The "Must See" List Of Campgrounds In The US

The “Must See” List Of Campgrounds In The US


Looking for wonderful campgrounds this summer? Check out these hidden gems. We’ve put together a list of the top campgrounds in each state across the US.  Camping is always an option (even in New Jersey!) I’ve lived in Texas my whole life and can’t believe I’ve missed out on a few of these.

Campgrounds are abundant in this country, so if there’s one thing you’ll have a problem with, it’s choosing which one to visit first! We’ve included just about everything, from mountains to beaches, wilderness, and lakes.  Whether you prefer camping in the mountains or a day at the beach, we’ve got you covered.  Just find your state (or one you want to visit) and click through to see the top 5 campgrounds.

50 U.S. Campgrounds | The Best Campsites To Visit In America

 

1. Camping in Alabama

Camping in Alabama | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Alabama Photo by Alabama Birding Trails

The State of Alabama offers both beautiful spots and recreational opportunities for campers across the state. Want a true camping experience? Come prepared and enjoy the wild outdoors at a spot like Monte Sano State Park in Huntsville. If you prefer a more controlled and comfortable outdoor experience, don’t miss the Gulf State Park to enjoy the amenities and watch the sunset from the beach.

2. Camping in Alaska

Camping in Alaska | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Alaska Photo by NPS

Camping in Alaska typically attracts adventure-seeking campers. One thing you’ll notice on your trip to Alaska is it’s significantly more expensive than other states due to its location. Despite the heftier price tag, you won’t have a problem finding a safe spot to park and spend the night. You’ll likely encounter some of the best views in all the states.

3. Camping in Arizona

Camping in Arizona | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Arizona Photo by Arizona Highways

Do you think of the Grand Canyon anytime you hear “Arizona?” Despite being famous for it, Arizona State has much more to offer. This very beautiful area has lakes, rivers, mountains, and campsites that will make you feel right at home.

4. Camping in Arkansas

Camping in Arkansas | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Arkansas Photo by Capture Arkansas

What camper wouldn’t want to be in a place nicknamed “The Natural State?” Arkansas could possibly be one of the most beautiful places to visit in the south. Catherine’s Landing is a great place to put on your list, with both hot springs and rich wildlife.

5. Camping in California

Camping in California | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in California Photo by Redwood Hikes

California is known for the bright lights and glamor of Hollywood, but there’s more to the state than movie stars and celebrities. Yosemite National Park is also located in the Golden State, as well as Sequoia National Forest where the world’s largest trees are found.

6. Camping in Colorado

Camping in Colorado | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Colorado Photo by Colorado

The State of Colorado has a lot of beautiful campsites to visit all year long. From wilderness playgrounds to family resorts, this colorful state has something to offer for every type of camper. Be sure to visit the Great Sand Dunes in Pinyon Flats and revel at the stunning views.

7. Camping in Connecticut

Camping in Connecticut | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Connecticut Photo by State Parks

You may already know that Connecticut State is rich in history and home to many landmarks. In addition, the state is also home to scenic views of nature like the Devil’s Hopyard State Park and West Thompson Lake. You’re sure to find a spot for your RV in the land “full of surprises.”

8. Camping in Delaware

Camping in Delaware | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Delaware Photo by Survival Life

What comes to mind when you think of Delaware? It’s likely that one would think of the Constitution – or possibly the tax-free benefits. What you may not know is that the state also boasts stunning beach campsites and beautiful forests. If you prefer camping in a swampy terrain, don’t miss a visit to Trap Pond State Park.

9. Camping in Florida

Camping in Florida | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Florida Photo by State Parks

Florida State is known for its wonderful beaches and sunny weather. The place is perfect for summer outings, but if you know where to look, you’ll also find nice campgrounds around the state. A good place for campers is the Blue Spring State Park where you can find West Indian manatees.

10. Camping in Georgia

Camping in Georgia | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Georgia Photo by Geo Caching

Georgia is a must-see for its southern charm! One of the best ways to experience this is through camping in the great outdoors. Be sure to visit Black Rock Mountain State Park where you can walk along streams and waterfalls. This place is also ideal for people who love hiking.

11. Camping in Hawaii

Camping in Hawaii | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Hawaii Photo by Wikipedia

Where else can you see the best view of the Pacific Ocean but in the mountains of Hawaii? The weather is perfect and you couldn’t possibly run out of activities in this Aloha State. Check out some of the best beach camping in the United States while you’re there!

12. Camping in Idaho

Camping in Idaho | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Idaho Photo by Hailey Idaho

The State of Idaho rich with state parks and national forests. The people in this state are very lucky to be surrounded by such stunning natural beauty. Redfish Lake is a scenic place to set up your camp among the locals.

13. Camping in Illinois

Camping in Illinois | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Illinois Photo by Oak Grove Cabin

Would you believe a huge part of the State of Illinois is farmland? You may know it as the birthplace of some of the most important individuals in the history of the United States, but it’s also a place of beautiful campgrounds like the Prophetstown State Park.

14. Camping in Indiana

Camping in Indiana | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Indiana Photo by CFAIA

Indiana State has come a long way from using the Ohio River for transport, to becoming a state with the most major highway intersections. The entire state is endowed with incredible landscapes. Check out the Monroe Lake Campground for enjoyment of a number of outdoor activities.

15. Camping in Iowa

Camping in Iowa | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Iowa Photo by My Country Parks

The State of Iowa may not be famous for tourist destinations, but it is home to many beautiful campgrounds. Iowa has a dozen natural lakes that give the surrounding land scenic views great for setting up tent or RV parking.

16. Camping in Kansas

Camping in Kansas | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Kansas Photo by FS.USDA

Welcome to middle America! Kansas campgrounds are great for family outdoor getaways. The Cimarron National Grassland is one of the best places to camp. At the right spot, you’ll get a stunning view of more than 100,000 acres of green wonder.

17. Camping in Kentucky

Camping in Kentucky | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Kentucky Photo by Trip Advisor

Kentucky State is great for camping any time of the year. The Bluegrass State has some of the best places for RV camping with your family. Try the Buckhorn Lake for a soothing view and a few beers under the starry night.

18. Camping in Louisiana

Camping in Louisiana | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Louisiana Photo by That’s Not Camping

When you want to listen to the best jazz music in the country, come to the Pelican State. Aside from being known for its diverse cultural influence, Louisiana offers more of nature than one might think. Enjoy fishing, hiking, and a lot of other outdoor activities in Louisiana.

19. Camping in Maine

Camping in Maine | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Maine Photo by Greg Hartford

The State of Maine offers bountiful wildlife overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. With many diverse things to offer throughout the four seasons, campers are sure to find delight in one of the state’s many charms. For hiking and camping, check out Bradbury Mountain any time of the year for a picnic or family getaway.

20. Camping in Maryland

Camping in Maryland | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Maryland Photo by News Maryland

Tourists come to Maryland to get a glimpse of our nation’s history, yet you should know it’s also abundant with beauty as well. If you are looking for a relaxed outdoor experience, check out Rocky Gap State Park for a break from busy life in the city.

21. Camping in Massachusetts

Camping in Massachusetts | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Massachusetts Photo by Survival Life

The State of Massachusetts has miles of coastline facing the vast Atlantic Ocean. It also provides campers with a lot of options for communing with nature. Harold Parker State Forest, for example, is a fine place for putting up your tent, RV camping, and many recreational activities.

22. Camping in Michigan

Camping in Michigan | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Michigan Photo by Sandboard

When a place is bordered by five great lakes on all corners, it must be something special! Although Michigan is known for bitterly cold winters, you won’t be able to get enough of the scenic views and campgrounds Michigan has in store.

23. Camping in Minnesota

Camping in Minnesota | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Minnesota Photo by Wikipedia

Minnesota State is known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” It shares the North Shore of Lake Superior with Ontario, the world’s largest freshwater lake. It’s no surprise the state is a favorite destination among outdoorsmen due to its geographical wonders.

24. Camping in Mississippi

Camping in Mississippi | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Mississippi Photo by Survival Life

Mississippi State is famous for its great historical significance, especially during the Civil War. If you’re looking to explore the natural wonders of the state, be sure to check out the natural beauty of the Holly Springs Natural Forest at Puskus Lake.

25. Camping in Missouri

Camping in Missouri | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Missouri Photo by Survival Life

Also known as the “Gateway to the West,” the Mississippi and Missouri rivers meet together in this state, forming a beautiful landscape suitable for all sorts of outdoor activities.

26. Camping in Montana

Camping in Montana | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Montana Photo by Survival Life

The name given to this state speaks to the kind of terrain to expect. Montana also means “mountain” and is a great place for outdoor enthusiasts. It shares the Yellowstone National Park with Wyoming and Idaho, a place known for its abundant wildlife and ecosystem.

27. Camping in Nebraska

Camping in Nebraska | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Nebraska photo by Survival Life

The State of Nebraska offers numerous campgrounds with its many lakes and state parks. The Chadron State Park, for instance, is a nice location with numerous outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and horseback riding.

28. Camping in Nevada

Camping in Nevada | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Nevada Photo by Wikipedia

Do the luxurious hotels and casinos in Las Vegas come to mind when you think of Nevada? While the city is nestled in the center of the state, it’s just a tiny speck in the middle of a vast desert. Nevada also offers wonderful campgrounds like Mt. Rose in the Sierra Nevada. People can challenge the mountain by hiking to its peak, or simply follow an easier trail near the base and enjoy the view.

29. Camping in New Hampshire

Camping in New Hampshire | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in New Hampshire Photo by NH State Parks

New Hampshire State may be small in comparison to other states, but it’s home to many big scenic views. There’s Moose Brook State Park, Umbagog Lake State Park, and White Lake State Park, just to name a few. The state is also known as the “Mother of Rivers” so be sure to visit in the warmer months or take in the just-as-beautiful winter views.

30. Camping in New Jersey

Camping in New Jersey | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in New Jersey Photo by Gone Hikin

If you live in New Jersey, you won’t have any problem finding diners and shopping malls. If you’re looking for camping and outdoor activities, you may be surprised to hear about the hidden gems the state has to offer. The Kittatinny Valley State Park is one of the places in the state to hike, camp and hunt.

31. Camping in New Mexico

Camping in New Mexico | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in New Mexico Photo by Air Stream Life

Visit New Mexico and you’ll understand why the state was named the “Land of Enchantment.” The City of Rocks and Heron Lake State Park are just a few examples of the mesmerizing views in this beautiful state.

32. Camping in New York

Camping in New York | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in New York Photo by World Atlas

The Empire State is home to some of the most-visited tourist attractions in the world. While many don’t venture outside of the city that never sleeps, New York has even more to offer upstate. Be sure to check out Niagara Falls before settling into one of the state’s many scenic campsites.

33. Camping in North Carolina

Camping in North Carolina | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in North Carolina Photo by Davidson Flyfishing

The Tarheel State is possibly one of the most beautiful in the country. North Carolina offers national forests that provide a wide range of hiking trails and campgrounds for family getaways and experienced outdoorsmen. For a great sunset view, set up camp on the beach!

34. Camping in North Dakota

Camping in North Dakota | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in North Dakota Photo by Medora

Did you know North Dakota leads the country in the production of sunflowers? The Peace Garden State also has a unique geographical location and is a haven for all types of outdoorsmen. With this in mind, it’s unlikely that you’ll have trouble finding a place to set up camp.

35. Camping in Ohio

Camping in Ohio | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Ohio Photo by Survival Life

Not sure where to set up camp in the Buckeye State? Ohio offers visitors lakes, mountains, forests, and rivers. The state is also abundant in natural beauty, as seen in Hocking Hills State Park where visitors can enjoy scenic cliffs and waterfalls.

36. Camping in Oklahoma

Camping in Oklahoma | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Oklahoma Photo by Survival Life

Oklahoma State has one of the best climates in the United States with 300 days of sunshine a year. This state’s abundance of incredible landscapes and pleasant weather makes it a favorite place for campers and nature enthusiasts. If you’re into fishing, the Sooner State is the place for you!

37. Camping in Oregon

Camping in Oregon | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Oregon Photo by City-Data

The diverse topography of Oregon State makes it a must-visit for tourists from far places. It boasts many spectacular sights with sprawling mountains and bodies of water. One favorite destination is the Dorena Lake where campers enjoy the view and an array of outdoor activities.

38. Camping in Pennsylvania

Camping in Pennsylvania | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Pennsylvania Photo by Recreation

Whether you prefer traditional backpacking or modern full-service resorts, you’ll find it all in the Keystone State. Pennsylvania has wonderful state parks and recreation areas to offer campers looking for the best outdoor experience.

39. Camping in Rhode Island

Camping in Rhode Island | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Rhode Island Photo by Pinterest

Rhode Island is the smallest state in America, with a land area of only 1,545 square miles. A huge part of the state’s land mass is composed of woodlands combined with beautiful lakes. Along with the beach, campers will have plenty to enjoy in Rhode Island.

40. Camping in South Carolina

Camping in South Carolina | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in South Carolina Photo by Trip Advisor

The State of South Carolina has lush forests and wonderful beaches. Among the favorite spots to visit is Myrtle Beach State Park known for its surf fishing and a spectacular view of the ocean. Cheraw State Park is a great place for campers to enjoy time in the kayak or canoe on Lake Juniper.

41. Camping in South Dakota

Camping in South Dakota | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in South Dakota Photo by Survival Life

South Dakota’s spectacular landscapes make it a popular place for outdoor enthusiasts to visit. You’ll feel like you’re dreaming when you see the land formations of Badlands National Park.

42. Camping in Tennessee

Camping in Tennessee | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Tennessee Photo by Survival Life

Tennessee State is home to more than just country music! Visit the northern part of the Great Smoky Mountains to enjoy the temperate springtime weather. Looking for hiking, biking, golf or fishing instead? Check out Montgomery Bell State Park for a wide array of outdoor activities.

43. Camping in Texas

Camping in Texas | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Texas Photo by Visit Big Bend

Texas is the second biggest state in the US in terms of land area and has countless campgrounds for the outdoorsmen. Big Bend National Park is among the most beautiful and renowned destinations. Check it out if you want to see a breathtaking view of mountain and desert landscape.

44. Camping in Utah

Camping in Utah | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Utah Photo by Wikipedia

The unique landscapes in Utah will make you feel like you’re on a different planet. There’s the Arches, Canyonlands, and Bryce Canyon National Parks with natural rock formations that are a feast for the eyes.

45. Camping in Vermont

Camping in Vermont | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Vermont Photo by Survival Life

The State of Vermont has state parks and campgrounds perfect for a quiet night in nature. If you’re backpacking, be sure to check out the base of Mt. Moosalamoo for a scenic view.

46. Camping in Virginia

Camping in Virginia | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Virginia Photo by Survival Life

You’re sure to find a nice place to set up camp any time of year in Virginia. The state offers some of the loveliest state parks ideal for families seeking fun-filled recreational activities.

47. Camping in Washington State

Camping in Washington | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Washington State Photo by Survival Life

Outdoorsmen are sure to feel at home in the State of Washington. If you love hiking, be sure to check out the views of snowcapped Mt. Rainier as you walk the trails. If you prefer a more isolated camping experience, don’t miss out on a visit to Olympic National Park.

48. Camping in West Virginia

Camping in West Virginia | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in West Virginia Photo by Survival Life

West Virginia is a treasure trove of outdoor activity! Whether you’re into hiking, fishing, mountain biking, kayaking, or even winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, you’ll find what you’re looking for and more in this Appalachian state of West Virginia.

49. Camping in Wisconsin

Camping in Wisconsin | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Camping in Wisconsin Photo by Survival Life

With two great lake coastlines, acres of dense forest, and several rivers running throughout, Wisconsin is more than meets the eye when it comes to outdoor adventure. Visitors enjoy fishing, rafting, boating, hiking and birdwatching in Wisconsin’s many great camping sites. But don’t take our word for it… read on to see the 10 best camping spots in Wisconsin.

50. Places To Visit In Wyoming

Places To Visit In Wyoming | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds
Places To Visit In Wyoming Photo by Survival Life

From the Great Plains to the Rocky Mountains, from Grand Teton to Yellowstone, Wyoming is an outdoorsman’s paradise. As the nation’s least populated state and with over 3 million acres of wilderness, Wyoming offers plenty of opportunities for camping and outdoor adventure, this is a place where you can truly get in touch with nature – check out our list of Wyoming State Parks.

BONUS: Camping In The Capital (Washington D.C.)

 Camping In The Capital (Washington D.C.) | Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America's "Must See" Campgrounds

The Nation’s Capital is wedged between some glorious campsites. Pack your bags and pick one of these rural U.S. destinations.

Watch this video by Redfish Lake Lodge of the amazing Redfish Lake experience in Idaho:

Well, what are you waiting for? Go out and enjoy all the great outdoors has to offer! Those who appreciate nature and spend some of their precious time in the wild know how fortunate they are to be living among these beautiful spots within the United States.

 

What do you think about the beautiful campgrounds of each state? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Up Next: Camp Like A Genius | 25 Additions For Your Camping Gear

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Ultimate Campgrounds Across The U.S. : State By State List Of America’s “Must See” Campgrounds

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2017 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

 

Featured Image Via – surivallife

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How To Build A Shelter Using Natural Resources

How To Build A Shelter Using Natural Resources


My first piece of advice on how to build a shelter from natural materials is to look around for something man-made. In my last article, we talked about the use of a vehicle or vessel to keep us safe. But there are times when Mother Nature provides a hollow cave or natural covering.

This time around, I’m going to share some of the experiences I’ve had when Lady Luck is smiling down on someone else. There are times when we wish to build primitive shelters from scratch primarily with natural materials, but we aren’t always successful in foraging for these.

Unless you’re trained in thatching roofs, chances are your survival shelter is going to let water in when it rains. A plastic bag buried in your purse or pocket will go a long way towards providing a precious bit of waterproofing.

How to Build a Shelter with the Materials Around You

Building A Teepee

Building A Teepee | How To Build A Shelter Using Natural Resources
Building A Teepee Photo by Clip 2 Art

This lovely leaf teepee that we built in the Smoky Mountains looks to be the epitome of primitive shelter building yet hidden beneath its lush foliage is a trash bag covering the apex. Thankfully it didn’t rain but it was very comforting to know that if it did we would remain dry, even if it meant sitting upright and back to back. As the weather turned out to be dry I sometimes wish we had lain down on the trash bag instead as were eaten alive by chiggers on this expedition. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

In my experience, bindings made from roots or vines are rarely as robust as commercially manufactured strings, ropes, and cords. You may think that you don’t have anything like that with you, but take a look at your clothes. Your clothing is your first line of defense in any survival situation and not just in the most literal sense– what are you wearing that you could adapt and use?

A little trick that Myke taught me is to replace my boot laces with 550 paracords and wrap a few extra lengths round for good measure. It’s a pain in the backside if you ever have to travel through airport security but a lifesaver out in the bush. Even if you don’t have 550 cord, your regular shoelaces will work wonders in tying the struts of your shelter together. As will fabric strips ripped from the bottom of a shirt or skirt. A single string of 550 cord cinched together the top of this teepee in the Smokies. Always be sure to retrieve your cord, natural or otherwise, when you move on.

Building A Teepee | How To Build A Shelter Using Natural Resources
Building A Teepee Photo by Pinterest

Another useful tip, though glaringly obvious, is making sure your shelter is big enough for you to fit into.

A single person can crunch into a remarkably small place, albeit with some discomfort, but if you’re making a temporary home for more than one person or your whole family it’s a good idea to test it out size wise. As a mother, I’m always thinking things like, “Would my little boy cope with this? Would this type of shelter work if he was with us?”

This is Myke and I testing our shelter for size. Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Building A Teepee | How To Build A Shelter Using Natural Resources
Building A Teepee Photo by Kotaksurat

Using A Poncho For Shelter

Using A Poncho For Shelter | How To Build A Shelter Using Natural Resources
Using A Poncho For Shelter Photo by Pinterest

One of my absolute favorite items of clothing because its multi-faceted nature is the military poncho, yet I had never even heard of one before I met my husband. These days I carry one in my car, my camping kit, my survival bag and we have several others littered around the house that our boy plays in. In addition to keeping you dry, a poncho has many potential uses in a survival situation; a rucksack, a raft, a tarp, a medical stretcher and a smokehouse, to name but a few. And they make quick and awesome survival shelters. You can string one up in whatever manner you fancy or if you don’t have enough cord to construct a ‘tent’ just lay one over any primitive shelter that you have made to act as extra waterproofing.

Here in Alaska, we strung one between two trees and then I filled the open sides with large leaves to help keep the heat in. When using a poncho in wet climes be sure to tie off the hood so you don’t get leaks. Conversely, when it’s scorching prop the hood open so it acts as a vent.

There, of course, might be times when you do have next to nothing on you or with you that you can use and you have to create a shelter from what you have around you. My least favorite is the debris shelter, but sometimes there is no choice. For those who don’t know, a debris shelter is created by basically scraping up old branches and leaves and piling them into a rudimentary shield against the elements. We used one once when we were caught in a sudden tropical storm in Dominica. Itchy, uncomfortable and wet.

Using old branches and logs has obvious risks, other things are also likely to be using them as a home – sometimes stinging insects and arachnids but I have also seen lethal poison dart frogs in old logs in the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. I also once sat on a fer de lance in a fallen tree in the Peruvian Amazon. This snake kills more people in South America than any other. Not what you want as a bedfellow.

Building A Lean-t0

Building A Lean-t0 | How To Build A Shelter Using Natural Resources
Building A Lean-to Photo by Pinterest

Another basic shelter to make when you’re too exhausted to do anything else or perhaps when the light is fading is the ‘lean-to’. I was making this one on a Lost Survivors shoot for Travel Channel as the sun was going down in the Appalachians in Kentucky. The main spine was an old tree trunk that had fallen and caught on another tree (not fallen to the ground) then I placed cut branches and leaves to form the back wall. It was another night on the forest floor, which is never ideal but the shelter blocked a harsh wind that was kicking up.

On a separate trip to Kentucky, we wove a kind of cocoon out of river cane. We stuck either end of the canes into the ground to create a series of arches and then wove thinner more supple pieces of cane between the struts to make the walls. You can use this technique with any kind of reed or wood that is pliable enough, willow for example.

Building A Lean-t0 | How To Build A Shelter Using Natural Resources
Building A Lean-t0 Photo by Kotaksurat

In the close-up picture of me standing in front of it, you can see pretty flowers embedded in the walls. This wasn’t an attempt to create bucolic loveliness out in the wilds but rather an eye-saving mechanism, the cut cane was razor sharp and the flowers marked the dagger-like ends.

Building A Lean-t0 | How To Build A Shelter Using Natural Resources
Building A Lean-t0 Photo by Kotaksurat

It is without a doubt better to sleep up off the floor if you can. Even a layer of cut branches on the ground will insulate you from the cold. Another very important reason to be up is so you are not in the path of creatures that could otherwise hurt or kill you. This is particularly true in tropical jungles and swamps.

My favorite shelter of all time was one we built on the edge of a beach in Aitutaki in the South Pacific. It was a platform protruding at one end from the top of some pandanus tree prop roots and supported at the other by tripods we made by lashing three sticks together. The roof was a separate structure, a bit like a carport, crafted from palm leaves.

Building A Lean-t0 | How To Build A Shelter Using Natural Resources
Building A Lean-t0 Photo by Pinterest

Building A Platform Shelter

Pandanus trees are great for shelter making, they look a little like palm trees but have these mangrove style prop roots. It’s the roots that are special, they are both sturdy and bendy. We made the cross slats of the platform from these roots. Once they were covered in palm fronds, it was like sleeping in a bed. They bounce a little when you lay down. Wonderful!

Building A Platform Shelter | How To Build A Shelter Using Natural Resources
Building A Platform Shelter Photo by Pinterest

The mosquitoes in Aitutaki were bad, the noise was like the whirring of a cheap hairdryer. All night long.

However, the view in the morning made life a little easier to bear.

Building A Platform Shelter | How To Build A Shelter Using Natural Resources

The first time I visited the Amazon rainforest we constructed a more elaborate version of the Aitutaki platform shelter. Unlike in our South Sea haven Amazonian land animals like to bite you, sting you and eat you.

Quick Tip: Bringing Fire Into Your Shelter

Getting off the ground is an essential, not a luxury.

Fire is also vital for protection in the deep jungle. Though our platform was too high to feed a fire without having to climb down, repeatedly, to the forest floor.

A problem exacerbated that we had our boots off at night to dry out our feet and prevent jungle rot.

Mike came up with the ingenious solution of having the fire in the shelter with us!

Quick Tip: Bringing Fire Into Your Shelter | How To Build A Shelter Using Natural Resources
Quick Tip: Bringing Fire Into Your Shelter Photo by Kotaksurat

We built another mini wood platform on our sleeping platform. Afterward, we daubed a layer of thick clay on top of it to prevent the fire from burning through. We had very few insect problems because it also acted as a smudge fire. A fair bit of the smoke was trapped in the shelter with us because of the roof. We didn’t wake to the same amazing view as in Aitutaki. Thanks to our choice of shelter we made it through the night without becoming dinner for a jaguar.

Quick Tip: Bringing Fire Into Your Shelter | How To Build A Shelter Using Natural Resources
Quick Tip: Bringing Fire Into Your Shelter Photo by Kotaksurat

Watch this video by J&J acres on how to build a teepee:

There is no blueprint for shelter building. Terrain and circumstance will dictate the final structure. If I look back over the years and remember every single one that I’ve slept in, each one was different, each had its own set of quirks, foibles, discomforts, and itches. You rarely sleep well in a wilderness shelter but out in the wilds, it is always better to have one than not.

Do you trust in these methods of building a shelter? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Up Next: Survival Shelters: Things You Need To Know

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2014 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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10 Remarkable Facts About Mountain Lions

10 Remarkable Facts About Mountain Lions


The mountain lion is said to be one of the largest wild cats in North America–just one of the many facts about mountain lions. Did you know that this big cat is known by many names? Cougar, panther, catamount, or puma are just some of the few.

This solitary animal can be found in many habitats, from the Canadian forests to Florida’s swamps. So if you think you knew everything there was to know about mountain lion facts, think again. Continue reading to know more amazing facts about mountain lions that may just flat-out amaze you.

Interesting Facts About Mountain Lions You Want to Know!

 

Fact #1: Hunting Habits

Fact #1: Hunting Habits | Remarkable Facts About Mountain Lions
Fact #1: Hunting Habits Photo by NPS

The puma usually hunts at night or at certain parts of the day, like dusk or dawn. With the stealthy ability to keep itself undetected, it can leap 40 feet away and 15 feet high. It attacks and kills its prey by aiming for the base of the skull, breaking its neck in the process. Would you like to learn more about the mountain lions’ behavior? Pounce right here.

Fact #2: Mountain Lion Habitat or Territory

Fact #2: Mountain Lion Habitat or Territory | Remarkable Facts About Mountain Lions
Fact #2: Mountain Lion Habitat or Territory Photo by National Geographic

Despite being solitary yet active hunters, they still require a vast range of territory. The female cougar prowls on a range of 10 to 30 square miles. The male can occupy a range as large as 100 square miles. Learn more about the puma’s territorial range by referring to the animals of National Geographic.

Fact#3: World Record Holder

Fact#3: World Record Holder | Remarkable Facts About Mountain Lions
Fact#3: World Record Holder Photo by Wikipedia

The puma can be found in 21 of 23 countries in the Americas.  Because of the vast range it occupies, it holds the Guinness world record for the animal with the greatest number of names. It has over 40 names in English alone. Do you want to know these names? Start name hunting in Wikipedia to learn them all.

Fact #4: Females Raise Family Alone

Fact #4: Females Raise Family Alone | Remarkable Facts About Mountain Lions
Fact #4: Females Raise Family Alone Photo by The Cove Rattler

The only time these creatures interact is when they need to mate. After which, the male returns to his solitary lifestyle.  As for the female, she is left to raise the litter by herself.

Fact #5: Low Survival Rate

Fact #5: Low Survival Rate | Remarkable Facts About Mountain Lions
Fact #5: Low Survival Rate Photo by Pixabay

Mountain lions have a litter size of one to six cubs; on average, two cubs. Their offspring have black and brown spots and rings around their tails. However, they eventually grow out of these visual characteristics. On average, only one in five kittens is able to make it to adulthood.

Fact #6: They’re Faster Than You Think

Fact #6: They're Faster Than You Think | Remarkable Facts About Mountain Lions
Fact #6: They’re Faster Than You Think Photo by Lion

These large felines can run as fast as a car. They have been clocked at 43.5 mph. With their flexible spine, they are able to change directions rather quickly.

Fact #7: Diet

Fact #7: Diet | Remarkable Facts About Mountain Lions
Fact #7: Diet Photo by Deer And Deer Hunting

A major part of a mountain lions’ diet consists of large mammals such as deer or elk. However, they are also known to prey on coyotes, rabbits, beavers, porcupine, raccoons, squirrels, and mice. They hide their catch and devour them at a later time, or when they get hungry.

Fact #8: A Hissing Standoff or a Fight to the Death?

Fact #8: A Hissing Standoff or a Fight to the Death? | Remarkable Facts About Mountain Lions
Fact #8: A Hissing Standoff or a Fight to the Death? Photo by Through Golden Eyes

When ghost cats come across each other, they initially hiss and spit at one another until one of them gives up.  A vicious encounter is sure to happen if neither one of them backs down.

Fact #9: Lifespan and Size plus Weight

Fact #9: Lifespan and Size plus Weight | Remarkable Facts About Mountain Lions
Fact #9: Lifespan and Size plus Weight Photo by Dog Cat Place

The lifespan of a mountain lion is about 8 to 10 years in the wild, and up to 20 years in captivity.  The fully mature cat can measure up to 8 feet long and weigh up to 150 pounds.

Do you like to know more interesting facts? Click here.

Fact #10: Uniquely Purrfect

Fact #10: Uniquely Purrfect | Remarkable Facts About Mountain Lions
Fact #10: Uniquely Purrfect Photo by The Animal Files

What makes the mountain lion uniquely different from other large cats is that it doesn’t roar. Like an ordinary street or house cat, they purr.

Is there something that you know about these amazing animals that might just interest other people? Probably, as a hunter or an animal enthusiast, you have already researched a lot about them. Sift through the animal files for more about the mountain lion.

 

Experience the secret life of a mountain lion family taken by National Geographic:

There is a lot more to learn about the mountain lion. A parting fact: Did you know that it can live as high as 10,000 feet above sea level? Not to mention, in almost any kind of environment? Well, if you think that is astonishing, wait until you learn more about this large felid of the Felinae subfamily.

As a hiker, animals are rarely encountered because most hikers prefer to stay on the trail and these trails are usually far off from animals. But a chance encounter with a bear or a mountain lion is still something that should not be taken lightly. Knowing some facts about mountain lions can help hikers like you keep safe all throughout the hike.

Check out more hunting articles here.

10 Remarkable Facts About Mountain Lions

Do you wish to learn more about other amazing animals? Let us know what you think.

Up Next: 7 Awesome Guns For Mountain Hunting

For awesome survival gear, you can’t make at home, check out the Survival Life Store!

Check out Is Dutch Oven Cooking A Part Of Your Emergency Plan? [Video Tutorial] at https://survivallife.com/dutch-oven-cooking-video-tutorial/

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 10, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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Bugging In | Fortifying Your Home Before SHTF

Bugging In | Fortifying Your Home Before SHTF


When you first enter the survival community, you hear a great deal about bugging out, but for most people in most survival scenarios bugging in makes more sense. Bugging in is the process of fortifying your home and having all the needed resources on hand to survive long term. With most SHTF situations, staying home makes much more sense than packing up and heading into the unknown. You must be prepared for this to work.

Bugging In | Fortifying Your Home Before SHTF

 

Have a Plan

The most important aspect of bugging in is to have a plan to secure your location. Rarely do people live on high alert in a secure location 365 days a year. That means that when SHTF there will be work to do. You need to figure out what your priorities are and be sure that everybody in your household knows what to do. In addition, you need to practice this drill on a regular basis to ensure everybody is ready to go for bugging in.

Security

Check out Bugging In | What You Need To Do at https://survivallife.com/bugging-in/

One of the biggest priorities with bugging in is keeping your home secure. There is the possibility of looters or other intruders breaking in, so you need to develop several layers of protection for your home. The first layer of security is the perimeter of your property. For us, this is a barbed wire fence extending around all four sides. Next is your on-property security. This can consist of dogs, cameras, motion detectors, and even armed patrols. Next is your outer house security. This is your door locks, bars on windows, and a home security system. Finally, you want a security plan for inside your home. This consists of having a choke point between you and the intruders and having weapons on hand to defend that choke point. With these levels of security in place, it is unlikely that anybody will be able to get to you and your family.

Food

In order to bug in successfully, you will need a good supply of preserved foods to survive. Plan on working without electricity, so frozen foods are out. Canned goods can last for a while, but are not ideal. Your best bet is to have dried goods available to last several months. This includes jerky, hardtack, pemmican, and other salted and dried or dehydrated goods. Dried pasta is good to have, and all grains and beans are ideal if they are kept away from insects. MRE’s are alright, but they are expensive for long-term survival.

Water

Supplying water to your home can be an issue if the pumps that move the water are shut down. We are fortunate to have both a well on the property and a pond for water. Rainwater collection systems are a good way to keep a steady supply of fresh water. In addition, you should have the tools needed to purify water if you are forced to venture out looking for it. With a good filter, boiling, or iodine tablets you can purify water from any stream or pond you find. Be sure you know how to find water around your home, for you can only last three days without it.

Warmth

If you happen to be dealing with a cold climate, you will need a way to stay warm. Fire is always an option, but you risk burning the house down and risk carbon monoxide poisoning. You should have several different tools to start a fire with you including lighters and Ferro rods. In addition, a good supply of blankets can make a huge difference. The best options are wool blankets and emergency blankets. Wool can keep you warm even when wet, and emergency blankets reflect 90% of your body heat back to you.

 

Watch this video by Reality Survival & Prepping and find out the 25 things you want to avoid when bugging in:

Just put in mind that there are certain scenarios where the need for bugging in has lesser risks compared to bugging out. As you make these preparations you need to know those possible situations and anticipate then plan for it. It’s best to be prepared than not being prepared at all. This is a good bug in prepper list to get you started!

Have you tried making preparation for bugging in before SHTF? Let us know in the comments section below!

Check out Bugging In | What You Need To Do at https://survivallife.com/bugging-in/

Up Next: Bugging In | Why Staying Put Might Be Your Best Bet For Survival

Check out Bugging In | What You Need To Do at https://survivallife.com/bugging-in/

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 7, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

 

Featured Image by rexdixon.com

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Lost At Sea Survival Guide

Lost At Sea Survival Guide


Are you fascinated by lost at sea movies? Don’t you think it’s fascinating how the characters come up with strategic ways to survive using only what they’ve got? While you might think it can only happen in the movies, it’s still a good idea to know how to survive, should you ever find yourself lost at sea. Even with limited resources and unknown dangers, it is still possible to survive if you’re equipped with the proper knowledge. Read on to know the most important things to keep in mind when you find yourself lost in the waters.

Lost At Sea: Surviving the Unknown

 

1. Drink Water

Drink Water | Lost At Sea Survival Guide | Tips And Tricks For Ocean Navigation
Drink Water Photo by Blog News

One of the ironies of being stuck adrift the sea or ocean is you are surrounded by water but won’t be able to drink it. Drinking salt water will only make you thirstier and can even make you ill. Instead, collect rainwater with any container or cloth you have with you and stock up.

RELATED: Drinking Water for Survival | 8 Reasons Why It’s Important

2. Build Shelter and Find Clothing

When you are out in the open sea, finding or making a shelter can be difficult, but it is still necessary. That’s why you must never throw away any clothing or tarp that you have on board.

You can use clothing or a tarp to cover you up in extremely cold temperatures and prevent hypothermia. You can also use them to cover your head on hot days. For extremely hot days or rainy days, you can even use poles or long sticks to prop up the tarp and have it serve as a roof.

3. Be Wary of Shark Attacks

Be Wary of Shark Attacks | Lost At Sea Survival Guide | Tips And Tricks For Ocean Navigation
Be Wary of Shark Attacks Photo by I Heart Animals

Being out in the open water, you never know when sharks might be lurking around. While the first instinct in this situation is to panic, you need to be on your guard and be alert. If a shark is about to attack you, thrust something at its sensitive nose or take a jab at its eyes and gills.

4. Search or Catch Food

Search or Catch Food | Lost At Sea Survival Guide | Tips And Tricks For Ocean Navigation
Search or Catch Food Photo by Teleamazonas

When you’re lost at sea, the obvious food choice you have is fish. Luckily, fish tend to gather beneath vessels. Try using a paracord or any string as a fishing line. Also, be on the lookout for any other food options, such as seaweed, seabirds, or plankton.

5. Look Out for Land

Look Out for Land | Lost At Sea Survival Guide | Tips And Tricks For Ocean Navigation

Don’t lose hope of finding land in the vast ocean. After all, there’s always a chance. Look out for these signs:

  • Lighter colored water — This indicates shallow water, which is a sign that land is nearby.
  • Wave patterns — Waves refract as they approach land.
  • Presence of birds — If you see numerous birds together, this may mean that land is not too far from where you are.

RELATED: Man Survives 14 Months Lost at Sea

6. Relax

Relax | Lost At Sea Survival Guide | Tips And Tricks For Ocean Navigation

Save your sweat, so you don’t get dehydrated faster. Get some sleep and don’t strain yourself, so you won’t find yourself drinking water as often (you have to save your drinking water). Also, maintain a calm and peaceful mind amidst the situation, as this will help you think more clearly about your next steps.

7. Signal for Help

Signal for Help | Lost At Sea Survival Guide | Tips And Tricks For Ocean Navigation
Signal for Help Photo by Good Herald

Be on the lookout for signs of airplanes or ships that can rescue you. Use your smartphone screen or a mirror to reflect the light from the sun and attract the attention of the plane or ship. On a sunny day, the signal can reach up to 10 miles.

 

Infographic | Lost At Sea Survival Guide | Tips And Tricks For Ocean Navigation

 

For more tips on survival at sea, check out this video from the BRIGHT SIDE:

The ocean or sea is as majestic as it is dangerous. While lost at sea stories in movies can be cool to watch, it’s also important to learn the tactics they use in order to survive. More importantly, if you ever find yourself in this situation, do not lose hope. Fight for your life with determination. Without these things, you won’t be able to effectively apply these tips when you’re out there.

Do you have any useful tips for lost at sea situations? Share them with us in the comments section below!

Up Next: 7 Tips To Safely Cross Creeks, Streams, Rivers, and Rapids

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 13, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

 

Featured Image by Slash Gear

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DIY Garden Design To Grow 100 Pounds Of Potatoes

DIY Garden Design To Grow 100 Pounds Of Potatoes


Small space gardening is both efficient and convenient. Being able to produce food without a large area is a truly useful skill for any survivalist, and few foods are better for survival than potatoes. They keep for a long time, are extremely versatile and filling, and just about everyone likes them. Seriously, have you ever met someone who doesn’t enjoy potatoes in one way or another? Learn how to grow 100 pounds of potatoes in 4 square feet garden design with these easy, cheap potato boxes. Read on and think about all the great food you could make with the pounds of potatoes you’ll grow using this easy tip.

How to Grow 100 Pounds of Potatoes in a Box Garden Design

 

How to Build a Potato Box Video:

How to Build a Potato Box

Supplies:

Supplies | DIY Garden Design To Grow 100 Pounds Of Potatoes

  • 6  2×6″ boards, 8 ft long
  • 1  2×2″ board, 12 ft long
  • 96  2 and 1/2″ wood screws

Instructions:

The first step is cutting the 2×2 inches board into pieces of 33 inches in length; four pieces will be enough. Then, take the 2×6 boards and cut those into 12 lengths of 21inches and 12 lengths of 24 inches. Make some screw holes in these and attach the bottom row on the 2×2 boards. Place this part of the vertical garden over the soil, fill with mulch and plant potatoes about 4 inches deep. Remember that each layer which you plant must have its sides boarded up. Now, let them grow a bit. When the vines reach some 12 inches above the soil, it’s time to add another set of boards and fill the space with dirt. Make sure you don’t cover more than a third of the plant. Do the same for each layer until you finish the box. In order to harvest your potatoes, take out the screws from the bottom board. With your hands reach in the box and grab your potatoes. Replace boards and soil and the layer is good to go again. After the necessary time, remove the second board and have yourself a handful of potatoes. Read some more off the internet about planting potatoes to make sure you do it right.

Infographic | DIY Garden Design To Grow 100 Pounds Of Potatoes

 

Follow the full guide on how to grow 100 pounds of potatoes in a square box garden design here:

 

Watch this video from Arnboat to give you a preview of your potato box harvest:

Now you know you don’t need a huge vegetable garden to grow potatoes. A small garden design used wisely will give you all you need to grow food which can actually give you the sustenance you and your family needs. What’s best about this raised garden beds design is you can use this box for growing potatoes, again and again, for different growing seasons. Follow this guide to growing potatoes with a DIY potato box garden design!

What would you add yourself to this guide for building a DIY Garden Design that’s built for potatoes? We will appreciate your tips and suggestions in the comments section below!

Up Next: Survival Gardening – How To Grow Lettuce Indoors

For awesome survival gear, you can’t make at home, check out the Survival Life Store!

Check out Is Dutch Oven Cooking A Part Of Your Emergency Plan? [Video Tutorial] at https://survivallife.com/dutch-oven-cooking-video-tutorial/

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 15, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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Don’t Miss These Posts On Survival Life...

Don’t Miss These Posts On Survival Life…


1. The Ultimate Guide to Poisonous Plants | Wilderness Survival Skills

Check out Don’t Miss These Posts On Survival Life... at https://survivallife.com/september-2018-roundup-3/
Poisonous plants are everywhere. They’re in the woods, the forests, and the mountains. In fact, some of them may even be in your garden. This makes bugging out look like a dangerous proposition when the SHTF. These plants would not cause harm if you did not eat or touch them. As you read our guide, you will realize that it is actually simple and easy to avoid these poisonous plants. Just stick to your regular food and avoid the bitter stuff. Check out the guide to help identify dangerous flora and avoid getting sick in the wilderness… Click to read more

2. 10 Coolest Paracord Survival Bracelets

Check out Don’t Miss These Posts On Survival Life... at https://survivallife.com/september-2018-roundup-3/
Preppers may not be known for their fashion sense, but bracelets can mean the difference between life and death–paracord survival bracelets, that is! Each bracelet is made with between eight and twenty feet of woven paracord, which can be taken apart and used in various survival situations. Did we mention you can store essential survival gear in these bracelets? Here are 10 of the coolest paracord survival bracelets for your emergency preparedness… Click to read more

3. How Heavy Is Your Go-Bag? Applying Ultralight Backpacking To Survival Preparation

Check out Don’t Miss These Posts On Survival Life... at https://survivallife.com/september-2018-roundup-3/
Ounces equal pounds, pounds equal pain. This is a principle taught to Marines in basic training as they get ready for their first hikes. Once they get past mandatory gear lists in the training environment, Marines quickly learn the ultralight backpacking essentials. This is how service members can carry everything they may need for 8 to 15 months in an austere environment. Sticking to that minimalism mindset allows for quicker pack up and set up time while lessening the load on the body… Click to read more

4. Important Self Sufficiency Skills To Learn

Check out Don’t Miss These Posts On Survival Life... at https://survivallife.com/september-2018-roundup-3/
Self-sufficiency is a must if you’re planning on homesteading. Becoming a full-fledged homesteader is a learning process. You must learn new skills and hone those you already have. Just like other major life decisions, the commitment to homestead might be a shock to new preppers in the beginning. But using the wisdom and knowledge of others who have done it before can help immensely… Click to read more

5. Novice Prepper: Essentials You Need for Disaster Prep

Check out Don’t Miss These Posts On Survival Life... at https://survivallife.com/september-2018-roundup-3/
We’ve got you covered with this list of essentials that’ll help even a novice prepper get ready for a disaster. All preppers have to start somewhere! To get things going with this lifestyle, there are some things you’re definitely going to need… Click to read more

6. How Bolt Cutters Can Help You For Your Emergency

Check out Don’t Miss These Posts On Survival Life... at https://survivallife.com/september-2018-roundup-3/
Bolt cutters can be one of the handiest tools for emergency situations. Find out how to utilize this device in saving lives and slicing through tough metal casings… Click to read more

7. High-Rise Survival: Building Evacuation Kit

Check out Don’t Miss These Posts On Survival Life... at https://survivallife.com/september-2018-roundup-3/
Most buildings have an emergency exit plan and building evacuation procedures that leads people to safer areas. There are management posts with floor indications that guide residents to the exits. However, if this initial plan fails, people need an emergency kit to get them through the situation. A kit with emergency items can make a big difference in surviving out of a high-rise building. On that note, here are the things you need for your building evacuation kit… Click to read more

8. How To Make Civil War Fire Cakes | Survival Food Tutorial

Check out Don’t Miss These Posts On Survival Life... at https://survivallife.com/september-2018-roundup-3/
Fire cakes are a simple, reliable survival food. In an SHTF situation, you have to make the best with what you’ve got. Today I’ll take you back to the olden days and show you one of the Civil War recipes which require only a couple of ingredients and limited resources. I have to warn you, this isn’t a gourmet 5-star meal, but in a crisis, when food is scarce and you need to stretch your supplies to their limits. Anyone can make fire cakes because it only takes a few steps! Click to read more

9. 3 Stealthy Concealed Carry Tricks

Check out Don’t Miss These Posts On Survival Life... at https://survivallife.com/september-2018-roundup-3/
How important is a concealed carry? What I’m about to tell you could literally make the difference between life and death. It could be a crisis for you and possibly your family. There has to be some reason you found this post right now at probably the right time. No matter how much you want to believe you can never become a victim. The truth is that life is unpredictable and danger can strike at any given moment. The ability to protect yourself from a would-be attacker could be something that you lack… Click to read more

10. Egg Carton Seedlings

Check out Don’t Miss These Posts On Survival Life... at https://survivallife.com/september-2018-roundup-3/
Interested in gardening with egg cartons? It’s that time of year again! Winter will be over before you know it and Spring is just around the corner. In this article, I’m going to show you how to use eggshells and cheap egg cartons to start your seed planting… Click to read more

What have you done this week? Let us know in the comments below.

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Top 5 Things to Consider Before Diving In

Top 5 Things to Consider Before Diving In


If you’re considering going off-grid with solar and a battery bank, you’re probably wading through a jungle of questions and research. To decide if off-grid solar survival is right for you, let’s set the ultra-technical aspects aside (mostly) for a moment, and work through the top 5 questions to ask yourself before diving in, getting off-grid, and soaking up the rays!

Off-Grid Solar Survival: Important Things to Keep In Mind

This post was originally by DIY Projects and shared with permission

 

1. What is Your “Payback Period”?

What is Your “Payback Period”? |   Off-Grid Solar Survival: Top 5 Things to Consider Before Diving In

 

“Payback period” is a phrase that’s thrown around a lot in regard to solar. So first, we need to break that down. Solar materials and labor cost (X) and your current electric bill cost you (Y) each month/year. What we want to know is: How soon will the solar system start saving me money? To determine how long that will take we just divide (X) by (Y).

For example, let’s say solar costs $1,000 (X), and your current monthly electric bill is $100 (Y). Because you paid $1,000 up front and you don’t have an electric bill anymore, after your 10th month you’ll be saving $100 per month. So in this example, your payback period is 10 months. (Hint: Solar prices have dropped dramatically in the past 10 years, but your payback period almost definitely going to be quite a bit longer than 10 months)

2. Am I in a Location That’s Viable for Solar?

Location, location, location. The more hours of sunlight that your solar panels can receive, the better. A big mistake that’s made all too often with solar is failing to consider an object like a tree, or chimney, or nearby pole that will cast a shadow on your solar array at some point during the day. Even though that shadow might only be covering a tiny portion of the one panel it can drastically reduce the performance of the whole array.

As the sun tracks from east to west throughout the day, and throughout the seasons, you want to make sure your array is in a location where it can receive maximum sunlight. A quick google search for “distribution of solar radiation in _______ (your country)” should show you what you’re looking for and you can narrow in from there.

3. Are You Self-Installing or Hiring an Installer?

Are You Self-Installing or Hiring an Installer? | Off-Grid Solar Survival: Top 5 Things to Consider Before Diving In

 

Depending on your local laws, having a certified installer may be the only legal option. This comes with huge benefits of having someone to contact in the event of a malfunction, having an expert help determine your needs, and it will certainly decrease the time you have to wait before going off-grid. Even at the prices solar is now available for, this is not an investment you want to have to make twice if you make a mistake.

If you are free to do what you please on your land, you could save a significant amount of money by self-installing. Remember, that the self-installing route will involve a lot of research, and it can be extremely dangerous to work with electricity, but it can absolutely be done. It’s probably from growing up with an ultra safety conscious father, but I feel compelled to reiterate that working with electricity can be deadly and it is critical to inform yourself on how to safely work with it before attempting a project like a solar install.

4. Is the Amount of Electricity you use is Compatible With the Amount of Solar System you can Afford?

Stick with me on this one; there’s an armful of important things to consider, but it’s worth in the end. A good way to determine this is to take a close look at your current electric bill. It should show you how many kW (which stands for kilowatt, or 1,000 watts) you use each month. The key here is balancing energy efficiency with convenience and comfort.

Heating and cooling will likely make up the majority of your electricity use. That includes your air conditioning, your heating, your washer and dryer, your fridge, your cooking etc. Generally, unless you’re planning a truly monstrous system, your air conditioning and home heating won’t be able to be on electricity from your solar system. You can do workarounds by having non-electric forms of air conditioning and heating to solve this issue. Having energy efficient appliances, reducing overall use, and insulating extremely well will all be important steps on your path to energy independence.

Next, let’s get familiar with how much electricity each appliance uses. Each appliance will have the W (watts) and the V (volts) as well as some other information listed on the appliance itself or on a tag on the cord. Once you get down to the nitty-gritty details of knowing not only how much energy you use per day, but roughly how much each electrical appliance uses, then you can really narrow in on how big your battery bank will need to be.

There are a variety of battery chemistries at varying prices (deep-cycle lead acid (non-sealed), sealed AGM, Lithium etc.). In most instances, the most affordable and available option will be a deep-cycle lead-acid battery. Keep in mind that, for most battery chemistries you will not want to discharge your battery more than 50% at any time. For example, if you have 600 Amp Hours total of battery capacity, you should only ever use 300 Amp Hours. This helps keep your batteries healthy and performing for you day after day.

As a brief technical note, you’ll often hear people talking about watts, kilowatts, volts, amps, and amp hours. The basics of what you really need to know here are a kilowatt is one thousand watts, volts X amps = watts, and while all are important to understanding, when you get right down to it Amp Hours are the most logical way to think about electricity you have on hand. For a more in-depth explanation on why, check out this article: Volts, Amps and Watts Oh My! Explaining The Basics Of Electricity.

Lastly, you’ll want to do some rough figuring on how many hours of sunlight your location receives per day. Then, use that to determine how many panels you’ll need in your array to be able to put the energy you use throughout the day back into your batteries through your solar panels.

Check out my solution to off the grid power for your batteries. Get this solar powered battery charger.

Basic example:

Basic example: | Off-Grid Solar Survival: Top 5 Things to Consider Before Diving In

I get 4 hours of peak sunlight per day, I can put 50 amps into my batteries per hour peak production. So I can usually count on 200 amp hours being available to recharge my batteries each day.

It may be slightly more because there will be an hour or two before and after “peak hours” that give me a little electricity, but it may also be slightly less if it is raining or cloudy. So, if you need more power per day, you’ll need to add more panels, or perhaps increase your battery bank size, and likely increase your controller size (your controller is the brains of the operation that essentially makes the “varied” power coming from the panels play nice with the batteries). I recommend doing a “back-of-the-envelope” calculation before going too far in-depth. This way you get an idea of how much your electrical use will cost you in terms of your solar system.

5. Do you Have Space for All This Stuff!?

The solar panels will need quite a bit of real estate if you are trying to get off-grid completely. Consider whether you’ll have space for this on your roof. Also, consider whether your roof is facing the right direction for maximum sunlight. Alternatively, you could mount the panels in your yard. You could even put them on something like a large cart you could roll to the best sunlight location in your yard throughout the different seasons.

Keep in mind also that the batteries are quite heavy. You don’t want them in an area that can accumulate fumes from off-gassing (not an issue with sealed batteries). You do want your batteries to be in a location that is decently temperature controlled. This is important because they will lose capacity when they are cold and should never be allowed to freeze.

You’ll want your batteries to be as close as possible to your controller and inverter, as well as the solar panels themselves. The cables you will use to connect these various components will most likely be made of copper. They will also be thick so that they can move a large current safely without overheating. That all adds up to increased cost for every foot further away that your batteries are from the rest of the system. In short, keep your cables as short as possible.

 

Watch this awesome video by TinHatRanch for an ultimate guide to DIY off-grid solar power:

There is no doubt more questions to be asking yourself before you roll up your sleeves on an off-grid solar build, but these five are a solid start to get the ball rolling. Take your time to think through each piece carefully and it will pay off nicely down the road. And remember, others before you have taken this leap! Do your research, reach out to people with experience, be patient, and you can do this!

Do you have any experience in building an off-grid solar power system? Let us know in the comments section below!

Up Next: 8 Ways To Generate Electricity At Home

 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on February 4, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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How to Make a Paracord Hammock Chair

How to Make a Paracord Hammock Chair


A DIY paracord hammock chair makes a great project for preppers. You can set up this DIY paracord chair just about anywhere in the woods as long as there are two trees close together. With paracord as the material, you can be sure that it will hold.

Paracord is one of the greatest tools a prepper can have at their disposal. It’s strong, durable, and versatile, making it ideal for a variety of tasks in the outdoors. This simple paracord hammock is a great project for anyone interested in learning how to do more with paracord ,or just anyone who frequently enjoys the outdoors. All you need is a paracord and two trees to tie your paracord hammock chair. Check out the video tutorial below.

DIY Paracord Hammock Chair

 

Step 1. Look for Two Trees to Tie Your Line

Look for a couple of trees that stand 5 to 6 feet apart. Tie two paracords from one tree to the other with one at the top and the other at the bottom. Make sure the paracords are 4 feet apart and tied nice and secure.

Step 2. Cut 9 Lengths of Cordage

Cut nine lengths of 8-foot cordage ready to tie the first knot onto the top string. Fold the cordage over in equal lengths, making a little loop at the top.

Step 3. Make a Prusik Knot

Wrap the loop up behind the line, bring the two tag ends, and cinch it down. It’s going to be sort of a simplified prusik knot, which allows you to adjust it when needed.

Step 4. Space the Lines Evenly

Attach the eight remaining lines one at a time using the same exact method. Make sure to space the lines approximately six inches from each other. That’s about a length of 48 inches end to end and where the actual making of the net starts.

Step 5. Tie the Lines Together

Take the inside line of the first two dropper lines and the closest end from the second line, then make an overhand knot. Do the same thing with the succeeding lines by doing an overhand knot at approximately the same height.

Step 6. Tie the Second Row

Proceed to tie the second row by using the outside strand. Do the same thing you did on the first row by utilizing the first outside string. Tie the lines together by running them both through with an overhand knot. Repeat the same process just like with the first line.

Step 7. Work the Bottom Line

After the net is tied down all the way to the last row, attach it to the bottom line. The bottom line should be at least an inch below the last knot. Take your tag ends and run it in front of the line and run them back around each other on either side by doing a square knot.

Step 8. Align the Bottom and Top Lines

Slide the end lines where they’re approximately the same as the top line ,so everything’s nice and squared up. Do the same with the rest of the lines.

Step 9. Trim the Excess Paracord

Now that the line is attached to the bottom string, trim off any excess paracord. Use a lighter to melt the ends to make sure the tied ends don’t unravel.

Step 10. Cut the Corners

Cut a rope on each corner and secure it to the hammock so it doesn’t slip back off. Tie it to the bottom line with an overhand knot.

Step 11. Clip the Ends Together

Use a carabiner to clip the ends together by running it through each loop on the bottom. Flip it around and do the same thing on the other end.

Step 12. Time to Suspend the Paracord Hammock

 Time to Suspend the Paracord Hammock | DIY Paracord Hammock Chair

You now have your makeshift hammock, ready to suspend. Wrap your paracord suspension around the tree then pull the other end. Attach the carabiner to the appropriate knob then hook the other end up.

 

Check out the full video and start making your DIY paracord hammock  chair:

There goes your DIY hammock chair finished product. It’s a great skill to learn for all outdoor folks out there. Well, you probably have a nice hammock already, but this will help just in case you forgot to put it in your backpack. Enjoy watching the video while learning something new today!

Do you have another way of making a DIY paracord hammock chair? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Up Next: How To Build An Overnight Bushcraft Camp

 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2016 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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POWER OUTAGE: What Happens When Power Goes Out?

POWER OUTAGE: What Happens When Power Goes Out?


You’re enjoying a relaxing evening watching television when suddenly all the lights go out. The TV shuts off and the room goes quiet. The sound of silence is foreboding. You just lost all electrical power and you immediately get uneasy. You look outside the window. The whole neighborhood is dark. There are no traffic sounds, no noise, no street lights–all is still and silent. You begin to see flashlights and candles flickering in the windows of nearby houses.

And then it sinks in. You won’t have lights, heat, air conditioning, TV, or anything electrical until the utility company can restore power. Your furnace and air conditioner won’t work. Your refrigerator and freezer stopped functioning. You pick up your cell phone and discover that cell phone service is no longer available. What is happening?

There may have been indicators that a power outage was coming. Excessive demand on the power grid may have prompted the utility company to intentionally (or unintentionally) reduce voltage on the grid causing a brownout. It can last for minutes or hours. It is imposed to reduce electrical load on the grid and prevent a total loss of power. It’s typically caused by electrical demand so strong there isn’t enough energy for all the users trying to draw power from the electrical grid. As a result, the 115-120 volts typically available could be as low as 105 volts. This causes motors and appliances to struggle to operate properly. They run at reduced speed and may even run backwards. A motor that was running when the brownout occurred can heat up. Excessive heat causes wear on components and can damage the circuitry in appliances causing early failures. If it gets too hot, the insulation around wires could melt.

If you still use incandescent lights, they may dim. And the images on older CRT displays or televisions with picture tubes can shrink and become fuzzy. Power supplies in electronic devices could malfunction causing digital data loss.

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Sometimes there simply isn’t enough power available so utility companies will declare a “stage 3” power alert and institute a short term temporary shutdown called a rolling blackout to conserve power while minimizing the effect on everyone connected to the grid. This loss of power is rotated among users for typically an hour at a time. The effect is a reduction in the overall load on the electrical grid. Utility companies call this “rotational load shedding” or “feeder rotation.” It’s used as a last resort to avoid a total loss of power because demand has exceeded the supply of electricity. Not all users are affected. Emergency and law enforcement buildings are not subject to the rolling blackout. We need them powered up for public safety.

Finally there is the sudden shutdown of all electrical power–the blackout. It can affect a building, a block of homes, part of the city, the whole city, county, state, or the entire national power grid. A blackout can last minutes, hours, days, or even weeks. I found cases of power being out for as long as two months. Extended power outages are very difficult for societies and economies to manage.

When the power grid shuts down, all electric motors immediately stop operating. Stoves, ovens, refrigerators, and freezers won’t work. Food remains cold or cool, but will soon begin warming. And you can’t use your electric range or microwave.

The furnace doesn’t blow warm air. The air conditioner can’t cool the house. Even cooling fans no longer operate and stop spinning. If it’s cold outside, water in your plumbing pipes may begin to freeze. And those large uncovered windows will soon allow the inside to become chilly.

Pumps and motors that keep life normal suddenly don’t work. The pump to bring water up from the well no longer works. The pressure in city water lines may decrease such that only a slow drip comes out of the faucet. And that sump pump keeping water from seeping into your basement or under your house no longer does its job.

Medical life-support devices that operate on electricity won’t work. The air purifier is off. Medications that you keep refrigerated begin to warm threatening their effectiveness. Even the four and seven watt night lights are all dark.

Anything you put off or forgot to do will become an issue when you are without power. Your cell phone battery can cause your phone to shut down until the battery is re-charged. And it may not work anyway. The cell phone towers may also be shut down–or taken over by emergency incident first responders. You may find communication by cell phone slow and disruptive. You may not be able to text family and friends. If emergency power to radio and TV stations fails, you may not be able to hear or see and thus monitor the outage.

Electronic devices and appliances without battery backup will not energize. Any computer data you were working with may be lost or corrupted by the sudden power outage. When power goes out some electronics will shift to battery backup and flash a “power out” warning light.

Besides lights not working in your home, your telephone may be disabled preventing communication by phone. Digital phone service provided by your cable operator may not work. And even though the network hubs for the Internet usually have backup generators, keeping them supplied with fuel may be a challenge. If these generators stop, the servers will fail and communication by Internet will cease until power is restored. All over your area, life without electricity is quickly transformed and the effect spreads rapidly. Life begins to move at a slower pace.

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Your animals will look about trying to understand why it’s so quiet and dark. They’ll look to you for guidance and reassurance. You family will also look to you for answers.

If you decide to take your vehicle out of the garage to drive to a location with electricity, you may discover your automatic garage door opener won’t lift the door so you can drive out. Did you learn how to over-ride the door’s opening mechanism?

Outside, all the stop lights are out. While most drivers will be considerate and treat all intersections with darkened traffic lights as four-way stops, some people will ignore rules of etiquette and drive right through. These unsafe and unwise actions can increase the number of accidents.

Some people will be caught on the top floors of high-rise buildings. Some will be stuck in elevators that no longer work. And others will be marooned far from home in places that are also without electricity. Airports will begin operating on emergency power restricting air traffic, and commuter trains and buses may no longer operate.

Store cash registers won’t work and many clerks simply won’t have the skills to manually calculate a purchase. If these people don’t have a battery-operated electronic cash register or calculator, they’re lost. This reality is a sad commentary from the days when clerks wrote each price down on a paper bag, calculated the full purchase price on the bag, and then used the bag to not only hold the items the shopper bought but also to provide the buyer a receipt for their purchase.

Yes, life without power can be frightening. But it needn’t be if you prepare and learn how to survive a power outage.

Check out these related articles?

 What Causes A Power Outage?

DIY Solar Powered Air Cooler

Best Long Term Food Storage Tips

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