How do you make a primitive fish trap?

This survival trap is a very ancient way of catching fish. Primitive traps like these can work for you all day and night, saving energy and coping with other tasks in a survival situation.

The method I will present in this article is a proven design. It is essentially a small cone within a large cone. The practice is simple, and often when we keep things simple they tend to work well.

In this article, we will look at the various steps to create this survival trap, followed by instructions on how to actively use the trap to collect fish.

How to Build a Survival Trap:
The first step is to collect the materials to make the trap. The main parts of this survival trap consist of two different diameters. The band is about as thick as your index finger or thumb. The other group of branches should have a thinner diameter, smaller than your little finger, and very flexible.

You will also need a string shape to tie all the sticks together. The biggest sticks will be the trap skeleton (also called chains). The thinner and more flexible wands will be what we weave, though the larger wands are for creating a trap structure (also called frames).

I used a number of different plant species for this trap. The species I use include hazelnut block flute (Corylus cornuta), maple vines (Acer circinatum), Indian plum (Oemleria cerasiformis), willow (Salix spp.), and red willow dogwood (Cornus sericea).

The string I use is willow bark. I cut a willow branch and slowly peeled the bark.

Once all the parts are assembled, the first step is to tie the thin ends of the vertical parts (aka deformations) to a piece of wood that acts as a cork. It is important to use an odd number. I’m here at nine. An even number results in an incorrect weave.

Once the verticals (chains) are firmly connected to the cap, it’s time to weave in the weavers (aka frames). The weaving pattern is very simple: under, up, down, up, etc. as you weave your way around the chains.

The ends of the weavers can simply be folded and inserted into the previous weaves. When one weaver is finished, simply place the next weaver in the place where the last one was finished and continue. I like to start at the skinny end of the weavers.

After the base of the trap has been woven several times, then I create a ring and fix it in the center of the vertical. This is done in order to open the trap a little and give it the right shape.

Select the desired total length. In this case, I chose about two and a half feet.

Once the total length is reached, fold the parts of the frame (chain) and insert them into the weavers. This will add some structural stability.

Once the first cone is ready, it’s time to start with the smallest cone. This smaller cone is inside the larger cone. This creates a point of strangulation and makes it very difficult for the fish to find their way out.

The first step to making the smallest cone is to form two circles of flexible branches. These circles must be properly measured. The larger of the two should only fit inside the larger cone. And the smallest circle is about three inches in diameter.

The two circles shown above are made in two different ways. The largest circle is a piece of grape maple twisted on itself. This is very easy to do and no rope is required. The small circle is another piece of wine maple and is tied with willow bark.

Once the circles are ready, it’s time to link the verticals. I first attached them to a larger circle using willow bark and Raffia fibers.

Don’t forget to turn the number of verticals into an odd number (if you don’t, the fabric won’t come out properly).

What was Birch Polypore used for? Survival Fire Fungus: Birch Polypore

Birch polypore

The polypore birch mushroom is an incredibly useful and interesting forest resource, the use of which is a great historical priority, but is too little used in today’s outdoor community. Birch polypore is mainly known by its nickname “tinder mushroom” in terms of its great utility in the production of traditional fire. After being used for thousands of years to the present day, it was famously discovered in the Otzi Iceman pack.

Although the epithet polypore birch has been applied to several species of mushrooms, for the coffee-loving birch, we discuss here Fomes fomentarius, also commonly referred to as the horse’s hoof mushroom in terms of its physical appearance.

As the name polypore birch suggests, this species grows on several species of birch in its area of distribution, especially the paper birch in our region and in most parts of North America. It will grow in other ways, including beech. The birch polypore is locally abundant throughout the northern hemisphere, where its host species occur, and, in his opinion, may be one of the most common plateau fungi.

Using Birch-State Farm:
The main use of birch polypore is to create a substance called tinder or mushroom felt. This is a suede material made from a processed mushroom. Tinder can be used for a wide range of wound dressing applications for making hats, but its most convenient use is similar to tinder for making fire. Well prepared, this tinder can catch a spark just like a char cloth, but it’s also much better to hold that spark and feed the coals.

Creating tinder for use as tinder from birch polypores, or possibly other preserving fungi, is a relatively simple process. First, we need live mushrooms. The old slackers won’t work. They can be broken by the trees they find. Try to choose the largest specimens and let the smallest ones ripen.

Birch polypore has three layers: a hard, woody outer layer, a tubular porous layer, and between these two layers a soft, suede layer called the tram layer. For tinder, we want a trama layer. The cuticle (outer layer) and the hymenium (tubular layer) can be separated from the tram layer with a thin and sharp knife. This can be a bit tricky because the mushroom really doesn’t want to separate.

The process is easier with fresh mushrooms. Dried mushrooms become quite tough, but they can be soaked to make them soft. I’ll put them in hot water and leave them overnight. After you trim the cuticle and hymenia, you will end up with pieces of trama of different sizes. Try to clean them as best you can.

Once the trama layer is isolated, it needs to be prepared. I like to take all my pieces of trama and cook them in a weak wood ash solution for about 20 minutes. Clean water will also work, but wood ash will make tinder better to use than tinder.

After about 20 minutes of cooking, rinse the tinder. Now he only needs to be beaten. I usually use a small wooden hammer or just a nice round stick and carefully set it to the desired thickness. If you treat it, it will spread and lighten. Be careful not to handle it too roughly and not to separate it. Once it is treated in this way, let it dry and it will be ready for use.

To use tinder as a tinder just take a small piece, rough a little, and apply sparks. Expertly made, it will catch and hold the sparks and start to glow. At this point, it can be added to some fibrous material and burst into flames.

Alternatively, it can be used as an extension of the coal to help create a friction fire or to transport the fire from one place to another. Once it has started to multiply, the tinder is relatively difficult to remove and will burn for a long time if it does not get wet.

Although birch polypore requires a bit of work to find and treat, tinder is a functional and fun way to create fire, and a springboard for an interesting conversation. Tinder has become one of my favorite fire escapes,and birch polypore is one of my favorite finds!

What do you need for a fire pit

Building a fireplace is an important skill that varies slightly depending on your needs. I’ll focus on a makeshift fireplace that I’ll use to keep warm for the night in a survival situation.

Humans have probably been making fire for about 600,000 years! This is one of the abilities that defines us as a species. Creative problem solving is one of the most important skills for success in the outback, and building houses is no different.

Before we start discussing fireplace construction, I would like to mention some things about why we build fire in the first place and what fire should do for us. Intent precedes technique. Fire can be used for an almost infinite number of purposes in the outback, including cooking, drying clothes, cleaning drinking water, or making tools. The fire we’re going to talk about here is designed to keep us warm in the event of a survival emergency, without a tent or sleeping bag.

If the weather conditions are unfavorable, it is important to understand that we are going to a relatively large fire. Small fires are good for roasting hot dogs on a summer evening, but you won’t cut it to sleep next to it in the cold. This is a fairly common misconception, and many people in the survival community like to make very small fires. One reason for this is the belief that a large fire consumes unnecessary fuel. While it is obviously true that a larger fire requires more fuel, a smaller fire is harder to maintain. Large lights can burn for an hour or more without setting up alone, but small lights require constant attention for maintenance. This means you’ll probably spend the whole night saving it while you’re awake. Small fires also need better fuel. While a large fire can feed on wet or even green wood, small fires tend to burn down when they are fed low-quality fuel. Loose firewood is relatively easy to collect. There is plenty of firewood in the forest. You will probably spend the same time collecting a lot of lower quality and larger diameter firewood than you would selectively collect higher quality and smaller diameter wood.

Then we have to consider some considerations regarding site selection. Unless you are in a catastrophic situation, you should always be very aware of the local fire conditions. If the danger of a forest fire is high, you should consider your fire on the shore, stone surface, or not take it into account at all. Most wildfires in the United States and Canada are caused by negligence, and practicing skills is no excuse. Even in moderate fire conditions, you should be aware that keep your fire away from forest plums, peat, and roots, all of which can multiply for long periods of time before you find an opportunity to ignite and cause a forest fire. Also keep in mind what is above the fire. They don’t want the flames, for example, to run through the dead lower branches of a tree.

I usually look for an area that is already naturally protected, such as a dry place under a tree or a rocky canopy, where I can get out of the elements. If possible, I like to have some background behind me, whether it’s a makeshift shelter, a rock wall, or even just a tree or tree trunk. Remember that this fire is designed to keep us warm, so we want to help it do its job effectively. I usually give myself 3-5 feet between my bed and the fire, depending on the conditions.

Start by removing the fluff and root. You want to clear the forest soil to mineral soil, but you don’t need to dig a hole. Quite often, people want to dig a real hole, but a fire under the surface reduces radiant heat and makes the fire more suitable for fighting oxygen starvation.

For this fireplace, we will use stones. Rocks are popular, but not critical in the construction of fireplaces. The advantage is that they can be used to absorb, reflect, and redirect heat when consolidating a coal bed. Heat storage is the main reason why I would like to use the stones when they are available. Do not forget to pay attention to the wet rocks. Rocks that have been submerged can explode if they heat up quickly.

We will have two parallel rows of rocks about 1 ½ -2 feet apart, and ideally 4-6 feet long. The back row is made of the largest rocks we can collect and trade to preserve the coal bed and reflect a certain amount of heat.

The first row will consist of smaller rocks. Fist-sized rocks are perfect, but anything we can find will work. These rocks will also help to preserve the coal bed and prevent it from drifting to our sleeping place, but are small enough not to block the radiant heat of the fire. I also use these smaller rocks as a hot water bottle and hand warmer, turning them all night, so I always hid a few hot rocks around me.

I’d rather use a parallel fire and cut my fuel (dead branches) into 4-6-foot segments. If I’m not able to cut off the fuel, I just collect the longest pieces I can and feed them on each side. Storing firewood for a long time saves work, and a long fire warms your entire body. The extra fuel can be stored behind a larger back wall to create an even larger reflector, which also helps to dry the wood a little before it goes on fire.

This long fire placement method is one of my favorite fireplace construction methods, and I use it relatively often when I have time and rocks to spare. It would be even easier to just scratch duff and build a parallel fire with no rocks at all. This is what I usually do when I’m in a hurry.

Building a fireplace is a simple process by nature. There are many good ways to do this according to your needs, and over time, as you build and use a lot of fire, you will develop your own personal taste and style. Try out my recommendations here, use all the other resources you have, and always be open to experimentation and thinking!

By the way, did you know that you can acquire basic wilderness survival skills in less than one weekend? It’s true! In our online course, Essential Wilderness Survival Skills, you can learn how to start a fire using friction, build natural houses, clean water, identify edible plants, and much more.

What watch do Navy SEALs actually wear? – 9 Best EDC Watches For Survival: A Buyers Guide

9 Best EDC Watches For Survival
A good watch won’t just keep you from being late to your next appointment.

It’ll help you stay alive. 

Which is why I’ve made this blog post.

Watches tend to get neglected by other preppers, but I think you should know how they can benefit you in a survival situation.

So, I’ve sought out the 9 best EDC watches for survival, and I’ve created comprehensive reviews for each of them.

The next section is dedicated to telling you why they matter, though.

So, you should probably read that first. 

Why You Need A Watch I​​​​n Your EDC Kit

Watches aren’t typically what you’ll find on a top ten prepping item list, but they deserve to be there.

We all know that watches can tell time. What about their other functions, though?

A good EDC watch can have several features that make it easier for you to survive in a survival situation.

Things like altimeters, compasses, geo-mapping, flashlights, and other features can allow you to cut down on the amount of kit that you carry into the woods.

Your watch is always on you, too.

So, if you didn’t have enough time to prepare for a situation, you still have a lot of equipment dangling from your wrist.

In the following sections, I’ll explain what the most important features are, and I’ll spend a little time explaining why they’re important. 

Accuracy

Your EDC watch needs to be accurate.

If your watch can’t tell time accurately, then you certainly don’t want to pay attention to its compass or geo-tracking features.

When you’re looking at EDC watches, you need to know that the movement system or processor is made to high-quality standards.

That’ll make its main function as a time piece a lot more reliable.

You’ll be able to trust its other features, too.

Good movement systems to look for are Japanese quartz and Swiss quartz.

When it comes to processors, you can usually only trust the best brands.

Don’t buy a cheap watch if it uses a processor. 

Compasses: The Most Basic Navigation Tool

Using a compass is one of the most basic ways to navigate, and it’s simple to do.

I personally prefer physical compass because they aren’t as susceptible to being damaged, but a good digital compass will work just as well.

When you’re buying an EDC watch, make sure that the compass on the watch is capable of pointing north accurately.

You don’t want your most reliable navigation tool to send you fifty miles in the wrong direction.

Using a compass is simple, but I suggest that you take some time to learn how before you start relying on one.

If you need help, you can read this helpful article. 

Altimeters: Why They Matter

An altimeter is another basic navigation tool.

It measures how much you’ve ascended, and it can help you reach your destination when you’re traveling in mountainous regions.

These are a little more complicated to use.

Most people aren’t hiking up mountains and cliffs everyday.

However, you need to take the time to learn how to use an altimeter. 

I suggest buying a watch that allows you to set a destination altitude with its altimeter.

You won’t want to have to keep tabs on your altimeter when you’re starving.

A destination marker will make an alarm go off when you reach the altitude you set.

So, you can set it and forget it. 

Weather Warnings Save Lives

If surviving in a harsh environment isn’t hard enough for you, mother nature will make it harder.

That’s just a fact of life.

Thunderstorms, blizzards, and other adverse weather conditions can be deadly in a survival situation. 

Luckily, some watches will use a built-in barometer to measure the air pressure in your area.

When the watch detects an unusual fluctuation in air pressure, it’ll sound the alarm.

This in turn, gives you enough time to get to safety, and it’ll keep you out of the worst of storms. 

It’s a feature that can be handy during everyday life, too. 

You won’t have to rely on inaccurate weather forecasts to stay safe

Geo-Mapping

Geo-mapping is a feature that allows your watch to generate a GPS map of your immediate surroundings.

That can make navigation a lot easier, and some geo-mapping features have breadcrumb trails you can activate.

The breadcrumb trails can help you find your way back to another location.

This feature may look as if it’s a necessity, but you can achieve the same results with a compass, altimeter, and common sense.

On top of that, geo-mapping is usually only available with smart watches.

Carrying a smart watch is great for your everyday life, but they can die over a matter of hours.

If you’re going to go the smart watch route, I recommend bringing a back up watch with you. 

Battery Power

We just briefly talked about battery life, but I want to really explain how necessary it is.

Your EDC watch is something that you carry everyday.

So, it needs to be able to function as a normal tool.

However, EDC watches are meant to provide support during an emergency, too.

You don’t get to choose how long an emergency lasts.

A survival situation can last for five minutes, or you can be in one for three months.

That’s why you need a watch that will be able to last in any survival situation.

I recommend solar powered watches because of how convenient they are.

However, you can also get away with one that stretches a standard battery out for 6-12 months. 

Make Sure It Can Take A Beating

You might get away with wearing a gold watch to the office, but that pretty watch won’t last long in the wild.

It’s difficult to say just how durable a watch must be, but you need to make sure that your watch is at least able to get wet and be dropped without breaking. 

EDC Watches For Survival Reviews

Casio Men’s G-Shock DW5600E-1V 

Casio Men's G-Shock Quartz Watch with Resin Strap, Black, 20 (Model: DW5600E-1V)
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The Casio G-Shock line has been around since the 80’s.

 It’s reliable, and it’s extremely popular with military members and first response teams.

This particular model isn’t expensive, and it’s fairly durable.

However, it does lack some of the goodies that I like to have in an EDC watch. 

​Pros
  • The 1V is shockproof. You won’t have to worry about it getting smashed to bits. 

  • It’s also waterproof. You can’t take it to the bottom of the ocean, but it’ll survive if you fall in a lake.

  • It uses Afterglow technology to illuminate its face. It’s not as bright as a flashlight, but it’s enough to make your life easier when things get rough.

  • An automatic calendar will keep you aware of what day it is. So, you won’t have to scratch a wall like Tom Hanks.

Cons
  • I’m really disappointed in the lack of navigation features. It can handle its purpose as a watch well, but it’s not going to help you get where you’re going. This is a major drawback. However, it’s one of the least expensive watches I’m reviewing.

  • The portion of Casio’s budget that went towards a calendar could have easily been spent on a good compass ring. Seriously, a calendar isn’t a necessity. If I’m lost in the woods, I’m not worrying about what day it is.

Casio Men's G-Shock Quartz Watch with Resin Strap, Black, 20 (Model: DW5600E-1V)

Casio Men’s G-Shock Quartz Watch with Resin Strap, Black, 20 (Model: DW5600E-1V)

Ezon Hiking Watch 

EZON Men's Digital Sports Watch for Outdoor Hiking with Compass Altimeter Barometer Thermometer Waterproof Military Watch Wristwatch H001H11
Buy on Amazon

 

The Casio G-Shock was a decent watch, but it didn’t have the features I like.

This Ezon watch is still affordable, and it has everything that’s necessary in a survival watch.

In fact, it’s one the watches that I recommend the most. 

​Pros
  • The Ezon has all of the navigation features that I require from an EDC watch, and it has some extra ones, too. An altimeter, barometer and compass are all included. It also has a thermometer, weather alarm, and sunset indicator. Considering it costs less than $100, that’s a lot of helpful features.

  • The synthetic construction of the Ezon may look a little too aggressive for the office, but it’s extremely durable. The strap is made from polyurethane, and the casing is a hard plastic shell.

  • On top of having the necessary survival features, the Ezon is also outfitted with basic luxuries like a calendar and light. Those aren’t absolutely necessary, but they’re great for everyday life.

  • The watch is built to make a standard watch battery last for an entire year. So, you won’t have to worry about it dying when you need it most.

Cons
  • All of the navigation features are digital. I’d prefer to have a physical compass ring, but the digital compass works just fine.

  • A solar charging feature would have made the Ezon perfect. It would have dramatically increased the price, though.

Garmin Instinct 

Garmin Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS, Features GLONASS and Galileo, Heart Rate Monitoring and 3-axis Compass, Tundra
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We’ve covered two options that aren’t expensive.

So, let’s go over one of my favorite high-end watches.

Garmin is known for their rugged smart watches.

I know that I said a smart watch isn’t a great option, but Garmin has put a lot of work into making the Instinct’s battery last a while.

When you combine that with the high-quality tools that it includes, the Instinct is very suitable for survival situations. 

​Pros
  • The navigation tools are top-notch. The Instinct has a 3-axis compass for increased navigation abilities, and it has a barometer and altimeter. However, it also uses several different GPS networks to enhance each of those features. So, each one is better than what you’ll find on the previous watches we reviewed.

  • This thing was built to satisfy military standards. I don’t even have to explain that in-depth. It isn’t going to break unless you run it over with a tractor, or throw it in the ocean.

  • The TracBack feature is a breadcrumb program. With it, you’ll have no problem returning to camp. However, it’ll drain the battery faster.

  • Garmin has made sure that the Instinct is compatible with your smartphone and their app. That’ll give you access to a lot of different fitness features. That’s not something I look for in an EDC watch, but this is something you’ll wear everyday. The added functionality is a nice bonus.

Cons
  • The battery can last 16 days. That’s enough battery life for it to work in a survival situation, but it’s still a little too low for my liking. That’s just a personal preference, though.

  • The price isn’t very appealing. It’s worth the price, but I feel that most people will benefit more from a cheaper watch that just has the necessities.

Sale

Garmin Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS, Features GLONASS and Galileo, Heart Rate Monitoring and 3-axis Compass, Tundra

Garmin Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS, Features GLONASS and Galileo, Heart Rate Monitoring and 3-axis Compass, Tundra

Casio Men’s Pathfinder

Casio Men's Pro Trek Stainless Steel Quartz Watch with Resin Strap, Black, 18 (Model: PAG240-1CR)
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The Pathfinder is another watch in Casio’s lineup.

It covers all of the requirements that I outlined in the beginning of this post, but there is one major con that makes me want to suggest other watches.

On its own, it’s a great watch.

It can help you navigate, it doesn’t rely on a smartphone, and it can take a beating.

However, I already covered a watch that does all of that for $50 less.

If you don’t want to trust your life to a relatively unknown company like Ezon, then this is the watch for you.

However, I’d still recommend the Ezon first. 

​Pros
  • Navigation tools were a major focus with this watch. You get your three main tools, but you also get a thermometer and light. Those aren’t navigation tools, but they’ll help you a lot while you’re traveling.

  • You can set it to operate with several different time formats. That’s definitely not a necessity, but it’s nice to have. 

  • The Pathfinder is made entirely from resin. Resin is almost as durable as steel, and it won’t tarnish or rust.

Cons
  • I don’t like the price. The Ezon had all of the same main features, and it cost less. The extra features on the Pathfinder just aren’t worth an extra  bucks in my opinion.

Sale

Casio Men's Pro Trek Stainless Steel Quartz Watch with Resin Strap, Black, 18 (Model: PAG240-1CR)

Casio Men’s Pro Trek Stainless Steel Quartz Watch with Resin Strap, Black, 18 (Model: PAG240-1CR)

Timex Expedition 

Timex Men's TW4B02500 Expedition Grid Shock Black Resin Strap Watch
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The Timex Expedition is an affordable watch, and it has one unique feature that I’m glad to see.

However, it doesn’t have all of the necessities.

With it being a budget watch, I can overlook that.

 In this price range, I’d suggest that you look at the Casio G-Shock first, but this is a nice alternative. 

​Pros
  • Hydration alarms aren’t common. They’re especially not common in this price range. However, they can help you remember to stay hydrated during the rigorous activity that you’ll be doing during a survival situation. This is the one feature that makes me recommend this watch.

  • The shockproof and waterproof features are pretty robust. You can easily snorkel with this thing, and you can drop it off of your house safely. It’s impressively durable.

  • Timex likes to use Indiglo. The Indiglo lighting technology is bright enough to function as a low-light flashlight, and it’s more than enough for viewing the Expedition.

Cons
  • The lack of navigation features is a major drawback. You can use primitive navigation techniques, and you should carry a real compass when you expect to go into the outdoors, but it’s still a necessary feature that’s missing.

  • Paying this much for a watch without navigation features is almost a waste of money. It’s great for exercising or daily use, but it won’t do anything special in a survival situation.

Timex Men's TW4B02500 Expedition Grid Shock Black Resin Strap Watch

Timex Men’s TW4B02500 Expedition Grid Shock Black Resin Strap Watch

Seiko Men’s Stainless 

Seiko Men's Stainless Steel Japanese-Automatic Watch with Leather Calfskin Strap, Brown, 20 (Model: SARB017)
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Seiko is one of my favorite watch companies.

They put a lot of effort into ensuring that the construction of their watches is extraordinary.

This Seiko watch isn’t going to tell you when a tornado is going to hit, and it doesn’t look like it belongs on Batman’s wrist, but it’s a high-quality watch.

It keeps time with its Japanese quartz system, and it has one of my favorite features.

It has a physical compass ring inside of the crystal.

A physical compass ring will continue to work when the watch dies.

So, you know that you’ll always have navigation capabilities.

It’s a bit pricey, but it’s the watch that I recommend the most. 

​Pros
  • The Japanese quartz movement ensures that it is actually what time the watch says it is.

  • A physical compass ring won’t stop working when the battery dies.

  • It may not be made from military-grade resin, but it is durable. The traditional materials will also look better when you’re just going about your day.

Cons
  • The compass is all that you really need, but an altimeter and barometer make life a lot easier. Sadly, this watch has neither of those.

  • In the name of fairness, I have to criticize its lack of features. It’s the most expensive watch on this list, and it lacks some functionality. However, it’s expensive be it’s a truly well-made watch.

Sale

Seiko Men's Stainless Steel Japanese-Automatic Watch with Leather Calfskin Strap, Brown, 20 (Model: SARB017)

Seiko Men’s Stainless Steel Japanese-Automatic Watch with Leather Calfskin Strap, Brown, 20 (Model: SARB017)

Title

LAD WEATHER Altimeter Barometer Compass Watch + Heart Rate Monitor Thermometer USB Rechargeable Climbing Trekking
Buy on Amazon

 

This is one of the few watches in the Ezon’s price range that can actually beat it in terms of value.

It’s designed to keep track of all of your fitness stats, but it also has the 3 main functions that I look for in a watch.

The amount of fitness features that the Trekking Watch has is ridiculous.

I can’t even fit them all in this short review.

It can do just about anything you want it to.

It tracks your heart rate, calories, steps, and it allows you to set goals for each of those.

Beyond that, it also has navigation tools encase you end up lost.

So, it’s a great watch to wear during your normal life, but it can pull through when things get tough. 

​Pros
  • The amount of fitness features is ridiculous. If you’re into staying fit, you won’t need any other tool to track your progress.

  • The navigation tools are there to help you in a pinch. That makes this a very versatile watch.

  • It’s also very durable. Besides being shockproof and waterproof, it’s made from a wear-resistant polymer.

Cons
  • I feel as if the fitness features inflate the price a bit. Since they’re not necessities, I have to consider that a drawback for most people.

LAD WEATHER Altimeter Barometer Compass Watch + Heart Rate Monitor Thermometer USB Rechargeable Climbing Trekking

LAD WEATHER Altimeter Barometer Compass Watch + Heart Rate Monitor Thermometer USB Rechargeable Climbing Trekking

Seiko Automatic 

Seiko Men's Automatic or Hand Winding 23 Jewel Movement Watch
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The last Seiko I reviewed was a bit too pricey for most people.

This one is a lot more affordable.

It’s not cheap, but it does cost half as much as the last one, and it has the same features.

You still get to enjoy the benefits of a physical compass ring, and Seiko’s

Japanese quartz system powers the watch.

It’s also made from stainless steel.

However, it has the same drawbacks.

You won’t get a lot of features with it, and it costs more than the other watches. 

​Pros
  • It’s a high-quality Seiko watch. Every feature that it has was crafted by experts.

  • The physical compass ring is a surefire way to get where you want to go, and it doesn’t require batteries.

  • You won’t look like G.I. Joe wearing this to an office party. That might sound silly, but you don’t want to look like you’re going off to war everyday.

Cons
  • The last Seiko had a leather strap. The steel on this one is obviously more durable, but it’s harder to replace, too.

  • Besides a compass, it doesn’t have any navigation features.

  • At this price, you can find a more functional watch. It just won’t be as great as the Seiko.

Seiko Men's Automatic or Hand Winding 23 Jewel Movement Watch

Seiko Men’s Automatic or Hand Winding 23 Jewel Movement Watch

Bulova Lunar Pilot 

Bulova Men's Lunar Pilot Chronograph Watch 96B258
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While it’s not my favorite, a lot of people swear by the Lunar Pilot.

After all, it was the watch that helped land the Apollo 15 shuttle.

It doesn’t have any fancy navigation features, and it won’t keep track of your heart rate, but it does have an extremely accurate quartz system, and it functions as a chronograph.

It’s also waterproof.

So, it can take some punishment from the outdoors. 

​Pros
  • The chronograph can be useful for timing things very precisely. That’s why it was used on the Apollo 15 shuttle.

  • The waterproof feature makes it just suitable enough to be on this list. You’re likely to encounter some harsh weather, and you wouldn’t want your watch getting destroyed by it.

  • Bulova makes accurate watches. A watches main feature is its ability to tell the time. So, at least this one can do that perfectly.

Cons
  • It’s hard to recommend this to people because it doesn’t have navigation features. However, it’s great as a watch. You’ll have to carry your own compass, though. 

  • With so many options being less expensive with more features, I can’t say that this is one I’d recommend for most people. I’m sure someone will appreciate its rich history, though. 

Sale

Bulova Men's Lunar Pilot Chronograph Watch 96B258

Bulova Men’s Lunar Pilot Chronograph Watch 96B258

Conclusion

The Ezon is the watch that I recommend the most.

It’s not as robust as the Garmin, but it has everything that you need to survive, and it will function well during daily use, too.

I personally prefer the leather-banded Seiko, but it doesn’t have all of the functionality that the Ezon has, and it costs five times as much.

If I take away my personal biases, I believe that the majority of people reading this will get the most bang for their buck from the Ezon.

The other options are all great alternatives.

As always, I want to thank you for spending your precious time reading my opinions, and I would love to hear what you think about these watches in the comments.

If you have friends that might benefit from it, I suggest that you share the article with them.

The post 9 Best EDC Watches For Survival: A Buyers Guide appeared first on Prepared Survivalist.

How many liters should a bug out bag be? – 9 Best Backpacks For Survival

9 Best Backpacks For Survival
We all have loads of survival equipment sitting around our house.

When a disaster strikes, how do you plan on carrying that equipment?

You obviously can’t duct tape it all to your body and hope for the best.

I suggest that you get a proper backpack.

A good backpack will allow you to carry your equipment as smoothly as possible, and it’ll let you organize your gear in a way that will enable you to access it lightning fast.

In this blog post, I’m going to do a quick overview of the 9 best backpacks for survival.

These backpacks have the room to carry your most important gear, and they’re all strong enough to withstand the rigors of life’s most brutal moments.

What To Look For In A Bag

Before we look at backpacks, I want to go over the different features that you should look for in a survival pack.

In the end, I’ll tell you which backpack is the overall winner by comparing it to these critical requirements.

How Much Of A Beating Can It Take?

A survival backpack isn’t worth much if it isn’t built to withstand the same situations that you’ll be expected to endure.

Survival situations are gritty, and they can break down equipment that isn’t made to be tough.

This usually has a lot to do with what materials are used to make a backpack, and how much attention to detail was put into the design.

Materials such as ballistic nylon and Ripstop nylon are typically more than good enough for a survival pack.

The straps should be made from an equally durable material, and you should ensure that the straps are attached to the bag securely.

How Much Can It Hold?

If you’ve been prepping for longer than five minutes, you’ve probably amassed quite the collection of survival gear.

But if you can’t fit at least the necessities into a survival backpack, it’s not worth buying.

The size of the bag that’s best for you is heavily dependent on what you expect to carry.

If you’re a minimalist, you might be able to get away with a 1-liter bag.

Most people will need to bring much more equipment than that, though.

I like bags that can hold between 30 and 40 liters.

So, that’s one of the main requirements that I’ll have when I pick a winner.

Is It Comfortable?

Think back to your school days, and remember what it was like to jam fifteen textbooks into your cheap book bag.

Was it easy to carry?

I guess that it wasn’t. 

When you were in school, you only had to move that bag around the halls, and you might have had to carry it during a short commute to and from school.

In a survival situation, you might have to wear your backpack during hikes that last for days or weeks.

You might have to climb over obstacles while wearing it.

If so, then you want your bag to be as comfortable as possible.

One of the main factors in how comfortable a bag is if it can be adjusted on the fly.

You can just change the should straps.

However, you’ll still want to buy a bag that provides plenty of room for adjustment.

You also need a bag that has the right amount of padding on the straps, and a little padding on the bag itself isn’t a bad thing to look for.

You’ll probably be carrying a lot of weight in your bag.

So, I recommend getting one that has as much padding as possible.

Chest straps can also help to make a bag more comfortable to carry under heavy loads.

Other Things To Look Out For

Some features can make your life easier, but they aren’t necessary for a bag to do its primary job well.

However, I’ll be looking at the number of bonus features that a bag has to pick an overall winner.

So, you should know what I think makes a bag stand out.

Molle Webbing

Molle is the funky strap system that’s found on a lot of tactical bags.

It allows you to attach different things to the surface of a bag, and it adds an infinite amount of customization options to your bag.

Molle isn’t a necessity, but it can make it extremely easy to access your most essential items.

You can attach canteens, knives, flashlights, and other gear that you need to access quickly to the surface of your bag with it.

Hydration Bladder

If you prepared adequately, you probably have several containers that you can hold clean water in.

Water is such an essential part of survival, though.

You can never go wrong by having a water bladder in your backpack.

A hydration bladder is a durable bag that slides into its own compartment in your backpack.

A straw usually sticks out of your bag, and that allows you to get a refreshing drink while you have your bag on.

It’s not really necessary to have when you have the proper equipment, but it’s a convenience that can make any bag better.

Waterproofing

You can waterproof your backpack at home.

If you don’t want to do that, you can just put all of your items into their own Ziplock bags before putting them in your backpack.

However, it’s nice to have a waterproof bag without all of the extra efforts.

This isn’t a standard feature, but it is one that can help a lot in a survival situation.

Gelindo Military Backpack

Gelindo Military Tactical Backpack, 35l, Camouflage
Buy on Amazon

 

The Gelindo meets all of my requirements for a backpack, and it’s incredibly affordable.

It does lack one feature that I would have really liked.

While the bag is made from a high-density fabric, it’s not made from one of my preferred materials.

The bag is durable, and it meets my requirements for durability, but a better fabric would have easily made this the best backpack on the list.

Despite the one minor flaw, the Gelindo is excellent. It has a 35-liter capacity, padding on the straps, Molle webbing, and a slot to place a hydration bladder.

On top of that, it also has a waist belt that allows you to store items on it, and it helps to make the bag more comfortable.

​Pros
  • The 35-liter capacity is more than enough for most people.

  • There is plenty of padding on the straps to make it a comfortable bag to hold.

  • The belt strap and Molle allow the bag to be customized to suit your needs.

  • It’s a very durable bag with a great price.

  • The addition of a bladder compartment is a great bonus.

Cons
  • I would have really preferred rip-stop nylon for the bag material. The high-density fabric is strong enough, but it’s not as reliable as a premium material like rip-stop nylon.

Gelindo Military Tactical Backpack, 35l, Camouflage

Gelindo Military Tactical Backpack, 35l, Camouflage

Orca Tactical Backpack

Orca Tactical Military Backpack - Large Military Grade Backpack - Army Inspired Salish 40L - External MOLLE Mounted 3 Day Survival Bag - Rucksack Pack(OD Green)
Buy on Amazon

 

The Orca is a huge backpack. It’ll allow you to carry just about everything you have.

It’s also made from high-quality materials.

However, all of that extra space could be a burden for people who like to have a minimalist mindset when it comes to survival, and the urge to fill all of that space might leave you with 120 pounds of gear strapped to your back.

The Orca hits the nail on the head in every other department, though.

It’s made from 600D polyester for durability, it’s heavily padded, and it’s designed to allow you to carry a lot of weight comfortably.

Besides, it also includes every bonus feature that I like.

It has a bladder compartment, Molle, and it has a water-resistant coating.

It also has several compartments that are heavily padded to protect your favorite electronics.

​Pros
  • It can hold a lot of stuff at once.

  • The Orca has plenty of Molle webbing for all of your favorite attachments.

  • The straps are padded for comfort.

  • If you have a water bladder, you can easily use the bag’s bladder compartment to stay hydrated on the go.

  • The material is a little bit better than what the Gelindo is made out of.

  • Water resistance isn’t a standard feature in this price range, but the Orca has it. You won’t be able to throw the bag in a lake for hours, but you won’t have to worry about your stuff getting wet in the rain.

Cons
  • All of the extra room might inspire you to carry more than you can handle. If you load this bag up, make sure that you condition yourself properly.

Orca Tactical Military Backpack - Large Military Grade Backpack - Army Inspired Salish 40L - External MOLLE Mounted 3 Day Survival Bag - Rucksack Pack(OD Green)

Orca Tactical Military Backpack – Large Military Grade Backpack – Army Inspired Salish 40L – External MOLLE Mounted 3 Day Survival Bag – Rucksack Pack(OD Green)

Mardingtop 65L

Mardingtop 65+10L Molle Hiking Internal Frame Backpacks with Rain Cover Black-65+10L
Buy on Amazon

 

The Mardingtop isn’t the cheapest bag on this list, but it is one of the biggest.

In addition to its 65-liter capacity, it has an internal frame that allows you to carry such heavy loads with ease.

The framework supports your gear, and it prevents your back from taking all of the burdens.

The bag is made from 600D polyester, and it has plenty of Molle webbing to attach medical kits, knives, navigation gear, and more.

The straps and backing are both padded reasonably heavily, and the entire bag is coated with a water-resistant coating.

Also, it comes with a rain cover that ensures that moisture can’t enter the bag.

With all of those high-end specs, you’d probably expect this bag to rate very highly on this list.

While it’s a great bag, I would only recommend it to people who plan on carrying hefty loads.

The lack of a water bladder means that you’ll have to dig out your canteen every time you’re thirsty, and the excessive size will make a lot of people pack a lot of nonsense in it.

If you don’t wrap it to a reasonable level, you’ll just have a bunch of fabric bouncing around on your back, and it can throw off the pack’s balance.

​Pros
  • It has a ridiculous load capacity.

  • It’s water-resistant, and it comes with a rain cover.

  • The internal frame will prevent your back from hurting on long trips.

  • It’s made from the same high-end polyester as the Orca.

Cons
  • The ridiculous load capacity will urge people to carry way more than they need, and the extra weight can be a considerable burden.

  • I really like hydration bladders. They might be a convenience, but they’re still important.

Mardingtop 65+10L Molle Hiking Internal Frame Backpacks with Rain Cover Black-65+10L

Mardingtop 65+10L Molle Hiking Internal Frame Backpacks with Rain Cover Black-65+10L

REEBOW Tactical Backpack

REEBOW TACTICAL Military Backpack 3 Day Assault Pack Army Molle Bag Backpacks
Buy on Amazon

 

This REEBOW backpack isn’t the highest-quality bag, but it provides a lot of value if you’re on a budget.

It’s made from 1000D polyester, and it has a capacity of 34 liters.

It fits the bill for most of my requirements.

Plus, it has a 2.5L bladder compartment, and it has plenty of padding on the straps.

While it has Molle webbing, the webbing isn’t up to military standards.

The single straps are slightly smaller than military-grade Molle.

That’s not a big deal, though. 

The bag also has two water bottle holders. So, your hydration needs are taken care of with this cheap bag.

​Pros
  • For less than thirty bucks, this bag really impresses me. It brings a lot of value to the table.

  • The material used for the bag is pretty decent for this price range.

  • The material used for the bag is pretty decent for this price range.

  • The heavy padding on the straps will help make the bag more comfortable to wear.

Cons
  • The Molle webbing isn’t up to par with real Molle. That’s not a big deal, and I can forgive that because the bag is so cheap. However, it is something to consider.

Sale

REEBOW TACTICAL Military Backpack 3 Day Assault Pack Army Molle Bag Backpacks

REEBOW TACTICAL Military Backpack 3 Day Assault Pack Army Molle Bag Backpacks

GEARDO Rifle Bag

GEARDO Tactical Military Hunting Survival Fishing Airsoft Gear Gun Rifle Bag Backpack Case Black
Buy on Amazon

 

Built with rifle owners in mind, the GEARDO designed to withstand the elements, and it has plenty of carrying capacity.

The GEARDO is designed to carry up to two full-sized rifles, and it has plenty of Molle webbing to attach other compartments for your other gear.

The bag is made from 600D polyester like most of my suggestions, and it has meshed pads along the back for added comfort.

Being a rifle bag, this isn’t compatible with a hydration bladder.

However, it does have two water bottle holders, and it has more than enough room to carry all of your survival gear.

I recommend this product to firearm owners for obvious reasons.

If you don’t have a firearm, you will be better off buying one of my other suggestions.

​Pros
  • The bag can carry up to 2 rifles with ease.

  • The meshed padding along the back makes the back a lot more comfortable to carry.

  • There is plenty of Molle webbing on the bag to attach smaller pockets for organization.

Cons
  • If you don’t have a firearm, this bag isn’t the best deal. I’ve listed several other containers that are cheaper with more features.

GEARDO Tactical Military Hunting Survival Fishing Airsoft Gear Gun Rifle Bag Backpack Case Black

GEARDO Tactical Military Hunting Survival Fishing Airsoft Gear Gun Rifle Bag Backpack Case Black

WIDEWAY 50L Bag

WIDEWAY Military Tactical Backpack 50L Survival Gear Backpacking Large Hydration Molle Bug Out Bag 3 Day Assault Pack Rucksacks Daypack for Outdoor Travel Hunting Camping Hiking Shooting Olive Green
Buy on Amazon

 

The WIDEWAY is another large bag, but it’s just small enough to be practical.

In exchange for its extra bulk, you get plenty of storage room, and it can store a lot of easily-accessible gear on its surface.

The WIDEWAY is made from 600D polyester and polyurethane.

That makes it an incredibly durable bag.

It doesn’t have a compartment for a water bladder, but there is plenty of Molle webbing to attach as many water bottles as you want to the sides or front of the bag.

This is a great overall option.

It’s a little larger than I would like, but a lot of people will appreciate all of the extra room.

​Pros
  • The WIDEWAY is constructed to be extremely durable.

  • There’s more Molle webbing on the WIDEWAY than there is on any other bag on this list.

  • It makes up for its lack of features with its high-quality materials.

Cons
  • I would have liked to have seen more features with this bag. It’s not expensive, but it’s pretty basic. That being said, I can definitely tell that the manufacturer focused on making it a good bag instead of tacking on novelty features.

Sale

WIDEWAY Military Tactical Backpack 50L Survival Gear Backpacking Large Hydration Molle Bug Out Bag 3 Day Assault Pack Rucksacks Daypack for Outdoor Travel Hunting Camping Hiking Shooting Olive Green

WIDEWAY Military Tactical Backpack 50L Survival Gear Backpacking Large Hydration Molle Bug Out Bag 3 Day Assault Pack Rucksacks Daypack for Outdoor Travel Hunting Camping Hiking Shooting Olive Green

PANS Military Travel Bag

PANS Backpack for Men Large Military Backpack Tactical Waterproof Backpack for Work,School,Camping,Hunting,Hiking(Multicam)
Buy on Amazon

 

The PANS is an expandable bag that can carry up to 64 liters worth of gear.

Unlike other large capacity bags, the PANS isn’t always that large, though.

When you have less equipment to carry, the bag keeps a tight profile, and it only expands when you allow it to.

So, you never have to worry about having a floppy backpack getting snagged on bushes and limbs.

In addition to being able to fit the roles of small bags and large bags, the PANS has a few other features that make it a solid option for almost anyone.

It’s a waterproof bag, and it’s incredibly durable.

It features Molle webbing, and it has two radio compartments to store your communication instruments.

It doesn’t have a bladder compartment, and I would have liked to have seen a chest strap or waist strap, but the PANS is still an excellent pack for the vast majority of people.

​Pros
  • Its expandable nature makes it great for minimalists and hoarders alike.

  • The waterproof coating on the bag makes it a lot easier to keep your gear dry.

  • This is one of the few bags I’ve reviewed that had radio compartments. In most survival situations, communication is vital. I don’t know why more manufacturers don’t focus on it.

  • The Molle webbing is up to military standards.

Cons
  • I’m a little disappointed by the lack of chest and waist straps, but the bag is excellent in every other department.

PANS Backpack for Men Large Military Backpack Tactical Waterproof Backpack for Work,School,Camping,Hunting,Hiking(Multicam)

PANS Backpack for Men Large Military Backpack Tactical Waterproof Backpack for Work,School,Camping,Hunting,Hiking(Multicam)

E-FAK Red Backpack

E-FAK Red Backpack for First Aid Kits Pack Emergency Treatment or Hiking, Backpacking, Camping, Travel, Car & Cycling. (RED #1, Medium)
Buy on Amazon

 

You don’t always need a bag that is designed to survive a nuclear winter.

Sometimes, going the minimalist route is the best idea.

The E-FAK is a small bag, and it’s primarily intended to hold medical equipment.

This isn’t the type of bag that you want to try to cram an entire survival kit into.

It’s an excellent accessory for larger packages, and it’s great for throwing in your car once you fill it up.

You can fit a fully equipped medical kit into the E-FAK, and you’ll still have room for a reflective blanket or small survival items.

Think of this bag as a high back up stash encase you get separated from your main kit.

To make it even better as a backup kit, it’s completely waterproof.

You won’t have to worry about your gear getting soaked if you accidentally leave the bag out in the rain, or if you can find shelter fast enough to escape wet conditions.

Even if all of the gear in your main bag gets destroyed, you can expect your E-FAK to be ready for duty.

​Pros
  • It’s small enough to be a great backup bag.

  • It’s extremely cheap.

  • It’s fully waterproof.

  • While it’s not the most durable bag, it is durable enough to be stowed away for long periods.

  • The bright red coloring makes it extremely visible.

Cons
  • While it’s a great bag, it doesn’t meet the majority of my requirements. I won’t call this the best bag, but it is a great backup.

Sale

E-FAK Red Backpack for First Aid Kits Pack Emergency Treatment or Hiking, Backpacking, Camping, Travel, Car & Cycling. (RED #1, Medium)

E-FAK Red Backpack for First Aid Kits Pack Emergency Treatment or Hiking, Backpacking, Camping, Travel, Car & Cycling. (RED #1, Medium)

TETON Sports Explorer 4000

TETON Sports Explorer 4000 Internal Frame Backpack; High-Performance Backpack for Backpacking, Hiking, Camping; Hunter Green
Buy on Amazon

 

The Explorer 4000 is often praised for the comfort that it provides, and the massive loads that it can handle.

However, it lacks a lot of the features that cheaper bags on this list have.

That being said, it’s great for people who need to carry a lot of weight for long distances.

It’s another internal frame backpack, and it has a 65-liter capacity.

On top of its inner frame, it features several adjustment straps to help you maximize your comfort while wearing it.

What keeps me from calling this the best bag around is its lack of features.

It’s the second most expensive bag on this list, and it doesn’t even have a water bottle holder.

That being said, it’s probably the most comfortable pack I’ve reviewed.

​Pros
  • It’s extremely comfortable.

  • The 65-liter capacity makes it great for people with a lot of gear.

  • It’s one of the only bags on this list that doesn’t look like a military bag.

Cons
  • It doesn’t have enough features to justify its price. I only recommend this to people who will have to carry a lot of gear very frequently.

TETON Sports Explorer 4000 Internal Frame Backpack; High-Performance Backpack for Backpacking, Hiking, Camping; Hunter Green

TETON Sports Explorer 4000 Internal Frame Backpack; High-Performance Backpack for Backpacking, Hiking, Camping; Hunter Green

Conclusion

If I were to pick one of these bags to recommend to everyone, it would have to be the PANS.

PANS Backpack for Men Large Military Backpack Tactical Waterproof Backpack for Work,School,Camping,Hunting,Hiking(Multicam)

PANS Backpack for Men Large Military Backpack Tactical Waterproof Backpack for Work,School,Camping,Hunting,Hiking(Multicam)

It’s not the most innovative bag, but it adjusts to how much is put into it.

It can take on the role of a small bag, and it can expand to carry a ridiculous amount of stuff.

The other bags are much more limited. On top of that, it’s comfortable and durable.

So, it matches all of my three main requirements, and it has a few of the bonuses I look for.

If you’ve gotten this far in the article, I’d like to thank you.

Don’t hesitate to share this with your friends, and I’d love to hear about your favorite bags in the comments.

The post 9 Best Backpacks For Survival appeared first on Prepared Survivalist.

How long does it take to freeze dry food? – How To Freeze Dry Food

How To Freeze Dry Food
I’ve touched on the concepts of hardtack and pemmican in the past, but let’s face it, no one wants to eat either of those foods every day.

They’re great for short-term survival, and they’re the perfect food for bushcrafters to supplement what they hunt or gather, but they don’t make a high-quality meal on their own.

That’s where freeze-drying comes in. It allows you to store real meals for an indefinite amount of time.

Freeze drying food can be done easily with your home freezer. Slice the food you want to freeze dry in the smallest slices (bigger slices take longer to freeze dry) you can manage and place them in a single layer on a rack. Place the rack in your freezer and wait at least week before you take it out. Check by taking out a single piece and let it thaw. If it turns black you need to see it in the freezer a bit longer. Read on for 2 more ways to freeze dry food.

Freeze drying food in 3 ways

You’ll have to acquire a few things before you start freeze-drying your own food.

I’m going to cover the three most efficient methods in this post.

I’ll include what you need for each method in separate sections after which I’ll explain how to freeze dry your food with each of the different methods.

1: Using a Freezer to dry freeze food

The freezer method is the cheapest method, and you probably have everything you need to do it sitting around your house.

It does take a long time, though. 

Key takeaway

Before we start talking about steps, I need to warn you about meat products.

It doesn’t matter which method you use. 

If you decide to dry meat, you must cook it right before you start drying it.

Freeze-drying raw meat can be dangerous, and you can’t let cooked meat sit around before drying it, either. 

below is a video for those who rather watch than read.

What you’ll need

1) A Freezer: This one should be obvious, but you’ll need a freezer. The one attached to your refrigerator is good enough.

2) A Rack: A simple cookie sheet will work for this, but it’ll take longer for the process to finish. I recommend that you get a perforated drying rack as bakers use. The increased airflow will dramatically reduce how long it takes to freeze-dry something.

3) Some Food: You can freeze dry just about anything. Meat, fruits, vegetables, and even ice cream can be freeze-dried. However, it can be difficult to dry most of those when you’re just starting out. I recommend that you try to dry something simple. Start with an apple or other small fruit.

4) A knife: This method works best if you cut the food into small pieces first. This is the slowest drying method of the three, and drying whole apples or steaks make the wait even worse.

5) Storage Bags: You won’t need these until the drying process is complete, but they’re essential. You’ll be able to take your dried food, seal it in a Ziplock, and throw it in your survival pack with ease.

step-by-step instructions

Prepare The Food

To begin, you’ll want to slice up whatever you’re going to dry.

Try to slice the food into the smallest pieces that you can manage.

Bigger pieces will take a lot longer to dry with this method, and you’re likely to end up thawing them way before they’re actually finished.

That effectively ruins all of your hard work. 

Place Them On A Rack

This step is straightforward.

All you have to do is throw your food slices onto a rack. 

Make sure that you lay the food out in a single layer, and don’t try to fill the tray too much. 

Freeze It

Now, you have to perform the actual drying process.

Put the tray of food slices into your freezer, and wait for at least a week.

Try not to open your fridge too much during this step.​

You want the temperature in the fridge to stay as cold as possible. 

After a week or two, you can start checking your food.

Take a single piece out of the freezer, and allow it to thaw.

If it turns black, then it’s not dried, and you need to let it sit in the freezer for a bit longer.

Make sure that you throw out the test sample. 

Store It

If you can pull your food out without it turning black, you’re ready to store it.

You don’t need a vacuum sealer for this step, but it will help you out a bit if you do have one. 

All you have to do is throw the food into storage bags, remove the air, and seal them up.

After that, you can throw the food into a survival pack or cabinet for later use.

2: using dry ice to dry freeze food

The dry ice method is a lot faster than just using your freezer, but the steps are entirely different.

You’ll want to remove all of the food in your freezer before you attempt this method.

The dry ice can destroy it.

What you’ll need

1) A Freezer: If you want to freeze-dry something, you need a freezer. That’s just common sense, folks. It is worth noting that you need to remove all of the food from your fridge before you use this method. It’ll get destroyed if you don’t.

2) A Large Container: You need a container that can hold twice the amount of food that you’re going to freeze-dry. This can be a foam cooler, Tupperware container, or anything else that will protect the food inside of it.

3) Dry Ice: You can pick this up at your local Walmart and most other major stores. It shouldn’t be too expensive. You want to wait to buy it, though. It’s not traditional ice, but it will evaporate over time. You really don’t want to buy it a week before you start freeze-drying.

4) Storage Bags: Unlike the freezer method, you’ll need these during the drying process for this method. They prevent the dry ice from getting on your food.

5) Food: You’ll need something to freeze. You don’t have to slice it into little bits with this method, though. The dry ice method is a lot faster than just using a freezer, and it won’t take much longer to freeze-dry larger pieces of food.

step-by-step instructions

Prep The Food

You don’t technically have to slice up your food for this method, but it’ll help a lot.

If you use a whole apple for this method, it can end up taking as long as the freezer method, and that is entirely against the point of using the dry ice in the first place.

All you have to do is throw your food into some Ziplocks, and throw the Ziplocks into a large container.

You’ll have an easier time with this method if you poke a few ventilation holes in the bowl.

It’ll allow the gas to escape correctly, and it’ll speed up the drying process.

Add The Dry Ice

Now, it’s time to start the drying process.

Put your container of food into your freezer, and cover it in dry ice. 

After you’ve done that, you just need to wait.

Your food should be adequately dried after all of the dry ice disappears.

That typically only takes between twenty-four hours and a week. 

To test your food, do the same thing that you would do with the freezer method.

Remove one piece of food, allow it to thaw, and see if it turns black.

Store It

Since your dried food is already bagged, all you have to do is remove the air.

Do this by hand, or use a vacuum sealer.

A vacuum isn’t necessary, but it is a great convenience.

Once you’ve done that, you can store the food for years.

3: using a machine to dry freeze food

This is the method that is the simplest to do.

It doesn’t require much preparation, and you don’t have to constantly worry about your food during the drying process.

However, it’s very expensive.

A typical freeze-dryer costs more than $1500.

here’s a video detailing the steps.

I’ve included written instructions below the video as well.

What you’ll need

1) Freeze-Dryer: This is the most expensive method you can use, and that’s because of this requirement. A freeze-dryer is faster than using dry ice, but a typical unit costs more than $1500, and it can take quite a bit of time to earn back your investment in the form of freeze-dried food. If you’re going to invest in one of these, make sure you buy a good one.

2) Storage Bags: After your food is frozen, you’ll need to have some freezer bags or Ziplocks around to store the food in.

3) Food: This is the same as the other methods. If you haven’t freeze-dried anything before, start off with fruit. The high water content will make the process a lot easier.

step-by-step instructions

Prep The Food

There isn’t much prep to do with this method.

Cutting your food into small pieces will make it dry out faster, but it’s not necessary.

If you’re drying meat, you need to cook it right before you put it in the freeze-dryer. That’s about it.

Dry It

Due to the simple nature of freeze-dryers, this step is a lot easier too.

All you have to do is sit the food on one of the shelves inside of your dryer, close the door, and wait. 

Store It

You store your dried food just like you did for the other two methods.

Throw it in a bag, remove the air, and put it in a safe place.

How To Use Freeze-Dried Food

Using freeze-dried food is a little different than throwing together a typical meal, but it isn’t difficult.

Open It Up

This sounds self-explanatory, but the steps are different depending on what type of storage bag you used.

A regular freezer bag will be effortless to open. 

You just unzip it like you would any other time.

Vacuum-sealed bags can be a bit more difficult.

They’re usually too thick to rip open with ease, and they’re mechanically sealed most of the time.

However, you’re a prepper.

Whip your knife out, and cut it open.

Give It A Little Water

Freeze-drying turns your food into hard chunks, and those chunks are barely edible.

Some foods will stay soft enough to eat while dry, but eating them that way can actually dehydrate you.

Just like eating snow in a survival situation can.

It’s not a huge concern, but it’s best not to take chances in a survival situation.

To reconstitute your dried foods, you have to add boiling water.

If you have access to a microwave, you can use cold water, and boil it all together in the microwave.

If shouldn’t take long to reconstitute your food.

All you really need to do is allow it to sit in the boiling water long enough to make it plump and juicy.

If you’re preparing something like soup, you’ll want to wait until it’s at a normal eating temperature before you stop boiling it.

Eat It

Do you know how to eat regular food?

Then you know how to eat freeze-dried food.

It should taste almost precisely as it would freshly prepared, and it’ll have all of its natural nutrients intact.

With most foods, you can wait up to 25 years before you have to eat it or throw it out.

If you have freeze-dried fruits, you’ll want to eat them within 2 years.

They don’t tend to last as long as more durable foods.

Conclusion

Freeze-drying your food is a great way to stay nourished during a survival situation. 

It preserves the natural nutrients in the food, and it tends to preserve the flavor as if you had just eaten it usually.

In short, it’s one of the best ways to keep yourself from having to soak hardtack and pemmican all of the time, and it’s a lot healthier.

If you’ve made it this far, I’d like to thank you, and I’d love to hear anything that you have to say in the comments.

Freeze-drying food is growing in popularity, but there are still people out there that don’t know what it does.

If you know anyone like that, you might want to share this with them.

The post How To Freeze Dry Food appeared first on Prepared Survivalist.

How long can water be stored before it goes bad? – How To Store Water Long-Term And What To Avoid

How To Store Water Long-Term And What To Avoid
Food, shelter, and water are the three main items that every survivor needs.

Between the three, shelter is typically the first that is necessary to find due to how fast adverse weather conditions can kill you.

However, water is a close second.

The human body can go weeks without food, but it can can only go days without water.

In really bad conditions, you might not even make it that long without water.

Storing water can be easily done in plastic containers like Waterbricks. Be sure to use food grade plastics and to keep them out of the sun. keep in mind that a basic 30-day water supply for a family of 4 requires a minimum of 60 gallons of water. Lastly, rotate your water supply each year as the containers we use to store water slowly contaminate the water. Read on for more practical tips and essential questions to ask yourself before you start to store water.

How Not To Store Water

Water doesn’t actually expire. It does slowly absorb substances found in its packaging, though.

Commercially bottled water is typically safe to drink after long-term storage.

It might pick up a funky smell or taste, but it’s unlikely to become contaminated to the point that it’s lethal to drink.

However, most preppers probably aren’t running their own commercial bottling plants, and I think it’s safe to say that a lot are probably using unsafe storage methods.

That’s why I wrote this section. I’m going to go over the absolute worst ways that you can store your water.

If you know what causes water to expire, then you can prevent it from happening. 

Don’t Use Random Containers

If you’re storing water that you plan to drink, you have to use a food-grade container.

If a manufacturer doesn’t expect you to store a bunch of water or food in their product, they probably aren’t going to take the extra precautions necessary to make it safe for food and water storage. 

Don’t Re-Use Containers

It may be tempting to take your favorite tea jug, and re-purpose it for long-term water storage.

I highly suggest that you refrain from doing that, though.

Even if you’ve scrubbed the heck out of a used container, there is still a chance that microscopic organisms and other contaminates are inside of it.

If you’re going to store water, use a brand new container. 

Never Use Cardboard

Cardboard is made from paper, clay, and a whole host of other materials.

Cardboard containers are fine for packing up your stuff, but they’re not good for long-term water storage.

They don’t seal out contaminates or vermin and insects, and they deteriorate very easily. 

Don’t Use Random Metal Containers

Food-grade containers made from stainless steel are fine, but you do not want to use anything else to store your water for long periods of time.

If the metal isn’t stainless, it’ll corrode.

Copper and other soft metals will leech contaminates into the water, and regular steel will rust very quickly.

Rust-filled water can cause some extremely dangerous illnesses.

That’s if they don’t develop a massive hole, and spill your entire stockpile before you ever get to drink it. 

Don’t Store It In The Heat Or Sunlight

Sunlight can be utilized to purify water in a survival situation, but it can ruin water over time.

If water is kept in plastic bottles, the sunlight degrades those bottles, and releases chemicals into the water that they hold.

If you’re going to store water, it’s much better to keep it in a cool and dark place. 

Don’t Store It In A Waste Heap

You don’t have to store your water in an airtight vault, but you do have to keep it away from possible contaminates.

In general, it’s perfectly fine to store your water in your basement or spare room.

However, you never want to store your water stockpile in an area that is exposed to contaminates.

Keep your water away from vermin, insects, chemicals, and bio-hazards because most safe containers can allow small particulates to enter them over time. 

How To Store Water The Right Way

Storing water the right way requires you to think about a couple of things first.

You can’t just start hoarding water in bulk a expect to be good for a coming disaster.

In the next section I’ll show you a couple of important questions that need answering before you start storing water, as well as what containers to use to store water the right way.

questions to ask when your starting to store water

There are a number of questions that I suggest you ask yourself before you start storing water.

Water may be a natural resource, and it may be easily accessible to most people, but it does require a hefty investment to store large amounts long-term. 

Answer the next couple of questions and you’re ready to start storing water.

How Many People Do You Have To Take Care Of?

Before you start storing water, you need to know how many people will be drinking from your stockpile in an emergency. 

The average person needs around half of a gallon of water everyday.

That’s just for drinking, and it doesn’t include the water necessary for bathing and cooking.

You need to take that into account when you start setting up your stockpile.

If you have four people in your family, you’ll need to have two gallons of water every single day.

A basic 30-day supply will require a minimum of 60 gallons of water.

That requires a lot of storage space, and the price of storing all of that water is a lot higher.

I suggest that you prepare accordingly. 

What Is Your Local Water Supply Like?

You may be able to stockpile less water if you have easy access to water in your local area.

For instance, if you live next to a relatively clean river, you won’t need to store such large amounts of water.

You can just store enough to last while you purify water from a local source.

If you live in the desert, you’ll have a harder time doing that, and you’ll need to store a lot more water than other people. 

How Much Space Do You Have?

A lot of prepping sites claim that everyone should store enough water to last a pre-determined amount of time.

That sounds nice, but it’s not practical for a lot of people.

If you live in an apartment, a month’s supply of water might require half of your living space.

Keep in mind how much room you have, and only store what you can reasonably make room for. 

What’s Your Budget Like?

It may seem like a great idea to buy a bunch of stainless steel drums, and store as much water as possible. 

That’s extremely expensive to do, though.

You shouldn’t sacrifice your financial stability to store water just encase something bad happens.

That’s a good way to force yourself into a survival situation because you’re broke and behind on paying your bills.

If you can only afford to store a couple dozen gallons of water in plastic containers, then that’s all you should do.

If you do have the resources and ability to store large amounts of water in bulletproof containers, it won’t hurt you to do so.

It’ll put you at an advantage in a survival situation.

Just don’t push yourself to reach that level of preparedness when you can’t afford to do so. 

What’s Your Local Rainfall Like?

You have to take rainfall into consideration for two reasons.

It can save you time and money if you live in a very rainy area.

A lot of rainfall means that you can easily store less water, and you can rely on rain water to supplement your stockpile.

However, a lack of rainfall in your area can make it impossible to store large amounts of water.

Not because you won’t be able to set up rain traps, but because local laws can legally prevent you from doing so.

That’s not a problem for most people, but you definitely want to check your local laws. That’s especially true if you live in a dry area. 

Do You Have Pets?

A lot of preppers forget their pets while they’re prepping, and I couldn’t be more against that.

Your pets are a part of your family, and you have to consider their needs when you’re prepping for a disaster.

That means you’ll need to consider their water needs, too.

Normal house pets don’t require much more than each human does.

If you have horses or other large animals, you’ll have to plan accordingly.

They’re still your responsibility in an emergency. 

Does Anyone Have A Medical Condition That Requires More Water?

Some people require more water due to medical conditions.

It’s not their choice, and they can’t help it.

If that’s the case for someone in your family, you’ll want to adjust your water storage to accommodate their needs. 

How Active Are You Going To Be?

Bugging-in is a lot easier than bugging-out in terms of physical stress.

If your plan is to sit around your house until the worst of a situation is over, you won’t need to consume a lot of water.

If you plan on taking a 4-day trek into the wilderness, you have to consider the fact that you’ll get dehydrated a lot faster.

That goes for everyone coming with you, too.

Even if you’re bugging-in, you may have a plan that requires a lot of physical activity.

This is especially true for rural preppers because they’ll have to maintain their land regardless of what’s going on. That extra activity requires extra water. 

What’s Your Climate?

If you live in the snowy areas of Alaska, you won’t naturally burn through as much water as someone living in Arizona.

You just won’t sweat as much of it out while resting.

If you live in a hot environment, you’ll want to store a lot more water because it’s going to be your main method for cooling off in the heat.

Remember that air conditioning might not be an option in a survival situation. 

Plastic Containers

Plastic containers are the undisputed champion of water storage.

They’re cheap, reliable, and lightweight.

You may be afraid that they’ll release chemicals into the water over time, but that’s why you rotate your water, and it’s nowhere near as bad as what the news makes it out to be.

There are several other options if you absolutely refuse to trust plastic bottles. 

Collapsible Containers

Collapsible containers are most often made of plastic.

So, they have the same pros and cons, but they’re a lot easier to store while empty. 

You can get them from any camping store or you can find them here.

Waterbricks

Waterbrick is the brand name of a relatively new storage solution. 

You can find generic models, but I can’t vouch for the quality of any generic options out there.

A Waterbrick is a specially designed storage container that is made from a very thick polymer. 

Every Waterbrick is stackable, and they make it easy to store large amounts of water in smaller spaces. 

They’re also more durable than standard jugs. 

You’ll find a single unit here and a 8-pack can be found here. Both are available through amazon from the manufacturer

30-Gallon Barrel

30-gallon barrels are easy to store, and they provide enough water for two people to survive 2 weeks.

That’s including enough water for very minor hygiene applications.

These are typically more expensive than plastic jugs, but they aren’t too bad, and they’re fairly easy for anyone to store effectively.

You can also properly clean them for future uses. 

500-Gallon Barrel

500-gallon water tanks are a lot harder for the average person to store properly, but they provide enough water for a small family to survive most realistic survival situations.

Most models are built to be kept outside.

So, they’re typically protected from UV rays, and they usually employ some sort of algae deterrent. 

Glass Containers

Glass containers can be great for water storage, but you want to make sure that they’re able to be sealed, and that they haven’t been used with non-food substances. 

If a glass container doesn’t seal when closed, it allows contaminates to enter the water.

If it has ever housed non-food substances, those substances might still linger in the container.

Glass obviously doesn’t release chemicals into your water, but it’s a lot easier to break.

So, you have to decide what’s more important to you and your prepping plans.

Metal Containers

Using any type of metal besides stainless steel is going to leave you with a bunch of tainted water.

Even stainless steel isn’t safe if it’s not food-grade.

It’s also important to make sure that any metal containers you use can be properly sealed. 

Water Bladders

Water bladders benefit from their ability to compress, but they aren’t nearly as durable as rigid containers.

The portability of bladders makes them great for grabbing as you bug-out, but one mistake can easily end up destroying them.

Large Water Tanks

Large water tanks obviously allow you to store ridiculous amounts of water in a single container, and they take up less room fifty smaller jugs.

However, you’re not going to take that water with you if you have to leave.

You also have to consider the fact that a single contamination can destroy your entire water supply when you only use a large tank. 

Water Wells

A good well is one of the best ways to store safe drinking water.

It can be expensive to set one up, but you won’t have rotate your water and clean tons of containers on a regular basis.​

If you’re savvy, you can dig your own well with ease. 

Other Things To Consider

As I said earlier, each person needs a minimum of half a gallon of water per day.

However, that’s only if no one cleans themselves, cooks, washes their hands, or brushes their teeth.

That’s right, you also have to consider how much water each person needs for hygiene purposes and cooking.

While it’s possible to only store half a gallon of water per person, you’ll actually want to store an entire gallon per person for everyday that you’re preparing for.

I personally recommend buying a 30-gallon barrel, and then supplementing the barrel with cheaper containers.

It’s preferable to prepare for an entire month without normal water access, but it’s okay to store less if it’s all you can handle.

Some water is better than no water. 

Rotating Your Water Supply

You should rotate your water supply once per year.

Water doesn’t naturally expire, but the containers we use do allow contaminates to enter in small amounts.

Over time, those contaminates add up, and the water becomes unsuitable for consumption.

You can still use it to bathe or clean stuff with, but don’t drink it.

To rotate your water supply, remove all of the water from your storage containers, and thoroughly clean your containers with bleach water.

Ensure that they are completely free of old water and bleach before re-filling them. 

Purifying Your Water

There are many different methods for purifying your water.

If you buy your water supply commercially, it’s not typically necessary.

If you’re acquiring your water from a natural resource, you will have to employ some sort of purification method to make it safe for consumption. 

Pump Filter

A pump filter cleans water as it is pumped into a storage container.

It’s extremely similar what is used for fish tanks and swimming pools, but go a step further and make the water suitable for drinking.

This is a great way to purify water for large containers, but it’s not something that you want to use if you’re storing all of your water in 1-gallon containers.

Gravity Filter

Gravity filters are fairly simple.

Water enters from the top of the filter, and gravity pulls the water through many layers of filtration materials.

When the water exits through the bottom, it’s completely safe to drink.

This is another option that is best used for larger storage containers. 

Iodine Tablets

Iodine tablets are one of the easiest ways to purify small amounts of water. 

All you have to do is read the instructions, put the recommended amount of Iodine tablets into your water, and wait a while. 

If you’re storing water in individual containers, this is one of the best ways to purify it.

Keep in mind that it doesn’t remove particulates, though.

You’ll still have to filter the water if you got it from a natural source. 

Warning: Iodine tablets have lost favor with prepper because of their danger to people with thyroid conditions.

Use them with care.

Boiling Water

Boiling water is pretty much free to do, but it’s time consuming.

I recommend boiling your water during a survival situation, but you have way better options at your disposal during times of peace.

There’s not much to explain about boiling water.

You put it in a steel container, put it over a fire, and wait til it bubbles for a while. 

Purification Packets

Purification packets are like iodine tablets on steroids. 

They’re designed specifically for purifying water, and they do their job well.

The purification process is usually the same as the iodine method, too.

The only difference is that purification packets are a little more expensive. 

Final Words

Did you like the tutorial and survival tips?

If so, I hope that you learned something from it, and I hope that you fix any issues with your water storage after reading this.

Storing water is crucial to prepping properly, but there is a right way to do it, and there is a wrong way to do it.

If you do it the wrong way, you can easily end up with a serious illness, and that can kill you very quickly in a survival situation.

As always, I would love to hear what you have to say in the comments, and I hope that you’ll consider sharing this with your friends and family.

The post How To Store Water Long-Term And What To Avoid appeared first on Prepared Survivalist.

What is the most powerful handheld ham radio? – 9 Best HAM Radios For Preppers

9 Best HAM Radios For Preppers
In an emergency, you might not have your cellphone or social media to stay in contact with your loved ones and emergency services.

Depending on the severity of the situation, your conventional means of communication might become useless paperweights.

That’s where HAM radios come in.

HAM radios are amateur radios that use the radio frequency spectrum to communicate.

They don’t rely on service providers and complex public networks to communicate with each other. 

They’re essentially walkie-talkies on steroids, and they’re a lot more reliable in an emergency.

Users are heavily regulated for a number of reasons, but a licensed HAM radio enthusiast can use their radio as a hobby, emergency communication device, and as a way to listen to emergency information that might not be available via traditional means. 

In fact, if you check out my guide to Faraday cages, you can combine a HAM radio with one to have the most reliable communication system possible. 

Today, I’m going to teach you a little bit about HAM radios by focusing on the emergency uses of HAM radio communication, and I’ll show you some of the best HAM radios you can throw in your survival kit. 

Licensing Requirements

As I said, HAM radio users are regulated pretty heavily.

You’ll need a license to be able to legally operate one, and there are a few different licenses that you can pursue.

Each type of license covers a different level of HAM radio usage.

This is mostly because of the fact that HAM radios can reach beyond our U.S. borders, and it’s important that users conduct themselves in an appropriate manner.

They can also be used for illegal activity, and ensuring that all HAM users are licensed and regulated helps to prevent that from happening. 

The Technician License

The Technician’s license is the first license that you’ll have to get to start operating a HAM radio.

It gives you basic privileges, and it allows you to operate your radio on any frequency over 50-MHz.

However, you’ll have limited privileges when it comes to transmitting your voice or using Morse code on below 30-MHz.

This license is best for people who just want to listen to emergency information or communicate casually. 

The General License

A General license removes nearly all of the limitations that come with a Technician’s license.

In fact, it allows you to do just about everything besides access a few high-frequency bands.

Obviously, that makes this the license that is most useful for preppers because of how much freedom it gives, but it’s a bit harder to get, and it’s not necessary for basic use. 

The Amateur Extra License

The Amateur Extra license is for serious HAM enthusiasts.

It gives you the ability to access every frequency, and it’s the most difficult license to attain.

It’s not really necessary for preppers to attain an Amateur Extra license, but it’s an option if you really enjoy HAM radio. 

Handheld VS Mobile VS Base Units

There are three different categories that HAM radios fall into.

Each one is good for a different use, and each one has its own pros and cons. 

Handheld

Handheld units are exactly what they sound like.

They look like high-tech walkie-talkies, and they function in a similar way.

Handheld HAM radios are typically a lot cheaper than larger units, and they’re convenient for when you may need to communicate while you’re away from home.

However, they’re not perfect for every use.

Handheld radios are powered by batteries, and that greatly reduces their power output.

That can make it difficult to communicate over long distances, and that might be necessary in an emergency.

They’re also difficult to use in a car.

In order to keep from experiencing a lot of issues such as batteries dying and being distracted, you’ll have to use several aftermarket accessories. 

Mobile/Base

Mobile and base units have the same pros and cons.

The only difference between the two is that one is mounted in a vehicle, and the other is made for at-home use.

These units have a lot more power output than handheld units, and they’re a lot easier to hear due to their advanced audio systems.

They also broadcast their signal at full power for the duration of the time that they’re on.

You don’t have to worry about batteries.

The downside to using a mobile or base unit is that you’ll need an antenna.

Mobile units will typically add an abnormally large antenna to the top of your vehicle, and base units can require towering masses of metal on your roof or in your yard.

So, you obviously have to commit to these units a little more than you do handhelds. 

What’s Your Goal?

You can save money and time by understanding what you want a HAM radio for before you buy one.

The licenses get more expensive as you progress, and larger base units require a much larger financial investment.

If you just want to listen to emergency broadcasts or contact your licensed family members, you can get by with a handheld radio and a Technician license.

If you want to contact a large variety of people and really delve into HAM radio communication, you’ll need to invest more money and time into it.

I personally don’t think you need any more than the basics for survival purposes, but HAM radio is a popular hobby for a reason.

You might end up wanting to go beyond the basics at some point. 

If you can’t afford to install a giant antenna and base radio, you shouldn’t try to.

It’s overkill for most survival needs, and it can set you back quite a bit financially.

I suggest creating a budget before you buy a radio, and try to stick to that budget when you start shopping.

You don’t need much to properly communicate in a survival situation. 

Bands

Different licenses grant you access to different frequencies, and some radios aren’t strong enough to access certain frequencies.

Before you buy a radio, you need to understand what band you’ll need access to for your desired use. 

Short-Range Emergency Communication

Short-range communication doesn’t require a lot with HAM radio technology.

A Technician license with let you use any band over 50-MHz, and that’s all you really need for this type of communication. 

Home HF Communication

This type of communication will most likely require you to get a General license.

A Technician license gives you access to some high-frequency stations, but you’ll be limited in what you can do with it. 

For home HF communication, you’ll want access to UHF and HF bands. 

Local/Regional Communication

This is where you’ll start to need an Amateur Extra license to broadcast on higher frequencies.

A General license will do the trick in a lot of cases, though. 

Portable Operating

If you’re using a handheld unit, you’ll be able to access UHF and VHF bands on the go.

If you want to access HF bands, you’ll need to install a mobile base unit in your vehicle, and you’ll want to pursue more advanced licenses for unlimited band access. 

Buying your first HAM radio

All the information above can be a lot to take in at first. 

The video below has some extra information that you can use when you want to buy your first HAM radio. 

HAM Radio Reviews

I’ve reviewed the best HAM radios available, and I’ve made those reviews available in the following sections.

They’re divided into the three main categories of HAM radios, and there’s a few options in each category. 

Handheld

BaoFeng BF-F8HP

BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen) 8-Watt Dual Band Two-Way Radio (136-174MHz VHF & 400-520MHz UHF) Includes Full Kit with Large Battery
Buy on Amazon

 

This is an upgraded version of the popular UV-5R 2nd Gen from BaoFeng.

It has a battery that lasts a lot longer than the previous model, and it has a power output rating of 8 watts.

That’s a fairly good amount of power for a handheld, and the battery life makes it more reliable for survival.

However, It’s still a handheld unit, and you shouldn’t expect it to do much more than other handheld units.

I really like the shell on this unit. Communication is key in a survival situation, and a lot of handheld HAM radios are pretty easy to break.

The shell on this one is a lot stronger, and it can handle being banged around quite a bit. It also protects the built-in high-gain antenna. 

​Pros
  • Great shell

  • Long battery life

  • High-gain antenna

  • 8 watts of output

Cons
  • Not good for long-distance communication

  • Limited band access

BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen) 8-Watt Dual Band Two-Way Radio (136-174MHz VHF & 400-520MHz UHF) Includes Full Kit with Large Battery

BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen) 8-Watt Dual Band Two-Way Radio (136-174MHz VHF & 400-520MHz UHF) Includes Full Kit with Large Battery

WouXun KG-UV9D

WouXun KG-UV9D Plus Two-Way Radio Dual-Band Walkie Talkie, 7 Bands Included Air Band, 136-174MHz/400-512MHz with Headset USB Programming Cable
Buy on Amazon

 

The WouXun KG-UV9D is a walk-talkie type of radio, and it functions very similarly.

However, it can pick up seven different bands, and it can memorize up to 999 channels.

It also has better speakers than the majority of handheld HAM radios, and it’s programmable if you plug it into your computer. 

​Pros
  • Lot of band access

  • Channel memory is high

  • Great speakers

  • 2000Mah battery for long battery life

Cons
  • Shell isn’t as durable

  • Very high price

WouXun KG-UV9D Plus Two-Way Radio Dual-Band Walkie Talkie, 7 Bands Included Air Band, 136-174MHz/400-512MHz with Headset USB Programming Cable

WouXun KG-UV9D Plus Two-Way Radio Dual-Band Walkie Talkie, 7 Bands Included Air Band, 136-174MHz/400-512MHz with Headset USB Programming Cable

Kenwood Original TH-D74A

Kenwood Original TH-D74A 144/220/430 MHz Triband with Ultimate in APRS and D-Star Performance (Digital) Handheld Transceiver - 5W
Buy on Amazon

 

This Kenwood is a really nice radio for people who are serious about getting into HAM radio.

 It’s extremely pricey, but it features IF filtering, APRS certification, and it has GPS features.

It can also work well for HAM enthusiasts that have the license necessary for more long-range communication.

However, it’s very pricey, and I only recommend it if you’re very serious about using it.

​Pros
  • GPS

  • Auto clock

  • APRS certified

  • Amateur radio compliant

  • IF filtering for clear communication

Cons
  • It’s very expensive. The features are worth it for more advanced HAM enthusiasts, but beginners should go with a cheaper option.

Kenwood Original TH-D74A 144/220/430 MHz Triband with Ultimate in APRS and D-Star Performance (Digital) Handheld Transceiver - 5W

Kenwood Original TH-D74A 144/220/430 MHz Triband with Ultimate in APRS and D-Star Performance (Digital) Handheld Transceiver – 5W

Mobile

ICOM 2300H

ICOM 2300H 05 144MHz Amateur Radio
Buy on Amazon

 

The ICOM 2300H packs plenty of power into a small package.

It’s small enough to be moved from your vehicle to your home with ease, and it has 65 watts of power output that doesn’t change with constant use.

What I like the most about the 2300H is its user-friendly interface.

It doesn’t have any complicated keypads or text-style buttons.

It uses three knobs, a few buttons, and a simple digital display.

That limits the functionality of the unit when its compared to more robust units, but it makes it easier for beginners to get the hang of. 

​Pros
  • User-friendly interface

  • Low price

  • 65 watts

  • Small size

Cons
  • While it’s good for beginners, the limited functionality might make it less useful for more advanced users. 

  • Doesn’t cover all bands

Sale

ICOM 2300H 05 144MHz Amateur Radio

ICOM 2300H 05 144MHz Amateur Radio

TYT MD-9600

TYT MD-9600 GPS Digital/FM Analog Dual Band DMR Mobile Transceiver 50-Watt VHF/UHF Car Truck Amateur Radio HAM Two Way Radio
Buy on Amazon

 

This is the third generation of TYT HAM radios, and it’s a fairly advanced radio.

It features newly upgraded speakers, keypad lights, and the ability to be programmed via a home computer.

I personally don’t recommend this radio to new users because it’s a little difficult to set up.

If you’re willing to deal with a long setup process, it’s a great radio, and it’ll last for a very long time.

​Pros
  • Long lifespan

  • Advanced radio capabilities

  • FCC certified

  • Accesses most bands

  • Weighs less than 3 pounds

Cons
  • The difficult setup process is a bit much for some users

  • It’s twice the price of the ICOM, and it doesn’t offer everything you need

TYT MD-9600 GPS Digital/FM Analog Dual Band DMR Mobile Transceiver 50-Watt VHF/UHF Car Truck Amateur Radio HAM Two Way Radio

TYT MD-9600 GPS Digital/FM Analog Dual Band DMR Mobile Transceiver 50-Watt VHF/UHF Car Truck Amateur Radio HAM Two Way Radio

BTECH Mobile

BTECH Mobile UV-50X2 50 Watt Dual Band Base, Mobile Radio: 136-174mhz (VHF) 400-520mhz (UHF) Amateur (Ham)
Buy on Amazon

 

The BTECH Mobile has a lot of automatic features that make it easier for beginners to use properly.

It’s not the most powerful unit, but it is one of the easiest to use, and I recommend it for beginners.

It can automatically scan for new channels, power off, and set its audio gain settings. 

​Pros
  • Affordable

  • User-friendly

  • Automatic features make life easy

Cons
  • It’s not as powerful as other mobile units. It only has a 50-watt power output. That’s still not bad, though.

BTECH Mobile UV-50X2 50 Watt Dual Band Base, Mobile Radio: 136-174mhz (VHF) 400-520mhz (UHF) Amateur (Ham)

BTECH Mobile UV-50X2 50 Watt Dual Band Base, Mobile Radio: 136-174mhz (VHF) 400-520mhz (UHF) Amateur (Ham)

Original Yaesu

FT-2980R FT-2980 Original Yaesu 144 MHz Single Band Mobile Transceiver 80 Watts - 3 Year Manufacturer Warranty
Buy on Amazon

 

This Yaesu model is built to last.

It features an over-sized heatsink that keeps you from needing to install a cooling fan in your vehicle, and it has all of the features you need for amateur radio.

It’s also the most powerful unit that I’ve reviewed in this category with its massive 80-watt power output.

It’s not able to do everything that the most advanced mobile units can, but it can do enough to keep the majority of HAM operators happy. 

​Pros
  • Large heatsink

  • Lots of output

  • Large display

  • User-friendly keypad

Cons
  • It’s the cheapest mobile unit I’ve reviewed, but that also means it doesn’t have a lot of features. 

FT-2980R FT-2980 Original Yaesu 144 MHz Single Band Mobile Transceiver 80 Watts - 3 Year Manufacturer Warranty

FT-2980R FT-2980 Original Yaesu 144 MHz Single Band Mobile Transceiver 80 Watts – 3 Year Manufacturer Warranty

Base

Yaesu Original FT-450D

Yaesu Original FT-450D HF/50MHz Compact Amateur Base Transceiver - 100 Watts, IF DSP Technology
Buy on Amazon

 

Out of the two base units that I reviewed, this is the least expensive, and it’s still not cheap.

It costs a little under $800, but it packs a ton of power.

It can pick up all shortwave signals, and it can also pull in AM broadcasts if you enjoy listening to that. 

​Pros
  • 100 watts of continuous output

  • Can pick up nearly any frequency

  • Great for shortwave and AM

  • IF DSP ability

Cons
  • It’s a bit pricey for a beginner unit

  • The interface is confusing for a lot of users

Yaesu Original FT-450D HF/50MHz Compact Amateur Base Transceiver - 100 Watts, IF DSP Technology

Yaesu Original FT-450D HF/50MHz Compact Amateur Base Transceiver – 100 Watts, IF DSP Technology

Yaesu Original FT-911A

Yaesu Original FT-991A HF/50/140/430 MHz All Mode'Field Gear' Transceiver - 100 Watts (50 Watts on 140/430MHz) - 3 Year Warranty
Buy on Amazon

 

The FT-911A can easily satisfy the pickiest of HAM radio users.

It’s basically an upgraded version of the other base unit I reviewed, and it has a price tag that matches its upgraded features.

It features a fully colored display, and it can access any band that you need it to.

It can also match the 100-watt power output of the previous unit. 

​Pros
  • Great display

  • Full access to any band

  • 100-watt output

  • Upgrades every feature of the previous model

Cons
  • I can’t recommend this to new users. It costs nearly $1500, and a lot of the features are aimed at more advanced users. If you have the skills and license necessary to use the more advanced features, it’s great. Otherwise, you need to go with the other option that I reviewed. 

Yaesu Original FT-991A HF/50/140/430 MHz All Mode'Field Gear' Transceiver - 100 Watts (50 Watts on 140/430MHz) - 3 Year Warranty

Yaesu Original FT-991A HF/50/140/430 MHz All Mode”Field Gear” Transceiver – 100 Watts (50 Watts on 140/430MHz) – 3 Year Warranty

Final Thoughts

The Original Yaesu mobile radio that I reviewed is the clear winner among all of these options.

FT-2980R FT-2980 Original Yaesu 144 MHz Single Band Mobile Transceiver 80 Watts - 3 Year Manufacturer Warranty

FT-2980R FT-2980 Original Yaesu 144 MHz Single Band Mobile Transceiver 80 Watts – 3 Year Manufacturer Warranty

It may not be enough to satisfy more advanced users, but it has plenty of features and power output for preppers to use reliably.

In fact, the more simplistic design of it can make it a lot easier for preppers to use.

I hope that you liked this article, and I hope you’ve learned a little bit about HAM radios.

If you did, I’d love read your comments, and I hope that you share it with your friends. 

The post 9 Best HAM Radios For Preppers appeared first on Prepared Survivalist.

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