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Friday, March 5, 2010

How To Avoid A Bear Attack

A bear attack is one of those things everyone thinks cannot happen to them. But with so many people, and fewer places for bears, conflicts are inevitable. Find out below how to avoid being attacked by a bear and avoid being a story on the evening news. (if you’re not worried about bear attacks, read this post)
Bear Attack

Know Your Bears

The first and most crucial thing to know about bears is that they all have different characteristics. Bears in general are extremely intelligent animals, each with their own unique personality. Since each bear is different, the way a bear reacts in any situation will also be different. The key things to remember about bears is that if you avoid them and keep your distance, you will likely walk away from the situation.

Black Bear

The Black bear, while dangerous is the least aggressive of the bears. Black bears tend to be more reclusive and less threatened by the presence of humans even when protecting their cubs. While Black bears are more statistically likely to attack than other breeds, the cause is likely due to their enormous population compared to other bears. In North America there are over 500,000 Black bears compared to around 75,000 Grizzlies.
Black Bear
Adult female: 220 lbs
Adult males: 400 lbs
Signs of Aggression: Swatting the ground or objects, chattering teeth, loud blowing noises
*Note* Black bears will often stand on their hind legs, not as an intention of attack but simply to see and smell better. Popout

Brown Bear

Also known as the Kodiak bear, the Brown bear is one big animal (the biggest sub species of Brown bear). Some have been weighed at over 1500 lbs. Kodiak bears are generally shy and reclusive, but can become extremely aggressive if surprised or threatened.
Adult female: 500 – 700 lbs
Adult males: 800 – 1400 lbs
Signs of aggression: Ears back, foam at the mouth

Grizzly Bear

The Grizzly bear is known as the most aggressive of the bear species. Unlike with the Brown bear, climbing a tree will not help you escape from a angry Grizzly. The female Grizzly is particularly dangerous, being responsible for over 70% of fatal human injuries.
Grizzly Bears

Adult female: 300lbs
Adult males: 600 – 800 lbs
Signs of aggression: Ears back, foam at the mouth

Polar Bear

Polar bears are fierce and stealthy hunters. They can kill any animal they choose and are by no means afraid of humans. What makes the polar bear particularly dangerous is that when it decides to kill it uses stealth until the very last second, when it’s too late. Despite their expert killing skills, the Polar bear generally avoids humans and are so few in number in that attacks in the wild are rare.
Polar Bear
Adult female: 500-600 lbs
Adult males: 500-1000 lbs

Avoiding Bears

Be Loud

Despite the false rumors, bears are typically not out looking for humans to eat and in fact are often frightened by human activities in or around their natural habitat. Being loud BEFORE you see a bear is one of the best ways to avoid the bears. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you are face to face to with a threatening bear this rule does not apply. Talk loudly, scream, shout and use your bear bells to make as much noise as possible. You can also raise both your arms in air and try to make yourself look large and threatening, in an effort to scare the animal away. It is always best to try to avoid contact if in any way possible.

Know The Area

The easiest way to avoid bears is to be knowledgeable of your area and avoid areas known to be heavily populated with bears. Look for trees with large chunks of bark missing since bears will often mark their territories by rubbing on tress. Another sign of a bear is large holes which are dug during hunting.

Avoid Food Items That Attract Bears

Meat items are especially attractive to bears, but avoids sweets, candy and junk food as well.  The best foods are those that carry little odor.

Keep Your Distance

If you see a bear from a far, be sure to sotp approaching the bear. Do not run away, but slowly retreat from the area.

Avoiding Hunting Areas

Partially eaten/decomposed animals may be a current source of food for a bear so don’t make camp near any.

Avoid dark areas

Don’t explore dark caves or hollowed logs, these are often used as dens by bears


Bear Bells

Bear bells make a lot of noise, which helps prevent surprise encounters with a bear.

Bear Mace (pepper spray)

Bear spray has been shown to be effective in repelling bears 97% of the time. Guns worked successfully only 67% of the time.
Bear Spray

Odor Proof Bags

Odor proof bags can prevent those tasty smells from reaching the bear. Bears have a sense of smell four times that of the average dog and can smell for miles away.

Odor Proof Bags

Bear Bag

A bear bag is a great way to keep your food away from your tent and away from bears. If a bear does becomes attracted to your food, he will not be inside your tent or car looking for it.
How to hang your bear bag
(click for a larger image)
Bear Bag
(thanks to Allen and Mike’s Really Cool Backpackin’ Book: Traveling & camping skills for a wilderness environment
for the diagram)

Simple Net

- A simple net and rope can create a decent bear bag.



Feather River

Gun – A gun significantly increases your chance of surviving and deterring a bear attack. A loud gun would be better for scaring bears.
More Resources

Keeping a roof over your head while bugging out

Shelter from the elements is one of the primary elements of survival, and one that must be considered in your bug out and survival plans.

In the smaller local/regional disasters that we are most likely to experience, we will likely turn to nearby friends, family or hotels for our shelter. When you look at people hit with these every-day emergencies-- forest fires, floods, storms--these are the places where typically head--friends and family, if available. It doesn't hurt to have a conversation with those friends or family beforehand about your plans. "Hey, if there's some kind of problem that puts us out of our home, can we stay here until the trouble blows over?" You may want to consider caching a few supplies with them, if they have the space and are willing--things like clothes and sleeping bags may be wise.

But, the friends and family only work in a small, personal or local SHTF. We're planning for worst-case here, even the "end of the world" scenarios that this blog is named after. You may be stranded, on foot, several days travel from your retreat or a safe, permanent shelter, with only you bug out bag to get you there safely. How do we prepare for that situation? What should you pack for your TEOTWAWKI shelter?

Using Existing Shelter

If available, existing shelters may be your best bet, especially if weather is bad.

In the urban/suburban environment that most of us live in, opportunities for shelter abound. Homeless people make-do, living under overpasses, in drainage tunnels or abandoned building. You could, too, if needs be. There are plenty of examples out there. Keep an eye out for potential hiding places during your daily travels. Many of these urban shelters have the advantage of being hidden from view, something very important to a solo-survivor or a small group.

One urban/suburban location that I like are rooftops of buildings, weather permitting; make sure that the building is structurally sound, uninhabited and that there are no taller buildings that overlook it. Otherwise, you should be good-to-go. Rooftops have numerous advantages; they provide a clear view of the surrounding area while keeping you out of view or people below. They usually only have one or two entrance points from the building below, meaning that they are easily secured by a small group.  People typically ignore a building's rooftop. And, if it comes to it, a rooftop gives you a superior firing position on attackers from below. 

In a rural environment, you may be able to hunker down in abandoned farms, outbuildings or hunting cabins. Abandoned vehicles may be another readily available shelter. Natural shelter, like caves or rocky overhangs, could also provide some shelter from the elements. 

If you have a pre-planned bugout route (and you should), it's wise to scout it for potential places that you could hunker down for an evening or a few days while on your journey. If you have the resources and can securely do so, it may also be wise to cache some supplies near these hideout sites--backups and supplementary gear in case you need it along your journey.

Packed Shelters

Your bug out bag should some contain some kind of shelter, but you don't need to spend hundreds on an ultra lightweight high-tech tent. I am a big fan of using tarps for bug out shelters; they're cheap--typically under $10 and they're everywhere, which means that they will draw little attention if spotted.

Ponchos are another great option-- Army surplus ponchos can make a fairly decent shelter and can also keep you dry while travelling--not bad, if you ask me. They're cheap, too--I recently purchased two off of e-bay for about $20, shipped.

My bug out bags typically have both an olive drab 8x10 tarp and an army poncho, giving me a variety of shelter options. 

If you want something a little fancier than a hardware store tarp and a poncho, look into sil-nylon tarps; they're used by ultralight hikers and pack down very small. They typically run from $75-$150 when purchased at retail, although if you can find the material and are handy with a sewing machine, you can DIY one for much less.

If space is at a premium, take a look at AMK Heatsheets; they're basically better versions of the standard space blanket--less crinkly material, easier to re-pack, more durable. They're water proof and reflect heat like a standard space blanket. I carry one in my EDC bag; they fit into a pocket and take up negligible space. The blaze orange color is a potential deal-breaker for camo concerns, though. Contractor-grade garbage bags are another compact, low-cost option, and are available in more subdued colors.

Support Gear

Make sure that you have the necessary support gear to set up a proper shelter--cordage is especially important here, and having a few lengths of pre-cut paracord can be a big help. Tent pegs are cheap and very lightweight, saving you the time and effort of making your own. You may also want to consider having some duct tape in your shelter-making supplies--if you needed to set up your lean-to against a brick or concrete wall, for example. 

If you're primarily concerned with surviving in an urban/suburban environment, a FuBar-type tool, wire cutters or lockpicks and the skills to use them could get you into existing structures that would otherwise be out of reach. Of these, in an ideal world, lockpicks would be preferred as they cause no lasting damage when used properly and are silent to employ. However, picking a good lock quickly requires great skill, and lockpicks are illegal to carry around in many jurisdictions, so they are probably impractical for many preppers.

For rural/wilderness survival, you could include a shovel, axe or folding saw. Of these, I think the shovel best fits the typical bug-out mission. Why? A shovel could prove especially useful if you needed to dig up a cache of pre-positioned supplies or if you were looking to create a very concealed foxhole type hide. Digging is time consuming and requires a lot of energy, but a good underground shelter or hideout can be well worth the effort, especially if you're trying to stay out of sight. You can certainly use your hands, knife or stick, but these are poor substitutes for a good compact shovel when needed. 

Axes and folding saws are useful for constructing debris-type shelters--lean-to's and a-frames and such--and in other bushcrafting. The typical bug-out plan involves moving quickly and stealthily to a more secure location; there's not much of a need for bushcrafting tools. Cutting down trees, carving wood and so on are noisy and time consuming. And, if you have a pressing need to do these things, a good fixed blade knife will almost always do the job. 

A final piece of support gear worthy of mention are small, inexpensive personal alarms like this one. Trip the device and a 130dB alarm sounds. You can easily wire these up to a door, across a hallway or in between a pair of trees, giving you some advanced warning or scaring intruders off. Especially useful if you'll be travelling alone or in small groups. I have no experience with the device linked, and I'm shopping around for some of these and will keep you updated. Any recommendations would be appreciated!

The Paradox of Retreat Living

Retreat living has long been a part of modern survivalism--from Ragnar Benson's 1983 book The Survival Retreat: A Total Plan for Retreat Defense (and I'm sure there are many earlier references) through to today's Rawlesian survivalism.

One of the main criteria of a survival retreat is that it must be far removed from any major cities. The typically cited rule of thumb is that a retreat should be located more than one gas tank away from a major city--around 300 miles. This distance is intended to keep the retreat out of the range of the large portion of the refugee hordes in a TEOTWAWKI scenario.

Living full time at the retreat pre-TEOTWAWKI takes away any risks associated with bugging out from a population center during a disaster, and also means that the retreat is maintained, protected and developed year round. You're on the property to keep an eye on your supplies and to tend to your fields, garden or livestock.

While living in relative isolation at a full-time rural retreat is theoretically one of the best options for making it through a TEOTWAWKI scenario, the same isolation creates problems with finding gainful employment--causing definite problems for getting together adequate preparations and living adequately in the normal, pre-TEOTWAWKI world. It also isolates retreaters from family and friends--the people you would depend on most during a post-collapse scenario.

Lack of Employment
Unless you're retirement age, independently wealthy, or willing to live on the government dole, you need to work for some portion of your income. Good jobs are hard to come by in rural areas, and the recommended distance (300 or so miles) makes commuting in to work a difficult proposition.

There are certainly ways to do the commuting thing, but they involve a lot of compromise and driving. For example, you could live in the city a few days of the week, then drive back to the retreat for the rest of the week. You could theoretically telecommute full-time, but telecommuters do, shockingly, often need to travel and visit their employers or customers in-person. Either way, you'll need to do a lot of driving--4 or 5 hours into the office or the nearest major airport. That adds up to a lot of driving--putting you at greater risk of accident before TEOTWAWKI--and possibly leaving you stranded hundreds of miles away from home if you're traveling when TEOTWAWKI hits. 

So, you may need to find a local job--and there typically are very few of those jobs in small towns. Rawles recommends a town of no more than 1000 people for a remote rural retreat; if you're in the private sector, you won't find much more than working at the local service station. Government jobs are more plentiful in small towns--school teacher, BLM or forest service, fire department, EMS, local police force, local hospital, etc. Those jobs exist pretty much everywhere and can ingrain you, fairly quickly, with the local populace. If you've got a different line of work though, you're out of luck.

One very good potential source of income is owning and operating a largely Internet-based small business. If you're the owner and operator, and don't need to have face-to-face contact with customers or have a large number of employees, you're good to go. There's a wide range of possibilities--selling custom-made gear, full time blogging, etc.

Owning an offline business could also work, with the right opportunity. Running a hunting guide company, 4x4 tour company, or hey--if you've got the skills and needed land and tools--a ranch or farm--could work.

Why Employment Matters
If you can't pay the bills before TEOTWAWKI, good luck staying in your new retreat property and adding to and maintaining your preps and supplies.

Even if you can find a local job, it will almost certainly pay substantially less than a comparative job in a more populated area. In some ways, that is offset by the lower cost of living, but most prep gear costs the same no matter where you live. There is a lot of gear and logistics to purchase and stock away, and that's hard to do when you've got a limited budget.

Futhermore, if you land a job out in the boondocks, expect it to be slower paced and with less growth potential. If you're the kind of person who thrives on a fast-paced environment, career advancement and job growth then you may go nuts out in the country. If you've got professional ambitions, it's not likely that you can fulfill them living full-time at a retreat. You've only got one life to live--don't pass up those dreams to hide away in the middle of nowhere.

Isolation from Family and Friends
Unless you grew up near you retreat, the isolation that separates you from the hordes will separate you from your family, friends and loved ones. You will see them less often. 300 miles is a long way to drive, so don't expect loved ones to make that journey. Some will--but some you won't see unless you make the trip. The distance becomes even more difficult to deal with when you tack a plane flight on the front end--a flight and a 4 to 5 hour drive is a long trip.

Why Living Closer to Family and Friends Matters
Your family is what matters most in life--they're what all of those guns, gear, bullets and band aids are meant to protect. Do not take isolating yourself from them lightly--it will mean seeing less of your longtime friends, cousins, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, parents, kids and grandkids. If those relationships--especially friendship--fade due to distance, that isolation may also mean that your old survival/prep/gun buddies don't show up on your doorstep as planned when TEOTWAWKI hits.

Even if seeing old friends and extended family doesn't matter to you, it's likely that it will matter to your wife or your children.

Again, you only have one life to live--you don't want to be absent from the lives of your loved ones because you're afraid of the apocalypse. 

It CAN Work
I don't want anyone to think that I am dismissing the idea of living full-time at a retreat--even one as isolated as typically recommended. It can work, in certain circumstances, and if you and your family are ready and willing to make the accompanying sacrifices.

For most of us, though, the full-time retreat life is impractical and out of reach. The drawbacks of living in full on rural isolation are just too great.

There are alternate approaches, the best of which I think is to have a piece of "bug out land," to head to when trouble rears its head. While far from perfect, I think it offers the best compromise for the average prepared citizen. We'll discuss this more in the future.  

CPR training

Are You Prepared Or Just Worried?

By Bruce Hosea

You have a choice. Which will it be? I'm not talking about being perfectly prepared for any incident. I'm talking about taking simple steps to become more self reliant.
What can you do? Try some of these ideas:
* Join the neighborhood watch group.

* Install area lighting on your property. Solar lights with motion detectors work great and don't drain the budget.

* Install a security alarm. There are many choices. Look at what will work for your home and budget. There are alarm systems for apartments that sense someone moving the door and there are whole home units that have sensors on every door and window. Somewhere in between are items that you can use and build upon as time and resources permit.

* Observe the normal traffic in your area. What is normal? Be sure that a trusted neighbor knows when you are away.

* Get some extra canned goods and water for an emergency.

* Take a first aid and CPR class.

* Build a first aid kit for the home and for the shop.

* Put at least one interior light on a timer.

* Consider leaving a radio on when you are away.

* NEVER open your door to strangers.

* Observe your surroundings.

* Develop a Family Action Plan
Each of these steps can make a big difference to you and to your family. I'm not talking about building an underground mountain retreat and getting away from society (sometimes that doesn't like such a bad idea). I'm talking about small things that will support your family when power goes out or when property crime goes up. Buy a case of bottled water the next time you are at one of the big warehouse stores. Having extra water stored in the garage works well throughout the year. Each of these steps takes very little time and recourses.
Remember: Thinking that you are helpless is wrong and foolish.
For more information and training visit http://www.jbventuresabq.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Bruce_Hosea


People String - Get Paid for What your already doing

Here is one of those income streams I recently stumbled across. People String is a website/social network along the lines of face book. One major difference is that it pays you to use its services. Currently I am conducting a test of the earning potential of this site but wanted to share it with you all because I like what I see. Some of the key points of People String are:
  1. It's 100% free to join.
  2. They pay you to surf the web and do the things you normally do everyday.
  3. They share 70% of their advertising revenue with members.
  4. By networking with your own sphere of influence, you can maximize your earning potential.
Now, remember I did not say you can retire off of this site. This is not a get rich quick, make a zillion dollars in 40 seconds offer. What this can be, is another small stream that could help you build a worthwhile cash flow. Many of you are bloggers who use Google adsense as a method of raising funds. Consider this to be along the same lines.

If you decide to join there are a few things you can do to expand your earning potential.
  1. Make People String your homepage. You need to sign on at least once every twelve hours to earn the the maximum people points for the day.
  2. Add the websites you visit every day onto your people string homepage and use the homepage as a launching pad for your web activities. You will earn a little sliver for doing what you normally do for free.
  3. They provide links to Face book, Twitter, and most of the free email services. Access these sites through your People String Site to earn more.
  4. Search from Google, play games, read the news- all from the People String homepage; it will all make you money.
Interested? Click here to get started.