SurvivalUp Blog

Feb 2, 2015 - Survival is a Beach

I know many doomsday preppers have their bug-out locations hidden away up in the mountains. Maybe something we humans instinctually do is to run for the hills in times of disaster. It also seems reasonable to hide out in rugged mountain location, to make it difficult for others to get to you. But I'd also like you serious preppers to consider the advantages of setting up a bug out spot somewhere near the coast.

Coastal areas are more temperate than inland.

A super-volcano, an asteroid strike, or a nuclear war could all lead to some sort of long-term "winter." Any of these doomsday scenarios could block out the sun, and cause global air temperatures to plummet. But the ocean temperatures stay relatively constant, which helps keeps coastal air temperatures moderate. So while inland temps can drop like a rock, near the beach the ocean adds heat to the air and keeps it warmer. Unless your inland bug out location is getting geothermal heat, you could find things very frigid and nastily cold.

Being mobile

It has been theorized that early North Americans didn't cross a "land bridge" near Alaska, but actually arrived here in small boats. Their little kayaks just followed the clockwise currents from Asia, to North America. If they stayed near land during this trek, they could have caught fish along the way and setup camp on dry land at night.

As a rational prepper, you just may want to entertain the notion that a given doomsday disaster could force you to move to the Southern Hemisphere. Being near the coast gives you the mobility to make that journey the easiest with an extremely efficient mode of travel.

Survival water supplies near the coast

70% of the earth's surface is covered by ocean. Living in California as I do, I can't tell you how much it annoys me hearing government officials mandate water conservation. Just a few miles from where I'm sitting right this second, is a nearly inexhaustible source of water - the Pacific Ocean. If only the nearsighted had build desalination plants here (like Tampa, Fla., like Saudi Arabia, like many other governments), then we wouldn't have to listen to them spew their nonsense about water shortages. It's absolutely true that water produced in this way is about four times as expensive. But really! My water bill is almost nothing, and four times nothing is still nothing. The point being state wide desalination plants would end the water crisis, and wouldn't really cost that much.

As preppers, we can take advantage of all this salt water by desalinating it ourselves. One survival still would meet the drinking / cooking water needs of most families, and the metal pot which holds the sea water could pull double-duty for cooking. This makes for a nice, efficient piece of survival gear that totally meets your water needs.

Food supplies from the Sea

Obviously, barring a mass die off of fish the ocean is packed with food. A fishing pole, or net can bring you ample food to survive doomsday. And with the moderate climate of coastal areas, you find growing food from your heirloom seeds will be much easier. The coastal areas abound with plenty of ways to provide for your survival food needs.

Easy Survival

Overall the coasts could be the most feasible spot to make your doomsday bunker. If too close, you could experience a tsunami. But 10 or so miles away from the ocean you should be clear from these rogue waves. You may also find that other survivors eventually get the same idea, making it somewhat populated near the coasts. But if you ensure your defensive capabilities and only make occasional trips to the beach, you should be safe.

Dec 8, 2014 - Kicking the Can

I generally find it irritating when I hear preppers give advice about stocking-up on canned goods, or MREs. The problem as I see it, is all that water that's included in the weight of those cans. I mean "if" someone already has a bug-out location where they can store all those heavy goods - great! But then they likely don't need prepper advice in the first place. So the target of that advice is usually the beginning prepper.

Why this is irritating is that during a real disaster, bugging-out could be the only option and the beginning prepper may have no way to transport all those cans to a safe location. If you have to bug-out you will absolutely not be able to carry much food in cans, since most of the weight of those cans comes from water and metal. As a prepper, your very first item of business should be prepping gear to provide you with safe water, so you should have your water needs dealt with. Why on earth would you want to lug around pounds and pounds of extra water? That makes no sense!

For prepping - since you are prepping for the worst - you ultimatly are going to want the ability to be mobile - on foot. If you are able to hunker down in your basement - great. But you shouldn't count on being able to do that.

So to beginning prepper I say - the first item(s) in your bug-out bag should be gear to get you safe water (a few water filters, or ideally a water still can double as another backpack of sorts). After that, lots of dehydrated food rations - a mix of food packets from Wise Foods, etc. and some high-energy food bars.

That set-up right there would be extremely light for what it contains, and provide some basics that could last you months! Top-off your go-bag with a couple fire-pistons, then a knife, ax, and/or gun, and you're off to the races. Trust me - shelter you will figure out as you go, and use whatever materials are available. After one night in the outdoors you will know what you need to do.

Mar 25, 2014 - To bug-in or not to bug-in?

So I’ve read quite a lot on other prepper websites about how they plan to “Bug-In” at their home in the event the SHTF. They have whole rooms stocked with canned food, a large amount water storage, power generators, etc. But – what happens if a disaster hits in their area and they are forced to move to another location? What if the roads are impassable by vehicles and they can’t just load up their truck with supplies and take off? What if their neighbors are hungry, or thirsty, and happen to notice these bug-in preppers have lights and food and water (self-defense only goes so far)?

I’m not against planning to bug-in “if you can” – I am against this being one’s only plan for survival. The problem with planning to bug-in is that it is too much like putting all your eggs all in one basket. And this is the central flaw with the preppers planning to stay home and wait the disaster out.

It’s great that these bug-in preppers have taken up canning and a room full of jars packed with food, but if they have to bug-out and take food with them they’ll be carrying not only the food, but the jars and any water inside the jars – pretty heavy stuff to haul around in a backpack. The same is true of storing a lot of water – you can really only carry more than a few days with you.

It may seem like a good idea to just count on being able to use a truck to carry away stored up prepper supplies in the event you have to bug-out. But a 100 year event like a solar storm (or an EMP) could take-out most vehicles. Which would then be blocking the roads and highways, so again you’re left with having to hastily pack a bug out bag with a bunch of heavy supplies.

And hiding away at home for an extended period of time isn’t very realistic either. Maybe you could go unnoticed for a while, but eventually someone will find you. You’ll be forced to deal with people who are hungry, or thirsty, or just plain want to take what you have. Are you really willing and able to eliminate every single person that finds out where you are and what you have? If not realize they could bring back “friends.” Now you’re spending more time fending off other’s from your home than surviving yourself - aside from dealing with the issue of taking someone’s life.

When I read about how some preppers seem to expect that people in their community will come together and help each other if the SHTF, I have to roll my eyes. True – right after a disaster people band together and help each other out. But these preppers forget (or don’t know) that people living on the edge of survival will do whatever they have to in order to survive. If you have food, or something else they want they’ll try to take it from you.

So all this is leading up to making the case for having a well thought and prepared bug-out bag. It’s a logical argument really. “If” a disaster forces to leave your home (potentially on foot, or bicycle) then you are covered – you’ve made a Bug-Out bag that’s provides you with what you need for months as you move to a better location. Or “if” an emergency affords you the opportunity to hunker-down at home great - you are still covered. In this case you can simply use the items in your bugout bag to survive at home.