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Tag Archives: News

Choosing The Best Shelter For Your Bug Out Bag – Part 1

Yea! Another backpack post.  Well, I wish I could apologize, but I love this stuff.  If your packs are like mine, they are constantly evolving and being scrutinized.  My G.H.B. that has been in service for about a year, is about to be pushed aside for a bigger and more adaptable unit that can be […]

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Lessons We’re Learning Along the Way

Since our move, we have been facing several challenges learning how best to set ourselves up on our mini homestead. In addition to the obstacles of caring for a disabled husband and elderly parent, my son has had to now deal with his mama being out of commission with shoulder surgery. Although surgery went well, it means several months of

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Picking a Good Survival Knife

I’ve been thinking about knives lately. I really don’t know much about them, myself. Kitchen knives, a good utility knife for projects around the house, and an X-acto knife for craft projects are about the extent of my experience.

So when I decided to buy a knife for my survival gear, I wasn't really sure what to look for. I wasn’t at work when I made the decision, so I had to rely on my own devices to get the information I needed (otherwise I would have just asked my coworkers, since they’re preparedness experts).

I found several helpful articles, but this one from The Art of Manliness, written by Creek Stewart of Willow Haven Outdoor, was my favorite.

Stewart focuses on six features of a good survival knife:

  1. Size
  2. Fixed Blade
  3. Full Tang
  4. Sharp Pointed Tip
  5. Single-Edge Blade with Flat-Ground Spine
  6. Solid Pommel

For more detail on each of these tips, go check out the original article.

Based on his recommendations, I bought two CRKT knives:

The CRKT Onion Shenanigan Tanto

Picking a Good Survival Knife - Shenanigan Tanto designed by Ken Onion

And the CRKT Ultima 5” – Black Blade, Veff Como Edge

Picking a Good Survival Knife - CRKT Ultima 5" knife with Veff serrations

I wanted the flexibility of having a folder and a fixed blade, so I’m using the Shenanigan as my EDC blade, and the Ultima is going in my emergency survival kit. One of our product experts, Joel, has this to say about Emergency Essentials carrying CRKT knives and tools:

"CRKT has the best selection of every day carry (EDC), tactical, and survival knives. I love the variety and ingenious design of their tools and knives.  CRKT is built on innovation from the best designers and quality forged from the finest material."

Check out my knife selections by clicking the links or images above, or take a look at Emergency Essentials’ full selection of survival knives here.


Do you have any other features to add to Stewart's list? What knife or knives do you use in your bug-out bag or everyday carry?

Have you ever had to rely on your knife to save your life? Share your stories and your favorite knives in the comments.


--Urban Girl (Sarah)

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7 Ways to Identify Poison Ivy [Infographic]

Hi, friends!

We've talked about identifying Poison Ivy before (here), but when I came across this infographic, I thought you guys would like it.

So, here are 7 ways you can identify Poison Ivy, courtesy of Treks in the Wild.

--Urban Girl


How to Identify Poison Ivy - Infographic

Infographic authored by Treks In The Wild.
To view the original post, see their article How to Identify Poison Ivy.

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Survival Gear Review: SOCOM 16

If you grew up shooting rifles, then you might have an itch that a carbine just can’t scratch.  Like many, I have always been a fan of the M-14 rifle, also known as the M1A, but I am a little too young to appreciate its predecessor, the M1 Grand. By Mark P, a contributing author [...]

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30 Ways to Survive any Disaster

 30 Ways to Survive Any Disaster

I can always count on Popular Mechanics when I need my mind blown on a weekday afternoon. And how can you go wrong with a headline like “30 Ways to Survive Absolutely Any Disaster”? Sure enough, PM has come up with 30 of the most recent—and most awesome—tech innovations to revolutionize disaster preparedness on an individual, national, and global level. I defy Mother Nature to get past all 30 of these!

Author Sarah Fecht divides the list into four categories, involving areas of prediction, protection, response, and personal preparedness. Definitely read the article (at four pages, you’ll be in full emergency prep geek-out mode), but here’s a quick tour.

Prediction – The newest and coolest early warning systems use  established technology in new places (seismometers and accelerometers in the ocean, for example);fancy-pants newer technology (GPS, sensors, drones) to detect flash flooding; and a particularly thrilling combination of new and old technology: underwater drones! (I’m not lying!). And between them, experts can give us ample lead time on earthquakes, flooding, volcanic eruptions, storm surge, tornadoes, tsunamis, and even asteroids. ‘Cause if the Earth is about to be pummeled by pick-up sized space rocks, I need time to pack.

Protection – Companies have been working for generations on bigger and better barriers against the elements, and current technology has taken the effort miles forward. My favorite innovations, however, build protection right into the infrastructure, making things like streets, buildings, and power lines more absorptive, flexible, and resistant.

Response – In an effort to get the right people to the right place at the crucial time, researchers are pulling out all the innovative stops. In particular, first responders now have the aid of solar, microwave, drone, cell network, radio, and medical technology. They can even use  sensors to detect a human heartbeat under 30 feet of rubble and a tiny, injectable, antimicrobial sponge to stop bleeding.

Personal – The most immediate and most basic needs of disaster victims have not changed with the times. We still need shelter, water, food, and life-saving information. Under this heading, PM’s article mostly reports cool new gadgets that do what the old ones did, only faster and better—a water purifier that works in 15 seconds, for example, or a solar generator that will run your fridge for a full 24 hours. The standout here is the Survival Capsule, a former Boeing engineer’s response to the 2011 tsunami that battered Japan. Think Life Cube or the All-In-Four Emergency Supply plus Noah’s ark, all in miniature and with seatbelts.

I don’t know about you, but I love seeing all this energetic innovation going toward making us safer in a crisis. I’m not going to stop storing wheat and Band-Aids, but if there’s an app for emergency prep, you better believe I’m going to download it!


What are your favorite high-tech preparedness solutions?


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What to Expect (or not) from El Nino

What to Expect (or not) from El Nino

Here’s a cheerful headline to brighten your week: “El Niño is Going to Make Your 2014 Miserable.” Thank you, salon.com, for the good news.

Actually, 2014 is half over already, and it’s been a pretty fair six months for me, so I’m not getting too hand-wringy quite, yet. I am, however, interested to see what kinds of wacky weather the warm Pacific currents have in store.

The trick about El Niño, as we were informed by the Weather Channel recently (see their article, “Hurricane Season 2014: 5 Things You Need to Know”), is that its effects are famously unpredictable. Even salon.com’s efforts to sound dire are compromised, as experts warn us that the year could be unusually wet or unusually dry…or, um, neither.

“Regions across the U.S. that are normally wet can dry out during El Niño conditions, while normally dry regions can flood.” Worldwide expectations related to El Niño are not always accurate, however. “There is an expectation of drought, but not in every single El Niño event do we actually have drought,” Lisa Goddard, director of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, said.

Well, that certainly clears things up.

Sounds to me like a good time to be prepared for any eventuality. So here are some articles to help get you set for whatever El Niño has in store for your area.

Keep an eye on the skies, and let us know how El Niño is affecting you this year!


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Beat the Extreme Heat: Tips for Surviving Hot Weather

 Beat the Extreme Heat: Tips for Surviving Hot Weather

It’s Summer. And for those of us in the northern hemisphere, that means heat (unless you go too far north, of course). We published an article back in May called Beat the Heat: Staying Safe When Temperatures Rise that gives a great overview of heat-related issues and four basic tips for warmer weather.

But what about extreme heat? The kind that’s not normal summer weather, but can actually be classified as a natural disaster.

The Dangers of Extreme Heat

In extreme heat (especially combined with high humidity), the body struggles to maintain a normal temperature, causing heat-related illnesses. Additionally, the elderly and young children are more susceptible to problems associated with extreme heat (as are those who are sick, pregnant, or overweight).

Extreme heat is often associated with stagnant atmospheric conditions and poor air quality, which means people living in urban areas may be at greater risk during a prolonged heat wave than those in rural areas.

An additional problem with heat in urban areas is the amount of asphalt and concrete. Those materials store heat longer and gradually release it at night, which can raise the nighttime temperatures as well, which prevents cooling.

So, what can you do to stay safe? Plenty.

Before Extreme Heat

Like any natural disaster, it’s important to prepare before it happens. Here are some things you can do:

  • Make sure you have an emergency kit and that extreme heat is covered in your family’s emergency plans.
  • Be prepared to administer first aid for heat-related emergencies
  • Know the risks of heat-related illness and be aware of those who are most susceptible in your neighborhood (elderly, young, sick, pregnant, overweight).
  • If living in an urban area, realize that you may be at greater risk from the effects of extreme heat, especially if prolonged.
  • Be aware of upcoming weather events and temperature changes.
    • Prepare your home
      • Install window air conditioners snugly and insulate if necessary
      • Check your air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation
      • Weather-strip doors and sills to prevent cool air leakage
      • Cover windows that receive a lot of sun with drapes, shades, awnings, etc.
      • Keep storm windows up all year.
      • Install temporary window reflectors (such as aluminum foil) to reflect heat back outside. Place between windows and drapes.

During Extreme Heat

Once you have done your best to prepare, what can you do while a heat wave is raging?

  • Listen or watch for critical updates from the National Weather Service (radio, internet, or television)
  • Never leave pets or children alone in closed vehicles (this applies year round, of course, not just during extreme heat waves).
  • Stay indoors as much as possible, and limit exposure to the sun.
    • If you must go outside, avoid extreme temperature changes (cold air-conditioned house to extreme heat outside) by acclimating yourself before going outside and by wearing light-colored, lightweight, loose-fitting clothes, and a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities, and consider spending the warmest part of the day in public buildings where there is more air circulation (which can increase the evaporation rate of perspiration).
  • Drink plenty of water (even if you’re not thirsty) and eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals.
    • If you’re on a fluid-restricted diet, make sure you talk to your physician before increasing your intake.
  • Limit intake of alcoholic and caffeinated beverages. These types of drinks can cause you to become dehydrated very easily.
  • Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. If you must work outdoors during extreme heat, don’t do it alone, make use of the buddy system, take frequent breaks, and stay hydrated.
  • Check on friends, family, and neighbors who may not have air-conditioning and who spend much of their time alone. Also check on pets frequently to ensure they are not suffering from the heat.
  • If your home loses power during extreme heat, go to a designated public cooling center. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter, or check you city’s website.

Extreme heat is dangerous and potentially deadly. Take time now to be prepared for any heat wave that may come your way. For more tips check out FEMA's website at  http://www.ready.gov/heat

Have you experienced extreme heat? What did you do to prepare and what did you do to stay safe during the heat wave?



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Book Review: The Survivors Club

In the book The Survivors Club, Ben Sherwood who writes for the L.A. Times, interviews people from around the world who survived events that would kill most, trying to answer the question “Why?”.  Why do some people survive while others capitulate and die from similar circumstances.  by Ed, a contributing author of SurvivalCache.com The Survivors [...]

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The Romance and Reality of Survival Fishing

Most of us have never needed to catch a fish to save our life.  Finding food in a survival situation, whether hunted, fished or foraged, is nothing more than a accountant’s balance sheet where calories are added and subtracted all day long, and you are the accountant. by Doc Montana, a contributing author of SurvivalCache.com [...]

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