Some might argue that there are better guns on the market, but the G17 is built for durability and usability.
And in a survival scenario where you might not have the time to pamper your gun like you normally would, you want a dependable gun that will still shoot accurately and cycle through ammo even with some wear-and-tear.
Another good choice is the .45 ACP, as it’s an even more powerful cartridge that’s also commonly used. You can see our list of recommendations for good .45 ACP pistols and 9mm pistols.
What about Rifles?
If you’re like most modern firearms enthusiasts, you’ve probably already got an AR-15 on hand.
If not, it’s a great home-defense weapon that you should consider adding to your arsenal. You can learn more about buying your first AR-15 by checking out our AR-15 Beginner’s Guide.
Depending on what kind of shit hits the fan, you might want to have something a little more versatile (or at least harder hitting) on hand than an AR-15 – especially if you live outside of a major metropolitan area.
Some would say that a Scout Rifle fits that role, and it did…70 years ago. While a scout rifle isn’t a bad idea, there are better options.
The AR-10 is a perfect example, get one chambered in .308 Win with a variable scope and you’ve got a great rifle for taking down game, protecting yourself from two-legged threats, and keeping the whole thing light enough to hike with and giving yourself 20 rounds on tap in case things go really sideways.
The Henry Survival Rifleis a 3.5-pound .22LR rifle that’s portable, accurate, and perfect for hunting squirrels, rabbits, and other small game.
Get a Compact Backup Handgun
As the saying goes, “a .380 in your hand is better than a .45 in the glovebox.”
While I recommend keeping your .45 ACP a little closer than the glovebox (or .357 Mag, 9mm, 10mm, .44 Mag, or whatever handgun you prefer), having a backup pocket pistol on hand can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.
The idea is to have a compact gun available that you can easily grab in a pinch. I like the .380 ACP because it’s small and lightweight, but still powerful enough to neutralize a threat at close range.
If the .380 ACP isn’t your style and you’re looking for something a bit more tried and tested in the field, you can’t go wrong with an old-fashioned .38 Special.
The Bodyguard 38 is a modern take on a law enforcement classic – the .38 snub nose.
While the Bodyguard 38 (and other .38 specials) may not be popular services pistols in today’s generation, they’ve more than proven themselves to be powerful, dependable, and more than capable of acting as a backup pistol.
Overall, the pocket pistol makes a great addition to your SHTF Kit because it’s small enough to carry on your person at all times. I recommend a .380 APC or a .38 Spl because both of them are small and lightweight, yet powerful enough to take down a threat at close range.
Ideally, the pocket pistol is something you’d only want to use as a last resort – like if your primary gun jammed or it ran out of ammo.
Storing Your Ammo Safely
The last thing you want to do is stockpile ammo for an end-of-the-world scenario, only to discover that it’s corroded and functionally obsolete when it comes time to use it.
A lot of people tend to forget that ammunition has a shelf life. However, that shelf life is completely up to you. Store it right and it will last long enough for your grandchildren to use, store it wrong and you’ll kill your stock before the next deer season.
One of the easiest ways to extend the shelf life of your ammo is by storing it in safe, secure containers where it’s protected from dirt and moisture.
Honestly, every SHTF prepper should have at least one Ammo Can lying around. They’re cheap, easy to come across, and are worth their weight in gold if you ever are in a situation where you actually needto use your ammo stockpile.
Keeping a Silica gel packet in your ammo can will help ensure that your ammo lasts almost forever, they are cheap and easy to get – keeping one in every can is SOP for me.
What’s your take on having a good ammo can and moisture stopper?
Get a Good First Aid Kit
Ideally, every home and automobile should have a first-aid kit – especially people who’re outdoor enthusiasts. For most situations, the standard first-aid kit found in most workplaces will get the job done.
But if you’re in a situation where you really did have to use your SHTF kit, there’s a greater likelihood that you won’t have easy access to paramedics and hospitals in the event of the emergency. For this type of scenario, you’re really going to want to have a little more than a burn kit, some gauze, and antiseptic ointment.
The Grizzly Series First Aid Kitby Adventure Medical Kits is a heavy-duty kit designed specifically for the survivalist and apocalypse prepper.
Designed to meet the needs of law enforcement officers who risk their lives every day, the Echo-Sigma kit comes with all of the tools necessary to treat sprains, fractures, and cuts, as well as stabilize people who’ve experienced serious trauma from knife and gunshot wounds.
And as a bonus, it comes in a pouch that’s easy to carry around if you have to walk for extended periods of time.
We cover how to build the ultimate Range Med Kit too if you like customizing.
Heavy Metal Equipment
You’ll be surprised how much use you can get out of a good quality knife.
Not only does your survival knife act as your last line of defense, it can also be used as an important tool – especially if you’re stuck outdoors for an extended period of times.
Food prep, shelter building, making tools, and even first aid (cauterizing wounds and cutting bandages) can all be done with the help of your survival knife.
Functionally, it’s similar to the KA-BAR except that it comes with a gut hook for cleaning game, as well as a sawback – the serration on the top of the blade just past the hook. It’s made out of 1095 steel and has a 5” blade length, with an overall length of 9.26”.
And don’t forget a Whetstone for keeping your blades sharp without damaging them, like some of the other knife sharpening devices on the market.
Some other tools you might want to consider for your survivalist kit include:
If you ever find yourself away from your toolbox, each of these compact tools makes it significantly easier to set up shelter, make fires, and work on anything that needs tinkering.
Gun Equipment for Your SHTF Cache
As you already know, good gun maintenance is essential to ensuring that your gun is accurate and dependable. If you happen to find yourself in a shit-hits-the-fan moment, you want to make sure that you have all the supplies you need on hand.
After all, it’s not guaranteed that you will be able to trek to the nearest outdoors store and buy more equipment.
For this reason, I recommend keeping a few extra cleaning kits around. Preferably one for your SHTF Bag and another for the trunk of your car.
Our favorite M-Pro 7 kit from Best Gun Cleaning Kitsis perfect for handling most of you gun maintenance needs on the go, and it’s compact enough to be stowed away without taking up significant space.
I also recommend picking up a few packs of Break Free Weapon Wipes. They will go a long way in keeping your guns, knives, and tools clean, lubricated, and protected against corrosion – especially if you’re ever in a situation where you have to use your weapons and tools daily.
For a survival scenario, I recommend something lightweight and effective, without any of the frills. Concealment Express has a number of lightweight holsters for $35 that are durable and comfortable to carry around.
Food, Water, and Air
This really should be self-explanatory. You need food and water. You also need a way to get food and water after your stores have run out.
Getting food is where your firearms will come in handy, but water is a little more complex since you can’t just drink any water you find laying around – that is a quick way to get all kinds of nasty sicknesses.
For water purification, you need two options at least, one for you to get drinking water right now and one method for you to purify a lot of water.
Don’t forget – water isn’t just for drinking. You’ll also need it for cooking, cleaning, and treating injuries.
To get drinking water right away, I love my LifeStraw.
But when it comes to purifying larger amounts of drinking water you’ll need something like the Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System.
Each of these pails is a 30-day food supply for one person. That is a lot of food! Throw in the fact that each of these only weighs 23 pounds and what you have is a fairly lightweight option for long-term food supply.
Long-term water storage is a little more complex than food, you’ll need water – obviously, but you’ll also need a water preserver.
Aside from looking cool, the Tactical Backpack has a number of extra compartments for maximizing your storage capabilities. You can load it up with survival material and store it in your trunk, garage, or closet and grab it at a moment’s notice.
Here are a few things that you want to keep in your backpack to keep you prepared for the unexpected:
When you’re building an SHTF bag, your goal should be to anticipate and prepare for any situation – not just the apocalyptical, but also the more common such as an earthquake, tornado, fire, and whatever else is possible to your local area.
Choosing good survival gear isn’t always about maximizing your firepower.
It’s also about making sure that you’ve got clean water, shelter, and enough supplies in the event that you have to gather your things and leave at a moment’s notice.
Are you a prepper? Do you have a store of SHTF gear? Let us know all about it in the comments!
[su_heading size=”27″ margin=”0″]First Steps To Prepping[/su_heading]
Story and photographs by John Wood
Do you recall how you became interested in prepping? Was it a personal experience from a localized disaster that you were not prepared for, or perhaps watching a catastrophic event on television? Maybe you fear the economic crisis in Greece or exodus of thousands of people from troubled countries who might reach the shores of America? Maybe it was triggered by a stock market shutdown due to a computer glitch?
Whatever the reason or motivation that started you into prepping, the good news is these are all issues you are thinking about. You might be eager to carry this concern forward to the next logical phase. Here are some initial planning steps to get you pointed in the right direction.
Establish a Knowledge Base
If you wanted to learn how to change the oil in your car, shoot a gun or know how to do yoga, what would you do first? You might buy a book on the subject, look up information on the Internet, watch a YouTube video or possibly sign up for a class to learn how-to, firsthand.
These are all reasonable approaches, but the core element here is to learn. This is the first step with prepping, too. It can be accomplished in a host of ways, including tasks as simple as visiting the local library or bookstore. Maybe it would help to seek out a few survivalist Internet sites like Alloutdoor.com or SurvivalCache.com. These sources can open many doors to education and planning.
Knowing what to do first, then second and so forth is crucial, because with prepping you really cannot afford to make too many mistakes. Also know that prepping is a lifelong learning process.
Get a big notebook! In this prepping journal you will want to start jotting down copious thoughts,
ideas, concepts, basic planning lists, evaluation of gear or prepping assets, to-buy gear lists, and a rudimentary budget to carry it all out over time. While prepping is an expedient activity, hopefully the disaster won’t happen tomorrow. Unfortunately, it might be next week.
Start by asking yourself basic questions that relate to your situation: What kinds of problems are you likely to encounter? Will you bug in or out, meaning will you stay put in your fortress or take off? If you leave home, where will you go, and what will you need to take with you?
These kinds of thoughts help to get the mental juices flowing and face the realities of prepping.
[su_note note_color=”#de5900″ text_color=”#ffffff” radius=”2″] In your journal start with topic or headline pages. These might include: [su_row] [su_column size=”1/2″]
1. bug-in and/or bug-out plans
3. transportation routes
4. water and food resources
5. medical issues and first-aid supplies
6. self-defense [/su_column]
7. family security
8. weapons, ammo and supplies
10. hardware and tools
11. vehicle readiness
12. skill attainment and execution.
As you can imagine, these lists can become endless the more you consider the possibilities. Keep learning and keep planning.[/su_note]
Learn and Earn Skills
Area security is critical for preppers who have escaped to a hideout location.
You may be an experienced outdoors person or have completed Delta Force training in the Army, which certainly would have provided some background skills, but more than likely you’re an accountant, an elementary school teacher or mechanic at the local garage. You need to assess the skills you possess and those of your team, which can include family, friends or like-minded individuals. Everyone has a role. This will help you determine what other skills you need to acquire.
Can you shoot firearms and reload them without blinking? Can you put up a tent in a windstormor light a campfire in a downpour? Can you pry open a can of beans without a can opener? Do you know how to set a broken bone or sew up a deep laceration? Can you find your campsite in the pitch dark? What happens when the power and water goes off at home? Just think of the scenarios you might face during a severe event like a tornado, forest fire or widespread economic collapse.
Begin to seek out local sources for skills training. Look at potential courses taught at local community colleges, or outdoors groups. Look on bulletin boards at supplier stores to see if related events are scheduled. You will likely be surprised at all of the prepper activities going on right in your own hometown. Avail yourself to as many of these training opportunities as you can. Send one person, then execute train-the-trainer.
This is a typical bug-out bag that is well-stocked with supplies for the first 48 hours of an emergency. Every prepper should build one.
Now comes the fun part. What stuff do you need to prep? First, look at what you already have. Undoubtedly you will find a ton of stuff suitable for a bug-out or stay-home plan. This could include kitchen utensils, sleeping bags or blankets, camping gear (tents, stoves, lanterns, etc.), a hunting shotgun or rifle, backpacks or tote bags, extra sets of suitable clothing, shoes
Don’t discard or discount anything. An extra bicycle could be used to pedal around your bug-out camp. Those plastic storage boxes can be used to collect emergency gear for a grab and go. Pack up some extra personal hygiene products, first-aid supplies, hardware, garden tools, make up a mechanics tool box, save that old battery-powered radio, those sports binoculars and fold-out chairs. Any of these kinds of things can be used to set up a bug-out camp elsewhere.
Prepping is a process, and not something you can accomplish overnight. You have to take small bites, but chew thoroughly. Practice with your gear ahead of time. Forever add to your journal pages, revise them and replan accordingly. Study, plan, learn, train and execute are all the means to becoming a proficient prepper. It all starts with that
first step. ASJ
Many preppers are building “bug-out” cabins as a secondary safety shelter.