Decision making is a crucial survival skill which we each need to cultivate. Craig Caudill shares insights on it below.
If you come to a fork in the road, you must make a decision about which way to go. If you are on a path that splits off in numerous directions, you are really in a predicament. This scenario is an example of when Hick’s Law comes into play.
What is Hick’s Law? Basically, it is the idea that the more choices a person has, the longer it will take them to make a decision. This belief is applied in marketing strategies, tactical training, teaching and so on.
It can also be applied to survival preparedness. In a survival situation, time is of the essence. Spending a great deal of time trying to make a decision could be extremely costly.
This information is extremely valuable in two ways. The first way is your bug out bag or survival kit. Do not pack a lot of gear that all serves the same purpose. You do not want to make an emergency situation worse by cluttering your mind with “which tool should I use” or “what would work best for this particular job.”
Your kit should contain items that you can practice with regularly. Reusable gear is the key to making sure you are familiar with a tool’s uses and are comfortable using that particular item. It is imperative each piece of gear you do choose can be used for a variety of tasks, not just one. This will help you keep your mind clear and focused in stressful circumstances.
The second way in which Hick’s Law applies to a survival situation is the flip side of the formula. If you are thrown into a survival situation, you are going to have a lot of decisions to make. Each option warrants some contemplation. Do you shelter in place or bug-out? What are your sheltering options? Water and food supplies and so on will all need to be addressed. That is a lot to throw at a person at once. When this happens, you must prioritize your immediate needs to live first and foremost.
Use this information to help you choose what gear to carry in your bag. Remember, keep it simple by choosing tools that are multi-use and reusable. And most importantly, practice with your gear so you know how to use it when you need it to survive.
Any thoughts? How are your decision making skills? Leave a comment below and let others know what’s on your mind concerning what you’ve just read.
Editor’s Note: There’s an abundance of info online and in books about what to include in a bug out bag. Nonetheless, people still have questions. Just the other day I saw an inquiry on Facebook about what to put in a bug out bag. With that in mind, I present the following helpful guidelines from the good people at Food Insurance. – John
Long term food storage plans help us stay prepared for self-survival after a man-made or natural disaster occurs. They’re even great during a financial crisis when you have limited funds to purchase fresh foods.
But, true emergency preparedness is also about short term survival after an evacuation. It’s during these times that you need to have an on-the-go, portable kit. Your kit needs to supply you and your family with the necessary essentials needed for 72 hours. These 3-day portable emergency kits are called Bug-Out-Bags.
Characteristics of a Good Bug-Out-Bag
- Easy-to-Tote – It must be portable, and easy to carry. Good ideas include backpacks, bags on wheels, or anything else that’s easy to tote.
- Lightweight – There’s no telling how far you may have to carry your bug-out-bag. During an evacuation, you may have to stand in lines, hike… who knows? You need your bug-out-bag to be as light as possible.
- Durable – Make sure you purchase a bug-out-bag made of high quality fabric. Who knows what type of weather and other conditions it will have to get you through? So, also make sure your straps, zippers and wheels are all in good working order.
10 Essentials Every Bug-Out-Bag Should Contain
Here are ten essential items that should be in every bug-out-bag.
- Water – Expert recommendation: one gallon of water, per person, per day. But, that is way too much weight to carry around during an evacuation. Here are some lightweight options for your emergency water supply:
- Water purifier
- Water filter straw
- Water bottle with filter
- Water pump with filter
- Non-Perishable Foods – Here are three of the most popular choices for emergency food storage:
- Canned Foods – Can eat right out of the can, but very heavy to carry around
- Dehydrated Foods – Very lightweight to tote, but require boiled water to prepare
- Freeze Dried Foods – Lightweight, convenient packaging, only need hot water to rehydrate
- First Aid Kit – To keep it lightweight, only pack the essentials:
- Antibiotics (just in case)
- Sam Splint
- Wound-closure strips
- Burn ointment
- Triple-antibiotic ointment
- OTC pain-killers
- OTC anti-inflammatory meds
- Suture kit
- Adhesive bandages
- 4. Clothing – You should have enough clean clothing for three days.
- 5. Shelter – Fly, tent, tarp, hammock with rain fly, large poncho, etc… to make emergency shelter.
- 6. Important Documents – This includes items such as copies of IDs, birth certificates, passports, important phone numbers and addresses, maps, etc…
- 7. Cash – You probably won’t be able to use your credit cards or debit cards after the crisis strikes.
- 8. Battery Operated Radio – Your radio may be your only way to stay connected with the rest of the world. Remember that cell phone services may be down.
- 9. Battery Operated Flashlight – Don’t be caught without it. The stress of being in the dark all night could actually make things even worse during a crisis.
- 10. Survival Kit – This should include:
- · Extra batteries
- · Whistle
- · Small folding knife
- · Compass
- Waterproof matches or refillable butane lighter
About the Author
Is there something you must have in your bug out bag that’s not mentioned above? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
Editor’s Note: Resourcefulness and creativity are admirable trates of self reliant preppers. The following article demonstrates that. It describes how you can make a wood burning furnace and hot water heater inexpensively. It comes courtesy of Drillcat.
Everyone needs and uses hot water everyday. With the high cost of electricity, propane and gas, this is getting costlier every day. Also for people with remote hunting cabins and prepper bug out retreats, people need a real, simple and easy way to have hot water.
There are hot water furnaces for sale. The problem is the cost of these starts at $7,000.00 and go to over 20k. Geting water hot is not this hard. Here below we have a simple way to get hot water. So simple it seems too simple. Get any old used gas hot water heater. The reason to use a used gas hot water heater is because it already has the smoke chimmy in the middle of it.
Remove all gas jets , etc., from the bottom of it. Then all that is needed is to add the fire box to the bottom, with a small door opening. What we used was an old truck rim for the fire box. (Dayton rim has no center.) Then we measured the top of the rim, measured the bottom of the gas water heater and cut a 1/4″ steel plate washer to fit. Then there’s just the simple step of welding the washer to the waterheater and to the fire box.
You will add some longer pipe on top to help it draw. Now by just keeping the yard clean from fallen limbs, you have hot water. If water is cold, and you start a new fire, it will have water hot enough to take a shower in 12 to 18 minutes. If you add a blower to the fire box you can have water hot in 3 to 5 minutes.
This set up means no more $42.00 propane bottles. No electricity is needed. It will work for out door camps, barns, and prepper bug out retreats. Nothing to break down. Simple. It DOES NEED TO BE OUT DOORS, and have a safe place where a fire can be used.
Places to get materials
- used gas water heater for free or almost free–junk yard. Any appliance store–they have them everyday when they sell new.
- Steel washer to fit fire box and hotwater heater–junk yard, steel supply.
- Used truck rim–junk yard, tire shop, or truck repair shop.
This set up wil make lots of free hot water. You can even insulate it and have water hotter longer. We didnt care because of free wood. No problem to light it when we needed it.
Drillcat describes himself as a master well driller, water project missionary consultant, hands on drill training instructor, and author of Water Well Drilling Troubleshooting Guide. His book is normally available on Amazon.com, but was unavailable at the time of this writing.
www.Drillcat.com Was started 14 years ago by a group of volunteer’s who saw the need to help the average Joe, just the regular guy and regular family who want to pursue their dreams of self reliance. They offer free hands on drilling classes, water well drilling & troubleshooting books, and plain answers to people’s questions.
Over the years Drillcat Volunteer’s have seen many honest hard working families buying remote lots and acreages, but then they’re shocked to find out what an average water well costs. Drillcat offers them options from small used drilling rigs, to parts, plans and even rig rentals. There are many simple solutions. They try to give people options, and let them decide.
Find out more at www.drillcat.com.
Editor’s Note: Here’s another helpful article from Craig Caudill. You may recall he was my guest on DestinySurvival Radio a few weeks ago. View my post about that here.
If you have read about the Law of Threes, you probably realize how vital it is to your survival. If you haven’t read about it, I suggest you do. One concern many people have about the Law of Threes, is how do you put it to work for you during your survival training.
The simplest and most effective way to get a good handle on any skill is to practice. A lot. There are a few things you can do to really become familiar with any survival skill.
- Practice frequently
- Seek training from a qualified person
- Test your skills in stressful situations
You can never practice too much. Here is a little story about how a simple excursion with the family turned into a practice situation. My family and I were doing what we love–walking in the woods, when my son stumbled on an uninhabited hornet’s nest that had fallen to the ground. We could have just walked around it and carried on down our path. Instead, my son decided the nest material would make a good tinder bundle. And you know what? He was absolutely right.
This is one of those things he learned through practicing. Now, if he is ever in a survival situation, he knows one more thing that will work as a tinder bundle. Through him, the entire family added to their cache of survival knowledge. Even if it wouldn’t have worked, it still would have been an excellent learning opportunity. We would have all known in the future, skip the nest and keep looking for something else to use as a tinder bundle. You have absolutely got to get out there and practice and experience the outdoors.
This one is tricky. There are plenty of people who claim to be “experts” in survival training. However, let me give you a tip. An expert would not proclaim his or her way is the only way. The very nature of survival skills involves tweaking and improvising a specific skill until it suits you and your needs. There is no one size fits all. Sure there are best practices and you should listen to these insightful words. Take the advice, mull it over and apply it to your practices. It is imperative you keep an open mind and see what all is being taught out there. Take what you can from each person who has survival knowledge and piece it together to make your skill set work for you. Do not assume you know it all and cannot learn from another person. That is a dangerous practice.
Testing Your Skills in Intense Situations
This is crucial to your survival in a true emergency. If you do all of your practicing in ideal conditions with the perfect gear, you will never know what to do in an actual survival situation. Could you start a fire in the rain without your matches? You are going to have to learn the hard way before you are in a life or death situation. Throw yourself into a situation like spending the night in the woods without your sleeping bag or your knife. Can you do it?
Like I mentioned earlier about the hornet nest, these are things you will only learn through experience. Your training needs to include high-stress situations that require you to think out of the box. Once you have come up with a solution, this is one more trick to add to your arsenal of survival skills. Do not assume you can practice your skills with your gear on a nice, sunny 60 degree day and manage to survive in frigid temps with no gear to speak of.
Maybe you are operating under the assumption that if you had to, you could rise to the occasion. Don’t bank on it. Sure there a few, a FEW stories of extraordinary people who have overcome some extreme circumstances, but again, do you really want to bank on being one of the rare ones who perseveres? The old adage is true, “You will not rise to the occasion, but rather you will default to your level of training.” Why not give yourself a little more assurance and take the time to practice now and under various types of circumstances.
This guest post comes courtesy of www.safeguardclothing.com.
Body armor is protective clothing that has been designed to protect the body from any kind of penetrating attack or gun shot. At first they were used by the military and the police personnel but now they are becoming common among the private citizens too. The biggest problem that comes with the body armor is their uncomfortable structure. Efforts have been made by many companies to make them comfortable and improve their structure. The improved facility helps in moving easily and reducing the problems during summers.
The latest innovation includes the use of liquid armor in the manufacturing of body armor. The technology of using liquid armor for the Kevlar vests has been tried and it has proved to be successful. It is very light, helps in moving flexibly, reduces the moisture content from the body, etc. All these features will make the person feel comfortable and wear the vest for longer period. The key component in the vest is the liquid armor and the best thing about this armor is its capacity to act as a sheer thickening fluid. All the hard particles are included in this armor in a suspended format. This fluid is non-toxic and it can last in high temperatures. Some nano particles of silica are also present in this armor. The presence of flowable particles along with the other hard components will help in getting unusual properties and make the vest more comfortable.
The best thing about the functioning of this vest is that normally it flows like some liquid and is deformable. But when the bullet comes in contact with the vest then the material transits into some rigid material and prevents the bullet from hitting the body. The fabric of the Kevlar vest holds the liquid armor in one place and keeps it intact. The fabric is in a saturated format and it can be sewn, draped and soaked easily. This technology makes the vest cost effective, recues the weight, and improves flexibility. The technology has huge potential and its properties are much better as compared to the previous Kevlar armor. Kevlar made body armor is available from most reputable online body armor retailer’s e.g. www.safeguardclothing.com.
This material can also be used to protect the areas that are not protected by the normal vests but one should always be rest assured that the flexibility of the soldier of the officer is not disturbed. The areas like pants, sleeves, ankle, etc. that is not protected y the vest can now be protected by the liquid armor. Along with protection from the projectiles the liquid armor also acts as a stab resistant material. One can be rest assured that this vest can protect them from knives or any kind of sharp material. People can easily test them by applying sudden sharp force on them and look at the protection level.
The traditional Kevlar vests had 45 layers and all this made it harder then steel. This reduced the flexibility of the body and did not let the body breathe well. It also created a blunt force trauma once the bullet hit the person’s body. Even though the chances of any injury are reduced but the force of the bullet is not stopped and the body suffers small injuries. Liquid armor reduces the chances of this type of injury and there is no blunt force trauma when the person gets hit by the projectile. During the impact of the projectile it spreads the force of bullet in such a way that the force of the projectile is reduced to nil. With the use of this modern technology one expect to get protective clothing that prevents any kind of problems from the impact of projectiles.
View an earlier post about body armor here.
Explore other helpful resources available in Personal Defense and Security in the Prep Mart.
Editor’s Note: Warmer weather isn’t far away. Late winter and spring often bring floods. Be ready. According to a recent long range weather forecast I heard a few days ago, Missouri (where I live) won’t have flooding like in 2011 because there’s not nearly as much snow pack to the North. We’re still in drought conditions.
But flash flooding can happen at any time. And so can floods from hurricanes in other parts of the country. Therefore, take a look at the following tips provided by Wise Food Storage.
The US experiences more damage than any other weather-related event…Stocking food for the family is one of the most important things to do. Dehydrated food or freeze-dried food such as Wise Food Storage products would be ideal because it is light and is easy to prepare. As an added bonus, Wise Food Storage gives you tips for staying safe and getting prepared during flood emergency.
Assemble an emergency kit. Red Cross recommends to include:
- Water – at least 3-day supply; one gallon person per day
- Food – at least a 3-day supply of nonperishable, easy-to-prepare food; ideally dehydrated or freeze-dried food
- Battery powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
- Multipurpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket
- Map(s) of the area
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Tools/supplies for securing your home
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
- Rain gear
- Insect repellent and sunscreen
- Camera for photos of damage
Stay informed. NOAA Weather Radio, the NOAA website, or local TV or radio stations will issue flood warnings and reports from the National Weather service. If a flood warning is issued for your area, be prepared to evacuate right away and move to higher ground.
Protect emergency food and water.
- Basements are excellent for emergency food storage because of their low, constant temperatures. Ensure that food is elevated enough to stay dry. Better yet, temporarily move your supply to the highest level of the house.
- Keep a supply of bottled water or keep a Katadyn water filter nearby. Do not use the water from a well until it has been tested and deemed safe.
- Wash fruits and vegetables and prepare baby formula with safe water.
- Don’t eat anything that’s come in contact with floodwater.
- Throw out food that is not in waterproof containers (screw caps, pull tops and crimped caps are not waterproof).
- Food in metal cans and flexible metal or plastic pouches can be cleaned by removing labels and sanitizing containers before opening.
- Thoroughly sanitize food prep pans, countertops, dishes and utensils with hot soap and water or a bleach solution.
- Return home only when officials have declared the area safe.
- Before entering your home, check for loose power lines and damaged gas lines. If you see or hear either one, leave immediately.
- As you enter, be aware that wild animals, especially poisonous snakes can seek shelter in flooded houses.
- Wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
- Contact your local or state public health department for specific recommendations for boiling or treating water in your area after a disaster as water may be contaminated.
As illustrated by recent events, even if you’re not in a designated flood plain you may be at risk for high water damage in extreme weather conditions. Take some time to assemble a kit and familiarize yourself with basic safety information. Be alert. Be prepared.
For more on flood awareness, go here for the FedHealth e-newsletter for March 2013.