What the hell is a capsule wardrobe? (And other things I wish they taught us at minimalism school.)

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I’ve been into living cheaply forever because I grew up poor and there was no other option. As a military wife, my husband made good money, but we still lived within our means and didn’t go into debt on things like furniture, clothes, or toys. When he got out of the military, I made enough for us to live on – but just barely – and living simply became a necessity.

Now that we are financially in a place where we can spend more, we still don’t, instead choosing to buy what we need and only what we need. While we don’t have a fancy life, we are comfortable, and we want for nothing. (Except maybe a couch. It’s been 7 months and we’re both kind of wanting a couch.)

So while living simply and minimally tends to be a natural part of my daily life, I keep reading about this thing called a capsule wardrobe.

And I’m mostly thinking, “What the hell is this?”

If you’re clueless, like me, there are several variations, but tend to mean you have a certain number of clothing items (10, 15, 37 etc.) and you wear only those for a single season. At the end of the season, you switch your clothing out. (Tanktops for jackets, for example, although you keep most of your clothing the same.)

For minimalist moms, the idea of a capsule is a bit silly. And yes, this is just my opinion. And yes, it’s fine if you disagree with me. There is no right or wrong number of clothing, but if you have little boys or girls who love to be messy and crazy and play at the park, the idea of a specific number of clothing is a bit trite. When your kids wear out their clothes or grow, buy new ones. End of story. At least, that’s what I think, and that’s what works for my family.

I realized, though, that my wardrobe is probably way too minimalist for even the minimalists, and that’s saying something. I basically wear the same thing every day, and perhaps it’s because I’m living in a country where everything comes in very different sizes than what works on my body, or perhaps it’s because I’m not fancy enough, but here’s what I wear every day:

Black skirt
Black shoes
Black shirt
Black jacket

Can you tell what my favorite color is?

Now, if I was living in a permanent home, I would have more clothing. I just would. Most people do, and that’s fine. If you’re a traveling expat, you pack what fits in your suitcase, and as it is, I have no closet to store things. There is no storage space in our apartment. There is not a single cupboard or closet. There are no shelves. I have a clothes rack that has to cover me, my husband, and two kids.

That’s it.

My kids each have five shirts and five pairs of pants or shorts, along with a sweatshirt and a jacket. Clothing wears out much faster in Taiwan and I’m not sure if it’s because of the pollution and dirt everywhere or because the water is bad or just because the washing machines are really, really rough on clothes, but my kids’ clothing has already been replaced, which is annoying because I bought them new clothes before we moved, and shouldn’t their clothes last all year?

What I’m trying to say is that it doesn’t matter. If you want a capsule wardrobe, do it. There is no right-or-wrong when it comes to simple living. If you want to have 20 pairs of shoes, but you have a huge closet to organize them, go for it. If you want to be like me and have two pairs (a pair of flats and a pair of boots), then go for it. Do what works and own your decision.

If you’re a minimalist, how do you balance your clothing choices? Do you go threadbare, like me, or do you follow a capsule wardrobe plan?

30 Essential Food Reserve Questions for Yourself and Your Sources

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By Denis Korn

Peace of Mind through honestly answering the relevant questions!

Peace of Mind through honestly answering the relevant questions!


As I continue to evaluate the websites of many current providers of shelf stable emergency foods, I am once again motivated to stimulate the due diligence and research I feel that is necessary for my readers so they may be adequately prepared.  I have updated and combined these food reserve questions from two previous posts regarding this issue, and I continue to be angered and saddened at the ignorance and deception that is still rampant in the preparedness industry. 

In the last few years many hundreds of websites, blogs, webinars and food companies have appeared on the scene, and while many are legitimate and sincere, there are too many instant experts.  So many of these folks are simply badly informed and just continue to pass along misinformation and are too lazy to due serious research, or they simply don’t care what information they put out as long is it sells their products.

I have written a number of articles dealing with trust, honesty, reflections, guidelines, questions to ask and recommendations concerning the purchasing of food reserve products.  While the food you rely upon in an emergency is vital and life sustaining, unfortunately few preppers and planers do the valuable research they should for this essential category of provisions.  This post is written to help educate and inform the serious preparedness planner.

This post focuses on food, and as I have indicated in other articles, a dilemma arises – Who can you trust?  How accurate and truthful is information and advice regarding foods for emergency preparedness?  The purpose of this post is to encourage you to ask and answer relevant questions, use common sense and to question the reliability and advice of what you hear and read about foods for preparedness.

What stimulated me to revisit this subject was a blog I recently read that gave a recommended list of foods they thought was needed to be prepared for a long term emergency – it was for a one year period.  This information was a rehash of outdated recommendations and had little relevancy to the realities of food preparation, dietary needs and food preferences in 2016.  This is not the 1800’s.  Do you need 400 pounds of wheat – 150 pounds of beans – many pounds of milk powder, sugar, flour, etc. – per person?  Are you going to spend much of your one year baking and boiling?  Do you have the resources to prepare these core ingredients – water, fuel and time?  Bulk commodities can be valuable in certain food reserve planning, however over reliance on these foods can be detrimental.

I have always been an advocate of a diversity of foods for emergencies because of the numerous set of circumstances that can arise. We just don’t know with certainty what the scenario will be, or the duration and resources available during an emergency.  Finances play an important part in our planning and the cheapest is often not the best nor the appropriate choice.  Determining the foods to store requires serious evaluation and critical and informed thinking – do not be misled by slick advertising, instant experts, endorsements by celebrities and talk show hosts, exaggerated shelf life and taste claims, inadequate serving sizes and foods that once you have read the ingredient declaration you would normally never eat.

While there are many legitimate and quality emergency food companies and true experts, many others are content to profit from foods that – to put it frankly – are truly “survival foods” – foods that might prevent starvation, but are mediocre, have an inadequate caloric value, filed with questionable ingredients, unfamiliar, rely on sugar and other fillers, and might actually cause nutritional problems if consumed for long periods of time.

The first part of this article deals with questions for suppliers, the second part lists food reserve questions that are of value to your personal planning.

For 41 years now I have personally witnessed, heard and read many conflicting, misleading and outright deceptive claims and information regarding foods for long term storage, and while many food reserve companies are honest and reliable, many are intentionally or unintentionally ignorant and deceitful.

You are highly encouraged to take the following questions seriously and require that the food reserve companies you buy from know what they are doing, and they need to answer these questions honestly and to the best of their ability.  If they can’t – then buyer beware!  In my opinion – there is something immoral, appalling and disgraceful about companies who take advantage of people who may not be adequately informed and are vulnerable to misleading promotion.  Unfortunately many people are more motivated by fear and mindlessly react, then carefully evaluate the facts and make informed decisions.

Spending thousands of dollars on deceptive advertising, hyperbole and exaggeration, being all over the internet with ads, getting high profile talk show hosts and websites to hawk your foods, creating shelf life figures out of thin air, telling folks how nutritious the foods are when they are filled with questionable ingredients, packaging foods in pouches and in a manner that does not assure a long shelf life, and tricking people into thinking they are getting an adequate quantity of foods during an emergency by creating arbitrary “servings” – does not guarantee you are buying value, quality or an adequate supply of vital foods!  The high cost of advertising, endorsements and commissions has to come from somewhere, and all too often it comes from the value of the food products themselves while compromising quality and quantity.

As I am sure you can tell, I am very disappointed and concerned with the state of the “truth in advertising” regarding such an important facet of the preparedness planning process.  The food you eat is life sustaining – and I believe preparedness food companies have an obligation to be honest and provide quality, nutritious foods.


1. If the company promotes their food reserve assortments by number of servings, you need more information to determine what you are really buying and whether the quantities are adequate.

A common marketing tactic used by many food companies today is to promote a given number of servings in an assortment, and sometimes to even state that an assortment is good for a given period of time with a given number of servings.  In the preparedness market place today, where people may have to depend on daily food rations for their nourishment, only knowing the number of servings in an assortment is close to meaningless and the information insignificant .  Why?  Because a “serving” quantity and quality can be anything the company wants it to be.  You need more information.

2. What are the calories in each serving – the ingredient source of those calories (white sugar, non-nutritive calories or quality calories) – and what method, or source of information, was used to determine the calories in their products?

The standard for comparing one reserve food product with another has traditionally been to compare the number of calories of similar products or meals.  This is done by comparing the calories by either: knowing the stated calories and the weight in a given serving of a product; or the number of calories of a food product in a comparable sized pouch or container.  This enables comparisons of similar items from different companies – comparing apples with apples.  Even the government on their mandated nutritional information requires the calories be listed – and the source of those calories.

3. How many calories does the company recommend one should consume per day, and how many of their servings will it take to achieve this number?

Now you can do the math and compare the real cost and value of one companies products to another.  What is the true cost per quality calorie?  What is the cost for supplying the proper number of calories for the time period in your emergency scenario?  Don’t forget it is the quality of the calories that is critical.

Here is the important issue: The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for the average adult person is 2,000 calories a day (reputable companies generally allow 1,800 to 2,200 calories a day in formulating their assortments).  There are companies who promote a 500 to 1000 calorie per day allowance!

4. If a company uses names for their meals that sound like they contain real meat or are similar sounding to meat recipes – is it real meat, soy or gluten?   

This is a common deception among many companies who either do not have the legal authority to pack real meat products because they do not have USDA inspected facilities, or they try to make their products as cheaply as possible.  Also,

5. When a company claims a shelf life of between 20 and 30 years, how was this determined?

I know of only two USDA inspected companies (disclaimer – one of those companies, AlpineAire Foods, is a company I founded in 1979) who have been in business longer than 30 years with a diverse selection of blended meals and individual items for long term food reserve products who can verify shelf life, use the proper packaging technologies and have their own testing facilities.  In the 41 years I have been in the preparedness industry, I have never heard of any established major manufacturer of dry food products ever recommending storing foods in any type of pouch over 7 years.  This includes all the established companies packing pouch foods for the outdoor recreational industry.

6. What experience does the companies customers have eating their foods exclusively for extended periods of time?   

If a company is selling you foods that you may have to rely upon for weeks, months or possibly years, how did they determine that their foods have the necessary nutritional value to sustain a person for an extended length of time?  This includes children and adults.

7. How does the foods taste and are they formulated to digest properly if consumed for a lengthy period of time?  What about ingredient quality?

Many of today’s preparedness food companies are primarily marketing companies that don’t emphasize quality and nutrition.  Their foods must be made cheaply to support the margins required for their extensive marketing budget, commissions and dealer costs.  Study the ingredient declarations – often very difficult to find if not unavailable on many websites – for artificial flavor enhancers, preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, fillers and white sugar.  Unfortunately, many deceptive companies and stating their meals are “freeze-dried”, however upon reading the ingredients declaration, there are none.  Are there any reliable independent testimonials about the foods you are considering for a preparedness investment?  How long has the company been in the food reserve business?  As happened after Y2K, how likely is the company to go out of business if there is a dip in demand?

NOTE: MRE’S (meals-ready-to-eat – military rations) were formulated by the military for combat soldiers to be eaten for no longer than one month at a time.  They are high fat and high sodium and some people could have digestion issues if eaten over too long a period.

8. What about preparation?

Those of us in the camping/backpacking industry used the expression “just add water” to indicate that to reconstitute your pouched meal just add hot water, let sit and in 10-15 minutes your meal is ready – no cooking required.  Many of the current pouch food companies use the same expression “just add water,” however what is really means is add water and boil/simmer for 15 to 30 minutes.


Here are some important questions to answer when considering what foods to store for emergencies or serious disasters:

  1. Do you know how to prepare the foods you are considering?
  2. Are the foods you are considering compatible with the scenarios and time frames you believe will occur?
  3. When you invest and purchase your food reserves, will it be – or has it been – an emotional reaction stimulated by fear advertising and paid celebrity/talk-show host endorsements, or will it be motivated by a critical thinking and evaluation process?
  4. Where and under what conditions will you store them?
  5. If you are going to pack your own bulk foods, do you know the proper methods and have the proper packaging?
  6. Are you properly informed as to shelf life issues?
  7. Do your foods contain a proper balance of nutrition?
  8. Can you properly digest the foods you are considering if they differ from you normal diet?
  9. If you store grains, beans and seeds do you know how to sprout them for additional essential nutrition?
  10. Do you have the proper equipment and appliances to utilize and prepare your stored foods?
  11. Have you stored the required foods to handle the scenarios you have considered will potentially occur?
  12. Do you have a adequate quantity to feed yourself, family, friends and anyone else who be relying on you?
  13. Do you or others have medical issues, special requirements or a food intolerance to consider?
  14. Will you be storing supplements?
  15. Have you considered comfort foods?
  16. Will you have access to the water you will need to prepare your stored foods?
  17. Can you grow foods if necessary?
  18. Will you be relying on any frozen food?  What if the electricity goes out?
  19. If you have to be mobile, are the foods you are considering easily transportable?
  20. How trustworthy is the manufacturer or source of the the foods you are considering?
  21. Do you plan to incorporate your food reserves into your normal diet?
  22. Will you be like many who say, “I hope I never have to eat these foods for any extended length of time.”?

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A 300-Year-Old Delicious Sausage Recipe

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A 300-Year-Old Delicious Sausage Recipe

Published on Feb 29, 2016 Michael joins us in the kitchen again this week! Today he’s brought us a late 17th-century sausage recipe from Martha Washington’s Book of Cookery. This recipe is attributed to a dish from “The Tavern at Oxford Gates” in the city of Oxford, England. These light and savory sausages are so […]

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Movie Monday – Victorian Farm

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This Week On Movie Monday

Victorian Farm Episode 1

Victorian Farm is a historical documentary TV series in six parts, first shown on BBC Two in January 2009, it recreates everyday life on a small farm in Shropshire in the mid-19th century, using authentic replica equipment and clothing, original recipes and reconstructed building techniques.

 These films are presented as an exception to the copyright act as fair dealing for the purpose of research, private study, education, parody or satire. See bill c-42 article 29.

Survival movie: “The Survivalist”

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A very good film to keep in mind for those interested in survival and preparedness. If you get the chance, it’s worth watching.
The film is very intense and it is rated R, so keep that in mind if you have children.

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”.

Earthquake Alert — Entire West Coast USA

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About a month back we started covering the possibility of “The Big One” hitting California, maybe the Upper West Coast USA, and some chance of a Yellowstone Eruption.

There was some buoy data that indicated a large drop in ocean floor levels.

And there were periods of intense quietness in terms of number of earthquakes per day.

That trend of low EQ counts continues to today.    Normally there are 71 to 73 EQ over 2.5 per day across the world.    We have lately seen as little as 20, with many days being around 30 and only once in a while above 40.   

So that means that something is “stuck” and there is energy building up for a possible large Earthquake (EQ) 

We have also seen some unusual activity, such as numerous over 5 EQ at the mid Atlanatic ridge, numerous small quake near the Volcano on

Now any even “weirder” but scary correlation with an earlier major earthquake.    CO levels shown at massive levels on whole West Coast.
Hawaii, Yellowstone.

Abstract NOAA AVHRR images have clearly shown anomalous changes in land surface temperature associated with earthquakes in the past two decades. Soon after the Gujarat earthquake of January 26, 2001, an anomalous increase in land surface temperature was inferred from MODIS satellite data a few days prior to the main earthquake event. The cause of such an anomalous change in surface temperature prior to the earthquake is attributed to many probable phenomena, but no definite cause has been identified. In the present study, changes of a complementary nature were found of land surface temperature associated with the emission of CO from the epicentral region. The observed changes on land and atmosphere associated with the Gujarat earthquake of 26 January, 2001, show the existence of strong coupling between land, atmosphere and ionosphere.

The Sparks Class Schedule And Other Info

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Get it while you can, that is unless you have your tin cans and miles of string already set up.



Communications Workshop Schedule

      • April 2-3, 2016 – Riverton, Wyoming
      • August 6-7, 2016 – Dubois, Wyoming

The cost of the workshop is $100 for non-residents of Wyoming. A slot can be reserved with a non-refundable $25 deposit, with the balance due no later than 30 days before the workshop date.  The following forms of payment are accepted:

Paypal – Click here to pay via Paypal.

Cash or payee blank USPS Money Order sent to:

TAC Enterprises LLC
PO Box 1351
Riverton, WY 82501

Residents of Wyoming can pay on an “as you can afford” basis in either FRNs, precious metals, or barter (ammo, field gear. et. al.) Contact <sparks31@unseen.is> for more info and to reserve a slot.

The two-day workshop will cover the basics of grid-down/resilient communications systems, and communications monitoring focused on local VHF/UHF systems.  Attendees should have read the book prior to the class and have a nominal communications kit assembled, in particular communications monitoring equipment (police scanner and shortwave receiver).

Topics to be discussed will include:

  • Considerations for Grid-Down/Resilient Communications
  • Equipment Selection
    • Radios
    • Antennas
    • Basic Off-Grid Electric Power
    • Basic Test Equipment
  • VHF/UHF Communications Monitoring
    • Equipment Selection
    • Low-Level Voice Intercept Operations
    • Basic Radio Direction Finding

Pack a lunch, water, and toilet paper.  The facilities in Wyoming are primitive, and far from civilization.  There are places in Dubois and Riverton where you can get a sandwich, or something for the BBQ grill.  Speaking of which….

There will be a BBQ grill available for those of you who want to cook something hot.

Dinner will be provided Saturday Night, as long as you like steak and potatoes off the grill.  BYOB if you want something with a little kick to it.

There will be a swap meet in the rendezvous style during the workshop. Bring your trade goods.

Try to take a few extra days to do the tourist thing.  Both Cody (Buffalo Bill Museum) and Jackson Hole are right down the road (by Wyoming standards).



Of course this will all be around forever, so you guys just take your time getting to it….Isn’t March Madness or some such pablum coming up? SQUIRREL!!!!!!


American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

Common Tasks Testing, The Army’s “Everybody” Requirement

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From the desk of JC Dodge

While Speaking with Concerned American from WRSA the other night, he asked me about the validity of putting out a checklist of skills that originate in the “Common Tasks/Skill Level 1” (now called “Warrior Skills Level 1”) manual that the US Army uses. After thinking about it, I decided to go through the PDF Table of Contents, and highlight what I thought were important skills for the Survivalist/ NPT Member to concentrate on. For the last two years, I have concentrated most of my class time on the Rural Buddy Team Essentials Course (RBTEC), because the Buddy Team is not only the core building block of any martial group (Techniques of movement, etc. are usually the same, just on a larger scale with the bigger groups), but is also what I believe is the most realistic, when it comes to how many people you will have to work with (apparently, some other trainers are now seeing the reality of that, and are jumping on that bandwagon).

So here goes. The skills I believe you should concentrate on are highlighted in yellow, and I will make notes below or in the screenshot where I feel it is appropriate (they will be in black after the task listing, or in red if it needs explanation). Keep in mind, that if you know someone that served in the US Army, they had to test on this every year in their respective units. This isn’t just an “Infantry?Combat Arms” thing.


The Burns debacle proved that interacting (or not) with media is an important skill. Code of Conduct is basic Ethics and Morality on the battlefield.














Here’s the link again if you missed it above  http://www.milsci.ucsb.edu/sites/secure.lsit.ucsb.edu.mili.d7/files/sitefiles/resources/STP%2021-1-SMCT,%20Warrior%20Skills,%20Level%201.pdf

Most of these are the basic tasks a member of the US Army has to perform to pass Common Tasks Testing every year. Infantry personnel have to perform the CTT, then do their eval on their own MOS skillsets, which are related to your position/level in the Unit ( Level 1- Enlisted E1-E4, Level 2 E5/Team Leader, Level 3/E6 Squad Leader, Level 4 E7/Platoon Sgt) . If you can’t show proficiency in the common tasks of First Aid, Commo,  Land Nav, Movement as a Buddy Team and in a patrol, and proficient accurate use of your primary weapon, when even a Dental Hygienist in the Army has to do it every year, how do you plan on functioning in an “Infantry” type role?

Find a friend that has an Army or Marine Corps background (I’m using the US Army, because that is what I know and understand what their requirements are, and I know the Marine Corps consider everyone a “Rifleman first”), and ask them to help you become proficient. I don’t know what basic Air Force and Navy teaches everybody, and that’s why I haven’t recommended them. They would be on a case by case basis, and their job in their respective service would be the indicator of the knowledge you seek (example: Security Forces, Para Rescue, Combat Control, or SERE in the Air Force, and Pilot, SEAL, SWCC, or SERE in the Navy comes to mind).

Either continue making excuses for doing little or nothing of substance in your preparations (“Mom, the bad man called me a child!”), or get it done! You have no one to blame but yourself if you’re not even a speed bump in the thugs movement to power. For God’s sake, at least be a Damned speed bump, you owe your family that much. Train and Prepare yourself Spiritually, Mentally and Physically, and get your logistics in order.


American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE






Martial Law Survival Strategies You Should Know

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by Bob Rodgers   We live in uncertain times and with constant threats knocking at our doors. One day, we might live under Martial Law and although the use of Martial law should bring end to the scenario that imposed it, most of the times it willRead More

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Situational Awareness, 12 Things You Need to Know

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situational awarenessThis morning I have been thinking about situational awareness and how my perspective has changed over the years.  Twenty plus years ago before I retired I was very aware of what went on around me.  Situational awareness was something that was foremost in my mind.

Today I have come to the conclusion that without the constant reminders that we used to receive, I have dropped my guard to a large degree.  This is a mistake, I need to step up my game and pay much more awareness to situational awareness.  In the town in which I live, homelessness is becoming a problem and street crimes are up.

So today I want to list a few ideas that I need to put back into my life and maybe they will help you.  Basically, it is knowing what is occurring around you and using the information to avoid trouble.

  • Never sit with your back to the door in public buildings. Make sure you have an unobstructed view of who is approaching you,  preferable with your back to the wall..
  • Always know where the exits are.
  • When walking down the city street, know who is behind you. You can often use the store windows to see behind you.  Always watch your back.
  • Don’t be obviously looking over your shoulder. But pay attention to somebody who is, that is unusual.
  • Pay attention to anything out of the ordinary.
  • Don’t walk around looking at your cell phone. Some guy in Southern Ca. was so engrossed in his the other day he walked off a cliff.
  • It is not just people; you pay attention too, what about that strange backpack sitting on the street corner.
  • Know what is normal in the area you are at.
  • Look for people who are acting pushy, authoritative, overbearing, uncomfortable or just out of place.
  • Watch the hands, if people are armed with a gun or a knife they will often pat the area to be sure it is still there.
  • If you see a dangerous situation starting, don’t be afraid to walk away and call someone.
  • When you are driving pay attention to your rear and see if anyone is following you.

Now this is very basic information and it sounds simple, but to get good at it you need to practice.  Most people start out by trying to have their head on a swivel and end up attracting attention.  Don’t be obvious.  When you leave an area talk to your wife or children and see what they noticed.  You can make a game of this.  Don’t look like you are paranoid, but at the same time be a little paranoid.  I intend to start paying more attention to what is going on around me; I suggest that you do the same.


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UN Fears Global Food Crisis Due to Mass Bee Deaths

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honeybee wikimediaWe’ve known for years that bee populations all across North America and Europe are collapsing at an alarming rate. Though science has yet to settle on a single cause for the bee deaths, the most likely culprit seems to be some of the pesticides we use on our crops; though it’s just as likely that there are multiple reasons for colony collapse disorder, and most of them are caused by human activity.

Obviously, this is a huge threat to our food supply. One third of all the food we eat comes from plants that are pollinated by insects, and 80% of those crops are pollinated by bees. This has big implications for our meat supply as well, since animal feed like alfalfa is pollinated by bees. If this mass bee die off continues unabated, we’re going to have a serious food crisis on our hands in the near future.

Unfortunately, it isn’t just the bees that are in danger of disappearing. They get the most attention since they’re responsible for the most pollination, but the truth is, there are multiple pollinating species that are dying off all over the world.

The UN recently released a report on the subject, explained that not only bees, but butterflies and pollinating birds are also threatened on every continent. Two in five species of insect pollinators are threatened, as are one in six bird pollinators.

The report attributed several reasons for the population declines of these species, including urban sprawl, diseases, neonicitinoid pesticides, and of course, no UN report is complete unless climate change is blamed for something.

“The report confirms the overwhelming majority of the scientific opinion regarding pollinator health — that this is a complex issue affected by many factors,” said Christian Maus, of Bayer pharmaceuticals in a statement to AP. “Protecting pollinators and providing a growing population with safe, abundant food will require collaboration.” Bayer produces neonicotinoid pesticides.

Research has linked the use of neonicitinoids on certain crops to declining honeybee populations. The report points to agricultural pesticide management as a key area of concern for pollinators.

“Pesticides, particularly insecticides, have been demonstrated to have a broad range of lethal and sub-lethal effects on pollinators in controlled experimental conditions,” said the report.

The report also highlights monoculture agriculture, with wide swaths of farmland supporting a single crop, as another source of woe for pollinators. In England, the government pays farmers to plant wildflowers in their hedgerows, British scientist Robert Watson told AP. In the United States, the newly formed Pollinator Health Task Force is also looking into ways to encourage farmers to diversify plants grown on agricultural lands.

When you really break it down, the most significant threat to these pollinators, is modern agricultural techniques. The only way to prevent this disaster, is to return to traditional farming in at least some capacity. The world may have to look towards organic farming for inspiration. And that’s a big problem, because for all its faults, modern agriculture is able to feed a ton of people.

There’s no denying the fact that organic farming is also capable of producing high yields, but unlike industrial farming, it takes a lot more time and effort before a piece of land is fertile enough to produce a significant abundance of organic food. So regardless of whether or not most of the farmers in this world stay on their current course, or if they move to save these pollinators by switching to more traditional agricultural techniques, the global food supply is probably going tighten in the near future.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Review: Grill Master Gloves

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I have had a good time lately reviewing products, I get to play with stuff I normally would not buy and I get to share my opinions with you. I probably would not have bought these gloves on my own, but after cooking with them, I realized how much I was missing. These gloves are thick and sturdy.  They are a little tight on my large hands, but they are surprisingly comfortable. Grill master gloves do not compare to regular oven mitts – you have the dexterity to work without taking them off, and the gripping ridges give a good

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VPRacing Small Engine Fuel: In for the Long Haul

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VPRacing Small Engine Fuel: In for the Long Haul

We all want our gas powered equipment to last forever, but with any mower, weed trimmer, generator, or the like, the fuel you use often takes it’s toll, especially ethanol-blended street gas that’s sat in the gas tank during the off-season. Despite your best intentions, you’ll likely use last years gas, because the stuff is too expensive to waste otherwise.

But the cost of discarding old gas pales in comparison with the cost of the damage it can do.  Gasoline from the pump can go bad in just a matter of weeks, doing a number on small engines.  The blended ethanol attracts moisture, so you get water in your gas, not to mention varnish and gum of old fuel additives.  The contaminated fuel leads to clogged carburetor jets, gummy deposits, or worse, corroded cylinders, valves, & exhaust systems. You get to deal with the grief of equipment that won’t start, and the mounting costs of repairs.

 But what if you can count on fuel you used last August, to run just as clean & clear the following May? How about a stockpile of fuel to be perfectly usable FIVE YEARS down the road? Too fantastic? Well, that’s EXACTLY what you can count on in VP Small Engine Fuels. They are indeed, in for the long haul.

The professional racing community knows VP Racing Fuel is top notch quality fuel… pure, powerful fuel. Now they offer a line of consumer grade gas products, including a line of fuels specifically made for small engines.

Gas at most convenience stores contains ethanol to reduce the price of gas at the pump, bad news from a Prepping standpoint, especially in relying on gas engines in the event of an interruption of gas supplies. The relatively short shelf life of ethanol mixed fuel is significant enough to consider alternatives to gas combustion engines in most long term Prepping plans.

That’s where VP Small Engine Fuel offers the advantage of pure, high octane fuel, and in doing so, answers the needs of those seeking to stockpile gas for far longer than normal… for years, without need of stabilizing fuel conditioning.

VP Racing introduces it’s Small Engine Fuel products.

VP Racing Fuels sent a sampler of their Small Engine Fuel to try out. Very fortunate too, since I’m nursing along a 30 year old garden tractor, and anything that keeps it in service has got my full attention. It’s a perfect test bed to try out their fuel too.

While I can’t attest to shelf life claims yet, I’ve stowed away one can of 4-stroke fuel & in five years I’ll give it a try to see how well (or how little) it’s aged.  From first glance though, I see it ready for use even longer because it’s about as pure a fuel as you can buy. No additives, no ethanol, & with a 94 octane rating, it’s premium gas.  

Getting the tired motor on the tractor running for another season is always a hit or miss affair… literally. The engine coughs & sputters at first. Even with fresh gas, it blows out deposits that’s accumulated over winter. But this time, I ran it with a can of VP Small Engine Fix-It Fuel. Designed as a single use treatment, Fix-It Fuel is an ETHANOL-FREE 89 Octane gas + oil blend. Fix-it fuel cleans and repairs the fuel system, without having to remove the carburetor or injectors.

Other than needing to adjust low speed & high speed idle, the engine roared to life just fine. I only needed half a can as directed, so I’ll have a second treatment if necessary.

I’m not a EOTW type, but I fully understand the desire to stockpile
supplies for any eventuality. While I have gas powered generators on hand “just in case”, I’ve always feared they’re not a long term solution, due to fuel aging over time. So it’s obvious, stocking up on VP Small Engine Fuel is not just smart, it’s CRITICAL if you want to see the life of your small engines and their use extended for a long, LONG time.You can find VP Small Engine Fuel products in stores nationwide. Can’t find it near you? Just order it on Amazon, or direct from their website.

Count on VP Small Engine Fuel products to see you through… in the long haul.

VPRacing Fuels: www.vpracingfuels.com

The post VPRacing Small Engine Fuel: In for the Long Haul appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Monday Mania – 2.29.2016

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In this weeks edition of Monday Mania: 20 Steps: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Prepper, 101 Frugal Items You Need For Survival, Thinking of Starting a Prepper Network? Think Again!, DIY $20 Survival Food Bucket, How Dependent Are You On Electricity?, & 15 More Monday Mania – 2.29.2016 It is officially the last 29th of February until 2020! I … Continue reading Monday Mania – 2.29.2016

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Treating Asthma

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In our last article, we talked about the mechanisms of how asthma affects the body. When exposed to an allergen (an allergy-causing substance), the body responds by the airways swelling, the muscles that surround them tightening and respiration (especially exhalation) becoming an exertion. Without treatment, the attack will often improve after a while, but sometimes it doesn’t, causing a life-threatening condition known as “status asthmaticus“.

The cornerstones of asthma treatment are the avoidance of “trigger” allergens, as mentioned previously, and the maintenance of open airways. Medications come in one of two forms: drugs that give quick relief from an attack and drugs that control the frequency of asthmatic episodes over time.

Quick relief drugs include “bronchodilators” that open airways, such as Albuterol (Ventolin, Proventil), among others. These drugs should open airways in a very short period of time and give significant relief. These drugs are sometimes useful for people going into a situation where they know they will exposed to a “trigger”, such as before strenuous exercise. Don’t be surprised if you notice a rapid heart rate on these medications; it’s a common side effect.

If you find yourself using quick-relief asthmatic medications more than twice a week, you are a candidate for daily control therapy. These drugs work, when taken daily, to decrease the number of episodes and are usually some form of inhaled steroid. There are long-acting bronchodilators as well, such as ipratropium bromide (Atrovent). Another family of drugs known as Leukotriene modifiers prevents airway swelling before an asthma attack even begins. These are usually in pill form and may make sense for storage purposes. The most popular is Montelukast (Singulair).

Often, medications will be used in combination, and you might find multiple medications in the same inhaler. U.S. commercial product Advair, for example, contains both a steroid and an airway dilator. Remember that inhalers lose potency over time. Expired inhalers, unlike many drugs in pill or capsule form, have less effect than fresh ones.

It’s important to figure out what allergens trigger your asthma attacks and work out a plan to avoid them as much as possible. Furthermore, make sure to stockpile as much of your asthma medication as possible in case of emergency. Physicians are usually sympathetic to requests for extra prescriptions from their asthmatic patients.


In mild to moderate cases, you might consider the use of natural remedies. There are actually quite a few substances that have been reported to be helpful:

Ginger: A study published in the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology indicates that Ginger is instrumental in inhibiting chemicals that constrict airways. Animal tests find that extracts of Ginger helps ease asthmatic symptoms in rodents. Use as a tea or extract twice a day.

Ginger and Garlic Tea: Put four minced garlic cloves in some ginger tea while it’s hot. Cool it down and drink twice a day. Some have reported a beneficial effect with just the garlic.

Other herbal teas: Ephedra, Coltsfoot, Codonopsis, Butterbur, Nettle, Chamomile, and Rosemary all have been used in the past to improve an asthmatic attack.

Coffee: Black unsweetened coffee is a stimulant that might make your lung function better when you are having an attack. Don’t drink more than 12 ounces at a time, as coffee can dehydrate you. Interestingly, coffee is somewhat similar in chemical structure to the asthma drug Theophylline.

Eucalyptus: Essential oil of eucalyptus, used in a steam or direct inhalation, is well-known to open airways. Rub a few drops of oil between your hands and breathe in deeply. Alternatively, a few drops in some steaming water will be good respiratory therapy.

Honey: Honey was used in the 19th century to treat asthmatic attacks. Breathe deeply from a jar of raw unprocessed honey and look for improvement in a few minutes. To decrease the frequency of attacks, stir one teaspoon of honey in a twelve ounce glass of water and drink it three times daily.

Turmeric: Take one teaspoon of turmeric powder in 6-8 ounces of warm water three times a day.

Licorice and Ginger: Mix licorice and ginger (1/2 teaspoon of each) in a cup of water. Warning: Licorice can raise your blood pressure.

Black Pepper, Onion, and Honey: Drink ¼ cup of onion juice with a tablespoon of honey, after adding 1/8 tablespoon of black pepper.

Mustard Oil Rub: Mix mustard oil with camphor and rub it on your chest and back. There are claims that it gives instant relief in some cases.

Gingko Biloba leaf extract: Thought to decrease hypersensitivity in the lungs; not for people who are taking aspirin or ibuprofen daily, or anticoagulants like Coumadin.

Vitamin D: Some asthmatics have been diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency.

Lobelia: Native Americans actually smoked this herb as a treatment for asthma. Instead of smoking, try mixing tincture of lobelia with tincture of cayenne in a 3:1 ratio. Put 1 milliliter (about 20 drops) of this mixture in water at the start of an attack and repeat every thirty minutes or so.

Further research is necessary to determine the amount of effect that the above remedies have on severe asthma, so take standard medications if your peak flow reading is 60% or less than normal.

Don’t underestimate the effect of your diet on your condition. Asthmatics should:

• Replace animal proteins with plant proteins.
• Increase intake of Omega-3 fatty acids.
• Eliminate milk and other dairy products.
• Eat organically whenever possible.
• Eliminate trans-fats; use extra-virgin olive oil as your main cooking oil.
• Always stay well-hydrated; more fluids will make your lung secretions less viscous.

Finally, various breathing methods, such as taught in Yoga classes, are thought to help promote well-being and control the panic response seen in asthmatic attacks. Acupuncture is thought by some to have some promise as well in treating the condition.


Joe Alton, MD


Be Prepared For Unprepared People

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The unprepared. They are the vast majority. While the word “unprepared” is enormously generic, in the context of ‘survival and preparedness’ the prepared should consider being prepared for the unprepared… Kind of a tongue-twister. The unprepared are prepared only in so much as the functionality of the systems of infrastructure, and these systems deliver on […]

Survival Medicine Hour: Asthma, Zika, Fukushima 5 years later, more

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Five years ago, The Fukushima Daichi plant melted down after an earthquake and tsunami, and today spills out radioactive water from cooling operations that are still ongoing. What effects will it have on the population? Plus, Joe Alton, MD, talks all about asthma, especially in survival settings and give an update on the latest on Zika Virus. Also, super-resistant lice are now seen in 25 states, what can you do to deal with this new threat? All this on the Survival Medicine Hour with Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy.


To listen in, click below:



Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad,


Joe and Amy Alton

joe and amy radio

Fill those holes in your medical supplies by checking out Nurse Amy’s entire line of medical kits and individual items at store.doomandbloom.net.

Your chance to experience living off grid for one week in sunny Florida with zero commitment, nothing but you and nature on raw land. or help building your tiny house

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I was working on my tanks for the hatchery, raising wild caught  Tilapia, here in East central Florida. The weather sunny, blue sky’s, and warm in the high 70’s…. wanted to share  this with others that want to escape the city, to a more natural, less stressful life. Hopefully you have researched this move as to , land location , what shelter is best for your budget, source of water and food, do you have the survival skills, how much money will it cost you to move off the grid …. etc. Here is an  opportunity to succeed or fail and no expense to you.

Suggested items you might consider for your one week exercise
1….. a tent …what you will be living in  when you move off grid

2….. food for one week  …any garden crop 40 to 60 days
3….. a compost toilet  … build you own now and d-bug it
4….. water
5 …. just google camping for one weed

Now if you are local  and just want to work on, wind systems, photoelectric power, solar water heater, solar oven, wood gas generators, aquaponics, raising fish, container gardens, solar stills, pallet shelters, tee-pees, yurts, rainwater recovery……. contact  Bob … email …..    bob32175@aol.com   …… build and test your project then take it home or to your off grid location …… most maternal available and for a small donation might be able to construct your tiny house in sections and move to your location ………good luck and happy off girdding ……..off grid natural wild fish farmer 6 years

The post Your chance to experience living off grid for one week in sunny Florida with zero commitment, nothing but you and nature on raw land. or help building your tiny house appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

How to Start Worm Composting

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How to Start Worm CompostingThe very first time I heard about worm composting I was intrigued. The idea that you can feed food scraps to a bunch of worms and they’d turn it into rich nutritious compost for your garden…And you don’t need a ton of space to do it…And, you can even do it inside…Well, that’s something I definitely wanted to try!

This month, I finally got my chance to try it. And today, I’m gonna show you what I did to get started so you can try it too.  

What is Worm Composting?

Worm composting (a.k.a. vermicomposting) is the process of using worms to recycle food scraps into a high nutrient soil amendment called vermicompost or worm compost. To put it simply, the worms eat your fruit and veggie leftovers and their waste, (a.k.a castings) becomes your garden’s black gold. Nice, right?

Why Compost with Worms?

Because it’s good for your garden (and good for the Earth). Healthy soil is the key to growing healthy plants. When you add worm compost to your garden you are putting organic matter back into the soil which has the nutrients plants need.

Organic matter is simply any type of living or dead plant or animal material. Worm compost is one type of organic matter that you can add to your garden soil. And, it may be the best. More organic matter in your soil means enhanced soil structure, better soil drainage, and a better environment for nightcrawler earthworms to live, eat, poop, and tunnel. ~wormcompostinghq.com 

Also, like I mentioned earlier, vermicomposting doesn’t require a lot of space (It can even be done inside!) so it’s a great way for urban families to start composting.

What Do You Need to Get Started?


Obviously. :) But will any old earthworm, do? No, not all worms are suitable in a worm composter. The best type of worms for vermiculture are Red Wiggler (Eisenia foetida), Brown Nose Worm (Lumbricus rubellus)  or European (Belgian) Nightcrawlers (Eisenia hortensis) variety. You can find these types of worms at bait-and-tack shops or online.  And once you find a supplier, you’ll need 1 pound or approximately 800-1000 worms to start.


Inside a worm composter, worms don’t live in dirt. They live in bedding and the bedding is made up of “browns” which is carbon-based materials. “Browns” include shredded or torn newspaper, office paper, cardboard, leaves or combination of these items.


What do worms eat? Your recycled kitchen scraps! Worms love fruit and vegetable scraps (raw or cooked) and their favorites are tomatoes, lettuces, melon rinds, banana, potato and carrot peels. They even eat egg shells, coffee grounds, bread and tea leaves! But be sure to skip the onions, citrus, meat, fish, dairy, fats and oils.

A Worm Bin

You can make your own worm bin or you can purchase one like this cool Worm Factory 360 eartheasy.com sent me. The Worm Factory is a compact, nice looking system that includes everything you needa durable, plastic, stacking tower, bedding made from coconut coir, pumice and shredded paper, thermometer, hand rake, mineral rock dust, an instruction book and DVDto get started. You have the option of purchasing the factory “with worms” or “without worms”. If you choose the “with worms” factory, like I did, it comes with a worm voucher. Basically, you go to the website listed on the voucher, type in a code and they send you the worms by mail.  Easy peasy.

How to Start Worm Composting

The Worm Factory 360 consists of a plastic tower made up of 4 stacking trays that have holes in the bottom. To give you an idea of how this works, the worms start in one tray and as they eat and fill that tray with compost, you’re adding additional trays with newer food to the top of the tower. The worms migrate upwards towards the new food and you’re able to harvest the compost from the lower trays.

I really like the Worm Factory 360. It’s a done-for-you option. Everything you need to get started comes together and you can easily set it up in minutes.

How to Set Up a Worm Bin

You want to make sure your bin is set up and ready before your worms arrive.

Here are the exact steps I followed:

1.Find a good location for your worm bin. Place your bin in a location where temperatures get no higher than 90º F and no colder than 40º F.  Some places to consider are a porch, patio, balcony, garage, basement, laundry room, or even under the kitchen sink. You can also keep the worm bin outside in the yard as long as it’s in the shade and is protected from wind and rain. Since the height of the Worm Factory 360 is taller than the space I have under the sink, I opted for the garage.

2. To start, you will use one stacking tray as the “starter tray” and set the other 3 stacking trays off to the side.  

3. Mix up the bedding.  The Worm Factory 360 came with a brick of coconut coir, minerals, pumice and shredded paper.  I moistened the coir in a mixing bowl, added the shredded paper, some pumice and 1 tablespoon of the minerals and mixed it all together. It’s a good idea to add one or two cupfuls of garden soil or compost because it contains organic organisms that will make the environment hospitable for the worms and help them digest the food. The bedding mixture should be moist, not dripping. It should feel like a wrung out sponge.

How to Start Worm Composting4. Take one or two sheets of dry newspaper and line the bottom of the first stacking tray. Then add the bedding mixture and spread it evenly around the tray.

How to Start Worm Composting

5. Add 2 to 3 cups of food in one corner.  The Worm Factory 360 instructions recommends feeding worms an even mixture of “browns” (shredded newspaper, cardboard, leaves) and “greens”(fruit and veggie scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds).

6. Gather 5-10 full pages of newspaper and wet until it is damp. Fold the newspaper so it fits in the stacking tray and lay it on top of the bedding to create a moist newspaper cover. Place the tower lid on top of the starter tray and wait for your worms to arrive. 

What to Do When Your Worms Arrive

When your worms arrive, open the worm bin and remove the moist newspaper cover. Add the worms (including all the bedding they came in) to the bin and replace the moist newspaper cover. 

How to Start Worm Composting

Replace the moist newspaper cover and put the plastic lid back on the worm bin.  It’s a good idea to leave the worms alone for two or three days so they can acclimate to their new home. 

After a few days, open the lid and lift the moist newspaper. If the worms aren’t moving around in their food, replace the newspaper cover and lid and wait two more days. If the worms are moving around in their food and feeding, it’s time to start adding food to your worm bin.

If you’d like to learn more or see how my worms are doing, join me in GROW…my Facebook group for beginner gardeners. 


This article may contain affiliate links. For more information, read the Disclaimers & Disclosures here. Thank you for your support!

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20 Early Spring Edibles: How And When To Grow Them

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Spring ediblesWhen you have been stuck indoors all winter long, even a few patches of brown grass and soil poking through on a sunny day can seem like an invitation to spend as much time outdoors as possible.

Chances are, if you are looking forward to spring, you may also be wondering what kind of edibles can be grown in the very early parts of spring. Aside from giving you a wonderful reason to be outdoors, you can also expand your survival skills and ensure that you can successfully grow food during this time of year.

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Growing Early Spring Edibles

Here are some things you should keep in mind if you are going to be successful at this time, and also with any crops that you may decide to plant later on in the season:

  • As with any other plant, spring edibles will take nutrients from the soil. As such, they will also cause changes to the pH of the soil and other characteristics. If you do not pay careful attention to soil testing, crop rotation, and fertilizing schedules, then your summer and fall crops may not grow as well as expected.
  • A number of spring edibles tend to be the ones most inclined to draw pests to the garden. For example, broccoli, cabbage, and lettuce all attract insect pests that can easily ruin crops you try to plant later on in the season. At the same time, you may not be able to plant marigolds, chrysanthemums or other companion plants that will keep pests away. Even though you can still plant garlic and onions, the amount of time required to harvest these plants means that you will not be able to disrupt the soil as much as needed for fertilizing and mulching.
  • If you do decide to plant spring edibles, you may simply need to reserve a portion of your garden just for this purpose and then leave it bare for the summer crop season.
  • The plants that you choose for your spring garden will depend largely on the temperatures in your local area. Even just a few years ago, it was possible to use the zone and hardiness maps to predict where and when to start growing crops such as spinach, lettuce, and radishes. Sadly, as temperatures become more extreme, it is becoming impossible to use these zone maps reliably. From that perspective, if you would have usually planted collards or other greens in the fall for harvest in the spring, or even started plants in cold frames, it may not be possible to do so and be guaranteed success. Even though you can still try, bear in mind that you may need to use more than mulch and temporary cold frames for your early spring garden.
  • In order to get spring edibles at the earliest possible time, you will either have to start them at the end of winter or in the fall.  There are many techniques and methods for overwintering crops that will work in many different climates. Be sure to study these methods carefully and then try one or two plants at a time to see what will work best for you.
  • When growing early spring edibles for survival purposes, don’t forget to include some plants that can be left to go to seed. Remember, one of the most important parts of survival gardening is securing viable seeds for the next round of crops. Although you may not think much about preserving radish, spinach, and other seeds now, they will truly be your lifeline in a social collapse scenario.

20 Cold Weather Crops for This Year

1. Spinach – Of all the cold weather crops, this one is as ideal for spring planting as it is for fall and over wintering. Just remember that spinach seeds will not germinate when it is too hot. So in order to get viable seeds, you will still need to sow some a bit later in the season so that the plants are more likely to go to seed.

spinach2. Lettuce – You can grow just about any kind of lettuce in cold frames or under mulch. Most varieties of lettuce will also tolerate some frost during the earlier stages of plant growth. If you are looking for the most nutritious varieties of lettuce, go with the leafy versions over iceberg variants. If you crave a sweet lettuce, then do not hesitate to have a few icebergs on hand.

lettuce3. Radishes – This root crop can grow in just about any temperature as long as the soil is loose enough for the roots to grow. It is also important to harvest radishes early so that they have the best taste. If you are waiting for seeds to develop, then you may have to wait a bit longer to harvest the roots. Fortunately, radishes are also very prolific seed producers, which makes them ideal for practicing seed production, storage, and replanting.

radish4. Turnips – These delicious cold weather plants can easily rival radishes when it comes to producing large amounts of leaves in a short period of time. Unlike radishes, you can leave turnips in the garden for a bit longer, and also harvest the leaves while the roots are developing. In fact, you can start harvesting turnip greens within 30 – 45 days of plant germination and still get enormous roots just a short time later. Remember that as with any other root vegetable, turnips require loose, deep soil to grow in. You will also have to watch carefully after harvesting turnips as they tend to attract a number of both burrowing and air based garden pests.

Turnip5. Carrots – Even though carrots can take up to 60 days to harvest, they still grow well in colder temperatures. They will also do very well in cold frames and can be overwintered in several areas.

carrot6. Potatoes – Instead of planting potatoes directly in the ground, start them off in a 4 x 4 patch that you can enclose with wooden slats. As the season progresses, simply continue adding soil and building up the enclosure. You can harvest early potatoes from the lower sections of the planter, and then summer and fall potatoes as the plants continue to grow upwards.

potato7. Cauliflower – Depending on where you live, it may be best to start cauliflower seeds indoors during the mid-winter season, and then put them outdoors in a cold frame about 2 – 3 weeks before the last frost is expected. This plant will grow well in cold frames and give you plenty of delicious florets in a short period of time. As an added bonus, you will have fewer insects to contend with when you plant cauliflower during the earlier parts of the fall. However beware that once garden pests find cauliflower rest assured they will hang around and may affect other crops if you don’t take preventative action.

cauliflower8. Broccoli – Growing broccoli as an early spring crop is very similar to growing cauliflower. You can use the same planting guides, but remember that some strains of broccoli may be more temperature sensitive than others. When searching for an appropriate heirloom variety for your climate, it may be best to also store away a few others so that you can match them up with climate changes that may occur faster than you expect.

broccoli9. Garlic – Even though garlic is a biennial, you can still start it in the early spring and then let it grow through the summer. Garlic plants also have an advantage of serving as a pest repellent. After their first year of growth, you can pull up the small bulbs and then replant them the next spring. Alternatively, you can let them stay through the winter so they start growing again the following spring.

garlic10. Onion – There are many different strains of onions with a wide array of harvest times. If you choose onions that take over 100 days to mature, then you may need to start them early in the spring and then pull them up in the fall so that they can be replanted for an earlier harvest the following spring. It should also be noted that many people rely on onion sets, or one year old bulbs if they want onions in just one year. If you decide to start onions from seed, it is likely that you will need a 2 year growing season. If you choose smaller onions that mature in just 55 – 70 days, they will make a viable early spring edible.

onion11. Asparagus – Even though these are perennial plants, they tend to start early in the spring and can be harvested as a spring edible. When setting up your asparagus bed, remember that they will stay in the same area, and that extra care will need to be taken to prevent excessive disruption when fertilizing and mulching. You should also keep extra asparagus root crowns or seeds in your stockpile. If you store away seeds, remember that like onions and garlic, they may not produce anything edible until the second year.

asparagus12. Squash Flowers – In most cases, squashes are thought of as summer produce. But you can still start squash plants in the early spring. They will typically start producing flowers within 30 – 45 days of sowing. No matter whether you plant pumpkins, zucchini, or other larger vine squash plants, there will be more than enough flowers to enjoy as a delicious and nutritious spring treat. As you may be aware, there are a number of hybrid or bush squash versions. Even though they will also produce a good number of flowers, you are still best served by growing the full vine heirloom variants so that you can get viable seeds once the squash are ripe enough to pick.

zucchini13. Arugula – While this plant is not as well known in the United States, it is popular throughout the Mediterranean as an early spring edible. It will produce large amounts of leaves that can be harvested in as little as 30 days. Arugula is also more nutrient dense than lettuce and can form a key part of any survival garden. As with other leafy greens, make sure that you secure heirloom seeds, and that you know how to preserve new seeds for the next generation.

arugula14. Chard – This is another popular plant that can be sown 2 – 3 weeks before the last expected frost. Chard also produces large amounts of plant material that is full of nutrients. When growing chard, you can also sow seeds every 10 days until it becomes too warm in order to ensure more greens into the spring season. Chard is also a favorite for fall planting, overwintering, and winter sowing in some climates.

chard15. Cabbage – This plant is similar to cauliflower and broccoli in the sense that you can start it very early indoors and then transplant for a very early spring harvest. It should also be noted that like its relatives, cabbage is well known for drawing garden pests. Before you plant something new in the same area as you planted cabbage, do not forget to add more lightly crushed eggshells and be sure to add extra marigolds. However as you watch cabbage growing in your garden, and then savor the first bites of fresh cabbage, you will agree that this early spring edible is well worth the growth challenges that it presents.

cabbage16. Beans – As members of the legume family, beans are very important for pulling nitrogen from the air and fixing it into the soil. As such, beans are a very important early spring edible because they do a good bit to condition the soil even as they produce something edible. When choosing bean varieties, try to select ones that have a short growing period so that you can harvest them faster. Even if you choose longer growing versions, they can usually be planted very early in the spring.  If you decide to start beans in a cold frame, do not forget to place the poles before sowing. You can always use short poles that will fit into the cold frame, and then add attachments later on as the beans plants get taller.

beans17. Peas – These plants are similar to beans in the sense that they will also help increase the amount of nitrogen in the soil. You may also find that peas will mature faster than beans. Some varieties can also be sown in the weeks before the last frost is expected. Unfortunately, similar to beans, trying to start them indoors will not work. However, you can still start them in cold frames.

peas18. Fennel – Before sowing fennel seeds, be sure to soak them in water overnight. Typically, fennel is easy to grow in the early spring, and will also work as an overwinter crop. You will find that fennel is similar to arugula in the sense that is an often overlooked yet prolific plant that should be part of any survival garden.

fennel19. Parsley – Even though you may consider parsley as an herb, it is actually one of the most versatile and nutritious things you can grow. In fact, ounce for ounce parsley is more nutrient dense than just about any other plant you can grow. It is also well known as a spice and for its medicinal properties. If you can only plant one thing in your garden in time of need, parsley is one plant that will get you through and produce delicious leaves at the same time. When planting parsley for an early spring crop, do not forget that it can also serve as a perennial. You may want to sow in the early spring and then later on in the fall to see how well it will do over the winter months. This is one plant that you can also transfer into containers and keep growing indoors with ease during the winter months.

parsley20. Collards – As you may be aware, collard plants can grow several feet tall and produce tasty leaves in both the fall and early spring months. As with other leafy cold weather greens, you can sow collards before the last frost date and continue sowing until it becomes too warm for the seeds to germinate. You can also sow them in the late fall in warmer climates so that they will grow through the early parts of the winter. Collards are also amenable to sowing in the winter so that they can germinate at the right time in the very early spring. Just remember that if you leave collards seeds over the winter months, you will not be able to dig up that area or tend to it as the seeds may not be able to germinate if they are plowed under.


Preparing Next Year’s Early Spring Edibles

Even though it is early to start thinking about the fall, it is very important to realize that your spring garden may not get started as early or deliver as many treats if you do not consider fall planting and overwintering. Here are the basic steps you will need to take in order to get garden edibles as early as possible in the spring:

  • After you bring in the summer harvest, make sure that you dig up the soil again, do your soil testing, and pH testing. This is also a good time to add more fertilizer and compost.  Do not forget to store away tree leaves, grass clippings, and other materials that will be used in the spring to add more organic content to the garden.
  • As soon as the temperatures are cool enough, you can start planting radishes, spinach, and anything else that you intend to harvest within 50 – 60 days. Once you plant, be sure to set up your cold frames just in case they are needed. Some plants may also do better with mulch or mulch in combination with a cold frame.
  • Once temperatures are cold enough to prevent seed germination, you can go ahead and plant lettuce, spinach, and other cold weather crops. Even though you may feel hesitant to do so, remember that the seeds you are working with come from plants that got their start in the wilds of nature. As such, they are just like every weed that grows for a time, and then utilizes seeds that must survive the cold winter months before germinating when the time is right. Needless to say, you should start off with just a few seeds to see how you like this growing method before using it on a regular basis.
  • Don’t forget to add mulch, other soil warmers, and water as needed. You should also maintain a good soil aeration schedule during active growing months so that your plants have the best possible growth environment.
  • It is also very important to have cold frames on hand that you can set up quickly in case the temperatures are expected to get too cold. Once cold weather crops start growing, they can withstand some frost, and even some snow. That being said, a heavy blizzard or excessive cold can still kill the plants if shelter is not provided for them.

When it comes to easy growing “starter garden” recommendations, you may be surprised to find that many of them are actually early spring edibles and cold weather crops. Aside from being very easy to grow, many of these plants provide large amounts of vegetation that can be prepared in many different ways.

As a survival gardener, you should know how to get as many crops as possible from these plants as well as how to use the colder parts of the spring and late fall to get the most from each plant.  That being said, even if you live in a climate where you don’t need cold frames for these plants or other warming methods, do not underestimate erratic temperature changes.

No matter whether there is a sudden cold snap in the middle of early spring or temperatures remain too warm for these plants, the result will still be an empty garden if you don’t know how to manage these problems.TLW_banner1

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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Do You Leave Yourself Vulnerable Daily?

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Have you ever been so focused on a task that when someone walked up and said hi, it scared you? While we’ve all experienced this before, whether playing on our cell phone, reading a book, or just focusing on something and thinking, this is a great example of poor situational awareness.

Situational awareness is defined by the U.S. Coast Guard as:

The ability to identify, process, and comprehend the critical elements of information about what is happening to the team with regards to the mission. More simply, it’s knowing what is going on around you.

Having poor situational awareness can increase the potential for mistakes and can put you in harm’s way from threats both accidental and deliberate. Below, we’ll look at some common causes of loss of situational awareness and how to fix them. Before we do though, let’s look at what exactly situational awareness means and why it’s important to you.


Situational Awareness

The age of smartphones in every pocket has brought with it a true lack of situational awareness. Think about it: How many people do you see with headphones in and their heads down looking at their phones on any given day? Once you start looking for it, the number will surprise you. Sure, this act itself is not damaging, but the lack of awareness can very easily cause them harm.

From the innocuous walking into a sign to the far more dangerous walking in front of a car or falling into a hole, not paying attention to the world around you can definitely hurt. These accidental sources of harm are bad enough, but what about deliberate acts of violence? Not paying attention to the world around you opens you up for direct, deliberate attacks from those who would hurt you or take what belongs to you. Visibly not paying attention makes you a perfect target.

Widen the scope a little more and think about large-scale danger like terrorist attacks or natural disasters. Paying attention to the world around you can give you valuable seconds that could easily save your life. From seeing someone setting a backpack down and running away from it to noticing the water receding from the beach as the precursor to a tsunami, paying attention matters.


The Loss of Situational Awareness

More often than not, the loss of situational awareness is caused by what’s known as “the bubble” or “tunnel vision.” The bubble refers to the imaginary bubble that surrounds each of us and holds our perception and awareness of the world around us.

For example, as I sit and type this in a coffee shop, my situational awareness bubble is often no wider than the small table and two chairs. My focus is on my computer and the 1–2 feet around my table. The rest is just white noise. As I type, my focus draws in even further to only what’s happening on my screen. This tunnel vision keeps my situational awareness down to only the tunnel of vision between the screen and me. While this is great for writing, it’s absolutely terrible for situational awareness.

In this example, the best I can hope for is to keep my bubble as wide as possible, but remove the tunnel vision. By doing this, I can notice who walks in and any emotional talking or sounds that could signal a stressful situation.

Other than focus on a task, common causes for loss of situational awareness include:

  • Complacency
  • Overload
  • Fatigue

Most of us fall into the complacency category, as it’s the common assumption that everything around us is under control and working as expected. Planning for the worst-case scenario and practicing are both great ways to avoid complacency. Don’t worry excessively, but know that the world around you can change on a dime.

Overload can be a major cause of distraction. In an emergency it’s all too easy to become overwhelmed with the disaster, which causes you to overlook closer, more direct threats. Think about it this way: If you experience a riot break out around you, you can be so caught up in it that you don’t see the car coming down the street right at you. Practice, plan, and think about what’s in your bubble.

Fatigue affects us all. You can practice being able to function on lack of sleep, but when it comes down to it, you miss things when you’re tired. Not only does lack of sleep itself hurt your situational awareness, but being “on” constantly can mentally fatigue you, too. Even soldiers in wartime environments take time to stand down every now and then, as this gives their brains time to reset and their situational awareness to get back on track.

Stay Alert Stay Alert

Having Better Situational Awareness with Mindfulness

The key to having situational awareness is to be mindful. This art that is often practiced in meditation has its uses for prepping, too. By taking the time to be mindful, you place yourself in the moment, which is what situational awareness is all about.

Going back to my own example above about the coffee shop—while, yes, I do pay attention mostly to my writing, I take the time to be mindful and look around from time to time. This helps me to take note of who’s around me and what the general temperament of the room is. Are there people running past outside? Is anyone staring at me, my computer, or my bag? Does the staff look more stressed than they should? These are all small pieces to the larger situational awareness puzzle.

By collecting these pieces, we can all become more aware of the world around us. By doing this, you can avoid dangers large and small while keeping calm. Listen to music, look at your smart phone, and write your articles, but take the time to be aware and in the moment while you do it. Don’t fool yourself; when it comes to disaster, minutes and even seconds matter, and these minutes and seconds are gained with proper situational awareness.

14 Uncommon First Aid Items

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Every prepper should have a good first aid kit, but sometimes the most useful first aid items don’t come in kits. If you look around your house, you’ll find several things that can be used to help someone who is sick or hurt. You just have to be […]

The post 14 Uncommon First Aid Items appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Worship or Self-Glorification?

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     I was intrigued when I ran across two opposing articles on the subject of Worship in the Church.  One article called for a boycott of the “Worship Industry”, while the other was concerned about those who made their living from leading worship; even noting that “the singers in Nehemiah made their living from worshipping God.”  Actually, they received a portion of the tithes of grain, new wine, and oil that were brought to the storerooms of the Temple.
     But back to the controversy over contemporary worship … There are definitely two sides to this argument.  The boycott subscribers point out that the focus of singing our reverence for God has turned from honoring Him with Biblically-based songs and hymns to satisfying our own cravings for entertainment.  Worship services have become a marketing tool to attract potential congregants.  A mega-church that I used to attend in a major Texas city actually advertises on its website’s home page that the 2015 Grammy winner for Best Roots Gospel Album will be appearing soon.
     In addition, they announce that they have three varieties of worship services:  the “Contemporary, Choir & Professional Orchestra-led” version in their main auditorium; followed by the “Participatory, Modern, Band-led style of worship (also in the big sanctuary); and the “Traditional, Intimate, Hymn-based” version of worship service, which is relegated to the small chapel on the church campus.  It is quite clear, as my husband says, who their “customer” is.

     And then there is the question, “Are we creating idols of these worship leaders and performers?”  Are people coming to church to hear the Word of God and to revere and pay homage to Him?  Or are we more enamored with the celebrity and entertainment value of the worship portion of the service?  What has happened to the sacred atmosphere of being in the House of the Lord?  At times, it feels and looks like a Hollywood production!
     Then there is the fact that more emphasis is given to the “performance” of an individual or group, than the voices of the entire congregation lifted as one to praise the Holiness and Sovereignty of our God.  Does God really want us to sit there passively watching a talented personality, or does He want us engaged in celebrating Him?  Do we leave the service with our hearts full of God’s instruction, or do we leave humming the words to the stellar performance of the day?
     Those who are speaking out against the Entertainment industry invading the church service simply want music to return to its proper place in corporate worship.  Their position can be summed up in the following statements:  “It’s time to stop mimicking pop culture.  It’s time for us to learn how to sing and make music again, instead of allowing others to do it for us.”
    Now, the other side will protest and say that a God-gifted and talented singer or group should be compensated if they decide to use their talent to honor God.  After all, “we will pay top dollar for a doctor or an accountant, but we don’t want to recognize or reward a gifted singer or musician who loves God.”  They suggest that the Body of Christ should celebrate the Christian music industry; celebrate that there is an alternative to the secular and unholy music industry that is represented in the pop culture.  They suggest that rather than get angry about the music and worship leadership in churches today, people should “get upset about the lack of God’s presence in your church, or the fact that the widows and orphans aren’t being taken care of in your back yard. Get upset about the person with a disability who is being ignored or overlooked. Instead of wondering if light shows are from God, channel your anger by praying for an outpouring of the Spirit in the church.”
     They also say that emotion derived from spectacular performances in church are a good thing; that God desires His people to express their passion for Him, much like David did when he danced before the Lord.  Here is their argument:  “Kansas City Chief fans paint their faces, spend hundreds of dollars, get off work to sit in a parking lot for hours, jump up and down and scream in their own form of worship and adoration. We cry at secular concerts. We raise our hands when our favorite team wins the game. Why would we divorce the very gift of emotions given by God to express ourselves to Him in an act of worship?”  They go on to say that “the fact worship has emerged as a commercially viable genre is a sign that people want God.”  They cite the thousands of kids that are drawn to stadiums to hear superstar Christian groups and to worship with kids their own age.  That, they say, is a reason we should all celebrate and support the worship industry.
     But here is my two cents, for what it is worth… and remember, this is just my opinion, and reflects my personal preferences.  The latest trend of “contemplative” and repetitive verses, sung over and over is almost mind-numbing.  I find myself waiting for the 20-minute portion of “worship” to be over with, so that I can garner what the Holy Spirit wants me to get during the 20-minute portion of hearing the Word.  And, frankly, it bothers me a bit that hearing God’s Word is treated, time-wise, as an equal to hearing/watching/singing contemporary “praise music”.
     Secondly, did you notice that the arguments for celebrating the worship industry all compared them to what we do “in the world”?  Church performers should be compensated like a doctor or an attorney … expressing emotions in church is no different than “worshipping or adoring” our favorite sports team.  But here’s my question … can you not see that they are comparing the Church to the world?  Doesn’t it say in Romans 12:2, Do not conform to the patterns of this world?  And does it not say in 1 John 2:15, Do not love the world nor the things in the world? Why would we want to model the Church’s standards after those of the world?
     And finally, I agree with this position’s argument that we should be more concerned about the lack of assistance to the Church’s widows, orphans, and disabled.  And we should be lamenting that the presence of the Holy Spirit is absent in many of our churches.  Yes, all that should be our priority!  But why isn’t it?  And if all these things are missing, shouldn’t we be asking ourselves, where is our attention being placed?  What are our priorities?
     In the end, shouldn’t how God desires us to worship Him be our criterion?  He says in Amos 5, “I hate, I reject your festivals, nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies.  Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; and I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings.  Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps.”  
     It is not the artificial means of our worship that pleases God.  It is the state of the heart that worships Him.  And our church services should be focused on helping to create worshipful hearts, rather than on entertaining the masses to fill seats.  In our Church worship, our emphasis should not be on the building, the rituals and the value of the performance, but on God’s Glory and the importance of encouraging His people to live righteous lives.  That does not mean that song and celebration has no place in His House.  I simply think that we must be careful to avoid following the world’s model, and make sure that God is always the center of our worship.  Remember, as Jesus traveled among the churches in Revelation, Chapter 2, He made it quite clear that He is judging the fruit produced by each church and their commitment to Him.  How would He be evaluate your church?

John 4:23   “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him.”

Frugal Recipes That Will Save You Money

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Can you use some frugal recipes that will save you money? I know I can. I’m always on the lookout for a cheaper way to make things from scratch. I’ve decided to put several of my old recipes in one spot today so you can make some food items that you may be buying at the supermarket that you can make at home at a fraction of the cost. PLUS, you know what’s in the jar, blender or mixing bowl because YOU made it. Do you ever wish you had your mom’s recipes for this or that? After my mom died I was the lucky one to inherit her recipe box. What a treasure, but it’s missing some of my favorite recipes she used to make. I have asked all my siblings and no one has those recipes. If you have time in the next day or two ask your siblings, aunts, uncles, moms, dads or whoever to get those recipes you treasure from them. You’ll be glad you did, I promise.

Ask them to mail a copy, scan a copy, email and screenshot a copy of what you consider to be personal family treasures. I use my iPad to send copies of recipes to my daughters and they to me. I really wish I had asked my mom for certain recipes that only she knew how to make. I have salad dressings, pizza dough, pancake, Ebelskivers, caramel corn and so much more today. All of my recipes have a PRINTABLE link below by each category.

My Frugal Recipes

This is my ooey gooey soft caramel corn recipe your family will love, I promise.

Caramel Corn by Food Storage Moms

Ingredients and 1st step Instructions:

Boil:   4 cups brown sugar

2 cups light Karo Syrup (without high fructose sugar)

Add:   2 cubes butter cut into pieces to melt faster

2 cans Sweetened Condensed Milk


Combine all the ingredients together and stir constantly the entire time while cooking over medium heat. Cook to a semi-firm ball. If I drop some caramel in a cup of cold water and if it can be made into a semi-firm ball…it’s ready. This makes a lot of caramel for popcorn. I like to buy “Nu-crisp” already popped popcorn at Harmon’s grocery store, or a similar supermarket. The package I used today is called “Corn Pops” (not the cereal corn pops). Put the popped popcorn or corn pops in a very large greased/buttered bowl and be ready to stir the caramel over 1 pound  popcorn very quickly.

PRINTABLE: Caramel Corn by Food Storage Moms

Pizza Dough in a Jar


3 cups flour

2 teaspoons SAF instant yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

Please add these to the ingredients in the jar into a bowl with:

2 tablespoons oil

1-1/4 cups warm water


Mix by hand and roll out the dough and bake on greased large pizza pan at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. This recipe fills one QUART jar and makes one large pizza. My pizza pan is 14 inches in diameter. You could also make two smaller pizzas instead of one large size.

I usually fill about three QUART mason jars of the dry dough mix then add some tags to the jars. I measure the ingredients and put them in each jar. I hope you try to make some pizza dough from scratch, and maybe you’ll share a jar with a friend. You can make pizza in less time than a pizza delivery company can deliver it! Plus, you will know what ingredients YOU put in it. I use a funnel like this one to fill the quart mason jars: Prepworks by Progressive Canning Funnel for Regular and Wide Mouth Jars

Pizza Dough Toppings:

My favorite pizza pan: Lodge Pro-Logic P14P3 Cast Iron Pizza Pan, Black, 14-inch

1. pizza sauce

2. mozzarella cheese is my favorite on all pizza types

3. chopped onions

4. bell peppers green, red and yellow

5. mushrooms

6. olives, black or green

7. yellow hot and sweet peppers

8. sausage

9. ham and pineapple

10. barbecue sauce, shredded cooked chicken, sliced red onions

11. bacon

12. taco pizza, hamburger, cheese, tomatoes and salsa

PRINTABLE: Homemade Pizza Dough in a jar by Food Storage Moms


Ebelskivers by Food Storage Moms


1-1/2 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour or white bread flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon dough Enhancer

Scant of salt

Freshly ground nutmeg using a Microplane or 1/8 teaspoon dry nutmeg

Whisk the following:

1 cup buttermilk (I used the dry food storage type and reconstituted with water as directed)

2 eggs

1 cup sour cream


After whisking, add the dry ingredients. Heat the Ebelskiver Pan. I use Vegetable Spray instead of putting 1 tsp. of oil in each Ebelskiver hole. Heat the pan until very hot. I use a toothpick to flip mine. I will cook both sides and then cook them on their sides. My favorite Ebelskiver pan: Lodge Pro-Logic P7A3 Cast-Iron Aebleskiver Pan or if you prefer a non-stick one: Nordic Ware Danish Ebleskiver Pan

My post showing how to make Ebelskivers

Oven Baked Pancakes (Popeye Pancakes)


6 eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup flour

1/2 cup melted butter


Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and whip until fluffy and blended. Quickly place the batter into a greased 9-inch by 13-inch cake pan or fill a greased muffin/cupcake (12 cupcake pan) to the top of each cupcake spot. They will puff up.

Bake the cake pan or cupcake pan approximately 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with butter, powdered sugar, cinnamon/sugar, jam or syrup.

PRINTABLE: Oven Baked Pancakes by Food Storage Moms

Chunky Monkey Pancakes


2 cups freshly ground hard white wheat flour or white enriched bread flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

4 teaspoons honey

4 eggs

2-1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup oil

Sliced bananas

Mini chocolate chips, use amount as desired (I sprinkle just a few on each pancake)

I place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk it until blended. It will be a medium thick batter or add more milk until you reach your preferred thickness. I use approximately 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake and cook each side until golden brown. Serve with maple syrup or caramel sauce.

Kendra’s Whole Wheat Pancakes


2 cups milk

2 cups uncooked whole wheat kernels

4 eggs

4 tablespoons oil

4 tablespoons baking powder

4 tablespoons Agave or honey

3 teaspoons salt


Put milk and wheat in a heavy duty blender. Blend on high for 3-5 min or until batter is smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Bake on a hot griddle!

PRINTABLE: Kendras Whole Wheat Pancakes by Food Storage Moms

Easy Crepes Recipe by Food Storage Moms


3 Eggs

3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (I didn’t melt it-I just put it in the blender) or vegetable oil

6 Tablespoons honey

1-1/2 Cups flour

1-3/4 Cups milk


Place all the ingredients in order shown and mix in your blender on low until mixed. Heat your skillet and pour approximately 1/2 cup batter onto a greased hot griddle/skillet. This amount will depend on what size pan you are using. You basically need to just cover the bottom of your pan or make two circles with the batter on a hot griddle. Cook about 25-40 seconds and flip the crepe over and cook another 15-20 seconds. That’s it! Easy, and so yummy!!!

Serve with fresh fruit like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, bananas, etc. Add some whipping cream and you have an awesome breakfast or dessert. I made these last night for dinner. Life is good when you have whipped cream with crepes! My favorite crepe maker: CucinaPro 1448 12 Inch Griddle & Crepe Maker

PRINTABLE: Easy Crepes Recipe by Food Storage Moms

Salad Dressings:

I typically use a blender or whisk to make my salad dressings. I store them in regular or wide mouth mason jars with these white mason jar lids in the refrigerator: Set of Ball Storage Caps: Regular Mouth Jar & Wide Mouth Jar – 1 Package of Each (2) There is nothing quite the same as fresh homemade salad dressings. My favorite whisk for mason pint jars: Norpro 2314 Krona 9-inch Stainless Steel Whisk

Homemade Ranch Dressing


1 cup buttermilk

1 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon parsley

1/8 teaspoon dill

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

2 teaspoons dried chives

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/8 teaspoon dry mustard


Combine all of the ingredients in a pint mason jar and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate and enjoy! You can use it as salad dressing or dip for veggies!

Thousand Island Dressing

This recipe makes a lot and was served at a local church function! Yummy! In order to make it for just Mark and I cut the ingredients way down and wing it. It always turns out.


1-quart mayonnaise

1-12-ounce jar bottle chili sauce

6 hard boiled eggs

1 small can black ripe olives (chopped)


Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth then refrigerate.

Vinegar and Oil Dressing


1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1 tablespoon vinegar (I prefer white)

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil


Combine all the ingredients in a small jar, shake and pour over salad. Yummy!

Linda’s Homemade Ranch Dressing

This is another version I make when I’m in a hurry.


1 cup buttermilk

1 cup mayonnaise

2-3 tablespoons garlic powder or salt

2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning

2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper


Mix together and store in a container. I like to use pint canning jars. This recipe is so easy to make and tastes better than any bottled ranch dressing you can buy. It is so good on salad, coleslaw and as a dip!

Balsamic Vinegar Salad Dressing by Lynda M.


1/2 cup good quality Modena Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 cup extra virgin oil

1 tsp. basil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 pieces of shallot, minced

1 tsp. honey

1 tsp. parmesan cheese


Mix all the ingredients in a pint canning jar and let sit for a few hours.

White Wine Vinegar Salad Dressing by Lynda M.


1/3 cup Star white wine vinegar

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Herbs De Provence

1 tablespoon Wine Dijon Mustard

2 tablespoon honey

2 cloves garlic minced

1-2 Shallots-minced

Pinch of salt


Mix all together and serve, you will love this recipe!

Creamy Italian Salad Dressing


1/2 cup mayonnaise

6 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

2 tablespoons chopped parsley


Combine all of the ingredients in a blender, Magic Bullet or use a whisk.

Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing


1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/2 to 1 teaspoon dry mustard (for extra kick)

1/4 cup honey

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

1-1/2 teaspoon coarse salt


Combine all of the ingredients in a Magic Bullet or blender. Serve as a salad dressing or with chicken nuggets or sandwiches. It’s fabulous! No more bottled honey mustard dressing for us!

College Days Tomato Soup Salad Dressing (similar to Catalina)


1 condensed can of tomato soup

1/2 sugar

1/2 cup white vinegar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1-1/2 teaspoons dry mustard

Dash of garlic powder


Combine all of the ingredients in a Magic Bullet or blender. Serve with your favorite salad, it’s great with a taco salad too. You make a taco salad with some fried hamburger, chopped lettuce, olives, diced tomatoes, grated cheese, black beans (drained), can of corn (drained) and some tortillas chips, crushed. Pour the dressing over and mix it all together. It’s a great summer salad.

Poppy Seed Salad Dressing by Heather:


1/2 cup white vinegar

1 cup oil

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon poppy seed


Mix all together. This is better if made the day before serving. I love this on a spinach or lettuce salad.

Spicy Ranch Salad Dressing by Heidi:


1 envelope buttermilk ranch dressing

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup cilantro-fresh-chopped

3 tomatillos-peeled

1 clove garlic-chopped

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper


Mix in blender and serve over your favorite green salad. I love the spicy kick to this one!!

Oriental Salad Dressing by Elaine:


12 tablespoons honey

6 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 cup mayonnaise

4 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil


Mix all together. This is yummy on lettuce with chicken strips!

PRINTABLE: Salad Dressings by Food Storage Moms

I hope all my frugal recipes that will save you money will be tried by each of you. Be adventurous and give each one a try. Once you’ve tried them let me know which one is your favorite! Have fun cooking, baking and saving money. Let’s be prepared for the unexpected and teach the world to cook from scratch.

The post Frugal Recipes That Will Save You Money appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

How To Live On A Budget As A Homesteader

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Becoming totally self-sufficient is the ultimate goal for all homesteaders and preppers, but no matter how much we struggle, money is still part of the self-sufficiency equation. Learning to live on a budget as a homesteader is a challenge for some and the lack of money is the number one reason why people abandon the … Read more…

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How To Make Your Food Stretch And Cut the Waste

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How To Make Your Food Stretch And Cut the Waste There is no denying that food is getting more and more expensive, especially if you want to eat anything resembling healthy food. Meat alone has seen price hikes by well over 60% in the last 4-5 years and people are feeling the strain in their …

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How To Make Tomato Sauce For Basically Free

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How To Make Tomato Sauce For Basically Free This recipe may just change your life as you know it… In the kitchen at least! If you can tomatoes you most likely throw away the skins of the tomatoes, tomato skins in a canned tomato product can be tough and stringy, and do that thing where they …

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How To Hook Up A Generator To Your Home The Correct Way

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How To Hook Up A Generator To Your Home The Correct Way It is sad to say but having power to your house is taken for granted by millions of people every day and the cold hard truth is that one power outage could have you on your knees after a day or two. My wife …

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DIY Chispito Wind Generator – (Step by Step Plans)

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DIY Chispito Wind Generator – (Step by Step Plans) This wind turbine is not only extremely easy to build, it’s very powerful too. Get the FREE step by step plans today and get off the grid sooner than you may have thought! If you are looking to build your own wind generator, I’m glad you waited and …

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Here’s What an Economic Collapse Really Looks Like

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Here’s What an Economic Collapse Really Looks Like When people think about an economic collapse occurring, they generally imagine one dramatic event.  But a true economic collapse looks nothing like that. Take Venezuela, for example. After several years of long lines, rationing, and shortages, the country does not have enough food to feed its population, and …

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18 Helpful Remedies to Relieve Headache Pain & Tension

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18 Helpful Remedies to Relieve Headache Pain & Tension These remedies to relieve headache pain are just fantastic. Relying on man made medicine for a headache for the short term is OK, we all have pain meds, if SHTF they will go pretty darn fast. Then what? The article from everydayroots.com (in the link below) gives …

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DIY Off Grid Window Box Solar Room Heater Doubles As a Sun Oven

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DIY Off Grid Window Box Room Solar Heater Doubles As a Sun Oven You have to think about making your preps now that winter is in full effect. I found an amazing solar room heater which doesn’t use cans and even doubles up as a solar oven. This design uses solar fans to move the heat …

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Could You Handle Living Life Off The Grid?

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February 29th, 2016

Video courtesy of SeekerStories

One family left everything they had behind to live without electricity, running water, or any means of communication in the backwoods of Eastern Idaho. In Going Off Grid, Laura Ling examines how 180,000 Americans a year are choosing to live entirely disconnected from our modern internet-focused world in pursuit of a more sustainable, simple lifestyle. Part 1 of 2

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.


9 (More) Survival Skills Your Great-Grandparents Knew (That We’ve All Forgotten)

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9 (More) Survival Skills Your Great-Grandparents Knew (That We’ve All Forgotten)

A while back, I wrote an article called “Survival Skills Your Great-Grandparents Knew.” It turns out that it was one of the most popular articles that has appeared in Off The Grid News, which got me thinking. What other skills have we lost — skills that were part of our ancestors’ day-to-day lives?

Personally, I think we’ve got to hand it to our grandparents and great-grandparents. They managed to do everything they needed, and they did it without smartphones, YouTube and Google. They were much more prepared to survive than you and I are, simply because life demanded it of them.

Here’s a few more skills that were common years ago:

1. Hitching a team

What are you planning on doing for transportation if there’s a disaster and the gas pumps are down? For a large part of our country’s history, the horse was the main motive power used. Not only did people ride them, but they hitched them to wagons, carriages and plows.

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Of course, the first problem is finding the horses, but even then, how do you put that horse to work? I seriously doubt you’ve got a set of harnesses hanging up in the garage, and even if you did, would you know how to put them on the horses? We’ve lost the art of saddle making, harness making and even the knowledge of how to hitch a team up to a wagon.

2. Shoeing a horse

9 (More) Survival Skills Your Great-Grandparents Knew (That We’ve All Forgotten)We tend to think of taking a horse to the blacksmith to get it shod. Blacksmiths, or more correctly, farriers, did shoe people’s horses in town. But on the farm or ranch most people did their own. It took too long to ride into town just to get your horse’s shoes shod. Considering that it needed to be done about every six weeks, it was easier to learn how to do it yourself than to keep interrupting your work.

Shoeing really isn’t all that hard and only takes a couple of specialty tools. Most farriers use factory-made shoes. The first automatic horseshoe-making machine was invented in 1835, but factory-made shoes predated that. Shoes could be bought at the local feed store and most horse owners kept a couple of sets on hand.

3. Birthing a calf

Most animals give birth pretty well on their own. After all, when a baby decides it’s time to come out there’s not much you can do to stop it. But what happens when the baby isn’t coming out correctly? Just like with people, calves and colts can be turned the wrong way, causing the equivalent of a breach birth.

When that happens, you’ve got to know how to go in and turn the calf or colt around, and you’ve got to do it quickly. If the baby isn’t turned, it may not be able to come out, causing it to die in the mother’s uterus. That usually causes the death of the mother, too.

4. Felling a tree

There’s a true art to properly felling a tree. If it’s not done correctly, that tree can end up landing on your chicken coop or your newly restored ’57 Chevy. Not only that, but you want to do the job in such a way that you waste as little wood as possible. Felling a tree incorrectly can actually cause the tree to split, damaging much of the wood you were hoping to harvest.

5. Turning that tree into boards

Felling the tree is one thing, but turning it into usable lumber is a whole other thing. If all you want is firewood, that’s not such a big deal. But if you want building material, you’ll want to be able to turn it into boards.

Today, just like 100 or even 300 years ago, it’s the job of a sawmill to turn those logs into boards. Before sawmills or in areas where sawmills weren’t available, people used wedges to split the tree’s trunk, making boards out of it. The boards could then be cleaned up with an adze. The adze also was useful for squaring logs into beams or flattening the top and bottom surfaces of logs, making a tighter log cabin.

6. Milking a cow

This one might not seem like a big deal, but it’s amazing how many people today don’t know the right way to milk a cow. It takes more than just pulling on the nipples. You’ve actually got to first close off the nipple with the thumb and forefinger to keep the milk from flowing up into the udder, and then squeeze the nipple to force out the milk.

7. Making butter and cheese

9 (More) Survival Skills Your Great-Grandparents Knew (That We’ve All Forgotten)Fresh milk is great, but it doesn’t keep long. Our forefathers and especially our foremothers solved this problem by turning the milk into butter and cheese. Since one cow gives more milk than the average family can use, this was a great way of preserving that milk in other forms.

It was not uncommon for families who owned a milk cow to churn butter once a month and have cheese aging pretty much all the time. Both are fairly easy to make and retain nutrients from the milk. Butter and cheese can both keep for an extended time without refrigeration, although keeping them cool does help them to last longer.

8. Wearing fabric

What are you going to do when your clothes run out? Make more, right? But what if you can’t find fabric? Can you weave it? For that matter, can you make thread or yarn from natural fibers so you have something to weave?

Few people have any idea of how to use a spinning wheel or a loom. Even fewer know how to build these machines.

9. Sewing clothing

Sewing clothes – or even making repairs to clothing – is fast becoming a lost art. A generation ago, all girls grew up learning how to sew. Today, few people even have a sewing machine, let alone know what to do with it.

When you consider how fast children grow and how many clothes they go through, the ability to make your own is a valuable skill.

What skills would you add to this list? Share your ideas in the section below:

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

Here’s Why Glocks Are Better Than All Your Other Guns

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Here’s Why Glocks Are Better Than All Your Other Guns

Image source: Glocks.com

Nowadays, handguns from the Glock family of Safe Action pistols are among the most common you’ll see. The Austrian company makes their handguns in a variety of sizes and calibers from 380 ACP up to the awe-inspiring 10mm. If you have not considered one of these handguns in your survival strategy, you may be shortchanging yourself.

First, a Little History

The year was 1982 and a new handgun hit the market called the Glock 17. The concept was radical for its time: There was no hammer, no safety and the frames were made of plastic. The handguns even shipped in what could best be described as a black Tupperware box as opposed to the wooden or cardboard cartons more common in that day and age.

Myths surrounded the import. For example, some said it would be used by terrorists to hijack planes because it could bypass a metal detector thanks to its plastic frame. That statement, however, was flat-out ridiculous because the pistol still contains more than one pound of steel in its construction.

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There also was great interest in the Safe Action feature. External safeties had always been seen as necessities on semi-automatic pistols since their invention. But Glock eliminated them by creating what they called a Safe Action trigger. This purpose-built, two-piece trigger performs the function of a safety and prevents the pistol from being fired should it drop on the ground or be struck by another object.

Eliminating a manual safety was key in allowing Glock to take over the majority of police handgun contracts as the firing sequence resembled that of a revolver, which allowed users to draw, point, aim and shoot without having to disengage a safety switch.

Here’s Why Glocks Are Better Than All Your Other GunsPerhaps Glock’s biggest advantage at the time was releasing their first model with a 17-round magazine. It was one of the largest pistol magazines available at the time without extending beyond the grip frame. And it has remained the ideal ever since. Glock and a number of aftermarket supporters also offer 10-round magazines for those who reside in restrictive states.

Shooting the Glock

There is a bit more muscle needed and a small bit of science involved with successfully and accurately shooting a Glock. The polymer frame forces the shooter to maintain a firm and strong grip. Otherwise, the frame can exhibit too much flex when the follow-through portion of the firing sequence is committed and the heavier-style trigger is the bane of single-action, semi-automatic pistol fans everywhere.

Some shooters claim the bore axis is too high, or that “they shoot too high” when firing a Glock. This varies depending upon the shooter, as most shooters do not experience this.

Aside from that, the Glock is one of the ultimate handguns to have when a disaster strikes. Aside from its reputation for reliability in the most adverse conditions (Glocks have been dropped from helicopters, run over with HUMVEEs, buried and caked in sand and mud, and even frozen in a block of ice without suffering any negative effects) they can be completely disassembled by only using a single punch.

For those concerned with home defense and self-defense, Glocks remain a great choice.

The smallest handgun in their lineup is the Model 42, a single stack handgun chambered in 380 ACP. This is part of Glock’s Slimline, along with the slightly larger Model 43 in 9mm and even larger Model 36 in 45 ACP.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the competition frames represent their largest handguns, including the 17L, 34, 41 and 40. The latter is probably the most powerful handgun that the company produces – a 10mm with a 6-inch slide that pushes the ballistics of that cartridge toward true Magnum revolver performance. This makes for an ideal sidearm in bear country, and Norwegian Police have been using the shorter Model 20 in the same caliber for decades in areas frequented by polar bears.

Their most popular handguns tend to be in the three basic sizes: full size (represented by the Model 17 in 9mm and 22 in 40 S&W), compact (Model 19 in 9mm and 23 in 40 S&W) and subcompact (Model 26 in 9mm and 27 in 40 S&W). The larger calibers such as 45 ACP and 10mm are built on slightly larger frames, with the compact models having a length that falls between the compact and subcompact pistols.

In recent years, Glock has been incorporating other features into their latest pistols. They have added rails to attach lights and lasers, included removable plates on the top of the slides to install optical sights, and added threaded barrels for use with silencers. They even offer interchangeable back straps to fit hands of all sizes.

The aftermarket support for the company makes them a hit with customers who want to try different calibers, triggers or install a stock and convert the Glock into a short-barreled rifle. Personally, I never leave my Glocks in factory condition and have customized them. I have installed, among other add-ons, fiber optic sights on a few and find them superior to night sights for a variety of reasons.

Just about every holster manufacturer offers leather or Kydex rigs to carry the Glock and in many ways, this Austrian-made pistol is more of an American handgun than the ones actually made here.

Do you agree about Glocks? What is your favorite Glock? Share your gun advice in the section below:  

There’s A Trick To Navigating Federal And State Gun Regulations. Read More Here.

7 Off-Grid, Surprising Reasons You Should Stockpile Vinegar

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7 Off-Grid, Surprising Reasons You Should Stockpile Vinegar

Image source: Flickr

When you are gathering and storing items for an emergency, you naturally think of food, water and clothing. White vinegar usually does not does not fit under one of those categories, but you will find it to be an indispensable addition to your stockpile.

White vinegar is inexpensive, non-toxic and it serves many important purposes. Here are seven reasons why you should stockpile white vinegar.

1. Vinegar kills germs and bacteria. Research shows that a straight 5 percent solution of vinegar (which is the kind commonly found at the supermarket) kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold and 80 percent of viruses.

Place vinegar in a spray bottle to clean and to disinfect your home, including the kitchen and the bathroom. If you are worried about the strong smell, realize it will dissipate in a few hours, or you can combine vinegar with lemon juice to cut the vinegary odor and for added cleaning and disinfecting power.

2. Vinegar is helpful in the kitchen. White vinegar can lend a hand to many cooking tasks. For example, try adding a few tablespoons of vinegar to the water when you boil eggs. It helps prevent the whites from leaking out if the shell cracks. Adding the same amount to the water when you are poaching eggs helps the egg whites stay formed.

Another cooking tip is to rub your hands with white vinegar after cutting onions to eliminate the unpleasant odor. You also perk up wilted leafy greens by soaking them in cold water and vinegar.

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Finally, you can reduce the amount of gassiness that vegetables in the cabbage family – including cauliflower and broccoli — cause by adding a little vinegar to the cooking water. This idea also works when cooking beans.

7 Off-Grid, Surprising Reasons You Should Stockpile Vinegar

Image source: Pixabay.com

3. Vinegar is a general household cleaner. Keeping in mind that it is an odor neutralizer and a disinfectant, vinegar works wonders all through the home.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Remove watermarks on furniture with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and olive oil. Rub the solution against the grain.
  • Clean tile grout with white vinegar and a toothbrush.
  • Remove cloudy deposits from glassware and windows with white vinegar.
  • Attract and kill pesky fruit flies by setting out a small dish of white vinegar with some pieces of smashed fruit. Cover the dish with plastic wrap that has some holes in it. The flies will be attracted to the bowl but will not be able to get out.
  • Deodorize the garbage disposal by pouring a mix of equal parts vinegar and baking soda down the drain. Let it sit and fizz for a few minutes before flushing with warm water.
  • Pour a cup of vinegar into the bottom of your dishwasher to get rid of grimy build-up and to keep things smelling fresh.

4. Vinegar works wonders on your clothes. Vinegar works its magic on clothing and upholstery, too. You can spray white vinegar on shirts that are stained by deodorant or perspiration. It also works well on stubborn mustard, ketchup and tomato sauce stains

If someone in your home has a bed-wetting accident, you can apply a solution of vinegar and water to the mattress. After it dries, sprinkle on some baking soda and then brush or vacuum thoroughly. Problem solved.

Try adding a cup of white vinegar to your washing machine’s rinse cycle. It helps boost the colors in your laundry, and it can help dissolve soap residue for a cleaner wash. Additionally, vinegar acts as a natural and inexpensive fabric softener, mildew reducer, static reducer and mold inhibitor.

5. Vinegar can be used outdoors. White vinegar is handy as a car cleaner. Try using a three-to-one solutions of white vinegar and water to clean your car’s windows and windshield.

Do you have old bumper stickers or window decals you want to get rid of? Vinegar is good at de-sticking stuff. Spray the sticker with enough white vinegar to saturate the area, and then let it sit for a few hours. The sticker should then peel away easily.

You can kill weeds and crabgrass along your property’s sidewalks and driveways by pouring white vinegar on them. The best part? It is non-toxic to children and pets.

6. Vinegar is great for animal care. Keep products with chemical ingredients you can’t pronounce away from your pets by using vinegar for pet-cleaning tasks. Here are a few pet-related ways to use vinegar:

  • Use vinegar to clean and deodorize the cat litter box.
  • Get rid of skunk odor by soaking your pet in a tub filled with a half-and-half solution of vinegar and water. Then rinse well with fresh water.
  • Spray a water and vinegar solution on places that you want your pets to stay away from in your home. Cats, in particular, hate the smell.
  • Clean your pet’s itchy ears with a cotton swab dampened with white vinegar.

7. Vinegar works for a myriad of other uses, as well. You can use white vinegar to clean and deodorize all through your home. Here are a few other ideas you may not have considered.

Vinegar can remove build-up and deposits on a showerhead. Simply remove the showerhead and let it soak overnight in a bowl or basin – or even a zippered bag — filled with white vinegar.

Extend the life of your cut flowers by adding two tablespoons of white vinegar to the vase water.

You also can use vinegar to loosen stuck-on chewing gum on furniture or floors. In addition, you can bring life back to scuffed CDs and DVDs. Simply wipe them down with a soft cloth moistened with vinegar.

Do you know of other uses for vinegar? Share your ideas in the section below:

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

Old-Fashioned Healing Salves Anyone Can Make At Home

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Old-Fashioned Healing Salves Anyone Can Make At Home

Image source: crunchybetty.com

Healing salves, passed down through the centuries, contain the goodness of medicinal plants to relieve pain and inflammation and promote healing.

Here are five healing salves for common problems that anyone can make at home:

1. Burn-aid salve

If minor burns are a common affair in your household, you need this handy burn salve for immediate pain relief and faster healing of the skin. It is simple, yet often as effective as any ointment your money can buy.

The lavender soothes the skin and the honey works to dry up any blisters and promote skin regeneration. Calendula promotes healing and prevents scarring.

You will need:

  • 2 tsp lavender essential oil
  • 2 tsp calendula essential oil
  • ½ cup honey (Manuka honey with UMF 15+ gives the best results)
  • 1 cup coconut oil

How to make:

  1.   Melt coconut oil by keeping it in a warm place or in a bowl of hot water.
  2.   Add lavender and calendula essential oils.
  3.   Allow the mixture to cool until it starts to solidify, and beat in the honey.
  4.   Store in a wide-mouthed glass jar.

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2. Healing chest rub salve

This decongestant chest rub can bring great relief during the cold and flu season. It is much safer than petroleum-based chest rubs, and a must in households with children.


You will need:

  • 2 tsp eucalyptus oil
  • 1 tsp rosemary oil
  • 1 tsp camphor oil
  • 1 tsp lavender oil
  • 1 tsp lemon oil
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup beeswax pellets
  • 1 cup cocoa butter
Image source: Inhabitat.com

Image source: Inhabitat.com

How to make:

  1.   Melt the beeswax in a double boiler and add the cocoa butter to it. Mix well until the cocoa butter melts and gets mixed with the melted wax.
  2.   After the waxy mixture has cooled slightly, add the olive oil and all the essential oils to it.
  3.   Pour into small glass or metal tubs and let it cool completely before sealing the containers.


3. Healing salve for cuts, bruises and insect bites

Minor cuts and bruises happen all the time. They may usually heal on their own, but secondary infections can complicate things. This healing salve with analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties will not only give immediate pain relief, but will prevent infections and help the injured skin heal faster.

You will need:

  • ½ cup calendula petals (or 1 tsp calendula essential oil)
  • ½ cup arnica flowers (or 1 tsp arnica essential oil)
  • 1 tsp tea tree oil
  • 1 tsp peppermint oil
  • 1 tsp lavender oil
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup beeswax pellets

How to make:

  1.   Put the flowers in a glass bowl and pour warm olive oil over them. Keep it in the oven or stove at the lowest setting for six to eight hours.
  2.   Melt beeswax on a double boiler and take off the heat.
  3.   Strain the flower-infused olive oil into the wax, mixing well.
  4.   Add all the remaining essential oils and mix well.
  5.   Pour into glass or metal containers and allow to set before putting on the lids.


4. Old bones salve

This one is excellent for all the aches and pains old age brings, but can be used by the young and the athletic with equal effect. It gives lasting relief whether it is arthritis, rheumatism, sprains and strains, or anything else that gives pain in the joints or muscles. The pain relief comes from the warming effect of cayenne and cloves, while the ginger and turmeric reduce inflammation.

You will need:

  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp dry ginger powder
  • 1 tsp clove essential oil
  • 1 tsp wintergreen essential oil
  • 1 cup virgin coconut oil
  • ¼ cup beeswax pellets

How to make:

  1. Melt the coconut oil by gently heating it, or keeping it in the sun or in a warm place indoors.
  2. Mix in the cayenne pepper powder, turmeric powder and dry ginger powder and leave overnight in a warm place.
  3. Melt the beeswax pellets in a double boiler and let the wax cool slightly.
  4. Strain the coconut oil through a muslin cloth and add it to the melted beeswax, along with the essential oils.
  5. Allow the mixture to cool, stirring several times until it solidifies.



5. Salve for eczema and damaged skin

Image source: campwander.com

Image source: campwander.com

Skin conditions like eczema require constant care. Instead of depending on commercial products of doubtful composition, you can make a soothing salve that keeps the skin soft and moisturized and helps to relieve any itching and burning.


You will need:

  • ½ cup calendula petals
  • 1 tsp lavender oil
  • 1 tsp German chamomile oil
  • 1 tsp neem oil
  • 1 cup Jojoba oil
  • ½ cup beeswax pellets

How to make:

  1.   Infuse calendula petals in jojoba oil by mixing both. Keep the mixture in the sun or in a warm place for a day. (Gently heating the mixture will accelerate the process.)
  2.   Melt the beeswax in a double boiler and let it cool a bit.
  3.   Strain the jojoba oil and add it to the melted wax along with all the essential oils.
  4.   Pour into glass or metal tubs and allow to set before capping.


The beeswax-carrier oil combination determines the texture of the salve. You can always adjust it to your liking by slightly changing their proportions. To get an idea of how the final product will be, take a spoonful of the salve mix while it is still warm and pop it into the freezer for five minutes. Add more oil to the warm mixture to lighten the texture or some melted beeswax to make it thicker.

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

If You Like All-Natural Home Remedies, You Need To Read Everything That Hydrogen Peroxide Can Do. Find Out More Here.

Freeze-Dried Chicken: A Tutorial

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Freeze-Dried Chicken: A Tutorial via The Survival Mom

Of all the freeze-dried meats on the market, chicken is the one I use the most. It’s such a part of my everyday cooking that I was a bit surprised to hear someone say just this week that they weren’t entirely sure how to cook with it. Well, let me tell you.

How many recipes are there in the world that call for “one chicken breast, cooked and chopped?” Usually when I see something like that, I immediately think of the overhead required to thaw the chicken, cook it, and chop it up before I can get to the rest of the recipe. When I only have 45 minutes to throw a meal together for a hungry family, that’s the last thing I want to do. Freeze dried chicken takes out those extra laborious steps. Just rehydrate it and you’re golden. Specific instructions may vary, depending on the brand you’re using, but typically rehydration involves letting one part freeze dried chicken chunks stand in 2 parts water for 5-15 minutes. After the requisite time, I use my handy kitchen strainer to pour off any excess water.

Because it’s already pre-chopped and pre-cooked, freeze dried chicken is excellent for quick casseroles, chicken salad, and chicken noodle soup. Here are 3 of my tried-and-tested recipes using this handy food.

Layered Freeze-Dried Chicken Enchiladas

This is one of my family’s most favorite meals. It’s not terribly authentic because it is more of a tortilla lasagna than anything, but it’s still tasty and doesn’t take a lot of time to make.


1 1/2 cup freeze dried chicken, rehydrated

1/4 cup dehydrated onions

1 1/2 cup freeze dried cheddar cheese, divided

2 cans enchilada sauce -or- 2 cup homemade enchilada sauce, divided

1 cup sour cream

green chiles – optional (My kids just pick them out, so I tend to omit them.)

tortillas (whole wheat is best – usually 10 store bought, or anywhere from 6-9 homemade ones using the tortilla recipe found here.)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine chicken, onions, 1 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, chiles, 1 cup cheese.

In a 13 x 9 inch pan, put down a tortilla layer, breaking them in pieces in order to cover the whole bottom.

Spread a thin layer of the chicken and cheese filling, then cover with another layer of tortillas. Alternate layers until you run out of filling, ending with tortillas.

Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the pan, and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 25 min or until bubbly.

Freeze-Dried Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is many things to many people, which is the primary basis of its appeal. All chicken salad has chicken and mayonnaise as the primary ingredients. It can be easily customized, according to preference and availability of ingredients, by adding:

  • chopped apples
  • chopped celery
  • parsley
  • basil
  • tarragon
  • dill
  • pecans or walnuts
  • minced hard-boiled egg
  • pineapple
  • grapes
  • mustard
  • chili powder or paprika
  • red onion or scallions
  • shredded carrots
  • olives

Here is where experimentation is truly king. If you don’t already have a favorite way to make chicken salad, I encourage you to add or subtract ingredients until you find one. If mayonnaise isn’t really your thing, you can also use sour cream or even plain yogurt instead.

Freeze-Dried Chicken Noodle Soup

Making soup with freeze-dried chicken is even easier, because you don’t even have to rehydrate the chicken ahead of time! Just make your soup as you normally would. Add 1/2 cup or so of chicken chunks into the pot once other ingredients are cooked through. Since the chicken doesn’t have to actually cook, just rehydrate and heat up, it’s okay to add the chicken toward the end of the cooking time. This is usually about when I add noodles as well.

NOTE: It’s okay to make soup without a recipe! It’s super easy with this tutorial.

Some people might think that freeze-dried chicken is one of those fluffy “luxury foods” for emergency preparedness – too outer-spacey and high tech for every day use by actual people. Not so! I like to keep a can on hand at all times. After you get used to cooking with freeze-dried chicken, you’ll start to think of fresh or frozen chicken breasts as a waste of time and motions (at least when it comes to making a quick dinner).

A quick word on taste: I used to cook with a lot of canned chicken for the same reasons I now use the freeze-dried version. The thing with canned chicken, though, is that it doesn’t have nearly the shelf-life. Also, and I think anyone who has eaten chicken out of a can will agree with me, it does have a residual taste that you don’t usually find when eating fresh chicken. If you’re worried that freeze-dried chicken will have a weird taste that can only be described as “ugh,” don’t. This very week I made a freeze-dried chicken meal for my family, and I was pleasantly surprised by how normal it tasted. You never would have guessed that this meal came from a can!

If you don’t already have freeze-dried chicken as part of your food storage, I encourage you to change your ways. You won’t be sorry!

Freeze-Dried Chicken: A Tutorial via The Survival Mom

Plants vs. Pests!

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Plants vs. Pests
Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live

Plants vs. PestsLearn how to use plants to repel venomous and disease-bearing pests, such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and spiders. These creepy-crawly, biting bugs, can mean anything from a minor itch to death. And while there are a number of natural remedies for many kinds of bug bites, it would be even better not to get bit in the first place.

2-28-16 51In order to avoid getting bitten by one of these pests, most people reach for the common, toxic bug repellents, such as DEET. DEET is known for its effectiveness. The only problem is that DEET can lead to health problems. This might be a mild skin irritation. But for children, DEET can spell more serious, neurological risks. DEET must be diluted for use with adults, and even more so with children. Plus, it is not to be used at all by infants under 2 months old.

2-28-16 Cat_flea_full_of_human_bloodWhere does this leave us when we are faced with the risks of mosquito-borne illnesses like the Zika virus? What about West Nile Virus, Eastern or Western Equine Encephalitis, or dengue? And what about the diseases carried by ticks and fleas. That covers everything from Lyme to plague. And let’s not forget about spiders, many of which seek shelter in firewood piles, and are attracted to the heat of a warm cabin during cold spring nights.

Do we just douse ourselves and our homes with questionable chemicals? Sometimes, DEET and such products are absolutely appropriate. They are certainly effective. But, what if we are in a TEOTWAWKI situation and supplies run out?

Join me to learn all about plants and essential oils shown to repel common pests that can make you sick. Some can be just as effective or even more effective than DEET as repelling pests. Plus, non-chemical ideas for pest control for infants who shouldn’t be exposed to any of these options.
Herbal Prepper Website: http://www.herbalprepper.com/
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How to choose the right grind for your bushcraft/survival/preparedness knife

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The grind of a blade will determine what jobs it does well. These choices work for me. Here’s how to choose that best grind for your knife.

by Leon Pantenburg

I  can break down my blade grind preferences to three: convex, scandi (or flat) and sabre (double bevel). These do everything I need quite well, and IMO, are all the average user needs to consider when buying a knife.

That statement is bound to stir up some discussion! So what are we talking about here?

The grind of a blade refers to the shape of the cross-section of the blade.

These basic grinds will cover most of your cutting needs (KnivesShipFree.com illustration)

These basic grinds will cover most of your cutting needs (KnivesShipFree.com illustration)

The best  grind for your knife will depend upon what the blade is to be used for and the steel the blade is made of.

Knife manufacturers may offer the same model of knife with different blade grinds.  Owners of a blade may choose to reshape it as a different grind to obtain different blade properties. A trade off exists between a blade’s ability to take an edge and its ability to keep an edge.

In 1991, I bought a Cold Steel SRK as a hunting/survival knife. I took it to a knife shop and had them remove the black finish, and re-grind the double bevel into a convex. That knife served me well for many years, and I’m glad I made the alteration early.

To pick out the best grind for your knife, figure out what it will most likely be used for. In my case, that means a grind that can handle big game skinning and gutting, cleaning and possibly filleting fish and bushcraft tasks.

Here are my three favorites:

The Tundra makes a great skinning knife.

The Tundra makes a great skinning knife. But the Tundra’s secondary bevel is not as efficient at a full convex.

Convex: For me, the best overall grind, day in and day out, is convex.

Rather than tapering with straight lines to the edge, the taper is curved. Such a shape keeps a lot of metal behind the edge making for a stronger edge while still allowing a good degree of sharpness.

Last November, I tried three different grinds while skinning out a bull elk. I used an Ambush Tundra, with a double bevel; a Sahara with a convex, and a C.T. Fischer Nessmuk with a Scandi grind. I would use one knife for several strokes, then rotate to another. When the animal was skinned, convex emerged as the winner.

Skinning is about separating the hide from the muscle and fat, and you do that by cutting the connective tissue between the two. I didn’t nick the hide with any of the knives, though all were shaving sharp. The convex just seemed more precise to use, though, and it appeared to take less effort to use.

I also prefer the convex edge on my fillet knife. Converting a mess of fish into fillets can take a lot of cutting, and the convex holds an edge like crazy, even on the traditionally flexible fillet knife blades.

Convex is not difficult to sharpen, but it does take a little practice. Here’s a great video series about sharpening convex blades.

Scandi: The Scandinavian Grind is a wide flat bevel that runs to the edge of the blade, according to Ragweed Forge, and there is little or no secondary bevel. The primary angle is engineered to match the quality of the steel and intended use.


These L.T. Wright knives show different grinds. The Genesis, top, has a sabre grind, while the GNS has a scandi.

Recently, the Boy Scout Troop I hang out with bought 50 Mora 840 Companions for the boys to use. Among the reasons the Moras were chosen was their Scandi grind.

IMO, Scandi is the easiest grind for newcomers to learn sharpening with. It’s simple – just put the bevel flat on the stone and with alternate strokes, work the bevel until the edge is sharp. It forms its own sharpening guide.

Also, a Scandi grind is excellent for wood carving and various utility projects. It is superior for splitting wood, and  does very well for cleaning fish.

Sabre (double bevel): This is a variation with a flat grind over the width of the blade. Depending on the thickness of the blade, this usually requires at least some secondary bevel. This is a nice grind for thick blades that also need to be keen. The long taper offers little resistance to the material being cut.

The saber grind is one of L.T. Wright’s favorites. According to the website,  the saber grind is strong, heavy-duty, and good for tougher jobs. The grind makes quick work of bushcrafting, field-dressing game, and splitting wood.

So what about the others?

Hollow grind: The blade is ground to create a concave, beveled cutting edge. This is how straight razors for shaving are ground. The result is a very sharp but weak edge. It requires stropping, which is fine, but the edge won’t last long.

Chisel: According to Knife Edge Grinds,  a chisel grind has only a single edge angle. These are widely used in Japanese cooking. Knives which are chisel ground come in left and right-handed varieties, depending upon which side is ground. This is a specialty grind that isn’t the best choice for an all-around knife.

Serrated: Again, these are specialty grinds. An EMT or first responder may need a serrated edge for cutting seatbelts or zip-ties. Bread knives are traditionally serrated. These knives do their intended jobs very well, but their grinds wouldn’t be good for an all-around knife.

Bottom line: Choose the grind that fits best with what you anticipate using the knife for. As always, pick what is going to work for you.

Click here for more information on blade grinds.

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PLEASE SIGN my petition: Fair and sensible firearms legislation for muzzle-loader users.

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“To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales in Parliament assembled”.
Parliament House
6 Macquarie Street,
Sydney, NSW 2000.
The Petition of Keith H. Burgess.
President of the New England Colonial Living History Group.
Brings to the attention of the House the matter of firearms licensing in relation to muzzle-loading pistols (percussion locks excluded).
At this present time, working replica (replicas of original 17th and 18th century antique muzzle-loading pistols) muzzle-loading pistols of the lock types matchlock, wheellock, tinderlock, doglock, snaphance, and flintlockcan only be owned by a person possessing a category H gun licence, and these pistols can only be legally fired on a registered gun range. This requirement excludes the use of these antique replicas for Living History and Historical Re-enactment purposes. It also excludes the use of these antique replicas for use as a back-up safety for muzzle-loader hunters hunting on private property who are hunting with single shot muzzle-loading rifles or smoothbores.
Historical Re-enactment groups and Living History organisations have re-enactment rules which preclude the use of live ammunition and preclude the use of a ramrod during any and all re-enactment displays. There is also a permit requirement; this permit is for historical re-enactment organisations wishing to conduct an historical re-enactment event involving the possession and use of firearms by participants. Clause 61 – Firearms Regulation 2006.
Replicas of muzzle-loading pistols of the lock types mentioned are slow to load and require a good deal of knowledge and training to ensure the workability of this type of gun. Ignition even when used by a competent person can not be guaranteed. Therefore these muzzle-loading guns are not suitable for criminal use.
The undersigned petitioners therefore ask the Legislative Assembly to change the licensing requirement for these replica antique muzzle-loading pistols (percussion locks excluded) from the present category H class licence to the category B class licence.

Gravel vac Bobbage

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I seriously considered using a title that said something like “my hubby sucks”, but honestly I don’t need to hype what he does, he is a Macgyver’s Macgyver! I quit doubting the things he says he is going to do, I just listen, put aside my skepticism and wait for the magic to happen. We like to call it Bobbage 🙂

As you may or may not know, PB uses concrete (soilcrete) for building around here, Portland cement is inexpensive, read cheap, all he has to add is the gravel and water, we have an abundant supply of gravel that restocks itself each time we get a good rain, the problem is the location of this gravel is at the bottom of the creek bed, down at the front part of the property, and “down” is the key word here.

In the past, he has used 5 gallon buckets to haul the gravel, on occasion we have bartered with neighbors and friends to get the use of earth moving equipment, but that doesn’t happen very often, and since he’s put in the bridge, it’s near impossible to drive down into the creek to load up on gravel.

PB began working out a way he could vacuum the gravel to the upper part of the property, he used an old shop vac, a metal 55 gallon drum, the sidewall of a tire and a long piece of 3 inch black poly pipe along with some duct tape to seal things up. It’s quiet, it’s efficient, it’s quick and it works great. Here is a video, actually 4 quick videos showing the gravel vac in action, along with some pictures.







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Securing your router and network.

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I’m not sure why I had so much trouble setting up security again on my router during the PC and Internet/cable connection. But I had several other devices on my internet connection. But it was a good lesson on securing my internet.

I went with 2 layers of security. I did WPA encryption on the wireless access and set the router to accept only specified MAC addresses are allowed on my network.  A MAC address is unique identity to every tablet, PC, Laptop or wireless device. I set up my router to only allow certain MAC addresses to access my network/router. It takes a bit more effort adding each MAC address but if you have a lot of wireless devices or are going for “smart TVs and appliances” you may want to add or deny the appliance access to the internet.

Most hackers are not sitting around tpeying to “Crack” passwords. They have bought software that looks for crappy security and then get into networks. In a way they are are like burglars testing open doors and windows of a house.  Given enough time and effort the “bad guys” can break into your house or break into your network. All a person can do is make several layer of security and hope the bad guys get bored and look for an easier target.

I think setting up your router/ wi fi internet access for MAC only addresses you add is the best way to stop the bad guys.  I set my router for “authorized MAC addresses” and that worked as good or better than setting a strong WI-FI password. I still recommend you make a strong password of 8-12 letters and characters for your wi-fi connection.

I’m not a fan of the new “Internet of Things”. I want dumb TV and appliances, so I don’t get recorded or the cracker can turn on appliance setting at random. I think I can handle prepping milk for a disaster and I don’t need a “smart appliance” nagging me about my grocery/food choices.

This Apple Iphone of terrorists and the FBI is all theater to give Apple cover as the have no problem giving the Chinese government access.  The FBI simply wants cover to access everyone’s cell phone under Bush’s TSA and homeland Security act.  Facebook require you give up any and all anonymity  to communicate.

Ben Franklin published under a “user name” of Poor Richard.  Fighting TPTB does not require a person to be stupid or make themselves a target.  I don’t see many political movement that work if they require death. I know I don’t want to die. Even with thing going all “crazy”.  So when some idiot claims you are a coward. Tell them there is a difference between being brave and being stupid!

Bottom line I can only say what I am doing to try and protect myself from the PTBs.  I hope I can buy a place with a bit of land and some distance away from people/politicians. Until then I will improve “Casa de Chaos” as much as possible.


It’s a Matter of Shelf Stable Meals….What are they really like?

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Okay, I was curious.  I have seen these shelf stable entrees that supposedly have “everything” inside.  I was particularly curious about the “Self Heating” part.  I have wondered how they would work, taste, etc.  So, I purchased several different types of these shelf-stable meals.  I thought I would review this one for you today.  Please know that I do not receive any remuneration for this review.  
I have wondered if these are good options for 72 hour kits, the office, or your vehicle.

What are Shelf-Stable Meals really like?

I was intrigued with the idea that this meal was ‘self heating’, aren’t you?  Here is how it went……
When you remove the contents, there is a tray, a packet of water and the entree. The instructions stated that you pour the water on to the Styrofoam tray.
You are then instructed to turn the entree upside-down on to the tray.
It doesn’t take long for the Styrofoam try to steam and heat the entree.
After steaming for the suggested amount of time, you are instructed to turn the entree over.
You are instructed to carefully peel the top covering off as the entree is now heated.
I wanted to see how hot it really was after heating.  It was over 100 degrees.
The container also has salt, pepper, a “Spork”, and a napkin.
So, you may wonder how it tasted…..
  • Temperature:  not too hot
  • Texture:  it was very mushy. Although you can see the noodles etc, once it was in my mouth it felt like refried beans.
  • Taste:  It needed some spices from my cupboard.
  • Convenience:  No doubt, it is a self-contained meal with everything you need.  In a pinch, it would be easy to make.
  • Kid Preference:  Some of you may know that I specialize in feeding and swallowing disorders in children. This is a large portion of my caseload at the hospital where I work.  I have a some concerns for a child.
    • If the child were not used to this type of food or even this flavor, they most likely will refuse.  Children do not eat even if they are hungry if the food is unfamiliar or concerning to them at all.
    • The color and texture may be difficult for them to tolerate if they are used to more dense solids in their diets.
    • And finally, the research demonstrates that children will choose to starve rather than eat something that is not familiar or preferred. So the logic that they will eat if they are hungry enough just isn’t valid.
I am going to keep a few of these in my 72 kit, and my offices.  They could work for me as an adult.

How to Build a Prepper First-Aid Pouch

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The following article has been contributed by Nathaniel Kincaid

Survival has evolved from a fight for man’s very existence to a business model. On sites such as Amazon etc. one can buy ready made kits and equipment that promise to protect an individual or a whole family. I am sure China is kept busy churning out disaster packs that include flimsy led lights, a couple of bandages, water packs and edible food.

While I buy some specific items, I prefer to research and come up with my own unique configuration to meet my needs.

For a first aid kit one can go to Wal-Mart and buy the bright red first aid pouch or the large clear car first aid kit but why not make your own? Pictured is my current kit which has evolved and changed quite a few times.

first aid kit

Before I begin dissecting this kit I want to clarify that this kit is designed for lightness and economy. It is not perfect, no kit will be. But when your leg is gashed and you’re alone in the woods, or your arm is splotched with crimson blood you will be grateful that you thought ahead and packed a first aid kit at all!

Putting the Kit Together

The Pouch

first aid pouchDesigned after the ALICE system the MOLLE pouches and load bearing gear have enjoyed wide spread popularity. Tactical gear and even hunters enjoy the modularity involved with the loops and straps that make this system so easy to mix and match.

My end result was to attach a pouch to my MOLLE hydration pack which will be attached to a plate carrier. So in my case of various oddball items I found this woodland camo, military grenade or flasbang MOLLE pouch. It’s small but just large enough to squash in a bunch of useful items. I love to surf on eBay for military lot deals where you can buy these cheaper than almost anywhere else. Now I’m going with an all black tactical look so down the road this MOLLE pouch will turn a darker hue.

The Blood Stoppers

Almost top priority in my mind for first aid is the job of aiding in clotting or stopping excess blood flow.



The most normal response is the humble band aid.

Yes you can go from Dollar Tree brand to the fancy types of more specialty types of Band aids, but just make sure you have some. Band aids with their small gauze pads and adhesive edges work great on small cuts. They not only aid in stopping blood but help obstruct ugly germs from crawling into your newly sliced open body wound. I tend to stash band aides not only in my first aid kit but also in my survival kit because these little guys are so useful! Things like they can double as tape or the pads can be fire tinder.

Military Bandage

Military bandages or field dressings again are different due to country origin and style.

The one pictured above is an older US Army style field dressing. Just as an extra tip, on youtube I ran across an interesting video showing you how to make a simulated one. With the right material I guess you could make one of almost equal quality. The field bandage is designed to stop more serious blood flow such as gunshot wounds. Thus for bad situations, one hopes never happens I also included it in here.

Super Glue-( Be Careful)

Not long ago I went to work and one of my friends had just cut himself pretty bad. But instead of stitches he used good old super glue. Now I know people will tell you its poison and there is a medical and non medical kind. After some surface research I felt comfortable enough to stick it in here just for those times when you might really need a homemade stitch! You research and see what you think.

Neat Blood Nabbers

One of the perks I suppose of war is that man learns how to stay alive. Thus even the civilian market now carries some newer technology perhaps pioneered in part on the battlefield.

WoundSeal is a powder that when poured on a wound is designed to clot the blood. CURAD Bloodstop is a gel bandage designed to gel over a wound and stop the bleeding. Both of these were about $7 a box which while a bit pricy I considered worth enough to invest in.

The Creams

first aid creamsIn this group I packed a Johnson burn cream. We have a Cortaid ant-itch cream and some Staphaseptic, more general purpose gel, billed as a first aid antiseptic and pain relieving gel. I got a box of these last packets of first aid gel, again on eBay, for very cheap. While blood stoppage gets the major attention in first aid even a burn or an infected untreated wound can be serious. Adding small packets like the ones shown just add a peace of mind for those long hikes or extended journeys away from civilization.

I also added a packet of alcohol wipes in here for sterilization purposes. These can also double as fire starters! Make sure these are tightly sealed because they tend to dry out fast! Also I put a couple tiny butterfly band aides in this packet.

Years ago I went in an old fashioned drug store and found these tiny pill baggies like miniature sandwich bags. I find them so useful for packing small survival gear I highly recommend them. If you can see in the picture that is what the alcohol wipes are snugged away in.

The Meds

first aid medsMedication tablets are easily carried and easily confused. I used to pack some in my pill bags but the writing seemed to wear off and little white pills are not good to just pop in your mouth when you don’t know what they are designed to cure!

I stole the ones pictured above from the car kit stashed in my bathroom closet. The Imodium is advertised as anti-diarrhea which you might need if you forgot to bring along a water filter. The Motrin and Tylenol can be used to fight general pain. One of the quickest ways to die is to stop making good decisions. Sometimes a little pain relief might help clear the fog if life outdoors takes a bad, bad turn!

You will notice I have no scissors, knives or scalpel blades in this pack. These are quite slim and easy to add, but since I already have them stashed in my survival kit elsewhere I decided not to worry about adding them here.


I have always remembered the adage that something carried is far more useful than the perfect gear left at home. I also remember the lessons of the Civil War when Union Cavalry packed so much they could hardly ride. A couple days or battles later they had stripped down to bare essentials.

Don’t be paralyzed by the fear that you can never pack an operating room in your pack. Maybe a band aid is all you need. Use foresight and study to find the perfect balance of what you need in your personalized first aid kit!

REVIEW: The Walking Dead: Season 6 – Episode 11 “Knots Untie”

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I A number of plot points will inevitably be revealed in the course of these writings.  My intent is to review this program from the perspective of the Doomer / Prepper / Survivalist community, but, to do that effectively, some things have to be explained in greater detail than I might normally prefer in a review.  As a result, spoilers will follow.  You have been warned.  In truth, you might more accurately describe these posts as in-depth discussions of certain aspects of each episode with an emphasis on how the character’s actions might be applicable in a real-life…

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Decisiveness When Considering History

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There are a number of ways to go out of this world during TEOTWAWKISTAN, this quote from Solzhenitsyn and the video from the movie “Chekist”, are just two. Ironically, Solzhenitsyn got the better deal (if that’s what you call that kind of prison), compared to those who were being rounded up in “Chekist”. There are no “re-do’s” or Modern Warfare 3 reset buttons when decision time comes. Understanding the reality of what happens when a government goes “Tyrant” or rogue is important. Take note of how they just do what they are told (I bet that wasn’t what they planned, was it?), all the way to standing in front of the door. “Wargame” the scenarios, make the decisions on how to deal with them, then when the time comes, be decisive.

“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Train and prepare yourself mentally, physically, and logistically. Make a plan based on reality and common sense.


American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

15 Weirdest Ways to Start a Fire

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Every prepper knows you’re supposed to put fire starting materials in your bug out bag and with the rest of your survival supplies. Fire is life, and having a way to start one during a disaster is crucial. However, you could find yourself in a situation where you […]

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How to Start A Fire With Your EDC Knife And A Shoelace

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“If I was lost in the wilderness  I’d just take my shoelaces and make a bow drill and start a fire.”  I’ve heard people say it time and bobbowdrill14again and I roll my eyes every time I hear it.  I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve heard someone say it who could actually back it up with a fire.  Most folks have just watched a video or two and think it would be easy to make a bow drill and get a fire going if they got lost.  Easy to say when you’re sitting at your desk or standing around the water cooler with your hands in your pockets trying to impress your coworkers.  Much more difficult when you’re actually in the woods with just a pocket knife and your shoelaces on you to hopefully make a fire.

By Jarhead Survivor, a contributing author at SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

After listening to a blowhard at work expound on how he’d do just that I decided to give it a go to see how hard it would be.  Here’s what I learned.

Basic Skills

First of all, I can start a fire with a bow drill.  Here’s a video from an earlier post:

bobbowdrill1I’ve done it a fair bit and understand the principles, but with something like this you really need to practice a lot in order to become proficient at it.  Check out how I do it in the video.  That fire was accomplished with a set made from dry cedar, which is fairly easy to get a coal from as long as you’ve done everything right.  I’d also like to clarify something else; for every coal I get I usually wind up making three or four attempts with the bow drill before I get it right.  I’ve practiced enough, but things happen.  Maybe the string is too loose, or too tight.  The notch might not be deep enough, the lubrication might not be right, or any number of things could be just a little off.

Related: Easy Tarp Shelter

It takes a lot of persistence and trial and error when conditions are good before you have a chance at doing them when condition are bad.  As the old saying goes, “Practice makes perfect!”

Raw Materialsbobbowdrill6

The first thing you need to do is find the right materials you’ll need for your drill set.  The tools I used were my Camillus folding knife and my bootlaces.  I was able to whittle the materials I needed from a standing dead tree I found sticking out of the ground.  Pretty much anything lying on the ground up here Maine is going to be useless given the dampness in the ground.  Ideally a small standing dead cedar or fir tree is a good source of materials you’ll need to build your bow drill kit with.

You need to make the following pieces:  spindle, fireboard, bow (which can be a small sapling), and then use your shoelace.  If you really want to try it the hard core way you can make your own cordage rather than using a shoelace.  The next thing you’ll need is a “bird’s nest” of tinder to start your fire.

Spindle and Fireboardbobbowdrill7

I found a small standing (leaning in this case) dead fir tree that suited my needs perfectly.  I broke it to a manageable size and trimmed it by hand as best I could.  The spindle needs to be as straight as possible, which is why a standing fir tree is perfect.  The very top of the tree is ideal for making a spindle as it’s usually very straight.  The piece right underneath it can be whittled into the fireboard.

After I found the right tree I harvested the parts I wanted and took it back to camp where I started working on it with my EDC knife.  First I shaped the spindle to where I could use it then I shaved down the fireboard to where it should work.  I made the bearing block out of a piece of oak and used a branch from the same oak to make the bow.  Then I pulled out my shoelace and attached it to my bow and I was ready to start.

Using the Setbobbowdrill2

Here’s something I noticed when working with this set.  The smaller the knife the more natural your set becomes.  For example, instead of making the bearing block a perfect hand-held size chunk of wood I broke it off as close as I could get it and called it good.  It wasn’t pretty, but it worked great.  You’ll be surprised at how close to it’s natural form you can leave some of this equipment and still have it work.

 I tied my bootlace to the bow and hoped it didn’t snap before I could form the coal.   If doing something like this is really a part of your survival strategy I’d highly suggest replacing your bootlaces with paracord.  It’s much tougher and more versatile than regular bootlaces.  Mine did work, but if I’d had to depend on them in a real survival situation I’d have been worried.

Also Read: Sphinx Compact 9mm

The first task is to “burn in” the set, which means to make guidelines on the bowdrill set and then use it so that all the pieces fit together properly.  After I got it burned in I cut the notches in the fireboard and got ready to do it for real.bobbowdrill4

As mentioned above it can sometimes take several tries before everything comes together and you get a fire.  In this case it took about six attempts before I got a good coal.  Like I said before, in order to get a coal you need to be persistent and don’t give up.


I feel that I answered the question posed at the beginning, “Is it possible to start a fire with your EDC and a shoelace?”  Yes, it is.  The caveat is that before you do it you need to have the skills already in place.  If you’ve never started a fire with a bowdrill before and think you can walk into the bush with a knife and get a fire going you are deluding yourself.  It takes a fair amount of skill and knowledge of the right kinds of wood, how to cut the notches, where to get lubrication, how much pressure to use, and a dozen other factors that need to line up before you’ll get it right.bobbowdrill9

The one thing I’m going to change is the knife I carry for an EDC.  While I don’t usually care for serrated edges, it would have made life a little easier when cutting my notches and cutting some of the smaller limbs off.  If not something with a serrated edge a good multi-tool will do the trick.  In my case I’ve stated carrying the Leatherman Skeletool because it’s small enough to fit in your pants pocket and comes with a pocket clip like many pocket knives today.

Starting a fire with what nature provides is a great feeling and a good skill to have, but if you’re seriously planning on going out in the wilderness take a small survival kit with a lighter and/or matches with a wax coating.  A small survival kit can make the difference between an unexpected night out camping when you get lost or injured compared to a survival trip where you might not live.

It was a fun experiment and I’ll do it again in the future using natural cordage next time.  That will add a new level of complexity bobbowdrill11to the mix.  If any of you woodsmen out there have done something similar I’d love to hear about it.

All Photos & Video by Jarhead Survivor

Questions?  Comments?

Sound off below!
Jarhead Survivor

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Detective Southall said Mr Valenti had a right to defend himself.

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Detective Southall said Mr Valenti had a right to defend himself.
“Yes, everyone’s got a right to defend themselves and their property from a home invader… as long as the force used is reasonable in the circumstances,” hesaid.

Wirecutter Sends-“Sammy just can’t catch a fucking break”

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Kenny and I thought this was pretty ironic, but here’s the funny thing. The guy offering this to people is a County Prosecutor working for the Courts (The same “Courts” he used when he tried to sick his wife on Kenny) , and someone that Kerodin would  say is a “Free Shit Army”, “Enemy of Liberty”. Thie and his Wife are not only helping their community in a practical way for free, but they apparently have the qualifications to do it, unlike the “IIImbecile Kommando Kernal” and his “I’m scared of my own shadow” accomplice.

Karate enthusiasts Brian and Glenda Thie will offer free karate classes to anyone interested in the discipline.
Mr. Thie and his wife first became involved in the community when he was hired as the prosecuting attorney for Benewah County last fall.
Mr. Thie said he and his wife are both black belts in the discipline, first becoming involved in karate with their boys. When the boys graduated and went onto college, the couple stuck with it.
The classes are offered every Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Heyburn Elementary gym. The class features traditional Japanese karate training under the umbrella of the International Shotokan Karate Federation.
Individuals ages 10 and older of any skill level are welcome. The classes are family friendly and adults may also participate.
Mr. Thie said he and his wife started offering the classes in December and now seek to get them started up again following the holidays.
“It’s a lot of fun and we encourage people of all ages to come and give it a try,” Mr. Thie said. “We just really enjoy doing it and is our way of giving back to the community.”
Text sent in by Northwest Patriot


Sammy moved up to Idaho and opened up Spartan MMA in a town of 2400 thinking he could make a living/supplement his income from that. In court, Holly said that their clientele were children – it’s in the judge’s decision HERE.
And now a couple are offering classes in Karate for free undercutting Sammy’s income.

Not only that, but these folks are offering classes under the umbrella of the International Shotokan Karate Federation, an organization I know nothing about, but I’m willing to bet that if their name is attached to it the instructors had damned well better be able to prove their skills and credentials instead of being vague and using insinuations and general descriptions as their credentials like Sammy does on his MMA page.


Fuck, I’m still trying to find out what world hotspots he’s traveled to when he has never even mentioned leaving the United States in any of his posts anywhere.

Wanna hear something else that’s funny? When I got the link and text, I broke down and paid a dollar for a one week subscription and hit their search box, entering “Spartan MMA”, and got absolutely nothing on the return. What??? No grand opening news or anything at all? I’m assuming that with a population of under 3000, the paper is a weekly publication. My town also has a weekly publication and you can damned well be certain that any new business openings or anything even remotely newsworthy would be printed. Hell, it wouldn’t surprise me next time I open my local paper to read where Mrs. Jones’ beloved cat was run over.
So a couple that’s decided to share their skills and knowledge with youngsters at no charge gets a write-up, but a business doing the same thing doesn’t even get a mention….. I bet that frosts Sammy the Media Whore’s ass.



American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

Alert! Meltdown is Happening Now-Michael Snyder-Pt 2

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Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse Blog joins me today for the second half of our conversation. He presents the chilling details of what is happening in the economy. He breaks down the banks teetering on the edge of collapse, massive plant closures and layoffs as well as the desperate push by governments to ban cash. He warns that the time to prepare is now! To learn more, visit The Economic Collapse Blog.

Click HERE for book giveaway details!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00028]

In Seven Cows, Ugly and Gaunt, Book One: Behold Darkness and Sorrow, Daniel Walker begins having prophetic dreams about the judgment coming upon America. Through one of his dreams, Daniel learns of an imminent threat of an electromagnetic pulse attack which will wipe out America’s electric grid, sending the country into a technological dark age. Municipal water services, retail food distribution, police, fire, EMS and all emergency services will come to a screeching halt. If they want to live, Daniel and his friends must focus on faith, wits and preparation to be ready . . .  before the lights go out.


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


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

Happy Prepping!

The post Alert! Meltdown is Happening Now-Michael Snyder-Pt 2 appeared first on Prepper Recon.

Review: Boostceuticals Phosphatidylserine

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Phosphatidylserine is a chemical that the body can make, but most of what you need comes from food. These supplements used to come from cow brains, but mad cow disease has caused it to be created from soy or cabbage. The supplement Phosphatidylerine is used for Alzheimer’s disease, age-related mental decline, improving thinking skills in young people, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, preventing exercise-induced stress, and improving athletic performance.  In 2003 the FDA approved limited health claims for phosphatidylerine. I am interested in nootropics (aka smart drugs) as when boosceuticals offerd me a chance to review their product I gladly

The post Review: Boostceuticals Phosphatidylserine appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Buying A GPS Receiver

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Looking for a GPS?  Here are a few suggestions.
Buying your GPS receiver is a lot like shopping for your a car. You want reliability and simplicity in providing transportation from Point A to Point B. There are many outdoor opportunities that may impact what kind of GPS model suits your specific needs. As a hunter or hiker you need to shop intelligently. Here is what you need to know:
         Start with a quick education of common GPS terms, and why they’re important.
  • Waypoints – These are your navigation coordinates that you have saved to memory within the GPS. Most receivers will hold 500. That said, you only need to keep a few on your GPS all the time. Use the free program at www.easygps.com to store the rest.
  • Find/Go To – This is the navigation function of the receiver. It is this function that will “steer” you to your destination.
  • Coordinates: This refers to a geographic grid system and pinpoints your position in the world. The most common is Latitude and Longitude though many outdoorsmen quickly shift to Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) because of its simplicity.
  • Compass – An electronic counter-part to your magnetic compass. The GPS compass is dependent on batteries, like the rest of the system, so don’t leave your magnetic compass at home.
Every GPS has these basic features. Anything additional are bells and whistles. It will be up to you to determine which ones are functionally important. For example, I am both a hunter and backpacker. I like a GPS with a Barometric altimeter because I use that function to monitor atmospheric pressure at high elevations. I know through personal experiences that when the pressure drops the weather is changing – I may be looking for shelter.
When looking to buy a GPS receiver consider the following:
  • Decide how much you want to spend. If you don’t know what a GPS might cost, visit www.walmart.com, www.gpscity.com and www.rei.com to get a good price baseline. Check the manufacturer’s web site (such as www.garmin.com) for rebate offers. Then research the web with for reviews on specific models.
  • Ask friends with GPS’s what they use theirs for and what their recommendation would be. One size definitely doesn’t fit all! An avid geocacher would have different needs than a hunter. A hunter might opt for a model with a two way radio such as the Garmin Rino series.
  • Older folks and those not “tech savvy” seem to do better with a GPS that has buttons on the front (GarminMap 62/64 series); it seems to be more intuitive. As an instructor, I’ve found that buttons along the side can become frustrating for people with less steady hands.

In the store, pick up the receiver, look at the controls and hold it as you would when using it.  Ask yourself: 

  • Does it feel like a good fit?
  • Can I read the buttons and comfortably push them? (With gloves?)
  • Is the screen size adequate? 
  • Is the GPS simple or just too complex for me?
  • Mapping programs are nice but expect to pay $100.00 or more.  Ask a friend with a GPS and see for yourself if the mapping is an asset for you.  Can you read what is presented on the screen or is it just clutter?  Visit GPS File Depot for free maps to load on your GPS.
  • Find out what the store’s return policy is on electronics and what their return rate is with various models. 
  • Whatever you buy, hang on to that receipt and register the product soon after purchase. 

 Once you buy a GPS:

  • Keep fresh batteries in it.  Don’t put it in the closet, or store it in your survival kit. Take it out and use it; now.  You can’t break it,.
  •  You should practice your GPS and map and compass skills often.  Your  wilderness land navigation skills could, given a bad turn of weather or situation, become  a matter of survival. 
  •  Visit the manufacturers website once every six months or so.  The manufactures frequently offer free up-grades allowing the GPS’s internal software to run more efficiently.  It is usually a simple down load to make your GPS current.

A good way to learn is to take a class where you will learn the basics and how your receiver works.  Check with your local Community College’s continuing education program or Sporting Goods stores to see if they offer classes.

And don’t forget: a GPS is no substitute for a map and a quality compass and the knowledge of how to use them.  The most expensive GPS on the market is only as good as its batteries.  Anything electronic can fail and they do so at the most inconvenient time.

The 2016 Home Grown Food Summit is Right Around the Corner!

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30+ Free Presentations On Growing Your Own Food & Medicine Sustainably In Your Back Yard

The 2016 Home Grown Food Summit is right around the corner!

In case you missed last year’s summit, let me give you a little background info… This is an online event featuring more than 30 expert speakers on important topics about growing your own food and medicine.


We only do this once a year.

Expert Speakers on Important Homesteading and Gardening Topics

And this year’s lineup features some great experts that you won’t want to miss:

Ira Wallace – Author of Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast, and member of the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. Ira will teach you all of her tricks for growing great garlic and onions.
Sam Coffman – The herbal medicine expert who taught survival skills to U.S. Special Forces for 10+ years. Sam will teach you how to increase the potency of your backyard herbs.
David the Good – Author of Survival Gardening Secrets and Compost Everything. David will teach you about “extreme composting” techniques for gardens and food forests.
Geoff Lawton – The Director of the Permaculture Research Institute in Australia. Geoff will walk you through a checklist of important things to consider before you buy a new property.
John Dromgoole – Host of Gardening Naturally, America’s longest running organic gardening radio show. John will teach you the best practices for organic gardening and share lots of the tricks he uses in his own gardens.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg – there are more than 30 experts whose names aren’t listed here. It’s the Home Grown Food Summit, and it’s going to be a full week of educational awesomeness.

Free Presentations for One Week

Because you’re a member of the [Grow] Network, we already saved a spot for you at this year’s summit. You can watch each presentation for free for one whole day, beginning on March 7th. Just keep an eye on your inbox, and the invitations will be sent straight to you.

If you want to purchase a copy of the entire summit, now’s the time. We’re running a special pre-sale offer for members of the [Grow] Network.

Right now, for the next 8 days, you can buy it at a 20% discount.

There’s going to be a lot of information to absorb in one short week. Especially if you have other obligations like a job or a family. Here’s what you get when you purchase:

• All 30+ video presentations, to watch anytime
• Printable PDF transcripts for all presentations
• Audio-only recordings for all presentations
• USB Flash drive is available for offline viewing
• 2 free bonus eBooks

Special Pre-Sale Discount Offer

As soon as the summit starts, this special pre-sale offer ends. So you only have until 10 a.m. PST March 7th to take advantage of the 20% discount we’re offering.

When you purchase the Home Grown Food Summit, we’ll also enter you in a drawing with 9 chances to win over $4,078.00 in amazing prizes. We’re giving away a Garden Tower 2 vertical gardening tower, an All-American pressure canner, and lots more. The grand prize is the complete signature heirloom seed collection from Jere Gettle at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, worth over $1,295.00!

Right now you can get the summit for only $59 (online access), or $79 (USB flash drive). This offer is intended for members of the [Grow] Network and our affiliates, and the cost of the summit will go up as soon as the summit starts on March 7th.

Click Here to Purchase the 2016 Home Grown Food Summit at the 20% Pre-Sale Discount

We’re really proud of this year’s summit, and we know you’re going to love it.

If you don’t already receive our newsletters, you can sign up for the summit, for free, by registering here: 2016 Home Grown Food Summit


TeamSnap App: The Perfect Tool For Busy Families

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TeamSnap App: The Perfect Tool For Busy Families via The Survival Mom

I’m busier as a stay-at-home mom than I ever was when I had a full-time job. From keeping the house fairly clean to homeschooling the kids and trying to figure out what’s for dinner every night, life gets crazy. Add a few extracurricular activities, and there have been days when I thought my head would explode!

If your kids are in sports, clubs, Scouts, and even group activities at church, you know what it’s like to play chauffeur, master coordinator, minor injuries medic, and overall operations engineer! You also know what it’s like to realize how beneficial these activities are to kids. Kids are best prepared for the future when their education includes knowledge and skills they gain from a variety of activities.

My own kids have been busy in various sports over the years, but this year they are both on a rowing team. Three mornings a week, we travel to the shores of Lake Houston, and I drop them off for practice. When we first joined the team, it was a chore keeping track of when it was my turn to bring water, when practice was cancelled due to rain or high winds, and how I could let the coach know if one of my kids couldn’t attend. Emails would arrive too early, too late, or be overlooked altogether. Fortunately, my friend and team mom, Monica, discovered TeamSnap and team life suddenly became easier and less stressful.

I wish there was a TeamSnap to organize everything else in my life!

Easier to use than I thought!

My Android phone is already loaded with apps and I was hesitant to try TeamSnap. What? Another app? Another learning curve? That’s not what this busy mom needs!

I was so grateful to discover that the TeamSnap app is easy to use. It makes my life easier, not more complicated. I click open the app, click on our team name, the name of each of my kids, and then indicate whether or not they’ll be able to attend a practice, regatta, or team party. TeamSnap is how we parents coordinate our monthly parent meetings and how the coach can enter information about each team member, race results, boat assignments, and more.

TeamSnap app

A single click and I can see our schedule and click Yes/No/Maybe for our attendance.

Our coach now knows ahead of time who will be at any given practice and can plan ahead how to configure the boats among the rowers attending. I’m sure it was no fun at all prior to TeamSnap when an odd number of kids showed up and all his boats require even numbers of rowers!

Now, with TeamSnap, he has the capability to send out emails to the entire group or single out specific team members or parents for individual contact. Instantaneous text alerts are also an option, and so handy when there’s a last minute cancellation or the weather requires rain jackets.

NOTE: TeamSnap offers a free 4-month trial with full access and no need to sign up with a credit card. Check it out in person at this link!

The Tracking feature helps coach keep track of who has brought permission slips, who has finished assignments, paid their dues, picked up their uniforms, or who has taken their turn in a volunteer position. Little details like this can drive a coach, team mom, or coordinator to drink!

Beyond the sports scene

If your kids are more into drama, chess, choir, or band, TeamSnap is still your one-stop shop for staying organized. My daughter is in a girl’s book club with a gaggle of other book-crazy, teenaged, homeschooled girls. Their book choices change each month and different girls are assigned to host the meetings with discussion questions, author interviews, and snacks. TeamSnap is the obvious solution to keeping this group organized and in sync with each other throughout the month.

I decided to set up a TeamSnap account for this club myself, to give it a try as a coordinator, not just a parent. Using TeamSnap’s offer of 4 free months, there was no need to enter my credit card information, which I appreciated!

Set up is a no brainer, with easy to follow instructions. I recommend signing up your group or team, and then taking a few minutes to explore the TeamSnap website. There’s plenty of help available, including a Live Chat option. Katie at Live Chat was prompt and polite in answering my questions.

It’s not just for the kids!

TeamSnap’s capabilities lend themselves well to any group, not just sports and kids. A MeetUp group, for example, could set up an account and use it to keep track of attendance, meeting agendas, guest speakers, food assignments, and a lot more. A PTA group, book club, poker club, and even a direct sales group could utilize the app and TeamSnap website for planning and preparing for their events. Set up automatic reminders so there’s no confusion about meeting dates, times, and location.

TeamSnap app

TeamSnap connects to Google maps, so you always know where you’re going!

There are so many applications for this app (see what I did there?). On an Android or iPhone, it’s user and mobile friendly, and the app is free.

What groups do you belong to that TeamSnap could help coordinate? Four free months of use will give you a better idea of whether or not the app will help organize your group. The basic level is free, which is awesome, but give the free trial period a try so you can explore all the different options. There’s no need to enter credit card information, so you won’t be surprised on Month 5 with a charge you didn’t expect.

Hey, TeamSnap! How about creating a new app, LifeSnap? I could sure use that for everything else in my crazy-busy life!

Disclaimer: I was compensated by TeamSnap for my time and research. Since I already use TeamSnap, I was happy to share this with my readers.

TeamSnap App: The Perfect Tool For Busy Families via The Survival Mom

Topographic Maps

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Philip Werner at Section Hiker has a super post about the poor quality of the new USGS topograhic maps.

“Have you ever noticed how incomplete and out of date digital maps are when it comes to hiking trails? At least on the free USGS maps you can download on the web and that come bundled with GPS devices or Smartphone navigation apps. In my neck of the woods, you still need to use the waterproof paper maps published by local cartographers because they’re far more up-to-date than digital maps.”

Fast Fiesta Mexican Ravioli Recipe

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Fast Fiesta Mexican Ravioli Recipe Quick, easy and inexpensive! Just add a salad and some Mexican style corn and you have a fab meal in less than an hour! Too easy and too quick to taste as good as it does! Have you ever thought to yourself, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Well, I had …

Burntroot Broadcasting Podcast

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Here is a podcast with myself and Mitch, from Burntroot Broadcasting. We discuss certain aspects of prepping, such as firearms and personal and home defense, ammo storage, etc. The podcast is about 30 minutes long. Click the link below to listen. There are also other great podcasts involving various topics on prepping. So be sure […]

The post Burntroot Broadcasting Podcast appeared first on Plan and Prepared.

9 Ways To DIY A Chicken Feeder

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chicken feederEverybody loves chicken meat and eggs and many preppers have taken to chicken ownership, so we thought that some DIY projects for feeding chickens would be of interest to you.

These will be particularly useful if you’re a chicken owner looking for cheaper ways for feeding your, ahem, “livestock”, and who isn’t?

Chickens? Why?

For those of you who haven’t jumped on the chicken train, yet: Why raise chickens, you may ask? Well, home-grown chicken meat is healthy and it tastes good, and besides being a great source of food (eggs included), they’re fairly easy to raise and they’re also good fun (as in entertainment).

Are you sold yet? If not, keep reading!

Chickens can be grown in small, even portable, coops which are nicknamed chicken-tractors. These are excellent to use if you have a smaller backyard. Chickens are not picky when it comes to food, and they eat some of the stuff we eat regularly (bread, grains and stuff like that).

In the best of worlds, you should let them feed themselves, as in “free range chickens”, but in our modern day and age, that’s often difficult due to space restrictions or local laws. Many city ordinances don’t even allow chickens, let alone free-range ones. There’s also the safety of the chickens to be considered; if you live beside a person who has dogs or cats that run loose, your chickens are going to be considered dinner!

So, today’s article is about how to DIY chicken feeders. You may enjoy feeding them by hand, but this projects will free up some time in case you’re too busy to throw scratch every day.

Ask around and you’ll find out that chickens regularly spill the food in the feed dish or even poop in it, so go for a fresh and clean start with your chicken farm project by building a feeder which does not allow them to get inside the feeder and waste the food.

I know, chicken-chow is relatively cheap, but that doesn’t mean you must lose half of it to waste on a daily basis.

Are you ready? Let’s get it on, right after the break!

Project 1: PVC Chicken Feeder

PVC is almost a panacea for your homestead. I mean, if you can build entire underground watering systems from PVC piping, chicken feeders are child’s play! So, if you want to say goodbye to chicken feed waste and trampled grass, build your own chicken feeder using plain-old PVC piping.

The simplest design is a T-shaped system which can be easily built using 90 degree elbows along with PVC piping. The beauty of this chicken feeder is its simplicity and effectiveness. Also, this baby can be used for both feeding and watering your chickens, making it an absolutely must-have for your coop.

In terms of materials required, you’ll only have to go shopping for a 5′ long PVC pipe, a “T” joint, two 90-degree elbows, a cap and a jar of PVC cement. The idea is to cut off two 3” pieces from the PVC pipe which are required to join the “T” and elbows together.

The PVC cement must be applied in each one of the two holes of the “T” and, as quickly as possible, both of the 3” long pieces of PVC pipe must be firmly secured into the respective hole. I say quickly because PVC cement dries in a matter of seconds and it becomes rock-solid. Basically this is a two step process, repeated for each side hole of the “T”.

Next, the elbows must be dry-fitted onto the 3” pipe stubs. After you have them on, make a mark on the elbow pieces across to the joining parts of the “T” using a sharpie, to help you later when you’ll be gluing them together.

After you mark them, glue these parts together with PCV cement. The long pipe must be also glued in the top hole of the “T” piece and that’s about it; you’ve ended up with a T-shaped chicken feeder which can be placed basically anywhere and it can be used for watering your chickens too. For keeping it fixed firmly in place, you can use wire or something similar. Then, all you have to do is to fill the tube with whatever chicken feed you’re using, and place the cap on top.

This is how the two-sided gizmo looks in the end; the finished product and some complementary chickens, for your viewing pleasure:

Chicken Feeder 1

Photo source: Backyard Chicken Lady

And here’s a video tutorial depicting all the details for making a simple chicken feeder from PVC pipes.

Video first seen on Specific Love Creations

Actually, there are three different models along with the first T-shaped one, so go ahead, take your pick. There’s this next one:

Video first seen on Hobby Farms

And then these other really cool ideas:

Video first seen on Green Power Farm

Video first seen on Carolina Coops

Project 2: The Rodent-Proof Chicken Feeder

If you’re having a pest (read rats) infestation problem in your backyard where your chickens march gloriously enjoying the spring breeze, what are you going to do? You can’t just let the rats spread disease and eat you out of house and coop. Call pest control?

Well, that could work too, but the elegant, more permanent, chemical-free solution would be to build a rodent-proof chicken feeder. By rodent-proof, I mean the rats will be unable to get inside and grab a free meal on your dime whenever they want.

Enter the Chicken Feeder 9000; check out the video below and don’t worry because the door shuts in slow motion so that the chickens are safe and in a couple of days, even the oldest and stupidest hen will learn how to use it. And yes, it works folks. You can see the desperation in the little grey fellow’s misty eyes, can’t you?

Video first seen on East Bourne Diver

Here’s a video that will help you with the DIY job if you’re into trolling rodents!

Video first seen on TCSRock78

Project 3: The Wooden Chicken Feeder

This falls into the “high end” category of DIY chicken feeders and it requires excellent skills in terms of wood cutting and assembling. However, if you’re good with tools and wood, this project will fit you like a glove and your chickens will be happy. As you know, happy chickens give more eggs, so go for it.

In the photo source you can find detailed information about the respective job, including parts list, tools list and schematics. Materials required are screws, plywood, redwood plant stakes, veneer and miscellaneous materials (washers, sandpaper etc.). And here’s how the end-product should look in the end. Beautiful, isn’t it? On top of its astounding looks, this high-end feeder is bird/pest-resistant and, not counting the labor, it will cost you about 40 bucks tops.

Chicken Feeder Project 3

Photo source: Back Yard Chickens

Project 4: Zero Waste Chicken Feeder

Here comes a similar project, the zero waste chicken feeder, which also requires moderate carpenter skills, but don’t worry, here’s a video which will help you a lot with the DIY job. It looks easy and simple, right? What are you waiting for?

Video first seen on Stan Sullivan

Project 5: “The Best” Automatic Chicken Feeder

I don’t know if this one’s the best, as the ad says, but it certainly looks pretty good. The gizmo will provide your chickens with enough food to last 10 chickens for 2 weeks and it can be built for less than 40 bucks. It works very nicely and helps reduce food waste a lot. You can fill it with both pellets and crumbles and here are the detailed instructions.

Video first seen on Shawn Whetsel

Project 6: The Bucket Feeder

If you’re on a tight budget or just looking for the best deal in town, the bucket feeder is the answer to your prayers. This project will cost you 15 dollars tops and I think it’s the best idea that’s been created for a chicken-lover since immemorial times, or at least since plastic buckets were invented.

So, all that you’ll require for this bucket feeder/waterer (it works both ways, check that out) is a 5 gallon plastic bucket with a lid, an oil pan, washers, a nut, adhesive and some screws. I bet that most of you already have them around your homestead somewhere, right? So you may end up with 0 costs after all. Here are the detailed instructions.

Project 7: The Bulk Chicken Feeder

For this project you’ll require a drum, a flanged elbow and some basics tools, like a ruler, a pen, hacksaw or something similar for cutting the hole. Total building time? 10 minutes. Budget? 20 bucks. Satisfaction? Infinite!

Here’s the video tutorial, so check it out.

Video first seen on Rob Bob’s Backyard Farming

Project 8: The Three Bag Easy Automatic Chicken Feeder

Almost last but definitely not least, ladies and gents, I present you with the 3 Bag Easy Deluxe! This project requires a thirty gallon trash can (go for the least expensive one), six 3” pipe elbows and six 3” pipe end caps. The end result will be an automatic chicken (and duck) feeder which is fairly easy to make and works like a charm.

And here’s the video tutorial, folks. Life is great with chickens, isn’t it?

Video first seen on J&J Acres

Project 9: The Absolutely Free Gravity-Operated Chicken Feeder

The best things in life are free, including gravity operated chicken feeders. This project is at an 8-year old level of skill, it requires $0 and it can be built in 10 minutes or less. All you need is a PVC bucket, some thick wire, a knife and a few spare minutes to build it, so check out the tutorial.

Video first seen on Anže Rogelja

I hope this article helped and if you have suggestions, comments or other ideas about feeders, feel free to express yourself in the dedicated section below.


This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

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The Garden Redesign – Adding A Little Flair

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It seems like each and every year  – we find ourselves writing a Sunday Farm Update about changes to the garden. Our garden has changed a lot since those first vegetable seedling went into the ground in the Spring of 2011. It has always been

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Deuteronomy 5:9

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You must not bow down to them or worship them, 
because I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God,
 punishing the children for the fathers’ sin 
to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

     This is a difficult verse for many Christians, and it is especially difficult for non-Believers.  How, many ask, could you worship a God who would punish innocent children?  And besides, isn’t this confined to the Old Testament and Mosaic Law?  Didn’t Jesus come to take all our punishment upon Himself?  How could this idea of “generational curses” still be in effect today?
     I know that many who discount the Old Testament as having any relevance to modern Christianity will probably stop reading right now; or at least give no credence to what I’m about to say.  And to be sure, it is only my opinion, but I would like to share my thoughts and experiences with you, and why I believe that the whole Word of God is still our reality today.
    First of all, God has not changed.  He is the same God, consistent in character, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21.   What He has determined about our relationship with Him is the same today as it was with Adam in the Garden and in Moses’ time.  The reason that His punishment seems so harsh to us, is because we don’t fully comprehend what He means when He says, “I am a jealous God.”  And it is important to understand this, because the punishment of the children for the fathers’ sin is the end result of God’s jealousy.  So, what does He mean?
     The word jealous comes from the Hebrew word Qanná, and according to Strong’s Concordance, refers directly to the attributes of God’s justice and holiness, as He is to be the sole object of human worship and does not tolerate man’s sin.  His holiness does not tolerate competitors or those who sin against Him.  In other words, He is zealous for our worship, and desires our full allegiance and obedience; so much so, that our sin can provoke Him to anger.  
     Now, for those who only see God as Love, Grace, and Mercy (all part of His holy character), this characteristic of a God who demands Justice for Himself, is a difficult pill to swallow.  That’s why we must take the full counsel of the Word, not just the New Testament .  
     And there will be those who will point to Ezekiel 18:20, which says, The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. They will say that we are each only responsible for our own personal sin.  That our sins will have no effect on anyone else, and certainly not on subsequent generations.
     But let me share with you some of my observations.  How many children from broken homes become rebellious and fall into sin?  It’s easy to point to those who fall into drug addictions or promiscuous sex, and say that they made their own choices to sin.  No one made them do it, and you can’t possibly think that it is a generational curse.  I will agree that each of us can resist the devil and make our own choices to live a righteous life.  But can you honestly say that a father’s adultery, or a mother’s abandonment did not open a door for the Enemy to attack their child with thoughts of acting out, or pursuing a sin that would help stop the pain?  And what of the child, who on the outside looks to be living a blameless life, but suffers from anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, and stifled anger and bitterness?  Are these not tangible results of the parents’ sins?
     In the healing ministry that my husband and I have been brought to by the Lord, almost every person seeking healing from their spiritual wounds can trace their hurts and soul damage to events that happened in their childhood; events that opened the door for Satan to attack them in areas that would remain vulnerable into their adult years.  That is not to say that we are to blame our parents for every slight or injury and not take responsibility for our own actions.  But it is to say that the actions of each one of us, when we offend God, has a huge impact on those we love.  
     We can make God jealous when we pursue obvious false gods, such as those in secret societies and organizations (such as Freemasonry).  But we can also make Him jealous when we worship our jobs more than our families; when we worship our status in the Church more than showing Jesus’s love to all we come in contact with; when we allow our culture to compromise our faith and we bow down to unholy principles and values.   
     What has been absolutely astounding to me, is that when we minister to people who need deep spiritual healing, there is always a root of some demonic spirit that gained a foothold in their childhood. The Holy Spirit can heal that wound, helping them to know (in their spirit) that Jesus was always there with them during the hurting times.  They can allow that inner child to surrender the hurts to Jesus and let Him lay them at the foot of the Cross.  Once they do that and forgive the ones who hurt them, it is time to deal with any demonic spirits that may still be in them.  Oftentimes, the Holy Spirit has healed them with very little residual interference from Satan.  But when the hurts are deep-seated, the Holy Spirit has to root out spirits of anger, or resentment; spirits of rejection or abandonment; and oftentimes spirits of perversion, lust, or Jezebel.  Yes, she is still around afflicting and oppressing people, even in the 21st Century.  But you know what?  When asked how these spirits gained authority over the life of the person, they almost always reveal that they have been there for multiple generations!  They have been passed down from generation to generation; the sins of some long-ago ancestor affected the lives of his children and the sins became familiar and habitual down that family line.  Just think about it … alcoholism and drug addiction; sexual, physical, and emotional abuse; and unwanted pregnancies often form patterns in a family that continue for several generations.
     Could anyone at any time break that pattern and repent of their sins?  Absolutely!  And that is where the personal responsibility comes in.  But we cannot dismiss the Word of God and God’s holy character, either.  If someone in our family line falls prey to Satan’s lies and worships anything other than Almighty God, He is good to act on His Word.  That part about hating God means that one has rejected Him and is subject to this pronouncement of His judgment as presented in Deuteronomy 5:9. It couldn’t be stated any plainer than it is, and is the undisputed Word of YHWH.

What Does The Bible Say About Forcing Women To Register For The Draft?

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What Does The Bible Say About Forcing Women To Register For The Draft?

OK, ladies, I need to preface everything I am about to say with this …

You are not the “weaker sex.” Any thoughts I have concerning women in combat have absolutely nothing to do with any thought that you, as a gender, are less capable of serving in the military. Women can, and have, performed admirably in military roles around the world.

But even though the military has opened these jobs to women, should we require women – as the top officers in the Army and Marine Corps believe — to register for Selective Service, potentially opening America’s daughters, sisters and even moms to a future draft?

My answer is a resounding NO!

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There are many that argue that if women want total equality, they should accept equality of risk, as well. I do not share this thought in the least. While I believe very strongly in equality of pay and opportunity, and a level playing field professionally, I also believe that the traditional gender roles are supported by common sense and Scripture. It is the duty of men to guard women, but not because they are “weaker.” Quite the contrary, because ladies are much stronger than us in certain areas. These are very important areas –and areas that should be guarded at all costs.

Let’s begin by looking at a passage out of Proverbs:

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” … Proverbs 31:25-30 (ESV)

What Does The Bible Say About Requiring Women To Sign Up For The Draft?Do we want to subject women — our repository of the teaching of kindness — to the possibility of being drafted into military service in a combat role? Do we wish to make women as base and war-like as men? If we allow equality to go this far, who will teach our children in the ways of kindness and godliness? In this, I feel that protecting women from this fate does not make them any less equal, but instead makes them more than equal. The world needs women of a Godly spirit to raise up future generations to expand the Kingdom of God on Earth, and this spirit is not fostered in a combat zone.

Let’s look at another passage:

For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his body, the church; he gave his life to be her Savior. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives must submit to your husbands in everything.

And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man is actually loving himself when he loves his wife. No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, just as Christ cares for his body, which is the church. And we are his body.

As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.  Ephesians 5:23-32 (NLT)

Here we see that the marriage relationship, the fundamental unit of the family and God’s plan for men and women, is likened to Christ’s relationship to the Church.

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Men are called upon to lay down everything, even our lives if needed, in caring for our wives. Again, not because women are weak or frail, but because they have strengths and virtues that are worthy of being preserved. By maintaining these strengths, men become better, families become better, children are made better, and God’s plan is furthered. Here, too, these strengths and virtues are not furthered in a combat zone.

In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands, even those who refuse to accept the Good News. Your godly lives will speak to them better than any words. They will be won over by watching your pure, Godly behavior.

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty … You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God … In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat her with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. If you don’t treat her as you should, your prayers will not be heard. 1 Peter 3:1-5, 7 (NLT)

Despite how it first may appear, it is clear that subjugation of women is not God’s will. Once again, we see that women have been given the very important role of softening men to God’s intentions. Women have been gifted with Godly kindness, wisdom and giving hearts, and they have been tasked with instilling these virtues in their men. It is readily apparent that the role women play is arguably – in many areas of life — more important in many ways than the roles played by men. I will submit one more time that these virtues are not fostered in a combat zone.

Scripturally, it is clear that subjecting women to the potential of being drafted into military service is not in keeping with God’s design. Do we really want our precious daughters, sisters and moms drafted into combat? What type of society does that?

Should women be permitted to serve in the military? Yes. I think that they should, but only by choice. But Selective Service registration and a draft for women in general? Absolutely not.

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

22½ Uses for Emergency Mylar Space Blankets

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22½ Uses for Emergency Mylar Space Blankets We all have a Mylar blanket in our kit somewhere. See what other 22½ Uses for Emergency Mylar Space Blankets are… I carry 6 in my bug out bag and 4 in my car at all times. I know they can save lives when you get cold and retains …

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14 Foods You Might Have Forgotten To Store

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14 Foods You Might Have Forgotten To Store No one is perfect, no one will have everything they think they will need in an emergency and most importantly, no one will ever have enough food stockpiled to sustain them until they die in a SHTF situation. Alan from urbansurvivalsite.com has compiled a list of 14 …

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13 Trees You Should Consider NOT Planting In Your Yard

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13 Trees You Should Consider NOT Planting In Your Yard I am so happy I read this article. I say that because I need to plant trees to create privacy and a little shade. I was thinking about planting Leyland Cypress trees around my property but what I didn’t realize is if you don’t keep them trimmed …

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The Gray Man Concept For Survival

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The Gray Man Concept For Survival This is an interesting concept. Some agree some do not. At the end of the day it is up to you how you take on SHTF situations. I personally agree and disagree, so I am on the fence. I am not sure if that’s a good thing or not …

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How to Obtain Solar Panels For Free

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How to Obtain Solar Panels For Free I saw this article and thought it very obvious but it’s one of those articles where you say to yourself, ugh, why didn’t I think of that! In order to obtain the solar panels for free you will need to have your people skills and politeness in check, …

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The Shelf Life Of Common Refrigerated Foods

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The Shelf Life of Common Refrigerated Foods {FREE PRINTOUT!} It seems I’ve been doing a lot of cooking lately and I had managed to accumulate quite an impressive number of plastic containers with various leftover meals in them. As I contemplated just emptying them all out into the trash can, I wondered just how long some of …

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This Village Shows What Happens When Humans Disappear

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This Village Shows What Happens When Humans Disappear, And It’s Beautiful Have you ever thought about what would happen to villages and town if we one day just vanished? I have. In fact I love watching Chernobyl documentary’s because that is a great example of mother nature taking back. Over in China, there is another …

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