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How To Be An Expert Fire Starter

Do you know how to b​​​​e an expert fire starter using foraged materials found in your environment?

  • Whatever the situation, and regardless of the survival scenario, the one main constant to successfully surviving and bugout or SHTF emergency is being able to start a fire.

There are literally dozens of ways to start a fire if you have the time and resources. However, once you find yourself in a survival situation and miles from home the need for a fire become very important, and your fire starter material must be readily available and your methods uncomplicated.
Typically, hikers, hunters and others have literally been left out in the cold, because they have found that the matches they had carried all day in their pockets were no good, they would not light.

The reason: Matches carried in pockets next to your body will absorb perspiration, making them damp.
Matches in backpacks exposed to humidity will become useless as well.
You are miles from home; it is cold and will be dark soon. Will you suffer or do you have the skills to make a fire with what you can forage from your surroundings.

Fire starter or combustibles are everywhere - lint in your pocket, thread from your clothing and of course dry tinder made from wood.

Here Are Some Tried And Test Methods
 To Help You Become
An Expert Fire Starter

Before you can even think about gathering tinder for your fire, you must have an ignition source.
This can be a box of matches, if stored correctly, but remember these will eventually run out. A lighter is also a good idea, but again will run out of fuel eventually, and could also have a mechanical failure, making it useless.
However, a couple of small lighters weigh next to nothing and are very compact to have with you: One on your person and the other in your backpack.

Basic Bushcraft Methods To Gain
An Ember To Start Your Fire With.

Without an ignition source, ie: a lighter or match, you need to become proficient at creating an ember which in turn becomes you means to ignite your foraged tinder.
Basic bushcraft style methods include: Fire By Friction Using A The Bow Drill 

A bow and drill has been used for hundreds if not thousands of years to create a fire using friction.
This fire starter method may have various designs and materials but the basic concept is the same, create enough friction to cause heat to make an ember.

Use shoelaces, cordage from your pack or rope discarded by others that you could forage from the area.
The concept, of course, is to spin the drill fast enough and long enough to create a pile a fine black wood dust, this dust will give an ember in the fireboard.

The diagram of the bow drill above accurately depicts the materials you will need and all materials other than the rope/string can be found on the forest floor, although with even more bushcraft knowledge and skills you can make your own cordage quite simply.

Make sure you have dry tinder available so once you have an ember you can move the fireboard to combine the tinder and ember.

By ready to catch the ember under the notch in the fireboard using a leaf or piece of bark. Then you can move the hot coal ember on the piece of bark or leaf into the tinder.
Moving the ember can cause it to extinguish, you can drop it or the wind blow it away, so great care is needed.

Move the board away and bring the tinder to the ember, you have less chance of it going out that way.

The Wood File Method:

This is a less complicated technique than the bow and drill, but this method requires more effort and both pieces of wood must be extremely dry for this procedure to work.

However, the wood file method has been field tested thousands of times and will work with some patience and attention to detail.

The same ember catching technique is used as in the bow drill method.

  • Essentially, by rubbing two pieces of wood together, with enough pressure and for long enough time, you will create very hot wood dust, and that will create your hot ember to add to your tinder and make a fire. But it is not as easy as it looks! and requires quite a bit of practice to master these techniques, as well as choosing suitable wood for the process...

The above two methods are old skills that are well worth trying to master, however: As preppers you probably wont need them, because you will be carrying the most essential survival tool for creating an ignition source to make a fire, and that is the trusty Ferrocium Rod.

Also known as a Ferro Rod, Fire Steel or Fire Stick, this tool is an absolute must have for any survivalist, bushcrafter or prepper.

The ferrocerium firesteel is composed of an alloy of rare-earth metals called mischmetal and is a solid rod of that will produce sparks of 3000 degF for a fraction of a second, when rubbed with a steel edge - enough to shower your tinder for ignition.

There are, of course, a whole load more methods to create an ignition source for your fire, but stick to a ferro rod and you cant go far wrong..!

Types Of Tinder You Can
Forage To Start You Fire

There is a lot of materiel that can 'catch a spark' and thus produce a fire for survival. In fact, you don't really have to forage too much to find something suitable.
Just put your hands in your pockets and you'll find something that's dry and very suitable as tinder - pocket fluff, or if you wear a jumper, just scrap it and you will get dry fluff.  Dry enough to to take a spark..!

As well as fluff in your pockets and fluff from your clothes, there are other good sources of tinder right there on you person.

In fact anything that is dry, that can be teased down into a fine fibre will work.
If you have a cotton shirt, then tear a strip off and tease out all the strands to give a nice pile of fine tinder, perfect to spray a load of hot sparks from a ferro rod.

Take a look at whats in you kit as well:
Anything that has an alcohol content will burn, typically if you carry a hand sanitiser with you, a few squirts of this stuff is very flammable. 
Or a piece of cotton wipe from you first aid kit will do as well.
Even a bag of crisps can work!! Crisps have a high fat content, and as such, if crumbled up, they will burn, and of course, if you have an alcohol burner, such as a Traingia stove, with you , then simply dip your small wood tinder in the fuel.

Natural Tinder You Can
Forage To Start You Fire

Sniffing around in an urban environment will yield a lot of potential dry tinder, anything from dry cotton wool to some petroleum jelly to rub on the cotton for a prolonged flame.
So it shouldn't be a problem if you need fire in a built up or urban area.

If you are in a woodland environment you still have plenty on hand to help you.

Outer Bark Tinder:

Birch bark is generally consider one of the easiest sources of reliable outer bark tinder that can be found around a wooded area.
These trees are plentiful and I always gather up a few handfuls when out and about in the woods - it makes excellent tinder.

Birch bark requires very little preparation to give a nice pile of highly flammable dust that will burn forcefully, enough to ignite the smaller twigs of your fire. 

Cutting strips and rolling up inside a small can will give you a lot of fire starting materials, and keep it safe and dry in your rucksack and your good to go.

Inner Bark Tinder:

You can form inner bark tinder by scraping along the fibres from the inside of bark.
The bark should come from a dead standing branch only.

Use your knife to scrape along the natural grain of the inner bark, and remove it from the outer grain.

Once you have these 'wood fibres' continue to tease them apart, making a fine nest of string like fibres.
Keep the bundle light in order to create as much surface surface area as possible for the oxygen to feed the flame once you have showered it with sparks..

Flower Head Pods:

Although seasonal, you can collect this from many different plants:
Clematis and  cat being the top two.

Flower pod heads tend to work better when mixed with other fine wood materials, in a birds nest style, and will give a flame if helped by a little blowing of fine breaths.


Probably the most common, and easiest to recognise is the King Alfred Cake Fungi, somethings called CrampBalls.

Choose a firm one, as softer, squishy ones don't work so well for tinder purposes.​

I prefer to break mine in half and shower with sparks, then with a little blowing you will produce a glowing ember ready to add to more fine tinder.

Always Carry Your Own Tinder

There are plenty of compact, lightweight tinder options you can easily carry with you in order to start a fire without too much trouble.
As preppers, having dry tinder to hand is an obvious first choice to have prepared and ready in your bugout or survival bag.
Here's just a few easy to source options:

  • Fluff or lint from a tumble dryer filter
  • Cotton wool - just fluff it up a bit
  • Make up remover pad - rip in half and fluff up
  • Petroleum Jelly - smear on your smallest stick tinder, it will burn for ages 
Steve Hart UK Prepper

There are, of course, many more methods to help you start a fire in an emergency situation.

But knowing just a few of these will help you become an expert fire starter, and put you one step ahead of the others...

Don't forget though - go out and see what you can find, and see if it works for you. 

Happy Prepping Folks,  Steve

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Fish Antibiotics For Humans 

In the UK, antibiotics are a prescribed medicine, meaning you they can only be obtained once you have seen your doctor and have been given a prescription to buy at the pharmacist.

Now that's all well and good at the moment, when things are fine, and people are just busily struggling along day to day, getting on with things.  But how well prepared are you if things go bad, and the doctors aren't there to prescribe, or the chemist has been ransacked, and all you have is empty shelves..?

An Infected Cut Or Chesty Cough
 Now Has The Potential To Kill You

In a disaster or bug out situation where the normal medical facilities such as doctors, pharmacies, and hospitals are not able to function, essential supplies of basic medicines will simply not be available. 

As well as that, your pharmacist will not hand out anti-biotics without you first visiting your doctor for a prescription. Do you know why? To ensure your illness is in fact a bacterial infection, as viruses do not respond to antibiotics.

For example Influenza is a virus infection – this is why your doctor will never prescribe you antibiotics for this.

In this article, I will take a look at the options available. Their safety and feasibility of this option for us preppers, as well as considering other important survival and safety factors.

As preppers we know that an awful lot of things taken for granted now, will become very scarce and hard to get hold of.

In times of hardship and when you’re in a pinch, many everyday items can be replaced by alternatives:
The same applies to many traditional medical supplies:
Honey makes excellent  cough syrup, spirits like vodka can be substituted for rubbing alcohol, even your T-shirt and a safety pin for a sling.

But there are a few, essential, must-have, lifesaving items that nothing can replace. One such items is: oral antibiotics.

Are Fish Antibiotics
Safe For Human Consumption?

Before going any further in this article, deciding to take a drug that is technically not for human consumption, requires a degree of research.
That's where you come in: Do Not Take My Word For It. Do you own, in depth research first. There's a lot of information on the internet, giving fish antibiotics both a good and bad name.
I'm not a doctor, chemist, or any other medical boffin. So to some degree, my opinion is useless!  But I have looked at as much information as I can to make a calculated decision and here are my conclusions:

There are three main questions to the safety of fish antibiotics for humans:

  1. What are the specific ingredients comparing Fish Antibiotics vs Human Antibiotics?
  2. Do dosages differ? If so, what is offered?
  3. Are there any side effects?

The list below gives the fish antibiotic name, active ingredients, dosage and what symptoms they cure.

Fish Antibiotic 

Fin Mox Forte

Active Ingredient




Amoxicillin is a penicillin antibiotic that fights bacteria. Amoxicillin is used to treat many different types of infection caused by bacteria, such as tonsillitis, bronchitispneumonia, gonorrhoea, and infections of the ear, nose, throat, skin, or urinary tract.

Fish Antibiotic 

Fin Flex Forte

Active Ingredient




Cephalexin is a cephalosporin (SEF a low spor in) antibiotic. It works by fighting bacteria in your body. Cephalexin is used to treat infections caused by bacteria, including upper respiratory infections, ear infections, skin infections, and urinary tract infections.

Fish Antibiotic 

Fin Flox Forte

Active Ingredient




Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic used to treat a number of bacterial infections.[2]This includes bone and joint infections, intra abdominal infections, certain type of infectious diarrhearespiratory tract infections, skin infections, typhoid fever, and urinary tract infections, among others

Fish Antibiotic 

Fin Pen Forte

Active Ingredient




Penicillin (PCN or pen) is a group of antibiotics which include penicillin G(intravenous use), penicillin V (use by mouth), procaine penicillin, and benzathine penicillin (intramuscular use). Penicillin antibiotics were among the first medications to be effective against many bacterial infections caused by staphylococci and streptococci.

*side note:
Penicillin was among the first natural oral antibiotic that could be used for medicinal
purposes, and discovered in the 1950s.
However, two other drugs, Ampicillin and Amoxicillin are within the Penicillin family, so if you are allergic to either of those medicines, you will also be allergic to Penicillin.

As preppers having these other sources of antibiotics could make things a little easier should the SHTF. The fish antibiotics appear to have the same ingredient, and in many cases, also have the same dosage as those drugs offered to us from the doctors/pharmacies.

That being said, side effects, if any, are the same as for human antibiotics.

General Safety Factors To Consider
When choosing
 Fish Antibiotics For For Humans
Dosage Of Fish Antibiotics For Humans
  • Correct dosage is important, so mimic the amounts that would be recommended by your doctor if possible. To double check dosages, there is a very good international website for reference here:  
Contents Of Fish Antibiotics For Humans
  • The fish antibiotic should contain only one major ingredient: You do not want a mixture of other ingredients like a fish health supplement for example - or any other ingredient that is not for human consumption. Ensure the the fish antibiotic only contains the main ingredient you require. 
  • Amoxicillin
  • Cephalexin
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Penicillin
Storage Of Fish Antibiotics For Humans
  • As with all medicines, fish antibiotics need to be stored properly: A cool, dark cupboard, away from children is ideal. The seal should be intact, and the bottle unopened until required. Take note of the expiration dates and renew as and when possible.
Will Fish Antibiotics
Work The Same As Human Antibiotics?

From my research, and also from hours of trolling forums looking at individual cases, it would seem that fish antibiotics are ok for human use.
There are a huge amount of people already taking them, especially in countries where the cost is exorbitant. From what I have found, side effects are pretty much zero, yet results on par with human antibiotics.
But again, I reiterate, do your own research and form your own opinion. Do not take my word for it.

Who Sells Fish Antibiotics?

Obviously a fish pet shop should would sell these, along with other animal medicines. 
But there are plenty of other places to look online.

The key thing to remember is the type of antibiotic, the dosage and, most importantly, ensure it only contains the prescribed drug. i.e: Penicillin only, like the one shown here, and does not have any other fillers or ingredients added.

Steve Hart UK Prepper

Are Fish Antibiotics Safe For Humans?

I would say, based on the evidence I have researched and found, that fish antibiotics for humans are a very low risk, and definitely have their place in a preppers store and bugout bag.

The type and grade of ingredient is identical to that of the 'human grade' equivalent, essentially making them the same product, under a different label, and seeing as there is no discernible difference, I would say in a SHTF situation, where you have no access to a doctor or antibiotics, these make a perfect prepper alternative.

So now for the third and final time: this is my opinion only, based on extensive research - your job now is to do your own research and make your own informed decision.
Having said that, I hope this article has helped you.

Happy Prepping Folks

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How to Stop Bleeding Quickly
 using Black Pepper or Cayenne Pepper

It may seem a bit strange, but by adding these simple ingredients to your EDC or bugout will help in a case of minor cuts. 
A small bottle of ground up black pepper seeds or some ground cayenne pepper gives you an instant dispenser to administer directly onto a small open wound.

Both the black or cayenne pepper
will not sting
or hurt the patient in any way either.

Once the pepper is over the wound, press it firmly into the wound itself.  Wrap the wound as best you can, with whatever you have to hand - obviously the more sterile the better.

This method is very simple and straightforward, and will definitely help to stop any bleeding from a smaller wound.

It is also very handy to know, as most knife cut wounds occur in the kitchen, the very same place you would keep some black or cayenne pepper.!

But when talking survival, actually making sure you are carrying all the essentials is not easy. In fact, it's pretty much impossible. So we do the best we can under given circumstances.

Ensuring there's enough food and water are a big concern, unfortunately there are many areas where you can fall short and by not having one bit of equipment, you can ruin your survival chances.
Not having a good water filter system is a obvious, number one concern, but, In a survival situation one of the worse thing that can happen is sustaining an injury.
Everything else becomes irrelevant if you are not able to move about. Sourcing food and water would become almost impossible.

A bad fall or a laceration is something that requires immediate treatment - but a large open cut that is bleeding, is far more serious and requires treatment to halt that bleeding as soon as possible.

Stop Bleeding Quickly
With Black Or Cayenne Pepper
additional information:

What you put in you 1st aid kit is personal to you and your needs. These will all differ slightly from another persons emergency kit.
But generally most things items in any kit remain constant - by that, I mean the bandaging, wraps, medication etc. However, I consider that Blood Clotting Agents are generally an item that you simply must add to your first aid emergency gear.

You can get smaller, more specific, trauma kits like the 'QuickClot Trauma Kit' shown here. But it will not include most of the emergency 1st aid equipment you have in your own kit.

These kits are very specific and designed mainly for stopping bleeding as fast as possible in an emergency.

Something like this is well worth considering if you have room in you survival pack.

It is also a very useful item to include in your car survival kit.

The individual clotting kits like the 'Celox or WoundClot' are designed to give very fast clotting and are in the form of a bandage type, sterile, non-woven gauze that is impregnated with a clotting agent. The gauze can be use to treat any bleeding wound anywhere on the body.

They are a 'one off' treatment and will stop bleeding quickly - It's well worth packing at least one these in your kit. Even better is to ensure every member of your group has one.

So what about lesser open wounds that require attention?
  • Lesser injuries should be considered as potential show stoppers as much as a large open wound.
    It is important to remember that, and as such, stopping any bleeding of an open wound in a survival situation must be given immediate attention.
  • Simply tripping over and cutting a finger or bashing into things can easily result in a cut or an abrasions to your skin.

These 'lesser' injuries can still prevent you from carrying on, but more importantly, if not treated they will get worse putting you in more danger.  A simple cut, if not treated, can easily get infected - it is essential to treat all wounds immediately.

  • For this type of 'lesser' blood injury you do not want to be wasting a full blood clot pack. It's just not needed. Save them for real 'life or death' situations, if they were to occur.
  • Instead use the very simple and effective 'pepper' solution to the smaller blood injury.

Using black pepper or cayenne pepper to help stop bleeding is tried and tested bushcraft survival skill.
However, to the best of my knowledge it is not a medically approved or endorsed method.
I have used it and all I can say is it worked fine for me, with no stinging or irritation. 
Obviously for a bigger wound the blood clotting pads are your first choice - but we are talking survival and prioritising the use of essential equipment where possible.
Don't get caught out - get prepared first.

Happy Prepping Folks.


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What's Really Going 
To Happen When The SHTF

A quick glimpse into how things will pan out if disaster strikes

When the SHTF all kinds of chaos and irrational behaviour will take place.
There's plenty of nutters out there already, so image what it's going to be like when they have free reign...! 

If you think it's going to be plain sailing, then think again

Over the years in the UK we have seen a few, tiny hints of how the general public react to something out of the ordinary.

By that I mean the occasions when we have had a 'shortage' of something that effects us all.
These few I can remember were a fuel shortage, when delivery drivers were striking for a living wage.

As well as that, there was the sugar shortage, and of course the famous 'salmonella' eggs fiasco way, way back.

But all of these 'minor' inconveniences had the same overall effect - mass panic buying, which led to the stores being emptied in a matter of hours.
It was a true, every man for himself mentality, and everyone tried to stock up all in one go.  Impossible to do, but that was Joe Public's reaction.
All for a simple little shortage, made worse by the media coverage, of course, but essentially creating an 'every man for himself' reaction.

Expect to see empty shelves ​at your supermarket

If you do not have a decent amount of stored food and supplies to last at least one month, then you are heading for disaster.

Self sufficiency for one month is the very minimum amount of time you should be prepping for.
As well as having some equipment to see you through if there are problems with the water supply, gas or electrical supply.

If events take a nose dive during the winter months things could get very bad, very fast, and leave the venerable at a risk.
Police, ambulance and other main services would be overwhelmed and unable to cope with demand, as well as that, these people have families too, will they give up on them and just trolley on into work..?

The Government Will Come To Our Help

Yeah right... If you believe that one, then you really are in for a bit of a shock.
In fact, you'll probably die waiting.!

The top government officials, as well as the royal family and other well to do, so called 'important people' will be whisked away to a place of safety, out of reach us us commoners.

If ever there was one rule for them, one for us, then a SHTF situation is it.

People Behave Very Irrationally

Even during peaceful times we see so called 'normal' people act like lunatics.  A typical example is the UKs adoption of the mindlessly pathetic, sales and media led frenzy that is Black Friday Sales.
Arguments, fights and other insane behaviour over a pair of hair curlers or or flat screen TV.

And that's during peaceful times, when they have food in their belly, and their kids are not starving...
Just imagine what's going to happen when SHTF and the supermarkets offer nothing but empty shelves, and the only water is from a dirty , stagnant puddle.

Imagine the reaction when there are piles of rat infested rubbish scattered on every street, and the emergency services try to cope with the increasing number of calls from vulnerable people. That is if the phone and internet system is even working..

It is a truly  frightening thought when you really look at what's really going to happen when the SHTF.

Reasons You Should Be Prepping Right Now

The reasons above are just the tip of a painful iceberg... As one essential part of our infrastructure crumbles, it has a knock on effect for everything else to function.
And an even greater effect for things to get massively worse.

A major power cut would cause untold problems, and many deaths.

Here's a quick example to think about:

Our power network is very outdated and in need of immediate, complete repair.  It runs on a 'make do and mend' system, and is seriously outdated.
The repercussions of a prolonged power outage would be catastrophic, with people unable to keep warm, or cook food, that is if the shops can even supply food as the lorries need fuel to deliver, and that fuel need to be pumped by electricity. 
Then again, how would you pay? With ATMs out of action.....

We would plunge into a very bad situation, very fast indeed, and this is just one SHTF scenario!
There are dozens of potential life threatening situations that could very easily take place.

So What's Really Going To Happen When The SHTF

Well, who knows?  Disasters are definitely capable of happening, even here in the UK.  The question is: are you ready to survive? Could you last out that first crucial month without putting yourself and your family in danger of others?

Just prepping for a month will give you a massive fighting chance of surviving. Take it while you can.

Happy Prepping Folks,

Steve  UKpreppersGuide

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Top Three Reasons Why 
Preppers Will Die When The SHTF

Being a prepper does not automatically guarantee you will survive when the SHTF.

The overall goal is, of course, to survive and thrive in a SHTF scenario, or any disaster situation for that matter.  But it doesn't matter how many tins of Spam, Weapons or Bugout Bags you have, as none of these will guarantee your survival.

It goes without saying that help will be very few and far, should you need it, and you will of course.  But sad as it is, the masses will die off quickly due to their lack of preparedness.
But, even Preppers will fall foul and die off.  Even those preppers with some level of preparedness as well begin dying, and the reasons are really quite simple.

Here are my Top Three Reasons Why Preppers Will Die When The SHTF:
  • No:1:  Too Reliant On Gear, Resulting In A Low Level Of Training And Survival Skills.

An awful lot of preppers rely far too heavily on their gear and supplies for survival.
This will not guarantee that you survive.
With the most obvious down side is the fact that your gear can be lost, stolen or destroyed quite easily.

Then what do you do?
Once it's gone, it's gone...
What do you to base your survival on then...?

Whatever survival equipment, supplies and kit you have should only ever be thought of as tools to make your overall survival an easier and more convenient task.

Most preppers simple do not know how to use their survival gear safely, confidently and correctly.

It is vitally important to practice and train in SHTF scenarios by actually going out and using your gear.
Don't be an armchair, YouTube prepper - you have the gear, now get out and use it.
Make sure you know all the do's and don'ts, and what works for you.  That way you can change your kit to suit, giving you a far better understanding of what you need to survive when the SHTF.

  • No: 2:  The 'Lone Wolf' Syndrome and a lack of human interaction.

The 'lone wolf' mentality is all well and good, to a point.  That point is also very narrow and fraught with unnecessary dangers.
To think you can have all the bases covered and be completely self sufficient is a hard act to follow, and virtually impossible in a SHTF situation.

With our survival kit, we look to have gear that is capable of doing more than one job.  A multi tool for example, it's essentialy just one tool, but offers us many survival options, from a pair of scissors or pliers, to a cutting tool and saw.
The same theory must apply to survival.

Quite simply, two is better than one.

There is power in numbers, and typically, those that are alone, die first.
As a matter of OpSec, we prep quietly, and normally alone, with a deep concern that the 'bad guys' will know all about you, making you their first target should the SHTF.

We all have different skillsets: with differing knowledge and skills in many important survival areas. Your skills will be proficient in certain areas only. 
This is why it is important to form a community of individuals who can help each other with different abilities.
Using this type of approach can and will improve your survival chances greatly.

Remember: You can go fast alone, but you can go further together.

  • No: 3.  Failing To Make A Specific Plan

In the real, fast pace world we live in today, finding time to complete just about anything is hard enough, let alone finding time to prep for SHTF.  Essentially we are just doing what we can, when we can.
Most of us didn't know where to start and are still learning as we go.

The result of this lackadaisical approach, is that we find ourselves falling short in certain areas, leaving us vulnerable and woefully unprepared. Then there's folk who become despondent and frustrated, leading them to be discouraged and ultimately loosing focus and giving up completely.

This is where making a plan is so important.  Even if you have to put things off for a while, you still have a plan to come back too.

With a fully itemised plan of action you have the foundations of successful prepping and ultimately successfully surviving a SHTF situation.
You can even give yourself short, and long term targets.  They don't have to be massive either.
But that way you don't feel guilty for stopping and having a rest.

Sometimes you will be forced to slow down your prepping or even stop for a while, but having a step be step plan allows that to happen.
It also makes your prepping easy.  Without a good plan of action you wont last long.

Steve Hart UK Prepper

These are the Top Three Reasons Why Preppers Will Die When The SHTF, but if you ensure that you have these covered your chances of surviving a major disaster is greatly increased.

Happy Prepping Folks,

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UK Legal Pepper Spray
Alternative For Women

Firstly, the facts of life... It is illegal, under UK law, to carry a knife, a gun or even a stick to help protect yourself from being attacked.

Many women get attacked each year here in the UK and it doesn't matter whether it's late at night, in the middle of London or in a quiet village, the risk is very real and a very frightening and traumatic experience that will stick with you for the rest of you life.

There's only really 3 main reasons a woman gets attacked:
  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Robbery

Each one can have dire consequences and some can leave permanent damage both physically and mentally, leaving you to live with the thought of how you could have prevented the attack in the first place...

There are a multitude of scenarios that lead to an attack on women, combine that with a thousand different situations and times and places - they all add up to the fact you never really know when an attack may happen.

You rarely know the frame of mind the attacker is in and the motives that have lead up to you being the victim.

With so many variables how are you supposed to tell the good from the bad, the muggers from the helpers and the scumbags that think they can prey on women for simply walking down the street.

There are, actually, a few very simple things you can do to help prevent an attack - the number 1 and most obvious is 'to not be there in the first place'...!

If you avoid going out, by yourself, in darkness [or even daylight sometimes] then the risk is not even there. But we all know this is not always possible or a realistic choice. When you do go out at night, try to be with friends, male and female, at all times.

Don't Be A Target

For whatever reason, if you have to travel alone then vary your route home and travelling at different times. This will make you an unpredictable target - you no longer become a 'creature of habit' and severely reduces the risk of becoming the stalkers dream victim who always passes by this dark alley at exactly the same time each night...

We are all very much creatures of habit, which makes us complacent and drop our guard when it is most needed. 

Spacial Awareness

Be aware of your surrounding and the people around you - who's in your space, do you feel comfortable and are you boxed in with no escape route if you needed to get away. Always try to ensure you have a 'Plan B'

Become 'People Aware'

If you have your head buried in your mobile phone, busy texting someone, then you have no idea who is around you, who's looking at you and who has been following you for the last half hour..!! FACT....

If you are someone who walks down the street with your nose buried in your phone:

This is a very dangerous pastime.

Yes, you may have just got off the train with a hundred other people and started walking home, but where are they now.?

You suddenly realise you have been walking, alone, mindlessly unaware that it's just you and someone following quite closely behind - you don't know who, whether a man or woman, young or old, big or small.... No Idea....!

What Is The Solution?

Possibly the best defence is simply be aware of your surroundings and who's in them, as well as, don't put yourself in a dangerous situation if at all possible.
Simple awareness can heighten your ability to predict if a situation is safe or not and give you the advantage of a couple of seconds to react prior to that attack.

What Defence Can You Use?

The UK Laws state that you can use reasonable force in order to defend yourself against an attacker OR if you think an attack is about to take place OR you are threatened enough to make you think you are about to be attacked.

So you can defend yourself - but with what..? 

Unless you are a trained in martial arts or unarmed combat the idea of fighting off an attacker is quite daunting for any woman.

Regardless of the fact that you may be trained in some type of self defence, fighting off an attacker is still a big ask for the average woman to do.

Even a trained man can easily get into difficultly and sustain severe injuries when in a self defence situation.

Your Main Defence Is To Be Aware,
And Pre-Empt The Attack Before It Can Start

This is where a defence spray comes in - A spray that can be used, similar to pepper spray, that will stop an attacker and render that attack useless for those valuable seconds needed for you to make an escape and be gone before they know what's happened.

These defence sprays are perfectly legal in the UK and are known as a Self Defence Spray Criminal Identifier

Based on the pepper spray theory they omit a stream of red spray, * not a thin spray like paint, but a consistent, heavy stream that reaches up to 4 metres.
The spray will temporarily mark the attackers skin and clothes.
They  contain a dye that makes them instantly recognisable to the police for up to 7 days after, and is almost impossible to wash off for the first few days.

*  Video Showing Spray In Action
Pepper Spray UK Legal - Farb Gel Criminal Identifier Spray - Self Defense Spray - YouTube

I own several of these sprays and as you can see in the video, I have gone so far as to test them out on myself.
It was not a pleasant experience and there was no way I could of carried on with an attack - I simply could not see where I was going!
The red Farb Gel spray sticks to everything and an attacker would be totally disorientated for those few vital seconds, once sprayed in the face.

All the sprays are compact enough to fit in a pocket or use the belt clip and as simple to use as spraying some perfume.
All it takes is being aware of your situation and being prepared to take action.

*  Buy Spray Here

Current price under £11
Best price - Amazon


Current price under £14
Best price - Amazon


Current price under £16
Best price - Amazon

Steve Hart UK Prepper

Without a defence spray in your hand you have no real defence, however, with a disorientated attacker you gain vital seconds to make an escape.

If your attacker can't see you, then they can't attack you... 

The whole thing goes full circle now, and we get right back to spacial and people awareness - and if you feel threatened or an attack is likely, you can defend yourself in this way, and make an escape. 

I hope this article on the "UK Legal Pepper Spray Alternative for Women" has spurred you on to get some for yourself and your family - I highly recommend it.

Happy Prepping Folks,

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Bushcraft Essentials: 
 Bushbox LF Titanium
 Outdoor Survival Cook Stove

For those of you who are looking for real quality products, in your outdoor cooking equipment, you know your in good hands when you choose from the range of outdoor cook stoves from the Bushcraft Essentials range.

I am quite fortunate and actually have all the cooking stoves shown here, and every one works 100% and are a superb way to cook your food.

In this review I want to feature the 'missing link' in the range. Which, for me, has proved to be the perfect sized outdoor cook stove, and certainly something to consider when adding new kit to your survival and prepping pack.

The stove in question is the:
 Bushbox LF Titanium

The Bushbox LF (by the way, the LF stands for: Large Foldable), fits perfectly between the Bushbox and Bushbox XL in their range.

It gives you the best of of both worlds: nicely compact, but fully foldable and as efficient as its larger brother, the XL, and is also available in stainless steel or the very lightweight: Titanium

The LF is also equipped with the same specially designed, unique hinge system which is used in the Bushbox XL:
The unique construction of these hinges ensure that they will never clog.

The LF has a stove size of: 100mm x 100mm and can be adjusted to many configerations as you can see in my review video below.

In my various tests, I have used various fuel sources in the stoves, from natural sources, like wood or cones, as well as the quick and easy Esbit Tablets and solid fuel, Dragon Fuel or a Trangia Burner, all worked fine and amke this a very versatile camp stove.

Full Review Of The:
Bushbox LF Titanium
Bushbox LF Titanium - Best Compact Lightweight Backpacking foldable Cooker for hiking, backpacking, - YouTube
Bushbox LF Specifications:
  • Super Light Titanium: 270g (315g with pouch)
  • Wall Thickness: 1mm
  • Fully Flat Foldable: 14 x 10 x 1.2cm
  • Open Size: 14 x 10 x 10 (unfolded)
  • Unique 'non clog' hinge system
  • Multi-Fuel Use
Steve Hart UK Prepper

I hope you have enjoyed this review of the Bishbox LF Titanium made by Bushcraft Essentials, in Germany.

Check availability & latest prices here:
Bushbox LF Titanium
This camping stove really is super lightweight, compact and above all, the titanium version is super light, making it ideal for your bugout bag or EDC.

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SAS Recon Folding Bow
For Hunting Survival And Prepping

Using a bow as a hunting tool, or as a self defence weapon, have been around for centuries,  In a SHTF situation, a bow is one of the most versatile tools to have in your pack.
However, there are a few drawbacks with a conventional bow, namely, the fixed physical length, strength and robust materials, as well as compact size which limits it to being transported outside your pack.

In this article and video test review I am testing out the latest hunting, compact  takedown bow from SAS - Survival Archery Systems.

The SAS Recon Folding Survival Bow is the big brother of the slightly smaller SAS Tactical Survival Bow which I reviewed last year.  See that full video review here: SAS Tactical Survival Bow

The SAS Recon Bow in the folded transport position

Below are the main essential features of a compact survival bow: A good survival bow must have ALL these features. 

1. Effective bow length
2. Overall packaged length
3. Corrosion resistance
4. Durability
5. Positive limb retention
6. Protection of arrows
7. Zero tool or maintenance requirements
8. Truly ambidextrous

In my test I pay particular attention to the essential features and show why I think this is the best compact survival bow on the market today.

This is my video review and test of the SAS Recon Folding Bow
SAS Recon Folding Bow - The Best Compact Takedown Bow For Survival, Hunting Or Prepping - YouTube

SAS Recon Folding Bow

XX75 GameGetter Arrows

Steve Hart UK Prepper

As you can see in the video, this really is a good bit of essential survival and prepping kit. Without doubt ranking top of the list for 'no frills', solid equipment, that will perform again and again.
I really like it. It's bomb proof gear that is ideal for prepping.

A lot of time, and design effort have gone into making this bow an effective hunting tool that will last you a very long time.

Would I recommend the SAS Recon Folding Survival Bow?

Absolutely.  100% every time. It's the AK47 of the bow world, and I really enjoyed testing it out.
I could not find fault with it, in fact, the only problem I had was my own poof archery skills.!

Happy Prepping Folks

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Bugout And Prepping Clothing
Taiga Swedish Army Mountain Paclite
Gore-Tex Jacket And Trousers
Guest Article By:
 Des from Des Cattys YouTube Channel

As preppers or outdoor practitioners, we are always striving to reach a personal pinnacle in our training and also with our equipment selection and choice whether its clothing, water prep and purification, shelter building or first aid as an example it can sometimes become a continuous treadmill of seeking out the best kit and the simplest techniques in how to using it, but what a wonderful excuse to get out and spend time training.

Which leads me nicely onto some clothing that I came across at the Wilderness Gathering 2017 – bring and buy stall, I was on the hunt for some lightweight waterproof clothing for use of protecting me whilst I’m out on my runs, my favourite running top was worse for wear so on the hunt I have gone, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted but when I was checking out some outdoor shops nothing was really to my liking.

But fast forward to the gathering and I found a complete suit – Jacket and trousers by clothing manufacturers Taiga a Swedish company; the colour was of the M90 Swedish splinter camouflage and the model or style I believe to be of Alpine lightweight design, in the material known as Gore-Tex.

The size was XL (Extra-large), it fitted very well with lots of room if I was to adopt it into my bushcraft or bugout bag and wanted to wear extra garments underneath it was more than accommodating.

As I wanted it for more of a physical activity such as running or jogging, the jacket boasts 2 large under the arm ventilation sections on either side of the jacket, which can open or closed by zips. It also has four pockets 2 hand pockets have ample room to hold a map or even a small pair of binoculars with a small tiny vent hole underneath each pocket. 

The other 2 pockets are located either side on the arms which have a sturdy Velcro flap fastening, with segregated space Also being of military origin the bigger Velcro patches can be used for morale patches etc.

Velcro cuffs and storm flap over the zip, all the seams are very well taped especially at the zip areas as sometimes this can be a nuisance on snagging zips.

The hood is rather large and would probably accommodate a helmet though this is estimation on my part, the hood has a peak though unsure what helps it keeps its shape it works well.

Shock corded at both the hood and bottom hem of the jacket with sturdy cord locks.

As for the trousers they too were a great fit as especially as I’m an athletically built 6 feet 3” in height, ok not athletically but somewhere between cuddly and cuddly. 

The trousers though I have hardly worn as I’m not a great wearer of waterproof trousers personally speaking and definitely not for running, but if you had booted footwear you do not need to remove your boots to pull on the trousers as the zips on the outside part, unzip some way to increase that space to pulling on the trouser sleeve.
Again, with Velcro tabs fitted.

I have no affiliation with Taiga clothing, but I must say they are well constructed and take bit of a bashing, the water beads on top of the material which you would expect from Gore-Tex,
 The Taiga climate lab which located on the west coast of Sweden, you can apparently try their clothing out in the different chambers:

Taiga Cold Chamber

Ambient temperature down to -30 °C. With the help of three large fans measuring 60 cm in diameter, they can also create a wind chill factor down to -55 °C. 

Taiga Heat Chamber

Temperature of plus 30 degrees and 80–90 percent air humidity is the final stage in the process, and ensures clothing systems function in all climate zones during all 12 months of the year. 

Taiga Rain Chamber

16 nozzles can release 260 litres of rain per minute. The purpose is to test the garments’ water permeability and water resistance under specific extreme conditions, both in terms of their fabric and design.

Wow, definitely like to experience that! 
Anyway, if you’re after a garment not necessarily for running but for sticking in your BOB or as part of your outdoor apparel. I would recommend it, its lightweight and well made, and above all I like the camo, but when I’ve been out running I have been asked by many an inquisitive folk where I got the garment from, and that some liked the colour and to be honest if I’m to wear camouflage garments when I’m practicing such skills it will be in the trousers only if I wear camouflage associated to the U.K.

I do not personally wear full attire camouflage unless I’m hunting because people are quick to stereotype, and even then, its real tree type camouflage, but most of the time I wear subdued colours.

Here's The Review Video From Des
Bushcrafting uk Taiga Swedish Army Mountain paclite gore tex jacket and trousers - YouTube
Steve Hart UK Prepper
Another great and informative article - thanks for that Des.

Des has a great YouTube channel ( Des Cattys - Bushcraft By Des ), with some good bushcraft and survival tips and advice, delivered in his unique quirky style.
Happy Prepping Folks,

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What UK Weapons
Can You Legally Own?

Many UK citizens think that ALL firearms are illegal, and therefore unavailable to the UK public - this is not true.
You have the perfect right to own many types of firearms, but you must be able to have a good reason to do so.
For full, in depth details, check out the UK Home Office Guidelines for firearms.

Below Is A General Guide:
Firearms You Can Legally Own In The UK

UK Legal Firearms: Top to bottom

  • Civilian Hunting Rifle
  • Semi-Auto Shotgun
  • AR15
  • AKM
  • Anti-Material/Sniper Rifle
  • Long Barrelled Revolver (LBR)

As well as the above firearms, you can own a shotgun -
*in general*, shotguns under 3 capacity (2+1) Section 2 only require a Shotgun Cert (SGC). 

The list List is by no means exhaustive, there are hundreds of flavours of firearms available in UK.

All these above weapons will require a Firearms Certificate, but, once you have been fully vetted by the police, and have fully satisfied all the legal requirements they are all perfectly legal for a UK citizen to own.

Steve Hart UK Prepper

The information here is true as of article date, and there are no current legislation changes to the UK firearms laws in the pipeline.

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