Wednesday, November 25, 2015

RATS Tourniquet

A lot has changed since I first certified as an EMT.  Not only has CPR protocol changed dramatically but so has how and when a tourniquet is used.

Proper care of a traumatic injury takes the right information, training and tools.  As knowledge increases the equipment and procedures need to change.  

Those of you who carry a conceal weapon should also be trained in how you would care for the individual against whom you are compelled to use force.  Without getting into this topic further, it's just the right thing to do.  Knowing how to address traumatic injuries is probably the most critical knowledge of first-aid you can have.  

This new tourniquet is the perfect example of an increase of knowledge in emergency medicine and improvement of the gear.

As explained to me by Jeff Kirkham, the inventor of the R.A.T.S. tourniquet, there have been many misconceptions about the use of tourniquets that have been proven wrong.

It was once thought that the use of a tourniquet was meant as a last resort.  This is not the case.  Please take time to read this article from the Journal of Emergency Medical Service concerning tourniquets.

The facts are that in the case of severe blood loss the first course of action should be to apply a tourniquet, not the last.  As I am not a medical professional this is where I will stop.  Take the time to read the article and search out other means and medical professionals and learn how and when to properly apply a tourniquet.

After reviewing some of the other tourniquets on the market it is my humble opinion that the R.A.T.S. tourniquet is the most versatile, most effective, fastest and easiest tourniquet to apply, even on yourself.  Add these to your medical kits, jump kits and bug-out bags.

Recently, MyMedic, previously known as MinutemanRX, has begun to add this tourniquet to their medical kits in place of the ones they had been supplying previously.  This says a lot to me. builds the best kits that I have ever laid my hands on.  Check them out too.    

Visit for more information and to order a few for yourself.  

Monday, November 23, 2015

Top 10 Wilderness Survival Lists

On PrepperCon Radio this last week we spoke with Dan Whiting of LiveLifeSurvival.  Dan is a survivalist and teaches many outdoor classes including wild edible plants, wilderness hunting and shelter building and offers 3 day and week long classes.

There are many different lists that you will and probably have come across online concerning all things prepping and survival.  These lists are always a great place to start.  You will, however, find that as you get more experienced and knowledgeable about your gear and your particular environment your list will most likely become different than that of many others.  Your list will also change depending upon your weaknesses and strengths.  

Dan's Survival top 10 jump kit

Jump kit items
The purpose of a jump kit....
In an emergency you just grab and go.
The most valuable purpose for the kit is as a training tool.

The pack should have many pockets and should be double the size of the the stuff you put into it. One of your biggest requirements of the pack will be to carry things that you gather along the way. You need storage space in your pack. The total amount on things you have in your pack should only take up about half of the total space in your pack.

1- Fire kit- Fire is one of your best shelters and all-around survival tools. The kit should contain matches, lighter and/or a fire strike. Should be in a protective case. Should be tiny. Could even be just 2 lighters. Whatever is in it, you should be well versed in how to use it.

2- Razor knife and blades- This might be a surprise to a lot of people. When you break down the chores that you need a knife for, they are centered around creating tool and things that you can make from nature. You don't need a knife for a shelter. You don't need a knife for fire. What you do need a knife for is to eat. You need trap parts. You need a digging stick. What you need is a knife that can make precise cuts. I like the nebo brand. Cost, less than $10.

3- Water filter- needs to be a pump, not the straws, preferably with a ceramic filter. These you can maintain on the trail. 

4- First aid kit- this doesn't have to be a massive kit. It should be able to fit into container about the size of an index card. This needs to contain any medications that you or your family members may need. 

5- Solar charger- this is to keep you in contact with the outside world as well as get you rescued if the need arises.

6- Small jar of peanut butter- this is excellent emergency food source as well as awesome bait that will bring in anything to your trap.

7- Wire snares- you can make these yourself. All you need is 6, 4' lengths of steel cable less than 1/8". A flat piece of metal bent at a 90 degree angle as a lock that has two holes at the ends. And some metal to crimp on to the ends of the cable. 

8- A piece of plastic- or a tarp of your choice. This is for instant shelter until something more permanent can be made. As well as water collection and wind protection. Clear can be exceptionally useful for water collection and purification.

9- Pot/wok- it sounds lame but it is invaluable. 

10- Cooking kit- the basic elements of the kit should contain a small bottle each of salt, oil and sugar.

11- Saw- this is a long term survival tool. This is designed for permanent shelter construction as well as convenience in fire wood. The saw that I prefer is the Irwin universal handsaw. Cost around $15.

12- Fishing kit- Most survival fishing kits are a waste of time. What you need to do before you ever build a survival fishing kit is to become an awesome fisherman. What you need in you kit are items that will actually work. This takes a lot of time and practice. So when your wife says, why are you fishing all the time?, you can say DAN said it's ok.

13- Paracord- 50' is enough.

14- Machete- it is the go to tool for a million different tasks. Make it a good one because it will get the most use.

15- Gun- a .22 pistol can provide consistent meals.

16- Hammer/hatchet- this is a vital tool for getting into things, especially in an urban environment.

17- Chisel- this is for long term survival when constructing a permanent shelter.

To build up a good jump kit start with the pack, Miltek make some affordable and good quality products, about $39. Then just go down the list one by one, starting with number 1 and you will soon have everything you need!

Prepared Guy's top 10 list.

My list is also more than just 10.  There are the basic things that you don't even walk out of the house with in the morning which include:

A.  The right clothing for the environment.
B.  The mindset/attitude for a survival situation.
C.  The knowledge that comes with study and experience.

The bag is just about the most important part.  A quality pack about the size of a typical day pack is just the right size.  I love this pack.  It's spendy but it won't let you down.

The Teton Sports Rock 1800 would also be a good, more affordable option.  I'll have a review of this pack up next week. 

Although I prefer simplicity I'm not as much of a minimalist as Dan.  I carry what I need as long as my pack isn't too heavy so I'm not constrained by my list.  Carrying 20 lbs of gear doesn't slow me down much and still allows me to stay nimble on my feet.

1.  Shelter.  This could be a quality wind breaker jacket.  Preferably a waterproof and breathable fabric like GoreTex.  A space blanket could also qualify for a temporary shelter but preferably something more durable like a ripstop nylon tarp.

2.  Water Filter.  There are plenty of different options in this category.  This should be a backpacking version that can be cleaned in the field.

3.  Fire Kit.  My kit contains waterproof/windproof matches, a bic lighter, a ferro rod and a firestarter material.

4.  Fixed blade knife.  4" - 5" made of 1095 steel 3/8" to 1/4" thick.  This should be a blade capable of doing most any chore including cutting branches and splitting wood.

5.  Cordage.  Paracord will do fine but also consider carrying thinner cordage for more length.

6.  First Aid Kit.  This is a small basic kit with personal needs, gauze, medical tape and such
primarily meant for injuries more significant than small scrapes and cuts.  Put your own together with just what you need in a heavy duty zip lock bag or other pouch.

7.  Flashlight.  A tough quality light that you know will work when you need it.  Preferably this light should have various brightness settings from very low to upwards of 200 lumens.  And of course carry an extra set of batteries.

8.  Fishing kit.  Fishing line, hooks, lures, weights, bubbles and other artificial bait.  I'm not a trapper like Dan so I rely on my fishing experience to feed me.

9.  Rifle.  I'm a much better shot than I am skilled and patient with trapping.  My weapon of choice for this task is the Ruger 10/22 takedown with about 200 rounds of hollow point .22LR.

10.  Pocket knife with a 3" to 4" blade.  Whereas Dan carries a razor knife I prefer a quality knife made from anything better than 440C stainless that I can sharpen in the field.  This is usually my EDC knife that is always with me.

11.  Diamond pocket sharpener.  Choose one that works well for you.

As you can see, there are many different but also similar contents to each of our kits.

There are, of course, many other things you can add to your jump kit, survival kit, whatever you wanna call it kit.  The point is that you should continually work on it and improve your skills and add to and take away from your kit as you see fit.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

PrepperCon Radio Episode 7, 11-18-2015, Survive: Live Life Survival

On today's PrepperCon radio broadcast our guest was Dan Whiting of  Dan is a wilderness survival instructor.  He has also invented an all natural cold sore remedy which you can find at  His view on being a survivalist is probably somewhat different than other survivalists you may follow.  Take a listen.  

Dan taught several classes at our last PrepperCon event in SLC and will also be instructing at next years event on April 15th and 16th at the South Town Expo Center in Sandy, UT.  You can get tickets now at    

We had a very fun conversation about being a survivalist and about Dan's top 10 list of items you should have for wilderness survival in your pack.   I will create another post about all of these items and include my personal top 10 list as well.

You can listen to the archived broadcast here: 

You can watch the broadcast on the PrepperConTV YouTube channel here: 

All of the PrepperCon Radio shows can be heard on the archives.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Day One Response Waterbag Gear Review

The Day One Response waterbag backpack is a personal water treatment system.  It's kinda like making your own tap water.  This system can be used anywhere in the world and is primarily designed to purify dirty water.  When I say dirty I mean murky sediment laden water.

The waterbag comes with small pouches containing calcium hypochlorite and a flocculant.  Calcium hypochlorite is essentially bleach and the floc coagulates the sediments in the water and causes them to settle at the bottom of the waterbag.  This clarifies and purifies the water.  The water then flows out of the waterbag thru a filter to further help eliminate micro organisims.  With clear, cold, fast flowing water in areas of the world where water borne viruses do not exists, such as most of North America, use of the additive is not necessary but will help to ensure purification.

I won't go thru the instructions here but it's just about as easy to use any filling up the bag with water and waiting for it to come out the other end.  Just as with any other filter you do need to keep the clean end from being contaminated by the unfiltered/unpurified water.  This can be a challenge if you are just gonna dip the waterbag into the river to fill it up.  I don't like the clean end to go anywhere near the dirty side so you'll need a separate container to accomplish this.

The waterbag uses an MSR Autoflow filter cartridge which could be replaced if needed with any other inline filter such as a Sawyer to achieve the same purpose.  The waterbag also comes with a large syringe that is used to clean the filter by back flushing clean water thru it to clean out the filter elements.  Thus this type of filter can be back flushed many, many times which means that it can work property for a very long time.

One very critical thing to be aware of is that the filter can be damaged by dropping it or by freezing, and you won't know that it is broken until you get sick because the filter elements were damaged.  So, protect that filter well and bring it in from the cold.

Where does the Day One Response Waterbag fit into my emergency preparedness plans?  Let me expound.

Plan A. Establish your home water storage first.  Fill and maintain fresh water in whatever you use to store water such as blue 55 gallon drums.  My recommendations are for an absolute minimum of 2 weeks worth of water storage.

B.  Plan and prepare for a way to treat contaminated water coming to your home in the plumbing.  The Day One Response Waterbag fits in nicely here.

Make a plan to get more.  Plans C, D, E, and F.

C.  Put my 250 gallon water storage tank in my enclosed trailer and drive it down to the local river,  Fill it up by means of a gas powered water pump or by any other means such as buckets, hand pump or siphon.  This water will still need to be filtered or purified.  The Waterbag will work perfectly in this application as well.

D.  Walk down to the river and fill the Waterbag to carry water back home.

E.  Hike to the spring up the little canyon to collect water with the Waterbag.

F.  Collect rain water as it is available.  Purify it and filter it with the Waterbag.

There are, of course, many other ways to filer and purify the water you need to drink.  However, not many of them fill our needs as well as the Day One Response Waterbag,  For carry, transport, purification and filtration the Waterbag does it all.

The fact is that you should have multiple and redundant systems in addition to the Waterbag.  You should have several Waterbags but you should also have other purification and filtration systems including other gravity filters, ceramic and membrane filters, sand and carbon filters, water purification tablets, UV purification, bleach and ways to boil water.

If you don't have clean, purified water not much else matters.  In an emergency situation don't be the one who is in need of assistance.  Prepare now to have the basics of shelter, clean water and food.

Take a look at my PrepperConTV YouTube channel video where I talk about the Day One Response Waterbag and emergency water preparation.

Towing a disabled vehicle.

I'm sure that many of you have had to do this.  Your daughters car breaks down and you don't want to call a tow truck because of the expense.  Especially that it's after hours on a weekend.  No worries!  You can do this.  It's not that bad as long as you know a few things, have the right stuff and do it right.  Allow me to describe the correct way to tow a disabled vehicle. 

Have a strap like you see in the picture, not a chain.  Straps come in different sizes with different strength ratings.  They are easy to store in your vehicle and absorb the shock of being jerked around.  Although this mostly depends upon your ability to drive while towing.  This strap should be at least 20' long.   Anything shorter just isn't safe to use.

Attach the strap to the manufacturers tow hooks or loops built into the car.  Most vehicles will have this provision, but some do not.  If not, then you must attach the strap to the vehicle frame, not a bumper.  You'll pull the bumper right off unless it is a bumper made for that purpose such as an off road specific bumper with a winch mount or tow hook specific mount.

You may need a hook, link or shackle to attach the strap to the vehicle.  Be sure that the ones you buy are rated for the weight your vehicle and then some.  The jerking motion you will most likely experience when towing can far exceed the actual weight of your vehicle.

It is best for the tow vehicle to be a truck or SUV equipped with a trailer towing hitch.  Use the hitch pin to secure the other end of the strap.  Don't just loop it around the ball on a receiver hitch.  Both connections on both vehicles must not be able to fall off.  This can present additional dangers.  If your vehicle does not have a hitch for towing many vehicles may also be quipped with a tow point on the rear of the vehicle as well.  If not, you must attach the tow strap to the vehicle frame.  If you own a Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee or other uni-body vehicle (where the body and frame are integrated), and there is no manufactures tow point, then you'll just have to use your best judgment or leave it to the pros.

Put the vehicle in tow in Neutral.  Start off slowing and without jerking.  If the engine will run, turn it on.  This way you can enjoy the power steering and headlights which will make it safer to drive.  Turn on the the hazard lights on both vehicles.

The key to having a safe and uneventful tow is to always keep the tow strap taut.  This is done by keeping your speed under the limit and the vehicle being towed doing the majority, if not all of the breaking.  The driver of the vehicle in tow must anticipate stop signs, lights, turns and other obstacles.  Both drivers must work in concert.  The driver of the vehicle in tow can indicate to the other driver of upcoming stops and slow downs by gently using the brake to create slack then the tow vehicle driver has the challenge of then always keeping that strap tight.  Speed must be slow to achieve this.  When I mean slow it is relative.  I recommend no more than 20 mph in a 25 mph zone and the breaking is anticipated and started far in advance.  If you only feel comfortable towing at 10 mph that's fine.  You will just make other drivers annoyed.

Stick to the back roads, residential streets 35 mph and under, and limit the distance to as short as possible; only to get that vehicle to the nearest shop or place where it can be made drive-able.  NEVER attempt to tow a vehicle on the freeway as there are generally too many other vehicles that would be put at risk if something goes wrong.  If the vehicle is stranded on the freeway then it may be acceptable to tow the vehicle along the shoulder at 25 to 35 mph just until you are able to take the next exit ramp.

When driving everyday the rule of thumb for the minimum safe distance traveling behind another vehicle is one car length for every ten miles per hour.  If you exceed 20 mph with a 20' strap you may not have enough breaking distance before you rear-end the tow vehicle.  Thus, take it slow.  

If you don't want to hire a tow truck and have to transport the disabled vehicle more than a few miles, consider renting a car dolly. Of course you'll need to have the appropriate tow vehicle to do this but it will save you a lot of money.  Renting a car dolly for a half day may only cost you $50 whereas a tow truck with charge you that much just to show up.          

PrepperCon Radio Episode 6, 11-11-2015, Protect: Readyman

With Jeff and Evan from ReadyMan, myself and Scott in the studio today it was tight!  And I knew I would have a hard time getting more than a few words in.  Our topic was the second mission of PrepperCon: Protect.  We discussed the purpose of their Readyman escape and evade tools, the wilderness survival card. and how to make your home more secure among other things.  Listen to the archived broadcast.  I'm sure you'll learn a few things.

I was able to shoot at the ReadyMan compound a few months ago with Evan and Rory.  I, quite literally had a blast!  The level of professionalism from these gentlemen is top tier. Check out their site and subscribe to their online training service for the best quality training possible.

Listen to the archive of the broadcast here:

Watch the broadcast on the PrepperConTV YouTube channel here:

Listen every Wednesday at 9AM MTN on AM 630 K-Talk Radio, KTKK SLC, UT.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

PrepperCon Radio Episode 5, 11-4-2015, Prepare: Everyman Preparedness

On todays episode 5 of PrepperCon Radio we spoke with Spencer Schwendiman of Everyman Preparedness.  This week our topic was the first mission of PrepperCon: Prepare.  Spencer gave us his list of his top 7 things preppers should be focusing on to better prepare.

Listen to the archived broadcast on here:

Watch a portion of the broadcast on the PrepperConTV YouTube channel here:

Visit his web site here:

You can also follow him on Facebook here.

Don't forget to follow The Prepared Guy and PrepperCon on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.



The purpose of this site is to provide you with information about what I have learned, my experience, and what my motivations are as a prepared guy. I have always felt driven to be ready for any situation by something powerful deep inside me. Being prepared has always served me well. I feel compelled to help others do the same.
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