25 Survival Gadgets You’re Going to Want!

I happened upon this first video and then the never-ending YouTube trail led me to find the rest. I’d say that I definitely haven’t seen at least half of the gadgets shown in the following videos–possibly more–many of which look really interesting! Hope you find them as enjoyable as I did…

100 Best Grocery Store Foods to Stockpile

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I’ve long been a believer that you MUST have your food storage squared away before a disaster hits because you simply won’t get much done if your mind is always focused on being hungry for lack of food.

That said, there are certainly plenty of other areas of survival to figure out too, but having your food storage done is a great start.

I should point out that I agree with most of the list presented in the following article. There are, however, a few items that I wouldn’t get carried away with stockpiling (at least not for any sort of long term storage) specifically some of the snack foods, such as cookies, pickles (yeah, it’s listed under snacks) and popcorn, to name a few.

Really, anything that would need refrigerated after being opened (such as the pickles) or that won’t last long (e.g., the cookies and popcorn) shouldn’t be at the top of your list, if included at all.

Instead, focus on the many canned foods (beans, fruits, vegetables, meats, etc.), mixes (e.g., pancake mix), drinks (to keep your taste-buds entertained), and higher carb foods (pastas, cereals) to start with. Everything else should follow after they’re squared away.

Here’s the beginning of the article for the top 100 foods to stockpile…

Disasters can and do strike without warning, and when they strike, most of the population is vastly underprepared. Truth be told, the vast majority of people aren’t prepared at all, and hardly anyone has enough survival food to last them through the month.

It’s for this reason that when a disaster occurs, hoards of people will swarm the grocery stores and supermarkets in order to get as much food as they possibly can. You could end up being one of those people if you don’t start preparing right now.

So take advantage of the comparatively small crowds and short lines you can find at grocery stores during the good times, because there could come a time when going to the store is like something out of a disaster movie.

This article will cover the primary criteria to follow when selecting grocery store foods that you want to store for survival. We’ll also list some specific foods you should consider getting, and we’ll share some tips on how to properly store all this food so it doesn’t go bad.

Criteria
There are many criteria that you will want to keep in mind when stockpiling food for survival, including but not limited to each of the following, presented in alphabetical order…

Read the full article here

Top 5 Items for Your Get Home Bag (GHB)

I happened upon the following video earlier today and I couldn’t resist checking out what the guy had to say as I’m always looking to see if I’m missing something in my bug out bag–I’m not–especially something I may not have included in my 53 essentials book.

Unfortunately, the title is a bit misleading because it isn’t a mere five items but more like five areas of preparedness, specifically water (e.g., water container, purification), shelter (e.g., jacket, sleeping bag), self defense, a first aid kit, and food (especially food you don’t need to cook).

Regardless, everything he suggests is good to include. I might also include a pair of shoes you can walk in and a flashlight for sure! Not sure why any sort of light source didn’t make the top five list, lol.

3 Innovative Door Security Devices

My kid likes to watch YouTube videos about new gadgets and occasionally I watch them with him. One video caught my eye recently where it showed a few different door security ideas. This one on the Barricade Box was particularly interesting:

Even though it’s meant for schools I can see how the barricade box may be of use for some exterior doors at home.

Another interesting device I watched was about The Barracuda Defense System which also seem more applicable to office buildings or schools, but may find some applications at home too:

The final video I watched was about the Nightlock Door Barricade which is definitely more applicable to home security situations even though the video focuses on schools:

Anyway, I thought these door security devices were neat and figured you might find them interesting as well… and maybe you’ll find them useful for your home or to recommend to your school or place of business.

Images Credit: YouTube.com

The Vehicle Prep You Didn’t Know You Needed!

A few months ago I was sent this Drive Sleek Vehicle Signal Booster Kit in exchange for an honest review, and I can honestly say that I’m glad they reached out to me:

To be honest, I had no idea these even existed until the folks at Weboost.com sent me one. I’d always assumed you got whatever cell phone signal you got and that was it! Well, that’s not true at all. In fact, you can do a lot better than you realize with a signal booster such as this. I’ll explain in a moment.

Anyway, I was pretty excited when it arrived, but that excitement waned quickly because I realized there was some effort involved with installation:

As you can see from the above photo there are a few things to install, including running wiring and mounting things. Really, I thought it was something I just plugged into my auxiliary plug and it was ready to go. As such, I put everything back in the box and sat on it for a few weeks.

That was a mistake because, after I finally made the time to do this, it took me about ten minutes of my time (maybe less) to get it all installed. Really, the install was no big deal whatsoever.

Here’s what to do…

First, mount the antenna to the roof of your vehicle:

That’s really easy to do because it’s secured with a magnetic mount and then you just run a single wire into the cabin of the vehicle. Because I have an SUV it was easy enough to run the wire through the backdoor and along the weatherstripping. The only stipulation, they say, is to keep the antenna at least six inches away from glass. Again, no problem.

If you have a passenger car then you run it through any door you like and do the same thing I did. Just be careful to not pinch the weatherstripping such that it might allow water into the passenger compartment.

The next step was to plug in the antenna and get power to the booster:

This was all easily accomplished in the rear of my vehicle because I had an auxiliary plug in the back, but it’s just about as easy to run some wiring (they give you plenty) to the front of the car, if need be, to plug into the auxiliary plug on the dash.

FYI, the booster came with some heavy-duty Velcro to adhere it to a panel like I did in the photo above, but you probably don’t even need to do that so long as the wires aren’t getting pinched and connections aren’t getting bumped.

Once you have the antenna and power connected to the booster, the final step is to run wiring to the phone cradle itself:

Now, this could be a bit of an ordeal if you’re worried about running the wire behind trim panels and under carpeting, but it’s really not. And, as you might tell from the photo above, I have the cradle secured to the air vent with a handy mounting accessory they included for this very purpose.

Now, setup is complete. Really, it took me all of ten minutes at most to do this. But, I ran into a problem…

You see, a normal phone fits just fine and is quite secure in the cradle (this was my kid’s phone):

But my phone has an extended (bigger) battery which makes it deeper and, therefore, NOT fit securely at all:

…and this was a problem for me because the slightest bump would make the phone fall out of the cradle. But, I rigged a solution with an old plastic ruler and some zip ties like so:

Yeah, it’s not pretty but it’s been working just fine. And my phone fits well now:

As you can see from the photo above, the cradle isn’t attached to an air vent but, rather, to the dashboard using a different mounting solution which I prefer.

But, if you like the air vent option, it works fine too; however, it just doesn’t feel quite as sturdy in my vehicle… mostly because my air vents are old and don’t like to stay in position anymore:

Before you can use the signal booster, the manual–yes, I read one for a change–said I needed to register the signal booster with my cell phone carrier which was surprising to me, yet easy to do since they gave me instructions on how to do it. (Note: We have Verizon but they included the appropriate URL for AT&T and others.) Again, that took me only a few minutes to finish.

Once registered, the booster is ready to be used.

So, I did. And after months of use I can say three things…

Here’s What I Know:

  1. The signal booster does boost a weak signal to make it stronger;
  2. The signal booster doesn’t actually boost a strong signal to make it stronger;
  3. The signal booster can’t boost a nonexistent signal.

Let me explain…

Since we live in the Pacific Northwest, we went with Verizon because they tended to get the best service here. And, for the most part, we have no complaints about our phone signals unless, of course, we venture deep into the woods or the Olympic peninsula where we don’t expect much of a signal. Around town where we live, everything is great.

That said, we don’t always get four or five bars of signal strength. Often two or three is what we get for whatever reason. I’d assumed, wrongly, that the signal booster would take that two or three bars I often get and magically turn it into five bars. It doesn’t. And I don’t quite understand why. No big deal, a few bars of 4G is fine.

What I have noticed is that the signal booster does make is so that those times where I’d normally get maybe a single bar of service or, worse 3G service, that this never happens anymore.

For example, my wife and I went to a spot where we knew we didn’t get a decent signal and after about an hour of driving around and testing, it was clear that the signal booster helped a lot. Whereas my wife’s phone would often have only a single bar of service, switched to 3G regularly, and even had the dreaded “1X” signal indication, my phone (in the cradle) never lost 4G service or dropped below two or three bars of service.

What the signal booster can’t do is boost a nonexistent signal. And though I’ve yet to put myself into a situation where I can test the limits, I plan on going deep into the Olympics this spring to places where I know our phones get no signal at all and see what the signal booster can do. I just haven’t made the time to do so yet.

Why A Signal Booster Is Useful

Anyway, why is this important? After all, if you’re getting at least some signal, isn’t that good enough? Well, sure, if things are normal… but not if your survival depends on it!

For instance, it could be that the nearest cell tower has been damaged, or that you’re in a spot where the signal is spotty anyway, or it could be that everyone else is trying to use their phones too which means your call or text may not go through… all of which is bad for you.

But, if you have a signal booster, that crucial call or text you’re trying to send when disaster strikes could very well get through!

Maybe the closest cell tower is down but the booster can reach out to the next nearest tower when your phone wouldn’t have been able to do so without it.

Or maybe signal is spotty because of a disaster and the signal booster ensures you never lose your connection. (And who’s to say if you’ll ever get through again.)

Or, because the signal booster makes your signal stronger, you’re then more likely to connect your call than other people which means your crucial call gets through when their’s wouldn’t.

Whatever the reason, I can see now how truly useful this Drive Sleek Vehicle Signal Booster Kit really is for disaster preparedness, and I hope you do as well.

Stay safe out there!

Splitz-All Log Splitter

My kid has been watching YouTube videos lately on neat, new gadgets and one that caught my eye was this Splitz-All Log Splitter. And, while I’m not quite sure it’s worth the price tag, the Splitz-All sure is an interesting way to split wood besides with an axe or hydraulic log splitter. Enjoy…

Why A Ferro Rod May NOT Be Worth Having In Your Pack

I’m really starting to like this guy a lot because he offers good, solid advice and clearly knows what he’s talking about with respect to wilderness survival. Today he’s discussing whether or not those trusty ferro rods every prepper–including me–tends to include in their packs is worth having… and stick around to the 12:00 mark to see his “trick” for fire starting.

Why A Mylar “Survival” Space Blanket Is Worth Having In Your Pack

I’m generally VERY against the cheap [easyazon_link identifier=”B01LZN0KGB” locale=”US” tag=”rethinksurviv-20″]mylar “survival” space blankets[/easyazon_link] mostly because there are better option and, honestly, people don’t use them right. I’m a much bigger fan of the [easyazon_link identifier=”B005ILFFTM” locale=”US” tag=”rethinksurviv-20″]SOL Heatsheets[/easyazon_link] (two person version) which are discussed in the following video. That said, any such blanket has limitations and must be used appropriately as shown below…

Top 3 Considerations For Carrying A Firearm During A Grid Down Disaster

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There are an abundance of articles online that provide you with critically important tips on carrying a firearm.  But far fewer of those articles cover how to properly carry or use your firearms in the event of a grid down disaster.  

Fortunately, that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about today.  Here are the top three considerations for carrying a firearm during a grid down disaster:

1 – Conceal Carry A Handgun

Carrying a handgun on your person is wise so that you always have a defensive firearm within quick and easy access. That is, you shouldn’t have to run into your house or car to grab a gun if you are ever attacked by looters or criminals during a disaster.

Instead, you should be able to draw your pistol or revolver right away to engage your attackers the moment they attack!

At the same time, the last thing you want to do during a disaster is to draw attention to yourself, whether it be from law enforcement or by other people.  This is why it is crucial to keep that firearm concealed on your person. 

Therefore, you’ll want to invest in a high quality concealed carry holster and to carry at least one spare magazine with you as well.  Even if you don’t have to reload due to running out of ammunition, the number one cause of failures in a semi-automatic weapon is due to an issue with the magazine rather than the weapon itself, so packing a spare magazine or two is always a smart call.

2 – Keep A Rifle or Shotgun Within Easy Access

A handgun may be a great self-defense tool, but it’s still not as effective as a rifle or a shotgun in certain situations.  It just isn’t. Handguns don’t have as much stopping power or velocity, and they lack the range of a rifle, in particular.  If your home or property comes under attack by multiple assailants, defense will almost always be easier with a long gun than it is with a handgun.

If anything, handguns are either backup weapons when all other options have been expended or weapons that you use until you can get to your main weapon, and they should be treated as such.

This is why you want to also keep a rifle or shotgun within easy access.  No, you don’t want it to be out in the open, but you want it to be somewhere that you can reach it quickly, such behind the front door of your home or in your car. [Editor’s note: follow all state and local laws regarding proper storage.]

3 – Keep The Rest of Your Guns Hidden

Do you want to know what a real possibility will be during a grid down disaster? That’s right: the government declaring martial law, even if not officially in name.  

Martial law simply means that the Constitution and all regular laws will be suspended as the government takes direct control via the military and law enforcement.  All of the rights that you’re accustomed to having, from free speech to a right to privacy to the right to keep and bear arms, will be treated as if they never existed.

In an effort to control the population, the government will be going door to door confiscating firearms.  It’s what happened during Hurricane Katrina, even though martial law was not formally declared.

In order to keep as many of your guns as possible, you’ll need to get very creative about hiding them. A gun safe won’t be good enough because it will be the very first place confiscators go to look, so you’ll need to hide them around your house instead or, better yet, completely off site.

Conclusion

Contrary to what many folks think, it’s not necessarily like people are going to be walking around with a pistol on their hip and a rifle slung over their shoulder when the grid goes down.  On the contrary, you’ll want to be very careful about how you go about carrying a firearm during a disaster.

And remember: just because the grid has gone down doesn’t mean that the laws will no longer be enforced.  Be sure to comply with laws regarding storage, concealed carry, and defensive use of a firearm in your area even after the grid has gone down because people have been and will be prosecuted when society does return to normalcy.

[Note: this was a guest post.]