Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Survival Success

After all of the work we do to prepare our families and communities it is nice to hear a success story for the holidays.  A family of six from Nevada ran their jeep off the side of a cliff into a crevice in sub-zero temperatures of 21 below zero.  We can break their success down into 5 simple steps that everyone should take when venturing out into the elements.  

How did James Glanton and his girlfriend, Christina Mclntee keep their two children, niece and nephew alive! 

1) They told someone reliable where they were going, 

If a family member, friend or co-worker knows where you are going on your adventure it can be a huge help to authorities when narrowing down the scope of a search.  The sheriff in charge of the search for this family stated that even though they knew where the family was headed the search area was still 6,000 square miles.  

2) They Remained with the vehicle.

Staying with a vehicle when you are in trouble is better than enduring the elements on your own. Search and rescue is more likely to spot a vehicle than a person.  The vehicle is also an essential tool for survival.  

3) They were prepared for the elements

A family that survives plans for their adventure.  They packed heavy winter clothing.  It is best to plan and pack for the weather you are traveling in even if you are not planning on venturing off the beaten path.  Always leave home in proper clothing, shoes and extra clothing if necessary.  

4) They improvised to stay warm.  

The couple, who didn’t have extra blankets, started a fire outside after the jeep overturned. They heated rocks and placed them in the spare tire to keep the children warm at night.

“I have never heard of such a thing, but I think it was pretty clever of him,” search team leader Paul Burke with state Department of Public Safety, said of Glanton’s tactics. “To the extent he was ingenious about it, that is one for the books.”

5) They had food and water.

Basic supplies proved to be key, especially having water so they could stay hydrated in the dry conditions. The food didn’t last long but still it was enough to get them by until help came.

Watch this incredible story.  

Happy Holidays - Stay Safe!

Visit us on the web at
or in person
109-6039 196th Street
Surrey, BC.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Making the Bland - Grand

So it happened - a massive winter storm has shut down basically everything across Canada. It's horrifically cold and the snow hasn't stopped in two weeks. (Sound familiar?) With no trucks moving, the local grocery store shelves were emptied in a panic last week. Now, even leaving your house is almost an impossibility - you think the snow drift outside your front door may actually be higher than your front door. It's not the end of the world, but your in for a real shelter in place scenario.

You are now standing in your basement looking at your pile of food storage. 83 cans of macaroni, 121 cans of beans, 10 - 50 lb bags of wheat, and plenty of other randomness. Electricity and gas are still on, so you can still cook and stay warm - but what to eat? That macaroni is going to taste pretty darn boring every meal for the next two weeks.

We are often told to store what we normally eat. This can be difficult as I'm sure that teenager that makes the fries at McDonald's is not willing to hide out in your basement for when the SHTF. So instead we store the basics and hope to never have to actually use it. Well along the lines of storing what you normally eat, how often do you stand at the stove cooking, and instinctively grab several of the bottles sitting near the stove and pour in a pinch or this or a shake or that? Yep - I'm talking about spices and seasonings.

An important part of your food storage is the "accessories" that make food taste so good in normal life. How often do you use oregano, parsley, basil, or thyme in your cooking? Then you should store some. At Briden we have been pondering the spice category for several years now and looking for a product that will fill the gap between bland and grand. We needed something that had the shelf life, was packaged in a way that would keep it fresh and still store easily - and maybe most importantly - wasn't out of the ballpark in the cost category. Spices are expensive when you buy them in little bottles at the grocery store.

I'm happy to announce the arrival of the Herb and Spice Variety Bucket from Nutristore. Inside you'll find 17 of the most widely used herbs and spices. Each spice is packed in its own re-sealable mylar pouch. (Re-sealable = very important) And the sealed Shelf life is 15 years. Not too shabby.

Not interested in chowing down on 121 cans of beans with nothing to garnish them? Maybe its time to add some spice to your food storage... you just never know.

I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas from us here at Briden Solutions. Make sure to take a moment this season to realize how good we really have it here in Canada. Sure we have our problems, but we have so many blessings as well.

This post by Dwight from Briden Solutions - Proudly helping Canadians obtain high quality Survival supplies.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Coffee (period)

Living without coffee on a good day is bad enough.  Imagine suffering without coffee for an extended period of time post disaster.  We often forget about personal luxuries when putting together emergency kits or survival supplies.  Things like coffee, alcohol and cigarettes are often left off of the check list.  You don't have to be a smoker or a drinker for said items to be an asset to you and your family. These items can act as an essential bartering tool to get the necessary items you or a family member might need.  I know that after a few days without coffee I would be willing to give up many things of value, like food, water or shelter supplies to get my java fix.

Not only is the coffee a bonus but the items associated with coffee can be an asset to your emergency kit as well.  You can use coffee filters and cans for multiple applications such as filtering water, making cold compresses, straining fruit juices,, collecting water, storing items, serving food and so on.  

Legacy Premium Food Storage has a great solution for emergency coffee storage. The 350 serving bucket also comes with a manual french press so you are guaranteed delivery of delicious black gold.  If you are a coffee fan like we are at Chylan consider adding this essential product to your preps. 

Fueled By Java Daily!

Visit us on the web at
or in person
109-6039 196th Street
Surrey, BC.

Friday, November 22, 2013

72 Hour Kits for the Novice

Assuming not everyone who reads this blog is a long time, died in the wool prepper or outdoors man a recent conversation I had with some new friends reminded me of some things I think are common sense when it comes to a 72 hour kit, but may not be common sense to all.

1)    72 hour kits bought or made from scratch from a list are quite generic. 
2)    Personalize your kit to you and/or the members of your family
3)    Review the types of “emergency” situations you might experience in your area.  Blizzards, fire, or looting and general chaos after a Grey Cup or Stanley Cup game.
4)    Add clothes in the size you are now.  Review them at least once a year to make sure you are still that size.  Children grow and sadly so do adults.
5)    Add underwear.  Did you think of underwear when I said to add clothes?
6)    Add comfort food.  It doesn’t necessarily sustain life, but it may keep you from taking a life while you are under high stress.
7)    Once or twice a year change out batteries, food, water or anything in your kit that may age.
8)    Have emergency contact information, and a list of items to grab and go in addition to your kit.
9)    Have copies of important documents and financial papers.

These are just some very basic additions to you kit.  If you want to upsize from a 72 hour kit to a bug out bag or just make your kit better, there are some great posts already in the CPN blog.

However, the #1 item everyone agreed must be in your preparedness arsenal, but won’t fit in a bag is resiliency.  Resiliency to change, to loss, to being uncomfortable, to learning new skills, etc.
I’d love to hear what “common sense” items you have added to your 72 hour kit, or how you are developing your resiliency skills.

This post by Deanna from Briden Solutions - Proudly helping Canadians obtain high quality Survival supplies.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Be the Change

Ponder adopting a self reliant life style you enjoy a verity of benefits.  You save money, build relationships, gain time and financial freedom, find independence and live a life full of continuous learning.  Here at Chylan HQ we have devoting our business and lives to lead the change.  By becoming part of the self reliance movement you become part of the change too, which is necessary to build a sustainable future.  We believe that the current lifestyle that so many of us enjoy can not be sustained long term.  Mass production, genetic modification and "Just in Time Operation", to name a few, are short term solutions for convenience and monetary gain.  It is our responsibility to educate others on the benefits of self reliance and how this movement is part of a better future for generations to come.

After almost two years in business we have developed a vision that we believe is part of that change.  Our vision at Chylan is to provide the resources necessary for a sustainable future through self reliance including quality products, education and an ongoing commitment to be the change.  We are proud to say that we have recently been recognized by our business community as a finalist for business excellence which in turn means acceptance of the way we think, our customers think and hopefully how the entire community could potentially think in the future.  This business ain't no cake walk.  I like to apply the 80/20 rule with a little spin.  We call it the 80/10/10 rule.  80% of the population stands by and watches what is happening in the world around them, 10% of the populations is completely oblivious to what is going on around them and 10% of the people create what happens in the world around them.  When applied to our business 80% of the population assumes we are preparing for some pending apocalypse or Zombie infestation.  10% of people are again, oblivious and the remaining 10% really got it going on and have everything they need no matter what.  That leaves only 10% of the population to carry the remaining 90% when all hell breaks loose!  

This is why I think it is important to share the recognition given by the business community.  People are accepting the changes we see in the world and are beginning to take accountability.  We encourage the members of this network to keep the momentum going!  Please enjoy this video and I hope it inspires you to Be the Change! 

Leading Change Daily:) 

Visit us on the web at
or in person
109-6039 196th Street
Surrey, BC.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Survival Science Of Dumpster Diving For FOOD - Our Writing Contest Winner!

And the winner is......cernunnos5!
All the entries were fantastic, and Anitapreciouspearl assured me that picking a winner was no easy task.
Thank you to all our entrants.
Here is the winning article as promissed.

The Survival Science Of Dumpster Diving For FOOD

 Let me tell you the story of the USELESS PREPPER "EXPERT". A popular Youtube prepper with many viewers, put out a video to his subscribers. He said," Sorry but I cant do any more 'Prepper' videos for you. I lost my job last month and I cant buy any more GUNS to show you. We are going to lose the house in a few weeks (behind him was the suburban Barbie dream house)." his head dropped and in a little lower voice said," I guess they are going to repossess the truck too.(to his side was flashy Mondo truck that has no usefulness other than out Alfa maleing others narcissist males). I cant afford the gas anyhow."
 Some expert? Lets skip ahead, shall we.

 In Canada, Food wastage is about 40%. Of that, 18% is lost at the point of processing and packaging, 11% at retail, …and this is why I am going to break a huge social Taboo and drag you kicking and screaming into a dumpster. OK, all you prissy tough guys that think you are too good for this. Look. You are willing to blow the head off Bugs Bunny. You might even be willing to sit in the dirt and eat worms. The truly iron stomachs will even eat C Rations…Yet, your classism will make you turn with disgust at the thousands of pounds of good healthy, recognisable, calorie packed food within a few miles from your house.

 Wait. I cant start there. Before Mrs C5, I was partnered with Australia’s first female Boy Scout. Her Instructor had been SAS. Mine had been Canadian Airborne. When we had the usual relationship fights, I’d turn to her and say, “OK, Princess, You and Me, outside in the snow, One Match Fire Competition.”She’d roll her eyes and the relationship balance would be restored. Then, the final week before she had to return home, she said, “you’re on”. I let her go first. It was clear to me her fire wouldn’t start. I had the home field advantage. Then it was my turn. To fully piss in her cornflakes, I said, “Hold this for me” and handed her the paper match. I lit mine off a tiny ember she had left behind. “Take that SAS. Making a flame doesn’t mean anything if it doesn’t make a working fire each and every time. I never met New Zealander I didn’t like”.(a common joke I make to Aussies). Later she said to me. ”I don’t know why you had to humiliate me so much”. I replied, ”You are about to head back to the other side of the planet and we will never see each other again. I want you, when you look back and remember me, to know that it wasn’t all a line to get into your shapely panties. I wanted you to know that I was the person I told you I was.” To this day, an Aussie accent still gets me...all bothered.

A year and a half later, Me and Mrs C5 hooked up.We got together for one reason alone. We saw a dark future approaching. Both of us had seen it coming for along time and had built our life around staring that uncomfortable fact directly in the face. The two of us together would be stronger than the sum of our parts. I’d told her about my unusual skill set but, like Aussie Scout before her, I wanted to really show her the value of this skill and test her a bit to see how she responded. I scoped out a YUPPIE mini mall. It met my parameters of a likely place to find food. Mom and Pop bakery, Mini chain specialty foods and produce , independent Butcher, No back ally traffic. It deserved further scouting. Mrs C5 went into the store for some Free Trade coffee and localy grown sausage for me. I decided to walk the perimeter. (subnote- walking your dog is always good for this job. No body pays too much attention to the dog walker trying to let them find a place to pee and sniff around.. Even predators will pass you up as a victim. Its subliminal. A dog is a threat even if it’s a toy poodle. They might be able to control you but the dog is a wild card and they will move on to an easier target. Cops will leave you alone, even at 3 AM, because you have a reason to be there. You are a responsible dog owner taking care of your dogs needs)  The first dumpster behind the produce place was locked up behind a chain link fence. Problem, but not insurmountable. The most likely climbing spot had a bent  fence top. Subtle, but a god sign. Someone had been there before for a reason. I could come back another time at night. Security camera...noted. Wear a hoody. The next batch of dumpsters were easy access and un lockable. Nice. They were also  in clear view of shoppers. Not so nice. People sort of suck. You’d be surprised just how angry people get when confronted with that someone might be getting something for free. “Those Damn social rule breakers. They need to be just as miserable as us at go nowhere slave labour to pay for stuff like everyone else for the rest of their lives”. You do not want to ruin it for someone else and if you find a gold mine, you don’t want the owners or bitchy citizens to take that away in the future. Not wanting to be thwarted, I go all spycraft. I pick up a piece of garbage off the street, and like a good Samaritan, go to drop it in the dumpster. Quick check in side. Bingo. Clear food sign. I wander off. I’ll be back around closing time.

 As the evening fell, the last of the shoppers disappeared, I brought Mrs C5 back for a second look. I pulled out a bag filled. with artisan breads. Nice quality. I handed it to the mrs. “We don’t need all this”. ”That’s what a freezer is for”, I replied. Next one, had a third filled, sealed, clear plastic garbage bag of chicken backs. The quality cuts were taken off and the rest of the chicken discarded. Now I wouldn’t usually go after meat but I was making a point. The bag was clean and sitting on top so I knew it hadn’t been there long. I judged the days temperature and realised it had been nippily cold all day so it had been refrigerated, did a sniff test, and visually were  clean as if they just came off the butchers food safe chopping board. I remembered my Boy Scout Training. ”Cooking Generally Makes food safe”. If it were questionable, it would still get cooked and the dogs would be overjoyed with their feast. Turning to MrsC5, I said, ”Well, It looks like we are making a really big pot of soup tonight.”. (We are having a little argument at the moment about which one recommended soup. Its my post so I am saying “ME”) She replied, You do understand that the house is filled with food and we have no shortage of money, don’t you?”. “ Yup. It’s the Principle of it. C5 rule of survival. NEVER PASS UP FREE FOOD. It will be in short supply soon enough.” Part two of that rule is,”…but always remember there is no such thing as a free lunch”.

 The truth is, its nowhere close to free. There is a lot of time investment involved. There is the hunting and hauling. There is cleaning and processing, canning and dehydrating, bagging and freezing, cutting out the small imperfections in vegies that got them tossed because they were not visually appealing to the consumer.  The amount of tossed veggies is staggering. Its mind numbingly huge. If its not the picture perfect shape…gone. Bruised in shipping, bye bye . Not big enough, done. Not ripe enough, see ya. Too ripe, You’re out of here.

 OK. About this point,  the dimmer preppers begin to faze out. Let me point out their first dumb question before they even ask it. Its some version of this. “ What does this have to do with prepping. This is why we prep, so we don’t have to do this. When the balloon goes up, I grab my gun and my bug out bag and head to the forest where animals never go extinct and nuts and berries rain down like manna from the heavens all year round.” or ,” My house is packed to the ta tas with freeze dried soups to nuts and enough gold  and bullets to keep my wealth safe till Jesus returns to help move it all to the new mansion.” And last but not least…wait for it…wait for it…” If the SHTF, every thing stops. including the garbage. You have a week at  best before everything rots. I’ll be dinning on deer and would rather die than eat that disease ridden Salvation Army bread”. (a montage of actual quotes I’ve read)

 Well, before I go all Monty Pythons ‘Dead Parrot’ on your a$$, lets start with the more obvious short answer.

HURRICANE SANDY!    . Did I say enough?! Probably not ...

One thing that can be learned from my own tragic  personal story is that you can lose every thing in the blink of an eye…several times over…simply because the gods are bored. A storm can take your home. Your loved ones. Your preps. Your job. Your company. Your social standing. Zombies can overwhelm your bunker. Your devout, holiness bun wearing wife may leave you for her gynecologist with the really big fingers then come after you for 3 thousand a month child support, forcing you to live in your car, having to work in the frozen oil fields, simply to stay out of jail for court ordered payments. I met a number of those guys up north.

 Me, I’m long, long pasts the “angry prepper” phase. That’s for amateurs and narcissists. I’m even far past the more philosophical, “I see dead people” phase of prepping. I think I am about ready to slap anyone who uses the term “Red Pill” or “Socialists’, with an over sized clown shoe .Ah, The acceptance phase. I have long since moved on to the John Cleese, Monty Python phase of prepping.

 I’ve read, recently, someome ask,’ What it your sign that it is,”ON”, grab your gear and go’. At times like this, I usually quote Ran Prier from The Slow Crash. “the end of cheap energy, the decline of industrial agriculture, economic collapse, wars, famines, infrastructure failures, and extreme weather.- I suggest we're already in the fall of civilization. In 2004 the price of oil doubled, bankruptcies and foreclosures accelerated, global food stockpiles fell to record lows despite high harvests, and we had record numbers of hurricanes and tornadoes -- and a big tsunami to top it off. If every year from here to 2020 is half as eventful, we'll be living in railroad cars, eating grass, and still waiting for the big crash we've been led to expect from watching movies designed to push our emotional buttons and be over in two hours.

 Or, I’ll quote Howard Kunstler, “People ask me,’What is the time frame for this Long Emergency?’ I tell them we’ve entered The Zone.”

 Or, Dmitry Orlov, “So that's what we have now. The ship is on the rocks, water is rising, and the captain is shouting "Full steam ahead! We are sailing to  Afghanistan!" Do you listen to Ahab up on the bridge, or do you desert your post in the engine room and go help deploy the lifeboats? If you thought that the previous episode of uncontrolled debt expansion, globalized Ponzi schemes, and economic hollowing-out was silly, then I predict that you will find this next episode of feckless grasping at macroeconomic straws even sillier. Except that it won't be funny: what is crashing now is our life support system: all the systems and institutions that are keeping us alive. And so I don't recommend passively standing around (With your bug out bag. Emphasise mine)  and watching the show unless you happen to have a death wish.”

 But from now on, I’m going to skip all that and go straight to John Cleese. “Look, matey, I know a dead parrot when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.”

(At which point Sara Palin…er, I mean Michael Palin replies)” No no he's not dead, he's, he's restin'! Remarkable bird, the Norwegian (red white and) Blue, idn'it, ay? Beautiful plumage!”

Cleese-“Look, I took the liberty of examining that parrot when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting on its perch in the first place was that it had been NAILED there.” (This always makes me think of our economy which should of collapsed in the 80s but was nailed in place by the housing bubble, credit and inflation. The world population has almost doubled since then and all the easy energy capital is already gone)

“'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!

'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies!
'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig!
'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!!


 OK, Enough pontificating  from His Holiness.

If you lose your food storage, this is where to begin. If your food stores are nothing more than a couple boxes of MRE and some bottle water, its time for an upgrade. If all of your money is consumed by debts. If you are raising a family on minimum wage and are panicking about being able feed yourself wile building up food stores. If you are already on EI or welfare and are coming to grips with that it is not enough to survive on without turning to crime…here is your way out. Get your bike out and get busy.

Put the money you save on food into long term food stores or process this food into long tem stores, yourself.

 When people think of diving for food, their first thought is usually restaurants. This is the worst place to start. This is where you would get all of those nasty food poisoning diseases you fear. It’s a festering  bacterial disease ridden soup . Next would be the super store chains and that’s a big ol waist o’ bicycling energy. Those places are locked up tighter than my second ex wife’s thighs and designed to keep you out. So where to start?

 Lets START with a WARNING. Your biggest danger is…a big steel dumpster lid dropping on your head or spine. I’m an interesting person. I collect interesting friends,… from people that have protected presidents, to people that feed the homeless from the back of their truck, from crime reporters, where serial killers called the house regularly, to circus sideshow performers that placed skewers through their bodies or performed auto filatio on themselves for crowds, true Chris McCandles type people that hop trains and live free to Bujinkan Ninjutsu instructors. One of the best human beings I have ever had the privilege to call my friend…had a dumpster lid fall on his spine wile leaning into a bin. It could have cut him in half. Instead, after several surgeries, he was left addicted to opiates eventually leading to heroin. In spite of a life turned to disaster, He was a remarkably caring, resourceful and adaptive person. A true survivor and he taught me a lot about pre conceives attitudes. He is also not the only person I met with a permanent dumpster related accident. Wearing a bike helmet doesn’t hurt. Ive had a couple close calls myself that have taught me the importance of having a healthy respect for that big steel lid.

 Also, always wear gloves. An unseen pieces of broken glass (in an unhygienic environment) can interrupt your bountiful harvest and send you off for stiches and antibiotics..

 Your next big danger is… the police. Recycling is often illegal. Its one of the reasons I have little respect for the law. I choose to follow my conscience instead and find it has a far higher standard. Look, some cops are life experienced public servants that know what laws to ignore for the greater good. Others are emotionally unstable THUGS that are untouchable by law. Any time you deal with one, it’s a crap shoot. They are dangerous. Avoid them. When I recycle, My mind set is that of a ninja. Once I find what I want, It becomes a military operation. I want to be unremarkable and forgettable when scoping. Once it’s a go, I want it to be stealthfull and fast. My exit statagy is already planned. Once its done, I leave the area immediately and completely. If someone freaks about my life choices, I want to be gone before someone decides to respond. When dealing with police, be polite. Half the time, they just want to know that you are not breaking in to homes or business. Use the socially responsible term, Recycling, not Dumpster diving, which may make you seem week and trigger bullying response.  

 Well, enough of warnings. Its still safer than driving .

 The places you want to hit are small businesses, preferably in the better parts of town. Small grocers, specialty food shops, Mom and Pop bakeries. Organic produce stores are always a gold mine and a good source for recycling your own Heirloom Seeds directly from discarded vegetables. These places are far less likely to be locked up.

 There is rarely any need to actually climb into a dumpster…unless you find a gold mine and want to farm every ounce out of it. Most times, the freshest produce is sitting right at the top and was tossed earlier that same day. If its half bad, that means its half good. Rarely is it half bad. Most times, it only has a cosmetic blemish or is just going over its full ripeness. You will also find a lot of processed products where the packaging has been damage and unsellable. When they open a box with a box cutter, sometimes they slash the product by accident and chuck. Nothing a little tape or re packaging cant solve. A visual examination solves most safety concerns. If its contaminated, discard. If its just dirty…wash it. If you are worried about bacterial contamination, you can wash it in a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution…but its way easier to just wash it and PEEL the outer skin off  it. Natures packaging. You are willing to drink pond water as long as you boil it, right? That’s what Soup is once you boil your vegies. What else? Canned goods past there sell by dates. A can is a can. Nothing is alive inside of it. They are edible decades past sell by dates. Dairy products . Cheeses and yogurts last long beyond there sell by dates…especially if you get them during the cold parts of the year. MrsC5 recently ate a sealed container of yogurt that had been in the back of the fridge for almost six months. A spot of mold on cheese? Cut it off and re package. Freeze it for cooking later if you don’t plan on using it immediately.

 Moving on. Grocery chains in smaller towns are less tight arsed about making their garbage Fort Knox. You may have to climb over a fence. Many use green bins now days. It’s a good source of animal feed for chickens, pigs, rabbits, goats, etc.

 Industrial areas. You are usually on private property so go ninja. Don’t go over board. You wont be the first dumpster diver they have ever seen. Use a bike. DO NOT drive your car up to the bin. This creates insult to the hard working joes and it is a Heat Score. These places are out of the way so feel free to drive to the area but then park the car in a safe area and hop on the bike. As a bonus, security cameras wont be recording your licence plate.

  If it is headed to a store front distributer, it means it first comes into the city through a truck to a warehouse. If a forklift dings a box of ,say canned tomato sauce, one break spoils the packaging of the entire box. Expect to do some washing in the bath tub and re mark with a felt pen. If you find one of these, Holy Grail places, it is a gold mine. Protect it as such. Keep it secret. Do not try to re sell it. Do not be seen. If someone else has been there and made a mess, Clean the place up! Always leave a place cleaner than you found it. This may be a limited time offer so do not assume it will always be there for you.

 Dealing with a locked bin. Most bins are locked at night, not to keep you out, but to keep illegal dumpers from filling them. Do not be tempted to leave your own garbage behind. I lost a goldmine once for doing so. Embarrassing lesson learned. I have no qualms with picking the locks if you have the skill but if a cop searches you and finds lock picks, you are in a world of hurt. Some bins can be popped buy lifting the unlocked side. Most cant without damaging them. If you ruin it, you lose it. I usually take a two by four block that can be wedged into a lifted corner after prying it up. Two blocks are better incase one slips. In some cases a small car jack can help give you more reaching room.(Just remember my warning about steel lids crashing down). In these cases a stick with a coat hanger tied to it or a folding ski pole, is good for pulling stuff towards you or ripping open garbage bags for examination. A head lamp is also useful. A lighter will do on the fly. A multi tool or vice grips is also useful for grasping sharp or soiled objects. A few extra plastic bags is also useful if something is dirty and you don’t want to soil your packs. Speaking of kit, I’ve seen many DDers wearing a reflective vest. Hiding in plain sight. It says to anyone that sees them, they are not doing anything sneaky. You might even be confused with a worker. It also doesn’t hurt, choosing to be well seen when riding a bike around at night.

 There is much more, but like any other survival skill, it must be practiced. There is a learning curve to it.

 Back to Hurricane Sandy. In the after affects, News reporters were showing alarming reports of Americans Dumpster Diving For food. Oh the humanity. Stores were dumping their frozen goods. Across the Survivalist web, They were mirroring these reports. They would say, “See. This is what we said would happen. Americans refused to prepare and this is their fate. Woe is Babylon…yada yada. Etc.” and went off smug in their self righteousness, with self assurance that God  had made them special and untouchable…totally missing a valuable survival lesson that the same God was likely trying to teach them. Go figure.        .

 I remember the video reports. I watched the guy pulling stuff out of the bin. He knew what he was doing. He’d done it before. He was not traumatised by it. He had a carefully subdued grin. I knew what he was thinking, “Can you believe the incredible score of food I just pounced on.I’ll be eating better than usual. The spoiled, self righteous can starve for all I care. Let the rich eat cake.”

 I don’t dive for food anymore. No need. I’ve got a year supply of food and an acre of garden, dozens of fruit trees and grape vines. Deer in the field. Chickens free rangeing. The harvest is packing the place…But the skill is still second nature. Recently wile out shopping, I couldn’t help but poke my head into a Shoppers Drugmart dumpster. Not my usual choice, but low and behold, at least three cases of canned milk. I already had a couple cases at home and didn’t want to climb in so I passed. All the way home and for several days after, It haunted me. I had broken my own rule, “Never pass up free food. It will be gone soon enough.” I eventually went back for it.

But it was gone.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Will You Survive a Nuclear Blast?

Its one of the Worst Scenarios you can try to prep for:

You have just driven home from work, parked your brand new Audi  in the driveway, and gone inside to say hello to the family. As you walk into the kitchen and smile at your spouse, you see a bright flash outside. You wonder what it was, and decide to go to the back window to see. As you scan the sky - it hits - a blast wave from a nuclear explosion only miles away. The blast wave throws you to the floor, covered in glass shards, bleeding.... you think it may be nuclear, and if that is the case, you know that radiation is spreading everywhere, fast. Now what...

I've pondered this one a few times, and have left it simmering on the table because I thought basically at that point we're all goners. Recently I read a few articles that gave me a bit of hope on the topic.

Apparently a nuclear blast is survivable, in the short and long term, unless of course you happen to be standing at ground zero. Here is what I have gleaned. (Disclaimer - I am not a nuclear bomb expert, nor have I scientifically vetted the numbers in the article I quote. Take this as my opinion, and if nuclear is one of your scenarios, dig deeper.)

The First few minutes:
A) When you see a flash of light, don't run to the windows to see what it was. Duck and Cover - NOW! Find something solid to get behind, under, or below. Whether its a nuclear blast wave, or explosion from a derailed train, duck and cover while the initial wave takes all the windows out and the debris flies. Human instinct is to gather information, fight that for just a few seconds.
"Even in the open, just laying flat, reduces by eight-fold the chances of being hit by debris from that brief, three second, tornado strength blast that, like lightning & thunder, could be delayed arriving anywhere from a fraction of a second to 20 seconds or more after that initial flash."
B) Cover your face with a mask or cloth to avoid inhaling radioactive dust.
C) If you are evacuating post blast, evacuate perpendicular to the downwind drift.
D) Once you have obtained a safe location, remove your clothing and shower. Try to remove yourself from anything that may have been contaminated.

Some important knowledge about radiation:
"Radioactive fallout is the particulate matter (dust) produced by a nuclear explosion and carried high up into the air by the mushroom cloud. It drifts on the wind and most of it settles back to earth downwind of the explosion. The heaviest, most dangerous, and most noticeable fallout, will 'fall out' first closer to ground zero. It may begin arriving minutes after an explosion. The smaller and lighter dust-like particles will typically be arriving hours later, as they drift much farther downwind, often for hundreds of miles. Once it arrives, whether visible or not, all that will fall will have done so usually in under an hour, coating everything, just like dust does on the ground and roofs. However, rain can concentrate the fallout into localized 'hot spots' of much more intense radiation with no visible indication. 
This radioactive fallout 'dust' is dangerous because it is emitting penetrating radiation energy (similar to x-ray's). This radiation (not the fallout dust) can go right through walls, roofs and protective clothing. Even if you manage not to inhale or ingest the dust, and keep it off your skin, hair, and clothes, and even if none gets inside your house, the radiation penetrating your home is still extremely dangerous, and can injure or kill you inside.  
Radioactive fallout from a nuclear explosion, though very dangerous initially, loses its intensity quickly because it is giving off so much energy. For example, fallout emitting gamma ray radiation at a rate over 500 R/hr (fatal with one hour of exposure) shortly after an explosion, weakens to only 1/10th as strong 7 hours later. Two days later, it's only 1/100th as strong, or as deadly, as it was initially."

The next few days:
If you must shelter in place,  know that radioactive fallout loses 90% of its lethal intensity in the first seven hours and 99% in the first two days. You likely only need to bunker down for a few days, not weeks or forever as some movies portray. The key to surviving these few days is putting mass between yourself and the radiation. So build a fall out shelter wherever you are, now. Find a structure preferably with a basement, as this will make the task of putting mass between you and the radiation simpler. In a basement you have on many sides a good thickness of dirt. You would just need to worry about the space above you.

A) Find a basement
B) Push a heavy table into the corner that has the soil highest on the outside.
C) Put some food, water, communication and other gear under the table, with more close by.
C) Then pile anything you can find - books, full water containers, sand bags, etc on top of the table and on the sides of the table to create barriers and stop the radiation from penetrating under the table. Every inch thicker provides a higher level of shielding.
D) Leave a small crawl space with mass that can be easily moved in and out as a door. Also leave a small gap for fresh air.
E) Cover any windows and doors in the basement. Tape them, block them, cover them over with wood or dirt.
F) Bunker down.

Under this scenario, you would have avoided possible severe injury from the initial blast, and death by radiation as the fallout settles and emanates. At this point, your likely going to need to start up your more long term evac plans. But you and your family are alive. You have just survived a nuclear bomb blast.

I'm posting links to the articles quoted above in a CPN forum of the same topic found here. Do you have something to add or take away from the above? Have you done some research or have you worked in the nuclear industry? What would you do? Let me know in the forum.

This post by Dwight from Briden Solutions - Proudly helping Canadians obtain high quality Survival supplies.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Men Who Built The End - Free Download for a Limited Time

Hi folks, here is a limited time free download of James Walton's latest novel, The Men Who Built The End.

“Tomorrow America dies!” An exclusive five man team has been assembled to assure America’s demise. Assembled by a man named Robert Schael these brilliant minds are experts in the fields of epidemiology, information technology, oil speculation and agriculture. Their plan to attack sensitive infrastructure will devastate the population allowing for a reset of what is believed to be a malignant populace that is eating this great nation alive.
Marshon Battle is one of these five elite men, chosen for his skills in crowd control and military training. His role in America’s end is to contain and control the crowds of desperate citizens in the wake of the team’s efforts.
A catastrophe involving his son moments before the gears of their plan begin to turn forces him to reconsider his position against America. Now he is trapped between his own conscience and some of the most powerful shadow forces in society. To abandon the group would mean certain death. Disappearing would also severe the only link he has to outwitting these genius men before they do irreparable damage to the nation and its citizens.
High in the mountains of the Shenandoah lives a man named Veritas. He’s been planning for this day most of his life, the day when man’s freedom would be tested either by foreign power or domestic. Veritas is the remnants of a dissolved man who stepped away from another existence to become the voice of the militia. As the country falls his men will rise but can they stand up to this great force?
The ruthless mission cannot be stopped the pieces are in motion. Marshon must use his ability and connections to stay on the inside. Can he hold his false position long enough to strike or will he be called to duty and forced to kill innocent citizens? Has his epiphany come too late or was it simply his destiny to be one of the men who built the end?

Get your free copy until November 6th here

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Chylan View

Let’s shift the focus to resilience folks, let’s stop fretting about what may happen tomorrow, we have the ability to take control and carve the path for our own future.

Preparedness is not just about stock piling food in the basement.  Preparedness is about family, friendship, resilience, future planning, organizational planning, business continuity, food preservation, and so much more. The new reality is that our world HAS CHANGED! We all need to accept this and take personal responsibility and make the conscious decision to accept our new world.  We no longer know our neighbors, we fear what lies ahead, we live "just in time" and constantly face the uncertainty of tomorrow.  Preparedness is a reflection on our accountability.  People would rather assume that the world would end in a day than take steps for resilience tomorrow.  It is only a matter of time before the media focus shifts to the next pending catastrophe.  I do not have the authority, the knowledge or the ability to see the future but I do have control of my own future circumstance.

We face food and water shortage, energy crisis, and climate change; this is not the future, this is today.  Over the next 40 years the population will grow by 2.6 billion people around the globe, we need to make change happen now.  We face more and more disasters, climate change is adding to uncertainty, we have a path of urbanization that the world has never seen before.  What do we do?

We can start by changing our growth path, become greener and more inclusive, adapt to climate change and invest in disaster risk management.  We need action in the public sector, frameworks in public policy, awareness and investment in the private sector, and we need our communities to become more engaged.  Every country can take the steps to start to invest in their own resilience.  Between 1980 and 2009, 90 US billion dollars was spent internationally on disaster related assistance but only 3.6 % was invested in prevention and preparedness, it was all invested in emergency response and reconstruction. We clearly have to switch from a tradition of response to a culture of prevention and resilience.

You can begin today by becoming actively engaged in your neighbourhood and your community.  Communities that have stronger social bonds do better in disaster.  Resilience is found in public policy, private investment, international community and the mayors that we elect to get us through uncertain times.  

Take a moment and check out this TedTalk on Youtub, the inspiration for this Blog which was originally posted in response to our view on December 21, 2012.  You can read the original blog by clicking HERE

We Hope Ya'll Had a Happy Halloween.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Guest Post Giveaway - Win a Life Straw

Enter The Blog Writing Contest For A Chance To Win A Life Straw

Friday, October 25, 2013

I am Canadian, the Government will take care of me, right?

I have just been relistening to Simon Sinek’s TED talk from September 2009, Pudget Sound Washington.  I enjoyed this TED talk enough to read his book and decided to listen to his TED talk once more.  I was listening to it this time just after I finished sending an email response to a customer.  Yes you are right, it’s not great work/life balance to still be working at 9:38 pm on a Wednesday evening.  I fight an internal battle with myself often, but I also feel really strongly about what I do.  You see, I work at Briden Solutions and their slogan is “Proudly helping Canadians obtain high quality survival supplies,” and it’s true but it’s not the real story behind why Briden Solutions was started and why I accepted the job to work here when it was offered.  The genesis of Briden Solutions is not my story to tell, maybe with some prodding the owners will tell how come they started an emergency preparedness company, but I want to take this opportunity to tell you my story. 

 I grew up on a farm. We canned and prepared food for freezing, raised chickens for eggs and for butchering, we grew a garden, we always bought extra food for the pantry. 
Every time mom and dad came home from the grocery store out came the black felt pen and we wrote the month and year on everything.  Then when we ate it we tried to eat the oldest item first.  (We weren’t perfect at it, but a lot better than I am now personally at labelling and rotating my food storage.)   I actually grew up thinking it was normal to have extra food stored in a cold room, a gem bottle of matches and candles and a wood burning fireplace for just in case. 

In my post-secondary years I remember watching a national news story about an ice storm in Quebec and how it crippled many communities.  Some people were even without power for 3 weeks or more.  Apparently ice storms are not uncommon but it shocked me that people in a country like Canada could be without power for so long.  Please forgive my innocence - I was really just a young kid at the time even though as a young adult living away from home for the first time I thought I knew everything.  But this event scared me.  It scared me enough that I went out and bought 12 extra pairs of socks in case I had to walk the 5 hours (driving time) home to my parents to they could take care of me in an emergency.  Ok, so I’ve come a long way since then, but that was my wake up call to personal preparedness.  Since then I’ve experienced personally or observed others go through: unemployment, natural disasters, man-made disasters, computer failures, failing mental or physical health, financial failures and government greed, corruption and failure. 

    Living in Alberta so near Calgary and High River I constantly hear radio commercials about how the Government of Alberta is improving their preparedness planning and how “they are here to help”.  It is true the Alberta Government has some great information on their website and is providing provincial aid to the flood disaster victims.  There is even some federal aid available, but like all insurance based issues, your life, your possessions and your welfare are reimbursed at a value they decide upon and not at current market replacement values.  I titled this blog “I am Canadian, the Government will take care of me, right?”  Well I work at Briden Solutions because I personally think and feel, and this is my Simon Sinek “Why”, that being prepared starts with me, not the government.  It may not be Briden’s public logo, but it is mine and I am working on my preparedness a bite at a time.   Every day I learn more from the customers I speak with who teach me and those with whom I am able to share and teach in return.  I am not afraid of the government in the sense of “Big Brother is watching”, and maybe I should be.  But I think personal responsibility for my life should indeed be personal.  As was mentioned several times at a local Preppers meeting I attended recently, if you are not prepared you are part of the problem and there are never enough resources to help everyone with a problem in an emergency.  So I will keep working on my own “Personal Preparedness” one can, one bottle, one push-up, one pair of socks at a time.

This post by Deanna from Briden Solutions - Proudly helping Canadians obtain high quality Survival supplies. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Are Conspiracy Theorists The New Sheeple?

So, this You Tube video was brought up on a prepper forum recently, and it brings up a good point.  I'm sure many of you, like me, have noticed how a growing number of conspiracy theorists are looking at events with blinders on.  In much the same way they claim that the vast majority of the population is blinded by government propaganda, they seem to be taking on the same behavior, just in reverse.

Is the government to be 100% trusted?  Not likely, but is EVERYTHING a conspiracy?  Is it possible that there are disturbed, sick individuals or groups that purpatrate horrible acts against society?  I believe that yes, indeed there are.  Sure, the government does make secret covert operations in lots of different places around the world, so why not on home just kind of makes sense.  But why not consider that others are doing the same?  Why does every single unspeakable act need to be accredited to the government, illuminati lizzard people?

Anyhow, take a look...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Permaculture: the Philosophy and Ethics of a True Survivalist.

Since we made the choice to make preparedness our business and our business preparedness we have faced many judgments about our choices. The survivalist movement goes far beyond the common stereotype of surviving the "Zombie Apocalypse" with bullets, beans and band-aids    I would like to share a philosophy on survivalism which goes way beyond preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. Survivalism is about sustainability, and even beyond that it is about giving back and producing.  

We were catching up on one of our favorite's  "The Survival Podcast" with Jack Spirko, when I had an AHA moment where it all came together in a single moment, in a single word.  That magical 4 syllable word .... Permaculture!  This design brilliantly captures the very essence of survivalism, going beyond sustainability into a transition from being dependent consumers to becoming responsible producers.  By building skills and resilience at home and in our local communities we help prepare for an uncertain future and decrease our dependence on current mainstream limited energy resources.  It's about thinking "Outside the Box". For example, sourcing alternate energy such as solar, geothermal and thermometric technologies for future emergency consumption.  It's about growing gardens and producing food in a manner that gives back to the earth and does not strip it bare in a way that current agricultural does.  Simply put, Permaculture is the ideal philosophy for a modern survivalist.  The principles and ethics can be adopted for everyday thought, action and contribution. 

We would like to share some of the general ethics and principles of Permaculture.  We encourage you to apply some, if not all, of these principles to your actions.  Do what you can with what you have but you will find you have more than you thought when you really dig deep and apply the basics.  

Permaculture Design Ethics 

Earth care, people care and fare share are the Ethics that form the foundation of Permaculture design.  

Earth Care: The earth is a living, breathing entity.  Without ongoing care and nurturing there will be consequences too big to ignore. 

People Care:  If people's needs are met in compassionate and simple ways, the environment surrounding them will prosper. 

Fare Share:  We are provided with times of abundance which enables us to share with others. 

Permaculture Ethics and Design Principles

Permaculture Design Principles

Principle 1: Observe and Interact 

By taking the time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.  

Principle 2: Catch and Store Energy

By developing systems that collect resources when they are abutment, we can use them in times of need. 

Principle 3: Obtain a Yield

Ensure you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing. This does not just apply to crops, it applies to everything that you do.

Principle 4: Apply self-regulation and accept feedback. 

We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well. 

Principle 5: Use & Value Renewable Resources & Services

Make the best use of nature's abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non--renewable resources

Principle 6: Produce No Waste

By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us nothing goes to waste. 

Principle 7: Design from Patterns to Details

By stepping back we can observe patterns in nature and society.  These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filed in as we go.

Principle 8: Integrate Rather Than Segregate 

By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between them and they support each other.  

Principle 9:  Use Small and Slow Solutions

The bigger they are harder they fall.  Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and produce more sustainable outcomes. 

Principle 10: Use and Value Diversity

Don;t put all your eggs in one basket.  Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the enlivenment in which it resides. 

Principle 11: Use Edges and Value the Marginal 

The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place.  These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.  

Principle 12: Creatively Use and Respond to Change 

We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing then intervening at the right time. 

These principles were developed by Permaculture co-originator David Holmgreen and were first published in Essence of Permaculture in 2002.. Visit for an interactive reiveiw of these ethics and principles. 

The Permaculture Ukulele.......Subscribe, Like, Follow, Watch, Do it all!! They are fantastic!

Applying Permaculture Concepts to Life and Business Daily! 

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or in person
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Surrey, BC.