Survival

Survival (27)

The Bucket List

A friend was asking me how I store food for the long term the other day. This prompted me to dissect one of the buckets we normally rotate through and share it with you. When I first started making these buckets of food, all the info I read seemed to be oriented towards 5 gallon buckets of single contents such as rice, beans and such. Thinking from a bug out perspective (I was living in a subdivision near Ft. Bragg, NC at the time), I decided to blaze my own trail as usual. I didn't want to grab a bucket in a rush and end up eating white rice everyday. So I started making variety buckets. The idea was to use the rice as filler like packing peanuts. I was a little concerned with having canned food amongst all the rice but it was a calculated risk. I figured with the bucket filled, no dead space and an oxygen absorber, there would be little chance of rust or oxidization. At first it was sort of random and then there were "themed" buckets...Italian, Mexican and so on. Some diversity goes a long way when it comes to grub and morale. So I got creative. bucket open 3 I started with $3 bucket and lids from Wally world. Ordered some mylar bags and oxygen absorbers of the interweb and went shopping. I'm frugal so we would go to Save-A-Lot, Big Lots and look for sales. We started buying a few more of this and that. The instant type side dishes seemed like a perfect addition. we would disassemble the original packaging and vacuum seal the contents, then date and label it. Potatoes au gratin, Mac-n-cheese, Stovetop Stuffing, Hamburger Helper, spice packages to complement the other contents. Throw in some legumes, drink mix, hard candy and bullion cubes and you have a bucket that's around 40lbs with at least a weeks forth of food for a family of 4. bucket open Once we got going, we started vacuum sealing the canned food just in case the metal can deteriorated. This was to prevent it from spoiling the other contents. Turns out it wasn't really necessary. We placed the mylar in the bucket, put down a paper plate and a layer of rice. The intent was to prevent any the hard edges of the cans from puncturing the mylar if they managed to settle to the bottom. Then we just added the vacuum sealed side dishes and other contents and poured rice around it as we filled it up. Once the bucket was full, I used clothes iron too seal the mylar nearly all the way. We left it open just enough to get the O2 absorber in and then sealed it around the hose from the vacuum sealer. Once it was devoid of air, we would take the iron and finish sealing, then pulled out the vacuum hose. We placed 3x5 cards with the contents on top and put the lid on. You could also attach it to the outside for quick reference.

IFAKs designed by Tier 1 medics!

This particular bucket was packed in December of 2008. Its nearly 7 years old. As you can see in the photos, everything is just as it went in. The rice doesn't have any off odors that old rice left out usually gets after a while. The canned goods have no rust, swelling or discoloration. All our buckets sit in a non-climate controlled workshop. So there was no special treatment, they are just how they would be with no electricity. The contents of this bucket are as follows:layed out 15 lbs rice 4 lbs of dry beans 1lb of lentils 2 cans of chicken 1 each cans of corn, green beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, fruit cocktail and evaporated milk 1 box of Stovetop stuffing 1 vacuum sealed bag of instant potatoes (2 cups from a big box) 20 bullion cubes 1 pkg Spaghetti sauce mix 2 pkg Italian seasoning 1 lb macaroni elbows in mylar 10 individual pkg instant Kool-Aid 1 pkg chocolate pudding To put some of this into perspective, there are 34 one cup servings (cooked) of rice, 24 one cup servings (cooked) of beans, 6 servings of stuffing, about 8 servings of mash potatoes, and 16 servings of pasta. When you start mixing and creating different meals it spreads out even further. Add some corn to the rice, add some wild game to the beans. Make a rice pudding and add some chocolate pudding mix.

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In my opinion, long term food storage shouldn't be about buying a bunch of food you don't normally eat and putting it away for 20 years. The key to successful long term food storage is to rotate stock and actually live off it now. This 5 gallon bucket will get turned into meals and eaten by my family over the next week or so and a new one will take its place in the shop. There are a lot of ways to store food. This is just one idea that seemed to make sense to me and it works. These buckets are good for camping, when store shelves are empty and for if you fall on hard times and get laid off work. if you need to bug out in a hurry, throw 2 in the trunk. Get creative. Keep your kids in mind as well. Jolly Ranchers will make a kids day if you really have to use your food stores. Firearms, Tactical & Defense Training
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Visibility Signature Managment

Signature management is the ability to blend into your environment using different types of equipment or tradecraft. It is used to deceive your enemy’s observation equipment or mask your presence to the enemy. Just for a second, try to recall and remember the people you bumped into or encountered today while working, shopping or getting pumping gas. Most of you won't remember much unless someone or something stood out because of their clothing, attitude or language. Unless you work on a military installation, you more then likely didn’t see a whole bunch of people wearing military camouflage uniforms. When the SHTF, you may not want to take your family to your load out room and put on camouflage uniforms and body armor. Just because life just got complicated doesn't mean everyone is going to be wearing body armor and camouflage pants in the street or in town. Everything has a time and place to be used and taking just a minute to make the right choice might just save your life.Signature management is the ability to blend into your environment using different types of equipment or tradecraft. It is used to deceive your enemy’s observation equipment or mask your presence to the enemy. Just for a second, try to recall and remember the people you bumped into or encountered today while working, shopping or getting pumping gas. Most of you won't remember much unless someone or something stood out because of their clothing, attitude or language. Unless you work on a military installation, you more then likely didn’t see a whole bunch of people wearing military camouflage uniforms. When the SHTF, you may not want to take your family to your load out room and put on camouflage uniforms and body armor. Just because life just got complicated doesn't mean everyone is going to be wearing body armor and camouflage pants in the street or in town. Everything has a time and place to be used and taking just a minute to make the right choice might just save your life.2b6950e46da305872771bc6fc5de3485 Throughout my time in the military there has been one saying that has stood out and remained true in all the situations I have been in, “Right place, right time, right uniform, with the right attitude”. When the SHTF; it’s time to blend in and become the grey man/woman. You are not going want to stand out and bring attention to yourself and family. Being a "tactical peacock" could cost you your life or all of your provisions if you draw the attention of the wrong people. Does this mean you need to go and throw out all of your camouflage and hunting gear? No, because it has its place and use and is another tool in your arsenal. Think about this, if the police or federal agencies send in provocateurs to stir up trouble, they won’t wear their Sunday best in combat equipment looking all Operator as F&%k. operaator They will dress the part and blend in with the crowd. The same goes for undercover police officers today, the look and talk the part to deceive the untrained eyes and ears of criminals. You should try to blend in and go unnoticed. The best gunfight is the one you avoided. Being prepared and trained doesn't mean you should go out and look for trouble. Now let's discuss three styles of clothing.
  1. Military camouflage serves two purposes. One, it designed is to hide or conceal the soldier from the enemy and two, it provides the fighting force with a service common camouflage pattern that allows you to distinguish who is on your team. When its time to camouflage up and put on all that multi-cam gear you bought, just make sure it’s the “Right place, right time, right uniform, with the right attitude”. Remember military equipment intimidates most people. If you’re wearing combat equipment' it means you are on the offensive, you have planned a fight and its time to take action
  2. Hunting camouflage works great when trying to blend into the forest when you may need to explore or recon a new area. It takes a lot of energy and time to snoop and poop around unnoticed in full battle rattle. If it's hunting season or you're in an area where people are known to hunt, you may have access and placement when wearing commercial camo.  Just because SHTF doesn’t mean local authorities won't continue to try and enforce laws so blend in. It is a lot easier to just walk around in hunting camouflage with a hunting rifle (not a machine gun or death machine BOV you have been building in your garage). If you get caught in someone’s area and look like you belong to the military, a federal agency or a looter dressed like Rambo, the people you encounter just may shoot first and take your stuff off your dead body. But if you look like a local and act like you belong there, it just might give you that second look, just enough time to slow their reaction that could save your life (always have a back story). SF guys don't grow beards, mustaches or long hair to look cool, it's to blend in with the locals and give themselves the advantage of surprise and anonymity.dave
There are tons of low visibility techniques, from the simple like clothing, to the high tech like thermal mitigating camouflage, eventually we will cover them all. Next: Low vis/ signature rack systems verses body armor. (yes there's some 5th Group Mafia going on here for those that get it) Ski

TR

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Running CACHE Networks

Caches are prepositioned resources put in place to support a future activity. Classically we "visualize" them as buried treasure but they don't have to be buried, and we will cover that a little later in this article

Shady stuff in the hills

What is a cache? Caches are prepositioned resources put in place to support a future activity. Classically we "visualize" them as buried treasure but they don't have to be buried, and we will cover that a little later in this article. Having been to a Special Forces school for this, I'm happy to say this subject is one of my favorites and an area that I have plenty of real world experience. The challenge of this article will be keeping it unclassified, so if there seems to be a "gap" in the flow of the article, accept my apologies up front I'm trying to make everyone happy... Caches have been used for centuries, there's nothing new about them but in todays fast paced disposable world they are usually overlooked as lacking imagination or to time consuming. Of course the big army (or military) as a whole doesn't really use caches, but a cache system doesn't make sense for our modern army. They come complete with supply trains and never really know where the next operation will take place. They are designed for mobility. You however are not.

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You KNOW where you will be staying, working and traveling. A cache network would fit easily into the busiest modern schedule and as we will discuss lighten your bug out loads considerably. Caches are the difference between a 100lbs Bog out Bag (BoB) and a 20lbs BoB. Use caches to offset your emergency weight and have enough that you can afford to lose a few to the elements. Caching is a process not a singular event. Why use them? DSC_0114Caches will drastically offset the amount of weight and equipment required to get from A to B on any map. If established correctly, you could have a cache set up at all of your major check points and if you don't need to contents of the cache, bypass it and save it for later. If you have ever wondered how commandos get away with traveling so light, its because we aren't just moving to a safe area I'm admitting we are cheating, and picking up food and ammo along the way that someone else buried before hand. Like a magician, the trick isn't magic, its the assistant who skillfully positions the tools needed ahead of time when no one was looking.


[gallery type="rectangular" orderby="rand" ids="2365,2366,2367,2368"] Site selection criteria. Its not good enough to just pick a gnarly oak tree and have at it. In theory you should have dozens of these located all over the place so site selection criteria has to take on a consistent, and more primary role as you develop your network. Consider:

  • 24 hour all weather access
  • Enough cover and concealment to hide loading and unloading of the cache
  • You must have access to the site, and avoid places like banks daycare or municipal buildings that will draw unwanted attention (or security footage) of your activities. There's nothing illegal about caches, but it doesn't look good hiding in the bushes of a children's park.....
  • Will it develop? Will your cache be a burger king next year?
  • Anchor points. If the cache site proper doesn't have good visual markers it may make sense to identify a reference point nearby. For instance, 3 yards due north of the North East road sign at the intersection of Mayberry and main St.
  • Anchor stakes. It may not make sense to map directly to a cache, if that's the case map to a tent stake with a string leading you to the buried goods. Experiment with different methods.
  • Always consider that SOMEONE ELSE will have to service the cache. Don't assume you will be the one who is unloading the goods. What if you're hurt? or busy saving lives? Don't assume the tree you picked is unique enough for a stranger who has never been there to pick out of the crowd.

Types of caches. I like to build caches based on themes so that's what ill discuss in this article. Most of my caches are simple food and water 24 hour kits, small and easy to hide. I have 1 large cache, that remains unmarked and only I know where it is that contains everything I need to start over... I bury this early and let it season in the elements. Consider:

  • Support cache. Food, water, clothing and medical supplies.
  • Action Caches: Ammunition and "other" supplies, just in case I get disarmed.
  • Recovery cache: Important documents, cash, food, water, ammo, perhaps a weapon, family pics you name it. If your house burned down right now, what would you need?

You can build and camouflage caches out of anything, you're limited only by your imagination. Just make sure they are double weathered sealed. Consider using packing grease when storing working "metal" parts for long periods of time and using metal containers for water. Metal containers don't leak into the water like plastic bottles do. How to organize them into usable networks. Its all about the mapping. I break my mapping down into useable blocks that are easy for family members to follow and understand. There are 3, maybe 4 basic sketches you need to learn:

  1. Macro Sketch. Think state with multiple ports of entry like airports or interstate intersections. This way my cousin Earl can drive in and find his way around.
  2. Navigator Sketch. Now that Earl has his bearing from the macro sketch, its time to get him to the area where the cache is. This is the street map level sketch that references the major ports of entry from the previous sketch, BUT gets you to the road intersection where the actual cache is located. Google maps works well here, and several navigator sketches can be support by a single Macro sketch.
  3. Micro Sketch. Now that Earl is at the right intersection, he needs to know exactly where to dig. This sketch should have the precise pace count and reference points required to walk right up to the cache and it should also include any pertinent details the user needs to know: Police station near by, bring a shovel, service between this hour and that, etc....
  4. Point of view (POV) sketch. In some cases a site may require a perspective as if seen from the person performing the task, this is the case when the person loading and unloading the cache is face with multiple but similar choices in a given are. For instance multiple paths or multiple telephone pole. It doesn't hurt to include one in every report, but frankly they aren't needed unless you gauge the circumstances to warrant the work.

Here's an organization example of how I set up my cache mapping:

  • Macro (2GA1FEB2015)
    • Navigator Bug out (Husbands work and home)
      • Micro (Support) GA323-01
      • Micro (Support) GA323-02
      • Micro (action) GA323-01a
        • with POV
      • Micro (Recovery) no mapping
    • Navigator Bug out (Wife's work and home)
      • Micro (Support) GA324-01
      • Micro (Support) GA324-02
      • Micro (Support) GA324-03

I would keep all of these in a book and even supplement the data with a Google earth maps overlay. Ideally when I forward a cache I want the information as simplified as possible yet accurate. This way in a pinch I could simply "text" it to someone and send them on their way.

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Under this organization I can group my caches and maps into zones, and maintain an underground supply network that supports multiple family members in different locations, perhaps a child in college and so on. [gallery columns="2" size="medium" type="rectangular" ids="2353,2355"]

Mapping.

Mapping is the trickiest part of all of this. Caches are aren't any good if YOU are the only one who can use them. But for OPSEC or data reasons you may not have access to accurate enough mapping to make this work. So make your own! [gallery type="rectangular" ids="2360,2361,2362"] The trick to this is finding the right amount of detail with out over crowding your work. Practice this amongst your own group to see what I mean. Have one person draw a map to an unknown location, and another person navigate to it with out any assistance. Then you will see how your assumption over the obviousness of a particular reference point may not be as obvious as you previously thought. There is an art to it and it must be learned and rehearsed. We wont go to far into mapping in this article, its an article all its own but we will write it up as an addition to this cache piece.

Arizona Defense Supply!

Of course here at CAGmain we offer a wide variety of classes and that includes how to cache. Caching is a hybrid of field craft, administration and art its not just bury MREs in the woods for a rainy day. Play with Geocaching and get a feel for the venue and see what other folks have done. Its fun and family oriented I think you'll like it. Click this link to learn more! As always thank you, and please ask questions!

TR

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Austere Guide to Gauze

Hemostatic Gauze Vs. Non-Hemostatic Gauze... There are many types of gauze on the market to choose, from standard gauze rolls to different types of "Hemostatic gauze", which are impregnated in substances to help stop bleeding. Without understanding the differences between a package of compressed gauze, to Combat gauze, Celox-gauze and Chito-gauze, how they work, or even if they work, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you and your medical kits. Here's the breakdown:

Our Special Forces medics are discussing trauma on CAG NET!

Plain (Non-Hemostatic) Gauze:  Often called Kerlix, and coming in "Z-fold" or "S-rolled", or even compressed to take up less space, This is a must and a minimum. While this gauze certainly is not as good as the hemostatic gauzes in terms of controlling severe hemorrhage , It's inexpensive and versatile use make it a must. This isn't just for packing a bleeding wound that a tourniquet can't reach, it can be used as simple bandaging, dressings, stabilizing such as a sling and swathe and so much more. For the low-cost, it's a stepping stone towards hemostatic gauze. I recommend at least 2-3, and more in your house/truck kit, for those areas on your body where a tourniquet can't stop the bleeding, or for a little pressure in an extremity that is not a severe enough bleed to warrant a tourniquet. [gallery size="medium" type="rectangular" link="none" orderby="rand" ids="2327,2328,2329"] Hemostatic Gauzes - For arterial bleeding, don't risk having a non-hemostatic gauze as your Primary choice, you and your loved ones deserve the best shot at survival. What you do for bleeding control for the first few minutes is similar whether you are in an austere environment or 911 is just a few minutes away... If you don't get this bleeding stopped, it will eventually stop when the patient runs out of blood. Unlike previous generations of hemostatic gauze, these do not generate heat or burn.  Here's your choices, and how they work:

  1. Combat Gauze:  Combat Gauze is the #1 choice of the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research and Committee of T.C.C.C and has earned it's place. It is impregnated with kaolin, which helps the bodies clotting along much greater than using standard gauze. It's got a hefty price tag, but would you rather have a wallet with more money or a heart with enough blood to keep pumping? For a bare minimum medical pack I'd recommend at least 2, because if the first one does not work, you will have to be more aggressive your second time.
  2. Celox Gauze - Unlike Combat Gauze, Celox does not help your body itself clot but creates one. This is because when the it comes into contact with blood it creates a gel. What this means in basic terms is if your patient does not have good clotting factors ( Hypothermia, Medications such as Aspirin, etc.) this is a good choice because it works by itself instead of supporting the bodies clotting process. 3.   Chito Gauze - Chito Gauze does not rely on the bodies clotting process, as well. Instead of a gel, it uses the chitosan and dressing to slow down and stick the blood and platelets to create a clot. Again, for those with poor clotting factors, this is a good choice.

[gallery type="rectangular" size="medium" ids="2338,2339,2340"] These are in no particular order, and I'd recommend all 3 as a good decision. While the Military recommends Combat Gauze as #1, their demographic is healthy young soldiers who likely don't have poor clotting factors. Even then, blood loss can cause hypothermia and ruin their clotting factors, making Celox or Chito-gauze an option as well. Now that you know why and how, you can make an educated purchase. Personally im a fan of Chito-Gauze, but I'm also a reasonably trained medic...

All of these products can be found at shop CAG!

A product is only as good as your training, so if you leave it on the shelf, it won't live up to it's potential in a stressful situation. Have a couple non-hemostatic gauze as "trainers" to practice wraps and packing wounds as free drills to keep sharp. You do dry Fits in a cargo pocket

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What is the first Antibiotic, or even Medication, that one should stockpile for Survival? 

Easy question to answer! Self sufficient personnel often ask Austere Medical Professionals which medications, especially antibiotics they should stockpile to treat themselves or others in preparation of a time where the medical system may have collapsed, from geographical instability such as a Katrina like event to an economic event mirroring or worse than what Greece is currently going through.antibiotics Easy question to answer! Self sufficient personnel often ask Austere Medical Professionals which medications, especially antibiotics they should stockpile to treat themselves or others in preparation of a time where the medical system may have collapsed, from geographical instability such as a Katrina like event to an economic event mirroring or worse than what Greece is currently going through. My answer for which antibiotics/meds one should stockpile for that situation is none, maybe over-the-counter meds.  You're going to have to work hard to get from "None" to "Some."  Give me a second to explain myself.

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You can do a lot of harm by taking or giving medications, even the right ones. Best case scenario it didn't help at all, it could make it worse, and worst case be fatal. There is a reason why medical professionals are the only ones who can give certain medications. I'm not saying you need to rush out and go to Med School, but I am saying you're going to have to study and learn. While Medical Professionals have the foundation of schooling, that is not where knowledge is gained, it's where it just begins: What separates successful medical providers from the rest is studying and continuing to learn. So if a Doctor studies medications, why aren't you? Let's put it this way, You owe your patients, including yourself, the best possible treatment they could receive. Truly understanding why you're doing something is different from, "I'll buy Medication 'A' incase they have Sickness 'A'." Knowing which medication to give for which illness or injury is a knee-jerk reaction that does not account for obstacles and makes clinical judgment lazy. That's right, lazy. Medications are not just to be acquired and then left on a shelf. You don't treat by asking them to open their mouth, then throwing pills at them and whatever lands in there is good to go. You need to put some serious study hours in.

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It's the same concept as your Concealed Carry Weapon, you don't (or I hope you do not) buy it, slap a magazine in it and never touch it again; You do dry fire drills, go to the range, have spare parts, maintain and clean it. Weapons often get all the glamour, but the truth is you're far more likely to face a medical scenario, so why would you neglect the tools of the medical world? If you're going to use a medication you should know how it works, how much to give, side effects, alternate medications, and why you are giving it, etc. etc. Before that, you should know the patients history, especially medications, allergies. If they are allergic to cephalosporins, is Keflex good to give, or would you rather give Cefalexin? Is it used for gram positive or gram negative bacteria? Which antibiotics do you give for viruses? Will they survive without antibiotics? Why would you want to treat a teenager with strep throat? Now, The first antibiotic, the first medication someone should stockpile is a pharmacopeia as well as other references such as a Nursing Drug Handbook. [caption id="attachment_1968" align="aligncenter" width="600"]The good news is knowledge weighs nothing and you can take it with you everywhere! It's never hurts to have a few books on hand to double check, though. The good news is knowledge weighs nothing and you can take it with you everywhere! It's never hurts to have a few books on hand, though. There is a lot to remember and reference.[/caption]

"What if medicine is not my thing?"

If you're not that dedicated or medicine is not your forte, that is understandable. A minimum option that I wholeheartedly recommend for medical basics is the book, "When There Is No Doctor." It's used in countries as a medical reference for places that are much too far away to get help and casualty evacuation can be a voyage, much like what you and I prepare for. In addition, You can still benefit from keeping your stocks of medication, they are great to barter but may not be your level to administer care. Learning the chemistry and effects of medications takes YEARS of education and practice. Don't be in a hurry and don't settle for Google. Locate and learn how to use the references that the professionals use! CAG runs a forum called CAG NET, join and ask questions!

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( Long term, after Tier 1 & 2 established? ) Which medical kits are right for you: First Aid Kits, Pouches, Aid Bags or more?

Preparing for medical intervention can range from a band-aid in the medicine cabinet to extensive medical kits. Deciding on medical equipment when expecting to be in an austere, survival, disaster or other situation depends on what you know how to use as well as how much you can carry on foot. For situations that involve a vehicle or close to home, the weight and bulk is not as much of an issue. On that basis I will address the variations of medical kits in a tiered system from small first aid kits and everyday carries, to Aid bags, to large Truck bags or cases in the house. 1.) Basics - Every Day Carry, Minimalist, Clandestine Medical Supplies: This is the easiest level for all skill and financial levels, with little to no weight, while offering some medical capability in any and all situations. In a former article we discuss Every Day Carry of a tourniquet added for extremity bleeding.  A hemostatic gauze could also be added to account for non-compressible hemorrhage, or areas where tourniquets can't control the bleeding. For those at risk of a severe allergic reaction, an Epi-pen is a must ( link article) 2.) First Aid Kits (IFAK) and Pouches: The next step up, an IFAK or medical pouch on yourself or nearby means being able to handle more during your Trauma Patient Assessment (MARCH-E). This moves on from just tourniquets and gauze to Nasopharyngeal Airways, Vented or Occlusive Chest Seal(s) , 14G Needle's for Needle Chest Decompression, and a few other items your situation may warrant. Epi-pens, Gloves and a few others items can easily be added to the kit, as well as duplicates of the basics. The C.A.G. Tier 1 MedPack offers all the essentials to care for an emergency. 3.) Aid Bags - The Aid Bags go multiple different ways. You must tailor it to your situation, which may change. For examples I will list the different roles battlefield medics fulfill. No two medics are alike, even if their job is the same. If your aid bag will be in a truck or vehicle nearby, it can be filled to the brim and you can enjoy more medical capabilities. If you are wearing your aid bag, whatever you have on your back is what you and your Emergency Action Group have. If you are staying out for extended periods of time, you need to bring a lot with you to account for everything that may go wrong when you can't seek medical help. If you plan on going through urban situations or in tight spaces after a disaster, you'll want a bag with a small silhouette and to add some high visibility markings, panels, chemlights and maybe whistle. Tips:
  • "Hot-wire" your Aid-Bag to save time. Placing Labels provides easier access. Putting tape where the openings of medical equipment are save time when motor skills are impaired by adrenaline.
  • You should train your Emergency Action Group on where everything is in your bag. If they need to grab it for you, or get something inside, perhaps even treating you, you'll be thankful that they are not lost in the many pouches an Aid bag can have.
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Hypothermia's Deadly Role in the Trauma Patient

hypothermia It's 120 degrees on a hot summer day and your patient is dying of...hypothermia. You've controlled hemorrhage, have a patent airway and your patients respiration is stable. Why would you be worried about hypothermia? You don't need to be treating your patient on an iceberg for hypothermia to effect them. It's the 4th leading cause of death in Afghanistan and nearly 2/3 of all patients admitted to the Emergency Department have some form of hypothermia. It only takes a patients core going under 95' degrees to be considered hypothermic, which can happen even in 120' weather, especially if you've lost enough blood that your body is unable to stabilize itself.  There is a reason hypothermia has earned it's place in the algorithm "MARCH" and needs to be addressed in your austere medical considerations.  If you haven't got it by now, I'd recommend adding a survival blanket as a minimum, or an Hypothermia Prevention and Management Kit or HPMK. We will go over the benefits and how to use them because a proper wrap will save heat and it's more than just putting a blanket on them. Survival Blanket / "Space Blanket" Hypothermia Prevention and Management Kit (HPMK)
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(Draft ) Welcome to Thoracic Park: Austere Respiratory Management of the Trauma Patient

This article will be addressing the "R" in MARCH-E. Massive Bleeding Airway Respirations Circulation Hypothermia / Head Injury Evacuation
  1. Before we know what we're doing, we should know "Why"      (Basic anatomy)
  2. How-to exam and what you're looking for
  3. Injuries and how to treat (flail chest, pneumo/hemo, etc.)
(Insert occlusive vs vented article) Video of a Needle Chest Decompression from the inside: ( Note during the video expansion of the lung before needle entry and after) [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co9_RLN78IY&w=560&h=315]
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Apartment Meat!

I'm a practical guy and I like practical solutions. I was thinking about my often neglected apartment dweller readers recently. I was trying to figure out a way for them to produce their own meat when I recalled a conversation that I had with a retired Green Beret and Delta Force operator that was an instructor with me in the 18 Delta course. We had many conversations about farming, survival and austerity. He had mentioned to me that he was going to raise guinea pigs (aka cavi or cuya) on his quarter acre property in downtown Fayetteville North Carolina. Initially I laughed and thought the idea was crazy. At the time I was raising pot belly pigs, chickens and goats in a subdivision on 2 acres, what could be crazier than that?Pet's Fer dinner!?!
I'm a practical guy and I like practical solutions. I was thinking about my often neglected apartment dweller readers recently. I was trying to figure out a way for them to produce their own meat when I recalled a conversation that I had with a retired Green Beret and Delta Force operator that was an instructor with me in the 18 Delta course. We had many conversations about farming, survival and austerity. He had mentioned to me that he was going to raise guinea pigs (aka cavi or cuya) on his quarter acre property in downtown Fayetteville North Carolina. Initially I laughed and thought the idea was crazy. At the time I was raising pot belly pigs, chickens and goats in a subdivision on 2 acres, what could be crazier than that? He explained the process to me and how they were common food in South America.

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As I pondered this article, I considered that many folks already have guinea pigs in their apartments. Once you get over the social bias that we have in America towards eating what we consider pets, it seems like a logical idea. In a small amount of apartment space you can grow wheat grass like many folks do for their backyard chickens. This and scrap vegetables can provide you a sustainable food source for your guinea pigs. Some things they cannot eat like mustard, parsley, and potato peels. You can raise them and harvest them with no one knowing. You could use their droppings and litter to provide much-needed nutrients for your apartment vegetable garden. You could use the skins to produce clothing.

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The cavi could provide someone looking to grow their own food in a confined space, or to have a survival food source, an excellent renewable source of protein. Not to mention a nice break from canned spam in a SHTF scenario. At 21% protein and 8% fat, the cavi has less cholesterol and more protein than beef pork and chicken.There are many restaurants on both the east and west coast that are catering to an Andean expat crowd. This is opening the door to make "cuyas" not so taboo.

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Amazingly they can out breed rabbits. With just two males and 20 females, a family of 4 can provide all of their protein requirements for a year. That is about 200 guinea pigs per year. Check your local laws if you happen to live in one of those ever controlling places like New York City or California, as it is illegal to eat guinea pig. However, if you do decide to give it a try, like rabbits, a blow to the back of the head will render them unconscious then quickly cut the jugular and hang them up to drain. Afterwards, drop them in boiling water for a few seconds and the hair will easily pull away from the skin. Cut the carcass from anus to nose without cutting the intestines and remove the contents as you would any other animal. Now it can be roasted or deep fried or cooked however you see fit. I hear there are always free guinea pigs on Craigslist. Try one for free!

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Get multiple doses out of an Epi-pen.

Anaphylaxis can be a scary encounter even when 911 is a few minutes away. In Austere medicine, where patient evacuation is delayed, not on it's way, or you are the medical professional sitting on this patient, a serious situation just became worse. When you give your initial intramuscular injection for anaphylaxis, there is about a 20% chance you patient may need another dose, but you only had one Epi-pen... What now?

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A consideration for austere management of anaphylaxis

  Anaphylaxis can be a scary encounter even when 911 is a few minutes away. In Austere medicine, where patient evacuation is delayed, not on it's way, or you are the medical professional sitting on this patient, a serious situation just became worse. When you give your initial intramuscular injection for anaphylaxis, there is about a 20% chance you patient may need another dose, but you only had one Epi-pen... What now?

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  There is enough for around 3-4 doses in the epi-pen still left. I'm going to show you a step by step process in basic terms to be used in emergency situations only. For Medical Professionals and Providers, before you throw out the expired epi-pens, it's free training to take one apart and see how it's done. IMG_9768SAFETYOFF1stDOSE

Step 1.) Loosening the shell.

  We're starting from the point where you've already removed the blue safety and administered the first dose. Your clinical judgement has led you to decide you need to administer another dose. You can use a knife, multi-tool, pliers or what you have on hand to loosen/pry the four corners around the core, as you keep the orange tip away from you to prevent accidental 'stick' with the used needle.   You are loosening the transparent case from the white core for the next step.

Step 2.)   Pulling the white core out of the transparent sheathe

  Now that the outside is loosened, pulling the internal parts of the Epi-pen out will be easier. It may take a couple minutes and some wriggling back and forth. When on it's way out, the spring may cause the white core you're grabbing to spring out. To avoid parts going all over the place you can pull down with the orange tip facing up. After the spring comes out, the only thing left inside should be the syringe of epi and it's needle. [gallery size="medium" ids="1747,1749,1750"]

Step 3.)   Identify and prepare needle and syringe:

  The only thing left inside the epi-pen should be the syringe and needle. You can see for yourself how many doses are left.  It's important to note that the needle is covered in a gray sheathe and to avoid sticking yourself. You will want to remove the gray sheathe carefully. The 'plunger' is opposite the needle and will be used to draw air into the vial of epi as well as push more epinephrine into the anaphylaxis patient in the next step. [gallery size="medium" ids="1752,1753,1758"]

Step 4.)  Administering a dose:

  The plunger should come already pushed down to the stopper due to the initial dose given to the patient.   Point the needle up in the air and draw air into the needle until the rubber part of the plunger is near the back of the vial that holds the epinephrine. CAUTION,  if you pull the rubber part of the plunger back too far, you could pull the plunger out of the vial and leak the precious epinephrine out of the back!   Once you have air drawn in to the syringe, you will administer the second intramuscular dose to the patient. The air is mainly to replace pressure, because the plunger has the stopper and can not be depressed past that point, so you need to draw the air in, in order to push more epinephrine out. This can be repeated 3-4 more times depending on how you measure it.

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  Don't worry about a small amount of air getting into your patient, contrary to popular belief, you need a lot of air directly into a blood vessel to begin to risk that. It's especially negligible when we're talking about the tangible danger of anaphylaxis and anaphylactic shock. [caption id="attachment_1758" align="aligncenter" width="400"]IMG_9804INJECTIONSIMULATION Pushing the epinephrine out is easy. After each dose, the needle will become more dull and possibly increase the pain of the insertion.[/caption]   Between doses when you need to move the casualty for patient transport, as well as when all the doses are used up, place the syringe and needle back in the case for safe transport. Continue evacuation, as mentioned in the article: The Scary Reality of Casualty Evacuation to a higher level of care
References: Epi-pens Website, Reference and Videos - https://www.epipen.com/en/hcp/about-epipen/dosage-and-administration Biphasic Anaphylaxis - http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/583328_7

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