“If-Then” Self-Defense

if-thenI am always interested in the studies of crime statistics, probabilities and scenarios. Certainly these studies yield important information and can act as prediction indicators of the occurrence of crime but the information they gather, simply put, are generalities. IF such and such is in place, THEN we may assume that x,y,z will follow. Basically, when it comes to crime indicators, I think the if-then scenario concludes the following predictability reliability: Sometimes. When it comes to predicting whether or not a certain person will commit a violent crime one must consider the individual with their ever changing experiences, chemistry and soul status. I am sure that even the most organic of us cannot predict with any certainty what another will do from one moment to the next.

No one is immune from crime. If we were, we wouldn’t need all those statistics, probabilities and studies to predict its occurrence in the first place. Life itself is an “if-then” scenario. If we are in the path of any number of scenarios that manifest into a violent crime, then we must know what to do. Danger is always brewing somewhere.

In terms of safety, we simply are safe until we are not. Sounds simple but it is true. Here’s another if-then scenario to think about. If you learn nothing, then you will know nothing. Although our basic instinct may be to survive in the face of danger, that often is not enough to actually survive. It is not enough to want to survive if you don’t know how.

Logically speaking, there are just too many threatening scenarios to think about preparing for. At the end of the day, we live with so many risks all around us that it just doesn’t make sense to consider them all and wonder which one we will most probably have to deal with. We rely on studies and statistics, to make educated choices about our safety based on our best guess of where we fit into those statistics and that is helpful, however, crime doesn’t always make sense therefore statistics can not be 100% accurate and only so much of our society can be patrolled at once.

Simply put you will never really know what is coming your way until it is happening.

The only thing we can really rely on is ourselves. The best defense to the myriad of risks that ebb and flow around each of our interactions in life is to know where we stand within them. By it’s very nature, violence is not a predictable event. If it were, no one would become a victim, and clearly, there are victims of violent crime every day all day long.

What safety really becomes is another if-then scenario. Simply put, if I am attacked, then I need to know what to do to survive. If I know what to do then it doesn’t really matter if I am attacked. I know how to defend myself so I will.  That skill will help me get out of trouble. It is the same way that I approach renting a car at the airport. If I know how to drive, then it really doesn’t matter what make or model they hand me the keys to.  If I know how to drive, then I will and increase my chances or arriving safely because I have the basic skill. You cannot always predict which threat in life you will have to deal with, but if you know how to protect yourself, then your chances of survival increase no matter what situation you find yourself in. But only if you have the skills.

We are not born with appropriate self-defends strategies because the nature of threats against us change with the climate of the era. However, it is essential that we do learn to protect ourselves because we never know which situation we will be handed. Without skills, we live a life of chance of which threat we may actually encounter, and common sense tells us that it is not a matter of If, but a matter of when.


Mindset Self-Defenese offers workshops, products and a cutting edge magazine dedicated to the self-defense, personal protection and safety of women. Learn more at http://www.mindsetselfdefense.com


Off the Grid-EMP Communications- Hands on Preparedness

Off the Grid by Tim Ralston
Hands On Preparedness
EMP Communications



There are numerous events that could occur, which would have a devastating effect on life as we know it. An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is surely one of them. Electromagnetic pulses (EMP) are oversized outbursts of atmospheric electricity. Whether powered by geomagnetic storms or by nuclear blasts, the resulting affect on magnetic fields can be strong enough to burn out power lines and electrical equipment across state lines. An EMP would take down the power grid in an instant.

In recent news, Arizona (Gear Up Center’s home state) passed a bill requiring the state to educate their residents on how to prepare for an EMP. They will provide tips on water, food storage, and the medical supplies that would be needed during this type of catastrophe. While they are the first state in the country to do this, it is hopeful that it will open the doors for more to follow. After all, with the number of unpredictable disasters taking place in our country every year, it is vital that everyone adopts the principals of

We applaud Arizona for taking steps in preparing for the effects of an EMP. Yet, the thought of the grid actually going down is an unbelievably hard concept to swallow, and would mean intense lifestyle changes in addition to acquiring various survival skills.

In the United States, we are reliant on electricity for really EVERYTHING. This is an overwhelming truth that can’t be denied. For this reason, it is important to break down the areas of your life where you use electricity, and learn how to replace them with more primitive but reliable solutions.

I would like to provide some creative tips on what would be important skills, products and resources to have in case of an EMP. As a topic of such great magnitude, let’s break it down into smaller categories and relay them in the preparedness series beginning here.

The first area I would like to address is communication. In our society, we spend so much time communicating with each other. Whether it’s on social media or through cell phones, everyone is more connected than ever before. By clicking onto Face Book, you will learn just as much about the girl that sat behind you in math class, as you do your actual
real life best friend. This accessibility has lead our generation to interact largely with each other through the use of computer and screens.

If an EMP were to occur, it would propose a problem to those who prefer technological communication, forcing people to actually “Laugh Out Loud.” In fact, this limited mobility
would also drive people to interact not only in person, but also in smaller radiuses than we are currently used to. In this type of dire situation strong communication skills are most essential, not just for your entertainment, but indeed would be necessary for your very survival. Here are some important ways that words may be just what keeps you alive.

Read more of the article where Tim Ralston covers bartering, hostile situations, and leadership here (Pg.46)

-Tim Ralston

Tim Ralston
Author Tim Ralston is an international spokesman and recurring featured survival expert on National Geographic’s #1 rated program DOOMSDAY PREPPERS. Tim owns the survival brand Gear Up, exclusive manufacturer and provider of cutting-edge survival gear and apparel. Contact Tim on Twitter: @gearupguy-tim Gear Up Center: (480) 306-4945 Scottsdale, AZ.

Emergency Preparedness- The Series


Emergency Preparedness-The Series

Part 1-Overview


You probably never heard of Staten Island, the small borough I grew up on in NYC. I never once thought about hurricanes or massive flooding from the ocean that lie just a few feet from where I lived and played. However, thanks to Hurricane Sandy, you now may know where S.I. is. Residents are still recovering, just as others are from Katrina and countless other natural disasters and challenges. Thanks to Dan Ronin for this series, and Tim Ralston’s Preparedness column, for teaching us what we need to learn to be prepared and manage a crisis.

-Kris Costa

Are you ready?

By ready I mean prepared, prepared for most tragedies that might befall you, your family or community. Whether it is a natural or man made disaster there are steps you should take immediately to insure your safety and survival. First your family needs a plan. You all should know what to do and where to go in the event of an emergency. It is highly
possible the phones will not operate. There is a remote possibility your car won’t or can’t be used. You should have a back up plan for the family members who can’t follow the plan on their own. A disaster can come in many forms. Here are a few examples, I’m sure you can think of many more:Earthquake, Fire, Volcano, Tornado, Tsunami, Hurricane, Flood, Extreme drought, Mudslide, Epidemic, Pandemic, Plague, Nuclear War, Chemical or Biological attack, Rioting, Gas or food shortage, Marshal law, EMP, Financial collapse or Terrorist attack.

For most of man kinds existence it was natural to grow food to eat now and store food for leaner times. Sometime ago people started to label others who were prepared for disaster;
“survivalist”or “prepper” usually with a bad connotation.

Where did we go wrong? Doesn’t it make sense to have emergency preparations? A plan in case the worst happens? I think it makes perfect sense, so let’s look at what you should do.

First of all what do you need? Well it depends on your plan and/or the situation, like whether you are going to stay at your home or have to evacuate. Obviously staying home is
easier, however sometimes it is not an option and you might have to evacuate, maybe in quite a hurry. Here is a list of essential items you would be glad you had in case you needed them.

1. Water
2. Food
3. Shelter
4. Weaponry
5. First-aid
6. Transportation

Let’s Break it down….

Remember you can go several days without food. It won’t be comfortable but you will live. . The same is not true of water, without water you will die. Painfully, in a short period of time. You should store and rotate large water cooler type bottles in your home. I recommend a minimum of 1 per person and they should be replaced every couple of years . There are many alternatives to not having water stored. First of all if you have enough warning you could fill up your bathtubs, sinks and any portable receptacle you might have. If not your water heater is full of fresh water that you can drain. If you have a pool you can filter or treat the water in it. You should have a couple of ways to purify water to drink. Most people have chlorine liquid bleach. A few drops of bleach in a gallon of water will kill most pathogens. Boiling will also work, remember “big bubbles, no troubles”! You can acquire chemical treating tablets that will purify water from most outdoor or camping stores as well as various filtering options. If you go with a method like filtering or chemically treating as opposed to storing then you need to practice using it so you know how to correctly do it when the time comes. Obviously a combination of all options is best.

The easiest way to build an emergency food storage is to buy a little extra each time you go to the store. Things like canned and dry goods have a very long shelf life such as tuna, chicken, vegetables, beans, rice and pasta. Keep all canned and dry goods rotated for maximum freshness. The next option is dehydrated and freeze dried food. You can find a very wide variety of food that has been either dehydrated or freeze dried. Both options are very effective for long term food storage and have the added benefit of being ultra light. If you own a home or rent an apartment there are many ways to have a garden. While it is difficult at best to grow enough food to eat, it is a nice fresh addition to your menu. If allowed you could also keep chickens and reap the benefit of the regular eggs. Hunting, fishing and gathering are last on the list but you have to do what you have to do to survive. So learning to hunt and fish is a good idea as well as becoming confident with what foods grow wild in your area and where to find them. Just as with water, have a
plan, be prepared and use a combination of food sources.

Read more on Shelter, Weaponry, First-aid, and Transportation on page 21-22.

-Dan Ronin
Dan Ronin has trained in the martial arts for over 30 years. He is a
combat veteran who served as a Military Police Investigator in the
Army for 8 1/2 years. Dan offers classes in Counter-Attack self defense
for open hands and weaponry, as well as disaster/emergency
preparedness. Contact Dan at dan@roninproducts.com or


Hands on Preparedness-Campfire in a Can

campfire in a can 3

Improvised Survival Tools- Hands on Preparedness

As an advocate for preparedness, I believe there is nothing more valuable to survival than the knowledge that you possess. If the “it” were to hit the fan, it is crucial that your family be
prepared with the vital essentials. Yet, without really knowing what the “it” may be, it is also of great importance to be educated in ways of resourcefulness!

One reason to prepare is due to the world-wide rise of natural disasters. Unsuspecting cities have been turned to ruble because of storms, etc., leaving families desperate with the
limited supplies available during the aftermath. This is where the benefit of being able to improvise your own survival tools may come into play. Learning how to take the most common objects and turn them into essential and useful emergency items can be a critical lifesaving skill to have in times of devastation.

There are many other motivations behind my efforts in encouraging these do-it-yourself projects. Beside heightening your chances of survival if the “it” were to ever happen, they are also a fun way to bring you back to the basics. There is nothing more gratifying than being able to depend on your own abilities, not only in necessary times of trouble, but during fun family outings as well.

One of my favorite homemade survival tools is the campfire in a can. This project requires very few supplies and is effective in multiple applications. You can use the campfire in a can for warmth, cooking, or illumination, all without the need for fuel. This mini campfire is also portable and easy to extinguish when you are on the move. Cool to the touch, you can quickly cover the can with the lid and be on your way!

Campfire in a Can Supplies Needed:
• Tin with a lid
• Paraffi n wax or old candles.
• Corrugated cardboard

Assembly Instructions:

1. Cut the piece of cardboard ¼ inch shorter than the length of the can.

2. Tightly roll the cardboard and place it inside the can. Be sure to use a piece large enough so that when coiled, it fills the can in its entirety.

3. Melt the wax in a pot and slowly pour into the can until it is filled.

4. Let wax set inside of the can until hardened. There are many other great tools that can be improvised from common household items. Follow my column for more fun and resourceful ideas, which
will allow you to rise to a new level of preparedness whether for fun or survival!

Tim Ralston
Author Tim Ralston is an international spokesman and recurring featured survival expert on National Geographic’s #1 rated program DOOMSDAY PREPPERS. Tim owns the survival brand Gear Up, exclusive manufacturer and provider of cutting-edge survival gear and apparel.
Contact Tim on Twitter: @gearupguytim
Gear Up Center:(480) 306-4945
Scottsdale, AZ.

International Sportsmen’s Expo This Weekend

International Sportsmen’s Expo


Come to the International Sportsmen’s Expo held at the University of Phoenix Stadium Thursday (2-20) thru Sunday (2-23) and visit with our fabulous partners:

PARTENRS AQUATIC CENTER FOR DOGS who work closely with Arizona Dock Dogs to train the dock world’s up and coming starts wil be holding a fabulous competition!

Stop by the GEAR UP CENTER booth and meet the inventor of the Crovel, Tim Ralston! He has some new innovative products to share with all who stop by!

TIM RALSTON, international spokesman and recurring featured survival expert on NatGeo’s #1 rated program DOOMSDAY PREPPERS, is also the innovator of several survival and outdoor adventure gear brands.  Tim integrated his lifelong love of the outdoors and adventure into founding Recon Outdoors and distributing under his Gear Up Center and Ralston brand. His company is an industry leader in developing, manufacturing and acquiring cutting-edge outdoor adventure and self-reliance gear.

With a heavy emphasis on branding American Made products, Ralston strives to bring the best possible gear to market while creating American jobs. Created from his military and adventure experiences, many of his innovations have received worldwide attention as the best self-reliance/outdoor multi-tools in the industry. Tim contributes and shares his philosophies on self-reliance and preparedness education through media venues such as: National Geographic Channel, Fox News, Anderson Cooper Live, Guns and Ammo, American Survival Guide and many more.

Presenter Image

Create Delicous Meals With Long Term Food Storage



  • Gear Up is pleased to host Kristi Averett as she educates, prepares and shares her recipes, techniques and culinary skills to entice the pallet utilizing long term food storage.

  • Thursday, February 13, 2014

    6:30 PM to 8:00 PM

  • Gear Up

    10953 North Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard #108,Scottsdale, AZ (map)

For more information or to RSVP for this event, please go to: http://www.meetup.com/Self-Reliance-Preparedness/events/163539752/

or contact Gear Up directly at: 480-306-4945.

Please tell them Mindset referred you!
Thank you!