Off the Grid Super Stack FINAL Call

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This is the final mention about this amazing offer because your chance to grab the Off the Grid Super Stack ends at midnight (EST) on Tuesday, 9/17/19.

If you haven’t decided yet, I’d say there are two simple questions you need to answer:

Question 1: Do you have the time, energy and wisdom to figure everything out by yourself?

Question 2: Can you afford the thousands of dollars it would cost to purchase all of the books, courses and top tier resources contained in the Off the Grid Super Stack?

If the answer to both questions is ‘yes’, then go ahead and ignore this email. It’s not for you.

If the answer is ‘no’ or ‘I’m not sure’ to either of the above questions, then keep reading:

Obviously, the Off the Grid Super Stack will give you an instant head start on your preparedness, homesteading and off the grid goals.

Literally thousands of people just like you have flourished because of the guidance and expertise they’ve found in the books and courses provided in this stack…

And many of these individuals have spent THOUSANDS more than you will when you purchase the stack today.

All you have to do is take action right now to get access to the over $700 + worth of cutting edge content included in the stack.

BUT…

At midnight on Tuesday, this offer goes away.

And when it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

In one year’s time, where will you be when you decide that today is the day you commit to getting started on your preparedness goals?

Far better off than you are today, that’s for sure.

Click here to discover more about this amazing deal which ends in less than 24 hours.

Take care, Damian

P.S. Are you still on the fence? Don’t worry, the guys over at Infostack have incredible integrity and offer a 60-day refund guarantee. So, you’ll have plenty of time to go through all the info and decide later whether it’s ultimately wonderful or not (in my opinion, the deal most certainly is)…

But if you don’t grab it now, the deal is gone for good.

Click here to grab your copy of the Stack before it’s gone for good.

9 Skills to Teach Your Kids About Survival

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As a parent, ensuring your children are safe from harm is a top priority in life. While it’s important to educate and prepare yourself for emergencies or impeding danger, your kids may not always be with you and rely on your survival instincts. Would they have the knowledge and skills to get by on their own if they were faced with a dangerous situation in the wilderness? If the answer is no, then it’s in your children’s best interest to teach them some basic survival skills.

Even if you don’t already have a lot of knowledge about wilderness survival skills, that’s OK. This is the perfect opportunity to learn together and bond. On your next camping trip or hike, you can make the process fun for everyone by teaching and practicing together. Here are some of the best ways to educate your children about survival while involving the whole family.

Best Approaches to Teaching Survival to Kids

  • Involve and educate them: To keep your children interested in all the important survival information you’re teaching them, make sure to involve them in the entire process. You can let them help you create a survival kit as you explain what items are included along with their purpose. Educate your kids on the various environments they could face in the wild, and use engaging pictures or videos to support your points.
  • Answer their questions: Depending on the situation or environment, your children may need further explanation if they don’t understand a particular survival procedure. Be sure to leave time for their questions to create a dialogue that will help them feel more included and informed. You can even use this as an opportunity to let your kids do more research to understand the parts of survival they have an interest in. Just make sure you’re monitoring and guiding them to reputable wilderness survival sources.
  • Make it interactive: Some children understand information better when they can have a hands-on or visual experience. A great way to use this tactic is to talk about various survival scenarios on your next family camping trip or make a game out of it by testing them in a controlled environment. You can take a hike and teach your kids what to do if they ever get separated from the group or even construct an emergency shelter together at your campsite. By doing so, they will see firsthand how important it is to know survival skills if they ever find themselves in a similar situation.

No matter which type of teaching your children enjoy the most, you should ensure they learn the most basic survival skills to stay safe in the wilderness.

Basic Survival Skills Your Children Should Know

There is an immense amount of information on wilderness survival available to teach your kids. Ensuring they know about the following basic survival tactics will give them a foundation to grow from and learn more.

1. Situational Awareness

One of the most essential survival skills to know, but also one of the most challenging ones to teach, is situational awareness. The key to surviving a wildlife emergency is understanding the situation you are in and knowing how to react. You can explain to your children how to stay calm and level-headed in any circumstance by helping them develop their natural survival instincts. However, it’s important to reassure your kids that fear is the natural reaction in an emergency, and it’s perfectly normal to feel that way.

Teaching your children to make use of all their senses, know their exits and look for alert signals can help them become more aware of their surroundings and understand their situation. Tell them that panicking can lead to making rash decisions. Remaining calm and staying put if it’s safe would be best and could help them get rescued.

For certain situations, you can even help them recognize the signs of danger by roleplaying. As an example, have your kids pretend they are lost or stranded in the woods. Make sure they stay where they are, telling them to find a nearby tree or rock to “befriend” that they can name and talk to so they keep calm until help arrives. This is a great way to practice staying calm and in one spot until relief comes.

2. Signaling

Since it’s not always possible to leave and find help, it’s important to teach your children how to signal for aid if they are stuck somewhere. Sometimes, yelling can waste precious energy, and it’s possible people nearby won’t be able to hear the victim anyway.

The best way to ensure your children can signal for help is to equip them with a whistle. They should blow it three times to indicate they need help. You can practice with your kids by teaching them the international emergency whistle signal of three short blows. Have them practice this pattern as loud as they can and then have them wait until they hear your response. If your kids hear other calls or whistle blasts, have them repeat the exercise until they make contact with the searcher. Doing so will help your children learn the best signaling practices while getting the entire family involved.

Your children can also carry a mirror or other reflective item they can use to signal passing helicopters and planes. Another way your kids can signal for help is by starting a fire. Depending on the situation and the materials your kids have at their disposal, this can be an extremely helpful survival tactic. Fire has a variety of uses other than for signaling.

[Editor’s note: Breaking branches is another great way to draw attention.]

3. Starting a Fire

Not only can fire be used to attract attention, but it’s also one of the most vital survival skills due to its versatility. Knowing how to start a fire is essential to wilderness survival because it provides warmth and is a way to purify water and cook food. Teach your kids the basics of starting a fire. Show them how to find spots away from the wind, where to find kindling or tinder, and how to keep the fire burning. Fire safety knowledge is a vital part of this skill. Although the majority of children know not to play with fire, they may not know other fire safety tips.

Generally, after building a fire, you should ensure it is completely out before you leave . Ask your child if they know this, and if not, teach them a few ways they can put out the fire they created.

4. Shelter

In addition to starting a fire, constructing a shelter is another critical survival skill your children can use to protect themselves from the elements. Teach your kids that retaining body heat is a necessary part of survival. They can do so by creating a refuge out of layers of leaves, tarps or tree branches, or even staying in caves or hollow trees while they wait for help.

As important as it is to build a shelter, it’s even more vital to ensure your children know they should not hide. Concealing themselves within a makeshift shelter could lead to searchers not finding them in the wilderness. Kids should be taught that if they create a refuge for themselves, they need to leave a highly visible marker of their presence. It should be in the open and easily visible to searchers.

5. Self-Defense

Self-defense comes in many forms, whether it’s learning about gun safety and use, exploring different types of martial arts or knowing what to do when faced with a wild animal. Basic knowledge can give your children confidence when faced with a dangerous situation and the comfort that they know how to protect themselves.

As they gain more understanding about shooting or using knives, they can use these skills to hunt for food in the wild. Depending on your area, you and your children can enroll in hunter-trapper education classes together to start conversations about firearm handling and safety.

6. Water

In general, humans can survive up to three weeks without food. However, it’s impossible to go more than a few days without water, because the human body can only tolerate a 1-2% loss before problems arise. Your children should be able to find both food and water so they can replenish their energy in emergencies. As you hike and camp together, teach your kids how to find natural water sources like streams or creeks and purify what they’ve discovered.

That said, your children might not always be able to get a fire started to heat the water or find something to boil it in. Regardless, it’s better that your child is alive and ill from contaminated water than dying of dehydration. If possible, teach your kids how to recognize which streams are likely cleaner, or even what to do if it rains so they can collect the rainwater for drinking or cleaning.

7. Food

Foraging for food is another necessary survival skill for your kids to know. Having local edible plant foraging skills can be incredibly helpful for your children, as some of them even have medicinal properties. However, it can be difficult for children to discern one plant from another when caught in an emergency. Eating wild plants and berries might not be wise if they aren’t sure it is safe to consume.

The same goes for wild animals, as they could carry different diseases or be generally unsafe to capture and cook. You can find a reputable foraging guide online that describes the differences between safe and poisonous foods to educate yourself and your children on the best practices.

8. Insulating Clothing

Another essential wilderness survival tip is insulating your clothes to prevent hypothermia in cold-weather areas or during a snowstorm or rainstorm. Since children are smaller in size it puts them at a higher risk of cooling off too much, especially when exposed to the elements. Instructing your kids on how to create insulation in their clothes can make all the difference when they’re in an emergency. When they feel cold, they should find vegetation they can stuff in their clothing to provide extra layers.

To make this lesson more interactive, make a game out of it by telling your kids they’re going to turn themselves into a scarecrow or stuffed animal. Have your children tuck their pants into their shoes and shirt into their pants for maximum insulation. Then, they can fill both articles of clothing with the leaves. Even if they’re wearing a summer outfit, they can still stuff their shirt to keep their torso warm.

9. First Aid

Knowing conventional first aid treatments can come in handy if your kids are injured or develop a health problem during an emergency. Teach your children what to do when faced with insect stings, blisters, cuts and scrapes, altitude illness and other medical issues they may encounter in the wild.

When your family creates a first aid kit, make sure to include bandages, scissors, gauze, alcohol pads, rubber gloves, cotton balls and cotton swabs. As you gather the materials, teach your kids about each item’s purpose and how they can use them. That way, if your children should ever need to treat a wound or other health problem, they already have a basic knowledge of common first-aid practices.

Better Safe Than Sorry

Although it’s scary imagining your children in a dangerous situation, it’s best to help them develop skills so they are prepared for any situation. In generations past, kids learned these skills in their everyday lives. Take the extra step and practice these exercises with your children in pretend scenarios so they have the same level of survival knowledge.

If your children face a life or death experience in the wild, you can have some peace of mind knowing they at least know the basics you taught them. These are skills that will last a lifetime, and someday, they may teach their own children too!

[Note: This was a guest post.]

What You’ll Get With the Off the Grid Super Stack

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The other day I mentioned the Off the Grid Super Stack and what an amazing offer it is.

Remember that it’s a hand curated collection of ebooks, courses and other top tier resources aimed at those interested in prepping, survival skills, permaculture, homesteading and generally living off the grid and much more.

What I might not have made clear is that I’m also including my own 12 Pillars of Survival program in the Stack which, if I’m being honest, is well worth the cost of the super stack alone. The best part is that you not only get my program, but dozens of other preparedness resources as well.

Personally, I’m honored to be selected and have my program included in the Off the Grid Super Stack.

Click here to get my product and 25+ other premium tools and resources for only $49 today (hurry, this deal expires SOON!).

You might be wondering…

Why would I include my program, which typically retails for $37 alone, in a bundle deal like this that costs a FRACTION of the entire price?

Simply put: I think this bundle is an amazing value and includes the kind of content I would have shared with you regardless. 🙂

…And by taking part, I get to expose my work to thousands of people who are interested in just the kinds of things that I teach.

Just being included in this lineup is a big deal, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

Bottom line: I see it as a win-win for everyone involved and I’m excited to share it with you today.

Click here to get my 12 Pillars of Survival program as well as $700 + in bonuses before this offer goes away forever.

Take care, Damian

Discover How to Thrive Off The Grid

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You’re going to be hearing from me more than usual over the next few weeks, but I promise you’ll be glad you did because I’ve got some good things coming your way…

For starters, my next book, The Get Home Bag and Compact EDC Kit, will be released by the end of the month. Plus, I’m releasing a second edition of my 28 Powerful Home Security Solutions too, both which I”ll explain more in a future email.

Today, however, I want to share with you something that I’ve been excited about for a while, but which I haven’t been allowed to say anything about until today, and that’s the Off The Grid Super Stack.

It’s probably the BEST collection of survival advice I’ve seen bundled together in years!

In fact, the Off the Grid Super Stack is a hand-curated collection of premium ebooks, ecourses (including my 12 Pillars of Survival program), membership communities and other resources from top experts that will show you the best ways to implement permaculture, survive in the wild, live fully off the grid and safely and efficiently bug out if and when the SHTF.

Inside Off the Grid Super Stack you will discover how to:

  • Make sure you and your family are ready for any emergency or disaster;
  • Plan your escape into a new world possibilities through self-sufficient living;
  • Develop fundamental skills to survive outdoors;
  • Grow your own food, even if you have limited space and resources;
  • Learn the ins and outs of homesteading on budget;
  • Discover new skills that will help you survive any emergency or disaster, big or small;
  • Design, build & manage your own off-grid electrical system.

And that’s just scratching the surface, trust me…

Now, typically, you’d have to spend over $700 + to get your hands on everything packed into Off the Grid Super Stack…

But this week, you can get everything for an unbelievable 95% off!

Click here to learn more about this limited time deal.

Take care, Damian

P.S. If Off the Grid Super Stack sounds like something you’d like to get access to – don’t hesitate, because this deal expires at midnight eastern time on Tuesday, September 17th. After that, it’s gone for good.

P.P.S. More to come about this awesome deal over the next week, stay tuned!

New Survival Book Covers Feedback

A few weeks ago I decided to commission three different people to make new covers for six of my books (including a new one on “get home bags” I’m about to release) and I need your help deciding which ones are the best!

To do so, I’ve created a quick and easy survey using a Google Docs form embedded in this post below.

Please make your selections by this coming Wednesday as I will be closing submissions on Thursday.

Thank you for your feedback, Damian

P.S. Please remember to ONLY vote once even though it’s possible to submit additional responses…

10 Effective Skills to Boost Your Odds of Survival

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One of the many goals of today’s society is to constantly find new ways to make life easier for everyone. That’s what brings about products such as phones with Internet access or green energy machinery.

While these products make our daily lives easier, advancements could still be easily wiped out. Natural disasters happen all the time, in addition to devastating events such as acts of terrorism. If a big enough disaster occurred, the modern world could get wiped out! Do you have what it takes to survive in a world without the tools and technology people use every day?

Read on to discover 10 skills that can boost your survival chances and make all the difference between surviving or dying in a survival situation. And remember to practice them regularly, so you’re always prepared for any scenario.

1. Follow Gravity to Find Water

Most people know it’s more important to find water than food if you’re ever in a situation where you lack both. The human body can go weeks without food, but only if there’s access to fresh water. Without water, people die within days.

Let’s say you’re in an unknown area and need to rely on your skills to survive. The first thing you should do is follow gravity to find water. Travel down hilly areas since water will always flow downhill. Listen as you look for rivers or streams, since many may not be obvious at first glance.

Another good tip to keep in mind is to not drink from stagnant water if you can help it because standing water is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. It also attracts insects and rodents, specifically mosquitoes who are likely to carry disease. It’s always in your best interest to boil whatever water you can find. When the water reaches its boiling point, bacteria die off and it becomes safe to drink. This means you’ll have to wait longer to take a sip, but you can prevent illness.

If you can’t find water, know how to build a tripod water filter. You can make this out of tall sticks and some triangular strips of fabric. The water will filter naturally as it drips between the layers, ensuring a long-term solution to purifying water if you don’t have access to a modern handheld water filter.

[Editor’s note: you should still boil water or treat it if using a makeshift water filter, such as a tripod water filter.]

2. Start a Fire Immediately

Starting your own fire is also extremely important. You’ll need the warmth at night during most months of the year, as well as a way to cook your food and possibly even defend yourself if you need to. In the best-case scenario, you should find dry tinder, such as wood shavings, leaves or dried moss. Top it with small branches for kindling, and then follow that layer with your traditional firewood.

There are a few ways to build your fire, depending on its purpose. The first is the crisscross fire, which uses, as you might have guessed, a crisscross fashion to maintain a lasting burn. There’s also the log cabin fire. This is where you build a square of firewood around your kindling and top it with your lightest kindling for extra burn time. You may also want to build a teepee fire for cooking. This will look like a teepee since the kindling is piled up and the firewood leans in over it to form a triangle shape. Whatever you choose, make sure you build a reflector wall to redirect the heat and keep your fire strong.

To get the fire started, you can use traditional matches or lighter fluid if you have them. If not, there are plenty of ways to start a fire without them. You can use flint and steel to strike sparks onto your kindling, or a glass lens to capture the sun’s rays.

3. Build a Shelter

There are a few ways to build a basic shelter in a survival situation depending on how many people need to use it, although a traditional lean-to is the perfect option for survivalists who are on their own. You need to find branches long enough to lean against a wall or rock face. Pile on other branches and leaves to deter rain and you’ll have a successful shelter.

Survivalists who also need to house family members may want to try other shelter options. Areas with thin trees you can bend into place may be a great location for a teepee lodge. You can tie the trees together with rope and reinforce it with other branches.

[Editor’s note: You might want to use the Mors Kochanski Super Shelter for such purposes.]

Snowy locations are the perfect place for snow huts, and groups can always look for nearby caves to act as a place of shelter.

For those people building a backyard bunker style shelter, you have more time to make it as strong as possible. Take your woodworking skills to the next level by cutting boards at precise angles that will totally seal off water and give you an air-tight roof to protect you from rain. You can also build shelving to stock up on canned goods.

4. Always Carry a Map and Compass

One of the easiest survival techniques you can use is to carry a map and a compass with you. While you may end up leaving the area on the map, the compass will always help guide you in the right direction.

Review how to read topographic maps and standard map symbols. This skill will allow you to pick up any map and understand how to use it, so you never have to worry if you lose the map you started with.

5. Know How to Hunt

Once you’ve found water and a place to make a shelter, you’ll need to find  food. In some survival situations that means learning to hunt. While you may rummage through some buildings in an apocalyptic scenario, eventually the food will run out or go bad.

Hunting is the best way to ensure you’ll always have access to your next meal. There are a few ways to hunt; which you choose will depend on what tools you have and the skills you’ve developed.

The first method of hunting is the most basic. You can use a distance weapon–such as a gun or bow–to bring down prey. The benefit of this method is you don’t need to get up close and personal with potentially dangerous animals, but you may be unable to replace the ammo or arrows you use.

You could also trap your food. Once you learn how to build a small game snare, trapping will become second nature to you. Look for footprints in the snow, droppings on leaves or burrows in the ground to first locate small prey such as rabbits or squirrels.

Next you’ll construct a snare. Snares typically have four parts — the noose, trigger, leader line and engine. As you build these make sure you have some bait to place inside the hook, so it’s more likely you’ll catch something. You can also use snares for fishing if you replace the noose with a line, hook and some bait. Other methods of fishing you may want to try include constructing a fishing rod or sharpening a spear.

6. Learn to Forage

In some situations, you may not be able to immediately go out and hunt down meat for your next meal. That’s when you want to know how to forage. There are plenty of plants out there that can help sustain you if you know what to look for.

Take the time now to review foraging tips and techniques. Commit plants to memory so you know exactly what they look like and where they grow. Some plants get easily confused for poisonous ones. Don’t let yourself accidentally pick the wrong ones because you couldn’t tell the difference!

[Editor’s note: This is nothing to take lightly… choosing the wrong plant can be deadly. Here’s a bit about choosing the right mushrooms.]

Another plant tip you should learn is what plants are typically around edible ones. These are called companion plants since they’re so often found together. Foraging for companion plants too makes it more likely you’ll find even a small amount of edible food.

No matter what, it’s important to stay patient with foraging. You won’t have a refrigerator to store everything in, so plants will go bad quickly. As such, you should also leave some to continue growing. Never take the entire plant, or else it may not begin to grow again in that area.

7. How to Cook Safely

Once you have a rabbit or fish in hand, the process of cooking it will be much different than frying up some ground beef from the supermarket.

First, remove all the guts. While some restaurants may serve liver and heart, they’ll just make you sick in the wild.

Second, always try to overcook your food to ensure safety. The meat will probably be tougher to chew and may lose some flavor, but the alternative is to ingest harmful bacteria or pathogens. Being sick in a survival situation is very bad and, sadly, you may then lack the energy to filter water or find food, ultimately starving to death or experiencing organ shut down from dehydration.

Third, always properly dispose of the waste. That means you need to dispose of it far from your campsite so no animals try to fight you for their newfound snack. Try to bury your waste if you have the means to dig a few feet deep.

8. Know Crucial First Aid

Even if you’ve learned everything you possibly can about skills such as hunting, starting a fire and filtering water, things will probably still end up going wrong at some point. Perhaps you’ll have some kind of accident and hurt yourself, or others around you will get injured. Don’t wait and hope you come across another survivalist that also happens to be a doctor. Figure out basic first aid techniques now so you can help yourself.

Read up on how to suture a cut. Always have a needle and thread on hand to close a wound, tying each stitch separately for easier movement afterward. If you need to care for a gunshot wound, always apply pressure directly to the wound. You’ll also need to construct a tourniquet and place it between the wound and the heart if possible. For torso wounds, just keep pressure to stop the bleeding.

[Editor’s note: I highly recommend The Survival Medicine Handbook for survival first aid knowledge.]

You can use a clean cloth or bandages as a way to slow or stop any bleeding. Always use something fresh as a bandage and regularly replace to check on the healing and prevent the growth of bacteria around the wound.

Another thing to keep in mind is how to spot an infection. The area around a healing wound will naturally look red because of the increased white blood cells trying to heal the area. Signs of a more serious infection are things such as yellow or green pus, red streaking around the wound, swelling and fever.

9. Take Care of Your Weapons

Every survivalist should have some kind of weapon on them for self-protection. You may choose a knife, gun, bow or other means of self-defense. Always keep an eye on your weapon, so it’s never lost, but also keep in mind you’ll need to take care of it. Learn about the weapon or weapons you’ll have access to so you know what that care should look like.

Cleaning your gun regularly is always a good idea, as well as sharpening knives and arrows after a few uses. You can sharpen weapons against rocks if you don’t have a sharpening block available.

10. Study the Stars

People have roamed the earth for centuries by studying the stars. They’ll guide you where you need to go, which is especially useful in survival situations where you may not have access to a GPS. Learn the stars above your campsite, so you always know how to get back to your shelter. Memorize the constellations, which will line up with important facets of the stars. Polaris will always point you north, which you can find in the Little Dipper.

The rotation and position of the stars will also help you tell what season and time of year it is. When clock and watch batteries run out, this will prepare you for oncoming changes in the weather and seasonal foraging.

Always Keep Your Mind Open

These are just some of the survival tips that will keep you alive in a situation where you can’t access modern tools and technology. Study these as much as you can, but always keep your mind open to learning other survival strategies. The more you learn, the better you’ll be prepared to survive against the odds.

[Note: This was a guest post.]

17 Survival and Backpack Water Filters Tested

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Ever wonder what survival filter is the best? Maybe it’s a gravity filter or perhaps it’s a pump? Well, the folks at Wideners.com have gone overboard and tested 17 popular water filters for survivalists, including the Berkey filters we all know and love, Sawyer Mini (which I really like for survival purposes), and the Lifestraw, among other popular brands. Plus, the article discusses water contaminants, types of filters, how they actually work, and so much more! This is a must read…

“Few things are as personal as what you put up to your lips and drink into your body. You want to know what you are consuming is safe, reliable, and will hydrate your body to climb that next mountain or sustain you through an afternoon stroll. These facts are the driving force behind one of the most exhaustive tests of popular survival and backpacking water filters sold in the United States.

Did you know that there is no regulatory body that monitors water filter companies and their marketing practices? Consumers can read the claims and data that companies publish, but there’s no independent resource to filter out the legitimate from the hyperbole.

Among a mostly honest field of products, Wideners’ testing shines light on an industry tainted by a few bad players boasting exaggerated marketing claims, seemingly identical products sold under different brand names, and a wave of other shady practices.”

Read the full article here

How to Survive if You Get Lost at Sea

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No one wants to consider the thought of getting lost at sea. You might think that it couldn’t happen to you, but the truth is, it can happen to anyone. Even sailing experts have been caught in a big storm and left without supplies.

It’s not easy to survive when lost at sea — but it’s possible. Consider Salvador Alvarenga living proof, a man who drifted across the ocean for 438 days. In 2012, Alvarenga left the coast of Mexico in a 25-foot boat, along with a young crewmate named Córdoba. Out at sea, they got caught in a storm. Water flooded the vessel and, soon after, the engine died. The GPS stopped functioning, along with the radio.

In the beginning, Alvarenga would catch fish with his bare hands, digging his nails into their gills. After two months, he caught birds and turtles to eat. Córdoba, unfortunately, was on the decline and died soon after. Alvarenga eventually drifted to an island beach, where he was rescued — 6,700 miles from his initial location.

Thankfully, being forewarned is forearmed. Here’s what you need to know to survive at sea.

How to Survive: Before You Go

The best way to ensure survival when lost at sea is to prepare before you go. Follow the steps below before your next trip.

1. Inspect Small Details

Clean the hull, deck and topsides of your boat before an inspection so you can get an unhindered look. Search for blisters and distortions. Check the propellers for cracks and dings. Damaged propellers can cause unwanted vibrations and issues with your drivetrain. Ensure the propeller is secured in place and replace bearings regularly.

Look at all belts to ensure they fit snugly. One sign of an old belt is black residue nearby. Check cables and hoses, which can crack or get brittle when in storage. You should also search for swelling and cracks on the outer jacket of the throttle, which can be a sign of internal corrosion and imminent failure.

2. Survey the Fluids

Pay special attention to your fuel system, including connections, hoses and tank surfaces. A damaged hose may be soft, brittle or cracked. If you notice worn down or broken components, it’s crucial to replace them before your next outing. Make sure all the ventilation systems, along with the engine and exhaust, are working correctly.

Check the fluid levels on your boat, including coolant, engine oil, power steering fluid and power trim reservoirs. If you take your boat out of storage, change the oil and filter, as well as the drive lubricants.

3. Assess the Deck

Take a look at all the gear you have on deck and consider if anything needs replaced or upgraded.

Review items like:

  • Lifelines
  • Shackles
  • Sheaves
  • Stanchions
  • Winches

Rig jacklines between the stern and bow pulpits. Some sailors like shrouded wire jacklines while others prefer flat webbing. No matter what you choose, your line should be taut and easy to adjust. Tape lifeline entry shackles shut to keep them from accidentally opening while at sea.

4. Look Down Below

Down below deck, hidden from the crashing waves, you might feel safe. Expert sailors, however, say it’s nearly as dangerous as up top. Before you head out to sea, install handholds that are easy to grab from any spot. All supplies should be stowed securely. Check that floorboards are still in good condition.

You should have easy access to all the boat’s through-hull fittings. Secure these fittings to prevent water from entering the hull in case of failure. Make a laminated chart of all the access points and tape it to a spot where everyone can see it.

5. Consider Your Electronics

When drifting at sea, electronics are what tether you back to land. Your boat should have a GPS, which uses signals from satellites to track your location. You should also have a chart plotter and a VHF radio with a tall antenna. Invest in a single-sideband radio you can use for offshore communication, including weather forecasts and emergency calls. Satellite phones, equipped with internet access, are becoming an increasingly popular way to get information and make calls.

Invest in an EPIRB — electronic position indicator beacon — which uses a satellite signal to connect to a rescue center. Some boats come equipped with a small computer designed for navigation and communication while at sea. Be sure to bring along a spare mouse and keyboard. Electronics should be easy to access, yet protected from the water.

6. Think About Safety

Prepare your boat for an emergency. One must is a life raft, not just a small dingy. The vessel should be big enough to fit all the crew members on board. Have a dedicated storage area specifically for the raft, near the foot of the companionway. Lash it down to keep it from sliding around.

Set up a grab bag in case of evacuation. Include flares, food rations, a first-aid kit, flashlights and an EPIRB. You should also add a handheld VHF radio. Near the grab bag, stow a couple of jugs of fresh water you can grab in a pinch.

7. Pack the Right Gear

Before your next adventure, pack the essentials. Buy gear that can keep you warm in cold weather. Look for clothing with wicking, which keeps moisture away from your body and dries quickly. Invest in a heavy-duty raincoat and waterproof socks. Look for durable gloves ideal for handling rope. Plus, add a warm pair of gloves for freezing temperatures.

Get a hat with a brim that will protect your face and eyes from the sun, and a warm beanie or winter hat. Look for a pair of durable boots you can wear if you find land. Pack essential equipment like a pocket knife, whistle, headlamp and tether. Plus, you should pack a lot of sunscreen.

How to Survive: After You Go

Once you’re out at sea, there’s nothing you can do to change how much you’ve prepared or what you brought along. Instead, you have to rely on what you have, including your instincts.

1. Set Multiple Anchors

There are several types of anchors, including helix, mushroom and deadweight. The best are helix, as they screw into the seabed. You can improve the stability of your boat during poor weather with multiple anchors, if necessary. One method is to set two anchors, chained together, in a line to anticipate the direction of the wind. Another approach is to place three anchors in a formation of 120°, all of which lead to a single swivel and line at the boat’s bow. Both techniques give the boat little room to swing.

2. Reduce Windage

You want your boat to sway around as little as possible. To accomplish this, take down all canvas, including dodgers and biminis. Remove mainsail covers, mainsails and furling genoas. Attach halyards to a small line and run them to the top of the mast. Even a storm that doesn’t damage your boat has the wind power to destroy canvas, especially if debris is kicked into the air.

3. Grab Your Gear

If your ship starts sinking, you need to act fast. Gather as many supplies as you can. If you’ve prepared your go bag, grab that and the fresh jugs of water. You should also try to take additional items like a mirror, sunscreen and batteries. Head to the raft and get it into the water. Be aware that even expensive life rafts aren’t always leakproof. However, modern vessels come equipped with pumps and a repair kit in case of emergency.

4. Try to Drift

Most life rafts have sea anchors to help keep the small vessel stabilized. However, your goal is to find land, so you want to reduce drag and drift. Pull the anchor up during calm weather to move as quickly as possible. When the wind picks up, you can drop it back down. At a rate of 2 knots — 2.3 miles per hour — you can travel 50 miles per day.

5. Assess Your Ailments

If you make it to land, it’s time to make an assessment. What supplies were you able to grab and bring along? How long will your food and water supply last? Did you suffer from any injuries during the evacuation? Heatstroke is one major cause for concern, with symptoms like a rapid heartbeat, shallow breathing, headache, nausea and a confused mental state. Try to find shade during the day, even if it’s your raft’s cover.

6. Look for Shelter

If you reach land, one of the first things you should do is find or build a shelter. Almost all vegetation, including sticks, vines and palm fronds, can be used. If your life raft survived the trip, prop it up against a tree or branch to fashion a lean-to. Cover the ground with palm fronds to keep yourself insulated and dry. You can also search for a natural shelter, like a cave formation or rock overhang.

7. Fish for Food

Near the ocean, fish are a plentiful resource, one that can keep you fed. There are several ways you can catch fish without equipment. Try to fashion a random item into a hook, such as a paperclip, soda tab or sharp twig. Then, attach the hook to a makeshift line, something like a vine, shoelace or thread from your clothing. You will need to add bait to the hook as well. Look for colorful plastic, leaves, dead insects or shiny jewelry. Now, all you need is a bite.

8. Look for Insects

If you’re not having luck with the fishes, you can always head inland to try your hand at foraging. The wild is full of edible treats that can keep you alive. Most insects — which have a crunchy exoskeleton, six legs and a pair of antennas — are safe to eat. Crickets, ants and termites are all up for grabs. However, you should spiders, centipedes and bees.

9. Drink Lots of Water

You can only survive a few days without water. While many believe it’s possible to drink urine in the event of an emergency, it’s a myth. In fact, urine will exacerbate dehydration. You should also never drink seawater. Try to use objects on hand — like a backpack or piece of clothing — to collect rainwater. If you have the right materials, like a container, straw and plastic, you can build a solar still. Condensation will build on the plastic, which is safe to drink.

10. Use Your Smartphone

Keep your eyes and ears peeled for signs of airplanes and ships that can rescue you. If you have a smartphone, use the screen to reflect the light from the sun. You can also use a mirror. The signal, which can reach up to 10 miles, may alert someone nearby to your presence.

11. Stay Relaxed

It can be easy to panic when lost at sea. However, it’s crucial to stay calm — that’s how you stay alive. Being lost isn’t something you can control. Instead, you have to remain rational, assess the situation and make calculated decisions. You can’t predict how long you will be lost and what might happen during that time. Take advantage of every moment of daylight.

Surviving at Sea: What to Do When Lost

If you should ever get lost at sea, try not to panic. In the 21st century, it’s hard to stay lost for long, though it does happen.

Just recently, a crew of eight fishermen was found who had been lost for 10 days. The 60-foot vessel, which originated from Indonesia, was located by the U.S. Coast Guard 170 miles off the coast of Palau. During this time, the boat’s crew had no electricity, food or water.

If the worst should happen, be prepared. Ensure your boat is in tip-top shape and pack the essential supplies. In the event of an evacuation, let your life raft drift and search for land. When you set foot on land, the first three steps are to find shelter, food and water. You need all of these things to survive.

Don’t forget to stay on the lookout for possible rescuers. When you get home, you’ll have quite a story to tell.

Note: This was a guest post.

8 Must-Have Clothing Items for Preppers

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The prepper lifestyle is all about being ready for any situation. It can be hard to choose a wardrobe that meets all your needs. You want to have something to wear when it’s cold, when it’s hot and when it’s raining. At the same time, you want to minimize your wardrobe as much as possible to avoid reliance on material goods.

If you’re ready to invest in your survival, consider these eight must-have clothing items below. With this attire in your arsenal, you’ll be prepared for anything that comes your way.

1. Socks

Good socks are a must for the serious survival prepper. When the body gets extremely cold, it reacts in two ways. The first is shivering. The second is the constriction of blood vessels in arms and legs, reducing blood flow to fingers and toes. Socks are a necessary line of defense against frostbite and cold temperatures.

There are tons of sock types to choose from, including:

  • No-show socks
  • Low-cut socks
  • Crew socks
  • Knee socks
  • Mid-thigh socks

Each type has different benefits. Crew socks, for example, pair perfectly with hiking boots. Not only do they prevent cuts from plants and twigs, but they also limit chafing from the shoe’s leather. No-show and low-cut socks, which hit below the ankle bone, are ideal for sneakers and loafers. These socks are often a lightweight material, meant to breathe and prevent sweating.

Invest in long options like knee and mid-thigh socks, which can protect your legs from bug bites and greenery. In colder temperatures, long socks can also fit under pant legs for an added layer of insulation.

Beyond the style of the sock, you should also consider material. Dense fabric like wool is meant to trap in heat, keeping your toes toasty on a cold winter morning. Cotton and polyester have a reputation for their breathable material, great for warm weather. You should also consider water-resistant materials like acrylic, olefin and polypropylene, ideal for a rainy day.

[Editor’s note: They actually make waterproof socks that may be of interest to you for bug out and wilderness survival.]

2. Boots

When it comes to practical survival footwear, boots are a must-have. There are a variety of gender-neutral styles to choose from.

The Chelsea boot, a classic ankle-length style, comes in several colors and materials. These boots are more relaxed than a hiking boot, better for a trip into town rather than a romp through the woods. If you do plan to spend a lot of time outdoors, hiking boots are eminently practical — they can also double as snow boots. Look for a pair that are durable, waterproof and comfortable. Avoid chunky, impractical options that will make it hard to maneuver around brush.

In areas where precipitation is likely, rain boots can be convenient. Look for ankle or knee-length shoes made from a water-resistant material, like rubber. Transparent PVC boots are highly water-resistant and ideal for adverse weather. If your shoes are not rainproof, look for water-resistant covers you can slip on top.

There are five common types of boot materials:

  • Leather
  • Rubber
  • Duralon
  • Nylon
  • Wool

If your goal is lightweight breathability, look for boots made of nylon. Rubber and leather are more durable and can provide foot support when traversing rocky terrain. Duralon, on the other hand, is PVC, meaning it is exceptionally sturdy and maintains its shape for years.

3. Shirts

You’ll want to look for shirts that offer both comfort and protection. A long-sleeved shirt is a prepper requirement, as long as it still provides a full range of motion. Sleeves protect you from the elements, including harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays. You can’t see UV rays, but they can cause damage to skin cells and play a significant role in skin cancer. Even a sunburn, which is annoying at best, is possible to avoid with the proper attire.

If the temperatures get hot, you’ll also want a short-sleeved shirt. Look for clothing made with wicking, which dries quickly and keeps moisture off the skin. Wicking will keep you cool during a long hike or jog around the neighborhood. Some cotton blends also repel insects and prevent odor buildup.

Some of the most common types of shirt fabrics include:

  • Cotton
  • Jersey
  • Linen
  • Polyester
  • Rayon

Cotton, linen and rayon are lightweight and breathable, making them cool to wear. Look for combed cotton, where clothes manufacturers use fine brushes to eliminate short strands and make a sturdier fabric. Rayon is a humanmade fabric that, while breathable, wrinkles easily. Polyester, on the other hand, maintains its shape and is resistant to shrinking and wrinkles. However, it traps heat and is not suitable for hot weather.

4. Underwear

No one wants to talk about the specifics of underwear, but it’s something we all need. There are a variety of underwear types, but not all are suitable for the survival prepper lifestyle. The goal is to find something practical and easy to clean.

Women will want to avoid lace and other itchy materials that can cause skin irritations and chafing. Simple is best, without design attachments like bows and ruffles. Some women prefer boy-short-style underwear, though others say they ride up during physical activity and can cause irritation and discomfort.

Men, on the other hand, can choose between briefs, boxers and boxer-briefs. Each style has its pros and cons. Boxers and boxer-briefs are ideal for a survivalist lifestyle because they can double as pajama shorts or a swimsuit in a pinch.

Underwear comes in a variety of fabrics, including:

  • Cotton
  • Latex
  • Nylon
  • Polyester
  • Satin

The material you choose will depend on what is most comfortable.

You should also add a pair of long underwear to your collection. This gender-neutral undergarment is like a long pair of cotton or knit pants, though it stays under your clothing. Many use the garment as an alternative to pajamas in winter, as long underwear is ideal for keeping warm in chilly temperatures.

[Editor’s note: Long underwear is a great to have for cold winter excursions. I highly recommend you have a good pair.]

5. Pants

Everybody needs a pair of pants. The fabric protects your legs from rain, snow and wind. It also helps keep you warm. Denim is a versatile fabric, and you can wear jeans for almost any occasion. Whether you’re heading to the farmers’ market to pick up fresh fruit or venturing into the woods for a walk, jeans will provide all the comfort and protection you need.

For warm weather, you’ll want to look for lightweight pants that don’t trap heat. Consider breathable fabrics like cotton and linen. For colder months, consider dense materials meant to retain body heat, like wool. Look for a comfortable pants design that’s snug around the waist without being restricting. You’ll want to be comfortable when outdoors hunting, fishing or hiking.

Whether you want to stay warm or prep a meal, you’ll be spending a lot of time making fires. It’s essential to invest in a high-quality pair of flame-resistant pants. These pants are specifically designed to protect from intermittent flames and thermal exposure. If they catch fire, they naturally extinguish themselves, reducing the risk of a burn injury.

Cargo pants are a great middle-ground solution for preppers. They consist of durable material and offer plenty of pocket space, ideal for holding a Swiss army knife, keys, a granola bar and more. Some can even zip off at the knees, offering a two-in-one shorts combo.

[Editor’s note: I don’t think could survival daily life WITHOUT cargo pants, lol.]

6. A Jacket

You should have at least one jacket in your wardrobe arsenal. If you live in a cold climate, look for a durable leather jacket lined with fleece, or other materials equipped with hypothermia protection. Choose a relaxed fit that is comfortable and not restricting. Look for a zip-up design, as opposed to button snaps, which can withstand weather like intense winds and snow.

A trenchcoat can be an excellent way to keep warm during the fall months when the wind is blowing, yet there’s no chill in the air yet. Choose a length that’s best suited for your needs, whether it’s a sleek design ideal for treks in the woods or an ankle-length style to bundle up against the wind.

In warmer weather, look for a lightweight performance jacket made with a moisture-wicking material. These jackets are typically a combination of polyester and mesh, designed to allow airflow and keep you cool. Plus, if it rains, the material dries within a couple of hours.

You can find a jacket in almost any material, though your choice will depend entirely on your needs. If you want a versatile option for a range of temperatures, leather and denim work best. If your goal is to stay warm, look for a quilted option with built-in insulation, like down or wool.

7. Gloves

Gloves come in all shapes, sizes, colors and designs. Cotton gloves are great for yard work, concrete applications, painting and more. You can protect your hands from blisters and chemicals while still allowing your skin to breathe. Some cotton gloves also implement rubber grips, giving you more traction and durability.

Leather gloves are more durable than cotton and often work in conjunction with an insulated liner. These types of gloves offer protection against cuts and punctures, great for heavy-duty tasks like yard work, landscaping, construction and woodworking. Leather-palmed gloves, on the other hand, are more flexible than traditional gloves, able to protect against abrasions without restricting movements.

Gloves are a practical way to keep your hands safe. However, you can also use them to stay warm and protect extremities from the elements. A good pair of thermal gloves, made with multiple layers of material, can keep your hands warm and dry in below-zero temperatures. Look for a pair with an outer layer of waterproof fleece, designed to wick away moisture and offer thermal retention. Other materials, like suede and leather, keep your hands warm in cold weather while providing a solid grip.

If you favor practicality over design, look for multi-use gloves with removable fingers. With this type of design, your hands can stay warm while your fingers are busy getting stuff done. Always try on a pair of gloves before you purchase them. The right size will offer just enough room without feeling tight or snug.

8. A Hat

A hat is a must to keep your head protected from the sun’s harmful rays, which can burn skin even on cloudy days. A baseball cap, an American classic, is casual and easy to wear. Look for a hat with an adjustable width so the whole family can use it. Most ball caps have a short- to medium-sized bill that is either curved or straight. When you’re outside, this bill is perfect for shielding the sun from your eyes.

A trucker cap is very similar to a baseball cap. The difference, however, is that only the front is a solid panel. The rest of the hat is a breathable mesh fabric that’s ideal for hot temperatures.

These style hats are typically snapback, meaning they come with two plastic pieces that snap together. This snap allows you to adjust the size of the cap. Others are fitted, designed to fit an exact size. If you live in a wet climate, search for a hat equipped with insect-repelling technology to prevent bug bites.

For the colder months, you may want to invest in a beanie or stocking cap-style hat. This style is close-fitting, meant to pull down over the head and fit snugly against the ears. The fabric, typically wool or cotton, can trap heat and keep your head warm. A stocking cap is similar to a beanie. The only difference is that a stocking cap has a longer crown, meant to hang off to the side.

Do you really want to live the prepper lifestyle?

If so, you need the right wardrobe. Get rid of the suit jackets, flip-flops and high heels. Instead, invest in versatile clothing that can keep you protected from nature’s harshest elements. You’ll want to add several pieces of clothing — from waterproof boots to flame-resistant pants. And don’t forget to ensure your significant other (and children) are prepared too! This will take time and some money to acquire, but the effort will be worth it when hard times come.

Note: This was a guest post.