CategoriesCamping Disaster Response Prepping Survivalism

A Brief Guide to Our Favorite Backup Generators

Loss of power is one of the most common scenarios in disaster situations. Whether you’re dealing with a severe storm, cyber-attack on the power grid or other foreign or domestic attack, you can almost guarantee the power will go out at some point. When that time comes, what will you do? How will you keep your refrigerated or frozen foods from spoiling within a few hours? How will you keep the lights on in your home? A good generator can help alleviate many of the discomforts and dangers associated with a prolonged power outage. Here’s a brief guide to some of our top picks.

Gas-Powered Generators

Gas-powered generators are only good if you have gas on hand to power them. But they’re very good at providing sufficient power to keep large appliances (such as critical medical gear and refrigerators) functioning when the power goes out. Portable gasoline or propane-powered generators are fairly inexpensive and some can crank out serious wattage. Some great options include:

  • Honda EU2200i Gasoline Powered Inverter Generator: This generator has 2200 Watts, which is enough to keep the essentials (such as a refrigerator and a few other devices) running in the average-sized home. It’s also pretty quiet and has a run time between 4-9 hours.
  • Westinghouse WGen9500DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator: If you’re looking for a little more power, this 9500-Watt generator will meet your needs. It has a 12-hour run time and can be powered by either gasoline or propane.
  • DuroMax XP12000EH Generator: For even more wattage, the DuroMax XP12000EH generator is a good choice. It is not the most affordable option, but you may find that the extra sticker price is worth the increased power of the 457cc OHV engine. This generator also takes gas or propane.

When it comes to storing fuel, propane tanks are generally safer to store than gasoline. Always store with the valve closed in approved containers. Keep in mind that a full propane tank is safer than an empty one, since empty propane tanks are more likely to contain explosive vapors.

Solar-Powered Generators

Solar-powered generators can be great life-saving devices in emergencies. They don’t require you to store fuel, and they operate cleanly and quietly. But they do have their drawbacks. Notably, you need to have sunlight to get power from a solar-powered generator.

They also have slow recharging times and higher up-front costs. They do make great backup power supplies though, in case you run out of fuel for your gas-powered generators. Here are some of our top solar-powered generator picks.

  • Goal Zero Yeti Lithium Portable Power Station: This generator comes in various models, including the 3024Wh model and the 428Wh model. The 3024Wh model is more expensive but it also has more power capacity than the 428Wh model. It provides more than 3000Wh of battery capacity. All models have two AC outlets, two 12V output ports, and three 2.4A USB ports.
  • Humless GO Mini Portable Solar Generator and Panel Kit: This kit comes with two 130-Watt solar panels (foldable), a plug-and-play connecting cable, and the Go Mini generator with 640 Watts of power. This silent system is great for powering small items but won’t power your refrigerator or other large appliances.
  • Suaoki 400Wh/120,000mAh Portable Solar Generator: This high-power unit can be charged from various sources, including AC outlets, solar panels and 12V/24V vehicle-based power sockets. It’s a great choice if you need a solar-powered generator to serve you on the road or at home.

These are some of our top picks, but we want to know which options are your favorite. Have you used a generator in an emergency? If so, what type was it and how did it perform? Let us know in the comments section below!

CategoriesHunting Nature Survivalism

The Deadliest Animal in Every U.S. Region

Every part of the United States has at least one deadly arachnid, mammal or reptile. Get the facts about these lethal animals so you know what to do if you come face-to-face with a dangerous creature in the wilds of any region.

New England

When you travel to New England, you don’t have to worry too much about wildlife hazards. Although you may run into black bears if you hike or camp in the Maine woods, these bears are smaller and calmer than their grizzly counterparts and rarely attack humans.

As for reptiles, New England has just two poisonous snakes. However, you won’t encounter the copperhead or timber rattlesnake unless you’re in an isolated part of the mountains. If you travel to New Hampshire or Massachusetts, be wary of the northern black widow spider. A bite from the female of this venomous arachnid species has dire effects on the nervous system.

Mid-Atlantic Region

Poisonous black widow and brown recluse spiders are found throughout the mid-Atlantic region. The black widow is known for its distinctive red hourglass marking. While bites can cause nausea, muscle aches and breathing difficulties, most healthy adults recover easily from this type of bite.

A brown recluse spider is about the size of a quarter and has a violin-shaped mark on its thorax. Bites can cause tissue damage to the affected area as well as vomiting, rash, fever, dizziness and chills. Most healthy individuals respond quickly to medical treatment for this type of bite.

The South

The American alligator ranks as one of the deadliest animals in the nation. Found throughout the Southeastern part of the U.S., alligators rarely attack humans out of aggression. However, they may strike when they see a person as prey. To avoid alligator attacks, do not provoke these animals and avoid swimming after dusk and before dawn in states like Florida.

The Midwest

While gray wolves have long been endangered, conservation efforts have given this species an impressive rebound in the Midwest. Like other wild animals on our list, these wolves have lethal power but rarely attack humans unless they are hungry. If you do run into a gray wolf, try to appear threatening. Never run from the wolf, as it may cause the predator to read you as prey.

The Southwest

Scorpions rank as the most dangerous animal in this part of the country, with more than 90 different species making their homes in the Southwest. The bark scorpion, found in Arizona, has the most powerful venom. This arachnid’s sting causes intense pain, immobility in the affected area, convulsions, trouble breathing, vomiting, nausea and numbness. While fatalities are rare, a person bitten by a scorpion should seek immediate medical attention.

The West

Cougars rarely attack humans but will do so if they are starving and have no other food source. This risk is greatest throughout the Western states. Attacks may also occur when a young cougar acts aggressively to mark or defend territory. If you encounter a cougar, do not play dead. Make direct eye contact and try to scare it away by throwing rocks or making loud noises. These big cats usually avoid humans, but solo travelers have the greatest risk of an attack.

Grizzly bears, which are significantly more dangerous than black bears, also live in the Western U.S. If you come across a grizzly, walk away slowly without turning your back on the bear or making direct eye contact. Do not attempt to outrun a grizzly bear.

If you frequently take the road less traveled during your U.S. explorations, you’re bound to meet a few wild animals along the way. By behaving cautiously and making appropriate safety preparations, you can avoid a life-threatening animal attack.

CategoriesSurvivalism

The Necessity of the Survival Rule of Threes

As a survivalist, you know the importance of preparation. Still, many people underestimate nature and are often ill-equipped to handle the variables that present themselves during a routine outing or camping trip. It is for this reason, experts coined the Survival Rule of Threes for wilderness survival.

Understanding the Rule of Threes

The rule of threes is a four-point list designed to create a hierarchy of survival reactions. The list is made of four stated facts or assumptions about general survival. 

  1. A person cannot survive more than three minutes without air to breathe
  2. An individual can succumb to the elements without shelter after three hours
  3. A person cannot go more than three days without water
  4. A person cannot live more than three weeks without food

While each of these statements is stated as an absolute, it is necessary to discuss the unpredictable nature of the individual or the circumstance. Countless variables can result in these rules becoming inaccurate. However, it is also essential to point out the rules were never intended as hard facts but more as a guideline of survival steps.

The Importance of the Order

When people enter a survival situation, it is likely never voluntary — unless you produce a reality show. The surprise of the situation often induces panic, anxiety, and fear, leading to irrational thinking and reasoning, meaning a person is likely to worry about things in the wrong order.

The survival list places everything in a hierarchy, providing people an easy-to-remember order of necessities: air, shelter, water, food. While each might seem obvious, some can be easily overlooked in specific survival situations.

Consider this, you are in a parking garage when an earthquake occurs, collapsing the structure around you and your running car. A panicked person might become more concerned with finding a structurally sound location rather than the car exhaust slowly poisoning their oxygen.

Another example: you are hiking through Arizona canyons when you fall and break your ankle. The pain is excruciating, and you maintain focus on your breathing, ignoring everything else. If you adhere to the rules, you know you need to shelter yourself from the sun to reduce the risks of heatstroke and dehydration.

Preparation Is the Most Effective Preventative and Survival Skill

While the Survival Rule of Threes is not meant as a customized approach to survival, it is helpful in extreme situations, especially when panic and pain can alter your judgment. However, the best skill is and will always be preparation.

Before you go out on any trip, make sure you inform loved ones where you will be and when. Pack an emergency pack, including extra food, water, and an emergency tent. If you are going out on a boat or camping near water or anywhere oxygen deprivation is possible, pack oxygen. Finally, include a GPS tracker and satellite phone in your pack to ensure people can find you and you can call for help.

Before you head out on your next trip, memorize the Survival Rule of Threes. Also, if you are not an avid trekker, consult an expert to learn the appropriate skills and understand the essential supplies. Have you ever gotten lost or needed the rule of threes? Leave a comment and let readers know what you learned through your experience.

CategoriesSurvivalism

5 Tips for Surviving in Open Ocean

Whether you plan a dolphin sighting excursion for an upcoming vacation or you regularly go ocean fishing, you may eventually find yourself in a life-or-death situation. Unfortunately, even with the most careful planning, unexpected things can happen when you’re spending time on the ocean. To help you prepare for such a possibility, here are five tips for surviving on the open ocean.

1. stay calm

It’s much easier said than done, but staying calm is one of the most essential things you can do for your survival. Your first reaction will likely be to panic and thrash around, but flailing will only cause you to become fatigued faster. Get control of your thoughts, breathe deeply, and assess your situation with a practical, solution-finding mindset.

2. float as much as possible

Ideally, you’ll be wearing a life vest when you find yourself stranded in the water. But we all know things are rarely ideal in true survival situations. If you’re thrown into the water without a life jacket, try to float as much as possible. Do this by lying on your back, keeping your head above the waterline and allowing the water to keep your body afloat.

If the water is rough, you won’t be able to float on your back. However, you may be able to float on your stomach if you can remain calm enough to avoid hyperventilating. In rougher water, take a deep breath, lie face down in the water, and float until you need to lift your head to take a breath. This may seem scary, but keep in mind that floating will help you reserve the energy you would otherwise expend trying to tread water to keep yourself from sinking.

If you’re stranded in a lifeboat or on another floating device, you won’t need to worry so much about sinking, but you will need to worry about shielding yourself from the sun.

3. create shelter

Sun exposure can cause a variety of unwanted side effects, including blisters, dehydration and even hallucinations. If you’re stranded in open water with no boat or other flotation device, creating shelter is likely impossible (unless you can find some seaweed to drape across exposed parts of your body. But if you’re in a lifeboat, you can likely come up with some form of protection. Do whatever you can to create some sort of shelter from the sun’s rays. Even a t-shirt stretched across two sticks or poles can provide you with at least a little protection from the sun.

4. trap moisture

Everyone knows that drinking salty ocean water will only speed up the dehydration process and severely hamper your likelihood of surviving your ordeal. That’s why it’s important to try to trap fresh water whenever possible. Your most likely source of fresh water is rain. You can try to catch it in your mouth, but it’s much better to try to trap it somehow. If you have anything with you that can potentially trap water, put it to good use. Even a baseball cap lined with a small piece of plastic can become a life-saving water-trapping tool. You can also get moisture from fish eyes, spines and flesh.

5. eat what's available

There’s generally a lot of seaweed available in the open ocean. Though you may not love the taste, you’ll love the fact that seaweed is packed with beneficial nutrients that can help you keep your strength up until you’re rescued. You’ll also want to try to catch fish. You can do this by using a shoelace or any other form of string and tie something shiny to the end of it (such as a piece of garbage).

These are just a few of our top tips for ocean water survival. Do you have any others we haven’t mentioned? Comment below to let us know!

CategoriesCamping Disaster Response Hunting Prepping Survivalism

What To Consider When Picking a “Bug Out” Property To Buy

Times are changing, and it’s important to prepare for additional changes yet to come. Just as you probably never imagined you’d experience a toilet paper shortage in your lifetime, you may not have imagined you’d need to start looking for a “bug-out” property this year. But here we are. Wise preppers understand that when things get really bad, they may have to leave their homes and head out to the wilderness (at least for a while). The more prepared you are to handle such a situation, the more likely you will be to survive.

The good news is that your bug-out property can also double as a recreational property where you go to camp and practice your survival skills. But you don’t want to buy any remote property you see for sale. Here are a few things you should consider when deciding which bug-out property to buy.

water

This may seem obvious, but many people forget to even consider the availability of water when looking for a property where they can lay low for a while. However, if you’re serious about survival, you need to make sure the property has some sort of access to fresh water year-round. This may be in the form of a lake, river, well or natural spring. Stock up on water purifiers as well and keep them in your bug-out bag so you can make any available water safe for drinking purposes. If there is no water to be found within miles of a property, it’s probably not worth buying.

distance

You may be able to find the perfect survival property for sale, but if it’s going to take you days to get there in an emergency, it’s just not a practical solution. When it comes to location, here are a few things the ideal property should offer:

  • It should be close enough to where you live that you can get to it on a single tank of gas
  • It should be far enough from the city that you aren’t in danger of being overrun by others who are trying to escape the dangers of the city
  • It should be no more than 60 miles from your home so you can reach it on foot if necessary

It may not be possible to find a good survival property that meets all of these recommendations, but do your best. If you can’t find a good bug-out property close by and you know you’re going to have to travel many miles in a SHTF situation, make sure you pack extra fuel and supplies to bring with you.

self-suffiency

When looking for the right property for an emergency, consider how it will help you be self-sufficient. Ideally, you should look for a place that’s located near:

  • Game and/or fish
  • Firewood
  • Sufficient space and sunlight for gardening
  • A source of electricity (such as water, solar and/or wind)

Don’t count on the electrical grid to power your needs when SHTF. Alternative sources of power are essential for any bug-out location.

security

When buying a property for survival purposes, take some time to consider how secure it is. Is it concealed by trees, fences, gates, etc. or is it located in a wide-open space? How many paths and roads lead to your property? Is your property located right next to a main road?

Generally, the more secluded your property is, the easier it will be to defend it from anyone with ill intent. You may also want to invest in Sentry Alarm Mines when situations become dire. They’ll alert you if someone trips the wire and trespasses on your property so you have time to react.

These are a few of the top things to consider when looking for a property you can purchase for your bug-out needs. Do you have additional suggestions we haven’t mentioned? Let us know in the comments section!

CategoriesDisaster Response Home Defense Hunting Prepping Survivalism Weapons

How To Pick Your Very First Gun

You know you want a gun, but you have no idea what type of gun will best suit your purposes, right?  With so many different varieties out there, how can you possibly decide which gun should have the honor of being your “first”? While there is no single “right” gun for everyone, there are some things you can do to determine which gun is right for you. Here are some helpful tips to make the first-time gun selection process much easier.

Figure Out the Purpose for Your Gun

Before you purchase your first gun, you need to think about what its primary purpose will be. Are you buying a gun primarily for home defense or for target practicing at the gun range? Do you want a gun you can carry with you (concealed or open), or are you searching for a home-defense gun that will do the most damage to an intruder with murderous intent?

The intended purpose for your gun may not fall into a single category, and that’s OK. You may want to use it for both home defense and target shooting. But as long as you at least have an idea for how you’ll use it, you’ll be able to avoid purchasing a firearm that doesn’t meet your most important needs or expectations.

Try a Few Types

Remember how your mom always encouraged you to date a lot of girls so you get an idea of what’s out there? The same holds true when you’re gun shopping. You don’t want to make a commitment to the very first gun you hold in your hands, because you don’t know if there’s something better out there for you. Try a variety of guns. If possible, go to a gun range and test shoot multiple guns so you can see how they feel in your hands, how much recoil they have, etc. When it comes to choosing your first firearm, “playing the field” is a good thing. It will help you make a wise investment when you’re ready to commit to your first gun.

Consider Ammo Availability

As a first-time gun buyer, you may not be aware of how difficult it’s been to find ammo lately. Hopefully, everything gets back to normal soon, but it is wise to at least consider ammo availability before purchasing a gun. Though every type of ammo is more difficult to find right now than usual, there are some types of ammo that are more popular and are generally easier to find when there isn’t a general ammunition shortage. They include: .22, 9mm, .223, 12 gauge and .308. In normal conditions, if you have a gun that takes any of these ammunition types, you should be able to find the ammo you need pretty easily.

Figure Out Your Budget

Firearms can be expensive, but you can also get decent models for a reasonable price. When you’re shopping for your first gun, set a realistic budget, then look for a gun that fits within that budget.

In addition to these tips, you’ll also need to consider gun weight and size when purchasing your first firearm. If you’re still not sure what type of gun is right for you, don’t be shy about talking to a salesperson at your local gun store. He or she knows a lot about different gun models and will be able to help you select the firearm you need.

Are you an experienced gun owner who has a favorite gun you consider ideal for first-time gun buyers? Or maybe you have a few models you’d advise inexperienced gun owners to stay away from. Either way, let us know in the comments section!

CategoriesDisaster Response Home Defense Hunting Prepping Survivalism Weapons

22 vs. Shotgun for Survival

The world has gone a little bit crazy lately, and it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll protect yourself and your family if it ever comes to that. One of the most effective survival tools available is the one government is constantly trying to take away: the firearm. Though some people seem to think they’re all equally dangerous, the truth is that some firearms are more lethal than others. And no, it generally has nothing to do with how “scary” the firearm looks.

Those who have real-world experience with guns know that the .22 and the shotgun are both highly desirable for home-defense purposes. But what about survival in general? Which one is the better choice for your overall survival needs, including staving off predators (both the human and animal varieties) and obtaining food? It turns out the answer isn’t obvious at first glance, so let’s break down the pros and cons of each gun in detail.

Range

When it comes to your survival, the shooting range of your gun is very important. In this category, the .22 is the clear winner. The average .22 long rifle is effective at 150 yards. A shotgun, on the other hand, is meant for close-range targets. The estimated effective range of the average shotgun is just 25-40 yards with birdshot, approximately 50-75 yards with smoothbore slug, and closer to 100-125 yards with a rifled slug. So, in the category of range, the .22 wins if you’re planning to shoot targets far away from you. Of course, accuracy also depends on the skills of the person doing the shooting, as well.

Weight

It’s not unusual for shotguns to weigh as much as 12 pounds, though there are lighter-weight options available. The average .22, on the other hand, weighs just 5-7 pounds fully loaded and scoped. When it comes to survival purposes, even a few pounds makes a big difference. The lighter the gun, the less energy you’ll expend lugging it around. So in terms of weight, the .22 comes out on top.

Versatility

The more versatile a gun is, the better it generally is for survival purposes. A .22 can only use one type of ammunition, while a shotgun can take a variety of ammunition options. This can make it easier for you to choose the right variety for the type of food you’re trying to take down. In terms of versatility alone, the shotgun has the upper hand.

Damage

In a real-life survival situation, you’ll probably care more about the damage your gun can inflict than how much it weighs. You’ve probably already guessed which gun is the winner when it comes to mortal damage, and it’s the shotgun. For up-close encounters, such as if a robber is trying to kill you or make off with your supplies, a shotgun is more desirable than a .22. It also requires less accuracy, which is important when your adrenaline is pumping and your arms are shaking.

You’ll also want a shotgun at your side if you encounter large predators in the wild. A shotgun will probably take down an attacking bear quicker than a .22.

The bottom line is that both of these guns are great to have for survival purposes. However, out of the four categories listed above, the .22 wins two and the shotgun wins two. We hate to decide the outcome of a tie-breaker (though we’re leaning toward the shotgun), so we want you to let us know which one you’d rather have by your side in a survival situation. Have you had to use either of these guns for self-defense? If so, how did it turn out? Let us know in the comments section below!

CategoriesSurvivalism

3 Powerful Things You Can Do To Protect Yourself

Too many people know the value of self-defense without having any practical knowledge. While awareness is vital, practical application is how knowledge becomes useful. It is a natural and flawed expectation that bad things will not happen to you. Everyone has an invisible safety bubble around them to some extent, but having too much confidence in the protection that bubble legitimately offers is a mistake. If you want to give yourself the best chance of survival against an attacker, you need to not only have a basic understanding of self-defense principles; you need to have experience with its implementation as well.

1. Your Voice Is a Powerful Weapon and Deterrent

People often underestimate one of the most powerful tools at their disposal: the voice. If someone is pursuing you or they already initiated an attack, scream as loud as you can. Say things like “back off” or “get away.” Your goal is to create a scene. Yell, shout, and make a fuss. The more attention you can draw to your situation, the less likely it is to become a violent altercation. If possible, lead the spectacle into a public and well-lit setting. While people might be reluctant to intervene personally, the level of attention and commotion can increase the odds of someone calling for help, especially if you ask for it.

You can also use your voice to make the suspect uncomfortable or to inflict injury. If the perpetrator gets too close or pulls you within ear range, scream as loud as you can for as long as you can. You can even vary the tone and rhythm of your scream to make it unpredictable. While long-term ear damage is unlikely, screaming can cause discomfort and anxiety. If loud enough, it can lead to clouded thoughts, meaning you might throw your attacker off balance psychologically, allowing you time to counter-attack or to flee.

2. Keys Are for More Than Opening Doors and Starting Engines

In the correct position, a key is a dangerous weapon. If you are often scared of walking to your car alone, consider keeping your car or house keys in hand. You can hold house keys or car keys with the jagged, pointed portion sticking out from the pinky-side of your palm. Grasp the keyring and top of the key or keys tightly, clenching your first. Holding your keys in this position sets you up nicely for a hammer strike.

3. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Your Hands, Elbows, and Legs

While it is not advisable to use your fingernails as weapons because of the increased risk of injury to yourself, you can and should use your palm. Using a heel palm strike to the nose or throat can momentarily incapacitate your attack, allowing you time to get away.

Some of the hardest points in your body include your elbows. If your attacker surprises you and gets too close, you can use an elbow strike to their chin to inflict real pain. An elbow strike can be used as a forward and backward blow.

If your attacker comes at you from the front, use a swift, hard kick to the groin. When performed correctly, the kick should knock the perpetrator to the ground, allowing you time to escape.

Self-defense is nothing without practical experience. When you can, take a course and take basic knowledge to the next level. What is your favorite self-defense strategy or tool? Leave a comment below and join the dialogue.

CategoriesHome Defense Hunting Survivalism Weapons

Our Thoughts on Carbon Fiber Firearms

Carbon fiber is a polymer that is very strong and rigid, but also impressively lightweight. Though the versatile material was invented in 1958, it has recently experienced a sharp uptick in popularity as its many potential uses and benefits are explored. Recently, the availability of carbon fiber firearms has increased. You may even know someone who’s purchased a few carbon fiber firearms for hunting and/or home defense. There are a lot of things to like about carbon fiber firearms, but do the benefits outweigh the drawbacks? Here are our thoughts on this latest firearms trend.

Benefits of Carbon Fiber Firearms

As anyone with a carbon firearm will be quick to tell you, they’re popular for a reason (for several reasons, actually). Let’s go over some of the benefits they can offer over traditional firearms.

First, a carbon fiber barrel is extremely durable when compared to its steel counterparts. While a typical steel barrel will be good for approximately 10,000 rounds (unless it’s been enhanced in some way), a carbon fiber barrel is even more effective at standing up to high heat and high pressure. That means you can likely fire more rounds through it than you could through a standard barrel. Most carbon fiber barrels are constructed with stainless steel cores with rifling. This dual-layer construction helps to maximize the strength and durability of the barrels.

Another benefit of carbon fiber barrels is that they are resistant to most chemical damage. They’re also extremely resistant to changes in temperature. These features help make carbon fiber guns immensely reliable, no matter how or where you plan to use them.

If you’re not a fan of recoil (and who is?) you’ll appreciate the fact that the rigidity of carbon fiber guns helps minimize recoil. It also dampens rifle vibration so you have an easier time controlling your weapon when firing.

Last but not least, carbon fiber barrels are exceptionally lightweight. That means you’ll have an easier time carrying your gun around and firing it. Some experienced gun owners claim that their accuracy is even better when using a carbon fiber firearm.

Drawbacks of Carbon Fiber Firearms

Now that we’ve gone over the many benefits carbon fiber firearms can offer, let’s talk about some of the potential drawbacks. Knowing the pros and cons will help you make the most educated decision when purchasing a new firearm.

Surprisingly, there is just one major drawback to purchasing a carbon fiber firearm, and that is the price. Carbon fiber is an expensive material to manufacture, and that increased price is passed on to the consumer. That means you’ll need to be prepared to pay a pretty penny to purchase a gun barrel made from carbon fiber.

However, it’s important to understand that your carbon fiber barrel will probably last longer than its steel counterparts. So even though you’ll pay more up front, you may actually save money in the long run. There is also the possibility that carbon fiber firearms may become cheaper in the future (once they are not so “new”). You may also consider saving money by simply upgrading one of your current firearm barrels to a carbon fiber barrel.

Though they consistently get great reviews by gun enthusiasts, carbon fiber guns may not be preferred by everyone. Before purchasing one, it’s wise to give one a try if you can. That way you can decide if the many benefits outweigh the initial cost for you and can avoid making a purchase decision that you’ll later regret.

How do you feel about carbon fiber firearms? Do you like them or do you prefer a standard steel barrel? Let us know in the comments section below!

CategoriesHunting Survivalism

Ranked: The Most Realistic Reality Survival TV Shows

Survival TV shows are a lot of fun to watch. But what many serious preppers want to know is … are reality shows about survival real?

How Real Are Reality TV Survival Shows?

We’re not going to lie, the answer is probably going to disappoint you. Most survival shows are made for entertainment. Audiences tune in for drama and adventure. That means many scenes are staged, especially in shows with groups of people “surviving” together.

“Alone”? Yeah, most of it is fake. The same thing goes for “Naked & Afraid”, sadly. Still, that doesn’t necessarily mean watching all survival shows is a waste. Some can actually be useful. 

What Are the Most Realistic Survival TV Shows?

#1. “Survivorman”

Les Stroud knows what he’s doing when it comes to wilderness survival. He worked as a wilderness survival instructor for a decade before the first episode of Survivorman even aired. He also teaches survival techniques to Canadian military personnel.

The reason this show is so awesome? It’s just Stroud. No camera crew, no emergency backup, nothing. In fact, that’s why he called it quits in 2016.

During an interview with Reuters, Stroud said, “It takes a lot out of me as I really do what I do for real, with no camera crew, no nights in hotels like others do, and it takes a toll on my body… You can only do seven days surviving without food a certain number of times a year.”

What you see is what happens. You don’t get incredible camera angles or awesome shots of Stroud on the run from predators (the time he was being stalked by a jaguar was completely real) every episode, but that’s what actually survival is really like. He doesn’t waste energy or risk his life on stupid stunts. The info on this show is something you can trust.

#2. “Fat Guys in the Woods”

This show lasted on the Weather Channel until 2015. We were sad to see it go because it was one of the more realistic survival TV shows. There were some humorous moments, sure, but a lot of the episodes focused on teaching complete wilderness “noobs” real survival techniques. And the info was solid, we’ve got to say.  

#3. “Live Free or Die”

Want to know how to turn pine pitch into glue? Need a refresher on your trap-making skills?

Check out past episodes of this (sadly cancelled) show on The National Geographic Channel. Live Free or Die follows several people who live off the grid long term. There are camera crews, but reshoots are rare and there aren’t any prepared scripts. It’s just experienced survivalists sharing great tips with viewers.

#4. “The Walking Dead”

Obviously, the whole zombie apocalypse thing isn’t real. But the survival parts and SHTF scenarios you see are pretty realistic. The things that happen on the show probably would happen in an EOD situation or government collapse. Hopelessness, overconfidence, despair,  boredom, PTSD — all of these emotions are the real thing.

The reason for this is pretty simple: the show uses trained preppers as consultants. So while not everything you see is realistic (why doesn’t anyone hang some stupid tin cans as an early warning system against zombie attacks?!), a lot of the scenes can help you prepare.

The best survival TV presents trustworthy information and realistic situations you may face during a disaster scenario. That way, even scenes that are kind of staged can teach you important techniques.

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