality.

These watches are built to withstand harsh conditions and provide critical data for survival situations.

Myth 2: They’re All Pretty Much The Same

Not all watches are created equal.

There’s a wide variety of models on the market, each tailored to different needs and preferences.

Some excel in GPS tracking and navigation, while others prioritize durability or specialized features like tide graphs.

It’s essential to do your research and choose one that matches your specific requirements.

Myth 3: They’re Only For The Military

While they certainly have roots in military applications, they’re not exclusive to the armed forces.

These watches are invaluable for outdoor enthusiasts, adventurers, and anyone who values durability, accuracy, and multifunctionality in their timepiece.

You don’t need to be a soldier to appreciate what  tactical gear can bring to your life.

Myth 4: They’re Bulky and Uncomfortable

Some believe that these watches are uncomfortable and clunky due to their robust build.

In reality, manufacturers have made significant strides in crafting ergonomic designs that balance durability with comfort.

Modern military watches are sleeker and more comfortable than ever, ensuring you can wear them daily without discomfort.

Myth 5: They’re All 100% Waterproof

While many boast water resistance, not all are suitable for deep dives or prolonged exposure to water.

Check the specific water resistance rating of your watch to ensure it suits your needs.

Remember, “water-resistant” doesn’t necessarily mean “waterproof.”

Final Thoughts

When people think of watches, they rarely think of survival gear.

To most people, watches are a simple fashion accessory that can tell time, nothing more.

But as survivalists, we know better.

Tactical watches combine a ton of gear and sensors into a single device.

They are a data-based survival multi-tool.

They bring practicality together with durability, simplicity, and ease of use.

Any survivalist or outdoorsman worth his salt should wear a tactical survival.

If you choose not to, you’re at a major disadvantage.

Why Trust Skilled Survival…

Go here now to review a full breakdown of:

  • Who We Are
  • Our Credentials
  • Our Mission
  • & Product Recommendations…

Here are a few highlights of our teams credentials & certifications:

  • Certified Member of a Mountain Search & Rescue Organization
  • Plant Emergency & Safety Leader for a Major Food Manufacturer
  • Member of the 10TH Mountain Division Hut Association
  • Certifications: Avalanche 1, WFR, CPR
  • Official Gear Tester for Numerous Outdoor Gear Companies
  • Countless Multiday Backpacking trips into Remote Wilderness
  • Bachelor’s Degree In Mechanical Engineering 
  • Bachelor’s Degree In Civil Engineering
  • Bachelor’s Degree In Biomedical Engineering

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” – Warren Buffett

We’re fully aware that trust is NOT something you GET but is EARNED.

And we’ll continue to earn YOUR trust through our forthright and honest approach with each new Blog Post, Guide & Product we create…

Will Brendza

Will Brendza

  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Colorado at Boulder
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  • 8+ Years Researching, Writing, About Survival and Preparedness
  • Awards from Society of Professional Journalists
  • Winner of Camp Cold’s “Happy Camper” award in 2020
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    Find out now using my Danger Zone County List & Special Report it’s absolutely FREE.

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    24 Camping Hacks That’ll Make Your Next Trip Better


    Camping HacksToday I have something you’re going to love

    24 Epic Camping Hacks You HAVE To Try On Your Next Adventure!

    Because we all want our camping to be more enjoyable, right?

    That’s why we’re always on the look out for any new techniques, ideas, and hacks that come our way.

    So today I’m going to share the best camping hacks I’ve come across over the years:

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    Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

    1. Water Jug Lantern

    When cooking dinner in the dark or getting ready for bed, a lantern is better than a survival flashlight.

    Lanterns create broad, even lighting.

    So for specific tasks, full illumination is more helpful than a focused beam.

    Luckily, you’ve got everything you need to MAKE a lantern!

    Just wrap your headlamp around your water bottle with the beam facing inward.

    Any clear or translucent bottle, even a milk jug, will work.

    These makeshift lanterns work great anywhere you need ambient light.

    And you don’t have to carry any extra gear!

    ↓How To Make A Water Bottle Lantern

    2. Rock Grommets Camping Hack

    High Quality Aqua Defender Tarp

    High-Quality Aqua-Defender Tarp

    Some tarps come without grommets built it.

    These make it nearly impossible to attach a guy line when setting up a tarp tent.

    This won’t happen with a survival tarp like the Aqua Defender, but you never know…

    Sometimes grommets can wear out, leaving you no way to secure your shelter.

    That is, until now.

    With this hack, you can add tie points anywhere you’d like.

    Find a small round stone and place it where you want to attach a line.

    Gather the tarp around the stone and tie your line around it.

    This will capture the stone inside the “pocket” you’ve formed.

    Creating an instant “grommet”!

    Also, the line strain is more evenly distributed than a metal grommet.

    So the makeshift stone grommet ends up lasting longer.

    ↓How I Attach Straps Without Grommets To Cordage

    3. Water Bottle Cooler Ice

    When packing a cooler for camping, running out of space is inevitable.

    Often there’s barely any room for ice once you add all your food and beverages.

    <iframe loading="lazy" title="3 Mason Jar Camping Meals

    How long can a tourniquet be kept on? #bethedifference #tourniquet #narescue

    North American Rescue’s NAR Doctor helps you understand some of the basic principles for knowing how long tourniquets can be left in place.

    Best Tactical Backpacks That Will Make You Hard To Kill


    Best Tactical BackpackToday I’ve got something important to share…

    A Complete Guide To Finding (& Building) A Tactical Backpack

    Because nowadays, we’re confronted with too many options.

    Hundreds of brands, styles, sizes, and shapes will jangle one’s sense of clarity.

    • How big a backpack?
    • What shade of camo?
    • Is it “hydration pack compatible”- what’s THAT mean?
    • What is MOLLE?
    • What features should I look for?!

    It’s overwhelming.

    But fear not; I’ve got your back.

    TOPICS IN THIS GUIDE…    ↓(click to jump)
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    Best Tactical Backpacks For Sale Today

    Some manufacturers make better products than others.

    And this is no exception when it comes to military backpacks.

    There are cheap ones, and there are reliable ones.

    So here are the best tactical backpacks on the market today:

    1. The Bag I Own
    EVATAC Combat Backpack

    This tactical EDC backpack is as tough as they come at a fantastic price point.

    It has heavy-duty zippers, padded shoulder straps, a chest strap, and enough compartments to keep all your survival gear properly organized.

    This bag includes a 40L storage capacity. Making it the perfect bag for those who have a lot of gear to haul around.

    It’s made from thick, durable 600D Polyester.

    It comes with heavy-duty clips. Because a bag is only as good as its clips.

    It has padded shoulder straps and a padded back panel for maximum comfort. Because a comfortable bag is essential, especially for daily use.

    It has a quick lock chest strap securing the bag even while on the run or scrambling. This helps to prevent the bag from bouncing while on the move!

    All compartments are waterproof. This is a must-have feature for high-quality tactical bag.

    It includes a total of 10 separate carry compartments. This allows for maximum organization!

    Heck, it even has a dedicated padded laptop compartment. This helps protect your fragile items from bumps and knocks.

    Similar bags with all these features sell for over $159 (some as much as $229 in many outdoor specialty stores).

    But you can get The Combat Bag From EVATAC at a fraction of those insane prices. Click here to see if this fantastic deal is still available.

    Check Today’s Price
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    ↓ Bug Out Bag Review – The Combat Bag by EVATAC

    3V GEAR Paratus 3-Day Operators Backpack

    First off, let me say that this backpack is a straight-up beast.

    It’s built tough, with high-quality materials, and designed to withstand serious abuse.

    This backpack is ideal for anyone who’s looking for a reliable, durable, and functional backpack that can handle whatever you throw at it.

    One of the things that I really love about this backpack is its size.

    It’s big enough to hold everything you need for a 3-day adventure but not so big that it’s cumbersome or awkward to carry.

    It’s just the right size and designed to be easy to load up and comfortable to wear.

    Another thing that I really appreciate about this backpack is its organization. It’s got plenty of pockets and compartments, so you can easily keep everything you need organized and accessible. Plus, it’s got MOLLE webbing all over the place, which means you can attach additional pouches and accessories to it.

    But the real star of the show here is the construction. This backpack is made from tough 600D PVC-backed polyester, which means it’s water-resistant, abrasion-resistant, and tear-resistant.

    It’s also got reinforced zippers and heavy-duty buckles, so you know it’s built to last.

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    ↓ 3V Gear Paratus 3-Day Tactical Pack Review

    5.11 RUSH24 2.0 37L Tactical Backpack

    The Rush72 is a large tactical pack with insanely high reviews.

    It comes in a variety of different colors and includes:

    • dual-zippered compartments with YKK zippers
    • an organization pouch for pens, maps, or documents
    • hydration pack compatible
    • an extensive MOLLE system

    It’s an excellent tactical backpack, but you must pay a bit more for it…

    Check Today’s Price
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    ↓ 5.11 Tactical Rush 72 – Tactical Pack – Field Review

    LA Police Gear Operator Backpack

    LA Police Gear specializes in military, special forces, and law enforcement gear.

    This American company is synonymous with high-quality tactical, camping, survival, and everyday gear.

    This pack is made from 600D Polyester with PVC coating making it extremely durable.

    Available in three colors (black, green, and tan).

    This pack has three mesh compartments inside the main compartment.

    It also has radio ports and is hydration pack compatible.

    At this price, it’s a reliable, high-quality option at a fair price.

    Check Today’s Price
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    ↓ LA Police Gear Operator Backpack – Affordable and Solid Bushcraft Pack

    Reebow Gear Military Tactical Assault Pack Backpack

    Reebow Gear wants to bring fans of military gear the best equipment possible.

    All their gear is a standard of high-performance military and tactical gear.

    This camouflaged pack comes in black camo or woodland camo colors.

    It’s a 34-liter pack made of high-density, water-resistant nylon fabric.

    It includes:

    • side and front-load compression system
    • a Molle system, ventilated mesh shoulder strap padding
    • a compartment for a hydration pack

    You can get this tactical pack at a budget-friendly price point.

    Check Today’s Price
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    ↓ Reebow Tactical 3-Day Military Backpack Review

    CVLIFE Tactical Backpack Military Army Rucksack

    This backpack means business.

    It’s built for rugged terrain and tough conditions and is perfect for all you rough-and-tumble types out there.

    With its high-quality, water-resistant material, you won’t have to worry about getting caught in a sudden rainstorm or crossing a river.

    And it’s got more pockets than you can shake a stick at – seriously, it’s like a labyrinth in there.

    But what really sets this backpack apart is its versatility.

    It’s designed to be your go-to bag for everything from camping trips to hunting excursions, from long hikes to extended bug-out situations.

    And with its durable MOLLE webbing system, you can easily attach all kinds of extra gear, like pouches, water bottles, or even a machete (hey, you never know).

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    ↓ Budget Bugout Bag Option: CVLife Rucksack

    What Is A Tactical Backpack Anyway?

    They’re pack designed for intensive tactical purposes.

    Tactical backpacks set themselves apart from “regular” backpacks in every way imaginable. 

    They are a major upgrade a cheap Jan-sport back-sack.

    Because there are important distinctions between them.

    Like many of the best survival tools, tactical backpacks were designed originally for the military.

    They were (and still are) part of the standard-issue gear soldiers receive.

    These packs are designed to hold all their critical survival gear and tactical equipment.

    Because a backpack becomes your best friend in the military and the wild.

    This is why assault backpacks were engineered to withstand harsh environments.

    The worst abuse you can think of.

    These packs must be reliable, so it’s worth spending a little extra cash on a great one.

    You want quality when it comes to a military backpack.

    Which is exactly what makes them so great.

    I know plenty of people who use their combat pack as their bug-out bag.

    I see them on the trails when I’m hiking, and folks use them as EDC packs as well.

    They can also be used to haul around computers, books, and notes in coffee shops.

    That’s not really their intended purpose…

    But hey, not everyday you’ll find yourself in combat.

    The bottom line is:

    Yes, military tactical backpacks have come a long way.

    And it’s only a testament to their utility, versatility, and practicality.

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    2 military soliders with tactical backpacks

    Best Tactical Backpack Features To Look For

    The easiest way to look for the right backpack is to learn what makes one great.

    Here’s the thing: many of these qualities are subjective.

    For example:

    Deciding what size backpack to get will hinge on your needs.

    The color or type of camouflage you choose should depend on the environment.

    So always keep in mind:

    “What is my situation? What are my needs? How do I intend to use it?”

    That being said, here the best features to look for:

    Insane Durability

    Any backpack used for tactical, survival, or adventures must be tough.

    It should be able to withstand the worst-case conditions.

    • The buckles need to be strong.
    • The compression straps need to be thick.
    • The zippers need to be of high quality.
    • The seams need to be double-stitched.
    • You get the picture…

    Seek strength and craftsmanship over price or aesthetics.

    Extremely Lightweight

    Of course, you carry this on your back (usually packed with gear and supplies).

    So naturally, you should look for the lightest-weight bag (assuming high quality).

    With that said, NEVER sacrifice durability for weight.

    There is a fine line here.

    There’s a point at which you diminish the product’s resilience as you go super lightweight.

    Includes A MOLLE System

    Pronounced “Molly,” this acronym stands for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment.

    Molle is rows of high-durability cordura nylon straps.

    They are fixed to the outside of the pack.

    This allows users to attach a large variety of Molle-compatible attachments.

    Side Note: These attachment points are called “PALS”; Pouch Attachment Ladder System.

    This allows you to customize your pack for different adventures.

    It also allows you to add additional gear you carry over time.

    ↓ Everything You Need To Know About MOLLE


    A tactical backpack must have ample storage space.

    But not all storage setups are the same.

    Multi-compartments = Better organization.

    Lots of compartments help you keep similar items together for faster retrieval.

    You can separate food items from tools and daily-use items from water bottles.

    I like having lots and lots of separate compartments for my combat pack.

    I like having 1 large compartment for my sleeping bag and smaller compartments for all my other gear.

    The key is to keep your most used items easy accessible at all times.


    The heavier the pack, the more straps you’ll want.

    And you’ll want those straps to be adjustable and padded.

    For example:

    A padded hip belt will save your back by distributing the weight from your shoulders to your hips.

    You want a sternum strap to keep the pack tight against your back.

    This is important when running or scrambling, which is key to a pack being “tactical.”

    Hydration Pack Compatible

    Many packs have a special compartment, hook, and side/top hole for a hydration bladder insert.

    I can not overstate the usefulness of this feature.

    With a hydration pack, you can drink water from a tube extending from your pack’s bladder.

    Hydration hangs over your shoulder on a strap.

    You can stay hydrated AND stay on the move.

    No need to stop and pull out the water bottle, unscrew, drink, re-screw-repack, and get going again.


    Just sip as you walk, run, or whatever.

    At a minimum your pack should have mesh pockets for a water bottle.

    Laptop Sleeve Compartment

    This is important if you carry your laptop in your backpack.

    Of course. lugging around a laptop in a tactical situation is not the best idea.

    However, maybe you want to use your tactical backpack as an everyday carry pack.

    But a laptop compartment doesn’t have to hold laptops either.

    Laptop compartments can keep any sensitive electronics safe in tactical environments.

    Such as:

    These compartments are usually sized to fit a small computer perfectly.

    The best ones are lined with extra padding to protect delicate electronics.

    Some even come with a waterproof zipper pocket to protect them from water damage.

    The Right Color

    Many of these packs come in camo.

    It is essential to consider your environment and what color will suit it best.

    If you live in Moab, Utah, where everything is red, brown, and orange, don’t buy a blue-tinted camo pack.

    You might want a black one if you travel at night.

    If you use it for winter hunting, buy a white one.

    Consider yourself and your own needs before buying one that looks cool.

    It’s an important skill called situational awareness.

    A backpack that blends into its natural surroundings is desirable for tactical situations.

    This helps you evade enemies when it’s on your back and keeps it hidden if you need to ditch it.

    Good luck concealing that neon sign if your pack is bright pink or hunter orange.

    Can You Add Plates?

    If you want the ultimate tactical pack, then you’ll want to carry body armor plates!

    They call these types of backpacks – plate carrier backpacks.

    And they protect your vitals if bullets fly in your direction.

    Check Out our article about tactical plate carriers – if you want to know about carrying plates for protection.

    tactical backpack with ammo

    Final Thoughts

    There’s something satisfying having EVERYTHING you need to survive on your back.

    Completely confident you can survive a combat zone.

    Armed to the teeth and prepared to deal with whatever comes your way.

    That’s power!

    When choosing a backpack for survival, look no further than a tactical pack.

    They are light, durable, and can last a lifetime.

    Plus, they can be used as:

    It’s the reason these packs have become so popular in recent years: they plain work.

    Tactical backpacks are necessary for any serious survivalist, outdoorsman, prepper, or hunter.

    If you need a pack that will last a long time and serves you well, get a tactical one.

    Why Trust Skilled Survival…

    Go here now to review a full breakdown of:

    • Who We Are
    • Our Credentials
    • Our Mission
    • & Product Recommendations…

    Here are a few highlights of our teams credentials & certifications:

    • Certified Member of a Mountain Search & Rescue Organization
    • Plant Emergency & Safety Leader for a Major Food Manufacturer
    • Member of the 10TH Mountain Division Hut Association
    • Certifications: Avalanche 1, WFR, CPR
    • Official Gear Tester for Numerous Outdoor Gear Companies
    • Countless Multiday Backpacking trips into Remote Wilderness
    • Bachelor’s Degree In Mechanical Engineering 
    • Bachelor’s Degree In Civil Engineering
    • Bachelor’s Degree In Biomedical Engineering

    “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” – Warren Buffett

    We’re fully aware that trust is NOT something you GET but is EARNED.

    And we’ll continue to earn YOUR trust through our forthright and honest approach with each new Blog Post, Guide & Product we create…

    Will Brendza

    Will Brendza

  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Member of The 10th Mountain Division Hut Association
  • Certifications: Avalanche 1, WFR (expired), CPR (expired)
  • 8+ Years Researching, Writing, About Survival and Preparedness
  • Awards from Society of Professional Journalists
  • Winner of Camp Cold’s “Happy Camper” award in 2020
  • P.s. Do You Live In A ‘Danger Zone’ County?

    Find out now using my Danger Zone County List & Special Report it’s absolutely FREE.

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    The post Best Tactical Backpacks That Will Make You Hard To Kill appeared first on Skilled Survival.

    15 New Self Defense Weapons For Insanely Strong Protection


    Self Defense WeaponsToday, I have something really important to share…

    An Ultimate List Of Alternative Self Defense Weapons

    Because no matter your size, sex or disposition…

    Self defense weapons can even the playing field.

    But which is best for you?

    Today I cover all the latest options, so you can make a wise choice.

    TOPICS IN THIS GUIDE…     ↓(click to jump)
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    Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

    Modern Day Self Defense Weapons

    Since ancient times, much has changed:

    • Fights have gotten dirtier
    • Technology has gotten better
    • The martial discipline has diminished

    And weapons, well, they’ve changed as well.

    Today, we have a staggering variety of modern-day weapons.

    For example:

    Check out his newly released Lifeshield Self-Defense bundle from Survival Frog:

    1. Top Recommendation
    SURVIVAL FROG LifeShield Self-Defense Kit

    This self-defense kit from Survival Frog includes three key self-defense weapons:

    1. Pepper Gel / Spray
    2. Personal Alarm
    3. Stun Gun

    The personal alarm is meant to be added to a keychain.

    While the other two devices easily fit in a survival bag or purse.

    However, this bundle is for you if you’re serious about self-defense without firearm training.

    Why? Because:

    • Great for those who are not comfortable with guns
    • Safe for users (but really bad for an attacker)
    • Non-lethal injury to keep you out of jail
    • Temporary disable gives you time to getaway
    • Compact enough to keep in a purse or bag
    • Easy to use, no training required

    You can take care of all your self-defense needs and upgrade your keychain with a single purchase.

    Check Today’s Price
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    ↓ Survival Frog Personal Defense Kit Review

    1. Taser

    The police use Tasers to apprehend criminals.

    Civilians use them for self-defense.

    And a few sick people use them as a prank on their friends.

    But if you’ve ever seen a real taser shocking a real person, you know they’re NOT toys.

    These powerful weapons are compact.

    Making them small enough to fit inside a pocket or purse.

    Some are handheld and require direct contact.

    Others are fired from a pistol using a gas canister.

    But they all pack a nasty punch.

    And when used against an attacker, they can render them immobile to ensure your escape.

    Plus, they are classified as nonlethal weapons.

    So you don’t have to worry about killing someone you used it on (unless they wear a pacemaker).

    They also make stun gun flashlights – which go together like peanut butter and jelly.

    ↓ Good Budget Full-Size Stun Gun Vipertek VTS-989

    2. Mace / Pepper Spray

    Pepper Spray is a classic, easy-to-use weapon.

    It’s cheap and easy to use.

    It’s made to burn every pore of human flesh chemically it comes into contact with.

    When sprayed into the face or the exposed genitals of a male assailant, it will drop them to their knees.

    Earlier this year, I read an interesting news article.

    It was about a man hospitalized after eating one Carolina Reaper.

    It’s one of the hottest chili pepper known to man – at around 2,000,000 Scoville Heat Units!

    This pepper causes intense dry heaves, blinding headaches, and some near-stroke symptoms.

    But what if the “pepper” in a pepper spray was that powerful?

    FOX Labs is measured at 5,300,000 SHU – an astounding 265% hotter than the Carolina Reaper!

    It can spray this blinding defense juice up to 17 to 20 feet.

    FOX Labs Pepper Spray is used by Police, Law Enforcement, Security, and Military agencies worldwide.

    ↓ Fox 5.3 SHU Pepper Spray Test

    3. Brass Knuckles

    ZAP™ BLAST Product Image - KNUCKLES STUN GUN BLACK W/ HOLSTER 950KNothing says “badass” quite like brass knuckles.

    Punching with brass knuckles is more like striking someone with a medieval flail.

    These can be pretty brutal when put to real use.

    So be sure you have the stomach for a hemorrhaging face, brain fluid, and nasal matter.

    One downside is there are lots of places you can’t legally take them (i.e., anywhere with a metal detector).

    Maybe you should get some with a Taser built-in…like these Zap Blast Knuckles?

    ↓ Zap Blast Knuckles Extreme Stun Gun Review

    Prepper Checklist eBook Cover - with gas mask on a SHTF scenery background

    Want a free 78 item prepper checklist?

    Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

    4. Credit Card Knives

    These handy blades are conveniently disguised as credit cards.

    You can quickly slip them out of your wallet and into the jugular artery of your attacker.

    But they all make a decent last-resort weapon in a pinch.

    ↓ Boker Credit Card Knife Review

    NOTE: At the time of writing, you could get 2 of these credit card knives for FREE when you paid the S&H.

    5. Tactical Pens

    The best everyday carry weapons double as ordinary everyday objects.

    The tactical pen is a perfect example of this.

    It works just like a pen and looks like a pen.

    But when a dangerous situation rears its ugly head, it can be used to jab, stab, and batter the living hell out of an opponent.

    Some of them even double as multi-tools.

    I’ve seen ones containing knives, scrapers, screwdrivers, and even flashlights.



    For example – The StrikePen is a whole pocketful of EDC tools rolled into one milled aluminum package.

    From the bright LED flashlight to the interchangeable tooltips.

    The StrikePen is a serious piece of survival gear.

    The solid tungsten steel striker tip makes it an excellent close-quarters weapon.

    Plus, it doubles as an emergency glass breaker!

    Of course, it wouldn’t be a StrikePEN if it didn’t write with a smooth black ball-tip point.

    The bottom line is:

    If you know how to use a tactical pen properly, it can easily drop a threat.

    ↓ ApeSurvival Strikepen Black – Reviewed

    6. The StrikeLight

    When you awake in the middle of the night to investigate a noise – do you take a flashlight or a baseball bat?

    With the StrikeLight, you take both!

    It includes a powerful LED flashlight and multiple light modes.

    The best mode is a disorienting strobe setting.

    With a StrikeLight, you’ll intimate a threat and head off a more serious altercation.

    If the situation goes from bad to worse, the solid aluminum construction lets you use the light as a baton.

    Plus, the aggressive teeth and endpoints make quick work of anyone on the receiving end of your swing.

    If you need a little more reach, this expandable baton provides another 4 inches with the twist of a wrist.

    That’s 4 more inches of intimidation!

    ↓ StrikeLight Review – Tactical Self-Defense Torch Light

    7. Monkey Fist

    One of my favorite self-defense tools is also one of the oldest – a Monkey Fist Knot.

    The monkey fist surrounds a heavy ball wrapped with paracord rope.

    They’re also great at throwing a length of rope over a tree branch.

    Or making a devastating close-quarters weapon.

    ↓ Monkey Fist Vs. Cement Block

    Ancient Weapons For Self Defense

    Back in the day, before tasers and mace, people used their hands or a hand-held instrument to protect themselves.

    8. Hands And Feet

    There are weapons attached to your body – IF you know how to use them correctly.

    And while it may seem obvious, it’s still worth pointing out.

    With proper training, body parts become lethal weapons for self-defense.

    It’s difficult to overstate the usefulness of these hand and feet-only arts.

    We’re talking about martial art forms such as:

    • Karate
    • Taekwondo
    • Hapkido
    • Aikido
    • Jujitsu
    • Muy Thai
    • Krav maga

    If you can become proficient in any of them, you will never be unarmed – even in your sleep.

    But if you don’t want to spend months and hours in a Dojo to learn these skills, The Combat Fighter online course is your next best option.

    9. The QuarterStaff

    The staff (or walking stick) is one of the most basic, most effective self-defense tools known to man.

    The staff has been trendy throughout history for two main reasons:

    1. A Staff is innocent-looking.

    People often carry them for walking, hiking, or to look cool.

    2. They can be lethal in the right hands.

    Staffs are great because they easily parry attacks.

    Plus, they’re cheap, and they pack a wallop.

    There are long staffs, bo staffs, jo staffs, hiking staffs, walking staffs, even canes kind of count.

    And they all have specific defenses you can learn from an instructor.

    If you want to be proficient with a fighting staff, try reading this highly-rated book, and put it into practice.

    ↓ Bo Staff, Top 10 Spins and Strikes…

    10. The Sword or Machete

    The sword is famous for being the weapon of choice for most of history.

    It’s lethal, personal, and comes in almost every shape, style, and size imaginable.

    However, they take considerable skill to wield effectively.

    But if you become a katana or a saber expert, you become a death knight.

    Or better yet, get a more practical large blade – The Survival Machete.

    11. Tonfa/Nightstick

    Product Image - ROTHCO® FIBERGLASS POLICE TONFA BATONIf you’re familiar with a tonfa, you understand how nasty it can be to be on the wrong end of them.

    The nightsticks police officers use are based on the tonfa design (an “L” shape).

    They are traditionally wielded in pairs, but a single one will do just as well.

    A nightstick is deadly if you can whip one of these bad boys out and strike your attacker in the head.

    12. Nunchucks

    Nunchucks are made famous by Bruce Lee and look harder to use than they are.

    You don’t have to be Bruce Lee to use a pair of these effectively.

    Some basic strikes are easy for anyone to learn, regardless of skill level.

    Not only that, but they come in some very compact, very discreet sizes.

    You can easily hide a set in your vehicle’s center console, backpack, or purse.

    Plus, they look freakin’ awesome.

    Pros and Cons Of Ancient Weapons

    The pros of any of these martial weapons are obvious.

    First off, they’re badass.

    If you can fight off a gang of muggers using a pair of nunchucks or a katana, you are going down as a legend of the streets.

    The cons, however, are just as obvious.

    This is the year 2018, and people don’t often go around carrying walking staffs or swords.

    Some of these (like the nunchucks) can be concealed.

    But by in large, chances are, when trouble occurs, it won’t be when your trusty tonfa is tucked away in your Bobak.

    Chances are it will catch you unawares and unprepared, as trouble always seems to.

    Weird Weapons For Self Defense

    We had to include them because they are strange, unique, and irregular.

    Some are not practical at all.

    Some might work, but they’re all weird and wacky.

    Who knows, though, maybe you’ll find one perfect for you.

    That one-off, insane weapon that strikes your fancy and fits your lifestyle.

    Or, you’ll get a couple of chuckles out of this section.

    Either way, it’s worth including.

    13. Tri-Section Staff

    There’s a fair chance you’ll knock yourself out using one of these, then cause any harm to the attacker.

    If you haven’t been properly trained with a tri-section staff, beware.

    You will undoubtedly walk away from an attempt to use a tri-section staff with many bruises.

    If you’re a master of Chinese martial weapons, go for it.

    If not, well, you might be better off with a Taser.

    ↓ Kung Fu – 3 Sectional Staff – So Smooth!

    14. Hyper Whistle

    Sometimes it’s best to scare off a threat before it can reach you.

    With 142dB sound levels, The HyperWhistle is disorienting and painful at close quarters.

    It’s against human nature to attack someone with a 142dB alarm going off! 

    Even if your attacker persists, this loud whistle will draw attention from as far as two miles away.

    A survival whistle is a smart device to add to your self-defense arsenal.

    15. Cell Phone Stun Guns

    There are companies out there that sell stun guns disguised as a smartphone.

    They work, but you’ll have to carry two phones (the real one and the stun gun one).

    You might as well buy a stun gun/taser at that point.

    Final Thoughts

    When it comes to using weapons for self-defense, it’s all means necessary.

    You use whatever you have to to keep yourself safe and protected.

    If that means carrying a katana everywhere you go, so be it… I guess.

    But you can also carry mace, extending batons, and tasers.

    These are more practical weapons for the same purposes.

    We aren’t here to tell you how to defend yourself, though.

    Choose the weapon you like and that you will feel most comfortable using.

    However, some people may use weapons for evil, too.

    In the wrong hands, they can become weapons of offense.

    That is not only dangerous to others, but it’s also outright dishonorable.

    Use any weapons for self-defense only.

    Use them for good.

    Because once you get that kind of power in your hands – you have a moral choice.

    How will you conduct yourself? How do you choose to survive?

    Why Trust Skilled Survival…

    Go here now to review a full breakdown of:

    • Who We Are
    • Our Credentials
    • Our Mission
    • & Product Recommendations…

    Here are a few highlights of our teams credentials & certifications:

    • Certified Member of a Mountain Search & Rescue Organization
    • Plant Emergency & Safety Leader for a Major Food Manufacturer
    • Member of the 10TH Mountain Division Hut Association
    • Certifications: Avalanche 1, WFR, CPR
    • Official Gear Tester for Numerous Outdoor Gear Companies
    • Countless Multiday Backpacking trips into Remote Wilderness
    • Bachelor’s Degree In Mechanical Engineering 
    • Bachelor’s Degree In Civil Engineering
    • Bachelor’s Degree In Biomedical Engineering

    “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” – Warren Buffett

    We’re fully aware that trust is NOT something you GET but is EARNED.

    And we’ll continue to earn YOUR trust through our forthright and honest approach with each new Blog Post, Guide & Product we create…

    Will Brendza

    Will Brendza

  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Member of The 10th Mountain Division Hut Association
  • Certifications: Avalanche 1, WFR (expired), CPR (expired)
  • 8+ Years Researching, Writing, About Survival and Preparedness
  • Awards from Society of Professional Journalists
  • Winner of Camp Cold’s “Happy Camper” award in 2020
  • P.s. Do You Live In A ‘Danger Zone’ County?

    Find out now using my Danger Zone County List & Special Report it’s absolutely FREE.

    In minutes you’ll know EXACTLY where you stand and if you should be worried or not..

    The post 15 New Self Defense Weapons For Insanely Strong Protection appeared first on Skilled Survival.

    How Long Do Firestarters Typically Last?


    One of the single most important resources you can have in a survival situation is fire, and when it comes to creating one, modern fire starters are indispensable.

    fire starting kit pouch with ferro rod and waterproof matches
    fire starting kit pouch with ferro rod and waterproof matches

    Extremely easy to carry, brutally simple, and capable of igniting in virtually all conditions, this is something that every prepared person should have with them or as part of their emergency kit.

    But how much life can we expect from one of these tools? It’s easy to tell when a lighter is low on fuel. Just how long will a firestarter typically last?

    A modern firestarter will provide anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 lights. This depends on the composition of the alloy, the size of the fire starter, how skillfully it is used, and how well it’s maintained.

    It turns out there are many variables concerning the useful service life of any given firestarter. The good news is that any quality model you buy will last for a very, very long time…

    Unless you’re using it constantly, you can expect it to be there and work when you need it. Keep reading and I’ll tell you more about how many lights you can get out of a firestarter.

    Is it Possible for Metal Firestarters to Wear Out?

    Yes, it is. Even though a firestarter, whatever you might call it, is basically just two pieces of metal that you struck together they can still wear out. That’s because absolutely anything can wear out in time.

    But digging into the science a little bit more, most modern firestarters, usually called fire steels or ferro rods for short (the latter short for ferrocerium rod), function by emitting a shower of blazing hot sparks when struck by a striker, another piece of actual steel.

    These sparks don’t just come from nowhere magically; they are actually tiny, glowing particles of metal!

    A better way to think of it is that each and every strike of your firestarter consumes a tiny amount of material. Given enough strikes, you can use it all up, although this typically takes a very long time.

    Different Firestarters are Made from Harder or Softer Metal

    Another major factor that will affect the service life of your firestarter is the composition of the ferrocerium alloy.

    Each manufacturer has their own preferences and puts their own spin on the composition, but the end result is that you’ll have a firestarter that’s a little harder or a little softer.

    Make no mistake, they are all extremely hard to the touch, but this hardness or lack thereof contributes to how many sparks you’ll get from a strike.

    The rule of thumb is that harder alloy compositions last much longer but they don’t produce as many sparks from a typical strike. That’s because less material is physically being consumed.

    Conversely, your softer alloy blends produce a much larger and more intense shower of sparks but they wear out much quicker due to greater consumption.

    Either is fine, just keep this in mind when purchasing so you have a better expectation of the useful lifespan.

    Uberleben Leicht fire starte .
    the Uberleben Leicht fire starte .

    Thicker or Larger Firestarters Last Longer

    A simple factor in the lifespan calculus but one that’s easy to overlook: larger, thicker firestarters have more material to consume and that means they last longer, all things equal.

    This is complicated by the different shapes of certain brands. Most firestarter rods are exactly that- cylindrical- but some are shaped like slabs or even polygons.

    If in doubt, depend on a thicker model lasting longer, or if shapes are not equivalent expect a heavier one to have more lights in it. A tiny “hideout” model might only have 5,000 lights in it under ideal conditions, or even less. A big, chunky one could be good for 15,000+.

    Modern Alloy Firestarters Last a Lot Longer Than Natural Ones

    Modern firestarter materials are the standard these days, but we can’t count out primitive fire-starting methods, either! Long before ferro rods were even a thing, human beings were using flint, or chert, in conjunction with a piece of steel to the same effect. They worked even though the composition of the materials was quite different.

    Generally speaking, naturally sourced flint or chert is more fragile compared to modern alloys, and so you shouldn’t expect to get quite as many lights from a piece that is approximately the same size.

    Important because there are still sellers of these natural materials out there, so it’s worth checking to see what your chosen model actually contains!

    Skilled Use Means More Lights

    As always, the skill of the user makes a difference. If you are well-practiced and have a relatively light touch with your striker when starting a fire, you can expect it to last a lot longer.

    Clumsy or brute force usage is only going to consume more material that is needed to get a fire going, and will consume more of the firestarter per strike no matter what. Basically, unskilled users or sloppy handling equate to waste.

    To clarify, this does not mean you’ll only get a couple of dozen lights out of a firestarter just because you’re a newbie or because your hands are shaking so bad you don’t have any fine motor control. Not at all!

    But it’s no exaggeration to say that the better you are at handling the firestarter and the more skillful the preparation of your tinder and assembly of your kindling the more you will save.

    Proper, skillful use of the firestarter could increase the number of lights by two times. Likewise, you might only get half as many if you handle it poorly.

    Neglect Can Shorten the Life of a Firestarter

    Something that lots of folks forget in my experience is that these modern alloy firestarters can corrode or rust.

    Exposure to the elements is always a factor, but particularly exposure to saltwater and human perspiration can dramatically accelerate corrosion. Any metal that corrodes away is useless, and the same goes for your firestarter.

    Considering the circumstances under which you are expected to use it, a certain amount of exposure is absolutely unavoidable but by taking the best care of it that you can, you can extend its service life and get more lights.

    Also, here’s a pro tip from me: wipe down the firestarter with a thin coat of oil to preserve it against the elements. This is especially critical if you are near a saltwater environment or, like me, if you just have highly corrosive sweat.

    Abuse and neglect could cost you thousands of lights from your fire starter!

    How Can You Tell a Firestarter is Wearing Out?

    Easily. Just pay attention to it! Look at the size of it: Just like you can sharpen a pencil down to a nub, over time, your fire starter will get thinner and thinner or shorter and shorter. Long before you truly use it up, it will probably break.

    If the firestarter is getting a little long in the tooth from plenty of uses, add another one to your kit.

    The post How Long Do Firestarters Typically Last? appeared first on Modern Survival Online.

    Top 17 Podcasts for Survivalists and Doomsday Preppers


    You can make a good argument that the internet has done more harm than it has good when it comes to the fabric of society.

    podcast feature image

    But there’s no denying that with the rise and perfusion of the internet has come henceforth undreamed of access to information on every topic, and that includes the topic of survival and preparation.

    There’s so much you can learn on the web, but much of the time that means reading. However, thanks to the popularity of podcasts you can actively listen even while your hands and eyes are engaged with other tasks.

    Podcasts are one of my favorite ways to learn when I’m at the gym, on the road, or doing something around the property. You should be doing the same!

    The following prepper podcasts cover every facet of preparation imaginable. You’re bound to find a new favorite below…

    Warrior Poet Society Network

    John Lovell, the former Army Ranger and founder of the Warrior Poet Society, is a true renaissance man in terms of survival and readiness.

    Combining his faith, affable nature, wide-ranging expertise, and family-driven insights into shooting, self-defense, living, thriving, and surviving in the modern world and doing so while remaining ethical, enthusiastic, and positive, he’s one of a kind and so is his podcast.

    Even better, you can listen to it literally on every platform you can think of. Find the link free at Podbean below:

    The John Lovell Show

    The Casual Preppers

    Part hilarious radio show and part myth-busting expose, of a sort, the intrepid hosts of The Casual Preppers, Coby and Cam, are nonetheless quite seasoned and experienced concerning all matters of survival techniques and disaster scenarios.

    They delve into every corner of survival and take on lots of dodgy lore and questionable old wives’ tales in the interim.

    Certainly one of the most entertaining shows on our list, if you have trouble getting through some of the more dour and serious programming out there The Casual Preppers podcast is a perfect antidote.

    Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts

    Should You Mix New Gasoline With Old?


    It’s always a good idea to keep extra gas on hand, especially if you want to be prepared. You never know when shortages, disasters, or other events will cut off your access to the pump. But a big problem with gasoline compared to other types of fuel is it tends to go bad pretty quickly.

    can of gas

    But gas can get old and stale before it goes truly bad, and some folks say that you can mix this older gas with new gas to bring it back to life. Great if it will work, but it sounds too good to be true. What’s the truth? Is mixing old gas with new a good idea or not?

    Yes, it is possible to mix old gas with new, fresh gas in order to use it up as long as the old supply has not gone truly bad.

    Turns out this is one old trick that has been around for a long time. But as you might expect it is entirely possible that your old gas can be too far gone to be salvageable, and mixing it with your new stuff is only going to ruin the new and you’ll still be wasting the old.

    It’s a fairly simple process, but there’s a lot you’ll want to know, so keep reading…

    Won’t Old Gas Work Okay by Itself?

    Maybe, maybe not. Gasoline breaks down in time, and depending on the exact type and the blend it will break down a lot sooner rather than later.

    For all types of gasoline, this is because oxidation starts to deactivate the volatile compounds that give gasoline its functional properties.

    Harmful byproducts can also begin to form in the gas that can damage an engine, too. In the case of ethanol blends, which constitute most types of consumer-grade gas you’ll get these days, the ethanol and gas mixture will begin to separate, a process called phasic separation.

    But the end result is ultimately the same: the older the gas gets, it loses ever more efficiency, becomes less reliable, and eventually will fail to function an engine entirely- or even cause damage!

    When is Gas Too Old?

    This depends on the blend. Most ethanol-gasoline blends are in very bad shape by about 3 months or so. Most of these blends even start degrading significantly within just 30 days.

    However, some long-life gasolines or pure gasoline blends will be good for 6 months or even significantly longer.

    The most important thing you can do is it keep an eye on the gas and inspect it for signs of degradation. Knowing what to look for, and with a little experience, you’ll be able to tell when your gas is a little old, pretty stale or when it is truly bad. Look for the following symptoms of degradation with age, and keep in mind gas can exhibit one or multiple:

    • A distinct layered look akin to oil on water
      Significant darkening of the gas
    • A reddish hue starting to develop
    • Slime or particulates floating in it
    • Peculiar odors when you crack the seal on the container.

    Gas that is going stale but is still usable will usually darken just a little, but that should be the only thing that you notice something off about it.

    Does Gas Go Bad Sitting in a Fuel Tank?

    Yes, it does. Gasoline can go bad sitting in any kind of container, be it an approved fuel container or the gas tank of a vehicle or tool.

    Basically, the chemical processes that cause gasoline to go bad will occur no matter what, and the more air that can reach the gasoline the faster this will happen although it isn’t strictly necessary for it to become stale and then break down.

    Regardless of how the gasoline is stored, or what it is stored in, you’ve got to have a plan for using it in time or reconditioning it with fresh stuff.

    What Happens if You Use Gas that Has Gone Bad?

    It depends on how bad the gasoline is and how sensitive the engine is.

    Gas that is a little stale and when it loses combustibility, it will usually run a little bit rougher and sometimes turn on a check engine light in a car.

    Gas that’s seriously old might fail to start at all, and gas that is well and truly bad, full of nasty deposits, could clog up fuel lines and filters, injectors, and cause other havoc that can mean costly repairs.

    This is why you must be so cautious about using old gas; take care in determining if the waste is worth the potential heartache and hassle.

    How Does Mixing in New Gas Help Old Gas?

    Mixing in new, fresh gasoline with old gas will help rejuvenate the older fuel because it in essence replenishes the combustible compounds necessary to make it function in an engine. If you want to look at it a different way, it cuts the worn-out, harmful compounds in the old gas.

    Either way, it creates a blend that is capable of working and can be a good method of using up old supplies that aren’t too far gone.

    Can You Always Mix Old and New Gas?

    No, not necessarily. As mentioned, it is entirely possible that very old fuel is just beyond saving. Worse, aside from being unable to bring it back to life and use it up, adding new gasoline can severely contaminate it and cause it to fail or damage your engine!

    You should only add new gasoline to older gas that is a little bit stale. If it is darker in color or showing slight signs of separation, you should be able to rescue it by mixing the two together.

    What’s the Best Way to Mix New Gas with Old?

    If your old supply isn’t too far gone and you’ve got some new you’re willing to mix with it, and you don’t mind the risk of a potential malfunction concerning your engine, all you need to do is mix the old stuff with the new gas in a one-to-one ratio if the old gas is just a little stale.

    If you’re dealing with very old gasoline that isn’t totally broken down or separated, you’ll need to use more fresh gas in the mixture. A three-to-one or even four-to-one ratio might be needed for very old fuel.

    The post Should You Mix New Gasoline With Old? appeared first on Modern Survival Online.