Are you Prepared?

Prepper Training: This is How to Prepare Your Body to Escape the Big City on Foot February 16, 2017

bugging out on foot
ReadyNutrition Readers, this piece covers some of the basic fundamentals on road marching.  Yes, this is a typical military exercise, but it has several applications for you in terms of preparations and in training.  Road marches can be both physically demanding and challenging.  They should not be attempted without proper preparation, and if you have any underlying health conditions, consult with your doctor prior to doing them.

As I have mentioned in previous articles, I prefer the large-frame Alice Pack of the US Army, the one I have been using for many decades, now.  It is both sturdy and affordable, and can meet a person’s needs from a training and a survival perspective.  That mentioned, it is up to you to find one that feels both comfortable and offers you the support you need to be able to move on the road or cross-country with weight on your back.

Don’t road march cold: you need to take the time to do some light calisthenics to warm your muscles up prior to the physical exertion.  The weight you will tote with you will vary according to your abilities and physical condition, as well as the needs of the exercise.  It is a training event: you need to keep it as such and hold it in that regard.  You need proper footgear and comfortable clothing, as well as a water supply.  You need to prepare for it the night before, with a good meal and plenty of rest and fluids prior to your start.

Your stretches can include (but not be limited to) the side-straddle hop (referred to as “jumping jacks,”) as well as half-squats, squats, hamstring and calf stretches, and so forth.  I prefer boots to support my ankles, although I have seen many people using tennis shoes and hiking shoes.  Whatever your preference, as long as it gives your arch the support it needs.

Start out small, with a lighter amount of weight.  That will be on you to gauge.  Start by doing a mile, and then work your way up.  A good conservative plan for a road marching “schedule” can be one per week with lighter weights and shorter distances.  As you “work your way up” you’ll want to make the road marches less frequent.  The reason being is you don’t want to damage yourself with a potential stress fracture or a hairline fracture from continuously pounding the pavement with your feet and heavy weight on the shoulders.  Shin splints are a common occurrence over time, as well.

Medically, they’re referred to as MTSS (medial tibial stress syndrome), and are pains within the connective muscle and tissue surrounding your knee and the outside of your tibia.  It is a chronic “dull” aching feeling that arises in about 15 to 20% of people who run, walk, or (in this case) march long distances.  Ice packs and rest can enable you to recover in a short period of time.  For any question of it, consult with your physician if the problem persists.

The road marches will strengthen your legs and back, and also develop your cardiovascular capabilities.  You should time every one of them, and attempt gains each time you undertake a march.  Gains would take the form of quicker times, or more weight carried.  You have to do it gradually.  Eventually, your end goal is to carry what you normally would in a rucksack if the SHTF and you were out in the woods.  Cross-country is markedly different from doing it on the side of the road due to the uneven terrain as well as other factors, such as water, thick vegetation, an abundance of rocks, etc.

Weather is also a factor, and in the warmer months great care must be taken to ensure you don’t dehydrate yourself.  Remember: thirst is a late sign of dehydration, and means you’re already depleted when you feel thirsty.  It would also be good to undertake these marches with a partner, so that if an emergency arises you have someone with you to rely upon for first aid or to go for help.

Your endurance will improve with time, and it also takes adjustment for your feet to become accustomed to both your pace and the work.  It is an excellent lower-body exercise that still manages to work your upper body.  It requires discipline, determination, and preparation to accomplish.  Eventually you will see results, and can road march 2 to 4 times per month successfully as part of your physical regimen.

Remember to take account of the water you will carry when you initially weigh your rucksack.  You can pick up a good fishing and game scale that will enable you to find out exactly how much you tote.  Try it out.  It is cost effective and will give you some good results.  Happy rucking!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published February 16th, 2017
Comments Off on Prepper Training: This is How to Prepare Your Body to Escape the Big City on Foot

When Seconds Count: How Storm Chasers Lead Community Relief Efforts in the Aftermath of Disasters February 8, 2017

Tornadoes and hurricanes are incredibly powerful and highly destructive forces of nature which form within storm systems. Communities can be completely devastated by a tornado or a major storm, and this is what makes the scientific study of storms extremely important. Using Doppler radar, the formation and path of storm systems can be tracked in real-time, but in order to better predict the time and magnitude of a severe cyclone or tornado, scientists must rely on observations collected from researchers on the ground as well as that from satellites. Through data collection, meteorologists can better understand what causes hurricanes and tornadoes to form and they can better prevent damage to property or loss of life by determining the mechanisms that determine the location, size and duration of a storm and adapting community preparedness and relief efforts accordingly. This is where storm chasers come in.

Data Collection

Storm-chasing may seem like a reckless hobby, but it serves a number of very fundamental purposes for science and survival. Storm chasers are field researchers who, unlike the mass majority, get a bit of excitement at the thought of an oncoming storm, hurricane or tornado, because they are the ones who are going to catch it on video and study it so that these events can be better predicted in the future and, ultimately, so that lives can be saved as a result. Chasers carry radios, phones, and computers that enable them to receive constant updates on the storm’s location and intensity, assisted by data from the National Weather Service (NWS) or SkyWarn spotters. The constant updates require that a chaser travel with at least one other person — one can drive while the other one tracks the twister. In addition to data collection, storm chasers are generally looking to help with the community relief effort in the devastation after a major storm. They are driven by the desire to rescue victims of a storm when there may be nobody around to help them as well as preventing such situations in the future.

Scientists Living on the Edge

Reed Timmer, a meteorologist with  a Ph.D. in atmospheric science, has been chasing storms since he was 16. He had always been fascinated by the science behind storms, and he is driven to document them to further scientific understanding of this phenomena. He is now working with AccuWeather as a professional storm chaser where he sends vital information back to forecasters, enhancing real-time observations and providing data that can only be recorded on the ground. Storm chasers like Timmer collect intel from inside of a tornado in order to better understand the nature of the phenomena and the mechanism involved. Storm chasers are crucial for establishing a foundation of data to assist researchers to make better predictions, improve relief efforts and ultimately save lives in the future through improving our understanding of these phenomena and the mechanisms involved therein.

“These storms are still some of the most beautiful forms of nature you’ll ever see, but they’re also some of the most devastating,” said Timmer. “The damage they leave behind is the dark side, but storm chasers try to prevent that.”

Community Relief Efforts

Perhaps more important than prevention, storm chasers are a close community of first-responders who are generally ready and willing to assist victims left behind in the aftermath of a destructive storm. Storm chasers get as close to the eye of the storm as they can be without endangering their own lives, and they often arrive at the damaged areas before emergency personnel are prepared to respond to emergency calls, and for this reason, storm chasers are likely to be the first faces you may see should you fall victim to a powerful storm. Often times, they are the ones leading medical personnel to the disaster scene. Communities tend to come together when they have experienced a major disaster, and storm chasers are no different. Time and again, they drop what they are doing to help victims who may be trapped beneath the rubble in the aftermath of a storm.

“Whenever that happens, we drop everything, end the chase and help out in the rescue effort,” Timmer said. “In the end, it’s about helping people.”

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published February 8th, 2017
Comments Off on When Seconds Count: How Storm Chasers Lead Community Relief Efforts in the Aftermath of Disasters

The Green Beret’s Winter Survival Training Guide February 6, 2017

Have you ever considered what you will do if you have to bug out in winter? Being exposed to the elements puts you and your family at risk and it is paramount to be ready for that scenario.

It’s time to learn the basics of surviving in harsh environments. These basics will help you to inspire confidence in yourself and your skills.  Winter weather and a cold environment with snow and ice on the ground presents challenges, but they can be overcome and mastered with practice – all that is needed is equipping yourself with the knowledge to do so.

Jeremiah Johnson, our own personal Green Beret, is helping us train to be winter ready. One thing he emphasizes in a lot of his articles is that our preps aren’t the only aspect of prepping that we should focus on.

“None of us are going to be completely prepared when the bottom drops out.  Knowledge and skills should be desirous over materials, because with these you can either acquire what is needed or improvise out of what can be fabricated into something useful.”

He has been writing quite a bit about winter survival lately, and now is the time to put theory into practice. With the right gear, you can blend into your environment and survive in the harshest of environments. Here are some great articles to help you focus on winter survival!



What To Wear in the Harshest Conditions

Take Care of Your Feet and Your Odds of Survival Increase

How to Blend into a Winter Environment

12 Budget-Friendly Survival Essentials for the Cold Outdoors

Don’t Get Caught in the Cold Without this Essential Prep


Health and First-Aid

Why Drinking More Water During Winter Is Crucial to Your Survival

7 Fundamental Requirements for Cold Weather Injuries

Frostbite: How To Survive Winter’s Unrelenting Brutality

10 Must-Have First Aid Supplies for Preventing Hypothermia


Survival Theory

Procuring Protein Sources in Winter

Critical Training Techniques to Overcome the Elements

When You Lose Power this Winter, Here’s What You’ll Need

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published February 6th, 2017
Comments Off on The Green Beret’s Winter Survival Training Guide