Urban Survival Skills You Can Practice Today

Welcome to this week’s newsletter, brought to you by Retired Navy SEAL, Larry Yatch’s “Real World Safety, Threat Detection and Situational Awareness Course.”  Learn the skills that kept him alive when operating solo and part of a 2 man team for extended periods in hostile foreign cities by going >HERE<

This week, we’re going to talk about how to get prepared for disasters when you find yourself already in financial “survival” mode.  These skills are things that you can do, in particular, in the summer months that will help get you ready for surviving unexpected disasters of all sorts.

Sometimes life can throw you a curve ball and make preparations difficult.  It can be difficult because of finances, health, family issues, or any combination of things.  In fact, a lot of people who are switched on and see trouble on the horizon are already in a sort of survival mode.  I hear from people on a daily basis who see trouble coming, but are on Social Security or who just got laid off and don’t have money for buying lots of supplies.

And I hear from others who aren’t in that extreme of a situation, but who are barely making it with the income and expenses they have right now, without additional preparedness or shooting expenses.

But if you’re in either of those situations, that doesn’t excuse you from making continual forward progress on your preparations.

The risks that we face to our way of life don’t care about whether or not we’re ready.  I don’t think I’m going to get a call before an EMP, terrorist attack, economic crash, or earthquake to make sure that my family is all set. And I doubt you will either.  These risks don’t really concern themselves with whether or not kids are having screaming fits during the day or teething all night…again.

These things just happen when they happen.

Whether you’re going through a rough patch or not, I want to go over some preparedness and shooting skills that you can be working on, no matter what your current situation is.

Financial situations can turn on a dime, and that’s one reason why it’s so important to focus on survival skills instead of just focusing on survival “stuff.”  Some stuff is important, and it definitely helps compensate for a lack of skill and/or makes survival tasks easier.  But the great thing about focusing on skills instead of stuff is that you can practice one survival skill or another no matter what your current situation is.

In fact, one way that you can and look at your situation if you’re already in “survival” mode right now is that if a catastrophic event happens, your life won’t be disrupted as much as it could be.  I often game EMP (electromagnetic pulse) events in my head.  When I do, one of the things that I always think of is how tribal people around the world who live without electricity won’t even know that anything happened.  They’ll just go on with everyday life like normal.

A lot of the survival skills that these tribal people use are free or next to free to practice.  You might want to make a list and make a goal of doing one of these every day.  If not every day, at least try to do one each weekend.

12 Survival Skills That Are Free or Inexpensive To Learn and Practice

Shooting:  Shooting is expensive, but practicing doesn’t need to be.  The best studies that I’ve seen show that you’ll improve the fastest as a shooter if you do 8-9 TIMES as much dry fire practice (without ammo) as you do live fire practice (with ammo).  You can do it on your own, or guided with 2 VERY low cost options:  TacticalFirearmsTrainingSecrets.com or DryFireTrainingCards.com

Fire:  Practice making a fire from tinder, kindling, and one match.  Move on to using flint and steel, flint, magnesium & steel, a Blast Match, or a fire piston (diesel).  Then, move on to a bow drill.  This is all stuff that you can do in your back yard.  I practice this with my sons and they’re quite good at making fires with magnesium and steel.  As a note, when I’ve got ideal tinder, I’ll use a sparking device, but if I don’t have perfect tinder, I prefer using a bow drill and a nice big coal.

Think you can’t do this?  I’ve even taught people how to light tinder with a spark in a hotel room bathroom on Nob Hill in San Francisco with a piece of aluminum foil protecting the floor.  Do this at your own risk.  I’ve got to especially warn you not to make enough smoke to set off a smoke detector OR set anything on fire.

Char cloth:  Char cloth is basically very thin pieces of charcoal made out of 100% cotton.  It will take a spark almost immediately, burn hot, and burn quite awhile.  Here’s a QUICK how-to guide to make your own.

Take a 100% cotton shirt, sheet, or any other piece of 100% cotton and cut it into 1 or 2 inch squares.  Then, drop the cotton squares into a CLEAN tin can until it’s full & cover it with heavy aluminum foil.  You can secure the aluminum foil with baling wire, but it’s not vital as long as the foil is on tight.  Next, poke a small hole in the top of the foil and put the can into a pile of hot coals.  Smoke should start coming out of the hole within a couple of minutes.  This is smoke and methane and the smoke will be flammable (you can light it if you want).  Within 5-10 minutes, the smoke should stop coming out of the hole.  When this happens, take the tin can out of the coals and let it cool.  When it’s cool, take the foil out and pull a square out.  If it’s all ash, it means that air got into the can before it cooled and you just need to try again.  If not, then the cotton got hot without oxygen, turned black, you should be good to go!  (This is how charcoal is made, and you essentially end up with small, thin pieces of charcoal) Take a piece, use a sparking device to throw a spark at it and play with your new toy 🙂

Here’s a quick video explaining it.  The chemistry is a little off, and I’ve given him a hard time about it, but the how-to is correct:

The skills you’ll develop making char cloth are a solid foundation for making charcoal AND for making a gassifier.  In one of it’s simplest forms, a gassifier is a contraption that allows you to extract methane from wood and use it to run a generator.

Solar heating: Have an old satellite dish?  Coat it with mylar or aluminum foil to reflect and focus sunlight and practice cooking, boiling water, making char cloth, and starting fires with it.  This will get HOT…hot enough to burn you, so be careful.  Don’t have a satellite dish?  Look for them in dumpsters and on the curb on big trash pickup days.  This will work with old full sized satellite dishes or parabolic dishes as small as a Coke can.  The bigger the dish, the hotter they’ll get.  (We covered multiple ways to do this in the November 2013 Journal of Tactics and Preparedness that you can get >HERE<

Hunting, alarms, traps & snares: Have mice?  Practice trapping or making intrusion alarms.  Have sparrows, starlings, or other “pest” birds?  Practice your blowgun, slingshot, or bb skills.

Water filtration:  Have a bucket you can cut a hole in?  Practice making a water filter out of gravel, pea gravel, sand, and activated charcoal (or non-chemically treated charcoal).  Run water through it and see how it tastes.  I’ve got a picture & more info here: secretsofurbansurvival.com/321/fire-and-water-in-an-urban-survival-situation/

Stockpiling:  Yes…it’s a skill.  And you should be good at it.  Some of the immediate benefits are saving money and never running out of diapers, toilet paper, dog food, paper towels, etc. this side of a disaster.  It also means fewer rushed trip to the store for emergency items.  It also means fewer conversations that go something like, “Honey…did you remember to bring home the xxxx that I asked you to pick up.  We’re out.”  Whether we ever experience a catastrophic, life changing event or not, my family’s lives are better because we stockpile.

Don’t have emergency water stored up yet?  If you drink soda, start keeping all of your empty plastic bottles, whether they’re big or small.  Wash them out with soap & hot water & put water and a little chlorine in them until you’ve got a few gallons per person.

Don’t have emergency food stored up yet?  At LEAST buy some beans, rice, & oatmeal.  If you want to splurge, get SPAM & instant potatoes (one of my current favorite camping meals.)  If you can’t afford to stock up and you aren’t already eating beans, rice, and oatmeal then consider eating beans, rice, and oatmeal for a week or so and using the money you save to stock up.

Situational Awareness:  Try to continually be aware of what’s going on around you.  Identify people who are potential threats and quickly game out in your head what they might do and what your reaction would be.   When you’re simply an honest person walking down the street, any violent confrontation that you can spot and avoid in advance, is a violent confrontation that you’ve won.

Identify situations that are dangerous, like doors swinging into walkways, blind corners, ice hanging off of a building, skateboarders getting pulled by a dog on a leash, etc.

Practice reading body language…both good AND bad.  Watch couples in love.  Watch people arguing.  Watch people reacting to babies and puppies.

Watch people you work with throughout the day—how does their posture, facial expressions, and the pitch of their voice change when they’re tired, excited, caffeinated, hungry, on a sugar high, stressed, etc.  Study people you know so you can read people you don’t know.  And remember…it’s not cut-n-dry…it’s an art based on science.

Even better, we’ve got an INCREDIBLY low priced DVD situational awareness course from retired Navy SEAL, Larry Yatch and his former “intelligence professional” wife, Anne.  You can learn more about it by going >HERE<

Negotiating:  get in the habit of asking for discounts.  Sometimes people will give a discount for no reason, but usually you need to give them a reason.  It could be that you’re buying a damaged or opened item, buying in quantity, buying something expired or close to expiring, or some other reason.

At farmers’ markets, if one of something is 50 cents, ask if they’ll do 3 for a dollar.  The biggest thing is to get in the habit of negotiating.  It’s a basic life skill that will pay you back for the rest of your life.  And, it is a VITAL skill for any survival situation where you’re going to be around other people.  (You can get my book on Urban Survival Bartering and Negotiating for free when you sign up for the Journal of Tactics and Preparedness by going >HERE<)

Do you have any other urban survival skills that are free and EASY to learn and practice?  If so, please share them with the other readers by commenting below.  They could have to do with pure survival, like fire, water, shelter, and food.  They could have to do with medical or security issues.  They could revolve around products and or services that you can make for barter purposes.

David Morris

P.S.  If you like this “skills” based approach to urban survival, then you should really check out the SurviveInPlace.com Urban Survival Course.  It’s designed to help you develop the proven skills you’ll need to survive short, medium, and long term disasters in an urban environment.  To read more about it, and get started, just go to SurviveInPlace.com.

About David Morris

David Morris is the creator of the Survive In Place Urban Survival Course, the Fastest Way To Prepare Course, Urban Survival Playing Cards, Tactical Firearms Training Secrets, and other books, courses, and articles on preparedness, survival, firearms, and other tactical topics. He lives with his wife, 2 boys, and 2 dogs.


  1. It is probably mentioned throughout these comments, but I have started using a vacuum packaging system to package beans, rice, pastas, jerky etc.

  2. If you need protection and don’t have a gun, use wasp spray. It can blind an assailant better than pepper spray and it shoots up to 20′. Just spray them in the eyes and run away. They’ll need medical attention to see again.

    • Unfortunately, you’ll need medical attention as well. I STRONGLY recommend not using wasp spray. Pepper spray, Bear spray (stronger OC), or a fire extinguisher, but NOT wasp spray.

  3. CaptTurbo says:

    I believe that the best way to practice shooting by far is not dry firing but shooting. The way to do it on the cheap is with a good quality spring piston or gas piston air rifle or air pistol. I have a wonderful collection of them and can get my shooting fix whenever I feel like it. Some of the new air rifles even have suppressors!

  4. Kathy Casey says:

    I have combined a love of antiques with a burning need to be able to survive when “civilization as we know it ceases to exist”. I collect tools and utensils that function manually in the event we have no power. We can open cans, mix food, peel, chop, saw, churn, sew, cook, can, have light and heat just using my “collectibles”. I have a functioning wood burning cook stove in one room of the house. We have 55 gallon drums of water in the basement, but for long term water needs I have an old fashioned well bucket that will fit into the well casing, a thousand feet of rope, and a well pulley in case we needed to draw water from our very deep well. I have a manual wheat grinder as well. And of course we stock food, weapons, medical supplies, and, like one other person mentioned, save old clothing. It can be used, one way or another. I even have a treadle sewing machine though I am not sure I know how to use it. I would like to have an alternative means of transportation, but haven’t managed that yet. There is more I would like to have, but what I have makes me feel somewhat prepared. However, in reality, bugging out would not be likely for us. We don’t have the means to do that for an extended time, and I would not leave some relatives. I enjoy reading the comments because I can get new ideas to implement. Also, besides growing a lot of our own fruits and vegetables, I grow herbs known for use as medicines and have a number of books telling how to use them.

    • left coast chuck says:

      A bicycle is a great alternative means of transportation. You don’t have to feed it or scoop up its leavings. You can get a cargo bike that is intended to haul up to hundreds of pounds of cargo or if you are really handy you can make your own trailer. If the worst happens, I have an eight-foot step ladder that I am going to convert to a travois with wheels to move gear. I figure I should be able to move up to 500 pounds with the travois and wheels. Ask any of the U.S. general staff what happened in Viet Nam on the Ho Chi Minh trail with the NVA moving tons of supplies hundreds of miles on bicycles if you think you can’t do it. If you add Slime (product name) to your tubes, you don’t even have to worry about flats. I started a 60 mile ride with a spot of Slime on the outside of the tire. I was late starting and just figured if I had to fix a flat, I would do it when I had to. Sixty miles later I hadn’t touched the tire and it was still as hard as when I started. Lots of riders will tell you Slime will make you slower. I would rather be slow and steady than fast and have to fix a flat every twenty miles. I have absolutely no financial interest in Slime, I just have been using it in my tubes for twenty years and am a satisfied customer. If you are a go fast bike rider, you will think it slows you down. If you are a survivalist bike rider, you will love the no-flat continuous ride. Even if you are not bugging out, a bicycle with a travois will help you haul a load you would not otherwise be able to haul. Cut the brace off a step ladder, pad the top tube, add wheels to the drag end of the step ladder, pad the top tube of the bicycle to protect it and drop the platform of the ladder over the seat and let it rest on the top tube. create a guide from pvc to keep the device centered on the top tube and you are good to go with the seat post acting as the trailer hitch. You are limited only by your imagination how you can haul gear on your travois.

      • You can also fix a hole in a tube by tying the hole with strong string. Watch a youtube video entitled “solution”, by ‘Leendert Pot’.

  5. wwwtimmcp says:

    skinning is another skill everyone should try. hit the wrong part and you just ruined your meal. learn how to skin animals now before you need to.

  6. I tend to save old clothes that I might not wear any more now, because they’re too faded or not “fashionable” anymore. But in an emergency, or just really hard times, I may be willing to wear them, especially if there’s a chance they may get torn. But there’s another reason. Let’s say times get really bad, and we can’t go to a store to buy clothing anymore. You can, if needed, cut up the old, beat up stuff and use segments of the cloth to make new(er) garments, or use them as rags, flags, padding, etc. I also have on hand patterns with which to make new garments in men’s, women’s, and kids styles and sizes. So, if I should have a little power, I can sew clothing for family, friends, or for barter items. If no power, I’d be sewing by hand. My mom always sewed by hand, so I learned the skill as a child. Not hard at all. Just need some needles, thread, and scissors. The colors won’t matter at that point. You’ll Just be glad to have something to protect your body and possibly keep it warm. Hope this inspires people.
    Sue of “Sue’s Stitches”

    • L Burgin says:

      Nice to see someone else thinks as I do. Old sheets have a lot of fabric in them. Patterns for scrubs are easy and easy to wear. As Dolly says, you can make a coat of many colors. Quilting pieces can be pieced to make a large piece. Even socks with toes cut off can warm arms.

    • Why not get a treadle or handcrank machine? the old straight stitch ones can be as new as 1950s, I have one from 1956 .they tend to be sturdier and better made than new ones but There are modern or 1980s NEcchis that our local dealer installed into Treadle cabinets for the amish and they can do zigzag I believe.

  7. Cattails are another common wild food, found anywhere there’s water.
    The young shoots eaten like asparagus, the still green flower heads eaten like corn on the cob and the roots boiled or dried to be ground into flour.
    Also “ditch lilies” or day lilies, so called because the flower only lasts 1 day as opposed to other toxic varieties. It’s the orange flowers you see growing in ditches and yards along roads. The flower petals raw or dried and roots boiled or ground are edible.
    Birch bark, de-layered into thin layers, torn into 1″ strips and warmed by a fire will roll up tightly with a little help to make a good fire starters.

  8. Valerie says:

    David, I have your course and I loved it! I am retired military with three combat tours and there were things I hadn’t thought of in there. I highly recommend it.

    I appreciate your giving a few away for those who need it. So how about this? Let me pay for one. Send me an email telling me where I can go to purchase it, and you choose who should get it.

  9. David Rice says:

    Two words for starting fire: DRYER LINT. Folks, I’m not kidding , it is arguably the single best fire-starter on the planet

    • I am certain you have seen such replies from idiots who say, “Where are you going to get dryer lint in the woods?”, but don’t have the brains to think ahead. Personally, I have lots of gallon baggies full of dryer lint that I save at home, and then practice with in our wood burning stoves all winter long. And, you are right, there is nothing easier in this world to get a fire started with that is still safe to use.

      • Hey David & Clifford,

        We save dryer lint and cotton cotton balls (no, that wasn’t an accident…many “cotton” balls are polyester/synthetic) to use around the house, I carry vaseline soaked cotton balls 6+ months out of the year in a “pill pak” ziplock bag, and the mere habit of saving and using dryer lint and cotton balls trains your eyes to identify like items in your environment.

        You may not have dryer lint, but you might see a dandelion or goat’s beard getting ready to go to seed, old man’s beard on a tree, milkweed, cat tail, thistle, or a tree that’s broken/fallen where you can see that the bark is light and fibrous. Any of these will work in the wild, and using cotton balls and dryer lint as firestarters trains your subconscious to identify like materials as firestarters 🙂

    • Exactly right & as a twist, add melted paraffin & roll the lint in it to make fire starting balls

    • left coast chuck says:

      I cut newspaper into one inch strips. I rolled the strips into a tight coil and secured it with a rubber band. I soaked the coil in water until it was thoroughly wet. I then dried the coils until they were completely dry. I then soaked them in cooking oil until the strips were saturated with the cooking oil. I store them in a glass jar. They light with one match and burn for quite a while making sure fire starter material for camp fires. You can save used oil, filter out the food particles and recycle your used cooking oil for this purpose.

    • i like to put drier lint it empty toile paper rolls,then in a zip lock . i keep a couple in my truck and one in my don’t go anywhere without it bag.

    • left coast chuck says:

      Rather than storing up dryer lint or char cloth or other stuff that takes up space, I bought three pencil sharpeners at the big box hardware store for sharpening carpenter pencils. They are in my fire making kit. You can get shavings from any dry stick. If it is too large to fit in the big hole of the carpenter pencil sharpener, you can always whittle it down a little. The pencil sharpener will give you lots of shavings to start a fire. It is a lot easier to carry than a bag full of dryer lint which will get used up in short order whereas the pencil sharpener will be with you for a long time and provides pounds of shavings to start your fires.

  10. Re: stockpiling water: I save all my gallon-size bleach bottles. Live in the country & frequently lose power in the winter, so I have a huge stash of water – both for sanitation and cooking/drinking. Better than individual drinking water bottles, and no washing needed – just use all the bleach, then the few drops left is all you need to keep water fresh & sanitary.

    • Just a gentle reminder: all bleaches are NOT equal. Many in the store have a variety of additives to enhance the power or make clothes smell better. Do not use these for treating water or their bottles for storing it. Dangerous! Be sure to read the label. The pure Clorox label even has instructions on it for water treatment.
      My favorite tinder for starting fires is finely shredded cedar bark and I keep a baggie of it in the truck at all times. It has natural oils that make it burn easily and very hot. Don’t have a cedar tree? When I need a new supply I just stop along a rural road and strip a handful from a cedar fence post.

    • lyle lorenson says:

      That’s a great idea! Just make sure the bleach is of the no added scent or coloring version. Many are now billed as color enhanced or other ‘added’ properties. Also, doesn’t take a long time to accumulate enough bottles for the family’s needs for water?

  11. I have a book from the ’70s that I keep in my bugout bag called Survival With Style by Bradford Angier. You can get a copy on Amazon for $4.95 used or $62.62 new. I gave about $6.00 for mine new in the ’70s. It covers nearly all survival situation skills and has a decent section on edible plants. I would recommend this book for reading and to keep in your BOB.

  12. Laura Redhawk says:

    I’ve noticed that there are some people who not only do not know how to cook “from scratch” but have little understanding about nutrition. I think both of these are basic life skills that everyone should know. If you don’t know much or anything about nutrition, how can you attempt to eat a fairly balanced assortment of foods that will support a healthy immune system? Between Obama Care taking root and pending collapse of everything we have come to depend upon, it seems to me that building as strong and healthy immune system is pretty important. There is much information available on both topics…people just have to do the reading and then start cooking…both are cost effective efforts; and if money IS tight, you’ll SAVE a lot more cooking raw foods from scratch over buying pre-made partly made food!

  13. After a few years of prepping, here are a few other simple items everyone should include in their urban survival kit (that are not always thought of): clothes line, clothes pins, telephone books (read: toilet paper), a key-wound clock, spare parts and tires for your bicycles, a hand- or foot-operated air pump, hose to run camp stove and lantern from a regular propane bottle, magnifying glass, writing paper, notebooks, pencils, hand-operated immersion pump (for water or fuel tanks), a dog, and a pellet gun (not CO2). I’m sure you can think of other odds and ends which could make your life easier or work for trading.

  14. Cindy Merrill says:

    Can you forage for wild food in an urban area? Yes, but you have to be careful. Don’t venture near the park after dark;acorns, crabapples, dandilions or green apples can wait until the drug addicts/dealers/punks line up at the soup kitchens for breakfast. If you’re lucky enough to live near the edge of town, look for wild blackberries, blueberries or choke cherries ( rendered edible when cooked.)

    • And common weeds, such as chickweed and purslane, both of which grow in the yard and in cracks in the sidewalk. We have an old book by Euell Gibbons that identifies edible weeds. Not sure if it can be found on ebay or Amazon, but might be worth a try.

      • Survival Diva says:


        Two of his books are available used on Amazon for a decent price; Handbook of Edible Wild Plants for $20.95 and Stalking the Healthful Herbs, $11.14.

  15. I enjoy reading your articles and have learned valuable information. It would be most helpful if the web page had a simple way to print the articles for future reference. I keep a survival notebook for reference when needed. Computers may not be accessible to file the web page. Thank you. Keep up the excellent articles. You are helping many people,

    • George Stover says:

      Press ctrl and P at the same time. With the
      popup you can print the whole article or any one page.

    • I copy/paste them into a word format than print them out, works for me.

    • Hipockets says:

      I agree’ We need to print these articles off,so we can save them’ Everytine I’ve
      done it, it takes 25 or more pages,(get all the comments etc’),I just want the info
      to save to rely on’

      • left coast chuck says:

        If you do as Tsar suggested you sometimes can cut down the number of pages. I always cut and paste and then I edit. Lots of time there are blank lines that can be eliminated and quite often there is superfluous language that can be deleted to condense the length of the copy. Sometimes the point size can be reduced and the margins narrowed to put more cop on a single page.

    • Jean,

      I do the same thing; I just printed up the section on making char cloth! We have yet to invest in a survival book so I’m creating my own of printed articles. I actually began stockpiling personal care items… things that you might really REALLY miss if ‘shtf’. I look for sales, coupons, shop warehouse stores, dollar stores. I also collect raw matierials for those items I make myself (laundry soap, deodorant, moisturizer, essential oils for wound care etc). Even found pkgs of adult diapers for wound dressing for cheap at Goodwill. The Habitat for Humanity ReStores are a good source of materials for diy projects too.

  16. For char cloth, just use government surplus cleaning patches. They are already cut into squares.

  17. I have recently changed my outlook on life. This is something that I realize that I need to protect my family. Please help me protect my family.

  18. I just found this website and I am very interested in finding out more. I work in a gunshop and have been reading the emails about survival and firearms ownership and would like to toss in some of my knowledge into the pot. Here are a few suggestions for people new to the game.
    !. Always, always think and practice safety. Treat ALL guns as if they’re Always loaded. NEVER point a gun at anything that you are not willing to destroy. KEEP your finger off of the trigger until you are ready to shoot. ALWAYS know your target and the area beyond it.
    Remember that it is the “Unloaded gun” that kills someone.
    If you’re going to own a gun get proper training from a Certified firearms trainer. Don’t bet your life on training from one of your un-certified buddies or a friend of a friend.
    As far as firearm selection goes, go to your local shooting range and rent a variety of guns and try them out. Most ranges have staff that can help you out. We’ve all heard the horror stories about the “testosterone cowboy” selling the little old lady a 44 magnum as the “ultimate” man/elephant stopper and how it is the perfect gun for her. Nothing could be further from the truth. Get a gun that fits you well be it a rifle or a handgun. You will shoot it a whole lot better if it fits you correctly. Also, know your physical limits. Don’t buy a semi-automatic handgun if you can’t rack the slide or clear jams. A revolver is a more reliable choice for most shooters over a semi-auto.
    Here are my suggestions for self defense firearms:
    Handguns: Revolvers- .38 special, .357 magnum (will shoot .38 specials too), .44 special,
    .44 magnum (will shoot .44 specials too). Barrel lengths in 2″, 3″, or
    Semiautos- 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP.
    These handguns and ammunition are readily available and can be found just about anywhere in the US.
    Rifles- .22, .223, .243, .308, in either bolt action or semiauto.
    A lever action rifle in a pistol caliber or 30-30 would work fine too.
    Shotguns- 12 or 20 gauge. If you buy a short barrel shotgun for home defense consider
    consider buying an extra barrel for hunting birds and game. A 28 or 30 inch
    barrel with choke tubes will have all your bases covered. Use birdshot loads in
    the house ( number 4,5,or 6 size shot ) to lessen the chance of penetrating
    interior walls and for hunting birds. Use buckshot loads or slugs outside for
    longer shots or hunting deer , pigs, or other game.
    Hope this helps all you “preppies” make an informed firearm choice(s).

    • Hipockets says:

      Good advice Grizz’ I always loved Guns as a child,but I was a girl, so my time with them was limited.
      When my Dad was dying,he had in his will,myBrother was get all his guns, fishing stuff and tools’
      Well he had thousands of dollars of all of that stuff’ I told him’ Just because I’m a girl does’nt mean I don’t want any of it or deserve it’ He changed his will and I got half. My brother lived a long ways away and he never saw him. We threw all the descriptions of the guns in a hat and drew.
      I ended up with all his first guns,Pistol, Rifle,shotgun. My brother got the 44 Mag (my Dad bought 1t year they came out’ and shot half his leg off with it’) When he could walk again after I nursed him back to that point,I was 7 mos PG,and he took me out to the desert and made me shoot that 44 Mag over and over. It almost boke my thumb. I was having a problem at that time even looking at a gun or hearing one go off,I’d shakeand just could’nt handle it. Today I have many more guns'(Just won another from the NRA’) Cherish then all, and feel my Dad helped me Love guns again’

  19. Nice site. I have a dibilatating desease that ebbs and flows. Given the crazy medical/drug busininess I purchased all available doses even though they were no longer required for desease control. While costly, this small stock pile may have great value in a crisis!

    • Hipockets says:

      There’s lot’s of natural drugs (plants’) or Indian Medicine that you can rely on if you study up about them’ You will feel secure and not have to rely on the Drug Store’

  20. Kurt Steiner says:

    I cannot find my comments anywhere. What happened to them? Were they suppressed because they are not politically correct? I am not a politically correct person, by design.

    • Kurt,

      I am sorry that your comments are not showing up. I do not know what happened, but I will tell you that we do not delete comments unless they are spam or overtly “out there” (racist, foul language, etc). I hope that helps.



  21. Thanks for the information. One question – I do have access to an old out of use satellite dish – one of those big guys, perhaps 10 feet or more in diameter. To cook on this, I understand to cover with foil or Mylar, but do you place the object you wish to heat directly on the surface (in the middle of course) or should it be suspended where the satellite transceiver would typically be? It would be easy enough to suspend something from this as the support arms are still in place, but I was curious of the best method.

    • Putting food on the surface of the dish would be no different then putting it in an aluminum pan on the ground.

      The transceiver is at the focus point of the parabola. This is where all the heat would be concentrated, and where you would want to cook.

    • Search for Satellite dish cookers on YouTube. There are quite a
      few with lots of information for you. I have one off of my house
      when we converted from one company to another. I cleaned off
      the ‘teflon’ coating then painted with “chrome” paint but it is not
      reflective enough. Mylar strips are available, plus I saw one that was
      covered with pieces of mirror. Maybe a tile store carries mirrored
      mesh tiles? Still need to work on that soon….

      • Survival Diva says:

        Michael’s Crafts sells tile squares and so does JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores (they’re usually the cheapest).

    • One thing the focal point of such a large dish may be too hot and you may need to put your pot a little farther out or in to keep the temperature in a safe range for your pot and pot hanger.

  22. [David’s note: Keith is my choice as the winner of one of the free courses. All of the entries were great, but his story is the most similar to mine. Congratulations, Keith!]

    How will the course help me and my family? We have a 6 year old boy and a baby girl who will be 1 later this month. I also have a 12 year old daughter in Utah. Family is number one. It’s been hard to talk my other half into the survivalist mindset. So far what I have seen through the mini courses, while they don’t “dumb down” the info, it is presented in a way that anyone can learn from it. It keeps the reader interested. I am sure she’ll read through this material. I hope to somehow prepare my oldest though it is hard because of the distance.
    I am ex military. I was a firefighter & EMT. I volunteer with SAR and HAZMAT . I am the county District Emergency Coordinator for ARES (ham radio). I am a CERT trainer. So why do I need this course for free?? Because I am broke just like many readers. I own two small businesses which went down hill this past year. I am struggling. In all the emergency services I belong to, I hold volunteer positions. For years I have paid my own way through numerous courses. Haven’t I had enough training? NO. One can never learn enough. If I’ve heard it before, I take it in as a refresher (the info may be slightly different than what I already knew and it could even be better).
    Like I said, family comes first. Once I ensure their safety, I am out the door helping the community. I have seen for years that (many) people cant take care of themselves. Every neighborhood needs a sheep dog. What I learn through this course, I WILL pass on to others. To everyone taking this course, please help someone who can’t help their self. Don’t wait for government assistance. Police, firemen & EMTS will be home saving their own family first if something really big happens.

    What is the biggest reason I need the course? EMP? Economic collapse? Infrastructure attack? Cyber attack? Natural disasters? Something else?
    While there are some warnings that come prior to some of these events, one should not prepare for only one type of disaster. My neighbors say tornadoes don’t happen in NJ. We had a tornado watch two days ago!
    While a large scale EMP or cyber attack may not happen, electricity and communications can go down for hours after one thunderstorm. Living in the north east, we are subject to ice storms which can knock power out for a week or more.
    While NJ did not host a site of the 9/11 attacks, we felt a tremendous impact. Many employees at the towers were NJ residents. NJ sent many of its emergency response resources. At the time, I was employed as a 911 dispatcher. I can’t tell you the volume of calls we received in central NJ related to the attack. Help your neighbor but don’t leave your family unattended.
    Economic collapse? I heard on the radio the other day the recession ended 18 months ago. Did it? I personally feel it will become worse. We are already 3 months behind on the mortgage. I believe this type of disaster has the most warning signs prior to the main event. People need to know where to look for them.
    A disaster does not need to occur for people to panic. The threat or idea that something is about to happen will drive people over the edge.
    Your (My) family needs to prepare for the worst case scenario. If it never occurs, then GREAT. But you will now be prepared for the “little” emergencies like the three day snow storm which keeps you sheltered in place. For when a drunk driver knocks down a power pole leaving you in the dark for 12 hours. How about the natural gas leak in the neighborhood that makes you evacuate your home. If you are prepared for the worst, these minor events will be a piece of cake to deal with.

    What skills or practices have I already put into practice that you’ve learned from the Urban Survival Newsletter? For many of the articles I’ve seen so far, much of it is a much needed refresher to what I’ve learned in the past. However, there are many new things I have learned. For example, just earlier I read about the char cloth. Awesome idea! My Cub Scout son and I are planning on giving this a shot tomorrow. While we are at it, I’m going to look for the spare satellite dish and give that a try too. I love that the Urban Survival Newsletter is very straight to the point and easy to read. This gives ever ready, no matter their skill level, the opportunity to learn vital survival skills. It is great that you teach Urban skills and to remain in place. So many “experts” tell you to get out of dodge. If you can before an event happens, by all means do so! It is unlikely large groups of people will make it out of an area safely. Picture evacuating Manhattan. Two tunnels and a bridge for millions to cross. Oh, and a few ferries too. Not going to happen. More of us need to focus on skills needed to survive on our own neighborhood vs out in the wilderness.

    PS I have read many of the other readers’ comments. I enjoy learning of their situations. I love the tips some have suggested. By the amount of people showing interest on this site, I say we may still have hope for humanity. Good luck to all.

    • Hipockets says:

      Keith,You are a survivor and don’t worry about your family’ You have the knowledge and common
      sense to take care of them and a lot of others. In 1981,I started having visions of stuff comming down, I even moved because my visions told me to. I have prepared for something bad that’s going to happen. I’m on S.S,and the economy is much worst then the news tells us. If you are a survivoryou figure how to keep going. I’ve lived on Indian Reservations,and that’s where you see the worst and learn how to survive'(plus living thru the depression and your family teaches you not to waste’).I have been preparing for a lot of years,and I doubt I’ll live long enough to use the knowldge I’ve gained. Hopefully I’ve taught some of the younger ones,but most think it’s all B.S.
      and won’t listen. They think I’m Paranoid and just old’ What ever, Don’t give up,and help your
      fellow man after your family’

  23. Addenum: Many of the items I have acquired from eBay, 99cent Stores, Dollar Stores, Yard sales, and just plan old “horse trading”(that’s bartering for the uninitiated). I happened to be at Kroger’s the other day and spied a supply of Pinion Wood. Although a little pricey, i’ve considered acquiring a few pieces of this wood. This stuff is loaded with sap! Also, it helps to repel bugs. When I’m at the 99cent store, I pick up packs of unscented maxipads and cheap bandage wrap. Both are sterile and quite usable for open wounds. Kudos to our Kanuck brothers and sisters for pointing out…..if you can’t use ammo and guns….use pellet rifles, pistols, bows and arrows, and slingshots! These are quite quiet and easy to carry plus ammo is really cheap! Resourcefullness is another virtue for the survivalist!

    • Hipockets says:

      Yes,you have to think and use ever idea and resource out there. Other people can give you good ideas and clues on things. That’s why we are on this site’

  24. Hey folks! It’s been a while since I’ve put in my 2cents worth. A lot of folks worry about “puttin’ up stuff”. All, good and fine…..however, remember this is a course taught about survival in place. Remember….survival is a mindset. It’s more than stashing things….it is putting into practice what you learn from the material you have acquired here. There are many different scenarios which can play out to make survival instincts kick in……..when presented with a crisis…many folks will freeze up! Remember the television series,”McGyver”? I know many of the situations he was in were kinda of corny, however, he always kept his cool and worked his way through any crisis situation. I think this is the primary point David tries to convey. You don’t need the fanciest piece of equipment to survive…just the knowledge and wisedom to help you to survive. Be practical in the items you pick to help you survive and you will surprise yourself.

    • Hipockets says:

      Amen’ I might add,besides all the other stuff,you need the “TRUE GRIT” and survival frame of mind’

  25. Hi David!
    I purposely stayed out of this and waited until today 10/01 to write anything.
    Not that I think I know everything, far from it, but there are others that need to learn the basics far more than most of us that have some training.

    I’d LOVE to meet Sandra M!! And get an hour of her time for how to butcher large animals, etc. Most of the skills she mentioned would be GREAT barter items!!!

    I “know” how to do most of that from reading…..but not practical apps! And there are always things books have wrong!!!

    Shawn M.

  26. What happened to my comments and the other early comments last week? I sent mine in an hour or 2 after the e-mail was sent and yet the first comment that is listed is about 10 PM last Friday.

  27. Sandra M. says:

    [David’s Note: Sandra’s entry was the winning entry and will get immediate access to the SurviveInPlace.com Urban Survival Course.” Congratulations, Sandra!]

    I and my younger brother are disabled with a hereditary neurological disease. I don’t give you this info to garner any sympathy, but, to try to get others to realize it is going to be So much more difficult for folks in my situation than the able bodied folks. Even if I might win this course, I’ll have to adapt some of its teachings (having been involved with the Boy Scouts of America’s fantastic and varied training will make it easier!)
    My sole source of income is SSD and if the Govt. goes down….
    I do have skills that I can utilize: I was an LVN and a Red Cross CPR/1st Aid instructor; I know how to can food; My Grandparents made sure I and my brothers all knew how to raise and slaughter cow, pig, chickens and dress them out. I loved playing an old computer game called “Oregon Trail *tm* which teaches a fun, rudimentary barter/trade skills.
    Just as a little thought for those of us disabled….. Most of the disabled in the 9/11 towers were “staged” together on certain floors to enable the rescuers to effect their escape easier, having no earthly belief the towers would fall. ALL died, except the ones helped out by others.
    I do NOT want to be so reliant for my survival on others…… So I humbly ask you consider my application for this free training course.
    Thank You.

    • Hipockets says:

      Sandra’ You are a tough cookie’ Which means you willsurvive anything’ I have the knowledge and
      skills,but am too old to do much other to help others. I raised 6 children by my self and have the
      “True Girt but at this stage of my life,that’s about all I have. I too am on S.S. Disability (not enough to pay the bills,so I improvise,never cheat,but somehow make it workmso I can survive)
      Good for you that being disabled,you still don’t give up’ That’s survivor mode’

  28. I am really appreciating all of the ideas and plans for survival, but I need more info on stored water…how long can water be stored in plastic bottles without a couple of drops of Clorox and what is the shelf life of water with Clorox? Can water from a salt water swimming pool be used for drinking purposes?

    • Scott,

      Those answers (and more you haven’t thought of) are found in the survival guide. It’s a cheap price to pay for the knowledge you gain… well worth the price many times over. Go ahead now just do it! I’m glad I did!!! You won’t be sorry!!!


    • Try using food grade peroxide (35%) from the health food store instead of Clorox. It will actually improve the taste of tap water and it only takes a few drops per 2 liter bottle. I had to empty some bottles that I stored a couple of years ago so I could use the bottles for Bible school crafts, but I kept the water and am drinking it. It is better than the best ‘store-bought’ water in taste. The peroxide costs about $7-8 for a quart bottle and will last a long time, but do not get it on your skin because it will blister.

    • Hipockets says:

      Scott’ Don’t know too much about what you want to know,but I store water for 6-12 mos,pour it out (water my plants with it) and never have put bleach in it’ I have a good well,so maybe city water would be different. Bleach I have in my Bug out Bag to purify streams,lake water.,

    • Look into using H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) for keeping water pure. Use food-grade and get the 35%. Even then, get fresh water every 6 months. Without any additives, I have no idea how long it would be good for. It doesn’t take long for the container to get slimy.

  29. This is great information, but just one small lesson for us who take individual responsibility seriously. Those who don’t take responsibility for themselves &/or famlies will recognize too late and blame others for their misgivings. Because they don’t believe they are at fault, they will expect those who “preped” to take care of them because now its owed to them. Don’t be caught up in excuses and sorrow. That is part of our survival! Everyone has the same opportunity… good choices however are rare anymore! Continous planning and review/adjusting our plans are an unfortunate part of our survival… but mandatory!

  30. DEar Dave,

    My concern is that I have no far away place to go yet live in a suburb of LA not far from either the airport or the Long Beach Harbor (both sites for terrorist attacks or nuclear attack). My house is mostly sliding glass doors. Is there still hope for me to realistically prepare to stay in my home? With the traffic in and around LA even now, I can’t imagine going anywhere in an emergency. Thank you for any help you can offer to those of us caught in this situation

    • Hipockets says:

      Denise’ Being raised in LA,(got smart in 67 and got the Heck out when it started getting bad’)’If there’s anyway, MOVE and get out of there. I live in God’s Country’Montana’You’ll feel safe and free if you can get here. Any advice about the move,feel free to contact me’ mthighpockets at yahoom dot com

      • Hipockets…glad you made the move! I read most of the comments here and noticed your name several times today alone. In an earlier comment you mentioned having “visions” and how family & friends basically thought you were nuts. Well, my wife has been having them for years and she’s one of the most stable and reliable people I know. If you’re interested you can read more at “theendtimesprophecies.com. She left Vegas because of one of the visions involving earthquakes, and now the area is getting “pulsed” almost daily. Anyway, good luck to you bro…

  31. OOPs, I just read my comment… financially we bring in less than we lay out…. if we brought in more…. we wouldn’t have financial problems…LOL

  32. I am not sure if it is too late or if this is the place to request to win The Urban Survival Course, but I’ll give it a try.

    I have just found and signed up for your newsletter and sight, so I am not well known by you.

    I am sure you here of many sob stories of ” why we are too poor to purchase your course, but I’ll give you a little background of our finances but will keep this all brief, for I am sure your over your head in comments to read.

    My husband, Peter is on disability due to a tractor accident, and I lost my job back in May, the day after I found out we were pregnant with #7… don’t worry, we only have two teens, the rest are grown. But so far, we haven’t been ablet to buy anything for this new arrival due around Christmas. Again, don’t worry, I am sure it will work out…..

    Anyway, financially we bring in more then we need to lay out, but so far the Lord has provided….So it’s all good.

    As far as survival, both me and my husband have always had a passion for survival, I always hide toilet paper, vitamins, water, food, wind up radio’s and clocks as well as non electric kitchen tools, i.e. a blender, and can openers etc…

    My husband has always felt that one day we will need to bug out or be prepared to survive, he focus’s on military and fighting/ defending skills ( two of our children, one boy and a girl are serving in the Marines, because of Daddy’s belief) we feel, survival skills are vital and the Military is a great place to learn them and yet still function in today’s society, if they’re not needed.

    We believe that something devastating is going to happen, and soon, weather it is that 2012 scare, a terrorist, economic collapse or an earthquake spitting out country in half and destroying the “technical wold” that we live in…. We don’t know how it is going to happen, but believe strongly that most people are blind, and this government can’t go on thinking it’s the Big Dog and nothing can hurt this Country… We believe many people will be surprised when our FREE Country is No Longer FREE.

    Any case, what can we offer you? or what have we done? Take the knowledge we learn from you, as well as search the net, we can’t buy courses or books right now, but we can take what we have learned, bit by bit and apply that knowledge. That along with making sure our mind, our heart, and our body is physically in shape, that along with a stocked pantry, will put us way ahead of the average person, who, on the day of disaster will try to run to the grocery store and meet a robber instead.

    When a disaster happens, don’t panic, play with the kids, and try to keep life stable.

    Also, it is a good idea to have a backpack (which I don’t have yet) but with a supply in it, in the car, so if you do have to bug out, you don’t have to run around packing…. food, clothes or anything.

    As I think upon what I wrote… it doesn’t sound much like the kinda story to win a prize………I am sure the one you decided was the one who needed it most….. May God Bless you and them.

    Paula Bentz

    • Hipockets says:

      Paula, You and your husband ARE survivors. Just your mind set says so’ I’ve had the same feelings you have had for over 30 years. I think God has put these thoughts in a chosen few that will know how to survive and teach others. Never give up, you sound fairly young,I’m way over the hill,but keep trying to teach the younger ones’ Good luck on everything you’re trying to do to survive. Do not depend on Buggin out in your vehicles, We don’t know what the scene will be when it happens.
      I’m in my 70’s and I have a Bicycle, a wagon ,anything that would make bugging out easier’ My camper is stocked beyond for survival,but only useful if My truck will run to pull it to a safe area. THere’s way too many things to think about and prepare for,just do your best,and take care of our loved ones in the process. You’re lucky you’re husband is in the game with you. Many are alone in this battle’

  33. David ("Pharaoh") Coffeen says:

    1. How will the course help you and/or your family?
    We live on my single-income disability, so we need to exercise care in all our expenditures and preparations. I already glean and share useful information with family and anybody else expressing interest in emergency preparedness. “Knowledge is power.” I don’t expect God to provide if I haven’t listened to and heeded the warning signs by judiciously making every reasonable effort to provide for the future. Come what may, I AM my brother’s keeper, and I will be charitable with my goods and knowledge.
    2. What is the biggest reason you need the course?
    My family includes five children and sixteen grandchildren, and I am urging everybody to do everything practical and possible to prepare for any eventuality. I must lead by example, both at home and in the community, and I feel a responsibility to share knowledge and and experience.
    3. What skills or practices have you already put into practice that you’ve learned from the Urban Survival Newsletter?
    I’m new to the “Secrets” newsletter, and I’ve already begun preparing by stockpiling black beans, rice, wheat, spices, seeds for sprouting, and canned goods. Additionally, I’ve purchased well-driving equipment (even though I live in a condo), potassium iodide (water purification, radiation poisoning), a propane campstove, and lots of toilet paper and soap. Since money is tight, I scour the Web for ideas (like the Fresnel lens!) and stock up when things are on sale. I have a long list of things to add, including seeds for open-pollinated, easy-to-grow crops, a solar oven, etc. One suggestion I have for those living where it freezes: Secure several gallons of RV anti-freeze in the event of extended loss of heat. Drain all supply pipes, toilet tanks, toilet bowls, etc. To prevent damage from burst pipes and fixtures, use the RV (not automotive) anti-freeze in the toilet bowls, drain traps, and water supply pipes.

    • Hipockets says:

      I live where it gets below freezin’ Putting antifreeze in any vehicle etc. is not an option.
      Nothing will work,keep you warm etc in several disaster situations. I will depend on the
      skills my Indian brothers thaught me when I lived in 50 degree below and the wind blew and
      it was 70 below’ Antifreeze does not help in that situation. As far as seeds go, don’t waste your
      money unless they are Heirloom seeds,you can harvest and use the seeds over and over,you can’t
      with regular seeds. THe cheapest web site to get them, Is “My Patriot Supply”, I’ve bought several
      things from them,and they are great to deal with’ Just a recomendation,but research them’ I know what you’re dealing with, been there,done that,and I’m a woman. Not trying to be dictator,just trying to help you out’

  34. I am writing to be considered for the free SurviveInPlace.com Urban Survival Course. I have become more aware of possible upcoming disaster(s), whether from natural sources or man-made ones. I started putting together a Y2K kit when my children were very small and have been trying to improve on those supplies ever since. Now I realize a threat could come from any direction, at any time and last indefinitely. I want to do more than just survive, I want my family to thrive along with those around me and I want to learn how to live in a healthier environment that I create.

    I have 5 children of my own, am responsible for overseeing my mom’s care and am a pastor’s wife ( we have a home church). Lately, as the topic of preparing for the future has come up, more and more people from our little congregation are looking to me to teach them what to do. I’ve been studying and researching all I can, but as you said, there is just so much info out there that I’m on overload. I need a plan, a strategy. I need to know how to put together what I’ve learned and disregard what may seem important at first glance, but really isn’t.

    Besides trying to accumulate “stuff” for possible different scenarios, I’ve started a small garden this year (tried some in the past, but made them too big and overwhelming) and am experimenting with what to grow and how to do it naturally, and different methods of preservation. I want to start raising chickens & am researching for best results. I’m trying to avoid the grocery store more and find things locally or make them myself. I feel like I’ve begun to accumulate some knowlede, but the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know. I want to help my neighbors, family, friends, and church members; I want to take the survival course.


    • Got a good idea from another blog, think it might be floridahillbilly…..anyway, the suggestion was raising quail might be easier than chickens. They are smaller, mature faster, cheaper to feed and very quiet. Wish I could remember more details, but you might want to read up on raising them.
      Might I suggest the very best skill is to become debt free. I have no connection with him, but find The David Ramsey Show. I listen to him in the afternoons. He has plenty of proven finance advice, but it all boils down to don’t spend money you don’t have and don’t buy things unless you need them and stay on a budget.
      And don’t get discouraged with your garden, raising vegetables can be difficult and it takes awhile to learn your soil and what grows best in your area. In my little raised garden I have a soil problem and can’t raise tomatoes or squash there. Had to find other plants such as beans, bell peppers, herbs and asparagus (sp). Had to turn my flower bed into a place to raise my tomatoes.

      • Survival Diva says:

        Quail is an excellent idea that’s never talked about. Debt free is something everyone should strive for. At first, it’s hard to break old habits, but once you see the balances go down and daylight ahead, it becomes much, much easier : )

      • If room permits quail, rabbits, and ducks for meat. Duck eggs substitute for chicken eggs.
        Biltong production will preserve deer.

  35. David, thanks so much for a great and very informative newsletter! And thanks to all of you who write commnets each week. I have learned so much from all of you. My husband and I have been stockpiling for about 3 years. We think we have most of the basic equipment that we need but not assuming we are finished. We have purchased some freeze dried food and are stocking on water. It does take time and financial resources but just start somewhere. If you google survival or some other similar key word, you will be surprised at how many sites it will take you to. That will give you an idea of what to start buying. I just buy something every week when I go grocery shopping. You will be surprised that in a short amount of time, you are actually starting to stockpile for your family. I have been buying lots of extra tp, tissues, soap etc. These items do not go bad and they would be great barter items. Good luck to whoever wins the free survival-in-place course!

    • Hipockets says:

      Good ideas’ I always buy at least one survival item when I go shopping. Our prices have gone up $1.oo per item the last year,so I don’t buy anything unless a good buy. I have enough food to feed
      20 people for several mothsd,plus Heirloom seeds Etc. If you can just buy one item everytime you shop,it will surprise you how much you accumlate’

  36. Wayne L. Purl says:

    Need it, want it, hope to win it.

  37. Well, first of all,I`d like to thank you for my awakening to survival.Most of the skills that the older generation new are now allmost forgotten.I`ve learned alot from your site.please consider my family for the free course .we have went form a 5 bed room house to a small 2 bedroom trailor because of the paycuts at work. I have 3 children to feed and clothe. My wife says for me to find another job, but a little money is better than no money I say. Last night we had a major power outage.the power was out allnight lucky I had some candles I took some meat out and built a small fire and cooked out . the kids got kind of scared So we played a boardgame until they got tired and went to sleep. That gave my wife and Itime to talk .We discused different things about survival and what we would do I do store water in plastic soda bottles we have a little food stored but its not enough. we are in the process of building a chicken coop . we want to learn more about wild foods and harvesting them foraging . I read some of the post on your site and go wow ,if I new how to do that, but you see I can not afford your course but my family would benafit so much form having it. Right now winter is comming and I cant afford to buy propane but will have to do something soon thanks for your time

    • Talan…is there anyway I can help you?…where do you live?

    • Hipockets says:

      OK’ Talon’ Man up’ Put your Big Boy panties on and get ur done’ I can tell you are’nt a
      wimp or you would’nt be on here with your views. You are probably young and just starting to go thru “STUFF”. Take an old ladies advice and NEVER give up’ I raised 6 kids (2 adopted when the 4 where teens’) aaaaaaaaaand somehow got them raised and turned into decent cvitizens,even though most live in foreign countries;) Just do your best and take care #1 of your family, then
      any one else you care about. If you give in life,you get it back somehow’

  38. I don’t know if these qualify as “skills”, re: your “There are 2 VITAL
    survival skills in particular that I’m looking for” per se, but I know without
    them you are going to definitely have problems.

    First is a survivor’s mindset, an “I’m going to get through this, and I’m
    going to do so with a whatever becomes necessary” attitude.

    Second is the WILLINGNESS to do whatever becomes necessary. You can have
    all the material items you want, but without attitude and will, they mean
    very little.

    G. Snyder

    • Doing what’s necessary might include making a decision about beggars. Feed someone one time and they remember you the very next time they get hungry. They WILL return and they might bring their pitiful children to tug at your heart strings or they might bring enough of their buds to take all of your food and leave you lying in a large puddle of your own blood. This is the bad part of surviving in place. It can be done but you must make a decision to say no and mean it and be ready to defend against those who WILL come and ask if you have any food you don’t need. I plan to post an extremely nasty sign to discourage them. If that doesn’t work, they may not like the way it ends. It won’t be freindly. Remember some survival plans include shooting you and taking YOUR food. Some have told me this is their plan! If surviving in place is what you MUST do, you must mentally prepare for what you may HAVE to do. Surviving in place is ludicrous without a gun and the resolve to use it. A huge huricane wiped out Holmstead, Florida years ago. Every house was flat. The cops told the folks to shoot looters and the place was bristling with guns. No one was shot cause absolutely no one dared to loot. It worked that time because there was food and water and cops. Where I live today 31 deputies and about a dozen city cops have been laid off. Pretty soon we’ll be down to a skeleton crew. I have the ability to bug out to several locations but I’m staying put just as long as humanly possible. Remember this: you can’t defend against a drive by shooting or a Molatov Cocktail. I also suspect that if you start stacking bodies at the curb, you might get arrested or hung by a citizen’s committee or at the very least, invited to leave by the homeowner’s association. Something wicked, this way cometh. Mike

      • Hipockets says:

        Guess I’m lucky’ I live at the foot of the Rockies,6 miles from the Canadian border. Little town of 1500, and with the Border patrol, we have over 115 cops here’ Why don’t they put half of them at the Mexican border where they’re needed more???That would make too much sense’ No Terroist have ever tried to get in the U.S. here,but they keep an over supply to make sure,and leave the Mexican border with less help’I live where I don’t have curbs to stack bodies,and everyone that lives here (except the real young’) know you don’t mess with us,cause we have more guns and knowledge then the Gestopo out there. I just worry about the children and am determined that when the SHTF,I will take care of any child I find along the way’

  39. I have to say that I am learning a lot just reading and have spent the last year working on prep survial skills. I am amazed at how much we all still have to learn but am empowered by seeing the awesome responce from everyone. My simple contribution is look for

    dollar stores!!

    I have stockpiled a lot of food and have missed out on doubling my amounts by shopping at a dollar store. Watch for dates on packages. Water, containers for gas, and medicine are all really important and availible. I pass any chance I have to the next person. God bless!

    • Hipockets says:

      Very True’ Dollar stores are the 1st place to check out,I’ve found that a lot of items at the dollar store,cost (DUH,a dollar’) same item at Wal-Mart $3.00′) it pays to go to the dollar store 1st’

  40. I have to say that I am learning a lot just reading and have spent the last year working on prep survial skills. I am amazed at how much we all still have to learn but am empowered by seeing the awesome responce from everyone. My simple contribution is look for

    dollar stores!!

    I have stockpiled a lot of food and have missed out on doubling my amounts by shopping at a dollar store. Watch for dates on packages. Water, containers for gas, and medicine are all really important and availible. I pass any Chavez I have to the next person. God bless!

  41. I forgot to include in my plea to win the course that I make a point of stocking up on toilot paper and if there cam a time that life stood still and transportation of goods ceased to happen I think that toilot paper will be GOLD (and the best/cheapest item I can store…not cigarettes/alcohol)…also I purchase 2 portable toilots…if there is no power from an EMP it won’t be long before there is no sewage system as it runs on electricity and an outhouse is not allowed in the city.

    • Hipockets says:

      You need to get out of the city ‘ I’ve lived in my house 12 yrs,have an out house,that’s grandfathered in,(but never used’) but it’s there if I need it.If you have a well,like I do,you don’t have to depend on your city etc; You have to start to be self suffiecient and the city won”t hack it’ I realize,it can be hard financially,etc to do that,but I’ve offered a lot of people a Mountaintop Mobile,(after I put $50,ooo) to keep fixing it after druggies ruined it’) And they’ve all screwed me over’ I know there’s good people out there,so I don’t give up’ Keep the faith Bro’

    • Hipockets says:

      Don’t know Linda,but where I live,at Costco,a case of TP is $20. Research it’ THeres other alternatives for TP. Put your $$$ in things you can eat to survive’

  42. Hello! I am a 50 year old Canadian and we are not allowed guns other than for hunting and I prefer not to have to have a registered gun that the Government will have the police take from me when the time comes for us to lose all our rights so my husband and I have learned how to use slingshots, air riffles, blow guns and archery and have machettes/swords/knives for protection. We just purchased night vision goggles and wnet tent camping for the first time since I was 14 and cooked over open fires (new tip…gathered tree sap off pine trees and the globs burn for about 5 minutes or so each so is natures ready made fuel supply) and we kayaked 85-100 KM over a 13 hour period of time for exercise in a local fish filled res. I have been studying survival skills from books, the internet and tv shows over the past 2 years or so and have tried many of them so I can have a skill set. We started collecting food and supplies and are doing our best to get prepared for ANYTHING that may happen in the future. I learned about square foot gardening (squarefootgardening.com) and purchased the book and we built gardens for my mother and for us this year and are building some for my sister also. I am learning how to grow my own herbs and flowers as well for medicinal purposes and our yard will provide us with 10 kinds of fruit. I am learning canning, make my own jams/jellies, and purchase locally as much as possible from our farmers market, fruit trucks and Hutterites that sell their excess produce. I need to learn more about how to have cache storage, indoor heating in the winter (as it is often up to 40 below here) if there is a power outage and there is no fireplace etc., I stock up on candles (pillar type mostly) and have wall holders with candles throughout my home, kerosine lamps, crank flashlights/radios and crank lamps. I have learned how to build various shelters but need to actually get time in doing it. We have a years supply of food stored and I have purchased a dehydrator and learned how to dehydrate food to store as it takes up less room and is light to carry if you had to transport it (Dehydrate2store.com) and it is so much cheaper to make your own. I have taken CPR/first aid courses and have med bags and fully packed bug out bags in each vehicle with an extra set of clothes/socks/boots and coats. We have purchased 5 gal. water bottles from a company here who sells reverse osmosis water and racks to hold them and have 28 bottles in storage at all times (My goal is a year supply on hand) and I am going to purchase a fire hydrant wrench also. My friends and fammily think myt husband and I are out to lunch when we share information with them pertaining to needing to prepare for disasters, failed economy, hyper inflation, world war III, EMP, terrorist attack, China takeover or whatever may come down the pike but I know they will be happy we prepared and are ready to step in an lead or family when it all comes down and then they will be ready to hear and learn the skills we have practiced..I would love so much to win your course and other materials…I try to stay level headed yet I am so afraid of the future and what may happen (especially if the illuminati has its way in the end) and our government members are sitting comfortably in underground bunkers while we are fighting to survive…we do not have fall out shelters or bunkers in Canada and no one sells them in our country…no safe rooms unless you make your own…so we are very much on our own. Ideally I wish we lived in the country in a dome home with a wood stove to cook on and everything we need to be alright but we don’t so I have to do the best I can here at home…please consider me for your course…I could sure use your vast knowledge and experience to keep my loved ones alive should the worst things happen. Thank you for all you do!

    • Hipockets says:

      I lived in Canada for 8 yrs,still have kids there Etc’ Most Canadians are not into the survival mode.
      I know my kids,Grandkids have no conception of it so you are ahead of the game’Just don’t forget,that the U.S is’nt the only country threatended and in jeapordy’ We are all in this together. To me there is no Border’

  43. I need the free course to help me protect myself and my family in the event of a natural disaster, economic collapse, etc. I am an avid survival enthusiast and I am constantly watching survival shows on TV and reading up on survival online. I want to be as prepared as possible if things go bad. I have already taken measures to prepare including a bail-out bag, along with extensive firearms training/tactical gunshot wound training I have obtained as part of my employment. I am currently stockpiling food and water along with taking measures to make my home more secure. I feel that I would take complete advantage of the information provided in the course with nothing being wasted. I have a wife and 2-year old along with a new baby on the way. Keeping them out of harms way is very important to me. Thanks

  44. Please consider me for a free copy of your Urban Survival Course. I have only started to focus on survival planning within the last 6 months, since I read the book “One Second After.” I realized how unprepared my family was to deal with any kind of breakdown in normal services for more than a couple days, much less a broad reaching societal breakdown that could occur in the event of an EMP. I’m also concerned about economic collapse, or other unforeseen disasters. Fortunately where we live natural disasters are uncommon. We do not have much extra income, so I’ve been trying to learn what we can do with very limited funds to prepare. Setting up an “away” location is also not an option for us. Your guide seems to be exactly what I was looking for. With 2 small children, I want to make sure our family is taken care of, and to be able to prepare our home. We’ve also started gardening this summer, to learn basic skills that may come in handy.

    Most of the information I’ve found has been focused on getting away, and briefly talks about what to do to prepare to survive in place. I really like the concrete things I’ve seen outlined so far in the mini-course. You’ve even included things I can work on already with my 6 year old (such as situational awareness – explained in an age appropriate way). I am also looking for guidance on what “stuff” we actually DO need to buy, so the little money we can put into gear is well spent. We have discovered that hiking is an excellent way to test out what you need for basic survival!

    I only started your mini-guide this week, and have been working on 72 hour car kits and especially situational awareness wherever we are. I plan to put negotiating into place next weekend when we head to the farmer’s market. Tomorrow my husband and I are going to see what we have and need to set up water filtration. We live in an arid area, and water is of great concern here. I want to make sure we could safely drink whatever we could find in an emergency.

    Thank you for putting this course together, and for offering the mini-course for those of us who can’t scrape the money together for the full course at this time.

  45. debra oatley says:

    Dear David,
    Many of the strategies you speak of are already known by me, but I’m always willing to learn more! Staying in place is really the only option for me. I live with my 18 year old autistic son and changing situations and places are extremely upsetting for him.
    Keeping surroundings as “normal” as possible and stress free are important.
    I am also a Prison Planet listener and enjoy the info Alex Jones gives his audience.
    One thing I have expanded on is my home garden- I’ve always had one, but it’s about to get much bigger!
    I would like to be considered for your free offer due to the tight financial situation my son and I are under. My daughter used to be able to help us out, but she is now over seas, in the navey. She calls from Bahrain frequently and I worry about her all the time,
    Thanks for all of your great information!

  46. Hello David & other potential survivors out there! I am learning so much from all of you, so thank you. My husband thinks I am too paronoid, but I am still learning everything I can, and getting food, survival gear etc. together little by little. My husband is a farm boy from a large family who learned many useful skills. I am picking his brain, and am surprised at all he knows! Now if I could just get him more into practicing these skills with me. Maybe as things become more difficult he will realise what might happen and get with the program. At least my preperations will come in handy if tshtf! Well, everyone hang in there, lets keep encouraging everyone who listens!

  47. Dave Maxson says:

    Thanks so much for giving someone a chance for a free course. That’s a very “neighborly” thing to do and you will re rewarded for it. Keep up the good work. We all appreciate it and depend on the information that you give us.


  48. [David’s Note: Leonard’s entry was the winning entry and will get immediate access to the SurviveInPlace.com Urban Survival Course AND a copy of “Urban Survival Guide.” Congratulations, Leonard!]

    1. My greatest need for this course is to enable myself and family to survive what is sure to be an enormous economic collapse.

    2. Until about 3 years ago, my job paid $60k per year. I never spent any time preparing for anything but inconvenience (i.e. two NEW tires for use as spares in my pickup, a few days’ supply of extra food in case of rough weather making travel to grocery stores too difficult. I’d never heard of EMP’s or knew of the damage they could cause. Today, my job pays just under $30k, and as it is a traveling sales job, costs $7k in gasoline to accomplish. For us, the collapse has already begun. The company I work for (a chain of publications) has downsized dramatically—by about 40%. I have no “extra” money to spend on anything, and won’t until (or unless) the economy improves dramatically. In my circumstance, the prospect of homelessness is a possibility as jobs that pay more than minimum wage are almost non-existent. Our Governor (of New Mexico) has created a “sanctuary” state here, and illegal aliens have flooded the market. They can afford to work for far less than Americans, as they have no compunction about signing up for every welfare gimme you can name. Contrary to popular belief, they DO file tax returns. Because they choose to live in such poverty, they qualify for every dime withheld from their pay to be repaid to them, plus thousands of dollars in “earned” tax credits by having more children than they can support. For us, moving to another state would be impossible, and no, we don’t collect foodstamps or any other “gimmes”.

    3. Since subscribing to Survive in Place newsletter:
    We’ve begun stockpiling canned foods against a time when purchasing food may be impossible-either because of price increases, rationing or limited supply caused by disruptions of electricity or fuel supply. Recently, we’ve begun hearing news stories in local media of people committing the “crime” of “hoarding”. While these stories don’t have anything to do with stocks of food, the very fact that “hoarding” of anything is considered criminal is disturbing to us. Could be time to store up lots of food, but keep it a secret. After doing more online research, I found that old –fashioned vacuum tube type radios would be unaffected by an EMP. I searched through thrift stores for months and found a 1940’s vintage short-wave radio that receives AM and FM signals as well. If everything crashed, there might not be commercial radio stations broadcasting anything, but Ham operators might be able to, assuming that electricity in one form or another is available, I could hopefully learn what’s happening in the world, and be able to anticipate how it might affect us. TFT had already been a part of my life (and SCARS before that); too, in order to acquire the most affordable and transportable (if necessary) form of water, we’ve begun buying a couple of gallon-sized bottles of water when grocery shopping. The small bottles of water will run over $3 a gallon, the gallon-sized containers cost just over $1, and if purchased in cases of 4, can be easily stacked and stored until needed.

    As for survival skills (or strategies), I’ve acquired quite a few during my life. Many scavenged from Backpacker Magazine, as well as Fur, Fish & Game magazine. Of those most anyone could use are:

    Store Cotton Balls into which one has “massaged” a large gob of petroleum jelly (Vaseline). They’re easily stored in old film containers. You can place one on wood that’s too wet to light by any conventional method, and with a match (or spark) light the cotton ball. It will burn for about 5 minutes, drying and lighting the wood sufficiently to use it for cooking or heating.

    Field Dressing game: In situations where handwashing is impossible, or water too precious to waste, DON’T cut open the belly of any animal. The internal organs may have parasites like tapeworms or flukes and even deadly bacteria like e. coli. Do what modern cattle rustlers do—slit the skin down the back of the animal, pull it off and then cut off the legs at the joints. This is where most of the meat on most quadripeds is. The joint is nature’s “dotted line”. On small game, kitchen shears like those made by Chef’s Choice (look on eBay) will easily cut through the cartilage and ligaments. On larger animals, poke the tip of your knife into the joint (wiggle the leg to find the spot), and cut through it. If you’ve ever cut up a frying chicken, you know how to do this. On LARGE animals, like cattle, elk or even fat catfish, where there is substantial meat on the ribcage, you can remove the meat on the ribs by cutting along the spine, down toward the belly. With catfish, don’t remove the skin—it’s the “frying” pan. It’ll burn to a crisp on your grill, keeping the attached meat moist, and will peel easily away after the fish is cooked. WARNING: when field dressing game of any kind, be aware of your surroundings, especially when hunting alone. Many a lone hunter has been killed by bears or mountain lions while busily attending to the project at hand. Too, another predator you might need to fear would be humans. They’ll be hungry, too.

    Field Expedient Grill: Those old fashioned steel milk crates you can still find in flea markets, garage sales, etc. You can put your pots and pans inside of them to transport, and, once your fire is built, turn it upside down over the fire: instant barbecue grill! The modern plastic crates used by commercial dairies are fine for storage or transport but being plastic, unsuitable for cooking over.

    Trapping: When I was a kid, I kept snakes as pets. Snakes don’t just eat mice, but also birds (not necessarily alive, either). I used mousetraps to trap birds by painting the wooden platform and tip of the bait pedal of the mousetrap with karo syrup—no “chemical” smell to deter birds from feeding—and sprinkling birdseed over the karo syrup. The seed stuck and stayed forever. I’d place the trap on the ground and broadcast more birdseed around it in the morning and go to school. When I came home for lunch, I’d harvest the catch. It ALWAYS worked. Rat traps, similarly baited, would be best for larger birds, like doves. Birds, unlike most other game, will have to be gutted, and certainly plucked. Best field-expedient way to cook small birds would be to boil them. If you’re staying in your home during a period of crisis, set up several bird feeders now and keep them stocked with seeds.

    Hunting: Best to use a .22 rifle and plan to kill small game. Ammo is still cheap and easy to find. Large game is hard to preserve except during freezing weather, and even harder to store safely. If salmonella or similar afflictions from eating tainted meat doesn’t kill you, the predators drawn by the scent of your food cache almost certainly will.

    Edible Wild Plants: Proceed with caution. Even the most non-toxic wild plants are probably not a part of your regular diet. If you’re thinking of relying on them to any degree, get used to eating them now. You may discover that they can cause the inexperienced forager to develop diarrhea. Diarrhea is not no fun in most weather, it can kill by dehydrating the sufferer. Dehydration kills in different ways, depending upon circumstances.While slowly drying up into human jerky over a period of days it will destroy internal organs. Diarrhea, however, will lead to a much more rapid dehydration, in which electrolytes are lost, but not all electrolytes, and certainly not equally. Unbalanced electrolytes, especially potassium causes severe muscle spasms. Your heart is one of those muscles. When it spasms, it’s unlikely you’ll survive.

    • Great idea about trapping birds. I’ll write that one down. Lots of small game moves at night when it’s tough to see em & shoot em. I have a humane trap I bought for feral cats. It works really well. The animal is trapped unhurt, and safe from predators. I then put the barrel of my 10/22 through the screen of the trap and use the animal’s body for a silencer. Contact gunshot wounds are super deadly because of the expanding gas and quiet enough to not wake the neighbors no matter how close. It’s also hard to miss. Don’t try this with a revolver. Escaping gas between cylinder and barrel will make plenty of noise. This trick allows you to poach in the city. BB guns are quiet and can also harvest birds in the city without disturbing the greenie next door.

  49. My Dad and I have been working toward the goal for surviving in our homes just like your course recommends. Our wives don’t see the need. Your course would show why and how better then we’ve tried. Plus they would like to see how we can do it without destroying our budget.
    I’m concerned about natural disasters and economic collapse.
    I’ve already been doing food stockpiling, practicing fire starting once per week on the weekends, and have water storage.
    I would appreciate your help in doing these things better and learning more that I could be doing without breaking the family budget.

  50. Bobbi Martin says:

    This course will help me have at least SOME chance of surviving and keeping my remaining family safe. None of them think anything is going to happen and I am being an alarmist. I am on a very small fixed income, and I’m disabled so finding any money to this is really hard.

    The biggest reason I need this course is to teach me the things I wouldn’t know to even think about doing. I know there are things I need to be doing and learning NOW but I wonder if I have even thought about most of them. The medicines issue is a large one for me and my family also. I am diabetic, with a mild heart condition, and emphysema, and the family have medical conditions also.

    I started stockpiling about 4 months ago, and while money is scarce the pile continues to grow. I am hoping to learn what to do about medicines, but I am also learning about homeopathic methods, herbs, and spices, and how to concoct remedies and preventives from them. I have my seed stores and have them in the freezer in the sealed packages they came in. In fact I have 4 of the packages , hoping that will give a little to barter with. I have also begun to try to find a place to hide my firearms so they cannot be confiscated, if it gets to that before total meltdown. Thank you for all the lessons. I appreciate you.

    • Hiding guns 101
      Get some poly sewer pipe. It’s usually blue or green. Get it in large diameter10 or 12 inch.buy caps for same and some silicone rubber cement or aquarium sealant (same thing). Put the long guns in gun socks or leg warmers after wiping down each gun not with creasote but with axel grease as its much easier to remove without special solvents. Handguns can be put in real socks or zipped cases after the grease wipe. Don’t forget half loaded magazines and bandoleer for long term storage. Loading mags only half full keeps the springs in good shape forever. MREs, emergency water, first aid kit and a roll of gold coins will also fit in this pipe. Now stuff some silica gel packets into the pipe, cap & seal the ends with silicone and bury it at least three feet deep in a place where it’s unlikely anyone will dig such as along a remote govt. fenceline. Your yard is a bad place unless you can park a junk car on top of it with no wheels. The junk car would confuse a metal detector and be very difficult to move with no wheels.

  51. I know we are living in times of great distress, and I am prepareing for hard times. I am alone in this I try to wake up people and family to the reality of hard times that lies ahead.I don’t know enough about surviveing,I do know its about budgeting and sacrifice and that I do practice.I also practice showering in cold water,eating soups and rice regularly I have no knowledge on real survival preparations and I know the course will benefit me so I can prepare my soon to be family for the worst and be ready to teach when time comes.I hope for the best and try to prepare for the worst with your course.

  52. This course would help me and my family survive. My wife sometimes things I am crazy, but living where we live, I feel we have a very high chance of naturual disaster (fire and earthquakes) and we live in a huge military town close to the boarder which I feel makes us open to terorist attack.
    I have made small survival kits for my vehicles (since I drive alot for work) and have started to stockpile, food, equipment and information. I read about differant things such as gassifiers, walter filters, solar cooking. I have a couple of weapons for home defense and hunting now.
    I have pratice firemaking techniques and am going to try that charcoal technique this weekend.

    • Hipockets says:

      Don’t give up George’ You are a Survior, no matter where you live’ You have the mindset’

  53. 1. How will the course help you and/or your family?

    me and my family live in a third world country were we are persicuted (because were christians) also our country is headed into civil war add to that its extremely rare for a christian to own a firearm here so the abuility for me to protect my family is vital

    2. What is the biggest reason you need the course?

    take your pick 1-religious persicution
    2-civil war
    3-economical fail

    3. What skills or practices have you already put into practice that you’ve learned from the Urban Survival Newsletter?

    i started stockpiling survival tools and equipments
    started learning sientific self defence and TFT got a bb gun (to be able to feed my family) and building improvised traps and weapons

  54. I would like to get a free survival course because I am interested in survival and I want to be ready for almost anything, not just for myself but for anyone that would benefit from my help. I have tried gathering supplies in the past but because of moving or financial distress, I don’t have anything much and would like to use what I learn as a framework for my survival plan. I haven’t had the chance to try any survival techniques and would really like to learn because I have seen a few things but I just want to learn all I can. I hope I get the free course.

  55. This a good thing you’re doing. I’m getting prepared. I’ve located four really good campsites way out in the weeds but close enough for emergency return trips back to town if need be. I see a need for a chain saw for firewood. Huge labor saver. Fire starters are super easy to make out of half a paper towel folded tight and held tight with a twisted paper clip. Now soak it in melted parfin found at local hardware store. Look in the home canning section. These work great. Full size shovels are cheep enoughj to buy two or three. I’m pretty good on guns & ammo but I know I need a lot more food. If something kicks off on the border or with muslim sleeper cells, there will be no such thing as too much ammo. Stay alert.

    • Hipockets says:

      Please rememberChain saws make noise’ and maybe you don’t want people to know a SANE person is in the area I don’t know about Guns attracting attention but Chain saws can spell
      disaster’ For hunting,I probably have access to thousands of acres,but wish I had and knew the operation of a good old Bow & Att\

  56. Back around the 1970s or 1980s a series of books were written by an educator who traveled throughout Appalachian mountains. She ended up writing around 6-8 books. Each one covered an area of living in the area. Keep in mind the area is/was way off the grid due to the financial situation of the people and the area. The books documented all of the old methods of providing what was necessary for life and added to the comfort of living (including making musical instruments and so on. It included how to build a log cabin, grow/process/can/store food, natural plants to use as medicine, building furniture, making cloth and clothes, and so on.

    The series was called Fox Fire. Check your libraries for copies available. There should still be some around because it also captured the lives and stories of the people.
    Just checked Amazon, they have 12 volumes of the books for sale.

    • lyle lorenson says:

      Excellent tip! Also, try to add old issues of “Mother Earth News”. From the 70s into the 90s they contained all sorts of self-reliant lifestyles and practical how-to-its. Some of the content was loosey-goosey and ‘hippy’ but there are real gems in there too! Good luck and be safe.

  57. I would love to be considered a winner for the urban survival course for these many reasons.


    How will the course help my family? Well, while I’ve been researching different types of survival ideas whether its from TV documentaries, books, online articles, or just talking to ex military work buddies, I believe that one can never stop learning. No matter how much one learns, there’s always SOMETHING that hasn’t been learned yet. Also, I may even be able to enhance one of my already known ideas just by going through the course and having it trigger a lightbulb in my head about something that I can do to improve another idea that I’ve already worked on. Also, with the many hours I spend conversing with work buddies about current events and many “what ifs”, I feel that this course will help me help my friends, who are also more than aware that things may be getting ready to crash and burn at any time. While many of my friends have the “stock up on guns or ammo” mentality down, many of them haven’t really put a lot of thought behind the other aspects of surviving an extended catastrophe, especially since many of them had to weather Katrina in ’05. Just having generators and extra fuel wouldnt cut it, being able to filter water out of a nearby pond or creek when your stored supply dries up would take you a lot farther than having the biggest generator for your McMansion. Another thing is that while I live out in the country, the area I’m in still has many people/properties in close proximity of one another. While I may not know if anyone/everyone even has a survivalist mentality, what I do know is that many of the people around me still practice many of the old time country skills that one would normally see in the county. People still have big gardens, dry clothes on lines, have chickens/cows, and can/preserve foods. My own mom still knows how to preserve many foods and make wine from pears and muscadines (which was pretty good by the way and would make a good barter item). By me having the knowledge from something like this survival course, I could further help the people in my area with many ideas that they may not be aware of or even forgot about. It goes back to the idea that was talked about, “useful idiots”. While I can’t really call anyoe an idiot as I don’t know them enough to judge them that way, it still fits because many of these ideas can help people be of better use to themselves and their families, as well as this unofficial community in times of turmoil.


    As far as the reason I would need the survival course, I would say the reasons are all of the above; there’s no telling what the world will throw at us. Anything can happen, EMP, socio-economic crashes, nuclear war, hell, even little green men could invade from another galaxy and put us into a position of having to live off of the ruins. But in reality, just knowing these skills makes for an added level of personal security so when the world throws a pile of dung at us, we’ll be able to dodge it with cat reflexes. Going back to my first reason, the course will give me more ammunition to build on my skills through improvements in what I already know and adding new material to my arsenal. A need like that is needed by everybody, even the biggest survival experts out there, we can all learn from one another.


    As far as what I’ve utilized from what I’ve learned, there’s many things that I’ve utilized. Whether its recommendations for tools or gadgets that have the best quality, there’s techniques and ideas that we’ve utilized out here. Being in the woods allows us to be closer to the stage when it comes to survival as we have one of the most common survival arenas right in our backyard. On a lazy day we may practice starting fires using the tools we have available along with native materials out here (most common being pine needles). Using other things like dryer lint or hay also gives us more practice as these things are common out here. We’ve pretty much got the stockpiling thing down with our limited resources as we fit it into our bi-weekly shopping. Every time we shop we make it a habit to purchase $3-5 worth of canned goods, or mix up a pack of toilet paper or bottle of iodine or alcohol in the mix. If packs of ramen noodles are on sale, we’ll get those too. Either way, by doing this, we’ve amassed a large amount of food and other supplies that we can definately put to use, or barter. In time we will use some of the canned items on days when the wife doesn’t feel like cooking anything so rotation isn’t a problem. As far as water, we’re only a mile as the crow flies from a large reservoir so water is almost abundant. I’ve even looked at the idea of utilizing simple 12v pumps with a marine battery and some hose to pump water into some drums for emergency water. We are able to back up to the shores of the reservoir to go fishing so this comes pretty easy. There are also many properties with large ponds available as well, that with the right negotiating skills could also serve as water supplies for those in need, even if its coming by with a couple of 5 gal buckets to get drinking water for a few days.

    On a side note, there are things that we do to help make ourselves more self sufficient as well as hone in our survival skills. Besides fixing our own vehicles, and working around the property, never having to hire out labor except for those really big tasks (which we’ve been blessed not to have to do yet). As far as a little step towards EMP protection, we have a couple of vehicles that would probably be one of the few vehicles that would still be on the road if an EMP burst hit the US. We have a couple of old mustangs, 69 and 65 respectively, one with a 6 cyl, other a V8, which while currently are using the Duraspark electronic ignition systems as an upgrade we did, we still retained the original breaker point distributors along with the extra points/rotors/caps, so we could easily revert back to those components to put the cars on the road in an emergency. Extra ignition modules are also in stock, kept in metal ammo cans for EMP protection as well. This type of protection has also been extended to some handheld CB radios, some of those handheld “10 mile range” radios that are common, and a yellow radiation meter. Extra cans are also available for our power inverters too.

    We’ve got a wood stove installed in the house, with a large stock of wood, composed of everything from scrap wood salvaged from hardware stores, curbside garage, fallen trees, pallets, and leftovers from projects. Firestarters are made from sawdust and candlewax. We recycle everything we can, old motor oil/tranny oil and gasoline gets mixed together to make a firestarting fuel that won’t blow us into the stratosphere. We forage for blackberries or wild muscadines and huckleberries in the woods around us. We have dogs outside that serve as natural alarms to warn us of any possible threats. Just like any backwoods folks, we have our guns. While we’re not fanatics, we choose guns based on some practicalities, like ammo availability as well as dependability. Some of our favorites are surplus bolt rifles rebarreled to .308 cal since its a caliber that’s easily available. We also like 762x39s and 223 for the same reasons. 12ga shotguns and 357 mag/38spl revolvers along with 9mm also make up the list. No one can forget the good ole 22. Since we reload, we can customize ammo for many of these guns, and share many slugs as well. Since we mold some bullets too, we can share one bullet for a few calibers, like a 125gr 9mm bullet, works for 357/38spl as well. In a pinch the .311 bullets for the 762×39 can be used in the 308 with lighter powder charges. No one can forget air rifles. We have a mix of spring piston and pneumatics, all in the 600 fps+ range, many with scopes, as we like having the ability to pop a squirrel or rabbit in near silence at times, another skill that could be useful in in such times, especially in the city during martial law.

    Other things that we’ve done as part of our everyday life on the homestead was build a diesel generator with an ebay purchased engine and generator head, and have plans on running the thing with veggie oil again, as we’ve done it once, but after not doing it right, had to do some cleaning on the engine. Now that its up, we will try again. We have a small solar array set up, currently for recharging a marine battery, but will be working on upgrading. Our garden was successful and will be growing more next year, and with what we learned, will be better. The successes that we’ve accomplished get discussed among work friends and tends to help motivate them to try more themselves. We’ve also taken up kayaking as a means of exercise, and a means of getting into places to fish, set trot lines and in a real dire emergency, silent transportation through areas where larger boats cannot go. I could go on and on but have gone on long enough, this will definately do. Until the next time.

    • if you have a .311 bullet mold and need to use the .311 in a .308, get the .309 bullet sizer from Lee for about $15 and put it on your single stage press. It will size the bullets and gas crimp them at the same time. It will also save money since there is no need for a top stamp as in RCBS or Lyman sizers and the tumble lube works well for about $4. I use .311 at 155gr for my 7.62×39 for practice and cast extras for reloading in my .308 and .30-06 Garand.
      happy prepping,
      knowledge is power and power keeps the lights on (nuke navy mm2, me)

    • Seems to me like you’re already a winner!!!!!

      Wish you were my neighbour.Lol.

      God Bless.

  58. Korum Emrys says:

    When stripping a vehicle of usable gear, most peeps remember grills, mirrors, seats, mats, crowbars, tires. How many peeps remember to pull the plates if available of a disabled, abandoned, or trashed vehicle? When I forgot my canteen cup and mess kit some years ago, I pulled the plates off my vehicle and friend eggs, bacon, and toast on my license plates. The following day I poured Bisquick mix onto the plates and made my kids some fun license plate pancakes. the paint on the bottom of the aluminum burns to no ill effects, nicely cooking whatever you like on the back/silver side of the plate, so long as you pay attention to whatever you like. The pancakes are a favorite amongst kids, especially if you’ve got a few plates available to make into personalized pancakes!! The inside of banana peels will reinforce water repellent/seal on leather boots if wiped fairly heavily onto them in wet climates. Only temporary though. Beech leaves help to repel insects when used in a debris shelter, wickiup, etc,. Garlic and onion works as well being released from your pores as it does being rubbed heavily on your skin as insect repellent. You my $ .02 worth. =)

  59. [David’s Note: Glenna’s entry was the winning entry and will get immediate access to the SurviveInPlace.com Urban Survival Course.” Congratulations, Glenna!]

    1. How will course help me? I have two grown children and four grandchildren and I want them to survive! I have recently found your site and I am learning a lot. Suggestion: the holidays are coming and you can buy survival gifts for your family. I am researching where I can buy a good knife that you recently wrote about and getting ready to make some purchases. I can fit a $100 knife into my Christmas budget for some of the older kids/parents.

    [David’s note: Here’s where you can find it on Amazon > www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000G0HP5C?ie=UTF8&tag=surviveinplac-20 ]

    2. What is the biggest reason you need the course? I am concerned about medical issues since I am diabetic and meds need to be refrigerated. In a critical situation I wonder if meds will even be available. I haven’t seen much in your newsletters about this issue. Other family members have medical issues as well and I need to learn how to deal with that. Also I care for my 93 yr old mother who is frail.

    3. What skills have you put into practice? I started stockpiling even before I read your newsletter and I have started a garden. Now I have to learn how to protect the garden and get the most out of it since I have limited space. As I read each newsletter I try to put into practice what has been outlined. I need practice.
    I have found “The Colony” to be a real eye-opener and really emphasizes the need to be prepared for what could happen. I have discovered how vulnerable I really am.
    Thanks for all you do. This site is regular reading for me.

    • As to your diabetic supplies, make sure that you always have at least 3 months worth. I have been a diabetic for 29 years and I like to have 3 to 6 months handy. Another misconception about insulin is that it “needs” to be refrigerated. Let me tell you that I have not been keeping my insulin cold for over 20 years now. Don’t get me wrong, I do keep my spare, unopened bottles in the fridge. But what I carry with me at all times, never gets cool. Even in the car in the summer heat. I’m alive and well and I would suspect that you will be too.

      Another thing that gets me is that people throw away their insulin after starting to use it in 30 days. Again, I use mine until it is empty. I use R, or regular, and N daily. I only use from 2 to 10 units a day of the R insulin. So that means that one bottle will last me about 6 months. Another type of insulin I use is super quick acting Humalog Pen. These pens were given to me by someone who went on the pump years ago and did not need them anymore. The expiration date is Jan 1, 2008. Guess what? It is not refrigerated and I still use it and it works just fine!
      Hope this helps!

      I also handle my guns everyday. There are a lot of gun owners, but not so many shooters. I shoot IDPA competitions to keep sharpening those shooting skills and it also helps dealing with the stress that comes with challenging yourself. While in my state, I always carry concealed. When driving to other states, which I do a couple days a week, I always carry a CRKT (Columbia River Knife & ToolM16-13Z knife. I find that I use this knife virtually everyday. David Morris said it is a great everyday carry knife, and I highly recommend them too. Also carry emergency water, clothes, flashlights (Mag lights and Surefire), fire starting tools (which includes a bag of dryer lint- lights fast!) and mechanical tools in all of our vehicles. By the bedside, you will find a machete, blowgun, Surefire flashlight, and a sword. Every room in the house has some type of weapon in it be it a pen remote control, picture, lamp, mug, plate, candle, a book, keys, fire extinguisher,,, you get the idea. Even in the shower you’ll find a composite thrusting tool/knife. I even go so far as to have a strip of foam rubber on the outer edge of the tub. This is to hold my pistol between the 2 shower curtains. It stays dry, and I feel protected. You never know if someone breaks in while you are showering. You may not hear them until its too late!

      Be prepared for the worst case scenario, but always hope for the best. I learned so much from buying the Survive in Place manual. It will open your eyes. You hear everyday that crazy people do crazy things. Many of my friends think I’m a little nuts, but if T.S.HT.F., I know that I’m fairly prepared. Are you?

      Good luck to all you who read these articles!!!

      • Hi K-Man,

        No. I don’t believe that you’re nuts. I think you’re as smart as a fox. You only get one chance in life to make a fatal mistake. Best that you increase your chances of NOT becoming deceased any way that you see fit.

        God Bless you and all the “preppers” out there.

  60. I must congratulate you for your information. Plus allowing others to give their info. I lost my lady in 1995. Having been alone since. My grand son Danial wife and 5 yr old son now live with me. Having every thing paid. being in the service having been confront with danger has left me unafraid to take measures with what ever it may need. Having a large garden,fruit trees,Pear,apple,blueberry raspberries , hazelnuts, well you get the situation. Not having a weapon is leaves me a bit nervous. I feel a Glock 9mm with 17 shots when loaded plus an automatic long gun,and Shotgun. Do you have knowledge where I can purchase used weapons. On internet or otherwise.? So thank you. Burr

    • get on the web and look up gun shows. you will find several nearby over the next few weekends. they usually cost from $5. to $8 dollars to attend and a very wide selection of firearms, new and used

    • Full Bunker says:

      I am an FFL dealer who would be happy to direct you and help

    • Tom

      Don’t know where you are but I have a couple of extra that I could sell you cheap. Only about halfway of kidding.

      My suggestion for firearms would be:

      .22 rifle and a 20 gauge shotgun or a combination of the two in an over/under configuration

      The reason for this is simplicity and readily available, cheap ammo. You can get 20 gauge in slugs or buckshot for bigger game or protction, smaller shot size for birds and such. The .22 can be used for just about everything including bigger game and protection if you are a good shot.

      Do a bit of research on ammo choices and prices for firearms before you go to your local gunshow and maybe go with a knowledgeable friend. You don’t have to spend big bucks either and, trust me, there will be a sh*tload of people who will tell you that you need to spend a whole pile of cash for “good equipment”. K.I.S.S. is what I live by.

      Hope this is helpful.

  61. This was you best lesson yet. It’s the simple things that will be the farthest thing from you mind when disaster stikes.Your mind will be your best weapon when the time comes.You must give all of your survival skills a test. It is better to get it right,right now then get it wrong when it realy counts.

    I use my own invention. Alcohol heater.It keeps my house warm and it’s clean burning.

    • Hi Dave,

      I would be really interested in how you make an alcohol heater!

      • Very easy to make.

        One three pound coffee can
        One roll of toilet paper (TP)
        A stand to place the can on (fireproof)
        90% alcohol

        Poke a few small holes in the bottom upright side of the can for air. (Not too many or too large. Easier to make more holes than less.)

        Pour enough alcohol on TP to saturate but not dripping, placed in can.

        Set TP and can in safe area of room. (Smaller rooms are easier to heat.)

        Light with a long stick match or throw a small kitchen match into can.

  62. 1. How will the course help you and/or your family?

    We want to be prepared! Once a Boy Scout always a Boy Scout! I am also a Navy Vet. While we are organized, logical people, we are scared for ourselves and our families and in the process of preparing to survive in a post “event” environment. However the task seems mind boggling and overwhelming. Right now, our plan and focus changes as we read new things. While being new to the site, what we have seen thus far will provide a broader view than we have had to date, and provide us with a priority based focus on the essentials all in one place. This will help us move forward in an organized fashion not overlooking any important issues with a single focus.

    2. What is the biggest reason you need the course? EMP? Economic collapse? Infrastructure attack? Cyber attack? Natural disasters? Something else?

    We live in a flood plain in close proximity of 5 or 6 major Eastern cities, so all the issues above are of concern to us. We always focus on issues caused by storms, flooding and infrastructure damage caused by them. Our primary focus and most imminent concern is the inevitable economic collapse. However, now that I describe our physical location and review the issues described above, and think about the EMP issue and Cyber attack (which we have not fully considered), it re-affirms our need for comprehensive training.

    3. What skills or practices have you already put into practice that you’ve learned from the Urban Survival Newsletter? The course isn’t just another book to read…it’s a course to help you build proven life saving urban survival skills to help you survive urban survival situations and enrich your lives in the meantime. I want to make sure that you’ll be someone who takes action with the materials if you are chosen as the winner.

    Again we are new to your site, but I have already started to practice your situational observation and protection planning techniques. We have developed shopping lists from your newsletters for things we have yet to consider stocking up on. We have to do lists to research longer term issues mentioned. We have shared your e-mails with family and friends. As far as what we have accomplished in preparation to this point. We have begun to prepare to be ready to bug out, or stay put as the need be for an extended period. We have stored food, water, paper goods, tools, medicines, matches, fuels, alternate cooking means, batteries, light sources, manual powered devices, water filtration systems and are planning means of protection of our property, family and home. We have inventories by expiration dates for stock rotation. We have secured cash, precious metals and other items which can be used to barter. It is a long slow process being retired and on a fixed income, but it is a priority, out of need and peace of mind. We are also coaching family and friends to the extent they are receptive.

  63. Just wanted to pass along a few more tidbits: six hours of direct sunlight will sanitize drinking water. Cotton balls partially covered in petroleum jelly make good tinder.

  64.       1.  How will the course help you and/or your family?

    The course will enable my family and myself to be better prepared for any disaster and to survive. 

          2.  What is the biggest reason you need the course?  

    In Los Angeles we have the historical precedents of earthquake, toxic spills, train accidents, urban unrest, fire, mudslide, flooding, and economic downturn in addition to the potential terrorist attack, EMP, economic collapse, and other unforeseeable events. 

          3.  What skills or practices have you already put into practice that you’ve learned from the Urban Survival Newsletter?  

    Immediate practice of situational awareness and of the “whatif” of my local surroundings for things that can and will go bad. 

    Have initiated building my 72 hour kits for home and car and building my prioritized list of essentials, basics, and recommended items for acquisition. 

  65. 1. You can greatly increase the candle power of a tea light by sitting it on a mirror. I can read by several tea lights grouped on a 12 ” square mirror.

    2. Galvinized metal trash cans with tight fitting lids are great places to store bulk food purchases. We seal bags of staples such as powdered milk and oats in large mylar bags and then stack them in the trash cans. Works great. When we open a bag, we pour the contents into plastic gallon containers that are easy to handle.

    3. To save $, don’t throw your canning lids out unless they are bent or the rubber ring seal is damaged. I reuse mine on the food can in a water bath rather than a pressure cooker. If a lid doesn’t seal, I know it when I remove the ring.

    4. During a week without power or running water last Dec, we kept a 2 gal bucket in our bathroom. We dipped 1 gal of water from our bathtub and dumped it all at once into the toilet bowl. Worked great.

  66. Marlene Adams says:

    adding to the previous blog…I would say the most vital survival skills would be how to purify water, for which I’ve purchased “pool shock” that will not expire like chlorine bleach to purify water or the charcoal, pea gravel method which are items easily available. how to start a fire, for which i’ve purchased a fire steel spark stick and have cotton balls and vasoine that can be combined as a starter as well as the method you taught making cotton squares into charcoal. You will need fire to cook and stay warm. even having a cook stove or wood stove would be a treasure. Stock piling canned and dried foods and soaps and seeds for sustainability. also protection, buy a gun and learn to use it. You have to have clean water, food, shelter to stay warm and some way to protect yourself.

  67. Marlene Adams says:

    I have felt an urgency to live off the grid and become prepared for a while now. i live alone and have very little financial resources, but have been doing without wants to set aside for future needs. I have been preparing for myself and for my two children if times get bad, which seems unavoidable watching the government destroy our country. a few things I’ve been doing are stock up food and water, buy water purifiers, fire starters, heavy duty sleeping bags, soaps, hygiene items, toilet paper, vitamins, non-GMO seeds and natural fertilizers, even bought a hand gun and am learning to use it. I’m looking for survival books now and copying survival information off the internet, like how to purify water and compiling it in a notebook. My goal is to move out a ways, with a well and back up energy, such as solar, but it all takes money, so not sure how far I’ll get with that. Time is essential and I’m not interested in reinventing the wheel, but to learn from those who already have done the research and lived the life. I sure could use some help, it’s tough going it alone, especially as a female. Thanks for being out there ready to help us before it’s too late.

  68. I am a single mom and a disabled vet. Needless to say, I don’t have a lot of money to throw around. I have been stockpiling food and ammo and trying to learn all I can about survival skills. I raised a garden and learned how to can with a pressure cooker. I also dehydrated and froze some of it. I really need this course to finish out my survival skills.
    We live outside Cheyenne, WY—in the middle of missile sites. That probably says it all!
    This is my first day to look at the course. I found the “spotting criminals” article very informative and will definitely put it into practice. I have to travel 25 miles to the library to access the internet, so a book would be great! Thanks

  69. I have been through 2 disasters and 1 near disaster before I finally got my head on straight and started preparing. I am 40, in the Navy and been through 2 hurricanes. The last near disaster was in Hawaii, I awoke to civil alarms and phone calls from state side telling of an incoming tsunami. No power, no coal, no extra water, you get the message. I prepare for my Naval service daily but have failed to prepare for the coming disaster awaiting us, whether it be EMP, financial or other wise.
    1. How will the course help you and/or your family? I have an exceptional family member (anyone in the military knows the accronym) I’m not saying this for sympathy but because I can’t teach him the skills to survive I am his lifeline. with the course I can get my wife to see how truly behind we are in survival skills and prepare us both!

    2. What is the biggest reason you need the course? EMP? Economic collapse? Infrastructure attack? Cyber attack? Natural disasters? Something else? We all feel it in the air, economic collapse is the biggest threat on the horizen. Nothing will seem wrong until you don’t get paid, the bank won’t release funds, grocery stores don’t accept vouchers, and the riots start. Cowering away in the house hoping the “government” will swoop in and save is will be a distant illusion. Being in the military now, I should be financially able to get the course, people on the outside looking in think it’s all good here, but when you have a son with scoliosis, heart disease, wife who can’t work because she takes care of him and other family you take care of money is scarce and you have to watch every penny. I need this course to be that light for others who need the same knowledge, I already have the leadership skills, I just need the survival skills so I can not only help myself but the rest of my community in the upcoming event.

    3. What skills or practices have you already put into practice that you’ve learned from the Urban Survival Newsletter? One of the neatest little items I have nor is 0000 steel wool and a battery…instant tinder and fire starter. I bought seeds and froze them (I learned to plant underground stuff that looks like weeds and to grow it surrounded by weeds). My wife thinks it’s goofy but we now go to the mall and sit there for hours and people watch, we’ve learned a great deal from that alone! I practice fires, stay in great shape and watch every survival item on the “idiot box” that I get a chance to….so please consider me, I will definately put it to good use!

  70. Valerie Bate says:

    Another good source to look for items you can use is your local recycling center. They have stryofoam boxed (the kind steaks are shipped in) which I keep medical supplies in, spices, etc so I can store in my garage without too much problems with temp changes. Also last week I picked up 5 of the 5 gallon water bottles (think Arrowhead, etc) with the tops. I filled with water, put in 1/4 cup of bleach, covered the neck with a small plastic bag and put the old top back on (which had a small hole in it from the dispenser) My center also has a lot of books even some medical. Not to mention recycle your stuff 🙂 Another good item that burns really good is dryer lint! I have some in a baggy in my bob bag…..hope some of this helps!

    • Just a head’s up…

      Styrofoam is combustible–just stick a match on a styrofoam coffee cup if you want to confirm. Yes, it is used as insulation in buildings but building codes are specific as to how it is used to keep it isolated from direct flames. If you have only a few styrofoam boxes it is probably not an issue but if you are using many styrofoam boxes and storing them together you may not be aware of the fire load you are creating in your garage. Styrofoam fires are notorious for thick smoke and chemical gases. Styrofoam is actually polystyrene and, while I don’t have the data in front of me, styrene is listed as a possible human carcinogen. I would not store significant amounts of exposed polystyrene in an area where there is high temperatures, flame sources, little or no ventilation and no smoke alarm.

      Also, while I have my safety hard hat on, please make sure you aren’t storing propane bottles/tanks (for grills or camping stoves) inside in enclosed spaces like small, unventillated store rooms/cabinets. A leaking bottle could create a flammable or explosive gas/air mixture or possibly push all the oxygen out of the area causing someone to collapse from lack of oxygen. I was looking in our basement store room for something one day and noticed my husband had stored two full propane tanks about 10 feet behind the gas water heater. Ahhhhhhhhh! It happens!

      I believe this forum gets better and better–thanks David and Diva

  71. Fred Bowden says:

    A couple of things for starting fire that I have are cig. lighters(free) also magnifing glass. It will start a fire in a few seconds

  72. 1) Well I have always been a believer in being prepared. I think it’s easy to take care of yourself with my military,camping, back country back packing and even rock climbing experience. I can handle most things. However last year I married, my wife has three kids. Now trying to learn how to prep for kids is not something I ever thought about doing. Learning how to prep for a family is a whole different ball game.

    2) As for what I think the biggest reason for learning this is simple my family. Any number of events can occur that leave you in a position to either survive in place or bug out. While it’s true there is no way to prepare for all, finding out how to do so in a general way that be used to cover as many bases as possible should be achievable.

    3) Most of the things need for prepping Are done by me. Storing food, water, building and maintaining bug out bags.However every year we take the kids camping teach them how to do different things. We go on as many trips as we can using each trip to educate them. In order to do this we have to keep up on our skills and learn new ones. Some of the things I learned early on are now outdated. Maybe there are better ways to achieve the same goals. I don’t think you can be prepared if you think you know it all and fail to continue your own education.

  73. Hi David. This is really nice idea and thanks to the student in Missouri that made such a thoughtful gesture.

    1. How will the course help you and/or your family:

    We are a one income family of 6. We have four children, 7, 5, 2 and 1. I homeschool my seven and five year old. Needless to say, it becomes difficult sifting through so many survivalist websites, books, magazines, forums etc while balancing the curriculum of a kindergartener and a second-grader in addition to a potty training two year old and chasing my one year old all over. Money also becomes an issue because it seems there are so many things that you are told you need to buy and some paychecks just aren’t as easily accommodating to those purchases. I would like to know other ways. I was also attracted to your newsletters and books because I realized for the past two years my husband and I have been preparing, it’s been in a way that was more geared toward “getting out.” As I began to read things that you have written my heart began to sink as I realized this “plan in waiting” has so many loose ends that need to be tied. I’ve started to doubt how much we really know, how prepared are we truly? Would all the stuff we have stockpiled even matter? I think that your information seems to have a lot of common sense-type of approaches that are all amassed together in a way more easily accessible to me, providing exactly the information I am looking for to feel more confident about taking the right steps to ensuring our family’s safety. I’m sure, you yourself having young children can relate to or imagine the continual worry a parent feels about their children if God-forbid, anything ever did happen and you were not as prepared as you could be. I guess that is where I am at. I just want to know that I have learned as much as I can so my family has the best of chances. Surviving in place isn’t something (as crazy as it sounds) that we have focused on as much as we probably should have!

    2. What is the biggest reason you need the course?

    Honestly? All of the above. I think we most definitely are heading for a financial collapse, but the threat of terrorism is still very real, bio-terrorism…I mean at this point I can’t even say for certain what is going to hit us first. All I know is that I want to be capable and prepared for anything. I want to be able to teach my children so they can pass on to their children, and so on. I have family members that just don’t seem to understand yet the importance of all this, and they have kids. So the more information that I absorb the more I can pass on and hopefully give them a better chance of survival when they finally realize they should not have procrastinated so much.

    3. What skills or practices have you already put into practice that you’ve learned from the Urban Survival Newsletter?

    Well, I just started receiving your newsletter two days ago, so I haven’t really practiced much yet. I did test out my peripheral vision and the whole 360 thing yesterday. I am definitely trying the char-cloth gassifier this weekend with my husband and kids. Just finished telling him I wanted to check it out. Oh I also want to work on “layering” our supplies based on the need for the type of situation. I have been wanting to put items into a bin for easy access to grab and go but it never occurred to me to set it up using a layer method, so thank you for that. Very terrific idea.

    You asked for some ideas of things that you could talk about? This summer we grew an extra large garden so that I could begin learning how to save seed. I have been teaching my children this valuable information as well. Stored under the correct conditions, most seeds have a viability of five years and up. You would not believe all the seed we stored this season! I planted only heirloom, open-pollinated varieties. Seeds are invaluable in a survival situation, in my opinion and I think this is such an important thing for people to learn. Especially with the gmo take-over. I have always grown gardens, as a kid my parents grew them but never did I really know or even completely understand all that is entailed with saving seed, what to watch for, how to collect it, etc. Also, is it possible to prepare to have a garden that can be grown indoors (even through winter) if you are in a surviving in place kind of situation that may last a long while without access to a market and dangerous conditions to growing outside? Another thing I think would be great to touch on (and maybe you have I’m just not aware yet) is a top 5 or even 10 list of items to barter (that does not include silver or gold since not all of us have the money to invest in, not to mention if it would even matter in the most basic of scenarios)? So far we have water, booze, ammo, med supplies and seeds. Are there other items of equal value?

    Thank you again for this opportunity and I wish all the best to everyone.

  74. Please consider me for you course:

    1. How will the course help me and my family? The course will help me and my family by being able to survive in case of anything from a natural disaster to economic collapse (which is coming sooner than we think) to an EMP attack that would knock out anything connected to modern technology.

    2. What is the biggest reason I need the course? The reason I need this course: Both my husband and I are in our fifties, we live in an urban area, we rent so radical modifications to the house are out of the question, our money situation is very tight (I am unemployed, my mother is on social security, and my husband is self-employed), and we live very close where the “bad” part of town is. This part of town is beginning to encroach close to our area. We also take care of my 88 year old mother, so leaving is pretty much out of the question. We need to learn how to survive possible starvation and/or defending ourselves when society breaks down and it becomes “every man for himself”.

    3. What skills or practices have I already put into practice that I’ve learned from the Urban Survival Newsletter? I have just begun receiving this newsletter, however, for several years I have seen trouble brewing and I have been planning how to survive. I have started stockpiling non-perishable food a little at a time. Every time I go to the store, I buy one or two items extra and put it on my shelf as I can afford it. I have always watched body language, but now I am becoming more aware. I am going to excersise watching people and their body language more. I am also practicing using my peripheral vision so I am aware of what is going on around me.

  75. Please considermeforyour course give-away. Iamahusband and a father. I am new to this idea of survival,but have come to believe strrongly in it. I am new therefore we need all the help we can get. I have taken my wife and I to get permitsto carry a gun. We both own and practice the use of firearms for personal and family protection. We are stockpiling amo as we can ans also stocing up on canned,nonperishable food items and water. I use to backpack and hike on the AT and have a few skills for backcountry survival. Please again, consider us, we need all the help we can get.


  76. 1. How will the course help you and/or your family? We have children and grandchildren and are VERY concerned about the direction in which this country (ok, the entire world) is going. This course would better prepare me to provide for my family in the event that we need it (and it will also provide over all good skills in the slight chance that we DON’T go into a colapse!)

    2. What is the biggest reason you need the course? EMP? Economic collapse? Infrastructure attack? Cyber attack? Natural disasters? Something else? We are more concerned at this point about an economic colapse, but an EMP is certainly not out of the question. Civil unrest is already here and some type of all out civil war could be on the horizon. Anyone who says, “oh, that could never happen here” is koo-koo nuts!

    3. What skills or practices have you already put into practice that you’ve learned from the Urban Survival Newsletter? The first thing we’ve done is to start collecting food, water and supplies. With each paycheck we buy two metal gas cans. We buy foodstuffs when they are on sale. I am a recent subscriber so I have a LOT to learn….one great reason for me to take the course!

  77. Please consider me for this giveaway. I am new to this site and the newsletter, so I have not put much of anything to use…yet. I was and still am working on several things that were mentioned in the newsletter, but I am hungry for more information.

    1. This course will help me and my family survive and help others no matter what situation we find ourselves in. That pretty much sums it up in my mind. My wife and I have 5 young children, and we want to not only learn these skills but also pass them on to our kids.

    2. The biggest reason I need this course is because as is usually the case, the more I learn about survival and the skills needed the more I realize how much I do NOT know. I know there are so many possibilities as to what could go wrong, and I also know that I can’t prepare for every contingency. However, I feel that this course will help me gain more capabilities that I can use in survival situations in whatever form they take.

    3. Over the past two years, I have taken my 3 oldest children on a survival camp that a gentleman here locally puts on every year. He teaches things like fire by friction, edible plant identification, medicinal plant use, building rock ovens, make and deploying wooden fish hooks, etc. We have enjoyed attending and learning from him. I want to add to these skills especially in the context of surviving right were we are. We live in a small town, but knowing how to survive at home is just as important as knowing how to survive in the back country. I’ve also started gardening and have really developed a love of it which is a benefit my whole family enjoys.

    Thank you for considering me for this giveaway, and thank you for all of the information you make available. I can’t wait to try the water filtration bucket. That’s next on my skill learning list.

    –John R.

  78. 1. My husband and I are retired. We have three grown children who have children of their own. We live relatively close to one another. We are concerned about the future of our country and have been stockpiling food for a long time. However, we have no plan in place for a disaster scenario and would like to be prepared to take care of all of our family in a crisis.

    2. Our biggest concern is an economic collapse leading to civil unrest and violence/

    3. I’ve just received the third free mini-course. I’m impressed with the suggestions about learning to read people. It’s something that I think I do to some extent automatically, but it would be great to be able to get the rest of the family to start paying attention as well. The suggestions about fire-statrting were very enlightening. Hadn’t thought of the bow drill, or the blowgun or slingshot. Very good suggestions.

  79. Hello,

    This course would be especially helpful to me and my family as two of the five of us are disabled with an neurological hereditary disease, my feet, my brother’s hands are all but useless and I’ve had one foot amputated. I don’t tell you this for any pity it might generate, but, to let you know that I recognize that my and my brothers survival will be much more difficult than normal folks.
    The one thing that woke me up was 9-11… all the handicap workers were staged on one floor of the towers and unless someone physically helped one of them down the stairs, ALL died in that staging area when the towers collapsed! I don’t want to be completely dependant on others for my or my brothers survival.
    I’ll have adapt some of the things in this course for my use, but, having been a part of the Boy Scouts of America for 10+ years I have learned new and fun ways of doing things!
    I know it is a matter of time before the Govt. does something to set us back to a point we might not recover, at least in my life-time. I live in a rural area next to a lake and a dormant volcano so the scenarios of survival are always in my mind.
    As for skills I was an LVN/LPN before my disease actively stopped me physically, but the knowledge is still there; I grew up with a Grandfather that raised and slaughtered his own animals (cow, pig, chicken) so thast not new, just an unused/rusty skill; I took a class in canning 2 years ago to refresh my knowledge of that; I know how to garden on a small scale; I was a Red Cross CPR/1st Aid trainer and taught that skill to many Boy Scouts.
    The one thing beyond this course that is my most desired to learn is local edible/medicinal plants and herbal medicine in general…. any big disaster might wipe out our ability to get or even manufacture current drugs folks rely on, the suffering/death that would incur just hurts to think about.
    Please, if anyone has tips for the disabled for survival, I would appreciate it and share with other too!!
    Than you for your consideration.

  80. 1. How will the course help you and/or your family?
    We are a one income family of five, and have recently lived through disater. A little over a year ago, I lost my job of 9 years in the mortgage industry with one of Atlanta’s biggest builders, lost my house, my savings, & more. We simply weren’t prepared, and barely survived it. After many months, I was fortunate enough to get a new job & relocated my family to Arkansas. I read (a lot) and believe the country hasn’t seen the worst yet. I now see that it is my DUTY as a father & a husband to be better prepared, but I need help. I am also a Scout leader at my church, and would love to share what I learn with the other dads & their boys.

    2. What is the biggest reason you need the course?
    I believe the biggest risk our nation faces is a financial collapse which could lead to an economic depression. I’m concerned about potential shortages on things we take for granted, and how to prepare for that possibility. I hope this doesn’t happen, but I want to be better prepared. Security had never been high on my list, but from my new perspective I now find myself looking for ways to get more secure/prepared all the time. We are still shell-shocked from what we went through, and I don’t want to be caught unprepared again.

    3. What skills or practices have you already put into practice that you’ve learned from the Urban Survival Newsletter?
    Yesterday and this morning as I traveled from work to home & back again I watched people a little closer, and I looked for danger areas as recommended. I’d like to try making my own char-cloth for fire starting, and put together a water filtration system as described in today’s issue. We are new at this, but over the last several months we have been trying to get better prepared. We have now eliminated all debt. We have stored up a few days of food, water, & basic supplies. We got a small generator, bought extra fuel, and bought extra ammo for hunting & defense. I also created a basic medical kit from scratch, and have put together a small 72 hour survival kit for my family. Sense reading this newsletter though I can see that I’ve only scratched the surface, and on our tight budget we need more guidance to get it done. With my new outlook on the world, I need to take this course; in fact, I would devour it.

    Could the other survival skills that you are looking for involve growing your own garden, canning/jarring food, self-defense, or maybe addressing medical needs? How about faith & attitude? How about group effort with like-minded friends, family, & neighbors? Clothing? Tools? How about entertainment to ward off the mundane? Those are my best guesses. Take care.

    • Bingo, Mark! You hit one of the two VITAL survival skills I was looking for with “faith.”

      Faith in a higher power and an eternal perspective on life, loss, and disasters acts like a stabilizer…not only in good times, but also in survival situations.


    Chances are you’re already using SOS pads or something like them in your home…

    When the soap is all used out of them… people throw them away…. DON’T ….

    Let them dry out and save them… they are perfect for grabbing and holding a spark… whether you are using flint & steel, a lighter or a match… they will burn very hot and for a while too… place one of them in your tinder and you should have no problem starting a fire… even with damp wood…..

    Old 9 volt batteries still have “some” charge in them even when they wont power an electrical device any more because they’re too weak…..
    There may just be enough charge in them to cause a spark when touched to steel wool pads… try it ! Another good way to start a fire and use old stuff at the same time saving you money !

  82. In replying to what my preparations have included are: 1). We have purchased property, off-grid, in a location that gives us hundreds of acres of national forest land with which to hunt and a large river to fish. 2). We have been acquiring/purchasing supplies and have a storeroom full of food, complete with bins for relocation. 3) We have the moving van ready for transporting supplies that will commense when our root cellar is completed. 4) We have been raised on the farm that has taught us skills in animal care and food preparations. Also, gardening and canning as I had lived for several years off-grid.

    The course will help tremendously in learning how to survive our current situation in the terrorist dangers and possible financial collapse of our country.

    Again, I am not looking for your free course as I am able to purchase. I just wanted to chime in on where we are in our preparadness strategies. We are very thankful for the survival knowledge that you possess and are sharing with the world.



  83. Dear David,

    I naturally would love to receive this course free, but realize that there are more needy persons than myself. We are getting by, even though we are now helping another family member that has recently lost his job. I just want to stay in contact with you to say that, if everything pans out, we will be purchasing your course at the end of the month. I truly appreciate what you are doing in helping to get others ready for what may be on the horizon. I look forward to receiving your email every day and am using the information sent.


  84. 1. How will the course help you and/or your family? My family consists of myself, my wife, and my 5 kids. Our largest concern is that we live in a very rough part of town, my wife is disabled by MS, Fibromyalgia, and degenerative nerve disease, and the safety of our children. That, and being out of work leaves my options pretty limited. I think the course will help me find options and help devise a plan that we can afford and will work.

    2. What is the biggest reason you need the course? EMP? Economic collapse? Infrastructure attack? Cyber attack? Natural disasters? Something else? Our largest concern is economic collapse and civil unrest. That an the fact we live in a tornado, hurricane, and though it has been 100 years, an earthquake zone.

    3. What skills or practices have you already put into practice that you’ve learned from the Urban Survival Newsletter? We have started putting together some of our supplies, and have set up our communications and meeting places in the case of an emergency. We have learned a lot thus far, but have much more to learn. We have even incorporated the newsletter in our home school reading with our teens .

    I greatly appreciate the newsletter. It has really opened our eyes to what can happen, what can go wrong, and what we need to survive. Thank you!!!!!

  85. This imformation is vary importantand good for people in stationary homes.MY concern is for people who live in R.V. like my wife anthatd I. any imformation on that life style would be greatly appreciated. thankyou Larry

    • Hey Larry,

      There are several particular survival concerns that RVers have–extreme vulnerability being one of them, but skills are skills are skills. All of the survival skills mentioned above are important, regardless of whether you live in a house, apartment, RV, or are a road warrior.

    • Hi:
      I would suggest a dog to alert you if anyone is on your property. If you don’t already have one.

  86. 1. How will the course help you and/or your family? am a grandmother who is taking care of my four grandchildren and a husband who has dementia and trying to be prepared for who know what may come to protect them …

    2. What is the biggest reason you need the course? EMP? Economic collapse? Infrastructure attack? Cyber attack? Natural disasters? Something else? for any type of terror attack or meltdown in the government

    3. What skills or practices have you already put into practice that you’ve learned from the Urban Survival Newsletter? to have a 72 hour or longer bag ready for each family member, with importantant papers , food, herbs and medicine..etc…..
    The course isn’t just another book to read…it’s a course to help you build proven life saving urban survival skills to help you survive urban survival situations and enrich your lives in the meantime. I want to make sure that you’ll be someone who takes action with the materials if you are chosen as the winner.

  87. David Nakata says:

    I would like to be considered for the free copy of the Surviveinplace.com Urban Survival Course.

    1) and 3) the course will help my family ( wife, twin 13 year old boys and 10 years old daughter) and I in many ways. We are huge fans of the survivor man, man versus wild, man woman wild, duel survivor and the colony. From watching the show and learning ideas we have made fire with, flint and magnesium, battery with steel, and magnifying glass ( my daughter is the expert with that one).

    Just the other day, I was over at my parents house explaining to them how to make fire with potassium permanganate and glycerol (antifreeze) but have not tried it because I have not acquired any chemicals yet. I have tried the bow drill, and other techniques but have not been successful at it. It is my hope that the course will help to increase my success rate and be able to teach my family. My daughter already is the fire making expert in her girls scout group. My parents and my brothers family are now starting to “think” about survival and plans. It is my hope the course will help me on how to discuss and articulate why we should have a survival plan in place.

    We have not made char cloth but it is NOW on my list of things to do.

    Solar heating is another one on my list. I have tried to make fire with a concave item ( headlight) but did not have success with this technique either.

    I have not hunted with my family. I have shot many robins, “tweety” birds, etc with a BB gun but haven’t trapped ANYTHING so I would look for guidance on trapping with the course materials.

    I have not made a water filtering device but it is another item on my agenda.

    Stockpiling and negotiating we do on a frequent basis. My wife calls me a “pack rat” so gathering food is something that has been quite easy for us.

    I have started putting together my micro, car and home survival kits but still wonder if I have everything I need. The course will help me to determine this and help others with there survival options.

    2) I guess the main reason we need the course is to get and be more prepared. Whether it is a natural disaster, economic collapse or something else the course will give us insight on what we are missing and what we already have in place. It will also prepare us on how to survive and how to help others survive.

    Thank you for this opportunity

  88. I would like to be considered for the free Survive In Place book, and have things I have been doing to prepare:

    I personally believe we have 2-5 years before total econimic collapse or something worse due to our government. Some of the things I have started to do is get back to basics. The basics for me are 1) Water, 2) Food, 3) Shelter, 4) Medicine, and, 5) Defense. I have broken these things down seperately:

    1) Water- I currently refill plastic 1 gallon juice & milk jugs with water from my tap, and keep these stared. In the event I am not able to take them with me, I do keep purification tablets I got from Wal-Mart. I have read other suggestions about keeping bleach for purification as well.

    2) Food – Cans of food with lots of protein, carbs and that can be stored for long periods of time are key. Tuna in water, Dry pasta and marinara in a jar, crackers, canned veggies high in nutrients, Canned beef stws, etc…. One thing many people overlook is that the human body needs salt to survive as well. I have purchased iodine salt for storage as well.

    Seeds are also very important for survivalbiilty. I have gone to garden centers and purchased seeds, and also from on-line seeds companies. Organic seeds are recommended, and storage is a cool, dry place is very imporatant so that they are viable for future use.

    3) Shelter – Shelter is a tough one since most are of wood construction, and wouldn’t hold up well to possible small arms/gun fire. My plan for this is a concrete monolithic dome, and recommend everyone og to www.monolithic.com to view these amazing homes! David South is the inventor of these homes, and I have studied the contruction of this type of home, and feel this type of house is perfect for survival. This is the only home that FEMA will approve for Florida hurricanes. The houses are hurricane, tornado, fire, and small arms fire proof. They are nearly indestuctable, and can actually be buried underground as well. If you’re serious about survival, these are the homes for you. You can also see one at www.domeofahome.com. I also recommend having secret hiding places within home as well. One of the best I heard of was a “false drain pipe” where valubles were stored, and criminals would never think to use. Be creative on this one. I also keep on hand a tent, tarps, rope, and an air mattress with a foot pump should I have to leave in a hurry.

    4) Medicine – I hear a lot about how “the government” wants you to turn in your old pharmacy drugs, or rid of them by flushing them down the toilet. I personally refurse to do this, and won’t this to our government who got us into this mess in the first place. I keep my old antibiotics & pain meds, for future use. I also ask my doctor and even veterinarian foe bandages, tape, suture, and any other medical supplies that might help in a survival situation. You might be able to trade these items for things you don’t have. and might need.

    5) Defense – this is an imperitive to you and your family. I can’t stress “Defense” enough, and am a person who would only use a gun to defend my family and friends in an extreme situation. We as citizens NEED to not turn into animals when survival mode kicks in. We need to stay strong against those that don’t keep their heads about them. Keeping your head in this type of situation is key. Their is strength in numbers, and people you can trust. I have discuss with my neighbors about the “what ifs” should this country fall into a severe depression or worse. Approach this gently, as I have come to learn that most people don’t like to think about changes for the worse. Please remember that people are trying to survive like you, and to put yourself in there shoes. violence never ends well.

    These are a few things that keep me semi-prepared. Warm clothing, good hiking or work boots, and the ability to stay dry are paramount to survival as well. I purchased ponchos, hand-crank flash lights, a solar shower, a knife and machete, warm socks and wool hat, a compass, flint, and a magnifying glass to start fire as well. Hope these suggestions help all that read you web page, and that are serious about survival.

  89. Michael Santos says:

    Hi David I do not need to win the Course because I already have your course, I would like to win your survival playing cards, I think the most important fact for surviving is our Mental Health and the Will to survive, I have a few Games in my Survival Equipment to help deal with the Stress being in a survival situation or just having something to pass the time if the Power goes out,

    the next things I think are important to have are a way to Filter and Purify Water, Fire making skills and Tools, Cooking tools, a good Riffle for protection and to Hunt for Food, a Fishing Rod and other Fishing Gear, and a couple of Books on edible Plants and survival skills,

    I would also like to say that I think this has been one of the best emails I have received from David, and to hope for the best while preparing for the worst.

    Mike from Orlando Florida

  90. How will the course help me and my family?
    We have already started to prepare for awhile now, however there is so much information to be learned. I feel we have some serious weaknesses in our preparedness and would like to learn how to fix or expand on those weak areas.

    What is the biggest reason you need this course?
    My biggest concern is economic collapse. I don’t feel we have much time left (a few months) so I need to know how to spend my money the most efficient way. Water is a weak area for us along with storage space, defense and we are on a tight budget.

    What practices have you already learned from the urban survival newsletter?
    Well I just started getting the newsletter so I haven’t had a chance to put into practice the suggestions yet. I like the advice on practicing making fires. I want to hear more about making my home more secure. I am going to the link to read more about the water filtration etc…
    We have started stockpiling food and supplies, some medicinal preparations, and some backup fuel for cooking when the electricity goes out, and general education.

  91. David,

    I am a Mother with one small child, when I was in college I had a job working with “troubled youth” in a wilderness environment. This experience (like others with military or other types of experience) opened my eyes to the fact that our society is a paradigm created by us in order to enforce our version of a “social contract”. The experiences I had living in the wilderness with a bunch of “troubled” (emotionally disturbed, drug addled, anti-social, and sociopathic) kids changed my perception of reality, and the way I view people, life, and social inter actions forever. In my case I have found that we have changed from a country and a society of people who can take care of themselves and “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” to a propagandized flock of sheep waiting to be rescued, or, led to the slaughter.

    I am not a sheep, and I do not plan on being “led” anywhere.

    I am concerned about the myself, my family and my friends, but now that I am a parent I am especially concerned about my child and other children.

    The Urban Survival Course would help myself, my family, and those in my personal circle by expanding our knowledge, skills, and understanding. Furthermore, it will help spread the information that will hopefully strenghthen our society and our country by taking responsibitity for ourselves and taking control of our own destinies.
    The biggest reason that we could all benefit from this course is a basic collapse of society as we know it. I am concered about an EMP and would like further information on hardening my home. I am also concerned about natural disasters (earthquakes) and specifically a ‘bug out plan” because I live in a community below a dam. But, having the course will help me/us prepare for all of the different contingencies.
    Third, I already have some of the skills from the newsletter, I stock up on food and supplies, I have some basic disaster safety plans in place, I have a disaster kit in my vehicle (people make fun of me for carrying around all the stuff in my car), and I organize my family and friends in giving practical gifts (like sleeping bags, and good winter boots etc..) In fact, I am thinking that your Urban Survival Playing Cards would make a great and inexpensive Christmas gift! I get my neighbors and friends interested in food preserving and other “old school” skills. I haven’t had to build a bow drill fire or use char cloth in a long time, but my husbands military buddy thinks it’s “cool that a chick does this stuff”, so we are planning a fire building skills day so I can teach them both how to make char cloth and bow drill fires. I would use this course to further my own skills and to teach my friends and family and those I come into contact with. I work with a lot of younger single gals, and I am constantly working with them on safety, emergency supplies, and self reliance.

    There are two very basic points that I would like to make on survival in any setting.

    1) YOU are the biggest determination in your own survival. YOU need to make the choice to survive and then come up with a plan to make it happen. No one else can do this for you.

    2) Make a plan-This plan should have the basics like; food, shelter, fire, water, etc.. but your plan should be for you and your circumstances. Take ideas from this course and from other people, but your plan should be by you, and for you and should be adaptable in case of changing circumstances.

    I am very pleased to have discovered your course and all of the useful information, and would like to be considered for the free course. I would make good use of it bother personally, and within my sphere of influence. Thank you for doing this.

    • Good luck with the contest Mary, if David has us vote you are definitely getting my vote. I have a lady friend that’s just getting into the whole prepping biz & I would love for her to gain knowledge from other fellow women survival preppers. Keep up the great work.

    • Mary,

      Some of my guiding was with “troubled youth” in a wilderness environment too. I never got over the stories I heard from 12-14 year old recovering meth addicts. The stories of what their parents, relatives, and others did to them were amazing.

      And yes, it completely opened my eyes to just how thin the thin veil of civility is that covers our society.

      I am very glad you wrote all that you did.



  92. 1. How will the course help you and/or your family?
    My family and I moved to South Dakota shortly after 9-11. We were living in Virginia, within about three hours of New York, less to D.C. and this was the start of our ‘survival in place’ mindset. We now live in a very small town and started raising a garden a few years ago. This course would help us understand our shortcomings and help to learn how to shelter in place.

    2. What is the biggest reason you need the course?
    I began asking the elected officials from SD about three years ago what would happen if the dollar collapsed. I was concerned that people, like me, who still owe student loans, would be placed into ‘debtors’ prison. I have asked them this question three times over the last four years but not one official has responded. This is my main reason for wanting this course. The information would help us to shelter in place.

    3. What skills or practices have you already put into practice that you’ve learned from the Urban Survival Newsletter?
    What I can say is that we grow a garden every year, I try to maintain ‘situational awareness’, keep my plans quiet so that people won’t show up in an emergency, and, most important of all, in my opinion, is to collect books on every subject that I can think of that can be used in emergencies. These books range from medicinal plants to building; from craft books for the children to raising animals; from edible plant identification to school books.

  93. I practice tracking animals in the near by woods. It is a great “free” survival skill. you don’t have to kill anything, just learn what is around your area. stalking and tuning into the surroundings are great skills to sharpen that require no $, only time.

    I also volunteer to my landlord to clean out his rental properties after a tenant moves out. I have found all kinds of usefull items at no cost. He also pays me for the clean up.
    The extra $ I make for it I invest into my preps in some way or another.

    Having the internet at your disposal is a great tool to research. looking for how to do first aid, identifing wild edibles, identifing animal prints, making soap, & you can google virtually anything pertaining to first aid or survival. Utube videos on survival basics like making fire drills, personal defense & anything else requiring visual aid to learn. It’s all out there to be found at a price your already paying for if your reading this news letter. (thank you Dave for providing it)

  94. If a massive solar storm knocks out the grid (which is not a matter of if but when) or a more likely economic collapse occurs the first two months will be the most dangerous for all. What I fear the most is that if there are marauding gangs of desperate hungry people and they cannot get into your house or a few of the gang members are hurt or killed trying how would you stop them from simply torching your house from the outside. I guess this is not a worry if your dwelling is made entirely of brick. You better be prepared to take the offensive and be able to see outside before they try to torch your house otherwise you will be faced with not only trying to put out the fire but also at the same time shoot all that you suspected are carrying a lighter as you flee the smoke filled interior of your once secure sanctuary. The metropolitan areas are not going to be a good place to be if a large scale event occurs unless you have a couple thousand rounds of ammo and two armed sentinels at each end of the top floor of your house taking 12 shifts to watch for intruders. This all of course is a worst case scenario but there is a bright side most all of the unprepared starving masses would most likely die from dehydration and starvation or cannibalism within the first month or two the ones that are left that are hitting houses will most likely be the most dangerous however few their number would be. Hope i never see it in my life time. All I can do is vote out all establishment one world government treasonous traitors and vote in only those that would sign an affidavit saying they would abolish the Federal Reserve Bank and restore the constitutional rights that are slowly being taken away from the citizens. The large banks (some are foreign) are manipulating politicians to spend us into serfdom and debt along with the military industries that profit from war and guess who pays that debt to the banks that bring our currency/dollars into circulation you and I and our children’s future if there is one after they are through with us. Long live Alex Jones at infowars.com

    I swear to defend the Constitution of the United Sates of America to the best of my ability from all enemies foreign and DOMESTIC!!! 70% of our elected federal public servants have broken that oath repeatedly.

    • Amen to that Marcus. I do too.

    • Very very true (mostly the weak and unlucky will die first, etc). So, since mostly stronger and more adept people will be left, that means you will need to rely on the best tool you have for survival (your head). Basically, everyone who would be left is to somewhat degree a survivalist or has been with someone who is, are just plain downright lucky, or who have been using brute force to get what they need, etc. So, you will need to be better at “strategy” and using your head than the next person whether it be to “outsmart” them by any means, set traps, negotiate, use superior firepower, or to flee will depend on what your predicted odds to success for you and your family are.


    • You might want to read an article I wrote on the situation you’re describing: secretsofurbansurvival.com/140/when-the-shtf-cities-will-burn-not/

      In short, people won’t resort to canabalism within days of a disaster. Torching neighborhoods will happen in some areas of some cities, but history shows us that it won’t be widespread.

      After an EMP or other disruption of the electrical grid, it will be more likely to have accidental housefires due to creosote in chimneys, candles falling, or camp stove fires than arson.

      I want to be clear…I’m not attempting to paint a rosy picture…just trying to get people to look at this through the lens of what has happened in other cities/societies that have broken down.


  95. 1. How will the course help you and/or your family? —I’m the only one in my family who sees the warning signals firing in place & screaming at us. It’s vital I understand what to do and pass along to my family.

    2. What is the biggest reason you need the course? EMP? Economic collapse? Infrastructure attack? Cyber attack? Natural disasters? Something else? —ALL THE ABOVE – lol. Economic collapse already in swing with our Govt printing money in the back rooms, Terrrorists wanting to kill us, every time we go against God’s people we have a “natural” disaster. Lots of things working against us these days.

    3. What skills or practices have you already put into practice that you’ve learned from the Urban Survival Newsletter? Right now reading up & learning, just about to stockpile food & water, some medicine such as Colodial Silver.

    • Hi Paul:

      I’m so happy you mentioned Colloidal Silver. It can be purchased on Amazon or you can purchase the machine to make it yourself for just pennies for the gallon. The machine is about $399.00 plus shipping.

      Just wanted to mention also to always have sodium ascorbate. (Vitamin C)
      (NOT vitamin C supplements) For additional information please see the link below.

      Also, Gelatin Hydrolysate, (collagen) which is sold in dry powder form and offers 90% protein. You can buy it at www.gelatininnovations.com/

  96. This is an article I thought you would be interested in. news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7990997.stm

    [David’s note: It’s a story from 2009 on foreign countries hacking the US power grid. The grid is actually much more vulnerable than this story suggests.]

  97. 1. How will the course help me and my family?
    As the leader of my family i know that it is my responsibility to make sure that they are prepared physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And i believe the best way to prepare is to practice each one of these. From what i have experience from your course is that it gives an absolute workable plan for preparation and how to apply it to today’s life situations as well as preparing us for what may come in the future.

    2. The biggest reason I need the course?
    Is to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem! no matter what the world throws at us. The more I know and the more my friends and neighbors prepare, the better off my family will be and the better off my community will be. After all the more we can take care of ourselves and each other, the less we will require from our state and our nation.

    3. The skills and practices I have already put into practice that i’ve learned from the Urban Survival Newsletter?
    The coarse has me looking at my neighborhood in a whoel new way. Im looking at who is walking the streets and im making eye contact with them! i have learned that some of them are very friendly and share the same desire to be prepared. i have also started to identify some of that may be potential threats to our home and safety. The simple tips on stockpiling has given a whole new outlook on organizing my preparations! i no longer am putting 6 bottles of catchup in my basement but am stocking up on the things i need and use on a regular basis and it is already proven to be convenient and more flavorful! And i have saved alot by finding bargains i didnt even think of looking for before the coarse.

    I cant thank you enough for sharing your knowledge with everyone and im hoping that together we can all live better. Because survival isnt about barely getting by. Its about Living Life Well even when the world is turned upside down.

    Spokane, WA

  98. 1. I feel prompted with a sense of urgency to prepare for things to come. Not knowing what exactly is to come I think it best to learn a broad range of survival skills and am very pleased to find your website and learn everything I can do to be ready for whatever comes. This program would be a real blessing for me.

    2. My Faith in God is the source of the prompting that I sense and so it is out of obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ that I am pursuing the opportunity to recieve this course.

    3. I have started to further stockpile and purchased a few extra groceries this week. I will be making the char cloth this afternoon. I think I may have an old satalite dish in the garage that I will also experiment with this afternoon if the sun comes stays out.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom!!!

  99. I am finding this very informative and appreciate the opportunity to learn here – thank you!

    I am compiling research I did on the shelf life of supplies. Some things don’t last long – others do. Some maintain their primary value but might chane in texture or something like that. I try to think of us getting blasted back to circa mid-1800’s, and I work at imagining how I would carry on, and what others might need that I can stock pile for use in bartering. Learning skills like first aid, haircutting – and acquiring those supplies as I can affrd them. Learning how to repair things. Also studying nutrition, food preservation techniques, kitchen compostng, herb gadening near my sunniest windows, and am creating an edible landscape around my place. Checking to see what grows without lots of attention, and building a stockpile of hardy seed. I keep copies of Eagle Scout and Army survival manuals. Learning what can substitute for most common meds. Acquiring materials to use to continue children’s education, thinking of how life’s little milestones could still be celebrated – wedding, new baby, and etc. How to communicate in ‘code’ with others. Again, thanks for this site!!

  100. I would say the 1st survival skill to start practicing would have to be conservation, it will not only be a cheap way of preparing yourself for a survival situation but actually will save you money. In a survival situation we may not have running water so one way to practice this is filling up the sink with water while doing dishes instead of letting the water run. Another way is one night a week have a game night either using only a lantern or candles. These are only a few examples of saving money & preparing for a survival situation. The 2nd survival skill I would suggest is to practice navigating techniques, it’s cheap, but can even be free. The public libraries carry books on survival, reading compass & maps, orienteering using only the stars, backpacking & other books that can be of much use in a survival situation. Even The Weather Channel has a show call, ” How Did I Survive” or something very similar to that name that can be help prepare a person for a survival situation. Thanks again David for another great article. I really do want to purchase your course but I’m currently not working but I know there are others that want & need the course more than I. Thanks to the student from Missori who donated a free copy of the course & congratulations to the winner.

  101. On your course:

    1. I have been a serious student of survival / preparedness for over 40 years. I am VERY interested in what you have to say on the matter. Unfortunately, I cannot afford your course anytime soon (probably at least a year). I live a prepared lifestyle and have for years, but I am always interested in what others have to say on such things if they appear to be serious themselves and you do. What I have seen I find impressive.

    2. I am interested in all hazards preparedness. I prefer a balanced approach and so I do not focus on any one hazard to the exclusion of all others.

    3. I am new to your newsletter and so I could not say that I have implemented any of your ideas. As for preparations: I have prepared for many contingencies attitudinally, informationally, and physically. I already know quite a bit about preparedness, but I am always interested in learning more. Please choose me.

  102. Morning Everyone:

    I’m a newby to this site.
    After reading so much information, with so much duplication, I really need to step up the preparation to a much higher level. The basics I understand.

    The biggest reason for the course is to learn, experience and pass on information to others. It doesn’t matter what disaster comes our way, we all need to be prepared with a plan. I live in a manor home which is described as a condo with 4 units in the building and 4 attached garages. (2 units ground level-2 second floor units) If I decide to stay put in any emergency, I need information on how to fortify and teach my neighbors how to stay safe and keep our building safe.

    Recently I have made the investment in my future by purchasing, heirloom seeds, a solar generator, Berkey water filter, 1 years worth of GMO Free dehydrated food, and I have stated dehydrating organic fruits and vegetables as well. I have stored top soil and small planting containers so planting can start early. Also “Junk Silver” which is NOT junk has been purchased. All things that can be bartered if necessary.

    The next few things on the list is a chemical toilet, weapons, a flat top 1 hole wood burning stove, and about 5 cords of wood since I live just outside Chicago. I’m serious about preparation however, I really need to step it up to a higher level for all our sakes.

    Take care and thank you for your information.

  103. 1. This course will help me and my family learn skills that we can use to make the best of a bad situation if worse comes to worse.

    2. My biggest fear would be an economic collapse.

    3. I have learned a lot about survival through your newsletters and website. I feel the things I learn the most form them are the commen sence stuff that you don’t realy think about, and that you bring to mind. Living in Missouri with the threat of tornados and ice storms, I find the most usefull information to be the go bags and things to keep in your car just in case.

  104. Gloria Graham says:

    Please consider me for the free survival skills course. I am 68, caretaker for my Mom, 90, living in rural stuation and am concerned for natural disasters and economic collapse. I have already started to stockpile, observe and practice situation analysis as well as creating emergency kits. Though handicapped (wheelchair), I believe I can overcome difficulties and care for my family by careful planning. Last year during ice storm, I was able to prepare hot meals using canned sterno in my oven (door ajar) from resources on hand and keep my Mom’s spirits up so I know personally how preparedness helps. Thanks for all the good information!

  105. 1. The course my family with playing to prepare us for what is to come. All the ideas I’m reading I would like to put into action.

    2. The biggest reason I need this course, I have two children to watch out for!

    3. Stock piling is already in process.

  106. I believe in preparation for life events–and catestropic events. I have a few books and supplies; however, I know that there are always ideas or information that I might not have privy to and have become a researcher.
    Your site has given me a pause–because my locale would prevent me from leaving home in some cases and I appreciate your ideas especially the psycology of being aware of my neighbors, choke points, etc. I did a search for “refineries” and almost fell off my chair.
    I look forward to your weekly newsletter and the info that you present.

  107. I would appreciate being considered for the SurvivalinPlace guide for the following reasons: #1. It will enable my family and myself to learn some of the incredibly important skills necessary for surviving should SOMETHING happen. Presently, we have little to go on. These are not skills that are even thought about for the most part where we live. It is time to wake up to the reality of the hour. #2. The biggest reason we need the course is: we have small grandchildren that have no chance of surviving without help-the kind of help we could give IF we knew the right things to do. Honestly we don’t yet have those skills. #3. so far I have learned the skill of making the char, stock piling non-perishables, fire starting and I need to move on to water purification. That is critically important in that we live in a desert like region where water is not that abundant. All in all, we would be in a position to help many other people should something happen and in the mean time we can help them by getting them prepared. I do not consider training like this something to be hoarded. It must be shared with as many as possible! And thanks for the opportunity!

    • Dale you mentioned you live in a desert like region where water is not that abundant.

      A good idea to do right now… get some clean barrels and put them out to collect rain water when and if it does rain there…. then cover the full barrels and store them…. Start collecting the water now !

  108. Lee&Lynnn Ridenour says:

    Really like what I read here today. Were can a person find out about pumps for deep wells that won’t break the bank. As we are retired and on very limited resources and have a well that is our water source. We live in the country and don’t have city water. Lee

  109. David Ludowese says:

    cannot find activated charcoal………..where should i search

    • David L
      I’m wondering if the charcoal sold at fish supply stores for aquarium filters is activated. Don’t know for sure, and it would be a small amount, but maybe it is. Anyone out there know for sure?
      Becky D

    • That depends on what you need it for and how much you need. You could buy it from a chemical supply house. That would cost about $20US per pound plus shipping. Or, you could buy it from a bulk chemical supplier which would be about $0.80US per pound in truckload or greater lots plus freight. Or you could make it which would cost you some time. Be aware that activated charcoal purchaces can get you watched by Big Brother as a party interested in illegal manufacture of controlled substances (drugs).

  110. Two things I usually see missing from “survival lists” that I think should be on top, and are affordable, regardless of budget are:

    1. Matches! You can get a 3 pack of kitchen matches in the big boxs at WalMart for under 2 dollars. Then seal these inside a large kitchen bag!! This will keep out moisture, which over time can ruin them, and also keep them dry incase of a flood. One box you could also seal the old fasioned way with wax!

    2. Clorox bleach, EVERYONE should have a couple gallons of this sitting in their emergency supplies!! It can be used to purify water, disinfect food prep surfaces.
    Its one of the few disinfectants that will kill the HIV virus!! Using just a 10:1 water:bleach mix!! A few drops in a pint or two of water, works better than iodine!, 40 drops in a gal. etc.

    One of the biggest hazards I see in a long term survival situation is sanitation and fire making abilities. Most people won’t know how to do them without the hot water heater, stove, electricity, etc.

    Just a thought!
    Shawn M.

    • Make sure you rotate your bleach. After time it degrades into salt and water.

      • Acorn’s right… bleach breaks down in a few months… plus it starts when it’s first made, and you don’t know how long it was sitting on a shelf before you bought it… the best way to purify water is to bring it to a rolling boil…. As soon as it’s boiling… shut your fuel off you don’t need to waste fuel by continuing to boil it….

    • Also, along with the bleach which is definitely a good idea. You should keep a couple of bottles of Peroxide in the house as well. It has soo many uses right down to mouthwash, and of course cleaning small wounds of dirt. VERY cheap as well….less than a dollar a bottle. Also, next time you have a big wood working project, go ahead and buy a couple extra long, 8′ or so, of treated lumber of various thicknesses, 2×2, 2×4, long thin ones…hehe. I have a small stack in my garage on the floor, not in the way of anything, of extra lumber that I could use in a pinch to “harden up my house/windows”. Also, I made a wooden shelf system that I could always disasemble to use as well (remember there can always be many uses for ANYTHING).

      Also, as far as doors go. the screws supplied with the frame are rather short where the door is hinged onto the frame of the house. Substitue at least 1 of those scews for a 2-3 inch one for each hinge. I also add another on the opposite side and the top of the door that all go deep into the frame. You cannot even tell they are there.

      I have a house built in the 70’s and one of the doors was rotting. I was horrified, amazed, and happy (since it made it much easier) that as soon as I took the trim off to replace the door and frame. The whole frame fell out the other side. Can we say cheap construction? Well, I wonder how many other houses have issues like that. They didn’t even use wedges etc. Anyways, noone is kicking in that door since it opens to the outside and is completely bolted onto the house now in all directions. The hinges would take hours to cut through. The door was meant for opening to the outside, and it is a steel door.

      Also, consider using a door lock obviously along with a chain on doors that it is viable. Why? Because even if they have to pick the doorlock(s) and you don’t hear them, when they get to the chain they will HAVE to break that which more than likely you will hear. Double protection.


    • If you do use bleach, it’s 8 to 16 drops per gallon, depending on the cloudiness of the water. Add the bleach, shake, and wait 30 minutes. If the water does not have a slight chlorine smell, repeat the process using half the original amount of bleach. Remember – chlorine bleach is poisonous if too much is ingested. Never leave bleach unsecured in an area that children have access to.

  111. 1. How will the course help you and/or your family?

    My wife and I understand things will get very tough in the US going forward… we are eager to learn and know the best way to short-circuit the learning curve is to learn from a pro… Reading books, audios, videos, tutorials, blogs etc are ways to get ‘one-on-one’ with someone and utilize them as a mentor… your course is a superb example of this… I have always been a ‘self-improver’ and reader…

    2. What is the biggest reason you need the course?
    While EMP/CME or Natural Disaster could happen, an economic collapse seems almost inevitable… We believe we have less than 5 years to get ‘bullet proof’ so we believe we should treat an economic collapse similar to an EMP – the aftermath of civil unrest – but with ‘power’… If our country can survive hyperinflation the preparation we get from your course will steady us for bigger threats… We are now ready to start taking action – it would be better to start with a clean slate as we are now and do it proper than to piecemeal a plan.

    What skills or practices have you already put into practice that you’ve learned from the Urban Survival Newsletter?

    Actually, a couple… from one newsletter – “Preventing Robbery and Home Invasions” – a great tip was viewing my home as a thief or intruder might… I have trimmed bushes… looked in windows for ‘enticing’ targets… we are good now… and I find myself noticing neighbors or other homes as I drive through residential areas… it’s amazing how easy it is to see the super big screen TVs… heck, with many, I could pull up a lawn chair in their yard and watch along with them and they’d never know!

    Another great tip: “top 10 72-hour kit mistakes” was having a spare pair of shoes/underwear/socks in you car when you’re wearing footwear that won’t help you in a distress situation. I’ve got a really cheap pair of shoes with great rubber soles from Wal-Mart that make a great locomotion option if I need to go walking with my feet…

    here is something I’ve experimented with as a way to cook or make fire… you can look on Craig’s list for Plasma TV’s that are being given away because they have a problem.. I have gone and picked up a couple and hauled them to my home… taken the front screen off and rescued the Fresnel lens that is installed to magnify the picture. This will be the size the TV screen. So, if you pick up a 42″ TV you will also have yourself a 42″ Fresnel Lens that can be used to harness the solar energy and make fire, heat or cook with…

    A Fresnel lens is flexible plastic or polymer type material and it has concentric rings if you look close…. This is what magnifies the image and it is also what magnifies the sun’s rays… With a Fresnel that large you can focus the sun’s rays just like you would with a simple magnifying glass – BEWARE – a Fresnel can heat up a spot the size of a quarter enough to melt a penny! It is very, very powerful and can start a fire in a matter of seconds… a piece of lumber will burst into flames when you get it properly focused… so please use caution – never leave it out in the sun without supervision…

    You can make a ‘frame’ to mount it on out of lumber – use a ‘chalk board’ type design – the kind that supports the board at the half-way point so you can rotate lens to make it easier to track the sun…

    In the dead of winter me and my buddy boiled a pot of water from room temp to boiling in 7 minutes and it was very cold outside (23 degrees F)

    If you search on Youtube you can see many experiments on how powerful a Fresnel Lens can be… the Fresnel’s the size you get from giant screens typically sell for $100 or more… why pay for them when people are happy to let you haul them off when they quit working… hope this helps…



    • Hi Jake!

      For a “pocket version” of your lens…use a coke can, and a piece of chocolate.

      Let the chocolate get semi soft, so that you can put some on a rag, and start rubbing in circles the bottom of the can. Chocolate acts as an abrasive and will slowly smooth the bottom enough to almost a mirror finish, except that its concave.

      If you place a piece of tinder, paper, what have you, at the correct distance for it to be focused, it will start a fire for you.

      I’ve actually lit a cigarette, (when I smoked), during the winter this way.

      Shawn M.

    • Great tip on the Fresnel lens. I’ve got a 48″ one and it’s awesome. It has a line of focus rather than a point of focus, so it “only” gets up to 550-650 degrees. If you find one that size with a point focus, they can hit 1100 degrees!

      A note on the smaller, wallet sized ones. You can get them with different magnifications…2x, 4x, etc. 4x is the smallest you want to go for starting fires with that small of a lens…and even that is tough.

      • Hey David,
        there are actually two types of TV fresnels… the one you have that has a ‘slot’ focus and there are some that have a ‘dot’ focal point… generally about the size of a quarter… luck of the draw…

        • Hey Jake,

          You’re right…I actually chose the “slot” or “line” focal point rather than a dot focal point since I wanted to use it for heating/cooking and not for cutting and need the BTUs dispersed anyhow.

Speak Your Mind