2015 Survival Weekly Writing Contest Entries

Posted on: September 6, 2015

Please take a few minutes to read through the following contest entries, then vote for your favorite! To vote, simply leave a comment below with the number of your favorite entry. Please only one vote per household. Votes will be collected until 11:59PM, Sunday, September 20. Winners will be announced on Monday, September 21st and contacted via email. Winners will have 24 hours to respond. Failure to respond within 24 hours will mean forfeiture of prize.

About 6 years ago, I began my preparations for just about any type of SHTF scenario. I researched a lot of online prepper sites. One of the first things I learned and that still holds true today is “without drinking water, nothing else really matters.”

Back then, I had very little money to spend on prepping and my wife was not yet on board with my plans. Even though my preparations list was lengthy, I knew that I had to start out small. I divided my plans into 3-phases. Each prepping category (ie, water, fuel, food, sanitation, etc.) started small and ended, I hoped, somewhat sufficient for any disaster.

The first thing on my list of preps was to start my water storage plan. (Phase I) After lots of research, I found that the best bang for my buck was to buy 10-each, 7-gallon water jugs from Walmart. I figured 7-gallon jugs were better than 5-gallons and Walmart had the best price. I soon found out that this “old man” could not carry 7-gallons of water down a flight of basement stairs, especially 10 times. Thanks to my grown children, I was able to solve that dilemma. To keep from changing the water every 6 months to a year, I learned that I might be able to extend the storage life to 5-years by adding certain chemicals (Clorox bleach and Betadine). I will soon be changing those jugs to see if it was effective or not. With the price of water being so inexpensive, I will now start changing our water every 6 months.

(Phase II) Since Phase III will be an expensive endeavor for us, we decided to help meet our need for good water by buying 2-each Outback® filter units with 8-each spare filter sets. These units will filter water to 99.99% purity. With the addition of Clorox and Betadine, the water they process will be 100% pure.

(Phase III) For the past few years now, I’ve been trying to save enough money to enhance our water storage by buying 4-each, 250-gallon water tanks and a shed to house them. I’ve been prolonging this for way too long because my wife, who is now in prepper mode, wants other things first; such as, ammo, food, fuel, an AWD vehicle, and such. Time is way overdue for this phase to be completed, and it soon will be.

As with most things, plans change. Advice from a famous prepper and author has made me rethink my water preps to add a Phase IV. I am now convinced that a large rainwater catchment system is absolutely necessary for my family. I hope to install it sometime before the SHTF.

My Favorite Survival Tip: “Without Drinking Water, nothing else really matters.”


Psychological preparation is at least as important as physical preparation! All your stockpiled supplies will be useless if you are unable to deal with the situation without being overwhelmed or giving up. Getting mentally ready is especially crucial if you have children, for two reasons: one, if you do not have a survival attitude yourself, even very small children will react to your feelings, and two, it is best to start survival training early. The best attitude for survival is a mixture of optimism (which comes from faith) and realism.

The essential resource for a survival attitude is faith in God, and its corollary, knowledge of the Bible. God’s word is full of examples of people who did not give up, but kept striving even in the most difficult times. Study the stories of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Job, Esther, Paul, Peter, and the other Apostles. Teach your children these stories, and memorize verses as a family. Some suggestions for survival verses: John 14:27, Hebrews 11:7, 2 Timothy 1:7, Matthew 24:37-39, Psalms 4:8, Psalm 34:18, and Philippians 4:13.

In addition to the Bible (which should be in your BOB), you will want inspirational books for your BOL. Some ideas include the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Mataxas, and Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.

Finally, you should gather the practical knowledge and skills you might need when society collapses. Consider the range of situations you might encounter and make a plan for each. Then run through them on a regular basis, especially if you have children. Present problems for your children to solve, based on their age and abilities. This will increase their confidence and yours as well! God bless your efforts!

I recently broke out my DVD copy of the 1962 film “Panic in the Year Zero” which happens to be one of my all time favorite survival movies. In watching the film for what must have been the twentieth time, I came to realize that even after fifty three years, the common sense that one must possess in a survival situation hasn’t reallychanged that much. As years have gone by, we have certainly become more advanced in merchandise that would make an unfortunate situation a bit more comfortable,but the most important piece of equipment in bad times would be the grey
matter between our ears. In the film, a family of four is trying to survive the aftermath of a nuclear attack on the city of Los Angeles. The father, played by Ray Milland, tells his frightened family repeatedly of how important it is to not tell others what they have. In desperate times, even the most gentle of people can become deadly enemies in the name of survival. The plot of the movie is largely based on this survival tip, and this was in 1962.

In 2015, our world seems to be far more aggressive, and the possibility of a catastrophic event seems almost inevitable at times. In the event of a societal collapse, anything you own would become more valuable than you ever imagined, especially when you had it and the other guy wanted it. If you are a person who has prepped well and have food, water, firearms and ammo, you would be well advised to keep it to yourself. Not even Bill, the neighbor from down the street who goes to church every Sunday needs to know, because sadly, when it comes down to life and death,people may choose their life over your death.


Tip: Wild Plants for Food and Medicine

It was early in my prepping journey when I first asked myself the difficult question “What will my family do if all of our stored food runs out?” Sure, we had a nice supply of rice and beans as well as canned goods and some dehydrated foods, but if we couldn’t get more, we’d be in a real pickle. This led me to exploring the diversity of edible (and even medicinal) plants in my own yard and neighborhood — plants that could help us stretch what food we do have, provide some nourishment while we were waiting for the garden to grow, or be a “salad bar on the run” if we ever had to bug out to a safer area.

I began studying some field guides and watching plant ID videos, and soon I was recognizing plants right and left, my eyes now open to the provision of the Creator. In my own yard and neighborhood, I was able to identify plantain, clover, wood sorrel, wild onion and carrot, blackberries, dandelions, burdock, choke cherry, violet, day lily, peppermint, chicory, wild mustard, cattail, black walnut, crab apples, pears, and many other plants, herbs and trees. These plants could provide not just calories, but vitamins and minerals, fiber, and most importantly, variety. Some of these plants grow all year long, and others, I found out, lend themselves
well to being frozen, dried or dehydrated. This was a great start! Ultimately, my quest for free food led me to get additional training in herbal medicine, and I believe my family and I are better prepared as a result.

I encourage everyone to spend time learning the basics of plant identification so that you can do as my family did, and shop directly from Nature’s grocery and pharmacy. Study field guides, watch videos, go on an organized wild edibles walk, and taste the freshness of your local landscape. It may very well be a necessary skill sometime in the near future, and it can certainly save your family money now It is also an excellent way to reconnect with nature and get some much needed exercise.

The best tasting, highest quality premium water storage ever…using mason jars!?!

A few years back we didn’t have a great crop from our garden and sadly we didn’t can as much as usual. I had a ton of empty mason jars and had the idea to preserve water in them. Strangely I had never heard of anyone doing that. I filled the jars leaving a small amount of headroom and processed them in a boiling water bath for around 15 minutes. The water jars look great, the water tastes absolutely amazing even after years, and believe it or not none have ever broken (even when we moved). I have always hated the taste of water that has been stored in plastic so this is a great way to diversify your water storage to include “premium” drinking water. There are negatives such as difficulty transporting and glass is always susceptible to breaking if not stored properly. For the person that wants some very high quality water this could be an excellent way to use some of those empty jars you have in your garage or basement.

I buy solar patio lights at the dollar tree. For one dollar I get a solar powered night light. A triple a rechargeable battery. A solar powered battery charger that will charge any 1.2 volt rechargeable batteries..AA..AAA.C..or D. Not bad for one dollar. What do you buy for one dollar?

I think a fantastic survival tool is solar garden lighting. If I did not have any electricity, I would put the lights outside during the day and bring them in at night. They are great because you don’t have to pay for electricity, but more important for most of us is the fact that you don’t need to install any wiring. Take the light out of the box, put it outside and you’re done. Because most solar lights have a built-in darkness sensor, you don’t even need to think about turning them on
and off.

The technology for outdoor solar lighting is improving rapidly. Solar lights are looking more attractive, shining more brightly, their run-time is getting longer, and they are fairly inexpensive.


STORE SOME CLAY! Yup, you heard me right. Clay: Calcium Bentonite Clay to be more specific. Clay is a natural medicine that’s been around for hundreds of years. It can be taken internally or used externally. Internally it is used to very effectively “pull toxins from the body, stimulate the immune system, and absorb and bind pathogenic viruses, pesticides, and herbicides” (The Clay Cure by Ran Knishinsky), including any negatively charged toxins such as: yeast, fungus, candida, parasites, poisons, and other harmful bacteria. Externally it is great for cuts, burns, wound healing, eczema, hives, itching. It has amazing “drawing” and healing properties.

I’ve been surprised by some Prepper/Survival Medicinal Handbooks that mostly recommend ways of stocking up on prescription drugs and over the counter drugs. That’s fine, but there may come a day when that stock pile runs out and there is no way to get more. I think it is wise to consider some more natural medicines; ones that can be stocked up in a fairly large supply and have no shelf life, and can even be replenished with knowhow and some work.

Bentonite Clay is a natural medicinal wonder. If you’re like me, you can YouTube a bunch of great information on the many uses and benefits of this clay. And if you go to Amazon, you can download a free Kindle copy of the short book, We Eat Clay. I do, however, recommend getting at least one “real book” so you can have the information on its many uses on hand in case of an EMP or some other type of disaster that makes internet usage “no more.”

FYI: A good way to take it internally is by drinking it with some water. It takes some time and a little work to get it to disperse and mix with water, but its health benefits are worth it. I keep a pitcher full of clay water in my refrigerator at all times, and keep adding to it so I have a constant supply. I started with a plastic (can us glass—but not metal) 2 quart pitcher of filtered water and added ¼ C of Redmond Betonite Clay and mixed it with a plastic whisk. I drink this twice a day on an empty stomach. It doesn’t taste bad, but if you’re picky or just a wuss (jk), you can add it to some juice. But, I think it’s best to just Man Up and drink it!

49 thoughts on “2015 Survival Weekly Writing Contest Entries

  1. #4 – preparedness is not only good for catastrophic world-ending disaster, but even hiking in the woods – what if you get lost or injured? These same plants are there to sustain and heal!

  2. Hmmm. … They all have good info we need to consider, but since #4 is on an area/subject I really want to work on I’ll go with it as my first choice.

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