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Get Prepped Newsletter: August 19, 2011

This week we will be focusing on acquiring the right tools to help you survive.


Recently, someone asked me why I spend my free time writing about preparedness. I thought to myself, “obviously they had not been watching the news recently.” I explained that I advocate being prepared because emergencies happen everyday to normal individuals, just like us. The emergencies that many find themselves in could have been less destructive if preparedness had been more of a priority, or even an option. The most important tool I can provide through this website is empowerment through knowledge and preparedness tips, for myself and others. Education, family-based preparedness, and survival kits may make all the difference when life presents you with a disaster.

We are 17-weeks in to the 52-Weeks to Preparedness series getting you prepared for life’s unexpected disasters. This week we will be expanding on the topic discussed in week-2: tools for home emergencies. Now, we will focus on acquiring the right tools to help you survive.

If you have not already done so, you can view previous newsletters to learn from, review or to share with others. The Get Prepped newsletter was mentioned on Radio Free Redoubt last week by it’s host, John Jacob Schmidt. His broadcasts and news commentary are incredibly insightful and I am very appreciative of the shout out. Our community is spreading and so is preparedness! When you get some time, check out his radio show – its great.

Don’t forget to see what we’re up to on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. I like to interact with fellow preppers, and Facebook and Twitter are ways that I can connect with you personally. While you are at it, share the prepared love. Invite your friends and family to read Ready Nutrition and help build our community.


Tess Pennington


Week 17 of 52: Survival Tools

Preparedness requires the ability to fall back on a foundation of tools and supplies you can count on for survival. Our ancient ancestors depended on tools for survival, and we are no different. Having the right survival tools on hand for when unexpected emergencies occur can help assist you in getting your basic needs met, catch food, communicate with emergency officials, and find your way in the dark.

Good, quality tools are a sound investment that can last a lifetime if properly cared for. The ten tools listed below are the most important survival tools that should be in your 72-hour bags or survival bags. Practice using these tools regularly so that you know their capability and their strength.

The Top 10 Survival Tools For Your Survival Bags

  1. Water Treatment: We simply cannot live without water. The more energy you consume, the more water your body will need. Having a means to purify water in a survival situation will help keep you hydrated, your brain functioning properly and your focus on survival. In addition, if you sustain an injury, water can be poured over the wound for cleaning.
  2. Compass and Map: Knowing which direction you are headed and where you need to be are essential. Keep maps of your surrounding area at home (in case you have to evacuate by foot), in your car and in your survival bags.
  3. Fire Starter, flint bars, matches or lighter: Having a way to produce fire can help you cook food and keep warm and prevent hypothermia.
  4. First Aid Kit: You do not want to be caught in a survival situation without a first aid kit. This kit assists in injury treatment and helps prevent infections from perpetuating.
  5. Mirror: Used for signaling, checking face for wounds, looking at your back for wounds/ticks, and can be used to start fire.
  6. Rope: This can be used for making snares or assisting in making other traps lashing branches together to build a shelter, assisting in first aid (splints, tourniquets, slings), or to make survival tools such as spears.
  7. Survival Blanket or Bivvy: A bivvy or survival blanket can be used as an emergency shelter, sleeping bag or can be an extra layer added to your existing sleeping bag if you are expecting a cold night.
  8. Multi-tool: Used for notching or more complex wood working skills, opening cans, altering equipment, medical uses, if snare wire is around wire cutters can cut it.
  9. Lighting: Lanterns, light sticks, flashlights, and head lamps can help you find your way if in the dark. LEDs, solar and hand crank will get you the most for your money.
  10. Survival Knife: Survival knives should be made of good quality steel. Invest in one you can rely on. Make sure it is well made, is strong enough for rough field use, and is the best you can afford.

The bottom line is, your preparedness tools are your life line. The tools you choose should ones that you can depend on to assist in meeting your basic survival needs. Without them, you could be ill-equipped in a survival situation.

Preps To Buy:

  • Candles or hurricane lamps
  • Matches (regular and water-proof)
  • Batteries (an assortment of sizes)
  • Collapsible Shovel or trowel
  • Water Treatment (purification tablets, chlorine granuals, water filtration system)
  • Compass and Map
  • Fire Starter
  • First Aid Kit
  • Mirror
  • Duct Tape
  • Rope
  • Signal Flare or flashing beacon
  • Survival Blanket or Bivvy
  • Multi-tool
  • Lighting (lantern, light sticks, flashlights, head lamps)
  • Survival Knife (If you have not already purchased one)

Action Items:

1. Prepare a survival kit or 72-hour bag with your survival tools included. Have this ready in case you have to make a quick evacuation.

2. Create a personal support network of neighbors and friends who can help you and your family if you are separated or unable to get home.

3. Give copies of the following lists to your network: emergency information list, contact information for various times of day.

4. Learn about sheltering-in-place and what items you may need to do so. Make a plan with your family and choose the area of your home where you will go.


In Our Home:

This is my kids’ last week of summer (I’m secretly over the moon with excitement), so I have been trying to do last minute summer excursions to soak it all in, including trips to our local pool.

While balancing last minute summer plans, I have also found some time to do some work for Ready Nutrition. On Monday, I had to opportunity to talk with D Magazine from Dallas and was able to give some preparedness suggestions for an article about the 10 foods that should be in every emergency food pantry. The reporter told me that I should do some preparedness classes, and I had not really put much thought into that until she mentioned it. Would anyone be interested in preparedness classes?

Family Preps:

I have been re-organizing my emergency binder this week. There are way too many print outs that I have actually set aside for my binder, and it was so heavy, that I had to buy additional binders to organize it further. I now have a binder with all of my preparedness information and emergency plans, a binder for homesteading ideas and recipes and a binder for health and safety.


SHTF Survival: First Response Packs For Medical Emergencies

12 Tips For Newbie Preppers

Teaching Kids How to Survive in the Forest


Knowing how to survive in the wilderness is a skill that many of us do not possess. It is a fact that chances of survival diminish if you are exposed to Nature’s elements for long periods of time. Adults and children can stand to learn a few basic survival tips if they find themselves in such an emergency.

Click here to learn more about these crucial survival steps. You’ll discover places to look for food, ways to signal for help, find ways to create shelter with items that you have on hand.


One of the perks of my job at Ready Nutrition is to address questions and/or concerns that you may have with your prepping endeavors. Feel free to ask anything that is on your mind because no question is too big or small. You can email questions to: getprepped@readynutrition.com

This week’s question addresses Mylar bags:


I have seen so many failed videos on removing air from mylar bags, please tell me what is the most efficient and cost effective process? Also what is the best method of sealing them?



Storing food in Mylar bags takes a little bit of practice at first, but once you have done it a few times, it gets easier. Here is the process that I use. I seal my Mylar bags with a heat clamp that I purchased a year or so ago. But you can also use an iron at the highest setting (instructions are below).

Here is the process that I use. You can use the process outlined below when storing large quantities of food in 5-gallon pails, or you can use this method with smaller quantities.

  1. Begin pouring contents into the Mylar bag.
  2. When you have poured the contents into the Mylar bag and have hit the middle section of the bag being filled, shake the Mylar bag from time to time to make sure the food gets into the crevices.
  3. Continue adding food to the mylar bag until you hit your desired amount. I usually stop 3/4 to the top.
  4. Next, begin folding the Mylar down in order to get trapped air to escape out the gap. Hold the fold and go to the next step.
  5. Once the air is out, begin sealing the Mylar. A person can use a heat clamp or they can seal their Mylar bags with a simple at home iron put on the highest setting. If the home iron method is used, make sure you have a hard surface such as a cutting board or book to iron on and slowly go over the Mylar bag. Note: this method must be done gently and slowly or the Mylar will be damaged. Seal straight across the Mylar bag in a straight line. Leave the last 2-3 inches unsealed in order to push the last remaining air out of the bag.
  6. Once the trapped air has been pushed out, seal the last 2-3 inches.

I hope this helps. Continue researching on your own and if you find any great information share it us.



This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on August 19th, 2011

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