Monthly Archives - October 2017

How to Grow Herbs in Small Spaces – A Primer

How to Grow Herbs in Small Spaces – A Primer

Growing your own food is an empowering experience. You nurture a seed or small starter plant into a tasty meal. You remove a bit of your dependence on grocery stores while enjoying a fresh harvest free of pesticides.

Many people dream about growing their own food, but few turn it into a reality. Anyone can grow food with the right supplies and knowledge. Even if you live in a small space, you can always grow herbs!

Herbs are a great choice for starting your garden (or adding to your garden). They take up less space than fruits and vegetables. They can be pretty hardy and easy to grow. Plus there are many uses for them, from adding to drinks to spicing up a dish.

If you live in a small house or apartment, it is easy to buy the myth that you cannot grow your own food. Growing herbs in a small place is entirely possible with a bit of creativity!

Growing Herbs Indoors

Sure, indoor gardens are not ideal. But they are not impossible either! The main requirement for plant growing is access to adequate sunlight. Try to place plants in a window facing east or south or set up a grow light.

Once you find a sunny spot, you can create a number of different indoor garden options.

A Herb Wall

Take a free standing pallet and make it into a garden. A herb wall is built to be tall, not wide. You can set it up on top of a kitchen counter without needing to sacrifice significant surface area.

A herb wall adds a bit of a rustic touch and vibrant green coloring to your kitchen. It doubles as a decoration tool.

A Tall Piece of Wood

Similar to a herb wall, a plank of wood takes up vertical space rather than horizontal space. This helps you take advantage of limited surface space in your kitchen.

For this project, you will attach the plants’ pots to a tall block of wood. You can use mason jars, miniature pots, or other types of small containers to grow the herbs in.

A Fridge Magnet

The space directly in front of your fridge’s walls is space just waiting to be used! Round up some metallic cans and attach them to your fridge with magnets.

A Hanging Planter

Hanging planters allow you to utilize efficiently the empty space underneath your ceiling. You can plant your herbs in them before hanging them from your ceiling.

You can seek out creative or beautiful hanging planters or decorate them on your own for an artistic project. These can also serve as interior decoration to add some color or style to your kitchen area.

Growing Herbs Indoors

Herbs can be surprisingly durable, making them a good fit for indoor growing. If you pick the right container, the herbs can double as a decorative piece in your room too! Choose the best growing option for your unique budget, space constraints, and style.

This article was written by Gaye Levy and the complete article can be viewed here:

https://www.backdoorsurvival.com/how-to-grow-herbs-in-small-spaces-a-primer/http://www.backdoorsurvival.com/tips-for-taking-charge-after-a-disruptive-event/

Gaye Levy started Backdoor Survival so that she could share her angst and concern about our deteriorating economy and its impact on ordinary, middle-class folks. She also wanted to become a prepper of the highest order and to share her knowledge as she learned it along the way. On Backdoor Survival you will find survival and preparedness tools and tips for creating a self-reliant lifestyle through thoughtful prepping and optimism.

To read more from Gaye, visit her website, Backdoor Survival. You can also follow Gaye on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest or purchase her eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage on Amazon.com

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6 Inexpensive Skills Every Prepper Needs

Take a second and think if there is anyone you know who has loads of supplies packed into their home. Now ask yourself if that person has the knowledge and skill level to employ that equipment in critical times. What about you? Do you have the know-how when the going gets rough?

Maybe you’re just getting started with prepping and have an extremely tight budget. Your community and family are going to need capable people who can execute vital tasks when times are hard and lives are on the line. Don’t sell yourself short if your finances prevent you from acquiring massive amounts of equipment for any number of disasters. Think about the people on the other side of the coin who have lots of gear, but not lots of training on how to use it. Aristotle’s said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” and pulling together as a community can pull you through any difficult circumstances.

Take a stroll through any prepper website and you’ll see that a ton emphasis is placed on gear and gadgets. I’m here to tell you that skills beat gadgets any day of the week and twice on Sundays! Knowledge weighs nothing and you always have it on you. People often try to buy their way out of a problem, but skills are built through habit and time. Today we’re going to focus on 6 basic skills that every prepper needs: Shooting, Medical, Survival, Communication, Gardening, and Leadership.

Shooting

When things fall apart, it’s handy to know how to handle a weapon. Not just for self-defense purposes, but also for hunting. Even if you only have a .22 rifle, you can become deadly with it. Fancy scopes, match-grade barrels, suppressors and bi-pods are not required. A rifle with a sling in the hands of trained marksman can devastate an enemy force or consistently provide meat for the pot. You need to learn how to shoot – it can literally save your life!
Project Appleseed is a non-profit nationwide community of volunteers that teaches traditional rifle marksmanship that will “transform you from a person with a rifle into a principled and skilled Rifleman.” They offer inexpensive weekend shoots in nearly every state. Check out their site and get signed up for one of their events.

Medical

Medical emergencies don’t wait for the end of the world. They happen every day to thousands of people in your community. Trained First Responders can mean the difference between life and death. It’s likely that everyone will have to deal with some sort of medical or traumatic situation so it’s probably not a bad idea to learn how to deal with medical emergencies before they occur.

There are many counties/cities in every state that need volunteer firefighters. Since almost 80% of their calls are medically related, there are departments that will pay for your Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)- Basic Certification Course in return for your volunteer service to their department. This is an outstanding way to learn a crucial skill (for free) and get involved in your community. During my time as an EMT, I’ve seen first-hand the varied and extreme reactions of people’s response to stress while also developing the muscle memory to stay calm and provide emergency care to the sick and injured.

Survival

Whether you’re bugging out during a crisis or simply lost in the woods, survival skills are foundational to maintaining life. There are a lot of great resources on this topic that are free. Check out your local library for books or DVDs on survival. YouTube can also provide a lot of information regarding water purification, shelter building, fire-craft, signaling, navigation and snaring. There are a wide variety of techniques in the survival community so focus your search on practical skills and less on the primitive living techniques that can take years to master like fire by friction, tanning hides, flint-knapping, etc.

Communication

It’s a good idea to learn how to use radios now before you need them.For communities to effectively work together during catastrophes, they have to be able to communicate. In today’s society, we’ve become complacent with luxuries like the internet and cell phones that are highly vulnerable to failure when things go south.

In times of need, HAM radio operators stand in the gap to provide lifesaving information. This allows communities to prepare for incoming threats, make informed decisions, adjust provisions for crisis duration or work in concert with nearby communities. You can learn the basics of HAM radio with this free course.  Also, it’s less than $40 to get your license and using a simple handheld radio you can be talking to other operators in your community in no time!

Gardening/Canning

You’ve probably heard the saying that “Growing your own food is like printing your own money” and in hard times this has never been truer. Imagine your delight eating fresh tomatoes or strawberries after two weeks of freeze-dried food. Or opening a jar of raspberry jam in the middle of winter that you canned earlier that summer. Gardening and canning are skills that can be learned with a minimum amount of startup costs. If you have no idea where to start, check out your local county extension or city. They likely offer free workshops on these subjects and some even provide supplies to take home! Don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of space. A simple windowsill herb garden can teach you the learning curve that comes with gardening. The beauty of gardening is that even if the crisis never comes, you’ll still enjoy the fruits of your labor. Ha…you see what I did there?!

Leadership

Working together is a key factor to surviving disasters and leadership is a fundamental role in making that happen. Your community is a lot like a tribe and it needs leaders at the local level. Good leadership comes from being informed and understanding what people need in hard times. One part of leadership is understanding what planning and execution are taking place at the city, state and national level. FEMA has tons of free online courses so you can work together and relay community challenges using the local chain of command. Here is a snapshot of some of the courses they offer:

  • Understanding the Incident Command System
  • Emergency Planning
  • Decision Making and Problem Solving
  • Planning for the Needs of Children in Disasters
  • Natural Disaster Mitigation

There are also free courses on personal emergency preparedness offered by your city or county. A quick Internet search should point you in the right direction.

Sometimes the hardest part with most things in life is getting started. The good news is that you don’t need a fortune to start building your skillset. The danger here is not acting on this information; you have to apply it! Like Derek Sivers says, “If information were the answer we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs”. Now you know how to get started and move towards your goal. This can actually be a lot of fun. Invite a friend along with you and learn something new together. You might even find a new hobby!

This article was written by The Prepper Journal and can be viewed here

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Can You Use Garlic as an Antibiotic?

Can You Use Garlic as an Antibiotic?

Most of us have taken antibiotics at some point in our lives. We’ve become accustomed to taking these powerful drugs when a natural remedy or simply resting would cure our ailment. This overuse of antibiotics has lead to stronger “superbugs” like MRSA.

Garlic has long been used as a natural antibiotic across the world. There are hundreds of studies detailing garlic’s effects on bacteria and other nasties. So, can you use garlic as an antibiotic? Read on to find out.

Garlic Basics

Garlic, or “allium sativum”, is a perennial plant in the onion family. It originated in central Asia but is now grown throughout the world.

The garlic bulb is commonly used in cooking and traditional medicinal remedies (source).

In 18th century France, gravediggers would drink crushed garlic in wine to protect them from the plague. In World War I and II, soldiers used garlic to prevent gangrene in their wounds. (source)

What is Allicin?

One of the main chemical constituents in garlic is called “allicin”. Allicin is activated when raw garlic is chewed, chopped or crushed.

Allicin responsible for many of garlic’s medicinal properties and also it’s strong, distinctive smell.

Allicin is deactivated by heat, e.g. in cooking. (source) Allicin content is also reduced in stale or old garlic cloves and commercial garlic powders. (source)

What is an Antibiotic?

Before we get into the details of garlic’s antibiotic powers, let’s discuss the basics of antibiotics.

In short, an antibiotic is a drug or natural substance used to treat bacterial infections.

Bacterial Infections

Bacteria can infect almost anywhere in the human body. Some examples include wound infection, skin infection, stomach infection or respiratory infection.

There are thousands of different types of bacteria. They are all single cells with a protective wall on the outside (like our skin).

How do Antibiotics Kill Bacteria?

Since there are so many types of bacteria, it follows that we need many different types of antibiotic to kill them. Antibiotics work in a wide range of different ways.

Some just stop the bacteria from reproducing. Some burst the bacteria’s protective wall. Some mess with the bacteria’s DNA.

It’s not known for sure yet which method garlic uses to kill bacteria but there are some theories which I will detail further on.

The Evidence for Garlic as an Antibiotic

  • Garlic vs Bacteria

One study tested garlic’s effect on the bacteria Helicobacter Pylori.

Helicobacter Pylori lives in the digestive tract of two thirds of the world’s population. It can cause gastric ulcers and stomach cancer.

Garlic was able to inhibit growth of this bacteria. This may be extremely useful as conventional treatment for H. Pylori infection fails in about 20% of cases (source).

Sepsis is a life-threatening whole-body infection. Garlic may play a role in increasing survival in septic patients by enhancing immune response (source)

Yet another study tested garlic as a disinfectant. Its performance was comparable to the widely used commercial product chlorhexidine (source)

Garlic does not seem to produce such resistant bacteria, and may be effective against strains that have become resistant to conventional antibiotics (source 12)

  • Garlic Mechanism of Action

The exact mechanism for garlic as an antibiotic has not been confirmed but one study found that it disrupted bacteria’s ability to stick to each other and to surfaces (known as “biofilm”)

Another study suggested that allicin interferes with bacterial enzymes and metabolism.

Garlic also enhances our own immune response, allowing us to fight infection more successfully.

Garlic has been shown to increase the number of immune white blood cells which destroy intruding cells (source 12)

  • Garlic vs. Fungal Infection

Research from the University of New Mexico found that garlic was effective against infection with the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans (source).

In China, an intravenous extract of garlic was used successfully against fungal meningitis (source).

Garlic has activity against the fungus Candida Albicans, the cause of the extremely common thrush infection (source).

  • Garlic vs. Viral Infection

Can garlic cure the common cold? One study found that a garlic supplement reduced occurrence of the common cold and decreased length of infection in those that did catch it.

Another study demonstrated garlic’s ability to protect animals from the flu virus. This was suggested to be partially due to an antiviral effect and partially due to increased efficacy of the animals’ immune systems (source).

  • Garlic vs. Parasites

One doctor – Dr. Subhuti Dharmananda in Portland, Oregon, regularly uses garlic to treat AIDS patients with with parasitic infections.

He prescribes about nine cloves a day for active infections, and finds it effective to prevent or treat these infections, even when conventional antibiotics have failed. (source)

Anecdotal evidence is all very well but studies also back this up. Garlic has been shown to have similar potency to the drug metronidazole when treating the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis (source).

Check here how to get rid of parasites naturally

Garlic vs Conventional Antibiotics

So, now you understand some of the effects that garlic has as an antibiotic. It’s pretty convincing, isn’t it? But why use garlic instead of conventional antibiotic pills?

Of course you should always talk to a doctor before deciding to treat any infection with garlic. But if he or she gives you the go-ahead, here are some points to consider.

Antibiotic Resistance

As I’ve mentioned already, using antibiotics when they are not needed has led to the evolution of so-called “superbugs”.

When you use an antibiotic drug, it will kill most of the bacteria. There may be a few extra strong bacteria left, however. These anomalies will multiply and spread and the next time you try to use the antibiotic, you won’t be able to kill any of them.

This is a huge problem as we now have bacterial infections that are nearly impossible to cure, such as MRSA. We need to develop stronger antibiotics, but if our practices don’t change, this will keep happening.

The good news is that garlic doesn’t seem to cause resistance. You can take garlic over and over again and it will keep killing the bacteria. (source)

Garlic Has a Broad Spectrum

Most antibiotic drugs only kill a certain type of bacteria. They definitely don’t kill viruses and mostly don’t kill fungi or parasites.

As you can see in some of the studies I discussed above, garlic can kill a wide range of bacteria and other bugs. If you don’t know what you’re dealing with, garlic is a good starting point.

However, if you know you have a particular type of bacteria, virus or parasite, it’s best to treat it with a drug targeted to that variety as it will be more effective (source).

Garlic Has Fewer Side Effects

Almost all substances that exert a medical effect on the body come with unwanted side effects.

Antibiotics can often cause severe digestive upset such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. They are also associated with allergies and further infection.

Natural remedies in general have fewer and more mild side effects. This is mostly because they are much less potent.

Garlic does have some side effects such as skin irritation, bad breath and blood thinning. However, in low doses, these effects are not very significant.

How to Use Garlic as an Antibiotic

Garlic can be used in a multitude of ways for antibiotic effects. You can take it orally or apply it to the skin (source).

Remember not to cook garlic if you are using it as an antibiotic as it will destroy the allicin.

Always use fresh garlic and allow it to sit for 10 minutes after crushing for maximum results (source).

Dose for Garlic as an Antibiotic

The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends 2 to 4 average-sized garlic cloves per day for antibiotic effects (source).

As you can imagine, it’s quite difficult (and stinky!) to eat that amount of raw garlic. Here are some ideas for preparing it:

  • Garlic infused wine

Do as the Frenchmen did during the plague and add garlic to your wine. Crush the garlic, and add a glass of wine. Let it sit overnight and then enjoy!

  • Garlic vinegar

Use the same method as for the garlic wine but with vinegar. You can make this into a delicious salad dressing by adding some olive oil.

  • Garlic honey

Make your own antibiotic cough syrup by mixing crushed garlic with honey. Let it sit overnight and then take it undiluted or add hot water for a soothing beverage.

  • Garlic vegetable juice

Add garlic to a home made vegetable juice. It goes well with carrot or tomato.

  • Garlic skin treatment

To treat a skin infection, dilute crushed garlic with ten parts of water before application. Neat garlic can cause irritation to the skin if applied directly.

You can also add crushed garlic to a hot bath or foot bath for an antibacterial soak. Just make sure to wash yourself with soap afterwards or you will smell quite strongly of garlic.

(source)

What About Garlic Tablets?

Garlic tablets aren’t as effective as fresh garlic but if you are unable to tolerate the above methods they’re worth a shot.

Garlic tablets are often made “odorless” by aging the garlic, which can make the allicin less potent.

There is a lot of variation between different types of garlic pill. It’s important to read the label carefully and compare the amounts of active ingredient (source).

Freeze-dried, dried or aged garlic extracts with standardized ingredients are best (source). You want 600-1,200 mg of aged garlic extract daily for use as an antibiotic (source).

Look for enteric coated supplements – they will dissolve in the intestine and not in the stomach for better absorption. (source)

You can buy garlic supplements here.

Other Garlic Benefits

Garlic is great for your health in many other ways. Some benefits which have strong evidence supporting them include:

  • Garlic may reverse hardening of the arteries
  • It may reduce the risk of cancer, especially colon, prostate and rectal cancer
  • Some types of garlic supplement may reduce the blood pressure slightly.

Other claims for which evidence is insufficient so far include:

  • Applying garlic to the scalp may increase hair growth
  • Garlic may reduce muscle soreness after exercise
  • Garlic may help with stomach inflammation and improve digestion
  • It may improve liver function
  • A garlic mouthwash may help with mouth ulcers
  • Applying garlic to the skin may cure warts

(source)

Cautions

Although garlic doesn’t have as many side effects and interactions as conventional antibiotics, there are some things to watch out for.

Some side effects of garlic include upset stomach, bloating, bad breath, body odor and stinging when applied to the skin. (source)

Like all antibiotics, garlic can deplete the “good” bacteria in your gut. You will need to eat probiotic foods such as natural yoghurt, kombucha, miso and fermented vegetables to counteract this (source).

When I can’t stomach fermented foods like sauerkraut anymore, I will sometimes take this probiotic supplement for 30 days so I don’t have to worry about my gut’s health.

Garlic and other natural remedies should never be used to replace medicine prescribed by your doctor. Many infections can be very serious or even fatal if not treated correctly.

Garlic may be helpful in mild or otherwise self-resolving infections but always check with your doctor before going down this route.

Garlic thins the blood so it interacts strongly with blood thinning medicines (anticoagulants) (source).

If you take these type of pills, you will need to avoid garlic.If you take a prescription medicine or have an ongoing health condition such as ulcers or thyroid problems, check with a healthcare professional before taking raw garlic or a garlic supplement.(source)

Conclusion

I was really surprised by how strong the evidence is for using garlic as an antibiotic. Although the smell is off-putting, so are the side-effects of traditional antibiotics so it’s something I’m willing to put up with.

My favourite way to use garlic as an antibiotic is to take the garlic honey mentioned above when I get a sore throat. It can often nip a cold or throat infection in the bud.

Let me know how you get on with these treatments or if you know some other ways to make raw garlic a bit more palatable leave me a comment!

This article was written by Health Ambition and can be viewed here

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A Bug Out Bag for Frequent Flyers

A Bug Out Bag for Frequent Flyers

One of the challenges of being a dedicated prepper is that is almost impossible to cover all contingencies. No matter how well you plan, prepare and stock up, you can always have situations arise that you did not prepare for or count on.

For me, one of my almost daily challenges involves travel. I fly over 200,000 miles domestically every year. This can keep me on the road and in the air almost five days a week. Not the best “Bug Out” scenario, huh?

Over the past three years I have developed a travel-friendly, TSA compliant, carry on, bug out bag.

A Bug Out Bag for Frequent Flyers vs A Bug Out Bag for Frequent Flyers

First, let me say a few words about what you carry. Do not try to carry credit card knives, ceramic knives, or any type of knife device intended to be covert. TSA will find it and you will be arrested. I have witnessed this with my own eyes on several occasions.

A Bug Out Bag for Frequent FlyersA Bug Out Bag for Frequent FlyersA Bug Out Bag for Frequent Flyers

I am going to list each item and explain how it fits into the travel bug out bag scenario. Each item will have a “problem” rating. number will appear in parenthesis ahead of each item indicating how many times I have been stopped because of the item. If I have never been stopped because of the item, “NI” will appear indicating NO ISSUES.

First, EDC (Everyday carry) items. These items should be in your pockets when you approach the TSA checkpoint. You will be required to place these items into a TSA “dog dish” for pass thru in the scanner. Any keys, metal coins, cell phones, etc. must go into the dish as well.

  • (1Tactical 300-lumen flashlight – I have been stopped only once with this flashlight and TSA only wanted me to unscrew the lid to the battery compartment so they could view the battery
  • (NI) Standard “Bic” type lighter – Yes, believe it or not, you are allowed to carry a standard lighter with you. You cannot have any torch type or jet type lighter. These will be confiscated by TSA
  • (1Metal tactical ink pen – These pens are available in many shapes and sizes. Stick with the smaller size and make sure you can demonstrate that it writes if stopped and questioned about it (only questioned once)
  • (NIParacord bracelet – This a handy item for many situations and has never been an issue.
  • (NI) Large metal coin – A large metal coin can be used as a flat-head screwdriver, can be heated to seal wounds or as a hand warmer when placed in between two pieces of cloth. I have a large NRA coin that I have carried for six years. Challenge coins are great as well.

On to the bug out bag itself. I use the Travelon Packable Multi Pocket Back Pack. I do not unfold it, but leave it in its compact size. Unfolded it expands to 19” x 12.5” x 6”. I place it in my computer bag or shoulder messenger bag. Leaving it in its compact form, I still can put the following items in it:

  • (NIEton Scorpion AM/FM/NOAA Emergency Radio – This is one of the most compact radio units out there. It has both solar charging and crank operations. It has an LED flashlight built in and a tough rubberized case and is waterproof. A top-mounted carabiner will allow you to attach it to most anything.
  • (NIMylar space blanket – These have multiple uses and have never been an issue through security.
  • (NI) Generic Whistle/Compass/Signal Mirror Match Holder – You have seen these dorky things on every survival site on the web. They normally come with matches and a lanyard. REMOVE the matches. Bad day otherwise.
  • (NILifeline First Aid Kit – This is a small, compact kit containing the normal assortment of bandages, gauze, etc. NOTE: Remove the alcohol wipes and moist towelettes from the kit and place them in your quart-size, 3 oz or less TSA bag.
  • (NI) Hotel size bar soap – Never an issue
  • (NISmall sewing kit – Small variety of needles, safety pins, buttons and thread.
  • (NIEton Blackout Buddy H2O – This a small flashlight device that is activated by adding a few drops of water to a sealed compartment on the device. Last up to 12 hours.
  • (NICollapsible shopping bag – These fold up to about 2” X 2”. Great for stashing foraged supplies.
  • (NIHiking socks (2 pairs) – If TSHTF, you will probably be doing a lot of walking.
  • (2LifeStraw water filters – This is perfect for travel and will outlast your journey. I have been stopped twice with this item. Once I explained what it was, no problem.

Remember, you are already carrying a lot of useful items as part of your regular travel packing.

  • Spare clothing
  • Paper – Notebook paper makes great kindling
  • Pens, sharpies
  • Toiletries – toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, etc.

What scenarios would necessitate needing these preps?

Well, hopefully, you are on the ground if an EMP event happens. If you are lucky enough not to be plunging out of the sky, the items you have with you would allow you to start a trek on foot towards home, a safer situation, etc. If you have any experience in prepping for survival, you will be scavenging and foraging as you go.

A Bug Out Bag for Frequent Flyers A Bug Out Bag for Frequent Flyers

Economic collapse/civil unrest. When the economy goes, it will go quickly. The day the government handout checks will not cash, the country will plunge into anarchy. Angry entitlement recipients will begin looting, plundering and attacking anyone they see as privileged. Other than the tactical pen, the TSA has rendered you weaponless, so your skill set needs to include defensive techniques, etc.

Earthquake/natural disaster. Least likely if you travel domestically as I do but if it did happen, the LifeStraw could be the difference in life or death. Utilities are the first thing to shut down is these situations.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, this is just what I personally carry through trial and error with the TSA. Remember, the TSA has a horrible job. They have to deal with thousands of disgruntled flyers, flyers ignorant of the regulations, and defiant or drunk flyers as well. Your best chance to go through a TSA checkpoint unscathed is to be polite and treat them like humans. Most days, they do not want to be there any more than you do. Happy Trails and be safe out there.

This article was written by The Prepper Journal and can be viewed here

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Body Armor for Survivalists - Why it Should Always Be Considered

Body Armor for Survivalists – Why it Should Always Be Considered

Nowadays, body armor is more of a necessity for civilians and survivalists. Anyone looking to be prepared in the event of civil unrest, natural disaster, terrorist attacks or any other unforeseen event understands the need for adequate protective equipment.

Body armor comes in many shapes and types, but you should have a good understanding of what it can and cannot do for. Essentially, no body armor is 100% bulletproof and different levels are only suited against the type of weapons they are tested against. This means that a bullet-resistant vest won’t be effective against knives, needles or other sharp-edged weapons. Conversely, there is a difference in how stab and slash resistant body armor works as well. Combined systems are available, but they are more expensive and cumbersome, so you have to carefully consider if they’re the right choice for you.

How is body armor categorized?

Based on the type of ballistic weapons it can stop, body armor can be classified as soft, semi-rigid and hard. Soft armor is the most commonly used – both by police officers and survivalists to stop handgun rounds. Semi-rigid plates are designed to minimize blunt force trauma while giving additional protection in high-risk scenarios. Hard armor is either ceramic or metal and is designed to stop modern battle carbines such as .223, 7.62 X 39, and .308, making it applicable in war zones and urban riot scenes.

When it comes to a decent array of pistol weapon threats, versatility, and affordability – the best choice is Level IIIa. This armor is considered as standard armor for law enforcement at this time. It offers enhanced protection over level IIa up to a 44mag and it also stops 357 Sig, which is a high-velocity round for a handgun.

What types of body armor are available?

Body armor vests come in two styles: covert and overt. Covert (concealable) body armor is used beneath clothing. For that reason, it is slim and lightweight and designed to end up being undetectable. This kind of body armor is typically made from moisture wicking fabric that will help to keep the person wearing them cool, and are also usually produced in lighter colors than other types of body armor.

Overt body armor is meant to be worn above your clothes, and as a result, it tends to be created from tougher fabrics than covert types of body armor. The idea of overt body armor is to be visible to other people, and for this reason, standard overt body armor covers are usually black, but there are plenty of other colors available. Frequently overt pieces of body armor will include high visibility strips, or be manufactured entirely from high visibility materials, meaning that the wearer stands out.

What to consider when selecting body armor?

Fit affects coverage. Body armor panels and carriers come in many different shapes, sizes, and comfort levels. Getting a proper size is crucial to ensuring your vest will fulfill its protective qualities. If it’s too big – it will be loose and won’t stop weapon projectiles. A carrier that is too tight will put too much strain on the delicate armor, wearing them off quicker.

It may seem like a good idea to immediately upgrade to hard body armor to increase your chances of survival, but don’t be quick to do it. Surviving depends a great deal on moving quickly from point A to point B without drawing attention to yourself. Heavy armor is, well, heavy. It restricts your movement and agility, making you an easy target. Heavy ceramic plates add weight to the carrier and make your protective gear easily visible – something you don’t want in a hostile environment.

Do some research and compare the different options on body armor available online. Make sure you measure correctly and select a vest that fits well, is lightweight and comfortable apart from offering a high level of protection – these are just a few of the ground rules that every survivalist should stick to when shopping for body armor.

Special Thanks to Alex Ashton from SafeGuard Armor for providing this informative article.

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