Monthly Archives - March 2016

Back to Basics: Are You Prepared to Defend Your Family?

Back to Basics: Are You Prepared to Defend Your Family?

In the continuation of my Back to Basics series that has stretched out a little longer than anticipated, I want to address another of the most common subjects preppers ask about when they are just getting started prepping and that is around defending yourself or others. What are the things we as preppers should consider as part of a holistic view of common sense actions you can take now to be better prepared in an emergency?

Before I begin, as a review the first article covered Why and How to Stockpile Water for Emergencies. The second article in this series dealt with How to Stockpile Food for Emergencies and the latest will assume that as a prepper that is getting started, you have covered the first two bases of food and water and we are ready to move on. I will address shelter in an upcoming article, but assume that unless you are trapped in the wilderness, finding some place to stay out of the elements for almost anyone should be possible.

This article will try to answer many questions around self-defense for preppers. I have written a fair amount on the subject in other articles, so this will have links to other information for more detailed analysis and opinion. As always, I welcome your comments below.

Why do you need to plan for self-defense?

Many years ago when I started prepping the world wasn’t radically different. We didn’t live in any Nirvana of goodwill and peace, but the idea of preparing to defend your life from bad guys was met with much more resistance than it does now. We would talk about fortifying our homes, purchasing firearms and enrolling in training to hone our skills but frequently you would have someone comment to the effect that we were all paranoid, crazy and disillusioned idiots who saw fear lurking around every corner.

Flash forward to today and there is much less push back when we talk about self-defense. People have seen far too many incidents in the news of violence happening. All over the world we witness mobs going out of control, of riots after natural disasters, incidents with police or even sporting events where innocent people are hurt. The world can be a dangerous place now and I don’t believe a majority of people anymore think it is foolish to consider being prepared to defend your family.

Read More: Top 5 Firearms you need to get your hands on NOW!

What we do have is a lot of argument about the best means, equipment, practices and policies. I won’t be able to debate all of those here, but I will lay out my plans and suggestions below.

What are your self-defense options?

The dictionary defines self-defense as “the act of defending one’s person when physically attacked, as by countering blows or overcoming an assailant”. I believe that each of us has a right to defend ourselves when attacked. No one has a right to take my life that trumps my right to stop them from doing so. The threats faced run the gambit though when we enter the world of prepping. My suggestions will almost exclusively focus on situations where your life is on the line and the imminent threat of deadly violence is what we are talking about.

Psychological Self Defense – Can you talk or bribe someone out of violence against you? Potentially, yes but that requires skill and luck and the right set of circumstances. Assume you are out one evening and a man tries to rob you. Could you talk him out of it by appealing to his humanity or shaming him? Maybe, but I don’t want to risk failing. When it comes to self-defense I want to escalate appropriately to deal with the threat immediately. Some may feel that this is the first level you should try.

Back to Basics: Are You Prepared to Defend Your Family?

Physical Self-Defense – If talking the bad guy out of hurting you doesn’t work you may still have options. Can you run? Do you want to fight this person? Could you win? Are you sure? Do they have a weapon? Can you overpower them and what if you do? I strongly believe that each of us should as part of a well-balanced approach would be physically fit, mentally sharp and experienced in hand-to-hand combat, but that simply isn’t a reality for many people. Could a strong, fit man take out another strong fit man of approximately the same weight? Sure. Could a small diminutive woman take down a much larger attacker with martial arts? Of course. Is that you?

Read More: How to select the best handgun for home defense.

Physical self-defense in a life threatening situation for me would not be my first option either because I don’t want the bad guy anywhere near me. If I have no other means to defend myself it will come to this, but I wouldn’t use this by default.

Weapons based self-defense – To me, this approach is far superior for more people in more situations than the other two options. For starters, weapons are the great equalizer. A 110 pound female can defend herself with a weapon effectively against a 300 pound man or even two. Could she also go ninja and bring him to his knees? Sure, some could but could you? Firearms with proper instruction, used to defend your life give you great advantages. It goes without saying there are drawbacks too, but as the saying goes. I would rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

What is a balanced approach to self-defense?

Obviously I advocate the responsible use of firearms for self-defense but there are times when I can’t carry a firearm or I simply don’t have one on me. When those scenarios appear, the other two options have to be looked at. Can I talk this person out of violence? Can I run and escape the situation? Can I overpower them with some other inanimate object like a fire extinguisher or baseball bat across the back of their head?

When I started prepping, it was with the vision of a world gone bad. My nightmare scenario was some form of economic collapse that brought horrible times and violence right to my front door. In thinking of that, I purchased several weapons that I thought would help me defend my family and assuming anything along the lines of a full-scale violent uprising happens, I still have those at my disposal.

Back to Basics: Are You Prepared to Defend Your Family?

Practice, Practice, Practice.

But most of us go through our daily lives without anarchy. We don’t have economic collapse happening now, at least to the scale that we might have imagined it with panic and looting in the streets of our neighborhoods. We go to work, go out to eat and come home, every day. Does that mean we don’t have to worry about self-defense until some cataclysmic event happens?

Will you be prepared to defend your family mentally?

I advocate being prepared for emergencies. For this to happen, you have to be ready now. It isn’t good enough to wait until something bad happens and then start worrying about how you will defend your family. You have to be prepared to defend them now and hope that you never face that situation.

If firearms are your choice of survival weapon, you should purchase them now and get some good training in now in the proper use and function of whatever weapon you choose. Concealed carry permit applications set records every year for the simple reason that people are getting prepared. What for? Who knows but if something happens you don’t want to be that guy headed to Walmart because you are hoping to buy a shotgun only to find they have been completely cleaned out. Take steps now.

I should also mention that none of the above advice means anything unless you are mentally prepared. Violence usually occurs very fast and hesitation can kill you just as quickly as doing nothing. If you aren’t prepared to take a life, you don’t need to purchase a tool designed to do just that. Whatever you decide you will be left with the responsibility of your actions. It is worth thinking about now while you have the luxury of time.

Back to Basics: Are You Prepared to Defend Your Family? was written by Pat Henry with Prepper Journal and can be viewed here:

http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2016/02/20/back-to-basics-are-you-prepared-to-defend-your-family/

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Putting Together Your EDC Bag

Putting Together Your EDC Bag

Hopefully by now you have gone out and bought yourself an EDC bag.  If not, you should backtrack to my previous post, “What is an EDC bag and why should I have one” before continuing on.  At this point it is time to start getting all of your gear together and organizing it.  Yes this sounds like it can be a daunting task especially when trying to figure out which items you really need and which ones should be grouped together.  This article isn’t about keeping a few items that can fit into your pocket such as a knife, a few band aids and a cell phone – it’s about having all of the “essentials” on hand so that you are fully prepared for any situation that might arise.  If you really think a pocket sized kit is all you will need then I hope the only thing that happens is you fall off your bike because you were looking back at a hot chick and scraped your knee.

When you look at the list of items below I know you will probably think to yourself, “how am I supposed to put all this in my EDC bag ?”.  The amount of stuff you can carry will depend on the bag that you purchased, however, the main idea here is to still keep everything as compact as possible.  Many of these items are small and hardly take any room.  There may be some things that you will find you may not need while other items may be available in smaller sizes or formats that can do the same job just as effectively.

To help simplify things we will start by breaking everything down into categories.  Remember that we’re only trying to stock the bare necessities here, not create a complete survival bag.  The items I’ve listed below are just general suggestions.  You will need to determine exactly what you think will be needed to accommodate your bag.

Clothing and Apparel:Hiking Boots

You should keep a complete spare change of clothing in your bag as keeping yourself dry is very important.  Modify the type of items listed here to suit your location and and environment.

  • Pair of underwear and socks (add long-johns if you live in a colder climate)
  • Pair of jeans or pants made of high strength material
  • Pair of gloves and hat or bandana
  • T-shirt and sweater
  • Rain poncho
  • Dust mask
  • Add anything else that you would need for your location and climate but remember to keep everything as compact as possible.


Food and Water:Water

Having clean drinkable water should be your top priority with food following right behind.  If possible, get yourself a water bottle that has a filter built into it so in the case that you need to collect water from a nearby river or stream it will filter out most of the harmful bacteria.  Remember though, it’s always your safest bet to boil the water before you drink it regardless of where you found it.

  • Water bottle, canteen or survival straw with built in water filter (always keep it pre-filled with fresh clean water)
  • Water purification tablets
  • A few MRE’s (ready to eat meals)
  • A few packages of oatmeal, granola bars or high energy protein bars
  • Mixed dried fruit and nuts
  • Hard candies
  • P-38 can opener (in case you come across some cans of food along the way)


First Aid & Medical:First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is another critical component to your EDC bag.  While a pocket sized kit could do the trick you should keep in mind that it’s always better to put together your own kit rather than buying one that’s pre-made because not one kit that you purchase will be tailored to your exact medical needs.  If you choose to build your own kit you should know that many of these items can be found at the dollar store for a fraction of the cost.  Below are some standard items that you should include in your kit if you decide to put it together yourself.  Remove or add items to suit your needs.

  • Band aids – different sizes
  • Butterfly band aids
  • Gauze pads
  • Arm wrap (in case of a sprain or fracture)
  • Medical tape
  • Rubbing alcohol (to sterilize)
  • Peroxide (to disinfect the wound)
  • Polysporin (to help heal wounds and infections)
  • Puffers, Epee Pen, etc..
  • Suture kit
  • Any prescription and non-prescription medication you may require
  • Quick Clot or cayenne pepper (cayenne pepper will thicken the blood and help slow or stop the bleeding)
  • Tweezers
  • First aid manual


Navigation, Signaling and Lighting:Compass and Map

Regardless of where you live you should add a map of your local area into your pack in case you need to take a different unfamiliar route in order to get home or to a safer place.

  • A quality map compass
  • Map of local area and state/province
  • Whistle
  • Signal mirror
  • Glow sticks
  • LED flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries (store batteries separately)
  • Cell phone (preferably a smartphone)


Fire and Heat:Fire and Heat

Aside from having clean drinkable water at the top of your list, keeping yourself warm and dry is also extremely important and being able to make a fire is extremely important.  Hypothermia can set in faster than you think so keep this in consideration when adding any of these items to your bag.  You will want to be able to make a fire in any type of weather so I personally would go with a magnesium fire starter.

  • Waterproof strike anywhere matches, Windproof lighter, Magnesium fire starter or flint and steel
  • Hand and foot warmers (if you live in a colder area)
  • Emergency candles
  • Space blanket (can also be used to create a shelter)

 

Shelter:Shelter

You may come across a time or place where you will need to have the cover of shelter perhaps to ride out the night or to protect yourself from the elements.  Carrying an actual tent or other shelter with you wouldn’t make sense as they would be too bulky and wouldn’t fit in your EDC bag anyway.  Instead, you will probably have to improvise and make one out of available materials.  Here are a few items that can help you to make one:

  • Small tarp (can be used as a wall or roof for your shelter)
  • Large black garbage bags
  • Rain poncho
  • Paracord (to tie and hold together your shelter)


Protection:Fixed Blade Buck Knife

People do crazy things when under pressure and stress, especially during the after affects of a severe natural disaster or when society has broken down.  Besides yourself, everyone else will be in full survival mode and being able to protect yourself will be crucial.  Here are a few items that you should consider putting in your EDC bag:

  • Pepper or bear spray
  • Pocket knife (preferably a quality knife with a fixed blade)
  • Hand gun with spare bullets
  • Taser gun


Tools and other misc items:Gerber Suspension

Aside from some of the items above, here are a few more which you will want to have on hand and will find to be very useful in many scenarios.

  • 50 feet of 550lb paracord
  • Pen and pad of paper
  • Adjustable wrench (to turn off gas valves, tons of other uses)
  • Multi-tool
  • Cable ties
  • Small mini screw driver with bits (to fix eye glasses or other small items)
  • Small hose (you might have to siphon gas) – has many other uses
  • Roll of quarters (for pay phones) and at least $100 – $200 in small bills (you never know when you’ll need to make an emergency purchase or have to buy your way out of trouble

Lastly, you will need to make sure that all of your supplies stay dry.  I previously wrote an article on different ways to “waterproof your backpack” and it’s contents.  Although I used backpacks as an example you can still use the same ideas for your EDC bag.  Click here to read it.

Best of luck with building your EDC bag and let us know what you put in yours in the comments below!

This article was written by INCH Survival and can be viewed here:

http://inchsurvival.com/blog/putting-together-your-edc-bag/

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