Friday, February 28, 2014

The Real Reason We Prep

We are an interesting group of people.

We store lots of food when the grocery is only minutes away. We rack up gear not knowing if we will ever use it. We train ourselves mentally for scenarios that may never happen. We spend countless hours of our time that could be devoted towards other "hobbies" that may be more in line with worldy fashion. We take our hard earned money and spend it on MRE's and heirloom seeds, when we really would have liked something more instantly consumable.

Why? Why do we go against the flow in so many ways?

I believe we do it because this is how we show love to our families. This is how we show love for our friends, our neighbors and our country. We do it because deep down we feel that it's the right thing to do. Whatever the scenario, whatever the cause, we feel this urge to protect, fortify, and prepare ourselves. We do it because we feel an obligation to work through whatever may come, and somehow still be smiling on the other side. We'd rather take a possibly harder route today, if it makes tomorrow's route look all the more sure. It's the code. It's who we are.

We are Preppers.

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

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Updating Your Emergency Preparedness Plan - Guest Post by Lee Flynn

Updating Your Emergency Preparedness Plan

From time to time, people are reminded that their comfortable lifestyles could be torn from them by societal catastrophes or natural disasters. This has led many Americans to create emergency preparedness plans for themselves and their families. They often stash several months' worth of food, medicine, ammo, and other supplies. However, building an emergency stockpile is not a "set it and forget it" affair. There are some things that must be done in order to keep your stockpile up to date and reliable.

Rotate Food and Medicine Supplies

Many preppers boast of their enormous stockpile of food, but what they don't know is that their plans could be falling apart right under their noses. This is because even freeze dried foods commonly found in survival stockpiles can go bad. If they are not sealed properly, a spike in humidity can turn freeze dried foods into a moldy mess. Some preppers store their food stockpiles in the basement, where they may be vulnerable to flooding or pests. Even if the foods are completely sealed off from moisture, the nutritional value degrades over time. Rotating your food supply every few months will mitigate these problems.

Medications can go bad as well. Certain active ingredients break down over long periods of time, rendering the medications ineffective or even dangerous. Consult the packaging of your medications to find out the expiration date and shelf life. Remember that the rigorous conditions of a bugout situation could exacerbate any existing medical conditions, necessitating a higher dosage of medicine.

Keep Your Escape Route Up to Date

Every disaster preparedness plan should include an escape route that leads away from populated areas. Many people plan out such a route, but they sometimes forget to test it periodically. If your plan is to camp out in a secluded forest, your entire plan may be thrown into disarray if the forest has been bulldozed to make way for a shopping center. It is important to perform a "dry run" once in a while to make sure that your escape route is still usable. Moving to a new house can also necessitate updating your route; you must find a new one that is easily accessible from your new home. Neglecting to do these things could spell doom for your emergency preparedness plan before you even get out of town.

Maintain a Healthy Ammo Supply

If shooting is a hobby of yours, you may find yourself grabbing a few boxes of ammo from your bugout bag on range day while resolving to replace it later. This can be tempting during periods of high ammo prices and sporadic availability, but it is crucial to remember that the ammo in your bugout bag is only to be used for the most severe emergencies. You can avoid this situation by planning your ammo usage ahead of time. For example, if you are planning a trip to the range to shoot your new handgun, stock up on 9mm ammo a few days before to avoid depleting your emergency stockpile.

Remember that ammo has a limited shelf life. If stored for excessive periods of time or in undesirable conditions, it can become unreliable or unstable. Corrosion is also a concern; rusted ammo is likely to cause feed issues in your firearm. Ammo should ideally be stored in watertight and airtight containers. If you live in a coastal area or any other place with a humid climate, tossing a few packets of silica gel in your ammo containers will help it stay dry and free of corrosion. Keep the containers out of extreme temperatures if possible. The shelf life of ammo depends on the climate and storage conditions, but a general guideline is that supplies should be rotated at least once a year.

Update the Plan for New Household Members

Getting married, having a child, or taking in a relative are all events that require expanding your disaster preparedness plan. You will have to calculate their probable food consumption and add a sufficient amount to your stockpile. Be sure to store extra clothing, tools, and firearms (if appropriate) for the new household member. Take any special needs or medical conditions into consideration as well.

Friday, February 21, 2014

What can we learn from real life survival situations?

We often obsess over the “what if” scenarios in life and for some, those horrific “what If” situations have been a terrifying realty.  I would like to highlight two articles discovered on  In the first article Mike Adman shares his year in hell, where he and 15 family members put their survival skills to the test during the Bosnian War.  They were trapped in a city of about 6,000 where they remained blocked in by the army for one year. Those with arms protected their families and groups; there was no police, no electricity, no fresh water and no gasoline. MRE’s were dropped into blocked cities every 10 days but there was never enough to go around.  Whatever tools, such as lighters, gasoline, antibiotics, food, and candles were fought over like animals. 

Adams emphasized the importance of surrounding yourself with a solid network of family and friends.  It is important that you plan and prepare together because without a reliable network you are weak.  This applies to anything.  Without a solid foundation, support structure, root system, etc. you have minimal chances to succeed at anything.

One of the best bits of advice that I would take away from this article is to learn to fix things, shoes or people.  Do this and you will never go hungry.  All the preps in the world do not anti-up to good ol’ brain matter.  Skills are infinite, be a sponge.

Follow the link to the article and give it a read.  You will learn how they moved safely through the city, what you should stockpile, how they traded guns and amo, and …….. what’s the situation with toilets? 

Mike Admass’ story was combined with an article by stating the top 35 excuses that will doom you… many of these have you heard or said?

1. Oh come on, it is never going to happen, my area is safe, I am safe.
2. I am convinced that everything is recoverable and my area will get back to normal quickly.
3. No matter how horrible it is, help will eventually come, I just have to wait it out.
4. Even if something happens, there are plenty of food and supplies for everyone in my city.
5. My state government, my community, my neighbors will not abandon me and let me starve.
6. I have a 3 day supply of food, the government and others tell me that this is plenty.
7. I have lots of credit cards, I will purchase anything I need in my city or nearby cities.
8. My water faucets will have water, even if it is temporarily shut off, they will not let us go thirsty.
9. There is no room to store supplies that will never be used anyway.
10. I can’t rotate supplies; everything will get old and have to be thrown away.
11. I don’t have extra money to store up anything for disasters.
12. It is too much work to bother with.
13. I have absolutely no idea what to store or how much.
14. I don’t need any protection after a disaster, the police, national guard, military will protect us.
15. The power grid will come back on, until then I have LED flashlights that last forever.
16. Again and again I hear these fear mongers exaggerate the threat level, another false alarm.
17. I have a good car and family in other areas, if anything happens I will just go stay with them.
18. I work all week long and I am going to spend my extra money on fun rather than fear.
19. Survival supplies taste bad; I can’t live on this for long at all.
20. If a true catastrophe occurs we are going to die anyway, besides that I don’t want to live through it anyway.
21. Survival and prepping for the worst is negative, as long as I stay positive, only the positive will happen.
22. Preppers / Survivalists are radical, paranoid, conspiracy driven out of touch with reality; I don’t want anything to do with them.
23. I don’t know why everyone is so worried, times are better and safer now than ever in human history.
24. There is so much to prepping, I’ll take my chances that nothing will happen.
25. All my investments go right into what makes me money and gives me security for the future.
26. Why bother storing up that much food and supplies, mobs will just come in and take it.
27. I have a refrigerator and a cupboard full of food, 2 cases of water, a 12 pack of toilet paper, I am all set.
28. If something happens I will just run to the grocery store and stock up before it closes.
29. If we become sick after a disaster we have good medical that will care for us.
30. Nothing is as bad as it ever seems, stop overblowing everything as doomsday.
31. If disaster strikes everybody will band together and save the day.
32. People have become way too civilized to wage a world war and take what you have and act like savages.
33. There are food banks and emergency preparedness places nearby to me, they will take care of us.
34. FEMA, the Red Cross, and other government agencies are huge and have the whole country backing them.
35. I can always wait until tomorrow to start prepping, there is always time.

Find the facts and answers to these 35 excuses in the original article by following the link below.  

Kick your excuses to the curb and come visit us in person!

Chylan Emergency Gear Inc. 
Unit 109-6039, 196th Street, Surrey BC.  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Product Review - Legacy Freeze Dried Entrees

Every prepper should have food storage from a variety of methods.  Store bought canned and dry goods, home canned fruits, vegetables, and meats, dehydrated produce, MREs, and of course, freeze dried meals.  Of course, buying extra food at the grocery store is easy...just buy more of what you already buy on a regular basis and your personal likes and dislikes won't be an issue.  Home canning and dehydrating are also easy ways to control what you store.  MREs are, well, pretty good these days actually.  But how about those freeze dried meals?  How long do they store?  Are they difficult to prepare? What menu options are there?  What about alergens?
These are all perfectly legitimate questions,and luckily I have been sent a sample pack of Legacy Premium freeze dried meals to check out for you...courtesy of Total Prepare Inc.

The sample pack consisted of four entrees of four servings each for a total of 16 servings with the following menu options:
Classic Chili Mix
Pasta Primavera
Enchilada Beans and Rice

So let's take a look at a few of the main concerns most people have when it comes to freeze dried meals...

Serving Size 
Don't be fooled by the size of the package.  Once cooked, these meals are enough to go around.  Calorie wise, each of these meals offered up between 320 and 420 calories, depending on the menu choice.  Some entrees have even more per serving, just check around the website for complete nutritional information.
Nutritional information is printed on every package and is available on the website as well.  Of course it varies by menu choice, but I found some pretty impressive percentages for daily intake in relation to calcium, vitamins, and iron.  The salt content may seem a bit high, but under stress, you will be sweating more and needing to replace that sodium. 
It really couldn't be much easier.  All meals are prepared with water.  For the entrees I tried, I used a butane camp stove, as this is one of my go to stoves for power outages and camping.  The directions are easy, usually consisting of boiling water, adding contents of pouch, and simmer.  Hey, it was so simple even I didn't mess it up!  Don't forget though, there is an oxygen absorber in the pack that needs to be taken out first.
First of all, I want to mention that all Legacy products are GMO free...That means no frankenfood! 
If you have specific dietary needs, each package lists possible alergens such as soy, milk, and wheat.  For those of you who want a gluten free diet, there are options and packages specifically for you, as well as many vegetarian options.
Storage Life
Shelf life is 25 years, of course, depending on conditions.  If you are concerned about leaving food in your bug out location through the typical Canadian winter,well this is likely a great option for you as the product is not affected by freezing. Once opened, the life of the food is about the same as anything you get at the grocery store so use it up in good time.  This shouldn't be a problem as the pouches are usually 4 servings instead of bigger #10 cans.  Leftovers should be refrigerated, but I never had any when I tried my samples.
OK, so enough beating around the does it taste!  Personal preferences aside, they were pretty good.  Don't expect the kind of foods that all the new foodie chefs are putting out in restaurants these days, but it was actually more tasty than comperable products from the supermarket like the Lipton Sidekicks...and there was more of it too.  If I told you that it was better than my wife's cooking, not only would I be lying, but I would be looking for a divorce lawyer too. Then again, my wife has an extensive spice collection, lots of time to tweak her meals, and no stress from disasters to deal with when she gets in front of the stove...luxuries you won't have if you're breaking into these meals.

Bottom Line
Freeze dried foods definitely have a place in a preppers food storage plans.  The Legacy line has some great menu choices, tastes better than average, has a good shelf life, even when stored at an unheated and unattended BOL, and comes in easy to grab buckets, ideal for the grab and go bug out situation.  As with anything, try it before you need to rely on it.  I found the pasta dishes a little on the saucy side, but that is personal preference and easily dealt with by using a little less water or adjusting cooking or resting times.  Also, if you want some meat to go in your chile, they have that too...actual meat that is, not textured vegetable protein!

Drop by Total Prepare to have a look at the various packages and get more information.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Top 5 Ways to Convert a Non Prepper Spouse - Happy Valentines Day!

So you've found yourself in a tense scenario - your spouse is not interested in preparedness. Or worse, completely against it and you having anything to do with it. I see this often and it's really hard, you believe you are doing whats right, storing away some food and gear for whatever may come, and your spouse feels like you are wasting time and money.

This is a situation that shouldn't be ignored. You shouldn't have to hide your good intentions, nor should it be a cause of stress in your relationship. And it doesn't have to be a spouse, this can apply to any relationship, it could be a parent, friend, co-worker, or other relative. Lets try to fix this situation of yours up, so you can prepare with pride.

1) Communicate 
Most importantly, talk about it. You don't need to bring your gun collection out on the first date, but you shouldn't hide your preparedness goals from someone who you trust. Talk about what you are trying to accomplish. Even if your long term goal is a 5 year food supply for the whole town, thats fine, just break it down with your spouse and make it real. Month one we are going to buy two bags of wheat, month two a few more, etc. If your deeper into the relationship and communicating about prepping is already a tough sell, proceed to steps two and three.

2) Ease them in 
Once again, I wouldn't recommend starting out by showing them your 100 strong gun collection, or by walking them down into the bunker. Start as simple as you need to. How about a first aid kit in the house and car? How about some flashlights and lightsticks spread around the house, just in case the power goes out? If your an outdoorsy couple, plan to take your spouse camping or hiking, and stop by the local prep shop together to pick up some stuff for your trip. Then when your out in the bush, pull out your 864 function multi tool and do something useful - make some tinder for the fire. Cut some rope to proper lengths for setting up your rain shelter. Show your spouse the simplest real life ways that "prepper" gear and food can be used for good. Note: DO NOT use that 864 function multi tool to bait, catch, skin and cook supper...however awesome that may seem. That can come later.

3) Show them how practical preparedness can be 
Bring up a story or two from mainstream news (underline the mainstream!) about ice storms, massive blizzards or anything else that shut down normal society for a few days. Read those stories together and talk about how you'd like to have a few extra supplies on hand for peace of mind. Explain that preparedness is about "normal" issues like being stuck in your home during an ice storm, and isn't just about conspiracy scenarios. Bonus points here if you know anyone who has actually lived through something like this. Invite them over for supper and help the topic naturally come out. Real life survivor stories are powerful.

4) Take the financial stress away 
Prepping can be quite the financial rabbit hole. There is always some new gadget out there that will make your personal survival man stats go up by x %. This can wreck havoc on any relationship when one of the partners is constantly racking up the Visa bill. Try to take away the financial stress by working together to set up a budget. Maybe its $200 per month, maybe more, maybe less. Then stick to the budget, or at least communicate if one month your going to save your budget and do a larger lump sum next month. If you need/want to, offer up a sacrifice to help this go better. Honey, I'm willing to drop one of my monthly wings nights to save $50 that I can also put towards this.

5) Trade 
If your hobby is prepping and hers is knitting, trade. Make a deal that you each get to spend x time on your hobby, and once a month spend some time in each others hobby. Yes, you heard me, sit beside her and let her teach you knitting. Show her that you care about her and the things she feels are important. Thats relationships 101! And hey - knitting could be considered a really useful preparedness skill, who knows when you are going to need a new sweater after the SHTF? After you've spent an evening in her hobby, trade, and she spends an evening helping you prep your 72 hour kit. You've now accomplished three things - your relationship is stronger after two date nights, you have a new skill, and your fancy 72 hour kit is ready.

I have talked with many of you who find yourself in this scenario, and no doubt it's difficult. Remember that relationships are a key part of preparedness, its going to be really hard to survive out their lone wolf style should it come to that. Start with the relationships that are the most important, those close to you. Strengthen those bonds, secure those foundations and before you even purchase your first food bucket, you will find yourself 100% stronger and more able to deal with whatever may come.

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

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Prepper Bread Part 2 - No Yeast...No Problem

So what happens when SHTF and you run out of yeast? Well there is yeast in the air we breathe all around us as well as in the flour we use to bake bread. All you need to do is set out a bowl of food to capture and grow it. This is called sourdough. To make sourdough bread, you need a sourdough starter.
Here is what you will need...
A glass bowl to keep it in...clear glass with a lid will be best as you can use this to keep your starter in.
Yup, that’s it.

In your bowl, mix
· ½ cup flour
· ½ cup water
Day 1
Combine the flour and water in the container until all the flour has been absorbed and there are no more dry particles. It will look like a sticky, thick dough. Scrape down the sides and cover. Put the container somewhere with a consistent room temperature (like the top of the refrigerator) and let sit for 24 hours.

Day 2
· ½ cup flour
· ½ cup water
Your starter should be fairly thick and soupy. You may see a few small bubbles here and there. This is good! The bubbles mean that wild yeast from the air and the flour itself have started making themselves at home in your starter. They will eat the sugars in the the flour and release carbon dioxide (the bubbles) and alcohol. They will also increase the acidity of the mixture, preventing other "bad" microbes from growing.
Add the fresh water and flour. Stir vigorously to combine everything and incorporate more oxygen into the mixture. Scrape down the sides, cover, and let it sit for 24 hours.

Day 3
· ½ cup flour
· ½ cup water
By day three, your starter should be getting nice and bubbly (see below), be the consistency of pancake batter, and have roughly doubled in size. If you taste a little (Go on! Try it!), the mixture should make your mouth pucker with sour and vinegar flavors. It will also smell musty and fermented, a bit like grain alcohol.
Go ahead and mix in the fresh ingredients as with Day 2, cover, and let sit for 24-hours.

Day 4
Repeat day 3.

Day 5
By day 5 (or even day 4) your starter will be ripe and ready to use. The surface will look frothy and fermented (see below), and if you've been using a clear container, you can see an intricate network of bubbles when you hold it up. It will smell and taste very pungent and tangy like, well, concentrated sourdough!

At this point, your sourdough is ready to be used, or you can cover and store it in the fridge for up to one week. After a week, you'll need to refresh the starter by taking out a cup or so of starter (to use or discard) and then "feeding" it with 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of filtered water. Likewise, after using some of your starter in a recipe, you can replenish what's left with equal parts flour and water.

Starter will keep indefinitely as long as you feed it every week or so. Treat it like a household plant that needs to be watered and fertilized regularly. It's very hardy and will even perk back up with a few daily feedings if you've neglected it too long. If a clear liquid forms on the top, just stir it in (this is actually alcohol from the wild yeast). The only time you should throw away the starter completely is if that liquid has a pinkish hue, which indicates that the starter has spoiled.

To use your starter, simply replace ½ cup flour and ½ cup water in your favorite recipe for 1 cup of starter and forget about the yeast. Then, replace the used starter with ½ cup four and ½ cup water to keep it up.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Who Dosn't Love Lasagna (gardening)?

Thanks to our current cold shoulder from Mother Nature,
our greenhouse is still a little in the planning phase.  Constructing a green house in sub-zero temperatures is not far from the norm of my impulsive, “getter done” behavior.  However, my desire to get out in the elements and soldier on is not completely reciprocated by the entire Chylan clan.  In the mean time we are planning many fun projects that seem to all centralize around growing a high yield for harvest this canning season to boost our food storage with home made goodness.  This week’s Blog will be all about prepping the garden Lasagna Layer style.

Preparing the Garden Bed:

Our backyard is not optimal for a good sized garden bed so we have allocated our lush green (who am I kidding)…… our half dead, greyish, brown patchy front lawn to become a delicious lasagna garden. We will keep some lawn; there are benefits such as clippings for composting and a place to lay for enjoying a nice cold beverage on a hot summer day

Step 1: Prep the Ground
  • Map out where you will be placing your garden
  •  Mow it as short as possible
  • Leave grass trimmings in place
Step 2: Dig a Garden Plot
  • Dig up and turn about one foot of soil breaking up the sod as much as possible
  • If the soil is poor quality, dig another 6 inches to a foot and turn the soil so the sod lies on the bottom layer.   
  • The effort into the extra layer will result in a happier, healthier garden. 
  • Remember healthy roots lead to delicious fruits!
Step 3: Making Layers

You will alternate your lasagna layers with brown carbon rich materials, and green nitrogen rich materials.

Green Layers
·       Fruit and vegetable scraps
·       Grass clippings
·       Coffee grounds, tea bags, tea leaves
·       Seaweed
·       Weeds that haven't set seed
·       Trimmings and deadheads from the garden

Browns Layers
·       Shredded paper, newspaper
·       Pine needles
·       Straw
·       Peat moss
·       Fall leaves

Cover the broken-up the soil with a brown layer first, cardboard boxes minimize the chances of grass regrowth.  You can also use straw, leaves, sawdust or shredded paper.  Each layer should be 1 to 2 inches think and packed loosely. 

Step 4: Make More Layers
  •  Alternate the layers with as few or as many layers as you want, just make sure that it is packed loose enough that the layers can breathe. 
  • Make sure your layers are even, more greens than browns will create too much carbon dioxide.
Step 5: Let the Garden Cook
  • Leave the layers be, mixing them together does not speed the decomposition process and there is no benefits. Let them do their thing.
  •  Finish up with a layer of soil or a layer of brown straw or leaves.
  • Keep it moist and water if needed
  • Cover with plastic tarp if you want to speed up the process and keep out any pests.
  • You can plant in the garden right away, but your best results will be next year when your soil is perfect!

Taking our Love of Lasagna to the Nest Level!

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

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Winter Storm Tips: Preparing and Survivin - Guest Post by Lee Flynn

Winter Storm Tips: Preparing and Surviving

Frigid cold is sweeping across the nation, and in some areas the cold weather, snow and freezing rain are so bad that people simply cannot leave their homes. And from the looks of things, the storm is only going to get worse. Whether it is this polar vortex, Hercules, Ion, or something else, this extreme weather brings to light the importance of being properly prepared for any situation. It might be more bad weather, it might be a natural disaster, it might just be a spate of personal financial trouble. Whatever it is, every so often we stumble upon times when we are forced to hunker down and wait out a storm, perhaps unable to even leave our homes. It is important to be prepared for such situations, and there are certain measures that, in extreme cases, could be the difference between life and death.


If there is an arctic storm about to hit your city, sorting out your travel plans might just be the least of your problems. However, it is travel season, and if you are planning on a vacation this winter, you may have to rearrange some things in order for it to go smoothly. The cold weather has caused disruption to many of the major airlines with delays and cancellations across the board. To save yourself a travel nightmare, it is important to plan ahead. Check weather reports for your destination as well as any potential delays. If you have a flight which you think might be cancelled, try to change it around so that you can still go on your trip. If there are other airports that are close to your destination, try to change your flight and get the train or bus if necessary. As a last resort, consider rescheduling your trip.

At Home

If you are struck by a blizzard or even just extreme cold, you may not be able to leave your house. If you find yourself in such a situation, you will be grateful for having made some preparations in advance. One of the most important things that you can do is to create an emergency food supply. Store enough nonperishable food items, along with plenty of water, in your home for about a week for each person in your house (not forgetting pets). Just because it is going to be stored for a long time does not mean that you have to store food items that are bland and unappetizing. Go through your regular meal menu and take note of the different things that you eat and could easily store.

Driving and Car Tips

When winter weather strikes, driving is one of the main causes of severe accidents or fatalities. Consider taking a course on safe winter driving, and prepare your car for extreme weather. At the very least, you will need to get your fluids checked and replace the windshield wipers. However, you might also consider getting snow tires and having your car checked by a mechanic. For all of your preparations and safe driving, however, you cannot rely upon other drivers to take the same amount of care. As a result, it is recommended that you cut out all non-essential journeys. Of course, if you are stuck inside your house, this won’t be a problem!