Traditional Hardtack and Improved Hardtack

Hardtack isn’t appealing to most of us. But it has been a survival staple in times past for sailors and pioneers.

Watch as a man makes his version of improved hard tack and traditional hard tack. He proposes it’s good food to give to those on their way to FEMA camps.



Is Zero Budget Farming in Our Future?

What follows is a 13 and a half minute video from a few years ago on a type of natural farming called zero budget farming. No cultivation or use of chemical pesticides or fertilizers is required.Is it for real? Could it be in our future? Should it be? What happens one day when there is no more access to the chemicals we’ve become accustomed to in agriculture? How will we produce our own food? Perhaps we can learn from the example of the Indian farmer as demonstrated in the video.Please note, the video’s narrator has a thick accent, making it necessary to listen closely; but it’s worth it. Also, if for any reason you have difficulty getting the video to play, refresh the page.



Civil Breakdown – How Ready Are You?

“Civil Breakdown” is another DVD in the Make Ready to Survive series from Panteao Productions. This one is timely in the wake of events last summer in Ferguson, MO, and recently in Baltimore, MD. And more may be on the way.

Of course, civil unrest could happen at any time–when and where we least expect it. Unrest doesn’t have to be caused by agitators. It may happen in the aftermath of a natural disaster, like Hurricane Katrina.

If you’ve engaged in conversation with like minded preppers, you’ve likely discussed the chances for chaos and martial law. You’ve pondered and perhaps planned what to do if it comes about. Will you mow down the zombie hoardes? Will you stay to the end to defend your property, or will you get out of Dodge?

My late friend Gerald Franz talked frequently about such things. It’s refreshing to me to see them discussed so seriously in a thoughtful way in a format available to all. We could each use a brutal look at what could be reality, whether we like it or not.

An Overview

Make Ready to Survive - Civil Breakdown


Run time for this DVD is a little more than an hour and a half, and chapters are mostly short. Material covered includes…

  • Proper Planning for Survival
  • Civil Unrest and Riot Planning
  • Firearm Selection
  • Carriers, Load Bearing Vests and Gear
  • Survival Optics
  • Defending from Vehicle and Setup
  • Assessing the Situation
  • Using Current Technology to Plan for Future
  • Martial Law
  • Neighborhood Defense
  • Advanced Care & Civil Unrest
  • Communications Between Neighbors

Permit a few general observations before getting into issues and questions raised in “Civil Breakdown.”

Most of the instructors in this video have military backgrounds, and you’ll pick up on that when you hear their discussion and see their demonstrations. As with the other presentations in this series, these men are easy going and friendly.

What you get is a common sense approach to the subject matter. No hype. No fear. But this DVD doesn’t beat around the bush about what you’ll have to deal with if there’s a civil breakdown where you live.

As I’ve noted elsewhere, there is some overlap in some of the subjects covered in these videos. For a more complete picture, you’ll want to have more than this DVD in the series. My reviews of the DVD’s released to date are linked below.

The chapters on assessing the situation and using technology are to the point and share advice I think many of us already know. The technology section covers pros and cons of what’s available online.

The chapter on communications is brief and barely covers the subject. I think it would also have fit in better after the sections on neighborhood defense or technology use. The chapter on martial law should have appeared earlier in the video, since that’s a subject of concern to many.

Of course, you can watch chapters in whatever order you like.

A Closer Look

I won’t try to summarize everything in “Civil Breakdown.” Instead, I’ll mention several subjects covered and questions you’ll need to ponder in order to be better prepared.

Your Plans

Big questions are raised, right from the start. The message comes through plainly. Avoid trouble as much as is possible. That doesn’t mean being unprepared. What do past events tell you about what to expect in your area?

When is it time to fight or get out of the way? Should you be prepared to kill an assailant? Or should you merely disable him? What does your local law enforcement have to say about this?

Whatever you do, don’t be the cause of trouble or aggravate it. Avoid riots and insurrection. Keep in mind, mobs have no rules.

The importance of having a plan can’t be overemphasized. If you’re caught at work, how will you get back home? Do you have an escape plan? What alternatives for transportation do you have? How will you communicate with those close to you?

Your Guns

A more comprehensive look at this topic is covered in the DVD in this series called “Firearm Selection.” However, important considerations are dealt with in this one.

What firearms should you use when necessary? What about protective gear?

Ever seen a desk calendar that doubles as a bullet proof shield? The demo of it is impressive.

As with other DVD’s in this series, since firearms are discussed, you’ll see extra disclaimers and the gun safety rules at the beginning, before you’re given the option to play the DVD.

Your Optical Options

The first fundamental point made in the section on optics is the necessity for eye protection. You’re in big trouble if your eyes are damaged.

The section goes on to demonstrate binoculars, range finders, night vision and thermal devices. The latter items are costly. Save your dollars if you really want one of them.

Your Vehicle

Did you know yourcar or truck is a big weapon? Don’t relinquish it if possible. But what do you do if you’re victimized by a carjacker? Where should you have your concealed firearm? What can you do to distract your assailant until you can do what you need to do to save your life?

When in your vehicle, where should you have your bug out bag? Firearms and ammo? Both should be kept safely, but accessible.

Your Response During Martial Law

Kyle Harth talks about the difference between support help from federal law enforcement and when the feds are declared to be in charge. It’s an important distinction. In either situation, be sure to know what’s expected of you.

If you must evacuate, do you have a plan? Do you have adequate fuel, food and water to go to a safe location? Then what about coming back home when things have calmed down?

Your Neighborhood

Ever thought of slowing traffic or creating your own checkpoint as a means of defending your neighborhood when things get rough? Cutting down a tree or two should work.

Are you prepared to work together with your neighbors to keep the neighborhood safe? That annoying busybody down the street could be a real asset in times of turmoil.

Your Medical Readiness

You may be called on to help provide advanced medical care. Injuries aren’t going to merely be sprains or cuts and scrapes. Injuries will likely be caused by other people and may include stab wounds, bullet wounds and head trauma.

Be ready with first aid supplies. Have medical manuals on hand, including a military medical book. This is one time when knowledge is definitely power.

Wrapping It Up

One of the beauties of having the Make Ready to Survive DVD’s is that you can review the material as often as you like, at any time you like.

Also, not only can you get “Civil Breakdown” in DVD form, but you can subscribe to view it online. You can access it on your mobile device, too.

Panteao Productions also gives subscribers discounts on annual subscriptions and a 100% money back guarantee. So you have nothing to lose.

Find the Make Ready to Survive series by going to

If you see a preparedness product you like while you’re watching the video, you can help support DestinySurvival by shopping for it in the Prep Mart.

View my reviews of the other video presentations by clicking on the following titles. A new window opens with each link.


Firearm Selection – Get the Guidance You Need from Panteao

“Firearm Selection” is another DVD from Panteao Productions in their Make Ready to Survive series. While I encourage you to get guidance from Panteao, this video may stir up opinions and perhaps controversy.

That’s because it seems everybody with any knowledge of guns at all has strongly held opinions. Which firearm is best, and for what situation? What caliber is best? Where should firearms fit into home defense and preparedness?


The Aim

“Firearm Selection” is meant to give you the guidance you need, whether you’re new to preparedness or have been at it for a while.

The instructors are Paul Howe, Kyle Harth and Dave Canterbury. I believe they each have a military background, which should give them the necessary credibility in the eyes of many.

On the other hand, there may be those like my late friend Gerald Franz who are suspicious of such a background. He wasn’t against firearms training, but he thought military and police style training wasn’t necessary or advisable for the average Joe.

That said, I’m favorably impressed with the presenters and how they handle their subject matter. They don’t get too “military” on us. They share what seems to me to be common sense information, presented in a friendly way. They turn a potentially intimidating subject into something inviting and interesting.

“Firearm Selection” gives a good overview of several important topics which should help you and your family as you decide how and where firearms fit into your prepping strategy. If you’re a gun novice, or if you have an aversion to guns, I challenge you to watch this DVD because I believe you’ll pick up more from it than you’d expect.


Make Ready to Survive - Firearm Selection

It’s Loaded

Disclaimers and firearm safety rules appear at the very beginning of the DVD before you can play its contents.

Run time is just under two and a half hours. You may not want to view it all in one sitting. Of course, the beauty is that you can choose to watch any chapter you like, and you can watch more than once.

Chapters or sections include…

  • Matching the firearm to the user
  • Home Defense Options
  • Concealed Carry
  • Hunting Small Game
  • Dangerous Game
  • Selecting a firearm for Your Spouse
  • For Your Children
  • General Purpose Firearm Options
  • Sub Caliber Adapters
  • Shotgun Options
  • Bolt Action Rifles
  • Semi Auto Rifles
  • Rimfire Rifles
  • Handgun Options
  • Magnified Optics
  • Dot Optics
  • Mounted Lights
  • Proper Firearms Training


Scattered Shots

Here are my observations on a number of the topics covered.

First of all, instruction is straightforward. Several firearms are exhibited and described. You’ll see everything from handguns and revolvers to various types of long guns, including the ever popular AR-style rifles. It’s like going to a gun show where the latest developments in firearms are on display. Periodically during the video, you’ll see scenes of shooting at a range dropped in.

Right from the start, the DVD tackles what you need to know to choose your firearm. Will other family members be using it? What’s your purpose? Home defense? Hunting? And what training is needed?

Advice given throughout the video is to start training with a lower caliber and work up. Can you or your spouse or children handle recoil? Can your spouse or child grip the gun well? Can she work the safety without breaking grip?

Another factor to consider in your choice of firearms and ammunition is whether you’re in a rural or urban setting. For example, if you’re in town, you don’t want to fire a weapon that will penetrate the walls in your home or the wall of your neighbor’s apartment.

If you were in a defensive situation, could you make a head shot at seven yards?

The .22 gets overlooked by some who like large calibers. While .22 is great for small game, don’t count it out for self defense. If you make your hits, you won’t have to have a bigger caliber. My friend Gerald would have heartily agreed.

Will ammunition for your firearm of choice be readily available to stockpile? How about its utilitarian value? For instance, you might wish to have the option of shooting .22 in either a rifle or pistol, making it unnecessary to have different ammo for each firearm.

I was excited to see a discussion of adapters. They give you greater versatility with your shotgun. For example, you can shoot .22 or another caliber through a metal adapter the size of a shell that fits into your 12 gauge shotgun.

By the way, if you know anything about semi automatic rifles, you know they’re not the assault rifles the mainstream media would have us believe. If you’re not well versed in rifle configurations, watch the section on semi automatic rifles for clarification on what they really are and do.

The sections on optics are lengthy. I think the same points could have been made in less time in more of a summary fashion. However, if you’re into optics, you’ll see plenty of options.

The section on magnified optics discusses various types of scopes and their capabilities. You’ll see examples of scopes with fixed and variable powers.

Are you familiar with red dot sites? Dot optics aren’t the same as laser pointers. While the dot appears to be on your target, you’re the only one who sees it through the site.

When considering dot optics and lights, you have to think of what batteries are necessary. If you have other devices that use AA batteries, you may want to have optics or lights that use AA’s, too, so you’re not storing up nonstandard sized batteries.

The section on training highly recommends you and I get proper hands on training. Know the fundamentals. I would add, if you plan to conceal and carry, check to see what rules and training requirements apply in your state.


Picking Up Brass

If you’re into reloading, you’ll pick up your shell casings when you’re done practicing at the range. Well, now that I’ve fired off my shots (or observations), let me start to wrap things up.

If you’re someone who thinks there’s too much product placement in these videos, you probably won’t think differently after seeing “Firearm Selection,” particularly in the optics section. Nonetheless, they do a good job exhibiting various options available.

If you don’t mind seeing what’s on the market, and if you see a product you like while you’re watching, you can help support DestinySurvival by shopping for it in the Prep Mart. Specifically, you’ll want to check out the companies featured on the Personal Defense & Security page.

I’m grateful Panteao Productions has given me the opportunity to share this Make Ready to Survive series with you.You can access their expertise any time when you watch the DVD’s or view the material online.

You can get “Firearm Selection” in DVD form, but you can subscribe to view it online. You can even access it on your mobile device. Panteao Productions also gives subscribers discounts on annual subscriptions and a 100% money back guarantee. So you have nothing to lose.

Find the Make Ready to Survive series by going to



Allow a personal disclaimer. I don’t have the firearms experience I know some of my readers have. I can say that the time I’ve spent plinking with different guns has always been thrilling and fun. I have no police or military background, and I haven’t been hunting.

As a result, I understand if you question my judgment of this DVD’s material. I also look forward to your thoughts after you’ve seen this video. Please, feel free to share your comments.

Firearms training is a huge part of what Panteao Productions does, so they should really know their stuff. Nonetheless, how did the guys do? Do you think they should have done or said anything differently?

You can see my reviews of the other video presentations in the Make Ready to Survive series by clicking on the following titles. A new window will open for each link.


Emergency and Disaster Management – Make Your Plan

It should be obvious that preparedness calls for planning. When it comes to emergency and disaster management, I can’t make your plan up for you, and neither can anyone else. However, I can point you in the direction for you to get guidance, as I often do by recommending various resources for preppers.

So today I’m reviewing “Emergency & Disaster Management,” a recent release in the “Make Ready to Survive” series from Panteao Productions. The focus is on long term survival when things go very bad as well as emergency scenarios after disasters.


Make Ready to Survive - Emergency and Disaster Management


Looking Inside

As with the other videos in this series, material is presented in a low key, straightforward way. And it’s common sense information. Each of the instructors featured previously gets his turn to discuss his areas of expertise.

Most chapters are short, and they go by quickly. That certainly doesn’t mean the presentations aren’t substantive. Have a notebook handy, watch the section several times, or both.

Topics covered include…

  • Mindset
  • Specific Disaster Scenario Planning
  • Living off the grid
  • Alternative Source of Power
  • Alternative Location Cache
  • The Last Store Trip
  • Bugging Out or Not
  • Living Off The Land Fallacy
  • Cold Weather Survival
  • The One Year Survival Plan
  • Long term water sourcing
  • Long Term Food Supply
  • Barter and Trade
  • Forming a Self-Sufficient Community
  • Securing Needed Supplies
  • Firearm Selection
  • Home Defense
  • Using Current Technology


If you’ve seen any of the other videos in this series, you’ll notice some overlap of the topics covered. But it’s not the same material. Besides, if it were, there’s no harm in review, is there?

I’ll bet you’ve heard one of the statements made in the introduction. I won’t quote it word for word, but the idea is that if you’re prepared for worst case scenarios, you can handle other situations that come along.

Rather than summarize everything in the video, I’ll raise some questions and touch on a high point or two to give you the flavor of the issues it deals with. That should get your thinking going.


Questions and Points to Ponder

Do you know what kind of disasters could affect your local area? Check with your county emergency management agency.

Do you know how to practice self quarantine in the event of a pandemic? How would you deal with environmental disasters, such as a chemical spill or nuclear accident?

How will you live off the grid when your local area is without power after a catastrophic event? How are you set for alternative fuel? What will you do about food? Water? How will you dispose of garbage and human waste?

The section on alternative power includes an informative discussion about a solar powered trailer. If nothing else, it shows what’s possible.

Caching is a popular subject among preppers, and it gets its due coverage in this video as well. In a nutshell, your site needs to be secure and accessible.

If you knew you could make one last shopping trip in plenty of time before disaster hit, what would you buy? You don’t want to wait until the last minute, like the unprepared masses.

As for bugging out, sheltering in place is best, if you can. The consensus among those in the know is that trying to tough it out in the wilderness is a bad idea. A number of considerations about this are discussed on the video.

Would you believe sweat management is crucial for survival in the cold?

The discussion on barter and trade deals with both goods and skills. Incidentally, the section starts with aninstructional role play.

I appreciate the discussion on community, and I think you will, too. None of us will make it through rough times alone. Like it or not, we need one another.

What’s the difference between looting and scavenging? If you’re well prepared now, the less you’ll have to face answering that question for yourself, should you somehow not have all the supplies you need in the wake of disaster.

Since discussion of firearms is included in this video, you’ll see disclaimers and basic safety rules for using guns at the beginning of the DVD, before the menu appears.

If you’re not all that experienced with firearms and home defense, the sections which give an overview of those topics are for you. Don’t worry if any of it goes over your head. Absorb what you can now and pick up more later. Or, if you’re already proficient with guns, you may want to show these chapters to a friend or family member in need of the basics.

While it’s a good idea to planfor the day when our modern technology may not be readily available or accessible, we can use it now as in an instrument in planning. For example, mapping programs are mentioned.


How to Get Yours

First, let me say again that I’m glad for the opportunity to share this “Make Ready to Survive” series with you. As I’ve noted elsewhere, you get the pooled knowledge and experience of guys who’ve been there, done that. The best part is, you can access their expertise any time when you watch the DVD’s or view the material online.

Not only can you get “Emergency & Disaster Management” in DVD form, but you can subscribe to view it online. You can even access it on your mobile device. Panteao Productions gives subscribers discounts on annual subscriptions and a 100% money back guarantee. So you have nothing to lose.

Find the Make Ready to Survive series by going to

You can see my reviews of the other video presentations in this series here, here, here, and here.

It’s anybody’s guess as to when big events roll over us, so now is the time to plan. If you’re confident about your own preparedness, now’s the time to help interested friends or family members make their plan. “Emergency & Disaster Management” just might be the tool you’re looking for to get things going.

Any thoughts? Do you have any tips to pass along concerning planning for emergencies and disasters? Feel free to leave a comment below.


Make Ready to Survive in a Suburban and City Environment

I’m so glad Panteao’s Make Ready to Survive series covers everything from wilderness survival to urban survival, and a little in between. There’s something for every prepper, no matter what your level of experience. Today I’m reviewing the DVD called “Suburban & City Environment.” Specifically, it covers survival through medium term events.

What does that mean? Consider. How would you manage if things weren’t normal for more than the proverbial three days many say we should prepare for? What if the event lasted a couple of weeks or a couple of months? Would you have adequate food and water? What about first aid and medical supplies? How about self defense? Alternative energy?

Each of the instructors seen in the other Make Ready videos is featured in this DVD, which is roughly an hour and forty minutes in length. As with all of the other videos in this series, you get common sense advice. No fear. No hype. The presentation is low key and sensible. And the production quality is top notch.

Topics covered include…


  • The Medium Term Survival Budget
  • Food & Water Storage
  • Food & Water for Medium Length Event
  • Communications
  • Buggin In
  • Home Security
  • Perimeter Security
  • Urban Tactics
  • Home Lockdown
  • Traveling from Work
  • Stabilizing Your Immediate Area
  • Identifying Hazards
  • Advanced First Aid
  • Workplace Survival Gear


To my way of thinking, the material in the “Suburban & City Environment” presentation breaks down into two broad categories.


Make Ready to Survive - Suburban and City Environment


Providing for Yourself

Water and food storage are well covered in the video, and you’ve probably heard some of the information before. But the subject matter is too important not to share a bit about here.

When it comes to storage food, the best advice is to diversify what you have. You don’t have to eat only rice, beans and pasta. Break the stereotypes.

Having regular canned items is what you’re family’s likely used to already. But here’s something I hadn’t thought of. Did you know you can stock microwave meals, too? I’ve had my share of them, and you may have as well. Like canned food, they’re shelf stable and don’t require refrigeration. Just empty the contents into a pot or bowl and cook over regular heat.

If you’re going to purchase freeze dried and dehydrated foods, be sure you incorporate them into your regular diet enough so you’re used to them. Some of us have digestive systems that are more sensitive than others, and you don’t want to take chances with unpleasant problems in a survival situation.

Something as simple as a milk crate can make a big difference if you have to move your storage food. Water storage presents a different set of challenges. While you can buy cases of bottled water or use various types of water storage containers, water bricks are a good investment.

When it comes to taking care of yourself and those around you, you’ll need to know about first aid. It entails more than what’s in your kit. Of course, you’ll want more in your kit for a medium term event than for a short term scenario.

But consider these issues, too. How close are you to the nearest hospital? Can you get there? Will the hospital be operative, or has it sustained damage of some kind? How do you care for someone who’s injured if you can’t get medical help right away? Several pointers, including the ABC sequence, are discussed in the first aid chapter.


Protecting Yourself

With crime on the rise in today’s economy–and the possibility for civil unrest–you’ll want to pay close attention to this video’s tips about home and perimeter security. Where are the vulnerabilities in your home? Beyond that, what can you do to keep your neighborhood safe? Beware of crooks and scammers spying on your neighborhood.

The chapter on urban tactics continues the flow of common sense advice for anyone, whether you’re a prepper or not. How do you stay safe in public? The key is situational awareness.

When traveling to and from work or school, do you know alternate routes? What if storms have knocked down power lines or trees? What if there’s flooding? Or what if there’s rioting in a certain part of town?


Probing Deeper

I’m pleased to have the opportunity to share this Make Ready to Survive series with you. As I’ve noted elsewhere, you get the pooled knowledge and experience of guys who’ve been there, done that. The best part is, you can access their expertise any time when you watch the DVD’s or view the material online.

Yes, it’s true. Not only can you get “Suburban & City Environment” in DVD form, but you can subscribe to view it online. You can even access it on your mobile device. Panteao Productions also gives subscribers discounts on annual subscriptions and a 100% money back guarantee. So you have nothing to lose.

Find the Make Ready to Survive series by going to

If you watch every video in the Make Ready to Survive series, you’ll notice some redundancy regarding what’s covered. That’s OK because positive reinforcement is always good. On the other hand, not everyone will watch every presentation, so covering essential material appears to be Panteao’s strategy. You can see my reviews of the other video presentations here, here, and here.

Incidentally, this “Suburban & City Environment” DVD doesn’t feature as many product examples as some of the others in the series. Nonetheless, if you see something you like, you can help support DestinySurvival by shopping for what you’re looking for in the Prep Mart.

Have you viewed any of the videos in this series? What do you think? Are you as impressed as I am with the instruction and quality of the presentations? Why not leave a comment and let others know your impressions.