The “Gone Country” plan for 2016

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Mom and I want to move back to the country.  At this time financing a country place might be problematic and since Mom’s divorce is not final any loan would have to be small, or I would have to get lucky selling my home quickly with a small profit.  But what the hell?  If the game was easy everyone would play.

I found a few potential home/farms for a very good price that could work for Mom and I.  Both Mom and I lived on a place in Owyhee county and neither one of us thinks making a go of a small patch of land will be easy.  While both of us are disabled, we are getting a lot better about using power tools to cheat. As well as using compost and bio-mass to augment the soil in Owyhee county.

Ten acres is the upper limit on any place if we can afford the financing because I would like to raise some grass fed beef without a huge cost for hay or other fodder. I think we will start with smaller animals such as a pig or two the first year until we start building up the soil and grazing area.  I’d like to go with sheep for wool but I know nothing about sheep. I worked on a (beef) cattle ranch. I know nothing about dairy cattle, so I will stay away from dairy cattle until I gain more knowledge.

Every growing thing will have to be done via raised beds or bucket gardens to start.  It will take at least a full growing season or year to learn all micro-climates and start improving the soil.  On a lot of 5 acres or more, I could make a self-sustaining food forest.

On The little Casa de Chaos here in Nampa. Well the realtor’s and Zillow.com say the home is worth about $100 grand. If I can sell the place for $95,000-$100,000 + to someone. I could take a small profit of $15 grand to invest into the new homestead.  While I “bitch” about the upkeep and money I have invested in the house. Overall I still think it is a great home.  If anyone wants to move to  the Boise Idaho area, live in a historic district home with 1% loans via the city to “renovate” a historic home, give me comment.  By the way it is a 3 bedroom, 1 3/4 bath with a large storage basement and a great wood stove. The large shop will hold a mini-van and a 16 foot boat when not used for storing furniture. I also have RV parking for any trailer/ RV under 30 feet as well as a carport.  If you want to move to Idaho and get your feet wet, but stay close to shopping and schools,  This little home might be right for you and your family.

 

Freezing week

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Snow in the Mountains

A great deal of the USA went through a major deep freeze, we were not spared here in far west Texas. We got dumped on with snow, it snowed as far south as Presidio, an area where one rarely needs more than a light jacket in winter. There were road closures from highway 10 all the way down to Presdio. Fortunately it happened over a weekend, and a holiday weekend as well. We had plenty of notice, and for me it was a payday weekend, I was able to stock up on some comfort food (soups, chili and the such), we were also able to stock up on some extra fire wood, we went through a LOT of firewood over those icy, snowy days and nights.

It’s funny because the Friday and Saturday before, the temps were getting up into the 70s F, T-shirt weather, but halfway through the day on Saturday, the wind changed direction and the temps dropped like a rock. PB and I were out by the road talking to a friend when the first few snow drops fell, yes I said drops, not flakes. These were marble sized, rounded snow drops, heavy, wet and hitting hard. The rest of the night and the following day, it snowed pretty much non-stop, we ended up with 6-8 inches of heavy, wet snow.

Normally our snow out here is powdery, dry and light, not this time. But all in all, it wasn’t a bad long weekend. My boss, who lives in Lubbock and got nearly a foot of snow, emailed everyone in the district to let us know we shouldn’t try to go out on the roads if it wasn’t safe, I didn’t even try to venture out until Tuesday afternoon. By then, the snow had pretty much melted off the roads and our dirt roads were dry enough to drive on without slipping and sliding.

Today, over a week later, there are still some patches of snow in the protected nooks and crannies out here, I am a little disappointed that I didn’t venture out and snap some pictures, but it was just too cold for me, too cold and too wet, I much prefer the powdery stuff that doesn’t stick to you and taps off of your boots. Yes, I’m getting to be a bit of a wimp, but with PB keeping the SkyCastle warm, the good food I cooked and warm dogs to snuggle with, I really had no interest in going outside during this snow event.

Fortunately, PB snapped a few pix.

 

Snow on the solar panels

Depth of the snow in a chair

SkyCastle

Lots of snow

SkyCastle in snow

View from the bedroom

Break time

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How Many Radiation Tragedies Do We Allow Nuclear to Make, Or Do We Let Them Kill Us Slowly?

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It seems like we have a “bubble” in nuclear radiation mishaps.

At San Onofre, they not only criminally lied about a like-for-like replacement that was nothing of the sort, and it almost caused a massive radiation release, and it DID shut down the plant for good.   But they also vastly polluted the ocean shoreline near their plant.    It’s so bad the Navy doesn’t even want the land.

 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Portions-of-Land-at-San-Onofre-Nuclear-Plant-May-Be-Contaminated-363954811.html

Portions of Land at San Onofre Nuclear Plant “May Be Contaminated”: Navy
Navy asking SCE for more information before land is taken back
By JW August

———————————————————————————–
 At Beatty Nuclear waste dump, they had a fire and explosion, with 55 gallon drums being blasted clean off the property itself.    But they say “no radiation released”, I had a few questions I emailed them…..

sfm@dps.state.nv.us

Sunday Prepper Bible Study-Being Seeker Friendly

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seeker

Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

John 6:53-56

Do you ever feel like Jesus didn’t get the memo on the seeker-friendly movement? The statement he made in today’s verse sounds flat out crazy to me. Eat your flesh? Drink your blood? Likewise, many of his followers couldn’t take it. John 6:66 says that many of his disciples gave up on him that day. And what about the unchurched? Could you imagine bringing your neighbor to hear this guy, Jesus, speak? After all the time you’d spent cultivating them so they’d finally come to church with you, now he says we have to drink his blood and eat his flesh. He had to know that attendance would fall off after such a statement. Couldn’t he have polished that message? Perhaps refined the delivery a bit? Or softened the blow with some humor? The bottom line is, he didn’t.

Later on in the chapter, he asks the 12 disciples who still remained. “Will ye also go away?”

Even though, in verse 63, he told them, “The words I speak unto you are spirit, and they are life,” the explanation went soaring over their heads.

Peter didn’t understand what Jesus meant. He was just as confused as any of us would have been. But, he chose to stay anyway. He answered Jesus by saying, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.”

When you don’t understand everything that Jesus says, when his message is nowhere near what we think of as seeker-friendly, are you willing to accept that his ways are higher than our ways? Do you have the faith to stick by his side because you are sure that he is the Christ, the Son of the living God?

Come back every Sunday for a new Prepper Bible Study! The most important prep of all is knowing GOD. Jesus said “what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his own soul?” Prepper translation: “What good will it do you to survive the coming economic collapse, nuclear war or even a zombie apocalypse if you don’t know you will go to heaven when you die.” A recent study found that 10 out of 10 people die! On that day we will meet our Maker. It only makes sense to be prepared for that day. Click here to learn more about knowing GOD.

Have a blessed day and happy prepping!

Mark

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Adventures in food shelf-life

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When it comes to storage-type food, you very often trade flavor for shelf life. You can have a product that tastes really good, but only lasts a minimum amount of time…or you can have a product with a great shelf life but its flavor is such that you would only eat it after the fallout settles and the Kroger’s is a smoking ruin.

Years ago (seven years, actually) I bought a bunch of the Idahoan instant potatoes in pouches. I recommend these highly, and find them to be very good. So good, in fact, that when I’m feeling too lazy to peel, boil, and mash ‘real’ spuds I reach for these. For the price of two of these pouches I can buy a 5# bag of potatoes at my local supermarket, so economically it may not make a lot of sense to have them all the time, but for storage food….very highly recommend.

One concern I had was the durability of the paper pouches. Its heavy duty paper, to be sure…but how will it hold up over time? Funny you should ask….

13890According to Idahoans website FAQ, this particualr pouch o’ spuds was born almost eight years ago. I’d bought a bunch of these when they were on sale and stuffed ’em into a plastic tub, sealed it up, and sat it on the shelf with all the other mid-term food storage in the classic ‘cool,dry place’. But…after a few years, I was pretty certain theyd have gone stale or bad or whatever happens to dehydrated potatoes. In fact, while I wasnt sure enough to pull them off the shelf and discard them, I was sure enough to pull them off my inventory spreadsheet.

Well, to make a long story short, it appears that even in the simple heavy paper pouch, stored under good conditions, they actually held up quite well for eight years. No discernible loss of flavor or texture. In fact, they seemed just fine. So, despite theyre not being packaged in a long-term manner from the factory, if you just stuff the pouches into a hard container, seal it up, and store it under the usual conditions…it lasts just fine.

So…if you’re looking to ads something to the ol’ pantry that tastes good enough to eat on a regular basis, but has a shelf life that goes on for quite a while…..these come highly recommended.

 

The 21 Foot Rule: Bringing a Knife to a Gunfight Can You Win?

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21 Foot Rule Gun vs Knife

In 1988 Calibre Press put out a law enforcement training video titled “Surviving Edged Weapons”. The video demonstrated how long it takes the average police officer to draw and fire his or her sidearm. The video showed it takes one-and-a-half seconds for the average officer to draw and fire two rounds.

Throughout the years, various studies have reached the same conclusions. Keep in mind however, in some training exercises the participants were aware they would be confronted by someone with a knife. While other training courses kept the participants with the firearms unaware of the fact they would be confronted with a knife wielding opponent. It makes a difference. It certainly would make a difference to you.

The 1988 video also concluded that an assailant at 21 feet away with a knife, an edged weapon if you will, can make it to an officer and stab that officer before their sidearm can be drawn and fired effectively. This is the 21 foot rule (Irwin, 2007).

We will not get into the legalities, because this is not what this article is about, it is about you and what you may encounter out there. Having a handgun on your person does not mean you can always protect yourself.

Of course, if you have your firearm drawn, and in the ready to fire position, and someone with a knife, intent on doing you harm is at 21 feet, 15 feet or even from 10 feet away, then you with the firearm will likely prevail if you have sufficient firearm training.

It has been demonstrated a number of times that if a firearm is holstered it takes at least 1.5 seconds for the average police officer to draw and fire, and of course someone with a knife can cover 21 feet in less than 1.5 seconds. This is an accepted standard.

Police officers, trained and on guard can draw and fire in 1.5 seconds under ideal conditions, so what about you, how fast can you react. If your handgun is under your shirt and someone lunges at you with a knife your hands will come up in a defensive posture, you will fall back trying to grab your weapon. There is drawing fast and there is drawing and firing effectively.

Keep in mind there are any number of factors that can slow the draw. Are your hands full, have you practiced under various conditions, is a coat or shirt in the way, are you with your children. The 1.5 seconds is not set in stone, and you are only that fast under ideal circumstances. Circumstances are never ideal.

People have tried to debunk the 21 foot rule, and as with anything, there are numerous variables involved, and frankly anyone can do a study and have it come out to fit their objectives.

The reality is that if you are in a crowd and you are carrying concealed or even open carrying and someone lunges at you with a knife, box cutter, needle, or ice pick you will likely be stabbed before you can draw and fire your handgun.

As stated earlier, if you have your firearm drawn, and at the ready, then of course, a knife brought to a gunfight is a losing proposition.

The point is that a handgun strapped to your waist is not a guarantee of protection. Do not get lulled into thinking that a handgun is the be-all and end-all to your personal protection. You have to have situational awareness and avoid areas that may put your life in danger. You may very well be attacked before you can even think of drawing your firearm.

Things You Can Do

Wear a stab vest, which is not the same as a bulletproof vest. Body armor designed specifically to stop penetration from sharp objects will not provide much protection from bullets, while a bulletproof vest will not provide as much protection against sharp objects.

A stab vest guards against slashes and stabs. Needles, knives, box cutters, and ice picks are deflected and will offer protection to the wearer’s back, front, and sides. The vests prevent deep penetrations that could reach internal organs. You can be injured while wearing one of course, but the chances of the attack being fatal are dramatically reduced.

You can avoid crowds or at the very least do not get in the middle of a crowd. Keep space between you and others.

Give ground, move to the side, or use objects to deter the attacker, throw a chair or throw a drink, or throw anything that comes to hand quickly to give you time and space to draw and fire. It takes intensive training to overcome the natural inclination to raise your hands and arms in defense, hands that are needed to use your firearm and it takes hours upon hours of firearm training.

Therefore, yes, you can bring a knife to a gunfight and win, and you may be the one with the knife, but keep in mind all that you have read so far is for informational purposes only.

The best way to avoid injury or death is to avoid the confrontation in the first place. However, keep what you have just read in mind, just in case.

Irwin, B. (2007). Retrieved 2016, from http://www.policemag.com/channel/patrol/articles/2007/10/rethinking-the-21-foot-rule.aspx

PoliceOne.com. (n.d.). Retrieved 2016, from https://www.policeone.com/edged-weapons/articles/102828-Edged-Weapon-Defense-Is-or-was-the-21-foot-rule-valid-Part-1/

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Root Vegetables: The Secret To Fresh Garden Flavor During Winter

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Root Vegetables: The Secret To Fresh Garden Flavor During Winter

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In the progression of autumn and winter, many of us are missing the rich tastes of fresh vegetables. There is no need to despair, however, as these months still have some produce to delight our taste buds. What kind of produce can make those long, dark months warm and bright? Root vegetables, of course.

What Are They?

Although root vegetables may look strange and tough skinned, they are actually some of the most nutritiously-dense vegetables you can find. Root vegetables are those from the families of potatoes, carrots, radishes, beets and onions. There are also many spices such as garlic, turmeric, horseradish and ginger that are considered root vegetables. These veggies also include the less-known rutabagas, turnips, celeriac, parsnips, yucca, and Jerusalem artichokes. The list can continue on and on.

Why are they so special and what’s the hype about these amazing root vegetables? They are known for helping fight disease and boosting energy, and are some of the most versatile cooking produce. They also each have their own health benefits, but often share positive characteristics.

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

Root vegetables absorb a large amount of minerals and vitamins from their surroundings. Most have high amounts of vitamins A, various Bs and C. These veggies are full of antioxidants and many are said to have healing properties. Usually, they are low in sodium and have a healthy amount of fiber, which helps you feel full. These veggies help your digestion and aid in lowering blood sugar. For those who are trying to lose weight or just eat healthy, root vegetables are the way to go.

How to Choose

Root vegetables should always be firm and without blemishes or soft spots, so remember “the harder, the better.” When possible, pick those with tops still attached, or those that have fresh leaves. The leaves and stems should be green and firm. Store them in a cool place, but if you put them in the refrigerator, cover them in plastic or paper and in a drawer.

Potatoes, onions and turnips should not be refrigerated. They tend to rot faster that way.

As you can imagine, root vegetables can be enjoyed in a wide variety of ways: stir fried, boiled, baked, raw, steamed and plain fried. Today we are going to discuss the secrets of roasted root vegetables.

To Roast or Not to Roast

Root Vegetables: The Secret To Fresh Garden Flavor During Winter

Image source: Pixbay.com

Roasting is actually one of the healthiest methods of cooking your vegetables. The dry heat softens the root vegetables, and you don’t need to add oil or butter unless you so desire. You may worry about losing nutrients, but the benefits outweigh everything else. Boiling vegetables causes more vitamin and nutrient loss. The water causes the healthy contents to leach out. Roasting brings out the natural, sweet taste of root vegetables, as well as a smoky taste which only adds to the dish. Roasting also enhances root vegetables’ natural flavor.

For some root vegetables, especially carrots, roasting increases the “bioavailability” of the vegetable. Bioavailability means how a substance that is ingested becomes available to be absorbed for an organism’s body to use.

Here is a festive recipe for those who wish to try the root vegetable goodness on their own. As always, organic produce is best.

  • 2 lbs (907 g) of peeled beets
  • 3 peeled parsnips
  • 4 peeled carrots
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 6 sprigs of thyme (fresh is better)
  • 3 tbs or 45 ml of olive oil
  • 4 tsp or 18 ml of balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp or 2 ml of salt
  • ¼ tsp or 1 ml of pepper

Cut vegetables into desired sizes and place in a large mixing bowl. Add spices and oil, and then toss. Grease a roasting pan and pour in the vegetables. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 190 degrees Celsius, and cook for 1 to 1 ½ hours.

If you are not looking for any fancy dish, collect your produce and a baking sheet. Cut all of your vegetables in equal sizes and spread them evenly over the baking sheet.

Be sure not to overcrowd your vegetables. If there isn’t enough space, they will steam rather than roast.

When you cut onions, remember to cut through the base so that some of the layers stay chunky. Turn your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit or 218 degrees Celsius. When roasted to taste, place in a bowl and toss with whatever spice or oil you wish, or just have them plain.

Root vegetables are available year-round, throughout the autumn and even during the winter when everything else is hard to find. These vegetables are rather inexpensive and easy to store. They can usually stay in a cool, dark, slightly humid place, but you can put them in the refrigerator when covered.

Embrace the cooler months with the taste and aroma of the many root vegetables available. Not only do they bring the natural garden taste to your table, but they are healthy, too.

What would you add to this story? Share your tips in the section below:

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

2016 New Years Resolutions

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Sustain
Start hunting
Continue fishing
Organize/ refine food storage. Emphasis is less on sheer bulk but more on filling holes and putting it all together.

Better organize caches
Get another grinder (Corona?)
Pick up some additional rechargeable batteries to have 2 (3 is better) spare sets per new piece of commo gear
5gal kerosene
1x kero lantern w/ 4 wicks and spare globe
Various tools TBD maybe
1x brace and bit
1x buck saw or large bow saw
Chainsaw support gear (me thinks gloves, chaps, spare chain, file, plenty of 2 cycle oil, spark plugs, bar oil, etc)
Files for chainsaw and hand saws

Cordage: 1 spool of 550 cord, 5x 100 ft light rope

Medical
Organize a good household first aid kit
Beef up my vehicle first aid kit.

Inventory gear, spare parts and other moderately priced items
Better organize gear and such

Life (personal):

Fill my newfound spare time in useful ways.

Solidify existing relationshiips and put time/ energy/ money into that effort.

Build new relationships.

Have some fun.

Watch more live music.

Life (functional/ goals):

Establish a zero or near zero based budget to manage my current financial situation allowing me to save, have fun and pursue preparedness goals.

Go back to school.

Figure out 1/3/5 year goals for where I want to be and backwards plan from there.

Overall my goals are to work on my life, get/ stay healthy, and figure out what my life is going to look like. In terms of preparedness I want to work hard on skills, firm up communications, get better organized, get some ammo and another AR then work on smaller stuff to round out what I already have.

So those are my draft goals. I am interested in your thoughts. I will think on my thoughts some more, consider your input and then make the draft into a finished product.

Emergency Mylar Blankets/Sleeping Bags and Their Limitations

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Emergency Mylar Blankets

Here are several different brands, as you can see they vary in size.

I have encountered a number of people carrying The Emergency Mylar Blankets or sleeping/bivy bags in their kits or vehicles.  In talking with them, many do not understand their limitations.

Emergency Mylar blankets can be useful for keeping warm under the right conditions, if used correctly.   Their primary purpose is to keep you warm under limited conditions, not get you warm. Now there are many brands of emergency Mylar blankets on the market and they are not created equal.  They range from very cheap Chinese ones to a good quality bivy sack  made by SOL which is a division of Adventure Medical.  This one is reusable and breathes to help keep you dry.  I have seen these Mylar blankets sell from less than 1 dollar to 40 dollars each.  The size, thickness and quality of the blankets vary greatly.

Now these blankets work by reflecting a portion of your body heat back into your body. Depending on the brand, they claim from 70 to 90 percent.  Therefore, you must have sufficient body heat to begin with, for them to be effective.  The colder you become before using the blanket, the less effective it will be.  Also you need a large enough blanket or bivy bag to cover you completely.  Many of the less expensive one will not cover your whole body. When using the blanket, you should squat down and wrap it around you.  If you choose to lay down make sure that there is insulation between you and the ground.

Mylar blankets are ineffective in the case of hypothermia.  In the case of hypothermia, external sources of heat are required for survival.  You need to have an outside source of heat to bring their body temperature up.

In an emergency situation, use the blankets before you lose body heat.  The warmer you are before you use the blanket the better.  Exercise is one way to warm your body up prior to using the blanket. However, don’t let yourself start to sweat. Dry clothing is essential for maintaining body warmth.  Do all that you can to keep dry or to change into dry clothes. Keep yourself hydrated, but do not eat snow, it will lower your body temperature.  Try the blanket out in various conditions and for various lengths of time before needing one in an emergency.

Other uses for Emergency Mylar Blankets.

Your Emergency blanket can be used to make a shelter from the elements such as sun, rain, wind or snow,  They can be used as a ground cover. If you are lost, you can use the reflection to signal for help.  They can be used to collect water.  If you have a fire, they can be used to reflect heat.  Emergency Mylar Blankets are a tool and have many uses, but like most tools, you have to understand their limitations and work within them.

Howard

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The Ultimate Bug Out Vehicle Gear List

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Though a bug out bag can help you last anywhere between a couple of days to a week, a well-equipped bug out vehicle can help you survive for weeks away from home, just in case you didn’t get to or don’t have a bug out retreat.

In today’s article I want to focus on the gear that you should stockpile inside you car, excluding food and water, which will be the topic of a future article. Now, before you start spending your hard-earned money on Amazon, let’s figure out your needs. You’re going to need…

  • ways to keep yourself warm
  • ways to stay in touch with what’s happening
  • ways to get from one point to another
  • ways to get out of the car in case of emergency
  • ways to protect yourself
  • ways to fix your car if need be (flat tire, dead battery)
  • first aid supplies, of course
  • ways to get your car moving again if stuck in mud, snow etc.

Of course, if you really want to be covered for everything, the more questions you ask yourself, the better. For example:

  • Do you expect to travel off road much?
  • Will you be forced to drive through the narrow streets of your city before reaching the highway?
  • How far is your bug out location?
  • How many people will use the car to bug out?
  • Can I protect my vehicle from burglars pre-SHTF? There’ve been cases where prepper cars have been looted and, although things like food and water can be replaced, other things such as guns and expensive gear… not as easily.

Ok, let’s not waste too much time and let’s see a full list of items you should consider getting (in no particular order).

Blankets

No point in using precious fuel to keep yourself and your family warm. A fewblankets can go a long way. This one, for instance, is also fire retardent. While you’re at it, why not throw in a few space blankets? If you get a pack of 10, you can split them between your BOB, your GHB and even keep one in your EDC (in addition to your car).

Keep in mind that blankets come in different fabrics, sizes and thicknesses. Wool is great, so is polar fleece. The ones made of wool don’t get you warm as fast as polyester blankets do, however. The reason is, wool blankets also allow your skin to breathe, while polyester keeps the heat trapped inside, making you hot and sweaty. I’m not trying to say polyester blankets are bad, they have their advantages. For instance, they provide better insulation if you’re going to put them directly on the ground to sleep on.

If you’re thinking about getting cotton blankets, I would say “no” to them because, unlike wool, when cotton gets wet, it tends to stay that way. Not a deal breaker, though.

Extra Clothes

Extra pairs of socks, underwear, a t-shirt, a pair of pants (preferably cargo, because they have lots of pockets, thus allowing you to carry extra items), a pair of boots and even a jacket – these should all be inside the trunk of your car. Don’t forget a couple of bandannas for their numerous alternative survival uses.

Fire and Lighting

Not much to say here, it’s easy to get a quality flashlight and a headlamp. Some of the options to consider:

You may also want to add a reflective vest, in case you need to fix a flat tire at night or if you’re forced to abandon your car and continue your journey on the foldable bike you might have inside the trunk. You can get one for less than 10 bucks.

As for starting a fire, there’s no need to get fancy. A couple of lighters kept in Ziploc bags, waterproof matches, blast matches and some tinder should be more than enough.

A Tool Kit

…which should include a claw hammer, screwdrivers, tape measure, hex keys and so on. You might want to give the Apolo Precision Tools a try. Of course, most tool sets are missing some of the less common items so you might have to get them separately, for example:

  • a ball peen hammer
  • torx set
  • distributor wrench
  • a circuit tester
  • tire traction chains
  • electrical tape and duct tape
  • a spark plug socket
  • breaker bar
  • RTV sealant
  • jumper cables, in case you need to boost your dead car. (try these)

Spare Parts

Such as:

  • a spare tire
  • spark plugs
  • wiper blades
  • spare bulbs
  • fuses
  • air compressor

Other Items

…such as:

  • ice scraper
  • snow brush
  • tow straps with hooks
  • a foldable shovel
  • transmission fluid
  • washer fluid
  • an axe
  • work gloves
  • engine oil
  • a tire repair kit
  • a fire extinguisher
  • an extra canister with fuel
  • coolant

A Seatbelt Cutter + Glass Breaker

…in case you land in a body of water and need to get out ASAP. First you’ll need to free yourself from the seat-belt, then break the window and get everyone out. You can get this two-pack and keep one in the front and one in the back. You might want to keep at least one in the center console, so it’s easily accessible from everyone in the car.

Means to Purify Water

Having a couple of water filters such as the LifeStraw is a must. One such filter can purify over 250 gallons of water. Speaking of which, you may want to have airtight containers that you could use to fill with water you find along the way or with snow (which you will have to melt before you drink, btw).

Binoculars

… or, if you prefer, a couple of monoculars, so two people can scout at the same time. Needless to say, when you’re out there and there’re dangers all over the place, you want to know exactly what’s happening. Maybe you need to check your bug out location from afar when you get to it, to make sure it hasn’t been already looted?

Navigation Tools

A good GPS, a good compass (plus the knowledge to use it) and, of course, topographic maps of the area (preferably laminated to keep them waterproof) are needed.

Communications

Walkie-talkies, flare guns, CB radio and, of course, a whistle can all be used to communicate. A spare cell phone, an extra battery plus a charger (solar, or hand-crank) are also must-haves. Last but not least, a good AM/FM radio, preferably hand-crank, will let you know what’s happening in the world.

Shelter

Though your car can make a great shelter, expect to abandon it at some point and continue your journey on foot. This is why you should have a backpack inside the trunk with some essentials, including a 2-person tent, a bivvy bag or, if it’s warm outside, a poncho or a tarp.

Knowledge

There’re a lot of things you’ll be glad you printed out and placed in Ziploc bags: a copy of the SAS Survival Guide or, at the very least, a list of wild edibles and poisonous plants and copies of important IDs and even room to quickly throw in the originals before you bug out.

Protection

Having one or more guns inside your car is crucial (if the law allows it where you live), but don’t ignore the alternatives. Who knows what gun confiscation will look like post-collapse. Having pepper or wasp spray, a good survival knife (more on that in a moment) and even an alternative survival weapon such as a slingshot or a bow could not only save your ass when you and your guns are separated,  but they’ll also allow you to hunt without making too much noise.

A Good Survival Knife

You should have at least a couple. Also, consider a folding knife because, at the end of the day, you might need both. Fixed blade knives are better for heavy duty stuff while folding knives are better for more delicate things such as skinning an animal.

A few suggestions:

First Aid

This will be the topic of a separate article and I’m sure you already know some of the items to get. Just keep in mind that the shelf life of medicine is affected by high temperatures so, if your car stays for long periods of time under the hot sun, this could be a problem. Putting them inside a wide mouth thermos will help but you should still rotate them.

Anyways, here’s what to consider for your car’s first aid kit:

  • Band-Aids
  • antibiotic cream
  • gauze pads
  • thermometer
  • cotton balls
  • aspirin
  • rubbing alcohol
  • Ibuporfen
  • and so on.

Other Gear Items

Just think about what you have or plant to put in your bug out bag and start building a similar bag for your car. Why? Because, as I already said, you might have to abandon your vehicle and continue on foot. You can’t take everything with you but you can take the essentials. That’s why having them all pre-packed in a backpack might mean that you won’t have to spend precious minutes packing.

Other items you may not need in your car that you can either put in a ready to go backpack or just your trunk:

  • a good multitool such as the Leatherman Wingman
  • a good compass
  • 2-3 ways to start a fire (which we already covered)
  • a tarp
  • emergency blankets
  • cash
  • Gorilla glue
  • sunglasses (those can go in the front)
  • a foldable bike (I already mentioned it but this could be your secondary BOV)
  • pen and paper
  • hand sanitizer
  • toilet paper
  • floss
  • umbrella
  • wet wipes
  • water purification tablets
  • trash bags
  • a cooking set
  • and eating utensils

Final Word

Is something missing from this bug out vehicle gear list? Let me know in a comment below.

Mississippi River flooding to threaten more levees, homes after leaving St. Louis area submerged

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In this aerial photo, flood water covers Interstate 44, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, in Valley Park, Mo. A rare winter flood threatened nearly two dozen federal levees in Missouri and Illinois on Wednesday as rivers rose, prompting evacuations in several places. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

By AccuWeather

Deadly flooding is expected to surge farther south along the Mississippi River over the coming days, putting many more levees at risk for failing and more homes and highways under water.

Communities along the Mississippi River in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana should be prepared for flood issues over the coming weeks as the copious amounts of water travels farther south.

Water levels will continue to rise in Memphis, Tennessee, and Greenville, Mississippi, as well as Baton Rouge, Louisiana, through the second week of January. Levees will be forced to hold back the rising water, but in some cases may fail, as has been seen in the past week. Residents in these areas will want to be prepared for historic flooding.

Flooding on the middle portion of the Mississippi River and some of its tributaries reached levels not seen during the winter months since records began during the middle 1800s.

Continue reading at AccuWeather: Mississippi River flooding to threaten more levees, homes after leaving St. Louis area submerged

RELATED:
Weekly wrap-up: Deadly flooding hits Missouri
Year in review: Top 5 viral weather stories of 2015
Frigid air with highs below freezing to shock central, eastern US during January 2016

Filed under: News/ Current Events, Weather

Volcanoes Today, 2 Jan 2016: Fuego Volcano

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Strombolian explosion at Fuego last night, seen from SE.

Fuego (Guatemala): Activity at the volcano has remained at similar levels (if not decreased a bit) as during the past days.
When observed during the past night and this morning, strombolian-type explosions of small to sometimes strong intensity ejected abundant incandescent bombs in all directions from the summit vents. A small lava flow is active on the upper SE flank, producing often continuous glowing rockfalls that travel up to approx. 1 km towards the Las Lajas ravine.
No new pyroclastic flows were observed. Overall, activity seemed to be on a slowly decreasing trend.

Continue reading at Volcano Discovery: Volcanoes Today, 2 Jan 2016: Fuego Volcano

Filed under: News/ Current Events, Volcanic Activity

Solar Flare, Radiation Storm at Earth | S0 News Jan.2.2016

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By Suspicious0bservers

Published on Jan 2, 2016

Books/Tickets
https://otf.selz.com

Observing the Frontier Conference Page:
http://spaceweathernews.com/otf/

http://www.Suspicious0bservers.org
http://www.SpaceWeatherNews.com
http://www.MagneticReversal.org
http://www.ObservatoryProject.com
http://www.EarthChangesMedia.com

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, Weather

Todays Latest Earthquakes Worldwide Saturday, 2 January 2016

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earthquake35

Source: Volcano Discovery

Earthquake list: past 24 hours (only M>=2.6) (136 quakes)

Updated: Sat, 2 Jan 16:23 UTC (GMT)

Time Mag. / Depth Nearest volcano (distance) Location Map Source
Sat, 2 Jan (75 earthquakes)
Sat, 2 Jan 16:08 UTC M 3.4 – [info] (66 km) Ecuador – Esmeraldas
I FELT IT

[Map]

IGEPN
Sat, 2 Jan 15:25 UTC M 4.6 / 20 km – [info] (893 km) Dominican Republic Region
I FELT IT

[Map]

GFZ
Sat, 2 Jan 15:02 UTC M 4.7 – [info] (122 km) Ecuador – Guayas
I FELT IT

[Map]

IGEPN
Sat, 2 Jan 14:30 UTC M 3.3 / 17.3 km – [info] (339 km) 71 km al NO de Canela Baja
I FELT IT

[Map]

GUG (U. Chile)
Sat, 2 Jan 14:15 UTC M 4.2 / 12.4 km – [info] (390 km) 72 km al O de Tongoy
I FELT IT

[Map]

GUG (U. Chile)
Sat, 2 Jan 13:57 UTC M 2.8 / 13.6 km – [info] (325 km) 62 km al O de Canela Baja

[Map]

GUG (U. Chile)
Sat, 2 Jan 13:53 UTC M 2.8 / 26 km – [info] (95 km) HYUGANADA REGION

[Map]

NIED
Sat, 2 Jan 13:46 UTC M 3.2 / 3 km – [info] (613 km) OKLAHOMA
I FELT IT

[Map]

EMSC
Sat, 2 Jan 12:44 UTC M 2.9 / 61.9 km – [info] (79 km) E OFF AOMORI PREF

[Map]

NIED
Sat, 2 Jan 12:36 UTC M 4.2 / 10 km – [info] (34 km) CENTRAL MEDITERRANEAN SEA
I FELT IT

[Map]

EMSC
Sat, 2 Jan 12:27 UTC M 3.9 / 70 km – [info] (113 km) 30 km al ESTE de ACATLAN DE OSORIO, PUE
I FELT IT

[Map]

SSN
Sat, 2 Jan 12:08 UTC M 3.8 / 27 km – [info] (341 km) 10 km al NOROESTE de S PEDRO POCHUTLA, OAX
I FELT IT

[Map]

SSN
Sat, 2 Jan 11:58 UTC M 3.0 / 41 km – [info] (126 km) REGION METROPOLITANA, CHILE
I FELT IT

[Map]

EMSC
Sat, 2 Jan 11:58 UTC M 3.3 / 46.9 km – [info] (126 km) 27 km al SO de Melipilla
I FELT IT

[Map]

GUG (U. Chile)

Continue reading at Volcano Discovery: Todays Latest Earthquakes Worldwide Saturday, 2 January 2016

Filed under: Earthquakes, News/ Current Events

8 Natural Ways to Freshen Your Home

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8 Natural Ways to Freshen Your Home Commercial air fresheners not only break your budget, but fill the air of your home with chemicals you might wish to avoid. Scented candles may contain lead in their wicks and leave a sooty residue upon walls and ceilings. Plug in air fresheners are dangerous for small children …

Some Statistics from 2015

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Regular visitors will probably know about the fiasco that occurred over a year ago with the site that caused me to change ISP. It cost me a lot of credibility and quite a few regulars to the site. Readership plummeted to just a few hard core regulars who mainly frequented the forum. If it wasn’t […]

Survival Saturday – Jan. 2, 2016

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Welcome to the first Survival Saturday of 2016, with a round-up of products, news, and reading material.  Happy New Year!  I’m wishing you peace, preparedness, and prosperity in 2016.

This Week’s Products

Leatherman multi-tool. I got such an awesome gift this year! I love practical items and imagine my delight when I opened this Leatherman Rebar. This multitool has an awl, a wood saw (seriously), and a really good wire cutter. Mine lives happily in my purse now with my other stuff-every-girl-needs. And, if I’m ever in a survival situation and someone says, “If only we had a saw…” I can say, “Oh, I have a saw in my purse. One second!”

Leatherman rebar

An off-grid instant heating pad. I got another fantastic gift that is not only handy now, but would be invaluable in a long-term crisis, especially for someone who suffers from any type of chronic pain. I got an instant heating pad made of this gooey gel. It requires no electricity or batteries. All you do to activate it is work it with your hands for a few minutes. Then you have heat that lasts for hours. To reactivate it, drop it in boiling water, then allow it to cool. This is a must-have for prepper medical kits.

heating pad

This Week in Preparedness

Is this an attempt to take away individual rights to own guns? Because it sure sounds like an attempt to take away individual rights to own guns. In Illinois, proposed House Resolution 855  urges “the courts, especially the U.S. Supreme Court, to adhere to the clear wording of the Second Amendment being a right afforded to state-sponsored militias and not individuals.”

Germany had a near miss with Jihad suicide bombers on New Year’s Eve. Acting on information divulged during an interrogation after the attacks in Paris, German officials called off all public New Year’s Eve events and closed down the transit system, evacuating train stations on one of the busiest nights of the year. Munich officials report that as many as seven suicide bombers were planning simultaneous coordinated attacks across the city, which could have resulted in a death toll in the thousands.

 

In yet another betrayal by the US Congress, country-of-origin labels will no longer appear on meat for sale in the United States. The World Trade Organization said those labels were unfair to foreign meat producers. The only reason this would be “unfair” is that American consumers were opting for meat produced within our country. Clearly, the members of Congress (you know, the ones elected to represent your interests) don’t give a flying Houdini about the wishes of consumers, and they’ve made that clear by repealing the law passed to give us the option of purchasing American-raised meat. This article explains how to guarantee your purchases are American-raised, and also, why it’s important to avoid meat from countries like China.

The obsession with mobile devices is out of control. Just in case texting and driving wasn’t bad enough, a man in California was so distracted by his phone (while totally ignoring the spectacular ocean vista) that he walked right off a cliff and plunged to his death.

Are you ready for the remaining good jobs in America to be spread even more thinly? President Obama and his magical pen signed an executive order that will issue hundreds of thousands more work visas to foreign workers. And if that little bypass of Congress isn’t enough to make your blood boil, more than 34 MILLION blank green cards have been printed up in advance of the action. You can read the entire document on the federal register HERE.

Shop NOW to stock up on guns and ammo before Obama’s new executive orders are signed.  Since Congress refused to undermine the 2nd amendment as thoroughly as Obama wanted, you can expect his Christmas surprise this week. He has been in meetings to see what actions he can take without the blessing of Congress. Obama “could lay out multiple executive actions as soon as next week, and administration officials have confirmed that recommendations for the president are nearing completion.” We can expect to see his new executive orders any day now. Shop while you can.

In case you missed it….Here’s a round-up of the top 15 articles that YOU chose from my website in 2015.

The Bookshelf

Make this the year that you achieve your prepping goals. Get organized with these books, loaded with checklists.

1 1 16 bookshelf

 

Prepare Your Family for Survival

This book is by Linda Loosli, the founder of Food Storage Moms. Never have I seen such thorough checklists for food supplies. You HAVE to check out Prepare Your Family for Survival.  It’s a beautifully put-together book that is easy to read and simple to use. It has all of the information you need to set up the supplies necessary to weather crises of varying lengths. This is geared toward the beginner, but even a seasoned prepper will find a great deal of information that will be of use.

The Prepper’s Workbook: Checklists, Worksheets, and Home Projects to Protect Your Family from Any Disaster

Set-up workbook style, this book can help you tackle the planning of your preparedness endeavors. It’s loaded with the maps, DIY projects, blueprints, and lists that you need to get organized and prepped.  It includes the following:

•Checklists to stock up on life-saving survival supplies
•Projects to fortify your home from the elements
•Maps to pre-plan your bug-out and evacuation routes
•Blueprints to prepare your home’s defenses in case of societal collapse
•Forms to keep personal information on each family member organized
•Tips and tricks to maximize readiness while keeping costs down

Order it HERE.

The Pantry PrimerA Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget

The second edition of The Pantry Primer is nearly triple the size of the original book. It has morphed from a book about our own journey to replenish our pantry after a cross-continental move, to a detailed compendium of all things food storage. Geared towards preppers, it teaches you:

  • Why everyone needs a food supply in their homes
  • How much food you need
  • How your pantry is directly related to your health
  • The components of a perfect pantry
  • Prepping for those with dietary restrictions.
  • A thrifty new way of shopping so you can afford to build your pantry
  • How to store the food you purchase to extend the shelf life for as long as possible
  • A week-by-week plan, complete with shopping lists and menu ideas
  • How to save money by making items most people purchase ready-made at the store
  • Pantry inventory and maintenance
  • Where to store all of that food
  • Bonus: 25 frugal and delicious recipes

Since this is my book, please don’t take my word for it. Read the reviews (5 star!) and then order it here.

Anything to add to Survival Saturday?

Do you have any news links you want to share? Now’s the time! You are absolutely welcome to post your links in the comments below.

The post Survival Saturday – Jan. 2, 2016 appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Review: SOFT66RTL2 Radio Initial Thoughts and Impressions

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Though I intend to give a full review and setup of the SOFT66RTL2 from http://zao.jp, you’ll need to settle for some initial thoughts and impressions for now.

Image from Zao.jp

This is a RTL-SDR with a built in 50MHz upconverter.  Basically, RTL-SDRs allow you to listen to a wide frequency range from 24MHz up using software and a USB port on a computer.  Using an upconverter allows you to listen the lower frequency ham radio bands (HF) in addition to the VHF and UHF.

With the upconverter on, one can tune to 53MHz and be listening to the 3MHz band, 57MHz would be 7MHz, and so forth.

The product shipped by zao.jp includes the SOFT66RTL2 inside a case for about $40 including shipping (from eBay).

At first, my experience was very frustrating.  I was trying to get the unit working on Ubuntu Linux, but was not receiving much for signals.  Then I tried OS X, still the results were very unimpressive.  Then I tried Windows 7 (the most typical installation) and was finally getting somewhere.  Note: The instructions on the website are pretty poor.

After getting things working on Windows 7, I switched back to OS X and was having better results.  The upconverter seemed to work just fine, but I was hearing a pattern of tones in the background which made me think I was receiving interference from somewhere, but when I disconnected my antenna, the pattern stopped, so it is definitely something being received.  I’ll have to do some more investigative work to determine where it is coming from.

Long story short, I was able to receive LSB (lower side band) and CW (morse code) without any problems.  I was receiving stations many hundreds (if not thousands) of miles away.  You can’t just use any el-cheapo antenna, so I resorted to a slinky antenna (which I also procured on eBay for about $20).  The antenna was only extended to about 15-20 feet and was just laying on the floor (so it wasn’t really an ideal setup, but it was enough to pick up some distant stations).

One thing that troubled me was that I could very easily tune in the 15MHz WWV time/beacon transmission on my small Sony shortwave, yet I couldn’t find it using the SOFT66RTL2 setup.  Other transmission were accurate with regard to frequency and signal strength as compared to my Sony, so I’m not sure why I couldn’t pick up WWV.

Some quick thoughts:

  1. The plastic covers over the ends of the device that protect the antenna connections probably need to be drilled out larger to ensure a good connection from the antenna (I removed them while I was testing [just unscrewed and removed them})
  2. One shouldn’t expect two high of results and remember this is just a $40 setup.  I came from using PowerSDR (Flex Radio) in the past and the HDSDR and other SDR software simply doesn’t compare to the power of better software packages.
  3. A good antenna is not only recommended, it is required.  Remember, this is a small piece of circuitry and getting good results means pulling good signals, so don’t expect much from a cheap shortwave long wire.
  4. Software setup and instructions on the website are poor, but if you get stuck, just follow instructions from other websites and make sure you remember that the upconverter will require you to tune to 50+MHz (53MHz would be 3MHz and so forth)
  5. The switch to the upconverter is hard to switch with the plastic covers on, you can use a pen (this is moot for me as I mostly intend on keeping the upconverter turned on

At forty bucks, this is a pretty good deal, but all these RTL-SDRs require some tweaking to get the most out of them.

Winter Survival beyond the Basics

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Winter Survival Beyond Basics

Leave the house prepared or you may perish. Ideally, you will travel with a friend. Having someone watch your back has a very practical and psychological value. You both can spot that patch of white, which may mean frostbite on the nose or cheeks of each other, inspect the bottoms of each other’s feet, and recognize the signs of hypothermia, so treatment can begin to reverse the potentially deadly condition. However, situations are never ideal, and so you have to be prepared to survive on your own for hours or possibly days in the cold.

A previous article discussed the basics of cold weather survival. In general terms, it outlined what hypothermia is and some prevention methods. We will try not to be redundant. Instead we will talk about shelters, the need for water, and the need for food in particular high protein food and how to keep the body from sweating when it’s cold out.

Shelter is your biggest priority before dark. Winter days are short, so once you realize you will be spending the night outside, you need to get started on your shelter. Shelter and a fire before the sun sets can save your life.

If you have a tent and the proper cold weather sleeping bag, then you are all set, but what happens if you don’t have a tent or a cold weather bag. If you are lost, then stay put, get to work on a shelter, and build a signal fire.

If in a heavily forested area you can get under evergreen trees or other foliage. Spruce trees make ideal shelter locations. Knock the snow off the branches as best you can and create a snow cave under the branches near the trunk of the tree. Look for dead branches that could fall on you before settling in, because you may have to find another tree if there are a number of dead branches overhead.

Snow can be your friend. Dig down or simply move snow to create walls to break the wind and use a tarp or poncho for overhead cover by stretching and securing across the snow walls. You must have good insulation between you and the ground.

Build your fire on rocks, green branches, or aluminum foil. Place other rocks near the fire so they absorb the heat and can then help heat the enclosure. You can place the warmed rocks in your sleeping bag or in the thermal blanket or tarp you roll up in.

Melt snow for water even if you have an ample supply. Save your supply so if you have to hike about or hike out of your predicament you have water with you. Melt the snow near the fire before drinking. Cold water will lower your core body temperature.

You can become dehydrated in the winter and not be aware of it, so drink water by sipping throughout the day whether you feel thirsty or not.

Remove the outer layer of clothing as you work to put together your shelter so you do not sweat. If you feel yourself sweating then rest for a bit or remove another layer. However, be careful not to get chilled. You have to monitor your situation carefully and pay attention to details like sweating and leaving a layer off too long so you get chilled.

Eat just before sleeping because the digestive process will raise your core body temperature. Protein takes longer to digest, and so the digestive process will create more heat when its protein you are digesting.

Protein bars, jerked meats, and peanut butter is easily packed and can be eaten without preparations so make sure you have ample food when traveling in cold weather. Carry hardtack as well, and make it at home, so you always have some in your pack.

Build a separate fire for signaling during the day. Your signal fire will be in the open and you will have to create as much smoke as you can, by using pine boughs, leaves and so on, but only after you have a good base built up otherwise you could extinguish the fire. Use colored garbage bags, and make three designs in the snow to signal distress. Use a signaling mirror if you hear aircraft overhead.

Wandering around trying to find your way back will cause exhaustion, cause you to sweat more and will increase your chances of injury. Stay put, keep a fire going, and improve your shelter.

The post Winter Survival beyond the Basics appeared first on Preparing for shtf.

What did you do for your preparedness this week? (2016-01-02)

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01-01-2016 view out the office window… This weekly post is open forum (any topic) enabling you to voice your opinions, concerns, questions, and to also let others know what you have done this week for your preparedness. The more who comment, the more ideas that are spread around for the benefit of all… Okay folks, […]

Prepper Medical Myths That Drive Me Nuts!

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Huples. In this article, Huples address some medical myths that he believe is being advanced through some of the information on prepper sites and his perspective on steps you might need to take after a disaster. First off please do not take […]

The post Prepper Medical Myths That Drive Me Nuts! appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

(Video) Everything You Need to Know about Saving Bean Seeds

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bean-plants-and-flowersThis video contains an abbreviated version of Seed Savers Exchange’s webinar on saving bean seeds. The video touches on lots of good information about growing, harvesting, and saving beans to replant the following season. The advice here is good for any legume, including common beans, peas, lima beans, cowpeas, fava beans, runner beans, and soybeans.

If you’ve ever had questions about when to take your beans, how to separate the beans from the pods, or how to store saved seeds – there’s some good information here to help you along.

I loved the example of a trellis shown in this clip, which is just a group of sticks tied together with twine. I’ve seen a million different attempts at trellises, but I often feel like the simplest trellises are the best looking and the most functional. This trellis is a great example.


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

 

Part 1 – Defying ISIS: The War On Christianity

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    I recently read an important little book by Johnnie Moore, titled Defying ISIS.  Moore is a humanitarian who has written about his work with genocide victims in the Middle East, Bosnia and Rwanda and visited the world’s largest refugee camps.  Currently, he is sounding the alarm about Christian martyrs in Iraq and Syria who are faced with the barbarism of ISIS and the one option they have: convert or die.
     This little book impacted me like none other I’ve read in a long time.  In his own words, Moore says he “relates the stories of men, women, and children who have given everything for their faith, even their lives, and stories of those who, when facing inevitable death, lifted their eyes to their God in hope that good will eventually triumph over this evil.”  He tells their stories “so that the world will have the opportunity to remember those who stared down the hell of ISIS with the love of Jesus.”  Moore tells the stories of the deliberate eradication of Christians in the land where Christianity once dominated.
     There is the story of Mazen, a middle-aged man who lived in what was known as “Iraq’s Christian capital”, the city of Qaraqosh.  Moore relates that his once strong posture is now reduced to a humbled crouch as he recounts the horror of the morning ISIS arrived:  [It was] nine in the morning when a mortar landed on our house.  My son died.  My nephew was hit in the head.  My other son remains wounded, and our neighbor next door died… We fled, all of us … My other son, Milad, died on the way.  I have another son who needs an operation; it costs $15,000.  Where would I get that?  We don’t have a house or property or anything [anymore].
     Then there is the tragic story of Aida, a young mother of a beautiful three-year-old daughter, Christina.  They also lived in Quaraqosh, one of the oldest Christian communities in the world.  It was four in the morning when ISIS arrived in their town, shooting their guns in the air, and shouting, “God is great!”  Then they began shouting something else … “CHRISTIANS! Leave before we behead you!”  Aida tells us what happened next:  The situation deteriorated  day-by-day, and after ten days they told us to convert to Islam, or leave.  We were under house arrest.  They took our gold and money and even our extra clothing.  
     ISIS piled them on a bus and dropped them outside of town, to flee or die.  But before they did, they yanked Christina out of her mother’s arms, and threatened to kill the hysterical mother on the spot.  Aida said, We don’t know why they took our daughter; she was the only child left in Quaraqosh.  We don’t know what happened to her.  I’m always thinking about her.  I can’t eat or sleep… I keep seeing her in my dreams.  Can you imagine?  Why isn’t the world screaming about this inhuman barbarity?  Why aren’t we Christians in the West more aware this is happening and interceding on behalf of our Christian brothers and sisters?
     There are the stories of the kidnapping, selling, and trading of children.  As if that is not enough, there are the excruciating stories of the execution of children!  Moore says that “the most conservative estimates put the number of executed children in Syria alone at more than 10,000… [ISIS] revels in the chance to inflict a particular type of horror into the hearts of those they hate.  They sincerely believe they are doing a justice by ridding the world of another generation of Christians, and so they massacre them with pure joy.”  What if this was a European child?  An American child?  Why is the world silent?
     It is also the goal of those who promote the Islamic Caliphate to enslave Christian wives and abuse Christian daughters.  I think you know what that means.  We, in the West, are aware of human and sex trafficking (although we are loathe to admit it or confront it openly).  But a smuggled price list from a slave market was recently published by Iraqi News.  The document states that Christian and Yazidi girls are particularly targeted and priced according to age:  ages 1-9 cost $172; ages 10-20 cost $130; ages 20-30 cost $86; ages 30-40 cost $75; and ages 40-50 are sold for $43.  Below the prices on the document, bearing the official seal of the Islamic State of Iraq, it reads, “Customers are allowed to purchase only three items [slaves] with the exception of customers from Turkey, Syria, and Gulf countries.  Obey and follow the rules and laws of the Islamic State or be killed.”
     The website, Breaking Israel News, reports that theologians of the Islamic State (ISIS) have issued what can only be described as exceptionally detailed rulings on when “owners” can have sex with female slaves captured by the jihadist group.  The report also added that rather than hiding their practice of slavery, ISIS takes great pride and has even established a department of “war spoils” to manage their slavery trade.
     It is hard enough to read of this horrific abuse against women when it is written in general terms and statistics.  It is another to hear the personal story of Mayat, a 17-year-old Yazidi girl who had been kidnapped and told of “rooms of horror” where “women are raped, often by different men and throughout the day… Often I wish they would beat me so hard I will die.  But they are cowards even in this.  None of them have the courage to end our suffering… even if I survive, I don’t think I’ll be able to remove this horror from my mind.  They have already killed my body.  They are now killing my soul.”
     Then there is the story of Zena, a 20-year-old chemical engineering student in Mosul.  When ISIS came to town she had three strikes against her:  First, she was a Christian; Second, she was a woman; and Third, she was a woman with ambition.  When Johnnie Moore met her, she was wearing the same pajamas she was wearing the night ISIS arrived.  Zena told him that her sense of hope was destroyed when ISIS decimated their church and Christian community; it was an assault “on their security in a deep and personal way.”
    But Zena was one of the lucky ones.  In the Syrian city of Al-Mayadin, a female dentist was captured and beheaded because she dared to treat both men and women.  Many others have been stoned to death and buried in shallow graves, or kidnapped and forcibly married to ISIS fighters.  Needless to say, all women are being forced to comply with a strict dress code, and are threatened with death if they refuse.
     One elderly man, when questioned by Moore about why he fled his hometown, replied, “I will tell you why I left my district.  I left it because they stormed our house barbarically at 2 a.m., harassing us, pointing their flashlights toward our women.  We didn’t come from another country.  We are from an eastern society.  We are Iraqis and we are jealous of our honor.  So we left to avoid them because they already threatened to arrest our women.  They told my mother that they would arrest her if they couldn’t find us.”  So, he left to protect his mother, his wife, and his daughters.
     There are more stories than these… thousands of stories, and many of them much more savage and cruel.  And I wanted to let the voices of Johnnie Moore (who has seen these atrocities first-hand) and the victims speak for themselves.  I wanted to shake us western Christians out of our comfort zones to face the existence of this very real war on Christianity.  It is a war that will not be confined to the Middle East, and is designed to be waged worldwide.  We must wake up and determine that we will  not only intercede in prayer on behalf of our fellow Christians, but turn our attention, time, and resources to supporting them in their hour of need.
     I want to leave you at this part of the story, if you will, with the words of Sister Rose, a young nun from Mosul, Iraq, who has poured her life into the lives of Christian refugees as they have fled from city to city, and she among them.  Sister Rose told Johnnie Moore, “I lived in America.  Americans are wonderful people.  It’s shocking to me that they are so silent in the face of our genocide.  Please help us.  Raise your voice for us.  Our children are dying.  In America you care for your pets so well, can you care for your Christians brothers and sisters who are suffering?”
     Can we?  On Monday’s post, I will finish my report on the work of Johnnie Moore and why he thinks these stories should matter to you; how he thinks we defeat ISIS; and his unique perspective on Christianity in the heart of a Muslim Middle East.  It’s time that the world awakes from its slumber, and it is especially time for us Christians.  The very existence of our faith in its birthplace in the Middle East, and our lives, here in the West, depend on it.

1 John 5:19   “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”

New Year Prep Blog Review

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Prep BLog ReviewWe started this year with a New Year Blog Review edition that we put together for the beginner preppers.

We wanted to help them start working on their preparedness skills so that, by the end of the year, they would feel ready to face any disaster scenario.

This year we’re taking it a step further, putting together another list of articles that will help you go further with your prepping, so here’s what you might work on in 2016:

1. Disaster Communication for Preppers | Preparedness

Prep 1“Disaster communication is important for our survival. There is no way for us to know exactly when or where a disaster can strike. Advanced technologies can help us predict these occurrences but try as we might, nature seems intent on finding ways to surprise the unsuspecting population.

Just think of the tsunamis, typhoons, and earthquakes that we have witnessed in recent years. As preppers, we should always be ready for anything that could happen to our nation, our homes and our families. And we should not only be talking about natural disasters but also the unfortunate incidents caused by fellow human beings.

Read more on Survival Life.

2. How to Make a Super Survival Shelter

Prep 2“Survival Lilly is at it again! In this video, she used her creativity, knowledge, and survival skills to make a super shelter.

She uses branches, logs, and sticks to make an octagon shaped shelter.  Pay special attention as she coaches you through this and see if you can learn anything knew about making a house.”

Read more on Swiss Family Survival Skills.

3. How To Be Prepared For A Power Outage

Prep 3Food

One of the first things I did was to make sure we have a 3-month supply of food in case of emergency or in case of a quarantine. We all know what happens when a disaster strikes–the food is cleared from grocery store shelves immediately. In case of a power outage, I made sure I have many shelf stable foods.

I also bought a butane stove so that I can still cook indoors. I put off buying one for several months because I thought it would be an investment, but they are actually very affordable ($20-30). We have a Barbeque, but in case it’s cold outside, I wanted something I could use indoors, and something I could use my pots and pans with.”

Read more on Mother’s Niche.

4. How to Get 2000 Degrees Solar Power – Great For When SHTF

Prep 4“This can purify water, instantly start a fire, melt metal, cook food and even melt concrete…..This can melt a padlock if you needed to get in somewhere too … just saying

This is made from a simple lens called a Fresnel lens… These are commonly found in old rear projection big screen TVs ….

WHAT IS A FRESNEL LENS – The basic idea behind a Fresnel lens is simple. Imagine taking a plastic magnifying glass lens and slicing it into a hundred concentric rings (like the rings of a tree). ”

Read more on SHTF Preparedness.

5. How to Bake Without an Oven

Prep 5“Winter just does not feel like winter without an ample supply of baked goods.  My husband is a cobbler and pie lover, and I a muffin, cake, and cookie gal.  Together, we have spent many a winter eve enjoying a fresh blackberry cobbler with whipped cream, or woke to a delicious blueberry muffin.  But this winter, baking has been a bit more challenging because we do not have an oven.

Thankfully, we have learned several creative ways how to bake without an oven.

My two favorites are Dutch Ovens, and what I will call Stovetop Bakes. In this post, I share our experience with Woodstove Bakes.”

Read more on Homestead Honey.

6. Four Questions to Ask to Prioritize Emergency Preparedness Goals

Prep 6“It’s a new year and that means the traditional time of making new goals for yourself. Hopefully you added a few goals to be better prepared this year. I keep an ongoing list of things I want to learn, do, and purchase for preparedness.  I call it the “Big List” and keep it in a notebook in my purse.  It keeps me working toward a goal and learning and preparing.

But sometimes looking at the “Big List” is daunting.  There is a lot on there!  And it seems like every time I cross something off the list, I add two more things.  How will I ever accomplish it all?  And for sure how will I ever purchase it all on our little income? This could be a cause of great anxiety and even bring on “preparedness panic shut-down” where you decide that rather than tackle that huge list, you’ll just put your rose colored happy glasses back on and do nothing.  Because really, there’s no way you can get it all done and it’s causing stress just thinking about it.”

Read more on Food Storage and Survival.

7. DIY Wind-Powered Water Pump

Prep 7“This summer I made a bunch of fun things out of PVC for my visiting nieces and nephews, and this wind-powered water pump is a combination of two of those projects: a wind-powered deer deterrent, and a pump-style water gun.

This water pump is definitely in beta stage. All the components work, but the design is highly inefficient and requires considerable wind to pump water out of our pond. In the video below I act out the part of a gale to give you a visual of how the pump works. The last step in this instructable will discuss the bugs in the current design and how they can be improved for a more efficient use of wind power.”

Read more on Instructables.

8. Active Shooter Training | How to Survive a Gun Attack

Prep 8“I thought I would take a second and share some pretty interesting things I have found on the internet. There are from some high-powered Government Agencies that we can all use; it is open to everyone to help make aware and even hold training for Active Shooter situation. These resources cover applications from the workplace, school campus (K-12, Higher education, First Responders at Schools) , and even church.

I want to be sure to make an absolute statement that I am not taking credit for writing any of these trainings. I just put them together and deliver them so everyone they are available and they can have access to many different options and methods in regards to how to survive a gun attack.”

Read more on Gun Carrier.

9. How To Tan A Hide Using Several Methods

Prep 9“Knowing how to tan a hide is a very important skill to know, if SHTF, there will be no new sheets, no new blankets being made or imported in. It will be up to us to stay warm, this is one of the best ways to stay warm.

Hides can be used to make clothes, insulate your bed, room, windows etc. Little rabbit hides can be stitched together with squirrel hides and in no time you could have a blanket that may just save your life. Like I said, this is a great skill to know. See a few ways you can do this at home below.”

Read more on SHTF Preparedness.

10. The Top 8 Deadly Myths About Survivalism

old cabin in the forest“Hi! I’m Sheila.

For the last several years, our family, my husband Dan, our son Jesse and I, have been living what some may call the “survivalist” lifestyle.  Actually, we live  the off-grid (so far off the grid that there is no land line and no cell phone service available), self-sufficient life.  We’re not here to get away from the world for a few days while chaos happens and calms down. We don’t think that’s what will happen, anyway.

We’re here because we have chosen to separate ourselves from the rat race, the system, and not be swept away in the tide of what we see as society running amok.  This is not a temporary lifestyle to us. It’s a wonderfully peaceful, sometimes difficult and always rewarding life. Regardless of what does or doesn’t happen, “out there”, this is how we choose to live.”

Read more on The Survival Mom.

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This article has been written by Brenda E. Walsh for Survivopedia.

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Survial Mom DIY: Make Pure Beeswax from Honeycomb

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how to make beeswaxThis year I began a beehive, but didn’t get to harvest any honey for myself. The bee population outgrew their home and I lost half my bees. The remaining ones only produced enough honey for themselves, so I will have to wait until next year. I was looking forward to having my own raw organic honey, honeycomb, and wax products from my own hive. What a bitter disappointment! But, a fellow beekeeper offered me his honeycomb after he took the honey from it. Of course, I accepted.

Preparing

photo 1 (2)My husband picked up the big box of honeycomb on his way home from work. Inside the box was a large plastic bag, filled with a gooey, sticky mess. Just pulling it out of the bag was enough to coat me in honey up to my elbows. It was also kind of dirty looking. Then I noticed bugs, like ants, moths, and dead bees in it. I always thought honeycomb was all a pretty yellow or gold color, but its not. This had some yellow comb, but also had brown, orangey, and even some black streaks running through it. I was a bit skeptical at this point, unsure if this was even usable material.

I photo 2 (2)decided to make a go of it despite my concerns. I really didn’t want to tell the beekeeper I threw his honeycomb out. I’d feel guilty. So, I cleaned my deep kitchen sink really well and filled it with warm water and added the honeycomb, piece by piece.  I washed, rewashed, and rinsed it several times to just get rid of the honey residue. Then I put a pot with an inch or so of water on the stove on low and added the comb. I watched it start melting and kept adding more until the pile in my sink was all in the pot.

It was funny to compare how much space it took up in the box and my sink with the melted wax that fit into an average size pot. Honeycomb has a lot of volume, but it condenses down into a much smaller amount of actual wax.

Getting started

photo 1 (1)As the honeycomb melted, it “released” the dead bugs, impurities, and strange colors I had seen earlier. The debris went to the bottom of the pot and the wax floated to the top.

Next, I cooled it until the wax became solid.  (I put it in my refrigerator to speed up the process) I couldn’t drain the water until I broke the wax block up a bit, but thee was already a crack across the top from the cooling process. I drained the pot, rinsed the pot and the block of wax, and put an inch of clean water back in the pot.  The bottom of the wax had to be scraped off  in a few areas with imbedded debris.  It took several rounds of doing this until I judged it “clean” enough.

photo 1When it was time to pour it into a clean container, I used an old Cool Whip tub. If I melted it or damaged it, who cares? I found a funnel, washed and dried it, then stretched clean knee high panty hose over the funnel. That would keep any floaters that still remained, out of the wax. I made a small indentation, a little “well”, in the middle of the panty hose so the wax wouldn’t run off the sides. I held my funnel in one hand, and poured the wax with the other.  The wax did cool a bit and plugged up the nylon, but I just moved it over a little bit each time it happened. I’m very glad I had the nylon there, especially at the end, because it caught quite a bit of “sediment” from the bottom of the pan.

Finishing

photo 2Because I wanted small cubes of wax, I hunted around for some containers to use as a mold. Fortunately, I had some one ounce containers with lids that I bought from a garage sale. They were leftover from a bridal or baby shower. I thought I could put them to use one day. They were perfect, and only .25 for all 10 containers! Silicone ice cube trays are another great option for this. I don’t know about you, but I have a stack of them in different shapes.

I rewarmed the wax in the microwave, although I probably should have used a double boiler method for safety reasons. I filled all ten containers with beautiful pure yellow beeswax. Now I have to decide if I am going to keep them or give some to friends.

It is tempting to keep them all for myself because I want to learn to use wax for candles, to make homemade deodorant, and as a base for medicinal ointments. Here is one of the recipes I’ve made, but feel free to try different Essential Oils for different conditions.

Tea Tree Oil Antiseptic Cream

1/4 cup Beeswax. Shavings or pieces are easier to melt.

2 TB Coconut Oil

2 TB Almond Oil

10 drops Tea Tree Oil

10 drops Lavender Oil

Melt the beeswax and coconut oil over a low burner, Crockpot(TM), or double boiler. (This particular double boiler is silicone and folds flat for storage.) Once melted, remove from heat. Add all the other ingredients. I like to pour mine into Altoids tins. I ask everyone to save their tins of any type for me. You can also make lip balm in empty tubes you can buy online.

There are recipes for deodorant, too. I made a large batch some time ago, but haven’t finished it up yet. I just don’t want to be putting the aluminum found in most anti-perspirants on my skin. It’s not good for you. I also found a great link for my next project – learning to make your own Beeswax candles.  It’s exciting to learn how to become self-sustaining by using the things around you in your environment!

I am glad I tried rendering down the raw honeycomb into pure beeswax. It wasn’t hard, just time consuming, but the benefits outweighed any inconvenience I went through. I can improve upon it each time I try it again. So, if anyone ever offers you some raw honeycomb, take it, and turn it into a DIY project of your own.

how to make beeswax

Storytelling: The Digital-Free, Off-Grid Way To Preserve Your Family’s History

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Storytelling: The Digital-Free, Off-Grid Way To Preserve Your Family’s History

Image soruce: webitcongress.com

When was the last time you or your children gathered at the side of an older family member to learn from their stories? Our busy lifestyles and lack of cultural respect for our elders have begun to erase this tradition within our families. Additionally, it has become all too easy to rely on technology to store our family histories in these days of digital photography and online genealogy. Our future generations have a right to the knowledge and values that came before them. It is up to you to protect your family history and prevent the loss of important lessons learned, so that your children and grandchildren can continue to thrive in better lives.

Oral Traditions

Thankfully, there is a very simple tool you can begin using today to safeguard your family history. It requires no special technology and no particular materials, and you can begin learning the skills right away. Oral storytelling has helped history, narrative, poetry, song and legend stay alive throughout generations of cultures around the world since time immemorial. Examples include everything from the legends of Paul Bunyan to stories in the Old Testament; chances are there already exist stories in your family that are passed around and retold.

However, there is a difference between telling stories at family gatherings and creating a tradition of oral storytelling to protect your history and values. Mainly, the difference is intention: Stories selected for casual retelling are often framed to entertain. But for oral storytelling, you want to preserve history, teach lessons, and impart the core beliefs of your family. You will need to seek out and begin telling stories that uphold these goals. The method of telling stories is different, as well. Successful preservation of an oral history is going to require a well-structured, oft-repeated story, possibly with the use of traditional mnemonic devices such as rhyme and metre. The goal is for your family not just to hear the stories, but to remember them for repetition to future generations.

Effective Storytelling

In creating your stories, begin simply. Choose a single theme or subject, and tell a story with a well-developed plot. Your family in the stories should be well-rounded characters whose real-life traits add to the story. To appeal to your listeners, begin with action and delve right into the conflict of the story, describing as many sensory details as possible and using vivid imagery. Pare the story down to its core message – one or two sentences – and then build the details around the center to guarantee your focus.

Christian Heroes For Christian Kids: These Amazing Stories Are Putting God Back Into History!

Storytelling: The Digital-Free, Off-Grid Way To Preserve Your Family’s History

Image source: wikipedia

Feel free to borrow techniques from oral traditions that have been successful.  In Anglo-Saxon folklore, formulas such as the “rule of three” was relied upon as a storytelling device to assist storytellers with memorizing story parts, as in, “Three brothers set out upon the wood, where they were separated and each given a quest …” Homeric epics, Middle English poetry, and even Norse prose sagas rely heavily on alliteration, assonance, rhythm, rhyme, and metre as mechanisms to protect the message through retellings. However, you do not have to create a story that will be remembered word for word. Within many indigenous and folkloric traditions, storytelling revolves around distinctive images, proverbs, themes or stock characters whose motives are well-understood through their consistent behavior.

The most important considerations when creating your oral history are tailoring your style to your audience, and consistency. When you find a story that is important to your family history, spend lots of time with it and make it your own. Determine the values and lessons you want remembered, and the historical details you want preserved, and make notes. Structure all the action and details to emphasize your desired themes and stimulate the senses of your listeners.  Although you will retain the core images or recite word-for-word in retellings, you should always adapt to your listeners — slowing down pace for dramatic effect, cutting the story down for very young listeners, or filling it with details to stimulate the senses of more experienced audiences.

The Value of Oral History

Stories can bridge the divide between generations and allow a family to preserve ethics, history and the lessons gained. The human brain is structured to learn and remember stories effectively, and the social and cultural history of humanity is full of examples of the importance of retaining histories in story form. Because our brains are practically designed to be story vaults, there is almost no safer place to store your family history. The process of storytelling is as instructive for the teller as the listener; in each retelling, the story becomes better remembered by everyone.  In listening to the retellings of stories within an oral history, personal connections are created, the knowledge of generations is shared, and a collective sense of family values is recognized. Each of these benefits strengthens your family and informs good decision-making for the future, all while protecting the details of your family history.

How do you use storytelling in your family? Share your advice in the section below:

Awaken Your Child’s Love Of History And Put God Back Into History! Read More Here.

The Silent Hunter: 3 Badass Reasons To Own a Crossbow

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silent hunterHey there, ReadyNutrition Readers!  Now it’s time to get back into some good instruction and topics for the New Year.  I want to cover the Crossbow and some of its advantages in the arenas of hunting, survival, and as an all-around great tool to practice marksmanship.

The crossbow has been around a long time, and it saw widespread use in Medieval times as a means of utilizing a bolt to penetrate armor.  In the olden days, they made powerful bows backed by horsehair and sinew.  I’m sure there’s someone out there with knowledge about ancient crossbows and their uses.  We’d be happy to hear from you, and your comments are most welcome.  Nowadays the makes and models of crossbows are as numerous as you can imagine.  So, you may be wondering, what are the advantages to having a crossbow?  There are many, so let’s cover them.

Advantages

The crossbow delivers power and accuracy silently.  It is an excellent piece with which to hunt.  JJ uses the Huntsman Advantage with 140 lb. draw weight and a foot-cocking loop, with a 10 power Simmons scope mounted on the top.  For more serious matters, there is the Barnett Commando with 175 lb. draw (It’s a little pricey, but well worth the investment, in my humble opinion.).  I prefer broad heads such a 150 grain Thunderchiefs, 4-blades on the head.

Can Be More Convenient Compared To a Compound Bow

The advantage of a crossbow can also be found in the fact that once it is cocked and ready to fly a bolt, the firer can rest: even letoff with a compound bow can be tiring if you have to hold the position for a long time.  Crossbows also allow you to fire in the prone position.  Such a stance cuts down on silhouetting and also drawing the notice of your intended quarry should you miss.  Their power cannot be overstated.  Either of those two draws I’ve mentioned coupled with a good broad head and accurate marksmanship will bring down the largest game.

The states vary in their issuance of permits for hunting with a crossbow.  Check with your state’s hunter safety board or the forestry service.  The information may also be found in the free annual hunting guide that holds the seasons and the regulations.  If you have an injury or something medically that prevents you from using a bow, most states will allow you a license to hunt with a crossbow, and it is this way in Montana.

It’s a Silent Hunter

From a survival perspective, the crossbow is silent and powerful enough to put meat on your table when it might be “inconvenient” to make a report with a firearm when hunting.  The crossbow is fairly light and can be toted with a sling or a strap across the back or affixed to a rucksack.  The bolts you’ll have to shop around for, both for length and for quality.  I prefer aluminum to fiberglass, but on this there’s no hard and fast rule that you can use one but not the other.  Just be sure to obtain a reliable bolt from a reputable manufacturer, such as Easton, for example.

Marksmanship

Crossbows are also good for developing your marksmanship skills.  As the bolts can be used over and over, you have an unlimited amount of target practice that you can conduct.  I have found target tips in bales of hay work just fine.  Old furniture cushions (such as from that couch that seems to have a pin or nail in the cushions only when you take a nap!) and the furniture pieces (if no longer needed) make prime field-expedient targets.  Remember, there is no recoil, as it is basically a bow mounted on a rifle stock, and bows pull forward (minimally).

Prices May Vary, But Always Choose Quality Products

Prices vary, and it depends on what you want.  Quality is what you’re shooting for.  You can set yourself up just fine for anywhere between $250 – 500 with a crossbow that is effective for hunting and for home defense/survival.  Yes, a bolt (at 175 lb. draw) will penetrate body armor of an “assailant” or “marauder,” if you read me.  Let the actions of the invading individual define them as either one or the other.  ‘Nuff said there.

In conclusion, consider a crossbow for yourself and the family as an excellent survival tool and a great home-defense weapon and marksmanship aid that can meet your needs…whatever your target may be.  Everyone have a Happy New Year, and I hope some of you Guys and Gals already found a crossbow under that Christmas tree!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Goals for the New Year

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Happy New Year!

If you’re anything like me, your Facebook feed has been flooded with posts of people sharing new goals and resolutions for the year, or, if they’re trendy, sharing a special word or mantra for 2016. While there’s nothing wrong with any of this, I always take these posts with a grain of salt since by the time January 15th comes around, most people will be returning to work or school after holiday break and fall back into old patterns.

Don’t go crazy!
If you’re serious about your goals, though, make sure you focus on them moderately so you don’t burn yourself out too quickly. You don’t need to rearrange your entire house this week, for example. If your goal for the year is to become more minimalist, you have 12 months. It’s much more effective to spread out your minimalist chores and activities over the course of the entire year, rather than to try to do everything right freaking now and burn out.

Remember: you don’t have to be perfect. Your friends sure aren’t, and if they pretend to be, well, they’re full of it. It’s okay if you don’t reach your goals or if you don’t reach them right away. (Oppositely, there’s nothing wrong if you do reach your goals pretty fast. More power to you!)

Goal Setting for Nerdy Survivalists
I tend to set casual goals for myself. I lost 20 lbs last year and want to lose 60 this year. I’d like to reach my goal by Thanksgiving, but it’s not really a big deal if I don’t. My goal is to be healthy and while I’d like to be much thinner than I am, I won’t freak out if it takes longer than I plan for it to. Life happens and it’s important to be flexible.

Aside from that, I plan to continue to live simply this year. After our huge move in July (if you missed it, my family moved from the U.S. to Asia and brought only 4 suitcases), we’ve managed to keep things very simple at home. We do have a few pieces of furniture (a table, chairs, beds, one small bookshelf), but for the most part, we spend our money and time doing things instead of collecting things.

I’ll be the first to admit that the temptation to collect things even overseas is tough. There are so many times when I see something on sale or something I really like and I just want to buy it. That’s where the other goals come in. I want to travel around. Do I really want a bunch of crap holding me to one place? I want to explore the world. Do I really need to spend money on a bookshelf when I could spend it on plane tickets?

Don’t be afraid to set goals this year. Whether or not you tell people is up to you. Some people like to keep their goals a secret in case they fail. Others like to share with the world. In the end, just remember that everyone is so focused on themselves that they really don’t care if you succeed or not. There will always be haters, so you might as well share your dreams and hopes with the people around you so you can get support and encouragement from the people you do like.

Survival Buzz: Can a Prepper Afford to Be Lazy?

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Can a Prepper Afford to be Lazy | Backdoor Survival

Can a prepper afford to be lazy?  I want to respond not only with a resounding yes, but with a “you have to in order to keep your sanity”!

For anyone other than a prepper, being lazy would be referred to as “scheduling some downtime”.  For us, taking time to do nothing gets more complicated. Let me explain.

Can a Prepper Afford to be Lazy | Backdoor Survival

Being a type A person, the never ending list of things to do always beckons.  As the list gets longer, so does the guilt.  Remember the goals I set out last month?  The intent was to check them off and at the end of December and set up new goals for the month of January.  So how did I do?  So-so.

1.  Gather at least two additional buckets of desert biomass to use in my rocket stoves.

This did not happen.  It has been very cold and not wanting to purchase additional cold-weather clothing, I put this off for another month.  Actually, I procrastinated.

2.  Purchase and re-package 20 pounds of sugar.  With all of that holiday baking that folks do this time of year, sugar is dirt cheap right now.

Done.

3.  Purchase and package 20 pounds of oatmeal to add to my food storage.

Postponed until I can make it to Winco who has the best pricing out there.

4.  Fill the second 160-gallon barrel of the 320-gallon water tank kit I purchased in October.

Done.

5.  Learn to make DIY toilet bombs for ease in cleaning toilets without the use of chemicals.

Nope, not yet.

6.  Read one new book in the “post-apocalyptic” fiction genre.

Done.  I read “The Gemini Virus” by Wil Mara and also “Host” by Robin Cook.  Both that may not exactly be considered post-apocalyptic, but a story about greedy medical institutions was fiction as truth.

7.  Bake bread in the Sun Oven.

Nope, not yet, although I did start up weekly bread baking which has been on hold since getting to Arizona.

8.  Acquire paper maps of the surrounding area so I can find my way back home if there is a disruptive event while I am in Arizona for the winter.

I have some, but not nearly enough.  This is proving more challenging that I thought.

9. Tune up our bicycles so we can start riding again with the mini goal of increasing physical stamina.

Done!

With hindsight, the question I have asked myself is why did these things not get done?  Poor weather notwithstanding, I craved some downtime and wanted to step away from prepping for awhile.  I got lazy and gave myself permission to let some goals slide.

Perhaps equating downtime with being lazy is the wrong approach after all.  What about you?  Did you let things slide last month?

Those Addictive Coloring Books!

For better or for worse (mostly better) I have become addicted to adult coloring books. Although I have purchased a few, I now understand the value of downloading Kindle versions. By doing so, you can preview the book before deciding if the print book will be to your liking. Of course you can also click on the PDF link and download pages to print yourself to color too.

The PDF link is usually at the very beginning or end of the book. Anyway, here is a nice one with floral designs; FREE at the moment.

News Flash!  Articles from Around the Web

This should come as no surprise (although certain people will likely be stunned), but the increased minimum wage hike will now take its toll. If you like to dine out, you can expect to pay 10% more as of January 1 to make up for the higher wages that are being paid to workers.

I was steaming mad when I heard that Congress repealed the law requiring meat to be labeled with the country of origin. Whether you have a label or not, it’s still important to know where your food comes from. Here are some tips to ensure your meat was raised in the USA (and reasons why you should care).

Cell phones are both a blessing and a curse. While they can be a wonderful tool for communication, many people are so obsessed with their devices that they do not pay attention to anything else. We have all heard stories about texting and driving being the cause of accidents, but have you heard this story  from California about a man who literally walked off a cliff and plunged to his death while distracted by his phone last week?

Social Shares for this Coming Week

Not everyone has the time or interest to visit Facebook.  I know that I limit the time I spend there to an hour a week, at most.  On the other hand, I do spend a considerable amount of time posting to the BDS Facebook page.  Even so, FB does not always “show” fans my posts.  It is very discouraging.

To get around that, I have decided to post some of those Facebook shares here in the Buzz.  Here is what is coming up this week.  These are the best prepping, survival, and homesteading articles from my colleagues in the Professional Prepared Bloggers Group.  I hope you enjoy and learn from them.

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Whether you love them or hate them, we all have to agree that there isn’t always a firearm around when you need to defend yourself. Here are 9 suggestions for alternative weapons. What other weapons would you add to this list?   9 Weapons (Besides Guns) That Could Save Your Life

Do you like beets? They are loaded with nutrients and store well. Here are some tasty new ways to enjoy them.  10 New and Exciting Uses for Canned Beets

With the New Year, some of you may have resolved to eliminate unnecessary clutter. These ideas will get you started. Your house will be tidy, organized, and clutter-free before you know it!  How To Declutter

Are you dreaming of next year’s garden? This round-up of top gardening posts will fuel your plans.  Top 10 Gardening Posts of 2015

Despite the (delusional) optimism in the news, I do not believe that the economy is really recovering. In fact, I think it is going to get much worse. Here are some tips to help you deal with the financial slow-down.  What You Can Do to Prepare in this Slow Economy

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Prepper Book Festival 10: Start Prepping! + Giveaway

With all giveaways, winners are notified by email and have 48 hours to claim their prize or an alternate will be selected.  Once selected, the names of winners are also displayed in the Rafflecopter on the original giveaway article.  This usually happens on the Friday following the end of the giveaway.

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The Final Word

While responding to a recent reader email, I made the comment “I am not sure that everyone puts a lot of thought into their prepping purchases.”  Unfortunately, there are still a lot of fear based prepper sites out there that promote junk products that will not hold up in a true SHFT situation.

As you plan your purchases, keep in mind that price does not always dictate quality.  There are budget-priced items that are fantastic and expensive items that shoddy.  And the other way around.  All that being said, I want to remind you to use common logic as you gather your preps.  Read reviews and do you own homework as you plan your purchases.

For 2016, let us be smart preppers.  Let us purchase wisely and beyond that, take some time out to have some fun and to just be, for lack of a better word, lazy.

Happy new year, everyone!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye

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Bargain Bin:  Here are the items mentioned today plus, as always, a few tried and true personal favorites.

The Gemini Virus: I really enjoyed the book.  It has a surprise ending which just proves that all is not what it seems.  For those like me that believe in conspiracies, this was a good reminder that not all nefarious woes are the result of terrorist events.  Here is a preview:

The unknown virus kills in four days. By the time the first bodies are found, it’s too late. Thousands are already sick. Already dying.  Supermarket shelves go bare, police roadblocks are set up, and people disappear―some fleeing the illness, others quietly suffering behind locked doors. Dennis Jensen fears that his family will be next. They break quarantine to seek safety in an isolated cabin high in the hills.

Flowers and Floral Patterns: 60 Full Page Line Drawings Ready For Coloring (Adult Coloring Books) (Volume 2): I am totally addicted to coloring.  Who would have thought it?  I find that I favor Mandalas and floral designs.  I purchased this book after previewing the “free” version.

10 Pack Mini LED FlashlightsThe Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 127 Backdoor Survival:  What a great deal on 10 mini flashlights on a key ring – button batteries included.  I happen to like a more sturdy ring so I remove the one that comes with and use a small bit of tie-wrap (zip tie) instead.   The included battery seemingly lasts forever and at this price, you can stash them in the car, purse, pocket, tool box and by the circuit breaker box, and still have some left over for other uses.

As of this writing, all 10 are under $4.00 in red and even less in black.  Shipping is free.

TaoTronics Collapsible Lantern:  This TaoTronics Lantern is collapsible, super bright, and water resistant.  It is powered by 3 AAA batteries that will provide brightness for 40 hours. To use this lantern, just pull it open; there are no power switches to mess with.  At the time of this writing, only $7.99 with free Prime shipping.

Alaska May 2013 312 Lifestraw

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter:  The LifeStraw contains no chemicals, no batteries and no moving parts to wear out. It features a a high flow rate and weighs only 2 oz. It works quickly, taking roughly 3-5 seconds of sucking to start the flow of water through the filter. It’s ultra-light and inexpensive but effective.  There is also the LifeStraw Family that will purify up to 12 liters per hour.

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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

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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!

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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

The post Survival Buzz: Can a Prepper Afford to Be Lazy? by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

High production gardening!

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High production gardening!
Brett Bauma “Makers on Acres

High productionOn this episode of the Makers on Acres Tech, Build and Grow show, Brett will be talking about high production gardening.

Many of us throughout the year always dream of a lush beautiful garden, but when spring time hits we usually skip steps, or don’t quite build our gardens the way we had envisioned all through the winter. For many of us, throughout the winter time, we dream of, and design our elaborate garden plans in our heads. Reading and planning all are great steps to our dreams of a bumper crop, but how do we break from the main stream gardens of peppers, tomatoes and lettuce to a family feeding harvest all year long?

5-28 Green-HouseThere are so many different systems for growing food and thousands of choices in crops. Choosing the right system and right crop can fill your kitchen and possibly your wallet as well. We will be discussing some of the many high production crops as well as the systems that they should produce well in.

1-23gardening-vegetablesOne thing that many gardeners always focus on is where to purchase plants, or seeds, but many forget to think about propagating their plants with other methods. Learning and practicing multiple methods of propagation can increase your yields and plant inventory as well as provide an additional few dollars of income or use as a barter item. We will be discussing some of the most popular propagation methods and you can get started with some of them, even now, in the middle of winter!

If you are getting the gardening itch, tune in and get your creative garden plans started now so you are ready this spring to hit the ground running!
Visit Makers on Acres website http://makersonacres.com/

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Listen to this broadcast or download “High production gardening” in player below!

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