With everyone worrying about disruptions in the food supply chain – as well as other problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic – we’ve all been gearing up like crazy.
I’ve talked to people around the country who are focused on getting what they need to survive more than ever before.
(And no, the shortages aren’t over – I was in the grocery store just yesterday and everybody was complaining that the paper towels were gone again.)
One thing that almost every survivalist and prepper has in common is that he or she has a bug-out bag… and that means needing a stove to cook your survival rations.
There’s a good reason for that.
If you’ve ever been camping deep in the woods, or (especially) if you’ve ever been in the military, you already know how important a hot meal is.
Let me tell you… when you’re stressed out, wet, tired, cold, and miserable, a hot meal can really soothe the soul and give you the mental break you need to push on.
But, here’s the thing…
When it comes to a survival scenario – especially as the result of a nation-wide crisis like the pandemic, or even a grid-down blackout – you’ve heard me say that you need to look at your situation much like a “military mission”.
Your goal should be to lay low and stay hidden as much as possible so the “enemy” doesn’t locate you and target your supplies.
Unfortunately, starting a fire is a dead giveaway of your location.
Some people pack a “backpacker’s stove” that uses propane to heat up food and water.
As cool as these things are, they’re pretty damn expensive (as much as $30-40) and when you consider the fuel canister you need to pack, it’s pretty bulky and heavy.
As you know, I’m not a big fan of “bulky” or “heavy” when it comes to my survival gear.
Mine is an older version of the newest pocket stove from Survival Frog.
It’s only about the size of your palm, but quickly folds open to allow you to set a pot on top of it, or cook your food directly over the long-burning “heat tabs” that fit inside.
And while it costs very little, it EASILY beats much more expensive, more elaborate “survival stoves.”
When it’s time to eat, you simply pull the stove out of your side pouch… light the candle… and in no time, you’ll have boiling water in your canteen cup.
Then all you need to do is drop in your survival food (like freeze-dried meals)… stir… and in just a few more minutes, you have a hot meal ready to give you a well-deserved break from your stress.
I can’t tell you how much of a difference this can make in your peace of mind and decision-making.
You wouldn’t think it does, but trust me… there’s a big difference.
I’ve tried several different stoves over the years and I’ve always found “simple” to work the best (and it’s also the cheapest option).
I highly recommend you pack one of these small “pocket stoves” into each bugout bag you have (yours and family members) as well as keeping one in each car with a meal packet just in case you break down in the middle of nowhere and need something to use for heat and cooking.
You may remember me raving about one of my absolute favorite survival gear items…
The TACT BIVVY has become an essential part of my emergency plan, whether it’s a natural disaster or a national crisis, I wouldn’t feel prepared without it.
I can’t stress enough how amazing this thing is and I have several of them – one for each family member in our bug-out bags, as well as a few for use while camping with my son.
These things can be a real life-saver for you or a family member no matter what survival scenario you may face. In fact…
Here Are 3 Ways The TACT BIVVY Can Save Your Life In A Crisis…
1. Signals For Rescue
The TACT BIVVY has 2 sides to it: An orange side for signaling for help and a reflective side (for keeping you warm when inside the bag).
If you’re lost or injured in a remote area, both sides of the BIVVY can be used to signal to search aircraft.
But depending on the scenario, you may not want to be found…
2. Hides Your “Signature”
Sometimes you may NOT want to be found, right?
This may seem strange to you, but during times of crisis, you never know how you’ll be targeted and by whom.
One of our readers, Kevin Dowd, had a great suggestion in how to stay hidden…
“If you turn an emergency blanket with the silver side towards your body, and cover your face, you can defeat most ‘flir’ <from aircraft> and thermal imaging devices <even some smartphones can find your heat signature>.”
The TACT BIVVY is perfect for staying covert when you don’t want to be found because the reflective part of the bag is already on the “inside” and it’s fully enclosed so it doesn’t “leak” your heat out like a regular emergency blanket does.
Plus, the outside is NOT reflective (like most blankets) and won’t give away your location by shimmering in the moonlight.
3. Lightens Your Load
In a forced-evacuation scenario, if you’re ever forced to get to safety on foot, you want your bug-out bag to weigh as little as possible.
A sleeping bag is a complete waste of space and can add an additional 5-7 lbs that will only keep you from reaching your destination.
I personally have a TACT BIVVY that fits right inside of my bug-out bag’s 8″ side tactical pouch, right next to the poncho I use as a shelter.
I use this every time when I go camping with my son and it keeps me warm all night long – even during colder weather.
Have You Switched To A Bivvy Yet For Your Bug-Out Bag Survival Gear?
89 y.o. Michelle Poche had trouble getting around so she insisted on ignoring the evacuation order to stay in her home when Hurricane Harvey hit her local area.
Her neighbors stayed behind as well.
Their goal was to protect their home and also be there for the elderly Michelle if she needed anything.
After the storm and flooding, one of the neighbors waded through the waters to go check on her.
What did they find?
The senior citizen had drowned… with her phone after just dialing 911.
But that wasn’t all they discovered, and…
Most People Aren’t Prepared For What Neighbors Found Waiting In This 89 y.o. Woman’s Home…
Of course, “death” is as bad an ending as you can get to this heart-wrenching story.
Especially given all the rioting and looting we’re seeing now, I thought this story was worth recounting.
An elderly woman… all alone… watching the waters slowly rise in her home.. desperately dialing for help that will never come!
But there’s a deeper, more disgusting element to this story that offers a valuable lesson in what to expect in the after-effects of any kind of disaster or crisis…
You see, her entire home had been ransacked by looters who took whatever valuables they could find while the dead body of the 89 y.o. woman floated right next to them in 4 ft. of water!
Having personally seen the direct results of disaster 2 years ago (where we lost 12 men, women, and children when a 50’ wall of water flooded our little town in the early morning hours), I can tell you there are 3 things you can count on…
1. Neighbors will “try” to help neighbors.
Most people really DO have the best of intentions.
Sadly though, when it comes to life-or-death decisions, it’s “everyone for themselves”.
It’s best to pull together and face a crisis as a “team” – but you can’t count on it.
They have no morals… no fear… and their only goal is to take advantage of the “sheep” of our society during hard times.
If you appear weak, they will target you.
Dead or alive.
With law enforcement taking part in rescue missions, there will be no rule of law to hold them accountable.
3. Everyone can FAIL you!
Your 911 call will go unanswered… or fall on deaf ears.
98% of your fellow citizens will be unprepared for even the smallest disaster.
During catastrophic scenarios, first-responders will be forced to do the best they can to rescue those who are trapped in cars… attics… on top of homes…
… and for many – like for 89 y.o. Michelle Poche – help will come too late.
Bottom line is this…
During ANY disaster or crisis, the only one who can look out for you… is YOU!
Not your neighbors… not the police… not the government.
When it’s life-and-death, it’s a dog-eat-dog world and it’s YOUR eyes your loved ones will be looking into for saving.
I was looking through survival tips in my social media groups, looking for things to add to my knowledge bank.
I’m not going to name names, but… I ran across this list of “The Best Do-It-Yourself Survival Weapons” that I’ve got to share with you.
NOT because I think these are great options…
But rather to spare you from suffering the same fate as other “fantasy preppers” who actually think these ARE the best survival weapons to grab in a pinch if you can’t, don’t, or won’t have a gun.
(You know me… I’m always ready to put the “doomsday” in Doomsday Prepper, even if it means ruining some people’s misconceptions.)
Ok, here we go…
Here Are The Top 5 Most-Common (Worst) Do-It-Yourself Survival Weapons
Now first, let me tell you WHY you even need to consider building up your own survival weapons arsenal…
I mean, if you own a gun, you’re all set, right?
Firearms have a way of being the worst option for protecting yourself during extreme circumstances like an extended grid-down scenario (it could literally take a YEAR to bring an electrical grid back online… and a former CIA Director said that the unrest from this type of scenario would literally wipe out 90% of our population!)
Should this type of a scenario take place, firearms can be stolen… break down… run out of ammo… or even be confiscated during martial law.
So yes… having a “back-up” is definitely a good thing… but this list of the “best survival weapons” mostly makes my “worst” list!
Ok, here we go…
1. Spiked Baseball Bat
I can tell when someone’s been watching WAAAAAY too much TV.
Whether it’s Stranger Things or The Walking Dead, this prop pops up to slay the living and the undead quite regularly
Pretty simple concept: a bunch of nails driven through a baseball bat.
And I’ve got to admit, it looks pretty badass.
But in a crisis situation, you have threats both near and far, and I’ll wager you have about two good swings before someone takes it from you and uses it as a human popsicle stick.
Plus, you don’t carry a weapon all the time.
How in the HELL are you going to put this thing down, or carry it, without sticking yourself or leaving it an inch deep into the floorboards of your truck?
Since ancient times, we have wanted to throw fire.
And since ancient times, we have been getting burned.
Even in military situations, the guy throwing the fire is running around with flammable liquid strapped to him.
Not a great place to be.
Since these are DIY weapons, mind you, this one is merely an aerosol can and a lighter.
A lot of us have played with these as kids, and we learned fast…
…It’s way more dangerous to YOU than to the other guy.
A faulty can… misplaced finger on the tiny knob… or even a slight puff of wind that blows out your lighter disqualifies this one.
Plus, there’s always that slight percentage chance it will just BLOW UP in your hand.
3. PVC Bow and Arrow
Actually, this one isn’t a “bad” idea.
You can make some pretty strong bows from PVC.
It’s a skill I’d encourage you to learn, in fact.
This one simply isn’t a good option for people who haven’t practiced it and aren’t already experienced bow hunters.
Hunting game can take years of practice, especially with a bow.
And if you are already a bow hunter, you already have gear that outdoes PVC.
Besides the fact that – unless you’re behind some barrier (like a castle wall?), you’re not likely to get more than 1 or 2 shots before you’re overwhelmed by the “enemy”.
Even if you had more shots, you’d quickly run out of ammo, as arrows are relatively large and you can carry only so many.
4. Spiked Booby Traps
For as long as I’ve been writing about prepping and survival, I’ve been seeing photocopied images from those military manuals about making booby traps.
The Viet Cong used these spiked traps extensively in the Vietnam War because they’re cheap, easy to make, and deadly.
The fact that they are so deadly is exactly why this “weapon” is a bad idea.
You could have these all over your property, and the first time you forget where one is, you’re gone.
Worse, a curious neighbor’s child could be the victim of one of these things.
5. Homemade “Zip Gun”
It’s true… guns ARE the ultimate equalizer.
If you can’t or don’t have a firearm, you might still have access to ammo.
That means you could put something together to fire that ammo.
Guns simply aren’t that complicated compared to the cartridges they fire.
I’ll tell you, though… in a crisis situation, I don’t want to be the guy relying on a single-shot pile of toilet parts that’s THIS close to becoming a handheld pipe bomb.
That makes this one a non-starter, too.
I can hear what you’re asking, now: “Okay, Jeff, that’s all fine… but if I don’t have access to a firearm in an emergency, what DO you think I should use?”
That’s a great question.
I believe in stocking up on the right kinds of weapons and accessories that are specifically tailored for survival scenarios.
You see, each kind of crisis situation is different — from looting mobs, to home invasions, to martial law.
Each of these circumstances requires a different type of weapon – a different tool for the job.
This is real life, too, which means you can’t afford to be misled by silly “fantasy prepper” lists.
And while there really is no one-size-fits-all weapon, there is ONE that stands out as the ultimate survival weapon.
Rather than making pipe bombs and zip guns and booby traps, you should instead make sure you have in your survival gear a badass SURVIVAL MACHETE.
There are TONS of machetes on the market, but here’s the thing:
There are certain features that a good survival machete HAS to have if it’s going to keep you alive when the bad stuff hits the rotating machine-thing.
If you’d like to know what those features are — and whether the machete you own already is up to the task — then all you would normally have to do is check out the “torture test” video for our Guardian machete.
The thing is, the Guardian is no longer available you have to do is on this page…
…Because we’re releasing a NEW, next-generation Guardian machete in 2020!
Keep your eyes on that page, because when it’s here, you’re going to be absolutely blown away.
Just remember, we’re in the realm of REAL weapons now… and not those gimmicky fantasy tools.
He stands in the middle of the dark room, knowing he’s about to face several men in a fight to the death.
He’s calm — so calm that his attackers look at each other, suddenly unsure.
It’s far too late to back out now, however.
They know it…
He knows it…
And when he quotes the bible and draws the machete he carries on his back, there’s about to be blood on the floor.
In furious, almost graceful combat, he slashes, stabs, and otherwise takes down every last one of his enemies.
He’s the last man standing… the lone survivor.
You probably recognize that fight scene from the movie The Book Of Eli starring Denzel Washington.
Movies like this, and television shows like The Walking Dead have made machetes all the rage these days with survival-minded folks — and for good reason.
Machetes aren’t just great weapons; they’re also incredibly powerful survival tools.
However, DON’T buy a machete until you fully understand these…
3 Big “Machete Fails” Most Preppers Fall Prey To…
3 Big “Machete Fails” Most Preppers Fall Prey To…
Look, every knifemaker and manufacturer out there has come out with some kind of machete, right?
They’re all looking to capitalize on the surge of interest.
(In fact, Wal-Mart recently upgraded their “house brand” machete from a clunky piece of junk… to a slightly NICER piece of junk!)
You really need to be careful about what you buy, so here are the 3 biggest “fail” warnings I can share with you for when you go machete shopping…
Fail #1: The “Tacticool” Wasteland Warrior
Too many people buy machetes that “look cool.”
The Book of Eli machete is a good example of this.
One of my buddies bought a replica of that machete. . .
. . . and that’s exactly what it was: a replica!
It’s made for putting on the zombie trophy shelf next to the heads you’ve decapitated.
It’s not made for actual use, and it’s both fragile and horribly balanced.
Remember, just because something looks really cool, or even looks like something you THINK a soldier or “operator” might use, it isn’t necessarily functional.
If it looks like something out of a video game, that’s the ONLY place where you’ll want to be using it.
Fail #2: Putting Form Before Function
This might seem like a stupid question (at first), but…
… WHY do you want a machete?!
There are different types, sizes, and shapes of machetes and not all are best for survival purposes.
For example, if you’re just using your machete for clearing branches from trees or chopping up some kindling for a fire, “almost” any old machete you find at Wal-Mart for five bucks will do.
But I (personally) take my life – and my family’s lives – more seriously than to think that this is all I might need a machete for in a REAL life-or-death scenario.
For me, I consider things like:
Will I need to hack through wooden beams or concrete fast enough to save a family member trapped under rubble?
Will I need to hack off a steel padlock or chain to bypass a gate halting my evacuation?(This scenario just happened and multiple people were burned alive when fleeing a CA wildfire in a convoy of vehicles!)
Will I need to use it as a weapon?
Ok, I get it… not everyone is as serious about the equipment they use to protect their family as I am.
But frankly, thinking any other way just doesn’t make sense to me when the people I love the most in this world are depending on me.
I’m thinking you feel the same way, am I right?
Anyway, a real life survival machete requires MORE than just chopping a few limbs – which brings me to. . .
Fail #3: Falling For “Big Brand” Cheap Steel
I carried a machete the entire time I was in the military – including into combat.
I’ve used a machete in deserts… jungles… mountains… arctic conditions… urban cities… you name it.
By far, the most challenging of those was the urban combat.
Now you might not think that a “military-grade” machete is necessary to chop through not just wood – but also concrete and even metal.
In fact, you probably didn’t even know that a machete COULD be strong enough to do something like that, eh?
Well, truth is, not all machetes CAN… and it all comes down to the cheap steel that even the “big name blade makers” out there use for their brands.
Most either use cheap-ass metal with a “tacti-cool” machete… or they try to use the same steel that they use for their knives – which may be good for a pocket folder… but we’re NOT talking about a “knife”.
That’s why, when I designed our Guardian machete, I made sure it was made from top-grade, heat-treated 1095 steel.
I don’t know of anyone else using this high-quality steel, and I understand why: It’s hard to work with… and it’s expensive.
But frankly, the difference in performance is MASSIVE!
This is SO CRITICAL in a survival situation because it allows you to “maximize your strength and power”.
I mean, face it…
You might be tired, even exhausted.
You might need to do the work of multiple people yourself, especially when clearing debris or breaching obstacles.
You might have to fight someone who is bigger and stronger than you. . . or fight a whole LOT of people who outnumber you.
A weaker machete means you’ll tire faster and perhaps not even “finish the job”.
But a strong machete allows you to do more work with less effort, and transforms you into a powerful protector.