Food Storage Part 1- Spoilage

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By Richard Bogath Food Storage – You gonna eat that? I’m not necessarily asking if you’re going to finish your meal because I’m still hungry, I’m asking if the food in front of you is actually safe to eat? Or that knife you’re using to cut up that game meat you took last week—is it […]

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(Video) Grow Sprouts and Microgreens Indoors All Winter Long

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fresh-arugula-micro-greensAs the temperatures drop and the days get shorter – I’ve heard from several gardeners up north that they are packing it up for the year and winterizing their gardens.

But even up north, there’s one easy way to keep some fresh greens coming all winter long – with just a few containers and a little bit of your open counter space.

Microgreens are a great option for keeping your vitamin intake up over the winter. In addition to being tasty and trendy, they pack a big nutritional punch. A study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry looked at 25 common varieties of microgreens and found that they generally have higher concentrations of healthful vitamins and carotenoids than their mature counterparts. Red cabbage microgreens had the highest concentration of vitamin C, and green daikon radish microgreens had the most vitamin E.

Check out this video about growing microgreens and sprouts indoors:

If you want to give this a try and you’re looking for a cheap and easy way to get started, read this article from our writing contest – Easy and Fresh Micro Greens and Herbs All Year Round. You’ll find one example of a no-frills way to get this done – without needing to buy anything but seeds.


How to make: Basic Black Beans

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Today’s post is super quick. I just had to share this new discovery with you. I know it’s not a new thing but it’s new for me. I’ve been using my electric pressure cooker to cook black beans (among other things) for years. I absolutely LOVE it. My favorite Brazilian Black Beans are done in my electric pressure cooker. I can get my dry beans cooked in less than an hour and don’t really need to plan ahead with it.

ALL UNTIL my dear husband washed part of the lid in the dishwasher. So while my lid is out of commission and I order a new one I came across this way of doing black beans. I have to admit, for the days I think ahead I may just use this one, a lot! These beans turned out perfectly and were so easy, even my husband can cook them. My husband helps with a lot – but cooking (and apparently dish-washing) isn’t his forte.


9 cups of water
3 cups of dry black beans (rinsed)
1 onion halved
6-8 cloves of garlic or minced garlic
2 Tablespoons of salt
1 jalapeno pepper diced (I used freeze-dried green chilies)

Put all the ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on high for 8 hours. Eat!

This makes a huge batch. With 4 hungry boys in my family I can stuff these in tortillas, serve with rice, add to salsa’s… the options are endless!

The post How to make: Basic Black Beans appeared first on Food Storage Made Easy.

Sock Tip

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In the winter I tend to use wool socks. I have tried a few different types. My criteria are:

-Wool, at least a blend.

-Machine washable. I just toss all of the stuff in the washer and go. Not playing special sorting for socks.

-Durable. If you wear socks every day (vs for 1 weekend hiking a year) they need to last.

-Don’t lose the elastic and get all slumpy.

The pick

-Carhart winter socks. Roughly a third wool, a third acrylic and a third I dunno. They are warm, last well and are truly machine washable. I like them a lot.

Pop-Up Paradise

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Purple Line’s Opus folding trailer packs in the amenities and is at home anywhere you roam

When we decided to deviate from the norm and review a pop-up trailer, John Cleese’s immortal catchphrase, “And now for something completely different,” from the Monty Python series came to mind. The high-end canvas Opus, with a 7-foot 6-inch ceiling height, offers many of the amenities of a hard-walled RV in one that can be towed with pretty much any properly equipped four-wheeled vehicle and go anywhere your vehicle can tow it. And a major advantage of a pop-up is that you don’t need to pay for RV storage, as it can take up residence in the corner of a garage.

The U-shaped dinette with leatherette sofa is attractive and comfortable, plus you’re treated to a nice cross-breeze when windows are opened. The canvas on the right zips all the way down to open up the entire side. Behind the sofa is one of the Opus’ “bedrooms,” complete with skylights.

The U-shaped dinette with leatherette sofa is attractive and comfortable, plus you’re treated to a nice cross-breeze when windows are opened. The canvas on the right zips all the way down to open up the entire side. Behind the sofa is one of the Opus’ “bedrooms,” complete with skylights.

The Opus is different from the average pop-up, and the British-Australian developer brought the unique Conestoga-wagon-styled trailer to the United States about a year and a half ago. To that end, it’s built to endure inclement and soggy weather and is designed to go off-road with its steel chassis supporting an aluminum frame. To top it off — literally — a universal rack for kayaks and bicycles graces the “roof.” It’s ruggedly constructed, like a Conestoga wagon, complete with canvas stretched over arched hoops. Since rounding up a draft-horse team was unlikely, we used a small SUV to tow it to our primitive testing grounds. The Opus has electric brakes so it can be handled safely by smaller tow vehicles.

It takes some work to get there, but once the Opus is set up, it’s pleasingly spacious inside with a cheerful atmosphere. Zippered-flap skylights shed plenty of light and bring in the stars at night, and a contemporary cream-colored leatherette sofa with red piping provides a comfy place to lounge. My first time out, it took about 45 minutes to set up by myself and an hour to take it down. The folks at the factory will show you how it’s done, and once you get familiar with the procedure, the claim is that you’ll be able to do it in 20 minutes. And I’d say that’s doable once you get the hang of it.

Everything you need: a sink, a two-burner cooktop, a microwave, shelves and storage.

Everything you need: a sink, a two-burner cooktop, a microwave, shelves and storage.

In a nutshell, the divided top opens to the left and right, creating individual “bedrooms” at each end — sort of tents within a tent — so each team of two has private sleeping accommodations. To lower the nonelectric stabilizing jacks at each corner and set up the support legs for the beds, I had to kneel down on the ground. Later it occurred to me that the supplied fold-up step for getting in and out of the Opus would have worked as a nice seat rather than crouching. A locking storage box that offers access from both sides is included which, among other things, we housed a cordless drill and socket with extension to lower the jacks. To raise the roof, so to speak, the arched support poles are extended to exert tension on the tent fabric and the pressure clamps are set. From there, you build up by stacking the cabinets with the sink and faucet and range on top of the base cabinets. I slid in the shelves, pushed in the sofa cushions that stay put with hook-and-loop material, set up the table and was ready to relax camp side.

OpusFloorplanExcept that was about the time my overnight guests conveniently showed up. No worries; preparing a simple snack (and meals later) was easy with prep space on the dining table and a sturdy countertop between the sink and range. Several open shelves make for a straightforward view of their contents and easy access to them. There are storage shelves at the floor level, a cutlery drawer and a 700-watt microwave.

The Italian-made SMEV two-burner cooktop heated food quickly and is obviously high-end. This particular cooktop uses JetFlow technology, which is claimed to use 33 percent less LP-gas and reach higher temperatures. It took less than a minute to hook it up to LP-gas and attach the clip to the cabinet that keeps it in place. Even better was that, when we wiped the burners down after use, it cleaned up in a snap.

Glass tops cover the cooktop and the Dometic sink that’s fitted with a fold-down faucet. Standard is a city-water hookup, water hose and pressure regulator for sites offering water. Optional are water carriers that can be strapped to the front of the Opus for dry camping; a 12-volt DC water pump is standard for drawing water from a water carrier.

Compact fun: Packed up, the Opus is about 4 feet tall and 14 feet long, including the coupler, and is topped with a universal rack for carrying kayaks and bicycles.

Compact fun: Packed up, the Opus is about 4 feet tall and 14 feet long, including the coupler, and is topped with a universal rack for carrying kayaks and bicycles.

At the floor level is a 4,000-Btu Cadet Perfectoe electric heater to keep feet toasty in the winter. The heater draws 1,000 watts of current so users should be aware of that drain when powering up more than one high-wattage accessory at a time. Three LED toekick lights have two settings: a blue one for subtle lighting and a brighter setting. Ceiling lights that attach to the support poles are optional.

Included is a Porta-Gaz 37-quart, three-way portable refrigerator that runs on 120-volt AC or 12-volt DC power or LP-gas. The Porta-Gaz sips LP-gas at a rate of half a pound per 24 hours, which means that one of those little 16.4-ounce propane canisters could potentially keep that refrigerator running cold for two days.

There’s seating for four — even five — at the dinette (which the company calls a “club lounge”), and the table rotates so we weren’t knocking stuff off the table to have a seat on the comfortable sofa. As mentioned earlier, the cream-colored leatherette sofa is attractive, but it may not stay cream colored for long with certain (read: younger) guests. To get into the bed behind the sofa, you need to step on and over the sofa, plus we can picture kids (and some adults) with dirty feet using the sofa as a springboard to dive into bed. A solution for keeping the sofa clean would be to cover it with a towel or sheet. The club lounge folds down to make into another bed. If you’re going to use the lounge as a bed while someone is sleeping in the adjacent “bedroom,” it may be beneficial to communicate at which end your head will be so a wayward foot doesn’t end up in a body part during nighttime comings and goings.

The Opus’ double beds are housed in the pop-up’s lids, making for a firm base.

The Opus’ double beds are housed in the pop-up’s lids, making for a firm base.

Getting into bed at the other end is not as exciting; the users simply take one step up into the room. A knee-high cabinet to the left is a good place to keep a suitcase or duffle bag that can easily be reached from bed (when you’re not zipped in). Each “bedroom” has a comfortable 75 x 59-inch mattress, and even with the bedroom all zipped up, there’s lots of room and we did not feel closed in. Mesh storage pockets hang at both ends of each bed and are wide enough to hold a couple of magazines. Each room has a heavy-duty plastic skylight, which I absolutely loved for nighttime stargazing while lying in bed. We didn’t close it before falling asleep, so in the morning the sun was bright and hot.

There are two skylights in the main living area as well and vented “windows.” Since we were camping on a hot weekend without the benefit of a shade tree, the Opus stayed toasty during the day. Our style is to be outdoors most of the day anyway. Being able to open the skylights via zippers would be welcome, but that might compromise the waterproof aspect. One wall zips all the way down to open up the entire main living area. Included is a 10 x 6½-foot zip-in awning. Optional is a full awning/room ($1,499) that creates another living area with two detachable bed pods that will sleep another four people.

OpusSpecsOne nitpick we had about the Opus is that movement is noticeable, despite the stabilizing jacks, especially when all is relatively quiet. For instance, when friends, who were sleeping in the other bedroom, got up in the wee hours to visit the campground restroom, the motion woke me (I’m a light sleeper). Another point, as we discovered, is that the Opus’ heavy canvas retains heat. This is great for camping in cool climates; however, packing up the Opus in the heat of a 90-degree Southern California day was not much fun. The first step to starting the Opus’ packing-down process is to zip up all vents, so breaking camp is best done at a cool part of the day.

Three colors for the trailer are standard: Opus Orange, Metallic Grey and Pristine Silver, but the company is happy to custom “vinyl wrap” in pretty much any color you want. If you don’t want to mess with backing up or parking, Purple Line, manufacturer of the Opus, offers a remote-control trailer mover (see “Big E-Go” in the May 2015 Trailer Life).

The Opus’ less-than-4-foot-high door locks, so the trailer can be secured when it’s folded down. The only thing the Opus was missing is a bathroom, though an optional cubicle/privacy screen with a portable cartridge toilet is available for $349.99. Also optional is a portable shower that heats up water using LP-gas or the 120-volt AC volt system. The Opus comes with a 14-inch spare tire.

The company will soon release a Moto model that can tote two motorcycles (up to 1,100 pounds) on top and includes a motorcycle loading system.

The Opus is certainly not mainstream, but we were impressed with how spacious and well-appointed it is. Plus, we like its versatility — here’s the possibility of exploring with an RV that can be towed over the bumps and bounces of peaks and prairies. It’s a breeze to maneuver, you can see over the top of it from the rearview mirror, and it can be towed by just about any vehicle. And once you get to where you’re going, you’ll be far more comfortable than those pioneers battling the elements from their Conestoga wagons.

Purple Line/Opus | 415-802-3734 |



From the Desk of John Rourke – November 17th, 2015

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Capt. Michaels posted a link to a press release whereby Texas Governor sent a letter to President Obama stating that he refuses to accept any refugees from Syria.

Here is an excerpt:

“Given the tragic attacks in Paris and the threats we have already seen, Texas cannot participate in any program that will result in Syrian refugees – any one of whom could be connected to terrorism – being resettled in Texas,” Governor Abbott said in the letter. “Effective today, I am directing the Texas Health & Human Services Commission’s Refugee Resettlement Program to not participate in the resettlement of any Syrian refugees in the State of Texas. And I urge you, as President, to halt your plans to allow Syrians to be resettled anywhere in the United States.”

“Neither you nor any federal official can guarantee that Syrian refugees will not be part of any terroristic activity,” Governor Abbott continued. “As such, opening our door to them irresponsibly exposes our fellow Americans to unacceptable peril.”

This is leadership.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

What in the hell has this world come to? There is a new Barbie commercial which has a boy playing with Barbie.  Yup- just saw it I swear. I just saw a pig fly by. Holy crap.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

With my luck the price will change by the time you see this: Amazon has a couple of great deals going on for a very limited time:

The Kindle Fire HD 10 tablet has a reduced price of $199.99. This is a great price for such a capable and large tablet. Regular price is $229.99 which is a great price as well. Someone Christmas morning would be very happy(including me!).

Also the PNY 32 gb microSD card is on sale for $9.99 with free shipping on orders over $35 or to Prime members. A ton of storage space for $10.

Like I said these prices can change at any time.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Anyone have any experience with the Remington 783 bolt action? I have been looking at the Ruger All AMerican but recently saw the Rem 783 and really liked it. It was $329 with a scope. I would likely install a decent Nikon(around $200)

remington-783 (1)



Purifying water with bleach

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Survival and preparedness is not all about zombies and being all “tacticool”. Often it is as simple as having water that is safe to drink. A well known method for disinfecting water is with common household bleach. Bleach is inexpensive and readily available at most any grocery store.

Why bleach? Most municipalities use chlorine as part of their system to sanitize water for human consumption. Sodium hypochlorite is the active ingredient in bleach and is the source for chlorine. It is important when selecting bleach for water purification to only use regular bleach. Do not use scented bleach as you will be consuming the chemicals used for that feature.


How much to use?

Treating water with household bleach containing 5.25-8.25 percent chlorine
Volume of Water to be Treated Bleach Solution to Add
1 quart/1 liter 5 drops
1/2 gallon/2 quarts/2 liters 10 drops
1 gallon 1/4 teaspoon
5 gallons 1 teaspoon
10 gallons 2 teaspoons


The recommended guidelines listed above come from numerous government sources. Many survival/preparedness websites have been suggesting a lower quantity of 2 drops per quart.  This is probably just fine depending on the contamination level. Regardless – allow the treated water to sit for 60 minutes prior to consuming.

If water is cloudy or contains particles/sediment filter through a coffee filter, t-shift, or similar material prior to treating. It is worth noting is that bleach has no effect on chemical contamination.

Lastly – if boiling water is a possibility I would choose that method for purifying water over bleach.




Help support ModernSurvivalOnline when shopping online

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If you enjoy this website and would like to support it – it is very simple and easy: Often articles will have links pointing to products over at If you click on any of these links and make a purchase – any purchase – ModernSurvivalOnline will receive a small percentage of the sale.

This purchase costs absolutely no more – zero – zilch – nada – than if you went to Amazon directly rather than entering via MSO.

Amazon has excellent selection, prices, and customer service.  I order from Amazon at least monthly and purchase things like CR123 batteries, books, knives, firearm accessories, and even vacuum cleaner bags.

So – if you are buying stuff online this Holiday season and you plan to visit Amazon – I would appreciate it if you would click on an link here first and help support our efforts.

 I will post up a reminder in a couple weeks. Thanks!!




120 Powerful Pieces of Advice for Preppers

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Prepping for disasters can be a bit complicated. There’s lots to get, lots to learn, and lots of advice to go around. Recently I found a post with over 100 great pieces of advice. This comes from Michael Snyder from End Of The American Dream. He compiled prepping […]

The post 120 Powerful Pieces of Advice for Preppers appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Survival In Japan

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Written by Mike Turner on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Mike Turner. Mike lives in Japan so his perspective is unique to most of us. In this article Mike shares tips he has assembled to help anyone reading this learn more about survival in Japan with it’s different challenges. Although the location […]

The post Survival In Japan appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

A Savory “1788” Steak Pudding

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A Savory “1788” Steak Pudding

Jon and Kevin are working together on a recipe today! This is an absolutely delicious “Steak Pudding” from the 1788 Cookbook “The English Art of Cookery.” This is definitely a top-tier recipe that you have to try! A Savory “1788” Steak Pudding To learn more about suet, watch our video here:… To learn more […]

The post A Savory “1788” Steak Pudding appeared first on Around The Cabin.

How to Make a Fire When It’s Raining

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rain leaf

If there’s one bad habit that we all share, it’s a lack of imagination when it comes to thinking through survival situations. And yes, even preppers fail to fully consider these situations from time to time. We’re all human.

What, you may ask, am I talking about?

Well, stop what you’re doing for a moment, and try to imagine a survival situation. Are you being mugged? Fighting a wild animal? Trying to escape from a burning building? In any of these scenarios, did you imagine yourself not winning the fight or otherwise failing to survive? If you didn’t do that, then you’re not really preparing yourself for the worst.

If instead, you try to imagine what it would take for you to fail, you’ll start to consider really scary possibilities that you had overlooked before, and you’ll be a better prepper for it. You should also try to apply this mental exercise to all of your survival skills, and see what you come up with. You’ll get a really strong sense of where your strengths and weaknesses are.

If say, you try applying this mental exercise to your ability to make a fire, you’ll probably come up with a really obvious scenario that a lot of people overlook. What if you were in a survival situation, and you had to make a fire while it’s raining? Even if the rain has stopped there’s a really good chance that every bit of wood you find is going to be soaking wet. How are you going to create warmth when you need it the most?

Well ponder no longer because this is how it’s done.

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

3 Critical Survival Skills in the Winter

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3 Critical Survival Skills in the Winter

According to the American Red Cross, dozens of Americans die each year from cold exposure in the winter. Other deaths can be contributed to frostbite, hypothermia and the damage done to the liver, kidneys and pancreas that these conditions cause. Fires and carbon monoxide from improper attempts at heating add even more lives to the toll. In short, it’s important for you to understand how to survive in winter weather. Here are three crucial skills you should know and practice.


Understand How to Avoid Hypothermia

Hypothermia occurs when your body cannot maintain its heat and suffers damage. If your temperature goes too low, organ damage and death can occur. Understanding how to properly maintain your body heat and avoid heat loss are crucial skills for surviving severe weather. Some factors to consider include:


  • Dress yourself properly. You want to wear layers that trap body heat and allow your perspiration to wick away from your skin. Avoid cotton, as it is a poor insulator and holds moisture. Select man-made materials like polyester or natural materials like leather, fur or wool. Pay special attention to your extremities, as your head, hands and feet are usually the first areas affected by the cold.
  • Learn to notice when you’re sweating. If at all possible, you don’t want to sweat. The perspiration will moisten your clothes and sap body heat. Pace yourself while working outside to avoid sweating as much as possible.
  • Maintain your body from the inside out. Dehydration and poor nutrition both make you more susceptible to hypothermia. Drink plenty of water and follow a balanced, healthy diet. Definitely avoid alcohol and caffeine, as these will both dehydrate you further.


Be Able to Identify Hypothermia

You also need to understand the signs of hypothermia. In the beginning, you’ll note shivering and some mental confusion. As your condition worsens, the shivering will become more violent and eventually stop. You will find it impossible to focus on a task or think clearly. Your breathing will become shallow and your pulse will weaken. When the hypothermia progresses to the severe state, you will lose consciousness and be unable to help yourself at all.

Recognizing the early warning signs will help you make good choices and take appropriate actions. If you’re shivering and feeling a bit fuzzy-headed, march in place out of the wind, eat some of your survival emergency food and drink water. If you’re working outside and are sweating a little, you may want to remove a layer or two to keep your temperature stable. Understanding your body and its cues are essential to surviving foul winter weather.


How to Build a Warm Shelter

If you reside in an area where coniferous trees are plentiful, a pile of branches and a tarp can make a cozy lean-to. If you live in a more inhospitable area that gets a lot of snow, you may need to know how to make a properly ventilated snow cave. While tents are great, you should know how to build and heat a natural shelter using minimal tools. Carefully research the options for the area in which you live and practice these skills until you are comfortable building a shelter and heating it. In milder climates, body heat may be enough. In colder areas, learn how to build a fire with found materials. These skills can save your life.

Surviving winter weather is largely a matter of staying warm, dry and protected from the elements. For these reasons, learning how to dress properly and listen to your body’s cues are imperative. Learning to build a warm shelter is also important, as you may not always be able to move constantly to maintain your body temperature.




This article first appeared on American Preppers Network and may be copied under the following creative commons license.  All links and images including the CC logo must remain intact.

The post 3 Critical Survival Skills in the Winter appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Dog Attack! — Lessons Learned

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Earlier today I was involved in a dangerous situation that really brought home to me the need to always be ready for whatever may occur. Complacency and a false sense of safety are easy, but dangerous, habits to fall into.

What Happened

After breakfast this morning, I took my small dog for a walk in our neighborhood. My Mother, who is in her 70s, went with us. It was a walk around our neighborhood that we take almost daily, and only takes about 20 minutes.

On the way home, we were suddenly confronted by a very large dog (over 100 lbs) I had not seen before in the neighborhood. This dog immediately started acting aggressively (not playfully) towards my dog, to the point that I feared for my dogs safety, so I picked her up to carry her home. That was when the other dog started jumping on me, pushing and scratching me while trying to get to my dog. This aggressive behavior kept up as I tried to get home with my dog and my Mother, who was near panic over the situation (the dog concentrated on me and my dog, and mostly left my Mother alone).

My next door neighbor saw what was happening and came out to help us get home, waving a stick and yelling to distract the dog. My legs, hips, and back were all scratched up by the dog, with a few of the scratches deep enough to draw a little blood. However, the dog never bit me or anyone else, so I describe its behavior as very aggressive, but not vicious. However, I do wonder what would have happened had it managed to knock me down. It could have been a lot worse.

After getting inside, I called the county’s Animal Control to report what happened. More on that later in this article.

My Mistakes and Lessons Learned

I live in a very solid middle-class to upper-middle-class neighborhood in the exurbs of Charlotte. We are in a neighboring county, in a area off the beaten path, in a neighborhood that I know well, and consider(ed) relatively safe and quiet. I am embarrassed to say that I had developed a false sense of safety and complacency about my immediate surroundings. I was caught totally off-guard by the events of this morning.

Mistake 1: Because I had nothing going on this morning, I had not gotten ready like I normally do before leaving the house. In fact, I was still wearing the sweat pants I slept in the night before, along with a lightweight jacket. After all, what could go wrong on a short walk in my safe neighborhood? The sweat pants offered no protection against the dog’s nails. Had I been wearing jeans or cargo pants like I normally do, I would not have been as scratched up as I am.

Mistake 2: For the same reasons, I did not have my full EDC on me, and I was not carrying at he time of the attack.

Mistake 3: My Mother, who is in her 70s, had no idea what to do and was near-panic throughout the attack. What she should have done was to go to the nearest neighbors, get inside to safety, and then called 911. Instead, she kept wanting to try to do something to help (there was nothing she could do). I kept telling her to just go home, but she kept stopping to yell at the dog and trying to shoo it away. This only distracted me, put herself in danger, and made the situation worse. In hindsight, I should have previously talked to her about what to do in a dangerous situation, whether it be a dog attack, mugging, or something else.

The Big Lesson 1: Do not be complacent. Danger can happen suddenly and unexpectedly at any time and in any place. There is no truly “safe place” where you can completely let your guard down. I should have been fully and appropriately dressed, carrying my full EDC, including handgun. Even for a short walk in my safe neighborhood.

The Big Lesson 2: Make sure everyone in your family/group knows what to do in dangerous situations. Some folks, like my Mother, may not be able to be “fighters” because of their age or health, but they should still know what do do, how to react, when danger presents itself. Everyone needs to be taught safety and security, regardless of age, health, or whatever…

Another Lesson: Physical fitness is very important. I had to carry my 26-pound dog about 400 yards while she was struggling in my arms, while I was twisting and turning trying to keep her away from the other dog, while the 100+ pound dog was constantly jumping up on me, pushing me, and scratching me. I’m in fairly good shape, but that was difficult. Hours later, I am exhausted, and my shoulders and upper arms are aching.

Animal Control

Naturally, I called my county’s Animal Control to report the incident. It took three phone calls and just over four hours before I could get them to respond, despite the fact that the aggressive dog was still running around the neighborhood. I hate to say this because I am a big supporter of law enforcement, but in this case they left me with the distinct impression that they just didn’t want to be bothered to do their job, and simply tried their best to blow me off and not deal with it. They only responded because I kept calling, finally getting angry about it. If I had not become the proverbial “squeaky wheel,” I don’t believe they would have ever showed up.  

Today’s reality is we cannot count on government to protect us; we have to protect ourselves. 

Final note: As of now, the situation to have finally been resolved. I won’t give the details, but this appears to be a case a serial irresponsible pet owner. Thankfully, neither my Mother nor my dog were hurt, and I only received several scratches. It could have been much worse.  

5 Reasons Paris-Style Terrorism Is Coming To America

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5 Reasons Paris-Style Terrorism Is Coming To America

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The horror that occurred in the streets of Paris on Friday could soon be repeated in American cities.

There are good reasons to believe that ISIS, the organization French President Francois Hollande blames for the Paris attacks, soon could carry out the same type of terror attack in the United States. Here are five:

1. ISIS itself has promised to attack America.

On Monday, ISIS released a video promising such an attack. A spokesman for the terror group made this statement:

“We say to the states that take part in the crusader campaign that, by God, you will have a day God willing, like France’s and by God, as we struck France in the center of its abode in Paris, then we swear that we will strike America at its center in Washington.”

2. Top American officials expect such an attack.

CIA Director John Brenan warned that other attacks likely would follow the Paris attacks.

“I certainly would not consider it a one-off event. It is clear to me that ISIS has an external agenda and that they are determined to carry out these types of attacks,” Brennan told a gathering of policy experts at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “This was not something done in a matter of days. This was something that was deliberately and carefully.”

Emergency Survival Seed Bank Provides THOUSANDS Of Pounds Of Food

New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton told NBC he thinks ISIS likely would target his city. He noted that New York is brimming with the kind of targets terrorists hit in Paris.

3. ISIS’ strategy is based on attacking Europe and the United States.

Harleen Gambhir, a counterterrorism expert at the Institute for the Study of War, believes the organization, which is also known as the Islamic State, wants to turn Americans and Europeans against all Muslims.

5 Reasons Paris-Style Terrorism Is Coming To America

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“Now it is using tactical skills acquired on Middle Eastern battlefields to provoke an anti-Muslim backlash that will generate even more recruits within Western societies,” Gambhir wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. “The Islamic State’s strategy is to polarize Western society — to ‘destroy the grayzone,’ as it says in its publications. The group hopes frequent, devastating attacks in its name will provoke overreactions by European governments against innocent Muslims, thereby alienating and radicalizing Muslim communities throughout the continent.”

The ultimate goal, she wrote, is an “apocalyptic war with the West.”

4. ISIS is accelerating its campaign of terror.

Gambhir noted that since January, ISIS-backed radicals have launched attacks in Paris, Copenhagen and Lyon, France and attempted attacks in London. Officials also blame ISIS for a bomb that destroyed a Russian airliner in Egypt.

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The next logical step in that acceleration would be to launch a major terror attack in the United States.

5. The United States has greatly stepped up its attacks on ISIS.

On November 12, a day before the Paris attacks, The New York Times reported that the US and its allies had sharply increased attacks on oil fields in Syria that are one of the Islamic State’s major sources of money. The fields generate $40 million a month — money without which ISIS cannot survive. “We intend to shut it all down,” Col. Steven H. Warren, a military spokesman in Baghdad, told The New York Times. This could harm ISIS in the long-term but escalate any counter-reaction in the short-term.

Also last week, US officials announced they were reasonably certain that an airstrike had killed the notorious ISIS executioner Mohammed Emwazi, also known as Jihadi John, a British subject who killed victims in videos. Around the same time it was also announced that ISIS’s commander in Libya had also been killed by a US airstrike.

Do you believe ISIS will strike on American soil? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Should You Mount A Light On Your Handgun?

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surefire x 300 ultra_Weapon mounted lights have been around for some time now. Various people have different views in regards to them. Are they a help? A hinderance? Are they worth the financial expenditure out of your preps budget? Lets see if we can answer these questions.

Since many, if not most, violent encounters happen in darkness, being able to control illumination in the situation could be vitally critical. Consider also, that in a grid downlighted target situation, inside of buildings will be dark even during daytime. Weapon mounted lights come in a number of varieties and configuration, but for our purposes, we will discuss those you might mount on your handgun. Many lights will also incorporate a laser in green or red combined with the flashlight, as well as giving strobe capability to the flashlight. Some also incorporate Infrared capability, although laser and infrared add considerably to the price. The majority will incorporate on/off switches that you can leave the light on,  tap for a quick look, or switch to strobe.

Most modern firearms manufactures are making mounts for lights on the frames of their handguns. Mounts come in two styles, the Picatinni rail and the Weaver rail. The better light manufactures are designing their lights to work on either. For handguns that do not have a dedicated rail there are companies that have made add-on rails that connect to the trigger guard. Most lights that you can use on your handgun can also be used on a long gun or shotgun that has a rail.

Flashlight_carryBefore weapon mounted lights became popular and available, many techniques were developed to incorporate using a regular flashlight held in the off-hand while the handgun was held in the firing hand. These are illustrated to the left. These techniques are still valid, however they have been supplanted to a large degree by weapon mounted lights.

Advantages Of Mounting A Light On Your Handgun

It is attached, so this leaves your off-hand free for other things like opening or closing doors, etc. In addition, a handgun is usually more effective when used in a two hand hold. The light allows you to do a quick on/off look, or to keep it on if you are navigating a dark area where you require light to manuever. If your light has a strob feature, it may be useful to blind and temporarily confuse and adversary. If you are using a laser equipped light, the laser will pinpoint exactly where the bullet will strike.

Disadvantages Of A Light On Your Handgun

Unless you have a holster designed to accommodate a light on your handgun (many are available) it will be an on/off affair. With the light mounted directly on your weapon, it will illuminate your position dead center.  There are a number of proper techniques for properly using a weapon mounted light in a low-level light situation. Tactical advantage_One of the best training manuals that cover this issue is Gabe Suarez’s Tactical Advantage. Keep in mind for a SHTF situation that these lights are battery-powered, and although they last a long time you need to keep spares, or be able to recharge them solar.

What To Look For In A Weapon Mounted Light

Like many things in life, you get what you pay for. Quality needs to be your first consideration.  The light needs to be able to withstand the recoil of repeated firing, especially if you are considering using in on a rifle or shotgun also. The amount of light projected is measured in Lumens. A lumen range of between 100 and 400 is satisfactory.

The following are examples of some of the most popular lights that have a good reputation for reliability. They have a variety of capabilities and span a fairly broad price range.

surefire x 300 ultra_SureFire X300 Ultra LED Weapon Light

SureFire makes a wide range of quality flashlights and weapon sights. This model is one of the most popular and widely used. It can also be had with a red or green laser sight   incorporated as the X400 Ultra.   Projects an estimated 600 lumens of light. The x300 is powered by two CR123A batteries.

Streamlight 69120 TLR-2 C4 LED with Laser Sight Rail Mounted Weapon Flashlight.

Streramlight is also a major provider of weapon mounted lights, and along withStream light TLR-2_ Surefire, they garner most of the market.  The TLR 2 can be had in a variety of models from basic light to those with green or red laser or strobe. It projects 160 lumens of light and has an ambidextrous switch. It comes in various models and price ranges depending on if you want laser capability or other features.

 Nebo 6109 iProTec RM190

The Nebo 6109 is a very inexpensive light compared to many others. It has an NEBOambidextrous on/off switch that has a strobe option which is something that costs more  in other brands.  This light would be suitable as a first budget light for training, to be mounted on a .22 cal weapon, and for those who would be using it very little. It has a lumen output of 190 lumens.

There are very large number of weapon mounted light available. Decide on what your tactical use for one might be, shop around, read the reviews and buy the best quality you can afford.

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Firearms accesories Tagged: Defensive handgun, Firearms, Personal defense, Weapon lights

Antimicrobial Resistance in the News

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antibiotics-for-humans-and-food-animalsAs many of you know, we are currently working on a project to create an educational film that will empower individuals and families to safely treat infections at home, without the use of antibiotics. Members of the [Grow] Network are coming together to fund the Indiegogo campaign we created to produce this film. This is a classic example of strength in numbers, and it shows the potential a community like ours has for creating change. You can see the campaign here: Treating Infections Without Antibiotics – Indiegogo.

As we have been working on this project, we have received a huge outpouring of support. We have received messages of encouragement from concerned citizens around the globe – including scientists, medical doctors, and people who have fought off antibiotic-resistant infections in their own bodies.

I went to bed last night feeling very positive about the support that we have received. A huge outpouring of support and encouragement, and a successful campaign to empower people to take an active stance against this problem in their own homes… What could be better? Right?

Haha, that was last night – when I went to bed.

Eight hours later, I woke to some of the biggest headlines I can remember about the antibiotic-resistant threat. I was drinking my coffee and glancing through the headlines…

Here’s the first thing I noticed:

Misunderstanding of antibiotics fuels superbug threat, WHO says
This article from Reuters begins with this quote: “The rise of antibiotic resistance is a global health crisis,” from WHO Director-General Margaret Chan. She was speaking with reporters about a report the WHO just released that exposes a lack of understanding and awareness about antibiotics and antibiotic resistance around the globe. She went on to say that the problem is “reaching dangerously high levels” in all parts of the world and could lead to “the end of modern medicine as we know it.”

Talk about a timely news story… We’ve pointed to WHO claims about antibiotic resistance before, like in this post – 23,000 People Will Die This Year… And Never See Their Killer Coming.

But there’s more.

The next headline I noticed was this one:

Health Experts Are Explaining Drug-Resistant Bacteria Poorly
This article from The Atlantic leads in with the quote: “health experts invoke an ‘apocalyptic’ threat that’s bigger than terrorism or climate change.” They go on to detail an entirely different study, funded by London’s The Wellcome Trust, that focuses on the lack of understanding and awareness about antibiotics in the U.K. The author asserts that “the fault, arguably, is on us – science journalists, scientists, doctors, communicators, and everyone who’s beating the drum about this impending threat.”

Well then – that’s two big headlines about antimicrobial resistance. A good day for awareness about the problem, to be sure…. But still no real action taken as a result.

Wait, there’s more… Next, I saw this headline:

Pediatricians want farmers to use fewer antibiotics
This one is on CNN. In an open letter from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the lead author Dr. Jerome Paulson says, “We know our side is not perfect, physicians do bear some responsibility for this and there has not always been a prudent use in our practice, we are doing something on our side to help fix this.”

The article goes on to point out that in 2012, 80% (or 32.2 million pounds) of antibiotics used in the US were used on animals. And of those, 60% were the same drugs that are used to fight infections in humans. Dr. Paulson says, “We also want to make sure the government agencies and agribusiness will look at this serious issue as well and get these unnecessary antimicrobials out of the production stream.” Dr. Paulson encourages parents to buy meat with a “no antibiotics added” label, noting that he sees antibiotic-free meat much more available in the marketplace.

So, still no real action – but that’s at least a call for some action.

And those articles are just the tip of the iceberg – the internet is bustling with activity and information today about the antimicrobial-resistant threat to people all over, as the World Health Organization kicks off its first ever World Antibiotic Awareness Week. I see that similar stories are running on Fox News, Time, and many industry-specific publications in the medical and agricultural communities.

If you’ve been following along here on our, this problem probably isn’t news to you. We’ve had an ongoing dialog about microbial resistance for a while now, and it’s obvious that when the WHO and The Wellcome Trust did their surveys – they didn’t call up many members of the [Grow] Network. Remember this article – Microbes 2.0 – A Tiny Manifesto?

While the national news media does appear to be getting on board to help raise awareness, I’m not sure that we can count on them to create real change.

I hope I’m wrong about that.

But, I suspect the initial response will be more like finger-pointing and name-calling, as the doctors blame the farmers, the farmers blame the pharmaceuticals, and everyone blames the government.

There’s just too much money on the table to expect wholesale change to take place without some strong outside influences.

So, as always, the responsibility for creating real change will likely fall on us – you and I. What can we do?

In a nutshell – we can take the money away. Here’s how:

Vote with Your Dollars
When you buy meat, spend that extra few dollars to buy meat that has not been treated with antibiotics. Let the massive food industries know that you are aware of the problem, and you expect them to take action if they want your money.

See this report card about how several national fast food chains stack up regarding their policies on the use of antibiotics in their meat supply – (Infographic) Is Your Lunch Full of Antibiotics? A Fast Food Report Card. If a company is not transparent and responsible about their antibiotic policies – simply don’t give them any of your hard-earned money.

When possible, buy your meat from a local farmer who will stand in front of you and answer your questions about how antibiotics were used in raising that meat. There’s more information available about this in the book Holy Cows and Hog Heaven by Joel Salatin, and in this article – 4 Uncommon-Sense Guidelines for Food Safety and Nutrition.

Opt Out
Doctor and PatientWhen you go to your doctor’s office, push back when they prescribe antibiotics for minor infections that could be treated without the drugs. Every time they suggest an antibiotic, ask them what alternatives you have, and what are the likely outcomes if you don’t take the prescription. Do rely on your healthcare providers for their expert guidance, but don’t just fall in line with the course of treatment that maximizes their income stream. Insist that they give you thorough information and that they keep themselves well-informed.

If you’re considering any elective surgical procedures – get information from the hospital about antimicrobial-resistant infections other patients have experienced at that facility and for the procedure in question. If resistant infections are common at the facility, or for the specific procedure – opt out.

Learn about Your Alternatives
Learn about how to protect yourself and your family. For some infections, there are perfectly good alternatives to the industrially produced chemical antibiotics. We are not as dependent on these drugs as we are led to believe. Learn about your alternatives.

We are producing an educational video about herbal treatments – and as I write this there are 8 days left to claim a discounted copy of that video by taking part in our Indiegogo fund-raising campaign here – Indiegogo – Treating Infections Without Antibiotics.

Colloidal silver is another alternative. We’ve published some information about colloidal silver, mostly regarding its use in the yard and garden (Colloidal Silver Kills Plant Fungus, Produces Larger and Healthier Crops and A Recipe for Serious Sunburn Relief – And It’s Great for Bug Bites Too). But there’s a lot of good information available about colloidal silver and its use as an antimicrobial treatment for infections in humans too.

Lead by Example
If you are raising food animals, do it without optional antibiotics. This might go without saying for this audience. Most [Grow] Network members who are far enough along on their journeys to be raising food animals already know about the problem, and many of you are activists for change when it comes to antibiotics in the food supply. But if your veterinarian isn’t proactive about this – ask them to read about the issue and become informed. Avoid antibiotics when you can.

Fan the Flames
Help spread the word about this issue. When you see good information about the problem, forward that information to your friends and family – and through your social networks. There is strength in numbers. If one of us tells our doctor and grocer that we don’t want optional antibiotics, we are a nuisance. If 1 million of us tell our doctors and grocers that we don’t want optional antibiotics, we are a small concern. If 100 million of us do this, we are an immediate threat to the system. Spread the word and help us reach critical mass.


• Reuters – Misunderstanding of antibiotics fuels superbug threat, WHO says
The AtlanticHealth Experts Are Explaining Drug-Resistant Bacteria Poorly
• CNN – Pediatricians want farmers to use fewer antibiotics


Dangerous Weather in the Backcountry

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In the field forecasting is an important skill for the backcountry hiker.  Learning the basics is an important first step.

Let me begin by stating that forecasting begins at home.  Monitor the local news and the cable weather channels to get a broad, general idea of the weather conditions before hitting the trail.  Further refine that information by checking inter net sources such as and the National Weather Service’s site

Choosing A Good Sleeping Bag for After TEOTWAWKI

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sleeping bag

U.S. Army sleep system

These last few days I have being giving some thoughts to sleeping bags.  Now whether you bug in or bug out, a sleeping bag can be your best friend in winter.  If you are stuck in a cold home with little heat or have to bug out in the winter, you will want to sleep as warm and comfortable as possible.

Now there are a few things that you need to take into consideration when choosing a sleeping bag.  First, what type of winter weather are you dealing with?  In my area if I go 20 miles downhill to the west, the temperatures will be relatively moderate, rarely going below freezing, but with rain and lots of people.  If I go uphill to the east, I can be facing heavy deep snow and freezing temperatures.  Forty or fifty mile to the east the snow can be 5 or 6 foot deep.

Second are you carrying your sleeping bag, weight rapidly becomes a factor. Third how much can you afford to spend.   If money was no object, I would go with a Wiggy’s sleeping bag. I consider them the finest on the market.  Wiggy’s manufactures a wide variety of sleeping bags and sleep systems that cover from +25° to -60°.  A Wiggy’s sleep system will keep you warm and dry, but they are not very light when it comes to weight.  They can weigh up to seven pounds or more.

sleeping bag

US army sleep system in stuff bag

Personally although I have a number of sleeping bags, I will probably be using the US military 4-Part Modular Sleep System.  This is a bit on the heavy side, but I am not planning to carry it far.  Being a modular unit, it covers from +50 thru – 30° F.  I have found it comfortable and it can be purchased reasonably.  I have been able to find the complete system new in the package for as little as $80.

US military 4-Part Modular Sleep System in the stuff sack.

I like the bivy cover which is made from a waterproof, moisture-vapor-permeable material.  I have slept out in the rain in mine over on the coast and have woke up to find myself laying in a inch of water and still warm and dry.  The downside to this system is its size and weight.  The system weighs about 11 pounds and consists of an inner bag and outer bag and the bivy sack, any of these can be used individually.  The fourth component is the stuff sack.  The upside is that because it consists of an inner and outer bag, you don’t have to carry the entire system, just take the parts you need.

Because the choice of a sleeping bag is a very personal thing, here are a number of things to you to take into consideration when choosing yours.

Many of the typical backpacking sleeping bags are designed only for occasional use.  While they are light in weight, you need one that is sturdy enough to last for a long period of time, under rough usage.

Goose Down is lighter, compresses easier and is warmer by weight.  However, if it gets wet, it is useless.  In extreme cold, your body releases moisture as you sleep, so a down bag can get wet from the inside even when it is protected from the outside elements.  Because of the amounts of rain we get in some seasons, I have avoided goose down.

Some of the newer insulation such as Lamilite or Polarguard 3D will still retain some warmth when wet.  Getting into a dry sleeping bag with wet or damp clothing on is one mistake that often costs people a good night’s sleep.

sleeping bag

This is the type of baffles that you want to prevent cold spots

sleeping bags

This type of baffles will let cold spots form in your bag

Check the stitching; the thread should be of good quality and the tubes should overlap so that the stitching does not go all the way through the bag wall creating cold spots.

Make sure the bag has a sturdy zipper and a draft tube along the entire length of zipper.

Consider an outer waterproof, moisture-vapor-permeable shell for your bag.  Be sure that the shell you purchase will breathe enough to allow body moisture to escape.

Whatever type of bag you choose the bottom line is take it out and use it and I mean more than once or twice.  The bag that looks and sounds so good in the store may be very uncomfortable.  The temperature ratings that are given with the bags I have found to be unreliable, a lot depends on your metabolism.  Whatever type of sleeping bag you get, don’t forget a good pad to go underneath it.The sleep system that you choose can have a big effect on your health and moral.

One last suggestion, don’t forget about garage sales.  Every year I pick up a few extra sleeping bags for pennies on the dollar.  If you have extra, you can always help others and you might just find one that you love.



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Eight Cell Phone Security Tips

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cppsIt has been nearly two years since I wrote a post on cell phone security, after multiple of recent incidents of people sharing their life issues on their cell phone while out in public, I decided it was time for a reminder. The most recent incident happened today. I was at a local business working […]

The post Eight Cell Phone Security Tips appeared first on Vigil Prudence.

Free Chickens!

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My brother-in-law called me several weeks ago and asked me if I wanted a free male duck that someone wanted to get rid of. I have really no use for a male duck but I had an empty pen so figured I would take it anyway and give it a good home. But the pen needed cleaning so we decided he would bring it that weekend….and then it rained almost every day for 3 weeks. During that time the offer changed from one duck to 3 ducks, to 3 ducks and a couple chickens and then changed to just chickens.  He brought me 8 chickens yesterday. I did not even get to see them except in the dark on their perch because I had to work yesterday but I have been out checking on them this morning. It looks like I have 2 leghorn hens, 4 cochin that I think are two roosters and two hens, and two little brown bantams that I have no idea what are.
I noticed right off that one of the little brown bantams was not as active as the others and was a little puffed up which is a sign of sickness. When she turned around I saw one of her eyes was completely infected and swollen shut. I didn’t even know if she had an eye anymore but got some Tetracycline and put it in their water. I would rather not medicate them all but don’t have a separate cage ready for her so for today it went in their water. She happened to really like that water and came over and drank quite a bit. Maybe 10-15 minutes later the eye popped open and I can see that the eyeball is still alright. Several days on the Tetracycline will hopefully clear up that infection completely.
Since I didn’t know what I was really getting, I am quite pleased that these are all young chickens. I believe they will be laying in just a few weeks.
I am going to make them some nest boxes out of the old quail cages and they will be all set.

DIY Gear Bags

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How important it is to keep things organized! The thing about it is you don’t have to spend a lot of money to buy them, so why not make your own? 



I’ve been making them for some time now. It all started with Mike’s cooking pots, thanks to him I made a few since then which allowed me in return to practice.

I just like the idea of keeping things together where they belong; group them and keep things in order. Basically knowing where my stuff is, is very important especially when my backpack is full.

Now recently Mike asked me to make a bag for his GSI Kettle, Mors Pot & Stainless Steel Bottle from his old pair of cargo pants! It was custom fit and he was happy about it.


While I was on it I made a few gear bags of my own. Here’s one where I could put my flashlight and headlamp. DIY GEAR BAGS

For this batch of bags I didn’t have any more cord stoppers but that is always easy to install; I just simply inserted some leftover paracord; made a knot on both ends and voila! My bag is done!

I was satisfied with these bags but next time I would like to make some more from another type of material; maybe ripstop nylon. I think it will be cool and I might show it to you as well!


Until next time friends and as always Mike & I appreciate you so much!

God Bless!



You may also like the DIY Paracord Bracelet! (Click Here)

Bugging Out Lessons Learned While Hunting

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By Pat Henry – The Prepper Journal

I went hunting for the first time this year earlier in the week. I have been waiting for deer season to open up in my neck of the woods and finally got my chance to get out there and try my luck at bringing home some meat to fill my family’s freezer. The weather didn’t want to cooperate, never does really, but regardless of the conditions not being ideal to the deer hunting experts, I decided to trudge out to the stand anyway and see what I could get.

Over the course of the next few days I had several experiences that seemed designed to humble me first and to point back to the often discussed scenario of bugging out into the woods, which reinforced for me anyway how this might not be as great of an idea after TEOTWAWKI as you hope. For those of you who plan on grabbing your overly equipped bug out bag when the next crisis or SHTF event happens and walking into the forest, let me share a couple of lessons learned while hunting that happened to me.

Your pack is heavy and noisy

Starting out, I needed to refill my feeders. Where I live it is legal to bait deer and this is usually done by putting corn in feeders that the deer can nibble on whenever they like. This gets them in the habit of coming to your location repeatedly. You can optionally hook up a good game camera and see who is visiting your feeders. For me, at this stand the only things I caught on the camera were raccoons who I am sure appreciated the free meals.

I had been filling my feeder up for a few weeks before hunting season began and wanted to top it off. This involves me walking with a 50 pound sack of deer corn approximately 1 mile into the woods next to my stand. I accomplish this by putting the bag in an old Army Alice pack I have because the large middle compartment holds the heavy bag nicely.

The Alice pack itself is actually pretty light and this was my very first bug out bag due to the cost. You can find military surplus packs on E-Bay for around $60. Rothco makes a new knock off of the bag that will set you back closer to $95 on Amazon. When I filled my pack up the first time with all my gear and took it for a hike I immediately started to rethink my bug out bag, but for hiking the occasional bag of deer corn down the trail it is perfect.

What I remembered again after walking with it is that 50 pounds is not light but that isn’t as heavy of an amount many preppers plan on hauling. On top of that, the pack itself squeaks when I walk. The pad that goes on your lower back rubs against you with that weight and makes a squeaking sound. Almost like someone with cheap shoe inserts or a mild but persistent case of gas. Granted, the noise probably wasn’t so loud that I would alert anyone further than several hundred feet but it was a consideration with the Alice pack.


When you bug out into the woods, you will likely want to keep as low of a profile as humanly possible and the last things you need are to be encumbered by so much weight that you can’t exit the area quickly or worse, making farting sounds as you run off through the woods with your cheap military surplus pack.

Lesson Learned: Don’t put too much gear in your pack that carrying it is a burden. Sound check your pack by using it on a real world hiking trip. Does it make noise or are you silent but deadly? Sorry, couldn’t resist.

You aren’t guaranteed that big game you plan on eating

This next lesson is very embarrassing to relate but for the sake of sharing information I will. I had an opportunity to shoot deer the other day. Two actually, but I didn’t bring home any meat. How is that possible?

I had just sighted my rifle in so I was pretty confident with zero, but there were two other factors that I think worked against me. Both issues in retrospect were completely my fault. I shot the first deer after three walked into my clearing. This deer didn’t fall; she walked around and eventually lay down. I thought OK, I hit her but it must not have been a good shot placement. I assumed she would die relatively quickly and didn’t go down to dispatch her humanely because there were still two other deer down there.

I took a second shot (yes the other two deer stood there while I reloaded my muzzle loader) and the same thing happened. The deer ran just a few feet, but didn’t fall, just walked around for a while and eventually took to lying down. By now I am thinking I am the worst shot in the world but soon another buck came in and ran them all off.

I climbed down and found two blood trails proving that I did hit them both, but obviously not well. I followed the first trail until it ended. I looked around for a long time but couldn’t find where it went. The second trail I followed led me to the deer lying in a creek bed. I had shot it exactly behind the front leg but just a few inches too low missing the heart. I pulled my pistol to finish it quickly but the deer was lying on large rocks which I was afraid my shot would ricochet. Thinking the deer was too weak to move, I grabbed it by its legs and pulled it onto the bank where the ground was better suited for a backstop or so I thought. When this happened, the deer jumped up, bolted out of the creek and ran off through a thicket like its butt was on fire. I never picked up another blood trail or found it again.

Dense woods seem to provide cover, but they also conceal others too.

Dense woods seem to provide cover, but they also conceal others too.

I was shooting a black powder rifle and had shot this maybe half a dozen times the weekend previous. I put the rifle away without cleaning it because I thought I would just be using it again to hunt in a couple of days and a thorough cleaning could wait. I remember loading the rifle and not being able to seat my round down as far as I thought it should go. It seemed to stop though and I guessed I must be imagining things. Later I learned that my powder and sabot were about 6 inches higher up the barrel from where they should be. This most likely impacted the velocity of the round as my shot hit lower than needed to cleanly kill the animal humanely.

Now, you can say I should have performed better maintenance on my weapon and that is certainly true. You can also say I should have practiced shooting more to be a better shot and of course that is also true, but here is just one example of how I missed what I was shooting at and what could have been dinner, disappeared forever. It can happen to anyone. Even if my weapon was clean and I hit a better shot, deer can still run off and you might not be able to find them no matter how hard you look.

Lesson Learned: Cleaning my weapon might not have been the culprit but I am sure it didn’t help. Make sure you have the supplies you need to clean your weapons and the discipline to clean them after every trip to the range. More so if you know you will be shooting them again and accuracy is important. Accuracy is always important.

Noise travels far

Another lesson is that noise travels pretty far in the woods. As I wait for deer to magically appear in front of me, I hear shots all around me at various intervals. I know that the shots are more than a mile away at least, but if you were trying to keep a low profile, shooting a rifle could easily draw someone to your location.

In addition to gunshots, we hear cars, trains, chain saws, squirrels and just about anything for at least a mile out there in the woods as I sit quietly in a tree. The leaves render almost any movement impossible without creating a lot of noise. If you were in a similar situation, noise discipline would be important and still hard to maintain perfectly. Other environments like the desert or mountains that have less leafy foliage would be easier to contain noise at least when you are walking, but you still have that as a consideration.

The further you go away from civilization, the less likely you are to hear the ambient noises I do, but you are still able to pick up sounds around you. The less noise you have surrounding you the more you will hear.

Lesson Learned: I am not going to be able to sneak my family through the woods without being detected most likely.

You might not be as hidden as you think

My deer stand isn’t camouflaged. It is a ladder stand that sits up against a big poplar in woods that are reasonably thick with other trees. When I got down to follow the blood trail the first time, I left my daughter in the tree. I walked around for probably 20 minutes looking for tracks and got probably 500 yards away from her at the furthest point.

The further I got away from her, the harder she was to see. I know right were my stand is, but the cover of the forest made it very hard to make her out and eventually I couldn’t see her at all. She could see me though and watched me through the binoculars until I went over a ridge. She also saw (and heard) me coming all of the way back in and I didn’t see her until I got close enough that she could have hit me with a rock.

The same thing happened with deer. When I saw one approaching I would let her know but she wouldn’t see them until I pointed them out. Movement is what alerted me to their presence well before they ever made a sound. Just by sitting quietly and watching, I could see movement when it came into my field of view. Even the quietest person in the world will need to move and it is when they do that you can be spotted.

Lesson Learned: The saying can’t see the forest through the trees is applicable here. I couldn’t see one object because of the dense forest. Heavy wood cover can work for you and against you. Someone can spot you much faster than you can see them if they are moving and you are still.

That’s been my experience in the woods so far this week embarrassing as it is. Do you have any lessons for people who plan to bug out into the woods?

This information has been made available by The Prepper Journal: Bugging out Lessons Learned While Hunting


Filed under: Bug Out Bags, Prepping

How To Survive A Mass Shooting… Flee, Hide, Bite, Spit, Cover, Shoot Back, Play Dead and More

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Mass shooting

By Mike Adams – Natural News

(NaturalNews) As a concealed carry permit holder trained in handgun combat, I’ve learned more than a few things about surviving an encounter with armed shooters. In this two-part audio series, I share valuable, practical advice on how you can survive active shooting scenarios, with or without your own firearm.

These two special reports, linked below, cover concepts like:

Continue reading at Natural News: How To Survive A Mass Shooting… Flee, Hide, Bite, Spit, Cover, Shoot Back, Play Dead and More

Filed under: Emergency Survival Tips

Thousands Of Syrian Refugees Being Resettled By Obama Could End Up In 48 Out Of 50 U.S. States

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The United States Of America At Night

By Michael Snyder – End Of The American Dream

Despite everything that just happened in France, on Sunday the Obama administration made it clear that it still plans to resettle at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in communities all over the United States within the next year.  Thanks to Obama, the U.S. has already been absorbing thousands of refugees from the Middle East each year, and as you will see below, just last week administration officials expressed a desire to “increase and accelerate” that process.  So far, the list of states that have received the most refugees includes Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.  But by the time it is all said and done, it is likely that Syrian refugees will end up in virtually every major city in the United States.  The U.S. State Department has established “refugee processing centers” in 48 different states, and you can view the entire list right here.  Considering what just took place in Paris, is this really a good idea?

In recent months, the massive influx of refugees into Europe has created a complete and utter nightmare.  Large numbers of refugees have gotten “lost”, violent crime is out of control in many of the areas where these refugees have been resettled, and nations that were once extremely peaceful such as Norway and Sweden are now dealing with an epidemic of rape.  For much, much more on the horror that Europe is now facing, please check out this excellent video.

And of course you have probably heard by now that at least one of the terrorists that carried out the attacks in Paris came into Europe “as a Syrian migrant”

One of the bombers who carried out the Paris terrorist attacks entered Europe as a Syrian migrant, according to foreign officials.

French authorities matched the remains of one of the suicide bombers from the Friday attacks to a Syrian passport that was used to apply for asylum in Europe, says Greek minister for citizen protection Nikos Toskas.

But even though ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks in France, Barack Obama doesn’t seem very alarmed.  And it was just last week that Obama stated that ISIS had been “contained”.  The following comes from the Hill

Continue reading at End Of The American Dream: Thousands Of Syrian Refugees Being Resettled By Obama Could End Up In 48 Out Of 50 U.S. States

Filed under: News/ Current Events

Blizzard to Unfold Across Denver, High Plains Early This Week

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By Jordan Root – AccuWeather

Another round of windswept snow is set to blast Colorado and the High Plains Monday night and Tuesday, mimicking the storm that brought blizzard conditions this past week.

An area of low pressure that brought rain and snow to the West Sunday into Monday will emerge across the Plains and rapidly intensify early this week, setting the stage for a major winter snowstorm.

While this storm will spawn severe weather across the southern Plains, cold air and moisture will connect on the backside and produce a swath of very heavy snowfall.

Continue reading at AccuWeather: Blizzard to Unfold Across Denver, High Plains Early This Week

AccuWeather Winter Weather Center
Severe Thunderstorms to Stretch Across Eight US States Early This Week
What Defines a Blizzard?

Filed under: Weather

Volcanoes Today, 16 Nov 2015: Krakatau volcano, Bromo, Karangetang, Rinjani

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Lava flow from Krakatau in Sep 2012 (photo: Andi / VolcanoDiscovery Indonesia)

Karangetang (Siau Island, Sangihe Islands, Indonesia): Activity at the volcano has decreased a bit, judging from the overall thermal signal, but continues with slow lava extrusion and small explosions at the summit crater, generating incandescent avalanches.
The alert level is kept at 3 (out of 4). VSI in its latest bulletin from 11 Nov mentioned that there is no significant increase or decrease of activity based on evaluation of visual and instrumental observations.

Rinjani (Lombok):
The eruption continues. Ash emissions have decreased recently, with column heights ranging between a few hundred to 2000 meters. On the other hand, mild to moderate strombolian activity from the Barujari cone and the effusion of a new lava flow have been stable and seem to be going on strongly.
This apparent change in eruptive style could be due to a decreasing phreatomagmatic component (water mixing with magma) in the eruption.
According to local press, the explosions from the vent reach heights of (only) 50 meters and Gede Suantika, head of the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation, who is also quoted to say that the eruption is likely to last 3 if not 6 months. On the other hand, in a report from a few days ago, strombolian explosions were mentioned to reach 750 m height.
Active lava flows are advancing to the north and east of Barujari cone. According to the latest estimate by Indonesian scientists, the total volume of lava erupted so far is approx. 4.5 cubic kilometers. A significant part of this volume has entered the Segara Anak crater lake, which has risen by approx. 50 cm and led to an an increase of the outflow rate of the Koko Putih river, whose temperature also increased from 21 to 39 deg C.

Krakatau (Sunda Strait, Indonesia): According to our local correspondent Andi, an isolated (perhaps phreatic) explosion occurred about 12 days ago, affecting the eastern part of the summit flank. No further details are known.
The volcano has been mostly calm since the lava flow eruption in Sep 2012 (image), but it is only a question of time when the next phase of activity occurs.

Bromo (East Java, Indonesia):
A phase of increased unrest seems to have started at the volcano. On 1 November, the local volcano observatory issued a warning not to approach Bromo within 1 km radius, as changes in seismic activity and increased steaming/degassing (including sulfur dioxide) had been noted.
The alert status of the volcano remains at 2 (“waspada”,”watch”) on a scale of 1-4.

Continue reading at Volcano Discovery: Volcanoes Today, 16 Nov 2015: Krakatau volcano, Bromo, Karangetang, Rinjani

Filed under: News/ Current Events, Volcanic Activity

Big Solar Blast, Satellites Missing Data | S0 News Nov.16.2015

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By Suspicious0bservers

Published on Nov 16, 2015

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

After Paris, ISIS attacks coming to America next… will you be trapped in a ‘gun-free zone’ with no self defense?

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After Paris, ISIS attacks coming to America next… will you be trapped in a ‘gun-free zone’ with no self defense?

While the mainstream media and President Obama pretended radicalized Muslims were warm, fuzzy refugees that we should welcome with open arms, the alternative media has been steadily warning about the precise scenario we just saw unfold in Paris.

Across the independent media — on sites like The Commonsense Show and All News Pipeline — warnings have been repeatedly aired about the “refugees” actually being military operatives who have been ordered to occupy western nations like France, Germany and the United States.

Two days before the Paris attacks, I openly predicted exactly what would happen during an interview with Red List News, saying “this is a planned, boots-on-the-ground occupation of Europe with an activation date at some point in the future where all these young men will be activated, they will pick up rifles or weapons or whatever they can find, and they will overrun the nations of Europe…”

At the time I said it, this statement seemed to many people to be nothing but hot air or even paranoia. Two days later, it became European history (and a massive “wake up call” for naive citizens everywhere who have been living in denial of reality).

Now the same people who accurately predicted the bloodbath in Paris are warning about what’s going to happen next

Now, the leaders of the independent media (new media) are warning about what’s coming next: An ISIS attack wave in the United States.


As I explain in the special reports shown below, ISIS is planning to carry out a coordinated, multi-layered attack on America to accomplish two things:

1) To psychologically terrorize the nation with a high body count and gruesome deaths.

2) To cripple key U.S. infrastructure such as oil refineries, nuclear power plants, water distribution plants and railways.

Presently, the FBI is tracking nearly 1,000 ISIS groups operating in the United States. There is no question that ISIS operatives hate western culture (almost as much as Obama himself) and everything America stands for. To them, every casualty is a victory. Every act of destruction is divine redemption. They are willing, determined and armed with explosive vests, and there is nothing that can stop them once they are inside our borders. (Hence the total lunacy of open borders.)

Where will you be when the ISIS attack wave begins?

When the attacks begin, will you find yourself disarmed and defenseless because you live in a “gun free city” like Chicago?

As I state in these breaking news reports below, if you are currently living in a gun restriction zone (Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, etc.), your political leaders have taken away your right to defend yourself against the very same kind of ISIS executions that just took place in Paris.


Will you kneel on your knees, disarmed and obedient, while ISIS executes you and your loved ones with slow, methodical certainty? Or will you exercise your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms?

People like California Gov. Jerry Brown and U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton hope you sit there and DIE rather than fight back. They don’t want citizens to be armed, because those same armed citizens might one day overthrow a tyrannical, totalitarian government that rises up in America, too!

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wants you to be armed so that you can defend yourself. ISIS operatives were already slaughtered in Garland, Texas, before they could even pull off their mass murder attempt. Any attempt at terrorism in places like Texas will be met with a wave of armed citizens opening fire on the terrorists.

Source :

Other Useful Resources :    

Mega Drought USA:(Discover The Amazing Device That Turns Air Into Water)-DIY

Survive The End Days (Biggest Cover Up Of Our President)

Survival MD (Best Post SHTF Medical Survival Guide Ever)

Blackout USA (EMP survival and preparedness guide)

Bullet Proof Home (A Prepper’s Guide in Safeguarding a Home )

Backyard Innovator (All Year Round Source Of Fresh Meat,Vegetables And Clean Drinking Water)-DIY

Conquering the coming collapse (Financial advice and preparedness )

Liberty Generator (Easy DIY to build your own off-grid free energy device)

Backyard Liberty (Easy and cheap DIY Aquaponic system to grow your organic and living food bank)

Family Self Defense (Best Self Defense Strategies For You And Your Family)


About the author :

Mike Adams (the “Health Ranger”) is the founder of, an independent news source covering personal and planetary wellness from nutrition to sustainable living. He’s written thousands of articles on nutritional therapies, natural remedies and health care reform, attracting a following of millions of readers around the world.

Adams was named the second most influential person in alternative media in 2011 and is a recipient of several awards for investigative journalism.

Adams also serves as the executive director of a non-profit organization, the Consumer Wellness Center and spiritual exploration website




The post After Paris, ISIS attacks coming to America next… will you be trapped in a ‘gun-free zone’ with no self defense? appeared first on Backdoor Prepper.

Tenth Man planning

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“World War Z” was an excellent book, however it was a thoroughly crappy movie. But..there was a little nugget in there that is worth mentioning. In the story, the Israelis wind up being the best prepared country to survive the zombie apocalypse. The question raised is ‘how did the Israelis know to prepare for this event’. In the story, an Israeli intelligence operative briefs the main character on the “Tenth Man Rule”. He goes on to say that after getting caught flat-footed in the 1973 war, the powers that be adopted the Tenth Man Rule. The idea is that if a threat  is brought before this council of ten men, and all are in agreement about threat being minimal or unlikely, it is the duty for one man, the tenth man, to disagree, treat the threat as real and likely, and investigate/plan for it. When the Israelis intercepted the Indian communications, everyone assumed the word ‘zombies’ as code for something else…but the tenth man works on the assumption that zombies actually meant…zombies.

In it’s own words;

This process of critical thinking goes by several names..Deviils Advocate, critical thinking, etc, but I rather like the name ‘Tenth Man’ since it encapsulates the basic premise of the idea.

This ..docrtrine..doesn’t say to prepare for the unlikely eventuality, but rather to investigate it seriously instead of dismissing it out of hand. For example, I live in a landlocked state hundreds of miles from the nearest coastline. Going down a list of potential disaster you get to ‘tsunami’. The natural instinct is to cross it off the list and continue to other threats. The Tenth Man, however, might look deeper. He might realize that while the water will never reach this far inland, the consequences might…there’ll be refugees, airport traffic increases, delivery interruptions from the affected area, etc, etc. And, perhaps, these will be significant enough to plan for..or maybe not. But dismissing the threat out of hand would have been the knee-jerk reaction nine times out of ten.

Anyway, it’s an interesting outlook and a different way of approaching potential problem-solving…and thus worth sharing.


Cooking Like a Boy Scout

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The Boy Scouts of America are a pretty great group to be a part of. They teach young boys the basics of survival. When taken seriously, this training gives boys skills they can bring into their adult lives for not only emergencies, but for everyday use, too.

Cooking is something that must be done even if there’s an emergency going on. Just about every food requires some type of cooking, and during or after a disaster you’ll be cooking everything you eat, so knowing how to cook is pretty important business.

Just like almost every other survival skill, there’s a lot we can learn from the good old BSA, AKA The Boy Scouts of America. From quick measurements to tried-and-true recipes, cooking like a Boy Scout could be the thing that saves you someday down the road.

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 7.20.22 PM

Quick Measurements, Sans Utensils

Last time I checked, my bug-out bag didn’t have a set of measuring spoons in it, and I’m willing to bet yours doesn’t, either. While these useful kitchen utensils are easy to ignore, being able to cook without knowing how much spice or other ingredients you’re adding to a recipe is a quick way to ruin some much-needed food.

If you’re cooking without anything to measure with, just use this Boy Scout chart and you’ll be just fine:

  • One open fistful = 1/2 Cup
  • Five-finger pinch = 1 Tablespoon
  • Four-finger pinch = 1 Teaspoon
  • One-finger pinch with thumb = 1/8 Teaspoon
  • One-finger gob of shortening = 1 Tablespoon
  • Center of palm = 1 Tablespoon

Along with these, write down some basic standard measures and you’ll be able to measure anything with nothing more than your hand.

  • 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon = 1/2 ounce
  • 16 tablespoons = 1 cup = 8 ounces
  • 2 cups = 1 pint = 16 ounces
  • 2 pints = 1 quart = 32 ounces
  • 4 quarts = 1 gallon = 8 pounds (128 ounces)

Now, you can measure with some level of certainty without having to carry a full set of kitchen measuring utensils into the wild with you.


Substitutions and Equivalents Make it Easier

When you’re in an emergency or disaster situation, chances are you won’t have any food you want readily available. What’s more, you probably only want to store the bare essentials in your larder so you can maximize how long you can survive from your supplies.

With this idea in mind, knowing some basic substitutions can help you make more from less while using the proper amounts of the replacement food.


  • 8 ounces sour cream = 1 cup of low-fat yogurt
  • 1 cup milk = 1/2 cup evaporated milk + 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 ounce baking chocolate = 3 tablepoon cocoa powder +1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 cup fine bread crumbs = 4 slices of bread, or 26 saltines
  • 1 tablespoon instant minced onion = 1 small fresh onion
  • 1 cup honey = 1 cup molasses


  • 1 pound of butter or shortening = 2 cups
  • 1 pound flour = 3 1/2 cups
  • 1 pound sugar (brown or granulated) = 2 1/2 cups
  • 1 stick of butter = 1/2 cup

There are obviously hundreds more substitutions and equivalents, but this is a great start that can get you pretty far.

Do the Duty Roster

When you’re out in the wild fending for yourself, it can get tricky keeping everyone honest about what job he or she should be doing. To keep things fair and civil, creating a duty roster is the best way to share responsibilities and keep everyone contributing.

The key areas of cooking are:

  1. Water
  2. Fire
  3. Cooking
  4. Cleaning
  5. Securing food

With these major areas covered, just about any meal can be made. Laid out in a grid it would look something like this:


Your duty roster can change based on how you want to split up the chores, but with this in mind you can simply set daily expectations. Whether you keep people on the same task for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day or cycle every meal, it’s a visible way to show that everything is fair and to hold everyone accountable.

It’s All About the Menu

Finally, all of this would be for naught unless you had some recipes up your sleeve. What recipes you use specifically are up to you and the supplies you plan on keeping. Try to keep your recipes close to what you eat now, to give a sense of normalcy, but also to avoid any shocks to your system. If you never eat rice and then you try eating it three times every day, bad things are probably going to happen.

A good way to organize your meals is to create a menu for each meal. This keeps you organized and makes planning meals far easier, especially if you just look back at something that already worked for you and do it again. Here’s an example of what the Boy Scouts use:


As you can see, there’s a column for cost here. In a survival situation, this probably won’t matter too much, so you can cut that out. The important column that most people wouldn’t think about is the “equipment” column. This column makes sure you have whatever you need to make the meal available. So if you’re away from camp for a day, you know what to take with you. This is also great if you want to plan meals ahead of an emergency, as you’ll know what equipment needs to be purchased and packed. Depending on the number of people you’re planning for, the amount column can change dramatically, too.

In short, this helps you make sense of a difficult task when you’re trying to survive. By taking after the Boy Scouts and always being prepared, you can make cooking in emergencies as easy as possible.

20 Mason Jar Gift Ideas

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20 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for Every Budget + tag ideas too! PreparednessMama

Don’t You Just Love Mason Jars… If you are looking for a thoughtful and frugal Christmas gift – look no farther than the simple Mason Jar. Recipes and ideas abound on Pinterest. Lucky for us, the jars have come back into favor and they can be found anywhere. Check the grocery store, online, or your grandma’s cupboard. These 20 […]

The post 20 Mason Jar Gift Ideas appeared first on PreparednessMama.

Could Canadians See Major Terrorist Attacks on Home Soil?

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Just over a year ago, on October 20th, 2014, 2 members of the Canadian Armed Forces were run down in a parking lot, one of whom later died.  The perpetrater, Martin Rouleau, was an islamic convert turned terrorist.

A mere 2 days later, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau launched an attack on parliament, killing Cpl. Nathan
Cirillo, who was standing guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier.

Now, we all watch the reports on television about the attacks in Paris which have claimed over 120 lives to date and wonder “could this happen here?”.  Sadly, people seem to forget rather quickly.  It has already happened here, on October 20th and October 22nd 2014.  Sure, the death toll was nowhere near the same and the guilty parties seemed to be somewhat unorganized home grown terrorists, but we have to remember and take it seriously.

Our newly elected government has pledged to bring in 25 000 refugees from Terrorism plagued regions.  Now, this is what Canadians do, we are known around the globe for being helpful.  It’s a big part of what makes up our identity.  However, we can’t assume that every one of them will be true refugees.  I’m not saying that this is some big trojan horse plan by ISIS, but they would have to be crazy not to at least try to use it as such.  We can screen all we want, but the risk that terrorists will get into the country along with legitimate refugees is real.

Now, debating political policy is not what this blog is about, nor is it the point of this post.  The point is, it’s time to stop forgetting events like those of last October.  Canada was named as a target in an ISIS  video, and we need to take that seriously.  So if you ask me if something on the scale of the Paris attacks could happen here on Canadian soil, I would tell you yes, and you have to have your head in the sand to think otherwise.

The thought of a large scale terror attack worries me to some degree.  I am not concerned about a group of terrorists breaking into my home to force me to join their cause, that’s just not how they do things, but the threat of bombings or live shooters in public areas such as sports arenas or tourist attractions would not surprise me. 

ISIS has long broken through international borders in two ways.  First, by sneaking terrorist cells into populated cities across the globe, and secondly by recruiting members within their home countries.  Certainly, the various spy agencies have their lists of suspects, but I’m fairly confident that these lists are incomplete.  The only question about that is to what degree?  For every suspected terroist being watched, how many are there that are still under the radar?

We ARE in a state of war.  With war comes loss of life.  Unfortunately, this war does not follow the usual rules of engagement.  Soldiers are not the only targets, but civilians as well.  Instead of targeting military or strategic locations, arenas and concert halls are bombed.  Instead of planes, ships, and tanks delivering ordinance, bomb belts are the weapon of choice.

Repel garden pests with Companion Planting

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If you are one of the unfortunate people that had a close encounter with poison oak you should know by now how to identify and stay away from this plant. This is how repellent plants work and the same principal applies to pests if you know how to use the correct plants. Companion planting will … Read more…

The post Repel garden pests with Companion Planting appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Shoot Or Don’t Shoot? This Is The Question

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shootMotor vehicles and distracted driving claim thousands of lives more per year than guns, but only guns have media bias against them, have millions of dollars aimed at their “removal from society”, and are considered by law to be “lethal force” devices just by virtue of shooting them. 

Do you know when it’s legal to draw a weapon and shoot at someone? You as a gun owner have a very large responsibility when you are carrying a concealed or open carry firearm.

If you do not know the laws about drawing and firing a firearm, you could end up in jail because you thought you were doing the right thing; when in reality you broke the law. In some cases, you may be just as much of a criminal as the criminal you tried to stop because there are limits to when it is and is not appropriate to use lethal force.

While you may feel very tempted to fire them or aim them to “scare criminals off”, prevent a theft, or prevent other actions, it can backfire on you because it may not be reasonable to think your life (not property) or someone else’s life is in danger.

Most of the legally armed citizens will never draw their firearms unless in a self-defense incident. It is better to know what to do if you are forced to draw your weapon.

The Two Mind Boggling Questions

For those individuals who choose to carry concealed, there will be some sleepless nights when you must ask yourself some tough questions.

1 – When is it appropriate to draw your weapon and pull the trigger?

2 – Another question you must ask yourself, is “Can I take a human life if I must?”

gunThese are two very important questions. If you do draw your weapon and fire there are legal and emotional consequences of making a bad decision.If you do falsely believe that you can take a human life when necessary, and cannot do it when the event comes to pass, the odds are you and anyone you are trying to protect will become victims of this incident.

In this country most state statutes are very clear as to when deadly force may be used. It can only be used in cases of self-defense or the defense of others in imminent danger. Only the individual in the incident knows the point at which they felt their life or someone else’s life was being threatened and in imminent danger.

Sometimes the individual’s perception constitutes a very large gray area. When in this gray area, mistakes are made that will follow you one way or another for the rest of your life.

One thing that is certain if you draw your weapon there may be two, three, or possibly more stories of what happened. Get your version of the story of what really happened to local authorities before anyone else gets there with their lies and incorrect versions of what really happened.

It is up to the prosecutors to determine if a crime has taken place. It does not matter if the individual had a concealed weapons permit or not, it doesn’t affect how prosecutor’s office evaluates these incidents.

What one individual might perceive as imminent danger could be different from what another person believes. When a prosecutor looks at a case he must determine whether or not the person using self-defense has a reason for shooting, possibly injuring another person, or killing a person in this incident.

What If You Draw Your Concealed Carry Weapon Without Shooting It?

Some attorneys will tell you not to say anything at all to the local law enforcement, especially if there were no shots fired and no injuries. If they are wrong you could end up paying for attorney fees to defend you if you are arrested.

It is much better to speak up and let the authorities know what happened and go on the record before they are dispatched to get you and bring you to the police or sheriff station.

If you have drawn your pistol but no shots were fired, holster your pistol, and get out of the area before something else happens. Call the local police or sheriff’s office and tell them exactly what happened.

Let them know that you have a concealed carry permit or state license and you are concerned about harm done to you. Explain to them that is why you drew your pistol in the first place and you did it in self-defense. Insist on having your information recorded about what happened, and do file to have the other person arrested if possible.

If the law enforcement officials say it’s not necessary, still have it recorded as an official record in the event someone comes in and wants to press charges on you or a witness has a different story than yours.

Always get a copy of the official report for your records. Always make sure the report includes the police or sheriff employee’s name that took the report, the time of the report, and the date it was taken.

Remember you are a law abiding citizen that wants to stay on the right side of the law. You have been authorized by law to carry a weapon for self-defense purposes. If ever you have to draw a weapon, your reason for doing so, was the weapon was drawn in self-defense.

When Can You Draw Your Concealed Carry Handgun?

gun Generally speaking you may not draw your gun to threaten someone, even though they are threatening you. Legally your hand gun can only be used to save you or another from grave bodily injury or death.

Many times a gun was drawn and that ended the threat, but to draw the gun is still required for you and a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstance to believe that the threat of great bodily injury or death was imminent.

Remember, in some ways carrying a gun is a lot like cleaning one or storing it. Always go on the presumption that it is loaded, and that by accident or intent, it can go off and kill whoever happens to be in the way.

When you are calm, you may think your finger will never reach for the trigger, however the bullet in the other person’s body is all the evidence that is needed.

Keep your life simple, and only draw a gun when you feel you or someone else is in imminent danger of losing life, because once you draw the gun, the only thing that is left is to aim it and pull the trigger. Both can happen without thought and due consideration.

If you draw your gun, you may also have essentially backed yourself into a corner and eliminated other options for resolving the situation. The gun is a tool of last resort and if you carry it concealed, you cannot use it to ward off potential threats.

It should only really come out of the holster when the expectation of death is imminent. Real life situations aren’t the same as what you see on TV or what goes on in the fantasies of anti-gunners.  You will be in a stressful situation and must think carefully in order to do what is best and within constraints of the law.

There are a couple of things to think about when you must make up your mind to shoot or not to shoot:

  • You walk up on somebody who is stealing a radio and other property out of someone’s car. You cannot point a gun at them or even shoot at them because human life is always valued over personal property.
  • If a woman is in her home and she is awakened by the sound of breaking glass in the middle of the night and sees a man climbing in through the broken window with a weapon. She has every right to protect herself in her home, but if she shoots at the presumptive assailant while he is fleeing outside of the home she does not have the right to use deadly force to stop him.
  • On Sunday October 18th 2015 a pastor in Detroit had to “protect his flock with a Glock”. An individual came inside of his church with a brick and was threatening people with sudden death if they did not do as he instruct them to do. This individual on numerous occasions had threatened the pastor and other members of his congregation but this was usually verbal threats. According to the news, this individual came to the church with murder on his mind. The pastor told him to leave but he refused to do so. This individual charged the pastor and was screaming and threatening the pastor with a brick saying that he was going to kill him. The pastor, defending himself and his congregation, had no alternative but to fire. The Detroit Police cleared the pastor of any wrong doing.

To have a concealed carry permit is a great responsibility. You have to know your state laws concerning this permit and any other state that accepts your permit in their state. Although most states that offer this permit may have very subtle differences in their laws and the laws of other states, it is your responsibility to keep up on the new changes of those laws.

You must always remember that you may only draw and fire your concealed weapon to protect a person or yourself from immediate death or great bodily harm. If your incident does not prove this, then you could be possibly charged with banishing of firearm or charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

Remember you could always be held legally liable if you did not follow the law to the letter. In some states if you shoot and an innocent bystander get hit, you can be held responsible in a civil lawsuit.  Therefore, not only must you always practice good firearm safety and accuracy, you must also be aware of the situations you find yourself in, as well as what the law says about them.

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

This article has been written by Fred Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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When good men do nothing!

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“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmond Burke As I sat watching the terrorist attacks in Paris, all I could think of was the poor French citizens of Paris that are paying for the mistakes that their Government has made.  Welcoming the terrorist into their …

The post When good men do nothing! appeared first on American Preppers Online.

How Do We Reconcile the World’s Struggle With Refugees and Migrants?

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     The nations of the world are grappling with the “problem” of refugees emigrating from the dangers of the expanding Caliphate in the Middle East.  Leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel maintains that no limits should be placed on the number of people allowed to enter her country; that European values of humanity and compassion in the face of terror need to be upheld.
     But the newly-elected government of Poland has announced their country won’t accept migrant quotas imposed by the European Union.  And Dutch anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders says, “The only way to deal with it (the refugee crisis) is to regain our national sovereignty and close our national borders… We close our borders to migrants, not refugees.”
     So, what does that mean?  What is the difference?  Actually, as The New York Times points out, there is a legal difference.    Briefly, a refugee is person who has fled his or her country to escape war or persecution, and can prove it.  More specifically, The 1951 Refugee Convention, negotiated after World War II, defines a refugee as a person who, “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.”
     On the other hand, anyone moving from one country to another is considered a migrant unless he or she is specifically fleeing war or persecution. Migrants may be fleeing dire poverty, or may be well-off and merely seeking better opportunities, or may be migrating to join relatives who have gone before them.  So, in the face of the crisis in the Middle East and the onslaught of Isis’s atrocities, you can imagine the political and social implications of these distinctions — and the ensuing confusion.
     Under the 1951 convention, countries are free to deport migrants who arrive without legal papers, which they cannot do with refugees.  But complicating the immigration of refugees is what is known as “the Schengen policy”.  Again, according to The New York Times, this is an agreement to abolish border controls among the European nations that have joined. For the most part, people in any Schengen country can travel freely to any other without stopping to show a passport or visa, just as travelers can between American states or Canadian provinces. Only when entering from outside the Schengen area are a traveler’s credentials regularly checked.
     So, once an emigrant from the Middle East arrives in Greece, and is registered, he is pretty much free to travel throughout Europe under this policy.  So can you see, in the wake of the Paris terror attack, just how significant it is that Greece is swamped with those seeking admittance into Europe.  In fact, the latest United Nations estimates show over 800,000 migrants have passed through the Mediterranean on their way to Europe this year, with 660,700 landing in Greece and 142,400 in Italy. Based on these numbers, it is not surprising that the Greek minister for Citizen Protection, Nikos Tosca, has announced that one of the Paris terrorists with a Syrian passport was “masquerading as a refugee”.  And it just as understandable that leaders in countries like Hungary and Austria and Poland feel that the Greeks are not doing their job properly in securing Europe’s borders, but simply processing all that come, and sending them on into Europe.
     So don’t you think that as a nation, the US should be very careful how we handle this thorny and dangerous issue of Middle Eastern refugees?  And do you see just how difficult a situation this is?  Naturally, the Middle Eastern Christians, who are being brutally persecuted for their religious beliefs come to mind when considering who should be allowed to enter our country.  But what exactly is the vetting process for all others?  If, as the news agency Reuters reports, our government is moving to increase and accelerate the number of Syrian refugees who might be admitted into the United States by opening new screening outposts in Iraq and Lebanon… shouldn’t this be a major concern and raise some red flags?  In the wake of Paris, doesn’t this qualify as a national security issue?
     As always, I try to see any situation from my Biblical worldview, and the Bible clearly tells us that, as Christians, we are to accept aliens into our land and help them to conform to our laws and our traditions.  In fact, the law of the Old Testament was that aliens were to be treated with respect and given aid. If things were so desperate in their home land that people would rather move to Israel and live under Israel’s strict judicial and ceremonial law, the Israelites were to honor that desire.
     However, this does not apply to those aliens who enter a country for the purpose of crime or violence. The caveat God gave the Israelites regarding aliens is that they needed to obey the laws of the land (Leviticus 24:22), and the Israelites needed to make it possible for them to obey the laws of the land by giving them opportunities for sustenance (Leviticus 23:22). Aliens who came in to steal, fight, or draw the Israelites to other gods were to be disposed of quickly.
     You see, these same laws should be applied and followed today.  Careful investigation and evaluation is absolutely necessary!  But we can all recognize that the world is in crisis, and the sheer mayhem and chaos created by Isis and the schemes of Satan threaten to overwhelm our human abilities.  So, it is in humility and meekness that I approach God, asking Him to show us the way through His righteous and loving nature.  Let us welcome and give aid to those who truly desire it, and repel the wicked plots of our enemies who wish to destroy us.

Nahum 1:7    “The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble, And He knows those who take refuge in Him.”

How To Make The Best Raisin Filled Cookies

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When I was growing up my mom taught me how to make the best raisin filled cookies in the world. Literally. She also made them with a fabulous date filling, but raisin filling is my favorite. The cookies are slightly crispy on the outside, but the inner cookie and filling is moist and chewy. Man, it makes my mouth water just talking about them. It was a holiday tradition to see flour all over my mom’s blouse. I don’t remember ever seeing her wear an apron. I only wear an apron when I am frying scones or something that will spatter grease. She would make all our favorite cookies, and of course, our family’s traditional Norwegian Lefse. Lefse is very similar to flour tortillas but made with mashed potatoes. I love, love, love Lefse. BUT, my husband and my daughter’s do not care for it. I used to put butter and brown sugar on mine and then roll them up right off the griddle.

Normally I put things away as I bake, but with this recipe you need to keep your bucket of flour close by because this is a very sticky dough. I called my sister to find the recipe for these because I found three different recipes, handwritten and typed by my mom and grandmother. Hint: get all your mom’s favorite recipes from her BEFORE she passes away. My mom made the best cheesecake I have ever tasted. She even sold them to neighbors because they were so good. Well, we have some recipes that have many different ingredients, temperatures or whatever. So, the question is which recipe is correct….this is the best raisin filled cookies recipe, but I had to adjust some things and make it my own.

Raisin Filled Cookies

This dough is very sticky as you can see below.

How To Make The Best Raisin Filled Cookies by

The raisin or date filling is really easy to make, dump and stir. Bring to a boil and then simmer the mixture. Stir constantly.

How To Make The Best Raisin Filled Cookies by

First you will flour the counter and roll out the dough about 1/8 inch thick. Cut with a circle cookie cutter. Place a heaping tablespoon of the filling on the lower cookie and place another cookie circle on top and pinch around the edges with a fork, or in my case my thumbs.

How To Make The Best Raisin Filled Cookies by

I used a silicone mat like this one to bake my cookies on. Silpat AE420295-07 Premium Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat, Half Sheet Size, 11-5/8-Inch x 16-1/2-Inch
You will lift the cookies with a spatula very carefully and place them on a silicone mat or greased cookie sheet. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and depending on how thick you roll out you cookie dough, bake 10-20 minutes. They will be very light brown. You can bake them longer if you like your cookies crispier. I also sprinkled a little sugar on top of the cookies before baking them. Let cool and enjoy them. They freeze very well.

How To Make The Best Raisin Filled Cookies by

Raisin Filled Cookies

Ingredients for the cookie:

1 cup sugar

1 cup softened butter

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

5-1/2 cups flour

Combine all of the ingredients except the flour. Cream until smooth and slowly add the flour one cup at a time. Flour the countertop and roll out the sticky dough with a floured rolling pin to about 1/8 inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the size of circle you desire.

Ingredients for the raisin or date filling:

1 cup raisins or dates-cut in pieces

1/2 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon of flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the ingredients in a saucepan and stir constantly. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer until thick. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool slightly. Scoop one heaping tablespoon of the filling in the middle of one rolled out cookie circle and place another cookie on top. Pinch the edges together with your fingers or a fork. Bake for 10-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the cookie dough. Bake longer if you like a crisp cookie. This recipe makes 12-24 cookies depending on the size cutter you use.

The post How To Make The Best Raisin Filled Cookies appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

4 Tips to Escape From a FEMA Camp

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 ReadyNutrition Readers, this is the final installment on our Escape from the Stalag/Gulag series, in which we present a few uncovered finer points and tie it all in together.  You have read about the importance of the will to win, and about adaptability.  You have been introduced to the things you should do when first captured and interred.  You also read about what things you need to do before you “exit” the Gulag, and pointers to help keep you free.  All of these items are subordinate to one concept that will mean either success or failure for you:

            You must not merely believe that you can do it, you must know you can do it.

4 Tips to Use When Escaping From a FEMA Camp

1. You Will Need to Overcome Certain Factors 

Now, another step in your escape is this concept: You must be willing to do what you normally would not even consider. The concept engendered here is that of risk: of putting your trust in yourself and taking a roll of the dice.  You have to take a chance.  Your job is to make that chance as greatly calculated as possible to what-if and war game every scenario in your mind.  Here are some of the things you must resolve yourself to do, if the need arises:

  • *Silence a guard: either by incapacitating or by killing
  • *Stealing equipment/weapons/food: being as “opportunistic a forager” as possible
  • *When you have decided the time is right, you may have to leave when others do not wish to: this can be very difficult, as the social aspect of human beings is sometimes so strong as to negate
  • *The weather may be terrible, but you have your only “open window” to act (in a fierce snowstorm…JJ’s personal favorite…or in pouring rain)
  • *The overall situation may not be good: a tremendous amount of prisoners executed/tortured, and other assorted horrors

*Your physical condition may be extremely deteriorated (malnutrition, sickness, abuse, or a combination thereof).

2. Your Mind is Your Greatest Tool

There are many factors that have just been listed that you will have to overcome.  I wish to recommend a good tool that will help you to accomplish your task of physical and mental preparation.  The tool is meditation.  You will (as a diverse audience) undoubtedly have many religious and social practices in which you have learned in your lifetime to draw strength from.

Without meaning to sound didactic, follow whatever course you normally do, and seek a method of meditation that does not conflict with your beliefs/practices.

You need to learn to focus and clear your mind, and to do deep breathing exercises to control your heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and alleviate stress.  This is key now, because you will rely on this in your debilitated state as a prisoner.  Trust me, it will make a great deal of difference and will be a balancing factor that will help you to make it through your troubles.  A form of discipline, meditation can place structure into a life that is turned upside down because of the captivity.  It falls in line with the “Small Victories” concept I outlined for your earlier.

By clearing your mind and learning to relax and adjust the way your body responds to stressors, you give yourself an advantage.  This will arise in the way that you see things and plan your actions.

Observe, observe, and observe.  Your situational analysis will never cease, and although most of your confinement will seem as if it is drudgery, there are fine details to analyze that may make the difference in your success for escaping.

3. You Must Know Your Enemies (captors) Better Than They Know Themselves!

Watch what they do.  Watch their actions and habits.  They will “telegraph” their weaknesses and shortcomings, just as a prize fighter telegraphs an opening every time he responds to your jab by dropping his left hand.  The guards are human beings, and in their stressful positions oftentimes the guards will neglect a self-analysis that would have caught the error that you, the captive must capitalize upon.

Do your guards like to drink?  Do they appear to be lecherous towards the prisoners?  Do they fall asleep on their shift?  You must find their weaknesses and exploit them.  In this manner you will do more than merely find an opening: you will create the opening that you need.  Does this sound extreme?  It is, and guess what?

            Being captured and interred as a prisoner is also extreme.

4. One other thought: a mule laden with gold will find its way through the gates of the most heavily-guarded fortress.

You must preposition some valuables, such as gold, silver, jewelry, gems, antiques, artwork, etc.  Follow JJ’s advice, and do this in 3 different locations/caches.  You will then have a means of bargaining with collateral for your own release.  You must be very careful, because you must assess whether or not they will make a deal with you or if they will kill you and take your stuff.

The plan can also be used to enable them to take you out of the camp.  Once you’re out, you may be able to “deal” with them more effectively and on terms you can create.  In route to the “cache” location, arrange to pass by a spot where a weapon can be stashed, and you may be able to turn the tables.  All of this will take a lot of planning and coordination.  It will take a lot of mental discipline on your part to envision all of these things transpiring and how you will deal with them.

If you have these tips and a format down in your mind, you will increase your chances of being able to escape exponentially.  You will have no choice at that time: you must win with the weapons that you have.  The best of these is your mind, if you prepare it beforehand.  May it be that you follow JJ’s number one rule in dealing with being a prisoner:

            Do not allow yourself or your family to be taken…ever.

Here’s wishing you success in all you do, and that you will develop the resolve to formulate a plan and then to execute it when the time and need arise.  Take care of one another and keep fighting the good fight!


Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Battle Against Free Speech Is Heating Up On College Campuses

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November 16th, 2015

Video courtesy of Paul Joseph Watson and Infowars

Fair Warning: There is an instance of strong language used in this video

Paul Joseph Watson investigates many of the shocking events in the past week involving students and professors on liberal college campusus “protesting” in a manner eerily similar to a witch hunt.

Is this the beginning of the end for free speech in America?


How did the U.S. become the freest, most prosperous country in the world? Kirk Cameron challenges you to discover America’s true “national treasures”—the people, places, and principles that have empowered this nation.


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How To Turn Dead Cedar Trees Into Free Shingles

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How To Turn Dead Cedar Trees Into Free Shingles

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If you’re looking to put up a roof from natural materials and you have dead cedar trees on your property or know someone who does, then you have an incredible resource.

While cedar shingles also can be purchased, making the shingles – also known as shakes – can save you a lot of money. It’s pretty easy to save $8,000, $10,000 or even $20,000 on your roof costs by doing it yourself.

There’s other benefits, too. One, you get to build your roof yourself. Two, you’re using natural materials. And three, you end up with a beautiful roof that you’re proud of.

First, How Big a Roof Do You Want to Shingle?

First, you need to figure out how big your roof is so you will know how much material is needed. There are complex formulas that you can use if you choose. However, the simple way is to just use the numbers below and they will get you on target.

A roof’s surface is measured in “squares.” One square is equal to 100 square feet of the roof. To determine the number of squares on the roof, divide the total square footage of your roof by 100. For example, if your roof is 10,000 square feet in size, you would divide 10,000 by 100 and learn you need 100 squares of shingles to cover the roof.

How many shingles do you need per square? One square equals four bundles. One bundle equals 36 shingles, if all of them are 12 inches wide. This presumes you’ll have 20-inch-long shingles with 10 inches of exposure (the part of the shingle that is visible once the roof is finished).

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Keep in mind that with hand-split shingles you won’t have the uniformity you get from composite or premade shingles.  So, if you have 24-inch shingles instead of 20 inchers then you’ll need just a few less shingles than the number referenced above. It is VERY important to realize that because these are hand split, you may need a few extra shingles per bundle. They are not all going to be a perfect, 12 inches wide. As a matter of fact, the ones that are perfect will be in the minority by far.

Find Your Cedar

When you come upon logs that have moss growing on them, are half sunk into the ground or maybe even have a sapling growing out of one end of them, don’t just walk on by. Those can be some of your best logs.

The only way you can know for sure is by taking your chainsaw and making a cut to see what you’ve got. Yes, you might have to trim off a bit of rot, but that’s normal. You are looking for a  good, solid core of quality wood.

If you’re doing 20-inch shingles, cut the log into 102-inch sections and use a chain or cable and a truck to pull it out. The reasoning is if the log is sunken into the ground a bit you don’t want to mess up your chainsaw by cutting through dirt. It’s better to roll it up on something with the 20 inches you want to cut off hanging over it. This keeps your saw from getting damaged and makes the cutting much easier. The reason for 102 inches is each chainsaw cut takes away a little bit too. This way your shingles will really be 20 inches each.

Make Your Splitter

Go to a junkyard and get a truck leaf spring. These springs are a high-quality piece of metal that you can usually buy cheap. They have the hardness to hold and the flex temper to take a beating. You’ll only need one layer.

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Cut a length of one layer to 40 inches. Roll one end so you have a 2- to 2 ½-inch “eye” roll. Make a hickory or vine maple handle and drive it into the hole. You want your handle to be about 24 inches long if you’re splitting 20-inch shakes.

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Now taper only one side of your splitting edge and make sure it’s the edge that will face you as you’re splitting. You’ll normally have the splitter handle in your left hand if you’re right-handed. The reason you don’t taper both sides like an axe is because you want the shingles to POP off and this will do that much better. You will see once you have done a few.

Now sharpen that edge you tapered to axe or machete-type sharp.

Make Your Mallet

Hickory, vine maple or other hardwoods that are tough work well. You want a branch five or so inches in diameter and cut to a 20- to 24-inch length. On the skinny end, whittle down a handle. Make sure the handle is about twice as wide as your hand. You can sand it down a bit if you like. You’ll be wearing gloves, so you should be protected from the roughness.

You’ll likely need several mallets for your project as they wear out and break.

Cut Your Splitting Stump

This is the stump or platform you’ll put the cedar lengths on to split your shingles. Take your shingle height and cut your stump so you will be able to stand tall and not have to bend over to split. This will help reduce back fatigue.

Other than that, your stump should be bigger than the cedar rounds you’re splitting so they fully fit on the stump.

How to Split Them

Use your saw and trim any excess rot and damp areas. Put a cedar round on the stump, take your splitter, and put it close to you on the top of your round. You just want to trim off the round edge and get it squared up so you can start shaking. Use your mallet and drive the splitter down and pop off that round edge. You should have a flat side toward you.

You want your shingles to be about an inch thick. Split your first shake. It may not taper from one inch down to almost nothing on the first shake. That’s OK. If it doesn’t taper well then that shake is scrap.

Flip your round so that you’re cutting from what was the bottom. Split the next shake. It should taper. Flip the round and split the next one. Yes, you flip the log each time. This is what will give you your taper.

Your mallet is of course what you’re using like a hammer to drive the splitter down. You’ll want to sharpen your splitter edge each day or perhaps even twice a day. It will just make your work easier.

Use a hand axe to trim any rot from your shingles. If you have a fat knot in a shingle, don’t use it. It will make the shingle on top of it stick up and not lay flat.

Felting Your Roof

The underlayment of your roof is called the felt and applying it is called felting. Depending on where you live, building codes can differ. You can contact your local municipality for the requirements in your area. Be sure to follow the building codes to the letter. If you don’t and you have a house fire or some other catastrophe strikes, you can run into serious liability and insurance issues.

Shingle Your Roof

Apply the shingles to your roof with approved roofing nails. Be sure to take care capping and near flashing.

Apply your flashing and you should be pretty close to done. Again, because of local regulations we can’t really recommend procedures on this part. But you should be able to find everything you need by contacting your local municipality or building inspector.

What advice would you add? Have you ever used a cedar tree to shingle a roof? Share your advice in the section below:

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The Lifetime Stockpile: What You’ll Need To Survive Past The First Year

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The Lifetime Stockpile: What You’ll Need To Survive Past The First Year

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One of the biggest questions facing anyone who is trying to prepare for disasters is that of time. How long will the crisis last? How long will it take for society to get back to normal? This question drives everyone’s stockpiling efforts — most especially, the decision about how much to stockpile.

What do we do if the disaster and its aftermath outlast our stockpile? Wouldn’t that normally put us in the same boat as all those people who didn’t bother to stockpile anything? Once our supplies run out, we’ll be faced with the same problems that they have. It might even be worse, because they will already have used up any available resources.

That’s why more and more people are turning to homesteading. By homesteading, we’ll theoretically be self-sustaining – not needing any outside help.

The real question is, whether we can truly make ourselves self-sustaining. If we go back in U.S. history, we find that our ancestors who settled the west were at the most about 95 percent self-sufficient. They all had needs for which they had to go to town sometimes. Unless we plan for the same things that they needed their local general store for, we could fulfill that little bit of poetry that says for want of a horseshoe nail, the war was lost.

So, what are these things and what can we do about it? Let me answer the second part of that first. The obvious answer is to either create systems which don’t need to be renewed with purchased parts or to stockpile enough to last us the rest of our lives.

Your Garden

The first thing that most of us think of when we think of making ourselves self-sufficient is gardening. A good vegetable garden will go a long way toward providing us with something to eat. We’ve all seen stories about people who fed their families entirely off of what they grew in their backyards and we’re sure that we can do the same.

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Heirloom seeds are the basic building block of that gardening. But did you know that seeds have a shelf life? The longer you keep them, the lower the germination rate. The solution to that is to use the seeds and harvest seeds from what you grow. That will give you an ongoing supply of fresh seeds.

Of course, we need more than just seeds to grow a garden. We need good soil, some way of keeping the pests under control, and water. I like keeping my garden as natural as possible, using carnivorous insects like lady bugs and the praying mantis to keep destructive bugs under control. My favorite fertilizer is a fish emulsion and I compost. By doing these things, I eliminate the need to buy fertilizers and other chemicals.

The Lifetime Stockpile: What You’ll Need To Survive Past The First Year

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Raising animal protein is a little more complicated. We have to provide the animals with something to eat. That means either growing enough food for them or buying feed. Unless you have a lot of land to work with, it seems to me that the only livestock that is practical to raise is something that can be fed off the scraps of what you can grow in your garden, such as rabbits and chickens.

Canning Supplies

Then there’s the need to do something with all that great food you grow. As we all know, unless you live in a really warm climate, you’re not going to be growing much in the dead of winter. So, you’ll need to preserve the food. But are you prepared for several years of preserving food?

Fortunately, canning jars are reusable. But the lids for them are not, at least not usually. Some survivalists have done some experimenting and have succeeded in reusing their lids, but even if you succeed, how many times can you reuse them? That’s one of those items that you will need a mountain of, to last you through the years.

Here’s another item that few people think of – salt. Back in the pioneering days, there were still salt licks that animals used. Pioneers also would go to those salt licks and harvest salt for their use. I seriously doubt there are any left today, as most of our salt is mined underground. So what are you going to use for salt to cure or smoke meat and for your canning? Better stock up now, while you have a chance.


That pile of firewood you have in the backyard is hopefully going to be enough to get you through the winter. But what are you going to do next year? Do you have the capacity to cut and haul enough wood to heat your home for another year? Can you do that without gasoline?

Cutting firewood with a chainsaw and hauling it with a truck is bad enough. What about when you have to cut it with an axe and a saw? Do you have the tools for that? Do you have something you can haul it with that doesn’t require a gasoline engine? Unfortunately, few of us have horses so we won’t have their strength to help us.

Getting the right tools, along with a means to haul the cut wood, needs to be somewhere on your sustainability list. Otherwise, you’re going to face some really cold winters.

First-aid and Medicine

Few of us have the capability to do much about making our own first-aid supplies. Granted, any cloth can be used as a bandage, but that’s about as far as we can go. Medicines are even worse. And there’s no real way of knowing what you’re going to need, just that you’re going to need something.

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I’m not sure it’s possible to stockpile enough medicine and first-aid supplies to last, but somehow we’ve got to try. At the same time, we should look for options which will allow us to get by without those supplies. Fortunately there are things in nature that will help our medical efforts.

Herbal medicine has existed far longer than modern medicine. In many ways, modern medicine is merely an offshoot of herbal. Many modern medicines are simply artificial synthesis of naturally occurring chemicals. Learning how to go back to nature on this, can give us the needed medicines when they aren’t available.


The Lifetime Stockpile: What You’ll Need To Survive Past The First Year

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We’re so used to going to the store and buying clothes that few of us even think about making them anymore. Yet if we have growing children, we should be thinking about it. Granted, there will be clothing available for barter, at least for a while, but what about after that? Then what?

Making natural fibers into thread or yarn to make fabric and then turning that fabric into clothing is a long process, requiring special equipment and knowledge. But if the supply chain collapses and stays that way, that may be the only way of keeping ourselves and especially our children in clothes.

Spares for Critical Systems

The last item I want to mention is also the simplest on this list. That is to have spares for all your critical systems. What do I mean by critical systems? I mean anything and everything you need to have in order to survive, especially if it won’t be available in that time.

There are plenty of things we all have included in our survival strategy which are modern-day tools for survival. Take solar power, for example. That’s a great aid, allowing us to use at least some of our modern-day electronics. But what happens to your solar power system if it’s hit by an electromagnetic pulse (EMP)?

Supposedly, the panels themselves will survive, although their efficiency will be reduced by about 10 percent. But that’s not the big issue. That power won’t do a bit of good if your charge controller and your voltage inverter are dead. You better have spares stashed away in a Faraday Cage if you are expecting to use solar power after an EMP.

What Else?

Obviously this list isn’t complete. I give you these ideas more to get you thinking than for any other reason. If you’re just starting out, get your basic stockpile of supplies in place first before starting on this. As you’re doing so, start thinking about long-term sustainability. How can you roll over from living off your stockpile to living in a self-sufficient way?

Take a look at each and every area of your survival plans. Do you have a sustainability plan for that item? If not, what can you do to make a change, making it possible to live many years past what your supplies will last?

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

Discover The Secret To Saving Thousands At The Grocery Store. Read More Here.

Bolt Action Or Semi-Auto: Which Is Best For Hunting?

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Bolt Action Or Semi-Auto: Which Is Best For Hunting?

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Today, there are primarily two major types of rifles that comprise the majority of what hunters use for game: the traditional bolt action and the more modern semi-automatic.

But is one better than the other?

Both bolt action and semi-automatic rifles share one major thing in common: They began their careers as infantry weapons for militaries. After they had been perfected for battlefield use, they were then adapted for sporting and hunting use by civilians back home.

Between the two, the bolt-action design is older and the more traditional option. Nonetheless, there’s no denying that the semi-automatic has become more and more popular for hunting purposes over the years, especially as soldiers coming back home from overseas have begun to use ARs and other “military-style” rifles for hunting big game.

Ultimately, it mostly comes down to the shooter’s personal preference, but if you’re caught at a crossroads between trying to decide between the bolt action and a semi, it’s important that you know about the pros and cons of each.

We’ll start with the bolt action. It’s debatable, but most bolt-action rifles will have a larger variety of furnishings and configurations to add on. It was only a matter of years ago that almost all bolt-action rifles had wood stocks. That changed when a range of new composite stock designs became more popular, cheaper, and were found to better resist the elements.

Learn The Secrets Of A Veteran Hunter As He Demonstrates How To Quickly Field-Dress Game

Bolt actions are also very reliable. The bolt is simply turned, pulled back to eject the cartridge, and then a new cartridge is placed into the chamber as the bolt is pushed forward as well. The con to this is a slow rate of fire; if a deer or an elk springs out of the brush and you need to get shots off fast, the bolt action puts you at a natural disadvantage. At the same time, it’s very rare that the bolt action will ever fail you. Even if dirt or grime gets into the action or if there’s a dent in the case of the cartridge, most bolt actions will continue to run fine. In contrast to this, semi-automatics will tend to require more attention in such a scenario.

The triggers of most bolt actions also tend to be more crisp and smooth than those of a semi-automatic. This aids in accuracy and precision in a rifle design that is already extremely accurate and designed to place bullets where you want at a long distance. There’s a reason why most long-range competition shooters still prefer bolt actions over semi-automatics to this day.

signs to watch for when hunting big gameA final strong advantage to the bolt action is that they are offered in far more rifle calibers than semi-automatics are. Your typical choices (most of the time) for a semi-automatic will be .30-06 Springfield, .308 Winchester, 7.62x54r, 7.62x39mm, or 5.56x45mm NATO.

While some semi-automatic rifles such as the Browning BAR are also offered in .270 Winchester, .300 Winchester Magnum or .338 Winchester Magnum as well, the overwhelming majority of military-style semi-automatics (such as ARs or M1As, for example) simply are not.  In contrast to this, there’s a bolt-action rifle made for almost every rifle cartridge out there.

In short, bolt-action rifles are very accurate, dependable, have smoother triggers, and come with more options in terms of caliber and stocks than most semi-automatic rifles. In defense of semi-auto rifles, there are models that have these exact same qualities as well. Nonetheless, there are still a number of advantages to the semi-automatic rifle that don’t exist with bolt-actions simply due to the separation in design.

We’ve already talked about one such advantage of a semi-auto: They shoot faster, which translates to faster follow-up shots. Obviously, one reason why semi-autos shoot faster is because all you have to do is pull the trigger instead of chambering a new round. But a second reason why semi-autos are faster shooting is because they tend to have less recoil than bolt-actions, which can really punch you hard in the shoulder hard if it’s a heavier caliber and/or a light rifle.

This Crazy New Device Can Start A Fire Even In The Worst Conditions

The reason for this is because of the design of the gun. A lot of semi-automatic rifles are gas operated, meaning that the recoil of heavier calibers such as .30-06 Springfield is better absorbed and delivers less of a muzzle flip. This, in turn, means that not only that you can squeeze off more shots at a galloping deer or elk, but you’ll be able to keep them on sight because your muzzle won’t flip as high. In contrast to this, if you miss your first shot with a bolt action you’ll have to chamber a new round in addition to likely having to re-finding your game in your sights or scope.

Not all semi-automatics are “military style” like ARs, either. Granted, ARs are commonly used for hunting and are more than up for the task. But for hunters who are turned away by the tactical look of an AR (or an M1A, G3-style, FAL, Mini-14, AK, etc.) style of weapon, there are more traditional semi-automatic options as well. The Browning BAR, which is a very elegant and accurate weapon, is a prime example of a semi-automatic rifle that doesn’t look tactical. Like we’ve mentioned, the BAR is also offered in some bigger calibers that “military style” semi-automatics typically aren’t.

Last but not least, the majority of semi-automatic rifles on the market carry more rounds in the magazine than bolt-actions do, so you won’t have to carry as much spare ammunition on your person if that makes a difference to you.

Semi-automatics have the capacity, lighter recoil, decreased muzzle flip, and faster firing abilities that bolt actions don’t have. When it comes down to it, you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of each to decide what works best for you, but just know that both designs will continue to be around for decades if not centuries and will continue to be improved.

Which one do you prefer? Share your thoughts in the section below:   

Learn How To ‘Live Off The Land’ With Just Your Gun. Read More Here.

5 Edible, Wild Mushrooms Anyone Can Find (With A Little Help)

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5 Edible, Wild Mushrooms Anyone Can Find (With A Little Help)

Porcini mushroom. Image source:

I have been gathering wild fruits, vegetables and other wild, edible plants for more than 40 years. Every walk I take into a field or forest presents me with new combinations and possibilities for something that can be consumed as a survival food or as part of great meal. However, I also find myself looking with alarm at many wild plants that I know to be toxic, if not deadly. This is especially true for mushrooms.

For a number of years when my sons were younger I was involved in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. One of the things I would do at troop campouts and jamborees is conduct field classes on foraging edible, wild plants.

This always concerned me because many young boys would quickly get the idea in their head that they could eat anything out there. As a result, I would always spend the first half of our hike identifying poisonous wild plants. I wanted to send the message that a lot of what grows in the wild knows how to defend itself, and poison is the first line of defense that many plants present.

Wild Plants Can be Poisonous

In that regard, some mushrooms top the list. So we’re going to begin with a review of the bad guys. Here’s a link to photos of the most common poisonous mushrooms. They tend to grow in the ground and often have unique characteristics in terms of coloration and shape. Unfortunately, some look common and similar to popular edible mushrooms, such as the “false-morel.”

“When it Doubt, Throw it Out”

That’s the mantra for mushroom foragers. Even experienced mushroom hunters will take a pass on a questionable mushroom. If you’re in doubt don’t even harvest it. Check it with your field guide and if you’re not sure, don’t even put it in the bucket.

This may discourage you from mushroom foraging, but don’t let it. Some edible varieties are distinctive, easy to spot and have characteristics you can easily identify. It also helps if you take your first few forays into mushroom land with a mushroom expert, but if you don’t know anyone with that experience we’ll hopefully give you some preliminary advice.

Where to Find Wild, Edible Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a fungus and as a result are ubiquitous. They’re everywhere from our backyards to fields and forests. Many grow from rotting tree stumps or composting plant concentrations. They emerge quickly, usually in the night. And they deteriorate just as quickly.

Image source: Mary Smiley/Wikipedia

Morel. Image source: Mary Smiley/Wikipedia

Typically if they emerge from the ground there is a composting source beneath the soil such as a rotting tree branch or a layer of compacted leaves and grasses. It’s sometimes hard to find ground mushrooms unless the ground is relatively clear of brush, grass and scrub. I’ve had great luck walking through stands of pine because the needles act as a natural mulch and the mushrooms will easily poke through the carpet of needles. I gathered close to 100 morels in a small stand of pines this way a couple of years ago. In the fall, many mushrooms emerge from the knots of tree branches that have died and are in some state of decay. That’s why you have to always remember to look up.

One thing you’ll learn quickly is that mushroom foraging is going to leave you turning your head and neck like a jet pilot. They grow on the ground, on trees and stumps at eye-level, and high in the dead branches of trees above you.  Just take your time and enjoy the casual pace of your hike.

The following are five mushrooms commonly found:

1. Morel

These appear in early to mid-spring after the first wildflowers begin to emerge. They are considered an absolute delicacy in many parts of North America. They tend to grow in groups and can be dried for later use, or used within a few days to a week after harvest. Pay close attention to the photos in the link and take note of the photo of the false morel.

2. Golden chanterelles

Golden Chanterelles. Image source: wikipedia

Golden Chanterelles. Image source: Wikipedia

Another very popular mushroom that grows across North America and appears from June to September is the chanterelle. They’re usually found in the woods, often in pine stands or under stands of oaks and maples.

There are two similar mushroom varieties that are not poisonous but toxic to some degree, so do your homework.

3. Black trumpets

Black trumpets are related to chanterelles but have a distinctive, trumpet shape. It’s the kind of mushroom you would typically avoid, but if you’ve found a true black trumpet they are very good to eat. They tend to grow out of rotting stumps

Black trumpets. Image source: Wikipedia

Black trumpets. Image source: Wikipedia

and deadfalls in deciduous forests.

4. Porcini mushrooms

Porcini tend to emerge from compost in the ground and can be found in fields and forests. Their color varies from a light red to shades of brown.  Make sure you use your mushroom guide or follow the link above to correctly identify them.

5. Hen of the woods

This is considered the bonanza for any mushroom forager. They have a wonderful flavor, keep well, and grow in bunches up to 50 pounds. They appear in the fall and grow on the trunks of deadfall trees and the base of stumps. The largest bunch I ever harvested was about 20 pounds and I

Hen of the woods. Image source: Wikipedia

Hen of the woods. Image source: Wikipedia

quickly called it a day after that find.

When Are Mushrooms at Their Best?

The day after first emergence is the prime time to harvest mushrooms. It may be hard to know this has occurred if you’re exploring an area that’s new to you, but their color, texture and overall appearance should look fresh, yield when squeezed and have no powdery spores present. Spores are essentially mushroom seeds and if you’ve ever kicked a mushroom in a field to reveal a puff of what looks like smoke, you know what the spores look like.

Mushroom Harvesting Tools

The tools you use to harvest mushrooms can vary from gloves and a bucket to long poles made from electric conduit with a flat blade at one end to cut the stems of tree mushrooms. Here’s a checklist if you’re going out to do some serious mushroom hunting:

  • Gloves
  • 1 to 5 gallon plastic bucket
  • Knife for slicing stems from the ground or deadfall trees
  • 1 gallon plastic bags if you want to separate species of mushrooms
  • A tree pole usually in sections and often made from thin tubes of electric conduit.
  • A Field Guide to Wild Mushrooms

If you are planning to do some serious tree mushroom hunting you might consider a net as well. This can be a fishing net or butterfly net. The reason is that mushroom are delicate and if they fall onto hard ground, branches or even your hand, they can break into numerous pieces. A net gives you a fighting chance to catch it in one piece.

Cleaning and Keeping Your Wild Mushrooms

Wild mushrooms should be refrigerated in the vegetable crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Do not wash them before packaging them in their plastic bags. Try to use them within a few days of harvest. Before use, wash them under cold, running water. Many disagree with this washing step, but as a former chef I know it has no adverse effect. Let them drain on paper towels a bit before slicing or dicing and adding to a salad or sauté pan.

You also can dehydrate wild mushrooms and reconstitute them later. Use a standard food dehydrator and if the mushrooms are large you will want to slice them before dehydrating them. If properly dehydrated, mushrooms can be refrigerated, frozen or stored in the pantry.

What mushrooms would you add to the list? What advice would you add? Share it in the section below: 


How Not to Be a Victim and Survive A Terrorist Attack

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How Not to Be a Victim and Survive A Terrorist Attack | Backdoor Survival

The world is abuzz with questions about the recent attack on the citizens of Paris.  How could this happen?  Why did this happen? And perhaps closer to home, could a similar horror happen to me?

I do not have any trite answers to ease your concern, shock, and panic over a seemingly random terrorist attack.  I can, however, share my own thoughts as well as those from some of the most trusted and credible people in my circle of colleagues.

How Not to Be a Victim and Survive A Terrorist Attack | Backdoor Survival

Bracing for the New Reality

The first to weigh in is Richard Broome who reached out Friday evening, before the full scope of the tragedy was widely known.  Here is what he had to say in a special message to the readers of Backdoor Survival.

The events in Paris Friday evening were a dark day in “The City of Light.” Terrorism became more real yesterday. In time, we will all look back at what we will ultimately realize was an epic event that should have sent us all a clear message. “I am coming to get you. This isn’t going away. It is coming to America too.” We have a rising tide of global jihadist aggression underway and I think most people are missing the religious fervor behind this movement and the terrorists’ willingness to do anything it takes to win.

Here is where strong leadership in this country is really going to matter. In a time of coming elections, we need leaders who do a better job of telling all Americans what we really stand for, the values and meaning of America, the special sauce that makes up our country, and the need for our national commitment to defeat ISIS.

Can we turn this around? Yes. We can.

We must.

Richard Earl Broome
Bozeman, Montana

For quite some time, Richard has been warning us that we at the brink of a tipping point.  I agree.  Re-read the article Stepping Up to Manage the New Reality and come to terms with the need to open up a dialogue with yourself and take your mental preparedness to the next step.

Survival is the Focus

On the heels of Richard came my friend Daisy Luther.  Friday night we had an extended chat about the Paris tragedy and how that event would impact us personally.  Of grave concern to both of us was the upcoming holidays and the travel plans already in place as families hit the highways and airways to visit loved ones.

With her permission, here is some of what she wrote on her website Sunday afternoon.

Massive disasters happen when people are going about their daily business. People go to concerts, fly to visit relatives, take vacations, run marathons, walk to work, take public transit, and shop at the mall. No matter who you are and where you live, if you aren’t an agoraphobic hermit, there are going to be times when you are part of a target-rich environment.

And if you find yourself in the midst of an attack, the motivation of the people attacking doesn’t matter at all. You are in just as much danger whether the perpetrator is a member of ISIS or a member of a secret government agency. A bomb is a bomb, an AK-47 is an AK-47, and a machete will lop off your head, regardless of the motivation of the person wielding it.

So stop with the accusations and focus on what is really important – your survival.

Think about what you would do in an event like the ones that have taken so many lives and harmed so many people. Thinking through events before they occur is what allows us to act quickly when they do happen. Believing in the possibility of bad things helps you to accept it and move to save yourself and your family, while others stand there in shock, making targets of themselves. It’s time to consider what you would do to survive a terrorist attack.

What would you do if you were swept up in a terror event?

The world has always been populated with those who seek power, attention, and control. Acts of terror are nearly always about one or all of those things. The perpetrators are predators, and the victims are the prey. If you are a target of the first wave of the attack, there may not be a lot you can do about it. If you’re hit in the back with gunfire, if you happen to be on a plane that is hijacked and crashes into a building, if you are going about your business and your location blows up, there isn’t a lot you can do.

But if you are fortunate enough not to be a victim of the first wave, then you can survive. And often, before the first wave occurs, there are minute details that can tell you something is wrong. One of my favorite movies is The Bourne Identity. If you haven’t seen it, despite Jason Bourne’s amnesia, he possesses skills that are ingrained into his psyche. As a former operative, he was trained to be highly observant and to make rapid assessments of what he has observed.

While most of us haven’t been trained as operatives, we can still maintain a high level of situational awareness merely by being observant. One way to develop your skills is to play something called Kim’s Game.  My friend Scott, at Graywolf Survival, used to use the game to train his soldiers in situational awareness.

He wrote:  Situational awareness is key to understanding your environment so you can know better both your circumstances and your options. There are myriad examples that could be given but would you notice the bulge (called printing) of someone’s ankle from a concealed weapon if you were asked to follow him to barter for goods? Would you remember enough details of the turn of a path you passed two hours ago to be able to find it again? If you were attacked, would you be able to give a good enough description of the subject and getaway vehicle to have him identified?

Kim’s Game comes from a novel by Rudyard Kipling and is something you can play with your family, any where, any time. Go HERE to learn more about how to play it.

A higher level of situational awareness can help you in many ways, should you be unfortunate enough to be present during an active of terror.

It can help by:

Allowing you to identify a threat before it becomes active

Allowing you to locate exits and routes to the exits

Allowing you to determine sources of cover

If you can identify a potential threat before it exists, you can sometimes prevent an attack or at the very least, you can protect yourself and your family more effectively. A book by Patrick Van Horne and Jason A. Riley describes this as being on the “left of bang”. The left of bang is a term used to describe the moments before something bad happens, when you have an inkling that something is wrong, but you just can’t put your finger on what it is.

The book, Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life, discusses how establishing a baseline can help you to identify a threat. (I can’t recommend this book strongly enough.)

A baseline is a “normal” for your immediate environment. Once you have a baseline for behavior in a specific environment, then it’s easier to spot anomalies. According to Left of Bang, it’s the anomalies that should put you on high alert. “Anomalies are things that either do not happen and should, or that do happen and shouldn’t.”  Watch this video with Patrick Van Horne to learn more about positioning yourself to realize something is wrong before a disaster actually strikes.

You can read the rest of the article here:  How to Survival a Terrorist Attack.

Making Contingency Plans Has to Come First

In my own way, I have been attempting to steer you toward making contingency survival plans; plans that take into account local risks.  That said, planning is hard work.  Heaven knows it is much easier to take out a wallet or a credit card than develop a plan.  Of course, you already know that but knowing and doing are two separate matters.

Let this be a call to action.  We live where we live and most of us are going to stay put and hunker down in place.  Please everyone, take a look around you and evaluate the risks then takes steps to ensure you are not a victim.

How do you do that?  In John Forsythe’s book Fight, Flight, or Hide. The Guide to Surviving a Mass Shooting, the author talks about taking cover during an attack, even if that means taking flight or hiding.  As a matter of fact, he says taking flight (aka escaping or running away) may be the best option if you can do it.

If you can not run, at least take cover the best you can and don’t try to become a hero by putting yourself in the line of fire unless you are armed and ready to shoot.  Even then, think twice.

Coming to Terms With the Toughest Prepping Decision I Have Ever Made

It has always been my intent to evacuate my temporary location in the Central Arizona desert and head back home to Washington State at the first sign of trouble.  After all, that is where my preps are located along with a small, but mighty support group of like-minded friends.  There is abundant water and fertile soil.  My island home in Washington State is an idyllic survival platform.

What was I thinking?  To take to the road and hope to get home before the SHFT comes down in a major way is foolhardy.  A much safer, sane, and better option would be to take my chances where I know I have shelter.  I already have water and already have food storage.  Now I need to learn to forage in the desert, build up my sick room supplies, and create a defensible perimeter.  It is time to find a local range and purchase more ammo.

Coming to terms with staying put is the toughest prepping decision I have ever made.  It kept me awake most of Friday night but I know it is the right thing to do.

The Final Word

As I write this, France is bombing Syria.  This may only be the beginning.

I tell you this not to scare you but to motivate you to take action.  Examine your current preparedness plan. Most likely it covers natural disasters, pandemics, and an EMP or cyber-attack.  Does it also include surviving a terrorist attack?

As Richard says, they are coming for us.  Does it really matter who “they” are and “why” they are doing this?  I say don’t stew about it and forget about playing the blame-game.  Instead, avoid becoming a victim and learn to become a survivor.

Ask yourself these questions:

Do you live near a major population or tourist center?
Do you live in a location in close proximity to military or defense installations?
Is your home close to a nuclear plant or major power substation?

If so, then please heed to the need to be ready for a major tipping point occurring in your own back yard.  Starting now, be aware of your surroundings and observe everything.  Stay close to home if you can.

If something seems off, don’t dismiss it.  Learn to trust your instincts and escape or hide if you sense the bad guys are nearby.  Don’t worry about appearing foolish.  You are not being silly; you are being smart.

Prepare yourself mentally and be ready to act.  Worry about the blame game later because in the moment, it will not matter!  These are troubling and uncertain times.  Be safe, my friends.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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

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

Fight, Flight, or Hide. The Guide to Surviving a Mass Shooting:  This is the book that taught be that hiding or running away does not mean you are a coward.  As a matter of fact, doing so can be an act of bravery.  The Kindle version is only $2.99.  Recommended!

Leaving The Trees and Good Crazy (Leaving The Trees Journey) (Volume 2): These two books of fiction, by Richard Broome, present a post apocalyptic survival story unlink any other.  The lessons I learned from Leaving The Trees can be found here: Leaving the Trees: More Lessons of Survival.

Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath:  The hallmark book, by award winning journalist Ted Koppel, will hopefully educate the sheeple and motivate them to embrace the message of preparedness.  For the rest of us, there is much to learn about the state of preparedness, or lack thereof, at the highest levels of our government.  Read more:  Prepper Book Festival 10: Lights Out by Ted Koppel.

Sabre Family Home and Property Protection Pepper Spray:  Not everyone is comfortable with a firearm plus, getting started with guns and ammo is an expensive proposition. That, plus the training required means that you should have some other means of self-defense to get you by while you are learning about firearms.will set you back about $35. But even a hand held pepper spray such as the Sabre Compact Pepper Spray Survival Gear Checklist 15 Items to Get You Started Backdoor Survival will keep you protected. The cost for the compact spray is less than $8. Survival Gear Checklist 15 Items to Get You Started Backdoor Survival

LifeStraw Personal Water FilterThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items Backdoor Survival:  The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2 oz.  making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.


Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials

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

This month is the annual “Harvest Sale” with exceptional values fruits, veggies,and gear that will help you get through winter power outages.

Since I just purchased some dairy products, I thought I would mention that Instant Nonfat Dry Fortified Milk is on sale for 27% off.  Milk is perfect for the prepper pantry because it delivers protein and is also good to use when preparing those oats that you store.  Another good choice is Yoders Canned Bacon at 17% off.  If you like bacon, you are going to love this!

Finally, prices on Mountain House products continue to be heavily discounted as are the Emergency Essentials brand of food storage items.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials


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

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

The Amazon Top Most Wished For and Best Selling Outdoor Items
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Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!


Are You Interested in Essential Oils?

20 All Purpose Remedies Using Essential Oils

The post How Not to Be a Victim and Survive A Terrorist Attack by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Just Add Water Meals: A tutorial

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add water mealsWhat kind of food should I put in my 72 hour kit? This is a question I hear a lot. This is, in fact, the #1 question I hear. A lot of people get a pack of granola bars and some jerky and call it good, but generally speaking this is not a very good strategy. Granola bars and jerky are great snacks but won’t make you feel full. There also comes a point when you’ll be utterly and completely sick of snack foods and will want something more substantial, a real hot meal.

In the past, if you wanted something other than C-rations (which, incidentally, while not exactly gourmet fare are still not terrible), you had to be able to fit cooking gear and a large variety of ingredients in your B.O.B. Lucky for us, modern technology has given us Just Add Water (JAW) meals! These are some of the least complicated convenience foods currently on the market. Just add the requisite amount of hot water and you’re good to go.

JAW meals are available from many sources and include a wide variety of cuisines. Like all food storage-type food, not all are of the same quality. Some people feel that some kinds are too high in sodium and thus taste too salty. Other kinds, however, taste absolutely amazing – you won’t want to wait for disaster to strike to eat these all the time. Or, alternately, you could keep them on hand for “every day” emergencies: sometimes the emergency has nothing to do with a hurricane or evacuation and everything to do with the fact that the family has to leave for Bobby’s soccer game in 20 minutes and his uniform is still in the washing machine.

Sourcing Hot Water In An Emergency

These are perfect for emergency kits because in a real emergency, heating some water to boiling may be the only “cooking” your circumstances allow. But unless you are one of those people who loves uncooked spaghetti, a just-add-water meal isn’t going to taste very good if you don’t have any hot water to prepare it. Here are a few ways you can get around that when you are away from home:
  1. If you have room for it in your emergency kit, invest in a small cooking kit and a portable stove. Mess kits range from inexpensive aluminum models to fancy ones wit ah anodized non-stick coating. This is what I have in my own emergency kit. I have had very good luck using the fuel cells to heat water in this fashion.
  2. If you are evacuating to a cheap motel, use the coffee maker. Almost all cheap motels that I have visited in the last two decades have had an in-room coffee maker. Turn it on, heat the water, add it to your entree. Easy-peasy. In the event there is not a coffee maker in the room, some motels have a hot water/ coffee station in the lobby.
  3. Most gas stations off major roads offer water (hot or cold) at no charge. I’ve seen many that also have microwaves available for public use.

Augason Farms Simple Entrees

Augason Farms sent The Survival Mom a selection of their just-add-water meals for my family to sample. It’s always nice to get free food but when it’s also something that could be added to emergency kits, all the better!

In particular, a certain growing 14-year-old boy that I know of was happy to see these colorful pouches. When he’s hungry, he wants to eat FAST! More than once, he dug into the Augason Farm meals in search of a quick lunch. The very reasonable prices means a hurried mom could fix dinner in the same amount of time.

The entrees that were enjoyed the most are Beef Stroganoff, Chili Cheesy Enchilada Soup Mix, and Instant Black Beans and Rice. In normal circumstances, you can always add fresh ingredients to make these meals even tastier, such as adding sliced Kielbasa to the Black Beans and Rice dish. Their Tomato Basil with Pasta Soup Mix could be made even creamier with the addition of a dollop of sour cream or a half cup of fresh cream.
Most of these Augason Farms JAW meals come in pouches, which are perfect for sampling before buying larger quantities. Sampling is always a good idea – don’t stock up on something if you are not sure you even like it! Plus, sometimes sampling is the really fun part!
add water meals FB size