Why Is Chaos During a Disaster So Surprising to All?

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This week a Greek ferry caught fire in the Adriatic Sea with 437 people on board and at least 10 people have died already.   The fire has come with stories of complete chaos and panic from the survivors.Many have recounted that the crew was not helping at all but fending for themselves. There was […]

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4 Tips to Prepare Your Homestead for Winter

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The Weather Channel is predicting colder than average temperatures through January for the Plains states and the area from southeast Texas to the Florida panhandle. Whether you live in a major metropolitan area or have a ranch covering several acres, winter preparedness is fairly similar for just about every home. You need to keep everybody safe and warm and take all the necessary precautions to prevent extreme weather from damaging your home. These four tips cover the most important items.

Drain Sprinkler System

The first freeze of the year can mean large repair bills for homeowners who neglect to address their irrigation systems and exposed pipes beforehand. This is particularly the case with PVC pipes, but polyethylene pipes can also be damaged, despite their elasticity.

Most sprinkler systems can be drained manually. The valve is typically located at the bottom of the mainline. Make sure to wear eye protection and release all pressure from the line before draining to prevent injury. The blow-out method, using compressed air to clear the pipes, is the only way to 100 percent guarantee no water is left inside. You can do this on your own, but due to the inherent dangers, it’s better to hire a professional.

All pipes in unheated areas of your home (garage, attic, etc.) should be insulated with pipe-wrapping material that can be found at any hardware store.

Close the Pool

There are different methods for winterizing in-ground and above-ground pools, but the end result is similar. Use granular chlorine to lower the overall chlorine level of the water and save your cover from being damaged. After a thorough cleaning, lower the water level to about one foot below the tile for mesh covers and about six inches for floating covers. Buy a winter closing kit that comes with everything you’ll need, including instructions. Cleaning methods for filters and lines will vary by pool, so follow the manufacturers instructions carefully.

Clean Gutters

Gutter cleaning is not glamorous, and it can be dangerous if the proper precautions are not exercised. The two most important factors for safe gutter cleaning are a dry roof and a ladder long enough to extend beyond the roof. To prevent slips and falls, do not climb on the roof if it has rained in the past 24 hours. Leaf blowers are effective for cleaning long gutter sections, but its best to watch a professional do it once before attempting this yourself.

Energy-Saving Items

The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated that heating costs were higher for 90 percent of Americans homes last year than the winter of 2012-13. This was mostly due to higher costs for natural gas and propane.

A great way to cut energy bills is to invest in heated bedding. The Electric Blanket Institute (yes, this really exists) estimates a typical household can save up to $40 per month on heating costs by turning down the thermostat 10 degrees while sleeping. Make certain the electric blankets you choose are marked with Underwriters Laboratories safety approval (UL #964). A winterized home also has all gaps wider than a nickel between door and windows frames chalked to keep the warm air in and cold air out.

Every home has unique features, so winterization steps will vary. But completing all of the above are steps in the right direction.

© 2014, Seasoned Citizen Prepper. All rights reserved. On republishing this post you must provide link to original post.


Taking It Easy

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I sure hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and I hope you all have a Happy New Year.
We sure did, I can tell you I am blessed more than I should be.

I had five days off and I was looking so forward in getting a lot accomplished on the house. In the end I didn’t get much done and for most of those days I just took it easy. It seemed I was in slow motion and couldn’t get into it, I blame it on the weather. For four of those five days it was cold, rainy and windy. That kinda puts you in a blaa mood.

I managed to get the front steps on the porch built and 3/4 of the house roughed in with electric. I was hoping to have the electric and plumbing done by the first of the year but that’s not going to happen. I ran into some problems, caused by me of course, but they are still problems. You see, I don’t build houses everyday and hindsight is 20/20. The plumbing and electrical was always in the back of my mind, but I kept putting off thinking about them and saying to myself “it will all work out.” I am sure it will all work out in the end, but I have made it a lot harder on myself now because I didn’t stop and take the time to think every aspect through at least a dozen times. Shuda Woulda Coulda kinda of deal.

Saturday we took a break from the Camper and decided to cook some chili. We were right on the edge of East Texas in a little town called Lake Tawakoni.
Here’s the problem with being 10th and 11th in the world, plus having a daughter that is always in the top 10 when we cook. When we walk in, we hear folks saying they don’t even need to cook now that the Fords are here. And I just nod my head and say, “That’s right”

Jessie took 7th, I got 5th and Candy won 2nd.
What can you say, the Fords were in the house that day.

We plan to do a New Years Eve night time cook off on the 31st up in Wichita Falls. We have cooked there before and had our butts handed to us. They say if you place there, you are somebody. I won’t jinks myself and say you are talking to somebody, yet.
I wasn’t too happy with 5th in LT, but I will be very happy with 5th in WF.

Please be safe out there this New Years Eve. You know what they say, this is a holiday for the novice drinkers. I am a professional and plan to stay off the roads.

See ya next year,

Fatwood Firesteel

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The FFS (Fatwood FireSteel)

Fatwood FiresteelA firesteel (ferrocium rod) is really a popular and very functional piece of important gear when it comes to bushcraft/survival or just spending some quality time in the forest.

Nowadays there are different sizes and some really beautiful custom work when it comes to the handles.

Well, this one here that I am presenting to you is probably not the most beautiful but certainly the most practical I have seen yet.

Fatwood is also a very popular andFatwood Firesteel effective natural product used in the outdoor community. So why not combine them?

Kirk has thought of this idea that I know of and what a brilliant one it is. Ok, I know! Maybe you know someone who has done the same and that’s great but it’s not really who invented it (let’s not get into a fight now) :) but what’s important is the final product and this one when it comes to practicality in firesteels, it beats them all.

Having a great natural product (what some will call sure-fire) teamed up with the firesteel is a very practical, effective and smart product that you could have in your kits.

You could use it every time you make a fire and that would be fine but it would be more of an (in case) situation where it’s sitting there waiting to be used for an emergency.

Fatwood FiresteelThis could be a great DIY project for you but for some…fatwood is just not available or maybe lack of time and tools are in the way of making your own.

Well, I got good news! Kirk decided to produce some and make it available to the public. It’s still quite a bit of work. Going out finding the good stuff, harvesting it, bringing it back home, cutting it to the right size, shaping it etc. Looks like nothing but it is time consuming.

So, if this is something that would interest you to have in your kits, it is available to you. You can contact Kirk and order with his email address: kirkdustin1987@yahoo.com

You can choose between a straight Firesteel or a slanted one. The slanted one is made like that to be able to scrape it a little easier (seeing what you’re doing). The firesteels that he sells are a little longer than the one seen in the picture. Fatwood Firesteel

 Anyway, like always I thank you very much for the support you give us…You guys are the best!


A Full Size Rocket Stove For Cooking Big Meals

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DSCN0413After doing the video on my homemade rocket stove, I received numerous calls asking where people could buy one. Unfortunately at that time, it was just not available. However, now it is. This is a large stove that will do all the cooking you will need to at camp, picnics, during power outages or WTSHTF. It is affordable, all steel and comes with a lifetime warranty. Check out the video HERE

Prepping for Seniors

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Rourke: This post was originally published over at ModernSurvivalOnline.com. I thought it was certainly worthy of republishing here.


By The Coach, Contributing Editor


I wrote this article for senior citizens who are just getting started in prepping. This article is NOT written for someone who has been prepping for years. However, you may pick up some useful information.

There are many articles written about all of the aspects of prepping. However, there are very few articles written with the senior prepper in mind.

I am sixty-four (64) years young and know the problems and concerns that most senior preppers have.

The senior prepper that reads this article my not like what I have to say because I am going to be brutally factual in what I have to say.

This article can also be used by preppers that are not in good health yet want to prepare for whatever you deem necessary.


First: Religious Faith

            Get right with whatever God you worship!

Religion should be an equal if not major part of your prepping.

Start reading the Bible or whatever book your faith uses.

Go to church. If you cannot get to church because of your age or health, call a church of your faith and ask if they have a ministry that sends people to seniors’ homes that can’t get to church. Many of the larger churches do have such a ministry.

The point is, get right with your God!

If you do not believe in a God, I truly feel sorry for you and hope someday you will see the light.


Second: Silence

          One of the most important things that you can do to aid in your security is to “Keep Your Mouth Shut” about your prepping activities. DO NOT tell anyone what you are doing or what steps you have taken for your security or what you have purchased. Say NOTHING to ANYONE!!!!!!

Why you may ask?

In a TEOTWAWKI (The End of the World as We Know It) situation, those people who have not prepared will be looking for food, water and other supplies that they do not have yet need to survive. Those people will do ANYTHING to get what they need. Remember what occurred in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Think of it another way. If one of your grandchildren were visiting you when a TEOTWAWKI situation occurred and they had not eaten anything for a week, what wouldn’t you do to get them some food?

During a TEOTWAWKI situation, people will kill you to get what they need. No matter of how good of a friend you think they are.

Keep quiet about what you are doing and you have done for your prepping.

Ask questions, give up NO information!


Third: Health Conditions

Your health condition will be a major factor in your prepping.

I have a heart condition. The truth is, as long as I have my heart medicine to take each day, I will be able to live. However, during a major disaster or TEOTWAWKI situation, you may not be able to get to the pharmacy and get your life sustaining daily medications. After Hurricane Katrina, there were NO pharmacies in the New Orleans area open for three (3) months. The closest pharmacy that was open was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 90 miles away. What would happen if there was none of your prescription medication to be had after a TEOTWAWKI situation? So, you will only live for as long as you have medications stockpiled for whatever medical problem that you have.

You MUST stock pile your life sustaining medications. I know this is a very difficult thing to do but you MUST find a way. My heart medication alone cost me $554.00 each month. Yet without it I would not live more than a few days after my medication run out. So what good is it if you purchased six months’ worth of food, water and other supplies that you will need to survive, if you die from not having the life sustaining medication that you must take on a daily basis within the first month? Someone else is going to thank you when they loot you house.

Keep ALL of your prescription medication in one place at your residence. If you must evacuate in a hurry, you can locate and pack all of your prescription medications easily without taking additional time to go to several locations to locate them.


Fourth: Mobility

How mobile are you?

No, I am not talking about purchasing a Hum V!

Can you still walk or are you wheel chair bound?

Do you still have the capability to drive yourself to whatever location you need to get to or are you dependent on someone else to take you where you need to go? If you have a vehicle and can still drive, keep your vehicle in good running order. NEVER let your gas tank get below half a tank. This way you can Bug Out at a moment’s notice and do not need to stop to get gas until you are out of the city.

Are you in good enough health to load your personal vehicle with the supplies that you have purchased and will need to survive if you plan to leave (Bug Out) in a major disaster or TEOTWAWKI situation?

If not, you need to plan on staying where you are and sheltering in place. Do not depend on someone coming to get you and evacuating you. In a bad disaster or TEOTWAWKI situation, that person may not be able to get to you, no matter how close they live to you.

You may want to talk to a relative in advance and determine if you can make it to their house before a major disaster or TEOTWAWKI situation occurs, can you stay with them. Again, do not depend on them coming to get you.

During a post TEOTWAWKI situation, NEVER go ANYWHERE by yourself.

katrinaIt is NOT a good idea to go to a government evacuation shelter. The New Orleans Convention Center (pictured here) was used as an emergency shelter for Hurricane Katrina. NO ONE there had food, water or bathroom facilities for three (3) days. There were many rapes and robberies reported during that time. This is an actual picture taken of an elderly lady at the New Orleans Convention Center during that time. Imagine you being in this situation!

If you decide you need to “Bug Out” from you residence and have nowhere to go, this is one idea I have used twice in the past during mandatory hurricane evacuations. I contacted the pastor at my church and asked him if he could contact a church, of our denomination, in the city that I wanted to evacuate to that would house us for the duration of the mandatory evacuation. Both times I asked, he found my wife and I churches to go to. One time we were housed at a church with other evacuees. Another time, the church in the city we went to found one of their parishioners to take my wife and I into their house for the duration of the mandatory evacuation. We did not have any problems at either location. The churches work in times of need!!!!


Fifth: Prepping Groups

One of the things that you may want to consider is joining a “Preppers Group”! In other words, find like-minded people in your age bracket.

However, the reality is, unless you have something major to offer a prepping group, the younger groups are not likely to allow you to join. The reason is that most prepper groups look at senior citizens as a labiality that will use up their resources and not contribute anything of value to their group.

However, there may be an answer for you.

Start your own preppers group of senior citizens. There are certainly other senior citizens that want to prep but are in the same situation that you are. The old cliché that there is safety in numbers is true. If you want to try this approach, you need to find group members close enough that everyone in your group can go to one central safe place when a disaster or TEOTWAWKI situation happens.

One of the problems that you will have is the same problem that all prepper groups have, maintaining tranquility amongst the group members. It is very easy to get someone else’s nerves on edge when being confined in a single location for a long period of time with many people you do not normally live with. The LAST thing that you will need is a fight, verbal or physical, during or after a major disaster or TEOTWAWKI situation. Everyone in the group must be compatible. If you become a member of a group, suggest that the group spend a weekend together wherever your group plans to relocate to. Once at the location on a Friday night, no one leaves until Sunday night. This will give you a good idea how everyone in the group will get along.

Another thing that MUST be established if you want your prepping group to work is a clear line of authority. You should have a clear chain of command. The person that is the leader should have final say in ALL situations and everyone in the group MUST agree to that authority! You may use some type of voting system to make decisions but there must be a single person in charge to make the final decisions that need to be made. That decision should be final!

There should also be clear rules for the group to adhere to.

One of the most important and first rules that should be agreed to is under what circumstances and conditions can someone in the group be kicked out of the group. This way if someone violates one of those rules; there is no question as to what is going to happen.

Another major concern that MUST be addressed is, when it is time for the group to get together, can a group member bring a non-participating person or relative with them to the central location? This is easier said than done. What happens if your granddaughter is spending a week with you and a major TEOTWAWKI situation occurs? What will you do if you are told your granddaughter will NOT be allowed at the retreat location! This question should be decided upon and adhered to with no exception! Once an exception is made, the flood gate is open and there is no going back.


Sixth:  Research

Read, read and then read some more!

Before you buy anything, read as much information that you can on the item you plan to purchase. Read what experiences and opinions other people have on that item.

Talk or e-mail people that are willing to give you educated advice and are NOT trying to sell you their product.

There are MANY very good books and web sites on prepping.

If you do not conduct your research, you will waste a lot of money on items that either you do not need or are trash. I learned this the hard way many years ago.


Seventh: Supplies

It is now and only now that you should start to stock pile supplies.

DO NOT plan on trading for or bartering for whatever items that you need after a major disaster or a TEOTWAWKI situation. If you cannot afford the item or food now, what makes you think your could trade or barter for it when your situation gets worst or there is none to be had?

It’s called beans and bullets in the prepping community!

Why should you start stockpiling your supplies at this point?

The reason is the items that you will purchase can be expensive. Also, there are different supplies that you will need to purchase if you are planning to stay where you are or if you plan to leave your location (Bug Out) and travel to another location.

You do not want to waste money buying the wrong supplies.

What do I mean by, “supplies”?

I mean, Water/water filters, food, proper clothing, defense items – firearms and ammo (you never have enough ammo), Mace, alarms, etc., portable shelter – tent, camper, conversion van, radios, etc.

You would be surprised how many items you can purchase for your prepping for pennies on the dollar at flea markets and garage sales. My wife and I go to garage sales and flea markets all of the time.

DO NOT forget about the daily comfort items. What do I mean by comfort items, toilet paper, bath soap, toothpaste and adult diapers if you use them? Can you imagine having to live without the above items? No you do not need them to survive from day to day but it sure makes life just a little nicer.

So how can you stockpile items, especially food, affordably? This may be a little confusing.

Let’s say you are going to fix chicken tonight for supper. Along with the chicken you want to fix canned green peas but you do not have any in the house. You go to the grocery store to get some. You buy one can to eat and a second can of green peas for emergency supplies. The next time if you need one can of pork and beans buy two. Eat one and store the second. By using this purchasing method you do not have a large initial expenditure, yet you are starting you disaster food supplies. You can use this method for everything except fresh produce and such.

radio One MUST have item is a good AM/FM, weather radio, with a telescoping antenna, powered by electricity, battery, solar power and hand crank. You must be able to obtain up to date news and weather information. You must know what is going on around you, what the government wants you to do or not do! You can  purchase a good one for around $45.00 new. If you buy cheap junk, it will fail when you need it the most. I purchased a “C. Crane, CC Solar Observer, AM/FM/Weather, Windup Emergency Radio, Model: COBS for $44.95.” I am well satisfied with this radio.

WARNING: DO NOT count on contacting anyone on your cell phone after a major disaster or a TEOTWAWKI situation! After Hurricane Katrina, NONE of our cell phones worked for a month.


Eighth: Firearms     

A warning on firearms! Before you purchase a firearm, check your local laws. The law change dramatically from state to state and from city to city.

Then you must make an important decision before you purchase any firearm. You must decide if you can physically shoot a firearm accurately.

You must also decide if someone threatens you or your spouse with great bodily harm or immanent   death, can you morally take their life.

If the answer is NO to either of the above question, DO NOT PURCHASE A FIREARM!

If you do, the bad guy could easily take your firearm from you and use it against you and/or your spouse.

Also, only purchase a firearm that you can shoot accurately. It is much better to buy a .22 long rifle caliber pistol that you can shoot accurately than a .45 ACP, pistol that you cannot hit anything with. It is better to get hits on an intruder with a .22 caliber pistol than to miss an intruder with a .45 ACP pistol.

If you have never owned or shot a firearm before, be sure to take a class taught by a certified firearms instructor before you depend your life on that weapon.

I practice with my firearm at least once a month.

I hope this has answered some of the senior preppers’ questions. If you need more specific information, leave your questions in the below comment section and I will attempt to answer them.


NOTE: I DO NOT receive ANY compensation, of ANY kind, from ANY company, for mentioning ANY product, named in ANY of my articles. I write about products that work for me.



         “In anger we should refrain both from speech and action.”

Pythagoras (582 BC – 507 BC)


© 2014, Seasoned Citizen Prepper. All rights reserved. On republishing this post you must provide link to original post.


What would a prepper do with the gifts from the Magi?

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We probably all know that the three wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, and most probably know that frankincense was traditionally used for incense or perfume and myrrh was used as an anointing oil for embalming purposes. But what would you do with them today?

Gold is obvious as it has the same use today as it did then and I’m sure every prepper has their own dreams of what they would use it for; it’s the other two which are shrouded in mystery and/or confusion. Both are tree resins and are still used today in many traditional remedies which I won’t go into as I don’t have any personal experience of them.

However, we can use them as essential oils.

Frankincense has an uplifting effect and can aid concentration. Emotionally, it is very good for muddled heads. It is often used as an expectorant to ease the symptoms of coughs and colds, bronchitis and laryngitis. Use it in inhalations, in the bath, in massage or in an oil burner. It is also reputed to preserve youthful skin and I recently found a recipe online for a night cream which uses the oil alongside rose hip and carrot oils. I’ve yet to try it but anecdotal evidence says it works well. It’s also reputed to help with insomnia.

Myrrh is likewise an expectorant and is also anti-inflammatory. It’s good for digestive problems, mouth and throat infections and also for skin conditions such as eczema. Use it in the same way as for frankincense.

I once made toothpaste on a herbal course: the recipe is

1 tablespoon of sage

1 teaspoon of salt

5 drops of myrrh

Use a pestle and mortar to grind the sage and salt together, add the myrrh and mix well. Use a toothbrush to apply, but do not swallow. Maybe not one for the kids.

For massages or baths, the two oils blend well together, or frankincense goes well with basil or sandalwood. Myrrh has a cooling effect and blends well with lavender or camphor.

I’ve seen frankincense with benzoin, (in a bath or as a massage), recommended as beneficial for asthma – but I am not a professional, so use this, and any recommendations above, with caution. This is what I do, but you should use your own judgement. However, you may wish to experiment with these oils now to discover how useful you think they may be to you in an uncertain future.


© 2014, Seasoned Citizen Prepper. All rights reserved. On republishing this post you must provide link to original post.


Merry Christmas From My Crazy Clan!

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Sometimes I get these crazy ideas. 

Like take the kids to get pictures with Santa.

Actually, it’s my friends fault! She is ubber talented and designs the cutest kids shirts ever and gave me some. I thought it would be so adorable to get at least one picture to share with you of all the kids wearing them!

It took some convincing, but 2 hours later I finally got my 4 year old to get out of the swimsuit he wears daily and my oldest to put some jeans on. Just as we were walking out the door to see Santa my 6 year old decides to throw-up.

Not letting that deter me I have the craziest idea of all –> I’ll just take the pictures myself!

I take pictures of food and books sometimes, so this couldn’t be that much different 🙂

Let the Crazy Begin…


This was the first picture I took and I probably should have stopped there 😉


Mug Shot –  They look like they’re headed off to prison.


Then I Lost Control! Time for a New Location!


That’s when the bunny ears came out…


…and then the Tongue ~


Now the bunny ears & tongue!!!


Then some sweet man jumped out of the bushes who was apparently watching my circus and asked if he could take a picture for me! Not sure if I was supposed to be grateful or creeped out 😉

Still determined to get just one picture of all the kids smiling I kept going…


…but then the boys decided they would be fighting reindeer
& Abby had waited long enough – she wanted her candy open!


I told Abby NO – bad idea!!!


Now Abby’s mad & Isaac has his tongue back out – I’m ready to cut it off!


And this is the reason we say NO to candy during pictures!


Now T-Rex is crashing our pictures!


I told the T-Rex he had to go… so now he’s pouting!


I’m so close to a great picture, I can feel it!
I just need Abby to stop ‘raising the roof’ when I tell her to put her hands down…


…or tell me she’s 5 when she’s only 2!

And then the camera died!
I’m pretty sure the next one would have been perfect with everyone smiling & looking (and hands down 🙂

Merry Christmas!

Anyways, I just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

I hope you weren’t too naughty this year and got everything you wanted 😉

Even more so, I hope your life is filled with peace, love and happiness!

It’s definitely been a crazy year, plenty of things that went on around here to make you want to admit yourself to the crazy house.

But I truly have learned to appreciate this time of year more than ever! It really is a time to reflect on all of the beautiful things that surround us each day and give meaning to life.

Also, I don’t tell you as often as I should, but Thank You!

Thank you for coming back to my blog again and again –  for your comments – for sharing my posts with others – for being you!

It really does mean more than you know!

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With Change Comes Growth

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“Holding on to something that is good for you now, may be the very reason you don’t have something better.”
C. JoyBell C.

It’s Christmas Eve here, and more than likely my last post of the year. Although that’s not set in stone either.
I know that sounds a bit vague, but, honestly it’s not like I post regularly.
I’d like to change that in the new year.

Anyway, it’s been a hell of a year.
We nearly lost my mother to a heart attack, and even after she spent a month in a hospital over 3 hours away, it was a long road back for her.  Although we had moved from Southern Ontario to live with and take care of my parents, sometimes the Universe has other ideas. (I type this as I sit in our own home, albeit rented, on the other side of our little community.) But it has been positive. My mother is now recovered from her heart issues, is now stronger I think, has lost more weight than even she was expecting and looks firmly engaged in life once more.
Now if I could only engage her in the community again, I’d be happy.

Our eldest son has decided he might like being a grown-up, pursued college and a local part-time job at the ski resort. Our youngest son has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and that’s a good thing too, but a whole ‘nother post entirely.

Our old-man dog has recovered his health as well. Last year at this time, neither my partner or I thought he would be with us this Christmas. Since moving, he has gained weight, walks more, limps less, actually tries to play with us and his step-brother and is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Not bad for a 13 year old Chihuahua!

My writing has moved along as well with the writing and publication of two more short stories. I wish I could say it was more, but on the bright side, two is better than none.

There’s been a lot of positives over the past year. A lot of growth, self-reflection  and forward movement by those around me.
I like to think I’ve grown too. I’m certainly older, and feeling it.

Another Christmas is upon us, and I hope the past year has been a good one for you. Or at the very least, not too painful.
I hope you’ve grown in some way.

Look upon the next year as one filled with potential. Make a list of what you might like to do, and start considering which look the most likely.
It’s time for me to do the same. In my writing, knitting and personally.

Merry Christmas, my friends.
Until next time…

Holiday Prepping in a Can

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Prepping for Holidays in a CanWe want to wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas. We pray that you will find the joy in the season – knowing Christ and being known by Him.

Being in the holiday spirit reminds me how important celebrations and traditions can be. Even those who adamantly declare that they avoid traditions are, in effect, implementing them – that is, their avoidance of tradition is, in fact, their tradition. I know, it sounds strange, but it’s true.

Traditions ground us they define who we are and connect us to community. The community may be present or may be miles away, and it may be large or small. Growing up, we always baked Christmas cookies the day after Thanksgiving. Now as an adult, when I bake cookies on that day – even if I am baking alone – I feel connected to those I baked with, and even the people  they baked with before I was born.

Traditions can be reassuring and calming. When the world changes dramatically, I can’t think of anything we’ll need more! What a better way to prepare for such a time, than to create “Holidays in a Can.” Or a six-gallon pail. Phil describes the contents of holiday cans as “the saved of the saved.” In other words, we’re prepping for the holidays, not just for survival. We’re purposefully storing special food and other items with our preps that we won’t touch until the holiday comes around so that our holiday will be special even when times are tough.

What holidays should you plan for? Any days that are special to you – birthdays, anniversaries, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve or Day, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and Independence Day come to mind. In our house, only a few of those are important days – you identify the ones that are important to you. (Phil is a peculiar fan of Groundhog Day. Go figure.)

What should be in the holiday cans? Now there’s a question that will have a unique answer for each of us. Ask yourself this:

What makes the holiday special to me and my family? Is it smells or activities or sights or sounds?

Your answer to that question will help you identify what should go into your can. Here are some ideas.

  • A card (birthday, anniversary, etc.)
  • A decoration or two
  • Ingredients for a prepper version of a favorite or special food (or just include a fruitcake!)
  • A gift – something special to share with others
  • Something frivolous or fancy
  • Something that evokes memories of the holiday – perhaps a picture or ornament or piece of clothing (an ugly Christmas sweater comes to mind)
  • Candles. Fancy ones since you might be using candles more in TEOTWAWKI and we want the can to hold special things. Don’t forget birthday candles if it’s a birthday can – and if you’re one of those people who always puts trick candles on the cake, be sure to include them.)
  • Spray scent (I hate it, but if I was desperate, I might really enjoy the Christmas feel of it – or it might just remind me of why I always hated it – which is a part of Christmas, too!)
  • Photos
  • A game
  • A special drink (every year at Christmas I have a glass of Crown Royale because it’s what my dad gave me for Christmas every year)

The key is to pare the items down to just a few that will bring the essence of your holiday into a time of crisis.

The Alternative Holiday Can

Having written all that I just did about the importance of traditions – and believing every word of it – I’ve also experienced times when it was important to break with tradition to make the holiday livable. For example, the year Phil’s mom died I specifically planned a non-traditional Christmas for us. I knew that the holiday memories would be too difficult the first year, so instead of focusing on the holiday, we remodeled our living room and dining room over Christmas week. Yes, we took a short break to join family for dinner, but then we returned home to finish painting.

So another approach to your holiday cans (or perhaps just some of them) is an alternative holiday can. Instead of filling it with things that remind you of former holidays, use it as a starting place for igniting new traditions or simply having a fun day. Here are some ideas:

  • A new game
  • Supplies to make a new scrapbook or cards
  • Treat food that isn’t reminiscent of your holidays. I’m loving Auguson Farms Blueberry Muffins these days. A couple batches of that in my birthday can would be a new tradition I’d enjoy!
  • An IOU for a day of rest and pampering – in whatever form that would take in TEOTWAWKI. Massage oils would probably have a very long shelf life.
  • A letter that you write now that would still be applicable then
  • One thing that reminds you of and connects you with the traditional holiday. Just a small thing. Don’t make it the centerpiece of the can.

Remember, your holidays in cans are the “saved of the saved.” They’re in the secret vault not to be opened until the holiday arrives. That’s what holiday prepping is all about.

What are your ideas? How are you including the holidays in your prepping? Comment below or add your comments on Facebook.

And again, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed and prosperous New Year.

The post Holiday Prepping in a Can appeared first on The Approaching Day Prepper.

Simple Solar DIY: Building a Fresnel Solar Cooker

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Cooking with solar energy doesn’t have to be expensive or even difficult. Check out this simple DIY solar cooker project using a fresnel lens.

You’re reading Simple Solar DIY: Building a Fresnel Solar Cooker, originally posted at Graywolf Survival – Emergency preparedness from a combat veteran by Graywolf.

OxyLED T-01 Touch Light Product Review

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Hisgadget has a designed a touch operated battery LED light.  Touch lights are great for illuminating any dark area where electric lights just don’t reach.  Touch lights are also very useful as an emergency light, if the power were to go out you would have… Read More

The post OxyLED T-01 Touch Light Product Review appeared first on Preppers Survive.

Delivering A Baby In An Emergency

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I’m a dad. When your wife is pregnant, especially near the end, you try to plan. But things don’t always (usually?) go as planned. Here are a few steps and guides to delivering a baby in an emergency, when proper medical care isn’t available. WHAT YOU’LL GET BELOW – VIDEO (don’t worry guys — it’s […]

The post Delivering A Baby In An Emergency appeared first on survivalprepper-joe.com.

Prepping For Dog Owners

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How would I outfit my dog for the end of the world?

Molly and Maynard

 Would I buy a doggy flak jacket or some stupid useless crap? Or would I be able to focus on the actual fantastic resource my dog will be to me. If I was to take my dog and set her free in the middle of the woods alone with no food or water and did the same to an average citizen with no survival skills to speak of (besides an episode here and there of naked and afraid or whatever fake survival show is popular now) and left that person in the same conditions as a dog, who would fare better after 3 days? My money is on the dog; basically what I’m saying is we would need the dog more than the dog would need us.

 Get a doggy saddlebag setup and portion the minimum amount of food per day your furry friend requires to be a useful team member. Now keep this in the back of your head, for example I have a pug and he is basically a hairy ball of attitude and Twinkies, he may not be able to carry his own food and water. But what’s a little more weight when a companion is in the mix. My second dog is a pit/pointer mix, she will carry a car if asked to do so, I have no concerns regarding her carrying her own supplies and maybe even some extra when it’s called for. Why put this much thought into have a fluffy friend along? Ask any armed service member if they had a pet overseas, when they say yes ask them how important it is to have the pet during times of extreme stress and long days. Anyway, use your dog to your advantage because that smiling wagging buddy of yours will be a priceless asset if you choose to employ your friend in the proper manner. Dogs can be trained to do anything from sit to sniff for illegal drugs with the smallest bit of discipline and training. Seeing both extremes of the amazing capability of your dog you can easily take a few simple steps to start to see what an asset your domestic pet could be, plus it gets you and your dogs some exercise and time to bond. An example of what you could do is just fill up the saddle bag and go for a walk once a week at least and have treats in the bag so eventually the dog will not only willingly put the doggy back pack on but the dog will be excited to cooperate. Get the dog acclimated to riding in the car; trust me this is key, you don’t want dog puke all over your backseat like mine did and the stains won’t come out. So keep that little guy/girl/fat pug in mind when you are buying your next prepping guidebook or wasting money on a GPS when you are prepping for a solar flare. Spend 20 bucks on a stupid doggy saddle bag and get your dogs ready for the zombie Nazi’s from the Amazon or whatever it is you are getting ready for. On a serious note, your dog will serve as a dependable sentry, companion, hunting partner, etc. and all you will have to do in return is feed, water, pet and repeat in that order.

Granted there can be risks involved with having a dog as your copilot in a survival scenario, I think if you analyze it and weigh the pros and cons of having a dog as your battle buddy you will see that having a dog is a great advantage, while there is some negatives overall it will be a wise choice. With all of that being said, when you are making your apocalypse first aid kit makes some room for your animal too, dogs can get sick just like us and it won’t take much effort to be able to provide a decent level of care for your dog. Just do a simple search of common dog ailments and see if there is a particular cure or method to heal the ailing dog, if you wanted to go a step further; next time you speak with your dog’s vet ask questions about your dog’s health, now don’t run in there talking about zombies or the collapse of the American dream because most likely you will be tossed out and probably visited by the police. But seriously just be a genuine concerned dog owner and just mention things like camping and hiking not prepping or end of days, you want to be taken seriously. So based on the answers you receive from this vet will decide if you are able to provide the care needed to have your furry friend be happy and healthy.

Harnessing your dog’s natural prey drive

Molly! Stop rolling in turkey shit for the love of god! That phrase unfortunately is yelled by me far too much in my life, what I tend to overlook is the purpose behind her foul smelling habit, I sometimes chalk it up to her being a sicko and find myself cursing her for some time after. The real purpose behind this something she can’t help, it’s her natural prey drive. Smelling like turkey shit is a horrible thing but the reason that my dog does this is by instinct, she does this to better adapt to become less noticeable to her soon to be prey , the turkey. Covering herself in that pile of turds is her version of a ghillie suit. She will no longer be considered a threat enough for the turkeys to run and attempt to fly away. Granted this is completely useless information in a non-survival scenario but play along there is a point to this. Say you are in a survival situation for an extended period of time and food is running low and it is the end of autumn, That bird could mean you having a nice warm meal and some feathers to use as stuffing for added heat form the cold ground. Your dog in this scenario could be of great use to you while you are searching for your next meal in time of need. If you see your dog out in the woods rolling in crap chances are you are near the trail of an animal so depending on the level of training you have given your dog you could be eating some turkey in no time. Your dog is a natural hunter and will lead you to dinner most times, just do simple things to evaluate your dog’s level of prey drive in everyday life to see the habits and traits your dog possesses, if your dog eats its own poop and just is a sick bastard, chances are you probably don’t want to hire him as your tracker. I know I don’t want to resort to becoming a 5’ 7” walking pile of turkey poo so I’ll leave that part to the dog. This may sound dumb to some of you but also keep in mind of your dog’s dietary needs and what foods are not good for them to eat. No one likes a dog with Armageddon farts in a tent. Onions, grapes, chocolate are just a few of the things to avoid giving your dog.

I would love to have some additional tips submitted in the comment section below and thanks for reading!

Mobility and Survival

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Survival can be an impossible goal if we place undue burdens on our physical abilities. This is often exemplified by our attempts to carry every possible item of survival gear we own. The result is that we have created a scenario that will make the goal of survival more difficult to achieve. The old saying “Know more. Carry less.” is a good reminder that will help you avoid this problem. Mobility is directly related to your survival.

Mobility is a key factor in many survival situations. It allows you to remove yourself from dangerous and life threatening situations. It allows you to search for needed shelter, food or water. The inability to move can be the start of a process that will ultimately eliminate any chances you may have had for survival.

Our bodies are remarkable things and we often push ourselves to extreme limits even before we become engaged in a survival situation. This is a dangerous approach that should be avoided and physical limitations must be dealt with prior to finding ourselves in a survival situation.

One of the most difficult things to deal with in a survival situation is an injury. It will slow you down or completely stop you in your tracks. Your chances of survival have almost been completely eliminated. There are numerous examples of things that can be avoided to safeguard against this problem.

A prime example of this is the bug out bag. Carrying a heavy pack can lead to knee or back problems that are a creation of our own making. Military personnel have had to deal with this situation throughout history and many a battlefield was littered with abandoned gear when their survival was at stake. Make sure you cut your body some slack and carry a pack that doesn’t push the limits of your physical abilities before its necessary. While a trained soldier may be able to carry 100 pounds of equipment, it could be a deadly burden for someone without the proper physical ability and training. Know more. Carry less.

Another example of dangers to your mobility is caused by the failure to treat simple injuries. A cut on your hand or foot can cause a host of additional problems you won’t need. Take the time to handle cuts, sprains, blisters and other minor injuries as quickly as possible.

You can also adversely affect your mobility by being improperly dressed. A good pair of shoes or boots is of utmost importance. Many people have a hard time walking even a short distance in their bare feet. Imagine what the effects on your mobility would be if you found yourself with bare feet. The same goes for items such as gloves to protect your hands and a good pair of pants to protect your legs. Don’t forget to include a decent shirt and some sort of jacket appropriate for your weather conditions.

Lee Mastroianni of the Office of Naval Research summed it up very appropriately:

“The ability to move is directly related to the ability to survive.”

Staying above the water line!


Building an AR pistol part 1

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As I grow as a shooter I expect my firearms to grow with me. One of the beautiful things about the AR platform is that you can create anything from a 458 SOCOM moose exploding rifle to a 5.56 AR pistol all using the same exact components aside from some caliber specific upper parts.  Hell, you can even use the same lower receiver group and magazines for the .223, 5.56, 300blk, 25-45 sharps, and the 458 SOCOM!

Comparison of Sig arm brace and Vltor E-mod stock

The caliber options were coma inducing when it came time for me to build a new rifle. I relied heavily on others in the industry that are more than helpful with sharing their knowledge on this platform. I knew from day 1 that I wanted something for CQB and home defense so that narrowed my options to 5.56 or 300blk for this build. When it comes to these calibers you should expect a great deal of bias or prejudice written as if it were fact on the “interwebs” so be mindful of that when you research a new rifle build. (Click here for some fact based ballistic data)

I chose 5.56 over 300blk for the following reasons:

1.      Cost of 300blk per round is double 5.56 (.65/ppr vs .26/ppr)

2.      300blk runs best suppressed (I will not be suppressing this)

3.      In some cases the gas system can be finicky on the 300blk

4.      I would have to keep another caliber of ammo in stock (I already own 5.56 rifles)

5.      300blk is still relatively new and could become scarce if it doesn’t catch on

(Obviously these are my opinion and feel free to correct any wrong info)

Most of the parts used

I went with the 5.56 caliber and decided to work out the upper details later so I could focus on completing the lower first since that is the least complicated part of the build.

 When it came time to build the lower I chose the PSA blemished stripped lower on sale for $49.99. This would later allow me to spend the money saved on other more important parts of the gun.

Geissele trigger

I wanted a compact rifle for this build so I explored building an sbr but I didn’t want to deal with the nfa paperwork. The only other option for a compact rifle is the AR pistol. I took advantage of the sales on Black Friday and saved a ton of money when I ordered my Geissele trigger, B.A.D. ambi safety, Magpul pistol grip, Phase 5 Tactical buffer tube, PSA buffer, and Sig arm brace. (Contact me for the specific part and model numbers)

Phase 5 buffer tube

In closing to part 1, avoid buffer tubes that do not utilize a castle nut. The buffer tube I had got loose with minimal effort. This could have led to a catastrophic failure if the buffer assembly fell off during firing. Sure, you could Loctite it and leave your trust in some thread locker but I just decided to eliminate the chance for error and went with the Phase 5 pistol buffer tube that locks into place and also uses a castle nut.

Buffer tube that wasnt used

Part 2 will detail the process of choosing what would eventually become my complete upper, if you have built or plan to build a pistol AR or AK let me know how you went about it!


Completed lower
Our friends over at ORS have a new build coming into the fold from what I hear so standby to see what they do.

Stay Fit and Keep that Warrior Mindset!

Sneak peek of part 2


Helicopter Crash Survival Training

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Survival Systems USA in Groton, Connecticut specializes in Helicopter crash survival training, a niche market to say the least, but an important one as well. Survival Systems Helicopter Crash Survival Training focuses on courses from the basics of escaping an underwater aircraft while holding your breath, to specific training with …

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CertHero – An Easier Outdoor Certification Search

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Meet Logan Randolph – professional mountaineering guide, ski patroller and outdoor certification guru. The last part may seem a little out of place. After years of working outdoors, Logan (and his partner Sam Aarons) founded CertHero.org the first centralized site for finding outdoor courses and certifications. It’s pretty awesome.

Find the Perfect Course for You

CertHero solves a problem that I’ve faced and many of you probably have as well – signing up for wilderness first aid and other outdoor certifications can be frustrating and unnecessarily complicated. First of all, whether you are a serious or purely recreational outdoorsmen I recommend looking into getting certified and taking courses. Courses in wilderness medicine are a great way to meet new people and prepare yourself for unexpected emergencies. They’re also a lot of fun – most involve outdoor disaster scenarios complete with fake injuries and fake blood and bones.


Signing up for classes can often entail searching dozens of separate websites trying to find the appropriate dates, locations and certifications. CertHero aggregates courses from NOLS, SOLO, Wild Med, and most other outdoor educators. You can easily browse courses (from all providers) in one place. You can even sort by location or type of certification and book the course right from the CertHero website. Beyond that, CertHero offers detailed information on these courses.

We’re All Better Off

“Tons of people are interested in outdoor medicine,” Logan told me, “but they’re not sure how to get started. Our goal is to provide information on courses and make scheduling easier. Hopefully more people will get certified.” Logan also added “The more outdoor people have certifications, the better off we all are. In the front country and the wilderness.”

Check out the website CertHero.org and Logan’s latest blog post on course selection.

The post CertHero – An Easier Outdoor Certification Search appeared first on Brian’s Backpacking Blog.

Gun Control? No, Thanks

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survival weapon gun control

Talking about weapons is popular in prepper and survivalist community and it is perfectly logical because it is really important too.

But outside the community there are discussions about if it is it OK to have (or use) weapons, so if you are standing up for your right to own weapons and defend yourself you often are seen as person who likes violence or is bad person in general.

I still remember the moment when I had my own personal revelation about weapons and owning weapons, and I will remember that moment until I die.

I found myself on the street, and at the end of the street, half kilometer from me three guys in olive colored uniforms were beating two other guys, and then one of the guys in uniform simply raised his rifle and shoot one of the guys they were just beating.

They continued to kick other guy, then two uniformed guys took the beaten guy by the hands in order to make him hold still, and other guy shoot him in the head.

Now distance was too far, but I am still quite positive they shoot him in the head, because I saw how his head exploded, splashing back to the wall, and I think two guys held him by hands in order to give opportunity to the third guy to shoot in head without mistakes.

I stand still watching all that, and then my reflexes probably automatically jumped in and I panicked and started to run. Guys saw me and fired couple of shots at me, but I continued to run.

I remember that during this time when I was running I was looking automatically around myself for something to defend myself if they catch me, something…., stick, rock, whatever. All kind of rubble was around me but I simply continued to run with one thought that was like echoing in my head „F#@k! If they catch me, I can only pull my belt from my pants and try to beat them with that. F#$@k!“ I keep running for maybe next 10 minutes, through destroyed buildings, I even kicked some guy who suddenly stand in front of me out of nowhere, he was probably scared just like me.

I survived that. Those three guys most probably did not follow me at all, but adrenaline pumping through my body simply did not let me to stop until I came home and was at safety more or less. And there, at my home, I had only one thought loud and clear in my head : „I need weapon“

I saw violence before that, but that event somehow showed me that weapons are good, weapons are necessary, weapons save lives and take lives but it depends on the person who uses it.

I had some kind of opinion about weapons before that event, just like most of the guys, weapons kill people, violence is bad, there are good guys with weapons like police or similar and there are bad guys with weapon like criminals, and there are some kind of control between them (leverage) and there are whole bunch of other common folks who trust in that leverage and control.

Yeah there are common folks with weapons too, but they still have faith in that balance, and weapons for these guys is nothing more than a hobby, or some kind of internal thing that they feel strong with having a weapon around.

But after that event, everything changed. From that moment all words like law, police, criminals, system and everything else disappeared for me. After this event, and this sounds stupid, but I fell in love with weapons. In the months that followed weapons were some of most important tools for survival. It became very natural to handle weapons and to have it all the time with me.

I mean all the time. Now you may say that during the war it is natural to have weapon, and it is nothing big, and that wars happen somewhere in land where savages lives, and that you have system there where you live, and there are good guys with weapons and bad guys with weapons, and you are in the middle, and all that you need is to obey and then system is going to protect you, and you do not need to have weapon if you trust in system.

I agree with that, this is how I was thinking before this one event as well. Maybe the two guys who got killed also thought like this. It was early on, just few days after war came to our city. I learned my lessons and you can learn more about my experience as well by reading this blog or joining my survival course.

Death is ugly, killing is bad but it is very natural thing for people when they fight for survival and resources. I think problem of people who are against weapons is that they do not want to accept facts of what can happen to them and then they are the ones who run away and have only a belt to fight with when they face bad people.

What are your thoughts on owning weapons and gun control? Share in comments below or in forum.

70 Days in Alaska Living Off the Land

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Many of us dream about one day just checking out and heading into the hills to live a life of the mountain man. Others often live with the nagging question “I wonder if I could really stay out there for an extended amount of time and live by my wits?” Most will never get to realize their dream, while others will drop out before they start. But there is one person who had this dream and finally one day was able to realize it, putting himself to the ultimate test—heading into the Alaskan Wilderness with no food and foraging, hunting and fishing his way through 70 days.

The post 70 Days in Alaska Living Off the Land appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

Dreaming of a Green Holiday Season

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It pays to be prepared for Christmas. Most people have a certain set of rituals for the holidays. This usually includes buying and wrapping gifts, decorating and buying a Christmas tree. These are time honored traditions, and they’re fun, but they can also be hard on the environment. Fortunately, there are many fun ways to celebrate a “Green Christmas” — one that is both environmentally friendly and joyful. Let’s look at some of the best ways to prepare for a green holiday season.

Send Emails Rather Than Paper Cards

While Christmas cards are a tradition, they also waste quite a bit of paper between the card and envelope. Emails are not only more environmentally friendly, they save you postage. You can get creative in your emails and include nice holiday themed graphics or links to e-cards.

Gift Wrap Using Recycled Paper

You can either buy recycled gift wrapping paper or repurpose paper you already have. You can make your gift wrapping even greener by also using recycled bows, ribbons and other decorative items. Another option is to wrap gifts in decorative gift bags that can be reused.

Use a Live Christmas Tree

It may come as a surprise to some, but live Christmas trees are better for the environment than plastic ones. Plastic consumes many resources and creates quite a bit of waste and pollution. The most sustainable type of tree is a live one in a pot. You can either keep the tree in its pot or replant it after the Christmas season.

Use LED Lights on the Tree

When lighting up your Christmas tree, use LED lights, which are far more energy efficient than other kinds. LED lights can last as long as 100,000 hours, which will get you through many holiday seasons! You should also remember to turn the lights off while everyone is asleep. Christmas tree lights, even LEDs, can actually hike up your monthly energy bill in December, so this might also be a good time of year to look into whether or not you can reduce your monthly energy costs by changing service providers (see this website for more details).

Give Creative Gifts

There are many alternatives to buying gifts at the mall or ordering them online. You could make gifts for people. If you are artistic you could create paintings, sculptures or collages for people. If you are handy, you could make items out of wood, metal or other materials. If you are good at sewing or needlepoint, clothing, rugs or blankets all make great gifts. Another option is to give experiences rather than physical objects. This might include yoga classes, massages, spa treatments or gift certificates for a nice restaurant.

Buy “Green” Gifts

There are now many companies that make eco-friendly gifts, whether clothing, jewelry, toys or home decor. You can also find creative and green gifts at antique shops. Most of all, try to avoid toys and gadgets that require batteries, which are an environmental hazard when discarded.

Reduce HolidayDriving

It’s easy to get into the habit of driving everywhere during the holiday season. Between shopping, holiday parties and visits, people often consume extra fuel during this time of year. Try to minimize this by doing more carpooling. If you have friends, co-workers or family members attending the same events, arrange to go together.

Buy in Bulk

It’s typical for people to stock up on food for holiday parties and meals. When you go to the store, buy as many items in bulk as you can. This includes not only food but also paper items such as paper towels and napkins. This will save you money and cut down on the packaging used.

These are just a few of the ways that you can have a “Green Christmas” this year. When you start thinking this way, you will probably come up with more ideas of your own. It’s often more fun to have environmentally friendly holidays, as you have to think creatively rather than simply do everything the same old way.

Thanks to Beth for a great guest post.

Staying above the water line!


What Makes You a Prepper?

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I recently went back to my roots in West Virginia, visiting there for the first time since I started FloridaHillbilly.com. I stayed with friends from high school, folks that have consistently proven themselves to be worthy of that short list of folks that you know you can call at 3am when you need bailed out, […]

Sailing the Apocalypse

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I’ve posted this on my main website but I’m reposting here for those of you who don’t visit www.scottbwilliams.com all that often.  As always, there’s a new book in the works and this one is another fiction title that might interest some readers of Bug Out Survival. Part humor, part adventure and part disaster, Sailing the Apocalypse is the story of one man’s ultimate bug-out with his family before the collapse he fears has a chance to happen.

I’m wrapping up the manuscript within a few days and it will be all set to go to the copyeditor shortly thereafter.  Sailing the Apocalypse is a novel of about 70,000 words, and is the first novel I’ve written in the first person point of view.  This is a story I’ve really enjoyed working on and writing it has given me several ideas for other works or possibly sequels to this one. Anyone who has spent as much time on or around the water as I have could not help but run into some of the eccentric characters sailing attracts. The main character of this story is one of those, but like most sailors and boatbuilders, Terry Bailey is resourceful and independent even if he does take a lot of his ideas too far. 

With “apocalypse” in the title, a lot of my readers will assume this book is another “post-apocalyptic” or dystopian survival tale like The Pulse or The Darkness After, but it’s actually more “pre-apocalyptic” if anything. The Wharram catamaran featured in the story and on the cover is christened the Apocalypse by Terry and his family after they build and launch it.  And it’s purpose is to be their new home and escape pod from the doom that Terry is certain will soon befall his country. Readers of my other works will see a bit of the prepper mentality in this character as well, but he’s much more off the deep end than I’ve recommended in my serious nonfiction titles on the subject or here on Bug Out Survival

Sailing the Apocalypse is available for preorder now in the ebook form for just five bucks from the usual retailers linked below, and the print version will be available about the time the ebook is released.  Although the release date posted on Amazon and the other stores is February 15, the book should be available a full month earlier or by the end of January at the latest.

Amazon Kindle
Apple iBooks
Barnes & Noble



Chicken with Honey Beer Sauce

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I believe it was early 2010 sometime and I was on business at JFTB (Joint Forces Training Base) Los Alamitos. After a long day in the field, a group of us went to the pub on base for a much needed drink and meal. The pub is a little unique in that it has an outside patio with gas grills set up where one can grill up their own food, have a drink, and watch the military aircraft come and go.

I decided to grill up some chicken, knowing well my chicken grilling skills always seemed to leave the chicken on the dry side. But hey, I was hungry and chicken is what I was craving. When I ordered up a breast to toss on the grill, the bar maiden asked if I would like it marinated for about 20 minutes first. “Why not”. I watched her as she proceeded to pour out a healthy dose of teriyaki sauce in a shallow bowl, followed by Guinness straight from the tap. To this she immersed the chicken breast and set it aside.
To this day I can not forget how juicy and tender that chicken was after I pulled it off the grill. Sure, I seasoned it with a bit of salt and pepper and some other things once on the grill, but the sweetness of the teriyaki and beer really made a difference.

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Caught By The Christmas Build-Up

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Christmas is just around the corner, and of course I’m not ready.
Every year, I swear I’ll be more organized next year…and the next Christmas season still sneaks up on me and catches me flatfooted.
We always hear that Christmas isn’t about gifts, it’s supposed to be about friends, family…those we hold dear to us.
After nearly losing Mom earlier this year…I can finally say I understand it better than ever.

This week, I’ll be digging out the decorations, the miniature village, the wreath and all the stuff for the tree. And the snowshoes.
This year, we get to trek through the snowy woods for a real tree.
I better borrow the neighbour’s saw.

Speaking of Christmas trees, here’s a cool little article about a family owned and operated tree farm.
Gotta love when a family turns convention on it’s head.


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In the first episode of Fat Guys in the Woods, we made an improvised Bow Saw using a bent sapling.  We then used this saw to help build shelters and process wood throughout the week.  This post provides a little more detail about this project.

First, about Bow Saws…

I love a good Bow Saw.  I actually prefer a Bow Saw over an ax.  A good Bow Saw can process an insane amount of wood in a short amount of time.  It’s safer to use than an ax, require less practice and takes far less energy.  It’s also much lighter.  My Bow Saw of choice is the Bahco 36″ model.  Here’s a photo below:


I’ll be the first to admit that they are bulky, especially the larger ones.  Luckily, the ‘BOW’ part of the Bow Saw can be improvised in the field using a flexible sapling if you just want to carry in the blade portion.  Below is how to do it.

Choosing the BOW.

I typically use either small saplings or branches that are about 3/4″ – 1″ in diameter.  I cut them about 6″ longer than my Bow Saw blade.  That’s typically pinky tip to thumb tip of my open hand with fingers spread.  They must be flexible.  They must also be GREEN wood.  No dead stuff.  I’ll often flex them around a large tree to break them in.  This really helps.

Next, split the end of each sapling in half about 3″ down.  The splits on each end must be aligned with each other.  They can’t be going in opposite directions.  This is necessary in order for the saw blade to be straight.

Key Rings/Wooden Peg Blade Attachment Options

Threading key rings onto each end of the Bow Saw blade in advance of your trip makes attaching an improvised sapling handle pretty easy.  All bow saw blades that I know of have holes in each end.  These holes are perfect attachment points for key rings.  Key rings can be purchased in the key making dept. of virtually any hardware store.

Start by inserting the end of the bow saw blade into one of the splits on the end of your sapling.  Fold the key ring over and around the sapling like shown below.  If your sapling is larger in diameter than the key ring then simple taper down the end with your knife so that it will fit.


If you don’t have key rings, an appropriately sized wooden peg will also work.


Next, carefully bend the sapling and attach the blade in the same way to the other end.  Flexing the sapling around a tree really helps to ready the sapling for this step in the build.


I’ll often tie some paracord around the blade and key ring for peace of mind but it isn’t necessary.  The entire build typically only takes 5-10 minutes and is a really fun bushcraft project.



Although not as robust as the metal store-bought versions, these improvised bow saws may surprise you.  I’ve been using one around Willow Haven for a couple years and it still works like a charm.  Besides, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of improvising and making tools in the field.



Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,


IntoCircuit Power Mini 3000 Bank Review

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Battery banks are a great item for emergency kits.  A battery bank will recharge your cell phone or tablet in the absence of a power outlet.  They are easy to use and can be recharged using a USB port.  There’s usually minimal difference when comparing… Read More

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Review – Our Take on the Voodoo Tactical Level III Assault Pack

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The Voodoo Level III Tactical Backpack has a few drawbacks but it’s still a great bag for the right uses. I break it all down for you here and explain how I use it in my patrol vehicle.

You’re reading Review – Our Take on the Voodoo Tactical Level III Assault Pack, originally posted at Graywolf Survival – Emergency preparedness from a combat veteran by Graywolf.

Hello from Creek

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Hello all.  As you read this post, I’m deep in the North Woods filming the first Episodes of Fat Guys in the Woods for Season 2, coming this Spring.  I scheduled this post to publish before I left.  I’ll be unplugged where I’m going.

For those of you who know very much about me and Willow Haven Outdoor, you also know that I try to keep my parents involved (and busy) with my many survival activities and pursuits.  This includes when I’m gone filming 😉  Just so they don’t get too bored with me out of town, I thought I’d encourage you to visit our on-line store (http://www.notifbutwhensurvivalstore.com) with a timely CHRISTMAS DISCOUNT CODE (found at the end of this email).  My Mom and Dad run this business from my childhood home and I don’t want them getting lazy on me while I’m incommunicado leading guys through a survival adventure for weeks  on end.

In our on-line store we carry a huge variety of survival tools and resources at all different price points.  There are tons of great stocking stuffers in our UNDER $10 SECTION here: http://www.notifbutwhensurvivalstore.com/category-s/1881.htm


Here is a link to many of the items we used on Season 1 of Fat Guys in the Woodshttp://www.notifbutwhensurvivalstore.com/category-s/1887.htm


We also carry tons of Books and Information Resources here:  http://www.notifbutwhensurvivalstore.com/category-s/1833.htm


One of my favorite sections is our selection of survival gloves and clothing accessories here: http://www.notifbutwhensurvivalstore.com/category-s/1848.htm


Before you go, be sure to write down the COUPON CODE below.  This will save you 7% during check-out!  And, there is FREE SHIPPING for orders over $100.  Be sure to tell Mom and Dad I said HELLO from the field.


Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,


Don’t Give Anybody Any Ideas

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In an emergency situation, if some marauder was going out to seize by force food, water, and other supplies, what might he look for? This is an OpSec question, and one I should consider as I devote my resources and efforts to getting ready for disaster. I want to be prepared without broadcasting my preparedness to others who might steal from me or do me harm. I don’t want to give anybody any reason to come poking around my house in particular.

gasoline shedSo, what are some of the tell-tale things I might do that could give me up? Consider this list:

  • Antennas. An antenna tower, antenna array, or long dipole on or near my house, or even multiple antennas mounted to my vehicle, could attract the attention of a passer-by seeking information from “outside” the area they believe is affected by the disaster.
  • Out-buildings, sheds, barns, detached garages. The logical places to look for tools, parts, and supplies.
  • A generator. The sound of a generator can be heard for a long distance when other noises of modern convenience have ceased. Likewise, a small utility building with a double-throw switch and power lines leading to your home could give you away. And by all means, when every other house on your block is dark, make sure your house is not a beacon with the warm glow of electric lighting shining forth from every window.
  • Just as the sounds you make could give you away, so with scents. The aroma of grilling meat or sauteed garlic could put ideas in peoples’ heads.
  • Sustainable energy. Solar panels or windmills could tempt a brazen scavenger, or they could raise the question of what other ways I might be prepared to thrive.
  • A garden. There are those who want to reap where they have not sown. A visible garden, greenhouse, or hydroponic setup could invite trouble.
  • Food, water, and supplies in plain sight. What can people see if your garage door is open–or if there’s a window through which they can peer? First-in-first out food organizers, buckets of freeze-dried meals or food in Mylar packages, a gun safe, barrels of water–these will be the equivalent of treasure chests in a situation where peoples’ families are going hungry. What have your neighbors already seen, that they might recall after a major disaster? Or, what might they have seen you carrying into your home from your car?
  • Come to think of it, keep the shades down or the curtains drawn on all your windows. No sense making their recon any easier. Then again, fancy shutters might draw their own kind of attention.
  • Sadly, your vehicles often say something about what might be in your garage or home. An SUV with a roof rack could imply camping gear, or a trailer with mountain bikes could imply tools and gas.
  • A water tower or rain barrels or other rain catchment setups announce your intention of not being dependent on municipal supplies.
  • Give some thought to what your trash might say about you. Be careful when you discard your protein bar wrappers, empty Mountain House packets, antibiotic blister packs, and spent water bottles.
  • Maybe it’s you. Carry a multitool or HT on your belt whenever you go out? Do you EDC a MOLLE assault pack? Your home may be a more desirable target than that lady who always wears yoga pants to walk her shih tzu.

What else can you think of? Let us know in the comments below.

The point is not to forgo communications, power, and supplies, but rather to be careful in what messages you send to people who haven’t prepared like you. The point is not that you can’t help your neighbor, but that you retain the ability to provide for your own household. Just try to not stand out–that would be outstanding!

[Related article: How Much “Sec” in Your OpSec?]



The Problem of Low Gas Prices

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Gas prices are dropping, dropping, dropping … and we’re supposed to be very happy, aren’t we? Are you shocked, wondering what I could possibly find concerning about low gas prices? It’s been a long time since we’ve seen $1.15/litre. What in the world would have me thinking that low gas prices might be a problem? […]

The post The Problem of Low Gas Prices appeared first on Just Plain Living.

Black Friday Berkey Light Giveaway

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Berkey Light Water Purifier Giveaway

We are excited to share this Berkey Light Water Purifier Giveaway that’s sponsored by our friends at LPC Survival.

The Berkey Light Water Purifier is an ideal water filtration system for everyday use at home, travel, outdoors or during emergencies.

Includes the following:

  • 2 Black Berkey Elements
  • Serves 1 – 5 People
  • Holds aprox 2.75 Gallons

The Berkey Light is easy to set up and install.

  • It measures: Height x Diameter (inches) 26.5 x 9.25 (base included)
  • The system can also be used without the base and stands 21″
  • Empty Weight 5 (lbs)
  • Holding capacity: Aprox. 2.75 Gallon

Configured with two Black Berkey® purification elements the system can purify over 4 Gallons per hour. The containers consist of shatter-resistant, non BPA, copolyester material.

Giveaway Details:

If you have always wanted to own one, now’s your chance! Submit your entries below.

  • This Berkey Light System is a sponsored giveaway and open to any resident who is 18 years of age or older who lives in one of the 48 US Contiguous States.
  • This giveaway starts on Friday, Nov. 28th at 5:00 am (MST) and ends on Friday, Dec.5th, 2014 at 5:00 pm (MST).
  • The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If we do not hear back from said winner in the designated time period of 24 hours we will choose another winner and they will have 24 hours to respond from the time the notification email is sent. Please check your SPAM email folders.

Good luck to everyone! Let’s be prepared for the unexpected!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Black Friday Berkey Light Giveaway appeared first on Prepared Housewives.