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Survival tips from Jim Cobb

Survival Weekly Dispatch!

Hey folks, thanks for taking some time to read through this week’s newsletter. I truly appreciate it.

This week, I’m focused on wrapping up the last of the content for Backwoods Survival Guide #10, which will come out at the end of March. I only have a couple more articles to go on that issue. Then, I’ll move over to the next issue of Prepper Survival Guide, which comes out in April. From there, a knife review for another magazine and work on a couple of other projects.
I remember back when I’d decided to ditch the day job and dive into a full-time career as a writer. I was so worried that I’d not have enough work….
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In the last week or two, I was interviewed on two separate podcasts. This was my second appearance on the Elite Man Podcast, this time talking about how to get started with prepping and some of the basics involved.
The other podcast was a bit…different. The theme the Quarantine Island Discs show is to talk to people about how they have found ways to deal with the pandemic, the lockdowns, and such. Specifically things like movies, music, TV shows, and such that they’ve enjoyed.
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For our hike this week, we went to a park we’ve been to countless times before. We enjoy it because the trails are well-maintained, no matter the season, and while it can be a popular place, there’s always plenty of space to go around.


Survival Tip Tuesday – Prepping Priorities

Most of us are not recent lottery winners, nor are we otherwise independently wealthy. Thus, we frequently need to make hard decisions as to where our money will be best spent. This includes what little we can carve out for the prepping budget, right?
One of the absolute best ways to use your prepping budget is to set money aside for emergencies. While a furnace that suddenly goes belly up isn't the end of the world, it will certainly seem that way if you can't afford to get it fixed or replaced. If you had a sudden emergency expense of $1,000, could you make it work? For far too many people, even $100 would require substantial financial juggling. I've said this time and again -- prepping isn't just about surviving the end of the world, it is about trying to make your life easier in all respects. Putting together an emergency fund isn't easy but it can be done, even just a very little at a time.
One of the most common reasons I give when I'm talking about why prepping is important is sudden job loss. If it hasn't happened to you, I'm betting it has happened to someone you know. When a family is living paycheck to paycheck and that money is suddenly gone, even basic necessities can be difficult to purchase. However, if the family has been able to stock up on things like food, toiletries, and other such items, even a little at a time, they'll have a bit of an easier go of it until more income can be generated. In doing just a few minutes of research online, I'm seeing averages of anywhere from 27-40 weeks for how long it takes for someone to find work after a job loss. How long could you feed your family on what you have on hand right now? Could you make it 6 months? How about 10 months? A year? [These are hypothetical questions, there's no need to post your answers.]
All too often, I see recommendations, or even rather strident insistence, that assembling a fully stocked bug out bag (BOB) should be the first step in the journey to preparedness. While BOBs are an important component of a preparedness plan, they are not the panacea some folks seem to think. Face facts, the most common reasons for why you'd need to evacuate home will either be natural disasters, such as an incoming hurricane or approaching wildfire, or possibly some sort of chemical emergency, like if a train derailed spilling a noxious substance or a factory catches fire and causes nasty fumes. Running off to the woods with a BOB isn't going to improve your survival odds in those situations.
A boil order can throw a wrench in the works. Having a supply of potable water set aside for emergencies can make things a little easier until the situation has been resolved. Good quality filtration gear can be rather useful as well. Stocking up on water is one of the simplest preps you can do! Either buy cases of bottled water (in my area, I can get them for about $2.50 on sale) or refill clean juice or soda bottles.
When the wallet is empty and you're still 4 days from payday, having a well-stocked pantry is far more valuable than a well-stocked BOB. Same thing goes for when you wake up to a couple of feet of snow and ice and can't get to the store for a day or two. Shop the sales and add just a couple of extra things to your cart each trip to the grocery store. It will add up quickly.
If a wildfire is headed your way, having enough funds available to get a hotel room a few towns away is going to be a bit more important than ensuring you have a hatchet in your BOB so you don't have to baton firewood with a knife...or making sure your knife is sufficiently robust to handle using it to baton firewood. Y'know, whichever way you fall on the baton issue.
Remember too, that when it comes to bugging out, having a decent BOB is only part of the equation. You need to know where you're going and how you're going to get there. But again, sheltering in place at home is likely to be your best option in the vast majority of likely scenarios. And bugging out, by which we mean emergency evacuation from home, is much more likely to be a trip to a motel or a family member's home for a few days than involve a lengthy stay in a remote corner of some forgotten forest, foraging for nettles and hoping for a rabbit.
Survival is typically far more about the little things than it is about the heroic efforts.

Prepper Survival Guide and Backwoods Survival Guide

For those new to my little corner of the Internet, I am the Editor in Chief for both Prepper Survival Guide and Backwoods Survival Guide magazines. These are quarterly print publications that are published by Centennial Media. Here are the covers for the current issues that are available in stores right now. 

You can find them just about anywhere magazines are sold, including:

  • Walmart
  • Sam's Club
  • Costco
  • Publix
  • Walgreens
  • Rite Aid
  • CVS
  • Tractor Supply
  • Fleet Farm
  • Barnes & Noble
Subscriptions are available here.
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