The Survival Connection By Keith H. Burgess.

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The Survival Connection By Keith H. Burgess.

I will tell you a little about our group, who we are and what we do. Firstly we are an 18th century living history group, called the New England Colonial Living History Group 1680-1760. I started this group some 30 odd years ago, and we have an online presence in our official forum. Living History is about interpreting and recreating  past lifestyles, a little like Historical Re-enactment, except that we do not generally put on displays for the public and we go into the skills & equipment far deeper than the re-enactors do, and we emulate common personas in everyday situations rather than just military as re-enactors tend to do.

Part of our activities is Experimental Archaeology. That is the using of equipment, clothing & foods to establish exactly how an item was used. Sometimes this involves actually making that item. This can be anything from making fire in a primitive or period manner, to building a ship & sailing it on a trade route. Now there is another side that has been added known as Experiential Archaeology, which is the continuing use of the skills that we learn in experiments. We only wear period correct clothing, and we only use period correct equipment.

Not so much in Australia’s colonial past, but more in the New World colonial past, life was all about survival for those colonists who chose to live in the wilderness. They had to find or make some of their own tools, they had to often travel on foot to their destination carrying these tools and other supplies. On the way and once there they had to deal with the threat posed by natives and criminals. Everyone who was strong enough to hold and aim a gun was expected to know how to shoot. Plus there were a host of other skills needed to construct a dwelling, grow and hunt for food and to complete certain chores.

Now it does not take a total genius to realise that the above situation is very much in line with our needs as modern survivalists. All the more so because modern equipment rarely teaches us anything other than this is a throw-away society that we live in. Where as primitive equipment teaches us much about flora, fauna and our environment. A typical example would be the difference between using the “real” flint and steel method of fire lighting that has been in use for hundreds of years, and using a ferocerium rod. Many people do not learn about plant tinders when using the ferocerium rod, or the difference between plant tinders and kindling. Making fire in the rain can be difficult with a ferocerium rod, but not with a flint and steel. The skills learnt by using the flint and steel extend to the making and use of the fire-bow, flintlock fire lighting and reading glass fire lighting.

With the 18th century knapsack and contents I carry, along with other simple tools, I can survive a lifetime in the wilderness. Can a modern survivalist with what is considered mostly camping equipment claim the same? I very much doubt it. So what we have in 18thcentury living history is tried equipment and primitive skills. But it gives us something else that is of the utmost importance in survival, and that is a reasonable level of comfort. I will gladly admit that most of what I carry on my person is for comfort and not necessarily required for my survival. I can survive without carrying any equipment with me into a wilderness, but it is a very hard life until one manages to make a collection of primitive tools to make life easier, and even then we are talking about a Palaeolithic lifestyle.

By carrying 18th century equipment combined with the period and primitive skills, I can at least guarantee that my level of comfort will never drop below that level. Where as if I were to carry only modern clothing and equipment, slowly over time as items failed to work or broke and clothing wore out, I would be cast into a very primitive lifestyle regardless of the skills I may have learnt over time. If I were using a modern firearm it too may have ceased to function, or I may have simply run out of ammunition. Those using modern compound bows would be no better off, as these tools require special arrows, bow strings and parts.

However, do not think that I am totally against the use of modern technology; I believe that if we are able to carry some modern items as well as our period gear, then that would be an added advantage. The more people you have, the more you can take with you, but if I have to leave something behind, it will be the modern firearms etc that will in time break down and constitute a lot of weight for little gain. Modern medicine is an absolute must carry, despite what you may know about primitive methods and herbal use. Regardless of what you carry, you must keep one thing in mind. There must be a compromise between maximum self-reliance, and minimum weight.

If you have to leave the city or if you are forced from your bush retreat, you will need to make the right choice of equipment the first time. You may never get a chance to correct any mistakes, so choose wisely. IF you are serious about preparing for survival, and for you this is not just a game or a pastime, then you need to forget about looking like someone in the military. The military always has relied on back-up supplies and equipment. You, we, will NOT have that option. Whatever we take with us must be practicle, hard wearing and last us the rest of our lives.

Bug Out Bag Food Ideas

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Choosing the best food for your bug out bag can be challenging.  There are several things to consider:  shelf life, calories, taste, weight, bulk, fragility, and prep time.  Here are several bug out bag food ideas that I have used in my emergency kits over the the years that may help you determine the bestRead More

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Concealed or I Suppose Open Carry and Social Interactions/ Dating- My Take

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I threw out

Concealed or I Suppose Open Carry and Social Interactions/ Dating

just to see if you all came up with any special gems or blind flashes of the obvious.  


 My take is as follows. 

I believe in being armed unless:

-Carrying a gun is a felony (or I suppose a maxed out gross misdemeanor which is basically the same). Not asked to leave or a ticket but a serious crime.

 -I am unable to make life and death decisions due to the medicinal or recreational substances consumed or some medical condition that inhibits judgement. 

 -Carrying a gun is physically prohibitive due to clothing and activities being done such as swimming. 

There are invariably some occasions where being even somewhat visibly (yes a Glock 19 under a t shirt on a normal sized person prints some) armed is not desirable.

So where does that leave me?  

If I want to be armed but do not want it to be visible a smaller gun is often the answer. Meister hit the nail on the head that a deep concealment hand gun like my Ruger LCP buys a lot of options. Any normal male attire can hide that little gun. A gun nobody can see is a gun that is not going to cause any sort of issues. 

 Granted it is not optimally armed in my book (even as handguns go) but I only go to to polite social events at places where the risk is pretty low. 


Podcast-Grow or Die-Survival Gardening with David the Good

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David the Good of is back on the show today to talk about his new book, Grow or Die. We discuss what you need to produce your own food after a collapse. David gives us some great tips on grafting and propagating plants through cuttings. To learn more, visit David’s website or YouTube channel.


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


Cati Armor offers affordable body armor including level III trauma plates made of AR-500 steel which can endure multiple rounds from pistols and rifles up to 7.62 NATO. There plates are available with Rhino Linings coating to reduce spall.


I use JM Bullion because they have the lowest over-spot price of any dealer I have found for silver and gold bullion. JM Bullion now offers free shipping on every order!

God bless and happy prepping!


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Covert Nuclear Arms Race in Middle East Now Overt

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Here I go again, “just as I previously warned” (See:, Saudi Arabia announced that it will not rule out pursuing nuclear weapons pending any “nefarious” actions by Iran.  Naturally,

MagPul announces Glock happysticks

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The PMAG 27 GL9 is a 27-round Glock 9mm handgun magazine featuring a new proprietary all-polymer construction for flawless reliability and durability over thousands of rounds. Meeting the overall length requirements for a 170MM competition magazine, the PMAG 21 GL9 offers additional capacity without the need for expensive extensions.

I haven’t tried Magpul’s new Glock magazines yet. I’m always reluctant to go anywhere for a pistol magazine except the OEM source. I’m especially concerned about Magpul’s magazines not being metal-lined like Glock’s. Way back in the dinosaur days, Glocks mags were all plastic with no metal liner. When loaded, the mags would swell a bit and as a result, many more-than-empty magazines would not drop-free. It’s my understanding that the European methods of mag swapping involve stripping the mag rather than letting it drop free, so perhaps that wasn’t an issue. However, for the American market…us crazy Yank cowboys like our drop-free magazine changes.

An original 33-round Glock happystick is always going to be my first choice for this sort of thing. However, from an investment standpoint, if the Magpul offering is less than $20@ it might make sense to throw a few dozen back. If I ever get around to getting the 9mm Glock-compatible AR that I want, a couple dozen might be just what the doctor ordered.

Inspecting an Old Survival Kit Tin

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I went through an old survival kit tin that I put together a few years ago. I suppose others have the same feeling when going through kits they once put together, checking what they considered important back then, if its still relevant and also important, if it still works!
Here’s the content:

A good Geber knife, paper, pencil, two scalpel blades, razor blade, firesteel and striker, compass (working so so), flashlight, hooks, sinkers and line, wire saw, strike anywhere matches(one failed when tested), large ziplock bag, alcohol pad, wipe towelette, lighter, 3 ibuprofen (expired?), needles, tea, two packs of sugar.

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Are Drones a Viable Tool for Preppers Now That You Have To Register Them?

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Drone Registration

When the drone craze first took off, only commercial drone operators had to register with the FAA, essentially they needed a flying permit, which granted them authorization to conduct their business, as long as they did not interfere with any aircraft, and stayed a certain number of miles away from airports. Failure to do so would result in stiff penalties. Today, however, any owner now has to register their drone. You don’t need a license, just simply register with the FAA if the drone is for private use.

Why does the FAA require registration? As with many things, abuses happen, and drones are no exception. They are crashing at tennis matches, invading the backyards of homeowners, and flying too close to airports/aircraft and so on. The authorities claim they need a way to trace drones back to their owner, in particular, those drones that are caught violating no-fly zones around airports and other sensitive areas.

It probably won’t take long before retailers must fill out the registration paperwork before they sell a drone to anyone. The FAA will find out the honor system probably doesn’t work well, a system that allows people to register after purchasing the drone. This is all speculation at this point, but it seems plausible this might happen. Of course, if you already own a drone then it is up to you to register it or not.

Here Is What the FAA Has To Say

  • Registration Begins on December 21, 2015, and the First 30 Days are Free (The Fee is Five Dollars)
  • Registration is a statutory requirement that applies to all aircraft 
  • Under this rule, any owner of a small UAS who has previously operated an unmanned aircraft exclusively as a model aircraft prior to December 21, 2015, must register no later than February 19, 2016
  • Owners of any other UAS purchased for use as a model aircraft after December 21, 2015, must register before the first flight outdoors
  • Registrants will need to provide their name, home address, and e-mail address
  • You Must Be At Least 13 Years of Age To Register (Federal Aviation Administration, 2015)

Drones can be a nuisance, and they have been shot down when caught hovering in the backyard of homeowners. A particular case in Bullitt, County Kentucky from July 2015 raises the question about who owns the airspace above your home. The homeowner shot down a drone hovering over his property after his daughter spotted it as she was sunbathing in the backyard.

The homeowner was arrested after shooting down the drone, (for firing into the air) but the case was thrown out, however, the owner of the drone is suing claiming the homeowner does not own the space above his own home (Ernst, 2015).

The homeowner states that after shooting down the drone, he was confronted by four men who allegedly stepped onto his property to confront him. The homeowner was well armed, however, and when he revealed he was armed and willing to fire more rounds that day the men hastily retreated.

You can expect more drones to bite the dust as their popularity increases. It is almost impossible to fly one in any suburban setting without flying over someone else’s property, and now that they have to be registered owners can easily be tracked down, and you don’t want to get into legal problems or confrontations with armed landowners who claim you are violating their privacy.

If you own a drone as a Prepper then you do have to be careful of how you operate your drone. The particular drone shot down in Kentucky cost 1,800 dollars and it was a total loss. It is not clear if the operator was spying or just inept, because he stated he was trying to take pictures of a particular home, but one has to wonder why the drone was hovering over the wrong home taking pictures.

He may have been inexperienced and this is a lesson to all who own or plan to own a drone. Learn how to operate it, and learn in a controlled environment.

If you are trying to stay under the radar you would not want to register your drone, but the penalties for not doing so are to be decided, and you can be assured if caught the drone would be seized and it will cost you money in fines.

Of course, there will those that say as they do with a Ham Radio License why do you need a license when the SHTF. Well, you will be purchasing the drone before something happens and certainly will be practicing with your drone. The law states you have to register before the first flight.

Obviously, some people do not want to register, because they do not want to be tracked, but if you get caught with an unregistered drone, you can rest assured that you will be even more embedded in a governmental data base, a federal one.

Ernst, D. (2015, July). Retrieved 2016, from

Federal Aviation Administration. (2015, December). Retrieved 2016, from

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6 Clever Off-Grid Ways To Conserve Resources (And Become More Self-Reliant)

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6 Clever Off-Grid Ways To Conserve Resources (And Become More Self-Reliant)

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It isn’t recycling. It isn’t upcycling or reusing, either. Not even buying local. The number one way to conserve resources, both yours and the planets, is so simple and obvious that it might startle you.

The way to conserve resources is to avoid using them in the first place.

That’s right. It is just that easy. The amount of products people think they cannot live without has burgeoned to such an enormous list that it’s difficult to envision where it will stop. The truth is we just do not need all that stuff. And by learning how to “do without,” we in turn become more self-sufficient.

I have seen more than one post on social media about how those leftover plastic containers from single-use coffees can be used to make cute crafty items. That’s nice, but being able to convert trash to trinkets doesn’t justify creating all that trash. First of all, only a tiny fraction of those little cups are going to be upcycled. And is the end creation really worth using up petroleum and water to make, ship, process, ship again, discard, and ship yet another time?

Wastefulness is by no means limited to coffee containers. Our culture uses disposable and single-use items at every turn. Paper towel, plastic grocery bags, milk jars, soda cans, aluminum foil — it all contributes to a mountain of unnecessary garbage.

I am a big fan of recycling, reusing, upcycling and buying local. But none of those are my first choice. My go-to option is doing without. It has many off-grid benefits.

New 4-Ounce Solar Survival Lantern Never Needs Batteries!

If you would like to try it my way but do not know where to start, here are some tips to help you begin... (click link above to see the whole story)

200 Items You Can Barter After The Collapse

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Imagine a scenario where cash has become worthless. It could be hyperinflation, where it takes a wheelbarrow of cash to buy a loaf of bread. Or it could a devastating act of terrorism such as a bioweapon or an EMP that sets the country back 100 years. Whatever […]

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Waterproofing for Tents, Clothing and Shoes, Making Your Own

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The right 1/2 of this cap has been waterproofed

For many years, oilcloth was used for waterproofing clothes, tents and even for covering pioneers wagons.  You can still buy oilcloth clothing and some members of my family wear it and love it for rainy weather.  Oilcloth, also known as enameled cloth or (in England) American cloth, was close-woven cotton duck or linen cloth (canvas) with a coating of boiled linseed oil.  It was one of very few flexible, waterproof materials that were widely available.  Oilcloth was used as an outer waterproof layer for clothing, luggage and many other uses.

Now recently I have been looking into how to make your own waterproofing materials.  I have found a formula that is easy to make from readily available ingredients.  This is a mixture that has multiple uses.  It can be used to waterproof clothing, boots, canvas or wood.  It works great on gunstocks.  Even things like cloth baseball caps can be waterproofed.

The other day I made a batch of waterproofing at my house.


The mixture prior to setting up

I melted a ½ pound of beeswax in a double boiler.  Beeswax has a low melting temperature of around 150 F.  A double boiler works well and is safer.  But watch the wax well and make sure it doesn’t overheat.

When the wax is melted, remove it from the stove and add 4 oz of mineral spirits or turpentine and 4 oz of boiled linseed oil.  This should be done outside and because the wax cools slowly, it should not be on the stove or fire when you add the liquids.  Mix well and go back and stir occasionally while it is cooling so that it does not separate.

When the waterproof is set it will still be soft.  I then place it in cans or jars with tight fitting lids to keep it from drying out.


The mixture after setting up

To use it on cloth or leather, warm the material first if possible.  This helps the waterproofing to penetrate.  You can warm the material by setting it out in the sun or placing it in front of a fire.  If the electricity is on you can tumble the material in a dryer or use a hair dryer to warm it.

Now take a cloth and rub the waterproofing in the material being careful to coat the seams well.  You can use it on most cloth and other materials.  After you put it on, give it some time to dry and penetrate.  A little heat after it is rubbed in will help it penetrate.  You may want to run a test on a small patch, since it can affect colors.  Materials often get darker.

Try rubbing it on your gunstocks and it will give them a nice finish.  It gives a nice hand rubbed finish to wood.


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Why Storing Wheat for Survival is Smart

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Why Storing Wheat for Survival is Smart Unless you are gluten intolerant, wheat is something that you eat pretty much every single day. Whether that is in a bread or ingredient in some of your favorite dishes, wheat is one of those things that is on every continent and part of just about every culture …

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Stovehinge: The Collapsible Rocket Stove

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Stovehinge Collapsible Rocket Stove

First, a little about how the Stovehinge Collapsible Rocket Stove works, and why it is so efficient when it comes to combustion. This stove has the traditional “L” shaped design that allows oxygen to be drawn into the fire chamber via the split feed tube design.

The feed tube is split into two chambers, the top is the feed tube for combustibles, and the bottom is for airflow.

Heat from the fire chamber is channeled up the chimney, where there is a pot or pan resting on the grates. The heat is concentrated in the insulated chimney, thus, less heat loss through conduction. The insulation around the chimney can withstand temperatures up to 2000° F. This means the heat is not conducted through the metal and lost as it rises up to the cooking grate.

Now, On To a Short Chemistry Lesson on Wood Fires

As wood burns in a campfire, for example, it releases wood gases. The gases are wasted fuel in reality, and this process causes the fire to lose up to 50 percent of its chemical energy. Imagine if you didn’t lose 50 percent of the energy from a fire, how much more efficient would it be for cooking and boiling water in an emergency.

The heat generated by a traditional wood fire is not enough to reduce the loss of energy through the gases. However, the Stovehinge is designed to allow for greater combustion of your combustibles. This means less gases or smoke escape and as a bonus there is much less ash left to clean up afterwards.

The heat generated by this stove will exceed 1100° F, which is the temperature needed for efficient combustion of most organic materials. Nothing is wasted. Nearly all the energy available is converted into heat. Less time heating up water or food means less fuel is needed.

The heat generated will allow you to use green or wet wood. You do need a fire going first however, using dry materials, but as the green or wet wood waits in the feed tube it is being dried out, or pre-heated if you will. The moisture is being evaporated because of the high heat generated.


The stove comes with its own carrying case. The stove is collapsible for easy storage, so when it has cooled enough to handle you simply collapse it and store it in its 15″x10″x 2″ carrying case, which is included with your purchase.

  • Handmade using 304 stainless steel, so cleanup is easy, use a water hose or rinse off in the nearest stream before packing away
  • Assembly in just minutes, less than one minute with a little practice.
  • Weight is 12 pounds with carrying case, the stove itself is 10 pounds
  • Designed so it will not tip over under normal use
  • Can use sand, gravel or stones around the chimney for additional insulation, the chimney is wrapped in insulation from the factory and can be used as is

I had a fire going in minutes using two crumpled pieces of newspaper and some kindling made by splitting a piece of two by four. I lit the paper and dropped straight into the chimney, and then put some wood directly in the chimney. Once you get a fire going you can then feed longer pieces in through the feed tube. Once the end burns down just push the piece in. You can maintain a fire for hours if you load up the feed tube.

Stovehinge Burning Pinecone

I didn’t check the temperature coming out of the chimney, but it certainly boiled several quarts of water quickly. I am not much on timing things like this because under a controlled environment, it would likely take less time and any measurements I would had taken would not reflect how it would perform under more harsh conditions. Frankly anyone can boil water in his or her backyard on any rocket stove.

The true test is when out camping or when the power goes out at home. It is not complicated however, and this stove will exceed your needs (in my opinion) in an emergency. Don’t wait for an emergency though. Use it anytime to cook a hearty meal outdoors, as the family gathers around to compliment you on your very sensible purchase.

This is an outdoor stove only, you have to treat it like an open flame, and of course deadly gases are given off whenever you burn wood, or charcoal. Never use in any confined space.

You have plenty of heat from a very small amount of combustibles, so rest assured it will boil water for purification, bathing, and for laundry and of course will cook any meal you can fit in a pot or pan. Use any combustibles such as twigs, dried grasses, pine cones, bark, and wood chips.

This stove is a bit heavy to carry in a backpack. It is sized right, because it can collapse, but again, a bit heavy for the average backpacker to tote around. Its weight comes from the stainless steel, so this stove is not one that will rust and fall apart after a few years. Expect this one to last your lifetime and the lifetime of those you pass it down too.

Take it camping or RV’ing, because it is ideal for cooking foods or boiling water with very little fuel. Save on your propane bottles by using the Stovehinge around the house or around the campsite.

This is a survival stove and it is made with survival in mind. Set up is quick and it is easy to get a fire going. I tossed some wet pine cones in  after I had a good fire going and they burned completely away and the fire was not dampened in any way that I could tell.

The grate for pots and pans is heavy duty and I don’t see a problem with the grates, plenty big enough for any pan. Use cast iron or stainless steel cookware however, because the heat generated can melt or disfigure aluminum pans.

Literally a handful of dried twigs, pine needles, and grasses can cook your meal. This stove is a keeper. Keep one in the car, camper, and have one for around the home for when the power goes out.

It can be carried in a pack, but know that it will get heavier as the miles add up. This is just the reality of the situation. Don’t start out with more weight than you can carry, because you do not want to have to make a choice somewhere along the trail about what stays along the trail or what stays in the pack.

Stovehinge Rocket Stove Size

Final Thoughts

I have quite a few rocket stoves, some I have made and some I have purchased but what they all have in common is they are very bulky and take a lot of room to store. Being collapsible the Stovehinge solves that problem making it a great stove, especially for your car kit (see the size compared to my EcoZoom above). It’s very compact and is lightweight compared to some of the other stoves out there and easy to transport. You can purchase the Stovehinge for $129.99 at

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Man in 30’s seeks woman to start off-grid life with

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I am a 37 year old male who is a life-long singer/songwriter/musician, an earth sign, a star child, a light bearer and a purveyor of awesomeness.

I’m searching for a female who wants to live off-grid and start practicing a quality lifestyle with me. I do not have a property of my own and I am not currently living off-grid, so together we will have to find the perfect opportunity.

Although, I do have many skills and some off-grid living experience which will help us on our journey.

Come find truth, love and happiness with me.


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DIY Survival Gear: 11 Of The Best You Can Complete Today

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DIY Survival Gear

Performing a quick Google search for “DIY Survival Gear” yields 2,030,000 results.

That means there’s a mind-boggling number of DIY Survival Gear ideas at your fingertips any time, nearly anywhere.

However, only a few of these results are both interesting and useful. The vast majority are less than impressive. Not to mention the ones that belong in the trash heap.

The point I’m making here is that there are thousands of DIY survival gear sites, guides, and articles you could sort through. And that’s before even mentioning YouTube….

So with that said, my purpose for this article is to wade through all the B.S. DIY survival gear ideas and hone in on a few of the best. 11 of the best to be exact.

But before we get started, what makes a DIY survival gear project one of the best and worth our time?

I considered a DIY survival gear project one of the best if:

  1. It creates gear and tools that are desirable in most survival situations.
  2. It can be accomplished with a basic set of tools.
  3. It can be completed in less than a day (assuming you have the material needed at hand).
  4. I was able to find a comprehensive step by step video instruction that shows you exactly how to do it.

With that criteria in mind, here’s SkilledSurvival’s favorite DIY survival gear projects that can be made by the average Joe, quickly, at home, and without an insane amount of technical knowledge.

  • DIY Fire Starter
  • DIY Water Filter
  • DIY Rocket Stove
  • DIY Cordage (from 2-liter soda bottle)
  • DIY Survival Slingshot
  • DIY Cigar Tube Fishing Kit
  • DIY Survival Knife
  • DIY Bow and Arrow
  • DIY Survival Spear
  • DIY Solar Battery Charger (for phone or USB)
  • DIY Ranger Band

Fire Starting With Coated Cotton Ball1 – DIY Fire Starter

There are lots of ways to start a fire, right? But we all know some better than others.

Fire starting can be accomplished with something as simple as a BIC lighter and a wad of paper or as challenging as using sticks and friction.

I sorted through a bunch of different fire starting gear ideas and options, and in my opinion, the easiest to make, to store, and to use is this one:

With this DIY survival project, you can make fire starting a breeze. It’s a DIY survival gear idea that is both simple, and nearly foolproof.

Bottom line: All you need is a jar of petroleum jelly, some cotton balls, and a zip lock baggie; that’s it.

Just put the petroleum jelly inside the baggie, add some cotton balls, gently rub the balls around so they get a coating of the petroleum on them.

Make sure not to over saturate them, or they’ll get difficult to light. Just coat them with a dab and you’re done!

Roll the baggie up, zip the top, and put it in your bug out bag, backpack, glove box, or anywhere where you can find them quickly when the need arises.

Fire Starters Are Items #31 through #37 Of My #104 Item Bug Out Checklist.  Click Here To Snag Your FREE Copy Of It.

Sure…this one seems too easy when compared with the more elaborate DIY fire starting setups. However, complicated is rarely a virtue when it comes to survival.

Instead, simple yet effective is what you want, and this one works in all sorts of conditions: cold, hot, wet, dry. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. So give it a try.

DIY Survival Water Filter2 – DIY Water Filter

There are tons of ready-made water filters available for purchase, and you should own one.

A Small Portable Water Filter Is Item #4 Of My #104 Item Bug Out Checklist.  Click Here To Snag Your FREE Copy Of It.

But if you don’t have one yet, can’t afford one, or lost yours, you still need safe drinking water. So it’s a good investment to learn how to make one using only a few basic readily-available materials.

I researched many elaborate DIY survival water filters setups. Most were pretty decent, and it was tough to decide on just one. So I settled on this simple design because I was certain I could make it myself in the wilderness.

Again, you may be thinking this DIY survival gear setup is overly simplistic but in my opinion, that’s the point. Complex gear can break, fail, and leave you helpless.

Simple gear just works and saves lives.

DIY Rocket Stove3 – DIY Rocket Stove

There are so many unique rocket stove setups that it’s impossible for me to describe even a portion of them. To prove this point, a YouTube search will reveal 144,000 videos on the topic.

So here’s the good news, I’m going to save you the trouble and hours sifting through all these videos. Helping you avoid the unnecessary rubbish and showing you just the hidden gems.

Trust me when I say that the rocket stove set ups I watched run from the ridiculous to the sublime.

At its fundamental design, a rocket stove has a combustion chamber, an air intake, and a chimney (or flue) to vent the exhaust.

They can be made from many different types of containers. Empty cans, 55-gallon drums, cinder blocks all have been used to create a rocket stove.

I once found an old, rusty oil drum and modified into a stove. I found it in an old log grain storage building on my ranch.

Even though it looked like it was a hundred years old, it still was perfect for this DIY survival gear project. Since a having a stove is an essential survival tool for cooking and heating, you would be smart to make your own too.

There were so many how to videos to choose from, but I finally settled on this one. The basic concepts are all the same so feel free to get creative after you watch:

I really like the way this guy explains everything and kept it simple. It’s not as light and portable as I prefer, but it’s still a solid design.

DIY Cordage from Plastic Bottle4 – Cordage From A 2 Liter Soda Bottle

I don’t know about you, but in my life having paracord, rope, baling twine, and an assortment of old lead ropes is a necessity. I live on a small ranch, and I use the aforementioned types of cordage for all sorts of useful tasks.
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Tying water hoses to fence rails, impromptu horse bridles, tying loose tractor hydraulic hoses, the list is long and varied. In any DIY survival gear scenario having some type of cordage is essential, and a “no-brainer”.

You’ll need it, but if you don’t have any, you can make your own.

I’ve seen and read hundreds of videos and articles that show how to make cordage from natural plant fibers, straw, hay, grasses, etc. They are all okay, and some are pretty darn good assuming you can find the right natural materials.

But one unnatural material that you can typically find just about anywhere is plastic bottles. So when I discovered making cordage from a plastic 2 Liter Soda Bottle, I was thrilled.

Littering is terrible (don’t do it!), and I don’t like it, but I’ll take advantage of it and use it for my survival.

If you’re like me, you probably have more of these empty bottles lying around than you care to admit.

That’s why I think this guy’s idea is great. So I did a quick little test using my pocket knife, and the plastic cordage is both flexible and strong.

Try it out, it’s useful and just as important, it’s easy.

DIY Slingshot Modification Big Game5 – DIY Survival Slingshot

Ok this one is more of a modification than a build from scratch but it’s badass. If you ever had a slingshot as a kid, this project will resonate with you. You can carve your own handle, or just modify an existing one.

This example claims to be capable of bringing down “big game” animals. It shoots arrows and is designed on a “wrist rocket” platform.

The mods are easy and inexpensive, and the video is well made.

No matter how many firearms you may or may not have, the slingshot is an easy to make and incredibly useful survival weapon to have.

A Slingshot Is Item #16 Of My #104 Item Bug Out Checklist.  Click Here To Snag Your FREE Copy Of It.

Besides the video I linked to, there are a lot of other good slingshot ideas on YouTube. Whether you use it for hunting, or perhaps self-defense, a slingshot is an inexpensive, simple, foolproof weapon.

DIY Cigar Tube Fishing Kit6 – DIY Cigar Tube Fishing Kit

Easy to make, use, and small this is one DIY survival gear that everyone should have in their survival stash.

If you smoke cigars that come in tubes, you already have the main part of the tool. If you don’t smoke cigars, you could still just buy one, give the cigar away and keep the tube.

If you still don’t like that, you can substitute a piece of wooden dowel about 6 inches long.

Now just take some fishing line of your choice, wrap a couple hundred feet at most, around the tube and tape it. Use the inside of the tube for hooks, sinkers, flies, whatever. If you use the dowel, wrap up your accessories in a separate little bag.

There are lots of possibilities here and many variations on the same underlying theme.

For instance, I have an old Cohiba tube, from a Havana that I used for this project. It adds a cool factor to my little DIY survival kit. Even though I don’t smoke cigars anymore it still smells faintly of Cuban tobacco.

Unfortunately, I was unable to find any videos that used a cigar tube, but I did find one that shows how to make a “Hobo Fishing Kit”, and it’s the same idea.

Just using a protein drink cylindrical bottle instead of a cigar tube.

DIY Survival Knife7 – DIY Survival Knife

Knife making is an art and an ancient one at that.

But even if you lack that particular skill set, you can still make yourself a basic version that will cut and stab. You can make it with just a hacksaw or a Sawzall blade.

You’ll also need some paracord to wrap the handle. And of course, you’ll need either a metal file or a grinder.

By grinding, filing and beveling the edge, you will end up with a simple blade. Not the tough one ever, but one that can still be useful in a survival scenario.

A Survival Knife Is Item #65 Of My #104 Item Bug Out Checklist.  Click Here To Snag Your FREE Copy Of It.

I watched a lot of videos that were pretty advanced in the knife making skills department but I decided to share one that is more “homespun”. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but it’s easy to make, especially if you have a grinder.

Also, this method is easy on the wallet.

DIY Bow and Arrow8 – DIY Bow and Arrow

Even though my archery experience is limited to shooting at hay bales, missing them completely, and punching holes in the wall of our barn, a bow and arrow is a deadly weapon. Not only that but they are fairly easy to make.

As with all my selections in this article, I searched my faithful YouTube lists until I found a few I thought worthy of presenting to you, my readers. Well, it was sort of a difficult choice between hand-hewn, sustainably harvested, tree limbs and store bought PVC pipes and fiberglass rods.

Though the Grizzly Adams approach appeals to my inner frontiersman, I’m a city slicker at heart, so it’s the plastic and fiberglass project for now.

The guy in the video I’m linking to is good on camera, knows what he’s talking about, and if you follow his directions, you’ll have yourself a pretty awesome DIY survival bow and arrow kit.

DIY Survival Spear9 – DIY Survival Spear/ Walking Stick

Easy to build, with readily available materials, the spear has a long history. With this simple but effective weapon, Paleolithic hunters harvested mastodons and fought off saber-tooth cats.

Roman legions used them against their enemies too. They were modified into the pike too, which is a spear with an extra long shaft.

Anyway, before I get carried away with historical rants, I’ve found some very good videos that will show you how to make a spear with a removable point.

The shaft is a broom handle essentially. The blade is a Cold Steel knife, which has a hollow, tapered handle that allows it to be mounted on a shaft.

Of course, you can also go primitive and cut your own shaft, mount a DIY survival knife, like the one I described earlier in this article.

The video I’ve selected uses the Cold Steel blade, and I think it’s the best one. I think you’ll agree.

DIY USB Solar Charger10 – DIY Solar Battery/ USB Charger

A small portable solar charger is a useful gadget to have. I doubt I need to explain why you should have one of these, so I won’t insult your intelligence.

The most difficult skill you need to pull this off is to use a soldering gun. You’ll also need to locate all the parts. However, you may be able to scavenge them from stuff you may already have in your garage.

I watched a bunch of videos on this subject to see how hard it would be for a guy like myself to build.

I built a Heathkit radio when I was a kid and swapped out the pickups on my first electric guitar when Jimi Hendrix was still alive.

So for what it’s worth, it means that this is a pretty straight forward project for most preppers and DIY’ers.

DIY Ranger Bands11 – DIY Ranger Bands

I have a lot of old bicycle tubes.

I used to look at them all piled into an old cardboard box, gathering dust and bird poop, and being the kind of guy who never, ever throws anything away, I’d tell myself there must be a use for these things.

I never actually found one until I learned about Ranger Bands. A Ranger Band is a cross section piece of an inner tube. Usually from a bicycle.

Assuming the rubber isn’t rotted, and still has some stretch, you’ll have the raw material to make Ranger Bands.

Ranger bands are a badass DIY survival gear project anyone can do in minutes.

DIY Survival Gear – Wrap Up Remarks

There are many more DIY survival projects out there. I’ve only scratched the surface here, but I hope you found these DIY survival gear 11 projects simple, useful, interesting, and enjoyable.

They were the best ones I found after sifting through hundreds of potential videos to share.

However, that doesn’t mean I was able to watch them all and I’m sure I missed some great ones. So if you know of any I missed that you think should have made the list, please share it with the SkilledSurvival audience in the comments below.

– Jonathan Hands

The post DIY Survival Gear: 11 Of The Best You Can Complete Today appeared first on Skilled Survival.

100 Geeks Open-Source Prototyping a Fossil Free, Zero Waste Society

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What happens when 100+ makers, designers, engineers, scientists and self-proclaimed geeks join forces during an intensive 5 weeks to develop open-source, sustainable lifestyle technologies?

Pretty cool stuff, that’s what happens. POC stands for Proof of Concept, and they wanted to show that “the future we need can be built with our own hands”. This is short documentary on that amazing project.

POC21 is an international innovation community, that started as an innovation camp. The camp brought together 100+ makers, designers, engineers, scientists and geeks. In late summer 2015, we joined forces in a stunning French castle to prototype a fossil free, zero waste society. Our ultimate goal was to overcome the destructive consumer culture and make open-source, sustainable products the new normal. Over the course of 5 weeks we developed 12 sustainable lifestyle technologies and built an international community of innovators and supporters, that continues to grow.

The post 100 Geeks Open-Source Prototyping a Fossil Free, Zero Waste Society appeared first on Walden Labs.

The Low-Cost, Termite-Proof, Fireproof Home That Will Last Centuries

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The Low-Cost, Termite-Proof, Fireproof Home That Will Last Centuries

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Rammed earth homes made out of natural resources such as sand and clay have been around since before people had axes. In fact, the technique to build them has been used by nearly every culture on earth at one point or another, and now it’s making a great resurgence here in America.

There is no wonder as to why it’s surging in popularity. There are very few other building materials where you don’t have to cut something down, use chemicals or pollute your environment.

There are many reasons why you’d want to build a rammed earth home, but here are just a few.

1. They use perhaps the lowest cost building material around. In fact, over and above just a little bit of cement, you can build your walls for free if you don’t count your labor time to do it yourself.

2. There are some that have stood for many hundreds of years. Once you build it the right way, it’s here to stay.

3. You can get an R factor similar to, or even better than, log homes. They are super easy to cool in the summer and can retain heat well in the winter depending on your build (which we will discuss latter).

4. They are fireproof. Sure, your wood doors and window frames might burn, but that’s about it.

5. You won’t have termite problems, ever. You’ll never have to think about any type of bugs eating your home. If you have wooden doors, window frames and rafters, then you have the possibility there. But, other than that, no worries.

6. They’re energy-efficient. If you have a great seal around your doors and windows, then you have a very, very airtight home. This greatly decreases the heating and air conditioning requirements. It also is a blessing for any allergy sufferers, as these homes can maintain a more pollen-free environment.

There are no set formulas for your earth materials mixture. However, there are some guidelines that you need to follow or you’ll run into problems.

Guideline No. 1

Your earth material needs to be sandy, but not too sandy. Most builders recommend between 50 percent to 75 percent sand in your earthen mixture.

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When your sand level gets too high, you could end up with walls that can crumble. If your sand level is too low, you’d end up with mud that will shrink and crack as it dries.

Guideline No. 2

The Low-Cost, Termite-Proof, Fireproof Home That Will Last Centuries

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Don’t go too heavy on the clay. If you do, you’ll again end up with shrinkage and cracking as it dries. Clay being about 10 percent of your earthen material usually works well. Too much more and you’ll see it start to get a little soupy on you.

Guideline No. 3

Mix in fine-powdered cement at approximately 10 percent of your earthen mixture. This material was not available thousands of years ago. But, there is no reason you wouldn’t want to take advantage of it and create a home several times stronger than the ones they made that have stood the test of time.

Guideline No. 4

You don’t want your moisture level to be at anything more than 10 percent. If it is, you’ll be compacting mud instead of ramming earth.

One easy test is to make a squeezed ball of your material in your hand and drop it to the ground. If it breaks and shatters, then your mixture isn’t right. If it splats, it’s too wet.

What About Colors?

Varying the colors of the batches of your earthen mixture that you will lay down in layers can produce walls with an amazingly aesthetic appeal.

As an example, a Sedona Arizona red dirt layered with a slightly lighter, browner mixture has a really nice look that will give your walls far greater appeal. You can get colored earth from many locations or just stick with the local stuff so you blend in.

Wall Types

There are two basic wall types that you can use in the construction of your rammed earth home.

The first is to build walls that are 12 inches thick, which is the standard building thickness. You can (as some do), go 24 inches thick and end up with the really deep window and door wells that are prevalent in straw bale homes due to their wall thickness.

Either thickness will be more than strong enough. The strength of your walls won’t really be an issue.

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The second is to do two 8- to 12-inch walls with a layer of insulation sandwiched in between. This offers better insulation, which can pay dividends over the life of the home.

How to Build Your Rammed Earth Walls

The Low-Cost, Termite-Proof, Fireproof Home That Will Last Centuries

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Before you build your walls, you need a good foundation. There are many guides on building foundations, but here’s a tip: Be sure to check your local splash and frost lines for the height and depth at which you should set your foundation. This is one of those things where, later, you’ll be happy later you did.

Another tip: Build your forms/molds out of five-eighths inch marine plywood so they will be light enough for one man to handle if needed and an easy job for two guys.

Line the interiors of your forms with shoot steel so that your walls are super smooth when you pop off the forms. You’ll like the look a whole lot better than the rougher look wood will leave. Plus, at times you can see the wood grain in the walls with uncovered plywood forms. You may have seen that on concrete walls, where you can see the plywood marks in it. Shoot steel will solve that.

Ramming the Walls

Be sure to have half inch or one-fourth inch rebar stubbed up two inches tall, once every foot, where the center of your wall will go. This will help anchor the walls well.

Build your forms on both sides of the stubs and lay in four inches of your earthen mixture at 10 percent or a little less moisture.

There are many rams on the market, but at a minimum go with one that’s at least six-feet tall and at least 15 pounds. This size will likely use a one-inch pipe to attach to the hammer head.

Hammer that four inches down until it sounds (rings) like you’re hammering rock.

Lay down your next four inches and repeat the process of hammering until you hear that distinctive sound.

Be sure to tarp the walls at night to keep the rain off of them or it will seep between the walls and forms and you’ll have problems.

Removing the Forms

Rammed earth fully hardens as it dries. So, as soon as your wall is packed, you can remove the forms. This is a good time to smooth any rough spots if you’re going to leave the rammed earth exposed as the interior or exterior.

Windows and Doors

As you come to your windows and doors, you frame them. They MUST be well built as you’re going to be ramming earth on top of them.

Tip: When putting in your form frame for a window, drill two or three one-eighth or one-fourth inch holes into the rammed earth below the frame. Drop in a short piece of rebar into each hole with an inch or two stubbed up. Re-hammer the earth around them to set them.

You’ll now have pre-built window mounts that will be in those walls like they were poured in concrete.

Now, just build your walls right around those frames, hammering the material just like you would in any other part of the wall.

There you have it. Those are the basics of building your rammed earth home. Get a manual to learn more about the nitty gritty. But, the above is really the basics of how you get it done. The rest is just details and measuring tapes.

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

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

Major snowstorm may threaten DC to NYC, Boston Friday into Saturday

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By  – AccuWeather

The potential exists for a major snowstorm to affect more than 50 million people across the eastern United States at the end of the week.

Areas from near Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston could receive heavy snow from the storm.

The exact track of the storm will hold the key as to which areas in mid-Atlantic and New England are hit with heavy snow, dangerous highway travel and scores of flight delays and cancellations during Friday into Saturday.

Unlike most storms so far this winter, this system will have enough cold air to produce snow and disruptions to daily activities in some areas of the East that have seen little thus far.

Continue reading at AccuWeather: Major snowstorm may threaten DC to NYC, Boston Friday into Saturday

Missouri Valley snow to precede late week monster storm
Harshest arctic air of season to grip midwestern, eastern US
AccuWeather winter weather center

Filed under: News/ Current Events, Weather

Germans bundle up for another week of snow and arctic chill

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By Courtney Spamer – AccuWeather

Another round of arctic air will blast Germany this week after a cold weekend.

A high will move from Belgium early in the week to central Germany on Wednesday. This will usher in a wave of arctic air that will bring another dose of wintry temperatures.

“The snowcover over southeastern Germany will contribute to the cold, making it the chilliest spot in the country this week,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys said.

“For parts of Saxony, Thuringia and Bavaria, afternoon highs of -4 to -1 C (25-30 F) are expected into Thursday.”

Continue reading at AccuWeather: Germans bundle up for another week of snow and arctic chill

AccuWeather national radar for Germany
Europe winter forecast for 2015-2016

Filed under: News/ Current Events, Weather

Volcanoes Today, 19 Jan 2016: Egon Volcano, Erta Ale

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Egon (Flores): An eruption warning remains in place. Increased sulfur smells have been noted from the volcano which had been raised to second highest alert on 13 Jan.
According to local news, evacuation of 3 villages at the feet of the volcano are taking place and so far, 1200 people have been relocated and 2000 dust masks have been distributed (in case of ash emissions). The exclusion zone around Mt Egon volcano is 3 km radius from its summit only (but in case of a larger eruption, this should be drastically increased, especially around rivers draining from the mountain.)

Erta Ale (Danakil depression, Ethiopia): The lava lake of Erta Ale has overflown, our correspondents from Ethiopia reported. The first lava over-spilled the rim of the containing crater at midnight of 15-16 Jan 2016. It seems that the situation is similar to the spectacular events in November/December 2010 when the lava lake last overflowed.
More details and images will be posted as soon as possible. During our expeditions in Nov and Dec, the level of the lake had already been occasionally as close as only 1 meter beneath the rim.
If you like to join with short notice on this exciting trip, we still have some spaces left on the 7-20 February expedition.

Continue reading at Volcano Discovery: Volcanoes Today, 19 Jan 2016: Egon Volcano, Erta Ale

Filed under: News/ Current Events, Volcanic Activity

Interplanetary Shock in the Solar Wind | S0 News Jan.19.2016

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By Suspicious0bservers

Published on Jan 19, 2016


Observing the Frontier Conference Page:

Solar Alerts on Twitter:

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

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

Todays Latest Earthquakes Worldwide Tuesday, 19 January 2016

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Source: Volcano Discovery

Earthquake list: past 24 hours (only M>=2.5) (137 quakes)

Updated: Tue, 19 Jan 14:47 UTC (GMT)

Time Mag. / Depth Nearest volcano (distance) Location Map Source
Tue, 19 Jan (83 earthquakes)
Tue, 19 Jan 14:34 UTC M 3.0 / 2 km – [info] (36 km) SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA


Tue, 19 Jan 14:28 UTC M 3.3 / 51.4 km – [info] (140 km) New Zealand


Tue, 19 Jan 14:24 UTC M 3.7 / 36.9 km – [info] (352 km) 45 km al O de Punitaqui


GUG (U. Chile)
Tue, 19 Jan 13:45 UTC M 3.4 / 9 km – [info] (157 km) NEAR THE COAST OF WESTERN TURKEY


Izmir Sirinyer / MMI III (Weak shaking)
Tue, 19 Jan 13:21 UTC M 3.2 / 35 km – [info] (234 km) SHIKOKU BASIN


Tue, 19 Jan 13:09 UTC M 2.6 / 8 km – [info] (248 km) WESTERN TURKEY


Tue, 19 Jan 12:41 UTC M 2.8 / 5 km – [info] (690 km) OKLAHOMA


Tue, 19 Jan 12:31 UTC M 3.0 / 2 km – [info] Furnas (24 km) AZORES ISLANDS, PORTUGAL


Tue, 19 Jan 12:30 UTC M 2.7 / 5 km – [info] (39 km) UTAH


Tue, 19 Jan 12:18 UTC M 2.9 / 19 km – [info] (302 km) CYPRUS REGION


Tue, 19 Jan 12:17 UTC M 3.9 / 79.3 km – [info] (326 km) KIBRIS RUM KESIMI


Tue, 19 Jan 11:39 UTC M 5.0 / 88 km – [info] (111 km) Northern Chile


Tue, 19 Jan 10:54 UTC M 2.5 / 27 km – [info] (187 km) VIRGIN ISLANDS REGION



Continue reading at Volcano Discovery: Todays Latest Earthquakes Worldwide Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Filed under: Earthquakes, News/ Current Events

17 Open Source Hardware Projects That Make Me Excited To Be Alive

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“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller

Building a new decentralized civilisation that makes the old, centralized pyramid of power obsolete, that’s what Open Source is doing.

Open Source is empowering individuals and communities to take matters into their own hands to improve their lives, secure their liberties and speed up their pursuit of happiness, and they’re not stopping to ask anyone for permission.

Buckminster Fuller said our collective goal as a species should be “to make the world work for 100 per cent of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous co-operation without ecological offence or the disadvantage of anyone”

That co-operation he’s referring to, that’s happening right now and some call it the Open Source-movement. Read on to see 17 examples of this co-operation.

Nafeez Ahmed calls it the open-source revolution in his article at The Guardian covering Robert David Steele’s work and his latest book The Open-Source Everything Manifesto: Transparency, Truth and Trust.

For those who stand to lose from the political and economic decentralization brought on by the Open Source-movement, namely megacorporations, politicians and bankers, it can sure seem like a revolution. Because they’re losing control. To borrow a line from the poem The Masque of Anarchy, “Ye are many—they are few!

Both the article and Robert’s book are well worth the read if you’re interested in what the future has in store. As Robert writes in his book:

“Sharing, not secrecy, is the means by which we realise such a lofty destiny as well as create infinite wealth. The wealth of networks, the wealth of knowledge, revolutionary wealth – all can create a nonzero win-win Earth that works for one hundred percent of humanity. This is the ‘utopia’ that Buckminster Fuller foresaw, now within our reach.”

You might have heard of Open Source Software, and while that’s a big part of this movement it’s not all there is to it. Open Source principles and values have moved into the physical world with Open Source Hardware, and on this page you’ll find some great examples of that.

If after checking out these open-source projects you want even more, check out my earlier piece on 21 Technologies That Are Decentralizing The Economy.

Now let’s jump into it!

The Global Village Construction Set

Global Village Construction Set

The Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) [by Open Source Ecology] is a modular, DIY, low-cost, high-performance platform that allows for the easy fabrication of the 50 different Industrial Machines that it takes to build a small, sustainable civilization with modern comforts. We’re developing open source industrial machines that can be made at a fraction of commercial costs, and sharing our designs online for free.

Some of the machines in prototype stage that you can check out are the open-source tractor, CEB press, 3D printer,  and they’ve even developed an open-source house, the MicroHouse.

I personally give money to support Open Source Ecology every month as one of their True Fans, because I truly believe the work they do today is creating rings on the water that will travel far into the future and make planet Earth a better place.

Open Source Beehives

open source beehives

Launched by a concerned global network of citizen scientists to track and counter the decline of honey bee populations, Open Source Beehives are developing open source sensor kits that can track a number of hive metrics from temperature, humidity, to a host of others.

They’ve also used digital manufacturing techniques to create a number of open source CNC routable beehives that are natural and healthy homes for your bees, for example the Colorado Top Bar hive and the Barcelona Warre hive.

AKER Simple Urban Garden Kits


Run by the same people as Open Source Beehives, AKER has developed open source garden kits that snaps together without tools. They’re all made out of plywood and among the kits you’ll find grow beds, wall planters, a chicken coop, and a worm compost.

The WikiHouse

The Wikihouse

The team at New Zealand-based Space Craft Systems, leading the world in developing the WikiHouse open-source building system.

WikiHouse is an open source building system. Many designers, collaborating to make it simple for everyone to design, print and assemble beautiful, low-energy homes, customised to their needs.


The FarmBot

Here’s a question for you. What if food production could be automated? Just as you don’t have to wash your clothes by hand anymore, what if you could press a button and grow your own free food without having to spend all that time tending the garden?

The team at FarmBot have been thinking about this question, and the result is FarmBot, “humanity’s first open-source CNC farming machine.”

They’re working on a graphical drag and drop interface where you can design your farm by dragging and dropping plants into the map, set up growing regimens, and the FarmBot takes care of the rest.

As for their goal:

Together we can take back ownership of our food, localize production, and feed 9 billion people sustainably

That’s a big goal to say the least, but I like the sound of it.

The PirateBox

The Piratebox

PirateBox is a DIY anonymous offline file-sharing and communications system built with free software and inexpensive off-the-shelf hardware.

is a portable Wi-Fi environment (sans Internet connection) that allows users to share files anonymously. It’s perfect for ad hoc sharing of pictures or files or for isolated peer-to-peer communications in the alley behind the NSA.

Also check out LibraryBox, a fork of PirateBox customized for educational, library, and other needs.


Farm Hack – Open Source Farming Tools

Farm Hack

We are a worldwide community of farmers that build and modify our own tools. We share our hacks online and at meet ups because we become better farmers when we work together.

Opendesk – Open Source Furniture

Opendesk open source furniture

The Breakout Table

Designed to be downloaded and made locally, Opendesk furniture is fast, affordable, sustainable and made on demand, just for you.


Arduino UNO

Arduino UNO. Photo: Nick Hubbard

Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. Arduino has been used in thousands of different projects and applications.

Arduino boards are able to read inputs – light on a sensor, a finger on a button, or a Twitter message – and turn it into an output – activating a motor, turning on an LED, publishing something online.



OSVehicle are the creators of TABBY EVO, “an open source framework for the creation of vehicles: it can be used to bootstrap businesses (electric vehicle startups), to create your own vehicle, for education purposes, and much more.”

TABBY EVO is their completely re-engineered from scratch open source platform for electric vehicles.

Also check out Local Motors, another community of enthusiasts building cool machines together.

Project Ara – Modular Smartphones

Project Ara

Project Ara is the codename for an initiative by Google that aims to develop an open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones.

The RepRap 3D Printer

RepRap v2 Mendel

RepRap v2 Mendel

RepRap is “humanity’s first general-purpose self-replicating manufacturing machine.”

RepRap takes the form of a free desktop 3D printer capable of printing plastic objects. Since many parts of RepRap are made from plastic and RepRap prints those parts, RepRap self-replicates by making a kit of itself – a kit that anyone can assemble given time and materials. It also means that – if you’ve got a RepRap – you can print lots of useful stuff, and you can print another RepRap for a friend…

OpenKnit – Open Source Digital Knitting


OpenKnit is an open-source, low cost, digital fabrication tool that affords the user the opportunity to create his own bespoke clothing from digital files. Starting from the raw material, the yarn, and straight to its end use, a sweater for example, in about an hour. Designing and producing clothes digitally and wearing them can now happen in the very same place, rewarding the user with the ability to make decisions regarding creativity and responsibility.

As Engadget writes: “The open source platform combines an affordable (under $757), build-it-yourself clothing printer with Knitic design software to let you make your own apparel quickly and easily; once you’re set up, you just need a template file and some yarn.”

Defense Distributed

The Liberator 3D-printable gun

Parts of the Liberator 3D-printable gun, designed by Defense Distributed and banned in US. Photo by Vvzlad, license CC-BY-SA 3.0

Defense Distributed is an online, open-source organization that designs firearms, or “wiki weapons”, that may be downloaded from the Internet and “printed” with a 3D printer.

One could say they’re promoting Open Source Defense, and they’re strong advocates of the right to individual self-protection through gun ownership.

Defense Distributed has to date produced a durable printed receiver for the AR-15, the first printed standard capacity AR-15 magazine, and the first printed magazine for the AK-47, and the world’s first fully 3D printable gun, the Liberator .380 single shot pistol.

They’ve also launched the Ghost Gunner, a general purpose CNC-mill that automatically manufactures mil-spec AR-15 lower receivers to completion.


The Trident

The Trident, their “ready-to-dive solution” capable of diving to depths of 100m. Controllable by smartphone or tablet.

OpenROV is an open-source, low-cost underwater robot for exploration and education.
It’s also a passionate community of professional and amateur ocean explorers and technologists.

APM:Copter – Open Source Drone


APM:Copter is an open-source multicopter unmanned aerial vehicle platform created by the DIY Drones community based on the Arduino platform.

This is the full-featured, open-source multicopter UAV controller that won the Sparkfun 2013 and 2014 Autonomous Vehicle Competition (dominating with the top five spots). A team of developers from around the globe are constantly improving and refining the performance and capabilities of Copter .

The Open Hand Project

The Open Hand Project

Now here’s something truly worthy of mention. The aim of the Open Hand Project is to make robotic prosthetic hands more accessible to amputees.

Leading prosthetics can cost up to $100,000. By using emerging technologies like 3D printing, we can cut that down to under $1000. That’s two orders of magnitude cheaper, and means that these devices can reach a far broader audience!

Bottom Line: There Are Alternatives

If you don’t like what the world looks like, you can change it. It’s all about what you feed with your energy, be it time or money. If all of us keep feeding our energy into the current system of Big Ag, Big Finance and Big Consumption, nothing will change. But if more people withdraw their consent and build their own, local alternatives, things will change.

Open Source is a great example of this. Permaculture is another example. As entrepreneur and permaculture teacher David Blume, writes:

Around the world people are demonstrating that, not only are there alternatives, there are alternatives that allow us all to take care of each other and the rest of the species we live with, and to direct surpluses from our designs back to this care. These are the three main tenets of Permaculture design. We aren’t waiting for governments, corporations, or bureaucracies to solve the world’s problems. We will do it with or without their help. We are already doing it and no one can stop us because we can’t be forced to buy what we don’t need anymore. Since few of us in permaculture education are hired by anyone in business or government, we can’t be fired or threatened.

I like to say, if you want to end transnational capitalism, (the very opposite of bioregionalism), then stop giving them your capital. To do that you need to start producing what you need—plus some surplus for others—bioregionally and I would respectfully suggest that permaculture design is a good tool to begin that process.”

This is also a key tenet of Gandhi’s teaching in his text Hind Swaraj, in which he argued for Indian independence from the British (Swaraj meaning self-rule).

Gandhi said: “In such a state (where swaraj is achieved) everyone is his own ruler. He rules himself in such a manner that he is never a hindrance to his neighbour.” He summarized the core principle like this: “It is Swaraj when we learn to rule ourselves.”

I think it’s time we as individuals and communities learn how to rule ourselves, without politicans or the media telling us what to think or how to feel. I think Open Source cooperation and transparency is an important piece in that puzzle.

So let me end this article with sharing a quote from Hind Swaraj on how Gandhi thought a better society could be organized, a decentralized society where the people governed themselves. This is where Open-Source can take us:

“Independence begins at the bottom… A society must be built in which every village has to be self sustained and capable of managing its own affairs… It will be trained and prepared to perish in the attempt to defend itself against any onslaught from without… This does not exclude dependence on and willing help from neighbours or from the world. It will be a free and voluntary play of mutual forces… In this structure composed of innumerable villages, there will be ever widening, never ascending circles. Growth will not be a pyramid with the apex sustained by the bottom. But it will be an oceanic circle whose center will be the individual. Therefore the outermost circumference will not wield power to crush the inner circle but will give strength to all within and derive its own strength from it.” – Gandhi

What other Open Source Hardware projects are out there that the world should know about? Let us know in the comments!

The post 17 Open Source Hardware Projects That Make Me Excited To Be Alive appeared first on Walden Labs.

Wilderness Survival Part 4/4

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Video By T Jack Survival
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Transcription provided by American Preppers Network

Number of speakers: 2 (Tyler & Kirsten)
Duration: 12 min 45 sec

Wilderness Survival Skills Pt 4/4: Gear, Rescue, and Survival Discussion

Tyler: “So we are here at Boulder Outdoor Survival School and we are learning primitive skills that can help you in a survival situation. Alright so let’s say I don’t know anything. I know I need gear, I don’t know what gear I need to get. Where do I start.”

Kristen: “Hmmm, you’re in a survival situation is that true? Well, you know, everything starts before that situation actually happens. You need to let people know where you are going. If no one is looking for you, then no one is going to find you. So, leave a note in your car if you’re going on a hike letting them know where you plan to go and when you plan to be back. Let friends know. Know the area, have a map of the area on you.

“So actually these skills begin before you even leave the house.”

Tyler: “Ok let’s say I was dumb and didn’t let anyone know where I was going but I was smart enough to bring some kit with me. If there is one thing, and maybe a few more but primarily one thing that I need to bring, what do you think that would be?”

Kristen: “I would say at this point in time a steel blade is probably the most important thing in ones survival kit IF you have access to clean drinking water.”

Tyler: “Okay so why do I want a knife as opposed to a canteen.”

Kristen: “The land offers plentiful resources to allow you to do everything that you would do with modern gear so long as you’re actually able to access it. Sometimes plants, bushes, trees, need an aiding device in order to gather and harvest and use them for purposes, like let’s say your hot rock boiling inside of some kind of container that can’t go in a fire.”


Tyler: “So why would you hot rock boil something inside of a container?”

Kristen: “Water purification is very important. Whenever you have the opportunity to purify your water you should, even if you trust that resource. Things like Giardia and Cryptosporidium water borne illnesses usually have an incubation period of 7 to 10 days and then after that you can have diarrhea, vomiting and you end up losing mass amounts of water. So to avoid this, purifying and filtering your water is absolutely important.”

Tyler: ”So I have my knife but I don’t have the skill set. I go to blade HQ and buy myself a knife. What can I do first? Where should I go first to learn how to make that container to boil water, to learn how to make traps, how to make shelters?”



Kristen: “Well I’m gonna back you up a second. Actually the first thing I need to know is knife safety. I know that it could be a dangerous move to take my knife out of the sheath if my hand is over the blade because it may cut me. So I am going to be careful taking my knife out of the sheath.”

“I know that carving towards my femoral artery is going to be a poor decision so I’m gonna make sure that as I begin to use my knife that I am taking care of what I call my blood bubble. Making sure that my follow through never goes where it is going to hit me. Safety comes first.”

Tyler: ”So if you find yourself hiking or lost, or you find yourself in a vehicle that is broken down. How long can you expect before getting rescued and what are some things that you can maybe prepare ahead of time just in case something like this happens?”

Kristen: “If you have told someone where you are going, most likely in the United states you will be rescued within 72 hours. If you have not told anyone where you were going you will be missing for a while before someone realizes you are gone. I would say a week to maybe two weeks is more likely.”

“The top Items that I would want to have in my car or on my person if I were stuck in a survival situation would be a sturdy knife. I would love to have it be a full size tang, mid-size blade up to a small chopper.”


“I would want to have a metal canteen or some other type of water carrying device that I could also use in the fire to boil and purify my water.”

“I personally like to have a 5×5 foot piece of cloth. Wool is my preference because it wicks well. It doesn’t tend to smell after long term use and it doesn’t catch on fire if an ember comes and hits me.”




“Another great piece of equipment to have is a military poncho. They are great to protect you from the rain immediately. Just put them on. They are great for shelter and wind protection. Just like a 5×5 sheet of cloth it is great for hauling material. I would definitely want to have a poncho on me.”

“Rope. Rope is awesome. There are a lot of natural materials that you can use to make rope, BUT para cord is my favorite thing to take with me. I like to use para cord that is about 550 pound weight because inside of a para cord there are multiple strands. You can attach each strand together and have a longer piece of rope that will still give you close to 100 pound poundage.”



“Other items I would want to have on me might include a wool sweater and wool socks. Eventually something to cover my head with because we lose a lot of heat through our core and our head.”

“For rescue stuff I would like to have a signal mirror on me. Being able to make a fire is critical for a lot of different reasons. Three fires in a row is an SOS signal to anyone in the world. Being able to make fire, having a Bic lighter, Vaseline cotton balls, pitch wood, a bow drill kit or hand drill kit on me. Definitely an item I would want to have. A fire making item.”



Tyler: “So I know one issue at night time is you get your great roaring fire set up, you fall asleep and wake up and it is gone. What is your solution to that problem?”

Kristen: “There is not a huge solution to that problem. Which is why as far as staying warm is concerned it is very helpful to use other insulatory materials VS fire. The coldest point in the night is usually the early morning. That is the time where we are totally asleep or really could be sleeping and our fire goes out or our hot rocks that we put underneath us are finally cold. Amassing your coals can help protect them and keep your fires going a little bit longer but the truth of the matter is if you want your fire to last all night long you will need to continually feed your fire wood. So you will have to wake up to do so.”

Tyler: “So once I’ve got my gear and I put that in my car kit and I find myself lost. I’ve calmed myself down and figured out where I’m at. Now what? What do I do?”

Kristen: ”If you know that you’re only going to be out there for a week and you need to take care of yourself and the area that you are in does not provide you with resources to maintain you core body temperature or does not provide you with a water source then you need to go find those things. If you leave the spot where you are last found, you want to leave a trail. Just like Hansel and Gretel. It can be pieces of a cloth that are wrapped around trees. It can be making sure that your foot prints are very deep and very easy to back track upon. It can even be a huge fire with smoke coming out of it that you can see. You go check an area and then come back to that point if you haven’t found what you are looking for. Then you go and check another area for those resources and come back to that point. Once you have found what you are looking for you can then move locations.”

“The resources that you need to pick up relate to thermal regulation and to water location. Hydrating. You need material that are going to help keep you warm and dry and finding water is apparel. Dehydration kills very quickly.”

“So how do we locate water if we have no idea where it is? One thing we can do is try to get to a high spot. The more we can see of the land the better our chances are of either seeing the low points where water runs. Even seeing reflection of water is possible from long distances or just getting a better understanding of how the land is moving so you have a better idea of where water might be. If I see sand for miles and I see a mountain in the other direction I will probably head for the mountain. I see grasses, I see bigger trees, more likely t have water than the sand.”

“What are animals doing? There may be tracks everywhere but when you want to look for water you want to look for where animal tracks are converging. Where multiple different species of animals, you find that their prints are coming together into one trail. Most likely that trail is leading towards water.”

“Another thing you can do at that vantage point is look for a change in vegetation. There may be lots of things that are green around you but you see no water nearby. If you look for a change in vegetation, things that are brighter green or I see, for example a cotton wood, some leafy things following in sort of a river like pattern that might be a great indication of water. So that vantage is huge. Get to that high point.”

“Look for things that always reside in water. Like frogs. If you hear frogs you should walk towards the frogs. Other wild life that tends to be in riparian zones that you know of, if you see any of them follow them. On that note, almost every creature needs to drink. So if there is animal life around, don’t fret, there is water around.”

“If you’re trapped out in the wilderness, for however long, and you take care of your priorities of survival, the truth of the matter is what you need to do is accept that just like our ancestors it is totally possible to live at peace in the wild. When you are afraid of nature it is scary. When you learn about it, and utilize its resources and they comfort you and you except the sunrises and the sun sets, you’re gonna do just fine. Resistance to your scenario is probably going to kill you. Acceptance until you can actually get to a point where you enjoy the natural world will save your life.”


Tyler: ”So what do you mean by maintaining a good or positive composure?

Kristen: “In times of duress we often have spikes of adrenaline which can be helpful or hurtful. What I mean by mental composure is the ability to calm oneself and utilize your natural energy that is going to happen in a survival situation in the right way. Panicking, yelling, a lot of anger and frustration, these are not helpful to your success. Sitting down, leaning against a tree, looking at something that you know like a bird or the sky that you see every day is going to make a better starting point for you to make good decisions.”





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The post Wilderness Survival Part 4/4 appeared first on American Preppers Network.

6 buildings Preppers should have on their property!

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Hello my friend and welcome back.  In today’s post we are going to look at out-buildings that every Prepper should have on their property and why.  As we all know, when it comes to being prepared, planning is everything and planning the layout of your bug out location is critical. Grab a cup of coffee …

The post 6 buildings Preppers should have on their property! appeared first on American Preppers Online.

Homemade Crackers – Made With Just 3 Ingredients!

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Crackers are one of those things that you just aren’t supposed to have when you are watching what you eat. Whether you are on a diet or trying to cut preservatives out of your life, this pantry staple is one

The post Homemade Crackers – Made With Just 3 Ingredients! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Where Is Our Common Sense?

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     First of all, what is common sense?  We hear it talked about from the political stage quite often … “common sense gun control”, for instance.  How do those two terms even exist in the same sentence?
     And where is the common sense in the claim that Dalia Mogahed, formerly Barack Obama’s adviser on Muslim affairs, made on The Daily Show, that wearing the hijab represented nothing more or less than the “privatization of women’s sexuality”.  She insinuated that anyone who objected to this external symbolism of the Islamic faith are “those who want to objectify women as sexual commodities”.
     And where is the common sense in Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit against the Center for Medical Progress’s (CMP) videos exposing their selling aborted baby body parts for profit?  If the allegations are false, why not sue for slander or libel?  Why is the lawsuit based on claiming that the recordings were obtained in violation of applicable State and Federal privacy laws?  Does that sound like common sense to you?

     But, again, I need to define what “common sense” means to me.  On a simple basis, I suppose I would define it as “a good or obvious cause to do something”; a logical, or practical reason to believe something or to act on something.  But perhaps the best definition comes from Harriett Beecher Stowe, the American abolitionist and author:  “Common sense is seeing things as they are; and doing things as they ought to be.”  Easier said than done in this society, where there appears to be no absolute truth — we just manipulate and control matters to fit our own personal prejudices, and that’s “our truth”.
     Take for instance, the gun control issue.  Does it make sense to call for more background checks or a ban on large magazines and the politically counterfeit term “assault” weapons … when none of those laws have, or ever will, keep the bad guys from committing crimes or acts of terror?  And there is no sense in the argument that “How can you say you’re pro-life and then own guns or join the NRA?” As Timothy Buchanan, wrote on, “It’s quite simple. Because Christians realize that God makes a clear distinction between the spilling of innocent blood and killing in defense of one’s own life. Therefore, it is precisely because we value life that we are willing to take lawful and responsible steps to defend it.”
     And here is where Buchanan, a former member of the U.S. Navy, applied his common sense … While working for the Virginia State Police, he saw that campus police and troopers were powerless to stop the Virginia Tech murders because the shooter had chained and locked the doors to the building he was in from the inside. Even if they could have gotten the doors open a few inches, most police officers do not carry bolt-cutters with them, and the hinges of the doors are also on the inside. But what shocked him was that when the shooter was reloading one of his guns, the students simply cowered in a corner waiting to die. Unlike the heroic men on the plane that was heading toward Washington on September 11, 2001, no one stood up and said, “Let’s roll,” and tried to rush the shooter.  They just cowered in a corner and waited to be killed.  
     So, I ask, is there any good, or logical, or practical reason to limit the ability for any one of those victims to defend themselves in that scenario?  Does more gun control make common sense now?  And the same scrutiny can be applied to the common sense arguments for the wearing of the hijab and the Planned Parenthood lawsuit.  There can be no basis to the argument that Westerners are insensitive to the Islamic tradition of the hijab because of their overt sexualization of women, while there is a refusal to shine a light on the persecution and death to women in the Middle East who refuse to wear the headscarf.  Jihad Watch reports that as far back as 2007, jihadists killed 40 women in Iraq for “un-Islamic behavior” (translation: they were not wearing the hijab).  And there are more cases of such murder and mistreatment of women that are never talked about.  And yet we are expected to agree that it makes sense that Westerners just want to “objectify” women?
     And it’s supposed to seem logical and make sense to us that Planned Parenthood should sue CMP not because they deny that they sold (and continue to sell) baby parts, but because PP just objects to how CMP went about proving that fact.  So, therefore, they have a right to sue for damages.  Never mind the fact that they are scared to death they will be defunded by Congress, and their donations are drying up, and they need to win this lawsuit to refill their coffers.  Never mind all that — this is just the logical next step and makes perfect sense.
     Bottom line… I’m afraid that we might have lost our ability to reason and see through the false arguments and the subterfuge and the distractions in order to clearly see the truth of any matter.  Do we really spend time doing our own critical thinking?  Or do we simply embrace whatever persuasive argument that appeals to our emotions, or is represented by a cultural icon or celebrity?  Whose standard do we apply to determine our position on any given topic?  Are there incontrovertible principles by which we judge another’s argument or reasoning?   Have you developed your own standards; or do you follow whatever is popular in the culture that day?
     Let’s face it.  As we have abandoned God’s principles to listen to the lies of Satan, we have suffered a decline in every aspect of our lives.  Our moral base has disintegrated; and we have lost our common sense.  Our ability to reason according to God’s guidelines has been replaced with whatever furthers our personal agenda… whether it be gun control, sharia law, or abortion.  So what is your common sense telling you right now?  Mine says there is no safe haven but God.  He is the only standard by which I want to live my life, and I must abide in Him to stand against the threats headed my way.  Anything else is false and destructive.

1 John 5:20    “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.”

What Obama’s State Of The Union Address Is Missing

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SOTUOn Tuesday, January the 12th, President Obama gave what was his eighth and hopefully last State of the Union Address (SOTU). I say “hopefully” because it is traditional for the outgoing president to leave the SOTU for the incoming president. But as we all know, Obama doesn’t care about tradition, especially when it comes to a chance to talk about himself and how great he is.

As expected, this SOTU address was a mixture of lies, half-truths and liberal talking points. He even threw in his standard lecture for the American people, about how bad we are. This time, it was about how badly we treat Muslim immigrants, one of his favorite groups of people.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the president is out of touch with the American people. He keeps talking about the huge majority of people who agree with him, while poll after poll show that the people aren’t.

But then, when the only people you listen to are those who agree with you; it looks like everyone is in agreement with you. After all, this is the president who said that he heard the voice of the people who didn’t vote, so as to have an excuse to say that his viewpoint was and is the prevalent one.

Ever the politician, Obama talked about how great the country was doing. I guess that’s to be expected, not only because the Narcissist in Chief has to make himself look good, but also because any president would want to paint a positive picture of the country. Who cares if the picture painted looks like some other country, as long as it conveys the message that liberal ideology is the correct ideology.

But in talking about how great the country is doing, he avoiding mentioning some important points. That same day, 10 Navy sailors were captured by Obama and Kerry’s buddies in Iran. He didn’t even mention them, insulting everyone in uniform, once again.

Then there was the lack of mention of Islamic terrorism, which has already invaded our country and is on the rise. Over 100 Muslim terrorists have been arrested here in the United States in the last two years, most before they were able to act.

Yet according to the Liar in Chief, there is no such thing as radical Islamic terrorism. He’d rather lie to protect his friends, than protect the people he’s sworn to protect.

So, What Did He Really Say?

To start with, Obama spent a considerable amount of his address talking about the economy. He actually went so far as to say, “Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction.” That was an amazing statement and a very carefully crafted one as well. While it is technically correct that the economy is growing, it is growing at the slowest rate since World War II, or perhaps even before.

We all know that the official unemployment rate no longer means a thing, yet Obama keeps pointing to it as an indicator that our economy is improving. Unfortunately, all that number means is that less people are receiving unemployment today, than were receiving it five years ago.

People who are no longer receiving unemployment have technically dropped out of the workforce and are no longer looking for work. How is that an improvement? Can anyone honestly say that an increase in the number of people who receive public assistance, rather than unemployment, is an improvement?

The workforce participation rate is still on the rise. That’s a much more accurate indicator than the unemployment rate. Not only that, but a large number of the people who are working are underemployed. Obamacare has ensured that many people who need to be working full time are unable to work more than part time.

The left has been carping on about how there should be a $15 per hour minimum wage. Their justification is that people can’t live off of minimum wage. I agree, people can’t live off of minimum wage. But then, since when was flipping hamburgers ever considered to be a career? Shouldn’t those people move up to better paying, more responsible jobs? But they can’t, because those jobs don’t exist. Our stagnant economy isn’t creating them.

While not all the failure of the economy can be justly laid on Obama’s doorstep, a fair portion can. Much of the lack of recovery is due to three things, all of which are his fault. The first is the uncertainty about the economy which his administration has fostered. The second is businesses moving overseas, caused by the massive number of regulations Obama’s administration has created and the high corporate taxes they are taking from businesses. Finally, we have to thank Obamacare, which has single-handedly managed to reduce millions of people’s work week to 25 hours, when they were working 40 hours before.

Great success, huh?

His other great talking point about the economy is that he’s succeeded in cutting the deficit by almost three-quarters. Once again, this is a masterfully crafted statement. He’s not talking about the national debt, but the amount that the national debt increases each year. Compared to his first year in office, the budget for 2016 is three-quarters lower. But it’s still too high. Our government is still spending more money than they are receiving. So this figure doesn’t mean a thing.

Of course, Obamacare alone has been a huge negative influence in our economy. While millions of low-income people are now receiving Medicaid, who didn’t receive it before; other millions of people have lost their health insurance. Companies just can’t afford to pay the high premiums under Obamacare, so they are dropping insurance benefits.

The typical fast-food restaurant has more than 50 employees. These establishments run on a small margin, depending on volume to make a profit at all. But according to Obamacare, if they have 50 full-time employees, they have to give them health insurance. The answer? Cut their hours so that they can cut their benefits. If they don’t, those restaurants will be forced to go bankrupt, as their costs will be higher than their income.

But, liberals are blind to this. They say it’s the company’s fault and not Obamacare’s. That allows them to punish those businesses, demanding that they pay a $15 minimum wage. Sadly, the losers will be the poor that they claim to be trying to help.

So much for economic recovery.

We couldn’t have a speech by Obama, without him talking about his favorite subject; climate change. He actually bragged about the great strides that have been made in clean energy. It’s amazing that he would even mention that, reminding everyone of his first failure, giving millions of dollars to Solyndra and other failed green energy companies. Yet in Obama’s eyes, he’s succeeded.

Any improvements that have been made in energy costs have been made in spite of Obama, not because of him. He’s the one who single-handedly stopped the Keystone pipeline project, after sitting on it for seven years. Our current energy boon isn’t from clean energy, but from fracking, a technology that he is against, and may actually be causing an increase in earthquakes.

Hey, I’m a fan of green energy, but it isn’t working. Until some cost-effective means of storing large amounts of electrical energy can be found, it won’t. I don’t care how many solar panels you build and how many windmills you construct, they aren’t a reliable source of energy 24/7. That means that other, less environmentally friendly means of energy production have to be in operation, ready to take up the slack when wind and solar don’t work. What are those? Coal; Obama’s enemy.

We don’t need to spend money on propping up the green energy industry, we need to spend it on energy research. Maybe then, they’ll be able to find a way of making solar panels that are efficient and developing a realistic means of storing that energy.

The day of green energy has not come, regardless of what Obama says.

I could go on and on with Obama’s lies, but let me mention one more thing. According to his SOTU address, the US led coalition has become victorious over ISIS. No, we haven’t!

Our coalition is a joke, with the vast majority of the members only providing some relief to the people in the area or merely condemning ISIS. The people with boots on the ground; the Kurds, the Jordanians and now the Russians, are the ones who are winning that conflict. If anything, Obama is supporting ISIS, not destroying it.

Obama claims that we are stronger than ever and that our military is respected around the world. How would he know? He hates the military and has used it as a great social experiment. Today’s military is full of homosexuals and transgenders, as an experiment is seeing how they can be force-fed into society.

Standards are being lowered for combat roles, allowing women into military specialties they couldn’t enter before. While that is a great victory for gender equality, it has come at the cost of reduced combat effectiveness.

Hey, I believe in equality, but if a woman can’t meet the physical requirements of the job, then lowering the standards just increases the chances of her being killed. Not only that, but it increases the likelihood of those they serve with being killed as well.

Is this a correct price to pay? Should women’s rights trump the right to life? I can’t see any morality in forcing men to die, so that women can occupy positions that they aren’t physically strong enough to occupy. That doesn’t make sense. Let them serve in other capacities, but don’t drop the requirements in the name of women’s lib.

Sadly, our military is the weakest it has been since the Vietnam War. Between using it as a social experiment, cutting the military’s budget in order to have more money for social welfare, putting women in places they don’t belong and firing over 200 generals and admirals, Obama has gutted our war-fighting capability. Maybe we’re still the strongest kid on the block, but we’re not as strong as we once were.

The real cost in this will end up being the lives of those who serve in uniform. Since other countries no longer respect our military might, they won’t hesitate to use theirs.

That will end up putting us in the place of having to fight, or if not to fight, then to capitulate. When that fight comes, the losses of US servicemen and women will be higher than it should be; simply to satisfy the Narcissist in Chief’s hatred of our military.

There is much to hate in this SOTU address and even more to make us sad. Yet, Obama only has one more year in office. Unless he declares martial law and suspends the election, he will leave office next January.

Then, whoever takes over, will be faced with the biggest job of rebuilding this country has ever faced. Pull up your trousers and roll up your sleeves, the time to work at restoring our nation is coming soon.


This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

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Are You Prepared For Survival Without Doctors

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Are you prepared for survival without doctors? If we had a disaster or unforeseen emergency and the roads cannot be driven on, now what? I want us to think about something today, concerning doctors or clinics. I hope and pray we can continue to go visit our favorite doctors or clinics for a very long time. But what if we can’t because the power is out and our insurance cards (if we have them) will not work at the pharmacy. Our favorite doctors office where we pick up the phone and make an appointment can’t be contacted because the phone lines have been severed. This happened in Flagstaff, Az. last year. It was a simple cruel act of vandalism slicing through the cables of Century Link’s power lines in 2015.  USA Today Article

My daughter was living in Flagstaff at the time and reported to me that her cell phone a different phone carrier than her husbands did not work. Her cell phone service ran through Century Link. She called me from her husbands phone to alert me to the fact that several stores could not take debit or credit cards. They could only take cash and only for limited items. The pharmacies could not dispense prescriptions because they had no internet to receive approval in order to fill the prescriptions. Yes, this happened right here in the USA! Yes, it can happen to us. Here’s the deal, please fill all your required prescriptions for your family if possible for 90 days. Sometimes you can get a 90 day supply sometimes you cannot. I get it. But ask if it’s possible to get a 90 supply.

I found a book called “The Survival Medicine Handbook” The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way
that I highly recommend. I purchased the book on Amazon only because the book was recommended to me by my trusted friend, Gaye Levy over at Backdoor Survival. It is the best emergency preparedness medical book I have seen as of now. I will highlight a few tidbits from the book below. I would add this book to your first aid kit supplies ASAP.

One thing we all need to think about is the fact that if our community has a disaster typically all doctors and nurses are notified to go to emergency centers, hospitals and wherever the county directs them to go. This means that doctor or nurse living on your street may not be available to take care of anyone in the neighborhood. In other words, we will be on our own. Now, I typically only go to the doctor once a year if that. I have learned to heal my body naturally with essential oils and other natural remedies. I am not saying essential oils can cure anything….let’s make that clear. I have had some blogging friends website shut down by the FDA and I do not want that to happen to me. Just giving you the heads-up here.

I recommend always going to see a physician if your gut tells you to see one. Typically, I can heal my own body without having to go see a doctor but that’s just me. When I was growing up I bet I went to the doctor twice in my whole life.

Prepared For Survival:

Tidbits/titles from Dr. Joseph Alton M.D. and Amy Alton, A.R.N.P.’s  book I think we all can use today and or after any disaster.

Hygiene and Sanitation:

Dental Issues: tooth decay, toothache, dental fractures, dental extractions

Respiratory Infections: Colds vs Influenza

Food and water-borne illness, sterilizing water and food

Dealing with sewage issues

Food Poisoning


Appendicitis and conditions that mimic it: tubal pregnancy, diverticulitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cysts

Urinary infections


Pelvic and vaginal infections




Mosquito-borne illness

I hope the titles I listed above give you a taste of what’s in this amazing book. Every family needs this book to use today and after a disaster or unforeseen emergency. So I will ask you again, are you prepared for survival without doctors? I bought this book for a reason and I feel I am very self-sufficient. May God bless you for being prepared for the unexpected.

The post Are You Prepared For Survival Without Doctors appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

Paratus 3 Day Operator’s Pack Review

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

In Prepper circles there are a myriad of opinions on gear selection. From the best survival knife to the best caliber of handgun to purchase all the way down to paracord differences. The good thing for preppers is that there are so many suppliers of quality gear out there and we get the benefit of […]

The post Paratus 3 Day Operator’s Pack Review appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

22 Rimfire Ammo Brand Comparison Test

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Note: This test shows the dramatic difference between ammo brands fired though the same gun. It applies to all firearms; rifle, pistol and shotgun. I urge you to do a test like this with all your guns then stock the most accurate ammo for those guns.

Most shooters have heard that every gun performs best with a certain brand of ammo. The common ammo variables are bullet weight, bullet configuration/style, powder, primer and most importantly velocity (feet per second).

With the 22 rimfire it’s the same situation but, you can’t load your own to develop a load that gets the best accuracy out of that gun. So what’s your option? Buy a half dozen brands, in small boxes of 50 or 100 rounds that are also commonly available in bulk quantity either from a big box stores or online. This way when you find the best ammo you can stock-up without wasting money on brands that don’t perform well in your gun.

It was time to test my 22 rife with different brands to see just what it liked and from that result be sure that buying in bulk like 550 round boxes or 5,000 round cases I would have acceptable accuracy for hunting at a very low cost.

What accuracy do I feel is very good from a 22 rimfire rifle? You’re very good if the gun can consistently hit a golf ball @ 50 yards (150 feet). That’s plenty good enough for rabbit and turkey or goose and ducks sitting in a pond shots.

The test:

The target distance for this test was 50 yards (150 feet).

The rifle used was the Remington 597 Semi-Auto:

Box stock except for a trigger job and the addition of a bi-pod and a sand bag to support the butt for bench rest stability. Optics, a Nikon Fixed 4x ‘Rimfire Scope’.

Arrested For Shooting Down A Drone Hovering Over Your Own Yard?

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Arrested For Shooting Down A Drone Hovering Over Your Yard?

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A drone could hover a few above your lawn and you would have no legal right to do anything.

That’s because there is no clear doctrine on how far into the sky property rights extend. Instead, there are two conflicting and vague standards. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) contends that Uncle Sam controls all the airspace in the United States – even the space directly above your lawn — while common law infers that property owners have some rights to the air over their land.

“There is gray area in terms of how far your property rights extend,” Jeramie Scott, an attorney at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington think tank, told The Washington Post. “It’s going to need to be addressed sooner rather than later as drones are integrated into the national airspace.”

The issue is a significant one: About 700,000 drones were sold in America just last year.

William Merideth discovered the legal dilemma over drones the hard way when one flew over his home in Bullitt County, Kentucky, on July 26, 2015. Merideth called the sheriff but found there was nothing law enforcement could do, and so he blasted the drone with buckshot from his Beneli M1 Super 90 shotgun and knocked it out of the sky.

Learn How To Become Invisible In Today’s Surveillance State!

“I have a right as an American citizen to defend my property,” Merideth told NBC News. “I think — no, I know — that I was completely justified in protecting my family.”

Bullitt County Judge Rebecca Ward agreed with Merideth and dismissed felony charges against him.

“I think it’s credible testimony that his drone was hovering from anywhere, for two or three times over these people’s property, that it was an invasion of their privacy and that they had the right to shoot this drone,” Ward told TV station WAVE.

The drone’s owner John Boggs; who is also Merideth’s neighbor, disagreed. He filed a lawsuit against Merideth that could have important legal implications for all Americans in federal court. Boggs is arguing that Merideth had no right to shoot down the drone because the air over the home was not his property.

The problem is that courts have never ruled on the question: How far do property rights extend above your land? For example, you have the right to cut limbs off your neighbor’s trees if they grow over your property line, The Post noted.

Story continues below video

Another problem is that the courts have never ruled on how low aircraft can fly. The US Supreme Court has not ruled on the issue since 1946 in a case called United States v. Causby. Back then, the court ruled that the federal government violated a farmer’s property rights when low flying military aircraft passed over his barn and disturbed his chickens. The airport near his farm drove him out of the chicken business, and he won compensation.

Amazing Breakthrough In Compact Portable Backup Power — Charges Your Phone, Laptop And Even Jump Starts Your Car!

In Causby, the Supremes ruled that an owner’s property’s rights extend to “at least as much of the space above the ground as he can occupy or use in connection with the land.”

“This industry is growing quickly — and it’s to some extent being stifled by the legal uncertainty surrounding these issues,” James Mackler, an attorney who represents Boggs, told the newspaper.

Story continues below video

The problem with the Supreme Court’s standard is that it seems to give drones the right to fly through empty air over a property as long as they do not interfere with the use of the property. That means it may be legal to shoot down a drone that flew in front of your window – which seemingly would be an invasion of privacy — but not legal to blast one flying a few feet over the perimeter of your property.

Merideth and Boggs disagree over how close the drone was to Merideth’s land. Boggs says it was about 200 feet above the land, while Merideth says it was much closer. Even though the judge dismissed criminal charges against Merideth, the civil case is ongoing. It is one that could lead to an important legal precedent, affecting all Americans.

If a drone flew over your property, would you shoot it down? Share your opinion in the section below:

You’re Being Watched: 7 Sneaky Ways The Government Is Tracking Your Every Move. Read More Here.

ABC’s of Essential Oils

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ABC's of Essential Oils with @MamaKautz

I am going to start a weekly series ABC’s of Essential Oils. Each week will have the essential oils that begin with that letter.
Some weeks may only have 1 essential oil, while others may have many.

Subscribe to my RSS Feed to make sure you don’t miss out.

Known as the “tree of life,” Arborvitae is majestic in size and abundant in benefits.

Arborvitae is majestic in size and abundant in unique benefits. Arborvitae essential oil is concentrated in tropolones, such as hinokitiol, which are a group of chemical compounds that protect against environmental and seasonal threats and have powerful purifying properties.
These compounds also contribute to Arborvitae’s natural insect repellent properties.

• Powerful cleansing and purifying agent.
• Naturally repels insects.
• Preserves wood naturally.
• Apply to wrists and ankles while hiking.
• Add a few drops to a spray bottle with water
and spray on surfaces or hands for a protecting
• Diffuse to purify the air.
• Diffuse for a grounding aroma.
• Mix four drops of Arborvitae essential oil and two
drops of Lemon essential oil with a carrier oil for a
effective wood preservative and polish.
• Use during meditation for a sense of peace
and calm

Thank you for using affiliate links and such.
It doesn’t cost you extra to use them, so thank you.
Sometimes I get free stuff to review.
I promise you I will always be honest with my opinion
of any product regardless of if I were paid in addition
to receiving the free product. You can trust me.
Do you need Essential Oils of your own?
You can send me an e-mail and I will personally assist
you in choosing the best oils to fit your needs.
Please use discretion if using oils.
I am not a doctor and can not diagnose or treat what ails ya.
I can just give my advice. Essential Oils have yet to be
approved by the FDA.
Occasional Useletter
Essential Oil Newsletter

The post ABC’s of Essential Oils appeared first on Mama Kautz.

Why Bargain Stockpiling is Not Emergency Food Storage

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Why Bargain Stockpiling is Not Emergency Food Storage | Backdoor Survival

Do you ever watch those programs on television about extreme couponers? I am not much of a TV-watcher, but I’ve seen a couple of these. It is astonishing to watch people load up a heaping grocery cart, then give the cashier a thick wad of coupons and walk out of the store paying $3.11 for everything.

I imagine you could build an enormous stockpile of goods this way, but is it really the best way to build a preparedness supply?

Why Bargain Stockpiling is Not Emergency Food Storage | Backdoor Survival

Bargain Stockpiling vs. Emergency Food Storage

I get the greatest ideas from my readers.  I am very grateful never to be short of subjects to write about because of your wonderful questions and suggestions. A while back, I received this in my inbox from Karen:

Stockpiling is based on the principle that if you buy large quantities at
rock bottom prices you will build a stockpile and essentially “shop at home”
to avoid ever paying full price due to running out of something.

The downside is that people stockpile a lot of non-food items that aren’t
really useful in a disaster. And shelf-stable items that are only stable for
about a year. And also items that require perishable food to make, such as
Hamburger Helper.

You are the expert on food storage for emergency. It needs to be mostly
food, and be stable for 5-30 years, roughly.

My concern is the proliferation of these eye-catching stockpiles on the
Internet and Pinterest in particular. Could you imagine a new person confusing
a stockpile with emergency food storage?

Karen is absolutely right in her assessment.

While couponing, price matching, and comparison shopping are valuable tools that can help you acquire needed items inexpensively, don’t be fooled. There is a huge difference between bargain stockpiling and emergency food storage.

So What is the Difference?

The major difference between a bargain stockpile and an emergency food supply is the purpose. Let us take a closer look at each type of supply.

A Bargain Stockpile

A bargain stockpile is a collection of items purchased at the lowest possible price, often pennies on the dollar. While these items can be very useful and a boon to your budget, they can also sit there unused because they are simply not foods you would want to eat, or, as a standalone item, need additional ingredients to make a complete meal.

Have you ever gone into the kitchen to make dinner and found that although there is plenty to eat, you don’t have the right ingredients to make anything you normally prepare? Maybe you don’t have the meat that you’d prefer to cook with the vegetables you have on hand. Maybe you are missing a vital ingredient for your famous beef stroganoff. Perhaps you are thinking of cooking up a big pot of chili, but you used the last of the seasoning with the last batch.

Often a bargain stockpile is exactly like that. You have only part of what you need to create a meal. This necessitates a trip to the store, which is not going to happen in the event of an emergency.

Another concern with the bargain stockpile is that it often consists of unhealthy, highly processed foods. You don’t get coupons for healthy unadulterated items too often. You get coupons for Pop-Tarts, macaroni and cheese in cardboard boxes, just-add-meat meals that are loaded with MSG, or boxes of sugar-laden cereal.  These are hardly the foods you want to fuel you through an emergency.

And finally, these foods, although they are considered shelf stable, don’t have a long shelf life, at least not by prepper standards. Particularly if they are left in their original packaging, you cannot expect to get more than a year out of most items. Many deeply discounted items are already precariously close to their “Best By” dates.

That is not to say the “best buy” dates are equivalent to “time to throw out dates”, but many packaged and processed foods are not impervious to moisture and humidity and will suffer degradation over a short period of time.  (You can read more about food expiration dates in What You Need to Know About Eating Expired Food.)

 Even though you can probably still consume stockpiled packaged foods past the date, you won’t be able to stash these items away for years.  Although I am just guessing, I imagine that there could be a fair bit of waste from expired food from some of those bargain stockpiles that look like Wal-Mart is using a corner of the basement for overflow storage.

On the bright side, a bargain stockpile can come in very handy for items that don’t expire. Things like band-aids, lotion, soap, laundry supplies, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and toothpaste, for example, can be stacked to the rafters and used for years to come.

Emergency Food Supply

An emergency food supply is made up of items that have been specifically chosen for qualities like longevity, nutrition, and ease of cooking without a power supply.

Normally, great care is taken with the storage of an emergency food supply. Items are packed in Mylar, with the proper desiccants or oxygen absorbers, and then stashed away in a food safe bucket.

More attention is paid to nutrition in an emergency food supply. Preppers are careful to ensure that they have an adequate balance of bioavailable nutrients, such a protein sources, fruits and vegetables, and carbohydrates. This helps meet the needs of a hard-working family during an emergency.

An emergency food supply can stand on its own, without the need to add fresh foods to make the meal tasty and balanced. In an emergency, you won’t be able to pick up a pound of ground beef to go into your Hamburger Helper, nor will you have the makings of a salad in the crisper drawer.

Finally, an emergency food supply takes into consideration the limitations of an emergency. You may not have power, so many of the foods in an emergency supply only require the addition of boiling water. While things like beans and rice are stocked, it’s understood that these foods may not be usable in every situation because of their lengthy cooking times.

Items you might find in an emergency food supply are canned goods, freeze-dried meals, whole grains, and dehydrated fruits and vegetables.

You Need a Plan to Build an Emergency Food Supply

Clearly, if your intention is to get prepared, you need to be focusing on an emergency food supply. Every situation is different. Before you begin building your supply, consider the following questions:

  • How will you cook in an emergency?
  • Do you have a good back-up water supply for an emergency?
  • How much space can you dedicate to your supply?
  • Do you have any special climate concerns for food storage? (For example, is your climate damp? Extremely hot or extremely cold? All of these affect what type of storage will work best for you.)
  • How many people are you preparing for?
  • Do any family members have special dietary restrictions?

Once you have determined the answers to these questions, you are ready to start building your supply. Focus on these qualities when building your emergency food supply.

  • Quality of nutrients – get the very best quality of food you can afford, instead of the GMO, sugar-and-chemical laden, cheapo offerings
  • Ease of cooking
  • Longevity on the shelf – I really like number 10 cans and Mylar packed in buckets
  • Compact food – freeze dried food takes up far less space than canned goods, and is light and easily portable
  • Amount of water you will have available – freeze dried food uses tons of water, whereas canned food often contains extra water to help keep you hydrated
  • Dietary restrictions – you may need to avoid things like gluten, lactose, peanuts, or other allergens. An emergency is no time to risk a bad reaction to food
  • Storage requirements – take the time to pack your food away carefully, defending against the enemies of food storage.

Of course, this is just brushing the surface. There is a lot more to building a food supply, so if you would like more detailed information about building an emergency food supply, you can find it HERE.

The Final Word

While both bargain stockpiling and emergency food supplies have their places in preparedness, don’t rely on only bargain stockpiling to prep for an emergency. Nearly everyone has a limit to how much they can store. Do not waste your precious space on things that will be useless in the face of disaster.

With careful planning, you can work bargains into your well-thought out supply, but don’t buy things you don’t need, just because they are cheap.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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

Backdoor Survival Emergency Food Buyers Guide

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

Bargain Bin:  Below you will find links to the items related to today’s article.

Mylar bags & Oxygen Absorbers: What I love about Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers is they protect against every single one of the food storage enemies. Prices do vary but for the most part, they are inexpensive and easy to keep on hand. And while you can seal them up with a FoodSaver, some tubing and a common clothes iron, I find it infinitely easier with a cheap hair straightening iron that you can pick up $20 or less.

Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage: This 99 cent eBook will provide you with everything you need to create an affordable food storage plan, including what to buy and how to store it. Nothing scary and nothing overwhelming – you really can do this!  Also available in print.

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

Home-Complete Cast Iron Skillet Pan – 12 Inch: Have you seen the price of cast iron skillets lately?  I found this alternative to the Lodge and half the current price.  I feel that everyone should own a basic, 12” cast iron skillet.  In spite of the myth, they are easy to care for and over time, will become a family heirloom.  On grid or off grid, cooking with cast iron is the way to go.

The Ringer Cast Iron Cleaner – Stainless Steel Chainmail:  I purchased one of these in October 2015 and it is friggin’ fantastic.  You will never ever have to scrub cast iron again.  I can’t say enough good things about this gizmo.  You want one (and I definitely need to do a review).

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



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
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!


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

9 Best Essential Oils for Your Survival Kit | Backdoor Survival

The post Why Bargain Stockpiling is Not Emergency Food Storage by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

That One Darned Project!

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home organizationWe all have one – a project that has been sitting there, half done, for longer than we want to admit. You may have more than one, and some may have come with the house, but there is usually one home organization project that stands out because it just annoys the beejeebers out of us that it isn’t done – or at least closer to done! – yet.

In our house, it’s the basement. I really, really want to enclose a big section of the room so my boys have a space where they can be crazy, insane, unsafe boys, and exercise. We have high quality pads for the floors – two 6′ x 12′ sections – and for a long section of the wall that will get a horizontal climbing wall. And they have sat down there for years, waiting.

To be more specific, they have been down there, waiting, since 2009.

So what?

So, what does this have to do with organization, the January Skill of the Month? The same thing your project probably does. To finish that space, a mountain of boxes, bundles, bits and pieces, and piles of things need to leave that space and get put away somewhere else. Contemplating that has always made me want to go hide, so I procrastinate.

This year, though, my parents took the kids for several days before Christmas, and I spent some quantity time in the basement cleaning, straightening, and, most of all, organizing. We had two new shelving units waiting in their boxes. As soon as it was assembled, one of them was filled with a mass of my husband’s things (car parts? tools? sports equipment? whatever – I kept it all together so he’s happy) that had been stacked up in the way in another part of the basement. With the extra room, I cleared out the first stack of boxes from the future boy hangout / exercise area.

I got my husband to move a heavy bag from the back to the exercise area. In the newly empty space, I fit even more of the boxes that needed moved out. And that inspired me to look more closely at some other boxes in that back area – my husband’s area.

His space, not my space

That is and shall remain his area, but some of those boxes have been untouched for years. Since its still his area, I tread with great caution when moving or organizing anything because it seems to make sense to him. That said, I cannot fathom any way in which moving things from a big half-empty cardboard box to a smaller one that just fits the items in the same space will mess up his system, so I (very quietly) do this sort of thing.

Nor can I see how combining two half-empty boxes of the same thing (car wax, chainsaw oil, whatever) is a problem. Heck, it’ll make it easier to know what he has! Right? And he hasn’t noticed, so far, when I do that, especially since I don’t move them far from where he had them.

Just moving things into smaller boxes and condensing how much empty space was around all those things freed up a surprising amount of space. Enough that I was able to fit his last few boxes into the area!

As I mentioned, there were two shelving units. The second one went where the two boxes containing the units had been because building them freed up that space. I had struggled with finding a place to put my son’s NERF guns that would keep him happy, and that wasn’t the floor. (Honestly, that was a big reason the room was so hard to get cleaned up and usable.) The rack ended up being the perfect solution!

Action Steps

What room or area is it that you truly, deeply dread? Is there a closet door you won’t open or a room you detour around? If so, you know where to start. Or does it seem like your whole house has turned into one giant home organization project? If that’s the case, pick a spot at random. Then….

Open the door and start.

Instead of running away and hiding, do something – anything! – to improve the situation. Most people seem to have at least one closet in this kind of situation. If you are overwhelmed, a closet might be a good place to start because (1) it’s hard to screw up a closet too badly, (2) small spaces are inherently cheaper / faster /easier to fix than bigger ones, and (3) it’s not a giant project, no matter how much it may feel like it. (Gutting the kitchen, now that is a big project!)

One of the spaces I hated for years is our linen closet. Due to unfinished remodeling by a prior owner, it had no shelves and everything was stacked on the floor. It took approximately $120 at the hardware store and two hours or so of work by my Dad to make it all better, after six years of irritation and avoidance. (Apparently, this bothered my Mom even more than it bothered me, which is why my Dad did the work.)

Once you have finished that, move on to something harder because you know you can do it. But remember: You don’t have to do it all at once! You can clear off the top of one piece of furniture as a first step. Another day, clear a shelf, chair, or end table. As long as you keep those spaces cleared, you will eventually have the entire room clear and can move on to cleaning, repairing, or whatever comes next for that space.

The Takeaway Points

1. Even if your spouse has things they really, truly, deeply don’t want you to touch, you can still probably move them into smaller boxes – just don’t move them more than a foot or so from where you found them unless you are 100% certain they won’t notice and / or mind.

2. Sometimes, when you get started, you’ll find the solution you needed was already there – like the big shelving rack to hold my son’s NERF.

3. Doing one step at a time is OK. After we finished all of that and Christmas, I ended up sleeping for 14 hours straight one night to recover from all the lifting, shifting, and repositioning. Some of those big, heavy boxes were moved two or three times before I was done, but it all worked out in the end.

4. Not finishing the whole project can be OK too. We still don’t have the climbing wall up and usable, but we the boys used that space more in the month following Christmas than in the entire prior seven years combined, so it’s still a win!

5. Like Nike says, sometimes you really do need to Just Do It!

More resources to help you get organized once and for all!

home organization