Off grid crock pot

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I love the idea of cooking low and slow, but being off grid means I don’t have the electricity to spare to run an electric crock pot, nor do I want to cook on my propane stove for hours and hours even on a low flame, I do use a pressure cooker to make things such as soup, stew and the such.

Today I ran across this video showing how you can use tea lights (small candles) to create an off grid crock pot or slow cooker. I was intrigued and watched, I can see how it can be a really good thing, I can also see where some improvements can be made to make it safer, I would use metal to line where the candles touch the base, that way there would be little chance of the wood there getting hot enough to combust and if the candle wax were to escape, it would be less likely to catch anything on fire. I would perhaps want to line the entire thing with metal to keep things safer.

He said the meal took about 2 hours to cook, different tea lights last different amounts of time, from 2 hours up to 4 hours, you would have to check it as time went by to know if you would need to add fresh tea lights.

Watch and let me know what you think?

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Ruger LCP Spare Mag in EDC

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In my recent EDC post someone noted the lack of a spare mag for the LCP.

I carry a spare for the LCP but not that consistently. It goes in a pants pocket if there is room and doesn’t if there isn’t room. I don’t stress it that much. In situations where I am even semi worried I carry a Glock with a spare mag.

Somewhere in my recent move the spare mag I carry for the LCP went, well somewhere. I am sure that I tucked it into the pocket of a bag but heck if I know which bag. It was a chaotic period. I am sure the mag will turn up eventually. I do own more mags for it but they are not very accessible right now.

Is that a good reason? Eh probably not but I am honest here. Lots of it is good and some is bad.

A consideration I had is there isn’t a good excuse for not at least carrying a reload in my coat. I will try to get this done tomorrow. Can use more mags for the LCP anyway.

Bob’s Van

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Bob's Van Bob is a blacksmith living in a van within wooded area owned by friends, just outside of a small village in Mid Wales. He’s lived there for over 10 years.

This image was taken by photographer Beth Bicknell who has been documenting the off-grid and the dispossessed for the past several years. Beth’s work is inspired by the very first newspaper photograph ever printed – “labelled ‘Shantytown’, it illustrated a group of homeless settling in Manhattan,” says Beth.

“Bob’s way of life, despite appearing fairly hard wearing, is a remarkable one,” says Beth. “Its incredibly admirable; not needing the every day luxuries we as the commercial consumer, see as necessities. He’s made this choice out of preference, away from bustling towns or cities, in amongst nature, tranquillity.”

At 70 years old, Bob does need help with the upkeep of the land, from his apprentice, and he’s built some outbuildings- incouding a little place for visitors to stay, with a wood burner and workshop bench for his practise. There is a tool shed and a log store. Collecting and sawing logs is vital to provide heat for his van and for cooking. He also has solar panels, providing electricity for a few plug sockets.

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How to Test Your Drinking Water (And Why You Should Do It)

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Water is one of the most important survival topics around – it’s so important to me that I wrote an entire book about it. While we would love to be able to trust the liquid flowing from our faucets, anyone who pays even half-hearted attention to the news knows that we can no longer expect safety unless we confirm it ourselves. The EPA and Michigan’s Gov. Snyder have now added to the list of reasons that I have trust issues.

Every day, new horrors are being uncovered in relation to the drinking water in Flint, Michigan. Residents of the city have been drinking water that was presumably safe for the past year without knowing that it was actually contaminated with chemical byproducts, E. coli, Legionnaires’ disease and lead. It appears that both the EPA and the governor of Michigan knew the water was unsafe for quite some time, but no one said a word to warn the people of Flint. To heap insult onto injury, the water company has had the audacity to bill people for the poisoned water and has even sent out shut-off notices.

So, do you really think you can trust the water flowing from your own taps? If Flint was the last straw for you, it’s time to take matters into your own hands and test your drinking water for contaminants. Whether your water source is private or municipal, the onus for your family’s safety is on you.

Where to get a water testing kit

Water testing kits are readily available on Amazon. 

  • The Watersafe Well Water Test Kit was specifically designed to help you test quickly and easily for the 10 most common contaminants found in private well water, including: iron, copper, lead, bacteria, pesticides, nitrates, nitrites, chlorine, pH and hardness. (order here)
  • The PurTest Home Water Analysis kit is a comprehensive EPA-based test kit that allows you to quickly and easily test your drinking water  for various contaminants and conditions. Tests included: 1 test each for bacteria, lead, & pesticide. Two (2) tests each for iron, alkalinity, pH, hardness, chlorine, copper, nitrate & nitrite.  (order here)
  • The Essential Indicators test is the most thorough, but you have to send the water to their lab to get the results. The test checks for 170 health-related contaminants including Volatile Organic Compounds, Essential Elements, Heavy Metals and Inorganic Chemicals. You simply fill the bottles with your tap water and return them to our lab using the same box you received with the test kit. Within about 6 business days you will receive an email containing the results of your water test along with recommended treatment suggestions if a problem was found. The one family of contaminants that you will test for yourself are pathogenic bacteria, which, if present, can cause infectious diseases. (order here)

From a preparedness perspective, it makes sense to keep a few of these DIY kits on hand in the event you need to test water during a disaster situation. (Obviously, not the one you have to send off to a lab.)

Be sure to also test the pH of your water. Your water’s pH level is very important because if it is too low or too high, it can cause corrosion of lead and copper from household plumbing.  To be safe, drinking water should not have a pH lower than 6.5 or greater than 8.5.

Following, please find an excerpt from my book, The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide. Chapter 9 of the book discusses the importance of testing your own water, how to do it, and what to test for.

…We’ve already discussed the infinite possibilities for contaminants in water sources. Bacteria, viruses, parasites, nitrate, PPCPs, and toxic chemicals could be lurking beneath the surface of virtually any water source you can think of. It is safest to assume at least some of those pollutants and impurities are present and plan accordingly.

Even if you are getting presumably safe “city water” from a municipal supply, you should be provided with an annual report that explains what kind of testing was done on your water and what was found, if anything. Of course, if you aren’t the trusting type, you can still test that water yourself as an added precaution.

If you have a well or are collecting water from a source that is not monitored and regulated, you will need to take responsibility for testing and purifying your water yourself.

Studies have shown that around 50 percent of private water systems fail at least one drinking water standard.[1]

Many common pollutants do not cause water to smell, taste, or look funny, so you can’t rely on your senses to determine safety.

Water is a “universal solvent,” meaning that it has the ability to dissolve almost anything it comes into contact with. This characteristic means that it is very easily contaminated.

Most testing isn’t expensive, and the time and financial investment will provide you with priceless peace of mind. Not only is your family’s health at stake, there are possible legal consequences involved. Think about how litigious our society is: If someone consumes your water and becomes ill, you’ll want to be able to prove that you conducted the proper testing on a regular basis. And, should you suspect your water supply has become contaminated by an outside source, you’ll want to have documentation to support your case.

 Testing Kits

You can test your water yourself or have a professional lab or service do it for you. Drinking water quality test kits are available for purchase online and at most superstores and home improvement stores. Basic kits usually test for bacteria, lead, nitrates/nitrites, pesticides, chlorine, hardness, and pH. They are fast, simple to use, and inexpensive. Your test kit will have instructions specific to that kit. Kits that test for less-common contaminants are also available. Some test for 15 or more contaminants, including the ones in the basic testing kits, plus iron, sulfate, copper, and sulfide.

Even more in-depth testing kits are available, but most of them require you to send your samples to a professional lab. Most of them check your water for around 100 different contaminants, including volatile organic compounds, toxic metals, heavy metals, and bacteria. The pricing for these comprehensive kits is typically in the $100 range, and results can take about a week to receive.

What to Test For

At a bare minimum, you should test your water once a year for coliform bacteria and nitrates because of the serious health risks associated with those contaminants.

It is best to test for nitrate during the spring or summer following a rainy period, if possible.

If someone in your household becomes pregnant, test your water supply for nitrate in early months of the pregnancy. Test it again before bringing a newborn home, and again during the first six months of the baby’s life. Remember, in the body, nitrate is converted into nitrite, which can cause brain damage and death in infants because it reduces the amount of oxygen in the baby’s blood. .

Test for total dissolved solids and pH every one to three years. These tests will provide you with an overall picture of the health of your water. The total dissolved solids content of drinking water should be below 500 milligrams per liter (mg/L). This value should not change much from test to test. If it does, further testing is necessary because it is likely that pollution has occurred.


Lead is a naturally-occurring element that can be found in air, soil, and water. Lead from natural sources is present in tap water to some extent, but analysis of both surface and groundwater suggests that lead concentration is generally fairly low. The main source of lead in drinking water is (old) lead piping and lead-combining solders. Homes that were built before 1986 are more likely to have pipes made of lead, but even “lead-free” piping can contain up to 8 percent lead. If you don’t have lead pipes in your house, your water probably doesn’t contain any; it is rarely found in source water.

Even though it is unlikely that your water supply contains lead (unless you have lead pipes), testing for it is a good idea.

Lead can damage various systems of the body, including the nervous and reproductive systems, the kidneys, and the bones. It also can cause high blood pressure and anemia and can interfere with the body’s use of calcium and vitamin D. High amounts of lead in the blood of children can cause learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and mental retardation, all of which may be irreversible. At very high levels, lead can cause convulsions, coma, and death.[2]

If your water source tests positive for lead, you’ll need to use a filtration system that is certified for lead removal or find a safer drinking water source.


Something else you don’t want in your water supply is arsenic. This naturally-occurring element is found in rocks, soil, water, air, plants, and animals. Natural events like volcanic activity, forest fires, and erosion of rocks can cause it to be actively released into the environment. Arsenic is also used in agricultural and industrial practices and is used in some fertilizers, paints, dyes, metals, drugs, and soaps. It is also used as a wood preservative and can be released by mining and coal burning.

Arsenic is highly toxic and can affect nearly every organ system in the body.

There are short- and long-term health effects associated with arsenic exposure. Some effects appear within hours or days of exposure, and others develop over many years.

Long-term exposure to arsenic through drinking contaminated water can cause chronic arsenic poisoning, leading to life-long problems. This most commonly affects the skin in the form of lesions, discolorations, thickening, and cancer. Cancer of the bladder, lungs, prostate, kidneys, nasal passages, and liver are other possible devastating diseases arsenic can cause.

Arsenic can also affect the cardiovascular, pulmonary, immunological, neurological (with symptoms including numbness and partial paralysis), reproductive, and endocrine systems.

Severe arsenic poisoning can cause vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. These symptoms are followed by numbness and tingling of the extremities, muscle cramping, and, in extreme cases, death.[3]

Water that contains high amounts of arsenic should not be used for drinking, cooking, or watering crops. Plants can take up arsenic through their roots, causing the product of the plant to contain high levels of arsenic, which is then passed on to the person or animal who consumes it. Rice has been found to have particularly high levels of arsenic, so much so that many holistic nutrition experts recommend eating rice infrequently or not at all.

Groundwater sources tend to have higher levels of arsenic than surface water sources. That’s because the demand on groundwater is usually higher. It is more commonly used in municipal systems and private wells. This heavy use can cause water levels to drop, allowing arsenic to be released from rock formations.

Certain regions of the United States tend to have higher levels of arsenic in their water supplies. The EPA’s standard is 10 parts per billion (ppb), and some western states have levels that are higher than that. Some parts of the Midwest and New England have levels that high, or close to it.[4]

Because of this toxic element’s prevalence in the environment, testing your water source for arsenic contamination is a good idea. Most home-testing kits cost less than $15, and you’ll see your results within minutes.


Radon is a gas that comes from the natural radioactive breakdown of uranium in the ground. It has no color, odor, or taste. Radon can dissolve and accumulate in groundwater, which means it can be found in water from wells. Not all groundwater contains radon, but drinking water that contains it can cause internal organ cancers like stomach cancer.

You can buy a simple kit to test your water source for radon, or you can contact your state radon office for assistance.


Fluoride is an ionic compound that contains a reactive element called fluorine. It is naturally found in many rocks

Because it is believed to protect teeth from decay, it has been added to public water supplies since the 1940s. By 1960, water fluoridation had become widely used in the US, reaching about 50 million people.[5]  This is also the main reason my family never, ever consumes municipal water if we are in an area that deliberately adds the compound to the public supply.

The incidence of tooth decay has declined in the United States since fluoridation began; however, it has also declined in other countries that do not fluoridate. Many argue the reduction in tooth decay is because of more accessible dental care and better dental hygiene, not water fluoridation.

Backing them up is research conducted within the last 15 years that has shown that fluoride primarily works topically, such as when it is applied to the teeth in toothpaste that contains fluoride.

Water fluoridation has been the subject of much controversy, and for good reason. Studies have shown that fluoride intake may cause a startling array of serious health problems, including increased risk of bone fractures, thyroid disorders, impaired immune system functioning, and cardiovascular disease. There is also some evidence that fluoride can cause osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer. Researchers suspect a connection to cancer because half of ingested fluoride is deposited in bones, and fluoride stimulates growth in the end of bones, where osteosarcoma occurs.[6]

A study published in the fall of 2012 in Environmental Health Perspectives found a link between high fluoride levels found naturally in drinking water in China and elsewhere in the world, and lower IQs in children. The paper looked at the results of 27 different studies, 26 of which found a link between high-fluoride drinking water and lower IQ. The average IQ difference between high and low fluoride areas was 7 points, the study found.[7]

Children aged eight years and younger have an increased chance of developing dental fluorosis. In mild cases, this shows in white streaks on the teeth. In severe cases, it can include brown stains, pitting, and broken enamel. As of 2010, 41 percent of children from ages 12 to 15 had some level of dental fluorosis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.[8]

Fluoride consumption over a lifetime may increase the likelihood of bone fractures, and may result in skeletal fluorosis, a painful and potentially crippling disease. The EPA has determined that safe exposure of fluoride is below 4 mg/L in drinking water to avoid those effects.

Naturally occurring fluoride concentrations in surface waters are generally low, but that depends on location. However, groundwater can contain much higher levels than the 4 mg/L recommended maximum.

Community water systems in areas with levels higher than that are required to lower the fluoride level below the acceptable standard. But the levels in private water sources, such as wells, may still be higher.

This means you will need to test your well water for fluoride, and will need to remove the fluoride if your levels are above 4 mg/L.

When Should You Test Your Water?

Even if your water is crystal-clear, odorless, and tastes great, you still should test it for contaminants and pollutants on a regular basis. But sometimes there are signs that your water supply may need to be tested even more frequently. Here are some of those signs, and what they might mean.

Taste and Odor

  • Strong chlorine taste or smell. Generally this occurs when the water is treated at a water treatment plant to disinfect it and kill off bacteria and other harmful microorganisms.
  • Metallic taste. Some water systems have a high mineral concentration, resulting in a salty or soda-like taste. In the case of iron and manganese, a strong metallic taste is noticeable.
  • Rotten egg smell. This is usually a result of decaying organic material underground. As water flows through these areas, hydrogen sulfide gas is picked up. When the water reaches the surface or comes out of your faucet, the gas is released into the air. Hydrogen sulfide gas is what produces the rotten egg smell. In large enough quantities, it is toxic to aquarium fish. You’ll be able to taste as little as 0.5 parts per million (ppm) in your water. If your water smells like rotten eggs, it also may indicate the presence of bacteria.
  • Musty or other unnatural or unusual smells. These smells are normally a result of organic matter or even some pesticides in the water supply. Even very low amounts can make your water smell funny.
  • Turpentine taste or odor. This smell can be a result of MTBE contamination in your water. MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether) is a flammable, colorless liquid fuel oxygenate chemical that dissolves easily in water. MTBE is added to gasoline to increase its oxygen content to lower carbon monoxide and other air pollutants that are emitted from vehicles. While MTBE may help reduce air pollutants, it certainly isn’t good for your drinking water. It spreads quickly through water and can easily contaminate it. This includes private drinking water systems like wells. Even a small amount will make your water undrinkable. According to the EPA, MTBE has not been used in significant quantities in gasoline since 2005. But groundwater in some areas of the US might still contain MTBE. It can enter water sources through leaking underground or aboveground gas storage tanks and pipelines, as well as from gasoline spills. It isn’t known if MTBE causes health problems in humans, so it is best not to drink water that contains it.


Your drinking water should be clear. Here is a list of possible coloration issues you way encounter, and what they may indicate.

  • Red or brown. A red, brown, or rusty color is generally a sign of iron or manganese in your water. Iron in your water may cause stains in sinks or your laundry. A bit more on iron and manganese: While these metallic elements may cause frustration if they stain your laundry or sinks, they generally are not harmful to health. But it is important to find out what type of iron is contaminating your water. That’s because there are three kinds: ferrous iron, ferric iron, and iron bacteria. You’ll want to treat your water to remove all three, but especially iron bacteria, because while they are not known to cause disease, they often help create an environment that is friendly to more harmful types of bacteria. Iron bacteria can also make your water taste and smell terrible. If you notice a cucumber or sewage-like smell coming from your water, the likely source is iron bacteria.
  • Yellow. This color occurs in regions where the water has passed through marshlands and then moved through peat soils. In the United States, this is more likely to occur in the Southeast, Northwest, New England, and Great Lakes regions. It is more commonly found in surface water supplies and shallow wells. Although the yellow color may be displeasing, it presents no health hazard, as it is only small particles suspended in the water.
  • Blue or green. A green or blue color generally indicates that there is copper in your water supply, or copper pipes and corrosive water. The copper can cause staining of your fixtures and your laundry. Copper is regulated in drinking water by the EPA at 1.3 ppm. This is at a low enough concentration that the copper won’t be tasted (the taste threshold is around 5 ppm). However, copper can become a problem if it is higher than 30 ppm in your water. At this level, copper can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and general gastrointestinal issues. If you are using well water as your primary source of water and copper is a concern in your area, it would be to your advantage to have your water tested for copper.
  • Cloudy, white, or foamy. Cloudy water is usually due to turbidity. Turbidity is caused by finely divided particles in the water. When light hits the water, it is scattered, giving a cloudy look to the water. The particles may be of either organic or inorganic in nature. Cloudiness itself isn’t dangerous, but the cause of it may be.

Other Reasons to Test Your Drinking Water

  • There is recurring gastrointestinal distress in your family or visiting guests.
  • You are pregnant or have a child less than six months old living in your household.
  • Your well is next to a septic tank, and it is questionable if the septic tank is placed far enough away from your well.
  • Your property has an underground storage tank that is close to your well.
  • Your property has a leaking gas tank that is next to your well.
  • You have a new well and want to test the purity of your water.
  • Your well is next to an area where livestock are kept.
  • You have mixed pesticides or other chemicals near your well, or accidentally dropped these into your well.
  • You have noticed an increased amount of turbidity (cloudiness) in your water.
  • Your property is near a chemical plant, a gas station (either abandoned or not), mining operation, landfill or dump, dry cleaner, junkyard, heavily salted roadway, or oil or gas drilling company.

If you found this excerpt useful, please check out my book, The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide.

preppers water survival guide










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Does a Bug Out Boat Make Sense for Some Preppers?

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Bug Out Boat

You obviously do not want to be on a boat or even near any large body of water during hurricanes, heavy rains, or during thunderstorms or when there are high winds. However, there are times when a boat could save your life.

The ideal situation would be that you live near a large body of water and have access to remote islands, islands where you could set up a bug-out-location. You could easily ferry supplies across to your location without raising suspicions if you follow a few simple OPSEC rules. Having a boat docked close by eliminates the need for a vehicle to haul the boat to a launch area.

Keep in mind, however, if you found an island suitable for your needs, others could of as well, and so you have to look ahead and consider how you would defend your location.

What If You Live Inland

Use Google mapping software to locate all bodies of water near your location. There are several options, one being is to keep the boat at home, or two, find a marina and dock your boat there so you simply need to get to the marina during a crisis. If you do not live near the coast then your options are limited, but a large lake can offer some protection from wildfires, civil unrest, and nuclear, chemical, or biological attacks.

Being on a boat gives you access to edible marine life, and freshwater lakes and rivers offer drinking water after filtration and purification.

Navigating up or down rivers can get you away from a disaster area easier than trying to get out of the area using a vehicle in some cases. There are options and many possibilities, but it will take some research and planning to make it work.

The size of the boat dictates your actions. In a crisis, any boat is better than no boat if you are escaping a wildfire or a chemical attack for example. To survive for any period on the water, however, you need a sizable watercraft that has space for survival gear, food, water, fuel, and space for sleeping, cooking, and that the boat offers overhead cover.

You will need protection from the sun and rain so a simple fishing boat may not be the best option for living on the water for a few days let alone a few weeks.

You may have to access resources on land at times so having too big of a watercraft may eliminate some areas for anchoring. You probably do not want to pull up to any marinas whether they are abandoned or not. Stealth will be important in some cases, so you may have to anchor where the boat is shielded from prying eyes along a shoreline. You need options, so choose your boat carefully.

Simply buying a boat does not give you any experience in navigating on the water. In normal times there are rules and regulations when out on the water, so know what they are before setting out. You need to know high and low tides, reef locations, and what buoys and markers you see on the water mean for example. Again it is not as simple as buying a boat and loading it up with gear.

Having a canoe or kayak, and a bicycle on your boat may be a good idea. You can use the canoe or kayak for exploring tributaries or for escaping a sinking or damaged boat. Use the bicycle for getting around on land if you have to dock and go inland.

The ideal watercraft would have a small gallery for cooking and refrigeration and sleeping quarters.

Sustainability would be a problem. Fuel for the boat and propane for cooking will run out as will food and water, so you will need caches on shore that you can access. Again much depends on the size of the craft and how well stocked you are. If you know you will be on a freshwater lake, for example, you could reduce the amount of water you carry, thus, freeing up additional space for food and fuels.

Carry small charcoal grills for cooking on shore if you find a remote area in which to anchor. Gather wood from the shore to use for cooking to conserve propane or butane supplies. In rough weather, you may have to consider sleeping on shore, so make sure you have shelter materials on board, so you can stay on shore for short periods when needed. 

Having a shore kit is a good idea. The shore kit would be carried with you as you travel inland. Have shelter material, ax, knife, and cordage, fire starting materials, 24-48 hours of food, fresh water, self device weapons, and possibly some bartering items.

Using a boat for bugging-out with and then living on it would not be for everyone, but for some, it may be the perfect solution. Instead of worrying about buying some land and building a cabin, your boat could be your cabin on the lake as it were. It is something to think about and yet not something to rush into. It is not as easy as it may have been depicted in this article.

First, determine if you have a large enough body of water to make it practical. Small lakes may not hide you or protect from what is happening on shore. Rivers can be used for escaping, but rivers would make it difficult to live on the water unless you were continuously moving and this would require several people capable of operating the boat and navigating the waters safely, not to mention the amount of fuel required.

There is a lot to consider and some of you may very well benefit from having a boat during a crisis, give it some thought.

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An 18th Century Cheese Soup

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An 18th Century Cheese Soup

Published on Jan 25, 2016 This cheese soup is another recipe from Ann Cook’s 1755 cookbook, “Professed Cookery.” It’s a very easy and delicious little dish that is perfect for this cold weather. You have to try it! An 18th Century Cheese Soup ***************************** Genesee Country Village – Click Here for the last week’s […]

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Survival.  The very idea of being placed in a survival situation evokes deep feelings.  The reaction it stirs in you indicates a great deal about how you would react to an unexpected situation where lives may be on the line.  Could you accurately assess your ability to survive in a real survival situation?  Do you […]

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Persimmons are a sweet and delicious fruit that are an excellent source of vitamin A, C, and B-complex and minerals such as potassium, manganese and copper. They contain an anti-cancer and anti-tumor compound called Betulinic acid which makes them highly beneficial for lung, colon, prostate, breast, and skin cancer. Persimmons contain active enzymes that help […]

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So last night I woke up to a 6.3 Earthquake!

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It was a 6.3 that affected Malaga and most of the south of Spain. I’m further west from the more sismic area but still it woke my wife and I up. It kept shaking for a couple seconds then stopped. I found no damage of any kind in the house. Walking around town this morning there was zero damage as well so that’s good.

I talked with some folks here, who lived +40 years in the areaand have never seen anything like it. Supposedly there was a big one last week but I honestly didn’t notice it at all.
Just goes to show, be prepared, prepare for the small things and repare for the more serious, less likely ones as well. Do your homework. I did mine before moving here and I discarded some of the more active areas. Basically if a lot of people have died in the last 500 years I probably don’t want to risk it myself. The construction is of course much better these days than it was back then, so that helps. I can see how last nights earthquake could have easily collapsed some older buildings. Keep in mind that in Europe you can’t throw a dead cat without hitting something that is 1000 years old, so places like old churches or historic buildings can be dangerous.
Talking to people this morning it was clear that most simply didn’t know what to do during an earthquake. Many ran out of their houses to the sidewalk, which isn’t a good idea at all. It’s in the sidewalk and streets where most people get injured or killed due to collapsing materials on the front of the building. Unless the structure is at risk of collapsing, you’re better off staying inside.

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”.

Using Cell Phone for Emergency Communications

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emergency communication

cell phones and chargers

We are all spoiled by the fact that we carry a small communication device in our pockets, the cell phone.  When I was young, these were still dreams in the science fiction movies.  Today I carry one with me everywhere and probably depend on it to much.  I am still not quite up to date; I haven’t gone to a smartphone yet, but maybe one of these days. During many different situations cell phones, work well for emergency communications.

If it is an EMP attack or a situation in which the government shuts down the cell phone system occurs you will have to go with your backup plan.  However, in the mean time, the cell phone is very handy and almost everyone has one.

A few years back we had a major wildland fire in our area that destroyed over 60 homes.  Several members of our church live in the area and we wanted to check on them.  But the phone system was jammed.  We discovered that even when the lines were jammed, texts were going through.  We were able to reach everyone successfully by using texting.

emergency communication

The USB ports in the Hybridelight

One of the problems with cell phone is that they need to be charged.  So how do you charge one in an emergency?  I carry a Charge Worx Power Bank in my kit. This allows me one extra charge in an emergency.  Now this works well with my old phone, but it may not provide enough power for some of the newer smart phones.  However, there are a variety of different size power banks that will meet your needs.  I ordered an extra one from Amazon today that provides 6000 amh of power and will charge smartphones and tablets.

Many of these devices can be charged from a Goal Zero or equivalent solar panel in an emergency.  The new solar powered flashlight from Hybridlight has a connection so that you can charge your phone from it and still have 2 ½ hours of light left.  I have one of these flashlights and love it.  I can recommend them.

Cell phones may be your best solution for emergency communications in many types of emergencies.  Get a backup power source for yours.  They are small, easy to use and very inexpensive.


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Japan Monkey Poop at 1500 TIMES Legal Limit for Radiation

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I wanted to do additional research on this red hot radioactive Japanese Monkey Poop, but eliminating troll from ENE has wasted a lot of time.

So for now I will publish as is.   

If you ever need to find this article, simply type “monkey poop” into the search box, and it will find it for you.

stock out



with a cesium content of more than 150,000 bequerels per kilogram, this qualifies as radioactive waste, requires special handling and needs to be placed in a secure repository:

January 23, 2016

An example of bio-accumulation of radioactive material in Fukushima:
According to the following post, wild monkey poops from Namie-city, Fukushima had more than 150,000Bq/kg in terms of radioactive Cs137 & Cs134.

Cs137: 133987 Bq/kg
Cs134: 25186 Bq/kg
K40: 225 Bq/kg

The surrounding ground surface was about 500~600cpm.


“…requires special handling and needs to be placed in a secure repository:…”
Any volunteers?
As someone here mentioned, all animals defecate…I assume only monkey doo was tested…The way Tepco/Japan is handling the nuclear fallout tells me they’ll just leave the crap laying around…or let it float away.
Fukushima: What goes up must come down…or out, in this case.
Monkey see, monkey doo.
All around the radiated bush, the monkey chased the nucleide…POP goes the food chain.
And other assorted humor to deal with the rediculousness of nuclear fallout and contamination of the planet and all of it’s inhabitants.

SOG Vulcan Tanto Arc-Lock Folding EDC Knife Review

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SOG Vulcan Tanto Arc-Lock Folding EDC Knife Review

The SOG Vulcan is my first SOG knife to review, I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to it seeing as I have owned this particular knife for nearly 2 years, but better late than never, eh? The Vulcan is one of the better made/higher end SOG folding knives that… Read More

This is just the start of the post SOG Vulcan Tanto Arc-Lock Folding EDC Knife Review. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

SOG Vulcan Tanto Arc-Lock Folding EDC Knife Review, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Magpul magazine followup

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Hmmm…MGE Wholesale is showing the Magpul Glock mags at $11.53, and the OEM Glocks are showing at CDNN for $19.99. Now, I really hate to get into math but thats..uh..around 40% cheaper. Or, put another way, for five Glock mags you could get eight Magpuls and darn close to nine if you had an extra couple ‘a ones in your pocket.

But..if they’re not reliable then they’re no bargain even if free…so I still need to go shoot them a bit. But the economics is pretty promising. I’m very much looking forward to the Magpul happysticks for the Glock. Those will sell amazingly well, I think.

Our Pets Are Particularly Susceptible to Environmental Contamination and Radiation

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Saw the conversation at ENENEWS — there is some good information and conversation, and if the site can rid itself of a few embedded trolls, it will be even better.

Any who can chime in on their experiences with pet health post Fukushima please do so.

Are there any simple actions people are taking to protect their dogs and cats from environmental radiation?      Chime in, drop a comment!

My quick ideas:
Stop buying crappy dog food made in China….like flouride in our water systems, you know how China gets rid of toxins…..think about it.

I do give only RO filtered water to my dogs.

I also give them mostly real food, and they eat heavily from the organic non GMO garden.   Breakfast today was a re-heated gallon size bag of garden vegetables, brown rice, turkey, then some dry dog food (good local known stuff), oats, and some butternut squash soup, and a chunk of cheese for fun.     Ya, spoiled doesn’t even begin, but it is actually quite easy if you do it right, and not costly at all.  

They also get Vitamin D3, Fishoil, Flaxoil, Glucosamine, sometime vitiman C an excellent anti-oxidant.   

They are mostly “inside” dogs, and I run 3 HEPA filters in rooms, as well as having a nice whole house Honeywell electrostatic air filter on the furnace/air con.   This definitely affects the dogs too in a positive way.

 On one HEPA filter, I pulled it last week and let it sit for a week, then I ran a 1 hour Geiger sample on it, Radiation Alert Inspector.

The picture shows the Geiger results, it is definitely taking long lived radio-isotoped out of our breathing air.    Oh that device next to it, a biological lab grade microscope.   Just learning it, but already did some blood inspections, tap water inspections, bio-swab from a dog itchy spot, looks at some micro-bugs on indoor  herbs and peppers, etc.    It is an awesome tool, it opens up a new world.    Will buy a Canon EOS camera mount adaptor.   Its a tri-nocular, so you can look through it, AND take a picture of exactly what you are looking at.   The blood work stuff is amazing

January 25, 2016 at 12:58 pm · Reply   

Does anybody know if there is a CDC-like agency for pets?

Since pet dogs, cats, and birds are our sentinels it might be a good idea to track their clusters of illness.

How many other areas of the country are having similar ‘pet’ deaths and illness? How would we know? The only reason we are hearing about the Porter Ranch/San Fernando Valley situation is because there is a gas leak that ties the community together.

IMO – It’s may be a way of getting people used to mass die offs. If it’s not gas in the air, perhaps it’s lead in the water or maybe something else that’s tangible like El Nino killing our ocean. I say… no, no, NO! To some degree, I believe it’s FUKUSHIMA! (hair falling out, sores, weakened immune) All of these man made catastrophes add up. Scientists seem to have a way of being able to focus on only one thing and not being able to look at the long range overall big picture.

Note: When the initial FALLOUT waves of 2011 hit, they came down like ink splatters, so if you lived on a hillside or in a valley maybe your area took a hit while other areas near you didn’t.

Report comment

    January 25, 2016 at 2:04 pm · Reply   

    Good question. I did a fairly simple search upon which others may wish to follow up.

    First I would consider the top vet med schools that also do research .. like uc davis and cornell and Colorado state.

    Second there are some outstanding state of the art animal hospitals and national vet med associations.

    Some links:

California Massive Methane Gas Leak Along With Radiation — Some Reference to Energy in California

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Did you know that almost every war is fought over energy?

Its that important.

Maybe if the “Big One” 9.0 earthquake hits, it won’t be that important for a while.   Or maybe it will all blow up in our face.  

I wasn’t aware that they were storing massive amounts of methane underground, in cities.   That seems amazingly stupid, like nuclear energy. 

Porter Ranch — a methane castastrophe

Energy Maps of California (from Or-Well)

Monday Mania – 1.25.2016

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Monday Mania – 1.25.2016 Ok! Here’s the first Monday Mania for 2016. I don’t have much to say today (mostly because work is getting in the way) but I would like to thank each and every one of you for the support and encouragement that you have shown me. I won’t say that I couldn’t … Continue reading Monday Mania – 1.25.2016

The post Monday Mania – 1.25.2016 appeared first on The Prepared Ninja.

Mors article at Outdoor Readiness

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Master Woodsman

Nice article about Mors Kochanski at the blog Outdoor Readiness… Venerable bushcraft instructor Mors Kochanski is one of the most experienced outdoor skills instructors in North America. His specialty is northern forests, the boreal, all seasons. Kochanski bridged primitive and historical methods and skills (actual skills, not just descriptions of skills) into the 21st Century […]

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Sparks: Fixed Position Commo

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Sparks and I had this conversation in my home last March, and per his recommendation, the TA 312 was what we went with. Good stuff from a good, solid, and knowledgeable trainer.


Best Communications For Fixed Positions

In light of recent events, I was thinking about the best communications solution for a fixed position, such as a homestead.  My first choice would be these:


This is a US military-issue TA-312 field phone.  It uses two “D” cells that last forever.  You could also get these:


This is a US TA-1 Sound-Powered Field Phone.  Less range, but no batteries needed.

Both of these items are available online from various surplus dealers.  Fair Radio has TA-312s for $200 each, and they are considered one of the more expensive dealers.  I bought a couple Czech field phones at an army/navy store a couple years back and paid $40 each for them. The US and European field phones (the old analog ones) will all talk with and signal each other.

For short-range, on-site, radio comms that will keep the average hobbyist from intercepting your signal, go with Motorola DTR series handhelds.


$230 each on Amazon.  They use old-school Nextel accessories and have all the neat surveillance-type earbud microphones available for them.  Very simple to use. Easier than a Baofeng.  They run digital frequency hopping on 902-928 MHz. and hide among all the SCADAs and other spread spectrum stuff there very well.  Maximum range is an honest 2 miles.  Unless you’re in the Berkshires where they get about a quarter mile.  Perfect radio for the homstead.  Motorola puts the indoor range at 350,000 square feet, or a little more than 8 acres.  Outdoors in the open they go much farther. Milspec-810 rugged.  19 hours on a single battery charge, 12v DC adapters available.

Finally, they operate on a license-free band, so no ham ticket is needed.


If you needed to discretely communicate around your farm or homestead with a little more security than ham radio, MURS, FRS, or GMRS, these items would be my recommendation.



American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

More Than Work: Tokyo Office Grows Own Food in Colossal Vertical Farm

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In a country with very little arable land (only 12% compared with 20% in the US), in one of the most populated cities in the world, one company chose to give up 43,000 square feet of valuable workspace to grow food.

In the Tokyo headquarters of human resources company Pasona Group they grow 200 species of fruits and vegetables and even rice that are harvested and served to employees.

The indoor urban farm doesn’t just provide food, but by mixing work space and farm space, the company tries to provide a healthier quality of life for employees.

Here green isn’t just a window dressing: immediately upon entering the building you walk over a 1,000-square-foot rice paddy, continue through an okra field and you enter the vine-covered “tomato guest room” or the “vegetable factory” filled with hundreds of hydroponic heads of lettuce.

On the second floor, fruit trees form partition walls between meeting spaces, bean sprouts are grown under benches and herbs grow on shelving along the walls.

Even the outside of the building is covered in plants helping keep the building cool in summer and warmer in winter. According to the farm’s designers Kono Designs

“it is the largest and most direct farm-to-table of its kind ever realized inside an office building in Japan.”


The post More Than Work: Tokyo Office Grows Own Food in Colossal Vertical Farm appeared first on Walden Labs.

Commentary at the NRC Nails The “Transformer Issue” and the Lie of “Cold and Dark Hippies”

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The NRC has a blog in which they try to “engage” the public.   They do answer questions fairly rapidly, and their censorship is within reasonable levels, depending on who is doing the review, there are a few that are too draconian, which hurts their effort to “engage”.

A pronuke blog participant had this to say and my response is below his comment

Jim Bowlby January 24, 2016 at 6:11 pm

What a great idea! Let’s shutdown the one source that currently provides 60% of our clean energy 24/7 and replace it with let me guess…windmills and solar panels because this is free energy and the wind always blows and the sun always shines.

And next we can get rid of those nasty fossil plants that burn coal, oil and gas and contribute to global warming and kill people with their emissions. Those old hydro dams that we built back during the Great Depression need to be decommissioned before they fall apart and hurt someone.
Once they are gone the rivers can be restored to their natural beauty and the salmon can run free.

We can all heat our homes with wood because wood smoke is natural and wood is a renewable energy source. Let’s outlaw the combustible engine and make sure that everyone drives electric cars. We can charge them up at home with our very own windmills and solar panels for free.

Now the only thing we’ll have to worry about is if the lights will come on when we flip the switch.

Sir, respectfully, it is hard to say with a straight face that nuclear is “clean”.     Just ask the monkeys in Japan that just last week had their feces measured at 150,000 Bq/kG, vast majority Cesium with the 137/134 ratio clearly indicating Fukushima origins.   

Also, all nuclear plants emit radiation as a normal part of their operations, some are so dirty they are hundreds of times higher in leakage than others.

The salmon population has been pretty much wiped out via Fukushima and its radiation and mutated planktons and viruses that are working over the whole Pacific right now.    So we can pretty much write them off already.    Sorry, but in the balance between wildlife and human life, I think that we need as much hydro as we can do.  

I do like heating my home with wood, its extremely renewable, and the newly planted trees are a great way to use up the good supply of plant food in the air, we call that CO2.   That said, the opposite side of your argument can only imply that you would recommend heating with electricity, which only makes sense in the mildest of climates, although a case can be made for heat pumps in moderate climates.   But making that electricity with nuclear, where each plant produces about the equivalent radiation of 3 nuclear bombs, PER DAY, makes little sense compared to solar PV which has come of age, has beat grid parity almost everywhere and once purchased, your “rate per kWH” stays the same for it’s 30 to 40 year life.   Whereas in the classic utility model, the rates go up at 3% to 6% per year, except in place like Vogtle with a nuke plant costing $18 Billion, and the cost of project financing they need to extract $65 Billion from the ratepayers over time to have the project “make sense”, that will double or triple their rates almost immediately,.

The combustion engine will certainly not be outlawed, and will likely fade away, but never go away, as EV’s make further market penetration via technology and cost/economies of scale.    EV’s are also an important part of a primarily solar PV fed grid since these EV’s that are plugged in 94% of the time, can solve a calculated 58% of all of the “storage” needs that PV will require and they can solve that problem with nothing more than a smart charger.   And by the way, you can take my 275 HP 1966 Mustang right about the same time you come and take my guns, it ain’t gonna happen.

So yes we can charge up our own EVs with electricity we make on our own roofs, and this highly distributed generation will make America stronger and more robust, and less subject to terror attack.

Finally, I was disappointed that at the end you choose to play one of the stalest lies of the nuclear generations, which simply stated is: If you don’t have nuclear you are going to be in the cold and dark (you can throw also ‘dirty hippies’ if you like also).    Sorry, we ain’t buying it and we collectively are not that dumb to build another dysfunctional system, my own PV system actually allows me to use MORE electricity, it is after all a valuable product that enhances human life.   Solar PV lets you maximize those benefits.  

stock January 22, 2016 at 1:18 pm

What actions have been taken for those primary substations / transformers shorting out during storms?

NRC January 22, 2016 at 2:11 pm

One action taken is to ensure any debris that could become airborne during a storm and result in switchyard electrical shorts are addressed prior to the arrival of severe weather. Another is close monitoring of equipment performance during the storm. Transformer failures generally do not occur as a result of storms.
Neil Sheehan
Region I Public Affairs Officer

Satellite Images Snowstorm 2016: A Blizzard by Moonlight

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Survival World News

A Blizzard by Moonlight

 Aquired January 23, 2016download large image (4 MB, JPEG, 2408×3136)

A massive winter storm system pummeled the eastern United States in late January 2016, with two low-pressure systems merging into a potent nor’easter that dropped heavy snow from Virginia to New England. By late afternoon on January 23, snowfall totals were approaching records in several states, and hurricane-force winds were battering the coastlines and leading to serious flooding. The storm was expected to continue through the morning of January 24.

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite acquired this image of the storm system at 2:15 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (07:15 Universal Time) on January 23, 2016. It was composed through the use of the VIIRS “day-night band,” which detects faint light signals such as city lights, moonlight, airglow, and auroras. In the image, the clouds are lit…

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Filed under: News/ Current Events, Weather

What to Eat When the Power Goes Out

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By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

When the power goes out, my kids tend to think it’s party time.  They like it because it means that we are definitely going to play some games, do some arts and crafts, and eat some food we don’t normally indulge in.

Of course we have back-up cooking methods for heating food when the electricity goes out, We became accustomed to it, since it happens with relative frequency, but in our old house in the city it wasn’t so easy.  Still, in the summer, we don’t want to fire up the woodstove and during a storm, we don’t want to stand outside in the rain cooking on the barbecue.  So, during a short term power outage, it makes life easier in many cases to eat things that don’t require much in the way of preparation.  We have specific preps for this situation that require no cooking.  It’s probably the only time we regularly consume food that hasn’t been made from scratch, so for the girls, it’s a bit of a treat.

I like to keep the refrigerator door closed so it depends on the expected length of the outage whether or not we take things from there.  If we do get items from the refrigerator, I plan it out so I can quickly grab all the things and then close the door again, to help maintain the temperature.

At our cabin, the pump goes out when the power goes out, so we have no running water.  (I rent so this is not something I can upgrade at this time.)  To circumvent a few difficulties, we stock up on disposable goods to use during power outages:

  • Styrofoam plates
  • Paper towels and napkins
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Baby wipes
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Plastic cups

In our cupboard, most of the following items are the organic version.  Some exceptions are graham crackers and saltines, which can’t be found organic in our rural area.  (I avoid purchasing non-organic items that contain corn, even for the “Lights Out” stockpile, since nearly all corn grown in North America is genetically modified.)

Following are some “recipes” for power outage food.  Okay, “recipe” is a stretch – perhaps just some “tasty combinations”.  :)

No-Power Nachos

Layer organic tortilla chips with canned cheese sauce, salsa, and canned jalepenos


Top graham crackers with chocolate-nut spread and marshmallow fluff


Soft tortillas filled with canned meat, a touch of mustard or mayo, and veggies from the fridge

No-cook Soft Tacos

Soft tortillas with canned meat (we use our home canned chicken or taco meat for this), salsa, and canned cheese sauce

Main Dish Tuna Salad

Combine a can of tuna, a can of white beans, chopped onion, chopped peppers and chopped black olives (veggies are optional).  Top with Italian dressing mixed with dijon mustard to taste.

Pudding cones

Drain canned fruit of choice and stir it into vanilla pudding.  Serve in ice cream cones for a kid-friendly treat. (We do this with yogurt also.)

Mexican Bean Salad

Combine 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed; with 1 can of organic corn, drained.  For the dressing mix 1/2 jar of salsa; 1/2 tsp each of chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder; 3 tbsp of lemon juice.  Toss well.  Serve as a salad, in a soft tortilla or mixed with a pouch of pre-cooked rice.



Do you have any no-cook ideas for the stockpile?  Please share them in the comments section!

This article is an updated version of  one that was  originally published February 6, 2013.

This article first appeared at The Organic Prepper: What to Eat When the Power Goes Out

About the author:

Daisy Luther lives on a small organic homestead in Northern California.  She is the author of The Organic Canner,  The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget, and The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health and preparedness, and offers a path of rational anarchy against a system that will leave us broke, unhealthy, and enslaved if we comply.  Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest,  and Twitter,.

Filed under: Emergency Survival Tips, Prepping

Could The Eastern US Face More Snow Later This Week?

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By  – AccuWeather

In the wake of the historic Blizzard of 2016, many in the East may be wondering how long until another snowstorm strikes. It is possible that another targets the Northeast later this week.

Communities still digging out from the blizzard in the mid-Atlantic and far southern New England will welcome a break from powerful snowstorms through at least midweek.

It is not out of the question for cold air to catch up with a band of rain and allow nuisance snow to return to the I-95 corridor late Tuesday night into Wednesday, but the potential for more substantial snow may come later in the week.

Continue reading at AccuWeather: Could The Eastern US Face More Snow Later This Week?

Northeast Regional Radar
Brief warmup to aid blizzard recovery across northeastern US
RECAP: Record-breaking blizzard buries mid-Atlantic with over 2 feet of snow

Filed under: News/ Current Events, Weather

SW Flip, Level 4 Disruption, Earth Shakes | S0 News Jan.25.2016

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By Suspicious0bservers

Published on Jan 25, 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:…

Today’s Featured Links:
Snow Records:…
Earthquake Explosion:…

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

Magnitude-7.1 Alaska Earthquake Cuts Power To Thousands

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Survival World News

By Mark Leberfinger AccuWeather

A major earthquake struck early Sunday morning off the Alaskan coast, the United States Geological Survey said.

The 7.1-magnitude temblor hit at 1:30 a.m. AKST Sunday (5:30 a.m. EST Sunday), the USGS said. The epicenter was located 52 miles east of Old Iliamna, Alaska.

The earthquake was felt in Anchorage and caused power outages in the region. At least 10,000 customers were without electricity in the Anchorage area on Sunday morning, utilities reported.

Anchorage firefighters responded to numerous reports of gas odors, alarm systems sounding and broken water lines, the department said on its Twitter feed.

Continue reading at AccuWeather: Magnitude-7.1 Alaska Earthquake Cuts Power To Thousands

RECAP: Blizzard buries mid-Atlantic with feet of snow
Detailed Anchorage weather
AccuWeather VideoWall

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Filed under: Earthquakes, News/ Current Events

Todays Latest Earthquakes Worldwide Monday, 25 January 2016

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Source: Volcano Discovery

Earthquake list: past 24 hours (only M>=2.9) (136 quakes)

Updated: Mon, 25 Jan 15:01 UTC (GMT)

Time Mag. / Depth Nearest volcano (distance) Location Map Source
Mon, 25 Jan (95 earthquakes)
Mon, 25 Jan 14:52 UTC M 4.4 / 10 km – [info] (909 km) Strait of Gibraltar


Nador / MMI III (Weak shaking) (via app)
Nador / MMI III (Weak shaking) (via app)
Nador / MMI III (Weak shaking) (via app)
Morocco al-hoceima / MMI IV (Light shaking): It is no-stop i fear it will come harder in the near future (via app)
Mon, 25 Jan 14:47 UTC M 3.4 / 27.1 km – [info] (0 km) 51 km al O de Los Vilos


GUG (U. Chile)
Mon, 25 Jan 14:45 UTC M 3.1 / 10 km – [info] (926 km) ALBOR


Mon, 25 Jan 14:24 UTC M 3.3 / 10 km – [info] (931 km) ALBOR


Cala iris / MMI II (Very weak shaking) (via app)
el hoceima / MMI II (Very weak shaking) (via app)
Mon, 25 Jan 13:53 UTC M 2.8 / 15.1 km – [info] (82 km) E OFF FUKUSHIMA PREF


Mon, 25 Jan 13:22 UTC M 3.8 / 80.9 km – [info] (870 km) New Zealand


Mon, 25 Jan 12:32 UTC M 3.5 – [info] (262 km) Off Coast of Ecuador


Mon, 25 Jan 12:23 UTC M 3.3 / 10 km – [info] (897 km) ALBOR


Mon, 25 Jan 12:12 UTC M 3.1 / 10 km – [info] (912 km) ALBOR


Velez Málaga / MMI IX (Violent shaking)
Velez Málaga / MMI IX (Violent shaking)
Mon, 25 Jan 11:53 UTC M 3.3 / 132 km – [info] (33 km) ANTOFAGASTA, CHILE


Mon, 25 Jan 11:40 UTC M 3.8 / 111.9 km – [info] (36 km) – 75km W of Anchor Point, Alaska



Continue reading at Volcano Discovery: Todays Latest Earthquakes Worldwide Monday, 25 January 2016

Filed under: Earthquakes, News/ Current Events

Prepping Effectively in an Urban Environment

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The chances are pretty high that if you’re reading this you don’t live on a pristine prepper compound with a year or more of food and supplies saved up. If you are, then kudos to you — you’re living the prepper dream. The rest of us, however, have to find a way to fit prepping into our daily lives and, most likely, smaller spaces.

This means the best ways for urban preppers to always be prepared is to stick with smaller, more manageable prepping techniques. By working with what you have at hand, you can be a more effective prepper and overall be ready for a variety of disasters without needing any extra space.

Bug-Out Plan

Simply having a plan on how to bug out if a disaster is more than you can handle will put you ahead of the curve. The plan should be compiled by asking five basic questions, including:

  1. What is the signal that you need to leave?
  2. Where are you going?
  3. How are you going to get there?
  4. What are you bringing with you?
  5. How long will you be gone?

In other words, you need to lay out the basics.

Anyone that’s driven in an urban environment during peak construction season knows how quickly detours and closed roads can mess with what would otherwise be a simple trip. Keeping this in mind, you need to know what your escape route out of your urban area is, and have a few backups as well.

Think of ways to get where you’re going that don’t involve major roads, as those will most likely be the first to be impassible. Unlike directions given to you by GPS, you’re not looking for the quickest or shortest ways out, but the most effective and least likely to be jammed with traffic.

When you have your routes determined, outline them on a map and keep it in your vehicle at all times. Make sure to outline at least one walking route as well. If you don’t have a car at all, outline three or four walking routes for safety.

Stay Gassed Up


This is possibly the simplest tip in the entire list while being one of the most effective. By keeping your car/truck/motorcycle topped up with fuel at all times, you can be ready for a disaster that could cut off fuel to your area. Something as simple as a multi-day power outage could make it hard to get fuel, which is what you need to escape if things get bad.

Never let your vehicle drop below a quarter tank unless you’re on a long trip — then never below a half tank. Consider everything under a half tank to be for emergencies only. Depending on your vehicle, that should be good for at least 150 miles or so.

Understand Riots


When disaster strikes, riots are often soon to follow. Riots can break out for a variety of reasons, ranging from general social unrest to major court decisions to true TEOTOWKI scenarios. The most important tips for understanding and surviving riots are to blend in by becoming the grey man, never going against the current of moving people, and steering clear of law enforcement.

For more on how to deal with a riot, give this post on riots a read.

Home Security

Bugging out isn’t always the best option. There are many times your best bet is to hunker down and weather the storm, so to speak. In situations like this you want to make sure your home security is up to the challenge.

Extra deadbolts and protection for ground-floor or fire-escape side windows is critical. If you’re in an extremely urban environment like a downtown apartment, your best security in a bad situation can be blacking out your windows to avoid attention. By securing the major point(s) of entry and making it appear as if nobody is there, any potential threats will most likely move on.

Along with these passive forms of security, you need to have some active ones, too. These include weapons like a handgun, shotgun, and even baseball bat or other striking weapon. As always, abide by any local laws concerning weapons in your home.

However you secure your home, make a plan. Know what you’re locking, where you’re placing your guns for easy access, and how you’ll black out the windows to hide the light in your home. In a case like this, the plan is almost more important than the acts themselves.



When you’re living in an urban environment OpSec can be very difficult to ensure. In case you aren’t familiar with the term, OpSec is short for Operational Security. This refers to how well you hide your prep operations from others. This is critical to survival because if everyone around you knows you’re prepping, you’re the first place they’ll go for help or to “liberate” supplies from.

Thin walls and shared ingress/egress points means anything you bring in will most likely be seen and talked about. Keep conversations about plans quiet and bring in supplies late at night when you’re less likely to be seen. Whatever you can do to keep your prep as quiet as possible is a very good idea.

Water and Food

In a small urban home it can be difficult to store more than a few days’ worth of food and water, but even this can be a major help in an emergency situation. Pay attention to the free space you have and use it wisely. Plan for 3 days’ worth of food and water for each person in your home to start with and go up from there, adding a day for each person as you go.

Physical Fitness

One thing you can control no matter how small a home you have is your physical fitness. By staying in peak fitness you can rest assured that any emergency hikes or escapes will be within your physical ability. You don’t need to be extremely outwardly muscular but should be able to hike for an entire day without too much pain, and should be able to do so with a full pack on.

Start becoming fit now and you’ll be ready later.

Everyday Carry


Finally, having an effective everyday carry (EDC) will help you be ready for emergency no matter where you are. A standard EDC should include a multi-tool, knife, fire starter, weapon, and anything else that you might need to survive on the fly.

Check out this post to fine-tune your EDC and get it ready for real-world use.

Prepping in an urban environment is tough. Small space, people everywhere, and countless added threats make it a tough place to be safe. If possible, a prepper should not live in an urban environment, but sometimes this is unavoidable. By following these tips you can be as safe as possible when prepping for an urban environment.

Fire Survival: The Escape Plan To Save Your Life

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Fire EscapeUsually, approximately 40% of the fires that burst in populated areas result in death, which could be avoided if people used some other option than staying in their room, hiding in a closet, or even under the bed. If you do not try to escape using a viable plan for that escape, you will find yourself trapped in a burning building.

Did you know that all fires start when you don’t pay attention to flammable surfaces, flammable objects, and heat sources? And a fire cannot happen without the three parts of the fire triangle: heat, oxygen, and fuel?

You need to be realistic about escaping from fire. Movies and TV shows can make it look like you can get out of a fire in a matter of minutes or seconds. In real life, when the building is fully engulfed and smoky, you need more time and it takes much more than expected. Do not give up, and always keep trying.

7 Steps to Prepare for a Fire Escape

  1. You need a fire escape plan.

Your ability to get out of a burning structure depends upon advance warning from smoke alarms and advanced planning, and everyone in your home should help make the basic fire plan. Households with children need to draw a floor plan of the home showing at least two ways out of each room including windows and doors.

When you have visitors, make sure they are easily aware of your family’s fire escape plan. If you go to other individuals’ homes, be sure that you know their escape plans in the event of an emergency. If they do not have one, offer to assist them in making one.

  1. Install fire alarms

Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes, and mark the spots of each fire alarm. Smoke alarms has to be installed in every sleeping room and each level of your home, and also in the kitchens, garages, attics, basements, furnace and utility rooms.

  1. Declutter your escape areas

If you live in a small apartment, or tend to have a lot of clutter around, put up signs on every door and window that serve as a fire escape exit. Clear these areas out and keep them clean, or at least make it easier to get out of them in a time of need.

Ironically, many fires start around the holiday season and start around Christmas trees and other decorations that may have faulty wiring or other problems. Most of these decorations are also placed in front of windows that could have been used as a fire escape. So you better get a smaller tree and put it someplace where it will not impede escaping from a fire.

Remember that just because you follow safe fire rules, that does not mean your neighbors will, which means you may still need that window that is blocked by decorations because there will be no way to get through the doors.

If you have security bars on your windows and doors, it is imperative to make sure that these bars have emergency release devices inside so that they can be opened immediately in an emergency. Emergency release devices will not compromise the security of your home, but they will increase your chances of safely escaping from a building fire.

  1. Have an outside meeting place

Designate an outside meeting place. This could be a neighbor’s house, light post, mailbox or a stop sign, and must be a safe distance in front of your home, and also a place where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped. Mark this meeting place on your escape plan.

  1. Make your home easy to find for the firefighters

Make sure your outside street numbers are clearly visible from the road. If not, paint them on the curb or install reflective house numbers to ensure that responding emergency personnel can find your home.

If you do not have 911 in your area, make sure that everyone memorizes the emergency phone numbers for the fire department so that anyone can call once safely outside.

  1. Care for the weak and pets

If your family has infants, older adults, or family members with mobility limitations, have someone assigned to assist them in the fire drill and in the event of an actual emergency. They should be assigned a backup person in the event the primary is not home during the emergency.

If you have family pets, designate certain members of the family to be responsible for them in the event of a fire, and also when you have practice drills. As with children, older adults, or disabled individuals, you must have alternate individuals to get your pets out of the house in the event of a fire.

  1. Expect the unexpected

Whenever you hear the fire alarm go off be prepared for a real fire. When the fire alarm sounds get out immediately.

Once you are out, stay out, and don’t go back into a burning building. If someone is missing inform the fire department, and let the firefighters do the rescue, as they have the proper skills and equipment.

Why You Must Test Your Fire Plan

Once you create what looks like a viable escape plan, everyone affected by it needs to understand it and what needs to be done. Practicing your fire escape plan at least twice a year will help you solve in advance a lot of problems that a real fire would cause. Let’s make a short assessment of what these problems could be.

  1. How long does it take to escape from a burning house?

Make the drill as realistic as possible without actually starting a fire. Use timed drills, and always look for ways to make your plans more efficient.

  1. How are we going to make it if we’re scared?

Allow the children to master the fire escape plan before holding a fire drill, especially if those drills happen at night or when they are sleeping. The objective is to reduce the odds of panic or fear in an actual fire crisis. Tell children that there will be a fire drill before they go to bed, so that they will be more prepared. If they have been practicing with you during both light and dark hours, the actual drill should go smoothly. This will also help them be less frightened when they are suddenly awakened by a fire alarm and it is not a drill.

  1. Are we going to hear the fire alarm?

Determine during the fire drill whether the children and others can really be awaken by the sound of the smoke alarm. If they are not, assign someone to wake them up as part of the drill and in real life emergency situation.

  1. How do we know which escape route to choose?

Choose the safest escape route from the house, with the least amount of smoke and heat, and be prepared to escape under toxic smoke conditions if necessary. When you practice your fire drill, everyone in the family should practice getting as low as possible and going under the smoke to your escape exit. If you close doors on your way out, this will help slow the spread of the fire and smoke, giving you and your family more time to get to safety.

  1. What if the fire and smoke are blocking my escape route?

In some cases, smoke or fire may prevent you from exiting your home or apartment. Prepare for this by to sealing yourself in for safety as part of your home fire escape plan. Close all doors between you and the fire. Use duct tape or towels to seal the door cracks and cover the air vents to keep the smoke from coming in. If possible open a window so that the top and bottom are open to permit fresh air to come into the room. Most importantly, call the fire department to report your exact location. Use a flashlight or a light color cloth at the window to let the fire department know exactly where you are located.

Video firs seen on TualatinValleyFire

How Easy Is to Escape from Tall Buildings During Fire?

If you live in a multi-story apartment building or high rise you should have a copy of the building’s evacuation plan, which should illustrate what the residents are supposed to do in event of an emergency. These plans should be posted in areas where all residents can see and review it. Most well-managed buildings should hold a fire drill at least once a year. In most states it is also required that buildings periodically test their fire safety systems as well. It is to your advantage to participate when your building drills take place.

When looking for an apartment or a high-rise home, look for one with an automatic sprinkler system, as these sprinklers can extinguish a home fire in less time that it takes for the fire department to arrive.

Regardless of the building size, practice is still the most important key for your family to be prepared to respond to a fire alarm. Identify all the exits in your building, and if you are using an escape plan, make sure to mark the various stairwells to use in case one is blocked by fire.

Never use the elevator in a fire! Always use the stairs to get out and make sure to practice using the stairs as part of your escape plan. If someone in your family has difficulty using stairs, plan for this in your contingency plan.

Smoke is toxic and deadly no matter what kind of structure you live in. When you hold your fire drill everyone in the family should practice getting low and going under the smoke to the exit, as we’ve already mentioned. If in a fire, all of the stairways are filled with smoke, stay in your apartment and wait for the rescue firefighters.

If you can’t exit your apartment building due to heavy smoke or fire in the hallway, be sure to call the fire department to report your exact location and gather in a room with a window to await their arrival. Remember what we’ve already said about surviving when the fire is blocking the escape route, and act accordingly.

Keep windows open at the top and bottom, but do not break the window unless rescue teams have arrived and there is no other way to get through the window. Before that time, if smoke enters the room from the outside of the building, you’ll be unable to protect yourself.

7 Tips for a Safe Escape from Fire

Always react as soon as possible when you hear the smoke alarm going off. Your top priority concern should be getting yourself and your family members out safely, and you will finally make it if you keep in mind the following advice:

Get out and take with you only people, not items

When you hear the smoke detector or alarm going off, try to exit your home as safely as possible. Do not try to grab your phone, valuables, or your other important possessions unless they are right by you and you can get them and store them in less than 30 seconds.

If it’s nighttime, yell loudly to get everybody up. You may only have a few seconds to escape safely, so ignore all secondary concerns that have nothing to do with staying alive.

Exit only if the door is safe to use

If you see smoke coming through the cracks of a door, you cannot go out that door because smoke is toxic and a fire is sure to be there. If you don’t see smoke, put the back of your hand up against the door to make sure it doesn’t feel hot. If the door feels cool, then open it slowly and pass through it.

If a door is open and there is a fire preventing you from accessing the room, close the door to protect yourself from the fire. If the door is hot, or there is smoke coming from under it, and there are no other doors to pass through, you will have to try to escape through a window.

Protect yourself from smoke

You need to protect yourself from smoke inhalation. Get low to the floor and crawl on your hands and knees to avoid the smoke, as breathing smoke get people disoriented and even render them unconscious. With this in mind, cover your nose and mouth when you have to walk by or through heavy smoke filled rooms. Place a shirt or a wet rag over your nose and mouth, but only do this if you have the time. Doing this will take a minute or so but it is worth it to be able to filter out the smoke as much as possible.

Keep towels or cloths in prominent places around the house that can be used to cover your nose and mouth if needed. Good places include near doorways so that you can just grab the towels as you leave the room.

Stop, drop, and roll if you catch on fire

In the event that your clothes catch on fire stop, drop, and roll until the flames are out. Rolling around on the floor will smother the fire quickly. Cover your face with your hands as you are rolling to protect yourself from hard objects or flames.

Don’t panic if you are trapped in!

If you are trapped and cannot escape from your home and are waiting for help to arrive, don’t panic! You may not be able to get out, but you can still take some measures to ward off smoke and stay safe. Close your door and cover all vents and cracks around it with cloth or tape to keep the smoke out for as long as you can.

If you are trapped on the second floor do what you can to get yourself to an area where people will be able to hear and see you. You can take a sheet or something else preferably white and hang it out the window to signify that you need help when the first responders get there. Put something down to prevent the smoke from coming underneath the door such as a towel, blanket, or a throw rug.

Don’t jump from the window

A two story house should have an escape ladder that can be throw out in case of a fire. If you do not have an escape ladder, then you may have to go out on the window ledge. If you have a ledge, get yourself out onto the ledge. Always face the building structure when exiting a window on the upper floor. From a second story, you may have to hang down by your arms to get closer to the ground and you can let go and fall to safety. Don’t jump from the window! The chance of seriously injuring yourself or even killing yourself is not worth jumping.

Call 911 and do the headcount

The first thing that must be done once you are outside is to call 911, then do a headcount to see if anybody is missing. Tell the first responders immediately upon their arrival if you are afraid somebody is missing. Likewise, if everyone is accounted for, then let the fire responders know so they will not be sending people in to look for others.

After calling and verifying that emergency crews are coming, it is time to check yourself and family members to make sure that there are no injuries. If there are injuries, do what you can for the injured individuals until the rescue services arrived.

How to Prevent Future House Fires

Is your home prepared for house fires? Ask this question by checking the smoke detectors to ensure that they are functioning and have fresh batteries. Be sure that your windows can be easily opened, and that the screens can quickly be removed in case of emergency. If you have windows with security bars they must have quick release devices to allow them to be opened right away. Everyone in your family should know how to open and close these windows.

If you don’t have collapsible ladders to get down in case of fire, then get them. Be sure that these ladders have been tested by a nationally recognized testing laboratories such as Underwriters in case you need them to get down from the roof.

To prevent your home from catching fire in the first place, here are some safety precautions to take:

  • Teach your children that fire is a tool, not a toy.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking, and never leave cooking food unattended.
  • Do not smoke in the house. Make sure you put out your cigarettes completely.
  • Dispose of any electronics with frayed wires which could lead to a possible fire.
  • Avoid lighting candles unless they’re directly in your sight of vision. Never leave a lighted candle unattended.
  • Always check that you have turned the gas off before leaving the kitchen.
  • Always use a gun or lighter instead of match sticks when lighting gas stoves or furnaces.

If you don’t have a fire plan for your home, make time to put up one before it’s too late.


This article has been written by Fred Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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Rethinking Elderberry Tincture(The Tincture-Berry Concept)

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Dateline: 25 January 2016 AD

Alcohol-soaked elderberries

I’ve written here in the past about my desire to grow medicinal elderberry cultivars and make elderberry tincture for my family. The journey started back in the spring of 2014 when I planted four seedlings on the edge of my garden, and it has come to reality this winter with three quarts of alcohol-soaked elderberries, like you see in the picture above.

The usual procedure when making tincture is to drain off the infused alcohol after a few months in the jar. Then to squeeze out the berries to get every last possible drop of the valuable tincture. I did that with the quart jar of Brandy-infused berries I made last August…

A dropper bottle of elderberry tincture in January. Notice the pruned and stake-tied elderberry bushes in the background.

It’s nice to have little dropper bottles of tincture like that.  BUT squeezing tincture out of the berries is a messy job, and it occurred to me that I was doing something that isn’t really necessary. Here’s what I mean…

The half-gallon jar of Everclear-infused berries I made last August is now setting on our kitchen counter. On top of the lid is a bottle dropper. When we feel like we need a little tincture (like, after a sneeze or upon feeling like our cold-resistance is low), we simply open the jar and get some tincture with the dropper. 

As we have done this, the liquid level in the jar has dropped below the berry level. Seeing that, I got the obvious idea of just eating a partial spoonful of the berries. Why not? They’re full of tincture and full of berry. Except for an occasional bit of berry stem, it’s ALL good.

So now I’m thinking that there is no good reason to squeeze out the berries just to get liquid. Why can’t I put berries and tincture juice together into smaller jars with an opening large enough to fit a spoon into? I’m envisioning 4oz canning jars, Like This….

If you missed my past blog posts on growing elderberries and making tincture, here are some pictures…

Our Complicity With Evil

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     I often work alongside my husband in his studio, taking care of our business needs and tying up loose ends that come with being self-employed.  He has the luxury of being able to listen to podcasts while he works, and I am amazed at the God-fearing men and women who commit their time and talent to bringing new revelations from our Lord to “those who have ears to hear”.
     Just the other day I heard Russ Dizdar of SHATTER THE referring to a popular radio host and author of a few years back, Stan Monteith.  A retired orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Monteith was kind of a precursor to those of us who speak out against the popular consensus of the day.  Many of the issues that Monteith addressed had to do with globalization and the New World Order.  He was also highly active in warning people about the dangers of fluoride.
     But the significance of Dizdar’s mention of Monteith had to do with a statement that the late radio host quoted from an unknown author … “We become accomplices to those evils we fail to expose.”  Now, normally, I am usually in my own little world as I work in the studio, and the podcasts that my husband listens to are often background noise; I drift in and out of awareness of what is being said.  But I heard that quote loud and clear, and it was like the Holy Spirit used a loud speaker to shout it into my brain …  “We become accomplices to those evils we fail to expose.”
     My spirit was struck as if I had been physically knocked down.  It was all so clear.  We have been accomplices in all the sins of our culture and society!  How many of us inherently know that human trafficking is rampant in our country?  How many times have we watched the nightly news (especially here in Texas and the other border states) and viewed reports of the young women and children who are smuggled into this country to be unwilling participants in the sex trade?  We drive along our freeways and see the neon signs for sleazy strip clubs, but we look away, or we avoid thinking about who is forced to work there, and who is supporting such immoral behavior.

     We watch the suggestive advertising on TV which uses young girls and boys to sell merchandise, and we ignore the fact that there is an ugly underbelly that sells them to the highest bidder, or that there are tens of thousands (or more) of children who are exploited by child pornography rings.
     We turn our heads whenever our leaders are involved in sex scandals, unscrupulous business dealings, or cover-ups of illegal activities.  Our Christian brethren are forced out of business because they stand for Biblical principals.  Our military veterans are refused benefits or care because of misappropriation of funds or downright neglect.  We see the bruises and silent screams of the abused, yet we turn a blind eye and don’t want to get involved.  Votes come before our legislatures to stop the funding of abortion factories, and we sit quietly on the sidelines, hoping they will do the right thing.  We remain tight-lipped when we know that our neighbors are cheating on their spouses … that is their business.  We send our kids off to college with permission to take birth control, and we hope for the best.  And when they come home spouting anti-God rhetoric, we have no answers for them.  It just all seems so overwhelming … and need I say more?
     But why do we stay quiet?  Most likely because we feel that nothing we do will change anything.  Or it will just end up in an argument, and that gets you nowhere.  But can we see that by doing nothing … by saying nothing … and by taking no action, that we are actually accomplices in allowing these sins to continue?  If we fail to expose them; if we fail to shine His Light into the Darkness, then whose side are we on?  Who are we allied with?  I guess we really do need to ask the question, “Will it make any difference”?  At the stage that the world is in now, and with the power that the Prince of this world now enjoys, the answer is “Maybe not.”
      But I recognize this … I do not want to stand before my Lord and tell Him I was aware of all this and I never asked, in His Name, for His power to come against this evil; or that I never spoke up for someone, in His Name; or I never stood in defiance against the darkness of this world.  If we refuse to condemn Evil, then by our very silence, we are accepting and allowing sinful behavior to continue.  And one day we will be held accountable for our complicity.  No more excuses ….

Habakkuk 1:13   “You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?”

Car Survival Kit / Emergency Bag: Knives, Shelter, Cooking, And More

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Hello my friend and welcome to our Video Monday.  Today’s video is a really good one that is from EverydayTacticalVids  on you tube.  I think you will really enjoy this video, I know I did.  Please check them out on YouTube at so please visit them and give them a thumbs up. -The Sargent-

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Survival Archery 101

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The invention of gunpowder changed the battlefield forever and man was able to improve his ways of waging war and killing food. Long before gunpowder was invented, a sharp stick propelled down range was the top of ballistic technology. For thousands of years, survival archery was the only thing that helped man provide for his … Read more…

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How To Stock Your Pantry With Dairy Products

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Some of you may have seen a post I wrote a very long time ago about dairy products in your kitchen. Well, today I decided I want to show you the ones I sell (Thrive Life), which are the ones I use all the time. I also buy food storage from other companies as well. You can buy instant milk for your pantry just about anywhere. I store my open #10 can of instant milk in the refrigerator so it’s ready when I need to use it. Sometimes I look in the refrigerator and I’m down to one or two cups of milk. I grab a glass container and mix up a quart of instant milk to get me by so I don’t have to run to the store that day anyway. These are the glass quarts I fill only in a pinch: Bormioli Rocco Frigoverre Glass 34 Ounce Pitcher with Lid, Set of 2. These bottles are dishwasher safe and easy to handle.

Now, here’s the deal, I can recommend some powdered butter but only for baking. I will eat my homemade bread plain before I mix up a batch of powdered butter. I have tasted every #10 can of powdered butter can that’s ever been produced as far as I know. I start to gag just thinking of mixing up a batch. BUT, one butter that is fabulous and very pricey is this one: Red Feather PURE CANNED BUTTER – 6 cans of 12oz each – great for survival earthquake kit. It’s made in New Zealand and has a shelf-life about 15 years. Now, this is my kind of butter. It is butter and it tastes like rich creamy butter. Now, it’s very expensive but we can save it for special occasions after a disaster and use the dry powdered butter for baking. I have six cans of the yummy Red Feather pure butter stored. Well, actually five cans now because I opened one to try it.

My Favorite Pantry Dairy Products:

I am going to share the brands I have tried and use almost daily. I also sell some of them and I only store these brands. When you decide to purchase any #10 cans of food storage be sure and compare ounce to ounce per can plus shipping costs. I suggest you buy small pantry size cans to try them before you buy several large cans. Just because it’s a #10 can (#10 cans are food storage cans that are 7 inches (18cm) high and 6-1/4 inches (16cm) In diameter) they can vary a lot in weight and quantity. I am only talking about #10 cans of food storage today. I am not talking about “meals” where you only add hot or boiling water and eat them. One more thing I want you to think about is the shelf life of the cans

One more thing I want you to think about is the shelf life of the cans unopened and the opened. Every manufacturer of food storage is different. Most companies want you to be aware of the temperature of the room where you store the food. If your food storage is stored in a hot garage it will not last as long. Most companies state 65-70 degrees give or take for optimum shelf life. I realize my food storage will not last the 25 years because I keep my heat and air conditioning a little higher than 65-70 degrees. Let’s get started with my favorite dairy products for your pantry.


I have a few #10 cans of powdered butter stored and I have used them for baking and they work fine. My favorite butter product to eat on homemade bread is, of course, the Red feather brand. It’s way too expensive to use for cooking so we all need a few cans of powdered butter.

Butter Powder

I quote from Thrive Life:


Add small amounts of water to Butter Powder until desired consistency is reached.


This product is best used for baking, where it can be added to bread, cookies, cakes and more with a little water.

If using it as a spread, it’s best to add a small amount of vegetable oil to get the right consistency.

Sprinkle it over veggies or into mashed potatoes or soups to add a light buttery taste.

Sour Cream:

I have a few cans of this stored. I prefer real sour cream but this sour cream works in a pinch.

Sour Cream

I quote from Thrive Life:


Add 1/3 cup water to 1 cup Sour Cream Powder and mix thoroughly. Use more or less water to reach desired consistency.

Fresh Equivalent

1 cup powder = about 1 cup sour cream

Click here to view the THRIVE to Fresh Equivalents Chart.


Sour Cream powder doesn’t reconstitute into the same consistency as fresh sour cream and doesn’t have such a strong flavor, so it’s best for making into dips or using in baking.

Add the powder to soups or sauces to give them a creamier finish. You can also add it to baked goods to make them moist.

Freeze Dried Shredded Cheddar Cheese:

One note here about using freeze dried cheese, I only mix with cool water or it starts to bake. I usually prepare my freeze dried cheese by soaking with cool water, then drain it and place it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator to chill it. It’s great for casseroles but not so much for tacos. Just giving you the heads-up here.

Cheddar Cheese

I quote from Thrive Life:


Drizzle 1/4 cup cold water over 1 cup cheese and stir continuously until all water is incorporated. Store in ziplock bag and refrigerate overnight or for several hours before use.

Fresh Equivalent

1 cup dry = 1 cup fresh grated cheese

Click here to view the THRIVE to Fresh Equivalents Chart.


Use it in quesadillas, burritos, tacos, soups, dips, salads, pizza, breads-anything that could use some cheesy goodness!

If you’re melting cheese on top of a dish, make sure it’s had at least an hour to reconstitute in the refrigerator so that it will be the right consistency for melting.

Freeze Dried Shredded Mozzarella Cheese:

This is my favorite freeze dried cheese I use all the time. When I say all the time, I keep frozen shredded Mozzarella cheese in my freezer all the time. If i run out i will use my freeze dried and it works great!

Mozzarella Cheese

I quote from Thrive Life:


Drizzle 1/4 cup cold water over 1 cup cheese and stir continuously until all water is incorporated. Store in ziplock bag and refrigerate overnight or for several hours before use.

Fresh Equivalent

1 cup dry = 1 cup fresh grated cheese

Click here to view the THRIVE to Fresh Equivalents Chart.


Use it in quesadillas, burritos, tacos, soups, dips, salads, pizza, breads-anything that could use some cheesy goodness!

If you’re melting cheese on top of a dish, make sure it’s had at least an hour to reconstitute in the refrigerator so that it will be the right consistency for melting.

Freeze Dried Shredded Colby Cheese:

It’s nice to store a few different freeze dried cheese choices. This will add variety to our meals if we have a disaster or unforeseen emergency but also for everyday life. It’s in your pantry when you need it.

Colby Cheese

I quote from Thrive Life:


Drizzle 1/4 cup cold water over 1 cup cheese and stir continuously until all water is incorporated. Store in ziplock bag and refrigerate overnight or for several hours before use.

Fresh Equivalent

1 cup dry = 1 cup fresh grated cheese

Click here to view the THRIVE to Fresh Equivalents Chart.


Use it in quesadillas, burritos, tacos, soups, dips, salads, pizza, breads-anything that could use some cheesy goodness!

If you’re melting cheese on top of a dish, make sure it’s had at least an hour to reconstitute in the refrigerator so that it will be the right consistency for melting

Freeze Dried Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese:

This is one of my favorite for casseroles, I love having a variety of freeze dried cheeses in my pantry.

Monterey Jack Cheese

I quote from Thrive Life:


Drizzle 1/4 cup cold water over 1 cup cheese and stir continuously until all water is incorporated. Store in ziplock bag and refrigerate overnight or for several hours before use.

Fresh Equivalent

1 cup dry = 1 cup fresh grated cheese

Click here to view the THRIVE to Fresh Equivalents Chart.


Use it in quesadillas, burritos, tacos, soups, dips, salads, pizza, breads-anything that could use some cheesy goodness!

If you’re melting cheese on top of a dish, make sure it’s had at least an hour to reconstitute in the refrigerator so that it will be the right consistency for melting.

Freeze Dried Shredded Parmesan Cheese:

I store a lot of Parmesan cheese whether fresh, frozen or freeze dried. I use it in so many recipes. I love it!

Parmesan Cheese

I quote from Thrive Life:


Drizzle 1/4 cup cold water over 1 cup cheese and stir continuously until all water is incorporated. Store in zip-lock bag and refrigerate overnight or for several hours before use.


Use it in quesadillas, burritos, tacos, soups, dips, salads, pizza, breads-anything that could use some cheesy goodness!

If you’re melting cheese on top of a dish, make sure it’s had at least an hour to reconstitute in the refrigerator so that it will be the right consistency for melting.

Instant Milk:

I personally only buy this instant milk for drinking, cooking and baking.

Instant Milk

I quote from Thrive Life:


Mix Instant Milk powder with water using the proportions below [add more or less powder to suit individual tastes]. Store in fridge; for best taste, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before drinking.

3 tbsp. powder + 1 c. water = 1 c. milk

3/4 c. powder + 4 c. water = 1 qt milk

3 c. powder + 16 c. water = 1 gal. milk


Our Instant Milk is made especially for drinking and is fortified with Vitamin A and D. It tastes so great that it actually beat fresh milk in a third-party taste test!

Pour it over cold cereal or use it to thicken soups, smoothies, milkshakes, hot chocolate, and more. It will last about as long as fresh milk once it’s been reconstituted.

It can also be used like regular milk in baking; just add the milk powder and the necessary water.

Non-Fat Powdered Milk:

Powdered milk is designed to be used for cooking and baking.

Powdered Milk

I quote from Thrive Life:


Mix Nonfat Powdered Milk with water using the proportions below. Refrigerate once reconstituted.

3/4 tbsp. powder + 1/4 c. water = 1/4 c. milk

1 tbsp. powder + 1/3 c. water = 1/3 c. milk

1 1/2 tbsp. powder + 1/2 c. water = 1/2 c. milk

3 tbsp. powder + 1 c. water = 1 c. milk

Fresh Equivalent:

3 tbsp. powder + 1 c. water = 1 c. milk

Now once I open my #10 cans of food storage I remove the oxygen absorbers and place the product in mason jars or OXO container like this: OXO Good Grips POP Big Square 4-Quart Storage Container

I hope this post today gets you excited to try a few new food storage items so you will have dairy products in your pantry at all times. You can use them when you need them. Please remember to store your food storage in airtight containers and remove the oxygenator after you open the cans to begin using them. Follow your manufacturers instructions for temperature and shelf-life open and unopened cans. If you do order any of these products I will make a few cents and I thank you for that. Here’s to being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless you in your efforts.

Here’s a shelf-life PRINTABLE CHART for Thrive Life products: Shelf Life of Thrive Live Foods

The post How To Stock Your Pantry With Dairy Products appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

Surviving Occupied America, Part 2

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 Readers, we briefed you here in the last article in this series on the needs for the two keys to survive an occupied United States: resolve and patience.  You are an intelligent and informed readership who knows about basic fundamentals of survival and then some.  This “venue” or “arena” (the better term) is your country under occupation, either by a tyrannical dictatorship (we are in a soft dictatorship at the moment), and/or a foreign army or armies.  Ladies and Gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts.  This info is “hardball” and you will need it; you need all the tools you can acquire.

Now that CISA was passed into law and (by Ted Cruz’s admission on national television) the government is monitoring approximately 100% of all telephone calls, you will see how serious this article is.  First, let’s take care of this disclaimer:

The information presented in this article is for information and entertainment purposes only.  Many of the procedures and items here, if practiced would violate Federal, State, and local laws and statutes.  The owners, editors, and writers of this site are not advocating acting in any way contrary to Federal, State, or local laws or statutes.  Furthermore, and its staff do not condone, recommend, or approve of violent acts, actions or techniques outlined in this article.  Consult your lawyer for questions pertaining to any of the information in this article and obey all applicable laws and statutes.


It is a Friday evening, and you’re on your way home from work.  Your son and daughter are making dinner for you, and you’re looking forward to the weekend.  You have about three more miles to go to reach your house in a middle-class suburban neighborhood.  Suddenly your Lexus goes dead and starts to coast on the road to a stop, just as you look out your passenger-side window: it appears to be a star, but very near, with a type of “halo” around it up above.  The star flickers out, and all of the street lights, the lights in the homes, the businesses, and cars nearby flicker out.  You realize two things: you’ve been hit by an EMP, and the dinner plans for tonight with the family will probably be postponed indefinitely.

That is how quickly it will happen when it happens.  Self-assessment and situational awareness are your first priorities.  Quickly! Let’s run through it.  Is your “go” bag in your vehicle, with enough food for three days, water for one day, a weapon, ammo, extra clothing, and all of the things we covered in previous articles?  Quickly!  Do you have good hiking boots?  Change into them now: you’re walking, because the Lexus just became a two-ton paperweight.  Commo?  Did you pack a Yaesu hand-held shortwave in Mylar layers and material to shield it from the EMP, or Motorola’s?

Better get moving.  “Red Dawn” just started…in the “open-air” theatre…and you’re in it.  Do you see how critical it is to have all of this stuff done yesterday?  Hope the kids know and rehearsed the drills…hope there is a plan of initial contact, when the event occurs.  It’s dark, with a modicum of light on the horizon…. but you see a tremendous multitude of planes coming in from the west, and what looks to be popcorn dropping from the sky.  Nope: they’re parachutes, because the airborne operation is taking place, just at the turn from dusk to nightfall.

Refer to the previous articles on staying out of FEMA camps as well as the one on the 6 Rules for Survival to refresh on basics.  School’s out, here, and the occupation has begun.

You know the situation in the world.  The Russians and the Chinese do not play softball, and they are on a war footing at all times.  The invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 followed after Soviet doctrine (and the military doctrine of then is currently in use by Russia now), as such:

“The strategic offensive has one alternative form.  This is sometimes known as a “Friday evening” offensive…. The operation therefore begins…. with a surprise attack by a group of Fronts against one or more countries…this operation caught the Czechs off guard – profiting by the Friday evening relaxation…after a working week.”                 

  (“Inside the Soviet Army,” by Viktor Suvorov)

Such a Friday attack, as can be seen here, isn’t coincidence: it’s doctrine, and it’s intelligent doctrine.  Such was the venue for the remake of the “Red Dawn” film with the EMP accomplished right after the Friday football game.

What Do You Do?

Now what do you do?  You go home, as quickly as possible.  You will have 24-48 hours of total confusion and chaos.  Hopefully you do not live in an area that is a nuclear target.  Hopefully you have at the ready a good supply of cash, precious metals, food, and supplies in the home and the means to take them somewhere and get out of dodge.

JJ’s scenario preference is the invasion by the foreign power over that of the totalitarian governmentThe reason: a war of the totalitarians versus the people is a war of attrition that only weakens the nation overall and still leaves it ripe for conquest by a foreign power while it is in the throes of weakness.  With the invasion, you will know on sight who the enemies are and that you must engage them.

Engagement: to oppose, combat, harass, or interdict an enemy or opponent.  The mission of the U.S. Army Infantry is simple: to close with the enemy and destroy him.  Canning season is over, and that greenhouse project you planned on finishing in the Spring may have to wait indefinitely.  Congratulations!  You just stepped into the shoes of the Founding Fathers!  Now comes the time to “water the Tree of Liberty,” and Jefferson’s words will have to be kept in mind as you put into practice the words of Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox, and Rogers’ Rangers.

 Are you trained up?  Are you a part of a small group, or are you keeping it in the family?  I hope you studied those infantry tactics and small unit tactics mentioned in other articles.  You need to be fully trained up on first aid, communications, and you should be in possession of a smattering of whatever language the foreign invader speaks.

There are three big differences between a foreign invader and a totalitarian dictatorship.  Firstly, the latter is already here in the U.S. and almost “omnipresent” regarding all 50 states.  Secondly, their supplies are here, and resupply is readily available.  Third, the culture and language is not alien to the dictatorship: they have an “edge” regarding the control and understanding of their citizenry.

Under the dictatorship, all commerce will either halt completely or be completely nationalized (remember that EO that Obama signed, the Defense Preparedness Ready Resources Initiative, nationalizing everything, including human labor under his “czars,” his cabinet in time of national emergency).  Under the dictatorship all movement by the citizens will be monitored and controlled: some form of internal passport will emerge.  Under the dictatorship, all Constitutional rights will be abrogated and relegated to the pages of history.

Better learn about this stuff while there’s still time.  Here’s a great work that will elucidate many things for you: Government by Emergency,” by Dr. Gary North, Ph.D., American Bureau of Economic Research, Ft. Worth, TX, 1991.  It has it all: bartering and “black marketing,” evasion, breakdown of controls over the economy, collapse of the banks, depression, and tyranny.

How about when MRAP’s and armored assault vehicles cruise down Main Street into Happyville?  How will you deal with them?  Here’s another great work for you: “The Bridge at Andau,” by James A. Michener, 1957 (no Card Catalog Number or ISBN: sorry!  It’s out of print, but you can find it on if you look it up).  It is the true story of the Hungarian Revolution against the U.S.S.R. of October 23, 1957, and the civilian resistance before the Soviets crushed them.

Guerilla warfare is what this is, whether against a foreign invader or a totalitarian dictatorship.  This will take years to fix with a high price and no guarantee of victory.  Remember those two keys I gave to you last week?  Resolve and patience.  It is the only way.

Subjects for your personal study and research:

  • Black marketing/underground economies (read of occupied nations under the Third Reich during WWII)
  • Infantry and guerilla tactics (Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, and US DOD publications)
  • Special Forces manuals and literature (how to form teams, train them, and how to conduct unconventional/guerilla warfare).
  • There are other disciplines to study to help you in your “schooling,” that you can imagine but will not be mentioned here in this article, regarding firearms and tactics and their ilk.  Use your imagination.

Keep up the study, the prepping, and an eye out for more to come.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Things To Remember When The Lights Go Out

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Has there ever been a time when the power went out, but you kept trying to use electricity? For example, flipping a light switch, putting food into a microwave, or plugging in a phone? We are so used to having electricity every hour of every day that when […]

The post 5 Things To Remember When The Lights Go Out appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Are Earthships The Ultimate Off Grid Solution?

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January 25th, 2016

Video courtesy of The Good Stuff

An Earthship is a home that captures its own water, recycles its own sewage, and produces all its own electricity and food. It’s meant to function completely independent of the power grid or any infrastructure at all.

New Book Reveals the Little Known Secrets of How To Maintain An Extremely Low Profile In An Age Of Hackers, Snoops, Data Miners, Corrupt Bureaucrats and Surveillance Grid Profilers.


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8 Foolproof Ways To Heat Your Home When The Power’s Out

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8 Foolproof Ways To Heat Your Home When The Power’s Out

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It’s wintertime and the power goes out. If you’re like most of us, you’re not all that worried – you trust that the power will come back on soon. But when 12 hours goes by and you still don’t have any electricity, you start getting concerned. It might be days before the power comes back on.

For many of us, the quick solution is to turn to wood. Heating with wood is historically the most common means of keeping your home warm. Throughout the centuries, people used wood to warm everything from tents to palaces. It has withstood the test of time quite effectively, providing warmth for millions of people. That makes it a survivalist’s number one choice for a backup heat source.

But it takes a lot of wood to keep your home warm. In a long-term crisis situation, you might run out of wood before the power comes back on. Or, perhaps your wood-burning stove is unusable. Whatever the case, you’re going to need another alternate heat source. Here’s a few to consider:

1. Propane

Many people living in rural areas already heat with propane. Unfortunately, their forced-air propane heater won’t work any better without electricity than anyone else’s does. However, there also are ceramic heaters, commonly referred to as “catalytic heaters,” that can be tied into the home’s propane. These allow you to burn the propane for heat without having any need for electricity. They are extremely safe for use indoors.

New Solar Generators Deliver 4 Times More Power Than Previous Models!

These catalytic heaters also are available for connection to a portable propane tank, such as the type used for a barbecue grill. I actually heated a motorhome through a couple of winters with these, as they were much more efficient than the furnace that the motorhome was equipped with.Kerosene

2. Kerosene

8 Foolproof Ways To Heat Your Home When The Power’s Out Kerosene heaters provide a considerable amount of heat, without needing electricity. I used to heat my office with a kerosene heater, back when my office was an uninsulated attic in upstate New York. If you live in a part of the country where people use kerosene for heating, then the price is quite reasonable. But if not, avoid this one, as buying kerosene at the paint store is just too expensive.

3. Passive solar

Anyone who builds a home without giving it at least some passive solar capability is missing out on a great opportunity for free heat. Even if passive solar can’t heat your whole home, you will still save money on heating costs. Passive solar is reliable, cheap and plentiful, especially if your home is designed for it.

If your home isn’t designed for passive solar heating, you can still take advantage of it. Open the curtains on all your south-facing windows during the day and put something dark colored on the floor to absorb the sunlight and convert it to heat. While not a perfect solution, it will help.

The big problem for most people is having a thermal mass. This is a mass of rock or concrete that becomes warmed by the sunlight striking its surface. The surface, which must be dark, is called the absorber because it absorbs light and converts it to heat. If your home has concrete floors and you cover them with dark-colored floor covering, then you’ve got a basic passive solar system, even if the concrete isn’t thick enough to absorb much heat.Solar convection

4. Solar convection

Another way you can take advantage of solar energy is to build a solar convection heater. The easiest and cheapest way to make one of these is to cut the tops and bottoms out of a bunch of aluminum soda or beer cans. Glue them together, forming tubes out of the cans that are the height of your windows and leave an opening at the top and bottom. Connect several of these together, side to side, to fill your window opening and paint the whole thing black.

The Most Versatile Backup Stove In The World Allows You To Cook Anything, Any Time, Any Where

Since warm air rises and cool air drops, the cooler air at the bottom of the window will enter into the bottom of the solar convection heater and exit out the top, warming as it passes through.

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5. Coal

There are still many homes in the northeast which have coal bins and coal chutes into the basements, even though they are no longer heated with coal furnaces. Coal burns hotter than charcoal and will burn a long time. Essentially, coal is petroleum-filled porous rock. So what is burning is the petroleum, leaving behind the rock, which is referred to as coke. The biggest problem with burning coal is keeping it lit. It needs a lot of oxygen to burn, so you’ll have to have good airflow to the fire. It burns slowly, making it perfect for heating, but does produce a lot of soot.

In order to use coal, you’re going to have to use it in a fireplace or a wood-burning stove that is lined with fire brick. Please note that this is only an emergency measure, as the coal will damage the fireplace or wood-burning stove. A coal insert in the fireplace is better and will allow the coal to burn more efficiently. Don’t use coal in a metal, wood-burning stove without fire brick since it can get hot enough to soften the metal, distorting it. You absolutely have to have some ventilation, or your home will fill with the coal smoke.

6. Animal dung

Dried animal dung has been used by a variety of cultures throughout history for heating and cooking. While not anyone’s favorite, it works well. If you have livestock, you have a regular source of this heating fuel. Just allow them to dry naturally in the field and collect them. Surprisingly, dried animal dung burns without stinking up your home.

7. Burning flammable fuels

Gasoline, diesel, oil and other liquid fuels can be burned for heat if you are careful. The problem is controlling the burn rate. This is fairly easily accomplished by pouring the fuel into a sand-filled container, such as a number 10 can. The sand will act as a wick, controlling the burn rate.

There also are oil heaters. Some of the simpler ones control the burn rate by dipping the oil from a tank into the burner. The Army used to use heaters of this sort, with gasoline, to provide hot water for field kitchens. So you might be able to find one of those heaters at your local army surplus store.

The big problem with this is that you’ll go through a lot of fuel quickly, so this should be considered only if no other option exists. Ventilation is essential.

8. Compost

The natural act of composting produces quite a bit of heat as the millions of bacteria eat the organic material, breaking it down into its basic elements. You can tap into this heat source by burying pipes in your compost pile. Those pipes can carry water to be heated or you can push air through them to be heated. As long as the compost pile has a continuous source of organic material and is kept moist, it will continue to produce heat.

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

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

Prepping: 7 Reasonable Things You Should Do

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Riots, EMP threats, NASA’s megadrought, clashes between religious fanatics, the U.S. debt increasing and the coming elections – all of these situations point to the same thing: the world may go down south at any time. I’m not saying they will – I hope they won’t – but are we really crazy for prepping for them?

Our minds are running in overdrive about prepping while the Government’s telling us everything is fine and we don’t need to worry. Sometimes they call us crazy… even though preppers are some of the nicest and friendliest people you’ll ever meet.

I wrote this piece to give you tips on how to prepare without appearing crazy or freaked out about what’s to come. You’ll find my prepping suggestions reasonable. Acting on them will make you feel safer and I can almost guarantee you’ll sleep sounder knowing you’re ready for what might come.

Seven Reasonable Prepping Tips

#1. Get Into Shape

Bad situations bring out the worst in people.  When push comes to shove, people will start thinking they have more of a right to something than you and you may need to fight one or more thugs one on one. You may need to jump, crawl, climb and run to save your life. You may need to pull or carry an injured loved one to safety. All of these require strength, flexibility, speed and stamina.

Fortunately, it’s easy to improve all of them. The easiest thing you can do is just walk more! I, for one, love walking and I always find excuses to leave my car in the garage and run errands on foot. Jogging, hiking and going to the gym will all improve your fitness levels and work your muscles. I suggest you focus on tactical fitness exercises such as sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, jumping jacks and so on.  Remember, prepping is just as much about gaining skills as it is gathering gear.

#2. Get Out Of Debt

I don’t know if an economic collapse will come before the next major natural disaster or if it’s going to be the other way around. What I do know is that, in case of either one, you don’t want to be owing money to banks or to anyone else.

We’ve always said that you should start of prepping by paying off your debts right now even if that means more effort or not eating out every day. You know what they say, the more you sweat, the less you bleed…

#3. Move Out Of The City

What usually happens during riots is that the downtown area of a city turns into a battlefield. That’s the last place you want to live because you can’t get in, you can’t get out meaning you might get stuck inside for days, even weeks. Even worse, you might get yourself injured trying to get home.

Try to find cheaper housing in the suburbs. You’ll have to be careful about the location, though, to avoid high-crime neighborhoods. You want to be safe before and after a riot, not just during, when those low-income rioters who also live in the suburbs decide to take justice into their own hands. You’ll also want a quick way out of the city if need be.

Fortunately, you needn’t go further than this website to learn about life in the suburbs.

#4. Start Stockpiling

No, you don’t have to fill an entire room with toilet paper.  You should, however, have a pantry full of foods with a long shelf life such as canned veggies, jams, peanut butter and honey. All you need to do is buy a little more food than usual with each time you go to the supermarket.  Make sure you’re paying attention to nutritional content of your stored food as well.  A healthy you is a stronger you.

Buy the things you like to eat so you can easily incorporate them in your diet. Food rotation is important because you don’t want to end up with a spoiled pantry. Of course, you can get other things in bulk such as the aforementioned toilet paper, floss, soap and other hygiene products. You should never run out of any of them – catastrophe or not.

#5. Find New Hobbies and Passions

Hiking, camping, fishing, woodworking, gardening, crafts – these can all make you better prepared without anyone suspecting the real reason why you’re doing them. If you thought about finding a new hobby, maybe now’s the time.

Who says you have to start a hobby on your own? You can do many of these things with your kids (and bond with them) or with your spouse (and possibly bring back the romance into your marriage). Hobbies are great bonding opportunities. Who knows, maybe one of them will turn into a passion.

#6. Prepping Your Car

Engine oil, transmission fluid, a toolbox, a spare tire, a shovel, these are things every driver should have in an emergency. To go the extra mile, why not add water and even a few snacks in your trunk? Not just for SHTF events but also in case you get stuck in traffic for longer periods of time. Add an AM/FM radio and a few blankets, too. If you’re stuck in heavy snow for hours, you don’t want to use fuel and your car’s battery to stay warm and hear the latest news.

Last but not least, make sure you have a good first aid kit. Not the basic one that came with the car, of course. You can make your own from scratch to make sure you have everything you need.  Keep an eye open for sales on first aid equipment and you should be able to do this step on the cheap.  For example, I bought some Ibuprofen last night and they had a “buy one get one free” promotion. Now, I can keep the extra pack with the other in my bug out bag or I can add it to my car’s survival kit.

#7. Start a Medicine Cabinet

Keeping in mind that I’m not a doctor and that you should only use my advice for information purposes only, I want you to build on the previous idea of assembling a custom first aid kit. You can take it even further by buying things such as:

Note: You shouldn’t store your medicine in your bathroom. Keep them in a dark, cool place because the heat and moisture from your shower will decrease their shelf life.

Final Word

Truth be told, I could write another five articles with all the basic prepping actions you could take and not look crazy. This one should give you a great head start in tackling all sorts of scenarios, including a natural disaster, riots or an economic collapse.


*** Consider letting folks know about this article at ***

Guest Poster: Dan Sullivan
His dad was military. His grandfather was a cop. They served their country well. But Dan doesn’t take orders from anyone. He’s taking matters into his own hands. He’s not just preparing, he’s going to friggin’ war!

How To Grow Fruit Indoors During Winter … Successfully

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How To Grow Fruit Indoors During Winter … Successfully

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Feeling hungry for some gardening adventures this winter? What could pass time and fill your belly with healthy food better than growing your own fruit? You can grow fruit anywhere in the house. If there is a sunroom, porch, conservatory or just a few empty window sills, you can do it.

It may surprise you to know that many types of fruit, like peaches and nectarines, often grow extremely well indoors. Indoor fruit tends to flower and fruit sooner than usual.

Growing Fruit Plants

How To Grow Fruit Indoors During Winter … Successfully

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You can easily grow fruits organically indoors, and you will be able to enjoy fresh fruit year-round, as well as the fresh fragrances of nature. Saving money is also a bonus of growing your own fruit. All you need is a sunny window or area, some containers or pot and some healthy soil. Plants will need to be transplanted into larger pots or containers as they grow bigger, and fruit shrub and trees will need to be pruned.

Here are some fruit ideas to get started on your indoor fruit supply.

  • Mulberries: Known as a slow-grower, mulberries are beautiful to look at and great to taste. The black mulberry ripens usually in early summer. They like indirect, but bright sunlight with good ventilation. Mulberries do best between temperatures of 55-70 degrees Fahrenheit, or 13 to 21 degrees Celsius.
  • Cape Gooseberries: A vigorous-growing, bush-like fruit plant, gooseberries love direct sunlight. The plants grow up to 12 inches or more across, with cherry-sized fruits.
  • Figs: Figs are more of a tree fruit, but are easily grown indoors. They enjoy sunny areas, but don’t like to be in direct sunlight. Figs need pruning in the winter and summer. Negro Largo does very well in pots. This fruit does best in temperatures between 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 13 to 18 degrees Celsius.
  • Grapes: Grapes are a perfect healthy snack, and it’s great to have them handy. They are not only good for their fruit, but grapes also provide decoration and shade. Grapes need good ventilation and pruning each winter. If you start from seeds it will take a long time to grow, but if you purchase a grape plant you will be one step closer.
  • Strawberries: Here is one of the easiest fruits to grow indoors. They are sweet, pretty, and taste great. Strawberries love sun and will grow well in pots. This fruit needs very little room to grow, adds vibrant color to the room and is known to be quick-producing.
  • Watermelon: This favorite fruit can be grown indoors, believe it or not! All you need is a large pot and a warm, sunny room. The vines will need training to grow vertically, and the plant will need the support of twine, lattice or wood sticks since the fruit is very heavy.

Growing Fruit Trees

How To Grow Fruit Indoors During Winter … Successfully

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When growing fruit on trees indoors, you should start with a dwarf fruit tree from a local nursery or garden center. Buying a tree will save years of waiting for delicious fruit, as tree seeds can take up to 10 years to grow from seeds. It will add color, freshness and be easy to handle inside. Fruit trees also smell great and last for many years.

Need Non-GMO Heirloom Seeds For Your Indoor Garden? The Best Deals Are Right Here!

Besides buying fruit trees from nurseries, you also can buy them through the mail. However, the trees often show up with bare roots, so they need immediate care and planting. Follow these simple, short instructions to plant your fruit tree.

  • Grab a pot large enough for the tree to have growing room, making sure the pot also has holes for drainage.
  • Fill the pot with a clean, light soil. Do not use soil from your yard.
  • Plant the tree in new dirt up to the line on its stem from where it is discolored from the “old dirt.”
  • Water the tree thoroughly.
  • Place tree in a sunny, warm location.
  • Enjoy the blossoms on your fruit trees. You may need to help pollinate your blossoms to get fruit. Using a soft paint brush, or something similar, brush the insides (especially the “stamens”) of each blossom.
  • Keep bugs and other harmful critters off the stems by taking a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol and rubbing each stem.

When growing fruit trees, you can try starting with citrus fruit like lemons and limes. Citrus trees are easy to care for and grow. They love sun, a regular watering schedule, humidity and fertilizer. You can also try peaches, nectarines and mulberries.

During the summer and warm months, let your trees enjoy the sun outside, but bring them indoors before the cold hits.

There is no need to dread the colder months if you’re a lover of fruit. Growing it indoors is the best way to enjoy nature’s freshness year-round.


Fig Trees: The Easy Indoor Plant That Fruits Fast

What advice would you add on growing fruit indoors? Share your tips in the section below:

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

The 5 Best Air Rifles For Off-Grid Survival

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The 5 Best Air Rifles For Off-Grid Survival

Benjamin Trail XL 1100. Image source:

When selecting an air rifle for survival or simply small-game survival hunting, it is extremely important to choose one with both sufficient muzzle velocity and pinpoint accuracy. Therefore, it is imperative that you invest in a high-quality air rifle from a manufacturer with a longstanding reputation for producing air rifles that are both very durable and highly accurate.

But, with so many different manufacturers and models on the market today, how do you determine which air rifle to buy? Well, to start with, you should be aware that air rifles are categorized by the method they use to propel the pellet and that, for small game hunting purposes, air rifles that employ either spring pistons or gas pistons are the best choice. Those that use pumps or Co2 cartridges do not produce sufficient muzzle velocity. Those that employ a pre-charged air chamber are inconvenient because you have to use a pre-charged scuba tank, carbon fiber tank, or a specialized bicycle-type pump to fill them. The five air rifles listed below are all from well-known manufacturers and they all employ either a spring or gas piston to propel the pellet.

1. Gamo Hunter Extreme SE Air Rifle – The Gamo Silent Hunter SE is a special edition, single shot, .177-caliber air rifle that is capable of reaching a muzzle velocity of 1,650 fps using PBA pellets and a muzzle velocity of 1,250 fps using standard lead pellets. Also, this air rifle features a Monte Carlo stock with a raised cheek piece made from beech hardwood and a ventilated, rubber, recoil pad. In addition, it features a rifled steel barrel sleeve with a bull-barrel configuration, a single-cocking spring piston, break-barrel action requiring 58 lbs. of cocking force and an automatic cocking safety system. Plus, it also has an adjustable, 4.5-pound, trigger pull with a manual trigger safety and a 3 to 9 x 50mm air rifle scope with an illuminated, glass-etched reticule. A single-piece scope mount is included. Suggested retail: $449.99.

Ultimate Tactical Self-Defense And Hunting Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

Gamo Whisper Silent Cat Air Rifle

Gamo Whisper Silent Cat Air Rifle

2. Gamo Whisper Silent Cat Air Rifle – The Gamo Whisper Silent Cat is a single-shot, .177-caliber air rifle that is capable of reaching a muzzle velocity of 1,200 fps using PBA pellets and a muzzle velocity of 1,000 fps using standard lead pellets. It features a weatherproof, synthetic stock with a rifled steel barrel sleeve covered with a fluted, polymer jacket with an integral noise reduction system that, Gamo says, is capable of reducing the noise of the pellet exiting the barrel by up to 52 percent. It has an adjustable, two-stage trigger pull with a manual trigger safety and a 4 x 32 air rifle scope with a single-piece scope mount. Fiber-optic front and rear open sights are included. Suggested retail: $269.95.

3. Benjamin Trail XL 1100 Air Rifle – The Benjamin Trail XL 1100 is a single-shot, .22-caliber air rifle that is capable of reaching a muzzle velocity of 1,100 fps using PBA pellets and a muzzle velocity of 950 fps using standard lead pellets. Also, this air rifle features a very ergonomic, hardwood thumbhole stock with a rubber recoil pad and a rifled steel barrel. It also features a two-stage, adjustable trigger pull, a manual trigger safety and a center point 3 to 9 x 40mm air rifle scope. A single-piece scope mount is included. Suggested retail: $349.99.

4. Benjamin Trail NP2 Air Rifle – The Benjamin Trail NP is a single shot, .22-caliber air rifle that is capable of reaching a muzzle velocity of 1,100 fps using PBA pellets and a muzzle velocity of 900 fps using standard lead pellets. This air rifle features a very ergonomic, hardwood thumbhole stock with a rubber recoil pad and a rifled steel barrel with an integral sound suppression system. It features a single-cocking, break-barrel, second-generation, nitro piston gas spring (Benjamin Trail says it’s 15 percent faster than the previous version with double the effective shooting range). It also has a two-stage, adjustable clean break trigger with a manual trigger safety and a center point 3 to 9 x 32mm air rifle scope. A single-piece scope mount is included. Suggested retail: $299.99.

5. Crosman Nitro Venom Air Rifle – The Crosman Nitro Venom is a single-shot, .22-caliber air rifle that is capable of reaching a muzzle velocity of 950 fps using standard lead pellets. This air rifle features a very ergonomic, hardwood thumbhole stock with a rubber recoil pad and a rifled steel barrel with an integral sound suppression system. It also features a two-stage, adjustable trigger with a manual trigger safety and a center point 3 to 9 x 32mm air rifle scope. A single-piece scope mount is included. Suggested retail: $199.99.

While there are more expensive hunting air rifles on the market, the five air rifles listed above were all chosen because they deliver sufficient muzzle velocity for hunting small game along with pinpoint accuracy. In addition, each of the air rifles features an adjustable, two-stage trigger and they all include a variable power scope, which is a must-have item for hunting. Lastly, they span a broad range of prices that are specifically designed to fit most any budget. By choosing any of the air rifles listed above, you are certain to receive a high-quality firearm that will provide many years of service and will serve you well for the purpose of hunting small game.


The Super-Quiet Survival Rifle That Will Always Keep You Hidden

What air rifles would you add to this list? Share your tips in the section below:

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Get Out Of The Rat Race And Simplify Your Life This Year

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Get Out Of The Rat Race And Simplify Your Life This Year

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Now that the holiday season is over, we find ourselves at the beginning of a fresh new year. It is an optimal time to evaluate how we are progressing on important goals and changes that we would like to make in our lives.

While this might initially sound like a call to action to add more things into our lives, what we might focus on instead is an examination of what we likely have too much of and not enough of other things that really matter.

Re-Evaluate Your Commitments

Have you been too busy over the last year and missed out on precious time with loved ones? Have you bee stuck in the rat race? Could you start saying “no” to certain commitments so that you can joyfully say “yes” to spending time with the friends and family members who matter most to you and for having the time available for recharging yourself?

Over-commitments can be a major source of stress and exhaustion in our lives as we strive to keep everyone else happy, but in the process, we don’t get the rest and the downtime that we need for our own well-being. The result is that we aren’t who we could be for the commitments that we do choose because we are so burned out.

Re-Evaluate the ‘Stuff’ That You Own

A large part of the reason why our lives are so complicated and stressed out today is because many of us are trying to maintain a lifestyle that society tells us we should be living. We are told that we need to have this car, or that house, go on that vacation, wear those clothes, or own the latest electronic gadget. As a result, many of us are deeply in debt, and working really hard just to pay the bills, barely financially keeping up each month.

Get Out Of The Rat-Race And Make Money Off-Grid!

Much of this is a result of deriving our self-worth and happiness from what we own rather than from who we are and what we can offer to the world. It is very useful to evaluate what we own and our lifestyles, and to determine what our true values are. Is owning a boat or an expensive home worth all of the high payments and stress that go with them? Could you emotionally let go and sell some of your things to help pay off debt and move closer to a debt-free lifestyle?

Get Out Of The Rat Race And Simplify Your Life This Year

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Is “stuff” more important to you than free time or time spent with your loved ones? Often, what we believe will bring happiness and freedom actually leads to more debt and servitude to credit card and loan companies.

Are Your Goals in Line With Your True Values?

What are the things that are truly the most important to you? Are you actually pursuing the things that aren’t that important instead of the things that are? Sometimes we must make choices to let go of certain things and activities that aren’t serving our true values. If this is you, then consider what you could focus on instead in the year ahead.

Are You Suffering from Spiritual Anemia?

With all of our striving and doing on a daily basis, are we forgetting to recharge our spirits and souls? For many of us, our true values, how we perceive ourselves, and our relationships with others are all an extension of what we believe spiritually.

Ultimately, if what we are doing isn’t serving our spirits and we suffer from a lack of focus on the things that are greater than ourselves, then we can be out of alignment with our life’s purpose and our need for spiritual connection.

The Bible references how God rested on the seventh day after creating the world. Not only is having a day of rest each week important for us physically, but it is also good for us emotionally as well as spiritually. When we miss out on a day of rest each week, we will likely suffer in one or more of these areas.

Cultivating intentional spiritual practices, such as starting each day with a focus on gratitude, or spending some daily time in prayer or meditation, can help us to realign with our greater purpose and make clearer to us how we should best use the precious time, energy and talents that we have available to us.


By giving up some of the things that are cluttering our lives and by shifting our focus to be more in line with our true values, we can begin to live a simpler life by intention. We will then have the room in our lives for what many of us endlessly strive for in our messy and busy modern lives: balance, rest, joy and the satisfaction that we are focusing on the things that truly matter, such as making investments in the lives of those that we love and in making a difference in the world.

Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts on this topic in the section below:

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Choosing Your Survival Shelter Location

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survival shelterThere you are, lost in the wilderness. You zigged when you should have zagged and have finally come to terms with the thought that you’re going to have to spend the night in the rough. With only an hour or so of daylight left, it is past time to choose your survival shelter location and get going on building it. Thankfully, you have a few supplies with you, such as a knife, an emergency blanket, and some paracord. You’ve also taken the time to study a bit about wilderness survival so cobbling together a small debris hut or lean to shouldn’t be too difficult or time-consuming.

Before you begin construction, though, you should take the time to find a truly suitable location for the shelter. Doing so will help to avoid adding to your list of woes. Keep in mind, too, that all of these suggestions apply whether you’re in an actual survival situation or if you’re just out camping for the night. More than one casual hiker or Scout troop has been caught unawares and had a bad campsite turn a fun outing into a bad experience, or worse. Not to be dramatic, but your survival shelter location could determine if you survive or not.

Building materials.

First, if you are building some or all of the shelter from natural materials, such as a debris hut, you will probably want to locate your shelter near said supplies. It makes little sense to carry branches, logs, and such great distances if you don’t have to do so. Hopefully you’ll only be staying in the shelter a single night but, just in case, if you find a water source in the area, position your shelter near it, but not directly on it. We’re talking about conservation of energy, here. The less energy you expend having to harvest water, the more energy you’ll have for other necessary tasks.

You may also choose to use a natural cave or boulder to shelter, or  gather rocks together to form a wind break for your shelter. Gathering rocks has the secondary purpose of leaving a more comfortable area for you to lay down and sleep, as does gathering sticks for a debris hut or fire. The area under large trees is often sheltered from rain and snow, making it worth at least looking around under any large trees. Be careful of roots both in terms of where you are sleeping and where you build a fire. The last thing you want to do is accidentally set an entire tree on fire because the roots were in your fire pit!

You may also choose to gather materials such as dried grass, fir branches, or other softer materials to put down inside your shelter as a softer, warmer place to sleep. Bare ground is generally cooler than people, especially at night. The cooler temperatures can make sleeping uncomfortable, so putting an insulating layer (such as those listed above) can do a lot for your health and comfort.

Shelter location.

Next, take a moment to look above your chosen location. If you see any large dead branches, find a different spot. Those branches are called “widow makers.” You probably won’t want to be underneath one should it break loose and come crashing down. Sheltering under a large tree may give you a bit of added protection from the weather. There is a reason there is often a dry spot under large trees after even a heavy rain or snow fall.

Take a look around and see if there is evidence of large amounts of rain runoff. While the sky might be clear now, who knows what the night might hold. If you’re in a gulley or ditch, it might turn into a fast moving stream after a sudden downpour. If there is a log, line of rocks, or other natural structure, it could funnel water in a particular direction and you won’t want to put your shelter at that spot, but one side of it could also be less windy – and therefore warmer.

There is an awful lot of wildlife that is nocturnal, meaning the critters are most active after sundown. If your shelter is smack dab in the middle of the forest’s version of an interstate highway, you’re going to have a lot of visitors. Some of them might not be very happy that you are blocking traffic. While in a true survival situation we might be looking forward to bagging one or two Happy Meals on legs, you probably don’t want them crawling into bed with you or bumping into your shelter all night long. Remember to keep an eye out for buys when you choose your location.

If there is a patch of poison ivy, oak, etc. in the area, put your shelter in a place where you won’t be likely to walk straight into the poison. This is more of an issue for middle of the night bathroom pit-stops because you won’t be able to see anything and you want to minimize the chances you will walk through it, or use it for toilet paper.

Shelter orientation.

You should also plan out the orientation of your shelter. The sun may shine straight into it and wake you up. Do you want that? (The answer may be yes, or you may need to sleep longer.)

You don’t want the prevailing wind coming directly into the mouth or opening of the shelter, unless you know the night will be hot and the breeze welcome. This is doubly important if you’re building your fire near the opening of the shelter! The last thing you want is to have smoke and burning embers blowing in your face. If warmth is a concern, and it almost always is, build a reflecting wall of logs near the shelter opening, then make your fire between that wall and your shelter. You can use your Mylar blanket, if you have one, to reflect more heat toward you.

By giving just a little thought ahead of time, you can dramatically improve your situation and avoid further risks of injury.

Jim Cobb contributed to this article.

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