20 Vertical Gardening Ideas for Turning a Small Space into a Big Harvest

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Vertical gardening is nothing more than using vertical space to grow vegetables (or herbs, or flowers, even root crops), often using containers that hang on a sunny wall. Traditional gardeners have done similar things with climbing plants like squashes and beans for centuries by building trellises. Vertical gardening takes it one step further by giving non-climbing plants a space on the wall.

Vertical gardens take up less space, are easier to harvest, and easier to maintain. However, they do have their own limitations:

  • You need sunny wall space
  • If they are built too high, they can be difficult to maintain. Don’t make them taller than you can reach
  • The support system must be strong enough to handle the weight of everything
  • The supporting wall must be able to withstand a lot of moisture. You can use polyethylene cloth to create a vapor barrier along the back of your garden if this might be a concern.

That being said, vertical gardening is one of the most forgiving and flexible gardening systems. If you can already get a harvest from container gardens, vertical gardens should be no problem. Here are several ways you can try doing vertical gardening in your own home for the upcoming season.

The Self-Reliance Garden Tower

The Self-Reliance Garden Tower

The Garden Tower might just be the highest performing soil-based gardening system available. Just look at these features:

  • Grow up to 50 plants in 4 square feet
  • Easily rotates for plant access and sunlight
  • Compost kitchen scraps into organic fertilizer
  • Recycles nutrients, saves water, and vermicomposts
  • Accessible, easy to use, senior friendly, food-grade, recycable
  • Put simply, the “ultimate patio farm” for proches, balconies, & rooftops

Black Friday Special!

We’ve managed to secure a limited number (56 to be exact) of these Self-Reliance Garden Towers from the manufacturer for Walden Labs readers.

On Black Friday you’ll have a chance to get your hands on one, and you’ll save over $100 off MSRP. They are going to go FAST… and I don’t want you to miss out, so if you’re interested sign up for our Early Bird list here.

The all-new Self-Reliance Garden Tower 2 is the culmination of four years of extensive testing by thousands of Garden Tower users across North America. First-time Gardeners, Master Gardeners, Environmental Scientists, Commerical and Community Gardeners, and Ecological Educators in more than forty institutions consistently rely on the ease and efficiency of this system.

Hanging Pots

Hanging Pots

At its simplest, a vertical garden spot is just a container full of soil with drainage holes and a spot on the wall in the sun. A section of fencing or a pallet as shown here could provide a spot for a clamp that can screw into the pot and the pallet to give it support. It’s important when building your garden that your support system can handle wind.

Gutter System

Gutter vertical garden
Here’s an interesting idea that repurposes old gutter sections for gardening space. It’s like a window box only more so. Make sure there is enough space between the gutter sections for sunlight to reach between them. Also make sure that there are drainage holes in the bottom of the sections so the plants don’t get waterlogged and lower levels can get adequate water.

More Gutter Gardens

vertical garden

Image: shelterness.com

Even More Gutter Gardens

Gutter vertical garden
Here’s another example of a gutter vertical garden attached to the side of a house. One thing to watch for when doing this style is to make sure there is adequate drainage so the siding doesn’t get damaged. This is a great setup for people who cannot bend over very far.

Traditional Trellis

Traditional Trellis
Every gardener should have a traditional trellis system if they grow vining vegetables. You get a much larger harvest out of those plants, a cleaner garden, and it’s easier to find all those hidden tomatoes. Be sure to place it where it won’t shade the rest of your garden, and make it strong enough to withstand the weight of the plants. If you can, sink your posts 24” down to support the weight of the heaviest pumpkins.

Tower Gardens

Tower Garden
Not DIY, but if you want to take vertical gardening to another level (both in cost and results), you could try a Garden Tower. There are both aquaponic towers that pump a mineral solution up the tower and drips it over the roots of the plants, as well as towers where you grow in soil

Tray Herb Garden

Tray herb garden
In this quite-large vertical tray system herbs are growing good and strong. You cay buy specially designed trays that can plant food thickly like this. If you do go big with your garden, make sure your wall and fasteners are strong enough to support the weight of all that material!

Pallet Tray System

Pallet tray
You can also do the same thing DIY with some plywood, landscaping cloth, a pallet, and a staple gun. Staple the plywood to the pallet, then wrap the back, sides, and bottom with landscaping cloth. Use a lot of staples as shown in the bottom row of the picture.

Fill with soil and lay flat, then put in seeds, or preferably seedlings, into the slats. Once the plants are well established (at least two weeks for seedlings), they should stay stable after hanging up the pallet. Great for getting spring planting started then freeing up space for summer crops after hanging.

Hardware Cloth Frame

Hardware cloth
Here’s an example that uses hardware cloth and a frame to create a very sturdy trellis for tomatoes. Find instructions on how to make this project here.

Bottle Garden

Bottle garden

Images: Rosenbaum

Here is an example of an herb garden using recycled bottles They’re suspended on strings for easy maneuvering. While some of the plants wouldn’t reach their full size due to the small container, there’s enough plants to get herbs for a family.

Florafelt System

For those who like to make living walls and want an all-in-one system, you can’t go wrong with Florafelt. These recycled nylon felt units come with easy to use pockets for root-wrapped plants. A built-in drip irrigation system runs along the top of the wall to water the pockets. Leftover water falls into a drain line at the bottom. A major distributor of this system is PlantsOnWalls.com.

Succulent Gardens

Succulent garden
This may be more art than a food garden, but living walls can help reduce the amount of cooling needed in a house. Succulents are very low-maintenance plants and could be hung inside of the house as an attractive feature. Just mist the board from time to time.

Freestanding Garden

Freestanding garden
If you’d like to build your own structure, here is a good idea. Build a small raised bed, then put in these vertical angled supports. More information about this model can be found at superplanters.co.nz.

Pyramid Garden

Pyramid garden
Here is the same concept taken up one step further. This type of garden would be great for smaller plants like lettuce and strawberries. Plans for this structure can be found on indulgy.com

Another Pyramid Garden

Another pyramid garden

Image: mikeysklar


Pallet Planter

Pallet planter
Here is an alternate pallet system using the back side of the pallet. Notice the other boards nailed under the crossbeams to hold up soil, turning this pallet into a bunch of row boxes. Placement of this type of design would be crucial due to the shade that is created, but it’s perfect for these succulents.

DIY Wall Planter

DIY Wall Planter
Here’s the same sort of design, but with much better solar options. The bins are four inches thick. You could fill in the entire bottom and fill with soil or put in four inch containers and rest them on the cross sections as shown here.

Beam Planter

Beam Planter
If you’re a woodworker and have some extra beams, you could also hollow out angled sections as shown and put in potting soil. The same could be done by putting a solid back and sides on a pallet, removing the sections, then filling the unit with good soil.

Stair Garden

Stair garden
Here is an old staircase transformed into a wonderful vertical gardening system. The stair steps provide a good way for excess water to drain off down the unit.

A Shoe Organizer

Pouch garden

Image: pippa5

Finally, you could always hang a burlap sack on a nail and fill it with dirt. Or you can make canvas pouches or use an old shoe organizer and get something very similar to florafelt. You can learn more about this design here.

By now your head is probably buzzing with all the ideas of how you can build your own vertical gardening system.

As long as you stick to the principles of gardening, plants are pretty happy to grow wherever you can get enough dirt, water, and sun. You can ask any plant growing out of the crack of a sidewalk.

Try a vertical gardening system this year and let me know how it worked for you!

The post 20 Vertical Gardening Ideas for Turning a Small Space into a Big Harvest appeared first on Walden Labs.

Fenix PD22UE Review

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    Fenix PD22UE (Ultimate Edition) Review The Fenix PD22UE (Ultimate Edition) is an absolute beast of an EDC flashlight! Combining the new Cree XP-L LED emitter, with the raw power of Lithium-Ion battery technology, Fenix has created a winner. For those of you not familiar with Li-ion batteries they are now all the rage […]

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OPM Hack and, EDC Knife Placement and Various First World Problems

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Weapons Man has talked about it a time or two. Today I was checking the mail and there was one of those folded up sealed government type pieces of paper. Like how LES’s used to be back in the day. It said OPM on the front. I had a pretty good idea what it was.

I was officially part of the hack. Other than keeping a good eye on my credit report there isn’t much I can do about it. Thankfully I do not have relatives over there who could be exploited.

Big thanks to everyone for the input on  Pocket carry handguns and knife placement I appreciate it. The answer to put my knife in the left pocket was a blind flash of the obvious. I carried it that way for awhile some time ago. Did that for awhile due to the off hand weapon benefit. Stopped doing it for reasons I do not recall. So I swapped around the clip on my CRKT Hittasu. I am not 100% about it and need to get some reps opening it off hand. If that doesn’t work I’ll get a spyderco, that big ole hole is idiot and off hand proof.

Then all of today I couldn’t find the damn thing. Spent a half hour searching for it when I got home. Eventually remembered I had put it into the little storage space in the door of my vehicle. Found it.

 Some other stuff was annoying me too. 

On the plus side I am getting back into a dry fire regimen. Also working on both eating reasonably AND eating up the stuff in the pantry. 

Well that’s all that is going on here. Pretty much trying to stall out till turkey day then a long weekend. Hope you all are well.


Better Off

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Library book sales are an awesome place to get some great books to read. I found this gem today…Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology (P.S.).

What is the least we need to achieve the most? With this question in mind, MIT graduate Eric Brende flipped the switch on technology. He and his wife, Mary, ditched their car, electric stove, refrigerator, running water, and everything else motorized or “hooked to the grid,” and spent eighteen months living in a remote community so primitive in its technology that even the Amish consider it antiquated.

Better Off is the story of their real-life experiment to see whether our cell phones, wide-screen TVs, and SUVs have made life easier — or whether life would be preferable without them. This smart, funny, and enlightening book mingles scientific analysis with the human story to demonstrate how a world free of technological excess can shrink stress — and waistlines — and expand happiness, health, and leisure.

A winner has been drawn!

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Congratulations to our lucky winner! They have been contacted by e-mail. Once I hear from them I’ll be sure to share their name. Thank you to all who entered. Stay tuned for more great content and some interesting giveaways! Affiliate Disclosure: I am grateful to be of service and bring you content free of charge. […]

The post A winner has been drawn! appeared first on The Backyard Pioneer.

And the Winners are…

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first-second-and-third-place-ribbonsWell, it’s that time again – the latest round of our writing contest is over, and now it’s time for my favorite part…

Giving away lots of free stuff!

There were many good entries in this contest – and I wish we had enough prizes to give out to everyone. Once again, we got lots of useful information about gardening, homesteading, and home medicine. I love getting in all of the great stories and ideas that you all share. There is so much knowledge and creativity in this community, and it’s always exciting to see what people will send our way.

And I especially want to thank all of our generous sponsors, who make the whole contest possible. This is the biggest pot of prizes we’ve ever had, and it’s worth over $2,574! So, please show your support and appreciation by clicking on the links below to visit our sponsors. Here are the prizes:

First Place (7 prizes valued at $898):

• A 21.5 quart pressure canner from All American, a $382 value
• A free 1 year membership in the [Grow] Network Lab, a $239 value
• A large heirloom seed collection from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, a $103 value
• A free copy of the complete Home Grown Food Summit, a $67 value
• A free copy of the Grow Your Own Groceries DVD video set, a $43 value
• A free copy of the Alternatives To Dentists DVD video, a $33 value
• A free copy of the Greenhouse of the Future DVD and eBook, a $31 value

Second Place (7 prizes valued at $624):

• A Survival Still emergency water purification still, a $288 value
• A large heirloom seed collection from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, a $103 value
• A free copy of the complete Home Grown Food Summit, a $67 value
• A free 3 month membership in the [Grow] Network Lab, a $59 value
• A free copy of the Grow Your Own Groceries DVD video set, a $43 value
• A free copy of the Alternatives To Dentists DVD video, a $33 value
• A free copy of the Greenhouse of the Future DVD and eBook, a $31 value

Third Place (6 prizes valued at $340):

• A Worm Factory 360 vermicomposting system from Nature’s Footprint, a $128 value
• A free 3 month membership in the [Grow] Network Lab, a $59 value
• A Bug Out Seed Kit from the Sustainable Seed Company, a $46 value
• A free copy of the Grow Your Own Groceries DVD video set, a $43 value
• A free copy of the Alternatives To Dentists DVD video, a $33 value
• A free copy of the Greenhouse of the Future DVD and eBook, a $31 value

Fourth Place (5 prizes valued at $235):

• A Metro-Grower Elite sub-irrigation growing container from Nature’s Footprint, a $69 value
• A free 3 month membership in the [Grow] Network Lab, a $59 value
• A free copy of the Grow Your Own Groceries DVD video set, a $43 value
• A free copy of the Alternatives To Dentists DVD video, a $33 value
• A free copy of the Greenhouse of the Future DVD and eBook, a $31 value

That’s $2,097 in great prizes, just for sharing what you know about growing your own food and medicine with the rest of the group. And, we threw in two honorable mentions to bring the total pot up to $2,574.

And now, without further ado, here are the winners…

Honorable Mention
Claire Cox’s article about her custom fodder system and Steve Curtin’s article about self-sufficiency both got a lot of votes, and they just missed making the top 4. As an Honorable Mention prize, Claire and Steve will both receive one year of free membership in the [Grow] Network Lab. If you missed either of these articles, you can read them here:

Growing My Groceries’ Groceries

Why I Chose the Self-Sufficient Life

Fourth Place Winner
Our fourth place prizes go to Alice J Haslam, for her article about using water beads to maintain soil moisture during a drought. If you missed it the first time around, you can see it at this link:

Using Water Beads to Maintain Moisture in Your Garden Soil

Third Place Winner
Susannah Sammons is our third place winner, for her article about her family’s learning experiences on their small farm in Tennessee. They learned that you can only put so much stock into what “they say.” You can read Susannah’s article here:

What We Learned about What “They Say”

Second Place Winner
Second place goes to Karlynn Holland for her article about how to make a simple, natural hand sanitizer. We love practical and useful solutions – and many of our readers loved this article too. If you didn’t catch it the first time – check it out here:

How to Make a Natural Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer

And, drum roll please…

First Place Winner
First place goes to Dave for his article about what you can learn from the weeds in your landscape. Congratulations, Dave! I know you and your family will enjoy your new pressure canner from All American. In case you missed it, this is a great article about viewing weeds from a permaculture perspective. Here’s the link:

Weeds: What They Tell Us and Why You Should Care

Congratulations to all of the winners! Thanks again to our many great sponsors. And thanks to everyone who sent in their articles and took part in this contest.

We’re going to take a short break from the writing contest, but stay tuned… We’re planning to host another round early next year. We’re going to have loads of great prizes to give away, as always. And we’ll let you know about the dates ahead of time, so you have plenty of time to get your entries ready.


From the Desk of John Rourke – November 24th, 2015

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Over the past few months it has been a struggle in the gym. A real lack of motivation has been plaguing my efforts. Crossfit has been the mainstay of my fitness system however a few injuries have sidelined that type of workout intensity. Shoulder issues and muscle spasms are not real motivational to go out there and lift stuff up and put it down. I have been a member of the YMCA however my partner changed his work schedule and he could no longer make it at 5:30am for weight lifting.

Feeling the serious need for a change I just joined Gold’s Gym here locally. Place is really nice and they have all the equipment the YMCA didn’t. Feeling like I am back in the late 80’s/early 90’s. I will continue to go to Crossfit mostly for the Olympic lifting and occasional HIIT class. At Gold’s? It’s time to lift stuff up and put stuff down. Heavy stuff that is.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Heading out to shoot my new-to-me Winchester Model 70 in .270 Win. Will report how it does. Scope is 6-18X. Curious to see if point of impact changes as magnification changes.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Good News: Cruz #2 in Iowa.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

…….and he has.

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For those willing to answer –

Do you prefer to have your loadout on a vest with pouches or on your waist?

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Two days till its time to stuff myself to the point the Post Office will assign me my own zipcode. Looking forward to it.

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Emergency Essentials is having some special pre-Black Friday sales. One example is their Heirloom Seed Combo Pack. This is for long term storage. On sale for $24.99.




21 Things You Can Do To Prep That Are 100% FREE

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I’ve said this before, but it’s worth saying again: You don’t have to be rich to be a prepper. Yes, you’ll have to save up and spend some money, but there is much more to preparedness than buying survival supplies. In the following article, Dan Sullivan proves this […]

The post 21 Things You Can Do To Prep That Are 100% FREE appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Food Storage Recipe – Pinto Bean pie

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This just goes to show you that there are very many things that can be done with pinto beans. Like the Pinto Bean Fudge.Learn to make them all. This adds a lot of variety to your food storage recipes. Not just boring pots of bean. Make stuff that your family will love.


2 eggs –  well beaten

1 cups of sugar

1 cup of cooked and mashed pinto beans

1 cup evaporated milk

1/2 cup of shredded coconut

2 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

Mix all of the ingredients together very well and pour into a pie dish that has a pie crust in it. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

When it cools serve it with whip cream.

Shocking Stat About What American Cops Are Doing Everyday

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dollars.0Each and every day it’s happening.

In towns and cities all across America.

Cops are cashing in.

Big Time.

In fact, it’s shocking to believe this is actually happening.

The Federal Government and police departments now steal more cash, cars, homes, and items than the criminals:

For decades now, federal government and their cohorts in law enforcement have been carrying out theft of the citizenry on a massive scale. We’re not talking about taxes, but an insidious power known as Civil Asset Forfeiture (CAF).

The 1980’s-era laws were designed to drain resources from powerful criminal organizations, but CAF has become a tool for law enforcement agencies across the U.S. to steal money and property from countless innocent people.

No criminal charge is required for this confiscation, resulting in easy inflows of cash for law enforcement departments and the proliferation of abuse. This phenomenon is known as “policing for profit.”

In the last 25 years, the amount of “profit” stolen through CAF has skyrocketted.

According to the US Department of Justice, the value of asset forfeiture recoveries by US authorities from 1989-2010 was $12,667,612,066, increasing on average 19.5% per year.

In 2008, law enforcement took over $1.5 billion from the American public. While this number seems incredibly large, just a few years later, in 2014, that number tripled to nearly $4.5 billion.

Shocking, isn’t it?

Interesting that since 2008, since Obama has been in office, the amount law enforcement has “stolen” has tripled.


Not when you have an Executive Branch who basically refuses to enforce the law.

Survival Gear Review: DayOne Waterbag

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Day1 Waterbag Review

Those in survival circles tend to hang out around the smaller end of the water purification spectrum.  Tools like the Day 1 Water Bag ReviewLifestraw and Sawyer filter are must-haves in your kit whether to get home or bug out. But what is on the other end of the drinkable water rainbow?  Turns out there is a 10-liter water purification system in the form of an easy-to fill-bag with backpack straps, hanging loop, inline filter and simple instructions.

By Doc Montana, a contributing author of Survival Cache and SHTFBlog

So why have you not heard of this unique and functional water solution?  Most likely it’s because you have never Day One Waterbag Reviewbeen in a bad enough situation to need one.  The DayOne Waterbag has been deployed all over the globe following natural disasters and those humanitarian affairs caused by selfishness and greed. And especially when the bad things team up to inflict maximum distress on people in need of safe drinking water.

The DayOne Waterbag does it’s magic by attacking dirty water in three sequenced steps.  First, the premixed chlorine packet disinfects the water in the DayOne as well as generates a residual precipitate of undrinkable things to settle out into the engineered reservoir on the south end of the bag.  By using a combination of coagulation, flocculation, and sedimentation the chlorine binds to larger molecules, bacteria, viruses, and other undesirables pulling them down and out of the drinkable portion of the waterbag.

The steps of coagulation, flocculation, and sedimentation are like a solar system forming from the dust of a Day1 Waterbag Reviewsupernova explosion.  The particles must combine until reaching a minimum density before being pulled to their deaths by a giant black hole.  In our case, before the earth’s gravity can capture the microscopic debris and imprison them in conical jail at the base of the bladder, the bad stuff must combine with more tiny undesirables until the mass of the flocs is large enough to overcome the viscosity and polarity of water molecules and sink like the Titanic (except the Titanic took 160 minutes to sink while the DayOne Waterbag needs 30 minutes).

Also Read: Sawyer Mini Filter Review

The result of this dance of the molecules a stinky slimy mess falling to the bottom of the DayOne Waterbag in what can be quite a visible sludge.  And for those pesky critters that resisted the chemical obstacles in the waterbag including Giardia and Cryptosporidium and other nastys, a final and deadly filter lays directly between the bag and your mouth.

Some Settling May Occur

In order for the chemistry to work it’s magic, about five minutes of agitation is needed before the bag is to be left DayOne Waterbag Reviewalone. After the chemical packet is dumped into the full waterbag and the top is sealed, the bag needs to be shaken like a cramping hamstring. To included handles are attached to the bag just for this purpose. But be careful not to puncture the bag in something behind it if hanging on a tree. The necessary five minutes of effort goes by quickly (at least the first few times), and when compared to how long and how much sweat it would take you to squish two and a half gallons of dirty water through your hand-pump water filter, the initial 300 seconds of effort are not worth complaining about.

After five minutes of physical intimacy with the bag, it needs to be left alone but upright for 25 minutes. And then you have safe drinking water. I wondered why 25 instead of 30 minutes which is half an hour and also easier to remember. I guess the 5+25 equaling half an hour is also pretty simple.

Related: DIY Activated Charcoal Water Filter

The flow rate is about 1.5 liters per minute, or plenty fast to choke yourself, or to fill a dozen quart-sized water Day1 Waterbag Reviewbottles about one every 45 seconds. Well, not quite. I found the flow rate is based upon the water level in the bag as well as the height difference between the bag and the flow tube. One and a half liters per minute is on the generous side, and drops from there. A good solution is simply to hang the bag high and let the tube drop straight down into your container. If you really need the DayOne I doubt you will be counting seconds like I did in this review. And don’t squeeze the bladder to speed the process like I often do with my CamelBak bladders. You might disturb the dangerous sediments.

The DayOne Waterbag was not designed with the casual backpacker in mind. Instead it was created to provide safe drinking water to those who need it most and the children who are most vulnerable to waterborne diseases and toxins. Which is exactly why you should have one. Things are all rosy right now, but we have proven to ourselves time and time again that as first-world as we are, in less than a week we can become third-world like the best of them.

Bone-dry the DayOne Waterbag weighs one pound. Soaking wet a little more. Day1 Waterbag ReviewFull of water it drags you down to the sum of 23 pounds. So it’s hardly a concern when off duty especially since it rolls up or folds flat, or pretty much squishes into whatever shape makes you happy. When full, the DayOne Waterbag is like a giant CamelBak bladder with shoulder straps. I carried it around full and found it much less uncomfortable than I expected.  The shoulder straps are just that, one-inch wide straps.  However, the bladder is 100% free of hard spots, poky areas, and pressure points.  I guess it’s like a tiny waterbed strapped to your back.  But unlike other bladders, and even dry bags that have similar closures, I did not find the DayOne Waterbag to be waterproof.  Some seepage did occur out the top lighty soaking my back. For the best seal, don’t fill the bag to the max line.  Also, don’t bet your life or valuable electronics on the hose clamp preventing every drop of water from sneaking out the discharge tube.

Also Read: Expedient Family Water Filter

The DayOne works best in warmer climates, but did pass water quality standards down to 40 degrees F, or 4 Day1 Waterbag Reviewdegrees C.  I’m told the disinfectant properties of the packets increase with temperature which makes sense.  The little packet of magic powder that is added to the water contains the single active ingredient of 0.546% Calcium Hypochlorite (also known as bleach powder).  Given the warnings that “Dry product causes substantial but temporary eye injury” it would be wise to avoid getting your face anywhere near the powder and stay upwind of the pour.  There is also a detailed method for cleaning the bag and and backflushing the filter.  Here are the gory details on using and servicing the DayOne Waterbag system: (click here)

The DayOne Waterbag was designed for humanitarian battlefields where polluted water is the enemy.  Trying to suck your way to survival through a filter straw, or zap a path through the pathogens with your UV pen might sound like high-tech low-drag solutions to the number one concern when bugged in or out, but those are only short-term personal solutions.  Are you really going to play mommy bird and spit a mouthful into a crying child’s beak?  Or regurgitate a pot full of water to rehydrate your freeze dried fritters?  No matter how you slice it, you will need a more substantial water filter solution when hours turn to days turn to weeks making the price of 30 minutes for 10 liters of clean water the best deal on the the planet.

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Maybe Crazy Preppers Aren’t So Crazy

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survivalIn light of the recent Paris terrorism attacks, and the relentless media coverage of this incident, maybe, just maybe, “preppers” are so crazy after all.

One thing is clear.

The days of Mayberry are over.

Maybe getting started as a “prepper” isn’t such a dumb idea.

In fact, in today’s times, it might save you and your families’ lives.

Here’s where and why to get started:

You see it all over the mainstream media as well as our favored alternative media websites, things are changing rapidly, and not for the better. You can feel it in your gut, things are going to go from bad to worse, and seem to be happening at alarmingly faster pace. With all of the horrific things that are happening in our once great country, now is the time to prepare for the bad times that are inevitably coming. But where do you begin? What can you do? The first thing is to start by making a list. Make a list of everything you want to do to prepare, and keep this list visible so you are always forcing yourself to look at it so you can be doing something to get prepared.

Without a doubt, things are changing.

Don’t expect a TV talking head to tell you what you need to do.

Be smart.

Get prepped.


Wal-Mart Shoppers Shout Racism Over This

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walmartWithout a doubt, we face some very real threats today in the United States.

Thugs and drug gangs with guns have no regard for the law.

Illegal criminal immigrants threaten our way of life.

Now, for some, even clothing displays can cause serious harm.

Recently, some shoppers at a Wal-Mart in Las Vegas found the clothing displays in the Men’s department racist and offensive:

A short-lived innovative attempt to display clothing at a Las Vegas-area Walmart had many shouting “racist”, leading the store taking down the display as well as a host of social media commentators wondering where racism-mania will stop.

The fuss began last week when someone working at a Walmart in North Las Vegas put together an unusual clothing display. Four dressed mannequins were hung directly from the store’s ceiling, where they dangled for all shoppers to see.

Unreal, isn’t it?

It sure is difficult to protect gun rights and freedom of speech when this kind of nonsense is what the media feeds us.


European National Suicide In Progress, Coming To The USA Next?

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WATCH: The Anti-Migrant Video Going Viral Across Europe I present this for your comment, given the world current events:   Source: Breitbart After gaining a million and a half views in less than five days, the Open Gates video was taken down by YouTube following a copyright infringement claim. Although the rights company involved in […]

Papers Please- Cops Stoop to New Low Here

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copsPolice forces all over the United States are using creative (and abusive) methods to pad their budgets.

We’ve warned you here about civil asset forfeiture.

Now, in Manassas, VA, less than an hour outside The Beltway, police love harassing motorists.

Manassas, VA – This week, the Manassas City Police Department proudly announced on their Facebook page that they would be setting up checkpoints to look for people who are driving with no license, seatbelt or with outdated inspection stickers. This type of checkpoint is a new low in police overreach, and the program seems to have very little public support from the community.

Someone should do a cost analysis of this…. Do these inspections bring in revenue that cover the costs of these checkpoints…. I bet the answer is no. And someone should look into the correlation of the location of these checkpoints with income levels of those areas.”

Checkpoints for sobriety have become commonplace in America, and while they are a  violation of privacy, these new checkpoints are obviously a show of force, and an attempt to collect revenue.

It’s unlikely these daytime checkpoints do anything to improve motorists’ safety.

In fact, to claim this is the reason given to justify hassling law-abiding drivers is an insult.

Before you can pass, please present your papers.

And we never thought Nazi Germany could happen in America?

What’s Next? Insulted Shoppers Demanding That Wal-Mart Please Fire Their CEO?

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firedSo, some black kids at the University of Missouri have their panties in a wad because someone allegedly shouted a racial insult.

It seems the President of the University, a white guy who got his position wholly due to “white privilege” was at fault and he had to go.

Now to put this into perspective for all you folks who are fail to grasp the beef of these likewise privileged black kids, what would happen if a similar scenario played out at your local Wal-Mart:

Indeed, what has Mr. McMillon done? What has he done to stop people from saying mean things in and around the nation’s Walmarts? Has he posted signs reminding us not to share our opinions with one another? Has he officially declared Walmarts to be No Insult Zones? Has he made any attempt to give his customers a true understanding of the impact hurtful words have on marginalized populations? Has he set up safe spaces in his stores where those dealing with the effects of unpleasant phrases and ideas can go to regroup and share their feelings? Has he followed the progressive lead of the University of Missouri and established racially segregated healing spaces so that different minority groups can be vulnerable around others who share their authentic racial experiences? Has he instituted mandatory inclusivity and sensitivity seminars for all of his employees and customers? Has he conducted awareness campaigns to make people aware of things? Has he then followed those awareness campaigns with awareness awareness campaigns to make people aware of the awareness? Has he even taken the basic step of offering free Yoga classes in the back of every Walmart to help his customer de-stress?

What’s one of the most important survival skills you need today?

How about a thick skin, regardless of your skin color?

Black Friday – Cyber Monday Deals

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We’re excited to announce the 2015 Black Friday specials! We’ve heard from a lot of you who are looking to make this Christmas a “Preparedness Christmas”. What a great idea! There are really some amazing deals happening this year. Much better than we have seen in recent years. We have rounded up all the best deals on our favorite products and summarized them for you in one simple sale flyer. Make sure to check each individual item as different things are on sale on different days.

Make sure to check out Fortress Clothing who is already doing launch pricing for our readers and Thrive Life where you can pre-order doorbusters through our secure online form.


thrive original pre order doorBlack_friday_flyer_2015_05sunovenharvestpreparemylifewonder jr deluxewondermill electricNUTRIMILL SATURDAY (2)BOSCH ORIGINAL (2)humless (2)

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Acorns, Nuts and Other Wild Starches Recipes & 101

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Acorns, Nuts and Other Wild Starches Recipes Wild starches are the toughest need for a forager to meet. Greens and fruits are everywhere, but starch can be tough to come by. I’ve begun with acorns, but I plan on adding recipes for other wild starches as well, such as wild salsify, arrowhead, sunchokes, cattail and tule …

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There’s Hope for Argentina!

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President Mauricio Macri and Governor of Buenos Aires, Maria Eugenia Vidal

I barely dared to hope. Just barely. I had seen so many times my beloved country go down the toilet during elections, consumed by corruption, ignorance and populist ideology.

Yesterday something changed in Argentina. Mauricio Macri is now president of Argentina. Macri is the product of the 2001 crisis, starting his political party in 2003 and winning the mayoral elections of the City of Buenos Aires in 2007 where he did a great job. He ran the government of the city of Buenos Aires with professionalism, free of favouritism and corruption with clear goals for the city which he mostly achieved. Mauricio Macri can be described as a center-right conservative, known for building skilled teams around him and solving problems in a methodical way, probably due to his background in civil engineering.

As great as this is, the damage done to Argentina is still considerable an years, maybe a decade or more will pass before it becomes a nation with standards of living similar to the ones found in developed nations. The horrible crime problem, even the corruption and economic instability, you don’t get rid of those overnight. Macri knows a thing or two about being a victim of crime. He spent 13 days in a hole, kidnapped himself.

Still, its great news. There’s hope, and now there’s a president that will work towards fixing things rather than filling his own pockets. A president we can finally be proud of…that is, until he starts dancing…


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

That is a Hot Ash Stove – Gear Review

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I was able to spend some productive time with the folks from Hot Ash Stove. They are currently on Kickstarter which ends December 1, 2015. What I was able to see and discuss at the meeting was very informative. For starters, this is not an ultralight wood stove. This is a portable Rocket Stove. This … Continue reading

The post That is a Hot Ash Stove – Gear Review appeared first on Use Your Instincts To Survive.

12 Days of Food Storage Christmas

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If you have family, friends, or neighbors who you have been wanting to introduce to the world of preparedness, this could be a fun way to do it. We’ve put together 12 days of free or inexpensive (under $1) gifts that follow along our 10 Babysteps to help someone get started and hopefully peak their curiosity to learn even more.

12 Days of Food Storage Christmas

Feel free to adapt this to meet your needs. Spread the gifts out over 12 days, or you can do all 12 days at once as a “getting started” package. Each day has some recommendations for some more advanced gift ideas if you’d like to check them out. Don’t forget to download the tags and labels for each day and Merry Christmas!

Download tags and labels for all 12 days here

12 Days of Food Storage Christmas

Emergency Preparedness is always a great place to start. Print out our in depth Emergency Preparedness Plan that your loved one can fill out as a starting point for their family. Roll it up and tie a pretty ribbon around it and attach the Day 1 tags and labels to it. You could also include a personal note letting them know that you will be giving them some fun little gifts over the next few days to help them be more prepared.

More expensive gift ideas
Prepare My Life Planner
Pre-made 72 hour kits

We have two ideas for day 2. Babystep #1 is shelves so you can build a little rotating can shelf out of cardboard and stick the day 2 tags on it. Download the instructions here and you can even give them a copy so they can make their own additional units to fill their pantry. If you don’t have the time or patience to do this, you can opt to print out our Small Spaces Storage Solutions handout which gives lots of ideas on sneaky places to store food storage. Again, this can be rolled up with a cute ribbon tied around it and the Day 2 tags added to make it fun

More expensive gift ideas
Canorganizers (Commercially made cardboard can racks for pantry)
Cansolidators (Plastic can racks for pantry)
Harvest Shelves (72″ rotating can rack shelf)

Babystep #2 is water, one of the most critical components of any preparedness or food storage plan. For today you can either recycle a few empty pop or juice containers and fill them with clean water, or you can splurge and grab a few little water pouches that can be great for 72 hour kits or car emergency kits. Depending on how many you buy they can be less than $0.50 each! Whichever option you opt for, add your Day 3 tag to make it cute.

More expensive gift ideas
Berkey Water Purification Systems

Babystep #3 is to put together a 3 month supply of regular foods. Print out these worksheets to help someone get started on their 3 Month Plan. There is an Instruction Sheet, a Menu Plan Sheet and an Inventory Sheet. You will need to print the Menu Plan Sheet multiple times depending on how many different meals you want to plan. There is also a video tutorial to go along with these forms found here. Put the printed worksheets in sheet protects or roll them up and tie a ribbon around them. Don’t forget to attach the Day 4 tag!

More expensive gift ideas
Subscription to Deals to Meals (grocery savings program)

Babystep #4 is an introduction to long term food storage foods. People often get overwhelmed with how much and what to buy. Here is a handout that includes instructions and a simple food storage calculator that you can print out, tie a ribbon around, add the cute Day 5 Tags, and give to someone. This will help them determine quantities of foods to purchase based on their family size.

More expensive gift ideas
I Can’t Believe It’s Food Storage
Country Beans
Dinner is in the Jar
Cooking with Food Storage Made Easy

Babystep #5 is learning to use grains, and more specifically wheat. People often have a hard time using wheat if they don’t have a wheat grinder. If you haven’t tried making Blender Wheat Pancakes you are missing out! This is something easy you can make that uses wheat with no wheat grinder required. Put the ingredients in a baggie, tie a ribbon around it and a recipe card with instructions. Don’t forget to add the Day 6 tag as well. It wont cost you much, but will surely impress and motivate someone to use their food storage.

More expensive gift ideas
WonderMill Wheat Grinder

Babystep #6 moves on to learning about beans/legumes. Legumes can be very intimidating to a lot of people so this is a great one to help people realize they aren’t so bad. Purchase a 1 lb bag of 12 bean soup mix from the grocery store ($1-$2). Tie a ribbon around it and include the Day 7 Tags. Include this 12 Bean Soup Recipe on a cute recipe card for them, it’s delicious!

More expensive gift ideas
Electric Pressure Cooker (makes it EASY to cook dry beans)
Instant Beans from Thrive Life (no soaking or long cook times)

Babystep #7 covers baking ingredients that are necessary for you to be able to make a lot of recipes using your grains and legumes. Salt is one of those things that you run out of, and don’t necessarily think of storing. Find or buy a container of salt and make it cute with ribbons, or put it in a gift bag, and remind them Food Storage isn’t just grains and legumes.

More expensive gift ideas
Instant Powdered Milk
Butter Powder
Pure Vanilla Powder

Babystep #8 is purchasing or preserving fruits and vegetables. While not critical for sustaining life, fruits and vegetables are a welcome addition to any food storage program for the health benefits, variety, and to help you save money on your day to day grocery shopping. Gardening is a great way to become more self reliant. Try giving a few packs of gardening seeds to help motivate people to get going on gardening. If you know the person doesn’t have a lot of space, pick herbs, or things you can grow on kitchen counters.

More expensive gift ideas
Excalibur Food Dehydrator
Canner and canning supplies
Freeze Dried Fruits or Veggies

Babystep #9 encourages people to store comfort foods for times of crisis. This is a great day for the holidays. Even just a candy bar or 2 in your storage for just in case scenarios are great. Pick up the person’s favorite one and surprise them with a little treat to have in time of need (and tell them they can’t eat it right away, they have to store it ;) Tie a cute ribbon around the candy bar and add the Day 10 Tags and you’re all set.

More expensive gift ideas
FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer (great for preserving treats for longer storage)

Babystep #10 covers all aspects of storage that are NOT food. Although Food Storage (and Christmas for that matter) are a lot about food, we can’t forget the non-food items that are important and necessary to store not only for hygiene but also for cooking, cleaning, first aid, etc. Any inexpensive toiletry would be a great gift for this day (toothpaste, deodorant, etc.)

More expensive gift ideas
First Aid Kit

Once you have completed the first 11 days for a friend, or family member, it’s time for them to keep the journey going themselves. To help them do that, we have our BabyStep Checklists. Have the person you are giving to sign up for our free email checklists. You could even sign up for them with their email address and print out the first checklist for their gift. The checklists last for one year and are sent every 2 weeks. After following the 26 checklists they will have a full food storage for one person.

More expensive gift ideas
Food Storage Made Easy 3-Part eBook Program (buy and print out in a binder for them)


12 Days of Food Storage Christmas - Budget friendly gift ideas for increasing preparedness awareness

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10 Wild Winter Edibles

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10 Wild Winter Edibles Winter is a daunting time, its cold, snowy and icy. If SHTF and its winter time you may think there is no wild edible food to gather. This is where you are wrong. Around the states, especially the north, gets really cold and snowy, and there is an abundance of wild …

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Latest Test Results

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A few weeks ago I had an issue with my bathroom leaking. Meant my shower was out so I had a chance to try living without one and to have a updated test run on my preps. It took longer than I anticipated to get the shower fixed, mainly down to the cost and availability […]

Long-Term Food Storage Methods

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Nothing brings a man down like fear of hunger and it’s something we all think about, regardless how full our pantry is. We can’t really help it and it’s a genetic memory that was seeded in us throughout human history. Since food was often scarce and starvation was always a problem, food storage was one … Read more…

The post Long-Term Food Storage Methods appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

URGENT! Another MAJOR Revelation Timeline Convergence!

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THIS IS INCREDIBLE!!  I just can’t believe there are many more major convergences of biblical events with my revelation timeline.  We ARE in the end times friends!  Turn…

EXCLUSIVE DEAL: Lindon Farms Just-Add-Water meals

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The Lindon Farms special Black Friday deals will be available Friday, November 27 to Monday November 30!

90 SERVING BUCKET Goal Zero Switch 8 Solar Kit COMBO

When you purchase a Lindon Farms 90 Serving Bucket you’ll receive a Goal Zero Switch 8 Kit FREE! ($99 value) This is a really great idea for Christmas presents!

LINCOMB The 90 Serving Bucket features and contents:
Up to 25 Year Shelf Life, 2,000 calories a day for 1 week for 1 person, 4 Gal Rugged Stackable, ez store™ container, Capacity: 90 full servings, Delicious just-add-water meals, Each meal in 5-10 serving pouches, Easy to open zip-seal ‘metalite’ pouches

Breakfasts: Cinnamon Rice Pudding, Oatmeal (1) 10 serving pouch, Polenta (1) 10 serving pouch, Lunch/Dinners : Western Chili (1) 10 serving pouch, Hearty Potato Soup (1) 10 serving pouch, Red Beans & Rice (1) 10 serving pouch, Beef Flavored Vegetable Stew (1) 10 serving pouch, Chicken Flavored Vegetable Stew (1) 10 serving pouch, Cheddar Broccoli Soup (1) 10 serving pouch

TO ORDER >>>>>>>> Visit this page and on each 90 Serving bucket you purchase will get you a free Goal Zero Switch 8 Solar kit. DO NOT ORDER UNTIL FRIDAY NOVEMBER 27 FOR BONUSES


Buy 8 Lindon Farms 360 Serving Entree Bucket and receive (4) Lindon Farms 360 Entree buckets free. This is a one year supply of food for one person. This saves you over $1700!


Buy 8 Lindon Farms 360 Serving Entree Bucket and receive (4) Lindon Farms 360 Entree buckets free. This is a one year supply of food for one person. This saves you over $1700!

TO ORDER >>>>>>>> Visit this page and enter 8 for the quantity and 4 will be added to your order for FREE! DO NOT ORDER UNTIL FRIDAY NOVEMBER 27 FOR BONUSES

The post EXCLUSIVE DEAL: Lindon Farms Just-Add-Water meals appeared first on Food Storage Made Easy.

Gunslinger Quick-Draw Hand Well Pump – Grid down Backup

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

5/5 (2) As part of my preps, water is high on the list of items I strive to ensure I have options and redundancy for so when Tony from Gunslinger Well Pumps contacted me to review his Quick Draw hand well pump I was very interested. We have water stored in our home and rain […]

The post Gunslinger Quick-Draw Hand Well Pump – Grid down Backup appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

China Planning To Destroy U.S. Military Satellites As Part Of A First Strike Attack

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Assymetrical weapons

By J. D. Heyes – Natural News

(NaturalNews) The Chinese military continues to perfect its anti-satellite warfare capabilities with a recent flight test of a new ASAT missile, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

For almost two decades Beijing has increasingly boosted its annual defense budget to improve weapons systems for the People’s Liberation Army, Navy (PLAN) and Air Force (PLAAF). But despite advances, the Chinese military remains far behind the United States and, to a lesser degree, Russia, in terms of technological capabilities.

In fact, as noted by Paul Dibb, writing in The National Interest in October:

“This isn’t to argue that China is in the final stages of disintegration like the USSR, but it is to assert that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) demonstrates all the brittleness and paper-thin professionalism of a military that has never fought a modern war and whose much-vaunted military equipment has never been tested in combat.”

Continue reading at Natural News: China Planning To Destroy U.S. Military Satellites As Part Of A First Strike Attack

Filed under: Civil Unrest / War, News/ Current Events, Whatever Your Opinion

Cold Storm to Bring White Thanksgiving to Portions of Western US

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By Brett Rathbun – AccuWeather

Rain, snow and cold air will return to the Northwestern states into Thanksgiving.

A storm system will dive southward along the West Coast into Tuesday before tracking eastward across the Rockies into Thanksgiving Day.

The strength and track of this storm system will determine which locations will receive the heaviest snowfall on the cold side of this system.

The amount of moisture available with this system will be much less than the previous storms this month across the Pacific Northwest. While much of the lower elevations will deal with periods of rain, the threat for flash flooding will be low.

“Snowflakes will mainly just make an appearance in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, on Monday night,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said. “The low elevations east of the Cascades have the better opportunity to receive accumulating snow on Tuesday into Wednesday, especially in eastern Oregon.”

Continue reading at AccuWeather: Cold Storm to Bring White Thanksgiving to Portions of Western US

Check AccuWeather MinuteCast® for Your Location
Northwest Interactive Radar
Black Friday Outlook: Will Wintry Weather Put a Dent in Sales This Year?

Filed under: Weather

Volcanoes Today, 23 Nov 2015: Karymsky volcano, Colima, Erta Ale, Tungurahua, Nishino-shima, Shishaldin, Copahue, Cotopaxi

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Explosion from Nishinoshima’s active main vent on 17 Nov (Japan Coast Guard)

Karymsky (Kamchatka): Ash plumes from the volcano drifting east at estimated 23,000 ft (7 km) altitude were reported by VAAC Tokyo yesterday.

Nishino-shima (Volcano Islands, Japan): The volcano continues to erupt and is approaching its anniversary. It started with the birth of a new island offshore the old Nishino-Shima island on 23 Nov 2013, which by now has joined and completely covered and greatly enlarged the older one.
The latest survey of the Japanese Coast Guard on 17 Nov showed that although lava effusion continues at slow rate, thickening the flow field in the interior of the island, they no longer reach the shores and the island’s total surface has decreased a bit due to wave erosion from 2.67 in September to now 2.63 square km.
Strombolian to vulcanian-type explosions occur from the main vent, sometimes strong enough to project bombs of meter size into the sea, i.e. to more than 1 km distance.

Shishaldin (Aleutian Islands, Alaska):
No anomalous activity at Shishaldin has been observed in satellite data since weakly elevated surface temperatures were detected on October 16. Low-amplitude seismic tremor continues but is not considered to be indicative of an active eruption.
AVO is therefore downgrading the status of Shishaldin volcano from aviation color code ORANGE to YELLOW and from volcano alert level WATCH to ADVISORY. (AVO / USGS)

Colima (Western Mexico):
Intermittent explosive activity continues with little changes. Another beautiful shot of an ash column with eruption lightning by our friend Hernando Rivera from Colima attached.
If you like to join us on a 4 days expedition to Colima from 16-20 Dec, look here.

Cotopaxi (Ecuador):
The volcano’s activity remains low, with intermittent small ash emissions and continuous steaming. Weak glow can sometimes be observed at night. According to IGEPN, seismic activity remains moderately strong.

Tungurahua (Ecuador):
Today and yesterday, the activity at the volcano has been lower and emissions much reduced, after a phase of near continuous degassing and ash venting, producing columns of up to 3 km height during 18-19 Nov.
In this period, 1-6 mm of ash fell in areas to the NW, including Cotaló, Chacauco, Pillate, Chontapamba, Chonglontus, Cusua, Juive, and Bilbao where it caused significant damage to vegetation and some infrastructure.

Copahue (Chile/Argentina):
An increase in activity occurred at the volcano during the past two days. Starting Thursday evening, a new pulse of volcanic tremor was detected and ash emissions began during the night Thu-Friday around 3 am.
At 03:40, a larger explosive event and emission took place that produced a plume of ash rising approx. 1 km. Also, some incandescent material was seen ejected. Until now, mild ash emissions seem to continue as near-continuous.
Whether this new phase of activity involves fresh magma or only pulverized older rocks is unknown for the time being (until ash analyses have been made), but SERNAGEOMIN already reported that new magma was partially present in ash emissions earlier in October.
Since early November, volcanologists monitoring the volcano have detected intermittent pulses of volcanic tremor and an increase in SO2 output of the volcano, both indications that new magma has been moving closer to the surface under the volcano.

Erta Ale (Ethiopia): The lava lake in the southern pit of the caldera, 30-40 meters in diameter, remains very active and approaches again levels close to overflowing the margins of the pit, being only a few meters below the floor of the caldera.
A group of ours is currently there and we will have fresh news in about 10 days, but the following video likely from early November shows the current activity well:

Continue reading at Volcano Discovery: Volcanoes Today, 23 Nov 2015: Karymsky volcano, Colima, Erta Ale, Tungurahua, Nishino-shima, Shishaldin, Copahue, Cotopaxi

Filed under: News/ Current Events, Volcanic Activity

CME Analysis, Space Weather | S0 News Nov.23.2015

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By Suspicious0bservers

Published on Nov 23, 2015

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

Observing the Frontier Conference:
Phoenix: https://www.eventjoy.com/e/otf


Solar Alerts on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealS0s

Good Videos/Articles:
The Sun is Going to Sleep: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7whL9…
Discussing Earthquakes with Kongpop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThCUZ…
Earth’s Magnetic Reversal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIayx…
Top 6 Climate Change Problems: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ew05…
Pause on Pausing the Pause: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZH46…
Sun Series: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=…
STARWATER Article: http://wavechronicle.com/wave/?p=1151
S0 Notes on Solar Shutdown: http://www.suspicious0bservers.org/fo…
IPCC History: http://www.suspicious0bservers.org/se…

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

4 Things You May Need to Know During a Crisis

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Working Chainsaw

For some, the list of things they do not know how to do, but may be required to do during a crisis can be quite long. For others, some of the tasks are old hat. Where you live, how you were raised and even your occupation influences everything.

Those that live in cities would not be required, or expected to know how to do certain things that may come secondhand to those living on a farm. Conversely, those living in the country may not know how to do certain things that those living in the city take for granted. 

However, once the SHTF we are all in it together, and there will be certain tasks that will have to get done regardless of where you live, and to survive, you may need to know how to accomplish what may end up being life saving tasks.

The following may seem to be a ridiculous article to some people, because the tasks listed are something that most men and women of a certain age have had to do, or still do on a regular basis.

Today only 69 percent of 19 year olds have a driver’s license. Individuals are driving less, apparently there is less incentive to own a vehicle if you live in a city. In 1983, for example, almost 90 percent of 19 year olds had a driver’s license.

Research shows that about 15.3 percent of the U.S. population aged 18 to 39 now gets by without a driver’s license (Plumer, 2013).

The recession had reduced homeownership, so more people are living in apartments, and thus, the upkeep is done by someone else, so there is no need for apartment dwellers to know how to do certain things.

1.) Operate a Chainsaw

A good number of you are already thinking, who doesn’t know how to operate a chainsaw. Well did you know how to operate one before someone taught you how? You cannot assume that others have had the same training, have the same background, or skill level as you, so yes there are some that have no idea how to operate a chainsaw.

There is the gas and oil mixture, the starting, the safe operation so you don’t cut a leg off, and then the maintenance such as chain sharpening. To operate a chainsaw takes some level of training.

You may need to cut firewood, clear downed trees, and limbs from roadways, and you may have to cut into damaged structures for rescue operations. Knowing how to safely and effectively use a chainsaw will be a valuable skill, no matter where you live.

2.) Drive a Standard Transmission

At one time you had to special order a vehicle with an automatic transmission. Standard transmissions were, well the standard years ago. Everyone knew how to drive a car with three on the column or four on the floor. Today, however, it’s a different story and a surprising number of drivers have never driven a “stick shift”. It takes practice, and during a crisis your means of transportation may be limited, so learn how, so when the times comes you can use your new found skill and are not hampered by your lack of skills.

3.) Change the Oil in Your Vehicle

Along with changing the oil you need to know how to check the oil and then add oil. Again, a number of people simply do not know how to check their oil, add oil, or change the oil in their vehicles. The quick lube places dot the landscape in and around communities and towns and the price is right, so it is not worthwhile for most people to even bother doing it themselves.

During a crisis you will have to know how to check all the fluid levels, and add if needed. Oil has to be checked to make sure it is not low. Otherwise, engine damage could occur and oil will break down overtime, reducing its effectiveness as a lubricant, so it has to be changed on a regular basis. You may be the only that can do it.

4.) Can You Change a Tire?

A flat tire is like a broken leg, if you have either one you are not going far. In a crisis you may need to move quickly and the quickest way is by vehicle. Even if it only gets you few miles away from the disaster zone, because a few miles may be all you need, but if you cannot change a flat tire you are on foot.

You buy a new car, and the tires are in great shape, and besides you have roadside assistance like AAA or what the manufacturer provides for the first few years. AAA will tow the car to the nearest drive thru service center, Wal-Mart, or local car dealership or may even change the flat for you beside the highway as you text work you will be late.

For a few bucks you are back on the road. No worries right, you don’t need to know how, because it’s cheaper to have it done than to fuss with all the work needed to change a flat by yourself in your work clothes no less.

Do you even know where the jack, jack handle, and spare tire are located? Spares are hidden in newer cars and it may take some maneuvering to get them loose. Some even have a locking mechanism on the spare, do you have the key. You may need the jack handle so you can crank the spare down from its nesting place under the back of the vehicle, did you know this.

In Conclusion

The above is by no means the only tasks that you may be called upon to do during a crisis. The only reason they are listed is because people tend to look at the big picture when planning for a major crisis.

Some envision big happenings like gun battles, Martial Law, rogue military units rounding up people, FEMA internment camps, zombies wandering loose, nuclear wastelands, and the list goes on.

All of these things may happen, but in the meantime, you will be struggling hour by hour, day by day with the simplest of things. You will struggle with the simple things because you took them for granted. Someone else always cleared the roadways of limbs, always delivered the firewood for your fireplace, and the Quick lubes had you in and out in less than 30 minutes, but now that has all changed.

The post 4 Things You May Need to Know During a Crisis appeared first on Preparing for shtf.

Herbal Save making Basics

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Herbal Salve Recipe Basics

Did you ever wonder why salves are so good for everyday use for example how about a bee pollen salve is so powerful for the skin,  where bee pollen is cold infused into the oils used in your salve recipe. Bee pollen is a powerful skin care aid in cell regeneration because of the flavanoids,antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and amino acids but particularly because of its pure form of b complex vitamins . Domestic Bee pollen due to the bees cross pollination process(s) allow this. providing a new and powerful source of cell regeneration of the skin.

Herbal healing salves are great for everyday use and are very powerful in healing Wounds, Cuts, Sores, Bug Bites with little or no scaring They are also used for sore muscles and actually extracting infections and  poisons from a wound. and a good black salve can over time pull a small splinter out of a wound or hard to get area.
Follow this category to get the recipes for many salves
Below is a simple recipe for a general healing salve to help you understand how salves are made and to be used as a base recipe for other salves you desire.
There are many different types of salve used for different purposes. E.G.  
  • To draw out a poison or infection of some sort one can use a black salve. 
  • For Burns of all degrees one can use a good burn salve.
  • For. Cuts and bruised one can use a general healing salve
  • For Injuries one can use a  sprain salve
  • For poor Circulation, reumatory arthritis, and or joint pain or even to help stimulate blood circulation in specific ares of the body through a topical process one can use a circulation Salve
  • For inflammation one may use an powerful anti-inflammatory salve.
  • For Eczema use a lavender tea tree, oregano,plantain salve
  • and these are just a few salves 

Making The Salve:
What You Will Need:
  • 1 ounce of pure Beeswax
  • 8 ounces of herbal infused oil
  • Lavender essential oil
  • tea tree essential oil
  • vitamin e liquid capsules ( to use as a preserver to get more of a shelf life of the salve)
  • stainless or enamel pot
  • potato ricer or cheese cloth for pressing the oil soaked herb(s)
  • Glass jar for storage ( Small baby food jars work great)
  • 2 cup pyrex measure cup (for transferring liquid salve into containers or tins)
I.  First you will need to make an infused oil:
Cold infused oils: ( better quality salves and longer shelf life)
Take 6 ounces of your herb or her combination (in total) and place in a quart size mason or glass jar.
Add a Good quality olive oil and stir very well.
Let sit for a min. of 4 weeks to achieve a good quality infusion. Some say 2 weeks (I go 4 weeks and try to make extra so I always have some ready to make a batch of salves
after the 4 weeks strain and press herbs back into the stained oil.
Warm infused oils: ( Quicker good for quick needs but has a shorter shelf life)
 In a  stainless steel or enamel pot add 1 1/2 cups of good quality olive oil  and bring to a very low simmer once you reach the simmer point back off the heat
Add  6 ounces of your herb or her combination (in total) .
stay on low or warm for 1 hour.
After one hour take off stove and let oil cool. Once cool stain and press
II. Making the salve liquid to pour into your containers:

  1. Add once ounce of pure beeswax and slowly melt it completely
  2. Once completely melted, add infused oil to the melted beeswax.
  3. You will notice it will solidify at this point just let it all remelt together as one liquid.
  4. Once completely a warm liquid add to pyrex measure cup and quickly pour into your containers.
  5.  While still in liquid form break and add vitamin E liquid of one capsule and then add essential oils 2-3 drops of each per container. 
  6. Let harden and use as needed

Survival Navigation Tools: A Compass Will Save Your Life

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Let’s assume for a moment that you’re out hiking or exploring. Or even a worst case scenario: you’ve been stranded due to an unfortunate accident or event into an unknown place, far from civilization. Even if you’re a bit familiar to the wilderness or have a clue where you are, it’s still bad; not knowing is even worse. The first reasonable thing to do is to try and locate where you are and start moving towards a safe zone. Many of you will consider the modern approach to navigation, based on a GPS system. But what if your electronic device (phone, tablet, GPS device) gets damaged or it simply runs out of battery? You should be fine as long as you remembered to pack a survival navigation tools, a map and a compass as a backup. Every serious prepper should have a compass in his private survival kit. There’s a great variety of compasses on the market, to suit the needs of even the keenest explorers. The beginners or light travelers could always get a basic compass, one that’s cheap, works great but it doesn’t have some bonus features, such as a mirror or a declination adjustment etc. For the more serious hikers and preppers, there are more advanced compasses, with many additional features (magnifier, mirror etc.) that make navigation easier and are perfect for those who wonder regularly into unknown territory. It all comes down to choosing the one that works best for you. Let’s have a look at what’s available on the market.


How a compass works

A compass has a tiny plastic bubble filled with liquid, a damping fluid, which is mostly oil based and treated with antifreeze so the compass can work even in low-temperature environments. Its role is not only to protect the pointer needle from outside interference, but also to prevent the needle from excessive jiggling and trembling caused by the magnetic forces of the earth. If you find yourself in a cold environment or at high altitudes, the liquid will contract creating a bubble inside the plastic casing, but this won’t affect accuracy. When you return to normal conditions, the air bubble will disappear.

The magnetized needle encased in the plastic liquid-filled transparent bubble is the one that’s responsible for telling directions. It has 2 pointy sides, one of which is strongly attuned to the earth’s strongest magnetic field, generated by the magnetic North Pole. So at any point, this needle (which is normally red) will point north. However, the magnetic north is different from the geographic north. The magnetic north is situated in a chain of islands in the Canadian Arctic. So you must compensate and calculate the differences when traveling by map and compass.

There are also electronic compasses available on the market, which are easier to read thanks to their displays. But they’re less reliable than traditional ones for the same reasons every other battery operated GPS device is: they’re fragile and are dependent on an external energy source that will run out soon or later.

Compasses to consider

The Suunto A-10 field compass is a very simple and efficient compass that works great.  It’s lightweight, made from a scratch-resistant and shock-absorbing transparent material and it has an ergonomic design which makes it easy to hold and handle or to fit in a small pocket; it also comes equipped with a detachable snap lock. It supports a two-zone reading (covering the entire north hemisphere) for an extra accurate reading, which can be done in both inches and centimeters. The needled is not flooded in liquid, but this doesn’t seem to affect the overall performance of this compass in any way.


The Cammenga Phosphorescent Clam Pack Lensatic Compass is a very established name in the field. It’s a very sturdy field compass that is completely waterproof and it’s has a very tough aluminum frame. You can carry it tied to your wrist, clipped securely to your belt or just have it sit in its own carrying pouch. It weighs about 8 ounces and the dial includes both degrees and miles. It has phosphorescent paint to make for easy readings at night and for those who don’t mind spending twice the money, there is also a tritium version available. This tiny navigation gadget has been approved by the DoD, so that tells us a lot about its quality and efficiency.


The Suunto KB-14 360R Pro Compass it’s absolutely state of the art as far as accuracy goes. It’s a professional compass, which means great investments have been made and excellent materials went in the making of this particular model. It’s extremely accurate, down to a third of a degree or 0.5 degrees when it comes to graduated intervals. The shell is made from a durable anodized light alloy, it has superior damping fluid (which stay consistent even in extreme conditions) and a nylon pouch for protection. This model is highly used by professional cartographers, surveyors and foresters. It’d be the perfect compass if it had the declination correction feature; luckily this feature is available on the improved (and more expensive) KB-14D model.

There are still plenty of models out there for you to check out and chose from. But make no mistake about it: we’re far from that technical breakthrough, when electronics can replace classical gadgets in a survival scenario. I’m not saying that the GPS systems are completely useless, far from it. But when the computer systems fail, you’ll need to revert to a simpler way if you want to survive.


By Alec Deacon



The post Survival Navigation Tools: A Compass Will Save Your Life appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Top 10 Types Of Meds You Need To Stockpile

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BIG 10 MEDSStockpiling medicine is not an easy task: it’s about money, it’s about making the best choice, it’s about availability. You should have at least a month’s medical supply, and the medications you stockpile can be easy to come by and are over-the-counter medications available at any large pharmacy.

But others you need are more difficult to get. They include narcotic medication and other prescription medications you have been prescribed by a doctor. Narcotics are good for severe pain but are potentially addicting so most doctors–even yours–won’t write a prescription for it without good reason.

That’s why we made it easy for you, and put up a list of those meds that you should not skip from your medical stockpile.

Tips to Follow on Buying Meds

In some cases, the prescription medications can be gotten from your doctor. For prescriptions, including narcotics that you can’t get at the doctor’s office try looking for an overseas pharmacy online, but it’s hard to predict which ones will be reputable or not. Try purchasing just one or two items from them and if they deliver reliably a medication that has the manufacturing label intact with the right medication name, you can continue to purchase from them.

You have to familiarize yourself with the generic names of medications because when you purchase over-the-counter medications or buy them online, even overseas, the generic forms are often much cheaper by far than the name brands. Knowing the generic names will help you determine what medications you’re getting online as well.

Often the labels are in another language but the generic name of the medicine is very similar or the same as the English version. These should be good substitutes for American-made medications.

But there are also other ways to get these medications. I myself needed an antibiotic, and I went to the drugstore and didn’t tell them I was a doctor. In some situations and in some places, you can get antibiotics and non-narcotic pain medication over the counter. You just have to claim that you are on treatment and you need to continue it, but that you’re not at home and that you need a dosage for one day. Chances are good nowadays that they’ll ask for your ID and your doctor’s phone number.

What if you don’t have access to what you need, though? Can these drugs be replaced with other substances, such as veterinary substances? Yes they sometimes can, if you keep the proportions, and with caution, but you have to check the dose because this is really important. Otherwise, if you take a dosage for a horse you will die. Look on the blister and see what it is, then divide it with the knife, in 2, 3, 4, 5, dosages as necessary.

As for the storage, stockpile medications nearby medications that are related to one another. For example, stock the respiratory medications together, the stomach medications together, etc. In a crisis, it pays to be organized.

Items past their expiration date may still work, however the will have a lesser potency. In rare cases, a medication much past its expiration date will have altered its components to contain something dangerous if you take it but it is rare. When in doubt and if in need, you can take something past its expiration date but it will have a lesser efficacy (effectiveness).

10 Categories of Medication that You Need

There are several categories of medications you’ll want to purchase, and you shouldn’t miss the following types of medication:

  1. Cold and flu medication: For congestion, cough, the pain of sore throat and body aches).
  2. Allergy medications: Include sedating and non-sedating types of medication.
  3. Pain medications: Include over the counter and prescription pain medications.
  4. Breathing medications: This especially includes inhalers.
  5. Gastrointestinal medications: For heartburn, stomach distress, diarrhea and constipation.
  6. Skin medications: These include sunscreen and medications for various rashes and skin problems.
  7. Antibiotics: Include those that cover for the majority of infections you might encounter.
  8. Birth control pills: A disaster is no time for a pregnancy, especially if nuclear radiation is present.
  9. Psychotropic medications. This especially involves medication for sleep and anxiety.
  10. Children’s medications: If you have a baby or young child, you’ll want liquid medications specially designed for their needs.

There needs to be many more medications taken and stockpiled in disabled people and seniors’ medications than in children’s medications, and these medications include:

  • Fiber laxative
  • Aspirin as a blood thinner
  • Atherosclerosis medication. Mevacor (lovastatin); Zocor (simvastatin)
  • Blood thinners for stroke Coumadin (warfarin)
  • Medications for arthritis Aleve (naproxen)
  • Heart burn medications. Zantac (ranitidine).
  • High blood pressure medication. (Lisinopril); Tenormin (atenolol).

A Few More Words on Cold and Flu Medication


The cold and flu are different viral infections but they share some of the same symptoms, so they are included together.

Cold and flu symptoms include congestion in the nose, sore throat, sinus pain, and cough.

The flu also has a great deal of body aches and malaise, where you just don’t feel good at all and need to lie down and rest.

Medications you’ll want to have on hand include the following (the brand name is capitalized, the generic name is in parentheses):

  • Sudafed (pseudoephedrine): This is for nasal and sinus congestion. You have to ask for it behind the pharmacy counter even though it is not a prescription medication because it is one of the main ingredients in methamphetamine, and they don’t want people to purchase large quantities of it at a time. Follow package instructions for sinus and nasal congestion. Usually you take 1-2 pills every four hours.
  • Tylenol (acetaminophen), Advil (ibuprofen) or Aleve (naproxen): These are all good medications for fever, sore throat, and body aches. Take two every four to six hours.
  • Robitussin DM (dextromethorphan): This comes in pill or liquid form and helps the cough. You need to be careful and just purchase plain Robitussin DM. Robitussin CF contains a decongestant that you already are taking when you take Sudafed. Robitussin DM also contains guaifenesin which breaks up the thick mucus in your system.

What About Pain Medications?

There is a range of medications that are successful for pain. The three main categories are simple pain relievers, anti-inflammatory medication, and narcotic pain relievers.

  • Tylenol (acetaminophen): This is a simple fever and pain reliever that works on all sorts of pain. It is safe to take by anyone who does not have liver disease as it is metabolized by the liver. It is usually taken in adults as 2 500-milligram tablets every 4-6 hours. It has the added advantage of being able to be taken with anti-inflammatory medication in a pinch when the pain is severe and you want to take something more than Tylenol.
  • Advil or Motrin (ibuprofen), Aleve (naproxen): These are anti-inflammatory medications that work best on pain caused by inflammation like arthritis. They also work on fever and generic pain. Some people will get stomach upset if they take these medications on an empty stomach so it’s best to take them with a small amount of non-acidic food. Try taking 2-3 tablets or capsules of ibuprofen every 4-6 hours. Take naproxen at 2 tablets every 8 hours.
  • Narcotic pain relievers. These work for strong pain and include Vicodin (hydrocodone and Tylenol) and oxycodone. Give one to two tablets every 6 hours. Be alert for signs of confusion if the patient is taking too much. You can get this online or get a prescription from your doctor.

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What You Need to Know about Antibiotics

Choosing a simple antibiotic is difficult because people have allergies and intolerances to antibiotics and there is no perfect antibiotic for every illness. Poll your family members for allergies before selecting one.

Any antibiotic must have several properties: it must be inexpensive, easy to administer, it mustn’t cause resistance and it must act on as many bacteria as possible, in as short a time as possible. A good choice is a broad spectrum antibiotic like cephalexin or Keflex. Two other choices include erythromycin (or azithromycin) and sulfa antibiotics like Bactrim or Septra (trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole).

If you have these five classifications of antibiotics, you’ll have covered for several kinds of infections including:

  • Cephalexin: Respiratory and upper respiratory infections, skin infections
  • Erythromycin or azithromycin: Upper respiratory infections and lower respiratory infections such as “walking pneumonia”, skin infections
  • Bactrim or Septra: bladder infections, some gastrointestinal infections.
  • Cipro or Levaquin: used for bladder infections, respiratory infections, or skin infections
  • Flagyl: used for parasitic infections and some gastrointestinal infections

Antibiotics won’t cure the common cold and they will do nothing for influenza but it does wonders for sinus infections stemming from the cold, a case of strep throat, and certain cases of bronchitis, pneumonia, bacterial skin infections and bladder infections.

You need to use them judiciously, when you know that you’re dealing with a bacterial infection.  This means you have a fever, yellow or green drainage from the nose or coughed up from the lungs and redness around a wound. Strep throat and bladder infections are hard to determine.  You just have to guess.

Give the body, the limb or the spot in question where the injury occurred, time to recover. Do not immediately jump to drugs, don’t start pouring the entire reserve of drugs down the patient, because you won’t solve anything like that. Sometimes the simplest solution is to not do anything, not to force it.

If you dole out antibiotics before you give the body a chance to heal, you’re wasting valuable medical supplies that may be needed later. Wait and see, and only when things are going towards the worse end should you start with antibiotics.

Breathing Medications You Need to Stockpile

In some disaster situations, even people without asthma will have problems with wheezing and shortness of breath. The best choice for this is an inhaler containing a beta-agonist, which opens the breathing passages.

The trick is to use these medications in such a way that the medication gets in your lungs and not in the back of your throat. With inhalers, you take a deep breath with the inhaler in your mouth and when you’re in the middle of the deep breath, press the plunger and keep breathing in. The medicine should get sucked down into your bronchial passages.

This is the main medication you’ll need:

  • Albuterol: This is available in an inhaler form but it can be given in liquid form to young children. It needs a prescription so get one from your doctor or on the internet. Take two puffs as directed above every four hours for wheezing and cough.
  • Primatene Mist: This is a less effective over-the-counter medication containing aerosolized epinephrine. Take two puffs every four hours. Use it when you absolutely can’t get albuterol.

Gastrointestinal Medications

There are a large variety of medication choices for the gastrointestinal system and you’ll need to condense them down to just a few. You’ll need something for the upper part of your GI system—your stomach.

Medicines for excess stomach acid and heartburn include TUMS, a medication like Zantac, and a medication like Prilosec. TUMS is just calcium carbonate and it quickly neutralizes the burn of heartburn or the rumbling of an acid stomach. If you can’t afford to wait for a few hours, try Zantac, which is a histamine-2 blocker, blocking the production of stomach acid.

If you can afford to wait a few more hours but want all day relief, try Prilosec, which is a proton pump inhibitor. It more thoroughly blocks the production of stomach acid; it just takes a few hours to kick in. The medication or medications you choose for stomach problems and heartburn depend on your personal preference and on how much room you have in your stockpile.

For nausea, the standard treatment is Compazine, given as 10 mg tablets or 25 mg suppositories if the person cannot tolerate oral medications.

There are medications for constipation and diarrhea — problems that can befall anyone in a disaster situation. For constipation, you can choose Miralax, a medication that must be mixed with a glass of water, X-Lax, which contains natural sennosides, or Correctol, which contain biscodyl. Of the three, biscodyl is the strongest, which means it might result in diarrhea if taken to excess. Choose the medication you are most familiar with and stockpile it.

For diarrhea, you can choose Kaopectate, which is for use in adults and very small children. It is a liquid medication that doesn’t need water to use.  You can also choose something like Imodium-AD (loperamide), which is a pill form of a medication helpful in treating diarrhea when the disease is not a result of an infection. It can be taken only by adults as 1-2 pills every 6 hours or closer together if the diarrhea is persistent.  If space is an issue, select only one of these medications.

What You Need for Treating Your Skin

20235219_mNo medication stockpile would be complete without items for the treatment of wounds, sprains and strains.

There are a number of items to choose from. While no one might become injured, disaster situations put people in positions they can’t predict so make sure your injury kit is well stocked.

Items to stockpile include:

  • Antibiotic ointment like bacitracin or Neosporin
  • Antiseptic cleansing wipes
  • Scissors
  • Cloth or paper medical tape 1-2 inch wide
  • 4 x 4 gauze; it can be folded over when the injury is small.
  • Ace bandages — 3-5 inches wide for the lower and upper extremities
  • Sling for the arm in adult and children’s sizes
  • Splinter remover to remove foreign bodies
  • Ice pack; you can buy chemical ice packs that turn cold on hitting it with a fist

You can get very elaborate with injury supplies, such as buying upper and lower extremity air splints and buying cervical collars for neck injuries but that may be overkill. The above list will cover the vast majority of injuries you’ll get in a disaster situation.

As for skin ointments and creams, there are several medications you need to have on hand for your skin. The first is antiseptic ointment. Use this for cuts and scrapes so they don’t get infected. Conditions may not be optimum for keeping a cut or scrape clean so using the ointment is the next best thing. Most antiseptic ointments contain either neomycin or bacitracin or even both. An ointment called Neosporin is good for all types of open injuries to the skin and contains both medications.

You might add a cream or ointment that contains hydrocortisone. The maximum over the counter strength of hydrocortisone you can get is 1 percent, which is effective for many different rashes. Rashes like poison ivy or other itchy rash can be managed with hydrocortisone cream. Allergic rashes can be treated with hydrocortisone cream as well.

These should be the basic when preparing your medicine supply. But don’t forget about the healing power of nature, and prepare yourself for replacing meds with natural remedies if needed.

Interested in more about survival medicines and techniques? CLICK HERE to find out more!

DISCLAIMER: The data contained in this article are for informational purposes only, and do not replace by any means professional advice. 

This article has been written by Radu Scurtu for Survivopedia.

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Permaculture Design Course Videos from Permaskills.Net

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Those of you that have been with me for a while may or may not remember my talking about the PermaSkills’ permaculture design videos last year. It was a Kickstarter project that I decided to fund, and turned out wonderfully! What It Is: Olivier A. and his group of filmmakers shadowed 2 permaculture design courses […]

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Survival Medicine Hour: GMO Salmon, Medical Emergencies

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salmon and bear

What’s for dinner? Well, it could be Frankenfish, as the FDA gives final approval for  genetically modified salmon to hit the supermarket shelves. This story and more about dealing with a person physically collapsing in front of you are part of this episode of the Survival Medicine Hour with Joe and Amy Alton, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy. Also, a visit to the Urban Farming Institute…


To listen in, click here:




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



Joe and Amy Alton


Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy

Caught without a Charger? Here’s what we recommend.

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Power Banks, portable chargers at best prices

The Gift of Power

We all know the frustration that comes when your cellphone runs out of power just when you really need it.

For anyone who is living off-grid or even temporarily outside the system, the ability to recharge a phone at will is the difference between being in control of your life or not.

It renders you feeling powerless – literally!

And its always a welcome Gift for anyone who is off the grid, full time or part time. you can never have enough batteries.

Basically you need reliable backup battery power that can fit in your pocket. But the sort of packs you can pick up in the high street for $50 or more are way over-priced and under-reliable. Buying online is the answer.

We have three recommendations based on the size and shape of your pocket — all come at a reasonable price.

The Anker 2nd Gen Astro 6400 – Buy it from Amazon US

Click here for the lipstick size version from Amazon US

It charges iPhones up to four times over and refills the batteries on Androids and tablets such as the iPad Air. The Anker Astro E3 features a 4-LED power meter and recharges in 6 hours. This product is perfect for the off-gridders who lead busy lifestyles and like to keep their mobile devices fully charged.

Click here for the more powerful version from Amazon US.

From Amazon UK – the stronger Anker power core.

In Canada? – buy this one.

From Amazon US – The AmazonBasics Portable External Battery Charger 5600 — whichever is your preferred shape.

And if you want something even smaller, The TravelCard from Amazon US.

In Canada – buy the TravelCard here for Canada

In the UK – buy the TravelCard here from Amazon UK

The post Caught without a Charger? Here’s what we recommend. appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

It’s Only A Slight Pause….

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     This has been a really difficult decision for me to make.  But after four years and 1,453 daily posts I am going to take the next few days off to rest my mind, enjoy time spent with family and friends, and commune with my Lord as I contemplate where He is leading me.
     In case you thought I was going to say that I’m shutting this blog down… that’s not the case.  I haven’t received that message from the Holy Spirit yet.  And besides, I feel that I have developed a very real and intimate relationship with those of you who take the time to listen to my thoughts and commentary.
     I know there are not legions of you.  My number of loyal readers is quite small compared to the superstars in the blogosphere.  But we know, don’t we, that we are connected through a Higher Power?  We know that God has set us apart from the world and that we see events and people and circumstances through a different lens.  We know that we were born for this time and that there is a calling upon our lives to do Kingdom work; even as we are still trying to discern what that looks like for each of us.  All we know is that He wants us, and serving Him is our highest goal.
     I want to assure you that writing this blog is one way that I am striving to follow Jesus’s two great commandments: that I love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength — and that this love is enough to hear His voice, and to try to point a way to Him in each day’s writing; as well as wanting my words to touch each person, in love and compassion, who are trying to see Him through the daily circumstances of our lives.  And I must confess that, while inspired and committed, I am often exhausted by the effort.  I often feel as though I have not given my best to either God or you.  And, after four years, I think I just need a little time of rejuvenation.
     When I said that these next few days are to “rest” my mind, I want you to notice that I did not add the other word that usually accompanies that idiom … “relax”.  You see, by rest, I mean that I need a few days of peace and refreshment… Peace from all the turmoil that floods my mind and makes it difficult to filter out only what I am to share with you.  And I need a time of refreshment; a time to get revived and to receive a new influx of spiritual inspiration.
     To me, relax means to loosen up or become less firm in my motivation and purpose; and to have a milder manner.  Make no mistake, I am feeling that our future will call for a renewed firmness and a bolder stance on the part of each of us.  So, after praying and listening, I have discerned that it is OK for me to take this small break; in fact, it is necessary that I do so.
     My plan is to continue my writing next Sunday, at the end of our Thanksgiving holiday.  And of course, if the Holy Spirit inspires me to share some of my thoughts throughout the week, you can be assured, I will be eager to do so.
     I also want you to know that I am under no illusion that this blog, or my words, are anything to be glorified.  If this page disappeared tomorrow, God would still reach you through His Holy Spirit, and through the words and actions of someone else.  I am not the center of His plan of reconciliation, by any means.  But I am blessed by this opportunity to share how He has worked in my life and to encourage you in your walk with Him.  I will be keeping you in my prayers this week, as we each celebrate our gratitude and thanksgiving for His presence in our lives and in this sinful world.  May your week be full of rest and peace and revival.  May God bless you and your families, and reveal Himself to you in His fulness and greatness.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Isaiah 26:3     You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].

Good Stuff Cheap (er)

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Top Survival Blog

My dad always used to say “It only costs a little more to go first class.”  He drove Cadillac’s, flew Beechcraft Bonanzas, wore Hart,SHTFBlog.com Schaffner, and Marx suits, drank Gordon’s Gin, and hunted with Weatherby rifles, because he thought those brands were the best of the best, and worth every penny regardless of what they cost.  Fifty years ago perhaps those brands did define “First Class” for that generation.  These days not everybody can afford such extravagances, nor do I think we need to.  Picking gear, clothes, guns, vehicles, camping equipment, and other essentials for any coming SHTF has to be a good balance between our budget and what we can afford to spend on survival supplies. 

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Reality Dollars

I recently read on another survival site the discussion over how much cash to sock away for a rainy SHTF and/or how much to Survivalspend in prepping.  The consensus of the replies was that $1000 sounded about right for a starting budget for prepping.  I don’t know the parameters of the question posed on a SHTF budget, but sorry to break your bubble folks, but one grand won’t do diddly squat.  Maybe they meant just to start off with some scratch extreme basics.  In that case maybe so.  I will admit that even some small start is at least a start.  But frankly, a good AR with optics can cost a grand.

Still be it far for me to recommend to anyone else how much hard earned investments they should put into their prepping efforts.  I just know that if you sat down with some blank paper and made an extraordinarily comprehensive list of everything needed, it would be one expensive venture.  That is why incremental planning and buying is the course that most of us have to take.   I been at this 20+ years.

Quality vs. Cheap

By cheap, I do not mean to imply junk that will not function, or last.  I mean useful items that are reasonably priced that most Top Survival Blogpreppers can afford to buy.  I think there is some middle ground these days upon which we can compromise on the equipment, gear and goods we buy for survival prepping.  I think we can buy good stuff for a fair price that will give reliable, long term service.

If you are old enough to remember, stuff from Japan used to be pure junk, say when I was 5-10 years old in the 1950s.  Today most Japanese made merchandise is top quality and a reasonably good value.  Now we have to deal with stuff from China, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, and other places we know little or nothing about.

I say all that to say we need to closely inspect and evaluate any purchase we make regardless of the brand name on the label.  I have come to discover some of my favorite and heavily replied upon brands now suffer from quality standards as they move their origins of manufacture from the United States.  You simply cannot rely on a so-called trusted brand name alone any longer.  All goods must be evaluated on their own performance standards.

Trusted Brands or Retail Sources (For the most part)

I have made reasonably great strides to evaluate and pick prepping goods that offer both decent quality and a fair market value in today’s marketplace.  There may be exceptions within some of these brand offerings, but for the most part I have found these to make the grade:

•    Muck Boots.  You can buy the basic waterproof, mud boot on sale for under $75.
•    Coast Lights.  They have good flashlights for under $50.
•    Para (Ordinance) Pistols.  Basic 1911 models can be found for $700 or less.
•    PMC Ammo.  Reasonably priced in standard calibers.  1000/5.56 for under $350.
•    Uncle Henry Knives.  Inexpensive but good utility, decent quality.
•    Brown Jersey Gloves.  In bundles they can be had for $1.00 a pair.
•    Bass Pro Shops. Redhead brand is good and reasonable during sales.  Best socks.
•    Carhart Clothes.  Tough, long wearing, durable and comfortable work wear.
•    Plano Plastics.  Carry cases, ammo boxes, storage containers, strong, resilient.
•    Cabela’s.  Store branded clothing and boots are well made.
•    Bushnell Optics.  Reasonable prices, good features, decent glass.
•    Sportsman’s Guide.  Catalog/on line retailer, good source of real surplus.
•    Case-Guard.  AR-15 mag storage/carry boxes and other utility plastic containers.
•    Cheaper-Than-Dirt.  Sometimes, good source of ammo and shooting accessories.
•    War Surplus.  If you can find the genuine stuff, it is quality issued or not.
•    Leupold.  Extreme quality optics, not least expensive, many options.
•    Smith-Wesson ARs.  Top of the line quality, shop around for best prices.
•    Schnee Boots.  Very best cold weather, rubber bottom, leather top boots.
•    Rock River Arms.  Among the best heavy ARs for .308.
•    Case Knives.  Best American made pocketknives.
•    Colt Arms.  The original 1911, still among the best; same for ARs.
•    Coleman Camping.  Good all around, shop carefully for origin of manufacture.
•    Ruger.  An American stalwart for ARs, bolt rifles, 10-22 rimfires and handguns.
•    Tractor Supply JOBSMART ® Batteries.  On sale as good as the bunny drummer.
•    Toyota, Ford F-100, Chevrolet Silverado Trucks.  Pick your options, good rides.
•    Remington Yellow Box Ammo.  Good quality, shop big boxes, shows for pricing.
•    Maxpedition.  Exceedingly durable packs, bags, cases.  Higher end pricing.
•    Honda ATVs.  Well made, durable, reliable.  Mine is 15 years old, never failed.
•    Remington.  Especially M700 rifles and 870 shotguns.

Certainly as members of the SHTFBlog/Survival Cache family you likely have many other thoughts, preferences, and we hope Top Survival Blognumerous more recommendations we could add to this list.  It’s only a start, and it’s only based on my experiences.  We want to know yours.  What prepping products have worked, are working, and what has not.  As to prep budgeting I can only recommend to set aside what you can.  If that requires you to save up to buy a better product, then do that.  You don’t have to buy the high end stuff to get quality, durability, good function, and value.  Keep shopping, but always buy carefully.

All Photos by Dr. John J. Woods

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1216 Slow Cooker Recipes – A Round-Up

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Slow cooker recipe roundup. 1216 ideas for breakfast, lunch & dinner | PreparednessMama

Every day is slow cooker time! Updated with even more recipes! We often think of slow cookers for hearty winter soups and stews and then put our pot in the cupboard once the weather turns. I think that when the weather gets hot, slow cookers can be your best friend. Come explore these fabulous slow […]

The post 1216 Slow Cooker Recipes – A Round-Up appeared first on PreparednessMama.

How To Make Thanksgiving Dishes From Scratch

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Today is Monday so I thought I would share some ideas on how to make Thanksgiving dishes from scratch. I bet you have different side dishes that you make every year. I would love to have you share some of your Thanksgiving traditional food items. You may make some of the ones I’ve listed plus some I have never tried. It would be too cumbersome to share recipes, but I would love to hear the name of the favorites you fix every year. Of course, we typically all have a turkey or a ham, but it’s the side dishes and the desserts I want to hear about. Let the holiday begin.

I also want to hear if your family loves gravy or not. I have to say, I put gravy on my turkey, mashed potatoes and the dressing. Now, here’s another question, do you call it stuffing or dressing? You know the yummy stuff we all like to make this time of year. I have always called it dressing. Not sure that is right or wrong, but my mother-in-law made the best dressing in the world. So, my daughters grew up calling it dressing. My kids and grandkids love my gravy so I am sharing my recipe today. It’s easy to make and really yummy. So let’s get started.

Thanksgiving Dishes:

Mark’s Family Turkey Dressing:


  • 1 cup oleo (I use butter) you can tell this is a really old recipe now
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 or 3-14 ounce cans chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons RUBBED ground sage
  • 12 cups dried bread cubes
  • Giblets, chopped (optional), I never use them


Saute the onion, celery, giblets, salt, pepper, and sage in a small skillet. Combine this mixture with the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Add more liquid if the mixture is too dry. Bake covered in a greased pan at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until heated through. I have cooked this in my slow cooker on low as well.

Lisa’s Apple Yams:


  • 4 large yams, peeled and cooked until tender. Slice the yams the thickness you desire
  • 4 cooking apples, peeled and sliced

Yummy Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch


  1. Grease a 9-inch by 13-inch pan and layer the yams and apples in the pan.
  2. In a medium saucepan combine the water, brown sugar, salt, and cornstarch, stirring constantly. Add one cube (1/2 cup) of butter. Continue stirring constantly. Cook until it starts to thicken. Add 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice. Sprinkle nutmeg and cinnamon over the apples and yams.
  3. Pour the sauce over all of it.
  4. Bake covered at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. No marshmallows on this one. This recipe is fabulous!

My Sister’s Cranberry Pie:

  • 4 cups chopped fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg, beaten for glaze
  • pastry for 2 crust 9-inch pie (one for the bottom of the pie and one for the lattice top)
  1. Combine the cranberries, salt, sugar, flour and refrigerate the mixture one or more hours. Add the butter when you add the cranberry mixture into the pie crust. Make a lattice pie crust for the top of the pie. Brush the top of pie crust lattice top with egg.
    Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Bake the pie 10 minutes. Then lower the oven to 350 degrees and bake another 45 minutes. Serve pie in wedges with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Linda’s No-Fail Dinner Rolls:

  • 4 Teaspoons SAF Instant Yeast
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 2 Cups Warm Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1-1/2 Teaspoons Sea Salt
  • 4 Teaspoons Dough Enhancer
  • 2 Eggs
  • 6-7 Cups White bread flour (Add 1/2 of the flour and then add more until the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl)
  1. Place all of the ingredients in order into your mixing bowl. Be careful with the eggs not to add the warm milk too slowly or you will have scrambled eggs. Add half of the flour and keep adding the rest of the flour until the bread dough pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl. Cover with greased plastic and let rise the first time about an hour. Punch the dough down and mold into small balls about 1-1/2 inches to 2 inches in diameter. Cover with greased plastic and let rise one more time about an hour or until double the size. Remove the plastic wrap and bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes on a greased cookie sheet. Do not overbake. They should be a golden brown. I spread a little butter on the tops after baking so the rolls are soft on top. If you like a crispier top you can skip this step.

Linda’s Gravy:


  • Turkey Drippings
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Salt & pepper
  • Sugar


I use the pan the turkey was baked in with the “drippings” and bring the liquid to a boil. If you have very little juice or drippings add some water. Now I can’t give you exact measurements because this depends on the size of turkey you purchased. I take about 1-2 cups of flour and put it in a quart jar with cold water and shake it like crazy. I slowly add this mixture to the hot boiling turkey drippings. Use a whisk and stir constantly. I have a quart pitcher with cold water to add to this pan as the gravy thickens. I add water until it’s the consistency I prefer. Not too runny, but not too thick. I add salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Yep, it’s the sugar that brings out the flavor. Of course, it’s optional. Now, if you have some lumps no worry, bring out the hand mixer. The flavor is fabulous and so easy to make. I use one of these if I get lumps in the gravy: Hamilton Beach 59770 Turbo-Twister 2-Speed Hand Blender

CDC Turkey Time Safety Tips

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! May God bless you and your family.

The post How To Make Thanksgiving Dishes From Scratch appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

How To Prevent Breast Cancer Through An Armpit Detox

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 It’s pretty crazy when you think about the fact that, if you’re a male, you have a 50 percent chance of developing cancer in your lifetime, and if you’re a female, you have about a 33 percent chance. These rates are extremely high and are expected to continue climbing, at least in part because we spend so much time trying to find a cure yet so little talking about the cause. We need to start discussing the reasons why cancer rates continue to rise exponentially and what lifestyle changes we can make to combat this disease. (source)

Cancer is caused by physical carcinogens, chemical carcinogens, and biological carcinogens, all of which we surround ourselves with on a daily basis. These “cell transformers,” in the form of food, cosmetics, health care products, and more, have become ‘normal’ for us. It’s time to start questioning the environment we choose to surround ourselves with if we want to get to the bottom of why disease is so excessive and uncontrollable.

One excellent example (out of many) is cosmetics and the other products we choose to put on our skin, like deodorant. In 2007 a study was published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry in which researchers tested breast samples from 17 breast-cancer patients who had undergone mastectomies. The women who used antiperspirants had deposits of aluminum in their outer breast tissue. The study pointed out that concentrations of aluminum were higher in the tissue closest to the underarm than in the central breast. (source)

This is quite alarming, as the higher incidence of tumors in the upper outer quadrant of the breast seems to support the contention that aluminum-containing antiperspirants are contributing to breast cancer, even though the identification of a mechanism of antiperspirant-induced breast cancer remains elusive.

That being said, aluminum is an experimentally demonstrated neurotoxin that has been linked to all sorts of diseases (like Alzheimer’s disease, to name one). There are numerous studies which have examined aluminum’s potential to induce toxic effects, and this is clearly established in medical literature, and has been for a long time:

It’s great stuff to build airplanes out of, it’s great stuff to build cars out of, it’s great stuff to make various things in your household out of. It’s not great to have in your body. … Aluminum was not bio-available traditionally in the world’s biota until the industrial revolution, and so, it just had no place in any biochemical reaction that was normal. And where it does occur, now, because we are increasingly surrounded by it … [is] in our food, it shows up in our water, it shows up in our air, it shows up in our medicines … so we increasingly have this compound that is not part of any normal biochemical process, on Earth, for anything, that now can only go in and do havoc, which is exactly what it does. It causes all kinds of unusual biochemical reactions in the body, including the brain. – Dr. Chris Shaw, Neuroscientist and Professor at the University of British Columbia (source)

Another study that was published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry in 2013 found increased levels of aluminum in non-invasively collected nipple aspirate fluids from 19 breast cancer patients. These patients were compared with 16 healthy control subjects:

In addition to emerging evidence, our results support the possible involvement of aluminum ions in oxidative and inflammatory status perturbations of breast cancer microenvironment, suggesting aluminum accumulation in breast microenvironment as a possible risk factor for oxidative/inflammatory phenotype breast cells. (source)

The study also found that aluminum content and carbonyl levels showed a significant positive linear correlation. Studies have already confirmed that plasma levels of protein carbonyls can increase the risk of breast cancer. (source)

It’s also noteworthy to mention that aluminum salts used as antiperspirants have been incriminated as contributing to breast cancer incidence in Western societies (source). Another prior study outlined how aluminum is not a physiological component of the breast, and yet it has been measured in human breast tissue as well as breast cyst fluids at levels above those found in blood serum or milk. (source)

The science is out there, and there is lots of it. When it comes to mainstream cosmetics and healthcare products, we are talking about thousands upon thousands of ingredients used that have no oversight or regulation from health authorities. If these chemicals, many of which have been listed as hazardous and toxic, are considered safe by the corporations that manufacture them, that’s good enough to get them approved. All a company has to do is vouch for itself and their products will get put on the shelves. Not many people know that about the modern day cosmetics industry.

It doesn’t take long for whatever it is we put onto our skin to enter into the bloodstream. For example, the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Manitoba, Canada, conducted a study to quantify how many sunscreen agents penetrate the skin after it is applied. The results demonstrated significant penetration of all sunscreen agents into the skin. We are talking about multiple chemicals entering multiple tissues within the body. (source)

Below is a great video about aluminum that we’ve shared before in some of our articles. It comes from Dr. Christopher Exley, a professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry at Keele University and Honorary Professor at UHI Millennium Institute. He is known as one of the world’s leading experts on aluminum toxicity.

Above is just a tidbit of information that’s out there regarding aluminum toxicity. Even the government’s national cancer institute has admitted to all of the information scientists are publishing linking certain ingredients in underarm antiperspirants or deodorants to breast cancer. Despite this fact, they claim that their own researchers are not aware of any evidence linking these products to breast cancer, which is disturbing. (source) Again, these products contain parabens (these increase the risk of breast cancer by mimicking estrogen), propylene glycol, TEA, DEA, and DC&C colours, among many other toxic chemicals. It’s no mystery why scientists are now discovering links to breast cancer.

Many antiperspirants also contain triclosan, which recently made headlines across alternative media after a study published in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology found that the chemical encourages cancer cell growth. So, it’s not just aluminum in antiperspirants that we have to be worried about. (source) Triclosan can also pass through the skin and interfere with hormone function (endocrine disruption). Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there; a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives from 2008 shows how scientists detected triclosan in the urine of nearly 75 percent of those tested (2,517 people age six or older). (source)

Colgate Total toothpaste contains triclosan, and they were recently outed for their use of the chemical, along with the FDA for hiding decades old documents showing it to be carcinogenic. You can read that release here, and more about that story here.

I am sharing this information as I did with sunscreen (earlier in the article) just to show the penetration of the skin aspect.

How To Prevent Breast Cancer Through An Armpit Detox

  • Sweating

Sweating has many important health benefits. One of them is that sweating is one of the best ways to expel toxins from your body. This in turn supports proper immune function and helps prevent diseases that could be related to toxic overload.

  • Mineral Water

In the video above, Dr. Exley mentions two types of mineral water to help with aluminum detox. He mentions Volvic, which is sold at various Whole Foods and Trader Joe stores, and Spritzer, which is harder to find. His main point was igh silica content mineral water.

  • Alternative Solutions

Do some research on alternative solutions. Find antiperspirants that do not contain aluminum and other harmful chemicals. You can also search for DIY deodorant recipes on the web and make your own; the most common use baking soda and coconut oil. The solutions are endless and, at least from personal experience, they work better than mainstream, chemically ridden products.

  • Holistic Solutions/Ingredients

One common way people seem to detox their armpit area is with the use of this recipe: 1 tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar, 3 drops of rosemary essential oil, 5 drops of cilantro essential oil, and one tablespoon of bentonite clay.

From here, you mix ACV and the clay in a glass bowl, then add the essential oils to the point where it looks smooth, like sour cream.

Then you spread a thin layer of this mixture on your armpit and leave it for a few minutes.

After that, rinse and repeat daily until the odor subsides. It’s also a good idea to drink plenty of water, because the body needs to flush out all of those toxins .

The best way to prevent toxic overload here is to simply be more cautious of the products you purchase and what they contain.


Related CE article: Are Breast Screenings The Biggest Catastrophe In Women’s Health Today?

CE inspires us to begin expanding our way of thinking so we can take conscious steps towards creating BIG change on the planet. CE’s Mission!

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

South Yorkshire (UK) M/F couple looking for likeminded people to landshare with a view to getting off grid either local or further afield…..

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We are a m/f couple in our 40s looking to land share with similar like minded people. We are looking towards jointly cultivating a plot of land to become self sustained in both food, warmth, water and power of which we already have equipment and knowledge. We are currently houseowners but are loooking to live in our converted bus. Our lifestyle choices are akin to the hippie philosophy of community, love, trust and friendship. We enjoy both the community element and can immerse ourselves within that whilst still enjoying the solitary moments living off grid will bring and are looking forward to both. We are very capable mentally and physically with a vast array of knowledge in many fields including engineering. We are basically two normal educated people who wish to fulfill our dreams and passions in a style of our own choosing instead of that of the 9 to 5 world we currently inhabit. I realise this is only a brief summary so if you would like any more information please drop us a line….we dont bite! 🙂

The post South Yorkshire (UK) M/F couple looking for likeminded people to landshare with a view to getting off grid either local or further afield….. appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Survival Tip – How To Make Rope From Grass

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November 23rd, 2015

Video courtesy of NightHawkInLight

Rope is one of the most valuable items to have in the wilderness, and this ancient method of creating it produces very good results. Even today some commercially made ropes are wound with the same process. Other natural fibers can be used to create rope (some being much stronger than grass), and this method will work equally as well with any other flexible material. Grass does tend to become brittle when dry which could weaken this rope, but even then it does maintain some strength. In moderate humidity weakness from drying should not become an issue at all.

Note that for best results, each of the two tails of the rope should be twisted an equal number of turns as they’re wound. That will ensure that the two coils wind around one another tightly and in a double helix pattern. If one side is twisted less than the other it will tend to stay straight, while the more twisted side coils around it like a spring. When I first started winding the rope in the video you can see I didn’t do a very good job twisting both strands evenly for the first few inches, and one side was coiled more than the other. Try to avoid that, as it will be a weak point.


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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Stockpiling For Winter: How To Survive If The Electricity Goes Out

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Stockpiling For Winter: How To Survive If The Electricity Goes Out

Image source: Pixabay.com

Winter months present a unique challenge in many parts of North America due to freezing temperatures. In fact, no other season is as deadly if the electricity goes out. So how do you prepare to survive the cold season? What should you stockpile? And if you’re tied to the electric grid, what do you do if the power goes out?

Heat is the Key

If there is no electric power you can always assume you’ll have gas. But many gas appliances from furnaces and water heaters to gas ranges have electric components. They also have compressors that are electric powered to force the air through your home. You could always light a gas range cook top with a match or flame, but don’t assume for a minute it can serve as a heat source unless you’re absolutely desperate. You can put some cast iron over the gas range cook top to act as a heat conductor after you have switched off the gas, but it’s not going to add much heat to you home.

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If you have a fireplace, it can certainly help you stay warm. But be forewarned. Ninety percent of your heat is going up the chimney with the smoke. A fireplace will heat a room, maybe two. It will not heat a whole house. You can close-off sections of your house, but you’ll discover very quickly that a fireplace is a highly localized and inefficient heat source.

Heating Solutions

Buy a small cast-iron stove that you can quickly install into your fireplace. You’ll have to attach a stove pipe that exhausts up the flue, and some heavy duty aluminum foil affixed with foil tape to seal off the flue. Once you’ve done that, your cast iron stove will be a heat exchanger that will add significantly more heat than a traditional fire in a fireplace.

You could also have a wood-burning stove installed in your home to not only supplement your heating while on-the-grid, but to serve in an emergency off-the-grid.

Keep in mind that just because you have an efficient word-burning stove it doesn’t mean it will heat your entire home. It’s all a question of square footage and the design of your home, as well as the size and number of wood-burning stoves inside. While some people have installed “whole-house” wood-burning solutions, most people have just one wood-burning alternative.

Keeping a two-story home warm is the most challenging. Heat rises and cold descends. If the temperature outside is zero degrees, your house will quickly equalize to that temperature. A single, wood burning stove in the fireplace will not efficiently heat a two-story home. The temperature will rise, but you’ll be lucky to have an average temperature above freezing across your home.

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As a result, you may have to rethink your living and sleeping arrangements during a particularly cold weather. Your first step is to abandon the second story.  Close all of the doors upstairs and try to block off any hallways with a sheet that is tightly suspended or tacked around the wood framing to the hallway. You also might want to consider closing off rooms that are not critical, like a formal dining room.

A Special Note About Kerosene Heaters

Kerosene heaters give off significant amounts of carbon monoxide. You could always place one in the fireplace in place of a wood-burning fire, but unless you close off the flue to some degree and carefully vent the kerosene heater you’ll lose more heat up the flue than you generate.

Stockpiling For Winter: How To Survive If The Electricity Goes Out

Image source: Pixabay.com

Putting a kerosene heater in proximity to a fireplace could also encourage venting of the carbon monoxide. But manage it carefully and if you feel dizzy, nauseous or have a headache, know that you may be succumbing to carbon monoxide poisoning. If you have children, they will be affected more quickly due to being smaller.

Avoiding Frozen Pipes

If you cut off heat to the second floor of your home for any length of time, you’ll want to drain the water from sinks, toilets, showers and bath tubs throughout the house. Without electricity you probably won’t have running water and will be depending on local water supplies, your stockpile of water, or melted snow and ice.

You can still flush a toilet without running water. You just have to fill the toilet tank with sufficient water to effectively flush.  This is a good argument for keeping a constant supply of melted snow or ice on hand in a large 5-gallon bucket or two.

Cooking Off-The-Grid

Without electricity you’ll find cooking to be a continuing challenge especially in winter. There’s a remote possibility that a gas range may function, but you’ll need to light the flame manually.

You also can cook in your fireplace or on the surface of a wood burning stove.  Make sure you have an ample supply of cast-iron cookware on hand including covered pots like a Dutch-Oven. Some people use a corner of the fireplace for cooking with a metal grate to support a pot or pan.

You also have the option of cooking over an open fire in the backyard or a kettle grill stocked with wood that has burned down to coals that are manageable for cooking. This is a cold proposition depending on outside temps, but if you have a covered grill you can hurry inside while the food is cooking outside. Here again, consider the cooking equipment you might need to cook a variety of dishes and meal types outside.

Bedding and Clothing

It’s obvious that winter clothing makes sense in winter but there are some items you want to make sure you consider. One is sometimes referred to as a “night-cap” and no, it’s not an evening cocktail. If you’ve ever slept in a tent in the winter you know how cold your head can become. In fact, we lose 40 percent of our body heat through our heads. You might want to consider sleeping with hat on.

Bedding should be ample with extra blankets, quilts or sleeping bags. If you’re sleeping on the floor in a family room or on a couch, having extra blankets on hand can not only keep you warm, but accommodate friends and family that may have joined you because they don’t have a fireplace or wood-burning stove.


In addition to the cold, it’s also darker in many parts of the world during winter. Candles are a primary consideration along with a few lanterns that burn a clean oil.

There are also flashlights that are cranked by hand to provide a light source without batteries. If you are going to depend on battery-powered flashlights to any degree, consider a solar recharger. Remember, however, sunny days in the winter are short and might be few and far between.

Laundry as a Humidifier

Stockpiling For Winter: How To Survive If The Electricity Goes Out

Image source: Pixabay.com

Laundry is a tough one in winter without electricity and ample supplies of water.  Your primary focus should be on laundering socks and underwear and any other clothing that is obviously soiled.

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A benefit of doing laundry in the house and hanging it to dry is the humidity that it creates. Just like on a hot summer day, the humidity will make you feel warmer. And if you are heating with wood you may find the laundry drying surprisingly fast due to the dryness of the air.

If you need humidity and the laundry is done, you can always use some dowels to support a towel in a 5-gallon plastic bucket filled with water. The towel should emerge above the water level to some degree and will act as a wick to add humidity to the air.

Creating a Winter Stockpile

If you want to prepare for a winter off-the-grid, you need to figure out some basics. One is the number of people you think you will be housing. This could go beyond your immediate family as extended family members seek shelter in a location with basic resources they may be lacking.

Here’s a checklist to serve as a reminder. It may vary depending on your circumstances and already assumes you have ample supplies of food and drinking water:

  • A wood-burning stove with the necessary equipment to install it in a fireplace, including stove pipes, foil and foil tape, along with an ash bucket and ash shovel.
  • Sufficient firewood to heat throughout the winter
  • A kerosene heater if you can properly vent it. Make sure to have enough fuel, replacement wicks and filters to keep it operating.
  • Lumbering tools for harvesting and stocking additional firewood.
  • Cooking equipment and utensils for cooking on a wood stove, open fire or kettle grill.
  • Sufficient candles, lanterns, lantern oil and flashlight options that are hand-powered or solar-powered, along with sufficient fire-starting materials like matches and lighters.
  • Up to a dozen, 5-gallon plastic buckets for water collection of snow and ice and other needs.
  • Sufficient winter clothing for you, your family and others who may join you.
  • Sufficient bedding in the form of blankets, pillows, quilts and sleeping bags, plus sheets that also can be used to temporarily seal off hallways and stairways.
  • Soap for washing and laundry.
  • Rope to hang laundry to dry and act as a humidifying agent.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a good start. The key is to stop and anticipate your needs and do some estimates so you have enough on hand to get through winter and early spring.

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

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

9 Cold-Hardy Vegetables You Can Overwinter For Spring

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Image source: blog.katescarlata.com

Image source: blog.katescarlata.com

A vegetable grower’s poem around the time of harvest is often something along the lines of, “How do I store thee?  Let me count the ways.” As a gardener myself, I mutter something about the depth and breadth and height of the vegetables coming at me. And I resolve to store as much as I am able, in as many different methods as I can muster.

By the end of September, I’m usually thinking that there has to be an easier way to enjoy my vegetables in the off seasons, even here in the far north. And it turns out that there is. Turns out a few types of vegetables can stay in the garden for the winter.

At our farm in rural Maine, my husband and I routinely leave parsnips in the ground all winter with excellent results. We cut the foliage off in late fall, leaving it just three or four inches tall. That’s if we don’t get to it before the leaves die off on their own, which is all right too.

Some people mulch their parsnips at that point, covering the bed with a thick layer of dry leaves – several inches to a foot in depth – and topping it off with row cover fabric. It is said that doing so will allow the roots to be harvested throughout the winter. That could work, but there are a lot of variables.

Overwintering? Get Your Non-GMO Heirloom Seeds Right Here!

One thing we like to do is pound in tall stakes around the edges of the bed, just to identify the area as a no-travel zone. It’s easy to tell the garden from the lawn (and walking path) when the vegetation is all visible, or even when it is covered with a few inches of snow. But under a foot or more of snow, the landscape looks vastly different and all bets are off. Better to install a few stakes than to discover in spring that the snowshoe trail has left your parsnips packed in a hard, icy ridge.

We dig up our parsnips as soon as the ground thaws enough to do so, usually around April in our growing zone. It is wonderful to have something freshly harvested to eat at that time of year, and the cold winter has rendered the roots sweet and delectable.

It is possible to do the same thing with carrots, and many people enjoy great success with them. That has not been our experience, however. One year, we mulched the carrot patch heavily, and were disappointed when we dug them up in the spring to find that underground rodents had feasted upon them all winter.

Image source: harvesttotable.com

Image source: harvesttotable.com

The next time we tried using less mulch, but our carrots were tough and woody. We had failed to take into account that carrots typically have a much shorter growing season than parsnips. With the latter, we can plant them early in the year and forget them. They grow all summer and fall and are just right by April. With carrots, however, we needed to take care to plant them later in the season so that winter would land upon them just as they were becoming mature.

Some people also overwinter cold-weather brassicas like cabbage and kale. Cabbage needs to be well mulched, and kale protected from a heavy snow load. It is possible to store beets in this way as well, if the conditions are exactly right.

Garlic and two-year onions – often called “walking onions” because the heads of the stalks fall over and take root for next year’s crop – are certainly among the vegetables that can be stored in the ground for the winter, but these are a little different. Rather than storing the ready-to-eat vegetable for harvest during winter and spring, garlic and other members of the allium family are sown in fall and rest over the cold months, ready to sprout as the ground thaws and be harvested the following summer.

This New All-Natural Fertilizer Doubles Garden Production!

Other vegetables can be stored in the ground for all or part of a northern winter, too. But here come those variables I warned you about earlier. First of all, latitude and altitude matter. A Pennsylvania river valley and a notch in the mountains of Idaho are both considered northern climates, but there is a vast difference in the kind of winters they experience. And both climates can vary greatly year-to-year, making some winters more suitable for outdoor vegetable storage than others.

It depends how you prepare them, too. Covered and mulched, or even planted in a cold frame – a box covered with glass that draws light and warmth towards the plants – will allow a much wider variety of plants to do better in colder weather. Spinach, collard greens and Swiss chard can do well for much of the winter season if properly protected.

One word of caution, though. Be careful with mulching. To use this technique is to walk a fine line. You want enough mulch to insulate your plants from freezing and keep the ground pliable enough to allow harvesting in winter. But you don’t want to create a nice cozy home for mice and other varmints that would love to feast on your vegetables all winter.

In the end, overwintering vegetables in a northern climate is like most other aspects of growing food. It requires a little skill, a touch of artfulness, a lot of luck, and unlimited perseverance and optimism. If you aren’t sure it’s for you, I encourage you to give it a try. Harvest a portion of your crop to make sure you have some to fall back on and overwinter the rest. It can make your vegetable preservation tasks easier, and with any luck you will be singing a happy tune by the time you wrap up your garden in the fall.

What vegetables would you add to this list? What overwintering advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:

Learn Dozens Of All-Natural Gardening Secrets. Read More Here.

The 5 Best Dog Breeds For The Homestead?

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The 5 Best Dog Breeds For The Homestead?

Labrador. Image source: Pixabay.com

I didn’t have a dog growing up. My mom hated them, and thought them messy and expensive. Dad didn’t care too much for them, either, and I guess I can’t blame them. Sure, we lived in the country and with several acres it was ideal for a pooch, but alas, my forays into the woods went unaccompanied by man’s best friend.

When I was a farmhand we had a few dogs on the property and I began to realize the importance of a dog on the farm or in the country. They guarded our livestock and warned us of approaching visitors, and made a day in the woods not so lonely. When I met my wife, I was shocked when I found out her parents had not one or two but nine canines. And so, since then, my life has had plenty of four-legged buddies.

If you live in the country, hunt, farm or just want some additional security, I have narrowed down a few breeds that are great for country living. Of course, there are many different opinions out there, but these are my choices.

Before you purchase, consider three things: First, do you require a hunting dog or additional help on the farm? Both avenues require training. Some training you can do yourself, as in the case with a waterfowl dog. However, you throw the idea of cattle school into the equation, the cost can increase dramatically. Also, if you buy a certified puppy you can pay north of $1000 for the pooch.

1. Labrador retriever. These are great dogs if you have a family. Very gentle in nature, relatively easy to train, the Lab is a great dog for anyone who hunts upland birds and waterfowl. They are also a great dog to have around the farm.

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth: The Best All-Natural Wormer For Your Lifestock

They do have a tendency to gain weight and develop hip and joint problems, but a healthy animal can live as long as 14 years.

2. Weimaraner. Another good family dog. Weimaraners are very popular with bird hunters across North America. They make a good family pet as well, and are gentle in nature similar to a Lab.

In my humble experience, Weimaraners are better as solitary dogs and I have developed the opinion that they don’t get along with too many other canines.

3. Beagle. Beagles are an excellent breed of scent hounds, and excel at chasing rabbits and can even be used for upland game. They do best when in a pack, and so it is recommended you own at least a few of these dogs together as they are highly social animals.

Kids love them, and often their first experience with a hunting dog will be a beagle circling a rabbits or treeing a raccoon.

4. German shepherd. Known in the U.S. for their work with police and security, German shepherds are prevalent on homesteads in Germany and all through Europe. The German shepherd will protect your children, especially if raised with them from a puppy. It also will protect your livestock if you train them right. Coyotes are no match for a German shepherd or two, although these dogs are vulnerable to wolves and cougars. Though a bit intimidating, a German shepherd can make a very good family dog, and will lay down its life for your kids.

5. Border Collie. Considered the most intelligent of all the domestic dog breeds. One of my personal favorite breeds of dog. The Border Collie is great around children and will quickly become one of the family.

Border Collies do great herding sheep and even cattle. They are the perfect farm hand for the rancher or the farmer with a dozen sheep or a few Black Angus.

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

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

How To Make Bone Broth, Just Like Your Grandmother Did

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How To Make Bone Broth, Just Like Your Grandmother Did

Image source: salixisme.wordpress.com

Making bone broths should be an activity in every home. Our great-grandparents made these nourishing concoctions regularly, and by doing so used every part of an animal and stretched their food resources.

Bone broth contains many important nutrients that support good health. Some benefits include:

  • Bone broth is one of the best sources of absorbable calcium, especially for those who cannot tolerate dairy foods or who do not consume dairy as part of their home culture.
  • Beef broth, chicken broth and fish broth are good sources of magnesium.
  • Bone broth is a good source of sodium. Sodium is important for many body and cellular functions, such as adrenal gland health, water balance regulation, muscle contraction and expansion, and maintaining a proper acid-alkaline balance in the body.
  • Bone broth that includes chicken or calf feet is a good source of silicon. Silicon is a very important nutrient for supporting strong and flexible bones, healthy cartilage, connective tissue, skin, hair and nails. Silicon also helps to protect the body from aluminum toxicity.
  • Bone broth is a good source of iodine, potassium and other important trace minerals that are easy to assimilate.
  • Bone broth helps to support the immune system and provide the body with resistance to infections diseases.

Broth Versus Stock

For the most part, the words “broth” and “stock” are used interchangeably in culinary applications, but there is a difference. Broth often incorporates leftovers of various kinds, such as from a roasted chicken eaten for dinner. Stock requires more of a prescribed formula, and is made regularly in the traditional kitchen to become the base of sauces and soups.

Just 30 Grams Of This Survival Superfood Provides More Nutrition Than An Entire Meal!

Other differences between the two are that stock generally incorporates more bone, and broth incorporates more meat. Stock has a more gelatinous texture and will be clearer in appearance. Broth is thinner and has a cloudier appearance.



It might be tempting in busy times to buy canned stocks and broths from the local grocery store. But these usually contain many unhealthy ingredients that you probably do not want to be ingesting or feeding to your family. These include MSG and other excitotoxins that are harmful to the body, especially to the brain.

Tips for Making Bone Broth

  • Always begin with cold water. This allows the fibers of the ingredients to open slowly and release their flavorful juices into the broth. The broth should be simmered after reaching an optimal temperature to promote clarity of the broth.
  • Be sure to skim the liquid as the impurities float to the top during simmering.
  • Adding vinegar or acidic wine during the cooking process helps to draw out important minerals, including calcium, magnesium and potassium.
  • Boiling down stocks will concentrate their flavor, producing a sauce that is useful for many culinary applications.
  • You can tell if your stock contains enough gelatin by letting it chill in the refrigerator, where it should thicken into a gel-like liquid. If it is not thick enough after chilling, you can boil it down to reduce it further.

Stock will keep in the refrigerator for five days (it can be re-boiled if you have passed this time frame by a few days), and in the freezer for several months. Any containers of stock should be labeled with the date made and a description of contents.

Chicken Broth Recipe

  • 2-3 pounds of bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings (free-range chickens are best)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 4 quarts cold water
  • Optional: ½ teaspoon thyme, 1 tablespoon salt, and 12 peppercorns


  1. Place the chicken into a large pot, along with the rest of the ingredients (except for the parsley). Adding 2 tablespoons of vinegar to the ingredients at this time will yield more minerals from the bones into your broth.
  2. Bring everything to a boil and simmer uncovered for 2 hours.
  3. Skim off all scum as it rises to the top of the liquid throughout the cooking process.
  4. Add the parsley approximately 10 minutes before the broth is done cooking.
  5. Once the stock is done, place a sieve over a large bowl (line it with some clean cheesecloth if needed), and carefully pour the broth into the sieve so that it drains into the bowl below. The cooked chicken meat can be used for salads or ethnic dishes. Discard the remaining solid matter.

What are your best tips for making bone broth? Share your advice in the section below:

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

Simple Comforts: How and Why You Should Make Your Own Bread

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How and Why You Should Make Your Own Bread | Backdoor Survival

I’m pretty sure that if there’s a key to happiness, it is baking your own bread.  Think about it…

The smell when you proof the yeast.

Mixing all those fresh ingredients like a chemist.

Then, you put it in the oven and don’t even get me started about the smell! There is something special about that aroma created from the mixture of flour, water, yeast, and salt that makes you feel that all is right with the world.

Then…you get to slice into it, slather it with butter that melts on contact, and eat the entire loaf at one meal.  (That is, if it lasts long enough to make it to the dinner table.)

How and Why You Should Make Your Own Bread | Backdoor Survival

And as great as all of those reasons are, they aren’t even the best reasons to bake your own bread! If you’re still buying bread from the store, read on for some further rationalization of why the extra effort to make your own at home is a very worthwhile endeavor.

Why You Should Be Baking Your Own Bread

Here are 8 satisfying reasons why you should break out the yeast and start baking bread.

1. Baking your own bread saves money.  I have not run a precise calculation, but as far as I can tell, the cost is only 40 to 60 cents per loaf, depending on whether or not you purchase your ingredients in bulk or on sale.

2.  Homemade bread is healthier.  When you bake from scratch, you know the source of every single ingredient, and you can avoid GMOs, unhealthy fats like hydrogenated oils, chemical additives, unhealthy preservatives, and sugary sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup.

3.  Taste is king.  Homemade bread tastes better than store bought.  No contest.  Even boo boos that look weird still taste good.

4.  The aroma is captivating. I know I mentioned this above but it bears repeating. This is the ultimate in aromatherapy.

5.  Your friends, family, and neighbors will be impressed.  Okay, maybe this is not important to you but you yourself will be impressed and that does count.

6. When or if the doo-doo hits the fan and the power is out, you can make the simple recipe I’m providing here on a camp stove or barbecue.  It cooks up swell in a closed grill and there is even a version that can be made on the top of a grill.  Talk about the ultimate comfort food.

7. This particular recipe is so simple you don’t have to knead it. You just stir up a big batch of  dough, put it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, then when you want some bread, you take out a blob whatever size you want your loaf to be, and bake it up fresh.

8.  You can dress a basic recipe up however you want once you’ve gotten the hang of it. Here is a photo of some of the lovely homemade bakery-worthy artisan breads I’ve made:

Baking Bread and Why You Should Do It Backdoor Survival

Ok, I’m positive you’re convinced now, so let’s talk about taking your bread to the next level. Let us move on to the absolute pinnacle of home bread baking.

Grinding Wheat For Making Homemade Bread

If you have a few (or more than a few) buckets of wheat berries, raise your hand. Yep, pretty much everyone has them on hand if they are involved in preparedness. After all, they last nearly forever when properly stored in their unprocessed form.

How and Why You Should Make Your Own Bread | Backdoor Survival

I use a Wondermill grain mill for my grinding needs. It’s simple to use, doesn’t make a huge mess, provides 3 different lovely textures, and clean-up afterward is fast and easy. I normally use the electric one, but I also own and use a manual grain mill to keep in shape for grinding wheat and other grains during grid-down scenarios.

Wheat in its most basic form lasts far longer than flour. Even when carefully stored, it doesn’t take long for the oils in flour to become rancid. And if you’re using whole wheat flour, this happens even faster.

So, back to grinding.

The Wondermill is quite compact and streamlined.  The way it works is that you turn on switch, pour your wheat (or other grains) into the hopper, and let it run.  In less than a minute, wheat turns into flour that is transported via a piece of rubber tubing into a separate, storable container.

There are three separate settings on the mill itself:  pastry, bread and course.  The “bread” setting produces a nice fine flour, not dissimilar in texture to regular unbleached flour that is purchased commercially.

During the grinding/milling process, the unit does get warm and puts forth a sweetish smell.  I would imagine that this smell might be unique to the type of grain being used.  The grain I prefer to use is hard white wheat that I purchase from Emergency Essentials, the local Winco (fantastic store that I only recently discovered, or the LDS Home Store.  Normally, one cup of wheat produces a tad less than 1.5 cups of flour.

As interesting as the technical details might be to some, to me the real tale is in the results.  How does the fresh-ground flour turn out within the context of a real loaf of bread?

How and Why You Should Make Your Own Bread | Backdoor Survival

The flavor of my bread was, as I described it to a friend, the “best darn whole wheat bread I have ever tasted”.  It had a fresh sweet flavor unlike any other bread I have purchased or made myself.  I made no adjustment to my standard recipe that and found that the loaves raised and baked up quite nicely with a nice crumb and a rich golden color.  I did feel that the bread was slightly more dense and a bit more filling than normal.

There is a unique satisfaction when you take your baking to a new level of deliciousness.  Another thing is that I like the idea that I can grind only what I plan on using right away or over the next couple of weeks at the most.  This means my flour is always fresh.  If you have been baking for awhile, you know that old flour gets stale and looses its oomph.

The Easiest Bread You Will Ever Make – Recipe Included!

Years ago,I happened upon a YouTube video demonstrating how to make artisan bread using a no-knead method for as little as fifty cents a loaf.  Fifty cents!  I was hooked.  And so began my love affair with Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois and their book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking.  The book as I learned,  described  an incredible, no-knead method for making the most delicious bread you’ve ever tasted. 

Essentially, the Artisan Bread In Five method of bread-baking (Master Recipe below)  involves combining four basic ingredients in a tub.  The tub of dough sits on the counter for a couple of hours to rise and is then refrigerated for up to two weeks.  The five minute part begins when you are ready to bake some bread.

What you do is cut off a grapefruit sized ball, do a quick, 30-second shaping, then place the dough on a board or piece of parchment and let it rest for about 40 minutes.  It then gets popped into a very hot oven where it springs to life as a lovely loaf of delicious artisan bread.  Yes, it is truly that simple and the only real labor involved takes five minutes, if that.

The Artisan Bread In Five secret is that the pre-mixed, pre-risen, high moisture dough requires no kneading plus it keeps well in the refrigerator.  This eliminates the need to measure out the ingredients, mix them up and knead the dough when you wish to put a fresh loaf of crusty, wholesome bread on the table.

No special equipment is needed and there is no messy kneading.  Ever.  Talk about easy peasy!

That’s All Good, But What About the Bread Itself?

Because using fresh ground wheat is important to me, I have use the Artisan BIN5 “Master Recipe” below using various combinations of 100% of unbleached white flour, 100% freshly milled hard white wheat flour and a combination of the two.  They all turn out great.

How and Why You Should Make Your Own Bread | Backdoor Survival

The Master Recipe: Artisan Bread In Five

Makes four 1 pound loaves.

  • 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (about 1-1/2 packets)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons kosher salt (can use less)
  • 6-1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached flour, measured with the scoop & sweep method
  • Cornmeal for pizza peel or parchment paper (I used parchment)

Note:  I typically will use a combination of unbleached white flour and freshly ground/milled flour

1. In a large bowl or plastic container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees). Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. I use a Danish dough whisk to mix things up but you can use a spoon or even a stand mixer or food processor.  But why do that?  The hand mixing is the fun part.

How and Why You Should Make Your Own Bread | Backdoor Survival

It really does not matter how you mix the wet and dry ingredients as long as the mixture is uniform. The dough will be quite loose so don’t panic. Cover, loosely and let the dough rise at room temperature 2 hours (or up to 5 hours).

2. Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on dough and cut off a grapefruit-size piece with serrated knife. Turn dough in hands to lightly stretch surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom.

3.  Put dough on pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal; let rest 40 minutes or up to 90 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough or refrigerate it.  (Or skip the peel and use parchment paper on a baking sheet.)

How and Why You Should Make Your Own Bread | Backdoor Survival

4.  Place a broiler pan on bottom of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and turn oven to 450 degrees; heat a baking stone at that temperature for 20 minutes. Or, if you don’t have a baking stone, use a cast iron skillet or even a greased baking sheet.

Bonus:  You can also shape the dough and bake it in a traditional loaf pan!  See the book for details.

5. Dust dough with flour, slash top with serrated or very sharp knife three times. Slide onto stone. Pour one cup hot water into broiler pan and shut oven quickly to trap steam. Bake until well browned, about 30 minutes. Cool completely.

The Final Word

As far as I am concerned, baking bread from scratch is a no-brainer. Not only will you save a lot of money, but your bread will be healthier and will taste better. Plus, in a SHTF situation, having the skill to bake delicious breads from simple ingredients will make you a valuable community asset and will give you something to barter should the need arise.

Trust me.  If I can make artisan bread, so can you.  Have fun with this and be sure to experiment with different flour combinations.  I am confident that the results will be delicious!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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

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Spotlight Item:  Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking

This is a fully revised and updated edition of the bestselling, ground-breaking Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day—the revolutionary approach to bread-making.

The book includes chapters on making gluten-free breads, flat breads, pizza and a whole lot more.  There are gorgeous color photos and over one hundred informative black-and-white how-to photos. You are going to love both the book and breads you make using these recipes.

Bargain Bin: Are you ready to begin baking? Here are some tools to get you started.

The Original Danish Dough Whisk: Besides the book, this is the one must-have that I recommend to all bread bakers. This gizmo makes mixing up the dough a lot – and I mean a lot – easier.

Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day: Another book by Jeff and Zoe.  Note however that a variety of pizza and flatbread recipes are included in Artisan Bread In Five. See The Secret Art of Making Pizza At Home.

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free IngredientsBaking Bread and Why You Should Do It Backdoor Survival: Ditto. Another wonderful book on bread baking.

Norpro Pizza Peel and Paddle:  This is not the most expensive peel out there but it will do the job. This is the one that I own:  Sassafras / Bamboo Pizza Peel.  I think a peel is a good thing to have – especially for rolling out pizza dough and transferring your artisan loafs to an from the oven.  It also doubles as a serving platter.  Kind of like being in Italy, no?

Unbleached Parchment Paper:  I use parchment paper when baking cookies and other baked items.  When first learning the pizza/baking peel dance, I found the parchment pager a big help (and it mitigated the mess of having the dough slide off the peel into a crumbled mess onto the stone.  Not a pretty picture.)

Old Stone Oven Baking Stone:  Nice to have, but perhaps not essential.  You be the judge.  You could use a cast iron skillet instead.  Try this one:  Lodge Logic 12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet.

Cambro 6-Quart Round Food-Storage Container with Lid, Set of 2:  I started out using Rubbermaid storage containers (and I think that is what you will see in the photos).  A finally bought some of these and am glad I did,  For bread and pizza making, be sure to get the 6 quart size.

Ove’ Glove Hot Surface Handler, Pack of 2Off Grid Cooking with the Amazing HERC Tea Light Oven + Giveaway Backdoor Survival: These oven gloves withstand extreme heat up to 540 degrees F. If you could see the scars that I have from my pre-Ove Glove days, you would know why I endorse them. They can be used by both left and right handers and are washable in the washing machine. A Survival Woman must have if you do any cooking at all.

WonderMill Grain Mill:  I love my Wondermill so much that it made the road trip south to Arizona.  I also own this Wonder Junior Deluxe Hand Grain Mill and try to use it occasionally just to stay in practice for a grid down event.


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
Emergency Preparedness Items from Amazon.com
Shop Amazon Tactical – Great Selection of Optics, Knives, Cases, Equipment
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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 Simple Comforts: How and Why You Should Make Your Own Bread by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Easy And Yummy Pull Apart Pizza Bread Recipe

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Easy And Yummy Pull Apart Pizza Bread Recipe In my opinion, pizza should be its own food group. If you’re a pizza lover too, you have to try this Pizza Pull-Apart Bread as soon as possible.This pizza bread is a little bit like monkey bread, but the savory pizza version. Everyone will love this take on …

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The post Easy And Yummy Pull Apart Pizza Bread Recipe appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Bleeding, Now what?

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You’re bleeding! Now what?
Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live

bleeding accident-743036_640Uh-oh, you’re bleeding! Perhaps it was a bite, a deep slice of a knife while processing a deer, a gun shot wound, road rash, or maybe an open sore. No matter what has caused the wound, it needs to be treated quickly and correctly. Otherwise, you are risking infection, bleeding out, and possibly your life.

Bleeding out from a major artery can cause death in ten to fifteen minutes. You don’t even have time for an ambulance to arrive, never mind get to the emergency room. The S has hit the F for you. The bleeding must be stopped ASAP, the wound properly cleaned, and when appropriate, stitched up.

The question is: do you know how? To take that one step further, does anyone in your group know how to serve as your back up in case you need care? If not, this is one show you’re going to want to listen to.

11-22-15 -While most wound victims are transported to the hospital for professional wound care. If time is of the essence, you may have to step in and be the “doctor” during an emergency. This may be necessary due to the severity of the wound, or because there is no trained medical personnel available. It is vital that you know what you are doing, because the last thing you want is to make a bad situation worse.

11-22-15 injury-903342_640This episode will cover several common types of wounds that bleed, how to stop bleeding, and how to clean the wound to prevent infection. Also covered is the how, when, where, and why of closing a wound, or should that specific wound be closed at all? Plus, what do you do if in spite of your best efforts, the wound becomes infected and is spreading.

This hour of wound care discussion will look at both conventional and herbal options for wound care and bringing the bleeding to a stop. There is no reason to take any tool off the table with something as serious as an open wound. Be sure to tune in to learn how to stop bleeding in an emergency.

Join us for Herbal Prepper Live “LIVE SHOW” every Sunday 7:00/Et 6:00Ct 4:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat

Listen to this broadcast or download “You’re bleeding! Now what?” in player below!

Get the 24/7 app for your smart phone HERE! 
Put the 24/7 player on your web site HERE
Listen to archived shows of all our hosts . Go to schedules tabs at top of page!

The post Bleeding, Now what? appeared first on The Prepper Broadcasting Network.

How to Build a Trip Wire Alarm System

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How to Build a Trip Wire Alarm System So, you want to protect your property, or maybe a room, car, or even your backyard. The purpose of an alarm system is to notify the the owner to warn that intruders are trying entering your designated boundaries. The triggers for this boundary could be as simple as …

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The post How to Build a Trip Wire Alarm System appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

A Collection Of Vintage Wisdom & Tips For Using A Clothesline

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A Collection Of Vintage Wisdom & Tips For Using A Clothesline I got sent this website I am sharing with you today by a reader who said that my other readers would get a lot of great tips from it. I checked it out and because I am from a generation where we rely on electric …

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The post A Collection Of Vintage Wisdom & Tips For Using A Clothesline appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Holiday Salted Caramel Candy Recipe

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Holiday Salted Caramel Candy Recipe With the holidays just around the corner, you will need some caramel candy to keep your energy up. These are melt in your mouth delicious and best of all really easy to make. If you are a novice in the kitchen (like me) don’t worry, even the worst cooks can …

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18 Creative Ways To Use Cattle Pen Panels

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18 Creative Ways To Use Cattle Pen Panels Livestock panels are a heavy gauge galvanized welded wire fencing material.  They are also commonly called “cattle”,”hog”, or “sheep” panels.  They are almost a must have on any new farm or homestead.  They make the acquisition of livestock a much easier process and are an affordable option …

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Keep calm and buy life insurance

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buy life insurance

It is the elephant in the room. Everyone knows it is there, yet no one wants to talk about it. The elephant is death.

I recently lost my brother in law, Joseph, at the age of 36. It was unexpected, and of course devastating. What is tragic is watching my sister in law struggle with the bills and funeral costs. These come to the surface and demand attention. She has taken phone calls from people wanting money when she has had none to give.

The problem is that Joseph was under-insured. In my profession I have been working with those who are dying and their families for many years. What I have found is that many are unprepared for the roller coaster of emotions, the mounting pile of medical bills, funeral plans, extended family issues and finances. It is unfortunate that during this emotional time important decisions need to be made. Much of this is unavoidable. One thing that can ease some of these burdens is life insurance.

Policy Types

There are a many types of life insurance policies. The most common are Permanent, Whole, Universal, and Term Insurance. The first three are sold as a life insurance policy and a method of investment. Life insurance is not the best way to invest your money. There are other investments that yield a higher return. These policies also allow the insured to borrow or withdraw cash against the policy.

Some individuals cannot qualify for term or find it too expensive. These other policies may be more budget friendly and still get the job done. There are advertisements on the television about policies that require no physical or medical questions. They are by reputable companies and can be considered an option. Be sure to read the fine print. There are limitations placed on this policy that may range from a few months to a few years. They may not be a bad purchase, just read all of the fine print. Be an informed consumer.

Term insurance allows you to buy the amount of insurance that you need, for only as long as your need it. The money saved by purchasing a term insurance policy can be used to pay off debts or to invest. Term insurance is the best option for those who are young and raising children. When the kids move out, ask your agent about adjusting the amount or if another type of insurance would better fit your needs.

Some term insurance companies are offering a return of premiums (ROP) to their customers. If you out live the term of your policy, they will refund you 100% of the premiums you have paid. Read the details and ask your agent any questions about insurance. It is a product you will want to work seamlessly for you when you need it to.

Policy Sources

Many employers and financial institutions offer free life insurance. Employers usually base the coverage on your yearly income. There may be an option to buy additional insurance coverage. Check to see how much coverage you have through work and include that amount when making your life insurance decisions. Remember that if you switch jobs, you need to purchase it through the new employer or with an agent. If you lose your job, you lose that insurance. Banks and credit unions may offer insurance for free, but it is not a large amount.

Another option is to self-insure. This is when you save money in an account that is to be used only when you pass away. The dollar amount must be enough to pay for funeral expenses, medical bills, and any other expenditures. Make sure that your final papers are in order so a family or friend will have access to the account and make sure it is spent on your funeral.

There are many sites on the internet that offer insurance calculators. You will be asked information about possible expenses and any special needs that your family may have. Plug in the requested numbers and amounts and a detailed report will follow. Many sites (and employers) offer other types of insurance to consider. These may include disability, long term care, critical illness and income protection. Again, examine the variety that is available and speak to an insurance specialist about what additional coverage your family may need.

How much coverage?

Many ask how much life insurance is needed. You need to have coverage that is 10 times your family’s annual income. The whole point of insurance is to replace yours or your spouse’s salary. If your homes income is $75,000 a year, your insurance coverage should be $750,000. Your chosen beneficiary can invest this money at 10% per year, which will provide them with an annual income of $75,000.

By replacing your income, your family can maintain the same lifestyle that you provided for them. Chose a beneficiary with care. It should be someone that you trust. The beneficiary should understand what you want done with the insurance money. Not only should you verbally discuss this, it needs to be written out in a will.

What could be more traumatic on the heels of losing a spouse than being forced to sell your home, find a job, and uproot the kids? Imagine how nice it would be to know that when you pass, your spouse will be able to be there for your children during this difficult time. Evaluate how long you will have your children at home and purchase a policy that will at least cover your family until the last child leaves home.

As your life changes, so will the amount of insurance coverage needed. When the children are moved out, the amount of insurance coverage can decrease. It is wise to reduce or eliminate any debt and increase the amount you save. A policy will need to cover medical bills, existing debt, and funeral expenses.

Where do you keep your policy? I recommend that you have a drawer, file cabinet, or box that holds all of your important documents. When you pass away, your family can quickly find your life insurance policy and all of the other needed documents. These documents should include:

• Will and estate plans that tell your family how you want your life insurance money spent
• Tax returns, your monthly budget, and bank account information
• Passwords, PINS, combinations, user names
• Other insurance policies
• Investments and retirement accounts
• Funeral and other after death instructions

Final thoughts. (So to speak.)

Seven months after Joseph’s death, his widow is still adjusting to her “new normal.” A GoFundMe page and a yard sale of donated items has helped ease some of the financial burden, but there is still a shortage of money and some bills still need to be paid.

You know you are going to die. We all are. No one should be left behind worrying about going back to work, keeping the lights on, and paying the mortgage. Do the right thing and purchase life insurance. There is no “thinking about it” or “I will get around to it”. Do it now. It is the most thoughtful gift you can give to your loved ones.

Basic Military Map Reading- GRID, Distance and Elevation

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Here is a very old video produced by the US Army on Basic Map Reading. It covers how to read GRID, DISTANCE and ELEVATION on a military style map. 

If you have access to military style maps, this video will assist the novice to the learn the areas listed above, or provide a refresher to those who have used this map system.

Either way, learning to navigate terrain is important in a survival situation, especially if you have to bug out into the wilderness.