Born in the Storm…..A follow up from the Flooding in South Carolina

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I took this picture in the Columbia South Carolina area last fall.  Believe it or not, it is 10 days after the flood waters were attempting to recede.  This is a river….with water covering the tree trunks.  I hope that gives you a sense of the how much water this area had to deal with in a very short period of time. 

I have written about the efforts in the Lower South Beltline area by the amazing volunteers previously.  Please see this post  for more of my first-hand account when my husband and I went to join in the efforts to help those who were impacted by this natural disaster.

I continue to watch the volunteer effort through social media and am amazed at the goodness and Christ-like service from the many volunteers who continue to serve the impacted residents of this area.

The following Video was produced by Les Carroll describing some of the efforts of the many volunteers shortly after the Flooding occurred.  It is well done and worth your time to view it.

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”  Matthew 25: 40

The good folks of the South continue to set the bar….

Sunday Prepper Bible Study- Pleasing God Above All Else

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movies

And the son of an Israelitish woman, whose father [was] an Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel: and this son of the Israelitish [woman] and a man of Israel strove together in the camp; And the Israelitish woman’s son blasphemed the name [of the LORD], and cursed. And they brought him unto Moses: (and his mother’s name [was] Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan:) And they put him in ward, that the mind of the LORD might be shewed them. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard [him] lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him.

Leviticus 24:10-134

On a recent road trip, I finally got the opportunity to listen to a classic post-apocalyptic audio book that I’d been looking forward to. Alas, Babylon, the story of a nuclear holocaust in America was written in 1958 so I thought the language would be tolerable. No such luck. Just a few chapters in and the author thought it would be okay to insert a GD. Obviously, he he hadn’t read today’s verse and didn’t understand how seriously God felt about his name being thrown around and combined with a curse word.

Disappointed, I cut the mp3 player off and went back to listening to a selection of my favorite podcasts. You see, this has happened to me on many occasions. In fact, it happens more often than not. because it’s important to God that he not hear his name used like that, it’s important to me; and that take a priority over being entertained or educated by a book, movie or television show. As much as I was enjoying the audio edition of One Second After, I had to cut it off because at some arbitrary point in the book, the author used God’s name in vain.

Unfortunately, I don’t know of any good screening services that let you know the language content of books. I can guarantee you that you’ll never find that kind of language in my books.

For movies however, Plugged In provides a very valuable service for those of you who are willing to keep a vigilant watch over what you allow in your mind through your eyes and ears. Plugged In even offers an exact count of which profanities are used and how many times. They also advise viewers of sexual content.

My wife and I have been renting some of the classics from our local library. While the special effects may leave something to be desired, many of the old classics offer very good acting and screenwriting. The larger question is, what is your priority? Do you place your need to be entertained above pleasing God?

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

Have a blessed day and happy prepping!

Mark

The post Sunday Prepper Bible Study- Pleasing God Above All Else appeared first on Prepper Recon.

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First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2: 1-4 (ESV)

For Our Government Officials

Save, O Lord, and have mercy upon all leaders, politicians, and civil authorities of these United States of America. We especially hold up to you President Barack Obama, Vice-President Joe Biden, Chief Justice John Roberts, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. We pray for all the President’s Cabinet members and advisers,  the associate judges of the Supreme Court, all federal, state, and local judges, all members of the House of Representatives and Senate, as well as all governors, state legislators, and local authorities. Grant them wisdom in their duties and decisions, and have them serve Your Will in all things. Block all of their plots and schemes that run counter to Your good and perfect Will, or that threaten the inalienable rights You have given to us.

Save, O Lord, and have mercy on all the candidates running to be the next President of the United States – Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and a host of other candidates from third parties. Keep them all safe during these chaotic and emotional times. Grant them wisdom and have them serve Your Will in all things. Direct this election cycle to go according to Your will, and block all of their plots and schemes that run counter to Your Will, or that threaten the inalienable rights You have given to us. Keep our country at peace.

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen. 

(Additionally, please feel free to pray by name for any elected officials or candidates at any level, especially those with jurisdiction over your locality.)

Roof is done

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I could not believe how quickly the roofers got the job done.  From the time the the truck delivered the shingle to when the roofers left about 8.5 to 9 hours. The clean up was good and I only had a couple of plants sort of bent over in the front yard beds.  I don’t know a lot about roofs but what little I picked up everything looks good. The roofers added a couple more vents so this summer things should be cooler in the house.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Another nice touch is all my gutters got cleaned out so the roof area is pretty much ready for fall. That was the biggest job and all that is left is getting the Kitchen ceiling taped and textured.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The light is good right now and I expect once the ceiling is finished it will get better overall.

Here are a couple of better pictures of the Back yard work so far. After I add the sod next week I will post up a few more pictures.

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You can see the tree ring I did with a bit of small pebbles around the apple tree. The grass sod will be on the left hand side of the border so the pups will have a nice grassy area in the back yard. The back yard is starting to come together for this summer.

 

 

Beginning & Improving Preparedness Planning

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By Denis Korn

 

It is time once again to evaluate one of the Foundational Articles.  I have presented here a simple and concise guide to the preparedness process.  Your are encouraged to treat this information seriously!  You are also invited to read other articles and posts that go into detail regarding various facets of preparedness.

If you are a newcomer to preparedness planning or have been engaged for some time, the information and suggestions contained in this article will certainly help you begin or add to your experience of confidence and peace of mind, and assist you with practical steps you can take.

The first step in the preparedness planning process is the acknowledgment that you have made a wise and sound decision and have chosen to take responsibility for you and your family, and to be prepared in the event of unforeseen circumstances.  Be encouraged to continue this process with diligence, motivation, and discernment.

It is my intention in this article to present a guideline that can be followed which will lead you on an important journey to being prepared in the event of any number of potentially unexpected events.  This process is basically undertaken in three phases – each one of which will take as much time as you wish to devote, and the degree of urgency you are experiencing.

  1. First, there is an initial assessment necessary to determine the direction you are heading.
  2. Second, there is further evaluation, research, and planning required to develop a firm foundation for the third phase, and to develop the clarity required for appropriate and accurate decision making.
  3. Third, there is taking action and assembling the appropriate provisions and critical information you have determined are necessary for your security and peace of mind.  This phase is ongoing as you continue to evaluate, research, and build up your supplies and information.

The initial assessment

This consists of 6 basic questions that you are encouraged to answer that will lead you along the matrix to your destination:

  1. What is your attitude concerning emergency preparedness?
  2. What are the circumstances or scenarios and their severity you have determined may exist that will require you to rely upon your preparedness supplies?
  3. What is the length of time you will be affected during these scenarios that you will be required to rely on your preparedness supplies?
  4. For whom and how many are you preparing?
  5. Where will you be?
  6. How serious are you and how much time, effort, and money are you willing to devote to research, planning, and action, and with what help?

Elaborating on these 6 questions

Attitude – Are you positive, fearful, confused?  A proper attitude during the preparedness planning process is essential and it is made more effective by exercising competent critical thinking and discernment skills. Reacting from fear or confusion can be an obstacle to efficient planning.

Scenarios – At the end of this article is a list of potential scenarios and circumstances that will help you answer this question.  The events range from mild to catastrophic, and fall generally into 3 categories: acts of God that tend to be local or regional; man-made that tend to be national; and momentous earth changes that tend to be national or worldwide.

Time – Your time frames can be as little as 3 days, which provide only a brief period of inconvenience, or as much as 1 year or more (I know of groups preparing for 7 years), that require a significant change of attitude and lifestyle.  Also, at the end of this article, is a listing of various time frames and comments.

Who – Suggestions include, an individual, family, friends, neighborhood, organization, company, club, or church or temple.

Where – How you answer the “Who” question will effect the answer to this question.  In addition consider whether a vacation/retreat location is applicable and whether there are multiple potential locations to take into account.  Also, if you need to be mobile, what transportation options are available or required?

Seriousness – This question requires your honesty not just wishful thinking.  Your level of commitment is important to the planning process, especially when it comes down to a financial commitment.  Also, be honest about what you really know about emergency preparedness planning.  Don’t be afraid to do serious research and seek true expect opinion and perspective.  Initial or additional knowledge is extremely important – and it might save your health or life.

After you finish this initial assessment, I strongly suggest that you refer to and continue to answer the more detailed questions in the article titled The 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning. This will move you into the second phase of the planning process, and assist you in evaluation and research.  The 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning is an expansion of the 6 initial questions, and offers more focused and detailed questions to help guide you along.

Another important article, with specific tips and vital information on food and water, and with some similar questions to other articles, is The Essential Emergency Planning Guide for Food and Water. Here is an excerpt from that article from the Where to Start section.

    • Clearly answer the key questions given in the next “Important Issues” section.
    • Determine a realistic response for your unique economic and personal situation. Be careful to avoid reacting to and with the actions of others without first determining if these actions are appropriate for you. Don’t get caught up in a “feeding frenzy” of buying.
    • Create an appropriate step by step plan of action on paper– sooner rather than later.
    • Continue to educate yourself using the vast resources of reliable information. Note: There are those with limited experience and knowledge who have suddenly appeared in the marketplace to take advantage of the situation. Buyer beware!
    • Assemble a library, data files, and Internet bookmarks; subscribe to related magazines, get tapes.
    • Go to conferences, workshops, and church meetings and talk to responsible leaders who have researched the issues you are concerned about.
    • Make a list of items you will need during your anticipated emergency situation. Prioritize it. Determine what you have on hand, and begin to fill your list.
    • Create lists for differing locations, such as home, car, RV, or work.
    • Prepare an area where you live to store your supplies.
    • Make daily life in an emergency situation real to yourself and your family- Turn off your electricity, gas, water and phone for 3 days, and don’t count on any local stores or services. Don’t wait for a sunny, warm day to try this- emergencies can happen in the winter!
    • Think quality- as if your comfort and life depended on it! You must discern between economy and reliability. All too often the cheapest is the least dependable; especially in an emergency situation, and even more so if the emergency is long term.

As you reflect upon and answer the questions in phase 1 and 2, you may choose to wait until you feel confident about the next phase – action – or you may begin (or perhaps you have already began) to gather your supplies.

Summary of Action Steps

  • Answer the 6 questions in the initial assessment.
  • Answer all the questions in The 12 Crucial Questions of Preparedness Planning.
  • Write down – on paper – the answer to as many of these questions as you feel are necessary to formulate a written preparedness plan.
  • Write down and complete any lists, inventories, important points, insights you have received, or anything else suggested or inferred in the articles that will help in your preparedness planning.
  • Distribute and discuss your easily understood and complete preparedness plan to your family, company, or group.
  • Discuss and request feedback about your plans and supplies with others, as you feel appropriate – friends, experts, suppliers.
  • Continue doing research and evaluation.
  • Create an appropriate place to store supplies.
  • Add to, or begin accumulating and organizing, your provisions.
  • Experiment with the items you have.  Know how to use them – or in the case of food – know how to prepare them and what they taste like (especially if they are unfamiliar).  Emergencies are not the time for surprises.
  • Pray – if you are a religious or spiritually committed individual or family this would be the most important action to continually practice.

Additional tips to consider in the preparedness planning process

Many folks are reluctant to plan ahead, or they assume that the government or others will take care of them, or they are just too busy, or they just don’t think it is necessary.  As an option to doing nothing or to enhance some other level of preparedness planning you have chosen, consider the following:

As you reflect on the scenarios that you presume might occur, think about the concept of a “triggering event.”  Ask yourself, what are the triggering events that will motivate me to immediate action?  What triggering event will launch the imminent arrival of the scenario I have presumed might occur?  If you have created a list of triggering events, you will be on the look out for possible immediate action.  While it is always desirable to plan ahead and have provisions in place, it is better to react at the last minute than not at all.  Obviously some scenarios may offer some prior indications, such as hurricanes, storms, or economic/political issues; while others can occur without warning (see the list of scenarios).  You are responsible – you must choose to act or not.

After you have evaluated the questions and points in this article, a helpful point of view may be the idea of an “extended pantry program,” or what might be considered as a building and expansion of your normal food usage and supplies. Start with a program that is compatible with your needs, assumptions, circumstances, and finances. You may want to start small and keep building.

Scenarios

Scenario Scenario Scenario
Acts of God Man Made Earth Changes
Local – Regional Regional – National National – Worldwide
Earthquake Government regulation/control Catastrophic Weather
Flood Martial Law Asteroid/Comet
Fire Food Shortages Pole Shift
Hurricane Societal Breakdown Solar Flare – CME
Storm/Ice/Snow Civil Disobedience/Riots Tribulation/Religious
Tornado Medical Emergency Severe Earth Changes
Drought Economic Emergency/Collapse Planet X
Power Outage Major Accident
Mud Slide Terrorism Attack
Tsunami Biological/Chemical/Radiological Attack
EMP – Electrical Magnetic Pulse Attack
PERSONAL ISSUES Bombing
Job Loss War
Illness Cyber Attack – No internet
Emergencies Water Source Contamination
Financial Loss

Time Frames

3 Days to 2 Weeks

Minor to moderate inconvenience and disruption of the daily routine.  Basic supplies in the first 3 days would be valuable for comfort but not essential.  An adequate amount of basic supplies after 3 days are important.

3 Weeks to 2 Months

The inconvenience is very noticeable and the routine disruption can be significant.  Supplies required may or may not be on hand, and stockpiling some supplies will be very important.

3 Months to 6 Months

Preparedness planning is very important and a serious disruption to the daily routine is inevitable.  Mobility and location to wait out the emergency is important in your planning.  Proper supplies will be critical.  Medical and other special needs must be planned for in advance.

6 Months to 1 Year

Unless you are very prepared and are committed to self-reliance, in this time frame your lifestyle will definitely be impacted.  Serious attention to your preparedness planning is required.  The questions covered in the foundational articles must be answered and a realistic plan created.  Action and provisions are essential.  You will be dealing with serious issues during this time period, and you must be prepared.

1 Year or More

Scenarios actualized in this time frame are the most serious and catastrophic, and will require a serious commitment to lifestyle changes.  You will be dealing with national and worldwide calamity.  The extent of the impact on everyone’s life can not be over emphasized.  Significant and detailed planning is required, and even with this an emergency situation of this duration will be wrought with uncertainty.  This will be a time for community togetherness, sharing, and mutual support.  Skills not normally possessed by folks will be required.  Gardening and other self-reliant skills will be essential.  Books, tools, and other valuable resources will be vital.

The post Beginning & Improving Preparedness Planning appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

How To Make A Super-Durable Chick Brooder That Will Last For Years

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How To Make A Super-Durable Chick Brooder That Will Last For Years

Image source: Pixabay.com

 

The ancient Egyptians and Chinese are credited with inventing the first egg incubators, but it wasn’t until the late 1800s that the first commercial incubators were used.

Thus began the earnest attempt by poultry breeders to reduce the hen’s instinct to hatch her eggs.

Today, many laying breeds of poultry have almost no instinct to set on, and then hatch their eggs. So for the most part, you’ll have to resort to purchasing day-old chicks from a hatchery, or incubating the eggs and hatching them yourself.

The first thing you’ll need when your chicks hatch or arrive from the hatchery is a brooder to keep them in until they are old enough to regulate their own body heat without an outside source.

For a small number of chicks, brooders can be made from just about type of container. I’ve seen everything from cardboard boxes and baby pools, to large watering troughs.

Diatomaceous Earth: The All-Natural Livestock De-Wormer

What I’ll show you can easily be used to brood up to 50 chicks until they are ready for the coop or pasture pen. Plus, it’s durable.

The materials you will need to make the brooder hover are:

  • 1 – 4×8 sheet of plywood
  • 4 – 2x4x8
  • A box of 1 1/2 inch screws

Start with placing two of the 2x4s about four feet apart and laying the sheet of plywood on top of them. Slide the 2x4s out to the edge of the plywood and screw them tight. Flip the plywood over and get a measurement for the ends. Cut two pieces for the ends and screw them on. At this point, you will have a sheet of plywood that is framed around the edges with a 2×4.

How To Make A Super-Durable Chick Brooder That Will Last For Years

Image source: Pixabay.com

Next, take the remaining 2×4 and cut it into two-foot pieces. These will be the four legs of the brooder. Screw the four legs on each corner. You now have basically a two-foot-high plywood table. You will brood the chicks under the table. The heat is regulated by moving the lamps up or down and covering the sides with fabric.

Measure approximately 12 inches from the end and 24 inches from the side on each end. Drill or saw a hole at these locations big enough for an electric cord. This will be for using two heat lamps to regulate the temperature.

You can use any type of fabric to hang from the sides of the brooder to hold in the heat. I’ve used everything from feed sacks to old T-shirts. If you place the brooder in a corner, you’ll only need to cover the two sides that are open.

All The Answers To Every Chicken Question And Quandary …

Once you have the brooder in place where you want it, simply pull the heat lamp cords up through the holes you drilled and place the lamps as high as they will go. You can adjust them later once you check the temperature.

Place a thermometer on the floor under the heat lamps and turn on the lamps. You will want the temperature to be around 95 degrees Fahrenheit for the first few days. Adjust the height of the lamps to obtain the right temperature.

If your brooder is in the barn or other unheated area, be aware of temperature changes. A 30-degree night might need the lamps adjusted compared to a 60-degree day. The key is to watch the chicks. If they are huddled under the lamps, it’s too cold. If they are wandering around throughout the brooder, it is a good sign.

Once the birds are feathered out, they are ready to move to another location.

This is a simple and easy brooder to make, and when you’re done you can store it easily for the next batch of chicks.

What advice would add for making a brooder? 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.

hydrogen peroxide report

DTG’s “SHTF Series” Parts 1-4

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Some very good recommendations here.

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SHTF Kit Planning: What to Have and Why – Part I

overloaded

A picture’s worth a thousand words, isn’t it?  Try to imagine ‘bugging out’ with a lot of the crap that various sources tell you that you must have in order to survive, and soon, you’ll be in worse shape than the troop pictured above, God bless him.

We’ve held off on putting together a DTG specific ‘SHTF Kit’ (aka ‘Bug Out,’ Survival, and other names) because a metric crap ton of information on the subject is already available.  However, after reviewing what’s being accepted as ‘conventional wisdom,’ it has become apparent that as we focus on the “Neighborhood Protection Team” and local community aspect of preparedness, it’s time to throw in our two cents.  We’ll start at the very foundation of what should be viewed as survival gear in any kit:

Your Boots:   If your boots are garbage, you’re not walking far.  At all.  If they’re good boots, but aren’t fitted well, ditto.  If they don’t have good insoles or support, double ditto.  This is not the item to go cheap on; this is the item you will want to get the absolute best quality you can afford and have fit like it’s your own skin.  DTG is partial to Danner boots, but there are plenty of other quality brands out there.  Remember, you get what you pay for, so be a picky shopper. Research is key here.  So far, the absolute best Danner we’ve found for long walks with heavy packs is the, ‘Combat Hiker,’ pictured here.

combat hiker

Your Container:  Many sources encourage folks to start out with the container, and it should be a heavy gauge bag or a duffle bag of some sort.  We couldn’t disagree more, and for several reasons:

  • Carrying a full ‘bag’ or duffle, even with shoulder straps, for any distance, is going to get very uncomfortable very quickly.  The lower back and trap muscles are going to take a beating, along with the core, presuming the person carrying it isn’t in the best shape or is a younger child, adolescent, or female.
  • Carrying a well-made ruck sack (back pack) packed with survival items when performing NPT operations, or leaving one’s Neighborhood Protection Area for a safer location takes its toll, even when the individual carrying it has been practicing and is in good shape.

WROL 3

  • It should be proportionately sized for the size and fitness level of the person who’s going to be carrying it.  Further, it should be used as a routine PT (Physical Training) tool.  Otherwise, you’re looking at being a living example of the picture above, especially if you’re ‘mature.’  A good rule of thumb is to have a pack loaded with no more than a third of the body weight of the person carrying it.  That doesn’t sound too bad until you figure that a 180 pound male in decent shape will be carrying 60 pounds in the pack, which doesn’t take into account any other ‘equipment’, which may weigh up to about 30 pounds (more on that later).   If you have kids with you, and they weigh 75 pounds, that means a 25 pound pack, maximum (including anything else they may have to carry), because their bones aren’t fully developed yet, and serious skeletal damage can occur if they carry too much.  So, think about that when you’re putting your SHTF survival kit together.  Look at the picture below.  Think that little man or little lady is going to be able to hoist a pack like that, let alone carry it?  Something to consider is that preppers have a propensity to over pack, especially when they try to adapt the, ‘two is one and one is none’ mindset, which is not applicable here.  In a SHTF kit/pack, especially when you’re moving to a safer location, ‘one is great!’ is the rule with very few exceptions.

kids packs

  • When choosing your pack, try to get a balance between volume, empty pack weight, and durability.  No need to spend hundreds of dollars, either, especially for your wife and kids, with the exception of young men from about 16 years and up.  There’s a lot of good civilian brand packs out there on eBay that folks are selling that fit the bill nicely.  Because of their inherent strength (yes, we’re aware that some women out there can run a lot of men into the ground, but generally speaking, men are better suited physicologically for carrying weight for long distances), men will be carrying the most during a SHTF movement.  Because of this, and balanced against the fact that the men will most likely be the primary protectors for the family/group moving, the men’s packs should have some sort of quick release system built into the shoulder, sternum, and waist straps to be able to drop the pack quickly and do whatever is appropriate to protect the family.  Here’s an example for family members, and is about half the size of the USMC FILBE (without accessory pouches holds about 5100 cubic inches – well over 6K with accessory pouches) that DTG staff members carry.  It’s a Kelty Redwing, 3100 cubic inches/52 Liters.  Sells for about $90 on eBay.

Kelty pack

Now, with these two items, there’s a third leg of the stool that must be attached before you can even begin to think about walking out, and it’s already been alluded to, but we’ll begin beating the dying horse here anyway.  You MUST break in your top quality boots by walking miles and miles and miles in them, finding out where hot spots are, treating your feet for blisters, and then adding gradually increasing weight in your pack on your walks to strengthen your back, core, and legs.  It can be done with consistency in not too long a period of time.  Example:  This year was a mild winter.  The DTG Chief Instructor started his ruck walks in mid February with 30 pounds and just 2 miles, just getting his body used to the exercise again.  It is now 30 March 2016. Yesterday, he was able to 3.75 miles with 65 pounds at a pace of 13.3 minutes per mile.  He’s 60 and weighs 175 pounds.  Sure, he was beat at the end of the exercise, but if he has to ‘bug out’ or move to another NPA with his full load of equipment, self-defense carbine and ammo, and pack, he’s going to be able to go quite a ways before he needs to rest, and then, once rested, he’ll be able to keep going.  The point being that you’re probably much younger and in better shape (or should be).  You can do better and most likely be faster for longer distances.  All you have to do is get started on a consistent program.  Remember the graphic below:

discipline

Your Defense System:  Very few resources in the commercial realm tell their readers they should have a defense system included in their SHTF pack/kit.  This is a disservice.  You need a weapon.  If you have the best equipment in the world, with a family that’s in top physical condition, it all comes to nothing if you cannot keep them safe when you’re moving to Point B from Point A.  Without a weapon (or several for a family), you’re just preparing to outfit a feral group of marauders when they come to get what you have.  This addition also adds to the weight of what you’re carrying, especially when it comes to ammunition.  Minimum recommendation for pistol ammo in the ruck is 50 rounds.  This doesn’t count the ammo in the 5 magazines you’re carrying on you.  Minimum recommendation for the Self Defense Carbine/Rifle is 210 rounds (7 thirty round magazines for an AR) in the ruck, and 7 thirty round magazines on your person (one would be in the carbine/rifle).  That adds up.  DTG recommends and uses the simple, ugly, reliable Glock 17/19 and AR’s.  They’re easily controlled and have enough firepower to mount a sustainable defense.  As much as some of us love the .45 and 7.62 NATO rounds, their weight for the same amount of ammunition is about twice that of the 9mm and 5.56 NATO.  But, as always, to each his own.  Remember, however, training is key here.  You must perform dry fire consistently, and hit the range with live fire consistently.  Hopefully, wearing what you’d be wearing if you were ‘bugging out.’  Other firearms are good choices, as well, providing the user practices carrying/shooting them and has enough ammunition.  Some folks might be thinking that their 30-30 is good enough, and it just may be.  However, get yourself a couple hundred rounds and see how the weight affects your pack.  Everything is a trade off.  Everything.

Next installment we’ll continue to build the kit and talk a bit about clothing and tools.

SHTF Kit Planning: What to Have and Why – Part II

heavypacks.jpg-300x224

In Part I, here, we began to build the foundation for a SHTF kit at its cornerstone, good boots, and moved on to the pack itself, some pros and cons, and then to personal protection.  One thing we didn’t mention, and should have, was socks.  Good, quality socks, and at least 6 pair per person.  We like a merino wool blend, over the calf style, that wicks and is good for a minimum of 3 seasons.  3 season socks aren’t too heavy, and in winter, so long as you’re walking, your feet will stay comfortable.  It’s when you stop that you need the heavier type.  That said, we are HUGE ‘Vermont Darn Tough’ fans.  The particular model we like is the USMC “Darn Tough” over the calf, extra cushion type (model 1501).  They’re getting harder to find, and are expensive, but they’re well worth the cost.  YMMV.  They have another one, too, for much warmer climates. It’s their ‘tactical’ (everything seems to be ‘tactical’ these days…sigh) mid calf full cushion sock, that’s somewhat light weight.  Definitely not a cold weather sock.  As with other items we talk about, there definitely are other good brands, this is simply the one we find to be best suited to our particular needs.

Vermont 1501

As the picture above is meant to illustrate, over-packing is a dangerous habit that many in the preparedness/liberty community seem to be burdened with (pun intended), especially with the demonstrated lack of fitness one can witness at any gun show or preparedness exposition.   Thousands of people buying enough junk (literally, because the quality is generally suspect) to fill several large rucks, and having to get a hand cart to take their purchases to their vehicles, building up a sweat loading it in the trunk.  These folks can be viewed as ‘resupply points of opportunity’ because when you find them, dead on the road or in the woods, you might be able to recover something of use.  Yes, it’s harsh, but the point is that physical fitness is your friend; High Fructose Corn Syrup, processed foods, a couch, and your flat screen are not.  Together, those things conspire to rob you of your strength, stamina, and set you up to die of a heart attack within the first half mile of your ‘bug out’ trek.  Ignore this at your own peril.

discipline

Now, the next category we need to cover is water.  You can live longer without food than you can with water, as the body has an amazing ability to convert stored fat into energy when food intake becomes extremely low.  Sure, you can’t go on forever, but you can go on, so long as you have water.  Water weighs 8 lbs per gallon.  That 8 lbs doesn’t take into account the water carrier, either.  Depending on what you decide to have, each gallon might weigh 9 lbs; take for example if you have a couple of two quart canteens.  These were ‘all the rage’ back in my day, as typically we had a couple of 1 quart hard plastic canteens balancing out our web belts to the outside and a couple more on the ruck sack (if we were lucky).  These nice thing about these is they’re flexible, and you can easily nullify any sloshing that you can’t do with a hard canteen or container.

2 Qt canteen

This is also why we’re fans of a hydration bladder except in deep cold (which we mitigate by the way we wear it).  The one we’re partial to is by Camelbak, and again, it comes from their military line.  It’s the USMC FILBE bladder.  Not trying to sound like a surplus store commercial, but many items we use are acquired more

FILBE bladderSimply put, this one has baffles, holds 100 ounces, and can have a mini-filter, like the one here by Sawyer, attached, so in worse case scenarios, you can fill your bladder with questionable water and still drink it.  We get ours from Great Lake Survival Products, here.  You’ll also notice other Sawyer products that would fill the water purification niche.  We’ve used and own all them, including the Zero Two Bucket System for our ‘shelter in place’ purification needs, but I digress.

Back to the bladder:  Why are baffles important?  In a typical hydration bladder, as the water is consumed, it stays at the bottom – the baffles keep the hydration bladder flatter by helping to keep the water distributed throughout.  This item also falls into the rare case where two is better than one.  One is kept in the ruck, and used first.  The other, if you have two, is on the self-defense harness/vest, and is reserved for when you may be leaving your pack in a small over night location and doing some sort of task that you need to be able to move much more quickly than you would carrying your ruck.

So, now we’ve got our locomotion (feet) and hydration taken care of, and we can move on to food.  Let’s make it simple:  You’re going to be using a lot of carbs and protein while losing fat if you’re going a good long ways on foot carrying your SHTF pack or even a small child on your back.  So, you need some high-octane fuel.  You don’t know if you can heat your food, you don’t know if you’ll be able to rehydrate it (freeze dried), and you need some easily ingested food that will do the trick.  Here’s something to think about:  Diversify what you are putting in your pack.  Example:

  • Six Meal Replacement bars (30/35 gr protein)  – These come in all sorts of flavors, and are great for those times you can’t heat food up, stop, or otherwise take the time to prepare a meal.  Six of these are basically 3 days worth of food at two of them a day.
  • Four ‘mountain house type’ freeze dried entree’s (serves 2) – Of whatever you like.  Comfort food.  Very light.  All it needs is hot water, right?  Here’s the reason for the larger ‘serves 2’ sizes:  They typically run 200 – 250 calories per serving, have lots of carbs, and some fat, with protein being the lowest major component.  You need the carbs and fat, and having, “Beef Stroganoff” or “Chicken and Rice” or “Beef Stew” as a morale builder helps.
  • Four ‘field stripped’ MRE type meals – That means just the spoon, entree, side dish, and desert.  No excess cardboard, packing, etc.

Now you’ve got food for 7 days in your SHTF kit for yourself.  You need to do the same (portion dependent, of course) for the others in your family, depending on their size and strength.

Morale items:  Some candy, coffee, tea, cider mix, anything that can make water seem like it’s more than it is.  Personally, if they had a powdered IPA mix, I’d have some of that with me….alas, but they haven’t invented that yet.

Right along side food in importance, is hygeine, because what goes in, must come out, right?  Ok, you can do the roll of toilet paper in a zip lock bag if you want, just remember that in a ‘normal situation’ in a non-SHTF environment, a woman will use a roll of toilet paper in 5 to 7 days, depending on the roll.  So, if you think you’ll take about 2 to 3 weeks to get to your fall back (believe me, it’s going to take you a LOT longer to get there than you think), you need to have that amount of toilet paper for the ladies.  Men are different…we use about a roll every 2 to 3 weeks.  Different plumbing – different needs.  If you’re worried about room, because toilet paper is bulky, here’s an alternative.

compressed ass wipeThere really neat.  You put a few drops of water on one of them (which is about the size of a US nickel) and wait a bit.  It expands and unfolds, is soft, because it’s barely damp, and is strong enough for cleansing one’s body after voiding waste.  Not too awfully expensive, but remember, you get what you pay for.  You’re paying for compressed TP.  That means ‘room’ and less weight.  So, it’s about $12 for 2 packs of 50.  100 butt wipes, if you use one towelette for each ‘incident’.  That’s not bad.  If you had 3 ‘incidents’ a day, it’d last one person over a month.  Putting 2 of those packs in my pack makes me basically self-sufficient regarding hygiene for a good long time.  But I’m a man, so YMMV.  Check it out, here.  Your call, though.  Just have enough of whatever you choose to get you to your ‘hidey hole.’  You do NOT want to have to learn the hard way on what grass or leaves you should have wiped your ass with…or not.

Next time, we’ll talk about shelter and associated equipment.

SHTF Kit Planning: What to Have and Why – Part III

bear-at-the-shelter

Here we are at shelters already.  I’m going to cut to the chase and (possibly) tick off a few readers at the ‘get go.’

Forget a tent.  Period.  It’s too bulky, too heavy, and is not a ‘multiple use’ item.  Further, when you’re inside one, you won’t have an advantage of increased warmth (without generating it by a heat source), and you’re blind.  Imagine, if you will, the photo above, and you were snug in your tent, not hearing anything….until right before you unzipped the fly and looked out….to see an inquisitive bear (not necessarily a Grizzly, as pictured).  Now you’ve got to do something about the bear and all the shit inside your tent from involuntary bodily functions,  possibly the bear has run off from all the screams of those in the tent with you, and the ensuing ‘circular firing squad as everyone with a weapon decides to shoot/kill/scare off the intruder.

The mind boggles with the comedy of it all.

Forget the ‘one man bivy tent’ as well.  It’s a cocoon.  You’re trapped and blind.  If you must have a waterproof covering for just yourself, then get over to Wiggy’s and get one of his waterproof sleeping bag covers.  They’re on sale at 20% off right now.  At least you’re not blind.  And they DO work.  One caveat:  They are truly waterproof, which means your bag will be wet from condensation when you wake up.  This isn’t so bad in deep cold, because you can air the bag and literally ‘freeze dry’ the condensation on it, and then turn the bivy bag inside out and do the same.  Warm weather requires a bit more airing out to dry it.

So, what’s the ideal SHTF shelter?  In the simplest terms, a tarp shelter.  It keeps the wind off (which is how you stay warm), let’s you see out at all times, at least in one, and up to 3 directions, depending on your set up, and is fairly cheap, depending on the material you choose.  In deep winter with good snow cover, I’ve used a simple 6X8′ white tarp and had my shelter disappear from observation (camouflage is always a good thing).  The drawback is that it’s noisy setting up and taking down, because the tarp is a heavy plastic and makes noise when being folded, except in really warm weather.  Again, it’s all about the quality and how much you can and how much you choose to spend.

Here’s what I currently use and recommend:

allweather_1

I got mine here though I don’t know if they still stock it or have replaced it with something similar.  I do know that I’ve used mine in all 4 seasons and it’s worked out very, very well.  Room enough to configure as I need it for whatever I’m training for and I can fit me and 2 other people and rucks inside (tightly, but it works).  There are other good ones; this is just what I use.   I did add some 24 inch long bungees to the outfit to give me some versatility in setting it up, so I know the ounces I’m adding means I have to sacrifice somewhere else.   The color is basic light forest green (kind of OD) that is flat with no shine, even when it’s wet.  Blends reasonably well, especially if you site your overnight location somewhere off the beaten path in as much flora and fauna as necessary.  Nice sunshade in super bright/hot weather, too.

When you set up your shelter, keep in mind that you want the opening to be pointed at your primary field of observation, and you want your shelter to be sited in an area that doesn’t attract attention and won’t be noticed by anyone passing through.  You’ll also want to ensure you are at least slightly elevated (drainage) and about 30 to 50 meters away from any water source.  Yes, I digressed again.

What shelter tips do you have?

Next installment:  Tools.

wiggys bag

Next up from shelters is what we sleep in.  Up front, know this is entirely temperature range dependent.  What works where I am in summer may be way too much for you if you’re, say, in central Texas or central Utah.  But put it on your checklist:  A good, quality, sleeping bag.  Or at least several good, quality components that can make up a ‘taco’ (improvised sleeping bag).  If going the commercially manufactured way, the one we recommend is the Wiggy’s FTRS system.  Wiggy’s bags actually repel water away from the fibers and provide more real warmth due to the insulation used than similarly or higher priced bags.  Here’s a link to Wiggy’s that explains how and why it works so well.  His bags are extremely durable, and get better when they’re laundered.  An added benefit is that he runs specials on a routine basis if you’re saving your pennies.   His bags also come with a pretty robust stuff sack, which, after a liberal application of Camp Dry or other waterproofing spray, will keep your bag nice and dry, especially if you have it stored inside your ruck.  Here’s an anecdotal example of a young man purposely soaking his Wiggy’s bag and sleeping in it in winter:

We use the FTRSS over bag for 2 to 3 seasons (it’s good down to +35) backed up with a, “Sea to Summit Reactor Extreme Thermolite Liner.”  Until we actually break down and load the main bag, too, we might throw in a ‘woobie’ (aka, ‘poncho liner’).  I’ve been asked why don’t I just use the main bag, and the answer is simple:  Layering.  In summer I might not use anything but my woobie, or if it’s an unusually cold summer night, I might throw on the Sea to Summit and woobie.  I like to have the option.  About mid-September though, the main bag goes in the ruck.  DIGRESSION WARNING:  Another nice thing about Wiggy’s bags is that they can be compressed in the stuff sack or your ruck indefinitely and not ruin the pile (meaning the cold rating).  It’s all in the fiber used.  That means you can keep your ruck loaded up for use most of the time (personally, I take mine apart a couple times a year to inspect for damage and let the sleeping bag air out (my old school habit).  I walk with my ruck already packed regularly, so there’s a better chance of something being out of whack. Deep winter is a subject for its own post, so it won’t be covered here, except to say that you don’t want to have to relocate in winter if at all possible.  Make sure you’ve got yourself into the best place you can be with plenty of food, water, and warmth.  You don’t want to try to spend the winter in something like this….even from just a hygiene perspective, let alone a comfort and day to day living perspective.  Sure…it can be done, but it’s a last resort.  Which, by the way, you need to be trained in and practice (consistent pattern here, I know….training, practice, fitness, training, practice, fitness) regularly as these skills are all perishable to one extent or the other.  End of digression.

winter shelter

If you’re going the quality component method, there are a great many good products out there.  It’s your choice.  Something that will help you make a choice is to get some good training in survival, which always includes learning about improvised shelters and insulation.  And trust me, staying warm is all about the insulation…with a little bit of wind consciousness thrown in.  I’ve made and slept in parachute panel sleeping bags with natural insulation and stayed warm enough to sleep, but remember, if this is your choice, you’re going to spend a LOT of time gathering your insulation material, and if everything’s already wet, you’re SOL for that type of set up.  To keep dry if it gets wet after you’re in the bag/shelter, you need a couple of FEET of insulation, give or take, with the rule of thumb being MORE is better when trying to stay warm and dry.  Check this example out:

survival sleeping bag

That’s why I prefer the commercially available bags designed to keep me warm and dry.  Less time needs to be spent achieving resting state.  And know that time spent equates to energy expended, and as you’re moving a good distance to your ‘hidey hole’ or ‘fall back’ or ‘retreat’ or…whatever you’re calling it, there is a chance that you may exhaust yourself, depending on your fitness level, distance, and the quality of food and water you have available to you while you’re en route.  A great dramatization of someone ‘evading’ is here.  Only the first installment is available currently, but as the presenter is vouched for by someone I trust implicitly, and have known of him for some years now, I suspect that it will stay realistic and demonstrate various skills and scenarios you could possibly face while employing your SHTF kit.

As far as what we’ve put together so far, we’re talking quality equipment (what priority are you putting on your life?) which should be the best you can afford.  Whatever you choose, make sure it’s not a ‘knock off’ and can do what it advertises, including anything you see here.  If you have a problem with the quality of anything we’ve recommended, please, by all means, let us know, because A:  we have no interest in the products other than they work and we own them, and B:  we will always go to a superior product, test it, and then either talk about it…or not, depending on the outcome.

So, we’ve got boots, socks, packs, hydration, food, hygiene, shelter, and sleeping covered.  Next installment we’ll delve into basic clothing.  Hint:  It ain’t all about the latest and greatest camouflage pattern adopted by our armed forces, either.

_________________________________________________________________

JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

How To Design A Home Evacuation Plan

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This is a guest post that addresses a problem that I have seen during my years in fire and law enforcement.  You need an evacuation plan especially if you have young children and elderly or disabled people in your home.  I have personally seen instances of your children hiding in a closet from a fire and dieing there.  Also don’t forget to have a meeting place outside your home.

Howard

Whether you are preparing for the big one or the many small ones that may come before it, you need to have a well-designed home evacuation plan. When things start to go wrong in the place where you rest your head, you need to get out and be safe while doing so. All kinds of things can go wrong in these instances, so it’s best to prepare as much as possible beforehand. You may not be able to execute your plan without a few in the moment alterations, but we will talk about the ways to plan for contingencies and in the moment reassessments.

evacuation plan

Who is in the home?

Depending on the types of residents in your home, the evacuation plan will have to adapt. The most worrying inhabitants are children, the physically disabled, and the elderly. Each one of these categories is going to add a varying degree of difficulty to your evacuation plan. These issues only ever become life threatening, when there is no planning, so if you have residents who fit into this category, there is still time to make sure that both they and you will be safe.

Children– If there is one group, which is most likely to need assistance in the instance of an evacuation, it is children. They may get disoriented, and at times may make inappropriate choices. These types of life-threatening choices may be hiding, going to an exit, which is blocked, or heading to acquire a sentimental item instead of evacuating. Similarly, a child may get out of the home before you, and leave you searching the house in vain. Communication is key with children. Let them know your expectations, and make sure that they understand the plans you have put in place.

Physically Disabled– Ideally, you should be able to carry anyone who cannot walk, or is unable to move quickly without assistance. If there are multiple people who would need this assistance or one person who is simply too heavy, you will need to take alternative precautions. Even with an electric chair lift or elevator, these individuals should not be sleeping on anything but a ground floor. You do not want to be hoping for electrical assistance in an emergency. Even if you are using solar panels and backup generators, in an emergency those devices may be damaged. Create an agreed upon plan for how you will help these people.

Elderly– There may be some readers out there that are getting up there in years, but that is not what I mean by elderly. In this case, the term “elderly” is meant to describe a group, which is disabled, but also very fragile. These individuals will need assistance out of the home in the event of an emergency, but you will not be able to yank them up or throw them over your back without injuring them. Methods of assisting members of this group should be handled with care, and cannot be done quickly. If they are handled roughly, be sure that you can get them the proper medical care after the evacuation.

Know your Layout

The area you are evacuating is going to be unique. There are going to be some exits that are better than others, and places in the home where safe egress is as good as impossible. You want to know what the best chance of escape is, and also what is the next best option. If you have layered security, make sure it is easy to enough to access from the inside. Always have at least two exit paths, and make sure they do not intersect. If one thing falling, collapsing, etc. can block both paths, then you only have one exit path.

evacuation plan

Good Exit- (What You Want)

  • No shelves on the walls
  • Leads outside
  • Nothing on the floor
  • The door can fully open
  • Locks work smoothly

Bad Exit- (Try To Avoid)

  • Door sticks to the frame
  • Some obstructions
  • Shelving on the sides of the door
  • A door that leads to another door
  • Poorly working locks

Not an Exit- (Don’t Plan On It)

  • Large object needs to be moved to access door
  • Door uses a double sided deadbolt
  • There is no door

Plan for problems

The very nature of a disaster means that there is going to be very little warning and a whole lot of chaos. People are not always going to react in a rational and collected manner. You may have to collect certain people in the house yourself, other than the types described in the section above. Doors can become blocked, broken glass can fall into walkways, or any other list of issues may arise. You want to be wearing shoes, and these can be anything as long as they can be put on quickly and will protect the soles of your feet. Find at least two exits that are on separate walls of the home. That way if a tree falls, or a part of the house collapses, there is a greater chance that the second exit will not be affected.

Know how much you can lose. If you have a comfortable amount of acceptable loss, you will have a better mindset to reassess issues in the moment. The more certain you are of your value system, the more time you will have to get out of your home. The more you can leave behind, the more options you have for escape. Having supplies at off-site locations can make easier to leave items behind. Objects of sentimental value should be placed in a safe that will be able to protect them from the disasters you are vulnerable to. The things in the safe can be acquired after the disaster is over, or when it is ok to enter the home again. When you need to get out, time is of the essence, and time should not be wasted on securing nonessential items. It is a rather cold perspective, but sentiment and survival rarely lead to the same destination.

Where to go

Many people do the bare minimum of planning when they make a home evacuation plan. They simply plan on how they will leave the house, and sometimes they will have a space blanket and some food in an emergency kit. But is your plan really to stand outside of a house that may be compromised due to a fire, flood, earthquake, or robbery? That should not be part of the plan. You need a secondary location, which has not been compromised. Ideally, this will be a network of practical locations. It should be a network because your bug out location will most likely not work for instances where you may still have to go to work in the next few days. You should have a place to stay that is in the general area you live. That way you can check up on your damaged property and continue making a living. Talk to your friend group ahead of time, and get permission to stay with them in these scenarios. Out of kindness and reciprocity, you should offer these individuals your home in the event of similar circumstances.

evacuation plan

 

What do you worry about?

Something as vague as a home evacuation plan does not seem all that helpful. Most people want specifics, because in trying to help everyone you inevitably end up helping no one. I disagree with this line of thinking when it comes to security. I believe that vague is better because true protection means being able to think on your feet, and get creative. Detailed how-to survival guides are not going to help you at all in an emergency. You need to train your critical thinking and situational awareness. It can be crippling to have to plan for every eventuality, so start slow.

Begin your planning with the most likely risk that your home is facing. This is not the same as the risk that concerns you the most. In order to head down the path of greatest protection, you need to be able to separate the most likely from the most concerning. For example, you may be very concerned with the US grid system collapsing, but if you live in an area that has annual wildfires, which should you anticipate first? Trust me, you will be working up to the big stuff by planning for the smaller. Build out your planning from most likely to least likely, and the constant planning and research processes will condition your mind to analyze predicaments more quickly. Start planning for the mundane, so you will be ready for TEOTWAWKI.

Author Bio

Ralph Goodman is a professional writer and the resident expert locksmith on locks and security over at the Lock Blog. The Lock Blog is a great resource to learn about keys, locks and safety. They offer tips, advice and how-to’s for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals.

The post How To Design A Home Evacuation Plan appeared first on Preparedness Advice Blog.

Ideas for Mother’s Day – Prepper Style!

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Here are some ideas for Mothers’ Day Gifts, prepper style! Gifts Mom will love, and will help her get prepared for whatever the future holds in store…

http://amzn.to/1SEG8ex

Fitbit Alta Fitness Tracker – Key to anyone’s survival under all circumstances is the level of their health and fitness. Help Mom improve her health and fitness with this great tool which will track her steps, distance, calories burned, and active minutes. Also helps her track how long and well she sleeps, an often overlooked component of health. It also integrates with her smart phone: the easy-to-read OLED screen keeps her goals in focus with stats, time, and call or text notifications. Also available in silver/black (pictured) and silver/teal.

http://amzn.to/1XZKKQ1

LifeStraw Go Water Bottle with Integrated 1000-Liter LifeStraw Filter – Water. As essential for life as air. Mom can always have safe water to drink with this LifeStraw water filter incorporated into a high-quality sports water-bottle. Simply collect water from just about any source, including city taps, well water, ponds and streams. The LifeStraw filter is the most advanced personal water filter available on the market today. LifeStraw has been rigorously tested to surpass EPA standards for removing E. Coli, Giardia and Cryptosporidium oocysts, and many other waterborne contaminants. The LifeStraw Go filters water down to 0.2 microns without the use of chemicals. When the filter has reached capacity (1,000 liters / 264 gallons) it will stop taking in water. Replacement filters are available and wasy to swap out.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong??? by Survivor Jane – A great prepper book written by a woman, especially for women. This book explains, as its name implies, what could possibly go wrong, and more importantly, what you can do about it. But what makes this book stand out from the many other preparedness and survival books on the market today is the style in which it is written, a much more conversational tone without the doom-and-gloom so common in other books of the genre (which often come across as lecturing their readers, rather than talking to them). She also uses less technical jargon and acronyms, fully explaining them when she does. he makes use of humor and personal experiences to make her points. This style makes her book less intimidating to those new to preparedness and survival. Coming from a woman’s perspective, with a woman’s tone, women might find it speaking to them in a way that is more natural and comfortable.

http://amzn.to/1SEPTcP

Seasoning and Spices Gift Set – Preppers tend to stockpile lots of beans, rice, and canned chicken fopr emergencies. But eating beans and rice all the time can get a little boring. Help Mom spice things up with the gift set of spices from Trader Joe’s. Includes Garlic Salt (sea salt, roasted garlic, onion and parsley), Himalayan Pink Salt, Rainbow Pepper (a more subtle pepper), Lemon Pepper, and Everyday Seasoning – a versatile seasoning that can be used on most everything.

Ultimate Organic Starter Spice Gift Set – Another spice set Mom would love is this organic spice starter set, featuring a really nice variety of 24 different certified organic spices. 

The All American 21-1/2-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner – This high-quality 21-1/2-quart pressure cooker/canner holds 19 pint jars or 7 quart jars. A pressure cooker is generally recommended when canning vegetables and nonacid fruit, since the high heat that can be generated will kill more bacteria than a regular hot water bath.A gret gift of prepper or homesteading Moms. 

http://amzn.to/1XZMglb

GardenHOME 7 Piece Garden Tool Set – Moms into gardening will apprechiate this combo of a folding chair & garden-tool box that comes with several stainless steel tools with wood handles.  The folding chair frame is also stainless steel, not nearly as easy to bend as the cheap aluminum frames of other folding chairs. The seven pieces included in this set are: 1 garden bag, 1 foldable stool, 1 trowel, 1 transplanter, 1 cultivator, 1 weeding fork and 1 weeder. A high-quality item made in the USA!

Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook, by Peggy Layton – This book covers preparing for short-term disasters, with detailed information and lists for everything from an emergency car kit, to a 72-hour emergency kit (aka “bug out” kit), to building stockpiles of food, water, medicine and other necessities. Included in the book is a section on ideas for apartment dwellers and others with little storage space.  But the book is more than just lists of things to buy. Also discussed are how to obtain, store, organize, rotate and use the items. There is a recipe section for what do do with all that long-term food storage, along with information on how to use powdered milk, how to cook whole wheat, tips for using rice, and so forth. Great for Mom who is into (or wants to get into) prepping.

http://amzn.to/1XZKnoH

The Everything Wild Game Cookbook – Many prepper families are planning on supplementing their stored food by hunting and fishing. But, how to prepare all that wild game? This cookbook has recipes and preparation tips and techniques for all sorts of fish and game, including bass, catfish, trout, frog legs,  deer, elk, bear, wild boar, raccoon, rabbit, squirrel, wild turkey, duck, pheasant, quail, and partridge, among many others.

April 2016 EDC Purse Dump

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April 2016 EDC Purse Dump

1. Club Monaco Red Tavel/Passport Purse 2. Inova XP LED Flashlight 3. Spyderco Des Horn Slim Folding EDC Knife – Review. 4. Motorola Moto E 2nd Gen Smart Phone + Ringke Slim Phone Case 5. Pilot Vanishing Point Retractable Fountain Pen

This is just the start of the post April 2016 EDC Purse Dump. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


April 2016 EDC Purse Dump, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

What did you do for your preparedness this week? (2016-04-30)

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rabbits and squirrels – oh my… This weekly post is an open-forum (any topic) to voice your thoughts, opinions, or questions for others. Lets hear about what you’ve been doing this week for preparedness, or perhaps what you have done to convert your Fiat Paper into tangible practical assets 😉 The more who comment, the […]

Five tips to modify a Zippo lighter for survival firemaking

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I don’t smoke, but love Zippo lighters. They are worth considering as an axillary survival firemaking tool.

by Leon Pantenburg

Like many GIs, my dad came back from World War II with a heavy smoking habit. Thankfully, he quit when I was young, but I remember Dad’s worn Zippo.

The fuel supply of a Zippo-style lighter tends to dry out quickly, making it non-functional.

This Zippo is part of my survival firemaking kit. It shouldn’t be your only ignition tool.

It was the same lighter he’d carried as a World War II infantryman in Europe, and even though the wheel that made the sparks showed a lot of wear, the Zippo never failed. It rode in his pocket everywhere.

Since boys emulate their fathers, I got a Zippo as soon as I was allowed. One of my favorite jobs was lighting bean straw when Dad was plowing. The straw would ball up between the frame and plow share, and when it got too big, Dad would kick the wad of straw into a furrow, and I got to light it. When I went squirrel hunting after school, I carried my Ruger 10/22, a three-blade Stockman pattern pocket knife and my Zippo. All the gear worked just fine.

The Zippo lighter was first produced in 1933,  and I’m guessing the Zippo was the primary firemaking method for military people during twentieth century wars. Many, if not most, of the service members smoked back then. Matches have never been reliable,  but a Zippo usually functioned well under extreme circumstances. It could run on gasoline, and as long as you had a wick and spare flints, the lighter would function.

But history doesn’t prove a Zippo should be your primary survival firestarting method. My experience is that a Zippo can be wildly erratic.

I extensively field tested a Zippo about ten years ago. My Zippo was filled to the saturation point with lighter fluid, then checked out how many fires it would make before it failed. Over the next two days, the total number of lights was 974! (This is probably some indication of my social life!)  When full of fluid, the Zippo worked immediately after a one-minute ice water bath. It came out the freezer overnight and fired on the second try. I sealed the hinge and opening with a piece of duct tape, and left it alone for a month, and it still fired.

I filled the lighter to saturation with fluid and timed it. From ignition to flickering light was 32 minutes. After closing the top, it restored itself well enough to burn another four minutes.

But the Zippo-style lighter was wildly inconsistent in other areas. That same fully saturated lighter dried out completely in three days in hot desert heat. Having it sealed didn’t matter. And sometimes, for reasons I never figured out, the Zippo just wouldn’t light.

But I include a Zippo with my firemaking kit and here’s why you need one:

A Zippo works in the cold: A butane lighter is affected by altitude, and if it gets cold or wet, it may not work at all. Matches are unreliable.

Add several feet of duct tape and a poptop to a standard BIC mini lighter and you have a firestarting kit. Secure the lighter to a lanyard with the poptop.

Add several feet of duct tape and a poptop to a standard BIC mini lighter and you have a firestarting kit. But cold temperatures or sand or mud could disable it.

A Zippo can work with gasoline. If there is an internal combustion engine somewhere around, chances are you can fuel your lighter.

Durable design: Unlike many butane lighters, the Zippo design protects all the weaker parts. A Zippo can handle being stepped on, dropped or being stomped into the mud. If the lighter is sealed with a piece of bicycle tubing, it is waterproof. A butane lighter, such as my beloved BIC minis, could be disabled by dropping them in cold water, or by getting a grain of sand in the sparker.

One handed operation: You can light a Zippo with your weak hand, even if your other arm is broken and immobilized. You could put the lighted Zippo under a pile of twigs, and have enough time to dry it out.

There are a few tips that can improve your Zippo for survival use.

Replace the fuel reservoir stuffing: I got this comment  from reader Ranger Rick Tscherne:

“As a backup emergency fire starting system when carrying and using a Zippo lighter…remove the fiber from the bottom of it and replace it by stuffing it tightly with pure cotton. Then should you run out of lighter fluid, you just simply open up the bottom and pull out some of the cotton, not much, and place it near the flint spark wheel and PRESTO! You got fire just like a Spark-Lite Fire Starter.”

Put spare flints and wick in the fuel reservoir area: Take off the thick felt cover on the bottom , and put several  flints on top. Remove enough stuffing that a wick will fit. Neither of these modifications will affect lighter efficiency.

Seal lighter with duct tape or a piece of bicycle tube: This will slow, but not stop evaporation.

Check the lighter every time before you go out. This action will assure you have at least one ignition source that should work.

Carry charcloth: Charcloth is a material that can catch any spark, and create an ember. This can be used to make a fire with a dysfunctional lighter. As long as it sparks, any lighter can be used to start a fire.

I haven’t found the one reliable ignition source for emergency firemaking. The best advice is carry several different type of sources. Then, regardless of the situation, something should work.

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Prep Blog Review: Mother Nature’s Red Flags

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PBR 30apr2016

Shifting focus from man-made problems to nature’s force, can offer some valuable perspective to prepping.

In this week’s edition of our blog review, we keep the 2016 elections, economic turmoil, and other trouble in the background, to seek information about a different type of threats. And it’s essential you, and every God loving American, learn about them.

Have you heard which are the high risk US cities for Zika outbreaks? Can you mention some important lessons from past national and international disasters?  All this and more in today’s articles.

  1. Getting Prepped For Mosquito Season (& Zika)

Zika“Although the CDC twitter feed is currently heavy on vaccination news and education, with a sprinkling of news about ebola, the other theme that becomes immediately noticeable when you scroll down the page is Zika virus.

Mosquito vectored diseases are nothing new, even here in the United States. The most common locally-transmitted mosquito borne illness in the US is West Nile Virus, but several other types of encephalitis crop up during the summer months, and even malaria makes an occasional appearance.”

Read more on Indie Herbalist.

2. Be Prepared for Anything This Tornado Season

Tornado

“My family used to live on the western side of Tornado Alley. My husband worked as a sheriff’s deputy. When a supercell – the storm system that produces tornadoes – developed, he had to follow it.

First, he needed to make sure a tornado wasn’t developing or heading toward a population center. Second, he needed to close roads to keep amateur tornado chasers away from a tornado’s path. With good reason. Our family once followed a wall cloud during a tornado warning and it seemed like half the town was on the road with us.”

Read more on Be Prepared.

3. Is America Ready for a TSUNAMI?

Tsunami

“The threat a massive tsunami hitting the Pacific Northwest has concerned scientists for years. Experts say an event of this kind occurs roughly every 400-600 years, and the area is overdue a similar quake that could leave thousands dead or displaced.

Now states such as California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska are looking to both the past and the future to prepare for a tsunami on the US Pacific coastline.”

Read more on Daily Mail.

4. The Best Weather Alert Radio 2016

best-weather-alert-radio-2016

“In this instance, ‘the best’ refers to the majority opinion of those who have reviewed various weather alert radios with their own varying set of criteria ranging from quality, features, price, and ease of use.

Although I have written about weather radios a number of times over the years, I again will emphasize the good preparedness of having your own at home. When minutes count, it may save your life.”

Read more on Modern Survival Blog 

5. Long Term Food Storage for Disasters

Prepper Recon Podcast Go to Prepper Recon and simply press play to hear details on the topic and about Loretta and Laurence Offutt prepper story.

The most important thing, you should look out for, in any disaster scenario (be it nature or man made), is your health. Click on the banner below to get proper advice on surviving medical emergencies.

NewSMDCover3This article has been written by Brenda Walsh for Survivopedia.

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3 Ways to Start a Fire With Sticks

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by Jeanie

It looks easy until you try it yourself. We all kind of know the theory but once it comes down to actually starting a fire with two sticks panic sets in as your rub away and people peer over your should going – “Hasn’t it started yet?” and “Why isn’t it working?” You control the urge to shove one of the sticks down said questioner’s throat and grit your teeth, muttering things about the right type of wood and rates of rotational friction.

Theoretically starting a fire this way should be easy but in real life situations where a person ends up without a box of matches or a cigarette lighter it usually means everything else has broken down and you are in an extreme situation, – in the woods, possibly it’s windy and raining, and you have no transport nearby (cars have built in cigarette lighters…)

What you need:

Before we even discuss the methods available to start a fire it is very important to have your materials ready –starting a fire then hunting for materials to feed it just sabotages your efforts – rather too much material than too little. First you need tinder, kindling and the some sticks and later even logs to feed your fire and keep it going. Make sure these are dry and collected, ready to use.

What makes the best tinder?

  • Dried dandelion fluff
  • Fine dry grass – the thinner the blades of grass the better
  • Cattail fluff
  • Tinder fungus – found under the bark of living birch trees only. (Forget about the fungus under dead birch tree bark – it won’t light.)
  • Cedar bark shavings and birch bark shavings
  • Cotton ball coated with Vaseline (if you have a bug out bag with you and these have been pre-prepared)

Tip: Explore your local area so you know what can be used. If you are going on holiday to an exotic location make yourself familiar with local plants through internet searches so you aren’t left in the dark should SHTF, something like the December 26th 2004 tsunami in South East Asia.

What makes the best kindling?

  • Dry pine needles and dry pinecones
  • Dried herbivore dung – its basically chewed up grass and is used a lot in Africa and Asia for fires if there isn’t much wood around
  • Very small dried sticks – from matchstick to pencil size preferably softwoods that are more resinous
  • Dry leaves

Tip: For serious preppers don’t wait until you’re in a dire situation – check out what makes the best kindling. It’s a great activity to do with kids as they discover which burns best and then they will be able to help and collect the right stuff instead of “helping” by bringing a lot of useless material. Again if you are travelling and are gathered around a campfire at night check what the locals use for kindling and chat about the merits of what is available in their country.

A friend travelled with Bedouins over the Sahara and was intrigued that they picked up any piece of polystyrene and bits of driftwood they found lying around when they were close to the Suez Canal – they weren’t cleaning up – it was useful as kindling to make their nightly campfires deeper in the desert.

Methods to start a fire

There are three basic methods: the hand drill, the fire plow and the bow drill.

The Hand Srill

This takes some skill to master but the bonus is if you have nothing much to hand you can still make a fire. Basically you are holding a stick upright with your palms facing each other, spread flat while rotating the stick and pressing downward with the stick to create greater friction to generate enough heat for an ember to form at the base of the stick.

The secret with this is not to pause – you need to keep up the pressure and rotational friction to start that tip of the stick glowing, once you see smoke do not stop – keep up unto you have the coal dust dropping from the notch onto a piece of bark positioned so the dust is not in contact with the ground and can be transferred to the tinder:

Selecting the Sticks

You need one straight stick a little thicker than a pencil, around 12 to 15 inches long and preferably fairly smooth so you don’t hurt your hands, a prepper with blisters from fire-starting is just not good bush craft. The stick can be shaped to a point if you have a pocketknife – if not select a stick that naturally goes to something of a point.

Secondly select you fireboard – in the woods you are unlikely to find a flat piece but choose a bigger flattish stick that you can hold comfortably between your feet to keep it steady. (You are going to need both hands for the fire-starter stick.)

Choose a natural hollow in the fireboard or dig out a small depression if you have a pocket- knife to keep the fire-starter stick in place. No pocketknife and no natural hollow?  Find a piece of stone with a sharp edge and use that to dig out the depression.

Getting ready to fire-start

You can cut a notch into the edge of the depression toward the edge of the wood to allow the ember to drop onto a small bit of tinder, the notch must be small so the fire stick doesn’t slip out of place into the gap. If there is someone who can help nearby they should have the tinder placed nearby the stick and fireboard ready for that ember – and have their hands cupped to protect the first bit of smoke from wind before the fire catches.

I have watched Native Australians start a fire fairly quickly using this two-man method. As the flame starts the assistant will gently breathe to help it along. Doing things alone is that much more difficult as precious seconds are wasted putting down the fire stick and bending down to the tinder – so train family members to help.

The Fire plow

For the fire plow you need a flattish piece of wood into which you can carve a channel with your knife or a sharp flint along the length of the wood. The board should be soft enough that you can make a mark in it with your fingernail. Once you have your channel you need to hold it steady with your knees. Your fire stick, which should be a harder wood around 15 inches long and roughly the thickness of a large pencil should be held at a 35 to 45 degree angle with both hands and moved up and down the channel vigorously. You will work up a sweat!

As the stick, which should be a harder wood than the board creates heated dust or fine shavings from the friction these will drop from the end of the board onto your carefully placed tinder.

The Bow Drill

Here you are taking the pressure off your hands and transferring it to the bow made from a bent piece of wood with a piece of string or leather, a shoelace or drawstring cord from your shorts looped around the bow. Basically you still need your fireboard and the fire–stick as explained in the Hand Drill method. You will need a piece of hardwood for the bearing block that holds the fire-stick steady – you press down on this with one hand while using the other hand to move the bow with the cord looped around the fire-stick back and forth to create an ember. The bearing block can be made also be made from stone – if you can find one with a depression in it to hold the fire stick steady from above. Some knives now come with a bearing block built into the handle, but should be used only if it is possible for the knife to be sheathed while in use with the bearing block – no one needs wants to risk being cut by the blade should the fire-stick slip!

Best types of wood to use for fire sticks

Certain woods are easier to use, sotol and yucca being the easiest, but then these don’t occur everywhere.  If you look here you will find a list of woods – varying from great for fire starting to extremely difficult. Where you live will determine which woods would be easily available, so make sure you know your local trees and their merits as firewood thoroughly. A harder wood for the fire stick and a softer wood for the fireboard is a good combination.

When can I use hardwood?

Since hardwood is denser and burns for longer use it only once you have used the softwoods with their resinous content to get a strong stead flame going.

Moisture content in wood

You will need super dry wood for your fire-sticks. How does one determine moisture content without a meter? Check the weight of your stick against other sticks of the same size and same type of wood and choose the one lightest in weight, as it will have less moisture content. Hardwoods are heavier and denser than softwoods so you need to compare apples with apples so to speak. Generally a soft wood will be quicker for fire starting. Also split a stick in half to see if it snaps easily, the higher the moisture content the more difficult it will be to snap.

Where to find dry wood

Look for seasoned smaller twigs (that’s wood that has been exposed for a long time to dry) that have fallen and got tangled in trees rather than ones on the ground as the rising dampness may have made them useless for fire starting. Check trees for dead branches –they should snap easily and be light in weight. If they bend before snapping there is too much moisture content. Also check piles of leaves and twigs for the smaller ones towards the center that haven’t been in contact with the ground or wet from rain from above. Trees with a large spreading canopy provide some protection unless the rain is very heavy – so foraging close to the bases of trees on the opposite side to the direction of the rain should yield some dry material.

Building the Fire

Use the classic teepee shape – you can either build this beforehand, leaving space to insert the bundle of tinder or build the teepee as you go along – once the tinder is burning add the match stick size bits, then the pencil sized bit of wood, an extra bit of grass to increase the flame if necessary and slowly building to the outer hardwoods.

Why Get in Shape if You are Not Planning to Bug Out?

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com One of the most heated discussions in the prepping community is whether to shelter in place or bug out.  A large number of preppers’ first choice would be to shelter in place, and … Continue reading

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Another American Sheriff Warns: ‘If You Are Fearful, Arm Yourself’

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Another American Sheriff Warns: ‘If You Are Fearful, Arm Yourself’

Citizens should arm themselves for protection, says the sheriff of a county where a baffling mass murder took place.

“I can tell you if you are fearful, arm yourself,” Sheriff Charles Reader told The Columbus Dispatch. “If you feel you need to protect yourself or your family, do so and contact the local law enforcement to come and respond to it.”

Reader is the sheriff of Pike County, Ohio, where eight members of the Rhoden family were the victims of execution-style killings. Authorities have no suspects and have not mentioned any motives for the killings. The murders occurred at four different locations.

Extensive marijuana growing operations were found at a number of the Rhoden homes, and investigators have not said whether drugs had anything to do with the killings. Officials did tell CNN that they think the marijuana growing was a complex commercial operation run purely for profit.

Do You Know The Best Way To Hide Your Guns?

The killings could have been part of home-invasion robberies, because the victims were shot in the head April 22 while they slept. A three-year old and two babies survived the massacre.

“It was a sophisticated operation and those who carried it out were trying to do everything they could do to hinder the investigation and their prosecution,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said of the murders.

The sheriff thinks the rest of the family could still be targets and told them they should be armed. Some local residents agreed with their sheriff.

“This is a different animal, what’s going on here right now,” Pike County resident Dave Brodess told The Dispatch. “A whole family wiped out and not even a trace of evidence left behind.”

The local superintendent of schools, Todd Burkitt, said the incident has shaken the community. He understands the desire to be armed.

“It’s a perfectly rational and logical thing to say, it’s just something you don’t usually have to say,” Burkitt said. “Something tragic and scary has happened in our community, and people do have a right to protect themselves, their homes and their families.”

What is your reaction to the sheriff’s comments? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Pump Shotguns Have One BIG Advantage Over Other Shotguns. Read More Here.

Why You Need These Arrow Cards For Your Kit

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Why You Need These Arrow Cards For Your Kit This is a very cool idea! It’s a steel card that fits in an Altoids tin or in your wallet that has 4 pre-cut arrowheads, a scraper, a saw blade and a knife all in one! You need these for you kit because they could help …

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17 Tips for Taking Charge After SHTF

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17 Tips for Taking Charge After SHTF After SHTF, whether it’s small and localized, statewide, or global, taking charge is something that not everyone knows how to do. For most, they need to get some kind of training that will help them calm down and be able to see what’s really going on. It can …

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Defending Your Bug Out Location 101

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Defending Your Bug Out Location 101 It doesn’t do much good to plan for SHTF, collect food, water, medicine, weapons, and ammo only to have it taken. To protect yourself, your family, and your gear, a lot of people are planning on bugging out to a remote location. Whether to bug out or bug in, you …

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11 Ordinary Things You Can Turn Into Candles

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11 Ordinary Things You Can Turn Into Candles Hopefully you have plenty of lighting options in case the power goes out. But what if you’re away from home when it happens? Or what if your supplies are destroyed or you’re unable to get to them? Sitting in the darkness can be very unsettling, especially on …

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How To Make An Upgraded 10 Cent Survival Blade

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 How To Make An Upgraded 10 Cent Survival Blade This article will show you how to make an upgraded 10 Cent Survival Knife. This tutorial will help you in a pinch! Is it a high end blade? Is it big? Is it a chopper? No, not really. It’s none of the above, but what do you want …

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Camping Hack – How to Make Fire With a Lemon

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Camping Hack – How to Make Fire With a Lemon When SHTF, sometimes we need to get creative. While you may not have all of these items on hand, I just wanted to show you what you can do with items you may be able to scavenge and a little ingenuity (MacGyver anyone?). After watching …

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Straw Bale Gardening: Everything You Wanted to Know for the Best Bounty Ever

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Two years ago, we moved into a house that had an abandoned garden; and to put it bluntly, the garden was in pretty bad shape. The soil was dry, rocky and compacted and there were weeds growing, but I was able to turn it around by conditioning the soil and experimented using a cardboard box gardening theory I was trying out. Since that time, I have added rabbits to our mini homestead and their nutrient-rich poo has turned my garden’s soil into that crumbly, rich dirt we all desperately want. Even though this garden is primed and ready to go, it just isn’t large enough for what I am trying to achieve.

9

This old garden bed has seen better days. Not only is it falling apart, but it doesn’t give me the right space for what I want to achieve.

For years, I have been working on backyard strategies that anyone can use to achieve food freedom to finally break away from the system and my family’s dependence on grocery stores. We have been able to find local meat sources, now it’s time to get enough produce to put away.

Why Straw Bale Gardening Works!

I decided to try my hand at straw bale gardening. It sounded practical enough. In fact, author, Joel Karsten of Straw Bale Gardens Complete, wrote on his website that this gardening method is a game changer. “Minimal maintenance resulting in maximum production, through Straw Bale Gardening.  It will completely change everything you thought you already knew about gardening.”

As well, this raised bed gardening method is very economical. For under $100, we were able to purchase 12 straw bales and extended our garden area by over 20 feet! We also purchased about $30 in organic fertilizers to condition the bales, but if you have the gift of time on your hands, you can bypass this step completely. I’ll get to that a little later.

Not only was I was drawn to this gardening method because it was cheaper, but it was easy for those with physical limitations and took poor soil quality out of the gardening equation. As well, I love natural gardening methods and liked the idea of the bales decomposing as the plants were growing, thus giving them essential nutrients in the process.

How it works

In short, as the bale of straw decomposes, it creates a nutrient-rich medium for the plants to grow. As well, the space between the straw creates tiny air pockets that are beneficial to the roots.

The bales need to be “conditioned” at least two weeks before planting. This will create the right growing environment for your plants. Once the bales are conditioned, you plant your garden and sit back and enjoy the view. It’s that easy, folks!

What you’ll need

  • straw bales
  • cardboard, newspapers or landscaping cloth
  • soaker hoses
  • garden stakes for trellises for tomatoes
  • 2 boxes each of organic blood meal and bone meal
  1. Getting started is easy! All you need to do is choose the area where you want to start your straw bale garden project. Make sure the location will get ample sunlight – up to 6 to 8 hours a day. Next, set down landscaping fabric, newspaper or cardboard boxes to prevent weeds from growing through the bales. Don’t skip this step – it’s important!
  2. Position your bales. Once you have set down the landscaping fabric into an outline you want the bales to go in, start positioning your bales so that the strings that bind the bales should run across the sides, not across the planting surface. By positioning them this way, it will keep the shape of the bales as they start to soften and decompose.
  3. Water your bales and get them ready for conditioning.
  4. Condition bales.
  5. Plant garden and fertilize as needed.
6

After positioning the straw bales into the shape I wanted, I was surprised at how much extra space I had in the garden.

How to conditioning straw bales

Like all gardens, before you plant your plants, you need to make sure they will have the right environment to grow in. Conditioning will help activate bacteria inside the bale to begin digesting the straw. It will make nitrogen and other nutrients available to the seedlings and create a productive, warm, moist and nutrient-rich rooting environment for young seedlings.  This is an ideal environment for beneficial insects including earthworms. As well, the bales will last you for up to two garden seasons because it slowly breaks down. Once it is completely broken down, you can throw it in your compost pile and turn it into rich compost.

You will see a difference in the bales overall appearance after it has been conditioned. It begins to slump and the color of the straw will start to “pepper.” In addition, the internal temperature of the straw bale increased too. If you insert a thermometer, it may rise to 120 degrees or even higher. I knew when my bales were properly conditioned when I saw earthworms living in the bales when I was planting the plants.

There are two processes for getting the straw bales conditioned and which one you use is dependent on how much time you have. Conditioning the bales will take two weeks or more to get the decomposition process started.

If you’ve got plenty of time, use this method:

After you have added the landscaping cloth and positioned your bales, simply add some top soil, fresh manure and all-purpose fertilizer to the tops of the straw bales, water thoroughly and allow this to sit uncovered for a few months. Many people who use this method will position their bales in the fall and allow them to decompose over the winter so they are ready for spring gardening.

If you are short on time, use this method:

This is a quick way to get your bales decomposition process going. For ten days, you will be watering and fertilizing your bales to get the inner straw composting.

Days 1-6: For the first six days, you will be adding 3 cups of organic fertilizer per bale every other day. Then, thoroughly saturate the bales with water so that the fertilizer is pushed down through the straw. I used an organic fertilizer that was high in nitrogen like a 12-0-0 blood meal. On the off days, simply water the bales. To make the fertilizer more available to the bacteria more quickly, I use a tent stake and hammered holes in the straw bales before adding the fertilizer. This really seemed to speed up the process.

Avoid using manures for the “quick cook” method because most manures do not have enough concentration of active nitrogen. The only exception to this is pure chicken manure that has been composted for 6-12 weeks and does not have any bedding or wood shavings mixed in. Read more about why manures won’t work with conditioning.

Days 7-9:  For two days, I added 1 cup of an all-purpose organic fertilizer and thoroughly watered the bales. By now, you should start seeing some significant changes to your bales.

Day 10: On the last day, I added 3 cups of bone meal. This fertilizer is high in phosphorus and potassium and is great for making sure there are nutrients present for essential root development.

 Planting time

After your bales have properly cooked down, now is the fun part and what you have been waiting so patiently for – planting time! Use a gardening trowel to remove the straw in the shape of a hole. You can also help any exposed roots, by adding some sterile planting mix to the hole.

If you’re planting seeds, then cover the bales with a one to two-inch layer of planting mix and sow the seeds directly into the planting mix. As the seeds germinate, they’ll grow roots down into the bale itself.

Suggested number of plants per bale

  • 2-3 tomatoes
  • 4-6 cucumbers
  • 2 pumpkins
  • 2-3 zucchini
  • 2-4 squash
  • 4 peppers
  • 2 winter squash

Tomatoes and cucumbers are very thirsty plants, so make sure you have a way deeply irrigate these plants. I added soaker hoses to my bales and also added these ceramic water irrigation stakes.

Don’t limit your straw bale garden to just vegetables. You can use every inch of free space and plant flowers and herbs in the bale to attract bees and other pollinators. I even added strawberry plants to the sides of the bales that were going unused.

Continue to fertilize

Straw bales do not offer all the essential nutrients like soil does and plants may need extra fertilizing. Here are some indicators to look for:

  • yellowing leaves – nitrogen deficiency
  • leaves are browning on edges – potassium deficiency.
  • leaves turning purple – potassium deficiency

I am very hopeful that this garden method will be a good fit for me and I am pleased with how easily this addition to my garden was. I will keep you all updated on the progress and hopefully, I can give a good report back with a great summer bounty.

Happy gardening!

straw bale

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Survival Buzz: Firearms Safety for Newbies

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Firearms Safety for Newbies | Backdoor Survival

Like most people, I have a lot of knowledge about many topics but just a handful where I would consider myself an authority.  Precious few, actually.  It really quite humbling, you know, to be of a certain age and not know it all.

One area where I am especially weak is with firearms.  I have been to classes, have my own handgun (which I find uncomfortable to use and need to replace), and have shot a few rounds in my day.  As much as I realize the importance of training and practice, I feel as though I will forever be a firearms newbie.  Does anyone else feel that way?

Firearms Safety for Newbies | Backdoor Survival

Recently one of my blogging colleagues, Heather Harris aka the Homesteading Hippy, suggested a piece on firearms safety for Backdoor Survival.  I jumped at the chance to share some knowledge from someone who is walking the walk and while maybe not an authority, is certainly more proficient than I am.

Whether you are an experienced shooter of someone who is just getting started, be sure to check out what Heather has to say, and remind yourself of the four rules of firearms safety.

Firearms have been a way of life for many homesteaders for a long, long time.

Back in the early days of America, they were used to hunt with, to protect families, and to start a revolution.

The Second Amendment of the Constitution states “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”. They are important part of our heritage, our country, and a modern homesteader’s life.

Modern homesteaders use firearms for the same reason our ancestors did.

Hunting and protecting family and livestock are important to us, right? When a bear is coming at your hives, or a raccoon coming into your coop, asking them nicely to leave isn’t going to work. Traps don’t always work, either. And, that’s when you need to take a different route.

This post isn’t about whether or not you should own a firearm, that’s another can of worms to open. This is about how to own firearms safely.**also, this post is intended only for adults. If you aren’t an adult, or can’t make decisions like an adult for some reason, please stop reading this post**

If you choose to own a firearm, you NEED to follow safety standards.

No ifs, ands, or butts about it. Seriously. You can’t just buy a gun and think it’s all good and done. There are certain things you need to know and keep in mind while you own and/or use it.

Know your state and local laws about ownership.

Some states allow you to keep it only in your home, some allow you to carry it concealed on your body or in a purse with a permit, some allow you to “open carry” with a permit. The last thing you want to do is to break the law concerning this. If you need a permit to carry a gun, get one. The cost can vary state to state, as well as regulations.

Some states require you to take gun safety class before you can be approved, some only require application and fingerprinting.

If you travel, KNOW the laws of the state you are going to and the states you are going through.

Some states will recognize other state’s carry permits, called “reciprocal”. Some will not recognize other states. It is YOUR responsibility to know which states will allow you to have it or not. The time to know is BEFORE you go to that state as well. You can check out state by state laws here, or with your local sheriff’s office.

If you choose to own a firearm, you need to understand the 4 basic rules of safety.

Rule number 1- ALL FIREARMS ARE LOADED. EVERY.SINGLE.ONE.

In our home, we treat all firearms, from our hunting rifle, to my son’s pellet gun, to my daughter’s air soft gun as a lethal weapon that is loaded at all times. They are NOT toys, and need to be treated with proper respect.

Rule number 2- NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

Simply put, don’t aim the gun at anyone or anything you are not intending to shoot, and willing to take responsibility for shooting. if you find that you are saying, “but, it’s not loaded”, please refer back to Rule number 1.

Rule number 3- KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER until your target is in sight and you know what you are shooting at.

Seriously. At the range while practicing, we lay our finger across the top of the gun until we are ready to aim and fire.

Rule number 4- KNOW WHAT’S BEHIND YOUR TARGET.

Basically, when hunting, you need to be able to identify the animal you are aiming for, and that there is no one just beyond it. It’s not enough to hear a noise, or see a movement. You need to know for absolute certain. This is why hunters wear the neon orange colors while hunting, as it makes it easier for others to be certain they are there.

If you choose to own a firearm, you NEED TO KNOW HOW TO USE IT SAFELY.

I can’t stress this one enough. Take a class on firearm safety with a qualified instructor and practice, practice, practice.

Remember, an amateur will practice until they get it right, a professional will practice until they CAN’T get it wrong. This isn’t the time to play around, you need to be safe.

KNOW THAT YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR 100% OF THE SHOTS FIRED FROM THAT FIREARM, INCLUDING THOSE YOU “DIDN’T MEAN TO”.

If you choose to own a firearm around kids, LOCK IT UP!

Don’t make it a huge mystery, be honest with them about it.

Teach them the rules, and keep it out of their reach when you aren’t there. A gun safe, a trigger lock, and storing it out of reach in a locked cabinet will go a long way toward keeping tragedy away. Keep your kids, and their friends safe by using common sense. You can’t control how other kids will react to a firearm, so don’t leave it out where they can.

LOCK IT UP!

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Want to read more from Heather?  Visit her website, Pinterest page and YouTube Channel.

Additional Reading: Getting Started with Handguns is Not for Wimps

Backdoor Survival Mail Bag & Reader Tips

In response to the article 14 Essentials to Help You Fix and Clean Almost Anything, Frances came up with a bunch of additional great tips.

A little cheap vodka or similar alcohol works great as a spot cleaner for gluey label residue, Magic Marker marks and the like. We also keep a bottle of “Everclear” for medicinal purposes (making tinctures, etc.). It’s about the strongest alcohol you can easily obtain. Keep away from children, of course! Although rubbing alcohol has its place, you can’t consume it!

HYDROGEN PEROXIDE is needed in every med kit. Considering it’s so inexpensive, have a a supply on hand at all times. We put some in a spray bottle for disinfecting surfaces. Again, keep safe from little explorers.

There is a ‘food safe’ version that we prefer, but you may have to order it online.

Don’t forget to keep a large supply of SALT! You can keep aside the specialty salt like Himalayan for culinary purposes. I’m talking about the cheap stuff. It can be used for cleaning, irrigating wounds (in solution), bathing, and endless other purposes. Required to sustain life!

I also use white vinegar (the cheapest kind) to do a rinse for fine washables and handmade items that ‘bleed’ dye. End the final rinse with plain water.

Microfiber towels are not just for utility cleaning. We found bath-sized towels for sale online and love them as they take only a few minutes to dry.

Cotton terry takes forever, and takes lots more $$$ at the laundromat. Think of a camping type situation where you don’t have all the modern appliances!

Microfiber washcloths have more ‘scrubbing action’ than typical soft cotton versions. Hand towels, too.

Cotton ‘tea’ towels have their place, however. They are thin, dry quickly, and can be used for food preparation (covering bread, straining liquids, etc.). If you can splurge, get LINEN tea towels. They cost a bit more, but will last much longer than cotton. If you sew, it’s easy enough to make your own. Just cut to size and hem them. We keep a few linen napkins in the medical kit. Linen withstands being boiled over and over. In the old days, linen garments were cleaned in boiling water. (I suppose to kill any critters hiding within!)

Compressed Air is nice, but you can also find soft dusting brushes that help when your can is finally empty. There are also ‘dry sponges’ you can get at hardware stores to clean things you can’t get wet, like lamp shades. On the other hand, we don’t personally keep things in our dwelling that are that delicate!

I am always interested in learning about new ways to prep on a budget.  Michelle offers this tip for making your own waterproof matches.

i actually have a really great way that serves both as a long burning fire starter and water proofs matches in the same stroke.  I have made 10 sets of the diamond box matches (the ones that come in a pack of 10 at the Dollar Tree) so I now have close to 2500 water proofed fire starters/matches in my preps and plan on making more.

Total costs–$10 for ten sets of box matches + $1.00 for a candle + $1.00 for a 4 count pack of TP = $12 plus tax.

Here is the YouTube video I used


An Update on the Oil of the Month Club

There is some exciting news for essential oils enthusiasts.  Spark Naturals has introduced a Premium Oil of the Month Club that features the higher priced oils at the bargain price of $24.99 with free shipping.  To give you an example of the savings, the May oil is a 15ML bottle of Frankincense, normally $70.  That is a discount of almost 65%.

If you would like to learn more about the Oil of the Month Club, visit the page I created for you (shown below) or click on the graphic to head on over to the Spark Naturals web site.

Additional Reading:  Spark Naturals Oil of the Month Club

Spark Naturals Oil of the Month Club | Backdoor Survival

The Final Word

I am more that a little excited to be heading back home this week.  As you are reading this, I am most likely passing through Umatilla, Oregon with my next stop being Washington State.  After that a ferry ride plus a short, ten mile drive to the other side of San Juan Island and I am home.

This has been a grand adventure and I know that many of you have questions about it.  I plan to begin answering those questions and more from the LifeStraw Go giveaway next week.

So what about you – what did you do to prep this week?

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

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

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

Bargain Bin: An article I wrote on DIY cleaning turned out to be hugely popular all around the web. In cased you missed it, here is a link to the article Prepper Checklist: DIY Cleaning Supplies and to some of the products that I use to make my own cleaners.

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps Pure-Castile Soap: Of all of the Dr. Bronner’s castile soaps, tea tree is my favorite.  I prefer to purchase the versions are already infused with essential oils since it does save me a step when concocting my own cleaners. A little goes a long way with a favorite use being DIY Foaming Hand Soap.

InterDesign Duo Foaming Soap Dispenser Pump:  I have had good luck with this type of foaming soap dispenser.  There are lots of styles to choose from and you can even try repurposing those that come prefilled from the Dollar store.

Amazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning Cloth, (Pack of 36): No list of DIY cleaning supplies would be complete without these wonderful microfiber cloths. They will last you for years and will allow you to replace paper towels forever. Truly. I color code using blue for glass and windows and the other colors for everything else. I love these.

Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Liquid Cleanser: I know that Dr. Bronner’s Magic Castile soaps have a cult-like following but I prefer the Sal Suds. I call my DIY cleaner “Sudsy Sal”.

Soft ‘n Style 8 oz. Spray Bottles: I happen to like these smaller bottles and you can not beat the price for a set of 3. Likewise for these Pump Dispensers.

NOW Solutions Vegetable Glycerin: You will need this for your Dirt Cheap Soft Soap. I paid almost as much for only 4 ounces locally. This is a great price and 16 ounces will last forever.

Peppermint Essential Oil: I favor peppermint and tea tree (Melaleuca) essential oil in my cleaning supplies. But there are many types of essential oils to choose from. Take your pick. One thing you will find is that a little goes a long way.  The nice thing about essential oils from Spark Naturals is that they are also excellent for therapeutic and healing use and well as for use in DIY cleaning supplies.  Just remember to use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout to get 10% off your order.

Budget Essential Oils:  For the budget minded – and especially for use in cleaning supplies – consider NOW Foods Essential Oils.  They can be purchased online at Amazon.com.

Mobile Washer

Mobile Washer: This is hand operated washing machine. Like a plunger, it uses a technique of pushing and pulling the water through clothes to clean them well without wearing them out. It uses a minimum of water and less soap due to the agitation motion. Use in a bucket (5-gallon suggested), sink or tub.

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   Shop the Emergency Essentials Daily & Monthly Sales for Fantastic Deals!

For over 25 years Emergency Essentials has been providing the highest quality preparedness products at great prices.  Plus, each month they feature sales that quite honestly are fantastic.

Case Lot Sale!Emergency Essentials carries a wide variety of equipment and supplies – all at competitive prices.


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Need something from Amazon (and who doesn’t)?

I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here. You still get great Amazon service and the price is the same, no matter what.

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

The Amazon Top Most Wished For Emergency and Survival Kit Items
Emergency Preparedness Items from Amazon.com
Bug Out Bag – Get Home Bag Supplies
Amazon Gift Cards

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

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

9 Best Essential Oils for Your Survival Kit | Backdoor Survival

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The post Survival Buzz: Firearms Safety for Newbies by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

The Survival Grill

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The Survival Grill Host: James Walton “I Am Liberty” Don’t underestimate just how devastating a tool your grill can be both in a preparedness situation and in the betterment of your current life. The fact is most people don’t know how to utilize their grill. It could be a lack of understanding of heat or … Continue reading The Survival Grill

The post The Survival Grill appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Updates on the SkyCastle

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Building up and across is what PB (Primitive Bob) likes to do, here is an update on 2 of his projects, works in progress, or Bobbage as we like to call it around here.

The first of the two is the bridge, it had been put on hold for most of the winter, the plan is to eventually be able to drive across it, for now it’s a walking bridge. To recap, the frame of the bridge was made from the frame/chassis of a defunct mobile home that was being dismantled up the road from us. It was pulled across the seasonal creekbed, PB added some plywood decking so we could walk across it. The support beneath is concrete that is dug down quite far into the creekbed, it has already withstood some heavy storms and the accompanying water deluge.

We had a shorter trailer that was used to bring the last load of our stuff from the DFW area of TX to our west TX home, PB hauled that frame over the bridge and extended the bridge quite a bit. As you can see from the pictures he didn’t have any room for mistakes, the wheels were only touching the edges of the bridge by a few inches. But in true Bobbage he did it, all by himself, he tends to wait until I’m gone to work to do these things.

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You can read more about the bridge here
http://www.off-grid.net/a-bridge-to-bobbage/
http://www.off-grid.net/bobbage-bridge-update/
The second project is hardening the front door, making it even more castle like. PB wanted the stairs to draw up and by golly, he has done it. Not only do they draw up, you can do it one handed thanks to the counter weight. Of course, like everything else, this is a work in progress. There are essentially two doors, one glass door, then the stairs then a heavy wooden gate, the stairs-once raised become sandwiched between the two doors.

Here are PB’s own words describing this feat of engineering
“This was a test to see if I could raise the steps and film it all without falling off the porch. Success! A little refinement and clean up and it’ll be in the history books. The chain and sheave blocks will be replaced with a streamlined counter weight soon, probly a 4 inch pipe stub,12 inches long filled with sand. The ‘C’ clip came loose in one bearing. The glass door in the video is dirty/foggy, so that birds and dogs and old white guys can see it. I’ll try to get a better video soon. (the glass door must be closed to raise the steps)”

Watch the video and enjoy, I especially love the sound of the stairs moving up and down, sounds like a creepy old scary movie 🙂
https://youtu.be/4xjEDz2d52k

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The post Updates on the SkyCastle appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Hardening Your Home – Garage Door

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I purchased my current house for over six years and have made numerous improvements to it. Some of the security upgrades include installing new doors, reinforcing door jambs, installing better locks, adding a single-side deadbolt, purchasing a home security system, updated the exterior lights, replacing my front gate, and putting a peep hole in my […]

The post Hardening Your Home – Garage Door appeared first on Smart Suburban Survival.

Faith and Freedom Friday-Learning to Trust God

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bible

Pastor Cooley teaches from Psalm 78 today. He explains the value of faith and our need to trust God.

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Ephesians 5:15

After many years of praying and searching for a pastor that understands America’s social, economic, and political problems and how evicting God from our country has brought those problems about, my wife and I finally found Pastor Cooley, a true man of God and a dedicated patriot.

While attending Pastor Cooley’s church for several weeks, the thought struck me; how many other faithful patriot preppers out there are having trouble finding a good church and are enduring feel-good, cotton-candy sermons  just so they can be in fellowship with other believers?

In an effort to help redeem the time in these evil days, Faith and Freedom Fridays, is available as a podcast to stream or download featuring recent messages from Pastor Clifton Cooley of  Calvary Baptist Church, Sebastian, FL.

If you happen to be in the Sebastian, FL area, please come worship with us every Sunday at 11:00 AM and Wednesday nights at 7:00 PM  123 Thunderbird Drive, Sebastian, Florida  32958

Do you have a good picture of your gun, Bible and American flag? Send it to prepperrecon@gmail.com and we’ll feature it on Faith and Freedom Friday!

The post Faith and Freedom Friday-Learning to Trust God appeared first on Prepper Recon.

Complete AR Lowers and Kenny Escapes the PRK!

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It looks like the Democratic Party machine is jamming Hilary Clinton down their parties collective throat. Her thoughts on guns are pretty well documented. Needless to say a second Clinton presidency would be very bad for Team 2A. Our window before the almost inevitable election related hysteria gets going is short. As such I picked up two of those PSA blemished lowers on the $189 sale. Thanks to Commander Zero for the heads up. I will be able to build Project AR’s slightly cheaper brother off one of them. Of course you have to compare the cost of building vs just buying a rifle but I think it will work out well.

I may do some other things in the next month or so. Without going into a bad spot (digging too deep into savings let alone using credit) I will do the best I can to get my gunny house in order. You should consider doing the same.

On another note entirely Kenny is officially in Tennessee!

The Less-Than-Lethal Shotgun: A Safer Way To Stop A Threat?

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The ‘Less-Than-Lethal’ Shotgun: A Safer Way to Stop a Threat?

Preparing for a home defense situation is basically an act of arming yourself for a dark, nasty and unfortunate hypothetical scenario. Also, the chances of finding yourself in such a scenario increase in certain areas of the country — and thus, the responsibility of acquiring a suitable defensive weapon increases accordingly.

But then, there are variables to consider. In a home with small children, keeping a fully loaded AR-15 or Glock 17 by the bed is not something that every home defender is comfortable with. However, the eerie possibility of that nightmare scenario occurring still isn’t going to vanish in the presence of children.

So, what now? Are there alternatives to lethal weaponry, which don’t involve a Louisville Slugger or MMA training? Answer: yes. For this particular dilemma, you might consider purchasing a pump-action 12-gauge shotgun, such as a Remington 870 or Mossberg 500, but instead of loading it with 00-buck shot …

Vicious New Hand-Held Self-Defense Tool Turns Lethal In Seconds!

How about loading that sucker with “less-than-lethal” beanbag rounds?

The Most Basic Objective of Personal Defense

Here are a few reasons why I find these to be a considerable home defensive option, despite its unconventional nature …

First, let’s clear the air on this one: Killing a human tends to lead to some rather complex, life-altering implications (not including that of the psychological drawbacks of dropping some guy in the place you call home). Throw in a court case, teams of forensic investigators, and lots of paperwork, and this 30-second crisis just got a whole lot longer. So, because your home is not necessarily a military combat zone, let’s iron out what “self-defense” actually means, according to FindLaw.com:

“Self-defense is defined as the right to prevent suffering force or violence through the use of a sufficient level of counteracting force or violence.”

In other words, the point is not to cause death — instead, your objective according to the law is to stop the intruder’s ability to present a lethal threat, if one were presented, that is. In most cases, a home intrusion will happen because the offender is looking for anything they can sell on eBay, so they can purchase tickets to the next Eagles game … or something like that.

The ‘Less-Than-Lethal’ Shotgun: A Safer Way to Stop a Threat?With that being said, it could be very difficult to ascertain whether or not the crook is armed and dangerous, or just plain stupid and didn’t realize you’d come back from vacation already. In which case, a 12-gauge beanbag round would do a beautiful job in securing the homefront — and not to mention, there would be a great deal less death going on.

Beanbag Rounds: They’ll Teach Crooks a Valuable Life Lesson

The beautiful side is the fact that this particular home defensive option would afford a less-than-child-hazardous method of keeping the crooks at bay. No, beanbag rounds are not meant to be used as a toy, especially due to the fact that they still maintain the power of being kicked in the (insert body part) by an enraged bronco.

Also, when people say that these rounds are considered “less-than-lethal,” that means they can kill on accident. Obviously, a human fist doesn’t possess the same lead-based killing power as a slug, but the FBI’s findings on the topic are astounding. In fact, more than half of all Americans in the 2011 survey suggest that punching and kicking are responsible for more homicides than shotguns.

Do You Know The Best Way To Hide Your Guns?

However, the police do implement these less-than-lethal options, especially when things get out of hand but lethal force is simply not needed. From a law enforcement perspective, it’s usually best to have an immobilized crook with a notably bad Charlie horse, then have a guy bleeding on a public sidewalk, as the local news arrives five minutes before the EMS to the scene.

But, Then Again…

Unfortunately, there will be drawbacks to less-than-lethal ammunition. For one, using beanbag rounds is, itself, an $8 box for 5 rounds of tactical compromise. Quite frankly, a hotly debated topic of discussion is the so-called “stopping power” of live ammo, so beanbag rounds will certainly be problematic to that end. Also, it is rumored that less-than-lethal ammunition will provide auto-immunization before a judge in the event that the beanbag round ended up killing the crook; however, there are zero guarantees in such sticky situations, (and, let it be known, I’m no attorney and this is not legal advice).

The point to using beanbag rounds in your 12 gauge is to offer a way to provide a home intruder with a valuable life lesson that they can think about from inside their prison cell. But keep this in mind: According to most manufacturers, all less-than-lethal bets are off, if the target is hit in the head or chest within a range of seven yards. So that, too, should be an item of concern. And, of course, this also brings me back to the most obvious drawback: If proper firearm safety is to always treat the weapon as if it is loaded (with live ammunition), then to point a 12-gauge Remington 870 at an armed intruder should carry more-than-enough lethal meaning, since death is a primary function of a firearm, after all. Yet still, your best judgment and preparation will always be your primary home defense, no matter what.

What do you think? Would you consider using less-than-lethal ammo? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Pump Shotguns Have One BIG Advantage Over Other Shotguns. Read More Here.

One Type Of Survivalist Illumination

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Being able to illuminate what you are doing post SHTF (especially for the day in and day out stuff) will be very important. This is one method that has a wealth of history to back it’s relevance.

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Oil Lamps

oillamp6.jpg

As Matt Bracken pointed out the other day in his interview, and a position I completely concur with, is that we won’t have a mass upheaval and the lights stay on. It’s just not happening. Our grid is the most fragile part of our infrastructure, aside from our just-in-time supply system. And since everything is so interconnected and interdependent, just one plant going down due to workers not being able to get there could cause a serious ripple that may take a long time to fix(if ever). This is not even factoring in safety issues.

But let’s take a step back. So the power doesn’t go off where you live. There’s little risk of social shock in your location (unlikely) and you don’t experience weather disruptions every winter or summer(also very unlikely). Your power is supplemented from somewhere. And that somewhere is indeed likely to experience significant disruptions should the US’ creditors say “no more debt Sam…” or better yet, the election yields marxists running amok.

Woman on a Cell Phone in a Snow Storm
This lady has made some poor decisions.

Or maybe, none of that happens but you end up having the hundred year blizzard and the lights go out for an extended period of time. What are you going to do then? Simply huddle up and pray? Every year on the east coast we risk hurricanes, the midwest  and deep south has tornadoes, and the west coast the menace of earthquakes. Over dependence on the grid is a foolish and bad thing.

Each of these are likely scenarios; you’re absolutely blind if you don’t see it, and haven’t lived long enough if you haven’t experienced at least one extended power outage. A look at Venezuela is a snapshot of days to come, and anyone who lived outside the wire in Iraq or Afghanistan knows full well the power rationing that goes on there. Those folks live just fine, and so can you. When Hurricanes Fran and later Floyd hit the NC coast, we lost power inland all the way to Winston Salem, and for my area in the central part of the state, it stayed off for over a week and a half. We still had light, and we cooked on our charcoal grill.

This stuff used to not be as big of a deal as it is today. This is where a lot of folks will point to generators or solar, which are great options but expensive and labor intensive. If you don’t have the money to get into that, having oil lamps for light are an excellent supplement to any Survivalist’s plan.

oillampOil lamps are relatively cheap, can be found anywhere, and like the other tools from my last couple posts, are generally idiot-proof providing generations of use with a bit of care and common sense.

A Survivalist should have at least one for each room, if not more, and plenty of spare wicks and lamp oil. generally they put out much more light than candles, are fairly efficient on fuel, and are relatively safe to use. While they put out less candle power than Coleman camping lanterns, they’re easily refillable and much simpler in use.

There’s two types commonly encountered. The basic indoor type, like the one pictured left, which work well pretty much anywhere indoors but do not handle breezes or wind. oillamp5.jpegThe second type, pictured right, is often called a Hurricane Lantern, and as the name implies work very well outdoors but also are perfectly fine to use inside.

oillamp2If you have kids or clumsy people in your fold, and everyone does, you may want to consider a few wall mounted lamps, which not only are functional but add a good amount of character to a house.

A frequently overlooked issue with oil lamps is the storage of fuel. Lamp oil is simply refined kerosene. In fact, K-1 will work just fine in your lamp but it will emit odors. For homes built since the 1950s, low ceilings might make this an issue. Do not use any other kind of fuel in these, especially not gasoline or camp fuel. You will have a fire. A second and much more serious problem with lamp fuel is the actual storage. Often lamp oil is sold in thin plastic bottles, folks buy it, and set it in a corner for long periods of time. The problem is that the plastic gets brittle form the oil itself and can crack, spilling your fuel and creating a serious fire hazard. Get a kerosene rated container, which are most often blue in color, and store the fuel in bulk in that.

With several extra fuses and a few gallons of fuel (or more) stashed away, you’ll have an alternative light source which will last a very long time when the lights finally do go out. If you start thinking of ways to live without the grid as Michael Landon demonstrates up top, the impact of losing modernity are going to be far lessened. If you can be the guy who shrugs when the power goes off and simply charlie mikes (continues movement) on with his life, then the problems of the world will be no big cause for panic.

Do yourself a favor and pick up a few. They’ll be worth their weight one day.

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After the fact “Halfassing” can cause needless accidents. Get it now, Learn it right, Live it well.

JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

 

10 Creative Repurposed Headboard DIY Tutorials

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10 Creative Repurposed Headboard DIY Tutorials How many of you have old wooden and metal headboards just sitting around in the garage or in the attic? I have 5, I pick them up at garage sales, online via Craigslist and belive it or not, I find really cheap old headboards at goodwill. Even if you …

Potassium Iodide VS Radiation: What’s The Scoop?

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Like it or not, we live in a world that has had nuclear explosions – both in testing and in war. And in the case of North Korea (and perhaps others in the future), we are guaranteed to have bursts of highly radioactive materials added to our planet.

And this doesn’t even count the fact […]

The post Potassium Iodide VS Radiation: What’s The Scoop? appeared first on The Weekend Prepper.

Montana retreat near Canadian border

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Low maintenance home

Low maintenance home

If you want to unplug and enjoy the breathtaking scenery that Montana has to offer, head to The North Fork. Located only a mile from Glacier National Park and three miles from the Canadian border, this small community operates on off-grid generators and solar power, with no cell phone reception for miles.

“That’s exactly why we chose to build here,” said Bill, owner of a three-level log home. What attracted Bill and his wife Luann to the area is also what created a unique challenge for builder Scott Leigh. “To get to the site, we had to drive 60 miles up a gravel road, sometimes in terrible weather, and then have no cell phone reception the entire time we were there,” Scott said. To minimize the difficult commute, he would stay onsite with his workers four days a week and then drive back to his office on Friday and gather more building materials.

The layout and design of the three-bedroom, three-bath log home was a collaborative effort that included Scott, Bill and Luann and designer Eric Bachofner whose company provided the 12-inch Swedish cope, hand-hewn lodgepole pine logs.

Because the site had an unspoiled view of Kintla Peak in Glacier National Park, the scenery was a major influence on the design. “Bill’s big push was centered on how the house was oriented,” said Scott. “He wanted the bay windows to face the mountain range, so we sat out there together with a compass and the floor plans and made it happen.”

The other key essential was a dining bay with 14-foot ceilings that Bill saw on another floor plan and wanted to incorporate into his own log home. The room features large windows with a 270-degree view of the horizon. Western larch logs provide structural support for the roof, but also create a unique “speckled” design leading up to the ceiling.

Not to be outdone by the dining bay, the kitchen boasts amazing views that “look straight out into Lewis and Clark country,” according to Bill, and is decorated to transition seamlessly into the dining and great rooms in the home’s open design.

To complement the logs, Kurt Kress was brought in to create the kitchen’s custom cabinetry from knotty alder. He applied several layers of stain, glaze and lacquer before heavily distressing the doors to give them an antiqued look. He chose a deep brown hue with green undertones that plays off the copper farm sink framed with two handmade newel posts. Seeded-glass panels were inserted into several upper cabinets as accents. Crema Bordeaux granite countertops complete the rich look of the space with copper features that mirror the same accents found throughout the home.

If you want to disconnect from the wired world, Bill and Luann’s home is certainly the place to do it. And you couldn’t ask for a better backdrop than some of the most spectacular scenery in North America.

The post Montana retreat near Canadian border appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

43 Super-Frugal Tips for Cutting Down on Household Expenses

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cutting down household expensesHome is where the heart is, but for too many of us, it’s also where the debt is and where paychecks go to die. It’s also one area in which small savings steps can really add up and where everyday spending decisions can make a big difference. Here are a few tips that have helped my family get out of debt and stay out for the past 8 years. You can save money on household expenses starting today.

  1. Buy used furniture, but make sure it’s great quality. You’ll have a much better chance of finding high quality furniture at resale and consignment stores. Once you get used to older, well-made furniture, you’ll be shocked by the low quality stuff found at new furniture stores, and the prices will leave you gasping for breath!
  2. Find out when the best discount days are at Goodwill and thrift stores and shop on those days. Ask about discounts for veterans and senior citizens, too. You’ll soon find your own set of favorite thrift stores — those with good prices and excellent quality, gently used clothing and other goods. I also recommend seeking out specialty thrift stores. When you’re in need of baby furniture and kids clothes, a kids-only resale shop will make your shopping easier since you won’t be wading through every other type of merchandise out there.
  3. Before calling a repairman to fix an appliance or a car, look for YouTube videos and do it yourself. Repairclinic.com is a site that sells thousands of parts for such things as lawn mowers, power tools, appliances, and much more. Between the easy ability to get the necessary parts and training videos online, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars in repair bills every year.
  4. Your insurance agent won’t thank me for this, but each year, try to get better prices on all your insurance policies. In fact, mark “Insurance Review” on your calendar. Review coverage, deductibles, and ask about discounts you might qualify for. Compare companies, and don’t limit your shopping around to only the Big Names in the insurance business, such as State Farm and Allstate.
  5. Do the same thing with all your other bills: internet/phone packages, cell phone packages, electricity, etc. Be sure to compare not only prices, but features and benefits.
  6. Kids grow quickly, so organize a toy and kid clothing swaps with other moms. This is a true win-win scenario: moms get to socialize, kids get new stuff, and everyone is saving money!
  7. Depending on where you live, this might be tough, but if you can postpone using the air conditioning or heater for as long as possible, you could save a good amount of money in a very short time. Growing up in Phoenix, I know a few tricks about staying cool in hot weather (read my tips here) and staying warm on a cold day requires layers of warm clothing and, perhaps, shutting off rooms that aren’t being used.
  8. Use a space heater and keep the central heat turned down to utilize heat in a way that continues to save money. There’s no need to warm up an entire house when you typically spend most of your daylight hours in just 2 or 3 rooms. Those are the rooms to keep warm.
  9. Consider extreme changes to your lifestyle, such as moving to a much cheaper neighborhood, city, or state. Other extreme steps: selling an expensive house and renting for a while, living with relatives for a while, or in an apartment with utilities included in the rent. Very often, these moves help a family rebound financially, save money, and prepare for moving on with their lives.
  10. Use a magicJack in place of a landline phone and continue to use your landline phone number. You’ll need to buy the magicJack device itself and pay a year’s service fee. Combined, this is under $60, and you can do away with any other landline phone service. Before jumping into the no-landline trend, though, you should know that a power outage will disable all types of plug-in phones, including cordless.
  11. Use plastic grocery bags as liners for small size trash cans. These bags can also be placed over ripening fruit and vegetables to keep the birds away, used as a type of “glove” for picking up dog poop, or as packing material. They’re also handy as a daily compost collector. Just remember to empty the contents each day in your outdoor compost pile!
  12. Stay home more. Every time you go out there are temptations to spend money, but this doesn’t have to mean life becomes unbearably boring. Here’s a list of more than 100 things to do that are free and fun.
  13. Be a one-car family. It will take some getting used to and juggling of schedules sometimes but the savings in insurance, vehicle wear and tear, gas, repairs, etc. will add up. However, before you sell that extra vehicle, park it for a week or two to get an idea of what life will be like once it’s gone forever. How will its loss impact doctor and dentist appointments, school and sports activities, etc.? It’s better to find out now, while you still have that second car!
  14. Begin using cloth diapers, if you have a baby in the family. New styles are easy to use and most moms who make the switch from disposables say they’ll never go back. If you have an adult family member who may need incontinence pads, use baby diapers for their super-absorbency.
  15. Become familiar with what your dollar stores usually stock and when you need those items, go there rather than other retail stores where you’ll pay full price.
  16. Start drying your clothes on a clothesline and wash them cold water.
  17. Unplug electric items when not in use. One homeowner told me that he saved a few hundred dollars per year doing this.
  18. Weatherstrip doors and windows. For just the low cost of some new weatherstripping, you can keep your house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. If you’re not sure if a particular window or exterior door needs new weatherstripping, hold a lit candle near its edges. If you see the flame flicker, air is coming through the cracks around the door or window.
  19. Buy next year’s clothing at end of the year clearance sales. This is particularly helpful with higher priced items like winter coats and cold-weather boots.
  20. Gradually replace lightbulbs with LEDs. My electrician husband swears by LED bulbs.
  21. Run the dishwasher right after dinner and set a timer for when the washing cycle has ended and the drying begins. When the timer goes off, open the dishwasher door and let the dishes dry overnight.
  22. Go for long hairstyles and get a trim twice a year. Some stylists claim that a long hairstyle is more youthful!
  23. While your kids are young, learn how to cut their hair. If you mess up a bit, hey, they won’t even notice, and by the time they’re old enough to care, your skills will be advanced!
  24. Cut back or eliminate expensive activities for kids. Find cheaper or free alternatives – classes at Home Depot, REI, Cabela’s, Minecraft classes online, the library, and so much more. Remember what your own childhood was like, with far fewer extracurricular activities, lessons, and busy schedules? There’s a good chance that your imagination thrived and you turned out okay. So will your kids.
  25. Gas prices go up and down, but try to get in the habit of walking or riding a bike on nearby errands. Carpool when you can. Not only will this save on gas but also on the wear and tear of your vehicle. Add the health benefits of walking or bicycling, and it’s a winning combination.
  26. Stay away from stores that tempt you most. They have such an enormous variety of products that you’re bound to find something you absolutely need — or do you??
  27. If you need money in a hurry, go through one or two rooms of your house, garage, and/or attic, and look for items you no longer need, want, can’t wear, etc and sell them on a local Facebook page, Craigslist, etc. This is quicker than a garage sale, with no need to set up or price items.
  28. Grow a garden. Even an herb garden is a huge, frugal help if you regularly buy fresh herbs for recipes. Watch your expenses, though, because store-bought mulch, fertilizer, seeds, supplies to build boxes, etc. add up quickly.
  29. Begin your own compost pile out in the backyard. It’s a great way to enrich your soil, with no expense at all.
  30. Knit dish cloths from inexpensive cotton yarn. You can make several from just one large ball of yarn. These make great gifts as well, and it’s a great way for kids to learn this useful skill.
  31. Don’t know how to knit? Learn this skill and hundreds of others on YouTube! Free training and, in many cases, even the supplies are extremely cheap.
  32. Ditch napkins and paper towels Use small washcloths for napkins instead. You’ll be using these for years, versus continually buying the paper products.
  33. Make inexpensive homemade cleaning solutions from vinegar, baking soda, small amounts of liquid soap, and so on. For years, I used just vinegar and water to clean my stained concrete floors. You can’t beat that for being frugal!
  34. Cut up old t-shirts for cleaning cloths and save old, worn-out towels for really messy jobs, such as cleaning up after pet accidents or wiping up anything that might stain one of your nicer towels. I keep a large stack of these towels in a cabinet in my laundry room, handy for all the uh-ohs that occur on a regular basis.
  35. During cold weather, wear layers around the house, socks, and turn the heat down.
  36. Collect blankets and use them to cover windows, doorways, and add triple and quadruple layers of warmth to beds! I always keep blankets handy in our living and family rooms.
  37. Never buy new vehicles. Ever. Let someone else drive that brand new car or truck out of the dealer’s showroom and enjoy the quick depreciation in value! You can lurk in the background, waiting for them to grow tired of their shiny new toy, either sell it or trade it in, and then you can leap into action, grabbing that vehicle at a huge discount.
  38. Maintain your vehicles with regular oil changes, keep the tires inflated, and take care of minor issues before they become budget-destroying expenses. This becomes especially important when you want to sell your used vehicle.
  39. Don’t postpone visits to the dentist and taking care of small cavities. Dental problems can become very expensive if ignored.
  40. Do your workouts at home, not a gym. Sooner or later, you’ll grow tired of the trips to the gym but will probably forget to cancel your membership. This will result in paying for something you aren’t using.
  41. If you have pets, find the best priced pet insurance. It may make the difference between saying goodbye too soon to a beloved pet and being able to afford expensive medical treatment.
  42. Ask doctors for samples of pharmaceutical medicines. Many are willing to do this — no problem at all. Not only will it help you to know if you’ll have any negative reactions to the medication before buying it, you’ll also save money. Years ago when we didn’t have health insurance, my husband’s doctor gave him a supply of one prescription for over a year.
  43. Do your own yard work and housecleaning, or pay the kids to do it. Be sure to thoroughly teach them how you want the job to be done. This is vital to developing their work ethic, attention to detail, and ability to follow directions. If you don’t believe in paying kids to do household chores (above and beyond their typical duties), then don’t!

Here are even more resources to help you save money!

cutting down household expenses

Layered security, Good Locks, and Other Barriers

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layered security

If your padlocks use this type of warded key, throw them away, they are useless.

A while back, I was at a friend’s house and noticed that as part of his layered security, he had some outside areas secured with old warded padlocks.  (See the picture to the right)  At first, he thought this was no big deal, until I showed him that I could open them as fast as he could with a key.  I used a simple devise that is easy to make and is well known to every criminal out there.  No, I am not going to show it here, there is no sense in educating the few that don’t know the trick.

This got me to looking at his security in general.  Basically, it was one layer deep.  Cheap padlocks and cheap door locks, not even deadbolts.  Now in our area crime has always been low, but because of the new laws in California, releasing so many prisoners and some other factors the crime rate is rising.  Personally, I believe that even if you live in a very low crime area, you still need to maintain your security.  You never know what is going to happen.

Now by layered security, I mean you need several layers.  The first layer should hopefully include

layered security

I like chain link for smaller yards

your neighbors.  You should have a neighborhood watch to protect each other.  Now this does have to be an official one sanctioned by the authorities, just good neighbors watching out for each other.  Next, you should have a least a perimeter around your property or home depending on the amount of land you own.  This should consist of fences, locked gates, hedges or other obstacles designed to slow someone down.  You may want to have a dog inside this area for early warning and to discourage people.  All outbuildings should be secured with strong doors decent padlocks and good hasps.

layered security

Security doors

As you get near the house, you need to think in terms of good fields of vision, security cameras, alarm systems and good secure locks. You may want to add security doors on the outside of your home.  The whole point is the more layers the better.

Layered security

Good Master Pro locks

Back to the padlocks that I mentioned in the first chapter, get good quality ones like Abus or the Pro Series Master padlocks.  They will cost a bit more but are worth it. The following are a couple of posts about padlocks.

The following are some older posts that address some of the issues that you will encounter when you build security in depth.

Don’t buy into the idea that locking and securing your property doesn’t work.  Unless you have a serious professional burglar, layered security will deter many people.  No system is totally fool proof, but you can make it very hard.  The more noise they have to make the better your chances that either you or your neighbors will see them.

Howard

The post Layered security, Good Locks, and Other Barriers appeared first on Preparedness Advice Blog.

Hugelkultur: The Centuries-Old, Weed-Free, German Way To Garden

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Hugelkultur: The Centuries-Old, Weed-Free, German Way To Garden

Image source: Screen capture

Hugelkultur, the German word for “hill culture,” is the ideal method for the farmer/grower looking for a unique and practical way to grow a weed-free and healthy garden. This method of planting has been used for centuries in Germany and Eastern Europe and allows for greater biodiversity, moisture-control, convenient harvesting, less maintenance, and saves the need to till.

Conventional farmers may have a really hard time with this growing method because they know rotting wood steals nitrogen until it’s fully decomposed (when it then releases it back to the soil). Well, this is a bit different. The wood itself will slowly decompose; meanwhile, it becomes a hotel for beneficial microbes and amazing fungi.

Microbes are not only extremely important, but they also are extremely interesting little organisms! They can help roots acquire nutrients, such as phosphate. Some microbes can even kill Salmonella, making your food safer. Microbes also help protect plants from the nasty wars going on in your soil. A hugelkultur garden houses all of these microbes, furnishing them with everything they need to be healthy and strong.

Get The Best Deals On Non-GMO Seeds For Your Garden Right Here!

Right up there with microbes, fungi does wonders for the garden! Fungi gives us a natural way to break down organic matter like the wood in a hugel (short for hugelkultur). All that buried wood would otherwise take years to break down, and do so very slowly. Fungi will break down the wood faster and release the nutrients at a much quicker pace in order to make the plants healthier.

The wood in the hugel will become warm from the slow-composting action. Since soil covers the pile of wood, the composting wood will not overheat. Conveniently, this action maintains a warm temperature over the winter months.

Story continues below video

In a test of ability, we performed a small experiment with goji berry plants using a hugel versus a standard bed. The goji berry plants on our hugel produced several more harvests across several weeks compared to goji berry plants growing out of a standard bed.

Hugelkultur: The Centuries-Old, Weed-Free, German Way To Garden

Image source: Wikipedia

Hugel beds are also fantastic for preserving moisture for a sort of self-watering system. The buried wood receives most of the credit for this action in that it holds the water. This water then feeds the bacteria, fungi, plants and other helpful organisms. Moisture is essential for life in all types of gardens. Hugel beds will hold all the water they need, and you don’t need to water them if built correctly. Many people using hugelkultur employ a swale. A swale is basically a tactic to catch water and hold it at the hugel bed. This can be as simple as a U-shaped bed pointing up your property’s grade. When rain falls, it will run into the U-shape, effectively trapping much of the water. This is not needed, but it helps. I did have a swale in my bed but removed it for space reasons.

This New All-Natural Fertilizer Doubles Garden Production!

Are you ready to build your hugel bed?

Building the Hugel Bed

  • Make a trench if you find it convenient; it will help hold water.
  • Insert logs (most efficient if you cut the larger logs into sections and face them up like stumps in the ground) or lay them flat.
  • Pack in all the open spaces with branches and twigs.
  • Add some wood chips if you would like.
  • Cover with a minimum of 8 inches of soil.

Digging a trench will also give you some soil to cover the hugel. It saves the time and energy of finding soil without making a huge hole in the lawn. It also may be a good idea to add aged manure directly over the wood before covering. There are so many variations you can do to suit your needs. Some people also inoculate the ends of the bed with mushroom mycelium and then harvest mushrooms from the hugel bed.

Some plants will like your hugel more than others. We had really good success with tomatoes, strawberries, goji berries, cucumbers and beans. The longer you have your hugel, the better the harvest will be. So give it a shot, and you won’t regret it!

Have you ever used a hugel bed? Share your advice in the section below:

Don’t Make The Same Mistake Other Gardeners Make Every Year. Read More Here.

Are You Prepared? 11 Essential Items You Probably Don’t Have Prepped

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It happened. That worst case scenario you’ve been preparing for all these months and years. Luckily you have your emergency supplies, survival food, and clothes. But do you really have everything for the end of the world? You sure? Think now! This isn’t like forgetting your car keys in your other coat. We’re talking life …

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When The S Hits The Fan For Real…

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image: ‘Lights Out’ by Ted Koppel Lets say it’s Friday. You switched on the TV News while going about your morning routines around the house while getting ready for work. You’re in the kitchen finishing the last sip of coffee when you hear one of the alphabet channel ‘talking heads’ report something about a cyber-attack […]

What I LOVE About the Ultimate Bundle

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I am going to share with you MY faves of this years Ultimate Bundle Homemaking Edition.

Now, I won’t lie. There is A LOT to read. And you will want to read ALL.THE.THINGS! So much so that you may not read any of it.
Don’t WORRY! Just read what pertains to you now. Let the other books sit. I can tell you this from experience. And for $30 it is still so worth it!

The season I am in right now makes these categories my favorites:

BUDGETING

We are getting back to Dave Ramsey and the EveryDollar app is our friend. These books are timely.

  • Family Budget Challenge by Shannon Brown at Growing Slower ($37)
  • Frugal Fresh Start by Stephanie Jones at Six Figures Under ($4.99)
  • Kids’ Responsibility & Money Management Kit by Stephanie Morgan at The Peaceful Mom ($7.99)
  • The Peaceful Mom by Kimberlee Stokes at The Peaceful Mom ($7)
  • ORGANIZATION & ROUTINES

    I don’t do well with either. I dislike rules and routines.

    ORGANIZING

    SELF CARE

    Ever since finding essential oils I am ALL ABOUT self care! We have to take care of ourselves to take care of our families well.

  • 6 Pillars of Well-Being; Establishing a Thriving Self-Care Practice by Lisa Byrne at Well Grounded Life ($29)
  • Animals: A Grown-Up Coloring Book by Amy Blevins at Homeschool Encouragement ($12.95)
  • Color Me Inspired Volume No. 1 by Dawn Nicole Warnaar at Dawn Nicole Designs ($10)
  • Color Me Inspired Volume No. 2 by Dawn Nicole Warnaar at Dawn Nicole Designs ($10)
  • Experts on Diastasis Recti by Beth Learn at Fit2B ($34.95)
  • Jumpstart Your Creativity by Jennie Moraitis at Little Girl Designs ($24.98)
  • My Weight Loss Success Plan by Sarah Robinson at Sidetracked Sarah ($17)
  • The Housework Action Pack by Jennifer Hoffman at Healthy Moving ($19.97)
  • Upstream Field Guide by Tsh Oxenreider at The Art of Simple ($59)
  • Your Retreat: A Guide to Giving Yourself a Personal Planning Day by Erin Odom at The Humbled Homemaker ($3.99)
  • WORK FROM HOME

    Last, but not least, Work from Home….Who else is with me??

  • 5 Steps to Landing Your First Work at Home Job by Cate Hoepner at The Fabuless Wife ($2.99)
  • A Work at Home Mom’s Ultimate Guide to Building a Business, Blog and Brand by Lisa Marcia at Work at Home Mom University ($3.99)
  • Building a Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook by Abby Lawson at Just a Girl and Her Blog ($25)
  • Direct Sales Business Planner by Emily Rooney at My Love for Words ($15)
  • Summer Sanity Savers for the Work-at-Home-Mom by Prerna Malik at The Mom Writes ($9)
  • The bundle contains resources designed to help you:

    • cut down your time in the kitchen with crockpot freezer meals and make-ahead breakfasts
    • organize and declutter your home
    • teach your kids to clean (and create a chore system that works)
    • save money by making DIY personal care and cleaning products
    • create realistic weight loss plans and add more healthy movement to your life
    • learn how to keep your kids safe online
    • start your own business or find a great work-at-home job
    • get the mothering encouragement you need on the hard days (no matter what stage your kids are at)
    • and even relax and recharge in the evenings with a little adult coloring

    Included in the bundle is also over $300-worth of incredible bonuses from companies that I love – such as a FREE Kids Discovery Box from GreenKidCrafts.com ($19.95) and a FREE online class from Craftsy ($29-$69).

    Sounds amazing, right?

    Check out The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle (2016 Edition) right here!

    https://us154.isrefer.com/go/homebundle/a1882/

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    The Easy Way To Make Natural Glue At Home

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    SVP diy glueToday’s article is not for glue-sniffers, but for preppers and/or homesteaders who want to make glue for their projects in a post SHTF world, or want to use home-made glue instead of buying it from the hardware store. Or maybe they like art, or have kids that are art-project happy etc.

    There are a few reasons for making your own natural glue at home, and if you twist my arm hard enough, I can think about 100 survival uses of glue after an apocalypse. Don’t make me go there right now, okay?

    One of them, is that making your own glue is way cheaper than buying it. Another one, and this is important especially if you have glue-happy kids, is that commercially available glues are usually filled with petroleum-based products and all sorts of chemicals. And kids, you know, are kids. Letting them play around with highly toxic stuff is not the best idea in the world, is it?

    Truth be told, there are actually tens or even hundreds of DIY glue recipes available, many of them have been around for quite a while since, until commercial glue was invented, people had no alternative but to make their own. So, these recipes have seen some action and they’re “combat-proven”. Some of them are made with milk, others are flour-based, others use natural gums, and some use pine sap.

    Another truth, and I must warn you folks, is that commercially available glues are still more effective than the homemade varieties, especially when it comes to heavy-duty stuff, so don’t try to use home-made glues for jobs they’re not suited for.

    Just to let you know, you can easily DIY glue from junk, in case other ingredients are not available. See how this guy is making glue using a piece of styrofoam and a few drops of gasoline:

    Video first seen on starspoter productions.

    But there are so many other ways to DIY glue. Let’s see how to make the best “organic” glue in the world using only natural or non-toxic ingredients.

    Recipe 1: Traditional Paper-Paste

    Paper paste is a cheaper, easier alternative to commercial glue or rubber cement if you or your kids have a huge paper pasting job to do; for example a big group-collage project or a science-fair display poster. The ingredients are as follows:

    • 2 tablespoons of sugar,
    • 1/3 cup of flour (bread making and all-purpose are the best),
    • one cup of water
    • half a teaspoon alum powder.
    • The latter is not necessary if you’re using the paper-paste immediately and entirely – it’s basically a preservative to keep it “alive” for later use.

    Now, with the ingredients taken care of, let’s see about the DIY part: you’ll have to mix the sugar with the flour, but gently. Add water gradually, but stir it aggressively because you need to get all the lumps out.

    After the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, cook the mixture over low heat and keep stirring, until the paste turns gets clear. All you have to do now is to remove it from the heating source and, if necessary, add the optional alum-powder. Stir it and let it cool off a little.

    Use a paintbrush to spread it over the cardboard or the paper respectively and before the paste dries, press and smooth the cardboard/paper to glue it properly.

    That about sums up our first natural-glue home-made recipe. If you added the alum preservative, you can store your remaining glue inside a (covered) glass jar for a couple of weeks with no refrigeration required whatsoever.

    Recipe 2: Water Resistant Homemade Glue

    Let’s move on to a more high-tech DIY glue project, namely a glue that is water resistant and can be used for more heavy duty/complex jobs than the previous recipe. The water resistant glue can be used successfully for metal, ceramics, glass or porcelain. I personally used it a few times for gluing aluminum foil to planks of wood for making a light-box, and it’s still glued and ready to go, though 3-4 years have passed.

    This glue is very different from the flour paste because it can adhere to non-porous materials; however, it’s just waterproof, not heat-resistant. In other words, you can repair a broken mug with it, but don’t put that mug into the microwave or the dishwasher because heat will be the end of it.

    Here are the ingredients for the water resistant DIY glue:

    • two teaspoons skim milk,
    • one pack of gelatin (unflavored)
    • three and a half teaspoons of tap water.

    Directions: Use a small cup for pouring cold water over gelatin, for softening it up, and put the milk inside the microwave oven for a few seconds for boiling it, and after that mix it with the wet gelatin inside the cup. Stir the stuff vigorously until all the lumps have disappeared, and that’s about it!

    This glue works at its best when it’s applied hot.. If this glue initially proves to be too runny for the job, let it cool off a little bit before you paint it on the respective surface. The glue can be stored using a covered glass jar for up to a week, and remember before re-using it to warm it over a pan of hot water.

    That wasn’t so hard, was it? Let’s get it on with our third project:

    Recipe 3: Milk-based White Glue

    Milk makes a great glue ingredient thanks to its high casein content. In case you are wondering what I am blabbering about, casein is a protein found abundantly in milk, which repels water molecules, meaning that it’s hydrophobic. Also, casein molecules repel each other; hence they remain suspended in the milk.

    The trick is to add acid to the milk (vinegar is the acid in our case) and the casein molecules will start clumping together, making the milk curdle; to speed up the curdling reaction, you must put some heat into the mix.

    The curdled lumps are basically casein, or in other words, natural plastic, and they’re very easy to filter out. If you add some water and a base, you can separate the casein molecules again, causing them to remain suspended in your DIY white glue. The stuff has a shelf life of approximately 14 days and it makes for a fun DIY project and also a pretty good glue in case of an emergency.

    Here are the ingredients:

    • one cup skimmed milk (this particular milk is the best due to its high casein content),
    • two tablespoons of white vinegar (distilled),
    • half teaspoon of baking soda
    • one and a half tablespoons of water.

    Directions: Using a saucepan, stir the skimmed milk together with the two tablespoons of vinegar over a source of heat (medium-low), but don’t let it boil. After the milk has curdled, remove the saucepan from the heating source and pour its content through a coffee filter. If you don’t have a coffee filter, you can use a cheese cloth or even a paper towel.

    The filtered curds must be scraped inside a jar or a small bowl to smash them up. Using a separate container, dissolve the baking soda in water, then mix it with the curds slowly, until the stuff reaches your desired consistency. You can use the glue immediately for your project, or store it for later use, using a tightly sealed jar/container inside your fridge for up to fourteen days.

    Recipe 4: Vegan-Mucilage

    I know, it sounds weird, but this glue-recipe is absolutely awesome if you have kids obsessed with stickers. Why is that, you may ask? Well, this glue is 100% natural and it tastes great! Mucilage is that kind of glue which is used by painting it on a paper, letting it dry, then licked before gluing.

    The mucilage is what the US Postal Office used for their stamps back in the day, and it’s one hundred percent both kosher and vegan. Of course, this recipe has little practical use, but you never know…remember that episode from Seinfeld, when George’s fiancée dies after licking toxic glue on wedding invitations? You don’t want that to happen to you, do you? Just kidding folks.

    Here are the ingredients:

    • two tablespoons of sugar,
    • one and a half teaspoons of gum arabic,
    • one fourth cup of water
    • one and a half teaspoons of corn/potato starch.

    As a cool trick, you can add a drop of vanilla extract or peppermint for flavoring.

    To prepare your favorite mucilage glue, all you have to do is to mix together all the ingredients and then stir into water until all the stuff gets dissolved. Add sufficient water to get the ideal consistency, i.e. something between honey and syrup.

    resinRecipe 5: Tree Sap Glue

    If you’re the outdoors type, you must learn how to DIY glue using tree sap (also known as pitch glue), or in this particular case pine sap or resin. Pine sap glue can be used for lots of useful things, ranging from frog gigs to fish hooks or waterproofing your shoes.

    You can find pine sap or resin on basically any pine tree, but also in some species of cherry trees. Just look for spots where the tree has been wounded (a broken limb or insects) and sap seeps from the respective wound.

    Besides pine sap, the only ingredient required is charcoal, i.e. what’s left in your campfire, plain old charcoal. The first step in your tree-sap glue project is to melt the pine sap, using a tin can over a fire, or something similar. The charcoal must be crushed by using a stick or a flat rock until it makes for a fine powder. Mix the powder with the melted pine sap, in a 1:3 ratio (three parts resin, one part charcoal).

    Video first seen on Survival Lilly.

    If you add too much charcoal, the glue will become brittle; too little, and the glue will not be durable enough. Remember to stir in the charcoal properly and thoroughly while the mixture is hot, because as the sap cools, it becomes hard as a rock. That’s about it; once the tree sap glue cools, you must heat it up again in order to use it.

    I hope this article helped and you’ll have tons of DIY projects to develop using your favorite home-made natural glue. If you have questions or comments, don’t hesitate to use the dedicated section below.

    Good luck, have fun folks, and click on the banner below to discover other secrets about natural homemade stuff!

    the lost ways cover

    This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

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    Civil War Household Tips Worth Knowing

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    The United States civil war was a difficult time for our country and people back then didn’t have the luxuries we enjoy today. Even tough times were harsh and they couldn’t run to the corner market to get simple things such as cough syrup, they had the knowledge to make their own. Some of their … Read more…

    The post Civil War Household Tips Worth Knowing was written by Dan Mowinski and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

    How To Use Mulch In The Garden – The Secret To Weed Free Success!

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    If you want to have less weeds, less maintenance, fewer headaches and more vegetables from your garden – then mulch in the garden is the answer! The list of benefits for utilizing mulch in the garden is long and powerful. It is a

    The post How To Use Mulch In The Garden – The Secret To Weed Free Success! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

    Survival Fishing

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    Survival Fishing: How To Catch Fish When You’re Desperate

    Written by: Adam Torkildson, 

    reelinfishFishing is a terrific sport and pastime. It’s a great excuse to get out of the house for a weekend and relax on a summer afternoon. Many a fisherman has found the sport to be incredibly rewarding and even life changing. It’s also an excellent source of food when you’re facing an emergency situation. Knowing how to catch fish when you’re in a crisis could save your life one day.

    Before we look at this survival tactic, it’s vital to acknowledge that some forms of survival fishing are illegal under normal circumstances due to preservation laws. These practices should not be pursued as a hobby. In a life or death situation, however, the authorities are more likely to overlook your methods and accept that you had to break the rules in order to stay alive.

    Don’t get caught in a crisis unprepared if you can possibly help it. But when you need food and have no other way to get it, here are six survival fishing methods that could come in very handy.

     

    Pack Your Supplies

    • The best way to catch fish in an emergency is to have your necessary fishing supplies already on hand. That includes an assortment of hooks, swivels, lines, and weights in your emergency preparedness kit. You should take these with you wherever you go. That way, if you find yourself stranded, you’ll have the supplies you need to catch fish with ease.

     

    Create a Multi-Line Trap

    • To increase your odds of catching fish without a pole, try attaching multiple fishing lines with baited hooks to an array of low-lying branches over a body of water. Once you have multiple fishing traps set, you’re more likely to catch at least one fish in a day, which should be enough to sustain you for at least 24 hours. Again, please remember that this is illegal in many states, but if it saves your life, it’s worth a try.

     

    Scout Out Fishing Locations

    • No matter what method you’re using to catch fish, you’re not likely to snag a meal if you’re fishing in the wrong places. Fish tend to prefer the cover of grass, weeds, lily pads, logs, and other hiding places along the water’s edge. You’ll have better luck if you set your sights on these areas rather than the middle of a stream or lake.

     

    Drift Nets

    • Please note that this method of fishing is also currently illegal. If you use drift nets under any circumstance other than a true emergency, the punishment can be a heavy fine and even jail time. You can catch multiple fish at a time with this method, however, which could sustain you long enough for rescuers to find you.

     

    Know Which Natural Bait Is Effective

    Most people don’t carry worms in their emergency survival kit, but you can find natural bait just about wherever you are. Below are some of the best natural bait to look for when you have to catch fish.

    • Minnows
    • Leaches
    • Small fish
    • Crickets
    • Maggots
    • Grasshoppers
    • Crawdads
    • Worms
    • Beetles

     

    Your ability to find natural bait will depend on your location and terrain. For example, grasshoppers are more likely to be found in dry, tall grasses, and worms are commonly located in wet, muddy places.

    Remember that your bait must be alive if it’s going to attract fish, so take care when you’re trying to catch the little critters.

     

    Balloon Fishing

    • Along with your hooks, lines, and sinkers, you might carry a package of balloons in your emergency pack. They can be inflated slightly to use as floats for your multiple fishing lines if there are no overhanging branches for you to use. When a fish bites the bait, it won’t be able to pull the balloon underwater. As long as you attach the balloon with a second line to a secure place on shore, the fish won’t be able to swim away, and you’ll now be alerted that a fish has been caught when the balloon begins bobbing on the surface of the water.

     

    Each of these fishing methods is of course unorthodox for a normal fishing trip, but when you’re desperate to eat, you’ll be grateful that you came prepared.

     

    The post Survival Fishing appeared first on American Preppers Network.

    Prepping With Kids Series: Teaching Kids to Call 911

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    Teaching kids to call 911 is an important preparedness step to keep them safe. Ideas to get you started | PreparednessMama

     An essential preparedness skill. Editor: Welcome back, Tyra! We’re excited to have you as a monthly contributor for the “Prepping With Kids” series. First off, I have to say how excited I am to be back at PreparednessMama! Oh, how I’ve missed y’all! Thank you for being such supportive and fantastic readers! We are so […]

    The post Prepping With Kids Series: Teaching Kids to Call 911 appeared first on PreparednessMama.

    Don’t Let Your Guard Down!

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         What are you most concerned about these days?  If you listen to the media it should be all politics, all the time.  Every website, news program, and talk radio time-slot is consumed with this year’s national elections.  I understand that our nation is standing at a precipice, and who becomes the next leader of the United States could well determine whether we continue in a position of power, or fade from history.  (By the way, the origin of that word precipice, is from late 16th Century Latin and denotes “a headlong fall” … not very encouraging, is it?)
         I guess I’m asking because I’m starting to see people becoming more myopic; focused too narrowly on one thing or another that they hope will “fix” our nation and put us back on the path to greatness.  For some, that is hoping that a particular candidate will make good on their campaign promises and turn this big ship around.  For others, it is a big rally in the stock market, because their portfolio or bank balance is the barometer of their future security.  Still others know that these are not real solutions for what ails us, and they either turtle up and refuse to even think about the scary possibilities of the future, let alone take any steps to prepare for a different existence — or they refuse to even entertain the thought that anything, or anyone, could defeat the mighty United States of America.
          And whether you are a person of faith or not, it seems to me as if we are all hoping, against hope, that we can escape what our very spirits and souls are telling us is imminent.  I am not trying to panic anyone or be a doomsday prophet.  I guess I am simply a realist.  As a Christian, I am secure in my eternal destiny; but I also know that this does not exempt me from having to face some very alarming situations in the present.  Recent events in Europe have shown us that our Western civilization is under physical attack.   Russian fighter planes are buzzing our Naval fleet in the Baltic Sea; coming within 30 feet of the ships’ decks.  North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, ordered the country’s nuclear weapons to be made ready for use at a moment’s notice.  I think we can all agree that these are very real threats to not only our nation, but the world!  Yes, as individuals, there is very little we can do about the decisions made by world leaders.  But that doesn’t mean we ignore them or fail to consider the consequences of such actions and how they might affect us and our families.
         These are examples of actions readily seen by the public eye.  What about covert activities being conducted outside the scope of public scrutiny?  Are you prepared for, or do you even think about, actions that could stealthily endanger you or your community?  Are you paying attention?  Or are you too focused on the big picture being orchestrated for you; or perhaps just the opposite, are you deliberately putting your blinders on and pretending everything is status quo?
         I suggest that we all get real, and begin paying close attention to what is going on around us, and here’s the perfect reason why…. I am going to relate to you a very concerning situation that has come to my attention through a friend of my husband’s who lives out-of-state.  I am not going to reveal any names or cities, because I want you to look at what I’m about to tell you with clear-sightedness; as if this could be any city in the country.  And believe me it could.
         This friend is the father of a daughter who attends an affluent private Christian school in a major city in the U.S.  Like any devoted father, he wanted to be involved in a meaningful way with the administration of his daughter’s school.  Being a licensed firearms instructor, it was natural for him to become involved on the Security Committee at the school.  As the newest member, he wanted to become familiar with the team that had been hired to provide security for the school and its students.  (I am assuming that because the school is private and in an affluent neighborhood, they can afford to hire security teams, where public schools and perhaps less wealthy schools would not have this opportunity).

    Wall of grief in Beslan

         You can imagine the concern that this father felt when he discovered that the private security team hired to protect his daughter’s school was dubious, and the owner of the security firm raised some suspicions.  Now, before anyone accuses me of being bigoted or conspiratorial, I would remind you that this is a Christian school in an affluent American suburb.  If you can tell me that this would not raise a huge red flag for you, then I would like to remind you of the 2004 Beslan school siege (or massacre, as it was known in Russia), in which 1,100 people were taken hostage (777 of which were children), and 385 died.  It is the opinion of many security officials (and special forces operators) that Beslan was “the dress rehearsal” for more planned takeovers of schools.  If they are concerned, shouldn’t we be?
         Why do I think that this friend and father has a right to be concerned?  Because our children are our most precious possessions, and the quickest way to bring this nation to its knees, and to rip our souls asunder, is to attack our kids.  Enemy terrorists only have to look at the response of our nation at any school shooting that takes place.  It rips the heart out of this country.
         In 2014, author William Forstchen wrote a book titled Day of Wrath, in which he painted an exceptionally vivid picture of this very scenario.  I read it and wrote a post about it, knowing full well that what Mr. Forstchen wrote as a fictional warning was very timely and necessary.  And if you think my friend is over-reacting about his daughter’s security team, then I invite you to read the book (and the nearly 1200 customer reviews) and then tell me how you would feel if it was your daughter at that school.
         Believe me, I pray that the security team at this Christian school proves to be above-board, a team of consummate professionals, and everyone feels they are the right choice.  But God help us if the red flag that has been raised turns out to be valid.  All I’m saying is that we are living in times that are unprecedented and dangerous.  Our future in this world is precarious, and we cannot afford to be blindsided because we are letting down our guard.  Stay focused, tune in, and pay attention to what’s going on around you.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions and to demand answers.  And above all else, don’t stop praying for God’s Mercy on us!

    1 Thessalonians 5:6     “So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.”


             

    Where NOT to go when it’s time to bug out and why!

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    Hello my friend and welcome back to another post!  Today we are going to look at where not to go when it comes time to bug out and why.  It’s never ceases to amaze me how many People really don’t have a plan for when it comes time to bug out and head to safety. …

    The post Where NOT to go when it’s time to bug out and why! appeared first on American Preppers Online.

    State Orders Parents: Register Your Unvaccinated Children

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    State Orders Parents: Register Your Unvaccinated Children

    Image source: Screen capture

    The state of Colorado illegally tried to collect information about unvaccinated children from parents, vaccine critics are charging.

    A number of parents received a letter this month from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which said in the document that parents of unvaccinated children in school would be required to register and exempt their child through a state website.

    The department later said the letter should not have been released.

    The requirement would have been mandated by House Bill 1164, which died in a state legislative committee earlier this week.

    Currently, parents tell the local school – and not the state – that their children are not vaccinated.

    Learn How To Make Powerful Herbal Medicines, Right in Your Kitchen!

    “My biggest issue is that you are trying to take my child’s information – that you have zero legislative authority to do – to track and to possibly come back to me,” parent Missy Frazier said, according to The Gazette newspaper. “Where does this end, and with whom are you going to share this information?”

    The letter that some people received said the registration would begin July 1.

    “We regret the letter went out and have taken corrective action with our employee regarding the letter,” Mark Salley, spokesman for Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, told the newspaper.

    Senator Kevin Lundberg, a Republican, opposed the bill. He also criticized the health department.

    “I find it curious that the House has already killed 1164, whereas the health department has already implemented the provisions of 1164 in law on their website stating that by July 1, parents will be required to register online,” Lundberg said. “This online registration system is in complete violation of current statute. They don’t have the authority to require an online registration.”

    Theresa Wrangham of the National Vaccine Information Center called the bill a “data grab.”

    “They want to populate the vaccine registry and they want to know exactly who’s exempting from which vaccines, where they live and I think it’s a harassment technique,” Wrangham told a Denver TV station.

    What do you think about a statewide vaccination database? Share your thoughts in the section below:

    Learn The Real Truth About Vaccinations. Read More Here.

    Common Bartering Mistakes That You Need to Avoid

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    Common Bartering Mistakes That You Need to Avoid We have all made mistakes that we regret. But what matters is that we learn from them and ensure that they are never repeated again. This approach applies to bartering as well. However, the repercussions of making a mistake in this sector can affect an investor pretty […]

    The post Common Bartering Mistakes That You Need to Avoid appeared first on The Backyard Pioneer.

    Treating Cactus Injuries Is Harder Than You Think. Here’s Why

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    cactus glochids wikimediaVisiting the desert can be a ton of fun. The vast open spaces, the clear blue skies, and the isolation from other people can all make for a relaxing trip. However, it’s easy to let your guard down in the desert if you’ve grown up in an area that is filled with plant and animal life. If you walked through a forest or a jungle, you would immediately assume that many of the lifeforms you encounter could be dangerous. But in the desert, where life is so sparse, it might be easy to assume that you don’t have as much to worry about from the local flora and fauna.

    You’d be mistaken, especially if you’re visiting a desert in North or South America. Though you’re probably already aware of the dangers associated with snakes and scorpions, most people don’t realize that the humble cactus can really mess you up.

    Obviously if you fall into a cactus, you’re in for a bad day. However, those wounds are usually fairly simple to treat. The vast majority of the time your first aid kit and some basic knowledge would be all you need to patch yourself up. If your skin was punctured by a spine, then all you need is some rubbing alcohol and a bandage. If a spine gets embedded in your skin, it can be extracted with a pair of tweezers. However, those thick sharp spines aren’t what you should be worried about. It’s the spines you can’t see that will keep you up at night (literally).

    There are several species of cacti that carry what are called glochids. These are very small, barbed spines that are almost impossible to see, and making contact with a cactus can release hundreds, or even thousands of them. Even a slight breeze can release them. And once they get on your skin, it’s pretty much impossible to remove them all. In all likelihood you won’t even know that you have them until your skin starts to itch 1-3 days later.

    At that point you’ll start to notice itchy red marks on your skin that are often mistaken for bug bites. Buckle up, because if those lesions are left untreated, they’ll remain itchy for up to 9 months. The longer you wait to treat them, the more those spines will burrow under your skin, so it’s imperative that you treat this condition as soon as possible.

    The most common mistake people make when treating a glochid injury, is that they often try to suck them out with their mouth. As you can imagine, this often embeds them in the tongue or throat, which is even harder to treat. When the wound is fresh, you can even spread them to another part of your body or to another person (perhaps whoever thought it was a good idea to visit the desert, am I right?).

    The best way to remove them is with some kind of adhesive. In a pinch, applying duct tape to the skin and ripping it off can remove quite a few of them, but there are better options. Oftentimes the glochids are stuck together in clumps, and are thus visible. These can be removed with tweezers. After that you can apply Elmer’s Glue to the skin and wait for it dry before removing it. That will take many of the individual spines, and combined with tweezers, should remove about 95% of the spines. This is considered more effective than any other method.

    There’s another method you might want to consider, though it hasn’t been rigorously tested like the method I explained above. Though if you’ve already used the Elmer’s Glue and tweezers trick, it can’t hurt. You can apparently use pumice to exfoliate the skin. The glochids will fall away as the pumice strips the outer most layer of the skin.

    So if you’re ever in the desert, you should be a bit more suspicious of all those cacti you see. A few them can turn your trip into an itchy nightmare.

    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

    How To Knap An Arrowhead From A Glass Bottle

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    How To Knap An Arrowhead From A Glass Bottle This knowledge could really save your life in a SHTF situation. The best part of the bottle to use is the bottom, because the glass tends to be thicker than the sides of the bottle, and much less curved. So when picking your bottle, pay special attention to …

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    The Ultimate Guide to Surviving a Nuclear Attack

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    The Ultimate Guide to Surviving a Nuclear Attack How likely is a nuclear attack to occur in our lifetime? Nobody can answer that for sure. But there’s one thing that can be said for certain: if it happens and you’re unprepared, you’re as good as dead. While WW3 hasn’t happened yet, there isn’t anything, in …

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    10 Houseplants To Help You Sleep Better At Night

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    10 Houseplants To Help You Sleep Better At Night Getting a good night’s sleep isn’t a luxury, it is absolutely essential to being able to function properly during waking hours. A lack of quality sleep leads to a number of mental and concentration issues, including fatigue, moodiness, reduced creativity and problem-solving skills, inability to cope …

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    18 Amazing Uses For Cornstarch You Never Thought Of

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    18 Amazing Uses For Cornstarch You Never Thought Of Cornstarch usually comes out of the pantry only when you’re cooking — it’s a great way to thicken soups, stocks and sauces. But that’s not all it’s good for. Indeed, there’s a wide array of practical uses for cornstarch outside the kitchen. From untangling knots to …

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    How to Raise Baby Chicks on a Budget

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    How to Raise Baby Chicks on a Budget If you’re on the road to self-reliance and you don’t have chickens yet, what are you waiting for? We’ve all read about the war on self-reliance. It seems like feeding yourself is becoming increasingly illegal. People are forced to rip out thriving front-yard vegetable gardens, raw milk …

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    How To Create a Gorgeous Spiral Vegetable Garden

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    How To Create a Gorgeous Spiral Vegetable Garden Spring is here and winter is starting to wind down so I was looking for a creative gardening article that would show me how to construct a simple, but beautiful, spiral garden to get Spring started right! I found a great article on the subject. The spiral and the subsequent height …

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    ECONOMIC COLLAPSE!

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    ECONOMIC COLLAPSE! Bobby Akart “Prepping For Tomorrow” On this episode of the Prepping for Tomorrow program, Author Bobby Akart devotes the entire hour to his new release, ECONOMICCOLLAPSE, the third installment in his best-selling Prepping for Tomorrow series. Available in eBook, Audiobook, and Paperback, ECONOMIC COLLAPSE has already achieved #1 bestseller rankings in six genres … Continue reading ECONOMIC COLLAPSE!

    The post ECONOMIC COLLAPSE! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

    21 Medkit Items You’ll DEARLY Miss When The SHTF And Doctors Dissapear

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    If you are looking for a list of items you should stock in your medical kit for treating a traumatic injury, then here’s our list of 21 Medical Kit Must Haves for treating a traumatic wound when the SHTF.

    While some critics argue that a Medical Kit won’t help someone who doesn’t know how to use it, I would argue that it would be better to have a medical kit like this, and be out trying to recruit a doctor who has surgical skills, then to find someone with the skills, but have no supplies for them to use.

    A medical kit is an asset. And its an asset that will only go UP in value when the SHTF… whether you’re the one using it or someone else, make sure you have one.

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    Medical Kit Must Haves

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    This Is The Practical Side Of Survivalism

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    Here are two excellent posts by Brushbeater about important durable goods every household should have.

    _________________________________________________________________

    A few items to invest in…NOW

    It’s no secret that arms and ammo get the bulk of attention in survivalist circles. The reality is, as usual, different from perception. The first reality is that while arms and cool guy stuff may be a fun fantasy, being able to eat is a genuine force multiplier.

    Growing food is tough business and if you’re new to it, will take a couple seasons to get right. It’s not certain we have a few seasons for newbies to learn; and we’re well into the current growing season. If you’re behind the power curve or are still camped out in suburbia, there’s a few items you may want to invest in and become familiar with soon.

    Even if you’re not actively raising your own food, having the ability to process resources from others is critically important. The ability to do it off the grid is even better, and largely a lost art.

    foodchopper.jpeg

    The Universal Food Chopper is an extremely versatile item, found in every kitchen pre-electricity era, and still common all the way up to the early 90’s in some areas. With this, one can grind up all kinds of items for salads, crushing items for easier storage or carrying snacks on the go, and simply taking fresh foods and making a more workable form.

    I use one for grinding fresh coffee. Mine was found at one of the local thrift stores for $10. After re-seasoning it the same way I would cast iron, it works well, outlived its previous owners and will likely outlive me as well. I listed it first because it is the most versatile of the hand crank grinders, being able to grind both meat, grains, and veggies, and also is the easiest and cheapest to find second hand due to many not really knowing what they’re for.

    graingrinder.jpeg

    The Corona Grain Mill. Like the food chopper, the grain mill used to have a place on every farm, grinding both corn and wheat into flour to be made into bread. As we’ve become more dependant on the grid, the utility of these have fallen by the wayside, but those with them will once more learn their utility in the future.

    These can be as cheap or as expensive as you want them to be, with varying levels of quality and features. The lower end models are less than $40 online, maybe just a tad more at any local Ag supply store. The higher end models have stone grinders and more precise grain grinding settings, but the cheaper models work with a few trail runs to work the kinks out, like you should do with all of your equipment.

    meatgrinderThe Hand Powered Meat Grinder. Making your own sausage is more than just a pastime- in the old days, it was an easy way of processing tougher cuts and making meat easier to smoke, thereby preserving it for long periods of time. Lots of people, myself included, make deer sausage every winter using cow or pig fat from the local butcher. If you can find one used, get it, wash it thoroughly, and re-season it for use. I have one that was inherited and another I purchased, along with the food chopper. They’re not expensive and although having a messy learning curve, can become a fun and very rewarding activity.

    sheller.jpegThe Hand Crank Corn Sheller. These are invaluable especially in the South, where most farmers grow abundances of corn every summer. Allowing the ears to dry out then shelling with this machine, you’ll be able to always efficiently shell large numbers of corn kernels for corn meal.

    These used to be found on every rural farm, but seem to have disappeared faster than the other tools listed. A couple of companies make them currently, and while imported, they work.

    There you have it. Four items that collectively, even if bought new, will cost less than $250. So even if you’re behind the power curve or just now woke up, instead of going into full blown panic mode and buying freeze dried junk, make friends with the folks at the local farmer’s market and invest in these items, letting them know you have them and have a common interest. You may make a friend and at the same time grow your network. These items are completely off grid and if cared for will last forever. It doesn’t get more “Survivalist” than that.

    Local, Local, Local.

    Caring for Cast Iron

    kitchen1Stemming from a couple important questions related to my last post, I need to point out a few basics of care for cast iron that may be lost these days. Cast Iron is not plug and play; it takes a bit of care and preparations in order to gain the best results and in the case of grinders, not damage the tools themselves.

    These are things that used to be common knowledge. In my relatively brief life, luckily I learned the value of great living that I would later come to know as Survivalism early on. Sadly those Depression-era vessels of knowledge are dying off, and only a fraction of our current population seem to retain what’s being lost. Regardless, let’s do our part to spread the knowledge.

    Cast Iron requires a decent amount of attention before being used, but once done properly, will last your lifetime and most likely that of your kids, probably longer. I’m not a fan of “non-stick” junk or tools that otherwise are meant to be used for a while then thrown away. To me, it’s a waste of resources. Cast Iron in many places is considered a family heirloom- often times at least one generation old. Today’s households are having to often buy new as they’re rediscovering the value of Cast Iron cookware. Every family should have at a minimum one Large Pan, one Small Pan and a Dutch Oven. The Large Pan for general purpose frying, the Small for smaller meals or making cornbread, and the Dutch Oven for deep frying, cooking chicken, pot roasts, etc, or making huge pots of chili or stew in the winter.

    If buying new- buy American! Lodge still makes products in the US, and is the only one that I know of that does. One annoying thing that they do is ship their pieces with a non-stick coating, which in my experience turns into a sticky mess after a while. Remove this by soaking the pan in hot soapy water and scrubbing, then allowing to air dry. Once done, get a can of Crisco or even better, Lard, and liberally coat the pan. Set the oven to the self clean mode if you have it, or 450 deg, and bake the pan upside down for an hour. Put a drip rack underneath the pan to stop any drippings from falling on the heating element. This process will stink. Make sure you open a window.

    rusty.jpegIf finding one used, sometimes a great bargain can be found if not in a good condition, such as a rusty one seen here. The easiest way to clean them, as I did two very old belted kettles I inherited, is to first  rough the rust up with course sand paper, then soak them in a cola and lime juice mix. The acidity of the liquid will remove the rust after a few days. Allow it to dry, then go through the seasoning process I detailed above. You’ll have a perfectly serviceable piece of cast iron made new once again to last a lifetime.

    While using, keep in mind that cast iron is different from modern pans; they heat up slow, and hold that heat for a long time. You also don’t need as much heat in order to fry. Most of the time medium heat works just fine. Regular maintenance is pretty simple; rub it down with vegetable oil every once in a while, and the seasoning will stay fresh. Do not wash the pans. Wipe them down to clean them.

    The same needs to be done to your grinding tools. They’re made of cast iron too. Often, when looking at reviews online, many get bad reviews stating that metal shavings get ground into the food. This happens because like all metal machines, the moving parts need lubricant. Since each of them I named in the last post are cast iron, the same process for caring for your kitchen tools should be done to protect them from premature wear or risk of food contamination. The only other caveat to this is when cleaning meat grinders, use hot water and rubbing alcohol, and your seasoning should be good to go.

    Again, the underlying points of these posts are gaining items to process and cook food that will last a lifetime and are perfectly serviceable off the grid. None of these items are super expensive compared to the ridiculous amounts of money  some spend on frivolous items. The cornerstone of a successful Survivalist model should be sustainability, which these tools are. Further, with good sets of tools, good communities can be rebuilt. You should be able to bring as much to the table as possible, and a warm meal when people are starving is a great way to build loyalty, post-collapse, pre-collapse, or any time in between.

    dutchoven_beefstew.jpg
    This is a force multiplier.

    _________________________________________________________________If you don’t get it and practice with it now, are you going to acquire it and learn it later? That’s not as steep a learning curve as the healing and defensive arts (a cliff), but it is still a Hell of a steep hill. Cast iron cooking is an art form, if you don’t believe it, you’ve never done it.

    DSCF0473.JPG

    Dutch oven cooking at it’s finest making Vixie’s Wilderness Stew.

    JCD

    American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

    Kerodin Does Kommon Kore Math?

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    More lies and bullshit from Sammy

    Regarding his blog hits – he doesn’t have a counter on his site, instead he posts his page views and hits in his side bar, something he updates manually so there’s no way to verify them. Or is there?

    Actually there is. Jay from Eatgrueldog sent me an independent link showing Sammy’s actual stats, then I added my own blog for comparison. It appears that not only is Sammy a fucking liar but it shows his hits are so damned low that he might as well quit wasting his time. What few visitors he does have spend an average of 39 seconds on his site. He’s had a total of 6.2 thousand hits in this past month and they only average 1.35 pages per visit.
    Shit, to hear him tell it he’s a fucking powerhouse.
    Sorry Sammy, but facts are facts. You deal in straight up fiction, lies and bullshit and that was just now proven again.

    Sammy’s stats are the ones in blue, mine are in gold.

    graph

    But don’t take my word for it. Go HERE and see for yourself.

    BUT WAIT!!! There’s more!
    When I entered the III Percent Society page I got this:

    iiips

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! There’s so few hits on the IIIPS page that it doesn’t even register!!!!!! Again, don’t take my word for it, the link is HERE.
    So basically the IIIPS, the organization that Sammy’s trying to raise $10,000 for to send a ‘delegation’ to the RNC, no longer exists.
    In other words, Sammy’s trying to raise money to pay his fucking personal bills. Another scam, plain and simple. BAD SAMMY!!! BAD, BAD, BAD PUPPY!!!

    _________________________________________________________________

    Kerodin's Stats

    For the record, here’s what he had up for the “stats” this month. Let’s see 452,008-6,200= 445,808. So he only embellished it by 445,808. Maybe he should go work for the Federal Reserve, huh?

    JCD

    American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

    The George Patton Perspective

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    George gives us some things to think about.

    _________________________________________________________________

    My Most Serious Post Ever

    Well, the blog has been quiet for a while.

    No great reasons other than prepping, classes, training and of course the biggest drain, work.

    The kids came down on Easter break and we had our first “serious” talk about the upcoming troubles. I say first, but only from the perspective of the daughter and her new husband. Our daughter was brought up the right way and understood all that we talked about. I think the son in law got his eyes opened.

    Well there is a pattern of behavior right now on the part of Sammy that has the potential to put us liberty lovers in the cross hairs of “big gov.”

    You all know that this blog started back in the days when Sammy was riding high in his scams. He’s no longer riding high since we provided the best solvent to despots – transparency. He’s been a lot quieter now that he’s lost his legions of supporters. Folks who saw the light.

    We visit his web page from time to time, mostly for the humor factor. The guy’s antics truly are funny and oh so predictable. Sadly for him, he’s down to the two to three sycophants that haven’t seen the light and actually write comments. We all know that’s never stopped him in the past, and he continues to write his own “anonymous” comments so that he can comment back.

    Lately though we’ve seen a change.

    A brief history. Sammy started by acting as a sycophant to Mike Vanderboegh over at Sipsey Street Irregulars. Once he figured he had the lingo down, Sammy made a very public break with Mike and went after Mike’s supporters. Sammy realized very quickly that the typical Mike crowd was very quick to call “foul” and ask for real bonafides.

    Sammy also realized that there were at lot of folks out there that were itching for a fight. Not looking for local preps and training, but looking to take the fight to some enemy. And Sammy fulfilled their needs with tales of adventure and evilness. Sadly for Sam, that crowd didn’t have a lot of disposable cash!

    I think he’s gone over the edge – perhaps on purpose or perhaps he’s losing his mind.

    If you went to any of the early Patcons, you saw that he realized that there was a different audience that sucked up to him.  It was the younger folks that just wanted to kill something.  They rallied to him like he was some sort of god.  It was almost embarrassing to watch.  But then he offered something that Mike didn’t.  Mike preached prepare and principles.  Sammy preached kill someone.

    Sammy rode that horse hard.  The more hardcore he could create himself to be, the more those folks sucked up.  Sadly for him, that was a crowd that didn’t have a lot of money.  His appeals to wealthier folks were based on his charm and his “shadowy” past.  He convinced folks that he was the gentleman mercenary.

    This worked for a while.

    And then our efforts showed that the emperor had no clothes.

    So now we’re at today.

    If his going over the edge is on purpose, then he’s just doubling down to try and get back the crowds that he used to have.

    If he’s really lost it, then I think he’s become a danger to himself and others.  He’s always advocated killing folks.

    Now he’s manufacturing and selling devices to decapitate folks and offering instruction on how to do it.

    His stickers were annoying but pretty much harmless.  Now he’s selling stuff that will destroy motors.

    Ok, maybe it’s just more bluster to pump up his ego.

    But then he announces a fund raiser to raise $10, 000 to go to the Republican Convention with the missing in action short bus and report to his supporters.

    Is this just more bluster to gather money for his lifestyle, or is he inciting something else?

    I was always concerned with his antics. But now I am genuinely alarmed. Most of us in the III movement recognize what he is up to and have disassociated ourselves from him.

    To those who don’t know about the III movement, he still represents a face of our movement. If his current endeavors lead to either an actual strike or even worse if his comments incite someone to take some sort of action, the lovers of liberty will lose in a big way. The retaliation by “big gov” will be swift and brutal. This is an election year.  Reason will succumb to emotion very quickly.  We will all be painted with the brush of treasonous terrorism.

    Sammy needs to be stopped now.

    _________________________________________________________________

    JCD

    American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

    If Your Beauty Isn’t Inside, You’re Just The Ginger Midget

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    The right perspective from a strong woman
    _________________________________________________________________

    Just Me…Good Morning

    It has come to my attention, that I am the topic of conversation at a particular site…and therefor am being defended…graciously I might add by others.  I would first like to address those that are defending me…I thank you, but truly, there is no need.  You see, I am secure in who and what I am.  I have lived 52 and a half years with ups and downs, ins and outs, struggles and celebrations…and this little issue…well, it doesn’t worry me at all.  So please, I appreciate your kindness…but it is not necessary.  I have asked that my husband not address the idiot currently known as Christian (Scammy) Kerodin.

    Now I have stayed out of this MESS, with the exception of making 2 posts after the last court date.  One was rather distasteful and nasty, and I left it up for an hour and then took it down because frankly it is not my style, and it shamed me..so I removed it.  I also wrote an apology for it….I also posted letting everyone know that the court case was over and that we were victorious in both of them.  Of course we would be, because they were frivolous and unfounded. Period.  Other than that….I have stayed out of it.   I support my husband.  He is the head of my home, my family, I follow his lead, will lend an ear and moral support if he requires it…but I do not interfere in mens business.  Some may find that archaic…that is your right….this is mine.

    Now we come to the issue at hand.  I am being called names like slug, fat slug, FSA (free shit army) just generally negative terms….of endearment I am sure…but none the less I feel the need to address them.

    1. By many standards, yes I am fat….although, I consider myself a work in progress, as we all should in my opinion.  But my worth is not determined by the size of my clothes.  But by the integrity of my person, the honesty and sincerity of my heart and mind.  By the heartfelt affection that I treat the people with in my life.  It most definitely is NOT determined by Sam Kerodin!  I’ll post pics at the end of the post for your viewing pleasure…or to throw darts at…either way, I am ok with it…I value myself….if nothing else….believe THAT!

    2. I do not need my husband or anyone to defend me….I do not need to hide behind anyone…rather they wear a skirt or pants….Sam, I ask you, can you say the same? I think not!  I personally witnessed you hide behind your wife…and she did a bang up job as an actress too…I mean she really did try to pull it off for you..but guess what…EPIC FAIL DUDE!  But I will say…her skirt, while pretty…kind of old lady looking.  Just my opinion.

    3. While I do have medical issues, it is true. Honestly…since you don’t care a whit about me, they are simply none of your damn business.  The SSI I do receive, I paid in.  You see, I have worked full time since I was 15 years old.  Do you know what a full time job is?  I would be happy to submit my resume to you but again frankly I don’t believe you are qualified to read it.  I understand you deal mainly in FICTION…with a fixation on things that you WISH you had at some point in your miserable, criminal life had accomplished.  I have a suggestion for you….since you seem to have so much time on your hands that you want to talk about my weight….Learn what honesty, respect, sincerity, valor, humility, intelligence, integrity really are….Learn what it really takes to be a man.  Try to get a job…a real one….Not one that extorts money from companies, or scams people out of money…but put in a 40 to a 60 hour week, and then cash that pay check and pay the bills you can.  Make it work, stretch, budget.

    4.  Finally.  Stop hiding behind Holly’s skirts.  Now some say she is the mastermind….I don’t know….drama queen sure…mastermind…well…so far, I just don’t see that….neither of you are the sharpest knife in the drawer…and yes, I used that reference, because I know you have a preference for them..you know belt buckle range and all that silly stuff about getting wet….really, play time is over….Get off my playground.  I don’t like you.

    I was cleaning house this day. Last minute goodbyes.

    Just us…
     Guess what we did…
    It’s us again…think he likes me?
     Yup…I like me!
    Me and my baby sister.
    Bethanie and me, goodbye party.
    Rachel, my sister in law and I.
    Aunt Sharon and I were leaning on the                     stove….Hot Chicks!!! : P
    My cousin Donita, Jimmie,Ken and I, another goodbye luncheon.
    At Billy The Kids Grave
    We had such a wonderful time with this really special friend of OURS….So take your nasty rumors Sam….and do what you will, because you cannot steal my joy…you tried…and once again…
    EPIC FAIL!
    __________________________________________________________________
    JCD
    American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

    More Notice For Tornado Events?

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    tornado

    Disasters happen, and a tornado is one of the classic ones that can cause damage and death. Will a new computer-driven warning system give citizens more time to get out of the way of the path of destruction?

     

    A tornado’s a violently rotating column of air in contact with both the surface of the earth and the thunderstorm (sometimes called a “supercell”) that spawned it. Although they’re difficult to see close up, from a distance, tornadoes usually appear in the form of a visible dark funnel with all sorts of flying debris in and around it.

     

    A tornado (also called a “twister”) may have winds of up to 300 miles per hour, and can travel quite a ways, miles and miles, before petering out.  They may be accompanied by hail and will emit a roaring sound that will remind you of a passing train. When I say a passing train, I mean a roaring locomotive passing by 3 inches before your nose. We have personally experienced this at our own home, and we can tell you that it is terrifying even though it only caused minor damage.

    tornado alley

    Tornado Alley

     

    Tornadoes can come anytime, but most often right about now in the part of the country known as Tornado Alley. That’s a group of tornado-prone areas located between the Rocky Mountains and Appalachian Mountains that experiences more tornadoes than anywhere else in the world. It is not an official weather term; it was primarily a phrase popularized by the media.

     

    Now, the first multi-state tornado outbreak of the spring season is being forecast, with weather experts at the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Oklahoma sounding the alarm by issuing a “moderate risk” outlook. Sounds pretty boring, but a moderate risk designation is the fourth-highest on the organization’s five-point scale. About 4 million people live within the risk area, which encompasses Oklahoma City as well as Wichita, Kansas.

     

    Not uncommonly, the tornadoes that are spawned in this situation will cause a lot of damage, as well as possible injuries and deaths. Making them more predictable is the Storm Prediction Center’s mission. Although it uses computer models to issue the latest warnings with more notice than ever before, it’s not certain if they’ll actually help.

     

    It’s possible that, with 15 minutes’ notice, that the only action might be heading to a (hopefully) underground shelter. With an hour, though, would people hide in a shelter or get in the car and hit the road?  If they do, is it safer or will they be caught in the path of the twister? Now, we might be able to give some days’ notice, but will it make a difference?

     

    It’s possible that giving people several days’ notice of a potentially stormy day won’t significantly alter their behavior, unlike those who receive similar hurricane warnings. It’s not certain why that is, but I think that these tornado warnings are for an event that doesn’t yet exist, while a hurricane warning is for a storm that’s there: you can see it on the radar heading in your direction and it carries a sense of urgency.

     

    But ignoring tornado warnings isn’t a good idea. Every year, hundreds of people are killed by tornadoes, but many injuries and deaths could have been avoided with some planning.

     

    Injuries from tornadoes usually come as a result of trauma from the flying debris that is carried along with it.  Strong winds can carry large objects and fling them around in a manner that is hard to believe. Indeed, there’s a report that, in 1931, an 83 ton train was lifted and thrown 80 feet from the tracks.

     

    Tornadoes are categorized as level 0-5 by the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which is based on wind speeds and the amount of damage caused:

     

    • F0 Light: Winds 40-72 miles per hour; smaller trees uprooted or branches broken, mild structural damage
    • F1 Moderate: winds 73–112 miles per hour; Broken windows, small tree trunks broken, overturned mobile homes, destruction of carports or toolsheds, roof tiles missing
    • F2 Considerable: winds 113–157 miles per hour; Mobile homes destroyed, major structural damage to frame homes due to flying debris, some large trees snapped in half or uprooted
    • F3 Severe: winds 158–206 miles per hour; Roofs torn from homes, small frame homes destroyed, most trees snapped and uprooted
    • F4 Devastating: winds 207–260 miles per hour; Strong-structure buildings damaged or destroyed or lifted from foundations, cars lifted and blown away, even large debris airborne
    • F5 Incredible: winds 261–318 miles per hour; Larger buildings lifted from foundations, trees snapped, uprooted and debarked, objects weighing more than a ton become airborne missiles

     

    Although some places may have sirens or other methods to warn you of an approaching twister, it’s important to have a weather radio and plan for your family to weather the storm.  Having a plan before a tornado touches down is the most likely way you’ll survive the event. Children should be taught where to find the medical kits and how to use a fire extinguisher.  If appropriate, teach everyone how to safely turn off the gas and electricity.

     

    If you’re in the path of a tornado, take shelter immediately unless you live in a mobile home. These are especially vulnerable to damage from the winds.  If there is time, get to the nearest building that has a tornado shelter, preferably underground.

     

    If you live in Tornado Alley, consider putting together your own underground shelter. Unlike bunkers and other structures built for long-term use, a tornado shelter only has to provide safety for a short period of time.  As such, it doesn’t have to be very large; 8-10 square feet per person is perfectly acceptable.  Despite this, be sure to consider ventilation and the comfort or special needs of those using the shelter.

     

    If you don’t have a shelter, find the safest place in the house where family members can gather. Basements, bathrooms, closets or inside rooms without windows are the best options. Windows can easily shatter from impact due to flying debris.

     

    For added protection, get under a heavy object such as a sturdy table.  Covering your body with a sleeping bag or mattress will provide an additional shield.  Discuss this plan of action with every member of your family often, so that they will know this process by heart.

     

    If you’re in a car and can drive to a shelter, do so. Although you may be hesitant to leave your vehicle, remember that they can be easily tossed around by high winds; you may be safer if there is a culvert or other area lower than the roadway. It is not safe to hide under a bridge or overpass, however, as the winds can easily reach you.

     

    In town, leaving the car to enter a sturdy building may be appropriate. If there is no other shelter, however, staying in your car will protect you from some of the flying debris.  Keep your seat beat on, put your head down below the level of the windows, and cover yourself if at all possible.

     

    If you’re out hiking when the tornado hits, get away from heavily wooded areas.  Torn branches and other debris become missiles, so an open field or ditch may be safer. Lying down flat in a ditch or other low spot in the ground will give you some protection.  Make sure to cover your head if at all possible, even if it’s just with your hands.

     

     

    Joe Alton, MD

    JoeAltonLibrary4

     

    Get those medical supplies to weather the storm at store.doomandbloom.net, and follow us on Twitter @preppershow and on YouTube at drbones nurseamy.

    48 Lost Self-Reliance Skills That Kept Our Forefathers Alive

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    For most of human history daily life has been about surviving to live another day. And over the course of millennia humans got pretty good at it, mastering countless of skills in the process.

    These skills weren’t “survival skills” as we regard them today, but rather what our ancestors called “daily life”. Below you’ll find a list of some essential skills, some ancient and some more recent, used by our forefathers to survive – but which now has been largely forgotten.

    When you think about it, the matter of survival is not that different today from 500 years ago, or even 5,000 years ago.

    Our bodies look and behave like the bodies of our ancestors millennia ago. Our brains have also essentially remained unaltered for millennia. And the six things that killed humans 5,000 years ago are the same six things that kill people today.

    What Our Ancestors Were Up Against

    The six threats to your life, as categorized by global resilience expert Vinay Gupta, are:

    1. Getting too hot

    2. Getting too cold
    3. Thirst
    4. Hunger
    5. Illness
    6. Injury

    To survive, our ancestors developed skills to protect them from these threats. They learned how to make fire to stay warm. They built shelter to protect them from harsh weather. They mastered hunting and learned how to find and purify water. They learned which plants could heal and which plants would kill. They learned how to avoid crossing paths with bad guys and, if needed, how to kill bad guys.

    But daily life back then was not only about surviving. I’m sure people were just as happy back then as we are today. In some ways, I even think people had less worries then. No bills to pay, no need to get up early in the morning and drive to a work you hate, no need to juggle family life and work, no need to yearn for yet another consumer gadget. Work for them was about surviving, and the rest was play.

    This skill development took place over hundreds of generations of trial and error, and when it comes to “trial and error” in survival the ones who “erred” died and served as a lesson to the rest.

    A family poses with the wagon in which they live and travel daily during their pursuit of a homestead, 1886.

    A family poses with the wagon in which they live and travel daily during their pursuit of a homestead, 1886.

    Many of these “survival skills”, or life skills as I prefer to call them, were common knowledge up until just a few generations ago. Today, we require an entirely new set of skills to get by, but at the expense of our ancient know-how.

    These skills that kept our forefathers alive are forgotten today in the sense that they’re no longer general knowledge. They’ve been forgotten because modern humans require another set of skills to survive, like how to make a steady income, drive a car, and stay on the right side of the law.

    Modern lifestyle has turned people into highly-dependent beings; whether it’s dependency towards the car, towards the supermarkets, towards politicians, towards centralized infrastructure, you name it – it’s there in the majority of people in the developed world.

    As George Dvorsky notes in this Gizmodo article:

    Aside from a precious few who have gone out of their way to learn basic survival skills, most of us today would be utterly hopeless if we were plopped in the middle of a forest or jungle and suddenly forced to fend for ourselves using only the resources around us. To our ancient ancestors, we’d appear as helpless as babies.

    Our modern infrastructure shields us from threats to our lives, and as long as everything works it’s all fine and dandy. But, as countless examples from history and more recent times show, when you’re dependent on things outside of your control and these things stop working then the people affected by the disruption or disaster are in for a rude awakening.

    A part of me feels in the core of my being that it’s a bad idea to totally discard these forgotten skills of our forefathers. Not quite yet, anyway.

    Now let’s jump into the skills. It’s simple, you’ll find a long list of skills and underneath a few questions about each skill, the first ones that popped up in my head. Questions I bet most people wouldn’t be able to answer.

    Shelter

    Shelter protects you from getting too hot or too cold. As Vinay Gupta notes, “Shelter refers not just to the home, but to the essential services like power, cooling, heating and so on that make it habitable year round. Not all homes have these services, and not all climates require them”. Here are some skills our ancestors mastered in this area:

    Building a fire

    • How do you find dry wood in a wet forest?
    • How do you find wood in winter?
    • Which trees will give most heat and burn the cleanest?
    • How do you build a fire to last all night?
    • How do you make fire by friction?
    • How do you make fire using flint and steel?

    Building shelter

    • How do I quickly set up a shelter in the wilderness using no tools?
    • What kind of shelter is most suited for my climate and location?
    • What material should I use?
    • How do I build a roof that doesn’t leak?
    • How do I patch a leaking roof?
    • How do I insulate the home?
    • How do I make plaster? And how do I make the plaster stick to the wall?
    • How do I build a fireplace and chimney?
    The Virgil Allen family, Custer County Nebraska 1892. A wagonload of sod stands ready to repair the roof. Photo by by Solomon D. Butcher

    The Virgil Allen family, Custer County Nebraska 1892. A wagonload of sod stands ready to repair the roof. Photo by by Solomon D. Butcher

    Making Clothes from Scratch

    • Which plants in nature can be turned into fibre and threads used for sewing?
    • How do I turn cotton, hemp or flax into a textile?
    • How do I turn the wool that’s growing on a sheep into a warm shirt?
    • How do I weave?
    • How do I knit?
    • How do I make leather from animal hide? (tanning)
    • How, and from what material, can I make a needle?
    • How do I make shoes?
    A replica of Otzi’s shoe (credit: Josef Chlachula/CC BY-SA 3.0)

    A replica of a 5,300-year-old shoe that belonged to Otzi (credit: Josef Chlachula/CC BY-SA 3.0)

    Blacksmithing

    • How do I build a forge?
    • Where can I find quality iron ore?
    • How do I turn ore into iron?
    • How do I turn iron into steel?
    • How do I turn a slab of iron into X?
    • How do I harden a metal with heat treatment?
    Blacksmith at work. Photo: Jeff Kubina from Columbia, Maryland (CC BY-SA)

    Blacksmith at work. Photo: Jeff Kubina from Columbia, Maryland (CC BY-SA)

    Knife making

    • How do I make a knife from stone?
    • How do I make a knife from steel?
    • How do I harden a knife blade to make it keep an edge better?
    • How do I sharpen a dull knife?
    • How do I keep the knife from rusting?
    • 25+ Free Knife Making Resources

    Carpentry

    • How do I build a chair?
    • How do I build a door?
    • How do I make door hinges?
    • How do I repair X around the house?
    • How do I assemble an IKEA book shelf? (just kidding!)

    Masonry

    • How do I make mortar?
    • How do I make bricks?
    • How do I make cement?
    • How do I turn solid bedrock into uniform stone blocks that I can build things with?
    • How do I build something durable without using mortar? (dry set masonry)
    • How do I build a self-supporting vault?

    Food

    A reliable and regular supply of food is a true necessity of life. These essential supplies are provided in very different ways in different parts of the world. Chances are you get your food from a supermarket. Well, here’s a sobering fact: If food trucks stopped delivering to your supermarket, for example due to a natural disaster or financial meltdown, the store shelves will be empty within 48 hours. So it might just be worth it to learn some of the skills below.

    Baking bread

    • How do I make flour?
    • How do I “make” yeast?
    • How do I bake bread without electricity?

    Making butter

    • How do I turn cream into butter?
    • What’s the most effective type of butter churn?
    • How do I make butter last longer?

    Cheese making

    • How do I turn milk into cheese?
    • How do I make curdled cheese?
    • How do I process the curds into hard and soft cheeses?
    • How do I ripen the cheese?
    • How do I store cheese to make it last longer?

    Cooking from scratch

    • How do I cook without electricity?
    • How do I cook using a dutch oven?
    • How do I cook over an open fire?
    • How do I make something taste good without following a recipe?
    • What spices should I use when?

    Tracking and Hunting Animals

    • How do I track down an animal?
    • What animal does this footprint / pile of crap belong to?
    • How do I kill it?

    Fishing

    • How do I make a fishing net?
    • How, and from what materials, can I make a decent fish hook?
    • Which natural materials can I use as fishing line?

    Trapping

    • What animals can I catch using traps?
    • How do I build a deadfall trap?
    • How do I build a trapping pit?
    • How do I make a snare, and where should I place it?
    • How do I catch an animal alive?
    • What can I use to lure the animal into the trap?

    Processing small animals and fish

    • How do I gut and clean X animal?

    Butchering

    • Which parts can I eat and which parts should I throw away?
    • How should I cut the meat?
    • How should I package it?
    • How do I make minced meat?
    • How do you skin an animal without destroying the hide?

    Archery

    • What’s the best wood for bow making?
    • How do I make a bow that won’t get brittle and break as the wood dries?
    • How do I turn a tree into a bow?
    • What material can I use for string?
    • How are arrows made?
    • What material can I use to make arrow tips?
    • How do I build the arrows to help them fly straight?
    Wooden bow grip making. Photo: Simon A. Eugster (CC BY-SA)

    Wooden bow grip making. Photo: Simon A. Eugster (CC BY-SA)

    Gun Smithing

    • How do I manufacture a rifle?
    • How do I make gunpowder?
    • How do I disassemble, clean, inspect, lubricate & reassemble a gun?
    Homesteaders at Strool, South Dakota, 1909. Four men in front of a sod house, each holding a rifle or gun.

    Homesteaders at Strool, South Dakota, 1909. Four men in front of a sod house, each holding a rifle or gun.

    Gardening

    • What kind of plants / vegetables / root crops / berries / fruits can I grow in my area?
    • How do I know when to plant things?
    • How do I make compost?
    • How do I minimize weeds?
    • Can I eat the weeds?
    • How do I make biochar?
    • How do I get started?

    Orchard Management

    • How do I plant a tree?
    • How do I prune a tree?
    • How do I propagate trees through seeds?
    • How do I propagate trees through grafting?

    Seed Saving

    • How do I save seeds from X plant?
    • How do I store seeds?
    • How do I stratify seeds to get them to germinate better?

    Home Brewing

    • How do I make beer / wine / mead?
    • From where can I get the yeast?
    • How do I save the yeast until next time?
    • How do I control the alcohol percentage?

    Foraging / Knowing What to Eat

    • What wild plants, berries, fruits, roots, nuts and mushrooms grow in my area that I can eat without getting killed?
    • Which of them are in season now?

    Preserving food

    • How do I can food?
    • How do I dehydrate food?
    • How do I ferment food?
    • How do I smoke food?
    • How do I salt food?

    Animal husbandry

    Raising dogs and cats is much different than raising chickens, turkeys, ducks, rabbits, pigs, cows, and goats for the table. For all of these animals there are a number of questions one needs to have a grip on. A large part of being able to raise these animals is recognizing their needs and being able to diagnose their sicknesses.

    • What do they need in terms of food, water, shelter, etc., to stay healthy and live a good life?
    • What diseases are they prone to and how do you treat them?
    • How do I milk a cow / goat?
    • How do I help deliver a foal / piglet?

    Bee keeping

    • How do I build a hive?
    • How do I capture a bee swarm?
    • How do I harvest the honey without getting stung?
    • What plants are beneficial for bees?
    • 32+ Free Beekeeping Resources

    Water

    A reliable and regular supply of water is a true necessity of life. These essential supplies are provided in very different ways in different parts of the world. In the developed world you likely get your water from a tap; a relatively new invention and far from resilient.

    Finding Drinking Water

    • What are the best places to find drinkable water?
    • How do I know if it’s drinkable?
    • What can I do to minimize the risk of drinking foul water?

    Purifying water

    • In what ways can I purify water?
    • How do I make active charcoal for water purification?

    Well Building

    • How do I build a durable well?
    • How do I know where to start digging?

    Moving water with gravity

    • How do I move water from place A to place B using only gravity?
    • How do I move water uphill without using electricity?

    Safety

    Protection from illness is today provided by health care, hospitals, sanitation infrastructure such as flush toilets. Protection from injury is provided by police, security services and the military. In theory anyway. Before modern times, people and communities took responsibility for their own personal protection.

    Here are some skills that will help protect you from both injury and illness:

    Staying out of harms way

    • How do I avoid getting into fights?
    • How do I avoid getting robbed?
    • How do I defuse a situation that could turn ugly?

    Handling a gun

    • How do I safely handle a gun?
    • How do I hold a gun properly?
    • How do I aim a gun?
    • How do I reload a gun?
    • How do I maintain a gun?

    Hand-to-hand fighting

    • How do I throw a punch?
    • Where should I aim?
    • How do I avoid getting punched?
    • How do I hold a person?
    • How do I disable a person in the quickest amount of time?
    • How do I defend against a knife attacker?

    Perimeter Security

    • How do I choose a strong defensive position?
    • How do I harden structures against intruders?

    First aid

    • How do I clean and disinfect a wound?
    • How do I dress a wound?
    • How do I stop heavy bleeding?
    • How do I perform CPR?
    • How do I splint a broken leg / hand / finger / toe / back / neck?
    • How do I close an open wound using suturing?

    Making soap

    • What materials do I need to make soap?

    Herbal medicine

    • Which plants can I use to treat X?
    • How do I turn those plants into usable extracts, oils, balms, teas and tinctures?

    Waste Management

    • How do I safely handle human waste when the flush toilet stops working?
    • How do I turn what I usually flush down the sewers into high quality humanure and compost?

    Pest Control

    • How do I keep pests out of my food and home?

    Making Alcohol

    (for disinfecting wounds, of course)

    • How do I distill grains and fruits into alcohol?

    Other Skills

    Navigation on Land and Sea

    • How do I find my way in the wilderness without getting lost or going in circles?
    • What natural features can help guide me?
    • How do I build a compass from scratch?
    • How do I navigate using the stars?
    • How do I use Pace count beads / ranger beads?

    Map reading skills

    • How do I read a map?
    • How do I navigate with a map and compass?

    Candle Making

    • How do I make candles from tallow?
    • How do I make candles from bees wax?
    • How do I make stearin?
    • Which materials make good wicks?

    Leatherworking

    • How do I tan animal skin and hide to turn it into usable leather?
    • How do I turn that leather into things I can use?

    Basic Mechanical Repair

    • My car is broken, how do I troubleshoot the issue?
    • How do I fix it?
    • How do I change the oil?
    • How do I change / fix a broken tire?

    Communicating with Strangers

    • How do I make friends with strangers?
    • How do I communicate with someone who doesn’t understand my language?

    Haggling / Bartering

    • How do I haggle?
    • How do I barter using no money?

    Group Survival

    The biggest lost skill for survival, says primitive skills survival instructor Janulis in this article, “is not any one technique or prehistoric craft, but instead the loss of culturally and generationally developed subsistence patterns specific to an environment.”

    Want To Relearn And Help Preserve Our Forefathers Skills?

    As you can see, self-reliance means knowing the answers to quite a lot of questions. There are close to 200 questions in this article, and I’ve just scratched the surface. How many of them do you know the answer to?

    Finding the best answers to questions like these and presenting them in a step-by-step manner is what we do in Self-Reliance 365 for our supporting members (without whom our work on the free Self-Reliance Catalog would not be possible).

    Jim Norris and wife, homesteaders, Pie Town, New Mexico, 1940. I wonder how many self-reliance skills they knew?

    Jim Norris and wife, homesteaders, Pie Town, New Mexico, 1940. I wonder how many self-reliance skills they knew?

    Saving our forefathers ways starts with people like you and me actually relearning these skills and putting them to use to live better lives through good times and bad.

    Join Self-Reliance 365 Here

    For just 22 cents a day you get answers to questions like the ones above two times a month in special Execution Plans, you get a bunch of discounts on popular tools, seeds and services for self-reliance from companies we like and trust, plus you enable us at Walden Labs to continue our work pushing the boundaries of self-reliance and building out the free Self-Reliance Catalog for the benefit of all.

    Documenting these important life skills of our forefathers, be it knife making, food preservation, bee keeping, seed saving or herbal medicine, will be a big focus for Walden Labs in 2016.

    If you’re like me and want to relearn and preserve these important skills that kept our ancestors alive throughout the centuries, so that we can pass these skills on to a new generation, read more about it here.

    I think we can learn a lot from our forefathers, not just about surviving to live another day but also about thriving and finding meaning in this day and age.

    Again, click here to learn all about Self-Reliance 365 and saving our forefather’s ways.

    The post 48 Lost Self-Reliance Skills That Kept Our Forefathers Alive appeared first on Walden Labs.

    Some ThingsFor The End Of April

    Click here to view the original post.
    Dateline: 28 April 2016

    Well, April is almost over and things are getting busy around here, what with the garden and Planet Whizbang sales ramping up. Besides that, tomorrow I’m going to launch into phase-two of my three-phase (three year) house re-roofing project. Back in the day, I could have re-roofed my house in a weekend. Now it takes me three years.
    And I’m still making Classic American clothespins, or trying to. I’m now up to customer #44 on my waiting list of 376 people.  

    So I’m going to take a little break from this here blogging for a week or so. In the meantime, here are some things to read, and think about…


    Everett In The News

    Everett Littlefield, a frequent commenter on this blog, was in the Block Island Times recently. You can read about him and his 48 x 30 greenhouse at this link: A Satisfying and Self-Sufficient Life.  It was a pleasant surprise to see my Garden Idea Book mentioned in the article. Thanks, Everett. 

    Oh, and for those who missed it, Everett sent me a picture of himself wearing his Planet Whizbang hat. I’ve posted it at the bottom of This Web Page. I dare say, Everett looks better in his Planet Whizbang hat than John Wayne does.

    ~~~

    Hernando Presbyterian 
    Links To This Blog!

    As far as I know, this is a first… Hernando Presbyterian Church (ARP) in Hernando, Mississippi, has added this blog to it’s Links page under the “Creation and Family” category (Click Here to see). My thanks to Pastor Gary L. Jones for doing that.

    I thought it might be interesting to see if there were any Presbyterian (ARP) churches around me. It turns out there are only a handful of them in the whole state of NY, and none anywhere near me. 

    I’m curious… does anyone reading this knows of another church that has links or articles related to Christian agrarianism on their web site?

    ~~~

    Why The Amish Don’t 
    Pay Into Social Security 
    (Or Obamacare)

    The Amish don’t pay into Social Security and they don’t have to deal with the government-enforced socialized health insurance scheme (a.k.a., Obamacare) currently being perpetrated onto the rest of America. 

    How can they get away with that? Well, it’s an interesting story. You can read the history at this link: Valentine Byler vs. The IRS.

    I’m delighted to see that the Amish do not have to participate in such foolishness. You would think that more Americans might think about becoming Amish to escape the onerous Social Security tax. But the Amish don’t let just anybody into their sect. Besides that, precious few American families would really like to be free from the responsibility of taking care of themselves and their own family in old age, without collecting a monthly Social Security check.

    ~~~
    The Pension Crisis Deepens


    Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. That familiar phrase certainly applies to American pension systems, private and public. They’re all in trouble, but some more than others. This ZeroHedge Article on the subject is well worth reading. Even if you are not personally connected to a pension, you will be affected by this crisis. 

    ~~~

    Middle Class Crisis

    I read The Secret Shame of Middle Class Americans this morning.  The secret shame is that they are broke, or nearly so. The article is a lengthy but interesting story of one man’s upper middle class struggles.  A quote…

    “I never wanted to keep up with the Joneses. But, like many Americans, I wanted my children to keep up with the Joneses’ children, because I knew how easily my girls could be marginalized in a society where nearly all the rewards go to a small, well-educated elite. (All right, I wanted them to be winners.)”

    His two girls went to private schools, and expensive colleges. Another quote…

    “I don’t ask for or expect any sympathy. I am responsible for my quagmire—no one else. I didn’t get gulled into overextending myself by unscrupulous credit merchants. Basically, I screwed up, royally. I lived beyond my means, primarily because my means kept dwindling. I didn’t take the actions I should have taken, like selling my house and downsizing, though selling might not have covered what I owed on my mortgage. And let me be clear that I am not crying over my plight. I have it a lot better than many, probably most, Americans—which is my point. Maybe we all screwed up. Maybe the 47 percent of American adults who would have trouble with a $400 emergency should have done things differently and more rationally. Maybe we all lived more grandly than we should have. But I doubt that brushstroke should be applied so broadly. Many middle-class wage earners are victims of the economy, and, perhaps, of that great, glowing, irresistible American promise that has been drummed into our heads since birth: Just work hard and you can have it all.”

    The author is a professional writer. He and his wife have no retirement savings because, in his own words…

    “…because we emptied a small 401(k) to pay for our younger daughter’s wedding.”

    And then this insight…

    “But lack of money definitely ruins everything. Financial impotence casts a pall of misery. It keeps you up at night and makes you not want to get up in the morning. It forces you to recede from the world. It eats at your sense of self-worth, your confidence, your energy, and, worst of all, your hope.”

    When I read those three sentences, I stopped, and read them again. And again. I’ve been there. I know that feeling. Thankfully, it is behind me. I hope never to go back there. I feel sorry for the author.

    ~~~

    The Appearance Of Affluence

    The Millionaire Next Door is a book worth reading. I no longer have my copy but one thing I remember very well was the part about how many people who live an upper middle class lifestyle really can’t afford it. It looks like they have a lot of money, and they may even make a lot of money, but they live beyond their means, just like the guy who wrote the  Middle Class Crisis article above.

    And surprisingly (or maybe not surprisingly) many of these upper-middle-class-in-appearance-only people are sustaining their lifestyle habits with a regular influx of monetary help from their affluent parents.

    Which makes me think that if you ever visited my home you would realize very quickly that I do not have the appearance of affluence, and for good reason. Thankfully, that has never been important to me.

    ~~~

    I Agree With Franklin


    Jonathan Cahn’s Harbinger book, along with John Hagee’s blood moon prophecy are so “last year,” but we really shouldn’t forget them. Not because of what they predicted with such certainty, but because they are such perfect examples of what Christians should avoid buying into when the next Christian “authority” comes out with another solved mystery or revelation of some big, world-changing event.

    My history with such books goes back to my teenage years, when I read Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth. I swallowed that book’s message hook, line, and sinker. And followed similar authors in the years ahead. Then came  Edgar Whisenant’s insightful little book: 88 Reasons Why The Rapture Will Be in 1988

    It’s a wonder I’m still a Christian when I consider all the dire predictions from Christian “authority figures” that I believed  back then, and that never materialized. I’m sure it’s the grace of God that has preserved my faith, and the eventual realization that these biblical prognosticators were all perpetrating “another gospel.” 

    When I read my Bible (the New Testament in particular) it is all about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who willing gave his life to pay the penalty for the sins of those who would believe on Him. That penalty is death and separation from God. But because of Jesus Christ, there is personal salvation (from the consequences of our sin) and life eternal. That’s the good news.

    But there’s more… also in the New Testament, I read a tremendous amount of instruction about how followers of Christ can and should live an authentic Christian life

    As an interesting aside, I find almost nothing in the New Testament about the importance of, or need for, evangelizing and proselytizing (a.k.a., “soul winning”) by the average Christian believer. 

    This matter of living an authentic Christian life is all through the New Testament teachings of the apostles (read I John if you’d like an example of what I mean). 

    With those thoughts in mind, I firmly believe that any preaching or teaching that veers away from the message of Jesus Christ and the pursuit of authentic Christian life is a shallow religious diversion. And this is especially the case when such teaching revolves around some gnostic insights about the future.

    I’m rambling here, and I’ve probably upset a few people (again). All of this  has come to the forefront of my thinking after reading Franklin Sanders’s excellent review and analysis of The Harbinger. He wrote it in January of 2015. But I just read it the other day. I strongly recommend Franklin’s book review to fellow Believers: The Great Evangelical Distraction.

    ~~~

    Last Words

    “Tis well.”

    Have you ever wondered about the last words uttered by America’s presidents? Well, it’s downright interesting to read them, and you can do so At This Link. I must confess, I got a lump in my throat when I read the last one (Ronald Reagan).


    Climate Change: What They’re Not Telling You

    Click here to view the original post.

    Ten years after Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth hit theaters, a new film is set to be released that tells the other side of the story.

    The movie is called Climate Hustle, and in the words of its promoters, it will “tear the cover off of global warming hype and expose the myths and exaggerations of this multi-billion dollar issue.”

    Climate Hustle and climate change are the topics of this week’s episode of Off The Grid Radio as we talk to Dr. Bonner Cohen, a senior policy analyst with the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), which produced the movie.

    Climate Hustle will appear in theaters on Monday, May 2, for one night only.

    Cohen tell us:

    • Why man-made global warming, as the media sells it, is a myth.
    • How science that would discredit climate change is being hidden.
    • What he believes motivates scientists who claim climate change is fact.
    • Why the “media mantra” about polar bears and ice caps isn’t the full story.

    If you’ve ever wondered about the real facts behind the climate change debate, then this is one show you don’t want to miss!

    Shock: Police Seize 4 Children Simply Because They Were Spanked

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    Shock: Police Seize 4 Children Simply Because They Were Spanked

    Image source: Pixabay.com

     

    Just the suspicion of spanking can lead to a police raid and seizure of children by social workers in at least one Western nation.

    A couple in Norway had four children and a baby taken away because they spanked the older ones.

    “They didn’t find any physical marks or anything like that when they had medical examination. … They were, are, all fine,” the mother, Ruth, told the BBC. “But the law … is very clear until the smallest detail, it’s not allowed of any physical correction, and we have never been aware that it was this strict.”

    Corporal punishment is illegal in Norway.

    Ruth’s ordeal began last year when social workers and police seized her two daughters from school without her knowledge and then drove to her house and took two sons. The next day four police officers returned and seized her three-month-old baby, too.

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

    The children are still in foster care, and Ruth and her husband, Marius, are in family counseling. The parents can only see their children through eight-hour visiting sessions. Even worse, the children have been separated and live in different parts of the country, hours from one another.

    The baby has been returned, although the parents don’t know what will become of the others.

    The couple accused Norway’s children protection service — which is known as Barnevernet — of lying to them at a meeting.

    Story continues below video

    “We had already engaged ourselves in family counselling, to be prepared to fix whatever needs to be fixed,” Marius told the BBC. “But at that meeting they didn’t even want to look at our plan. Actually, they said they set up the meeting to inform us that they would file a case for permanently removing the kids.”

    Some critics charge that Barnevernet might have been motivated by something other than the children’s welfare. They say the children were taken because their parents are Pentecostals; Norway is a Lutheran country. Others think the action was motivated by the fact that Marius is an immigrant from Romania who married a Norwegian woman.

    Asked by the BBC if children can be seized for mild spanking, Norway official  Kai-Morten Terning – the undersecretary at the Ministry for Children and Equality – responded, “parents have to know the law and live by it in Norway, regardless of background.”

    Story continues below video

    The seizing of children has soared in recent years in Norway, particularly after an 8-year-old boy was beaten to death in 2005. The most common reason for taking kids is “lack of parenting skills,” the BBC reported.

    In another case, Barnevernet may have taken a baby from her parents because her grandmother was looking after her. Social workers accused the baby’s father of being simple and his wife of lacking parent skills, the BBC reported.

    Health professions never examined the baby.

    The grandfather, Yngve, has a government-appointed position and has changed his opinion about the country’s child welfare system. He has been unable to get Barnevernet to allow even him to take care of the baby.

    Discover The ONLY Way Back To True Freedom And Liberty In America…

    “I grew up believing that Norway was the best system in the world, best for children, the UN are saying this all the time, and then I discovered that this cannot be the case,” he told the BBC.

    “At first I thought that this case that we had experienced must be one in a million. There just can’t be more madness than this. And when I showed my face on TV in connection with this, a lot of people have contacted me, and they have showed me other stories that are even worse than the one that I have experienced.

    “I am a senior civil servant, and I should really be a defender of Norway, and normally I am, but here it is something extremely wrong.”

    Is Norway’s Child Protection System America’s Future?

    Norway’s child protection system has been called a role model for other nations. It was the first country to allow an independent ombudsman to represent children.

    Around 170 Norwegian experts on child protection, including social workers, lawyers and psychologists, signed a letter to Norway’s children’s minister, expressing concern.

    “There is a lack of what I’d call the human factor,” psychologist Einar Salvesen, a critic of Barnevernet, told the BBC. He helped organize the letter. “A lack of empathy, really providing an atmosphere so people can learn… It’s more like police interventions, more like we have to find out what’s wrong with you.”

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

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

    Book: Warrior Mindset

    Click here to view the original post.

    See larger image Warrior Mindset Mental toughness is esssential for elite human performance and especially in high stress situations. While mental toughness is a singular value in both military and law enforcement training and missions, too often, there is a disconnect between tallking about and actually training it. Warrior MindSet defines mental toughness and describes its critical need and function in the face of the performance degrading effects of combat, mission or response stress. Warrior MindSet provides the psychological skills that comprise mental toughness to optimze performance, success, safety and survival in the field. A Warrior Mindset is essential for

    The post Book: Warrior Mindset appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

    Toilet Paper Holder

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    If you want a more watertight Toilet Paper Holder holder than the one we showed you a few months ago h, I have a more complex version. This version uses a 2-liter soda bottle, some string, tape and a ziplock bag. Cut the bottle in half, ensuring that the end with the spout is deep enough to hold your roll. Split the bottom of a heavy duty freezer bag and place the split end over and around the cut end of your bottle. Duct tape the bag to the bottle. – This should make an opening on either end – the

    The post Toilet Paper Holder appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

    Difference Between Flare Nut and Combination Wrenches

    Click here to view the original post.

    See larger image 52 Prepper’s Projects for Parents and Kids: A Project a Week to Help Prepare Your Child for the Unpredictable Prepare your child for the unpredictable through 52 prepper projects. Teach them basic outdoors survival skills, first aid, how to create their own “bug-out bag,” and more. List Price: $14.99 USD New From: $7.32 USD In Stock

    The post Difference Between Flare Nut and Combination Wrenches appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

    What Are Your Favorite Alternative News & Information Sources – Websites?

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    Having recently posted the article, The Mainstream Mass Media versus Alternative News, I thought that it would be a good idea to renew / update the following original article on favorite alternative news and/or informational websites and other sources beyond the mainstream mass media (originally posted during 2014). So lets here from you in the […]

    15 Different Key Chain Tools for Preppers

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    I like having a couple key chain tools as part of my everyday carry gear because they’re very difficult to lose and impossible to forget if you want to go somewhere. In this video, Tim from Everyday Tactical Vids talks about 15 tools you should consider getting. For the full list of items and links […]

    The post 15 Different Key Chain Tools for Preppers appeared first on Urban Survival Site.