Welcome to SurvivalKitShack. Our goal, at this site, is to provide you with the gear you need to protect yourself and your precious family from countless dangers. Our world is steadily falling apart. From the devaluing of our currency, to the danger of cyber-attack; from the threat of natural disaster to the rising risk of civil unrest and riots, from racially motivated mob violence to rumblings of war and the threat of terrorist attack from fringe groups like ISIS, there are any number of reasons you might find yourself under attack. That attack could come while you are at home. It could also come while you are away from home and then you must make your way back to where you keep the majority of your supplies.
The survival gear and kit materials we sell are designed to be kept in multiple places. Your first line of defense is of course in your home. That’s where you will keep the majority of your survival supplies, because that’s where you keep most of your stuff. In a survival emergency, most of the time you’ll be riding out the emergency at home. In that case, you’ll need survival kits designed for home, and survival gear that will sustain you and your family for the duration of the emergency. As you defend yourself at home and stay supplied through that emergency, you’ll also need to be prepared to make what is perhaps the most important decision you and your family will ever face, and that is the decision to dig in and ride out the emergency as it goes on longer, or “bug out” and flee for a location of greater safety. If you do bug out, your survival kits will suddenly become that much MORE important, because now all you have to get you from point A to point B is whatever survival gear you are carrying with you.
Surviving At Home
When somebody attacks your home, when people who are desperate for supplies or just taking advantage of the lawlessness of an emergency come to your door and try to break it down, that is nothing less than a war for the survival of you and your family unit. It doesn’t matter if you live alone, if you have a roommate, or if you have an entire nuclear or extended family. Your home is your castle, and any attempt to breach its walls is an invasion by enemy forces. It is your job to defend that castle. It is your job to defeat those enemies. What’s more, you cannot survive an emergency if you don’t have a place to survive it. Any breach of your home, any attack on your survival location, is an attack on your very life, because it reduces your chances of lasting through an emergency. You must, therefore, not only have the gear you need to survive, but also have a plan in place to protect the location where you keep your gear.
This may sound dramatic, and you may be thinking that the chances you could be engaged in a collapse of social order are slim to none. Fortunately, in our society, crime is still rare enough that this is true. HOWEVER, crime is also real. Home invasions are real. Murders in good neighborhoods are real. And as the Ferguson riots showed us, ANY community can be torn apart by mob violence, and the established law and order we all take for granted can collapse in the face of angry mobs. Those mobs can be racially motivated or they can have some other motivation, such as class (remember the Occupy protests and how violent some of THEM got).
You may be thinking that this all sounds like too much. It’s too much work. It’s too much effort. The chances you will be targeted are so low. Just install an alarm system, lock your doors, and keep your phone handy. You don’t need to stockpile gear and supplies. You’ll be fine. What are the chances it will actually happen, right?
Wrong. Let me ask you this: Could you live with the thought that at any given time, there was a one in ten-thousand chance that a fire would break out in the attic of your home? Those sound like pretty long odds. But I’m willing to bet that even one in ten-thousand would be unacceptable against the possibility that late one night, your entire family could lose everything... or burn to death. I’m willing to bet you would take every possible precaution against that distant possibility that a fire broke out.
Well, emergencies are like that. Unless you live in a very bad neighborhood, the actual risk on any given day is low, but even that low possibility is enough to drive concerned citizens to take every precaution. That means more than paying lip-service to your security and the security of your home, to your survival stockpiles, and to your survival kits and bug out bags. It means forming an overall survival plan that will constitute your self-preservation blueprint in the event that the excrement hits the oscillating climate-control device.
The key here, however, is to formulate your plan and then implement it. Having a plan for survival preparedness doesn’t make you some kind of paranoid weirdo. It doesn’t mean you’re looking for trouble or that you want bad things to happen. And it absolutely doesn’t mean you aren’t fully grounded in reality, even though you're more politically left-of-center friends might consider it odd. You carry insurance for a variety of disasters that you hope will never happen, and frankly, most of those disasters never will. But you carry the insurance because of the very real possibility that something bad MIGHT happen. Having that peace of mind, having that plan in place ahead of time, just makes good sense. It doesn’t cost that much to take responsibility for your safety, but the benefits can be great, up to and including saving your life.
Developing a Survival Plan
For a long time, it’s been standard advice for every family to have a “fire plan.” This is exactly like what it sounds. The family gets together and, under the supervision of the parents, devises a plan for what they would do in the event of a fire. It can save lives to do this sort of planning ahead of time: You determine where the exits are, what the shortest routes are to an exit from each of the bedrooms, where the family will meet up outside the home in order to confirm that everyone is safe... and most importantly, you cover vital instructions for what everyone must do in order to ensure each other’s survival. This might include things like, “No one is to go back inside the home for any reason if the house is burning.” It might also include where the kids are to gather if they can’t get through the hallway to their parents’ bedrooms, or vice versa.
Every plan is different because every home and family is different. The layout of your home, the number of dependents versus the number of responsible adults, your own material resources... these factors and many more determine your specific plan. What is important is that you determine your fire plan, discuss it with those affected, and then practice or rehearse that fire plan. This last part is critical so that everyone in your home, particularly younger children, understands and remembers under stress what he or she is supposed to do in the event of a fire.
A survival plan is no different than a fire plan. You develop it in the same way, and you must discuss it with your family unit (if you have one) and rehearse it in the same way. Your survival plan should, actually, incorporate your fire plan, because that is just one of many emergencies that requires you to take action in order to preserve your life. There are lots of OTHER things your survival plan should include, such as a communications plan. By this, we mean that in an emergency, the first thing that usually stops working is power and the cell phone grid, maybe not in that order. So you and your family have to have a plan for how you will communicate, or what you will do in the absence of the ability to communicate.
To develop your survival plan, survey your home. Evaluate your family. Think about your individual needs. What sorts of gear and supplies would you need to survive with you and your family during an emergency? What stockpiles would you absolutely have to have? If the stores were closed or empty, what would you wish you had? And what sorts of things would you use over a short-term emergency like a power outage... that you would then need more of if the emergency turned into something longer?
When you’ve taken all that into account, look at your survival retreat itself, which is typically your home (but could be a bunker, a hunting cabin, or whatever). How would you defend this from people who wanted to take your stuff? Where are you vulnerable? Where are the possible areas that someone who wanted to break in would do so? What about the approach to the front door? Is there a peephole? Are there security cameras? Is there an alarm system? Look at all the physical aspects of your home that represent possible security threats. Really put your head inside the mind of a criminal and see how you would break in if you were bent on doing terrible things. What weapons do you have on hand? Where do you keep them? What would be required if you had to get to them to defend yourself? Where in your home do you have a clear shot… and where will bullets travel through walls and endanger other members of your family?
Once you have made a complete list of all the physical considerations for supplies and security, There are two ways to address them. You can use security systems to “plug the holes” where you are vulnerable, or you can use weapons to actively defend that location (or both). For example, a locked door with a peephole in it is one way to “plug the security hole” that is your home’s front entrance. Keeping a shotgun in brackets above the door would be a way of applying a weapon to that problem (in homes without children). Keeping a gun in another location that you would use to COVER the front door would be another. Draw up your plan with this in mind, sketching out what weapons and physical barriers/locks/security systems you would use for which vulnerabilities. Don’t forget that among your vulnerabilities are the fact that you must protect the SUPPLIES and the GEAR you are storing for emergencies, too. As much as we hate to say it, you’ve got to think like a “doomsday prepper” here.
Once you have drawn up the plan, the critical step is explaining it to everyone who is affected. If you live alone, this is as easy as memorizing the plan you yourself devised. If you have a family or even just a roommate, you need to discuss the plan with everyone affected in the household. Everyone, even those people who are “noncombatants,” needs to know what his or her role is supposed to be. If your spouse is going to be armed and backing you up, that’s one role. If your children are just supposed to get to the bathroom and lay down in the bathtub until you come to get them, that’s another role. (Laying down in bathtubs is a good way to be safe from gunfire if you have a metal tub, which is rarer and rarer these days. Modern acrylic tubs don’t provide the protection from gunfire that an old metal bathtub does.)
Once you have your plan in place, and assuming you are periodically rehearsing it with all affected home occupants, you also need to take the time to reassess it now and then. This means taking a look at it based on any changes in your home, and new training or knowledge you have acquired, any new weapons you may have purchased and learned to use, and any changes in the household itself. For example, a plan that you devise when your children are six and eight years old can be revisited when they are twelve and fourteen, because older children can handle more responsibility and remember more instructions than younger children. If your spouse wasn’t trained to use a firearm when you devised your plan, but has since acquired this training, that will also change what you can and cannot do.
Assess your survival plan annually, if you can. They say that when Daylight Saving Time comes, you should check the batteries in your smoke detectors, as a way of making sure this happens every year. Well, there’s no reason you shouldn’t set a landmark date like that to check your survival plan against how it still holds up against the reality of your household. How are your stockpiles holding up? What is expiring? Are you rotating the supplies? You should be using the same supplies now that you would use in an emergency. Use a rolling inventory of goods.
Everything you are planning and preparing for is an emergency. That is, it is the exact time NOT to discover that your preparations aren’t working. The time to test your plan, your gear and stockpiles and equipment, and your accessories is before that fateful moment when everything falls apart.
If something about your equipment simply doesn’t work — a handgun proves to jam a lot, or a holster is too difficult to draw from, a camp stove fails when you try to use it to cook — you need to change it. You know that definition of insanity that goes, “Trying to do the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result?” Well, a lot of preppers tend to be functionally insane when it comes to their gear. They cling to something that has been shown not to work thinking that next time, things will be different.
Unless you want an equipment failure to be the reason you survive an emergency, root out any gear that you have that isn’t working and change it. Do the same with any training techniques that you find, in practice, don’t work. There is an amazing array of training and equipment available to the armed, prepared citizen who wants to be ready to survive. All you have to do to start discovering it is get out there and look. Once you start making contacts in the “prepper community,” if we can call it that, you will learn of other training opportunities through your friends, even in places where you think there isn’t much available.
The Importance of a Car Kit
Once you’ve got your supplies together and you have compiled home and bugging out bag stockpiles, you need to consider very seriously a car kit. This is much more important for cold weather than it is for warmer weather (few people will die of exposure at night in warm climates, but plenty of people die from freezing cold when they get stranded with their cars). A survival kit, though, for ANY climate is absolutely essential for your car. Have you ever watched a person struggle to find jumper cables? It’s a mystery how some people can leave the driveway without so much as a pair of jumper cables in their trunk, but the fact is, we’ve all done it. Maybe you were driving a rental car. Maybe you just bought a used car and you hadn’t had time to check the trunk yet. I know that’s happened to me: You buy a used car but don’t think about whether there’s a working jack or an inflated donut in the trunk. Then when a tire blows you’re stuck unless you can call for help.
Well, if all you’ve got is a blown tire, that’s one thing. But what if you and your entire family were stranded in a snowstorm, fighting frostbite and wondering if help would ever come? That happened to a family of six people in Nevada not too long ago. The group was driving along a dirt road in their Jeep when it went over and embankment and lanced in some sort of crevasse, miles from someplace called “Lovelock.” The two parents had children with them ranging in age from 3 to 10 years old. Temperatures were around 21 degrees (Fahrenheit) when the accident happened, but they dipped below zero in the two days that the family waited for help.
Finally, using pings from the couple’s cell phone, authorities and rescuers were able to find them. What they found was a family of 6 who had high morale, were in good health and, despite having run out of food early on, acted like they had been on a camping outing rather than in danger of freezing to death.
Those parents deserve some kind of medal. Apparently they used a tire for fuel (yes, tires will burn, especially if you fill them with gasoline -- in Africa, this is used to kill people and is called a “necklace”) and built a fire. They stayed close to their vehicle, facilitating their rescue, and they used the shelter of the Jeep to contain heat. The fire was used to heat up rocks that they then brought inside the jeep to keep the interior warm.
Every family should strive to match the survival performance that family put on. They didn’t panic. They used the resources available to them. They made the right decisions, and They stayed alive and well until help could come and get them to safety. That’s survival done right. There have been other stories in which the people involved did NOT make the right decisions. Being able to survive like this all comes down to having the right gear to survive with!
We have all heard the tragic story of a couple caught in a snowstorm in the middle of nowhere. The husband left the car and went for help. He was seized by the urge to DO SOMETHING, and that’s a powerful urge. But he wasn’t equipped to survive the elements away from his vehicle. He was killed by exposure; his wife was eventually rescued. In other words, he chose... poorly.
Winter is on us, and if you are caught in a car in a blizzard, you had better hope you have the forethought to keep a cold-weather survival kit in the car. Your task, in the event of such an emergency, is to keep a clear head, stay with your vehicle in the hopes of being rescued, and find a way to increase the visibility of that vehicle so that you will be seen and found. There may not be a way to do that, or you may be able to find something. Road flares are a temporary measure. Fluorescent road markers are better and last forever. Glow sticks are another method that lasts for a little while.
It’s a good idea to pack food and water in your vehicle, as well as a basic outdoors survival kit so that, if you are lost in the middle of nowhere, you have the means to construct rudimentary shelter, start fires, and so on. Many emergencies happen at night, too, so make sure you keep ample supplies of light (a flashlight, spare batteries, and a redundant light source like glow sticks) in the kit. A good multi tool is always an excellent choice, because if you are handy at all you may need it to work on the car itself to effect basic repairs.
For cold weather climates, a good car kit absolutely must include warm blankets. One good choice is a wool/synthetic blend army blanket. These tend to be very heavy, but not scratchy like 100% wool blankets. They are great for sheltering in cold weather inside a vehicle.
Some food and water is another good choice. In winter, the water is less critical because, assuming there is snow, you can melt this to drink. Be aware, though, that you have no idea how polluted it is. Also, never eat snow without melting it first. The heat loss from your body to melt the snow will cause you problems while you’re trying to endure cold weather. And in warm weather, water is absolutely critical, because you’re going to need a lot of it. Carrying a means to purify found water is also very important.
Carry a shovel in car kit. A collapsible shovel is okay as long as you test it to make sure it will stay open under stress. Some of the cheaper ones just collapse again and are useless. A fixed shovel, like the Cold Steel Special Forces Shovel, or any other wooden-handled space, makes a better choice. This can help you dig your car out of snow and mud and can even be used as an emergency lever, not to mention a weapon. And in any temperature it can be used to dig shelters and foxholes.
Make sure to include good road maps in your car kit. These days, with GPS so common, a good set of road maps is almost an extinct species. The best maps are the laminated kind that fold easily and are not harmed by moisture. Make sure you have some on hand for the local area in which you are traveling as well as the areas around it. These could save your life if you need to plan an alternate route around an obstacle or to avoid a closed highway.
Communication, in an emergency, is your very best means of getting help. If you don’t have a wireless phone, get one. These days, it’s very rare to meet someone who doesn’t. Prepaid phones are cheap to keep on hand for emergencies. Keep your phone charged up and keep a car charger in your vehicle. Many vehicles’ lighter plugs will work even if the car is turned off, which means your phone can slowly charge from the car battery even if the car itself doesn’t run.
Another set of items you should be carrying in your automotive kit is a complete set of boots, gloves, a hat, a scarf or head cloth, and a spare coat. No matter how unlikely you may think it is that you’ll need these things, put them in the trunk and leave them there. Murphy’s Law says that anything that can go wrong will, at the least convenient time. I guarantee you that the one time you DON’T leave the house fully bundled up for the cold weather will be the time your car fails and you must be able to walk outside to get help, or change a tire in a blizzard, or do some other activity for which you’ll need the winter gear that you left the house without.
A head scarf is a good choice for car carry and survival kits. You’ve seen these on “operators” in the military and they are increasingly popular with civilians. They come in multiple colors. You can use one of these to make a scarf, or you can wrap your head with it and protect your face. They’re as effective for keeping out desert sand as they are for keeping you warm.
We all take shortcuts. We all think to ourselves, “I’m just going out to grab lunch; I don’t need to be loaded for long-term survival to do that.” But the fact is that if you take the time to prepare before the fact, you can endure these mistakes because you’ll have already planned for them. When an emergency finds you, all you’ll have to do is take a quick mental inventory, identify the resources you’ve packed away for yourself, and then step forward to deal with the emergency with a clear, level head. Save your life. Save your family. Take the necessary steps now.