CategoriesDisaster Response Prepping Survivalism

The Best Portable Water Purification Gadgets for Your Go Bag

Every living thing needs water to survive. Unfortunately, some disasters might lead to contaminated water supplies, making fresh, clean water a limited resource. In such situations, a prepper or survivalist knows the importance of water purification. While many preppers might have a freshwater stockpile, it is hard to take that on the move. For emergencies that require travel, it is best to have water purification options in your go-bag.

The Importance of Water Purification

If you are in a dire situation without access to a freshwater supply, you can boil water to kill off bacteria and eliminate some contaminants. Sometimes, survival situations require the consumption of whatever water source you have access to. You have to weigh the pros and cons, acknowledging the health risks with the survival options. 

Not all water sources provide clean drinking water. The bacteria and contaminants in these areas can make you violently ill, and in some cases, leave you battling infections without access to antibiotics or treatment.

Because of the risk of drinking from many natural sources, it is best to have a water purification option with you at all times. There are many options available that provide you with enough filtration for hundreds or thousands of gallons.

Top Portable Water Purification Options

While you can set up a water purification system at your homestead, that system will not do you much good if you need to evacuate. For evacuations, you will need a purification method that fits into your go-bag. There are at least three portable purification methods for the savvy prepper.

1. Straws

One of the most popular products on the market is LifeStraw, and it is considered a personal water filter. The original straw version is a decent filtration system, it removes 99.9999% of bacteria and 99.9% of protozoa, and it lasts for 1,000 liters, filtering down to 0.2 microns. Unfortunately, it will not remove all viruses, minerals, and chemicals. 

There are other options that make drinking easier, and some even filter down to 0.1 microns. The main takeaway is that a filtration straw — or bottle for that matter — is an easy filtration option that can fit easily into any go-bag.

2. Tablets

Tablets are another option for water purification on the go. The tablets are fairly straightforward: you gather one to two liters of water, filter it through a cloth, and drop the tablet in. After approximately 30 minutes, you can safely drink the water without worrying about dangerous microbes.

According to some research, purification tablets, such as Aquatabs, provide a similar result to many municipal water treatment centers.  These tablets can eliminate 99% or more of the biological content in water if you follow the directions.

3. Chemicals

While you can use chemicals like chlorine or chlorine dioxide to clean drinking water, you will need to use caution. Unless you have significant experience treating water with such chemicals, it is best to stick to either tablets or filtration bottles and straws.

Water purification is essential to survival in the wild or when other water sources are contaminated. Without adequate filtration, water can contain thousands of potentially hazardous microbes in every drop. What are your favorite filtration methods? Leave a comment below.

CategoriesDisaster Response Finance Prepping Survivalism

SHTF Money: Creating a Plan for When the Unexpected Happens

The general rule for an emergency fund is six to nine months’ worth of expenses — although some experts believe it should be six to nine months’ worth of net income — but only 25% of Americans, according to a recent Bankrate.com study, have the minimum requirement. Additionally, only 39% have enough savings to pay for a $1,000 emergency before acquiring a loan or using credit. That is not good enough.  In an actual SHTF economic situation, how long would you last? Do you have enough money to survive and wait out the crisis or prepare for your next move?

The SHTF Money Plan

Creating a money plan is a straightforward process, but it takes discipline and commitment. Before you can start planning for savings, you need to take a hard look at your finances. How much money do you have coming in, and where does it go? 

To keep track of your money, you need to create a spending log — don’t worry too much about making cuts at first. Record every dollar you spend, even for that $1.50 candy bar at the local gas station. A thorough spending log will help you understand how you spend money. For many people, logging their money is enough to curtail some bad habits.

Continue to log your spending habits for a month. After you have a month’s worth of information, go through your logbook and divide your spending into two categories: needs and wants. Needs would consist of mortgage payments, rent, insurance, gas, food, etc. Wants would include spending on entertainment, clothing accessories, eating out, etc. 

With the final calculations, you want to look at your wants and needs lists to determine if there are any areas you can cut spending. For example, if you are eating out a lot, consider limiting such occasions to once or twice per week.

The idea is to make necessary cuts to create a surplus of available cash. The excess should be put back into a savings account. Every month you will contribute to this savings until you build your emergency or SHTF reserve. Saving takes time, and it can and likely will require patience. Obviously, the more you sacrifice, the quicker you can save, but remember that you need to live, too.

Why You Need an Emergency Fund

Emergency funds are paramount to survival and preparation. No one knows when financial troubles will arise, whether personal, national, or global. You can experience job loss, or the economy can collapse, war can lead to shortages, etc. An emergency fund means you can better survive the temporary or more permanent threats.

The Right Amount of Savings for Your Situation

The right amount of savings varies from individual to individual. Your SHTF account might only require a few thousand dollars to get through six months, especially if you have a live-off-the-land mindset and a stable inexpensive homestead. 

For most people, however, a minimum of six months’ worth of expenses is a good starting point. It is crucial to understand this is a bare-bones strategy; you will not have any extra money for entertainment or unexpected expenses. Therefore, while a decent strategy, it is better to plan for six months’ worth of your net income — better still, nine months. 

There is no quick path to building an SHTF money stash; it requires patience and discipline. Take a hard look at your spending habits and make cuts you can live with. Commit to putting back a specific percentage of your income toward your emergency fund. You can do this.

Got any pointers? Leave a comment below.

CategoriesPrepping Survivalism

Life Is Risks: The Dangers Lurking Behind Everyday Tasks and Activities

As a prepper, it is natural to think about the big prospective disasters, like wildfires, hurricanes, economic collapse, etc. Unfortunately, when always looking at the larger picture, it is easy to forget that danger lurks around every corner.

Every day, people put themselves in harm’s way by performing everyday tasks; for example, driving is one of the most dangerous things you can do. However, despite the dangers you face, you still — more than likely — make it to tomorrow. To help ensure you remain safe, note the activities you routinely perform because, more often than not, complacency is the real threat.

Dangers of Driving

You have likely heard that driving your car is more dangerous than traveling by plane. Several things make driving hazardous, including:

  • Road conditions
  • Blind turns
  • Music
  • Outside distractions
  • Other drivers

Additionally, using your cellphone while driving puts you at an incredibly high risk of an accident. The National Safety Council estimates that cell phone use is responsible for 1.6 million car accidents per year.

Dangers of Childcare

Even taking care of your family can lead to accidents and injuries. Carrying your child around the house or lifting them out of the crib can result in back injuries. Additionally, with children around the house, you might slip and fall on a toy.

Children are also susceptible to injuries when in daycare. It is common for children to experience minor bumps, bruises, scrapes, and cuts.

Dangers of Cooking

Cooking is necessary. Unfortunately, most recipes require a source of heat, making meal prep a legitimate fire hazard. 

Using grease or cooking oil can result in pan fires, and if you do not put them out correctly, the fire can spread quickly to other parts of the house. Aside from a house fire, you might end up with several burns when cooking dinner for the family.

You can also injure your back moving heavy dishes from one space to the other. Additionally, you might find your knees and hips begin to hurt because you are forced to stand for long periods.

Dangers of Household Chores

When you think of household chores, what comes to mind:

  • Dishes
  • Vacuuming
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Appliance repair

Any household tasks can result in electrocution, dismemberment, broken bones, and other severe injuries. Mowing the lawn, for instance, requires the pushing around of a high-powered blade. Depending on the type of mower you have, there are several potential safety risks. A riding mower can slip into gear without the operator. A push mower can shoot debris into the operator’s face, resulting in eye injuries or blindness. 

Using appliances or attempting appliance repair as a novice or expert can lead to electrocution. Any time you are trying to fix an electronic device, it is crucial to double-check the power source to the device, ensuring it is off.

Dangers of Walking, Running, or Exercise

Fundamental exercises, like walking and running, can also lead to injuries. Many people take walking for granted, thinking they are experienced enough to try and multitask, but that is a mistake. Walking and talking on your phone or texting can and does result in several deaths per year.

Regardless of what you choose to do with your free time, make sure that you are entirely in it. Complacency leads to accidents, injuries, and deaths, even doing the most basic everyday tasks.

Can you think of an everyday activity that is dangerous or an example of when you injured yourself doing something routine? Leave a comment.

CategoriesPrepping

The Effects of Extreme Weather Patterns on Your Home: Protect Your Family From Natural Disasters

Whatever your take is on climate change, you cannot deny that weather patterns are changing: from historic heatwaves to record-shattering wildfires, the weather is getting more severe every season. Without adequate preparations, your family might be in the dark literally and figuratively when a natural disaster strikes.

Thankfully, as every prepper knows, there are strategies you can implement to prepare for disaster. With the right amount of preparation, you can reduce the risks of damage from changing weather patterns on your home and family.

Understanding the Risks of Extreme Weather

Extreme weather can lead to several types of disasters, the worst of which are flooding, hurricanes, wildfires, and tornados. With flooding and wildfires, the best thing you can do is take your family and go; sheltering in place is usually the last thing you want to do, especially if local governments are calling for evacuations. Wildfires are typically the result of severe droughts, but a lightning strike can also cause the initial spark.

With hurricanes and tornados, you can often shelter in place, depending on the severity of the storm. Tornados typically give little warning, meaning staying on your property is likely the only option. 

A storm shelter, bunker, or basement is the best form of protection against high wind storms. Since hurricanes can often last several days, it is best to have shelf-stable food and clean water stockpile. Having a generator is also a worthy investment for short-term disasters.

How To Prepare Your Home Against Natural Disasters

Preparing your home against natural disasters depends on where you live. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, you might want to invest in permanent storm shutters, sandbags, and landscaping. 

Landscaping can seem a bit strange when talking about wind storms, but you will want to clear the immediate area around your house from tall trees. Hurricanes, tornados are both strong enough to uproot mature trees, turning branches into projectiles.

If you live in an area prone to wildfires, you will want to create a fire barrier around your home. Keep plantings away from the foundation. If possible, keep your yard and plants watered to avoid dry grasses and plantings.

If you live in a flood zone, it is all about grading your landscape and sealing your foundation. While sealing the structure might not protect against every flood, it can help delay water damage, providing enough time to protect your property with sandbags.

The Importance of Emergency Kits

Sometimes, you will need to take your family and evacuate to someplace safer, away from severe weather. You will not always have time to pack essentials, which is why having prepared emergency kits is crucial to survival. 

Emergency kits are bags or packs that include food, first aid, water, clothing, medication, etc. Each package should be unique to each family member, ensuring medications and supplies are not forgotten or misused.

How To Stay Safe During a Disaster

When in the midst of a storm or disaster, there are several things you need to do and keep in mind to ensure your and your family’s safety. You will want to stay informed by tuning into local authorities, have an evacuation plan, avoid unnecessary risks, etc.

With the warning of future volatile weather patterns, it is necessary to prepare for the worst. While a full-scale bunker might not be a requirement, some things, like emergency kits, are a must. What do you consider a must when preparing for natural disasters? Leave a comment below.

CategoriesPrepping

RFID Technology and Using Wallets To Protect Yourself

Technology is advancing exponentially, so much that companies and the consumers they serve are struggling to keep up with all the changes and innovations. Unfortunately, tech-savvy thieves are lurking around every corner, ready and waiting to pounce.

The most vulnerable and valuable asset people have is their identity and financial data. As technology moves faster towards convenience, RFID chips are being integrated into much of what people carry every day, especially credit and debit cards. The chips are helpful, making transactions quick and painless, a simple tap on a reader, but with the right tools, thieves can steal your information without you even noticing.

RFID scanners or skimmers are not only used by stores, but thieves also use these devices. The problem is the portability of the devices and the lack of protection on cards and card carriers. However, with the right tools, you can protect your information.

RFID wallets essentially wrap your credit cards and other at-risk information in an RFID protective sleeve. The sleeve blocks scanners or skimmers from reading your information. There are at least three reasons to purchase an RFID wallet.

1. Lower the Risks of Identity or Information Theft

The primary reason to purchase an RFID wallet is to protect your financial information and identity against theft. Fortunately, RFID theft is relatively rare at the moment, but that does not mean it is safe. As a prepper, you know that safety and survival come down to preparation; purchasing an RFID wallet is preventative.

While the current risks of theft might be minimal, the growing pool of tech-savvy criminals means it is never 0%. Owning an RFID wallet ensures your information remains yours and limits points of access only when your card is out of the sleeve.

2. Protect Against Future Threats

Experts explain that RFID threats could increase in the future, meaning that buying a wallet now is more about future defense. As RFID technology becomes more integrated into shopping and essential tasks, thieves will have more motivation to find unique and innovative ways to steal information.

The portability and concealability of RFID skimmers will improve. As society has seen time and time again, complex tech can fit into smaller and smaller packages, especially when remotely linked to other devices. Therefore, buying an RFID wallet today is about preparing for future threats more than anything, which is precisely what preppers do.

3. Storage

An RFID wallet is, more than anything else, a wallet. The functionality of newer models is as thin and capable as any other standard wallet. With the increased protection, why wouldn’t you buy an RFID wallet? You need a place to store your credit cards, identification cards, cash, and family pictures. Instead of settling for a standard wallet, pick up an RFID wallet to prevent even the minimal risk of digital theft now and the near-guaranteed threat of the future.

While there is something to be said about living off the grid and minimizing your dependence on technology, you always have to realize society will not bend to your will. Therefore, you have to protect yourself against outside threats, including RFID theft.

Will you buy an RFID wallet? Leave a comment below and keep the conversation going.

CategoriesPrepping Survivalism

Backyard Plantings That Can Be Used Medicinally

With a growing dependence on technology and modern medicines, people often forget that most medications are based on herbology — the use of botanical knowledge, plants, and herbs to medically treat patient symptoms. While there is no denying the complexity and efficacy of many modern medical practices, there is also no evading the truth that medications are often deeply rooted in ancient herbal teachings and practices.

That said, seeking modern medical attention rather than using a poultice made from herbs is likely preferable in emergencies. However, as a prepper, being aware of the potential healing power of backyard herbs is a must. While there are many herbs and mixes with healing qualities, five, in particular, are easy to grow and relatively common in the wild.

1. Sage

Salvia officinalis or common sage is a perennial herb that typically grows in dry, hot climates. It requires full sun and does best in sandy soil. Preppers and survivalists will find this herb most beneficial for treating fevers and excessive sweating because of its phytosterol properties. Additionally, you can use sage to treat other problems, including:

  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive phlegm
  • Throat inflammation

You use sage for medicinal properties by using the leaves in a tea or drying and eating them. If you choose to use the leaves in tea, you will need to avoid evaporation. Cover the tea for at least ten minutes before drinking it to protect the critical ingredients.

2. Rosemary

Rosmarinus officinalis or rosemary is a common herb that thrives in dry, well-drained soil and humid climates. It is an anti-inflammatory, which means it helps maintain antioxidant levels and improve circulation. To use rosemary, you should brew it into tea.

Beyond its anti-inflammatory properties, rosemary is a capable herb. The carnosic acid in the herb means it is a preventative for many conditions, including:

  • Headaches
  • Neurological degeneration
  • Strokes
  • Memory loss

3. Peppermint

Mentha piperita or peppermint is an excellent remedy for gastrointestinal problems because it helps relieve intestinal muscle strain while improving bile flow. You can use peppermint to treat a variety of conditions, including:

  • Gastric emptying disorders
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • Colonic spasms
  • Dyspepsia

Additionally, as the active ingredient in peppermint is menthol, it can work as a decongestant or expectorant, even soothe sore throats. To get the most out of peppermint, it is best to extract the essential oil. Removing the oil will require steeping the crushed leaves with vodka inside of a covered jar. The potency of the extract will depend on the duration of the steeping. When you finish steeping the leaves, you can strain them, leaving the extract behind.

4. Hyssop

One of the most effective plants for survival is Hyssopus officinalis or hyssop. The plant has natural antiseptic properties and is quite helpful as a poultice for treating scrapes, cuts, and bruises. You can also boil the leaves, straining the mixture to soak bandages.

5. Catnip

In survival situations, it is not uncommon for people to get anxious or suffer from other psychological conditions, like insomnia. Nepeta cataria or catnip can help. The plant acts as a natural sedative and can help calm and relax the body. You will first dry the leaves. Then, you can either coat them in honey and eat them or use them in tea.

Sometimes, in survival situations, you might have to rely on what is available in your backyard for medical treatment. The five herbs above are excellent and common plants; there are many more for the interested prepper. What are some other plants with medicinal purposes you know about?

CategoriesPrepping Survivalism

What To Look for in a EDC Knife

An everyday carry knife is a staple amongst preppers and survivalists. However, with the large selection of knives on the market, it can be challenging to find an EDC knife that’s worthwhile.

Choosing the Best EDC Pocket Knife

Ultimately, the perfect everyday carry knife depends on personal preference. As long as the knife fits within the regulatory limits, most other characteristics will depend on the user. However, most people prefer a folding knife with a pocket clip, locking mechanism, and a 2.5“ to 3” long blade. Regardless of your preference, there are still several things you will need to consider as you shop for your next EDC knife.

Size

When looking for a knife, you want to consider that you will have the knife on you at all times. Therefore, you will want a knife that is inconspicuous, unobtrusive, and comfortable. However, you do not want a knife that is too small. Most people prefer to find an EDC knife that is approximately 4“ long when closed and is lightweight, around 3.25 oz.

Length and Shape

While you do not want the collapsed body to be any longer than 4“, that doesn’t mean the blade length should be equal. A good-sized blade will be no longer than 3.5” when looking at drop-point blades. Looking for longer knives will often result in clumsy handling. The shorter length is suitable for most cutting and defense tasks. However, before purchasing a knife for everyday carry, check local regulations. Most jurisdictions will have length limits to consider.

Handle Material

While the blade is the most important consideration when selecting a knife, the handle comes in as a close second. The handle material helps with grip and stability. There are several materials to choose from, including:

  • Wood
  • Anodized aluminum
  • Micarta canvas
  • G10

G10 is a popular handle material because it is lightweight and provides a good grip. However, tastes will play a role in what material you select.

Locking System

There are many locking mechanisms to choose from. You can find ambidextrous models or mechanisms that move your fingers out of the way. The objective is to find a mechanism that is sturdy and durable and fits your style of use. Again, you will need to check with local regulations to see what types of locking knives are permitted in your area.

Blade Steel

There are many types of steel to consider when purchasing a knife. However, you mainly want to look out for the cutting performance, corrosion resistance, edge retention, and ease of maintenance.

Style

Finally, the last consideration to make when purchasing a knife is style. There are tactical knives, classy knives, traditional knives, etc. As long as the knife you choose is durable and capable of performing the way you need it to, you can feel free to select any style that speaks to you.

List of the Best EDC Knives on the Market

While there are many knives on the market, only a few stand out as being the type of all-around EDC knife a majority of people would benefit from owning. Below are the top 10 best EDC knives currently on the market:

  1. Spyderco Para 3 Lightweight Pocket Knife
  2. CJRB Small Feldspar Pocket Knife
  3. Kershaw Anso Fraxion Pocket Knife
  4. CIVIVI Elementum Pocket Knife
  5. Gerber Sedulo Pocket Knife
  6. CRKT CEO Pocket Knife
  7. Opinel No. 6 Carbon Pocket Knife
  8. SOG Terminus XR LTE Pocket Knife
  9. SOG Stout FLK Pocket Knife
  10. CRKT Pilar III Pocket Knife

What is your favorite EDC knife? Leave a comment below.

CategoriesPrepping

Pandemic, Panic, and Prepping: A Brief Examination of Americans’ Response to COVID-19

To the average American, emergencies lead to panic, indecision, and overwhelming fear, all of which can seem illogical to those who understand how to respond to a crisis. Covid-19 is a case study of the problems with a lack of preparation and how the worries of a group can escalate to the point of worsening a pandemic.

In the early part of the pandemic, people panic bought paper supplies, resulting in a shortage of toilet paper and other products. The strange thing was that the disease did not really affect the digestive system, meaning there was no reason for the run on paper. Additionally, the U.S. does not depend on outside sources for paper products; with numerous mills and producers within the contiguous U.S. Panic buying also led to a shortage of hand soap, sanitizers, face masks, etc.

Panic Demand Disrupts Supply

The last thing you want to do in a crisis is strain supply. Unfortunately, the government did not have the oversight to limit quantities before the threat pushed many into panic mode.

When people are panicked and have little knowledge of crises, they automatically overbuy. A single individual overbuying is not a problem, but hundreds of thousands rushing to the stores is a massive undertaking. Companies cannot predict such an increase in demand, meaning that as people emptied store shelves, they needed to exhaust inventories and ramp up production to meet new, unrealistic expectations.

Unfortunately, while companies were trying to meet the panic demand, the illness continued to spread unchecked, forcing many producers to shut down or severely limit operations. The forced closures only worsened the supply shortage and encouraged further panic buying; the country entered an economic death spiral.

Preventing a Repeat of Recent History

The cycle of panic is dangerous, and while the pandemic is easing up, it is not gone. New variants and an unusual push against scientifically sound and safe vaccines increase the risks of future shutdowns and shortages.

Unfortunately, the best prevention of future occurrences is education and healthy preparation habits. Now that people understand that pandemics are still a threat to even the most powerful economies, it is vital to plan for the distinct possibility of repeat events. However, as any real prepper knows, survival is about healthy preparation tactics, not panic.

If you want to ensure your family has all the supplies they need during a future pandemic or disaster, start collecting and purchasing supplies now, when there are no runs on items like paper. There is no need to buy all the stock at your local grocer either; you can pick up a little here and there or order straight from producers.

Don’t Let Politics Get in the Way

Many of the pandemic problems were a result of panic buying and people ignoring experts. At some point, early on, the handling of the pandemic became politicized. All of a sudden, doctors and scientists were taking a backseat to politicians and pundits. The pandemic survival strategy became more focused on which way you leaned politically rather than based on evidence and scientific reason.

If another crisis should arise, or worse, the current pandemic returns with a vengeance, it is best to look to the health experts and not litigators or those looking to maintain their seats.

What do you think is the most important prepper takeaway from the past year? Leave a comment and keep the conversation going.

CategoriesHome Defense Hunting Prepping Survivalism Weapons

Why the Right To Bear Arms Is Still Extremely Relevant

Quick! How many times within the last year have you heard that you don’t “need” to have guns? If you’re like many outspoken gun owners, you have probably lost count. People have various reasons for their favorite anti-gun arguments. Some say that no one needs guns because they can just call the police when they need help. Others insist that you can fight off a gun-wielding attacker with a knife, baseball bat, or another inferior weapon. Still others claim that if all guns are outlawed, no one will be at risk of gun violence anymore.

If you’re confused by all the pro- and anti-gun rhetoric, you’re not alone. Many people struggle to understand how necessary guns really are in today’s world. Could those calling for more gun control be right, or could they be horribly misguided? To help answer your questions, here are a few reasons why the right to bear arms is still extremely relevant today.

The Second Amendment Is Not Outdated

Our forefathers were very wise people. They willingly fought and risked their lives to escape a tyrannical government. The last thing they wanted to do was create a new government that had any chance of becoming like the one they ran away from. This was the primary reason they included the Second Amendment in the Constitution of the United States.

By giving the people the right to keep and bear arms, the founders protected citizens of the United States from forced government encroachments and takeovers. With how divided and caustic our country has become in recent years, it’s clear to see we still need that protection today.

Tyranny doesn’t have an expiration date, and there’s no reason we should think it’s limited to governments of yesteryear. In fact, there are several dictatorial governments in the world already (Cuba is just one example), so there’s no reason to think the heads of our government wouldn’t try it too if they could successfully disarm the citizens of our great nation.  

Crime Rates Are Rising Fast

Crime rates in major cities are rising at unprecedented rates. From April 2020 to April 2021 alone, homicide rates in major American cities increased 33%. Taking away the peoples’ right to protect themselves from criminals makes no sense in our current situation.

Some claim that if there are no more guns, you can’t be killed by one. But savvy criminals always find a way to get their hands on the things they want. As a wise man once said, “when guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will have guns.”

Guns Create Equality

Equality is a buzzword these days, right? A growing number of people want equal outcomes when it comes to professional pay, education, and living standards. But when it comes to defending oneself, there are some who suddenly abandon their equality ideals. It’s a strange phenomenon.

If you look at guns as the great equalizers, you’ll see that they are very necessary today. They help put people who might be physically disadvantaged (such as females, people with disabilities, and the elderly) on equal ground with their attackers. If you have a gun, you have hope of fighting off anyone who tries to harm you, no matter how much larger or physically stronger they may be than you. Sometimes, all you need to do is show a gun and the bad guy runs away (though it’s an unspoken rule that you should only pull a gun out if you are prepared to use it).

Guns aren’t the evil things they’re often portrayed to be. After all, they’re just inanimate objects. It’s the people who wield them who determine whether they are used for good or ill, to harm or to preserve.

What do you think about the recent talk on gun rights? Do you think guns should be more tightly controlled or that the Second Amendment should not be infringed upon? Let us know in the comments section!

CategoriesPrepping

Conspiracy Theories and the Prepper: The Dangers of Misunderstandings

Prepping in and of itself is a rational reaction to potential threats, environmental and human propagated. For example, purchasing or creating emergency disaster kits to allow for fast evacuations in areas known to have wildfires is sensible and even encouraged by the local and federal governments.

Unfortunately, stereotypes and assumptions often plague the idea of what it is to be a survivalist or prepper. Many people believe preppers operate on the fringes of society when, in reality, most preppers are average citizens with a desire to keep themselves and their families safe.

While the average prepper takes their cues from an informed community, it is an unfortunate consequence of sensationalism that some turn to conspiracy to inform their ideas. Without logic and balanced information, an ill-informed prepper can contribute to the disaster they want to avoid. Survivalism and disaster preparation should not be motivated by conspiracy but by reality.

The Dangers of Conspiracy Theories

It is impossible to discuss conspiracy theories without discussing the current pandemic. The world is still in disarray, and political divisiveness and sensationalist outlets are feeding on the anxieties of real people by contorting facts to fit fallacy.

Preppers want to be prepared for disasters, but they do not wish to contribute to them. Most preppers are survivalists and have a deep respect and compassion for nature and humanity. Unfortunately, those who believe that vaccines are somehow poisoning people or that government agencies designed and distributed COVID-19 as some tool for population control only contribute to panic and distrust in vaccines, essentially prolonging the pandemic.

While the pandemic might still be a little raw and a somewhat touchy subject, there is another recent example of rogue theories promoting disaster or societal disruption. In May, the Colonial Pipeline was a victim of a ransomware attack. Despite the assurances of the company that gas and oil would remain available and that the system would be back to full operation by the end of the week, there was a rush on gas stations and fuel pumps, causing significant gas shortages across the east coast.

Buying into conspiracy is not prepping. Preparation is about analyzing real threats and planning accordingly.

Examples of Real Threats

The climate crisis is a legitimate threat. People in California and other wildfire zones can attest to the changes in frequency and severity of such disasters. In Jakarta, areas have sunk by over eight feet, and the sea levels have risen by more than ten feet.

Preppers looking into these threats will plan accordingly. In California, residents might focus on preparing evacuation packs. In Jakarta, the stakes are higher, and residents might consider moving inland. 

The point is, as a prepper, you want to look at the facts surrounding a situation, not speculation. It is necessary to find reliable news sources and not biased outlets — which is getting increasingly more difficult. If finding an entirely unbiased source is not possible, find options that lean more towards the center. Additionally, local and national news is not the only way to find information. Search scientific studies and legitimate peer-reviewed journals.

There is no denying the rise of media and biased reporting. All you can do is try and not become a victim to the overwhelming falsehoods on social media and television platforms. Remember that prepping is as much about protecting your family as it is about not contributing to the problem.

How do you feel about conspiracy theories and their effect on the prepping community? Leave a comment below to keep the conversation going.

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