SOS Blog

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Earth Day Survivalist

Earth Day is here, ready to remind us of our obligation to the planet. For most of us, that goes about
as far as riding a bike or remembering to recycle; we are, after all, busy individuals with established routines.
But what if your routine was suddenly changed? We’ve all thought about the possibility, and many of us have taken at least some steps to begin planning for the event of a sudden emergency. From our go-bags to our CPR training, we’re fairly adequately equipped to brave a minor accident, a prolonged power outage or an evacuation.

At SOS Survival Products, we love that you’re as enthusiastic as we are to prepare yourselves and your families for the unknown. Today, we’d like to take preparation one step further by talking to you about survivalism. And because we can’t neglect Earth Day, today’s survivalist tips all have a positive environmental impact.


You need it, and in an emergency it may be hard to come by. You might already be storing water for two or three days, but what happens if a major disaster turns into a nationwide or even global crisis? Living sustainably now is the best way to prepare you for an uncertain future, and water should naturally be your number one concern.

Collecting rainwater can be tricky business since it does have restrictions.
As early as the 1880s, states have been involved in personal water usage by placing constraints onto consumers. In 2012, 64-year old Oregon resident Gary Harrington was sentenced to 30 days in jail for collecting rain water.
Gary wasn’t collecting a few barrels of rainwater; more precisely, he collected about 20 Olympic swimming pools-worth. But just to be safe, check what your state has to say about collecting rainwater.
If you're permitted to or rebellious enough to start collecting your own water, it's simple.

Runoff can be collected anywhere, for example, from the roof of your house. How much water will
be created through runoff? That varies, but Garden Gate magazine estimates that it’s somewhere around 600 gallons of water within an hour of moderate rain fall. That’s a lot of manna from heaven.

In order to get your runoff into storage, you’ll need something like a gutter or downspout. In addition, your transport system needs a filter that'll trap debris like leaves which can clog your water highway.

Ensure your collection area, like a barrel, fits your transportation system securely so that insects, leaves or small animals like birds or lizards don't end up in your precious collection and contaminate your water.

SOS Survival products carries plenty of barrels including this rain collection barrel, designed to collect your runoff without any major setup requirements.

Storing your barrels on a bed of cinder blocks situated on some pea gravel will ensure that moisture doesn't get trapped under the barrel. Raising your barrel in this way will also create more pressure for spout openings, an excellent solution for gardening.

Collecting, storing and using rainwater for your personal use is a wonderful way to save water and prepare for the event of an emergency. The United States Geological Survey estimates that the average person uses 80-100 gallons of water a day! That number might sound astonishing, but consider all the ways in which we depend on water, from brushing our teeth to washing our laundry. Rainwater collection provides a sustainable avenue for water consumption and will ensure you aren't stranded without this vital resource in the event of a major catastrophe.

But what about using rain water for drinking, food preparation or bathing?

Rainwater looks clean and feels refreshing, but unless you live in remote areas, rainwater contains a variety of pollutants that include car exhaust, chemicals from runoff and various other things we don’t want you to think about while looking at this adorable image of a boy catching rain on his tongue.

One way to eliminate harmful contaminants from water is to boil it. Boiling water for one to three minutes kills viruses, bacteria and parasites.
Keep in mind that water that’s previously been boiled will not remain sterile in a non-sterile environment like a bucket or barrel. You can reuse boiled water, but if you intend to consume it, boil it again.

Another very easy way to stop contaminants is with a filter. Filters come in a variety of materials from ceramic and clay to carbon.
These types of filters work because they trap small particles that include harmful bacteria, protozoa, and microbes. Because of their small size, filters cannot trap viruses.

Ceramic filters have been successfully in use since the early 1800s and continue to be used in many countries where water filtration isn't available. These filters are inexpensive and can even be manufactured at home with the use of some clay pots, cornhusks, tealeaves or coffee grounds.


Depending on what your trips to the grocery store look like, your home might already be filled with materials that can be reused. From cans and bottles to old clothing, survivalists know how to repurpose.

Reusing what you have is a valuable skill, and one that gives our planet a chance to breathe. Although we encourage recycling because it greatly reduces waste in landfills and helps to conserve natural resources, it does not eliminate waste or pollution. Reusing is the only way to temporarily remove your carbon footprint, whether you're planting herbs in old coffee tins or washing the car with a favorite old shirt that simply couldn't be saved.

Aside from the practical applications, reusing can also be insanely fun. Check out these cool DIY projects created entirely from old materials you might otherwise toss in the bin!


You don't need a giant plot of land, expensive tools or a ton of know-how to begin gardening.

Start by growing herbs and vegetables for beginners such as dill, chives, rosemary, parsley, tomatoes, zucchinis, cucumbers, carrots, chard, lettuce, cabbage or peppers. Gardening books and websites are widely available to help you start on the journey toward home growing. In addition, consider that many of the plants we consider weeds are in fact edible.
These plants oftentimes provide valuable nutrients that may be hard to find otherwise.

No experience necessary, they’ll grow like, well, a weed.

Not really sure why you should grow your own?

Like livestock farming, food farming forces us to use a ton of valuable resources like fuel, land and water while contributing negatively to the environment and our health through the use of pesticides. Although our knowledge of farming has greatly increased since the days of the Dust Bowl, conventional farming methods haven't stopped top soil erosion and have lead to nutrient deficiencies and pesticide resistance. That means we're not only creating unusable land and super insects, we're also depriving ourselves of valuable nutrition that naturally occurs in fruits and veggies grown in rich soil.
If you can't grow enough food to sustain yourself and your family, we can't blame you. The average person needs about 2,000 calories per day to survive. That's a lot of parsley.

Supplement what you can grow on your own by taking a trip to your local farmer's market once a week or until you can find your own little plot of land to get started on. The foods you'll find there are grown sustainably without pesticides, and because they don't have to travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to get to you, their carbon footprint remains minimal.


We don't all have the opportunity to ride our bike to work or school every day, but utilizing alternative modes of transportation whenever we can offers an enormous amount of benefits. Each time you ride your bike or walk, whether it's across town or to the corner store, you're saving natural resources and helping your body by conditioning your cardiovascular system. And that's important because, let's face it, a sedentary lifestyle isn't exactly conducive to survival.

Want to kick your survivalist skills into high gear? You've got plenty of company. Functional
intensity training continues to be a major workout trend all across the world, and with good reason. By using natural movements such as jumping and pulling, you're doing more than conditioning your glamour muscles. In addition, by exercising regularly, whether you use a high intensity interval program or a regular weight and cardiovascular combination, you're creating core strength, increased mobility, better cardiovascular health and the endurance necessary to survive disasters.

Did we miss something? We’d love to hear from you. Use the comment box below to share how you’re reducing your carbon footprint while becoming an expert survivalist.


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