Thursday, November 19, 2015

5 Everyday Household Items for Emergency Survival

In today’s post, we’ll discuss a survivalist principle known as improvisation. You might be familiar with the term as it’s used in music or comedy, but it essentially means thinking on your feet.

When it comes to survival situations, it’s easy to be caught off-guard, with less than you need to survive. This is why improvisation is so critical—it can turn “useless” items from your surroundings into lifesavers. While this skill is incredibly useful in the great outdoors, there are many items around your home that can be used in an emergency situation.

Here’s our 5 top household items you can use for survival:

Floss is easy to carry and can be used like any strong thread. You can stitch wounds or patch rips in clothing. You can braid it together for strong fishing line. You can tie down an improvised shelter. These are just a few of the many uses of floss.

Common household bleach can be used in two particularly important ways in an emergency. First, you can treat water—though you should only do this if filtration or boiling are not options. 8 drops of bleach per gallon is the level recommended to sanitize without any bleach taste. Second, bleach is extremely useful to disinfect surfaces, especially in the event of an epidemic.

Toilet Paper
Besides its intended use (which should not be overlooked in a survival situation), toilet paper can be used to dress wounds, it can be used as a fire starter a wick for an oil candle and much more.

Duct Tape
Duct tape has countless uses, not only everyday, but it’s also essential in an emergency situation. You can seal drafts in your home with a few layers of duct tape. Duct tape can be made into a sling for a sprained or broken limb.

It might sound gross, but in a survival situation, you need to be willing to use everything at your disposal. Tin cans can be used in a variety of ways: you can make candles with them or use them as a pot for cooking. The tabs from beer or soda cans can be used to make fishing hooks. Leftover cooking oil or bacon fat can be used as candle fuel. If you can repurpose garbage, you can be confident in your survival improvisation skills at home.

These are only five items, but there are probably hundreds of items around your home you can use if the need arises.

What’s your favorite household items for survival? Let us know in the comments below!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Must-Haves for a Barter-Based Economy

In any extended long-term emergency, our currency-based economy may no longer function and may even become non-existent. If that happens, you’ll not only want to have everything you need to be self-sufficient, but you’ll want to consider keeping items for trade in a barter-based economy as well. You never know when you’ll need something you don’t have, and if you can trade for something they need, it’s win-win.

The following items could be essential to your survival in a barter-based economy:

Coffee is the world’s second most valuable commodity traded today, behind crude oil. You can bet that coffee will be nearly as valuable in a barter-based economy, because of its widespread consumption and addictive properties. Coffee is a temporary mood-enhancer and increases alertness, which are both extremely valuable in an emergency situation.

While we don’t suggest drinking alcohol in an emergency situation, alcohol has many survival uses. With the right know-how, it can be made into medicine and can clean wounds. It can also be used to make a weapon or start fires if absolutely necessary.

Livestock or Game
In an emergency situation, many people will be without access to fresh food, especially meat. If you can raise or hunt your own protein, finding trading partners will be easy.

Fresh Produce, Seeds and Seedlings
Fruits and vegetables will be another commodity in short supply in an emergency situation. Your crops will be especially valuable if you are growing produce rich in nutrients like vitamin C that can prevent deadly diseases like scurvy.

Medicine and Vitamins
If you can find a supplier or an understanding doctor to obtain antibiotics or painkillers, these items can be extremely valuable in an emergency. Vitamins will also become valuable if fresh food becomes scarce.

Tools are a great barter item, especially if your trading partner also has a tool you need. You can swap and both contribute to each other’s self-reliance.

Special Skills and Homemade Items
If you know how to sew and make clothes, you fill a huge, necessary void that will be created if large-scale manufacturing ceases. Similarly, the ability to make soap is a crucial skill and item to have in a barter-based economy. But virtually any skill or homemade item can be used to barter if it is unique or very high in demand.

What are your favorite items to keep on hand for a barter-based economy? Let us know in the comments section below!