Safeguard Armor GHOST Body Armor: Almost What I Wanted, Not Quite What I Expected

black-ghost-vestLast year I had the opportunity to Review the SafeGuard Stealth Concealable Brand Vest Body Armor and I can say I was quite pleased with the vest. It fit well, seemed to be unnoticed by others, wasn’t horribly heavy or otherwise uncomfortable, and so on. I have, in fact, worn it a few times since then–just for grins–and probably wouldn’t mind wearing the vest daily if I had to.

So, when Safeguard Armor contacted me a few months ago I was happy to do another review, this time of the GHOST body armor. And, I should apologize to you, the readers, as well as to Safeguard because I had every intention of doing this review BEFORE we moved but just didn’t and, well, I’m finally getting to it…

So, about the GHOST vest. According to their website, the GHOST:

  • NIJ Level 2 or 3A Ballistic Protection
  • Edged Blade And Spike Protection
  • Carrier Made from 100% Coolmax® Cooling Material
  • Light-Weight Extra Small Carrier
  • Adjustable Velcro Shoulder & Waist Straps
  • Built to be Worn for Long Periods of Time
  • Weighs Less than 2.5kg

The vest I received was a level 2 ballistic and level 1 blade protection, you can learn more about the differences in protection levels, if you like. It came in the all black carrier and included an all white carrier which happened to be–for all intents and purposes–the exact same size as the previous Stealth concealable vest I got last year, and that’s where the confusion began…

You see, the first thing I noticed was that the newer black GHOST vest carrier was significantly larger than the previous vest I received (and, therefore, also much larger than the all white GHOST carrier I received too). Here’s a photo comparing the black GHOST carrier to the Stealth vest I received last year:

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To be honest, I don’t think the photo above does the difference proper justice. And, again, the white GHOST vest carrier is the same size as the Stealth vest from last year. Anyway, as I was curious, I took the ballistic plates out and compared them. Here’s the front plates (the GHOST plate is on the right):

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As you can see, the GHOST plate is vastly larger! So, I choose to take the back plates out and compare them as well:

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This time there’s not such a big difference but the GHOST back plate is a bit larger. Ok, what now? Well, I was curious if the GHOST plates would even fit in the all white GHOST vest I received and, sadly, the front plate wasn’t even close to fitting, as such, I didn’t bother to try the back plate. So, now I’m wondering why I have this additional (and much smaller) white vest carrier? I honestly don’t know.

More importantly, I’m wondering if I received the wrong vest! I say this in part because when I tried on the black GHOST vest carrier it fit me as if I should have been a bigger person (I’m only 5’4″ and shrinking it seems). To confound me even more, the tags on the GHOST vest carriers seemed correct but it’s obvious that the black carrier is significantly larger AND it doesn’t fit quite right.

I should briefly mention that I did take a few pictures of myself wearing the vest but most turned out not so good as I was holding the camera myself. Suffice it to say that this black GHOST carrier fit very poorly around the arms and even around my waist despite my “beer gut’s” best efforts to the contrary. 😉 In fact, the concealable vest I got last year fits MUCH better and is far less noticeable under clothing, in my opinion.

Speaking of which, about the only complaint I had regarding the vest from last year was that it, in my opinion, rode too high up my belly (slightly higher than my belly button) which was about correct according to their sizing chart. This GHOST vest, on the other hand, fit much more like I would have preferred. It fit down to my waist and, as you might suspect due to the size differences, covered much more body area in general, and even overlapped the sides a bit. I liked all of that and quite preferred it.

As for weight, the GHOST vest does seem to weigh a slight bit more than the concealable vest from last year, and that’s to be expected as the front ballistic plate is quite a bit bigger.

What’s my ultimate conclusion here?

I honestly think I got the wrong sized vest, although, I do like that it covered more area than it probably should have. The drawback, obviously, is that it’s far less GHOST-like than one would prefer… or expect. If I could get the arm openings and waist to fit a bit more snugly then this vest would have been perfect!

I should say that I didn’t bother to contact Safeguard about the vest, mostly because I had waited so long to do this review and I figured it couldn’t hurt to have a larger vest that fits bigger people. With regards to Safeguard Armor, I think they’re a good group of folks trying to do a good thing for people. Maybe they just got this particular vest wrong and I’m sure they would have remedied the foul up… or straightened me out if I were in the wrong. 🙂

All that said, if you’re in the market for a quality vest that could one day save your life (or that of a loved one) consider the GHOST body armor or even the Stealth body armor by Safeguard Armor. I’m sure you’ll be fully satisfied.

The Best Way to Stay Safe While Holiday Shopping: It’s as Easy as Click-Click-Click!

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I keep reading tips and suggestions from other sites that aim to help you stay safe while holiday shopping this year and much of it is very good advice, stuff I would tell you to do myself. The thing is that most of the advice is really geared towards your situational awareness, you know… your “danger radar” which can be easily distracted even more so during the busy holidays.

The thing is that whenever your’re out and about you put yourself at risk to predators. What’s my solution? It’s easy…

ALWAYS SHOP ONLINE!

You might think that’s an easy answer but I see very little reason to fight with the crowds when it’s sooooooo easy to purchase nearly anything you want online. It is, IMO, the best way to stay safe while holiday shopping. In fact, besides groceries I can’t tell you the last consumer product that I actually purchased at a brick and mortar store. For me it’s Amazon.com or bust, though, there are others. Here’s why I much prefer to shop online…

  1. Finding what you really want is only a mouse-click away. Obviously, I’m a huge fan of Amazon.com but there are plenty of other places you can go to find what you want, from eBay.com to Google Shopping and plenty more. I suggest you stick with the well-known sites to avoid any type of fraud or funny business.
  2. It’s usually much less expensive to shop online. With just a little effort you can often find far better prices shopping for whatever you want online (usually Amazon.com) than at any brick and mortar store. Granted, there may be some exceptions but 99% of the time I’d say this is true. But, just to be sure you can always first check any brick and mortar store’s prices online (e.g., Walmart or Target, Best Buy, Home Depot or Lowe’s, etc) to compare.
  3. Shipping prices are often very cheap. Amazon.com actually price-fixes shipping rates so you can’t get gouged and if you sign up for Amazon Prime (I recently did and am lovin’ it) many items will ship fast (often two business day shipping) and free (but not always). Of course, you do have to pay attention to extraordinarily low product prices on some websites because they do turn around and “stick it to you” with shipping costs. Often, however, even paying for shipping is still a better price than any brick and mortar store’s marked-up prices.
  4. You’re warm and safe in the comfort of your own home. Considering that much of the country is still very cold and inundated bad road conditions… why get out in that mess? Stay home where it’s a balmy 72 degrees and you can run around in your undies. 🙂
  5. Your credit card information is very safe. I know there are some people who would NEVER–not in a million years–give up their credit card information to the neer-do-wells on the Net but I’d say it’s every bit as safe as giving your credit card to some teenager at the local mall. So long as you don’t first have any malware on your computer and you stick with well-known sites there’s nothing to be concerned about.
  6. Your OPSEC will NOT be blown! Again, there are those who think the UPS or FedEx guy is “making a list and checking it twice” for all of the purchases you make and slowly plotting to steal all of your preps but, c’mon, that guy delivers so much stuff he couldn’t care less that you just bought another giant box from some store he couldn’t care less about… unless it weighs like 200 pounds and he’s wondering what in the world it is that weighs so much. This is especially true during the holidays… he just wants the day to be over with. That said, if you are concerned about it then you could have some things delivered to a P.O. Box or, better yet, a friend or family members house but I suggest it’s of little concern in most cases.

Like I said, if you really want to stay safe then consider shopping from the comfort of your own home. If you opt for Amazon Prime then many items qualify for free two-day shipping and thus far I’ve been rather impressed. It’s easier, cheaper, and fast enough that even Santa himself would be proud. 🙂

Holy Crap! If Paintball is ANYTHING Like a Real Life Gun Fight, I’m Screwed!!

paintballThis past weekend I had the opportunity to play a few hours of paintball with some friends and family at a nearby facility for my son’s recent birthday. None of us had ever been before and I can honestly say it was an eye-opening experience. Apparently, there are some people who take this VERY seriously. And, like the title says, if paintball is anything like what I might see in a real life firefight, I really am in big trouble.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’ve never served in the military or law enforcement and therefore don’t have any tactical combat training or experience. Of course, I should first mention that I can see how paintball might differ significantly from a real-life scenario but it’s likely the closest any average Joe (like me) is going to get and still live to talk about it.

In particular, I was surprised at how quickly the pace of the game could change, at how much difference experienced players made, and how easy it was to get shot! Over the course of several games I managed to get shot in the leg multiple times, square in the chest once or twice, the shoulder, and once in the head. The sad part is that it was my own teammate that shot me in the head. Even worse, I’m almost positive it was my own kid or his friend. 🙁

Now, I noticed that some of the better players tended to rush up quickly whereas I preferred to hang back… just delaying my inevitable demise as it were. And, obviously, sometimes these rushing players got shot early on but most of the time they wrecked havoc. In a real-life situation I doubt we would see such bravado. I also noticed quite a bit of teamwork among the better players, including hand signals and what seemed like understood strategies… it seems they’ve done this a lot. This drove home how important it would be to learn to work together with others you expect to survive with so you act like a unit and not all chaotic as most of us were. I’m sure this makes sense but it’s one thing to talk about strategy and yet another to actually do it.

Like I mentioned above, paintball has it’s flaws as a training tool. For one you’re confined to a field with set boundaries. In addition, there’s nothing to be said for “home field advantage” in that you know your home and surroundings whereas an attacking group would not. Similarly, there are no early warning devices to alert you of an attack nor the element of surprise from being attacked. And, needless to say, you get to walk away when you’re shot… minus a little pride.

Regardless of the downsides, I can’t think of any other potential training tool that the average person (or group) might utilize to bring cohesion, work strategy, and even get some small inkling of what it might feel like to be shot at, though, I couldn’t imagine being shot at for real! Those of you who have done–and still do–so in defense of our country, I can only say “thank you” from the depths of my heart and soul as I’m positive it takes a truly special person to put themselves in harms way day-in and day-out. God bless you all.

How to React in Case of a Chemical Attack

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Having a family and people that rely on you for their protection and safety gives you a different outlook on life and your responsibilities. After seeing the shocking news about the chemical attacks in Syria many parents asked themselves “What if this happened here?” and the answer is: “We really don’t know”. That’s when, being a mother of three, I decided to take a closer look at my options in case of such an eventuality.  What can I do to protect my family from a chemical attack? I can be prepared and being prepared means knowing the facts.  From the ones I’ve gathered, this is the plan I’ve put in place for my family.

At Home

Can I seal my home so chemical gases can’t penetrate my family’s living space? Yes I can. My first step is to make sure that my home is protected from intruders who could, potentially, disrupt the seal and allow the lethal chemical to enter my home.

  • A good option for this is to install a home security system such as offered by ADT Security Systems in Phoenix, Arizona. This is a good idea in any case. There are a lot of bad people out there and nobody wants them in their home.
  • Designate a room in your home as the safe room. It should be on the upper level of your home and as far to the center of the building as it can be. The room should have as few windows as possible, having none at all would be better. If there is an adjacent bathroom that is great, but the same rules apply about windows and location.
  • If there is no bathroom nearby, have a camping toilet ready to use. This, together with dry food supplies, flashlight, battery-operated radio, water and hand sanitizer should always be stored in the designated room.
  • You can also get gasmasks or, even better, hazmat suits in case the chemical that was used lingers and you have to leave your home.  If you have a land-line, have a phone installed in your safe room, if you only use a cellphone make sure to have a spare charger stocked with the rest of your survival gear. In case of a chemical emergency you probably won’t have time to get these things.
  •  In case disaster strikes turn off all heaters and air-conditioners, arm your alarm and take your family to the safe room.
  •  You can use plastic and duct-tape to seal the doors from the inside, covering all seams between door and wall. Don’t forget the door knob.

Being isolated in a room from the outside world can be your ticket to survival and you should only leave when you know for sure that the danger has passed. Various chemicals have various dissipation times and act in different ways. That’s why it’s important you listen to the radio for updates on the situation and use your phone to call emergency responders to find out what the status is.

In the Car

You can’t seal your car like you could a home but you can make do with what you have and hope for the best. If you are aware of a chemical attack taking place in vicinity of where you are;

  • close your windows,
  •  turn off the air-conditioner
  • Keep your radio tuned
  • Drive as far away from the area that’s compromised in an orderly fashion, don’t speed or run traffic lights, you’re trying to survive not kill yourself in another way.
  • Stay in your car until you  are positive that you are no longer in range of the chemical
  • Listen for indications of what kind of chemical was used and how it dissipates, you don’t want to get away only to find that you’ve brought the chemical with you on your car’s surface.
  • When you exit your car don’t touch any outside parts of it before you’re sure the chemical doesn’t harm on contact.

Outside

Most chemicals are created to attack your body through the airways; however, some can be absorbed through the skin as well. If you are outside and a chemical attack takes place your best options are to;

  • Run away from the source as quickly as you can
  • Breathe through anything you have at hand to filter the air, your t-shirt, your sweater, your jacket or scarf. Anything is better than inhaling the pure chemical and it could at least limit the amount of chemicals you inhale.
  • Find shelter – running behind a building that blocks the chemical for a little bit can make all the difference
  • Look for emergency responders to indicate where you should go, there may be facilities in your vicinity to wait out the chemical attack
  • Once you’ve reached safety remove your clothing, this is no time to be modest. Your clothes may have traces of the chemical on them and still harm you.

Above all else, always be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts. If it doesn’t look right it probably isn’t right. Keep up with the news. You want to know what’s going on in the world so you can be prepared to defend yourself and your loved ones against the dangers the world, unfortunately, has in store for us. To some it may sound like the paranoid ramblings of a mother hen, but I know there are others who feel exactly the same and would do anything to keep their families safe.  Heads up and masks on y’all!

naomi-broderickAbout the author:

Naomi Broderick is the mother of three and a professional writer. When she’s not wrestling with kids, writing or prepping for disasters, she’s resting from all of it. Phew!

Throat Strike Lesson #2 by Coach David Alexander

“In this video I am demonstrating another throat or trachea strike to incapacitate an attacker. You would never use this strike unless you or your families lives are on the line.

Move into your attacker using your body weight through your shin bone and into the attacker’s trachea. This will cause your attacker to clutch their throat (somatic reflex), panic and start to asphyxiate, which will open another target with the overall goal of eliminating the threat.

You do not need to be an NFL kicker in order to crush the trachea. You want to kick hard enough to cause a somatic reflex, which will open up another target (if necessary).

Even if you miss the trachea, you still should be making contact with the chin/mandible, which could result in knocking out your attacker. After the strike, make sure to continue, if necessary, into a secondary target to make sure the threat is neutralized.

We do not want to strike and create space, because this will could possibly give your attacker time to recover. We also want to be aware that the attacker might have an accomplice.

This is just one of many strikes you can use against a target in my B.E.T. “Target Based” Self Defense System…the fastest to learn and most effective self defense system in the world. For more videos and information check out my blog by clicking here.”

Author Bio

Coach David Alexander Bio:    World Famous Self Defense Expert, Strength & Conditioning Specialist.  I am the creator of the B.E.T. “Target Based” Self Defense System…the fastest to learn and most effective self defense system in the world, and Author of David’s Diet.  My websites, DVD’s, videos, commercials, articles and book have been visited, watched or read by over 60 countries and counting.  My main focus is to reduce assaults, murders and rapes by arming the world…and when I say “arming the world” I mean by turning everyone into a lethal weapon.  Instead of giving everyone a gun, I will just teach them how to become the gun using their brains and bodies.

Real Self Defense by Coach David Alexander

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I’m glad to see Coach David is “back in business” and working on his B.E.T. personal self-defense system which I purchased and reviewed a while back and was very gald I did. Sadly, I NEED to get it back out again and review, review, review.

David recently contacted me to let me know he’s revising his B.E.T. system and so I’m excited to share it with you today! The best part is that David has decided to allow you multiple ways to get this information, including as a DVD and via membership area. Personally, I wish he would have done this a long time ago as I certainly would have choose the membership option but that’s just me. 🙂

If you want to get yourself and your family as ready as you can be for hand-to-hand combat should the need ever arise, skip all the “fluff” martial arts and read below to see what he’s got for us today…

Coach David Alexander here for rethinksurvival.com.  I have been working on re-editing my B.E.T. “Target Based” Self Defense System.

You can watch the re-edited and updated version of Part 1 (Empty Hand Self Defense) if you buy The Ultimate Survival Bundle (http://ultimatesurvivalbundle.com/coachdavid) or go to http://www.howtokillwithyourhands.com.

I am also starting a new idea for my YouTube channel called “Ask Coach David”.  Ask me a question on Self Defense, Paleo Diet, Strength & Conditioning and even Economics and I will do my best to make a video answering your question.  Here is an example:

Here is a video of me practicing with “Bob”

The following two videos were shot during one of my MMA Classes.  Tell me what you think.  Coach David Alexander (http://www.coachdavidalexander.com)

If you have any comments, leave them below and I will do my best to answer.  Thanks, Coach David Alexander

OnlineCarryTraining.com – Possibly the Easiest Way to Get Your Concealed Carry (CCW) License on the Planet

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Getting my CCW permit has been one of those things on my to-do list that never quite gets done and, sadly, is probably one of the more important prepping actions to GET DONE! Fortunately, a few weeks ago I was contacted by the folks at OnlineCarryTraining.com about their course. To be honest, I had no idea you could even take a CCW course online as I always figured you had to do it in-person at a local establishment. Well, happily that’s not the case!

As you might suspect, I had a few questions before I opted to take the course…

How long does the course take?

Hey, I’m a busy man… I can’t spend days doing this! As it turns out the course video is ONLY 15 minutes long. When you’re done you take a test and print out a certificate of completion and that’s about it! In fact, I decided to look into local courses here in goold ol’ Kansas City, Missouri and every course I could find was eight hours long. Really? I would suspect most of that is fluff for people who have never fired a handgun in their life but I honestly cannot say. I would suspect, however, that if you’re confident enough to seek a CCW permit then you’re probably well-versed in appropriate safety considerations and really don’t need to spend 8 hours discussing things like “don’t point the handgun at anybody you don’t want to kill…” and stuff like that. Personally, I was glad it only lasted 15 minutes.

How much does the course cost?

The cost is $70. At first I thought that was a tad expensive, until I noticed the prices for local courses and darn near every single course was $100 or more. I did, however, find a few that only charged $50 but then there’s still that problem of having to spend 8 hours trying not to fall asleep. 😉 I’m not sure the cost of CCW courses in your area but if it’s anything like what I found then $70 is a bargain.

Now the real question…

How does this really work?

The course you’re taking actually qualifies you for a Arizona non-resident permit, assuming you don’t live there, of course. Actually, there are a few other states where you can apply for a resident’s permit but most states are a non-resident permit. See their FAQ for more info.

This is actually where I got a bit confused but it appears that instead of applying for a permit in the state where you reside, in most cases, you’re actually applying to Arizona but there are a few states where that is not the case. You should locate your state here and follow the instructions. In Missouri, for example, I would be applying to Arizona for a non-resident permit. I would then need to follow the instructions at the bottom of the aforementioned page on “How to Apply for Your Arizona Non-Resident Permit” which basically requires me to contact Arizona’s DPS CCW Unit, request an application kit, pay their $60 fee, then hurry up and wait.

Is this legal to do?

This was my biggest concern. They discuss this in the FAQ but basically I think this is ok to do because of reciprocity rules between Arizona and the states that qualify. In fact, you can verify this at Handgunlaw.us [PDF File] under Arizona. You can also use this “cheat sheet” [PDF File] that lists state-by-state who honors which permits.

Why I didn’t take this any further

I totally wanted to finish the process but I’m actually moving to a state that does not accept Arizona’s permits–don’t ask, I’m not very happy about it–and since it could take two months to get my paperwork processed, we’d basically be moving shortly after I got everything in order. That’s a serious bummer! As for you, if your state accepts Arizona’s permits and you’re not moving to a “worse” state than you currently live in now, I would VERY strongly encourage you to take at most a half-hour out of your day and get your CCW permit at OnlineCarryTraining.com. I found the course to be easy enough to follow and fast enough to not put me to sleep.

Oh, and you do have to take a test at the end in order to pass the class and if you know anything at all about handgun or were even paying attention to the video then you should be able to pass with flying colors and get your certificate which can then be printed out after you pass the test.

Review of Soviet GP-5 Gas Mask – Inexpensive Yet Good NBC Mask by T.R., EAL

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Hi, Today I would like to talk about the Soviet GP-5 gas mask. When the cold war was going on, the Russians built some extensive bomb shelters in most of the major cities in the Soviet Union. The civil defense system had to equip millions of men women and children with the basics in case of war. They had huge underground warehouses full of equipment they hoped they would never have to use.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, some of the satellite nations broke away, becoming independent, but still had the Soviet civil defense stockpiles in their country. So they started selling it off to the west. The GP-5 is one of the things they started selling, it is like all things from the old Soviet Union, simple but practical. If you are looking for a cheap, fast on, fast off gas mask, this is for you.

The GP-5s are new as they have never been used, and were kept in storage. If you are looking for a serious biological warfare mask………then keep looking. Tests made in Poland on the GP-5 rated it effective for chemical / biological / nuclear protection for up to 24 hours. That’s all fine and dandy, but I wouldn’t trust it for biological. My attitude is that with modern biological, chemical warfare the way it is, you will most likely be infected before you are even aware of the threat. That is a scary fact folks, prepping for it is like a terminally ill cancer patient stopping smoking…….too little, too late.

The reason I picked this mask up is to protect myself from the two most likely things that I will run into, and they are OC and Teargas. The GP-5 will shine against those things without any doubt, I have a buddy that was an ex deputy marshal and prison guard before that. He told me that wearing that would indeed protect me from any OC and teargas.

The GP-5 comes to you (or should) with a military cloth carrying case, a can of anti fog, disposable lens rounds (keep the aluminum can, throw the anti fogs away….junk), and a canister. Throw the old Soviet canister away, as all are expired, buy a modern industrial canister for it, most will run about $35 apiece. The Canister will cost you 3 times more than the mask itself. The mask should be sized correctly, if a seller tells you one size fits all……..they don’t know what they are selling, and you will most likely be paying too much for it.

Look for Eastern European sellers, that’s where the old warehouses were, they know what they are selling and should give you a sizing chart to order from. Its easy on, just stretch over your head, you have complete head coverage, pull the canister stopper……..and you’re in business!!!!!

For the price, you cant beat it. And it will indeed protect you from OC and teargas that will be used liberally by law enforcement in times of civil unrest. If you live in an urban area or where you think this may be a possibility, then the GP-5 is good to have.

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CONTEST POST: Protecting Your Castle from Intruders by P.H.

home securityWe face a multitude of dangers every single day. Danger can strike at any moment. Muggings happen in almost every location you can think of, from bus stops and alleyways, to parking lots and grocery stores. Most of these situations are unavoidable and criminals often target random people. There really isn’t a way to prevent these things from happening.

Unlike public areas however, your home his one place you shouldn’t ever have to worry about things like these happening. You can do simple things to protect your home, and prevent it from being targeted by criminals. There are very easy steps you can take to ensure the safety of you and your family, and the best part is, most of them are free.

First and foremost, you need a good home security system. Once you get that set up you’ll want to display that you have a security system installed in your home. Most provide you with a sign you can put in your yard as well as stickers to put on doors and windows. However, there is one small problem you may run into. The intruder may know how to disable your system and render it useless. While this generally isn’t the case, it still happens. So consider designing your own sign or hire a graphic designer to make one for you. A simple design shouldn’t cost more than 10 bucks.

If you don’t have the funds and are looking for a cheaper solution to a security system, just buy a sign. Sure, an alarm that sounds when someone enters your home is nice to have and is invaluable; but the sight of a security system sign alone will scare off almost any criminal.

It might surprise you to know that 30 percent of burglaries aren’t forced entry. That means one of two things, either you know the person, or you just forgot to lock your doors. Now one of these can be fixed just by locking your doors, but how do you catch the other group? One easy way is to get a hidden camera. Babysitters and repairmen are often the perpetrators of this type of burglary. If you have a lot of things in your house and don’t keep an eye on them, they often take things and get away with it. Ever wonder where that old watch went or where your favorite movie disappeared to? It could have been stolen by someone like this.

Another thing that is often overlooked is when you travel or go on vacation, DO NOT post about it on social media networks like Facebook or Twitter. Unless you completely trust everyone that you’re friends with and everyone that they’re friends with – which I know is not the case for 99 percent of people – announcing to hundreds or maybe even thousands of people that you’re not home this week is one of the dumbest things you can do. This gives criminals opportunities to steal EVERYTHING in your house. It may be tempting to post pictures and updates about your exciting vacation, but it’s not a good idea.

There are so many little things you can do to protect your home as well like: keeping your windows covered, keeping your yard well lit, having a neighborhood watch program, make it appear as if someone is always home, and keeping valuable things out of sight.

Most of these things are common sense, but a lot of people don’t stop to think about it because they don’t think it could ever happen to them. It CAN happen to anyone, and we all need to prepare for it. It’s better to be safe than sorry right?

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To enter your own article please email me at rethinksurvival (at) gmail (dot) com with your submission and review the rules here.

Please visit these fine sponsors and learn more about the prizes below…

Fortunately, we have some very gracious sponsors who are willing to sponsor this fun contest. Please visit their sites and review the products being donating as they are certainly good people doing good things for our community. Here’s the prizes…

nano-striker-fire-starter CampingSurvival.com is donating an Exotac nanoSTRIKER XL Ferrocerium Fire Starter in Olive Drab.The description says “We created an evolutionary derivative of the original nanoSTRIKER with a larger rod and striker handle. It utilizes the same innovative design as the original, but with just enough extra size and heft to improve its ease of use without making it too big or bulky for key chain carry. The striker handle is 46% bigger, making it easier to grip. The XL version also sports a 33% larger ferrocerium rod, which improves the durability and lifespan of the rod even beyond that of the original nanoSTIKERs. Slowly scrape shavings off the rod into a small pile. Use these shavings on top of your tinder bundle for even better sparks! Use the nanoSTRIKER? to light gas stoves, alcohol stoves, fuel tablets, BBQ grills, etc.”
guardian-first-aid-pack MayflowerTrading.com is donating an The Guardian First Aid Fanny Pack. Contents include: 1 – Fanny Pack, 1 – Eye Wash, 2 – Instant Ice Packs, 1 – 3″ ACE Bandage, 1 – Bandage Scissors, 1 – First Aid Guide, 1 – CPR Mouthpiece, 3 – Iodine Prep Pads, 6 – Pair Nitrile Gloves, 3 – 2 x 2 Gauze Pads, 4 – 4 x 4 Gauze Pads 1 – Tissue Pack, 6 – Alcohol Prep Pads, 2 – Water Gels, 1 – 1 x10 yds Adhesive Tape, 1 – Bio-Hazard Waste Bag, 1 – Box 3/4 x 3 Bandages, 1 – Tweezers1 – 4 ounce Hand Sanitizer, 2 – Eye Pads, 6 – Wet Naps, 1 – Hydrogen Peroxide, 1 – 5 x 9 Combine Dressing Bandages
ozark-mountain-gift-cert OzarkMountainPreparedness.com is donating $100 Gift Certificate to any of their wonderful survival courses.”Our mission is to provide the highest quality instructional courses to people who desire to pursue a self-reliant lifestyle; whether in the wilds or right at home. By blending both modern and primitive methods into our curriculum, we offer a comprehensive and practical view of survival and preparedness. Our course topics include wilderness and urban survival, fur trapping, bushcraft, primitive skills, long-term wilderness living, land navigation, home disaster preparation, outdoor cooking, food procurement and storage, foraging, wild edibles, and others.”
grow-buckets RifleStock.com is donating a set of five Self-Watering Grow Buckets. I recently got a set and will review them soon. What is a grow bucket? “It is a 4, 5 or 6 gallon bucket altered to grow vegetables and flowers using a water reservoir in the base. Growing plants in self-watering buckets has been around for quite a while now, but our design has improved on the old method of using two buckets, one inside of the other, to create the water reservoir.”
I figured my sponsors shouldn’t do all the work, so I’m throwing in a McNett Tactical Aquamira Frontier Pro Ultralight Water Filter:
•Military edition portable water filter system with straw-style design
•Attaches directly to water bottles, cups, or bladders
•Removes 99.9 percent of Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and other contaminants
•Activated carbon improves taste; universal connectivity adapter system
•Filters up to 50 gallons; removable bite valve doubles as hanging drip filter

Are You Committing These Security Blunders?

security-keysFor most of us it’s easy to let your home and personal security lapse. After all, how often is your life or property ever really in danger due to other people’s actions? Unless you live or work in “bad neighborhoods” or just have bad luck I would guess it’s a relatively rare occurrence… I know I’ve never been robbed or had my house broken into. Of course, more than 2 million burglaries are reported each year in the U.S. (at a rate of about one every 13 seconds) with two-thirds being home thefts, so somebody is getting robbed! Fortunately, it’s not me… cross my fingers. 😉

Regardless,, it’s understandable how easy it is to let things go and just live life without much thought to one’s security. I know I’ve done it and still do to varying degrees, my wife does it, my kids do it, and everyone I know does too. We’ll leave doors unlocked, windows wide open, and blare the television without a second thought.

With this in mind, I thought I would share some security blunders we should work to avoid whenever possible. Obviously, the first step in rectifying these problems is to be aware of them. The next step is then to take appropriate actions to remedy the problems.

Easy Access

The first type of blunder is making it easy to access your home or residence without the “bad guy” doing any work whatsoever. Why make their lives any easier? Consider these simple steps…

  • Lock your door deadbolts at all times (especially while home) – this should be an obvious one but among the most likely way a burglar will enter your home is directly through the… can you guess… the front door! The next most likely is the back door, followed by the garage, and sliding glass doors. Granted, you really should beef-up your door locks and hinges (which are a discussion for a different day) but start with actually using the locks provided… doing so may cause burglars to simply choose to move on.
  • Shut and latch windows in rooms not currently occupied – windows are another major source of entry for burglars. Believe it or not, many thieves prefer to enter and rob a home during the day WHILE the homeowners are there! That’s crazy if you ask me but it’s the trend. Windows are an easy entry, even those on the second floor and certainly any open windows where people are not currently occupying the room. So, if you choose to open all the windows in the house to air it out (I know I’m guilty) you might start to consider a different strategy.

Letting Your Guard Down

Letting your guard down while at home is another huge area of concern. Even if you’re great at locking the doors and windows, you still need to concern yourself with the “rush attack” which is nothing more than bullying their way in through your front door when you answer. This is probably the scariest scenario I can think of because these type of people are far more likely to want to terrorize you than to simply steal from you. Consider these concerns…

  • Not checking the peep hole before answering – even though you’re expecting the UPS man today to deliver your 12-months of food storage from The Ready Store, there’s not guarantee that’s who’s actually standing on your front steps. I could be anyone, even a junked-out hoodlum and his three buddies looking for an easy score.
  • Opening the door without a secondary latch – Even if it is the UPS man, the bad guys have been known to impersonate all sorts of business people. In this case you’ll want to utilize a good door security bar that is always latched (yeah, that’s the difficult part) in order to delay potential rush attacks.
  • Not having a ready means of self defense within reach – in the unfortunate event that you find yourself in this situation, it behooves you to have some means of immediately defending–or at least deterring–an attack. Obviously, this means immediate access to a firearm (preferably on your person) but I know that’s not an option for many people so even something like a large can of bear spray within easy reach is better than nothing.

Obliviousness to Surroundings

Your security at home actually starts before you ever step foot inside. You need to think about your entire residence from the outside in…

  • Appropriate lighting, especially around entry doors, pathways, driveway – If there’s one thing it seems most burglars don’t like it’s light. Be sure you have appropriate lighting anywhere you expect to enter your home, from the driveway to the front steps or backdoor… it’s a cheap and easy deterrent.
  • Look around before exiting your vehicle – is anything out of the ordinary? Doors ajar, windows busted, lights on inside that you KNOW were not left on or vice-versa? Yes, there are reasons that things may not be the way you left them (such as other household members) but most people have a set way of being in life and you may be keen enough to pick up on anything out of the ordinary if you open your eyes and ears.

Sure, there are plenty of other actions and upgrades one could add to increase your general home security and personal safety but I would suggest these actions will have the greatest impact. That said, what might you add that I did not?