A survivalist Christmas

By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  December 5, 2012

A PREPPER BIBLE Backwoods Home is good reading — and tinder.

For the ardent (or ambitious) homesteader, consider a subscription to BACKWOODS HOME magazine (great holiday deals are available at backwoodshome.com, including: sign up for two years and you'll also get the 296-page Emergency Preparedness and Survival Guide). Topics in the latest issue include "bartering basics," "gun scopes," and "suturing skin."

That's right — you should learn to give stitches! After all, access to a physician's care may be curtailed in the event of a disaster. Hopefully you won't need them, but it never hurts to have medical supplies on hand. A TACTICAL TRAUMA KIT, like the one from militaryuniformsupply.com ($189.99), is a backpack full of first-aid necessities, including emergency blankets, hemostats (surgical clamps), calamine lotion, and antibiotics.

Along those lines, perhaps you want to sign up your friend for an upcoming CPR CLASS (find them at maineredcross.org), or survival training course. Or, LL Bean is hosting a two-day WILDERNESS FIRST AID COURSE on May 18-19, 2013 ($205; wildmed.com). That site leads to WILDERNESS MEDICAL ASSOCIATES, based in Portland, which also offers much more advanced coursework; so does SOLO, in nearby North Conway, New Hampshire (soloschools.com).

The JACK MOUNTAIN BUSHCRAFT SCHOOL in Northern Maine (where I trained in winter wilderness survival last winter; see "Woman Versus Wild," February 10) and the Augusta-based MAINE PRIMITIVE SKILLS SCHOOL both offer instruction in foraging, animal tracking, fire-building, navigation, and shelter-making. These range from one-day overviews to week-long intensives; learn more at jackmtn.com or primitiveskills.com.

Or maybe you simply want to bestow the comprehensive HOLIDAY PREPAREDNESS PACKAGE, available through mypatriotsupply.com for $99, which includes a 72-hour food kit, a quick stove, the Life Straw water filter, a magnesium firestarter, waterproof matches, and more. Leave this under the tree, and your loved ones will know you care — enough to want to ensure their survival.

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