All posts by Edge Azar

12 Survival Life Hacks:

Life Hacks

 You Won’t Believe Some of These!

Some people seem to think they only need one tool, a super-secret hideout or the right weapon to survive anything. The most important common attribute of those who will survive just about anything is creative thinking. If you are in a true survival situation, you won’t be able to walk into the grocery store or hardware shop and get what you need. You need to learn how to work many different materials to create items you need.

1. Getting your food into airtight packaging can be difficult. The bags that rice and beans come in can easily tear, reducing how long your food will last. You can transfer dry goods into 2-liter pop bottles. These bottles have an air-tight seal and have thick plastic. If you don’t drink soda, then ask your family and friends to save these for you.

2. If you need an AA battery, but all you have are AAA, you can use those smaller batteries. All you need to do is use a small ball of aluminum foil to fill the gap in the battery compartment. This can really be helpful when you need your weather radio or flashlight.

3. If you have kids, chances are there are crayons lying around your home. These make terrific emergency candles and you can melt the other end a little so it can be stuck to a piece of cardboard.

4. A can of Crisco only needs a wick to become a candle. A large can of Crisco will last 30 days burning continuously.

5. If you can’t find any dry tinder with which to start your fire, any snack chips like Doritos will work. They are highly flammable, but you’ll need to decide if the calories from the chips are needed more than fire.

6. An air compressor is not something that most people carry in their vehicle, so repairing a flat tire is not possible. However, a short-term solution is to cut some small holes in sidewall and fill it up with grass until the tire is relatively firm. You will need to replace your tire, as there is no repair for this temporary fix, but it should allow you to reach your destination as long as it’s not hundreds of miles away.

7. Instead of putting that headlamp on your head and blinding everyone, attach it to a gallon of water. The translucency of the water dispels the light through it, creating an area light like a lantern does instead of a flashlight-type beam.

8. For a fishhook, use the pop-tab on a soda can. Simply use your Leatherman to clip away a piece of the metal and file the remaining piece to a point. Attach your line to the other end and you have a no-frills fishhook.

9. Having to eat crappy food can make getting sufficient caloric intake difficult. No one says that you have to eat food without any seasoning in it. Those little Tic Tac containers are great for filling up with various spices to make your emergency food supplies a bit more palatable.

10. Keep a container of cayenne pepper with you when you’re having to sleep out under the stars. Sprinkle a line of it around your sleeping bag and bugs won’t cross it.

11. Keeping your toilet paper dry can be a problem in some areas. One way to do so is to use a large plastic coffee can. Cut a slit in the side of the can to pull the TP through and you can attach a wire at the top and the bottom to use as a handle.

12. A great arrowhead can be made from ordinary keys. Mark the key head to the shape of an arrow point. Cut the unneeded part of the key off with a hacksaw. Use a file to create a sharp edge on each side and the tip. Then mount the arrow to a shaft. These will easily penetrate animal hide and skin, so only take your test shots on non-living targets.

There you have it. A dozen hacks that can be very useful in any survival situation. There are dozens more out there, but it’s best to test some of the more complicated ones to make sure the results are what you are hoping for. In a survival situation, sometimes it just takes creativity to solve a problem.

Extreme Situations Preppers Must Consider

When you’re prepping for the worst-case scenario, you may be thinking about food, shelter, and basic survival. You need to know how to stay alive when you don’t have access to the things you take for granted. That’s fine, and it’s a good place to start, but there are many extreme situations you should keep in mind. Below are a few things that could happen if things go south. Make sure you’re ready.

The Government May Take Firearms

You may be stocking up on a few useful firearms so that you can protect yourself and hunt when something happens. That’s great, but are you sure you’ll get to keep those guns? What if the police take them? If not the police, what if the army scoops them up?

You may think this is a scare tactic, something that would never happen in the United States, where the Second Amendment has been upheld time and again. But a piece of paper may not help as much as you think. The government has already made a practice of taking firearms in situations like this. For example, when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, the police and military were sent in both to help and to take guns from people in the city. Around 1,000 people lost their guns. These people hadn’t broken the law, the police didn’t have warrants, and the whole thing probably felt unconstitutional to those citizens as it happened. But that did not keep it from happening, so you know that the government isn’t above doing it again.

The Police May Be Gone, or They Could Be Fake

Another thing people sometimes assume, even with a worst-case scenario, is that things like law enforcement and order will still be around. Perhaps it’s from watching disaster movies, where the police are always rushing around and trying to help — or where the hero of the movie is a rescue o

fficer trying to save the day. That’s fine for movies, but there’s a good chance that society is going to break down in a situation like this, and that could mean there simply isn’t any police presence. There may not be firefighters or rescue workers, either. It could be “every man for himself.”

Some have even speculated that fake police officers may spring up. Someone looking to get a free gun or some other supplies could take a uniform and impersonate an officer when the rest are all gone. This isn’t to say you should not cooperate with the police, but you need to be careful. Make sure you know whom you are talking to. Be wary that criminals will take advantage of any situation, no matter how dire it is.

trash on doomsday day

There’s Going to Be a Lot of Trash

As things calm down from the initial event, there’s going to be quite a lot of trash and garbage. For one thing, there’s no one around to pick it up anymore. For another, a lot of it could be spread by the event itself. If it’s a war or an invasion, for example, buildings and vehicles will be destroyed. Trash could be spread all over the place. More trash will accumulate from food packaging and things of this nature. It’s easy to overlook this in modern society, when it’s so easy to roll your bin out to the curb once a week, but things won’t always be like this.

The key thing to remember about trash is that it can spread sickness and disease. There was a lot more disease a few centuries ago, when people had less knowledge about germs and didn’t take care of their trash properly. We have the knowledge now, but that doesn’t help unless someone is doing something about it. You’ll want to have a way to take care of your own trash, and you’ll also want to stay away from polluted areas.

Sickness Can Ravage the Population

Similarly, sickness and disease will both become larger issues than they are now, and not just because they’re more common. They’ll also be more deadly. People used to die of the flu; now it’s far less common. Without medication, though, things that we don’t think are a big deal could become deadly again. This is especially true if nutrition is not good due to a lack of food. When sickness starts to spread, it’s wise not to be part of that community. One disease could wipe it out if no one can treat it.

Communication Will Take a Giant Leap Back

In recent years, we’ve progressed at an incredible rate when it comes to communication. At any time, you can call most of the people you know and get in touch with them no matter where they are. If you don’t want to talk, just shoot them a text message or head to social media. It’s fast, it’s easy, and we take it for granted.

If things go badly, though, communication lines will be shot. No one will be there to tend the physical lines for home phones, and cellphone coverage will be a thing of the past. The Internet could be entirely gone with the lack of electricity, server upkeep, and many other things that are crucial to its existence.

In some senses, there isn’t a lot you can do about this, but it’s good to be ready. Plan out ways that you can still communicate. Have meeting places where you can go on a regular basis or discuss ways to get messages through. Most of your planning, though, has to be in adjusting your lifestyle. Realize that you’re mostly going to be able to talk face-to-face, and get the things you need to survive with this basic principle guiding your actions.

5 Things You Will No Longer Have in a Long-Term Disaster

city power outage

Think about what you have around you right now. Now think about what you might not have if a disaster were to hit. For many people, the first things they think about is having enough water and food. But there is a lot more to consider. Each person will likely have his or her own list of possible dangers or complications and there will be some differences in those lists from lists belonging to other people. When you look at the overall picture, though, there are five things that you can be guaranteed to not have if there is a long-term disaster.

No Power
Imagining life without power is much different from living life without power. If our nation’s entire power grid was shut down, what would you do? One survey of Americans said that it would only take two weeks for them to die. That seems more than just a bit shocking, but are those numbers really that far from the truth?

No Water
Most preppers have a good understanding of what constitutes an adequate water supply. However, that train of thought might be a bit different if there is no water available due to contamination. It’s about more than just drinking water. Water would be needed for cleaning and sanitation purposes, too. Water will become a commodity and one many people will be willing to exploit.

No Internet or Phone
It’s not just the loss of Facebook, email or Pandora that most people will have to worry about. Virtually every person on this planet is dependent on the Internet, whether it controls your bank account, your latest prepper packages in the mail or your medical records. If yo

u haven’t considered how you will communicate with your friends, family and others if every phone line, fiber-optic line and wireless connection went down, it’s probably something you need think about now.

No E-Commerce
Cash may eventually become a thing of the past, but immediately after a disaster occurs, cash will matter. You won’t be able to reach your money in the bank and there won’t be any cashing out of 401(k)s. Consider some of the small-scale disasters, like storms or hurricanes, that have brought down the local power grid. Should e-commerce collapse, the problem will be intensified by the loss of anything in your bank accounts. You will only be worth as much as what you have on you. If your six-figure salary is in the bank, it’s not going to do you much good.

No Transportation
When Hurricane Sandy and Katrina hit, it showed how unprepared most people who live in urban areas really are for any type of disaster. In both of these areas, people who rely on public transportation weren’t able to leave the disaster zones once that transportation went down.

Unless you’ve done a bit of planning, personal transportation won’t get you far, either. Once the gas trucks aren’t delivering fuel anymore, you’ll need to have a plan in place for getting more. Gas stations still operating in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy were out of fuel within a few short hours. Those that still had it were limiting customers to less than five gallons.

Determine Your Threats
This list is meant to get you thinking about what would happen in a long-term SHTF disaster. Performing a threat assessment will help you improve your ability to handle the unexpected, manage threatening situations and protect the people you love. Remember, your threats will likely be a bit different from someone else’s.

There are several places where you can find information on how to perform a threat assessment.

The Best Prepper Foods

prep food that last

So you want to be prepared, and you know that means having food on hand, but there are some significant challenges here. You have to assume the grid is going to be down, so you need food that will last, even without electricity. You need food that you can eat with limited cooking ability.

You may still have power or a gas stove. However, it’s best to plan as if you won’t, and then anything you do have is extra. Below are some of the best foods that you can stock up on.

Bottled Water

It’s not a food, but it’s the most important thing you can collect. Clean, drinkable water is far harder to find than most people think. If you’re not near a water source, do you have the ability to dig a well? If you are near a source, like a local lake, is that water clean enough to drink? You need to boil and filter it. You’re going to have to do all of this eventually, but bottled water can help you tremendously.

Protein Powder

It’s not that exciting, but whey powder lasts for a long time, and it’s an incredible source of protein, providing as much as meat, and often more. Meat could be hard to come by, and you need to keep protein in your diet. This powder is an easy way to get it, as you can mix it into water, food, or even sprinkle it onto other foods. You turn any meal in a protein boost.

Powdered Foods

Similarly, you may want to collect other powdered foods, like milk and eggs. These things don’t last very long in their natural forms, especially without refrigeration, but the powders will keep. We know what you’re thinking: Do you really want to make meals of water and three kinds of powder? While that may not be all that exciting, you have to focus on nutrients above all else. This isn’t about making a tasty meal, but about making a meal that gives your body what it needs.

Powdered Drink Additives

Drink additives -— like Tang -— help in a number of ways. For one thing, they can help water taste better. Even after it’s been filtered and boiled, lake water or well water may not taste pleasant. Drink additives help cover this up, and they give you some variety. However, the more important additive is the sugar. We hear a lot about the over-consumption of sugar in modern society, but it’s a huge benefit when survival is the only goal -— which is why your body is hard-wired to like it so much. The additives can give you the raw calories that you need for instant energy.

Beef Jerky

It doesn’t have to be beef jerky; any type of dehydrated meat is a must-have. It gives you a lot of lean calories and a good amount of protein. It lasts forever, and you don’t have to store it anywhere special. Plus, you can get some excellent flavors and a lot of options. If you don’t care what your food tastes like and just want the nutrition, you may not care for all of the flavors. However, this is a great way to spice up your meals, which most people are happy about.

There’s an added bonus to dehydrated meat: It’s very light. You can carry it easily. Stocking up your bug-out cabin is a must, but you can also take this if you’re hiking, camping, and traveling on foot. You can pack enough to eat for days without much actual weight holding you back. Other foods, like soups and canned goods, get heavy, quickly. Plus, a soup may only have 300-400 calories. A bag of jerky could have twice that many. Therefore, the weight-to-calorie ratio is in your favor.

Canned Goods

Even though canned goods get heavy, they really do last. You may not prefer them for hiking purposes, but they’re ideal for stocking up the pantry at your cabin. Get things like soup, refried beans, and canned vegetables. You can also get canned meats, like tuna fish and even chicken. These have great lasting power and you can eat most without cooking them.

Metal cans are also useful when you don’t have much in the way of supplies. You can use them to cook in, heating up beans or soup over the fire. You can clean them out and use them as cups for drinking water. You can store other items in them, especially if you have tinfoil, plastic wrap, rubber bands, and other things to put a lid on the can.

Dried and Canned Fruit

Unless your bug-out cabin is in the middle of an apple orchard, it could be hard to get fruit in a survival situation. However, fruit has a lot of nutritional value; you don’t just want to eat beef jerkey and drink Tang every day. You need foods that are actually good for you, but you also need food that will last. The key is to forget about fresh fruit, which goes bad in weeks and sometimes in days, and stock up on dried fruit -— like raisins and dried cranberries — and canned fruit. You can get oranges, peaches, pineapple, and much more.

As an added benefit, many of these canned fruits are stored in syrup. Again, do not forget the value of sugar when you don’t have many raw calories around. That syrup can provide a ton of calories and some hydration. It shouldn’t be your main source, obviously, but one can of fruit is actually doing triple duty by providing you with nutrients, a high caloric intake, and liquid. When space is limited, getting the most out of every item is key.

Stocking Up

This is a small sampling, but it shows how important it is to focus on the right foods, and it can help you start stocking today. Your best option is to diversify and have a wide range of foods so that you’re ready for any situation.

Hiding From or Hacking Drones

spying drone











For those who are acutely aware of their surroundings, drones can be easy to spot. However, for those who would be going into unfamiliar territory when the SHTF, spotting a drone could be difficult before it actually sees you. If you’re not really aware of what a drone is, it’s a plane that is remote-controlled and it can have many uses, such as scientific research, rescue operations, surveillance and even deadly force.

The military uses drones for both surveillance and to attack specific targets. The number of these remotely-operated planes is quickly growing. In fact, in 2012, the Federal Aviation Administration predicted that there could be upwards of 30,000 drones flying over the United States within 20 years. As these become more common, it’s important to be able to recognize and identity them.

A Bit More About These Birds

Currently, 87 countries around the world have drone technology. With over 200 different types of drones, you would have to be able to use its silhouette to identify one of these pieces of flying spy machines. Drones are equipped with extremely powerful cameras, which can detect vehicles and people when the drones are several miles in the air. Most have FLIR sensors, infrared vision cameras or night vision. Even though most drones can find the proverbial needle in a haystack, there are a few ways you can try to hide from drones.

Hiding From Drones

If a drone is equipped with thermal imaging, it’s doubtful you will be able to cancel out your thermal heat signature. However, you might try using a Mylar emergency blanket, which are also known as a space blanket. It can block infrared rays. When used as a poncho at night, you will be able to hide some of your body heat from detection by FLIR sensors. In addition, if the outside temperature where you are is between 96 ͦF and 104 ͦF, the sensors could have more difficulty determine what is surrounding your body and what background you are in.

Camouflage can be used during the day and night. During the night, use natural and manmade types of camouflage. For example, hide in the shadows of trees, brush or buildings. Thick woods and forests can be helpful. You can use nettle for covering vehicles and camo patterns for other objects that can help confuse systems specializing in vision recognition systems. During the night, avoid flashlights, spotlights and campfires. Even if you were to use a spotlight at a long distance, it would be easily spotted at night by a drone.

Another option is to wait to move until the weather turns bad. Drones can’t fly when there are heavy rainstorms, high winds, smoke or other dangerous weather conditions. You should also avoid using any type of handheld communication device. GPS-based communication or cellphones (if they are even working) will compromise your location. Finally, you might think about using decoys, such as human-sized dolls or mannequins, to mislead the drone.

Hacking Drones

Sounds a bit sci-fi, doesn’t it? The truth is that it might not be as difficult as you think. Because drones are remote-controlled, the actual pilot could be several thousand miles away. The drone is controlled by a satellite transmitted datalink. If this signal is interrupted or jammed, it can interfere with the control of the drone. In some cases, the datalink could be encrypted, but not always. Here are some ways you could hack a drone:

• GPS Spoofing: Portable, small GPS transmitters can be used to send fake GPS signals to the navigation system of the drone. Theoretically, you could hijack the drone’s controls or fly it into the ground.
• Interference: You can broadcast on a pack of frequencies between the drone and drone pilot so that it would be disconnected.
• Interception: A complicated technique is to use a satellite dish with sky grabber software and a TV tuner to intercept the frequency of the drone’s control pilot.

Will all of the above work? It’s possible, but not guaranteed, just like it’s not guaranteed that you can avoid detection by a drone. It all comes down to the type of security on the drone’s control frequency and how good the “hacker’s” skills are. However, if a drone should become a serious threat, then you’ll want to try just about anything to get it out of the sky.