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! 

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

Friday, October 11, 2013


This term has become very well known in our preparedness world. It was one of the first acronyms that I learned in fact. For those of you who may not know, it means "The End of the World as we Know it."

As I spend more and more time pondering prep scenarios, I understand that TEOTWAWKI has a very real and powerful meaning. There are too many scenarios that one can plot out that don't end so well for anyone involved. I've never been a fan of such.

In chatting with a good friend recently about some life events occurring, I used the term to describe that what has happened has hit with such tsunami force that it truly is TEOTWAWKI for me. I realized after that conversation the meaning of what I had said. This term can not only be applied to the larger possibly life threatening scenarios that may keep you awake at night, but it can also be applied basically every day of life. I think its synonym is CHANGE, with no acronym there. When was the last time you lost a job unexpectedly? Lost a loved one? Or on the lighter side - how about when your local government decided to build a bridge over your favorite fishing spot? 

Many of these events alter our existence in such a massive manner we are forced to rethink all we know, change our lifestyle, rebuild and re-purpose. Isn't that what makes us strong? Each one of these situations is a mini-test, giving us an opportunity to see what we are made of, how strong our networks are, and where the holes are in our stocks. Think of daily life as your ultimate preparedness barometer.

I used to fear this term. I worried about scenarios where this was really possible - a nuclear strike,  a natural disaster. But after that wonderful inspiration a few days back, this term no longer holds a negative feeling for me. Now I can see that each moment spent preparing for __________  prepares me for everything. Think of your preps as a quiver, with each book read, flashlight purchased, and strawberry dehydrated another arrow in that quiver.

The devastating floods this summer so close to my home in Alberta severely altered many lives. As I stood in a sand bag line one day, several hours into the plot, my muscles burning, clothes soaked in mud - I looked around me and witnessed a scene so real its hard to describe. Standing only feet from deep rushing water, with only moments to work before homes and lives could be lost, there were hundreds of people joined together in pure charity. There were many grunts from the heaving of heavy, dirty sandbags. Even a few injuries witnessed. But amongst this scene I noticed that there wasn't a single face that didn't have a smile on it. Even more powerful - standing beside me was one of the local homeowners, who though obviously very tired from having probably been bagging through the night, showed only a powerful look of determination on his face. Wow... I get it now. The fortitude that man and so many others gained that day is absolutely priceless.

When you lost that job several years back - how did you get through it? Did you hide in a corner worried about paying your bills or did you take life to task, reach out to your network, draw from your previous experiences and grow from the change? TEOTWAWKI? - Yes. But you got through it. And you can again and again. And will. Each and every day may bring a new TEOTWAWKI into your life, no doubts about that. But as one who has made it their mantra to prepare, you are so much more able to take it on.

I applaud each and every one of you for your efforts to become more self sufficient, prepared, and aware. Keep it up and keep on going.

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

Friday, October 4, 2013

Let's Get Shakin!

In our line of business we love it when events such as ShakeOut promote the importance of Preparedness.  Join over 24 million people around the world in the largest earthquake drill EVER!

How to Participate

On the third Thursday of October a locally-driven, world wide “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” drill will take place called The Great ShakeOut. All residents, agencies, businesses, and organizations across the world are encouraged to take part in the largest earthquake drill in history! The following instructions can assist those wishing to coordinate a drill for their respective agency, business, organization and/or group. Going forward, you can customize and build a drill that suits your specific needs. You can also find additional drill options for those who want a greater challenge at  You can select your region to find customized resources for your area.

Simple Drop, Cover, and Hold On Drill:

This drill uses simple steps to inform individuals how to perform Drop, Cover, and Hold On – a quake-safe action designed to protect people from falling furniture and flying objects that can become projectiles during ground shaking.

BEFORE the Drill
  1. Register as an official participant at (Please note: individuals, families and businesses should only register once).
  2. Download posters and flyers from the ShakeOut Resources page to assist in promoting the drill.
  3. Inform your team:
    1. The date and time of your drill.
    2. How to correctly perform Drop, Cover, and Hold On, wherever they are.
    3. Your expectations for their participation (i.e. Drop/Cover/Hold On, gather at a central location for a head count, post-drill discussions).
    4. Encourage everyone to invite friends, families, and neighbors to register as individuals, businesses, agencies or organizations at, so they participate too and receive information directly on how to be safe during an earthquake.
  4. (Optional) Download realistic sound effects and safety information to play during your drill by downloading recordings from the ShakeOut Drill Broadcast.
DURING the Drill
  1. Announce that the earthquake drill has begun or begin playing downloaded recording and direct participants to Drop, Cover, and Hold On.
    1. Count seconds out loud for the duration of the quake. This will help keep people focused and calm and will help you identify how long the earthquake lasts. The longer it lasts, the more cautious everyone will need to be.
    2. When the shaking stops (or when the all clear sounds) count to 60 to give things a chance to settle. Suggest that while under a sturdydesk or table they look around at what might fall on them in a real earthquake.
  2. After at least one minute or once the sound effects recording has ended, announce that the shaking is over and that everyone can stand up again. Thank them for participating.
  3. Encourage everyone to discuss their experiences with one another.
AFTER the Drill
  1. Ask for feedback on how the drill went.
  2. Schedule the next drill for one year later (or sooner).
  3. Share photos and stories at Share the ShakeOut.
  4. Encourage all to prepare at home.

Click Here to Join Over 24 Million People in ShakeOut Now

We Are Shaking Out!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

3 Kits Every Prepper Should Have

Disasters take on many forms and can strike at any time.  The list of situations that you could find yourself in is endless, but assembling 3 different kits should have you ready to face all but the most severe scenarios.  You may find yourself confined to your home for days at a time without utilities, or perhaps you have to evacuate.  Worse still, would be caught away from home, and needing to get back to your loved ones.  Whatever happens, these 3 kits will make any of these scenarios easier to overcome.

1 - Home Emergency Kit
Your home emergency kit should contain items that will see you through several days without utilities. Some of the items you should have in this kit are:
  • Non perishable food (canned or freeze dried meals)
  • Source of light (candles, flashlights...don't forget matches and batteries)
  • Source of information (portable radio...again make sure you have batteries)
  • Basic first aid kit (consider taking a basic F/A course from the Red Cross)
  • Source of heat (be careful when using fuel burning heaters indoors)
2 - Bug Out Kit
Many preppers have bug out bags, but a backpack may not be the only option.  Having some supplies in a few storage totes ready to go can save you valuable time when you need to get out of a troublesome situation.  When assembling your bug out kit remember:

  • List of possible destinations, contact info, and maps of routes to take
  • Non perishable food that can be easily prepared or eaten without cooking
  • Drinking water
  • Have some gas stored so you can top off the car's tank before you go
3 - Get Home Kit
 You may one day find yourself in a situation where you need to abandon motorized transport in order to get home or to a designated safe place.  Commuting to work can easily leave you with a 2 or 3 day hike to get to where you are going.  Consider the following when you put together a get home kit.

  • A change of clothes, something rugged and meant for the outdoors.  Remember to keep it seasonal.
  • A tarp or small tent to use for shelter.
  • Non perishable food.  Consider easy to prepare meals and always keep weight in mind.
  • Water and a water filter.  Carrying several days of water is impractical.  Make sure you can purify water along the way.
Before you start building a year's supply of food or getting a solar power system for your home, these 3 basic kits will get you started in the right direction and will likely prepare you for the vast majority of emergencies that could happen.