How To Survive The Stock Market Crash

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Have you been following the stock market woes? No? Perhaps you have noticed rising food prices and the cost of goods? You are most likely aware of the incredible drop in gas prices. While we have sometimes spoken about it in a far-off future disaster scenario, the facts point to one thing – the stock market, and our global economy, is crashing. Let us discuss ways for you to get through it and perhaps even thrive.
The economy IS crashing. This is not a doomer fantasy. Find out how to survive this economic crash.

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Commander Zero Meet and Great!

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As part of my travels I was able to have a meal and spend some time with Commander Zero. He was a cool guy and picked a nice restaurant. Also as we talked a bit more about our lives we had some stuff in common. Not suprisingly we are handling that particular problem in the same way.

Also we talked a lot about guns. Zero’s specific interest in sub guns came up. My failed AR pistol experiment did also. While I am still somewhat neutral about sub guns (though the Evo is cool) my interest is elsewhere. I would like something in a folding stock PDW in some sort of intermediate caliber. Or maybe I need to get a nice (tennis racket type) bag to carry my AR. I don’t know but this got me into thinking about the problem. I’ll probably look into the bag route as it is cheap and easy.

Maybe more thoughts on this later.

Something To Think About. What If By Ron Owen Of Owen Guns Australia.

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Do we work for Parliament, or does Parliament work for us?
Who is the slave and who is the Master?
Questions to Provoke Thought and Action.
Personal liberty is the birthright of all persons and our Constitutional documents recognize that liberty is personal and cannot be sacrificed by a majority vote of representatives, but only by individual consent? What would change if powers  given in our Constitutional documents no longer limited parliament but were actually used as a justification to extend parliamentary authority over every realm of human life? What if our Monarchs, first Minister in Australia, Prime Minister Turnbull made himself a Monarch? What if the Prime Minster assumed that everything he did was legal just because he has the numbers in the House of Parliament? What if he could interrupt your regularly scheduled radio and TV programming for a special message from him? What if he could declare war on his own? What if he could read your emails and your texts without a search warrant? What if the violation of the right to privacy is a gateway to all other government violations of personal liberty? What if the High Courts, Justices no longer looked to the Constitutional documents to determine the authority of a law, but rather simply to what other Justice’s who preceded them thought about it? What if the rights and principles guaranteed in the Constitutional documents were so ignored that our grandparents would think they were living in the old Soviet Union? What if the States were mere provinces of a totally nationalized and fully centralized government. What if the Constitution was amended stealthfully; not by Constitutional amendments dully ratified by the people in a referenda but by the constant and persistent expansion of the Government’s role in our lives? What if our parliaments decided that its own powers were above the Constitution? What if the Constitutional document were no longer the Supreme Law of the Land? What if you believed that our Constitutional documents represented the moral principles of our forefathers who valued our rights and freedoms at a higher in price than the parliament powers to interfere with them? What if those who wrote the Constitution believed that personal liberty is the default position and parliament power the exception? What if the Constitution means that our rights should be maximum and governments control minimum? What if the greatest right protected by the Constitution is the right to be left alone, the right to be oneself, the right to answer only to one’s own free will? What if our parliament is essentially the contradiction of that liberty?

What if you needed a license from the government to speak, to assemble or to protest against the government? What if the government didn’t like what you planned to say and so it didn’t give you the license? What if the right of law abiding firearm owners to defend their families and homes, their property only applied to government employees! What if parliament considered the police an adequate dispenser of justice and removed your recourse to a Trial by Jury and the Rule of Law? What if the Police looked and acted like troops and you couldn’t distinguish the military from the police?

How Secure is the State of Union Address Tonight?

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How secure is the venue where nearly every head of the United States government will be tonight? That is a fair question and worth investigating considering how many enemies the

If Everyone Is Injured the Injured Cannot Be Attended

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Wounded Soldier

Some of you may have experienced squad or platoon leaders reminding you to maintain distance. Don’t bunch up as you head out past the wire into the badlands. Maintain at least 5 yards or 15 feet. One of the reasons for maintaining distance is if someone steps on an anti-personal mine, for example, soldiers next to them are not injured as well. The same would apply if a hand grenade was launched, or if the team walks into an ambush.

Sometimes the only thing a soldier had to hang on to was the fact that if they were injured others would Evac them to a Landing Zone (LZ) for evacuation to the rear for treatment. Dust Off, (Dedicated Unhesitating Service to Our Fighting Forces), was the call sign for Air Ambulance Units, which usually transported the injured. If all team members are injured, who then would tend to the injured, and see to it they were loaded up and sent back to a field hospital. Distance is important when patrolling.

Once the SHTF you may very well have to patrol in unfamiliar terrain and so you need a plan, and you need to know some basics about patrolling when past the wire, so to speak.

Know Where You Are Going Even If Your Don’t Know Where You Are Going

Walk with a purpose and map your routes using a topographical map and compass. The point person usually navigates for the team, so whoever is on point must be well versed in land navigation using a map and compass.

You are in an unfamiliar area so break it down and patrol a certain sector. You are gathering Intel, so note natural and man-made resources for future use. You want to determine who else might be in the area, as well, friend, or foes to be determined later, so stealth is important until you know. You cannot wander willy-nilly and someone has to set the pace and the routes used.

It is not a democracy, you can’t stop every five minutes to discuss tactics and have everyone voicing their opinions. Leaders lead and make the decisions. You do want feedback, but not arguments about destination and purpose of the patrol while on patrol. Typically, actions are analyzed in After Action Reports. This is when mistakes and various tactics are discussed and adaptations to plans are made.

Patrol for a few hundred yards in heavy brush and then stop to listen and observe. Certain team members can walk the flank 50 to one 100 yards out depending on the terrain and one or two can hang back to cover the back trail.

Your team will need a communications expert, and in the old days, a radio strapped to the back was akin to waving a red flag in front of a bull. The AN/PRC’s (Army/Navy Portable Radio Communications) of the day made for a heavy pack and they had long antennas. Snipers would target the Comms guy. The radio person was glued to the platoon leader and the radio was the only contact with the world. Air strikes/air support, Dust Off, and supply requests all went through the radio guy, along with Intel on enemy size and movement.

In your group, however, it is likely everyone would have a personal communication device, but you have to maintain communications discipline. You can’t have team members talking it up with each other whenever they feel like it. For one thing, you don’t know who may be monitoring radio or other communication streams and maybe trying to triangulate your location. The more people talk the greater chance of revealing sensitive information about locations, and number of personnel and how well armed and supplied your group or team may be.

Set a time that each person checks in with a designated Comms person, and use call signs or nicknames and not real names.


Back to the title of this article don’t bunch up. If there is a sniper and everyone is huddled around a fire or standing around shooting the breeze a good shooter can put 3 or 4 down before you realize you are under attack. If targets are separated the shooter has to adjust, even though it is just a split second, it still gives others time to react. The first shot, which means there is a first casualty gives the others time to seek cover and then provide cover fire so the injured can be moved out of the line of fire. The injured needs to know others are alive and able to render aid.

Your team members all need to know the basics of first aid, and then one or two should have more advanced training in first aid.

You are not necessarily a fire team, but you may come under fire, but your objective in most cases is to gather Intel, and avoid contact with others. You want to map out escape routes, supply routes and track movement of others and perhaps track a group back to their compound all without being detected.

The above is simply the basics. It takes time for a team to be able to work as a cohesive unit. You need to know the weaknesses and strengths of all members, and you will over time. During downtime cross train, have your medic teach classes as well as your Comms person or electronics expert and always do weapons training. Downtime is the time to air grievances and to discuss personal issues, and not when out patrolling.

The post If Everyone Is Injured the Injured Cannot Be Attended appeared first on Preparing for shtf.

Helping Your Family Deal With Unexpected Illness

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Helping Your Family Deal With Unexpected IllnessWe typically write and video things that are happening on the homestead to share and educate our audience.  This is a bit of a different season for us.  Although we still have projects and we are living life, we are also dealing with an unexpected setback and illness.  This season has also brought lessons to […]

The post Helping Your Family Deal With Unexpected Illness appeared first on Trayer Wilderness.

Podcast-Market Meltdown-Weathering the Storm with Dr. Kirk Elliot

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Dr. Kirk Elliot of McAlveny Financial is back to give us an update on the massive financial upheaval in the markets. He also provides valuable advice on how you can prepare to weather the coming economic storm. Additionally, Dr. Elliot gives us some fantastic guidelines for getting financially fit in 2016. Visit his website to learn more.

Is there a secret cabal working to collapse the international economy in order to usher in a global government and one-world currency? Watch through the eyes of Noah Parker as a global empire takes shape, ancient writings are fulfilled and the last days fall upon the once great, United States of America. The Days of Noah by Mark Goodwin is a fast-paced, prepper-fiction thriller series which looks at how modern conspiracies could play into Biblical prophecy concerning the end times.


Today’s Prepper Recon Podcast sponsor is Whether your plan is to bug in or bug out, they have all of your preparedness needs including; bug out bags, long term food storage, water filters, gas masks, and first aid kits. Use coupon code PREPPERRECON to get 5% off your entire order at Camping Survival.


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

Happy Prepping!


The post Podcast-Market Meltdown-Weathering the Storm with Dr. Kirk Elliot appeared first on Prepper Recon.

Winterizing Your Homestead Even After It’s Too Late

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Winterizing Your Homestead Even After It’s Too Late

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Winter is inevitable. At times, it is a mild affair. At other times, snow piles up higher than a man.  Preparing your homestead and farm are important if you want to ensure the highest chance of you, your livestock and your equipment coming through the winter unscathed and ready for spring planting.

Here are some things that should be done. If it’s already too cold to do some of these chores, then wait for a warmer winter day to tackle them.

Your Home

Check the seals around your windows and doors. Improperly sealed doors and windows account for the largest amount of heat loss, and a huge waste of energy. Plastic sheeting, cloth drapes and curtains all work to reduce heat loss. Insulating a poorly uninsulated home can be costly but can yield huge rewards going forward.

Replacing an old, inefficient furnace can reduce waste and increase savings. For a wood stove, clean and inspect your chimney or flue. Make sure you have an overabundance of wood for your wood stove, especially an emergency supply for large snowfalls. Have a large supply of firewood in and near the house if you live in an area where snows typically reach great heights.

New Rugged Portable Power Unit Will Jump Start Your Car, Power Virtually Anything — And Even Air Up Your Tires!

Having an emergency supply of food, water, medical supplies and blankets for cold weather emergencies is important. Canned or dry food, and a means to heat your food, can make the difference between feast and famine in a massive blizzard.


You don’t want to seal up your barn super tight if it is a livestock barn. Airflow is necessary to prevent a host of respiratory issues with your animals. Eliminating as many cold drafts as possible is sufficient enough to keep your animals warm.

Winterizing Your Homestead Even After It’s Too Late

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For areas of a barn that need to be heated, then fill cracks, weather strip doors and windows, and inspect furnaces and heaters to make sure everything is running top notch.

Take the time before the big chill comes to thoroughly inspect and clean your barns, repair any fencing you need to fix, and prepare supplies to be easily accessible and dry.


Prepare any winter clothing your animals need before the freeze. Mend horse and cattle blankets. Any new purchases of blankets should be made before severe weather hits, as these tend to disappear from feed and tack stores quickly.

Be sure you have adequate supplies of forage on hand. If not, purchase as soon as you can. I realize haying season is well past and it is not time to get the baler out. There are also financial considerations to make. If you are short on cash and fodder, perhaps trading and bartering can work; it has for me! Conserve your forage as best you can while making sure your animals have enough calories for the cold months. Remember: Livestock burn through calories fast at this time of year to stay warm, and extra food is needed.

New 4-Ounce Solar Survival Lantern Never Needs Batteries!

Livestock also will need a constant supply of water. Eating snow reduces body heat, and it takes six buckets of snow to equal one bucket of water. Water tank heaters are the best option for your animal’s water tanks. You will need to monitor them closely as to prevent water pipe freezing. Horses also have a knack for kicking heaters out of a tank, so you may have to improvise a cover.

Keep any water tank clean, checking often and screening out organic matter to prevent build-up.

If you have barn cats, be sure they have a warm insulated place to sleep in the barn.

For outdoor dogs, provide them a warm place in the barn. During extreme cold, consider bringing dogs indoors.

Heavy Equipment

Tractors and other vehicles should have oil changed to a lighter oil for winter. Check your hydraulic lines for leaks and repair as necessary. Replace antifreeze in all of your vehicles every two years. If possible, keep tractors, trucks and other equipment in sheds, barns and garages during the cold months. Diesel equipment may need to be plugged in for reliable starting. Gas tractors should definitely be sheltered if possible, as gas engines take sitting idle for longer periods hard.

If you have any snowplows, keep them easily accessible for rapid attachment to equipment.

What advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:

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


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Hi Folks,

I am announcing my first ever giveaway contest. The prize will be a “Prepper Book” pack containing several books related to prepper or survivalist themes. I’ve got the books picked out, but they will remain a mystery until the recipient opens their box.

Here’s how the giveaway contest will work: On February 12, I will randomly pick one winner (using tools at from the list of followers of the Facebook Fan Page for this website on that date. I will then contact the winner over Facebook to get their mailing address so I can send them the books. Therefore, in order to win, you must be following this website on Facebook by February 12. Follow at

Only a US mailing address can receive the books. If the winner doesn’t respond to my message within a week, I will have a repeat drawing to pick a new winner. Same goes if the winner doesn’t have a US mailing address, or is unwilling to give me their address for some reason.

Your odds on winning will depend on the number of followers of this website’s fan page on Feb. 12. Currently, there are only 19 followers, so your odds will likely be quite good.

Depending on how this giveaway contest goes, I may have more contests in the future.

Thank you!

Tim Gamble

9 Methods for Hiding Your Survival Garden

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In a long-term disaster, your food storage will only last so long. Eventually you’re going to run out. But even if you don’t, you’ll be eating food that isn’t very nutritious. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a survival garden. It will give you more food […]

The post 9 Methods for Hiding Your Survival Garden appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Powdered Milk, Why you Need It and How Much

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Powdered milk

Powdered Milk form the LDS Dry Pack Store.

The other day I went to the LDS (Mormon) Dry Pack Store to purchase a case of non-fat powdered milk.  I have been using the LDS powdered milk for many years and have found it to be quite acceptable.  It is the most reasonably priced milk that I have found.  I t comes in 1.8 pound packages that cost $6.25 each.  You can purchase it in individual packages or a case of 12 for $75.00.  It has a 20-year shelf life if stored correctly in a cool, dark area.

For cooking, we use it following the directions on the package.  If it is for drinking, we mix ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract and ½ to 1 teaspoon of sugar per quart and you want it as cold as possible.

I want to recommend that regardless of the source you want to consider adding powder milk to your storage.  It is a good source of protein and calcium.  Over the years I continue to learn new things and based on the most recent information I have, you need the following amounts for a year.

  • For pregnant or nursing women, 75 pounds
  • For children under 12, 75 pounds each.
  • For teenagers and adults, 25 pounds each for cooking.  This is with no allowance for drinking or other uses such as pouring on cereal.

There are many other good sources of powdered milk.  But be sure you are getting real non-fat powered milk and not a milk substitute.  I do not believe the milk substitutes are as good, I want the real thing.

There are a number of things you can do with powdered milk, here are links to a couple of sites that will give you more information  Powdered Milk and its Uses:Conversion Chart for Powdered Milk.

Powdered milk is one of the easiest foods for most of us to rotate.  Just use it in your everyday cooking and baking.  Give it to your kids occasionally to drink so that they get used to the taste.  Experiment with it now while a mistake won’t hurt you.


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Check Another One Off The List

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It’s kinda funny on how you have a place pictured in your mind and a burning desire to do a particular thing, but once you see it and do it, it’s very disappointing. Lets take for instance Mt. Rushmore. I have been told the pictures really do it justice and once you see it, it’s like, “really, is that it?”
You have such high expectations for something, but it seems to fall short once you see it.

I have a Texas Bucket list as well as a regular Bucket list. The only difference between the two is the Texas one has to do only with Texas things and being a native Texan I would like to do as many of those as possible.
One item on the Texas Bucket List list is the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo. I have seen pictures of it and talked to folks that have visited. They all say it’s a must do, but it’s only ten cars buried in the dirt. So this last weekend I had the opportunity to go to Amarillo for the first time and participate in the Tri-State Chili Cook Off Championship, by the way I got third place and automatically qualified for the world championship. While there I made the trip North a couple of miles to mark another item off the list. We pulled over on the side of the road, looked across the field and all I could say is, really? They were right, it’s only ten cars buried halfway in the dirt. How this made the list I will never know. I guess it’s just one of those things kinda like looking at the world’s largest ball of wire.


 We did take a can of paint because that’s what you are suppose to do when you go and painted our names on the cars.
We travel and cook with our good friends and chili family K and D because going all over the place by yourselves is just boring. My dumb butt shaved my face and head only to be in one of the coldest places in Texas that weekend.
New Years weekend we traveled to San Antonio, cooked chili, did great and walked the river walk in the rain. We just can’t catch a break on the weather while traveling and cooking chili.

I have every intention of staying home this weekend and just sending the wife to cook in Shreveport LA. I bought the stuff to paint the tiny house. Now they are calling for rain Saturday night and that just spoils my weekend plans. I still my stay home and do some more trim work on the porch if I cannot get it all done during the week. I am really tired of going, going, going at the moment.    

Other than that, not much is going on. It’s too cold and nasty for anything else.


The Greatest Crock Pot Recipes EVER

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The Greatest Crock Pot Recipes EVER I’m always looking for new recipes to try out in the winter and spice up my crock pot. I can’t tell you how much I love slow cooked food. Who doesn’t love the smell of a delicious dish that has been cooking in the crock pot all day?  Everybody …

Continue reading »

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Keep The Kids Happy When Off-Grid

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My Little Man got a Nintendo 3DS for Christmas and I was thinking about what would happen if power went out and he wants to play. The power cord that came with the 3DS was made just for it and was just for wall plug. So I first got an adapter for it that makes it to be able to use USB for power. This made it where I could then get a Solar Power USB Charger , plus we already have our RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Port (Foldable, Portable, iSmart Technology) that I can use for my Kindle and our phones , etc.

The other item in the photo is a Solar 11-in-1 Battery Charger that I just bought a lot of AA and AAA rechargeable batteries for to use with other handheld devises and radios. Always prepared. I keep all of these in a small faraday cage that I made with each item in Antistatic Bags. I made a cheap faraday cage that I just made out of a 18 gallon rubbermade tote ($5.00) and 3 rolls of aluminum foil. ($3.00) Each item kept in the antistatic bags. I tested it out with my cell phone. I hope that is all that I had to do. I placed it in there on and tried to call and text myself and it did not go through. I keep my kindle and some other small radios, handheld scanner, walkie-talkies, and more in it.

Link – Survivor Library

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In the survivalist classic, Lucifers Hammer, a nerdy scientist realizes that the most valuable thing to save for the rebuilding of civilization will be knowledge. The information on how to build generators, grow food, treat injuries, prevent disease, build shelters, etc, etc,. To that end, he starts preserving all sorts of useful books and eventually he is proved right in his prediction of their utility.

Someone appears to have taken that idea and ran with it. A collection of .PDFs of various texts, going back quite a ways, on subjects that would be useful if you believe in the ‘we start over with 19th century technology’ scenarios.

I love reading this sort of stuff. While I have no intention of making penicillin from scratch, but I’d be interested in reading how it was done nonetheless.

Survival Gear Review: Gränsfors Bruks Hand Hatchet

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Best Survival Hatchet

I find interesting that knife reviews often and immediately take on cutting chores at the upper limit of a blade’s best survival hatchetpay grade.  Many of the tasks assigned to the knives are really better served by another survival tool; the Hand Hatchet.  And in particular, the Gränsfors Bruks Hand Hatchet.  Of the rides in my growing stable of hand hatchets, the 1.3 pound/9.5 inch Gränsfors Bruks Hand Hatchet is not just my favorite, but by far my BFF for many reasons.  While not all that much bigger than a full-sized bushcraft blade, the hand hatchet is like the stronger but dumber big brother to the survival knife.

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

Give me a Hand

Precision is not the hand hatchet’s main selling feature, but rather blunt force performance for bigger but still Survival Toolhand-sized woodwork. In fact a high quality and very sharp hand hatchet can easily step on the toes of the survival knife. And not just step on them, it can stomp on the knife’s toes to the point of forcing the debate from one needing both to that of being happy with either/or. However, the smaller the axe, the more skill needed to use it effectively and the more dangerous it is since the business end is closer to the user.

Also Read: Survival Choppers, Understanding Axes

Hand hatchets are smaller and/or shorter than conventional camp axes or traditional hatchets which run in the survival hatchetsub-axe length of an overall length less than elbow to fingertip. While the head of the hand hatchet might look familiar, it often ends there. Many hand hatchets are closer to knives than axes through their one-piece design with handgrip scales bolted, riveted, glued, or otherwise somehow stuck to the metal handle, and similar length cutting surfaces. The problem with many designs is that forging a properly tapered hatchet head is difficult if not impossible for many companies to do in-house. The result is that quality hand hatchets have an overall head thickness not much more than a knife blade. The result of this simplistic design is that it produces a low mass head relative to the handle, and absolutely no significant inertia wedging as the head slams into the workpiece. Instead the blade slides neatly into the wood like a screwdriver wedging its parallel sides tightly against the wood grain. And that is if you can generate enough speed to make the hatchet head cut more than just superficial wounding the branch. Otherwise a simple band aid will fix the cut in the cellulose.

Stolen Valor

A flat-sided hand hatchet, or that with no head taper beyond the very edge of traditional steel stock, easily sticks SHTF Hatchetinto softer woods requiring constant rocking to remove them. In fact, they perform much like nails where the wedge tip spreads the grain so the following mass can bury itself into the wood with maximum friction. Better chopping hand hatchets have slightly concave or convex heads that do not stick as easily in the grain, and actively throw wood chips away from the work site during the chopping. If you used one in the kitchen instead of a flat-sided slicing knife, your salad fixings would go flying all over the place rather than lazily falling over. The more convex, the more its wedge-shape splits wood. Unfortunately a hand hatchet has comparatively little energy transfer to the impact point so splitting is definitely not the hand hatchet’s forte’ so you might be better off erring on the flatter side then the convex side.

Related: Trucker’s Friend

Adding insult to the lack of injury to the wood is that many flat-sided hand hatchets are borne of lesser steel that survival hatchethas more in common with a refrigerator door or cheap hammer head than an outdoor knife. Quality axe and hatchet steels have very particular characteristics and tempering that keep it both sharp and sharpenable. The blade must hold up to harsh striking as well as gentle slicing. If lesser steel, the blade will easily chip, fold, or rapidly dull through attrition. None of which are acceptable when you have a survival job to do.

Sharp or SHARP!

As I mentioned before, the short handle and razor sharp blade requires more attention than other choppers. Being SHTF Cutting Toolso small and noticeably sharper off the production line than lesser brands, swinging such a blade can get dangerous. The short handle but full sized head can cause more than normal torque on the head causing the swing follow through to head off in an unintended direction. Therefore proper axe swing technique is more than essential. But even then I still managed to break my skin twice during my first serious voyage with the Gränsfors Bruks hand hatchet. The first cut was absolute stupidity on my part when I was chopping branches clearing a trail through downfall. The horseflies were starting to irritate me more than usual and when one sunk its proboscis into my calf, I whipped my hand around to swat it and the low-mass tiny axe nicked my flesh. The worst part was I missed the damn fly. Well, no. The worst part was the blood trickling down my leg was attracting more flies than Bill Bass’s Body Farm in Tennessee. But forgetting the hatchet was in my hand should be ample evidence that the Hand Hatchet can disappear during use.

Also Read: 10 Non-Power Tools You Need For Survival

My second screw up was when I was shaving bark and mini-stabs off a pair of hiking sticks needed for a river crossing. Getting the sticks to near perfection was easy with the Gränsfors Bruks hand hatchet. The problem was that I wanted total perfection. I choked all the way up on the hatched head and started polishing the stick’s handle are to a mirror finish. It was just so much fun work the blade across the birch. As my work area on the stick grew smaller and smaller, the axe head became correspondingly larger and larger. Since the mass of the axe stayed the same, it was inevitable that I would loose control and slice my finger which is exactly what happened. Like trying to pull a sliver out with lineman’s pliers, there is a point of diminishing return when using a hand hatchet over a knife.

Get a Grip

Hand hatchet handles vary as much as their heads. Many smaller hatchets or those marketed to the survival crowd survivalhave prominent finger grooves. While the tactical-like depressions do help maintain grip and control especially when wet, the fixed finger positions significantly limit the number of comfortable holds and can make extended use rather painful. Without gloves, the more finger grooves, the more blisters or hot spots.  Seriously, listen to the rants about the Gen4 Glocks with lightly defined finger posits in the grip. It’s not like anyone is carrying their Glock hours on end in a grip tight enough to keep it from flying free during a fast arm swing. Yet the fully mature finger guides in hand hatchets are like a gated community and unless your fingers fit and stay, you are not welcome there.

Using the Gränsfors Bruks hand hatchet for big work, regardless of the grip, is an absolute pleasure compared to a survival knife when gross movements and significant force is needed. I’m quick to grab a hand hatchet to make kindling, de-limb branches, chop small firewood, apply some heavy scraping, and sharpen sticks for tent pegs and cooking implements.

Playing the Field

The shortest of my hand hatchets is the Timberline Russ Kommer Bush Pilot Survival Hatchet. It also has the most hand_hatchet_cutting_toolpronounced and aggressive finger grooves in the handle. While the permanent finger placements feel fine upon initial inspection, after a few minutes of chopping your hands will be crying for mommy. The finger notches force a certain grip that is quite squared up with the blade. I find it unnatural and uncomfortable. But in its defense, the digit subdivisions installed on the handle will keep the hatchet more secure, especially with a weak or injured hand. But given the super-short handle length, you have bigger problems than just holding on to the chopping thing.

But What About The…

But the gorilla in the room is how the Gränsfors Bruks Hand Hatchet compares to the Gerber Back Paxe. Gerber’s survival hatchetcontributions to this short-handled axe space includes several models. The one in my stable is Gerber’s combo axe/knife system. The small axe handle is hollow and contains an even smaller knife. Normally I wouldn’t consider the knife tangent a bonus, but since the handle was devoid of substance anyway, the knife can only be a positive.  Gerber’s plastic handled axes and hatchets have an almost cult-like following. Many purists dismissed the plastic as an unforgivable act against traditional lumberjack hardware, but again and again, the plastic proved itself worthy in trial after trial.

A few of the initial differences between the Gränsfors Bruks Hand Hatchet and the Gerber Back Paxe include:
-The GF Hand Hatchet is a quarter inch longer in the handle.
-The Gerber head is a quarter inch thinner and has a quarter inch shorter bit face.
-The GF Hand Hatchet handle is curved Hickory while the Gerber’s is straight plastic.
-The GF’s handle is field-replaceable.
-The Gerber’s bit is a flat grind. The GF has something closer to a hollow grind.
-The warranty for the GF Hand Hatchet is 25 years. The Gerber’s is lifetime.
-The Gerber weighs 22.5 oz with knife. The GF Hand Hatchet weighs 21 oz. Both a little less than a Glock 19 without the magazine.
-The retail price of the GF Hand Hatchet is twice that of the Gerber. The street price is about three times.
-The GF Hand Hatchet embraces old world craftsmanship. The Gerber leans toward the tactical.

In a chopping comparison, the GF Hand Hatchet makes much nicer and deliberate slices into the wood and can best hatchethold a sharper edge and for longer. The chisel-shaped blade on the Gerber is more like a splitting wedge than a precision chopper. In fact, that is more what I would classify it as; a splitter. But with nine inch handles, the difference is minor in the big picture. Like a couple of Chihuahuas fighting, it might seem like a big deal at your ankles, but not from ten feet away.

Also Read: Crovel Elite

Carving, hands down, goes to the Gränsfors Bruks Hand Hatchet. The narrowgransfors_bruks_axe_review blade is much more knife-like so it smoothly and precisely scrapes and grinds the wood at angles much shallower than the Gerber’s chisel tip. But even more importantly is that the weight of axe head is mostly behind the leading edge of the handle. The Gerber, on the other hand, has more weight in front of the handle edge. What this means is that while the heads might be of similar mass, the GF Hand Hatchet rotates much more easily due to the reduced weight further from the rotational axis point compared to the gerber. Mostly this difference translates into less fatigue through less effort to keep the GF Hand Hatchet slicing though wrist and finger movements. But unlike the previous dog fight, this small difference makes a big difference.

The care and feeding of the Gerber is much simpler than the GF Hand Hatchet. Wood requires attention, and while both steels will rust, the glass-reinforced plastic handle of the Gerber will resist the elements until cold or ultraviolet light demolishes the bonds between the oil-based molecules. The Hickory handle on the GF Hand Hatchet might last a year or a century, but likely somewhere in between. Before this turns into a review of the Gerber axe (that will come later) I’ll get back on topic.

Grind Cover

Most hand hatchets have a bit (blade) cover that doubles as a belt attachment. Like a knife sheath, the bit covers survival hatchetvary widely from major coverage and heavy duty attachment to not much more than a blade bikini with a belt loop. Frankly, I am not much of a fan of wearing my hand hatchet on my waist. I reserve my belt-space for those items either essential to survival (think pistol), or too big for a pocket but used quite often (think fixed blade knife). When I want to carry my hatchet on my belt, I carry it in my belt. Forced through a gap between me and my belt, the tool stays put and handy without having to be separated from its sheath when moved from storage to action.

The Gränsfors Bruks hand hatchet is small only in handle length. The craftsman at Gränsfors Bruks took the head off their wildly successful Wildlife Hatchet and mounted it on a hickory handle four inches shorter. And given that the Wildlife Hatchet was already on the short side for handaxes, those four inches were like dog inches and translate to the loss of almost a third of the handle length.

Other small Gränsfors Bruks designs include a miniature Small Hatchet that would be at home in the kitchen well shtf hatchetas the domestic campsite. And the Outdoor Axe that combines a full-length but smaller diameter hatchet handle with a tiny head. So to recap, arguably the finest axe maker in the world forges axes with a big head on a short handle, a small head on long handle, and small head on a short handle. Since leverage, and thus cutting power, is a function of both head mass times swing speed, all of the above have merit and all of the above have significant limits. Oh, and all of the above have a price tag in the three digits. And in the interest of full disclosure, I am also enamored with the Gransfors Bruks Outdoor Axe that has a smallish head on a longish handle. Please see the review of that $175 right angle hickory handled blade.

Bite the Bullet$

The thing I find most odd about quality hand hatchets is that even a Gucci one like the Gränsfors Bruks is not Gransfors Bruks Hand Hatchetmuch over a hundred dollars, yet people drop a hundred dollars for a survival or bushcraft knife all day long in the big box sporting goods stores and then turn around and complain about the price of a high quality hatchet. Further, and this is important, the Gränsfors Bruks business strategy is not to make a fancier product, but to make the consumer more intelligent about the product. The other side of the coin has the twenty dollar hatchets dumbing down the masses and hiding the value of knowledge. Every Gränsfors Bruks hatchet comes with a heavily illustrated 36 page booklet informing the reader about the history and manufacture of quality axes. Half the book is devoted to technique, sharpening and maintenance, and even throwing the axes. Want your own copy, here it is (click here)  And for those interested in something more general and substantial, here is a wonderful tome brought to you by the U.S. Forest Service. Your tax dollars at work! (click here)

The Final Swing

Whether you spring for the Gränsfors Bruks hand hatchet or not, right-angled blades of this size generally weigh survivalsomewhere between one and one-and-a-half pounds. Or the weight equivalent of between 15 and 22 ounces of water. So for the heft-cost of a large can of beer, you can add an essential piece of equipment to your kit that will not only extend the life of your knife, but take your bushwork further and in more directions than your knife alone. And it doesn’t stop there. The hand hatchet will speed up game processing, shelter building, woodcraft, and firecraft. In fact, if you haven’t used a hand hatchet before, you likely don’t realize just how big a hole you have in your outdoor toolbox.

All Photos by Doc Montana

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How To Treat A Burn Victim In A Survival Scenario

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The danger of getting burned is ever-present in our day to day lives. Whether we’re talking about a minor burn caused by carelessness or a severe degree burn caused by an unfortunate event, it’s important to know how to react in such a situation. Most of us have already dealt with burning injuries at least once in their lifetime, so the sensation and the gravity of the matter is known to most people. We’re not lacking in the health department in this day and age; there’s plenty of doctors and clinics out there that are able and equipped to deal with burn victims. Even if they’re not immediately available, medicine is widely available and many people already have their stock set aside for darker days. But what happens in TEOTWAWKI situation, when medical care and supplies won’t simply be available anymore? In this case, it’s important to know how to treat a burn victim and to improvise as best as we can in order to save one’s life.

The first thing we’ll need to asses in a burning accident is how much of the overall body surface has been affected by the burn. People that have less than 20% of their body’s surface affected by 2nd and 3rd  burns are not facing direct life threats (although the danger of infection and complications is still present); 1st degree burns do not pose a life threat, as the skin is not significantly affected. But those who have suffered. This is easily calculated by using the rule of nines, according to whom the surfaces on the human adult body are as follows: head = 9%, chest (front) = 9%, abdomen (front) = 9%, upper/mid/lower back & buttocks = 18%, arms (each) = 9%, palm (each) = 1%, groin = 1%, legs (each) = 18% (front = 9% + back = 9%).  For children, the numbers are as follows: head = 18%, chest (front) = 9%, abdomen (front and back) = 9%, upper/mid/lower back & buttocks = 18%, arms (each) = 9%, palm (each) = 1%, groin = 1%, legs (each) = 14% (front = 7% + back = 7%).

After the affected surface area has been determined, it’s imperative to understand what degree of burn you’re dealing with. As an international convention, burns are split into three distinctive categories:

1st degree burns or mild burns are what happens in the best case scenario. The injury is superficial and the skin is not completely affected. A good example of a 1st degree burn is a nasty case of sunburn. It requires a lesser form of treatment and it’s not life-threatening

2nd degree burns are much more serious and pose a greater threat to general health. They are far more painful as the affliction penetrates far deeper into the skin. If this is the case, it’s recommended you seek medical help, if available.

3rd degree burns are the most severe types imaginable. Because the injury goes so deep into the skin, the pain receptors can be completely destroyed, so they victim might not feel pain at all. If the affected area gets swollen, turns leathery or black, you’re dealing with a 3rd degree burn; as a mentioned before, pain is no longer an indicator. This is an emergency, and you should seek professional help if it’s available, if not, turn to your medical kit.

Before you start applying a treatment, you’ll need to determine the nature of the burn. Various types of burns require different treatments. These are some of the most common causes when it comes to burn injuries and how you should deal with them:

If the victim has been subjected to a flame source, the first step is to take the person away from the fire source and to extinguish his clothes if they’re on fire. Water is the best choice, as this will not only put out the fire, but it will also wash away any remaining pieces of charred clothing. Cold water will cool the burned areas and sooth the pain. Next, remove the clothes, gently tap with a dry and clean piece of cloth and apply any treatment available.

Treating electrical burn victims requires a different approach. In this case, the insides are just as damaged (if not more) than the outside. Electrical current takes a toll mostly on the heart, so before treating burns, check the patient’s vital signs first. You might need to perform CPR before anything else. Once the victim is stabilized, you can proceed to treating the burns.

Chemical burns are also a hazard to take into consideration. Treating skin that’s been exposed to corrosive substances requires a lot of patience. The burned area should be washed with water for about 30 minutes before proceeding to apply any type of ointment. If the area is not cleaned perfectly, the remaining substances will continue to destroy skin cells. After the area has been cleaned, you should double check that the ointment you’re about to apply won’t react with the chemical residue found in the burn.

If medical help is not available and if your personal survival medical kit is depleted, worry not. Luckily you can still improvise burn treatments out of everyday household items. Here are some of the things found around the house that can do wonders in case you’re dealing with burns:

  1. Honey is a fantastic first aid solution when it comes to treating burns. It can also work as a permanent solution, provided you’re in a survival scenario and you happen to have some honey lying around. You should cover the affected surface in honey completely. Next cover the area in a plastic warp. Honey will prevent bacteria from reaching the wound and keep the risk of infection to a minimum. Check the wound daily and apply as much honey as you can spare.
  2. Vinegar can also be used for cleaning the burned area, as it can be used as an antiseptic. Because it’s an acid, the vinegar will sting and add to the burning sensation, but in the process it will clean and sanitize the burned area, killing of any unwanted pathogens that might lead to severe infection. Diluted vinegar is the way to go.
  3. Baking soda works perfectly for treating a burned area. Just add water, turn it into a paste and apply it gently over the burned area. The baking soda will help reduce the swelling and the pain sensation. You can add it to any type of burns EXCEPT chemical burns. It may give an unwanted reaction with the chemical that caused the burn, so avoid using it in this case.

Aiding a burn victim in no easy task, and you should take it seriously. Educate yourself in the field before taking on such a task, as the wrong move might have unwanted consequences. There are many popular treatments that do not give great result, quite the opposite. Burns should be cleaned with cold water, but never ice water. You might have been told at some point to press something cold next to a burn, but you strongly advise you not to. The surface you might be pressing into the burned area might be carrying pathogens that will cause infection. Also egg whites and oil do not work either, so don’t bother. If your hands and fingers have been burned, remove rings and jewelry asap, because burned areas tend to get swollen. Nasty burns will most likely result in enormous blisters; do not pop them! They’re helping the healing process. Popping them may result in infection, pain and permanent trauma.


By Alec Deacon






The post How To Treat A Burn Victim In A Survival Scenario appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Paracord Uses: How To Actually Use Your Survival Paracord

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Paracord Uses

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The Ultimate Guide to Paracord Uses For Survival

Name one thing in your bug out bag, daypack or in your possession that has many uses as paracord.

Go ahead, I’ll wait…

OK, so I bet the first items that came to mind are a survival knife, a survival hatchet, multi-tool or duct tape; and you’d be right. However, today I’m going to argue that paracord belongs in this “many uses” category as well.

When left intact, paracord has a lot of important survival uses and when you unweave the threads of the cord, the paracord uses become nearly endless. The number of paracord uses is only truly limited by our lack of imagination.

In this article, we are going to cover the 35 most useful paracord uses for survival. However, before we deep dive into these 35 paracord uses, we first need to learn a few basic paracord knots:

A Couple Of “Must Know” Paracord Knots

Figure 8 KnotFigure Eight – Tie an “8” in the paracord. To do this, make a loop over your anchor such as a tree, carabineer, or another piece of paracord. Then wrap the tail of the cord under the anchor then back through the first loop. Pull it tight.
Clove Hitch

Clove Hitch – Wrap one end of the paracord all the way around the object until secured. Allow the cord to crossover itself the second time and thread the working end under the last wrap around.
Round Turn 1 1-2 Hitches

Round Turn and 2 1/2 Hitches – Wrap working end of paracord around the hitch twice. Then under the anchored end and back over itself. Repeat and thread over the anchor cord and over itself.

Girth KnotGirth Knot – Place paracord behind resting object it’s secured to. Fold the cord over that object and feed it back through itself until tight.

Slip KnotSlipknot – Make a loop in the paracord crossing the cord under itself, creating a loop. Reach your hand through the loop and pull the paracord partially back through the loop. Then pull on the loop you just pulled through and the ends of the cord in opposite directions.

Constrictor KnotConstrictor Knot – Wrap the paracord around a branch once. Then crossing over the anchor cord and back over the branch. The working end then threads upwards between itself and the branch.

Timber HitchTimber Hitch – Wrap the braided paracord around the object being hauled. Tuck the working under the anchored end, then back over the anchor. The working end then needs to be wrapped around itself three times. Pull working end until tight.
Cobra Knot

Cobra Knot – Make a loop with the paracord and tie an overhand knot. Tie a half knot around the looped paracord and tighten. Repeat.

For a detailed tutorial of any of these knots (plus hundreds of more knots) I recommend you check out

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Emergency Paracord Uses

Emergency Paracord Uses

Let’s cover the emergency paracord uses first as they are the most important to your survival.


Becoming severly wounded in the wilderness is life threatening if not treated.

Many injuries have no quick and easy solutions, like open deep wounds and severe lacerations. You can get open wounds by something as small as falling on a dead branch to as extreme as an animal attack.

When professional medical attention isn’t an option, you have to get creative to survive. The only real option to decrease the risk of infection and blood loss is to stitch up the wound.

In these extreme emergencies, you can use the inner threads of your paracord as sutures. Only use these sutures until you are able to make it to advanced medical care.

Here’s How…
The inner strands of the paracord are both small enough and strong enough to close a wound in an emergency.

The inner strands of the paracord are both small enough and strong enough to close a wound in an emergency.

The inner strands of the paracord are both small enough and strong enough to close a wound in an emergency.

Pull the outer threads away from the paracord casing exposing the internal strands. Now take out a few of these strands, the longer, the better. Thread the suture needle leaving a long tail of paracord strand.

Your first suture will begin in the middle of the wound. Use hemostats (if you have them with your survival medical kit) to hold the threaded needle to maintain sterilization. About a half of centimeter from the wound opening, push the threaded needle head into the skin.

The needle will need to be exiting through the wound. Readjust hemostats and thread the needle from the inside of the wound to the opposite side of the wound from where you began. Pull the thread through the wound leaving a small tail of thread out from the original entry position.

Take the suture thread with the needle and wrap it around the hemostat head twice. With the hemostat grab the tail of the thread and pull it through itself. Allow the two loops of thread on the hemostat to fall, making a knot.

Pull the thread until the edges of the skin are touching, not overlapping. Continue this process beginning in the middle of each suture, working in halves.

Here’s a 10-minute video giving you the basics of suture instruction.


Besides open wounds and lacerations you may run into muscle, bone or joint injuries. Pain from such injuries vary in degrees of severity, but the worst cases will leave you 100% immobilized.

Although, not immediately life-threatening, a muscle, bone, or joint injury can hinder you from finding rescue. This raises the severity of your situation and exposes you to the risk of hypothermia, heat exhaustion, dehydration just to name a few.

Instead, using paracord you can splint the injury to control the pain. This may be enough to find your way to safety and to receive advance medical attention. Instead of being left immobile and in the harsh wilderness alone.

Here’s How…

Lay out a soft material (jacket, shirt or socks) under the limb you want to splint. This material is primarily for cushioning.

Then lay out a hard object such a walking stick to keep the injured limb stable.

Wrap the paracord around the injured limb, cushioning material, and your chosen hard object. Tie a knot just tight enough for a secure hold, but not tight enough to limit blood flow.

For a joint injury, tie the knots on the bone above and below. For bone injuries, tie knots on the joints above and below. For strength, braid or double/triple up on the cord.


Based on the location of your injury you may need a sling to control the movement of your injured arm or shoulder. This will provide similar protection of a splint but as some injuries can not be splinted a sling may be your best alternative option.

A sling will provide limited movement allowing you to make it to safety with less pain and further damage to your injury.

Like the splint, you should use a jacket or something soft and a straight stick or ruler for stability.

Use the paracord to tie a slip knot around the wrist, including the jacket and stick. Pull the paracord back behind the neck and secure it to the elbow in the same way as the wrist. Place another piece of cloth under the paracord on the neck to prevent rubbing and irritation. *For strength, braid or double/triple up on the cord.

Here’s a video showing the splinting process using cravats. The process is the same just use paracord instead of cravats.

Cravats are preferred to paracord but in a wilderness survival emergency you likely won’t have cravats, but you should have paracord.

Makeshift Stretcher:

There may be emergency cases where you have to tourniquet a leg or limb (more on this next). When there are broken bones, or even illness and medical attention is needed but walking is not an option you will need to make a paracord stretcher.

Why wouldn’t you just come back with help instead of moving the victim?

Because if at all possible, you should never leave someone on their own or split up your group in the wilderness. If you were to leave an injured person, the risk for dehydration, hypothermia or heat exhaustion increases.

These symptoms will begin to cause delusions and poor decision making for those left behind. Instead, you may be able to keep moving with a makeshift paracord stretcher.

Here’s How…

Find the middle of your paracord and measure out 5 lengths each direction. You should have a total of 10 lengths.

This should look like a slithering snake or many flatted “S” shapes strung together. This will become the part the injured will be laying on.

With the extra piece of paracord, tie each of lengths creating a loop using a clove hitch (remember the important knots we discussed earlier). Thread the rest of the paracord through the loops and tie the end back to the body of the stretcher.

If you have poles that are the same length of the stretcher, use that instead of paracord for stability. If not, weaving the paracord through the loops will be enough. *For strength, braid or double/triple up on the cord. Here’s a webpage showing what this process looks like.

Also, here’s a quick video showing you what the final product should look like if not using poles or sticks for sides.


In the extreme circumstance of uncontrollable bleeding, cutting your limb off to survive may be the only option. Arterial injuries or bleeding that won’t stop, a tourniquet is the absolute last resort.

A tourniquet can stop blood flow to that extremity and reduce your chances of bleeding out.
A tourniquet can stop blood flow to that extremity and reduce your chances of bleeding out.

Here’s How…

Braid the paracord into a 1 – 1/2 inch width, with any lesser width you risk skin laceration and infection.

Likely time is of the essence so it’s imperative that you can braid paracord quickly.

Wrap the paracord around the limb above the wound and tie a knot. Now insert a stick through the knot. Turn the stick and tighten the tourniquet until the bleeding slows and eventually stops. Now tie off the stick to hold the tourniquet pressure steady without having to hold onto it with your hands.

Rescue Line (drowning/ quicksand):

In the case of a water/quicksand drowning scenario, time is of the essence. To keep yourself safe and able to assist your wilderness buddies you need to master this rescue line skill.

Water rescue situations can develop while fishing, crossing a river, or walking on thin ice. There are also times when quicksand is completely unnoticeable until it is too late.

To keep yourself or your friends safe use this paracord use rescue line technique. It will keep you far enough away from the danger yourself and provide you the necessary leverage to pull the victim to safety.

Here’s How…

When there is a potential drowning or quicksand scenario time is everything. Tie a figure eight knot in your paracord, steady your stance and toss the line towards the victim.

When there is a potential drowning or quicksand scenario time is everything. Tie a figure eight knot in your paracord, steady your stance and toss the line towards the victim.

If the victim is in moving water, try tying an object that floats such as a log, cooler lid, or lifejacket. This will give you some weight, helping the line get to your victim.

Always throw the line 1-2 meters in front of a person in moving water to ensure they can reach the line. *For strength, braid or double/triple up on the cord.

paracord monkey fist key chainSelf Defense Paracord Uses

Self Defense Paracord Uses

Being able to defense oneself or your family is a high priority for any serious survivalist. Here are the top self-defense paracord uses you should take the time to learn.


Not only should you protect yourself from nature’s elements when in the wilderness but from deadly predators as well. These predators can be either animal or human, both can and will threaten your safety.

With a trip wire, you can temporarily disorient an intruder allowing you enough time to protect yourself from the threat.

Use the inner threads of your paracord. These threads are strong but are less noticeable than the exterior color of the paracord outer casing. Now tie the threads tightly between two trees at shin height.

Ideally, in the exact location you anticipate an intruder to travel through. This needs to be no more than a foot above the ground. If there are no trees in the general location, use two boulders or use two spikes hammered into the ground.

Tripwire Alarm (Primitive):

This is an alternative method to the basic tripwire. Use this tripwire as a perimeter of your camp to alert you of intruders to protect yourself and valuable belongings. This is extremely important during times of rest and minimal visibility environments like night or severe weather. Because these are the times that you are most vulnerable.

This is a simple addition to the tripwire. String tin or soda cans along the line securing them in place with a simple knot. Make sure they are in couples when tied to the trip wire. The cans will hit each other when the wire is “tripped” making a racket and alarm you of an approaching predator or an intruder.

Here’s a good video detailing a good tripwire alarm setup.


When there are threats to you, your family, community, and your supplies, it may be vital to restrain a threat to provide protection. When there are limited supplies, (such as TEOTWAWKI) people’s ethics are tested and everyone starts fighting for their own survival.

At this time, decisions and actions are for themselves only, causing threats to grow. To keep yourself safe you will need to constrain these threats once they’ve been neutralized.

Here’s How…

Braid your cord to 1 ½ inch thickness. Create two loops of the same size. Then overlap the loops and thread each loop into each other. Insert the intruder’s hands or feet and tighten.

Bore Snake for Firearm:

There are limited resources in the wilderness and with so little room, packing everything is unrealistic. However, cleaning the barrel of you gun is essential for accurate shooting.

When your gun is exposed to the elements, rain or snow, dropped in the dirt or shot, residue in the barrel can alter trajectory causing a miss. When your food supply and safety depends on your gun working properly, a bore snake made from your paracord is a must.

Here’s How…

Cut a piece of paracord that is double the length of your firearm. At one end, tie knots 1-3 inches apart until you have used up two-thirds of the paracord. If your firearm is wide barrelled, you will need to make double or triple knots.

Feed the blunt end of the paracord through the barrel. The knots squeezing through the barrel will pull out any debris with them. The key is having the knots big enough that they don’t slide through easily. There needs to be some resistance.

Stone Throwing Sling:

There are times that because of weather, illness or being lost can alter the amount of time you are actually in the wilderness. Your pack can accidently fall off of a cliff, float downstream or be stolen; Stuff Happens. But with your paracord belt/bracelet you will have enough paracord to make a stone throwing sling.

An impressive survival device with flexibility to be used for both a weapon and hunting. The paracord stone throwing sling is a solid multipurpose tool for wilderness survival.

Since the ancient times, even since David and Goliath, the stone throwing sling has been used to hunt and defend. With lots of practice, this simple device can be a light weight basic hunting and survival tool.

All you need is some paracord, a strip of leather or fabric, and a stone.

Here’s How…

Start by cutting your paracord roughly 2 ½ feet long. Then cut your leather or fabric about 6 inches long and 3 inches wide. This is used for holding your stone. Pre-soak your leather, wrap a stone in it and let it dry. This will create a pocket for the stone to sit in.

You will need to add a hole on each end of your leather where you will tie your cord. Grab your cord and on one of them tie a bowline knot with a loop roughly the size of your thumb. Then tie the other end of this piece to one side of the leather you have cut.

With your second precut cord, cut tie it on the opposite side of the leather and then three overhand knots at the end of that line.

Your new stone throwing sling is now complete and practice can begin. Loop around your thumb, rock in the leather, and the other end of the rope in the palm of your hand.

Here’s a step by step video instruction on how to make a survival sling out of your paracord cord.

Monkey Fist:

Attacks on your camp are highly likely when TEOTWAWKI occurs. Supplies and resources are limited and you must be prepared to defend yourself, interests, and home.

If firearms are no longer available you must find alternative options. With paracord and the knowledge of knots, you can make the perfect paracord weapon. A monkey fist can be used from a distance creating space between you and the threat adding additional safety.

As far back as the early 1800’s the Monkey Fist has been used for protection as a weapon. Once the skill of tying the monkey fist is mastered this can be a simple device to create.

Here’s How…

You will need three things. Paracord, a round object of any size, and something sharp to cut the paracord.

When determining how long you want to cut your paracord, you need to decide what it will be used for and what round object you will be using. Marbles or small rocks will work to create your decorative piece. If it is being used as a weapon, a bigger rock or steel ball may be used needing more paracord. Adjust accordingly.

For our purposes, you will need 4-5 feet. Start by wrapping the cord around two fingers loosely with your fingers spread out creating empty space between the cords. Do this four times then change directions.

Then wrap it another four times going the opposite direction creating an X. Make sure you are keeping the dead space within that X and your two fingers. Once you have done this, insert the marble.

You will now wrap the marble four more times going the only direction around the marble you have not gone. This time, though you wrap between the fingers going around the marble instead of around your fingers like before.

You are now creating the final step of covering the marble before you begin to SLOWLY tighten the cord. You should have an even amount of wraps from all angles. For our marble, it is four wraps in all three directions.

Slowly start tightening the cord. Continue this evenly until you can no longer tighten the cord.
Use the excess cord to attach your monkey fist to your predetermined object. This will take patience and possibly multiple attempts. Remember practice makes perfect.

Here’s a full video tutorial on how to make a giant monkey fist using a pool ball.

Need some Survival Paracord? Snag a FREE Paracord Grenade compliments of the Skilled Survival Team. Just help us pay for s&h.

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Hunter Gatherer Paracord UsesHunter & Gatherer Paracord Uses

We all know food is essential for long-term survival. Paracord can help assist in this challenging wilderness survival endeavor. Here are a few of the best hunting and gathering paracord uses.

Fishing Net:

Every fisher wants to catch multiple fish to feed yourself and the rest of your survival group. A quick and efficient way to help catch a lot of fish is

A quick and efficient way to help catch a lot of fish is utilizing a fishing net. A fish net increases your odds of scooping fish and grabbing them before they shake the fishing line.

Here’s How…

Cut your paracord the length you want your net to be, about 5-15 feet works well. Separate the inner strands from the outer sheath.

Place the outer sheath horizontally and the inner threads vertically. Attach them at the corners, where the sheath and the inner threads meet.

Tie the inner strands to the sheath on both side, 2 inches apart. Do the same thing same thing in the opposite direction. This time, create a quick knot every time you overlap another strand until you are done.

Fishing Line:

When you find yourself in the wilderness, out of food and hungry you will need to resort to other sources for food. If there is a lake, river or stream all you need is a fishing line, bait, some skill and a boat load of patience.

Here’s How…

Remove the inner threads. Tie the ends of the threads together using a bend knot to create your desired length. Use a stick and source a soda can and use the tab to make a hook. Toss your line out and start drowning some worms.

Trotline for Fishing:

Fishing is often extremely time-consuming with little reward. For example, fishing with a stick and line requires you to sit and watch the line with the real possibility of catching zero fish.

However, a trotline can increase the odds of catching more fish over a period of time and doesn’t require your full attention. A simple trot line left overnight with multiple hooks can be rewarding with minimal energy exerted.

Here’s How…

Use the same method as you would create the fishing line. Then tie small drop lines, “trots” with hooks attached, 2-3 feet apart. Tie the line to two points over the water.

Fish Stringer:

You have found that honey hole, the fish are hitting left and right but you need to stock up to ensure you have food for an extended period of time.

You need something to carry the fish back to camp or maybe you want to keep them alive while you continue to fish.

You need a fish stringer. With paracord, you can make a stinger to hold all of your caught fish.

Here’s How…

Based on the amount of paracord you have you may want to use the outer sheath of the paracord instead of the entire cord. Tie one end of the sheath to a rock, then make a slip knot through the first fishes gills then for the rest, just slide them on stopping when they hit the first fish.

Hanging Food/Game:

When you are camping in the wilderness chances are there will be hungry wildlife and maybe even unwanted, hungry people. Maybe you’ve just dropped a deer and nightfall is approaching quickly.

The primary concern is of hungry predators coming in and stealing your prized meal. The strength and versatility of your paracord will help you to get your animal up off the ground.

This will help to keep your game out of the reach of thieving animals and maybe even out of sight of thieving people.

Here’s How…

Scout out where you will want to store your food and determine the length of paracord needed. The length or the cord will need to be at least twice as long as the height of the sturdy limb that will be holding the bag.

Throw your paracord over the limb and tie your food to it. Pull the other end until the bag is high in the trees and secure the rope to another limb or the trees trunk.

This is the same method used for hanging game for a butcher. The difference is how you tie the game.

A strong limb is needed to put between the hind legs to ensure the game cools properly. Then tie your slip knot around each end of the leg to hold the game head down for dressing. *For strength, braid or double/triple up on the cord.


Another low energy, time-saving survival technique for gathering food is setting snares and traps. These basic lifelines can be the difference in surviving.

A snare and trap are best used in high numbers. This increases your odds of catching your next meal while not excreting any extra energy.

Snares and traps are set out in the late afternoon in active areas such as game trails, feeding area, or water holes. Then the traps/snares do all the work overnight while you sleep and replenish your energy.

Note: Often times it will take a couple of days to snare wild game due to residual scent you leave behind. After a couple of days, that scent will dissipate improving your odds of snaring a meal.

Here’s How…

To create one of these, all you need is your paracord, a rock, and a few sticks. Tie a slipknot with the inner strands of the paracord. This will need to be small enough for your targeted animal’s neck.

Attach the slipknot to the hook and the hook to the leader line. You can also use your inner strands as the leader line attached to the tree sapling used for tension.

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Traveling Paracord Uses

Traveling Paracord Uses

Traveling and survival go hand in hand. Often times staying in place is the worst thing to do in survival; depending upon the specific situation. When you’ve determined that travel is necessary these paracord uses may come in handy.

Snow Shoes:

In the wilderness weather is constantly changing. You may find yourself in brutal weather and without appropriate gear. Hiking in snow is difficult, especially without proper footwear.

With each step you sink deeper into the snow wasting much-needed energy. This is called post-holing and takes a ton of energy.  To make moving across deep snow easier and preserving precious energy, snowshoes are the answer.

So in order make moving across deep snow easier and preserve precious energy, snowshoes are the answer.

Here’s How…

Gather four branches at least 4 inches longer than your foot and 10 branches that are 4 inches wider than your foot. Lay the four long branches parallel to each other on each side of your foot, this is the outer framework.

Step out of the long branches and place five of the small branches connecting each of the long parallel branches. Place one connecting the top, the bottom, across the center, top half, and bottom half.

Tie the intersecting branches together with constrictor knots. Weave the paracord around each of the shoes foundations in a criss–cross pattern. Tie loops on the top that will fit your foot snuggly.

Now, you’re all set for the snow to come in.

Tether Yourself to Your Bug Out Bag:

In the wilderness or TEOTWAWKI where you will need to assure that your bug out bag can not be taken from you either by accident or by force.

By tethering yourself to your bug out bag, you limit the chances of theft. In survival situations, ethics are tested and valuable survival gear is an easy target.

Here’s How…

The type of pack you have will determine how and where you tie your pack to yourself, but a basic figure eight knot should do the trick. Simple but effective.

Trail Markers:

Traveling outside of the safety of your campsite to scavenge for food and resources may increase the odds of becoming lost.

Even with a great sense of direction, the threat of changing weather or mishap can increase the chances of getting lost or disorientated.

Here’s How…

Use small strips of paracord to tie to branches at eye level. This will help you retrace your footsteps and return to camp. You can then use these smaller pieces of paracord for zipper pulls, the next time you’re away from camp or as fire starter.

Across Stream Guide:

When resources like food, shelter, and safety are limited you may need to change locations often. Don’t let a stream detour you from a path you need to follow. Use paracord to assist in getting you and your group across a fast moving stream safely.

If there are at least two of you, there is an advantage of having a spotter of sorts. This person will help you guide the rope across the river safely.

First, tie the paracord around the first person who is crossing the river first using a bowline. Then the second person wraps the rope at least once, or twice. Only wrap twice if you are positive you have enough paracord for the first person to make it across the rivers with plenty of slack in the paracord.

Once to the other side untie the paracord from the body and tie it to the tree again with a two turn bowtie knot. The spotter on the opposite side of the river does the same.

This method is preferred because if the undertow catches the person in the water, the person with the rope can pull them in and start the process over. *For strength, braid or double/triple up on the cord.

Not much changes with a single person scenario except the before crossing the river the paracord is first tied to the tree. As a single person crossing, you will have to leave your tied off paracord rope behind but it may be worth it if the stream is extremely dangerous to cross without it.

Create a raft:

Image heavy rains have fallen for the last two days, you have been in the backcountry and are now working your way back to your truck. The stream you crossed a few days earlier was only ankle deep but is now well above wading depth.

Temperatures are plummeting towards freezing. There is no way you can risk getting wet with the weather you are facing. So it’s time to make a raft.

Using the paracord you have on you, a few logs laying on the shore, and a couple well-tied knots is all you need. With these wilderness items you can create the raft needed to cross this river and get you back on the path home.

Here’s How…

Find five wooden logs about one foot in diameter. Find four thick branches strong enough to secure the logs together. These branches will also need to be about 8 inches longer than the width of the logs side by side.

Place the logs side by side and a foot from the top and bottom of the logs sandwich the logs between two of the branches. *For strength, braid or double/triple up on the cord.

Hauling (Dragging Gear, Timber Hitch):

You are out snowmobiling when the snowmobile breaks down. You are a few miles from camp and are forced to make the hike back before sundown.

The problem is you have essential gear on your snowmobile that you can not leave behind. The paracord in your pocket comes to mind.

Once again with a few simple, efficient knots and braids to strengthen the rope, you will be able to haul or drag your gear back to camp before dark.

The key to hauling gear, supplies and objects are the proper cord strength. Increase the strength by braiding the paracord. Use the appropriate knot for the object you will be hauling, usually using a timber hitch for heavy hauling tasks.

Hold More Survival Gear:

Your friend has a broken leg that you have splinted with paracord, but how is he possibly going to be able to haul his gear out to safety. He’s not, you are.

Or, what if you branch out to scavenge for supplies and you are lucky enough to find more supplies than what will fit in your day pack?

This is a great situation to be in if you can carry all of the extra gear back. You need to adjust your gear load to be able to carry more than you normally would be able to.

Using a sequence of knots, smart braiding  techniques, and secure wrapping of paracord; anything can be secured to an object to hold more than originally designed.

Paracord Bracelet

Everyday Survival Paracord Uses

Everyday Survival Paracord Uses

Here are all the “other” survival paracord uses that don’t really fit into the previous categories. However, they area still extremely useful in many survival situations.

Secure A Tent / Tarp / Hammock:

In a survival situation or a simple camping trip, all you need to create a shelter or even a place to sleep is a lightweight tarp and some paracord.

Thread the paracord through the eyelets of the tent. Secure the paracord between two trees like structures using a bowline knot. Or drape a tarp over secured paracord for shelter.

The tarp can be tied end to end between two trees and your hammock is ready to go. Remember, for extra strength, you can always double up your line or braid it.

Bow Drill:

The night is fast upon you, it’s cold and damp. You have lost your steel and flint, you need an effective way to make fire now.

Bow drilling, with practice, can save you from risky cold related illnesses.

Cut notches in the branch about an inch from each of the ends. Use slip knots to attach the paracord to the bow. The notches created will be perfect for keeping the paracord secure while you use the bow.

Repair Torn Clothing:

Imagine you are hiking when you slip. You begin to slide down the trail until you come to an abrupt stop. You are ok, but you find the water/windproof pants you are wearing now has a six-inch tear.

The hole is creating a draft and moisture is getting in. The handy paracord in your pack can easily be used to sew that tear up.

Use the thread from inside the paracord. Thread your makeshift needle and whip stitch the tear shut.

Emergency Belt/Bracelet:

A belt or bracelet braided together acts as a lightweight emergency kit ready at a moments notice.

Use the cobra knot to create the perfect length belt or bracelet. Just slip the paracord through the end of a buckle before knotting.

Making a paracord bracelet is one of the most popular survival paracord projects.

Make A Strong Rope:

As you are out on your adventures enjoying the great outdoors you are always wanting to pack light. No one wants to pack heavy rope. Paracord is lightweight and takes up little room in your pack.

It can acts as the heavy rope when combined with braiding or wrapping when needed.

Use the cobra stitch or other series of knots with a paracord to create one extremely strong rope out of several strands of paracord.

Rope Ladder:

There are times when you will find yourself in need of elevation. In these cases a rope ladder may be key for survival or even just makes life easier.

You may want to get eggs out of a nest, create a tree stand to hunt from, or cross a canyon or crevasse.

Get two lengths of paracord, each one and a half times the height you want the ladder. Find sturdy branches that are 8-12 in long for the rungs.

Lay out both pieces of paracord parallel to each other. They should be close enough together that they are overlapped by the branches two inches on each side. Lay the rungs out at the desired distance apart from each other.

Use constrictor knots to tie the paracord to each of the rungs. Tie the top of the ladder to the desired location using a bowline knot if possible. *For strength, braid or double/triple up on the cord.

Pet Collar / Leash:

You go up for your weekly hike with man’s best friend only to arrive at the trailhead and you have no leash. But you have paracord!

If you haven’t already made your pet a collar or leash using the cobra stitch you can also use a simple knot method. Just make sure you tie the appropriate diameter for you animal collar and desired length for a leash.

For single strands of paracord be careful not to choke your pet due to how thin the paracord is. Braided paracord is much safer to use as a leash or collar.

Shoelaces /Replace Broken Drawstrings:

We have all had the experienced when our shoe laces finally wear too thin (after years of use) and breaks while lacing them up. Lets say you are four days into a two-week hunting trip. Paracord to the rescue!

Remove one of your laces and measure the length of your paracord with the original lace. Use a lighter to melt the ends to prevent fraying. Replace paracord as shoe laces.

Hang Tools From Belt:

When you are in survival mode you will need to multitask. A tool belt is a great option for hands-free safety and security.

Everyday tasks like gathering food and defending yourself often requires more tools. With a paracord belt, you can use one tool while having the others in arms reach for any situation on your belt.

Cut pieces of paracord, about the diameter of your wrist. Wrap the piece around your belt loop and tie with a simple knot.

Dental Floss:

You are out on the range chomping on your homemade jerky that is holding you over till you get in for the night. The jerky finds a happy home between the two furthest back molars. What you would pay for a bit of dental floss right now?

Use the internal strands to maintain good dental hygiene. Long-term survival without a dentist a cavity can turn into serious dental complications.

Paracord Uses Are Only Worthwhile If You Own Paracord and Practice

As always, practice these paracord uses often and before you are in a situation where your survival is at risk. Time practiced is never wasted when prepping for emergencies.

Paracord allows you to lessens your total weight when in the outdoors. Less pack weight increases your ability to get out of a dangerous situation and limits our need for bulkier supplies that may slow you down.

If there’s one thing you can do today to make you much safer tomorrow, it’s to get some paracord and take it with you everywhere you go.

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The post Paracord Uses: How To Actually Use Your Survival Paracord appeared first on Skilled Survival.

How To Heat Your Home Using Only The Sun

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How To Heat Your Home Using Only The SunPassive solar is a building design approach that incorporates certain materials into the roof, walls and floors that collect solar energy to heat a home in the winter, cool it in the summer, and heat water year-round. It’s called passive because it requires no electric devices or mechanical devices to operate and performs various functions.

This is not about collecting solar energy through dedicated solar panels to generate electricity. It’s about temperature management. In its simplest form it involves the use of windows with a southern exposure that simply allow the sunlight to enter the home in winter, and are shaded with blinds or window shades in the summer. Many people take advantage of that sunlight by installing special, thermal tiles in their floors to absorb the heat during the day, and release it slowly during the night. There are also wall panels that perform the same function. Certain types of floor tiles and wall boards collect the heat.

You have to be able to shade windows in summer. Otherwise, you can get something referred to as passive/aggressive solar heating. The result is a house that is too hot during the day, especially in summer. You want that “Goldilocks” factor, where the temperature is just right. Shades and shading can help you manage variable heat and sunlight conditions.

Hot Water Heating With Solar

A rooftop set-up for hot water heating involves a series of tubes encased in a black box on the roof and covered with a sheet of glass or plastic. The sunlight enters the black box through the glass and heats the interior to allow the enclosed water to heat.


Often, there is a tank above the arrangement that allows the hot water to rise into the tank, and the water is drawn by gravity down into the house. The temperature varies depending on the amount of sunlight and the ambient temperature outside, but the water can range from hot to warm with no effort, other than pumping cold water up into the tank.

Southern Exposure Is Necessary

The key to successful use of passive solar is the orientation of the home, its windows and the rooftop solar water heater. An unobstructed, southern exposure is ideal for heating, in addition to generous windows both in size and number.

New Solar Oven Is So Fast It’s Been Dubbed “Mother Nature’s Microwave”

It’s not just about staying hot in the winter, but also about staying cool in the summer. There’s one simple solution: trees. Trees have leaves in the summer to shade a home, and they lose their leaves in the winter if you live in a temperate zone. The result is that sun passes through the bare branches of trees in winter, and is blocked by the leaves of summer.

There are also ceramics that absorb cooler temperatures at night and continue to cool during the day. It’s the old thermos joke: “How do it know?” Many solar tiles have this characteristic.



There are some simple and remarkable DIY projects and even new technologies that allow you to cook a variety of meals with solar power. The critical success factor is bright, direct sunlight focused directly into the solar oven. Once again, these are passive solar approaches that require nothing more than direct sunlight to effectively function.

Insulate, Insulate, Insulate

Any passive solar heating set-up assumes that you are going to collect and release heat. What’s essential is to contain the heat in a properly insulated structure. It’ s easy to get complacent, especially if you have a high-efficiency wood-burning stove blasting out the heat. But passive solar is different. The heat that is collected and stored will vary depending on cloud cover and time of year. Unfortunately, winter months have the shortest duration of sunlight when we need it most.

As a result, high-efficiency insulation is critical. This is especially true around door frames, windows and electrical outlets facing the outside. The idea is to trap and collect heat, and insulation will give you a better chance to do that.


How To Convert Your Home To Passive Solar

Have you heated your home with passive heat? What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

Are You Prepared For Blackouts This Winter? Read More Here.

Big Quakes, Electric Event | S0 News Jan.12.2016

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By Suspicious0bservers

Published on Jan 12, 2016


Observing the Frontier Conference Page:

Solar Alerts on Twitter:

Good Videos/Articles:
The Sun is Going to Sleep:…
Discussing Earthquakes with Kongpop:…
Earth’s Magnetic Reversal:…
Top 6 Climate Change Problems:…
Pause on Pausing the Pause:…
Sun Series:…
S0 Notes on Solar Shutdown:…
IPCC History:…

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

Todays Latest Earthquakes Worldwide Tuesday, 12 January 2016

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Source: Volcano Discovery

Earthquake list: past 24 hours (only M>=2.6) (127 quakes)

Updated: Tue, 12 Jan 15:01 UTC (GMT)

Time Mag. / Depth Nearest volcano (distance) Location Map Source
Tue, 12 Jan (74 earthquakes)
Tue, 12 Jan 14:54 UTC M 2.9 / 103 km – [info] (0 km) New Zealand


Tue, 12 Jan 13:42 UTC M 3.0 / 29 km – [info] (234 km) OFFSHORE COQUIMBO, CHILE


Tue, 12 Jan 13:32 UTC M 3.5 / 24 km – [info] (236 km) OFFSHORE COQUIMBO, CHILE


Tue, 12 Jan 13:20 UTC M 3.8 / 10 km – [info] (558 km) SOUTHERN IRAN


Tue, 12 Jan 13:05 UTC M 3.8 / 12 km – [info] (412 km) SOUTHERN IRAN


Tue, 12 Jan 13:03 UTC M 2.8 / 10.4 km – [info] (495 km) New Zealand


Tue, 12 Jan 13:01 UTC M 3.0 / 108 km – [info] (60 km) 38 km al SE de Pica


GUG (U. Chile)
Tue, 12 Jan 12:35 UTC M 3.1 / 5 km – [info] (105 km) ESENLI-SUMBAS (OSMANIYE)


Tue, 12 Jan 12:27 UTC M 5.2 / 15 km – [info] (176 km) Talaud Islands, Indonesia


Tue, 12 Jan 12:22 UTC M 3.8 / 13.8 km – [info] Ngauruhoe (28 km) New Zealand



Continue reading at Volcano Discovery: Todays Latest Earthquakes Worldwide Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Filed under: Earthquakes, News/ Current Events

46 Penny-Pinching Ways To Save A Lot Of Money This Year

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 46 Penny-Pinching Ways To Save A Lot Of Money This Year The little things really add up. Admit it: there’s a small part of you that relates to the ladies on Extreme Couponing. I read a great blog on how to save money by doing simple DIY projects, tips on how to reuse old things …

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Easy 2 Ingredient Sweet Bread

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Easy 2 Ingredient Sweet Bread If you are like me, you just can’t bake. I once burned an oven mitt… How does one even leave an oven mitt in the oven? Well, I did. Let’s just say I leave the baking to my wife. But! I think I have found one of the easiest bread …

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13 Cheap DIY Greenhouse Project Plans

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13 Cheap DIY Greenhouse Project Plans If you have the space I think it is very important you have a greenhouse. If SHTF or you get bad weather for weeks at a time this could effect your vegetables in a bad way. Greenhouses produce a better yield as the temperatures and humidity are more stable. …

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Potato Power: See How Potatoes Could Get You Off The Grid

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Potato Power: See How Potatoes Could Get You Off The Grid This article blew me away when I read it. Researcher Rabinowitch and colleagues have been testing out potato power for a few years now and say that a few potatoes and a few metal plates with all the wires hooked up correctly could produce …

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Tips For Planting A Survival Garden

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Organic GardeningAlways wanted to grow your own garden? How about a survival garden? Creating your very own food supply is a wonderful survival tactic that comes in mighty handy in the event of a disaster or food shortage. Check out a few beginner tips for survival gardening and get plantin’.

Make Room

Create space to plant your garden by removing rocks, plants and other debris from your chosen area. Be sure to eliminate all weeds, as they choke and smother the veggies you want to grow. Till the earth as needed to ensure all weeds are gone; loosen 6 to 12 inches of soil for best results. Don’t forget to pick a spot that gets plenty of sun!

Add Fertilizer

Enrich the soil with organic matter unless dealing with dirt you already know is rich with nutrients. Add a three-inch layer of compost, grass clippings, old manure, or decayed leaves to give soil a nice boost, and remember to work whatever you use into the earth.

Choose Your Veggies

Opt for vegetables and herbs that grow well and are easy to store. If possible, look for drought- and disease-tolerant options. Find out what planting zone (growing climate) you’re in, and choose organic seeds that thrive in such conditions. Read manufacturer planting instructions or discuss best practices with your local farmer or nursery.

Water Your Plants

Determine the watering needs for each type of vegetable and herb you’ve planted and make sure they get the water they need to flourish.

Store Your Food

Store food from your survival garden in a root cellar if possible. Root veggies such as carrots, beets, potatoes and turnips obviously store well in these cellars. If you don’t have access to a root cellar, a cool, dark food pantry will suffice. Canning food and using a food dehydrator are best for storing food as opposed to freezing what you have.  Freezing requires electricity, and as soon as the power goes out, your stored food won’t have long for this world.

Have you planted a survival garden? Share your tips in the comments section!

Wilderness Survival Part 3/4

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Video By T Jack Survival
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Transcription provided by American Preppers Network

Number of speakers: 2  (Matt, Tyler)
Duration: 15 min 56 sec

Wilderness Survival Skills Pt 3/4: Hand Drill, Tarp Shelter, & Resource Gathering

Hand Drills:

Matt: “Hi, I’m Matt with Boulder Outdoor Survival School and what we are gonna talk about here this early afternoon is hand drill fire. We are gonna go ahead and make a fire, I think its tea time so I think we are gonna boil up some water and make a natural tea. To do that we are going to use and hand drill set to light the fire.”

“Hand Drills are a very, very universal, very ancient way, to make fire by friction. Some of the benefits of making a hand drill over a bow drill are that it is much simpler to make. Not as many moving parts and not as fidgety. On the flip side of it is one of the cons is that it takes much more practice and really perfect material and perfect form to be able to perform hand drills reliably.”

“So, here are some various iterations of a hand drill set. What I recommend and what I teach in the field is usually starting with some sort of spindle that will be from arm pit to wrist length. Much longer than that and you will get to much play at the top. Almost like trying to spin a car antenna or radio antenna. It wants to whip around. Any longer than that is not ideal. Shorter than that is going to be harder for someone just learning. The material that I am using for these spindles is generally some sort of flower stalk that has a piffy center and this ones been used so it’s a little harder to see.”

“The other component we are looking for is what we call a hearth board. A hearth board is these three items here. You’re looking for generally looking for things on the softer side than you would for a bow drill. So, something like yucca or our local material, my personal favorite, is the root of the cotton wood tree. I am going to go ahead and do a demonstration.”

“With anything fire, it doesn’t matter if you’re using a match, or a lighter, or a Ferro rod, or a hand drill. Proper prior preparation prevents piss poor performance. (Editor’s note: Say that five times fast. Lol) The old military saying, so, everything that I want to make a sustainable fire needs to be ready to go before I start putting this into service.”

“So, we’ve got our tinder bundle ready, we’ve got kindling and a fire lay ready to go. I’m going to get myself in a comfortable, level position. Get myself in a nice comfortable tri-pod and I’m actually going to wet my hand slightly to give me traction on my spindle. Seat my spindle and then I’m gonna start warming the board. So, what I am doing, this technique is called floating. Floating is kind of a modern, aboriginal innovation as far as I can tell, but it is very useful. The reason being, I don’t have to migrate down the spindle and then quickly move back to the top. I can continue spinning just by adding a little rocking motion with my hand. I can keep my hand stationary and actually warm up the board and start creating.

You can see already I have a notch full of dust and it’s smoking pretty heavily from the periphery of the spindle. It’s not an ember yet. I am basically just building my heat and budgeting my energy.”



“At this point I’ve got a full notch and I’ve got some good heat so I am gonna go ahead and start adding some more speed and downward pressure. You can see I just have to move my hands back up to the top really quickly. And now, I have an ember and the reason I know that is because that smoke is coming from the pile of fuel I created. So at this point I am actually not in a hurry. A lot of people see that ember and get excited, they’re tired, out of breath, and their hands are probably shaking. “




“You have time with this. What I’m gonna do is gently pull the board away from the ember and let that ember collet into a nice solid material. Right now it is basically a pile of powder or piled dust.



If I gently fan it you can see it starts to glow. So I want to bring my nest to my ember. At this point it is held together well enough that you should be able to gently lift it up without it falling apart. Then I will gently tap it in to my tinder nest.”




“Here is where this little glowing ember becomes a flame. It’s got more fuel to grow into but it needs oxygen so I’m just going to gently start blowing on it. There we go.”




Making Teas:

Tyler: “To make tea one of the things we are gonna use is pine needles which has a lot of vitamin c in it. We have what’s called Brigham tea or Phedra tea, which is a stimulate and then some elder berry. This is a little prudent so they kind of balance themselves.”

Matt: “So there’s some wild tea brewed on a fire made with a hand drill.”


A-Frame Poncho Shelter:

Kirsten: “What we have here is an A-Frame poncho shelter. To start with you want to make a very taught ridge-line. I’ve connected it between two trees here. In general you want to start at at least a waist level in height. If it’s lower it will keep you warmer. If it is higher it will be a little more spacious but you’ll have more wind flow through it so it could be a little bit colder.”



“On each corner of this you want to pull out from the grommet to about a 45 degree angle, once again making sure your poncho is very taught so that you can have water slide off of this and wind not blow your shelter everywhere. So making sure things are very tight is important in any shelter but particularly in an A Frame.”



“I’ve gone ahead and tied off the hood. Tied it off so no water or precipitation can get in there, but also tied another piece of P-cord to the hood and extended it to the nice tree behind me, once again creating even more tension in this poncho.”

“With two ponchos like this you can fit about three people in there comfortably. The more you put in there the warmer it’s going to be from shared body heat, but two people, one person, this would be a good size for any of them.”

“So when you’re sleeping directly on the ground the biggest problem is the heat transfer from your body to the cold ground that wants to rob you of all your heat. The easy way to take care of that is to build up what we like to call a BOSS duff. This could be anything from dried grasses, leaves, pine needles like they have on the ground here. Bows of trees would do. What you want to do is create insulation to get yourself off the ground to slow down that transfer of heat and allow it to kind of sit around in those empty air spaces so the air pockets in the duff below you.”

“So now that I’m all set up, my shelter is taken care of, I’m gonna go walk the area and look for resources I can eat and use fore other crafts that I have in mind.”


“When we are in survival situations we don’t always have a book telling us all of the wild edibles of the area but those types of food may be really important in your diet if you’re only living off mice and a few greens.”

“So if you’re testing a new plant the first thing you want to do is take a tiny bit of it and rub it on the inside of your wrist and then you want to wait a number of hours to see if you have a reaction. If you don’t have a reaction, you believe it to be something edible you can take the tiniest of bites. Leave it on your tongue for a few seconds and then spit it out and then rinse with some water. See what happens after a few hours, if you have anything going on. If you don’t then maybe you want to take a tiny piece, chew on it, actually swallow it and take it down with some water. If you don’t have a reaction in a few hours go for a small, but larger gathering of that plant. Have that, and then wait a full day and see what your system actually does. Anything that gives you diarrhea, anything that gives you an itchy throat, anything that gives you a stomach ache maybe that food isn’t even poisonous but it is new to your body. If it is causing you harm then maybe you shouldn’t be eating it. That is part of the progression.”


“Alright, so here we have a Ponderosa pine that has been struck by lightning actually. A couple things that are great. One, we have all these fantastic pine needles here on the ground. Nice, duff material right? So we would gather all these perhaps in a large cloth, take them to our camping sight and have bedding material. If we take a closer look at this pine, we actually find that there is a lot of pitch wood on here. Remember that pitch wood is great for flames and making fires and holding onto it. Then throughout all of this we are looking at sap basically. Sap has a lot of uses. I will take pitch and fill in different wounds that I have, cuts or things that are bothering me. Just to patch it and be done with it. Then these pine needles themselves, these larger pine needles are very high in Vitamin C so when you come across this tree with green needles on it you can take off the needles and make a tea. It taste good to. It’s a little bit sweet.”

“So this is a great plant. This is a big sage brush. Its foliage is a anti-microbial. So just by rubbing this in-between my hands it is sort of like hand sanitizer which is fantastic. If I take a bunch of it and have a pile of it we are looking at some fantastic toilet paper and when you look at the shape of this particular one and find a larger example you will find nice straight pieces that don’t have the curvature of the older sage. This is what I use for my bow drill fire kit. Pieces of sage brush. It also has some nice pealy bark on it which we know is great for nest materials. A lot of uses from a big sage brush.”


Knife Sharpening:

“Nice. So this is a good example of something that is getting close, but not quite what we are looking for for a sharpening stone. Sand stone out here works great to sharpen our Scandinavian bevel knife anyways. But you want a very flat surface and of course you need to get to the grit that is appropriate for your knife. These would rip them up and not quite a flat surface. “

Tyler: “Can we grind them out?”

Kirsten: “Yeah you can do some grinding for sure to flatten it a bit but it is nice just to get the perfect stone. Nice, flat and easy to carry. We have so much around so if you keep your eyes peeled you should be able to find something naturally.”

“So when we are looking for sharpening stones a nice place to start might be in the bit of a washer or drainage. Something like this where there has been more abrasion from water. Until you can find smoother pieces, flatter pieces or potentially something you can sharpen your knife with. Consequently out here we are able to find a lot of silk stuff which we use for our socket rocks very frequently. It’s grind-able but holds enough durability that your spindle isn’t actually going to burn into your hands and through the rock.”

“Another thing that is great about these larger slabs of sand stone is they will work very well for dead fall traps. This isn’t a good size or anything but you can see it is fairly flat in surface so we should be able to have a solid drop against another hard, durable surface and really compress and compact the animal for a death blow. Then there is also a little bit of texture to it so I might be able to get my bait sticking in a little bit of a nook without having to use a knife tip or something like that to actually create a little notch on the bottom of my trap. So, our sand stone slab works very well for dead fall traps.”


Cordage material:


Kirsten: “We have some examples of milk weed here. I use this plant for cordage material but what we need to find is dead, second year stalk. This is a small example, but this is a second year stalk from a milkweed plant. So what it can do is crush the plant all the way up to the tip. Open it up, take one half, and bend off all of this hard stuff we don’t want. What we are looking for is the fiber right here and you just peel it off. Once I’ve gotten all of my fiber clean I can twist it in a reverse rap cordage method and ultimately come out with some rope.”


Hand drill:

Matt: “So I mentioned that the hand drill and the technique for the hand drill is deceptively simple and it is. It is basically rubbing one stick against another. But when you get into trying to do this and learn this, especially the beginner. It is extremely difficult to get the technique down and the muscle memory and also just the hand toughness essentially. It is hard on your hands and also hard on your muscles. There are muscles you use doing this that probably never get used for anything else. So, you have to kind of develop those muscles over time and build up to it and not burn yourself out in the process.




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The Dictator Versus Our Civil Rights

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Obama gun controlA couple of weeks ago, I wrote that Obama was going after our rights to bear arms as outlined in the Second Amendment of the Constitution. Well, the New Year was here, and as almost his very first act of business on arriving back in Washington, Obama issued a new set of executive orders, doing just that.

Obama has stated that his goal for his last official year in office, is to do something about gun control. If that’s the case, then the actions he took on January 5th are only the opening salvo against our 2nd A rights. We must realize and constantly remember, that the left’s way of doing things is the same as eating an elephant… one bite at a time.

That explains why Obama’s new executive orders seem so benign. In fact, they look like a paper tiger. In some cases, what he’s ordering merely seems to be a repeat of what’s already in the law, while in others it seems like he’s actually doing something positive. After all, spending money on improving mental health services, in order to find and help potential mass murders, actually seems to agree with what many conservatives have been calling for.

Likewise, putting pressure on states to provide more complete information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which was originally a NRA initiative, makes sense too.

Obama’s announcement of his illegal measures was nothing more than one more opportunity for the liar in chief to lecture the American public on his exaggerated liberal talking points. Rather than make any useful statement, he spread a series of lies and half-truths, some of which were immediately caught and refuted by the liberal media.

Considering the liberal media is as anti-gun as Obama himself is, their catching his lies about gun violence is really something. Yet that is exactly what they did. Some even challenged him, which is extremely rare for the liberal media to do.

Even so, suspicions run high about anything Obama does, and this is no exception. There is very good reason why we are all suspicious of Obama, and that is that what he says and what he does are not the same thing. If there is a way to use the executive orders he just released to hurt the rights of American citizens, then we can be sure that he will do so.

While Obama’s stated goal is to make our communities safe, we have to realize that his saying so is merely like the magician’s gloved hand, intended to distract people, while he does something else. So too with these measures. If he was truly concerned about the safety of our communities, he would stop going out of his way to make them more dangerous. Just in the last year, he’s personally made things more dangerous by:

  • Releasing 6,000 convicted criminals from prison
  • Releasing known terrorists from Guatanamo Bay, so that they could return to terrorism
  • Allowed tens of thousands of Muslim immigrants into the United States, without vetting them
  • Appointed Muslims with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood to sensitive positions in the DHS
  • Supported #Black Lives Matter, including their calls to kill police
  • Refused to use the term “Islamic terrorist,” but insists on calling their attacks “workplace violence”
  • Removed known terrorist groups from the terrorist watch list
  • Allowed known terrorists to cross the Mexican border into the United States
  • Allowed thousands of juvenile gang members, ranging from 16 to 18 years of age into the country

There are more, but just this sampling shows how little Obama cares about our nation being a safe place for us to live. Were he truly concerned about public safety, he would take action to protect the American people, not to make our lives more dangerous.

Does a Great Nation Need to Follow Others’ Example?

In the midst of all these things, making our lives more dangerous, Obama talks about the need to make our country more like Australia and take honest law-abiding citizens’ guns away from them. It’s clear that public safety is not his concern, but rather his progressive liberal agenda and his stated desire to destroy the country and therefore fulfill the dreams of his father.

So, while the executive orders that Obama signed may seem benign, we have to put ourselves into the convoluted thinking of a progressive liberal mind, in order to truly understand them. I don’t claim to have that ability, but as I look at them, a few things stand out to me.

As usual, the measures that Obama is taking will do nothing to prevent criminals from getting their hands on guns, regardless of what he says. Nor will it do anything to prevent mass shootings. The perpetrators of those shootings acquire their guns legally and criminals do not buy guns at gun shows, they buy them on the streets. So, on one hand we can call everything that Obama did with this latest act of anti-gun rhetoric nothing more than a circus show, except for one thing… he truly hates guns. There has to be a more nefarious purpose.

First of all, Obama has talked about closing the “gun show loophole.” I’ve been to a number of gun shows and even purchased guns at them. This loophole that he refers to is purely a thing of liberal fantasy. Anyone who has ever tried to buy a gun at a gun show knows that you have to jump through the same hoops at gun shows, that you do when buying a gun in a gun store. Perhaps that’s because the majority of the sellers at gun shows are gun store owners.

The only way you can buy a gun at a gun show, without a background check, is to buy it privately. While most gun shows are frowning on it now, you can rent a table at a gun show as a private citizen and sell some of your personal gun collection. The law allows it, just as it allows you to sell a gun to a friend or family member.

According to Obama’s new executive orders, anyone who sells guns “regularly” is going to be required to have a federal firearms license (FFL) and perform background checks. But that’s already the law. So what’s new? When asked by a reporter what the threshold was for requiring the FFL, Obama said there is no minimum. Is he planning on making people get a FFL to sell one gun from their private collection in a private sale?

That possibility has been a concern of gun-rights activists for some time. The reason is that the only way such a law could be upheld is to institute a nationwide gun registry database. Historically, that’s the necessary step before confiscation, so there’s a real danger in allowing the creation of that database.

Obama also railed against the ability to buy guns online, without a background check. This part was probably nothing more than grandstanding, as that’s illegal. Currently, firearms purchased online require the same level of scrutiny as firearms bought in a brick and mortar store. The buyer has to fill out the applicable paperwork and the seller has to call the NICS for a background check. If the firearm is to be shipped across state lines, it must be delivered to a FFL holder (gun store) for the completion of the paperwork and NICS background check.

There were two places where Obama added money to government department budgets, in order to improve gun-related services. While that is illegal for him to do, without congressional approval, everything else he did was illegal too, so we’ll set that aside for the moment. The two areas are to increase the NICS and to hire 50,000 more mental health workers.

Improving the NICS is a worthwhile endeavor. The current system has holes in it, specifically holes that allow people with mental illness to slip through. Not all states properly inform the NICS about those who have been adjured to be able to handle firearms safely. That might help catch people like Adam Lanza, before they go on a killing spree. But, once again, I have to wonder if that’s all it’s about.

I especially wonder when I couple that with the hiring of 50,000 additional mental health workers. What is the true reason for that? The obvious answer is to help find people who are not mentally capable of handling the responsibility of owning firearms. But how are they defining that?

As it stands right now, the Veteran’s Administration has been paying doctors to certify that individual veterans aren’t emotionally stable enough to own firearms. There is no hearing about this and the vet isn’t given the opportunity to defend themselves. All it takes is a doctor’s signature on a form. This atrocity is about to be extended, doing the same to the elderly who are receiving Social Security. Except in their case, the criteria isn’t PTSD, but rather the inability to handle their own finances.

The way the executive order is written, these people are unable to own firearms because they have been deemed to be mentally incompetent or unstable. Since when does the inability to write a check make someone mentally incompetent or emotionally unstable? If there’s anyone in the country who needs a firearm, it’s the elderly. All too often, criminals prey upon them, because of their inability to defend themselves. Firearms at least give them a fighting chance.

This is some of that “one bite at a time” creep that I was talking about before. First they went after the veterans and now they’re going after the elderly; who is next? What fringe group is Obama going to pick out next, in order to marginalize them and take away their Second Amendment rights?

If we add together the actions against senior citizens, the increase in mental health workers and the increase in NICS workers, we can arrive at a troubling conclusion. Perhaps Obama’s next step is to require mental health screening of gun owners. They do that in Australia and he’s been holding their gun laws up as an example. Perhaps these 50,000 health care workers aren’t going to look for the Adam Lanzas in our midst, but iThe Distead look for a means to certify gun owners as unfit to own firearms.

The fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (say that five times fast) is so extensive, that it’s all but guaranteed that every person in the world has some sort of mental disorder. Psychiatrists and psychologists have been working overtime to define conditions that can be called mental disorder. Part of this is for their moment of fame and part is that they truly believe that we all have something wrong with us (except them, of course).

One of the many mental disorders listed there is “Oppositional Defiant Disorder.” In other words, if you disagree with massive government taking control of your life, you have a mental disorder. Another is “climate change denial disorder.” Between those two alone, pretty much any true conservative could easily be adjudged to have a mental disorder. If they do that, bye-bye guns.

Is that going to happen? Once again, I don’t know. But the precedence is being built, even as we speak. We must always remember that Obama’s goal, as well as the entire progressive liberal left, is to take our guns away, so that they can have total control. They will use every means they can, and create those means if they don’t exist.

One final point; this is just January. At the end of last year, Obama clearly stated that his goal for 2015 was gun control. It is quite possible that he started early, so that he could do several rounds of executive orders, each one encroaching more and more on our rights.

If that’s the case, we have much more coming our way. Keep your eyes open.


This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.


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Get Prepping Now: You Can And You Should…

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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 Jeckyll. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today. It was just eating me alive inside. Everything I’ve ever been taught about […]

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The alternate world of non-Preppers, Democrats and Liberals.

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Hello my friend and welcome to another post here on American Preppers online! Today we are going to look at the alternate worlds the non-Preppers live in and why they try to hold on to it so hard.  I know that you like me, have run into to those who simply refuse to accept the …

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Why We Fight

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Dateline: 12 January 2016 AD

Why We Fight is a powerfully compelling documentary that came out in 2005. It begins with Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States, giving his famous farewell address in which he warned Americans about the rise of the “military-industrial complex.” Then the movie reveals just how incredibly powerful the military-industrial complex has become. 

This documentary has some excellent interviews in it, including interviews with Eisenhower’s now-grown children. It presents a perspective about America’s many military engagements that is contrary to mainstream government propaganda. 

Click Here to watch the whole movie, in 12 parts. 

I’m in a Dinner Planning Rut

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Getting out of my dinner planning rut with the Cooking From Scratch books being offered in the Back to Basics Living Bundle | PreparednessMama

…but I found a promising solution This weekend I had a long talk with my husband and we lamented about our apparent inability to come up with anything creative in dinner planning. Do you get like that? You seem to eat the same thing every week because it’s easier than coming up with new ideas. Our dinner planning rut starts […]

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15 Lost Survival Tips From The Cowboys Who Wandered The West – With Illustrations

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This is an awesome article that I wrote for Survivopedia. And although not all of them are survival skills, I hope you’ll like it. Let’s just take a short break from

The post 15 Lost Survival Tips From The Cowboys Who Wandered The West – With Illustrations appeared first on Ask a Prepper.

Where Are The Feminists?

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     In our current political season, a favorite rallying cry is that there is “a war on women”.  It is usually lodged against the Republican Party to describe their policies and legislation as a wide-scale effort to restrict women’s rights, especially reproductive rights.  As unmerited as this charge is, I realize that the so-called Feminists in our nation love to play the victim card, and are always on the look-out for causes or women who have been wronged.
     So, why are they so silent about the abuse being heaped upon the women of Europe by the Middle Eastern refugees?  They love to throw the word “misogynist” around, and what could be more representative of hatred or disrespect towards women than headlines like this at The Daily Mail:  “Migrant rape fears spread across Europe: Women told not to go out at night alone after assaults carried out in Sweden, Finland, Germany, Austria and Switzerland amid warnings gangs are co-ordinating attacks.”
     I mean, Donald Trump is loudly and vociferously castigated across the airwaves for his admittedly crude remarks, while not one of those feminist political strategists makes a peep about young women being fondled, raped, and being subjected to all manner of physical violations by gangs of Muslim men.
     The warnings in Europe come as reports emerged that Austrian and German police tried to cover-up the issue over fears of reprisal attacks on asylum seekers and damage to the countries’ tourist trade.  Where is the uproar over the last part of that statement?  Putting money ahead of the safety of their young women?  Where are all those radical feminists who scream about gender equality, racial justice, the silencing of women?
     Where is the outrage over the chilling police report (about the attacks in Cologne, Germany) which describes women being forced to run through a ‘gauntlet’ of drunken men while officers themselves were mobbed by victims claiming they had been sexually assaulted.  Where are the champions of a woman named Jenny, who suffered serious burns when a firework was shoved into the hood she was wearing? “I heard a sizzling sound in my hood,” she said. “I somehow tried to get the firecracker out of the hood. Then it fell into my jacket and burned everything. The scars will be permanent. I was lucky that it didn’t explode.”
     In Sweden, a gang formed a ring around girls and started molesting them. A police spokesman said, “They grabbed their breasts and genitals. In some cases they tried to drag girls into a waiting car, but those girls escaped, luckily.”
     Perhaps the most chilling report is that which comes from German police, who have confirmed what they found on one man they have arrested from the gang of Arab and North African men who attacked women in Cologne.  Written on pieces of paper, police discovered lurid phrases in Arabic translated into German for him to use against women victims.
     Among the threatening messages was: “I’ll kill you.”  The notes also had the phrase for “nice breasts” and “I want to have sex with you.”  The suspects arrested from the Cologne sex attacks reportedly included 9 Algerians, 8 Moroccans, 4 Syrians, 5 Iranians, 2 Germans and one each from Iraq, Serbia and the USA.
     So, once again, I ask, Where is the outcry by American feminists?  Why are they not marching in the streets, as are the German protestors who question just how their government is prepared to react to this outrage, and frankly, the danger it presents their women?  Is it that they fear it will contribute to another of their cause célébres, “Islamophobia”?  It is true that the people of Europe are trying to determine how the flood of refugees is going to affect their countries.  And after the New Year’s Eve attacks in Cologne, it has inflamed a debate over Germany’s ability to integrate the 1.1 million asylum seekers it took in last year alone.
     The facts remain… there is a clash between cultures.  Middle Eastern refugees see Western women in skimpy clothing and hugging and kissing in public.  In their culture, that equates to prostitution.  Does that necessarily lead to the flagrant rape and molestation that Europe is experiencing?  Or is there something more sinister at foot?  Regardless, there is a cancer spreading in Europe, and the growing crimes against women threaten to release an explosive reaction upon an already nervous and anxious European population.
     So, are we prepared to deal with similar ramifications from our own refugee policies?  Will the feminist politicians speak out for the potential victims, or will they remain silent, so as not to offend those of a different religion?  Do not think that we will remain unscathed in this nation.  I pray that our communities and cities, and those who are elected to protect us, become aware of this potential problem before it happens here, and prevent the horrendous experience of European women.  American feminists, this is your challenge.  What are you going to do about it?

2 Corinthians 5:11    “Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.”

What to Expect When You’re Goats Are Expecting

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 We’re on Kid Watch here- goat kid, that is.  Several of our does are bagging up and we’re hoping the rest won’t be far behind.  All of our does were exposed to bucks over the summer and gestation lasts about 150 days (about five months) for standard sized breeds.  We have Boer, Kikos, and Kiko crosses that we raise for meat production to sell at farmers’ markets, a couple of mutt milk goats for our own milk, plus several other types of meat animals.  We leave the bucks in the pasture with the does when breeding season comes around, and since we have lots of things to tend to on the farm and we occasionally like to have day off, we’re never sure of the exact day each doe was bred.

How To Know When the Goat is Pregnant

It’s not always easy to tell when a goat is pregnant, especially on double-wides like Stella, our herd queen.  Stella has kidded a few times already and like most females who have had kids, she’s lost her girlish figure.  But even with first-time moms, like our does Bo and Kinsey, it can be difficult to tell.  Full rumens, grass bellies, and just plain being too fat can look like pregnancy.  The only accurate way to know is to have a blood test done.

You can have a vet come out to draw the blood and send the vials off to a lab, or you can draw the blood yourself.  A quick Google search will show you were to the send the blood off to be tested in your area.  We choose not to have the blood tests done since every test cuts into our profits.  This does make it a little more of a guessing game when it comes to kidding time, so it’s important that we’re prepared for a slew of kids.

It’s been below freezing here in our neck of the woods, and being December, we could get snow.  Scratch that- if washing your car makes it rain, a doe giving birth almost guarantees snow…at night, when company is over for the holidays, and possibly while you have the flu.  So, it’s best to be prepared for the worst.

Sheltering Pregnant Goats

We generally require our goats to be resilient – they sleep outside with minimal shelter to protect them from the elements and predators, are expected to forage for the majority of their feed, and to be over-all easy-keepers, but when it comes to giving birth and to newborns, that’s different.  Once the does start bagging up, all the does are brought into the barn each night.  The goats are familiar with the barn because we use it throughout the year to trim their hooves, give vaccinations, and generally check their health.  It’s also used when a goat needs to convalesce like Stella did recently.  Having the does in the barn at night with the kidding pen ready makes it much less stressful on both goats and people alike.  It’s much easier to address problems in a barn than it is under a manzanita bush or in an open pasture in the dark in inclement weather.

Preparing For the Kid

There are some basic things every goat keeper should do and have on hand about two weeks before the does go into labor.

  1. Clean the kidding pen- this is very important.  Wash the walls down with bleach diluted in water, muck the floors, and lay down a thick layer of clean straw.  It helps to have a couple of extra bales of straw on hand to replace any soiled straw (from manure, blood, and other nasties) that happen during kidding time.
  2. Sanitize a bucket and have it handy.  We have to tote water in from the well to the barn, so we like to have several of these water containers on hand with fresh water.  They have easy flow spigots that only require one hand to open/close for hand washing and the spigot can be completely unscrewed for easy filling or if we need to pour the water into a bucket.
  3. Create a Kidding Kit – The kidding kit should include:
  • Sterilized surgical scissors for cutting the umbilical cord (once sterilized, put them in a Ziploc bag to keep them clean)
  • 7% iodine for dipping umbilical cords
  • An old, cleaned prescription bottle or a Cello cup to hold the iodine for dipping the cords
  • Dental floss for tying off the umbilical cord (though in a pinch, embroidery thread works, too)
  • A box of surgical gloves
  • KY Jelly or Astro-Glide (in case you need to assist in the birth. Goats can pass diseases to humans.  Don’t forget bio-security in all the excitement)
  • Betadine Skin Cleanser and a surgical scrubs
  • A flashlight, even if you have good lighting in your kidding area
  • A nasal aspirator
  • Colustrum in case your doe won’t nurse and Tractor Supply isn’t open for hours and a bottle to put it in.
  • Several clean, old bath towels

Since our goat barn and pasture is located some distance from the house, we also like to have several thermoses full of hot water and at least a couple full of coffee.  A heat lamp is nice, too, especially in cold climates like ours, just in case a kid needs to stay warm while mom is busy giving birth to more kids.  If you have a vet or good friend that is familiar with goats, keep their number handy in case things go south.

Here’s What to Expect

During a normal kidding, the birth sack will present first- it looks like a small water balloon full of yuck.  After a few more contractions, if you look closely, you should be able to see a couple of hooves and a nose in the sack.  Kids “dive” out feet first and chin to the floor.  The hooves and the nose open the doe up and make it easier to get the forehead out.  Occasionally, a kid will present with their nose or legs turned back or even completely breech.  This is when you’ll need to put on the gloves, lube them and the doe up, and very gently reach in to reposition the kid.  If you’re not comfortable doing this, it’s vital that you get help.

Once the hooves and head have passed beyond the forehead, the kid sort of swooshes out in a couple of big pushes.  Clean the birth sack and mucus away from its nose and let the doe do the rest.  Be prepared for twins.  Once the doe has cleaned the kid to her satisfaction, it’s time to trim the umbilical cord to about one of two inches long, tie it off and dip it in the iodine cup all the way up to it’s belly.  Let the doe love on her new baby or babies for a few minutes while you clean up and soiled straw, replace it with clean bedding, and check to make sure she has fresh, clean water available.

Congratulations!  You have kids!  Don’t forget to take pictures of your new babies to post on Facebook.  The Internet may have been built on cats, but WE know it’s all about the goats!


Stay tuned!

Ruby is a first generation Californian who grew up in the heart of the Central San Joaquin Valley farming community. She’s been involved in agriculture for 40 years and learned to preserve food, traditional home arts, to hunt and fish, raise livestock and garden from her Ozark native mother.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Best Oatmeal Cookie Recipe In The World

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I have the best oatmeal cookie recipe in the world because this recipe has been handed down for four generations in my family. My great-grandmother Ellen Langager was Norwegian, although I don’t know what percent. These cookies are moist, chewy, and fabulous! My mom was a single mother with three daughters and living with her parents. My great-grandmother Ellen was a very sweet lady and we called Danny. When Danny spoke she would say “yam” for jam and “yelly” for jelly. Those were the most common loveable words she would say that always made me smile.

She made the best lefse slathered with butter and brown sugar.Lefse is a traditional Norwegian flatbread. It’s made with leftover mashed potatoes, flour, butter (we grew up with lard) with a little milk or cream. You mix it all together and roll it out a bit like a tortilla and cook them on a griddle. I will have to share that recipe with you very soon. I had to share those tidbits about my great-grandmother because you now know a little history behind this recipe and why I feel so strongly about this delicious cookie.

Oatmeal Cookie Recipe by Food Storage Moms


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup butter (original recipe said shortening) **Trick here, for fluffier cookies, trade out one cup butter with 1/2 butter AND 1/2 cup cream cheese (one 8-ounce package)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 3 cups oatmeal (I use the old fashioned uncooked style)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


Cream the sugars, butter, and eggs until smooth and fluffy. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix with a mixer or by hand with a wooden spoon, if you like to use your arm muscles. Now here is an interesting note, my great-grandmother would make this recipe the night before and form the dough into a log and cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. The next morning, you remove the plastic wrap, slice and bake the cookies on a greased cookie sheet. I use my 1/8 cup scoop to bake the batter without putting them in the refrigerator. You can make these either way. Bake them at 375 degrees for 8-9 minutes if you like a chewy cookie, or 10-11 minutes if you like them crispier. Here’s the cookie scoop I use: OXO Good Grips Medium Cooke Scoop and here’s my cookie sheet: Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheet

You can also make this batch in a 9-inch by 13-inch greased pan to make oatmeal bars by pressing the batter down into the pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. You would not have to refrigerate this batch for bars.

Oatmeal Cookie Variations:

Here are some great ingredients you can add:

  1. 1 cup chocolate chips
  2. 1 cup butterscotch chips
  3. 1 cups peanut butter chips
  4. 1 cup raisins
  5. 1 cup chopped nut (my favorite are pecans)
  6. 1 cup craisins

I hope you enjoy making this oatmeal cookie recipe today, tomorrow or next month! Can you smell the cookies baking now? Do you love making cookies as much as I do? Thanks for stopping by today. May God bless you for being prepared for the unexpected.

Preparedness items to think about:

Don’t forget your college students in the family. These are great gifts for them to set and forget in their closets, but are ready for any disaster or emergency.

Goal Zero Flashlight: Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight with Integrated Solar Panel

WaterBricks: WaterBrick 1833-0001 Stackable Water and Food Storage Container, 3.5 gal of Liquid, 27 lb of Dry Food Products, Blue

Quaker Oatmeal Website

The post The Best Oatmeal Cookie Recipe In The World appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

Texas Governor: Amend Constitution To Limit Federal Government

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Texas Governor: Amend Constitution To Limit Federal Government

Image source: Texas governor’s office

A major presidential candidate and the governor of one of America’s largest states want to rewrite the US Constitution to limit the federal government.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott and US Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida), a presidential candidate, each want a “Convention of the States,” or what some would call another Constitutional Convention.

“The irony for our generation is that the threat to our Republic doesn’t come just from foreign enemies, it comes, in part, from our very own leaders,” Abbott, a Republican, said in a speech at the Texas Public Policy Foundation on January 8. Abbott believes that rewriting the Constitution is the only way to limit a federal government that is out of control.

Rubio has made similar statements.

“One of the things I’m going to do on my first day in office is I will put the prestige and power of the presidency behind a constitutional convention of the states,” Rubio said at campaign stop in Waterloo, Iowa, on December 28. “You know why? Because that is the only way that we are ever going to get term limits on members of Congress or the judiciary and that is the only way we are ever going to get a balanced-budget amendment.”

Convention Could Rewrite Constitution

There are two ways to propose amendments to the US Constitution: by a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress or by a Constitutional Convention called by two-thirds of state legislatures, according to the National Archives. The amendments would then have to be approved by three-fourths of the state legislatures — 38 states.

(Listen to both sides of the debate in a special Off The Grid Radio episode here.)

Rubio and Abbott support a state-led Constitutional Convention in part because they believe it would be impossible to get two-thirds of Congress to send an amendment to the states. No such Convention has been held since 1787.

Want To Know About The REAL Constitution And What The Founders Truly Intended?

USA Today’s editorial board criticized the proposal, which, according to Rubio and Abbott, would be limited in its topics. Critics say that is not allowed under the US Constitution.

“A convention would be impossible to control,” an editorial in the newspaper read. “Nothing in the Constitution gives Congress or the Supreme Court the power to tell the conventioneers what to do, or not do. A convention might be tasked to draft a balanced budget amendment and then decide that it wants to radically change the nature of the federal government or its relationship with the states. It might take up a passion of the moment by, say, limiting immigration by nationality or religious affiliation. It would have nearly unfettered powers to tinker with the DNA of America’s 240-year-old democracy.”

Abbott offered a list of nine proposed Constitutional Amendments he thinks would check the federal government’s power. They are:

  • Prohibit Congress from regulating activity that occurs wholly within one State.
  • Require Congress to balance its budget.
  • Prohibit administrative agencies—and the unelected bureaucrats that staff them—from creating federal law.
  • Prohibit administrative agencies—and the unelected bureaucrats that staff them—from preempting state law.
  • Allow a two-thirds majority of the States to override a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
  • Require a seven-justice super-majority vote for U.S. Supreme Court decisions that invalidate a democratically enacted law.
  • Restore the balance of power between the federal and state governments by limiting the former to the powers expressly delegated to it in the Constitution.
  • Give state officials the power to sue in federal court when federal officials overstep their bounds.
  • Allow a two-thirds majority of the States to override a federal law or regulation.

The idea of holding a second Constitutional Convention has been gaining traction on both sides of the political aisle. A number of state legislatures, including that in Alabama, have endorsed a plan put forward by a group called Citizens for Self Governance, which Abbott also supports.

“The increasingly frequent departures from Constitutional principles are destroying the Rule of Law foundation on which this country was built,” Abbott said. “We are succumbing to the caprice of man that our Founders fought to escape. The cure to these problems will not come from Washington D.C. Instead, the states must lead the way.”

Do you support or oppose a constitutional convention? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Tired Of Losing Freedoms — And Looking For Another Country? Read More Here.

7 Must Have Books for the Homeschool Mama

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7 Must Have books for the Homeschool Mama

We are about to embark on our 9th year of homeschooling.
I want to encourage you, whether just deciding to homeschool or you are also a seasoned mama.

Here are the books I find myself turning to most often. Some more than others, but they are all on my bookshelf.

Homeschool Mom’s Bible ~ God
First and foremost please make sure homeschooling is God’s calling on your family. Seek His guidance in all of it.

Lies Homeschool Moms Believe ~ Todd Wilson
A quick read that will encourage you on your journey. One that you will come back to again and again.

Dumbing Us Down ~ John Taylor Gatto
An older book, but a must read.
“Although teachers do care and do work very, very hard, the institution is psychopathic-it has no conscience. It rings a bell and the young man in the middle of writing a poem must close his notebook and move to a different cell where he must memorize that humans and monkeys derive from a common ancestor.”
― John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling ~ Debra Bell
A great book for new and seasoned homeschooling parents alike.

Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit ~ Teri Maxwell
This book helped me change from a yeller to a quieter mom. I wasn’t Michelle Duggar after I read it, but I wasn’t a yeller anymore.
It was life changing.

Top 102 Picks ~ Cathy Duffy
THE list of curriculum in one place. I have the Top 100 Picks and I still go back to it.

Teenage Liberation Handbook ~ Grace Llewellyn
This is a must read if you are leaning toward Unschooling. It’s also good if you are
trying to copy the classroom approach at home.

What would you add to the list? Widgets

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Elder Athletes Who Grow Their Own Food: The Tarahumara Indians Part 2

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Hard Travelling To Get To The More Difficult Part of Extreme Agro Tourism

In the hotel in Los Mochis I was still keyed up from the excitement of the adventure and I decided to see what Mexican television had to offer. There were quite a few channels dedicated to soccer and I paused at one for a few minutes listening to the rhythm of Spanish speakers and trying to pick out words and phrases here and there.

I flipped through some more channels and landed on a show that consisted of two stunningly gorgeous young men and two almost mannequin-like young women. The women reminded me of a full-size Corona beer poster that hangs on the wall of the Mexican restaurant in my neighborhood. The young women had an overly stylized beauty. Heavy on the makeup, with skimpy clothes that revealed impossible cleavage. Were those things real, or all silicone? Their incredibly short shorts made me wonder why they bothered at all.

Whatever these four were doing I couldn’t exactly tell but about half of the time the camera just panned up and down the women’s legs. I concluded that Mexican television was on par with, or possibly worse than, American television and I turned it off. Whether I was tired or not I knew I should go to bed as I was going to have to get up at 4:30 am the next morning to catch the train. The train ride was one of the more relaxing and pleasant aspects of the trip. There was almost nobody in first class (a.k.a. tourist class) of the train. Apparently, a lot of people had read that article in the NY Times about the increasing violence in Mexico and the train was essentially empty. There was a small group of tourists with a guide, and this was about the only time on the whole trip that I saw any other Americans at all.


The train ride is spectacular and it certainly felt safe. At times it seemed almost as if there were more guards than there were tourists. The guards walk the length of the train regularly in their black combat outfits carrying AR 15s and side arms. Whenever the train slowed into a station, I would see one or two of them slip off and patrol the entire length of the train from the ground presumably to make sure that nobody sneaked on or off.


Practicing my Spanish I chatted with the guards for a bit. And between my broken Spanish and their broken English, we managed to exchange some pleasantries. When I asked them if I could take their photographs they suddenly froze up and it was very clear that that was not a good idea. I asked them why, but I couldn’t quite understand what they meant when they kept saying something about ‘salud.’

Later I was told that there’s incredible friction between the military, the police, and the mafias. And these guys were with the military, and they could be in real danger if their photographs got into the hands of the rivalry police or mafia.


The scenery is stunning and Anthony and I spent quite a bit of time between the cars where the top half of the door was open to the outside. There was a safety sign, which everybody ignored. I guess they figured if you were stupid enough to stick an arm or head outside and get it knocked off by a branch or possibly the entrance to a tunnel, well that was your problem.



In preparation for this trip, Doug Simons, the herbalist, had made me a pair of Tarahumara style sandals – ‘huaraches tres pontas,’ or ‘3 point sandals,’ as they are known. Sure enough, I would see these being worn everywhere on this trip. I had been having some problems with the straps and keeping them tied. Later, I would learn from the Tarahumara themselves that my straps were too thin, and they would teach me the best knot to tie them on. But at this time I didn’t know what was wrong. When I saw the logo for the train ‘El Chepe’ was a running sandal, I thought it might shed some light on my shoe problems. But no such luck. The logo is simply a stylized thing that doesn’t reflect how sandals are worn or tied. Dummy me, huh? Trying to gain useful info from a marketing piece.


By the way, there is a complete tutorial on how to make these sandals in the 2016 Home Grown Food Summit, including the additional info on the correct size of straps and the best knot. The entire Summit has a series of free presentations that will be shown in March of this year. You can sign up to get free access by clicking here.


Later that afternoon as we pulled into the station at Creel, I girded myself emotionally. I had been warned that there would be a mob of scrawny children begging for food at the train station. That is certainly the most difficult part about traveling in an economically stressed area. Small children surrounding you with their hunger showing in their ribs and the desperation in their eyes. Their dirty palms open. Such a situation is so hopeless; you can’t give to all of them and you certainly can’t give to one. It is really hard to live with yourself after experiencing that.


I started to ‘toughen up’ inside.

But I was hugely relieved that while the train platform was certainly crowded, there were only a few scraggly looking dogs that were begging.


Anthony stood by our pile of luggage while I went out to scout to for Dave. I was just about to give up and figure out how to get to Margarita’s Hotel when I heard a familiar call, “eee, yyyyouuuhhh.” It sounds like the cry of a red tailed hawk. I immediately answered back “caa caw, caa caw.”

For the past several years Dave and I have led groups of teenagers to spend a night out in the Sonoran Desert with nothing but the clothes on their backs. No chapstick, water bottles, flashlights, knives, or tools. We would build a fire using Stone Age techniques from things we would find, and make shelter as best as we could – or not, as was usually the case.

It is pretty hard-core; it gets really cold, the ground is hard, no one sleeps very well, and everyone reaches some breaking points.

Dave starts out the evening telling the kids that people all over the world would be doing this tonight. Refugees from Syria, Africans caught in the crossfire of civil wars, and victims of volcanoes or tsunamis – all would be walking as far as they could tonight with their life’s possessions on their backs. They would try to get as far away as possible from the danger, and when they could not walk any further, they would find a place to sleep. In the morning, they would have no home to return to, but would pick up their meager belongings and keep walking.

We were lucky. Although we would suffer this night, we had loving families and warm camps that would have breakfast ready for us after the sun rose.

When Dave put it that way to the group of teenagers, none of them ever complained.

I went along not because I was any great wilderness skills expert but because they needed a female chaperone for when the girls would be separated from the boys into their own camp. Funny huh? None of the other parents volunteered.

Dave and I had developed crude communication signals that traveled well over long distances in the night. His call was of the sound of the hawk, and mine was the song of the crow. Although I still couldn’t see him through the train station crowd, his familiar call announced he was here, and it lifted my spirits.

The adventure was really on!

After a brief introduction to Anthony, Dave didn’t waste a moment getting us swept into realities of gunfights, stolen properties, indigenous prejudice, and life in Mexico.

This article is Part 1 in a series about Marjory’s trip to visit the Tarahumara Indians. You can read the rest of the series here:

Elder Athletes Who Grow Their Own Food: The Tarahumara Indians Part 1
Elder Athletes Grow Their Own Food: The Tarahumara Indians Part 2


Treating the Runs in a Survival Situation

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Treating the Runs in a Survival Situation | Backdoor Survival

Twice during the past month, I have suffered from a common malady that polite company calls “the runs”.  More commonly known as diarrhea, this ailment is often accompanied by cramping, gas, and pain.  Most of the time, it passes within an hour or two.  There are times, however, when diarrhea will last for hours or even days.  That is not good.

What happens when you get a severe case of diarrhea?

Treating the Runs in a Survival Situation | Backdoor Survival

One of the most dangerous outcomes is dehydration.  Dehydration can cause headache, fatigue, sallow and dry skin, constipation and other woes.  It can compromise your immune system and make you weak or even faint.  In the most dire cases, diarrhea can cause vomiting, fever, and bloody stools.  All of this is in addition to cramps and bloating.

In a worst-case scenario, diarrhea and the resulting symptoms can cause death, especially in children.

What Causes Diarrhea?

Often times, diarrhea is caused by foods that are not wholesome.  Such food may contain bacteria such as e-coli or parasites.  Contaminated water may also harbor bacteria and parasites.  Other causes are certain medicines or antibiotics, or disease and disorders such as Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and lactose-intolerance among others. 

Anyone who travels will know about Norovirus which often runs rampant on cruise ships or in hotels.  Norovirus is awful and is accompanied by severe vomiting.  Sometimes, the cause can be as simple as eating foods that, for one reason or another, disagree with your digestive system. In my case, it can be something as innocuous as a huge bowl of buttered popcorn.  Go figure.

And then there are article sweeteners, artificial “fats”, and other manufactured food additives.  For many, these substances can be the root cause of off and on again diarrhea that never really goes away.

Regardless of the cause, if diarrhea lasts much longer than a few hours, dehydration becomes a problem, especially when vomiting is also present.  It is lasts longer than a day, and especially if it happens to a child or elderly person, medical attention is warranted.

This leads to the following question:  What happens when there is an attack of the runs and medical help is not available?  What can we do to treat diarrhea in a survival situation?

For an answer, I went to my go-to person on survival medicine, contributing author, Dr. Joe Alton.  As he so aptly points out, sanitation and hygiene will suffer following a disruptive event making all of us susceptible to a case o diarrhea.  If that happens, what can we do to treat it?

How to Treat Diarrhea in Survival

With worsening sanitation and hygiene, there will likely be an increase in infectious disease, many of which cause diarrhea. Diarrhea is defined as frequent loose bowel movements.

If a person has 3 liquid stools in a row, it’s important to watch for signs of dehydration. Diarrhea lasting less than three weeks is usually related to an infection, and is known as Acute Diarrhea. Chronic Diarrhea lasts longer than three weeks and is more likely related to disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome.

Diarrhea, generally, is a common ailment which should go away on its own with attention to rehydration methods. In some circumstances, however, diarrhea can be a life-threatening condition. Over 80,000 soldiers perished in the Civil War, not from bullets, but from dehydration related to diarrheal disease.

Common causes of diarrhea are:

  • Bacterial infections caused by food or water contamination, such as Salmonella, Shingella, E. Coli and Campylobacter
  • Viral Infections like rotavirus, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus, Norwalk virus
  • Food Intolerances or Allergies, such as lactose intolerance and seafood allergies
  • Medication Reactions, like antibiotics, laxatives
  • Parasites, such as Cryptosporidium, Entamoeba and Giardia
  • Chronic Intestinal diseases
  • Overeating heavy greasy foods or unripe fruit

Danger Symptoms of Diarrhea

In most cases, diarrhea will resolve itself simply by staying hydrated and staying away from solid food for 6-12 hours. However, there are some symptoms that may present in association with diarrhea that can be a sign of something more serious. Those symptoms are:

  • Fever equal to or greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Bloody, mucus, or frothy yellow stool
  • Black or grey-white stool
  • Severe vomiting
  • Major abdominal distension and pain
  • Moderate to severe dehydration, which is not getting better
  • Diarrhea lasting more than 3 days in adults
  • Diarrhea lasting more than 1 day in children and the sick or elderly
  • In children also, abdominal pain causing crying for over 2 hours

All of the above may be signs of serious infection, intestinal bleeding, liver dysfunction, or even surgical conditions such as appendicitis. As well, all of the above will increase the likelihood that the person affected won’t be able to regulate their fluid balance.

The end result (and most common cause of death) of untreated diarrheal illness is dehydration. 75% of the body’s weight is made up of water; the average adult requires 2 to 3 liters of fluid per day to remain in balance. Children become dehydrated more easily than adults: 4 million children die every year in underdeveloped countries from dehydration due to diarrhea and other causes.

Rehydration Treatment for Diarrhea

Fluid replacement is the treatment for dehydration caused by diarrhea. Oral rehydration is the first line of treatment, but if this fails, intravenous fluid (IV) may be needed, which requires special skills. Always start by giving your patient small amounts of clear fluids.

For pediatric diarrhea, the problem can become life threatening much faster. Be diligent in fluid replacement and continue breast-feeding if the infant is still nursing. Do not use watered down fruit juices or Gatorade products for these infants or children. The best fluid replacement according to one study called Evaluation of Infant Rehydration Solutions, by James F. Wesley, states, “The most appropriate product would have an acceptable taste and a hypotonic osmolality. That would be unflavored Gerber Liquilyte.

Oral rehydration packets are commercially available, but you can produce your own homemade rehydration fluid very easily.

For adults use 1 liter of water, and for children use 2 liters of water, then add:

  • 6-8 teaspoons of sugar (sucrose)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt (sodium chloride)
  • ½ teaspoon of salt substitute (potassium chloride)
  • A pinch of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)

As the patient shows an ability to tolerate these fluids, advancement of the diet is undertaken. It is wise to avoid milk, as some are lactose intolerant.

A popular strategy for rapid recovery from dehydration is the BRAT diet, used commonly in children. This diet consists of:

  • Bananas
  • Rice
  • Applesauce
  • Plain Toast (or crackers)

Once the patient keeps down thin cereals, you can add more solid foods. Additional energy needs may be met with these foods, as the patient gets better:

  • Brown Rice water
  • Chicken or Beef broth, with rice or noodles
  • Oatmeal or grits
  • Boiled eggs
  • Boiled potatoes
  • Baked Chicken
  • Vegetable broth with very soft carrots, potatoes
  • Jell-O
  • Organic Yogurt for probiotics after diarrhea stops

The advantage of this strategy is that these food items are very bland, easily tolerated, and slow down intestinal motility (the rapidity of movement of food/fluids through your system). This will slow down diarrhea and, as a result, water loss. In a survival setting, you will probably not have many bananas, but hopefully you have stored rice and/or applesauce, and have the ability to bake bread.

Various natural substances have been reported to be helpful in these situations. Herbal remedies that are thought to help with diarrhea include:

  • Ginger (fresh is best)
  • Meadowsweet (mild and highly recommended)
  • Blackberry leaf
  • Raspberry leaf
  • Chamomile
  • Peppermint
  • Goldenseal
  • Sunflower leaf
  • Garden Sage
  • Yarrow
  • Mullein
  • Nettle
  • Slippery Elm
  • Oak Bark (very strong, last resort)

Make a tea (infusion) by pouring 1 cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoon of dried herbs and let them brew with a lid for 10-15 minutes, strain, then drink a cup every 2-3 hours, or until the patient feels better. A small amount of raw honey may be added for taste and a pinch of cinnamon.

Half a clove of fresh crushed garlic and 1 teaspoon of raw, unprocessed honey 3-4 times a day is thought to exert an antibacterial effect in some cases of diarrhea. A small amount of nutmeg may decrease the number of loose bowel movements.

Of course, there are medicines that can help and you should stockpile these in quantity. Pepto-Bismol and Imodium (Loperamide) will help stop diarrhea. They don’t cure infections, but they will slow down the number of bowel movements and conserve water. These are over the counter medicines, and are easy to obtain. In tablet form, these medicines will last for years if properly stored. Don’t use medication as a first option; some causes of diarrhea are made worse with these medications.

There are some theories about creating homemade IV solutions.

This is problematic and all the obstacles cannot be overcome. How do you make a 100% sterile solution that is exactly normal saline, get it into a sterile bag/delivery system and keep it 100% sterile in the process?

You’ll  need a tubing system, which must also be sterile, to an I.V. catheter, which must be sterile until used. A standard IV bag is created in a specialized environment and remains sterile until punctured by a sterile (hopefully) tubing. Any exposure to the air will eliminate the sterility, which means that it is possible that you might be infusing bacteria directly into your patient’s bloodstream, a very bad idea.

As a last resort to treat dehydration from diarrhea (especially if there is also a high fever), you can try antibiotics or anti-parasitic drugs. Ciprofloxacin, Doxycycline and Metronidazole are good choices, twice a day, until the stools are less watery. Some of these are available in veterinary form without a prescription. These medicines should be used only as a last resort, as the main side effect is usually…diarrhea!

By Joe Alton, MD, of
Co-Author, The Survival Medicine Handbook

The Final Word

Having plenty of tea, honey, salt, sugar, herbs, and baking soda in the survival pantry will be your first line of defense when when diarrhea strikes.  Herbs such as ginger, chamomile, and meadowsweet are especially useful and can be easily cultivated yourself.   To be honest, these and other natural solutions are always the remedy of choice in my household.

I am not a big fan of Pepto-Bismol but I do stock both Imodium tablets and liquid in my emergency kit.  The liquid, in small amounts, has also been prescribed by my veterinarian for Tucker the Dog, so I feel that having some on board serves a dual purpose in resolving both human and canine woes.

Finally, I use an essential oil blend called “Digest” when my own gastro-intestinal system is acting up.  I use it topically (never internally) by combining a few drops with a carrier oil such as Simple Salve (which I make myself), or coconut oil.

Having diarrhea is never a picnic.  If a severe attack occurs following a major disaster or disruptive event, the resulting dehydration can be severe enough to become life threatening.  Knowing what to do and when to do it will go a long way to ensuring that you will make it through, no matter what.

And isn’t that what prepping is all about?

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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

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You can also vote for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!

Spotlight Item:  The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way, by Joe and Amy Alton, is a guide for those who want to be medically prepared for any disaster where help is NOT on the way. 

It is written from the non-medical professional and assumes that no hospital or doctor is available in the aftermath of a catastrophic event.  It covers skills such as performing a physical exam, transporting the injured patient, and even how to suture a wound. This medical reference belongs in every survival library.

Bargain Bin:  Below you will find links to the items related to today’s article as well as items referenced in Fast Track Tip #10: 8 Uncommon First Aid Items.

Digest Blend Essential Oil:  Over and over again, this particular blend from Spark Naturals has worked its magic to review indigestion, acid reflux, stomach cramps and even diarrhea.  I used it topically, mixed with some carrier oil (Simple Salve that I make myself) or coconut oil.  Even Shelly swears by it.  This stuff is magic!

Note:  The individual oils in this proprietary blend are of Lemon, Spearmint, Myrrh, Fennel and Ginger.  As always, As always, enjoy a 10% discount at Spark Naturals with code BACKDOORSURVIVAL.

Imodium Multi-Symptom Relief:  Although I reach for natural remedies first, Imodium is a second line of defense when a case of the runs strikes. I prefer the tablets but also keep some of liquid Imodium on hand as well.

New-Skin Liquid Bandage, First Aid Liquid Antiseptic:  I have been using New Skin for years.  It is an antiseptic, invisible, flexible, and waterproof.  It works.

Super Glue  – The Original: This is the original Super Glue brand.  This works a lot like the liquid bandage above in that you apply it to the wound and when it’s dry, it will hold the cut together. Also check out Krazy Glue or Gorilla Brand Super Glue.

First Voice Self-Adherent Stretch Bandage (Pack of 10):  I first learned about self-adhesive bandages when my dog came home from the vet such a bandage wrapped around his leg.  A light went off telling me I needed to add some to my first-aid kit.  And so I did.  This is a fantastic price and rivals the price at the farm supply.

Quikclot Sport Brand Advanced Clotting Sponge: A must for any first aid or emergency kit, Quikclot Sport stops moderate to severe bleeding until further medical help is available.

Israeli Battle Dressing, 6-inch Compression Bandage: This is another inexpensive, yet critical item. Combat medics, trauma doctors, and emergency responders all recommend this Israeli Battle Dressing (IBD) for the treatment of gunshot wounds, puncture wounds, deep cuts, and other traumatic hemorrhagic injuries.

Prepper’s Natural Medicine: Life-Saving Herbs, Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for When There is No Doctor:  This is a fantastic book from fellow blogger, Cat Ellis.  In it you will learn that natural remedies are not voodoo but rather, natures way of healing without the use of toxic chemicals and additives.  Highly recommended.

Spark Naturals Essential Oils: I use essential oils from Spark Naturals exclusively.  They are high quality yet reasonably priced.  In addition, there are no membership fees and a distributor relationship is not necessary to get best pricing. Interested in checking them out? Backdoor Survival readers get a 10% discount by using coupon code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout!

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Sales for Fantastic Deals!

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