Pool Shock: Making your Own Bleach

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Making your Own Bleach With Pool Shock   “Now you may even have a beautiful well on your property, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to have this on hand…why? Because you never know where you’ll end up, who you might meet and want to help, and in tough times, … Continue reading

DIY Vinegar: How to make Vinegar

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homemade vinegar

(Photo courtesy of girlgonegranola.blogspot.com)

Vinegar has numerous uses from cooking to cleaning, but apart from those wishing to be more green or back to earth homesteaders vinegars many uses have been forgotten over the past generation or two.

There are a multitude of Vinegars that can be made from Red Wine Vinegar to Balsamic, etc., however for this post I will concentrate on the more simple type since in most of the U.S. and most of the readers here wine is not so easy to come by especially in a grid down scenario.

To make Vinegar first you will need some sort of liquid that contains ethanol, that could be beer, wine or hard cider (if you are a home brewer or live in apple country this will be easy).  Another substance you can use is just plain old sugary drinks, from fruit juice to sugar water.

If you live in an area that has apples or you have planted apple trees in your yard then this will work beautifully.

The amount produced will depend on how well you do this so experiment a bit to get the right amount.

1) Wash/Clean the apples and cut them, skins and all, into tiny pieces and mush them up with your hands and feet (or a juicer if available).

2) Strain it through a Muslin or similar bag into a pot.

3) Pour the juice from the pot into clean, dark glass jugs or mason jars and cover the tops with cheesecloth or cotton shirts and fasten it with twine or a rubber band.

4) Let sit in a cool dark place (root cellar works perfect) for six+ months.

5) Once done (you will know by the smell) strain and bottle it.


If you have a lot of apples and make cider or pies, etc. you can let the cider sit for a long while and it will turn into vinegar, or you can take the waste from the production of cider and pies, etc. and store it in a jar or crock and cover with cold water.  keep adding the waste cores and peels to the crock (keep in a warm place for this method) and over time it will develop into vinegar.  Taste some good cider vinegar now to get your taste buds trained because this method is based on you tasting it to see if its strong enough.  Then strain and bottle.


To make the cheap and easier version i described earlier using sugar water, just take that liquid and pour it into  a clean jar (large) or stainless steel container.

The way to get your first batch going and to be a “starter” for future batches is to start now.  Get yourself a good bottle of unfiltered, unpasteurized vinegar or if you want to spend a little cash order a starter/culture from a winemaking/homebrew supply store (see below picture or click link to the left).

Add this starter or proven vinegar to your concoction and let it sit.  Its important if you are making it for taste to use a proven bacteria starter that will give you a decent taste right off the bat, or you will have to test and experiment to make one of your own.  Once you have your first batch made your can use some of that to add to future batches and have no need for any more of the original starter once its used up.  This is a great way to be self sustaining for harder times.





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Bushcraft Girls and Why Fathers Should Empower Daughters With Self-Reliance Skills and Knowledge of the Great Outdoors

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My Father didn’t buy my first car. My father didn’t throw me an over-the-top birthday party every year. My father didn’t buy me every cool, new toy, gadget or outfit that I wanted. My father didn’t teach me that the world centered around me. Why? Because my father loved me non-monetarily and in a way that I can never repay. He didn’t love me with “stuff,” but he did love me enough to want to empower me to always be able to take care of myself no matter what may come my way.

My earliest memories of time with my Dad are of things like teaching me how to catch crawdads and how to use them as bait. I learned to ride a bike with him running behind me (or so I thought). I quickly surmised, as I was gaining speed down a large hill, that he had entrusted my safety a long time ago….with me. My own safety was now in my own hands. I panicked, but somehow I knew that he wanted for me to succeed and that he wanted for me to do it on my own. I mastered that bike that day.

He taught me everything from identifying dangerous snakes to siphoning water in a situation where you can’t reach the water. I learned to be strong, brave, but not fearless. I learned respect for mother nature. I learned that the world, my surroundings and circumstances will not adapt to me, but that I must be capable of adapting. I learned the most profound lesson from my Dad that I have ever learned. I learned that I am capable of improvising, adapting and overcoming stressful or even frightening situations and that I am strong enough to not only rely on my own will and tenacity, but strong enough for others to lean on as well. And, all of the most important “stuff” that my Dad taught me, he taught me in the great outdoors.

I can’t thank my father enough for being such a profound influence in my life and for being strong mentally in a way that I deeply admire and have forever sought to be like. For all of those long hours I spent climbing and hanging out in trees, thinking about exploring the world, and considering all of the possibilities in every landscape I encountered, thank you Dad.

Fathers who do outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, shooting, archery, exploring and especially  bush-crafting and survival skills, have a remarkable ability to pass on a legacy that is simple, yet enduring to their precious daughters…..empowerment. You have, within your grasp, the ability to teach your girls to master their surroundings via shelter building, fire-crafting, hunting, fishing, trapping, foraging, knot-tying, cordage making, water purifying, and knife skills. The moment you strap that kit or backpack onto your girl and begin to show her all that you know….you are forever changing her in a way that will empower her to go out and take on the world.

As you raise your “bushcraft girl,” you are increasing her odds of success in life. You are showing her that she is strong, capable, confidant and worthy of conquering her surroundings even when those surroundings don’t always play by the rules. If you invest the time, the dedication, and the love into your daughters, your daughters will flourish. Your “bushcraft girl” will be less likely to be taken advantage of by others, less likely to compromise her dreams, and less likely to devalue herself. But, most importantly, you leave a legacy with your girl that will last a lifetime and beyond. Raise your daughters to be strong and  independent. Give them a solid foundation in the great outdoors instead of gadgets. Love them enough to empower them with real life skills. I will be forever grateful that my father raised a bushcraft girl.

Read more and comment at breadandcountry.blogspot.com

PART III: The Continuing Saga of: You Can’t Survive The End Of The World As We Know It Without First Surviving The World AS We Know It

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As promised this (PART III) is a continuation of previous posts (Part I and PART II).

Here is an excerpt from those posts: (If you’ve read this part in the other two posts already feel free to scroll down to the numbered points).

Why would I care about social skills in TEOTWAWKI?

Whether or not the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI) is in our near future, down the road or never comes to pass, the fact remains that if you are reading this, you currently live in the world AS we know it. The world as we know it is a social landscape. Everything we have built and everything we do is contingent on other people. We have all become the people we have become because our ancestors were survivors. 

How does learning from my ancestors help me in TEOTWAWKI?

Our ancestors were adept at creating and maintaining groups, tribes and societies. Because of their ability to function in a society or group, the people before us mastered the art of making clothing, tool making, fire, water collection and purification, container making, shelter building, hunting, foraging, fishing, trapping and agriculture. Ironically, all of these things are things that most of us today no longer know how to do on our own. If we face a catastrophic change in our current state of the world, these skills would once again mandate who lives and who doesn’t.

But first….

Those ancestral survivors mastered and honed their social skills. They worked together toward a common mission of survival. In order for you to confidently move toward honing the abilities that they once had, you must first master the art of social survival. Even if your preference or your plan is to be a lone wolf, because you live in a social world, your odds are greatly increased if you have social skills to add to your basic-needs “survivor pack.”

The following (PART III) is a short list and a continuation of PART I which included skills #1-3 and PART II which included skills #4-6 (both can be found in previous blog posts). This list is not all encompassing and will be added to in future follow-up posts, but here is a mini foundation of basic “social survival skills” for interacting, attracting, inspiring, motivating, and leading people:

So, here are three more “survival skills” to throw into your kit….

7. Judging others:

I find it rather amusing how some people have an unyielding moral compass comprised of heavy, tungsten alloy when expressing their opinions, criticisms and judgments of others. However, when turning that same moral compass to the self, suddenly, morality is flexible, adaptable, fluid and even adjustable to individual circumstances.

Be careful being so critical of the conduct of others if your own self-regulation is void of even an ounce of integrity. Just one more reason why we should all carry two compasses when navigating….in case one isn’t accurate. 

8. The best part of an argument is absolutely nothing:

This skill is a reminder that no none actually wins in an argument. No one hears each other. No one will suddenly, amid a storm of yelling, come to your way of thinking during an argument. Generally, someone only appears to win the argument because the other party acquiesces, submits or becomes indifferent. There are no “real” winners in an argument.

In order to “win” someone over to your way of thinking, you need to give them something to believe in. Open up and share your thoughts, feelings, and opinions in a healthy way. Inspire and motivate others and they will follow your lead to include listening to your point. The “loudest” one is rarely the “rightest’ one. If the argument is unavoidable or unsolvable, wait for a better, calmer opportunity to discuss things. Find a creative way to attempt to get someone to hear your point of view. Creativity and compassion, together, can solve problems without argument. Keep this in mind whether you are leading your family, subordinates at work, a committee, or elsewhere.

9. What can you agree on?

This social skill is about finding a happy meeting ground in all discussions and interactions. In a disagreement, you first meet and discuss the points that you both agree on. This tactic is useful when dealing with very confrontational or difficult and defensive people. Find at least one common point or common ground that you each are in agreement about BEFORE addressing anything where your opinions or thoughts differ.

This is a very wise tactic in both leadership and in everyday interactions with others. Finding common ground first and agreeing on points equates to cushioning and calming any discussions or debates that follow and aids in making the conversation more productive and positive.

So, what does this all mean for me?
These three skills in addition to the social survival skills presented in Part I and Part II are should be added to your “social survival kit.” Read and re-read these three life skills and begin to practice them everywhere you go and in everything you do. Social skills, like tool making and fire starting, must be learned and practiced.

 Master these and master your social landscape. You live in a social world now and no one can predict what the world will look like one day. Mastering your social landscape can only improve your odds of survival in the world as we know it as well as into the world that we don’t know…yet.

Read more and leave a comment at breadandcountry.blogspot.com

Family Survival Books

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Family survival books to increase your survival skills – learn how to cook with your food storage, preserve food, backyard farming, healing herbs, catching rain water, home security and more.

Lots of Questions

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Today’s Harvest minus the whole bag of broccoli

Where to begin?  It seems I’ve been gone from here forever yet not much has changed other than the work intensity.  The weather has played a remarkable role in it all.  That’s what I keep telling myself anyway. 

I’ve got another question for you guys.  See the difference in color of some of the squash.  Some of it looks almost orange. They are hard to cut and don’t seem to cook well at all. Why do you think that is?  

Everything in the garden seems to be behind  by at least a couple of weeks,  maybe even more with some things.  I haven’t canned my first jar of beans or peas yet.  Not a single one. That in itself is pretty unbelievable for this time of year.  I know it won’t be long though.  There are all sorts of blooms on everything.

My dill, cilantro, basil and other herbs either didn’t come up at all and that that did make an effort went to seed before it ever even got big.  Some of these are required to be partners in different recipes.  *sigh* I’ll figure something out though.

I need to find a decent dill pickle recipe this year.  Even with the squash bugs on full throttle the cucumber plants are really doing well.  Now the question is what the heck will I do with all these cucumbers.  There are only so many things I can do with it.  I’ve got several different things I can do with the fresh cucumbers and we are having cucumbers at most every meal. 

The broccoli has done well.  We are eating it at least once a day and adding it to salads. We just love broccoli! It’s starting to bolt however.  Do I replant it for a fall garden or if I just leave them alone will they make goodies on their own?

Why is it that the tomatoes never get ready to eat until after the lettuce and other stuff has bolted?  lol just one of those things that make you go hmmmm…..
I need to be replanting some lettuce but I’m wondering if it would do better to start in a few weeks, after the heat of summer is backing off. 

I had finally got used to having a food processor in the house.  It was a garage sale find and  I really got my moneys worth for $4  One of those little things that you don’t miss until you have had one and then when it dies you realize just how much work it did.  *sigh* Just in time for summer too!

I’m still fighting the #$*% squash bug war.  It seems to be working though as long as I’m participating in it’s destruction.

Speaking of destruction I’ve been weeding like crazy.  In fact I’ve done so much that I seem to have pulled a muscle or something in my neck. I can hardly move it and if my buddies in the preppe’rs chat room could see it I’m sure they would have a super fun time giving me grief!

Well, like I said to begin with things are

How to Poop in the Woods

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People dance around the topic, talking about good hygiene, telling you to be careful as to where and how you relieve yourself in the outdoors.  But NO ONE has given a clear, step by step process on what to do when you have to do your doo in nature.

Until now.

…And I even give you some helpful plants to look out for along the way.

DIY Vegetable Powder.

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Dried veggies (Left)Veggie powder (Rigjt)

 I was in the kitchen last night and trimming off some of the broccoli when it hit me.  I think I’ve only mentioned this once before some time back.  This time of year many of us have an abundance of vegetables.  Have you ever thought of making your own vegetable powder? It is so easy to do.   Did you know that Parmesan cheese lids will fit your small mouth jars? 

  You know those celery ends that get tossed to the chickens? (unless you saw the pinterest picture about growing the bottoms)  stuff given to the chickens, rabbits or the compost pile?  The wilted lettuce or the  cores.  Bell pepper tops, onions, squash ends, carrot skins, cucumber ends and skins, tomatoes or whatever gets cut away from your vegetables?   Well I save mine in a gallon baggie kept in the freezer till the baggie is full.  I pull it out of the freezer every time I’m making a salad or messing with fresh veggies  and just toss whatever ends and pieces I’m not going to use and stick it back in the freezer.

 Once that baggie is full I fire up my trusty dehydrator and lay it all out on trays and leave them there to dry.  You don’t even have to thaw them out first.  Once they are dry I put them into something like a canning jar and vacuum seal it shut.   You are just trying to keep moisture away from it. What I’ve done is to store mine in canning jars and keep one jar  that I’ve ground up in  a coffee grinder. If you don’t have a coffee grinder(they run between $10-$15)  You could also use your blender but it might be a little more coarse.

Think of it!  You can make your own Mrs Dash or try experimenting new combinations of seasonings.  I’ve been using some veggie powder that I mixed up a few days ago that has kosher salt, cracked pepper, onion powder, cayenne peppers and  garlic powder as a base.
 Then comes the taste test .  If it needs more of whatever I’ll add it then. Use it on beef, chicken, pork, or use it as a dry rub for BBQ and its even good on fish . It’s good on veggies too. Use some dried hot pepper for a bit more  heat if you like.

Some of the other things you can do with vegetable powder is to add it to soups and stews, even meatloaf, dry rubs, use it to season your salad.  It’s good as a soup thickener instead of using corn starch. And probably more healthy too.

 If you have picky kids you can sprinkle the powder in things and its a good way to sneak more vegetables in their diet!

And while we are talking  about powders don’t forget that you can also make tomato powder easily too.  In case you didn’t know you can even save your tomato skins when canning up your summer tomatoes.  The chickens are pretty ticked off when  I do this but I do it anyway. They are used to getting some!   Anyway… I just dehydrate the skins and make tomato powder from them too.

 Another neat trick I learned was making my own tomato paste and tomato sauce and even tomato juice with the powdered tomatoes.  Just stir in a bit of water with your tomato powder until you get the thickness or thinness  you want. 

There are several ways you can make your vegetable powders.  Just use your imagination whatever will  work for you.  If you want a green vegetable powder just use green vegetables. Kale, swiss chard, spinach or anything else you want to use.   You can add it to smoothies or whatever you would want green veggie powder.

The thing I like most (other than using it)  is that it didn’t cost anything other than running the dehydrator.  It’s all made from vegetables and tomato skins that you aren’t going to eat anyway. 
 I find myself using the Sci’s Mrs Dash on tons of the stuff around here.  Mark another (or several) thing I don’t have to pay to the beast.

“I am John Gault”       🙂   
Sorry I couldn’t help myself!  LOL

I hope the rest of your week goes well, Come back next time and we’ll talk about……….. well heck who knows but I’ll have cookies and coffee ready when you get here.

No Sheeple Here

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Where does a “prepper” end and self sufficiency begin?
When one realizes that prepping is all well and good, but unless you have the incredible fortune to have 5 years worth of supplies squirreled away, you’re going to have to learn how to be self sufficient.
In fact, many advocates of self-sufficiency started  on the path to prepping.

When I say “prepping”, I’m not talking about tinfoil-hat-wearing-rifle-toting-live-underground types.
Generally, I’m talking about the folks who put food and basic supplies aside in times of just-in-case.
Just-in-case could be shortage of work, extended power outages, store shortages, road closures, natural disasters, and the list goes on depending on geography, financial climate, etc.

Digital Journal explains it like this;
“The heart of the prepper message: No power, no stores open. No stores open, no food. During the Los Angeles riots, truckers refused to deliver to supermarkets because it was too dangerous. People living day-to-day who have consumed the limited amount of food they have begin to get desperate, and, in the case of a massive or multiple disasters, government assistance may or may not be forthcoming. Indeed, the government itself may be the problem.”

It’s an easy stroll from a “prepper” mindset to one of self sufficiency.
For example, one day I can be thinking about buying freeze-dried fruit online and three days later I’m planting my own strawberry beds so that I won’t have to buy strawberries online next year. The money I save not buying the fruit online can be diverted into a dehydrator.
See? No message of doom and gloom, but rather, think ahead.

It’s an engaging, a creative use of the grey-matter between our ears. One that takes responsibility for ourselves. One that says we can think for ourselves, no sheeple here, thank you very much.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/world/doomsday-prepping-comes-of-age-reaches-cities-affluent/article/384096#ixzz34og7c5uA

It’s Done

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 First let me say right away that this was Mars’ project 100%.  What you are looking at is something he’s been wanting to do for a long time.  We have water, water everywhere. I’m so proud of his stamina and know how to get this project done.
This part runs from the top of the main garden to the lower garden.  In the middle where the pole bean row is we’ve got a faucet. Now I can water the two new red buds without having to drag two hoses to get it done.

Then he dug trenches to reach out to those trees in the front of the property.

There’s now a faucet down there.  The next project will be moving the rabbits down under those trees with a permanent home complete with a self watering line for them. Woot!!! no more hauling gallon jugs to their hutches!!! We have enough old tin from the barn he’ll use.  The plan is to have a removable back on it to block the winter winds.  More on that later.

See that trench dug to the right?  Later on he wants to plant fruit trees up on the top of the hill.  There is also a big garden spot over there.  Yet another project on the list.

The trenches are dug at about 17″ and well below the freeze line.  Here’s the water line he used. It’s one inch poly tubing.  It’s also the kind he hooked up to the RV and the barn.

 The line now runs down to the lower garden  across the driveway and ends with a faucet!!!!  (I took some pictures of the finished project but you had to look hard to see it once the pipe was installed and the dirt all tamped down.

We’ve been dragging hoses down there to get water to the irrigation system.It’s also close to the future goat’s home.Like I really want goats!!??!! I’m not so sure after reading about the antics.  Ahem     I’m SO HAPPY!! Water Water Everywhere and not a hose to drag.  I know some folks will say “So what” but this is big news  and a labor intensive too.
Mars did a great job!  That’s a whole lot of digging.

And there you have it!   The Newest Project!

Making a Tincture of Plantain

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Plantain (the weed, not the small banana) has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb.  Native Americans and Europeans have used it to treat a variety of medical issues including skin wounds, insect and spider bites, snake bites, and indigestion.  It is said to even help with acne and blood clotting.  Overall, this prolific weed has some powerful medicinal uses.  I’ve just recently discovered it, but I’m already impressed with it as a treatment for bug bites.

With all of this new information I have, I ran into a problem.  As it gets hot here in Texas, the Plantain is starting to dry up and crumble away.  I researched ways to preserve some of it.  Dehydration is an option, but I’m certain a lot of the medicinal qualities would evaporate away.  It looks like the best option to save the qualities I want is by making a tincture.  Tinctures are liquid extracts, usually made with ethanol.  I just happened to have a stash of moonshine at a pretty serious concentration, probably close to 180 proof (90%).  A bit of Google research turns up that tinctures are simple to make.

The basics are to add plant matter to the alcohol, let it sit a while, then strain the plant matter out with a filter or cheesecloth.  The alcohol will absorb the herbal goodness.

Raw Plantain Leaves


Rinsed and Chopped Leaves


Leaves in a Pint Mason Jar


Adding the Alcohol


Leaves Steeping

The leaves will steep in the alcohol for a week or two to do its work.  After this time, I will strain the plant matter out and save the liquid.  This liquid is the tincture.   This batch will net me around 9 or 10 ounces.  Once it is done, I will put it in a dropper bottle and test it out on the numerous bug bites I receive here on the homestead.  I’m really hoping it can offer some relief from all the chiggers that seem to find my legs delectable.  Stay tuned for an update in a couple of weeks on the final product and the relief it might offer.

The Week in Review sorta….

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This weeks progress

It seems another week has gone by since the last time I sat down and tried to “put pen to paper” as it were. It started out with yet another back procedure (yeah, that means needles) and a bit of recovery time. I think we are coming to an end to it for awhile though.  One more to go for now.

I suppose it worked out though. I laid up for a bit while it rained the first of the week.  We’ve been rain free for about 3 days now (unless you count the light overnight bit we got on Wednesday)  I was looking at some pictures I took of some of the rain we got last week and realized just how much everything (including the weeds) has grown.  This is a picture from last week.

I spent half a day sitting on my bucket and pulling weeds for the past couple of days.  I am in no way caught up but at least I was able to put a healthy start on it. 

I’m working on re-dusting the squash and the melons.  I’ve seen a few of those &^%^ squash bugs and killed every one I could see. There aren’t many though.  Not like the past couple of years. I’ve checked out most all the leaves for the eggs they lay and there are tons of them.  It’s a struggle to try and keep up with them but I’m giving it a heck of a shot.   If I can keep ahead of the suckers we just might be able to put some up this year.  It’s a slow process, checking every single leaf but it’s necessary.  If I don’t those suckers WILL take over.  Good news is I’ve been able to harvest a good dozen nice squash.  Can you say fried squash?

The lower garden has gone wild.  The corn looks good so far and I’m trying to keep the weeds under control. It’s got no tassels yet but I’m sure it won’t be long at this rate.  There are some sort of melons (including some Canary melon)and maybe some squash down there. All of it was volunteer plants from the main garden.  We just dug it up and transplanted it down there.  Everything looks great so far though don’t you think?

Here’s some proof positive that we’ve had a LOT of rain. The only time we see any of these guys is when it’s been really really wet. Just don’t tell my sister-in-law or she’ll never ever come back here to visit!

Mars has been working on the newest project here and has put in some tremendous labor making it all happen. I’ll have pictures soon so I can share it with you.  It’s amazing just what will make some of us happy! 

What is a Survival Knife?

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What is a survival knife? This question brings more opinions than any other topic I know of. How big, what metal, hollow handle, plastic sheath, double edge or single and of course, what brand is the best.

Mostly what I read on the web is personal favorites but none really deal with the core subject of survivability. Of all the survival tools in your inventory, regardless of the environment, the knife is something you don’t want to make the wrong choice on. So facts speak volumes and opinions are, well, opinions.

It is widely agreed that a true survival knife falls between 5″ and 7″ (blade length). I personally lean towards the 5″ blade but I do commonly carry a 7″ blade especially when I know I’m not making any stops at the local grocery store. For whatever reason, many people see that extra 2″ of blade a “clear and present danger”. With a 5″ blade, in the right sheath, I can usually cover it with my shirt.

Grips are a no brainer. Micarta really is the only choice. Originally developed by Westinghouse, this material is designed to withstand virtually any environment (including a wide variety of chemicals) and temperature ranges. If blade steel was this good I wouldn’t even bother with this article! Micarta also has the unique ability to be molded into any color and makes for some beautiful handles (not really a “survival” concern, but nice).

Sheaths are in the same category as the grips. You can’t beat the new, molded to the knife shape, thermoplastics. Even though I prefer my knife sheaths to be leather, the long-term durability of plastics make leather “antiquated”. There is some room for a nylon sheath argument, but compared to Zytel  resin, nylon fabric is old fashion. Plastic sheaths also have an advantage of being mounted in any configuration, on about anything with just a new hole and a plastic tie. You’ve got to love them!

Blade style is a big area of contention. Knives run from the exotic and saw backed to the plain Jane clip. A good blade shape takes into consideration what the knife is going to be doing on a day to day basis. If the knife is going to be hacking down trees then a heavy, weight-forward blade would be ideal. If skinning a moose was the primary function then a long upswing  in the bowl would be good.

A Survival Knife is a tool. A tool which may be asked to do a lot of different tasks from hacking down a tree to skinning a moose so it needs to take all these into consideration. Of course, designing a knife which could do all these and do them perfectly would probably create a freakish looking piece of steel. People have tried, but for the most part people have failed. So what does a survival knife look like?

The answer may surprise some because it has been around for a long time. The clip point bowie, made famous by the USMC in their knife. Straight and to the point it defines the shape of a tool which can do a lot of different things and do most very well. Most modern knives are some variation of a clip point, but for long term reliability, the less “sexy” the better. You can beat on it to split wood, hack down small trees and even skin a rabbit. Overall there really isn’t a better style.

Does that mean the Marine knife is the best. Not really. They are good but the tang is lacking because of its design. A survival knife should be solid (same stock dimensions) tip to tip. However, the blade shape is spot on.The Marine signature knife, although adequate and proven, lacks a few things. The grip is leather and susceptible to environment, the blade is not quite thick enough for extreme use and although a good fighting width it should have more meat for chopping etc. etc. However, for its purpose, it works.

So now that I have upset the world of survivalists, lets move onto the steel and bother everyone else. The are so many new alloys on the market that saying this steel or that is the best for survival is almost impossible. With new methods of tempering stainless and infusing nitrogen, this metal once only used in the dive industry is now common place in field knives. So where do we go when we pick a metal for our knife?

Lets start out with a brief comparison between stainless and non-stainless (often called carbon steel). First, carbon is what makes steel hard and chromium makes it rust resistant. Stainless blades have less carbon and more chromium, Non-stainless the inverse. Carbon steel blades can be forged, giving them additional strength. Stainless, can be forged….by very qualified people with great difficulty and even then the forging can cause microscopic fractures which can lead to blade weakness. Carbon steel can be differentially tempered giving them good edge quality and good flexible strength. Stainless’ temper is consistent. Carbon blades tend to rust. Stainless is just that; stainless.

So in my little book, you can never beat a good carbon (non-stainless) knife. I can treat rust in the field with animal fat but I can’t fix a snapped off tip. Now I already hear the arguments and I’m sure they are all good, but I have broken enough knives in the field to know what I will carry. So of the carbon steel alloys, which is the best? It is a close call between A2 and D2 steel. A2 is an air-hardened steel famous for it use in combat knives (and is the one I prefer)  but  D2  has the best overall performance and can be differentially tempered. It is highly rust resistant, flexible, holds a great edge, very abrasion resistant….its just good steel. In fact it’s good enough that many high end knife makers are turning to it.  Now I do want to make a possible exception to the D2 “ONLY” statement. There is a new alloy called INFI which is supposed to be as good or better, but I haven’t used it or studied it yet…..however there are some credible rumors.

Does that mean there is no place for stainless. NO, the Scandinavians have been using stainless to great success for…..heck I don’t know; a very long time. And some of the new stainless alloys are really getting close to D2 performance (close). The best thing about stainless is that it is environment resistant so anywhere there is going to be a lot of salt or moisture, stainless may be the way to go. So which is the best stainless, if your inclined that way? I have to lean towards VG-10. I think S90V (found in some Spyderco knives) is the ultimate stainless but it is seriously pricey. So stainless of choice goes to VG-10.

VG-10 is a good balanced alloy with just enough vanadium in it to allow it to be honed to a nasty edge. I has good rust resistance, good strength, and is moderately durable. Overall it is a good material to make a knife out of. The one thing to remember about stainless is that quality means higher $$$. You can have a 1095 carbon blade (lower end of the non-stainless) and it function well, but if you go with a cheap stainless you may just leave part of the blade behind.

So what makes a good survival knife? Nothing, really, that wasn’t in use way before my time. A good forged carbon steel blade with simple straight lines and a sheath to hold it. Modern technology has brought us more consistency in our steel quality, better handle and sheath materials and it has given us field knife grade Stainless Steel (something which was un-heard of just 30ish years ago) but other than that we haven’t come that far. As far as Survival knives are concerned the key is Strong, Simple and functional.

Personally, when I carry a mass production knife, It’s the US made A2 steel field knife by Blackjack (Mod. 14). HOWEVER, recently Universal Survival Innovations has been designing their own Combat And Tactical Survival (CATS) series of hand made knives out of D2 Tool steel and by far these are the my preferred choice!

Remember! A knife may be your last option for survival so make it your best option!


Overall preparation for what nature can throw at us is not that overwhelming but it does take a little effort. USI has a wealth of information, equipment and training for everyone about all forms of mitigation so visit our web site at www.usiusa.com and if you have a need feel free to call!

USI understands that Survival isn’t learned from books but real world experience. This is just one area which makes Universal Survival Innovations unique in the world of training and equipment.

Check out our website at www.usiusa.com

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or send us a message at info@usiusa.com

Author Ben Barr is a 30+ year SERE Specialist who has been a curriculum developer for the USAF Survival School, USAF Water Survival School, USAF Air Mobility Command, USMC and USN

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An Update on Maevis

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Maevis is now coming up on 11 weeks old.  In the past few weeks, she’s started to lose the roly-poly fat puppy look.  She’s gotten a lot taller, and all of it is legs.  She’s also a lot more effective at chewing on everything.  She chews on shoes, furniture, Sarah, Me, the kids, and Maddie the McNabb Shepherd.  The puppy teeth are a trial, but at least she lets us sleep through the night now.  House training is going ok considering her age.  She alerts us when she needs to go outside, but we have exactly 2.3 seconds to open the door before she leaves a puddle in the entrance way.  It usually takes me 4.7 seconds to get to the door.

Maevis is starting to learn a few commands.  “Sit” and “Stay” are catching on quickly, so I’m starting to branch out and increase the vocabulary.  She is learning quickly, but is still completely disinterested in the “Come” command unless she thinks there is something in it for her.  She’s a very clever girl, but I think we are in for some stubborn attitude.

Sorry for the slightly blurry image.  The puppy is in constant movement and has complete disregard for anyone wanting a good picture!


Homemade DIY Organic Potassium Supplement

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EU-Kommission genehmigt Stärkekartoffel Amflora / EU Commission approves Amflora starch potato


Every plant needs potassium to grow, it is necessary for proper growth of the plant itself as well as to flower and flourish.

Anytime of flouring fruit needs a good supply of potassium to grow from peppers to potatoes to fruit trees, if you don’t have a good supply of potassium you may find your plants growth is stunted, leafs are curled and it is just not producing that well.

So how do you get more potassium into the soil and/or pots to help your plants along?

Below are a few suggestions on how to do this, all of the suggestions are focused on organic methods since if you are not concerned with organics you can just go buy a chemical fertilizer and spray it on.  I don’t like chemical fertilizers for a few reasons, mainly that they are a crutch to self sufficiency.  Sure they can give good results now but what will you do if the SHTF or you cant afford the fertilizer or some other circumstance arises where it is not available to you?  You will be left with a soil that is deficient in all the necessary nutrients for productive growth and your yield will be small to nothing.  Worse you will have no experience in the sustainable ways to do this and will be wishing you did, chemical fertilizers are a crutch that will leave you on your ass in the long run.  We are seeing the effects today as more fertilizers are being used to get the same yields as before because the soil is dead, there is no fungi or other beneficial and natural helpers left in the soil, they have been killed off by overuse of the these artificial crutches.

If you want to be self sufficient you need a garden, period, whatever that may be for you, you need it for your long term plans. You need to have not just seeds stored away but the experience and know how to raise them effectively, without that its like throwing you into a college bowl game and being told to coach on day 1, you will fail and it wont be your pride that hurts, but your belly.  An aspect of gardening, an important one is the realize and understand the intricate web that is present in nature that leads to productive yields, ignore it at your own peril.




Comfrey Tea

Green manure, unlike its brown cousin, is plant based, hence the “green” in the name.  This is basically using beneficial plants that can provide nutrients as a fertilizer base, this can be done in two ways.

1) Use the leaves, etc to put in the planting holes and/or dig in around, beside, etc the rows/plants you are planning to grow.

2) Make a “Tea” which is basically putting in the material into water (ratios may differ depending on the plant) and letting it decompose and leech the nutrients into the water making a beautiful and healthy liquid fertilizer.

On Monday I wrote a post on Comfrey a absolutely great plant for green manure, it is high in nitrogen and Potassium among other things and breaks down quickly allowing for use as a tea or just the leaves.

Beans (soy and others) and Parsely are also good for this.  There are many others and some varieties that work better than others, do some research on “green manure crops” to find out what will grow best for you.




Unsulphered Blackstrap molasses (1-3 tbsp per gallon of water) is said to work well and is high in potash.


wood ash potash

This is the age old tried and true method for raising potassium levels in gardens.

Hardwoods work best (produce more ash) and some better than others.  As a general rule of thumb for every cord of wood you burn you will yield around 25 lbs of wood ash.

A cord of Oak will yield enough ash for a 60×70 foot garden area, while a cord of Douglas Fir will provide enough fora 30×30 garden.

Be aware that wood ash will raise the PH level of your garden, so test with a soil Ph kit and keep an eye on your garden.  If you compost with a lot of fruit (acid) this will probably help balance things out a bit.  Don’t add a bunch all at once, sprinkle it on, wait a few days/weeks, test, add more, etc.


Bananna peel potash

banana peel potash

Now this isn’t helpful if you don’t live in a tropical climate and can grow it, but for times when you have access to grocery stores, keep and collect banana peels (have friends do the same).  By adding this to worm bins or compost (watch for fruit flies) the potassium will be present in the worm compost (learn how to create your own worm bin here) or regular compost, however there is another way.


1) Dry the Peels in the sun, dehumidifier or bake in the oven

2) You can direct bury the charred remains or burn them in a small fire until they are ash.

3) You can also just directly bury the peels in the ground as well as use the rind of banana and lemon to do the same thing, but it is more labor intensive obviously!


If you have any other suggestions on potash/potassium supplements please comment below!



A few other suggestions (but mostly you will have to buy) are…

  • Kelp Meal
  • Greensand (deposits on rocks in old seabeds)
  • Granite Dust.  Find from granite quarries, etc.  This will NOT be a quick fix and is to be used as a long term solution as it takes time to break down.
  • Directly layer manure into the ground, on top or make tea.

DO NOT USE CHARCOAL ASH! the sulphur contained in it will kill your plants.


If you are not interested in this DIY method I recommend Jobes Organic Fertilizer spikes for containers.  I had good results with them last year before I started my worm bins and experimented with these DIY measures.






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The Lord is Our Shepherd – Psalms 23

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ray-gano-medI love the 23rd chapter of Psalms. It speaks to me on so many levels. It helps settle the turbulence that is in my heart when I read the horrible goings on in the world. It also helps me to remember that HE, God the Father is still in charge and that HE will see us through.
The Lord is my shepherd … it is interesting that so often we place man on a pedestal. I have to admit that it happens to me, people put me up as some great holy guy know it all and then they realize that I am just a sheep, just like them. Just like you.
The Lord is our shepherd and because of that we will not have want. He is there for us and even though we have other “sheep” we learn from and align with, at the end of the day they, us, you are all still sheep in need of the one true shepherd.
That is not to discredit those of us who are called to lead and be in the service of The Lord. But sometimes it goes to folks head and it gets the best of them.
I look at all these famous bestselling pastors out there. Caught in adultery, homosexual trappings, drugs and debauchery. They think they are above it all and forget that they are just sheep like everyone else.
Knowing that The Lord is my shepherd is comforting. At times the weight of the world sits so heavy on my shoulders. That is when this chapter helps me realize what I really am and who is really in charge.
God is in Charge, He is my shepherd. Because He is in charge, His grace is sufficient for me. I shall not want.
Back when we first moved out to the ranch in New Braunfels we were given some sheep to take care of. Boy did we learn a lot from watching the sheep. They are really stupid and stubborn creatures. I now know why Christ refers to us as sheep so often. Because we are stupid and stubborn as well.
That is why I find verse two so humorous. He MAKETH me to lie down in green pastures.
When we had our sheep they were constantly trying to get out onto the ranch. We had great green grass, good feed, fresh water all the good things that sheep love. But the grass was always greener on the other side of the fence. One time two of them escaped and it took me several hours to wrangle them back. I had to lasso them and literally drag them back into the safety of the yard. Both of them kicked and fought me every step of the way. I was really tempted to just leave them out there, but I knew that they would end up as coyote food once it became night.
Like our sheep, God makes us lie down in green pastures. Why? Because he loves us and he is protecting us from the predators that are out there. But we constantly want to escape so we can partake in the “greener grass” that we believe is out there.
He leadeth me beside the still waters. Like the green pastures, God knows what is best for us. If we just get to that point where we will submit to His will and not our own, we will find out that the waters HE LEADS US TO is the freshest and quenches our thirst like none that we can ever find on our own.
But the key is to submit to HIM and allow the Lord to lead us. It is something hard for a sheep to do.
But if we do, “He restoreth my soul.”
This is something that all of us need today. The world is so hard and it seems like it is pressing in harder and harder on us daily with all the trials and tribulations that we as Christians endure. I am reminded again of His Grace. It is sufficient for us and is there for us even in our darkest times. He sees us through and restores our soul.
the-lord-is-my-shepherdWhen we finally submit and start walking with Him, allowing Him to lead, “He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
God leads us in the way of being one of His children. He instructs us through His Word and directs us through that still small voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to us through our conscience. After a while we start to see His providence at work in our lives because we came to the point of trusting him and stopped being stubborn.
This is our duty. In past writing I taught of the Servant – Warrior. To walk that path of duty is the truly pleasant way. When we submit to the shepherd and He becomes our King we discover that the path of righteousness is a path of true peace.
The key is submission, like the sheep finally submitting to the shepherd. We cannot walk these paths unless God both lead us onto them and lead us in them.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;

This is the peace that walking the path of righteousness gives. Even though we are facing all sorts of trials, life changing events, maybe even death, God promises to be with us.
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
When we see these mentioned the first thing that comes to mind is hooking the sheep with the shepherds crook. That is the big curve in his staff and that is how he captures sheep who do not want to listen and try to run off. The rod or a goad is a stick with a sharp point that prods us in the direction that the shepherd wants us to go.
When we buck against the goad, we feel the prick.
Scripture says…

Ecclesiastes 12:11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.

When we finally learn to submit to His rod and His staff, we realize that there are boundaries. See boundaries for sheep is a very good thing. The boundaries are there to protect us and keep us safe. They help us to live a life of peace and tranquility in Him. His rod and His staff they comfort us. They remind us of the boundaries the shepherd has put in place because He loves us and wants the best for us.
Like the sheep we used to have, we wanted them to be protected and live a life of safety inside the boundaries of our yard. The coyotes and other things were out on the ranch that could lead to their destruction and kill them.
When we do submit and we learn the boundaries He has placed before us and we learn to live within those limits, rules, laws and we come to realize that life is good.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Even in the midst of trouble, trials, hardship and affliction, we realize that His Grace is there. He gives us a peace that only God’s Grace can provide, so much so that our cups runneth over. The key is to remember that we are the sheep and He is the shepherd. In submitting to the will of the shepherd is the only way that we will have that peace that pours over us. Much like warm fragrant oil being poured over our head. The warmth of the oil envelops us and the sweet fragrance fills our nose with soothing smells that calms us.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

When we are in that place of peace, it truly is a place of goodness and mercy that the shepherd provides and will continue to provide all the days of our life.
shepherd-carry-sheepThis is what it means to dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
The Lord is our shepherd, and our King. He alone is the one who sees us through the storms when we allow him to be our shepherd. But when we buck against the staff and run wild in rebellion, the shepherd will come after us and drag us back to Him, even with us kicking and screaming like the stubborn sheep we are.
Do you know what a shepherd does if he has a sheep that continues to buck against him and run away?
He breaks their legs so that the sheep cannot walk and then must be carried by the shepherd. This in turn causes the sheep to bond to the shepherd and that sheep will never stray very far from the shepherd. The sheep remembers the pain and will continue to have that “ghost pain” for the rest of his life reminding him of the consequences of running away and rebelling against the shepherd.
But if the sheep does not learn and bond with the shepherd, the shepherd will eventually kill the sheep. The shepherd realizes that the sheep will lead other sheep astray and endanger the entire flock. Sheep are natural followers and from time to time there rise up sheep that are rebellious. So for the sake of the flock, the rebellious sheep is taken away and put to death. It does not happen very often, but it does happen.
I highly encourage you to memorize the 23rd Psalm. It will be there in your heart when that dark time falls upon you, and yes, dark times are coming.
The more that we are able to equip ourselves with His Word in our heart the more we will be able to weather the storms that are beginning to bear down on us in these last days of the last days.
Trust in the one true Shepherd and submit to Him. He is the way, the truth and the life.

Psalm 23
A Psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.


By Ray Gano

Sequel to THE PULSE Finished

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   Days have turned into weeks with no contact from anyone outside of North America, where the power, communication and transportation grid has been completely destroyed by massive solar flares. In the ensuing chaos, grocery store shelves have been stripped bare and panicked survivors have fled the cities and towns, sweeping across the countryside in a desperate attempt to find sustenance and avoid the violence. 
   Artie Drager has risked everything to sail from the West Indies to New Orleans, where his daughter Casey was attending college. Finally catching up with her after discovering she had long since evacuated the city with her friends, Artie’s plan to get her to safe refuge on his brother’s sailboat begins to fall apart. Artie and his daughter must fight to survive, and hard choices must be made when part of their crew fails to return before they must set sail.
   This sequel to The Pulse explores the descent into anarchy that occurs when everything familiar in modern life is suddenly stripped away and survivors must adapt to a harsh new reality or die.

I have been working hard at wrapping up the manuscript for Refuge, the sequel to my first novel: The Pulse and it is now in the hands of the editors and hopefully on track for release later this summer in July or August.  Refuge picks up right where The Pulse left off, after a series of strong solar flares has shut down the grid over the southern U.S. and maybe even worldwide, as far as the characters in the story know.

My intention all along while writing The Pulse in late 2011-early 2012 was that there would be one or  more sequels, as there were so many possibilities for this unlikely group of characters thrown into such a life-altering event.  I wanted to move forward on the first sequel immediately after the release of The Pulse in the summer of 2012, but at the suggestion of my publisher,  I agreed to first write the parallel story for young adults, The Darkness After.  Response to that book has been extremely positive as well and I also plan one or more sequels to it, although they will likely be independently published so that I can get them out there sooner.

Hopefully, readers of The Pulse will not have forgotten too much of the story and will be able to pick up Refuge and move forward with ongoing dilemma that Larry, Artie, Casey, Jessica, Grant and Scully have gotten themselves into.  Things certainly get even more complicated for them in Book II, but setbacks and disappointments are to be expected in a major SHTF event like the one in this series.

I will post updates here as the publishing process moves forward, and there will almost certainly be a GoodReads Giveaway that you can sign up for as well.  As with all my books, review copies will be available for other bloggers and writers with related sites who wish to receive one.

Personal Camouflage and Concealment

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Camouflage is anything you use to keep yourself, your equipment and position from looking like what they are. Personal camouflage has certain simple rules that will defeat the most obvious sensor on the battlefield; the human eye.
Shape. Your helmet, load bearing web equipment, rifle and other gear have a clear, often square shape, and there are no squares in nature. Break up straight lines with

The Final Generation??? By Ray Gano

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finalgeneration410-200Do  we or do we not serve a God of logic and reason?
Well the answer is obvious, we serve a God of logic and reasoning. To confirm that all we need to do is look at His creation.
If we serve a God of logic and reason, then why do so many of us believe in things that almost equate to being a fairytale and worse, given no critical thought at all?

Matthew 24:34(KJV) Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 
Many folks point to this verse when speaking of the last day / end times.  Some say that the countdown clock started in May 1948, others say it was June 1967 when Israel finally took back the city of Jerusalem and won control of the Temple mount.
Both points are promoted, but I stand upon the birth of the nation that took place in 1948.

The issue that I want to focus on is this, IF we are the final generation, then why do we bow down to the god of time?
“WHAT?? The god of time?”
Yes, often when asked a question that is hard to answer, many people say “it is just a matter of time.”
Many people ask, “when will the rapture take place? ” Common answer is “Well, God tells us not to set dates, but it is just a matter of time.”
As a side note, let me state right here that I am one who stands upon the imminent return of our Lord, so please don’t send me emails giving me grief about timing and such.
There are many out there proclaiming that there is an upcoming middle east war and even claiming it to be a fulfillment of some of the prophecies found in scripture.  You see it in discussion forums, emails and even some popular bible prophecy teachers newsletters and websites.
” We will see prophecy come to pass this summer 2013, you mark my words. And if things don’t turn out, well it is just a matter of time till they do.”
Foolish Statements
With the election of the new Pope, we hear foolish statements like “The antichrist will be an Italian of roman catholic decent.”
Or this “Russia is going to invade Israel and then we are going to get raptured out of here.”
Or this, ” a European antichrist with his forces are going to kill all the Christians by beheading them, Revelation 20:4 tells us so.”
Or this, ” The coming war is the fulfillment of Psalm 83″
Or this.. ” Islam is going to be wiped out this summer in the Israel war.”
Do you get the idea at what I am trying to point out here?
People are making foolish statements that have little if any biblical backing what so ever.
Often they are thrown out there without any logic or reasoning given what so ever. The sad thing is that I have heard some of these statements come from the very teachers whose books we read, TV shows we watch, ect.
What’s more is that you yourself have heard these sort of things out there too.
What is the common theme in all of this?
If things don’t work out, all of these are backed up by the god of time.
” It will happen – it is just a matter of time.”
This is why I ask, are we the final generation or not?
People quote this verse all the time and then state something else that completely contradicts the final generation found in Matthew 24:34.

Matthew 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

 It is like the old Hollywood Indian saying you see in the movies.. “white man speaks with forked tongue.”
Folks, if we are the final generation then that means we are running seriously out of time.
new-popeWhat is the flip side of that?
We are NOT the final generation and all those bible prophecy that have come to pass, well, all those were just chance, a winning roll of the dice.
It is like we have become accustomed to having our cake and eating it too.
Either these things that are being taught are going to take place here soon,…
because we are the final generation,…
OR they are not and we are not the final generation.
In fact, let me pick on some of these statements to clarify.
“The antichrist will be Italian of roman catholic decent.”
This is one that has been tossed around out there for a while now, and I hate to say it, but time has just about run out on this one.
How has it run out?
Everyone can clearly see that Europe is being taken over by Muslims, this is a fact.
Based on birthrate studies, in order for a culture to maintain itself for more than 25 years the required fertility rate must be 2.11 children per family. Historically a culture has never reversed a fertility rate of 1.9 children per family. AND IF the fertility rate hits 1.3, it is impossible for that culture to reverse because it would take that culture 80 to 100 years to correct itself. In fact there is no economic model to sustain a culture during that time.
Let’s look at the birthrate of Europe.

France 1.8
England 1.6
Greece 1.3
Germany 1.3
Italy 1.2
Spain 1.1

Across the European Union  that consists of 31 countries, the cultural fertility rate is 1.38. Historical research tell us that these numbers are impossible to reverse.
islamic-rage-boy2In just a matter of years, Europe as we know it will cease to exist.
But Europe is growing and birthrates are high. What is taking place? Immigration.. Islamic immigration.
Who are having all the children?  Muslims.
Based on the numbers and information above, I do not see some Italian guy coming to power being backed by the catholic church when 1/3 of all European children will be born to Muslim families by 2025.
It is a fact that Islam will not bow to a Italian man backed by the Catholic Church. But the Catholic Church will bow to Islam and this has been historically proven time and again.
But what is the answer given by those who support this idea?
“Just give it time, you will see. Some Italian guy from Rome will rise up, you mark my words.”
Well they are dutifully marked and it is looking like they are coming up wanting.
Folks, the sands of time are running out. We do not have the luxury of time any more if we are the final generation.
Do you know that most census offices worldwide utilize as the timeframe of 25 years for a generation as an average?
But we are speaking biblically here. How long is a biblical generation?

Scripture says…

Psalms  90:10 (KJV)  The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

In other words, the number of years people live on the average is 70, possibly 80 if they are strong and of good constitution.
To back this up, Matthew in his reciting of Christ’s generations follow the Psalms 90:10 definition of a generation, 70 years.

Matthew  1:17 (KJV)  So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

Matthew is using the Psalm 90 definitions of generation in order to tell a specific chronological time story of our Lord Jesus Christ. So if Matthew is using it pertaining to and qualifying our Lord, we should use it also.
So with all that said, and just doing simple math, 1948 70 years comes to 2018. That is approximately 5 years. Well taking into account that 2013 is 1/4 over, we have a little over 5.5 years left.
Now I do not want to get emails saying I am date setting, I am not. What I am showing is logic and reasoning. Either we are the last generation or we are not.
Continuing on and looking at the birthrate of Muslims in Europe, what are the odds of an Italian man backed by the Catholic Church coming to power, uniting Europe as a force to rule the world in just 5.5 years?
Will Islam just sit back and let this happen?
If you say “Yes,” you are kidding yourself and rejecting logic and reasoning.
The problem is that these people who promote this idea have lost the ability to mix fairness with objectivity and are suffering from an acute case of “Don’t confuse me with the facts my mind is made up!”
In other words they worship at the feet of the god of time and feel like they have all the time in the world for their ideas to jell together.  
On the other hand, how many Muslims are looking for the Mahdi to come and establish the global one world caliphate?
Who do we as Christians look to in scripture to create a global one world government in these last days?
Think on this for a moment.
Here is another one the defies logic and reasoning…

” A European antichrist with his forces are going to kill all the Christians by beheading them, Revelation 20:4 tells us so.”
Revelation 20:4 (KJV)  And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Like the Italian AC, this is another one that is surrounded by illogical ideas when being promoted.
In fact I produced a 10 minute video taking this topic on.
You can watch this video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fVwv7r-Nqw
Many people point to the Catholic Church being the ones who will help the Antichrist dispatch all the Christians worldwide. A majority of the popular authors promote the idea.
on-killingI have been reading a book titled “ On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill In War and Society”  written by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman.
This book was written to explain a startling fact: throughout most of military history, up until the end of World War II, the vast majority of soldiers (between 75% and 95%) have refused to kill their fellow man.
Brigadier General S.L.A. Marshall, who studied this phenomenon during World War II, found that no more than 20% of soldiers would “take any part with their weapons”.
The interesting fact is that these results can be found throughout time and across cultures, from Alexander the Great who lost only 700 men in years of fighting, to tribesmen in New Guinea who remove the feathers from their arrows before going off to war, to the soldiers at Rosebud Creek in 1876 who fired 252 rounds for each American Indian they hit.
Grossman conducted very in-depth research.
So what was happening to these soldiers?
These fighting men were resorting to a number of options, and I mean anything that prevented them from having to kill their fellow man.
So what did these soldiers do?
Some fell back to support positions running supplies, ammo, messages. Some tended to the wounded carrying them off the battlefield.  Some even faked injury themselves and even others ran away. 
In fact many just fired into the air just above the enemies heads.
In Civil War times, conscience-stricken soldiers also had the option of pretending to fire – that is, loading up their muskets, mimicking the movements of a firing soldier next to them, and pretending to recoil.

Do you know at Gettysburg there were over, 27,574 muskets were found on the battlefield? Over 90% of these guns were loaded. On the average a good soldier can load and fire a musket about 4 times in a minute.  So logically speaking the chances of these muskets representing mostly soldiers killed JUST before they were getting ready to fire is pretty slim.
Do you know that over 12,000 muskets were found with multiply-loads down the barrel? In fact, at Gettysburg they found over 6,000 of them loaded with 3-10 rounds apiece? That means that the soldier “Faked” firing the weapon and then went through the procedure to reload the weapon. They consciously objected to killing their fellow man. So they just went through the paces to look like they were fighting the battle.
Clearly this shows that among soldiers a deeply ingrained resistance to killing is prevalent when faced with killing other human beings. But this isn’t just with soldiers, it is with man in general, he does not want to kill his fellow man.
Now what is interesting is that Grossman uses most of his book to discussing the ways in which this resistance can be overcome.
How can this take place? Simple, training and brainwashing is conducted upon the soldier.
Revelation 20:4 tells us the Christian martyrs will die, that is a fact.
But here is what I have to ask, were are the huge number of forces that are being trained to dispatch Christians?  In fact we also need to include Jews as well because we know that Jews will also be persecuted against during the tribulation.
How Many Will Die?
According to the website adherents.com, there are 2.1 billion Christians worldwide. This number also includes Mormons, JWs, ect.  
So how many of these will go in the rapture?
Scripture gives us clues.
In Matthew 7, which I consider one of the bibles most troubling chapters in all of scripture, we see Christ who is speaking to Christians / believers.
Scripture says…

Matthew  7:13-14 (KJV)  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at:
14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Christ himself tells us that there are many believers who are on the broad way that leads to destruction. He also tells us that those who are on the narrow way, the Lord tells us that “few there be that find it.”
Now I am not talking about losing one’s salvation. I am one who stands on if a person is saved, they cannot lose their salvation.
oprahWhat is being presented in this chapter are those who claim the title, but are not true Christians. These Christians In Name Only, or what I refer to as C.I.N.Os.
What do I mean by that?
Simple example, Oprah Winfrey publicly claims to be a Christian, but we clearly see that her fruits do not show it. We cannot judge ones heart, but based on her fruits, I would speculate that she is one of those on the broad way.
So how many is “few there be that finds it?”
To be honest I don’t know, but to look at the logic of this situation let’s be fair and keep things simple and say 1 billion Christians are raptured.
Of those who are left, again keeping it simple to explain logic let’s say that 1 billion “Christians” are left behind.
We also have to remember that there are approximately 14 million Jews in the world as well.
We know based upon scripture that 2 thirds of the Jews living will be persecuted.

Zechariah  13:8 (KJV)  And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.

That is approximately 4.6 million Jews left in the world with 9.3 million being persecuted.
My question is, who is being trained and brainwashed to kill 1 billion, nine point three million Christians and Jews worldwide?
Do we see the Catholic Church stepping up to the plate to fulfill this large order?
What about other false religions out there? Maybe Mormons? What about New Agers? What about the dreaded Freemasons?
Here is another point to consider. Studies show that it takes approximately 2-3 people to execute one person.
Now we know for a fact that there will be Christians and Jews who do survive the tribulation, scripture tells us of the nations who will populate the millennial kingdom. This is a fact. So not all 1 billion, nine point three million Christians and Jews worldwide will die. But a good number of people will.
So again, I have to ask who is being trained to dispatch these millions of people?
FACT – We know that man has an aversion to killing other human beings, Christian morals or not, that is clearly shown in the multiple military studies conducted.
FACT – We also know from scripture that “beheading” will be the method of choice so we cannot blame nuclear, biological or chemical weapons of mass destruction.
It will be the simple “off with their head” solution.
“Well Ray, the “restrainer” will be taken out so all hell will break lose.”
Good point, but it does not negate these studies. Grossman in his book talks about Alexander the Great who lost only 700 men in all his years and campaigns of fighting and concurring the known world. He also experienced the same unwillingness to kill. Alexander lived at the time prior to the restrainer.
Folks, the unwillingness to kill our fellow man is ingrained into us. God’s law is written upon all of our hearts.

Romans 1:18-19 (KJV)  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

19  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

We know that the restrainer was not present during Alexander’s time. There are other “pre-restrainer” cases in history that back this up as well. We also know that the law of God is known to all men because it is written upon our hearts.
The only way to overcome this unwillingness to kill our fellow human being, is to be subjected to training and brainwashing. In fact the longer that the person is exposed, the less remorse and mental trauma one will encounter.
Knowing that millions will die at the hands of the Antichrist and that a generation is 70 years. Where are the masses of people being trained today to kill their fellow man?
Last Generation?

Remember that based upon Psalms  90:10 a generation is 70 years. Again looking at Israel becoming a nation in 1948 and using simple math we get the year  2018 being the approximate end of the generation. Seeing that we are about on quarter through 2013, that gives us approximate a little over 5.5 year to train millions to behead and kill all those during the tribulation.
“Well Ray, I have heard that there are guillotines all over the US in secret FEMA camps just waiting to be used.”
Again, an unwillingness to think critically or objectively.
guillotineIf this was the case, who is the company that produced all these guillotines?
Where are they located?
Based on the statement above, they had to be shipped all over the US.
Where are the truckers to drove these guillotines all over the US?
What about the people who loaded and unloaded the guillotines from these vehicles?
What about the people who worked in the no-name factory who built these guillotines?
What about eye witnesses of some form or fashion, or  innocent bystanders who happened to be in the right place at the right time?  
The truth about a secret is that no matter what, it will not remain a secret very long specially if it is a government secret.
In regards to this story, there are too many variables that would easily expose the production of  these guillotines taking place in this nation.
In fact ramping up a company, training the workers and in these financially stressful days, finding the money, stockholders, and financial backing to achieve this as well as dispatching all those Christians, I think 7.5 years is not enough time.
Again there are too many variables that could go wrong in keeping this a secret. 
Now playing the devil’s advocate, and taking the US alone, how many true blue Americans would put up with a large number of guillotines being produced in secret? Someone would expose this, there would be pictures posted on facebook, videos on you tube. More proof of the company would come out followed by investigations and then congressional hearings.
Folks, a tool of death like the guillotine, would not go unnoticed and would be reported to the public the moment that the company came into existence .
 Just look at the 9/11 conspiracy,  the Obama birth certificate conspiracy or what about the old idea that  men did not land on the moon  and it was all shot on a movie sound stage?
All these are well known, the conspiracy of guillotines all over the US is a myth and does not have any provable facts based on logic and reasoning to support it.
BUT, let’s just entertain this idea for a moment and say it is  true, you would still need 2-3 people trained and brainwashed to kill their fellow human being day in and day out, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week non-stop because we are dealing with millions. Look how long it took Hitler to kill six million Jews. We are talking at least a billion people here.
Here is another point. Our own military is trained to kill and have put into practice these ideologies to help overcome the resistance to kill and still they are ineffective. Look at how many  of our gulf war and Afghanistan war vets come home with post traumatic stress syndrome because they have been trained and have killed, and yet they are still suffering the consequences of taking another’s life. 
The American fighting man and woman are some of the best trained soldiers in the world, but what is missing is the brainwashing making killing a part of their lives.
Scripture says…

Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)  Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

This is often seen as a blessing to Christian parents, but when viewed from another angle, it is seen as a curse.
islam-kidsWho has been training up their children to kill at such a young age?
You know and I know… Islam.
How many Muslims are there worldwide?
According to adherents.com, it is estimated that there are 1.5 billion Muslims. This study was also conducted around 2001. It is believed that nearly one-fourth of the world’s population today is Muslim. Without firm numbers it is believed that  there are more than 1.5 billion, to quite possibly 2 billion with Islam being the fastest growing religion in the world today.
So taking into account that Christians will be taken out in the rapture, that Islam is the fastest growing religion and that many will die at the hands of the antichrist, there is only one group of people that fit the ability to meet Revelation 20:4 and that is Islam.
Points to consider about Islam …
Muslims are taught to hate Christians and Jews
Muslims are taught to kill the infidel
Beheading is the standard form of execution
Muslims are taught from a young age to die for the cause of Islam
Muslims are taught to kill for the cause of Islam

But here is the stickler, all the countries mentioned in scripture that are associated to Christ’s physical return are all Muslim countries and are clearly named. There is no refuting that.
For example , the chapters in Isaiah 13 – 29 all deal with Christ’s literal second coming and the destruction of Israel’s enemies.
Isaiah 13 Burden of Babylon,
Isaiah 14:24 Burden of Assyria,
Isaiah 14:28 Burden against Philistia (Gaza),
Isaiah 15:1 Burden of Moab,
Isaiah 17 Burden of Damascus & Samaria,
Isaiah 18 Burden of Ethiopia
Isaiah 19 Burden of Egypt
Isaiah 21:13 Burden against Arabia
Isaiah 22 Burden against Jerusalem (occupied by enemy),
Isaiah 23 Burden against Tyre.

All of these are  Muslim counties.
In fact every time the sword of the Lord is mentioned, it is always in association to a Muslim country.

Ezekiel 30:4- 5 (KJV)  And the sword shall come upon Egypt, and great pain shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt, and they shall take away her multitude, and her foundations shall be broken down.
5  Ethiopia, and Libya, and Lydia, and all the mingled people, and Chub, and the men of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword.

We must accept the fact that Islam and the descendant of Ishmael, Esau and Lot are the last day players. Over and over again they are mentioned by name in scripture. Not the EU, USA, New York or Rome.
We as students of bible prophecy have forgotten that  this whole situation started in Genesis with the children of Abraham and a battle over the promised land.
The problem, there are many who refuse to look at the logic and reasoning. Like many of the statements believed above, they do not want  to be bothered with the facts because their mind is made up to what they want to believe even when it is clearly in black and white and contained in God’s Word.
I personally believe that we are the final generation.
If we are the final generation as many in the bible prophecy arena are teaching, we must contend with logic and reasoning and not fairytales.  
Just because something has been taught for the last 50-100 years, does not make it so.
We are called to look down at scripture and then peer out to the horizon to see how the world fits within scripture, not how scripture fits within the ideas that are being taught in the world.
We as students of bible prophecy need to put away all the books of men and look at what scripture is truly teaching.
We have forgotten to go to God’s Word and apply Acts 17:11 to make sure that what is being taught holds true to scripture. But more than that, it must adhere to logic and reasoning because our God is not a God of confusion nor does He lie.
Therefore if it is not God who is in error, we have to ask “who is?”
The obvious answer is man.
We need to once again learn how to think critically, with an objective mind. We have got to stop allowing people to “spoon feed” us what they believe we need to know and this includes me as well.
It is the Holy Spirit which teaches us and it is He who will illuminate the truth if we apply God’s logic and reasoning.
We also need to come to the realization that if we are the final generation that scripture talks about, then there are some issues at hand that we need to contend with and not push it off to the god of time.
We need to admit that there are things that we have once believed that do not fit scripture as well as the timeframe given the days we are living in.
We must come to the understanding that If scripture fits, we must submit.
There are going to be those out there who will argue the timeframe of a generation, when did that generation begin, when will it end, ect. Personally that does not matter, time is still time and it is ticking down. An extra 20 or so years will not really matter if we are the final generation.
islam-euTaking into account of the Muslim demographics presented, that situation is not changing and only some fairytale idea of all the Muslims being taken off the earth in some miraculous event is absurd. Yes, there are folks out there who believe that all of Islam will be destroyed.
The fact that an event like that is not even mentioned in scripture either except at Christ’s literal second coming when He destroys the enemies of Israel should tell you something about the idea.
Therefore we need to decide if we are the final generation or not. If we are that final generation, we have a limited amount of time in this generation for things to come together logically because we serve The Omniscience God of logic and reason. (all knowing all seeing)
More importantly, we need to start holding our teachers feet to the fire and challenge them with God’s Word as well as logic and reasoning. We need to start asking the hard questions and demand solid biblical as well as logical answers. Not these fairytale ideas that were dreamt up some 50-100 or more years ago when Israel was not a nation. 
We need to reexamine what we have been taught with a sound mind allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us and not the latest popular teacher with the bestselling book.
Folks, I hold myself up to the same scrutiny as well. If I am wrong, I am willing to admit that I am wrong if shown from scripture to be incorrect. I have admitted error before and I have no problem recanting something said in error.
But one has to ask, how many others are out there with all their books, DVDS, CDs, studies, TV shows on the line? How many are out there are willing to admit that they are wrong when presented with sound logic and reasoning in light of all their books, DVDs, CDs, ect?
Odd are that they will stick to the  “Don’t confuse me with the facts my mind is made up! Besides, it is clearly stated in my book, CD or study guide, so how can I be wrong?”
If that is the answer you get, then we need to question pride being the culprit.
Scripture says…

Proverbs 16:18 (KJV)  Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

If we are the final generation, we have a lot of work still needing to be done. Millions upon millions do not have any knowledge of the Lord our God, nor the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. We no longer have the luxury of time and must be about the Lord’s Work.
BUT… if we are NOT the final generation, then we have all the time in the world and can worship at the feet of the god of time.
What you need to do is ask yourself “what generation are we?
The final generation or the one serving the god of time?

By Ray Gano

Comfrey: A Miracle Plant for your garden

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Spring is gone, but no need to worry I have a plant that you can plant now and will be more beneficial to you, your garden and any livestock than anything you have planted yet.

Comfrey is a hardy perennial plant (meaning it comes back in the spring by itself without have to reseed), that can be planted anytime even in winter (if you dont get a deep freeze) that has numerous beneficial properties that make this plant something that you will look back and wonder why you didn’t get it sooner.



There are three types of Comfrey and depending on what you will want to use it for primarily and how much of it you want, will dictate which type you plant.



COMMON (True, Quaker, Cultivated) COMFREY

common comfrey

(Symphytum officinale: Borginacae family)

This type is native to Europe and grows to a length of 2 – 3.5 feet tall including the flower stalk.

Flowers are a creamy white/creamy yellow, white, pink or purple depending on the exact strain.

This is primarily used for medicinal uses, however it contains less of the chemical allantonin (the medicinal chemical in the plant) than the Russian Hybrid Comfrey varieties, however it has lower PA’s (pyrrolizidine Alkaloids) which is the toxic chemical in the plant.

It is ingested internally, using older large leaves, as the younger leaves contain more PA’s than younger ones (roots contain more PA’s than younger leaves).  You can also make an herbal poultice (chopping leaves into a soft moist mass) and applied to burns and wounds, and is also said to help heal bones that have been injured.  While some of you may look at this as mumbo jumbo i have seen and head from people I trust that are not kool aid drinkers that this does actually work exceedingly well.

True Comfrey produces less biomass (about 1/3 of Russian Comfrey), however unlike Russian Hybrid Comfrey the seeds can be used to propagate new plants.  This also means that comfrey can be somewhat invasive and spread across your property but not as fast as say dandelions or other very invasive weeds.


Rough/Prickly Comfrey

prickly comfrey

Symphytum asperum

This is a comfrey native to Asia with blue, pink and purplish (sometimes) flowers.  This is a coarse and clumped plant and this variety that CAN (but only sometimes) propagate through seeds so it can become invasive if you are not careful, more often like the Russian variety it is propagate through its root cuttings.

It is common used as a silage (fermented high moisture stored fodder that can be fed to cattle, sheep, etc.)


Russian (Hybrid) Comfrey

russian comfrey symphytum uplandicum

Symphytum uplandicum, Symphytum peregrinum, Symphytum asperum x officinale


This is the most common species you will find around, it is a natural cultivated hybrid. It is a cross between common comfrey and rough (prickly) comfrey.

It grows to 4 feet tall and comes in various varieties known as “Bockings”, they have purple, white, magenta, red or blue (fade to pink) flowers.

The plant is sterile, meaning that its seeds will not grow and the only way to propagate the plant is by root cuttings.  This variety will create 3x the amount of biomass than the common comfrey.

The most common bockings you will find are #4 and #14

Bocking #4 is used for farming and fodder plant for animals, and is the most commonly used in permaculture farms.  This variety is high in protein and allantoin (the medicinal chemical) and has a much deeper root so it is much more drought resistant.

Bocking #14 This variety is used more as a garden supplement using the leaves to make a liquid fertilizer in a compost tea.  You can also had the leaves to compost piles to speed up the decomposition process of the pile since Comfrey leaves are high in nitrogen they add some heat to the pile.  You can also add leaves straight to planting holes and rows, the leaves quickly decompose so they will give an added shot to your gardens.

Truth be told you can use these two types for both purposes, only that one is better for its intended purposes slightly than the other.



You will want to pick the location of your comfrey carefully since it has a very deep root structure once established and since it is very robust even a small amount of root will mean it will probably grow again.

Comfrey will grow in Zones 3-9, but if you live outside these zones you should try it, it will probably grow.

Comfrey likes full sun, but will do decent in light shade and will grow between 3-5 feet tall and 2-4 feet wide.

When I planted mine I mixed in a little bit of older horse manure i had cooked for a bit in a bucket.  Comfrey is a nitrogen hog and while this is not necessary it also helps it along in its early life.  Some say that it should be fertilized with manure throughout the year or with urine in 1:1 with water.  Now you can do that however if you are using this as fodder for animals their feces should do the job.

Now Comfrey doesn’t need much if any care, as long as its healthy you shouldn’t have any issues with pests or disease bothering it and if they are healthy should last several decades.



Fodder for Animals

Comfrey leaves are around 20%+ protein so they are ideal for food supplements for animals, notice i said supplements and not main food source.

CHICKENS: chickens love it and will peck it to death, it is better to keep this away from them and just feed them the leaves or if you are creating a permaculture food forest sow it amongst other fodder crops so that the birds dont eat it as voraciously.

GOATS/CATTLE:  Add it to their hay or plant some in areas where the cattle graze.



If you have done any composting you know that it takes experience to create the perfect balance to make that pile “heat up”, the high nitrogen (as i mentioned earlier) will help immensely with that.  Comfrey mines minerals deep, deep down so it is high in NPK and minerals and will add some very good stuff to your compost.


Fill a Barrel of Bucket with comfrey leaves (half of the container) and fill with water.  Let it rote for a month or so and you will have a beautiful liquid fertilizer.  Dilute 50:50 with water.


Add leaves to the bottom of planting holes for tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, peppers, fruit trees, etc.

If you add a layer of leaves (2 inches) to the  sides of growing plants the leaves will slowly break down and add nutrients to the plants.


Personal Experience

This is my first year growing Comfrey and since we will be moving I am growing it in a pot (not ideal and definitely not advisable for long term).  I am growing it in a pot so that i can get some good root growth (if you grow it in a pot you will find that roots will start to grow out the bottom), and then propagate them on my property.  Considering that root cuttings go for around $4-5 each, this is also possibly a small money maker for you if you choose to go in that direction.

I will continue to show you my progress throughout the years!


A study showed that Comfrey caused increased cancer in rats so the FDA has banned it for internal use (which is why you cant find it on the shelves in the vitamin aisle.)  Do your own research and talk to your doctor.






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Preppers Emergency Heating, Cooking & Lighting

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Coal stores well if kept in a dark place and away from moving air. Air
speeds deterioration and breakdown, causing it to burn more rapidly. Coal may be
stored in a plastic-lined pit or in sheds, bags, boxes, or barrels and
should be kept away from circulating air, light, and moisture. Cover it to lend
protection from weather and sun.
Wood. Hardwoods such as apple, cherry, and other fruit

DIY Waterproofing with Wax

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Spring Log Drive Workers In Canada


I have packed away many cans of scotchguard that I rotate through every fall/winter season (sometimes summer depending on where I am).  However I have also packed away various bars of wax for DIY waterproofing.

You can go with paraffin wax, however it is much more involved so I will focus on using a much easier method, otter wax.

All you will need for this is…

  • Clothing you want to waterproof
  • Hair Dryer (Heat gun will work as well)
  • Otter Wax


A few things to consider for this is that whenever you use wax to waterproof you will be making a tradeoff, waterproofing for breathability, that is you will gain unparalleled waterproofing but your clothes will not breath and thus it will become more stuffy and you will sweat more if its a hot climate.

*Also in a grid down scenario you can make use of the warm summer sun (since you may or may not have power available in your home).  This will mean pre planning on your part in preparation for the rainy season.  You can lay your clothes and the wax out in the hot summer sun to heat up and use that to some effect to wax your clothing.*



Lightly heat the Wax and area of clothing you are going to wax with the blow Dryer



Wipe the bar of wax like soap across the clothing.  Depending on the fabric and type of clothing you may or may not want to put more or less pressure on it.  Practice with different materials to get the effect you want.



Use your fingers and hands to wipe the wax around and into nooks and crannies and smooth it out; you can also use the edges of the bar to get into the areas not easily gotten with the bar.



Heat again with the blow dryer (or put in the sun as I mentioned in a grid down scenario)



Let cure in a warm dry place.



  • Re Apply once a year
  • Dont wash in a machine or hand wash in warm water. Hand wash in cold water and then possibly re apply the wax if needed to areas.





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Storms Brewing

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 OK I give up.  It seems every time I’ve sat down to write this week I go off on a raging rant.  Every stinking time. I’ve decided that at this point in the game if you don’t know what’s going on, there isn’t much I can do about it. 

See I almost started again!!  I just had to delete half a page of rant!  Ok… deep breath….

Let’s see.  The garden is growing like gangbusters.  Apparently it doesn’t need my help either since every time it dries out enough to get in it… here comes the rain. I really thought yesterday’s high winds  would dry out everything so I could get out there and do battle with the weeds.  Only a 30% chance of rain in the forecast when I went to bed last night.  I woke up to dark clouds and the promise of more rain.  And rain it did.  Of course it was just enough to get everything wet again. 
 We have all sorts of volunteer plants popping up.  Last year I had about 6 potted moss roses sitting up on the porch.  They dropped seed down in my tiny herb bed and pretty much took over.  I’m finding other places for them so I can take back my herb bed. Notice the lemon basil growing in it.  Yup more volunteers!

 I can still get in “around the edges” though so I’ll just do what I can to things.  I still can’t get to the yellow squash and the other squash out there.  It looks like I’ve got one plant that’s being destroyed by the squash vine borer. I’ll pull it up when it dries some. 

 and I’m sure the #$*^# squash bugs are having a huge party out there.  I had finally dusted the whole garden on Sunday and it rained like crazy Monday night.  Go figure.  

UPDATE:  I was able to get out to some of the
squash and was surprised to find only a handful of those spawns of Satan. It seems the new dust is working pretty well.  I can still see residue from it even after all the rain.

We’ve used The Three Sisters method of planting out in the lower garden. 

My dad sent some of his sweet corn and it’s doing great.  The beans are finally starting to come up and the squash and melons over there look all right.  I tested out the ground when I went to feed the rabbits this morning and I’m planning on trying to get the lower garden weeded this afternoon.  

Notice the plants under the corn?  Those are volunteer lemon basil.  It seems we have several plants that decided to come back up this year. They are everywhere.
 This is a stray moss rose that decided to come up in the beans.  I don’t know how it got so far away from the vast majority of the other volunteer moss roses. 

Things are starting to bloom!  

The black-eyed peas have a few flowers on them, some of the tomatoes are starting to flower and we are starting to pick broccoli.  Man, that stuff is soooo good!!  I could eat broccoli every day.  We didn’t have much luck with it last year so I’m really excited.  So far there’s not enough to put up, and if we keep eating it like we are there won’t be either! 

Check out the marigolds all in a straight line under the peas.  You would think by looking at them, they were planted there.  You would be wrong!  That’s where they were planted with tomatoes last year.  I’m keeping them!

There are always  things to be done around here. We need to get the tomatoes staked up when it dries out a little. Right now I’m trying to get some beds weeded and waiting for the rain to stop.   Mars has a cool project he’s working on.  I’ll get some pictures as it progresses. It’s a lot of labor but it will make a huge difference in the way things have to be done now.

Heads up out there people… it seems we are living in troubled waters, and all I can say is Wow! What an interesting time in history we are living.

Shelter Site Hazards!

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Like many of you know, who have purchased the USI training Videos, we put a lot of emphasis on safety. Building a shelter is no different. The wrong shelter site can mean the difference in a fun trip or a disaster.

For some of us being in the woods is a life style and we know the hazards in the places we visit most often. Some of these places are our favorite campground or our favorite site in the wilderness. We consider them serene refuge from the rigors of daily life.

However, complacency is not an option anytime you go on a trip. Things change and people cant afford not to check for natural hazards every time they pitch a tent. Even those places we consider “safe”, like natural park camp sites have unseen hazards waiting to ruin our days.


The first and maybe the most common danger are trees. Hazards from trees come from above and thus are less likely to be spotted when setting up a shelter. Tree dangers come in three forms; Snags (trees which are dead standing in part or whole), Widow makers (where the top of a healthy tree is dead) and dead branches.

Spotting these dangers can be difficult but if you stand at your site and look up at a 45% angle in all directions you can identify those dead trees which can reach you. You also need to look straight up and see it their are any overhanging branches which my come crashing down. Just this past year an individual fell victim to a falling branch at a “designated” camp site in a national park.

Another danger are cornices of snow. These are wave shaped snow build ups which have a nasty habit of breaking loose. Well studied in the skiing and climbing world a cornice and its creation of an avalanche, does not have to be close to reach you. In fact a good size slab avalanche can travel long distances based on the terrain and barriers.

Animal trails are another place you never erect a shelter. Trails may be the only clear spot but the hazards are to great to take a chance. Seldom do animals target people for harm but that doesn’t mean you can’t get injured. Imagine being in the middle of a good nights sleep and have an un-suspecting moose come plowing through your ten. What a wake up call!!


In addition you can have issues with insects ( fire ants), mud slides, Dry washes (flash floods from the mountains), low areas (such as lake sides and drainages) which can create extreme temperature drops) and others. The point is, shelter site selection is as (if not more) important than the shelter selection and should be taken seriously.

Summer time is here and many people are heading out to the woods and campsites around the world. Lets hope they are safe and look “up” when they pop up their tent


Overall preparation for what nature can throw at us is not that overwhelming but it does take a little effort. USI has a wealth of information, equipment and training for everyone about all forms of mitigation so visit our web site at www.usiusa.com and if you have a need feel free to call!

USI Understands that Survival isn’t learned from books but real world experience. This is just one area which makes Universal Survival Innovations unique in the world of training and equipment.

Check out our website at www.usiusa.com

Like us on Facebook

or send us a message at info@usiusa.com

Author Ben Barr is a 30+ year SERE Specialist who has been a curriculum developer for the USAF Survival School, USAF Water Survival School, USAF Air Mobility Command, USMC and USN



Is there a perfect Survival Kit?

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Is there a perfect survival kit? Possibly, if you know your realistic capabilities and can take into account all possible scenarios you find yourself in then sure, the perfect survival kit can be built. Skill set will have a lot to do with the construction of your kit, especially when trying to keep it light and compact. An example of this is the synthetic flint fire starter. I have one in my kit which is just over two inches long and I find it adequate for my needs. However many people I train find it very difficult to use and prefer something along the lines of the Blast Match which is system owned by the Revere company. The Blast Match is much bulkier and heavier than what I use but for individuals who don’t practice starting fires with a spark it’s an ideal survival tool.

This same principle applies to the knife one carries. Ideally the best survival knife is around seven inches long, made of high quality steel with a solid non abrasive grip. In addition it should be simple in design with a flat back strap for pounding when splitting wood and have a guard capable of mitigating the possibility of injury. Some of the more classic designs, such as the Buck 124 Frontiersman are much more functional in the field than some of the “sexier” combat designs.

Unfortunately, large knives like the 124 are designed for belt carry and are not really adaptable to a personal survival kit and thus functionality must give way to size and weight considerations. For a small personal survival kit the folding “pocket” knife comes out on top. Although limited in its capabilities a folding knife of the correct size and configuration will carry and individual through a myriad of situations.


When choosing a folder for the survival kit a couple of things must be looked at. First is quality. Your personal survival kit may be the only thing between you and a miserable cold death so it must be high quality. Too many pre-made kits on the market reduce cost with this one VERY important item. A good quality folding knife can be purchased for between $30.00 and $50.00 which is not a lot when your life is at stake.

Second, is positive lock up? The knife must have a solid positive locking system. Most knives in this price range fit the bill but just test it before you buy. Even the higher end companies produce inferior products. Last is the blade. The blade should be as straight as possible or have a slight concave shape. Knifes which curves up to fast (the bowl) are designed for skinning and, although they can be used in an emergency, are inferior designs for field use.

Around these two key items the rest of the survival kit can be constructed following the 7 +1 priorities of survival. These are:

Positive mental Attitude (PMA)




Personal Protection



Plus  Navigation

Although priorities are arranged in a specific order they are fluid enough to be re-arranged for the event and need. For example, signal may become the first priority if you are attempting to flag down a vehicle immediately after a car crash or trying to establish contact with another member of your party in times of civil unrest.

If these needs are filled in your personal survival kit then you have accomplish your mission of preparing for the worse. Most normal situations last between 24 and 72 hours with the majority of survival events being of shorter duration (24 hours).However, USI added Navigation to the original 7 because of historical long term events which require movement.  With this in mind, it is quite possible to construct a high quality survival kit which can be carried on the belt or at the most in a shoulder bad or backpack.

Overall preparation for what nature can throw at us is not that overwhelming but it does take a little effort. USI has a wealth of information, equipment and training for everyone about all forms of mitigation so visit our web site at www.usiusa.com and if you have a need feel free to call!

USI Understands that Survival isn’t learned from books but real world experience. This is just one area which makes Universal Survival Innovations unique in the world of training and equipment.

Check out our website at www.usiusa.com

or send us a message at info@usiusa.com

Author Ben Barr is a 30+ year SERE Specialist who has been a curriculum developer for the USAF Survival School, USAF Water Survival School, USAF Air Mobility Command, USMC and USN

Understanding Urban Navigation

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Although most advanced techniques for navigation are essentially designed to be used in the wilderness they are no less important in an urban environment. With the state of the world today the chances of getting caught in an urban situation are equal to or greater than the wilderness. Area familiarization and map knowledge can mean the difference in avoiding a riot or being caught up in one.

How you apply the knowledge and movement techniques used in the wilderness to the city becomes a simple substitution technique. Where there were ridgeline, there are now city blocks; where there were rivers and creeks there are now storm drains and canals. Roads and power lines stay the same, but we add buildings and subways. Navigating on foot in a city, once looked at it from an educated perspective, becomes easier than in the wilderness.

However, once again, it is about education and knowledge of the area. Anyone can stand in the middle of the street, open a map and within a few minutes have an idea where they are. That, of course, is assuming that the street signs are in place, there are no burning structures around and no one is throwing rocks at you! Under these situations position determination may rely on your previous constant awareness and  memory skills.

For the purposes of emergencies in a city we again go back to the map and getting very familiar with the different structures and layout of the city we are visiting. Whether the city is perfectly laid out as in Washington DC or has sprawl and geographic restraints like Rio there will always be backstops and handrails which can help the traveler move quickly.

Rio, for example is surrounded on three sides by water. In addition there is a ridge line running through the center which separates the resort areas from the city proper. These natural handrails give an individual a guide for moving in the correct direction when trying to leave the city. In addition the statue of Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain gives a solid reference point, for navigation, which can be use in many parts of the city.

In an urban environment which is more industrialized, railways and power grids can be used as handrails leading from the city. Many places also have major water ways which have been or are still being used for transportation. In military terms these are known as Lines Of Communication or LOC. LOCs by there very design are moving to and from the urban environment and are thus good guides for expedient exits.

For real inner city work there are two things an individual must rely on; landmarks and streets. At the time of an “event” it is too late to begin consulting a map. Lack of knowledge of an area can lead to being trapped in a dead end or blocked between groups of people. The first few minutes of any developing riot are the most critical for the stranded individual. The decisions for movement, at the beginning of any incident, are the most important and must be done with confidence and accuracy.

All planning for movement in a crisis should be done around those structures which grant the individual protection. Hotel or residence, police department and embassy are all good choices for protection initially but in the case of hotels and personal residence be aware that these are only safe as long as the situation is under some control. As discovered in the LA riots, Katrina and Egypt private structures lose their sanctity very fast so the survivor must be ready to move. However, these places may offer initial supplies for future movements.

The key to getting to these structures at the beginning of an event is to have pre-planned routes and knowledge of the area so movement is quick and effective. A minimum of a primary and an alternate route from a given location is always encouraged. In the military the acronym PACE is used to describe this procedure; Primary, Alternate, Contingency and Emergency (PACE). For someone travelling to a new city it could be as simple as (P) the fastest route to the police department, (A) the fastest route back to the hotel,(C) The fastest route to the airport and (E) fastest route out of the city. It also could be set up as three routes back to the hotel and the fastest route to the police station. Either way it gives the person on foot flexibility.

Knowledge of the area, commitment of major streets and LOCs to memory and a good PACE plan cannot be overemphasis when dealing with an urban situation. The ability to use landmarks, backstops and handrails while moving give the individual ability to move quickly and with confidence through any terrain.

  Overall preparation for what nature can throw at us is not that overwhelming but it does take a little effort. USI has a wealth of information, equipment and training for everyone about all forms of mitigation so visit our web site at www.usiusa.com and if you have a need feel free to call!

USI Understands that Survival isn’t learned from books but real world experience. This is just one area which makes Universal Survival Innovations unique in the world of training and equipment.

Check out our website at www.usiusa.com

or send us a message at info@usiusa.com

Author Ben Barr is a 30+ year SERE Specialist who has been a curriculum developer for the USAF Survival School, USAF Water Survival School, USAF Air Mobility Command, USMC and USN


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Speed of movement can be critical on a trek route, especially in an emergency situation. Making it back to a major road or to base camp when an individual is injured can mean the difference between life and death. In these cases standard navigation techniques can slow an individual down and “back tracking” may not be the most expedient path to rescue. For example, an injury on AT trail can leave individual stranded miles from the nearest help. However, if an individual as better than average Navigation skills it may be possible to cut “cross country” to a small town or highway.

For the individual who needs to avoid a dangerous situation, such as a country in turmoil, advanced navigation skills is the difference between a slow straight line heading leading through trouble areas and an bypass course to safety. In these situations there are three primary skills which assist in speed and accurate travel through unknown terrain. They are Map knowledge, Use of handrails and the use of backstops.

Area knowledge and map familiarization is the single most important thing a wilderness trekker needs to know. This doesn’t mean look at a map, it means STUDY it and understand it.  A good quality map has marginal information which gives everything from magnetic variation to manmade structures. If the map which you are relying on doesn’t have these features, get a new one.

In addition the map needs to be current, so check the date. Many USGS maps, because of limited development in an area, have dates as far back as the 60’s. In most instances this wouldn’t be a problem, but in those areas where there is a logging presence the cross country hiker can run into numerous roads which are not on the map and can lead to frustration if not outright confusion.  If more current maps are not available then it is advisable to use a program like Google earth to update the map by hand drawing manmade changes prior to the trip.

Not enough can be said about the importance of a good up to date map and familiarizing with it. EVERYTHING relies on the map and your area knowledge. All other aspects of navigation rely on this one point. In fact all other aspects of navigation including the compass, triangulation and heading determination can me improvised. A map and area knowledge can’t!

Once a solid understanding of the map and knowledge of the area are secure in the head then a trek route can be established for movement. There are two general methods of movement. The first is point to point and the second is known as “the path of least resistance”. Point to point is exactly as it sounds. Moving from one known point to another regardless of what is in the way.  For accuracy this can’t be beat, however it can lead to a long and miserable day as it can lead into drainages and straight up mountain faces.

The path of least resistance does just the opposite and allows the trekker the ability to avoid obstacle which could slow or totally impede progress. The person on foot utilizes the terrain features to “funnel” himself into the area they wants to go and uses “handrails” and Backstops to ensure correct direction. This technique works in all but the most austere and isolated instances. In most wilderness areas there are enough terrain features to quickly and easily get to the objective without beating yourself to death.

A “handrail” is a terrain feature (manmade or natural) which guides the person on foot to a desire location, or in the vicinity of it. This terrain feature can be a river, ridge line, power line or road and even though it may not be directly on course as long as the individual keeps moving parallel they will eventually make it to the destination. The best case scenario is a pair of handrails, one on each side such as a ridgeline and a river which funnels the individual to the target. Even it they are miles apart as long as the hiker doesn’t cross one or the other they will make it to the objective.

In addition to the handrails there is the “Backstop”, a known perpendicular land features that tells the individual that they are on target or have gone too far. Backstops, like handrails, can be composed of numerous manmade or natural features as long as they are easily identifiable and impossible to miss. Again a power line or major ridge line would make a great back stop; a lake on the map would make a poor one as it is too easy to bypass. Even a good size open area can be easy to miss in thick vegetation or extremely rough country.

Advanced Navigation takes practice and study. However, it can save your life in the case of a lost compass or medical emergency! Understanding the terrain and map can be the difference between getting lost or another “walk in the park”.

 Overall preparation for what nature can throw at us is not that overwhelming but it does take a little effort. USI has a wealth of information, equipment and training for everyone about all forms of mitigation so visit our web site at www.usiusa.com and if you have a need feel free to call!

USI Understands that Survival isn’t learned from books but real world experience. This is just one area which makes Universal Survival Innovations unique in the world of training and equipment.

Check out our website at www.usiusa.com

or send us a message at info@usiusa.com

Author Ben Barr is a 30+ year SERE Specialist who has been a curriculum developer for the USAF Survival School, USAF Water Survival School, USAF Air Mobility Command, USMC and USN

The fear of PAIN!

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Fear of pain is one of the major concerns an individual must cope with while in a survival situation . The possibility of survival with an injury can drive many people into inaction or limited action and negatively affect their will to survive and their ability to assist in their own rescue.

However pain, even in the most severe instances, can be somewhat control by the power of the mind. Researchers at Stanford University found that people could be trained to reduce their perception of pain using mental interventions coupled with visual feedback of the pain.

The team at Stanford found the following techniques to be the most effective for the diminishing of realized pain:

To shift attention from the area of pain to some part of the body furthest away from the painful area

To concentrate attention on something pleasant: favorite music, a good story, or recollection of pleasant experiences.

To relax using deep breathing and meditation techniques.

To re-calibrate the level of pain; rather than thinking of the pain as severe or debilitating, they thought of it as harmless, weak, or non-threatening.

To visualize soothing or healing processes at work on their pain.

To the survivor pain can be more dangerous than just the physical injury. According to a study published by PMREHAB Pain & Sports Medicine Associates in 2011 Depression/affective disorders were reported in 36% of patients who experienced pain.

To an individual in a survival situation using techniques such as those laid out in the Stanford research are not only doable but effective. Modifications may have to be made based on the situation but nevertheless they should be used. Techniques such as “concentrating attention”, for example, may be shifted from music and stories to focusing on keeping busy with the construction of a fire.

Another avenue may be to “visualizing” not only the healing process but also the treatment and care done during the situation or received upon rescue. This visualization can be an enhancement to the individuals overall PMA as it develops hope as well as relieving pain. Regardless of how the techniques are used and applied they should be done so continually to reduce the psychological ramifications of the injury.

This direct attack on an individual’s Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) must be understood and ultimately controlled if they intend on surviving an isolating event. The Will to Survive and PMA have seen people through life altering events since the dawn of time. Controlling pain is one method of increasing that PMA.

    Overall preparation for what nature can throw at us is not that overwhelming but it does take a little effort. USI has a wealth of information, equipment and training for everyone about all forms of mitigation so visit our web site at www.usiusa.com and if you have a need feel free to call!

USI Understands that Survival isn’t learned from books but real world experience. This is just one area which makes Universal Survival Innovations unique in the world of training and equipment.

Check out our website at www.usiusa.com

or send us a message at info@usiusa.com

Author Ben Barr is a 30+ year SERE Specialist who has been a curriculum developer for the USAF Survival School, USAF Water Survival School, USAF Air Mobility Command, USMC and USN

Defending Yourself in SHTF: Now What

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smoking shotgun

Every SHTF scenario may be different, in some Police may be around, in others there may be no police and in this post I will try to outline some things you should take into consideration for both.

So lets say….the world has gone down the tubes, crime, even in your small community has gone up; there have been many break ins and a few violent assaults upon those traveling along the road within the country. 

Long after midnight you hear something break in your garage and you jump up to investigate; upon opening the backdoor you hear the sound of gravel under a boot nearby followed by a shot that lands in the door frame next to you.  You return fire and hit the man who shot you, a engine starts up on the opposite side of the garage and takes off, you fire a few rounds at the vehicle but it keeps going and its taillights disappear over the horizon.

Most prepper novels end there, perhaps they mention a burial, but that’s about it, the only case where this was mentioned that I can think of is a situation that happened in the LIGHTS OUT by David Crawford.

What will happen now? You have  dead body and a pool of blood on your property, what do you do?





If Law Enforcement is present in whatever way is possible call them and have them come to your property.

However one needs to take a few things into account.


Are the Law Enforcement in your area still reliable and trustworthy?

In SHTF law enforcement may become their own gang or they may be corrupted in other ways by other people, either way if they are not reliable, while it may seem strange, your best course of action could be to not tell anyone.  If LE in your area is corrupted what may happen is they may just outright lie and say you committed murder if you are not a well loved member of the community; this could give them a reason to ‘confiscate’ all that you have since you are now a soon to be convicted murderer.  As with many other corrupt LE around the world they may just use this as an opportunity to shake you down for a payoff, or take anything you have that’s worth taking to ‘keep their mouths shut’ etc.

You may end up needing to just bury the body as well as document what happened, which i will explain in the section below about what to do if no LE is present in the area.

This article by Massad Ayoob, a veteran Police Officer and Tactical genius is geared towards what to do after a shooting now, in pre-SHTF times but many of the suggestions could apply to SHTF times when talking to LE after a shooting.  Its worth a read regardless.






This is a very real scenario, things may have gotten so bad that the LE in the area has just disbanded due to lack of funding and/or the Police may have just gone home to protect their own families.

If LE is not present in your area you will want to document this shooting as best you can.

In your preps stick away a few disposable cameras, notepads and pencils (I mentioned it an article prior).  With these you will be able to document as best you can what happened and be able to use them to defend your shooting if you decide to tell authorities after law is restored and/or if you are ever accused of murder in that scenario.

  • Take pictures of the scene from all angles, show where you were standing in relation to the shooter, as well as from the shooter to where you were.  Take detailed photos of the body and where the rounds hit them as well as if any rounds from the bad guy hit your house or anything else document that.  In the scenario I put down at the beginning take a picture of you standing where you were when the rounds hit to illustrate how close they were and also this will help to show they were aimed at you with the intent to kill.
  • If you don’t have a camera, sketch as best you can the scene where the shooting took place and where you both were.  This is not so much as to be used in evidence, but to make sure you remember all the details.  Even post SHTF some a-hole prosecutor could try to slip you up in your account of what happened, this helps to make sure you stick to the facts.
  • Recover any of the bad guys rounds that may be stuck in places around your property and put them in a plastic bag, as well as hold onto their weapon (if analysis can be used to determine what rounds were fired from what gun.  Take pictures of the assailant with his gun.
  • Hold onto the gun for later evidence if possible.
  • Collect witness statements if any.  If neighbors saw anything, even just the car leaving the scene, your wifes recollection and written testimony that you were both in bed when you head the noise, etc.  Also write down minute by minute in full, full, full detail, your account of what happened.
  • Take photos of any identification of the person, if they have them on them.



Another thing to take into account, jumping back to scenario where LE is present, and this is illustrated in the Book LIGHTS OUT that I mentioned earlier, if LE comes and you have all your ducks in a row and they believe you, they may still follow protocol for shootings and confiscate your weapon for ‘later use as evidence’ etc.  What this means is, you may…if you used your primary home defense weapon…tell them you used a less useful weapon you may own.

For me if i used my 870 or AR-15, i would not be apt to give that up in a SHTF scenario, so I just might claim it was my Hi point 9mm pistol that did the deed and not my high end self defense weapon.  While this is just educational discourse, of course, you can see why this may make some sense to do. Besides they probably cant do any wound testing or send it to CSI at the moment, so unless it is a shotgun sized hole in their chest, you can probably get by with that.


Lastly, document where you buried the body, to not draw attention to yourself I probably wouldn’t put up a grave marker, etc. But I would note it down in the photos and write some sort of map to the location (near big oak by the creek, 10 paces to the West, etc.).  For care and burial of a body, you can check out my post on how a TEOTWAWKI funeral.


*Of course the disclaimer is that you should always notify the police of any incident of this sort, this was merealy a hypothetical discourse on a dystopian scenario and should be taken in the educational purpose only spirit it is intended as.  And as always dont be a dumbass and do something like not notify the police in present ‘normal’ times, that’s a quick ticket to life in prison.*





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Why Are So Many Christians Being Called To Prepare?

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By Denis Korn

The time is appropriate to share an article written prior to Y2K.  The title was the original title – Today it could be expanded to ask: Why Are So Many People of Diverse Communities Being Called to Prepare? While this was written 13 years ago to a Christian audience, it is as applicable today to any church, group, organization, web forum or family, as it was to Christians when I wrote it right before Y2K.

Most scenarios are the same, the issues surrounding preparedness are the same and the events and potential events are real and impending.  I foresaw then that it wasn’t just about Y2K, but any unforeseen occurrence – and I knew then that Y2K was just a wake up call for more serious potential events yet to come years into the future – that future is with us now.

What follows is the original article except for current comments in brackets [ ]:

I have been aware of the desire of large numbers of born-again Christians to be spiritually and physically prepared for emergency situations, especially catastrophic ones, for 24 years now [39 years as of 2014] – and the numbers are growing as we reach the new millennium.  Is this some kind of “millennium madness,” as some would suggest, or is something else happening?

It is my observation that basically 4 things are occurring:

First, many Christians are realizing that individual churches should provide for the most vulnerable and those in need, especially in time of emergency.  They feel it is the churches’ responsibility to take a leadership role in promoting contingency planning education and action for its members.  There is ample historical precedent for this perspective.

They feel that much time, effort and money is spent on spiritual issues and teaching activities (which is of course primary and essential), missions, and new facilities, but not enough on basic physical essentials such as food and daily necessities.  There is a desire to make sure that church members, or anyone seeking the help of the church, such as the elderly, widows, disabled, single parents and the poor, are secure with the essentials during times of adversity and disaster – especially when primary sources of supplies may not be available.

Second, there is an overwhelming sense of impending trials and tribulations – whether it is the last days, Godly rebuke or some intense period of transition or wake up call to The Church and the world.

Potential problems can be triggered by a number of possible events: Y2K, war – and the rumors of war, scientific experimentation gone wrong, terrorism, earthquakes and other natural disasters, famine, pestilence, economic and technical instability, political upheaval, martial law, The New World Order – and the list goes on. [This short list was written in 1999 – except for the uncertainties of Y2K it appears the same scenarios are still with us, and with even more intensity and probability.] Any one event, let alone multiple events all at once can cause a dramatic and profound change in our society and our lifestyle.

It is self-evident that most of our population today in America is not prepared for nor accustomed to serious hardships.  We have become comfortable and dependent rather than self-reliant and responsible.  The availability of goods and services are dependant on so many interrelated factors, that a breakdown in just one area can have a significant impact on our daily life and the ability to provide for those depending upon us.

The Word instructs Christians to be wise, prudent and responsible and provide for their families.  While spiritual trust in God is first and foremost, many are realizing the need for physical preparation is also essential in preparedness planning.  There is a spiritual awakening and discernment of the realities and vulnerability of the times in which we live.  Many are interpreting Biblical teaching as a call to action.

A classic example is the Old Testament account of Joseph [Gen 41: 34-36, 48-49] who stored provisions in the abundant times for the time of famine and great need.  [When you continue reading in Genesis 47: 13-26 what occurred during the famine to the citizens of that time and the consequences of relying entirely upon the government is sobering – although they did not starve – you will be shaken by the implications of the loss of freedoms and the total dependency upon the government that are possible today.]  Are we so naïve or arrogant as to believe that it could not happen in our country in our time?

Third, Christians feel a need to create community and associate with like-minded Christians who share a common perspective on the times and what actions to take.  I am both amazed and dismayed at the polarization that is occurring in the church over the issue of Y2K and preparedness in general.  [During Y2K this was also the case among many secular groups. With today’s current events and concerns, the same polarization is occurring in and out of The Church.]

Within churches and within families, people are branding those who are planning for emergencies – especially Y2K – as “wackos,” “nuts,” “extremists,” “suckers,” “stupid,” and those who supply emergency provisions as “opportunists,” “money hungry,” and “snake oil salesman.”  The often harsh judgment on those preparing and supplying makes me wonder what is really going on here, and what are the greater implications of the whole matter.  What can be wrong with rational Christians – or anyone for that matter – wanting to be prepared for any number of potential emergency scenarios?

Many Christians feel a “coming together and fellowship” with others who have prayed earnestly, studied the Bible, felt called and have concluded that being prepared is the action to take.  There is mutual support, a deepening bond and a sense of security and peace of mind.  There is the opportunity to contribute in the time of need, and the acknowledgement from one’s brothers and sisters that what you are doing is okay…and even proper.

Fourth, many Christians have informed themselves and evaluated the facts, read books, gone to conferences, watched videos, talked to friends, gone to church presentations, asked lots of questions, attended community meetings, been on the internet and concluded that Y2K and other potential problems have a real possibility of occurring.  It can be as simple and logical as assessing the potential risks and taking appropriate action, compatible with one’s personal situation.

We can hope there are no problems or consequences and carry on, or we can study the vast amount of knowledgeable information from true experts and form educated opinions.  We can weigh the reliability of news sources and use our common sense and rational judgment to come to reasonable conclusions.  [While we are fortunate that nothing serious developed from Y2K and that the technical issues were addressed and resolved, it was very clear to many experts at the beginning of the fixing process that there was a real potential for a serious impact on the very interdependent network of delivering vital goods and services.]

This article was not written to convince anyone to run out and start planning.  It was written to share and comment on what I have observed and feel is happening as it relates to preparing Christians.  It remains, however, that a key question must be asked: What chance are you willing to take that any emergency or disaster will be so insignificant in your life that no action is required on your part?

I personally encourage everyone to pray, learn what the Word has to say to you personally about preparedness planning, and conscientiously study the events of the day, the times and the facts relating to Y2K and other potential emergency scenarios.  Consider not only January 1, 2000, but the months and years to come.


Relevant Scripture:

These Scriptures very slightly among the different translations, however the core meaning is relevant to being prepared, being watchful, being responsible, sharing, service and trusting in the Lord.

  • Genesis 41: 29-31, 34-36, 48-49, 53-57
  • Consequences of Genesis 41 – Gen 47: 13-26
  • Proverbs 22:3; 6:6-8; 3:5-6; 16:9
  • Ecclesiastes 8:6-7
  • 1 Timothy 5:8
  • Luke 21: 34-36
  • Isaiah 62:6; 32:6
  • Jeremiah 6:17-19; 17:7-8
  • Philippians 4: 6-8; 2: 3-4
  • Ephesians 6:10-18; 5:15-17
  • Matthew 24; 25: 1-4, 6-9, 13; 7:24-25
  • Hosea 4:6a
  • Acts 2: 44-47
  • James 2: 14-17

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