The Idolatry of Self-Reliance

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By Denis Korn                                                                   God reliance c-s-lewis-quote

While the title of this article The Idolatry of Self-Reliance may seem counter-intuitive and paradoxical, since I am in an educator for emergency and disaster preparedness and survival, I am confident that by the time you finish reading you will understand what I am professing. You are encouraged to read the entire article. As an introduction, I believe it is important to know a little about my background and perspective so you’ll understand the basis for my insights.

  • 50 years ago – in 1965 – I began my military service in the Army. I was a combat arms Artillery officer. I spent my first year of service in intensive training.
  • My first introduction to prophesy, religious beliefs, esoteric opinion, logic and critical thinking was in 1969 while majoring in philosophy at San Diego State.
  • In 1975 was the beginning of my involvement with emergency preparedness and the development of these skills, both personally and as a retail business.
  • I have a Master’s Degree and the rather academic title of my thesis is Christian Eschatology, Premillennialism and Apocalypticism in Contemporary American Culture that was written in 2004.
  • I have taught Critical Thinking and Ethics at our local college.
  • I have 3 children and 7 grandchildren.
  • I was raised Jewish, had a Bar Mitzvah at 13 and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior in 1984 – this means I am a Messianic Jew, who has studied the old and new Testaments carefully and with reverence.
  • I feel spiritually lead to be engaged during these transformative and volatile times in the process of educating, encouraging and motivating all who are serious and responsive to be prepared for the potential scenarios of these unstable periods. I feel a personal – for my family, and a social – for our community, responsibility to share my 40 years’ experience and educate all who are receptive.

I presented this brief outline so you will better understand where I am coming from when I discuss this critical subject. As important as I believe this issue is, I don’t see the topic of reliance and attitude presented quite like you will discover in this article.

Let me be clear about the importance of being prepared in an emergency. I completely support and encourage everyone to be ready and prepared in the event of a disaster, emergency, catastrophe, or any situation that threatens one’s safety and security to survive with the least amount of trauma and injury possible. We must take responsibility for ourselves and loved ones to be a leader and provider during troubling events. We cannot presume that the government, agencies or others will be available during emergencies, and it might be the government itself that causes the very disaster we may experience. I have written many articles on this blog that emphasizes these points.

So why is Self-Reliance idolatry?

It is the worship of the “stuff” of self-reliance and the worship of “self” as the primary focus of the actions taken. We have placed our stuff and ourselves as the object of primary worship and reliance. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the ultimate reliance is on God. While we have a duty to be prepared, we are commanded not to idolize and exalt our provisions and personal position in the preparedness process above absolute reliance on God. During a serious disaster when emotions are intense and fear rules one’s reactions, it is a challenge to rely on a higher power for the supreme guidance and insight on the actions to take.  It is not only a challenge, it is a necessity to rely on the greatest ally you can have – Divine guidance.  Where does your faith reside – in the Divine or in the human condition?

While I recommend and encourage taking effective physical action to provide the essential provisions, I have been explicit in my teachings that one’s attitude is essential in overcoming and surviving a serious catastrophe. This requires embodying the attitude of God-Reliance first – follow His instructions, assurance and power before we rely only on our self.  Self-reliance without God-reliance is what I refer to as “The Idolatry of Self-Reliance.”

I am well aware of the difficulty and struggle involved in understanding, expressing and putting into action the balance between reliance on God and reliance on ourselves – both are essential! This requires prayer, serious reflection, critical thinking and common sense – as does all aspects of effective emergency planning.

Our whole upbringing in our current society and culture has conditioned us to what is known as “ego-centrism.” When our worldview is always filtered through our own self-centered interests, conditioning and survival, then for many letting go and trusting unseen Divinity becomes incomprehensible. For those who have a committed spiritual or religious worldview it is still difficult to truly recognize and realize the vise grip that our ego-centric thinking has on our perceptions, evaluations and actions. Here is the first paragraph of a quote from, Critical Thinking: Concepts and Tools, Dr. Richard Paul and Dr. Linda Elder, that I included in my article Barriers to Critical Thinking:

The Problem of Egocentric Thinking

Egocentric thinking results from the unfortunate fact that humans do not naturally consider the rights and needs of others.  We do not naturally appreciate the point of view of others nor the limitations in our own point of view.  We become explicitly aware or our egocentric thinking only if trained to do so.  We do not naturally recognize our egocentric assumptions, the egocentric way we use information, the egocentric way we interpret data, the source of our egocentric concepts and ideas, the implications of our egocentric thought.  We do not naturally recognize our self-serving perspective.

Reflections on Contemporary Preparedness Issues

When I first became involved in the preparedness industry my focus was directed in what we called “family preparedness.” The scenarios basically involved natural disasters, personal emergencies or perhaps financial events. Those drawn to preparedness were primarily main stream individuals and families. Many had a religious foundation from which to draw. With the advent of the internet, 9/11, the need for sensationalist media reporting and movies, terrorism, fear, government agendas, the zombie apocalypse, talk of revolution and dozens of horrific and catastrophic potential scenarios, the preparedness industry and the “prepper” community has morphed into a different animal.

The preparedness environment is now polarized between family/household and survivalist, with both groups aware of the serious issues of the day, and the survivalist reaction much more radical, passionate, militaristic and fear based – the survivalist community has plenty of probable scenarios from which to choose. I make no right or wrong judgment regarding this situation, I am just sharing what I observe. It is for my readers to evaluate.

Also consider that the cable and main stream news programs and certain internet news sites need ratings and/or are part of an insidious government agenda to keep crisis and fear constantly on your mind for some possible future shenanigans.  Which programs, sites and their celebrity status hosts are sincerely sharing important factual information, suggestions and encouragement, and which are part of the deception and insidious agenda?  How many news and product websites do you think that are promoting the fear-provoking aspects of preparedness and emphasize the doomsday scenarios are primarily driven by the profit motive?  Oh the necessity for critical thinking and discernment skills!

There are now hundreds probably thousands of preparedness/survival websites, blogs and newsletters. Virtually every conservative talk show host promotes survival foods and products. Most talk show hosts have no idea what they are promoting and are justifying themselves for the advertising dollars, doomsday TV shows make big advertising money by instilling fear and mindless buying, and most of the websites and blogs are run by instant experts with little or no knowledge and experience with the information and products they sell. Of course there are many legitimate product and information sources – how can a customer or researcher discern the truth from the deception?

The preparedness/survival atmosphere of fear, chaos, anarchy and confusion is unprecedented in my 40 years in this marketplace. Because of the total lack of government, media, big corporations and educational leadership, the self-serving delusions and the insanity of those in control, there is plenty of evidence to support the serious problems facing our society. As I examine various websites I am disturbed by the excessive emphasis and focus on military, hard core survival, end of the world as we know it, suffering, potential death, preparing for bondage, war, pandemics and the list goes on and on. Of course virtually all of this sites emphasize the “stuff” you need to survive and the extreme practices you should master to fend off the enemy. This stuff is sometimes valuable and appropriate, however – be it food or other supplies – much of the stuff is junk, cheap and ineffective. I ask again – how can a customer or researcher discern the truth from the deception?

I have viewed and evaluated thousands of articles, videos and presentations in the last 40 years – I am not naïve about the serious potential scenarios that may very well come to pass – and be advised I am not a psychic or do I channel some spirit from the other side. All of the predictions, concerns and theories about what may soon occur could very well happen, and maybe you will need some of the stuff that appears radical and maybe you should prepare for a dramatically altered lifestyle and mindless zombies coming after you.

For those with discernment skills, a desire for the truth, an accurate perception of reality and an attitude of true Godly reliance for guidance, the coming times will place you in a position of leadership and service. My concern however, is with the effects on our population of a constant barrage of negative, fearful, mindless nonsense – from media, “progressive” colleges, government and special interest groups. These people are our neighbors, family, those who we all have to come into contact with daily and those who vote.

My advice and counsel to all that read this post, and why I presented the material I did, relates directly to the title of this article. If severe and life-threatening events do occur, where will your ultimate trust and reliance rest?

So What Do I Think is Happening and Going to Happen?

  • The underlying reasons for many events of our time cannot be understood by reason and logic, because what we are engaged in is “spiritual” warfare.  And spiritual warfare requires spiritual/Biblical solutions and responses.  Read Ephesians 6 in the New Testament.
  • We live in an unprecedented time of lying, deception and self-serving by those who are in positions of authority and control.
  • The domestic and global condition of negativity, confusion, evil, delusion cannot continue without serious implications and the creation of a world of great repression, suffering and loss of freedom. For those of our population who have been programmed and indoctrinated and unfortunately are delusional, no degree of reason, common sense, facts or intelligence will change their worldview and perception of current events.
  • We have entered a time of great transition. This is my assessment and that of many diverse spiritual, religious, Native American, intuitives, prophets, interpreters of ancient prophesy and others – and I as they, believe good will triumph over evil, however we must first go through a very difficult and challenging period of incomprehensible trials, adversity and tribulation.  The length of this transition is to be determined – keep tuned in.  I do not believe what is referred to as “The Rapture” will occur at this point in history – it’s for the future.
  • We have the choice to find meaning and purpose, positively contribute and encourage others during these times by adopting an attitude of faith, hope and love in the midst of darkness and uncertainty.

From Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl was a doctor, teacher and philosopher who lost his entire family, and was the survivor of four Nazi concentration camps.

Will to Meaning: Our inherent capacity to continually search for meaning under all circumstances.

Self-Transcendence and the Will to Meaning: I can see beyond the misery of the situation to the potential for discovering a meaning behind it, and thus turn an apparently meaningless suffering into a genuine human achievement. I am convinced that, in the final analysis, there is no situation that does not contain within it the seed of a meaning.

God-Reliance

God is our refuge and strength,

A very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear,

Even though the earth be removed,

And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

Though its waters roar and be troubled,

Though the mountains shake with its swelling.

Psalm 46:1-3 NKJV

 

God-Is-My-Reliance-on-the-Path-of-Tribulation-Almighty-God

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Nice Little Time Saver

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I have always said someone should invent a tracker for my keys, well they did.

I was sent this little devise to use and review and I like it. For all those times I misplaced the truck keys and spent countless hours looking for them. Now I don’t have to. I am actually going to glue one on the back of the TV remote as well. That thing has legs and just gets up and walk off every time I turn around.


Beets BLU Key Finder Bluetooth 4.0 Smart Small Wireless PagerTag Keychain with Audio Alarm. Device Works with Smartphone Apple iPhone (4S, 5, 5S, 5C, 6, 6 plus), iPad (mini, 3, 4, Air) and Samsung Galaxy (S4, S5). Key Locator System Works with App on iOS and Android

  • Our electronic black beeper has loud sound alarm and red LED light in case of link loss
  • In our portable square key detector remote commands accessible on the key fob button press
  • Geo regions actions (iOS only). You can use our seeker through special app for iOS and Android.
  • Lost location tracking on the smartphone. Our device to find lost keys can be also used for purse (wallet), pet, bag.
  • Proximity detection with automatic sound alert. Device also works as RF remote control. Our tracker is great transmitter for men and women

Micro Gardening

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Every Prepper should garden. Especially with the predictions of outrageous Food and gas prices this year. Not everyone lives in the boonies and are able to have a 2 acre garden. However, you need to investigate the terms micro-garden and container gardening. Grow lots of edibles in limited spaces. My rule of thumb is, if you are land locked and can’t go horizontal, go vertical. Check out this pretty informative site to learn more than you ever wanted to know…

Awesome No Contract Cellular Deal! $100 Service Credit through June 8!

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From now until 11:59pm ET on June 8, the Ting Refer a Friend program is offering you $100 to try Ting mobile phone service. If you sign up and activate a phone, I’ll also receive a $50 credit and yes, once you join Ting, you’ll be able to refer your friends too.

z98mod1p7e3.ting.com. That’s my unique referral URL and the key to this offer. Click through and you’ll receive $100 off select phones in the Ting shop or a $100 credit if you bring your own phone to Ting.

Speaking of which, the phone you already own will probably work with Ting. Go to the Ting compatibility checker to find out for sure.

See Ting network coverage here.

Wacko Waco Bikers

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The recent Waco biker shooting shows that the veneer of civil society can break down quickly and without warning. This is especially true when two rival motorcycle gangs decide they can’t settle their disagreements peacefully. The result is innocent bystanders get caught in the crossfire of a violent situation they weren’t expecting. While you can […]

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It’s a Matter of…..Life and The Plan of Happiness

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Courtesy of Mormon Newsroom
Image courtesy of Mormonnewsroom.org

As a Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I am grateful to have a Living Prophet and Apostles on the earth.  Yesterday, one of our dear Apostles finished his earthly mission.  Here is the official news release:

SALT LAKE CITY —
Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints died today at about 3:00 p.m. at his home. He was 92 years old. 

Elder Perry was ordained an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in April 1974, after serving as an assistant to the Twelve since 1972. Elder Perry’s commanding physical presence combined with his enthusiasm and optimistic style made him a forceful as well as a popular figure among Church members across the world.

I realize there is more than these two-paragraph in the news release does that tells more about about this beloved man.  There are many stories with more information about him all over the news.  These stories are easy to find. However, today I wanted to share my encounter with him….when he was newly called and I was quite a bit younger.

Although I currently live along the Wasatch Front, that has not always been the case. During my teenage years, I lived in the Midwest.  At that time, my local ward/congregation was young and small. Everyone on our ward had one or more callings (assignments) including me.  
Once a month, our Stake (larger congregation of several wards) would hold “Super Saturdays” for the youth 14 years and older. These were Saturdays filled with all kinds of things from gospel instruction, sports, meals, and always a dance to cumulate the end of the action-packed day.  On one particular “Super-Saturday”, a new face came into our Seminary group. I’ll be honest, I had no idea who this was, but the adults were certainly very polite and welcoming to him.
He was introduced as our new Apostle, “Elder L Tom Perry”.  We were invited to shake his hand as we left the class and went on to the next ‘event’.  I did take the opportunity to shake his hand. He looked at me and was very genuine. He asked me how I was doing and told me that it was a pleasure to meet me.  I remember thinking at the time “a pleasure to meet me?”, what on earth for? I was just an awkward teenager trying to push my ‘cool quotient’ just like everyone else.  
Since that time, Elder Perry has had a soft spot in my heart. I have heard him at General Conference (Semi-annual meeting world wide) and also when I was a student at Brigham Young University.  He has always struck me as being as genuine as he was when I shook his hand those many years ago.
His death is sad, but also an opportunity for him and his family to celebrate.  We believe that there is a life after death and that if you live as the Savior has taught, you can be reunited with those who has passed away.  Elder Perry’s first wife and his daughter finished their earthly missions before he did.  I am sure there is a huge homecoming occurring right now with the Perry family.
I also have lost another loved one this week.  He was an uncle who was a genuine as Elder Perry and certainly very fun.  Yesterday at his funeral, my cousins, my sister, and I reminisced about many things.  Events as children, events with our Grandparents and certainly events with my Aunt and Uncle. As I looked at my cousins, whose parents both had passed away at this point, I felt a pain of sadness for them…and for me.  Although we understand that there is a plan and that all the Savior has he is offering to us, it still hurts to lose loved ones.  I will miss having a reason to go to that small western town that is not on the way to anything.  No one who I am related to lives there any longer, it is just a serious of robust memories for me there.
So as we say goodbye to this beloved family member and Apostle, we rejoice in the knowledge that this life is but a short time in the eternal scheme of things.  I am grateful to know that we have a loving Heavenly Father and Savior who have made the way know and possible for us to return to live with them…and to live with our loved ones.  Life is all about choices. May we all choose to learn, live, and love as the Savior has taught.
I want to leave you with one of my favorite talks by Elder Perry.  It’s message to me is that no matter what your circumstances are, there is always an opportunity to do as the Savior would.

Suggested Recurve Bow Draw Weights for Target Shooting & Hunting

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Recurve Bow Draw WeightsThe fact that many people still consider the ancient practice of archery to be an enjoyable recreational sport is evidenced by the numerous different local archery shops in any given location.

However, when first entering the sport of archery, one of the questions that inevitably comes up is “what draw weight bow do I purchase”? Well, the obvious answer to that question is to purchase a bow with the maximum draw weight that you can comfortably draw.

That answer really only applies to those archers who intend to hunt game with their bows because, the truth is that archers who only intend to shoot targets can get by with bows with much lower draw weights.

There is also the matter of traditional bows versus compound bows because traditional bows do not reach their peak draw weight until full draw and then, the archer has to hold that entire draw weight whereas, with a compound bow, peak draw weight is reached one half to two thirds of the way through the draw length and then, let-off occurs so that the archer is holding only a percentage of the peak draw weight.

Consequently, the proper draw weight not only depends on the purpose for which you intend to use it but, also on the type of bow you choose.

Recurve Bows for Target Shooting:

When choosing a recurve bow for target shooting, bows with draw weights ranging from 15 lbs. to 70 lbs. or more are perfectly acceptable. However, bows with draw weights ranging from 25 lbs. to 35 lbs. are most common.

Also, the type of target archery you intend to pursue should also be considered. For instance, when shooting at known distances as in the discipline of Field Archery, because the target is always located at a known distance from the firing line, having a flat arrow trajectory is not nearly as important as having a consistent arrow trajectory.

Therefore, most Field Archers choose to shoot recurve bows instead of compound bows because of their light weight, lack of recoil, and consistent performance. But, when shooting at unknown distances such as in the discipline of 3D Archery, because the targets are located at unknown distances from the firing stakes, having a flat arrow trajectory becomes very important because a flatter arrow trajectory helps to compensate for minor miscalculations in the distance from the archer to the target.

Therefore, most archers choose to shoot compound bows instead of recurve bows due to their significantly faster arrow speeds and, of course, the maximum draw weight that an archer can comfortably draw and hold when shooting either type of bow is best for this type of target archery.  Most 3D archers who shoot recurve bows chose draw weights ranging from 50 lbs. to 60 lbs.

Recurve Bows for Hunting:

When hunting with a recurve bow, most states do have a minimum draw weight restriction which is commonly 45 lbs. Thus, to hunt legally with a recurve bow in your state, you will need to comply with whatever the minimum draw weight for your state is. However, a recurve bow with a draw weight 45 lbs. will launch an arrow with surprising speed and thus, they are perfectly capable of taking down any North American game species from a reasonably close range.

But, like the 3D target shooter, hunters also gain the same benefit of automatic compensation for slight miscalculations in range in addition to that of deeper penetration and a greater ability to pierce bone from choosing heavier draw weights.

Therefore, although most states have a minimum draw weight restriction of 45 lbs., the rule of thumb for compound bow archers who are switching to a recurve bow is to choose a recurve bow with a draw weight that is 10 to 15 lbs. less than that of your compound bow and, for those of you who are not compound bow shooters, a recurved hunting bow with a draw weight of 45 lbs. is a good choice for youth and female archers whereas, most male archers prefer a draw weight of 50 lbs. to 60 lbs.

On the other hand, it should be noted that a recurve bow requires a couple of hundred shots before it “settles in” to its final draw weight. Also, it should be noted that the archers muscles will adjust to drawing the bow so that, between the bow settling in and the archer’s body adjusting, any new recurve will seem to get easier to draw at first.

Wrap Up & Final Thoughts:

So, when choosing a recurve bow for target shooting, you will likely want to choose a relatively light draw weight ranging from 15 lbs. to 35 lbs. depending on the physical stature of the intended archer.

But, when choosing a recurve bow for hunting, then you will need to choose a bow with as much draw weight as you can handle and thus, draw weights from 45 lbs. to 65 lbs. are most popular.  Some Archers prefer a lower range for compound bows.

Therefore, it should be noted that sets of extra limbs in different draw weights can often be purchased for most take-down recurve bows from the bow’s manufacturer which is very convenient because it enables the archer to tailor a single bow to different purposes simply by changing the limb sets.

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Learning the Art of Situational Awareness May Keep You Alive

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preppersillustrated.com

What if I were to tell you that one of the most important things you can do to keep yourself safe doesn’t have anything at all to do with your every day carry gear? Would you be surprised? Now, before you think that I’m off my rocker, I’m not suggesting that you should stop carrying your choice of self-defense gear. What I am suggesting is that a thing called “situational awareness” may be one of the single most important skills that you can develop when it comes to keeping yourself safe from potential threats. Developing this ability can help you…

The post Learning the Art of Situational Awareness May Keep You Alive appeared first on Preppers Illustrated.

Vehicle Survival: How to Successfully Live in Your Car (By Someone Who’s Done It)

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The following is a guest post by Javier C. who spent over a year living successfully out of his car. He shares his insights in this article. Keep in mind many of these tactics Javier details here would easily apply if you were ever forced to bug out with your vehicle.

car-sleep

From August 25th 2012 until over a year later, I slept and lived in my car in Los Angeles, California. I moved to Los Angeles for a dream and did not realize how expensive it was to live there.

So I began planning in my head and thinking how I might save money and how I might get out of the frustrating living situation I was in at the time. I decided living and sleeping in my car would be an idea that would satisfy both of those things I wanted for my life in Los Angeles.

It was truly a survival experience…

Throughout my time sleeping and living in my car, I learned a tremendous amount. Although it was very tough, it did in fact help me achieve my goals of saving money and being
able to live on my “own” in my car.

It didn’t come easy getting used to that life though. There were many learning experiences. I began writing a book while I was sleeping in my car. About how to survive living in one’s car.
There are many different aspects when it comes to sleeping and living in your car successfully — many of which require a plethora of survival skills. In all truthfulness, it really is a “survival” experience.

I was doing this so I could save money and get ahead in life. After all, it takes sacrifice if you want to get ahead in life. That’s what I have learned. Especially in this economy today, you never know when hardship may hit and having these survival skills in your pocket may just save your life one day when you really experience hardship.

All in all, I saved a great deal of money and had extra money I wouldn’t have had if I was paying rent somewhere.

In this article I’m going to go over a few key aspects it takes to successfully live in your car. Even if you never have to live in your car in your life, it’s good to be prepared. You never know what life may throw your way one day.

How to Successfully Live in Your Car

What to do for Food

When it comes to food, there are many options when living in your car. My purpose living in my car was to save as much money as I could so my food choices were dictated by that purpose:

  • Canned Foods: There are canned foods such as beans, pastas, and tuna. Have a can opener ready or preferably have an easy to open top. That makes things much easier. Canned fruits or fruits in plastic cups work as well. They store well too.
  • Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches: These are easy to make in a car and only require a knife to spread it.
  • Homeless shelters: Homeless shelters are a good source of free food. Just find one in your local area.
  • Protein Bars: These are pre-packaged, somewhat healthy and easy to eat on the go.
  • Fast Food: This is a somewhat cheap and accessible option but I generally went for the foods that were in a grocery store as they were cheaper. In grocery stores, they usually have a bakery or already-cooked foods section and these are somewhat affordable as well. I used to get 2 pieces of fried chicken and some potatoes and it was decently priced and nice to have some “real” food for a changes sometimes.

Where to Sleep

Finding the right parking place is probably one of the most key elements of sleeping in your car. A good sleeping area can make or break you living in your car. You have to find a place that is safe but also a place where you can stay on the down-low enough to not be noticed.

I personally parked in the lot of a 24-hour grocery store I used to work at. I lucked out. But I’d say if you can manage to sleep at a 24-hour store somewhere that would be good. Or in a neighborhood that is safe where you can stay under the radar.

Once you do find that place, you have to ensure you do everything you can not to be noticed. Part of that is making sure your car is properly “prepared”.

For example, I had dark tint on my windows. If you don’t, another option is to put dark towels up in front of the windows. You have to be inconspicuous though and make sure no one is around when you put them up. Just go to your spot, park, shut the car off and set the towels up. That is what I did.

Make sure you choose the same place for sleeping every night. It makes things a lot easier. Don’t tell anyone where you sleep.

Have the radio off long before you get to your spot so you don’t draw any attention to yourself.

Additional tip: do not open your doors once you get to your spot or get out of your car at all. It only draws more attention to yourself.

Where to take Showers:

Keeping good hygiene is absolutely key to living out of your car without being noticed. The more attention your draw, the easier it will be for you to be noticed and ultimately kicked out. It’s key that you don’t appear to be homeless and get identified as a squatter. For that reason hygiene is very important.

I took showers at a gym. I got a monthly gym membership. It was only $40 a month. So it was not much. I got to both work out and get clean. I recommend having a backpack with everything you need for the shower and a combination lock to lock up your stuff while you are in the shower.

Killing Time

Here are a few options of where to hang out on your day off work or when you have free time:

  • Fast food chains: They usually have free WiFi for laptops. If you keep a low profile, it’s likely you will go generally unnoticed. Just make sure to keep to yourself for the most part. I didn’t even buy anything much of the time and no one cared to be honest.
  • Public libraries are great places to hang out in your spare time especially if you have a laptop. There is free WiFi that does not expire like many food places. There are usually a good amount of seats. It is nice and cool inside or warm depending on the climate where you live.
  • Malls are a decent area to hang out at as well. To find a seat and read a book or walk around. Just as long as you don’t have to pay for parking to be at a mall then it’s great.
  • The gym is a great place as well. You can work out for a while to kill time and be inside.
  • Friends: Having social connections are obviously a great way to pass the time.

Key items to Keep in your Car

  • Gallon of drinking water: It’s important to always stay hydrated when living in your car. You are always going, always on the move much of the time. There were many times it was after work and I hadn’t had any water. It was always nice to have my gallon of water in the backseat under a towel. It costs about $.25 to fill it up at a grocery store.
  • Pain medicine: Very useful when you have any kind of pain. There were many times while I was living in my car, it was late at night and my head was throbbing. It was nice to reach in my little soccer bag and take some pain medicine and be able to sleep peacefully after that.
  • Car Fan: At night time I find it tough to sleep without some background noise, so this came in handy. It costs about $20 at an automotive store. It is enough wattage to be on all night and not kill the battery. Many nights it is too hot to sleep in a car without a fan.

    In the summer time, if I didn’t have a fan I would have suffered greatly.

  • Power Inverter: This is a device you can plug into your cigarette lighter and charge your laptop, cell phone, or any other electronic device as long it is a small enough wattage. It costs about $20 at many stores. Be careful what you charge. Some things will kill the battery if you charge it too long. Try to charge things while driving when possible because it doesn’t use the battery. The one I had had was 100 watts, which means anything you charge has to generally generate less electricity than that.
  • Sleeping Bag: A good sleeping bag is key in any environment. Even in Los Angeles, in the winter and many times other seasons of the year as well I needed it. If I hadn’t had a good sleeping bag, I would have frozen and been very uncomfortable the entire night.
  • Snacks/Food: It is important to always have some sort of food in your car. Preferably on the floor on the passenger seat side as I did. I used that section for my food. It was easy when I got hungry, I could just reach over and grab a banana to eat when I needed it. It’s crucial to always have at least some stuff ready to eat anytime you may need it. Not eating can cause many problems. There were many times after work I was extremely hungry and was leaving work and had a piece of fruit I reached for and ate right from my car.
  • Jumper Cables: Sometimes for a couple different reasons, I found that my car battery died and I needed a jump. Most likely because I left the lights on or I charged my electronics too long without driving. It was a pain standing in front of a store asking people if they had jumper cables. I eventually got some jumper cables so when my car battery died, all I had to do was ask anyone who had a car around me if they could give me a jump rather than also having to ask them if they had jumper cables too.
  • Vitamin C: Living in your car is not a normal thing obviously. There is more wear and tear and hardship than if you had a place to live. So it’s important to keep your immune system up. Vitamin C boosts the immune system. Anything you can consume with a lot of Vitamin C is great. Oranges or any drinks that have vitamin C in them are great. You cannot afford to get sick in your car when you already have enough other things to worry about.
  • Spare Keys Container: Having spare keys around are very important while sleeping in your car. You never know when you may need them. I kept a spare key for my car always in my wallet. Also, I went to an automotive store and got 2 containers for about $10 that store keys and have a magnetic cylinder on the back so you can connect it to any metal at the bottom of your car for when you lose or lock your keys in your car.

    Make sure to put it where no one can see it. Make sure no one knows it is there. Only you.

  • Conclusion

    There are many important aspects to surviving living in one’s car. These are a few of the key ones. The important thing is keeping a low profile in all you do. That way, you can have the longevity to stay in your car as long as you need to.

    You have to stay mentally strong and continually aware and focused of everyone and everything around you. Keep your head up. Always know it is not forever and is only a temporary situation.

An Open Letter to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Regarding His Movie, San Andreas

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Dear Mr. Johnson,

Or, if you prefer, Mr. Rock.

I love your movies. I really do. So it was with great anticipation that I awaited the opening day of your latest cinematic venture, San Andreas. Not just one mega earthquake, but TWO?! Disaster porn at its finest! How could I resist?

Now, having sat through 114 minutes of stunning CGI, heart-pounding suspense, and emotional turmoil, I can say that I truly enjoyed the thrill ride that is San Andreas.

HOWEVER…. Although I applaud your team for bringing awareness to basic emergency response practices (e.g., when cell towers go down, land lines will likely still work), I must take issue with several events that transpired on screen which are just…well, wrong.

  1. Don’t dive head-first into unknown waters. Ever. Don’t even JUMP in. I don’t care how hyped-up you are to enact a rescue. If you plunge pell-mell into the murky depths, only to brain yourself on a submerged chunk of concrete or snap your leg on an unseen hazard, the Rescuer suddenly becomes in need of rescue himself. Instead, slide in carefully and cautiously. You’re welcome.

  2. Don’t stand on the edge of a crumbling cliff. Seriously. When you screeched up to the newly-exposed ragged edge of the San Andreas fault, CGI chunks of the collapsing roadway were falling away right in front of you…and then you took yet another step toward the abyss?! Just…don’t.

  3. The Triangle of Life? Yeah, that’s not a thing. Paul Giamatti’s character’s repeated use of “Drop, Cover, and Hold On!” was brilliant, but your dash to the side of the San Francisco ballpark stadium along with a multitude of citizenry? No. There is just no way to predict which portions of a building or its attached structures will fall during an individual shaking event. Even outside, your best bet is to heed the words of your costar: “Drop, Cover, and Hold On!”

I cannot comment on the feasibility of racing a boat up the vertical face of a cresting tsunami, the wisdom of jumping out of an airplane using a parachute that was packed by a complete stranger, or the physics of performing a last-minute abort of a helicopter autorotation maneuver. I can, however, say that for sheer entertainment value, San Andreas is definitely a summer blockbuster.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Starmer
Your Fan at On Your Own Emergency Preparedness

 

Liberty Revolution 12 Gun Safe – Review

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With gun safes, bigger is often assumed to be better. Buy bigger than you think you’ll need they say…you’ll outgrow it within a weekend.

That’s all well and good, unless size, weight and logistical considerations make a giant, 700 pound gun safe impractical.

Many of us have limited space for a gun safe…and if you’re married, the “allowable” spots you can put a safe dwindle dramatically. Or, maybe you’ve got a tight doorway or stairs to get up. Maybe, for privacy reasons, you want to move the safe into place by yourself. Or maybe you move frequently.

Yep, there are lots of circumstances that might put you out of the market for a big ol’ Liberty Fatboy or similar, big 600 pound, refrigerator-sized traditional gun safe. If none of the above circumstances apply to you and you’ve got a big ol’ gun safe sitting in the corner, hats off to you.

The Liberty Revolution 12 is compact and well made.

Personally, most of the above considerations applied to me. Limited allowable space–a corner in a small walk-in closet. Stairs, move frequently, wanted to be able to move it into place myself, too.

I’m also more of a utilitarian gun owner versus a collector, so I don’t have mass quantities of guns to store. I don’t need a giant gun safe at this point, so that’s good.

So I went in search of a smallish, closet-friendly safe. Each major safe company has one or two of these in their line-up–usually rated for 10-14 guns and sometimes marketed as “entry-level” gun safes.

Unfortunately, these safes are also usually designed like entry-level gun safes – cheap construction, minimal fire protection, no-name locks, lousy interiors and bottom of the barrel in terms of actual security.

Of course, even “Residential Security Container”-rated safes are only rated to withstand 5 minutes of prying with hand tools, but most of the closet-friendly safes are probably closer to 30 seconds of prying.

After lots of comparison shopping and looking at the offerings from every single major safe maker, I decided on the Liberty Revolution 12.

A few things pushed me over to the Liberty. One of them was this video, which shows the strength of the Revolution’s locking bar design versus more traditional safes locking mechanism:

While it’s not impervious, the Revolution is tougher than competing safes in the same size class.

It also met the other requirements I’d set out for myself: made in the USA, available locally, at least 30 minute fire rating, S&G mechanical lock.

The Liberty brand name and the lifetime warranty they offer for every safe was icing on the cake.

The Liberty Revolution safes were on sale during Black Friday of ’14 at Gander Mountain, so I woke up early and braved the crowds to save a little cash. Cost was just over $400 out the door. Regular pricing is closer to $500, which is still fair in my opinion.

With the help of one of the employees, I was able to load it into the family tactical minivan. With the help of my wife and a dolly, we got the safe up our garage stairs and into position without too much trouble or injury. Two average strength men with a dolly could move it up a flight of stairs without problem or breaking much of a sweat.

I’ve now owned the safe for 7 months and access it several times a week. Luckily, have not had to put its burglary or fire protection to the test (nor do I plan to). I’ve had absolutely zero problems with the safe and am thus far very happy.

It’s not particularly spacious, but it does what I needed it to in the space allowed. I think around an 8-long gun capacity would be a decent assessment for what could fit into the safe without too much trouble. Lock has functioned well, finish has held up flawlessly. No problemos at all.

My one knock against the safe–which is almost universal for gun safes — is the one-height-fills all barrel rests. They’re designed for a height that would be appropriate for a hunting shotgun or rifle, not an AR or a home defense length shotgun. Not a deal breaker, but wish safe manufacturers would figure this one out.

If you’re in the market for a quality closet-sized safe, the Liberty Revolution 12 is tough to contender to beat.

Crazy Bug-Out Vehicles

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Before we begin this somewhat unusual article, let me assure you of one thing: I haven’t lost my mind. A good ol’ diesel Ford F250 is probably the best bug-out vehicle for most of us and you probably don’t need any of these crazy bug-out vehicles. What I’m trying to do here is stimulate your imagination a little bit and give you a few unconventional ideas on what you can use to bug-out other than your feet. (You can find a full list of the best vehicles for bugging out at this link.)

Some of them may shock you, others will get you to say: Oh, I never thought if that, that’s clever!

OK, let’s get started with my list of crazy bug-out vehicles…

ATV

If fuel consumption is something you’re worried about when it comes to 4x4s, an ATV may be the right bug-out vehicle for you. Obviously, you can’t load it up with supplies (except your bug-out bag) but it should be enough for get you where you want to go… quietly and fast. It’s perfect if you have a bug-out location between 50 and 100 miles away; it could be farther away but then you have to always have extra fuel tied to the back rack.

Inflatable Boat, Kayak or Canoe

If a car or an ATV doesn’t quite fit your budget and you’re near a river, an inflatable boat could work as a bug-out vehicle. You can bug-out way faster on water than you can on foot and, if you choose a kayak over a boat, you can even carry it in your BOB (a lot of them are under 10 pounds).

You can find plenty of them on Amazon and the best part is, they can give you quite a workout as part of your survival fitness training if you decide to use them while camping.

Monster Tactical Vehicle

This crazy bug-out vehicle is definitely not for everyone. They’re big, they’re armored, they draw attention to themselves and they eat up huge amounts of fuel. Of course, the biggest drawback is the price.  It can easily go beyond half a million dollars. The Knight XV from Conquest is the perfect example: it weighs 13,000 pounds (a little below 6 tons), it has a 6.7L V8 turbo diesel engine, 300 HP and costs over $600,000.

Do you need it? Probably not, unless you’re a hardcore prepper with lots of cash on your hand and figured you could use a “mobile bunker”. See, just like a bunker, if people know you’re in it, they can keep you inside until you’re ready to come out… one way or another.

Expedition Vehicle

Just when you thought there’s nothing crazier than a tactical vehicle, there it is: the UXL 17-HD from Unicat with its 261 gallon (or 990 liters) tanks, bulletproof cab and windows and even land mine protection. It weighs 17 tons or 34,500 lbs and…I won’t go into the price of this thing.  Definitely a bug-out vehicle for the prepper who has everything (else).

Off-Road Go-Kart

There’s nothing funny about going from an expedition vehicle to a go-kart with our list…but this one may be something you will actually use as a bug-out vehicle. There’re a wide variety of go-carts out there but the ones that have 4-wheel drive are the ones you’ll want to start looking at.

Crazy Bug-Out Vehicle - The Railroad HandcarHandcar

I saved the best for last. The handcar is a rail track vehicle you’ve probably seen in two places: in movies depicting life between 1850 and 1900…and in Looney Tunes cartoons. Believe it or not, there are people out there who still make them and even sell them (like this guy, for instance).

Is a handcar something you really want to use as a bug-out vehicle? Probably not, since they’re pretty heavy and you’d need a trailer to take them to the tracks. Even if you manage to do that, there’s no telling how far it can take you. Although trains will probably not work, all it take is one abandoned locomotive in your way and you’re forced to abandon your handcar and continue bugging out on foot. (Bugging out on foot on the rail tracks, by the way, is a great idea as not many people will think of doing it.)

Final Word On Crazy Bug-Out Vehicles

When you look at this list again, you probably realize not all of these bug-out vehicles are crazy. Inflatable canoes, ATVs, dirt bikes and off-road go-karts are actually viable options and don’t cost a fortune. Whether you should get one or stick to your car or bike, that’s really depends on the number of people in your household, your budget, your bug out plans, your climate, the landmarks around where you live and, of course, your fitness levels.

Crazy Bug-Out Vehicles

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Guest Poster: Dan Sullivan
His dad was military. His grandfather was a cop. They served their country well. But Dan doesn’t take orders from anyone. He’s taking matters into his own hands. He’s not just preparing, he’s going to friggin’ war!

Baby Rebecca

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One year ago today my heart was given to another

My how time just rolls by.

To Hannah,
If there is one bit of advise I can give you, it is, don’t blink. If you do, it will be over just like that and all you will have to look back on is a blur. Cherish these times and every moment you have with her. Don’t let this crazy world take any of your time away from Rebecca. I chased the dollar and didn’t get to do the things I wanted to with the three of yall. I think that is the one thing I regret in life. I blinked
Your doing good, me and mom are proud of you.

To Rebecca,
Even at one year old, I can already see what a strong young lady you are becoming and going to be later in life. You are my first grand baby and always will be. You hold a special place in my heart that can never be replaced. I pray that I am around long enough to see what life brings your way. Because you are your momma’s daughter, I know nothing will hold you back and you will take life by the tail.
If you only take one bit of advise from me then let it be this, cut your momma some slack in your teenage years. She is not going to raise you perfect, she is going to make some mistakes and you will even hate her a time or two. With all that, just always remember, she is doing the best she can and loves you more than anything in the world.
So here’s to you Miss Rebecca and to turning One Years old. Gpop loves you. 

The ‘BGET’ Esbit Tray Stove is Now in Production

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BGET Stove Production Version

Ever since I first posted about my frustration with Esbit fuel tablets (more than four years ago now) and my eventual solution of developing a more efficient Esbit tray stove, I have received a steady stream of emails from readers asking if I could make them a stove and sell it to them.

Despite giving away the instructions, a step-by-step guide, and a template, some people simply didn’t want to fiddle with making the stove themselves. That’s fine, I totally get it. For a while I tried making my Esbit tray stoves for those that asked and sold them for a few bucks just to cover shipping, but I didn’t have enough materials or the time to do it on a frequent or scalable basis.

Successful DIY Builds

Others have been making my stoves themselves and sharing their results via the Backpacking Light forums. John Abela of HikeLighter.com posted a wonderful, detailed review and analysis of my Esbit tray stove via his blog. John was the one who first coined the term “BGET” or Brian Green Esbit Tray stove. The name has stuck ever since.

BGET Stove Goes Into Production

BGET Stove Production Version

I was recently contacted by Dan Yeruski of Zelph Stoves to ask if he could make and sell my BGET stove under license on his site. I worked with Dan to provide some additional instructions and feedback on what the stove package should contain.

BGET Stove Production Version

One change that was made was to switch from the titanium foil that I had originally used and instead to use 309 stainless steel foil. I had discovered myself that that thin titanium foil can easily work harden and snap during the folds that were needed to make the stove. I had many unsuccessful attempts early on. Switching to stainless steel avoided this problem without impacting the weight or efficiency of the stove. The 309 stainless steel Dan has chosen can withstand temperatures up to 2,100 degrees and an Esbit fuel tablet only produces 1,400 degrees.

BGET Stove Production Version

Where to Purchase BGET Stove

The production version of the BGET stove is now available for purchase exclusively via Zelph Stoves. The production version includes a ready-made 309 stainless steel BGET stove and comes bundled with a radiant heat reflector, three sealed Esbit fuel tablets, and an ultralight stove storage container to protect the stove when being transported – all for $9.95.

BGET Stove Production Version

Specifications

  • BGET Stove – 309 Stainless Steel – 1.0 grams
  • Heat reflector for maximum burn efficiency – 0.5 grams
  • Ultralight storage container – 2.9 grams

BGET Stove Template Still Available

Everyone is still more than welcome to download the PDF template and instructions to make the BGET stove for themselves, but for those of you that can’t or don’t want to make one there is now an easy and affordable option.

The post The ‘BGET’ Esbit Tray Stove is Now in Production appeared first on Brian’s Backpacking Blog.

Comparison of Ranged Survival Weapons

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ranged survival weapons

Here at TBOBG, we’ve covered all kinds of preps. Among those, of course, are preps for defense and food procurement. Even though you’ve painstakingly researched and selected the ideal armament for your situation and have been religiously stocking up on ammunition, there may come a time when these careful preps aren’t sufficient.

Perhaps you’ll have suffered a raid, an unrepairable malfunction, or simply run out of ammo. In any of these instances, you would do well to have some alternatives to the usual collection of firearms. Read on to learn up on some of the best alternative ranged weapons.

As we look through our options, we’ll make sure to touch on some key decision-making factors for any ranged survival weapon. These factors will include:

  • Range: At what distance from the target can this weapon be effectively utilized?
  • Lethality: What is the effect on the target when this weapon is used against it?
  • Ease of Use: How difficult is this weapon to become proficient with?
  • Accessibility: How difficult is this weapon to obtain or build?
  • Ammunition: What is it, where can it be found, and how easy is it to replace?

Ranged Survival Weaponsranged survival weapons

Bows

The first alternative ranged weapon to come to mind for most folks will be the good ol’ bow and arrow. A decent bow is a fine alternative to a firearm, offering good range, high lethality, fairly easy learning curve, and pretty high accessibility.

Range

Most adult-sized bows are easily capable of effective ranges beyond 40 yards. This brings their effective range close to that of most handguns. A high quality compound bow that has been set up correctly for a competent shooter is capable of accurate, effective shots out to as much as double that distance.

Lethality

The whole idea behind a bow and arrow is to poke a hole through something from pretty far away and cause the target to bleed out. As with any piece of gear, proper equipment selection will make a huge difference here. Most bows will definitely be able to harvest deer, pigs, or other medium-to-large sized game.

From a defense standpoint, bows are equally effective to, though much different than a firearm. Do be aware that, unlike a firearm, there’s not a huge amount of hydrostatic shock when a target is hit with an arrow from even the most powerful bow. Unless there’s a direct heart shot, the target will likely be able to move and fight until it bleeds to death.ranged survival weapons

Ease of Use

Bows are simple in concept, but take a lot of practice and skill to master. Whether you’re inquiring about a modern compound bow, replete with pulleys and cables, or a traditional wood bow paired with a Flemish Twist string, any experienced bowyer will tell you that consistency is key.

If you’re making the smart move of setting yourself up with a survival bow in your preps, make sure to double down and practice with it! Go beyond just learning your anchor point and dialing in your release; shoot from different positions at different ranges. If you’re of the constitution, go bow hunting. You’ll not only get out in the woods and hone your technique, but you’ll likely end up with a freezer full of the finest organic, free-range meat available.

Even if you don’t intend to bolster your preps in advance with a bow, it’s not a bad idea to find a range and take a few lessons. Like learning to drive a manual transmission, the muscle memory and basic understanding of the concept can pay off big time in a pinch.

Accessibility

Bows are quite easy to find, and nearly as easy to make. To purchase a new bow, your best bet is your local archery or hunting store. Otherwise, bows can be found in all the usual online marketplaces, or at gun shows, yard sales, and by word of mouth. Many bowhunters are dying to get rid of some of their old equipment to help fund the Next Best Bow.

Be sure to buy the right size bow, and don’t go overboard with the draw weight. Even the hunkiest prepper would do well to start off at a reasonable draw weight (45 pounds or so). Don’t skimp on your arrows, either; get them in the correct spine stiffness, length, and weight for your bow and intended use.

If you’re looking to make your own bow, you’ve taken on a very rewarding challenge. Whether your project is to design your ideal lifelong hunting partner, or just to gain experience for a “what if” scenario, you should be able to get from tree to complete bow in less than 15 hours of work. Many designs and options to be made from wood, PVC, or other materials are readily available online. Work carefully, pay attention to the details, and you’ll end up with a long lasting, sweet shooting product.

Ammunition

Bows shoot arrows, of course! The best arrows are store-bought. Though traditionalists like the notion of wood arrows, most will eventually agree that using proper carbon fiber or aluminum arrows will result in superior accuracy, reliability, and safety from any bow.

That said, arrows aren’t that difficult to make. Like a bow itself, arrow making is simply an investment of time that can pay big gains. Even the feathers that influence the arrow’s true flight, or fletching, can be made from a number of materials: Including, of course, duct tape!

Other Notes

ranged survival weapons

Photo by usfwmtnprairie on Flickr.

One of the most versatile of ranged weapons, a good survival bow can be outfitted to take almost any kind of game. A blunt point will do well for small critters like squirrels and rabbits. A barbed point and some line will turn a standard bow into a fine bowfishing rig capable of bringing in 20 pounds of fish at a time. Some creative use of string tied in loops on the business end of an arrow can increase your margin of error and bring birds out of the sky.

Preparing yourself to use or build a bow and arrow setup is an extremely valuable use of your time. The bow was instrumental in separating Man from beast, and can make the difference between a dangerous arms-length encounter and a safe kill from a distance. Do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself with this fantastic piece of ranged weaponry.

Bows Key Features
Martin Jaguar Takedown Bow Traditional style makes a good starter bow
Breaks down easily for packing in a BOB
Laminated wood and glass limbs provide a smooth draw
Spectre Compact Take-down Survival Bow Modular design allows for 35, 45, or 55lbs of draw
Set includes quiver and arrows
Stores compactly in quiver
Siege Compound Bow Accessory screw mount for bow fishing
55lb draw weight can handle larger game
Maximum speed 206 FPS

Click the images to view product details and pricing on Amazon.

Crossbows

Everybody’s favorite soft-hearted, zombie-slaying, post-apocalyptic TV redneck uses a crossbow for a reason; it’s accurate, powerful, silent, and easy to use. If you’re looking for a ranged survival weapon that will do its part in fending off the undead horde or take down a fortnight’s meat, a crossbow shouldn’t be far from the top of your list.

Range

Crossbows are essentially a standard bow that has been turned on its side, attached to a rifle-like stock, and given a trigger mechanism that holds the string at the full draw position until the shooter is ready to fire. As such, the operator only has to draw the bow to its full draw position for a period of time sufficient for the trigger mechanism to lock the string in place. Because of this, the crossbow can be designed to use a much higher draw weight, and thus fire its projectile (though it looks like an arrow, it’s called a “bolt”) a greater distance with higher power. Expect 20-40% more range than a standard bow.

Lethality

ranged survival weapons

Photo by wwworks on Flickr.

Crossbows are every bit as lethal as a typical upright bow. They poke the same size hole, but generally can do it from a greater distance.

Ease of Use

Crossbows tend to be a bit more forgiving to shoot than a regular bow. While not as easy or intuitive as a rifle for some, the crossbow has a relatively short learning curve. They do take a while to load, and thus likely aren’t the best pick for heated battles. Additionally, they can be awkward to store and transport.

Accessibility

Though fairly readily available pre-TEOTWAWKI, there isn’t likely to be a glut of these after the SHTF. In contrast to most of the other ranged survival weapons, the crossbow is pretty difficult to make with limited time or materials.

Ammunition

Crossbow bolts aren’t just short arrows. Bolts tend to be much stiffer, and don’t have any sort of nock at the rear. Because of the nature of the crossbow’s function, bolts must be very straight and very strong. It’s not recommended to make your own bolts unless there’s really no other option.

Other Notes

There are some specific advantages to the crossbow, namely the effective range and short learning curve. The cons can quickly begin outweigh the pros for many people, though. If you’re not equipped with one of these before TEOTWAWKI, don’t count on ending up with one after.

Crossbows Key Features
Cobra System Self Cocking Pistol Tactical Crossbow
Self-cocking mechanism shortens reload time
Quiet and well-suited to hunting small game
Good beginner crossbow for a reasonable price
Barnett Jackal Crossbow
Powerful 150lb draw and 315 FPS for hunting larger game
Red dot scope for improved accuracy
Smooth 3.5lb trigger pull
Barnett Oudoors Ghost Crossbow Carbon Riser Technology reduces overall weight
Anti Dry Fire Trigger system prevents firing without a bolt in place
Heavy duty crossbow for experienced hunters

Click the images to view product details and pricing on Amazon.

Throwing Arrows

ranged survival weapons

By Zeph77 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0]

Using a basic lever concept and aerodynamic projectile, a throwing arrow is a highly lethal, simple package that has been around since the earliest days of our species. The most common type of throwing arrow systems are the atlatl and the Swiss arrow. The atlatl is generally wood or some other rigid material, while a Swiss arrow setup uses rope or twine.

Range

A single throwing arrow (or dart, to be technical) is generally effective at a medium range. Once you’re proficient with the thrower, 15-20 yard shots on deer-sized game will be quite achievable. Though the darts can be propelled much farther than this, accuracy wanes quickly.

Throwing arrows can be used quite effectively as a high-volume defense weapon. Though a single surgical kill shot is difficult to achieve beyond 20 or so yards, a great volume of flying darts can be more than a little intimidating. If your group is low on ammo and expecting a fight, consider equipping several members with throwing arrows and instructing them to fire simultaneously at a target.

Lethality

A well-placed dart is as deadly as a sharp object can get. Even without perfect shot placement, darts will often hang out of a wound and further damage will be done as the exposed portion of the dart is dragged through brush or on the ground. Like the bow and crossbow, there’s not much in the way of hydrostatic shock; the intention is to cause the target to bleed out.

Ease of Use

Throwing arrows take a lot of time and practice to use effectively.  A general rule of thumb is to pretend as though you’re simply throwing a normal spear. Let the lever do the work.

Accessibility

Atlatls are quick and easy to make. The lever system can be made from nearly any wood or PVC or other available material, or the focus can be on making a Swiss arrow by using just a bootlace or twisted fiber. While simple in nature and construction, it’s important to recognize the end goal before you get started. Check around for build guides on the internet.

Ammunition

Darts can be made relatively easily from most straight, reasonably rigid materials. Darts should have some flex to them for best performance. Unlike arrows or crossbow bolts, throwing arrows don’t necessarily need to be fletched, although this does increase their accuracy and range.

Other Notes

Because throwing arrow systems are so easy to make, there’s no excuse not to practice at home before the need arises. If the time ever comes that an atlatl could make the difference between eating and not eating, you’ll be glad you did!

Throwing Spears/Atlatls Key Features
Nanticoke Atlatl Simple and durable design, easy to travel with
Knuckled handgrip for better control
Darts are made from ash lumber for straightness and elasticity
Kanakadea Atlatl Fingerless rest holds dart in place
Comes with fletched 5′ darts with field tips
Catatonk Atlatl
Engineered specifically for hunting
Hammer grips tranfers more power
Moderate shaft flex for improved control

Click the images to view product details and pricing on Amazon.

Slingshots

ranged survival weapons

Photo by psym on Flickr.

Evidently Dennis the Menace knew a thing or two about lightweight, portable weaponry. Though he generally used his to wreak havoc on his neighbors, the slingshot shouldn’t be discounted as a formidable light-duty ranged survival weapon. For our in-depth review of survival slingshots, CLICK HERE.best slingshot

Range

Slingshots work off of energy stored in an elastic band. Unlike the previous ranged weapon alternatives, the slingshot doesn’t have the assistance of leverage. As such, even the most well-executed models will be limited to shorter range work on smaller targets.

Lethality

Slingshots aren’t particularly powerful. Even the compound-style slingshots that can be found these days are fairly anemic compared to other ranged weapons. With most slingshots, expect to be able to take small game at short range. Due to the ease of getting close to them, rabbits and birds are particularly good bets for hunting with a slingshot.

ranged survival weapons

Photo by thebusybrain on Flickr.

For defense use, don’t expect much from your slingshot. While shots can be painful, it’s rare that they’re deadly.

Ease of Use

While not difficult to get the hang of, slingshots can benefit from some quality practice. Much like a survival bow, consistency is key. When shooting a slingshot, always draw the band to the same length, and try to keep your arms in the same relation to one another. If angled shots are required, focus on keeping your upper body position the same and bending at the hips to account for the angle.

Accessibility

Slingshots are available at many big-box stores, and are really easy to make. Any highly elastic, durable rubber banding should be a good bet for the power plant, while a stout forked branch serves as the chassis.

Ammunition

The beautiful thing about slingshots is that ammo is prolific. While a ball bearing or similarly dense, spherical object is the ideal projectile, any rock or acorn or bolt nut can be used. If you’re equipped with a slingshot, keep on the lookout for good ammo. That said, don’t worry about saving and carrying anything but the very best of what you find; no need to carry mediocre ammunition when it’s available pretty much everywhere.

Other Notes

A slingshot can be a very handy secondary ranged weapon. They work very well for taking game that might not be worth risking damage to an arrow or bolt for a small amount of gain. Also, since it’s not necessary to carry a lot of complex ammunition, the slingshot can be a very lightweight, simple weapon to have in a back pocket, Dennis style.

Slingshots Features
Aftermath Kavia Elite Sport Slingshot Adjustable sight and wrist support. Has unique push-button design to dispense ammo from the hollow handle.
Trumark FS-1 Folding Slingshot Lightweight aluminum frame for easy carrying. Hollow handle has a flip valve for dispensing ammo quickly.
Saunders Wrist-Rocket Pro Unique design allows for extreme velocity. Folds in a manner that allows you to padlock the slingshot to prevent children from using it.

Click the image for product details and pricing on Amazon.

Slings

ranged survival weapons

By Peter van der Sluijs. (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0]

Most famous for its involvement as the weapon of choice against a certain Goliath and its effectiveness in the skillful hands of Ayla from Jean M. Auel’s series of books, the sling is a simple but remarkable ranged weapon.

Range

Slings are a good short-range weapon. The power and range of a sling is determined in large part by the size of projectile selected and the length of the sling itself. As with throwing arrows, a large number of stones being hurled by members of a party can be quite effective at even long ranges. Flying rocks always hurt.

Lethality

Though technically capable of kills on larger game (or in defensive use), the sling is more appropriate as a tool for turning small game into food, and for dissuading would-be attackers before things get out of hand.

Ease of Use

Like most of the ranged survival weapons in this article, slings take some practice in order for a user to become proficient. Though the motions and the principles are quite simple, a good deal of learned coordination and muscle memory are required.

Accessibility

Premade slings can probably be ordered online (Really, what can’t?), but there’s no excuse to not make your own. A length of cordage and a pocket of stiff fabric or leather is about all you need. Aside from a driveway full of rocks, of course.

Ammunition

A sling is capable of propelling just about anything that fits in its pocket. Like the slingshot, there’s no sense in collecting and carrying any but the finest scavenged ammunition.

Other notes

While not much of a defense weapon against someone with anything more effective than a sling of their own, the sling does have its utility. Even due to nothing else besides its light weight, simple construction, and easy portability, a sling might be one of the most convenient alternative ranged weapons available.

Slings Key Features
Paracord Sling
Handmade from 550 paracord
Pouch fits ammo up to the size of a golf ball
60″ total length
Leather Sling Moulded bison leather pouch cups ammo
54″ total length

Click the images to view product details and pricing on Amazon.

Pepper Spray

Though not as permanently damaging as, and considerably less romantic than, many of the other ranged weapons we’ve covered, pepper spray is one seriously effective tool when used correctly.

Range

Most pepper sprays have an effective range somewhere from 10 to 25 feet. This isn’t far, but it can quickly create time for you to get away from your attacker.

Lethality

ranged survival weapons

Photo by smittypants on Flickr.

The relatively few deaths that have occurred due to pepper spray’s effects notwithstanding, pepper spray is not considered to be a lethal weapon. Using pepper spray for any sort of survival hunting would probably do more harm than good.

Ease of Use

Pepper spray is pretty simple: Point at attacker’s face, depress a button, and watch the sucker writhe in drool-inducing pain. You’ll probably only have one chance to get it right, though, so make it count.

Accessibility

Pepper spray is readily available in most states. Any local gun shop or big box store should have several options. After a big SHTF event, though, this may no longer be the case. If pepper spray is something you intend to rely on, make sure to stock up.

Ammunition

Pepper spray is self-contained. While there’s no doubt that some enterprising soul could probably find a way to mix up a home recipe and make it portable, it’s likely best to simply run what ya’ brung.

Other Notes

Be aware that pepper spray is just that: A liquid spray. If you’re downwind of this stuff, even if you’re not the target, you’re in trouble. Additionally, pepper spray is only going to bring a human down for a short time. During that short time, they can still be combative. Use pepper spray to create the opportunity to make space between yourself and the one you’ve just sprayed.

Pepper Spray Key Features
SABRE Pepper Spray 10 foot range puts distance between you and your target
Contains 25 bursts or 10 one second sprays for multiple uses
Quick release key ring to deploy quickly
Police Magnum Pepper Spray
17% OC solution is highest allowed by law
Flip top design deploys with one hand
Kimber Pepperblaster
Pistol-like design for grip and accuracy
Sprays at 90 mph to hit the target and only the target
Second reserve shot for backup

Click the images to view product details and pricing on Amazon.

Throwing Knife or Tomahawk

Don’t do it. Don’t ever throw a knife, axe, or any other hand tool as a weapon. At worst you’ll do no damage to your target and lose a valuable tool in the process. At best, you’ll do less damage than you’d like to the target and lose a valuable tool in the process. Knives and axes can be fun to throw for competition or a challenge, but not for hunting or in battle. Keep those tools and use them to make a more appropriate ranged survival weapon.

Closing Thoughts

ranged survival weapons

Photo by lee-yoshi on Flickr.

Now that you’ve got the information, it’s time to get started with the prepping! Consider your goals, and think long and hard about how you’ll approach the possibility of living without firearms during bad times. If you’re unsure about how to proceed, there’s no harm in trying each of the above ranged weapons. Most of them are fairly easy to make or purchase, and all will add a new dimension to your ability to defend, hunt, and succeed. There’s no time like the present to prepare for the future.

Your Thoughts

Do you have some experience with any of these alternative ranged survival weapons? Are your preps already stocked with firearm alternatives? Speak up about your experiences, successes, and failures in the Comments section below, thanks!

The post Comparison of Ranged Survival Weapons appeared first on The Bug Out Bag Guide.

It’s not the fall that gets you….

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It’s not the fall that kills you; it’s the sudden change of direction at the bottom.

It’s not necessarily the disaster that kills you.  It’s the severe dislocation of normal societal systems and the chaos and peril associated with it that comes in the two weeks, to a month, to six months following a major disaster that’s really going to determine whether or not you survive.  I say this because as a society, we are completely and totally dependent on our wholly integrated, just in time delivery systems to supply us with the basic necessities required for life.  Our water, our food, the energy we use to power everything that makes this super sized, got to have it right now society of ours whir, it’s all at our fingertips.  The unpalatable truth of our reality is that most people have completely lost touch with all that it takes to procure these basic necessities of life for ourselves.  The really frightening part of this situation is that most in our society do not or will not recognize the fact that by a whole boatload of metrics we are already falling, but because fresh water still flows from the tap, there is food on the shelves when you go to buy and there is still relatively inexpensive gasoline at the pumps when you go to fill up, people are able to turn a blind eye to the nation’s ills because they believe they do not impact them personally.  This of course is a fallacy, but normalcy bias is a powerful thing and the majority chooses to simply not acknowledge the problems they see all around them because it’s just easier.  Never mind looking to the future and where we may end up if we continue on our current trajectories as a nation, most folks only care about next weekend.

The unfortunate truth is that you will stop falling at some point and that’s when things get ugly.  That is when reality demands a cold, hard stop to the continuations of life as we know it and we are forced to make a new way forward.  Or we don’t.

When faced with this new reality, most people will have a very difficult time because they do not have the tools or the skill set necessary to take care of themselves.

So what do I say?

1. Embrace a big picture, long range viewpoint in an effort to see the unhinging before it happens.  This will give you a chance to spot when trouble is ahead and begin to take steps to get better prepared to handle it.  Educate yourself about the most probable threats for your area to start and grow your threat matrix from there.

2. Develop a plan to navigate these disruptions that best fits your circumstance based on your capabilities whatever they are.  Everyone can prepare.  Don’t waste your time worrying about a hurricane if you live in a desert.  Focus your planning and tailor it to suit your needs.  Furthermore, it does not matter what your limitations may be, there are very useful ways for everyone to become better prepared.  Remember, knowledge doesn’t have to cost anything to attain and weighs even less.

3. You can’t know the future for certain, so learn practical skills and don’t just acquire stuff.  There are more than a few folks out there that want to sell you the latest gadget or piece of gear, but if you don’t know how to use all that stuff it will do you no good.  Skills learned, practiced and verified in the back yard or on a family camping trip will most likely be way more valuable in the long run.  Acquiring these skills will make you flexible and adaptable and you will be able to use them any time.

4. Know your tribe.  You may be a verifiable bad ass, but none of us can effect sustainable, long term survival by ourselves in the long run.  Figure out who in your circles is of a like mind now before the storm rolls in and begin to take steps to strengthen those relationships.  You will want to surround yourself with people you know you can trust, that are hard working individuals that understand the importance of team concepts, that most likely share your general world views and who will excel in any area that you may not be as strong.  You will be glad you did.

 5. Enjoy life, but keep your eye on the ball.  Most of us prepare because we want to be able to take care of our family should we ever find ourselves in a bad situation and every one of us should be proud of that fact.  With that said, don’t allow yourself to become so focused on your preparations that you lose sight of why you’re working so hard to get ready in the first place.  Remember to make time to enjoy your family, friends and loved ones now while the world is still rolling along.  There may be dark days in the future, but while the sun is shining get out there and embrace the good times with those you care about.  Take a vacation, play with your children and take your wife or husband out to a nice dinner.  Live your life!  Isn’t that what it’s for?  Preparedness will never fall completely out of focus for people like us because it is a fundamental part of who we are, so don’t worry about that.  While you’re out there doing the hard work of preparedness day after day, just be sure to remember to take a little time to enjoy the good stuff.  Those people you are working so hard for will appreciate and love you for it.

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Prepping Use For Coffee Filters

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Here is a cheap and handy prep. Coffee Filters. Use them to pre-train and post strain your water. Unlike my Peanut butter, I like my water smooth not chunky. Another use when mixing herbs for medicine or cooking, you can put them in a coffee filter, tie off the top and throw the “Herb Ball” in to your pot. You won’t have to strain afterwards. A pack of these handy little babies are less than 3 dollars. Oodles of uses. Do you have a use? If so, post in the comments.

Review of Mark Goodwin’s “Persecution” (Book 2 in the “Days of Noah” series)

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If you are just getting into Mark Goodwin’s writings, you may be interested in the review of “Conspiracy,” the opening book in the Days of Noah series.  You can read that review here.  Otherwise, let’s dig right in to book two!
As with Conspiracy, I find Mark Goodwin’s style very refreshing.  It is a great break from those end-of-the-world “let’s shoot ’em all to hell” books that seem seem to be so popular.  Instead, Goodwin seems to use a methodical and logical approach that seems to make more sense in an EOTWAWKI scenario.  He works from the mould of an economic collapse scenario and develops it with the insight of his research.  From what I’ve read regarding real economic collapse scenarios (like what happened in pre-Hitler Germany), he seems to be spot on.
Being that The Days of Noah is on my reading list, as well as having respect for the author, I will try to refrain from giving away any juicy bits and focus simply on why I think the first two books (Conspiracy and Persecution) are such fantastic reads.  So, here’s what I think, and you may differ, but I don’t care as I’m the one writing this review.
Goodwin’s The Days of Noah series strikes an incredible balance.  One of my critiques of the first book was that Goodwin seemed to strike a chord with the “truthers” out there.  I’m not a truther.  But, here’s where the balance comes in.  Whether or not one believes that the attacks of 9/11 were government driven is totally moot.  We find ourselves in the situation we find ourselves (how profound is that?).  Goodwin seems to focus on the way things seem to be in our economy right now and raises interesting questions without coming out and directly asking them.  That’s what a good author does, plant an idea and grow it into a plot.
Some book series are forgiving and allow you to jump in mid-stream.  However, I would highly recommend reading these books in order as it will help the reader grasp the plot and character development.  Speaking of character development, Goodwin is consistent.  The personalities in the book are realistic, consistent, and interesting.  Goodwin does good work to put the reader into the minds of the characters without weighing the reader down with unnecessary details.
The plot is both believable and realistic.  The plot development is evidence that Goodwin has done a tremendous amount of research.  He understands the various collapse scenarios and weaves in economy, infrastructure, civil degradation, and much more.  Additionally, you can clearly see how the situation continues to degrade and how that affects the personalities that Goodwin has created.
It all seems so real, in an eerie sort-of way.
Though most of you will likely pick up the print edition, I chose the Audible version.  Kevin Pierce does as fantastic a job as I have ever heard with the reading of both Conspiracy and Persecution.  Occasionally, the reader of a series will change between books and I’m hoping that won’t happen with The Days of Noah.  In my opinion, Pierce is a perfect choice.
Ok, now for the bit of controversy.  Many authors close out each book in their series’ with some sort of climax that seems to unfold a new idea which in turn leads into the next book.  Goodwin doesn’t do this.  Some reviewers out have complained about this.  This book ends with the biggest cliffhanger I’ve ever read.  At first, I looked at my player thinking it must have skipped a chapter.  Nope.
Now that I have had time to digest the ending, I find it very appropriate.  Without giving away details, this is why…  Those that imagine themselves in some sort of fight for humanity often have not taken the time to weigh the costs.  This book stops in a place where the reader really has to ask him/herself, “Am I really ready to pay for the costs of freedom?”
It is a question that I need to ask myself, and hopefully you are asking yourself.  Though the book does not come out and directly ask this question, it seems obvious enough.  It seems that the question is hanging in the air for the Goodwin’s characters to evaluate.   I personally can’t wait to see how Goodwin unfolds this in the continuation of the plot.
Don’t read the book thinking that you will be satisfied with the ending, you won’t be.  Live with it.  However, I’m sure you will be satisfied with the content and won’t want to wait for book three!
However much I enjoyed “Persecution,” I get the feeling that Goodwin’s best work is yet to come.  Thank you Mark Goodwin for a fantastic read.

When It Rains It Pours

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I hope everyone had a great and safe holiday weekend.

I know we needed it, but I think we have had enough rain for now. From the Red River to the Gulf, the center of Texas is washed out.  I have never heard of so many evacuations and high water rescues as I have this past two weeks. I hope all my blogger friends are safe.

I have also seen flooding where I’ve never seen it before. We have to drive through the lake’s backwater to get out of our place and if it continues to rise, then we will not be able to get out at all.

This picture is the road to our house. It’s about 3 inches below the bottom of my truck when I left this morning. 

We spent four days this weekend in Oklahoma at the South West Open Chili Cook Off. It rained on us there every day as well, but we still had a great time.

Saturday Jessie was the only one of us that placed. Here she is sitting in the top ten out of 140 cooks right next to the big dogs, the current World Champion and past champions.She represented the family well.


Me and Kylee made it to the intermediate round then hit the pool. We didn’t have many breaks in the rain but when we did, we made the best of it.

As far as me, I won 2nd place in the 42 tournament and 4th place in chili on Sunday. I was the defending champion on Sunday and I gave it one heck of a shot, but fell a little short. That’s okay though, the lady who won it deserved it.
Candy did cook, but she didn’t make it off of the first round either day. A little disappointing for her being a celebrity and all, but that’s how the chili rolls. 

For the next two weeks we will be working on the house between rain storms. We have a 50% chance everyday this week and into the weekend.  We have hot water now so all we are lacking is the kitchen. We are still using the camper to cook in, but that’s about all.

I have a special post for tomorrow, you are not going to want to miss it.

Jerry

How To: Burner Phone

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Chances are, you’ve probably seen a TV or movie where a Jack Bauer-type character, on the run from big bad evil, uses cheap throw away phones to communicate unnoticed.

Commonly known as a burner phone, a backup, essentially disposable phone isn’t only useful for secret agents and criminals. There are a long list of reasons why having a spare phone with a different phone number might come in handy — lose/break your primary cell phone, selling something via Craig’s List, traveling and don’t want to risk your $900 smart phone, and so on.

Commo is your lifeline, so you want to do what you can to protect it.

So–how to set up a burner phone? It’s actually very easy and 100% legitimate and legal.

Disclaimer: For lawful and responsible uses only While you can get a bit of anonymity and privacy with a ‘burner’ phone like this, don’t do anything dumb, offensive or illegal.

You’ll need two things:

  1. An unlocked GSM cell phone
  2. Ready SIM Card

The Cell Phone
The phone needs to be a GSM phone (AT&T and T-Mobile run GSM networks, Sprint and Verizon run CDMA and will not work), and it needs to be unlocked.

You can buy very basic, 100% unlocked and ready-to-go cell phones for around $20.

Shown here is a BLU Tank II, which I chose for a variety of reasons:

  • Big battery (30 day stand by) 
  • Charges via Micro-USB versus some lame proprietary cable
  • Supposedly more rugged build
  • Has an AM/FM radio built in…that actually works!
  • Unlocked out of the box – not locked to any carrier
  • It cost 20 friggin’ dollars for a functional cell phone

Yep, this phone is pretty bare bones…like stepping back a decade in cell phone technology. But, it makes phone calls and actually has surprisingly good voice quality. BLU has a bunch of other cell phones in the budget price range if you’d like a different flavor.

You may have an old phone lying around that you want to use for this purpose. You’ll need to make sure that it’s unlocked, which can often be a frustrating process…Google up your carrier and the phone model for instructions. Note that if you’re concerned about Big Brother privacy, your old phone is likely “dirty” and could be traced back to you.

For me, dropping $20 for a fresh phone and zero headaches was more than worth it.

The Ready SIM Card
Now, if you only want to be able to call 911, you do not need a SIM card. If you do want to be able to make phone calls, you’ll need a SIM card. There are lots of pre-paid phone plans on the market, but the vast majority of them make you register with the carrier, use a credit card, and otherwise associate your name and personal info all over the number.

Ready SIM doesn’t make you go through all that hassle. They come in a credit card sized card with a pop-out SIM card.

Remove the SIM from the card. Pop it into your phone.

The Tank II has dual SIM capability, which means it can use two SIM cards at the same time. You can see the SIM card here – it’s the white thing just above the phone’s battery.

Now you’re ready to activate the SIM card. Text your zip code to 7850. A few minutes later, you get a text message back.

This gives you your new local phone number – you are ready to go with unlimited voice and texts. You can set up voice mail and many plans come with data, too – if you want that.

That’s it. No hassle. Your privacy is kept intact and you’ve got yourself a local phone number. In this day and age, where it seems like you’ve got to give out your social if you want to buy a pair of socks, it’s weirdly simple.

After I activated my SIM card, the phone found the T-Mobile network without issue. Ready SIM buys / piggybacks bandwidth on other carriers networks–most likely AT&T or T-Mobile. The few test calls that I made were flawless.

Pretty cool.

There are different time allotments of cards available – from 3 days to 30 days. For a cheap throwaway phone and number, the 3 day or 7 day are probably your best bet–$15 and $20 respectively.

As far as I can tell, there’s no expiration for the SIM card until you activate it–so you can stash it away in your bag for a year or two until it’s needed. Once activated, you have the allotted time period to use it up.

If you are using a more recent phone, you may need to cut down the SIM card to a smaller (mini or micro-SIM) size. There are inexpensive cutting tools for doing exactly this.

You also don’t need to use a Ready SIM with a throwaway backup phone. You can use it in your every day phone, swapping out your regular SIM card if you want to avoid using your regular cell number to call up for a Craig’s List ad or something.

Recap

  • Cheap phone – $20
  • Ready SIM 3-day card – $15
  • Total: $35
Pretty affordable way to have a back up phone with an anonymous phone number. 
Charge up the battery, take some measures to protect the phone – plastic bag it and the battery separately – and store with the Ready SIM. Memorize some important phone numbers. Done. 
Weight is negligible, utility is exceptional.

Go From Being the Gray Man to the “Go To” Man, to Help Your Community Thrive!

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Gray1

This is a guest post.

There’s a lot about prepping on the Net, and how to. One thing everyone says is be a gray man, I agree to a point. If you live in a city being gray is what you’ll have to do to survive. It just seems people in the city are usually more self centered, distrustful, and maybe cynical. Not to say they wouldn’t help their neighbor, but what about the guy 5 blocks over they don’t know?  Would they help him? Probably not, so is that being selfish or just street wise?

In the country, people generally tend to help each other more.  We might know people 5 miles or 10 miles away. People from the country are generally willing to help, and sometimes have more of a sense of community. I know neighborhoods have a since of community, but that might just be a few square blocks. Where I live, we only have a few communities.  There are maybe 6 or 7, “communities” people reference themselves to be from.  Our whole county only has 15,000 people. The whole county really is a community too. In the city, there might be 15,000 people in one small neighborhood.

The point of all this is we need to strengthen our communities. We need to not be in hiding but be in the light, help each other become strong and we need to start in our communities. I’m not saying let people know how much of everything you have or where it is.

My wife and I have 10 acres of land and have been prepping for a little while. We have chickens now, heirloom seeds, and other items. I have enough seeds of a few things to give away, like corn and potatoes. We are getting pigs, possibly a milk cow, and I really want a grist mill. I want to be the go to guy in my community. A lot of people around here burn wood, have chickens and garden, but most don’t have a clue about heirloom seeds. Most people I know go to the farm store and get their plants and seeds. When SHTF, most could survive, but may not have the seeds for a garden or fuel for a chainsaw. I want to get a few hand saws, maybe two grist mills, and two or three electrical generator heads.

I want to be the go to guy for a couple of reasons. One is I want to see my community survive and thrive and get back on it’s feet and get back to basics. I believe getting back to the basics is the only hope we have. A local butcher, a local dairy, local orchard, seamstress, etc., etc., getting back to that would create millions of jobs. Two, being the go to guy will make you a mark for looters and people that don’t want to try for sure, BUT, if you are the go to guy, the community will need you and help protect you. In the country, this will probably be a lot easier to accomplish because everyone knows someone or knows someone who knows them. In the country, you’ll know most people in a large geographic area.  You’ll know who you can trust and who you can’t.

Be the gray man to a point, but also be the go to guy or women. Just look at the Net, it’s a community and there are lot’s of go to guy’s and gal’s. I think you’ll have to hunker down in the beginning and be that gray man, but after things calm down, you can start to release your stuff, ideas, and help the community.

SA

Our Regional Bird

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Life in the woods, or bush as we call it out here, is more often than not, great!
Private, beautiful scenery, clean air, and if you hear any sounds of other people it’s chainsaws or trucks driving by. If we’re really lucky, we’ll hear the occasional owl or maybe coyotes. We were fortunate enough to hear both those last week, mere hours apart.
This spring we were spared a much-dreaded flood, and it didn’t really rain much until yesterday. We live across from a beaver pond and I’m happy to see a beaver back in in it. (I was a tad concerned the beaver lodge was empty last fall when we moved here)

But there is a price to pay for watching the beaver or being able to take stunning sunrise shots with my camera.
With a beaver pond comes mosquitoes.
Hoards of them! There is a reason we northerners call them our regional bird!
They may not be very big this spring but they make up for it with sheer numbers!
I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I tried to stop and take pictures this morning and got swarmed!
It was lovely…the sun slicing through the tall pine and spruce trees…sound of birdsong…Before I could even get the zoom focused, my hands were covered and the bugs were flying up my nose!
Seriously!

Usually, mosquito numbers peak like this for a couple of weeks and then drop off. We get a few days reprieve and then the black flies pick up.
I keep trying to remember the perks of living out here…
Peace…right….quiet…right…

It’s great as long as the bugs don’t carry you off!

Bugging Out – Where to Go?

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Bugging out should, with rare exception, be your last resort rather than your primary plan. That said, it is important to plan for the possibility that home won’t be a safe haven.

While putting together a bug out bag is, of course, a crucial step, knowing where you’re going is perhaps more important than knowing what you’re going to take with you to get there.

See, here’s the thing. Without a specific destination in mind, bugging out just makes you one more refugee on the roads. There are a few different factors to consider when choosing a bug out location.

Bugging Out

Attempting to bug out to a location that is several hundred miles from home is likely folly at best. Remember, the odds are pretty good that you may end up on foot for some or even most of your journey. Think about it like this – if you can’t get to the end of your driveway and back without getting winded, you’re probably not going to make it a few hundred miles on foot. As a general rule of thumb, I like to use 100 miles as the absolute maximum distance a bug out location should be from home. For most vehicles, that’s less than a half tank of gas. That’s still a haul, though, if you’re on foot.

Next up is property ownership. Planning to bug out to some sort of state or county owned land probably isn’t the greatest choice. See, you’re not the only person who’s going to have that brilliant idea. In fact, you might find the state forest bursting at the seams with wannabe survivalists. The absolute ideal, though it isn’t feasible for everyone, is to bug out to land you personally own. A hunting cabin, perhaps? Failing that, talk to family or close friends who live outside your immediate area. Come to an agreement whereby if disaster hits your area, you’ll be welcome in their home and vice versa. Maybe go so far as to stash some supplies at their place, including extra clothes, toiletries, cash, and such.

I also suggest choosing more than one bug out location. I recommend at least three possible bug out locations, ideally laid out in sort of a triangle around your home. For example, Grandpa’s hunting cabin to the north, your old college roommate’s house to the southwest, and your Aunt Suzanne’s farm to the east. The idea here is to give yourself options. Given that we have no way to know the nature of the disaster that could cause a bug out, we can’t reliably predict whether it would prevent us from traveling in the direction of our primary bug out location. Let’s say the way north is blocked by massive storm damage, earthquake fissures, or even manned roadblocks. It would be nice to have some alternate locations to consider, right?

Plan ahead, choose a few different bug out locations, and practice different routes getting to each of them.

The post Bugging Out – Where to Go? appeared first on Emergency Preparedness.

Day 30-somthing – Upgrading My Life By Downgrading My Cell Phone

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So here’s the scoop… I went over 30 days without a smartphone.  I switched from an Android to a Samsung flip phone.  I didn’t miss not having a smart phone one bit.  In fact, I really enjoyed being untangled from the interwebs, email, and constant texting.

This is proof that it can be done, that I don’t “need” a smartphone, and that my life was not negatively impacted by switching to a dumb phone.

However, since starting the challenge, my role has changed in at my workplace.  I’m moving into an IT Director position (a position which I have 15 years experience in… and only over four of those years did I have a smartphone).

So, now I’m torn.  I’m not sure that I can model my best as a good communicator on a flip phone.  Therefore, I’ve hit the research again and have been digging into the specs of iPhones, Androids, Windows, and even… dare I say it… Blackberry.

Here are my problems…

1. I detest being trapped in the iOS ecosystem.
2. I detest Google having all my data.
3. Windows security stinks.
4. Blackberry… am I really going to go there…

As I struggle through my research I keep coming back to these arguments:

  • iPhones are easy, have a fantastic keyboard and voice input, but no expansion slot and a suffocating App and iCloud experience 
  • Androids are more flexible, most have micro-SD card slots, but I don’t trust Google (especially with a recent bad experience with them shutting down my Adsense account) and I’m not really fond of my data being in the cloud (which is a knock on both iPhone and Android).
  • Though it would be nice to try a recent Windows Phone, I’m deeply troubled by their security and wonder if Microsoft will ever prioritize fixing poor mobile security.
  • Lastly, Blackberry… how long will they be alive.  They are a company on life-support, yet they continue to rank #1 with regard to security.  Using something like the Q10 or Blackberry Classic’s keyboard is a fantastic experience (coming from my own personal experience as a Blackberry user).  But, can I make it with a smartphone that has such few apps?
With my priorities being set to the ability to email, text, chat, and have decent security, I think the obvious choice is Blackberry.  There is a huge lack of app support though.  In order for this to work, I must change my mindset about smartphones and think more on the side of professionalism and simplicity rather than being able to run a crazy amount of apps and have high compatibility.  The app compatibility sacrifice can be replaced with knowing that I am running a more secure phone.
The higher the level of security, the higher the inconvenience to the user.  Yes, I can heavily modify an Android phone for better security, but I may also be giving up good OS patches.  Blackberry at least has a good track record for security and the devices aren’t forked by HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola (which Google now owns), Kyocera, and every other Android hardware vendor.  On the iOS side of things, Apple provides consistent patching, but the inconvenience comes by locking into Apple’s ecosystem.  Blackberry has a pretty secure device running QNX operating system, but the inconvenience comes when and if Blackberry goes away or gets bought out.
My 30 days without a smartphone have provided a great opportunity to step back and reflect on what a good cell phone should be.  When I take this approach, it seems that many options are weeded out for me and I realize that even though we have tons of phone options, we are incredibly limited to devices that offer little security.
If I do in fact decide to pull the trigger on a Blackberry, you will be the first to know.

Added after posting on 5/25:

It is possible to run Android phones without a google account.  But, you need to be very careful about making sure you turn off features that leak information… such as GPS location, NFC (near field communication), and others features.  One could also find a good ROM, but many ROMs introduce vulnerabilities (such as root access) which need to be additionally secured.  The additional bad news is that you can’t access and download apps directly from the Google Play Store without an Google ID tied to the device.  The good news however is that you can manually download apps as .APK files and install them directly.  In fact, many secure apps are freely available at https://guardianproject.info/apps/.  This may be a great option, but I’ll need discipline to run the phone with a light amount of apps.

Matthew 10:16-20

16“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

It is easy to get pegged as being totally paranoid when one starts showing concern over data, security, and such.  But, with the direction of our nation, and national and global movements that have a tendency to push against the messages of Christ, it is obvious believers should also be cautious.  Does this mean you need to encrypt all your calls, emails, and text messages?  I don’t think so.  That makes you look like a kook, and you very well may be one.  However, you should know how to use these tools and be ready to deploy them when you need to.

End of the World Balance Sheet

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Did you guys hear about that PrepperCon in Utah last week? Preppers and survivalists from all over have hopped on the Comic Con bandwagon! They had exhibits on everything from tactical seat covers to personal Humvees, and the cast of AMC’s hit show THE WALKING DEAD made an appearance! How cool is that? People are … Continued

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Cooking Food and Coffee

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What are we going to do without it? Cooking food and coffee! Everything smells better and taste better in the great outdoors as we all know!

I don’t know how many times Mike has told me, “Keep it simple.”

Well, first of all, define simple. :) I like to chop and I like vegetables and rice and meat to complete the combos and this is also one of the reasons that motivates me to go out. I like to cook my meals outside and it does not bother me preparing it. I just simply enjoy it and like doing it!

The Bartons and Food!

Coffee in the bushI like drinking my coffee before and after a meal, always a hot drink no matter what the season is. It just feels good to have a cup of coffee in the woods. It is almost a MUST!

I don’t remember going out with Mike without at least having a coffee, a fire, and a good meal. It has to be done absolutely! :)

It almost feels like something is missing if we do not do this heavenly routine! Weird but true!

I mean look at this piece of goodness below! How can you even think of not cooking and filling your mind with the aroma of this good meal! It is a gift and we must enjoy it!

outdoor cooking outdoor cookingIf you have never tried it, you must! If you can’t then bring a friend or a family member that can cook and share this wonderful time together with them in the great outdoors.

And of course, be safe and respect the rules and regulations of the places where you go and camp. The majority of our videos where we had an open fire are filmed in a private land owned by a friend, a brother in the Lord who has given us permission to use it. Ok, now for some reason I want a coffee and a good steak! I wonder why? :)

Steak for Mike and coffee for me!

outdoor cooking

Thank you for your time, we always appreciate your friendship and support.

Josie

 

Homeschooling For Your Child’s Passion

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There are two ways to deal with a child who is passionately interested in one subject. The saddest and most unfortunate way is to discount and ignore it. The other is to embrace that passion and build your child’s education around it. My friend Lake Lili shares how she works with her son’s passion for […]

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It’s A Matter Of…..Illness

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Okay, no lovely pictures or catchy titles.  In all honesty, I haven’t felt up to it for while.  Why you ask…..because I have been sick.
“So what?” you may say.  Actually, if the shoe were on the other foot, I would say the same thing.  However, I rarely get sick and if I do, it is very short-lived.
Enter my recent bout with a cold/flu/something bad.  I have had no energy, little sleep, and other fun symptoms I chose not to list.  My days were filled with trying to muster enough energy to get up and get on with my long list of things that were waiting for my attention. This worked for a while.
Then it happened, my body said ‘enough’!  I had to stay home and stay in bed. This was not only for a few hours, but for days!  This never has been something I traditionally deal with.  Yes, I actually had to use some of my vacation days to recover. Well, I should say recover to the point of having enough stamina to get out of bed and claw my way through a day of work and then come home and hit my pillow.
Finally, I feel like my old self.  I even did yard work yesterday!  It was with a lovely cough, but I actually put my hands in dirt, planted, weeded, and worked in my compost bin.  I came back in the house and crashed for a couple of hours.
So, what does this have to do with anything?  It has made me think of what I might do if I or other loved ones were really sick and could not function as they normally would if we were in a time of challenge or crisis.  I decided to make a mental inventory of things I need…..with most of them in my storage room.

Medications:

I used up many OTC medications to help me function.  I went through quite a few and I didn’t have to trudge to the store and purchase any (or expose anyone).  I was glad that I had them on hand and only had to trudge to my kitchen for most of them.  

Hygiene:

Yes, I really mean Hygiene.  I had enough laundry detergent, fabric softener, cleaners, toilet paper etc to address this aspect of being sick.  Again, I only had to trudge to my Laundry room etc to address these needs.

Food:

I had enough of everything on hand to make meals for myself or our little family. We were wanting for anything.  Having my Food Storage and the knowledge and skills to use it proved to be a great blessing. 

Entertainment:

Okay, this may sound petty, but I was bored!  My body may have been under-the-weather but my mind would not shut off.  I read, watched, etc to keep feeding my racing mind.  I had plenty of ‘stuff’ to fill that need, maybe too much.  I will have to think about this aspect.  However, I was glad I could feed my need for input and information.

Patience:

This is something I have had to work on quite a bit over the past two years. Life throws you curve balls out-of-the-blue and learning to catch or dodge requires a measure of patience.  I was bored….really bored.  I wanted my recovery to hurry-up, but in the end I had to be patient.  I could have done some significant complaining, but to what end?  I could have fussed on social media, on the phone, etc….but again to what end?  I did tell Rooster Senior that I did not feel well a few times. He offered to help, but really didn’t know what to do for me….and neither did I.  I wasn’t sick enough to go the Doctor, but I felt drained of energy, ached, coughed, etc.  It just didn’t seem appropriate to complain….because I was being forced to rest.  I decided to see it for what it was, a time to rest and recuperate….something I don’t do that often.   

Spiritual:

I took time to think about ‘things’.  I read, listened and sometimes watched Spiritually themed information. (Remember that need to feed my racing mind!)  I had time to actually listen to what my Heavenly Father may have been trying to tell me for a while.  I need to ensure that I allow myself to have quiet time on a daily basis to listen.

Gratitude:

Although I feel like I really haven’t accomplished much in the areas I usually address, I am grateful to be feeling better. I am grateful to have had the things I needed on hand and I am grateful my spouse showed care and concern for me.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to do things I may not have always take the opportunity to do…like rest and research.

Take Home Points….

  • Preparing isn’t just for big emergencies and catastrophic events. 
  • I was grateful and felt peace that I had medication, etc on hand to address my needs.
  • I am grateful for paid vacation!  Even though I was sick for weeks, my family did not suffer financial loss.
  • I had things to feed my mind…which is a huge mental boost when you are sick.
  • Taking those small steps to prepare your family are worthy of your time and financial investment.
I promise, I will be back at it soon……my energy levels are increasing each day!

Haley Strategic releases the FlatPack

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This is a pretty slick little pack/back panel to integrate into the D3CR.

It is pretty small – 1 liter hydro capacity, 700 cubic inches when fully expanded – but is sized well to fit onto the back of a plate carrier. Tactical Tailor/Grey Ghost Gear and others have launched backpacks designed to integrate into the back of an armor carrier, but they mostly seem to end up a bit big, bulky and unwieldy.

A compressed FlatPack looks about as slick as you can hope to get for a hydration carrier, yet it gives you the ability to expand out and carrier more gear if needed.

This isn’t for carrying a multi-day load for sure, but enough space to support a day at the range, a long hike or a short range patrol activity.

I have a D3CR, and the chest rig harness is a bit on the lame side. That makes the FlatPack all the more appealing to me, given that it’s is intended to replace the harness and integrate in with the chest rig.

The price may be a bit rich for a small, fairly basic pack ($130), but it’s got a unique set of capabilities that don’t exist elsewhere.

Suggested Compound Bow Draw Weights for both Hunting & Target

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Compound Bow Draw WeightsJust like the crossbow, the modern compound bow has undergone an amazing evolution in the last couple of decades with significant advances in arrow speeds.

Consequently, the process of choosing the correct draw weight for a compound bow is actually far more complicated than it is for a traditional bow due to significant differences in riser design, limb design, and cam design. In fact, any two different models of compound bows with the same draw weights may feel entirely different from each other when drawn due to those differences.

Therefore, choosing the correct compound bow draw weight is as much a matter of choosing the right brand and model as it is choosing a particular draw weight for a particular purpose.

Fortunately, there are some guidelines that you can follow to help you narrow down the correct draw weight for the particular compound bow that you choose.

Target Shooting & The Discliplines:

When choosing a compound bow for target shooting, you should first be aware that there are two different disciplines in formal target archery and the main difference between them is that archers who choose to pursue the sport of Field Archery always shoot at targets that are placed at known distances from the firing line whereas, archers who choose to pursue the sport of 3D archery always shoot at targets placed at unknown distances from the firing stakes.

Field Archers:  Field Archers are far more concerned with shot-to-shot consistency and pin point accuracy than they are arrow speed. But, because arrows have an arched flight path, when firing them at targets at unknown distances, even a slight miscalculation of the distance of just a few feet can significantly, and adversely, affect the arrow’s point of impact.

3D Archers:  3D archers consider arrow speed to be a major factor when choosing a compound bow. Consequently, compound bows meant for Field Archery commonly range from 25 lbs. to 45 lbs. in draw weight and feature relatively smooth drawing cams. Compound bows meant for 3D Archery on the other hand commonly range from 50 lbs. to 70 lbs. and have far more radical cams with less smooth draw cycles but, they also deliver higher arrow speeds using the same draw weight.

Compound bows with moderate cams require more draw weight to equal the speed of the same bow with a more radical cam at the same draw weight. But, the more radical the cam, the less smooth the bow is to draw and thus, a lesser draw weight may be required to enable the archer to draw it.

General Guidelines to Draw Weight:

The best course of action is to find a model that you like and then choose the maximum draw weight that you can comfortably draw because most compound bows have a draw weight adjustment range of 10 to 15 lbs.

When choosing a compound bow for hunting, like the 3D archer, you will definitely want the maximum amount of draw weight that you can comfortably draw; regardless of what brand or model you choose.

Of course, the reason that it’s important for hunters to draw as much weight as possible is the same as it is for 3D Archers because increased draw weight results in faster arrow speeds.

Also, when hunting, you owe it to the animal you are hunting to make a clean, precise, shot which will end its life as quickly and humanely as possible and, faster arrow speeds result in better accuracy over unknown distances.

Therefore, because most states have a minimum draw weight restriction which is commonly 45 lbs., when choosing a compound bow for hunting, you will need to choose one that meets the minimum draw weight restriction for your state.

But, draw weights of 45 lbs. to 50 lbs. are good choices for youth and female hunters whereas most male hunters tend to prefer draw weights of 60 lbs. to 70 lbs.

On the other hand, it should be noted that while radical cams do significantly increase the speed of the bow, they also increase the steepness of the force-draw curve and thus, a bow with a radical cam can feel like it has more draw weight than a bow of the same draw weight with a less radical cam.

Wrap Up & Recommendations:

Therefore, once again, the best course of action is to find a model that you like, choose the maximum draw weight that you can comfortably draw, and then adjust the draw weight to suite your stature.

So, to reiterate, when choosing a compound bow for target shooting, you will likely want to choose a relatively light draw weight ranging from 25 lbs. to 45 lbs. depending on the physical stature of the intended archer. But, when choosing a compound bow for hunting, then you will need to choose a bow with as much draw weight as you can handle.

Thus, most youth and female hunters choose draw weights from 45 lbs. to 50 lbs. and most male hunters choose draw weights from 60 lbs. to 70 lbs. Also, it should be noted that most compound bows do have an adjustable draw weight range of 10 to 15 lbs. and as a result, it is wise to purchase a bow with the maximum draw weight the archer can draw, adjust it down, and then gradually increase it as the archer becomes accustomed to drawing it. That way, the bow can grow with the archer.

The post Suggested Compound Bow Draw Weights for both Hunting & Target appeared first on Wilderness Today.

Breaking the 5,000 article mark on bugoutnetwork.com

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Bugoutnetwork.com now has over 5,200 articles available for search.  Big “thank you’s” to all you that contribute to the prepper community!

This is just a quick update to let you know that I am here and, no, the government did not shut me down due to the FEMA article, but thanks for asking.  Projects have been taking time, but here are some things you can expect to see…

  • A book review of Mark Goodwin’s “Persecution” (from the “Days of Noah” series)
  • A look at ways that society seems to be “weaponized” through social media
  • A how-to for those who want email communication through HAM radio
  • Breaking your reliance on smartphones
  • A how-to guide for getting your blog away from Google

What you will find here

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This web site is devoted to empowering you, the reader, to care for your loved ones and yourself when there’s no other choice. Thank you for visiting and may God bless you richly. – Doc Cindy / Cynthia J. Koelker, MD

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September 11-13, 2015 as part of Survival and Self-Reliance Intensive Training Weekend

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Register today at www.survivalandselfreliance.com

September 18-20, 2015 in Akron, OH – see below

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Shelter, Food & Busy Hands

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We all know how a shelter is very important not only for cover but also for protection from the elements. I think that it is always a great challenge to me how to build a shelter whether making a simple or complicated one.

Here are some types of shelters:

Types of SheltersTypes of SheltersTypes of SheltersTypes of Shelters

Shelter always gives you that “homey” feeling of protection and comfort. I know that this is how I feel personally. I walk into the wilderness that is so big and so open that I feel so overwhelmed and lost. But whenever I make a shelter… it feels good like my homemade comfort zone :) my own little corner where I can be safe and rest.

Having your own space helps the mental thing a lot! It is very important to me to feel secure especially being a lady. :)

Don’t forget the FIRE! Shelter and Fire is a perfect combination! Food comes after remember? :)

Just look at these men what they had accomplished. It’s just the beginning of something great but still was a lot of work. When building shelters, it’s always worth it; it brings a sense of accomplishment. Now when these men go hunting in the fall, they will have a place to stay that will be warm and cozy after waiting and freezing patiently from the top trees! :)

Types of SheltersTypes of SheltersTypes of Shelters

Paul & Jeremy are brothers, young men from our church who go out with Mike sometimes. They worked hard to build this shelter, not very far from their hunting spots. Now remember what comes after? FOOD…. I LOVE FOOD!!

Building Shelter and CookingBuilding Shelter and CookingBuilding Shelter and Cooking

Whether you are with a family or friends, I think that it brings a smile to everyone’s face. Good memories are made!

CARVING

You may have seen Mike many times carving a spoon, just relaxing. Personally I like to see the hunt for that piece of wood before he transforms it into a spoon. The work that goes into it and the many hours spent carving it; perfecting every corner and edges.

Carving A SpoonCarving A SpoonCarving A SpoonCarving A Spoon

That is patience that I don’t think I have!  I tried, but I simply don’t have the gift to carve! :( I’ll just cook!

It is almost a perfect scene… a good shelter in front of a warm fire, meal cooking, water boiling for a coffee while Mike is finishing up a spoon. Amen!

20141117_120305 20150224_151405 20150424_172949

The sound of the wood cracking as it slowly burns and is being consumed by the fire is so relaxing to me. I am blessed that I have enjoyed many experiences like this with Mike. I am grateful and by God’s grace I am not DONE YET! :)

 

 

Spending Time in the Woods

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I like going out with my husband but he likes it more than I do. I know it and he knows it too! I look forward to going out with him curious where we will go, where we will set camp and what we are going to eat lol!

Whenever we are out together… he takes care of the camp and I take care of the food. We like it and enjoy doing it.

I like spending time in the woods because of the quietness that it gives, there is something so peaceful about it if you listen. The world is so busy and so loud. Someone told me once that it is too quiet here and scary! We get so used to the noise all around us that it makes us afraid to be still and do nothing.

The Word of God says, “Be still and know that I am God.” It is not an easy thing to do.”

Just because it’s quiet doesn’t mean that it’s boring!

I call it a PICNIC!

That’s why I get excited to go out. It is a DATE! A PICNIC for me and my hubby.

Spending Time in the WoodsSpending Time in the WoodsSpending Time in the Woods

I know when I go back home that I feel tired especially when it’s  a long hike but it’s a good tiredness. Breathing fresh air, drown my mind with pure thoughts, get in shape, but mostly refreshed. These are the some of the reasons why I like to go out and spend time in the woods.

The peace and rest that the Lord gives is a rest for a weary soul.

I find this easy but not for Mike! He is constantly moving, working, filming. I had to tell him often, can you relax. He tries but it is difficult for him because sometimes there are scenes that only he can see and he must absolutely get it on film!

I know that he needs to go out to film and to work but I have also heard him say to me, “I had a good talk with the Lord.” That is music to my ears!

Spending Time in the Woods Spending Time in the Woods  Spending Time in the Woods

This is the major reason why we go out, to DISCONNECT to be able to CONNECT with God. I hope that it will do the same for you. 

Mike & Josie

Spending Time in the Woods

Spring has Sprung!

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Finally Spring! I was waiting for it for a while now! Just the thought of going outside without carrying heavy loads from my clothing to everything else just feels good!

I was excited to go to our favorite “spring spot” in Kinnear’s Mills, walk the trail, listen to the happy birds and the rushing water from the river. It seems like the water wanted to melt away from its layers of thick ice that imprisoned it all winter. Spring

Spring signifies a lot of things coming back to life again and being born again if I may say it that way. It’s not that things were dead but I would rather say dormant. All I can say is praise God for the Spring! I love Spring!

Today Mike and I had an easy relaxing day. We just wanted to RELAX and enjoy God’s creation, it does not have to be laborious all the time. Just watch, listen, and relax.

It is good to be quiet and to be still, it is good for the soul. When we were in Haiti in February we met a couple from New York and had a conversation with them. They told us that they wanted their children to experience the “Island life,” meaning the slow pace not always go, go, go!

For me going out just gives me that. Leaving all your cares about this life and rest in the Lord, enjoy His presence and the beauty of His creation. It is a medicine for the soul. Spring has sprung

In a way I think of some of our dear friends who can’t go out because of health issues. I understand that watching good videos on You Tube helps them to be there. Watching videos on YT while we can’t go is a blessing. Hopefully the time will come when you can go out a bit and enjoy the wilderness.

We are created in God’s image that’s why we have that connection when we go out and enjoy what creation has to offer.

I hope that you are enjoying your spring as well.

We brought a little something to eat and drink. It was a very simple hike because the road was still blocked with snow and ice and we couldn’t reach the top. But all in all we had a great time together! It felt great to be out!

Spring has sprung Spring has sprung Spring has sprung

 

72 Hour Emergency Kit Series Week 7: Clothes

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72 hour kit emergency series week 7: ClothesClothes.  Who needs em?  Totally kidding!!  Contrary to what you may have seen on shows like “Naked and Afraid,” clothes are not optional.  This week in our 72 hour emergency kit series we’re covering the topic of clothes.  As I have in the past, I’m going to cover different options and ideas for you to consider, then it’s up to you to make the best choice for your personal situation.  You might think this would be a simple topic, but there are lots of options and it all really depends on what your plans are.  Answering the following questions will help you figure out what types of clothing you’ll need to pack in your emergency kit.

1.  Are you staying or going?  If you’re staying in your home, you’re set as long as you’ve done laundry recently!  If you’re going, read on!

2.  If you’re evacuating, where are you going?  Grandma’s house?  A hotel or shelter?  Out to the woods?  Dressing for a night at grandma’s or a night alone in the woods are probably not the same.

3.  Do you want to blend in or stand out?  If your plan is to hide in the woods, you’ll want to blend in to the woods.  If your plan is to evacuate through a city, you’ll want to blend in with the other people walking the street.  If you’re going to a shelter and you want to be able to quickly count all the kids to make sure they haven’t wandered too far, consider matching shirts for each family member of a bright color.  I’ve seen this suggested, but I would NOT go so far as putting names in a visible location on your shirts.  You don’t want some stranger acting like they are someone your child should know because they are able to call him or her by their name.

4.  What’s the weather like?  Are you going to be out in the heat and humidity?  Rain?  Cold and snow?  Pack accordingly.  Layers are great as they allow for warmth when needed and can be removed if the weather warms up or you are working.  I include thermals as they can be used for pajamas as well as a base layer during a cold day.  Hats can provide warmth and/or sun protection.

5.  Do you have shoes?  You do NOT want to be barefoot in an emergency!  Check out these 9 tips for keeping shoes on your feet no matter what.

6.  If you packed clothes six months or a year or two years ago, do they still fit?  Have you gained or lost weight?  Gotten pregnant?  Did your kids grow?  It is best to check and rotate the clothing in your kit every six to twelve months.

In my family’s kits I have stocked the kids with red shirts to help me keep track of them, and layers in the event we need to use our kits in cold weather.  I usually get the clothes for their kits from thrift stores or yard sales for cheap.  My kit has clothes I could wear outdoors or in.  I have a pair of my favorite retired hiking boots tied to the kit.

To help the clothes fit better in my kit and keep them dry, protected, and organized, I vacuum seal them with my FoodSaver vacuum sealer and label the package with what’s inside (because vacuum sealed clothes all kind of look the same).  For the kids I’ll draw a picture on the package if they are too small to read.

What clothes are in your kit?  Do you have any suggestions for someone just starting out?

And for those of you who like to listen to me talk, here is where I explain clothing for your emergency kit without you having to read about it 🙂

Keep preparing!
Angela

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The Incredible Value of Spices, Especially for Preppers

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  There are many times, during emergencies, power outages, flu pandemics, or even during civil unrest that eating out becomes unwise if not dangerous.  Yet, many American families have stocked kitchens, and live a life that requires that they eat out multiple times each week.   This post is one of a several pronged attempt to examine this practice and gradually make some changes which allow eating at home as a safer, less expensive, and potentially a more pleasant experience.
 

          In the last post I explained that learning to cook was not a skill set I mastered early in my marriage.  Consistent with that, I thought that a collection of spices was an extravagance.  I did not learn until much later how important having a supply of spices and knowing how to use them, really can be.

            In the US, in the past twenty years or so, families have developed a bad habit of eating out with their children at least once a week, and often much, much more. We tell ourselves that we don’t have time to cook, but often, we eat out because the food simply tastes better than something we think we might make at home.  Proper seasoning of food may be one of the reasons we might have this misperception.

           In addition, spices are not simply an extravagance. Spices not only can provide an interesting an appetizing draw to food, for only a few calories, if any, but they can provide vitamins and significant amounts of trace minerals.   Nutmeg for example is metabolized as magnesium !  Most of us could use additional dietary magnesium.   Many studies bear out the great value of dietary spices.  Although I am not personally a fan of Indian food, we know that many cancers are quite rare in India, in part because they spice their food with a particular set of spices which are now proven to benefit health.

The following is a listing of just a few spices and how you and your family can incorporate these in your normal diet

Nutmeg:

In reasonable amount used as a seasoning, many cultures from Asia to Europe use it.   I like to use it on top of hot chocolate and on baked custard, but many cultures use it on vegetables also.  Some cultures use it on potatoes, and other on vegetables like Brussel sprouts.  In any event, you are taking on additional magnesium while you are enjoying a tasty treat.




Cumin

   Cumin is also a spice which has bee widely used throughout the world for hundreds if not thousands of years.  It can be used ground, as I do, or in the seed form also.  It can add an earthy, warm taste to soups, stews and even chili.  There is scientific data which suggests that it is mildly antibacterial and antiviral and aids with digestion.




Turmeric

       This spice is used in South East Asian cuisine in both vegetable and meat dishes.  India also uses it broadly. There are too many health benefits to list in the form of a brief blog post, and so I will encourage you to research these yourself.



Cinnamon

         From French toast to flavoring your own oatmeal and healthy oatmeal cookies cinnamon  is of great benefit.  Some use cinnamon on certain potato, sweet potato or carrot dishes also.




Ginger

         From flavoring meats, poultry, to salads, ginger can provide that inexplicable something that the Asian restaurants know so well.   Ginger is also said to be an excellent way of settling a stomach.



Chili powder


              The important take away point is that being able to produce tasty food which makes eating in public during difficult times less of a necessity is an important preparedness skill.  Going out to eat should be rare, and the times you do it should be chosen.  Not only is eating out costly, but it does eating increase your exposure to the hazards of other people in difficult times (like civil unrest, for example). It exposes us and our families to potential for food  poisoning.   No matter how nice a restaurant might look, there is always the potential for food poisoning.


Cardamom

               A fairly expensive spice, this is used in teas. It is also a fantastic addition to certain breads. There are positive health uses.


               This post does not encourage you to build a spice cabinet for hundreds of dollars by Friday.  What I am saying is that bit my bit, preppers especially should begin, one by one, to gather salt, pepper, ginger, chili powder, freeze dried chives, and all manner of spices you believe you would use.  I have also bought large long term containers of powdered chicken gravy and beef gravy.   CVS and Wahlgreens also stock some low priced spices.  I am quite sure that these may not be the very best of spices available, but sometimes, when we wish to try something we have never used before, a dollar or two is all that we should spend.    Badia is also a brand of spices sold fairly inexpensively in grocery stores.  Sometimes it has a stronger flavor than other brands, but it is inexpensive and is especially good value if you enjoy spices often used in Mexican food.     There are also combinations of spices which you might invest in.  I am particularly fond of Montreal Steak Seasoning, and now there is a Montreal Chicken Seasoning also.

This was a coca cola bottle holder turned into a spice rack.






                In the interest of good health and in spending more time eating at home, for both economic and practical reasons, we owe it to ourselves and our families to begin to gather spices and experiment as to how to properly use them.   Some time ago my husband returned from a business trip in Mexico with a wonderful recipe he learned from the hotel.  A chicken breast is split and fried gently in olive oil and salt and pepper.  Then cumin is shaken on front and back of the chicken and it is cooked until it is golden brown.  Unusual and delicious !   We owe it to ourselves to learn more about spicing.


If you are unable to locate a spice you would like to try, this is an excellent source of all spices:

http://www.myspicesage.com




Regarding Reporting Food Poisoning After Eating Out   (A State by State Reporting System)

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/find-your-health-department-to-report-food-poisoning/#.VVsiFVI1fTo

Regarding Food Poisoning:

http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2014/06/03/food-poisoning-it-was-likely-a-restaurant-worker/


7 Examples of Police State Technology that have arisen in 2014 to infringe on Our Rights

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Things are not looking pretty for the land of the free.

The year 2014 has made it very clear that privacy is under threat, and the situation is not likely to improve. Mass surveillance – which became a national issue via the Edward Snowden leaks – is not subsiding or under reform; instead, is becoming more bold and complex with each passing day.

It would take several books to catalog the myriad ways in which the rights of The People have been casually infringed by various levels of government just in years since 9/11 and the introduction of the PATRIOT Act.

And not only are federal agencies like the NSA, Homeland Security and the FBI that are taking liberties with our… umm… liberties; it is local police, too. The rise of technology is rapidly fueling these agencies with data and “intelligence” with very little oversight and even less pause for reflection to use these powerful abilities wisely and yes, judiciously.

Here are just a few major areas where privacy is losing badly to surveillance technology in 2014. Not that anyone is paying attention, but they are worth reflecting upon soon – hopefully before it is too late to turn things back around:

1. Militarized Police and Weapons of War on American Streets:

True, this technology has been in use for several years now and has been demonstrated at protests such as those held outside of the G20 in Pittsburgh and, Toronto and other locales.

But the events in Ferguson really allowed this brand of crowd control to come of age. This and other key protests have seemingly justified a massive police response for just about anything now… but… you know, the first amendment is still respected and all.

The Daily Sheeple reported:

Ferguson police have stocked up on less-lethal ammunition in the last few months including “hornets nest” CS sting grenades, which shoot out dozens of rubber bullets and a powdered chemical agent upon detonation, tear gas, riot gear, plastic handcuffs and the like in the lead up to the decision which is expected to come any time now. St Louis County police have spent $172,669 on this stuff just since August.
The Pentagon’s 1033 surplus program, which hands out everything from MRAP armored vehicles, to bullet proof vests, assault rifles, and other military weapons to domestic law enforcement agencies, is one of the major reasons that ordinary police departments, including those in small towns, are gearing up as for battle… and that includes Ferguson:

The Department of Defense Excess Property Program (1033 Program) is authorized under federal law and managed through the Defense Logistics Agency’s Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) in Ft. Belvoir, Va. The 1033 Program provides surplus DoD military equipment to state and local civilian law enforcement agencies for use in counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism operations, and to enhance officer safety.

The Missouri Department of Public Safety is the sponsoring state agency responsible for administration of the 1033 Program in Missouri.

2. Biometrics Comes of Age:

Fingerprints and iris scans are becoming normalized as identifiers on mobile phones, including the iPhone 5, computers and other platforms.

Increasingly, technology – including devices used by police – are utilizing other bodily features (in addition to fingerprints and eyes) to identify you, including ears, noses, heart rate (via electrocardiogram), blood vein matching, your scent or smell and even “butt biometrics” – no joke – which will allow smart car seats to identify the sitter based on their unique posture.

While these are surely being integrated into law enforcement devices, they are also becoming the mainstays of “wearables,” the new trendy technology that is collecting data on all of those using it to track health progress and etc.

Surveillance cameras have already been used to identify you by your walk for several years now, but advances have allowed technology to even identify the person wearing a camera, such as a police officer with a mounted body cam, by just 4 seconds of footage, revealing a ‘biometric fingerprint’ of the individual.

Of course, roadside blood draws have already entered the picture in law enforcement work, including numerous locales that have implemented mandatory policies during stops. This is sure to pick up. In Seattle, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently conducted a paid, voluntary survey of drivers, who received up to $60 to give blood and breath samples at a roadside stop in effort to study how many people drive impaired.

3. Smart Phone Apps Know Everything About You:

Vocative published a long and unsettling list of apps for smart phones and other similar devices that all collect untold amounts of information about you every day.

Whether you realize it or not, permissions for apps routinely allow the collection and sharing of such information as your contact and address book, your text message, and audio recorded from your device’s microphone, your call log and much more.

Yes, this is really happening, so beware if you are using mobile apps including:

Anti-Virus Security, Viber, Facebook, 360 Security (Antivirus), Tango Messenger, WhatsApp Messenger, Skype, GO Launcher EX, WeChat, CM Security, Waze Social GPS Maps & Traffic, BBM, LINE Free Calls & Messages, Clean Master Phone Boost, BU Battery Saver, Google’s Chrome Browser, Twitter, Maps, Instagram, YouTube, Dolphin Browser, Castle Clash and Trivia Crack …and be sure to actually read over the privacy policy and Terms of Service before accepting or installing anything.

Considering that Angry Birds and Candy Crush were admittedly used to collect surveillance data for the NSA (also revealed in 2014), and law enforcement now regularly investigate persons of interest based upon social media posts and cell phone data, there is no telling how many of these apps may be drawing unwanted suspicion your way… whether you have anything to hide or not.

Need we remind you of all the telecom and internet firms who, according to the Edward Snowden leaks, shared data willingly with the NSA?

4. “StingRay” and “Dirtbox” Cell Phone Interceptors:
2014 is the year that much has come to light about the very secret and awfully quiet use of a data sweeping technology that has increasingly been used by agencies including the FBI, local law enforcement, and likely private, public and foreign intelligence agencies and even military units… though, due to extreme secrecy, it is just too difficult to know for sure.

Moreover, it emerged in 2014 that the FBI has been pressuring police departments to keep quiet about the use of StingRay, which it has also not been obtaining warrants before putting to use:

Not only are local police departments across the United States increasingly relying on so-called StingRay devices to conduct surveillance on cell phone users, but cops are being forced to keep quiet about the operations, new documents reveal.

Recent reports have indicated that law enforcement agencies from coast to coast have been turning to IMSI-catcher devices, like the StingRay sold by Florida’s Harris Corporation, to trick ordinary mobile phones into communicating device-specific International Mobile Subscriber Identity information to phony cell towers — a tactic that takes the approximate geolocation data of all the devices within range and records it for investigators. Recently, the Tallahassee Police Department in the state of Florida was found to have used their own “cell site simulator” at least 200 times to collect phone data without once asking for a warrant during a three-year span, and details about the use of StingRays by other law enforcement groups continue to emerge on the regular.

Although the majority of the December 2012 document is redacted, a paragraph from FBI special agent Laura Laughlin to Police of Chief Donald Ramsdell reveals that Tacoma officers were told they couldn’t discuss their use of IMSI-catchers with anyone… police in Tacoma were forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA, with the Federal Bureau of Investigation before they could begin conducting surveillance on cell users with a Harris-sold StingRay.

It further emerged in 2014 that the Justice Department was overseeing the use of small Cessna aircraft using “dirtbox” technology to collect cell phone data over major urban centers across the nation to pinpoint suspects while scooping up information from thousands of cell phone users. Here’s what the Wall Street Journal revealed:

The Justice Department is scooping up data from thousands of mobile phones through devices deployed on airplanes that mimic cellphone towers, a high-tech hunt for criminal suspects that is snagging a large number of innocent Americans, according to people familiar with the operations.

The U.S. Marshals Service program, which became fully functional around 2007, operates Cessna aircraft from at least five metropolitan-area airports, with a flying range covering most of the U.S. population, according to people familiar with the program.

5. Radar Sweeps of Residential Homes:

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals made a decision on the use of Doppler radar technology for use in the execution of an arrest warrant. 

The Washington Post considered:

The “grave” Fourth Amendment issues raised by use of a “Doppler radar device capable of detecting from outside the home the presence of human breathing and movement within”. But it is also fair to ask, who is watching the watchers for the use of this technology, anyway? Is this (and much more) being used frequently by authorities or private agencies to collect data in pursuit of investigations, including before the burden of “reasonable suspicion” has been met?
Is such a radar sweep a violation of the 4th Amendment and other rights if the police don’t already have “reasonable suspicion”? The possibilities are foggy… and a bit unnerving.

We don’t normally encounter this question because we normally understand the uses and limits of investigatory tools. If the officer looked through the window and didn’t see any other people, for example, we could intuitively factor that into the reasonable suspicion inquiry without having to think about burdens of proof. I’m less sure what we’re supposed to do when the government uses a suspicion-testing technological device with unknown capabilities. The opinion relies on the language from Buie that “the sweep lasts no longer than is necessary to dispel the reasonable suspicion of danger,” and thus asks whether there was evidence that the Doppler device “dispelled” the reasonable suspicion. But it’s not clear to me that this language from Buie applies here, as it was referring to evidence after reasonable suspicion was established and the entry was made rather than before.

But for the average person, the potential for abuse is pretty clear here. One commenter noted:

Use of this technology on a home is a search. The police don’t know what or who is in the house – they use this technology to survey (i.e. search) the house to determine information that they can’t ascertain without the home owner’s permission.

6. Pre-crime “Threat Assessment” Database:

The 9-1-1 emergency infrastructure now carries a real time “threat assessment” database known as “Beware,” that gives police and first responders a color-coded threat level, with green signifying no threat, yellow identifying a valid threat and red urging immediate caution. The catch? The threat assessment is not just based on the obvious stuff like prior arrests and criminal history, but also compiles billions of consumer records and, yes, social media. In fact, the majority of police now use social media in their investigations… the Beware database just makes it instant and universal.

Even worse, the co-founder of the technology said it flags “offensive speech” in its threat assessment… you don’t even have to make an online threat to be considered a threat, you just have be considered “offensive”! And who decides that, anyway? Not you. You aren’t even allowed to know what has been entered in your privately-held records:

Your local police department is likely using numerous tools and applications that might determine how you get treated during a routine traffic stop, or in response to your neighbor’s call about loud music. One such application, Beware, has been sold to police departments since 2012. It can be accessed on any Internet-enabled device, including tablets, smartphones, laptop and desktop computers, while responders are in route to, or at the location of a call.

This app explores billions of records in social media postings, commercial and public databases for law enforcement needs, churning out “risk profiles” in real time.

‘Beware’ algorithm assigns a score and “threat rating” to a person — green, yellow or red – and sends that rating to a requesting officer. Worst of all, this information is not made available to the very person whose “threat rating” is being appraised. You have no ability to dispute being wrongly designated a high risk potential offender.

And it stands to reason that this concerning database is going to be used against more than just serious criminals. The potential for abuse and use against gun owners and those exercising political speech, including offensive or less than-responsible online rhetoric, is perhaps inevitable and unavoidable with this system, which has been in use for now for several years.

What’s worse? So-called “predictive policing” is just in its infancy… there are multiple platforms still finding a market, and their invasive capabilities are sure to grow in magnitude as the years go on. A federally-mandated network called FirstNet is being constructed, “using federal funding, are set to begin building a $7-billion nationwide first-responder wireless network” that will incorporate these emergency powers into every agency and locale across the country.

7. License Plate Scanning and Traffic Monitoring:

There are already issues for gun owners in Maryland, where concealed carry permits issued by other states are not recognized. Traffic cops there recently pulled over a licensed gun owner in good legal standing from Florida to search his vehicle for a specific firearm – his Kel-Tec .38 semi-automatic handgun – while he and his family were traveling through the state. As it turned out, the gun was locked in a safe at home in Florida, and the incident ended in a traffic warning for speeding. But what prompted the preemptive search, and how did police know this man was a concealed carry?

Likely the stop-and-search was the result of police work involving routine license scanning, traffic monitoring and database threat assessment using software like Beware, which has already been used in some 38 million emergency calls across the country.

Only a few days ago, the mainstream rehashed the fact that the EZ Pass and other toll road transponders are not just used for collecting toll information, but are used for traffic surveillance and police investigations as well.

Forbes’ privacy advocate Kashmir Hill wrote about an electronics tinkerer who “did an analysis of the many ways his car could be tracked and stumbled upon something rather interesting: his E-ZPass, which he obtained for the purpose of paying tolls, was being used to track his car in unexpected places, far away from any toll booths.“

Police subsequently copped to the use of this device in surveillance and tracking activities:

It’s part of Midtown in Motion, an initiative to feed information from lots of sensors into New York’s traffic management center. A spokesperson for the New York Department of Transportation, Scott Gastel, says the E-Z Pass readers are on highways across the city, and on streets in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island, and have been in use for years. The city uses the data from the readers to provide real-time traffic information, as for this tool… Notably, the fact that E-ZPasses will be used as a tracking device outside of toll payment, is not disclosed anywhere that I could see in the terms and conditions.

They are also used by toll companies themselves, as USA Today disclosed:

Warning to motorists: Don’t speed in the toll lanes. E-Z Pass is watching. Several states, including New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania, say they monitor speeds through the fast pass toll lanes and will suspend your E-Z Pass for multiple speeding violations.Years ago, a hacker explained how the California DOT and law enforcement were able to use toll transponders as an active homing beacon capable of zeroing in on a suspect or monitoring the total flow of traffic over a given period of time:

Each radio frequency id (RFID) transponder sends a unique identification code to scanners positioned at toll booths. A tolling authority computer matches this ID code with credit card and other payment information to collect the toll… [Even] an inexpensive RFID scanner [can be used] to read the ID code of any vehicle remotely, essentially turning the transponder into a homing beacon with a maximum range of about 100 yards.

“You can use it for tracking,” Lawson said. “Once you’ve seen the car, you can pick it out in a crowd.”

That is exactly what California’s 511 system does. Scanners placed throughout the highway network track the movement of motorists with toll transponders as a means of monitoring traffic flow. According to the California Department of Transportation, the system tracks individual ID codes, storing a movement history for each particular car in a database for 24 hours.

Additionally, both Homeland Security and the IRS were in the news this year regarding their use of data collected by both public and private agencies using license plate tracking systems:

The Department of Homeland Security wants a private company to provide a national license-plate tracking system that would give the agency access to vast amounts of information from commercial and law enforcement tag readers, according to a government proposal that does not specify what privacy safeguards would be put in place.

“It is important to note that this database would be run by a commercial enterprise, and the data would be collected and stored by the commercial enterprise, not the government,” she said.
Fox News carried further details:

In June 2012, the IRS awarded Vigilant a $1,188 contract for “access to nationwide data,” according to federal procurement records compiled by the news agency. The contract ended in May 2013, according to the records.

“Especially with the IRS, I don’t know why these agencies are getting access to this kind of information,” Lynch said. “These systems treat every single person in an area as if they’re under investigation for a crime — that is not the way our criminal justice system was set up or the way things work in a democratic society.”

[Source: By Mac Salvo]

Fire Safety – Preparing for Anything

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There are over 1 million fires reported in the US every year according to the NFPA. These fires lead to about 15,000 injuries and 3,000 deaths. Given these numbers, fire safety is of utmost concern – especially in a SHTF scenario. Preparing for a fire and having the tools necessary to suppress the flames and evacuate can be essential to ensuring your survival.

Identifying Fire Risks

Steps should be taken to eliminate fire liabilities however trying to prevent the outbreak of fire is obviously preferred . Overcrowded electrical plugs, unattended candles and faulty kitchen appliances are all examples of potential fire risks. You should make sure that you and your loved ones know how to minimize these risks.  Keep in mind that, due to decorating your house, a lot of these risks are even more prevalent around the holidays.

Fires can start in all sorts of crazy ways in addition to the standard ones above. And they’re not always preventable. Some recent examples of odd fire starters include a Nutella jar next to a window, a cellphone overheating and a blender sparking flames.

While it is obviously best to practice fire prevention, it is crucial to have a plan and prepare for when a fire does break out.

Fire Safety Preparation

Preparing for fire safety involves three easy steps:

  1. Smoke Detectors
    Anyone who takes preparedness seriously must make sure they have working smoke detectors throughout their home. Smoke detectors should be placed inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home including the basement. Alarms should also be placed in the living room, near the stairway to the upper level and, most importantly, in the kitchen. You should be checking your alarms once a month to make sure they’re still working According to FEMA.
  2. Fire Extinguishers
    Fires can get out of control in as little as 30 seconds. Preparing in advance by placing fire extinguishers in key areas of your home can prevent the spread of flames and possibly save your house. At the very minimum, it is best to keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, the laundry room, and the garage. These three locations are considered high-risk areas for fires. The general rule is that you want to have the extinguisher in your hand within 6 seconds of becoming aware of the fire.
  3. Evacuation
    It takes fire crews, on average, 10 minutes to arrive on scene.  That means that it will be up to you to make sure you get out safely. Preparing and practicing a fire safety escape plan is a great idea and it can be life saving. One key component to any fire safety escape plan is that every room should have two safe exits even if it means using a window. First floor windows should not have bars on them that cannot be opened in an emergency. Second and third floor rooms should have a fire ladder nearby. Make sure that it is tested and safe. Finally, if the room is several stories up, there are other alternate evacuation methods which will allow you to safely descend from your window.

Wrap Up

Overall, fire safety is an important issue for suburban homesteaders – and anyone with a preparedness mindset – to think about.  Check on your plans, practice with your family and make sure you are not going to become a statistic.

Fire Safety

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Guest Poster: Joseph Schwartz
Content Manager at SkySaver
Joseph Schwartz is originally from Toronto, Canada and currently works as the Content Manager at SkySaver, a high-rise rescue company. Joseph has always spent his summers at camps teaching outdoor skills and leading hikes. His background is in teaching and marketing and he is always looking to learn new survival skills and share knowledge with others.

What Kind of Articles Would You like to See on Preppers Illustrated?

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preppersillustrated.com

As Preppers Illustrated continues growing in popularity, I’ve been thinking more and more about what types of articles my readers REALLY want to read. After all, the main goal of this website is to help people become better prepared for any number of scenarios that may come our way in the future. As the author of the website, feedback from my readers is extremely important. I’ve received some positive feedback from lots of my readers for which I’m greatly appreciative. Receiving this feedback, let’s me know that I’m on the right track and that my articles are helpful in some…

The post What Kind of Articles Would You like to See on Preppers Illustrated? appeared first on Preppers Illustrated.

8 Easy Ways to Start a Fire

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This article was written by Dan Sullivan from Survival Sullivan. Check out Dan’s blog, I think you’ll enjoy it.
 
 
8 Easy Ways to Start a Fire

How many ways of starting a fire do you know? No matter how many you answered, I’m sure you can learn a few more after reading this article. You never know when you’re out in the wild, desperately needing a fire and you realize your primary and secondary means of starting a one aren’t working.

Accidents will happen… your bug out bag could fall into a body of water, possibly compromising some of your stuff and, as you’re desperately trying to start a fire using your soaking wet matches, you begin to realize the severity of the situation.

Before we discuss all the different ways to start a fire, it’s worth mentioning you need have tinder readily available to quickly catch those sparks. Bark, dry glass, small sticks, cotton balls and even paper will do the trick. So, without further ado, let’s see all the various ways to start a fire.
 
 
Using an Obvious Fire-Starting Device

I’m not going to spend too much time talking about Bic lighters and waterproof matches. You probably have them in your bug-out bag (BOB) or your get home bag (GHB) already. Bic lighters are great but at some point, they will fail you, so be sure to check that they’re working from time to time. You can do this, for instance, right when you’re rotating your food stockpile, for instance.
 
 
Using the Bow Drill Method

When I think about starting a fire without matches, the thing that always comes to mind is the bow drill method. The reason it’s so popular is that it’s very effective. Not as good as striking a match, obviously, but works really well when all else fails. Under normal circumstances, it shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes to get it going.

The most important thing is to have the right wood. You need dry wood and, ideally, you’ll want to make the spindle and the floorboard from the same tree, even from the same log for best results. Here’s a quick list of types of wood that work well with this method: white cedar, willow, alder, and maple. Willow will work best, particularly if you’re new at this.
 
 
Using the Hand Drill Method

If you don’t have the time or the right items to use the bow drill method, how about just using your bare hands to rotate the stick? It’s hard work but, with the right wood, tinder and your tireless hands, you will eventually get that spark.
 
 
Using a Pocket Knife, a Piece of Flint and Char Cloth

Char cloth ignites with the smallest spark and you can help starting it with your pocket knife and flint.
 
 
Using a Lens

There are a wide variety of lens available to help you start a fire. For example, a Fresnel lens is small, cheap, lightweight and fits just about anywhere in your bug-out bag or get home bag. Of course, if you don’t have one, you can use a magnifying glass, binoculars and even your eyeglasses to achieve the same result.

And if you’re really feeling lucky, you can use unconventional items such as a condom filled with water or even an ice cube. These can both focus the sun rays into a single point, raising the temperature and causing whatever tinder you have there to ignite.
 
 
Using Batteries

Batteries alone can’t do the job but, with the help of some fine grade steel wool or gum paper, it’s totally possible. You’re gonna need a 9V battery and the really good news is, this will work on all weather conditions… and it is fast. The moment the battery makes contact with the wool, sparks start showing up so make sure you have that tinder ready.
 
 
Starting a Fire with Water

First of all, I should say that the water needs to be contained in either a plastic bottle or a lightbulb. You will use them as makeshift magnifying glasses to focus the sun rays on one (or multiple) pieces of paper. If you have paper written in black ink, that’s even better, it’s going to ignite faster.
 
 
Mixing Chlorine and Break Fluid

When it comes to using chemical reactions to start a fire, one of the most popular ways is to use chlorine and break fluid. The reaction doesn’t happen instantly, it takes about 20 to 30 seconds and the flame doesn’t last for more than a few seconds. Use small quantities of each and, whatever you do, do NOT get too close during those first 30 seconds when nothing seems to be happening. Also, wearing a face shield mask is even better to decrease your chances of getting injured.
What’s next?

Practicing all the ways to start a fire is very important as you don’t want your first attempt to be during an SHTF situation, when your life is on the line. Make sure you have everything you need and keep trying if it doesn’t work the first time.

Now that you’ve got that fire going… how about learning how to cook? I’ve put together a comprehensive list of outdoor cooking methods, you can check it out right here and… I have a feeling you might like it!

Stay safe,
Dan F. Sullivan
 
 
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Why Learning to Cook from Scratch and Why Making Your Own Dinners Makes Sense

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(Photo: www.myrhodespizza.com  )



             This is an incredibly timely post for those considering preparedness issues, as inflation, civil unrest, and other factors may make older habits of eating out less attractive.  These are some of your alternatives.

 


              I used not to put much thought, time or money in making food when I was first married.  Since we both worked, we ate out a lot.   Cooking has also not been a skill I acquired early in my marriage.  There were other things which interested me, and I was quite happy in those early years to eat crusty bread, cheese and fruit and then go out to dinner a couple of times a week. I baked a cake once a month or so, and keeping the kitchen clean was more of a priority for me than making it dirty.

              As our family grew and we became even busier, eating out wasn’t really an option as much.  With four and then five children, it also became more expensive an option.  In addition, we might be willing to take the chance on food poisoning ourselves (a statistical possibility at most restaurants), but we were not willing to take such risks with our children.

               When we moved out to the country, eating out wasn’t even an option.  There were no Chinese restaurants in our rural county.  Pizza delivery wasn’t available. There are no “Mom and Pop” restaurants for fifty miles.  We needed to make tasty food ourselves.  Homeschooling also took a lot of time and sometimes we weren’t finished with studies when I really needed to start dinner.  We found that one or two days a month, the kids and I could make our own family dinners from scratch. We would freeze them in a large freezer and then we had “healthy convenience food” for almost the next month of dinners.  This also allowed our children to learn something about cooking and about nutrition.  Because one of our sons had some food allergies, it also allowed us to carefully select some of the ingredients in order to stay on the safe side with him.

Kids will make some irregular looking pizzas at first, but they will quickly catch on.  (Picture: www.thekeithstone.com )





                In those years, we took a trip with the minivan to Sam’s Club and bought the correct flours, tomatoes, sale foods, meats, and everything else, and then another day we would cook all day.  On those days we made the following:

Green peppers stuffed with beef with rice
Quiche Lorraine
Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche
Pizza Quiche
Cabbage stuffed with beef
Chicken parmigian with spaghetti
Cheese Pizza
Pepperoni Pizza
Pizza with green pepper and chicken
Shepherd’s Pie    (the kids use beef as they are not big fans of pork or lamb)
Turkey meatballs in Italian sauce (for use on long rolls for sandwiches)
Pancakes and sausage (these freeze quite well and they like “breakfast for dinner every couple of weeks)
Chili
Broccoli and cheddar casserole
Cheesy rice and spinach casserole
 Beef stew
Hearty chicken noodle soup stew
Lighter macaroni and cheese casserole
Meatloaf
Red Meat Sauce for Spaghetti
Lemon Cod and Fries
Meat pie
Chicken Alfredo
Homemade hamburger helper

On days when we don’t need to pull something ready made from the freezer we would occasionally cook steaks on the grill, make hamburgers, a shrimp salad with garlic toast or tacos.

cheesy broccoli and cheddar casserole  (this picture:  www.southernplate.com  )






Some of the recipes were adapted from family traditional recipes. All of the recipes listed above are available on quick internet searches, just as I did when I found I needed to make quick food and wasn’t a big fan of the cooking process. Note also that the calorie count per serving and other nutritional information is available on many of the recipes found on the internet.   When you like a recipe, print it out and place it in a plastic protective sheet in a three ring binder.

      Sometimes, while the stove and the cook top was running, we would be using two slow cookers on the counter for beef stew and chili.

    The other clear benefit to cooking two days a month with your kids is that you will have time to bake an apple pie or two as you learn to coordinate how to cook rice while cooking pasta and prepping one thing while waiting for another. Over time, this will teach your children, and yourself how to better time the coordination of the cooking of different dishes.

       After cooking, you can double package the food in freezer wrap and mark and date it, so that you can pull the oldest frozen dinner. This also allows you to avoid the plastic containers that many prepackaged foods come in.   We really don’t know the potential effects of plastic food packaging which is in direct contact with your food, and is microwaved from frozen.  I suspect that it does deliver some chemicals to our systems particularly in the long term.  Making and packaging your own allows you and your family to sidestep such chemicals.    I usually add frozen vegetables and/or salad at the last minute to each entree when it is served.

      The part that I like best is that we really only significantly dirty the kitchen and the oven and stove two days a month, so it saves on at least some of the daily kitchen cleaning.

         Last, you would be surprised as to how much money a large family can potentially save by forsaking Stouffer’s and Lean Cuisine, and learning to make your very own frozen meals.  You can also make some individual servings of special foods if they need to be decalorized or specially made due to allergies.  This can also work well for families with a member who has gluten or casein allergy.   Did you know that cupcakes and decalorized mini chocolate pound cakes can be frozen and are fantastic even  when defrosted ?

       Best of all, I haven’t had a headache due to MSG (Monosodium glutamate, which is in almost all prepared food and mixes.) in years, except when I forget and taste something at a tasting station at Sam’s Club !

         If you are interested in prepping then this method of pre-making dinner can be especially helpful.  It puts you in better tough with meal planning, with using up what you have rather than letting it age.  It incorporates your children into at least one aspect of preparedness, which is meal preparation and sensible food shopping.  It puts your attention, at least monthly when you cook on food rotation.  It will also help you see what items need to be purchased in larger quantities at your house, and what you might wish to abandon altogether.  We learned that we use an awful lot of oatmeal at our house, but very little in terms of creamed soups. We use a variety of beans but not as many as I thought we needed to stock.   I hope this endeavor is as helpful to you.


The next post deals with the value of spices, especially for preppers.







.

Episode 58 Food Preservation

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James and Mike A Day In THe Woods Autoimmune Diseases

James and Mike

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This week we discuss Food preservation methods. We go down the list of different ways to preserve food both on grid and off. Canning and pressure canning are brought up. James talks about only how he has only ever canned ground beef and tried butter once. The butter method is not recommended. We talk about salt curing and how it makes everything on a pig taste better. James mentions how proscuitto taste like gym socks.

Smoking meats is another great way to preserve food. It is both easy and can be done off grid. Larding meat or potted meat is an ancient way. It is nothing like it’s modern day counterpart.

 

Links

Police Seize Children From Offgrid Parents
Federal Appeals Court to Police Officer: No, You Can’t Slap Cuffs on Peaceful Gun Owners

Valley Food Storage

 

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A Must See

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 Here you go country girls. This is what you have been looking for to have another stream of income so you can work from home, be more self sustainable and to also equip yourselves with the right tools against the predators of the world.

http://www.mydamselpro.net/candyford/

My PhotoDamsel in Defense is about equipping women with the tools to not only keep them safe but also to give them the confidence to know that they have a way out if they ever feel threatened. We are very excited about our affordable and adorable line of products. Whether you are at home or traveling, running or celebrating downtown with the girls, Damsel in Defense has the products and fact-based education that can and does save lives.
http://www.mydamselpro.net/CANDYFORD/content/jointeam.aspxHello! My name is Candy Ford, and I am a sales representative for Damsel in Defense. A little back story, I found Damsel in Defense  through what I like to call “fate”. I asked God to send me a sign for the next step in my life since my three wonderful daughters have left me to follow their own dreams. It may have been through a car decal, but he sure sent me a sign. I hold a passion for helping others close to my heart, and know that Damsel in Defense has been the best opportunity for me to pursue that passion

5 Pigs Added for 4H Projects

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Working on becoming friends first…

Now that the 32 chickens have room to roam, we’ve gone to the next level. We’ve added five pigs to our homestead to raise for 4H. We got them on Sunday (today is Tuesday) and we’ll be raising them until the county fair in September.

At that time, the girls will show them to the best of their ability and if they do a good job, maybe even come home with some ribbons.

Wifey hanging with the boys

We’re learning as we go and having tons of fun doing it. Idaho and the American Redoubt has been very good to us. We are so happy we moved here.

Lots of friendly people and wide open spaces to explore and enjoy.

I’ll try to post a video of the day the pigs were brought over. I didn’t have a trailer to load them into so the folks we bought them from were nice enough to deliver them.

They have even offered to take them to the fair for us. The girls are SO excited!

~OJD

Compass Caddy Review

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Compass Caddy Review

Here’s a clever little Kickstarter project called the Compass Caddy. It let’s you carry your baseplate compass right on your trekking pole so that it’s easily accessible and ready for navigation while you’re hiking. The Compass Caddy is the brain child of Peter Knight an avid backpacker and hiker from Hadleigh, England.

Fits all sizes

Compass Caddy Review

Peter designed the Compass Caddy to accommodate different makes and models of baseplate compasses that have varying widths as well as attaching to different diameter trekking poles. This means that you can get the perfect fit for your particular compass and trekking pole combination. The image above shows a dummy compass being used in the same Compass Caddy that my Silva Polaris fits into.

Peter very kindly made a 3D printed version of the Compass Caddy to work with my Gossamer Gear LT4 trekking poles. Despite my Silva Polaris compass not being the perfect width for this prototype it still holds very securely in place and the attachment to my pole is solid with no movement.

The Compass Caddy in use

Compass Caddy Review

Having your compass handy at all times is the obvious advantage that this clever device provides. An unexpected advantage for me was the benefit of my trekking pole in aiding navigation. Once I have a bearing set on my compass I would usually sight a point off in the distance (snap a line) and hike toward it. Doing this with my compass attached to my trekking pole is like having a sniper scope for compass navigation.

The pole adds an additional level of precision to compass sighting that helps me more quickly acquire my next navigation way point. It’s so simple I wish I had thought of it!

Compass retention

Compass Caddy Review

I consider my compass to be an extremely important piece of gear, as such I usually have a length of cord attached to it so that I can’t accidentally lose it. I was initially concerned that I might lose my compass off of my trekking pole if the Compass Caddy was not a snug fit. I tend to be heavy with my trekking poles and thought the continual impacts might dislodge my compass from the caddy – amazingly that never happened. As an added precaution I used my existing lanyard to attach it to my trekking pole.

Kickstarter campaign

I wish Peter every success with his Kickstarter campaign and hope that some of you help him fund his project. I’ve had several conversations with Peter and exchanged ideas and suggestions for future enhancements. This is just phase one of the Compass Caddy and I am confident that it will continue to get better with each iteration. There’s a bright future for this clever little device and I think users will love it once they use it.

What are you thoughts on the Compass Caddy? What would you change or do differently?

Disclosure: The author of Brian’s Backpacking Blog was provided with complimentary samples of this product for the purpose of evaluation, testing, and feedback. He was under no obligation to publish a review. His thoughts are his own.

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How to escape a fire on different floors of a building

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FirePhotography

In today’s high rise world, it is crucial to have a safe fire escape plan in the event of disaster. High rise buildings today, whether residential or commercial, are often equipped with an emergency voice communication system which can help guide you and tell you what the best course of action is. Depending on what floor you are on and on what floor the fire is, the emergency responders will determine how and if you should escape.

If you are on a lower floor and the fire is above you, it would be safest to calmly evacuate the building and make sure all family members or coworkers are safe and accounted for. It is important to remember that even if you are only descending one floor, the elevator should never be used in an emergency situation as elevators may break, take you to the floor that has the fire, or expose you to smoke.

Living on a higher floor means having a different plan for a fire and again, it is important to listen to the safety instructions of the voice system. Simply running out in the hallway and trying to descend many flights of stairs may not be a good idea as you may be exposed to smoke or even fire itself depending on the source of the fire. The communication system may inform you that the fire is several floors above and in that situation it is likely the safest option is to descend using the stairs, remembering to remain calm and collected.

Sometimes, if the fire is contained and you are above the fire, you may be informed to remain on your floor and await further instructions. Many buildings have advanced sprinkler systems that can contain a fire even before the firefighters arrive and remaining where you are may be the safest option.

In rare and severe cases there are other safe ways to exit a building and avoid life threatening disaster. Personal rescue devices such as SkySaver allow you to safely escape through your window and work up to 25 stories high. In our fragile world of terrorism and high-rise fires, familiarizing yourself with alternative forms of escape could be crucial to saving your life.

Joseph Schwartz is originally from Toronto and works as the Content Manager at SkySaver. Joseph always spent his summers at summer camps teaching outdoor skills and leading hikes. His background is in teaching and marketing and he is always looking to learn new survival skills and share knowledge with others. “Who is wise? The one who learns from every person”

Valley Food Storage White Bean and Lime Chili

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Valley Food Storage White Bean and Lime Chili

Valley Food Storage White Bean and Lime Chili

I was sent a packet of Valley Food Storage White Bean and Lime Chili to review. They are a new kid on the block and coming out swinging. LIke me the folks at Valley Food Storage are concerned about what they put in their bodies. Finding long term food storage options that live up to our expectations is hard. Do you want to survive a disaster and have to deal with health issues from the horrible ingredients found in the competitors?
I don’t want to eat that garbage even in a disaster. With Valley food storage you can eat better. Let’s find out how much better!

Valley Food Storage

Is your food storage good enough for your loved ones? Are you ok with feeding them toxic gick? Im not willing to myself. I don’t want food loaded with GMO’s, trans fats and preservatives. I want better quality food for now as well as later.

Valley Food Storage was established on the simple fact that there wasn’t a single food supply store that emphasized quality ingredients.

The ingredients, if you want to call them that, in the big name long term storage meals is disgusting. Filled with things I can’t pronounce. GMO everything.  Yes it might be cheaper. Now. Not if the toxic mixture gives you cancer.

White Bean and Lime Chili

Although the White Bean and Lime Chili comes in a packet similar to most backpacking meals the directions are a little different. Most call for boiling 2 cups of water and adding to the pouch to sit. With the Valley Storage one it calls to add the mixture to a pot of boiling water for 15 minutes then to let  sit another 5.

Like usual I did not follow the directions. I prepared as normal. When bugging out you may now have the ability to cook that long. I simply brought it to a boil and sealed in the bag. I let it sit sealed for about 15~30 minutes.

When we tried it it was still watery and not all the beans were tender. The bold flavor though made up for it. The lime and cilantro stood out most to me. It was a very mild spice suitable for children. A dash of your favorite hot sauce could kick it up a notch. I would go with my trusty Louisiana Hot sauce.

Final Thoughts

If you plan on taking Valley Food Storage White Bean and Lime Chili on a camping trip or a bug out be sure to bring cookware. You will also need a cook stove with a good amount of fuel. A hobo stove would be ideal. Alcohol stoves don’t usually burn long enough to be able to cook these. As a bug in item I think they really shine. With a proper cooking set up to make them.

If you want better quality food storage check out Valley Food Storage.

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INI-power: Electro-juice on mogas, propane, paint thinner and more

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Targeted at spec ops units operating far away from reliable supply chains, ini-power’s line of portable gennies may also appeal to those looking to have some of that good ol’ fashion ‘tricity if and when our usual supply chain self destructs.

From the spec sheet:

INI’s agnostic fuel architecture allows for the use of ANY FUEL, in ANY AOR, in ANY COMBINATION, thereby allowing War fighters to generate power from any military logistical fuel, in addition to any fuels available off of the local economy, including contaminated fuels typically found in remote AORs for a wide-ranging number of mission sets.

Listed fuels include JP-8, F-34 “NATO”, gasoline, propane, methanol, and isopropanol, but most anything combustible that you can pour in the tank has a good chance of working.

They’ve got 2 kw, 1 kw and 500w versions out there, and Soldier Systems just had a blurb up on a new 5 kw unit they are releasing.

Unfortunately, at time of publication, INI only sells directly to the .GOV.

For us regular schlubs in need of versatile fuel consumption, tinkering survival types have had good success with Harbor Freight’s little 900w generator (this one on Amazon looks similar if you don’t have an HF nearby. There’s a long running thread over on ARFCOM about this little genny that could, including tales of dudes who have successfully run it on all variety of fuels – rubbing alcohol and nail polish was a winner, if I remember right.

Don’t Eat That! Seven Signs of Good Food Storage Gone Bad

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Don't eat that! Seven signs of good food storage gone bad.Expiration dates are only an indicator of optimal freshness in canned goods.  Just because your can of food has reached the printed expiration date does not mean it needs thrown out.  Food can be edible and nutritious long past printed expiration dates.  However, canned foods do not stay good forever.  So, expiration dates aside, how can you know when food has gone bad and shouldn’t be eaten?  Here are seven great indicators:

1.  Can or lid is bulging, or excessive pressure is released when can is opened.  Food spoiling builds pressure inside the can that is released when you break the can’s seal.  At the extreme end, this pressure can visibly bulge out the ends of the can.

2.  Can or jar seal is broken.  Seals must be tight to keep food good.  In the early days of my food storage adventure, I had jam that I made and sealed using the “invert the jar full of hot jam” method instead of processing it in a water bath canner (not safe!) and I thought it sealed, but when I went to use some, the seal had come loose on every one of them.  Sad day.  This broken seal is often accompanied by #3 and #4.

3.  Signs of corrosion on the can.  This can show on the outside as rust, or on the inside as corroded can lining.

4.  Food seeping from can seals.  Yep, guaranteed the food inside isn’t worth eating.  This can happen at the top or bottom seal or along the edge seam.

5.  Food looks bad, moldy, or cloudy.  Or maybe there’s little bubbles in it when there shouldn’t be.  Just don’t eat it.

6.  Food smells bad after opening.  Bad smells are a signal that something isn’t right.

7.  Visual signs of insect infestation in dry foods like webbing, larva, or exoskeleton debris.

Package your food right and keep it rotated and you’ll always have fresh foods in your storage to eat.  And there are options for using food that has gone bad so you’re not just throwing it in the trash!  I cover these topics in depth and a whole lot more in my book, Food Storage for Self-Sufficiency and Survival!

Keep preparing!
Angela

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How to Prepare for an EMP

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Howdy, gang! It’s that time of the week once again, and with all of the huge summer blockbusters on the horizon, I thought I’d use this week’s blog post as an opportunity to knock together a basic survival guide for one of the most catastrophic events imaginable: The electromagnetic pulse. Also known as an EMP, … Continued

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Frog gigging for sustenance, survival, or simply good eatin’

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11263880_10206826021440105_531284260_n

One of the nice ones from last night

My son and I spent a few hours picking up our legal limit in frogs last night.  I did quick search to see if I had ever covered the subject in one of our blog pieces here and lo and behold…nope!

That is a mistake, because frogs are incredibly tasty and easy to get (with some practice).   I tried to take some photos and even video last night and they turned out to be of such poor quality, to be unusable.   So we will have to rely on some discussion of the subject.

First things first, you do not need a gig to get frogs.  If you can find a creek that you can wade into easily, grabbing frogs is fairly easy to do.  A gig simply allows you the the ability to be farther away from the frog when you make contact with it.  The key to catching or gigging frogs is to think like its predators and do not alarm it.  Here are some simple tips:

  • Come from the front of the frog if it all possible when grabbing or gigging, this limits its ability to move away from you.  If it moves, it moves toward you.
  • Take a good flashlight and shine it directly into the eyes of the frog.  This will  temporarily blind the frog so you can get close to it.
  • If you are gigging or grabbing do so between the two sets of legs.  These little guys are pretty slippery and you want to get hold of as much as you can without damaging the edible portions.  Once you get good at it, then start gigging them directly in the head.

Please note you will need a good gig, and from my experience that simply does not exist.  I have bought so many gig heads I cannot count and they have all failed me at some point.(  So if you run a gig head making business and are reading this, send me one to review so you can prove me wrong. ).  The reason for this is if you gig a frog in the middle of the water they will more often than not get off the gig.  So make sure when you gig them, you gig them in such a way that you can then pin them to the bottom of the creek, pond etc.  By so doing you will then be able to get to the frog and get it off the gig.

I think I have made it clear that I am not a fan of making animals suffer when hunting, fishing, etc.  So when frog gigging if possible, I will immediately cut the legs off of them and discard the upper torso.  If in a survival situation I would then save it.  For regular eating there is so little meat on the upper torso it is cooks up to literally nothing.  However, in a survival situation I would remove the entrails and the skin and eat the rest of the animal since the bony structure has a fair amount of nutrition in it.

Here are a few thoughts on processing and cleaning frogs.  Please note that if you have never done this, it is not easy.

  • I grab the frog by the hind legs and sever the spine on just beyond the pelvic girdle.  If you have never done this there will be a small bump just beyond the back legs on the head side of spine.  I always use an extremely sharp knife so that this part of the process is as quick and efficient as it possibly can be.  When you do this you will have two legs that are still connected.
  • Once that is done I place the legs in some sort of container.  (On survival treks this has sometimes been a cargo pocket on my pants).  I will then remove the skin when I have completed the trip.
  • I grab between the legs with my non-dominant hand and grab the skin with a pair of pliers with my dominant hand.  I then pull the skin off with the pliers down to the foot.  I then cut the foot off with my knife and discard the skin and feet.  (If time allows, I will utilize this portion as turtle bait.)

For eating:

  • For survival, cook over a fire any way you can get it cooked.  Roasted, boiled, on a rock on a stick, etc.  Much like fish, make sure it is cooked through and through.
  • For sustenance and good eating at home: Bread with your favorite breading fry in a skillet, or you can grill them on the grill…they cook up fairly fast.

 

craig1Craig Caudill is the Founder and Chief Instructor of Nature Reliance School. He specializes in wilderness and urban survival, land navigation, scout/tracking and defensive tactics training for private, public and government agencies. Craig is a frequent survival and preparedness contributor to TV outlets, blog sites, magazines and is a popular online outdoor educator on YouTube via Nature Reliance and Dan’s Depot channels. He also has a worldwide network of students and followers who are part of Nature Reliance School Online suite of courses covering all facets of self-reliance.

Craig also has advanced rank in both Judo and Aikido and continues to teach and train after 20+ years of training in each and is also an avid student of all things gun. Forever a student, Craig always attempts to find ways to help others to develop their mindset and critical thinking skills so they can think on their own and for themselves.

 

 

 

The Baltimore (and other) Riots – They Were Planned

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[Urban Man’s comments: As I was watching the riots in Baltimore, and said out loud that it would be a short period of time before other riots in other large inner cities started up, and I was right, I wondered just how much of this was orchestrated by some entity behind the scenes? And why?]

The over all control of the catalyst of these riots is a no brainer. I know that the people rioting were the dredges of our society and have an issue with mainstream Amercia because of their perceptions of injustice, but when the sames social media sights and personalities, not to mention key rioting words, were used in Baltimore, then in Washington D.C., then Philly and New York, the deduction that these were derived riots canot be swept away.

If you add the facts that there was black leadership in Baltimore (Mayor, Police Chief and Chief Prosecutor) and that there were no facts produced in the wrongful death claim, a rational person would get the idea that the death of one Mr. Drug Addict Career Criminal Freddy Gray.

I was pleased to see Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse post an article on the the Balitmore Riots and the unanswered questions:

12 unanswered questions about the Baltimore riots that they don’t want us to ask…

Why did the Baltimore riots seem like they were perfectly staged to be a television event? Images of police vehicles burning made for great television all over the planet, but why were there abandoned police vehicles sitting right in the middle of the riot zones without any police officers around them in the first place?

Why was the decision made ahead of time to set a curfew for Tuesday night and not for Monday night? And why are Baltimore police officers claiming that they were ordered to “stand down” and not intervene as dozens of shops, businesses and homes went up in flames? Yes, the anger over the death of Freddie Gray is very real.

Police brutality has been a major problem in Baltimore and much of the rest of the nation for many years. But could it be possible that the anger that the people of Baltimore are feeling is being channeled and manipulated for other purposes? The following are 12 unanswered questions about the Baltimore riots that they don’t want us to ask…

#1 Why are dozens of social media accounts that were linked to violence in Ferguson now trying to stir up violence in Baltimore?…

The data mining firm that found between 20 and 50 social media accounts in Baltimore linked to the violence in Ferguson, Mo. is now reporting a spike in message traffic in Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York City, with “protesters” trying to get rides to Baltimore for Tuesday night.

The firm, which asked to remain anonymous because it does government work, said some of the suspect social media accounts in Baltimore are sending messages to incite violence. While it is possible to spoof an account, to make it look like someone is one place and really is in another, that does not fully explain the high numbers.

#2 Who was behind the aggressive social media campaign to organize a “purge” that would start at the Mondawmin Mall at precisely 3 PM on Monday afternoon?…

The spark that ignited Monday’s pandemonium probably started with high school students on social media, who were discussing a “purge” — a reference to a film in which laws are suspended.

Many people knew “very early on” that there was “a lot of energy behind this purge movement,” Baltimore City Councilman Nick Mosby told CNN on Tuesday. “It was a metaphor for, ‘Let’s go out and make trouble.’”

#3 Even though authorities had “credible intelligence” that gangs would be specifically targeting police officers on Monday, why weren’t they more prepared? On Tuesday, the captain of the Baltimore police tried to make us believe that they weren’t prepared because they were only anticipating a confrontation with “high schoolers”…

Police Capt. John Kowalczyk said the relatively light initial police presence was because authorities were preparing for a protest of high schoolers. A heavy police presence and automatic weapons would not have been appropriate, he said. Kowalczyk said police made more than 200 arrests — only 34 of them juveniles.

#4 Where were the Baltimore police on Monday afternoon when the riots exploded? During the rioting, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said that the “disappearance of the police for hours this afternoon is something that is going to haunt this city for decades”.

#5 Why are police officers in Baltimore claiming that they were instructed to “stand down” during the rioting on Monday afternoon?…

Police officers in Baltimore reportedly told journalists that they were ordered by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake not to stop looters during yesterday’s riots.

Rawlings-Blake, who waited 5 hours before even making a statement on the unrest, was already under intense critcism for saying that violent mobs were provided with “space” to “destroy” during riots which took place on Saturday.

One Baltimore shopkeeper said that he actually called the police 50 times asking for help and never got any assistance at all. Other business owners reported similar results. This is so similar to what we saw back during the Ferguson riots.

#6 Why was the decision made ahead of time to set a curfew on Tuesday night but not on Monday night?

#7 Why were so many police vehicles conveniently parked along the street in areas where the worst violence happened? After the destruction of a number of police vehicles on Saturday night, the Baltimore police had to know that they were prime targets. So why were there even more police vehicles available for rioters to destroy on Monday? And where were the cops that should have been protecting those vehicles?

#8 Why is an organization funded by George Soros stirring up emotions against the police in Baltimore?

#9 Why is CNN bringing on “commentators” that are promoting violence in Baltimore?…

Marc Lamont Hill, a Morehouse College professor and regular CNN commentator, embraced radical violence in the streets during an interview Monday on CNN.

“There shouldn’t be calm tonight,” Hill told CNN host Don Lemon as riots raged in the streets of Baltimore.

“Black people are dying in the streets. We’ve been dying in the streets for months, years, decades, centuries. I think there can be resistance to oppression.”

#10 Why did Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake initially tell reporters that a decision was made on Saturday to give “those who wished to destroy space to do that”?

#11 Why were rioters given hours to cause mayhem before a state of emergency was finally declared on Monday? Maryland Governor Larry Hogan seems to think that Mayor Rawlings-Blake waited far too long to declare a state of emergency. Just check out what he told one reporter…

I‘ve been in daily communication with the mayor and others in the city and our entire team has been involved from day one. Frankly, this was a Baltimore city situation. Baltimore city was in charge. When the mayor called me, which quite frankly we were glad that she finally did, instantly we signed the executive order. We already had our entire team prepared.

We were all in a command center and second floor of the state house in constant communication and we were trying to get in touch with the mayor for quite some time. She finally made that call and we immediately took action.

#12 Does the fact that the mayor of Baltimore has very close ties to the Obama administration have anything to do with how events unfolded during the riots? The following is from Infowars.com…

Rawlings-Blake was one of three mayors who provided broad input into President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which advocates the federalization of police departments across the country by forcing them to adhere to stricter federal requirements when they receive funding.

“The federal government can be a strong partner in our efforts in build better relationships between the police and community,” she said in written testimony before the task force.

That would explain her inaction to stop the rioting when it began: by allowing it to spiral out of control, the mayor and her friends at the Justice Dept. could use the unrest to justify the expansion of federal power into local law enforcement, which would also allow her to receive more funding.

And why did it take Barack Obama several days to publicly condemn the violence in Baltimore? Why didn’t he stand up and say something on Monday when the riots were at their peak?

Something doesn’t smell right about all of this. Much of the violence could have been prevented if things had been handled differently.

In the end, who is going to get hurt the most by all of this? It will be the African-American communities in the heart of Baltimore that are already suffering with extremely high levels of unemployment and poverty.

I wish that we could all just learn to come together and love one another. Over the past few days, I have seen a whole lot of “us vs. them” talk coming from all quarters. This kind of talk is only going to reinforce the cycle of mistrust and violence.

Sadly, I believe that this is just the beginning of what is coming to America.

I Put Tattler Reusable Lids To The Test

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The joke around here is that I will can (or jar, for those who want to be picky) anything that stays still long enough. I’m an avid canner, and I go through many boxes of canning lids. It gets expensive. For the past three weeks, I have been pressure canning everything I can get my […]

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My Companion

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This was my companion at my desk today at my new job.

One of the other workers had some program to do and this snake apparently was part of it. I actually find them pretty interesting when they are locked in a box, I just don’t like them when they are eating my chicks or eggs.
I was a little sick yesterday evening which made going to my second job this morning not as pleasant but I got feeling better as the morning went on and I learned several more things about my duties at my new job that I hadn’t known before. I feel like I am doing well and am fairly comfortable already.

Survival Seed Saving

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One trick that Preppers should know, for the long haul, is how to save seeds. How many different parent seeds do you need to save to create a health crop next year? If you don’t know that answer, or even what it means, please check out a website that I use when I have questions. Answers here may just save you and your family’s life in an extended SHTF situation…

Review: Mad Max: Fury Road – Worth the wait!

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We’ve all had our hopes dashed by bad remakes and reboots of classic movies…this, my friends, is not one of them. This is genuine, bona fide Mad Max…in fact, it’s Mad Max with a triple boost of nitro.

You know how Road Warrior ends with the epic chase between the tanker truck and Humongous’ war party? Well, that’s this whole friggin’ movie. One big chase, with the most insane car crashes and stunts that I’ve ever seen.

Incredible, bone crunching car crashes aren’t the only thing that Fury Road has going for it…there’s the whole world of the Road Warrior on display here.

The beautifully desolate wastelands. Endless, lifeless, and out to get everyone. There’s some seriously gorgeous cinematography throughout…long, tracking shots of the war parties chasing Furiosa’s war wagon through the desert.

The cast of baddies, from the big bad evil guy Immortan Joe to the various tribes of raiders Max and friends clash with along their journey. The war boys and their insane kamikaze/Viking-inspired devotion to Joe. The side characters and freaks that have somehow managed to weasel their way into a position of influence…there’s so much richness, so much texture and back story here that makes the world feel real, and lived (or survived) in.

The cars, props, makeup and costumes complete the deal…they’re worn out, torn up, weird and pieced together in classic Mad Max fashion. The vehicles are all awesome, each tribe having their own unique look and style–whether covered in spikes, the dirt bikes of the canyon dwellers, to Bullet Farmer’s tank-tracked hot rod. Furiosa’s bionic arm is the best bit of cybernetics put to film. Immortan Joe’s whole costume…weird, scary, insane. The Citadel fortress. There’s so much to take in.

Tom Hardy is very good as Mad Max. He (and the movie) portray Max very much as the survivor and reluctant hero…and maybe a bit more ‘mad’ than we’ve seen Max in past films. He’s great in the physical stuff, action scenes and the acting in general. He steps into Mel Gibson’s boots quite well.

If I had any complaints about Hardy as Max, it’d be that his voice was kind of all over the place, and lacked any semblance of an Aussie accent. There was one scene where he almost started to drift into the Bane from Batman territory. No biggie.

Charlize Theron manages to maybe outshine Max in the movie. She’s believable as a bad ass war wagon driver and holds her own against the hordes of baddies after them. Furiosa is the driving force of the plot…Max is along for the ride. And it works.

The vast (vast) majority of the movie is done with practical effects, which is rare in this day and age, and it makes those stunts and crashes all the more impressive. There are a few bits of CGI here and there, and I’d probably rather they left most of those out and went straight practical. It’s used fairly sparingly, though, and there’s a few awesome bits that wouldn’t have been possible without it.

I loved this movie, and there’s only and handful of movies I can say that about. It’s amazing–from blistering action to the rich, ramshackle the world. I walked out of the theater with an ear to ear grin, people–so happy that this movie was so good.

We’ve been waiting for this one for a long time, and it’s better than I’d hoped.

I will go see this again in theaters, and I don’t think I’ve ever done that before.

The movie is registering a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, so you don’t need to be a post apoc junkie to love this movie. It adds a whole other level of enjoyment to the mix, though.

If you need an introduction (or re-introduction) to Max, I’d recommend the classic Road Warrior – rent for as low as $3.

Backyard Herbs: Cleavers- Lymphatic Aide and Much More!

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cleavers

The earth is greening up all around us and for those of us who want to create our own home medicinals, it’s never too soon to get started collecting and drying those lovely “weeds” we who know better call herbs. Today I will give you the lowdown on cleavers, an herb that is a very foundational one to have in your herbal medicine chest and makes a delicious cooked green side dish as well.

Galium aperine, or cleavers, is an annual herb, which means that when you collect it, you want to leave plants in the collection area to go to seed to produce a crop next year. As a matter of practice, with any herb you are collecting, always leave behind a good patch of whatever you are harvesting. Take a little here and a little there and you will always have your sources remaining strong from year to year.

cleavers

This plant is identifiable by its whorled, lance-shaped leaves – usually 6- 8 around the stem and a prickly, “sticky” square-shaped stem, which will adhere back upon itself or to just about anything you hold it up against. The little hairs on the stems are hooked, much like the burdock seeds.  If you have your children along when you are collecting, they will find this very entertaining. Ancients would weave the stems together to make sieves.  There is another plant in the same family – gallium mollugo, or, whorled bedstraw, which also has squared (but hairless) stems and wider, lance-shaped leaves in whorls which can be confused with cleavers.

Same family: galium aperine or cleavers on the right and galium mollugo or whorled bedstraw on the left.

Same family: galium aperine or cleavers on the right and galium mollugo or whorled bedstraw on the left.

The test that reveals a cleaver plant is always the test of whether or not the plant will cleave! Be aware, also, that some people react to the juice in this plant with a dermatitis when they touch it, but I think that is rare. Later in the season, the flowers produce a bristle-covered fruit which is the bane of all dog owners. This gives the plant another nickname, ‘catchweed’. Supposedly geese also enjoy cleavers, which inspires its other nickname, ‘gooseweed.”

I usually find my cleavers throughout the woodlands where I live but you can also find them growing heartily in thicket environments too. They are quite pretty in a delicate way, gracefully drooping as they grow up to a few feet long and timidly offering for our viewing enjoyment a dainty white flower that shows on the stalks from the leaf axils. The plant should be gathered before flowering and dried in the shade.

cleavers

Cleavers are a lymphatic alterative or tonic, restoring health to an overtaxed lymph structure which is trying to keep your immune system in top shape. I highly recommend reading up on this quiet network that does so much! One of my favorite doctors refers to the lymphatic system as the “Cinderella system”, staying in the shadows, cleaning up all the messes the rest of the body systems make, while really filling the highest and most noble function of enabling the body to fight disease. So anywhere in the body where swollen glands are present – especially tonsillitis or adenoid problems- is a perfect scenario for cleavers to come to aid. A suggested lymph cleansing infusion is this mixture, derived from Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes: 2 parts calendula, 2 parts cleavers, 1 part mullein and 1 part spearmint.  If you use about an ounce of herbs to a quart of water and let it infuse overnight, you can be set for an entire day the next day. She suggests drinking 2-3 cups daily for a few weeks to drain the lymph system. cleavers

The actions attributed to cleavers are: diuretic, alterative, anti-inflammatory, tonic, astringent, anti-neoplastic, hepatic, laxative, and vulnerary. Cleavers can also bring relief in urinary tract infections and are widely used topically to relieve dry skin conditions, like psoriasis. Cleavers have been used in the treatment of ulcers and tumors and have been used in experimentation with dogs as an agent in reducing blood pressure without slowing the heart or having any other side effects!

 

cleaversThe best use of the constituents of cleavers is through infusions or extracting the fresh juice to use immediately. To get the benefits of the citric acid, glycosides, asperulosides and gallotannic acid that this plant has to offer, an alcoholic tincture of the fresh plant can also be prepared and kept long term. Using the dried aerial parts in a tea is the easiest way to use cleavers, soaking a tablespoon of the dried herb for 10-15 minutes and drinking it.   Some day I will hopefully have enough experience to write an article on making tinctures, but for now, I just do a folk method of filling a jar with the herb and topping it off with vodka, letting it steep for a few weeks while shaking now and again before finally straining it for storage. There is no way of knowing what the strength of your herb component is to alcohol in these tinctures, but there is a way to do tinctures where you measure things very scientifically with weight and volume and then can know the strength of the resulting tincture.

 

cleavers

I will leave you with a fun fact about cleavers: it is a relative of coffee! Supposedly, cleaver seeds, when roasted, can be a caffeine-light substitute, albeit inferior, for coffee. That might be fun to try…. To your good health and enjoyment of what God has made! ~Carin

 

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Disclaimer: Of course we claim no responsibility for your experience with these herbs.  Everything we share is for information purposes only and is not to be taken as professional or medical advice. Do your own research!  Always consult a professional. Be wise. Consider always the chance of an allergic reaction. We are all unique in body chemistry.  We are NOT a medical professionals by any means, however we have saved our family a boatload of annoyance and money by being resourceful and using what is right at our feet – literally. See full disclaimer here.

The Greatest Survival Tip I Ever Discovered

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amber-fields-mountainWe all know it, don’t we? Something is terribly wrong with our world, and things could go downhill fast!  But there IS hope! Allow me to share the greatest survival tip I’ve ever discovered – with you.
Let’s get started…

What is THE Ultimate Survival Tip?

Over the years, I have passed on survival tips, tricks and training to help you and the others we serve. But I’ll be honest, I think I learn more from you guys than I share…

So I was curious what you, our fans, followers and friends, thought was the MOST important survival tip –  The “Ultimate” Survival Tip, if you will.

Here are a few of my favorites from the hundreds of responses we received:

– Stay Positive and Believe You Can Survive
– STOP = Stop, Think, Observe, Plan
– Never Give Up
– Become Friends with Bear Grylls
– Control Your Core Body Temperature… in Other Words… Stay Alive
– Always Have Toilet Paper
– Be Prepared – Because You Never Know…
– Avoid Situations Where Survival Tips May Come in Handy
– Pray. Then Act
– Don’t Die
– Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best

Which is your favorite?
Mine is, “Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best.”

You Are Part of the Ultimate Statistic?

Some of these tips are good advice. Some are just funny.  But NONE are THE greatest survival tip I’ve ever learned. So stand by, I’ll get to that in a minute…

The plain and simple fact is, that regardless of how many cool survival tips we know, no matter how much we train, how far underground we build our survival bunker or how many years of food we have stored up to prepare and position ourselves to outlast a WCS (Worst Case Scenario) we are still only delaying our participation in the Ultimate Statistic…

What is Ultimate Survival Statistic?

Doctors agree, 10 out of 10 people will one day die.

Whether it’s tomorrow, next week or in 80 years from now, every one of us will die. Regardless of our training, stockpiles, connections, wealth, health, wisdom or position.
And for some, maybe even you, death may come knocking at your door long before you’ll use a single #10 can of beans or bag of rice stored in your basement for survival.

After all, 154,000 people will die in the next 24 hours. And most will die unexpectedly.

Now, I’m not saying you are going to die today, but what I AM saying is that we are all taking great effort to prepare to survive a bit longer on this earth IF a disaster strikes – but we all KNOW for certain that one day death WILL come our way. We just don’t want to think about it. I know I don’t!

So, if you are preparing to survive a disaster that may or may not come – shouldn’t you have a plan to deal with death, since you KNOW that death WILL certainly come?

No, I’m not talking about a putting together a will and making sure you have enough life insurance for those you leave behind (although these are good things).

So I Feel Like I Need to Ask You This…

“Do you know where you are going, when your heart beats for the last time on this planet we call home?”

Why Do We Die?

Okay, now that we have established that death is inevitable for all of us, AND the fact that surviving a WCS is not… let me ask you,  
”Why do we die?”

There’s probably a million opinions as to why we die. I don’t know about you, but for me opinions don’t cut it with such serious and eternal matters.

So I went back to the book that I have grown to trust as my manual for life, the “Good Book,” the Bible, to search for some answers to share with you.

The biblical explanation as to why each of us will die is really quite fascinating.

It essentially says that we die because we have sinned and rebelled against God and His laws (Romans 5:12 and Genesis 2:17). And it boils down to “the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23).

In short, we get paid our just wages for sinning against God. And those wages are death.

If that doesn’t slap you upside the head, I don’t know what will.

IS there Life after Death?

It’s one big question, “Is there life after death – and what does that look like?”

The answer to this question is fundamental in not only how you and I die but also how we live the rest of the days we have on the earth.

Exactly What Happens After We Die?

Do we simply cease to exist? Is life a revolving door of departing and returning to earth in order to eventually achieve personal greatness (which is reincarnation)?

Does everyone go to the same place, or do we go to different places?

Is there Really a Heaven and a Hell?

The Bible tells us that there is not only life after we die but two places we can go.

One place is called heaven (or paradise). It’s a perfect place that has NO sin, no suffering, no war, no disease, no death and no bad people.

It’s the place where those who have faith in Jesus get to live an eternal life so glorious that “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

The bad news is that those who are bad people and don’t love God (or place their faith in Jesus) will live in a terrible place forever. This place is called hell. “Their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur…”  (Revelation 21:8)

Are You Serious… Heaven and Hell? Come on David…

Now, just in case you are laughing, skeptical or even mad right now, and don’t believe there is a heaven and hell… let me ask you, “Where do YOU say that we go when we die?

Okay, got your answer?

Now, let me follow up with this question, “What if you are wrong?”

If I am Wrong, I have NO Regrets… How About You?

I have followed a path I believed was true. Along the way I have lived my life for others, been made a better person, lived according to good and right biblical principles that brought much love and fulfillment to my life.

I have a WONDERFUL wife of 26 years and 2 grown and married children, and two cool grandchildren. They all love Jesus and get to live the awesome legacy that my wife and I have enjoyed.

This life has not been perfect. We have suffered much, grown a ton and gone through hard times. But it’s been a good and blessed life. And through all of life’s joys and sorrows – we have had a keen sense of the Lord being right there with us – along the way.

So if I am right about heaven and hell, I am looking forward to hanging out with Jesus in a place beyond my wildest dreams – forever!!!

Either way, whether I am right (which I have pretty strong evidence that I am)… or wrong, I believe I’m the better man for it.

But if you don’t believe in a heaven or hell and are wrong, and you are not good enough to get to heaven – there IS hell to pay… and from what I have read, hell sucks!!! Big time!

Are You Good Enough to Go to Heaven?

So let me ask, “Are you good enough to go to heaven? Or asked a different way, “Do you think you are a good person?”  You probably do.

The most a common reaction to this question is, “Hey, I’m a pretty good person, and I’m certainly no Hitler or Osama Bin Laden… and I’m better than most.”

But the problem, according the the Bible is that being “good enough” is NOT “good enough” to get you into heaven (Romans 3:23, Romans 3:10-18)

You see, Heaven is a perfect place, and if you’ve sinned even one time in your whole life, you are disqualified.

Don’t get mad at me, I didn’t make the rules.

Here’s the problem.

The Fatal Mistake

In today’s culture we often make a HUGE mistake thinking that God’s standards are the same as ours. This is like saying that we should have no laws, and every person should just do whatever they please, according to what they believe is right.

The last time I checked…this is called anarchy. But this is often how we deal with God’s clear standards as recorded in the 10 Commandments.

Have You Sinned Against God?  

As we talked about earlier, each of us WILL die because we have sinned against God.

Let’s see if that’s true for you:

1) Have you ever lied (even once -this includes, white lies and half truths)?

2) Have you ever stolen (anything – no matter how small)?

3) Have you ever committed adultery? No!?

Jesus said, “Whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery already with her in his heart.” That’s a tough one… and one that nailed me.

If you have said, “Yes” to any or all of these you are a liar, thief and an adulterer at heart.

And we’ve only take a look at 3 out of God’s 10 Commandments.

So, How Will You Do on Judgement Day?

Will you be innocent or guilty? Now tell the truth.

If you are honest with yourself, you know you will be found guilty. And when you are found guilty, you deserve hell not heaven!!!

…Long Silent Pause…

BUT, that’s not God’s will for you!

He provided a way for you to be forgiven.

He sent His Son, Jesus, to die in your place and take your punishment by being nailed to a cross for YOU!

“God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”  (Romans 5:8).

THE Greatest Survival Tip I Ever Discovered!!!

Okay, here it is… If I ever give you a survival tip that you should seriously consider… this is THE one!

Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, came to the earth to give us a gift of eternal life. “But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

Essentially, this means, Jesus was killed in your place.

Jesus took on the punishment that each and every one of us deserve because of our sins (Romans 3:23, Ezekiel 18:4, Romans 6:23) and sacrificed His life to pay the penalty for our sins.

ONLY Jesus could take the punishment for your sin, and my sin, and every sin past present and future, because He was totally without sin himself and was the perfect sacrifice (the only sacrifice God the Father would accept) for us (1 Peter 2:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 1:19).

Three days later, He (Jesus) proved Himself victorious over death by rising from the grave. Something NO one else has ever done – ever!

He remained on the earth for forty days and was seen by more than 500 people before ascending to heaven (1 Corinthians 15:6).

Romans 4:25 says, “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” This means that he paid for our sins in full and was raised from the dead to prove that it was true. His bodily, visible, documented resurrection was the proof!

The resurrection of the Christ is a well-documented event and has never been disproved. We celebrate this every Easter.

This also means that Jesus is NOT in the grave. Every other religious leader is in the ground to this day. But NOT Jesus. Jesus is alive!

The apostle Paul challenged people to question eyewitnesses of Jesus’ resurrection for its validity, and no one was able to contest its truth. The resurrection is the cornerstone of the Christian faith.

Because Christ was raised from the dead, we can have faith that we, too, will be resurrected and live with Him in Heaven. And that’s pretty cool.

The Ultimate Proof of Life After Death

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the ultimate proof of life after death.

Christ was only the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again. Physical death came through one man, Adam (of Adam and Eve fame), to whom we are all related. But all who have been adopted into God’s family through faith in Jesus Christ will be given new life (1 Corinthians 15:20-22). Just as God raised up Jesus’ body, so will our bodies be resurrected upon Jesus’ return (1 Corinthians 6:14).

The Choice is Yours

Although we will all be eventually resurrected, not everyone will go to heaven. You must make a choice, and this choice will determine your eternal destination.

The Bible says that it is appointed for us to die only once, and after that will come judgment (Hebrews 9:27). We will all be judged according to our works… and even one sin disqualifies us from heaven.

This means that without a ticket from Jesus, there’s NO way to work, earn or reincarnate your way to heaven (John 14:6).

Those who have been made righteous by and through faith in Christ will enjoy eternal life in heaven, but those who reject Christ as Savior will be sent to eternal punishment in hell (Matthew 25:46).

Hell, like heaven, is not simply a state of existence, but a literal place. It is a place where the unrighteous will experience never-ending, eternal wrath from God. Hell is described as a bottomless pit (Luke 8:31; Revelation 9:1) and a lake of fire, burning with sulfur, where the inhabitants will be tormented day and night forever and ever (Revelation 20:10).

In hell, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, indicating intense grief and anger (Matthew 13:42).

God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but desires them to turn from their wicked ways so that they can live (Ezekiel 33:11). Remember we are ALL in the “wicked” category without faith in Jesus Christ.

But God gives us the DIGNITY of Choice and will not force us into submission; if we choose to reject Him, He accepts our decision to live eternally apart from Him, cursed and in eternal fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41, Revelation 21:8).

Life on earth is a test, a preparation for what is to come, if you will.

For believers in Jesus Christ, life after death is eternal life in heaven with God (Revelation 21:1-27, Luke 23:43).

For unbelievers, life after death is eternity in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41). Ouch!

How to Receive Eternal Life – And Live Forever!

So, how can you receive eternal life after death and avoid an eternity in the lake of fire?

I’m glad you asked!!!

There is only one way— by acknowledging your sin, turning from it, asking forgiveness and having faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only ticket to heaven.

He’s the only parachute, He’s the only life raft. There is NO other way.

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die…” (John 11:25-26).

The Free Gift of Eternal Life Is Available To All

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him” (John 3:36).

Just in case you are thinking you might just hold off on all this “Jesus stuff,” I hate to tell you that (according to the Bible) YOU will NOT be given the opportunity to accept God’s gift of salvation after death.

And so, you are at risk every day of your life… It’s a bad gamble (at best) to put off Jesus.

Your eternal destination is determined in your earthly lifetime by your reception or rejection of Jesus Christ. “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

When you trust the death of Jesus Christ as the full payment for the sin that you have committed against God, you are guaranteed not only a meaningful life on earth, but also eternal life after death, in the glorious presence of Jesus Christ.

I personally am looking forward to hanging out with Him! And I’d love to hang out with Him, with you!!!

Jesus is the BEST I have to Give You!  

There is NO other survival tip, no gold or gear that I can give you of greater value than  this loving recommendation:

“Turn from your sin, ask God for forgiveness, and trust Jesus for the rest of your life.”

I have been a believer in Jesus now since 1986. He has never let me down… although I have failed him many times.

Yet He remains faithful. And He has changed -and is changing- me, for the better. He has somehow changed my hard, selfish and rebellious heart. And He is making me more caring, and selfless, a better man, a better husband, a better father, and friend.

So THE Ultimate Survival Tip is… “Trust Jesus!”

If you want a pardon for all your sin, and a NEW start, you can talk to Jesus right now:

Lord Jesus, I believe You died on the cross for me and that You were penalized for my sins so I could be set free. I now turn away from evil and ask You to be my personal Savior and Lord. Please forgive me for my sins and make me a part of Your family forever. Thank you, Jesus!

Have you made a decision to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior?

If so, please let me know. It would be my pleasure to pray with and for you and help point you in the right direction as you live out the rest of your life as a follower of Jesus.

NOW What?

If You Are Wondering What to Do NEXT in Your Journey with Jesus… Click Here to Save Yourself Some Pain – and Learn How to Grow as a Christian (from my friend Ray Comfort – at Living Waters)

Have a really blessed day!

~David

_______

Fields and Mountains Photo Used with Permission: Some rights reserved by Stuck in Customs Link to Photo

A Second Job

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So I have been constantly looking for ways to make more money because we can’t afford a house if we can’t save some money. An opportunity for a second job came up several weeks ago and I put in my resume for it. I didn’t hear anything for 3 weeks and thought I didn’t have a chance and then they called.
As most of you know, I work at the Boys and Girls Club. I work 35 hours a week from noon until 7:00 p.m. every day which only left mornings and weekends for a second job, however, during the summer my hours change because of our Summer Camp which makes it even harder to find a second job.
This job just happened to fit in perfectly. It is at a Mistletoe State Park. Yup, absolutely the most perfect place for me to work. It is a absolutely beautiful park. I will work weekends and Friday afternoons during the summer and then just weekends during the winter. It works out perfectly with my summer hours at the Club because I will work full days Mon. through Thursday for them and then a half day on Friday.
I have worked two weekends already and I really love it. The people are incredibly nice and the customers are all so happy to be there (not so much a the Boys and Girls Club). I am learning the system pretty quickly (so they tell me) which was a relief since I worried where I only worked weekends, it would be hard for me to retain all the information from one weekend to the next but it hasn’t been hard.
Anyway, the extra I am making should definitely get us a lot closer to buying that future house and I still manage to get violin practice almost every morning, take care of the animals and even get in some crocheting now and then…haven’t worked the cakes in yet but I am sure I will eventually.

Book Review: Wreckage

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Wreckage is not a prepper book.

When I picked it up, I wasn’t expecting to think about prepping or survival. I was expecting to lose myself, for just a few hours, in a world of mystery, excitement, and lies.

But aside from the psychological draw of the story, it really is a survival book.

Lillian is not prepared to get stranded on a deserted island for 20 months with the company of strangers. She’s not prepared for much of anything. Armed with her Jansport bag, she makes it to shore with a makeup bag, a sewing kit, a bottle of water, and a granola bar.

Oh, and there’s the romance novel she was reading on the plane. That’s there, too.

When I finished reading the book, I was left with the age-old question: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what would you bring?

A better question becomes, if you were stranded on a deserted island, would you have the skills to survive?

When you think of prepping, don’t just think of stocking up on food or making lists of supplies. Think of the attitude it takes to survive. Survival is more than just a can of dehydrated fruit. It’s learning to take what’s around you and make it work for you.

Wreckage reminds us of this in a beautiful way.

Another reason to say “Goodbye” to Google

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My Google Adsense account has apparently been disabled.  I received a message that included the following text:

We are limited in the amount of information we can provide about your specific violation. We understand that you may want more information about your account activity. However, in order to protect our proprietary detection systems, we are unable to provide further details.

Does it not seem bizarre that a company like Google can simply say that they are disabling your account and not give a reason why?

Timing of this is also suspicious.  My account apparently is disabled at a time when I would be receiving my first advertising payment from them… weird, huh?  It seems like Google will keep your account open when it is convenient for Google.

So… why, Google?  Is it because you will soon owe me money?  Is it because my blogs are conservative in nature and you are trying to stifle content?  When you give no reason it certainly leads to suspicion.

Being that most of my blogs are currently hosted with Google, I need to find other, perhaps even better, ways to get involved with the prepper community.  Yes, I could continue to use Google for blogging and such, but after receiving such a vague message about my Adsense account, I tend to think that I want nothing to do with them.  I will soon likely be moving all my blogs permanently away from Google.

In fact, I would love to boycott Google, but that’s pretty much an impossible task.  When someone wants to boycott Walmart, one would simply stop shopping there.  When one wants to boycott a restaurant, one would simply stop eating there.

But, how does one boycott Google?  It’s like trying to find a way to boycott data.  You can’t just boycott Google without also boycotting android phones, Gmail, Google Docs, YouTube, and the slew of other companies that Google has their hand in.

What I can do is boycott Google’s ads by making sure my browsers are running Adblock Plus. See: https://adblockplus.org.  If Google wants to take away my revenue, then I won’t contribute to theirs.  In addition, I will seek advertisers that are more directly connected with prepping rather than relying on Google’s search criteria to place ads for my viewers.

Any other suggestions?

OH DEER!

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Here is a little tid-bit of information that I want to share. If you are lucky enough, post SHTF, to get a deer, do you know how to make the most of the meat. I have included a diagram on the different areas for processing. You don’t want to waste anything. 3 good sized deer will give my family of 5 enough meat to last for the year (being moderate of course, and not eating it every day). The hide can be tanned and used for various items. The bones can be used to make fish hooks. The fat (not a lot on a deer, but enough) can be used to make soap. Sinew for twine. Think smart, don’t waste anything. After all, this beautiful creature gave up his life for you and yours to be extended. Happy hunting!

An Evening With Dr. Temple Grandin

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Have you ever heard of Dr. Temple Grandin? She is not a medical doctor, but a doctor of animal behaviour. She is famous not only for her brilliant mind and her insight into animal behaviour but also because she has autism. Or, as her official description puts it: “Internationally Renowned Livestock Behaviourist, Autism Advocate and […]

The post An Evening With Dr. Temple Grandin appeared first on Just Plain Living.

Chainsaw safety, Tourniquets, Chaps and Other Important Measures Before Use

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2015-05-12_0743I teach survival so I touch upon most of my subject matter from that perspective.  However I am also a realist in that I like to teach a number of skills that will KEEP you out of survival situations.  I would rather that my students never need the “survival” skills that I teach them but rather just pull out the nature awareness and fun skills and use them daily.

Today is one of those days where we consider some basic pre-emptive “skills” and gear that can keep you out of trouble.  I spend a great deal of time in the woods making videos, hunting, nature/wildlife observation and study and also wildlife habitat improvement.  I enjoy doing what I can to help others learn more about their surroundings.  In that regard I spend a fair amount of time clearing remote trails with a chainsaw.  Since I am not part of a particular volunteer group or organization, I often do this alone.  Probably not the greatest of things to do, but it is simply the way it must be for certain work to get done.

There are certain things that I do, and certain things I take with me (on a hot day particularly) that help me from getting in trouble from both the chainsaw, or heat related illness (HRI).

Here are the things I do:

  • Tell my spouse where I am going and when I expect to return.  If I do not return, she then knows to send someone for me.
  • Check for cell service along the way.  In this manner, I know whether I can call for my own help.
  • Know directions (including my cardinal directions) of my location.
  • I use a chainsaw wisely and do not take undue risks (cutting over my head, allowing logs to roll or fall on me)
  • Before I even start I have plenty of water in my belly (a SF SERE instructor told me once that the best place to store water before an operation was in your belly, I apply that to my work as well)
  • I leave sign along the trails that I am walking so SAR trackers have easier time finding me.

Here are the things I take with me:

  • Chainsaw chaps.  If you are not familiar with these, they stop chainsaws blades upon contact so they do not cut through your legs
  • Sturdy boots with good tread.
  • A SHARP chainsaw.  Chainsaws are like knives..the most dangerous ones are the dull ones, because they make you use them improperly.
  • Water..I carry water with me throughout the day, so I can continue to hydrate.
  • Inividual First Aid Kit (IFAK), I carry a few things in mine.  In this video I discuss the things I carry that pertain to use of a chainsaw.
  • Safety glasses
  • Survival Kit (you never know)…which brings up a good point.  How cool would it be to find yourself lost and have a chainsaw with you?…LOL.

Check out this video where I discuss these ideas and a few more before heading back out to clear some trails at a local Girl Scout Camp.  As always..come on, join in, let’s learn together!

craig1Craig Caudill is the Founder and Chief Instructor of Nature Reliance School. He specializes in wilderness and urban survival, land navigation, scout/tracking and defensive tactics training for private, public and government agencies. Craig is a frequent survival and preparedness contributor to TV outlets, blog sites, magazines and is a popular online outdoor educator on YouTube via Nature Reliance and Dan’s Depot channels. He also has a worldwide network of students and followers who are part of Nature Reliance School Online suite of courses covering all facets of self-reliance.

Craig also has advanced rank in both Judo and Aikido and continues to teach and train after 20+ years of training in each and is also an avid student of all things gun. Forever a student, Craig always attempts to find ways to help others to develop their mindset and critical thinking skills so they can think on their own and for themselves.

 

 

What About This Jade HELM 15 Issue?

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[From Urban Man: There is a lot of misinformation out there about military exercises (Jade Helm) and rumors about U.N. troops deployed to the U.S. for some nefarious activity or another. First of all, Jade Helm is an exercise that has been going on in various capacities for several years. Nothing to worry about here guys. No rehearsals for martial law, no taking over Wal-Marts, or anything like that. But thanks for the being suspicious. Being suspscious is good as long as you apply some critical thinking.]

The “U.N. Invasion” should simply be called the “U.N. Non-invasion”. Jeez. The picture of rail cars transporting military vehicles could be an Army unit rail hauling to a training event or returning to their home base from a sea port of entry after an overseas deployment. This is a recent articles spining people up with B.S.

UN Medic Units Photographed On Truck On ‘Due Course’ To Texas – California Military  Train Stretched As Far As The Eye Can See!

While the story on Patriot News Wire tells us that United Nations medical vehicles have been spotted all across the southern portion of America in recent days, a reader of the website got a picture of one of these ‘transportations’ on I-10 in Mississippi, a highway that runs east to west and according to the photographer, on a due course to Texas.

Texas is one of the states listed as hostile in the upcoming Jade Helm 15 US Army ‘exercise’ that many are concerned will ‘turn hot’ and result in gun-confiscation and/or martial law.

The build-up of military vehicles in the southern regions is now undeniable and as we can see in the 1st video and image below from Dahboo77, a military train has just been photographed in southern California with heavy duty military equipment that stretches as far as the eye can see.

With government paid trolls and the ignorant lashing out on comment boards trying to downplay Jade Helm 15, such as several trolls outed here on ANP, they are largely striking out as US patriots drown out the trolls overused spewing of phrases such as ‘time to take your meds’. These trolls haven’t yet realized that Americans who have largely ‘awoken’ to what is REALLY going on here choose to believe what they are seeing with their own eyes rather than to believe more government lies and ‘troll droppings’.

Phase 2 of Jade Helm 15 is emerging and that the UN is preparing for gun confiscation  in America

From Patriot News Wire: Breaking Jade Helm Update! United Nations Medical Vehicles Spotted Traveling Throughout The South!
While the Government continues to deny that ANYTHING out of the ordinary is going on in regard to Operation Jade Helm 15, and the laimstream media continues to mock anyone who is genuinely concerned, watchful citizens across the nation have been keeping their eyes and ears open, like true patriots and minutemen.

For the past week, people have been reporting seeing United Nations medical vehicles traveling throughout the Southern U.S. Finally, one curious and concerned citizen was able to get an actual picture of one.

[Article from: All News Pipeline]

An N95 Mask May Not Provide the Protection You Expect

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preppersillustrated.com

An N95 mask is a very common item that you might find in a prepper’s stockpile of emergency supplies which is why many of you will be surprised to learn that they might not actually provide you with the protection that you thought they would. As preppers, we try to store items that we think will help us survive a number of major disasters. One of the things that many preppers fear is a global pandemic illness that spreads across the world infecting hundreds of millions of people. With this in mind, many preppers store what are called N95 masks…

The post An N95 Mask May Not Provide the Protection You Expect appeared first on Preppers Illustrated.

Gardening Books

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No good prepper is complete without a library of gardening books. While my family has certainly *cough* been enjoying our mid-May snowstorm here in Colorado, I can say that we’re all more than ready for summer to come. At the moment, my littles are working on their gardening skills at Grandpa’s house. When they return, we’ll be helping our friends in their own gardens.

If you’ve been thinking about doing a little gardening this summer, the time to start is now. Here are a few new books on gardening that can help improve your food storage this year.

The Little Book of Horseradish: for garden, kitchen, and pantry

The Vegetable Gardener’s Container Bible: How to Grow a Bounty of Food in Pots, Tubs, and Other Containers

Small Space Garden: How To Grow Everything You Need For A Salad And More (Small Space, Tiny Home, Container Garden, Edible Garden, Green Thumb, Beginner Garden)

Container Gardening: 250 Design Ideas & Step-by-Step Techniques

Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living

What are your favorite summer gardening books?

MREs The Awful Truth

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Howdy hey, campers! This week’s blog post is all about survival-related misconceptions, or, to be more specific, stuff that the pop culture wizards in Hollywood would have you believe is accurate, but totally isn’t. In fact, if you follow their advice in a survival situation, it can kill you. Now, I’m not saying no one … Continued

The post MREs The Awful Truth appeared first on Signal Survival.

A Very Handy Prepping Product for Your Smartphone!

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preppersillustrated.com

One thing that nearly all preppers have in common is that we try to be prepared for as many possible scenarios as we can. While this usually involves storing things like food, water, and medical supplies, we can’t help the fact that our desire to prep spills over into other parts of our lives. Preppers often focus on having backup supplies or backup plans. Today I’ll be talking about a product that I absolutely love that you might not think about when it comes to prepping but I really think you should. There aren’t very many of us today who…

The post A Very Handy Prepping Product for Your Smartphone! appeared first on Preppers Illustrated.

How to Store Enough Food for 6 Months When You Only Have Room for 1 Month

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preppersillustrated.com

Many of us who live in rural parts of the country in large houses tend to overlook what it must be like for people who are concerned about emergency preparedness but they live in a small apartment. Our perspective when it comes to prepping is quite different than theirs. I believe that it’s important for everyone to do what they can to prepare for emergencies. That being said, we all have different circumstances which ultimately means that we all have to develop our prepping strategies based on the specific limitations that we each might have. Unfortunately, one of the main…

The post How to Store Enough Food for 6 Months When You Only Have Room for 1 Month appeared first on Preppers Illustrated.

Anatomy Socks and Why I Need To Knit More Socks

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Many of you know I like to knit, and some of my friends look at me knitting and scratch their heads. Apparently, I’m not ‘what folks think of when they think of knitting’.
Or so I’ve been told.
Good! Just goes to prove you shouldn’t judge by first impressions.

Anyway, since I know a few of my readers are also knitters, I thought I’d share a bit of my knitting passion.
I finally finished my Anatomy Socks. (See left, above) Plain tube socks that I knit while watching television or surfing the web, Mindless, easy knitting.

  I’m also pleased  to have finished the Dark Cable Socks
It was a new pattern for me, and really very easy. The socks even turned out to be the size ordered! Yay! Mens size 11.

I’m getting ready to cast on another pair of socks, this time in special sock yarn we picked up years ago, tucked away and promptly forgot about.
(More on that later)
I’ve been asked why I make so many socks, and my first answer is, why not? But once we get past the knee-jerk response, here’s the best answer in the words of the Yarn Harlot herself;

“Hand knit socks are 100% better than store bought.They feel so fabulous on your feet that there’s almost nobody who doesn’t want to only wear hand-knit socks from the first time he or she slips them on.”

Time to go smoosh some yarn. Next post, another very good reason to knit socks, the life and times of Buttercrunch lettuce and the secret life of basil.

$300+ Survival Gear and Education Giveaway, Knife, Paracord, Sawyer Filter and A Lot More

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2015-05-08_0756Who wouldn’t want to win a nice little package of survival gear, a hand made blade, and some solid education to use it all?  We teamed up with the several of the guys on the forums at Dan’s Depot to put together a nice little survival package..however there is a twist to get in on the giveaway.  First off, here is the list of gear in the giveaway:

 

Handmade knife by a military veteran
Condor EMT Pouch
SOL Bivvy Blanket (2 person)
Mylar emergency blanket
Sawyer Mini Filter kit
Jet Scream Whistle
UST Starflash signal mirror
UST Marine EGear Splash Flash strobe light
firesteel and striker
10 feet jute twine
100 feet paracord
10 LifeBoat Matches
Disposable Scalpel
2 chem light sticks
couple pieces of bicycle inner tube
ResQme Device
One Year membership to Nature Reliance School Online

Now here is the twist to get in on this giveaway..We have a contest running to see who wins it and all the details for it can be found on the forums at this link:  http://www.dansdepot.com/forum/threads/independence-day-rescue-me-give-away.4277/

I also made a video on some of the detail which can be found here, which also contains some more info about this new bright red shirt I am wearing, which you will be seeing more of.

So many in the survival community, particularly the keyboard commandos, are about simply getting your “like”, “share”, “subscription” and similar.  We sincerely want to help equip you with both good gear and with good education.  Our giveaways try to combine both whenever we can.  As always come on, join in, let’s learn together!

 

craig1Craig Caudill is the Founder and Chief Instructor of Nature Reliance School. He specializes in wilderness and urban survival, land navigation, scout/tracking and defensive tactics training for private, public and government agencies. Craig is a frequent survival and preparedness contributor to TV outlets, blog sites, magazines and is a popular online outdoor educator on YouTube via Nature Reliance and Dan’s Depot channels. He also has a worldwide network of students and followers who are part of Nature Reliance School Online suite of courses covering all facets of self-reliance.

Craig also has advanced rank in both Judo and Aikido and continues to teach and train after 20+ years of training in each and is also an avid student of all things gun. Forever a student, Craig always attempts to find ways to help others to develop their mindset and critical thinking skills so they can think on their own and for themselves.

 

 

 

 

Essential Oils Revolution Healthy Oil Summit – Free and Starting Soon!

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Essential Oils_Depositphotos_44493511_originalWhat will you do when medicine isn’t readily available? That question is one of the things that got me interested in Essential Oils. Medical preps are one of the most overlooked areas of prepping. Synthetic-based (i.e., man-made) medicines expire in a relatively short period of time. When SHTF happens, you won’t be able to go to the corner drug store, hand them your insurance card and pick up your needed medications. Most essential oils, on the other hand, have a very long shelf-life. (Some that have been found in archeological digs still hold their medicinal properties.) So I started looking into essential oils a little over a year ago. (See part 1 of my 2-part blog here.) After a year of dabbling, it’s time for me to get more serious about it. Enter the Healthy Oil Summit…

Oops…I’m a bit late in publicizing the free upcoming The Essential Oils Revolution Healthy Oil Summit. It starts tomorrow – Saturday, May 11 – and continues through Friday May 17.

First things First – you can register for the free event by clicking below:

The Essential Oils Revolution Summit

 

 

 

Free Gifts You’ll Receive
When you register, you’ll receive a number of free gifts, including advance access to two of the presentations. One of these presentations, “Essential Oils for Gut, Thyroid and Adrenals” by Josh Axe, is the absolute best presentation on Essential Oils I have ever seen, live or recorded. The three free ebooks are also very well done.

How the Summit Works
Beginning on May 11 and continuing through May 17, four or five videos will be posted each day for you to view. You’ll receive an email each day with info on the videos available that day. Topics are as wide ranging as:

  • Antibiotic Resistance — How Essential Oils Can Help
  • Cancer and Essential Oil Research
  • Using Essential Oils for Beauty and High Performance Health
  • Culinary Uses for Essential Oils
  • Empowering Emotions with Essential Oils
  • Essential Oils  for Animals

And of course, there’s much more.

If you want to buy a copy of all the presentations for viewing again later, you will be able to purchase all 31 presentations for $47.  Register for the free event and you’ll have the opportunity to purchase your own copy of the presentations.

It’s Time for Me to Take the Next Step — How About You?
I’ve been “playing with” essential oils for about a year. What I mean by that is I’m using them sporadically (when I remember) for just a few things — to help me sleep, as a pick-me-up in the afternoon, to ease sinus congestion. Over the past few months as I’ve read more articles and talked to more users, I’ve been developing an awareness that essential oils could do so much more for me. It’s time for me to begin to use them as part of a healthy living regimen.

You can join me by registering below:
The Essential Oils Revolution Summit

The post Essential Oils Revolution Healthy Oil Summit – Free and Starting Soon! appeared first on The Approaching Day Prepper.