Fire, Navigation and Security: When All Hell Breaks Loose

Prepping for Fires

Would you be ready if we were to have a natural disaster, nuclear attack, or a national collapse? You probably know what you’d need on hand for water, food, and shelter. But do you know what you need for fire, navigation, and security?

SIDEBAR: Before I hand over my hard-earned dollars I take the time to research products, prices and brands. I thought I would share some of my research with you today on the products I thought were useful and had good reviews. None of the links below are affiliate links — the only benefit I get is helping you to be prepared!

We live in a world of cell phones, laptops, ipads, DVDs, MP3 players, smartphones, and all the other gadgets we’ve all become so used to. Most of us wouldn’t be able to survive if we were abruptly thrown from a technology world into a world of nature, and if you’re not prepared or don’t know what you should do, it could end up killing you. Buying survival gear doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. After all, ancient cultures managed to stay alive without all of our gadgets and stores.

These items are for the worst-case scenario because that’s exactly when an item will be needed, and your life could be jeopardized. So as the saying goes, “Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”


You’ll need a fire when you’ve just had to walk through flood waters or across a river, or it’s raining and cold — you’re drenched and in jeopardy of developing hypothermia. You’ll need to get a fire going, and with these items and hardly any work, you’ll have a roaring file in no time.

If you need to start a fire in an emergency, maybe you should get something like the Blazer Self-Igniting Butane Micro-Torch. This micro-torch is a small, handheld, self-igniting torch that creates a 2,500F flame in a jiffy. A hot flame will start a fire in no time — even if your kindling is damp or it’s raining — and will have you warming up very soon. You can also use it for cooking, but you’ll need to ensure the flame is blue and not yellow!

A yellow flame signifies that you must alter the torch, and blue means it’s completely burning with butane. (Tips: Buying many fuel refill canisters would be a good idea since the torch depends on fuel. One canister can last quite a while, but you never know when you’ll need more or how long your emergency circumstances will last.)


We all know that the wilderness is precarious, but a major city after an extensive disaster can also be very hazardous. You may need to be found during a disaster if you get separated from your family or a group. Whether you’re in trouble and surrounded by criminals or scouting, hunting, or scavenging, you should consider carrying signal flares.

Signal flares like the Orion 617 Emergency Accessory Signaling Kit will work well if someone is trying to locate you. Remember to buy extra flares! You must also consider purchasing handheld, flame-producing roadside flares to keep in your vehicle. Any roadside flare, such as the Orion 9340 30-Minute Red Flares, doesn’t get fired from a gun and is excellent for starting a fire if needed — even if your tinder is damp!

If you’re trying to survive in the woods during a disaster and are confronted by a grizzly, there’s one thing that will scare him off — an air horn such as the Unified Marine 5007 4005 Air Horn. An air horn can additionally be utilized as a signal. You could alert people fishing or hunting that they need to return to the shelter. Don’t forget to buy several refill cans to have them on hand if needed for long-term use.

Wouldn’t it be great to see sharp images in complete darkness?

Well, you can with night vision! An item like the one-handed, easily operated infrared buttons of the Night Owl Optics 5-Power NOXM50 Night Vision Monocular is excellent for finding out if that noise outside your shelter is a bear, opossum, or human.

Sometimes you might want to observe other people or animals before they know you’re nearby. Alternatively, you might not want to be discovered. Perhaps a product such as the Alpen Apex XP 8×42 Binoculars will do the trick. They’re fog proof, waterproof binoculars, and just what you’ll need for hunting, but they’re perfect for identifying far-off features in the terrain, which could save you needless miles of walking. If you don’t have binoculars, you might misread the landscape and end up at the edge of a canyon or cliff or the bank of a river that’s too treacherous to cross.

Reading the ground from afar assists you in establishing which trails to take that don’t have as many obstacles and locating good water sources. If you’re in unfriendly territory, these binoculars will aid you in spotting armed criminals, an ambush, threatening dogs, or other dangers before you run across them or before they locate you.

You’re running through the woods in an emergency and come to a cliff with a sixty-foot drop. Now what?

It’s too steep for you to climb down it. Do you backtrack and hope that you can find a way to detour around the cliff? Not if you have a belay device, you don’t! Yeah, I know — what is a belay device? Belay devices are mechanical climbing equipment used to control a rope during belaying.

Climbing and descending a cliff is very useful when you’re fighting to stay alive, and with a device like the Petzel GriGri 2 Belay Climbing Device, you’d be much safer, and it can get you out of harm’s way faster and easier too. (Some climbing lessons aren’t a bad idea either!)


A compass is a great tool even if you’re just out for a walk and get lost — yet, during a disaster, it’s critical. In times of crisis, you need a compass that won’t have polarity problems but rather one you can rely on. I like the Cammenga Model 27CS Lensatic Compass. Navigation is an essential survival skill taught in survival school and something you need to learn in addition to polarity protection and correct care for your compass.

A good long-lasting, stainless steel multi-tool is vital during any type of disaster. The multi-tool should have special fittings that can take off hardware around locking mechanisms, disassemble parts of vehicles and remove ventilation covers. The Victorinox Swiss Tool Spirit Plus with Pouch is an excellent example of such a multi-tool and has thirty-eight functions and even contains a bit wrench with six bits. This is important if you come across screw heads that a standard screwdriver can’t fit.

I would also consider something like a Leatherman Multi-Tool, which will also be handy for your firearms — just be sure to purchase the 40-bit add-on set so that you can open pretty much anything you discover. Having a multi-tool can be very helpful and even get you out of danger or into an empty building when you need emergency shelter.

Obviously, you don’t need to buy all these items. However, the more equipment you can purchase, you and your family will be better off during a catastrophe. Selecting the appropriate gear will get you through any disaster without too much difficulty or stress.

Maybe add these items to your wishlist and post a copy on the fridge? You can also drop a hint or two before your birthday to let folks know any of these items would be a welcome addition to your preparedness efforts. Now, that’s thinking!