DestinySurvival Radio Features Selected Gateway Preparedness Expo Highlights – Part 2

This week on DestinySurvival Radio I conclude highlights from the Gateway Preparedness Expo, September 17-18, 2016, in St. Charles, MO. I had the opportunity to be there a few hours on Saturday afternoon, the event’s first day.

I spoke to a handful of exhibitors so I could share their information with you. On this week’s show you’ll hear conversations with…

I also spoke with representatives from…

I think you’ll find these conversations informative. Hear this week’s show by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for September 29, 2016 (Right click to download.)

If you missed last week’s show, click here for Part 1.


SimpliSafe on Your Homestead?

Ads for SimpliSafe have been all over the radio in past months at the time of this writing. No doubt you’ve heard them. Before you write off this post as a sales pitch for them, consider this.

With crime on the rise, home security is ever more important. But is SimpliSafe only for urbanites, or is it right for your homestead?

When the company contacted me with an offer to provide content for a blog post, we exchanged several e-mails. I don’t take unsolicited content unless it meets certain conditions. But we decided on a question and answer format, aimed particularly at preppers and homesteaders.

My thanks to SimpliSafe for providing the information below. I pass it along as a public service. It’s my hope you’ll find it useful as you make decisions about keeping your home safe and secure.


DestinySurvival – Briefly describe your security system.

SimpliSafe – SimpliSafe is an award-winning, cellular home security system—built by a Harvard-educated engineer. It protects your home with wireless technology, so there is no landline that could get cut. We got rid of everything that makes most home security such a pain, too. We don’t have any annual contracts and no middlemen, which is how we keep our prices so low.

Finally, SimpliSafe will also protect you from crash and smash tactics. Burglars love to break in and destroy the keypad. With our system, though, smashing the keypad will still allow the signal to reach the police, because we moved the brains of our system to the Base Station!

DestinySurvival – Since many of my readers live in rural areas, would your security system work for homesteaders and those who live in the country? Or is it mainly for people in urban areas?

SimpliSafe – Absolutely! Our system will work anywhere there is a cellular connection. By default, each system comes with a T-Mobile SIM card, but we also offer Verizon if T-Mobile doesn’t have good coverage in your area.

If you live in an area with poor cellular connection, you can always backup your system with a landline or a broadband adaptor.

DestinySurvival – Would your system work in a shed, barn, or other outbuilding, as long as it’s wired for electricity?

SimpliSafe – We have many customers who use their systems in outhouses, sheds, or barns. There are a few things that need to be kept in mind for this.

First of all, if you have a system in your main house, your sensors in your shed need to be within 400 feet of the base station. (This range can vary depending on interference). Our sensors are all battery operated, so unless the system was exclusively for that building, you shouldn’t need any electricity.

Second of all, our sensors are not weatherized, and extreme temperatures can cause interference or damage to the sensors. If the buildings you are putting your sensors in will drop below 45 degrees or above 115 degrees, we wouldn’t recommend using your system in that location.

Finally, we always recommend that you test your system, especially when using it in a non-traditional location. Our system comes with a 60 day, money back guarantee return policy, so you can always test out the system and send it back if it doesn’t meet your needs.

DestinySurvival – Would your system work with solar power if electricity from the grid were unavailable?

SimpliSafe – We have had customers in the past use solar power for their base stations. The power supply is rated for peak use of 1.6 amps at 7.5 volts, and its peak draw requirements are 12 watts. The average usage is much lower (probably 5%-10% of peak). The base station draws around 50mA average (aka 0.05 amps) and the input requires 110 volts, so you will need to have AC power for it.

Before setting up your system to run on solar power, we highly recommend testing your setup to make sure all of the specifications are met.  We do not recommend using an aftermarket 12/24/48v power supply for the system due to the sensitivity of the electronics, so you will need to have access to 110v power to use our basestation.

DestinySurvival – Your site says batteries in your units last five years. Are these batteries hard to find and hard to replace?

SimpliSafe – Not at all! All of our batteries can be purchased either online through us, or at your local hardware store.

DestinySurvival – You have a monitoring service. Do they call local authorities if an alarm is set off? Do they know which authorities to call?

SimpliSafe – Yes, we offer two monitoring plans. Both of these plans offer full, 24/7 professional monitoring. If your alarm is set off, our monitoring company, COPS Monitoring, will call up to two primary contact numbers. If nobody picks up, or if you do not give the correct Safe Word, they will dispatch local police.

In the case of a fire alarm, COPS Monitoring will only call one primary number before dispatching the fire department. After dispatch, COPS Monitoring will make courtesy calls to any secondary contacts that you list, just to give them a heads up about the alarm.

DestinySurvival – Generally speaking, what are some tips to make a home appear less vulnerable to burglars?

SimpliSafe – There are actually many things you should take into account. Here are a few:

  • If you garden, make sure to keep your garden tidy, and only grow short plants. Tall plants can provide cover for burglars. Trim your plants back from any basement windows you may have.
  • It is also good to opt for no fence or short fence around your yard. Again, tall fences can provide cover for a burglar.
  • Add motion sensor lights outside of your home. These will trigger whenever somebody walks by, and draw attention to your home if there is somebody unwanted.
  • Especially if you have empty properties, or if you’re gone on vacation, set timer lights inside your home. This will make it look like somebody’s home, and not draw attention to an empty house.
  • Use blinds and curtains so as not to give anybody any ideas. If they don’t know what is in your home, they are less likely to break into it.
  • If you’re not going to be home for a while, have a friend or neighbor pick up your mail, or call the post office to hold your mail. Burglars look for full mailboxes as a sign of a family on vacation.
  • Always layer your home security.

We are always writing about new ways to keep yourself and your family protected. Please feel free to poke around our blog for great tips and facts!


DestinySurvival Radio Features Selected Gateway Preparedness Expo Highlights – Part 1

This week’s DestinySurvival Radio is different than anything I’ve done before because I was fortunate enough to attend the Gateway Preparedness Expo in St. Charles, MO, Saturday, September 17, 2016. The expo took place on Sunday, too; but I wasn’t able to attend then.

I was only able to spend a few hours at the expo Saturday afternoon. Knowing my time was limited, I recorded a handful of conversations with exhibitors and didn’t attend any of the seminars.

I was thrilled and honored to meet Joe and Amy Alton (a.k.a. Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy) in person. They’ve been frequent DestinySurvival Radio guests. And I met a few people whose companies I’d heard of before.

Whether or not you’ve been to a prepper expo, I hope you’ll listen to and enjoy this week’s show. It features conversations with…

…As well as representatives from…

Hear this week’s preparedness expo excursion by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for September 22, 2016 (Right click to download.)

Find more highlights when you click here for Part 2.


How Prepared Are You for Winter?

Fall is a good time to prepare for winter. Whether you live in town or on a homestead, you don’t want to wait until the last minute.

Jackie Clay-Atkinson shares expert guidance on preparing for winter in the September/October, 2016, “Backwoods Home Magazine” (Issue #161). Check out the exerpt below and click on the link to read the whole article.

Preparing for winter

By Jackie Clay-Atkinson

In some climates, winter’s no big deal — just a little rain and cooler weather. But for the rest of us, winter is something to be prepared for. I’ve lived in Michigan, New Mexico, Montana, and Minnesota, all of which have significant winters.

In Michigan, I remember just barely beating a blizzard home from a horse sale, fording snow so deep that it covered the headlights of our Blazer. Up on the high plains in New Mexico, we didn’t have so much snow but we did have wind and cold temperatures. We would fall asleep at night wondering if the water lines to the bathroom and kitchen would freeze.

Read the whole article here:

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine. 1-800-835-2418.


Prepper’s Armed Defense Explains Your Options for Protecting Yourself and Your Family

Jim Cobb joined me on DestinySurvival Radio this week to talk about Prepper’s Armed Defense. It explains your options to help protect yourself and your family.

It’s not a “how to” manual for you or me to bolster our bravado. It’s not about being the aggressor. As the title suggests, it’s about defending oneself when the need arises.

Jim set out to write a book with information you can trust. You know your situation best, so you can pick and choose the options that will help keep you and your family alive, should the need to defend yourselves arise.

His Creds

With a mini-library of survival and prepper books to his credit, you may already be familiar with Jim Cobb. If not, here’s a little background.

“Jim Cobb is the author of several books focused on disaster readiness, such as Prepper’s Long Term Survival Guide, Countdown to Preparedness, Prepper’s Financial Guide, and the #1 Amazon bestselling Prepper’s Home Defense. He has been a student of survivalism and prepping for about 30 years. He is the owner of, a rather popular disaster readiness resource. Jim and his family reside in the upper Midwest and he is currently working on several more books.”


Prepper's Armed Defense


His Book

At 178 pages, Prepper’s Armed Defense isn’t a long book. It’s an easy read. Illustrations are scattered throughout.

Chapters cover…

  • The Realities of Self-defense
  • Non-lethal Self-defense Options
  • Firearms
  • Projectile Weapons
  • Knives
  • Melee Weapons
  • Martial Arts Weapons
  • Homemade Weapons
  • Force Multipliers

His Approach

As with Jim’s other books, this one is well reasoned and loaded (no pun intended) with common sense. You’ll see an array of weapons and weapon wannabes you may not have thought of.

But the information is basic and uncomplicated. Any jargon or slang is defined in simple terms.

As an example, those who have used firearms a good while may find some of the info in the firearms chapter to be elementary, such as the descriptions of a revolver,a semiautomatic pistol and various long guns. But it’s good info for those not that familiar with firearms. In fact, Jim says some have thanked him for dumbing down the subject matter.

After all, we all have to start somewhere.

Speaking of ignorance–unintentional or otherwise–our media would do well to stop referring to semiautomatic rifles as assault rifles. Jim and I touched on this in our chat.

It’s clear Jim wants to help you and me to get rid of any romantic notions we may have picked up from movies and novels. Defending ourselves is a subject to be taken seriously.

And yet, as odd as it may sound, imagination–think clever and devious–will serve us well. Be resourceful.

His Advice

Face reality. Right from the start, Jim tells us the down side of needing to practice self defense. An incident will be stressful. Avoid trouble when possible. Deal circumspectly with police. Get a good lawyer.

If you’re using a firearm and pull the trigger on someone, are you justified in doing so in the sight of the law? What are you legally allowed to do where you live? The significance of this shouldn’t be underestimated.

Your job is… Keep yourself and your family alive. But if you have to take defensive action, Jim says it should be swift, violent, brutal and decisive.

If you’re going to carry any weapon for self defense, you need to be mentally prepared to use that weapon. You could put yourself in greater danger if you don’t use it when you need to.

To kill or not to kill. It depends on where we are and when we are. are you being attacked today? Or is it taking place after disaster and anarchy are the order of the day? If you have to make this decision in the here and now, again, know the laws whre you live.

When the size of your gun matters… Jim recommends shooting the largest caliber you can comfortably handle. The notion of comfortability is important. No sense in incurring recoil and its consequences any more than you have to. That should be good news especially for women shooters.

It’s also a good idea to have plenty of ammunition for your firearms. It’s better to have fewer guns and abundant ammunition for them.

Find a prepping instructor you can “mesh” with. Has the topic of self defense become too militaristic? Jim and I spend a few minutes hashing this out, and I think you’ll appreciate what he has to say.

Consider the non-lethal options. I’m glad Jim wrote a chapter on non-lethal self-defense. For those who have a fear of firearms, there are other weapons you can use, such as pepper spray, electroshock weapons, and even a very bright flashlight.

But often just the presence of a firearm in hand gives an intimidation factor to your advantage.

In any event, it’s good to know there are other options if you’re unable to use a firearm, for whatever reason.

The chapter on projectile weapons covers the bow and arrow, crossbows, slingshots and blowguns–a fine assortment of weaponry you won’t have to register.

In the chapter describing various knives, Jim reminds us that defending yourself against an attacker will be up close and personal. Do as much damage as you can as quickly as you can, then flee as fast as you can.

Melee weapons are used in close proximity to your attacker in close quarter fighting. These include brass knuckles, clubs, batons, walking sticks, blackjacks, machetes, spears and tomahawks, to name a few.

I confess, I’m not familiar with the martial arts weapons Jim describes, so I’m glad for his overview. He emphasizes the need for getting good training if you’re going to use any of these weapons.

If acquiring certain of these weapons puts them out of your reach, whether because of cost or legal issues, you’ll appreciate the chapter on homemade weapons. You’ll find a recipe for pepper spray, a molotov coctail, hairspray flame thrower, and something as simple as a rock in a sock.

Jim observes that just about anything can be a weapon, as long as enough force and creativity are applied.

Alarms, surveillance cameras and booby traps are among the topics covered in the chapter on force multipliers.

My Recommendation

There’s more to our conversation and his book than I can relate here, so be sure to listen to DestinySurvival Radio for September 15, 2016. (Right click to download.)

Jim welcomes your prepping questions. is where you can go first. He’s also on Facebook.

Don’t buy Jim’s book hoping you’re going to become a super soldier who can take on all comers. But do buy it so you can make an informed decision on what you need to protect you and your family in your particular situation.

Get Prepper’s Armed Defense by clicking on its title wherever you see it linked in this post. And protect yourself in the best way possible.


Starting a Fire in Any Kind of Weather

In “Backwoods Home Magazine” for September/October, 2016 (Issue #161), Charles Sanders offers tips for starting a fire in any kind of weather. Read the entire article by clicking the link below the following exerpt.

Start a fire in any weather

By Charles Sanders

Most of us living in the backwoods are comfortable with utilizing fire as a tool. We use fire to heat our homes, burn brush, power our forges, help clear land, smoke meat, and cook our hotdogs at picnics. My grandma used to use kerosene-soaked corncobs to get the fire going in the kitchen range each morning.

But we also know that we may someday be in a situation where our ability to build a fire might determine whether we live or die.

Read the whole article here:

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine. 1-800-835-2418.

How a Chicken Tractor Can Play a Part in a Survival Garden-Based Business

An enterprising young lady shows how a chicken tractor can play a prominent role in a garden-based business. She tells her story in the September/October, 2016, issue of “Backwoods Home Magazine” (Issue #161).

Read the article exerpt here, then click on the link below to read the whole thing.

Gardening with a chicken tractor

By Brianna Stone

This spring, my parents let me enlarge my garlic business and till up three 600-square-foot beds for planting garlic in a three-year rotation. My plan is to plant one of the beds with garlic this fall, but right now I am working on preparing the beds. After I initially tilled up the beds, I realized that the clumps of sod still needed to be broken up more and the fertility of the soil was less than satisfactory. As I researched solutions, I came across an idea that would require me to add some business partners — five, to be exact. They work exceptionally hard and they never complain. What type of fantastic partners did I end up with? Chickens.

I decided to use a chicken tractor (a mobile chicken coop with a fenced-in run) to house my chickens while they break up my soil and increase its fertility. Chickens till the ground when they scratch, fertilize it with their manure, and supply us with the added bonus of fresh eggs every day.

Read the whole article here:

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine. 1-800-835-2418.


View a post about another gardener’s experience with a chicken tractor here

To get Chicken Tractor, the classic book, click on its title in this paragraph. That opens a new window to the page where it’s featured