Survival

Best AK47 for Prepared Citizens

There are a nearly infinite number of opinions on what makes the best weapon for the worst-case scenario. While it could be argued that the AR is one of the most common weapons owned by citizens in the United States, the AK platform has a not-unsubstantial following as well. At the end of the day, everyone wants a rifle that’s easy to manipulate, maintain, and use effectively. All of these points are intrinsic to the AK platform. While there are some things left to be desired by the Soviet Union’s greatest export, the Kalashnikov is a proven platform that has seen combat the world over. It’s simple, reliable, and easy to maintain. The controls are very easy to use. It can be stripped down and reassembled in a flash, and it’s accurate enough to hit a man-size target reliably out to 300 yards while not being excessively large or heavy. …

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CPR Mask: Pocket Preps

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is now being taught in schools and offered readily in even the most rural areas. Most people don’t have an issue doing chest compressions; however, when it came to mouth-to-mouth breathing, that was always going to be “somebody else’s job.” Beyond the uncomfortable idea of putting your lips against a stranger’s, there’s always a risk of that stranger coughing up fluids or vomiting while you’re performing the task. Fortunately, two things have made that less of a hindrance for people. First, in 2008, the American Heart Association approved Hands Only CPR (cpr.heart.org/en/cpr-courses-and-kits/hands-only-cpr) to increase involvement of bystanders who might be unwilling to provide rescue breathing. The Second Option is to use a CPR mask when performing rescue breathing.  Most shields or CPR masks are lightweight, but can be difficult to keep track of on scene. Most people found the pocket masks to be cumbersome, and they weren’t …

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The Secluded Strength Program

Imagine, if you will, there’s an outbreak of a virus threatening the lives of millions of people, and the only way to stop the spread is to stay indoors and not interact with the general public. “Stay in your homes,” we’re told. Well, not being able to leave your home for much besides essentials will make a lot of us stir-crazy. Not only that, but it’ll also make many people sedentary and out of shape. Without a gym to visit, it’s difficult to know how to approach a fitness program to stay in shape for whatever is in store for us down the line. The good news? Bands are a readily available and versatile piece of exercise equipment you can take full advantage of in a home exercise setting. Sit tight, and we’ll show you exactly what you can do to stay fit and healthy and, most of all, prepared. …

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Dark Angel Medical: No Excuse for Ignorance

As you cruise along the highway listening to your favorite podcast, you watch in disbelief and horror as a car a few lengths in front of you swerves violently, knocking a biker clear across three lanes of traffic. You pull over immediately and feel that natural desire to help. But what are you going to do? Do you have the knowledge and willingness to become part of the scene? Are you a bystander or a “by-doer?” Never at a loss for a smile or a Southern phrase that will keep you grinning from ear-to-ear like a mule eatin’ saw briars, Kerry Davis of Dark Angel Medical wants to create a vast army of “by-doers” — regular people with the ability and willingness to help save a human life. Effortlessly blending complex medical information with an easy to understand trauma care curriculum, Davis provides training for everyone, as well as a …

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Nutrient Survival: A Fresh Take on Survival Food

Survival food harkens from two distinct histories. On the one hand you have the timeless foods that call back to historical societies, and on the other hand you have the result of sending people to the moon. From the outside, it looks like a choice between home-made granola bars versus freeze dried astronaut food. Somewhere in the middle we might find MRE’s or Military rations: what our grandparents lovingly called shit-on-a-shingle. Survival food, from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, ranks high in a must-have, but are all survival foods created equal? Nutrient Survival says no. The market of Survival Foods lives in two extremes: most of the time only a few people are interested in it, but in rare moments, such as every four years in the United States, suddenly millions are interested in stowing away whatever supplies they can gather in the event of possible, if not now likely, unrest …

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Boot Laces: Pocket Preps

Let’s face it — the quality and versatility of shoe and boot laces tends to get overlooked. We’re wondering why footwear companies tend not to put as much effort into this component as they do sole construction, padding, and breathability. It has created a misconception that all laces are the same. When the laces on your sneakers or boots break, you usually replace them with some store-bought boot laces of questionable composition, or a generic piece of cord, right? That being said, we felt this oft-neglected product deserves closer inspection. Here, we’ll show you some options you probably never knew existed before. We discovered some brands out there that’ve put the time and research into creating laces far superior to what you’re used to seeing. Whether it’s using your boot laces as a SERE tool or survival cordage, we decided to take a look at some brands offering laces that …

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Covert Carry versus Concealed Carry

What do you think of when you hear the term “concealed carry?” Your first thought might be the legal definition of carrying a concealed gun or knife, and the accompanying guidelines in your home state and city. Perhaps you think of skills you’ve practiced in self-defense classes, or you think of the equipment you’ve accumulated for the purpose of concealment — there are a nearly infinite number of handguns and holsters you can keep hidden on your person. No matter which subtopic crossed your mind first, there are many variables to carefully consider and research. This is compounded by the amount of information available through internet forums, gun-store counter jockeys, and local “gun guys,” which is both immense and rife with inaccuracies.   Above: Drawing from concealment while moving or changing position is a vital skill to responding with a covertly carried weapon. In order to clear the air and …

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Winning the Germ War

Pick your favorite (or least favorite) disaster scenario and ask what your top priorities following that disaster will be. Are a clean body and living space on your list? They should be. Sanitation and hygiene are fundamental forms of preventative medicine to block disease transmission. Human waste and household garbage harbor numerous infectious diseases. Properly disposing of these items and maintaining clean bodies are staples of the modern running-water world. With a flush of the toilet, taking a can to the curb, the turn of a knob, a little soap, and a few seconds, most of our sanitation and hygiene is handled effortlessly — so much so that very few of us ever consider life without these conveniences. History shows that in disasters, one of the first things to become compromised is the infrastructure we rely on for hygiene and sanitation. The power goes out, and pumps shut down. Water …

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Surviving a Carjacking

Carjacking” is a term first coined in 1991 by writers of The Detroit News to describe an epidemic of auto thefts at gunpoint that plagued their city. The crime first became prevalent in the 1980s, when anti-theft alarm systems made old-school car theft more challenging for criminals. Unlike an ordinary car thief, who wants your vehicle but wants nothing to do with you, a carjacker plans to meet you face-to-face and is ready and willing to use violence in the process. Despite the fact that it’s been around for decades, many states still don’t have specific carjacking laws. Instead, they categorize it as robbery, auto theft, or aggravated assault, so tracking it statistically is challenging. The most comprehensive study of carjacking was done by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which analyzed it in detail during the period 1993 to 2002. While somewhat dated, their …

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What If We Are Hit By Another Pandemic?

In Issue 28 of RECOIL OFFGRID, we wrote a feature on Operation: Dark Winter (ODW) — a senior-level government exercise from June 2001 that simulated a bioterrorism attack in the United States using smallpox as its agent of choice. Its findings were discouraging to say the least. The results of the ODW study revealed a gut-wrenching reality that many Americans weren’t aware of until COVID-19 found its way here — we as a nation are drastically ill-prepared for pandemics. Problems range from a lack of sufficient training, delays in developing vaccines or drugs to treat a new illness, and the collateral damage it causes to our infrastructure and commerce. Fast-forward to 2020, and the world has seen firsthand how devastating the effects of a highly communicable disease can be on every aspect of human life. The question now remains, how can we prepare for the next wave or another outbreak …

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Masks and Respirators for Covid 19

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes to our lives. Among the most obvious is the routine use of protective masks to prevent spreading this disease. There has been much debate about the usefulness of masks, and official guidance has flip-flopped from discouraging to encouraging their use. Many are left wondering, can they help? What kind of mask do I need? Can I make my own? These are important questions right now, and they’ll remain relevant the next time a disease inevitably spreads like wildfire through the human population. Airborne Transmission – How Masks Can Help Face masks can prevent the spread of viral illness, including COVID-19, if the right type is used and used correctly. To understand how masks help, we must first understand transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. The primary mechanism for transmission of the virus is droplets expelled from the body by coughing, sneezing, …

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OFFGRID Live: Experts Discuss Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is modern day slavery and happening around the world with alarming frequency. Join RECOIL OFFGRID Editor Tom Marshall as he interviews a panel of experts on the front lines battling this epidemic to learn more about what it is, how it’s happening, and what you can do to protect yourself. Yousef Badou – owner/lead instructor of Emergence Disrupt Bazzel Baz – founder of Association for the Recovery of Children Theresa Flores – trafficking survivor and founder of The SOAP Project Bruce Ladebu – founder of Children’s Rescue Initiative Our Panel: Bazzel Baz is a graduate of The Citadel, former Captain USMC, former CIA SAD/SOG Paramilitary Case Officer and founder of one of the longest running child rescue NGOs in the U.S. established in 1993, known as The Association For The Recovery of Children aka ARC. ARC is a non-profit consisting of former military, intelligence and law enforcement personnel …

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Human Trafficking Survivor Interview

Human trafficking is a silent epidemic that affects millions of people worldwide. Threat-recognition and behavioral expert Yousef Badou recently interviewed Emily Chen, a competitive shooter and trainer on her experience being trafficked as a young girl. Watch the interview so you can better understand the telltale signs of trafficking to help better educate yourself and your loved ones on how to protect themselves. To register for our live webinar on human trafficking on Thursday October 15, 2020 at 3pm PST, click here. Related Posts Human Trafficking: Hidden in Plain Sight“We are like a meal … when everyone’s done eating, into the dumpster we go, and nobody gives a sh*t.” This quote came from a 14-year-old girl who’d been trafficked for sex and later […] Theresa Flores: Surviving Human TraffickingThe public is often led to believe that human trafficking only happens in other countries. Theresa Flores is living proof that it’s …

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Rally Points: Considerations for Planning and Using Them

An extremist group attacks critical nodes of the power grid at 0100 hrs and you awake to mayhem on the streets.  City-wide traffic backups are the first indication that this isn’t a typical summer brownout, but the danger is amplified when a five-ton improvised explosive device detonates in front of a Federal building at 0830, flattening the structure while killing 75 and wounding 150 other workers as they arrive to begin their day. Your daughter is on her way to a college class when the traffic jams begin to pile up and the detonation occurs while your son is on the road after working third shift at a plant on the other side of town.  It is impractical for them to attempt to return to your home. Emergencies can, and will, strike when least expected. Photo credit: MSVG (https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/0c627e28-b73c-4d5a-ae20-244bb82ef65f) While the police and first responders re-direct resources to the Federal …

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Secrets of Traditional Knowledge

Look outside your window. What do you see? Are you staring into the windows of a 50-story high-rise apartment building? Are you looking at your neighbor’s suburban, perfectly manicured front lawn? Or perhaps you live more intimately with nature, deep in the heart of the forest. Now imagine the rug of civilization has been pulled out from under you. It doesn’t have to be an EMP-induced nightmare, and you don’t have to be caught up in the throes of a civil war, localized rioting, or a political coup. It could be the chaotic destruction of a natural disaster, or simply an extended power outage. Are you confident that you can overcome the myriad obstacles an uncaring universe can throw your way? No matter what you’re feeling, by considering a worst-case scenario you can hone skills that have been ensuring the survival of the human race for thousands of years. You …

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How to Survive an Earthquake

Earthquakes are one of the most common natural disasters. And though nearly everyone is familiar with them, very few people have experienced one. And even fewer still understand how cataclysmic and biblically destructive a severe earthquake really is. Earthquakes are events that are not encountered evenly around the world. They occur most often in specific regions where tectonic activity is high and volatile. How to Survive an Earthquake Earthquakes are survivable, but the biggest threat they present is in the literal toppling of society. Only the strongest buildings will make it through a powerful earthquake unharmed. Virtually no structure will make it through one that is of apocalyptic magnitude. An understated but no less grave danger presented by earthquakes is that the shaking and rippling of the very ground or floor beneath your feet will make escaping to safer terrain or just improving your position inside a building very difficult. …

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My Week Shadowing Storm Chasers in Oklahoma

Have you ever seen a tornado? I paired up with a group of storm chasers for a week and have a newfound appreciation for them. We pulled off at a Kum and Go gas station to fill up the tank. Road rule: pee at every stop. Mike recalled how his best tornado video was ruined by someone chanting, “I’ve gotta pee,” like a mantra. Fortunately, I have a capacious bladder, but Dean keeps a roll of toilet paper in his glove box, just in case. Back in the car, Dean was refining our target area near Gotebo, checking RadarScope and the real-time Doppler radar, which tracks the location and velocity of storms, and referring to GRLevelX, a data-processing, and display program. His cell phone pinged with text messages from chaser friends in the area. By midafternoon, the National Weather Service had issued a severe weather warning on NOAA Weather Radio, and our …

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Threat Perception – Refuse to be a Victim

We don’t need to extol the value of everyday preparedness — if you’re reading this article, you already know its importance. But being prepared without looking prepared is a much more daunting task, and requires a conscious decision to blend into the environment. It offers the ability to go about your daily routine without being noticed or drawing attention. Some call this the gray man principle, others call it simply maintaining normality. The element of surprise can be paramount when it comes to addressing threats or other dangerous situations you may encounter. Alternatively, blending in can also help reduce the likelihood of being a target in the first place. In any environment, threat perception is key.  Threat Identification – Situational Awareness One of the elements often discussed when referencing this philosophy is situational awareness — the ability to pay attention to your environment in a way that helps you decipher …

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Five Diseases That Can Ruin Your Hunting Season

No one ever wants to get sick or come down with a condition that is uncomfortable and/or unhealthy. It’s worse when it happens during the hunting season. This is the time of year when we want to take time off TO hunt, not BECAUSE we went hunting. There are so many illnesses, diseases, and conditions we can come down within our regular lives, let’s not add something we can get from going into the woods to the list. Not all of the diseases you can pick up in the woods can kill you, although some can. One thing is certain, one of them can definitely ruin your hunting season, so let’s try to avoid that. Please note that information on these conditions comes from the CDC and the U.S. Forest Service. Find out more information on the CDC website. Lyme Disease For comparison, the one on the right is a …

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Theresa Flores: Surviving Human Trafficking

The public is often led to believe that human trafficking only happens in other countries. Theresa Flores is living proof that it’s been happening in the United States for a long time. It’s often linked to some very sinister people in positions of power, and no one’s immune to it. She was trafficked as a young girl in the Michigan suburbs, before the internet existed and names like Jeffrey Epstein were in the 6 o’clock news. She escaped her nightmare and not only detailed what she endured in her book, The Slave Across the Street, but became a respected authority on the topic and relentlessly tours the country working with other survivors to fight this perverse form of conscription. In Theresa’s words, human trafficking is a “silent epidemic.” It’s orchestrated by highly sophisticated criminals who use intimidation, extortion, bribery, and violence to continue its onslaught. Various businesses are fronts for …

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