Hardcore Survival: What To Wear in the Harshest Conditions

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winterThis article is going to give you some pointers on dressing for the winter weather to maximize your heat, minimize your moisture, and to enable you to be ready if the SHTF.  The article’s title holds the word “tactical,” and in this New Year I feel it is important to make this emphasis to you:

Every situation is either tactical or has the potential to become tactical in the blink of an eye.

Needs and Capabilities

Your needs and capabilities in this regard are going to vary in accordance with where you live (geographical/climate locale), and what you do during the course of the day.  Some may have an easier time with this, as they may be employed where they can wear what they want…few and far in-between as this may seem.  Others must wear a uniform or a suit and tie/business apparel.  No matter.  The first group (to paraphrase the band “Nirvana”) can “come as you are…as I want you to be.”  The second group will have to rely on the telephone booth akin to Clark Kent as he did when he “changed” into Superman.

Footwear

Footwear is as varied as the imagination.  I prefer military footwear and wear it all the time.  I have a pair of desert winter boots with Vibram soles that I switch up with a pair of Rocky Gore-Tex issue boots.  The majority of the time these days, I have a good pair of rubberized boots with leather instep, Kamin waterproofs, a necessity here in Montana where it snows about every day.  With socks, I like a thin pair of cotton, covered over with a thick pair of wool.  The cotton absorbs the moisture from your foot, and the wool wicks it away.

Essential Layers

I layer with long johns, a decent synthetic type by Russell, and over these I wear nylon jogging-type/sports pants with a thin cotton underlining.  They lock in the heat and they do breathe.  Over this are the pants, and as I mentioned in previous articles, only cargo pants will do for me, my preference being Riggs by Wrangler.  This triple layer keeps layers of air circulating between them and also insulates me thoroughly from the cold.  Here it has been about 20 degrees F during the day, and 0 – 7 degrees F at night.

Topside I wear a cotton t-shirt with a synthetic/polypro long sleeve undershirt.  If you can find shirts with wicking ability, it can help your body maintain your core body temperature. Over this I have a sweatshirt with hood, and I wear an Army issue uniform top: they’re durable, and I like the newer generation tops because of the amount of pockets.  Over this I throw a nice Marmot Gore-Tex jacket, and then it’s just my gloves and a hat. Remember, folks: wearing a hat will keep warm heat from escaping on your head. This is very important! When I’m all suited up, JJ’s ready to go!

The Doctrine of Contrasting Colors

You all know about the importance of layering, and now let’s cover a few things from a tactical perspective: the doctrine of contrasting colors.

What if “big daddy government” morphs into that totalitarian state we can all foresee and dread?  You are on the run.  Here’s the principle: they’re looking for a guy with a red jacket, and he disappears into a public restroom.  As people come out, there is nobody with a red jacket, but you went right by them…because you stripped off your top layer, discarded it (hopefully you can recover it!), and emerged in a gray sweat top.  The key here is to be able to alter your appearance and “change up” on the target they are looking for…and expecting.  The mind and eyes tend to focus on a target and keep it in mind.  This is our honing instinct, and it is as old as mankind.

If you’re wearing tan khaki cargoes and a red jacket (does that classify you as a SF ’49er fan?), how much better if you emerge wearing black nylon sweats and a gray sweatshirt?  The colors must contrast; that is, bear a marked difference to one another in the combination you’re wearing them both before you’re followed and after you give them the slip.

Now I’m sure a lot are going to comment that it “doesn’t matter with infrared,” and “you can’t avoid the cameras.”  No, actually, it does matter.  The goons that are on the ground do not have all of that equipment in their hands and right in front of them.  Not yet.  There’s a disconnect between what Stanley the Tech-guy is reporting to him in his ear and what he sees on the ground.

In addition, you want to wear hats and gloves, maybe a good scarf or a balaclava to keep warm and also to break up your outline that gives a signature.  I want to put in a word about the Gore-Tex.  It is the best thing since sliced bread in my opinion.  I wear the civilian Gore-Tex jacket so as not to be so obsequious, although here in Montana camouflage is a year-round sight and in some areas can be easily confused with evening formal wear.

The important tactical consideration here with the Gore-Tex is that you want to stay warm and dry, and a fire may be “inconvenient” for you until the initial fervor of the disaster passes.  A good acid test is to dress in the manner I outlined and then lay in the snow for about 15 minutes with no ground pad or insulation between you and the snow.  If you can say you’re still warm even after 15 minutes, then you may have found a winning combination for yourself.  Layers also help enable your skin to breathe and to reduce heat that could potentially be trapped and elevate your temperature too high.

The cargo pants and Army top help you with the pockets to store things that are essential to you…small tools, fire starting equipment, and the like.  You want your ensemble to be as rugged and durable as it can be.  When it hits the fan, you don’t know when you’re going to have a change of clothing.  You’ll start it out “as is,” so to speak: what you’re carrying and wearing is what you’ll have, at least initially.  Remember: when you have to hide, a lot of times you’ll be hunkered down or in the prone.  You have to keep warm, dry, and insulated, especially if you must lay on the ground.

So whatever your environment, dress accordingly for that environment.  Remember this doctrine of contrasting colors, and choose your garments for their utilitarian functions rather than for style or appearance.  Take the time to consider any physical limitations and plan your wardrobe accordingly.  Always take the time to assess the situations in the news and what is happening around you, and be ready to do the Clark Kent to Superman change as soon as the balloon goes up and you have determined it’s genuine.  Have a great day, Guys and Gals, be prepared, and stay warmly-dressed, and “frosty” in your mind!  God bless!  JJ out.

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

6 Wilderness Skills for Winter Survival

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Winter can present a unique challenge to the outdoor enthusiast. With frigid temperatures and unpredictable weather disasters — from blizzards to avalanches — it’s best to be prepared for anything.

As winter weather moves in, you don’t have to be relegated to indoor activities for the next several months. Incorporate these wilderness survival tips into your usual habits to have a safe and fun outdoor winter excursion.

Use the Buddy System

There’s safety in numbers. Avoid the common, foolhardy mistake of venturing out on your own in extreme conditions. If you don’t have an equally committed friend to take with you, be sure to leave a detailed trip itinerary, including a map, with a friend or family member. In the event of an emergency this information will help rescuers find you.

Stay Connected

Although you’ve probably ventured into the wilderness to take a short break from the incessant connectedness we all experience, extreme conditions call for additional precautions. Prepare for the worst-case scenario by keeping asatellite phone handy to use if or when other survival techniques fail. This is another great way to let friends and family know you’re safe and sound throughout your trip, or call for help if you find yourself in a dangerous situation.

Make a Shelter

The ability to make a shelter, from nothing but branches and a tarp, is a crucial wilderness skill in any season. It’s particularly important during winter months because, without an appropriate shelter, starting a fire may prove impossible. This is especially true if you happen to get caught in a storm and have to spend several days in one location. Your handmade shelter will not only keep you safe, it will also keep firewood and kindling dryer than when left in the elements.

Survive Without Fire

In the event that you’re unable to build a fire, whether it’s a lack of dry tinder or your specific location, you still need a way to keep yourself warm. In preparation for your trip, you should pack plenty of wind-blocking, cold-weather attire. Keep your clothing — from head to toe — dry with waterproof gear. But if you’re staying overnight, avoid overexerting yourself and perspiring while building and foraging by pacing yourself because sweat can freeze.

Learn How to Trap

If you’re planning an extended trip into the wild, learn or hone your trapping skills. Foraging for food can be time-consuming and quickly exhaust your energy stores. Making and setting traps takes far less time and allows you to cover more ground while hunting, so you can devote your time to other necessary tasks around camp.

Be a Cautious Packer

Hiking, backpacking and camping in winter require many of the same preparations as other, warmer times of the year. However, it is an environment all it’s own, so exercise extra caution.

Pack multiple fire starters and types of tinder to keep a toasty fire blazing for warmth. Water can be obtained from ice or snow, but melting it takes a long time to produce enough to keep you hydrated, so be sure to pack plenty and take care to keep it from freezing. Be sure to pack your best snowshoes, axes and an emergency kit.

By following these basic survival tips, you can stave off cabin fever this winter and still enjoy your favorite outdoor refuges.

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Sunday Prepper Bible Study- Reasonable Service

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drill

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. 

Romans 12:1

Weren’t you under the impression that salvation was by grace through faith? Well relax, it still is. But don’t relax too much. Romans 12 says that although our ticket into heaven has been paid in full, there is still a reasonable service that is expected of us. And what is that reasonable service? It boils down to self discipline, presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God.

The biggest problem you’ll have with a living sacrifice is that it is continually crawling off of the altar. That’s why Paul said “I die daily.” We have to commit to dying to ourselves, everyday. Living a life that is holy, acceptable unto God is never easy, but in this world, it is next to impossible. But remember, with God all things are possible.

This week, ask God to show you the areas of your life that need changing so you can be a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God. Then, take up an attitude of self-discipline through daily prayer and Bible reading and give God your reasonable service.

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

Have a blessed day and happy prepping!

Mark

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Methods to the madness

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Is Preparedness Category based, Linear or All Over The Place?
Such is the question asked by Ryan over at his blog. Succinctly, it is this:

Of the three approaches to establishing a level of preparedness – category based, linear based, or scattershot – which seems to be the way to go?

For me, it’s a balanced approach. My thinking has always been to imagine that I’m dropped naked, in the middle of a winter night, into an empty field. What do I need? And then I work it out from there. I’d want, immediately, a small amount of everything….rather than a huge amount of one thing and no supply of anything else.

Lots of people ‘go long’ in some way…they drop a couple grand on guns and get the sexy part of survivalism out of the way and then go to the mundane things like toilet paper and socks. There is some merit to that, but you leave yourself open to being caught short if you’re still working on that gun/ammo thing when some big event happens and you still haven’t gotten around to buying that water purifier.

Some folks go with a more ‘balanced’ approach and buy everything they need for, say, three days. Then they simply repeat this process over and over until they have their year (or whatever timeframe) supply. I rather like this approach.

And some just keep their eyes open an when they come across something that could be useful, they snag it. In the long run that might work, but it’s a great way to wind up sitting on a pallet of 500 MagLites and absolutely no batteries.

I’ve been doing some form of preparedness (or survivalism) for over 25 years. My experience has been that the most sensible way to do things is to get everything you need for ‘x’ amount of time, and then when you have that do it again…and again…and again. Once you’ve put your ‘weeks supply’ together, do it three more times…and now its a months supply. Do that twelve more times and it’s a years supply. That sort of thing. The alternative is that you shoot your wad and buy a years supply of food up front and get caught with only two weeks worth of toilet paper or gasoline.

The one argument I’ve come across for going ‘all in’ and buying as much of one thing as possible to the exclusion of other things you need (other than a spectacular sale) is when the thing you want may not be available in normal channels later. No one is trying to ban Ivory soap….but it’s entirely possible that in three weeks we’ll never have another ‘high capacity’ magazine available to us. And while gun stuff is the easy answer to ‘what might those soon-to-be-unavailable items be’, there’s other things too. Burner phones, cryptography software, electronic devices without ‘for your safety’ GPS tracking, etc, etc….all things you can have now but very possibly might be on the verboten list next year. If something you feel you need is possibly going to be unavailable later, then it makes sense to get it, in the quantity you want, while you can.

If you haven’t already got your supplies and gear socked away, and are still in the stages of acquisition, the best method…in my humble opinion….is the balanced approach. An increase across the board, on a regular basis, with occasional ‘spurts’ of increase in some categories as finances allow. I’d rather have six months of  food, fuel, power, clothes, medicines, and the like, rather than three years of food and one month of everything else. .

What you do, is of course, is your prerogative. For me, I try to raise the level of preparedness evenly across all categories if I can.

The Dumbest Mistake Even Experts Make In Food Preservation

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The Surprising Mistake Even Experts Make In Food Preservation

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My mother tried to teach me about food. She did it all — gardening, canning, jellying, freezing, drying, cheesing. She knew all about the so-called “Hundred Mile Diet” that has become so popular in recent years, the now-trendy notion of trying to make all or most of your diet consist of food that was produced within a hundred miles of your home. She had eaten that way most of her life. She was a trendsetter, decades ahead of her time.

Too bad I had no interest whatsoever in such things. It was the 1970s, when chic modern women bought their food in boxes at the grocery store — none of that old-fashioned “raise-your-own” nonsense for someone as cool as I was.

By the time I managed to rise above my ignorance, I was middle aged and my mother was deceased. Thanks to books and the Internet, as well as wonderful personal mentors and formal training through my state’s Master Food Preserver program, I have been able to pick up much of what I missed out on learning from my mother.

Except for the most important thing of all — the one thing that is so simple and ridiculously obvious that most people don’t even see it as something to learn.

I had to learn to eat my food.

Make ‘Off-The-Grid’ Fermented Foods Just Like Grandma Made!

That’s right. All that growing and harvesting and blanching and pressure-canning does no one any good, unless we eat the fruits of our labors.

The Surprising Mistake Even Experts Make In Food Preservation

Image source: Pixabay.com

There are a lot of barriers to this. Home cooks in today’s society are accustomed to deciding what they want to eat, finding the recipes they like best, and heading for the grocery store with a shopping list. Doing it that way is so ingrained in a lot of people that they forget to take into account the cellar full of food that they worked so hard to put up.

Homesteaders need to do it the other way around — see what we have on hand, look for recipes that utilize those things, and put those on the menu. There might still be shopping to do, but only for that which we cannot raise ourselves and cannot substitute.

Another obstacle to cooking my own food was that as a child of the 70s, I may have since rejected the idea of opening boxes and cans and freezer bags for my main ingredients, but I was still programmed to follow the directions. Recipes don’t call for a jar of my homemade spicy pickled carrots or rhubarb sauce or green tomato mincemeat pie filling. I have found that if I want to use what I have in my larder instead of adding on to the grocery list, I need to learn to actually create flavors on my own. Using my home-grown foods requires me to actually cook, not just follow recipes.

Without A Doubt The Best Kept Secret In Indoor Self-Reliance Gardening…

On the other hand, real cooks don’t always use foods out of their home-preserved collection, either. Or at least, the rock-star chefs on television don’t. When I watch the celebrity chefs using all fresh out-of-season vegetables and only the best cuts of meat, I always wonder how they would do on a homestead.

Neglecting to use home-processed food is a common affliction. Most home canners have been known to lament the efficacy of canning this season’s green beans or applesauce when their shelves are still loaded with jars of last year’s.

People mean well. All those frozen bags of eggplant, lovingly peeled and chopped and blanched in lemon water, with visions of winter ratatouille dancing in my head — how can they still be leftover come spring?

Home food preservation is a wonderful thing, for a lot of reasons. It is a great way to control what goes into your food, be self-sufficient, eat healthy, minimize waste and petroleum use in food production, and practice skills in preparation for hard times.

However, if you leave out that essential last step, it is all for naught. Shop in your larder before you head for the grocery store, and alter your recipes if needed. Whatever it takes, make sure you do the one most important thing when it comes to food preservation. Make sure you eat it.

Do you agree? What would you add to this story? Share your advice in the section below:

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

How To Detect Drones, Predict Weather, and MORE with SDR-RTL and NooElec

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Radio is all around you. Learn how YOU can use it as a tool for your own good. The NooElec SDR dongle lets you monitor a HUGE portion of the radio spectrum. Learn how this infomormation can help you detect drones (and other aircraft), download weather images directly from satellites, monitor all forms of voice communications …

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Is Preparedness Category based, Linear or All Over The Place?

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A recent talk with Commander Zero inspired this post. Since memory is fallible and I am uncomfortable putting words in other people mouths (especially if I didn’t ask to share them) I will not try to quote him. Just assume everything smart comes from Zero and the boring/ stupid stuff is me.

We could look at a few different ways to prepare. Lets discuss some generalities and what I consider the pro’s and cons of them.

Category based. Lets say the categories are guns/ ammo, food, energy, comms, medical, tools, gear and misc. We could debate them but for the purpose of this discussion you get the point. You would work on one category until it is complete then go to another, then another, etc.

Pro- Mass. In this way you are going to see significant progress. Seeing progress has a real motivational component in keeping people working.

Con- Not balanced. In almost every preparedness situation you need some stuff in many if not every category. A whole lot of food doesn’t cancel out the need for self defense. A great communications system is not a substitute for a spare pair of boots. You get the idea.

Linear- Working to move all categories forward in a reasonably balanced way. Say get ready for a normal black out with a few days of food, some spare batteries and flashlights, a hand gun with some ammo, etc. Next work towards a longer 2 week type event. More food, some sort of power generation plan, a long gun of some sort, water purification, etc. Move on to a nasty 6 week Katrina type event. You get the idea.

Pro- Balanced. You are working forward in a way that relative to your overall level of preparedness there is not a weak link. You aren’t all guns/ammo and no food or all commo and no tools, etc.

Con- Progress is slow. Even as a fairly motivated person after a quarter or a year of putting not insignificant resources into preparedness it is hard for me to really see progress. It happened but a little bit in each area isn’t very fulfilling.

All Over The Place- Work on what you are interested in at the time.

Pro- By doing what you are currently interested in you are very likely to go hard and make real progress. The newest/ weakest guy in an active ham radio club is going to crush a prepper with a radio and a license. The newest guy in a GSSF/ 3 gun club is probably better than a prepper with a safe full of guns.

Con- This lack of any meaningful plan leads folks to go too deep into their passions and ignore the other stuff at their peril. I have seen guys who are beginning to intermediate level survivalist with not one, or two but THREE ‘bug out motorcycles.’ Its his life and money but if that guy thinks this is the motorcycle collection is a good preparedness move for his situation he is at best not looking objectively.

What is the right answer.

Personally my core plan is linear. It is hard to do and I do it imperfectly cough clearly I need another AR-15 and G19 cough but it is the goal. Now for hobbies/ spare time stuff I tend, thanks to Chris’s excellent advice, to generally pursue hobbies that are helpful for preparedness. Fitness, fishing, shooting, etc.

The difference is past some point with most of these things there is a point of diminishing returns as it relates to preparedness. I will talk fishing since I know a tiny bit about it. Getting a fishing pole, a cheap Wally World spare, a bunch of gear and some sort of cheap (under $500 unless it can be a major food source IE you live on a river/ swamp/ coast) small boat could make sense if you live near water. On the other hand that third $500 fishing pole and a 20k fishing boat are not preparedness items. These are hobby purchases, which isn’t a bad thing, just that they should come from hobby money not prep money.

Thoughts? How do you prepare?

Cooking with Your Food Storage

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cookingCooking with your food storage for many people will be a new experience.  They purchase and stock many foods that they do not use on a regular basis.  The old adage store what you eat and eat what you store is not followed by many preppers.

Part of the reason is because of the cost of freeze-dried foods.  I have encountered a number of people who have purchased large amounts of freeze-dried or dehydrated foods.  Because these are expensive and have a long shelf live, they are reluctant to open a can or two and experiment with them.

Now for many who are homesteaders and live off what they produce this won’t be a problem.  But many preppers either live in the cities or store their food in a bug out location where they have limited access to it.  Think about what you would cook for dinner tonight if you no longer had access to your freezer, refrigerator or the stores.

I have asked some preppers this question and have received some blank looks or answers like, I would have to look in my recipe books.  If this is a hard question for you, you need to sit down and do some reevaluating.  You need to be cooking and experimenting with the foods that you are storing.

Also, give some serious thought to how your food balances out.  For example if your family plans to have pancakes for breakfast every day, you may have enough grain.  But do you have enough syrup.  Spices are another problem, when you are cooking your meals from scratch your use of spices will increase.  Also as spices age you have to add more to get the same effects.  One solution to this, is to learn to grow your own.  But do it now don’t plan on waiting until something happens.

Surviving and cooking with our food storage will be a big learning curve; don’t make the mistake of trying to do it in a short time.  While you can get by on lousy cooking it will be hard on moral.

Howard

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Nuclear and Government Incompetence are Prime Examples of Wasteful Spending

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stock here:

$4 Billion pissed away by law suits against the Government for failing to provide a nuclear waste storage site.

This is enough money to eliminate 2 nuclear plants and replace them with solar.

—————————————————-

 http://www.nationallawjournal.com/id=1202747233129/Prime-Examples-of-Wasteful-Spending?slreturn=20160016135128

In 2015, the Department of Energy paid about $650 million in taxpayer funds to energy companies for such suits, according to an analysis by The Litigation Daily of records in the Treasury Department’s Judgment Fund database.

The worst part is, the companies deserve every penny. The payments — totaling about $4 billion in the past five years, The Lit Daily found — represent a disgraceful failure of public policy. The suits stem from a deal struck by the feds and power plant owners under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act. Starting in 1983, the plant owners paid the Department of Energy an annual fee, and in return, the government promised to build a secure facility to permanently store their nuclear waste starting Jan. 31, 1998.

The power plant owners dutifully paid their fees. But the government, mired down by not-in-my-backyard politics, isn’t remotely close to building any facility.

Future prospects look bleak — the Obama administration in 2010 pulled the plug on a depository in Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and no alternative site has been proposed.

The closest the Energy Department has come is detailed in a blog post in December by Franklin Orr, the undersecretary for science and energy, who said the feds are now moving forward with a “consent-based siting process.” That means that “communities, tribes and states, as partners, are comfortable with the location of future storage and disposal facilities before they are constructed.”
Good luck with that.

6 Modified Baseball Bats for the Zombie Apocalypse

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6 Modified Baseball Bats for the Zombie Apocalypse Creek has done it again! He created 6 awesome baseball bat weapons and to be completely honest, I want to make every single one of them. If I had to pick a favorite would have to say # 4 called The Shard! Being able to think outside …

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Five tips for finding dry sticks in wet weather

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Most firemaking lessons stop with the initial ignition. But that first flame won’t last long if you don’t have dry sticks to feed the fire. Here’s how to find them.

by Leon Pantenburg

It was dawn, the temps had plunged to 19 degrees during the night and we were on a Boy Scout Wilderness Survival merit badge outing. The graduation exercise was to spent the night in a shelter they had constructed, without a sleeping bag. Everybody was ready for a warm-up fire, which the scouts would have to build.

I felt sorry for the guys, so I gave them a large piece of newspaper to help get the initial fire going. Three boys

Dry sticks can be found in wet situations if you know where to look.

Dry sticks can be found in wet situations if you plan ahead and look in the right places.

wadded up the paper, lit it with a match and put a green pine bough, covered with frost, on top. Then they huddled around and waited to warm up. Results were predictable.

This showed we needed to do a better job of teaching firemaking. The adults quickly built a warming fire and we did more instruction.

Most people don’t have a clue on how to build a campfire under ideal conditions, let alone in a survival situation. While the initial ignition may be no problem, the next critical part will be finding dry twigs, sticks and wood to feed that blaze. But Murphy’s Law states that the more desperately you need a fire, the harder it will be to build one. Finding dry wood could be really, really hard, especially if it is raining.

Here are some tips for finding dry wood in the rain.

Locate the dry side of the tree: This seems elementary, but don’t try to find dry sticks on the side of the tree that is wet. If there have been prevailing winds, the dry side will be the area that is out of the wind. This becomes important, because outwardly, the wet side may look dry. The internal wood or bark, though may be dampish. This will be harder to light.

Look for dry wood and tinder: Don’t wait until the last minute to gather your firemaking materials. As you hike or pass through the forest, always be on the lookout for pitchwood, tinder, dried pine sap, birch bark or other natural firestarters. This may save you critical time later on.

There is dry wood here, if you know where to look.

There is dry wood here, if you know where to look.

Search for wood that isn’t on the ground: In the rain, the ground will get wet, and wood will absorb the moisture.

Even when it dries out somewhat, wood on the ground can still be damp. Don’t be fooled by the dry outer appearance. A dry twig will snap cleanly when broken. Keep looking until you find twigs that break crisply.

Stack wood correctly: The survival books are full of  of suggestions for stacking firewood so the pile will burn. Tipi, log cabin or other styles will work just fine if you remember to use dry wood and leave spaces between the wood so the fire can breathe.

Always have a good knife along that can be used for processing firewood.

Always have a good knife along that can be used for processing firewood.

Whittle: Always carry a knife (duh). You can whittle a dead, damp stick until you get to the dry inner wood. Then make a bunch of shaving and smaller pieces that will burn easily.

Don’t use anything green: Something that is green may also be dry. That doesn’t mean it will burn. Dry dead wood is what you’re looking for.

Starting a fire in rainy circumstances is hard, not impossible. Like anything, a little pre-planning can make all the difference.

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Survival Saturday – Jan. 16, 2016

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Survival Saturday is  a round-up of products, the week’s news, and recommended reading material for folks who are interested in being prepared. The news this week was NOT of the “good” variety, so, please, focus on getting prepared right now. If you’ve been waiting for a sign or until disaster is closer, we’re pretty much there unless the Fed figures out a way to artificially kick the can just a wee bit further down the road.

This Week’s Products

This week, the products I’m recommending are a checklist of the items you must to have on hand. Hopefully, you’re already prepared with these items. If not, get them now.

This Week in Preparedness

Turns out, the President lied.  It seems like the Universe was determined to prove wrong everything that President Obama said in his State of the Union address. (Stream it free if you missed it.) The thing that I noticed this time around was that it was more bread and circus-y than usual, complete for the first time with a preshow that included a Hollywood emcee and musical entertainment. Not kidding even a little bit. It was so much like the Superbowl of Politics that I expected hopey-changey cheerleaders to cartwheel across the stage. While the President accused those of saying there were problems with the economy of “peddling fiction,” this week we watched our country slide right to the edge of the cliff, like one of those slow-motion dreams in which you see disaster is about to strike but your feet are encased in concrete and you can’t move fast enough to stop it. See the summing up of the financial catastrophe in charts, here.

Trillions were lost in the global economy this week. On Friday, the Fed waited until the market had already closed to announce the lowest Quarter 4 GDP numbers in…well, forever.  Oil prices have plummeted, which seems like a good thing, but it’s so not a good thing. (Learn how bad it really is when oil drops in price here.) Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices said that …wait…sit down….nearly $3.2 trillion has been wiped off the value of stocks around the world since January 1, 2016. And it’s only the 16th, folks. Bottom line? Get your preps in order because we are on the edge of a recession that could make 2008 look like child’s play. If our government was on the ball, they’d be telling you the same thing, firing up the printers to promote self-reliance as patriotism like they did after WWII.

Wal-mart is closing hundreds of stores and canning 16,000 people. Retail giant Wal-mart ceded defeat after a year in which they watched stock values plummet an almost unfathomable $80 billion. They have announced the closure of 269 stores across the globe, a move that will put more than 16,ooo people out of work, with the majority of those workers right here in the good ole USA. The stores will close in the next two weeks – check out the list of closures and see if the store near you is going out of business.

Canada and China are feeling the pain, too. The Canadian dollar has dropped in value, leaving citizens paying dramatically higher prices for any type of imported goods. One expert in the UK has predicted that China’s financial pain could cause markets around the world to crash by a heart-stopping 75%.  As China’s stock market crashes, ours seems to be following with panic selling, and even the Wall Street Journal admits it, calling Friday’s close a “rout”.

Asylum seekers are systematically raping European women. From the politically-incorrect news files, rape is just a game to many of the Muslim male refugees recently welcomed to Europe. Remember the assaults in Cologne, Germany on New Year’s Eve? Well, it turns out that’s just a drop in the bucket of what has been happening to European women since the doors were flung open to accept refugees that have a different perspective on what acceptable behavior entails. In fact, more than one swimming pool in Germany has had to add security and even ban asylum-seekers from the premises because they refuse to stop sexually harassing women there. Learn the unsettling details, and get prepared because Obama has already promised admission into our country to thousands of refugees of the same ilk.

That’s not the only thing the media is covering up about the European invasion of Syrian refugees. This hotel bouncer gives an eyewitness report of what went on that fateful New Year’s Eve – and it wasn’t just mass rape, as if that weren’t bad enough. He quotes the police as calling the chaos “a civil war-like situation” in which the immigrants were shooting at police. Where was the news coverage of THIS?

 

 

The Michigan Poisonous Water Crisis intensifies. If you haven’t heard, the water in Flint, Michigan is highly corrosive, causing lead and pathogens to leach into the municipal supply, which in turn is poisoning everyone who drinks it. Local residents have suffered from skin rashes, lead poisoning, and even an increase in Legionairre’s disease due to the contamination that they hid from people. Apparently, the EPA has known about this since last April, and both they and the state government failed to warn Flint residents. Finally, Governor Snyder warned people and apologized, but it is too little, too late for his constituents who are seeking both civil and criminal charges against Snyder. It gets even better (sarcasm). Only in Flint would the water company send out overdue notices for poisoned water. Shockingly, 60% of the residents are overdue in their payments for poisoned water. Huh.

The Bookshelf

116 Bookshelf

Holy cow. This week. Are you prepared for an impending economic collapse? If not, you need to focus on becoming more self-reliant this week. It’s no longer something you can put off, friends. As a bonus, the last book is just a really good read.

The Encyclopedia of Country Living

This compendium is a decades-old resource that guides you through everything you need to know about self-reliance. From gardening to raising animals to butchering to food preservation, if you need to know it, it is in this book. This book is a must-have for any prepper, whether you live in the city or the country.  There’s only so much food you can stockpile, and producing it yourself absolutely must be part of your plan.

Prepper’s Natural Medicine: Life-Saving Herbs, Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for When There is No Doctor

When finances are tight, we tend to avoid things like going to the doctor. This book is loaded with safe, effective, and tested remedies that you can use to treat yourself if you find yourself in a situation in which professional medical care is not an option. The author is a long-time herbal practitioner and her advice is expert, easy-to-follow, and perfect for preppers. Get this book, then make a list of what you can grow and what you need to acquire.

The Prepper’s Blueprint

This is the comprehensive guide to all things preparedness. Whether you’ve been at it for a while, or you are brand new, this book will take you by the hand and guide you through the steps of basic preparedness all the way through to self-reliance. This is always the book that I recommend to anyone looking for a book that covers everything.

 

Failures of Imagination

I just received this book on Thursday, and holy snappin’ pussycats. This is the scariest read on the planet. If you want to move your prepper mojo and imagination into high gear by wondering, “What if…” this will give you some nightmare scenarios that you never even considered before. The book is written by Congressman Michael McCaul, the sitting chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, “who receives daily intelligence about threats materializing against America, depicts in real time the hazards that are closer than we realize.  From cyber-warriors who can cripple the Eastern seaboard to radicalized Americans in league with Islamic jihadists to invisible biological warfare, many of the most pressing dangers are the ones we’ve heard about the least—and are doing the least about.”  Wow.  Once you read this book, you will look at everything differently.

Anything to add to Survival Saturday?

Do you have any news links you want to share? Now’s the time! You are absolutely welcome to post your links in the comments below. (And this feature will be so much cooler if you guys post the things that you found important this week!)

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114 Smart and Efficient Ways to Save Money

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114 Smart and Efficient Ways to Save Money It is common knowledge that people are struggling financially in this day and age. Some people work two or more jobs just to support their families. Others are required to work insane periods of overtime in order to pay for food and bills that month. Whatever condition …

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How To Make A Survival Whistle From A .223 Case

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How To Make A Survival Whistle From A .223 Case Because yelling will make you lose your voice, it’s important to carry a whistle just in case you get in a jam. For example: When I went mountain biking with a group of friends I crashed plenty of times. Luckily, none were serious. However, if …

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How To Build A Portable Earthquake Survival Kit

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How To Build A Portable Earthquake Survival Kit A lot of you may be thinking about what you would do in case of an earthquake. There are a LOT of posts out there on what you should have in your home or car in case of an earthquake or other natural disaster such as canned …

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5 Ways to Put Your Chickens to Work For You

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5 Ways to Put Your Chickens to Work For You We all know the importance of chickens to any homestead. They are a great source of protein both in the form of meat and the eggs. There are some layer hens which lay eggs 365 days a year. But the benefits of having chickens are …

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Don’t Join A Survival Group Without Reading This

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Don’t Join A Survival Group Without Reading This Many of us are torn about this subject. Some of us say joining a group will benefit you others say it will be harder to survive, more mouths to feed, more people to look after. I personally am for a small survival group, I think that its …

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28 Amazing Uses For Old Pallets

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28 Amazing Uses For Old Pallets Although some people may not see the utility of wood pallets, we have highlighted these on our website many times given how simple it is to re-purpose them into useful items. The below article lists 28 creative uses for old pallets that might have you knocking on the doors …

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Cheap and Natural Ant Repellents

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Cheap and Natural Ant Repellents Whether you are planning on homesteading, living off grid, camping or just living your life at home, ants will always find you and your food. You can always head down to the local hardware store or supermarket and purchase expensive and harsh chemicals to spray your home and/or garden. I …

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Off-The-Grid Hygiene Guide

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Off-The-Grid Hygiene Guide One of the most important and often ignored aspects of living off-the-grid, or during a survival situation, is maintaining good hygiene. If you do not keep things sanitary, diseases can spread and may prove to be fatal. As a prepper or survivalist, you probably already know the importance of planning and collecting …

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What are the Best Survival Flashlights?

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When you are preparing for a potential disaster, the type of flashlight you buy can make it or break it. Most people think all flashlights are equal. If it shines pretty bright and is fairly durable, it will get the job done in any situation. This way of thinking, however, is foolish and potentially deadly.

Specific types and brands of flashlights are better for unique situations and it’s necessary that you buy at least 2 or 3. It’s also a good idea to stash one or two in different places. You should at least have them in your EDC (maybe a micro-flashlight on your keychain), in your get home bag, bug out bag, and at your bug out location. Plus, burying a few at the bug out site and your home isn’t a bad idea. You can never have too many sources for light.

In a crisis, losing your sense of vision will greatly reduce your chances of surviving. Do not let this happen to you. Read the guide below to learn what to look for when shopping for a survival flashlight and find the right one for you.

General Flashlight Features

Functions

The first thing to consider when shopping for a flashlight is the different ways you will use it. The type of tool you’ll need at a campsite will be different from the one you’ll need during a power outage.

The flashlight at your bug out location should be durable, water proof, and able to handle a solid amount of impact. In the best-case scenario, it should even be able to function well as a baton-like weapon. There are even tactical flashlights that come with weapons like Tasers from Vinertek.

For the flashlight used in a power outage, brightness and battery strength are key. The only way it can be damaged is an inadvertent drop, so the durability of the tool is much less important. The goal is simply to provide a large amount of continuous light.

The two devices described in these scenarios perform the same function of providing light, but they have very different designs. Add additional types, like a small travel flashlight for the car, and you will see why multiple batteries and flashlights are needed in a crisis. They all provide light but can serve different functions in your plan.

Hand Crank, Primary or Rechargeable Batteries?

There’s no consensus of opinion among the prepper community on this one. Try different kinds prior to a crisis and figure out which one you think works better. For primary batteries, look for the lithium variety. Alkaline batteries may be extremely easy to find but they have a short shelf life and tend to leak. Lithium can last five years without losing any of its charge but they are not rechargeable. Their usefulness dies with the battery.

Rechargeable batteries also come in two varieties. There are Li-Ion (lithium based) and Ni-MH (nickel based). The Li-Ion has a stronger shelf life. However, the Ni-MH is starting to gain a following due to the fact that it can work with batteries that are similarly shaped to the alkaline primary variety. It’s easier to find a flashlight that accepts the Ni-MH batteries, which is a problem for Li-Ion rechargeable varieties.

Another option is a crank-powered flashlight. In theory, these will never lose power. The beam can be a bit weak, but it is a great backup plan just in case.

Size

  • Large

A large flashlight should be able to easily illuminate an entire room. Anything less, and you’ve wasted your money. It should also come with a top handle. If the light is small enough to easily hold with your hand, it is too small. The bulk of large flashlights can make them too hard to carry in the wilderness, but they make a great permanent light source at camp.

  • Medium

A medium sized flashlight will be the best for travelling. It won’t be hard to hold, but it will still be durable enough to take some hits. Don’t expect to use these for stationary light though. The beam shouldn’t be expected to cover too much area.

  • Small

Small flashlights come in a wide variety of sizes and can be as small as a key chain. No matter what they should easily fit in your hand. Use these for looking in small crevices or doing maintenance on machines. The beams can be surprisingly bright. Don’t settle for a weak light just because it’s a small tool and remember to pack a quality light in your EDC kit.

Materials

  • Plastic

Most flashlights you will find in stores are made out of plastic. They are usually fairly affordable and lightweight. It is not the best material for a survival flashlight though. Plastic is not durable and will break easily under stress. Even dropping it could cause a crack.

  • Rubber

This is the best material for a survival flashlight. The rubber will keep it waterproof. Plus, typically, the rubber is just an outer coating on an aluminum skeleton. It will be very durable. The only downside is it may be a bit heavy.

  • Aluminum

If you can’t find a rubber flashlight, this is the next best bet. They will be more expensive than the plastic variety but infinitely more durable. As a bonus, the metal exterior will make these a better club than any of the other options.

Bulbs

There are two different bulb options to choose from. The first is the classic incandescent bulbs. The second is the newer LED lights.

LEDs shine brighter and without the yellow tint typically found with incandescent bulbs.  Plus, they don’t take up as much battery power. However, replacing them can be costly so keep that in mind when making your choice.

The only real advantage of incandescent bulbs, aside from cheaper price, is that they have a stronger beam. Up close the two bulbs have equal power. However, LEDs don’t shine quite as far. I would argue, however, that the yellow tint undermines this advantage. You can see farther but not clearly.

Specific Flashlights to Check Out

Here is a list of quality flashlights. These can be found on Amazon, if you can’t spot them at your local store.

Vizeri Tactical Flashlight

The beam this flashlight produces is impressive. Its power is usually reserved for models at three times the price. This is a favorite of the military, police, and fire department because it’s easy to carry despite its jolting light.

It has multiple settings to reduce overheating. If left at full power too long the military-grade aluminum handle can heat to 150 degrees. The metal casing makes it a great weapon as well. Plus, its designed to be rail mounted on an AR-15, shotgun, and other rifles.

This is great primary flashlight. It doesn’t serve every purpose. It’s of medium size so it won’t illuminate a large area and can get pretty hot after a while. It’s perfectly designed to help you while walking through the woods at night, though.

Emergency Crank Flashlight

The Emergency Crank Flashlight is a great backup option. It’s designed to work as a light but also as a seat belt cutter, window breaker, red flasher, and compass. Plus, it’s not reliant on batteries. Just turn the crank or use the USB drive.

There are better products on the market for pure beam power and ease of travel, but this device will be a key addition to your survival kit. It does a lot of jobs and won’t break down on you.

SureFire E2D LED Defender Flashlight

This flashlight is specifically designed for personal defense. To go along with that, it’s basically unbreakable. It has no filament to break and can light for up to 1,000 hours at a time.

The aluminum body is aerospace-grade. I doubt anything you encounter will damage metal more than falling through the atmosphere. There’s a 120 lumen bright flash designed to blind an attacker. If they can get past that, the tool has built in aluminum teeth to use as a striking weapon.

Despite all these feature, it’s not bulky and it is easy to walk around with. There are stronger light sources, but this one has an impressive amount of accessories.

Coast HP17TAC Flashlight

This is a great tool for spying from a distance. It has a powerful beam that will shoot through the night and illuminate deep into the wilderness. There is a spot mode that allows you to focus on varying distances.

Typically, a flashlight won’t be too tough. It’s not expected to see much action. That’s not good in a survival scenario. This tool is different. The LED light is unbreakable and even water resistant.  It serves a pretty specialized purpose but this item is beautifully designed and will be very helpful as a secondary flashlight.

Fenix PD35 Tactical Flashlight

The Fenix Tactical Flashlight is a great small option. It is less than 5 and a half inches but produces a great deal of lighting power. For 50,000 hours it will run perfectly and can reach up to 1,000 lumens for about an hour.

Battery replacement will be a necessity. That’s about the only inconvenience on this device. It is water proof and its stainless steel sides can take a beating.  If you combine this with the Vizeri above, you’ll have a great one two punch for night travel.

Surefire P2X Fury Dual Output LED

The Surefire P2X is another small flashlight option. It serves a slightly different purpose from the Fenix PD35. It spreads a wide beam at 500 lumens. This essentially makes it a pocket-sized searchlight.

If you have small children that could get lost in the woods, this is a good option. Its spread is gigantic. Plus, it is designed to take a beating, but not quite as much as the Fenix. The battery has a 10 year shelf life, and it comes with lifetime warranty.

The Surefire company is high quality. The founder, Dr. John Matthews, actually created the first laser sight for law enforcement in 1969. Ever since, they have been cranking out quality lighting products.

Streamlight Survivor

The Streamlight Survivor is a cutting edge tool. It uses the most up to date C4 power and LED tech. It is designed for easy use when wearing gloves, which makes it a good cold weather option. Plus, it can easily link to a belt or strap, making it a favorite for law enforcement.

Amazingly, its advances in technology give a 50,000-hour shelf life. The beam is slightly weaker than other option at 140 lumens, but it is as durable as they come and water resistant.

Coast HP21 Flashlight

At 1317 lumens, this flashlight produces a blast of light that can be manipulated from a wide spread to a focused light. It comes with a lifetime warranty and is made of rust resistant aluminum, which will be helpful in moist environments. Not to mention, it is water resistant.

J5 Tactical V1-PRO Flashlight

On a clear night, this baby can shoot a beam light clean across two football fields. Its uses are a bit limited. It only takes one battery, but will only last about an hour before needing to be changed. This is simply flashlight for spying deep into the wilderness or scoping an area piece by piece. For that purpose, it’s great.

ThorFire PF01 Tactical LED Flashlight

This is the best pen light on the market. It easily clips to your pocket and has three levels of light. Weighing in at barely over an ounce, it’s a great tool to throw in your bag and use in emergencies. Just make sure to note that it takes a triple-A battery, which is not included in the original purchase.

UltraFire 7w 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight

The UltraFire 7w is made to fit a lot of different scenarios. Its focus is adjustable, allowing you brighten areas both up close and from a great distance with equal precision. The clip is designed to fit right on your belt. This makes it a favorite for rock climbers and mountain hikers alike.

Plus, it takes a variety of voltages. You won’t have to search for a battery to fit this machine. All will do the job. It’s a small flashlight that has big versatility and power.

SOLARAY PRO ZX-1 Professional Series Flashlight Kit

You definitely won’t be left in the dark with this device. It blasts light at 1,200 lumens and has five easy to adjust settings. Just a click of a button and the focus will move from a wide spread to a focused search strobe. There’s even an SOS mode for use in extreme emergencies.

It’s made of plastic, but it’s the hardest possible on the market. It won’t crack without extreme stress. Plus, it’s waterproof. You will need to purchase (3) AAA batteries for this device and a charger for continued use.

Smith & Wesson Galaxy

Smith & Wesson is a household company name and it’s a favorite for law enforcement officers, military men, and even astronomers. It has a special red light mode you won’t find on many other devices. Red light is great for illuminating the woods at night. It’s harder to track the source of the light and more effective overall.

Its normal white light mode comes with 13 LED lights that can run on full blast for 30 hours at a time. The flashlight can illuminate at distances up to 17.1 meters. The red light mode will shine to 16.5 meters and can last up to 80 whole hours.

Streamlight Protac Tactical Flashlight

The Protac Tactical Flashlight is a great small-sized option. Its C4 LED works very well and packs a great deal of power. There’s no doubt that it’s one of the brightest small tools on the market.

Plus, it is durable. Its waterproof and proven to survive falls from 2 meters or below with absolutely no malfunctions. Weighing in at 2.8 ounces, it won’t be a burden whatsoever to pack one of these as a quality back up.

MagLite RE1019

This light comes with a complete rechargeable system. It is a bit on the pricey side but it will last and last. You will only have to buy a new battery about once every decade. The investment is a good one.

Plus, the light itself is high quality. It’s made of aluminum and its halogen lamp is extremely powerful. If you can deal with the dent in your wallet, this light will last so long and perform so well that you’ll be passing it on to your kids.

Conclusion

As you can see, there’re quite a few flashlights to pick from but the ones I highly recommend are the hand-crank type because they’re guaranteed to work when there’s no electricity.

Don’t be left in the dark.

“Freedom From The Dark Side”

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     There are times we have great reason to celebrate that Freedom still resonates within the crumbling facade of America; that people can still champion righteous causes in the Name of God and Freedom.  Today, I want to introduce you to some of those champions.   
     But first, let me give you a little background … There has been a faithful remnant within our nation that recognizes that our culture has changed, and not for the better.
     We recognize that over the past several decades, that our foundational Constitutional roots and freedoms have been unraveling and disappearing.  We recognize that there needs to be a new dawning of those rights; a re-establishment of God at the center of this nation and its government.  

     When the Constitutional Convention came to an impasse in Philadelphia in June of 1787, Benjamin Franklin proclaimed, “We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that ‘except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it’”. The impasse was broken by prayer, and the Constitution was completed.
     On that basis, a group of faithful women met in Washington, D.C., in 2012, to strategize a way to change the culture, which resulted in the American Prayer Initiative, designed to help draw “we the people” of this nation back to the One upon whom she was founded ~ asking for His aid in the re-building of our land on the Biblically-based principles established by our Founders.  
     The first of our champions is the organization that resulted from those strategy sessions, The American Prayer Initiative, a call for this nation to join together to pray, specifically, each day for the needs of this nation.  The second of our champions, is the publication, The Washington Times, for printing a special feature in their newspaper on the power of prayer.  The following article was  written by David Kupelian, managing editor of World Net Daily, and it appeared in that Washington Times section, and I would like to share it with you, in its entirety:

     There’s no greater or more famous prayer than the Lord’s Prayer. Ironically, theaters throughout Britain recently banned an “advert” featuring the Lord’s Prayer, intended to run just before the new “Star Wars” movie. Apparently it’s politically correct for a fantasy “force” to be “with us” – but not the Real One.
     In any event, even though most readers have probably recited it thousands of times, let’s look at the “Lord’s Prayer” with fresh eyes.
     Jesus, when he taught this prayer 2,000 years ago, first laid down a couple of ground rules: “Use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do, for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” Besides, he added, “your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” That said, Jesus gifted to mankind this short (only 66 words) — but perfect — way to commune with the Creator of the universe:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. (Matthew 6:9-13 KJV)
     So let’s look at it: First, Jesus exhorts us to honor God and humble our will before His, and to seek His continued sustenance. (No problem, we think.)
     Later we’re told to ask for God’s protection as we acknowledge His supremacy in all things. (Great, that makes perfect sense too, we think.)
     But in between those two parts comes one line that delivers an essential, life-changing commandment, the beating heart of the Lord’s Prayer, and the fulcrum of change in our lives, the place where miraculous things happen to us – or don’t, if we don’t heed it:  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
     So crucial is this line that, immediately following the prayer, Jesus reinforces the forgiveness requirement in the starkest terms imaginable, to make sure nobody misses it:  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; But if ye forgive not men their tres- passes, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15 KJV).  Now that gets my attention.
     Forgiveness requires that we let go of resentment and bitterness at injustices, disappointments and betrayals, and even, as Christ said, that we love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. The big problem we have with this is that anger – whether subtle irritation or full-blown, out-of-control rage – is what sustains our prideful, sinful nature, which literally feeds on resentment and hostility while providing us an illusion of righteousness. Thus, fasting from the “meal” of resentment and truly forgiving those who have “trespassed against us” requires repentance on our part.
     And where is repentance to be found? I love this short but transcendently meaningful explanation by John the Apostle: “Here is the message we heard from him [Jesus] and pass on to you: that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to be sharing in His life while we walk in the dark, our words and our lives are a lie; but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, then we share together a common life, and we are being cleansed from every sin by the blood of Jesus his Son.” (1 John 1:5-7 NEB)
     John mentions here no complicated dogma, no required religious observances, rituals, pilgrimages, or special diet. Just a sincere appreciation of God’s forgiveness and this glistening instruction: If we “walk in the light, as He Himself is in the light” – that is, if we calmly and humbly welcome God’s light of understanding to shine in our minds and souls, by which light we will observe our dark, angry, sinful nature – He will grace us with repentance. And “then,” assures John, “we share together a common life, and we are being cleansed from every sin by the blood of Jesus, His Son.”
     Again, living “in the light” – not losing ourselves in worry over the past, or anxiety and fear over the future, but staying faithful in the present moment, in the presence of God – involves facing our own vexing imperfections and faults, without condemning ourselves, or covering up the sin, or struggling with it to fix it, but just patiently waiting on God for help. When we do that, we are, in that very moment, being transformed, redeemed, graced to “share together a common life” with God.
 
     As you can see, Freedom comes in more than one package… there is the freedom guaranteed by our Constitution, and the freedom we receive from forgiveness.  The legal and moral freedoms of this nation just happen to be intertwined with the freedoms provided by our God.  If we would live out the Lord’s Prayer, we could change the culture in this country; we could truly live “in the land of the free”, and enjoy the nation that God built.  Until then we “labor in vain”.  

Acts 17:30    “The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,”


Prep Blog Review: New Year, New Prepping Tips

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prep blog reviewEvery new year brings a lot of new ideas and projects to look forward to, but many new challenges as well. You never know what the future holds, as an old saying goes, but you can surely prepare for anything it might bring.

Here are 5 tips we stumbled upon this week that will help stay safe in a lot of SHTF situations:

1. The Best Water Purification Methods

Prep 1“Water is second only to air when it comes to survival. Without water, you cannot survive for more than three days. In other words, in any survival situation, whether the collapse of society has finally arrived or you are stranded in the bush for an unknown amount of time, having a way to purify water can literally mean the difference between life and death.”

Read more on Survival Sullivan.

2. 5 Ways to Keep Warm During a Winter Power Outage

Prep 2“Winter power outages can turn your cozy home into an icebox in a matter of hours, yet staying in a motel or going to a community warming center may not be an option. If you live in an area that experiences frigid winters, knowing how to keep yourself and your family warm during a power outage is crucial to your health and safety. Here are some safe, effective methods for retaining and generating heat while you wait for electricity service to be restored.”

Read more on Survive the Apocalypse.

3. Why Prepping is Hard (and How to Make it Easier)

Prep 3“No one who decides to start prepping thinks it will be an easy feat.

Prepping isn’t something you do because it’s a quick and easy win. If it was, I’d argue that a lot more people would be doing it.

Prepping is hard. I’ve said it time and time again, and I’m not anywhere done saying it yet.

There are so many excuses a person can come up with for not taking prepping seriously – so many “reasons” not to prep.”

Read more on More Than Just Surviving.

4. 70 Tips That Will Help You Survive What Is About To Happen To America

Prep 4“You may have noticed that things are starting to get crazy. Financial markets are imploding, violent crime rates are soaring in our major cities, and we have witnessed a truly unusual series of natural disasters in recent months. War in the Middle East continues to rage out of control, and Islamic terror continues to spread all over the globe.

And many believe that 2016 is going to be a year of political shaking, civil unrest, governmental crackdowns and great economic chaos in the United States. All it is going to take to plunge our society into full-blown panic mode is a major “trigger event” of some sort. Another 9/11, a new “Lehman Brothers” moment, a massive EMP burst from the sun or a historic seismic event are all examples of what this “trigger event” could look like.”

Read more on End of the American Dream.

5. Back to Basics: Why and How to Stockpile Water for Emergencies

Prep 5“I wanted to start a new series on the Prepper Journal called “Back to Basics”. I know many of the readers of this blog are already well along their own journey of preparedness so some of the content might be remedial.

It has certainly been covered on our site before, but there are new readers every day. Millions of people visited the pages of our site last year and one of the most frequent questions I continue to receive is along the lines of “How do I start prepping”?”

Read more on The Prepper Journal.

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

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Beware of IRS Phone Scams

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(This rendering is the work product of www.lubbockonline.com    )

              As the economy worsens or stagnates, the criminals always adapt, often faster than the decent people.   Yesterday, I was driving on an interstate highway and a call came in on my cellular phone from a number I did not recognize. I don’t answer while driving so they were out of luck.   They called again when I got to my destination. The call was a recording in which the IRS claimed that I had been “named in a lawsuit” that was filed today and that I needed to call this number immediately.   I didn’t think this was very likely.  First of all, I owe the IRS nothing, as they already have all my money.  Secondly, the caller did not know my name and did not recite it in the message. Thirdly, when I file taxes, I never include a phone number, and I have never provided my cell phone to them. Fourth, if the IRS has a problem with the way my return was prepared, they would call my tax preparer, not me. However, many people might be afraid when they receive such a call.  It’s a scam, I thought.

                    When I got home and was doing some chores, the same number called again, but I didn’t answer fast enough for them, and they didn’t leave a message.    The fourth time, I was unloading hay in the barn. This time, I answered.    It was a recording stating that “IRS Agent Bob Brown needed to speak with me at once regarding the lawsuit that was filed against me today”. He repeated the number that had been calling.   Although I recognized this as a scam, I wanted more information before reporting it.   When I called the number, which was supposedly located in Texas, a man with a heavy East Indian accent answered. His accent was so heavy that I believe he was located in India and that the call is somehow routed to appear as if coming from Texas.   When I called, he wanted identifying information.  I told him that all I could provide him with is the number he had called.  He said he would need a moment to look up my file. When he returned he said, “Ah yes, Mrs. Bourne”.   Then I said, “No, you have the wrong number. You are not to call this number again.” and he hung up.

                   Upon researching this I found that there are an abundant number of telephone IRS scams running out there right now.    When you do deal with the IRS, insist that you do so by letter.   Don’t provide them with phone numbers.  If they don’t have your number, and someone from there is calling, you automatically know that the caller isn’t the IRS, just as I did.

                   Although such scammers probably use a ton of different numbers, the number from which they called me yesterday was:

                                       682-224-7277


Here is detailed information directly from the IRS concerning scams such as these:





https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Warns-of-Pervasive-Telephone-Scam

Preserving Oral Hygiene In A SHTF Scenario

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Oral hygiene is of upmost importance, and we’re familiarized with the toothbrush and toothpaste from an early age. Keeping your teeth clean on a daily basis is vital for preserving oral hygiene. But despite the rigors and norms of the modern consumerist society we live in, there are many other ways of keeping your teeth clan and healthy. And they work best in a TEOTWAWKI scenario, when the products we’re used to won’t just be available anymore. You’ll need to improvise, but luckily there are many substitutes for the traditional methods and products. And despite what many people believe, teeth aren’t made of glass. Cleaning them with something else other than toothpaste won’t damage them in any way. There are plenty of raw foods that known to have a cleaning effect on the teeth (apples, pears, carrots); provided they are hard enough (soft and ripe won’t do), they’ll do wonders for your teeth and gums, preventing even gingivitis and canker sores. Here are some of the best replacements for modern teeth cleaning methods.

 

BAKING SODA

Baking soda is probably the most famous alternative when it comes to cleaning the teeth. The baking soda’s natural properties lets it neutralize acids that are harmful for the enamel, kills off bacteria that is responsible for plaque build-up and as far as aesthetics go, it’s an excellent stain remover. It’s used dates as far back as antiquity, as even Hippocrates himself had a mouthwash recipe based on baking soda, vinegar and alum. Alongside baking soda, there are many oils you can throw into the mix for added beneficial effects: cinnamon oil (has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties), peppermint oil (has antibacterial effect, it freshens the breath and it clears up the sinuses), clove oil (fights off bacteria and has painkilling properties) etc. These oils work in more ways than one. If you have swollen gums, you can dip a piece of clean cloth of gauze in any of these and a place over the affected area; for best results, let the gum-pack sit overnight.

SALT

Salt is the ingredient that no serious prepper should go without. And believe it or not, it even serves a purpose in the field of oral hygiene. Salt brushing can be used even today, in moderation of course; salt can whiten and brighten one’s teeth. It has mild cleaning properties and it can be used daily; you can also make a salt based mouthwash that you can use for disinfection purposes, against bad breath, tartar, plaque and even boost the healing process. Salt can be used raw or mixed with baking soda (30% salt, 70% baking soda); you can even add sage to the mix, if you happen to have some at your disposal. Mouth wash is even easier to make; just add salt to potable water and there you have it.

 

OXYGENTATED WATER (HYDROGEN PEROXIDE 3%)

The product has been proven to be very effective against gingivitis, canker sores and harmful bacteria. It should be diluted with water before usage, because it’s a bit to abrasive on the teeth. Just mix equal parts of water and hydrogen peroxide 3% and you get a very affective mouth wash. However, you should never swallow the mixture. Before brushing your teeth, swish it around in your mouth and spit it out, but don’t keep it in for longer than 20 seconds. After you’re done, you can wash the toothbrush with the oxygenated water-based concoction, to destroy residual bacteria.

 

PRIMITIVE TOOTHBRUSHES (aka. CHEW STICKS)

Chewing on sticks and branches is a primitive teeth-cleaning method, that’s still used today among tribal societies. It might seem a bit rough, but it works. The method consists in chewing down on little twigs and branches and splitting them into several small brands. When you’re done chewing and the twig gets spread enough, you can used it to clean your teeth similar to a toothbrush. Some plants are more efficient than others, thanks to their healing properties. Some of the best and most spread DIY toothbrushes can be made out of oak, juniper, eucalyptus and the neem tree. Their rich in tannins that are extremely helpful in cleansing and curing gum-related afflictions and oils that stimulate blood flow.

There you have it, some of the best methods to help you keep your oral hygiene even in the toughest conditions imaginable. When your toothpaste and mouthwash reserves run low, you’ll need to consider replacing them and fast. No matter how bad things get, overlooking oral hygiene is not an option.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

 

 

The post Preserving Oral Hygiene In A SHTF Scenario appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

‘I’m Here to Investigate Unsocialized Homeschoolers’

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'I’m Here to Investigate Unsocialized Homeschoolers'

Image source: Telegraph

Simply homeschooling or having a large number of children can now apparently get a family investigated by a social worker in some states. In fact, one homeschool mom says that a social worker visited her home because her children allegedly were “unsocialized.”

The unidentified mom, called “Amy,” gave the account to the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)

“When the social worker stopped by this afternoon I asked her what the accusations are, and she said: ‘Well, it looks like we’ve got a report here of unsocialized homeschoolers,’” the woman told Mike Donnelly, an HSLDA staff attorney.

Donnelly was so astounded by the allegations that he asked Amy to clarify the remark. He even asked, “Did you say she is investigating ‘unsocialized homeschoolers?’”

“Yes, sir,” Amy replied.

“Unsocialized” apparently means that someone thinks the kids are not spending enough time with other children or in the community.

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

“Here we are in 2016,” Donnelly wrote on the HSLDA blog, “with over two million homeschoolers in the United States, and social services agencies are still investigating homeschooling families for concerns about ‘socialization’! But this isn’t the first call we’ve received about this, and I doubt it will be the last.”

Donnelly told Amy that lack of socialization is not considered neglect or abuse under state laws. He suggested that she ask the social worker to reveal everything she was investigating. Social workers sometimes fail to do that “even though federal law and most state law requires them to do so at their first contact,” Donnelly wrote.

“She said that in addition to the unsocialized homeschoolers, the allegations included that our back yard was a mess, and that there was no way there could be enough beds in our house for our 10 children,” Amy told Donnelly after she had contact again with the social worker.

Amy told Donnelly that she thinks a neighbor – one she was not getting along with — called the social worker on her family. Complaints to social workers are anonymous.

Thankfully, the incident ended amicably, with the social worker, after a follow-up visit, telling Amy she had a nice-looking family and that she was closing the case.

The incident, Donnelly said, is a reminder that families – especially homeschoolers — should understand the law before a social worker visits.

“It is striking how many people are not aware of their rights,” Donnelly wrote. “And sadly, too few social workers or government officials actively seek to protect the rights of citizens they are investigating.”

HSLDA is a nonprofit advocacy organization that defends the constitutional right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children.

What is your reaction to this story? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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

Home Protection Dogs: Amp Up Your Home’s Security Perimeter With These Tips

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guard dog1In the previous article on how your guard dogs could be compromised, I talked about how easy it is for me to get past your dog and onto your property when you’re not home.  Most people think that their pet dog behaves the same way towards strangers entering the property when the owner isn’t home as they do when the owner is present.  They see their dog barking ferociously and relentlessly and think they have a great guard dog on their hands.  My off the farm job requires that I enter all types of private property unannounced hundreds of times a month and I can tell you this just isn’t true in almost every case.

If you want your dog to protect your property while you’re away, there are a few things you can do that make it easier for the dog to do his job and to protect your dog from those that would otherwise want to do him harm.

Limit the Protection Zone

Dogs are naturally territorial, but they have a limit to what they consider their territory.  You may think of your entire acreage as “yours”, but your dog doesn’t.  The larger your property and the farther away from their territory they get, the less incentive they feel to protect it.  I feel much safer meeting your dog at your gate at the end of your long driveway than I do if your gate is open and I attempt to get out of my vehicle closer to the house.  The exceptions to this rule are dogs that are bred specifically to be livestock guardians, which we’ll discuss later.

If you have acreage that is fenced around the perimeter, put up a fence around your house and out buildings, too, and keep your dog inside that zone.  Install adequate shelter for the dog (a doggie door that leads inside one of the buildings or a dog house) within that perimeter.  This is not only the humane thing to do; it will also take advantage of the dog’s natural desire to defend its “den” and territory.

Never leave out fetch-type toys when you’re not home.  Balls, Frisbees, and other types of toys commonly used to play fetch are the first things I look for.  If you have a dog that loves to play fetch, I have a dog that loves to play fetch!  I’ll either try to get your dog excited about “Find the ball!  Where’s your ball?!” or if I’m unable to get the dog to go get the toy for me, I’ll look for a suitable substitute on my side of the perimeter like a stick.

Keep the dog poo picked up.  A yard full of dog poo is just gross and encourages parasites, but it’s also a dead give-away to let me know what size of a dog you have before I see the dog.  Little bitty poos and small dog houses- perfect!  I walk right in.  No one is that afraid of a twenty pound dog.  If your dog is on the smallish side, try to locate the dog house out of site.  On the other hand, if you have a big dog and a dog house sized to go with it, place it in a conspicuous place- the intent is to intimidate and give pause to whoever wants to enter your property before they get a chance to meet your dog.  Dogs can pick up on body language much better than we can and someone who is apprehensive is nervous and a little afraid.

Limit the amount of bushes and objects near your home.  One of the only times I feared for my life was while entering the backyard of a suburban home.  I had been told there was a known biter at this house, but that the dog was secured inside the home.  No one told me about the doggie door.  I was halfway across the backyard before the dog realized I was there and I was much too far away from the entry gate to get out before the dog could catch me.  The only reason I was able to escape is because the owner of the house was so messy.  Their yard was cluttered with all manner of things that I used to defend myself.

Provide a Pack

When we form a bond with a dog, we become part of their pack and dogs will defend anything in their pack, including other dogs and animals.  Many breeds that are now used in police and protection work were originally bred to protect a flock and don’t do well when left alone for an eight-hour (or longer) workday.  An “only child” dog left alone all day while you’re at work is often a bored and lonely dog.  They don’t have the job to do and will often welcome my unexpected company.

Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGDs) make great protection dogs, but they need something other than property to protect while you’re gone.  The pack instinct is very strong in these types of dogs and, with proper training and supervision to control the prey drive instinct, they’ll bond with almost any kind of livestock and make it part of their pack.  This brings me to the Backup Auxillary Dog- a small dog that acts as a companion to your LGD (if they have no other livestock companions) and an additional set of ears/eyes.

Dog Flipping

Dog flippers are just like real estate flippers, except real estate flippers don’t steal your house.  Purebreds, especially unaltered animals that are still capable of breeding, are prime targets, but any dog can fall victim to these pet thieves.  As reported in this Time article, pet flipping is on the rise.

 “In a typical pet-flipping situation, a criminal will get hold of a pet — either by stealing it or seeing the animal in a “Pet found” poster or ad on Craigslist and claiming to be the owner — and then turn around and sell it for a quick profit. It’s a cause for concern for pet owners, obviously, but also for anyone looking to buy a dog or cat. The scam is an extension of dognapping, a trend that the American Kennel Club reported spiking in recent years.”

Contrary to popular belief, these dogs are no longer stolen by unscrupulous Class B Dealers, aka dog bunchers, and sold to laboratories thanks to a recent change in the law for research facilities.

 “Class B” is a USDA designation for individuals who buy, sell, or transport animals they did not breed and raise themselves…. Class B dealers sell dogs and cats for research, and some of these individuals have generated controversy because of repeated failures to provide adequate care for animals and, in some cases, selling lost or stolen pets to research labs.”

Source

Instead, most pet thieves are motivated by a variety of reasons.  Purebreds and “designer dogs” can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.  The thieves steal the dogs and then turn around and sell them as unpapered purebreds, use them for dog breeding and sell off the offspring, or claim to have found the dog and demand a finder’s fee (a form of ransom) from distraught owners.  Occasionally, expensive or highly desirable breeds are stolen by thieves to give to themselves or to their friends or family.  Arguably the cruelest of all are the dogs stolen and used as bait animals in dog fighting.

Another group worth mention is the Do Gooders: those individuals that make it their mission, whether they belong to an organized animal rights group like PETA or not, to “rescue” dogs.  Non-aggressive working dogs are especially susceptible to these types of people.  They see a dog that was bred to be perfectly suited for the environment and conditions it’s working/living in and think the dog is being mistreated.

Never Feed From Your Hand

Using the tactics above to take advantage of your dog’s instincts will also help protect your dog.  Additionally, never feed your dog out of your hand or toss food at their feet or in the air.  It teaches the dog to accept hand-held treats and to eat things thrown over a fence.  Instead, toss a bit of food down and train your dog to “leave it”.  This won’t fool-proof every dog, but make those hand-held and tossed treats less familiar and therefore make your dog more cautious about accepting them when left to their own devices.  If your dog is small and portable, never leave it unattended in a yard or alone in a car.

Make Your Dog Less Desirable

Spaying and neutered your dog makes them less desirable to would-be dog thieves and reduces the animal’s desire to roam in search of a mate.  Micro-chipping your dog is the best form of identification.  Virtually all veterinarians and animal shelters have the device to read the chip to find out the rightful owner.  It’s important to note that the information on the chip needs to be registered to your name as soon as possible and then updated anytime you have a change of address or phone number.  Take close-up photos of distinguishing characteristics of your dog- for instance, a white stripe on it’s chest or the pattern of it’s stocking feet or any scars it may have.  Take yearly photos of your dog, including full body and face shots, so you always have updated photos in case you need to post a “lost dog” ad.If you do discover your dog missing, watch the “found” ads in the newspaper and on the internet. Respond to any that are even close to your pet’s description. What one person describes as a “red hound mix” may look like a “yellow pit mix” to someone else.    Check your local shelters and search websites like www.petfinder.com or www.petharbor.com to see if your dog has been taken in by a rescue.  Many communities also have Facebook groups dedicated to finding lost or stolen dogs.  If you post to your own Facebook profile, be sure to make the post “public” so it can be seen and shared by as many people as possible.  Monitor pets for sale or pet adoption ads in newspapers or online from pet thieves are looking to profit from stealing your animal.

By making a few small changes to your property, you can help your dog to do a better job of defending it.  Teaching your dog that food comes from a bowl, not from your hand, will help prevent them from becoming conditioned to take treats from strangers.  Micro-chipping your dog and taking yearly photos will greatly increase your chances of getting your dog back if he gets stolen.  Done together, you and your dog are better able to protect each other.

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

Survival Buzz: 46 Must Have Items for Your Emergency Vehicle Kit

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46 Must Have Items for Your Emergency Vehicle Kit |Backdoor Survival

As much as I like to think I have a handle on things, sometimes projects slip through the cracks. Case in point.  Since the big road trip to Arizona in late September, not once have I gone out to the Subaru and reviewed the contents of my car kit.  At the time of my journey I was certain that I had everything I needed in the event of a calamity along the way.  The journey, after all, was close to 1,500 miles.

Since then, life has happened.  We needed room to cart groceries and, in Shelly’s case, to transport 4 set of golf clubs along with 3 of his buddies.  Something had to give, but what?

46 Must Have Items for Your Emergency Vehicle Kit |Backdoor Survival

Today’s challenge is to take inventory of your vehicle’s emergency kit and supplies.  To get you started, here is a car kit submitted by long term reader, Elaine K.  I think it is a good one and am going back to check my own supplies to make sure that I am as prepared as she is.

Best Practices: 46 Items to Include in your Vehicle Emergency Kit

  1. Tow chains
  2. Jumper cables
  3. Spare tire
  4. Tire jack
  5. Fix-a-flat (I like this brand)
  6. Fire extinguisher
  7. Gasoline funnel
  8. Candles
  9. Flashlight
  10. Cigarette lighters
  11. Matches
  12. Flares
  13. Duct tape
  14. Disposable gloves
  15. Well-stocked first aid kit (here is one I put together myself)
  16. Well-stocked tool kit
  17. Solar blankets
  18. Wool blankets
  19. Warm socks
  20. Rain coat
  21. Cash (bills and coins)
  22. Winter hat
  23. Heavy gloves
  24. Heavy sleeping bag for winter, lighter sleeping bag for summer
  25. Paper
  26. Pen
  27. Whistle
  28. List of important phone numbers
  29. Can opener
  30. Knife
  31. Map
  32. Garbage bags in various sizes
  33. Paracord or rope
  34. Quart of oil
  35. Sewing kit
  36. Baby wipes
  37. Toilet paper
  38. Hand soap
  39. Comb
  40. Hair brush
  41. Tooth brush
  42. Change of clothes
  43. Various towels in Ziploc bags (women can use to urinate in if caught in traffic)
  44. Water
  45. Water filter (such as the Lifestraw)
  46. Edible nuts stored in raw honey

I don’t know about you, but I got some good ideas from this list.  And shame on me; for all of my foresight I did not have a fire extinguisher in my car.  Thanks, Elaine, for your valuable contribution to Backdoor Survival and to our preps!

News Flash!  Articles from Around the Web

The Canadian dollar is collapsing, and the sudden spike in food prices across the country are leaving citizens in a state of panic. Canada imports around 80% of its fresh fruits and vegetables. When the value of the Canadian dollar declines, prices for those goods soar, which most strongly affects lower income families.

These days, it is politically incorrect to point out cultural differences. Recent events in Europe have shown that it is unsafe to bury our heads in the sand about this topic. Thousands of immigrants from Muslim countries have descended on Europe claiming that they are seeking asylum. Meanwhile, European women are being raped by the hundreds. This article says that the rapes are not misunderstandings, as the mainstream media says. Apparently, these refugees are playing something they call “the rape game.”

Pay attention to the Zika virus. Formerly, the Zika virus was considered mild and nothing to worry about, but now there is a link between the virus and microcephaly, which means the babies are born with small heads and underdeveloped brains. The defect has risen 20 fold since the virus appeared in Brazil last May. It is spread by mosquitoes, and researchers are warning that this virus could spread to North America fairly easily.

Social Shares for this Coming Week

For your discernment, here are a few of the best prepping, survival, and homesteading articles from my colleagues in the Professional Prepared Bloggers Group.  I hope you enjoy and learn from them.

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Do you use paper towels or have you chosen reusable options? Here are some tips to make the money-saving change.

Do you store these items in the refrigerator? You might be as surprised as I was to discover it is unnecessary to refrigerate these 14 items that may be taking up space in a crisper drawer.

As the stock market plummets further and further, it is time to shift prepping into high gear. Here are some tips to survive the stock market crash that looks inevitable.

Prepare Your Family for Survival: Tip #1

As you may know, my friend Linda Loosli recently published a book titled Prepare Your Family For Survival.  I wrote about it in the article 11 Ways to Prepare Your Family for Survival.  Lucky for us, I have been given exclusive permission to share some of the top tips from Linda’s books.  Is that cool or what?

Today I begin with Tip #1.  This tip comes from Part 1, Chapter 1 “When the Lights Go Out – Water First and Foremost “.

Tip:   Find out where the water intake valve is located in your home and be sure to show everyone in your family where it is. Label it in some way, so that it’s easy to identify in the future. When local water or sewage lines break, shut the valve off to prevent contaminated water from entering your house.

Tip: Never drink floodwater, advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Though you can use a purifier to cleanse water from lakes, streams or your backyard pool, it may not be able to remove all the poisonous contaminants from floodwater.

Current Backdoor Survival Giveaways

Prepper Book Festival 10: Pandemic Preparedness Guide + Giveaway

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

Lately, winners have not been checking in and I have had to select alternates.  What a shame!  Please do check you email or the original article to see if you are a winner.


The Final Word

Elaine’s list of emergency preps for vehicles was a reminder that to all of us that circumstances change.  Often, they do not change by much but when they do, it is time to revisit our preps and make adjustments.  I just wish there was some magic reminder bell that would help me remember these things.

Many household chores, such as changing smoke alarm batteries, are timed to the change in daylight savings time.  Others are timed to the first of the month or the first of the calendar quarter.  So much to do and so little time; that is the prepper’s lament!

Do you have a favorite list of preps you would like to share?  If so, please do contact me via email.  I would love to hear from you.

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

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

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Bargain Bin:  Here are a pick of items related to today’s Survival Buzz.

Slime Quick Spare Tire Inflator:  All spare tire fix-its are not created equal.  Or so I learned.  Apparently some types coat the inside of the tire with some sort of goo that eliminates the tire from being repaired the proper way.  So, after consulting with the Subaru dealer and reading a lot of review, this is what I settled on.  Truly, you should always have a can of this or something similar in your car.

UltraFire Mini Cree LED FlashlightFAVORITE!  At the time of this writing, this one is only $3.00 with free shipping.  It is super mini sized, bright and waterproof.  Plus, it uses a single, standard AA sized battery.  You already know that I own a number of these.

mini Cree_0         

Grabber Outdoors Original Space Brand All Weather Blanket:  I was interested in a re-usable emergency blanket so I purchased one of these based upon the excellent reviews.  This space blanket is definitely “heavy duty” compared to the cheapies (not that they don’t have their place because they do).

Windstorm Safety Whistle:  When being heard is a matter of safety or even life and death, you want a whistle that is not only loud but can be heard for a long distance.  This particular whistle is not the cheapest one out there but I have proven to myself that this particular whistle can be heard a long distance away and above howling wind and other competing sounds.

Pocket Survival Kit 002

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

Prepare Your Family for Survival: How to Be Ready for Any Emergency or Disaster Situation:  In Prepare Your Family for Survival,  learn the basics of water and food storage – where to start and what to work toward for serious preparation – as well as 72-hour kits and evacuation plans. This book includes numerous helpful guides to follow not only before an emergency, but during an emergency as well.

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Their prices on Mountain House products continue to be heavily discounted as are the Emergency Essentials brand of food storage items.  This month they are featuring a #10 tin of Mountain House® Ground Beef for $37.99, a discount of 37%.

Emergency Essentials also carries a wide variety of equipment and supplies – all at competitive prices.

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

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

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

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

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Essential Oils: Deal of the Week

Each week I update a special page with the Spark Naturals item of the week?  You can find it here:  Essential Oils from Spark Naturals – Weekly Deals. Every once in awhile there will be free shipping or a free gift offered as well as a product discount.  And then sometimes, it is simple a huge discount.

SHOP THE WEEKLY SPECIALS AT SPARK NATURALS

Spark Natural Base Salve | Backdoor Survival

And remember, you can always use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL for an additional 10% off your entire SN order.  When it comes to saving money, every little bit helps.

The post Survival Buzz: 46 Must Have Items for Your Emergency Vehicle Kit by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Aquaponics!

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Aquaponics!
Brett Bauma “Makers On Acres

AquaponicsOk, so Aquaponics is becoming a buzz word, and rightfully so. Aquaponics is one of the greatest ways to grow food on a homestead or even in an apartment! Aquaponics is a very versatile system that can be scaled to fit any person’s needs.

1-16-16 download (3)So what is it exactly? Well if you tune in to the show, we will discuss what aquaponics is, and we will also discuss what many don’t know, and what it is NOT. Many in the circle around this system think it is a solution to all the worlds hunger problems, and in some ways it is, but also in some ways it is not.

1-16-16 download (2)How can we start with an aquaponic system for ourselves and how much is it going to cost me?

Well we can build a system for $40 or $40,000! The key is you need to know what you are going to get in return, and also what you are NOT going to get in return. Aquaponic systems can cost quite a bit to get started, but if done right the first time it will be worth it.

Make sure you tune in to hear an un-biased view and see if it is right for you and your situation.
Visit Makers on Acres website http://makersonacres.com/

Join us for Makers On Acres “LIVE SHOW” every Saturday 9:00/Et 8:00Ct 6:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat

Listen to this broadcast or download “Aquaponics” in player below!

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

The post Aquaponics! appeared first on The Prepper Broadcasting Network.

5 Things I’ll Miss Most if the SHTF

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5 things I'll miss most if the SHTF

I just got done reading Cyberstorm

It’s about the Internet going down, then NY city gets hit with back to back snowstorms. The latter of the two has happened before, but not when the Internet was down and without internet lots of things, in this day and age, don’t work. Everything is online. Did you know you can use your smart phone to turn on the heat at home if you want. If you have one of those new, fandangled thermostats! Crazy isn’t it.
So, after reading Cyberstorm, I decided to come up with my Top 5 Things I would Miss if the SHTF.

#1 Ice
I love my iced coffee every morning. Granted, come winter, in North Idaho, there will be ice. But it won’t be as easy as walking to the freezer, with my ice maker, and filling my cup.

#2 Running Water
That said, the thought of not having running water, in the house, bothers me. We are on a well, so our well could dry up someday. We do have a back up to at least access our water, but we would have to haul it.

#3 Washing Machine
This goes with no running water I suppose. If we don’t have running water, then that means I don’t have power, which means I don’t have a washing machine (or dishwasher for that matter) The convenience of being able to throw a load of laundry in and just go about my day? Well, I rather enjoy that.

I have noticed that the top 3 have to do with water…hmmm I see a pattern.

#4 Internet
Those who know me would say this is #1. It probably should be. I have friends who live in my computer. We do research on the computer. Don’t know something? Google it. Need a recipe? Go to Pinterest. Don’t want to make eye contact? Check Facebook on your iPhone. Ok, so the Internet isn’t a life or death situation, but I would miss it.

#5 Coffee
This wouldn’t happen for a while. I have my share of coffee back-stocked. It won’t last forever, so if that time were to ever come, it would be a sad day indeed.
It would make the sitting around the table, with your cup-of-joe, planning the day a little less festive. Even if it’s just planning where to go look for firewood or the rotation of the security team. Gotta have my coffee.

What are some things you think you will miss if the SHTF?

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The post 5 Things I’ll Miss Most if the SHTF appeared first on Mama Kautz.