No Boat, No Life Preserver: How to Stay Alive in Open Waters

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ocean wave wikimedia

When most of us imagine the possibility of being lost at sea, we typically assume that we’ll be stuck on a flimsy life raft in the middle of the ocean. While that scenario is certainly no picnic, it pales in comparison to the thought of surviving in open water without a lifeboat, or a life preserver. This sort of thing happens more often than you might think, and it usually doesn’t involve some dramatic calamity to the ship itself. After all, if the ship was sinking then somebody probably would have had the foresight to grab a life raft.

In most cases, this scenario involves somebody who was unfortunate enough to fall overboard. Take the case of Sean McGovern and Mellisa Morris, who both managed to fall off of their 30ft boat while sailing near Key Largo (they never told the news how this happened, but I like to imagine that it’s an incredibly embarrassing story involving alcohol). They managed to tread water for 16 hours, from 6pm to 8am, until they were discovered by a police officer and firefighter who happened to be fishing off the coast of Miami.

And then there’s the case of 50-year-old surfer Brett Archibald, who fell off of a tour boat in Indonesia. After getting seasick he decided to visit the side of the boat, where he briefly passed out and fell overboard. By the time his fellow passengers noticed he was missing, it was too late. Fortunately he was rescued after treading water for an astonishing 27 hours, while being pecked by seagulls and stung by jellyfish. He claims that he nearly drowned on 8 separate occasions during the ordeal.

What these cases prove is that even if you have no safety or survival equipment with you, it is possible to stay alive in open waters for a very long time. Most people would balk at the idea of treading water for more than a few hours (which is well before most rescue teams would ever find you), but it’s clearly possible. Here’s a few things you need to know if you want to survive this situation.

Dealing With Hypothermia

The first problem that you’re going to run into, and arguably the most dangerous, is hypothermia. In fact, there may be nothing you can do about it. The only thing that’s keeping you from freezing to death right now is the fact that air is an excellent insulator. Water is not. Even at a temperature of 60 degrees, you’ll likely leave your mortal coil in a few hours.

If you’re fortunate enough to fall into water that is above 60 degrees, you have a fighting chance, but you still have to conserve your body heat. The first mistake most people would probably make, is trying to stay warm by swimming. You may feel a little warmer, but you’re actually losing more body heat than you’re generating. So unless you’re very close to shore or to an immobilized boat, don’t bother with swimming your way out of this situation.

What to do With Your Clothes

Your best chance of survival probably lies in treading water until someone can find you. Since you’re going to be kicking for a long time, the first thing you’ll need to do is remove your shoes. Tie the laces together, hang the shoes over your shoulders, and keep them under the water where they won’t weigh as much.

Before you start treading water though, you should at least attempt to create a flotation device of some kind. If you happen to be wearing pants, this won’t be a problem. You can simply remove them and tie knots in the pant legs. Swoop the pants through the air and dunk them into the water. You’ve now trapped a pocket of air that can keep you afloat. This is great idea if the water is cold, because now you can curl up into a ball without sinking, which will help you conserve body heat.

Treading Water

If for whatever reason this can’t be done, or if you have a good reason not to (we’ll get to that in a moment) you’ll have to start treading water. The most important thing you need to do is pace yourself. Slow down, and use the least amount of effort to stay afloat. That sounds obvious, but since most people have never bothered to see how long they can tread water for, they use a bit more energy than they need to.

There are several different methods of treading water, so it’d be a good idea to switch between them, or at the very least, rotate between using your arms to stay afloat, and your legs. By moving from one technique to the next, you can prevent different muscle groups from becoming too tired. When all else fails, you can always utilize the ‘dead man’s float.’

Aquatic Predators

And finally, you need to know what to do to avoid the dangerous creatures that live in the ocean. This is where you have a few choices to make depending on your personal needs and circumstances. For instance, if you are too exhausted to tread water, crafting the aforementioned flotation device is obviously a good idea. However, it’s better to be clothed when you’re dealing animals that may want to hurt you.

Sharks for instance, are more likely to target people who are poorly clothed. Though shark attacks are rare, that doesn’t mean that they won’t bump into you from time to time to investigate your potential as a future snack. Most sharks have an incredibly tough hide that can easily cut human skin, so if you’re stranded in an area that is a known hotspot for shark activity, it’s better to keep your clothes on.

You also might want to keep your shoes on in this situation, since trying to fight off a shark with your fists is going to result in severe injuries, due to their coarse skin (and of course, that blood will attract more sharks). If it’s possible, you should keep your shoes on and fight them with your legs, not your bare hands. And keep in mind that sharks are attracted to shiny objects, human waste, and loud sounds (another good reason to quietly tread water instead of trying to swim to a coastline that you’ll never reach). Your clothing will also provide decent protection against jelly fish, which are a common occurrence on the ocean’s surface.


When taken together, it probably sounds like there’s a bit of contradictory advice in this article. Unfortunately, it can’t be helped. There are a lot of factors at play here, and each situation is going to be a little different. You won’t really know what the best course of action is unless you find yourself in this situation. And in either case, surviving in open water is a bit of a crapshoot. I can’t lie about that, or paint a rosy picture.

There is no single thing you can do to significantly better your odds of surviving. There are only little things you can do to slightly improve your odds, and luck probably plays a bigger role in this survival scenario than it does in others. But real survivors don’t play by the odds, and they don’t give up when their chances are slim. They do everything they can to stack the deck in their favor, even when it amounts to very little. You’d be wise to remember that fact, regardless of what dangers you encounter in the future.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

For Pasta Lovers Everywhere: 8 Ways to Enjoy Wholesome Noodles

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whole-grain-pastaWho doesn’t love pasta? I know I do! And the noodles are even better when they’re made with wholesome ingredients. Some of these ideas you might know already about, others you might not. But there’s always room for another recipe in the cupboard, so read on!

1. Go for Whole Grains
You’d be surprised, but there are still many folks that think the only kind of pasta is made with wheat. Perhaps it’s because these other types of noodles are made with “gluten-free” whole grains and are often targeted at a gluten-free market. Yet anyone can benefit from cholesterol-lowering, weight-stabilizing, healthy and hearty whole grains! Choices include brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, potato, corn or a combination of these. Noodles also come in all kinds of fun shapes like penne, fettuccine, elbow and fusili. Another lesser known but healthy alternative is sprouted-grain pasta. Although not gluten-free, this low glycemic pasta is made with sprouted grains and lentils that offer high fiber and a good source of protein.

What to do: simply use like regular pasta. Cook and add your favorite pasta sauce. Serve hot or use in cold pasta salads.

2. Try Plant-based Protein
I get it, you’re tired of the usual floured-fare, but still want to eat something substantial. Consider trying a bean pasta, like one made with only adzuki, mung, soy, or black beans. Bean pastas are a good source of protein and fiber, are low in fat, and cook in just 2-3 minutes. Alternatively, you can just add hot water and let the pasta rehydrate before eating with your favorite pasta sauce.

Suggestion: These noodles taste great when eaten simply with oil and salt. Add melted coconut oil to coat (1-2 tablespoons), add salt and pepper to taste, and serve. Simple, but good. Great when paired with veggies on the side or add in some diced veggies to the pasta before adding in the salt and oil. Cold leftovers make a nice light lunch, too.

3. Hail for Soluble Fiber
The root of the konjac plant (also known as konjak, konjaku, konnyaku, gonyak and devil’s tongue) is really low in calories and consists mainly of glucomannan, which is soluble fiber. Since fiber is not only filling, but low carb and fat-free, this pasta is a great choice for those wanting to lose weight or looking for a light-tasting pasta. The noodles don’t have much taste, but will absorb whatever type of sauce you add to them. Easy-peasy to do: rinse noodles well. Blanch in boiling water 1 minute. Drain and add your fave sauce. Done!

Recommendation: Do you feel regular pasta is too “heavy,” but konjac noodles are too “light?” Try this recipe using equal amounts rice vermicelli noodles and glucomannan noodles:

Mock Peanut Noodles
• 1 pkg. konjac noodles
• 1 piece rice vermicelli noodles
• 2-3 Tbsp Mock Peanut Sauce

Rinse konjac noodles and boil for 1 minute. In a separate pot, boil rice pasta for 3-5 minutes. Drain water from both types of pasta. Toss to coat with the mock peanut sauce and serve immediately. Serve with a side of veggies or salad. Serves 2.

Mock Peanut Sauce
• 1/2 cup walnuts
• 1/2 cup pecans
• 1/2 Tbsp liquid coconut oil
• Stevia to taste
• Water for consistency

In a food processor, grind the nuts together. Stop and scrape down the sides as needed. Add in the coconut oil and puree to a smooth consistency. Take 3 Tbsp of this nut butter and add in stevia to taste. Thin the sauce with a bit of water and use to coat noodles. Keep the rest of the nut butter refrigerated and use on toast or crackers, or in other recipes.

Note: You can also make this recipe using just the konjac or rice vermicelli, that is, use 2 pkg konjac noodles OR 2 pieces rice vermicelli noodles.

4. Shirataki on Tofu
You either love or hate tofu. For those who dislike it, it might be because you haven’t learned the secret yet: marinate! Yes, tofu is absolutely tasteless, and yes, the secret is in the sauce! Perhaps this might explain why, despite being on the market for a while, rave reviews about tofu noodles are rarely heard. A shame, because these tofu noodles, also called shirataki noodles, are paired with konjac root (glucomannan, as mentioned in #3 above) and offer another low carb, low calorie pasta option.

What to do: Drain noodles and marinate; overnight is best. Cold tofu pasta makes a light salad lunch, but you can also warm these up as well. Now don’t shirataki on tofu, just try it already!

Suggestion: As with the idea in #3, you can always use an equal amount of tofu noodles and your regular noodles. You can marinate for a few hours or not. Either way, it’ll give your pasta dish a lighter feel.

5. Get in a Little Seaside Inspiration (and Minerals Too)
While it might not be touted everywhere that much of the soil in the USA is deficient in trace elements, it is well-known that many people are lacking in essential minerals, such as calcium and phosphorous. Seaweeds are an easy way to get in these minerals, and kelp noodles are an excellent low calorie, low carb pasta option with the added benefit of iodine. Crunchy in texture and bland in taste, try adding them to soups, in stir-fries or with your favorite pasta sauce (kelp noodle alfredo, anyone?). Kelp noodles don’t have much taste and will pick up whatever flavor you pair with them. You can also try the kelp noodle version with antioxidant-rich green tea, or consider trying sea spaghetti noodles as another mineral-rich pasta option.

Kelp Noodle Tempeh with Goji & Raspberry MCT Oil
• 1 pkg. kelp noodles
• 1/2 block tempeh, boiled 20 minutes and diced
• 2 Tbsp goji berries
• 2 Tbsp each hemp seed and untoasted black sesame seed
• 1 Tbsp sweetener of your choice
• 1-2 Tbsp miso (gluten-free if need be)
• 1/8 – 1/4 cup water, for consistency
• 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil, plus additional for frying
• 1-2 Tbsp raspberry MCT or regular MCT oil

Sauté the tempeh with some coconut oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat to brown it (you can omit this step if you like). Add to the frying pan the miso, water, 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil and sweetener and stir to combine. Add in kelp pasta, berries and seeds, coating with the sauce. Taste test sauce to your liking (add more water and/or sweetener if needed). Stir occasionally; done when sauce has thickened/water has evaporated. Place in bowls and add in MCT oil. Serve immediately. Serves 2.

• The sweetener can be a low glycemic one like coconut sugar or a low calorie one like a stevia blend (e.g. stevia with erythritol).
• MCT oil adds extra calories, but you could also just add in additional coconut oil. The MCT oil with the raspberry flavoring gives this recipe a hint of much appreciated berry!

• Replace hemp and sesame seeds with equal amounts of pumpkin and sunflower seeds
• Replace soy miso with chickpea or adzuki miso
• Replace tempeh with 1/2 cup of your favorite cooked beans

6. Honor thy Squash
Forgive me if you know of this pasta alternative already, but I still meet people who think squash is essentially a pumpkin that you carve at Halloween. Spaghetti squash is so-called because unlike other squashes, the insides look like long spaghetti noodles. What you might not know is that some do eat squash raw, that is, uncooked. To do: peel the skin from the squash, scoop out the strands, toss with your favorite sauce and serve. Do note that raw squash can be hard on digestion for some, so use your judgement wisely. As you probably already know, you can cut the squash in half, remove the seeds, then bake in a covered casserole dish with a bit of water at 400F for 45-60 minutes, or, steam the squash with a bit of water in a pot for 15-30 minutes. Once cooked, scoop out the strands, add in your fave pasta sauce and eat on up. Or try this “no-plates required” recipe:

Cheesy Squash Pasta Bowl
• 1 spaghetti squash, cut in half, seeds removed and cooked
• Shredded mozzarella, cheddar or vegan cheese
• Garnish (optional) a handful of cashew pieces

As soon as your squash is cooked, place an oven mitt on one hand and hold one of the squash halves in place. With your other hand, add cheese to the cavity in the squash. Mix in the cheese with the squash; you’ll see that the “noodles” pull away easily from the sides of the peel. Add a handful of cashew pieces for garnish and repeat with other squash half. Serve immediately in the squash “bowl.” Great as a light meal all on its own or serve with a side of veggies. Serves 2.

7. Dig That No-bake Veggie Pasta
If you’re growing carrots, beets, parsnips and daikon radishes, you might dig that they make excellent pasta noodles. While root veggies are of course pulled and not dug up, I should mention that yams and sweet potato (which do require digging) and zucchini can also be used. All you need is to peel off the outer layer, and a little gadget called a spiralizer will turn these veggies into angel hair noodles. Once accomplished, simply add your pasta sauce, and eat on up. Alternatively, you can lightly steam these noodles for 5 minutes and warm the sauce before serving.

Another idea is to use a cheese slicer, peeler or mandolin to slice zucchini or daikon radishes lengthwise into long strips and use them to replace lasagna noodles instead of the usual floured kind.

Looking for a no-bake recipe?

Easy No-Bake Veggie Lasagna
• 4-6 large zucchini
• 1 bunch kale
• 3-4 Tbsp lemon juice
• 1-2 tsp sea salt
• Your fave tomato sauce
• Shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese or vegan shredded cheese

Remove stems from kale leaves with a knife or tear the leaves from the stems. Blend kale leaves with lemon juice and salt in the food processor. Let marinate to soften, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, peel zucchini. Using a mandolin or peeler, slice zucchini into long strips lengthwise. When you reach the seeds, do the other side (no seeds in the slices; save these bits for another recipe). In a square pan, layer slightly overlapping slices of zucchini to cover the bottom (cut slices to fit pan as needed). You can add a second layer of zucchini “lasagna noodles,” if you like. Spoon tomato sauce over the zucchini noodles. Next, add a layer of marinated kale, then top with a layer of shredded cheese. Cover with a layer of overlapping zucchini slices. Repeat this process a second or third time (sauce, kale, cheese, zucchini slices). Top with a final layer of tomato sauce. Serve or refrigerate before serving. Cut into square pieces and lift out with a spatula.

Variation: Sprinkle nutritional yeast on the top layer of tomato sauce.
Variation: Add in 1/3-1/2 cup nutritional yeast to your tomato sauce to give it a cheesy feel.
Variation: Use spinach instead of kale or use a combination of spinach and kale.
Variation: Use your favorite nut paté instead of the cheese.

For a Baked Zucchini Veggie Lasagna: Yes, you can also bake this recipe! Once you have the zucchini slices, brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes. Grease a square or loaf pan with coconut oil. Now layer the bottom with zucchini slices and follow the directions in the above recipe to put the lasagna together. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes if using a square pan and 45 minutes if using a loaf pan. Enjoy!

8. DIY Homemade Pasta (Secret Ingredient: Love)
Now what would a site like this be without a DIY solution?! Making your pasta is pretty easy, might even be cheaper, and probably much healthier than store-bought versions. Plus, with every roll of the rolling pin, you can add in the secret ingredient: love!

The benefits of making your own pasta are that you can:
• use sprouted-grain flour that you’ve sprouted, dehydrated and ground yourself
• use bean flour that you’ve cooked, dried and ground yourself
• use whole grain flour that you’ve freshly milled
• incorporate greens, veggies and wild edibles to make your own gourmet pasta that you can’t buy in health food stores or supermarkets

Consider adding in cooked chickweed, lamb’s quarter or nettles, or try this recipe to get you started:

Homemade Greeny Beany Pasta
• 1 3/4 – 2 cups garbanzo bean/chickpea flour
• 1 cup parboiled stinging nettle, chickweed or lamb’s quarter – or any combination
• 2 Tbsp ground flax + 6 Tbsp water

Mix the ground flax and water and let sit 5 minutes to gel. Puree the flax gel with the wild greens in a blender, adding in the slightest bit of reserved cooking water as needed.

Measure out 1 3/4 cup of flour and make a well in the center of the dough. Add the green-flax puree to the center of the well and start mixing all together with your hands. Mix the dough thoroughly, adding more flour or a tiny bit of water as needed. Form dough into a smooth ball. Cut in half and cover one half in a tea towel to keep from drying out. With the other half, place on a floured surface or silicone mat, and start rolling the dough. You can add some chickpea flour to your rolling pin as well to keep it from sticking. Roll the dough thinly into a rectangle shape.

You can use a pasta machine or use a sharp knife to cut the dough lengthwise into strips.

Note: How thin or thick you like your pasta is up to you, although here are two suggestions:

If using a rolling pin only: roll out the dough very thinly, about the size of the bottom of a cookie sheet, then roll up the dough into a long log. Use a sharp knife and cut the log into small pieces. Unfurl each piece and rub each piece with flour. Do the same with the other half of dough and use right away or dry for later (see below).

One method for using a pasta machine: roll the dough into a rough rectangle about the size of the bottom of a loaf pan. The dough should be about 2 stacked quarters in thickness. You can cut off the rough edges for a nicer finish. Adjust the pasta machine according to the thickness of the dough and press the dough through. Fold the dough in half and repeat this step five more times at the same thickness. Next, decrease the width of the rollers and pass the dough through the pasta machine. Continue decreasing the width of the rollers each time you pass the dough through until the dough is very thin, another 5-10 times. The dough should now be about the size of the bottom of a cookie sheet. Pass this dough through the machine to make long pasta strips. Remember to repeat with the other half of dough tucked away in the tea towel!

To use your fresh pasta right away: place in boiling water and cook on medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes. Drain and toss with your fave pasta sauce.

If keeping for later use: dry the strips on a noodle rack and enjoy another time.

Note: you can use 2 eggs instead of the flax and water. Blend them well in the food processor with the greens.

Do you know what’s the best part about all types of pasta? Good company. So dig in!


The Campfire Reflector Wall Does NOT work, Here’s Why

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The campfire reflector wall is somewhat the mark of the experienced outdoorsman. But do they actually work they way they are purported, to redirect heat at the back of the fire to someone on the opposite side of the fire all snug in their lean-to? The short answer is NO! It doesn’t, however, stop others from continuously preaching it and can be found in many survival books. In all honesty, I too, many years ago, believed it. But why doesn’t it work? Well, first lets look at what we are discussing, so we are all on the same page.


On the surface, it seems it would work, right? Science, however, tells us that it can’t and a simple experiment you can do at home will prove that it doesn’t. Inverse Square Law and more appropriately Inverse Cube Law says that it doesn’t work. But for the purpose of explanation we will use Inverse Square Law.

Inverse Square Law

Inverse-square law is any physical law stating that a specified physical quantity or intensity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source of that physical quantity.

A clear example of this is dropping a pebble into a still pond. The concentric rings near the point of impact will be more intense and as the rings radiate outwards they spread out and lose intensity. This happens with light, heat, magnetism, gravity, etc.

You can do the same thing with a flashlight. Place the source of light near a wall and you will notice how intense it is. Now begin backing away from the wall and you will notice the light covers more area, but the intensity of the light falls off proportionately to it’s distance squared.

The same is true of heat. The closer you are to the campfire, the hotter it is. But as you back away, heat becomes less intense but covers a greater area at that new intensity.

Using the formula of Inverse Square Law, one will note that if we have a fire radiating at 100 degrees, when one moves back say two feet and square the distance one receives only a quarter or 25 degrees of the heat radiated by the fire

Look at the diagram below and position yourself at the position where the Yellow A is. Notice how the letter A has less red dots on it the further away from the source it is. That is Inverse Law.

So how then does this affect the reflector wall? Well, imagine the radiated heat on the other side of the fire also falls off at the same rate, which it does. Now in order to reach you, the already lost heat has to jump back over the source, losing more heat in the process, and reach you at what ever distance you’re at, losing even more heat. The fact is by the time it reaches back just to the heat source it originated from, it is not even measurable, because the temperature is below what the source is radiating.

I know, your head is spinning, right? Here’s the experiment I performed at home, to illustrate the effect.

I took an indoor/outdoor thermometer and placed the outdoor probe 6” away from the back stove, between the stove and the back wall. I turned on the stove and watched the thermometer climb until it became stable and the temperature wouldn’t climb anymore. In my case that was 103 degrees Fahrenheit. I then took the wooden cutting board I had and placed it 2” away from the heat source, a la reflector wall, on the opposite side of the flame, nearest me. Now keep in mind the cutting board was way larger in relation to the temperature probe than anyone builds a reflector wall in relationship to themselves or the fire. The results were, that even though the cutting board was only two inches away from the heat source, the temperature at the probe did not climb past 103 degrees, even after leaving the board in place for about 10 minutes.

Now, keep in mind, this was about as a controlled experiment as one could have. I had a constant room temperature in the kitchen of 74 degrees, without fluctuation, and I had a gas stove putting out a constant 103 degrees at 6” away. In the outdoors, things will not be so kind to you as any little breeze will diminish results exponentially.

So, the long and short of it is The Reflector Fire Wall does NOT work. But if you’re going to go through the effort of building one at least use it to as part of a system to draft smoke away, because using it to reflect heat back to your lean-to won’t work.

Does The Campfire Reflector Wall Work? NO… Here’s Why

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The campfire reflector wall is somewhat the mark of the experienced outdoorsman. But do they actually work they way they are purported, to redirect heat at the back of the fire to someone on the opposite side of the fire all snug in their lean-to? The short answer is NO! It doesn’t, however, stop others from continuously preaching it and can be found in many survival books. In all honesty, I too, many years ago, believed it. But why doesn’t it work? Well, first lets look at what we are discussing, so we are all on the same page.

The post Does The Campfire Reflector Wall Work? NO… Here’s Why appeared first on outdoor self reliance.

How to not get sick this winter…

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Winter is fast approaching, which means its cold & flu season, as well as chicken pox, enterovirus D68 (last year’s killer), and a variety of other diseases caused by bacteria and viruses. Its actually not the cold weather, but the fact that we’re all suddenly spending a lot more time indoors, and in crowds, with lots of other people, allowing diseases to spread like wildfire.

No one like to get sick, so the question is: What can we do to avoid getting sick?

The Common Sense Basics

1) Wash your hands thoroughly and often. Hopefully, everyone realizes the importance of hand-washing, so I won’t waste time trying to sell you on the idea. Instead, let’s define “thoroughly” and “often.” Thoroughly: wash your hands with soap and warm water, vigorously rubbing them together for at least twenty seconds. Then dry your hands completely. How often: -VERY- when you wake up, before each meal and snack, after going to the restroom, after coughing or sneezing on them, after handling money, after being around sick people, after shaking hands with someone, after handling phones, keyboards, & door handles, and before going to bed. Hand sanitizers are okay in a pinch, but are less effective than soap & water; use them until you can get to the nearest wash-basin.

2) Get plenty of sleep. Unfortunately, modern civilization is a 24/7 event these days, and many folks now brag about how little sleep they need. You might be able to “get by” with less, but research proves that adults, and their immune systems, need 8 – 9  hours of sleep to perform at optimal levels. For example, a 2009 Carnegie Mellon study found that adults who get less than seven hours of sleep are three times more likely to get sick, than adults who get at least 8 hours.

3) Drink plenty of water. When you are dehydrated, it dries out and reduces the effectiveness of the watery, protective surfaces lining your mouth, throat, eyes, lungs, stomach, and intestines. Stay hydrated!

Eat Healthy and Get Plenty of Exercise

4) Eat a healthy diet, including lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, and other nutritious foods. Avoid overdoing sugar and alcohol. Both are known to negatively impact the immune system in excessive amounts. Modern, processed foods are typically loaded with lots of sugar of various types, so you may likely be consuming too much sugar even if you avoid sweets – pay attention to labels. If you drink alcohol, stick to one glass of red wine a day.

5) Get plenty of exercise. Exercise pumps up the immune system by boosting the production of disease-fighting white blood cells. It also floods the body with stress-reducing hormones, and less stress means a more efficient immune system.

Additional Steps To Take

6) Learn to relax. Stress, particularly long-term stress, leads to an overproduction of a class of hormones called glucocorticoids, which suppress the immune system. Exercise, yoga, meditation, listening to calming music, participating in a hobby, or just quietly reading can all be wonderful ways to relax.

7) Sanitize the surfaces in your life – keyboards, door handles, phones, etc. – at home and at work. I personally use Lysol Disinfecting Wipes almost daily to wipe down my desk, keyboard, mouse, and phone.

8) Don’t bite your nails. Think about it, the small gaps under your nails make great breeding grounds for germs, and are easy to not clean well when washing your hands.

9) Make sure your getting enough vitamins and minerals. This is best done by eating a healthy diet with a wide range of fruits & veggies, but a daily vitamin & mineral supplement may add some additional insurance. An article by the Harvard Medical School recently mentioned deficiencies of zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E can negatively impact the immune system.

The Difficult

10) Avoid sick people. This one is a lot easier said than done, as we have little control over people who choose to go to work, school, or shopping while sick. But, to the extent you can, avoid being around with people who are sick. This means trying to avoid large crowds whenever possible. When you do have to be around someone who is sick, take proper precautions like washing your hands frequently.

The Controversial

>> Get a flu shot, or don’t. I’m not going to tell you what to do on this one – its up to you. People on both sides of the debate have strong feelings when it comes to vaccines. Pro-vaccine people point to the success of vaccinations with wiping out diseases like polio and smallpox, and fervently believe that modern vaccines are safe. Anti-vaccine people point to a lot of anecdotal evidence that vaccines can cause various problems such as autism and infertility, and they don’t trust corporations or the government to tell the truth about the safety of vaccinations. A third set of folks believe that vaccines are generally safe, but that we are way over-medicating ourselves, which could create unintended consequences, therefore are reluctant to take every recommended vaccine that comes on the market.

For More Information: 

Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent’s Guide: How to Make Safe, Sensible Decisions about the Risks, Benefits, and Alternatives. discusses the pros and cons of vaccinations in a fairly even-handed way.

The blurb: “Midwife, herbalist, and mother of four, Aviva Jill Romm sifts through the spate of current research on vaccine safety and efficacy and offers a sensible, balanced discussion of the pros and cons of each routine childhood vaccination. She presents the full spectrum of options available to parents: full vaccination on a standardized or individualized schedule, selective vaccination, or no vaccinations at all. Negotiating daycare and school requirements, dealing with other parents, and traveling with an unvaccinated child are covered in detail. The book also suggests ways to strengthen children’s immune systems and maintain optimal health and offers herbal and homeopathic remedies for childhood ailments. Emphasizing that no single approach is appropriate for every child, the author guides parents as they make the choices that are right for their child.” Available on Amazon.

UST Firestarters Review

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UST  (Ultimate Survival Technologies)  has been around for around 80 years in one form or another.  A lot of their products can be found in large box stores like Wal-Mart and most outdoor sporting goods store, online eBay and Amazon.   I personally have been using some of their fire starting …

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My First Exposure to Hacking (A Negative Example)

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In high school, there were a few of us that had Commodore 64’s.  We had modems and would dial up into a local BBS (bulletin board systems).  These were the earliest days of the internet.  You didn’t have email like you have it today.  We could only send messages within the system.  So, you had to know the handle of who you wanted to send to.

My first venture into the world of hacking was on a Commodore 64.  One of the people in our group of geeks figured out that the SysOp’s password was a nickname he had (SysOp stands for Systems Operator).  This wasn’t any BBS.  This was actually a school BBS where the vice principal also worked with the Sheriff’s Department.  School administration and teachers had access to the system and announcements would be posted on the system (though it was nothing like the movie War Games… we couldn’t change our grades).

The short version of the story is that one of my fellow high-schoolers found a hidden menu in the BBS that led to system-level commands.  One of these commands led to the “c: prompt” in DOS (or Disk Operating System, which is what we were using before Windows).  Back in the day, you would do “format c:” to prepare a drive for installation… or to simply wipe it out.  Yup, you guessed it, someone deleted the contents of the hard drive.

I was sweating bullets when news hit the hallways that the Sheriff’s Department was involved in the investigation of what happened.  One of the first things I had done when I compromised the system was create backdoor accounts with realistic sounding names and gave these accounts elevated access.  What if someone recovered the hard drive?  What if they pulled phone records?  Immediately after hearing about the investigation, I burned the hundreds of pages of printouts of passwords, account information, etc. that I had at my house.

Food wasn’t all that appetizing.  Sleep wasn’t welcome either.  I couldn’t help but think that at any moment, there would be a knock at our door by someone wanting answers.  This would be a curious situation for sure word traveled that my parents, heavily involved in our local church, had a son that was engaged in ‘hacking’ (which was a term only really known by relatively few people at the time).

Knowing what the right thing to do was, I dragged one of friends with me into a meeting with the SysOp to confess that I had been one of the people that had accessed the system and also to deny any foul play of deleting the contents of the hard drive.

Luckily, the SysOp was very receptive and was curious if there was a back door into the system.  He immediately forgave us of the action and confessed himself that he had chosen a silly password.  He also reassured us that the only reason the Sheriff’s department was involved was due to a student assistant impersonating a police officer in order to try to get more information from one of my friends (that’s a whole other story).

Needless to say, I didn’t touch my computer for a while.

This was my first and only experience where I got roped into something destructive.  My next writeup will be how hacking can be used in a positive light.  There is nothing really fantastic about my experiences, but sometimes it brings back passions about technology.  Just reminiscing in this article reminds me of so many things I loved about the early days of computers.

From the Desk of John Rourke – November 3rd, 2015

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Enjoying this season of The Walking Dead. I thought the first episode was terrible the way it kept going black/white to color. Since then it has been very good. If you are an avid viewer – Glen is alive!!!!

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My new Kindle Fire 7″ just arrived. What a bargain. I need to do a write up on it so those unfamiliar will understand how it can not just be a useful survival tool but an all around multimedia device. Cost? Only $49.99!!

One thing I like about this model is its ability to take microSD cards. I am in the process of organizing one card into folders of information – gardening, medical, homesteading, military manuals, weapons, etc.

A lot of books, guides, manuals – and even audio and video can be stored/organized on the SD card.

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This looks pretty cool. Hunting blind made from mirrors. From this angle it looks very effective but I wonder in person just how well it works.


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Looks like Jeb is all done. He seems like a nice guy – just not for President.

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Think I have mentioned this before – I have been watching the new TV show Blood & Oil. This is my favorite show on television right now. Don Johnson is back as an oil tycoon and really pulls it off.





Hacking as a Prepper Skill :: Prepper Chat Rooms (we need your feedback!)

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In a world where news may be suppressed, where will you get your information?  One huge problem is that we have as a splintered community.  There is no manual or specific list of reliable news sources that we have access to.  I’m not saying everyone needs to adhere to specific sites, chat rooms, or media, but it seems like there should be good sources that are emerging out of the fray.  What and where are they?
As part of our “Hacking as a Prepper Skill” series, we are making an effort to help identify reliable chat rooms and other places where good information may easily be relayed.  Not everyone has a HAM radio (though I think everyone should).
I hope you will take a couple minutes and anonymously post your comments.  Let us know what HAM frequencies you “frequent” (no pun intended) as well as what forums, chats, and other places you rely on for reliable information.
Please take the time to comment below!

Last Minute House Guests? 6 Tips & Tricks

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Another great one by Chaya Foedus:

I love having people over.  I detest the undue stress I place on myself when I have fair warning that guests are coming.  I actually thrive with the unexpected variety, because no excuses shall be made: yes people, this is how we live…well, sort of.  I do pull some last minute trickery, and I’m going…

Continue reading

The post Last Minute House Guests? 6 Tips & Tricks appeared first on Pantry Paratus.

Call to Action – November 15’……..FOOD

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act-nowThis is the first installment of a new monthly series called “Call to Action”. Call to Action (CTA) is a monthly reminder to review one part of your prep’s and strengthen it.

This month is looking at what I consider the most important prep…

Most any size crisis can effect the ability to acquire food. Whether it’s a winter storm, hurricane, or all out economic collapse – food can suddenly become a very large concern. Without it things can go south in a hurry.

This month I am looking at my own food supplies. I can see that certain types have been used up without replenishing, while others are just fine. Freeze dried food is an area that I need to shore up – and will be doing so this month. Canned meat is another area I am lacking and have already started increasing my supplies.

Everyone has a vision for what they are preparing for and everyone has particular geographical, economic, and family situations to take into account.

Here are a few links on food storage:

“The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for 30 years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.”

— Calvin Trillin

So – take inventory on your stored food and dedicate some resources to improve what you have. With the recent ammunition shortage many of you may have felt frustrated, even stressed thinking to yourself, “Man, I should have stocked up when it was available and cheap.”

Don’t let that same thing happen in a crisis when you are looking at feeding your family.

If you are willing to share your food storage plans – please do!




Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Survival Bread

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Leon wrote this post about two years ago.  Great info here.
Have you heard of Damper? It’s an Australian bread that’s made using few ingredients and cooked in a campfire. Stockmen and drovers would make it using their basic camping rations.” from Alex in Comments
by Leon Pantenburg
Actually, I had not heard of Damper, but I never need much excuse to experiment with survival foods, and asked Alex for a recipe.
“Leon, I think there are as many Damper recipes as there are cooks, and nobody agrees on what the real one is,” Alex replied. ” The basic recipe uses flour, baking powder, salt and milk, and is cooked in a campfire (either in a pot, or wrapped in foil, or suspended on a stick, or straight on the coals). It’s usually served with jam or honey or something similar.
“My great uncle was a drover, and he used to make it for us when he visited. We never could get his recipe straight – whenever we asked, he’d just grab handfuls of ingredients and say:  ‘You just add a bit of this and a bit of that…’ His came out perfect every time. Ours didn’t.”
Every prepper, survivalist or emergency preparedness enthusiast should have a variety of these simple, tasty recipes as part of their survival kit! Food is a basic survival requirement, but sometimes, even hunger can’t overcome  monotony. Eat the same thing, day after day, and some people might just quit eating.
So survival cooking, of necessity, must be simple and tasty! It makes sense that every region has an emergency-type  ration based on simple ingredients such as flour or meal.
Bannock, that staple among trappers and traders in the Northwest in the early to late 1800s,  probably originated in Scotland. “Ramrod rolls” were common in the Confederate Army because of  a lack of  options. In this recipe, a cornmeal dough was wrapped around a stick or ramrod, and toasted over a campfire.
Fry bread became a favorite among some Native

Hardtack, a very simple, long-lasting survival ration, is very easy to make and has the texture and consistency of a fired brick!
American tribes after they were forced onto reservations and issued flour and salt for rations. Hardtack was a standard American military ration for over 200 years.
Since Australia was colonized by Great Britain, I’d guess Damper is a variation of a popular English bread.
Regardless, Damper is easy to make, and don’t over-think it! In any of the following recipes, mix the dry ingredients together, add the milk or water and form a smooth dough. Don’t knead too much. Then, either make biscuits or a larger loaf, and bake it however you want to. It look really cool (and is a great kids’ activity in camp) when the dough is rolled around a stick and toasted over a campfire. Put peanut butter in the hole, and you have a delicious, warm sandwich.
Another recommended  idea is to amend the flour with one tablespoon of soy flour; one tablespoon of dried milk and one teaspoon of wheat germ per cup of white flour. This combination makes a complete protein of the flour, and turbocharges the nutritional value of the bread.
Here are a few Damper recipes that could work well in your survival kit:
Plain Damper
2 c self-rising flour (If you don’t have self-rising, add 1-1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt to every cup of regular or
all-purpose flour)
2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
Mix dry ingredients together first, then add water to make a soft dough. Knead until the dough sticks together, but not too long or the Damper will get tough. In a conventional oven bake at about 375 degrees about 20 minutes, or  until the edges start to brown.
Standard Damper
2 c self-rising flour
1/2 tsp salt
1-1-1/2 c milk
2 tsp butter
2 tsp sugar
Follow standard cooking directions.
A Damper camping recipe from Cheryl
  • 4 c self-rising flour
  • 1 1/2 c water
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1 tsp chives
  • 1 tsp crisp bacon, crumbled
  • 1 small onion
Rub the butter into the flour. Add salt. When it looks like crumbs, add water and the rest of the ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon until it is a sticky dough. Turn out on to a floured board and mold into a round. Place in a well-greased cake tin and cut across to make 8 or 10 servings. Bake (at 35 degrees) for 20 minutes or it sounds hollow when you tap on it. Turn out and serve hot with butter. (Recipe courtesy of camping.)

an EDC possibility (keeping SG sorta-alive)

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Once again, my apologies because I’m busy as H*ll.

I picked up a 2-pack of these: 2 Used German Military Surplus Flecktar Hunting Vests back in July. Still available.

I was staying with my dear friend while she was recuperating from knee surgery, and being (*shudder*) a pipe smoker, I had to go outside to smoke, and being lazy, and a slob, I usually wear “lounge pants” that won’t hold my usual belt-toolkit(s) while working on the computers.

2 outside pockets – 1 for the cellphone, 1 for a notepad, some 3×5 index cards and (with pen slots for a Sharpie finepoint, a mechanical pencil and a highlighter), an inner pocket that easily holds a Spyderco “Ambitious”, a regular Sharpie marker, an Everready penlight LED flashlight, a small Kobalt snap-blade utility knife and a 4-blade small screwdriver set (I wear glasses, so I need this regularly)


  • CHEAP!
  • ventilated and weighs almost nothing – not a hot layer in summer
  • The pockets are big enough to hold more than a couple dry-flies and half a candybar
  • Velcro epaulets will keep a water bottle etc. on a strap from sliding off (if you use it outside on a hike, etc.)


  • NEEDS more pockets – If I resurrect my daughter’s sewing machine, and figure out how to use it, I’ll add at least another inside chest pocket.
  • Sizes run REALLY SMALL. German soldiers must be tiny. You have been duly-warned. You probably need XL.
  • The “strap” sides are a PITA. If you have to slide into a small space they will probably hook on something and tear out.

All in all. a pretty good way to always have a fairly-minimal toolkit with you all the time without having to remember to transfer stuff from pocket to pocket. I like mine.

Here are 7 sensational herbs for calming the mind

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Here are 7 sensational herbs for calming the mind

1. Passion flower is a beautiful vine that has mild sedative properties and can help calm the mind. All parts of all the plant except the root are used for the mind relaxing qualities. Usually brewed as a tea, taken as a tincture or in capsules. 2. Lotus Flowers are a beautiful way to increase […]

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Failed prophecies

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I’ve been trying to read Kuntsler’s The Long Emergency and am just having trouble getting into it. The problem is that while the advice given about sustainable communities, failed systems, etc, etc, is good, I have trouble getting into the notion that ‘Peak Oil’ will be the downfall of civilization.

Does anyone even remember Peak Oil? Is it getting relegated to the ‘dustbin of history’ along with The New Ice Age, Y2K, Bird Flu, and EMP?

What brings this up for me is that the local banking institution I do business at has no access to their tellers…instead, you get this:

20151026_123010You stand at a video kiosk and work your transaction with a vacuum tube system (very steampunk…it’s like 1930’s Wall Street). I asked one of the employees about the reasoning for completely locking the tellers out..was it security? Staffing issues? Nope. The story I was told is that the building was constructed recently when then Bird Flu specter was all the rage. The idea was to prevent exposure to infected people. A fascinating idea except that currency .. cash.. is probably the most effective disease-spreading vector in the public marketplace. The dollar bill in your pocket has been in a strippers g-string, a homeless guys urine-soaked pocket, a hospital janitors wallet, etc, etc, and all through it’s travels it’s picked up enough bugs to wipe out a reclusive Amazon village.

So..keeping your tellers in a sneeze-proof room is more effective in preventing the spread of illness than, I dunno, running all the Andrew Jacksons under a UV light and through an autoclave?

But it reminded me of the failed prophecies that have come down the pike lately…Y2K, Peak Oil, 2012, etc, etc. While there is just no real predicting when the wheels are going to fly off civilization, you can’t go wrong being ready for it. BUT….hinging all your plans on that event, at a particular time and place, is just the sort of thing that gets you a tinfoil Stetson.

This is actually one of the first times I’ve ever seen a private commercial enterprise build their facility specifically to ward against a particular Bad Event. Interesting.

Dan’s Depot 2.0 – Some New Changes Coming in 2015

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We get a lot of folks asking what we have been up to for the last 6 months. So here is a quick update with some exciting news.

Online Retail Opening Soon!

shoppingcartIt’s been over a year since we have had our online store open for business. So we are excited to get things going again. We love selling survival gear.  We just weren’t happy with the quality of the products available through our distributors. Over the past year we have found better distributors and partners to work with. So you can expect high quality gear at affordable prices.





Faster Shipping


Dan’s Depot is a small, family run business. We love to keep our customers happy, but sometimes we would get swamped with orders. We have streamlined our shipping process, and now we ship faster then ever. Even if things get crazy, we are able to scale the process to match the order volume.


Gear Reviews and Giveaways

esee knives

Our readers let us know how much they love our gear reviews and giveaways. We want to continue doing those and do them more often.





Survival Training

Survival Training

Survival training has been key to our business since we started, and we don’t plan to stop anytime soon.  Craig Caudill from Nature Reliance School plans to continue his long relationship with us. You can expect Craig to pop in from time to time with great content and offer expert gear reviews.




Family Focus


It seems like every week there is some new TV show about self-reliance that promotes a lone wolf mentality. That all you need is a bug-out-bag and a Bear Grylls knife, and you can survive almost anything. That’s not what we promote at Dan’s Depot. We believe that the best way to prepare for any disaster is to build a tribe. A tribe could be family, friends, or any group of people who decide to work together for their survival. Our goal is to help you know how to build your tribe and how that tribe can thrive in any survival situation. On our website we will refer to this new section as the Dan’s Family.

Thanks for being part of the Dan’s Depot community. We look forward to these exciting new changes in the upcoming weeks.


Dealing With Dead Bodies When the SHTF

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Dead Bodies SHTF

It Is Something We Have To Think About Once the SHTF

It may be something we have to deal with during any crisis, and let us all hope it is not someone we know, or is a family member. That being said, there are precautions that we will have to take to protect ourselves against the spread of diseases caused by dead bodies.

You not only have to deal with the physical effects, but with the psychological effects on you and others, as well.

First, How Did They Die

Scavengers, insects, and diseases are a major concern, when there are dead bodies present, not to mention the actual cause of death. Was it murder, or accident or are there biological, or chemical contaminates to worry about?

In other words, if you approach the scene of death are you in danger from the very things that killed the person. Will you contact a disease or encounter a four legged predator lurking in the area.

Depending on the crisis it may be evident how they died. If there were a chemical or nuclear attack on your city or town, then cause of death may be obvious in many cases. An earthquake, flood, or wildfire will cause many fatalities, and again the cause may be readily apparent. Then again, it may not be, so you do have to consider other possibilities to make sure you do not succumb to the same fate.

If the person was killed by someone else, and not due to the crisis, is that person there, did they bobby trap the scene. Are you next? Is the site itself the cause? Are there chemicals leaking, which may have been caused by the calamity, are there poisonous gases, or some biological contaminates nearby. These questions should be running through your mind if you come upon a dead body during a crisis.

Handling and Disposal

In years past, before embalming was a common practice, the families of the recently deceased held services in their homes, and then usually buried the person after a day or even two of viewing and usually in a family plot.

In some cases, if the person did not have a family, the community itself buried the body in a local cemetery or even church yard. There were not as many, if any at all, organized services such as there is today, so every person, from children on up faced the task of dealing with dead bodies.

There, of course, are several reasons for doing it quickly as you can imagine, so we will not needlessly become graphic here. The point is bodies start decomposing immediately after death.

Most pathogens require a living host, so disease is not as big of a concern, but still a concern nonetheless, if the person has been dead for a week let’s say. The pathogens find either a new host after the body dies or they die with the host body.

Bodies can of course, contaminate water sources, and this is something that has to be handled quickly and properly. During the Middle Ages when the Black Death (bubonic plague) raged unabated corpses infected with the plague were used as biological weapons. The bodies and their excrement were sometimes catapulted over castle walls, put in water sources, or left close to encampments of opposing forces to infect the fighters and civilians alike (CDC, n.d.).

Corpses have to be handled carefully, because the risk of infectious disease is there for days after the body dies.

Wear gloves, rubber boots, face protection and body protection. In the case of extremely contagious diseases you can disinfect the body, as is the practice for Ebola victims for example. The corpses cannot sneeze or cough but you still want your eyes, nose, and mouth protected, and you certainly do not want any bodily fluids making contact with any cuts or abrasions on your skin, or getting in your eyes, nose, or mouth.

In The Ground or Fire

If there are not mobile morgues or refrigeration available then the bodies need to be buried or cremated quickly. It simply is not acceptable in most people’s minds in a modern society to allow bodies to lie in the streets to be picked over by predators. They have to be dealt with, and you have to have the mental capacity to handle the task.

Rally others together to help, the community may be devastated, but those living must live on, and the first step is proper treatment of those that have died. It may come down to just you in some cases, dealing with dead neighbors and strangers near or on your own property.

It takes several hours and roughly 2000° F to reduce a body to ashes. The ability to dispose of a body in this manner is not something you would likely have in a SHTF scenario. Simply setting a house on fire with bodies inside is not enough. The corpse after the fire would still have to be dealt with.

Cremation is now an accepted practice in many cultures, which has actually been around for hundreds if not thousands of years. At one time in Europe it was done in the hopes of stopping the spread of diseases.

Burial in the ground is the best option, while at the same time, the most difficult to accomplish. One or even two bodies would not be a problem, but dozens would be, because either you would have to dig a mass grave, or individual ones. Either way the task would be monumental.

Family members may have something to say about how you handle the body of their loved ones. Is there any family alive, who are the dead people, and should you try to mark the graves and try to identify them? No one can answer these questions now. We simply do not know what we would do.

This article assumes that society has broken down and that law and order as we once knew is absent. It would take a nationwide if not worldwide catastrophe to cause this to happen, but if it does happen, you will have to deal with the corpses of friends, family, and strangers alike.

Do what you know is right, based on your upbringing, culture, and even religious beliefs, and in the absence of any of that, then deal with the bodies for practical reasons.

It would be a daunting task for anyone, but it must be done to ensure you can go on living. Brace yourself psychologically, and deal with it quickly, because the alternatives are not something you want to deal with down the road as it were, so step up and do what has to be done.

Your community, your property would be overrun with predators, diseases and pests like rats, and any number of insects, if you do not deal with the problem quickly. Nature would take its course, but it would be a long course, and not something you would want to witness.

CDC. (n.d.). Retrieved 2015, from

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Underground Bunkers: Are They Suitable For Long Term Survival?

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Underground Bunkers Long Term Survival

Going to ground, or underground as the case may be, has been a survival tactic since humans began roaming the earth. Underground is, and has been, the preferred way to protect humans from aerial bombs, radioactive fallout, from chemical attacks and even from certain biological contaminates. Underground bunkers however, are not perfect, and they are not for everyone.

Are They Suitable For Long Term Survival?

Today’s underground shelters, as they are called, are not your granddad’s bomb shelter that was popular during the cold war era. Even though the bomb shelters constructed during the 1950’s and placed in the backyard were touted as long term shelter options, they really were not for long term survival however. The shelters were designed to shield the family or a group during bombing raids and from nuclear fallout.

The waste management system was a bucket and special bags, or chemicals, and gas masks would have been used to protect you from airborne contaminates. The only food and water available was what you had stockpiled. Canned water and canned rations were the staples. Spam on crackers anyone, the food had to be shelf stable, and at the time canned foods were essentially the only option.

If you have the money and the real estate today, you can build or have built an underground bunker that could in theory, sustain you for years. You can even buy a bunker apartment for when the SHTF. The underground living communities are self sustaining however.

The bunker cities would have hydroponic growing systems, air purification filters, oxygen generating systems, and UV lights in place to purify the air. The bunkers would have their own power plants, food production and waste management systems.

The biggest problem would be fuel for the power generators, because you cannot rely on one method only. Solar is fine as long as there is sunlight, but what happens if a volcano erupts and the ash cloud blocks the sun’s rays.

Wind power is another option, but maintenance is a problem, as well as lack of wind, and the systems of course would have to be above ground, creating another dilemma, because someone would have to suit up and go outside with wrench in hand.

Wells could be under the bunker along with special septic systems to handle the waste. A certain amount of the garbage generated would probably be incinerated in some of the larger underground bunker communities, and/or there may be composting going on to break down the organic waste so it could be incorporated into the hydroponics system. Everything we take for granted today has to be incorporated in the bunker.

You cannot live for long anywhere without a food and water system in place to sustain you, and that system must be renewable for long term survival.

A so-called stay put shelter would be cost prohibitive for most people, and it would be impossible to build one without neighbors and local authorities knowing about it. Security once a disaster does strike is an important consideration. If everyone knows you have a state-of-the-art stand alone stay put shelter, you may get a few knocks on the door during a crisis.

Most of us do not have to worry about self-sustaining or renewable sources right now. The grocery stores and farmers take care of that for us, but when the stores are shuttered and the wheat and corn fields are charred and the soil contaminated, what would you do, what would we all do.

It doesn’t matter how much money you spend on a bunker. If you run out of food and water and do not have a way of replenishing vital supplies then what do you have.

Determine Your Need Then Decide

An underground bunker, properly constructed, would protect you from a nuclear blast provided you were in the bunker before the blast. However, if a nearby city was bombed then you move to the bunker for protection from the radioactive fallout.

Having a bunker that is accessible from inside your home is ideal, but this would require considerable planning and complicated construction methods. Having a bunker at your bug-out-location is fine as long as you can get there. However, if the bunker is 200 miles away and a nuclear blast occurs between you and your bunker, where does that leave you?

You would have to be able to get to any shelter during an attack and of course the closer the better. The bunker apartments that some companies offer may afford you the protection needed, but you still have to get there during an attack.

A bunker would protect you from a tornado and some homes in areas prone to tornados have special bunkers or rooms just for protection from a tornado. However, a traditional tornado shelter is only designed for a few hours of occupancy.

Would an underground bunker protect you from a wildfire? One may, but for how long. The air filtration system could be overwhelmed quickly, and the fire may very well destroy any above ground power generating systems. Soil does trap heat so the depth of the bunker is important as well.

A bunker would not provide much protection from an earthquake, but it is possible that after the earthquake you could use it as a shelter. You could be trapped in one however, because of the damage created if you ran to it during the initial shock waves. Aftershocks could buckle the entrance/exit or topple trees or buildings preventing you from exiting, or the earthquake may even heave the bunker out of the ground.

Underground bunkers would not offer much protection from a flood and the water could even cause your bunker to float to the surface. Of course, much depends on the bunker. You would have to have one constructed with specific disasters in mind, because each one requires specific construction methods to ensure they can withstand the crisis and protect you.

Bunkers would protect you from civil unrest as long as there is not a targeted attack against the bunker. Solar panels, wind turbines, and any power generating systems above ground could be vandalized. You could be “starved out” as well, while this would be extreme, it is something that is a possibility if you come under siege.


Only one way in and out is counter to any sensible security measures. The exit could be blocked due to the disaster or blocked by someone or a group, thus, trapping you inside. The entrance/exit could be breached, as well, allowing others inside, and if you only had one door in and out, then you have problems. Ideally you would have a backdoor, as well as, an emergency escape hatch.

Having the means to monitor the exits from inside the bunker would be sensible but costly. You could check for hazards before opening the hatch, so having a camera system in place would be ideal.

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Lights Out, The Vulnerabilities of the Power Grid to Attack

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lights outTed Koppel has never been one of my favorite news people, as a long time anchor for Nightline; I have always felt that he was part of the liberal media that has so hurt this country.  However, he has recently earned a bit of respect from me, because of his new nonfiction book “Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath”.

Ted Koppel who is an investigative reporter investigated the vulnerability of the US power grid to an attack.  In Lights Out Koppel makes the case that the U.S. electric grid is extremely vulnerable to collapse due to cyber warfare, EMP attack, or solar flare (CMP).  He came to the conclusion that a major attack on America’s power grid is not only possible but also likely.  He found that the U.S. Government is completely unprepared due to a variety of economic and political reasons.

Imagine a blackout lasting not days, but weeks or months.  Millions of people over many states are affected.  For those without access to a generator, there is no refrigeration or light.  The sewage systems will cease to function.  Gasoline is not available and even if it is, your car may not run.  Food and medical supplies are running out.  Cell phones and electronic devices have ceased to function. Banks no longer function, looting is widespread, and law and order are being tested as never before.  If you have read the novel One Second After, Koppel agrees that this is a likely scenario.

Lights Out is organized into three parts.  The first part looks into the vulnerability of our power grids to a catastrophic attack.  The majority of the experts interviewed by Koppel conceded that someone who has the right skills and knowledge can damage our power grids so that multiple states and their millions of residents can be simultaneously knocked off from the grid for a very long time.  This could be a year or more, depending on how quickly replacements for damaged grid components can be manufactured.  Many of the large transformers are no longer manufactured in the U.S. and a number are manufactured in China.

Part Two, Lights Out poses the following question : What has our government been doing to deal with this possibility of a catastrophic cyber or other attack on our power grids?  While a few in our government seem to be aware of the problem, no one seems to be doing anything to prevent it.  “It’s not a question of if,” says Centcom Commander General Lloyd Austin“, it’s a question of when. Koppel makes clear, the federal government, while well prepared for natural disasters, has no plan for the aftermath of an attack on the power grid.  FEMA is not prepared to respond to such a attack.  Do not expert help from the government when one occurs.

Part Three examines the efforts of individuals and some communities to become self-reliant when it comes to disaster preparedness.  In Lights Out he discusses the efforts of the nation’s approximately 3 million preppers and some community and religious organizations.  Koppel spent some time in Salt Lake City studying the Mormon Church preparedness plan.  Koppel said of his visit to Utah. “Quite literally, you have an organization that is capable of producing food, processing food and transporting food to the degree that it really amounts to an almost governmental-like organization — except more efficient.”  He suggested that we could all do some of the basic things that the Mormon’s do, including “establishing a minimum of a two- to three-month supply of food and water, setting aside extra money for an emergency, and building relationships with the community where people could share their skills and resources”.

Now I know that most of you are aware of the problem and are working on preparing yourselves to deal with it when it occurs.  But Lights Out may be a good nonfiction book to share with your friends and relations that still have their head buried in the sands.  If you look at the right hand side of this page you will see a list of categories.  Open the one called EMP and it will take you to everything I have written on this subject.  Hopefully this information will help you, your friends and families.



The post Lights Out, The Vulnerabilities of the Power Grid to Attack appeared first on Preparedness Advice Blog.

Nuclear Power Is The Most Unreliable of Electricity Sources And Requires 100% Rolling Reserve At All Times

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I make this large claim based upon REALITY.

I make this claim BECAUSE the nuclear industry, armed with a $1.4 Billion dollar budget to send propaganda our way to try to keep their challenged industry alive, states that solar and wind is no good because it is too unreliable and requires too much backup.
stock here

Unplanned scrams (emergency full shutdown at a nuclear plant is called a “scrams”) come at any time of day or night, and require instantaneous 100% backup.

Losing this type of large supply can drop the voltage and frequency on the grid, and since many types of power generation is “inductive” meaning that they can only follow a known good electricity wave form, if the waveform (voltage, frequency, and sinusoldial shape) is not good, they are programmed to drop off, i.e. shut down.  

So if the grid drops out because of of losing the nuke plant supply (wide area blackout) ….and the nuke plant gensets don’t start….then we are into nuclear meltdown mode. Again, like TMI, Three Mile Island, nicknamed “They Melted It” like ice cream in the sun.

So 100% backup required for the full capacity of each nuclear plant, and instantaneous.   Instantaneous means that it is required more quickly than even rolling reserve.    That requires a shared “diversity” of power sources throughout the grid.    And say you have 3 or 4 nuclear plants serving an area, you need to do more than just back up one nuclear plant, you must back up all the nuclear plants, since the factors that take down one nuclear can confound to take down all the nuclear. 

So lots of small generation (PV solar and wind is good!) to help feed the matrix of the grid, thus cushioning the impact of the nuclear plant tripping out instantaneously.

  • =================================
  • Paid troll at big story

    and how often do those scrams happen? Are they more or less common than say times of low wind?

    stock well: Well I would say from the structure of your question, your slant to promote nuclear and pot shot wind is clear.    Nevertheless you deserve a response. 

    Sadly, on average, nuclear plants have an emergency requiring a complete and immediate shutdown about ONCE PER YEAR per plant

    Some nuke plants are much more dangerous

    Which bring us to the concept of diversity.   Diversity simple says that not all sources are producing at a given time, and not all users are consuming at a given time, but when you have a wide variety of producers, say solar, wind, geothermal, sometime hydro, the average supply into the grid is much smoother than an individual supply.    That’s a good thing for solar and wind, and the more the better. 

    I established my company career on the cutting edge of solar in Hawaii.     Seeing it rise from a “nice idea” to a powerful force that took so much power (literally and figuratively) away from the utility and the various governmental bodies that benefit legally and illegally from the utility, that large forced were brought to bear to kill “citizen owned solar” and replace it with monopoly owned solar.

    Even during this process, I was a skeptic on how well the “aging grid” would handle a lot of solar and wind.    I thought at 5% we would start to see problems and require some proactive solutions.

    Per Wikipedia link above

    According to Benjamin K. Sovacool, most studies critiquing solar and wind energy look only at individual generators and not at the system wide effects of solar and wind farms. Correlations between power swings drop substantially as more solar and wind farms are integrated (a process known as geographical smoothing) and a wider geographic area also enables a larger pool of energy efficiency efforts to abate intermittency.[40]

    Sovacool says that previously intermittent sources such as wind and solar can displace nuclear resources.[40]

    Solar and wind have effectively no CO2 production, although I won’t even agree with the Carbon Meme which even the Pope is not promoting, even though science does not support it.

    But the promoters of nuclear —-well just watch

    hilarious how the nukists keep on playing the CO2 card. CO2 is an indicator of other pollutants, but is not in fact a “pollutant”, its helps plants grow better.
    But it boggles the mind how the producers of the most dangerous substances on earth (nuclear waste of which their is no solution) trot out a non pollutant as an excuse for their own existence, which is no longer economic.

    • You’ve never heard of LFTR have you? Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors? I recommend you research this kind of reactor and learn how it takes nuclear waste and destroy it.

      • Yes I have heard of LFTR
        1) No real working model, no track history of operation in commercial environment.
        2) Complete rubbish that “it destroys it”. It takes some of the longer lived waste 10,000 to 10,000,000 years and turn SOME of it into waste that only goes away by half in 300 years… it takes 3000 years to pretty much completely go away.
        We need to solve some serious issues in the next decade and two, or the human race will be gone within 100 years if not sooner.

      The erratic nature of wind/solar has to be compensated “real-time” by fossil-fuel power stations operating in back-up mode, consuming more fuel than they would otherwise.
      Nuclear is our best carbon-free option.

      • The diversity of the grid is actually amazingly good, and smooth supply variances can be simplistically predicted by a few data points of wind and solar insolation of which the data transmission ability is already present at nearly no cost. Other supply sources can thus be strategically ramped up and down (load following) in a very energy efficient way.
        But not nuclear, one of the great weaknesses of nuclear during regular operation is that it is not at all good at load following.

    What Are the Best Spyderco Knives?

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    What Are the Best Spyderco Knives?

    When I first started doing knife reviews, I did so many Spydercos you’d think that’s pretty much all I owned. Truth be told, both Elise and I are Spyderco fanatics to the max, and while we do have a great deal of knives from other companies nowadays, we absolutely always have a soft spot for… Read More

    This is just the start of the post What Are the Best Spyderco Knives?. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

    What Are the Best Spyderco Knives?, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

    EDC: Get yourself a good water bottle

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    What’s the big deal? Just buy a bottle of water on the go, right? Well, no.
    First, even if you mostly move around in urban areas and can buy bottles of water whenever you feel the need, this can become a pretty wasteful habit. Wasteful regarding waste of money, money that could be put to good use elsewhere, wasteful also regarding the environment. I’m no tree-hugger, but I can see how regularly buying disposable containers is a pretty wasteful thing to do.
    I consider water to be one of the most critical yet most often overlooked EDC components. Basically everything else people EDC, knives, guns, flashlights, even wallet and mobile phones, you could honestly get by without for several hours, even several days and not die. The same cannot be said about water. You will need water in the next few hours. In our permissive environment, we simply lost perspective of how precious a resource it truly is. But you need water. You need to drink it, you need it to clean wounds, wash your face after a disaster, wash debris out of your eyes or soak a hat or rag to cool down or prepare a tea or coffee when cold.
    Then there’s the container. A good water bottle is much stronger than those disposable ones. It can be refilled time and again for many years. With the right container you could even cook safely in it. When aboriginal societies in some isolated parts of the world are exposed to modern technologies, one of the things that amazes them the most and they themselves find the most useful is a container that can withstand fire and isn’t brittle or fragile like their clay or wooden containers. For those that are forced to survive in the wilderness for extended periods of time, several decades even, containers that they can both cook and carry liquids in are the thing they miss the most.
    Choosing the Right Water bottle
    As some of you already know, I recently relocated from Ireland to the south of Spain. During that transition a thing that got left behind was my water bottle. During those last few days everything was this whirlwind of preparations and at the last minute I just didn’t have any room for it. In hindsight I could have tried to get in along with my carry-on luggage, but given how tight airplane regulations are I decided to just leave the heavily dented steel bottle and just get a new one later on. Oh, did I regret that decision!
    Not a day had gone by that I wish I had my old Klean Kanteen with me. I got by refilling used water bottles but it sure was a pitiful replacement. I walked into several outdoor stores but none had the kind of bottle I was looking for. Either the design wasn’t right, or the bottle wasn’t marked as BPA free. I saw a few SIGG water bottles but after seeing first-hand how the interior liner chipped and peeled off into a toxic gunk I wasn’t going to buy one of those again. Some of the bottles out there were aluminium with no liner of any kind. Those you want to avoid as much as the SIGGs.
    I ended up ordering three types of bottles online. A generic steel water bottle, Nalgene and Klean Kateen. The cheap generic one had no markings and the cap said nothing about being BPA free. The Klean Kanteen and the Nalgene, these last two are the ones I most definitely recommend.

    Nalgene Wide Mouth Bottle (Clear, 1-Pint)

    Nalgene Wide Mouth Bottle (Clear, 1-Pint) $8.62

    Nalgene water bottles are rightfully one of the most popular options. They are light but durable. Even though they are made of plastic, the material is much thicker than an ordinary water bottle and you can immediately tell when you pick one up that these bottles made in USA can take a beating. They are reasonably priced as well, making it easier to buy several for kits and different family members. My advice would be to buy clear transparent ones. These allow you to use sunlight to treat water with UV (SODIS). 6hs of direct sunlight can kill harmful bacteria according to the World Health Organization.
    Klean Kanteen

    Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Bottle with Loop Cap

    Klean Kanteen Classic 27-Ounce Stainless Steel Bottle With Loop Cap $17.75

    These are my preferred bottles. Its steel, not likely to break, and it simply doesn’t degrade like plastic as years go by. For getting bumped around in my EDC bag or my kid’s school bag this is the way to go. You can heat them as much as you want for sterilizing, if necessary you could even boil water or cook in it in an emergency. Long dessert spoons can usually fit through the models with wide mouths, opening several new options for EDC or minimalistic backpacking. The sport cap works better than most of the other similar designs I’ve seen. So far it does not leak, but I still prefer the classic loop cap which is BPA free and extremely durable. I was happy with the 18oz model but now in a warmer region I went with a 27 oz model. It still fits nicely in most of my bags and I have enough water for the day even in warmer days.

    Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

    52 Weeks Savings Plan: November is full of deals

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    52 weeks savingsIf you are a bargain shopper, then November is probably your favorite month. The month begins and ends with holiday deals and it features a weekend dedicated to sales – Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday.

    November’s main holiday is Thanksgiving (Nov. 26), but also features Election Day (3), Veterans Day (11), Children’s Day (20) and the start of advent (Nov. 29).

    Take some time at the beginning of this month to set aside a holiday gift plan and budget. Then, if you see some deals on gifts you want to buy, you can save money.

    Grocery and food deals

    At the beginning of November, you can stock up on candy for the entire year for cheap as Halloween items go on sale. As stores stock up for the Thanksgiving holidays, you should be able to find deals on turkey, baking supplies (sugar, flour, baker’s chocolate, chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk), pie crusts and ready-made dough, frozen pies, marshmallows, nuts, cheese, butter and turkey. You can also find deals on gravy, stuffing, potato and cranberry mixes .There will be deals both before and after the holiday on these items, so think about stocking up for your Christmas and New Year’s festivities when you find these items on sale. Spices, nuts, dried fruit, oatmeal and soup are also November food deals and these items are great for stocking up on for food storage.

    In November, produce in season are: apples, artichokes, arugula, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, clementines, cranberries, garlic, kale, lettuce, onions, pears, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, squash, sweet potatoes, turnips. Many of these items can be frozen, canned or dehydrated. For the Survival Mom’s tips on long-term food storage here are instructions for doing that.

    Thrive Life’s Black Friday Sale

    One event that thousands of people look forward to ever  year are the huge savings that Thrive Life offers during their famous Black Friday sale. I’ve seen a preview of their biggest discounts and you won’t want to miss it!

    Get to know Thrive Life at this link.

    And, if you want to receive an alert and sales flyer with information about this event, just email your request to, and you won’t miss a thing!

    Household items

    To go along with the holiday cooking sales, items like aluminum foil, plastic wrap and disposable baking pans and liners should be on sale. Cookware also goes on sale in November. These can be a great item to stock up on for presents.

    Halloween costumes, decoration, paper goods and baking sets will be on sale the first few days of the month. Costumes make for great presents for children who like to dress up. Some Halloween items can be used very creatively – read more here. Holiday gift sets and candles are some other gift ideas you can find deals on this month.

    You’ll start seeing deals on baby products and toys in November, along with leftover summer shoes and wedding gear. Tools, carpeting and flooring will see discounts as people think about indoor home improvement projects.

    Large appliances and kitchen items will be on sale since cooking is a big theme for the upcoming holidays and the stores are hoping to draw you in with sales on those items.

    For electronics, camcorders, GPS navigation systems, TVs, DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs are on sale. Camcorders can be great for providing an inventory of your home’s items for insurance purposes (make sure the time/date stamp is correct). DVDs and Blu-Rays can make for great presents if you find great deals.

    Outdoor items on sale

    November can be a great time to plant trees in some locations and you can find trees, shrubs and bulbs on sale, along with some gardening gear if stores have any left. Outdoor furniture can be on deep discount, too.

    Gas and charcoal grills are on sale and are a great way to cook if you lose power. Make sure to keep a propane tank full or have charcoal on hand if you do plan to use that in an emergency situation.

    You can find discounts on bicycles, and they are a great way to bug out if your vehicle or the roads are disabled. They are on sale this month. See if you can find bike trailers to help hold supplies to take with you.

    Black Friday Deals and Tips

    You can’t talk about November without talking about Black Friday. Look for many gift items being marked down the weekend of Black Friday. Some of the main items that you will see every year are video games, movies, TVs, gift sets, clothing, winter gear and kitchen appliances. Stores will often have items that are on a deep discount for certain hours of the day.

    It is not smart to go out shopping on Black Friday without a plan. If you do plan to go out, check the ads out online or in the newspaper on Thanksgiving, compare the ads with things you already know you want to buy and make a list of where you want to go. Set a budget and a time constraint. Try not to buy something you don’t need just because it’s a great deal.

    Black Friday deals can be great for preparedness supplies on top of household items and gifts. If you take the time to take stock of what you have on hand and what you still need to be prepared for emergencies, you can add those items to your list of things to look for on sale.

    If you don’t feel like going out on Black Friday, there is also Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday where you can support local business or shop from home in your pajamas and still find great deals.

    November outings

    Travel is only going to get more expensive as each day passes now. At some point, if you want to travel over the holidays, you may decide a road trip is more feasible for your budget. Here are 13 Tips to Survive Family Road Trips  and things to think about if you were to get stuck in your car for a while. One big way to save money on a road trip is to pack your own food and stock back up at grocery stores instead of eating at restaurants.

    Weddings get cheaper in the fall and winter as most people try to have spring and summer weddings. We personally got a great deal for our honeymoon stay at a 5-star resort because it was a few days before Christmas and it was their slow season.

    Fourth graders and their families can benefit from a free pass to any National Park by visiting The pass is good until Aug. 31, 2016.

    November events

    November is Child Safety Month, National Adoption Awareness Month, National Novel Writing Month and Peanut Butter Lovers Month.

    Some stores and restaurants like to participate in specific special days, so keep an eye out for deals on the following days:

    Nov. 2 – Deviled Egg Day

    Nov. 3 – Sandwich Day

    Nov. 7 – Book Lovers Day

    Nov. 15 – America Recycles Day

    Nov. 17 – Homemade Bread Day

    Nov. 19 – Great American Smokeout

    Nov. 25 – National Parfait Day

    Winter tips

    This is also the time of year when food and toy drives kick off. There are many people in need around us. If you find a good deal, it can be a good idea to pass it along to someone who needs it more.

    As we move into winter, it’s a good time to do a walk around of your house and look for any repairs that need to be done before it gets too cold. Check on insulation, heating fuel for winter and a furnace tune-up. Consider hanging up hooks for Christmas decorations and Christmas lights (you don’t have to turn them on yet) before the temperatures get bitter cold. There are two months left to make deposits in retirement accounts, decide how to spend health savings account money and make donations for a tax write-off.


    By the end of November, you should have $1,128 saved if you’re following the 52 Weeks Savings Plan (47 weeks). Don’t get discouraged if you’re not there yet. Putting away anything you have extra is an accomplishment in itself. Compare what you have now to what you have when you got started and be proud! Keep focusing every day on the things you can do and enjoy while keeping your long-term goal in sight.

    Take advantage of November’s deals and enjoy summer. Come back next month to see what deals December offers to help you save AND prepare!

    The Top 50 Non-Food Stockpile Necessities

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    Be honest. When you think about a stockpile, the first thing that comes to mind is food, right?

    Preppers are well-known for having a stash of long-term food to sustain them through anything from a winter storm that leaves them stranded for a week to the end of the world, but there’s a lot more to a good stockpile than edible items.  Think about the things you use on a regular basis that you purchase from the store. Personal hygiene items, school supplies, cleaning supplies – the list goes on and on of consumable goods that you use without really thinking about it.

    Ever since my kids were little, I’ve always kept a stockpile of these types of goods. And there have been occasions in my life that I was very grateful to have them on hand.  When I was unemployed for a few months, I didn’t have to run to the store to get day-to-day items, nor did I have to do without. I was able to simply go shopping in the pantry and meet my family’s needs. Because of this, we survived a stressful situation without the added stress of not having the things we needed to live comfortably.

    How to get a good deal on non-food stockpile items

    Shopping for non-food stockpile items is much like shopping for your grocery stockpile. It’s essential that you get the best deal you can. If the deal is really epic, sometimes I stock up on brands that we don’t really use so that I have some items on hand for a friend who may have fallen on hard times. A gift of health-and-beauty supplies would be very welcome to someone who has lost a job or otherwise fallen on hard times.

    • Watch the flyers. Sometimes these types of items are loss-leaders, which means the store will be selling them at a loss in the hope that you’ll buy some of their more overpriced merchandise.
    • Buy in bulk. Sometimes you can get a good deal by purchasing items in quantity. Places like Costco, Amazon, and Winco often sell non-food supplies in packs of 3, 6, or 24.  Be sure to do the math and confirm that you’re really saving money, though. Sometimes they can be tricky.
    • Hit the dollar store or clearance store.  I get lots of great stuff at our local Grocery Outlet, part of a chain. They sell lots more than groceries and often have organic brands of health and beauty aids for a fraction of the price that the boutique stores charge. The dollar store can also be a good source for certain items. Take care not to get something of terrible quality that won’t really work, though.
    • Clip coupons. If you’re a coupon-er, good deals can often be found on high quality, name brand items.

    Add these items to your non-food stockpile

    Your expanded stockpile will save you time, money, and stress. When you have a well-provisioned home, you can meet most situations with aplomb. Scenarios that would have other people scrambling to provide the basic necessities for their family will hardly register as a blip on your radar.

    You can click the links to find reasonably priced options for some items.

    1. Soap (At the time of publication this was less than 50 cents per bar)
    2. Laundry products (or the ingredients to make your own)
    3. Shampoo and Conditioner
    4. Disposable razors
    5. Band-Aids
    6. First Aid supplies
    7. Calamine lotion
    8. Dish soap
    9. Feminine hygiene items
    10. Toilet paper
    11. Paper towels
    12. Baby wipes (even if you don’t have a baby!)
    13. Shower gel
    14. Cosmetics if you use them
    15. Coconut oil (This is SO multipurpose!)
    16. Peroxide (The dollar store and Wal-Mart usually have the best prices for this.)
    17. Rubbing alcohol (The dollar store and Wal-Mart usually have the best prices for this, too.)
    18. Hand sanitizer
    19. Bleach
    20. White vinegar
    21. Cleaning supplies
    22. Garbage bags
    23. Kitty litter (for emergency sanitation)
    24. Pet food
    25. Flea and tick medication for pets
    26. Essential oils
    27. Lotion and moisturizer
    28. Sunscreen
    29. Extra filters and parts for your water filtration device
    30. Spare parts for important equipment like canners or tools
    31. Matches
    32. Lighters (These were 33 cents apiece at the time of publication)
    33. Long-burning candles
    34. Batteries (This is a great deal)
    35. Stationary/school/office supplies
    36. Lip balm
    37. Toothbrushes and toothpaste
    38. Sewing/mending supplies
    39. Hair elastics (ask any female with long hair how necessary these are! In a pinch, I’ve been known to use a zip-tie to keep my hair back)
    40. Over-the-counter remedies for common ailments like heartburn, nausea, congestion, coughing, and pain relief
    41. Insect repellant
    42. Deodorant (We usually use homemade or an expensive natural brand, but I still keep this on hand.)
    43. Duct tape
    44. Paper plates and disposable cutlery (in the event of a water shortage)
    45. Tin foil (good for more than hats)
    46. Ziplock bags in a variety of sizes
    47. Cotton balls and cotton swabs
    48. Hardware like nails and screws for emergency repairs
    49. Vitamins
    50. Ammo…duh!!!

    What non-food items do you store?

    Do you also have a stockpile of non-food items? What do you keep on hand?  Share in the comments section below.

    The post The Top 50 Non-Food Stockpile Necessities appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

    Safe Queens

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    What is a safe queen? a moniker mostly used by collectors of knives and guns that are non users in order to keep them pristine for possible resale in the future. A fine idea in some respects, but not for me. Many years ago, I sold the last of any safe queens I had. For me, it was a waste of space and non use. If I have a knife or a gun it is to be used like any other tool. If it is so good, why not use it? Why keep the so called best in the shadows?

    Like any fine tool, the best are a delight to handle and use for the purpose they were intended for. If I need reliable then these are my choice for use. They do me no good in a hide just sitting looking pretty. A fine race horse is used for racing or breeding, but they’re used. Since I have never been able to breed a knife or a gun it leaves one option open to me, use them. Oh sure, I have a few knives and guns that have seen little use, but that has been dictated by the time I have available and human nature of “I’ll take this knife today” but I try and keep my mind open about which tool I will take on any given day, and is often dictated by what I foresee the chores that tool will be used for on any day in the bush. A good tool should last you a lifetime and ready to be handed down a few generations. I do, however, find myself picking up the same tool many times in a row, because I have bonded with it and already know how it feels to me. I do make a concentrated effort to break the habit of a certain tool choice just to expand my use of the tools at hand.

    Like many of you, I have way too many knives. And though they do not breed, it sure seems like at times they do so. My choices are myriad for any chosen craft I might be performing. I also like to experiment using a knife for achore it was not meant to be used for just to see if I can make it work for me. I have been surprised many times by how well a knife worked for me in a craft it was not intended for. For the most part, I am not a fan of large knives, but have more than a few. I have found many of them to be useful in areas I would normally use a smaller knife in, like for trap triggers, and they worked just fine. My own preference is to not chop with a large knife, as I carry a hatchet or a tomahawk. My hawk is a Vechawk. They will out chop any large knife. But this not about what the tool is… it is about using them.

    Revolt against “safe queens ” and put them to the work they were intended for. They will thank you by performing like the Kings they really are. Safe Queens are for the non outdoor crowd in my opinion. My opinion may not be shared by many of you, but this is really to get you thinking in a direction of use rather than as a passive collector.

    23,000 People Will Die This Year… And Never See Their Killer Coming

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    How to Survive the End of Modern Healthcare As We Know It

    hospital-surgical-teamAcross the United States, 23,000 people will die in the next 365 days.

    And they’ll never see their killer coming.

    Many of them will walk into their local hospital, expecting treatment for minor injuries like cuts or breaks… or routine procedures like colonoscopies or caesarean sections or day surgeries.

    And they’ll never walk out.

    Superbugs, stronger than any antibiotic we can throw at them, are spreading faster than we have the capacity to fight back. 2 million people will be infected in the United States this year alone. 23,000 will die.

    And similar death tolls are being reported around the world:

    25,000 in Europe this year.

    With an estimated 10 million deaths per year, globally, predicted by 2050 — more than the current global death totals from cancer.

    The situation has become so grim that in October 2015, the World Health Organization declared it “a global health crisis… the end of modern medicine as we know it.”

    The End of Modern Medicine As We Know It

    The glory days of antibiotics are over.

    Since penicillin was first prescribed 73 years ago, it has saved millions of lives.

    But now it’s clear, thanks to the unrestrained use of antibiotics, we’ve unwittingly helped nature breed dangerous strains of superbugs that are, quite literally, killing us.

    Our medical system is being driven back to the late 1800s – a time when simple infections kill. And health experts around the globe are beginning to panic, as they’re being backed into corners by strains of superbugs now immune to all known antibiotic treatments.

    Doctors are being forced to cut out infections, amputate, and, in worst case scenarios, watch their patients die slow, agonizing deaths.

    In October 2015, the World Health Organization went boldly on record, saying:

    “With few replacement products in the pipeline, the world is heading towards a post-antibiotic era in which common infections will once against kill.”

    – Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General, WHO

    Antibiotics have been prescribed as blanket cure-alls by doctors… demanded and popped like candy by the general populace for every sniffle, ache, and pain… and wildly abused by the agriculture industry to boost profits.

    And now the human race will pay the ultimate price for our heedless arrogance.

    Mother Nature Always Wins

    It’s survival of the fittest, a battle being waged at the microscopic level.

    And right now, Mother Nature is winning.

    All because bacteria, hundreds of millions of years old, evolve far too fast for medical science to keep up.

    Multi-year clinical trials of new antibiotics are laughable when battling a bacterial enemy that can exponentially reproduce in as little as four minutes.

    How do you fight back against a single bacteria that can multiply to one million cells in as little as seven hours? Passing along resistant traits to offspring with each new generation?

    More frightening still, scientists are seeing bacteria pass resistant traits between completely unrelated strains like trading cards. (Imagine a chameleon passing its survival skills to a monkey, and vice versa — in a single generation.)

    Bacteria are even arming against antibiotic threats they haven’t encountered yet!

    The ongoing use and abuse of antibiotics is quite literally teaching bacteria how to thrive in the presence of new antibiotics – creating superbugs. And now, too late, health and disease control organizations from around the world are sounding the alarm. Because too many of our medical advances are wholly dependent on antibiotics to fight and prevent infection.

    Lifesaving surgeries. Organ transplants. Chemotherapy.

    Death rates are predicted to skyrocket. Treatment options are vanishing.

    The Spreading Plague of Superbugs

    Every day, you’ll find new reports of superbugs snuffing out lives.

    The stories all sound eerily similar: a mom or child or friend goes to the doctor for routine medical care… becomes infected by a superbug… finds themselves fighting for their life… and, too often, loses the battle.

    A few recent stories include:

    “Melbourne footballer survives rare superbug which ‘ate’ his legs.”
    (Oct 19, 2015;

    “Superbug infection greatest increase in children ages 1-5”
    (Oct 20, 2015; Rush University Medical Center)

    “Surge in the number of cases of terrifying hospital superbug after NHS relaxes hygiene rules”
    (Sept 27, 2015;

    “‘Superbug’ Infection Could Cost NY Giants Player His Foot”
    (Oct 13, 2015; Scientific American)

    “Patient Infected With Superbug At Local Hospital Speaks Of His Ordeal”
    (Sept 21, 2015; CBS Los Angeles)

    “Superbug Virus 2015: CDC Warns Of New Antibiotic-Resistant Infection, An Emerging Threat”
    (Oct 7, 2015; Parent Herald)

    … The safety net of modern health care is clearly at risk.

    Take, for example, urinary tract infections (UTIs).

    Getting a UTI used to be “no big deal.” You’d get a diagnosis from your doctor, take the prescribed drug, and within 48 hours you’d be back to normal. Within a week you were usually cured.

    No longer.

    UTIs are quickly becoming resistant to most standard antibiotic treatments. Which means they’re resulting in life-threatening kidney infections… with deadly results.

    Other common superbugs that are rapidly spreading include:

    MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant form of Staph. Known to cause pneumonia and life-threatening blood infections, MRSA is easily picked up by patients in hospitals and care facilities. Controlling the spread is challenging.
    CRE (Carbapenem-resistant Enterbacteriaceae). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it kills almost 50% of hospital patients infected.
    C. diff (Clostridium difficile). It causes debilitating diarrhea, can eat through a patient’s bowels, and causes blood poisoning. C. diff spreads easily on bed rails, furniture, toilets, bedpans weight scales, medical equipment, etc.
    Shigella is a highly contagious bacteria brought back to the US by overseas travelers that’s now resistant to multiple strains of antibiotics. It easily spreads in public facilities — like pools.
    • An extensively drug-resistant form of highly contagious Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) has been identified in over 100 countries, in all regions of the world.
    • A drug-resistant form of Malaria is threatening to outpace global efforts to control an outbreak.

    And these are just a handful of the better-known risks.

    The list of superbugs with limited treatment options is growing. Quickly.

    The Cavalry Isn’t Coming

    And unfortunately, there’s no hero on the horizon to save us.

    It’s expensive to develop new antibiotics. It takes roughly 20 years to see a return on the investment, and some of these new drugs work for as little as six months before bacteria develop a resistance.

    So it should come as no surprise, fewer and fewer drug companies are investing in antibiotic research and development.

    Scientists are becoming increasingly concerned and pressuring governments to “do something.” So governments are trying to incentivize drug companies to “please take another look” with cash injections. But it’s business. And the few corporations willing to take the bribes aren’t moving fast enough.

    Roughly 50 new drugs were introduced in the 80s and 90s. Now, there are very few in the pipeline. And most drugs introduced since the year 2000 are modified versions of existing drugs, not new drugs.

    Plus, changes aren’t happening fast enough, on a global scale, to stem the tide of growing antibiotic resistance.

    As the World Health Organization has pointed out, we’re not reacting fast enough, on a global scale, to contain the spread of superbugs and antimicrobial resistance.

    The bacteria spread too easily, through poor sanitation, human error, inappropriate food handling, and more.

    At the most recent World Health Assembly held in Geneva (May 2015), the problem was declared:

    “A profound threat to human health.”

    This is, no doubt, an understatement.

    Learn To Save Yourself… And The Ones You Love

    So how do you protect yourself?

    And prepare for the predicted post-antibiotic era?

    There are a few steps you can take:

    1. Avoid the unnecessary use of antibiotics.
    This should go without saying… But don’t contribute to the global problem by using antibiotics if there is another treatment option available. Be proactive. Let your doctor know that you are concerned about antibacterial resistance. Encourage sparing use of prescription of drugs. Be part of the solution!

    2. Avoid purchasing meat treated with antibiotics.
    The overuse of antibiotics by large-scale livestock operations continues to be the largest single abuse of antibiotics worldwide. And while some will have you believe their meat, sold in stores, is free of antibiotics, this doesn’t address the issue that livestock treated with antibiotics contributes to the global problem of antibiotic resistance.

    (Plus you should be aware, in August 2015, a test by Consumer Reports showed that 18% of conventionally raised ground beef, purchased at stores across the United States, was tainted with bacteria resistant to three or more classes of antibiotics.)

    What’s the solution? Eat less meat. Raise your own meat. And when this isn’t practical, purchase locally where you can ask questions about the use of antibiotics.

    And if you’re a vegetarian, be aware that produce grown in animal manure from farms where antibiotics are administered may be contaminated with antibiotic resistant bacteria, too.

    3. Pay attention to where your food and water is coming from.
    Scientists are sounding the alarm, with recent evidence that our wastewater treatment plants may be a primary breeding ground for resistant bacteria.

    Antibiotics expelled from humans as well as farm run off create a survival-of-the-fittest scenario where superbugs can share resistant traits.

    So pay close attention to where your food and water is coming from:

    Where is the fertilizer used on your produce sourced? Did you know that “sludge” from wastewater treatment plants is being used as fertilizer for agriculture crops?
    What’s the water source? Again, water from rivers downstream of wastewater treatment plants is shown to be contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

    Wastewater treatment plants are a primary source of antibiotic release!

    4. Stay away from healthcare facilities where superbugs breed.
    Hospitals, doctors’ offices, care homes, and other patient intake facilities are the perfect breeding ground for superbugs. Human error and carelessness spreads bacteria within these facilities at an alarming rate.

    Avoid unnecessary exposure to bacteria in these facilities!

    This means not rushing into the doctor’s office at the first sign of a sniffle. Give your body’s immune system a chance to fight off the infection – without drugs.

    And STAY HEALTHY. Eat clean, unprocessed, local foods. Move your body. Remember, the healthcare system that kept your parents and grandparents alive will look very different as you age.

    (DISCLAIMER: Use common sense. If you’re having a serious medical emergency, a hospital visit may mean the difference between life and death.)

    5. Most important…

    Learn to treat yourself with herbal medicine!

    herbal-remedies-as-an-alternative-to-antibioticsWith major health organizations predicting death and disease levels comparable to those in the 1800s as superbugs continue to spread around the world, we need to be prepared to look after ourselves.

    This is when knowledge of herbal medicine once again becomes priceless.

    Because while it’s easy for bacteria to evolve and develop a resistance to single-compound antibiotics, it’s much harder for the same bacteria to outmaneuver the more complex compounds found in herbs.

    In herbals you’ll find between 200 and 2000 different compounds working together!

    Plants have evolved over hundreds of millions of years with their own combinations of antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and insecticidal compounds.

    So it only makes sense…

    … Ancient wisdom that uses combinations of natural herbals to treat infection can, in fact, be more effective than single-compound or even multi-compound antibiotics!

    And it’s for this reason, a group of us connected via The [GROW] Network are currently collaborating with some of the most knowledgeable herbalists in the United States to produce a lifesaving video series…

    … To teach people without any medical training how to treat common illnesses and injuries with herbal alternatives to antibiotics.

    And empower you!

    So that before death comes knocking…

    And before you are backed into a corner and forced to take someone you love into a superbug-plagued hospital because you didn’t know what to do…

    … You’ll have learned the secrets to using Mother Nature’s natural antibiotics and remedies to confidently treat simple health concerns at home. With herbals found or grown in your own neighborhood. Or, purchased from a local herbalist.

    If you’re interested, you can watch a preview of the movie here:

    Watch The Movie Trailer: “Treating Infections Without Antibiotics”

    We’re offering a series of generous gifts as “thank yous” to people who support our early efforts via this Indiegogo release.

    Sources for this article include:

    Antibacterial R&D Incentives

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: HAI Prevalence Study

    Cleaning up a breeding ground for antimicrobial resistance

    European Medicines Agency: Antimicrobial resistance

    Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System: Manual for Early Implementation

    How Safe Is Your Ground Beef?

    Insights into Antibiotic Resistance Through Metagenomic Approaches

    Jim O’Neill: Why antimicrobial resistance needs to be reviewed

    Just How Fast Can Bacteria Grow? It Depends. Proteomics Data Validate Model of Bacterial Growth

    Microbial Reproduction

    Multidrug-resistant Shigellosis Spreading in the United States

    New Superbug Infection Spikes Worry Nursing Homes, CDC

    Origins and Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance

    Taking on the Superbugs

    The Coming Cost of Superbugs: 10 Million Deaths Per Year

    The evolving threat of antimicrobial resistance: Options for action

    The Rise of Superbugs

    UTIs Are Getting Tougher To Treat

    White House announces plan to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria

    WHO Director-General addresses G7 health ministers meeting on antimicrobial resistance


    When You Lose Power For A Week And Temps Are Below Freezing

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    If you live in a climate where winter temperatures readily fall below freezing, you have special concerns (or at least you should) about what you would do if you lost power for a week. Your biggest concern will probably (rapidly) become HEAT, more specifically the lack thereof… What will you do? The foremost obvious answer […]

    5 Turmeric Tea Recipes That Decrease Inflammation

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    5 Turmeric Tea Recipes That Decrease Inflammation Nature can offer us lots of remedies for our pains and troubles, especially when we have a thorough knowledge of each plant’s benefits. But what about the lesser known plants and their healing powers? For instance, how many times have you used turmeric in your natural treatments? Turmeric …

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    The post 5 Turmeric Tea Recipes That Decrease Inflammation appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

    30 Items Every Prepper Should Carry When Traveling

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    30 Items Every Prepper Should Carry When Traveling - Backdoor Survival

    By Gaye Levy – Backdoor Survival

    This is the time of year when families travel to visit friends and relatives near and far.  When taking a road trip, it is easy to throw a bug-out-bag and extra food and clothing into the trunk of your car but what if you are traveling by air?  Not only do you have those pesky baggage weight limits to deal with, but you also have the scrutiny and probing eyes (and sometimes hands) of the TSA to avoid.

    Can you imagine what might happen if you showed up at the airport with a fully stocked survival kit?  I am being just a wee bit facetious but these days, you can never be too sure what will happen if someone decides to label you as a prepper.

    TSA notwithstanding, today I would like to share a reminder that no matter where you go, you should include some basic preps in your carry-on or in your check-through luggage so that no matter what, you will be prepared to deal with bumps along your journey.

    Continue reading at Backdoor Survival: 30 Items Every Prepper Should Carry When Traveling

    About the author:

    Gaye Levy started Backdoor Survival so that she could share her angst and concern about our deteriorating economy and its impact on ordinary, middle-class folks. She also wanted to become a prepper of the highest order and to share her knowledge as she learned it along the way. On Backdoor Survival you will find survival and preparedness tools and tips for creating a self-reliant lifestyle through thoughtful prepping and optimism.

    To read more from Gaye, visit her website, Backdoor Survival. You can also follow Gaye on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest or purchase her eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage on


    Filed under: Prepping

    One Of The Most Dangerous Volcanoes In North America Is Roaring To Life

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    Popocatepetl - from Wikipedia

    By Michael Snyder – End Of The American Dream

    More than 25 million people live in the vicinity of North America’s 2nd-highest volcano, and in recent weeks this volcano has been steadily rumbling and has been spewing out massive amounts of black smoke and ash.  I have previously written about “the most dangerous mountain in the United States” (Mt. Rainier), but if the volcano that I am talking about today experiences a full-blown explosive eruption it could potentially be a cataclysmic event beyond what most of us would dare to imagine.  Popocatepetl is an Aztec word that means “smoking mountain”, and it is also the name of a giant volcano that sits approximately 50 miles away from Mexico City’s 18 million residents.  “Popo”, as it is called by locals, was dormant for much of the 20th century, but it came back to life in 1994.  And now all of this unusual activity in recent weeks has many wondering if a major eruption may be imminent.

    Historians tell us that Popocatepetl had a dramatic impact on the ancient Aztecs.  Giant mud flows produced by massive eruptions covered entire Aztec cities.  In fact, some of these mud flows were so large that they buried entire pyramids in super-heated mud.

    But we haven’t witnessed anything like that in any of our lifetimes, so it is hard to even imagine devastation of that magnitude.

    In addition to Mexico City’s mammoth population, there are millions of others that live in the surrounding region.  Overall, there are about 25 million people that live in the immediate vicinity of Popocatepetl.  Thankfully, we haven’t seen a major eruption of the volcano in modern times, but at some point that will change.

    As most of you already know, Mexico sits on the “Ring of Fire” that stretches along the outer rim of the Pacific Ocean.  Over the past couple of years seismic activity throughout this area has started to really heat up, and according to Volcano Discovery there are dozens of volcanoes associated with the Ring of Fire that have recently erupted.

    That is why so many people are alarmed about the very unusual activity that we began to see from Popocatepetl starting in mid-September.  The following is from a report that was posted on September 23rd

    Continue reading at  End Of The American Dream: One Of The Most Dangerous Volcanoes In North America Is Roaring To Life

    Filed under: News/ Current Events, Volcanic Activity

    Volcanoes Today, 2 Nov 2015: Karymsky volcano, Dukono, Sinabung, Rinjani, Una Una

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    Explosion and pyroclastic flow at Sinabung on 31 Oct at 14:45 local time (image: Theger BM)

    Karymsky (Kamchatka): A stronger than average explosion was reported yesterday (13:10 GMT), generating an ash plume to 18,000 ft (5.4 km) altitude and extending SE(Tokyo VAAC).

    Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia):
    During the past days, explosions and pyroclastic flows – often occurring together – triggered by collapses of the lava dome have been more frequent and more intense than during most of the past months.
    The largest events produced ash columns reaching 4-5 km altitude and flows traveling up to 3-4 km length, in particular those on 29 Oct at 02:00 local time, 30 Oct at 09:15, and 31 Oct at 14:45.
    However, there are no signs that the rate lava extrusion itself, continuing at slow pace, has increased. It is more likely that the dome is in one of its recurring phases where enough lava has accumulated to produce increased instability, in turn resulting in more frequent collapse and explosion events.

    Rinjani (Lombok): The activity that had started a week ago continues. Explosions continue to produce small ash plumes from vents on the upper flank of the Barujari cinder cone inside the volcano’s caldera.

    Dukono (Halmahera):
    Intense ash emissions continue to be reported almost daily by VAAC Darwin. This morning, an ash plume at estimated 8,000 ft (2.4 km) altitude extended almost 100 km to the north.

    Una Una (North Sulawesi & Sangihe Islands):
    A recent period of volcanic unrest seems to be over. Seismic activity has decreased and VSI lowered its alert level back to green (normal) last week.

    Continue reading at Volcano Discovery: Volcanoes Today, 2 Nov 2015: Karymsky volcano, Dukono, Sinabung, Rinjani, Una Una

    Filed under: News/ Current Events, Volcanic Activity

    Western US to Face Chilly, Wet Start to November

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    By Brett Rathbun – AccuWeather

    A storm system will dive southward from the Northwest to the Southwest early this week, bringing rain, mountain snow and a shot of chilly air to the Western United States.

    A parade of storm systems has brought much-needed rain and higher-elevation snow to parts of the Northwest since Friday and will continue to do so into Monday.

    Rain amounts across Washington ranged between 1 to 4 inches across the state. Portland, Oregon, received more than 2 inches of rain since Friday.

    While the rain ruined some outdoor Halloween plans across the Northwest, the rain was a welcome sight as much of the region lies in a severe or extreme drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

    Continue reading at AccuWeather: Western US to Face Chilly, Wet Start to November

    Interactive Radar
    Current US Watches and Warnings
    El Nino to Shape November Weather in US: East to Warm as Chill Blasts West

    Filed under: Weather

    Magnetic Storm Watch, 5th Giant Planet | S0 News November 2, 2015

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    By Suspicious0bservers

    Published on Nov 2, 2015

    Our Book, OBSERVING THE FRONTIER (Digital Download – PDF)

    Observing the Frontier Conference:

    Solar Alerts on Twitter:

    Good Videos/Articles:
    The Sun is Going to Sleep:…
    Discussing Earthquakes with Kongpop:…
    Earth’s Magnetic Reversal:…
    Top 6 Climate Change Problems:…
    Pause on Pausing the Pause:…
    Sun Series:…
    STARWATER Article:
    S0 Notes on Solar Shutdown:…
    IPCC History:…

    Today’s Featured Links:
    5th Giant Planet:…

    Filed under: Climate, Earthquakes, Environment, News/ Current Events, Science, Space Weather, Volcanic Activity, Weather

    Todays Latest Earthquakes Worldwide Monday, 2 November 2015

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    Source: Volcano Discovery

    Earthquake list: past 24 hours (only M>=2.5) (130 quakes)

    Updated: Mon, 2 Nov 14:41 UTC (GMT)

    Time Mag. / Depth Nearest volcano (distance) Location Map Source
    Mon, 2 Nov (82 earthquakes)
    Mon, 2 Nov 14:31 UTC M 3.5 / 152.5 km – [info] (0 km) LOS SANTOS-SANTANDER


    Mon, 2 Nov 14:04 UTC M 2.6 / 1 km – [info] Coso (4 km) CENTRAL CALIFORNIA


    94070 / MMI VIII (Severe shaking): It woke me up at 6h15 am nov 2.2015 I woke up and my cat ran downstairs
    Mon, 2 Nov 13:40 UTC M 4.9 / 10 km – [info] (264 km) Pakistan


    Mon, 2 Nov 13:20 UTC M 2.9 / 14 km – [info] (67 km) SEATTLE-TACOMA AREA, WASHINGTON


    Mon, 2 Nov 13:09 UTC M 2.5 / 14 km – [info] (96 km) GREECE


    Mon, 2 Nov 12:34 UTC M 2.9 / 3.2 km – [info] (148 km) – 6km SSE of Mapleton, Utah


    Covered Bridge Canyon, Spanish Fork / MMI IV (Light shaking): Felt like a large sumo wrestler went charging down the hall and down the steps. Rhythmic. Went linearly through the whole house. Lasted about 4 seconds. Second one felt like a regular man did the same actions as described above. Lasted only 2-3 seconds.
    Mon, 2 Nov 12:34 UTC M 3.6 / 10.2 km – [info] (72 km) New Zealand


    Mon, 2 Nov 12:33 UTC M 2.7 / 27 km – [info] (40 km) New Zealand


    Mon, 2 Nov 12:32 UTC M 3.0 / 105.3 km – [info] Whale Island (20 km) – New Zealand New Zealand


    Mon, 2 Nov 12:31 UTC M 2.7 / 115.6 km – [info] (85 km) New Zealand


    Mon, 2 Nov 12:29 UTC M 4.8 / 511 km – [info] (300 km) South of Fiji Islands



    Continue reading at Volcano Discovery: Todays Latest Earthquakes Worldwide Monday, 2 November 2015

    Filed under: Earthquakes, News/ Current Events

    Standby Generators for Use During Power Outages

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    Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

    4/5 (1) Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Sideliner 1950.   Winter’s coming, and the nights are getting colder and longer… Today’s post on another excellent prepper blog (Backdoor Survival) linked back to one of its recent posts on the subject of prepping for a power outage, a […]

    The post Standby Generators for Use During Power Outages appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

    DIY Prepper’s Projects: A One-Project-a-Week Guide to Help You Prepare for an Emergency

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    DIY Prepper’s Projects: A One-Project-a-Week Guide to Help You Prepare for an Emergency (NOW WITH IMAGES) (SHTF & Survival Guide) was a free kindle book when this post was written.

    This is a must-have book for the prepper.

    Inside You Will Learn:

    • How to collect, store, filter, and treat rainwater
    • Composting and gardening projects for your home
    • The best ways to harness the sun to your advantage—for free!
    • Wilderness survival for the worst of emergencies
    • Techniques to build stone tools by hand!
    • Home construction techniques to prepare for civil unrest and disaster
    • How to make a hand pump with common hardware
    • Ways to light up your home when there’s no power
    • How to cool your food without a fridge
    • And Much More

    Food Storage Recipe – Taco Dip

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    Here is an easy and tasty recipe to make a great dip for tortilla chips. This recipe would be great for the upcoming holiday parties.


    2 pounds of ground beef , browned and drained very well

    2 tablespoon canola oil

    1 can of black beans , drained

    1/2 cup of beef stock

    1 cup of tomato sauce

    1 tablespoon of taco seasoning

    2 cups of velveeta cheese, shredded

    Put the cooked ground beef in your crock pot.

    Add all of the remaining ingredients and cook on low for about 6 hours.

    Serve this dip warm !


    Food Storage Recipe – Boiled Peanuts

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    My son went with his dad on his last trip to Florida and now all he talks about is the boiled peanuts that they got off the side of the road , I guess. I had to find a way to make them for him, since he loved them so much and it will probably not be until next spring before he gets back down to Florida. I was really surprised to find out how easy it is to do it yourself.


    2 pounds of whole peanuts – in shells

    1/2 cup of salt

    4 cups of water

    Combine all of this in your crock pot.

    Cover and cook on low for about 7 hours.

    Drain and let cool.


    Getting started with survival herbs.

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    Getting started with survival herbs. Survival Herbs are something we all need to know and understand how to use.  When SHTF hits and if the local Pharmacies are not restocked, medicine will quickly become hard to find.  In cases like this, knowing how to make your own medicine from local plants and trees will quickly become extremely …

    The post Getting started with survival herbs. appeared first on American Preppers Online.

    Tips For Keeping Your Chickens Alive In The Winter

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    Tips For Keeping Your Chickens Happy And Alive In The Winter If you have chickens, winter can be deadly for them. If you are prepping or homesteading you should read this article, if you are just starting out and thinking about investing in chickens and it’s winter you definitely need to read this article. These …

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    The post Tips For Keeping Your Chickens Alive In The Winter appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

    10 Essential OTC Medications to Stockpile

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    10 Essential OTC Medications to Stockpile Most of the following drugs were actually prescription medications when first released. (In higher dosages, several still are.) Although other OTC drugs are worth considering, these ten have been selected due to their ready availability, affordability, safety in both adults and children, and multi-use potential. Used alone or in …

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    The post 10 Essential OTC Medications to Stockpile appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

    The Gift Of Freedom

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         How do I write about what I experienced over the weekend?  How do I impart the words of knowledge and freedom that I received, with both gratification and glory to God for His revelation, and without offending His Church and the Body of Christ?  That’s a very difficult tightrope to walk.
         But, I guess the message I am getting from the Holy Spirit is this:  “Just tell the truth.”  So here goes… You know that God seems to be leading me and my husband on a path towards accepting our position on the battlefield of Spiritual Warfare.  So, this past weekend, we had the privilege to attend a 2-day conference taught by Dr. Charles Kraft, a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary for 40 years.  The title of the conference was “Defeating Dark Angels”, but the central topic of the meeting was based less on the sensational-sounding aspects of that title, and more on the Scripture-affirming concept of inner healing to help deliver defeated Christians as they battle their demons.
         There is no way in a single post that I can elucidate all the insight and understanding that my spirit was given during the intense instruction.  So I will try to give you the points that opened my eyes, my mind, and my heart to the truth of who I am meant to be as a follower of Jesus.
         Let me start by saying that Dr. Kraft is unlike what the secular world — and for the most part, the Church — views as a “Deliverance Minister.”  He is a soft-spoken, gentle man, who never raises his voice.  He does not employ any of the histrionics of the so-called “healers” or “exorcists” that characterize the modern perception of evangelists who cast out demons — there is no melodrama, theatrics, or artificial showmanship; no Benny Hinn, here.  There is no writhing on the floor, no yelling, and no dramatic vomiting. As he reiterated many times throughout the conference, “If the healing is not loving, it’s not from Jesus.”
         To begin with, he makes it very clear that there are two levels of demons we encounter in our spiritual warfare.  The “ground level” troops are the fallen angels that we call demons or evil spirits; those who envy us our bodies, and who look for someone to inhabit.  The “cosmic level” demons are those we encounter in Ephesians 6:12– the principalities, powers and rulers that command the ground troops.  They have different personalities, are destructive to the peace that Jesus has promised His followers, and they differ in power and wickedness.  All that sounds like we’re waging a losing battle, doesn’t it?  Sadly, many Christians are living their lives in defeat, rather than through the victory that is ours in Christ.

         Interestingly, Dr. Kraft wrote that although most Christians recognize that much of the New Testament was written by the Apostle Paul to the new Christian Churches, they fail to acknowledge that 80% of Paul’s Epistles tell us of Jesus’s Power, and about 20% talk about the Love of Jesus.  The average Christian knows about Love, Faith, and Redemption, but they are weak on Spiritual Warfare and the Power and Authority of Jesus that He transferred to us.
         As a missionary in Nigeria, Dr. Kraft asked the people he had come to serve in Jesus’s Name, “What is your biggest problem?”  Their answer?  “Evil spirits.”  I think it should be clear that we are all made in the image of God (as spirit beings), so why would we be any different?  Oh, yeah… the prosperity, the level of comfort, and our ability to hide from our demons through the means of entertainment, addictions, and a myriad of other distractions.  So, in the end, we continue to ignore the attacks and continue in our bondage, while focusing on loving Jesus.  We base our Christian Worldview on the 20% of Paul’s writings that talk about Love, and turn a blind eye to the 80% that tell us He has given us Power in His Name to be free of all the oppression, pain, and spiritual domination.
        The first step towards this freedom is to make two major changes in this worldview towards accepting our role in Spiritual Warfare:  1) Believe there are demons, and 2) Be able to effectively use our conferred Power and Authority (in His Name) to deal with these dark angels (demons) and to “set the captives free”.  It was an eye-opener to me, when Dr. Kraft pointed out that there are three things that are most important to Christians:  Salvation, Freedom, and Habits.  We’ve got the first one down; we understand the origin and process of Salvation pretty well.  And we’ve gotten real good at the last one; our habits are entrenched in our Sunday attendance and all the ceremonies and traditions of our denominations.  As Dr. Kraft expressed so well, “Our churches are full of people wonderfully saved, but they’re not free.”
         We seem to have lost sight of the fact that Jesus obviously took Satan and his demons seriously.  And, even more importantly, He expects us to take demons seriously and to use His power to get rid of them.  That is very evident in the Scripture that instructs us on His Great Commission:  Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority (all power of absolute rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20).
         I have pointed out this Scripture in the past, but now I have an even greater understanding of it.  Jesus passed on to His disciples all of His power.  He set aside His God Power, and never once used it on earth.  He only acted as a human being, using the power of the Holy Spirit.  He intends for us to do the same!  We modern-day disciples of Christ are no different than the famous Disciples of the Gospels.  We are to see ourselves as Jesus sees us.  He tells them to go and make disciples of all the nations (and disciples is who we are); to baptize; and to “teach them to observe (or do) everything that I have commanded you.”   Down through the centuries, each succeeding generation of disciples concentrated on evangelizing and baptizing, but failed to teach how to defeat demons using the power of the Holy Spirit.

         But the one thing I want you to get from this abbreviated summary of the conference is this: There is no deliverance from our demons without inner healing first.  As a visual person, it helped me a lot to picture Dr. Kraft’s illustration on what that looks like… “Where you have garbage, you have rats.  If you just get rid of the rats, and don’t get rid of the garbage, the rats will come back.  But if you get rid of the garbage first, [the cycle] of the rats gets weakened, and it is usually easy to kick them out.  The rats, if they are there, are always the secondary problem, not the primary one.”
         So his model of “Deliverance” is to accomplish the inner healing of the Christian first, then see if there are any demons present.  In other words, the “garbage” could be a number of things resulting in unresolved pain and hurt in one’s life.  It could be broken relationships, areas of unconfessed sin, involvement in the occult, or sexual or physical abuse in your past — anything else that gives the Enemy a “legal right” to influence you, either from the outside or the inside.
         When we deal with the “garbage” and get healed from that — through getting in touch with how Jesus sees us; this Jesus whom we know as our loving Savior who created us, chose and planned us from before God made the world — then the demons lose their hold on us, and we can often kick them out of our lives without a fight.
         But now comes the part that is difficult for me.  How do I express my frustration with the Church for their inability to see this dynamic?  How do I make my fellow Christians and members of the Body of Christ understand that if Jesus instructed us to be taught on how to use His Power and Authority through the Holy Spirit to defeat Satan and his demons — yet we don’t recognize that authority, or refuse to consider it — then I humbly see that as irresponsible on our part, as His disciples.  This Power and Authority is available to all who follow Jesus, and is meant to be a means to offer Freedom to those held captive by Satan.  I will agree that certain people of faith seem to have a “knack” or “gifting”, if you will, to “take the ball and run” with the power and authority.  But as Dr. Kraft so wisely counseled us, “Obedience precedes gifting.”  If we will only be obedient to Jesus’s command of John 14:12, (We will do the works He did, and do even greater things), I believe we will find that our ability to engage in His Power and Authority, through the Holy Spirit, will come in greater measure.
         We should not be afraid of our Commission, and we should not shirk our responsibility to follow our Savior’s commands.  As 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].”  THAT, my fellow Christians is living in true Freedom!  And THAT is why Jesus performed the will of His Father on the Cross… to give us the ability to use the same Authority from our Father, and the Power of the Holy Spirit to not only live a free life ourselves, but to help set other captive Christians free.
         You see, “Deliverance” doesn’t have to be a violent, theatrical show of God’s Power and Authority.  It can be just like Jesus showed us … loving; practiced by any Christian; and it leads to healing, not just deliverance.
         But ultimately, the choice to practice His Power and Authority is still ours.  I agree with Dr. Kraft… God will not violate our Free Will.  He will not force the use of His authority upon us, nor will He change our free will.  But He can change the circumstances that result from our free will when, in the Name of Jesus, we take authority over demon spirits and break their power in Jesus’s Name and through the Holy Spirit.
         The final thought I want to leave you with is this … Deliverance is not a science; it is a journey of faith.  Jesus has given us tools to empower ourselves in our spiritual warfare, and they do just that… empower us; but they don’t fix us.  We are in a spiritual war, and no war is won in a single battle.  Throughout our journey through life, we will engage in many battles, and growing into a mature faith is our goal.  But God has a goal, too.  He always wraps His Power in His Love, with the goal of setting people free.  My prayer is that His people will learn to use that Power and Authority to heal themselves and others from the attacks of the Enemy, and to free those whom Satan has in captivity from “the sins that entangle us.”  It’s time for all Christians to begin that journey of healing towards true Freedom.

    I have been given a great blessing to be able to spend the next two days in training with Dr. Kraft, as I learn how to use my Authority from Jesus and the Power of the Holy Spirit to help Christians achieve inner healing and deliverance.  So, if I am a little late in posting any of your comments, you will understand.  I hope to be able to bring you even greater understanding of the amazing God we serve.

    Psalm 32:8    “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you [who are willing to learn] with My eye upon you.”

    How To Use And Train Dogs For Survival

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    Survival dogs

    If you are a serious prepper with comprehensive bug out and survival plans an important question comes up as to whether or not you want, or more specifically do you really need, any animals or even a dog in your retreat environment plans?

    In other words should you have one, or would you, and the animal, be better off without each other in the “end of days” breakdown? This seems like a loaded question because almost everybody likes dogs to some extent. And in normal times, if you can properly care for your pet, there usually aren’t too many issues precluding ownership.

    But in a SHTF scenarios and the subsequent hard core survival requirements involved there are extremely critical elements that change the perspective and dynamics of dog ownership quite seriously.

    Pros and Cons

    Bad news first. A dog also eats, requires water, creates waste, and makes noise, and takes up space. Sometimes as much as you do, depending upon its size. In an all-out catastrophic long term event, this becomes an unavoidable concern.

    And don’t think that you’ll be hunting or trapping all your fresh meat which you’ll share with your dog once you arrive and settle in at your rural BOL. That’s mostly an urban myth unless you’re so deep in critter heavy wilderness/mountains that even God can’t find you and you have an extensive trap line set up and substantial experience.

    There’s a series on TV now called “Live Free or Die” and is a mild, orchestrated preview of what to expect if you choose that route, even though the wilderness location of the show is really not that far from civilization.

    And what about your actual real time bug out adventure? Hungry dogs are nervous and unpredictable. You have to carry their food and water with you? Do your plans accommodate that? If you are diminutive in stature and deficient in strength to hump an extra-large backpack on foot, did you figure out something else yet, like maybe a small cart the dog could pull or a working dog back pack harness like they have now.

    Among other issues, it’s not really a great idea to escape on a bike with your poor dog trying to keep up behind you until his feet start to bleed or he just collapses. In certain really bad scenarios hungry people see your dog as their next meal which they can’t get normally anymore.

    They’ll think nothing of ambush sniping him right out from under your nose, and putting a few rounds in your direction to discourage any interference with their dining reservations, hoping you’ll just move on and leave the dog. If you stay and engage in a firefight then you risk your life, and anyone else’s if you have others in your party, and the dog will still be dead.

    There are other issues, mainly because it’s unlikely that most people with a dog have it trained well enough to handle all of the complications of a bug out without problems. So all that should get you thinking straight from the start.

    As for pros well, truth be told…in a bad bug out survival situation, there’s only two main rationales for having a dog. Possible personal and location security, and/or simple companionship. Especially if you don’t have any human companionship.

    So, if you already have a dog, then there’s no real question of whether or not you want or need one in any survival situation. That decision was already made. If Fido is already part of the family, then fine, and that’s that. No dog left behind! But if you really do love your pet, a SHTF catastrophe prompting a serious bug out is a main game changer for both the dog’s and your world.

    With that stated, dogs can provide good use and value in several other ways. The main being personal bodyguard protection for you and your family, especially your children. I never could understand how financially well off people with young children and a big home don’t have at least one protection dog, yet they have all kinds of expensive health and life insurance protection?

    There are other ancillary uses in a survival scenario like hunting/retrieving game if you are in a wilderness area and have inexhaustible game resources, or shepherd duty over your own food animals you are raising.

    I know a family who trained their canine on command to sniff and search for any member of the family who might wander off too far out of sight for more than five minutes on their land. First the dog barks three times to warn anybody else nearby that a member of the family is missing, then on command it will ‘bloodhound’ through the forest to track and find the out of sight family member.

    Serious Mission Oriented Training

    A question comes up in these discussions about whether or not a dog’s natural protection instinct is good enough for BOL perimeter security?

    Based on years of private security contracting specializing in such, and I don’t mean just installing burglar alarms, and knowing a lot about how sentry/guard/security dogs are deployed, my personal professional opinion answer is a simple NO. They must be specially trained.

    Your pet might be a good barker, and even little dogs are often decent anti-home break in alerts. This is because most dogs have a domestic pack instinct and naturally protect their “inner circle” or “den”’ which now includes their human family.

    But this is not the same as the more complicated problems of having to worry about a concentrated well-armed attack on your BOL retreat if discovered by desperately savage groups, who aren’t really that afraid of a dog in the larger scheme of things or the police ever responding to interfere with their attack assault on your property so they will try to kill the dog first, and then come after the humans next.

    Today, the days of having guard dogs or attack sentry dogs loose in an enclosed chain link fence to deter entry and protect property is becoming obsolete due to litigation liability issues and alternate improvements in security alarms and anti-intrusion systems which will soon be including autonomous robots and even tactical defense drones.

    Especially as the cost effectiveness factor gets involved and robots become cheaper than dogs, and even humans. Dogs will always have a purpose but more specifically mission tuned to hunting down people and searching while always being in control of handlers. Which is not a main issue in defending your castle.

    As you saw in the video of the White House intruder getting attacked by the patrol dog, he gave it a couple fast and serious karate kicks and body slams and wasn’t even fazed, until the K-9 security officers took him out the hard way.

    Video first seen on DAHBOO77

    In another instance, an ex- military combat vet tried to get into the White House and actually avoided the dogs by sneaking through heavy landscape bushes and only an electronic security breach signal ONCE HE WAS INSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE, alerted the Secret Service guards who intercepted him!

    In other words, instead of a dog for your serious perimeter security in a BOL compound, the reality is that you are better off with mechanical/physical barrier or electronic perimeter anti-intrusion security combined with alarm sensors and other alert devices, if you really want to protect yourself better.

    And don’t start with me about “alarm systems can be deactivated too?”. Not the ones I use. They are something called “max perimeter default systems”. Even if they get through, which is highly unlikely, I will still be alerted with time to spare for the…relatively easy target practice session, or a tactical fall back if necessary. With my dog!

    And you don’t have to worry about losing your “best friend” to some psychos who will stop at nothing–until you can unload a face full of double-ought buckshot from a 31/2 inch 12 Ga. magnum on them at close range.

    The hard reality is that the best decision if you had to choose between a dedicated perimeter protection system and guard dogs, you would be better off doing the mechanical/electronic anti-intrusion system for all pragmatic consequences and expenses.

    Having said that, a good PROPERLY trained dog for perimeter security is way, way, better than nothing. AND, some serious preppers opt for a combination of both a physical anti-intrusion barrier, and a dog.


    "It's the last one, boss!"

    “It’s the last one, boss!”

    However in a BOL environment, just like people, survival /protection dogs absolutely MUST be trained and prepped CORRECTLY for the circumstances. Otherwise you’ll both be in trouble. Currently there are specific survival prepping dog training schools in operation, and even videos and books on survival prepping dog training by now.

    One of the big differences in normal training is that due to the intense differences in security mode in a bad SHTF combat firefight perimeter intrusion scenario which could rattle even the best of dogs, the tactical need exists to absolutely CONTROL the dog to command signals instantly, and completely, in any situation or distraction.

    If the dog is trained for attack on command, they MUST be trained to ‘shut off’ completely on command. If you want a barking alert based on what the dog smells or hears in the distance, the dog must be trained to also stop barking and remain quiet upon direct command because you can’t have continuous noise giving away your exact location for roving predator intruders to home in on.

    And if you are falling back for cover or counter attack positioning then the dog must instantly follow you, and not his instincts, if that’s the command. This is an often overlooked but important tactical necessity in combat situations.

    The best way to start BOL survival training is to train your dog to be a personal protection dog. Check out this video to see what it really takes to do this right, and whether or not you want or are able to make the commitment.

    Video first seen on David Harris

    As you saw in this video, it doesn’t get much better than that unless you also teach your canine bodyguard how to CYA in a firefight by tossing a couple frags or smoke bombs to cover your flanking tactics.

    And at the end of a hard day of training, make sure you always reward your best friend and sit down, relax and have a cool one together.

    Interested in improving your safety? CLICK HERE to find out more!

    This article was written by Mahatma Muhjesbude for Survivopedia.

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    Discovering…Isaac Phillips Roberts(Part 1)Recollecting his Mother

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    Dateline: 2 November 2015

    Isaac Phillips Roberts

    “I was born In the Roberts’ farmhouse, on the west bank of Cayuga Lake, July 24, 1833, at sunrise of a fine harvest morning.”

    Thus begins, Autobiography of a Farm Boy, by Isaac Phillips Roberts. The book was written in 1916, when Roberts was 83 years old. You can read it online At This Link.

    Roberts is pretty much a forgotten figure in history, but he played an important role as an agricultural educator at Cornell university for thirty years. The college even named one of their new (in 1906) agricultural buildings in his honor. But Roberts Hall was demolished in the 1980s. 

    Roberts achieved a great measure of success as a professor even though he never attended college and had no educational degrees. 

    A NY State historical marker (click the link for a concise biography) is at Roberts’ birthplace in East Varick, NY. It states that he was “representative extra-ordinary of the American farmer.” 

    As Isaac Roberts states in his book, East Varick is on the western shore of Cayuga Lake, directly across from the village of Aurora. Well, if you look on a map and track about 20 miles due west of Aurora you will find my house. The professor practically grew up in my neighborhood… 182 years ago.

    This area of central New York state was largely unsettled back in those days. It was a land rich in resources, and well suited for an agrarian society.

    Autobiography of a Farm Boy is a historical gem for modern-day agrarians looking to better understand what life was once like in the agrarian nation America once was. 

    For example, the following description by Roberts of his mother gives us a glimpse into the role of women in the agrarian culture of early 1800’s America. She was not highly educated, but she was highly literate. She did not seek to have a career and be an income earner outside her home. Instead, she was a helpmeet to her husband, performing the important tasks of managing her home economy; providing for and nurturing her children. Her life energy was focused on being a mother, as well as a friend and caregiver in her immediate community. In other words, she did not endeavor to be a leader in the society of her day, but to raise sons that would one day be responsible leaders. 

    This is an old concept that is clearly biblical. But, of course, in the industrialized world, motherhood is not the high moral and social calling it was once universally considered to be. Managing a home and being a mother are, at best, now a part time task in the industrial order. 


    “My mother, Elizabeth Burroughs, was also born near Harbortown, New Jersey, August 16, 1800, and came to East Varick with her parents when they settled there in 1812. It was she who stood at the center of the household. It was she who made It possible for me to go forth strong in body and of purpose, to work patiently and bravely for the farmers—for science, for justice and for truth. 

    As I look upon the picture of her strong, rugged, placid face, I recall her self-sacrificing life for the good of everyone within the sphere of her influence; and I know that she was a Christian, although she belonged to no church and seldom attended one.

    Soon after marriage at twenty years of age, her toils began, and as the years passed, griefs and burdens followed on one another’s trail; but she bore them all quietly, lovingly, even smilingly. 

    I see her now, the central figure in that numerous, growing family —commanding, handsome, but not beautiful, with that large benignity which comes to middle-life and age, from a well-spent, unselfish life. From the youngest to the oldest child, we all looked to her for comfort in trouble, for instruction and advice in all our undertakings, and for appreciation in our successes. 

    After all these years I cannot forgive myself for having wantonly disobeyed her when she forbade me to attend a dance at a tavern of doubtful reputation. This was the more inexcusable since I was allowed to do almost anything that was not positively bad.

    Such education as she had she received In the schools of Harbortown, but she never went to school after she was twelve years of age. She was, however, a great reader—considering her cares and opportunities—had a remarkable memory and was clever at mathematics. She could figure a problem “in her head ” more quickly and accurately than any of her sons. She was particularly fond of Rasselas, Aesop’s Fables in Rhyme, Thompson’s Seasons and Scott’s Lady of the Lake, the greater part of which she was still able to quote In her old age. She could not sing at all nor could any of her generation of the Burroughs family; but she had an unusual love of poetry and occasionally wrote letters In verse to her children.

    My mother died at the ripe age of seventy-nine years In the house where she had lived for more than fifty years and In the midst of loving children and grandchildren. She had been”Aunt Betsy” to the whole neighborhood and a friend to everyone who needed anything she could give or could do for them.”

    How To Make Homemade Bread For Two People

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    I need to show the world how to make homemade bread for two people for a couple of reasons. I make eight loaves at once, but it’s because I have never outgrown the need to cook for a large family. Here’s the deal, even my publisher asked me to cut down my recipe for my book. I get it, most people do not even have eight bread pans. Old habits are hard to change. I also like to surprise people with a hot loaf of bread. Who doesn’t love homemade bread, right? I think we can all agree on that one. I have had a few readers ask me to cut the recipe down to fewer loaves. I totally understand. So, that’s the first reason. The second reason I want to share this smaller recipe is for college students or for families with one or two people. Also, this small recipe you can make by hand because it only has 3 to 3-1/2 cups of flour, which is manageable to knead by hand.

    Linda’s No-Fail White Homemade Bread For Two

    This recipe makes two medium size loaves. You can always freeze one.


    • 1 cup warm milk
    • 2 tsp. Saf instant yeast
    • 2 tsp. dough enhancer (optional-this makes fluffier rolls or bread)
    • 1 egg
    • 1/8 cup oil (I use olive oil)
    • 3/4 tsp. sea salt
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup warm water
    • 3 to 3-1/2 cups white flour
    1. I start with a Bosch bread mixer, although you could make this in a bowl. I put the yeast, warm water, salt, oil, and sugar in the bowl. I then add the eggs and slightly mix it in the Bosch so the eggs do not “cook”. Then I add the warm milk and flour slowly. I continue to add flour until the bread dough pulls away from the sides of the Bosch bowl. I knead for about 7-8 minutes. I place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. I let the dough rise until double the original size. I punch down the dough and make into loaves and place these in greased pans (this recipe makes two-1 pound loaves). I let it rise once again (using the same plastic wrap) until it doubles in size and then I bake them at 350 degrees for 27-30 minutes. I lightly butter the tops of each loaf after baking and removed from the pans.

    Linda’s No-Fail Whole Wheat Bread For Two

    This recipe makes two medium size loaves. You can always freeze one.


    • 1 1/2 cups warm water
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/4 cup or so of honey
    • 1/2 tablespoon dough enhancer
    • 1/2 tablespoon wheat gluten
    • 1/2 tablespoon salt
    • 1/2 tablespoon dry instant or powdered milk
    • 1/2 tablespoon SAF instant yeast
    • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 3-1/2 to 4 cups whole wheat flour


    I literally dump everything in a bowl and start mixing with a bread mixer, bread machine or by hand. Knead for 10 minutes. NOTE* You do not bake your bread in the bread machine. You grease your pans and mold your loaves to fit your pans. Cover with a clean wet towel or greased plastic wrap. This recipe will make two-1 pound loaves. Let them rise and bake at 350 degrees for about 27-30 minutes. One pound pans are about 4″ by 8″. These are similar to the pans I use: Norpro Stainless Steel 8.5 Inch Loaf Pan

    If you can make bread you can survive by filling your belly or bartering the bread for other things you need. Please learn to make bread or teach those around you to make it. Let’s be prepared for the unexpected.

    The post How To Make Homemade Bread For Two People appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

    Learn These 2 Pioneer Skills to Produce Almost Anything

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    by Todd Walker

    Read the next two lines and stop. Look around you. Make a mental note of all the useful stuff produced from two resources… wood and metal.

    Really, stop reading for a second!

    Okay, come back now.

    What did you come up with? If you only noted the obvious wooden and metallic items, go deeper. With a little thought, your list should grow exponentially.

    Learn These 2 Pioneer Skills to Produce Almost Anything -

    The fact is, wood and metal were directly or indirectly responsible for building your house, mailbox, wall clock, sofa, and the electronic device you’re reading from this very moment.

    Wood and metal go together like peas and carrots. Metal tools are used to shape wood. But wood creates fire to heat metal for making said tools. And don’t forget about the useful wooden handles attached to metal tools. There’s a relationship between the two resources in which both benefit from the other. In biology, we call this mutualism.

    For long-term self-reliance, learning to manipulate and exploit these resources will make you an indispensable asset to both family and community.

    Blacksmithing: The Master of All Crafts

    Except for harnessing fire, nothing in human history compares to the discovery of metal and its ability to be molded, formed, and poured into useful shapes. Blacksmithing is the only craft that makes their own tools and the tools of other craftsmen.


    Traditional Appalachian Smithy at Foxfire Museum

    You don’t have to dial back in time too far to find Bob the Blacksmith being the most prominent tradesman in town. In need of a gate latch? Go see Bob. How about that crack in your froe? Bob can forge weld it and have you back splitting cedar shakes for your roof in no time. Making a hammer for your flint-lock rifle could be done by Bob.

    Basic Smithing Tools

    To build a functional smithy, you’ll need a few tools. No need to spend a boatload of money to get started either. Shop yard sales, flea markets, scrap yards, farm auctions, estate sales, and antique stores – the highest prices are usually paid at antique stores.

    Here are the basic tools needed for beginners like me…

    • Anvil ~ A real blacksmithing anvil may be your largest cash outlay. A common man’s anvil can be a section of railroad track or large block of metal – 100 plus pounds mounted to a wooden stump.
    • Forge ~ Charcoal, coal, or gas-powered, the forge will heat your steel for shaping and tempering metal. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. A hole in the ground will work. Some sort of blower to increase heat in your coal or charcoal. Blowers are not needed for a propane forge.
    Propane forge at Red Barn Forge

    Dave’s new propane forge at Red Barn Forge

    • Hammer ~ A 2 to 3 pound hammer to work hot metal. You can add to your hammer collection over time. There are four basic types of hammers for moving metal: straight peen, ball peen, cross peen, and sledge.
    • Tongs ~ Long handle pliers used to grip hot steel while hammering.
    • Vise ~ A bench vise mounted on a sturdy work bench. I’ve yet to acquire a blacksmithing post vise.
    • Files ~ Flat and half-round
    Learn These 2 Pioneer Skills to Produce Almost Anything -

    File and file card

    • Quench Bucket ~ Container large enough to hold about 5 gallons of water to cool hot metal and for tempering.
    • Safety Equipment ~ Eye protection, ear protection, leather boots, natural fiber clothing, welding gloves, fire extinguisher and water bucket/hose, first aid kit.
    • Like other crafts, there are almost endless numbers of tools and items you’ll want to acquire as your skill level increases.
    The "anvil" is a solid piece of steel I'll mount to a stump.

    The “anvil” (lower right) is a solid piece of steel I’ll mount to a stump.

    Though I’ve always known the importance of this craft historically, my dabbling has only produced a few items. However, after a recent Georgia Bushcraft camping trip, I realized it’s time to get serious about hammering steel.

    Stephan Fowler of Fowler Blades spent two hours in the rain demonstrating, in less than optimal conditions, the process of turning a file into a functional cutting tool. The blade was not his best work considering he used a crumbly rock as an anvil, an air mattress pump for a billow, and burning chunks of hardwood on the ground as his forge.

    I was honored to have won this file knife which Stephan made in a fire challenge during the campout!

    I was honored to have won Stephan’s survival file knife in a fire-building challenge during the campout!

    Check out what Stephan produces when he has access to his real forge → here.

    Your skill level doesn’t have to be superior to be useful for long-term self-reliance. The more you hammer steel and study metallurgy, the better you become.

    Blacksmithing Resources

    Blacksmithing in America was hot and heavy during our pioneer days in North America. Not long after the Industrial Revolution, the art of blacksmithing survived only as a specialty craft. Thankfully, the secrets of metallurgy, once guarded in guilds, is being passed on through modern-day blacksmiths. Here are a few resources that I’ve found helpful in connecting with local craftsmen.


    The craft of woodworking compliments blacksmithing more so than any two trades I know. Developing the skill to make handles for metal tools or mill lumber from a tree to accept the nails you forged on your anvil could one day feed your family in hard times. I’ll bet your master gardener neighbor would be willing to barter food for tools and repairs on her homestead.

    If you’re like me, you find yourself dabbling in all sorts of pioneer skills. One skill I’ve become proficient at is carpentry. However, take away my power tools and my skill level drops several notches.

    A mix of modern and pioneer tools

    A mix of modern and pioneer hand tools

    Working wood with pioneer tools is based on the same principles as modern woodworking… with a steeper learning curve and physicality. Don’t abandon your power tools. Here’s my list of basic wood working tools, both modern and pioneer style.

    Modern Tools

    • Hammers ~ A 16 oz. claw hammer and a larger framing hammer (20 oz.) to get you started.
    • Saws ~ Circular, chop/miter, table, jig, reciprocating – cordless and corded. Cordless 18v batteries can be charged via solar chargers if the need arises.
    • Drills ~ Cordless impact driver and drill, corded drill press, and an assortment of drill bits (wood and metal), screw bits, and socket bit adapters.
    • Squares ~ Tri-square, combination, speed square, and carpenter’s square. Used to mark and test angles. Buy metal squares to use with hot metal work. Plastic melts.
    • Levels ~ Torpedo, 2 foot, and 4 foot bubble levels keep things plumb.
    • Measuring and Marking Devices ~ 25 foot steel tape measure, wooden folding ruler, carpenter’s pencil, chalk line.
    • Utility Knife ~ One of my most used tools on my belt.

    Pioneer Tools

    • Hammers, Mallets, and Mauls.

    • Saws ~ Hand saws: crosscut, rip, compass saw, coping, and bucksaw.
    • Drills ~ Brace and bit, augers, bits of various sizes.
    • Squares ~ Same as listed above; Tri-square, combination, speed square, and carpenter’s square. Used to mark and test angles. Buy metal squares to use with hot metal work. Plastic melts.
    • Levels ~ Torpedo, 2 foot, and 4 foot bubble levels keep things plumb and work as straight edges.
    • Measuring and Marking Devices ~ 25 foot steel tape measure (roughing work), wooden folding ruler, steel drafting ruler (bench work), pencil, chalk line.
    • Smoothing Planes ~ Both long and short. Stanley makes great planes and can be had inexpensively but may need some TLC to make them useable.
    • Chisels ~ A variety of sizes kept super sharp… which I’m known not to do.
    • Draw Knives ~ Draw knives for roughing wood to shape and spoke shaves for finishing form.
    • Shave Horse ~ Holds stock freeing both hands to work wood with a draw knife or spoke shave.
    Pioneer tools at Foxfire Museum

    Pioneer tools at Foxfire Museum

    • Froe ~ A simple tool used to split (rive) wood into shingles, boards, and staves.
    • Rasp ~ Both flat and half-round. A 4-in-1 rasp is utilitarian.

    Notice I didn’t delve into the actual skill sets needed. That would take a long time and lots of bandwidth. However, I do recommend that you begin stockpiling metal and woodworking tools. They may be useful one day.

    Oh, and never pass up scrap metal. Collect lawn mower blades, leaf springs, bar stock, round stock, pallet wood, hardware (nails, screws, nuts and bolts), old files, tool steel, sharpening devices, sheet metal, saws, etc., etc.

    I made this end table for DRG from pallet wood, 150 year-old house siding, an old yard stick, and sheet metal.

    I made this end table for DRG from pallet wood, 150 year-old house siding, an old yard stick, and sheet metal.

    Real stuff, almost all stuff, can be made from skilled hands with metal and wooden tools. Learning to work these two resources may start as a hobby or pastime but could very well insure your livelihood in hard times.

    Did you think of anything that was made without metal and/or wood being directly or indirectly involved in the process? Bet you didn’t.

    Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,


    P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network.

    P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there… 

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    Primitive Living Skills: Creating Off-Grid Light Sources

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     With just a flick of a switch, we have light.  So many of us have become accustomed to the convenience of electricity that we’ve forgotten how to get along without it.  A campfire or the light cast from a fireplace will certainly provide light, but it’s not very convenient or portable.

    Field scientists have discovered fossilized campfire remains of charred bones that provide evidence that pre-date Homo sapiens.  These remains give evidence that while those humanoids may have learned to take advantage of naturally occurring fires more than one million years ago, they hadn’t figured out yet how to kindle a fire on their own.

    The evidence that early humans had learned how to master fire and light are the images found in deep caves in Western Europe; the most famous of these being in Lascaux in southwestern France.  These cave paintings date back about 15,000 to 30,000 years ago.  The caves are so deep and narrow that no natural light can penetrate.  An artificial light source would have been needed in order for those early humans to see well enough to paint.  Experts postulate that early humans formed man-made depressions in stone and simply burned a few lumps of animal fat in them to provide light.  As humans evolved, so too did their light sources.

    Primitive Lamps

     Any non-flammable material with a depression to hold fuel can serve as a lamp: shells, bones, rocks, and clay.  An example of this type of archaic lamp is a primitive clay “lamp”. This easy-to-make lamp would be a fun and educational project to do with kids. It’s important to use the right kind of clay.  For this project, it’s best not to use modeling compounds that contain flour or plastic (Play-Doh and polymer clays, for example).  Instead, use the type of clay found in the ground that is comprised of fine-grained natural rock or soil material.  The best place to look for naturally occurring clay is along lakes, ponds, and the seashore.  Conveniently, Amazon also has a wide selection here.  Keep in mind that although this clay will become bone-dry on its own when exposed to air, it will remain brittle and easily broken unless it’s fired in a kiln.  However, as long as care is taken not to break your creation, it will work very well for this project even without being fired.

    A Cannan lamp is another example of primitive lighting. To make an open-bowl lamp like those used for the cave paintings, simply shape the clay into a shallow bowl shape, allow the clay to dry, and then place a small lump of fat or tallow in the depression of the bowl.  To create a lightly more advanced lamp, create a lip along the edge of the bowl to hold a wick (think pour spout on a liquid measuring cup), The idea is to provide a reservoir for the oil and a depression along the lip of the bowl to support the wick upright.

    To create an even more advanced lamp, you will need:

    • Naturally occurring clay
    • Water (to keep the clay moist while working it)
    • A wick
    • Olive oil or some other type of cooking oil.

     Almost any shape will work as long as it has a hole for filling the lamp and a spout to hold the wick upright and a shape that keeps the oil from spilling out.  The most commonly known shape for this type of lamp is the genie or Aladdin lamp.

    Begin by shaping the clay into an ankle sock of elf shoe shape.  Bring the “toe” of the shape upwards in order to support the wick.  Create a hole for the wick in the end of the toe for the wick to protrude similar to the spout on a teapot.  The larger hole, where if this were an elf shoe one’s ankle would be, is used for filling the lamp.  At this point, a handle can be added to the lamp on the opposite end from the spout.  It’s not necessary to make a lid for this lamp in order for it to work.  Allow the clay to fully dry.

    Next, you’ll need a wick.  The size of the wick will depend on the size of your lap.  You can make a primitive wick by braiding together strips of cotton cloth.  Again, it’s important that you use natural cloth like cotton and not cotton-polyester blends.  Pre-made cotton wicks can also be found here.

    Pour the olive or cooking oil of your choice into the lamp and saturate your wick with the oil.  Gently push the wick through the spout of the lamp (a wooden shish kabob stick works well) until most of your wick is resting in the reservoir of the lamp and only a small portion is sticking out the spout.  Trim the wick if needed and light it.  If the flame is too big, extinguish the flame and trim the wick again.


    Candles can be made from a variety of waxes: animal, vegetable, and mineral waxes for example, or a combination of those waxes.  The most commonly known animal wax is beeswax, but wax candles can also be made using tallow.  Tallow candles are considered of lower-quality and less desirable than beeswax candles because they give off a sooty smoke when burned and an aroma similar to cooking they animal they came from.  Vegetable waxes include soy and palm, among others.  Mineral wax, or paraffin, is petroleum derived wax and is obtained during crude oil refining.

    For this discussion, we’re going to concentrate on the most self-sufficient and desirable of the animal waxes- beeswax.

    Beeswax is produced by worker bees of the genus apis. Honeybees (apis mellifera) produce beeswax in order to build the comb in their hives.  When honey is harvested, either by the crush-and-drain method or by mechanical extraction, the leftover comb can be harvested and retained to produce beeswax candles.

    Raw beeswax, fresh from the hive, bears little resemblance to the clean, purified beeswax beads one finds at craft stores.  In order to make candles, the wax needs to be stripped of any leftover honey and debris in a process known as clarifying.  A solar wax melter, like the one seen here, is an excellent way to clarify the wax.  If you find that your wax still has undesirable particulates, simply heat the wax again using a double-boiler and pour through a fine woven cloth or coffee filter.  (*Note:  it’s important to keep your wax warm during the second clarification in order to keep it pouring through the filter.  Otherwise, the wax will form a hard barrier on the filter and no wax will pour through).  Beeswax burns at higher temperatures than paraffin wax and therefore needs a specific type of wick.  Square braided cotton wicks that are about twice the thickness as those used for the same amount of paraffin are preferred.  And like the oil lamp described earlier in this article, the size (diameter) of the wick used will be determined by the size and type of candle you plan on making.

    Hand-dipped tapers can be made by simply tying a length of wick to a stick and dipping the wick repeatedly in the warm, melted beeswax.  Patience is needed for this method in order to gain the desired thickness for the candle.  Be sure the container holding the melted beeswax is deep enough to dip the entire length of the candle in without the wick folding or bending at any point.

    Dip the wick once, allow it too cool for about 30 seconds until the wax becomes firm but not hard, and gently pull on the bottom of the wick to straighten it.  This sets the wax for the shape your taper will take.  Dip the wick quickly into the wax (wait too long and the wax that is already on the wick will begin to melt off back into the melted wax).  Wait 30 seconds or so between dippings to allow the new layer of wax to firm up on the taper.  Continue the dip/wait/dip/wait until the taper has reached the desired thickness to fit snugly in your candlestick.

    Use the links below to learn more about the history of light and primitive methods

    The History of Light, In 6 Minutes And 47 Seconds

    Discover Lighting

    A Brief History of Light

    History of Candles – Development and History of Candle Making

    Learning to make primitive light sources is a fun and practical skill for all ages.  Homemade beeswax tapers also make a wonderful gift for the upcoming holidays.  Care should always be taken when using flammable products, especially when doing these types of projects with children. 

    Stay tuned!

    Ruby is a first generation Californian who grew up in the heart of the Central San Joaquin Valley farming community. She’s been involved in agriculture for 40 years and learned to preserve food, traditional home arts, to hunt and fish, raise livestock and garden from her Ozark native mother.

    This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

    Respected Task Force Updates Guidelines for Diabetes Screening

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    Undetected Diabetes and Survival: Don’t Risk Itby James Hubbard, MD, MPH

    You’re stuck in a bad storm and probably can’t get medical help for several days. You begin feeling really weak—maybe a bit nauseated. The weakness is not going away. Actually, when you think about it, through your currently fuzzy brain, you realize you’ve been feeling dehydrated and constantly thirsty for weeks now, but you’ve been urinating more than ever—even several times a night. Something’s up.

    Finally, someone who has diabetes checks your sugar with their machine, and your level is sky high. Now you’re in a pickle because you need to get medical care within a day or two. If you don’t, you’ll keep getting worse and could go into a coma or die. In fact, even with treatment, many people with extremely high sugar die.

    But the thing is, your situation could have been prevented. More than likely, the high sugar didn’t pop up overnight—one day it’s normal and the next it has doubled. Rather, it probably gradually came on, getting higher over days, weeks, months, or even years, and doing damage to your heart, eyes, kidneys, blood vessels, and nerves along the way.

    As I’ve stated multiple times, prevention of disease is one of the keys to survival. Or, if you have a disease already, recognizing it and getting proper treatment so complications don’t occur is essential.

    The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently came out with some new guidelines for screening for diabetes. The task force is pretty conservative on testing, so I take notice if they recommend something. The details are reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

    The Task Force’s New Guidelines

    For people without symptoms, the USPSTF previously only recommended screening if those people had high blood pressure. The task force found insufficient evidence of the pros and cons of screening for other people.

    Am I Overweight?

    If you’re not sure whether you’re overweight, you can find plenty of references for height and weight online. One common measurement is the body mass index, which you can calculate easily here. If you have a lot more muscle than most people, the BMI may inaccurately classify you as overweight, but otherwise it tends to works well.

    Really, the old tried and true “look in the mirror” test will be enough for most of us. If neither of these things is definitive for you, though, there are some pretty simple instruments you can buy, such as the fat-pinching skin caliper,* to give you a good approximation of your body fat percentage.

    But since those guidelines were published in 2008, new research has come out. The bottom line with the new recommendations is if you’re 40 to 70 years old and overweight or obese, you should have either a screening fasting blood sugar or a Hemaglobin A1C (a measure of your average blood sugar that doesn’t require fasting) at least every three years.

    That doesn’t apply if you have a family history of diabetes or have symptoms, such as increased urination or thirst. In either of those cases, you may need to be screened right away, or at least more often. It does apply, however, to about two-thirds of the rest of us in that age range.

    Recognizing diabetes is important so treatment can begin early to decrease your risk for all those bad things that can happen to your body that I mentioned. In fact, there’s some pretty good evidence that if the sugar is just a little high, walking briskly or doing similar exercise for 30 minutes five times a week and losing 7 percent or more of your body fat (less, of course, if you’re less than 7 percent over normal) can cut your risk of having full-blown diabetes by half. Hey, why don’t we all just do that anyway?

    Of course, even if you exercise regularly and are at normal weight you can get diabetes. If you fall into that category, check with your doctor about how often you should be screened.

    And finally.

    The task force advises that certain groups may need to talk to their doctor to see if they should start glucose testing for diabetes screening at an earlier age or more often. These include “Persons who have a family history of diabetes, have a history of gestational diabetes or polycystic ovarian syndrome, or are members of certain racial and ethnic groups (that is, African Americans, American Indians or Alaskan Natives, Asian Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, or Native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders).” People in these groups may have a higher risk for developing diabetes younger or with a lower BMI.

    If you read the whole guidelines, the USPSTF goes into their logic on screening and how it can prevent complications. It’s pretty interesting.

    What about you? Have you been screened? Have you been surprised with a high result? What about diet and exercise? Did it help lower your sugar?


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    Drying Laundry without Electricity & A GIVEAWAY

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    How to Dry Clothes when you don't have power

    Do you have a back up plan for drying clothes? I love hanging my clothes out on the line during the summer. Fall and winter in North Idaho don’t make that possible.

    Alternatives for drying clothes
    This is what the line looks like during the fall…. Rain.

    How to dry clothes when the power is out
    Then winter, which is sometimes Halloween to Easter, this is what I deal with.

    Enter this AWESOME drying rack. Perfect for the room where the wood stove is
    Now is you chance to win your very own!!
    The perfect alternative to drying your clothes frugally or for when you have a power outage.

    This giveaway is sponsored by Ohuhu and has a $70 value.

    • This gullwing drying rack is composed of a sturdy stainless steel rack and high quality plastic joints.
    • The rack also has two pairs of shoe holders included.
    • Easy to setup and fold down, folds flat to 3.9 inches for space saving storage.
    • The wings can be adjusted by placing the support arms in different positions for flat drying or for hanging tall items.
    • A handy foldable design for easy storage and space savings, 50″ x 18″ x 35.5″ (fully assembled) & 39.4″ x 3.9″ x 20″ (folded)
    • When purchasing this product, it includes a 30-day Money Back Guarantee & Full 12-month Warranty

    Meet the Bloggers Involved – please visit their sites!



    Homestead Lady

    Little Blog on the Homestead

    Reformation Acres

    Pasture Deficit Disorder

    Blue Jean Mama

    Apartment Prepper

    Food Storage and Survival

    Terms and Conditions

    This Gullwing Heavy Duty Drying Rack Giveaway is sponsored by Ohuhu and is open to any resident who is 18 years of age or older who lives in one of the 50 US States (but excludes the territories).

    This giveaway starts on Monday, November 2nd at 2:00 am (CST) and ends on Sunday, November 8th, 2015 at 11:59pm (CST).

    The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If we do not hear back from said winner in the designated time period of 24 hours we will choose another winner and they will have 24 hours to respond from the time the notification email is sent. Please check your SPAM email folders.

    Good luck to everyone!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    The post Drying Laundry without Electricity & A GIVEAWAY appeared first on Mama Kautz.

    EPA and NRC Both Captured Agencies and Both Trying to Ram More Radiation Down Your Throat

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    I don’t have time to provide all the backup for my assertation in this post, but it is findable via searchingthis lbog, searching at ENENEWS, and general Google search.

    Bottom line: as the dying and desperate, yet dangerous and well funded nuclear industry cannot compete with modern energy sources, it has corrupted it’s captured agencies to try to raise the radiation levels that they can blast the general public with by 100 times more.

    Not joking.  It is beyond comprehension.   These are sick and desperate people.

    Some of the pro-nukers I chat with admit that they don’t believe that 100 time more would be anything but very dangerous, BUT they also think it won’t be opened up that high and maybe just relaxed by double.    

    That is very dangerous thinking, you have no idea the result once an absurdity like this enters committee and a vote.   Its a crapshoot at that point.

    from a distance

    Final reminder that your input is needed now:
    (1) Comment to the EPA regarding raising radiation levels:
    (2) Comment to the NRC regarding raising radiation levels:!submitComment;D=NRC-2015-0057-0086
    (3) Sign the Petition

    Fruit Leather: A Comparison of Methods

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    Fruit leather, known at the grocery store as Fruit Rolls or Fruit Roll-Ups, is a wonderful way to preserve juicy, flavorful produce, and kids of all ages love it!

    “Back in the day”, leather was produced by spreading fruit pulp in the sun, and solar trays remain an excellent method for drying produce today!  However, not every day is a sunny one, so we need indoor options, such as the oven or the counter top dehydrator.

    This week, we are comparing the methods to determine what, if any, differences exist between the two with regard the time required to dry strawberry leather.

    First, let’s prepare our fruit.

    Today’s recipe includes three baskets of first-of-the-season strawberries, which needed a boost from a half-cup white sugar.  Any sweetener can be used, including honey, artificial sweetener, or corn syrup, which many recipes recommend.  If your berries are sweet enough, there is no need to augment.

    Most recipes call for two tablespoons of an acid, such as lemon juice, to prevent darkening.  I prefer the more complex flavor produced with balsamic vinegar.

    I also prefer to cook the fruit before making the leather.  This is not required, and you can just as easily puree raw fruit.  By cooking, however, the juices are released and flavor concentrated by an hour of simmering.

    I puree the cooked fruit with my immersion blender, but you can easily use a counter-top blender or a food processor.

    To dry the leather for our comparison, a cookie sheet and a dehydrator tray were both lined with a sheet of parchment paper, and exactly one cup of strawberry puree was spread thinly on each in roughly the same size.



    To dehydrate leather in the oven, adjust the temperature to the lowest possible setting.  In my kitchen, it is 170 degrees.

    There is some disagreement as to whether the oven should be completely closed, or cracked open slightly in order for the moisture to escape the oven.  Because I spread the puree very thin, I elect to close the oven completely.  (Also, my frugal spirit cannot abide escaped heat!)

    Counter-top food dehydrators vary wildly in their features.  I am pleased to own an Excaliber, economy model, of course!  The Excaliber has temperature settings and a fan, which speeds up the drying time considerably.  For fruit leathers, the suggested setting is 135 degrees.

    Most recipes indicate a drying time of 8-12 hours.  Because I “go thin” when I spread the puree, the drying time is significantly reduced.  The question remains, however, which method, oven or dehydrator, is the quickest?

    The above picture was taken after two hours of drying time in the dehydrator.  The top left quadrant has a ways to go.

    Once the surface is shiny, and the fruit does not stick to your finger when you touch it, peel the entire sheet off the parchment and invert it.  Another 30 minutes of heat and it should be completely dry.  (Thicker layers will take longer.)

    I like to roll up the leather and cut into strips, which the kids enjoy unrolling and pretending they are super stretchy tongues!


    Which method took less time, the 135 degree dehydrator with a fan, or the 170 degree oven?  Well, start to finish was 3 1/2 hours for the dehydrator and 4 hours for the oven.  There was a mere 30 minute difference between the two.    For all intents and purposes, it was a tie!

    If you are unsure which method would work best for you, perhaps the deciding factor would be capacity.  The average household oven can efficiently manage two cookie sheets at a time, while the Excaliber has nine trays, more than doubling the amount of leather produced at one setting.

    A couple of extra notes from the Frugal Files:  Do not discard the parchment sheets after only one use.  Flip them over and use the reverse side next time.  Also, the dehydrator puts out a bit of warm air when in use.  In cool months, I position the unit in proximity to my work area, allowing the dehydrator to keep the room cozy while drying the food!

    The post Fruit Leather: A Comparison of Methods appeared first on American Preppers Network.

    Firewood 101: How To Ensure You Have More Than Enough Fuel For Winter

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    Firewood 101: How To Ensure You Have More Than Enough Fuel For Winter

    Image source:

    For people who have lived with wood heat for years, firewood is pretty much a no-brainer – just another part of living in the country. But people who have just moved to a home that relies on wood heat or just installed a wood stove might not find it so simple.

    Here is a brief rundown on selecting, buying, splitting and storing firewood for the beginner – and in making sure you have more than enough for the season.

    Types of Wood

    When it comes to type of wood, there are four categories to keep in mind:

    • Hard vs. soft
    • Green vs. seasoned

    Hardwoods and softwoods refer to the type of tree. Hardwoods like oak will burn longer and create a nice coal bed. Softwoods like pine will burn hotter and more quickly. An ideal woodpile should have a mix of these dense and soft woods. Softer woods tend to make good kindling and help to get the fire going before adding bigger piece of hardwood. Softer woods also are useful for getting a room heated more quickly, whereas hardwoods will maintain the heat and last throughout the night if maintained properly.

    Softwoods also can be nice to have in the spring and fall when you only want to warm your house in the morning to take the chill off. Keep in mind that some softwoods like pine can have a lot of sap in the wood, even after seasoning. This can cause a creosote build-up to happen more quickly, so keep that in mind.

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    The terms green and seasoned refer to the age and status of the firewood. Green wood is newly processed firewood that still has a lot of water content. Naturally this water content is going to make the wood difficult to burn and also might cause gunk to gather in the chimney. It just isn’t efficient. Seasoned firewood is wood that has been split and stacked, then allowed to sit in storage to dry. Depending on the wood, you can season firewood well in about six months. But some people choose to gather a ton of firewood a year or two in advance to ensure they have plenty of nice, dry wood.

    It’s best to get your firewood in the spring if it’s green so it has time to dry by late fall or winter, depending on your climate. Seasoned wood costs more money and is more difficult to find.

    Buying vs. Gathering

    When deciding whether to buy or gather your own firewood, you should consider a few things. If you live on some acreage with trees it can be tempting to want to play lumberjack. But take a moment to think about that. If you are brand new to woodlot management, you can do a lot of damage to your property if you haphazardly take trees without considering the long-term effects. Aside from that, say there are some damaged or already fallen trees you have your eyes on. That would be fine to take but you will need to learn how to safely use a chainsaw and should have someone else with you in case of an emergency.  Even experienced chainsaw users can become complacent and end up hurting themselves. Learning to use a chainsaw is an important skill for anyone who lives in a rural area. Just be sure you educate yourself either from the help of a friend, a class, or online videos before cutting trees.

    Firewood 101: How To Ensure You Have More Than Enough Fuel For Winter

    Image source:

    Cutting and gathering your own firewood is quite a laborious process, especially since you’ll still have to split and stack it at home. If that is something you’re interested in and you have the time to do it, by all means go for it. But keep in mind that your firewood pile may not be seasoned by the time you are done. If it’s your first year with wood heat, it would be a better idea to start gathering wood but also buy enough for the first winter.

    If you’re in a rural area you can find ads for firewood in the local newspaper, online (like Craigslist) and through word-of-mouth. If your town is like mine, you might even see trucks loaded with wood and a sign with a phone number as an advertisement. For most people it’s easiest to just ask friends if they know a good source of firewood in the area.

    When buying firewood be sure to ask whether the wood is seasoned. You also should inspect the wood yourself before paying. It’s a good idea to measure the stack of firewood before paying to be sure you get your money’s worth.

    Cords vs. Truck Loads

    The reason for measuring wood is to determine whether it’s a cord or not. A cord of firewood is roughly 8-feet x 4-feet x 4-feet. Typically, wood is sold by the cord, so it’s a good idea to get an idea of how much wood that actually is. Depending on your climate and your home, you may only need a cord. Whereas others may need three or more to be safe. It’s a good idea to ask local friends/acquaintances or the person you are buying wood from for an average amount of wood needed for your region’s winter.

    Firewood also can be sold as a face cord which at face is 8-foot long and 4-foot tall but only as wide as the logs. A lot of private firewood sellers sell by the pickup truck load. This can be a bit tricky because you really won’t know how much you are getting until you get it unloaded and stacked. Depending on the truck, you can get about one-third to one-half of a cord in the bed based on how neatly is stacked and how high. A face cord is roughly a neatly stacked, full-size pickup truck bed load.

    Splitting and Storing Firewood

    Whether you cut your own wood or bought it, once you have logs you will need to split and stack the wood for storage. This is the most time intensive and tiring part of firewood and perhaps the one major reason why some people do away with wood heat. It is a great workout, however, and very rewarding once it’s all done.

    chores homestead winter fallYou will need a nice open area for splitting firewood and it’s nice to have someone there to help with placing the logs in front of you or take turns splitting. You also will need a good quality splitting maul. The traditional, wooden-handled ones are nice but will tire you quickly so if you are buying a brand new one, you should probably go with a fiberglass handle.

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    You’ll also want a splitting block. This can be a stump or a very large log. Splitting on the ground is doable but a splitting block will make your job much quicker and much easier on your back. It’s going to take a bit before you get into the swing of using a splitting maul accurately and efficiently, so don’t become discouraged. It’s really helpful to watch a video on proper swinging technique.

    Once you’re ready to go you can start splitting the rounds. If you bought firewood, be sure to measure them to ensure they will fit into your stove. Also, don’t go overboard with splitting. You don’t want a bunch of small pieces of firewood. It’s better to split a round into thirds or quarters and also leave some as halves for overnight burning. You can use an ax or hatchet for splitting the thirds or quarters into kindling.

    After splitting the wood you can stack it for storage. There are a couple of different ways to stock wood, so just be sure you stack in a way that allows plenty of airflow.

    Within six to eight months your stacked firewood will be ready to burn. For fire safety reasons, it is best to store your firewood well away from your house. You can keep a small stack by the house in a safe area and move a days’ worth or so into the house everyday if you have the space. Keeping kindling stacked by the stove is also a good idea to help it dry more quickly and help you get a fire started without hassle.

    Wood heat is wonderful, and there really isn’t anything quite like a warm fire with the occasional crackle to relax by at the end of a long day.

    What advice would you add on chopping and storing firewood? Share your tips in the section below:

    If You Like All-Natural Home Remedies, You Need To Read Everything That Hydrogen Peroxide Can Do. Find Out More Here.


    The Ancient Do-Anything Bushcrafter Blade Your Cache Needs

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    The Ancient Do-Anything Bushcrafter Blade Your Cache Needs

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    There are lots of survival blades out there from machetes and hand-forged skinners to double-bit axes. I’d buy them all if I could, because one can never have too many knives. But then, there’s one particular knife which holds a special place in my heart. It’s a legend among blades, and it’s been that way for hundreds of years. It’s the kukri knife.

    I have a few reasons for my affinity of the “kuk.” It’s a special thing when you happen upon a unique bushcraft/survival tool that’s not only beautifully designed, but also has been proven to perform.

    This is why, I believe, the kukri knife has found its place in the hearts of bushcrafters and warriors alike. Allow me to elaborate.

    The Gurkhas Needed a Chopper, So They Invented One

    Some historical records have placed the first known use of a Gurkha kukri knife as far back as the 17th century, and it’s been working for the Nepalese people in Asia ever since.

    Its first uses were that of something you might require in the bush, as it was designed to perform just about any task a hunter or farmer would ask of it. The kukri could do basically anything: chopping wood, slaughtering animals for food and clearing away thick foliage that you’d find in the jungles of Nepal. Its “weight-forward” design, where the blade curves away from its user with a disproportionately wide cross section compared to the handle, gives the kukri its famed chopping/slicing power.

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    The knife itself was most commonly made no longer than 16 to 18 inches. But due to its incredibly efficient profile, it could out-chop and out-slice blades that were twice its length.

    And let’s just say that the Gurkha people noticed this power, applying it to other uses of the more combative persuasion.

    Battle Blade: More Than Just a Workhorse

    The kukri knife’s military usage has bloodied enemies of the Gurkhas in historic battles from at least as far back as the 19th century.

    Of course, the Nepalese Gurkha soldier has always been feared as much as his blade. In trained hands, the kukri knife will glide through flesh and bone in one chopping motion, which is another reason why the kukri has traditionally been made with a hoof-shaped notch above the handle. Aside from religious/ceremonial reasons, the notch keeps the handle clear of blood from enemy soldiers, a horse, a goat, or whatever is bleeding after having come into contact with the rapidly descending business end of the blade.

    Because the kukri is such an effectively designed chopper, this means it’s a blade to take very seriously. In fact, the kukri knife even has its own safety rules on proper handling, especially since it will hack through a wrist much like it will hack off a tree limb.

    A Blade Designed For Just About Anything

    The kukri is made to be your all-purpose farm and bush utility

    One of its primary strengths is the fact that it can perform just about any camp task reasonably well. Keep in mind, however, it’s not necessarily up to par with blades that were made specifically for the certain tasks in question. To illustrate this point, here’s a fantastic video review on why the reviewer carries his kukri afield more than most of his other blades:

    It can assist you with anything from butchering meat to building shelter. The blade allows me to pack in fewer, more task-specific blades. Opting for the kukri can keep my gear weight down, especially if I’m just on a scout and wish to leave the rest of my gear at camp. I believe that this advantage is explained by one of my original points: the kukri’s primary strength is that it can keep up with the cutting power of a 24-inch machete, even if the blade is half the machete’s size.

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    That makes the kukri knife a weight and function-efficient tool, not to mention the fact that its edge can be maintained easily. Even just a sharpening stone will do the job.

    From Gurkha Tradition to the Survival Afield, the Kuk Means Business

    It is true that all blades will have their own limitations. And this rule doesn’t necessarily exclude the kuk. I wouldn’t want to use it for cleaning game or any task that requires some semblance of high-precision. But it wasn’t designed to fillet a fish or whittle a toggle.

    But there’s certainly something to be said for a blade that’s served the Gurkha people of Nepal for centuries, earning a place of honor in their family traditions, religious ceremonies and even becoming the primary symbol for one of the world’s fiercest military fighting forces. Even in the Middle East, the Gurkhas still fight alongside British forces, soldiers that keep a standard issue kukri knife by their side.

    Survivalists are in need of a blade that can make quick work of camp tasks in the field. They also need a weapon that’s been known for its capacity to win a fight. And the kukri knife has been doing that for generations.

    Do you have any experience with the kukri knife? What advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:

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    Liver: The Unappreciated Superfood Of Yesteryear

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    Liver: The Unappreciated Superfood Of Yesteryear

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    Many people make a face when the subject of eating liver is discussed, convinced that no one should consume it.

    But what they don’t know is how easy liver is to make delicious and how nutritious it really is.

    Looking back in history, almost all traditional cultures valued organ meats for their ability to build up the body’s vitality. For instance, native African mothers would give their babies raw liver as a first source of solid food. In some traditional cultures, the liver was even considered to be a sacred food.

    Why Eat Liver?

    Organ meats, including liver, are rich in the fat-soluble vitamins A and D, essential fatty acids, and many macro and trace minerals.

    A deficiency of vitamin A in the diet has been linked to multiple health problems, including disturbances in ovulation, infertility, a resorption of the fetus in pregnant women, lack of coordination, spasms and blindness.

    A lack of vitamin D also can lead to many health issues, including the development of rickets, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, an impaired immune system, childhood asthma, and an increased risk of cancer.

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    Some people have bodies that are unable to make certain essential fatty acids that are needed, and therefore they must consume them in their diets. Organ meats, along with chicken egg yolks, fish eggs, and fish oils are excellent sources of the EPA and DHA that are needed by the body. These foods, such as the nutrient-rich organ meats like liver, contain a number of fat-soluble vitamins that are critical for long-term robust health and fertility.

    Liver can be a very important preconception and fertility food for both men and women, and pregnancy food for women. The fat-soluble vitamins A and D and the macro- and trace minerals present in organ meats like liver are important for producing healthy and strong babies.

    According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, those planning to conceive should consider eating organic liver and other organ meats, as well as taking a cod liver oil supplement and eating other traditional fertility-supporting foods such as seafood, eggs, butter, cream, bone broth, and fermented milk products for at least six months prior to conception.

    The Weston A. Price Foundation guidelines for pregnant women include two eggs, raw milk or bone broth, and cod liver oil every day, and eating liver at least once per week. Nursing women should continue to consume liver, eggs and cod liver oil to provide high quality fat-soluble vitamins in their breast milk.

    High vitamin A intake is necessary during childhood, but is also a critical nutrient for supporting ideal health and strength throughout adult life.

    Can’t You Get Vitamins Elsewhere?

    Liver: The Unappreciated Superfood Of Yesteryear

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    It is very difficult to get sufficient Vitamin A by eating plants alone. This is because the vitamin A (such as beta carotene) that is present in plant foods (such as carrots and sweet potatoes), is actually not true vitamin A, but is actually in a form that must first be converted into the version of vitamin A that the human body can use. Yet quite often, the body doesn’t actually covert these carotenes very efficiently. Conversion of these compounds requires bile salts, fats and vitamin E. Children, infants and people with thyroid disorders do not convert carotenes very well in the body.

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    Vitamin D can be made in the skin from cholesterol and sunlight, but much of the modern human population receives insufficient sunlight due to our largely indoor lifestyles.

    True vitamins A and D in the diet are only present in animal foods such as seafood, liver, butter and eggs.

    What About Toxins in Liver?

    Many people are concerned about the toxins that might be present in liver. Such a concern embodies the reason why it is important to eat only organic liver from naturally raised animals. While organic liver may still contain some toxic substances, the nutrition that is provided by liver such as copper, zinc, iron and the fat-soluble vitamins A and D far exceed the small amount of toxins that may still exist.

    Liver is also a good source of antioxidants that help your own liver to detoxify, so the dangers of any toxins present in organic liver are likely to be minimal.

    How Should Liver Be Prepared and Consumed?

    Liver should be organic and fresh, or frozen. The surrounding filament should be removed prior to cooking.

    To draw out impurities and improve flavor and texture, the liver can be soaked in lemon juice for several hours. Liver can be cut into ¼-inch to 3/8-inch slices and then used to make dishes such as liver and onions, liver and mushrooms, breaded liver, and liver with balsamic vinegar sauce.

    If the idea of eating organ meats is challenging for your family, such foods can be “snuck” into a number of dishes to make them palatable and even unnoticeable, while giving them the great nutrition that they need. Grated liver or other organ meats can be added to any ground muscle meat dishes, such as meat loaf or hamburger, and grated liver can be added to brown rice in a casserole.

    Do you eat liver? Do you have any preparation tips? Share it in the section below:

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    15 Grocery Store Foods You Can Stockpile Virtually Forever

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    15 Grocery Store Foods You Can Stockpile Virtually Forever

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    Preserving and stockpiling food is a cornerstone of homesteaders and off-gridders. Not all foods, though, preserve well, no matter what you do to them. Some are just bound and determined to deteriorate with time. But there are enough foods that will last and last extremely well, if we take the time to select and pack them in the right manner.

    Part of the problem is understanding what enemies are out there – the ones that want to destroy our foods. Once we know that, we can prevent them from having access to our food stocks and thereby can prolong the life of those stocks. The enemies I’m referring to include:

    • Critters – Rodents, insects and especially bacteria, all of whom want to eat our food before we can get to it. The best solution is a combination of killing any that might be in the food (especially for bacteria and insect eggs), while making sure that more critters can’t get in.
    • Heat – Heat, even minimal, will cause many foods to start breaking down. Keeping foods in a cool area helps preservation.
    • Oxygen – Some nutrients in our foods will oxidize when given the chance and enough time. Ensuring that the foods are packed without oxygen or with oxygen absorbers is the best protection against oxidation.
    • Light – Yes, light can damage foods as well, although mostly it is by discoloring it. Light also has an effect on changing the chemical composition of some vitamins. That cool storage place needs to be dark as well.

    There is some good news in all of this. And that is that ancient people were successful in storing foods for very long periods of time. Many ancient tombs more than 1,000 years old have been opened to find useable grains and other foodstuffs.

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    Foods That Naturally Keep Forever

    There are some foods that just naturally keep pretty much forever. Those are always a good starting point if you want to make sure that your grandkids get to eat your survival stockpile.

    beans1. Dried beans – A great staple and a source of protein, beans are a cornerstone food for survival. It is important to keep insects out of them, but with that one precaution, they are unlikely to be bothered by anything else.

    2. Coffee & tea – While coffee and tea will both lose some of their flavor with time, they are still usable after years of storage. Coffee does best if left unground until use. Tea stores best for long-term if it is loose leaf tea and not bagged tea. The more airtight the container, the better it will preserve the flavor.

    3. Dried corn – This is probably the most common preserved food of ancient people and the most common to find in their tombs. Dry corn is pretty much impervious to attacks by bacteria and insects will generally leave it alone. But rodents love it, so you have to have it in a thick enough container to keep them out.

    4. Cornstarch – As long as it doesn’t get any moisture in it, cornstarch will last forever. Keep it in a cool, dry area.

    5. Corn syrup – High in sugar, corn syrup will last for many years. Like pretty much all liquids, it needs to be kept in a well-sealed container to prevent evaporation. Believe it or not, there is organic corn syrup.

    6. Honey – Honey stores indefinitely, as long as it’s stored in a sealed container. Keep it in a cool, dark place. If it crystallizes, simply heat it up to melt it again.

    7. 100 percent pure maple syrup – Left in a sealed container, pure maple syrup holds up extremely well. If it should get mold on it, simply skim off the mold, boil the syrup and re-can it.

    8. Powdered milk – Yes, that powdered milk that nobody likes to drink is one of the longest lasting foods around. While it may not be our favorite now, when we don’t have any other milk to drink we may find that we like it.

    Rice9. White rice – White rice will last a good 30 years if stored in a container without any air in it. Pack it well with an oxygen absorber and you can be sure that you’ll be able to eat it later… much later.

    10. Salt – Must be kept free of moisture. Salt is a natural preservative, so it makes sense that it will last well too.

    11. Soy sauce – Due to its high salt content, it is virtually impossible for bacteria to grow in soy sauce. Just make sure that the container stays sealed so that it can’t evaporate.

    12. Sugar – Like salt, sugar is another natural preservative. You will have to protect it from bugs though, who are attracted to it. But if the bugs don’t get to it, it lasts forever.

    13. Pure vanilla extract – Since vanilla extract is alcohol based, it lasts forever. About the only difference you might notice is a slightly stronger flavor, caused by evaporation of the alcohol.

    14. Vinegar – Vinegar is another natural preservative, due to its high acid content. It is often used in making pickled foods. As such, it keeps forever. If a film develops over the surface, don’t worry, that is merely the vinegar “mother,” which is the bacteria used to create more vinegar. You can filter it out or use it to make a fresh batch.

    15. Unground wheat – Wheat flour doesn’t have a very long shelf life and can attract insects. But unground wheat will easily keep for 20 years or longer. Wheat has even been found in ancient tombs, left there for the dead king’s spirit to eat.

    Packaging Makes the Difference

    While these foods naturally last for an incredibly long time, packaging is an issue. You probably noticed that I mentioned special packaging and storage requirements for just about everything on the list. Ultimately, the packaging you use – more than anything else – will determine how long your foods will last.

    Canned foods are among the very few foods that you can buy that are truly packaged for long-term storage. While they all carry an expiration date on them, those dates are based upon worst-case situations. Nobody really knows how long properly canned and stored foods will last. As long as the can’s integrity is intact, you can assume that the food within is still safe to eat.

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    This goes for foods that we can ourselves, too. It doesn’t matter if the food has been professionally canned in a cannery or canned in mason jars in your kitchen, the results are the same.

    There is one exception I have found to this. Foodstuffs that have been canned in plastic jars, rather than glass ones, don’t seem to keep as well. Apparently, some small amount of oxygen can make it through either the plastic of the jar itself or the lid. In either case, that causes the food inside to start oxidizing.

    There is some evidence that certain canned foods will lose nutritional value over time. This is specifically referring to the vitamins in the food. However, that doesn’t mean that these foods no longer have value. Canned vegetables and fruits are high in carbohydrates, the most important survival micronutrient. Losing some quantity of micronutrients doesn’t ruin their usability.

    Considering that dried grains have lasted several centuries when packed away in clay vessels, I think we can safely say that we too can store those grains for about as long as we want. The only problem is keeping them protected from insects and rodents. If we do that, then we can count on them literally forever.

    What foods would you add to this list? Share your suggestions in the section below:

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    LIGHTS OUT by Ted Koppel — Giveaway!

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    Lights Out by Ted Koppel -- Giveaway! via The Survival MomI hope you had a chance to read about Ted Koppel’s newest book, Lights Out, and maybe you’ve already purchased a copy for yourself. I have found it to be an excellent, foundational book for anyone new to the idea of a power grid failure but with a lot of new information for us EMP veterans.

    For several years, thousands of experienced preppers have focused on the collapse of our power grid system, whether by EMP, cyberterrorism, or a coronal mass ejection. We’ve been frustrated that no one, from the White House on down, has seemed concerned or even aware of the vulnerability. Now that Ted Koppel is talking about it,  I have to admit that it’s quite validating. He commands a national audience and is saying, “Yes, there is a very real reason to be concerned about our power grid.”

    In Lights Out, Koppel lays out, plain and simple, just how vulnerable our power grid is and, scarily, depicts a federal government that is wholly unequipped and unprepared to handle the resulting crisis.

    Sharing with you some of my notes from reading the book:

    • Cyberterrorism — new style of warfare.
      • Can be launched from anywhere.
      • Virtually impossible to trace.
      • Little fear of retaliation.
    • The grid is not defended.
      • Profit is put before security.
      • Grid equipment is old, difficult to replace, and exposed.
      • Computer systems designed before threat was known.
    • Homeland Security — no plans for dealing with cyberterrorism.
    • FEMA — No plans.
      • Few seem to be truly convinced of the threat.
    • 2013 attack on San Jose substation.
      • Took less than an hour!
      • 17 transformers destroyed with AK-47s.
      • 27 days to restore equipment
      • These people knew what they were doing, had likely scouted the area in advance.
      • This could have been a dry run for something bigger.
      • Just 9 of the most critical substations would cause blackout over most of the country.
    • Opening of Cheyenne Mountain
      • Possible warning sign that military is aware of coming attack.
      • Commander of NORAD: will protect electronic gear from CME or EMP
    • Koppel has read and agrees with One Second After.

    This is just 2 pages of the notes I took from this book!

    I want YOU to read the book, too, so I’m giving away FIVE copies to Survival Mom readers!

    It’s super easy to enter this giveaway, which runs through next Tuesday, November 10. Winners will be selected at random and notified via email. If you receive this email notification, you must respond within 48 hours or your prize will be forfeited.

    Good luck!

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    Ways to Use a Drying Rack + a Giveaway

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    Ways to use a drying rack | PreparednessMama

    You really can hang more than laundry. There’s a new toy at my house. I call it a toy but we’ve been doing plenty of practical things with it too. Did you know that my family gave up paper towels? That’s right, now we use s system of napkins and rags to take care of […]

    The post Ways to Use a Drying Rack + a Giveaway appeared first on PreparednessMama.

    Pandemics The Unknown Threats!

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    The Pandemics Threat The Media Isn’t Talking About
    Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live

    11-1-15 Prepping for a PandemicsThis episode of Herbal Prepper Live will be cover the latest news on infectious diseases that should be in the news, but haven’t been. More importantly, how to do a Self Imposed Reverse Quarantine (SIRQ).

    Unless you’re actively looking for information about infectious disease, you won’t hear much about pandemics threats on the nightly news these days. While the major new outlets may post a short article on their websites, the television new broadcasters have been silent on current, ongoing pandemics.

    11-1-15 Hazmat_DEAThis has been the case ever since Ron Klain was appointed to the position of Ebola Response Coordinator, aka “Ebola Czar”. With no background in health or medicine, Klain’s appointment to this position is a shining example of the revolving door in politics. Within two week’s of being on the job, the media fell silent on Ebola, and any other potential pandemic disease.

    There have, however, been some major developments:

    • The first recorded case of sexually transmitted Ebola
    • Ebola lives in the body much longer after symptoms are gone than previously thought.
    • 5 Super-Spreaders are responsible for 83% of the MERS cases in South Korea
    • Ebola and MERS can both relapse even after a person is “cured”.
    • New clusters of MERS patients are not from contact with camels, but from other people.
    • Military loses samples of plague and equine encephalitis viruses, and accidentally sends anthrax to the UK.

    11-1-15 Food JarsSo, what can you do about any of this? Learn how to impose a successful SIRQ! This episode will cover various ways to secure your boundaries, what kinds of supplies you will need, and how long you will need them.

    Pandemics happen. Between modern travel and human error, it is only a matter of time before the United States faces a major medical crisis. We have all seen how our government handles a crisis (Hurricans Katrina and Sandy jump to mind). Don’t get risk getting sick or stuck without necessary supplies. Learn how to protect yourself and your family with the information in this episode.
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    Listen to this broadcast “Pandemics The Unknown Threats” in player below!

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    The post Pandemics The Unknown Threats! appeared first on The Prepper Broadcasting Network.