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Survival Gear

The Bug Out Bag

What if you had only three minutes to grab whatever you could take from your home, and the...

Survivalist Wish List

A roundup of the best and most innovative survival gear ever introduced.

Water Filtration Test

Aron Snyder hiked into the backcountry to test water filtration systems.

Survival Skills

Hypothermia Warning

Even though the weather is warming up, most people forget just how cold the water can be....

Tornado Survival Tips

Tornado season is here and several cities around the country have already been...

Flood Survival

Statistically, floods are the most devastating natural disasters.

Survival Videos

Daily Blogs

  • February 7, 2014

    Winter Survival Tip: Hole Up in a Tree Well - 0

    Snow is not necessarily an enemy in a blizzard. It's a great insulator, and if you build a proper snow shelter, it'll keep you safe and warm for a short period.

    You can quickly make an effective snow shelter in a tree well (the depression in snow around a tree trunk formed by the protective canopy of branches above it). [ Read Full Post ]


  • February 7, 2014

    Survival Gear: Make a Fire Piston from a Maglite - 0

    For those who are unfamiliar with the use and action of a fire piston, it really is a fascinating device. The basic operation of this fire starter involves a piston slammed down into a sleeve, which generates heat and ignites some tinder imbedded at the piston’s tip. This compression ignition system should sound familiar to anyone who’s familiar with the diesel engine. Legend has it that German inventor and mechanical engineer Rudolf Diesel got the idea for his famous engine by watching a fire piston in operation.

    A few weeks ago, my friend Roger showed me his repurposed Mini Maglite, which is now a fully functional fire piston. It only required a few steps and it’s a really neat project, for kids and grownups alike. Here’s how you can make your own fire piston this weekend from an old Mini Maglite body and a some basic materials from the hardware store.

    The Materials
    [ Read Full Post ]


  • February 6, 2014

    Survival Skills: Be Ready for Ice Storms - 4


    CC image from Wikipedia

    You have to laugh at the irony that life hands you. As I write this piece on ice storm preparedness, my area is in the midst of an ice storm. Good thing I planned ahead. Winter ice storms can be a tricky natural hazard to navigate. At best, an ice storm leaves you cooped up in your home with a full pantry and all utilities operating normally. On your worst day, utilities are out, supplies are low, and you can’t even step out the door without slipping and busting your skull. Your best bet is to hunker down and ride it out. But you’ll need some supplies for that. Here’s what you need to have in order before the next batch of icy weather hits your hometown. [ Read Full Post ]


  • February 4, 2014

    Survival Skills: How to Make Waterproof Matches - 1

    When it comes to matches, waterproof ones are best, especially in dire circumstances like a flood. Since they're much more expensive than their pedestrian cousins, you might want to make your own.

    Use the Candle Technique
    Burn a candle long enough for a pool of wax to form around the wick. Blow it out, then dip the head of your match into the wet wax, about of an inch (3 mm) up the stick. Remove the matchstick and allow the wax to dry, pinching it closed to form a water-tight seal. [ Read Full Post ]


  • February 3, 2014

    Man Spends Over a Year Adrift at Sea, Or Maybe Not? - 1

    Could you survive at sea for a year, by yourself, in an open boat with no fishing gear? Last Friday, a strange tale of unlikely survival began to circulate. This story revolved around a man who was reportedly rescued after being adrift in the Pacific for more than a year, according to the AFP.

    The man, who initially identified himself by the name Jose Ivan, was rescued by two locals last Thursday near Ebon Atoll. This tiny coral island is in the southernmost part of the Marshall Islands, roughly 8,000 miles from the purported beginning of this man’s journey from Mexico. During his debriefing with local officials, he admitted that his name was Jose Salvador Albarengo, and he began his shark fishing voyage with another man, a teenager known by the name of Xiquel. After strong weather blew their 24-foot fiberglass boat off course, they were soon lost in the Pacific. Albarengo claimed that the teen had starved to death after only a few weeks, refusing to eat the raw birds and other food they were catching. [ Read Full Post ]


  • February 3, 2014

    Survival Skills: How to Make Improvised Snowshoes - 0

    Walking through deep snow is tough work that will drain you of crucial energy. These snowshoes will help you glide across—not plow through—the snow's surface.

    Step One
    Start by cutting two pine boughs with ample foliage to about 3 feet (1 m) long.

    Step Two
    Tie a string near the base of the branch, where you cut it. Then flip the branch over and tie an overhand knot on the opposite side. [ Read Full Post ]


  • January 31, 2014

    Survival Skills: Prep Your Bug Out Bag For Winter - 0

    Since a good bug out bag is supposed to provide the most basic needs of its owner and reflect the most likely emergency scenarios, it should be modified throughout the year to match the current season. Just as your sleeping bag and clothing choices change from summer excursions to winter campouts, so should the contents of your bug out bag. If you’re forward thinking enough to own a B.O.B., then consider altering it in these three areas for the dead of winter.  [ Read Full Post ]


  • January 30, 2014

    Survival Skills: How to Build a Swamp Shelter - 0

    You're in the swamp. The ground is wet. The air is wet. And the vegetation is bloated with water, which makes it a poor building material. As a result, one of the most challenging things to do is erect a dry shelter.

    Step One
    Find a dry spot. Of course, "dry" is relative, but a slight hill should be less wet than areas of lower elevation. It's also a good idea to learn how to spot and avoid run-offs. These sparsely vegetated, eroded spots are prone to flash floods, so they're not ideal for a shelter, especially when rainfall is likely. [ Read Full Post ]


  • January 30, 2014

    Animal Tracking: How to Identify 10 Common North American Species - 0

    Learn how to read tracks, and you’ll learn a new language, one that communicates the hidden stories of the animals that leave the tracks. Our ancestors had to be adept in tracking to learn about the unseen game animals and predators in their vicinity. Today, animal tracking provides an invaluable service to the hunter and trapper, as well as the nature lover and photographer. Tracking can also be a lifesaver in a survival situation, warning you about dangerous creatures in the area and helping you to locate your next meal. Find a few clear prints and you’ll be able to read a few pages from the tale of that animal’s life. Find a trail, and you might just find the animal itself. Polish up your existing skills or learn a brand new one, with these tips on tracking 10 common species. [ Read Full Post ]


  • January 30, 2014

    15 Survival Uses For A Drum Liner - 3

    Drum liners are meant to line 55-gallon barrels and drums, though they can be used for many other applications, too. Hand one of these generously sized plastic wonders to a crafty survivalist, and he’ll only be limited by his imagination. If you weren’t a believer in the utility of drum liners before, here are 15 good reasons to toss a couple in your survival kit.

    1) Solar Still: Use a clear plastic liner it to build a solar still for drinking water production. Cut open the bag and lay it over a hole in a damp, yet sunny, location. This hole should have a container inside to catch water, and the drum liner should be buried around the hole’s top perimeter. The final touch for this solar powered water machine is a small stone in the center of the plastic liner, which should create a cone shape out of the drum liner cover, pointing at the container in the hole. A productive solar still can kick out several cups of water per day. [ Read Full Post ]


  • January 28, 2014

    Survival Skills: Make Balm to Save Your Skin - 1

    As I write this, my palms and fingers are full of little bleeding cracks from another busy weekend in sub-freezing temperatures. Even if I use lotion and gloves during the winter, my hands still end up with painful skin cracks that bleed like cuts. If it goes too far, these wounds can impair movement and even become infected. How do you deal with these small but nagging injuries? I use a penetrating treatment, like a balm.

    A balm is a medicine that is thicker than lotion and greasier than salve. It typically contains more volatile oils than other skin remedies. This type of topical treatment can be medicated or without medicinal qualities. A balm works to restore your skin’s health by replacing the oils and moisture that have gone missing from your skin. The balm provides the oil directly, and your skin generates the moisture underneath that oily coating. Here are two different ways to make balm from a wide range of natural oils, both in the field and at home. [ Read Full Post ]


  • January 25, 2014

    Survival Skills: 3 Great Fire Starters You Can Make At Home - 3

    We all know how critical fire starting can be, especially in cold conditions. Fail to get a fire lit when you need it the most, and that could be the end of you. If you head outdoors in cold conditions, make sure you take gear that can perform. By carrying one or more of the following homemade fire starters, you can rest assured you’ll be able to kindle a blaze in no time. [ Read Full Post ]


  • January 21, 2014

    Field Test: 6 Best Fire Starters - 5


    Photo by Brian Klutch

    Fire is your best friend in the wild. It can make water and food safe to consume, let you signal for help, and provide warmth. But the cold, wet, windy conditions that can cause hypothermia can also hamper fire building. That's why you need a quality ferrocerium fire starter, or spark rod, to back up a lighter or matches. We tested six very different spark rods—and tinder—to determine the benefits and drawbacks of each.

    [ Read Full Post ]


  • January 21, 2014

    Survival Skills: How to and Why Make Bone Broth - 0

    If I could get back all the wild game skeletons that I have discarded the years, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I’d also have a very creepy freezer that would scare the kids, but that’s what you get when you venture down the path to make broth from bones.

    Take a look at the culinary traditions from distant history, and you’ll find that many of the cultures that had mastered the production of large cooking vessels were also making soup in those pots, sometimes perpetually. Since the cooking fire was both the heat source for the home and the cooking hearth, these fires ran constantly in colder weather and gave the home dweller a never-ending heat to make soup. [ Read Full Post ]


  • January 21, 2014

    Survival Skills: 3 Ways To Get Your Kids “Survival Ready” - 1

    Being both a parent and a survival instructor, it’s easy for me to spot opportunities that will better prepare my kids for emergencies and survival scenarios. There are many ways train yourself and your kids in self-reliance skills. There are also many people who you can pay to provide your kids’ training.

    But no one knows your kids better than you do, and by providing this training yourself you can tailor the skills perfectly to their ages and interests. Let’s look at three areas where you can work on survival with your kids every day. [ Read Full Post ]


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