Roadside Emergency Kit Review by Survival Hax

I was recently sent this Roadside Emergency Kit by Survival Hax for review. It’s all nicely contained within this handy bag:

Most items are further protected inside plastic bags which is nice and all items are easily returned to the bag after removal.

Now, the first thing I went looking for, believe it or not, was an owner’s manual (yes, I’m getting old enough to WANT one even though I don’t need it, lol) but couldn’t find anything. Oh well, no big deal.

Here’s a photo of the kit contents:

And, the contents of the first aid kit bag:

They say it’s a 96-piece roadside kit which I’ll assume is correct, but a bit misleading simply because a majority of the kit contents are small items like bandages, zip ties, and safety pins.

That said, here’s my take on what’s included, starting from the top left and working more or less down and to the right:

  • Triangle signal – Although I didn’t put it together, the item above the zip ties folds together to make a reflective triangle which can then be placed on the ground behind your car. While I would have preferred flares of some sort, this signal seems relatively sturdy and would, at least, get a passing driver’s attention when lights hit it.
  • Jumper cables – These are about as basic as you can get since they’re not heavy-duty cables. Expect charging to take longer than it should but they will eventually get the job done, I’d assume so, anyway.
  • First aid kit – You can see for yourself what’s included, but it’s mostly small bandages, gauze, cleaning pads and so on. There’s also a small mylar blanket included and few other small items which may come in handy, such as tweezers and scissors.
  • Gloves – These won’t keep your hands dry for long but they will, at the very least, keep them from getting dirty and maybe provide a bit of warmth… plus they have a gripping side which is nice.
  • Assorted smaller items – You’ll also find a variety of smaller items, such as zip ties, a candle, slip wrench, small whistle, and electrical tape. I’m not sure how useful any of this would truly be. The whistle is a good addition but not very loud, in my opinion. The candle, on the other hand, is just a fire hazard.
  • Glow sticks and flashlight – Two small glow sticks are included (I didn’t try them) as well as one of those rechargeable hand-squeezed flashlights. They’re not great for long-term use but good enough for this purpose.
  • Small utility knife – Includes various knives (which could use a sharpening to be sure), saw blades, corkscrew, etc. None of it is anything to get excited about and I honestly would have preferred a better quality single-blade knife.
  • Safety escape hammer / seat belt cutter – This tool might actually be of use but won’t do you much good unless you move it to near the driver’s seat. I would have liked to see it have a strap of some sort so that it could be attached to your seat belt to keep it from flying about the car… guess you’ll have to hope that it stays wherever you stick it.
  • Firestarter – At first glace this looks decent, though, I haven’t tried it. Honestly, I would have preferred matches or a lighter to start a fire.
  • Tow straps – I have no idea what they’re rated. Regardless, I sure wouldn’t bet my life on them and I’m not sure I would bet my car on them either. Of course, I could be wrong.
  • Emergency poncho, safety vest – The poncho is rather thin material but it should keep the rain off. The safety vest is a good addition.
  • Bungee cords – A few lightweight bungee cords are included which could prove useful somehow, I know I keep bungee cords in my cars.

Ultimately, I wouldn’t pretend to suggest that this emergency roadside kit is the best that you can get. Most of the items included are basic / starter equipment. With that in mind, if you have nothing in your vehicle for a roadside kit then this one could work as a starter kit.

With that in mind, and while you’re welcome to purchase it from SurvivalHax.com, they’re offering readers a full $25 off their purchase from Amazon with the code “OFROAD50”. Enter that where it says “enter a discount or promo code” during checkout.

FREE: The Complete Pet Safety Action Plan Book, 5 Days Only

If you’ll recall, about two weeks ago I mentioned that I was looking for Kindle book review team members because I’m now writing Amazon Kindle books.

That process has been going great and I must say “thank you” again to those who have taken the time to help out.

As a result, my first book, The Complete Pet Safety Action Plan, is available on Amazon… best of all it’s currently free for download on Kindle for a limited time. 🙂

Pet Safety Plan BookHere’s what you’ll discover inside…

  1. The Two Most Important Actions You Must Take Now Before Disaster Strikes
  2. How To Ensure You Get A “Pet-Friendly” Welcome On The Road
  3. How To Keep Your Pet Safe When You’re Away From Home
  4. What If You Can’t Take Your Pet With You?
  5. Getting Your Pet Ready At Home
  6. Getting Your Pet Ready To Evacuate
  7. What If You Must Evacuate On Foot?
  8. Keeping Yourself And Your Pet From Getting Sick During Disaster
  9. Know Your Rights: The PETS Act
  10. Advanced Disaster Considerations
  11. How To Get Supplies For Free (Or Really Cheap)
  12. General Safety Considerations

Go ahead and grab yourself a copy now while it’s still free on the Kindle platform (offer ends this coming Thursday).

The only thing I ask for in return is that you leave an honest rating on Amazon when you’re done.

Thanks!

Prepping Your Wardrobe for Survival

Let’s play a game! When I say “prepping,” what is the first thing that comes to your mind? What about “survival?”

My guess is that most of you immediately thought of food, water, or other survival gear. And those are great answers.  We can’t live long without food and water. But if you had an abundant storehouse of those supplies yet didn’t have other important items, your life could still be uncomfortable or, worse… in jeopardy.

There are lots of important considerations that need serious attention, but in this article, we’ll be focusing on just one: CLOTHING.

During normal, peaceful times, we use clothing primarily as a covering, a social cue, and a statement. During times of emergency when new clothing isn’t readily available, it’s often a lifesaver.

We can die much faster from exposure to the elements than we can die of starvation or even dehydration. Exposure in certain environments can certainly accelerate dehydration, but because there are threats that come from exposure during different seasons, it’s critically important that we have adequate clothing.

Where Do Clothes Come From?

When young children are asked where eggs or milk come from, they often respond, “The store.” That response would be funny if it weren’t so sad. They aren’t kidding; we’re disconnected from the source of our food. It’s just far more convenient and productive to buy our food than it is to grow it, so people move into the cities and buy what they need.

Similarly, if you asked kids — or even adults! — where clothes come from, we’re likely to respond, “The store.” That’s true for us today, but it wasn’t as true for our grandparents, great grandparents, and earlier generations. They would often buy fabric and then sew clothing as needs arose. In that era, learning to sew was a right of passage. That skill has largely been lost to recent generations.

So what would we do if clothing wasn’t available to buy for a while? Would you panic as your children’s clothes wore out and started to hang like rags from their bodies? Imagine your anxiety as snow sets in to see that your child had outgrown his shoes. What would you do if you couldn’t purchase a larger pair?

It’s hard to imagine not being able to purchase clothing off the rack since it’s so easy to do today. There are stores within minutes of most of our homes that stock all sorts of sizes, colors, and styles. Today’s ease of access to ready-made clothing could quickly change for a number of reasons, including:

  1. A pandemic could force people to stay home from work and avoid public places.
  2. Hyperinflation could also impact availability. As the value of currency plummets, people race to spend their money on necessities and tangible goods before the value of their money falls further. All sorts of goods become hard to find.
  3. An EMP could stop normal methods of production and distribution.
  4. Job loss or other financial strain could make buying clothing for your family difficult for a time.

If you have a supply of clothing on hand for future needs, however, it will ease the worry of clothing, which could really help. These scenarios don’t seem real or possible to many because we’ve had it so good for so long. The fact that most people haven’t seen times where clothing isn’t readily available doesn’t mean that it can’t happen!

Prior to the Great Depression things seemed pretty good. Prior to the hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic things were probably going fine. History repeats itself, and those who stick their fingers in their ears, pretending that it can’t happen here, will be least prepared when it someday does.

Shopping in Advance of the Need

Buy and store extra clothing. Try to select quality clothing that will be as durable and functional as possible. The good news is that you can save considerable money when you buy clothing in advance of your need.

Think about it, if you wear through a pair of shoes you’ll need to go get a new pair right now, because you don’t want to go to work tomorrow with your foot hanging out the side of your shoe. 😉

Because you need the shoes now, you head to the mall, visit one or two stores, and purchase the best available combination of product and price. Right now might not be the best time to purchase a pair of shoes at a really good price. The same shoes might cost half as much in a month or two when that store has a big clearance sale. When you buy in advance of your need, you can search out and find quality products at rock-bottom prices, then buy them to set aside UNTIL you need them.

It’s a known fact that you WILL need to buy shoes again at some point, as well as pants, and shirts, and socks, etc. These things wear out over time, so buying them in advance is extremely practical. Buying clothing this way for adults is fairly easy. They typically won’t be growing taller. Hopefully, they won’t be growing much in the other direction either! Kids are a little trickier. Their growth can be pretty explosive at times. When you’re buying season-specific clothing, you have to make an educated guess on the size they’ll need when that season rolls around.

Where to Find Quality Clothing at the Best Prices

You can certainly go to the retail store of your choice and buy several sizes ahead, but a better choice may be to find more highly discounted options. Because you’re buying in ADVANCE of your need, you can take your time, finding high quality items that have minimal cost. We like to frequent yard sales, thrift shops, craigslist (or similar sites), and the really good sales at factory outlet stores. We also buy ahead for the next year when seasonal clothes go on clearance at department stores.

Black Friday is coming up. It’s THE day where Americans often go wild, buying loads of plastic things and shiny objects to give as Christmas gifts. Sometimes people buy things simply because they’re on sale. Rather than limiting your Black Friday shopping to toys and gadgets, look for really attractive clothing offerings that have a special markdown that weekend. You may find deals a specific stores, or you may have your best luck online with sites like fatwallet.com or slickdeals.net. We’ve purchased some items off eBay and Amazon too.

Stop by your local Goodwill or other thrift stores in your community to get familiar with their offerings and pricing. You could also try some of the consignment stores in your area like Plato’s Closet, Kid-to-Kid, or Once Upon a Child for lightly used name-brand clothing at deeply discounted pricing.

Yard sales have been a really great source during the summer months when they are abundant. You can frequent the neighborhoods that tend to have really nice stuff. Oftentimes, they just want to clear their extra stuff out, so you can get items at $1 or less for each piece. That’s not always the case, and there are instances where you’d be thrilled to pay more for certain items, but savings can be significant. When you show up toward the end of a yard sale, the savings get even better. People may say that you can fill a bag for $5, for example, or they may beg you to just take whatever you want (free), so they don’t have to haul it back inside.

Even if the clothing is free, you’ll want to select quality pieces that will serve you well and you’ll actually want to wear. We don’t want to cross a line into senseless hoarding, of course. Buy heavy coats, sweaters, warm socks, and boots during the hot months of the year when they aren’t needed. Many department stores will sell their seasonal inventory at up to 75% off normal prices as seasons change.

If you’re buying in advance, you can find brand-name clothes that you’re excited to wear for FAR less than you would normally spend if you were shopping in-season as needs arise. Organize and set aside items that need to be grown into or that need to wait for another season. Occasionally you may guess wrong about sizing or some other detail and won’t be able to use the clothes, but when you find a great deal, you can afford a few mistakes!

It’s also a good idea to hang onto clothing that is still in good shape and can be passed down to your younger children. To make finding the clothes easier when they are needed in the future, group the clothing by size and season if possible. If you can find really good clothing at great prices, then it shouldn’t take long to accumulate clothing several sizes ahead. This isn’t JUST emergency clothing, it’s clothing that will be worn when it fits and as it’s needed. Because you accumulate when you find the right item at the right price, you will rarely find yourself having to pay retail prices for clothing. You’ll end up saving significant money on clothing your family.

It’s Not Just About Ready-Made Clothing

In addition to storing clothes, you can also store buttons, zippers, snaps, bolts of fabric, and thread. The fabric can be used for anything you don’t have on hand that you later find you need. Denim is extremely durable, so it would be a fantastic fabric to keep on hand. Polar fleece is warm, comfortable, and dries quickly. There are many other fabrics used for different purposes. The more simple and plain the pattern, the easier it will be to use the fabric for a wide variety of purposes.

What if you can’t sew? Should you still store fabric? Yes! First of all, the fabric is an insurance policy of sorts. Hopefully your accumulation of pre-made clothing that we just discussed will get you through a crisis just fine until clothing becomes more available. If not, bolts of fabric provide some flexibility. You can certainly take lessons and practice to acquire sewing skill. It’s a valuable thing to know. You could probably learn a great deal, at least as a starting point, on YouTube. Learning to patch and repair shoes and clothing is another useful skill to pick up. If you know a few skills and have the equipment available, you can patch holes, modify hems, and address other needs to prolong the life of your shoes and clothes.

Here are a few extra items that you may want to have on hand for repairs:

  • Shoe Goo or Freesole (strong adhesives specifically used for shoe repair)
  • Replacement shoe laces
  • Leather conditioner
  • Patch fabric (which could be taken from the good parts of worn out clothing)
  • Zippers
  • Buttons
  • Velcro

Even if you don’t WANT to learn how to sew, other people DO have that talent and could sew clothes for you in exchange for some fabric, food, or other need. If nothing else, the fabric could be an excellent barter item if ready-made clothing is too expensive or unavailable for a time.

Learning to knit or crochet is another useful still to pick up. Again, you’re likely to be able to learn those stills, at least at a basic level, through YouTube. If you have yarn on hand and know how to use it, you could make a beanie, a sweater, socks, or a blanket, for example.

Getting Started

This is a big project and these are important prepping supplies, but don’t get overwhelmed. It’s an elephant that you’ll just need to eat a bite at a time, so to speak. To get started, follow these steps:

  1. Take inventory of what your family members already have and what they currently need in terms of shoes, winter boots, clothing, coats, gloves, etc.
  2. Make a list of the sizes that everyone is your home is currently wearing.
  3. Determine the amount of money you can afford to set aside for clothing accumulation each month.
  4. Decide on a strategy for accumulation. Are you going to hit yard sales or a second hand shop, for example?
  5. Keep track of the clothing you acquire. Keeping a master list on paper or digitally will help you to know where you stand at any given moment. It will help you avoid situations where you have 24 shirts but no pants for a particular child.
  6. If you have rewards credit cards with stores like Kohls or Cabelas, consider using accumulated points to purchase quality snow boots or other clothing items with.
  7. Organize and store your collection in a place and grouping that makes them easy to access as needed.

Prepping isn’t easy, but you’re going to feel great after collecting the clothing that your family needs, knowing that you have a clothing buffer. You’ll be fine, even if ready-made clothing is hard to come by for a year or two. In the meantime, you’ll be saving a sizable sum and still wearing really high-quality, name-brand clothing, if so desired. Once you catch the spirit, it’s actually fun and your whole family can get involved in the process of watching for good deals!

Author Bio

Dave Greene is the father of six children, and a long-time Prepper. The desire to protect and provide for his kids provides him with major fuel for this passion. He founded Tools of Survival in 2012, to help families become better prepared. In the years since, Dave has taught classes on survival equipment, mindset, and techniques in a variety of venues.

PSA: Massive Kidde Fire Extinguisher Recall

I just heard about this recall on the radio this morning and looked it up here.

It seems that Kidde is recalling quite few of their plastic-handle model fire extinguishers (134 models, in fact) manufactured roughly between 1973 and 2015 because it can become clogged and not discharge. Yeah, that’s not good!

FYI, if you still have a fire extinguisher from 1973… replace it, lol.

Here’s a diagram to help you figure it out but, really, you should go here to get the model numbers affected:

Image Credit

You can contact Kidde for instructions on getting a free replacement. Here’s their contact information:

Call Kidde toll-free at 855-271-0773 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday

Or do so online at www.kidde.com and click on “Product Safety Recall” if you prefer.

Do You Like Free Survival Kindle Books? Then I Have a Proposition for You…

Image Credit

Yeah, I know it’s Halloween and this isn’t a trick, but it sure is a treat for a select few of you…

You see, I’ve decided to start writing Kindle books. In fact, I’ve got several of them nearly finished, but since I’ve never done this before I’m looking to get more “eyeballs” on my books before I put them out there for the world to read.

As such, I’m looking to create a book review team. That is, folks (like you) who would be willing to get a free advanced PDF copy of my books in exchange for some honest feedback.

Specifically, I’d appreciate you looking for:

  • anything that doesn’t make sense or isn’t explained properly,
  • maybe something that I failed to include which I should have,
  • links that don’t work.

…that sort of stuff.

If that’s agreeable to you then fill out the signup form below and, as I have new books ready to review, you’ll get an advanced copy.

With that in mind, I have a few stipulations:

  1. If you’re merely looking for free books and have no interest in giving me feedback then please don’t bother to sign up. That’s just rude. Ultimately, if I notice I never hear from you then I’ll just remove you anyway.
  2. You must have an actual interest in Kindle books. Though you’d be receiving PDF copies, I’d prefer to hear from folks who actually use Kindle to read books.
  3. Feedback should be timely so that I can incorporate your suggestions. Fortunately, my books aren’t Stephen King novels and should be read in an hour or so which means your feedback shouldn’t take weeks… by then it will probably be too late because I’ve moved on.

Besides the above, it would be nice if you’re also willing to leave a review of the book on Amazon once it’s finally published or, alternatively, provide me with a testimonial about the book from time to time. And, yes, you can actually leave a review without having purchased the book via Kindle.

Since I have so many books to publish I expect to release a new book roughly every two weeks or so, but who knows how it will work out, lol.

To give you an idea of what’s to come, here’s what I’m working on:

bug out bag book pet safety action plan book home security solutions book
survival foods to stockpile book identity theft game plan book smartphone apps for survival book
diy survival projects book secret hiding places book survival uses for common items book

In fact, once you sign up you’ll receive “The Complete Pet Safety Action Plan” book to get started on. Hopefully you have a dog or cat to make use of the information… or perhaps you know somebody who does.

Finally, I don’t anticipate keeping this group open to the public for very long. As such, if you’re truly interested in helping out then sign up now so you make the list…

 

Going Off Grid This Winter? Don’t Miss These 8 Pro Tips How To Survive Your First Cold Weather Camping Trip

Winter Camping Tips, Image Credit

Are you planning a trip into the tundra this winter? Do you love the allure cold-weather camping — a crackling fire, snuggling in a sleeping bag, roasting marshmallows? Do you worry about weather you’ll be equipped well for surviving a winter camping trip?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you certainly are not alone. Tens of thousands of people camp during the winter season every year — and not only do they have a great time, but they’re able to stay warm and comfy. You can follow in their footsteps by packing the right materials and items to get you through the trip with efficiency and safety.

Read on to learn our eight pro tips for surviving a cold-weather camping trip. Whether it’s your first trip or your twentieth, there’s something for you to learn in this guide.

Let’s get started…

Tip #1: Thinking About Fire Won’t Help You

Let’s get things straight from the start. When you are out in the cold freezing your…toes…off, just thinking about fire isn’t going to help you. You actually need a source of heat that is legitimate, safe and dependable. To that end, make sure you have a primary heat source and a backup.

An example of this would be to purchase a butane lighter that is pressurized as your main heating source. You can immediately spark a fire without a lot of effort. Your secondary source could be to go old school and pack dryer lint in plastic baggies along with matches in another one so that you have a source of fire and a way to keep it going.

Make sure you pack enough of your fire-starter kit for the duration of your time at the campsite — so five matches and one baggie of dryer lint a day should do.

Another option if you have room is to pack a small battery-operated cooker so that you can warm up fish, beans and other food that you have caught or packed for the trip.

Tip #2: Plan Your Actual Campsite

In the winter especially, it’s important to pick your campsite carefully. That’s because if the sun isn’t shining your way, you’re more likely to be colder — or to have to overcompensate with a roaring fire.

One each thing you can do is to note where you see the sun first when you wake up at sunrise. From there, re position your tent so that the sun is shining directly on your tent. Also, pay attention to how the wind is blowing. You want to angle your tent so that the door is not in the direct path of the wind. Overall, these two simple adjustments will help you stay warmer at your campsite by taking advantage of the sun’s natural state.

Tip #3: Don’t Hibernate in Your Sleeping Bag

What you say? But yes, it’s true. Some of the most experienced winter campers don’t bury their heads in their sleeping bags at night. Instead, they wear three wool hats and wrap their neck with a warm gator. When you cover your head in your sleeping bag, you will inevitably breathe into the sleeping bag and make it wet. This then makes you cold and clammy.

Instead, get into your sleeping bag, zip it up, cover your head and neck with sleep-safe, warm gear and keep your mouth exposed. You’ll stay warm and dry throughout the night.

Tip #4: Don’t Go to Sleep with the Sun

It’s a novice camper’s mistake to try to go to bed as soon as the sun goes to sleep. But what you’ll find when this happens is that you wake up at 3 a.m. and you’re ready to eat or go to the bathroom! You don’t want to have to do this because winter camping means it’s cold!

Instead, try to extend the amount of time you stay awake at the campsite by playing a game with fellow campers around the fire, telling ghost stories, roasting marshmallows and even reading with a headlamp in your tent. Turn in about 9 or 10 p.m., and you’ll be golden — ready to rise with the sun on a winter’s morning.

Tip #5: Leave Your PJs at Home

When camping during the winter, there’s absolutely no reason to strip down from your day clothes and get into pajamas. Instead, just wear your clothes to bed. You’ll stay warmer — and you always can get showered and freshened up in the morning if you need to at the campsite.

Another great way to add warmth to your sleeping experience: Fill a heatproof hot-water bag with water heated on the campfire and put it in the bottom of your sleeping bag. You’ll be warm for several hours with this economical and easy trick.

When you get up in the morning, just remember to hang up all of your clothing and your sleeping bag to dry. It’s likely that condensation and sweat will have made these items moist and you cannot go back to bed with them wet if you want to stay warm.

Tip #6: Stay Warm and Cozy By Packing the Right Clothing

There is nothing worse than getting wet and cold on your camping trip and not having enough to change into to stay warm. To this end, make sure you are packing many layers that can be added and stripped away based upon the weather.

In addition, don’t forget about the material that your clothing is made of — as this can greatly enhance your camping experience. For example, wool socks are excellent for cold nights and hiking throughout the day. You’ll want long underwear to wear beneath your clothing most days. In addition, any clothing item made of moisture-wicking material will help keep you dry. What happens when your clothes get wet because of sweat is that you actually get cold. So avoid that with a moisture-wicking pair of underwear or shirt.

Tip #7: Add Warm Accessories

Your clothes will keep you warm, but did you know you could still be cold? You lose most of the heat from your body, for example, when you head isn’t properly covered. To help lessen the chances that you’ll still feel a chill, make sure you add warm accessories to your packing list.

For example, you’ll want a soft wool hat for your head. Purchase polyester liners for your gloves. Buy packets of toe warmers to throw into your boots, and finally, wrap your ears with a pair of warm shooter’s earmuffs that will not only shield your ears from the cold wind but will cut down on the amount of noise you hear as you are hiking and hunting. With the right accessories, you’ll be toasty and comfortable no matter where you find yourself camping during the winter.

Tip #8: Gulp Your Water

There are few things you actually can survive without in the wild. You can go without food for a good amount of time — but you cannot live without water. Without water, your body will get dehydrated and you will become weak. You’ll need to make sure you have more than enough water around you at all times.

If you think you may be going into an area without a freshwater source, then go ahead and invest in a water bottle or bag that can purify any stream of water. You’ll simply need to have a good sun source so that the sun rays can reach the water directly and start the purification process. Another option is to start a fire and boil all of the water at your campsite to make sure it is free of impurities. It’s always better to be safe than to get sick from drinking contaminated water.

Don’t Leave Home Without These Items

If you’ve forgotten a cold-weather item on your camping trip once, you’ll probably never do it again! That’s because when it is cold in the wild — it means pain is certainly coming for your body. So make sure you are prepared by keeping this guide of eight pro tips with you as you pack. Then, check it twice before you head out on your trip.

Many of these items are lightweight, so you won’t be adding a ton of weight to your pack simply by throwing in that extra pair of polyester liners for your gloves or that extra pair of pure-wool socks. Do yourself a favor and stay warm and safe on your next winter camping trip!

4 Reasons Why Biometric Gun Safes Are a Smart Choice

Choosing the right gun safe is a crucial move for anyone who keeps firearms at home. This type of storage will give you a high level of security while keeping your guns safe and allowing you easy access to them.

Many people make the mistake of only looking at the size and the strength of the safe, though. While these issues are hugely important parts of your overall decision, there is also the matter of how you are going to access your firearms to take into account.

Safes that are opened with the turn of a key or by pressing a keypad remain popular but there is also a more modern option that gives you a greater level of control and security. With a biometric gun safe you will have a terrific place to keep your firearms safe and far from harm.

What Is Biometric Technology?

The most important point with this type of technology is that it uses your unique physical features to allow you to open the safe. You have probably seen how this works on some futuristic movies, which typically show the likes of eye retina scans and facial recognition technology being used.

Biometric Scanners, Image Credit

In the case of current gun safes, it is fingerprint scanning that is normally used to let the owner get to their guns anytime they want them. Since we each have completely unique fingerprints we can use them to clearly identify that we are who we say we are.

The good news is that you don’t need to be an expert in modern technology to do this. You only need to slide your finger over the scanner to let it know who you are, before doing the same every time that you want to open the door.

This makes biometric technology a fool-proof and trustworthy way of keeping objects secure. You might also decide to keep valuable, important documents in here too, as it is such a secure method of keeping things locked away.

1. Unauthorized People Can’t Get In

Naturally, the biggest benefit with a biometric safe is that no-one else can get into it if they aren’t authorized. There is no key for them to find and use or access code that they could guess or find out.

This means that any intruders who get into your home simply can’t open the door of the safe no matter how hard they try. If the walls are sturdy and it is bolted down to the floor then it is going to be a massive job for anyone to get hold of your guns.

Just as importantly, if there are children in the house then there is no way of them getting a firearm in their hands without you knowing. One of the dangers with keys and keypads is that kids can kind a key or discover a code that is written down and use it without anyone seeing them do so.

Don’t leave this to chance by having keys or access codes lying around the house. With biometric access you can make sure that anyone who isn’t authorized to open the safe simply can’t do so.

2. You Can Add Other Users

As we have seen, it is impossible for someone who isn’t authorized to open the door using their fingerprints. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t allow other people to use this safe if they need access.

In fact, the ease with which other users can be added is one of the big advantages of biometric technology. If a large number of people need to use the guns inside it then there is no need to worry about the hassle involved with giving people keys or codes.

All you need to do is get each person who is going to use the safe to scan their fingerprints in order to register them as users. After this, they can use it in exactly the same way that you do, by scanning their prints every time.

Users can be added and removed very quickly as needed. This means that is a sensible option for a company or some other group that has frequent changes to its users.

3. They Are Easy to Open in an Emergency

With luck, you might never have to open your gun safe in an emergency but what if you do? When you hear the sound of intruders breaking it then it is sure to be a heart-stopping moment.

In this sort of situation it can be a time-consuming hassle to open a gun safe if you need to fiddle with a key or a code. This is especially true if you get disturbed in the middle of the night and need to open the safe in darkness while bleary-eyed.

With a biometric safe you can very easily open the door at any time in an instant. This means that using it as a bedside gun safe is a smart move that can greatly improve your security as well as your peace of mind.

You should also find that this kind of entry mechanism makes it easier for you to get hold of your guns in a hurry at any time. Even if it isn’t an emergency you can still open your gun safe quickly and without any fuss.

4. They Aren’t Particularly Expensive

Since this is a modern, cutting edge option it is easy to think that a biometric gun safe is an expensive option. Yet, the truth is that it isn’t as expensive as you might believe.

In general terms, these safes often cost a little more than traditional safes that are key operated. However, given the extra security that they offer it is a fairly modest extra cost that many people consider to be worth paying.

Of course, it is always worth taking into account the value of the firearms that are being stored in the safe. If you have particularly expensive guns in there then you will most likely be happy to pay a bit more for a top quality safe to keep them in.

It is also clear that you may feel that your situation merits paying more money for something that provides more security. For example, if you have inquisitive children in the house then paying for the best possible safe makes a lot of sense

Are There Any Drawbacks?

Clearly, any type of safe has its own advantages and disadvantages. In the case of biometric technology there are far more good points then bad points.

However, when we look at the drawbacks we can see that there are some factors to take into account. Thankfully, most of them can be dealt with if you plan ahead.

For instance, one issue that some people find is that it is difficult for the scanner to recognize their prints. The solution that many owners find is to make a number of scans of their different fingers, so that the safe’s database has a big range of different prints that it can match them with.

You may also be worried about what would happen if there is a power shortage or if you can’t get into the safe for some reason, such as your prints not being recognized. This isn’t as big a problem as it might first appear, as these safes comes with a back-up key that you can use to open it open and re-set the database if necessary.

Summary

The benefits of biometric gun safes mean that it is the best type of technology on the market right now for responsible owners of firearms.

People who should be particularly interested in this technology include those who have children at home, those who have guns for home security reasons, and those who need to give easy access to a lot of others.

Author Bio

Tom Ginevra is the chief over at Gun Safe Guru, the ultimate resource on gun safes. He’s an avid firearm safety expert, part-time gun enthusiast and amateur blogger. You can find Tom at his blog

The Best Self-Defense Ammo For Pistols in 2017 (and Beyond)

Best Pistol Ammo, Image Credit

We spend a lot of time talking about the best pistol to use for self-defense, but a lot less thinking about what ammunition to use in it. This is a shame, because ultimately it is your ammunition that generates the power you need to stop attackers, and that is going to potentially save your life in a dangerous situation.

While the most important consideration in choosing a self-defense round is the caliber, there are many other factors to consider, and an undue emphasis on getting the largest caliber available can actually be detrimental to your shooting performance. Powerful rounds like the .40, or .45 generate a lot of recoil, and unless you have a significant amount of experience in firing these rounds, and practice constantly, they can be very inaccurate in a dangerous situation. Even simple 22-LR ammo can have a kick for smaller shooters, such as kids and some women.

For this reason, it is critical that whatever pistol you are carrying for self-defense, you learn how to use it properly. Accuracy is more based on your technique than your gun, and learning how to draw your pistol quickly and effectively is much more effective than getting a fancy gun.

What is Stopping Power?

“Stopping power”, in reality, has a lot more to do with how a bullet is constructed. Lead bullets, in particular, tend to expand very rapidly on collision with a target. This means that a lot of energy is transferred, but also that these bullets have very poor penetration performance. At the other end of the scale, full metal jacket bullets (FMJ) have a lead core that is fully surrounded by a harder material, most commonly copper. Because copper is harder, it does not deform as much, and as a result gives higher penetration at the cost of less energy transfer.

Both types of ammunition have their uses, but for self-defense purposes what you need is a combination of the two – both energy transfer and penetration. Today, is is possible to get bullets that combine the penetrative power of jacketed bullets with the energy transfer of a lead round.

This is most commonly achieved by using a jacketed hollow point, or JHP, bullet. These rounds have a partial copper jacket around a lead core. On impact, the hollow point of the bullet begins to expand, but the copper jacket controls this expansion to improve penetration.

This works fine, as long as the copper and lead portions of the bullet stay together at the critical moment. Cheap ammunition tends to separate on impact, significantly reducing the power of your round.

Today, I’ll take you through some of my favorite rounds for self-defense purposes. Most of this ammunition is available on online ammo shops, and can be ordered in a variety of calibers to suit your gun.

Speer Gold Dot Personal Protection

Speer were one the first manufacturers to produce bonded core ammunition, and their patented Uni-Cor process effectively eliminates the possibility of jacket / core separation.

The hollow point design used in this round makes use of two stages. The first controls how much the bullet expands on contact with a target, and the second controls the rate of this expansion. This design works very well, and offers a good balance between energy transfer and penetration.

In addition, the nickel-plated cases mean that these bullets are really reliable, and the quality primers used in them ensure you get basically zero misfires.

Federal Premium Personal Defense HST

HST bullets are pretty new to the civilian market, though they’ve been available to professional users for quite some time. This design has a lead core surrounded by a copper jacket, and gives a good balance of stopping power and penetration.

These bullets are mechanically bonded together. The thickness of the copper jacket is matched to the caliber of the bullet, which means that the way in which the hollow point of the round expands is precisely controlled in every caliber.

In addition, one of the best things about these rounds are that the point is specifically designed to penetrate through various types of barriers, including heavy clothing. This makes the round reliable in self-defense situations.

American Eagle Jacketed Soft Point

These are great rounds that also represent amazing value. They are significantly cheaper than most soft lead or FMJ rounds, and offer better performance in self-defense situations. If your budget for ammunition is limited, these rounds are a good choice.

The design used here is essentially the same as the two rounds above – a lead core is encased in a copper jacket, which controls expansion. Though these rounds are not as technically advanced as more expensive ammunition, in most situations they will deliver a good mix of power and penetration.

So that’s it. Three brands of ammunition, all of which are great for self-defense. If you can, give each one a try and see what works best for you. For more tips check out recommendations for our top everyday carry kit.

BrickSeek.com – Save Big Money On Preps? (video)

I’m just passing this tip along as I’ve never heard of BrickSeek.com until this video, but it appears that you can use this site to search for great deals on all sorts of items at places like Walmart, Target, Office Depot and Lowes, though, this tip relates purely to Walmart.

I did as the video suggested and searched for only Walmart, changed “Browse by Category” to “Sporting Goods” and finally changed “Sort by” to “Newest” and the results came up with all sorts of items, some interesting, others not so much… as well as plenty of items that don’t appear to belong in the Sporting Goods section.

Anyway, I’m going to keep an eye on this as I’ve noticed a few interesting possibilities, such as a good flashlight for cheap, pocket knives, a range finder, and more. Honestly, the best plan would probably be to search BrickSeek.com on my phone while I’m at Walmart the next time and see how accurate it is…

Legacy Food Storage 72 Hour Kit: Chili Mac Review

It’s been a while since I’ve had a Legacy Food Storage Kit meal and I’m beginning to get sad because I only have two left to review.

Fortunately, I think I’ve saved the best for last since this time we’re looking at the Chili Mac meal which, to be honest, is one of my favorites:

Here’s the backside:

If you can’t read it well the directions are about the same as every other meal, just boil some water, add the food, cook for a bit, let sit… enjoy.

And here’s the nutrition facts:

Fortunately, there’s not a lot of saturated fats in this meal which my gallbladder appreciates, lol.

And, finally the meal itself which made enough for three large bowls for sure, but only my eldest son and I had a bowl because the rest of my family was on some train trip across Seattle:

Anyway, the meal was seasoned well, in my opinion, and not too spicy whatsoever; I’d imagine even my wife (who detests spicy foods) would eat it. 🙂

I should point out that when I’d originally dished up my bowl I was worried that there wasn’t going to be enough noodles to make this a chili mac, but after eating it I can attest there was plenty of noodles, which I prefer.

Honestly, this is probably very similar to the chili meal but with some noodles tossed in, which is fine with me.

Ultimately, another winner in my book.