10 Steps to A Self-Sufficient & Prepared Lifestyle

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In the face of nature, are you prepared for survival? Kevin Murphy from the Bullseye Preparedness & Outdoors Expo talked to us about some tips for staying prepared for whatever nature throws your way. When it comes to things like camping in the Smoky Mountains, it’s important to go in with the right mindset and checklist. Check out the Bullseye Expo this June for more great information, classes, and fun activities to get you ready to wander into the wilderness safely and sufficiently.


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1. Grow your own food

Everyone knows that maintaining a garden is a lot of work, but in the end the rewards can be quite surprising! Many people don’t realize that even a small backyard garden can keep their tables filled with fresh vegetables all summer long. The White Harvest Seed Company shares a passion for gardening and encourages others to keep sowing and growing with a variety of kits and heirloom seed packages and they are always eager to share their knowledge with others!

2. Learn different methods of fire building

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Fire building is so important that it deserves its own list! Whether you’re just enjoying a nice evening in the back yard, 3 days into a hiking trip or in real life survival situation; knowing how to build a fire can be an invaluable asset that will certainly make life a little easier. Learn as many methods as you can; from modern to primitive and keep your skills fresh. Chris Deslo from 4 Directions Bushcraft and Justin Polly from DIY Survival have definitely got the knack for making fire from virtually nothing and they’re always willing to share those skills with others.

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3. Brush up on first aid

You don’t have to have a PhD to know the basics of first aid and a well-stocked first aid kit is always handy to have around. From every day cuts and scrapes to more pressing emergency situations; a little knowledge and a few items held in reserve can go a long way in keeping things together until help arrives. If you’re not sure where to start; Todd Spence of the Tactical Medic League is a great source for both with IFAKs and New age tactical medicine training.

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4. Build a bugout bag

Bugout bags and emergency kits might sound intimidating but if you’re in an evacuation type situation and you’ve got to move with little to no notice; you’ll be glad it’s there. Joe and Mary at Prepper’s Asylum have everything you need to get started and they’re always willing and able to help you with any questions you may have along the way!

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5. Store water

Most government agencies would advise you to keep a three day supply of water on hand in case of emergency (that’s 1 gallon of water per person/pet per day) and that’s a great start! What happens after 3 days? We’re not real sure either; that’s why we’d suggest thinking a little longer term when it comes to water storage at home.

6. Learn the basics of food storage and always keep at least a two week supply on hand

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Having more than just a few days of food on hand at any given time can be convenient in numerous instances. If you’ve honed your gardening skills (like we suggested in #1) this is easier to accomplish than you’d think. There’s a variety of methods to storing food; once you’ve decided on the methods you wish to employ it’s time to get busy! The fine folks at Tennessee Readiness in Cosby, TN are always willing to share their experience. Stop by and see them while you’re in town or visit them online!

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7. Practice your knots

Having cordage available and knowing some knot tying basics can make a bad situation a little easier if you’ve prepared yourself ahead of time. There are plenty of places to learn more online; we’d suggest you start with Around the Cabin; an invaluable resource on a wide range of how-to topics and DIY techniques.

8. Embrace alternative energy sources

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Power outages occur and batteries only last so long. With advancements in solar and other alternative power sources; it’s always a good idea to have several options on hand. Having a backup generator and an alternative heat source are great ways to be prepared as well. Having a solar charging flashlight or lantern is another great step in sustainability. Hybrid Light makes several models that can recharge in sunlight or artificial light while providing the capabilities to charge your mobile devices as well!

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9. Take a Class

Search your local community for classes or workshops; these are great places to learn new skills. Bullseye Preparedness & Outdoors ExpoJune 10 & 11, 2017 at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge, TN will provide a wide range of presentations, classes, workshops and demonstrations that will get you pointed in the right direction!

10. Put your skills to the test!

Learning what to do and how to do it is just the beginning. Get outside and start practicing all of the new skills that you’ve learned! Plan a family camping trip or a weekend hike with friends. Either way; the Great Smoky Mountains are an excellent place to hone your newfound preparedness and outdoors skills!

Written by Kevin Murphy – Bullseye Preparedness & Outdoors Expo