Amazon Cyber Monday 2015 Knife & Gear Deals

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Amazon Cyber Monday 2015 Knife & Gear Deals

So while we were thoroughly disappointed with Amazon’s Black Friday deals this year, we’re actually finding ourselves reasonably impressed with today’s Cyber Monday discounts. I daresay they beat last year’s, even though I guess it really depends on the kind of things you were hoping to buy. There’s a lot of ground to cover in… Read More

This is just the start of the post Amazon Cyber Monday 2015 Knife & Gear Deals. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


Amazon Cyber Monday 2015 Knife & Gear Deals, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Fifteen Uncommon Uses For Toothpaste

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Oral hygiene is a must for modern humans. Taking care of your teeth becomes common knowledge starting at an early age; it’s a social norm meant to keep us healthy for as long as possible. Regular visits to your dentist and washing your teeth at least once a day is the way to go. The toothpaste and the toothbrush are your best assets in keeping your teeth clean, alongside mouth wash, dental floss and others. Toothpaste comes regularly in paste or gel form, is based mostly on fluoride and it’s used in maintaining the health and aesthetics of teeth by fighting various tooth and gum conditions. But apart from washing your teeth, toothpaste can serve a multitude of other household related purposes. Its rich chemical baggage makes it an all-purpose tool when you might be lacking in so many things around the house; but it’s very unlikely you’ll be out of toothpaste.

Not only is it cheap and easy to find, but most of us actually keep more than one tube around the house. In what’s to come, we’ll take a look at some uses for toothpaste, non-teeth related purposes that a simple tube of toothpaste can serve.

  1. Remove clothing stains

It works great in removing oily, tough stains from fabrics. Apply toothpaste on the stained area and with a little water, and gently rub the spot. After a minute or so of rubbing, just throw the fabric in the washer. If the stain is old, you’ll most likely need to the toothpaste bit a couple of more times for results to show. It doesn’t work on all fabrics or stains, but it does wonders for ink spots. P.S. don’t use a whitening toothpaste (with bleaching effects) on colored fabrics; a regular toothpaste will do.

  1. Remove carpet stains

It works just as good on carpet fabric as it does on clothing. Just add toothpaste to the affected area and clean the spot with a toothbrush, in a circular motion; much like cleaning your teeth. After scrubbing, rinse and repeat until the spot is gone. The process will get out almost everything and make you carpet brand new. But some stains are resistant to toothpaste, especially if the stain is caused by an acid-based substance. In such a case toothpaste becomes useless.

  1. Remove scuffs

Toothpaste can easily remove leather scuffs. Put some toothpaste on a soft cloth and gently rub the leather surface. After you’re done, rinse the area with a damp cloth. It works on everything that’s made out of leather. The same principle applies to linoleum. 

  1. Whiten piano keys

The ivory white keys can be easily cleaned with a cotton swab that’s been previously dampened in a little water and then in a pinch of toothpaste. Take your time and to it right. It will take some time, but when you’re done, wipe the keys dry and then buff them with a soft, clean cloth and you’ll have brand new piano keys again.

  1. Whiten nails

Whitening peroxide toothpastes will have no problem in polishing and brightening finger and toe nails alike. Whether your nails have been darkened in time due to excessive usage of nail polish or they’re naturally yellowish, there’s still hope. Add toothpaste, brush them carefully with a toothbrush and when you’re all done,  add the finishing touch  and soak them in lemon juice for a couple of minutes.

  1. Shine chrome surfaces

The chromed pieces around the house (especially faucets) will get water stains in time. Because if it’s abrasive nature, toothpaste will act in the same way professional cleaning products for chromed surfaces will. Just add toothpaste to the stains, scrub and rinse with water. You’ll have the chrome pieces shinny and brand new again in no time. 

  1. Remove crayon marks from walls

If your kids have been running amok around the house and you’re stuck with crayon marks all over the walls, don’t panic. There’s hope yet, as long as you have toothpaste (non-gel) around the house. Apart from a toothpaste, you’ll also need a clean rag or a scrub brush. Spread the toothpaste on the wall and scrub it good (preferably in circular motions). The abrasive agents in the toothpaste will remove the colors from the walls eventually.

  1. Remove watermarks from furniture

Even though you might have a ton of coasters around the house, you’re bound to get water marks at some point; they’re unavoidable and just the worst. If you want to clean those right up, simply add some non-gel toothpaste, let it sit for a couple of seconds and rub it off with a soft fabric. Once you’re done scrubbing wipe it off with a dry cloth. Before adding furniture polish make sure the surface is perfectly dry.

  1. Deodorize your hands

Just as toothpaste deodorizes the inside of your mouth, so it can deodorize your hands. If you’ve dealt with anything smelly throughout the day that’s left your hands smelling worse than French cheese, just wash them thoroughly with cold water and toothpaste. The chemicals in the paste will destroy the bacteria that causes the bad smell and will leave your hands smelling great.

  1. Deodorize baby bottles

Toothpaste works just as well in removing the sour milk smell from baby bottles. You’ll need to scrub both the inside and the outside of the baby bottle with a mixture of water and toothpaste. One you’re done scrubbing, rinse with water and then thrown the bottle in the dishwasher and wash regularly. 

  1. Polish silver

Toothpaste can polish everything made out of silver, be it jewelry, silverware picture frames etc. What you’ll need is a regular toothpaste (gel-based aren’t as efficient), a soft, clean cloth or better yet, a toothbrush. Just add some paste on your soft cloth or toothbrush and start scrubbing the silvery surface like there’s no tomorrow. You start to notice the difference in no time, as the tarnish will come off little by little. When you think you’re done, simply rinse and dry off with a dry cloth.

  1. Shine diamonds

If you want to give a precious gemstone that old sparkle back, you just need a regular tube of toothpaste and a soft toothbrush.  Just add a little pate on the toothbrush and start brushing gently (so that the diamond doesn’t come off) until you see the shine returning. When you’re done brushing rinse with water and rub gently with a soft cloth. 

  1. Fill holes in the wall

If you’ve have perforated walls which have bothered you for a long time, just know you don’t need Spackle to get the job done. A pinch of toothpaste will work pretty much in the same way when it comes to filling up holes left by nails screws, pins etc. The toothpaste hardens and makes for a great temporary solution. Just beware of how much you’re adding, as too much can make the situation even worse if at some point you decide to deal with the problem properly.

  1. Treat pimples

The adding of toothpaste to an acne affected area is a well-known treatment that has been around for decades. However, adding toothpaste alone won’t solve much, except dehydration of the affected area. For the best result, you should mix toothpaste with crushed aspirin. The toothpaste will dehydrate as usual and the salicylic acids in the aspirin will fight off infection and decrease the inflammation.

  1. Remove cell phone / watch scratches

Your cell phone or watch display will undoubtedly get damaged and scratched with the passing of time, unless of course you have the right protection. If not, tiny marks will start to appear. These are easily removed with toothpaste. Just dip your finger gently in tooth paste and rub the screen. One you’re done rinse with a damp cloth and ultimately dry the surface with a soft cloth. 

As you’ve seen by now, having some toothpaste around the house can really pay off. Especially if you find yourself out of certain cleaning products. Cleaning stuff around the house it’s fine, but remember that toothpaste is first of all for cleaning your teeth. Don’t overlook oral hygiene, as teeth health is really important.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post Fifteen Uncommon Uses For Toothpaste appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

REVIEW: The Walking Dead: Season 6 – Episode 8 *Mid-Season Finale* “Start to Finish”

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

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How To: Vehicle Gun Holster in 10 Minutes

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So you have a concealed carry permit and your gun is on your hip while belted into your seat but the question I have is: how fast can you access it?  No really, if your gun is IWB on your hip and you have a seat belt on give it a try sometime, see if you can have your gun out in seconds…I doubt you can.  Maybe you are at the ATM pulling out cash and someone pops out behind the bushes and sticks a gun in your face or maybe you are sitting at an intersection and two guys run up on either side of your vehicle with guns drawn, car jacking attempt in progress.  At that point you don’t have 5 to 10 seconds, you have 1 to 2 and you’d better make a move or become a victim.

Sage Wisdom

Recently I was texting back and forth with our resident expert, The Maj, and going through the pro’s and con’s of a vehicle gun holster.  Obviously something quickly accessible vs what is on your hip but where should it be?  What about caliber, should it be the same as what you carry?  Is this a get out and fight gun or simply a quick deterrent which would allow someone to step on the gas and make a quick exit off the X.  What about getting pulled over, a gun in plain sight might make a cop a little nervous even if you are legally allowed to have it there right?

Here’s what I finally was able to come up with.  There are more pro’s to having a gun which is exposed in a good holster versus having something in a center console or on one’s hip which could take a few more seconds to access.  That said I set out to mount a holster inside my truck and found that it was easier than I ever thought it would be.

The Concept

I regularly carry a Glock 19 with at least one spare mag and sometimes two.  It would be stupid of anyone to assume there are no threats out there especially with the ISIS A holes and wannabes (read: lone wolf) lurking about, so the Glock it is.  I do have several Glocks but wanted something with some more punch for my truck gun, something I could grab quickly and do serious damage with (even through a window) so naturally my choice was a 5 inch 1911 which happens to be a Springfield TRP Operator.

If I encountered any of the situations that I listed originally in this article (car jack, ATM jack) I would be able to quickly grab the gun and put down the perp before taking next steps.  This is not a “get out of the truck and fight” type scenario but rather a “ward off the threat, make my escape” type thing.  The Maj really helped clarify this and I appreciated that.  If you think you are going to dismount and shoot it out with the bad guys chances are you are probably going to die.  Remember a pistol is a defensive weapon, better to sling some lead and then stomp on the gas.

The Truck Holster

The Parts I Used

The Parts I Used

All of the above in mind I decided to make my own truck holster.  The parts are as follows:

  • Blade Tech 1911 holster, procured from Cabela’s for around $60.  I chose this because I like the material and that it is black, it is also ambidextrous so I can mount it next to my right leg with no worries.
  • Rubber grommets from Lowes.
  • Self tapping screws from Lowes.

The Method

I simply removed the belt loops from the Blade Tech holster, took the alternate set which came in the pack and drilled them (so you have holes on both sides).

Drilling Holes

Drilling Holes

I ran the screw through the holster, through the plastic loops and the rubber grommets.  Here is a pic of the test fit.

Test Fit: Like A Glove!

Test Fit: Like A Glove!

On the Vehicle

Originally I wanted this down low to keep it out of sight but the problem I ran into was that in order for my hand to get in there and get a strong grip, the gun and holster would need to be away from the console at least 3 to 4 inches.  Not good.  So I decided to mount it higher so that the grip was exposed, this meant that I could just snatch it quickly and bring it up with nothing impeding my right hand. I can’t emphasize enough how well the rubber grommets worked as they really helped keep things in place and since the surface was not totally vertical (a slight cant) it made things much easier.  Yes it meant making 4 holes in my console but if I ever have to remove the holster I can simply put 4 black screws in there, or some plastic automotive tabs and it truly won’t look that bad.

Side View

Side View

Easy Money, Holster On Console

Easy Money, Holster On Console

Finished Product

Finished Product, Easy Access!

Finished Product, Easy Access!

So here you have it, sorry about the dark pictures but it was late in the evening when I decided to start this project.  The gun is held in there very sturdily and the holster does not move.  Quick draw easily and while driving the barrel does not point at my leg.  All in all….a great project!

 

A FRIENDLY VISIT SHOWS EVERYONE CAN HOMESTEAD

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We recently visited our friend Gary at his home to celebrate his daughter’s (also a friend) birthday. We’ve known this wonderful family for a few years now and although we don’t live right down the street and see each other every day, this visit like every visit was full of fun and good times. It didn’t take long after arriving before I was pleasantly reminded of just how interesting visiting Gary can be. You see, Gary is like us in that he has chosen to do all he can to wrestle back some control of his life back from the system by doing whatever he can to build resilience into his every day life by embracing the homesteading lifestyle at every opportunity. For Gary, this includes everything from growing as much of his own food as he can, to keeping small stock in the back yard and this visit revealed (to my great excitement) that he has branched out making his own wine and whiskey, complete with his own miniature whiskey still that lives on under the carport!

 

 

IMG_6892   IMG_6894

 

As we walked around Gary’s average sized suburban property he shared a good number of fun and interesting things that he’s currently got working and I was interested to see them all. The chickens and rabbits were still doing just fine, but now they have been joined by the pigeons which we found bedding down for the evening in their happy little coop. The turkeys, which I had enjoyed very much when we were there the last time, we gone having graced the family’s table a while back. The front and side yard gardens were in good shape despite having a bit of transitional look to them, which is great because it shows that they are constantly changing to get ready for whatever comes next in a never-ending cycle of growth, harvest and rejuvenation. I think I enjoyed hearing about the mushrooms Gary was growing over by the fence the most. Planted them right in the logs himself. Awesome. When we headed back inside, Gary showed me the various wines he was waiting on, showed me how his whiskey still operates and explained how he ages the Shine with a bit of oak to mellow it out a bit. Before I knew it, Gary was showing off his bread bowl and exposing me to homemade kombucha for the first time. Tasty and good for you too. That’s a win-win if you ask me. From there we discussed the motivation for doing all of this “different” kind of stuff. I know why Alice and I do what we do and finding out what motivates other folks interests me. So of course, I asked whether he was doing any bartering with any of these “goods” and Gary grinned widely and simply stated, “Well, I haven’t paid for a haircut in ten years.” Now I was the one grinning.

 

IMG_6901   IMG_6897

The composting area and butterfly garden.

IMG_6913   IMG_6903

There’s more to this average suburban space than meets the eye.

IMG_6907   IMG_6909

Raised garden beds fill the front.

IMG_6916   IMG_6919

Here are the rabbit hutches and the chicken coop.

IMG_6923   IMG_6921

These are the pigeons being raised for meat.

 

I wanted to share all of this with you for a couple of reasons. First off, Gary’s a good guy doing good things for his family, his community and the world in general and that should be recognized. The way he is going about all of that makes it even better, choosing the natural/organic way whenever given the opportunity. What’s more, Gary is very willing to share his knowledge with others whenever he can, giving freely of his time simply because he believes that what he is sharing is worth the effort. Kudos!

Secondly, I wanted to share Gary’s adventures because it speaks to a larger fact that we believe is very important yet most folks seem to not realize. Anyone and everyone can be a homesteader, regardless of your circumstance. You do not have to have 50 acres to live the homesteading lifestyle, merely a desire to grab your daily reality by the shoulders and retake control over your personal situation while doing what you can to meet the basic requirements of this life. If you do that, whether you’re growing your own food or developing skill sets that will help you meet your basic needs, you’re a homesteader.

So take heart friends and believe me when I tell you that you can do it too. If you want grow some of your own food to increase your food security, or develop a secondary revenue stream for you and your family to build some financial resilience, or learn a new skill set that will have some actual value should we wake to a tomorrow that is drastically different than the world we know today, I say go for it and know that you can do it. We support your efforts, we believe in you and we cannot wait to welcome you to the community.

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Back-Up your computers

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I follow several sailboat cruising blogs and the story below describes a robbery that does from time to time happen! Sad part is everyone in the Caribbean knows sailors who come from other countries can not have weapons onboard to protect themselves so for the criminal it’s easy, almost risk free money. You can thank liberal politicians for this law.

Here’s a recent posting describing a robbery of a cruiser:

Very sad to report….
Do NOT go to Taganga. Sad to say in all my years of travel all over the world we were boarded last night & robbed. Outboard motors both gone, all jewelery, watches, phones, computers, cash, credit cards etc. We were both tied up & hit, but we & the dogs (who remained mysteriously silent through the whole episode) are fine. Shaken, stressed & certainly didn’t need this….. and yes, we were warned…. what can I say….
We’re in Santa Marta marina at the moment courtesy of good friends John & Jennifer Howarth whilst we decide next move….. sorry if I miss birthdays, anniversaries, emails etc. All my info is on my computer & is lost. I only have this galaxy tablet for now.

What to do?

As in the story, their computers and other items of value were taken. The most costly was the laptop computers. Not so much the cost to replace it, but all the hundreds of hours of work and irreplaceable information stored on it! There is a very simple low cost way to avoid data losses like they are suffering from, it’s a “Memory Stick” to back-up all your data onto.

Backing-up your files is not just for theft but hardware failure where the hard drive simply crashes or lightening strikes, etc.

Memory sticks are dirt cheap. The one below is just $7.00 for 32-GB of storage (32-GB is a lot of data and photo’s, over 16,000, 2-meg photo’s) and if you need more they make them up to 128GB of storage. Another nice feature about the SanDisk models is they have an included program to password protect the contents, nice feature.

Memory sticks are what I use to back-up and store all my photo’s and files on. It is fast, small and simple to use.

However and most importantly when you back-up the files you want, please remove the memory stick and put it in a safe place. Not out in the open but in a drawer just out of sight but still convenient for you to retrieve and use faithfully. It would be even more painful if your computer was stolen and it had the back-up stick in it!

Raising Chickens in Winter

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This is part two of a two-part in-depth series on raising chickens written by Bill S in upstate NY. The first article can be found here: How to Start Raising your own Chickens

An Intro into Raising Chickens in Winter

In the last article I was privileged to write for TI, I discussed the very basics of raising a small flock of chickens. Now that winter is fast approaching, we need to look at what needs to be done to keep the flock healthy when the temperatures drop. But, first let’s make the assumption that you live in an area that has 4 seasons, and it will get below 32 degrees F at least some of the time.

To start with, you will need to choose the right breed of chicken to suit your life style, needs and climate. While most breeds would probably survive winter with minimal preparations on your part, not all would. Some chickens are much better suited to hot climates. The goal here, though is not just to have them survive winter, but to actually thrive.

By thriving, they will be able to provide you with an almost self-sustaining source of high quality meat and eggs. Regardless of what is happening around you, storms, riots, acts of terrorism, or disease, by having your own private source of high quality food, you will have a much better chance of surviving than many others. But, just having the chickens running around your property is not enough to feed your family. You need to learn some basic skills to maintain them before they will provide you with an ongoing food supply.

Briefly, I’m going to just go over some basic terms and facts for those who may be new to raising poultry.

Foundational Terminology

  • Hen- adult female chicken
  • Rooster- adult male
  • Pullet- young female
  • Cockerel- young male
  • Comb- the fleshy red protuberance on a chicken’s head. Different breeds have different style combs.
    used with permission by www.raising-chickens.org

    used with permission by www.raising-chickens.org

  • Gizzard- internal organ responsible for grinding the food in lieu of teeth. Requires tiny stone/sand like material called “grit” to function.
  • Vent- anus
  • Dust bath- The act of “wallowing” in a shallow depression of dry dirt or sand to help get rid of parasites. See image below. (used by permission by www.raising-chickens.org)
  • Roosting/perching- The act of climbing to a high branch at night for protection.
  • Free range- Chickens raised with access to the outdoors. Ideally, they would be able to roam over a field or property to eat bugs, grass and seeds. In a commercial operation where 10,000 birds may be living in a warehouse, this term is used deceptively. There may be one small “door” leading out to a cement area so they can legally use the term. The vast majority of the birds never even get close to it.
  • Cage free- many commercial outfits confine the chickens to small “battery” cages for their entire (and very short) lives. All cage free means to a big producer is that they are not in cages, but they are almost always in a huge warehouse like building packed so tightly the can’t move around much.

    This will lead to high stress levels and “pecking” at each other, which can lead to infection. It is one of the reasons they are dosed with anti-biotics prophylactically and have their beaks cut down so when they do peck at each other they do little harm. The term is meant to make consumers think of birds happily pecking away in a pasture. It is just deceptive advertising in most cases.

  • Organic- raised with no anti-biotics or chemicals either in their environment or their feed. These standards are pretty strict, legally. Food labeled “organic” is almost always the best choice. But there is still some “wiggle-room” in the definition. Read labels carefully.
  • Natural- this term means absolutely nothing. When you see “natural” on a food label, the manufacturer wants you to believe their product is healthy.
  • Bantams – These are a small type of chicken. They can be quite a bit smaller than standard breed chickens. In my opinion they are used mostly for “pet” chickens and in county fairs, for showing. They are too small to be used for meat, unless you butchered several at a time per meal. For our purposes, they are impractical to raise.
  • Dual purpose chickens – A larger chicken that is suitable to provide both eggs and enough meat for a meal. Luckily, they are also the same chickens that will do well in winter.
  • Molting- Usually once a year in the late summer or fall, when daylight hours are shorter, chickens start to shed their feathers (starting at the head, then progressing downwards) New feathers will start to grow in soon. This process will take several weeks to a few months to complete. During this time egg production will slow or stop all together, as the chicken needs all it energy to grow new feathers. To help them, you can feed them higher protein food, like feed meant for meat birds, around 20% to 22% protein. Keep stress levels down but limiting handling and overcrowding.
    (Photo of a chicken courtesy of www.mypetchicken.com)

    (Photo of a chicken courtesy of www.mypetchicken.com)

Important Facts to Know

  • A) Only hens lay eggs
  • B) The most any hen can lay in one day is 1 single egg.
  • C) The hen does not need a rooster to be able to lay eggs. Roosters are only needed to fertilize eggs (and to protect the hens.) No rooster-no chicks.
  • D) Chickens LOVE meat. Given the choice between eating vegetation or a fat and juicy worm, they go for the worm in a heartbeat. They also eat all types of bugs, moths, mice and even a small snake or two. They are true omnivores.
  • E) Chickens can fly, after a fashion. Flying up and over a 6-foot-tall fence is no problem.
  • F) The color of an egg has no bearing on its flavor or nutritional values. All other conditions (like health and quality of feed) being equal, all eggs are the same. Early in the 20th century, brown eggs were most common, and white eggs were more “exotic”. Now it seems to be reversed. Different breeds of hens lay different colored eggs. Colors may include white, speckled, light brown, dark brown and even blues and greens. It all depends on the breed.
  • G) Chickens usually come back to the coop before dark, when they are most vulnerable. Chickens are almost blind in the dark. I keep them in the coop for at least a half an hour after sunrise, and lock them in for the night about half an hour before sunset, when many predators are active.
  • H) Chickens urinate and defecate from the same orifice, and both come out at the same time.
  • I) It may take several months before a chick is mature enough to lay her first egg. Her first eggs may be small and misshapen, but still edible.

The Importance of Free Range

When your chickens are truly “free range”, and they eat bugs, seeds and vegetation, as they were meant to do, the nutritional value of their eggs are dramatically improved when compared to commercial eggs.

Courtesy of Mother Earth News

Courtesy of Mother Earth News

The image, below, although of a U.K. operation, is similar to some commercial poultry operations here in the U.S., as well. They are packed several birds to a cage and that is where they live 24/7 for their whole (but thankfully, brief) lives.
battery-farms

This is why they are dosed with antibiotics. Injury and wounds from pecking causes infection to run rampant. All those drugs are passed directly to the consumers and will contaminate local streams and ground water near the operation with all the manure and antibiotics used.

The use of antibiotics in commercial operations is directly responsible for the new drug resistant “super-bugs” like MRSA and other staff infections that are so common in most hospitals. The commercial farms are certainly not the only cause, but one of several major contributors.

Raising your own flock will help keep your family healthier

Here are links to a 3-part article on how to start changing local laws to allow backyard flocks.

http://blog.mypetchicken.com/2014/03/07/legalize-chickens-diy-part1/

http://blog.mypetchicken.com/2014/03/14/legalize-chickens-diy-part-2/

http://blog.mypetchicken.com/2014/04/04/3-final-tips-legalizing-chickens/

You need to find the right breed for your location and your needs. If the ultimate safety and security of your family’s food supply depends, at least in part, on how much fresh, high quality protein you can provide for them, year round, then you need to get this right.

Luckily, it’s not that hard and can be an educational experience for everyone.

Every family or group member needs to learn how to start and maintain a flock of chickens should be a high priority. It could prove vital someday soon, that another family member knows how to raise the flock. What if you were stuck out of town when a disaster struck? Or you were incapacitated in some way, or even killed. The survival of your family may be at risk if you were the only person who knew how to raise and butcher the chickens.

Maybe that sounds a bit extreme, but not planning for it now, I think, would be a grave mistake. The chances of your family or group thriving in an adverse situation, is much higher, if all the members learn the skills they need to survive.  

This applies to anything, really. Fire making, shelter building, water purification and the few hundred other skills that prepared people should be striving to learn. The more family members who have learned and practiced these skills the better the group will fare in hard times.

Having a healthy and productive flock of chickens and learning the skills needed to care for them year round, will provide you and your family with a level of security many others will not have. The flock will be an almost self-sustaining source of high quality meat and eggs for your family when times are uncertain at best and possibly even hostile.

There are, obviously, many ways and methods to raise your chickens throughout the winter. I’m going to discuss what I have experience in and give you links to learn much more.

Raising Chickens in Winter – A Micro-Course

To begin with, some people like to butcher the whole flock in the late fall and have a freezer full of meat to start the winter off. In doing this, they eliminate the need for insulating the coop, hauling feed and fresh water through the snow, and even shoveling a path to and around the coop. Then in the spring, buy chicks either from a local farm or a mail order hatchery, and start all over.

It is certainly a viable option. Some hatcheries will ship you a box full of day old chicks of your choice, overnight. (links to hatcheries below)

Not the best option, in my opinion, but many people do it. You can pick between many breeds and even choose to have only pullets (young females) or add a cockerel (young male) to the order, if you wish.

Telling the sex of a chick can be difficult, even for the hatcheries, and sometimes you will accidentally end up with a chick or two of a gender you didn’t want. The hatcheries only ship during warm months and almost always have a minimum number of chicks per order. This minimum order, usually around 25, is to ensure they are warm enough in transit.

I would rather visit a local farm and see the birds in person and the conditions they live in and look for signs of disease and at the overall health of the birds before I commit to buy. I can also ask the farmer about what, if any inoculations they may have had, and why.

I am all in favor of raising chickens organically and with little, if any medicines, but sometimes they might need to be medicated for one of several reasons. Keep in mind, though, what goes into your chickens, either through food or medicine, goes into you. If you spray herbicides and pesticides on your property, and the birds eat the vegetation you sprayed, it is little different than you eating the chemicals, too. (There are organic versions of pesticides and herbicides that are much safer, if you need to use these things.)

This holds true for neighboring properties if the chickens wander there. You need to be sure they are only eating and drinking fresh, clean and safe things, since what they consume will directly impact the health of you and your family.

For most people, butchering chickens actually ends up costing a little more per pound of meat than store bought, if you take into account time and equipment, but it is much healthier meat, provided you raise the birds properly. There are several pieces of equipment you will need for efficient butchering. It doesn’t need to be very expensive, but to do the job well, and do it humanely, takes some instruction and practice. I will leave that for a future article, though.

Most people, though, prefer to keep the chickens all year round and only butcher when necessary. It is more effort, but for people who like to prepare for emergencies, it’s a smarter option, too.

A live chicken will keep producing eggs, which are, ounce for ounce, one of the highest quality protein sources you will find anywhere. Once you butcher the bird, obviously, you will eat the meat and that’s it. Its usefulness as an ongoing food source just died with the bird. Also, if disaster strikes, and all your birds are butchered and in the freezer, you will have a real problem when the power goes out and they thaw.

A live chicken can also be very good in bartering. Either the whole bird (live or processed and frozen) or just the eggs. When the chicken is alive, you have more options open to you. You can always butcher them one at a time as you need to. When you do butcher a chicken, you can skin it rather than pluck it (with the feathers still attached to the skin) and use, sell or barter this for use in tying flies for fly fishermen. The cape is the area behind the neck and shoulders, and is especially good for fly tying.

With that in mind, the rest of this article will assume you will keep the flock alive all winter long.

Winter Considerations

Here are the main considerations; keeping water from freezing, ensure good coop ventilation without drafts. providing adequate and appropriate food and shelter for the climate, keeping rodents and other predators away and giving the flock ample room both in the coop and out, so they stay relatively stress free and productive.

The most any hen can produce is one egg per day. That’s it. Usually they will lay 5 or 6 a week, sometimes 7. It depends on the breed. Luckily, most of the winter hearty breeds are also some of the best layers. Barred Rocks, New Hampshire and Rhode Island Reds, Orpintons and Austalorps are dual purpose chickens, winter hearty and excellent layers of large eggs. There are other breeds as well, in this category.

When days grow shorter, hens will lay fewer eggs, and they will begin to molt (lose and regrow feathers) By adding a light in the coop and artificially extending their days to approximate summer hours, they can be made to lay more eggs, (about 16 hours of light is needed for them to lay their maximum amount of eggs) when nature tells them to slow down, but I feel it’s better to allow them their natural rhythms and cycles. They will be happier and healthier for it.

Molting requires lots of energy and nutrition, so if you make them lay more eggs at the same time you will really stress them. This is just my opinion. If you do choose to provide the extra light using a bulb, keep the wattage low. 60 watts or less is good. A timer can be used to switch the light on and off so you don’t have to get up at 2 am to do this.

I have been told by people who have really studied this topic, that the light should be turned on early in the A.M. and left on until it is light out, rather than turned on in the evening and left on all night.

A great local resource for chicken questions (and gardening questions) is your local county extension office. In New York state, Cornell University has hot lines for just such questions and they are always glad to help.

On average, hens will lay at their best until 2 or 2 ½ years old, after that production will slow. They may live for quite a few years yet, but egg production slows with each passing year and will eventually stop altogether.

If you know you require a certain quantity of eggs per day, let’s say 6 a day, then getting only 6 chickens will not be enough most of the time. They will have a day here and there when they won’t lay an egg. So, plan on having a few extra chickens to make up the difference.

Also, as chickens age, they lay fewer and fewer eggs. Usually after 4 years or so, they have about had enough. Sometimes they will still give you one, once in a while, but don’t count on it. You can butcher it or just let it live out its life with the flock.

Keep in mind, the more chickens you have in a coop in the winter, the warmer they will be, just provide enough space for them. Here is a link to a great site, “My Pet Chicken”, they have loads of good info and sell chicks and supplies, as well.

Winter Breed Choices

This link takes you to their “especially cold hearty” breed page.

http://www.mypetchicken.com/catalog/Especially-Cold-Hardy-c68.aspx

This link is to their “best layers” page http://www.mypetchicken.com/catalog/Our-Best-Layers-c67.aspx

This last link is for something unique, a “Breed Selector Tool”, enter the parameters and it tells you what breeds fit your needs. This is very good!

http://www.mypetchicken.com/chicken-breeds/which-breed-is-right-for-me.aspx

As I said earlier, start with a breed of chicken that will tolerate your winter climate. This usually means larger, dual purpose breeds. A dual purpose breed is simply a breed of bird that will provide a steady supply of eggs year round and, if necessary, be a good source of meat as well.

Birds bred in Northern climates that do well in the deeps of winter, may not do so well when the summer temps climb into the 90’s, though. You will need to provide shade and plenty of fresh water for those breeds during the summer or they will suffer and not produce many eggs.

Some of the breeds that fall into this category are, in no particular order; Rhode Island Reds, New Hampshire Reds, Barred Rocks, Australorps (mix of Australian and European breeds) Orpingtons, Dominique’s, Speckled Sussex and Wyandotte’s.

There are many others, but these are popular and easy to find. Pay attention to the colors of the adult birds if you plan on having your flock be unobtrusive and even un-noticed. The colors of the chicks are not always going to be exactly what the adult birds look like.

To be as discreet as possible, look for subdued earth tone colors and a temperament that is calm and docile and not prone to running around flapping its wings and making a racket. The sites and catalogs below will give you enough information to let you choose wisely.

This is a good article on chicken breeds from Mother Earth News. There is also a short list of mail order hatcheries there, too. http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/best-breed-of-egg-laying-chickens-zmaz03fmzgoe.aspx

All of the breeds I listed above, plus many others, will be cold hearty and lay a good amount of eggs through most of the winter, as well as be able to supply enough meat for a meal.

Here is a link to one of the most popular hatcheries in the U.S.   https://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com

Their web site and catalog will give you a good place to start to look over several breeds and see what qualities each have. If you give them a call, they will gladly let you pick their collective brains on any poultry subject.

Look for a breed with a small “comb”. Which is the fleshy, red protuberance on top of the heads of most chickens. If the comb is large and sticks up like a red glove, then it stands a chance of getting frost bite in the winter. Some people rub some Vaseline onto the comb to help prevent freezing.

Rather than try to get a chicken to cooperate for this, I find it easier to get a breed with a small “pea” comb. Look through the photos of the various breeds offered in the hatchery catalogs for a bird with a small comb.

Here is a link to Mother Earth News. They have an interactive map showing registered breeders and hatcheries, across the U.S., plus a listing of them.     http://www.motherearthnews.com/directories/hatchery-directory.aspx  

Mother Earth News and its sister publication, Grit magazine   http://www.grit.com/ are great sources for a wealth of information on many, many topics and contains ads for dozens of poultry related products.

Here is an article from Mother Earth News on raising a backyard flock ; http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/raising-chickens/raising-backyard-chickens.aspx

Okay, you have a breed chosen that will work for your climate. Now look for a coop design that will allow your birds between 2 ½ to 4 square feet of room per bird. Chickens are well insulated and many will do well in the cold. But, they need some type of shelter to protect them from wind, rain, snow, ice and summer sun. Here is a link to a lot of free chicken coop designs and plans.   http://www.todaysplans.com/free-outbuilding-plans.html#ChickenCoops

Winter Coops

Most people don’t want to spend a lot of money on a chicken coop, so scrounge around for materials.

I like to find building sites and ask permission to haul away scrap Tyvek plastic house wrap, lumber and other things. If they plan to take it to the dump, they will pay a hefty price to throw away scrap materials. Most sites would be thrilled to give you some un-needed supplies, if you ask.

In my last article I mentioned coop designs in more detail, so I won’t re hash it all here, but put some thought into the type of coop you may need, like portable chicken tractors on wheels, which you can move from spot to spot on your property, or a full-fledged hen house and complete enclosure for the ultimate in security for the flock.

I built my most recent coop attached right to my back porch. I extended the roof about 3 feet further than the porch and built a narrow coop whose floor is level with the porch floor, about 3 feet off the ground. I used plywood and T-111 siding and it is almost unnoticeable.

The birds can stay sheltered under the porch or go into the fenced yard to forage, as they see fit. I used two old windows on opposite ends of the coop so they have plenty of natural light and I can control ventilation. I attached a section of an old dog crate (heavy wire cage section) over the window to keep predators out when the window is open.

Let’s get to some specifics about how your coop should be designed for the winter.

The rule of thumb for space is between 2 ½ to 4 square feet per bird. Less than that and they’ll peck at each other and be too stressed to lay well. Too much room, though will make it harder for the chicken’s body heat to keep it warm, without a heat source.

Overcrowding can lead to pecking due to stress and can lead to infection very quickly, which can be a real problem if they are confined much.

They should have roosting bars to perch on. This is a natural behavior for them and keeps them up off the cold floor. During the day they will need to come down from their perch to eat, drink, lay eggs and socialize, whether they are in a coop or not.           

(photo courtesy of www.raising-chickens.org.)

(photo courtesy of www.raising-chickens.org.)

They need nesting boxes to lay eggs in. Any semi enclosed area will do, usually raised up off the floor a little. You can buy wooden or plastic nesting boxes but it’s very simple to construct one yourself. The hens will share boxes. You don’t need one nesting box per hen. One box for every 3 or 4 hens, is fine. Take a look at the link to coop designs, above to see examples.

Here is a link to an article from Mother Earth News on coops:
 http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/easy-backyard-chicken-coops.aspx

Here is another one:   http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/portable-chicken-mini-coop-plan-zmaz07amzsel.aspx

This is a link to the coops offered by “My Pet Chicken”http://www.mypetchicken.com/catalog/Chicken-Coops-c3.aspx

By looking over these types of coops, you will get a feel for what will work for you. It’s always a good idea to leave room for more birds if you choose to expand the flock a bit in the future.        

Below are 2 photos of a pre-made nesting boxes, from My Pet Chicken:

nesting-box1 nesting-box2

I’d rather make my own out of scrap wood but plenty of people buy them.

Hens will share the boxes to lay eggs in. For example, if you have 6 hens, 2 or maybe 3 nesting boxes would be plenty. Build them a foot or more off the floor of the coop to deter them from leaving too much manure in. Many people also put a slanted top on them, to prevent them from hanging out or perching on the boxes, again leaving manure over them. Keep fresh litter in them, like wood shavings or straw. (never use hay! It does not absorb much manure and your chickens will end up getting sick. If that happens, you will need antibiotics for them, and you should not eat the eggs they lay while they are being medicated.)

The bedding material, with the manure, is perfect for using in a compost pile! Be sure to let it decompose for at least a few months before adding to your garden. The manure is very high in nitrogen and will “burn” your plants.

This a link to a blog post with more tips for keeping chickens in winter.                                                                 http://blog.mypetchicken.com/2012/11/16/cold-weather-chickens-8-things-not-to-do/

Composting in the coop

Composting can also be done in the coop. Layer the floor with straw or whatever bedding you use and vegetable scraps all summer long. Put down some straw, then some kitchen scraps in alternating layers (never use meat). Sprinkle a little water on the layers and let the chickens scratch it all up.

Soon the bacteria will start to break down the pile, giving off quite a lot of heat in the process. Let it accumulate until it is at least a foot deep. This is called the “deep Litter” method, and it works beautifully. In the spring, clean it out and add it to the garden compost pile. It not only keeps the birds warm without electricity and the risk of fire, but it allows the composting action to continue all winter.

In an outdoor compost pile, when the temps drop too low, decomposition stops until it warms up again in spring. You can (and should) continue to add to your regular pile all winter, though. This is another example of how raising chickens goes hand in hand with gardening. Your flock will love the vegetable waste and scraps, and their manure is a great addition to the compost pile. Everything comes full circle.              

What to feed your flock in the winter.

Like humans, they benefit from extra calories in very cold weather to help stay warm.

Commercial “layer” feed is pretty good. You can get organic feed, if you wish but it is expensive and not that easy to find. For the most part, commercial feed comes in 2 forms. Crumbles and pellets. Crumbles look like Grape Nuts cereal or granola. All chickens will readily eat this. Pelleted feed looks like pellets for a pellet stove. Mine have always liked the pellets, but either is fine. Give them unrestricted access to feed and fresh water.

Laying hens will also need a calcium supplement if they are to be in a coop, especially in the winter. Laying hens need extra calcium because to make the egg and shells require extra calcium. If they don’t have it supplied, calcium will be leached from their systems, usually from the bones. Most people buy crushed oyster shells, which come in small, but heavy (50 lb.) bags for only a few dollars, and are available at all farm and feed stores that sell animal feed.

You can mix some of this into the feed or you can offer it to them in a separate feeder. This is called “free choice”. Personally, I never saw the benefit of giving chickens a choice, but many people prefer to.

Another requirement for a flock is “grit”. All chickens will need this. Tiny pebbles / sand like particles that will grind up and help digest food in lieu of teeth. If the chickens have access to the outdoors, they will get all the grit they need on their own, but if they are inside a coop for a long time, you need to provide this, too. Every feed store sells these things in various sizes for only a few dollars. I always store the feed in Galvanized steel trash cans. This will help keep rodents out.

To help them stay warm, it’s good to supplement their regular diet with some whole corn and / or black oil sunflower seeds. They don’t need huge amounts of these. Just mix some in with the regular food and give some before they go into the coop at night.

You can use striped sunflower seeds, but the black oil seeds have a higher oil and calorie content. I have found that cracked corn can scratch a chicken’s throat and other digestive tract organs, so use the whole corn, for adult birds. The adult chicken can easily swallow a whole corn kernel, but if your birds are still young; the whole corn may be too big. The black oil sunflower seeds give them more calories / energy than corn and will be easy for birds of all ages to eat. There are also many types of treats sold to give them more calories.

This is a link to good chicken products for the winter. www.mypetchicken.com sells these products.

http://www.mypetchicken.com/catalog/Feeders-and-Waterers/Heated-Pet-Bowl-p482.aspx?gclid=CN-SlJzO8MgCFZGRHwodZrgKwg

Ventilation

Ventilation is critical to your chickens, especially in winter. If they are “cooped up” in bad weather, be sure there are no drafts on them. But, be sure to have plenty of ventilation in a spot in the coop. Chickens breath as well as their manure contain a lot of moisture.

This moisture will build up in the coop and will make it harder for your flock to stay warm. I like to have 2 old windows installed in the coop, that I can open and close depending on the weather. Put one down low and one up above the highest point the birds have access to. This lets in fresh air at the bottom

and the moist air exits at the top. Be sure to cover them in hardware cloth to prevent predators from entering.

Water Considerations

You also need to keep the water from freezing. The easiest ways to do this are products made to keep the water above freezing all the time.

See some products offered for this, in the above link. I use a heated dog water bowl mostly, but I keep it outside. If it were on the floor of the coop, they would walk through it and poop in it. The water will be fouled and their feet would freeze. Outside, at least for me, works best.

To keep water in the coop, you must be sure whatever container you choose is not located under the roosting bars, or manure will just go right into it. You can use a heated metal base and a waterer that sits on top of it. As long as it is several inches off the floor, it should stay clean. Be sure the electrical cord is not accessible to them. Run it through a piece of PVC or something similar. Some waterers have the a/c cord covered in wire to keep the chickens from pecking at it, like the green water bowl, below.

The red and white waterer is heated and can be either suspended off the floor (usually at the level of the birds’ backs to help keep the water clean). The Galvanized metal heated base at the left is meant to use with a metal waterer, not a plastic one.

Below left is an example of a basic feeder. Like the hanging waterer, it should be suspended off the ground to keep it free of bedding and manure. 

galvanized-feeder normal-feeder
green-hanger red-white

These products and others are available at www.mypetchicken.com

Bio-Security and the Avian Flu

Now some information on bio security and the Avian flu.

The USDA has some suggestions for owners of “backyard” chicken flocks.

  • Restrict access to the yard. Do not allow anyone in who does not have to be there.
  • Always wash your hands before and after handling birds or any equipment used in their care.
  • Wash and disinfect your equipment, clothing, shoes and any equipment that were in the chicken’s area.
  • Do not borrow tools or equipment from anyone who also raises birds. (any type)
  • If you are near other flocks of chickens, wash and disinfect hands, clothing, shoes and equipment before returning home.
  • Learn about warning signs of the Avian Flu, and what to do if signs are present. Mainly, upper respiratory distress like sneezing and runny discharge from nose. Watery or green diarrhea, loss of energy or appetite, sudden decrease in egg production.
  • Swelling of eyes, neck and head
  • Purple discoloration of waddles, combs and legs.

If any of these signs are present call your local or state veterinarians or call the USDA at 1-866-536-7593

This is a link to a USDA article (PDF) on questions and answers regarding the flu. http://www.usda.gov/documents/avian-influenza-protect-birds-qa.pdf

This link takes you to the USDA site on the page dealing with Avian Flu. There is a lot of very good info. Here. http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=avian_influenza.html

Another very good USDA link to a very recent Avian Flu page. https://www.aphis.usda.gov/wps/portal/aphis/home/!ut/p/a1/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfGjzOK9_D2MDJ0MjDz9vT3NDDz9woIMnDxcDA2CjYEKIoEKDHAARwNC-sP1o8BKnN0dPUzMfYB6TCyMDDxdgPLmlr4GBp5mUAV4rCjIjTDIdFRUBADp5_lR/?1dmy&urile=wcm%3apath%3a%2Faphis_content_library%2Fsa_our_focus%2Fsa_animal_health%2Fsa_animal_disease_information%2Fsa_avian_health%2Fct_avian_influenza_disease

This last one is to a PDF article from the CDC on Avian Flu and other pandemics. http://ftp.cdc.gov/pub/phlpprep/Legal%20Preparedness%20for%20Pandemic%20Flu/8.0%20-%20Non-Governmental%20Materials/8.1%20ABA%20Journal%20-%20Avian%20Flu%20Time%20Bomb.pdf

Conclusion

I hope this article provided you with some good information about raising chickens at home. I think that having your own flock is one of the best ways to insure you and your family will have fresh and high quality food for years to come. Once the flock is established, maintaining them is very simple and does not take more than 15 minutes a day, usually. Read the information the links provide for more in-depth information on the various topics.

Take the time to talk to people who have been raising chickens also. Keep in mind everyone has a different opinion on how things should be done, and there are usually many good ways that will work. It is well worth the time and effort , in my opinion to start raising chickens, even on a very small scale.

From the Desk of John Rourke – November 30th, 2015

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I sincerely hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!! Mine went very well. As usual I ate too much and the tryptophan in the turkey knocked me out.

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Reader C.D. sent this in – CMP WIll Get 100,000 1911 Pistols

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I have not had cable or satellite for a couple of years. This affords me an opportunity to “tune out” of current events at times. Over the Thanksgiving holiday I watched no news and stayed away from Drudge Report or any other news site. This provided some very stress free and welcome days. Think we all need that once in awhile.

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I found that the trigger was adjustable on my Winchester Model 70. What a difference!! It was extremely heavy and by making this adjustment the accuracy should improve dramatically.

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Pet Preparedness – something I hardly ever see anything about. I have started stocking up on dry food for my dogs. Both husky’s eat Rachael Ray ZERO Grain dog food. They are packed in thick plastic bags with a expiration date close to a year away.

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Enjoy!

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Body Armor Test – Part 1

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Every time I get around other like-minded folks the topic of firearms always comes up. What do you have? What do you recommend? What is the minimum number of magazines to have? What do you consider to be a good minimum amount of ammo to put back? Ak or AR? 9mm or 40S&W or 45ACP? It goes on and on. You know a question I have never been asked?

“Hey, what kind of armor do you have?”

Nope – never been asked. The reality is preppers spend a ton of money on guns and ammo preparing for possible defensive situations and most preppers don’t consider body armor. Maybe the reason is all the time spent at the range shooting and hitting targets that don’t shoot back. Maybe it’s denial. Maybe spending a few hundred dollars on a hunk of metal or ceramic just isn’t as “cool” as a new gun. The reality is if a firefight happens and triggers are getting pulled rounds will go in both directions. Body armor just might save a life.

I have been slowly accumulating body armor vests and plates over the past few years. A couple months ago I contacted ModernSurvivalOnline sponsor SafeGuardArmor.com to get me a steel plate. Although not something they normally carry they we able to source a plate for me.

 

Levels of Protection

To summarize there are different levels of protection provided by body armor. These are generally categorized by a specific “Level”.  The chart below shows the different levels of protection and corresponding ammunition that specific level protects against. The higher the level the higher the level of protection.

The plate provided by Safeguard Armor is rated Level III.

 

NIJ Ballistic Chart

 

How Plates Are Carried

Plates are carried in plate carriers. These are vests provide a “pocket” on the front/back, and sometimes on the sides which plates are placed in. The plates ride in the carrier and cover vital areas.

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Rourke’s Condor Modular Operator Plate Carrier – his current setup

 

Testing and Protection Demonstration

This initial testing included shooting a variety of calibers I had on hand. Part 2 will include additional calibers which should fit within the plates Level III rating.

plate1 (1)

Level III plate ready for punishment.

 

plate2 (1)

A couple shots of 115-gr FMJ 9mm had very little effect on the plate other than paint removal.

 

plate3 (1)

Standard 55-gr .223 Remington  – nothing more than paint removal.

 

plate4 (1)

This photo shows both the 9mm and .223 Remington hits.

 

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The Winchester BRI Sabot Slug fires a .50 caliber hour-glass 437 grain slug at around 1375 fps. Say you want a .50 caliber? Throw a Sabot Slug in your 12 gauge and you have one.

 

plate5 (1)

The 12 gauge Sabot Slug hits with tremendous power – but still no damage to the plate.

 

plate6 (1)

Here is a close up of the Winchester BRI 12 gauge sabot slug’s impact.

 

plate7 (1)

After this initial testing the back of the plate shows no deformity or damage at all.

 

In a few weeks I will be back out on the range punishing this plate with some additional calibers – including those that should push its limit.

I want to give a “shout out” to Safeguard Armor for sourcing this plate. If you are interested in body armor they carry a huge variety and are one of the industry leaders. As a sponsor of this website they help support me so I can keep being here for you.

Stay tuned for Part 2.

Rourke

 

US Dollar On Global Hitlist- Dr Kirk Elliot- Pt 2

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Dr Kirk Elliot of the McAlvany Financial Group is back on the show for part two of our interview. We talk about a financial event which will affect us all that he says already happened. He explains what is going on behind the scenes and tells us how we can prepare for the impact.

In The Days of Noah, Book Three: Perdition, a global empire arises  from the ashes of the world that was. The emerging order is unified by a new global currency and a single world religion which are mandated by an imposed UN treaty.  Noah Parker’s family refuses to take the IMF implant required for buying and selling in the new  system, and are hunted down like common criminals for daring to resist the state. Noah will have to rely on faith and wits to endure the powers of darkness which are quickly consuming the earth.
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Today’s Prepper Recon Podcast sponsor is CampingSurvival.com. Whether your plan is to bug in or bug out, they have all of your preparedness needs including; bug out bags, long term food storage, water filters, gas masks, and first aid kits. Use coupon code PREPPERRECON to get 5% off your entire order at Camping Survival.

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The dollar has lost over 90% of its purchasing power since 1971. Silver, on the other hand, has proved to be a very stable form of wealth preservation over the years. And where do you buy silver? Silver.com of course. Silver.com offers fantastic prices on silver and gold. Check out Silver.com today.

Happy Prepping!

Mark

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18 Alternative Uses for Plastic Milk Jugs

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If you plan on living through a major disaster or economic collapse, you’re going to need a certain amount of ingenuity. Almost everything around you has multiple uses if you know how to think outside the box. Nothing is “just a can” or “just a bag” or “just […]

The post 18 Alternative Uses for Plastic Milk Jugs appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Solar myths debunked video

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spmI hear people talking about solar power and they believe half truths and outright lies, they aren’t bad people, they are just repeating what they have heard, sometimes it’s old information, sometimes it’s info that may be true for one part of the country, but not for another.

One of the biggest myths is solar power is too expensive, that was true, but now solar panels have dropped so much in price, it’s very inexpensive to buy solar panels now, and the price continues to drop.

Another myth is it’s too hard to do, I say bovine excrement, a quick trip to the library, or better yet, a bit of time on the internet and you can learn how to install a simple solar system, of course when you are getting into grid tied or larger systems, it’s good to have an expert working for you. But it’s really simple to set up a small system, make a small backup system for yourself, power a shed, do this so you can learn about how this works, that way if/when you do go for the bigger system, you will have more knowledge about it and are less likely to get ripped off or get talked into something you don’t want or need.

Here is a great video with Starry Hilder talking about the myths of solar power, enjoy!

https://youtu.be/O5zd5uLfssc

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What Are Your Survival Objectives ?

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  It is not really possible to prepare for survival objectives without first defining what you plan to do.

Is your objective to merely remain alive through a short term or longer term regional difficulty ?

Is your objective to remain comfortable with all your modern day creature comforts through an unanticipated disaster until the grocery stores open once again ?   This is the objective of most preppers. They seek to maintain the modern lifestyle to which they have become accustomed. They wish to maintain comfort throughout a short duration interruption of some type.

This is not really my objective.  I have always approached preparedness with a different personal view.

Over the last thirty years my objective has been to remain alive throughout a variety of potential natural or man-made disasters for the purpose of rendering aid to my children, some of whom have medical issues.  Because no man is an island, and because we all depend upon others in some manner or another, my objective has also been to render reasonable medical and other aid to people known to us following such a disaster.     Certainly, because my children have specific medical needs, and many of my neighbors do as well, therefore I require more supplies than someone whose basic objective is solitary survival.

 


            I have shared my personal perspective because it is important when gathering preparedness supplies to carefully define in advance what you need.    If you spend money on a vehicle which can evacuate six and you are a widow who owns a ferret, you may have misappropriated assets.    Everyone’s assets are limited, regardless of your present perception or misperception as the case may be, of wealth.  Money comes and money goes, much faster than we can hold on to it.  Reversals in health alone can turn us from wealthy to being a pauper within a year, and insurance often will not pay for the best care or for some of the best treatments deemed experimental at that particular juncture in time.

           Stop gathering supplies for a moment, just long enough to truly assess your objectives.   Are you in a small enough rental home that you could not stockpile and remain there anyway throughout a protracted emergency ?   If you are, then perhaps the better objective would be collecting less, remaining mobile from that location, and saving for a home elsewhere.

           People who are in a permanent home, one that is paid off have the luxury of gathering and layering preps.  However, they are vulnerable to natural disasters such as floods and forest fires that could decimate that home and those preps.  They might also make the mistake of heavily leaning on sheltering in place without giving adequate attention to planning for a family evacuation, especially with animals.

           Those who are in a rental home might feel that they can’t gather preps as they might wish, because ultimately they must move them.  However, they may have the advantage in that they may be able to relocate and evacuate their family and possessions more easily than those who see themselves in a permanent base and have stocked accordingly. 

 

Make sure that both sheltering in place and family evacuation plans are made for your pets also.



          What are your objectives ?      Under what circumstances would you shelter in place ?
What would it take for you, your family and pets evacuate prior to being told to do so.  Where would you go ?    Before stocking up and spending a lot of money on prepper supplies, vehicles, or anything else, consider this, and craft a personal plan.    Your plan needs to be personalized and may not resemble the plan of your brother or your neighbor.

               How long could you and your family shelter without obtaining supplies from other locations ?   Remember that a journey of a thousand steps starts with just a few.

     More information on this at:

  Rational Preparedness: A Primer to Preparedness



Terrain Association

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“A good view will help to form a picture of the shape, the patterns and grain of the land itself.  High ground will tell a story of the geological formations and erosion.”

                                    The Natural Navigator by Tristan Gooley


Terrain association is a key step in land navigation.  While the topographic (topo) map identifies terrain features through the use of contour lines, colors and symbols, terrain association is a process of confirmation of map to land features.


In the field a key step in terrain association is to orient the topo.

High Tech Prepping: How To Get Free Topographic Maps Using Your Computer

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Best Maps for Survival

Are you using available technology to help you with your preparations for when TSHTF?  If you’re a Luddite then this post is not Top Survival Blogfor you; however, if you own a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer then this post will show you how to obtain and use free topographic maps.  You might ask the question, “If we’re using high tech why not use a GPS?”  Great question.  The way I use technology is to assist me now while the grid is still up.

By Jarhead Survivor, a contributing author SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

The way I use technology is to assist me now while the grid is still up.  Creating lists, downloading and printing maps, using online resources such as SHTFBlog and Survival Cache, looking at gear reviews, etc.  If you’re planning on using your GPS endlessly after the grid goes down I’m afraid you’re going to be stuck somewhere up a river without a paddle.  The batteries in your devices will eventually die.  Are you prepared for that?  There’s a hundred uses for technology if you have it available and you’re not afraid of it.  Let’s get started.

Stuff You’ll Need

Here’s a list of software that I use.  I’ll lay it out and show you how you could also use other software.  First, I’m using Windows 10 on a Microsoft Surface 3 Pro.  I use Windows Edge or Internet Explorer as a browser, and Microsoft OneNote to capture and manipulate images.  This could easily be done on Windows 7 or Windows 8.  You can use Google Chrome or Firefox as a browser, and there’s a free tool in Windows 7 under accessories called the Snipping Tool, that allows you to capture images off the screen.

OneNote is awesome for a bunch of different reasons.  It’s a free download and all you need is a Microsoft account in order to use it.  This is one of the few pieces of software out there that I really recommend.  I basically run my life off OneNote.  If there’s enough interest I’ll write another post about it in future and how I use it for prepping if anybody is interested.  There’s also a similar piece of software called Evernote, which is just as awesome.

Free Topographic Maps

Who doesn’t love free stuff?  I like Google maps and use it fairly extensively, but I still like topographic maps when I’m out doing Land Navigation.  As is true with nearly everything these days there are other ways to do what I’m about to show you, but the following method works best for me.

To get topographic maps follow this link.  This link should bring up the following page.

image

 

Use your mouse (click and drag) to get to the area you want then use the scroll button on your mouse to zoom in.  You can use the pinch method on a touch screen if you’re using a tablet.  Here’s what Maine looks like as I start to zoom in:

 

image

 

The red squares are quadrangles that indicate areas that have corresponding maps.  Zoom in some more until you get to the level of detail you want.  Here’s a screen shot of West Rockport in Maine in an area in the hills I’ve hiked often:

 

image

 

This is smaller than what I can see on my screen, but now you can see roads, lakes, contour lines, etc.  Basically all the details that make a topographic map what it is.  Now it’s time to actually get a screen shot and paste the pictures into OneNote or whatever software you use.  When you download and install OneNote you should see a another tool called “Send to OneNote”.  It’s small icon that looks like this:

 

image

 

If you’re running Windows 7 and didn’t download OneNote you can always use the Snipping Tool under the Accessories menu.  When you have the map just the way you like it click the Send To OneNote icon on the tool bar at the bottom of the screen and it will pop up a screen like the one below.  Click “Screen Clipping” and the screen will darken up a little.  That’s Windows way of telling you that it’s ready for you to make a selection.  I start at the top left corner of the area I want to highlight then click and hold the left mouse button and drag down and right until the area I want is highlighted.

 

image

 

 

Let go of the left mouse button and a screen like the one below will appear.  I usually choose “Copy to Clipboard”, which takes your selection and stores it in memory.

 

image

 

 

You can paste it into just about any word processor or graphics program.  Again, I like OneNote for it’s versatility so I’m going to paste it there.  I go to OneNote and create a new page, then I can either Right Click and choose paste or just hit the Ctrl – V shortcut on the keyboard and paste it in.

 

image

In the above graphic you can see I’ve named it Spruce and Ragged Mountain Map.  The cool thing is that you can copy and paste as many maps as you want then print them out when you’re ready to use them on a trip.  Below is a printed version on my black and white laser printer.  If you print these out on a color printer they look great and work great too.  I’ve got many of these black and white maps of various areas here in Maine.

 

map

 

Magnetic Declination

We now have the map of our area, but we aren’t quite done yet.  If you’ve used a map and compass before you know that you have to adjust for the magnetic declination in your area.  To find out what it is in your area click here.

Enter your city and state,  click SEARCH MAP and you’ll get a screen back like this:

image

 

In the white information portion on the map you’ll see where it says Magnetic declination:  -15 degrees 51’

I’m just going to use 15 degrees as my declination, so I write that at the bottom of my map.  I can even put it in the same type of graph you’d find on a real map.

 

image

 

It’s a little crude, but it conveys the necessary information.  Now I know what I need to use in order to convert from grid to magnetic and vice versa.  If you don’t know how to do this don’t worry.  I’m getting ready to write a series of posts about map reading/land navigation coming up.  You might also want to check out my YouTube channel for more info on this topic.

Use It!

You now have a perfectly good map to use when you’re out on your land nav trips.  Many of you probably use a GPS when out hiking, but I encourage you to start taking a map and compass when you go out and track your progress on a real map.  That way when the batteries die on your GPS you’ll have a backup and the knowledge on how to use them to get where you’re going.

Questions?  Comments?
Sound off below!
-Jarhead Survivor

Photos By:
MSSCoventry

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Water Dowsing

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My grandfather was a huge believer in dowsing. We lived out in the boondocks and he used it to find water for their well.

He always told me that he only dowsed for need. If he felt like he was tired or not relaxed enough to dowse then he would stop. Either let someone else do it or wait until he felt that the answers were coming naturally. I can still see him walking slowly around the 3 acres they had looking for water. He went over it a few times to make sure and each time he got the same answer and they had water the whole time they were out there! 

You can get a ton of information online about dowsing for water and go from there. 

November 2015 EDC Purse Dump

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November 2015 EDC Purse Dump

1. Xyla Ricochet Mints With Xylitol 2. Fenix UC40 Ultra Edition LED Flashlight 3. Kershaw Shuffle White Handle Folding Knife – Review. 4. Hillbilly Bonez “CLD” ( Custom Length Design ) Knife Lanyard 5. Nivea Hydro Car Lip Balm Chap Stick

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


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

Long Weekend

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I hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving.

This was a long and rainy weekend. We broke the all time record on the wettest year here in North Texas. With over ten inches in the past four days, it would be an understatement to say most outdoor activities was a challenge.

We did however get some work done.

Wednesday afternoon right before the rains hit, my dad, my the oldest girl Jessie and myself were able to get the tin installed underneath the front porch. Now we can at least stand outside in the rain and not get wet. I still have to trim around the posts, but that can
wait for another day. 

I finally got the sink installed and functional in the kitchen. The one thing Candy asked for this winter was to be able to do the dishes in the house, off the front porch and out of the cold. I figured I could at least do that for her. Plus, frozen water on dishes just don’t do well.

And we also got the carpet in the bedroom loft installed. All I have left as far as the house is the trim and floors in the kitchen/living section. Then it will be time to start on the outdoor Kitchen/Eating area.

It’s Sunday and all is quiet now. All the family has left and the Thanksgiving left overs are all gone.
Tomorrow it’s back to the grind and everything will be back to the normal day to day activities of life. It’s kinda sad in a way but I guess it’s the way it has to be.

We will see what I can get done this week.
Have a safe one.

Jerry

IIITrust

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Here’s some thoughts from Sparks on this very important topic.

_____________________________________________________

I only trust (on a personal level) three public figures in the so-called “3%” scene.

The first I’ve known almost 20 years, and was introduced to me by a friend whom I’ve known even longer than that, back when I lived in New York.  However, the fact that I’ve said he’s a public figure in the 3% scene will probably now require me to buy him a bottle of Class 6 Holy Water as an apology.

The second used to indirectly work with a former co-worker (and close personal friend) of a family member.  The circumstances of that job engender a level of trust from that one degree of separation.

The third person knows and worked with the first person.  Again, the circumstances of that job engender a level of trust from that one degree of separation.

Do you see the trend here?

Now I may not necessarily agree with them 100% of the time, but I have at least personally vetted them to a point where a certain level of trust can be granted to them.

When you meet someone for the first time in the 3% scene, can you trust them?

Probably not.

And yes, it’s a scene, not a movement. There is no unified national leadership with committees of correspondence to interface on the local level.  There is not unified support group where members can receive assistance when things go awry.  I only know of one person who has the technical ability to turn it into a movement.  That’s person #1, he’s not interested, and many of you don’t like him.

Now after you’ve gotten to know that person for a few years, worked with them on some projects, taken the time to vet them, and gotten to know them, then you might want to consider extending a certain level of trust to them.

Back when I wrote “the book” (available for free download and hard-copy purchase by clicking here), I talked about group formation in a lone wolf context.  I wrote that back in 2009, and my attitude hasn’t changed since then.  It doesn’t address national level organization, but if you’re that good you don’t need my book.  What it does address is organization on a smaller, more personal level, which is where you need to start.

Sparks

_____________________________________________________

JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

Grass-Fed Or Grain-Fed Cows For The Homestead?

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Grass-Fed Or Grain-Fed Cows For The Homestead?

Image source: Pixabay.com

You hear a lot of talk these days about grass-fed beef. You might be thinking: What’s the big deal? Don’t all cows eat grass?

Well, yes and no. Except in some extreme cases, most cattle get some kind of grass or hay as roughage in their daily rations. After all, they are herbivores.

The real question is: What is the main nutrition source of their diet — grass or grain?

Most cattle in the United States are fed grain and given hay, pasture and in some cases silage as part of their daily diet.

Which is better: grass-fed or grain-fed? Rather than launch into the pros and cons of the meat and health qualities, let’s look at the considerations you’ll need to weigh before deciding which might be a better fit for your homestead.

Everything You Need To Know To Keep A Cow Healthy, Happy, And Productive…

Raising a cow on a 100 percent forage diet means having enough high-quality pasture and hay to feed them. If you have access to that kind of pasture and even better, land to raise hay, grass-fed could be a great option.

How much pasture will you need per cow? There is no definitive answer. It depends on several factors, such as quality of forage, soil type and rain fall in your area.

A good place to start would be two acres per cow and then closely monitor both the condition of the cows and the pasture.

Grass-Fed Or Grain-Fed Cows For The Homestead?

Image source: Pixabay.com

You’re looking for the sweet spot of not over-grazed but not under-grazed to the point it gets too mature before the cattle can graze it off. If you have enough pasture, this is easily kept in balance by sectioning off the field and rotating the cattle through it.

If you don’t have much land and you’ll be purchasing hay, you should consider using pasture as much as possible and supplementing with hay and grain.

Many farms feed some grain to compensate for low-quality pasture and hay. Let the condition of the cattle dictate if they need grain.

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

If you want to raise 100 percent grass-fed cattle, you’ll need to make a commitment to creating and maintaining high-quality pasture. Look for cattle that will thrive on a forage-only diet.

Many times, it’s a good option to start out with the mindset of supplementing with grain and working to cut the consumption as much as possible until you learn the ropes of pasture management and hay selection.

Keep in mind that your particular philosophy of raising cattle is of no concern to the cows. They simply want to be well-fed.

If you can do that on 100 percent forage, I think that’s great. If it takes some grain to pull it off, feed some grain.

Either way, you will know exactly how your beef is raised. That’s more than most Americans can say.

What is your preference: grass-fed or grain-fed? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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

Food Storage Recipe – Oatmeal Milk Frozen Coffee

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We love making and drinking Oatmeal Milk! My daughter takes it and makes these frozen coffee drinks that are absolutely delicious!! Plus saves you the money that you would have spent on a frappe out of the home. They are over $3.00 , so if you buy one everyday that is at least $20.00 a week that you are saving. They can be even more at some places.

All you need is 1 cup of coffee that you had frozen.

2 cups of your homemade oatmeal milk

1 cup of ice

Put all of this in the blender and turn it on high.

Blend until the ice is all blended up well.

Pour into your big cup and enjoy.

These are extra good in the summer , but we drink them all year long. We also enjoy ice cream more in the winter also.

What types of “summer” foods do you enjoy in the winter???

Urban Survival Mistakes That Can Make Things Worse

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Survival is something we all experience in our everyday lives; we may not notice it but life itself is an act survival. We may or may not be going through extreme conditions or something that particularly characterizes as disaster but small things like running out of water, shortage of supplies, going broke or your truck […]

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Getting Ready For Heavy Snows

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Heavy Snow Fall

The following are terms you may hear, and what they mean, when forecasters are talking about winter weather storms.

  • Winter Storm Outlook – Winter storm conditions are possible in the next 2 to 5 days.
  • Winter Weather Advisory – Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.
  • Winter Storm Watch – Winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions.
  • Winter Storm Warning – Life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. People in warned areas should take precautions immediately (American Red Cross, 2015). 

Unfortunately, governmental agencies still recommend only a three day supply of emergency food, water and other necessities. Granted, they do state “at least a three day supply” is recommended.  The mantra they all sing about a three day supply of emergency supplies is outdated, whether they believe it or not.

However, they need to get in line with reality in our opinion, because based on past events it can take up to three days to get the word out there even is a crisis. This may be overstating it, but the point is a three day supply is probably not going to be enough. One week should be the minimum amount you have on hand. 

Remarkably some of the emergency agencies during past events shuttered their doors due to the weather emergency and simply did not even attempt to reach the affected areas. Once again you are on your own. It can take longer than three days for the road crews to reach your street so you can get out to the grocery store.

Planning Organization and Yes You Need Some Common Sense

Organization is important, and one of the first things you should do is to gather your important documents. Insurance papers, phone numbers, important addresses and so on can be bundled and placed in weather resistant packaging. Bundle the documents so they can be carried with you in the event you have to evacuate.

Gather information by television and radio and avoid rumors from social media sites. The biggest problem with some, if not most of the sites is that much of the information is not vetted. You simply have no way of knowing whether something is true or not, so avoid reacting to any information or rumors posted on a friend’s page for example.

You cannot run out the same day the storm is predicted, and expect to get what you need. Meteorologists know days in advance if a storm is likely or even possible, but this should not make any difference to you, because it is winter, and you should assume, you would get winter weather, severe winter weather that may leave you house bound. Expect it to happen, and do not wait for forecasters to tell you. Be ready for it.

Unless there is some emergency other than the storm that would cause you to drive, then plan to stay off the roads. Leaving in a snowstorm in your vehicle only creates another opportunity for things to go wrong. With that being said however, keep you vehicles’ fuel tank full during the winter months and always have emergency supplies in the vehicle above and beyond what is kept in the home. Each emergency cache of supplies whether they are at the office, home, buried somewhere, or in your vehicle, should all be stand alone caches capable of sustaining you during any crisis.

Everyone loves a checklist. A box can be checked and then people can rest assured they are ready, because they have checked all the boxes. If only it were that easy.

Every situation is different however, so you start with the basics that are on every list like food, water, medical supplies, medicines, candles, flashlights, batteries, lanterns, portable toilets, or buckets, propane camp stoves, gel heat cans and entertainment for the kids. Once the basics are checked off then you look at the bigger picture.

Heavy snow means weight on roofs, and tree limbs. Do you have the means to remove snow from your roof to keep it from collapsing? A snow rake may need to go on your list.

Can you cut up limbs or trees that have fallen across the driveway or even against the home, or on the roof? Maybe a chainsaw and fuel for it should be on the check list. What about ice melt for those icy sidewalks and back steps, add and check off.

What about a snow blower or a good snow shovel, are they are the list. A foot of snow in the driveway means you cannot get out of the driveway, and emergency responders may not be able to get to the front door easily if there is an emergency. Snow shovel check it off.

Snow sleds are not just for kids. The sleds can be used to pull supplies, pull firewood from the stack out back, or to pull groceries home from the store. Put sleds on the check list, and add some paracord so you can attach it to the sled.

If you think about it, you know what you need to survive a week in your home, but people tend to put things off, because they do not want to spend money on supplies or items they may not use. You will use whatever emergency supplies you buy though. There are more than enough emergencies to go around. You will need the supplies at some point.

You should be ready at all times and not just think about getting ready when you hear the meteorologists say a big one is headed your way.

American Red Cross. (2015). Retrieved 2015, from http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm

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Top 10 Chemicals Food Labels Won’t Tell You About

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big 10 chemicals

Unless you grow all of your own food, you have no way of knowing exactly what you’re putting into your body. Even then, up to 90 percent of all ground water contains at least trace amounts of pesticides and herbicides due to run-off. A simple can of green beans or a bottle of water can contain toxins that aren’t even listed on the label.

The bottom line: food labels are confusing and often misleading. For that matter, many of the chemicals in your food aren’t even LISTED on the label. Those are the ones that we’re going to discuss today.

  1. GMOs

During the Green Revolution that occurred post-WWII, scientists started fiddling with genetically hybridizing different types of wheat and in order to increase yield and disease resistance. The movement was led by a guy named Norman Borlaug, who actually won the Nobel Peace Prize for “saving 1 billion lives.”

One of the initiatives that he led developed a new, high-yielding species of a semi-dwarf wheat that, when grown with certain pesticides and fertilizers, increased wheat yields exponentially. The goal of solving world hunger was met but many believe that it was at the cost of the nutritional value of wheat and the health of the general population.

GMOs are also used in growing soybeans and cotton. Though the USDA declares that GMOs are safe, there are independent studies that show that they aren’t.

These studies have shown that foods that have GMOs may be linked to organ failure and sterility in later generations of lab animals. GMO wheat may also explain why so many more people are developing issues with gluten, though the studies comparing gluten levels in GMO wheat compared to wheat grown 100 years ago are divided.

2. Artificial Sweeteners

Basically, aspartame, saccharine, sucralose and sorbitol are man-made chemicals used to add sweetness to food without adding calories. The FDA says they’re safe even though they’ve been linked, depending on which one you look at, to central nervous system damage, cancer, metabolic changes, dizziness, headaches and hallucinations (which I personally think is a side effect of central nervous system damage, but that’s just my opinion).

They also may cause over-eating because your brain thinks that it’s getting sweets because your taste buds say so, but when no carbs show up, the craving continues. Also, people think that since it’s no-calorie, they can eat with abandon. Products with artificial sweeteners often contain other undesirable chemicals as well.

3. Potassium Benzoate and Sodium Benzoate

These are often added to foods and carbonated beverages to prevent the growth of mold, give a product longer shelf life, and to prevent fats from going rancid. Benzene, the chemical additive in both, is a known carcinogen and has also been linked to thyroid damage, heart problems, asthma, skin problems, allergies, and can affect estrogen levels. But at least your food won’t go bad. Hmph. You’ll often see these listed as BHA, BHT, or TBHQ, if they’re listed at all.

4. Artificial Flavorings and Colors

Yeah, candy corn looks pretty with its stripes and soda is more eye-catching with colors that match flavors. Cake mixes look great with those little sprinkles on top and cereal is definitely more appealing to kids when it contains a rainbow of colors. However, the old saying, pretty is as pretty does applies here and let me tell you, artificial colors are pretty ugly in that context.

Artificial colors are made from coal-tar derivatives. Artificial flavors are made by using various chemicals that emulate the flavor. Both are linked to skin problems such as rashes, hyperactivity, headaches, allergic reactions, asthma and fatigue. Artificial flavors may also negatively affect beneficial enzymes, your thyroid and RNA, which, in a nutshell, protects your DNA strands. Often, if a food contains one, it contains the other. Not so pretty now, huh?

Some names to look for include Tartrazine (yellow 5), Blue 1, Green 3, Red 40, and yellow 6. Basically, if it’s processed and lists artificial colors, you should probably avoid it.

5. Fake Fats and Oils

For decades, butter and lard have been blacklisted as being horrible for your heart and your health in general. To replace it, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, shortenings, margarine and olestra were created. Now, some of these may be listed as palm oil, soybean oil and other natural-sounding stuff, but the bottom line is that the hydrogenation process ruins any health benefits that the oil may have started with.

All of them contain high levels of trans fats, which aren’t natural fats at all. The food industry created them as “healthier” alternatives to natural fats because butter was deemed bad for us. Trans fats contribute to heart disease by increasing “bad” cholesterol levels while decreasing “good” cholesterol levels. Plus, butter is delicious and contains heart-healthy omega-3’s so there’s really no need to use a substitute.

I’ll probably get flamed for saying that, so let me add that ANY fat should be used in moderation. If the idea of butter doesn’t appeal to you, try coconut oil or nut oils such as almond oil. They’re much healthier than the fake stuff or butter.

Oh, and just FYI, olestra is indigestible and can cause GI disease, gas, bloating, diarrhea, bleeding and incontinence but hey, if you really want to eat the chips without absorbing the fat, go for it. Personally, I’d suggest making our own chips at home with a healthy oil or grabbing some broccoli instead.

10 foods

6. Sodium Nitrate and Nitrite

These lovely chemicals are used to preserve the colors and flavors in cured fish and meats and to prevent botulism. While preventing botulism is definitely a good thing, how about just sticking with fresh, unprocessed meats? If you eat hotdogs, deli meat or cured fish, you’re likely eating one of these two chemicals. The problem with them is that they may combine with natural chemicals in your stomach and digestive tract to form nitrosamine, a known carcinogen. No Bueno.

7. MSG

Ahh, at last. MSG, or monosodium glutamate, has come under fire in recent years because of the side effects. It’s used as a flavor enhancer for many foods, including restaurant foods (the most well-known being Chinese restaurants), potato chips, salad dressings, canned soups and many processed foods.

MSG may cause an array of side effects including, most commonly, headaches and nausea. It may also cause swelling, weakness, breathing problems, burning sensations and changes in your heart rate.

8. Mercury

Mercury is a naturally occurring mineral but, just like arsenic, isn’t good for you at any level. It can cause serious neurological problems, up to and including death.

Fish absorb mercury through their gills. Unfortunately, our waters are so polluted that the levels have increased to toxic levels in many of the larger fish. The ones higher up the food chain are most affected because tiny fish may breathe small amounts of mercury, small fish eat tiny fish, then medium fish eat them, and large fish eat all of them. They absorb the mercury from every level.

Such fish include swordfish, tuna, king mackerel, and shark. Mercury is also found in levels in shellfish. Your body can process small amounts of mercury so you can avoid this concern by limiting your consumption of these type of wild-caught fish to once a week or less.

9. BHA, BHT and Propyl Gallate

BHA, or Butylated Hydroxyanisole, BHT, or Butylated Hydroxytoluene, and propyl gallate are three preservatives found in hundreds of foods and cosmetics. Some examples are mayonnaise, vegetable oil, dried meats, chicken soup, many cereals, potato chips, and chewing gum. Like other preservatives, it’s used to prevent spoilage and food poisoning but it can disrupt your hormones and your endocrine system. This preservative is found largely in processed foods.

10. BPA

This one is really one that sneaks in on you because it isn’t ever listed on the ingredients. That would be because it’s not directly in the food. It’s used in plastic bottles and containers and in canned foods to line the cans to keep acids from eating through the sides and to prevent microbial contamination. It’s used in plastic to preserve the integrity of the compound.

BPA, or bisphenol-A, is banned in many countries but is still in use in the US, though the FDA is making moves to ban it. Still, if you have a stockpile, your cans are lined with it. Also, your water polycarbonate plastic bottles may contain BPA.

BPA has been linked to delayed brain development and behavioral problems in kids, developmental problems with fetuses, and cancer later in life.

The real danger comes when the bottle is heated or the can is dented. Then BPA can leach into your food or the water. The best way to avoid contamination is to buy products that are BPA free – look for the recycle sign and if it has a 7 inside of it, the container may contain BPA.

Don’t buy canned foods that are dented, don’t leave your water bottles in a hot car or somewhere else that will cause it to get hot, and don’t microwave your food in plastic containers.

Though there are many different chemicals in your food, these are some of the top ones to avoid. Buy whole foods and wash them well before you use them. That will help get rid of pesticides and other chemicals that they may have been exposed to.

Read your labels and if you don’t understand the ingredients, skip it. Would you let a stranger blindfold you and stick random things in your mouth? Of course you wouldn’t, but that’s basically what you’re doing if you’re eating foods with ingredients that you don’t recognize.

Just be smart and don’t eat processed garbage. That will be ¾ of your battle already won. This list is just a jumping-off point. If you have anything to add, please do so in the comments section below.

BYL 1

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

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UPDATE YOUR EPREPPER NEWS FEED

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New Feed is located at : www.bugoutnetwork.com/eprepper/feed

Our website is already being forwarded to its new location, so if you go to eprepper.net, you will go directly to our redesigned sight.  Note:  Any email accounts @eprepper.net secure email are not affected by the change and we will eventually get our new site and content mirrored back onto eprepper.net.

Why are we moving away from Google’s Blogger?

  • We are cutting our ties to Google.  
  • We are introducing as better store.  
  • We want full control of the feel and look of our site
While we were at it, we also did some tweaking at bugoutnetwork.com to improve that site as well.  I apologize for those looking for articles in the past few days that received a DNS error, this was all temporary while we got new things in order.

Standardisation

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I can’t emphasis enough the benefits of standardisation.

I’ve just bought some new UV5R radios. Slightly different models but they only have a few differences so what difference will that make? Mistake! They may only have a few differences but I can’t program them using the same SW as the old ones. Of course the […]

Romans 6:23

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“For the wages of sin is death,
 but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”

     After a period of rest and re-inspiration, I am happy to be back and sharing what is on my heart.  I was so blessed to be able to revel in the spirit of thanksgiving and gratitude for what God is currently doing in my life and the lives of those who have answered His call; many for the first time.  How great is His Grace and Love for all who seek Him!
     But, I write this post today with all those in mind who refuse to respond to that invitation from the Lord.  My heart is heavy as I think of those whom I love who cannot see beyond the false spoils of this temporary life.  For some reason, surrendering to Jesus threatens to destroy what they perceive as the fun and rewards of living a carefree life in pursuit of the finest material possessions the world can offer.
     I’ve heard all the excuses… “I just don’t know how to approach Jesus; and I don’t want to do it wrong” … “I just can’t believe in a God who stands by and allows (fill in the blank)”… “It just doesn’t make any logical or scientific sense” (this reasoning usually comes from intellectual and academic atheists)… and, of course, there is the popular excuse of “I know there is something out there, but I just want to discover it on my own.  You know, people need to come to their own conclusions.”  
     But in each of these cases, I always have one question… “What do you think happens to you the very second after you die?”  And invariably, I see a moment’s hesitation, filled with either grief, pain, or fear.  Because, instinctively, they know.  They know that there is something more.  It just seems like there is too high a price to pay now for what they know is a future certainty.  There is still time to enjoy the pleasures of a life without Jesus before they think they need to give up the pursuit of worldly treasures.
     But we all know that this is the irony of their arguments.  Our rewards and treasures are not to be found on this earth.  What’s more, each of these people know they are not living perfect lives; they know that there is sin in the world.  But they have somehow convinced themselves that their sin will be overlooked; or that relatively speaking, it is far less worse than those who have murdered, robbed, or abused the elderly and children.  Some think that God will recognize that they have tried to be a good person, and that is all that is required.  Their efforts are better spent accumulating wealth, or traveling the world, because, um, “life is too short not to have fun.”  (I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that!)
     Others deliberately live in a “fantasy” world because of past sins, and so they live behind a facade of community involvement, job titles, big houses, and European vacations; while carefully crafting a life that is merely masquerading the fear that comes when they contemplate my question about death. Because that moment after death will happen for each of us.  That will be the moment, when you either behold the shining face of Jesus as He welcomes you into His arms, or you know with frightening sureness that you traded eternal life for a few minutes of futile and unfulfilling emptiness.
     When the Bible says that “the wages of sin are death”, the meaning is really very simple.  It means that our sinful lives bring us no profit.  We gain nothing from a life lived in sin.  We can only reap death, which in this case means not only the physical end of our human body, but a termination of the chance for our spirits to live with God.  It is very real, and it is a separation of our spirit from God for all of eternity.  I cannot understand why anyone would trade that for a few years of ignorant bliss celebrating the empty promises of this world.
     But it is exactly as the Bible states in Romans 6:23 … the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  The invitation that He extends to us to believe in His Grace and the atonement of Jesus’s death on the Cross (paying the price for our sins against God) is truly A GIFT.  And all we have to do is recognize that we are sinful and can do nothing on our own to gain God’s favor; that the price we owe Him for our sinful rebellion and disobedience was willingly paid for by His Son; and that if we will only have trust and confidence in what Jesus did for us; our faith will result in His recognizing us the moment we leave this world and stand in His presence.  His resurrection is proof that if we follow His ways and commandments, our resurrection is assured, along with a life spent in eternal relationship with Him.  Then all the treasures and wealth and abundance we accumulated on earth will be seen for what it was… hollow and worthless.
     Time is running short for all these people who are important in my life.  I do not want to see them squander one more minute in pursuit of vacant victories.  I pray that they will answer the knock on the door before it is too late, and that they will share, with me, the abundant joy of being in His presence in Heaven for a time that has no end.  
      
     

Angels We Have Heard On High for KING & COUNTRY

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It is time to start getting ready for the big Birthday Celebration. A new King was born! Angels we have heard on high is a great start to the celebration!

Angels we have heard on high
sweetly singing o’er the plains
and the mountains in reply
echoing their joyous strains

Shepherds why this jubilee
Why your joyous strains prolong
What the gladsome tidings be,
Which inspire your heavenly song?

Gloria In Excelsius Deo [2x]

See Him in a manger lay,
Whom the choirs of angels praise
Mary, Joseph lend your aid
While our hearts in love we raise

Gloria In Excelsius Deo [2x]

Come adore on bended knee
Christ our Lord, the new born King

How To Store Baking Essentials For Longer Shelf Life

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The basic baking essentials used to make bread from your stored grains (e.g. wheat berries) include baking powder, baking soda, salt, and yeast. Some people (e.g. Mrs.J) also keep a supply of vital wheat gluten (or bread enhancer) for their bread making. The question (and answer) for today is, How do I store these baking […]

8 Pioneer Tools You Should Have as a Prepper

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8 Pioneer Tools You Should Have as a Prepper Can you imagine setting out to head across the country carrying only what you could fit in your wagon? I sure can’t! I recently drove over 2,000 miles and I had all the modern amenities I could ask for. On my long drive I thought about … Continue reading 8 Pioneer Tools You Should Have as a Prepper

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32 Foods That Aren’t Just For Eating

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32 Foods That Aren’t Just For Eating Did you know you can use peanut butter as shaving cream? That you can use mayonnaise to relieve a sunburn? Or that you can use a can of tuna as an oil candle? These are just a few of the countless things you can do with food besides …

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Simple Trick for Restoring Car Headlights

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Simple Trick for Restoring Car Headlights I currently don’t have hazy headlights but I think if I look back 60% of the cars I have owned have had headlights that I am surprised light could even penetrate. I think I even got pulled over by the police for it once, many years ago. I looked …

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Where To Homestead In The USA

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Where To Homestead In The USA I often get asked this question! “Which state is the best state to live and homestead” I personally can never answer that question as I have only lived in Nebraska. I got asked this question again last night so I decided to do some research. I found a great …

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How To Make Chicken Sweaters To Protect Them Over Winter

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How To Make Chicken Sweaters To Protect Them Over Winter I thought I have seen everything when it comes to homesteading. I have been doing this blog for 3 years and have sen nothing like this! I personally don’t own chickens but if I did I know for sure I would be knitting them sweaters. …

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Yummy Navajo Fry Bread Recipe

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Yummy Navajo Fry Bread Recipe If you haven’t tried navajo fry bread, you are missing out on something so delicious you will slap yourself for not trying this sooner. Fry bread is wonderfully fluffy and lumpy, it can be used as regular bread or as a desert. I personally love this bread with mango salsa. …

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Hygiene being #1 or #2

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Hygiene being #1 or #2
Sam Coffman “Herbal Medic”

Sam CoffmanHygiene and sanitation, how prepared are you really in regards to  and (in the worst case) coping with gasto-intestinal disease in a post-disaster environment?  Today, on The Human Path Sam Coffman discusses everything you ever wanted to know (and some things you maybe didn’t!) about purifying your water, taking care of human waste, and dealing with gastro-intestinal distress, using both orthodox medicine as well as a plant-medicine (herbalism) and common sense.

hygiene and sanitationNot only do we need to have several different “hygiene / sanitation” alternatives for purifying our water and cooking or preparing our food, but we also have more than one sanitation plan.  This means having enough water to stay relatively clean as well as having a way to dispose of human waste.  What are all your options?  You should be prepared to deal with hygiene and sanitation in several ways, because you can’t always know what to expect or what you will have to work with.  The key here is to be informed and to be adaptable to any situation.
Do you know what kind of diseases and toxins you need to be concerned with through your water and your food?  Do you know what kinds of filtration works with what kinds of pathogens and what kinds of toxins?  If you do get sick from bad water or food, what are the top antibiotics and top medicinal herbs you should have available (or be able to find)?  Join Sam Coffman as he shares his experience as a Special Forces medic in the field, working with exactly these types of issues on hygiene and sanitation in remote, post-disaster and medically under served environments.
Listen to this broadcast or download “Hygiene being, #1 or #2” in player below!

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