Two Best Lockpicks

Video on lockpick choices. He recommends two:

  1. The Titanium Bogota lockpicks for better feel than stainless, plus they fit easily in your wallet or pocket.
  2. The folding pocket pick set because it’s all conveniently contained in a single unit, sort of like a Swiss Army knife.

Remember, of course, that picking locks other than your own is illegal.

After watching the video I do wonder how many locks this guy picks because it sounds like he has a lot of experience with it, lol…

3000 Watt Parabolic Mirror Solar Array

I’m not quite sure how the video creator came up with this being “3000 watts,” but if you watch the later half of the video you’ll see some of it in action.

Of course, as with any large DIY solar mirror project, it can be dangerous to use! Please be cautious if you intend on making one yourself.

Here’s the video (and watch the second one below on how to make one)…

If you want to see another video I found on how these could be made, watch this one…

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

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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 review 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 month or two, 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 safe driving book

[Edit: most of these books have been written already. You  may find out more about them here.]

If you’d like to get on the list to help review new books, fill out this form here.

Prepper Bundle Flash Sale 90% Off, Less Than 3 Days Now

Prepper Bundle Flash Sale

Remember that awesome Prepper Bundle we talked about a few months back? Well, apparently there’s been a huge request for it to come back and fortunately for you… Jennifer and Bill have heard your requests.

Now (actually since Friday) through this coming Monday (less than 3 days as of this email) the Prepper Bundle is back! And best of all it’s also back at an awesome price of about 90% off retail.

I’m not going to bother to explain it all here again (as I’ve done so in the past) but if you’re at all interested in getting in on:

  • 27 prepper eBooks (covering living off grid, homesteading, survival tools, and so much more)
  • 3 eCourses and videos (e.g., building a rocket mass heater, etc.)
  • Getting Started PDF (to help you keep track of everything in the bundle)
  • Exclusive emails with articles to help you get Back To Basics and special offers throughout the year.

…then you really should go check it out while you still can.

FYI, while all of the above is included in the 90% off download you can also get it all on an USB flash drive for safekeeping, if you prefer.

They’ve got you covered but you really do need to go grab your copy of the Prepper Bundle if you failed to do so last time.

 

8 Reasons to Try Hunting This Year

When it comes to shooting guns, more and more people are opting to spend time at a shooting range rather than going out hunting.

Little do they know that hunting not only gives you the same adrenaline rush that you would get at a gun range, but you will also get additional benefits that will enhance your entire experience.

Whether you are a new gun owner or have been visiting the range or a significant period, below are some of the reasons why you should try hunting this year.

1. Hunting is great exercise

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At the range, the only exercise you get is toting your gun, as your targets are stationary. If you are looking to get fit or simply want to stay healthy, you should consider taking up hunting. The process of hunting is not merely about making a kill. You need to stalk your prey and this can take several hours.

As a result, you get to walk around in the outdoors, which exercises your body and you get some fresh air too! Moreover, if you are hunting big game like deer, you also get a cardio workout as you lug your prize back to your vehicle.

2. Hunting promotes conservation

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A little known fact about hunting is that it’s actually good for the environment. What people do not realise is that taxes paid on ammunition and firearms are used to fund the preservation of the environment, which works to ensure the game animals do not go extinct.

In addition to this, hunters also have to pay licensing fees and part of this money is also funnelled into conservation efforts. Therefore, if you take up hunting as a sport rather than going to the range, you will be playing a role in conserving the environment.

3. Hunting benefits the species

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A lot is talked about dwindling numbers of certain species of animals, thus many people are aware that some animals are at risk of extinction. However, the flip side of the coin is overpopulation, and not many people are mindful of the fact that this could also be a threat to animals.

If a certain species is overpopulated, chances are they will not have sufficient resources to sustain them. As a result, they begin to die off due to malnutrition, disease and starvation. With hunting, large animal population are managed to ensure that the entire colony survives.

Additionally, hunting sites are usually sectioned off, which leads to proper management of game population.

4. Hunting boosts family bonding

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A great thing about hunting is that it is a sport you can enjoy with your family. Using proper safety equipment when hunting is paramount, whether you are an adult or a child. However, with the kids it is important they are always supervised during your hunting trips.

In this day and age where electronics have taken over as kids’ primary form of entertainment, engaging in hunting is a practical way of getting your children outdoors while also making time to bond with them.

Through hunting, they can learn various life skills including self-reliance, hand-eye coordination and more.

5. Hunting provides a sustainable food source

If you live in close proximity to hunting grounds, you may never have to buy meat again! Hunting game is a sustainable practice, which not only provides you with entertainment but you also get to put food on your table.

Moreover, the way you get the meat is more sustainable to the earth when compared to commercial breeding and slaughter of animals.

It may be more cumbersome to go in search or you meat when compared to simply walking into a supermarket, but this just makes it more rewarding once you see the catch of the day ready to eat!

6. Game meat is healthy

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Another reason why you should consider taking up hunting rather than being confined to a shooting range is the health benefits that game meat provides you with.

Firstly, with game meat you can be assured that your food is not genetically modified. Not only has the animal grown free range all its life, it has also been feeding on organic food all its life too!

Secondly, with game meat, you do not have to worry about any antibiotics or hormonal treatment that the animal may have been exposed to, which ensures that its meat is toxin free.

Lastly, game meat tends to be much higher in protein than the meat got from commercially bred animals.

Even if you hunt with larger calibers like the .357, the meat is relatively easy to dress and store for later consumption.

Overall, eating game meat gives you the assurance that your food is much healthier than what you will but from your local supermarket.

7. Hunting is a stress reliever

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In this day and age, many people are finding it harder to get some time to themselves as they are inundated with numerous responsibilities ranging from their professional life, home life and social life.

If you are looking for a way to disconnect from the world, albeit for just a few hours, you should consider hunting.

Going hunting on your own gives you the chance to leave all trappings of the modern world at home or in your car, giving you the chance to be one with nature. In addition to this, hunting can also decrease the physical manifestation of stress in your body.

For instance, walking through the woods as you search for prey helps in boosting blood circulation.

Secondly, the fresh air in the woods also works to decrease your anxiety and lower your blood pressure.

8. Hunting is family tradition

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If you do not have any particular traditions that you observe with your family, you may want to take up hunting as a family activity! With hunting as a family tradition, you and your loved ones will always have something to look forward to.

You can then decide whether this would be a monthly, bi-annual or even annual activity that you are all a part of. The excitement of planning a hunting trip as well as the memories that you all make during the trip would last you and your loved ones a lifetime.

Moreover, when your children grow up, they could also pass this one to the next generation!

Big game hunting also gives you the chance to collect souvenirs and mementos from your hunting trips that can be preserved through the process of taxidermy.

A final word

Going to the shooting range may be a covenant option for many people since these places provide you with a controlled environment to hone your shooting skills.

However, the exhilaration of hunting a wild animal and making accurate shots without having any control of the wind and other external factors is much more exciting.

Author Bio

Sam Bocetta is a retired engineer and writer at Gun News Daily. He’s is an avid hunter with over 30 years experience.

Is Yesterday’s Earth-Directed CME A Concern For You?

Just curious what more level-headed folks have to say about the recent X-class solar flare that erupted early Wednesday morning.

Normally, I pay very little attention to space weather because I honestly don’t feel like it’s a very likely threat but for some reason I started to pay attention yesterday and, well, I also began to read all of the crap on the internet where apparently Doomsday is coming, lol.

If you’re unaware, there is a portion of this plasma ejection that is earth-directed with an expected impact Friday morning. Apparently the folks at SpaceWeatherLive.com are hoping for something bigger because it makes for great Northern Lights or something like that… yeah, and a few preppers are probably rooting for more devastation as well.

There’s also some fairly level-headed analysis from the Net as well, such as this video that I watched earlier (you can stop at about the 2:00 mark):

Ultimately, I’m leaning towards: there won’t be much of an impact. But, just in case I’m wrong, I went to my trusty disaster apps on my phone to turn on any warnings related to space weather and I was a bit surprised that I couldn’t find anything; I guess NOAA doesn’t take CME events very seriously either. 😉

In the video above the guy referenced something called the “Disaster Prediction App” on the Google Play Store but it was $2.99 and that’s about about $2.98 more than I’ll pay for something I doubt I’ll actually need… guess I’ll have to do what more American’s do: plead ignorance and hope for the best.

How to Survive After Trauma – 11 Things I Wish I Knew Sooner

How to Survive After Trauma, Image Credit

[Editor’s note: I figured this was an appropriate topic to discuss riht now considering the recent disaster caused by Hurricane Harvey. Remember that no matter how strong or prepared you feel you are, anyone could find themselves or a loved one struggling with the emotional aftereffects of a trauma, particularly a disaster.]

Would I call it haunting? Yes.

For a long time the image of the gun in front of my father’s face was etched in my mind. It’s not what you expect when you open the door for a loved one.

Intruders gained access to the premises and our safety was compromised.

The time during the ordeal is blank in my mind.

Somehow the authorities were called. Somehow my father got away. A few exceptional law men caught the perpetrators and got back our car.

No one was hurt. But how do you cope after a gun was held to your head? How do you explain the feeling of seeing a loved one in mortal danger?

How do you cope with the aftermath of a traumatic experience?

What if an attack, accident or other traumatic event leaves you with too many questions? The result could prevent you from functioning normally. If this continues you may even face medical challenges. When psychological challenges start intervening with normal functioning you run the risk of developing a psychological disorder which isn’t ideal during disasters or, worse, SHTF.

But you can stop it. Here are a few tips I know can empower you.

I Haven’t Experienced Trauma – Why is This Important?

Safety tips help to keep you as safe as possible, but nothing is guaranteed. If you really want to be prepared you must consider any eventuality. This includes possible trauma after disaster.

Surviving the aftermath (and associated trauma) is as important as getting through the disaster itself so that you can return to a normal way of life again.

  1. Accept Your Reaction as Normal

One emotion at a time is hard enough to handle for some. Now imagine experiencing many emotions all at once.

This is what happens after traumatic events. You can feel:

  • Rage at the perpetrators
  • Fear that the criminals will return
  • Hurt that someone took advantage of you
  • Embarrassment because you weren’t prepared
  • Grieving for lost items after a robbery or disaster

Some of these will happen in phases but they have the tendency to overlap and can overwhelm you easily.

This is normal.

When we believe we’re acting out of character we may fight these emotions, but they’re all necessary. You have to feel and work through them. Don’t deny yourself experiencing all of these emotions.

2. Talk About It

So how do you start dealing with the emotions? Talking is your best weapon.

You have to be desensitized from the experience. You can do this by talking:

  • Hear what happened from your own point of view
  • Hear what others experienced if they were involved
  • Hear about others’ challenges

These situations are traumatic because they (luckily) don’t happen often. When you talk about it the event becomes more general. The trauma is alleviated.

3. Know You’re Unique

Your general feelings will align with many other people’s experiences, but you’re still unique:

  • You may be upset about something no one else finds significant.
  • You may remember details no one else noticed.
  • You may take longer than others to work through the trauma.

If you don’t accept your unique reactions you’ll prevent a full recovery. You can’t rush through your recovery process if you need in depth help on a certain aspect. Your recovery process must be customized to help you with your unique challenges.

4. Forgive Yourself

My father felt guilty for months. He felt he put us in danger. He was even mad at our reactions. But some of our reactions were based on our concern for him.

What else were we supposed to do? We all did our best in the circumstances.

A lot of our anger is wrapped up in what we think of our own actions. If we stay mad at ourselves we won’t move past other psychological challenges.

5. Become Prepared

After the ordeal my father’s new found peace came from renewed vigilance.

Never again did he want to feel like “I should have done more.” This change in attitude led to changes in many aspects of our lives.

Part of being prepared includes:

  • Show you’re ready to defend yourself and your family. Criminals back off when they’re not sure of being in control.
  • Waste their time. Burglars don’t want to stay on the scene too long because the risk of getting caught increases.
  • Showcase your vigilance. If criminals expect a strong defense they will look for another target.
  • Be confident. I’m not saying be aggressive. This can lead to unnecessary conflict. But criminals want victims to submit. If they see they can’t manipulate someone they may leave sooner.

Weapons

None of us used weapons before the break in. This all changed after our traumatic event.

Today we’re kitted out. And, yes, there are legal ways of protecting yourself.

You can easily arm yourself to help be and feel prepared:

  • Keep pepper spray on your key chain. Attackers may see it and will probably go elsewhere and, at the very least, you have it readily available to use.
  • Pepper spray in your car is great too. If you know you have something to ward off someone then you won’t feel at the mercy of an attacker.
  • Place necessary items all over your home or office, such as:
    • Flashlights
    • Pepper spray (or other self defense items)
    • A baseball bat

All of this communicates to intruders you’re prepared but also helps you be better prepared too.

[Editor’s note: pepper spray and other self defense options are useful to consider–I know I have them too–but they’re no substitute for firearms when it truly comes to defending your life.]

Premises

Make sure your home is as safe as possible.

Assumptions are your enemy. Criminals can pick nearly any lock and will find a way into private areas quicky. Make it difficult for them to do so with security doors and grilles as they do wonders.

Remember: If it’s going to take too long to get past a security barrier a burglar may very well move on.

[Editor’s note: surveillance is a great deterrent too… if criminals know they’re being watched and recorded they may choose to move on as well.]

Actions

Change how you act. For example, you can be more:

  • Assertive
  • Conscious of your surroundings
  • Organized and prepared

If you’re in a rush or distracted you’ll neglect valuable safety measures, even simple ones like remembering to lock your doors each time you leave.

How did these Preparations Help us Survive After Trauma?

Part of the trauma was the feeling of being powerless. To recover we had to feel in control again. Each action helped us counter fear and uncertainty.

6. Deal With Your Dreams

Your dreams will tell you what’s bothering you:

What do you dream about?

Who are you mad at in your dreams?

Who is with you in your dreams?

Your dreams can serve as a source for answers. But bad dreams can’t keep haunting you forever. This can result in physical and psychological problems.

Learn

Learn about your concerns by writing down your dreams. You’ll identify problem areas such as:

  • Rage towards yourself
  • Rage towards others
  • Situations you fear

If you know what’s bothering you then you can find answers faster.

Any stress in your life can make these problems feel worse. You have to manage your life as well as the residue of the trauma.

How do you do this?

Stop Dreaming

You don’t want bad dreams to plague you forever. When you’re in need of some good sleep try these tips:

  1. Write down the main events of your day before you get into bed. If you know what causes general stress your subconscious doesn’t have to tell you about it in your sleep.
  2. Write down main responsibilities for the next day before you sleep. Once again this reduces general stress.

[Editor’s note: I’m not quite sure how these tips directly relate to getting over trauma but there may be something to be said for using these techniques to help alleviate general stress during a disaster.]

Lie down with your eyes closed. Don’t sleep. Let your thoughts go and see what surfaces. Write down what bothers you about your day or any traumatic event. Write down what you want to do about each problem. By bringing these problems to light then your dreams become less powerful.

7. Find an Outlet

Stress and fear are closely connected with energy in your body.

Stress and fear cause adrenaline to be secreted which puts your body on alert so it can handle pressure such as to fight or run away.

After a traumatic event (such as a natural disaster) your body can be in a perpetual state of readiness. This isn’t healthy.

When your body is overwhelmed with these feelings and hormones you may feel:

  • Pain in your head or shoulders
  • Overwhelmed by small everyday tasks
  • Emotional for no reason

Help your body expel the energy and tension. For instance, a new hobby may be in order. You can:

  • Do a sport such as running or cycling
  • Go to the gym more
  • Dance
  • Do breathing exercises

Your instinct will be to rest as you may feel fatigued as a result of trauma. You need a balance between exercise and rest to fully recover.

8. Ask the Professionals

Will your pride keep you from recovery?

Many people see it as a sign of weakness to visit a professional for help but that’s not true at all. In fact, you can ask many types of professionals for help, including:

  • Yoga instructors help alleviate stress
  • Doctors can help diagnose and medicate stress
  • Psychologist and therapists help deal with trauma
  • Homeopaths offer natural products to help you sleep

To get past the trauma as quick as possible use the resources available to you.

[Editor’s note: There’s no shame is asking for help! That said, many of these resources may not be immediately available to you after a disaster.]

9. Look Out for Warning Signals

How stubborn are you? Will you listen to friends or family’s advice? If you know you won’t allow others to tell you what to do the responsibility lies with you. What will you do when you:

  • Become agitated for no reason
  • Have panic attacks
  • Black out for short periods
  • Have to be conscious of danger signals.

Have a plan in place. Find a doctor you know you can trust. Have the doctor’s contact details on hand at all times. You never know when you may need it.

If you prefer privacy no one has to know you asked for professional help.

[Editor’s note: Again, this is good to know and do when society is functioning normally but if/when a major disaster strikes such as Hurricane Harvey, a doctor you can trust may not be immediately available. That’s why it’s a good idea to locate and even to establish a relationship with such people before disaster strikes.]

10. Stop Generalizing

Many traumatic events involved other people:

Did they attack you physically?

Was there emotional abuse?

Did someone directly cause the trauma indirectly (such as a car accident)?

It’s easy to generalize regarding traumatic events. You may feel you never want to associate with a certain type of person again if you’ve been assaulted in order to protect yourself from future traumatic events.

How will you continue relationships with people if you judge people before you get to know them?

Your recovery’s purpose is to help you function well again. If you pull away from a certain group of society you’ll miss out on many experiences. It may even hinder normal functioning at work or in social environments.

This may be a subconscious reaction. As such, you have to:

  • Be aware of your actions and reactions towards people
  • Realize when you become prejudiced
  • Consciously place yourself in the company of such people
  • Start being desensitized to that group

Your brain remembers negative impulses better than positive ones. It will take a few positive experiences to counter the one traumatic event you went through. Don’t rob yourself of healthy interactions with people.

11. Use Organic Help

All of the tension you’re feeling as a result of a traumatic event certainly has an impact on your body. Strained bodies become sick and weak. This can be because of too little sleep and/or constant strain.

Momentary trauma and prolonged stress can decrease your body’s ability to fight against sickness. Your body will handle stress up to a point before showing the effects of it, including:

  • Flu symptoms
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches

Your fight is physical as well as psychological. Help your body survive the physical impact by follow a nutritious diet and supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals. For example, magnesium helps fight the effects of stress.

Conclusion

Do you need this now or are you preparing for possible future events? Ask yourself how much you want to return to normal functioning. Conscious decisions—that will result in positive change—are necessary. Don’t take a chance and simply believe you’ll recover. We often don’t realize the effect of trauma until it’s too late. You must make specific adjustments to ensure a worthwhile future.

Author Bio

John Stuart is a content marketer working alongside Attenborough Door, manufacture and install a wide range of automatic doors across the UK.

Mayor Right Not To Order Evacuation?

Hurricane Harvey Flooding Houston, Image Credit

Honestly, I haven’t been paying much attention of the Houston hurricane except to occasionally view a few photos of the aftermath and to keep up with how rescue and recovery efforts are going. I do hope these folks stay safe.

Anyway, I recently read an article in The New York Times with a similar title as this blog post (guess where I got the idea from) because it caught my eye. “Right NOT to evacuate,” I thought. Really?

After all, it seems to me that THE right action here would be to evacuate from an obviously dangerous situation, especially when you have time to do so, however, the author of the article asserts that:

“It is logistically impossible to evacuate millions of people from low-lying coastal areas ahead of a major hurricane. The disastrous evacuation in preparation for Hurricane Rita in 2005 proved the case.”

Sure, evacuating millions sounds like an impossible task for government officials anywhere even with days to plan for and execute it. And, besides, many folks are going to ignore the call to evacuate because that’s just human nature and likely because they’ve “been there and done that” before and found nothing bad happened to them or their homes when they did heed the call.

Looking only at the numbers from previous orders to evacuate there’s something to said for not calling for mass evacuation; the author goes on to state that:

“In total, some 130 people died in that [Hurricane Rita] evacuation, more than have ever perished in a hurricane in the state’s history, with the exception of the 1900 Galveston storm. Of those deaths, about half occurred before the storm hit Texas.”

Hmmm… that does make a compelling case for not evacuating, and if we measure success of calling for evacuation or not in death toll numbers (which currently stands at 14 as of this writing) then odds are that not ordering mass evacuation was the right move:

“While we do not have any hard numbers yet, my guess is that we will eventually learn that something less than 10 percent of the homes in the Houston region have been flooded by this storm. Had a general evacuation been called, 90 percent of the people would have evacuated for no reason.”

Ok, no reason to sound the alarm bells if we don’t need to. That said, maybe something more could have been done to ONLY evacuate folks expected to be directly affected by storm surge? Perhaps authorities did so and I’m just not aware of it.

Regardless, even if authorities don’t order mass evacuation there’s no reason for individuals and families to stay put if they have the means and ability to evacuate… we know for sure they would have had the warning time to do so, at least with respect to most hurricanes.

Of course, if I’d lived in a hurricane-prone area most of my life I would probably be quite hesitant to leave for a variety of reasons.

What would you have done? Stayed put and hoped for the best or high-tailed it out of there?

There is one wildcard here and that’s the flooding caused by rainfall which is difficult to predict yet still very dangerous:

“We can predict with reasonable accuracy what areas will be flooded by storm surge based on the forecast and elevations. But flooding from rainfall is highly unpredictable and variable based on the dynamics of each particular rain event. Rarely will we know days in advance which areas will be flooded.”

And this is where it gets dicey, in my opinion, to stay put. Even if authorities can reasonably predict where storm surge will flood, they can’t do so with flooding from rainfall. So, why stay put and take the chance?

Besides, even if you didn’t perish directly from the storm you could be putting rescue workers in greater peril trying to rescue you when they didn’t need to OR you could be taking away their time and efforts from someone else who really does need their help.

My advice: during the next hurricane go visit your in-laws whom you’ve been telling you’re going to come visit for the past ten years now but something always seems to come up last minute so you have to cancel the trip, lol.

FYI, here’s another good article on Why Hurricane Harvey became so extreme that was a good read if interested.