By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail

Category: Survival


The Ultimate Survivalists and Preppers, Who is it?

My wife and I recently visited a town in Eastern Arizona called Snowflake.  It was a small Mormon settlement started in 1878.  We went to a few of the landmarks and museums in Snowflake (which is few as it is only a town of about 3-5k people).  We learned a lot of history of the place and how the people lived.

Snowflake Eastern Arizona

What interested me most is how much a prepper can learn from the pioneers.  The pioneers were preppers and survivalists as a way of life to stay alive rather than just preparing for something to go wrong.  There are some people who think what prepping is something so new and different, but really the way people live today is much more new and different than even in just the past 200 years.  In this day and age people can do jobs that require them to have a very specific knowledge of something.  In pioneer times the people were actually required to be better rounded, but not have as much of a specific training.  Instead of a person who is a master at construction, the pioneer would have to know how to build a house, fix a wagon, farm, fish, hunt, and many other things.  These were types of things that were natural for the pioneers and were taught to them as young children.

I feel that this type of do it all person really is few and far between in our society.  If I had to really describe the pioneers, I would say they were problem solvers.  Though they may not have been as educated as we are now they really had to make do and flourish with the limited tools and supplies they had.  These days if we feel the tool we have doesn’t work right we just go to the store and buy the right one.  Pioneers actually had to build all of their tools from planning and brainstorming to the manufacturing of the tool. It was amazing to look at some of the tools and inventions these people had made.  Though some of the tools were rough they served the purpose they were made for.

Ultimate Survivalists and Preppers

I believe in today’s society there are definitely some benefits to specializing in an area of study.  Some of the benefits are that you may make more money and that there may be less people fighting for a job as there are only a few trained people who can do it.  The other thing that is good about specializing for a society in general is that the technology will increase at a much faster rate than having people who know some about a lot of things.  Now if we were in a real TEOTWAWKI or SHTF scenario what do you think would be better?  Personally I think knowing a bit on each subject will be much more beneficial than specializing.  In these types of situations where there is not a society or a community you will have to be much more independent.  You may need to know vehicle and engine maintenance as well as self defense and gardening.

Even as a society of people who specialize in different areas most of us have time to learn other skills.  Prepping has really taught me how much I don’t know and how much I need to know.  This is why I am trying to learn and take classes as often as possible.  It may be a first aid class, a self defense class, or some type of cooking class, but they can all be beneficial in their own ways.  I think as a prepper we really need to open our minds and be willing to learn from all different types of people.  Unless the person is an all around prepper the person who teaches you garden is probably not going to be the same person who teaches you hand to hand combat.


Best Survival Gun, Is there really one?

There is always a lot of debate about which is the best survival gun. The gist of it is, the best survival gun is the one that will get the job done. Each gun has its own purpose, so really the best survival gun depends almost entirely on the situation or what it is being used for. I do believe that there are a couple types of guns that each household will want to have when a disaster comes or when they need to beat the end. There are also other circumstances to remember when trying to find the best survival gun (or guns) for yourself and your family.

The three types of guns that are probably the most important for a survival situation are: a rifle, a shotgun, and a pistol. Each gun has its own purposes, advantages and disadvantages. One of the most important tip to remember is: even with the best survival gun for the situation, not knowing how to use it makes it worthless. Once you have decided on the survival gun that best suits your needs, get out there and actually fire it. You may say “I have shot a gun a few times so I know how to use them.” While this may be true, a life and death situation can take you out of your element.

Survival Gun - 2

There are two reasons to practice shooting: so you will get comfortable with the gun you will be using and to increase your accuracy. By taking these two things out of the equation, you will be able to focus on the situation rather than not being able to use your weapon correctly if a life or death situation were to arise. Some guns are also more accurate than others, so firing and sighting in your survival gun is very important. Most cities have firing ranges that can be used for a small fee or, depending on the law in your area, you may be able to get away from homes and target shoot. A hunter’s (or gun) safety course should be a must for you if you have no experience with guns or if you have children who will be learning to shoot. You will pay a small fee (sometimes free) to take the class and you will be taught some valuable information about gun safety and how guns work. They will even take you to a range to shoot your gun and give you hands on training. The classes are usually sponsored by the Game and Fish Department of your state. On a side note, you do not have to be a hunter to take these courses, but some states do require minors to take these courses in order to be able to hunt.


Survival Rifles

In a situation where a long range gun is necessary, a rifle will be the best survival gun for you. There are almost a limitless amount of rifles on the market and can be broken down into specific categories with many calibers of ammunition. I will just go over a few calibers and types in this post. If you were small game hunting or have a child you are teaching, a .22 is probably the best option. There are many different brands that make this caliber rifle. A .22 caliber rifle is a very small caliber so there will be very little recoil; the ammunition is cheap and is usually quite accurate up to 100 yards maximum. A good survival gun for hunting big game can really depend on preference and type of big game. For a deer or antelope, you will probably be fine with a .243 or a 30-30, but if you are hunting for elk, bear or moose, a 7mm magnum, .30-06 or a 300 win mag can be the best survival gun. Many times hunting rifles are bolt action style guns. If you are worried about protecting your family from a thief or trouble, the best survival gun may be what the US has termed an “assault weapon”. They are normally military “looking” weapons that are semi automatic and have a removable magazine. The benefits of these types of rifles are that you can get a lot of bullets flying very quickly (not always accurately though), magazines can be already loaded with ammunition so there is a quick reload, and some believe the look of these guns can be intimidating (at least that’s what some in the government believe). The most common of these guns are the AR-15 (.223 or 5.56x45mm) and the AK-47 (7.62x39mm and many other calibers with all the variants being made).


A shotgun can be the best survival gun for you if you are looking to bird hunt or just need close range protection. With shotguns, ammunition is designated by gauge (other than the .410 shotgun). Shotgun ammunition is quite different from rifle or pistol ammunition. Shotgun ammunition has many pieces of shot (basically a small ball bearing) that are shot simultaneously. This allows the shooter to kill something without having to be 100% accurate as the shot will spread out (slugs are also made, which are similar to rifle ammunition as it fires only one projectile). The most common gauges of shotguns are the 12 gauge and the 20 gauge. The 12 gauge may be the best survival gun because it is very versatile as it can be used for bird hunting (including turkey), as well as bigger game. The .410 (equivalent to a 67- 68 gauge) is probably the best survival shotgun for children and people who would like less of a kick. It
is not as loud, is usually smaller, but does have much less power.


Survival Pistols

Personally, I am more of a rifle and shotgun guy, but do have some pistols and definitely understand the value of them. Pistols are fantastic in short range combat, but most all lack the amount of power found in a rifle or pistol. The reasons that a pistol may be the best survival gun for you is that it is very easy to conceal, quick to pull up and shoot and they are also quite light. The three main calibers of pistol that are most relevant to the survival discussion are the 9mm, .40 S&W and the .45 ACP. They are in order from least to most powerful and least to most expensive for ammunition. These three calibers always spark a debate. For some people the ammo power is most important for others it is amount of kick or price that is the deciding factor. I leave this up to you to figure out what you prefer, but I definitely think you should test all three before making a decision. There are also .22 pistols which can be handy for hunting small game, but really not for protection. Although, maybe not the best survival gun, I love the Colt Trooper MK V .357 magnum. This is a six shooter revolver and is my favorite pistol to shoot. There’s nothing like being back in the old west.

Final thoughts

As you can see there is really no best survival gun. Ideally you should have many different types of guns that will accomplish the jobs you need to perform. I believe you will want to have at least one .22 rifle, one high powered rifle, one semi-automatic “assault” rifle, one shotgun, and one to two pistols. This should be the bare minimum of your survival arsenal if you are preparing for the end of the world as we know it. Don’t forget to have plenty of ammo.

Shelly Lewis from