Desert Survival

Things to Remember for Desert Survival

The desert is a formidable place that is notorious for claiming the lives of even the hardiest of explorers throughout history. It combines the lethal cocktail of blisteringly hot days, freezing cold nights, a lack of water and plenty of deadly animals to threaten the lives of anyone who travels through it. So, if you should ever find yourself in the desert, either by chance or by choice, what are the main things that you will need to remember in order to survive? Here are a few of them:

Desert Survival

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Protect yourself from the heat – The sun during the daytime gets incredibly hot. Most of the desert animals choose to stay under cover during the day – for good reason! Take a tip from the locals and do the same thing! If you have shelter from the sun use it, especially during midday when the sun is at its strongest. Anglo Forro a leading outdoor survival store can provide you with all you need for a desert refuge. It is best to travel early in the morning and last thing at night. If being out in the sun is unavoidable, make sure that you are wearing a hat. If you don’t have one, use any piece of clothing to cover the top of your head in particular.

Desert Survival

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Water – One of the deserts rarest treats, the human body can’t go long without it. Make sure that water is a priority and that you have plenty of clean fresh drinking water. Do not gulp the water in large amounts, instead drink it gradually throughout the day in smaller sips to stay well hydrated. Make sure you have water with you, as your chances of finding it in the desert are very slim, and with that sun beating down you will be dehydrated quicker. Also, don’t even think about drinking alcohol in the desert – it will dehydrate you even faster, and impair your ability to think rationally – essential for desert survival.

Be Calm – This is a very important rule to remember in any survival situation. Keeping a cool head and not panicking will make your chances of survival much higher than someone who is panicking as you are much more likely to make sensible decisions when calm, not to mention panicking will over exert you leading to you losing even more water!

pension drawdown

Five approaches to pension drawdown

Following the government’s introduction of new pension freedoms in 2016, investors can draw money from their pensions as they need it, and keep their funds invested, instead of buying an annuity that guarantees income for life.

pension drawdown

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This has meant, however, that individuals are faced with difficult choices. Helpful information can be found at the Pension Advisory Service.


Annuities are currently offering relatively low incomes and drawdown offers greater flexibility and potentially better returns from both capital and income. It remains, however, a riskier option. The alternative of a Self Invested Personal Pension is dependent on market fluctuations, and consequently, it is essential to leave enough in the pension fund to avoid the worry that there is not enough left to cover further income needs in difficult market conditions.


Advice from an Independent Financial Advisor will be essential for most investors, and most advisors will have access to software for IFAs, such as that provided by

pension drawdown

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There are several approaches to bear in mind. Drawing capital at regular intervals to meet needs will mean selling investments to generate cash. Although selling investments as they fall may appear attractive, this can erode the value of the portfolio quickly.

To adapt to these circumstances, the investor may have to reduce income expectations, change investment strategy or buy an annuity.

It may be advisable in these circumstances to purchase bonds or dividend-yielding equities and build up cash within the portfolio for withdrawal needs. However, keeping cash may affect the ability to sustain income over the long term, as cash reserves generate little or no return and can have a detrimental impact on the portfolio.

One way to avoid this is by limiting withdrawals to the income generated by the investment pot, but then income will be variable, depending upon the portfolio’s performance. Alternatively, an investor may choose to delay taking any income until later in retirement, giving more flexibility on the investment front.

An investor not relying on long-term income from the pension may choose to make larger withdrawals, but there are important taxation considerations with this strategy, particularly for high tax bracket investors.

Finally, all individuals will have different requirements and so there is no simple strategy to drawdown and so advice is essential.

business owners life

A Day in an Online Business Owner’s Life

Every once in awhile someone asks me how I manage my time. Frankly, I don’t think I’m in a position to laud my system—I’m such a perfectionist that I always think “Um, I mess up my time management constantly! Why do you want to know what I stink at?” This is especially true when it comes to doing the task I think I should for marketing my own blogs. But I guess that I look like I’m pretty well put together most of the time. At least that’s what I hope!

I run a successful online business with a large number of clients, a personal blog, and still find the time to participate in lots of volunteer and hobby groups.

My Organizational Tools

You might be a bit puzzled to think that I’m a tremendously tech-savvy person but that I still use paper calendars and notepads. The thing is, I love seeing everything laid out in one place where I can easily flip back and forth. I’ve found digital calendar apps and organizers so tedious to use that I just don’t use them.

I manage a lot of appointments and meetings between all the activities I do as well as running a business. It’s a lot to manage and I’ve never really found an easy way to do it all.

I use Google Drive to manage my files for clients but recently it’s been tremendously unreliable (like erasing and not syncing data!). I’ve used Zoho and Blue Camroo before and hated both of them. Other solutions don’t offer the all-in-one life approach I’m looking for either. I’m lazy, I don’t like using twelve apps to do one thing!

Right now, I’m using the following:

A wall calendar with color-coded posts and meetings with a checkmark system for when that item is completed. Occasionally, I’ll use some sticky notes to remember things that don’t fit into my calendar for the future.

A notebook where I jot down my hourly schedule for the day and tasks that I need to do.

Of course, all this will change when I hire someone else to work with me. And it’s very quickly getting to that point! (I’ll be searching for qualified part-time team members in the future so watch if you’re interested.)

My Daily Routine

During my day, keeping a strict schedule is really important. If I don’t, I’m not making money. I have certain income goals I have to make every single day to survive so scheduling out my time to hour increments is vital.

Most days, I’m up between 5:30 and 6:00 and work on things for this blog as well as my business’ blog until my boyfriend wakes up. We eat breakfast and go for a walk in our neighborhood and that floats depending on what time he wakes up in the morning. Read More Must have fitness apps for 2018

Three days a week, I work out for 20-40 minutes after a walk and shower after and two days a week I do yoga in the evenings instead and shower immediately after our walk. (I’m on a mission to stop being such a desk-lazy person and lose the twenty pounds I gained since college. I do video workouts because I have the world’s shortest attention span for things I don’t like. See a trend here? I once read a profile of how executives view their time and I fit every single trait!)

I work on the client’s projects and needs until lunch and then stop to eat with my boyfriend and talk about what we’re each working on or do some professional development. In the afternoon, I schedule meetings or continue working for clients.

Those two days a week I do yoga, I stop around 4:45 and hustle over to my gym but most days I work until 6. During work time, I listen to opera, classical or sometimes pop music with headphones most of the time. If I don’t, I tend to lose focus. But it’s all about knowing how to rein yourself in, right?

Then it’s off to making dinner and spending time doing non-work things away from the computer for the evening. We’ll play cards, Scrabble, or watch our favorite shows to relax. Sometimes we go for a second walk or go to the park if it’s nice.

We’re usually in bed by around 9 and listen to Selected Shorts or the New Yorker Fiction podcast. I usually fall asleep within the first five minutes of the story and couldn’t tell you the next day what the heck it was about. Subconscious osmosis? I hope so.

In there, I also do monthly and weekly group meetings for things like Geek Breakfast, the Faulkner County Democratic Party, and similar things. Some nights we have events to attend in the mix and other days I might have meetings during the day for non-work things. Keeping an hourly schedule really helps manage this.

How do you manage your time? What tools do you use?

Bad Art Party Idea

Make Bad Art Party Idea

I took painting lessons from a crazy old hippie artist all through high school. I haven’t painted in years though. It’s probably because I focus too much on what I can’t do with my skills rather than what I can do. But there’s a new idea that might just want I need to get started again or to help you try painting while having fun with friends.

One of the things I loved the most in my art classes was what Mr. Phaneuf called Friday paintings. To save money on paints, we’d put plastic wrap on our acrylic paints. But on Fridays, we’d go crazy and use up all the paint on our palettes. It never lasted through the weekend and would be a glop of hard paint if we didn’t.

In those Friday moments, our “internal editors” shut off and it was pretty soothing to just smash the colors on whatever was handy.

I’m borrowing Steve Ewing’s terms here for that thing that holds so many of us back from creating. We’re so focused on perfection that we erase what we make to the point where it doesn’t exist anymore.

Last week, I spoke with Steve about his new book, Make Bad Art, and why us would-be artists get hung up on internal editors. We had a great discussion about abstract art versus still lifes and how to turn editors off. Steve and his co-author Robin Varni have found a way to turn off those editors and have fun with friends all at the same time. It’s called a Bad Art Party.

What is a Bad Art Party?

When you declare that all you’re going to make is bad art, you let go of certain expectations for success and perfection—those very same that hold you back from even trying. In the end, you might find that what you create is actually pretty dang good. So don’t let the name mislead you!

The idea is to get a group of friends together, choose a theme, and give each person a canvas and a bunch of art supplies. Set everything up and give folks some time at a canvas and then it’s time to switch! Everyone contributes to every canvas so you don’t really know what you’ll end up with when you’re done. It could be really terrible or really beautiful!

Steve said one thing when we discussed his book that’s been really sticking with me.

We get better by making mistakes and we shouldn’t be afraid of it.

Now that’s something to get you thinking, right?

How to Throw a Bad Art Party

I thought it was a pretty easy concept to grasp—and one to execute. But after speaking with Steve about the book and the Art Party process, it’s a bit more complex than it seems. So that’s why Steve got Robin on board with the project.

Robin is a trained artist and guided Steve through the aspects of the book most of us need a lot of help on too—like what kinds of supplies we’ll need. Art can get pretty complex when it comes to creating lasting quality paintings you can put up on your walls!

Inside the Bad Art Book, there’s great explanations on what you’ll need and what kinds of options to look for, as well as the lingo you can take to the art store with you so you get the right stuff.

There’s also all kinds of ideas inside the book for tasty menu items. No one wants to have a bunch of starving artists on their hands, after all.