Oh, Poo! A Review of BTS-33 Composting Toilet

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Give me a moment while I remove my rubber gloves and put away the bleach, and then I will review the BTS-33 Composting Toilet by Biolet. When I was looking for a composting toilet for our off-grid cabin, I found many, many people who had this on their Pinterest wishlist but no one who had […]

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12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning

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By Denis Korn                                                12-questions

Of the 15 Foundational Articles on the right hand column of this blog, I believe this to be the primary foundational article required for effective and thorough preparedness planning. 

It is featured this month for those who may not be familiar with these essential questions, or who need to be reminded of the substance and basis of effective preparedness planning.

These 12 crucial questions of preparedness planning are a result of an ongoing expansion and modification of questions given in The Essential Emergency Planning Guide for Food and Water.  They apply to any preparedness planning scenario you believe to be appropriate.  Answer them carefully – your safety, health (emotional and physical), peace of mind, and comfort depend on it.

Preparedness planning is fundamentally built on two principles – (1) developing a philosophical or personal worldview while evaluating and assessing the current state of affairs – (2) then developing a specific plan of action based upon your reflective conclusions, needs, and the physical conditions that you anticipate can occur.

Thank you for having made a wise and sound decision to take responsibility for you and your family to be prepared in the event of unforeseen circumstances.  A proper attitude during the preparedness planning process is essential, and it is made more effective by exercising competent critical thinking skills. Reacting from a position of fear or confusion can be an obstacle to efficient planning.  Please remember, when it comes to seeking reliable information and essential provisions for nourishment, health, and safety – ask: Who do you trust? and Why?

As you evaluate your answers to the following crucial questions and the circumstances for which you are preparing, there is another underlying issue to consider when considering provisions – cost verses quality.  Are the equipment and supplies necessary to fulfill your needs going to be based on how cheap they are , or on the quality, value, and reliability of the product?  What are the repercussions or benefits from the choices that are made?  Who is affected?  What chances are you willing to take with inferior and inadequate provisions?  Answer these questions carefully – your safety, health (emotional and physical), peace of mind and comfort depend on it.

Food issues and questions are of special importance to me personally – since I have been providing, developing, and promoting quality food reserves for over 40 years.  When purchasing food provisions, especially pre-configured assortments, it is essential to know exactly the quantity of food you are getting for the price you are paying.  “X” amount of servings, or “X month’s supply” doesn’t give you the accurate information you need for proper planning.  You need to know the answer to these questions: What is the basis for the manufacturer’s claims?  What is the nutritional value, quantity, and quality of food and the caloric value of each serving?  “X” months gives me how many calories per day, and of what quality and nutritional value are the foods?  Beware of companies claiming “freeze-dried” with little to no freeze-dried ingredients used in meal formulations.  The most obvious RED FLAG are claims of a 25 year shelf life for foods packed in pouches.  This is a suspicious marketing deception and companies advertising these excessive shelf life pouched foods are to be considered highly questionable.

It always has been and always will be the policy of Learn To Prepare and PrepareDirect to provide products, information, perspectives, insights, and recommendations for action with an attitude of helpfulness and respect for an individual’s choice based on evaluation and thoughtful judgment.  Be conscientious and diligent in your planning, and demand truthfulness and accuracy from your suppliers.  You evaluate – you choose – you own your decisions.  If you need help, contact us at PrepareDirect/Learn To Prepare.

The Questions

  1. What are the circumstances or scenarios you have determined may exist that will require you to rely upon your preparedness supplies? (This is not only the most important and first question to answer, it is often the question most overlooked, or not considered critically enough).  What will be the severity and impact of those circumstances on your life?  Given your potential scenarios, how thoroughly have you researched the available options for food, water, medical, shelter, hygiene, and other categories of critical supplies?  Are you prepared for emergencies during all seasons of the year?  Is your family more susceptible to certain emergencies?  How would your scenarios impact you or your family’s daily routine?  Work or livelihood?  How will you protect yourself and family against those who might do you harm?  The grid is essential to most homes and businesses – if it is down, how long could you function?  What would society look like without the grid, and a prolonged cessation of the availability of vital goods and services?  Do you have back up power?
  2. How long will your emergency scenario last, and what is the duration of time for which you will be preparing? This is another critical question, and while it is difficult to envision the difficult details that might occur, the adequacy of your preparedness planning and supplies is directly tied to honestly answering this question.  Needless to say, the longer the duration of the emergency the more effect it will have on multiple aspects of one’s daily routine and lifestyle, and the need to be focused on the diversity of situations that will surround you.
  3. What attitude are you willing to embody and express during the uncertainty and stress of the emergency scenarios you have determined may exist?  An appropriate attitude is essential to survival and effective functioning during a serious emergency or disaster. Your emotional and spiritual viewpoint is the foundational component of any emergency circumstance. The longer the emergency the greater degree of stress, which will affect your well-being. Do you believe it is essential for you and your family to incorporate the proper emotional and spiritual attitude in your preparedness planning? Do you have a biblical worldview regarding trials and tribulations?  Who do you ultimately rely on for comfort, strength and hope?  Where is your faith?
  4. What preparedness knowledge do you personally have that is important in providing specific information and instructions needed during the emergency or emergencies for which you are preparing? How about the knowledge of family or friends?  What informational resources and references – books and other tangible items – do you personally have or have access to?
  5. During an emergency what facilities, stores, resources, supplies, and assistance is available in your area apart from family and friends? This includes not only information and education, but also essentials such as food, water, shelter, energy, communication, and medical supplies.  What utilities in your area are vulnerable to disruption or elimination?  What will you do to compensate for the loss of electricity, water, gas, or phone service?
  6. Are you dependent upon someone or something else to get you through and supply your needs during the emergency scenarios you presume will occur? Are your neighbors or friends stocking up on enough supplies for you also?  Do you honestly believe some level of government will be there to assist and resolve the situation?  Do you have a community support network available?  What skills and knowledge do you possess that you can contribute?  How many people are you planning to provide with emergency provisions? Extended family?  Friends?  Church members?  Community?
  7. Do you have a list of essential supplies you believe will be necessary to have on hand during your estimated emergency? Is it prioritized?  Do you have a list of the essential categories your supplies fall under? What do you have on hand now?  Are you actively storing provisions?  If not – why not?
  8. Do you have an understanding of the financial implications of your projected emergency scenarios? This includes the costs of preparation, other financial obligations that might occur during and after the emergency, and understanding the choices needing to be made to adequately be prepared.  For most folks it will be necessary to honestly assess the personal and family financial priorities in the preparedness process.  Do you keep enough cash or items for barter on hand for unforeseen emergencies?  Do you have back up hard copies of essential financial documents?
  9. What are the special needs of yourself, family, or others you care for that might arise during the scenarios you find likely? This especially includes medical issues, nutritional requirements, and physical and emotional limitations.  What psychological, social, medical, or unique factors could potentially arise from a long-term (6 months or more) catastrophic event?  Also consider your personal, family, work, and community needs for timely communication during an emergency.  Are any pets involved in your planning?  Have you had a family, company, or group meeting to directly and honestly discuss what actions are to be implemented during an emergency of the type you determined might occur?  For many individuals and families the religious or spiritual factor in preparedness planning and implementation – especially during a serious or catastrophic event – is the most important.  If this applies to you, make sure all family members and friends are in prayer.
  10. In your expected emergency scenarios will you be stationary and remain where you are, or is it possible you will have to be mobile and relocate? This could include different responses depending on your predictions of the duration and severity of the emergency.  Are you aware of all the implications and planning required depending upon your answer to this question?  This is another one those very difficult questions to fully comprehend, because not only can there be many perspectives to consider, being prepared to be mobile and leave an established residence or homestead requires a whole different set of planning points.  If you had to evacuate or relocate right now, where would you go?  With prior planning where would you prefer to go?  Do you have a bug-out or grab-and-go bag/device?  Do you think you need one?  If you do have one, is it adequately supplied with essential provisions?  Do you know how to use the items it contains?  If you have to carry it – can you?
  11. What means of communication do you have available to you during an emergency and with whom do you need to communicate? This includes both two-way communication with others, including family, friends and associates, and one-way communication from radio stations, emergency broadcasts, or individuals via short wave.  Do you have a cell phone?  Will towers be functioning?  Land lines?  Internet?  Hand held walkie-talkies?  Satellite phone?  Short wave radios?  Citizens band radios?  Emergency and/or ham radios with two-way communication capability?  During a serious emergency accurate information and updates are essential for survival.  What if an EMP (electro-magnetic-pulse) from a solar flare or nuclear device renders all unprotected electronics useless?  How will this effect communication equipment you are relying upon?
  12. In your expected emergency scenarios what transportation options will be necessary and available? Needing to be mobile requires serious planning and so does remaining in place if your anticipated scenario lasts for a long duration and you need to travel within your area.  What vehicles are available?  What fuels do they need to operate?  What do you have on hand?  If you must relocate, how much space and weight is needed to transport your supplies?  Do you have a bicycle?  Small solar or gas scooter?  Adequate foot gear?  A horse?  What if the emergency is in the winter – a harsh winter?  What if an EMP (electro-magnetic-pulse) from a solar flare or nuclear device renders all unprotected electronics useless?  How will this effect vehicles you are relying upon?

Proper preparedness planning requires a serious commitment – your life or health and the life and health of your family may depend upon it!

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A Professional Perspective: The Current Militia Movement, Ver. 2.0

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Here are some thoughts and histories from a professional for the truly objective among you. H/T to WRSA

The Current Militia Movement, Ver. 2.0
Bill Roberts

Okay. After the last go round I can see that there are a few points I should have addressed in more detail and a couple of observations that I will address. Let me state at the beginning that the biggest issues I see with the so-called militias are the lack of standardized organization and leadership. In the following writings I will address how these problems were addressed and codified in the early days of our nation.

First. I meant all that stuff about let us all try to have a rational discussion. If the best you can come up with is name calling or threats, or if you see any need for either, I suggest you are wasting your valuable breath. To those of you who followed that brief guidance, in most cases if it was required, I responded. For the ones who started out with the personal attacks, I stopped reading as soon as I realized we could not be civil. Now on to the first of a few observations I want to explore. I am not asking you to agree with anything I have to say. I am simply asking that you check your unbridled frustration and hostility at the door. You can’t possibly think that anyone is going to pay any attention to your ranting and raving except maybe somebody of like attitude. This is not the way of engendering cooperation and change. Please take note that I do not intend my tone to be condescending in general. I will actually let you know when I intend to be such. That said, let us move on.

One comment that I addressed and will mention here again, is that the reason I used the references that I did is because they are historically based on law, not someone’s opinion. Regardless of who’s opinion it maybe, the words of the Constitution of the United States and the various Acts and Codes that have become law trump opinion.

I believe a slightly expanded historic time line may help with the understanding of the points I am trying to make about militias.

The etymology of the word militia is from the Latin miles and –itia. The first meaning soldier and the second suffix referring to the state (governmental entity.) Together they essentially mean military service. Earliest written reference to the militia seems to be in the mid to late 16th century. So we see in the earliest known references the militia was the body of soldiers that composed the military structure. Now on to some more history in the United States.

The First Continental Congress was convened September 5, 1774. Only Georgia was absent. Their business was to address the Coercive Acts (aka the Intolerable Acts by the colonialists.) They were dealing with the Crown’s punishment of Boston for the Tea Party. They petitioned King George III for relief and called for a Second Continental Congress to convene if their petition was unsuccessful. The petition granted no relief.

In April 1775 fighting broke out in Boston between the British units and local militia members loyal to the patriot movement. Notice I said loyal to the patriot movement because there were militias on the Tory side as well, especially in the southern colonies. This date is considered to be the beginning of the Revolutionary war that continued until 1783.

0n May 10, 1775 the Second Continental Congress convened with representatives of all 12 colonies previously in attendance at the First Continental Congress. Three days later the representatives from Georgia arrived. They became the de facto government of what would become the United States though with no legal basis to govern. The delegates urged each colony to form militias and to train. On June 12, 1775 the Continental Navy was established, on June 14, 1775 they created the Continental Army out of the militias surrounding Boston and appointed George Washington as commander. On November 10, 1775 the Continental Marines were established.

It wasn’t until July 4, 1776 that the Declaration of Independence was signed and about the same time the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Unity were drafted but not ratified by all colonies until February 2, 1781. Here is a link to a transcript of the articles for those of you who may be unfamiliar with the document that is considered by most as the “First U.S. Constitution.” I find it interesting that this congress preapproved Canada for admission to the Union. Now that would make for an interesting alternate time line in someone’s Sci-Fi book or movie.


For many reasons, not the least of which was the lack of enforcement powers and money, the Articles of Confederation were a failure. Based upon this, a Constitutional Convention was held beginning in May of 1787. On 17 September 1787 the Constitution was signed. Less than a year later, by 21 June 1798, eleven states had ratified the new Constitution and it became law. North Carolina and Rhode Island ratified it by May 1790.

Now to speak briefly of the Militia Acts. In 1792 two separate acts were passed that are together referred to as the Militia Acts of 1792. The first gave the President the power to unilaterally (without congressional approval) call up the state militias for service in defense of the nation. The second, signed into law six days later on 8 may 1792, provided for the standardized organization of all state militias and effectively conscripted every “free, able-bodied white male citizen” between the ages of 18 and 45 into a local militia company. The Militia Act of 1795 was subsequently passed to keep the authority of the President to call up the militias in force. The Militia Act of 1862 was passed to allow the President to call militias for “Federal (Union)” service against the Confederacy. It also provided that “persons of African descent” could serve in the militias. It was superseded by the Militia Act of 1903 which established the United States National Guard as the Organized Militia in this nation.

Now you can see some of the changes from the First Continental Congress to today. This should give you a better idea of where some of my facts originated. It also demonstrates that the U.S. National Guard has everything to do with the militia as defined and codified by law.

History lesson over. Now to address some other issues from the last go round. And then move on.

I am not “one of them.” I am not trying to drive a wedge between anyone and any group. Many of the “militias” do that all by themselves and don’t need my help. The more “militias” demonstrate their anger and rage on the internet, the more they demonstrate their contempt for the government and the more they photograph themselves running around in camouflage carrying “assault rifles,” the worse it will become between them and the “average” citizen. By the way, I put those terms in quotes because I believe they are misnomers and used incorrectly in most discussions. I will say it again and again, organize your communities, your neighborhood, whatever. Stay off the radar. Look for conservative political leaders.

You may feel free to call yourself anything you want. Trust me on this one, many organizations from the NSA down to the Southern Poverty Law Center, know who comprises the “militias.” If you want to be a “militia”, so be it. Don’t let the mere fact that the meaning of that term was defined by actual etymology and in this country by law and you don’t fit that meaning as set forth dissuade you. You may feel free to fall back on the dictionary definition I provided in my last writing. The first three conform to the Constitution, the Militia Act and U.S. Code. I bring your attention to the fourth and fifth examples provided as that is where a good number of you seem to be. Emphasis added.

[mi-lishuh] noun

1. a body of citizens enrolled for military service, and called out periodically for drill but serving full time only in emergencies.

2. a body of citizen soldiers as distinguished from professional soldiers.

3. all able-bodied males considered by law eligible for military service.

4. a body of citizens organized in a paramilitary group and typically regarding themselves as defenders of individual rights against the PRESUMED interference of the federal government.

5. a military force that engages in rebel or terrorist activities, typically in opposition to a regular army.

Also, please don’t let a little thing like the rule of law be an issue. Each of us has free will. That is the way God made us. So if you want to ignore laws and/or break laws, have at it. I for one used to have a terrible time with speed limits. Never as high as what I wanted. Actually lost my license as a teenager just before I enlisted. Anyway we have a term for people who break the law, we call them criminals. I saw a lot of them during my time on the bench. All ages, races, and creeds and they all had an excuse. Yes, I know, this last paragraph has been condescending. Get over it. Couldn’t help myself.

For those who informed me of the way the SHTF scenario would happen, let me just say: Maybe. See I believe the SHTF scenario will begin when the government gets tired of the disorganized “militias” and begins to consider them a threat. When I say them I mean the collective them as in “militias” that are not. That hasn’t happened. When it does, and I doubt the government and military will collapse prior to that event, then the ubiquitous “THEY” are going to come for “THEM.” And unlike Ruby Ridge and Waco, where there was this long standoff and negotiation before the government started murdering folks, they will probably deem the disorganized militias as domestic terrorists and use deadly force first.

This also negates the idea that these “militias” will be facing a beleaguered military force. That would be nice as they would at least have a chance. Well, maybe. Consider however, the hostilities of the 1860s here in the United States. Yeah, I know, the Confederacy had incredible victories, they were great. I get it. They lost. One of the reasons was lack of materiel. A war of attrition. Can’t fight much without bullets and other resources. And for the record, there were families divided on that one. Brothers killing brothers. Do you think the average Infantry soldier will not engage people bearing arms that have been declare terrorists?

Going back further to the Revolutionary War, I keep hearing about how great the militias were. Not saying they didn’t fight hard, just saying they weren’t the lynch pin to victory. There are a few commonly agreed upon reasons why the British lost.

First, Howe was unable to capture Washington at New York and as a result Washington went on to keep his army together and eventually defeat the British but it wasn’t all him. By the way, the British kicked the militia as well as the Continental Army in the rear at New York.

Another reason was thanks to Parliament itself. It was divided on the colonial issue and support for the war was tenuous. The British economy was in trouble and the war was a huge drain. Good place to note that the majority of British citizens and MOP were in favor of giving the colonialists equal rights.

Then we had the Franco-American alliance. When the French joined in, suddenly other British colonies were at risk. Had the British on multiple fronts so to speak.

In the southern colonies the British overestimated the Loyalist. They had planned on recruiting Loyalist armies in the south and it just didn’t happen.

And the last one, of many, that I will mention, though maybe the most critical, was the lack of ability for the British to resupply itself in a timely matter. Happened to the British during the Revolutionary War just as it happened to the Confederacy during the Unpleasantness and has happened in countless other examples around the world and throughout history. Resupply matters. As a rhetorical question, how much do you have on hand in say classes I through IX? How long can you sustain yourself without more resources? Do these groups think they will simply take what they need from the locals? I, for one, do not care who they are, who they claim to be, what agency or organization they are with, if they wear a badge or not, if I think they are a threat to me or my family or intend to take what is mine by the virtue of my labor, they are in for one great big FXXXKING surprise. To paraphrase some Hollywood movie: “You may get me in a bum’s rush but I am going to take some of you with me.” I am pretty much a “Don’t Tread on Me” type. Anyone who starts commandeering supplies from the populace will only hasten their own defeat.

Why do I keep harping all over the place about history and fact? Partly because of the old adage: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” George Santayana, 1863 – 1952. Partly because learning and understanding the past leads to fresh solutions to the problems of today.

Another good one that I kept getting hit with surrounds “The Oath.” For those of you who may not know what oath we are talking about I provide it here for you. As an enlisted soldier I took the first one, as an officer the second.

I, (state your full name) do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

I, (state your full name) having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indi­cated above in the grade of (fill in the blank) do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obli­gation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.”

Some differences between the two. Interestingly, as with the Second Amendment to the U. S. Constitution, and other documents, people want to pick what they choose to believe it says. Before those flood gates open, I firmly believe that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right.

In the case of the first oath the usual choice is the part about I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.. That last part, I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God, seems to be a hindrance to their point of view. Just screws up their whole “militia” argument that they are really defending this great nation. All the parts of the oath weigh equally in my opinion but of course some may disagree.

In the second oath the part about obeying the orders of the President of the United States and those appointed over me is not required as officers have only the chain of command to follow. Enlisted soldiers are also subject to orders from other enlisted soldiers of higher rank. The only difference here is the difference between a lawful order and a direct order but that is outside the requirements of this discussion.

I took my oaths very seriously, though as an officer, on a few occasions, I said “NO! Don’t like it? Relieve me.” But that is another story to be had with friends over beer. Maybe one day. By the way, the POTUS has a different oath. That oath of office states:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

That “to the best of my ability” has always bothered me but that is the way it is. I guess some are more able than others.

There were many more diatribes but as I said, many got tuned out after a few words or a line or two. In fact, someone queried why I didn’t answer all the great, insightful questions that were posed. I told him to give me a list and I’d look into it but it might just be that our definitions of “great, insightful questions” differ. Also, I firmly understand that it matters not what I say, many of you will never change your mind or even consider my points regardless of how they are presented.

Now to the real issue at hand. Should communities have some sort of armed organization to deal with situations that the current system cannot. My personal answer is yes. There are many potential events that might require an armed response. As an example: several years ago we had tornados that devastated some of the local communities. In my own area we were fortunate, only four homes destroyed and three dead. The problem was that the American Red Cross and FEMA were not even looking at us. The county sheriff came out and called for removal of the bodies after the little investigation and that was it. As a community we pulled together, found lodging for the two survivors, and started the task of cleaning up the mess. For some reason people from outside our community thought that it was okay to come in the dead of night and collect up what they wanted. Fortunately we were prepared with armed citizens on the properties and there was no looting. This is but one example in many I can think of.

It is not that I advise you not to organize and arm, quite the contrary. Just don’t flaunt and flash it all over the internet and announce you are a “militia” intent on saving your community from the government. That one you will lose. Come up with a more innocuous name for your organization. Maybe West End Community Observation Group or something that doesn’t draw immediate attention.

I will grant you all that this nation is wrought with problems from rampant welfare to special rights for every miniscule minority. I do not agree with the current foreign policy especially as it regards the various muslim nations. I have spent time with muslims and my answer to dealing with them is not in the least PC. As a point of departure, I have read the Koran in a 1930’s translation. To say it was enlightening is an understatement. I also suggest you read the Hadith. Another nail in the coffin of muslim irrationality. Anyone who claims islam is a religion of peace is either lying or just not informed. In all this please don’t forget the Bible. God’s word brings strength. If you haven’t read it, and I mean cover to cover, get started. I don’t disagree that the issues of taxation, uncontrolled alien intrusion from many countries and top of the list, Barack Hussein Obama and the executive order, have me more than a little pissed off. I am simply not ready to throw in the towel and quit trying to change things through peaceful methods.

Even the colonialists petitioned King George III in writing for relief. Have any of you? That’s right, I forgot, no national organization.

I guess until/if I am invited to submit something else this ends the lesson. I’d really like to move on in the future to a discussion of operational considerations for both insurgency and counter insurgency. Might be somewhat enlightening. Considering I wrote the first complete draft of the COIN manual for the Infantry School at Ft. Benning back in 1994, I know a little bit about it. Maybe we could discuss unit organization, the necessity and benefits tactically and operationally of subordination to legitimate authority, IPB, RACO, logistics or something else entirely. Anything but the illegitimacy of the “militia” movement as it is currently structured.

Until then be safe.


William David “Bill” Roberts II



American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

Heavy Unfortunate News: Separation

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Wifey and I are separated and moving towards divorce. I am down here and she is at home with the kids and dogs. Of course nothing is over till its over but it sure looks unlikely the current course will change. I didn’t see it coming though I should have. The unfortunate truth is that we have probably been throwing good money after bad for awhile now. I wish her the best going forward. Hopefully we can settle things as painlessly and quickly as possible.

So that is what’s going on with me.

So what am I going to do moving forward. I am going to keep writing (need this little invisible community more than ever) while I try to figure things out. Heck I’ve started writing fiction again. No promises on when anything might come out but it is still progress.

How am I doing? Emotionally I am all over the place. Mostly moving between a sort of one foot in front of the other OK and sadness. On a positive note I am at least somewhat trending in a good direction and getting used to things. Figuring out what my new normal looks like. Working hard to forge stronger connections with friends and fill my time with positive, or at least neutral things. Have some self improvement to do also.

I am scheduled to leave here in the winter and go to a new duty station. Going to go home to see the kids as much as I can. Also I am looking hard at a new plan where I end there for good (and could be a meaningful part of their lives) a lot sooner than planned.

I don’t write this to solicit advice or pity and for goodness sake I do not want to talk about my feelings. My intent is to let you know what is going on with me and get it off my chest. Please bear with me, the usual regular quality posting will continue in due course. In fact from a preparedness angle some pretty interesting things are probably going to happen.

Paracord: Projects & Uses – Posts of the Week Wednesday

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Paracord 101: The Basics Welcome to another edition of Posts of the Week Wednesday! This is our weekly roundup of the the best prepper, homesteading, survivalist, and off the grid living content that we’ve seen this week. This week’s theme is…(drumroll?)… Paracord. Paracord is one of those survival supplies that is in everyone’s bug out bag. But …

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National Museum of the Air Force

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One of the things I like about my job is the ability to play hard after working hard. My recent trip was no exception. This time I was able to spend a couple of hours in the National Museum of the Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. While I was informed that two hours would be plenty … Continue reading

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Surviving with herbs series “CAYENNE PEPPER” – The KING of Super Foods and Medicinal Herbs!

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The Power of herbs for Survival Series “Cayenne”
Target:Circulatory System
Survival: Food

This will help you understand how powerful the enzymes in cayenne are.Dr. John Christopher a WW2 medic states in his book the school of natural healing that 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper will stop “ANY” bleeding internally or externally.

Another method is to take a cayenne tincture and thoroughly the gauze or bandage , and iI mean THOROUGHLY! Apply pressure for a min of 10-15  minutes to stop bleeding. To help minimize scaring after wound has stopped bleeding use a 2 percent dilution of lavender oil diluted with purified organic jojoba oil. Secondly, for internal bleeding take 1/2 cayenne powder or 2 full droppers of cayenne tincture in 10 oz. of warm water if using powder let disolve  as much as possible and drink 2times daily this can also be used as an external wash for minor cut and brushes.
Other directly related Detailed Posts:
Herbal Emergency Medicine
The Power of Cayenne as a Medicine
Cayenne Pepper
Making Herbal Healing Salves

God Bless,

Secondly, Another form of medicinal use of cayenne is to make a tea this is a powerful alternative to a tincture. Also, an  all natural healing “Salve” used together with cinnamon can be used to increase circulation in a localized area and the cinnamon will help with the delivery of blood and oxogen to nerve endings to aid in nerve repair. as well as minor neuropathy. Se recipe below.

Cayenne Tea:
take 1 teaspoon of cayenne powder and add 8 ounces of boiling water to it and let sit for 10-15 minutes. then strain with a coffee filter or cheese cloth or even a clean cotton shirt if nothing else is available. drink daily for adults only:
Note the higher the Heat Units are the more capsicum levels are  present and the more effective will be its application. E.G. there are some cayenne powders that range from about 18,00 H.eat U,nits to 58,000  H.eat U,nits and more.
Cayenne/Cinnamon Salve:
Follow the directions to the healing save and as you add the lavender essential oil while salve is still liquid form in the tin add 3 drops of cinnamon essential oil and 4 drops of cayenne infused oil.
Cayenne Infused oil:
Please note this is different than essential oil it possess a lesser level of concentrates of capsicum.
take 4 tablespoons of cayenne powder and 8 ounces of grape seed or jojoba oil(preferred because of the high levels of vitamin E present help with increasing absorption.

Preparing for a seasonal change “ELDER”

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Preparing for a seasonal change  “Elderberry”

Elderberry also a member of the honeysuckle family is a powerhouse for aiding and maintaining the immune system possesses large levels of vitamin c and also has a presence of  Bioflavanoids help deter viral and bacterial infections from invading cells and replicating . The present Phytochemical in european elder help defeat viral infections. 
The bark and berries have been used to make tonics,teas,syrups, extracts and more

A few things Elder can be used for but not limited to are:

  • Respiratory Infections
  • Colds
  • Flus
  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • sore throat
  • Traditional Uses:
  • Diarrhea
  • fever
  • boils
  • blisters
  • arthritis
  • pain,
  • sores
  • swelling
  • obesity
  • headache
  • eczema
  • laryngitis


This is a great herb to combine with other herbs to achieve greater successful results. Example, combining equal parts of elder berries and echinacea not only is great for the immune system support but the diaphoretic properties that the elder plant possess’ will induce sweating and aid as a form of detox through the pores system. this is great for all types and severity levels of respiratory infections. 

The Elderberries used in the form as a syrup and with equal parts of Rose hips and even dandelion or oat straw and taken daily can aid as a powerful overall health tonic.


To make a daily Health Tonic take one equal part of the following( use this recipe as long as you are not allergic to ragweed or are sensitive to hay fever allergies):

  • Elderberries
  • Rose hips
  • Oatstraw
  • Dandelion


Bring 2 cups of water to a hard boil then lower heat to low simmer, Add all herbs
let simmer on low for about 15 minutes ore until reduced to 1/2 (1 cup) take pot off heat let cool and strain and press well this is were a potato ricer comes handy. take the cooled liquid(concocton)  and add 1 cup of raw wildflower honey stir well until completely blended bottle and sore in refrigerator for up to 4 weeks if this is an adult tonic that has no problem with alcohol add 2 tablespoons of grain alcohol and mix well this will extend the shelf life to up to 2-3 months.

If you are allergic to ragweed or are hay fever sensitive omit the Oatstraw

Adult Dosage: 1 tablespoon daily each morning.

Children over the age of 5 years old refer to Clarks Rule of Pediatric dosing.

Top “Natural” Remedies and references for Preppers

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Top “Natural” Remedies and references  
for Preppers

When prepping a prepper should alway try their best to for se the unforeseen.

A few things a prepper should consider when bugging out or in. is am I realistically prepared to handle a situation if it happens? But further more over prepping is not uncommon or a crime I personally believe it is a good thing. There is a saying that goes like this” It is better to be prepared for a situation and not have one; than to not be prepared and have one”

So as your friend and the “Herbal Survivalist I put a list of realistic but natural Preps together. with some realistic possibilities and scenarios.

Your buging out (alone ore with your family) you are driving and all of a sudden you hit traffic, traffic from a control point during martial law or not  just congestion from everyone trying to get out of the area now you are at a standstill for days are you prepared to bug out into a wooded region for a few days in any climate or weather condition? staying in a car can have psychological effects on someone . but you are bugged out and finally get settled. However, during some time members in your group are experiencing pains maybe tooth ache , headaches, anxiety, panic attacks general nervousness or even a sprained ankle from collecting wood for a fire for your camp or helping someone else.  or even a laceration and how about keeping those bugs away so you can bug out and sleep at night or day particularly during the summer.

Do you know how to make a debre hut to keep warm during the cold months of the year as well as the time needed to make a good one that will also protect you from the elements? or shelter primitively?  What about supplying the nutrition to your body to fulfill all these tasks and more

Some of the best herbs to have on hand are the following
Here is a very short list

  • Willow Bark  for pain management( has powerful aspirin like effects)
  • Cayenne Pepper for wound management 
  • management.
  • Lemon Balm: to help with stress, anxiety and many other central nervous system related issues.
  • Dandelion: to be used as a blood purifier when a detox of toxins and neurotics are present within the stem from synthetic foods. also for vitamin supplementation’s( particularly vitamins A,K, magnesium, and manganese with trace minerals of calcium.
  • Green tea for its antioxidants
  • Oregano and or Oregano essential oil( diluted to 2 percent) a Powerhouse of an antibiotic
  • Echinacea Great for imune system support and for an antibacterial wash

Nutritional Aids:

  • Slippery elm bark: For nutritional supplementation(s)
  • Bee Pollen For Central nervous system support as well as immune system  sand adrenal gland  support also considered a “SUPERFOOD”
  • Spirulina: Classified a superfood, is loaded with antioxidants particularly helps reduce stress related and or that contributes to muscle fatigue. Also contains phenolic,phycocyanins, tocopherols and beta carotene. also because of its antioxidant properties it is also good for anxiety, memory, ADHD, and PMS.
  • Chlorella: Goes beyond just a powerhouse of a detoxifier, It all is great for immune system support, balancing your PH,cleansing kidneys, liver, and gaul bladder and optimizes your blood pressure and eliminating mold from your body, blood purification and aid in the processing of more oxogen.

Essential Oils:

  • Clove essential oil a natural anesthetic/ antiviral herb also great for oral pain Oregano essential oil( diluted to 2 percent) a Powerhouse of an antibioticPeppermint essential oil: good for digestion problems and for aiding severe pain management due to its antispasmodic properties and to will repeal bugs and spiders.
  • Lavender essential oil: an antimicrobial, antibacterial herb that will repeal insects
  • Lemon Essential oil: To purify your water supply. add 1-3 drops  per 8 ounces of water mix thoroughly until completely blended.
  • Add 2-5 drops of diluted lemon essential oil  to 6 ounces of warm water to create a natural wound flush/ disinfectant.

Books/ Refferences’
“Important” Also having a field guide to medicinal plants is a must as well as jethro Kloss’ book “ BACK TO EDEN” which is 500 pages but small and light enough to fit in your backpack/ fanny pack with the field guide. another great book to have is Wild Edibles field guide for your region. You may want to have an essential oil reference on hand as well. a good pocket guide is “Modern Essentials”

Herbal Washes

Herbal Wash Recipe:
A herbal was can be used as a disinfectant by using herbs with antiseptic, antibacterial, and or antiviral  properties such as: 
Cinnamon( not for sensitive skins or facial area and mist stay out of sun for 24-48 hrs) 
Licorice Root
Ginger Root/powder
slippery elm
Oregon grape
pine needles

Making a Herbal Wash/Rinse/Flush:
Take 2 cups of water bring to a hard boil 
Add herbs lower heat to a very low simmer and 2 tablespoons of dried herb or 4 tablespoons of fresh herbs.
Let reduce to 1/2 this should produce about around 6-8 ounces of wash. Let cool and gently wash effected area or cuts or bruises  and let air dry. 
Apply 3 time daily to effects areas make new batch every 2 days. 

Surviving with Herbs series “Diabetic Herbs”

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“Diabetic Herbs”
Target: All Main Systems
Survival: Medicine

There is hope and happiness for those of you who have diabetes and seek alternative solution. The key is to know and understand what diabetes is.

In short: diabetes is the malfunction of normal distribution of insulin into the blood.
So why and what can potentially cause this?
First off a damaged or dysfunctional adrenal gland.
Damaged Alpha nodes in the liver caused by overstressed nodular activity(s) from a poor diet, genetics,an injury, excessive alcohol or from excessive and abusive uses of pharmaceutical drugs. These Alpha nodes in the liver can handle so much stress before they are subjected to failure(s). irregular and unregulated insulin flow to the pancreas for further delivery of insulin throughout the body as needed.
God Bless,

So what can we do to help all this out but naturally?

First, you need to slowly and safely “DETOX” your system from toxins and neurotoxin, this will help elevate the stress’ that cause your pancreas and liver and main systems to wok “HARDER” to deliver a consistent and normal regulated insulin flow as called upon without any resistances from stress’.

Second, to supply Nutritional Supplementation to aid in the prep for healing the damage particularly from applied stress’, abusive alcohol and substances and even physical injury.

Thirdly, Vitamin particularly B complex for Central Nervous System support it is the Central Nervous system through healthy neurotransmissions to the liver that also partake in the call and delivery of a normal insulin flow as well as the recall and to what rate of degree both are applied.

Finally, Healing needs to take place and over time through all of the above this can only happen and may require sacrifice but efforts will pay off.

So Which herbs do what and can play a major roll in all of the above?

Detox: dandelion, burdock root, milk thistle,  Turmeric root, pure lemon juice, pure lime juice, Goldenseal root, Cinnamon, Cayenne

Nutritional supplementation: Slippery Elm Bark, Spiruilla, Chlorela,

Vitamin Supplementation: Bee Pollen, Rose Hips, Elderberry,

Healing: Licorice root, Cayenne, Bee Pollin

Other Herbal Solutions: 

  • Licorice Root:  Another Powerful herb for Diabetes but Raises the Blood Sugar
  • Dandelion Root: A Powerful Blood purifier
  • Cinnamon Bark: a natural antiseptic and reduces the blood sugar levels
  • Onions: lowers blood sugar
  • Garlic: lowers blood sugar
  • Asian Ginseng: lowers blood sugar
  • Blueberry Leaf: tend to be very high in lowering blood sugar
  • Fenugreek:
  • Ginko Biloba:
  • Bilberry:
  • Burdock Root: a natural blood purifier /detox
  • Juniper Berries: these tend to be very high in lowering blood sugar
  • Huckleberry: Tend to be very High in lowering blood sugar
  • Konjac Root (Glucoannan)  help blood sugar stabilization by slowing sugar absorption.

Other herbs that are used to reduce blood sugar levels are called “BITTERS”
A list of these bitter herbs:
  • Bitter Mellon
  • Artichoke
“Note if you have blood pressure issues do not use licorice root” excessively it can raise blood pressure.

Seasonal Change Herbs

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Seasonal Change Herbs.

Seasonal change herbs help your immune system transition from one season to another while maintaining an optimal immune system. climate change has an effect on our main systems depending on our existing nutritional condition.  This also effects our adrenal glands and can produce a chemical imbalance causing mood swings and gloominess.  Certain phytochemicals can create a counter for this depending on the individuals  level of health and nutrition.  However, there are herbs and essential oils used for aromatherapy, making tonics, syrups, juices, and even infused honeys that will work well and throughout the year.

A few Herbs that can get you through the seasonal change periods are:

  • Echinacea: helps maintain a healthy immune system
  • Bee Pollen: Provide a pure and full spectrum of b complex vitamins and many more vital enzymes to maintain good health.
  • Rose Hips: Provide high levels of vitamins C, A, K
  • thyme a powerful anti-bacterial/anti-viral herb
  • Astragalus: a powerhouse of support for both the immune system, Adrenal Glands, and Central Nervous System.
  • Elder: A powerful herb loaded with vitamin C, A, K, with phytochemicals and high levels of antioxidents and is beneficial to support a healthy immune system, circulatory system and muscular skeletal system

A few Essential Oils that can get you through the seasonal change periods are:

These essential oils are uplifting and will help you get through the seasonal change blues. just a few drops in a diffuser or in a  pot of boiling water.

  • Basil
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Cinnamon
  • Lavender
  • Vanilla
  • Frankensense
  • Bay Laurel
  • Cilantro

A few Tonics and Juicing Recipes  that can get you through the seasonal change periods are:

Daily Health Tonics:

Apple Cider Tonic: ( must brush teeth after use to avoid enamel erosion)
Directions: take 10 ounces of cold water  2 tablespoons of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of raw wildflower honey and mix well until all is mixed well and dissolved drink daily making a tea out of this recipe is good for sinus infections.

Elder Rose hip syrup: this healthy daily tonic is “loaded” with vitamin “C” and helps maintain your immune system.

Echinacea, Rose hip: this immune system support through echinaceas enzymes and rose hips high levels of vitamin “C”

Jasmine Green tea, Rose Hip syrup: this tonic provide high levels of antioxidants and vitamin C to assist all the main systems to perform optimally

Dandelion Wine:  (Just a month and a half away from opening!) This health tonic is loaded with vitamins and mineral and bring springtime throughout the winter. it is loaded with vitamins, A, K, magnesium, trace minerals of calcium, maganese well as a mild blood purifier, thus removing toxins and neurotoxins from not only the blood but throughout your body. it is a mild gentle alcohol with an average of 18-25 percent alcohol. distilled water can be added to lower the alcohol percentage present but will shorten shelf life considerable and must be kept refrigerated.

Dandelion Bee pollen Spread: 1 tablespoon of raw domestic bee pollen, 4 ounces of dried dandelion whole plant including flowers, 1 cup of raw wildflower honey.
directions: add all ingredients to one cup of honey, and store daily for 2 weeks, by turning the jar upside down morning and night of each day. stain and bottle spread on toast or on pancakes or take 1 teaspoon a day as a general health tonic.

A few good Juices:

Juicing Recipes:

A powerful Daily Tonic: Apple Carrot Celery Ginger( uplifting and loaded with vitamins and minerals, pectin with antioxidant properties)

Triple “C” Juice: 2 Apple 3 Carrot  1/4 cup of Pineapple, 1/2 handful of cilantro.

Immune Juice: 3 carrots,1 stalk of celery, 1 apple, 1/2 beet with the greens, 1/2 handful of wheatgrass,1/2 handful of parsley.

DIY Everyday Carry Tactical Sharpie Marker

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do it yourself everyday carry sharpie marker

Ever wonder how you can keep some sort of everyday carry tool or weapon on you that can fly completely under the radar? No gun, no pocket knife, and no flimsy credit card knife. But a sharpie? Yes you can turn a simple writing instrument that you’ve used since your days in elementary school into your very own and super inconspicuous edc tactical sharpie marker. This can certainly put a hurting on someone if you need to protect yourself. Let’s see if the TSA can spot this next time you go traveling by air?

Click Here For Step By Step Instructions Showing You
Exactly How To Make A EDC Tactical Sharpie Marker

Skin Glue in Survival

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There are many ways to skin a cat, but how many ways are there to close a cat’s skin? Pretty much, the same number of ways that you can close a human’s skin. Sutures, staples, and tape butterfly closures like steri-strips are common methods, but there’s another one: topical skin adhesive glues.


Topical glues have been around since the 1940’s, but it took more than 3 decades for them to be approved for human use. Since that time, they have become the favorite method of closure for some surgical procedures.


This article will discuss the properties and uses of skin adhesives, especially as they apply to survival scenarios. Therefore, we will forego a discussion of cosmetic results, as they would be less important in austere settings.


Topical skin adhesives (or glues) are liquids made from a mixture of cyanoacetate and formaldehyde called cyanoacrylate. These glues become solid upon contact with skin, thus holding wound edges together.


The original cyanoacrylates (methyl-cyanoacrylate) comprise what is now industrial Super Glue. Medical versions were then developed (octyl- and butyl-cyanoacrylate) that were meant specifically for human skin. Some brands include Dermabond, Surgiseal, Liquiband, and others. These are mostly by prescription only, and are roughly ten times the cost of regular Super Glue.


Benefits of Topical Skin Adhesives


Topical skin adhesives are useful in a number of specific circumstances, and have some benefits not seen with some other methods of wound closure:


• They are quick to apply.
• They are a relatively painless method of closure.
• They don’t leave the “hatch marks” seen with sutures and staples.
• They don’t require removal. Skin glues slough off by themselves spontaneously after 5-10 days.
• They don’t require anesthetic injections, which makes them less problematic to use in children or those afraid of needles.
• They create an environment which speeds healing.
• They decrease the risk of wound infections with certain bacteria (gram-positive like Staph).


Indications for skin closure with glue


Topical skin adhesives are best used for simple cuts such as some traumatic lacerations. Use them for:


• Wounds that are completely dry (no longer bleeding).
• Areas where there is no skin tension (not difficult to pull together manually).
• Hair-free areas .
• areas not inside the mouth.
• children, to avoid pain of local anesthetic injection.
• Short-medium length lacerations


Topical adhesives are not helpful or may be dangerous if used:


• Inside the mouth or other internal cavity.
• In other high-moisture areas such as the groin or armpit.
• Around the eyes without extreme caution.
• On joints (unless immobilized with splints).
• Very long lacerations
• On avulsions (areas where skin flaps have been torn off due to trauma) or very jagged lacerations.
• Infected wounds.
• Wounds with dead tissue, like gangrene.
• In those with known hypersensitivity to the chemical compound.


Comparing skin adhesives to sutures and staples



Traditional methods of skin closure include sutures and staples. The following are considerations when comparing these to topical skin glues:


• The wound strength with glues is less than with staples or sutures, probably only 10 per cent or so in the early going. After several days, the healed skin strength with glue is nearly equal to other methods, especially if used in conjunction with butterfly closures.
• Although anti-bacterial ointments can be applied on top of suture/staple closures, they weaken the strength of skin adhesives.
• Blood or fluid may collect under the adhesive. Although drainage from the wound is acceptable with suture or staple closures (and may be preferable to collection under the skin), infection risk may be increased with glues or even prevent skin healing.



How to use topical skin adhesive glue:

skin glue applied


Before using any method of skin closure, meticulous care must be taken to completely flush out debris and bacteria in the open wound. This should be done with an antiseptic solution like betadine or sterile saline. Any bleeding must be completely controlled. If deep layers are needed to close dead space, sutures can be used for this purpose as well as to decrease any tension on the wound edges.


When you are ready to close the skin:


• Approximate the wound edges carefully (best done by an assistant).
• Gently brush the glue over the laceration, taking care not to push any below the level of the skin.
• Apply about three layers of the adhesive over the wound, preferably widening the area of glue to increase strength of closure.


• Once completely dry, consider adding steri-strips to increase the strength of the closure.


It should be noted that some people experience a sensation of heat to the area when the glue is first applied. Encourage your patient to avoid picking at the closure or scratching it.



What about Super Glue for skin closure?

super glue


Many underdeveloped countries may not be able to afford the expensive medical glues. In some, like Cuba, emergency rooms have had to resort to industrial Super Glue. As a closure method, it is comparable, but it should be noted that Super Glue closures must be kept dry as they may break down more easily that medical glue.



Some people will experience skin irritation or even mild burns from the industrial version. You can test for this beforehand by having those in your group place a drop of Super Glue on the inside of their forearm. If there is a significant reaction such as redness or itching, avoid this method of closure on that person, or use the prescription version.



In my experience, gel versions of Super Glue are easier to handle due to less dripping.



Of course, standard medical texts will tell you to avoid Super Glue altogether. In a survival setting, you will have to make decisions based upon what you have available. The medic will often have to “make do” with suboptimal methods and equipment, but something is better than nothing. It will be easier to stockpile commercial glue than the more expensive medical skin adhesives.



As the survival medic, you should know how to use all the tools in the medical woodshed. If you learn the pros and cons of every method of skin closure, you’ll be better able to succeed, even if everything else fails.


Joe Alton, MD

blaze tv 2

Learn Solar Power, Personal Independance, and More With Cam Mather

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Another Great Workshop With Cam & Michelle Mather


Sunflower Farm

The Hands-On, Solar Powered, Off-Grid, Personal Independence and Resilience, All You Can Grow, Ready for Rough Times Workshop

“We offer a full-day workshop here at Sunflower Farm in Eastern Ontario in the spring and fall each year. Our next workshop will take place on Saturday, October 24, 2015.”

If you can’t make the workshop, please take a moment to browse their selection of books & DVDs 

The Millennial Generation: Is Their Narcissism Good For the Workplace?

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Today’s blog post was generated after watching “CBS Sunday Morning” this week, and a segment on the Millennial generation.  I guess I’m no different than my parents before me, or their parents before them … but I find myself asking “What’s going on with this generation of kids”? 

     Every generation must face the fears about their future.  A common concern is the question, “What is the state of the U.S. economy, and will I be able to establish a firm foundation for the rest of my life?”  None have been more apprehensive than what we call “The Millennial Generation”.  Of course, the natural tendency for us older Americans is to compare this generation with our own.
     My parent’s generation was “The Greatest Generation”, which gave birth to my generation, “The Baby-Boomers”.  The offspring of my generation is called “The Millennials,” because they will come of age during the new millennium.  
     Born between the years of 1981 and 2000, they now constitute 75,000,000 in numbers, and one out of every three workers in the U.S.  So how is this generation affecting the American workplace?  I think you will get a clear picture when I give you this quote from Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University:  “We know from looking at narcissism scores among college students from the 1980s to recent surveys, this generation does score higher on narcissism… from 1 out of 8, [it has grown] to 1 out of 3.”

     That should concern us because the definition of narcissism is self-love, self-admiration, self-absorption, self-obsession, conceit, self-centeredness, self-regard, egotism, egoism.  Let’s just say modesty is not a part of their vocabulary.  In fact, after decades of studying self-assessments by millions of the Millennialists in which they reported how accomplished, how motivated, and how special they consider themselves, Professor Twenge wrote a book on them entitled, Generation Me.
     That seems to say it all, doesn’t it?  Furthermore, one of her research papers reveals that “Millennials in the workplace are defined by… the combination of not wanting to work hard, but still wanting more money and status…”.  As Twenge explains, this latest generation is seeing and facing a more competitive and challenging job market than previous generations.  The problem is they haven’t been prepared, perhaps because they received so much praise growing up and they got a trophy just for showing up at sporting events.  As Twenge accurately comments, “Unfortunately, the workplace doesn’t work that way.  You have to do so much more than just show up.”
     The scary thing is that the question now becomes, “Are they going to adapt to the workforce, or is the workforce going to adapt to them?”  Professor Twenge says the answer to that question will shape the future of the U.S. economy.  And sadly, I’m afraid that the forecast for our future may not be as bright as it should be.
     Mind you, I am not seeking to condemn all Millennials, but from what I have seen, far too many of them have an “entitlement” attitude.  If the work gets a little too hard, or they get bored, or it just isn’t something they “want” to do … they quit.  Or I have also seen that they will do the job assigned to them, but no more or no less — and then they want a raise and a promotion.  One member of the Millennial generation was at least honest in her assessment of her peer group:  “The need for praise is absolute.  That is a big issue in our generation.  We don’t particularly respond well to criticism, and we absolutely want praise immediately.”  Do the words spoiled, overindulged, and bratty come to mind?
     Yet her honesty was also right on target when she said that the explosion of internet technology had done her generation no favors.  “The internet culture is part of the problem… you put a picture up on Facebook, you want to be in double, triple “Likes” within the hour.  If you put a picture up on Facebook, and no one likes it, you feel as though you failed.  This instant-gratification cycle that we’ve gotten into has developed into a bit of a problem in the workforce.”  But she also credits a certain amount of “delusional narcissism” as necessary if you want to be a successful and creative entrepreneur.
     While I will admit that confidence in yourself is a great trait in the workplace, what happened to those workers who are willing to be the first one on the job, and the last one to go home?  Those who do more than is asked of them? Or those who are grateful to have a job, instead of always expecting more to be handed to them, or to be accommodated and catered to?
     I especially find it interesting that of those Millennial workers that seemed super-motivated during the CBS program, they all seemed to be children of immigrants.  The workers of Asian or Middle Eastern ethnicity had a different attitude about them; as though they thrived on the competition and challenges of proving themselves — instead of workers who are multi-generational Americans and are the products of easier, more comfortable, and less demanding life-styles.   
     In the end, what does this mean for the American workplace and the future of the U.S. economy?  Does our DNA still contain the elements of motivation, single-handed determination, and the drive to succeed?  Or have we spawned a generation of pampered, spoon-fed kids with their hand out and no will to go beyond the minimal effort?  If so, I’m afraid that we will continue to see our economy surpassed by those countries who are willing to put their nose to the grindstone and give more than expected of them, and who are willing to be patient for their gratification and rewards.  Unless they can find it within themselves to put their employer first, in hopes that their hard work will pay off in the future, I’m afraid Millennials will find themselves living in their parents’ basements, dreaming of the next job and their instant reward.  I know I’m going to sound old-fashioned, but narcissism is no replacement for a good work ethic.  I can hear my father now….

Proverbs 27:18    “Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who guards his master will be honored.”


What Is An Infidel?

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Below is a very interesting email that I recently received. It is worth the time to read it. -Urban Man

In light of what happened 14 years ago on 09/11/2001, here’s a commentary worth reading. (the TRUTH)(check it out if you don’t believe it is what is taught and written in the Koran). Linda

The author, Rick Mathes, is a well-known leader in prison ministry,says, The man who walks with God always gets to his destination. If you have a pulse you have a purpose. The Muslim religion is the fastest growing religion per capita in the United States , especially in the minority races. 

Last month I attended my annual training session that’s required for maintaining my state prison security clearance. During the training session there was a presentation by three speakers representing the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim faiths, who each explained their beliefs.

I was particularly interested in what the Islamic Imam had to say. The Muslim gave a great presentation of the basics of Islam, complete with a video..

After the presentations, time was provided for questions and answers.. When it was my turn, I directed my question to the Muslim and asked:

‘Please, correct me if I’m wrong, but I understand that most Imams and clerics of Islam have declared a holy jihad [Holy war] against the infidels of the world and, that by killing an infidel, (which is a command to all Muslims) they are assured of a place in heaven. If that’s the case, can you give me the definition of an infidel?’

There was no disagreement with my statements and, without hesitation, he replied, ” Nonbelievers”

I responded, ‘So, let me make sure I have this straight. All followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not of your faith so they can have a place in heaven. Is that correct?’

The expression on his face changed from one of authority and command to that of a little boy who had just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.’

He sheepishly replied, ‘Yes.’

I then stated, ‘Well, sir, I have a real problem trying to imagine The Pope commanding all Catholics to kill those of your faith or Dr. Stanley ordering all Protestants to do the same in order to guarantee them a place in heaven!’ 

The Muslim was speechless.

I continued, ‘I also have a problem with being your friend when you and your brother clerics are telling your followers to kill me! Let me ask you a question: Would you rather have your Allah, who tells you to kill me in order for you to go to heaven, or my Jesus who tells me to love you because I am going to heaven and He wants you to be there with me?’ 

You could have heard a pin drop. 

Needless to say, the organizers and/or promoters of the ‘Diversification’ training seminar were not happy with my way of dealing with the Islamic Imam, and exposing the truth about the Muslims’ beliefs. In twenty years there will be enough Muslim voters in the U.S. to elect the President.  

I think everyone in the U.S. should be required to read this, but with the ACLU, there is no way this will be widely publicized, unless each of us sends it on! This is your chance to make a difference.

For the sake of CHRIST …SEND THIS ON

Episode 72 Fall Gardening

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Fall Gardening

Fall Gardening


Fall Gardening



This week we tackle some things to plant for your fall gardening beds. Many stop gardening in the fall to wait till spring. This is a huge mistake. Many of my favorite crops grow best in the fall and into winter.

Kale, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower are all staples of my diet and all grow best in the fall. Many herbs do will in the fall and will winter over with mulch. Cilantro does well in the fall here in the South. In the summer and spring it will bolt quickly.

I have my lettuce boxes loaded up too. Chard and romaine taste much sweeter in the fall. Many of the fall crops tend to be the more expensive ones to buy. Kale goes for almost 4 bucks a bag. Organic salad greens cost a ton too. Fall gardening is both fun, not being in the heat, and saves you money.



10 things you shouldn’t do if you’re trying to build muscle

libertarians and greens ready lawsuit against commission on presidential debates

Army Decision


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The post Episode 72 Fall Gardening appeared first on Survival Punk.

How To Tell If Your Containers Are Food Safe

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As you build your food storage program, you will find the need to purchase containers to organize and store the foods.

From a large plastic tub to hold all your boxes of pasta to buckets holding bulk supplies like beans and rice, you will want to be aware of the material your containers are made […]

The post How To Tell If Your Containers Are Food Safe appeared first on The Weekend Prepper.

Revelation End Times – Proposed Timeline

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I’ve put together a revelation timeline which suggest the abomination occurred on September 23rd, 2015 and that the desolation would take place before or on October 23rd 2015….

Minimalist Camping: Taking Only What You Need To Survive

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Minimalist Camping CampsiteMinimalist Camping Done Right

Minimalist camping is surviving. It’s about testing yourself and battling nature with as little equipment as possible. Can you grab your bag and make it three days with only its contents?

Yes, you can. I’m going to show you in this article exactly what you need and how to camp with a minimum amount of stuff.

Minimalist Camping Should Be About Avoiding The Crowds

Comedians joke that camping is “spending a fortune to live like a homeless person for the weekend”. They might have a point if we’re talking about RV camping or staying in a tent city (a.k.a busy campgrounds).

In these instances, you really are spending a small fortune just to live in a remote parking lot. But, if you do camping right, you won’t be listening to your tent neighbor snore all night.

You’ll be gazing at stars that can’t be seen from the city. You’ll be hearing the elk bugle and hanging your food to keep it from out of reach of brave bears.

In short, camping should trade the noisy headaches of your day to day life for the serenity of nature.  And all its challenges.

Minimalist camping, ironically, takes even more planning and careful packing than car camping.

If you pack all your stuff on your back and hike out 4 miles, only to realize that you forgot your tent, you don’t just jog back to the car and grab it. Most likely, you get to work building a natural shelter!

Minimalist camping is about self-reliance. What you lack in gear, you make for up with skills.

So the first thing you need to ask yourself when you think about minimalist camping is, “What do I truly NEED?”

What Do You Absolutely Need To Survive In The Elements?

That is the main question at hand when you begin planning a minimalist camping trip. This is not just a conversation about backpacking, but also about bugging out.

Remember that Maslow guy? Abraham Maslow was a pioneering psychologist who came up with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Maslow's Hiearchy Of Needs

If you don’t remember him from a high school psych class, here’s a quick primer.

You need the stuff below before you can get the stuff above. Without air, food, water, and shelter, you won’t worry about your feeling of safety. Because you’re worried about just surviving!

If those essentials are taken care of, then if you don’t feel safe, you can’t focus on love and belonging. If you don’t feel loved, you can’t address your self-esteem. If you have no self-esteem, you can’t achieve your full potential (self-actualization).

The Bottom line: Your basic survival needs precede your happiness needs.

Ok, enough touchy-feely stuff already. Sorry, but we will NOT be addressing your self-actualization or esteem here today. However, we can help you get some inner satisfaction by knowing you’re ready for anything. Aside from that, we’ll leave your psychological health in the hands of you and your shrink.

The base of the pyramid is all the stuff that SkilledSurvival.com is all about and this article will be no different.

When we discuss SHTF scenarios and begin preparing for them, we are essentially preparing to get the base of the pyramid items in place. No matter what.

Minimalist camping is really about learning how to address those base Maslow needs out in the beauty of nature.

So if you’re debating which electronic device to take with you, then you’re not discussing minimalist camping.

A way to communicate, just in case?

That’s reasonable. But if you plan on playing Angry Birds or blogging about your adventures then you’re NOT talking about minimalist camping.

Instead, let’s imagine your truck is on fire up in the mountains on a hunting trip. You grab your get home bag and have to traverse a week’s worth of backcountry before you find civilization.

This is the minimalist camping I’m talking about.

This type of minimalist camping will help you prepare for a SHTF scenario.

Minimalist Camping Tent Setup

So What Do You Need?  The Base.

The rule of threes applies here.

  • You can survive three minutes without air.
  • You can survive three hours without shelter in extreme conditions.
  • You can survive three days without water.
  • You can survive three weeks without food.

Air. I’m not suggesting that you carry a gas mask on your minimalist camping trip, but you have one, right?

Water. The average person can survive three days without water. That doesn’t take into account much strenuous activity, just living, bugging in, let’s say.

The rigorous activity of backcountry camping will not forgive three days without water.

Iodine pills are a light, easy way to make almost any water safe to drink.

Water filters are incredibly advanced these days. The LifeStraw, for example, boasts that it removes 99.9999% of bacteria. It’s smaller than a paper towel tube and weighs 2 ounces.

You also need a simple stainless steel water bottle to carry your water away from the water source.

Side Note: In a SHTF world, be careful. The bad guys know that you need water. And they may be watching the water like crocodiles watch zebras.

Food. Remember that everything will be on your back. Food should be light and easy to prepare.

MREs, trail mix, jerky. Survival pays no heed to the food pyramid. You need calories, vitamins, and minerals. Hell, you can live off Ramen noodles and multivitamins for quite a while.

I’m a big fan of dehydrated chili and split pea soup. A few full meals that weigh mere ounces on my back is a win. Here are the freeze dried camping meals Skilled Survival highly recommends.

If you can handle the odor of patchouli, you can get these on the cheap at your local co-op.

Skills to replenish your food supplies may not be important for your weekend of minimalist camping, but in preparation for SHTF, it is vital.

A spool of strong fishing line, a dozen hooks, and the capability to catch night crawlers adds nearly no weight in your pack. It can also provide you a limitless supply of food (in the right location).

If you plan on cooking, you’ll need a pot, too. I carry a portable pot packed in with my dehydrated soup and packed out with trash. Get a portable pot that also comes with a bowl and utensil.

Heat. An entire article on its own, but the rule of threes tells no lies. You will die of heat loss in a cold environment very quickly if unprepared.

There are five ways that your body loses heat, and you will prevent them if you’re prepared.

1 – Radiation. The heat your body produces will stay yours only if you trap it. You do this by wearing a coat or clothing appropriate for the season. Think of this selfishly. Keep your heat. You don’t leave the door open in your house so that you heat the neighborhood. So zip up your jacket.

One other item you can use to trap in heat is a mylar blanket. They are cheap and very lightweight. A great piece of gear to add to your minimalist camping list.

2 – Conduction. Contact with colder items soaks up your body heat and continues to do so until your temperature and that object’s temperature are the same. If you sleep without a sleeping pad on the cold hard ground you will lose. Your heat is miniscule compared with the earth’s cool. The earth is a heat sink, and while in contact it will continue to steal all your heat all night long.

3 – Evaporation. Wet clothes will kill you in a cold environment. Don’t get wet! Bring rain gear. If you do get wet, get a fire going and get your wet clothes off before hypothermia sets in.

Get a good poncho with a hood. It weighs nearly nothing, takes up very little space and will keep you dry.

4 – Convection. As air moves past you, it steals heat. You prevent this by wearing a windbreaker of sorts. The right raincoat can pull double duty here and keep you dry and warm. Staying in your shelter prevents this, too.

5 – Respiration. The only way to totally prevent heat loss through respiration is to stop breathing. When you take cold air into your body, you warm it before it hits your lungs. Doing so gives off your heat to that cold air. However, wearing a neck gator will help to minimize this in cold weather.

Extra clothes. Pack for the weather you expect and worse. Gloves, a stocking hat, pants, another shirt, and an extra pair of socks at a minimum. A cap to keep the sun off your moneymaker.

Waterproof matches, a lighter, kept in a waterproof container. This is a hybrid category that serves your shelter needs as well as your food needs. You need the capability to make fire!

On our minimalist camping trip, we might make it without a stove or a fire if everything goes right. If it’s MREs and jerky for dinner, no fire or stove are needed.

If you have a good sleeping bag and a small tent, you can be warm without a fire. A little camp stove and a can of gas may be worth it to you. It certainly simplifies cooking. But we’re discussing minimalist camping, I would argue you can accomplish the same thing with the weight of a Bick lighter and some effort.

While we’re at it, you should have at least three ways to make a fire. When you’re all out of 1) Bick lighters and 2) matches, will you still be able to make fire?

Shelter. A tent is the best plan, with a tarp to go below it so you don’t destroy the tent. If you really want to rough it, you can find or build a shelter. Rock outcroppings or caves can protect you from the elements. If you build a fire at the mouth, you’ll be warm and dry.  That’s about as primitive as you can get with opposable thumbs!

Just remember, this is your playground. If every Tom, Dick, and Larry built a shelter on your land this weekend, that land would look like a pine-scented tent city. The tent city you worked so hard to get away from.

A sleeping bag. The more you pay, the more versatile you will be. You can get a very light sleeping bag that will keep you warm well into the winter months, but it will cost you dearly. You can get by with an emergency blanket wrapped tight, but it won’t be your most comfortable night.

A sleeping pad sounds like a luxury but is actually a survival need with the added perk of providing you some comfort. It helps you avoid that warmth sucking conduction we talked about earlier.

If you don’t have a sleeping pad then you can create a simple buffer between you the earth with leaves and debris. Make a bed of leaves (more the better) and it will create a natural sleeping pad of sorts. This is not for comfort (even though it might be more comfortable than the “cold, hard ground”). It’s about keeping the earth from stealing all your precious heat.

That brings me to an important point and goes back to a previous article I wrote about sleep. If you can’t get good sleep, you are worth very little and will not enjoy your camping trip. The tent, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag will make up a lot of your pack weight. But skimming on these items will make your trip miserable and possibly even dangerous in cold weather.

Toilet paper and a small shovel. I won’t go into a lot of details here, but we’ve all probably encountered the lazy shitter. You know, the one that left his turds and TP along the side of the trail for God and everybody. Don’t be that guy.

Take the time to dig a small cat hole. And if you’re primitive enough to use a smooth rock or some foliage for TP, bravo. You’re a better man than me.

Rain gear. This goes along with shelter. If you get wet and can’t get dry, you’re on a dangerous ride toward hypothermia. A raincoat is one of those contingent items that you may never need, but to need and be without could prove miserable. Possibly even deadly.

A small medical kit. At the very least, you need something that can act as a tourniquet. No need to go crazy and buy a thirty dollar piece of equipment. A bandana and a pen will do the job if you know what you’re doing. There are a thousand uses for a bandana beyond a tourniquet.

Bandaids.  Neosporin. Moleskin. Set yourself up to save your life with a tourniquet and take care of little wounds that could become nasty infections.

Hygiene. Can you stand your own stink? I can’t tolerate my own unbrushed teeth, so I always have a toothbrush and toothpaste. Maybe your B.O. is offensive to you.

Bring deodorant. I can live with a river bath, but you might want to bring some moist towelettes. Soap or hand sanitizer. Remember your cathole? Now is not the time to pick up Hepatitis C or some other poop borne disease.

A multitool. Get one with at least pliers and a sharp blade. You will almost definitely need a knife at some point.

A headlamp. Much lighter than a lantern and only lights what you need to see. Plus, it keeps both your hands free to perform all those minimalist campsite chores.

Or you can pick up one of Skilled Survival’s FREE SuperBright LED Tactical Flashlights. It’s not technically “hands free”, but the price is right.

A pocket notebook and pen. This is one of those items I bring so that I can record some of the best moments in life. I can read it later and remind myself why I occasionally bug out from society on purpose.

It’s also a great place to write things like, “I really wish I would have brought playing cards or a book.”

Duct tape. I’m sure I’d be preaching to the choir if I started talking about how useful duct tape is for survival, so just have some handy. I have a half roll wrapped around a pen to keep it compact and ready for use.

– Here are 20 survival uses for duct tape provided by our fellow survivalists over at UrbanSurvivalSite.com

Paracord. It’s another lightweight item with limitless uses. Paracord, a tarp, and a couple of trees makes an easy shelter.

A survival hatchet. Very handy for collecting wood, building a shelter, or any number of things.

So that is the most basic level of equipment you’ll need with a few contingency items. Of course, you’ll have to adjust it to your trip and to your environment. For instance, if you plan on doing some real backcountry fishing, bring the damn poles!

A firearm. The weight of a loaded pistol is nothing to sneeze at. My Glock 21 is 2.25 pounds of added weight on my camping trip. But where I camp you have to watch out for bears and hillbillies.

When you don’t see one, it’s probably because the other is near. This comes back to the question, “what do you NEED?”

I NEED the peace of mind that I get from being ready to address a threat. For me, happiness IS a warm survival gun.

We all have our things that we cannot do without. I once cut a great camping trip short once because I didn’t bring coffee. I thought I could make it without the sweet nectar. I was wrong. Picture Jack Black in “Tropic Thunder,” wild-eyed and desperate.

Jack Black - Tropic Thunder - Wide Eyed and Desparate

By 11:00 AM, instead of fishing with my son, I was sitting in a roadside diner shamefaced and pouring Folgers into my veins.

Guess who carries a dozen Starbucks Via packs in his bug out bag? The point is, if you need cigarettes, if you can’t sleep without a Benadryl, then make it happen. It is what it is, plan for it.

Notice any similarity between the list created for minimalist camping and Skilled Survival’s bug out bag checklist?

Free Bonus: Download your 104 Item Bug Out Bag Checklist that will show you exactly WHAT to put in your bag and WHY.

That’s what minimalist camping is all about. Can you grab your bag and make it three days with only its contents?

Embrace the suck. Test yourself. All of our prepping is for a scenario that may not happen. But buying a bunch of equipment that sits on your bunker shelf is not where life is lived.

Go out. Test yourself. Survive for a three-day weekend with nothing but the contents of your bug out bag. Take notes. Look at your gear and see what gets dirty, what got used. What can you leave at home next time? What did you really need that was missing? Let us know what you found essential.

Disclaimer. There are way too many stories about survivalists testing themselves and being found dead. Don’t go overboard. Don’t hike the desert planning on finding water with a forked stick. Don’t put an emergency blanket in your pocket and head out into the snowy Rocky Mountains.

Be smart. Be prepared. Survive your trip and always have a backup plan and an escape route just in case. Let people know when you leave and when you should be back.

There’s no shame in calling it quits if things go south.

– Cody Mo

Photo Credit: Tent Setup

The post Minimalist Camping: Taking Only What You Need To Survive appeared first on Skilled Survival.

BOOK REVIEW: “The Independents (Holding Their Own Book 2)” by Joe Nobody

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Today I’m going to take a few moments to present a Prepper book review on “The Independents (Holding Their Own Book 2)” by Joe Nobody (Kindle edition). This is a direct sequel to the novel that started the entire series, which I have reviewed here positively a while back. One thing that I can say about this series so far, which is actually a failing on the part of a lot of writers, is that Joe Nobody has managed to write main characters for whom the reader actually cares.

This second installment begins only a little while after the end of the first novel, Bishop and Terri having settled into…

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Home Necessities to Be Prepared For Any Disaster

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Because potential emergencies or natural disasters often occur suddenly and without warning, it is crucial to prepare your home for any disaster. Beginning the process of preparing your home can be overwhelming, since here are so many things to consider before beginning to gather necessities, and chances are you only have so much extra room for supplies. We want to make the process as easy as possible for you, so the team at Modernize has put together a list of home necessities to be prepared for any disaster.

An emergency plan

Creating an emergency plan, and practicing it, is crucial to making sure every member of your family knows exactly what to do if you become separated after an emergency. Discuss where you will meet after an emergency, how you will communicate, how to turn off the utilities if necessary, and how to use the emergency food and water supplies. Create a detailed map of your home, indicating multiple exit routes. Once your plan is in place, spend time practicing so everyone is comfortable with your emergency plan.

Food and water supply

When preparing an emergency food supply, aim to keep enough non-perishable foods on hand for three days for each member of your family. Be sure to take into consideration feeding babies, special dietary restrictions, and feeding your family pets. And of course, don’t forget your can opener!

Keep at least three gallons of water, one for each day, on hand for each member of your household. Consider investing in a portable water purification system, which gives you a long-term plan for providing clean water for your family.

An emergency kit

Outside of your plan, food, and water, there are a few things you need in your home at all times if you wish to be prepared for a disaster. Every kit should include a flashlight with spare batteries, a battery operated or hand crank radio, a first aid kit, a whistle to call for help, and cash or travelers checks.

Solar powered technology

We have seen the amazing potential that comes with using solar energy and we believe there are so many ways it can be used for emergency preparedness. Many homeowners choose to keep an extra cell phone in their home, and a solar powered charger is a great addition to any home emergency kit. If your budget allows it, considering investing in other solar-powered home appliances such as a solar powered generator, solar powered lantern, or radio.

Preparing your home for an emergency does not have to be complicated. Create a checklist using the information we have prepared and begin gathering the items you need to keep your family safe if an unexpected disaster occurs.

The post Home Necessities to Be Prepared For Any Disaster appeared first on How to Survive It.

Medical Bartering, Part 2 – OTC Medications

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Scenario #2

The grid is down, so you and a few friends have organized a neighborhood church for worship. One Sunday morning a stranger in a business suit struggles in, barely able to walk  After the service you sit with him at the potluck dinner.

“It’s the gout,” he grimaces, sitting down. “It only hits me a few times a year, but when it does I can barely move. What I wouldn’t give for some Indocin! You don’t happen to have any, do you?”

In fact you don’t have that prescription medication on hand, but you have stocked up on generic Advil, Aleve, and aspirin. And, having read Armageddon Medicine, you realize that these may work just as well.

Having sufficient on hand to share, what do you do?
1.  As a fellow church attender, give him 5 days worth, free of charge.
2.  Offer to sell him 20 pills at your cost.
3.  Decide that a fourfold markup is fair, similar to the difference between manufacturing and retail prices.
4.  Calculate what it would be worth to you if you were in his situation, and ask if he would like to exchange his business suit for a supply of anti-inflammatory medicine.
5.  Knowing that you may never be able to replenish your supply, and that gout is not life-threatening, you apologize and answer no.

The above options raise issues that may be useful in establishing a bartering policy.
1.   How will you set the value of an item?
2.  Will you treat strangers differently than family or friends?
3.  To whom should you offer charity?
4.  Under what circumstances would you barter?

Regarding over-the-counter products, should the value be higher for an OTC medication that could legitimately replace a prescription drug? Should the amount you have on hand figure into the calculation? Should the price increase as your supply decreases?

Below are my recommendations for OTC medications that would be valuable in a barter economy.

1.  Pain medications (ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, and acetaminophen)
2.  Nausea medication (Bonine, Dramamine, or other version of meclizine)
3.  Diarrhea medication (Imodium or loperamide)
4.  Allergy medications (diphenhydramine, loratadine, cetirizine)
5.  Skin preparations (hydrocortisone cream, bacitracin, antifungal cream)
6.  Anti-acid preparations (antacids, H2-blockers such as ranitidine, proton pump inhibitors  such as Prilosec or Prevacid)
7.  Bladder pain relief (Azo)
8.  Sleep medications (Tylenol PM, Advil PM, NyQuil)
9.  Anxiety medications (although these are not specifically for anxiety, meclizine or diphenhydramine maybe useful)

In addition to the above, you may want to invest in Asthmanefrin, which may be life-saving in the event of an acute asthma attack or allergic reaction.  Fish antibiotics, which are intended for aquarium use, may also come in useful in an emergency situation when no medical help is available.

I also suggest you set a budget and buy what you can within your means. For $50 you could get a decent assortment of useful OTC drugs.

Additionally, make sure you check the expiration date on everything, especially any liquid preparations.  Although medications do not “go bad” immediately after the “Best if used by” date on the bottle, still it would be desirable to acquire medications that are not short-dated.  On the other hand, you may be able to get some great two-for-one deals on products that are set to expire soon.

One last note: unless you are a professional, you should never present yourself as one.  Although practicing medicine without a license in a crisis situation may never cause a legal problem, you should always be honest about your credentials.  Bartering with adolescents or children is also a potential problem; even in a crisis situation I suggest you deal with parents if at all possible, despite the fact that these drugs can be purchased without a prescription.

Medical Bartering Part 1

Various Things

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Part of me wants to get in a fight on a crowded dance floor with techno music going and kick butt while somehow staying generally in time with the music.

Tam brings up the excellent point that you can’t lose a fight you do not get in. Discretion is the better part of valor folks.

Weapons Man’s original quote:
These odds of survival are improved by training to hone your skills and survive an armed encounter, but they’re improved more by using your superior judgment so as not to have to make a vulgar display of your superior skills. Too few people do the former, and far too few people do the latter. (A lot of cops who are involved in shootings are just unlucky. But there are others, where none of their cop friends are surprised they were in a shooting. Why do you think that is?)
Most of us are not cops, and not soldiers (any more), and therefore, do need to saddle up and go into places where you’re likely to be engaged by gunfire. So here’s our version of some guidelines for fight avoidance:

  1. If you must go where the sharks feed — you may have reasons; we had a friend whose elderly mother would not leave her house in South Central LA until the Rodney King riots burned it down and settled the question for her — don’t look like bait. Don’t act timid, walk boldly with your head up, like you belong there — and are the baddest mother in the valley. Also, don’t flash stuff that is irresistibly attractive to the sort of people who have been listening to TV and therefore think they’re entitled to take it from you.
  2. When you have to go into the badlands, take a lesson from the cops and don’t walk alone. If you can’t help looking like prey (maybe you’re small, or elderly person), bring a buddy who looks intimidating if you can.
  3. Don’t get distracted. This is the wrong time to be facebooking, texting or reading WeaponsMan.com on your jeezly phone. In fact, it’s the wrong time to be taking calls. You need to be 100% in the analog world. We don’t know what the percentage of mugging victims in NYFC and San Francisco is, who had their ear buds in, but we’d take a guess it’s fairly high.
  4. Be conscious of concealment. Don’t give anyone the chance to ambush you.
  5. Manage the Clock. Most criminals stay up late and sleep late, too. If you have unavoidable business in their precincts, do it at seven o’clock in the morning when they’re down for the count, not at midnight when they’re just warming up.
  6. Be conscious of the fact that you may have to be ready, and always be ready to deliver a violent counterstrike.
  7. Work on avoidance, but once avoidance fails you should immediately execute a drilled, conscious plan. Strike hard and decisively. (George Z. got this bit exactly right, and every day’s life he has now, he only has because he did).
  8. If you err, and are attacked, act. Save regrets and recriminations for later.

FerFal shows the contents of various refugees bags. Interesting stuff. If they could have had (or retained) compact handguns, secure rugged USB storage devices and rolls of Krugerrand’s I bet those would have made the cut for their small bags.

The Taliban have taken Kunduz. I knew they would do well when we left but they are exceeding my expectations. I figured the government would at least hold on for the most part until we stopped giving them enough money to fund their Army and buy off warlords. In light of this the already low odds the ‘legitimate GIROA’ could somehow keep violence below the (admittedly pretty high) accepted cultural boiling point and not have the kettle spill over while they eventually shrink the massive Army and Police forces to levels they can actually afford to fund seem pretty low.

Anyway that is what seemed worth mentioning today. Tomorrow I’ll get you a real post.

Important Renovations to Prepare Your Home for the Worst

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When you find yourself surrounded by disaster (natural or otherwise), what do you do? You find safety for yourself and your loved ones. What happens to your house? What is the most efficient way to protect your home as much as possible? Perhaps your next home renovation should include protecting it from severe events.

Wild Fire

Droughts have caused wildfires in many places in the nation. If you live in one of those areas, have you considered changing your landscaping? The types of plants and materials that surround your home can either increase or decrease the effect of fire in the area. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Use pebbles or gravel instead of mulch.
  • Exchange your wooden deck for a concrete patio.
  • Decorate with more rocks and fewer plants.
  • Keep dried leaves and debris from accumulating around your property.
  • Apply a fire-resistant material to your exterior walls.
  • Switch to Class A roofing. This roofing withstands severe exposure to fire from outside of the structure.

Hail Storms

If you live where these storms occur frequently, consider replacing your current roof with an impact-resistant material. Class 4 shingles are the most resistant to hail, high wind, and streaks. These shingles not only protect, but they also enhance the curb appeal of the home.


    Torrential rains, melting snow, storms, and melting snow are some of the reasons that flooding happens. What measures can you take to prevent as much damage as possible?

  • “Dry proof” your home by applying sealing materials to your walls.
  • “Wet –proof” your house with foundation vents that allow water to flow through it instead of rising inside.
  • Raise switches, and circuit breakers, etc. at least a foot above the flood level of your property.


    Heavy winds cause your home to be vulnerable. Renovation ideas to better protect them include:

  • Repair or replacing loose or missing shingles.
  • Change to heavy-duty bolts on the doors so they are less likely to blow off.
  • Install impact-resistant windows and doors, like the ones available from Storm Shield LLC.


If you live in an earthquake zone, and your home is more than twenty years old, you may need to upgrade your home’s foundation in to strengthen it. It is also recommended to apply safety film to your windows and glass doors. Fires, hurricanes, hail, wind, and earthquakes can be devastating. What is the best way to protect your home? If you already have plans to beautify it, why not safeguard it as well.

Written by Rachelle Wilber

Food Storage Recipe – Cereal Candy

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This is something to make to take to holiday parties. Everyone loves it and it goes super fast , so make a lot of it.


1 cup of sugar

1 cup of Karo light corn syrup

1 1/2 cup of peanut butter

2 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract

9 cups of corn cereal squares (corn chex)

Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and set it aside.

In a large cooking pot or dutch oven combine sugar and corn syrup.

Bring it to a boil.

Remove from heat and add the peanut butter and vanilla.

Stir in the cereal.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the cookie sheet.

Let it set up.


The Constitution and Sharia Law

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     Over the past week, much has made in the media about comments by GOP Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson concerning a Muslim running for President of the United States.  So that we are clear on exactly what he said, I would like to reprint the exchange between Carson and Meet The Press host, Chuck Todd…

TODD: Let me wrap this up by finally dealing with what’s been going on [with] Donald Trump, and a deal with a questioner that claimed that the president was Muslim. Let me ask you the question this way: Should a president’s faith matter? Should your faith matter to voters?

CARSON: Well, I guess it depends on what that faith is. If it’s inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter. But if it fits within the realm of America and consistent with the Constitution, no problem.

CHUCK TODD: So do you believe that Islam is consistent with the Constitution?

DR. BEN CARSON: No, I don’t, I do not.


DR. BEN CARSON: I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.

      Now, I’m sure if Dr. Carson could have that moment back, he would have elaborated on his answer, or explained it in more depth, as he has attempted to do in ensuing interviews.  As he has spelled out in the last few days, he would have no problem with a Muslim President, as long as the candidate denounces Sharia law.  And, I for one, believe that is what he meant by a potential candidate’s faith being consistent with the values and principles of America.
     But that is precisely why he is still under fire … and I have to agree with him.  From everything I have read about Sharia Law, it is not compatible with the fundamental principles of ruling our behavior in this country — let alone being in harmony with the Constitution.  And I think that a lot of the backlash Dr. Carson has suffered is because either the Elite and the Media don’t comprehend the consequences of Sharia Law in this nation — or they understand it quite well, but are adhering to the same old tolerant, politically correct playbook.  Either way, I fear that they are misguided.
     But you don’t have to take my word for it.  You can read the words of Dr. Tawfik Hamid, a Doctor of Internal Medicine with a master’s degree in cognitive psychology and educational techniques.  According to his own biography, Hamid was a member of a radical Islamic organization, Jamaa Islameia JI (of Egypt), with Dr. Ayman Al-Zawaherri, who later became the second in command of Al-Qaeda. After being radicalized in the JI (approximately thirty-five years ago), he had an awakening of his human conscience, recognized the threat of Radical Islam, and started to teach modern peaceful interpretations of classical Islamic core texts.
     Make no mistake, Hamid is still a Muslim, but he wrote this in an article regarding Dr. Ben Carson’s warning about Sharia Law:  “I can state unequivocally that Dr. Carson is correct. Without a single exception, the approved Islamic literature teaches violent principles such as killing apostates, beating women, killing gays, and enslaving female war prisoners for sexual purposes.”

     So does Sharia Law look like, sound like, or resemble the Constitution in any form or matter?  I think not.  Our Constitution was written with specific goals in mind:  to form a more perfect union of the peoples of this nation; to establish justice for all;  to ensure domestic tranquility; to provide for the common defense; to promote the general welfare; and to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and future generations.
     From all I can ascertain, Islamic (Shariah) Law was made to protect five things: (religion, self, mind, offspring, and property), which the Koran says are the main rights of humans in this life.  But it  is the “violent principles” of Sharia Law that Dr. Hamid says are taught in order to protect these rights that are not only “necessary rules of the religion” [of Islam], but “fly in the face of the Constitution”.
     And besides considering both Hamid and Dr. Carson’s comments, one must examine the facts in a  World Net Daily article:  There are now an estimated 3 million Muslims residing in the United States as citizens or with permanent legal status, and more than 250,000 new Muslim residents enter the U.S. per year as refugees, on work visas and student-based visas, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. (And that doesn’t include the recent push for additional Middle Eastern refugees urged by the President and the UN).  
    The WND article also included a May 2015 poll by The Center For Security Policy that revealed the following:  a majority (51%) agreed that “Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to shariah.”  When that question was put to the broader U.S. population, the overwhelming majority held that shariah should not displace the U.S. Constitution (86% to 2%).
     In addition, the article showed that more than half (51%) of U.S. Muslims polled also believe either that they should have the choice of American or shariah courts, or that they should have their own tribunals to apply shariah. Only 39% of those polled said that Muslims in the U.S. should be subject to American courts.  Even more troubling, is the fact that nearly a quarter of the Muslims polled believed that, “It is legitimate to use violence to punish those who give offense to Islam by, for example, portraying the prophet Mohammed.”
     So, why all the outrage and condemnation over Dr. Carson’s comments?  You may not agree with him, or like his non-political and honest answer.  But can anyone legitimately say that there is no foundation for his concerns?  Where are the ardent feminists and those who celebrate the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on gay marriage — especially, when sharia law in Yemen, Saudia Arabia, Nigeria, the United Arab Emirates, Somalia, Iraq and Iran approve the death penalty for homosexuals, and women are subjugated citizens? Do they really think they will get an “Americanized” version of Sharia Law in this country?
     And why aren’t those who always scream about “separation of Church and State” agreeing with Dr. Carson?  If they are being intellectually honest, it seems to me they must admit that Sharia Law would be a far more oppressive influence on our culture and society than Christianity.  Would these folks protest the restrictions that Sharia Law wants to impose on our society as much as they object to a nativity scene on the public square?
     During a Fox News video poll regarding the Constitution and Sharia Law, the most common answer given by American Muslims was the following:  “The Sharia law is made by God — by Allah; the Constitution was made by people.”  In case you don’t get the implications of that statement, I believe those that wish Sharia Law to be above our Constitution would like to see it not only supersede our founding document, but replace it.
     Now, I happen to believe that our founding documents were greatly influenced by Christian-Judeo beliefs and principles, and Sharia Law is in direct conflict with the freedoms of both my faith and my country’s governing laws.  Apparently Dr. Ben Carson feels the same way, and it is refreshing and crucial that men like him have the courage to stand up and defend Christianity and the Constitution.
     All we have to do is look at Europe to see what the metamorphosis of our nation might look like.  Now is not the time for political correctness and compromise.  I say, “Bravo” to Dr. Carson for single-handedly standing for the uniqueness and sovereignty of our nation.  May God continue to give him the courage to be bold and speak the truth!

1 Timothy 2:16   “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.”


6 Uses for Lavender Essential Oil

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6 Uses for Lavender Essential Oil

What are some benefits of using Lavender Essential Oil?
I am pretty sure this list could be endless.
My personal experience has been as a sleep aid.
I combined this with a drop of lotion and rubbed it on the soles of The Principal’s feet.
Aside from him loving the foot rub and suggesting I do it every evening, he slept well.

Room Deodorizer
Lavender is great as a doedorizer. Add a few drops to a spray bottle of water and spray the room.

Sleep Aid
A couple of drops on the kids pillows will help them sleep like babies once again. Not the up every two hours kind.

Dry Skin
Suffer from dry skin during the winter? Add Lavender to your fragrance free lotion as a skin calming lotion.

Add to bath water to soak away stress or apply to the temples and the back of the neck

Pet Odor Eliminator
We just got a new puppy. A potty training puppy. Add Lavender essential oil to some baking soda and sprinkle on the carpet. Vacuum up and you’ll have the whole room smelling great.

Did you know you can bake with some quality brands of Lavender? Now, don’t go drinking a whole bottle, but a drop or two in your muffins totally makes them yummy.

Thank you for using affiliate links and such.
It doesn’t cost you extra to use them, so thank you.
Sometimes I get free stuff to review.
I promise you I will always be honest with my opinion
of any product regardless of if I were paid in addition
to receiving the free product. You can trust me.
Do you need Essential Oils of your own?
You can send me an e-mail and I will personally assist
you in choosing the best oils to fit your needs.
Please use discretion if using oils that are not CPTG oils.
I am not a doctor and can not diagnose or treat what ails ya.
I can just give my advice. Essential Oils have yet to be
approved by the FDA.
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An Emergency Slush Lamp Hack Using a Torch Plant Leaf

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by Todd Walker

An Emergency Slush Lamp Hack Using a Torch Plant Leaf - TheSurvivalSherpa.com


Full credit for this hack goes to our Georgia humidity, a buddy of mine, and my fondness for fire.

Trading theory for action is the only way to prove for yourself if something you’ve read or watched will work in real-life. For instance, will dry mullein (Torch Plant) leaves ignite with a ferro rod. I tested the theory and found that they smolder when 3,000 degree sparks landed on their dry surface. Dry is a relative term in Georgia humidity.

Noticing the properties of the once velvety leaves and their ability to hold an ember, an idea lit in my mind. I stripped the dry leafy portion off to expose the pinnate vein. The main vein became pliable with a light coat of coconut oil and absorbed the fuel like dry sponge.


I’ve made mullein torches with my grandson before.


Mullein torch in the backyard

Soaking the dry seed head in oil, resin, or wax makes a great tiki-type torch for night-time illumination. Hence the name Torch Plant. But burning a mullein torch inside a shelter or tent is not advisable. You’ll need a safe, controlled source of light.


Could the Torch Plant leaf serve as a slush lamp wick?


Remember to never leave an open flame unattended.

How to Make Your Own Slush Lamp

Here’s the stuff you’ll need…

  • Small container – Altoids tin, sea shell, aluminum foil, etc. – more container ideas below
  • Fuel – coconut oil, olive oil, cooking oil, rendered animal fat
  • Mullein leaf(s)
  • Beer bottle cap (optional)


Step 1: The Wick

Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) has many practical uses for self-reliance. I’ve listed 27 here. Other natural fibrous plants can be used as well. However, with mullein, you won’t have to twist any fibers into cordage. Simply remove the dry leafy portion from the vein and saturate the wick in oil.

The tallest mullein stalk leaning against my shop measured 9 feet 9 inches

The tallest Torch Plant leaning against my shop measured 9 feet 9 inches

Fashion the bottom of the vein in a simple overhand knot forming a lasso-like loop as the base of the wick. Bend and form the tag end of the wick so that 1/4 to 1/2 inch is above your oil.

The wick in the top corner is two veins twisted together

The wick in the top corner is leaning against the tin’s side

Richard, a friend of mine, recommended using another technique to support the wick. Punch a hole in a bottle cap, feed the wick through and place it on the bottom of your container.

This camp hack is worth the price of admission…

An Emergency Slush Lamp Hack Using a Torch Plant Leaf - TheSurvivalSherpa.com


Thanks to Terrapin Beer Co. and Richard’s brilliant idea, my slush lamp took on a new form of awesome!

Step 2: Fuel

I used coconut oil from my bushcraft mess kit. It liquefies once it touches your skin (melting point is 76º F). Apply a generous coat to the leaf vein. Add 1/4 inch of oil to your container.

Place the looped wick in the container with the tip above the oil level. Lean the wick over the outside edge of the container if additional support is needed and there are no bottle caps available.

WARNING: Seems like common sense but I need to add this disclosure. Do not use flammable liquid like white gas or gasoline. It will explode and ruin your day! If this does not compute, take up another hobby.

Step 3: Container

An Altoids tin works fine for this application. Unlike olive or vegetable oils, coconut oil solidifies in colder weather preventing it from leaking all over your pack while on the move.

Simple makeshift containers can be found in nature or crafted from supplies in your pack. Ideas include:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Rocks with an indention
  • Wood with knot holes
  • Dehydrated food pouches
  • Large leafs from sycamore trees laid in a small indention in the ground
  • Duct tape fashioned into a bowl… yep, a crazy amount of uses for this stuff!

Wicks can be added to the long list of uses for this plant. Over a thirty minute test, I had to adjust the hight of the wicks a couple of times. Other than those few tweaks, the slush lamp provided a steady, reliable source of light.

Torch Plant and Fire Craft

Mullein is my most dependable spindle material for friction fire via the hand drill. Below is a picture of two pieces of mullein stalk lashed together to form a hearth board. My old faithful mullein spindle, cracks and all, created a coal in the crevice between the two-stick hearth board.

Mullein on mullein hand drill coal

Mullein on mullein hand drill coal

The take away from this tutorial is to stay curious and observant as you practice self-reliance skills. You never know what you’ll discover!

Hope this helps if you ever need an emergency source of lighting.

What other natural plant material have you used for slush lamp wicks?

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,


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Shotgun Hunting

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Shotgun Hunting By Richard Bogath Hunting with a shotgun is about as cliche as you can possibly get. No, it’s true. From those of you who remember who Elmer Fudd is to the quintessential red-plaid, red-necked, beaver-capped representation of hunters in America today (especially portrayed by anti-hunters), hunting with a shotgun is eye-rollingly plaid out […]

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What You Need to Know About Using Old Drugs for Survival

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What You Need to Know About Using Old Drugs for Survival

When it comes to survival medicine, I make no claim of being an expert.  I am, after all, a mere layman with no medical training.  On the other hand, I do possess a good deal of common sense so when something seems a bit off, I do my own research and make decisions based upon data and not upon supposition.

Something that has always been “off” to me are expiration dates on pharmaceuticals.  Why is it that drugs always expire exactly one year after the date they were filled?  The truth, as I wrote about in The Myth of Expiration Dates on Drugs and Prescription Meds, is that those expiration dates are often bogus.

What You Need to Know About Using Old Drugs for Survival | Backdoor Survival

In that article, I referenced the following statement from the the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide:

Most of what is known about drug expiration dates comes from a study conducted by the Food and Drug Administration at the request of the military. With a large and expensive stockpile of drugs, the military faced tossing out and replacing its drugs every few years. What they found from the study is 90% of more than 100 drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, were perfectly good to use even 15 years after the expiration date.

The question of whether outdated drugs are viable beyond their expiration date is a heated topic within the prepper community.  I get that because there are some medications that absolutely should not be taken when they are old and expired.  Some common examples include nitroglycerin, insulin, liquid antibiotics, and epinephrine but there are others.

Still, if the choice is to take an old, outdated medicine or die, I know what I would do.

In order to continue the discussion, and to shed further light on the myth of expiration dates, I am sharing an article by contributing author, Joe Alton.  Joe, also known as Dr. Bones, is a medical doctor who is well versed in survival medicine.  Here is his take on using old drugs for survival purposes.

Straight Talk About Expiration Dates

Years ago, I wrote an article about the truth relating to expiration dates on medications. Lately, I’ve seen some confusing information on the internet that tells you how dangerous they are while telling you that, in a survival scenario, you should probably use them. So I think it’s time to set the record straight with regards to expiration dates on medications.

Before I start, I want to tell you that my focus is medical preparedness for major disasters and long-term survival. That means a strategy of putting together stockpiles of supplies that might save a life in times of trouble.

Now, what you need to know.

Expiration dates were first mandated in the us in 1979.

They are the last day that a drug company will guarantee 100% potency of a medicine. These medicines do not, by and large, become toxic after the expiration date. I promise you that you will not grow a horn in the middle of your forehead if you take a pill the week after it expires.

In many cases, drugs in pill, powder, or capsule form will be 100% potent for years after their expiration date. How do I know this?  FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Department of Defense stockpiles millions of doses of medications used in emergency settings. In the past, when those drugs expired, they were discarded.

This gets to be pretty expensive, so a study was performed called the shelf life extension program, something I first wrote about years ago. This program found that most medications, as long as they are in pill or capsule form, were still effective after their expiration dates, sometimes for years.  As such, I recommended not throwing them away but, instead, making them part of your survival medical storage.

This, by the way, was not the case for medicines in liquid form. They lost potency quickly after their expiration dates, so are not useful for long-term survival settings.

These findings led the government to put out extensions of expiration dates for certain drugs as needed, such as the 5 year extension given the anti-viral drug Tamiflu during the 2009 swine flu epidemic.

Despite this, you’ll see quotes, often from academic types, that medications are dangerous when expired and should be tossed. These opinions are fine in normal times, but if you’re reading this article, you’re probably a member of the preparedness community or at least interested in the subject. You might even be the person that would be medically responsible in situations when the rescue helicopter is heading the other way.

Good, you’re exactly who I want to talk to since you may one day have to make a decision in a true disaster setting about whether or not to use an expired medication.

Let’s say a loved one is fading from an infection. Something bad has happened and you’re off the grid with little or no hope of getting to modern medical care. You have an expired bottle of antibiotics. What are you going to do? Someone you love is dying. Are you going to use the expired drug or not? Exactly.

Of course, medicines should be stored in cool, dry, dark conditions. Their potency will fade twice as fast if stored at 90 degrees as if stored at 50 degrees. Freezing them, however, is rarely helpful. Even if stored in suboptimal conditions, a capsule or tablet that hasn’t changed color or consistency is probably still worth keeping for austere settings.

Sometimes, in a true disaster, the issues that will facing the medically responsible will be very basic.

What’s the problem? Do I have medicine that will treat it? Could this medicine, although it has expired, possibly save a life? When it comes down to it, can you really choose to not use it to prevent a death because it may possibly have side effects or not be quite as strong as it was?

I say: In this situation, don’t withhold a drug because some professors said it wasn’t a good idea to use it. Believe me, they weren’t seriously considering a time when an expired medication might be the only option you have left.

Let’s hope it never gets to that point, but preparing for the worst, while hoping for the best isn’t a bad strategy to deal with the uncertain future.



The Final Word

In our heart of hearts, we would never purposely do harm to a loved one.  Talking that one step further, we would do everything we could to ensure their health and their safety when the chips are down.

These days, my own preference is to use herbal remedies and essential oils to take care of my loved one’s health care needs.  But in times of distress, who can predict what we will have available following a disaster or other disruptive event?  For that reason, I have stockpiled old, no longer used drugs.  This includes both prescription and over-the-counter meds.  They are tucked away with many of my other “I hope to never have to use” preps.  The only cost to keeping them is the space they take and what the heck?  Why wouldn’t I do that?

I know I have said this before but it bears repeating:  knowledge is power and the best piece of survival gear you will ever own is the gray matter between your ears.  Read and study as much as you can about survival medicine and always, use common sense.

To read more from Joe and his wife Amy, you can visit their website at www.doomandbloom.net.  There you will find hundreds of articles related to medical preparedness in wilderness, disaster, or other austere settings.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to email updates.  When you do, you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-Book, The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

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Spotlight:  The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way:

This book teaches how to deal with all the likely medical issues you will face in a disaster situation, including strategies to keep your family healthy even in the worse scenarios. It covers skills such as performing a physical exam, transporting the injured patient, and even how to suture a wound. This medical reference belongs in every survival library.

Bargain Bin:  Below you will find links to the items related to today’s article.

Prepper’s Natural Medicine: Life-Saving Herbs, Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for When There is No Doctor:  This is a fantastic book from fellow blogger, Cat Ellis.  In it you will learn that natural remedies are not voodoo but rather, natures way of healing without the use of toxic chemicals and additives.  Highly recommended.

Spark Naturals Essential Oils: I use essential oils from Spark Naturals exclusively.  They are high quality yet reasonably priced.  In addition, there are no membership fees and a distributor relationship is not necessary to get best pricing. Interested in checking them out? Backdoor Survival readers get a 10% discount by using coupon code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout!

NOW Foods Essential Oils:  I use essential oils from Spark Naturals.  For healing purposes, I feel they are superior.  On the other hand, NOW Foods has decent essential oils at a budget price plus they can be purchased at Amazon.com.  Here are a few to get you started:  NOW Foods Rosemary Oil, NOW Foods Peppermint Oil, and Now Foods Lavender Oil.

Quikclot Sport Brand Advanced Clotting Sponge: A must for any first aid or emergency kit, Quikclot Sport stops moderate to severe bleeding until further medical help is available.

Israeli Battle Dressing, 6-inch Compression Bandage: This is another inexpensive, yet critical item. Combat medics, trauma doctors, and emergency responders all recommend this Israeli Battle Dressing (IBD) for the treatment of gunshot wounds, puncture wounds, deep cuts, and other traumatic hemorrhagic injuries.

Living Ready Pocket Manual – First Aid: Fundamentals for Survival:  Whether you are miles from help or immersed in an urban disaster situation, every second counts during a medical emergency. This book will help you take quick, effective action to stabilize the situation. One of the best things about this book (other than the information, of course) is it’s size.  It is small enough to keep in your bug-out-bag and also in your first aid kit.


Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials

For over 25 years Emergency Essentials has been providing the highest quality preparedness products at great prices.  Plus, each month they feature sales that quite honestly are fantastic.

This month is their annual “stock up” month with exceptional values on some of their most popular items.  As I do every month, I like to single out my own favorites.  This month, one of the best deals is on their 4 person 72 hour buckets which is based upon a total of 2,000 calories per day per person.  A 2-pack (2 full buckets) is 50% off at $99.99.  

My favorite Clear Mist 115 Hour Plus Emergency Candles are $4.95 and the Mobile Washer (Hand Operated Washing Machine) is on sale for $11.99.  Finally, prices on Mountain House products continue to be heavily discounted as are the Emergency Essentials brand of food storage items.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials


Need something from Amazon (and who doesn’t)? I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here. You still get great Amazon service and the price is the same, no matter what.

Amazon has a feature called Shop Amazon – Most Wished For Items. This is an easy tool for finding products that people are ‘wishing” for and in this way you know what the top products are.  All you need to do is select the category from the left hand side of the screen.

The Amazon Top Most Wished For and Best Selling Outdoor Items
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Are You Interested in Essential Oils?

20 All Purpose Remedies Using Essential Oils

What You Need to Know About Using Old Drugs for Survival by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

7 Day Challenge 2015: DAY 7 (TUESDAY)

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Welcome to the 7 Day Challenge. Today is the FINAL DAY! Did you survive? For 7 days, we have been testing our Emergency Preparedness and Food Storage Plans. Each day will bring a NEW mock emergency or situation that will test at least one of the reasons “WHY” we strive to be prepared! REMEMBER: No going to a store, gas station, or spending any money for the entire 7 days (unless we say otherwise)! And please feel free to adapt the scenarios to fit your own family and situation.


You have run into some hard times financially but have felt the need to get better prepared. An anonymous donor has offered to give you a Food Storage and Preparedness Makeover and foot the bill for it. Today your task is to inventory your food storage and emergency preparedness items and come up with a wish list for your makeover. Reorganize your room to fit the new supplies you will be getting and make it better organized.

Goal: Organize your food storage and make a future shopping list for yourself

Today’s Tasks:

  • Revisit your three month supply plan. Are you fully stocked on everything? Are all of your three month supply items stored together? What is your rotation plan?
  • Update your long term food storage calculator with your current inventory levels.
  • Determine if your current food storage plan works with your regular diet. Do you need to make adjustments to what you are storing?
  • Arrange like items with like items on your shelves
  • Make a list of the items you still need to buy to complete your three month and one year supplies
  • Look over your emergency preparedness items and re-arrange them as necessary
  • Make a list of emergency preparedness items you may need to purchase
  • Take a before and after picture of your “makeover”
  • FILL OUT YOUR MASTER WORKSHEET TODAY – Doing it as you practice each day will help you remember what you want to include.

fbSHARING TIME: Visit today’s Facebook thread and share a picture or description of your food storage makeover!

Today’s Limitations:

  • Once your makeover is complete the challenge is OVER! Go and buy a donut or a diet coke or whatever it is you’ve been missing this week :)

Advanced Tasks:

  • Go and purchase everything on your shopping list and add it to your newly reorganized food storage area

Helpful Posts on This Topic:

Helpful Products for This Topic:


Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 8.51.13 PMWe put together a master worksheet for you to fill out each day of the challenge. There is a separate page to list the things you need to buy, do, and learn after each day of the challenge. Include a due date of when you’d like to accomplish the task and check it off when you do it! Fill it out at the end of each day while your memory is fresh.

Check your email first thing in the morning!

The post 7 Day Challenge 2015: DAY 7 (TUESDAY) appeared first on Food Storage Made Easy.

Pumpkin Donut Recipe – Using Only 3 Ingredients!!!!

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October is almost upon us and that means everything is coming up pumpkins. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin latte, etc…  It is really simple and easy to make your own pumpkin puree, but sometimes ‘Life’ happens. This week I agreed to bring in donuts for my work’s early morning meeting, forgetting that I had to volunteer at school for a football game the night before. That left no time for me to find and steam a pie pumpkin in order to make my own puree. Instead, a quick trip to the grocery store resulted in ‘homemade’ donuts being completed in a matter of 15 minutes. The way I looked at it was at least they are baked, not fried! Pumpkin Donut Recipe Ingredients: 1 box of yellow cake mix 1 can of pumpkin puree (15 oz) 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well Spread batter in a pre-greased donut pan until 3/4th full.    **Hint – if the batter is thick and doesn’t smooth easily, wet your finger tip with water and smooth Bake for 9 minutes Transfer to a cooling rack If you would […]

#AskPaulKirtley Episode 9: Knife Techniques, Wool Blankets, Hammocks, First Aid and Finding Materials For Primitive Skills

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In this episode I answer questions about useful bushcraft knife techniques, wool blankets, hammocks and poncho liners as well as revisiting medicinal herbs and book recommendations. In addition, I discuss outdoor first aid, in particular first aid for wilderness journeys. I also give some advice on where to find or source materials such as hides, antlers and the like for practising primitive skills…

This first appeared on Paul Kirtley’s Blog. If you like my content, CLICK HERE to get 20 free videos today.

Movie Monday – Hurricane Sandy

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This Week On Movie Monday

Hurricane Sandy : Documentary on the Disaster of Super Storm Sandy

This time of year, I like to remind folks in the east that hurricane season is just ramping up.  Many of us think of hurricanes as summertime storms, but the worst of them, especially those that reach Canadian waters, occur in the fall.  The most memorable of all of these is Hurricane Sandy, which struck New York 3 years ago.  Even though Canadians were spared the direct hit that time, we missed it by only a few hundred kilometers, less than the actual size of the storm itself.  Even without a direct hit, we still feel the effects with high winds, severe rain, and the damage that causes.

 These films are presented as an exception to the copyright act as fair dealing for the purpose of research, private study, education, parody or satire. See bill c-42 article 29.

Real and Sham Survival/Bushcraft

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Master Woodsman

I suppose it is the real demand for bushcraft and survival information that leads to its counterfeit, otherwise the counterfeit would stand a poor show. The growing demand for survival/bushcraft within the past few years has called forth a very large crop of TV Shows, YouTubers, Bloggers, & Books; good, bad, and indifferent — shows […]

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Massive Railroad Shutdown Looms In 2016

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By: Tom Chatham In 2008 Congress passed Positive Train Control (PTC) legislation to reduce train collisions and over speed accidents. These new electronic control systems can activate train braking systems when dangerous conditions are detected. These new systems were to be installed by Dec. 31, 2015. After this effective date it is a violation of […]

Pieces Are Being Moved On The Cosmic Chess Board

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     Having trouble making sense of the players in the Middle East and how it all might align with End Times prophecy?  Don’t worry … I am, too.  To be honest, I have never felt that I needed to position everything I was seeing with the puzzling timeline offered by Scripture.  It’s not that I think I will be raptured and it will be of no consequence to me — (I happen to think that we Christians will be needed on earth, for a time, to offer words of hope, encouragement, and endurance during the battles leading up to God’s wrath against the wicked) — it’s just that I have always figured that God will clearly reveal those times and His instructions for His people, when it is necessary.
     That being said, it’s hard to ignore some of the major world events we are seeing before our eyes.  And it’s really hard to look at them through Western eyes.  We, in America, tend to forget that the Bible’s inspired writers and prophets were Middle Eastern, and we try to translate and understand their epistles and letters through the lens of today’s Western experience.  So, I’m not here to say that I have any unique insight into what’s happening around the globe; and I probably have more questions than answers.  But I thought we should at least look at what’s in the news and be aware of how events can impact us in the present, as well as their End Times implications.

      For me, right now, it’s all about Russia and what is really going on between the world’s superpowers in the Middle East.  It’s all over the news that Russia has deployed a small, but consequential military force into Syria, which may have the potential of changing the dynamic in that war-torn country.  It has been four years since the start of the Syrian civil war, with U.S.-backed rebel forces fighting against Syrian President Bashar Assad and his faithful Syrian army.  The sectarian war has created a breakdown in authority, providing the opportunity for ISIS to get a foothold and begin building their caliphate.  Russia has said that they want to assist Syria in fighting ISIS, and that is their primary objective in coming to Syria’s aid.
     But, as always, when global powers begin making military moves, there is more to the story.  From what I can gather, there is a history of a Russia/Syrian alliance, back to the 1970s when Assad’s father, Hafez al-Assad, aligned with Moscow.  In fact, Syria is among the last proxies, or representatives, of the Russian political influence in the Middle East.  Interestingly enough, that puts Russia on the same side as Iran, who also provides military aid and guidance to Assad through their proxy, Hezbollah.  Apparently, Vladimir Putin was getting a little concerned that Iran was having too much influence in Syria, hence the show of military force.
     There are also those who surmise that Russia’s escalating presence in the Middle East might forecast a threat to Western interests; or on the other hand, provide valuable intelligence and military aid in fighting Islamic jihad.  Either way, Russia gives themselves a way to bargain for Western and European concessions in regards to Ukraine and economic sanctions.
     But what I find even more interesting than the Russia/Assad vs. US/Syrian rebels chess match, is that Russia appears to be partnering with China in forming a coalition to take the fight to ISIS in the Middle East.  One news source reported, “according to a senior officer in the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) that is stationed inside the Syrian coastal city of Latakia, Chinese military personnel and aerial assets are scheduled to arrive in the coming weeks (6 weeks) to the port-city of Tartous.”

     Add to this news the suggestion that Turkey was waiting in the wings to take advantage of Syria’s civil war, (before Russia and China showed up), and you have the makings of the major players in both the Ezekiel 38 war and “the army of the Kings of the East” mentioned in Revelation, Chapters 9 and 16.
     Can I make all the puzzle pieces fit nicely to form a clear picture of End Times events?  No.  But there is enough going on that my spiritual radar is up.  And it just seems as if the world is careening towards, if not an apocalyptic alignment of a one-world government, economic, and religious system, then at least an Armageddon-style conflict that will result in the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies of an emerging New World Order and Anti-Christ kingdom.
     Of course no one, least of all me, has any proof that any of this will happen, or that it is Biblical.  But, as we are called to watch and stay awake, I think it is incumbent upon us to pay attention to these events that are quickening our spirits.  So, listen carefully to the words of Vladimir Putin, as he appears before the UN General Assembly today.  See if you can hear the prophetic words of Scripture in his speech.  And then remember — all these world powers are jockeying for position; for winner-take-all in the sweepstakes that is the Middle East.  But we know that there are really only two players in the game … the devil and God.  We are living out a cosmic chess match that has already been won in the spiritual realm.  All that remains is for our KING to be crowned!

Luke 21:36    “But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”


25 Great Magazines for Preppers

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I love magazines. They are a great way to get exposure to a wide variety of subjects and ideas that you might not find by just browsing on the web.

Just by flipping through the pages, looking at the pictures, reading the articles and reading the letter’s to the editor sections you get a very […]

The post 25 Great Magazines for Preppers appeared first on The Weekend Prepper.

Prepper’s Natural Medicine (Book Review)

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Natural medicine is something you will invariably hear about as you get involved in the prepping community.  We, as a general society, have become very dependent on conventional medicine – doctors, hospitals, pharmacists, etc.  If a SHTF scenario ever happens, we’ll need to be able to take care of ourselves both from a conventional medicine standpoint and a traditional medicine, or natural medicine standpoint.  Cat Ellis’ latest offering, Prepper’s Natural Medicine, walks you through the unnecessarily intimidating world of natural medicine.

Book Set-Up

Cat has created Prepper’s Natural Medicine in a very concise, direct manner.  Each chapter listed below is presented in an intelligent chronological manner which builds on the information already presented.  The chapters in the book are:

Chapter 1 – Introduction

Cat uses this chapter to introduce herself and her background.  She also spends a significant amount of time talking about why we should use natural medicine, the benefits of using natural medicine in a SHTF scenario and, most importantly, her version of natural medicine.

Chapter 2 – Stocking The Home Apothecary

This is where Cat starts to get into the nuts and bolts of natural medicine.  She takes the time to describe all the different items you will need to start in the natural medicine movement including formula ingredients such as herbs, alcohol, vinegar, glycerin, raw honey, beeswax, propolis, mushrooms, oils and fats, bentonite clay, kaolin clay, activated charcoal, salts and essential oils.  Don’t worry – you don’t need to have all of these things to get started! Cat just does a great job of outlining everything you may need!  In addition to these ingredients, she also discusses containers and other equipment you may need to start working with natural medicine.

Chapter 3 – Basic Skills

Very simply put, this is the ‘how to’ section of the book.  Cat goes through all the different ways you can create natural medicine and walks through the general directions for the creation of each.  The methods discussed include:

  • Tisanes – Infusions and Decoctions, as well as Blending Herbs for Tisanes
  • Tinctures
  • Aceta
  • Herbal Wines
  • Glycerin and Glycerites
  • Oxymels
  • Syrups
  • Elixirs
  • Infused Honey
  • Electuaries
  • Powders
  • Pastilles
  • Poultice
  • Infused Oils (both cold and warm infusions)
  • Salves
  • Lotions and Creams

She also discusses topics such as fresh vs dried herbs as well as the effect of alcohol percentage in tinctures.

Chapter 4 – Materia Medica

“Materia Medica” is a Latin medical term for the body of collected knowledge about the therapeutic properties of any substance used for healing.  This section is the meat and potatoes part of the book.  There over sixty-five pages of information on fifty individual herbs and plants which are used in natural medicine.  Common material such as cayenne, comfrey, garlic, ginger, lemon balm, sage, thyme  and valerian are discussed as well as lesser known items such as chinese skullcap, hyssop, ma huang and sida.

Cat discusses the Parts Used, Actions, Preparations, Dose, Uses and Contraindications for each item.  The information discussed here is incredibly in-depth and useful.

Chapter 5 – Herbal First Aid Kit

As you might expect from the title, this chapter walks you through building a first aid kit which consists of natural solutions.  Cat talks about how each person’s first aid kit will differ, but she does spend some time walking through different items she recommends everyone have including ingredients required and the directions on how to construct them.  She includes natural medicine solutions for some common situations including infection, inflammation, burn care, constipation, ear aches, nausea/vomiting, sore throats, sprains, stress and wound wash (among others).

Chapter 6 – Everyday Natural Medicine

In addition, to the remedies mentioned in Chapter 5, Cat spends a significant amount of time in this chapter talking about preventative, as opposed to reactionary, natural medicine solutions.  You would use the solutions in this chapter if you have a chronic situation or know that you require a longer term solution.

Appendices & Indexes

There a multiple different tables and lists that summarize different natural medicine solutions as well as herbs that are used in different situations.  In addition, there are lots of links to external information sources.  Definitely a treasure trove of information.

Why I Liked Prepper’s Natural Medicine

Plain and simple, Cat Ellis takes a very daunting, ambiguous topic and brings it down to a simple presentation that just makes sense.  I’ve not only been able to understand her writing, but have started to implement some of her suggestions and can attest to the fact that her directions are complete.

In my opinion, that’s the best part of this book – the level of knowledge that is presented in a clear, concise manner.

What I Didn’t Like

I don’t want to be that guy, but there was not much to not like about this book.  It reads as an information book and and is definitely more of an educational tool than a theoretical or opinion-lead work.

Overall Thoughts On Prepper’s Natural Medicine

I think Prepper’s Natural Medicine by Cat Ellis is a solid addition to your long-term survival library.  The natural medicine information provided is straight-forward and no-nonsense.  In addition, the presentation is put together in a chronologically intelligent way.  You can build on the information as it is presented to you.  The book, in its non-digital form, will be a great possession to have in your survival kit.

natural medicine

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Founder/Owner at Suburban Steader
I am a middle-age guy with a wife, two young kids and a couple of crazy dogs. We live on Long Island, NY and had an interesting experience with Hurricane Sandy. That experience led me towards the self-sufficiency movement and eventually led to the founding of SuburbanSteader.com. I aim to provide suburbanites with the confidence and know-how to become more self-reliant by providing content on topics such as gardening, personal health, financial responsibility, cooking, self-preparedness and self-protection.

7 Day Challenge 2015: DAY 6 (MONDAY)

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Welcome to the 7 Day Challenge. For 7 days, we are testing our Emergency Preparedness and Food Storage Plans. Each day will bring a NEW mock emergency or situation that will test at least one of the reasons “WHY” we strive to be prepared! REMEMBER: No going to a store, gas station, or spending any money for the entire 7 days (unless we say otherwise)! And please feel free to adapt the scenarios to fit your own family and situation.


Your older children are learning are at the age where they are able to babysit younger siblings or other people. While they are home alone an emergency situation arises. Have your kids go through several scenarios and practice first aid and safety skills. If you have only younger kids or no children at home you can practice this with grandkids, neighbors, etc.

Goal: Help your children understand potential emergencies and be ready for them

Today’s Tasks:

  • Brainstorm medical emergencies that are likely to happen
  • Make a “cheat sheet” for what to do for each medical emergency scenario
  • Practice the first aid skills required for each scenario
  • Make a list of first aid supplies you may need to get
  • Brainstorm other emergencies that may occur (fire, flood, earthquake, burglar)
  • Make a cheat sheet and practice what to do for each of the non-medical emergencies that may occur
  • FILL OUT YOUR MASTER WORKSHEET TODAY – Doing it as you practice each day will help you remember what you want to include.

fbSHARING TIME: Visit today’s Facebook thread and share your experiences with day 6. We’d love to see your cheat sheets or hear how your kids felt about going over these scenarios.

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants.
  • No other limitations today

Advanced Tasks:

  • Don’t tell your kids and do a trial run with some kind of emergency (maybe set off a fire alarm) and see how well they do under pressure
  • Discuss the test with them afterwards and go over what they did well and what they could do better next time


Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 8.51.13 PMWe put together a master worksheet for you to fill out each day of the challenge. There is a separate page to list the things you need to buy, do, and learn after each day of the challenge. Include a due date of when you’d like to accomplish the task and check it off when you do it! Fill it out at the end of each day while your memory is fresh.

Check your email first thing in the morning!

The post 7 Day Challenge 2015: DAY 6 (MONDAY) appeared first on Food Storage Made Easy.

PSE Fang Crossbow Review

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Crossbows seem to be all the rage now thanks to a certain TV show. The problem however is that they are exceedingly expensive with most compound styles exceeding $400 and more than a few breaking the $1000 mark. That’s fairly cost prohibitive for your average zombie hunter. Fortunately, PSE has …

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Yard and garden work/cleanup.

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I conned Mom into getting my Strawberry planter squared away while I weeded the front yard flower beds and planted a daffodil bulbs and some pansy for additional color next spring.   My hope is I will add enough plants I like to start choking out the weeds I don’t like have in the front beds. The front yard house bed I planted Colorful/Flowering Kale and it is looking great with the cooler weather. This bed will be my leafy veggie bed next year. I planted a multi-color swiss chard  in a raised bed and we are still getting a nice harvest of leaves.  Mom also got a great harvest of tomatoes out of the back yard raised bed garden today. My first mossy rose plant was looking a bit sad, but it has perked up a lot after getting a few chunks of wood dropped on it as well as moving the mulch around it.

The “Good Neighbors” are officially moved out and the new neighbor is moving in this week.  I feel a bit sad for myself but I’m very happy for N & L making a bit of profit on selling the house and moving on with their lives. They are the type of people that will create a great community wherever they go.  Luckily, for me they still have many friends and family here in the valley so they will be visiting from time to time. I know it is darn easy to talk about “kids these days” in less than positive words.  N & L and their friends give me a lot of hope for the future.

I know the future may appear bleak and things look sort of dark.  It is always this way when the paradigm changes. Keep on prepping build your skill set and building real wealth you can pass on to your kids.  The tale of the glass half full of water, an optimist states it is half full, a pessimist states the glass is half empty. A realist states the glass is always full, even if it is full of air. Be a realist, it is up to you fill the glass!

The Shemitah, Four Blood Moons and the Most Important Preparation

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The Shemitah, Four Blood Moons and the Most Important Preparation

I know I haven’t been posting regularly for some time, but I believe I would be doing a disservice to all of you for not commenting on a few things. Some of you may be aware of them. Others may be hearing it for the first time. I also want to comment on a few current news stories that I feel may tie in.

I’m talking about the Shemitah and the Four Blood Moons.
The Shemitah

I became aware of a book called The Harbinger, a book by Messianic Jew Jonathan Cahn, thanks to some of you a couple years ago, which I then read. The follow up book to it is called The Mystery of the Shemitah. While Trudee and I are still reading it, I have listened and watched enough from Jonathon Cahn to understand the core of it.

The Shemitah is a command God gave the Jews to let the land rest and lay fallow for one year. At the end of that year, all debts were forgiven. It is a way for the land to be renewed, and for the finances of each household to be renewed as well.

Mr. Cahn stipulates that the Shemitah is also prophesy. In his book The Harbinger, he draws a comparison between America and the 9/11 attacks to the destruction of Ancient Israel. If the links he draws are in fact true, they are very concerning. The Mystery of the Shemitah comes from a small part of his original book, but expounds on it. You see the 9/11 attacks came on the opening of the Shemitah in 2001, and 7 years later came the great recession. Now, 7 years later, we find ourselves in another Shemitah year that began on September 13th.

He says that the previous two Shemitah’s were acts of God trying to get America’s attention and wake us up. Mr. Cahn is careful not to date set or say that something will happen, but that if God wanted to continue in this vein, this Shemitah could be very eventful.
The Four Blood Moons

I found out about The Four Blood Moons from some of you as well. They have been popularized by the preaching of Pastor John Hagee in a movie call “The Four Blood Moons”, which, by the way, is available to stream on Netflix.

Only four times in the last 500 years have there been four blood moons appearing back to back, coinciding with Jewish high holy days.

In 1493 Cristobal Colon, AKA Christopher Columbus, rescued Spanish Jews from the inquisition and brought them to America.


On May 14th, 1948 Israel declared sovereignty. Less than 24 hours later Israel was attacked by Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. All were defeated by Israel. The armistice was signed on July 20 1949.

With the armistice signed, Jews from around the world begin to return to Israel. Many have likened this return to the Jews being called out of Egypt and being led to Israel.


On June 7, 1967 Jews claimed victory in taking Jerusalem, in the Six Day War and blew the Shofar at the Western Wall. This was the first time in 2,000 years Jews had been in control of Jerusalem.


For the first time in history, the Tetrad occured in a Shemitah year; the final Blood Moon occurs on Monday September 28, 2015. (Keep different time zones on different continents in mind here.)
Jubilee Year

The Jubilee Year was to provide for a double portion of rest every 50th year. Each 49th year would be a Sabbath Year, followed by a Jubilee Year in the 50th, so that for two consecutive years the people would restore the land, personal and economic freedom and to be dependent on God.

The Shemitah and the Jubilee year just started and will continue until September 2016.
My Take

My opinion of the Mystery of the Shemitah is that I think Jonathon Cahn sensationalizes things in his books a bit. There has been a time or two in both the Harbinger and the Shemitah that I rolled my eyes a little. That’s not to say there is not good information in them, but I’m not certain he isn’t stretching ancient prophecy to fit America.

There is no doubt it was a command for the Jews. Could it be a prophecy and one that is being given to modern day America? That I don’t know; but if it is not, it is quite a coincidence that out of the last six Shemitah’s, all of them had either a market crash or a recession occur during the Shemitah year.
2008 ~ Housing Bubble Burst and Ensuing Recession

S&P 500 loss: 56.4 percent
Duration: 17 months
2001 ~ Dot Com Bubble Burst, Recession and 9-11 Market Aftermath

Loss: 49.1 percent
Duration: 30 months
1994 ~ The Great Bond Market Massacre
Loses: The biggest bond market collapse in US history. Not only that, $1.5 trillion was lost worldwide.
1987 ~ Black Monday, October 19th
Loss: 33.5 percent
Duration: 3 months
1980 ~ Increased interest rates of nearly 20% caused a recession.
S&P 500 loss: 27.8 percent
Duration: 21 months
1973 ~ Israel’s Yom Kippur War lead to an Arab oil embargo that sent energy prices soaring, leading to a recession.
Loss: 48.0 percent
Duration: 21 months

Yes we have had several stock market crashes and recessions throughout our history, but never in the pattern of every seven years, falling on the Shemitah year. When I discovered this, I wondered what may have happened in 1973 and did some research; Abortion was legalized. Now I am not saying it is related, and I’ll take this time to say that as believers, we need to be cautious of numerology, astrology and making links that are not necessarily connected. I think we, as watchmen, need to be aware of God’s word, His prophecies and current events.

I do believe God sends us signs. The Bible is full of them! Just use discernment.

I don’t think any Bible believing follower of Christ could say that America doesn’t deserve judgment. Like Billy Graham once said when asked if America deserve to be judged, “If not, then God owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology”.

In the last 40 years, our country has accelerated in sin. Once we legalized abortion, many other countries followed suit. We export sin to other countries in the form of pornography.

Since our current President has taken office, we have seen:
“Don’t ask, Don’t tell” abandoned and open homosexuality allowed in the military.
The Supreme Court making the decision that any ban of gay marriage is illegal.
The White House bathed in “Rainbow” colors in celebration of that decision.
Christian bakers and florists charged and fined for refusing to cater to homosexual clients.

These are to name just a few.
The World is a Powder Keg

A little known portion of the Iran deal states that if Israel attacks Iran, we will defend Iran. It rewards Iran for training and finding terrorists with billions of dollars in oil revenue. The attempts to limit their obtaining a nuclear bomb are laughable.

We’ve been shown that China has the power to destroy the world economy, as was seen on August 7, 2015.

Russia has its fighters and nuclear capable bombers fly just shy of several countries’ borders, including off the coast of Alaska and California. Russia has also recently sent fighter and other armaments to Syria to aid Assad.

The Violence in Syria has seen tens of thousands of refugee’s flee into Europe. Rape, child abuse and other acts of violence are being reported from some refugee camps. Some are concerned that members of ISIS are hiding among the refugee’s to sneak into Europe and America.

North Korea makes a new nuclear threat against the USA. They are also restarting uranium enrichment and attempts to launch a satellite, which is viewed as testing of an ICBM missile.

Oh yeah, this is all in the last two months!
So What Should We Do?

The Most Important Preparation!

First and foremost, get right with God. If you’ve not asked God to enter your life, don’t wait any longer. Tell Him you know you’re a sinner, repent, which means to confess your sins and do them no more; and ask Him to come into your life.

If you are saved, get rid of anything that could keep you from Him. I recently decided not to watch anything I would not feel comfortable watching with my mom. I came to this after spending a few days with her and discovering how many things on Netflix I might normally watch, but felt uncomfortable watching with her. I could say I won’t watch anything I wouldn’t watch with God, but I have watched things that were not spiritually healthy, knowing He would not approve, for years.

Men, you are the spiritual head (the Priest) of the home; be that example! I didn’t know how to be this, so I started with saying I wanted to pray before meals. I also started reading the Bible every morning, even if it meant getting up 10 minutes earlier. I started praying with Trudee before bed every night. Pray over your family, and bless them. As a part of being the example, and not being a hypocrite, be aware of sin you might be taking part in. Even if your family doesn’t know you’re sinning, both sides of the spiritual war do!

Women, our culture has, for lack of a better way to phrase this, “bred this out of modern men”; If your husband takes steps to be the spiritual head of the home, allow and encourage him! If he won’t, then the job falls to you!
Other Preparations

I never recommend going into debt to get prepared, but I will admit I did take a loan out on my 401k. I used the money to increase preps that I had on the back burner, but felt very compelled to get taken care of. The 401k loan is taken out of my paycheck, and I will pay myself back with interest.

Make sure you have a way to purify water, as much food stocked as you can afford, with alternate ways to cook, and a way to defend your loved ones. Once those major needs are taken care of, prayerfully consider investing in precious metals.

If your preps have holes, prayerfully consider filling them as soon as you can. I have covered every topic that deals with preparedness essentials, just use the search function. If you don’t see what you are looking for, send me an email Chris preparedchristian net and I will either write a reply to you, or write a post about it and share it with everyone.

I am not one given to hysteria, but I do feel like we’re on the verge of something big. I have felt this way before, and nothing came of it. Then again, there wasn’t this much tension in America, or the world for that matter, not to mention the significance of the blood moons and the Shemitah.

Monday September 28th is the last blood moon but we have almost a full year of the Jubilee left.

While God doesn’t have to do anything with any of this information, He sure left plenty of signs pointing to the possibility that He could if He wanted to!

Are you ready?
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REVIEW: Fear The Walking Dead: Season 1 – Episode 4 “Not Fade Away”

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A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.  In truth, you might more accurately describe these posts as in-depth discussions of certain aspects of each episode with an emphasis on how the character’s actions might be applicable in a real-life…

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Soup Night: A Food Storage Recipe that Pops!

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Another great one by Chaya Foedus:

Wow!  This was amazing, and multiple helpings were had by all.  My inspiration, as nearly all good soups are, was based upon a recipe from the book, “Soup Night.”  These recipes are fantastic just as they are and I rarely make changes.   I do, however, utilize my food storage to keep up a rotation of…

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Field Tested: MilGPS App, Eberlestock V69 Destroyer, Salomon Quest Boots

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Last week I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to put three products through their paces while on a military land navigation course.  While I’ve owned them all for a little while now it felt like this was a chance to solely focus on how well they helped (or hindered) me when it came to accomplishing a GO/No-GO task, this versus toying around with them while on any old trail.  I’ve written about how much value I put in great shoes/boots (specifically the Salomon’s), the same for my Eberlestock pack and I may or may not have touched on the MilGPS app available for both the iPhone and Android devices.

The Task: Land Navigation

I’ve been walking land navigation courses with a map, compass and protractor since I was in JROTC in the early/mid 1990’s.  Anyone remember Tenino, Washington?  Where is the water tower?  Sorry…inside joke.  Last week’s land navigation course would be an intermediate course by my standards, not an overly difficult tast but the elevation changes/underbrush and wait-a-minute vines were slightly annoying.  I should add that while I do value old school land nav and think it’s a great skill for any prepper and not just the military types, this time old school would take a back seat to technology.  I needed to find out if the MilGPS app was legit and could be relied on even with the cell signal fading in and out.  I also needed to shun standard mil issued gear for my own swag which often results in one wondering how in the world aftermarket gear can be so much better than issued stuff, but I digress.

Salomon Boots:  Just ridiculously good.

First up were the Salomon boots.  I’ve been wearing them casually to work and for some light hiking but nothing like what the land nav course would offer, additionally I’ve yet to wear them while carrying somewhere in the neighborhood of 60lbs on my back.  To complicate things a bit more I’ve been fighting a very sore/tender Achilles tendon for a few months, a byproduct of age and trying to sprint out of the batter’s box during a beer league softball game.

Salomon Quest Boots

Salomon Quest Boots

The boots (paired with Smartwool socks) performed flawlessly all day long under all conditions.  The footing was uneven and unpredictable for most of the day and the ankle support provided by the boots was superb.  Descending into dry river beds or climbing up the side of steep spurs did not present an issue either, grip was fantastic and support was there.  My foot did not move around inside the boot and that was definitely a bonus, if you’ve ever had that happen you’ll know it can get very annoying. No hot spots during the entire event and my feet were able to breathe quite nicely.  Great boots overall although a longer term test might reveal some shortcomings.

Eberlestock V69 Destroyer: Amazing.

Eberlestock V69 Destroyer

Eberlestock V69 Destroyer

You don’t know what you don’t know, a saying that originated somewhere but has since been repeated through the years.  I’ve always been a staunch supporter of the old school ALICE pack and had even continued to use that after being issued the newer model.  Yet even with aftermarket shoulder straps and other additions the ALICE pack is like a rusty Ford Pinto when compared to a new supercar:  the Eberlestock pack.  As a veteran of many, many movements under load I know how the discomfort starts to set in and how to deal with it while wearing an ALICE pack.  I can assure you that NONE of this was present while wearing the Eberlestock pack so much so that I wore it all day long.  I never took a moment to drop my pack for a breather, I just motored on because the level of comfort was simply amazing.  No pressure points at all, it was like the pack was part of my body and moved with me.  Truly I believe the combination of their internal frame design, waist strap and shoulder straps really contribute to a world class experience for the wearer.  I should add one caveat in that while it was a long day it was only ONE day.  To truly get a feel for this pack I would have to wear it every day for a few weeks, so take that in consideration with my endorsement.

Land Nav With Eberlestock V69 Destroyer

You’ll notice in the picture that I have my tent strapped to the outside of my pack, that’s because I took it out to make room for my Kelly Kettle.  Look for a review on that soon although The Maj used it with great success on his bugout journey last year.

MilGPS App: Surprisingly Good.

I can hear almost any instructor ever in the history of land navigation right now: “all those gadgets are great but if they fail what will you do then?”  I get it.  I GET IT.  It’s great to know the old school methods but let’s face it, technology is here and the MilGPS App can be a great addition to any prepper plan of action.

I will admit that I did plot all of my points and kept my grids, distances and directions just in case while out on the course but I absolutely did not need them.  I punched in the 10 digit grid on my app and hit “navigate to” and just followed the arrow.  I saw the distance, direction and in every instance the app brought me to within 10 meters of the point.  If there were instances when I did not want to break brush I would skirt it via a ridge line or riverbed and just cut through back to the point when about 100 to 200 meters away.  It was excellent and there was no remembering pace count, trying to box obstacles, shooting azimuth’s with the compass.  Just type in the destination and start walking.  Bingo.

MilGPS App Screenshot

MilGPS App

Now I do understand some of the constraints associated with using an app like this.  You’d better have a good battery and a way to recharge your battery if out in the woods.  While having a cell phone signal is nice according to the developer it isn’t exactly required.  Also if you don’t know how to utilize the military grid reference system or have access to maps with that date, that could be a slight problem.  More info here under the Land Navigation category of this blog.

Final Thoughts

I’m not sure how many times I’ve stated this before but you must get out and test your gear in the field.  It doesn’t even have to be a week long excursion deep into the Rocky Mountains, maybe an overnight hiking trip or even an all day through your local national forest.  It’s at that point when theory turns into practical application, when that fancy piece of equipment starts rubbing you in the wrong spot or doesn’t work as well as you thought.  Or maybe you’ll find ways to reconfigure your gear based on how you utilize it, or in many instances you’ll figure out that you can leave certain things home next time.

Nobody says you have to run out and drop $500 on new boots and a new bugout bag which you may or may not use in the next 6 to 12 months, but if you do decide to upgrade you really can’t go wrong with the items I’ve reviewed above.  The good news is that the MilGPS app is relatively inexpensive, so start with that!


Vacation Preparation Notions, 2015 Edition

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This summer, I had a chance to take three weeks off from work to go visit friends in Europe. The time away from the office was welcome though and it gave me a chance to unplug, relax, and forget about the everyday routine for a while. In my experience, longer vacations (over two weeks) are […]

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Skill, Size and Strength in Fighting

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My post yesterday on Joe Rogan vs the Aikido guy got a comment from our friend Pineslayer. I felt the need to reply in this venue and also didn’t have a post idea for today.

Anonymous” Pineslayer said..
I’m with Joe on this one. Real world vs. Dojo. Full disclosure here Rogan hosted Fear Factor and UFC color guy. God Bless Joe Rogan.

Seriously, I trained with a few different styles, technique only goes so far. Focused rage and desire trumps belts on the street. In the ring with rules, it is a different game, but still brute force and strength can’t be discounted.”

I agree with the first half of what Pineslayer said and almost entirely disagree with the second half. Point by point.

Pineslayer says ‘technique only goes so far’.
-Techniques can be very valid and useful or complete crap. Many martial arts that are popular these days are so far from their martial roots that either they are no longer relevant ideas, looking at you Kendo, or they have evolved into an art or sport, looking at you Tai Kwon Do.
-Practical arts and the skill derived from them is very useful, less useful ones, less so. 
-The combination of skill, mindset and physical size/ strength/ conditioning that makes a fighter is opaque. What separates a crappy fighter from a decent fighter or a decent fighter from a great one can be subtle but it is still absolutely relevant.

Generally speaking I find fights are decided by violence of action/ will to win, skill and size/ strength. Pretty much in that order. As to violence of action/ will to win. The amount of people I could beat up expands greatly if I bring an ax handle. It takes willingness to go all the way but if you have it a lot can be done; my AARP aged mother could take Mike Tyson if she walks up and dumps a .357 mag into his chest. Next comes skill.

Presuming equal or roughly equal violence of action/ will to win skill is what determines the outcome of fights. Sure anybody could slip on a banana peel and get beaten up by a chump but the more capable fighter will win the vast majority of the time. People, particularly men, need to understand fighting is a learned skill. I can look up how to fix something on youtube but that does not mean I am a legitimate trained mechanic, let alone a master mechanic. Ego aside thinking Joe Everyday could cook eggs like a trained professional chef would be stupid. Thinking Joe Chef is going to do them like Alton Brown or Nigela Lawson (wow she is a babe) would be silly. Next comes size/ strength.

Size and strength are less important than skill. To this I have to caveat that any time one fighter has a massive size/ strength advantage they have a chance, no matter the other fighters skill level. Mongo a 350 pound power lifter might land a blow on a legitimate professional fighter than ends things, or get his hands on the guy and slam his head into a wall. Note I say size/ strength because they generally track together. However while 350 pound Mongo has an advantage over most other fighters sheerly due to size he is not going to beat a guy like Randy Coulter or Bass Rutten because they have enough skill to overcome his size advantage

So those are my thoughts on that. What do you think?.

From DTG: So….How Far CAN You Carry Your SHTF Pack?

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SHTF pack1

A reasonable question, especially if you are thinking, “Well, no matter what happens, we can walk out of here….”

Maybe. Maybe not. It really depends on what you’re doing now, today, in relation to the following thoughts. But let’s set this up for the sake of discussion. Remember, this is not to discourage you, but to give you something to consider and measure what you can do now, today, versus what you might have in your mind that could be considered unrealistic.

If S were to HTF right now, let’s say you sheltered in place for several weeks to get yourself ready (let’s say for a minute you have what you need to take off for your ‘hidey hole’ and your SIP time was used doing ‘dress rehearsals’ with the family on doing with less and changing habits), how far are you going to be able to walk a day with very little sleep (someone’s got to stay awake at all times to make sure your family doesn’t fall prey to marauders when you’re sleeping, you know….) and diminishing calorie intake (comprised of protein, fat, and carbs)? What about water? Have those covered, do you? You know the water sources along your route and have a quality filter/purifier so you can replenish your water containers along the way? Do you know how much water you personally require when carrying a heavy load for a long distance? How much of your space is taken up by toilet paper (if you have more than one female in your family, you understand how much of this stuff they use in comparison to males)? While nice, TP is bulky, unless (another smart move) you buy a metric ton of compressed toilet paper wipes that you sprinkle water on. Even those take up some room. They’re worth it, though. 4 packs weigh about 1.5 pounds and take up small room for the 200 individual pieces (200 times wiping one’s butt, male or female) which is one less thing that will be a major irritant, especially the first time you tell your wife, daughter or son that they need to wipe their butt with grass or leaves (let alone if they don’t know what poison ivy/oak/sumac leaves look like…don’t even want to GO there!), but I digress.

SHTF city

15 miles? 10? 5? 2? How far do you have to make it to be out of ‘hostile territory’? Live in a city? Have gangs? Remember, the S has HTF, and you can’t count on your local PD to keep the marauders at bay.

Some things you’re going to have to take into consideration if you think you can ‘just walk out’ without any forethought:

  • The Season: I’m here to tell you that if you live anywhere, and I mean anywhere that significant snow falls, unless you have snow shoes and a sled you’re going to be A:  taking more than you would, say, in a warmer southern environment that has typically mild 30 degree “cold” nights and B: not going very far each day, or at all (depending on snow fall), you can count on that.   Now you’ve got the problem of wet clothing, getting it dry when you stop, setting up in very cold conditions and brother, let me tell you, you better know how to stay warm and keep the family warm!  But beyond that, if you make it through the winter, you will have to cache your snow shoes, sled, winter clothing, and anything that’s too heavy or bulky to put in or on your ruck. Know how to cache? Did you carry enough waterproof heavy plastic bags to keep your cached heavy clothing from rotting or being eaten by critters? If it’s temperate, are you walking out of an area that will have a cold, snowy winter? How far are you going to get? Are you carrying your winter gear in addition to what you need during temperate weather?

Deep Freeze 2

  • Your Footwear: Have to be sturdy and good quality, as well as well-broken in. Goretex helps, so does sno-sealing leather (not suede) boots for keeping you dry. That means wearing them…a lot…preferably doing ruck walks. You’ll find that during your ruck walks, the additional weight of up to half your body weight of defensive equipment, ruck, and water, you may well be attempting to carry 60% of your own weight. The additional weight takes quite a toll on your feet, no matter how good the footwear happens to be. Read that to mean blisters and more blisters. Got good socks, about 6 pair per person? ‘Darn Tough’ are about the best, but YMMV. Got a couple rolls of Leuko and cover tape? A couple tubes of ‘body glide’? Could make the difference between success and failure (meaning death). Got toe nail clippers (a couple pair)?

danner hikers2

  • Your Fitness Level: You’re not going to walk far, let alone if you have a spouse and children, without you and they being very, very fit. Some folks will say they have packs for everyone in their family. Great! How much can they carry? It’s size, strength and fitness level dependent.  You may find yourself pulling a wagon with a couple of kids in it along with carrying your pack. Or, putting your pack in the wagon and having the kids walk (which would be more efficient as you could put more in the wagon), but that assumes you’ll be on nice, level, paved (ever try pulling a wagon down a gravel road?) – with at least ashphalt or tarred dirt – road. If you’re serious about doing the ‘getting out on foot if we have to’ thing, you might want to start a serious PT regimen that includes strength, aerobic, and stamina exercises (meaning long walks with heavy packs for time (shoot for 17 minutes a mile) that eventually end up being 10 or more miles long. Medical limitations come into play here, big time. Do you have at least 3 to 6 months of prescription meds you or others in your family are on available? Do they need refrigeration? What’s the backup plan on that?


  • Your ability to leave behind ‘snivel gear’. A tent? What for? All you need is a tarp shelter.   Keep the wind and rain off of you and the family. You’ll be fine. Tents are also very, very bad in regards to letting you see what’s around you. Once inside, you’re blind. Think about that in relation to ‘marauders’ happening on your nice tent that holds your wife and children. It’s not going to be big enough to put all your packs in, so they’ll be outside, ready to be loaded up by the marauders after they finish with you (that means you’re dead) and your family. You don’t need pots and pans; you need a canteen cup (and possibly a lid). One per two people is fine, especially in a family. Cuts down weight, and can be used to cook, eat, drink and heat water for hygiene (if you can’t use cold water that you find). You get the picture. You most likely won’t have room for a lot of clothing, either, because you’re going to go heavy on food (gotta eat, right?), and ammo (if you’re smart – someone’s got to protect the family), and light on extra clothing. Everything’s a compromise and a tradeoff, remember that. This is where multiple use items come in handy. A gas stove? Really? Pillows (even small camping pillows)? REALLY?


  • Basic knowledge of security requirements for your night time or temporary, ‘lay up’. This means cover, concealment, site selection (where someone wouldn’t look), and finally, weapon use. Getting in and out without leaving sign that you’re there. Got a 10X monocular or small set of binoculars? They come in mighty handy when checking a potential site out.

concealed PB1

  • Navigation capability. Know how to read a map? Topographical or otherwise? Know how to follow a compass heading and account for local declination? GPS units are great; I have a couple. Don’t count on them if SHTF. They have this thing called, ‘random programmable error,’ because the satellites belong to the government. In some scenarios, the government will purposely program inaccuracy into them because they don’t want the enemy to be able to accurately navigate. So your back up is good old fashioned map and compass navigation. Take a class. Really. Have you selected at least 3 routes out of your present location and know how to change from one route to another if the one you’re taking is, for whatever reason, impassible?

topographic map

This could go on….and on…but I think the point is made. Yes, walking out of a troubled area post SHTF is, in fact, an option that should be explored and planned for if at all possible. However, to do it successfully you’re going to have to do some serious pre-planning and training, starting off with getting yourself in a LOT better shape. You will have to brutally assess your family, if you have one, and take steps to make sure they can pull their weight (however small that may be) and teach them various concepts such as ‘silence’ while walking out. You can hear the sweet, melodious, high pitched voices of children for a long, long way…..there’s a reason Native Americans universally taught their children from birth not to cry or make much noise. The ability to remain quiet often meant the difference between life and death.




American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

September 2015 EDC Purse Dump

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September 2015 EDC Purse Dump

1. Gerber Dime Mini Multi-Tool 2. Fenix E05 Flashlight in Stainless Steel 3. Spyderco Dragonfly 2 Small EDC Knife in Nishijin Glass Fibre – Review. 4. Spyderco Squarehead EDC Folding Knife

This is just the start of the post September 2015 EDC Purse Dump. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

September 2015 EDC Purse Dump, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Survival Medicine Hour: Amputation, Insomnia, more

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What if you were the medic in a long-term survival scenario and came upon an injury that won’t get better with the usual treatment? What if you had to make an extreme decision like whether to perform an amputation? Joe Alton, MD steps out on a limb to talk about considerations that would be necessary in these circumstances. Also, Amy Alton, ARNP, discusses a common problem and how to deal with it: Insomnia! All this and more in the latest Survival Medicine Podcast.


To listen in, click below:






Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,



Joe and Amy Alton, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy


MMQB, sorta

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I actually did a small amount of actual “prepping” recently.

Started moving all the ‘old’ vehicle equipment into my truck.
Picked up some decent cast iron cookware (Dutch oven, lid and skillet) on sale at SportsmansGuide.
Made and sold a couple “sailboat bell-pull” keychains (a 3/4 oz fishing weight inside inside a paracord monkey’s-fist on a spiral paracord ‘survival bracelet’ braid, and taught them the mantra, “No, officer, that’s a decorative bell-pull for a sailboat, when I get one, NOT a blackjack”).

Mostly, I spent the last couple weeks being really annoyed.

Annoyed at myself for getting sick.
Annoyed at the people I work-for.
Annoyed that somebody bought the country-place I wanted.
Annoyed at one of my kids for doing drugs and totalling my backup vehicle.
Annoyed at my Insurance company.
Annoyed at Democrats.
Annoyed at Republicans.
Annoyed at dang-near everyone.

You know what all that annoyance accomplished? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. It just kept me from focusing on the stuff I actually needed to do. Wasted my time and energy.

To quote from the late, great Bob Marley, “E’t’ing be Irie, mon”. (Everything is all right and as it is, man) The situation is what it is. No more, no less. It is not a blessing. It is not a curse. It’s just the current state of reality. You don’t control most of reality. You just deal with it.

It’s REALLY easy to let the apparent craziness/stupidity of others make YOU crazy and stupid, too. If you can’t fix it, deal with it as it is. The alternative leads to “The Dark Side”.

Stay sane and logical, my brothers and sisters. That’s what keep you alive when things go wrong around you .

Psalm 78: What We Need To Learn

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Listen, O my people, to my law [teaching];
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth [and be willing to learn]… tell to the generation to come the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, And [tell of] His great might and power and the wonderful works that He has done… 
And not be like their fathers—A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not prepare its heart to know and follow God, And whose spirit was not faithful to God…
Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouths
And lied to Him with their tongues…
For they provoked Him to [righteous] anger with their high places [devoted to idol worship]
And moved Him to jealousy with their carved images [by denying Him the love, worship, and obedience that is rightfully and uniquely His]… 

     A couple Sundays ago, my husband and I attended a new Sunday School class at a new church a few miles from our home.  We weren’t interested in joining a church or necessarily wanting to hear a sermon, but we are always interested in meeting with new groups of Christians who are desiring to gain more knowledge about the God we serve through deep dives into the Bible.  So, we thought we’d see if we could add another group to our growing circle of committed Christians.  
     This group was beginning a new year-long commitment to studying the entire Bible in depth and were just beginning Exodus, so we thought maybe we could integrate easily into the discussion.  The first week went great; there were members of the class who, like us, are interested in knowing more about the Hebrew roots of our faith, and were open to new and diverse opinions on Scripture, as long as we all stayed aligned with God’s Truth.  
     I say everything went fine until the second week we attended.  The teacher brought in Jonathan Cahn’s presentation on The Harbingers: Isaiah 9:10, admitting that it might be controversial to some in the class, but he felt it was worthy of discussion.  The class was attentive, and when the film finished, we began our discussion.  Naturally, coincidences were noted between what the prophet Isaiah foretold about the decline/judgment of ancient Israel [due to their arrogance] and what has befallen this country after 9/11 and our leaders speaking the very same arrogant words.  
     One class member boldly and angrily denounced not only the film, but our interest in anything that had to do with Israel.  He exclaimed, “We are not Israel!  The Church and Israel have nothing in common, and we should not be concerned with Israel or the Old Testament!”  Of course, being a Peace-Loving Warrior (which is the literal meaning of his name), my husband gently, but firmly, disagreed with the gentleman.  He pointed out that we are not only grafted into Israel, but our futures are inextricably tied together, as anyone who has read Romans, Chapters 9-11 will understand.  
    But the gentleman refused to listen, becoming ever more angry.  I recount this incident to you because it came to mind as I began reading the next section of my own walk through the Bible.  I am now in the middle of Psalms, and as I read Psalm 78, my heart was saddened to realize that this man from the Sunday School class would probably never read this prophetic Scripture: and therefore never consider how it speaks to us, the Church, and the nation today.
     I have chosen just a few verses out of the 72 verses of Psalm 78, and I would highly recommend that you read the entire rendition of this important psalm.  In it, you will see the heart and character of God.  It is both a historic depiction of Israel’s relationship with YHWH, but also a great testimony of God’s continued guidance in spite of unbelief — something that gives me hope in the midst of our own national sins.  
    It speaks of the works of God:  His protection during the crossing of the Red Sea; His leadership in the wilderness by cloud and pillar of fire; His provision of life-saving water and the giving of manna, the bread of life; He cast out the pagans before them in the Promised Land and gave them the land as their inheritance; His choice of the tribe of Judah to be pre-eminent, and Jerusalem as His Holy city and sanctuary.  
     But Psalm 78 also speaks of the disobedience and unbelief of His chosen people and the consequences of their sins:  they were stubborn and rebellious, and their spirits were not steadfast with God; they forgot His works and the wonders He had shown them; they did not forsake their lust for foreign idols and gods; they were unfaithful to the God of their fathers and built altars to these foreign gods.  So God delivered His people into captivity, and yielded His glory into the enemy’s hand. 
     But the Psalm does not record the destruction of Israel.  It also speaks of God’s integrity and character, and how He always provides a path for His people to return.  How I pray He will show us the path back to Him!
     So, I have to ask … how can anyone read this entire Psalm and not see that it speaks to both ancient Israel and to us today?  How can anyone discount the Old Testament, which is God’s covenant with the roots of our faith?  Besides, Jesus appears on every page of the first half of the Bible — not just in the New Testament!
     Psalm 78 speaks of so many things:  God’s mercy and the unfaithfulness of Israel; God’s provision and the Israelite’s ungratefulness; God’s anger and Israel’s redemption; God’s Sovereignty and His discipline.  In 72 short verses we see His wonders and miracles on behalf of His people; His strength and glory; His ability to send them into captivity, and His power to deliver them from the hand’s of the enemy.  We see His ultimate redemption through the tribe of Judah and the establishment of His sanctuary on Mount Zion, in Jerusalem.  And like I said, the presence of Yeshua, the Messiah, runs throughout this amazing Psalm!
    So, I would say this to the angry gentleman in the Sunday School class:  I think it is important for us to study ancient Israel and to acknowledge their importance to our Christian faith.  It is through their history, and how God deals with them, that we get a real good picture of who He is — His character; His righteousness; His Sovereignty; and His Truth.  He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  So don’t you think we can learn something from how God and Israel [with whom we are grafted in] interacted?  
     Because, you see, I sorrow over how my nation has followed the same path as Israel, and forgotten the ways of the Lord.  He has every right to discipline us as He did His chosen people.  But I trust in Him, and have hope that we may yet turn from our wicked ways and embrace Him once more.  Oh, how I pray that He will have mercy on us, and yet deliver us, and redeem us!

7 Day Challenge 2015: DAY 5 (SUNDAY)

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Welcome to the 7 Day Challenge. For 7 days, we are testing our Emergency Preparedness and Food Storage Plans. Each day will bring a NEW mock emergency or situation that will test at least one of the reasons “WHY” we strive to be prepared! REMEMBER: No going to a store, gas station, or spending any money for the entire 7 days (unless we say otherwise)! And please feel free to adapt the scenarios to fit your own family and situation.


There have been severe shortages of milk and egg products worldwide. You can’t get any at the store and your fresh supplies ran out several weeks ago.

Goal: Cook all of your meals without using fresh milk or eggs

Today’s Tasks:

  • Cook breakfast without using any dairy products or eggs
  • Cook lunch without using any dairy products or eggs
  • Cook a fancy Sunday dinner for your family without using any dairy products or eggs
  • Research possible substitutions for cow’s milk and egg products. You never know when a shortage or a possible allergy may arise and it’s good to have substitutions available as opposed to just powdered versions of the products
  • FILL OUT YOUR MASTER WORKSHEET TODAY – Doing it as you practice each day will help you remember what you want to include.

fbSHARING TIME: Visit today’s Facebook thread and share a picture of something you are cooking today!.

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants.
  • Do not use any products containing cow’s milk or eggs today

Advanced Tasks:

  • Someone in your family is allergic to milk and eggs so you can’t use powdered milk or powdered eggs in your cooking
  • Make a meal plan for 7 days using only what is in your storage using no milk or eggs


Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 8.51.13 PMWe put together a master worksheet for you to fill out each day of the challenge. There is a separate page to list the things you need to buy, do, and learn after each day of the challenge. Include a due date of when you’d like to accomplish the task and check it off when you do it! Fill it out at the end of each day while your memory is fresh.

Check your email first thing in the morning!

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DIY Survival Shoelace Fire Kit

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Firecord Shoelace Fire Kit

Having a spare fire kit on you is always a good idea, so why not carry it on something that you have with you everyday, like your shoes. Not only is this a great way to keep a spare fire kit on you without adding any extra noticeable weight but if you replace your laces with 550 FIrecord you will also have useable paracord and a very hot and long burning fire tinder.

So grab your favorite pair of hiking boots, a mini ferro rod and some Firecord and check out this great video below by David from ultimate survival tips to see how you can make a pair of these laces for yourself.


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Patriots’ Prayers for 9-27-2015

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What is wrong with America goes well beyond politics & economics. It is a spiritual sickness which infects the USA. No politician, no election, no piece of legislation, will cure spiritual sickness. We must appeal to a Higher Authority for that kind of healing. Patriots’ Prayers is an ongoing feature appearing each Sunday. Please join together, praying for America.

1) Urgent Request to Pray for Pastor Saeed Abedini

Saeed Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh Abedini, is requesting special prayers for her husband. During the past week, Pastor Abedini has faced a new round of abuse and harsh interrogation by the Iranians, including having a stun gun used on him. Iranian officials are also threatening new charges to extend his imprisonment.

Video released by Naghmeh Abedini on Sept. 25:

For more on Pastor Saeed’s situation, please see this article on the American Center for Law and Justice Website

2) Continue to Pray for Forgiveness and Repentance of the United States

Save and protect, O Lord, these United States of America and have mercy on us. As a nation, we have turned our backs on you and have sinned. We have allowed our God-given liberties to be taken away. We have allowed the epidemic of abortion to fester out of control. We have allowed prayer to be eliminated from our schools, and Your Word and commandments to be banned from our public squares. We have allowed Your place in our nation’s history to be erased from our textbooks and our minds. We have turned our backs on Your teachings. We no longer look to You and Your Word for our standards of right and wrong, replacing those absolute truths with the whim of our own opinions.  We have allowed decadence and depravity of all sorts to become public and commonplace. Common decency has become a thing of the past. We confess these and all our sins to You and ask forgiveness for ourselves and our nation. Bring us to a state of true repentance – a returning to You – as both individuals and as a nation. We confess Your lordship over every aspect of our lives and our nation. Help us to follow You once again. Restore your mercy and blessings to these United States of America, and re-establish a hedge of protection around us. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.

Supporting Verse:If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” –2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) 

3) Pray for our Government Officials 

Save, O Lord, and have mercy upon all leaders, politicians, and civil authorities of these United States of America. I especially hold up to you the President of the United States, Barack Obama, his Cabinet and advisers; the Vice-President, Joe Biden; the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, as well as the Associate Justices; all Senators and Representatives serving in Congress; as well as all Governors, judges, state legislators, and local authorities. Grant them wisdom in their duties and decisions, and have them serve Your Will in all things. Block all of their plots and schemes that run counter to Your good and perfect Will, or that threaten the inalienable rights You have given to us. (Additionally, please feel free to pray by name for any elected officials at any level.)

Supporting Verse: First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2: 1-4 (ESV)

4) Please Pray for the Church

    Remember, O Lord, Your Church, which You purchased with Your precious blood – protect it, strengthen it, and multiply it. Keep Your Church in peace, and bring to naught all plots and threats against Your Church. Have mercy, O Lord, upon the whole clergy of Your Church, and grant them the courage, wisdom, and strength needed to boldly preach and do Your Will during these perilous times.  (Please also pray by name for your church, your pastor or priest, and fellow church members.)

    Supporting Verse:Brothers, pray for us.” — 1 Thessalonians 5: 25 (ESV)  {Paul requesting prayer for Silas, Timothy, and himself.}

        5) Please continue to pray for all four American hostages still being held in Iran

        • Jason Rezaian – a 39 year-old journalist working for the The Washington Post as their bureau chief in Tehran, Iran was arrested on charges of espionage and propaganda on July 22, 2014.
        • Robert Levinson – now 67, went missing while in Iran in 2007. In 2010, his family received proof that he was still alive and being held prisoner. According to the AP, there is reason to believe that Levinson, a former FBI and DEA agent, was working undercover for the CIA at the time of his disappearance.
        • Amir Hekmati – the 32 year-old former US Marine was visiting his grandmother and other relatives in Iran when he was arrested in 2011.
        • Saeed Abedini – the 35 year-old pastor, husband, and father of two, has been held prisoner in Iran since the summer of 2012. Abedini was visiting relatives and helping to establish an orphanage when he was arrested.

           So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.” –Ezekiel 22:30 (NKJV)

          Don’t let that happen to America. Be willing to “stand in the gap” on behalf of our land. Pray for America!

          The world is NOT ending this weekend

          Click here to view the original post.

          Once you’re ready spiritually and physically…you’re ready. After that, it’s physical and spiritual maintenance, constant improvement and enjoying life
          For those who haven’t heard, there’s a bunch of buzz over tomorrow night’s “super blood moon” and various other signs of the times as indicators that the rapture is nigh. Mormons in particular have been getting caught up in this latest panic to the point where church leadership issued a statement telling the minority who were freaking out to calm themselves down. The freak out hasn’t been limited to my Latter-day Saint peoples of course; many others are getting their panic buying on.

          There are a lot of bad things going on in the world right now that one could certainly see as signs that the end is near. I am totally with you. And convincing arguments can certainly be woven by using scripture, historical records and some good story telling.

          However, before you get carried away, take a look at this long list of failed apocalyptic prophesies for some perspective. People have been prophesying the end of the world for a couple thousand years now. Nobody has been right yet.

          After this weekend, they’ll be adding another line item to that list.

          The KJV is pretty clear on apocalyptic predictions: But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

          But I suppose the prophets of doom disregard that verse.

          Trying to predict the end of days or foresee cataclysmic events is a waste of time and mental energies.

          Instead, prepare what you need, physically and spiritually.  Be ready and stay ready for tough times–they will come, and you probably won’t be able to see ’em coming. Be ready to meet God, whether that’s tomorrow or 60 years from now. 

          The timing and nature of these things is out of your hands. Control what you can, don’t sweat the rest.

          The Survival Buzz #188: The Ultimate Comfort Food!

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          Ultimate Comfort Food | Backdoor Survival

          Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps plus news and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.

          You might be asking yourself, “What the heck is Gaye up to?.  Let me give you a brief rundown.

          As I reported last week, I have been on a road trip that has taken me south through Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and Arizona.  There is some mighty beautiful country out there and it is a huge change from what I am used to in northwest Washington State.

          While in Utah, I stopped to meet with Linda from Food Storage Moms. She fed me dinner and most notably, sealed our friendship with her awesome homemade cinnamon rolls.  Talk about the ultimate comfort food!  I am going to have to make some myself and share the recipe as soon as I get home.

          I also met with one of the owners of Spark Naturals, my favorite essential oil company.  There is a terrific new kit coming down the line from Spark Naturals, and, hint hint, wink wink, I can’t wait to tell you about it since I have been helping to put it together,

          Ultimate Comfort Food | Backdoor Survival

          I am going to hold off and writing much else right now because I am, after all, supposed to be relaxing, enjoying myself and not working.  So, as I did last week, I am going to turn things over to Daisy who has promised to fill you in on her preps on the farm.

          Livestock and Food Preservation

          This was an insanely busy week at the farm. Home school is in full swing, so my young helper has been tied up with academics. We added some new livestock and got a windfall of fresh produce to preserve.

          Anytime you add new animals to the farm, there’s always a little bit of concern. Will they bring an illness or parasite in? Will they get along with your other animals or will you be introducing chaos to your coop?

          This week, we added some new roosters of a different breed. The breed, Silkie, has soft, fluffy beautiful feathers and they’re honestly very silly looking birds. I needed roosters for two reasons: they’re flock protectors and to fertilize the eggs so that we don’t have to buy chicks next year. Part of my self-sufficiency plan is breeding to replenish our livestock and for potential barter.

          You rarely have to buy a rooster. A flock with too many roosters has a lot of disharmony, as they fight with each other to vie for the ladies. An urban farm often can’t have roosters because the neighbors will be unhappy with nature’s alarm clock. So we got our lovely Silkies at no cost for that very reason.

          Orwell and Hemingway are brothers and very bonded, so we took both of them since there wouldn’t be a concern about them fighting.  Orwell immediately took to our ducklings and follows them everywhere keeping the hens from pecking at them.

          Orwell the rooser and his babies | Backdoor Survival

          I had intended to keep the new roosters segregated from our flock for a few weeks, but the hens broke down the barrier I had put up. At that point, I couldn’t unring the bell, so I just let them continue to mingle. Although they appear to be in fine health, you just never know, so it’s advisable to always quarantine new animals.

          We got loads of fresh produce this week for canning. There’s something so special about knowing where your food came from and being able to combine a harvest to make delicious things. I’ve added 2 dozen quarts and 20 pints of delicious produce to the stockpile. So far, I’ve made salsa, Italian tomato-vegetable soup, Asian plum sauce, mixed fruit, a weird spiced fruit concoction that is actually a failed jam, and plum jam. I have a bit more canning to do today, and tomorrow I’ll be getting more tomatoes for marinara. Our food storage relies heavily on the items I preserve, so autumn is my busiest time of year as far as preparedness is concerned.

          No baby goats yet, but Cora’s belly is getting bigger by the day. The other day, I poked it and something poked me back. She either has a large and particularly wicked parasite, or a baby goat in there. I have great plans for goat milk soap and homemade coffee creamer. It’s going to be incredibly satisfying to be able to meet our need for dairy products right here at home!

          Those are my preps for the week. I’m feeling pretty productive!  Are any of you canners?  What did you put back this week?

          Thanks for letting me share our adventures here! It’s been great getting to know you all.

          Solar Cooking Essentials Webinar – Limited Time Replay

          Last Wednesday, over 450 Backdoor Survival readers participated in an online event featuring Paul Munsen from Sun Ovens International.  Together we learned how to harness the power of the sun for everyday cooking and to be better prepared for emergencies.

          Lucky for us, the session was recorded and, for a limited time, you can watch the video online for free.  I know that some of you had other commitments and could not participate in the live event so here is a second chance to learn about the basics of solar cooking.

          To watch the recorded webinar, click here:  Backdoor Survival Sun Cooking Essentials Webinar. This recording will only be available until midnight on September 30th, so please do set aside some time to watch it soon.



          Current Backdoor Survival Giveaway

          There is another fantastic author interview and book giveaway this week.  Kelli Otting is giving a copy of all three of her books to two lucky Backdoor Survival readers.

          Prepper Book Festival 9: Apocalypse By Government + Giveaway

          With all giveaways, winners are notified by email and have 48 hours to claim their prize or an alternate will be selected.  Once selected, the names of winners are also displayed in the Rafflecopter on the original giveaway article.  This usually happens on the Friday following the end of the giveaway.

          Essential Oils: Deal of the Week

          Did you know that each week I update a special page with the Spark Naturals item of the week?  You can find it here:  Essential Oils from Spark Naturals – Weekly Deals. Every once in awhile there will be free shipping or a free gift offered as well as a product discount.

          As a matter of fact, to celebrate Fall, from September 25 -27 there is free shipping on all orders.  This would be a great time to pick up a new oil to try or to stock up on small accessory items such as roller balls, droppers, or jars for you salves.

          And remember, you can always use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL for an additional 10% off your entire SN order.  When it comes to saving money, every little bit helps.

          SN Frankincense IOTW | Backdoor Survival

          Free Food From Our Sponsor

          Did you know that long time sponsor Survival Based offers readers a 3 meal sample kit for free?  Interested in learning more?  Click here: Survival Based FREE Survival Food Sampler!

          The Final Word

          Something I did not mention at the onset is that in preparation for my trip, I completely dismantled my Bug Out Bag and reassembled it with items more conducive to the risks we would face on our journey.  I hesitate to even call it a “bug out bag” because it was has been serving as an all-around emergency kit.  That being said, the B.O.B. coupled with my ammo can first aid kit and portable survival kit have everything I would need in a bug-out situation.  And yes, I actually had to use a few of the items in my kit.

          I did remember to write down everything that went into the kit so as soon as I land at home, I will organize my thoughts and share.

          In closing, I would once again like to thank Daisy for filling in for me.  I hope you have enjoyed learning of her newbie-ish farm adventures.  Next week, it is back to normal programming as I settle back into my normal routine.

          Now it is your turn.  What did you do to prep this week?

          Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

          If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to email updates.  When you do, you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-Book, The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

          Backdoor Survival Emergency Food Buyers Guide

          You can also vote for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!

          Bargain Bin:  Below you will find links to some personal and BDS reader favorite items and books as well as selections from the current Amazon Top 10.

          Cyberstorm:  I just finished the audiobook version of Cyberstorm. Oh. My. Gosh. If you think you are prepared for urban chaos, read (or listen) to this book then double check your preps. I don’t want to be a spoiler but let me say that all is not what it seems. The Kindle version is $2.99. Highly recommended.

          One Second After:  For many, the novel “One Second After” was a game changer that convinced them of the need to be prepared.  This is mu number one pick for anyone and everyone that might be on the fence when it comes to preparedness.

          Clara’s Kitchen: Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression: If you don’t know about Clara, be sure to read Depression Cooking: A Visit to Clara’s Kitchen.

          The Beginning Of The End:  This is Michael Snyder’s first novel.  If you want to know what things in America are going to look like in a few years, this is the book to read.  It is a mystery/thriller set in the United States in the near future.  Need I say more?

          Tac Force TF-705BK Tactical Assisted Opening Folding Knife 4.5-Inch Closed: FAVORITE! This is a great knife that is currently priced at under $9.00 with free shipping.  Not only that, it is ranked as the #1 best seller at Amazon in both the camping and hunting knives categories.  The reviews raved about this knife so I bought one, used it, and and can recommend it.  See The Inexpensive Tac-Force Speedster Outdoor Knife.

          Note:  the price can vary by color so if you are not particular, scroll through the colors and safe a couple of bucks.

          Dorcy LED Wireless Motion Sensor Flood Lite: Don’t let the $20 price lead you to think this wireless flood light is wimpy. I have two of these and feel that these lights are worth double the price.  Using D-cell batteries, the Dorcy floodlight will light up a dark room or a dark stairway in an instant.  I can not recommend these enough.

          LifeStraw Personal Water Filter:  The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out.  It weighs only 2 oz. making it perfect for the prepper. There is also a larger sized LifeStraw Family currently available with free shipping.

          Ultra Bright LED Lantern – Collapsible:  This is a new addition to the list. Oh my gosh. I want one.  It uses 30 different LEDS and is powered by 3 AA batteries, including rechargeables.  Instead of a switch, you turn it on by extending the lantern from its collapsed condition.  With a lifetime warranty and over 1,350 close to perfect ratings, I can see why this is popular.  I love mine!

          FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight: You already know this, along with the Blocklite,  is my favorite portable flashlight.  At the time of this writing, this one is less than $3.50 with free shipping.  It is super mini sized, bright and waterproof.  Plus, it uses a single, standard AA sized battery. Pictured is one that I own in green but they come in basic black as well as some other colors.

          blocklite flashlight

          Blocklite Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight: I now own six of these little gems. There is a similar flashlight called the Pak-Lite (which is more expensive) but it does not have a high-low switch like this one.  These little flashlights just go and go, plus, they make good use of those re-purposed 9V alkaline batteries that you have recharged with your Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger.

          Bicycle Canasta Games Playing Cards:  This timeless classic will keep the entire family occupied when the power it out.  Playing cards or board games should be in everyone’s preparedness pantry.

          Ticket To Ride: This my favorite board game, bar none.  Family friendly, you will spend hours in front of the fireplace playing Ticket to Ride with your favorite people.  This is worth the splurge.


          Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials

          The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.

                    Emergency Essentials Potty        The Perfect Homemade Biscuit Mix from Food Storage   Backdoor Survival

          Every family should have at least one Tote-able Toilet.  I have priced purchasing the bucket and toilet seat lid separately and found that it was more economical to pick up this kit.  I have filled my portable potty with sanitation supplies plus, of course, plenty of TP.

          I also recommend the Mobile Washer. This is a hand operated washing machine. Like a plunger, it uses a technique of pushing and pulling the water through clothes to clean them well without wearing them out. It uses a minimum of water and less soap due to the agitation motion. Use in a bucket (5-gallon suggested), sink or tub. The best part is the price – only $14.95.


          Need something from Amazon (and who doesn’t)? I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here. You still get great Amazon service and the price is the same, no matter what.

          Amazon has a feature called Shop Amazon – Most Wished For Items. This is an easy tool for finding products that people are ‘wishing” for and in this way you know what the top products are.  All you need to do is select the category from the left hand side of the screen.

          The Amazon Top Most Wished For and Best Selling Outdoor Items
          Emergency Preparedness Items from Amazon.com
          Shop Amazon Tactical – Great Selection of Optics, Knives, Cases, Equipment
          Amazon Gift Cards

          Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!


          Are You Interested in Essential Oils?

          Spark Naturals Oil of the Month Club - Backdoor Survival

          The Spark Naturals Oil of the Month Club is the best value out there – all oils are 15ml bottles – shipped out to you once a month (on the same date you ordered the product). The price is $15.99 a month and includes shipping and tax. This is a great way to collect oils at a discounted price.

          The Survival Buzz #188: The Ultimate Comfort Food! by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

          7 Day Challenge 2015: DAY 4 (SATURDAY)

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          Welcome to the 7 Day Challenge. For 7 days, we are testing our Emergency Preparedness and Food Storage Plans. Each day will bring a NEW mock emergency or situation that will test at least one of the reasons “WHY” we strive to be prepared! REMEMBER: No going to a store, gas station, or spending any money for the entire 7 days (unless we say otherwise)! And please feel free to adapt the scenarios to fit your own family and situation.


          A sewage plant leak has caused all of your household water to become contaminated. The city has shut off the water supply to avoid anyone drinking the contaminated water. Go about your regular household business without using running water today.
          Goal: Practice carrying on with your daily life with no running water

          Today’s Tasks:

          • Go and shut off your main water line in case it is not purified when services are restored (review this post if you don’t know how)
          • If you have any empty water containers … you have ONE HOUR from the time you read this to go and fill them all up, then you can use them as a resource for today
          • Prepare all your meals without running water
          • Clean all of your dishes using only stored water (practice water conservation tricks)
          • You must find a way for you (and your family if applicable) to bathe or shower today
          • Find the nearest source of fresh water to your home, bring some home and purify it to conserve some of the water you have stored
          • Do a load of laundry … without running water!
          • Calculate how much water you used today, how long can you live on what you have stored?
          • FILL OUT YOUR MASTER WORKSHEET TODAY – Doing it as you practice each day will help you remember what you want to include.

          fbSHARING TIME: Visit today’s Facebook thread and share a picture or details of your water adventures today.

          Today’s Limitations:

          • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants.
          • Do not use running water at all, make sure to do task #1 to keep from accidentally turning it on.
          • You can’t flush toilets unless you use up your precious stored water.

          Advanced Tasks:

          • Assume the water has been contaminated for an extended period of time, you have already used up all of the stored water in your home
          • Your car is in the shop and you must go collect water without a vehicle


          Helpful Posts on This Topic:

          Helpful Products for This Topic:


          Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 8.51.13 PMWe put together a master worksheet for you to fill out each day of the challenge. There is a separate page to list the things you need to buy, do, and learn after each day of the challenge. Include a due date of when you’d like to accomplish the task and check it off when you do it! Fill it out at the end of each day while your memory is fresh.

          Check your email first thing in the morning!

          The post 7 Day Challenge 2015: DAY 4 (SATURDAY) appeared first on Food Storage Made Easy.

          Wood delivered today!! Huzzah

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          I am so glad that I got the wood area cleaned up last week!  Off loading the wood and getting it stacked only took about 2 and half hours with Mom and I working.  A huge bonus, I did a lot better job stacking the wood correctly this year. Last year Dad chucked in the wood and I had to burn, then  I stack the wood as space became available. I might order another cord of wood to finish filling up the wood area since I’m not sure how this wood will burn in my fireplace.  I have never started a winter with a neatly stacked wood pile so I’m not sure how much “neatly stacked” wood I will burn over the winter.   Over all Mom and I have done most of the winter prep, though we need to caulk the windows in October and will put up plastic to seal the windows and then all winter prep will be done.

          I did not have much of a “last minute shopping list” for the Government  budget shutdown as I stocked up last week via sales.  I added a few items to this week’s shopping list as I had the cash on hand and a bit more motivation to stock up on some trade goods.  I had to ration myself as I have sister on EBT and she might need a “care package” if the government shuts down. Luckily I have several types/ levels of care packages on hand. I think the PTBs will pass a CR or Continuing Resolution and we can face this again in December. Just so we know how much we need those “Congress critters” and government workers.

          I don’t suggest anyone panic, as I see the point of prepping is to avoid any panic. If you prep you should be ready for not shopping for at least a couple of weeks or more.  You have nearly a week to add a few last minute items if the government shuts down and EBT cards are  not refilled October 1st.  An event that probably won’t happen in October, but some day soon I think if “SHTF”  happens and you should be ready to stay home and to protect you and yours.  I got a couple of bottle of booze today at the liquor store and I had no idea about prices, because I seldom buy liquor.  I got couple of a pints/fifths and saw the prices for stocking up on booze. Whining about the price of stuff is not helpful. Get the stuff stored and then complain about the cost of stuff!

          What I recommend is you keep stacking and learning new skills as many of my readers have already built a good stockpile of the basics , before I got a clue about prepping.  If you are prone to panic, stash away any credit cards and go to cash or stack more PMs (Precious Metals).  Have cash/emergency fund on hand to pay the bills for 1-3 months at a min. Get into a local bank or Credit union for any “direct deposit”  money and keep cash on hand for any small bills or basic shopping.

          I think you should protect yourself buying goods with no counter-party risk.  You will always need food, water, energy and security.  Get out of all debt other than your mortgage if you have low interest rate first and do not take an interest only ARM/ HELOC.  All credit/debt must evaluated critically if it is the right move for you.  Debt can make slaves of us all, but you can use a bit of debt to improve your economic position. By used cars for cash, don’t pay interest on credit cards and pay all bills monthly.

          I bought two refurb. laptops on credit and it is so tempting to get stuff now and pay later but I can’t call the economy in 2 weeks little lone in 2 months.  I’ll pay off  debt as quickly as possible (October) and if the stars align I’ll buy a bit more on “credit if I don’t pay interest.

          Overall we have a great setup going into winter.

          Telling Time after SHTF

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          telling time after shtfAfter SHTF will we still be able to look at our wrists and instantly know what time it is? We still will need some method to count the hours and plan our days. What will be your method for telling time after SHTF?

          Telling Time after SHTF

          Time to get up, time for bed, time for this or that. We are a schedule based organism. If the grid is gone or the corner store, how will we get power or batteries for our watches?

          Self winding and manually wound watches are one option, but even they need a master watch maker if things go awry.


          • Find the Big Dipper and use it to locate the North Star.
          • Envision the North Star as the center of a clock and draw an imaginary line from the North Star through the two pointer stars of the Big Dipper. This imaginary line will act as the hour hand of a clock.
          • Now imagine a 24-hour clock, where the hour hand moves counterclockwise, opposite to the motion of a normal clock’s hour hands.
          • When the pointer hand points straight to the top of the imaginary clock, the time would be midnight.
          • To calculate other times, you need to perform this calculationTime = Dipper Time – 2 X the number of months since March 6.
          • On March 6, there is no need for this calculation. The time on the imaginary Big Dipper clock will be the actual time.


          If the sun is directly overhead or 1/2 way through it progress through the sky, you can estimate that to be very close to noon. Then you divide the 2 halves of the sky into the number of hours from sun up to sun down, compensating for the season. This can be a very rough estimate of time, unless you are very good at this.

          A  rule of thumb is to hold your hand out, at arms length, with the first four fingers of your hand parallel to the ground. Your finger’s width should represents approximately 15 minutes of sunlight.

          For example, if I held up my hand and measured 10 finger widths from the horizon to the current location of the sun, there would be somewhere around 150 minutes, or 2 and a quarter hours, of sunlight left.

          This only works as a rough guess, and as you approach the poles this method becomes much less reliable. There is also the difference of people’s finger sizes. Someone with veyr thick or very small fingers will get different results.

          Sun Dial

          A sun dial is a time proven method of telling time, that use a shadow or the edge of a shadow while others use a line or spot of light to indicate the time.

          sundial2 sundial1

          Sun dials have been used for centuries or millennia, and can be built as a DIY project, or purchased.

          Solar Watches

          It seems that Solar powered watches have come on the scene in the last few years.

          Citizen has a pretty innovative Eco Drive, solar watch. Citizen Eco-drive’s solar cell stores energy in a rechargeable mangenese-titanium battery. The battery should last a very long time, according to Citizen engineers. They project that after 20 years the battery should retain 80% of recharge capacity.

          That’s very impressive, but let’s say you don’t want to pony up over $100 for a CitizenWatch, then what?

          Casio also makes solar powered watches. A Casio brand watch should be one that most people can afford, even me, on my budget prepping lifestyle.

          Thanks to ancient technology and  innovations in solar technology we will still have the ability to mark the passage of time after SHTF! We will still be able to plan our day and coordinate events with others. What will be your method for telling time after SHTF?


          The post Telling Time after SHTF appeared first on Geek Prepper.

          It’s a Disaster…and what are YOU gonna do about it? (Review/Giveaway)

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          Prepare Magazine Book Giveaway

          Its a Disaster Giveaway

          Its a Disaster Giveaway

          Once again I’m happy to join with PREPARE Magazine in another series of Book Reviews and Giveaways. It is my hope that these will help you gain insight into what to get for you Preparedness Library (or perhaps you’ll be the Winner!).

          I’ve had the privilege to work with author Janet Liebsch in the past and it has been a real joy. She is a wealth of information and also very passionate about what she does!

          Here’s what the Reviewers at PREPARE Magazine have to say about this book:

          The Book: It’s a Disaster…and what are YOU gonna do about it? has been used in First Responder Training across the country! How much better could your family be prepared than to have on hand the very same book that so many First Responders use?

          The book doesn’t read like a novel nor is it difficult to ‘get through.’ In fact, it lends itself to reading in short segments of time based upon your need, area of potential disaster or interest. Even if you are in the midst of a crisis, the way this book is set up – it’s so easy to find what you need in just seconds that it is a far better field guide than most other emergency manuals we’ve reviewed.

          From Family Emergencies to Business Preparedness or Natural Disasters to Man-Made Mayhem, the book: It’s a Disaster…and what are YOU gonna do about it? really does cover the widest base of events we’ve ever seen in one single book.

          Not only does it cover the events – it gives you the wherewithal to handle living through them right while they are happening. The step-by-step bullet points are easy to spot and follow thus they help you stay on track in the midst of chaos! It covers so many possible events in order to help you feel ready with almost endless contingency plans.

          The authors also offer this as a Community Preparedness involvement incentive that can become fundraisers for a school, church group or community planners. This outreach is unique in that the desire is to get these books in the hands of more grass-roots movements rather than hit a ‘best seller list’. This shows the true heart of the authors – to help communities and people prepare for life’s emergencies. We applaud and stand with them in this effort!

          As the author’s state on their website, the book: It’s a Disaster…and what are YOU gonna do about it? truly “helps families and businesses ‘be aware, be prepared, and have a plan’ for most types of emergencies and disasters (including Terrorism). The 266-page paperback provides quick-reference instructional bullets in 2-color format. It is not written to alarm people, rather it suggests tips on what to think about and do before, during and after specific types of scenarios, as well as how to administer basic first aid.”

          If you have not had the opportunity to get your hands on this valuable resource guide, we highly recommend that you do. We hope you’ll enter this Giveaway for your opportunity to win it and add it to your bug out bag, emergency bin or back pack!



          #TrayerWilderness  #Giveaway  #NatPrep  #Preparedness

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          The Top 15 Best Laser Rangefinders for Bow and Rifle Hunting in 2015: Ratings & Reviews

          Click here to view the original post.

          Rangefinders For Hunting PictureWhen choosing a laser rangefinder, you will likely notice that they fall into two different  categories consisting of those that are intended for golfers and those that are intended for hunters.

          However, this article will focus on brands and models of laser rangefinders that are specifically designed for rifle and/or bow hunters and, while there may not seem to be much difference between these two types, each has features that are specially designed for its intended purpose.

          For instance, some units are specifically designed for close range use and thus, they lack magnification.

          Others models are intended for very long range use and thus have superior glass optics with multi-layer coatings, large Objective Lenses, and large Exit Pupils for superior light transmission and ultra-clear sight pictures.

          In addition, they may have other such features such as lighted reticules and multiple targeting and ranging modes.

          So, while a laser rangefinder designed for golfers can certainly be used for hunting and vice versa, hunters will greatly benefit from purchasing rangefinders that are specifically designed for hunting.

          Below you will find our comprehensive comparison grid of each rangefinder along with a detailed buyer’s guide that will help you identify key points to consider while making a rangefinder purchase.

          Comprehensive Comparison Grid:

          Image: User Reviews: Use: Our Rating: Price:
          Simmons Rangefinder, 4x20LRF 600 Multi Purpose $
          Nikon ACULON Laser Rangefinder Multi Purpose $$
          Wildgame Innovations Halo XRT Laser Rangefinder Multi Purpose $$
          Bushnell Michael Waddell Bone Collector Edition 4x 21mm Laser Rangefinder, Realtree Xtra Camo Multi Purpose $$
          Simmons LRF600 Camo ATAC 4X20 Multi Purpose $$$
          Carl Zeiss Optical Inc Victory PRF Monocular (8×26 T Victory PRF) Rifle Hunting $$$$
          Leupold RX-1200i TBR Compact Digital Laser Rangefinder w/DNA,Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity 119361 Rifle Hunting $$$$
          Nikon 8358 Monarch Gold Laser1200 Rangefinder Rifle Hunting $$$$
          Nikon Riflehunter 1000 Rangefinder Rifle Hunting $$$$
          Bushnell G-Force DX ARC 6x 21mm Laser Rangefinder, Realtree Xtra Camouflage Rifle Hunting $$$$
          Bushnell 202442 The Truth ARC 4x20mm Bowhunting Laser Rangefinder with Clear Shot Bow Hunting $$$$
          Nikon 16228 ARROW ID 5000 Laser Rangefinder Bow Hunting $$$$
          Nikon Archer’s Choice Max Rangefinder Bow Hunting $$$
          Bushnell Scout DX 1000 ARC 6 x 21mm Laser Rangefinder, Realtree AP Camouflage Bow Hunting $$
          Wildgame Innovations Halo X Ray Z6X 600 Laser Range Finder Bow Hunting $

          Included in the Matrix are 4 Columns:

          1.Image: Click to view more details and user reviews.
          2.User Reviews: User Reviews on Amazon.com.
          3.Use: What purpose the rangefinder is typically used for.
          4.Rating: Wilderness Today’s Rating of the Product
          3.Price: These are approximate prices on Amazon.com.  Generally Speaking: $ = under $110, $$ = $110 to $150, $$$ = $150 to $200, $$$$ = $200+

          The rangefinders included on this chart actually only begin to scratch the surface.  So many manufacturers and models exist that there is no way that we could have listed everything.  However, many exceptional rangefinders here are included at every price range and from a wide variety of quality makers.

          Feel free to use the quick jump menu below to make it easier to find the details that apply to you.

          Table of Contents:

          A Buyer’s Guide – What To Look For:

          First of all, you need to understand that all laser rangefinders operate by firing an invisible, tightly focused, beam of light at a given target and then measuring the time it takes for said beam of light to be reflected from the target and return to the rangefinder.

          This is what calculates the distance to the target.

          Because of this, they are adversely affected by hazy atmospheric conditions, glare, any objects between the rangefinder and the target, and any target that is not highly reflective.

          All laser rangefinders feature a reticle which is the crosshair or other type of aiming point you see when looking through your rangefinder.

          However, many of them use LCD displays that often appear as black lines that you superimpose over the object you want to range but, this type of reticle is often difficult to distinguish against a dark background or in low light conditions.

          Some rangefinders have illuminated reticles which are actually LEDs instead.

          Even though the brightness of the LEDs is adjustable, in bright conditions they can be overwhelmed by the ambient light such that they cannot be seen even at the highest settings.

          Because of this, when your eyes are accustomed to the lower light levels, the reticles are often so bright that they impair your night vision even when set to the lowest settings.

          Also, this same issue pertains to the other information displayed on your screen such as yardage numbers and modes.

          Therefore, the best option is to choose a rangefinder with a backlight LCD screen which gives you the capability to view your information in all light conditions.

          The time of day you hunt may impact the type of rangefinder you should buy.
          The time of day you hunt may impact the type of rangefinder you should buy.

          Also, when hunting, both the size and weight of the objects you carry are very important.

          Therefore, when purchasing a laser rangefinder, it is best to look for one that is both lightweight and compact in size.

          In addition, when hunting, there is often very little time between the moment you spot the game animal and the time that it disappears from view.

          So making sure you choose a rangefinder that is easy to operate is also a good choice.

          Furthermore, laser range finders operate in two different modes depending on how they were designed.

          For instance, when a laser rangefinder ranges the first object in its line of sight and ignores more distant objects, the rangefinder is said to be operating in First Priority Mode.

          However, if it disregards the first object is sees and ranges past it to a more distant object, the unit is said to be operating in Second Priority Mode.

          Laser range finders that operate in First Priority Mode are best suited for golfers because a golf course generally provides an unobstructed view of the flag.

          Therefore, if you range on the flag using First Priority Mode rangefinder, it will calculate the distance to that flag and not to the people or trees behind it.

          Consequently, First Priority Mode Rangefinders provide very accurate readings on open ranges with unobstructed views.

          On the other hand, laser range finders that operate in Second Priority Mode are better suited to hunters because hunters often must range their targets through woods, across brushy clearings, or across agricultural fields.

          Having the rangefinder ignore the closer objects is a useful function. However, some laser range finders do have a function that enables the user to switch between First Priority and Second Priority modes using a “pinpoint” or “bullseye” reticule which tends to make the rangefinder more versatile.

          Rangefinders are often marketed using the maximum distance that the particular unit will read but, it should be noted that even though the manufacturer’s specifications for a particular laser rangefinder may list a maximum distance of “X” number of yards, it will only range objects at that distance under optimal atmospheric conditions from highly reflective surfaces.

          However, when encountering heat waves caused by a warm day, glare caused by snow, or even hazy conditions caused by air pollution, any rangefinder’s ability to range objects over long distances will be severely impaired.

          Consequently, most of the time, a game animal such as a deer can only be ranged at one half to one third of the stated maximum range.

          On the other hand, some models of laser range finders also feature a given amount of magnification just like binoculars and, although magnification does not extend the range over which the rangefinder can measure accurately, is does make it easier to range small objects because they appear larger in the viewfinder.

          Of course, a high degree of magnification is not particularly useful if your sight picture is not clear and thus, more expensive models of laser range finders often feature high quality glass lenses and anti-reflective coatings but, you will also pay more for these premium features.

          Last, it should be noted that in addition to laser range finders operating in either First Priority Mode or Second Priority Mode, many models are also available with numerous additional modes such as Horizontal Mode and San Mode.

          In fact, the Horizontal Mode is particularly useful when hunting in mountainous terrain because it uses Trigonometry to calculate the correct distance to a target at both inclining and declining angles and thus, it provides an accurate distance measurement even when aiming uphill or downhill.

          Whereas, Scan Mode, as the name implies, enables the hunter to range the distance of multiple objects by holding down the Scan button and then moving the rangefinder back and forth across the viewing area.

          Lastly, some models even have integral ballistics tables that enable the rangefinder to calculate not only the distance to the target, but to also calculate the amount of “holdover” for a given caliber and bullet weight at a given muzzle velocity.

          5 of the Best All-Purpose Hunting Laser Range Finders for the Money:

          There are many different brands of rangefinders that are specifically for bow hunting and rifle hunting, but then you have a few select models that serve as “jacks of all trades.”

          The five rangefinders below will do their job for any type of hunting and you can even use them on the golf course if you choose.

          Simmons LRF 600 TraditionalSimmons Rangefinder 4x20LRF 600

          The Simmons brand is pretty synonymous with quality in just about every optic that they produce.

          They produce some of the best rifle scopes for hunting on the market that fall within a reasonable price range and they do not fall short with one of the top all purpose rangefinders in the 4x20LRF 600.

          The Simmons has an LCD display that lets you judge your targets at 10 yards all the way up to 600 yards.  Like many of their rifle scopes they use some of the more advanced technology on the market with producing the optical lens.

          One of the better features of the 4c20LRF 600 is that it’s completely weatherproof making it a great sidekick for any long term hunting expedition.

          While the Simmons does not have some of the more technologically advanced features that some of the other rangefinders do (see the Zeiss Victory for an example), it does carry with it one of the more reasonable price tags on the market.


          Details: Specs:
          Maximum Range: 10 – 600 yards
          Viewfinder Display: Meters/Yards
          Increment Reading: 0.1 yards
          Magnification: 4x
          Objective Lens: 20 mm
          Size: 3 in. x 5 in. x 5.5 in.
          Mass Weight: 6.4 oz.
          Waterproof Yes

          Nikon AcculonNikon ACULON Laser Rangefinder

          Like Simmons, Nikon is also very well known for their rifle scopes for both tactical and standard hunting rifles.  While Nikon has a few different rangefinders on the market, the ACULON wins our vote because of it’s size.

          The ACULON is one of the smallest rangefinders on this list no matter what you plan to use it for.

          While it bills out at 550 in the owner’s manual, the ACULON has been reported to range out to about 650 yards accurately without any problems making this an ideal rangefinder for any outdoor activity.

          The Nikon also comes multi-layer coated optics like many of the scopes that Nikon Produces.

          Like the Simmons, it has an easy to read LCD display and single button operation which makes it easy to use when you are on the move from location to location while out in the field.

          The ACULON is also waterproof and rainproof giving it an extra edge on top of its compact size.  Overall, you cannot go wrong if you are looking for something this compact and are trying to stick to a certain budget.


          Details: Specs:
          Maximum Range: 10-550 yards
          Viewfinder Display: Meters/Yards
          Increment Reading: 1 yards
          Magnification: N/A
          Objective Lens: N/A
          Size: 3.6 in. x 2.9 in. x 1.5 in.
          Mass Weight: 5.6 oz.
          Waterproof/Fogproof  Yes

          Halo XRTWildgame Innovations Halo XRT Laser Rangefinder

          The Wildgame Innovations Halo XRT Rangefinder is billed out as a multi-purpose rangefinder for both hunters and golfers alike.  The XRT has become popular more because of the ergonomic feel and less of the actual specifications of some its competitors.

          The Halo XTR can range out to about 500 yards without any problems and has a 6x magnification.  It has a scan mode which makes it useful while moving and like both the Simmons and Nikon is also water resistant.

          The big win here is the feel of the rangefinder ergonomically.  Hunters love the grip and finger indentations making it ideal for longer term use.  It holds well and the improved ergonomics have many users raving about how it feels in their hands.

          The XRT is more favored by compound bow hunters but is slowly making the rounds in the rifle hunting circuit as well.

          For the price tag, it’s hard to beat the compact and ergonomic XRT.


          Details: Specs:
          Maximum Range: 10-500 yards
          Viewfinder Display: Yards
          Increment Reading: 1 yards
          Magnification: 6x
          Size: 7.2 in. x 6.2 in. x 2.5 in.
          Mass Weight: 11 oz.
          Waterproof/Fogproof  Yes

          Bushnell Bone CollectorBushnell Michael Waddell Bone Collector Camo Version

          The Michael Waddell edition is a simple light weight rangefinder made specifically for hunting.  It targets out at 600 yards with +1/-1 yard accuracy and has an objective 4x 21mm lens.

          The Bone Collector is a little different than any of the others on this list as the housing is rainproof and a little bit more sturdy.

          This rangefinder was specifically made with the hunter in mind and was built to withstand the abuse of a long hunting trip where brushing up against trees and other objects happens regularly.

          The Bone Collector also works extremely well in lower light conditions, allowing you to eek out as much hunting time as possible when you are on your next expedition.

          While the Bone Collector is one of the newer rangefinder on this list, it’s already become a favorite for both bow and rifle hunters alike.


          Details: Specs:
          Maximum Range: 10 – 600 yards
          Viewfinder Display: Yards
          Increment Reading: 0.1 yards
          Magnification: 4x
          Objective Lens: N/A
          Size: 5.5 in. x 5 in. x 2.8 in.
          Mass Weight: 8.8 oz.
          Waterproof Yes

          Simmons LRF 600 Camo EditionSimmons LRF 600 Camo Edition Laser Rangefinder

          The Simmons LRF 600 Camo Edition is another model that follows in the footsteps of the Bushnell Bone Collector.  It’s essentially the same model as the LRF 600, but specifically geared towards hunting and with a slightly higher price tag.

          It has a sturdy case that’s made to withstand the extreme outdoor abuse of longer hunting trips.

          The LRF 600 Camo ranges out to 600 yards like most of the top 5 in our list here for those on a budget.

          One little perk you get with the LRF is that it comes with carrying case which is an added extra and the package still sits under the 150.00 mark on Amazon.com.

          The LRF has a very clear viewfinder which allows users to to see the numbers scrolling up to provide your distance.

          The Simmons LRF 600 rounds out our top 5 in the “all purpose” rangfinder list and is a great bargain considering the less than 150.00 price point that comes equipped with a carrying case.


          Details: Specs:
          Maximum Range: 10 – 600 yards
          Viewfinder Display: Yards
          Increment Reading: 1 yards
          Magnification: 4x
          Objective Lens: N/A
          Size: Unknown (Larger than the Non-Camo Version)
          Mass Weight: 9.8 oz.
          Waterproof Yes

          5 Great Laser Range Finders Specifically for Rifle Hunting:

          Although there are many different brands and models of laser range finders available from numerous different manufacturers, we have listed below what we feel are the top five laser rangefinders for rifle hunters.

          Zeiss VictoryZeiss Victory PRF Laser Rangefinder w/ Ballistic Info System

          Zeiss is a well known and highly respected European optics company with a long standing reputation for building superior quality binoculars.

          Consequently, it should come as no surprise that they also construct top of the line laser range finders and the Victory PRF laser rangefinder with Ballistic Info System is no exception.

          Like their binoculars, this rangefinder features high performance optics which provide 8 power magnification combined with the Carl Zeiss T multi-layer lens coating which ensures crystal clarity and the best possible light transmission for a clear image even in low light conditions as well as the LotuTec coating that ensures both rain and snow slide off of the lens immediately and enables dirt to be removed easily without a trace.

          In addition, although it is the smallest unit in the Zeiss line of rangefinders, it is nonetheless a rugged unit that will withstand being bumped and/or dropped because the sensitive electronics are contained and protected inside of a waterproof, dustproof, rubber armored case.

          Plus, this range finder is easily operated by a single-touch measuring button and the unit it will display the distance measurement within one half second of releasing the button for extra fast readings.

          Or, the unit can be placed in Scan mode by simply depressing and holding the button as the unit is swept across the field of view to provide multiple distance measurements on multiple targets.

          Plus, it features a Ballistic Information System that uses an internal ballistics tables for given calibers and bullet weights at given muzzle velocities combined with the current distance measurement to provide accurate hold over distances for more accurate shot placement.


          Details: Specs:
          Maximum Range: 10 – 1,300 Yards
          Viewfinder Display: Meters/Yards
          Increment Reading: 0.1 yards
          Magnification: 8X
          Objective Lens: 26 mm
          Exit Pupil: 3.25 mm
          Field of View: 330 ft. @ 1,000 yds.
          Eye Relief: 17.5 mm
          Size: 5.11 in. x 3.85 in. x 1.88 in.
          Mass Weight: 10.93 oz.
          Waterproof/Fogproof  Yes

          Leupold RX 1200Leupold RX-1200i TBR Rangefinder with DNA

          The Leupold RX-1200i TBR Rangefinder with DNA uses a high performance, “Digitally eNhanced Accuracy”, engine that was specifically designed to provide both rifle hunters and bow hunters with True Ballistic Range readings.

          Also, the third generation signal processing capabilities significantly increases dependability when ranging on soft, non-reflective, targets such as game animals and provides superior ranging consistency regardless of target color.

          In addition, the Quick Set Menu uses on-screen prompts which makes this rangefinder exceptionally intuitive and easy use in the field and, it features selectable reticles and multiple display intensity settings in either yards or meters for easier target acquisition.

          Plus, it features multi-coated optics and fold-down rubber eyecups to accommodate users with or without eye glasses.


          Details: Specs:
          Maximum Range: 6 – 1,215 yards
          Viewfinder Display: Meters/Yards
          Increment Reading: 0.1 yards
          Magnification: 6X
          Objective Lens: 22 mm
          Exit Pupil: 3.6 mm
          Field of View: 320 ft. @ 1,000 yds.
          Eye Relief: 17.0 mm
          Size: 3.8 in. x 3.0 in. x 1.48 in.
          Mass Weight: 7.8 oz.
          Waterproof/Fogproof  Yes

          Nikon Monarch Gold LaserNikon Monarch Gold Laser 1200 Ultra-compact Rangefinder

          The Nikon Monarch Gold Laser 1200 laser rangefinder features their Tru-Target ranging system which enables the user to choose between either First Target Priority mode which displays the distance of the closest subject (useful when measuring the distance to a target in front of an overlapping background) or Distant Target Priority mode (displays the distance of the farthest target).

          This is useful in wooded areas or Scanning mode to range multiple targets in the field as well as a Target Priority Switch System that enables the user to prioritize smaller and harder to range targets with the push of a button (Bullseye Mode).

          Also, it features both an LCD readout and an Active Brightness Control Viewfinder that provides clear viewing by automatically turning on an orange LED when the unit is used in darker situations and the brightness of the LED is automatically adjusted according to the ambient light.

          It also provides hunters with a new level of extreme range measurement accuracy with pinpoint, 1/2-yard, precision up to 550-yards and one yard accuracy to 1200-yards!

          Therefore, it is the perfect choice for varmint and big game hunters who require extremely accurate, long range, measurements of targets at distances that exceed one half mile.

          In addition, it also utilizes Nikon’s original digital measurement process to provide faster, more accurate, measurements in severe hunting conditions.


          Details: Specs:
          Maximum Range: 11 – 1,200 yards
          Viewfinder Display: Meters/Yards
          Increment Reading: 0.1 yards
          Magnification: 7x
          Objective Lens: 25 mm
          Exit Pupil: 3.6 mm
          Field of View: 5 Degrees
          Eye Relief: 18.6 mm
          Size: 5.7 in. x 3.2 in. x 1.8 in.
          Mass Weight: 9.8 oz.
          Waterproof/Fogproof  Yes

          Nikon Rifle HunterNikon Rifle Hunter 1000A S Laser Rangefinder

          The Nikon RifleHunter 1000A S Laser Rangefinder is a lightweight, compact, unit specifically designed for rifle hunters.

          Thus, it has the ability to operate in either First Target Priority mode which displays the distance of the closest subject (useful when measuring the distance to a target in front of an overlapping background) or Distant Target Priority mode (displays the distance of the farthest target) which is useful in wooded areas.

          It also has a Target Priority Switch System for measuring overlapping targets.

          Easy operation enables the user to measurement actual distance or the compensated horizontal distance (horizontal distance ± height) for increased accuracy and an Active Brightness Control Viewfinder provides clear viewing by automatically turning on an orange LED when the unit is used in darker situations and then adjusting the brightness of the LED automatically according to the ambient light.

          In addition, the Nikon 1000A S range finder also features the Nikon Tru-Target Ranging System with a brighter, wider, field of view and an ocular that is 28% larger for increased light transmission.

          Plus, with an increment reading of 0.1-1.0 yards and an accuracy rating of 1.25 yards, it is also an excellent choice for recurve bow hunters. Last, the unit is waterproof, fog proof, and compact enough to fit in hunter’s pocket and thus, it is well suited to the rigors of hunting.


          Details: Specs:
          Maximum Range: 11 – 1,000 yards
          Viewfinder Display: Meters/Yards
          Increment Reading: 0.1 yards
          Magnification: 6x
          Objective Lens: 21 mm
          Exit Pupil: 3.5 mm
          Field of View: 7.5 Degrees
          Eye Relief: 18.3 mm
          Size: 4.6 in. x 2.9 in. x 1.6 in.
          Mass Weight: 6.9 oz.
          Waterproof/Fogproof  Yes

          Bushnell G Force DX 1300Bushnell G Force DX 1300 ARC Laser Rangefinder

          The Bushnell G Force DX 1300 ARC is a sleek, simple, and deadly laser range finder that is an excellent choice for both gun and especially crossbow hunters.

          Featuring 6 power magnification with Vivid Display Technology and a diopter adjustment for crystal clear viewing along with Angle Range Compensation, the G Force DX 1000 uses a integrated Extreme Speed Precision Turboprocessor to automatically calculate the compensated horizontal/vertical distance based upon the angle of the terrain to provide accurate compensated distance readings out to 99 yards with the distance measurement displayed in 1/10th yard increments out to 199 yards.

          Also, it features selectable Rifle or Bow Automatic Range Compensation (ARC) modes; each designed with their own specialized capabilities such as holdover distance, MOA, & Mildot.

          It also features a Variable Sight-in (VSI) Bullseye targeting mode, a Brush targeting mode, and Scan targeting mode to provide targeting options that will enable you to range single or multiple targets in varied types of terrain.

          In addition, this range finder is housed in a sleek, rubber-armored, case that is completely waterproof and is small enough to fit in your pocket.


          Details: Specs:
          Maximum Range: 5 – 1,300 yards
          Viewfinder Display: Meters/Yards
          Increment Reading: 0.1 yards
          Magnification: 6x
          Objective Lens: 21 mm
          Exit Pupil: Unknown
          Field of View: Unknown
          Eye Relief: Unknown
          Size: 4 in. x 2.9 in. x 1.3 in.
          Mass Weight: 6.6 oz.
          Waterproof/Fogproof  Yes

          5 Awesome Laser Range Finders Specifically for Bow Hunters:

          Although there are many different brands and models of laser range finders available from numerous different manufacturers, we have listed below what we feel are the top five laser rangefinders for bow hunters.

          Bushnell The Truth With Clear Shot Laser Rangefinder

          Bushnell The TruthThe Truth Laser Rangefinder by Bushnell is specifically designed with bow hunters in mind.

          Featuring Clearshot technology, The Truth laser rangefinder not only alleviates the need to guesstimate the distance to your target, it also provides instantaneous feedback on your shot clearance by calculating the actual flight path of the arrow and then warns you of any obstructions that may deflect your arrow in flight.

          In fact, with a simple, three-step, process, you can calibrate this rangefinder to correspond with the speed of your bow.

          Then, once the target is ranged, a dot is displayed to show the maximum height your arrow will travel; thus allowing you to note any obstructions in your arrow’s flight path.

          Also, it features 4 power magnification for greater ease in acquiring a target and, the Automatic Range Compensation (ARC) mode automatically compensates for the angle of the terrain when calculating distance to provide you with an accurate distance measurement when shooing at either inclining or declining angles.

          Plus, it’s a very compact unit that will easily fit in an archer’s pocket and thus, it is always close at hand. However, it should be noted that this unit is neither waterproof nor fogproof and thus, care must be taken when using in inclement weather.


          Details: Specs:
          Maximum Range: 7 – 850 yards
          Viewfinder Display: Meters/Yards
          Increment Reading: 0.1 yards
          Magnification: 4x
          Objective Lens: 20 mm
          Exit Pupil: Unknown
          Field of View: Unknown
          Eye Relief: Unknown
          Size: 3.8 in. x 2.9 in. x 1.4 in.
          Mass Weight: 6.0 oz.
          Waterproof/Fogproof  No

          Nikon Arrow ID 5000Nikon Arrow ID 5000 Laser Rangefinder

          The Nikon Arrow ID 5000 laser rangefinder was designed to be the ultimate bowhunting rangefinder.

          Featuring Nikon’s Tru-Target Priority System and Nikon ID (Incline/Decline) Technology, the Arrow ID 5000 was designed specifically for those who are truly serious about bowhunting.

          Because of this, it will provide you with an accurate distance measurement even at angles as steep as 89 degrees!

          Also, it features a nitrogen filled and O-ring sealed body for waterproof and fogproof performance in even the wettest conditions combined with a 6 power magnification and Nikon’s legendary multicoated optics for easy target acquisition and superior sight picture clarity.

          In addition to all of these features, the display is capable of displaying the distance measurement in either yards or meters depending on your preference with increments as fine as 0.1 yards/meters.

          Plus, it’s small size makes it easy to carry in a shirt or pants pocket and, at just 6.2 ounces, it won’t weigh you down.


          Details: Specs:
          Maximum Range: 5 – 600 yards
          Viewfinder Display: Meters/Yards
          Increment Reading: 0.1 yards
          Magnification: 6x
          Objective Lens: 21 mm
          Exit Pupil: 3.5 mm
          Field of View: 7.5 Degrees
          Eye Relief: 18.3 mm
          Size: 4.4 in. x 2.8 in. x 1.5 in.
          Mass Weight: 6.2 oz.
          Waterproof/Fogproof  Yes

          Nikon Archer's Choice MAXNikon Archer’s Choice MAX Laser Range Finder

          The Nikon Archer’s Choice MAX Laser Rangefinder w/ LCD display has a First Target Priority Mode (Bullseye Mode) to allow you focus on targets as small as a fence post in order to get an accurate distance measurement to that one, lone, buck meandering through the meadow.

          Also, it includes a Distance Target Priority Mode that displays the range to the farthest target among all of the targets measured and thus, it is ideal for accurate ranging in situations where game animals may be partially obscured by grass or brush.

          In addition, it features Nikon’s advanced ID (incline/decline) Technology that automatically compensates for various inclines or declined up to an incredible +/- 89 degrees!

          Plus, it has bright, multicoated, optics with proprietary, anti-reflective, coatings providing high-resolution images combined with the Active Brightness Control viewfinder that provides improved light transmittance.

          It’s also equipped with new technology that detects the brightness of the target itself and automatically adjusts the reticle to either a gray LCD or an orange LED for maximized visibility and contrast.


          Details: Specs:
          Maximum Range: 5 – 200 yards
          Viewfinder Display: Meters/Yards
          Increment Reading: 0.1 yards
          Magnification: 6x
          Objective Lens: 21 mm
          Exit Pupil: 3.5 mm
          Field of View: 7.5 Degrees
          Eye Relief: 18.3 mm
          Size: 4.6 in. x 2.9 in. x 1.6 in.
          Mass Weight: Unknown
          Waterproof/Fogproof  Yes

          Bushnell Scout DX 1000 ARCBushnell Scout DX 1000 ARC

          The Bushnell Scout DX 1000 ARC is a sleek, simple, and deadly laser range finder that is an excellent choice for both gun and bow hunters.

          Featuring 6 power magnification with Vivid Display Technology and a diopter adjustment for crystal clear viewing along with Angle Range Compensation, the G Force DX 1000 uses a integrated Extreme Speed Precision Turboprocessor to automatically calculate the compensated horizontal/vertical distance based upon the angle of the terrain to provide accurate compensated distance readings out to 99 yards with the distance measurement displayed in 1/10th yard increments out to 199 yards.

          Also, it features selectable Rifle or Bow Automatic Range Compensation (ARC) modes; each designed with their own specialized capabilities such as holdover distance, MOA, & Mildot.

          It also features a Variable Sight-in (VSI) Bullseye targeting mode, a Brush targeting mode, and a Scan targeting mode to provide targeting options that will enable you to range single or multiple targets in varied types of terrain.

          In addition, this range finder is housed in a sleek, rubber-armored, case that is completely waterproof and is small enough to fit in your pocket.


          Details: Specs:
          Maximum Range: 5 – 1,000 yards
          Viewfinder Display: Yards
          Increment Reading: 0.1 yards
          Magnification: 6x
          Objective Lens: 21 mm
          Exit Pupil: Unknown
          Field of View: Unknown
          Eye Relief: Unknown
          Size: 4 in. x 2.9 in. x 1.3 in.
          Mass Weight: 6.6 oz.
          Waterproof/Fogproof  Yes

          Halo Z6XWildGame Innovations Halo X Ray Z6X 600 Laser Rangefinder

          The Wildgame Innovations Halo X Ray is an advanced laser rangefinder that enables bow hunters to range their target  for the most precise distance measurement possible at the time of the shot.

          Designed to minimize movement when in close proximity to game, the Halo X Ray is an excellent choice for bow hunters.

          Also, the Halo’s scan mode for constant ranging feature automatically calculates the distance to the target for increased accuracy.

          The Halo X Ray Z6X is small, ergonomic and compact making it an ideal travel companion for archery hunting trips when you don’t want to have to carry excess weight loads with the rest of your hunting gear.

          The Halo X Ray is one of the least expensive options and one of our favorites for archers that are just starting out in the world of archery hunting.


          Details: Specs:
          Maximum Range: 10-600 yards
          Viewfinder Display: Yards
          Increment Reading: 1 Yard
          Size: 8.2 in. x 5.7 in. x 2.5 in.
          Mass Weight: 11.2 oz.
          Water Resistant Yes

          Wrap Up:

          So, as you can see, laser rangefinders are available in a wide range of sizes and prices with integrated features that range from the very simple to the very complex.

          However, the main thing to keep in mind is that regardless of the manufacture’s stated maximum distance, most laser rangefinders will only range targets accurately out to one third to one half of that distance under less than perfect conditions.

          ] In addition, the simpler the unit is to operate, the less you will have to memorize and the quicker you will get your measurement.

          Some basic units are available without magnification which is fine for bow hunters but, rifle hunters will definitely benefit from purchasing a rangefinder with at least some magnification as well as high quality, coated, optics, wide Objective Lenses, and large Exit Pupils to ensure the greatest possible transmission of ambient light through the rangefinder to the user’s eye for the clearest possible sight picture.

          Last, it should be noted that while some hunters prefer extra compact units that are easily carried in a shirt pocket, others prefer larger units that they can operate with two hands instead of only one.

          However, regardless of which brand or model of laser rangefinder you choose, there is no doubt that having one will drastically increase your accuracy by enabling you to determine the correct amount of holdover when shooting either a bow or a rifle.

          The post The Top 15 Best Laser Rangefinders for Bow and Rifle Hunting in 2015: Ratings & Reviews appeared first on Wilderness Today.

          Bug-Out Hammock: An Essential Addition To Any BOB

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          bug-out hammock

          When bugging out, your foremost consideration (after ensuring you do, indeed, have the essentials for survival) is weight – you can’t use what you can’t carry. Many times, it is gear for shelter and sleeping that tend to add the most bulk; this is where a bug-out hammock can provide a real advantage. Hammocks offer a versatile sleeping solution in a very compact package, allowing you to sleep comfortably almost anywhere.

          bug-out hammock

          A bug-out hammock is a light and comfortable option for sleeping that’s easy to set up and take down.

          If your thoughts turn to relaxing by the beach between palm trees when you hear the word ‘hammock,’ you are not far off. Hammocks are easy to set up, comfortable, and provide a sturdy, elevated place to sleep – there may not be any cocktails served, but a hammock can prove quite useful in survival situations.

          The inspiration for this article was borne out of a recent backpacking trip where a friend of mine had brought several hammocks and continually raved about their comfort. Trying it out for myself, I found the setup simple and, yes, they were indeed quite comfortable. This got me thinking: Could hammocks make an excellent addition to a bug-out bag? I think the answer is a definite yes, and have written this article with the purpose of examining camping hammocks as they apply to survival, exploring key features to look for, and checking out the top-rated ones on the market.

          Key Components Of Camping Hammocks

          When it comes to hammocks, there are four main components you will want to pay attention to: Material, hardware, cordage, and optional add-ons.

          bug-out hammock


          Generally, most hammocks you find will be made from lightweight parachute material. Although this material is ultra-thin, rest assured that it is very strong and durable. A ripstop stitching pattern is desirable as it resists tears and prevents them from growing; it also dries very quickly.

          bug-out hammock

          Kammok engineers material that is both super-strong and ultra light, with a comfortable soft texture.

          Hammocks are typically stored in a pouch that is either sewn to the side or separate; this can double as a great stow-away area for gear you will need close at hand as you sleep, such as a flashlight or a multitool. While the full-size hammock may look impossible to fit back into its pouch, they are surprisingly easy to re-pack.

          For the best hammock material, look for reinforced seams and triple stitching at the joints, as this makes for extra toughness required in a survival scenario.



          The hardware on your hammock is a very important component as it affects setup and the type of straps that can be used. The best hammocks will have a carabiner at either end that can be clipped to rope or webbing. Carabiners are preferred to S-hooks, as they are less likely to become accidentally detached when shifting your weight in the hammock.

          bug-out hammock

          Wiregate carabiners are lighter, though locking carabiners may be more useful for other tasks besides hanging a hammock, such as securing gear to MOLLE webbing.

          While most carabiners are made out of heavy-duty aluminum or steel, there are lightweight versions available. If your hammock doesn’t come with carabiners, it is more than worth it to purchase them separately as they not only make setup easier, but also are versatile tools with endless survival uses.

          Black Diamond Neutrino Carabiner
          Silishape Outdoors Carabiner
          Metolius Bravo Key Lock Carabiner

          Click the image to view current price on Amazon.


          Certain hammocks do not come with a means for hanging; if this is the case with your hammock, you will need to purchase hanging cords separately. There are two basic options: Rope or webbing straps.

          If using rope, you probably already have paracord in your bug-out bag that can be used, just ensure to use a heavy enough gauge to support your weight. However, tying rope may require some tinkering in order to get the tension right; if this not something you feel comfortable with, webbing straps may be a better choice.

          bug-out hammock

          Whether you’re hanging a hammock with rope or straps, tree sleeves minimize damage to the bark. The Fox Outfitters Neolite Hammocks come with tree sleeves.

          If using webbing straps, the advantage is that there are multiple attachment points sewn in and therefore adapt easily to different trunk sizes and distances between trees. If you’re environmentally conscious, you can purchase ‘tree savers,’ which are cover sleeves that your straps can be threaded through to minimize damage to the tree bark when hanging your hammock.

          Eagles Nest Outfitters Atlas Strap
          Eagles Nest Outfitters Slap Strap
          OxStraps Hammock Straps

          Click the image for current price on Amazon.

          Optional Add-Ons

          The first optional add-on you will want to consider is the size of your hammock. Camping hammocks generally come in single or double sizes; which you prefer is a matter of personal preference. Even when sleeping one person, some people feel more secure with the extra fabric provided by a double-wide hammock.

          Additionally, while two adults can sleep in a double hammock, you need to be cognizant of the weight limit and always test out your hammock for comfort beforehand. In the case of a long-term sleeping arrangement, you may be better off using two single hammocks.

          bug-out hammock

          Protection is another consideration, with the main concerns being mosquitos and the elements. If you will be bugging out in an area where mosquitos will be a concern, choose a bug-out hammock with an integrated bug net. A bug net features a zipper closure as well as additional guy lines to keep the net suspended above you while you sleep.

          bug-out hammock

          Standing water attracts mosquitos so try to hang your hammock a good distance away from any large puddles.

          If you want to use the hammock without the net, simply flip it over and it becomes a regular hammock. To prevent mosquitos biting through the bottom of the hammock, plan to line the bottom with a pad or blanket. To keep wind, rain, or other elements off your bug-out hammock, you can add a custom tarp.

          ENO ProFly Rain Tarp
          Kelty Noah’s Tarp Shelter
          Ultimate Survival Technologies 1.0 BASE Tube Tarp
          Hammock Bliss Mosquito Net Cocoon
          ENO Guardian Bug Net
          Ohuhu Lightweight Sleeping Bag

          Click the image to view current price on Amazon.

          How To Use A Camping Hammock

          Sleeping in a hammock is actually quite comfortable – the fabric is supportive and generous enough to fully encase your body. The experience is preferable to sleeping on hard ground where stiff backs and sore hips can result. Aside from comfort, they are also very easy to set up as you don’t need to spend time scouting around for level ground or worrying about whether or not rocks will poke you as you sleep. To set up a hammock, all you need are two vertical supports (typically trees) spaced roughly 10 feet apart.

          bug-out hammock

          Wouldn’t you rather sleep up off the ground in a sturdy hammock?

          Setting Up

          To secure your bug-out hammock for sleeping, make sure the end where your head will rest is only an inch or two higher than where your feet will be; this ensures a comfortable pitch but isn’t steep enough that you will slide down. You can hang your hammock anywhere that suits your needs, however keeping the center near waist height will make it easier to get in and out of.

          If you’ve decided to use rope to hang your bug-out hammock, check out the YouTube video below that demonstrates how to tie strong knots that release quickly when you’re ready to take down the hammock.



          If you’re using webbing straps, make sure to wrap them around the tree and pass the end through the loop at the other end. This way, the tension of your weight will tighten the strap around the tree and keep it firmly in place. To achieve your desired height, simply clip the carabiner onto one of the loops along the strap.

          Extras For Utility And Comfort

          Oft times, sleeping in a hammock can be colder than on the ground as air flows freely all around you. When bugging-out in colder temperatures, it’s a good idea to use a sleeping bag or a mat, or even slip a mylar emergency blanket in the storage pouch. However, when bugging-out in extreme heat, a hammock provides an effective way to cool down as the parachute material is very breathable.

          bug-out hammock

          Pair a hammock with a lightweight sleeping bag for cooler climates. Add a tarp for a complete sleep shelter set up.

          Having a bug-out hammock on hand also provides for a quick way to sit down and have a rest. The setup and takedown is so quick and easy that it can be used anytime, such as stopping for a water break or tuning into your emergency radio for updates. For those with kids, it also provides a great way to give them break after a long hike.

          bug-out hammock

          Camping hammocks are kid-friendly and make a perfect place to let them rest anytime they need it.

          Additionally, hammocks can also double as an emergency blanket when sheltering from a storm and offer another rather unexpected advantage – they are great for toting bulky gear! I found this out haphazardly as I needed a means to carry sleeping bags and pillows over several miles back to my car after a backpacking trip. I piled the items into my hammock, crisscrossed the ends over my shoulders, and fastened the carabiners together around my waist; it worked fabulously and held up just fine.

          bug-out hammock

          Chilly morning? Just unhook your hammock and bundle up in it! The ENO DoubleNest is generously sized.

          Our Top Picks For Bug-Out Hammocks

          Here are our tip picks for the best camping hammocks that can double as bug-out hammocks, along with their key features. For more details, please click the image to be taken to Amazon.

          Single Hammocks Key Features Max. Wt. Wt.
          Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro Hammock
          • Mosquito netting provides full protection when needed
          • Flips over for use without netting
          • Quality construction with triple stitched mesh and nylon
          400 lbs 28 oz
          Eagles Nest Outfitters SingleNest Hammock
          • Reinforced seams for durability
          • Aluminum wiregate carabiners are lightweight and strong
          • Packs down to the size of a softball in the attached stuff sack
          400 lbs 16 oz
          Neolite Trek Camping Hammock
          • Quick dry fabric is strong yet breathable and very lightweight
          • Solid steel carabiners
          • Includes two nautical grade hang ropes with protective tree sleeves
          400 lbs 13 oz
          Himal Hammock
          • Breathable 210T nylon is comfortable and supportive
          • Includes 0.31mm diameter braided nylon rope and stainless steel carabiners
          • Mildew resistant fabric also dries quickly
          500 lbs 18 oz
          Kammok Roo Hammock
          • Specially engineered fabric is stronger, lighter and softer for better comfort
          • Includes 2 Dyneema slings for suspension
          • Water-resistant pouch
          500 lbs 23 oz
          Double Hammocks Key Features Max. Wt. Wt.
          Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest Hammock – LNT Special Edition
          • Sturdy aluminum carabiners easily connect to any type of strap
          • Triple interlocking stitching for strength and durability
          • Compression stuff sack is attached for convenient storage
          400 lbs 19 oz
          Fox Outfitters Neolite Double Camping Hammock
          • Generously sized for two people
          • Includes tree saver sleeves and two lengths of hang rope
          • High quality reinforced construction is durable and ultra lightweight
          400 lbs 19 oz
          Trek Light Gear Double Hammock
          • Parachute nylon is rot- and mildew-resistant
          • Over six feet wide, allowing for multiple sleep configurations
          • No-flip design prevents accidental spills
          400 lbs 20 oz
          Eagles Nest Outfitters JungleNest Sleep System
          • Complete sleep system includes insect net, rain fly, straps, steel carabiners, and aluminum stakes
          • Full length side zipper for ease of getting in and out
          • Internal ridgeline adjustment
          400 lbs 32 oz

          Click on the image to view current price on Amazon.

          A Closer Look At Top-Rated Hammocks

          Eagle Nest Outfitters DoubleNest Hammock

          • Generously sized and very comfortable
          • Enough fabric to wrap around yourself; can fit two adults or one adult and one child
          • Rated for up to 400 pounds – fabric is very durable and has triple interlocking stitching
          • Aluminum wiregate carabiners are lightweight but strong; makes for easy set-up
          • Packs down to about a five inch ball
          • Attached stuff sack has a belt with a side release buckle, allowing you to clip it onto the outside of your pack, MOLLE, or hang from a branch when not in use
          • Only drawback: Tree straps need to be purchased separately
          bug-out hammock

          The attached stuff sack on the ENO DoubleNest serves as bedside storage for a flashlight, map, whistle, or any other gear you want on hand.

          Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro Hammock

          • The Skeeter Beeter offers a great solution to mosquitos (which are not only annoying, but also carry deadly diseases) – an integrated no-see-um mesh net
          • The net is fully attached, with a zipper on one side for getting in and out
          • Long ropes are included for holding the netting up and away from your body, affording freedom of movement
          • Can be used without the net by flipping it upside down and laying on the bottom surface
          • Made from durable parachute fabric with triple-interlocking stitching
          • Carabiners and rope included.

          Kammok Roo Hammock

          • Has a maximum weight of 500 pounds, making it a super strong camping hammock
          • The Lunar Wave ripstop nylon fabric is engineered to be even stronger, lighter, and softer than typical parachute fabric
          • UV and mildew resistant
          • There are several utility loops on the edge for clipping gear to
          • Attached stuff sack provides additional storage close at hand
          • The stuff sack is water-resistant; especially handy if it starts to rain when your hammock is clipped to the outside of your bug-out bag
          • Included are two climbing rated carabiners and two Dyneema slings that are very easy to use
          bug-out hammock

          Kammok Roo comes with 2 wiregate carabiners and 2 compression slings.

          Fox Outfitters Neolite Double Camping Hammock

          • Very breathable fabric with heavy duty triple interlocking stitching
          • Supportive and comfortable, even for two people
          • Includes two solid steel carabiners to attach to two 5’6” lengths of nautical grade rope
          • Includes two tree sleeves to protect trees from rope damage


          Hammocks are a lightweight alternative to traditional means of sleeping and shelter when camping and can be a valued addition to a bug-out bag due to their low weight and comfort. Camping hammocks can be used for a full night’s sleep or simply for a moment’s rest. Paired with a tarp, you can protect yourself from insects, wind and rain. Additionally, the fabric is versatile and durable and can be used for many other applications. Consider adding a bug-out hammock to your bug-out or get-home bag.

          Your Thoughts

          Would you trade in your tent for a hammock in your bug-out situation? Have you ever used a hammock while out camping? What was your experience? What advantages / disadvantages do hammocks have over traditional camping gear? Let us know in the Comments section below, thanks!

          The post Bug-Out Hammock: An Essential Addition To Any BOB appeared first on The Bug Out Bag Guide.

          Front Porch Friday & Solar Oven Canning

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          Welcome to Front Porch Friday!

          Mama Kautz and PreparednessMama are your Hostesses with the Mostesses. Next week we get to introduce a new host! Can’t wait to share!!

          Front Porch Friday Blog Hop

          Mama K chose Solar Canning: Homemade Marinara Sauce by Taylor Made Ranch. Who knew you could CAN with your Solar Oven!?

          Shelle PreparednessMama is in awe of this solar powered freezer that Making Our Sustainable Life set up at their house. I think it would work well here in Texas!

          Thank you to all who linked up last week!! I really enjoy reading your posts!

          • Please share your posts that are homesteading, prepping, homemaking, or frugal living in nature.
          • Please be family friendly, although Zombies are ok.
          • Please visit the blog that linked before you. Share the love.
          • Older posts are okay, but please only share on the Hop once.
          • If you would like to be featured I ask that you have linked back to this post
          • By linking up here you are giving permission to share your post, if featured.


          Mama Kautz

          Thank you for using affiliate links and such.
          It doesn’t cost you extra to use them, so thank you.
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          of any product regardless of if I were paid in addition
          to receiving the free product. You can trust me.
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          The post Front Porch Friday & Solar Oven Canning appeared first on Mama Kautz.

          10 Smart Survival Strategies for the Woman Living Alone

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          10 Smart Survival Strategies for the Woman Living Alone | Backdoor Survival

          Most preparedness information out there seems to assume that everyone is part of a family with a mom, a dad, three kids, and a dog. Or, if not that, an extended family that includes brothers, uncles, and a grand-pappy.  Somehow, the picture presented always includes a man.

          The truth is, that is not always the case; there are a lot of women alone out there who are also preparing, and it often seems like they are left out of the equations.

          There are all sorts of reasons that a woman might be living alone. She may have just left the nest and is out there joining the adult world with her first job and apartment. She may be divorced or widowed. She may not have children, or those children may be off raising families of their own. Whatever the case, family-based preparedness suggestions don’t always apply to the woman living alone.

          10 Smart Survival Strategies for the Woman Living Alone | Backdoor Survival

          Because of that, I felt it long overdue to step up and address specific survival strategies for the woman living alone.  Not that these tips are only for women.  Many of them are important for any person who wishes to be prepared, and especially for the female prepper that is living alone.

          10 Survival Strategies for the Woman (or Man) Living Alone

          1. Be extra vigilant with home security.  As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Make sure that you have motion-sensor lights at all of the entrances to your home and property. Get a dog.  It does not have to be a big dog; my little Yorkie is a great early warning system!. Install high quality locks and be sure you have a fortified door frame. You can read more home security tips here.

          2. Learn to use a weapon. If you decide to purchase a firearm, get some instruction and go to the range frequently to optimize your skills. If you aren’t comfortable with guns, your weapon of choice can be something else; just make sure you have a way to defend yourself. Consider pepper spray or a stun gun such as this one that doubles as a flashlight). Heck, even a can of wasp spray has a long range and can do some very painful damage.

          3. Take a women’s self-defense class. Classes geared specifically towards women are the best if you need a crash course. Of course, if you’re already a black belt in martial arts, all the better!  If you can find a recurring class that lets you spar with a bigger “attacker” this will help the moves become more natural for you.

          4. Learn to use tools. Being able to repair things yourself is a big part of being self-reliant. Practice makes perfect. Home Depot and other home improvement centers offer workshops each weekend that teach customers how to make something. It is a great way to get your feet wet. Also, if something in your home breaks and is in need of repair, search YouTube for some related repair videos and give it a shot yourself. If you do have to call a repair person, hang out and watch, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

          5. Be careful what you say.  Obviously your closest neighbors will be aware that you live alone. But when you’re out and about, don’t broadcast it. Many a stalker first became interested in a victim in the most innocuous of settings. Court records have shown that some stalkers were repairmen, pizza delivery guys, and mechanics who realized that the woman they became obsessed with lived alone. As well, in the event of an emergency, you do not want people to remember that you mentioned having a year’s supply of food in the basement. You don’t want to be a target.

          6. Don’t make it obvious your house belongs to a woman alone. While you shouldn’t need to be afraid to be feminine, you might want to tone down the pink girlie stuff in the front yard. You can also purchase a large pair of used men’s work boots at the Goodwill, get them dirty, and leave them beside the door as though someone just took them off to go inside.  And for heaven’s sakes, don’t get those stick figure families for the back window of your vehicle to represent you and several pets. Be discreet.

          7. Learn to change a tire. If you don’t already know how to do this, be sure that you know how to change your own tire. A flat is one of the most common vehicular issues that will leave you stranded. My friend Daisy from The Organic Prepper wouldn’t allow her daughters to drive the car alone until they could change the tire in the driveway using the factory jack. Many women have felt scared and vulnerable on the side of the road while waiting for AAA to come and change their tire for them. It also would not hurt to have a can of “fix a flat tire” stuff.  Using that, you can make a temporary repair and get on your way quickly.

          8. Be prepared to hunker down.  Should a disaster or civil unrest occur, one of the most dangerous things you can do is set out on foot. If at all possible, you’ll be safer if you stay put. Have the supplies you need in place so that you can stay home and wait out the chaos.

          9. Avoid attracting attention to your home during an emergency. Your goal is to avoid attracting attention to your home, so no matter how well-prepared you are, don’t be the only house on the street with lights blazing from the windows. Invest in some blackout curtains and even consider lining your windows with heavy black garbage bags and duct tape to keep light from escaping.

          10. Plan to fortify your home if complete chaos erupts. In advance of something happening, plan how you will fortify your house. Consider a professional-grade bar for the doors, some decorative grillwork for lower story windows and sidelights, or even some plywood that is pre-drilled and cut to fit windows and sliding glass doors so you can cover them if it’s a major hullabaloo.



          The Final Word

          I hope you will take this list and use it to formulate your plan for staying safe during an emergency.  While you may not be as strong and scary looking as a 250 pound hunk of macho, you can still defend yourself and what is yours will some advanced planning and training.

          Do not be discouraged if you aren’t part of a large family or group. For you, it is still very important to prepare and perhaps even more so.  Go ahead and adapt the preparedness information that’s out there to fit your personal situation, and be the hero of your story, not the damsel who needs to be rescued!

          Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

          If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to email updates.  When you do, you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-Book, The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

          Backdoor Survival Emergency Food Buyers Guide

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          Bargain Bin:  Below you will find links to the items mentioned in and related to today’s article.

          Police Strength SABRE RED Pepper Spray:  This one happens to be pink but you can also get it in black or red here.  This is the #1 seller on Amazon with over a thousand positive reviews.

          VIPERTEK 38,000,000 V Heavy Duty Stun Gun, Rechargeable with LED Tactical Flashlight:  This highly rated stun gun really packs a punch.  Apparently just test firing this unit into the air may be enough to stop an attacker. It makes noise and is also a flashlight.  Okay, it is the flashlight part that attracted me!  Priced under $20.

          Slime Quick Spare Tire Inflator:  All spare tire fix-its are not created equal.  Or so I learned.  Apparently some types coat the inside of the tire with some sort of goo that eliminates the tire from being repaired the proper way.  So, after consulting with the Subaru dealer and reading a lot of review, this is what I settled on.  Truly, you should always have a can of this or something similar in your car.

          Door Bar Pro Steel Door Security Bar: For extra security, consider a heavy duty security bar across you door.  This one is easy to install and has a lifetime warranty.

          Dorcy LED Wireless Motion Sensor Flood Lite: This light is awesome. I use mine downstairs as well as on my stairway and when I get up in the middle of the night, they come on automatically. They are quite unobtrusive and give off a ton of light.  Runs for a year on 3 D size batteries. About $20.

          Pocket Survival Kit 002

          Windstorm Safety Whistle:  When being heard is a matter of safety or even life and death, you want a whistle that is not only loud but can be heard for a long distance.  This particular whistle is not the cheapest one out there but I have proven to myself that this particular whistle can be heard a long distance away and above howling wind and other competing sounds.


          Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials

          For over 25 years Emergency Essentials has been providing the highest quality preparedness products at great prices.  Plus, each month they feature sales that quite honestly are fantastic.

          This month is their annual “stock up” month with exceptional values on some of their most popular items.  As I do every month, I like to single out my own favorites.  This month, one of the best deals is on their 4 person 72 hour buckets which is based upon a total of 2,000 calories per day per person.  A 2-pack (2 full buckets) is 50% off at $99.99.  

          My favorite Clear Mist 115 Hour Plus Emergency Candles are $4.95 and the Mobile Washer (Hand Operated Washing Machine) is on sale for $11.99.  Finally, prices on Mountain House products continue to be heavily discounted as are the Emergency Essentials brand of food storage items.

          Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials


          Need something from Amazon (and who doesn’t)? I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here. You still get great Amazon service and the price is the same, no matter what.

          Amazon has a feature called Shop Amazon – Most Wished For Items. This is an easy tool for finding products that people are ‘wishing” for and in this way you know what the top products are.  All you need to do is select the category from the left hand side of the screen.

          The Amazon Top Most Wished For and Best Selling Outdoor Items
          Emergency Preparedness Items from Amazon.com
          Shop Amazon Tactical – Great Selection of Optics, Knives, Cases, Equipment
          Amazon Gift Cards

          Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!


          Spark Naturals has their Essential 4 Pack in a larger, 15ml size.  The kit includes, Lavender, Lemon, Melaleuca (Tea Tree) and Peppermint.

          Normally these four amazing oils would cost you $63.45 but this kit is only $49.99.  By  using the 10% coupon code “BACKDOORSURVIVAL” your cost will be reduced to only $44.99.

          Of course the standard size Spark Naturals Essential 4 Pack is still available for $19.99 less your 10% discount.

          10 Smart Survival Strategies for the Woman Living Alone by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

          Five Ways Amazon Prime Makes Preparing Easy

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          5 Ways Amazon Prime Makes Preparing Easy! This service is perfect for preppers!Amazon.com’s membership service, Amazon Prime, offers quite a few perks to the average user.  But how useful is it for getting you prepared? I’ve analyzed the service through a preparedness lens and here are five fantastic ways Amazon Prime makes preparing easy.

          1. Free 2-day shipping

          Valid on 20 million items available on Amazon.com with no dollar limit on your order.  That means if you just want a copy of my book, you don’t have to add twenty more dollars worth of items you don’t need to get the free shipping!  Use your free shipping to get flashlights, survival knives, water filters, books, or even food! Use your free shipping to send things to yourself or to send gifts to your friends and family members. Remember, this isn’t the regular 5-8 day free shipping, this is the upgraded 2 day free shipping, so you can even be a gift procrastinator and still get it there in time!  Or get that new sleeping bag delivered in time for next week’s camp out.

          2. Unlimited photo storage.

          How many ways can you think to use this one? Don’t want to lose your photos to a computer crash, house fire, or natural disaster? Store them on the Amazon cloud and they’ll be safe no matter what happens at your own house. Scan in documents like birth certificates, marriage licenses, passports, or vehicle titles for easy access from a location other than home. Make a folder with photos of the contents of every room in your house for your homeowner’s insurance. And of course, preserve precious memories of the most important people and events in your life.

          3. Access to streaming videos.

          Now, some of these shows will be a complete waste of time, but there are some survival themed shows available to stream for free with Amazon Prime like Hunger Games, World War Z, Seven Alone, or Collapse. There’s usually something that can be learned from a survival themed show. Date night, anyone?

          4. Ad-free streaming music.

          To listen to while you work on one of these Weekend Preparedness Projects!  And all the money you would have spent buying albums can now be used for food storage!

          5. Free e-books to check out.

          Perusing the titles available for free download for Amazon Prime members brought up lots of preparedness related books, including edible plant guides, The Survival Medicine Handbook by Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, various titles by Creek Stewart, and even my book, Food Storage for Self-Sufficiency and Survival! These e-books are available at no charge, just like checking a book out of your library (minus the late fees)!

          Amazon Prime is priced at $99 for the year.  That’s just $8.25 per month.  Make preparing easier, head on over and get yourself set up with Amazon Prime.

          Keep preparing!


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          7 Day Challenge 2015: DAY 3 (FRIDAY)

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          Welcome to the 7 Day Challenge. For 7 days, we are testing our Emergency Preparedness and Food Storage Plans. Each day will bring a NEW mock emergency or situation that will test at least one of the reasons “WHY” we strive to be prepared! REMEMBER: No going to a store, gas station, or spending any money for the entire 7 days (unless we say otherwise)! And please feel free to adapt the scenarios to fit your own family and situation.


          There are widespread riots and much civil unrest in your state. The governor has declared a state of Marshall Law. You are concerned for your family’s safety and individual rights. Make sure you have your defense plans in place first. Things get so bad that you plan to gather with a group of like-minded individuals in a community out in the country. You will stay in your tent for tonight through tomorrow morning.
          Goal: Evaluate your “home defense” plans and prepare for a long-term evacuation

          Today’s Tasks:

          • Educate yourself on various ways to defend your home. What are your beliefs on self-defense? Have you discussed this with your family? Here is a post we did that covers lots of options.
          • Inventory anything in your home that you may use as a weapon to protect your family from the riots. Is it in good condition? Have you used it recently?
          • If you have guns, inventory all of your ammunition. Do you know where it is? Do you have enough for an extended period of time?
          • Review gun and knife safety with your children.
          • A neighboring community was overrun by a large mob forcing everyone to leave their homes. Your community has learned that the mob is coming to your area next. As a group you decided leaving would be a safer option and have agreed to band together and move to the country and live in tents. Pack up everything you would want to bring for an extended stay there and see how it fits in your vehicles. How much could you bring? How would you prioritize your space?
          • Take your family out and stay in a tent starting after school/work and through tomorrow morning. No running water, no electricity, and eating only items that you brought with you.
          • FILL OUT YOUR MASTER WORKSHEET TODAY – Doing it as you practice each day will help you remember what you want to include.

          fbSHARING TIME: Visit today’s Facebook thread and share what you learned about during today’s challenge.

          Today’s Limitations:

          • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants.
          • Do not use running water or electricity while you are “camping”, even if you only camp in your backyard.

          Advanced Tasks:

          • Go out for some target practice with your guns if you have them.
          • Research concealed weapons permits and sign up for a class (if you don’t already have yours)
          • Stay in your tent long enough to cook at least three complete meals.
          • Pretend you have used up your fuel supply and use only fuel you gather from your campsite.


          Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 8.51.13 PMWe put together a master worksheet for you to fill out each day of the challenge. There is a separate page to list the things you need to buy, do, and learn after each day of the challenge. Include a due date of when you’d like to accomplish the task and check it off when you do it! Fill it out at the end of each day while your memory is fresh.

          Check your email first thing in the morning!

          The post 7 Day Challenge 2015: DAY 3 (FRIDAY) appeared first on Food Storage Made Easy.

          Fish Fillet

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          One of the easiest things to catch is fish. Trap, spear, catch…etc. Do you know how to fillet? If not here is an easy diagram on how this is done. This is a MUST know skill if you plan on living past your cache of stored food.

          Health Insurance, one of the many reasons it costs so much.

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          One of my health insurance policies is Blue Cross Blue Shield and EVERY year they send this 1 3/8 inch thick stack of updated directories along with a new set of documents letting me know what they are not going to pay for anymore and the reduced coverage for hundreds of other procedures. Everyone who has a BCBS which I assume is millions, gets one of these annual update packages.
          I can’t imagine the number of employees, proof-readers, printing costs and UPS delivery costs that this annual nonsense costs. There has to be a better way, maybe like a user-friendly website and do it now rather than reduce benefits or continually raise premiums.
          The 2016 stack of waste and most of it when you try reading it is not understandable.

          Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

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          This may be another perfect Short Term Food Storage item. Every disaster pantry needs some kind of common treats such as cookies that can be baked in a camp stove Coleman Oven or on a rocket stove with the camp stove oven on top of it or in an RV kitchen. Goodies can make difficult survival times tolerable.
          The other day I was at WalMart looking for some different types of storable foods and came across this Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix. Now I know just about anyone can bake Chocolate Chip Cookies because there’s a number of refrigerated ready to bake versions or simply buying enough of the ingredients and create them from scratch.
          This mix caught my eye because shelf life according to this box is one year and it was just $2.50 for a double batch. A batch is 24 full-size cookies (2 tablespoons of dough). Everything you need including the chocolate chips is in the mix except for one egg (could use egg powder) and ¼ cup oil or use 1 stick of butter and water. I like oil because I stock it. This is simple and I like simple when it comes to stored foods and their preparations.
          Best part? These cookies taste great, perfect texture and have lots of chips in them. This mix recipe does not let the cookies spread out flat and thin like the Toll-House and other recipes do. Worth a try, I’m sure you’ll like them! I have baked six batches so far and they are in the freezer waiting! 😀
          Front of the box.

          The two individual mix bags, one for each batch.
          One batch ready for the oven. I use a fork and slightly press each dough ball slightly flat.
          Fresh out of the oven. Notice how high they are!

          On the cooling rack.
          Here’s the scoop I use for baking and cooking. They’re sold by the Number 1,2,3,4 etc, but mine was made in China and not identified. It is however 1 5/8 diameter and is just shy of 2 tablespoons. It’s also great for portioning meatballs.
          The scoop filled with cookie dough, 2 tablespoons.
          Today 9-22-15, I baked the same Walmart prepackaged cookie mix only today it was “Peanut Butter” and they are delicious. Again everything is in the package so all you add is one egg and 3 tablespoons of oil.

          Side note, I store food in two, time groups:

          “Short Term” is food that lasts 2 years or less just about everything you purchase from a supermarket be it pouched, boxed and can foods.

          “Long Term” is generally dry bulk food that can store up to 20 or more years.