“The Precious” Blinded Me With Science – Heretics of Science or Speakers of Truth?

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My schooling and career have been based on “science”, mathematics, materials, energy, engineering and practical application of all that. I became a CEM Certified Energy Manager when there were only 9000 in the entire USA. Most wars are fought over energy, yet we have only 9000 specialists in Energy Management? How screwed up is that? Even among my college associates…if I express anti-nuclear, people don’t like it. Some put me into the camp of “heretic”. So be it. Science is not clean and good, it just is. And these days it can be used for the bad….especially as society gets more desperate. stock out. Don’t be blinded by anything. Healthy New Year to Ye.

Reader’s Choice 2015: The Top 15 Articles of the Year

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In a year filled with violence, financial uncertainty, an epidemic of offended people, and unprecedented civil unrest, it’s obvious that more people than ever became aware of the need to get prepared. Based on your favorite posts, some prevalent themes are clear. Readers are interested in weathering the impending financial crisis via frugality, they want to learn self-reliance skills, and they are determined to get ready for any situation life throws at them in 2016.

Reader’s Choice 2015: The Top 15

Following, you can find the top 15 posts on The Organic Prepper website, based on their popularity. Some articles were written in years past but got enough interest this year to push them ahead of newer posts. If you missed any of them, you may find they were worth a read.

#15 The 10 Daily Habits of Frugal People


Being a black belt in frugality takes creativity and an optimistic outlook.  It should never be some grim, sad thing that you have to do.  It should be something that you choose to do.  By finding joy in your non-consumerism, you will be far more successful at it. It becomes a game that you win if you can do something for free that others spend money on.

When you feel like you require less, then you are happy with less.  This means that you have to spend less time working at things you may not truly enjoy to pay for the things that you never actually needed in the first place.  This means that the money that you have goes a lot further and that your life feels a lot more satisfying.

#14 The Top 10 Teas for Your Herbal Medicine Cabinet


When you’re sick, little is more comforting than holding a steaming mug of fragrant tea in both hands, warming your face with the hot steam.  Somehow, no matter how rotten you felt before, you instantly feel just a tiny bit better.

Whether you are lucky enough to grow your own tea herbs, you purchase loose teas, or you use tea bags, your cabinet is not complete without these ingredients.  These teas are delicious and beneficial, with many different healing qualities.

#13 How to Make Jam without Using Added Pectin


Storebought pectin contains additives that are most likely genetically modified.  Dextrose is generally made from corn products (GMOs that are absolutely SOAKED in glyphosate).  It is made from cornstarch, the main ingredient in good old High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Don’t let anyone tell you that citric acid is “just Vitamin C”.  It is derived from GMO mold.

Not only does store-bought pectin contain unsavory ingredients, but it is also very highly processed.

So, if you want to avoid GMOs and processed foods, what’s a homemade-jam making mama to do? It’s easy to make an intensely fruity jam with absolutely no added pectin!


#12 30 Frugal Living Tips: Small Changes That Result in Big Savings

Money in glass jar on wooden table

You may not want to make changes.  You may not want to sacrifice your little luxuries.  You may feel like you “deserve” them or that you have “earned” them.

First, please get out of your mind the phrase, “I work hard and deserve this chocolate thingamabob while someone paints my toenails for me” or any combination thereof.

You may work hard, but rationalizing poor spending habits is a surefire way to remain broke forever. Now, please don’t misunderstand – you don’t have to be miserably unhappy, grimly plodding through a life bereft of any pleasures. You just have to change your perspective, and that can take a little tough love.

So, look over these small savings and see which of these expenditures you can cut. You can often figure out a way to still have your small luxuries while saving money.

#11 How to Make Cottage Cheese


Cottage cheese is one of those things that has far more ingredients than it should when you buy it at the store. Homemade cottage cheese is creamy, fluffy, and delicious, and it’s made with only 3 simple ingredients

#10 Preppernomics: How to Survive While the Dollar Dies

If you ever prepped for anything that “might” happen, please understand that this current rate of spiral can only end one way: in financial collapse.  There is a much greater statistical likelihood of your family suffering from the effects of this than being subject to a nuclear disaster, an EMP strike, or a devastating natural event.  I’m not saying that these other things won’t happen, but the odds are much greater that you will be affected by the economy in 2015.

(We did indeed have some dramatic swings in the stock market. Meanwhile, the cost of food went up and so did unemployment rates.)

#9 How to Build a 30-Day Emergency Food Supply…Fast


If you do not have a food supply waiting in your pantry, now is the time to focus on creating an emergency stockpile as rapidly as possible.  You can then add healthier options at your leisure. If you’re trying to build a food supply quickly, consider ordering a bucket with a month’s supply of meals in it.

#8 40 Flicks for Prepper Movie Night

Every prepper I know loves a good disaster flick.  Heck, it doesn’t even have to be that good for some of us to watch them.  We just enjoy sitting back and watching a fictional disaster unfold so that we can strategize how we would handle it, mock the hero for his or her poor decisions (you know, those dumb moves that a prepper would never make), and feel absolutely justified with regard to our lifestyle choices.  A movie is like the prepper version of a sporting event, where we can cheer, jeer, and scheme our ways through some imagined event. It engages our love for critical thinking while allowing us to take a break from our everyday activities. Here are 40 suggestions for your next prepper movie night!

#7 Getting Started: Prepping for a Two Week Power Outage


If you’re new to preparedness, you may be reading some of the excellent and informative websites out there and feeling quite quite overwhelmed.  While many sites recommend a one year supply of food, manual tools, and a bug out lodge in the forest, it’s vital to realize that is a long-term goal, not a starting point.

A great starting point for someone who is just getting started on a preparedness journey is prepping specifically for a two-week power outage.  If you can comfortably survive for two weeks without electricity, you will be in a far better position than most of the people in North America.

#6 The Last Rebels: 25 Things We Did as Kids That Would Get Someone Arrested Today


With all of the ridiculous new regulations, coddling, and societal mores that seem to be the norm these days, it’s a miracle those of us over 30 survived our childhoods. Here’s the problem with all of this babying: it creates a society of weenies.

There won’t be more more rebels because this generation has been frightened into submission and apathy through a deliberately orchestrated culture of fear. No one will have faced adventure and lived to greatly embroider the story.

Raise your hand if you survived a childhood in the 60s, 70s, and 80s that included one or more of the following, frowned-upon activities (raise both hands if you bear a scar proving your daredevil participation in these dare-devilish events).

#5 20 Signs That You Might Be A Cheapskate

Do you enjoy saving a buck more than most people?  Do you have a black belt in frugality? Here are 20 surefire signs that you are embracing your cheap side.  How many things on this list apply to you?

#4 Don’t Fly Without These 20 TSA-Approved Items in Your Prepper’s Carry-on Bag

What is a more uncomfortable feeling than relinquishing all of the items that are normally part of your EDC kit?

Here’s one: relinquishing those items and boarding a plane to fly across the country.

Here are 20 items you can bring onto a plane (without getting tackled to the ground by 3 TSA goons while sirens blare ,lights flash, and the PA system announces that you are a terrorist who was planning to hijack the nearest 747.) To make the list, the items must be able to pass through a security checkpoint, they must be small and light, since your space and weights are limited for carry-on bags, and they must be practical in a variety of situations.

#3 How to Create a Safe Room in Your House or Apartment


The homes of many rich, famous people have a secret hidden within them.  Somewhere, in the depths of the home, is a secure room to which the residents can retreat in the event of a home invasion or violent intruder.  A safe room was carved into the original house plan, and many of these are state of the art.   These expertly designed rooms can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but you don’t have to be a movie star or a multi-millionaire to build your own version of a safe room. Even the most humble home or apartment can have on a place to which vulnerable family members can retreat if they are under threat.

#2 25 Homemade Coffee Creamers and Syrups (without the nasty additives)

Do you love coffee or know someone who does? ‘Tis the season for the fanciest possible version of everything, and your hot beverage is no exception.

Places like Starbucks have taken flavored coffees to  whole new level. At my local grocery store, there’s an entire refrigerated unit dedicated to decadent flavored creamers. Unfortunately, those creamers are rife with chemicals, including artificial flavors and neurotoxins like aspartame and sucralose.  You certainly aren’t giving someone a “treat” by putting that stuff in their coffee.

Here’s some great news, though: If you possess the ability to heat milk and use measuring spoons and a whisk, the fanciest flavors around can be yours, and at a fraction of the price of the artificial grocery store versions. Be your own barista, and try making some homemade coffee creamers today!

And the #1 Reader’s Choice 2015 post on the site was……..

12 Bad Strategies That Will Get Preppers Killed

If you’re involved in the preparedness lifestyle, you’re probably into planning. Most likely, you research and study the excellent preparedness strategies put out by experts. Whether we prepare for incidents small or large, we all ponder what we’d do if something world-as-we-know-it-ending went down.

The trouble is, a lot of the plans that get made are more likely  to get you killed than to save you. And people post these plans online, then new preppers read them and think, “Wow, what a great idea.”

Not all preparedness plans are well-thought out and practiced. In fact, there are several recurring themes that I hear or read that are not good ideas for most preppers, and I bet that many of you reading have also privately rolled eyes at one of the following strategies. (Or maybe even  publicly.) Take a moment to consider the variables if one of these plans happens to be your default strategy.

Thank you…

Every year at this time, I think about how thankful I am for you guys. This website is about sharing information, and often, the comments have as much, if not more, information as the articles themselves. I love the community we’re creating here in Internetland and often wish we could all be neighbors.

Thank you for reading, for sharing, for commenting, and for supporting my website and my books. I have lots of great things planned for 2016, so be on the lookout for an announcement next week about what the year will hold here on the website.

I’m wishing you peace, prosperity, and preparedness in 2016. Happy New Year, my friends.

The post Reader’s Choice 2015: The Top 15 Articles of the Year appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Three to Watch

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If you are into movies with a survival-type theme, let me suggest Heatstroke (2014). I watched it recently because one of the stars is Maisie Williams, who you might know from Game of Thrones or, more recently, her appearances on Doctor Who. It was surprisingly good. The story, without giving away any spoilers, is two women are lost in the desert grasslands of southern Africa, battling nature (predators, snakes, scorpions, brutal heat, lack of water), while trying to avoid/escape from some real bad guys. The movie does start off a bit slow with family drama (teenage girl angry with her divorced parents and her dad’s girlfriend, who she blames for the divorce). But after about 15 minutes or so, it finally gets to the action and gets much, much better.

I’ve also recently watched, and was quite impressed by, the Back to Eden documentary. Here’s the blurb from their website: “Back to Eden Film shares the story of one man’s lifelong journey, walking with God and learning how to get back to the simple, productive organic gardening methods of sustainable provision that were given to man in the garden of Eden. The food growing system that has resulted from Paul Gautschi’s incredible experiences has garnered the interest of visitors from around the world. Never, until now, have Paul’s organic gardening methods been documented and shared like this!” You can watch it for free on their website if you give them your email address. It is also available on You Tube.

The two hour documentary, In Defense of Food, recently aired on my local PBS station (check listings in your area). It is based on Michael Pollan’s book by the same name. It is a fantastic review of what has gone wrong with the Western diet, leading to all sorts of health problems (way too much sugar, too many unpronounceable non-food ingredients, reliance on incomplete & changing science, false marketing claims, etc.). Pollan’s advice is summed up in his motto: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” I don’t agree with everything Pollan says, but I do agree with most of it. It is definitely worth watching, and will be very eye-opening, in many different ways. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

My Top 7 Crucial Questions for Effective Preparedness Planning

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By Denis Korn

Proper preparedness ensures effective resiliency

I am continually asked by serious preppers, preparedness planners and managers, whether beginners or experienced, “What are the most important things I need to know in getting started or improving the preparedness process?”  Effective preparedness planning is essential to ensure you are properly equipped to function during an emergency.  One of the most important articles I have written concerning this issue is The 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning.

As many of you know, my approach to education is asking the right questions.  That’s why these 12 Crucial Questions are so vital.  When you study the 12 questions, you will discover that each question should be answered at the appropriate stage of your planning process.  There is a lot of information to assimilate, reflect upon, prioritize and act upon.

All of the 12 questions are essential, and they are not listed in any order of significance (except for the first 2), however when I am asked to pick the top ones here are my choices.

  1. What are the circumstances or scenarios you have determined may exist that will require you to rely upon your preparedness supplies? What will be the severity and impact of those circumstances on your life? (This is not only the most important and first question to answer, it is often the question most overlooked, or not considered critically enough). Given your potential scenarios, how thoroughly have you researched the available options for food, water, medical, shelter, hygiene, and other categories of critical supplies? Are you prepared for emergencies during all seasons of the year? Is your family more susceptible to certain emergencies? How would your scenarios impact you or your family’s daily routine? Work or livelihood? How will you protect yourself and family against those who might do you harm?
  2. How long will your emergency scenario last, and what is the duration of time for which you will be preparing? This is another critical question, and while it is difficult to envision the difficult details that might occur, the adequacy of your preparedness planning and supplies is directly tied to honestly answering this question. Needless to say, the longer the duration of the emergency the more effect it will have on multiple aspects of one’s daily routine and lifestyle, and the need to be focused on the diversity of situations that will surround you.
  3. What attitude are you willing to embody and express during the uncertainty and stress of the emergency scenarios you have determined may exist?  An appropriate attitude is essential to survival and effective functioning during a serious emergency or disaster. Your emotional and spiritual viewpoint is the foundational component of any emergency circumstance. The longer the emergency the greater degree of stress, which will affect your well-being. Do you believe it is essential for you and your family to incorporate the proper emotional and spiritual attitude in your preparedness planning? Do you have a biblical worldview regarding trials and tribulations?  Who do you ultimately rely on for comfort, strength and hope?  Where is your faith?
  4. In your expected emergency scenarios will you be stationary and remain where you are, or is it possible you will have to be mobile and relocate? This could include different responses depending on your predictions of the duration and severity of the emergency. Are you aware of all the implications and planning required depending upon your answer to this question? This is another one those very difficult questions to fully comprehend, because not only can there be many perspectives to consider, being prepared to be mobile and leave an established residence or homestead requires a whole different set of planning points. If you had to evacuate or relocate right now, where would you go? With prior planning where would you prefer to go?
  5. What are the special needs of yourself, family, or others you care for that might arise during the scenarios you find likely? This especially includes medical issues, nutritional requirements, and physical and emotional limitations. What psychological, social, medical, or unique factors could potentially arise from a long-term (6 months or more) catastrophic event? Also consider your personal, family, work, and community needs for timely communication during an emergency. Are any pets involved in your planning? Have you had a family, company, or group meeting to directly and honestly discuss what actions are to be implemented during an emergency of the type you determined might occur? For many individuals and families the religious or spiritual factor in preparedness planning and implementation – especially during a serious or catastrophic event – is the most important. If this applies to you, make sure all family members and friends are in prayer.
  6. Do you have a list of essential or at least important supplies you believe will be necessary to have on hand during your estimated emergency? Is it prioritized? Do you have a list of the essential categories your supplies fall under? What do you have on hand now?
  7. What means of communication do you have available to you during an emergency and with whom do you need to communicate? This includes both two-way communication with others, including family, friends and associates, and one-way communication from radio stations, emergency broadcasts, or individuals via short wave. Do you have a cell phone? Will towers be functioning? Land lines? Internet? Hand held walkie-talkies? Short wave radios? Citizens band radios? Emergency radios with two-way communication capability? During a serious emergency accurate information and updates are essential for survival.

Related posts and articles:

Beginning and Improving Preparedness Planning

Checklist of Essentials for Emergency & Outdoor Adventure Planning – Including Vehicle Preparedness – Updated & Expanded

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Britian Shuts Down An Old Reactor 44 YO. NO, They Will Not Last for 80 Years.

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One thing I hear all the time from the pro-nuke club, is that the original licensing period of nuclear plants, 40 years, was not supposed to be their design life. AND that the design life is actually 80 years. Typical lying nukists. As plants get older, there are more and more expensive problems to fix, more down time. At 40 to 45 years, economics closes these plants. Good riddance, Wylfa 1

Dec 30 Britain closed its oldest nuclear reactor, Wylfa 1, after nearly 45 years of operation on Wednesday, operator Magnox Ltd said. “Wylfa Nuclear Power Station closed down, marking the conclusion of Magnox reactor generation in the UK,” it said in a statement. The nuclear reactor in Wales was scheduled to shut down at the end of September 2014, but operations were extended until this week. The 490-megawatt nuclear reactor started operating in 1971 next to its twin Wylfa 2 reactor which was permanently shut down in April 2012.


The Real Reason For The Warmer Winter This Year

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The Real Reason For The Warmer Winter This Year Do you live in the Northeast and were you wearing shorts on Christmas Eve this year? It’s probably no surprise to you that 2015 has been the hottest year on record.  The planet is getting warmer and unless we adopt a more sustainable lifestyle around the …

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9 Kickass Booby Traps to Rig Your Homestead

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9 Kickass Booby Traps to Rig Your Homestead DISCLAIMER: The booby traps shown in the linked article are DANGEROUS, and ILLEGAL in most countries. This article is for informational purposes only. SHTFPreparedness is not responsible for what you do with this information. For our full disclaimer, click here. While living off the grid certainly has its advantages, …

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33 Surprising Baking Soda Uses & Remedies

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33 Surprising Baking Soda Uses & Remedies You probably already know that Baking Soda is inexpensive and has many uses.  But Ladies, did you know you can use it as a face exfoliator?  Forget those expensive creams that contains trillions of plastic micro beads that are getting into our water supply, the fish we eat …

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7 Most Likely Infections You’ll Catch When The SHTF

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7 Most Likely Infections You’ll Catch When The SHTF Organisms that can cause illness are all around us; in our food, water and air.  They are in the bodies of animals and other people as well. Infection occurs when some of them get past a series of natural defenses like our skin, inflammation and antibodies. …

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Retrospective, 2015

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In software development frameworks like Scrum, retrospectives are used after an iteration to reflect on what has taken place. This makes a lot of sense from a preparation standpoint as well, looking back can help one make adjustments in order to move forward. The end of the year is as good a time as any […]

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How To Add An Oven To A Wood Stove

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How To Add An Oven To A Wood Stove I have for the longest time wanted to cook more efficiently on my wood stove. I already boil water to make my tea and fry bacon on the top of it but I really wanted to cook more complex meals with my set up. That being …

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11 Good Reasons Why Coffee Grounds Are Worth Keeping

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11 Good Reasons Why Coffee Grounds Are Worth Keeping Coffee grounds have many other uses aside from producing coffee. They can be used for gardening, repelling insects, and even as pet grooming products. A lot of use have a Keurig coffee brewer, the Keurig k-cups cost a small fortune and I am going to bet we all …

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How To Survive In A Car When It’s Freezing Cold

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How To Survive In A Car When It’s Freezing Cold Most of us love to stay inside our warm and cozy homes when it’s freezing cold outside. But some of us need to leave the comfort of our homes to get to our work or to attend some event etc. In cold weather, things can …

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Slingshots: The Low-Cost, Easy-To-Use Compact Hunting Tool That Can Fit Anywhere

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Slingshots: The Low-Cost, Easy-To-Use Survival Hunting Tool That Can Fit Anywhere

Image source: flippinoutslingshots.com

When I was a kid, one thing that I looked forward to with great anticipation was traveling to visit my grandparents. I clearly recall that my grandfather would often set aside time from his fishing excursions to search out and then cut the perfect, forked, tree branch so that he could make a new slingshot, which he would then give to me as a present.

However, those early slingshots were actually very primitive compared to some of the models available today, since they had forked sticks for handles and power bands made from strips of black rubber cut from a car tire’s innertube. Then, some years after that, I laid eyes on the first wrist-braced slingshot I had ever seen, made by a toy company called Wham-O which had a wrist brace, a handle, and forks made from tubular aluminum with tubular latex power bands. Thus, not only was it considerably more powerful than the ones my grandfather made, but it was also significantly easier to draw due to the wrist brace.

Since then, slingshot technology has continued to progress to the point where there are now numerous manufacturers in the market today and some of them are producing models that look like something from a science fiction movie. However, regardless of whether you choose to purchase a basic model with a single pair of power bands or one of the ultramodern designs with three or even four pairs of power bands, slingshots are an excellent tool for wilderness survival hunting.

The Judge: The Slingshot For Hunting AND Self-Defense!

It should be noted that most companies produce models both with, and without, wrist braces but, those without wrist braces tend to be more difficult to draw and shoot accurately — unless you happen to have an exceptionally strong wrist. Therefore, the ones with wrist braces are often a far better choice.

But why would a person want to use a slingshot for wilderness survival hunting, you might ask? Well, the answer to that is because they are relatively lightweight and quite compact and thus, are very easy to carry. The ammunition for them also is relatively inexpensive. Additionally, they generate plenty of kinetic energy for hunting small game species such as small birds, squirrels and rabbits. Plus, they are extremely quiet to shoot.

Some manufacturers also sell steel ball bearings of various sizes as well as white glass marbles which they dub “tracer” ammo, because it is easy to the human eye to follow them all of the way to the target. However, most big box stores also sell bags of standard glass marbles in the toy department which are often significantly cheaper than the so called “tracer” ammo. Another viable option it to purchase lead buckshot in sizes 4 (0.24 diameter) or 00 (0.33 diameter) in 5-pound boxes from a shooters supply such as Midway. They make excellent ammo for hunting game such as squirrels and rabbits, since lead is significantly denser than steel and it delivers more kinetic energy for deeper penetration.

For hunting small birds such as songbirds and waterfowl, the leather pouch of a slingshot can be loaded with a small number of either steel BBs or lead shot in sizes 4, 5, or 6 for a shotgun-like effect that makes if far easier to hit a moving target.

Thus, a person can purchase a slingshot for less than a rifle, carry it with ease and hunt both small game species and birds in a wilderness survival situation, obtaining much-needed protein for continued good health. Ammunition for them is also cheap. The modern slingshot just might be the perfect wilderness survival hunting tool.


5 Easy-To-Find Small Animals You Can Eat For Survival

Have you ever hunted with a slingshot? What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

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

Navigation Term of the Month: Map Scale.

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Topographic Map – Scale
By Blake Miller
Dictionary.com defines map scale as:
“A ratio which compares a measurement on a map to the actual distance between locations identified on the map.”

A topographic (topo) map’s scale information is located at the bottom center of the map.  Other maps will generally have scale information in the large map key that outlines many of the features and data printed on the map.
The map scale for a United States Geologic Survey (USGS) 7.5 topo minute map is highlighted below.

A new constitution for democratic confederation of communities.

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Constitution for the people of Earth, January 01 2016. Draft one. We, the inhabitants of earth at this point of the 21st century. having been wearied by constant war and subjugation to authority, do hereby by virtue of birth claim our sovereignty and right to self determination. we declare that no king, lord, minister or chieftain is above any individual. We resolve that no one be left behind or exploited. That the power resides in the individual, and it is our right to express that power and our own minds without handing power over to representatives, councils or centralised authorities. This constitution lays out the foundation for a confederated series of Autonomous communities. The provinces/prefectures/nodes are to be determined. But each zone represents a community. These communities are independent and join the overall confederation by choice not by force of arms or economic pressures. The people are the only source of authority, every voice has the same value. None shall be put above others. Each person will be protected by the common law/rights and bound by the responsibilities laid out below. Nothing else is a law. I General principles Article 1 This constitution represents a clear social contract between all the people of a new confederation. The Preamble is an integral part of the constitution. Article 2 a- Authority resides with and emanates from the people having a direct vote on all issues that affects their community. b- No community can influence, attend or vote on any resolutions that do not directly affect their determined zones. Article 3 a. The sovereignty of a person comes first, then the sovereignty of a community second. No individual shall be penalised by the power of democracy in their own home. No local resolution shall be upheld where it can bypass this constitution. b. The constitution must evolve with humanity. Every 10 years its must revaluated by all members of the confederation c. Changes to this constitution require a more than 71% yes vote across all members of the confederation. The Structure of governance in the Autonomous communities Article 4 The power resides in the individual and must be expressed by the individual. The means of collating that will is direct democracy. Either by electronic means or traditional means. The means must be structured for fairness and checked regularly for those who would try to game the system or find loopholes to exploit. Article 5 The administration of all social services is to be arranged at the local level either by appointment of managers, or by cooperative bodies. Article 6 All persons and communities are equal in the eyes of the law and in rights and responsibilities. Recognition exists only for persons, this constitution no longer allows recognizance for corporate entities or body politic that exist beyond the laws of Article 7 Any community may choose to join this confederation by adopting the methods enclosed to govern themselves. Article 8 All Autonomous Communities are founded upon the principle of local selfgovernment. Communities may freely represent their own will and may pursue their rights insofar as it does not contravene the articles of the Constitution. Article 9 There are no official languages. Each region will have its own “mother tongue” but all communities should endeavour to express languages more than their own local dialect. Efforts should be made to resurrect dead languages and save and store any currently languages being lost by cultural obfuscation. Article 10 The Autonomous Communities shall not interfere in the domestic affairs of other states/communities, and it shall safeguard its relations with neighbouring states, resolving any conflicts peacefully. Offensive War is expressly forbidden to all future generations. Article 11 While Flags, anthems and emblems are seen as archaic remnants of imperialism. Communities shall have the right to vote on and choose for themselves if any of these symbols shall be used. It is not forbidden, and it is not forced. Article 12 The Autonomous Communities form an independent and sovereign contract outside of the legal basis of any existing “state”. The laws and contracts of preceding states are repealed and this document replaces the supreme authority of a nation state with direct democracy for all people. II Basic Principles Article 13 There shall be a separation of powers between the individual, community and confederation. Article 14 The Autonomous Communities shall seek to implement a framework of transitional justice measures. It shall take steps to redress the legacy of discriminatory State policies, including the payment of reparations to victims, both individuals and communities. Article 15 The communities agree to a single unified emergency services to be filled at the local level with both volunteer and/or paid service persons. These are managed at community level, but communities may lend or volunteer assistance to other communities for extreme emergencies. All citizens will have a basic understanding of self-defence for their region, and each community shall maintain an armoury for defence. Citizens will maintain a specified level of proficiency and safety with any defence protocols Article 16 The Constitution guarantees the rights of the youth to participate actively in public and political life. Article 17 Communities may pass edicts for anti-social rectification previously called statute law. Only specific actions against this constitution are to be referred to as illegal or criminal. Article 19 The system of taxation and other fiscal regulations are defined by each community but the wealth of each community is to be pooled and shared equally between all communities to administer their social services, infrastructure and wellbeing. Article 20 The Constitution holds as inviolable the fundamental rights and freedoms set out in international human rights treaties, conventions and declarations. Article 21 Each community may issue its own debt free currency. Usury is an offence. No human shall ever be enslaved by chains or debt. III Rights and Liberties Article 22 The Constitution incorporates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as well as other internationally recognized human rights conventions. Article 23 All international rights and responsibilities pertaining civil, political, cultural, social and economic rights are guaranteed. Article 24 a – Everyone has the right to express their ethnic, cultural, linguistic and gender rights b – Everyone has the right to live in a healthy environment, based on ecological balance. Article 25 Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; including freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Freedom of expression and freedom of information may be restricted having regard to the security of the Autonomous Communities, public safety and order, the integrity of the individual, the sanctity of private life, or the prevention and prosecution of crime ONLY by vote of all community members Article 26 a- Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. b- All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. c- Prisoners have the right to humane conditions of detention, which protect their inherent dignity. Prisons shall serve the underlying objective of the reformation, education and social rehabilitation of prisoners. Article 27 Every human being has the inherent right to life. No one within the jurisdiction of the confederation shall be executed. Article 28 Women have the inviolable right to participate in political, social, economic and cultural life. Article 29 Men and women are equal in the eyes of the law. The Constitution guarantees the effective realization of equality of women and mandates public institutions to work towards the elimination of gender discrimination. Article 30 The Constitution guarantees the rights of the child. In particular children shall not suffer economic exploitation, child labour, torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and shall not be married before attaining the age of majority. Any violation of children will be considered a violation of the entire community. Article 31 All persons have the right 1. to personal security in a peaceful and stable society. 2. to free education to a tertiary level. 3. to adequate housing at as close to zero cost as possible. This domicile is of the persons choosing, and is required to be off grid or only community grid It must Generate its own water or recycle its water use and no external force may legislate how a person may live. 4. to protect the motherhood and maternal and paediatric care. The rights of parents to retain their children and be worked with by the community in times of crisis. Retention of the family as a single unit is the preferred option. Children shall not be removed from parents forcibly, except by order of mediation specialists and with open transparency in the community for the safety of the child. 5. to adequate health and social care for the disabled, the elderly and those with special needs. Decentralised hospitals and community health centres with a set per capita number of beds. Respite and community care for the aged citizens, or support for families to look after their own elderly. Article 32 Everyone has the right to freedom of worship, to practice one’s own religion either individually or in association with others. No one shall be subjected to persecution on the grounds of their religious beliefs. Article 33 a)- Everyone has the right to freedom of association with others, including the right to establish and freely join any political group, association, trade union and/or civil assembly. b) – In exercising the right to freedom of association, political, economic and cultural expression of all communities is protected. This serves to protect the rich and diverse cultures of the peoples of the Autonomous Communities. Article 34 Everyone has the freedom to obtain, receive and circulate information and to communicate ideas, opinions and emotions, whether orally, in writing, in pictorial representations, or in any other way. This right pre-empts any trade or commerce based agreements and is understood to be an end to patent and copyright Article 35 Everyone has the right of peaceful assembly, including the right to peaceful protest, demonstration and strike. Article 36 Everyone has the right to freely experience and contribute to academic, scientific, artistic and cultural expressions and creations, through individual or joint practice, to have access to and enjoy, and to disseminate their expressions and creations. Article 37 Everyone has the right to vote or not to vote on an issue as they choose. Article 38 Everyone has the right to seek political asylum. Persons may not be deported. Every individual is afforded the protection of this constitution by virtue of being within the borders of one of the confederate members. Article 39 All persons are equal before the law and are entitled to equal opportunities in public and professional life. Article 40 Natural resources/forces, located both above and below ground, are the public wealth of society. Extractive processes, management, licensing and other contractual agreements related to such resources shall not be in the hands of individuals or partnerships. Where allowed, the profits of this kind of resource refinement/extraction/use is the wealth of all humankind and must be shared equally as part of the combined assets of the confederated communities. Article 41 All buildings and land in the Autonomous Communities are the property of all. No one can profit from or sell land or buildings. New buildings must be agreed upon by all members of the community and parcels of land allocated. Once allotted, a usage right is commenced for an indefinite period that may not be extinguished while that person or their family resides in that allotment. All previous title is extinguished and common title now exists in the community. No external persons are permitted to use any parcels of land when not living in that community. If a person leaves a community they pass back rights of use for their allotment to that community Article 42 Everyone has the right to the use and enjoyment of allotted property. No one shall be deprived of this property use without payment of just compensation, for reasons of public utility or social interest and only after community direct democratic resolution. Article 43 The economic system in the provinces shall be directed at providing general welfare and in particular granting funding to arts, science and technology. It shall be aimed at guaranteeing the daily needs of people and to ensure a dignified life. Monopoly is prohibited by law. Labour rights and sustainable development are guaranteed. No one shall exploit another, or by action/inaction allow someone else to be exploited Article 44 Everyone has the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence within the Confederation of Autonomous Communities. Article 45 The enumeration of the rights and freedoms set forth in Section III is non-exhaustive. The Democratic Self-rule Administration Project IV Local governance Article 46 Each region shall enable all citizens to have direct access to vote on issues. At no point shall there be a representative or voting bloc. Article 47 Any citizen can submit a resolution to any issue that affects them or their community. Where more than one community is affected, each citizen of each community shall have an equal vote. Those communities shall output a binary yea or nay to resolutions. There is no limit to the number of communities that may be affected by suggested resolutions. It must be clearly stated before any further discussion begins. Article 48 Every person who has reached the age of eighteen (16) years is eligible to vote. They must undergo a ceremony, initiation or acceptance of adulthood and an agreement to the terms of this constitution. These ceremony may be cultural or secular in nature but MUST contain a clear expression of agreement to this social contract as set forth. By agreement the citizen is protected and bound by this document Article 49 No person, groups, unions or communities shall bypass any segment of this constitution. No one may be set apart from the law. No one shall be immune. Article 50 Electronic networks shall be established inside communities, preferable at domicile level, to enact direct democracy. Direct democracy via electronic network must be protected and administered by a similar method to blockchains in bitcoin. Anonymous but every part of the process can be checked for authenticity. Article 51 Any community network must be open source. It must be checked regularly. Exploitative code must be reported via some means. And ALL citizens must be notified immediately. Article 52 Each community has the right to its own media. Media may not be owned by any persons or partnerships. Media constitutes all previous medium, print, television, radio and internet. And also is to include any future means of mass communication of entertainment or information. Article 53 The right of the people to be free from propaganda is enshrined. This is to be extended to advertising where warranted. Article 54 Each community may elect a diplomat where required for negotiations with external communities or states. No community has a right to represent another. Social services: 1- Autonomous Communities are able to enact local resolutions and budgets for social services internally. These may not be outsourced or privatised. They may not make a profit. They may employ local people only to positions of service. 2- The powers and duties of the services are to be laid out in founding local charters for these groups. It must clearly state the objective of the service. The conditions of its allocation and the boundaries of its duty. 3- it is the responsibility of each citizen to ensure these service charters are fair and equitable and at ALL TIMES are not an authoritative body. 4- each community must ensure each of its citizens has the following available at all times. i) Food security. At least 3 months of food resources in emergency ii) Continuity of utilities via at home, or local grid generation (renewable/natural not fossil fuel). The right to electricity and open free internet is enshrined as law. iii) Adequate housing or allotment of land for all to live as they choose (including transient or tent dwelling, non-traditional domicile) iv) Water. Recycled and/or sourced from the air, collected, desalinated or other processes not yet discovered. Every person must have access to clean water for drinking and sanitation. There must be a permanent supply established either at home or community level. Part VI The Judiciary/Mediation Article 55 The independence of the mediation/judiciary is founding principle of the rule of law, which ensures a just and effective resolution of incidents by competent and impartial processes. Mediators/judges must be elected by their community but may never serve in that community. They must fulfil their service in a community they have no blood relations or ties to. They must be impartial and above reproach. There must be no gathering of power to this role, it exists purely to mediate disputes between people and uphold this constitution. Article 56 Everyone charged with a criminal offence (constitutional breech) shall be presumed innocent until and unless proved guilty by a competent and impartial process. They may not be forced to testify against themselves. Article 57 All institutions of the mediation/judiciary must be composed of at least fifty per cent (50%) of either sex. Article 58 The right to defence is sacred and inviolable at all stages of an investigation and trial. Article 59 The removal of a mediator/judge from office requires a 51% decision from the community they service Article 60 Judgments and judicial decisions are issued on behalf of the people. Article 61 Failure to implement judicial decisions and orders is a violation of law. Article 62 No civilian shall stand trial before any military court or special or ad hoc tribunals. No foreign state may hold a citizen of any confederation community. All communities must band together to return their citizens to the confederation community of origin. Article 63 Searches of houses and other property must be done in accordance with a properly executed warrant, issued by a not less than 2 mediators/judicial members. Article 64 Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public process by an independent and impartial method, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him. Article 65 No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law. Article 66 Anyone who has been the victim of unlawful arrest or detention or otherwise suffered damage or harm as a result of the acts and omissions of public agents has an enforceable right to compensation. Article 67 The judiciary/mediation is established by confederation of the communities. Article 68 The Constitution applies within the Autonomous Communities. Article 69 The Constitution shall be laid before all people for review and ratification. Article 70 The Constitution sets out the framework through which decrees, and states of emergency shall be formally implemented. Article 71 All administrative bodies, institutions and committees shall be made up of at least 50 percent (50%) of either sex. Article 72 The Constitution guarantees the protection of the environment and regards the sustainable development of natural ecosystems as a moral and a sacred national duty. Article 73 Education within the Autonomous Communities rejects prior education policies based on imperialism and capitalism. Founded upon the values of reconciliation, dignity, and pluralism, a new system must be agreed upon by the communities a)- The new educational curriculum of the communities shall recognize the rich history, culture and heritage of the peoples of all Communities. b)-The education system, public service channels and academic institutions shall promote human rights and direct democracy. c)-The education system must strive to produce functional citizens not just academic education. Emotional, academic, humanities and environmental subjects must be covered Article 74 a)- The Constitution enshrines the principle of separation of religion and State. b)- Freedom of religion shall be protected. All religions and faiths in the Autonomous Communities shall be respected. The right to exercise religious beliefs shall be guaranteed, insofar as it does not adversely affect the public good. c)- religion is to be considered a form of commerce and wealth must be contributed to the community via the agreed means of taxation Article 75 a)- The promotion of cultural, social and economic advancement by administrative institutions ensures enhanced stability and public welfare within the Autonomous Communities. b)- There is no legitimacy for authority which contradicts this constitution. Any community may declare a state of emergency and request support from other confederation members. No military/police force may be deployed to resolve internal conflicts among confederation members. This is the role of mediation/judiciary Article 76 The Constitution shall be published in all available media.

Happy New Year

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Hope you all have had a good 2015 and looking forward to 2016.

A step closer to actually knowing one way or another if this is the year. Here is hoping it isn’t this year either and we all carry on as normal.

Blogger’s Pit Stop #4

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Just Plain Marie has joined Blogger’s Pit Stop, which will post on Thursdays at 9pm. This is a great place to link up your own family friendly blog posts, ask blogging questions or find new and interesting blogs to read. The Thursday posts will be packed with information (although it may be image heavy for those of you on older computers) and I know you will find it interesting and useful.

Blogger's Pit Stop

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Anti-Federalist Paper 1: General Introduction

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The Anti-Federalist Papers is the name given to the collective writings and speeches of over 50 Americans who opposed, or were critical of, the proposed new United States Constitution, for various reasons, during the ratification process from 1787 to 1789. Most of the essays were written under pseudonyms. 

Unlike the Federalist Papers (which had only three authors coordinating their efforts), the anti-federalist papers were not an organized effort. Scholars do not all agree on any one list of papers or authors.

Anti-Federalist No. 1

General Introduction: A Dangerous Plan of Benefit Only to The “Aristocratick Combination.”

I am pleased to see a spirit of inquiry burst the band of constraint upon the subject of the NEW PLAN for consolidating the governments of the United States, as recommended by the late Convention. If it is suitable to the GENIUS and HABITS of the citizens of these states, it will bear the strictest scrutiny. The PEOPLE are the grand inquest who have a RIGHT to judge of its merits.

The hideous daemon of Aristocracy has hitherto had so much influence as to bar the channels of investigation, preclude the people from inquiry and extinguish every spark of liberal information of its qualities. At length the luminary of intelligence begins to beam its effulgent rays upon this important production; the deceptive mists cast before the eyes of the people by the delusive machinations of its INTERESTED advocates begins to dissipate, as darkness flies before the burning taper; and I dare venture to predict, that in spite of those mercenary dectaimers, the plan will have a candid and complete examination.

Those furious zealots who are for cramming it down the throats of the people, without allowing them either time or opportunity to scan or weigh it in the balance of their understandings, bear the same marks in their features as those who have been long wishing to erect an aristocracy in THIS COMMONWEALTH [of Massachusetts]. Their menacing cry is for a RIGID government, it matters little to them of what kind, provided it answers THAT description. As the plan now offered comes something near their wishes, and is the most consonant to their views of any they can hope for, they come boldly forward and DEMAND its adoption.

They brand with infamy every man who is not as determined and zealous in its favor as themselves. They cry aloud the whole must be swallowed or none at all, thinking thereby to preclude any amendment; they are afraid of having it abated of its present RIGID aspect. They have strived to overawe or seduce printers to stifle and obstruct a free discussion, and have endeavored to hasten it to a decision before the people can duty reflect upon its properties. In order to deceive them, they incessantly declare that none can discover any defect in the system but bankrupts who wish no government, and officers of the present government who fear to lose a part of their power. These zealous partisans may injure their own cause, and endanger the public tranquility by impeding a proper inquiry; the people may suspect the WHOLE to be a dangerous plan, from such COVERED and DESIGNING schemes to enforce it upon them.

Compulsive or treacherous measures to establish any government whatever, will always excite jealousy among a free people: better remain single and alone, than blindly adopt whatever a few individuals shall demand, be they ever so wise. I had rather be a free citizen of the small republic of Massachusetts, than an oppressed subject of the great American empire. Let all act understandingly or not at all. If we can confederate upon terms that wilt secure to us our liberties, it is an object highly desirable, because of its additional security to the whole. If the proposed plan proves such an one, I hope it will be adopted, but if it will endanger our liberties as it stands, let it be amended; in order to which it must and ought to be open to inspection and free inquiry.

The inundation of abuse that has been thrown out upon the heads of those who have had any doubts of its universal good qualities, have been so redundant, that it may not be improper to scan the characters of its most strenuous advocates. It will first be allowed that many undesigning citizens may wish its adoption from the best motives, but these are modest and silent, when compared to the greater number, who endeavor to suppress all attempts for investigation. These violent partisans are for having the people gulp down the gilded pill blindfolded, whole, and without any qualification whatever.

These consist generally, of the NOBLE order of C[incinnatu]s, holders of public securities, men of great wealth and expectations of public office, Bankers and Lawyers: these with their train of dependents form the Aristocratick combination. The Lawyers in particular, keep up an incessant declamation for its adoption; like greedy gudgeons they long to satiate their voracious stomachs with the golden bait. The numerous tribunals to be erected by the new plan of consolidated empire, will find employment for ten times their present numbers; these are the LOAVES AND FISHES for which they hunger. They will probably find it suited to THEIR HABITS, if not to the HABITS OF THE PEOPLE. There may be reasons for having but few of them in the State Convention, lest THEIR OWN INTEREST should be too strongly considered. The time draws near for the choice of Delegates. I hope my fellow-citizens will look well to the characters of their preference, and remember the Old Patriots of 75; they have never led them astray, nor need they fear to try them on this momentous occasion.


Federalist 3: Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence (continued)

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The following is the text of the third Federalist paper, published on November 3, 1787, under the name Publius (the pseudonym used by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay). Federalist 3 was written by John Jay. In this essay, Jay continues to argue in favor of uniting the states under one national government, rather than remaining completely separate and independent states, as a union would better protect the states from foreign influence and meddling.  

Federalist No. 3

The Same Subject Continued (Concerning Dangers From Foreign Force and Influence)

To the People of the State of New York:

IT IS not a new observation that the people of any country (if, like the Americans, intelligent and wellinformed) seldom adopt and steadily persevere for many years in an erroneous opinion respecting their interests. That consideration naturally tends to create great respect for the high opinion which the people of America have so long and uniformly entertained of the importance of their continuing firmly united under one federal government, vested with sufficient powers for all general and national purposes.

The more attentively I consider and investigate the reasons which appear to have given birth to this opinion, the more I become convinced that they are cogent and conclusive.

Among the many objects to which a wise and free people find it necessary to direct their attention, that of providing for their SAFETY seems to be the first. The SAFETY of the people doubtless has relation to a great variety of circumstances and considerations, and consequently affords great latitude to those who wish to define it precisely and comprehensively.

At present I mean only to consider it as it respects security for the preservation of peace and tranquillity, as well as against dangers from FOREIGN ARMS AND INFLUENCE, as from dangers of the LIKE KIND arising from domestic causes. As the former of these comes first in order, it is proper it should be the first discussed. Let us therefore proceed to examine whether the people are not right in their opinion that a cordial Union, under an efficient national government, affords them the best security that can be devised against HOSTILITIES from abroad.

The number of wars which have happened or will happen in the world will always be found to be in proportion to the number and weight of the causes, whether REAL or PRETENDED, which PROVOKE or INVITE them. If this remark be just, it becomes useful to inquire whether so many JUST causes of war are likely to be given by UNITED AMERICA as by DISUNITED America; for if it should turn out that United America will probably give the fewest, then it will follow that in this respect the Union tends most to preserve the people in a state of peace with other nations.

The JUST causes of war, for the most part, arise either from violation of treaties or from direct violence. America has already formed treaties with no less than six foreign nations, and all of them, except Prussia, are maritime, and therefore able to annoy and injure us. She has also extensive commerce with Portugal, Spain, and Britain, and, with respect to the two latter, has, in addition, the circumstance of neighborhood to attend to.

It is of high importance to the peace of America that she observe the laws of nations towards all these powers, and to me it appears evident that this will be more perfectly and punctually done by one national government than it could be either by thirteen separate States or by three or four distinct confederacies.

Because when once an efficient national government is established, the best men in the country will not only consent to serve, but also will generally be appointed to manage it; for, although town or country, or other contracted influence, may place men in State assemblies, or senates, or courts of justice, or executive departments, yet more general and extensive reputation for talents and other qualifications will be necessary to recommend men to offices under the national government,–especially as it will have the widest field for choice, and never experience that want of proper persons which is not uncommon in some of the States. Hence, it will result that the administration, the political counsels, and the judicial decisions of the national government will be more wise, systematical, and judicious than those of individual States, and consequently more satisfactory with respect to other nations, as well as more SAFE with respect to us.

Because, under the national government, treaties and articles of treaties, as well as the laws of nations, will always be expounded in one sense and executed in the same manner,–whereas, adjudications on the same points and questions, in thirteen States, or in three or four confederacies, will not always accord or be consistent; and that, as well from the variety of independent courts and judges appointed by different and independent governments, as from the different local laws and interests which may affect and influence them. The wisdom of the convention, in committing such questions to the jurisdiction and judgment of courts appointed by and responsible only to one national government, cannot be too much commended.

Because the prospect of present loss or advantage may often tempt the governing party in one or two States to swerve from good faith and justice; but those temptations, not reaching the other States, and consequently having little or no influence on the national government, the temptation will be fruitless, and good faith and justice be preserved. The case of the treaty of peace with Britain adds great weight to this reasoning.

Because, even if the governing party in a State should be disposed to resist such temptations, yet as such temptations may, and commonly do, result from circumstances peculiar to the State, and may affect a great number of the inhabitants, the governing party may not always be able, if willing, to prevent the injustice meditated, or to punish the aggressors. But the national government, not being affected by those local circumstances, will neither be induced to commit the wrong themselves, nor want power or inclination to prevent or punish its commission by others.

So far, therefore, as either designed or accidental violations of treaties and the laws of nations afford JUST causes of war, they are less to be apprehended under one general government than under several lesser ones, and in that respect the former most favors the SAFETY of the people.

As to those just causes of war which proceed from direct and unlawful violence, it appears equally clear to me that one good national government affords vastly more security against dangers of that sort than can be derived from any other quarter.

Because such violences are more frequently caused by the passions and interests of a part than of the whole; of one or two States than of the Union. Not a single Indian war has yet been occasioned by aggressions of the present federal government, feeble as it is; but there are several instances of Indian hostilities having been provoked by the improper conduct of individual States, who, either unable or unwilling to restrain or punish offenses, have given occasion to the slaughter of many innocent inhabitants.

The neighborhood of Spanish and British territories, bordering on some States and not on others, naturally confines the causes of quarrel more immediately to the borderers. The bordering States, if any, will be those who, under the impulse of sudden irritation, and a quick sense of apparent interest or injury, will be most likely, by direct violence, to excite war with these nations; and nothing can so effectually obviate that danger as a national government, whose wisdom and prudence will not be diminished by the passions which actuate the parties immediately interested.

But not only fewer just causes of war will be given by the national government, but it will also be more in their power to accommodate and settle them amicably. They will be more temperate and cool, and in that respect, as well as in others, will be more in capacity to act advisedly than the offending State. The pride of states, as well as of men, naturally disposes them to justify all their actions, and opposes their acknowledging, correcting, or repairing their errors and offenses. The national government, in such cases, will not be affected by this pride, but will proceed with moderation and candor to consider and decide on the means most proper to extricate them from the difficulties which threaten them.

Besides, it is well known that acknowledgments, explanations, and compensations are often accepted as satisfactory from a strong united nation, which would be rejected as unsatisfactory if offered by a State or confederacy of little consideration or power.

In the year 1685, the state of Genoa having offended Louis XIV., endeavored to appease him. He demanded that they should send their Doge, or chief magistrate, accompanied by four of their senators, to FRANCE, to ask his pardon and receive his terms. They were obliged to submit to it for the sake of peace. Would he on any occasion either have demanded or have received the like humiliation from Spain, or Britain, or any other POWERFUL nation?


My Top 10 Favorite Prepper Blogs For 2015

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Picture1There are a LOT of prepper oriented blogs on the internet. A LOT! You could spend a whole day (or more) trying to do just a brief visit of many of them. As a prepper blogger myself, I spend a bit of time reviewing other blogs for some essential reasons. Partly for my own education and entertainment, and partly to see what trends preppers seem to be interested in. I then try to fill gaps with my own articles. Some sites, like my own, publish original content with the occasional guest article. Other sites re post good article and serve as sort of a “Readers Digest” for the prepper community.

The following 10 sites are simply my favorites currently. They may or may not be listed on anyone’s “Best” prepper lists, but they are the ones that I enjoyed the most this last year, and had the most influence on both my writing and personal prepping direction. Check them out. They are listed in no special order.

Thoughtfuly Prepping

This is a U.K. based site that has some really interesting content. The owner is former Brit military, and has some very interesting points of view that are often not in line with “mainstream” preppers. Much of his content revolves around U.K. politics, but he also has a large archive of practical prepping articles. “Thoughtfully” will often cause you to stop and re-evaluate pre conceived ideas you may have. Many Americans forget that there are other defenders of Western Civilization that see the issues through different eyes. Worth reading and  worth subscribing to.

Graywolf Survival

When I cam home from six years of security contracting overseas and settled in Arizona, I began re doing my preps based on the desert location I was in. This was the first blog I began actively reading because the content is written by a combat vet with much of the same experience I have, and he also resides in Arizona. His articles tend to be longer than the average “puff” prepper reads and he focuses on practical, useful information. And he does it in detail. His articles are well researched and well written and you actually get knowledge from what you read. Worth subscribing to.

Handy Granny in da Woods

Granny is a relatively new site and has a lot of good articles from the homesteading natural living point of view. She will tell you a lot of things your granny would have told you were she still around and she links to a lot of very readable articles on other sites. She wrote a good book on surviving Grid Down.

Backyard Preppers US

This site has a large amount of archived material that runs the entire gamut of prepping. Like Graywolf, their articles tend to be a bit longer and more informative that your average prepper “Puff” posts. Great for research on subjects that interest you.

The Defensive Training Group

These folks post a large amount of tactical oriented material. Their articles are well written and illustrated. Large amounts of tactical training tips and equipment reviews. I use them often for research and general knowledge. They also provide online training courses, but since I have not taken any, cannot comment of them.

Backdoor Survival

This blog has been around for some time and is currently number 2 on the Prepper Website Top Prepper List. ( I think I am somewhere around 37). Great archive of articles and I use it some for research.

US Crow

This is a seriously patriotic blog that tends towards a lot of tactical information. They have an extensive archive of articles of use to preppers. They also advertise an “elite” membership but I havn’t indulged. Their free content is very useful.

Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine

Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy are a husband/wife doctor/nurse team that has one outstanding blog that deals primarily with medical issue related to survival. They have a TREMENDOUS archive of survival medicine oriented article and I highly recommend you spend some of your prepping studies on their site!

SHTF Prepper

This is a relatively newer site that posts not only his own written material but re posts really good articles from other sites.  (He has re posted a number of mine).

Prepper Website

And finally, the grandaddy of them all. Prepper Website is a daily reader’s digest of current prepper articles. He reviews articles on a daily basis and posts links to those he thinks the prepper community will benefit some. If your article makes it to his daily page, your hits explode! This is a great place to start and he also has a tremendous archive by subject. A great place to prepper research. He also hosts the Prepper Website Top Prepper Sites list where the prepper community can vote for their favorite prepper blog once daily. I am now #37 out of 167 listed sites.

So, those were the top 10 sites I spent my time on in 2015. I am sure the list will change a bit in this coming year, but I can highly recommend all ten of the above.




Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Beggining preppers, Best prepper Blogs, Doomsday prepping, New preppers, Survival and Prepping

4 Ways to Get Water From Your Well When the Power Fails

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An Windmill

Recently I have run across several people who are concerned about how to get water out of their water well in an emergency.  Without electricity, most of today’s water wells would become useless.  But remember people had functioning wells prior to electricity.

Old-fashioned hand operated water pumps can still be purchased and are quite effective on wells less than 200 feet deep.  Some brands say that theirs will work to 300 feet in an emergency, but that the number of strokes required is less than desirable.


A Simple pump


A well bucket

If the water level in your well is over 300 feet, solar powered pumps will go as deep as 800 feet and wind powered pumps will go down to 1500 feet.  Here is a link to a prior post Solar Powered Well Pumps can Solve your Water Problems.  When I lived in the Midwest, every farm had a wind powered water pump.  You still see many of these in use in many areas.  The Aermotor Windmill Company which has made windmills since 1888, is still in business.  You can find their windmill on the internet or through a good well drilling company.  Both of these methods will make your water supply independent of the electrical grid.

A fourth method is to make a well bucket, they are simple and inexpensive to make.  Here is a link to a post that shows how to make your own, Make your own deep well bucket.  The well buckets work better in shallow wells, you can use them in deeper wells, but it will be a lot of hard work

One thing, it is important to remember is that even if your well is over 300 feet deep; the water table may be much higher in the casing.  We have a well in our family that is cased to 200 feet deep but the water level is only about 13 feet deep.  Well buckets and hand pumps may work in these wells.


Last Videocast of 2015

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happy new year 2016

In addition to our weekly audio podcast, we have a videocast broadcast live in collaboration with the nice folks at www.aroundthecabin.com.  On our videocast, we discuss the latest news as it pertains to survival and medicine, and often demonstrate items that are best explained visually. The show is usually broadcast the first and third Wednesdays of each month.

To watch, just click the link below:



Wishing you a Happy and Healthy 2016!


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



Protective Masks For Preppers

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M50_gas_maskDepending on what you perceive to be the major threats you wish to prepare for, there is a tremendous amount of equipment and supplies to choose from. Should a protective mask be a part of your preps? How do you go about making that decision? And what kind of mask would you want?

Like most issues involving equipment selection, this one needs to be looked at with sober thought before you run out and buy. So first, lets take a look at some possible reasons you might need a protective mask.

Logo_iso_radiationNuclear, Biological, Chemical Agent (NBC): If you are concerned about nuclear attack, live near a nuclear plant and worry about leaks and  meltdowns, or are concerned about a terrorist chemical or biological attack, you might have use for a mask.

1918FluVictimsStLouisDisease Pandemic: Concerned that you may have to travel through an areas where a pandemic is taking its toll on the local population?

Exploded_tear_gas_can_on_the_flyRiot Control Agents: If you get caught up in a civil unrest situation where the authorities are using crowd dispersal agents, a mask could be useful.

Traveling Through an Area With A Lot Of Decomposing Bodies. Human or animal.  Not a pleasant thought, and unfortunately a subject that seems to be avoided in most prepper circles.

surviver nuclear book_O.K. So any of the above scenarios might indicate that having a proper protective mask might be useful. But there are some limitations to masks you have to understand. A protective mask is designed to protect your lungs. To prevent you from inhaling harmful substances into them. It will not protect your body from radiation, nor will it protect you from absorbing harmful agents through your skin. To get the full benefit of a mask, you have to also know how to protect the rest of your body from a variety of harmful agents. Masks are uncomfortable and many restrict your vision. Depending on design, they can be difficult to operate a shoulder weapon when worn. And when you need it, you need it NOW! That means you need to get used to having it pretty much on you constantly, or at least in danger areas, and you need to practice, practice, practice putting it on quickly and correctly. Just like the military. Still interested?

Types Of Masks: There are types of standards you need to be aware of. These standards determine what level the mask will filter. FFP3 Filters at least 99% of airborne particles. (European standard EN 149 ). P3 Filters at least 99.95% of airborne particles.(European standard EN 143 )  P99-P100 Filters at least 99%, 99.97% of airborne particles (NIOSH-Approved U.S. standards). Make sure the mask and filter is rated for chemical blowing and riot control agents, designated by the CBA/RCA rating, and nuclear, biological and chemical agents, carrying the NBC rating.Air_Raid_Precautions_on_the_British_Home_Front-_Anti-gas_Instruction,_c_1941_D3948

Surplus or Commercial: Be very leery of surplus military masks. There is a reason they are surplus. They may be old, worn out, or out dated. Masks are relatively an expensive investment for militaries. However, there are some good ones on the market that have been in storage since manufactured and were simply replaced by newer models. You want to insure that you have a mask that will take the standard NATO 40mm filter. Regardless of the date of your mask, you need to have relatively new filters. And a number of spares! Shelf life of filters will depend on the packaging, but if they are in vacuum sealed packets they should last a lKidsInGasMasksong time before use.

Desirable Features: The first issue is that the mask will have a good seal. I will discuss checking your mask later in the article. Some masks have drinking tubes that you can connect a canteen to and drink water while masked. You mask should be able to use NATO standard 40mm filters (LEARN the markings on the filters. Some filters are for training use only and would be useless in a real scenario. Some filters are good for riot control agents but not other threats. Buy new manufactured filters and avoid surplus filters with old dates). A voice enhancing mechanism would be desirable for communication.

What To Avoid

Old US M17 series masks with cheek filters. These are hard to replace and tedious to change. These filters are now difficult to find. Trust me on this one. I have spent hours on them in the Army. All Russian, East German surplus masks. Poor quality and dubious condition.  M9 gas masks with the 60-mm size cartridge. The filters for these masks are oddly sized and are not compatible with the NATO standard 40mm filters.

Mask availability: This is an area you really need to do your research and shop around. Since the Ebola scare, quality masks are being bought up rapidly.  A good quality mask that you can rely on may either be military or commercial but can cost you some money. Do not let price be a deciding factor. Do your research, learn the subject, shop around. AGM stocks a large number of masks, filters and accessories. They also sell a kit to enable you to test your mask to check the fit of your mask. Another company, The Survival Center, also carries masks and supplies. There are two masks I have extensive experience with. The U.S. M-17 masks I used in the Army, and the GermanM65Natogasmaskwithcasecut Draeger M-65 military mask. I still use the Draeger I bought brand new years ago. It is a good mask. They can be bought very cheaply on E-bay but make sure they are unissued (not surplus) the rubber isn’t brittle or cracked, and TEST THEM FOR PROPER FIT AND BUY NEW FILTERS before you commit to relying on them.

Testing Your Mask

You can buy a kit as mentioned above or you can perform your own test. Remove the filter(s) and cover the intake hole with your hand. Breathe in and the mask should collapse on you face and remain collapsed for at least 10 seconds. If it doesn;t make sure you are closing off the air intake completely or adjust the fit using the adjustable straps. Do the test in reverse. Exhale and the mask should not alow air to escape. Guys, understand that facial hair may and probably will interfere with the proper sealing of the mask.


Like any other item of survival equipment, having a mask doesn’t mean you know how to use it. Military standard is to don, and clear your mask in 9 seconds. Are you willing to train with your mask until you can do that?


Having a protective mask may or may not fit into your prepping plans. But if you decide one is appropriate, do your research, know the subject, and buy the best quality mask you can afford. Then TRAIN with it.





Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Survival and Prepping Tagged: Gas masks for preppers

How To Surf Anonymously To Avoid Being Tracked

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How To Surf Anonymously

Is Your Internet Activity Being Tracked Right Now? Probably…

In the next 5 minutes (or less) I’m going to show you exactly how to Secure Your Internet Connection, Surf Anonymously to Avoid Being Tracked.

There are many reasons why you want to surf anonymously when you’re browsing the web and there are countless reasons why you should want to have a secure Internet connection. So let’s just cover the biggest reasons real quick.

In my opinion, the one most important reasons to surf anonymously is to avoid being tracked. Governments, hackers, cyber geeks, websites, companies, you name it they collect and track YOUR personal web history.

Are you OK with the government knowing what YOU searched and what YOU read? Do you want a hacker to know what bank website you frequent to which online store you buy from?

By surfing anonymously, your internet activity cannot be tied back to YOU. You become anonymous.

A second major threat with using an unsecured internet connection is cyber crime. Just because cyber crimes doesn’t feel “as real” or as the physical threats we prepare for doesn’t mean they are not as dangerous. In fact, cyber crimes are on the rise and will get much worse in the future.

Trust me, if you’re the victim of fraud or financial crimes, cyber terrorism, cyber extortion, cyber warfare or even simply identity theft… it will feel very real.

Before we go any further, this post is purely for educations purposes only and please don’t use this technique to surf the web undetected in order to do anything illegal or harmful. Jerks do that and jerks we are not… right?!

Here’s How Your Are Being Tracked

The first thing you need to understand is that ALL internet connections have a unique digital ID, or digital passport if you will.

Masking Your IP Address

This unique passport is called your IP Address.

When you’re surfing the World Wide Web, your Internet connection has your unique digital passport out on display for anyone to see.

Websites, hackers, government agencies, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), etc. ALL use your IP address (i.e. Digital Passport) to track where you have been and what you’ve been looking at online.

So, if you want to surf the Internet without all your personal activity being tracked and detected you will need to mask your IP address.

Unfortunately, masking your IP address is not as simple as turning it off with a setting on your computer, but it is as easy as a few clicks of your mouse.

To truly avoid being tracked you’ll need to replace your actual unique IP address with an anonymous IP address of a computer server that is located in a different place.

Hiding Your Online Identity

One way to think about this is: Masking your IP address is equivalent to having a PO box. Having a PO Box allows you to send and receive physical mail but avoids anyone being able to track the PO Box back to you and your real home address.

So by utilizing this IP address masking technique, all your browsing will be traced back to that anonymous IP address. The one that have zero associated with YOU and YOUR computer.

The easiest way to set this up is to use a virtual private network or VPN for short.

When you use a VPN you will connect your computer to a remote computer server (located not where you live) through a secure and encrypted connection.

Then once you have established the secure and encrypted connection between your computer and the VPN server you will move the origination point of your Internet browsing from your computer’s to this VPN server.

Your Internet browsing will something like this:

How A VPN Works

Here’s how you’re currently accessing the Internet:

Your Computer —> Websites

Here’s how you will be accessing the Internet going forward with a VPN:

Your Computer —> Remote VPN Server —> Websites

Now when the website you’re browsing tries to check your unique digital passport they will see that you’re located at the VPN server location and NOT where you and your computer are actually located.

OK, it’s time to stop letting anyone else snoop at your internet browsing and protect you and your family from being tracked.

There are three easy steps to successfully surf the web anonymously.

Step 1: Sign Up For HMA

The VPN provider that we personally use at Skilled Survival and highly recommend is a server called HideMyAss or HMA for short.

When it comes to VPN providers, bigger is better and HMA is HUGE.

They have 927 VPN servers in 221 countries around the world. They have 356 servers and 47,215 unique IP addresses that you can access here in the USA (and counting).

I have personally been using HMA since 2011 and couldn’t be happier with their service.

Like most things in life, you get what you pay for and with VPNs this universal truth holds as well.

HMA isn’t free, but it’s very affordable (less than 17 cents per day) when you sign up for the yearly plan. Think of it as extremely cheap insurance. Way cheaper than having your personal information or identity compromised and tracked online.

HMA also has a 30-day money back guarantee so it’s completely risk-free to try.

Step 2: Download and install HMA

You can install HMA on your computer (both Mac and PC), smartphone (Android or iOS), tablet, and even on your Linux based machine.

Hidemyass Versons

After you get signed up for HMA you can download the version of the software that’s right for you.

If you’re on a smartphone or tablet you’re going to want to download their iOS app or Android app.

After you have downloaded the software to your computer you will want to launch the program, enter your username and password and log in.

Then all you need to do is select a VPN server and click Connect.

Connect to secure vpn server

HMA will then work behind the scene to connect your computer to one of their remote VPN servers using a secure and encrypted Internet connection.

Choose The Location Of Your Secured Connection

One thing to note about the location of the VPN server you pick, the further the physical distance between your location and the VPN’s location the increased chance that your Internet connection will slow down.

So as exciting as it sounds to surf anonymously using a VPN somewhere as remote as Eygpt you might not want to do that due to surfing speed concerns.

Step 3: Surf Anonymously

See how easy that was? It’s so easy in fact that I had to make step 3 of this 3 step guide “surf the web”.

Using a Pro VPN to securely encrypt your Internet connection is an essential survivalist tool if you want to keep trackers and hackers at bay. It’s essential for everyone when sharing a public WiFi (coffee shops, etc.) so they can’t see what you’re doing, or worse yet, steal your credit card or banking information.

Using a VPN allows you to surf anonymously without leaving a trace, all you need to do is take the first step and sign up for HMA Pro VPN today.

The post How To Surf Anonymously To Avoid Being Tracked appeared first on Skilled Survival.

(Video) Seed Saving Advice for Beginners

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ayocote-de-camote-seeds-close-upHere’s a nice video from Seed Savers Exchange about things you should consider when you’re interested to begin saving seeds. The video includes short interviews with many key players from SSE and their Heritage Farm, including co-founder Diane Ott Whealy.

There is lots of sound advice here, including to choose seeds that you are passionate about, i.e. something you love to eat!

My favorite piece of advice comes from Shanyn Siegel. She says, simply, “start small.” Don’t overwhelm yourself by biting off more than you can chew. Pick one thing that you like to eat, learn to save those seeds well, and then move on from there.

Thanks to Seed Savers Exchange for the great video. You can learn more here: The Seed Garden.


Incremental Disaster Kit Week 1

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I have decided to post a small list every week that will allow you to put aside a decent emergency preperation kit in about 5 months. The goal is to be as easy on you and your wallet as possible while helping you create a workable kit. Once you have a cushion, you will find that it takes more and more mistakes and events to constitute an “emergency”…. So the ultimate goal is to build piece of mind.

The post Incremental Disaster Kit Week 1 appeared first on Shepherd School – Home for DIY Prepper Projects.

Incremental Disaster Kit (Week 20)

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We are almost done with the incremental disaster kit – by now you should see a lot of life saving food and equipment piled up in a corner of your home.  You should also be feeling more prepared as you have taken a lot of positive steps to ensure you have skills and abilities that […]

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Soap Making Trace Definition

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When you are learning about soap making trace is a word you will here often.  It is very important to proper mixture of your soap, and failure to achieve trace will leave you with a mess. I want to take a quick minute to explain soap making trace. Trace is when you are mixing your […]

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Incremental Disaster Kit (Week 10)

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To Buy: ____Waterproof portable plastic container (with lid) for important papers ____Battery-powered radio ____Wrench(es) needed to turn off utilities To Do: ____Take your network on a field trip to the gas meter and water meter shutoffs. Discuss when it is appropriate to turn off utilities. ____Attach a wrench next to the cutoff valve of each […]

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Improvised Water Faucet Winterization

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With all the ice and snow lately a friend of mine sent me this idea on Water Faucet Winterization– unfortunately due to the weather I was working a lot of overtime and I could not get this video out until now. Basically all outdoor water faucet covers work by insulating the spigot from the cold […]

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The Warrior Ethos

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See larger image The Warrior Ethos WARS CHANGE, WARRIORS DON’T We are all warriors. Each of us struggles every day to define and defend our sense of purpose and integrity, to justify our existence on the planet and to understand, if only within our own hearts, who we are and what we believe in. Do […]

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Magic Mix

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See larger image Mix-A-Meal Sometimes trying a new way of doing things is threatening to our “kitchen comfort zone”. This new idea, however, is so fast and easy you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it. With MIX-A-MEAL you can have fun meals and treats made the easy way with homemade DRY mixes. Now […]

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6 Simple Survival Skills You Should Learn In 2016

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New Year’s Resolutions often last only a few days or weeks before they’re broken, but it doesn’t have to be that way, especially if your resolution is to learn a skill that can last a lifetime.

This week on Off The Grid Radio, we present six homesteading and survival skills you can easily learn this year – skills that even may save your life during a crisis. Expert and author Lisa Bedford, better known as the “Survival Mom,” tells us how each skill can take your “prepping” to the next level and help set you apart from other survivalists.

Bedford tells us homesteading and survival skills that can:

  • help you find edible food in case your stockpile is low.
  • allow you to communicate with friends and family members miles and miles away during a disaster.
  • extend the shelf life of your vegetables and meats for months and even years.

Bedford also shares with us an overlooked skill that few survivalists have but that nearly all survivalists need. And she tells us an easy “expert method” to cook food when the power is out.

If you’re wanting to learn a few new skills this year but aren’t sure what to try, then this week’s show is for you!

When Is It Okay to Join the Looters?

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

5/5 (1) Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Benjamin Burns. Benjamin discusses a subject that I have written about in the past and it always creates controversy. Most of us view looting from the lens of a society that is largely still functional. We see images of real-life […]

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Why Preppers Should Learn Lock Picking?

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Lock Picking

We as humans all have this innate desire to preserve our lives, to survive. But what begs the question is how can we ensure this preservation that we seek? What action can we take? The fact is there is only one path to self preservation and that is to invest, to provide for our future. But where specifically should our focus be in terms of this investment? Most attempt to fulfill this by means of financial success and financial security. The problem with this method is it’s dependent upon a societal framework based on rules and structure. But what happens when one day this structure dissipates and money can no longer be used as a means of securing food, shelter, and protection.

There is another form of investment that’s not so reliant upon externalities, such as society, to be applicable and it comes not in the form of money, but that of skill sets. Skills that one may never once need to use in their entire life, but if the day ever comes that they do, they can face that adversity with grace and certitude. They can ensure their survival. While there are a vast array of skills that you could one day rely on, there is one that doesn’t quite get the attention that it so deserves. This is the skill of lock picking.

Lock picking has a massive negative reputation associated with it and it’s perfectly understandable why. The very point and purpose of lock picking is to compromise locks and you might ask why one would ever desire to learn such a skill if not to use it maliciously. But the reality is the high majority of lock pickers learn this skill for one of two reasons. The majority fall under the category of the hobbyist that enjoys the puzzle and challenge that lock picking provides. There is even a recreational sport for such hobbyists called locksport which increases in popularity every day. There are also those who want to better define what security is and learn what they can do to better protect themselves and their interests. But regardless of why other individuals choose to learn this craft, you might be wonder why you should. What value does this skill hold for you? Here are a few to start.

Enlightened Security

A very concerning realization strikes those who understand the basic concepts of locks and lock picking. This realization is that locks are an illusion. They are a fantasy that promise us safety and security, but in truth they offer very little protection against anyone with the slightest knowledge of how they work. By learning ourselves how these devices work and how they can be compromised, we will gain an invaluable perspective on what security is and what steps we can take to better that security.

There is a famous Chinese saying, “Know thy enemy.” You never know what potential enemies you may have, whether it be a SHTF situation or even just in general. Furthermore, you never know what skills and knowledge these enemies may have. To be ignorant of these rivaling skills, especially in terms of security, could be detrimental to you. However if you know what your enemy knows, or even more, the tides can be turned and you can rest well at night knowing that you and your interests are at the pinnacle of security.

Be elusive

There is a certain desire one may have to be subtle in a SHTF environment and this is one of the great perks of lock picking. It is the definition of stealth. The theory behind lock picking is to essentially mimic the key and because of this you will never leave behind any evidence that a lock was picked. This could be extremely useful in an array of scenarios such as needing to get into places without alerting others that you are doing so. Additionally, because lock picking is a non-destructive way of compromising locks, you can always reuse whatever lock you pick. You can be sure that if you need to take shelter, the lock on the door that you just picked can once again be used to protect you.

Another perk of this non-destructive quality of lock picking is that you can remove a lock without damaging what it is protecting. An excellent example of this would be trigger lock on a firearm. There are few other means of removing a trigger lock without potentially harming the weapon. The difference  that acquiring addition weapons can make in a SHTF situation could easily be the difference between life and death.


Not every door can be kicked in and not every lock breached by means of force. In any urban based survival situation you will likely find yourself needing access to places that you do not have a key to. Places that could provide food, medicine, shelter, or even weapons. To exclude these resources because you don’t have the means to access them could be damaging. There is a certain reliability that comes with lock picking. Additionally, carrying around a set of lock picks is much easier than hauling around massive bolt cutters. With lock picking in your arsenal you can enjoy a certain peace of mind knowing that locks aren’t an enemy to be feared.

Learning the Craft of Lock Picking

So as we can see, lock picking is a very practical skill set to acquire. But exactly how hard is it to learn? There is a common misconception that lock picking is a skill that requires years and years of practice to pick up, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality you can expect to learn how to pick a lock and how to apply its core concepts in a very short amount of time. After first understanding how the locking mechanisms themselves work, which are exceedingly simple in their design, you can realistically expect to start picking locks within hours, and some within minutes. But like any skill, proficiency is gain and maintained through practice.

So whether it be to take shelter in a locked building, escaping handcuffs, or to simply gain access to your home after locking yourself out, lock picking is a skill that you can always rely on. You will gain certain feeling of confidence knowing that to you the world is an open door. So open up your world and learn the art of lock picking.

Post by Guest Writer: Ryan Brown, editor of the Art-of-LockPicking.com 

The post Why Preppers Should Learn Lock Picking? appeared first on Preparing for shtf.

US New Year’s Eve forecast: Storms to take a break as cold air takes hold

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By AccuWeather

Storms will take a little break across the nation as colder air expands southward and eastward for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

“The vast majority of the nation will be free of precipitation as 2015 comes to a close and the first hours of 2016 unfold,” AccuWeather Chief Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok said.

Exceptions to the dry weather will be spotty snow and flurries downwind of the Great Lakes. Cities that may experience some snow include Sault Saint Marie and Kalamazoo, Michigan; South Bend, Indiana; Cleveland; Erie, Pennsylvania; and Buffalo and Watertown, New York.

A small pocket of freezing drizzle may develop in part of the area that was hit by the blizzard after Christmas. Motorists should be on the lookout for slippery roads in eastern New Mexico and part of western Texas.

Continue reading at AccuWeather: US New Year’s Eve forecast: Storms to take a break as cold air takes hold

Multi-day lake-effect snow event to blanket Great Lakes
Year in review: Top 5 viral weather stories of 2015
Midwestern, eastern US to shiver at start of new year as more persistent cold air dominates

Filed under: News/ Current Events, Weather

Volcanoes Today, 31 Dec 2015: Santiaguito Volcano, Fuego

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Small explosion at Santiaguito on the morning of 28 Dec 2015

Santiaguito (Guatemala): During our stay at / near Santa Maria volcano during 26-29 Dec, we observed only explosive activity at Santiaguito, but no signs of effusive activity (lava flows): no rockfalls or other movements were seen at the recently active lava flows or on the flanks of the dome itself, indicating that at present, no lava flows are active.
The volcano’s activity consisted in explosions of varying size, at irregular intervals ranging between 10 minutes and 8 hours and producing ash plumes that rose up to 2-3 km above the Caliente dome. Sometimes, only loud, jet-engine like degassing events took place instead of ash explosions. These degassing events often lasted more than 10 minutes, while the explosions typically only took less than one minute.
Photos and impressions from our (still ongoing) tour will be posted in the New Year.

Fuego (Guatemala):
The activity at Fuego might be picking up towards a new paroxysm (eruptive phase with strongly increased effusion rate, resulting in lava fountaining and lava flows).
We camped on the SW side of the volcano last night, and observed mild to strong strombolian explosions that occurred at intervals between 1 and 10 minutes. The strongest explosions sent incandescent material to heights of up to approx. 500 m and similar distances. One particularly intense explosion was accompanied by a very strong shock wave.

Continue reading at Volcano Discovery: Volcanoes Today, 31 Dec 2015: Santiaguito volcano, Fuego

Filed under: News/ Current Events, Volcanic Activity

CME Impact, Earthspots, Volcanos | S0 News Dec.31.2015

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By Suspicious0bservers

Published on Dec 31, 2015


Observing the Frontier Conference Page:


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

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

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

Todays Latest Earthquakes Worldwide Wednesday, 31 December 2015

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Source: Volcano Discovery

Earthquake list: past 24 hours (only M>=2.5) (128 quakes)

Updated: Thu, 31 Dec 14:30 UTC (GMT)

Time Mag. / Depth Nearest volcano (distance) Location Map Source
Thu, 31 Dec (64 earthquakes)
Thu, 31 Dec 13:59 UTC M 3.8 / 41.7 km – [info] (355 km) 45 km al SO de Tongoy


GUG (U. Chile)
Thu, 31 Dec 13:18 UTC M 3.1 / 51.8 km – [info] (163 km) E OFF FUKUSHIMA PREF


Thu, 31 Dec 13:09 UTC M 2.5 / 71 km – [info] Kuchino-shima (26 km) NEAR TOKARA ISLANDS


Thu, 31 Dec 12:59 UTC M 2.5 / 5.9 km – [info] (935 km) New Zealand


Thu, 31 Dec 12:16 UTC M 3.7 / 86 km – [info] (178 km) 45 km al SUR de TONALA, CHIS


Thu, 31 Dec 12:13 UTC M 2.5 / 27.5 km – [info] (145 km) E OFF IBARAKI PREF


Thu, 31 Dec 11:56 UTC M 2.5 / 32.2 km – [info] (101 km) New Zealand


Thu, 31 Dec 11:35 UTC M 3.2 / 10 km – [info] (498 km) OKLAHOMA


Thu, 31 Dec 11:20 UTC M 3.9 / 8 km – [info] (315 km) 10 km al SUR de PINOTEPA NACIONAL, OAX


Thu, 31 Dec 11:20 UTC M 2.8 / 39 km – [info] (245 km) OFFSHORE COQUIMBO, CHILE


Thu, 31 Dec 11:05 UTC M 2.6 / 15.3 km – [info] (63 km) – 59km N of Warm Springs, Nevada


Thu, 31 Dec 10:57 UTC M 5.6 / 68 km – [info] (96 km) Near Coast of Nicaragua


Masatepe / MMI V (Moderate shaking)
Riu hotel playa matapalo / MMI III (Weak shaking)
Popoyo beach / MMI IV (Light shaking): Woke to shaking of my bed at 5 am local time
Guanecaste Costa Rica / MMI IV (Light shaking): We are at the RIU in Costa Rica and the building rumbled.
Managua holiday Inn express hotel / MMI IV (Light shaking): I’m at the holiday Inn express in managua Nicaragua with my wife and child and we felt the bed swinging side to side for about a good 20 secs thank god it’s all good now time felt was just around 505am it’s now 637am all good happy new years
Enschede / not felt: Probably big tsunami warning.
Enschede / not felt: Probably big tsunami warning.
Enschede / not felt: Probably big tsunami warning.
Leonel Reynosa (Nicaragua) (100 km N from epicenter)(no details): Shaking not felt, but noise from doors, furniture and other objects was clearly heard for several seconds. People sleeping in the house didn’t wake up. (via EMSC)
El Gigante (Nicaragua) (62 km E from epicenter)(no details): My house shook for a few minutes (via EMSC)
Read all reports
Thu, 31 Dec 10:32 UTC M 3.1 / 2 km – [info] (1517 km) 3.1 NORTHERN TERRITORY, AUSTRALIA


Thu, 31 Dec 10:04 UTC M 2.8 / 39.2 km – [info] (157 km) New Zealand



Continue reading at Volcano Discovery: Todays Latest Earthquakes Worldwide Wednesday, 31 December 2015

Filed under: Earthquakes, News/ Current Events

APOCABOX Holiday Survival Challenge Series: Challenge #3 – Christmas Tree Snow/Bog Shoes

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Challenge Series Overview

As APOCABOX subscribers already know, a big part of each box is completing my Survival Skills Challenge issued in each box.  Unlike the APOCABOX Survival Skills Challenge, this survival skills challenge series is open for everyone to participate.  I’ve teamed up with two survival buddies of mine (Hank Gevedon of Reptile Toolworks and Dave Mead of Mead Longbows) to issue a series of THREE Survival Skills Challenges to take place in between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  The purpose of this challenge series is to not only hone your survival skills but to also utilize holiday products/materials that might traditionally be thrown away.  As I always say, your most important survival skill is the ability to IMPROVISE.  These challenges will call upon those skills and hopefully strengthen them.

And, YES, there are awesome prizes.  Prize details and descriptions below.

Challenge #3: Christmas Tree Snow/Bog Shoes


Traveling in deep snow of wet bog conditions can be extremely difficult in normal footwear.  This challenge is to create a set of Snow/Bog shoes using the limbs from your Live Cut Christmas Tree.

Challenge Instructions, Tips & Tricks


Gather 10 saplings (Christmas tree limbs can work for this) that are ideally about as long as you are.  If limbs of this length aren’t available, use the longest ones.  Remove/trim any small branches flush with the limb or sapling.


Each shoe will be 5 sticks wide.  Line up 5 of your cleaned saplings/limbs so that all the small ends are together.  Tie them together about 2 inches from that end.



Now cut 1 solid stick that is approximately 1 inch in diameter x 10 inches long.  This is the 1st of 2 “BRACE STICKS”.  Balance the shoe as best you can on your index finder to find a properly balanced midpoint.  This spot is where the heel of your foot will go.  Lash the cut brace stick across and on top of the shoe at this point.  Lash so that that the 5 saplings/limbs are spaced evenly underneath the 1×10 brace stick.  “U” notches on the underside of the brace stick will help keep the saplings in place.


Tie thick ends of the show saplings/limbs together leaving a width of at least 1” between them.  A series of overhand knots are sufficient for spacers.  See diagram above.


Repeat Step 3 to create a second brace for the ball of your feet.  Find this point by placing your heel on the brace stick lashed across in Step 3.


Repeat Steps 2-5 for other shoe.



While standing on your shoe, tie/lash around the bottom of your shoe (around the brace under the ball of your feet) and up around your toes, knotting it there.  Tie the middle of another section of cordage to that knot and bring the end around your heel and tie them together snuggly there.

**NOTE** Snow shoes will be easier to use if the tip curls up slightly.  A cord tied to the tip of the shoe and pulled tightly to the 1st brace and secured can curl them sufficiently. See photo for details.

Learn a new survival skill every other month with the 



Myself, Hank and Dave will be the judges of the completed SNOW/BOG SHOE photos submitted for the challenge.  As you can see by the prize details below, there will be three prizes awarded per challenge: an overall winner, a runner up and an honorable mention.  To enter, you must submit a photo of your improvised SNOW/BOG SHOES using one of the following:

1:  SUBMIT on INSTRAGRAM using the hash-tags: #apocabox AND #holidaysurvivalchallenge

2: Post photo on the APOCABOX FACEBOOK page at: http://www.facebook.com/apocabox

3: Email photo to me at creek@creekstewart.com if you don’t use social media

CHALLENGE DURATION:  Challenge starts 12/28/15 and Submission deadline for this challenge is 1/01/16.  Prizes will be announced on 1/02/16.

PRIZE DESCRIPTIONS (All prizes must be mailed to someone 18 years of age or older):




1 of these arrowheads is knapped by a master flint knapper.  The other 4 are cast to match its every detail in 4140 tool steel


Hank Gevedon had an interest in arrowheads long before he met a most talented flint knapper at a bow hunting show.  The arrow and spear points that he was knapping were being produced using the same technology that had been used for 10-12 thousand years.  The arrow points that he was producing had been in use for over one thousand years on this continent.  The technical side of Hank realized that while the stone-age craftsman had reached the limits of his material, he had not.  Hank saw a vision of producing an exact replica of the stone point in a super tough tool steel.  He then developed a system that allowed him to harden and diamond sharpen these steel replica points.  After overcoming several manufacturing hurdles and extensive testing he has now produced an amazing projectile point.  Hank is now producing an entire line of Flint 2 Steel arrowheads following these techniques that will be available in the near future.  These diamond sharpened points provide amazing serrated penetration on carcasses as well as car doors and steel drums.

For more details on this HUNTING ARROWHEAD Collector’s Set,  visit http://www.facebook.com/meadlongbows or for additional photos email meadlongbows@gmail.com


1 Month Subscription to Creek’s Subscription Survival Box – APOCABOX



IshWash Emergency Eyewash Kit + 1 puck of Instant Bowstring



Good luck!  The deadline for entry in ALL 3 Survival Challenges is January 1st 2016 at MIDNIGHT!

If you’re like me and like SURVIVAL HACKS, consider picking up a copy of my next book: SURVIVAL HACKS on AMAZON at:




EDC For Black Scout Survival (Video & Transcript)

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Video By T Jack Survival
Please support their channel by subscribing here

Transcription provided by American Preppers Network

Number of speakers: 1 (Tyler)
Duration: 16 min 23 sec

Watch More T Jack Videos Here

EDC For Black Scout Survival

Hey this is Tyler with T Jack survival and today I am going to demo my little survival kit. This is the smallest one that I have. I have a bunch of little kits. One is a fire kit, survival kit, communications kit, and for the channel Black Scout Survival he has asked me to do this little kit. So stay tuned.”

“So a quick little discussion on the concepts behind what you should do or what you should use to put inside of your EDC kit. Now first off, it needs to be small, okay. This little kit I can just grab and put in the pocket of my pant leg. I can leave it in another bag. I can throw it in my work bag with my lunch. I can do a lot of stuff with it because it is so small and mobile.”

“The second thing is it needs to be able either cover or assist you in covering the major survivor related items. Fire, water, shelter, food. In addition to that I like to add communication, security, and power for communication and possibly observation. Communication is going to be your cell phone, HAM radio or something like that.”

“Power for communication is going to be a battery pack, a solar panel, a solar panel with a battery pack back up that triple charges or some way for you to continue to power your devices.”

“Security is going to be a knife, a pistol or something to keep the animals off of you or from attacking you that usually can double as a good hunting tool. So I’ve got communication, power, and security. The other ones are fairly self-explanatory. Fire is incredibly important. You can’t do anything without fire for the most part. You need it to boil water. Eventually when your tools like your filters or chemical purification runs out it always comes back to water boiling. That is your basis, your fall back for everything. So, fire needs to be there to boil water, you need it for heat, you need it for a friend, you need it to cook food. Sometimes you need it to boil certain plants to gain the nutrients from there. So fire is incredibly important. That is why I have a couple different versions of fire in my kit.”

“When it comes to a kit, you don’t always just have to be fire, water, shelter, food. The things that you need to use on a regular basis like a pen and paper. That’s not fire, water, shelter and food. Yeah I can grind up my paper and catch it on fire but it’s not really its original intent. However, it is incredible useful. It’s something I use all the time writing down notes, description’s, leave pictures of dead fall or a figure four or a loaded spring trap or whatever trap that you want. You can put that all on your paper. You can burn your paper if you need to but if you don’t need to then you’ve got it.”

“Another item that is not as good, the little peanut lighter that I have in my bag is not as good a fire starter for me as that striker is because that striker, I am very successful with that striker on a regular basis but that little peanut lighter doesn’t always work. However, I keep it in there because it is good to have a flame back up. When you make your EDC kit don’t just focus on survival but look at things that you can use that is useful. Maybe allergy medication, Visine eye drops, Chap Stick, extra batteries. I have a larger kit that has extra batteries and a head lamp in it. I don’t have that in this kit because I just never need it. I’ve always got in my larger kits the flash lights and stuff. It is a true survival situation let your eyeballs adjust to the moonlight and drive on. I’ve done plenty of forest marches at night with no lights at all. It is completely doable.”

“Anyways, that is just the basic concept that I wanted to give you on your kit. Get your fire, water, shelter, food and if you have a large enough kit cover, communication, power for communication and security. Oh and I’m sorry, the last one, observation. A pair of binoculars or a way to hide your self is observation. Either see or be seen. If you’ve got some money maybe some night vision googles. It’s a military concept I’m bringing in anyways.”

“Use the little kits to assist the larger kits. Use your little kit in conjunction with the canteen cup and poncho. Or a bigger kit that’s got MREs and food and a rifle and all that other fun stuff. But truly, if you have the right skill set you don’t need any of the gear but it’s not about need it’s about “Man I wish I had a go lock to chop this tree down instead of this rock.” Or its about, ”Man I wish I had some chemical purification so I can just drop it in and go so I don’t have to sit here and make a fire and boil my water.” So try and find the items that give the absolute most bang for the buck that are small and will fit in your small kit.”

“So I’ve got this Maxpedition hard use gear bag right here and there is a fatty and a mini. This one is the mini. I don’t remember the full name of it. It’s the mini something. And there is a couple of things that I like to have in my actual EDC survival kit. I am constantly doing stuff with my 550 cord.”


“So I’ve got this little guy right here called a peanut lighter. Now the peanut lighter is just a baby Zippo. There we’ve got the spark and the little wick and then it’s just got fuel on the bottom. You can just pull it out like that and that will give you the ability to add more fuel to the bottom of this. It’s just Zippo fuel. I would have quite literally a Zippo fuel tank right here that I’ve attached to it on the key chain. Then fortunately this guy has a O-ring there so I can tighten it up. I can get the stuff to align. It won’t lose all its juice. One of the biggest failures of a Zippo light is that if you leave it for a long period of time it will evaporate and run out of juice. So I’ve got back up juice and then I’ve got the juice in there.”

“Another thing I’ve got in there is Chap Stick. Not only is it good for your lips it can also be added to dry kindling right. Then you can put a spark on that and it works as a mini candle. So if you’ve got some dry grass or something you can always add this to it. Then I have fire pistons in my kit that is dedicated to teaching fire. And it is a really good way to lubricate the O-ring on a fire piston. So I leave that in there as well.”

“My primary fire starter is this ESEE Ferro Rod. It’s got, the reason why I really like this one the most. First off that’s a big fat chunk of Ferrocerium steel right there, but secondarily its got a really nice compass in there. So that’s a really nice secondary item to have. Now what I’ve done is added in the back of this cotton and petroleum jelly. The cotton works as a wick and the petroleum jelly burns. A little close up there. With this cotton and petroleum jelly all I have to do is take a pinch of it, spread it out, hit that with a spark and I’ve got anywhere from a one to five minute flame that I can use to light my kindling. On this is a big, huge O-ring on the inside of there that is replaceable that keeps everything dry but fortunately cotton and petroleum jelly, you can get it damp, you can even get it wet and it’ll still take a spark as long as you just flip all the water off it.”


“Alright this little guy, this little snake, is just a high carbon steel and this is an ember lit fire striker. An Ember Lit Fire Striker. He’s got a lot of cool designs. This one he just added, it’s the same design as the old school hand forged stuff but it’s got a cool little rattle snake on it. I really like this one; it’s one of my more favorite ones. (Demonstration) You can see a couple sparks coming off there. I can see them, its daylight though so I’m not sure if you can. So all I do is add a little char cloth to that. When I carry that I have a little Altoids tin with char cloth in it that I add to it. So I’ve got a rock, a little striker.”

“This is a nice little back up. It doesn’t add a lot of weight. Basically what this guy is, is a razor and a saw. A little hack saw. The hacksaw is nice. It’s kind of a mechanism you can use to cut out of hand cuffs if you need to. I happen to use it to put a notch in my bow drill but it’s really nice having that super light back up in there. So I just throw it in there.”

“One other thing, since this kit usually supplements stuff, like as an example the thing I am supplementing today is my Faullkniven blade. An F1. I always got a knife on me. So when you’re carrying a knife a good thing to have in your EDC is a way to sharpen it. The owner of Faullkniven Knife, Pete, sent me a sharpening stone here. There is a Faullkniven knife and D/C stone. This one is phenomenal because it has a soft stone and a diamond stone. That way you can change the grit. You can grind through with your diamond stone and then finish off with your soft stone and that gives you a lot of options for in the field sharpening.”

“For my signaling device I have a little signaling mirror. It’s just a little SOL signaling mirror. Get a view of that. It’s got the little signaling piece in the middle. There’s a bunch of ways you can run your signaling mirror it’s also nice to be able to use it as a normal mirror for shaving or whatever you want. This is also a type of polymer so it’s not going to crack. It’s not an actual piece of glass. I really like that cause it will handle some abuse. I’ll leave this in its bag and slam that back in there.”

“On this far side, I’ve got 2 pens a write in the rain notebook because I always want to write stuff down. I’m not gonna open that and show you what’s in there but I’ve got pictures of traps, phone numbers, and I’ve got GPS coordinates that I wanted to save. Just always stuff you can do with a little write in the rain memo pad. Paper can be used for kindling. It’s a super multi use.”


“The final thing I’ve got in here is a pick kit. It’s just really nice to have access to a pick kit. This is a very versatile kit. I have stuff for vehicles, stuff for houses, and stuff for little locks. I even have a broken key removing device right here. So what you can do with a kit like this is gain access to old, broken down abandon things. You can get back in your own stuff that you’ve locked yourself out of. You can help people who have locked themselves out of things. This requires some skills associated with it. You don’t just buy this kit and wiggle around and make it work, but if you check on Black Scout Survivals YouTube Channel he has some really solid explanations of how to use these tools. This is a professional version of it but there is also his version which is the small Bogota kit. I have those in my wallet and I love them. They are titanium and they are strong and capable of doing a lot of different things with it.”

“So this is my basic EDC kit. This is the stuff that I just want to keep together in a bundle that I carry. I’ll leave this in my back pack or my bag. In all reality if I go to the field with just this kit, a solid knife, a canteen and a canteen cup, and a poncho and a poncho liner or just a poncho depending on the weather I can survive in just about anything. So I can make a shelter, I can wrap this up and sleep in it, I can hide from people with it; I can collect water with this device. I can boil water in this, I can cook food in it and pour it into my canteen and transport it. I can use normal water put it in my canteen and use a quarter of my tablets, cause I have to have the measurement correct and then I can just chlorinate the water. I can put it in this little container and attach it to my belt and then get this container wet and use evaporative cooling to make sure my water stays wet in the dessert. That is awesome to have. My knife, I’m not even gonna explain what you can do with a knife, you all know that. I just happen to have this guy right here. This is the Bark River Parang. This thing is awesome. You can whip out a shelter with this thing in about a half an hour to an hour. So much faster blowing through the wood than it is using a small knife. Not that it can’t be done, but if you need a basic survival kit that’s complete, that’s it right there. In conjunction with wearing the right amount of clothing, that is all you need in your little set up survival kit.”

“When I made this video I had the intention that showed the stuff that I really use and I grabbed the three things that I normally grab when I am going out by myself and I’m not filming stuff. This is what I’ll take with me. Normally I have a hatchet instead of this Parang because this parang is brand new to me but for certain stuff it is going to replace that hatchet. This is my actual use kit. This is what I take to the field or when I’m hiking. This is my kit.”


“Thank you for watching this video. Please subscribe to T-Jack Survival which is my channel. T J-A-C-K and to Black Scout Survival which you should be watching this video on and thanks for your time guys.”


This Transcription is available for copy under the Creative Commons By-ND license.  You may copy and repost this transcription in its entirety as long as original links, affiliate links, and embedded video remain intact, including this CC notice. 

The post EDC For Black Scout Survival (Video & Transcript) appeared first on American Preppers Network.

10+ Urban Survival Tips You Should Learn

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Happy New Year, everyone! Let’s kick it off with a series of videos full of urban survival tips. This series was created by Reality Survival. When I first discovered it there were only 10 videos, but since then he’s added 3 more videos in just a few weeks […]

The post 10+ Urban Survival Tips You Should Learn appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Preparing for the darkness of 2016.

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Hello everyone! In today’s post, we are going to look at the coming year and what we may see in 2016.  No, I am no prophet, but there are some things that are pretty obvious and some that I think may take many off guard.  Grab a cup of coffee and have a seat while we …

The post Preparing for the darkness of 2016. appeared first on American Preppers Online.

How To Sun Map Your Garden

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big sun map

Plants are expensive. Even if you start them from seeds and you don’t have much money invested in them, you’re going to be investing time in getting them to grow. It would be incredibly easy if all plants needed the same amount of sunlight, and if all areas of your garden got the same amount of sun on a daily basis, but it just doesn’t work that way!

Some plants need full sun, which usually means that they need at least 6 hours or so of direct sunlight daily in order to grow properly. Partial sun or partial shade means that the plant needs between 3 and 6 hours of direct sun daily.

Dappled sun or indirect sun means that your plant needs 3-5 hours of sun, but that it shouldn’t be direct – in other words, plant it somewhere that the sun trickles through leaves or screen. Finally, some plants thrive in full shade, which means that they don’t do well with more than 3 hours of direct sun daily.

Now that we’ve gotten the definitions out of the way, let’s talk about how you can figure out where your plants would thrive the best before you plant them. It’s called sun mapping and will save you a ton of time and plants that don’t thrive.

How to Do It

Sun mapping will require that you be around the house for a full day, daylight to whenever the sun leaves your garden area, but then you’ll know exactly where you should put each plant.

You can actually buy kits that monitor your yard’s exposure for about twenty bucks but you only know how long the sun is shining in those particular spots. If this is good enough for what you need to do, go ahead and pick it up. All you have to do is put it in your garden, turn it on, and come back to it 24 hours later. It will give you all the information you need for that area.

Since, as preppers and homesteaders, we’re not particularly into depending upon a store-bought kit, you may be interested to know that there is a way for you to do it yourself with just some graphing paper, some colored pencils, and your time.

First, in order to sun map your yard, you’ll need to draw a fairly accurate depiction of your yard. Be sure to include any structures, including your house or garage, and trees that are going to shed shade over the area at any point because that’s going to be important. You don’t have to be dead accurate, but you want to be as close as possible.

Before you begin to sun map, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind.

  • Deciduous trees are going to lose their leaves in the fall and grow them back in the spring so if you’re in a relatively mild climate, this is important. Also, if you’re mapping in the spring, you may want to wait until the trees have all of their leaves on before you map.
  • The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, which means that your sun and shade are going to be moving from east to west.
  • Pump houses and other structures are going to cast shadows, as will trees.
  • Shade moves clockwise
  • It’s best to do this twice per year; once in the summer when the days are long, and once in the early spring or late fall when the days are shorter so that you have a more accurate depiction of when every part of your yard gets sun.

Now that you have your yard all drawn out, get ready to get up early tomorrow!


As soon as the sun comes up and starts shining even a little bit on your yard, draw a line on your map that shows where the sun starts and record the time on your map.

Now here is where your method may vary a bit.

Some people like to sun map the garden every hour, which is no doubt the most accurate, and some only do it a few times throughout the day.

Since the process is basically the same, there’s not really any difference in how you map your yard; just how many colored pencils you’ll need!

The next time you go out, (no more than a couple of hours later), use a different color pencil to draw another sun line, and also shade any areas that are now shaded. Repeat this process throughout the day. By the end of the day, you’ll have a pretty good depiction of what parts of your yard get how much sun. Be sure to mark the time that your garden or yard is completely shaded.

It’s important that you are as detailed as possible in your notations while you’re sun mapping your garden. Record where the sun is dappling through, and record where the house or barn starts to shade the garden and when. After you have your sun map complete, you’ll be able to take the next step: planning your garden!

Sun mapping can be a bit confusing but once you actually start doing it, you’ll see that the process is much simpler to do than it is to read about. This may seem like a lot of work, but it will pay off in the end when your shady plants are enjoying the shade and your full-sun plants are basking in the rays all day!

If you’ve ever sun mapped and have any suggestions, or if you’d like to give it a try but still have some questions, please feel free to comment in the designated section below.


This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

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2015: A Very Spiritual Year

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     As I reviewed my posts over the last year and took a look back over the top news stories, it became quite clear that in 2015, spiritual matters were front and center.  Whether it was Winter Storm Juno that began the year with a tidal wave of snow and crippling blizzards, or the way we are ending 2015 with a raging storm named Goliath, one has to wonder if these mega-weather events are part of the geo-engineering phenomena or judgments from God. (I find the choice of names curious — a goddess of war and fertility; and a nephilim giant, a descendant of the union between fallen angels and human women.  Nothing in this world is done by accident, so I am left wondering the significance of these selected names).
     The major news headlines definitely speak of the ongoing battle between the spiritual realm and the world in which we live.  Just let your soul feel what comes to light as I recall these events:  the rise of ISIS … Charlie Hebdo … the Charleston, NC church shooting … Paris concert hall shooting … San Bernardino … the European refugee crisis … the Iran nuclear deal … the racial tension and division in Ferguson, Chicago, and Cleveland … the Planned Parenthood scandal … gay marriage and transgenderism …
     Do you see it?  These are a random selection of the top news stories of 2015, yet I assert that each of them is the result of direct influence from what the Apostle Paul refers to as “[the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, [and] the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.”  It is becoming apparent to me, at least, that these forces are causing an increase in man’s natural sin state and contributing to a reprobate mind that has led to all the bloodshed, violence, racial hatred, moral decay and unprincipled deception that we see all around us.
     It is apparent as we see a connection forming between Science and Sin in the development of transhumanism; in the expansion of forced vaccinations; and in the evolution of CERN, who appears to be trying to recreate a “Tower of Babel” scenario and unlock the gate to Heaven.
     And I certainly think we are seeing the implications of the Beast System talked about in the Bible. From the overwhelming amount of data collection, to chip implantation, to companies being run out of business because of their faith, to climate and gun control agendas, to Agenda 21 and 2030, to Global Government in the form of Strong Cities and Sanctuary Cities — they all lead to oppression and the dehumanization of mankind. And it will all be orchestrated through the Deception, Division, Diversion, and Discouragement of Satan and his servants.
     And caught in the cross-hairs will be the followers of Christ.  This year has seen an unprecedented increase in persecutions against Christians; from Niger in Western Africa to the Christian communities in Iraq and Syria, they are being martyred for their faith — and willingly sacrificing their lives to torture, rape, crucifixions, and beheadings, rather than deny their allegiance to Jesus.  To think that we Christians in the West will be spared (or deserve to be!) is not Biblical.  This is the year that has shown us that we better know where we stand with God.
     Which brings me to the topic of the Church.  We have seen the Body of Christ struggle this year with fulfilling its commission.  And I have to ask if it is remaining true to the commandments of God.  Each Christian must answer for himself if his Church represents the Biblical principals laid down by God and if they have answered His mandate, which is to let the Holy Spirit guide the Church into affecting everything around it — from their city, to their country, to their continent, to the rest of the world.  Sadly, I have come to the conclusion that most churches in this nation, at least, rarely affect anyone or anything outside their church building, if that.  And that is why I have seen a growing remnant of God’s people being called out of the confinement of those four walls to listen to and follow the “dunamis” power of the Holy Spirit, which comes by the authority of Christ and strengthens us and gives us the ability to continue His work in the world.
     Which brings me to my final conclusion regarding this year.  As I perused each of my 359 posts for the year, I noticed a decidedly common thread amongst them.  This past year I felt my faith more intensely than ever before.  The worry and anxiety over world events and comparisons with Biblical prophecies sent me into intense periods of testing.  But with this reflection and introspection, I came out on the other side, with my faith strengthened and with a more dynamic relationship with the Holy Spirit.  I have personally witnessed His power this year and how He works with Jesus to heal us and free us of our bondage to the Enemy.  That has resulted in a bolder and more daring faith; one that has released me from the “comfort zone” of my Western Christian experience.  And I am discerning that this is where I will need to be in order to persevere and grow in 2016.
     I’m pretty sure that many of you have taken this same journey as I during the last year.  And it is exciting to be expanding my boundaries and territory for the Kingdom of God.  Whatever the next year brings, I am grateful for the news, both good and bad, from this past 12 months.  We have learned much about ourselves and the power of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  It will keep us steadfast in our faith as we go forward together; strengthening and encouraging each other for whatever this world throws at us.  So long, 2015 — we are revived and ready for 2016!

 Romans 15:4    “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

4 Overlooked Meats The Rest Of The World Eats (That We Should, Too)

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4 Overlooked Meats The Rest Of The World Eats (That We Should, Too)

Image source: mindcryme.com

Eating the organs of animals is quite popular throughout the world, but many Americans find the idea to be unpleasant. Perhaps that is because of a lack of exposure to organ meats or a memory of a badly cooked meal. Either way, adding organ meats to your regular diet can give you a significant healthy boost.

While some of these following meats aren’t actually organs but muscle, they tend to be lumped into the same category.

1. Liver

One of the most common true organ meats is the liver, and if you were to only eat one type of organ, this should be it. The liver is not only loaded with nutrients, but is a source of certain ones you probably struggle to get through other foods.

You may have already heard that liver is an incredible source of vitamin A. Retinol, a form of vitamin A from animal products, is a major reason for eating liver. Approximately four ounces of beef liver gives you more than 1,600 percent of the daily recommended intake of this vitamin. In addition to vitamin A you also get major doses of B vitamins. Don’t forget about the iron, folate and other nutrients as well!

The Easiest Way To Store A Month’s Worth Of Emergency Food!

There is some concern that the liver can be a source of toxins, since one part of the many jobs this organ performs is filtering blood and detoxification of chemicals. This risk of this happening is quite low, but it’s a good idea to eat the highest quality liver possible — meaning livers from livestock that were not factory farmed. (Recommended: “Liver: The Underappreciated Superfood Of Yesteryear.”)

Recipes for cooking liver:

2. Kidneys

4 Overlooked Meats The Rest Of The World Eats (That We Should, Too)Less popular than liver, kidneys are another organ that can be quite tasty when cooked properly.

Just like the liver, the kidneys are a great source of vitamin A. Kidneys do have less vitamin A compared to liver (close to about half) but are still higher than most foods. Kidneys provide a nice boost of iron, as well — about five grams in a serving. Finally, these organs are a great source of vitamin B12 — at least 300 percent more than the daily recommended intake, depending on the type of kidney.

Recipes for cooking kidney:

3. Heart

Less often consumed is the heart. Of course, the heart is a muscle but it offers nutrients more similar to organ meats than muscle meats. Aside from that, heart is considered offal so it’s often lumped into the category of organs.

Beef heart is high in protein and a very rich meat. It is particularly high in vitamin B12 and iron (notice a pattern here?). A three-ounce portion of beef heart will provide roughly 200 percent of the daily recommend intake of B12. Ironically, B12 is an important vitamin for cardiovascular health. As for iron, you can expect to get about 50 percent of your recommended intake if you are a man or about 22 percent if you are woman.

Emergency Survival Seed Bank Provides THOUSANDS Of Pounds Of Food

Most people tend to find that heart has a very strong flavor, particularly beef heart. If you know you don’t like beef heart, then give the milder chicken hearts a try before writing off this meat altogether.

Recipes for cooking heart:

4. Tongue

A final muscle that isn’t an organ but often lumped into the same category is the tongue. Beef tongue is quite the delicacy in other parts of the world, such as Japan where you can find beef tongue-flavored savory snacks.

Since the tongue is high in fat it isn’t as tricky to cook and is quite versatile in how it can be prepared. The downside is that tongue isn’t as packed with nutrients as the other organs/meats. In comparison to the other meats mentioned, beef tongue only has 12 percent of the recommended iron daily intake and 22 percent for B12. Despite this, tongue is still a nice addition to add variety to your diet. Plus, it is usually quite cheap!

Recipes for cooking tongue:

If you truly dislike the taste of offal or organ meats, then don’t feel like you have to force yourself to eat them. However, there are many recipes out there that may work for you.

Do you enjoy organ meats or offal meats? Please share your tips for cooking up these meats in the comment section below.

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

Choosing a Home-Defense Gun

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Choosing a Home-Defense Gun

Choosing a Home-Defense Gun

Possibly the only topic to generate more arguments than politics is the never-ending discussion of what qualifies as the “best” home-defense gun. The truth of the matter is, no single shooting solution meets the needs of every individual or household. Every firearm is an exercise in compromise. Each platform has limitations to be considered carefully when making a choice.

Many firearms can be useful for a variety of applications, such as target shooting, hunting and concealed carry, as well as protecting your family. However, the following discussion focuses on firearms in the primary role of home defense. The general advantages and disadvantages of each gun type should be considered in light of the fact that most houses and living areas limit the defender’s mobility. Remember, practical defensive shots will be fired at very close range, i.e. contact distance, to across-the-room ranges of 5 to 10 yards.

Gun buyers should be looking for a firearm and ammunition combination offering an optimum level of stopping power. Overpowered guns produce excessive amounts of recoil, noise and muzzle flash that can leave the home defender deaf, blind and pointed in the wrong direction. More importantly, hot rounds are more likely to pass through the intended target, travel through thin wall or window materials and keep on going to cause unintended damage to others. At the other end of the spectrum, underpowered guns will not stop the threat effectively.

Dealing with the concerns of overpenetration or underpowered defense options is one of the reasons civilians are often encouraged to examine law enforcement agency practices. A police officer and a home defender have the same goals in mind, namely, to stop a threat quickly without causing unintended collateral damage. So don’t be too surprised when some of the gun choices listed here look like they came out of a precinct inventory.

Plenty of affordable rifles and handguns are available chambered in .22 Long Rifle. However, they should be avoided for home-defense. The .22 round produces low levels of stopping power, allowing an assailant to continue doing harm long after he or she has been struck by the bullet. Rimfire guns like the .22 are more likely to jam or fail to fire due to faulty primers than center-fire shotgun, rifle or handgun cartridges. The .22s are terrific for plinking, small-game hunting and practice but they have no place in a home-defense lineup.

     Find out more about using cold weapons for survival on Bulletproof Home

The primary difference between shotguns intended for outdoor sports and those for self-defense is the barrel length. Combat shotguns—sometimes called riot guns, are typically fitted with short barrels between 18.5 to 20 inches in length. Some combat models offer an extended magazine capacity, or a specialized sighting system, but they are usually the same as sporting shotguns in other respects.

The common types of combat shotgun include pump-actions, semi-automatics and occasionally break-actions. The pump-action, or slide-action, requires the shooter to pull the forearm back toward the receiver and then push it forward again to chamber a fresh round from the magazine. Pumps are plentiful, relatively inexpensive and mechanically reliable. Semi-automatics chamber a fresh round with each pull of the trigger until the magazine is empty. Semi-autos can fire shots more quickly and accurately, but they are more expensive to buy. Break-actions are hinged to allow the base of the gun’s single or double barrel to swing away from the receiver to remove spent shells and load fresh ones manually. Break-actions are reliable and simple to operate, but they only offer a one or two-shot capacity.

The 12-gauge combat shotgun has been called the most effective anti-personnel firearm invented. The saturation effect of buckshot and, at close range, birdshot is simply devastating to soft tissue. The result is a high degree of stopping power. However, the felt recoil produced by the 12-gauge is intense, often too intense for small-framed shooters. The shoulder-bruising effects of the shotgun can be reduced by switching to low-recoil ammunition or by using a 20-gauge instead.

Shotguns have a low ammunition capacity, usually 4+1 in the chamber, compared to most tactical rifles and semi-automatic handguns. They are relatively slow to reload, requiring rounds to be fed into the chamber or magazine one at a time. Also, their length and weight can make them difficult to maneuver in tight spaces.

It’s important to take a moment here to dispel some of the Hollywood mythology that surrounds these potent firearms. A strike from a shotgun shell will not send an assailant flying across the room. Shotguns are not magic wands that launch beach-ball sized orbs of destruction. Holding a shotgun at hip level and spraying lead in the general direction of a threat is a bad idea for two important reasons. First, shot patterns remain small at home-defense distances. This means un-aimed shots are just as likely to miss the threat as those fired by any other defensive firearm. Secondly, although a cluster of shot pellets is unlikely to overpenetrate the human body, the said cluster can pass through walls with plenty of energy left to do harm beyond the intended target.

Movies and television shows have glamorized pistol grip only shotguns. None of the professional instructors I’ve worked with recommend this configuration for home protection. Removing the shoulder stock makes a shotgun shorter and easier to move with, but they are not practical defensive tools since they’re nearly impossible to aim properly. Leave the pistol grip only shotguns to the SWAT teams for breeching doorways, and install a traditional or six-position stock on yours.

Although bolt-action hunting rifles may be ideal for taking large game, they make a poor choice for home-defense. These rifles are slow to load, slow to fire, and the high-power cartridges they shoot produce excessive muzzle flash, noise, recoil and are very likely to overpenetrate the target. If you want a rifle for home-defense, then consider a tactical semi-auto or pistol-caliber carbine.

In the last few years, the popularity of tactical rifles, also called modern sporting rifles, has skyrocketed. The most popular seem to be those based on the AR-15 design. Other examples of this breed include the AK-47, M1 Carbine and Ruger Mini-14. These rifles are light, easy to shoot, produce low levels of recoil and provide plenty of ammunition.

Rifles are powerful defensive firearms with some models offering stopping power similar to a shotgun, but without as much recoil. For home defenders who live in rural areas, rifles can provide the added range and accuracy needed to deal with pests of the four-legged variety. Like the shotgun, a rifle’s length may make it difficult to maneuver in tight spaces. The other drawback to tactical rifles is the high price tag. In some cases, you can buy two or three defensive shotguns for the price of one tactical rifle.

Another good choice for home defense is a pistol-caliber carbine. Compact lever-action rifles, chambered for revolver cartridges like .357 Mag. and .45 Colt, have been protecting people’s interests for quite some time. Lever guns usually hold several rounds in their magazines but fresh cartridges have to be loaded one at a time, much like a shotgun. Some manufacturers offer semi-auto carbines that accept handgun magazines in popular defensive pistol calibers. These rifles can offer ammunition and magazine compatibility with a handgun you already own, and the longer barrels increase the velocity of the load.

Handguns continue to be among the most regularly purchased home-defense firearms for several reasons. They are the easy to maneuver in confined spaces, and they can be held and fired with one hand, leaving the other hand free to operate a flashlight, open doors and so on. They can be held close to the body to help prevent them from being grabbed or knocked away by an intruder. A handgun’s compact size allows it to be stored in a small space, like a strong box in a dresser drawer. The market is currently replete with excellent defensive handgun options.

The two most common types of defensive handguns are double-action revolvers and semi-automatic pistols. Double-action revolvers have a cylinder that swings out to one side for loading and unloading and usually have a five- to six-round capacity. Revolvers are easy to learn to operate and very reliable. They do not have buttons, levers or switches. Just pull the trigger and the gun fires. Defensive revolvers are most often found chambered in .38 Spl. and .357 Mag. Loading a revolver with .38 Spl. +P ammunition can increase the revolver’s stopping power without the flash and recoil associated with .357 Mag. loads. A 3- to 4-inch barrel is usually recommended for use in the home.

Semi-automatic pistols use a box magazine to load the ammunition. These pistols can be more complicated to operate but they have a lighter trigger pull, hold more ammunition and can be reloaded more quickly than a revolver. Some of the most commonly available semi-automatic pistol cartridges for defense include the 9mm Luger, .45 ACP and .40 S&W. Full-size, also known as duty-size, pistols offer larger magazine capacities and longer grips for more comfortable practice than the compact and sub-compact pistols favored for legal concealed carry.

Although handguns are useful for home-defense, they are, on the whole, weak stoppers when compared to rifles and shotguns. The rule of thumb when selecting a defensive handgun is to choose the most powerful cartridge you can comfortably handle. The exception to this rule is the high-power hunting handgun calibers like .44 Mag., .454 Casull and .500 S&W, which should be avoided. Just like a hunting rifle, the flash and report of these cartridges will leave home defenders deaf and blind when they need their senses the most, and the bullet is very likely to overpenetrate the target.

Choose Carefully
Selecting a firearm for home-defense is a process that should include careful research and forethought. Do your homework. Go to the range and test fire the guns you’re interested in before you buy. Trust your instincts when you identify the firearm that’s the best fit for your needs, even if the gun geek behind the counter doesn’t agree.

In our turn-key solution society, we sometimes look to our equipment to solve our problems and do the hard work for us. No amount of money invested in flashy guns and high-grade ammunition will ever compensate for a failure to invest in your understanding of defensive shooting. The budget for a home protection firearm should include funds for practice at the range, educational books and videos and live training with a professional instructor. The self-defense tools you have between your ears will always be more important than which gun you have in your hands.


Source : www.americanrifleman.org

Other Useful Resources :    

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

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

Survival MD (Best Post SHTF Medical Survival Guide Ever)

Blackout USA (EMP survival and preparedness guide)

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

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

Conquering the coming collapse (Financial advice and preparedness )

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

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

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

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10 Commandments of Survival You Need to Know About

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The 10 Commandments of Survival | Backdoor Survival

These days, it’s easy to go about our business of survival and preparedness without stopping to think about the rules of engagement. For most of us, these rules are not written or spoken, but are simply something that has evolved over a period of time.

As I have expressed many times in the past, the burden of knowledge, or perhaps I should say the burden of truth and knowledge, can be a huge weight to bear. That, coupled with the crazy busy task of life during these uncertain times, can be overwhelming. Getting up each day, going to work, doing chores, balancing the checkbook, taking care of family members – it’s all a big job.  Add prepping and learning new survival skills to the mix and you have a recipe for exhaustion – and perhaps even a bit of depression and gloom.

The 10 Commandments of Survival | Backdoor Survival

To help overcome my own dizzying sense of having too much to do and too much to prepare for, I sat down a couple of years ago and attempted to put my own rules for survival into words. I called these words the “10 commandments of survival”.  At the time, they brought focus and meaning to preparing for hard times.

Now, two years later, I find they still apply.  I am bringing them back newly updated as a reminder of why we prep as defined by the prepping rules of engagement.

10 Commandments for Survival

Commandment #1: Have the will to live, no matter what.

Having the will to live requires a strong sense of self-preservation and is something we must all work at on a daily basis. To fall into despondency will sabotage our efforts to prepare for that time when supplies are short, when chaos rules the streets or when economic collapse has bankrupted the world.

Now I am not saying that any or all of these things will happen. But on my own risk-meter, these things are right there at the top along with a regional natural disaster such as an earthquake.  The only question is when.

Commandment #2: Be self-sufficient and self-reliant, without wanting or needing excessive government assistance.

When chaos reigns the land or a natural disaster strikes, we need to do our darndest to take care of ourselves. We need to have our own food, our own source of clean, purified water, our own medical supplies, and most important, a robust skill set that will allow us to live quite comfortably without electricity or petroleum products.

There will still be a need for government assistance but that assistance should go to those that are truly needy through no fault of their own. That includes the wounded, the sick, the working poor, the elderly, children, and the disabled. This may be a pipe dream but in my sense of right and wrong, taking care of the truly needy is something that governments should do provided that these same people have gone as far as they can to take of themselves.

Commandment #3: Seek knowledge as a solution to problems.

There are so many free or almost free sources of information these days but the tough part is determining who is credible and who is not. Luckily, it is pretty easy to  vet the reliable members of the alternative press.  These reporters attempt to tell the news without fear-mongering and without getting you to spend money (unless you want to of course).

Even before seeking knowledge as a solution, some effort has to be put into both identifying and prioritizing of the problems at hand. Why not identity five or six problems and find good solid solutions to those before moving on to the next group?

While we still have a reliable power grid, download free e-books or visit survival and homesteading websites to pick up skills. Take advantage of the wealth of DIY information at your local library for free.  Learn do-it-yourself skills, then continue to practice and to drill and to learn some more.

Turn problems into solutions by using knowledge as your tool.

Commandment #4: Adapt to the surroundings, wherever they may be.

As comfortable as we may be in our homes, the time may come when you have to evacuate and leave. Your house may get destroyed in a natural disaster such as a hurricane, flood or earthquake. Or, due to the woes of the economy and unexpected unemployment, you may have to sell the four bedroom ranch house and move to a modest apartment.

The house in which you live is built of sticks and cement and bricks and mortar. Your home, on the other hand, is where ever you happen to live and if you are lucky, where you are surrounded by loved ones, even if they are the four legged type.

Learning to adapt to your surroundings – the people, the geography, and the social milieu – will allow you to embrace change as an adventure even when the causative circumstances may not be pleasant.  And that all translates into less stress.

Commandment #5: Embrace decisiveness as a core value.

Avoiding a decision when the choices are poor to begin with leads to complacency and even worse, doing nothing. On the other hand, making a decision and then pursuing that decision with decisiveness and gusto will likely lead to positive results. Sure, the result may not be perfect, but the willingness to make decisions, even in the face of uncertainty, means you are taking responsibility for your actions and for the outcome of your decision.

And right or wrong, you will learn from the experience. Doing nothing is simply not acceptable.

Commandment #6: Channel fear into positive actions.

Being fearful and running scared is what the PTB wants you to do. Fear translates into submission and submission results in being controlled. Add a bit of brainwashing and the result starts to sound like Hitler’s Germany.

A good way to avoid fear is to be prepared to fend for yourself in all types of situations.

Go back and analyze the most likely risks within your sphere of life and prepare for those first. Go back to commandment #3 and seek knowledge as a solution to problems. Take control of fear by channeling your energy into positive actions.

Commandment #7: Defend your right to freedom and the tenets of the US Constitution.

Embrace freedom and defend your right to liberty. What is liberty? How about:

  • The power to do as one pleases
  • Freedom from physical restraint
  • Freedom from arbitrary or despotic control
  • The positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges
  • The power of choice

We currently live in a world of airport pat-downs, forced healthcare, mandatory vaccinations, and the unauthorized surveillance of our whereabouts and our communications. If many politicians have their way, soon we may lose our right to bear arms and defend ourselves.

Don’t give up your rights without a fight. And don’t be so afraid of the power elites that you fail to speak up to defend those rights. Some people will cower and hide. Instead, why not band together with like-minded people and make your voice heard. If we don’t do it, who will?

Commandment #8: Respect others and their right to privacy.

Notwithstanding #7, everyone has the right to their opinions and their right to privacy. There are some things that people simply do not want to talk about or share. Move on and respect their privacy. The time will come when you will want them to respect yours.

Commandment #9: Pursue love and laughter on a daily basis.

We all need a break because, truly, it is all too much these days. Call it down time, call it personal time. Whatever the name, love a little and laugh a little each and every day.

Love and laughter are a big part of living a strategic life. As difficult as it may be, especially during a crisis, take ten minutes or take an hour but do take some time each day to embrace survival in this most essential manner.

Commandment #10: Be authentic and real to yourself and to those around you.

One reason kids matter is that they are not spoiled by life. When they are very young, they only know truth. They don’t understand deceit and lies.

When things are not going well, it is easy to pretend and fantasize that things are different. There is nothing wrong with that as long that you know in your heart of hearts that reality is quite different. You cannot make reasonable, practical and viable decisions based upon myth. You need facts. To survive, you need to acknowledge these facts and accept the truth.

Truth will lead to trust, and trusting your decisions is paramount for others to trust you as well. To be real means to be true to yourself regardless what others think. And without being real, the other commandments just don’t matter.

The Final Word

These 10 commandments of survival were set down to help me cope with my own anxiety and sense of uncertainty about our future as citizens of the world. As a prepper, I know I cannot prepare for every single one of our global problems, nor can I prevent Mother Nature for doing what she is going to do.

At best, all I can do is to continue to learn to be self-reliant and independent so that I can keep my sanity and my ability to think rationally under stress.  Some days it is difficult.  On those days,  I will look at these 10 commandments and will continue think of ways that I can do more. At the end of the day, that is all I can do.

The world is still scary and I  still believe that the worst is yet to some.  Sadly it is not a matter of if, but a matter of when.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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

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Bargain Bin:  Preparing for hard times requires so much stuff.  Just where do you start?  How do you know whether what you have will do the job?  I always like to recommend that you start by taking inventory of what you already have on hand.  Check your closets and cupboards and don’t forget to dig out that old camping gear to see what might still be usable.

And then?  I would choose light, warmth, food, water purification, the means to cook food without power, and of course, something to keep yourself amused when traditional forms of entertainment were limited. My current top picks for each are shown below.

Mr. Heater Portable “Big Buddy” Heater:  Of course you are going to need a heat-source.  With the Mr. Buddy heater, you can use propane indoors safely.  It features an automatic low-oxygen shut-off system that automatically turns the unit off before carbon monoxide fumes reach dangerous levels in home.  To learn more about propane, read the series Propane for Preppers.

Buy Emergency FoodsLegacy Foods has an outstanding product that is also Non-GMO.  They have a line of gluten free products as well.  Their meal pouches are some of the best out there and on a price per calorie basis, quite reasonable.  This is the food storage I have chosen for myself.  Shipping is always free.

If you are new to freeze-dried foods, you might want to investigate their 16 serving Sample Pack.

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

Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System: Fans of the Sawyer water filtration systems are evangelistic in their praise.  Did you know they only weight 2 ounces and fit in the palm of your hand?  At $16 give or take, the price is right.  Be sure to also check out the Family Color Coded Gift Pack which looks nice.

Volcano 3 Collapsible Cook Stove: The Volcano Collapsible cook stove is so versatile; it works with  charcoal, wood, or propane.  I like that it collapses down to 5” making it transportable.  I also have the older model, the Volcano 2.  Anytime I own two of something, you know it is a favorite.

Coloring Books for Grown-Ups:  This is the latest addition to my list of amusements and comfort items.  I hope you don’t think I am being silly because there really is something quite relaxing about coloring books. Don’t forget the crayons or Colored Pencils.

Note:  If you prefer to print your own, check out this $2.99 eBook that includes a link to a PDF version for printing on your home printer:  Adult Coloring Book: 40 Relaxing And Stress Relieving Patterns.


Shop Buy Emergency Foods for the Best Quality and Value in Food Storage

For my personal food storage, I have recently purchased a large supply Legacy freeze-dried food from Buy Emergency Foods. I did so for these reasons:

    • I have confidence that their food products are sourced from the USA
    • They are 100% GMO free plus there are 100% Gluten-Free options
    • Pound per pound, and calorie per calorie, BEF delivers the best value out there
    • Every single order, regardless of size, is shipped free

Buy Emergency Foods Preferred by Backdoor Survival

Over the next couple of months, I will be sharing some taste tests so that you can see for yourself how Buy Emergency Foods stands out as one of the best values out there in food storage.

Sound interesting?  Check out their Sample Kits and Meal Buckets.  You will not be disappointed.

Shop Buy Emergency Foods for the Best Quality and Value in Food Storage


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

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

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

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


Interested in Essential Oils?

Sale Extended!

Free shipping thru  Jan 1

Which are the best oils for your survival kit?  This article describes my top picks.

9 Best Essential Oils for Your Survival Kit | Backdoor Survival

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The Best Bug Out Vehicle: From Feet to 4 Wheel Drive

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The Best Bug Out Vehicle: From Feet to 4 Wheel DriveOver the past few weeks we have been going over what it takes to successfully bug out. The first week we talked about bug out planning and communication, and last week we talked about bug out location, supplies and resources that need to be considered.

This week Lisa and I talked about bug out vehicles and why the best bug out vehicle doesn’t mean owning a $600,000 Unicat Expeditionary Vehicle. The best bug out vehicle doesn’t necessarily need to be bullet proof and able to plow through road blocks. In my opinion, if you need that, you waited too long to get out of dodge.

A good bug out vehicle need to be a few things…

  • Reliable enough to get you where you are going without breaking down.
  • Affordable enough that you don’t break the budget.
  • And capable of getting you, everyone with you and your supplies where you want to go.

The reality is that even though we would like one of these Super Bug Out Vehicles, we don’t have the same budget the United States Military has. The best BOV (bug out vehicle) for us at this point in time might be the one you already have.

This article from ThePrepperJournal goes through some realistic bug out vehicles that you can actually afford, and also talks about some things you need to consider like where are you going? What are you taking? And who is going with you?

“In my mind a bug out vehicle has to be able to accomplish a few tasks to even make the running. Ideally we have a vehicle that you can use daily that can also hold its own if forced to be put into action to get you out of a hairy situation.”

SPP 131 Picking a Bug Out Vehicle

EMP Proof Vehicles

There is quite a bit of debate about what makes an EMP proof vehicle, and honestly it seems to me that we truly won’t know until that situation is thrust upon us. Some people say that you need something that was made before 1980 that doesn’t require electronic ignition, and some people have done studies that show some cars might not be affected by an EMP.

Even though it’s impossible to get a definitive answer on this, the reality is that an EMP that is strong enough could disable electronics and all the bells and whistles that come in the newer automobiles. A little later in this article I will go through my plan for this that is budget friendly, but is going to require some hands on work.

One other thing to consider is that an EMP proof vehicle won’t matter much if it runs out of gas, an EMP strong enough to disable an automobile will take out most of the infrastructure we depend on today. This is why storing fuel and maybe even purchasing a syphon to get fuel from abandoned vehicles is also important.

The Beater vs The Bugatti

As preppers we have the benefit of looking at the world differently than the average person. When thinking about buying a vehicle most people think about how pretty it is, we on the other hand don’t want it to be pretty because that makes us a target. Our main concern is (or should be) reliability.

While newer vehicles with less miles on them will be more reliable in the short term, if you put some time and effort into an older vehicle it can become just as reliable. Mabey it’s just me, but when I see an older vehicle I don’t see a pile of junk, I see a project and start thinking about what I could do with it.

Along with the increased chances of surviving an EMP, older vehicles are more budget friendly. For under a thousand dollars you can get an old Jeep, Dodge or Ford that no one else wants, put a thousand dollars into it, and have a reliable vehicle.

A couple more bonuses of older vehicles are that they are easier to work on, and you can modify them without destroying the resale value…because there is none. If you want to weld a snow plow to the front bumper or cut a hole in the roof to mount a turret, you can do it with an older “project” car without worry.

We all love the bells and whistles that come with newer automobiles. You push a button and the widow rolls down, you push a button and the doors unlock, but with all these conveniences come more possible complications.

Older vehicles are easier to diagnose and work on because they are simple. The more bells and whistles you have, the more modules, fuses and electrical components you have that cause problems that require computers to figure out.

If you open the hood of a vehicle made in the last 25 years, you can barely fit your hand in there. If you open the hood of an older vehicle, it almost seems like half the engine is missing because there is so much room to work.

Whether it’s the car you have now, or the project car you plan on getting, fuel mileage and capacity also need to be taken into account when picking a bug out vehicle. You need to make sure you have enough fuel to get you where you are going, and you need to be able to bring everyone and everything you want to your bug out location.

Other Bug Out Vehicle Ideas

Also in the podcast this week we talked about other options to think about when bugging out. Bug out vehicles are much more than the 4 tires beneath you, it can include trailers, ATV’s and even your feet.

Trailers: Pulling a trailer would give you a little more room for supplies, but it might also make you a target. We have our horse trailer that could be used to store supplies, but depending on the situation the horses might be coming, or might not.

Campers: We also have a popup camper that would be easy shelter, but again, that might make us a target. Another alternative is to have a bug out vehicle that is a camper. It’s a lot harder to steal an entire vehicle than hook a camper to a bumper hitch.

Boats: Depending on where you live, and where your bug out location is a bug out boat might be part 2 of your bug out plan. Having a bug out location that required a boat to get to would give you a little more separation from you and them.

ATV’s & Bikes: In last week’s podcast we talked about bugging out into the wilderness and how you might want to go further than the campgrounds. An ATV, motorcycle or even a mountain bike could allow you to park your vehicle and venture further away into seclusion.

Shoes: Regardless where you are going you need to take care of your feet. Having blisters or sore feet can incapacitate even the strongest person. Investing in a good pair of hiking boots is not talked about all that much, but it can be the difference between a perfect plan working, or a perfect plan failing.

Final Thoughts…

In this podcast series we talked about why you would even want to bug out, to how to do it. For the most part none of us want to, but it’s something that needs to be considered.

As much as I would love it, having one of the “Super Bug Out Vehicles” we see online is probably never going to happen, but having a plan and a beat up Ford is better than nothing.

The post The Best Bug Out Vehicle: From Feet to 4 Wheel Drive appeared first on Survivalist Prepper.

Why I Don’t Do New Year’s Resolutions And What I Do Instead

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Do you make New Year’s resolutions every year? How long does it take for you to break them? Six weeks … a month … a week? Most of us are quite aware that new year’s resolutions are a joke. We need an alternative. Luckily, the alternative exists. Most of us really don’t last more than […]

The post Why I Don’t Do New Year’s Resolutions And What I Do Instead appeared first on Just Plain Living.

Have You Ever Been to a Hog Killin’? – Part 3: Hog Cookin’

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In previous postings, I wrote about raising and killing hogs. But there’s still one more hurdle to overcome to achieve food security as Joel Salatin defines it. In his book Folks, This Ain’t Normal – A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World, he writes:

The defining characteristic of normal food, of secure food, is that it waits, in state, for us to call it from our kitchens.

After witnessing storm-related power outages decimate refrigerator and freezer sections at grocery stores city-wide, I knew Joel wasn’t just talking about pork chops. He mentioned a “larder” and “curing shed” in his explanation of hog killin’. As a fan of prosciutto, I had a vague notion of how to cure ham. That’s where my expertise ended. And despite lots of research, my fear that I would ruin all our meat, or poison someone, grew in direct proportion to our pigs’ waistlines. Matt and I considered taking classes, but the costs, including travel and time away from the farm, were prohibitive.

On a hopeful whim, I asked one of the presenters from the Mother Earth News Fair in Asheville if we could hire her to help us. She was a tiny woman, with a big presence, named Meredith Leigh. In her “Introduction to Charcuterie,” we had watched her grind meat and stuff sausage, on stage, as she explained how ratios of salt, nitrates, liquid, lean meat, and fat made magic. She talked about whole muscle cures, fermentation, smoking, and aging. In that hour class, she taught basic meat preservation, but also hinted at the depth of information necessary to do it well – part art, part science, and entirely important to know. It was a five-hour round trip for her, happening near the release of her new book The Ethical Meat Handbook: Complete Home Butchery, Charcuterie & Cooking for the Conscious Omnivore, but incredibly, she said yes.

Meredith and I swapped emails and talked by phone to formalize expectations and finalize preparations. To be honest, she seemed so undaunted by the idea of converting four pigs into useful products in a single day, that I worried I hadn’t been clear about how little we knew. But then she sent me me her eBook, which I read in one sitting. Her words portrayed a deep relationship with pigs, bound tightly with her personal history, and I knew she was the right person to help us. In one of my favorite passages, she writes:

The pig cannot resist the land, and when the pig dies, we eat its body. If we’re really eating, we muse on whether the body is enough homage to the land. Whether we can taste the fog, and the seeds, and the fruit. For the better it tastes, and the better it feels, the better we know it lived…

We always talk of “terroir” in wine, but rarely in reference to other foods. Yet, this is precisely what’s missing from most of what we buy at the grocery store. We don’t know where it came from, what it ate, how it lived, how it died, or what happened to it after that. It may have been touched by a hundred hands before being picked from a shelf and served as supper. Surprisingly, the same people who use paper towels to open bathroom doors, and keep antibacterial gel at-the-ready, will allow anonymous food in to the most intimate parts of their bodies without a second thought. Food production, for all its importance in our lives, is something many of us leave up to others. As such, food with no terroir, and no tradition, must be heavily regulated because so much can go wrong along the way and there is very little accountability in the supply chain. For example, as I write this, the FDA has spent three weeks trying to track down the source of E. Coli O157 in Costco chicken salad with no results. Across 7 states, 19 people were infected and investigators can’t even identify the culprit.

As I read Meredith’s ode to pigs and land, and her later sections on butchering, curing, and food safety, my worries quieted. Her intimacy with food reminded me that my insecurities, which started this quest, stemmed from the lack of transparency in the industrial food system. I felt cut off from the skills necessary to ensure my own well-being. We weren’t trying to do rocket science, or even food science. We simply wanted to make our own wholesome pork preparations, full of terroir, and enjoyment of the process, like people have been doing at home since the beginning of civilization. Basic human stuff.

Too often we are fooled into believing there are great mysteries behind food preparation that make it safer for us to let someone else more qualified handle it. By agreeing with this idea, we actually increase our risks because we become uneducated consumers, reliant on others to look out for our best interests. There are risks in home-butchered meat and Meredith explains some of them in her book. But there’s risk in falling down my front porch steps too. With a little awareness, risks can be minimized.

If you are new to butchering, I highly recommend that you read the guidelines for slaughtering, meat cutting and further processing, published by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. This manual is intended for use by professionals and supervisors in the meat industry. You can read it over a pot of tea or a glass of wine. What I took away was keep cutting surfaces and implements clean, chill your meat, and be really careful about transport. I combined that with Meredith’s “butcher shop rule” to keep stuff separate. Chicken, for example, has a higher potential for dangerous bacteria load than pork, so if you have chicken chilling in the fridge with your curing bacon, make sure there’s no chance of dripping or cross-contamination.

Now, you don’t need a professional to teach you how to butcher. And there are so many good books and blogs on butchering, written by people far more qualified than me, that I won’t try to cover it in detail here. But I do want to share a few experiences and lessons we learned that might help if you decide to have your own hog killin’.

Lesson 1 – Retail Butchering is Not the Same as Home Butchering

I knew what cuts I wanted… until we started cutting. Here was my “cut list” at the start:

Hams with 2-3 inch hocks, skin on; Boston butts cut to 3 pound roasts; feet and head with jowls (in brine); tenderloin – halved; baby back ribs – halved; 1 inch boneless pork chops; back fat cubed for sausage and lard; picnics cubed for sausage; bellies, whole, skin on, to cure for bacon; organs – liver (gall bladder removed), kidneys, heart for pâté.

With our giant pigs, lack of experience, and makeshift butcher stations this would have taken a week to cut. Luckily Meredith jumped in and made some recommendations that saved us time.

For the loin area, we discovered it’s not easy to cut through a rib cage with a hand saw, so we decided not to. We left the longer bones intact and just called them “ribs” (not cut to “baby back” uniformity). We turned the shorter bone sections into bone-in loin roasts. The bone adds great flavor and can be picked out when the meat is tender. We cut quite a few “porter house” chops which are family-sized chops that include the bone, rib meat, and residual tenderloin. We also cut our pork chops to about 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 inches thick because it made it easier to cut straight and meant less to cut.

For the Boston Butts, we cut larger roasts. Since our pigs got so big, some hunks were a foot thick and breaking that down into 3 lb. roasts would have required endless cutting and knife sharpening. This choice worked in our favor, because we get several meals from an 8 lb. roast, and I put some of the prepared meat back in the freezer to reheat when I feel lazy.

For the heads, Meredith suggested we only use two for head cheese and make jowl bacon with the other two. Two heads made over 10 pounds of head cheese. More actually, but I got tired of picking the meat and ran out of pans, so I packaged up seven pounds as dog food. Heads are often treated as waste, so it was eye-opening to discover how much delicious meat they make. And I am so glad Meredith talked us into jowl bacon. It may be even better than belly bacon.

Speaking of bellies, there’s an old adage that if you feed a pig too long, you’re raising fat. For most cuts, this didn’t prove true. But when it came to the bellies, it was right on. There was almost no meat with the belly fat. Meredith managed to salvage about 35 pounds of what turned out to be amazing bacon. But, since we hoped for 80 pounds, this was a reality check. If you want great bacon, you have to pick a breed that is known for meaty bellies and butcher them closer to the 250 pound range. More importantly though, we have to find ways to enjoy all parts of the pig. A little head cheese on morning toast or cracklings in your eggs can be as satisfying as a thick slice of farm bacon (well, almost).

After our experience, I still think it helps to relate familiar retail cuts with primal cuts before home butchering. There’s a simple representation available here to get you started: http://www.oda.state.ok.us/food/fs-hogweight.pdf. But I also suggest researching how the old-timers and people in other countries break down a pig. The mass-production of meat has created a very narrow view of what is edible, but cultures with strong culinary traditions and/or people living in less affluent conditions really know what to do with a whole hog.

Lesson 2 – Delicious is in the Details…

Since I learned to really eat, as Meredith describes it, by hanging out with European chefs, I was focused on end-products made with time-honored traditions. Visions of saucisson sec de Lowgap, prosciutto di Blue Ridge, and pâté de campagne de la région Surry County danced in my head. People warned us that we’d end up with more sausage meat than we could use. This may be true if you want breakfast sausage, but good fermented sausage like Spanish-style Chorizo or Soppressata comes “high on the hog.” It takes about 80-85% lean meat to 15-20% fat. And you have to trim the fat off your meat before you weigh to get your proportions right. This is too much work using meat scraps. So, we decided to sacrifice some prime meat including our “picnics” and any awkward shaped cuts from the loin, shoulder, and ham areas. We kept 120 pounds of lean meat for sausage since this was so important to us.

long-links-due-to-dry-casingsTo make the best use of Meredith’s time and expertise, we started with fermented sausages. Preparation-wise, there is not a lot of difference between a fresh (grilling) and fermented sausage (dry). Trim and cube the meat and fat to fit through your hopper, weigh and mix your ingredients, combine and grind. For fermented sausages, you have a few extra steps. Sprinkle starter culture (we used T-SPX) over the ground meat and spice mix. Meredith recommended we use about twice as much culture as the package called for to make sure we got it on all the meat. Then mix well again. Stuff your ground meat in the casings. Create link-sized sections by pinching, then twisting the casings twice around. Twist in opposite directions from link to link. This confused us, so Meredith demonstrated that if you alternate your direction, your links stay twisted, but if you go in the same direction, they unravel. You also tie both ends of the link rope with butcher twine, leaving one side longer to use to hang your sausage to ferment. After stuffing, prick the links all around with a safety pin or needle and roll the links in a shallow pan of Bactoform M-EK-4, a strain of Penicillium mixed with water that encourages protective white mold growth on the casings. Then ferment and age per your recipe directions.

I bristled at the idea of using cultures and nitrates, wanting to be “natural,” but Meredith convinced me that, for our first time, to control the output we had to control the input. Making fermented sausage by relying on native cultures is like making wine by relying on wild yeast. It might work, but it could taste terrible. Without encouraging good cultures to populate the meat, you’re leaving a lot of room for the stuff you don’t want. Also, once dry, fermented sausages can be your food security if your freezer goes down, so give them the best start possible using good cultures.

When working with sausage casings, humidity matters. As we stuffed outside in windy conditions, our casings kept busting. Out of frustration, we left some of our fermented sausages unsegmented which made it hard to get them in our “fermentation chamber” (an old fridge converted using a plug in temperature controller and a cool-mist humidifier with a control switch, explained in Meredith’s book). We thought the casings were bad. But later, I used them in the comfort of my kitchen with no problem. After experimentation, I confirmed that the wind and low humidity outside caused the natural casings to dry too fast. Next year, we’ll do the stuffing inside. The sausage also coils better on our smooth counter top than on our mega-picnic table.

prosciutto-hams-buried-in-saltIn our region, it’s still normal to hang fall-slaughtered hams in barns. Initial curing starts in cooler temperatures, but aging continues through our hot summers. We honored this regional tradition by making 5 hams “country style.” Here is an easy how-to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcwu6K4crHc. One ham was too big for the hanging-stocking, so we used an old pillow case as a substitute. So far it seems to be working. Another reason we opted for country hams over prosciutto is because cure ingredients were cheaper. For country hams, you rub the meat with cure and then wrap it in paper. With prosciutto, you bury the hams in salt. We are making two prosciutto hams, using re-purposed bee hive supers, but it took 75 pounds of salt to cover them.

hams-hanging-in-our-shedOn the country pâté front, we utterly failed. On Hog killin’ day, we put the organs in a bucket, set them aside, and… forgot to chill them. When we found them half way through cookin’ day, they smelled so bad we didn’t even give them to the chickens. Next time, I’m taking Joel’s advice. Organs go right into a pan. We won’t be using them for panhoss, but I’ll cook them up with onions, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper, and run them through the food processor with a little port, and pack them in terrines to send home with all our helpers. It was still a good lesson – organs are best eaten fresh!

Now, don’t run all those breakfast sausage worthy scraps through the grinder with sage just yet. Instead, cube them (without separating the fat from the meat) and brine them for 24 hours (outside – if cool, but not freezing). Pour off the brine and rinse the meat. Bake on low heat in deep turkey pans, with thyme and peppercorns. When the meat shreds easily, strain the fat from the meat and set aside. Whip the meat with a wooden spoon until kinda creamy. Add salt, pepper, and liquid fat to your taste and texture preference. Ladle the meat into pint jars. Then pour more of the fat over the meat to create a fat cap. In the US, we call this potted meat, which has sadly become associated with the likes of Spam and other unspeakables. But in France, this is called “rillette” – a sublime concoction that is given its proper respect among charcuterie products. Serve it up with fresh bread, a dab of mustard, and tiny pickles for breakfast, lunch, or a snack. This will keep for months in the fridge or cool storage area. Once you start eating from a jar, refrigerate it and finish it within 3 days. As a bonus, jar up the rest of the fat (lard) for use in any savory recipe or preparation that calls for butter in the pan.

Lesson 3 – Be Ready to Make Adjustments and Take Notes for Next Time

We had a lot of help on hog cookin’ day. So, we had three stations of people turning primal cuts into recognizable cuts and one large group working on cubing meat and fat for sausage. We had food grade buckets galore and lots of freezer storage bags, but no real plan for where to start. Luckily Meredith directed us. She had us work on front shoulder sections so we could get the picnic cuts to the sausage cubers. Then we moved on to the loin sections to get the fatback to the sausage crew.

food-securityWe were all new to butchering, so it took time for Meredith to give us an orientation on the meat. But after she got a few of us cutting, we were able to show others and get them cutting too. Meredith then moved over to help the sausage crew until we got to the hams. Before we knew it, meat cuts started to pile up on our workstations. So, we distributed bags and Sharpies. But, we quickly learned that it’s impossible to write on a freezer bag after it’s been touched by a meat-juice covered hands. We then got a few people labeling bags first. The bagged meat was put in buckets and shuttled to the freezer. Also, not such a good idea as it took me hours to sort it all out later. Some bags were not fully closed, so we had icicles of blood to clean up from the bottom of the freezer too.

Next time, we’ll put cuts into pre-labeled buckets, e.g. one bucket for pork chops, one for butt roasts, one for bellies and so on. We’ll run labels in advance and designate one person to do the bagging. We’ll give them lots of towels to keep their hands dry. Once bagged, the cuts will also be sorted into pre-labeled containers, and the entire container will go into the freezer. This should make it easier to find things later and keep mess to a minimum.

baconWhen we asked Meredith to come help us, we wanted to learn how to do this for ourselves. But we also wanted to share the experience with as many people as possible through direct participation and writing about our experience. This was important to us because we know that true food security can only be assured when we are all involved in securing it at some level – either by growing, raising, and preserving food ourselves, or supporting farmers in our community by paying real prices for sustainably raised food. Besides, as Meredith puts it:

Cooking, and eating in general, should be one of the best things about our everyday existence. If it is truly just a chore, a necessity, then we have surely sold our souls.

Meat animals are just one way to approach food security. And I know this might not be the right path for everyone. But regardless of your food preferences and beliefs, I hope you will find ways grow your own food, get to know your farmers, and share your experiences with your community so we can all have a more secure future.

P.S. Thank you to all of you who have shared your comments and stories in response to this series. We have learned so much from you and have enjoyed sharing your experiences too. I also appreciate the non-meat perspective because we do need to continue contemplating these issues, particularly in the context of ensuring clean air, water, and secure food around the world. I believe all of us [Grow] Network readers are coming at this from the perspective of trying to figure out the right things to do, in a very complex world. I am glad we can respectfully engage the discussion and learn from each other.

This article is part 3 of a 3 part series called “Have You Ever Been to a Hog Killin’?” about raising, harvesting, and cooking pigs. You can read the rest of the series here:

Part 1: Raising Hogs
Part 2: Hog Killin’
Part 3: Hog Cookin’


Remove Bushes and Stumps the Easy Way with a Farm Jack

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Remove Bushes and Stumps the Easy Way with a Farm Jack Stumps and stubby bushes are not only ugly, but they’re a tripping and shin busting hazard. If you leave them high enough you’ve got a solid seat, but most homeowners want them OUT. There are a number of ways to remove a stump or …

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Low Cost Bug Out Shelter That Can Be Assembled By 2 People In Under 30 Minutes

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Low Cost Bug Out Shelter That Can Be Assembled By 2 People In Under 30 Minutes If you are looking for an affordable shelter that you can put quickly in the event of a disaster when SHTF, look no further. CompassionShelters ‘Bunkhouse’ model is a snap-together solution that requires no tools to erect, and can be …

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How To Make A Living While Living Off The Grid

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How To Make A Living While Living Off The Grid Living off grid evokes memories of a humbler time, when we took care of ourselves using the resources found in our immediate surroundings. Taking the leap required to live either entirely or even partially off grid requires a significant amount of planning. Before packing your …

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Popular Mechanics Best DIY Tips Ever

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Popular Mechanics Best DIY Tips Ever How many times have  you tried to hold a flashlight and something else, balancing them precariously or trying to hang the light off of something just so to get some light on the subject? To set up a simple worklight, coil 12-gauge copper wire around a flashlight’s barrel and twist …

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Six Natural Alternatives To Ibuprofen

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Six Natural Alternatives To Ibuprofen The saying used to be, “Take two aspirin and call me in the morning,” but many people turn to ibuprofen to relieve inflammation, pain, and fever. This nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), available both over the counter and by prescription, is commonly used to treat arthritis, menstrual symptoms, headache, general aches …

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How To Make Spruce Needle Tea This Winter

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Pine needle tea has a high concentration of vitamin C and is very easy to make. Spruce Pine is very easy to find (even if you can’t find Spruce, you may find Pine, which grows in warmer conditions). Click the picture below for a printable quick pic: DIRECTIONS Pick the green needles until you have a …

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Is Your Anitperspirant/Deodorant Killing You? Schmidt’s All Natural Deodorant

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Can your antiperspirant kill you? I don’t know, but it made me sick. Not really an emergency preparedness video, but a product I think a lot of you might be interested in. I found Schmidt’s all natural deodorant out of necessity, and it turns out it works better than the chemical companies solutions. Check it …

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The post Is Your Anitperspirant/Deodorant Killing You? Schmidt’s All Natural Deodorant appeared first on TinHatRanch.

The EDC of 1800s: Pocket carry of the Victorian and Edwardian Era

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One of the aspects I enjoy the most about survival and preparedness is research. I’ve always enjoyed reading and learning, especially when it comes to topics that fascinate me.
Sometimes the study of survival takes you to some very dark places. Human nature can be benevolent and magnanimous, but also cruel and evil. Shootings, massacres, genocide, large scale disasters, it can get depressing. Sometimes my wife walks by, catches a glimpse of a video or a photo and as she keeps walking she says “I don’t know how you can do this all day long, every day”.
Maybe this is why I like learning about interesting gear so as to catch a break. Knives, guns and lights are maybe the most popular category, but for me the true gems are learning what other people carry, and most of all, what others USED. I find it interesting to learn about trinkets and possessions carried by historical figures as well as what was used and carried by previous generations, from prehistoric times to more recent ones. History is just full of lessons, with the added value of being actual empirical, time-proven ones.

Some time ago I found myself looking for information regarding my favourite type of strike-anywhere matches, Swan Vestas. Back in the day, Vesta meant matches. You didn’t have a match box in the late 1800 or early 1900s, you had a Vesta case. If you had a few bucks and good taste, you had a sterling silver Vesta case with you initials engraved on it. These would have some kind of striking surface, usually in the bottom of the case. You see, matches were used constantly, every day. You used them to start fires in the kitchen, to turn on lamps, lanterns, candles and heaters. Every household would have a table top or countertop box of matches, but you also carried around some yourself. Certain models also included a retractable wick cord wick could be used to light lanterns or start fires when the match alone wasn’t enough.
And cash was King… even +100 years ago.
Another interesting trinket was the Sovereign holder.

This was kept in a pocket, sometimes as a pendant or at the end of an Albert chain, along with keys or a pocket watch. The sovereign holder was used to carry sovereign gold coins. Some models had two compartments, one for a full sovereign and another for a half sovereign coin. The Sovereign holder was more of a luxury item. Silver coins which were more commonly used were carried in coin purses or ordinary pouches.

This vesta case includes a sovereign holder as well as a stamp holder

Whistles and other Fobs.
Another favourite item to have was a whistle. Used for everything from signalling workers to calling for help when a crime was begin committed, a whistle was another popular keychain fob of the period. This was about the same time when whistles gained popularity among law enforcement so having a whistle was somewhat of a self-defense item as well.

Sometimes cases combined different uses. A Vesta box could have a compartment for coins, or stamps or snuff (tobacco). Albert chains could also include a few silver coins as a fob, but also as a way of carrying some valuables without risking losing them.
In the case of women, the Chatelaine chain was where all the important house keys were kept, doors, trunks, pantry, etc, but also attached to it where sewing kits, scissors, vesta cases, pens, whistles and other utensils.
Of course people carried other important items as well. No self-respecting man would be without a pocket knife of some sort, maybe a pipe and a tobacco pouch. Pocket pistols, canes, pocket watches, hats, glasses, handkerchiefs and pill boxes, EDC has always existed in one form or another.I find it interesting how many of the priorities still remain: A knife of course, but also the ability to start fires and even a good amount of cash was as important to have back in those days as it is today.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Prepping Tips for Millennials

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Getting prepared for a disaster ahead of time is the best decision you can make for you and your family. Whether you are going to buy gold for saving or to buy guns just in case something bad happens, you have many options to choose from. However, one of the most important things to think about is your child. If you are a millennial, you probably have a family right about now. This means that there are going to be extra lives to think about when preparing for a possible disaster.

A disaster could come in many forms. Not all of them are natural. Most of these aren’t even life-threatening in the conventional way. Instead, you are going to have to find shelter from the figurative storm that is the crumbling economy of the present day. If you have been watching the market in recent days, you know just how unstable the global market in currency is. The dollar is plummeting towards a dark pit from which there is no escape for it.

Money means nothing

If you are really concerned about the security of your finances in these troubled times, simply having a retirement plan is not going to be enough. You need to make sure that they are protected against the possible crises that could arise over time. There are so many risks when it comes to your funds. If you lose them, you lose years of hard work and savings. While it isn’t going to literally be stolen from your account, if the economy gets too bad, there is a possibility that your money will be worth nothing.

This is a very real scenario. Money is nothing but paper which the government says has a value. If the economy collapses, so will the government and that will result in you owning money that could be used as toilet paper instead. However, there is a solution out there for this problem. People seem to have forgotten that before paper money existed, metals were used with different values. One of the prime examples of this is gold.

Golden opportunity

Gold is a metal that has retained its value over the years. This hasn’t been a small amount of time either. The metal has been in demand since it was first mined and discovered. Before modern plumbing and building came into play, gold was being mined and used to create jewelry and artefacts. A good example of this is the golden calf in the Bible! It has been shown not to reduce value over time, regardless of what the current market is like. It is independent of the market and therefore the perfect investment to protect the funds in your rainy day accounts.
In the event of a complete market collapse, you would then have the precious metal in your hand. This is going to be far more beneficial to you than a wad of worthless printed paper which used to be the trendiest thing around.

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Looking Back: Our 2015 Year End Survival Post Review

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Looking Back: Our 2015 Year End Survival Post Review

I’ve turned it into a bit of a tradition to do a year end post on More Than Just Surviving to serve as a recap for the past year. 2014 and 2013‘s Looking Back posts were pretty jam packed, but I am certain this year’s post will top them… Before we get started, I wanted… Read More

This is just the start of the post Looking Back: Our 2015 Year End Survival Post Review. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

Looking Back: Our 2015 Year End Survival Post Review, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Song About “When a Crazy Person Shoots Someone, Obama is going to Blame THE GUN”

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Funny parody as a song set to Billy Joels “only the good die young”
About Obama and gun control.

Many sites already shut down for “copyright reasons in your country”

hmmm….who ever made this….do you think they did it to make money? Do you think they are worried about the copyright or getting the message out?

It just shows the hands of the Matrix operators.


7 Off-Grid, ‘Un-American’ Ways You Can Save Money This Year

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7 Off-Grid, ‘Un-American’ Ways You Can Save Money This Year

Image source: Pixabay.com

Going off-grid isn’t cheap and certainly not something to jump into without research. Even if you can’t leave the grid right now, there are ways you can save up for that future by cutting your living costs today – ways that most Americans wouldn’t even consider.

Here’s seven:

1. Get rid of your cable

According to statistics, the average American spends roughly $65 a month on cable. Americans over the age of two, on average, watch about five hours of television a day, according to data collected by Nielsen. Not only is cable expensive (and will continue to increase in price) but it is often a waste of time. Sure, there are educational programs on some channels and sometimes it’s nice to sit back and enjoy a show or movie, but there are probably better uses of your time and money.

If you or someone in your family doesn’t want to give up television, you can switch to streaming services like Netflix or purchase a Roku box for you TV. With the latter you can still access many stations and TV programs, and some are available at no cost. Or even better, you can read a book.

2. Downgrade your cellphone and plan

The average American cellphone plans costs only slightly less than cable – coming in at about $63 a month. And just like cable, the cost is expected to continue to climb.

Some people rely heavily on their phones for checking email, making calls, video calling family, etc. If you are someone who can’t give up your phone for whatever reason, then you can look into a less expensive service. Nowadays there are more no-contract options and some cell phone companies boast rates of $50 a month or less.

Get The Best Deals On Non-GMO Heirloom Seeds Right Here!

You also can downgrade your phone to one without Internet and email access, which will lower your cellphone bill even more. Being able to make phone calls and send a text message might be all you really need.

3. Limit going out to eat

This year, for the first time, Americans spent more money going out to eat than buying groceries for cooking at home, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Going out to eat is nice as a treat but is an incredible waste of money if you rely on restaurants for regular meals. Eating at home not only saves money but is better for you, so why not improve your bank account while staying healthy? Save even more money by starting a garden, planting some fruit trees for future harvest, raising some livestock, etc.

4. Get rid of your old stuff

7 Off-Grid, ‘Un-American’ Ways You Can Save Money This Year

Image source: Pixabay.com

Americans are pretty obsessed with “stuff.” It’s interesting how a country that can be so wasteful when it comes to food and produces so much trash also can have a packrat mentality. It’s pretty incredible just how much the average American keeps around.

One very shocking statistic is despite the average American home being about three times bigger than it was 50 years ago, about one in 10 people still have to rent offsite storage, according to the Self Storage Association.

You can find more interesting statistics on minimalism here.

Taking on a more minimalistic mindset when it comes to material objects is going to save you money. From a homesteading point of view, this means not cluttering your property with objects you never use but also looking at objects you may have with repurposing in mind.

5. Reduce the amount of water you use

Using flush toilets, taking 30-minute showers and soaking in giant, full bathtubs might be nice but they do waste a lot of water. Where water is a precious commodity, it would be crazy to use it to flush away human waste. Yet many Americans would find it odd to use something like an outhouse when a toilet is available.

Regardless of where you live, you can probably adopt better ways of water conservation when it comes to hygiene and bodily functions. Composting toilets are a wonderful idea and very versatile – some are even made specifically for RVs.

As for showering, you can go super basic by using heated water and dumping it on yourself (in a tub) or look into other options like solar showers. Also, whether you are bathing inside or outside, use the leftover water as grey water for your plants or garden.

6. Choose alternative light sources

When the power goes out it can be surprising to learn how much you rely on the ease of flipping a switch to light up a room. Most people already have flashlights around but in preparation of going off-grid and to reduce electrical bills, you’re not going to want to just rely on them at night.

New 4-Ounce Solar Survival Lantern Never Needs Batteries!

There are many ways of lighting your home while off-grid. You can use lanterns, candles, a solar light system or even solar-powered outdoor lights you bring inside at night.

Going off-grid can be done in stages, and even just reducing household expenses without the goal of going without the grid is still very beneficial.

7. Create an off-grid kitchen

Cooking in a modern kitchen uses quite a bit of energy. Making an off-grid kitchen is a great way to start learning more primitive cooking skills and reduce your bills. There are many ways to cook without power. It really depends on your home and what you find to be the best way for you.

For example, a wood stove is a great method of making a meal in the cold months while also heating your home. In the warmer months, it is best to take your cooking outdoors to keep inside as cool as possible. Even if you are in an urban environment, you may still be able to have a wood stove set up outdoors or use another style of oven for cooking.

What money-saving tips would you add to this list? Share them in the section below:

Every Year Gardeners Make This Avoidable Mistake — But You Don’t Have To. Read More Here.

PETITION. Stop the hate towards a minority group.

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New Website: Survival World News

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Hello The Survival Place Blog readers.

Introducing our new sister site, Survival World News (Survival Through Knowledge) by The Survival Guy.

Survival World News is dedicated to bringing you the pulse of our world as we know it. We do this in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice.

The only way to achieve this is through the knowledge of what is going on around us on a daily basis. The way things are in the world today it just makes good sense to have a plan for all sorts of emergencies, whether it be caused by mother nature or man-made it doesn’t matter, we need to be ready.

We hope you will check out our new site http://survivalworldnews.com/ which is also updated daily with a different twist on survival and articles.

Thanks to all our followers for your support!

The Survival Guy



Filed under: News/ Current Events

A Long-Term Way to Protect the Second Amendment

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There is an easy and fun way to protect the future of the second amendment over the long-term: Husbands, take your wives shooting. The more women who get into hunting and other shooting sports, the more secure the second amendment will be in the future.

Think about it. Wherever Mothers go, there go their children. The more that children are exposed to responsible gun ownership, and the safe & fun use of guns, the less fearful they will be of guns, despite the anti-gun indoctrination in our schools.

The future of the second amendment is being determined in the fight for the hearts and minds of children. The anti-gun activists know that the more fearful they can make children of guns while they are young, the more fearful they will be when they grow up. Fearful adults – who will be voters, politicians, bureaucrats, school administrators, teachers, and other positions of influence – will be easier to convince to do away with the second amendment and accept gun confiscation (the ultimate goal of gun control).

Have no doubt that the gun control crowd are already fighting hard to instill a fear of guns into children. Schools have enacted zero-tolerance policies that go way beyond banning the actual weapons from schools. Children are getting suspended, expelled, and sometimes even arrested for such absurdities as merely using the word “gun” in a paper, drawing a picture of a gun in art class, playing with a green plastic army man with a gun, biting a pop-tart into the shape of a gun, having a toy “bubble gun” that looks nothing like a real gun, and even holding their fore-finger and thumb into a gun shape while playing on the playground (no more playing cowboys and indians, or cops and robbers).

School officials understand the difference between a drawing of a gun and a real gun. They over-react to such an incredible extent not to discourage guns on campus, but to intentionally instill a fear of guns into students. Progressives know that if the current generation of students is afraid of guns, it will be easier to ban guns once they grow up.  

The best and easiest way to stop this intentional spread of the fear of guns into children is to get their mothers into guns. Take your wife or girlfriend to the shooting range. Take them hunting. Get them into guns. And the message will seep down to their children.


I’m not a woman, but I do have some common sense suggestions for how to get your wife or girlfriend into shooting: Be patient. Make it fun. Don’t be an asshole, talk down to her, or make it into some macho thing. Don’t take over and try to make decisions for her. Let other people help – you’re probably the wrong person to teach her how to shoot, no matter how good you are. Take a class together. Don’t take her shooting or hunting, instead go shooting or hunting together (an important difference). Let her progress at her own pace.

I would love to get suggestions from women on how to get women into shooting sports. Please leave suggestions in the comments section below. 


Fight Back! — Defending the Second Amendment (my article)

Shoot Like a Girl (website promoting women in shooting sports)

A Girl and a Gun (website promoting women in shooting sports)

Women and Guns (website)

National Shooting Sports Foundation (website)

10 Rules for Gun Safety – National Shooting Sports Foundation (website)

Concealed Carry for Women (book)

Personal Defense for Women (book)

Guns for Women: Patriot Nurse’s Favorite Rifles!  (You Tube video)

Get Your Girl Into Guns! – Women and shooting (You Tube video) 

NRA’s Women’s Programs (website) 

NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program for kids (website)

NuManna Defender Pack Review: Sweet Habanero Chili with Quinoa

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During all of the time I’ve been involved in preparedness, I’ve had difficulty combining my love for whole food with my need for long-term storable food to consume in the event of an emergency. For years, I sought an emergency food that tasted reasonably good, had fewer additives, contained no MSG (that’s an instant migraine for me) and wasn’t loaded with genetically modified ingredients from a country with low food standards. (Cough, China.)

In my pantry, you can find buckets of emergency food from several different companies, but until recently, there was not a product line that I felt I could really get behind and endorse. There were always things like MSG, asparatame, GMO corn syrup (just no), unpronounceable ingredients, or a label that announced “Made in China.” Don’t even get me started on the copious amounts of gluten and sugary drinks that seem to be the backbone of many emergency kits.

Readers frequently ask me how they can immediately build a supply, and hands down, emergency buckets are the easiest, fastest way if you have the need for speed. At the same time, it’s difficult for me to recommend products that completely go against everything I believe in as a real food activist.

Despite all of the drawbacks, emergency food buckets have an essential place in your pantry. You just have to make the best choices available to ensure that you’re nourishing yourself instead of poisoning yourself.

Why emergency food buckets are essential

Please understand that emergency food buckets, while vital, should not be the basis of your food storage or your everyday diet. They are only part of the picture of a perfect pantry.

Here’s why every prepper should have some emergency food buckets stashed away:

  1. A lot of calories can be condensed into a very small amount of space.
  2. If you have the capacity to boil water during an emergency, a filling meal can be yours.
  3. They add variety and speed to an emergency food supply.
  4. Calorie for calorie, they’re lightweight and easily portable in the event of a bug-out scenario.
  5. They’re professionally packaged to have a 25-year shelf life, so you can get it, stick it in the back of your closet, and forget about it until you need it.

Now, the downside.If you’re looking for ready-made meals, you have to understand that none of them are going to be

If you’re looking for ready-made meals, none of them are going to be completely without additives. This is impossible, because they’re made to last for 25 years, to take up minimal space,  to cook up quickly and efficiently, and to taste reasonably good.

Some compromises must be made. Yes, emergency food buckets contain processed food, but you don’t have to let go of all of your focus on healthful choices.

I recommend NuManna Foods.

Finally, I’ve found a product line that I can get behind. I recently got the NuManna Defender Nutritive Pack  to test it out and I’ve been very impressed with the company, the mission, and the food. (I also have the gluten-free family pack.) 

Here’s the company’s vision statement:

NuManna believes that emergency food should be as healthy if not healthier than the food we eat on a daily basis. The effects of food on our overall health have never been a bigger concern. Chemical preservatives, food allergies, gluten intolerance, MSG, and certainly Genetically Modified (GMO) foods are all challenging our well-being.

NuManna Foods is well aware of these problems. The founders of NuManna have their own special dietary needs and were seeking storable foods with no Aspartame, or High Fructose Corn Syrup before NuManna began. GMO-free ingredients and gluten restricted options were also a high priority. They didn’t find storable food meals quite up to the standards set for their own family. So, they decided to create them and became one of the first storable food makers of its kind to offer such selective and chemically free products.

We understand customers with exacting standards. We understand how food intolerance can be overwhelming. We also realize the human body cannot eat preserved foods for an extended period of time without getting sick. Your food storage and emergency supplies should not be a health crisis. We work to meet and exceed your expectations and make it easy to find the high-quality storable foods you want and need without sacrificing flavor or value.

Allow our pursuit of quality preparedness food to overcome the frustration you may have felt in seeking out healthy food storage. Our standard packages are Certified 100% GMO-Free with no preservatives, no soy, or other controversial ingredients. We also offer complete Gluten Restricted buckets with the same chemical and preservative-free standard. Our foods are even free of Autolyzed Yeast Extract. NuManna is a true innovator in healthy and chemically free storable foods.

I haven’t found anything else in the storable industry with these standards, and I believe that this could raise the bar to the point that the industry is changed completely.

Numanna free shipping

The Defender Nutritive Pack

The NuManna Defender pack is a 3 month supply of NuManna meals with a wonderful twist: it contains an additional supply of high-quality superfoods.


These can be combined with the standard dehydrated meals to increase both calories and nutritional value. The extra goodies are all organic except for the parboiled rice:

  • Organic Quinoa
  • Organic Black Chia Seeds
  • Organic Sprouting Seeds
  • Organic Brown Jasmine Rice
  • Parboiled Rice
  • Organic Spelt

The other food in this particular package is a mix of gluten-free choices and five containing gluten. (I’d be really excited to be able to get this in a gluten-free offering, but it was still a worthwhile package for us, since not all members of our group have an issue with wheat products.)

I’ve marked the items that are gluten-free with a star. (*)


*Sweet Habanero Chili (6 x 2 servings)
Mac n Cheese (1 x 6 servings)
Pasta Primavera (1 x 6 servings)
*Enchilada Beans and Rice (1 x 6 servings)
Hearty Soup w/ Pasta (1 x 6 servings)
Pasta Alfredo (1 x 6 servings)
Italian Pasta (6 x 6 servings)
*Potato Casserole (1 x 6 servings)
*Hawaiian Sweet n Sour (1 x 6 servings)
*Black Bean Soup (1 x 10 servings)
*Cheddar Broccoli Soup (1 x 10 servings)
*Cheesy Potato Soup (1 x 10 servings)
*Granola (1 x 10 servings)
*Classic Chili (1 x 10 servings)
*Rice Pilaf (1 x 10 servings)

Last night, we combined two goodies together to make one tasty meal.

Sweet Habanero Chili with Quinoa

I love chili in just about every version that exists and this one was not a disappointment. However…if you have a family member who doesn’t like spicy food, opt for the Classic Chili instead of the Sweet Habanero. One of my daughters said that it was too spicy. Keep in mind, this is also the daughter who finds cinnamon gum spicy enough to make her eyes water, so take that opinion with a grain of salt. (Or spice.)

Here are the packages for the chili and the quinoa. Initially I had put these into a snazzy collage, but then I realised you couldn’t read the information on the back. So, this isn’t as snazzy, but you can read it.



The quinoa is simply organic quinoa, the kind you’d get at Whole Foods or Trader Joes. This means that it has to be rinsed, which could be a problem if you are in a situation in which water is at a premium. If you have running water, this is, of course, no big deal at all.  For the absolute best flavor, if you saute it in a pan with a little butter or cooking oil, it will be restaurant quality delicious. For the purpose of an emergency food review I didn’t get all crazy gourmet. I simply washed it and boiled it.

There is an enormous benefit to having grains like quinoa packaged up in 16 servings apiece. This way, if you were relying on your food storage for the long term, you wouldn’t have to worry about the product becoming rancid or getting buggy before you could consume it all.

Back to the food. Once cooked, the quinoa was fluffy and perfect. The quality of this product was excellent.

cooked quinoa

Next, the chili. Here’s what it looked like when I took it out of the package and dumped it in a bowl.

chili dehydrated

The food came to us sealed into bags containing 6 servings. I’ve found that the servings from NuManna are very generous, so since there were just two of us eating, I mixed the contents of the bag well, then scooped half back in to have at a different time. The bags have a heavy duty zipper seal, so they close right back up.

Every time I’ve cooked emergency food, I’ve found it requires a little more water than the instructions recommend to get the items completely rehydrated and tender, and this was no exception. I ended up adding two extra cups of water to our half bag of chili. Now, in case it’s just me and there’s some weird, sci-fi, water-draining bubble around my kitchen, follow the package instructions, but be prepared to add extra water if needed. As well, I simmered the chili for 30 minutes instead of 20-25.

This chili had tender beans and tasty, sweet bits of real pineapple. As far as emergency food goes, this was a foodie’s delight. It was delicious. I served mine in a bowl over my quinoa, and it was a filling, satisfying meal.

NuManna sweet habanero chili with quinoa

The Price

In the smallest packages (single buckets) the meals cost anywhere (including shipping costs) from $2.40 for the gluten-containing food to $2.52 for the gluten-free food. If you get a ginormous supply that would last your family for a year, it drops to less than $1.50 per serving.

Now, if you compare this to some of the other buckets on the market, you might feel like that’s too high of a price. But, you have to keep in mind, this is for real food.

One other popular company charges an equivalent amount per meal, but the “meals” are ridiculous items like instant rice (just plain – nothing but white rice), oatmeal, cream of wheat, pudding, sugary energy drinks, and powdered milk.  If I was in an emergency situation and had been working hard all day, I wouldn’t be too happy to open my food bucket and find and orange energy drink or a bag of plain rice for that night’s dinner.

If you want to add things like oatmeal or drink powders to your stockpile, you can do it for FAR less money than $2.40 per serving. Any time you’re shopping for food buckets, check to see what you get and decide if these items should really be considered a meal.

The verdict

I’m very impressed!

While I wouldn’t serve processed food on a daily basis, in an emergency or for a rushed meal when I don’t have time to cook, I’m absolutely thrilled with Numanna Food Storage products.

The company’s commitment to making a better quality storable food is admirable, and I’ll definitely be stocking up on more of their food. It’s like insurance in my pantry against a year when gardens fail, farm animals die, and the store is unavailable. As well, in a tight financial situation, I know that I could feed my family for minimal additional output with a pantry full of these items.

Check out the product line HERE.

It’s such a relief to find an emergency food line that I can recommend without hesitation. I wholeheartedly endorse NuManna Foods.

If you give it a try, let me know what you think of it. I’m planning to do some experimenting to combine this with some of my other stored foods to boost the protein intake and add some variety.

From now until Jan. 1, you can get FREE SHIPPING on your purchase, no matter how much you buy. If you’ve been on the fence about stocking up, take this opportunity. You will save approximately $20 per bucket on the shipping. Don’t forget to add dry milk to your purchase. You can get a bucket of hormone free milk powder or even a 3 pack or organic milk powder. (That’s a hard-to-find product I’ve searched high and low for.)


The post NuManna Defender Pack Review: Sweet Habanero Chili with Quinoa appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Radiation at Altitude

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Finally, a space weather site that provides data on Radiation at Altitude

Some of you may remember my citizen scientist efforts at Geiger data gathering at altitude on airplane flights.    What was most interesting was that by holding the Geiger against the leg, you can block half the beta and all the alpha. 

My testing showed a significant amount of Beta in the “jet stream”.   Cosmic is gamma, do this beta is foreign, man made.   Search the site to find those.   Use the search box.
For the testing below, this guy is in charge.    For a $500 donation, they will do a specific test for you.    I want to document his name and email, because after the holidays I want to suggest some tests that may leap frog on my own testing on the trademarked “beta blocker” leg test, or the orientation testing.


Doctor Tony Phillips


Radiation levels peak at the entrance to the stratosphere in a broad region called the “Pfotzer Maximum.” This peak is named after physicist George Pfotzer who discovered it using balloons and Geiger tubes in the 1930s. Radiation levels there are more than 80x sea level.
Note that the bottom of the Pfotzer Maximim is near 55,000 ft. This means that some high-flying aircraft are not far from the zone of maximum radiation. Indeed, according to the Oct 22th measurements, a plane flying at 45,000 feet is exposed to 2.79 uSv/hr. At that rate, a passenger would absorb about one dental X-ray’s worth of radiation in about 5 hours.
The radiation sensors onboard our helium balloons detect X-rays and gamma-rays in the energy range 10 keV to 20 MeV. These energies span the range of medical X-ray machines and airport security scanners.
stock here–as expected, flying at night is not protection from Cosmic, because it comes mainly from deep space, all around us.   In all directions
Space Weather is good stuff.    It explains a lot of things that happen on the Earth, especially things that lying scientists attribute to other causes.    interested?   Dive in, if I told you the truth, you wouldn’t believe me.
NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center
The official U.S. government space weather bureau
Atmospheric Optics
The first place to look for information about sundogs, pillars, rainbows and related phenomena.
Solar Dynamics Observatory
Researchers call it a “Hubble for the sun.” SDO is the most advanced solar observatory ever.
3D views of the sun from NASA’s Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory
Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
Realtime and archival images of the Sun from SOHO.
Daily Sunspot Summaries
from the NOAA Space Environment Center
the underlying science of space weather
Columbia Northern High School
Web-based high school science course with free enrollment
Kotton Grammer, Search Engine Marketing
sponsored link
Synergy Spray Foam Insulation of Houston TX
Protection from the Sun!

Food Storage and Survival’s Top 10 of 2015!

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Top 10 of 2015 at Food Storage and Survival!It’s that time of year when we look back over the past year and reflect on what has happened in our lives, how far we’ve come, and what the highlights of the year were.  And on the blog, we look back at the top posts of the year.  What did you, the readers, like to read and share from this site this past year?  So let’s get to it!  Here are the top ten posts of 2015 on Food Storage and Survival!

10.  12 Favorite Comfort Foods You Want in Your Food Storage PLUS How to Store Them.  Why have boring rice and beans food storage when you can store some foods you love?  This post breaks down exactly how to get those comfort foods in your food storage!

9.  Keeping the Special in Special Occasions: 10 Tips for Celebrating During Hard Times.  Hard times come and special occasions are still going to happen.  Here are some great tips for keeping them special when money is tight and times are hard.

8.  Don’t Eat That! Seven Signs of Good Food Storage Gone Bad.  If expiration dates are just a suggestion, how do you know when your food is not safe to eat?  Check for these seven signs of good food storage gone bad!

7.  27+ Clever Ways to Use Dandelions.  Ahhh, dandelions.  You’ll be glad they pop up in your yard this spring with these 27 creative ways to use them!  From tea to bread to lotion, there are plenty of uses for all those dandelions!  Get busy!  🙂

6.  4 Compelling Reasons to Keep Your Gas Tank More Than Half Full.  Including a slightly embarrassing story of me running out of gas on the side of the road, these reasons may just convince you to fill up at half tank instead of empty!

5.  How to Make Soap: Cold Process With Oatmeal.  I love this soap.  It’s easy to make and is so much better for your skin than store soap.  And there’s some really flattering pictures of me in this post.  Actually, it’s about time to make some more of this soap around here!

4.  Six Things to Scout Along Your Evacuation Route.  Go your evacuation route planned?  Here’s what to look for as you’re planning so you’ll be prepared when you need to actually use it for a real evacuation!

3.  72 Hour Kit Series: Food for your Emergency Kit.  Part of the 72 hour kit series, in this post we covered options for food for your kit.  Because nobody wants to go through an emergency hungry!

2.  Eight Great Ways to Cook when the Power is Out!  You’ve got your food stored, but what about ways to cook it when the power is out?  This post has eight fantastic options.  Get at least one in your arsenal and you’ll have a better chance at not eating cold spaghettio’s from the can!

1.  23 (mostly beginner) Preparedness Sewing Projects.  As a seamstress, I love this post and am so glad you all have loved it, too!  Fantastic projects to hone your sewing skills and get a little more prepared in the process!  Great for beginning sewers, even kids can do most of these projects.

2015 was a fantastic year here at Food Storage and Survival!  Thank you for joining me and supporting this site.  I LOVE my readers–you all make this endeavor worthwhile!  If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for my email newsletter and join me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.  Here’s wishing you all an amazing 2016!

Keep preparing!


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Bartering After TEOTWAWKI, Is It a Good Idea?

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barteringPersonally, I intend to do some bartering, if things fall apart.  Now what you trade and how you go about it is a bit complicated.  First there is two things that I would be very careful about who I bartered with, ammunition and alcohol.  Now I know that many people have stored extra ammo with the idea that it will be good trading stock.  I believe that there will be a demand for many different types of rounds, particularly 22 and 12 gauge birdshot for hunting.


Don’t be this guy

When you trade ammo, you want to be sure that it is not going to be used on you.  You may be arming the person who intends to rob you.  I have talked with people who have schemes to set up snipers and other ideas to protect themselves while bartering.   If you trade with anybody that comes along, you will end up in a nasty situation eventually.  I don’t want to end up in a shooting situation.

I have also talked to people who think that they can survive by setting up a still and bartering alcohol.  Now this is not a totally bad idea, some alcohol is needed for medicinally purposes.  But if you are selling it for drinking, word will get around and there are lowlife alcohols that will do anything for a drink, including kill you and your family.

barteringNow don’t think that I am against bartering, because I am not.  I think that bartering will revolve around what we grow, produce or the skills we possess.  Simple skills and having the tools to perform them will become valuable.  Things like sharpening a handsaw, soap making, candle making, tanning hides, blacksmithing and other types of repair work.  It seems like everytime I grow a garden, I have an abundance of something.  This can be preserved or traded for something else.

I think that the single most valuable items other than maybe food will be medical supplies. Many people who have chronic medical conditions will run out of medications rapidly.  These types of medications or there herbal substitutes will be extremely valuable.  Knowing and being able to produce herbal medications will be a good skill to have.

One thing that our family has a lot of is miscellaneous hardware.  My father taught us to go to garage sales and buy the odd boxes of nails, screws, bolts and fitting.  There always seems to be one in every garage sale.  Normally you can buy them very cheaply.  When people have to start repairing and building things for themselves these items will become quite valuable. Don’t forget that some of the people who made the most money on the California gold rush were the ones who sold picks and shovels.

A local economy based on bartering can function, just be sure you are careful whom you deal with and don’t deal so tight that you make enemies.



Pilgrim Nuclear Needs to BE Shut Down

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stock here—this plant is dangerous, it also leaks radiation like a sieve.

Pilgrim needs to go.   Any regulator worth it’s own salt would shut this site down immediately.  Don’t even let it finish it’s burn cycle.

Here is the coup de grace for Pilgrim…..
from the NRC blog

steamshovel2002 November 6, 2015 at 2:13 pm

The black swan event is Pilgrim’s part 21 SRV bellows failure. The insanity is we assume it would leak before failure. The only reason a warning of a bellows failure in the control room is through the lessons we learned in TMI. Remember their PORV valve only showed if the solenoid was energized or not? It showed nothing if the valve was open or not. If the operators in the control room had direct indication of PORV valve flow, TMI wouldn’t have happened. Not getting a leak warning before failure such as in Pilgrim’s SRV part 21 bellows failure and the undiscoverable massive inop SRV setpoint tech specs inaccuracies in Fitz reminds me of the blindness with poorly instrumented up PORV valves just prior to TMI.
Here in the Pilgrim’s part 21 the bellows failed without any warning. The bellows hi pressure warning. This guy was run for a full cycle in the plant. They removed it and sent it to a testing facility. Up at pressure on the stand or bringing to pressure they heard a pop. It was a bellows failure.
I am here to tell you the quality and reliability safety component is extraordinary important in a nuclear plant. The quality of the information the control room has on the condition of components and plant processes in extraordinary important.
Don’t even get me talking about gunslinger engineers who will tell anything you want for money?

Incredible Escape Story: Two American Airmen and a Near-Deadly Flood

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Incredible Escape Story: Two American Airmen and a Near-Deadly Flood

Incredible Escape Story: Two American Airmen and a Near-Deadly Flood

All that stood between them and a raging flood was a tiny cement shack—and time was running out.

For two days, Typhoon Neoguri had battered the Japanese island of Okinawa with 100 mph winds, uprooting trees and ripping wooden buildings from their foundations. On Kadena Air Base, the hub of U.S. air power in the Pacific, 20,000 residents—service members, families, and civilian employees—had been confined to quarters under an emergency order. By nightfall on July 8, 2014, however, the worst seemed to be over. At 10 p.m., when Airmen First Class Brandon Miles and Roderick Jones arrived for their shift at the munitions-dump guard shack, all that remained of the tempest was the relentless rain.

As their ride dropped them off, Miles noticed that a small pond had collected in an underpass 200 yards away. “Bro, I bet that water’s going to be up to the shack by morning,” he said with a laugh. Jones agreed, adding, “Hopefully, not until we’re off duty.”

Inside the concrete shack, it was dry and snug. Jones—a husky, six-foot-two-inch 20-year-old from Houston—settled behind the single desk. Miles, 21, an Oklahoma City native who was four inches shorter and 50 pounds lighter, hunkered on a bench. Although both men wore the uniform of the security forces, the branch of the Air Force responsible for law enforcement and base defense, their personalities were as different as their physiques. Jones was quiet, easygoing, and upbeat; Miles was outspoken, intense, and irascible. Jones loved to explore the local beaches and restaurants; Miles disliked swimming and was leery of foreign food. But they relished each other’s company and had been close friends since basic training. In their free time, they often took long drives around the island. Jones let Miles—a former college DJ who played piano, trumpet, and drums—pick the tunes on the car stereo.

02-airmen-soldiers-paTonight, they spent the watch studying their workbooks for a career-development course and opening the entrance gate for the few vehicles that came through. At dawn, the rain was still sheeting. Glancing out the window, Miles grinned. “See? I told you,” he said. Several inches of water covered the pavement. Around 6:30 in the morning, the men heard a metallic crashing sound, like a ship being battered by waves. Looking out, they saw that what had been a shallow pool was now a knee-deep, chocolate-colored torrent, carrying twigs and other debris and rising rapidly. Miles went to the door, but it wouldn’t budge; the pressure of the flood was too great. “You try,” he said to Jones. “You’re bigger.”

Jones threw his weight against the door, without success, as water began seeping across the threshold. Grabbing his two-way radio, he called the base defense operations center, half a mile away. “We’re in trouble,” he said. “We’re going to need somebody to come and get us.”

T. Sgt. Kevin Spain took the call. “We’ll send someone out there as soon as we can,” he said, “but our patrols are tied up right now.” There was minor flooding all over the base, he explained, and the security force’s vehicles were out trying to keep traffic moving. Spain, 31, tried to sound nonchalant, but the crew-cut father of three knew how treacherous a typhoon’s wake could be. He radioed an alert to his scattered troops and waited with growing anxiety as 15 minutes ticked by.

When a Humvee returned to headquarters, Spain gathered a few defenders (as security personnel are called) and jumped behind the wheel. The base’s perimeter road was impassable, so he navigated a muddy hillside, picking up his fellow flight chief—M.Sgt. Brad Reeves, who’d been trying to reach the shack on foot—along the way. Around seven, they arrived at the first of two gates separating the main base from the munitions dump.

One of Kadena’s fire trucks was already there. But the gate was locked, and no one had the key. To their horror, the defenders saw that the guard shack, down the hill, was almost submerged. Just then, a call came in from the operations center: The video screen monitoring the area had gone blank. Spain realized that water had engulfed the camera, which hung from the eaves of the shack. If the team couldn’t get in quickly, it would be fishing out a couple of corpses.

While they waited for help, Miles and Jones switched off the shack’s circuit breaker to avoid being electrocuted. Outside, the flood surged above the windowsills; inside, it rose to their shins. Jones crouched on the desk and Miles perched on a stool, but the water soon crept to their waists. The men’s hopes lifted as they watched the rescuers’ vehicles pull to a halt. Then the water outside reached the top of the window, and they could see nothing—except for small fish swimming through the murk.

Jones radioed for permission to shoot out the glass. “Denied,” Master Sergeant Reeves responded. “It’s bulletproof. A ricochet could kill you.”

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By now, the water inside the shack was just a few feet from the ceiling. The two men struggled to stay calm. They told each other jokes, not all of them printable. When a spider skittered across the surface, Jones flicked it toward Miles, for the fun of watching his arachnophobic buddy flinch. But it was becoming harder to distract themselves from the seriousness of their plight. Jones felt a need to take some sort of action. “There’s too much water in here for a bullet to ricochet,” he told Reeves. “At least let me try it.” The flight chief relented, and Jones fired 15 shots from his 9 mm pistol. The slugs barely dented the pane before sinking away.

Jones turned to Miles. “If we don’t make it,” he said, “I want you to know I love you, brother.”

“Shut up, bro,” Miles answered. “You know I love you too.”

After a firefighter severed the padlock with a bolt cutter, the vehicles splashed across a waterlogged highway and drove downhill toward the second gate, which barely rose above the flood. Spain swam to it, clambered over the barbed wire, and plunged underwater to slice through the lock. He and Airman First Class Cody Watson then swam to the guard shack, whose gently curved roof was its only visible feature. They dove again and again, feeling along the walls for a way in, but the effort was futile.

The firefighters—some of them Air Force, others Japanese civilians—rigged a rope line from their truck to the shack and began ferrying tools and rescuers along it. Soon there were seven or eight men on the roof, hacking at the foot-thick concrete with axes and sledgehammers. They worked in shifts as the rain pelted down. But the shack had been built to resist grenades, and the furious pounding left it virtually unscathed.

Inside, Jones and Miles were treading water, with inches of breathing room left. To keep their hands free, they’d dropped the radio. Now the only sounds in the shack were their rapid breathing, the sloshing of the flood, and the muffled blows of the rescuers’ tools. Both men were praying for themselves and their families. Miles, who was raised by a single mother, repeated silently, “Please don’t do this to my mom.”

Outside, a second fire truck pulled up at the gate, delivering a K-12 rotary saw—specially designed for first responders. Around the same time, Jones bumped his head against the ceiling and dislodged a gypsum tile. Pushing it aside, he discovered another two feet of space between the ceiling and the roof. Suddenly, both men were energized. Jones began tearing at the web of metal struts from which the ceiling hung. Miles, who’d worked in construction as a teenager, found the latches that held the system in place. The struts fell away, giving him and Jones precious headroom.

An instant later, they heard the saw’s motor roar to life, followed by the snarl of its blade biting into concrete. The trapped airmen cheered and pounded on the underside of the roof. Within minutes, two 18-inch slits had appeared above them, slashes of brightness piercing the gloom. The smell of exhaust filled the air, and grit sprayed their faces. Then came a grating sound, followed by silence. “Keep going!” the men yelled.

On the roof, the rescuers groaned: The saw had jammed. They returned to their sledgehammers, abetted this time by chisels and crowbars. Chunks of concrete showered Miles and Jones as the slits widened and merged. But the rescuers soon faced another obstacle: layers of inch-thick rebar, arranged in tight grids. They used an ax and the bolt cutter to chew through the iron rods. The water kept rising. Once again, the trapped men had only inches left.

Finally, the opening formed a rough square. A hand reached down, and Miles grasped it. Jones watched his friend rise to freedom. When his turn came, however, his shoulders wouldn’t fit. As the rescuers frantically expanded the hole, a firefighter offered to escort Miles to a waiting ambulance. “I’m not leaving until my wingman does,” Miles answered.

At 7:30—an hour after he’d radioed for help—Jones emerged, gasping for breath. The rescuers whooped and hugged. At that moment, the rain stopped.

Although Miles and Jones were physically unharmed by their ordeal, they were changed in other ways. Both discovered that they’d lost the sense of immortality that buoys most young men. “It made me more introspective,” Miles says now. “For the first time, I actually value my life.” Jones suddenly awakened to the transience of time: “Before I die,” he declares, “I want to do something in my career to leave an impression.”

The guard shack, too, underwent a major alteration—its roof was fitted with an escape hatch. And 17 responders received Air Force commendation medals for their courage in the flood. “They were there for us all the way,” says Jones. “They were willing to do whatever it took to get us out.”



Source : www.rd.com

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