Shelf Life Considerations for Preparedness Foods

Click here to view the original post.

black bartBy Denis Korn           60102_Forever Young Mac & Cheese_MD_RGB

When I consult with preparedness planners about the various food options for long term storage, the foremost question is, “What is the shelf life?”  Shelf life considerations for preparedness foods is an essential factor in effective preparedness and survival provisioning.

HISTORY

When I began in the natural foods/outdoor recreation/preparedness industry in the mid 70’s, shelf life concerns of dried food products was confined to the military, backpackers and the few folks who were preparing for the unforeseen and the impending tribulations.  For the average person, who needs foods that will be palatable 10 – 20 – 30 years in the future?  Packaging for longer shelf life dried foods was limited 40 years ago, and there were few companies at that time in the industry.  Pouch foods for backpackers and campers had at best a few years shelf life.  The companies that packed in #10 cans usually didn’t do anything effectively to ensure long shelf, which meant reducing residual oxygen levels.  It was hit and miss depending on the specific food that was being canned.  There were two exceptions that I knew of at the time – Arrowhead Mills in Texas and Oregon Freeze Dry in Oregon.  Both companies would have the cans in a vacuum chamber and introduce nitrogen to displace oxygen.  This is what my company at that time – AlpineAire Foods – did in the late 80’s with our can products called Gourmet Reserves.

In about 1990/91 things changed dramatically for effective shelf live packaging.  I was introduced to Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America and their Ageless Oxygen Absorber.  We had our cans and pouches tested by them and the results were extraordinary.  Where military specs required a 2% residual oxygen level, the Ageless Absorber could reduce the levels to 0.1% or less!  This significantly increased shelf life by reducing oxidation of foods.  I was the first person in the industry to embrace this technology, and my company immediately began using these absorbers in our cans and pouches – and the rest is history.  Currently it is an industry standard to use oxygen absorbers in foil pouches and #10 cans of dried foods.  Companies that are still only using nitrogen flushing to reduce residual oxygen are utilizing an ineffective method and outdated technology.

WHY OXYGEN FREE?

Basically there are 2 reasons for wanting to store food in an oxygen free environment – (1) eliminate the possibility for infestation and spoilage from insects and microorganisms, and (2) control oxidation, which leads to the rancidity of fats and oils, foul taste, off color, and nutritional deterioration.  The lower the oxygen levels – the more effective in preserving the integrity of the foods stored.  Some foods are more susceptible to oxidation deterioration than others.  It is important to know how susceptible the foods you are storing are to oxidation, because as you will see the type of container you store your foods in may at some point no longer be an adequate oxygen barrier.  Research by Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company, the inventors of oxygen absorbers and manufacturer of the Ageless® brand absorber, indicates that in an oxygen free atmosphere (their absorbers can reduce the residual oxygen level in the proper container to 0.1% or less) all adults, larvae, pupae, and eggs of the most prevalent dry food insects are killed within 14 days.  Freezing a product – grains, beans, cereals, etc. – will not kill all microscopic eggs.

While oxidation has a distinct effect on most foods, there are some dried foods that are not as susceptible.  Whole grains and beans being the most obvious, however there are some dried vegetables and processed cereals that seem to have an inherent long shelf life.  That is why when opening containers of very old dried foods, some are spoiled and others may still be edible.  It is still recommended that all long term storage foods be packed in a very low residual oxygen atmosphere.

BOGUS CLAIMS

I need to once again alert all those reading this article to be discerning, cautious and on your guard when buying so-called long term pouched emergency foods!  I have written extensively about the deception and misinformation being delivered by businesses that call themselves emergency and/or survival food companies.  I have over 40 years in the natural foods, emergency preparedness and outdoor recreation industries – I know deceitfulness when I see it.

The #1 red flag that indicates a deceptive claim and is used by the newer and untrustworthy companies is the fabricated 20 – 25 – 30 year shelf life claim of pouched foods in plastic buckets.  None of the reputable, long established companies of dried food products packed in foil pouches make these outrageous shelf life claims.  It is interesting that some of these companies are now adding in small print the term “up to” on their packing and literature.  I suppose if you stored your foods in Arctic conditions it might last that long, however most people do not store foods for 20-25-30 years in ideal conditions, and when you evaluate the packaging material and process, they are also less than adequate or ideal for these very extended shelf life claims.  Also keep in mind that these companies are so new that there is NO anecdotal evidence of their misleading claims.

MATERIALS

The material in which a dried food product is packed is essential in insuring an optimal shelf life.

Plastic buckets (HDPE – high density polyethylene) – 5 and 6 gallon round and square sizes with handles are very popular for packing grains, beans, and other commodities in bulk

Pro:

  • A convenient container to store larger quantities of dry foods – stores and stacks well, is compact, and can be carried easily.
  • Inexpensive new and can be obtained used from a number of sources.
  • A thick walled (90 mil) container with the proper gasket can be used effectively to control the atmosphere within for up to 1 to 3+ years.
  • Can be used in conjunction with foil pouches for convenience of storage.
  • You can use multiple foil pouches stored in the bucket for convenience of use.
  • Insects don’t easily penetrate the thick walls.
  • Can withstand some rough handling.
  • Because insects at all stages are destroyed within about 14 days, the short term effectiveness of using an oxygen absorber to create an oxygen free environment is useful.

Con:

  • HDPE is a permeable (porous – albeit microscopic) material and gas transmission rates (the length of time gases such as oxygen will travel through a given material) indicate that it will take 1 to 3 years for the atmosphere within the bucket to match the atmosphere outside (our normal atmosphere is normally about 21% oxygen and 79% nitrogen with a very small amount of other gases such as carbon dioxide).  This means that if you started with an oxygen free or low level to begin with, that over time the oxygen level in the bucket will continue to increase until it reaches parity or equality with the normal atmosphere.
  • If you want the atmosphere to remain constant inside your container, or be oxygen free for extended periods of time, HDPE plastic buckets are not appropriate – check with the manufacturers (as I have done) and find out their specifications and recommendations for your needs and the specific container you want to use.
  • The ability to maintain whatever atmosphere you desire within the container will depend not only on the quality of the HDPE walls, but also the integrity of the gasket seal.
  • HDPE will absorb odors and they will eventually permeate into the contents of the bucket.  Direct packed foods will also absorb the odor.  Do not store plastic buckets in areas that have a strong smell. (NOTE: Foil pouches within a bucket will prolong the odor absorption)
  • Rodents and other animals can easily break into plastic buckets if left unattended for extended periods.
  • Not recommended for long term storage (3+ years) of directly packed oxidation susceptible foods, although should be OK for whole grains and beans.

Pouches – There are literally hundreds of possible combinations of materials and sizes available to create a pouch that will contain food.  Normally a food manufacturer or packer goes to a company that specializes in manufacturing pouches and gives the company their specifications and requirements for the specific foods to be packed.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  It is common these days among those who sell empty pouches for food storage, or food already in pouches, to use the term “Mylar® pouch.”  This is very misleading.  By itself the term can mean anything and it tells you nothing of importance so that you can make the appropriate decisions on what pouch to use.  The “Mylar®” brand is the registered trademark name of a PET polyester film manufactured by DuPont® Teijin Films.  They produce hundreds of variations of this polyester resin material.  It is a component used in the production of many variations of packaging material.  It can be clear or opaque such as in wrappers for food bars or Mylar balloons – that look “metalized” yet contain no foil.  Mylar® by itself is not an appropriate material for long term pouched food.  Ask you supplier what they mean when they say “Mylar®.”

For those reading this article the requirements needed are to pack dry foods for the long term.  If you buy stock pouches from a distributor you need to tell them what you plan to put in it and what your expectations are for the long term.  You should insist on knowing the specifications (especially the gas and vapor transmission rates) of the pouch and whether they suit your needs.

If you want a pouch that gives you the longest possible shelf life for your foods, you will need a laminated pouch consisting of multiple components and layers.  As far as pouches are concerned, one of those layers must be foil (NOTE: All plastics are gas and vapor permeable – some rates are very high – meaning that gases transmit through them very quickly – and some plastics both individually and in combination have slower rates).  Only quality foil is a beneficial gas and moisture barrier – that is foil without microscopic holes)

Ask the distributor the specifications of the pouch, the different components used – not only for barrier properties but also for durability, the transmission rates if not foil, if foil – its thickness, and the reliability and reputation of the manufacturer.

Pro:

  • The variety of available sizes offers flexibility in choices of quantities to store.
  • Costs are reasonable.
  • Can be effective as a short term oxygen free container.
  • Small pouches of food can be very useful for bartering and distributing among those in need during in an emergency.

Con:

  • Not recommended for very long term packaging of products for an oxygen free environment.  Shelf life of pouched foods is recommended for 3 to 10 years depending on type of food product, storage conditions, handling, and composition packaging materials.
  • Excessive or rough handling, loss of seal integrity, and pressure of sharp edges on the pouch from the products within can create “pin-holes” (microscopic holes in the pouch material) that eventually will cause gases to be transmitted through the pouch (NOTE: I am concerned when I see and hear some folks instructing people to cram and squeeze foil pouches into plastic buckets).
  • Rodents and other creatures can easily penetrate pouch material.

Metal cans – For food storage purposes #10 size (about 7/8 gal) and #2 ½ size (about 7/8 qt) are the most popular used with the proper can sealers.  It is possible, if you keep searching, to find 5 gallon square metal cans with a large pressure lid on the top side.  These are ideal for bulk food storage, although they may be hard to find (NOTE: I sold these cans packed with foods at AlpineAire Foods about 20 years ago).  You also may want to consider clean or new metal garbage cans as a means to store smaller size foil pouched foods.

Pro:

  • Ideal for long term food storage.  The atmosphere within the cans, with the proper sealing, can remain oxygen free indefinitely.
  • Metal is non-permeable for gas and water vapor – a zero transmission rate.
  • Difficult for rodents or animals to penetrate.
  • Can withstand some rough handling.

Con:

  • Costs can be higher than other materials.
  • Extra attention must be given to proper sealing.
  • Metal containers may be difficult to obtain.
  • Sealing equipment can be costly
  • Some non enameled cans may rust if exposed to moisture.

Glass

Pro:

  • Excellent for long term food storage.  The atmosphere within the jars, with the proper sealing, can remain oxygen free indefinitely.
  • Glass is non-permeable for gas and water vapor – a zero transmission rate.
  • Difficult for rodents or animals to penetrate.
  • Easily obtainable and relatively inexpensive.

Con:

  • Very fragile – must be stored and handled with care.
  • Practical only in smaller size containers.

ABOUT GAS TRANSMISSION RATES FOR POUCHES

A gas transmission rate is the rate that atmospheric gases such as oxygen, nitrogen and water vapor will penetrate a pouch.  Most pouches referred to as “mylar” have three layers known as PAL pouches.  Plastic – usually a type of polyester film known as mylar® – Aluminum – a foil layer that should be at least .35 mil – Laminate – polyethylene the material that seals the the pouch.  All “mylar” pouches have transmission rates depending on the thickness and composition of the layers, and there are hundreds of different pouch sizes and compositions.

Basically a transmission rate is designated as the volume of gas (or weight in grams of water vapor) in cubic centimeters per a given area transmitted in a period of time.  When looking at a typical good quality “mylar” pouch spec the O2 transmission rate is: 0.0006/cc/100 sq. in. in 24 hours.  This means that 6 ten thousand’s of a cubic centimeter will transmit through a single side of a 10″ x 10″ pouch in one day.  This is pouch material in an ideal condition and not the seams.  While the transmission rates are slow in a quality pouch, over time the residual oxygen levels increase.  Rough handling, poor seam sealing, puncturing from foods within and the side seams themselves can also cause additional “pin-holing” and leakage that will effect transmission rates.

Try this experiment yourself at home:  Take an empty “mylar” pouch that is new or one from the pouched foods you are storing – have a small and powerful flashlight and insert it into the pouch – move it around the inner surface and seams.  You will see light coming through at the seams, and depending on the thickness of the foil and pin-holing, you will see dots of light.  These are the visible (there are still invisible and microscopic) areas in which gas transmission will occur.

The reason I have included this section in this article is to give some basis to appropriate shelf life claims.  If shelf life is equated with very low residual oxygen levels – (and hopefully proper storage conditions) – then claims of a very long shelf life of pouched dried food products is compromised by ever increasing levels of oxygen over time within the pouch itself.  Beware of long shelf life claims of pouched foods.

STORAGE CONDITIONS

There are six conditions (plus Time) to be aware of when storing food for emergency preparedness food storage, or outdoor recreation.  The foods being referred to in this post are shelf-stable freeze-dried, dehydrated, dried commodities.  Optimal storage conditions can also be applied to wet pack:  retort, MRE’s, canned goods, and other specialty longer term wet pack foods.

NOTE:  The six conditions listed are chosen because these are factors in which we have the control to optimize for the longest reliable shelf life.  TIME is the one factor that we can not control – and it does have a significant effect on the shelf life of various foods.  Nutritional value is lost with many foods over time.  To know with certainty the viable nutritional value of all food reserve items at any given time after a lengthy period of storage – is at best complex or most likely mere conjecture and guesswork.  What we can do is to apply proper planning procedures – do your research with trusted resources, rotate and consume your storage foods, and be realistic about how long you will really need the foods you choose to store.

  • Temperature– This is the primary factor affecting the storage life of foods.  The cooler the better. 40 degrees-50 degrees would be great. Room temperature (65 degrees-72 degrees) or below is generally fine.  Avoid above 90 degrees for extended periods of time. The longer food is exposed to very high temperatures the shorter the edible life and the faster the degeneration of nutritional value.  Note:  There are some “foods” available for emergency preparedness that are known as “emergency food or ration bars.”  These products are generally referred to as “life raft bars” because they were originally designed for life rafts and can withstand high heat for extended periods of time.  They primarily consist of white sugar and white flour, and were not meant to be the sole source of nutrition for a long period of time.
  • Moisture– The lower the better.  Moisture can deteriorate food value rapidly and create conditions that promote the growth of harmful organisms.  The moisture level contained in foods varies depending on the type of product it is.  Have foods in moisture barrier containers (metal, glass) in high humidity areas. NOTE:  “Mylar” bags or plastic buckets are not a long term (over 3 years for buckets and 10 +/- years for bags) moisture or oxygen barrier. The moisture and gas transmission rates through these materials vary depending upon the specifications of the manufacturers.  Plastic absorbs gases, moisture, and odors.  NOTE:  Be careful where you store dry foods in cans.  Very cold flooring or any condition where there is a dramatic temperature differential may cause a build up of condensation inside the container.
  • Oxygen – A high oxygen environment causes oxidation, which leads to discoloration, flavor loss, odors, rancidity and the breakdown of nutritional value in foods. It also allows insects to feed on dried food reserves. Without oxygen, insects cannot live, nor can aerobic (oxygen dependent) organisms. Whole grain and beans have natural oxygen barriers and can store for long periods of time in low humidity and if free from infestation. All other processed grains, vegetables, fruits, etc. must be in a very reduced (2% or less) oxygen environment for long term storage.  NOTE:  Mylar® bags or plastic buckets are not a long term moisture or oxygen barrier. The moisture and gas transmission rates through these materials vary depending upon the specifications of the manufacturers.  Plastic absorbs gases, moisture, and odors.  The best long term storage containers are glass and metal.
  • Infestation – Examples include rodents, insects in all their stages of growth, mold, microorganisms, and any other creatures that get hungry – large or small.  The proper packaging and storage conditions are required to control infestation and not allow critters to both get into the food, or have the necessary environment for them to flourish if they are sealed into a container – such as in the form of eggs or spores.
  • Handling – Rough handling can not only damage the food itself, but it can also adversely effect and compromise the integrity of the container in which the food is stored.  Glass of course can break; any pouched item can develop pin-holes, tears, or cracks.  The seams on buckets and cans can be tweaked, twisted, or damaged to allow oxygen to enter the container.
  • Light – Food should not be stored in direct sunlight.  Both for the potential of high temperature, and its affect on food value.  Sunlight directly on stored foods can destroy nutritional value and hasten the degeneration of food quality, taste, and appearance.  Foods packed in light barrier containers do not pose a problem with the affects of light.

 

The post Shelf Life Considerations for Preparedness Foods appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

Jim Cobb Author Interview

Click here to view the original post.

I love talking to authors I admire. Today I’m talking with author Jim Cobb. As a 30+ year experienced prepper and author of several books, as well as a disaster preparedness consultant for businesses and individuals, Jim knows his stuff! Jim’s a big part of our preparedness community, and just an all around great, helpful, […]

The post Jim Cobb Author Interview appeared first on survivalprepper-joe.com.

Guest Post: Prepping With Neighbors

Click here to view the original post.

I’d like to thank Dave from Prepping Plans for being a guest poster today at The Nerdy Survivalist. Check out what Dave has to say about prepping with the people around you! Dave is also the author of Prepping for Pennies on the Dollar, which I will be reviewing next week sometime. 

Surviving Together with Your Neighbors

One of the biggest concerns for preppers is keeping their plans secret. But, no matter how good your OPSEC is, chances are, there are people who are going to know what you are up to. Friends, family members and even your neighbors will see signs of what you are doing. To the curious, that will be enough to cause them to figure it out.

Even if your OPSEC is perfect and people don’t figure out that you’re prepping, how well do you think you’ll be able to keep the secret from your neighbors, when they’re starving and you’re not? It’s one thing to keep the secret while you’re prepping; but it’s something totally different to keep it when things go to pot and you find yourself in a survival situation. People are eventually going to figure out that you’re better off than they are, and when they do, they’ll probably come knocking on your door.

This puts you in a difficult situation, one that most preppers try to avoid facing. What do you do when those people start knocking on your door? Do you feed them and then not have enough for your own family or do you tell them you can’t help them and gain their animosity? Are you risking attack by not helping them?

I’d like to propose a third alternative to you, that of co-opting your neighbors and making them part of your neighborhood survival team. This is easiest if you can do it ahead of time, turning them into preppers too. But the reality is that you probably won’t be able to do that. Most won’t want to listen.

So, that leaves co-opting them after the disaster hits, a much easier and more costly move. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it. The thing is, you’re either going to end up working with your neighbors or end up fighting with them. So, you may as well try to work with them.

Organize Your Neighborhood

When a disaster hits, most of your neighbors are going to be wandering around, wondering what happened. Everyone will be looking for answers and nobody is going to have any. Some of them will be expecting the government to step in to help, but you and I know how poor the government’s track record of that is. People will be looking for leadership and if the government doesn’t give it to them, someone else will need to.

That’s where you can step in. Organize a neighborhood meeting and get everyone together to talk about what has happened. Tell them what you know about what has happened and what you know about what has to be done. Don’t be a fear monger, but paint as clear a picture as you can. Some of your neighbors won’t want to accept what you say, but others will. Start with those.

Organize the families that you have, so that you can help each other out. Find out what skills people have, so that those skills can be put to use. Avoid the subject of what resources they have, because you can’t honestly ask that while hiding what you have stockpiled. Remember, you’re going to accomplish much more working together, than you can accomplish separately.

Be willing to offer your expertise to the community effort. You’re probably the only one who has taken the time to learn survival skills. Fine, those skills are valuable. Your willingness to contribute them to the neighborhood is worth something and everyone else should recognize that. If they don’t, you can simply back off and not help them out.


The Food Issue

The biggest issue you’re going to encounter is coming up with enough food to feed everyone. Somebody is going to have the idea of pooling resources; probably some liberal who doesn’t have anything in their home. But if you try to feed your neighbors, like you’re feeding your family, you’re going to need some major food stocks on hand. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t feed them at all. That’s actually the one thing they are going to be expecting from you, more than anything else.

So, stock up on rice and beans. Compared to other food items, those are cheap. Then, when they come around asking for food, you have something to give them. They don’t have to know that your family is eating better than that; all they need to know is that you’re giving them something to eat. In addition to rice and beans, you should also stock up on heirloom seeds. Don’t just buy enough for your needs; buy enough to get your neighbors’ gardens going as well. If you can get everyone in your neighborhood growing food, you’re going to be much more successful in feeding everyone; and you won’t have to use your food stocks to do it.

The Water Issue

Right alongside food, there’s the issue of water. We all know that it take a gallon of clean water per person per day to cover drinking and cooking needs. If your city’s water goes down, you’re all going to need water. Since you’re the neighborhood prepper, you’re the one who knows what water sources are available.

This is another place where you can help our your neighborhood, putting them in debt to you. Organize water hauling teams to get water from your local river or lake. Your contribution to this will be in filtering the water; that saves you from having to haul water. For every gallon of water that you purify for someone else, they have to give you two gallons for your use.

Of course, not all the water they need will have to be purified, just the water for drinking and cooking. The water they use for cleaning can be normal river water. They may complain about that at first, but they’ll quickly get used to it.

What Do You Get Out of This?

You might be wondering why you should go through all this effort for your neighbors. You could stay in your home, eating your stockpile and ignore their plight. That’s true, but there is some risk involved in doing so. Your neighbors may just decide to organize without you and come to take what you have. That won’t help you any and may end up as a tragedy for everyone concerned.

However, if you help out your neighbors, organizing them and offering your skills to them, you can get something out of it. First of all, you will become the natural leader of your neighborhood. That’s more of a responsibility than a blessing, but it can work into being a blessing. On top of that, there are two areas where your neighbors can truly help you out:
· Mutual defense
· Manual labor

Those two areas will make your survival all that much easier; and there will probably be people in your neighborhood who will have useful skills that you don’t have, which can help you to survive as well. Like anything else that’s a team effort, working together with your neighbors to survive, even if they aren’t preppers, will ultimately help everyone out.

Those two areas will make your survival all that much easier; and there will probably be people in your neighborhood who will have useful skills that you don’t have, which can help you to survive as well. Like anything else that’s a team effort, working together with your neighbors to survive, even if they aren’t preppers, will ultimately help everyone out. 

Dave is a 52 year old survivalist; father of three; with over 30 years of survival experience. He started young, learning survival the hard way, in the school of hard knocks. Now, after years of study, he’s grey-haired and slightly overweight. That hasn’t dimmed his interest in survival though. If anything, Dave has a greater commitment to survival than ever, so that he can protect his family. You can learn more about Dave on his site, PreppingPlans.com

Protein Bars You Can Buy

Click here to view the original post.

This week, we tried out Detour Simple Caramel Peanut and Chocolate Chip Caramel Nutrition Bars.

I know a lot of preppers love to make their own protein bars, which is awesome. Others, like me, prefer bars we can buy.

While I do love to cook, I also love the simplicity of these bars for bug-out bags or just eating on the go. I thought the bars were tasty, simple, and filling. Even my kids, who are notoriously picky about protein bars, really enjoyed them.

Detour Simple bars are gluten-free, which also makes them a good choice for anyone who is sensitive to gluten or follows a gluten-free diet.

What are your favorite protein bars?

Best of Prepared Housewives: Top 10 Preparedness Posts of 2014

Click here to view the original post.

Top 10 Preparedness Posts of 2014

Another year has come and gone which is always good (and bad) – because I realize how much I accomplished & didn’t accomplish last year!

I may have fallen short on a lot of things I was hoping to do, but I did finally lose that last 10 lbs that I’ve been trying to get rid of for 15 years! Don’t worry, I’ll tell you my secret…

It’s called the blogging diet – you sit on your bum bum for most of the day, turn any muscle you have into fat (it weighs less), and don’t get up for anything – especially to cook 😉 It worked better than I expected.

Top 10 Preparedness Posts of 2014…

Anyways, enough of my horrible dieting advice – let the countdown begin!

#10
Preserving Favorite Foods – Chocolate, Cheetos, Nuts, & More!

preserve-chocolate

#9
Bullet Proof Vest: What You Should Know Before Getting One!

wear-vest-right-wrong

 

#8
Introducing the HERC Oven: Powered by Tealight Candles

emergency-herc-oven

 

#7
Preserving Eggs with Mineral Oil – One Year Later…

mineral-eggs-1-year-later-467

 

#6
LDS Cannery (aka Home Storage Center):
What You Need to Know Before Going

#10 canned food

 

#5
Make CANNED CHICKEN – Lasts on the Shelf for 3+ Years!

can-chicken-fix-467

#4
37 Creative Storage Solutions to Organize All Your Food & Supplies

creative-storage-solutions-467

#3
Food Storage Inventory Spreadsheets You Can Download for Free

food storage calculator

 

#2
How to Filter & Purify Water for Survival

diy-stove-survival-still

 

#1
SWISS CHEESE CHICKEN:
A Must-Have Meal for Your Freezer & Food Storage

swiss-cheese-chicken-meal

Well, that wraps-up the top 10 preparedness posts of 2014! Be sure to try out some of your favorites – or at least pin them for later 😉

Blog Highlights & Randomness:

  • Hit over 1,000,000 views in 2014!
  • 213 Countries stopped by to take a look around!
  • And the top 3 commenters of the year were…
    1. Evil
    2. John R.
    3. The Lady Kay

***If you were one of the top 3 commenters, make sure to EMAIL ME!
I have a little surprise to send your way!***

P.S. Want more? Here are the Top 10 Preparedness Posts of 2013!

The post Best of Prepared Housewives: Top 10 Preparedness Posts of 2014 appeared first on Prepared Housewives.

Firearm Terminology

Click here to view the original post.

Firearm Terminology
Common Firearm Terminology: Definitions and Explanations. By GunsmithG
Greetings, all. As I’ve been writing some firearms articles lately, I’ve recieved a number of emails and tweets asking about certain terms I’ve used. I apologize that I haven’t done this sooner, to help alleviate some of the confusion generated by words and abbreviations commonly used in both gun-smithing

What To Do When The Plumbing Fails

Click here to view the original post.

When the plumbing fails, most of us are plunged into a nightmare situation. After all, we need water daily for so many things, and everyone needs to use the toilet at some point during the day. Increase the number of people in the house, and the situation can quickly become horrific. This post contains affiliate […]

The post What To Do When The Plumbing Fails appeared first on Just Plain Living.

Should I stock up on rice?

Click here to view the original post.
photo credit: ollily via photopin cc

A lot of new preppers like the idea of stocking up on rice.

Others are all about the beans.

I hate both of these ideas.

The primary reason that I refuse to stock up on rice and beans, and why I refuse to tell others to, is that it’s boring.

Seriously.

Have you ever had to live off rice and beans? It sucks. Unless you happen to have a lot of spices, a lot of meats, and a lot of other foods to add variety, it’s really, really, really hard to live off of rice and beans.

When you’re dealing with an emergency situation, the last thing your body needs is more stress. This is why prepping means you need to try to keep your diet as normal as usual. Going from 2,000 calories a day of meat, fruit, and dairy products to 1,200 calories of rice and protein bars is going to send your body into a frenzy.

Just don’t do it.

The other reason I don’t recommend stocking up on rice and beans, despite the fact that they store for long periods of time, is that you need water and a heating source to cook them correctly. Especially if you live in an apartment or the city, there’s no guarantee that your water is going to be working during a power outage. If you have a house, you’ll probably have water for longer periods of time than your apartment-prepper counterparts, but there’s still no guarantee.

Unless you have the space to stock up on plenty of extra water, as well as a non-electric heating source, you can skip the rice and beans. For apartment dwellers, it’s hard enough storing enough water to last you 3 days without adding in cooking water.

Additionally, if you’re dealing with a short-term emergency, such as a snow storm or flood, the last thing you want to do is try to cook with a grill in your garage or a camping stove in your kitchen.

Why?

It’s a huge carbon monoxide risk.

Yes, you might have dinner, but it’s not going to matter if you’re dead. 

Finally, most of my posts and eBooks are designed with urban preppers in mind, especially those who have kids. You know what little kids don’t want to eat when the power is out, when there’s a thunderstorm, or when they’re stuck in the basement with a tornado warning?

Beans.

Skip the boring junk and stock up on foods that your kids actually enjoy.

You’ll have enough stress going on without adding fussy children to the mix.

Video of the Week: Get Ready Now!! Preparation Plans…..

Click here to view the original post.

Another featured video from YouTube. From preparedness to frugality, from gardening to self-reliance – YouTube has an enormous amount of information available.

Here is but a small eice we hope you find interesting, informative, and maybe even thought provoking.

 – Team SCP.

 

Here are Parts 1 and 2 of the video series “Get Ready Now Preparation Plans”

Part 1

 

Part 2

© 2015, Seasoned Citizen Prepper. All rights reserved. On republishing this post you must provide link to original post.

Dislike(0)

Setting a rifle or handgun scope to optical zero before installation.

Click here to view the original post.

By GunsmithG
Greetings, all. Here’s a little info that I’ve found useful. This is something I would always do, even to brand new out of the box scopes before installing on the intended firearm. Every modern rifle or pistol scope that has internal adjustments has an optical zero point, that is, where the adjustments for the point of impact are centered with the tube, giving you the most adjustment

The Campfire

Click here to view the original post.

Campfires have been replaced with projector bulbs, LEDs and handheld devices, and the power of story has eluded presenters in the workplace and communication within the family. We walk around looking at our devices instead of the beauty that surrounds us. Daily, there are families that do not sit at a traditional dinner table but … Continue reading

The post The Campfire appeared first on Use Your Instincts To Survive.

Solving a Common Rocket Stove Problem

Click here to view the original post.

smRocket stoves are in my opinion, the absolute best prepper stove available today. They use multiple fuels, and if you use wood, they use about 5% (or less) of the wood it would take on an open fire. When properly stoked, they boil water rapidly, and can cook big meals. A single 2×4 could cook many meals, Because the concentrated flame hits the bottom of the pan they cook fast, (over 500 degrees F) yet the flame can be adjusted with the fuel size and quantity. They are beginning to get popular, and there a several stoves now available. The biggest problem I have heard of has been is addressed in this video.

Gettin’ Down on the Mountain

Click here to view the original post.

Those that know me personally know that the only thing I’m more passionate about than homesteading and prepping is music.  Music has always been a big part of who I am, whether it is listening or playing an instrument.  And I’m very picky about my music.  It has to be real and emotional.  No pop music really does that for me.  Music is emotional, not a product to be manufactured and marketed to the masses like the latest smart phone or kitchen appliance.  Needless to say I stumble on some unique artists, like Corb Lund.  He’s a fellow from way up north in Alberta.

Corb Lund

I’ve been a fan of his for years now, probably since his debut album.  Most of his music is catchy with sarcastic, witty lyrics.  Songs about getting trucks stuck in the mud or the problems with owning cows speak to the country boy in me.  I love a smart ass, and Corb Lund never disappoints.  His latest album came out a couple of years ago.  The opening track made my jaw drop.  It’s not often a musician talks about prepping or social collapse.  He nailed the mindset perfectly with his lyrics on “Gettin’ Down on the Mountain”.

The song makes use of the word “shit” so if you are easily offended or have little ears nearby, you’ve been warned.

When the oil stops, everything stops, nothin’ left in the fountain
Nobody wants paper money, son, so you just as well stop countin’
Can you break the horse, can you light the fire?
What’s that, I beg your pardon?
You’d best start thinkin’ where your food comes from and I hope you tend a good garden

Gettin’ down on the mountain, gettin’ down on the mountain
Don’t wanna be around when the shit goes down
I’ll be gettin’ down on the mountain, goin’ to ground on the mountain

When the trucks don’t run, the bread won’t come, have a hard time findin’ petrol
Water ain’t runnin’ in the city no more, do you hold any precious metal?
Can you gut the fish, can you read the sky?
What’s that about overcrowdin’?
You ever seen a man who’s kids ain’t ate for seventeen days and countin’?

There ain’t no heat and the power’s gone out, it’s kerosene lamps and candles
The roads are blocked, it’s all gridlocked, you got a shortwave handle?
Can you track the deer, can you dig the well?
I couldn’t quite hear your answer
I think I see a rip in the social fabric, Brother can you pass the ammo?
I think I see a rip in the social fabric, Brother can you spare some ammo?

 

http://corblund.com/

How To Get Ahead In The Kitchen

Click here to view the original post.

Back a couple of weeks ago, I stressed the importance of taking back control over our lives, and I said we could have a realistic discussion of how to do that.

I talked about eating at home more, but what if you have a busy life or you don’t want to spend hours over the stove every week?
One way to get the best of both home-cooked meals and frozen dinners is to do both!
Instead of settling for frozen cardboard meals, plan ahead, make one or two extra meals while you have the groceries and the time, and freeze them!
Label carefully and think ahead. Either write on the package what’s inside and how to cook it, or include written instructions on paper or cardstock, or whatever you have. If you have teenagers, lazy people or people that just don’t know how to cook in your home, think of them and make it as easy as possible. Or perhaps you live alone, perhaps you foresee a lifestyle change coming, just a new baby that’s due soon.
Either way, take into account what you, or the rest of your family, likes to eat. Make that.
Don’t make something no one will want to eat, because then it’ll just sit in the freezer getting old, becoming unrecognizable and in time, someone is just going to throw it out.
Nothing gained that way.

So step one is to honestly go over what you and/or your family like to eat. If it’s spaghetti, then brainstorm ways that the sauce can be made ahead and frozen or canned, or whatever preservation method works for you. If the family has a meatball lover, like we do, make some ahead of time and freeze them.
We can get up in the morning with the intent to make a dozen meatballs, but if we have no energy by 3 pm, then we’re having a meatball-less dinner.
Solution?
Plan ahead. Make the meatballs some evening when there’s nothing on television and you’re bored. (Told you this would be a realistic discussion)
You found ground beef on sale. You can afford to get twice the amount you normally do, so make those meatballs because the price of beef may go up again by the time you have the energy!

Spaghetti and meatballs with sauce is just one example. Feel free to substitute whatever dish strikes your fancy.

The point is to think ahead, plan and execute the plan.

Be realistic. Plan for laziness or power failures or heaven-forbid the illness of your family’s cook.

Survey your situation.
Plan.
Execute that plan, one step at a time.
Rinse. Repeat.

Oh look, you’re one step ahead of where you were last friday.
Good for you!

Next time, de-mystifying the art of the homemade bread loaf.

Book Review: Bushcraft 101 by Dave Canterbury

Click here to view the original post.

Reviewed by Jim Cobb

Dave Canterbury is one of the most well-known survival instructors in the United States. His Pathfinder School has taught thousands how to survive in the bush. Dave has also been featured on television, as the co-host of Dual Survival for a couple of seasons. He’s been there, done that, and truly knows his stuff.

Bushcraft 101

Bushcraft 101 isn’t the first book Dave has written but it might just be his best, at least so far. We’ve all likely heard the term “roughing it” when talking about camping, hiking, and such, right? Dave’s approach is what he calls,”smoothing it.” Rather than making things hard for yourself, Dave wants to show you how to make your time spent in the woods as enjoyable as possible.

The book is divided into two sections. In the first, Gearing Up, Dave outlines his 5 Cs of Survival. These are:

Cutting tool
Cordage
Container
Cover
Combustion

With each of these categories, Dave gives his recommendations for what he likes, but is careful to point out that what works best for him might not be the best for you. He also talks about why each of the categories is critical to survival.

The second section is In the Bush. This is where we get into the nitty gritty of bushcraft. From choosing a campsite to different types of fire lays, trapping to wild edibles, Dave covers it all. It is important to note, though, that we’re talking bushcraft here. This is not the same as bugging out, despite the apparent similarities. While there is a fair amount of crossover between the topics, they are more like kissing cousins rather than true siblings.

There are several appendices at the end of the book. The Pathfinder Concept details Dave’s thoughts and perspectives on the conservation of resources when engaging in bushcraft. This was the first time I’d read about this concept and I really, truly appreciate the sentiment here.

There are no photos in Bushcraft 101 but there are numerous very detailed line drawings. I’ve found that sometimes these drawings can make things clearer than photos, so I had no issues with the lack of photos.

All in all, I found Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival to be an excellent primer on the subject and highly recommend it.

The post Book Review: Bushcraft 101 by Dave Canterbury appeared first on Emergency Preparedness.

Pastitsio – Baked Layered Pasta with Bechamel

Click here to view the original post.

For some reason, I dislike lasagna. I don’t really know why, but I never have liked it. But I love this, and it’s pretty much the same thing. If you would like to try the real, proper Greek version of Pastitsio, there are plenty of recipes around. Mine is EASY – it’s layered baked pasta […]

The post Pastitsio – Baked Layered Pasta with Bechamel appeared first on Just Plain Living.

Prepping Improved My Life

Click here to view the original post.

StockRisingNon-preppers don’t get it. They think we’re wasting our time and our money. They think we live in constant fear of calamity. They think nothing will ever come of it and all of our preparations will be for nothing.

I respectfully disagree, but for more reasons than might be apparent. Whether TEOTWAWKI occurs during my lifetime or not, prepping has improved my life in numerous significant ways. Here are a few that come to mind:

Peace of Mind — We recently had lunch with a non-prepping friend who knows what we’ve been doing. While discussing current events and the potential threats they present, he said, “I couldn’t live like you, always worrying about all the problems that could happen.”

He is only half right. We think about these things often. But we don’t worry about them. Why? Because we are better prepared to face them than the average citizen. We are thinking three moves ahead and staying vigilant so we don’t get taken by surprise. We have supplies set aside for such events. We have skills and plans that we didn’t used to have. And above all else, Sandy and I don’t place our hope and trust in our equipment and our skills, but in God. Our trust in God isn’t Plan B, our last resort, but our first and foremost place of refuge. All of these — faith, knowledge, supplies, plans, and watchfulness — give us tremendous peace of mind, much more so than before we started prepping.

Our non-prepping friend brought up his apprehension about the instability of North Korea. He also talked about his fears concerning the vulnerability of our nation’s electrical grid. He knows the threats (these two, at least), and yet he has willfully chosen to do nothing to improve his ability to ride them out. He says that he wants to spend his time and money on things that help him enjoy his life. My preps make me significantly better prepared to deal with these kinds of threats, if they ever occur. Who do you think has greater peace of mind, him or me? What is peace of mind worth?

Greater Security — Our introduction to firearms has been written about many times in these pages. Next to storing food, learning gun safety and acquiring firearms were among the first preps that we did. (Notice that learning came before acquiring – that’s a good order to follow.) Being able to comfortably and competently handle firearms has provided both of us a greater sense of security. Home invasions are on the rise everywhere, but now we’re better prepared to defend our home and our lives if anyone chooses to target our house.

I’m More Healthy — I spend more time outside since I’ve become a prepper. That’s a good thing. I still don’t get as much exercise as I should, but I get more than I did before I started prepping. If the lights ever go off across America, there will be a lot more physical work to do. It’s wise to be in good shape to be ready to deal with it. I’m nowhere near being up to speed in this area, but I’m closer to it than I used to be.

Prepping led me to plant a garden two years ago. I started small but added to it last year, and this year’s garden will be even bigger. I grow my vegetables organically, so my garden enables me to eat better than I used to.

One of Sandy’s new areas of prepping expertise is with essential oils. She has used essential oils to treat congestion, insomnia, sore muscles, and wounds, all of which lead to better health. We also routinely diffuse healthy essential oils in our bedroom and living room. We’re helping our body fight off all the bad stuff before it reaches critical mass.

Research shows that as we age, learning new things is important for our ongoing mental health. Consistent training has prolonged effects on the brain, improving our memory and impacting our ability to do everyday tasks. Well, I’m learning lots of new things, so my brain cells are getting their exercise regularly! And one of the great things about prepping is that there is always more to learn.

Closer Marriage Relationship — I’ve read a lot of questions on prepper forums and message boards about how to get your spouse to join in your prepping efforts. (These aren’t all men. There are a lot of prepping women whose husbands don’t agree with their activities.) I feel their pain. It must be terrible to be divided on such a critical issue. Fortunately, that isn’t the case in our household. The need to get prepared was impressing itself on me in numerous ways over the course of several months before I ever said anything to Sandy about it. I’m incredibly blessed that her reaction almost immediately was, “You’re absolutely right. What should we do about it?” She has been a full partner in all of our prepping efforts, leading the way in many of them. For example, it was Sandy’s idea to start this blog so that we could help get the word out to others who are considering prepping or are just getting started with it.

Partnering with your spouse in any significant endeavor brings you closer together. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says:

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Sandy and I have always been blessed with a good marriage, but prepping has brought us even closer. We plan and work and learn and grow together. We see the importance of what we’re doing and we do it together. I’ll allow for the possibility that Sandy may not be the best wife in the world, but she’s the best one for me.

It Makes Me a Better Citizen — There are different ways to approach prepping. Some people do it to provide for themselves and their loved ones to the exclusion of all others. I won’t fault that approach, but I don’t follow it myself. We have voluntarily violated OPSEC (operational security) by writing this blog. We publish information on the Internet about products that we’ve bought to become prepared for hard times ahead. I’m not saying that everyone should do this — in fact, I would caution against it. Practicing good OPSEC and not spilling the beans (so to speak) to the world about all of your plans and preparations is a very good thing. But I would encourage you to leave room in your heart and in your preps to help others during a time of hardship.

Sandy and I prayed about starting this blog before we ever started broadcasting it to the world. We recognize the fact that we can’t become prepared enough to go it on our own if things get really bad. We just can’t do it all. I can’t be a mechanic and a farmer and a construction worker and a doctor and an infantryman and everything else that I would need to survive a real hard crash. I need a community. As such, I’ve taken some steps in my preps to provide for some of the needs of other people. One example that is near to my heart is the spiritual needs of others. When things get bad, many people turn to God, but knowledge of God isn’t as prevalent in our society today as it was a generation or two ago. So I have included in my storage cases of inexpensive Bibles and New Testaments that I will be able to give out to friends and neighbors when they decide that they want them. Sandy writes another blog, www.ApprehendingGrace.com, that talks about integrating our faith in Christ with our everyday lives. These are a couple of the ways that we want to be able to help support those around us when calamity strikes. We want to be a part of the solution, not a part of a problem.

Prepping has led me to become a better citizen in some broader ways, as well. I’m more ecologically aware and sensitive now than I ever have been before. I might need to rely on a nearby stream for drinking water at some time down the road. I don’t want to see it polluted or the water table depleted. I want to make sustainability a priority. I want to incorporate more solar energy into my home. These are things that help make the world a cleaner and better place than we found it, and that’s good citizenship. Prepping did that for me.

Convenience — Yeah, what could possibly be more convenient than being a prepper, right? But prepping really has made my life more convenient in at least a couple of significant ways. First, following the Boy Scout motto of “be prepared,” I now carry more stuff with me than I used to. My Mom lived like a prepper. Seems like anytime we were out and needed some small item, she’d rummage around in her purse for a minute and then produce the very thing that we needed (or a reasonable facsimile). Taking a cue from Mom, now when I’m out and about, I might not have everything I need to deal with every possible situation, but I’m better equipped than before with tools, pocket knife, flashlight, etc.

Another example is with my food preps. Following the dictate of “store what you eat and eat what you store,” I tend to not run out of things anymore. I have more of whatever I need in my storage pantry. It’s like having a grocery store in my own house. You can’t beat that for convenience.

The Bottom Line — Being a prepper hasn’t been a drain on my life and resources, it’s enhanced both. It doesn’t make me more anxious, it gives me peace of mind. It helps me be a better version of myself. And that’s a good thing.

The post Prepping Improved My Life appeared first on The Approaching Day Prepper.

Arlene has a question……

Click here to view the original post.

Frequent commenter Arlene recently asked the question:

“Does anyone have any advice re: Medicare. I am almost at the application age.”

ask-question-1-ff9bc6fa5eaa0d7667ae7a5a4c61330c

Being that I am totally clueless to help I figured I would throw this out there.

 

So – any knowledge out there?

Rourke

© 2015, Seasoned Citizen Prepper. All rights reserved. On republishing this post you must provide link to original post.

Dislike(0)

Book Review – The Prepper Pages by Dr. Ryan Chamberlin

Click here to view the original post.

One of the items that I recommend to new preppers, is a solid reference library. There are some books that I add to my library that are for future state reference and some I pour over prior to placing it on the shelf to ensure I am very familiar with its contents. Only after that … Continue reading

The post Book Review – The Prepper Pages by Dr. Ryan Chamberlin appeared first on Use Your Instincts To Survive.

Don’t Drink the Milk!!! – Preppers Powdered Milk

Click here to view the original post.

DO NOT USE YOUR POWDERED MILK TO MAKE MILK. THAT’S A HORRIBLE WASTE OF PERFECTLY GOOD WATER!!! I don’t know about you but it took me a long time before I would even considered purchasing powdered milk for food storage.  First, I do NOT enjoy milk.… Read More

The post Don’t Drink the Milk!!! – Preppers Powdered Milk appeared first on Preppers Survive.

Get ready folks – huge winter storm in New England

Click here to view the original post.

Stay safe out there folks and lets pray for everyone in New England effected by the storm heading in Monday night. The talk is big – possibly one of the largest storms ever on record.

Lets hope not.

 

Remember…..if you are in one of these areas:

  • Stay in place – do NOT go out and travel in this kind of weather. Getting stuck in the blizzard with an inability to get to safety or help to get to you would be more than just problematic.
  • Stay warm – if the power goes out dress in layers and use multiple blankets to create warmth.
  • Don’t bring a charcoal or gas grill indoors for cooking. Not calling anyone stupid but it happens every year and people die from this.
  • Bring pets inside.
  • People die every year from heart attacks while shovels and trying to clear snow. Be careful!

 

Good luck folks!

Rourke

 

 

650x366_01252146_hd22

© 2015, Seasoned Citizen Prepper. All rights reserved. On republishing this post you must provide link to original post.

Dislike(0)

Red Cross Concerns?

Click here to view the original post.

Lately there have been some rumblings about how well-run (or not) the Red Cross is. Hotair ran a good piece on the subject last year which brought up some concerns about how the Red Cross does business. Make no mistake about it either, they are a business. It seems that this iconic organization isn’t really […]

The post Red Cross Concerns? appeared first on Smart Suburban Survival.

Homemade MRE Tutorials

Click here to view the original post.
photo credit: The Sporkful via photopin cc

One of the biggest must-haves for any bug-out bag are MREs.

Unfortunately, if you’ve ever tried to find edible MREs at your local commissary or camping store, you know exactly how tasty most of the options are. While it’s definitely possible to find MREs that aren’t awful, most of them can be pretty bad. If you have picky eaters or kids with allergies, making your own MREs can be a great alternative to buying them at the store.

Not sure where to start?

Here are three great tutorials to get you started.

1. Instructables: DIY MRES

2. The Survivalist Blog: Bug Out Bag Meals DIY MREs

3. Survival at Home: Homemade MREs

What are your bug-out bag must-haves? What kind of MREs do you have in your bags?

Pet Food for Long Term Storage

Click here to view the original post.

For long term food storage for your adored pets, pick up some freeze-dried pet food for them. The cans from Emergency Essentials/Beprepared.com contain beef (the first ingredient), vegetables, fruits, vitamin E, vitamin D, salmon oil, and other spices and minerals. The chunks of food are about 3/4 inches in diameter but easily break into smaller pieces or crumbles. Loved by both cats and dogs!

Save Money with Coop Gas?

Click here to view the original post.
Wow!

I was so shocked to see the gas price down to $1.73 that I rushed in and filled up the Suburban. I texted Wifey the good news and she filled up the van. I never quite understood how a commodity can go from $3.50/gal to under $2 in a matter of a few years. The only thing that is clear to me is that somebody, somewhere has too much power to manipulate us consumers.

Anyway, this price drop got me to thinking about how to save money. Are any of you getting farm tanks and filling up at these prices with a 300 gallon tank? A neighbor was talking to Wifey about homesteading in general, like sewing and having a water well when he mentioned we could get a free 300 gallon tank from a local coop as long as we agreed to buy our gasoline only from them.

Wifey thinks he said no minimum purchase and I’m thinking “How can this be a BAD deal?”

Generic 300 gallon gas tank

My dad in Oklahoma City sent me a picture of a gas station sign showing $1.54/gallon. I’m hoping the price continues to drop but I’m thinking if I snooze too long, I might lose out on a good deal.

Any of you get bulk gas?

~OJD

Water Purification Options When Bugging Out

Click here to view the original post.

Water, more specifically clean water, is essential to survival. Common thought is that one can live perhaps three days without hydration. As a practical matter, the latter day or two of that time frame will be spent in delirium and agony. Suffice to say, you need water to live.

Purifying Water when Bugging Out

You can only carry a finite amount of water. It is heavy and takes up a lot of space. Therefore, a wise prepper will not only carry water but also invest in the supplies necessary to treat additional water to make it potable. Fortunately, there are several options available.

Boiling

Bloing Water in a Metal Container for PurificationBringing water to a boil is about the surest way to kill any pathogens or other critters floating in it. It is best to filter the water first by running it through a coffee filter or something so as to remove any sediment and debris that might be present. Then, use a clean pot to bring the water to a rolling boil. Technically, just bringing it to a boil is enough to kill anything in the water. But, many people like to err on the side of caution and let it boil for a few minutes. Realistically, you aren’t using that much extra fuel in doing so, if that’s your preference. However, it can be difficult to provide enough water for an entire family or group using this method. Of course, this method also requires you to carry a metal container you can use for boiling the water.

Purification Tablets

Water Purification TabletsA mainstay in many survival kits, water purification tablets work very well. The tablets add a chemical (typically either an iodine compound or chlorine dioxide) that will kill off the bad stuff in the water. Generally speaking, you’ll add the tablets to your water, shake vigorously, then seal tightly and wait 30 minutes or so. Follow the directions on the package exactly to ensure the best results, of course. Personally, I’ve found the chlorine dioxide based tablets leave the water tasting better than the iodine based tablets. Your mileage may vary. What I suggest is that you carry two water bottles. One with water ready to drink at all times and the other being treated as you travel.

Filter Straws

Straw Filter for DrinkingA third option is to purchase a filter straw. What is nice about this option is there is no work or waiting involved. The device consists of a straw with a built in filter. You simply put one end of the straw into the water and suck through the straw, just as you would if it were a can of soda rather than a stream or river. The water is filtered as it goes through the straw and is potable by the time it reaches your mouth. This can be a great option for those who are looking to truly travel light.

My suggestion is you double or triple up on your water purification methods for your bug out bag. Remember – two is one and one is none!

The post Water Purification Options When Bugging Out appeared first on Emergency Preparedness.

Homestead Reboot 2.0 – Moving In Strategy

Click here to view the original post.
Bacon and Eggs tape signaled it belongs in the kitchen

Once our stuff finally arrived by semi-trailer (note: DON’T use U-Pack or anyone that utilizes Old Dominion as their freight company), we started the daunting task of unpacking and organizing.

To start, prior to loading up the semi trailers, Wifey attempted to color-code the boxes by using several different rolls of patterned duct tape. She would tear off a little piece and place it on each box that was to belong to a certain room.

  • Kitchen: bacon and egg patterned tape
  • Master bedroom: polka dots
  • Big girls room: zigzag
  • etc
ZigZag tape belongs in the big girls room…

In a perfect world, we would have created a “legend” or poster board that had each piece of tape and next to the tape would be where the box would go. This would be posted at the front door and help direct anyone at the other end of the journey that might show up to help us unload.

Of course, that perfect world didn’t account for a shipping company arriving 11 days late and finally showing up on a day that was snowing and cold. That initiated Plan B.

Plan B was to simply unload everything into the garage, close it up to keep out the weather, and begin using the garage as a staging area from which everything would slowly and methodically be brought in. Snowy and muddy shoes were not allowed in the new home.

Organized rows makes for easier finding in the garage.

At first, since we had help from four kind gentlemen from our church, things were placed in the garage stacked but haphazard. It wasn’t until the weekend that I took half a Saturday to arrange all these boxes into order. NOW it looks more like Warehouse 13 with isles created for someone to peruse up and down when and if they decided to hunt for something.

This tact has served us pretty well. I made the isles big enough to carry boxes through and faced every label I could TOWARD the isle so anyone looking knows immediately what is in the boxes. To keep Lucky from eating everything in sight, since he sleeps in the garage for now, he is crated in a dog kennel.

I look forward to the day we can use the garage for our cars and no longer have to scrape ice off the windshields but for now…I’m just glad we’re here.

~OJD

Zen Habits: Frugal Tips

Click here to view the original post.

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a homeschool frugal living mom’s night. All of the ladies had some great tips for reducing your personal expenses and saving money. In keeping with the trend, I wanted to share this blog post I stumbled across with 50 tips for living a more frugal, simple life. If you want to save some cash, check it out.

Zen Habits: 50 Tips for Frugal Living

No Matter Where in the World You Are or What You Are Facing: 10 Key Steps That You Can Take to Increase Your Odds of Survival

Click here to view the original post.

Emergencies, catastrophes, financial hardships and instability are abound. No matter where in the world you are and no matter what your current situation, there are things that you can do to increase your odds of survival. Although it’s always better to prepare for any emergency before it occurs, there are a few mental things that you can do to overcome any odds and spin them into your favor.

Some of you reading this may have been through traumatic events. Some of you may live in an area that is dangerous either geographically or politically. Some of you may live in fear of economic instability, illnesses, terrorists, or mother nature.

No matter what you are currently facing or afraid could occur, there are things that you can do to better equip yourself. Mental strength and a survivor mindset are two of the most important factors in whether or not you will endure. There are other things that you can do as well. I have included the ten most important steps in the following list.

Here is my list of 10 vital steps that you can take to give yourself and your loved ones a fighting chance no matter the situation:

1. Make the decision to plan and to prepare yourself mentally, emotionally, physically and tangibly to survive.
2. Do what you need to do in order to work toward being self-reliant. Part of this equation is the mental energy that you will begin to dedicate toward relying on yourself to get yourself through. The other part of this equation is included in other steps.
3.Educate yourself, read, study, practice and equip yourself to be able to face any and all types of survival situations in a prepared manner.
3. Be purposeful in your decisions. Plan and implement your plans.
4. Always actively do something! Doing something will not only help increase your odds, but it gives your mind something to focus on so that you do not begin to feel overwhelmed or stressed in a manner that cripples your capacity to survive.
5. In the event of catastrophe, make the decision of whether it is better to hunker down or bug out and then plan and implement your plans. Do not bug out without ample supplies.
6. Improvise and practice being able to think quickly and decisively to alter your course or mission as needed.
7. Be adaptable and be able to adapt to changing circumstances. Change is frightening, but you will have better survivability odds if you are adaptable to that change.
8. Plan and envision yourself overcoming the situation. Do not think otherwise. Do not allow yourself to ponder not making it through.
9. Do not give up. Keep moving forward and keep doing something toward your goal.
10. Are the odds stacked against you? Many have survived horrific situations before you and many will survive after you. You can too. Never doubt your abilities to overcome anything. Stay focused on your mission whatever your mission is. Remember that the body won’t quit until the brain tells it to. Be mentally and physically tough.

Most of these steps can be worked and practiced before a catastrophe or emergency. But, even if the situation is bad now and you hadn’t prepared, you can adopt the survivor mindset now. You can practice these steps of mental and emotional readiness now. The mind wills the body. It is vital to strengthen both your body and your mind to carry you through the storms.

PART I: You Can’t Survive the End of the World As We Know It Without First Surviving the World As We Know it

Click here to view the original post.

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. 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 is a short list (PART I). 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:

1. Criticism is critical and because it is critical it cannot be constructive only destructive. People do what they do for a reason. We are all motivated for different purposes and reasons. Generally, we are seeking some type of emotional payoff or other outcome for our behaviors and our actions. This payoff can be positive or negative. People are more often motivated emotionally rather than logically. B.F. Skinner was able to show many years ago that even animals learn and retain information more productively when given positive reinforcements rather than negative reinforcements. Yet, we humans still seek to change people via complaints, forced conformity, criticisms and condemnations. It simply doesn’t work. Keep your eye on your goal in interacting with people and know that being critical will never get your needs met.

2. Find people interesting and show and express a genuine interest in them. We are all drawn toward those that have the ability to make us feel good about ourselves. It’s a simple thing about human nature. But, the important word in this one is “genuine.” This sincerity of purpose may be difficult for many people. None of us want to be flattered by someone who isn’t genuine or for someone to show an interest in our lives or what we have been doing that really doesn’t care. Our hope is that other people are genuinely interested in us when they inquire as to how we are doing. If you ask that question, mean it. No one really wants the flat answer that we socially have grown trained to say: “fine, how are you?” Appreciate it if someone actually answers that question whether it was what you were hoping to hear or not. This is the cornerstone of a good leader, a good person, a good team player, a good friend or a good mate.

3. Let the other person’s self-interest be the conversational guide. This one is vital because it plays off of the fact that people like it when you show an interest in them. If you visit with someone, even briefly, at the grocery store or wherever you go take a moment to visit with them about real things, their life, their family and things that they actually care about. You may find that people tell you their life story. This should tell you how desperate the person was for someone to show an interest in them or to care or to listen. You need to always remember that it is an honor when people show that kind of trust or comfort level with you to choose to share personal information with you. This is absolutely a necessary skill to being a good leader. People want to hear about what matters to them, people want to talk about what matters to them and how something will ultimately affect them. Show a genuine interest in other people and ask about them and the things that matter to them.

These three skills are the beginning of your “social survival kit. “There are many others that I will share with you to add to your kit. First, 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.

To Be Continued.

For Further Reading on B.F. Skinner, human behavior, operant conditioning, reinforcements and behavior modification, you can visit the following links:

B.F. Skinner Foundation 2014
http://www.bfskinner.org/
http://www.bfskinner.org/behavioral-science/definition/

The Shelves and Your Stomach Will Be Empty if You Fail to Prepare

Click here to view the original post.

How much food do you have stocked away right now? How much water or other fluids do you have on hand? How long do you think you and your family could eat and drink on what you have around right now if there was no other option available to you? We live in a society of immediate gratification. If we want something to eat, we drive to the grocery store or the convenience store or a restaurant and purchase something to eat. We have unlimited fast food at our disposal at any given time.

Due to the nature of our fast-food culture, we are no longer accustomed to planning ahead for even tomorrow night’s meal let alone next week or next month. We figure it out on the fly. And, if we don’t have a plan and we got out of work a little late, well, no big deal, as we swing by and grab some take-out for the family. We go to the grocery store and “if” we are disciplined, we might purchase a week’s worth of meals. The problem lies in the fact that we are always banking on absolutely everything being the same tomorrow and the next day just as it is today. And, this simply isn’t always going to be true. We live in a volatile world. A lot is going on all around us most of which we have zero control over. What if tomorrow you lost your job? How long would it take you to get another one? Do you have enough savings and food storage to get along until you were re-employed and earning a paycheck? What if you or a loved one is involved in an accident or develops a serious health condition? What if a storm damages your town? These are just a few of the many, many things that can and will erupt your tomorrow and make it nothing that compares to your today. Well, shouldn’t you sort of be planning then? I’m glad you asked that…..the answer is YES, but you probably already guessed that.

In addition to the above reasons to plan ahead with your food and water storage, are the plethora of conditions that can impact whether or not there is food available at the grocery stores, super centers, restaurants and fast-food establishments. You may not have considered this or maybe you have but chose to not think about it, but someone has to get the food to these places. And, there are multiple parties and systems reliant upon each other in order for you to be able to fuel your tank or purchase that burger with fries or cart full of groceries.

Here are just a few things that can cause trucking issues and food or fuel supply shortages:
Natural events and mother nature such as mudslides, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, drought, snow and ice and pests can all cause short-term or long-term delays or shortages in food or deliveries and transportation. Also, Strikes and employee issues within the trucking industry can result in trucking issues that can create delays in shipments. National or international economic issues and relations can cause inflation, fuel price increases, rations of fuel or food. Increases in fuel costs can cause a hyperinflation that creates a situation where it is just too expensive to transport food. Catastrophic events such as pandemics or an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) can halt all incoming food shipments. In a pandemic, it would likely be too dangerous for truckers and store owners as well as employees to even show up for work. In the event of an EMP, vehicles will no longer run.

What we know from history is that most of the shelves will be empty in three days or less in the event of something catastrophic. People generally live in the here and now. So, when something bad happens, they tend toward panic. From there, they rush out and become one of the masses who are actively emptying the shelves at the stores as fast as possible. Because so many are doing this at once, the outcome is as simple as good old-fashioned supply and demand. No one prepared and something bad happened. Because something bad happened and we are not prepared, we must panic. Because we are in a state of panic, we must go buy up as much food as we can afford. Because everyone else is doing the same thing, the demand went up while the supply was only what was on the shelves and the results are that there is not enough for everyone. The moment of truth is when the shelves are empty and so is your stomach because you thought nothing bad could happen or worse yet, you thought the government would be able to save you. Admit it? You’ve banked on “others” a time or two in your life when maybe you shouldn’t have haven’t you? Do not bank on others when it comes to the core necessities of human life….food and water.

Take a look at your current food storage and analyze how long you could make it. Begin to put together a list of items that store well and that you and your family enjoy eating. Every time you purchase groceries, begin to buy one or two extra for your storage and some type of beverage. As you put the items away put the new toward the back and pull the older toward the front just like they do at the grocery store. This enables you to begin stocking up slowly always buying just a little more than what you typically use. You will meet your goal slowly, but surely and you can know that you are doing something toward the safety of your future. You will also know that you are being wise enough to know that it is unwise to assume that nothing bad will ever happen to you. Hopefully it won’t, but your worst case scenario in the event that nothing bad ever happens to you is that you have a nice stocked up kitchen of food your family enjoys.

Try to meet a minimum quantity of at least enough food and water for 72 hours/3 days. Once you’ve met that goal, go for one week’s worth. From there, aim for 2 weeks, then one month. Then, stock a month more and a month more, until you have a year’s supply of food and beverage for all of your family including items from all of the food groups and multi-vitamins stocked for added nutrition.

Catastrophic events that impact larger regions and populations are not likely to have much government or agency type of assistance, so you will need to have been prepared and practicing being self-reliant. It all begins with having food and water available no matter what happens to you or your family. There are a lot of web sites on long-term food storage, but if you rotate your items and only buy what you enjoy and what you use, you won’t have to worry about freeze dried or dehydrated foods if you want to keep it simple. But, if you want to look into long-term storage food items there are many tasty choices out there from all of the food groups to choose from. Good luck and don’t let one day pass that you are not doing something toward your tomorrow regardless of what that tomorrow may bring.

How a Healthy Dose of Ranting Can Improve Social Skills and Self-Reliance

Click here to view the original post.

Topics are important to provide an overall map to navigate a general direction. However, topics shouldn’t be restraints. Today, I am going to wander briefly off of the usual topic and I hope that you will go along for the ride as I usually find a way to tie it all together anyway.

Occasionally, everyone finds themselves in a quandary of “should I please the masses or be myself?” Today, I feel the need to rant. Now, before I rant, allow me to point out that ranting can be productive if it is done appropriately. Appropriate ranting should be directed at no singled out group or individual and should be stated in a general fashion. I have found that a healthy dose of ranting usually frees my energy up for more productive endeavors and often speaks volumes to others who enjoyed knowing that they are not alone in things that irritate the soul.

So, today’s topic is appropriate ranting. Ranting, by definition, is usually expected to be loud, excited, and at times belligerent. I have no desire to be any of those things. My rant, you will be glad to know, is more of a humorous dose of honesty.

Today’s list of things that irritate me down to my cellular level:

1. People who help people who do not help themselves. I adhere to the “help those who help themselves” philosophy. I do not believe in extending an olive branch to anyone who actively put themselves into the situation they are in and did absolutely nothing to get themselves out of the situation they are in. If they are unable to help themselves, then by all means, I would love to help them. The helpless people that I am referring to are “those people” that we all encounter now and then who are known to be “life suckers.” They suck the life out of themselves and everyone around them. While they profess that their own life sucks, they have an assumption of entitlement, they expect you to bail them out when they are in trouble, they assume someone will help them, or someone will save them, or even worse yet, they allow other people to fight their battles for them. I am referring to personal battles here. They stir the pot, step back, and watch the fire-works as other people come to their aid. But, my rant is not as much about “these” people as it is about “the people” who help them. If you are one of “the people” who help “those” people, stop aiding and abetting helpless people to continue their destructive paths. The primary reason you are helping them is selfish. You are helping them to feel good about yourself. Because the truth is you are not helping them at all. You are only helping them to be more helpless.

and another thing…..

2. People who paint their home a strange color that for all intents and purposes should never be in the exterior paint color catalogue. This doesn’t affect me personally, but it does affect me physically. Wild pink and obnoxious green homes punch me in the face every time I drive by them. These homes physically hurt my eyes. I cringe. I wonder about the individual’s sanity for a brief moment as I shake the after-effects of the bright, band of color-mirage that has now permanently imprinted itself in my long-term memory bank. I attempt to give them the benefit of the doubt. I tell myself that surely they must be color blind. But, then I am left to ponder what color assistant in their right mind would allow them to walk out of the store with those colors for a home? Then it begins to settle through me like the painful aftermath of an over-indulgent, greasy-spoon buffet; they must have done it on purpose. They actually enjoy and purposefully chose screaming, offensive colors that provoke hysteria. They like them so much so that they naturally just assumed that I would as well. Well, I don’t. Please, if you are reading this, and you know that you are a color assaulter, or have a history of color assaulting, or know someone who has before painting anything else or allowing them to paint anything else, follow these simple instructions:
 First, paint a random bird house those same color schemes, then slather some of those offensive colors on your dog’s home and maybe a little on Rover too (on second thought, don’t paint Rover… he’s likely to wander the neighborhood and make me look at him). Next, I need you to stare at both the bird house and the dog house relentlessly for 30 days. Drive by them daily. Drive by them numerous times per day, from multiple directions, under varying lighting circumstances, in multiple weather conditions, with and without glasses, and at differing times of day. Drive by them with a full stomach. Drive by them with an empty stomach. Drive by them with a caffeine headache. Drive by them with a child squealing from the back seat as they are kicking their last sock off that you just placed on them for the tenth time. Drop a can of Spam on your left, little toe and then drive by them. Give yourself paper-cuts on both index fingers and then drive by them. Rub salty French fries into the paper-cuts and then drive by them. Wait until you have a disagreement with your co-worker, storm out the door self-righteously, trip on a protrusion on the sidewalk and stub your right, big toe, in front of your boss, pretend you did it on purpose to spare what little bit of dignity you have left, and then drive by. Hop in your vehicle on a windy day, spill a bright-red drink on your brand- new white jacket, question why you bought a white jacket in the first place, remind yourself that it was on sale, and then drive by them. If you still feel the need to paint your home “those” colors: accept that you may have a problem, seek help, read a pamphlet, phone a friend, deep breathe, call a sponsor, do some yoga, but seriously, seriously, think before you act and consider the long-term ramifications and consequences upon the innocent who are merely vicarious victims of your color assaults.

and another thing…..

3. People who think and believe that they have it worse than anyone else. This is truly something that gets my blood stir-fried. Everyone has problems. Some people have HUGE problems. Some people have problems that involve food and water, life and limb, life or death. So, your favorite television program didn’t record, you broke your fifth smart phone, and your check was a little short. This may be life or death to you, but I assure you it won’t be to other people. Keep your whining in check. No one wants to hear it. They have their own problems and the world has even bigger issues. My solution is usually to remind these people that the “stuff” that they are allowing to consume them is miniscule in the whole scheme of things. This doesn’t win me popularity contests, but neither does “oh, you think you have problems?” Today, a co-worker told me she thinks that the universe is out to get her. I asked her why she thought that. She indicated that her new smart phone’s speaker wasn’t working and now she has to go to the phone store again. I thought this was slightly, if not obnoxiously, humorous as I had just been scanning the world news headlines and had viewed literally dozens of images of pain, war, terror, death and dismemberment. So, I told her “yes, I suppose that’s pretty serious, but check out the world news headlines real quick and you will likely see that the universe is too busy to be after you through your smart phone.” She paused and laughed at herself and thanked me for helping her keep things in perspective (a little sarcastically, but she thanked me nonetheless). Now, keep in mind, She’s got a sense of humor so, don’t try that on just anyone.

Although I could go on, I won’t. I hope you enjoyed today’s appropriate rant-fest and hopefully could relate a little. Now, as I promised…I am going to tie this all together to be in line with topic.

here goes…..

In order to be fully self-reliant and prepared for anything that life may throw at you, you must first practice your social skills. I have a previous post on this topic which I will be adding to at a later date. In order to practice social skills, you need to know how to find a healthy way to vent, right? Well, there you go. A healthy way to vent is in a generic manner on a post or blog and said with an entertaining spin with the intent of humoring others without harming others. You can think it, write it, read it, chuckle at it and move on to invest your energies into honing those social interaction skills that we discussed earlier. There you have it. I have tied it all together after all. Not bad eh?

PART II: You Can’t Survive the End of the World As We Know It Without First Surviving the World As We Know it

Click here to view the original post.
Ants working in socially developed colonies are the ultimate survivors 

As promised this is a continuation of a previous post (Part II).
Here is an excerpt from that post:

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. 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 is a short list (PART II). 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:

4. Appreciate people: show it, share it, give it. This is important in all relationships and interactions. Everyone needs and wants to feel appreciated and it is important to take that extra time to say it and to show it. In my experience, many people will jump through hoops for you as long as they feel that their efforts are appreciated. This is a very easy thing to do and in exchange, most people will be happy to help you out as well. This type of social interaction is a win-win. Remember to be genuine in your efforts as no one appreciates lip-service. Attempt to show your appreciation in your actions and in your behaviors, in small things and for simply being who they are. How you treat others and how you show your appreciation for others will shine through in your ability to be an effective leader.

5. Figure out what other people desire or want and find a way to inspire this within them: This is about honing the ability to inspire and motivate other people. This is a key quality in having and displaying charisma, motivational speaking ability and leadership skills. Whether you are leading yourself, your family or your subordinates, it is imperative that you capture the essence of what motivates other people in your circles and beyond. Once you know how they are motivated and by what, motivating and inspiring them in a forward direction is much easier.

Inspiring others can accomplish great things. Plus, it feels good to positively impact other people who may later thank you for inspiring them toward something they might not have otherwise accomplished. The number one skill that you can use to inspire, motivate and transform people is to arouse that “desire” or that “want” from deep within them.

6. Smile! Be aware of your face!! This seems like such a simple concept, yet if you watch people and their facial expressions, you will see concern, anxiety, stress, fatigue, fear, depression, exhaustion, irritation and many other emotions and feelings, but rarely will you see genuine happiness. watch yourself for a few days or even for one day and attempt to smile whenever and wherever you encounter another person young or old. Allow your face to really light up. People will respond warmly to you. People are drawn to magnetic, charismatic and happy people. People want what you have to offer. Smiles are good for you and they are good for them. Babies love smiles for a reason. Think about your smile every time a child enters the room. Children are very intuitive at an early age and will read your face. This carries into adulthood and we all slowly become experts at reading faces, body language and other hidden communication. Smiling at other people is the number one easiest thing that you can do to connect with other people, improve your social skills and get other people to respond positively to you.

These three skills are the continuation from Part I (1-3) of your “social survival kit. “There are many others that I will share with you to add to your kit in time. First, 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.

To Be Continued.

Why All Preppers Should Also Practice Bushcraft For Their Long-Term Survival

Click here to view the original post.

Filling your shelves, storages and caches with food, water and basic supplies is a vital part of being prepared. In essence, you are assuring that in the event of natural or man-made disasters, you and your loved ones will have what you need to survive 72 hours and beyond. But, if you were faced with long-term catastrophic events or had to evacuate (bug-out), you should have plenty of skills to face the unknown conditions you may be heading into.

Bushcraft skills are gaining in popularity, but many people have been practicing this craft for years. Bushcraft is about leaving your manmade environment and heading out into nature and having the skills, ability, know-how and confidence to survive and thrive. Some of the skills practiced include hunting and fishing, tracking, foraging, water collecting, container making, shelter building, tool crafting, cordage making and a gambit of other primitive living skills. Bushcraft can be done with supplies and kits or with nothing but what nature provides or something in between.

In addition to your core preps, prepared-minded people should begin to acquire bushcraft skills. Read books, watch videos and take classes whenever and wherever you are able to. Bushcraft should be learned and practiced and then continuously and consistently practiced. You are never an expert as you are always an apprentice in nature. Mother nature predicts your conditions and you must have the skills, the knowledge and the survivor mindset to improvise, adapt and overcome the ever-changing environmental conditions.

Bushcraft can be something you set out to do as a hobby and you may find a passion that you didn’t know you even had. There is something very primal about being away from and disconnected from our social world and going back to our ancestral roots out in nature. People frequently describe the experience as feeling small with respect to the vastness that is wilderness. I would describe the experience differently. I would describe the experience as feeling profoundly larger than life. What is more alive than quieting the mind, putting down all of our technological gadgetry and being both still and quiet while the sounds of “real life” surround you? Nature is “real life.” The life we are all living right now is nothing in comparison to what the great outdoors can provide.

Never go out on a deep exploration, hiking trip, camping trip or survival expedition without having had a great deal of training and following all safety precautions. And remember: even if you have been practicing bushcraft for a very long time, there is always, always more to learn and continue to practice. In the end, none of us have guarantees on life, but having these skills will most definitely give you a leg up on survival odds.

So, if this is a path you think you would like to take, I encourage you to begin exploring bushcraft for many reasons, but most importantly because it will provide you a degree of knowledge to add to your preps that food storage and ham radios can’t provide.

So, You Want to Be a Prepper? How To Decide What You Should Be Preparing For

Click here to view the original post.

Preparing for disasters, emergencies and catastrophic events that “end the world as we know it” is a philosophy and lifestyle that is slowly becoming more mainstream and gaining in popularity. So, you’ve been reading the world news in the newspaper, watching the survivor shows, looking over prepper blogs and have decided that maybe it’s a good idea to delve into this prepping world a little more seriously. You may have thought when you first heard the term “the end of the world as we know it” that this was extreme thinking and categorized all preppers as just a little odd. But, what you didn’t know is that “the end of the world as we know it” is not only possible, but highly likely.

The term doesn’t always mean the Apocalypse or complete devastation of mankind. Although none of us can know for certain that things will ever be that dark in our lifetime, what we can know is that our odds of our current state of circumstances (the world as you know it) are at risk of change on any given day. Any traumatic change in your circumstance can equate to “the end of the world AS you know it.” 

While prepping is gaining mainstream steam and popularity, it is producing a wide array of philosophies, beliefs and opinions and a phenomenal amount of information available in all types of media. This can be overwhelming to someone new to the idea as well as to a seasoned prepper. Here is a list of just “some” of the things that people prepare for:
Meteors 
Pandemics
Political Collapse
Electromagnet Pulse (EMP)
Economic Collapse
Job Loss
Severe Weather
Death, Divorce, Illness, disability and Health Issues
Natural Disasters
Man-Made Disasters
Terrorism
Civil Unrest
Nuclear Attacks
Power Outages
Water Shortages
Over-Population
Bio-Terrorism
Riots
Again, that is not an all-inclusive list. But, it gives you an idea of how many things could go wrong. And, don’t forget the possibility of a combination of the above list which is which is also a possibility.  For example, Hurricane Katrina is frequently cited as an example of how a natural disaster came together to meet up with a man-made structural disaster to culminate in riots, civil unrest, water shortages, power outages and many more devastating problems.

Another example of a possible scenario that affects multiple categories from the above list is also from our history. In 1918, an H1N1 flu spread like wildfire throughout the world. The epicenter was eventually pegged as a town in Kansas where soldiers were stationed. The soldiers likely spread the virus back to the states from travel abroad and from living in very close confinement together. That pandemic killed as many as 100 million people around the globe. Now, almost 100 years later, we are even more globally connected than ever before. The current increased travel and modern, global interconnection makes the entire world extremely vulnerable to pandemics and we would lose a lot more lives today than what we did then.There are more of us today as populations have exploded in the last 100 years and we are more connected and living in closer quarters globally to each other. One epicenter can globally infect the entire world. There is a huge risk from bio-terrorism as well. But, a pandemic would cripple our economy as no one could or would go to work. Trucks would not be able to transport food and supplies. The shelves would all be empty in stores in 2-3 days at best. And, eventually, if long-term enough, this scenario could domino into an economic collapse and then obviously you would no longer have electricity or a McDonald’s to go to.

So, the question that arises time and time again is “how do I decide what I should be preparing for?”

First, get together with your family or your like-minded friends or your group and create a “priority list.” Prioritize all of the emergencies, disasters and catastrophic events that you, as a group, believe are the most likely scenarios. The idea is to eventually be prepared for whatever tomorrow may bring. But, when you are starting out it is best to confine your philosophy to one or two areas so that you can keep your focus and begin prepping. Once you are feeling amply prepared in one category, you can begin to move through the other ones as well. 
Meet regularly with your group and evaluate the current state of circumstances again. Remember to keep your list fluid, because things change and as things change, you need to be able to improvise and adapt. It’s a good idea to re-order your list as circumstances dictate. Next, you might consider placing different people in charge of different duties. Part of meeting to re-evaluate your list, is to discuss the changing state of things. So, your team needs to follow the world news, national news, local news, weather alerts, world economy, national economy and local economy, online CDC (Center’s For Disease Control) and WHO (World Health Organization) research and anything else that you can think of as a group. 
Once you’ve determined your priorities, begin preparing three lists. One list of the “absolutely necessary” items, one list of the “it would be a good idea to have” items and one list of the “you’d really like to have” items and begin prepping. You might label the lists “Alive,” “Survive” and “Thrive,” or you can label them however your group decides. 

Having an idea of your group’s philosophies on the most likely scenario, gives your group a direction of travel, a vision and a mission. Prepping is wise even if all that you are preparing for is for the possibility of losing your job or having a health issue. As always, continue to read, research, plan and prepare.
Prepping is going mainstream for a reason. Because being prepared utilizes our higher end thinking capacity, we know that it is something we should be doing. The ability that we, as humans, have to plan ahead and imagine “what ifs” has protected us and kept us out of harm’s way for eons. If you’ve ever played Chess, Stratego or even Battleship, you’ve used these thinking skills. The ability to imagine that bad “stuff”  happens and that it’s possible that “this stuff” could happen to you and then having a plan in place is part of being human. Survival skills and a survival mindset will naturally lead you to preparing in terms of both skills and supplies. We can hope for the best as we prepare for the worst and we can live happily in the now knowing that we’re prepared….just in case. 

Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Leader In A Survival Situation Or Emergency? How Adversity Creates Survival Leaders

Click here to view the original post.

You may have told yourself and others that you are a “natural leader.” You may have gone into interviews professing that you have a leadership background. Maybe you’ve had people following your lead for as long as you can remember. But, unless you’ve led under extreme circumstances, you don’t know if you really have what it takes to be a leader in a real survival situation.

Without having been through life or death experiences, military training, or really lived an event of catastrophic chaos, you can only surmise as to whether your workplace leadership experience will be of any real value when terrified, panic-stricken people are struggling for something or someone to lead them through and out of the circumstances for which they were ill-prepared or have no control over.

There are ways to know, however, whether you may have the qualities, characteristics, and skills of a true survival or emergency leader. Search your background and your life experiences for the worst times you have endured, the most traumatic events you have navigated, and the most devastating moments you have overcome. Jot these times, events and moments onto a list. The people with the longest lists may very well be the “natural leaders” of the pack. Not because they were born that way from a variety of innate qualities and talents that were bestowed upon them via a predetermined swim in a genetic pool. But, because every ounce of adversity that we humans are exposed to causes us to either weaken, strengthen or become immune and indifferent.
We have all met people that have endured very little negative life experiences. They have, for the most part, been blessed from the moment of birth. They had things handed to them easily from toys to cars, college was paid for, the degree came easy, the jobs poured in, they never wanted for anyone or anything. We hate these people when we should feel rather badly for them. A protected and sheltered environment will stunt deeper development. 

Every animal develops survival abilities from having been exposed to external stress and dangers. For our ancestors, this external stress and danger may have had claws, teeth and an empty stomach. In our modern world, that external stress and danger can be financial, relationships, marriages, inter-personal violence, job loss, emergencies, disasters or even from kennel madness culminating out of confinement eight hours a day inside an office cubicle. The psychological and physiological responses to stress and danger in our modern brains is still happening in the same way as it did in our ancient brains but, with the additional neurotic energy we have accumulated from not getting enough exercise and sunshine’s vitamin D. We are no longer chasing and tracking our food as we can pull up and have it brought right to us at a window. The energy released is minuscule today when compared with our energy release of distant times. Whether ancient stress or modern stress, external exposure to environmental stress affects our mind and our bodies. How we handle that stress, how we navigate and circumvent that stress, how we acclimate and adapt to that stress, how we problem solve around that stress and how we overcome and work our way THROUGH that stress are the ingredients of our core adult development and personality and the predictors of our strength, tenacity and survivability.

If you have successfully navigated painful and traumatic life events then all of that adversity that you see on your list was worthwhile in terms of personal development. You may wish you had never been through any of it, but IF you went through it, experienced it, felt it, navigated it, problem-solved it and ultimately overcame it to land on your feet, you are a survivor. Every one of those moments is one more point on your survivor list. Add them up, do you have a lot of points? If you have at least 5 points then you may very well have accumulated enough life experience and personality development to acclimate successfully in an intensely stressful, dangerous and frightening environment. 
The more you have adapted and overcome in your life, the more your ability to be strong in the face of adversity and the greater your ability to lead others through it. The focus is on the “overcoming” of the adversity. Some people become stuck or crippled by their adverse circumstances and never fully overcome or become stronger for them. While others, may have had so much exposure to adversity that they are immune, numb and perhaps detached from stress. Neither of these personality types would be adequately prepared to lead others in a survival situation and even if they could it might not necessarily be good for them until they have worked through their own trauma and emotions related to the trauma. 
Some of the qualities that are developed under adverse circumstance include:
The will to live
Strength of mind
Strength of character
Tenacity
Adaptive ability
Ingenuity
Ability to think coherently and efficiently under duress
Ability to formulate a plan and problem solve while under stress
Ability to have hope in situations that appear hopeless 
Confidence
Competence
Bravery (not the same thing as fearlessness which is rarely, if ever a good thing)
A sense of humor to balance stress 
This list is not all-inclusive, but it shows the multiple ways that we grow and personally develop to become stronger willed, stronger minded and better apt at keeping a cool head in and around chaos. The number one greatest strength that adversity provides is the same as it provided to our ancestors….the ability to adapt and overcome to changing circumstances and environments.

None of this will make it any easier to go through painful or difficult experiences, but it will shine a light on how we grow as people. The majority of our character growth comes from life experiences and human interaction. Leaders are developed, they are not born, and they are not prenatally created or raised. Development takes time and a degree of acclimating and navigating difficult circumstance and life terrain. A true survival leader will have many of the qualities of the above list and will have endured AND overcome very difficult, if not traumatic, life events. These are the developed survival leaders in our world. Do you have what it takes to be a leader in a survival situation or emergency? If your life has been a little too easy, you may think you are ready, but I wouldn’t want you leading me.

THE SURVIVALIST-PREPPER DEDICATION POEM

Click here to view the original post.
Dedicated to those that dare to prepare….

From Ferro rods, to flint and steel, there’s a reason that the woods…

Provides us with such mass appeal.

From altoid boxes, to the rule of three, there’s no soda, juice or coffee…

That even comes close… to pine needle tea.

From iodine drops, to steel Kelly kettles, you have set out to learn…

The medicinal use for stinging nettles.

From bamboo containers, to navigation needles, you are willing…

To dine… on those wood-eating beetles.

From magnesium strips, to Punky wood, you’d live in a yurt…

If only you thought that you could.

From sharp Mora knives, worn on a belt, one day you plan to learn…

How to make clothes from a pelt.

From stocked fishing kits, to M.R.E’s, …who needs a pot roast?

When you have the outdoors to seize.

Your self-reliance has led… to stocking both food and supplies…

As you now refuse to listen …to anymore lies.

You bought as much gear… as you could afford, from military boots to bags….

To wearable bracelets …with 30 feet of para-cord.

And, you knew you weren’t a master… as you explored the  terrain…

As there is always more to learn …like starting fire in rain.

         But, all that you know…is that you have never felt more alive…
As you increased your skill, and learned to survive.

So, you spent all this money and, you have invested all your time….

As you gained strange looks… like you had committed a crime.

But, you continued on… to practice bushcraft outside….

And, if the SHTF, they will all want a free ride.

breadandcountry.blogspot.com

Life, Leadership and Survival Quotes PART II

Click here to view the original post.

I have been writing quotes for inspiration and motivation for quite some time. This is a second compilation of these quotes that I thought that I would share with others. Please feel free to use them or share them. I only ask that you include a link for my blog breadandcountry.blogspot.com if you do. Thanks for taking the time to read them.

“Everyone experiences fear. Do not allow fear to make you inactive. Activity harnesses fear and uses it as a catalyst toward change.”

“As you age, “live and learn” transitions to “live and discern” where not everything has to be learned the hard way anymore.”

“In every human interaction, attempt to make it your goal that the other person will leave the interaction feeling more positive than before the interaction.”

“Four things to never leave at home: your knife, your lighter, your Kelly Kettle and your sense of humor.”

“Don’t seek to please others, seek to better them.”

“Follow your instincts rather than that little voice inside your head. Hopefully, your instincts will advise you that you shouldn’t have a little voice inside your head in the first place.”

“Sometimes it’s just safer to keep your expectations of others very low, but hold them to a higher standard nonetheless. More often than not, they will attempt to meet your expectations.”

“Always remember that negative people will desperately attempt to point out your flaws and what is wrong with you because they are envious of what is right with you.”

“Whether leading others, parenting or animal training, fear and intimidation may give way to submission, but will never be the catalyst toward inspiration, growth or true change.”

“You could be happier, less stressed and more at peace if you stopped living in the future. Stop telling yourself how much better things will be when you get that job or pay that bill. Stop thinking how great everything will be in just a few years or after this or after that. Life is right now. There will always be new challenges, issues, problems or bills. If you “spend” your time waiting for that precious moment in the future, you are “spending” your life. “Save” your life by enjoying it right now instead of planning to enjoy it at an imagined time in the future.”

“Don’t wait for a natural disaster to remind you to live and love.”

“In all things, preparedness begins in your brain.”

“Many people place unnecessary and inappropriate pressure on themselves. First, it is never your job to keep people you love or others happy. It is impossible and they need to captain their own happiness ship. Second, not everything is about you. Most people are battling their own demons. Control your own mind and respect and appreciate that you can’t and shouldn’t want to control anyone but yourself.”

“Let the outdoors be your toy box.”

“The threshold between truth and deception is compromised whenever and wherever there is greed of any capacity. The secret to avoiding this threshold is to be content with what you have. Live more and want less.”

“Enduring + overcoming = empowerment. Let adversity make you a stronger person rather than a damaged person.”

“Happy people are sometimes targeted by unhappy people. Miserable people can often only temporarily mask their own misery at your expense. Take it as a sign that you are doing something right if you have acquired so much happiness that it offends others.”

“No matter who you are or what kind of person you are or how hard you try, not everyone will like you. Never put your own happiness on the line by expecting otherwise.”

“Self-esteem is built from the ground-up, from sweat equity, from years of remodeling and repairing damaged and weakened structures, from experience and from customized materials for more durability. Never allow other people who have invested little to no effort into their foundations tear down what you have spent years building.”

“Focus on what you can do and never on what you can’t do. And, there is always something you can do.”

And, just for fun……

“Life is a series of events that happen in between eating bacon.”

A Compilation Of Survival Quotes

Click here to view the original post.

I have been writing quotes for motivational and inspirational purposes for quite some time. I thought I would compile a few of them together in one post to share with others. I hope you enjoy them and please feel free to share them with others as well and use them freely. I ask that you please include a link back to my blog if you do choose to share.

“Never expect other people, mother nature or circumstance will adapt to you. A survivor mindset is adaptable.”

“Your thoughts are your choice and in your control. Never let outside influences control your thoughts.”

“Choose to overcome and the mind will lead the body.”

“You have the ultimate control over your own mind and you, therefore, have the ultimate control over your own destiny.”

“The mind wills the body.”

“Your ability to overcome and your will to live are controlled by your own thought processes.”

“The more adversity you have experienced and overcome, the greater your ability to improvise and adapt to changing circumstance.”

“True leaders learn from those that they lead.”

“Adversity is the spawn of ingenuity and the catalyst of wisdom.”

“To truly overcome a circumstance, you must first acknowledge the gravity of the situation and have the tenacity and the grit to get through it rather than around it.”

“Leaders are not born they are developed through adverse life circumstance and practiced ability to overcome those circumstances.”

“When it comes to friction fire, if at first you don’t succeed, join the club and keep on practicing.”

“He who laughs first is not worth your time.”

“If you can envision it, you can create it.”

“Practice makes perfect is a lie. Practice makes improvement. Practice makes empowerment. Practice makes confidence. Practices is always evolving, so there can never be true perfection.”

“A survivor mentality can be honed through consciously choosing to adapt and overcome circumstances that are outside of your control.”

….and just for fun:

“Life is like bacon: there’s never enough of it and it’s always better when shared. On second thought, who shares bacon?”

I hope you enjoyed these. I have more which I will post on a later date. Thanks for reading!

Life, Leadership and Survival Quote Compilation PART III

Click here to view the original post.

This is Part III of a compilation of survival, bush-craft, leadership and life survival quotes that I have written over time. I hope that you enjoy them. Please feel free to use them or share them. I ask that you please include a link to my blog if you do: breadandcountry.blogspot.com
Enjoy! Please also check out Part I “A Compilation of Survival Quotes” and Part II “Life, Leadership and Survival Quotes.”

“Boredom should be a wake-up call that you are not doing all that you can, not fulfilling your dreams, not planning your future, not playing and not enjoying the now or creating a purpose for your life. You only get one life, cherish it and use it wisely.”

“Nearly all of our anxiety stems from regret about the past or trepidation and fear about the future or the unknown. Value where you are right now, grow from where you have been and plan for your tomorrow and turn anxiety into empowerment.”

“Not everyone is going to like you. It’s futile to invest too much energy into people-pleasing when some people are not capable of being pleased. Jumping through hoops for praise is appropriate if you are a German Shepherd. Otherwise, do yourself a favor and learn to love who you are regardless of external validation.”

“Socially we have been trained to value youth. However, wisdom, leadership ability and ingenuity are born through experience. Consciously and systematically we need to train ourselves and others to value aging for the societal gifts that are only possible though life experience and having overcome adversity.”

“A survival situation is similar to life survival in that you may experience discomfort, pain and deprivation, but as you go through adversity, you come out on the other side wiser, more self-reliant and empowered. A survival situation is different to life survival in that life is also meant to be enjoyed and cherished. Never approach life as something you have to “get through” except when facing adversity.”

“In our chaotic, stress-driven lives of abundance, we could learn a lot from the simplest of creatures. For billions of years, amoeba have been prolific by physically moving only toward nourishment and physically moving away from things that do not nourish or are stressful or toxic. What is obvious to the amoeba takes many of us a lifetime to grasp.”

“Before you prepare, don’t forget to plan to prepare. All preparation begins with planning and preparing the mind.”

“Happiness is no accident. What you focus on, you will be rewarded with more of. And, this reward can be either good or bad contingent upon your focal point.”

“When at an interpersonal impasse, your best maneuver may be to agree upon the fact that you cannot agree. This “agreement” may be the epicenter toward peace.”

“We all have to deal with difficult people on occasion. It’s quite alright to have to make minor adjustments to your interaction style in order to accommodate those with inadequate people skills. However, the moment that their behavior infringes upon who you are as an individual, is the moment that you adjust yourself no more. You are training others on how you allow yourself to be treated. Adjusting, compromising and negotiating are valuable tools in a reciprocal environment only.Never accommodate your integrity or to the degree that you are no longer yourself.”

“Question everything even old quotes. “That’s the way the ball bounces” does not have to be true. You do not have to accept things that are unacceptable. You always have choice. You can roll the ball, catch the ball, throw the ball, lose the ball all together or even get a whole new ball or play an entirely different game if you choose to. Remember that the ball is actually always in your court as long as you recognize that you always have choice and that you are in control of your own thoughts. Sometimes things are as simple as just looking at the ball and your options differently and sometimes you need to play the game completely differently.”

and just for fun……

“One of the most difficult things about work is that it cuts into perfect fishing days. This is yet another reason to find a way to make money doing something that you love. Do what you enjoy and you will lose a lot less perfect fishing days and still get paid.”

and just for more fun……

“Bacon is like friendship: You feel better when you are together and when you are apart, you are making plans to be together again. But, bacon is not like friendship because bacon doesn’t borrow your stuff and not return it.”

Empowering Your Children to Value Being Prepared: If You Are Not Actively Prepping Your Children You Are Not As Prepared As You Might Think

Click here to view the original post.

Although you may be preparing your family for emergency, disaster or catastrophe, if you are not actively preparing your children and including them in your plans, you are not as prepared as you might think. Including the kiddos in all of your prepping and planning can create a knowledge base that empowers them to aid in overcoming stress in the event of an actual emergency.

Children need structure and predictability to thrive and feel safe. If an emergency strikes and you are the only one in the family that has been preparing, the child’s traumatic experience of the events and stress hormone levels will be exponential in comparison to yours. Emergencies are not predictable or structured. But, you can help your family to “feel” as though the emergency had structure by planning, discussing, preparing and practicing.

As you approach prepping, keep in mind the important steps that are involved in preparing and prepping your children. Children love to have input. Allow the kids a voice, some choices and explore their thoughts on possible scenarios and what they think they would do in those events. Very young children should not partake in discussions that might frighten them as they do not have a developed sense of “possibility” and may take every conversation far too literally and feel afraid. Always adapt to the child and find new and interesting ways to involve them without scaring them.

The first step is to prepare yourself, your spouse (if you have one) and your children to begin to actively prepare for whatever emergency may come your way. A great way to do this is to begin to host weekly or bi-weekly or even monthly family meetings and set up an emergency committee. Kids love serving on committees and feeling as though their input is valuable. Keep the topics and discussion age and maturity level appropriate. Remember not to frighten the children as the goal is to empower via education and preparation.  Keep discussions to just the monthly meetings and the rest of the time just do regular, fun, family things and include prepping as a part of your family day-to-day lifestyle.

The meetings can unfold dynamically. Allow them to grow and change with your family. Assign important tasks and duties to the children and teens according to their individual ages and maturity levels. Assigning a tween or teen the task of monitoring weather is something they will likely enjoy and take on with great pride. There is a lot of information on the internet about meteorology, weather related books and even videos the family can explore to begin to understand weather and weather patterns. Invest in a weather radio (everyone should have one) and teach the kids how to use it. Let the kids help gather and pack emergency weather and power outage supplies to keep in a portable kit somewhere in the house. Kids can help with kit building, strategic planning, problem solving and all sorts of other activities.

If handled correctly, the kids will find all of the activities as empowering and comforting and possibly even fun. They will see their family as a supportive “unit” that is prepared should they need to be. If handled incorrectly, the kids will be stressing about “what ifs.” What you want to accomplish is a lot of dialogue regarding the need to be prepared so that the family is empowered to handle any events more efficiently. Discuss how savings accounts are just insurance for the future in the same way that an emergency storm kit or basic survival kit is an insurance plan for “possible” life events. While you are trying to keep it real, keep it light and keep it interesting and fun.

Spend time focusing on skill-building activities with the kids and the teens from pitching tents, to eating a meal that you prepared over an outdoor cook pit. Keep on practicing and find ways to make it a fun part of your family’s activities. Education and knowledge and practice empowers children to better handle stress in the event of real emergencies. All of these steps can help remove fears, increase confidence and engage learning and curiosity. Family preparedness and self-reliance should be a team mission. Continue discussing, exploring and answering questions and keep them involved.

Once your entire family is on board you can know that you are all much more likely to keep level heads under intense stress and be more equipped to survive situations that may arise. Knowledge is power so, share your knowledge with your children and empower them as well.

More Thoughts on Retreat Vulnerability

Click here to view the original post.
This 7.62mm rifle will 'automatically' sight and shoot accurately out to 900 yards.  No skill required.

This 7.62mm rifle will ‘automatically’ sight and shoot accurately out to 900 yards. No skill required.

We have written before about the problems we have protecting our retreats – see for example ‘How Many Acres Do You Need for Your Retreat – Defense Considerations‘ and our broader category of Retreat Defense in general.

A new development, announced at the Consumer Electronic Show in January this year, adds a new factor and concern to the mix.

Until now, it has been realistic to assume that in most cases, a ‘reasonable distance’ kept clear between your retreat and where attackers could shelter was sufficient as to give you reasonable protection.  We’ve always been a bit vague about how much that distance should be, because in truth, there’s no single magic answer and instead, it is more a case of having to make a compromise between what is practical and possible in the real world and what would be desirable in a perfect world.

We sort of suggested that you should try to achieve a 200 yard clear zone between where your retreat and farmed land would be and where attackers could shelter and attack you from.  That type of range would give you a little warning – note the emphasis on little – if attackers attempted to overrun your retreat, and you could buy yourself a bit more time by having some disruptive landscaping to prevent attackers from coming directly to you on a good surface well suited for vehicles, horses, or even just plain sprinting on foot.

But the really big problem is long-range sniping.  In skilled hands, even a .22LR rifle might remain reasonably accurate and definitely dangerous at 200 yards, and in a Level 2/3 situation, what should be simple survivable wounds become much more life-threatening than they do today when the local Emergency Room and state of the art medicine and antibiotics and painkillers is probably no more than 15 – 30 minutes drive away.

Being able to accurately get rounds on man-sized targets at ranges of 200+ yards starts to become a fairly demanding skill.  Hitting – well, let’s be polite and talk about, perhaps, 8″ or 12″ plates, at 100 yards is something that most adult shooters can readily master, particularly when firing from a supported/prone position.  But once ranges start to go the high side of 200 yards, you’re more into ‘precision shooting’ than regular shooting, and from our perspective as potential targets, our chances of suffering a first round hit/kill start to measurably decline.

Unfortunately, a new device looks to replace skill with technology, and promises (threatens!) to give even unskilled shooters an almost super-human ability to get rounds on target at long-range.

A weapons technology company, TrackingPoint, demonstrated two new sniper-type rifles at the Consumer Electronic Show.  It is very rare to see weapons technology at the CES – not only because of the slightly off-topic concept, but also because just a couple of weeks after CES is the annual SHOT Show which is the typical venue for new weapons technology.  But perhaps because the TrackingPoint product was more a technological solution than a weapon solution per se, they decided to release their products at CES.

They offer two new weapon systems with computerized targeting and fire control.  One is on a 5.56mm rifle platform, and claims to give accurate shots out to 0.3 miles (528 yards) and with the target moving at speeds of up to 10 mph.  The other is on a .338 Lapua Magnum rifle platform, and claims to give accurate shots out to 1.0 miles (1760 yards) and with the target moving at speeds of up to 20 mph.

To be fair, TrackingPoint define ‘effective’ differently for the two products.  For the 5.56 rifle, they say it means being able to consistently hit a 5″ target, and for the .338, they refer to an 18″ target.

So, their one mile range claim can be considered optimistic rather than realistic, and also the moving target concept requires the target’s movement to be consistent.  If you’re semi-randomly zigging and zagging, the computer fire-control would not be able to predict that, and with it taking two or more seconds for a round to travel from rifle to target, if you’re not staying still during that time period, you’re probably in fairly good shape.  (But, remember, it isn’t a case of hearing the shot and then ducking – the round, traveling at supersonic speed, will arrive on target before the sound of the shot does.)

The good news is that you’re not very likely to find yourself staring down one of their .338 caliber systems.  Why?  The price is $50,000 (and each round costs $8).  On the other hand, the 5.56 system is a more reasonable $7,500, and for sure, this price is likely to drop as other companies start to adapt similar technology to their rifles, too.

Here’s a rather terrifying review of how easy it is for a non-shooter to land rounds on target with the 5.56mm system, and here’s a review of the .338 system.

If we were looking at deploying the technology as a defensive measure for our retreat, we’d probably choose their $15,000 system, based on a 7.62mm rifle.  At longer ranges, we much prefer the extra stopping power of the 7.62 round compared to the light 5.56 round.  Oh yes – their claim that it is good for out to half a mile (with an 8″ target as the objective) is another point in its favor, too!

To come back to the actual point of this article, the ugly bottom line is that the long-range accuracy and capabilities of attackers is likely to improve over time.  We’d guess that within a decade, the cost of these super-sniper-rifles will reduce almost ten-fold.  Well, the $7500 5.56 system might drop to $1500 – $2500, the $15,000 7.62 system might go down to $2500 – $3500, and the .338 system might reduce to $7500 or so.  Or, to put it another way, ‘intelligent’ fire-control systems will replace ‘unintelligent’ telescopic sights and cost no more than today’s best telescopic sights.

There was a time when any type of telescopic sight was rare and exotic and expensive, and most people did most shooting with open iron sights.  Nowadays, telescopic sights are abundant and on just about every rifle that its owner plans to use at any sort of range at all; our prediction is that the expensive rarity of these fire control systems will evolve and we’ll see them as common on rifles in ten years time as telescopic sights are today.

What to do about this?  We suggest two things, because in selecting and developing your retreat, you need to have an eye to the future as well as the present.

It further reinforces the value/need to cluster together with other retreat owners, having a central core where you all live and farm, and then an extended safe zone outside your core – perhaps for cattle grazing, or perhaps not.

And, secondly, the topography around your retreat and its perimeter becomes more relevant.  If there are natural features that obscure/block your retreat or limit the longer range threats, whereas previously they might have also acted as cover for shorter range attacks, now they might be considered more desirable, particularly if you incorporate responses to such features into your defensive plan.  Remote monitoring of such locations and the ability to surreptitiously and/or safely move people around your retreat become helpful considerations.

The post More Thoughts on Retreat Vulnerability appeared first on Code Green Prep.

A Relaxing Business Trip to Boise

Click here to view the original post.

My new job requires I visit other hospitals in our system and one of them is in Boise. Of course, I had to use my GPS just to get out of town given that we have only been here for two weeks so far. Nevertheless, once on a main highway, it was a pleasurable two hours (give or take) until I arrived in Boise.

The streets were busy but nothing like Phoenix during rush hour. More like a busy college town with plenty of traffic lights. I search for a couple of my favorite restaurants hoping that being in a larger city would show me some comforts of days past. Nope. Boise doens’t have a single Schlotszky’s sandwich shoppe nor a greasy Long John Silvers. Bummer. I settled for the old standby..Subway.

After an 8-5 meeting, I drove around a little to find a sign that would sum up my trip. Hence the pic in this post. I ate my Subway and headed back home. The nice thing about long drives by yourself is you get plenty of time to think. Not a common occurrence when your house is filled with nine females…

~OJD

Simple, Inexpensive, Bright, Rechargeable WTSHTF LED Light

Click here to view the original post.

DSCN0779 When a snowstorm took out our power last week, I needed to come up with some simple but effective lights for a neighbor. After scrounging through my shop I ended up with a simple light that took just a few minutes to make, even without power, and ended up liking them so much I’ve since made several more just to have around. With the parts available on EBay for a little over $10.00 (or most of them easily scrounged) you can have a really nice light that will offer enough light to do chores and even read, and with a simple LED bulb change will act as a night light, providing sufficient light until dawn. Watch a short video to see how to make this lantern HERE

8 Common Habits Of A Prepper

Click here to view the original post.

You might have read several books about preparing for the worst case scenarios and might have practiced it several times at home, and that is good. Learning the basic skills to be prepared and to survive is a necessity and gives us the power of self-reliance. But knowledge is far different from habit, which is […]

The post 8 Common Habits Of A Prepper appeared first on The Home For Survival.

What’s in an MRE? – MRE Product Review

Click here to view the original post.

I bought an MRE seven years ago but never tried it or even opened it to see what was inside, it simply sat in my bug out bag until now.  While reading One Second After (a fictional doomsday story) I learned that there were goodies inside… Read More

The post What’s in an MRE? – MRE Product Review appeared first on Preppers Survive.

I Said I Wouldn’t

Click here to view the original post.

But I did

Peer pressure is something else. I was going to work on the house this weekend because the weather was going to be nice, but I didn’t. I didn’t want to cook chili because I had too much to do, but I did.
Our Chili Family are among some of the best folks I have ever met and when they asked us to cook with them near Waco I didn’t want to let them down and miss all the fun and decided to go.
I am glad I did, but I feel guilty about it. I should have worked, but I did have a great time.  

 Jessie (the oldest daughter) came to cook with us so how could I say no.
Saturday we had 54 cooks and I only got simi finals while Candy (the wife) made final table.
With the caliber of cooks there I thought that was pretty good.

Saturday night some of the girls had a onsie party.
It was cold and we roughed it in tents, but hey were warm.

Sunday was a different story. We had 39 cooks and I took 2nd and Candy won 6th.
Would I do it again, probably not but it was fun.

Now I have to spend every evening working on the house to catch up on the work I missed because this weekend we will be cooking in College Station. Hope to see some of yall there.

I’m out,
Jerry
  

A Beautiful Day in a Beautiful Little Town

Click here to view the original post.
My view at home to the west

I’ve enjoyed something new the past couple of mornings. It isn’t something I had thought about lately but is definitely something I had previously told myself that I someday wanted. As I awoke, without any effort whatsoever, I looked out of the window right above my bed and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings that I now call home.

Back in Mesa, Arizona…it was all desert. Blistering hot sun, so bad you planned for a day inside most of the time. Neighbors so close on either side that you could just about here them fart. Then came Flagstaff which had beauty all around but the rental house we spent the last year in had Highway 89 right outside the back door. So close, actually, that a minivan came careening through our back fence and came to a stop in our back yard. Constantly noisy, even inside the house.

My view at work, with snow a half an inch thick on each branch

But now we live in a small Idaho town where beauty and quiet abound. At night the sky is glimmering with a million little diamonds. I enjoy my six minute drive to work (when there’s no snow) and look forward to many, many productive weekends.

If you love where you live, thank the Good Lord. If you don’t love where you live, hold fast and keep trying. Sometimes the path to get where you want to be isn’t always clear but don’t let that stop your dreams.

~OJD

How To Make A Pill Bottle Survival Kit

Click here to view the original post.

It is hard to carry too many survival kits in an emergency situation. Most people make small survival kits so that they could carry them everywhere they go. Making your own survival kit with the use of a pill bottle is easy. All you have to do is think of the things that you can put in the bottle and things that you can use in an emergency situation.

Here are some contents that you can put in your pill bottle survival kit:

Matches

Place at least 2 matches in a drinking straw to keep them waterproof.

matches

Photo: flickr/Michael Summers

 

Birthday candles

Use these candles in building fire.

birthday candle

Photo: flickr/Marie Coleman

 

next

Knife Safety

Click here to view the original post.

knife safetyI am not actually going to do ‘The 10 do’s and 500 don’ts of knife safety.’ I am going to talk about knife safety though. This is definitely stuff you want to include when you’re teaching your kids how to safely handle knives. My theory isn’t that kids should not handle knives. My wife taught our two year old daughter how to properly hold and use knives and now she helps mom cut veggies for dinner (she’s three now). We should be teaching our young ones how to properly handle knives. That way, when they do get their hands on one, they respect the knife and know how to safely handle it. I fear that if we don’t teach our kids how to use and handle knives until they are older(how ever old that is) they will either fear the knife and not want to use it, or be careless with it because they didn’t know what it was capable of. That is when kids ‘play’ with knives. If our kids are properly educated on how to safely use and handle a knife, we shouldn’t have the issue of them ‘playing’ with them.

Some of the first things youth are taught in boy scouts in relation to knife safety is the ‘triangle of death,’ and the ‘blood circle.’

The triangle of death.

This area includes your upper legs, groin and femoral arteries. Keep the blade away from the area at all times. Never cut or carve wood in a way that brings the blade towards that area. Always move the knife away from you when cutting our carving wood.

Blood Circle

This is the space around you (all 360°) at arms length where someone could walk while you’re carving or cutting with your knife. To find your blood circle, stick your arm out while holding your knife, spin in a circle (do this when alone first, not in a crowd), and anything within the reach of your blade is your blood circle. A good rule of thumb is to double that space. If you have a 6 foot arm span, then have a 12 foot blood circle. Be aware of your blood circle and position your self so that you are the only person in that circle.

Proper grip

You should grip the handle as if making a fist. This will give you the best leverage but will also prevent you from cutting your fingers. If you have to hold it in a different way, with fingers close to or touching the blade, you should wear leather gloves. You would rather slice through leather then your own fingers.

There is also safe ways to apply leverage. The knife should always be moving away from you, never towards you. One slip can cause you to take a chunk of skin off or stab the knife somewhere unpleasant…which would be anywhere. The two leverages I want to talk about are the knee lever and the chest lever.

Knee Lever

This is done by putting your elbows on your knees while in a kneeling position and moving the wood away from the knife instead of moving the knife. This can also be done with moving the knife instead of the wood. Typically you will place your elbow on the opposite knee. For example, if you are right handed like I am, you will place your left elbow on your right knee. This will allow your right arm to swing away from your body, keeping you safe from cuts.

Chest Lever

This grip is done by holding both arms in chicken wing shape, with the hands on the chest. You will move both knife and wood at the same time. Again with the blade moving away from you. This is a good grip for removing large amounts of material while other people are within your blood circle.

Sharper is safer!

Yup! I know, it sounds backwards. The sharper your knife is the safer it is. The reason is because you will use less effort while cutting or carving wood. If your knife is dull, you have a higher chance of losing control of your blade which may lead to personal injury or the injury of others. This is why it is also important to know how to properly sharpen and care for your knife.

A couple points to end with.

When you are done using your knife, always put it back into its sheath. Never place it on the ground or on other equipment. I made the mistake of throwing my knife into the ground when I wasn’t using it. This is not very smart for many reasons. Here’s two:

1. I could trip on it if I’m not looking where I am walking.

2. It wrecked my blade. The blade hit dirt and rocks as it sunk into the ground. This made my knife quite dull. It took a lot of work to get rid of the burrs and get the blade sharp again, and I would say it is still not where it should be.

By always returning your knife to it’s sheath, you will always know where it is and accidents are less likely to happen.

Your knife is not a toy. It needs to be treated with respect. If we ever become lazy or disrespectful to our belt knife, it wont hesitate to disrespect us back. And it is not very forgiving.

Trust the Sun—Natural Navigation

Click here to view the original post.

I’m often admonished by others, survival instructors included, towards my dismissal of a compass for navigation and also the fact I say a map is more important than a compass for navigation. I even jest at survival manuals that teach how to find cardinal directions by the shadow stick method— place a stick in the ground and place a stone or marker at the tip of the shadow cast by the stick and continue to do so every fifteen methods to determine an approximate East West line. Another is the watch shadow method—By pointing the hour hand at the sun, way between the hour hand and 12 o’clock is South, or North, depending if you roll counterclockwise or clockwise in your estimation. Sound Confusing? Don’t worry you don’t need it. These tips are nothing more than fodder to fill the pages of books, but frankly not needed. The fact is, these are relatively new creations, yet navigators have been navigating without these techniques for centuries.

The post Trust the Sun—Natural Navigation appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

Hello All and “Off Topic”

Click here to view the original post.

Hey everyone. Sorry it has been so long since I have posted. You are always welcome over at ModernSurvivalOnline. It’s been busy.

Terrorism: I saw Arlene just mentioned something in a comment about the recent terrorist activity in the world. Just got me thinking a bit. I think for most all of us – 99.9% – we have nothing to worry about. I mean – the chances of any of us being directly impacted by a terrorist attack is extremely slim. Now – the chances of us being affected by governmental policies due to terrorism – well, that’s another story.

Take a look at what people have to go through to fly at times. Kids and senior citizens – even those in wheelchairs are subjected to getting “felt up” as part of preventive measures to keep flying safe. Numerous locations accessed by the public are now placing signs up stating that if you carry a concealed weapon you are not welcome in the establishment. Of course criminals will pay no attention to those signs.

There is evil in the world and it IS only a matter of time before more terrorist activity occurs in the United States. I do not believe it is something to be overly concerned about and the reality is there is not much we can personally do about it.

American Sniper: I just went and saw “American Sniper” at the movies. Incredible movie. I highly recommend it. Regardless of your opinion as to whether we should have been at war in Iraq or Afghanistan the troops should be supported. I was very impressed with the movie.

Books and Information: I am on a kick right now gathering and storing preparedness-related information. I have lots of books and documents stored on my Kindle.  I also have info stored on USB drives and of course numerous hardcopy books and printed information in binders.

Off Topic: How has everyone been doing? Anything important going on? Thoughts on current events? Questions to ask?

Take care all –

Rourke

 

© 2015, Seasoned Citizen Prepper. All rights reserved. On republishing this post you must provide link to original post.

Dislike(0)

5 Lessons You Can Learn From Botulism

Click here to view the original post.

Sometimes we can take lessons from the strangest places. For people who are interested in survivalism, preparedness and homesteading, there is a lot that we can learn from botulism. Yes, botulism.    You’ve heard of it, I’m sure, and while I’m certainly not advocating that any of us act like botulism, we can take just […]

The post 5 Lessons You Can Learn From Botulism appeared first on Just Plain Living.

7 Everyday Legal Weapons

Click here to view the original post.

First time I went to the Statue of Liberty, I came close to getting arrested. I was with two active duty military friends. We passed through the post 9-11 metal detectors, and alarm bells went off. What happened next still makes me smile, years later. And it’s got me to thinking about everyday carry legal […]

The post 7 Everyday Legal Weapons appeared first on survivalprepper-joe.com.

Is Your Family Prepared? 13 Questions Every Mom Should Ask Herself…

Click here to view the original post.

If you’re a few days behind on your to-do list and can’t seem to recover your home from its constant disarray, pat yourself on the back. Because you’re doing it right — motherhood is tough.

Kids Destroying Closet!

(Just a typical day around our home 😉

You’re not alone though, busy moms barely have enough groceries and juice boxes to get through the week, let alone enough food storage and water to survive a major catastrophe. But keep in mind, properly planning protects your family for any type of disaster or emergency.

Is Your Family Prepared?

A busy schedule doesn’t mean you can’t learn the basic survival skills (water purification) and dabble in the advanced stuff (understanding AR-15 accessories).

Use the following infographic as a guide for testing your survival skills and learning the survival essentials that can keep your family safe for the unexpected.

13 Survival Skills Infographic - Is Your Family Prepared?

13 Questions Every Mom Should Ask Herself…

FOOD:

1- Can you find food?

2- Can you prepared food?

3- Can you grow and farm food?

4- Do you have enough food stored for a year?

WATER:

5- Do you know how to find water?

6- Do you know how to purify water?

7- Do you have water stored for a year?

SHELTER:

8- Do you have a bug out location?

9- Are you able to build shelter on the go?

PROTECTION:

10- Can you accurately shoot a firearm?

11- Can you maintain and assemble firearms?

COMMUNICATION & SUPPORT:

12- Are you able to communicate by primitive methods?

13- Can you coexist with others in a survival situation?

What’s Your Survival Score?

Don’t beat yourself up if you failed miserably. I scored 7/13 ( 54%) – and I was even being generous with my answers 😉

Of course you don’t need to be proficient in each of these areas (I have yet to meet someone who is), but it gives you some things to consider when coming up with your family preparedness plan.

Only you know what’s important to help prepare your family, but I encourage you to figure out what that is and start doing something about it!

Because most likely – no one else is going to be doing it for you!

Share your survival score below, and let me know what preparedness goals you’ve set! I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours 😉

The post Is Your Family Prepared? 13 Questions Every Mom Should Ask Herself… appeared first on Prepared Housewives.

Choosing a Food Storage Plan

Click here to view the original post.

We are very fortunate to be living in what we might call a renaissance when it comes to disaster readiness. At no other time in history have we had such a wide array of products available to us. Of course, that also means it can be rather overwhelming when you’re trying to make a decision on which product or type of products will work best for you.

Food storage is no exception. There many different options available to you as you plan for long-term food needs. Let’s talk a bit about each of the major categories of food storage.

Canned and dry goods

These are the things you likely buy every day at the grocery store. Canned vegetables and fruits, dry pasta, rice, and beans. If it comes in a can or a box, it probably falls into this category. The benefits to using these items is you are accustomed to eating them already, you know what you like and what you don’t. Preparing these foods is simple and easy, for the most part.

Canned Foods

The downside, though, is canned and boxed foods are often loaded with preservatives and other chemicals. They just aren’t the healthiest foods on the planet, y’know? On top of that, I can all but guarantee that once you’ve eaten fresh produce, like green beans and peas right off the farm, the ones that come in a can will probably turn your stomach.

Home preserved foods

There are a few different ways to preserve food at home, such as home canning (pressure or water bath) and dehydration. Foods preserved in these ways tend to be healthier, as you are in control as to what ingredients are added. There is also a strong sense of accomplishment in knowing you are providing for your own needs. However, there is a fair amount of work involved, not to mention the investment in a pressure canner, dehydrator, and other supplies.

Freeze-dried or dehydrated foods

Wise Company Food StorageSome of the more well known brand names in this category include Wise and Mountain House. These foods are specially packaged and preserved to last many years. Typically, all you need to do is add hot water and wait for the food to rehydrate. The nice thing about these products is there is little prep involved. If you can heat water, you can make dinner. Plus, these pouches and buckets are designed to last decades.

There are a couple of potential downsides, though. First, these products tend to be more expensive than other options. Second, some folks have reported digestive upsets and such. What I suggest is, if you want to explore this option further, buy a few sample meals and try them out. See if you like the taste and make sure the food agrees with you.

MREs (Meals Ready to Eat)

A common staple among preppers, MREs are either actual military surplus or are manufactured to the same guidelines and sold to the general public. Typically, one pouch will consist of a main dish, a side dish, a dessert item, crackers or bread, peanut butter or jelly, powdered beverage mix, a utensil, condiments, and a flameless heater. Basically, everything you’d need for a complete meal, all in one handy pouch. Because of this all-in-one nature, they can be nice to have on hand. Plus, the food merely needs to be heated, though it could be eaten cold in many cases. You don’t need to add water to rehydrate the food, just heat and eat.

MRE Components

MREs tend to be very expensive, though, when compared to the other options on this list. They are also rather bulky, taking up far more space than an equivalent number of canned goods or dehydrated food pouches.

What I recommend is diversifying your food storage plans. Start with the canned and boxed goods you normally eat on a regular basis, then add in a box or three of freeze-dried foods and perhaps a case or two of MREs. Ideally, you should learn how to preserve your own food at home as well.

The post Choosing a Food Storage Plan appeared first on Emergency Preparedness.

Early Review of Sailing the Apocalypse

Click here to view the original post.

Dave Zeiger knows a thing or two about bug out boats. As a designer and liveaboard sailor who makes his home aboard his self-built vessel, Slacktide on the isolated waters of southeast Alaska, he lives a full-time lifestyle many preppers fantasize about. Dave has an interesting take on sailboat design. As his mission statement says on TriloBoats.com, his box-barge hull shapes are designed to help amateur builders get on the water in the shortest period of time, with the most bang for the buck. His designs provide maximum accommodations for their size and are stable, seaworthy platforms for living on the water.

I have linked to one of Dave’s articles published in Duckworks Magazine (an online resource for boatbuilders) before. It is an excellent look at the concepts and considerations of bug out boats. You can read it here if you missed that previous link: http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/12/columns/guest/zeiger/index.html

Dave is also a long-time fan of the catamaran designs of James Wharram, so when he saw that my latest novel featured a Wharram Tiki 46 as the bug out vessel chosen by the characters in the story, he said he had to read it. Below is his take on it, and his thoughts on why it may be of interest to preppers, even those who would not themselves choose to bug out by water:

Sailing the Apocalypse by Scott B. Williams — Review by Dave Zeiger
SETTING: Waterways of SE USA in our present times of impending, but not yet catastrophic Collapse.
STORY: A newly formed family under the (mis?)guidance of Terry Bailey – Doomer / Prepper – builds APOCALYPSE, a 46ft Wharram Catamaran (great choice, sloppy execution), and bugs out while the buggin’ is good. 
Events are told through the eyes of twelve year old Robbie. Along for the ride are his (mostly) ‘whatever-he-says’ Mother, and otherwise-occupied, teen half-sister. Along the way, they acquire a Mentor, of sorts, in the form of an easy going, aging Hippy.
STORY ARC (spoiler alert!): Downward spiral.
*****
Sailing the Apocalypse is a cautionary tale of what I think of as ‘dysprepsia’… a syndrome to which we in the Choir are prone.
Terry Bailey believes much as we do (the Choir, that is… I’m assuming in this review that you’re a fellow Doomer / Prepper, familiar with the general outlook and its vocabulary). 
He believes that S is about to HTF. That the time to bug out is before it does. He has made some solid, informed choices and acted upon them, investing himself fully. Each of these identify him (and his family) as increasingly rare birds.
But things do not go well, and the ‘why’ is the cautionary aspect.
Terry lacks humility. He is seething with contempt for others (rather than empathy), which expresses itself in rants, bullying and manipulation. He is the patriarch of his tribe, which alienates his family. This in turn impairs teamwork, and suppresses and disincentivizes their best efforts.
He can neither recognize nor admit to his mistakes, and therefore cannot learn from them.  Nor can he adapt, whether to new information or consequences of mis-information or mis-steps. One has the sense that he has skimmed from excellent resources, but not absorbed their content. He overrates his (presumed) experience, and undervalues training and the steep slope of the learning curve.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing…
*****
I found it to be somewhat queasy reading.
As a confirmed Doomer who bugged out on a sailboat, years ago, this shoe fits too well. I, too, am prone to rant with a tinge of smug and a supercilious view of ‘the sheep’. To regard shoreside society as dismally stuck in ruts that will drag us all over the edge. To see complacency, venality and power plays conspiring to whittle away at whatever small freedoms are left.
I FEEL Terry’s pain!
But none of us know how our ‘best laid plans’ will fare… whether they will protect us and ours for another round, or whether they will founder under the thrash of our toppled giant. We must all take our best shot from a position of limited personal and physical resources. I believe we must persuade as many as we can to prepare… if not for Collapse, at least for Trouble. At the very least to step aside and let us prepare ourselves.
Humility, Williams reminds us, is an adaptive trait.
*****
Scott B. Williams is one of the best of us.
He’s an expert in the theory and practice of prepper / survival concepts and techniques, and has been walking the walk for decades. In other words, he wrote Terry Bailey from the competent position of knowing exactly where his weaknesses and errors lie. 
This contrasts with other works I’ve read, where the author unintentionally projects their own ignorance through a protagonist who, by all rights, could never have shouldered his bottomless BugOutBag, much less improvise his Ham Radio from that toaster.
Terry’s bumbling is the conscious artifact of an author who knows much better… a moral tale from an educated pen. 
Sailing the Apocalypse is the opening  chapter of an ongoing series. From it’s pages, one may learn a great deal – both from example and counter-example – from an author with authority.
I am hoping that we will see one or both of two main developments in the continuing adventure: 
A) Terry will come around… as extreme as he is, I’m rooting for him.
B) Robbie will mature, and through him we may watch his opinions firming, learn with him as his skills and knowledge and – most important – approaches expand. I want to ride along as he debriefs his experiences!
I’d also love to see – through either path – more of the whys and wherefores. How do these decisions link up into suites of skills? How does one start from here to there? This novel is already a good start, but I know that Williams has plenty to add. 
At present, Sailing the Apocalypse could be read as an argument against everything Terry believes.
Mr. Williams, will you save the baby from the bathwater in your next installments?
*****
I hate the critical part of a review, constructive though it be. But here goes… a quibble:
I felt character development could be improved. 
It’s a challenge to funnel development through a single character – especially a 12 year old. But each character’s reactions should reflect a consistant personality. At times, reactions seemed to reflect internal inconsistencies (which were neither presented nor explored as internal conflict). Vocabulary, voice and depth – especially in Robbie’s narration – seemed at times uneven.
Terry Bailey: He’s our guy, but so often lost in contemptuous rant, and so “I can’t be told nuffin'” that it derails our natural empathy for him. So far, there’s no backstory to explain him or soften his impact. He’s a tragic character, at present – hoist by his own petard – but without earning much of the sympathy that would pull us into his plight. I want to see more of his human side, not just arrogance and anger. There are hints that he’s not entirely who he seems… 
Robbie (Narrator): Lots of potential, here. Smart boy with a big dose of common sense. Alive to wonders en route. At present, though, he’s a mostly blank slate. He often (rightly) wonders whether his step-dad’s omniscience is as advertised, but often, his common sense aligns with the herd (if nobody else thinks this way, how bad can it be?). So far, the herd has the edge. Will we see him start to do his own thinking? Form an outlook that can stand up against both his step-father and popular opinion?
Linda (the Mother): Here’s an important character who stays mostly in the background. She only gets to speak for herself a few times, and then it’s (almost entirely) in reaction to Terry. We don’t get to see much at all of her relationship with the others. Who is she? Why is she so passive (until a certain kind of push comes to a certain kind of shove)? Does she have any hopes or dreams of her own? What does she see in Terry (not to disparage, but why are they drawn to each other)?
Janie (Linda’s daughter): Janie is mostly a facade of teenage boredom and dissatisfaction, as one might expect. But, if you’ve ever known or been a teenager, you know that there’s a lot more going on below the surface. What? Is she as shallow as the Rant would have us believe? What’s her vision of her own future, if any?
Dean (Hippy Mentor): No quibble here. Deftly portrayed in concise strokes. Hoping to read more of him!
*****
The beauty of a series is that there’s more of it, and Williams has definitely set the hook.
I feel that more of the same would be too much. I’ve gotten the picture, now, and the dose is just right.
I hope – and have reason to expect – that this is an opening movement. That Williams is preparing us for what promises to be a moving exploration of the challenges facing we who sail our lonely – and often beleaguered course.
If he can pull it off, I’m hoping for our genre’s version of Theroux’s Mosquito Coast. Or even Captain Ron.
I’m on-board to find out!

________________________________________________________________________

Sailing the Apocalypse is available now (paperback edition) on Amazon. The Kindle edition will be released on Saturday, January 17. If you preordered the ebook previously you should receive your copy then. 

Retail Is Crumbling And Our Future

Click here to view the original post.

The world around us can be an inspiring place or a frightening one.
These past few months it has become an increasingly scary place to live.
Mass kidnappings, a wavering economy on a good day, mass lay-offs, terrorist shootings, rising grocery costs, beheadings and the ever present unemployment numbers.
As if all that weren’t enough, the economies of other countries impact our own in a world economy. Just last night I read about how the faltering U.S economy can spell trouble for many, even if they aren’t in the retail field. The post is worth a read.
Then get yourself something to drink and read it again.

Ponder your future and use this new year to change your future.
I am.

How to make Hot Sauce

Click here to view the original post.

Have you ever wanted to make your own hot sauce? It is a lot easier than you might think.

Our homestead garden produces hot and sweet peppers really well, (but does terrible on bell peppers) so we always have extra that go to waste. In years past we have put them out on the veggie stand at the end our our lane but we still always have left overs that go bad.

So this year I decided to try making my own hot sauce from scratch, with the peppers we grow. I read an article in Mother Earth News about it, and it sounded very simple.

Labor Day Weekend (or thereabouts) I picked all the peppers I could find in the garden and ran them through the Cuisinart. It gave me a slurry the consistency of very thick salsa.

I then put the slurry in a half gallon glass jar with a bunch of pickling salt. I ended up adding some salt water since it didn’t pull as much liquid from the peppers as I would have liked. I filled the jar about 3/4 full.

I put the lid on loosely and left it sit on our counter. I stirred it daily for about a month, and in this time it started forming bubbles. (it was fermenting like it is supposed to) The article I read said you could use it after a month but I went a while longer.(Tabasco ages three years) I stopped stirring and let it sit until about the first of November when I added about 10% vinegar.(add to taste)

I let it sit again stirring occasionally until a week before Christmas when I got my wife a used Vitamix for Christmas and she tested it out on the slurry. It was now the consistency of smooth tomato sauce. I tasted it that night and it had acquired a slightly bitter taste, but I didn’t worry since I have tasted many different hot sauces with that taste. I figured it was from chopping up the seeds with the Vitamix.

It bubbled a little more after that and then it settled into three layers in the jar. A top layer that looked like red hot sauce, a middle layer that was mostly clear and a bottom layer that was kind of a dark red.

Today I decided to bottle it up. I had bought some 5oz. hot sauce bottles on ebay and made up some lables at work.

I ladled off the top layer into a pan and tasted it…No bitter taste! When I got down to the clear layer I tasted it also…No bitter taste! So I didn’t worry about getting some of it into the pan with the top layer.

I mixed it up well in the pan and put it through a screen and into bottles. I got 8

You can see what is left of the bottom two layers in the jar in the background.

The sauce came out rather mild since our “hot” peppers were rather mild themselves. It does have just a little kick to it but not much at all. I saved the sauce we screened out and put it in a jelly jar for immediate use.

The label says “Nuthin but fermented peppers, salt, vinegar and water”.

It has a real nice flavor to it.

I wrote the year on each label so we can keep track of the vintage.

Still clinging to my God and my guns,

Randy

Added: 1-15-15
Just wanted to give an update without a totally new post…

I have been using the thick leftovers from straining the sauce on my eggs in the morning…the verdict is I think I used too much salt…this stuff is very salty…but I have started just adding a forkfull to my omelet in the morning with no other added salt or pepper and it is very good…still waiting to see what the bottled sauce is like…I have given about half away already.

Randy

The Combat Ready 2 Bug Out Bag

Click here to view the original post.

Packed to the brim full of food, first aid, water, shelter, and tons of other gear, the Combat Ready 2 Bug Out Bag is one killer set up for emergency management and on-the-go survival… Zombie apocalypse or otherwise. This full-fledged survival pack has just about everything you need to cover …

Continue reading

The post The Combat Ready 2 Bug Out Bag appeared first on Zombease (ZASC).

DIY Survival Gear Tips – Keeping Things Simple

Click here to view the original post.
If you find yourself in a survival situation, every person needs to be able to use what they have on hand and take full advantages of what may be limited resources to satisfy their needs.  Each of your resources will have unique advantages and disadvantages. Your main task should be to figure out how to use these items to meet your needs and increase your chances of survival. Here are some simple tips to remember when making DIY survival gear.

DIY Survival Gear Tips

1. Use only the minimum resources necessary.

Making DIY gear is a great way to train yourself to find alternative uses for items to meet these needs. It is important to keep things simple because this often makes things easier to accomplish. It will also help to reduce the amount of your available resources that will have to be used to make your goal a reality. The less hardware that you need to accomplish your project will increase your ability to achieve a successful outcome with limited resources.

2. Use your survival needs as a guide.

Need is a great motivator. Combining a need with a little imagination can usually lead to a successful project. In a survival situation, failure is not an option and simple solutions often work best.

3. Limit your use of power tools and electricity.

Hand tools work even when there is no power available. Try to design your DIY projects to minimize the use of electricity and the need for power tools. If the grid goes down, hand tools may be your only option to complete your project. You don’t want your thinking to be dependent upon grid power that may not be available.

4. Keep your projects simple and uncomplicated.

Complexity can create more problems than it solves. If you make your projects simple and uncomplicated, other family members can assist in the creation and development of any survival gear you may need. If a project is designed with simplicity in mind, you can free up your time to work on other projects. Children and senior family members can also contribute to the process of making needed survival items if you keep things simple.

5. Remember the primary goal of your project.

Your goal should be to create DIY projects that require minimal tools, no electricity, and minimum amounts of hardware or resources. This will help you be better prepared.

Got DIY survival projects?

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker

Canning – Get the Basics Right – High Acid vs Low Acid

Click here to view the original post.

Have you ever heard the expression “Oh, no, someone is WRONG on the Internet”? Shocking, of course, but it does happen some times.  That is why it is important to occasionally review the basics of SAFE canning, both pressure canning and boiling water bath canning. This post contains affiliate links. Before I do so, let […]

The post Canning – Get the Basics Right – High Acid vs Low Acid appeared first on Just Plain Living.

Food at Your Feet: Wild Onions

Click here to view the original post.

This is about a little adventure my wife and I had during our recent trip to West Virginia. I need to set the stage for this one. Stick with me long enough, and you’ll understand the where and why of it all.
The more I write, the more I realize the punchline isn’t the important […]

Prepper Supplies Checklist

Click here to view the original post.

I’ve noticed that on several Prepper discussion boards people are looking for an extensive Prepper Supplies Checklist, a way to organize their preps, wishlist, and survival goals.  If you are one of the many looking for a way to organize your preps then I hope… Read More

The post Prepper Supplies Checklist appeared first on Preppers Survive.

Promoting Outdoor Living Skills

Click here to view the original post.

For a long time, I’ve been abhorrent to credentialing survival instructors, partly because I was just so opposed to a governing agency telling me what to do. But over the last few months I’ve seen an increase, or at least become aware, in information that really is questionable as it pertains to survival. For this reason, my opinion has changed.

All too often many a would be wilderness survival instructors have cobbled together some bushcraft skills together and called them survival. Sadly, their marketing prowess have mislead the unknowing into believing this often misleading information. Rarely has anyone ever captured the true essence of survival, that is to mitigate a life threatening emergency as fast as possible in the easiest fashion possible. Instead, would be instructors attempt to dazzle you with tools and techniques that are void of sound principles.

It appears our friends over at masterwoodsman.com have also been thinking the same thing and they have written a rather thoughtful article on the very subject. What’s equally interesting are the exchange of comments at the end of the article.

The post Promoting Outdoor Living Skills appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

Nothing To Say, Except……

Click here to view the original post.

Because you now I’m all about that chili, ’bout that chili, ’bout that chili, no beans,
All about that chili, ’bout that chili, ’bout that chili, no beans,
All about that chili, ’bout that chili ’bout that chili, no beans 
You know it’s pretty clear, I ain’t no world champion,
But I can cook it cook it, like I’m suppose to do.
Cause I got that mmmm, mmmm, that all the judges chase,
And all the right spices in all the right places.
Yea my momma she told me to not cook it too light,
She said judges like a little more heat to keep them up at night.
You know I won’t be no half assed, mediocre chili cook,
So if that’s what your into then go ahead and read the rule book.
Because you now I’m all about that chili, ’bout that chili, ’bout that chili, no beans,
All about that chili, ’bout that chili, ’bout that chili, no beans,
All about that chili, ’bout that chili, ’bout that chili, no beans
I’m bringing chili back,
Go ahead and tell them BBQ cooks…. that.
No, I’m just playing I know you like the fat.
But I’m here to tell you every cup full of my chili is perfect from bottom to the top.

(I think that was the most stupid and waste of time thing I have ever done right there. For some reason I cannot get “All about that base” out of my head)

I hope everyone had a great holiday season. I had such big plans to move forward on the little house but it just did not happen.
Rains, cold and the big case of “Not Want To” hindered every move I really wanted to make. I did try though. I went out and looked around a few times. I stood there, thought of what I wanted to do, picked up a hammer, put the hammer down and casually walked back to the camper. That’s just the way it was. I can tell you though, I am motivated. Wintering in the camper is not fun, it’s cold.

What we did do, is cook chili everywhere.

 We brought in the New Years in Wichita Falls with a bunch of friends and the oldest daughter Jessie (photo bombing us).
It’s a hard place to cook and I think I talked about it in my last post, but you have to be somebody to walk there, well I walked with 9th place.  Not great, but at least it was a point,
We don’t plan to cook there again not for any reason except that they only like one kind of chili and ours is not that kind. They want it so hot it burns a hole through your throat.
Great group of people though.

 Then we drove to Meridian down in the Hill Country and decided to stay for the two day cook off
Saturday I got 11th and we don’t know what Candy did but it wasn’t top 10. Sunday I got 17th and Candy got 18th. After tasting the winning chilies I knew they didn’t like ours there either. They wanted it bland with no heat. I tried to make a crappy chili on Sunday, but it was too good for that place I guess.
We had a great time seeing some folks we have not seen in a long while. The band was good and the conversations were better. I would probably do this one again just to see my South Texas friends.

 Last Saturday we cooked in Plano. I don’t guess they liked my chili there either. I got 11th again and Candy got 4th.
It was cold and we had to set up all the sides on our EZ Up and put the heater on high just to keep from shaking.
Nothing really exciting here and we will probably take this one off the calender for next year.

The wife looks great doesn’t she? She is down 24 pounds now and still going. Way to go! 

With all this bad luck on the chili trail I had to get away from it because it will just drive you nuts trying to figure it out. I got some friends together and we went to a little cigar bar in Denton named Frogs. So, we sat out on the patio, by the fire, had a beer and toked on those big cigars like we were the Mac Daddy’s.

Nothing too exciting. I am sure when it warms up a little I will be back full time on the house. The 24th we will be in College Station cooking at the Harley Davidson store off of HWY 6,. Come on out if you are down that way, because you know it’s all about that chili, ’bout that chili, ’bout that chili, no beans.  (LOL)

See ya,
Jerry

Why Survival is Mental At Any Age

Click here to view the original post.

Survival is not always a gear-centric proposition.

In fact, gear is only a small (albeit important!) factor in many scenarios. It has been said that survival is 90% mental and 10% everything else. A recent tragedy in the news demonstrates just how true this is and offers some great opportunities to learn from a brave young girl’s actions.

Many people familiar with the story of Sailor Gutzler will insist that it is only by divine intervention that a seven year old was able to survive in freezing conditions lost and wandering in thick woodlands at night for help. While a miracle is possible, along with an amazing amount of luck, the will to survive likely kept her going long enough to find help for her family.

At the innocent age of seven this girl was not tainted by the demon of hopelessness, she was apparently taught by her parents when to go for help in an emergency and a plane crash where her family wouldn’t wake up certainly met the threshold of an emergency for her. She had a mission and was determined to go for help.

As we read a summary of her story I want you to consider your possible actions from two angles, the victim and the person who answered her knocks at the door.

Important thoughts and take-a-ways from her experience:

  • What is the importance of individual basic survival skills?

  • Would you know what to do if you were presented with the responsibility of caring for victims until help arrives?

  • Would you know what to do, both as a victim and as a citizen first responder?

  • Do you know how to call or signal for help?

  • What skills should kids learn and how early should we start them?

A summary of Sailor Gutzler’s story:

A 7-year-old girl survives a plane crash that kills her whole family on a trip back from the Florida Keys to Illinois. The small twin-engine plane crashes in stormy weather at night and ends up upside down in thick woods in western Kentucky.  There were 4 other people in the plane with her, her two parents, a 9-year-old sister and 14-year-old cousin. After the crash everyone in the plane was unconscious, she tried to wake them up but was not successful.

Sailor climbs out of the upturned aircraft past her dead family dressed only for the warm Florida weather in a t-shirt and shorts, no shoes and no jacket. She has a broken wrist, cuts and bruises. She finds herself in wet 38-degree weather with no idea where she is and no indication of civilization in sight.

The wing of the plane is on fire. She attempts to lite a stick to make a torch to see with but the wet weather doused the fire. There is no trail for her to use and she is not at all outfitted for the journey.

Knowing she must go for help she chooses a direction and walks nearly a mile in dark, dense, wet, freezing underbrush of thickets, blackberries, fallen trees and a 12-foot deep creek embankment.

With great fortune she eventually stumbles upon the only occupied house in the area for miles. Had she gone in any other direction she would have certainly been lost to the environment and succumbed to hypothermia.

Upon getting someone to answer the door she has the composure to explain her ordeal and ask for help. She gives enough accurate information about her situation to guide rescuers on foot to the crash site within 2 hours. She also gave enough information to increase the response from lost child to downed aircraft; this can make a difference in the type of assets called in and the speed of response.

It has been reported that the second grader had been taught some basic survival by her father and it seems that she attempted to apply some of that knowledge in her situation.

Let’s think about how this situation played out and then how we can learn from it. Ask yourself or even better; ask your family the following questions. Keep in mind that this was a seven year old who acted with amazing resolve. Think of how you would do things different at different age, health and skill levels.

    • What was working against Sailor? (Climate, fear, terrain, etc.)
    • What did she do right?
    • What poor decisions did she make?
    • What could she have done to better her chances? (Put on shoes and warm clothes, left a message at the crash, etc.)
    • Think of some similar situations that we might find ourselves in? (As a rescuer and possibly a victim)
    • What are our immediate basic needs in a survival situation?

maslows-hierarchy-of-needs

In order to survive we must address our basic needs of physiology then safety and while they are very closely related, they must be in this order. When you find yourself in a survival situation, your decisions and priorities of work must address keeping you alive and safe before you do anything else. Only then can you work on improving your position, signaling for help or setting off to find help.

This leads us to the well-known Rule of 3’s

In any extreme situation you may not survive for more than:

    • 3 minutes without air (underwater, confined, hazardous atmosphere)
    • 3 hours without shelter, clothing (freezing, hot, exposed)
    • 3 days without water
    • 3 weeks without food.

The Rule of Threes is just a guide or rule of thumb and is not scientifically accurate in all situations. The thing to remember is that if you make it to 3 in any of these categories, you are already in serious trouble and going downhill quick, hence the need to protect your physiological situation first and foremost.

Take-a-ways for the victim of disaster or tragedy

  • Provide for your physiological needs such as air, food, water and shelter/ create a microclimate
  • Assist others in your situation
  • Secure the scene and make your location safe
  • Plan to be rescued or decide to thoughtfully self-rescue
  • Use your surroundings and all resources to your advantage
  • Continually update your plan and predict for important needs
  • Draw on your will to survive and have a reason to survive no matter how odd it may be, this is critical and gives you a mission to accomplish (think of the movie Castaway and the FedEx box)
  • Focus on the job at hand and just keep going

What if someone else needs help?

As a citizen you may be called upon at any time to help in an emergency and possibly even provide life saving medical assistance.  Most of the time we have something called reach back capability. This means that there is almost always someone else to call for the next level of care and support no matter how bad or how big the emergency or disaster becomes.

Since we do not very often call for help we may be a little rusty at actually providing the proper and timely information. Additionally the stress and or surprise of an emergency may very likely cause us to forget the most basic information such as where we are, our address, phone number or even our own name.  It may sound easy to describe what is happening around you but when the adrenaline begins pumping your words might just jumble up on the way out of your mouth.

So how do we react to something dangerous and unusual where people may be injured, maybe our family or even ourselves?

    • Take a deep breath to purge your adrenaline and unlock your muscles
    • Size up the situation for safety
    • Take charge or follow the lead of someone who seems to be knowledgeable
    • Don’t argue or make things worse
    • If appropriate, send a specific person or team to call for help (you may need to provide information to guide responders to scene)
    • Secure the area
    • Provide care up to the level you are officially trained in but don’t be afraid to perform lifesaving measures
    • Gather information and update responders when they arrive
    • Assist them if they need and want help
    • A responder may also have a heavy emotional load and may need to dig deep to endure tragic situations, respect that and give them space to work
    • In long duration events you must also care for yourself. Water, food, rest
    • After all is done it will be important to properly debrief and address your mental trauma as well as others involved. It may take weeks or months for trauma to manifest

If someone flags you down or knocks on the door you will do most of the same things we just talked about but maybe in a different order.

    • Calm the person down
    • Ask what happened
    • Is anyone injured?
    • What help do they need?
    • Where is help needed?
    • Gather information needed to direct response to scene
    • Call for help
    • Go to scene or wait for help to arrive
    • Size up the scene for safety
    • Update responders with any new information if necessary
    • Render assistance as needed

In the case of the young crash survivor, she went for help and the neighbor who was at home watching TV became the initial response.  He asked the important questions and got enough information to relay to 911 to get the proper level of help alerted and on the way. He then provided care until responders arrived.  The girl knew just enough to point the responders in the right direction of the crash.

What should we teach our children that can help them survive and possibly get help in an emergency?

General Safety:

    • Their name address and phone number
    • How to call 911
    • When to call for help (mommy or daddy won’t wake up, smoke in the house, sibling is playing near the pool, etc.)
    • How to recognize dangerous situations (true signs of drowning, fire, electricity, poisons, animals, strangers, etc.)
    • Home hazards awareness
    • Basic first aid
    • Fire safety

Basic age appropriate survival:

    • What to do if they get separated urban/wilderness
    • How to stay warm/cool
    • The importance of drinking water and where to find it
    • How to make a fire
    • How to make an emergency kit for home and away
    • How to signal for help
    • How and where to build a quick shelter
    • Lightning safety/ severe weather awareness
    • How to swim, water safety
    • Recognize the real signs of drowning, how to safely rescue or help others
    • Animal dangers from pets to wild animals
    • Cyber safety
    • Stranger safety, self defense and escape from capture
    • Firearm safety

Most kids will resist outright attempts to teach them anything, especially from parents. You may need to create a culture of fun or covert learning and almost fool them into it.  It is easier if you sneak the training into events like camping, even if it’s in a tent in the living room or backyard. Anything that helps with problem solving and understanding danger is helpful and success will make them more confident.  Start young and build on their training because some skills are perishable.

Here are some ways to remember important information in case of emergency:

    • Write important things down and post on refrigerator or cabinet
    • Create a family contingency binder of critical information
    • Create a wallet card for each family member that lists everyone’s phone number including an out of area contact to use as a relay for messages. (Don’t trust memory of common numbers)
    • When you leave for the day actually look at the clothing everyone is wearing and try to remember it or take a quick picture with your cell phone you use in case of becoming separated
    • Take a headcount so you know how many are with you and if you have everyone throughout the day
    • Pay attention to where you are while driving or riding. Look at mile markers, exits, notable places
    • Know what direction you are heading
    • Be able to describe your stuff, family members, and vehicle, tag number, etc.
    • Keep a notepad and pencil handy at all times
    • Use your smartphone to take notes and pictures
    • I.C.E. the important contacts in your phone
    • Add your emergency contacts to your driver’s license online at the DMV website. Also do this for family members. In case of accident you will be notified

Let us know what you do to teach kids about survival and safety in the comments section.

Best of luck and be safe

The post Why Survival is Mental At Any Age appeared first on P.R.E.P. Personal Readiness Education Programs.

DUCT TAPE: 25 Uses for Survival

Click here to view the original post.

Duct Tape –
It’s tough, waterproof, inexpensive, & a must have item for your survival kit!

Did you know it was originally developed to be used as a tape for sealing ammunition during World War II?

Today, it’s commonly used to patch things up at home, but it can do so much more – like keep you safe and alive in the wild…

Duct Tape for Survival

Written by: Michael Martin
Founder of Bug Out Bag Pro

25 Ways to Use Duct Tape for Survival:

You never know when one of these 25 duct tape hacks might come in handy, or even keep you alive. Go ahead and read over some of the countless ways you can use duct tape, then maybe go practice a few!

1- Repair Rain Gear

Due to its waterproof quality, a duct tape can be used for repairing rain gear. Simply cut a piece of tape and patch it to the affected area to prevent the moisture from drenching your clothes.

2- Rope Replacement

If you face any situation where you need to use rope, simply spread out the roll of duct tape and twist it to form a tough rope cord. Rest assured this makeshift tool will work as good as the original.

3- Patching Holes in Canoes

Again, this is because if its resilient and waterproof quality which makes it possible for repairing holes in life rafts and canoes and enable to be used again above water.

4- Restraining Device

If intruders come in the way, just make use of a simple duct tape to tie them up and prevent them from causing more harm.

5- Pandemic Seal

If ever you are going to face a potential nuclear disaster or a possible pandemic event, use the duct tape to seal small openings and crevices inside your house. Not only will it protect you from being contaminated, but it will add more restraint to prevent hostiles from barging inside.

6- Trail Marker

Cut strips of duct tape and tape it at the side of the tree just enough to be seen right away by the tracking group (about eye level). The more colorful the duct tape used (pastel colors recommended), the better it is to be spotted right away even from afar.

7- Repair Sleeping Bag

Cut a strip of duct tape and stick it into the torn area of your sleeping bag to prevent water and small critters from getting inside.

8- Food Sealant

Use duct tape to re-seal food if your stuff is placed inside a non re-sealable container. Moreover, it can also be used to repair cracked plastic food containers to keep your chow fresh and to prevent any external elements from ruining the quality of your food.

9- Making Arrow Fletchers

Need to hunt but lack any feathers to make fletchers for arrows? Simply cut strips of duct tape and stick it together. Then, shape it to form an arrow fletcher and secure game meat for dinner.

10- For Making a Knife Sheath

Cut 2 long strips of duct tape and roll one strip into your survival knife with the sticky end facing outside. Then, roll the other strip into your knife with the sticky end facing inside this time and now you have a protective sheath for your handy knife.

11- Added Insulation for Boots

Use a silver colored duct tape for this hack. Cut several strips of duct tape and place it inside your boots (with the silver side facing your foot). The silver side will reflect your own body heat and effectively insulate your lower extremities in the process.

12- Makeshift Cup

Use a plastic bottle or other container to be the mold in this hack. Cut 2 long strips of duct tape and roll one strip onto the plastic bottle (about 1/3 of it covered including the ‘butt’ portion of the plastic bottle) with the adhesive facing outside. Next, put the other strip with the adhesive facing the inside so it will bond with the sticky part of the first strip. Attach the 2 strips carefully to avoid having holes then remove the makeshift cup from your plastic bottle mold and pour water to drink.

NOTE: If holes are found in your cup, simply cut short strips of duct tape to patch it up.

13- Makeshift Baseball Cap

Wearing of headgear is important as most of our body heat is released from the head. Use your head this time as the mold for this hack and follow the steps mentioned in making a duct tape cup (number 12). Once finished, get 2 thin twigs and tape them on parallel sides to create the brim. Then, cut a long strip of duct tape and spread it over the 2 twigs to create a shade to protect your eyes from the heat of the sun.

14- Spear

Get a long piece of wood and attach your survival knife on one end with the use of duct tape. This is great for spear fishing and for long range hunting.

15- Wound Protection

If you ran out of plastic bandages to use, simply cut a strip of duct tape and pour alcohol on the adhesive part (don’t worry as this won’t affect the stickiness of the tape) and place it on the wounded area to protect it from infection.

16- Fly Trap

Cut a strip of DT about 4 meters long and roll it with the adhesive side facing outside. The finished product will produce about 2 meters of rolled tape which is more or less half the original length of the DT strip. Then, place one end on top of your shelter and attach a piece of wood at the other end. This is a good way to catch pesky flies which are out to bother you the whole evening.

Another advantage of making this project is you’ll be able to catch or control these insects without using any pesticides or chemicals which can be harmful to the environment. This makeshift DT fly trap can last for up to 2 days. Make sure to discard it properly once you leave the area.

17- Improvised Belt

Do your pants keep on falling on your way to your new bug-out location? If this is becoming a problem to you, then all you need is a piece of duct tape to make a belt out of.

The first thing you have to do is to measure your own waist line so you will be able to determine the length of tape you are going to need. Just remember to give a bit of allowance so you can adjust the tightness of the belt if needed. Then, cut the DT strip you are going to use and fold it lengthwise (silver side facing out) to prevent the sticky part from ruining your pants. Then, insert the folded duct tape into your belt loops and cut a small strip to fasten both ends.

18- Hem for Jeans

Did you wear a long pair of pants in your survival trip? If you need to trim down the length of your pants so you can walk comfortably, all you need to do is cut it and make a new hem using duct tape. It’s very simple. All you need to do is to cut your pants to the desired length and fashion a strip of duct tape to form a hem and prevent your pants from untangling.

19- Makeshift String for Perimeter Lights

Lighting in your camp is important to provide illumination and to ward of wild animals from coming in at the same time. Cut a long strip of duct tape and twist it to form a rope. Then, attach all the light you have in equal distance and hang it above your camp. Now you will have perimeter lights to illuminate your area and keep you safe and secure until the morning comes.

20- Clothesline

Need to dry your garments? If you happen to run out of rope and the paracord in your para-saw bracelet is currently in use, then all you need to do is to cut a long strip of duct tape and shape it like a rope. Then, get 2 long poles and place it on the ground and then attach both ends of your duct tape rope to have a clothesline for your wet clothes. What’s great about this project is you are assured the rope will carry the weight of the heavy garments and won’t sag down over time.

21- Soft Cast

In the case someone has a broken arm or wrist, you can still make use of a duct tape to form a soft cast. To do this, prepare a roll of tissue paper and a roll of DT. First, cover the injured part with the roll of tissue paper and use it like a gauze bandage. Then, cover the broken part with your duct tape and keep covering until the injured part is properly casted. Get a piece of cloth and tie it around your arm to support the arm until you find a better way to treat the injury.

Check-out more ways to Tape Yourself up in an Emergency.

22- Shelter Camouflage

Need to conceal your campsite from intruders? Get a roll of duct tape and stretch out strips about the length of your tent and attach it outside (with sticky side up). Make sure the strips are placed securely from end to end and evenly so your cover will be effective. Then, gather fallen leaves and sprinkle it above your shelter. The DT will enable to “catch” the fallen leaves and conceal your shed in the process without having to worry about the wind blowing them off.

23- Knife Handle

If your survival knife unfortunately broke its handle, get 2 pieces of flat wood and shape it into a handle. Place the wood on both sides to cover the end of the blade and secure them with the use of DT (roll until firm) and your knife’s handle will be as good as new.

24- Lining for Clothes

Tape the openings of your clothes with the use of duct tape to prevent venomous insects and snakes from getting inside. This is very useful especially if you are walking in the jungle.

25- Repair Items & Supplies

Need to fix broken sunglasses, mend torn clothes, or re-attach straps of your bug out backpack? Just use your imagination and you can fix nearly anything with some  duct tape.

What other survival uses can you think of for duct tape? Let us know below…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Martinmichael-martin

Michael Martin is a former Navy Pilot who believes no matter the circumstance, one should always be prepared. Upon entering the civilian world, Michael spent his time traveling the globe and observing different cultures. Growing up in as the son of a serial entrepreneur it was only a matter of time before he took his love of the outdoors and passion for helping others to new heights by founding Bug Out Bag Pro. As a survivalist & entrepreneur, his vision is to help educate and prepare families everywhere with the information, skills and tools to survive any situation they may face!

The post DUCT TAPE: 25 Uses for Survival appeared first on Prepared Housewives.

DUCT TAPE: 25 Uses for Survival

Duct Tape –
It’s tough, waterproof, inexpensive, & a must have item for your survival kit!

Did you know it was originally developed to be used as a tape for sealing ammunition during World War II?

Today, it’s commonly used to patch things up at home, but it can do so much more – like keep you safe and alive in the wild…

Duct Tape for Survival

Written by: Michael Martin
Founder of Bug Out Bag Pro

25 Ways to Use Duct Tape for Survival:

You never know when one of these 25 duct tape hacks might come in handy, or even keep you alive. Go ahead and read over some of the countless ways you can use duct tape, then maybe go practice a few!

1- Repair Rain Gear

Due to its waterproof quality, a duct tape can be used for repairing rain gear. Simply cut a piece of tape and patch it to the affected area to prevent the moisture from drenching your clothes.

2- Rope Replacement

If you face any situation where you need to use rope, simply spread out the roll of duct tape and twist it to form a tough rope cord. Rest assured this makeshift tool will work as good as the original.

3- Patching Holes in Canoes

Again, this is because if its resilient and waterproof quality which makes it possible for repairing holes in life rafts and canoes and enable to be used again above water.

4- Restraining Device

If intruders come in the way, just make use of a simple duct tape to tie them up and prevent them from causing more harm.

5- Pandemic Seal

If ever you are going to face a potential nuclear disaster or a possible pandemic event, use the duct tape to seal small openings and crevices inside your house. Not only will it protect you from being contaminated, but it will add more restraint to prevent hostiles from barging inside.

6- Trail Marker

Cut strips of duct tape and tape it at the side of the tree just enough to be seen right away by the tracking group (about eye level). The more colorful the duct tape used (pastel colors recommended), the better it is to be spotted right away even from afar.

7- Repair Sleeping Bag

Cut a strip of duct tape and stick it into the torn area of your sleeping bag to prevent water and small critters from getting inside.

8- Food Sealant

Use duct tape to re-seal food if your stuff is placed inside a non re-sealable container. Moreover, it can also be used to repair cracked plastic food containers to keep your chow fresh and to prevent any external elements from ruining the quality of your food.

9- Making Arrow Fletchers

Need to hunt but lack any feathers to make fletchers for arrows? Simply cut strips of duct tape and stick it together. Then, shape it to form an arrow fletcher and secure game meat for dinner.

10- For Making a Knife Sheath

Cut 2 long strips of duct tape and roll one strip into your survival knife with the sticky end facing outside. Then, roll the other strip into your knife with the sticky end facing inside this time and now you have a protective sheath for your handy knife.

11- Added Insulation for Boots

Use a silver colored duct tape for this hack. Cut several strips of duct tape and place it inside your boots (with the silver side facing your foot). The silver side will reflect your own body heat and effectively insulate your lower extremities in the process.

12- Makeshift Cup

Use a plastic bottle or other container to be the mold in this hack. Cut 2 long strips of duct tape and roll one strip onto the plastic bottle (about 1/3 of it covered including the ‘butt’ portion of the plastic bottle) with the adhesive facing outside. Next, put the other strip with the adhesive facing the inside so it will bond with the sticky part of the first strip. Attach the 2 strips carefully to avoid having holes then remove the makeshift cup from your plastic bottle mold and pour water to drink.

NOTE: If holes are found in your cup, simply cut short strips of duct tape to patch it up.

13- Makeshift Baseball Cap

Wearing of headgear is important as most of our body heat is released from the head. Use your head this time as the mold for this hack and follow the steps mentioned in making a duct tape cup (number 12). Once finished, get 2 thin twigs and tape them on parallel sides to create the brim. Then, cut a long strip of duct tape and spread it over the 2 twigs to create a shade to protect your eyes from the heat of the sun.

14- Spear

Get a long piece of wood and attach your survival knife on one end with the use of duct tape. This is great for spear fishing and for long range hunting.

15- Wound Protection

If you ran out of plastic bandages to use, simply cut a strip of duct tape and pour alcohol on the adhesive part (don’t worry as this won’t affect the stickiness of the tape) and place it on the wounded area to protect it from infection.

16- Fly Trap

Cut a strip of DT about 4 meters long and roll it with the adhesive side facing outside. The finished product will produce about 2 meters of rolled tape which is more or less half the original length of the DT strip. Then, place one end on top of your shelter and attach a piece of wood at the other end. This is a good way to catch pesky flies which are out to bother you the whole evening.

Another advantage of making this project is you’ll be able to catch or control these insects without using any pesticides or chemicals which can be harmful to the environment. This makeshift DT fly trap can last for up to 2 days. Make sure to discard it properly once you leave the area.

17- Improvised Belt

Do your pants keep on falling on your way to your new bug-out location? If this is becoming a problem to you, then all you need is a piece of duct tape to make a belt out of.

The first thing you have to do is to measure your own waist line so you will be able to determine the length of tape you are going to need. Just remember to give a bit of allowance so you can adjust the tightness of the belt if needed. Then, cut the DT strip you are going to use and fold it lengthwise (silver side facing out) to prevent the sticky part from ruining your pants. Then, insert the folded duct tape into your belt loops and cut a small strip to fasten both ends.

18- Hem for Jeans

Did you wear a long pair of pants in your survival trip? If you need to trim down the length of your pants so you can walk comfortably, all you need to do is cut it and make a new hem using duct tape. It’s very simple. All you need to do is to cut your pants to the desired length and fashion a strip of duct tape to form a hem and prevent your pants from untangling.

19- Makeshift String for Perimeter Lights

Lighting in your camp is important to provide illumination and to ward of wild animals from coming in at the same time. Cut a long strip of duct tape and twist it to form a rope. Then, attach all the light you have in equal distance and hang it above your camp. Now you will have perimeter lights to illuminate your area and keep you safe and secure until the morning comes.

20- Clothesline

Need to dry your garments? If you happen to run out of rope and the paracord in your para-saw bracelet is currently in use, then all you need to do is to cut a long strip of duct tape and shape it like a rope. Then, get 2 long poles and place it on the ground and then attach both ends of your duct tape rope to have a clothesline for your wet clothes. What’s great about this project is you are assured the rope will carry the weight of the heavy garments and won’t sag down over time.

21- Soft Cast

In the case someone has a broken arm or wrist, you can still make use of a duct tape to form a soft cast. To do this, prepare a roll of tissue paper and a roll of DT. First, cover the injured part with the roll of tissue paper and use it like a gauze bandage. Then, cover the broken part with your duct tape and keep covering until the injured part is properly casted. Get a piece of cloth and tie it around your arm to support the arm until you find a better way to treat the injury.

Check-out more ways to Tape Yourself up in an Emergency.

22- Shelter Camouflage

Need to conceal your campsite from intruders? Get a roll of duct tape and stretch out strips about the length of your tent and attach it outside (with sticky side up). Make sure the strips are placed securely from end to end and evenly so your cover will be effective. Then, gather fallen leaves and sprinkle it above your shelter. The DT will enable to “catch” the fallen leaves and conceal your shed in the process without having to worry about the wind blowing them off.

23- Knife Handle

If your survival knife unfortunately broke its handle, get 2 pieces of flat wood and shape it into a handle. Place the wood on both sides to cover the end of the blade and secure them with the use of DT (roll until firm) and your knife’s handle will be as good as new.

24- Lining for Clothes

Tape the openings of your clothes with the use of duct tape to prevent venomous insects and snakes from getting inside. This is very useful especially if you are walking in the jungle.

25- Repair Items & Supplies

Need to fix broken sunglasses, mend torn clothes, or re-attach straps of your bug out backpack? Just use your imagination and you can fix nearly anything with some  duct tape.

What other survival uses can you think of for duct tape? Let us know below…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Martinmichael-martin

Michael Martin is a former Navy Pilot who believes no matter the circumstance, one should always be prepared. Upon entering the civilian world, Michael spent his time traveling the globe and observing different cultures. Growing up in as the son of a serial entrepreneur it was only a matter of time before he took his love of the outdoors and passion for helping others to new heights by founding Bug Out Bag Pro. As a survivalist & entrepreneur, his vision is to help educate and prepare families everywhere with the information, skills and tools to survive any situation they may face!

The post DUCT TAPE: 25 Uses for Survival appeared first on Prepared Housewives.

Sustainment – What You Do After the Preps Run Out

Click here to view the original post.

You can store, stash and cache all the food and water you think you may need, but the hard truth is that you will eventually run out of preps. I know to some of you that sounds like a very bold statement however, it is a true statement. A common misunderstanding is that you can store all the food you will ever need, but it is not really possible for most of us. So what should you be planning to do?

Turning the Tables on an Active Shooter

Click here to view the original post.
I don’t need to list the most recent attacks on unarmed civilians that have taken place in the past year or even past month to get my point across. Violent attacks are clearly on the rise with attackers ranging from pissed off former employees to religious fanatics and everything in-between.



You need to come to terms with the fact that you can never be prepared enough to prevent an attack from happening. You will not be able to grab your battle rifle, plate carrier, and call the police prior to getting attacked unless you are in your home, awake, and near your gear.

 

It is more likely you will be vulnerable and wearing what you are wearing now in a crowded public place or alone in unfamiliar territory. Hopefully you have a pistol and or knife on you to give you an edge on your would be attacker/attackers. If it all possible dialing 911 should always be your first action when you get the feeling your life is in danger.


If you are in a situation where your life is in danger and you can dial 911 without sacrificing safety:

·         Dial 911

·         Put your phone to speaker

·         Put the phone in your pocket so you have use of both hands

·         Describe your surroundings to the dispatcher in great detail

·         Seek cover or a safe zone

·         Prepare to defend yourself until help arrives

Leave the square ranges for BZO
A great way to prepare yourself is to break away from relying on square ranges and bulls-eye targets as a sufficient means to becoming an effective defensive shooter. Square ranges are meant for zeroing firearms and marksmanship training, not drawing from your holster and moving to cover in order to land some well-placed shots on target. If you don’t have access to a range or facility that allows dynamic training or scenario training try some of these simple drills in the comfort of your own home. Make a room clear of all ammo and never bring ammo or loaded guns in there, practice drawing and reloading your cleared gun or blue gun for a few minutes a day so you become comfortable drawing and acquiring a target after seeking cover.


 

Dry firing is great practice but it’s just that, so once you feel you have mastered drawing your pistol, clearing malfunctions, reloading, etc. Seek out courses and training that is geared towards active shooters and concealed carry scenarios. Do your research and make sure the course is run by a professional that has a verifiable background in firearms training and is insured. This day and age there are folks who grow a beard, buy some gear and call themselves a firearms instructor. Please make sure these people have actual credentials that mean something. The NRA is a great source for finding quality instructors as well.

Airsoft is a highly underrated and affordable way to do force on force training that allows you to actually shoot people and to get shot without actually dying.

Let’s run with that idea:

·       Get the airsoft equivalent of your carry pistol and a training knife

·       Make a friend do the same

·       Get proper protective equipment

·       Find a safe private place (so people don’t think it’s real)

·       Create 5 scenarios where you are vulnerable (Entering/leaving vehicle, asleep in bed, taking a poop, walking your dog)

·       Get attacked and take note of what works and doesn’t for you

·       Start timing closing speeds of an attacker in unknown distances to evaluate what reaction fits the situation

Yup, you will look like a total freak doing these exercises but looking like an idiot when training may just be enough to give you the edge if you were to be attacked or became involved in an active shooter situation.


Physical fitness can never be stressed enough for this subject. Close quarters confrontation,  gun free, and knife free zones leave you with only your physical skillset to keep you safe and alive.

If you are legally permitted to carry a concealed firearm you should never leave your home without your pistol and a spare magazine.

My EDC, within arms reach 24/7

For some added firepower and magazine capacity consider storing a rifle in your vehicle, but be cognizant of local laws prior to doing so. Rifle manipulation in a vehicle is frustrating at best so look into acquiring an AR or AK pistol.

My work in progress AR pistol

These rifle caliber pistols are relatively new to the market and have tremendous benefits. Especially if you value maneuverability in tight places such as a vehicle or in your home.


It’s a shame the cameraman didn’t have a gun

 You can be that person who spends their last moments with their hands up begging for mercy or you can be prepared and give yourself that chance to fight back and stop a tragedy. What do you do to keep as prepared as possible?


Stay Fit and Keep that Warrior Mindset!

Book Review: Believe

Click here to view the original post.

We don’t do much to celebrate Christmas, so our winter break was spent hanging out, spending time together, and reading. For me, this is fantastic because I love reading almost as much as I love writing. I read over 30 books this past month, including the above pictured.

I just got a copy of Believe, NIV: Living the Story of the Bible to Become Like Jesus to review from the publisher. When I first received the book, I actually thought it was going to be a Bible because of the little NIV tag at the top, so I was a little surprised at how it actually turned out.

This is sort of a Bible. It offers a brief introduction to Bible stories and Christianity, but it’s divided by topic with very minimal commentary. Essentially, the chapter title is the topic, then you’re given a key idea and a key verse, followed by several Bible passages with a few lines of commentary after each selection.

Personally, I think you’re better off doing your own Bible reading and investing in a good commentary (or scouring Christian blogs). The biggest problem that I have with this book is that while the book certainly pulls from the Bible, it’s tricky to navigate if what you want is to read your Bible. I would get this for someone who is new to Christianity or who is interested in hearing Bible passages on different topics, but who might not be comfortable with a commentary.